• Published 31st Aug 2013
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Odrsjot - Imploding Colon

Rainbow Dash and her companions fly east.

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Rainbow Dash Flies East

The morning sun rose over purple mountains, its golden bands casting shadows between the sharp crags of rock that divided a myriad of sloping hillsides bespeckled with dewy glass and pastel wildflowers. For miles on end, the earth undulated with jagged spikes, breaking the topsoil in several places so that the calcified grayness of the world met the dawn's eager glow. A majestic hush fell over the land, with nary a bird or a semblance of rustling life to be heard.

In the middle of this beautifully empty landscape, within the nebulous shadow of a lingering cloud, an assortment of wooden beams and splintery lumber lingered in chaotic disarray. Curved pieces of oak rose like discarded whalebones, protecting nothing but the scattered refuse of crumbled supply crates and the remnants of rusted metal weaponry.

It was an airship—at least in some past life. The scars of war had faded from its once-varnished surface, and years of neglect within the abandoned valley had rendered the rickety surfaces to a jaded brown mesh of water-logged detritus. Curiously enough, a flimsy shred of fabric had survived the atrophy, and for a minute or two it flapped like the glorious banner it once was in the valley's wind before once more crumpling to a limp death. The faded colors of a once-lauded matriarch blended with the shadows, surrendering to the silence of that forgotten part of the world.

It was here that the silence finally broke. With a rustling of feathers, a quartet of hooves plopped down atop the plush grass bordering the wreck for the first time in decades. The pony lingered, fidgeting a bit. Then, with a shake of a midnight blue saddlebag, she shuffled around the wreck, her sapphiric legs breaking through the scattered beams of light that the crumbled bulkheads of the zeppelin had made.

She lingered at a cannon-sized gap in the port-side hull of the vessel. Crouching low, Rainbow Dash dipped her head into the space before her. A ightning pendant rattled from where it hung from her neck, and her ruby eyes squinted as they peered into the dimly lit space between the earth and the whalebone spine of the crashed vessel.

With a flaring of her nostrils, she pulled her head out and trotted lonesomely around the bulk of the craft. Another gust of wind blew through the valley, making her ears twitch. She came to a scuffling stop along the edge of the ship's battered bow. Her hooves knocked loose pebbles that rattled down a series of craggy stone steps, as if the landscape that the airship had crashed into years ago was constructed of natural stairs. Her eyes followed the tiny rocks rolling loose, until they disappeared into the high grass of a cleft of earth below.

Then, with a bilnk, her eyes caught something else. With a single flap of her wings, Rainbow Dash coasted down by about two dozen feet. She landed before a flat plot of land, lingering just east of the crashed zeppelin. Here, there were four mounds of stone lying equidistant from one another. What's more, in front of each stone, a rusted sword or a polearm had been stabbed deep into the shallow earth. She trotted past each, glancing at the hilts, noticing as tiny lengths of metal fiber hung from each. The last one in praticular was more intact, she realized, for a tiny tag hung off the end of it. With a gentle hoof, she raised the tag and turned it around until the lettering glistened in the dawnlight.

The words were rusted. Faded. Try as she might, Rainbow Dash could not make out a name. She did, however, recognize the name of the country. Glancing down, she saw that the sword that the tag hung from was skewering the shredded remains of a brightly colored beret, pinning it permanently to the earth.

With a calm breath, she looked around the immediate area. She spotted a patch of earth that was slightly raised than the rest. Softly, she trotted over, giving the ground a scrutinizing glance. She saw another sword, this time lying on its side and entangled deep with the roots of the valley's grass. A slender white shape clung to the hilt, the color of eggshells. Rainbow Dash dug two of her hooves into the soil, parting the top layer a bit. Sure enough, the skeletal frame of a unicorn lingered just a few inches beneath the ground. As soon as she made out a horn poking through a helmet of armor, she withdrew her hooves and left the body alone.

Stepping back, she gazed at the body in its relation to the four piles of rocks. The pony appeared to have been seated, facing west towards the four graves when it died, sword in hoof. She couldn't begin to guess how long ago the flesh had begun to decompose, its body adding nutrients to the grassy valley.

With a sigh, Rainbow Dash turned to leave, but she stopped herself. She glanced down at the earth. Between the body, the stones, and the airship, a patch of lavender flowers had bloomed. Their petals added brilliant color to the muted malaise of the abandoned valley.

Not even thinking twice, the pegasus reached down and plucked a stem or two with the crook of her hoof. She examined the delicate flora closely, her eyes a bit too jaded for what was otherwise a whimsical gesture. Nevertheless, after a few seconds of quiet observation, she opened a pocket of her satchel and gently deposited the delicate strands within.

Once she was done, the pegasus spun around, broke into a swift gallop, and veritably launched herself at the east horizon.

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