• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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“They're such bright, incredibly creative foals,” Cold Canter's voice said. “All of them. Though, when I say 'foals,' it's really just a relative term. Many of them are quite old, even beyond Desert Light's age.”

“Heh...” Rainbow Dash swallowed another bite of lettuce and huddled beside her campfire in the middle of the desert plain. The purple haze of night lingered overhead, like a glass window overlooking a forest of fireflies. “And you haven't seen them in forever?”

“It's going on twelve years since I last spoke with any of my children face to face.”

“I'm so sorry to hear that, guy,” Rainbow Dash said, took another bite, and murmured. “May I ask if there's some reason?”

“Not a reason. A mare.”

“Ohhhhhh.” Rainbow Dash nodded slowly to the shadows beyond the flickering fire. “You and the Missus don't see eye to eye?”

“We hardly see eye to flank.”


“I can't rightly blame her.”

“Why not?”

Cold Canter's voice lingered before eventually muttering through the sound stone, “She is, without a doubt, the most loyal, honorable, and law-abiding citizen Darkstine could ever hope for.”

“In other words, she talks like a brick and has the emotional scope of an oak tree,” Rainbow Dash said. She immediately blushed in the firelight. “Erm... No offense.”

“Heh, none taken, filly.” Cold Canter chuckled through the leylines. “If anything, I've always been something of... anomaly among those of my culture.”

“Jee,” Rainbow Dash droned. “You don't say?”

“Mind you, I spoke and lived much like my fellow Darkstinians for years. But slowly, as the years grew by, I couldn't stand to function in the same manner they did. I couldn't allow myself to be totally disconnected from my emotions?”

“What changed?”

“My wife foaled. Again and again and again. Soon, we had nearly five kids. That's when I started to change.”

“How so?”

“I don't suppose you have any children of your own?”

“Uhhhh...” Rainbow Dash chuckled nervously. “Not this mare.”

“I didn't think so. Bringing a new life in this world is a divine, even spiritual experience. Darkstinians are the kind of unicorns to invest all spirits in industry. Our families function as parts of a machine, and the children we produce are meant to add to the locomotion of such a system.”

“I'm guessing you weren't all that happy with being the center gear to a whole bunch of cogs...”

“I wanted more. Perhaps it was selfish of me. But is it asking too much to want to love and cherish your own offspring? With each child that we raised, they reached the age of ascension, and I could no longer appeal to their emotion. I had to accept that the system conditioned them into an unemotional element. With each son and daughter we had, this grew harder and harder. My wife had the necessary persistence of a good Darkstinian citizen. I, however, did not?”

“What happened?”

“I started to buckle under the pressure, both interior and exterior. I was seen as having a deficiency, and many ponies 'caim to my aid,' in hopes that I could be brought back to the surface of the systematic way of thinking. So long as I was letting my emotions get the best of me, I was a defect to the industry.”

“Yeowch. I kind of find that hard to believe...”

“How so?”

“Well, uhh....” Rainbow Dash shrugged. “To be perfectly honest, CC, I don't exactly find you to be gushing with emotion.”

“By Darkstinian standards, I am a drama queen.”

“Hah!” Rainbow Dash munched one final bite of her lettuce and rolled the rest of the supply up in her saddlebag. “Mmmmff—hmmff...” She gulped and chuckled. “Heheh... Well, I'll buy the 'drama' part. I'm a bit brainfuddled on 'queen.'”

“Eventually, it got to the point where my wife and I couldn't agree on the simplest of things. When a Darkstinian household is imbalanced, it affects all who are related.”

“So... uh... how did you get way out here?”

“Simple. I was always working for the military, as a guard and a protector of the peace. I felt that the best thing to do for my wife and my offspring was to move out to the furthest reaches of the kingdom.”

“What the hay for?”

“Divorce may be allowed in some cultures, but it doesn't have a place in the Darkstinian dictionary. My wife and I are still bonded. By moving the defective element—myself—far away, I maintain that our marriage still stands, and all members and products of the union continue to have their function in industry.”

“Wow... Uh... that really, really sucks,” Rainbow Dash muttered. “That sucks more than sand.”


“Well... eh... almost.” Rainbow Dash gulped and laid her chin down on her hooves. “It must be really, really lonely for you, C-Squared. I mean... to have discovered so many of your own emotions and to have been treated like crap for it.”

“I hold a great deal of respect and credibility in the Darkstinian border patrol. I am hardly without my fair share of connections.”

“Still...” She took a deep breath and smiled thinly. “I'm very... y'know... happy that I've gotten a chance to know you.”

The voice on the other end was silent for a bit. A few shooting stars streamed overhead. Rainbow Dash's eyes were getting heavy, but then the sound stone fluctuated again.

“It has been very nice getting to know you too, filly.”

Rainbow Dash smiled. Calmly, she shut her eyes to the shimmering heavens. “So...” Her voice wafted over the desert. “Tell me more about your kids...”

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