• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Somepony was gasping. It took Rainbow Dash several seconds of sweating to realize it was her.

She sat up on a velvet bench in the center of a two-bedroom suite. A broad window stretched open beside her, with magically engineered fans that were blowing out the fog of East New Ring. She ran a hoof over her mane, gulped, and then felt her neck. At the touch of her golden pendant, she exhaled with relief and began to slump back down—

“Took you long enough.”

Rainbow Dash shot up again, her heart nearly exploding out of her chest. She looked all around the lanternlit room until she saw Steelteeth standing at her side. She gulped and nodded.

“Yeesh. That wasn't very heroic of me.”

“No,” he muttered dispassionately. “It wasn't.” He reached a hoof over and felt her forehead. She didn't protest. “It's not a fever, and I seriously doubt that it's bloodloss. Have you had a history of dizzy spells before?”

“I've got an even better question,” she muttered. “How long was I out for?”

“Around twelve hours,” Steelteeth said calmly. “It is officially next morning.”

“Son of a ballerina,” Rainbow Dash moaned into a pair of hooves. “If I had a bit for every time that happened...”

“Maybe you'd actually have the fortune of a princess.”

“Well...” She slid so that her rear hooves hung off the seat. “At least I didn't have any friggin' wyrd dreams that time.”

“Did you not?” Steelteeth asked.

Rainbow Dash squinted at him. “Did I... talk in my sleep?”

“Nothing important that's worth being repeated, I imagine,” Steelteeth said.

“Whew...” Rainbow's wings fluttered. “Good.”

“Unless the phrase 'Gold Petals' means anything.”

Rainbow's wings drooped. She took a deep breath, gazing lethargically at the floor. “You're right,” she droned. “Nothing important whatsoever...”

Steelteeth raised an eyebrow, but then decided not to touch the subject. He stood up straight and adjusted his hat. “I took the liberty of acquiring this room for us. The Darkstinians may be a rigid group of ponies, but they're more than willing to accommodate us for... well... for whatever it is that we're here to do.”

“Heh. Yeah. Any luck on figuring that out?”

“I was hoping you would provide me some clarity upon waking up,” he stated. “Has the Queen's words of wisdom started making any sense to you?”

“Pffft. How should I know?” Rainbow Dash grunted. “I've been out like a dead tree.”

“Well, perhaps something will take root.” He swiveled about and headed for the far end of the suite. “In the meantime, I had better start asking questions of the locals here. Perhaps it will shed some light on this Duke Zaap Nator.”

“Don't you mean the stallion who would be Zaap Nator?” Rainbow Dash muttered. Suddenly, she blinked, then looked curiously Steelteeth's way. “Wait. How come you didn't go about asking questions before?”

“I didn't have the time to,” he replied.

“You mean... you were hanging out beside me the whole time I was out?”

“It was important to ascertain the nature of your condition,” he replied unemotionally.

“By sitting next to me for twelve friggin' hours?!” Rainbow Dash's eyes twitched. She smiled devilishly. “You were worried about me, weren't you?”

Steelteeth turned to look back at her. His nostrils flared. “You are a liability, nothing more. And the Queen has put me in charge of your care.”

“Heh... I love you to, ya big bucket of 'buck it all'.” Rainbow Dash stood up, her legs wobbling. “If I'd known you were so dang affectionate, I would have warned you about my dizziness ahead... of... time...” Her voice trailed off.

After a while, Steelteeth uttered, “Is there something amiss?”

“Uhhh...” Rainbow Dash blinked. Before her, a trail of lavender light was floating effluently through the apartment. It led out of the building, trickled unnoticeably beyond the body of Governor Mintelle's building, and eventually fell into the giant concrete hole in the center of the dvided city. Mesmerised to be once again bearing witness to the phenonemon, Rainbow Dash scratched her mane and murmured, “Well if this doesn't take the cake. Heh. What's with me these days? I almost miss 'boring'.”

“What was that?”

She cleared her throat and smirked, glancing sideways towards where the lavender light shimmered. “I said that I'd like to go out for a stroll. What about you?”

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