• Published 13th May 2012
  • 49,200 Views, 8,112 Comments

Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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“Yeesh, no wonder you were hiding it,” Rainbow Dash said with a smirk. “If your real name was any more girly, you'd spit perfume every time you opened your mouth.”

Gold Petals frowned. “It isn't funny!”

“I didn't say it was!”

“Then why are you laughing?”

“Cuz I don't get it!” Rainbow Dash stifled her chuckles long enough to look straight at the short-haired young mare. “What's the big deal? What are you trying to prove? Lemme guess, mares aren't allowed to partake in delivery caravans?”

“As a matter of fact, no, we're not.” Gold Petals shifted uncomfortably in her leather gear. Her voice was higher and more relaxed, but the glaring frown was as trademark as ever. “I've come a long way getting to where I'm at now, and though I may be on the short end of the stick when it comes to peer respect—you're right—these bozos are too dense to know any better. So, I get to do what I want to do. And if you so much as think of spilling the beans to them—”

“Whoah whoah whoah!” Rainbow Dash waved her hooves. “Who in the hay said that I was gonna rat you out?”

Gold Petals blinked at her. “I thought you were—”

“I was just curious, girl! I could have gone on without making you 'fess up if I wanted to. Where I come from, mares aren't told they can't do stuff because of who or what they are. If you ask me, I think it stinks that you have to go flank-over-elbow to do something you feel proud of.”

“For what it's worth...” Gold Petals grumbled.

Rainbow Dash glanced at her curiously. “So... you don't enjoy working with the caravan?”

“Well, it's okay and all, but...”

“But what?”

Gold Petals sighed. “I'd rather do that than stick around here...”

“What's wrong about this town? Aside from all the splinters you must get from living here, it looks pretty boss.”

“Maybe on the outside it does,” Gold Petals said with a grunt. “But a mare who lives here is stuck living her life inside.”

“You're serious?” Rainbow Dash sported an incredulous smirk. “I thought all the dudes did all the mining. Why do the mares have to avoid sunlight as well?”

“This place is old. It's built on tradition, and that tradition is old as well. A little too old if you ask me.”

“Ever thought of just moving away?”

“And ditch all the ponies I know and love?!” Gold Petals briefly sneered. “Heck no!” She sighed again and stared off into the mists beyond the crystals' glow. “Still, there are some who would like that...”

“How much is 'some'?”

Gold Petals bit her lip. “More than Hushtail knows, I'm willing to bet.”

“I had a chat with Hushtail?”

“Did you really?”

“Uhm... Okay. So I sat around and ate lettuce while he rambled on and on about boring stuff. But he struck me as a tender-hearted... uh... old guy. He really feels a lot for this town and the crap you guys have been through. I can't imagine him turning a blind eye to so many of his own citizens if all they wanted to do was get up and leave.”

“You fly around a lot,” Gold Petals said to her. “You strike me as a pony who is never in one place for too long.”

“What's your point?”

“My point is, you don't understand old ponies!” Gold Petals grumbled. “You have no idea just how clueless they are! There're a lot of Wintergaters in this town who would much rather leave all the mines, high altitudes, and nasty night creatures behind and go living in the southern coastal cities.”

“Are you one of them?”

“What did I just tell you earlier?”

“That you had a really girly name.”

“No, it—Unnngh...” Gold Petals face-hoofed. “Mmmmngh... One of these days, something big is gonna happen, and this town that I love is gonna flip upside down from how crazy the ponies react to it.”

“Hushtail doesn't have many years left, does he?”

“I wouldn't be too concerned about Hushtail,” Gold Petals muttered. “Sladesteed, on the other hoof...”

“Hushtail's son?” Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. “What about him—”

Just at that moment, there was a shouting voice from the far end of the platform. “Up high! Up high! From the southwest!”

“They're coming!”

Gold Petals gasped. “Oh jeez! Oh jeez!” Clearing her throat, she wrapped her leather hood back up and galloped off. “No more talk!” she exclaimed in a lower voice.

“I don't get it?!” Rainbow Dash squawked after her. “Who's coming?”

She shot a panicked look back. “Who do you think?!”

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