• Published 31st Aug 2013
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Odrsjot - Imploding Colon

Rainbow Dash and her companions fly east.

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Over the Purple Mountains

Hours later, the foggy haze refused to clear up. Perpetual rolling mist greeted Rainbow Dash from jagged peak to jagged peak of the lifeless highlands. And yet, with each line of craggy earth that the equine scaled, she saw flimsy bands of color.

The lavender she had plucked from the airship ruins didn't stop there. Wildflowers had utterly penetrated the deathly landscape over the centuries, devouring whatever patch of rich soil was available between the rows of exposed stone. In a way, they formed a path for her, a highway of pastel joy amidst utter bleakness. She followed them lazily, if nothing else but for the fact that they gradually led her eastward.

Rainbow Dash was flying at a leisurely pace, for what it was worth. She flapped her wings only once every half a minute, allowing the cool winds and the constant breeze through the sloping valley to carry her for miles upon miles. As she glanced down at the serpentine flower fields, her eyes registered neither joy nor lethargy. Everything about the flight was like clockwork, and her feathers sprang into action only when they needed to, lifting her forward and upward just in time to avoid yet another mountain peak that sliced ineffectually towards her fuzzy blue belly.

There were times when Rainbow Dash rested; there were times when she didn't. Occasionally, she would stop flying altogether, typically picking the eastern clifface of a given land ridge to sit and face the direction that the sun had risen hours earlier.

During one of these "rest stops," her stomach gurgled outrageously. She promptly opened her saddlebag and unwrapped a daffodil sandwich. It was freshly baked: both the bread and the contents thereof. As soon as she took a crunchy bite of it, she hummed in delight, though her face didn't register a smirk. A lingering silence hung off every expression she had to donate the landscape around her, even as she scarfed down a delicious treat. When her meal was done, she sat for a while with her forelimbs hugging her lower legs, her eyes plastered to the gray horizon before her. For a while, she appeared as distant as the mountaintops looming around her.

Eventually, with a sigh, Rainbow Dash kicked off the cliff and flew directly eastward. She may not have looked it, but the pegasus had been reenergized. The meal had a part to play in that, and when Rainbow Dash found even slopes of earth, she actually touched her hooves down to gallop for a space in time instead of fly. When her hooves got tired, she simply flapped her wings instead, easing her body into a delightful glide.

In such a fashion, she continued with her quiet and graceful scaling of the world.

Once every hour, the pegasus would glance to her left—towards the northern horizon. The sky was empty, and the hills were devoid of life. Still, that didn't stop her from glancing—more and more frequently with each passing hour.

At last, about two hours after her meal, she craned her head towards her left and squinted once more. She saw it: a pulse of light that matched the color of the flowers in her saddlebag. The pegasus' heart skipped a beat, and she slowed her flight so that she could make a better observation of the otherworldly beacon.

The lavender pulse loomed beyond the shadowed bodies of mountains, as if something indescribably bright was capable of piercing the high-altitude rock formations from the opposite side. As Rainbow Dash slowed down, it appeared as if the source of the light was speeding up. The pegasus flapped her wings and twirled her tail, adjusting her wind speed so that—as best as she could tell—she was flying parallel to the phenonemon.

This type of navigation continued for another hour or two. The day was coming to a close, forming dim shadows across the sharp mountain peaks that Rainbow Dash continued to skim by. As darkness approached, the lavender light grew no brighter. It stayed consistent, like a star, save for its gradual movement along the horizon north of her.

Rainbow felt a shudder roll through her as the chill of evening melted into the valley. To throw off the growing goosebumps, and also in anticipation of the nocturnal journey ahead, she flapped her wings, accelerating her flight so that she flew ahead of the lavender beacon. The craggy hills grew darker and darker. As a precautionary measure, Rainbow Dash gained altitude, flying high enough until she felt certain she could coast along into the starlight, unimpeded by any mountainsides looming ahead.

It was then that the world bequeathed Rainbow Dash its most beautiful canvas yet. In the absence of maretropolises and their incessant torchlight, utter darkness loomed across the valley, and through this onyx field bled a tapestry of stars, nebulae, and milkyway bands. Rainbow Dash craned her neck multiple times to look up into the violet haze of distant star systems twinkling against oblivion. At some point, she let out a breath and simply twirled until she was gliding upside down.

She coasted over the world like a leaf gliding across a black pond, all the while her eyes drank in the cosmos looming before her. The cold chill of night numbed her wing muscles, so that she felt as if an invisible hoof was carrying her forward, dragging her like a blue sled across the universe, with all the colors and specks of light available for her eyes to devour.

When she exhaled, it was the most lonesome of breaths, and yet it had a squeaky sound to it, like the starved semblance of a song. Her lips almost curved into a smile.

Pebbles rattled loudly as her flank brushed against the knifing edge of a mountainside. With a voice-cracking yelp, Rainbow kicked off the rock before her body could plunge into the errant plateau in front of her. Her heart beated swiftly like a shrew's for a minute or two, but she calmed down, curving around the jagged mountain until she evened out into a steady glide once more.

Catching her breath, she looked fitfully north, as if in search of her anchor.

It took a bit of scanning the blacker-than-black horizon, but she eventually saw the lavender glow. In spite of how brightly it pulsed, there was no hint of a reflection across the pale stone mountains. She couldn't even discern a shifting of shadows from the slowly shifting light source.

Somehow, this didn't surprise the pegasus in the least.

Rainbow Dash yawned. Having a near-brush with death had very little effect on the onset of exhaustion. With a muted groan, Rainbow Dash brought a hoof up to her pendant and ran the edge of her hoof against the ruby lightning bolt. She hummed in a low tone, as if channeling something deep and earnest through her being. With little delay, a crimson beam swam forth from her necklace in a swath, illuminating the mountaintops directly beneath her.

Rainbow scanned cliff after cliff. At last, she saw an even slab of stone along a slope's eastern edge. With a twirl, she landed swiftly atop the bed of rock. Reaching into her saddlebag, Rainbow Dash pulled loose and layed out a white blanket that still smelled of having been freshly laundered. She stifled another yawn, trotted around three times, and eventually plopped down, lying in a curled fashion across the plush fabric.

The scent of the blanket soothed her, and her ears twitched as if serenaded by the phantom sounds of laughter. For the first time in nearly twenty-four hours, a smile alighted the pony's lips, and she allowed it to carry her softly into the starlit throes of slumber.

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