• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Moonlight

A thin corridor framed by several doors in various states of disrepair led to a shallow chamber that was lit aglow with pale slits of light in random places. Lime Tech led the two adult mares along the rocky passageway, far from the torchlit center of Sanctuary. A hideous chill hung in the air, and particles of dust and ash settled continously in the alabaster bands of illumination.

Rainbow Dash looked up and instantly squinted. The ceiling was porous, and several lengthy slices of dense earth led all the way up to the surface of the ruined world. She had to strain to make out the smoggy sky beyond, but there was no denying the fact she was seeing the air above Silvadel in all its desolate glory. Light was seeping through, and it made her heart beat with breathless vigor.

“Some of the elders come here to meditate and stuff,” Lime Tech said. “Is that you wanna do here, Miss Dash? Meditate?”

“Sure, Limey. Something like that.” Rainbow Dash stripped of her saddlebag. She kept her eyes locked on the slits in the ceiling the whole time as she possitioned the satchel beneath her, stood on it like a stool, and tilted her forward body up so that the pendant got the greatest concentration of the dim glow. “Come on... Come on...”

“Rainbow?” Ember Speak narrowed her eyes from the far side of the chamber. “What are you doing?”

“Shhh! I gotta hear!”

“Hear what?”

“If you just keep a clamp on your muzzle, we all might find out!” Rainbow said with a hissing breath. She lifted the heavy end of her pendant and tilted it towards the ceiling. “Please say there's enough moonlight... please say there's enough moonlight...”

Limey wandered over to Ember Speak, adjusting his goggles and gazing oddly at Rainbow. “Does she keep all her feathers on the outside?” he remarked while smirking and tapping his own skull.

“Quiet, Limey,” Ember said. “Give her time to do what she needs to do...”

The two gazed at the colorful stranger in their midst.

Rainbow Dash stretched on the very tips of her hooves. At any second, she would have resorted to flapping her wings. The ruby material of her pendant glinted in the gray haze. She slapped it and even shook the holy element.

“Come on! She's an alicorn older than time! There's nothing wrong with her signal! There's gotta be something wrong with you!” She gnashed her teeth. “Nnnngh! Don't make me find some diamond dogs around here to pawn you—”

The ruby gem glowed suddenly like a becon. A red aura surrounded the pegasus, forcing Ember Speak and Lime Tech to gasp. When their breaths settled down, a ghostly voice majestically took up the space.

“Rainbow Dash? Is it thou which we heareth?”

Rainbow Dash gasped. Her faced wrenched in a smile ash panted europhorically. “Oh, Princess!” She clenched her eyes shut to make room for her curved lips as she tilted her face up into the pale glow. “You won't believe how frickin' happy I am to have gotten through!”

The voice from the other end was distorted, desperately forcing its way through magical interference from the slim availability of light.

“We have been immeasureably worried for thy well-being. Wouldst thou have an explanation for thy silent air over the last two evenings?”

“Last t-two?!” Rainbow Dash stammered. She gazed off towards the side, breathless. “Omigosh... Have I really lost track of time that badly...?”

“Do not fear us; we are in no mood to rebuke thee. We are simply glad that thou liveth still.”

Lime Tech was starting to tremble. Ember Speak placed an assuring hoof on him. The colt leaned in and clung to Ember while the older mare gaped in awe, her ears trained to the event.

“Hast thou faired well in thy travels?”

“I guess you could say that!” Rainbow Dash shouted towards the light. “I've been to a swell little village called Ridgeside! I've seen the country of Emeraldine! I ran into Darkstine and butted heads with a bunch of stuffy unicorns who spoke like they had marbles in their mouths and—”

“Alas, Rainbow Dash! Hast thou come under a powerful enchantment?”

Rainbow Dash blinked. “Huh? What do you mean?”

“We sense a divine spirit, an equine soul of great intellect and power. Not since arcane times hath I or my sister come across such raw energy!”

Rainbow Dash's eyes searched the broken ceiling of the cavern. At least, she exclaimed, “Oh! Oh, you must been Queen Whitemane!” She chuckled. “Yeah! Real cool mare! A little touchy-feely in the mental department, but she totally helped give a boost to this pendant. What, does it smell like alicorn or something?”

“That is quite astonishing. It was not our knowledge that distant relatives of our kind existed outside of Equestria, or beyond the Crystal Kingdom for that matter.”

“Look, your highness, I'm in a really awkward place right now!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, her voice echoing throughout the dimly lit pocket of rocket. “I don't know how much time I have left to chat with you! So I gotta ask you something!”

“Verily.”

“Have you or Celestia ever heard of a place called Silvadel?”

“Silvadel...”

Rainbow Dash waited. On the sidelines, Ember Speak and Lime Tech waited breathlessly.

“Ah. Silvadel...” Luna's voice eventually murmured. “The name is most certainly familiar. It was the title of a civilization built by mortal equines who respected family and the equal appropriation of resources. We remember learning of its beauty and grandeur, but that was several eons ago. We fear that our sister and we hath not visited such a landscape since the creation of the world.”

To which, Rainbow Dash replied, “Don't you mean the discovery of it?”

Luna's voice was gravely silent for a few moments. “What hast though learned in thy journeys, Rainbow Dash?”

Rainbow winced. “Look, Princess, first thing's first! Silvadel is in ruins! About a hundred years ago or so, a bunch of dragons were born here and it turned the entire place to rubble!”

“A draconian birthing? Was there a Matriarch present?”

“Yes! Yes! Have you heard of such a thing happening?”

“We art vaguely familiar with the nature of dragon procreation. Such ancient creatures typically gravitate towards large deserts and volcanic regions in order to give birth to their offspring. However, this is the first time we hath heard of such an event taking place within range of an equine civilization. Are there any survivors?”

“Oh! Totally! I've landed with a bunch of them!” Rainbow Dash gulped and continued, “It's not a pretty site, Princess! What's left of Silvadelian society is holed up in a bunch of caves underground! Their prince goes out on missions to slay the dragons. And these aren't friendly flying lizards either! They destroy armies, capture ponies, and burn innocent victims alive! They want to wipe out all ponies from this land, and the Silvadelians are doing everything they can to wind their home back!”

“We must declare that such is a difficult task beyond mortal means. If a Matriarch hast given birth, then there are undoubtedly more dragons in the land of Silvadel then there has been in all of Equestria over the past five centuries. It amazeth us that thou art still alive, Rainbow Dash. Surely you and the other ponies do not plan to persist in such an abysmal place for long?”

“Your Highness, I...” Rainbow Dash bit her lip, squirmed, and ultimately spoke, “I haven't got much time. So lemme ask you something!”

“Proceed.”

“Dragons are old, right? But you and Celestia are—like—way older. Isn't that true?”

“Affirmative.”

“So, these Matriarchs—they sound like huge friggin' deals! I can't help but guess that they have been around for about as long as you and your sister!”

“We can only imagine five such draconian beings who could possibly be responsible for the destruction of Silvadel,” Luna said. “And, yes, my sister and we would surely be familiar with them.”

“Then I think I have an idea!” Rainbow Dash tilted about and gazed at Ember and Limey. “When's the Council going to be up?”

“Uhm...” Ember remarked, trembling. “Th-they're usually up pretty early in the morning.”

“How early?”

“I know one or two elders who will be waking in less than an hour. Why?”

Rainbow Dash smiled, her teeth glinting in the smallest hint of light. She turned back towards the holes above. “Princess! Hear me out! We could really, really use your help with something...”

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