• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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“Well, it's been real,” Rainbow Dash said as she stood on the east edge of town. “But I gotta level with you guys. You're starting to creep me the heck out.”

A throng of several dozen young ponies chuckled until their cheeks were red. At the front of the crowd stood several familiar faces. Cherrymane, Brisk Run, and Grassy Fields smiled in the morning light.

“Enjoy Emeraldine while you can,” Cherrymane remarked. “Once you hit Darkstine, it's nothing but gray skies.”

“I've done gray skies before,” Rainbow Dash said with a smirk. “I like to kick it back to blue.”

“I have no doubt you could do just that.” Cherrymane winked. “If you make it beyond the canyon, try putting your hooves someplace nopony has before. Goddess, that has to be the coolest feeling in the world.”

“Been there, done that,” Rainbow Dash replied. “But there's nothing stopping me from doing it again.”

“Heheh...” Brisk Run smiled. “What's my hoofball team going to do without you?”

“A lot of roof painting, I'd say.”

Several Ridgesiders laughed merrily.

“In all seriousness, though...” Rainbow Dash trotted over and planted a hoof on his shoulder. “Practice makes perfect. Try kicking the ball around and bundling wheat a little less. I mean—heck—you ponies seem to have enough time on their hands!”

“Yeah, well, not all of us can afford to do such awesome things with our time.”

“And that kind of an attitude is why they don't call you 'Best Run,'” Rainbow Dash said with a wink. She paced past several chuckling ponies until she stood before a muscular stallion. “Go on. I know you're dying to say something.”

“Erm...” He fidgeted, his cheeks flushed. “Good luck, Miss Dash. You... You think you might come back to visit us sometime?”

“Sorry, handsome. Lightning strikes only once, especially when it's attached to me.” She grinned. “And before you ask—no—I don't have a sister.”

Several other colts laughed and patted Grassy's embarassed neck.

“Cheer up, emoquine.” Rainbow Dash smacked his chin up with her tail and shuffled past. “You'll make tons of little, beefcake hoofballers someday.”

Mayor Evergreen stood patiently, smiling as Rainbow Dash approached. “If only I could live so long to see another one of your kind grace our humble township.”

“Sister, you'd have to be an alicorn.” As more villagers snickered, Rainbow Dash reached a blue hoof forward. “Thanks for the welcome, the food, the dance hall—”

The Mayor held her hoof in mid-shake. “Remember to stop by the Chamber of Representatives in Verdestone.”

“I'm looking for a dude named Steeltooth, right?”

“SteelTEETH,” Evergreen emphasized. “Show him the scroll, and he'll help you with properly crossing the lengths of Darkstine to the east.”

“This is all so swell, y'know,” Rainbow Dash in a quiet voice between them. “Like, seriously. I owe you ponies a lot.”

“We just hope that you make it to your destination in a timely manner.”

“Yeah, well...” Rainbow Dash smiled calmly, dug at the ground, and murmured. “I just hope I make it there, period.”

Evergreen blinked at that.

“Alright, Ridgesiders!” Rainbow Dash bellowed as she lifted up in a bright display of her billowing mane. “Live long and chug cider! I've got more dance halls to claim!” She spun several circles in the air, caught the sunlight in the glint of her pendant, and flew off sideways with a waving hoof. “Stay frosty, everypony! Peace!”

Several equines shouted and cheered. Cherrymane, Brisk Run, and Grassy Fields smiled in unison. Evergreen quietly waved a delicate hoof.

All of their happy images vanished in a blur as Rainbow Dash faced east, burning against the wind. “Well...” She took a heavy breath, slid the goggles over her ruby eyes, and smiled sweetly to herself. “It doesn't get much better than this.”

And she left.

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