• Published 31st Aug 2013
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Odrsjot - Imploding Colon

Rainbow Dash and her companions fly east.

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Momentary Lapse Of Reason

When Rainbow Dash awoke the next morning, the lavender light was miles ahead of her. She caught up with it in no time, "no time" being a brisk and breezy three hours.

The night's exhaustion still hadn't peeled away from her body. She solved this by dousing it completely. Holding her breath, Rainbow Dash spun through the air, twirled, and divebombed her way into the edge of a deep river. She broke through the cold currents like a torpedo before kicking against the banks and leaping back out of the surface with an explosion of water droplets. It took only three or four swift spins in the air to become comfortably "dry," again, and Rainbow Dash was left with a lingering chill that didn't allow for any sleepiness. To stave off the shivers, she let loose a giggle or two, embracing the frenzied moment with a bit of foalish whimsy.

She found herself glancing towards the north, eying the lavender pulse with greater and greater fervor. Somehow, just the mere sight of it brought warmth, forming an equilibrium with the chill of the impulsive water dousing. Rainbow glanced back at her midnight blue saddlebag, then winced with folded ears at how stupidly she had soaked the article along with herself. Pausing on a hilltop, she opened the bags and examined the contents. The interior of the satchel was dry. She exhaled with relief. The container was made of solid stuff—royal stuff.

Kicking off the ground, Rainbow Dash resumed flying east, this time following the slithering river that had collected at the feet of the mountain range to the west. Here, the landscape evened out, sloping donward into an emerald valley where the soil was richer and the grass lay thicker.

The wildflowers did not end; as a matter of fact, they flourished here, and Rainbow Dash wondered if perhaps this lush valley was the source of their pollinating. A wonderful fragrance filled the air, tempting Rainbow Dash to fly lower and lower so that she could enjoy the aroma. She gave in, and soon she found herself clipping over the top of waving trees. To the east, beyond a bend in the river, a dense forest loomed. Here, birds flitted from branch to branch, filling the air with a song that Rainbow had sorely missed over the past three days.

Around noontime, the beacon to the north had slowed to a crawl. Rainbow Dash stopped in mid-air, hovering in place, gazing persistently at the pulsating light with a mildly worried expression.

An hour passed, and the beacon shifted north, albeit slightly. The lavender light fluctuated every few minutes, as if a pulsar was being reborn in the distant heart of it. The longer Rainbow stared at it, the more she felt the onset of a dizzy spell.

So, she took her mind off it, and her eyes as well. She touched down on the edge of the forest and trotted leisurely through a cluster of trees. Cicadas rattled away on either side of her as her hooves kicked over the warm blades of grass. The smell of fruit lingered in the air, and she practically gasped. Spinning like a prismatic top, she darted her eyes from tree to tree.

At last, she saw splotches of pale color lingering among lower branches. Galloping towards it, she suddenly skidded to a halt, blinking. They were peaches. She made a wretching expression, turned around completely, and resumed her trot east.

As afternoon fell, the lavender light lingered to the north, and so did she. Rainbow Dash sat with her back against a tree, dangling one lower limb over another. She chewed absent-mindedly on the stalk of a dry piece of high grass that she had plucked from the earth. Lazily, she sat there for hours, watching birds chase each other from branch to branch among the fruit trees.

The place was fragrant, like nature's perfume shop. All Rainbow had to do was look down, and she saw that she was practically wading in flowers. A bee or two zipped from bud to bud, with one of them landing errantly on Rainbow's left rear hoof. She simply let the leg go slack until the insect blurred away, stinger and all, and she resumed her anxious squirming.

At some point, tiredness set in, and she napped without thinking about it. All was black and blissful, save for a last second clashing of gray-soaked images, like mortar shells splashing across a bed of dry bones. Rainbow awoke with a gasp, her muzzle shining with a coat of sweat. She caught her breath, feeling the warm weight of the world drape once more around her like a blanket. She jerked her head to the north. The beacon had moved slightly ahead of her, though its pace was still just as lazy.

With flaring nostrils, Rainbow allowed her eyes to fall once more to the earth. The flowers there matched the color of the beacon, and she couldn't tell if it was ironic or just plain silly.

Still, a completely different impulse overtook her. She reached down, plucked four stems loose, and slid the lavender petals into her satchel. Then, after stretching and cracking her limbs, she flapped her wings and took off into the air for some much-needed flight.

Rainbow Dash swiftly overtook the northern light. It didn't bother her in the least. She figured that the two would be even with each other again after a few hours. This confidence carried her in a wholesome glide, sailing over denser and denser trees as the landscape rose gradually skyward. There were no mountains here like in the craggy range to the west, but the entire continent nonetheless felt like it was ramping upwards towards the fall of evening. Rainbow Dash marveled at lush trees clinging to every slope and cliffface and plateau within sight. The whole world took on a dark green tint, like an emerald bedsheet spread beneath a dire eclipse.

As the first of several stars broke through the clouds, something shone brighter than the rest. At first, Rainbow Dash thought it was the beacon, but she was only having a momentary lapse of reason. She was awoken by a beam of energy emanating from her pendant of all places.

A gasp escaped her lips. Her muzzle shone pale upon the onset of darkness, and she flew up higher and higher until she had an unobstructed view of the horizon around her. It took a twirl or two, but at last she saw the source of the light, the same source that had seen her first.

Breathless and wordless, Rainbow Dash bolted southeast, heading directly towards a cleft of earth rising sharply out of the ground. Here, she perched on the branch of a tree planted precariously along a hilly peak. She stepped out onto the very edge of the wooden limb and tilted her upper body until her ruby lightning pendant caught the silver glow completely.

High above, a moon rose. A full moon. It took only a few seconds—almost more easily than the pegasus remembered—but the enchantment within her pendant zeroed in on its source, and a nebulous voice wafted magically across the chilly sky, settling around the pony's fuzzy ears.

"Rainbow Dash? Art thou present? We seek ye, our little pony. How doth thou fair?"

With a deep breath, the pegasus' voice cracked. "I'm awesome, Luna. Thanks for asking."

"Alas, it fills us with great joy to once again be hearing from thee. Thy voice carrieth good health with it. We trust thou hath traveled a great distance since the last time we enjoyed a wholesome conference."

Rainbow Dash bit her lip, shrugging her shoulders from side to side. "Eh... kinda sorta... I-I guess..."

"Rainbow Dash...?"

"Yeah, your highness?"

"Something troubleth thee. The feelings of an equine lost in the night hath no way of escaping our esteemed vision. Hath thou endured more trials over the past month?"

"Oh, you know me. I'm just... uhm..." Rainbow Dash suddenly froze, fidgeting.

The voice on the other end was silent, patient.

With a sigh, Rainbow Dash smiled tiredly. "Yeah, Princess. As a matter of fact, things happened." She plopped down on her haunches and fought off a yawn. "Y'know... just a few things..."

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