• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Hydra

Gold Plate flinched. He watched in horror as Fulltrot fell to his spine. The elder bucked and panted and struggled to kick away at the ravaging jaws of a reptilian snout bearing down on him.

“Everypony!” Gold Plate shouted to the misty air, grimacing. “There's a giant monster attracking Fulltrot!”

No sooner was this uttered when the beast found itself being impaled by an interrupting prismatic pegasus.

“Hrggghhh!” Rainbow Dash snarled. Gold Plate saw her ruby eyes burning across the fog as she flung her forelimbs around the creature's serpentine throat. “Not... Today...!”

The eel-like creature thrashed and hissed, trying in aggravated futility to toss Rainbow Dash loose. Just then, three large shadows loomed just beyond the nearby trees.

“Look out!” Red Turnip's voice shouted from the sea of collapsed stallions.

“I see 'em!” Rainbow Dash violently twisted her wings. She flung the creature's neck around in time for its face to bear the impact of three more snouts identical to it. Four snake-like craniums collapsed against each other, filling the air with the sickly sound of rattling skulls. All four heads shook dizzily, then snarled after the blue pegasus. They lunged, one after another, snapping the air behind her darting tail with serrated jaws.

Rainbow Dash soared towards the top of the trees, disappearing beyond the haze. All four snakes chased after her, rising up, revealing themselves to be anything but pythons. The four necks were attached to a hulking orange torso with a thashing tail. Stomping over the caravan, the gigantic abomination leapt into the woods, where it disappeared into a hidden cacophony of growling noises, gnashing fangs, and snapping branches.

Gold Plate—summoning a sane breath—galloped over and helped a wincing Fulltrot back to his hooves. “What... What is that thing?”

“Nnngh... a h-hydra,” Fullfrot wheezed. “This smog is worse than I thought. To think it's blanketed our homeland for so long that monstrosities such as that have moved in...”

“What are we going to do?”

“What we came to do,” Fulltrot said. “Deliver the equipment to Windthrow and hope to stave off the smoke from the mountain a little longer.”

“No, I mean about Rainbow Dash!”

Fulltrot's lips curved ever so slighty. “My child, do you actually think that pegasus needs any help?”

Gold Plate fidgeted. A blue figure suddenly plummeted to the earth behind him. He and several ponies spun gasping, watching.

“Aughh... Dang it..” Rainbow Dash sat up, rubbing her posterior. “I really REALLY hate landing on my butt.”

Three giant snouts lunged at her from the mists.

“Waaugh!” She jumped up, hovered over their strikes, kicked the left one away, and grabbed hard onto the one on the right. “You!” She growled and wrestled its jaws shut. “You're the one! I can smell him on you!”

The hydra head merely hissed and jabbed its chin into her. She took the blow directly to her pendant.

“Daaaah!” She shrieked, and for the tinieist moment her voice took on an ethereal quality. She trembled, her body overwhelmed with a sudden dizziness. When she reopened her eyes, they were briefly red-on-yellow specks. A flickering twitch to her vision: the fire immediately flew to her lungs as she yelled and spun to face the hydra-head dead-on. Suddenly, the ruby bolt of her pendant glowed brightly, blinding the one cranium of the creature entirely.

The hydra's head winced, whimpered, and fell limply to the ground. As soon as it landed, Rainbow Dash perched atop his crown. Her pendant no longer glowing, she planted both of her hooves tightly against the monster's eyelids.

The other three heads hovered around, hissed, and lunged down at her.

“Stop!” she shouted at them, frowning. Her hooves squirmed against the one head's eyes with emphasis. “Or—I swear—I'll poke them out! You'll be spending the rest of your lives dragging around a blind brother! How much do you plan to eat with THAT kind of a handicap?”

The three skulls paused just inches from devouring her. They glared, several forked tongues darting in and out of their mouths.

The stallions of the caravan slowly stood up. They gathered at a reasonable distance from this tense scene in the middle of the misty forest.

“They...” Gold Plate thought aloud. “They actually have thinking brains—?”

“Shhh!” Fulltrot uttered harshly. He stared patiently at what was unfolding.

“Now that I've got all of your attention...” Rainbow Dash slapper her hoof across the crown of the head beneath her. The creature groaned in response. She leaned down and growled, “Cough him up!”

The hydra-head snorted.

“I mean it! Do it now, before I get angry!”

There was a guttural hissing sound, then a gurgling noise. Opening its maw wide, the hydra-head coughed, sputtered, and spat up an equine figure covered in slime.

“Snnnkt-gaaaaah!” Ironhoof rolled over, sputtering and panting for breath. He was covered frome mane to tail in green ooze and half-digested gunk. “Nnnngh—Jeeeez, I don't wanna be doing that again!”

“Yo! Dude!” Red Turnip scampered over. So did several other ponies. The air filled with murmuring voices as many of Ironhoof's comrades gathered by his side.

Rainbow Dash smirked proudly. “Whoah!” she rasped as the head hoisted up from underneath her. She hovered at an even level with the four skulls, staring the entirety of the creature down. Satisfied that it wasn't trying to move, she glanced down at Gold Plate. “Hey! That stuff you're carrying! Got any meat left in it?”

Gold Plate glanced at Rainbow Dash, at the hydra, then at Rainbow Dash again. “You can't be serious—”

“Hoof it over!” Rainbow Dash motioned. “Or else this thing is gonna keep nibbling on ponies like us for the next month!”

Gold Plate fidgeted. Reluctantly, he reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a chunk of tanned red jerky. He tossed it up at Rainbow Dash.

The pegasus grabbed the unsavory material. Rather then hold it any second longer, she immediately tossed it to the quartet of fangs in front of her.

All four heads snatched it at once, pulling it into stringy quarters. The hydras dined on the substance, gulped it down, and gave Rainbow Dash on last glare before slowly turning around and marching off into the misty woods.

“You better not let me catch you trying to swallow anypony ever again!” Rainbow Dash called after them, her wings flapping hard as punctuation. “Or I'll tie your necks in a knot so tight, not even your mom could pull you loose!”

“Ummmghnng... Ugh...” Ironhoof spat and moaned in the thundering exit of the wretched beast.

“Hey there, slugger,” Red Turnip uttered as he squatted beside the stallion. “Speak to us.”

“I've seen the light, and it was disgusting.”

“Well, at least you smell better than usual.”

“Heh. Any chance you can toss me back?”

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