• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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It may not have been heaven, but as far as Rainbow Dash's stomach was convinced, it was the next best thing. She crawled through the shrubbery, munching flower after flower, her insides blessing her with sumptuous gurgles as she ingested petal after petal of floral goodness. She bore her nose through the colorful array, snatching lavender bud after lavender bud. Half of them went into her mouth, the others she collected in the thick of her saddlebag. She knew that she had a cold, perilous, and potentially long flight ahead, and she wasn't about to risk starvation while scaling the mountains ahead.

The daylight was beginning to wane, and Rainbow was already planning to spend the night and wait until morning to begin her trek. With a tall and unknowable land formation ahead of her, it was absolutely prudent that she begin the flight in the daytime when she could see what was below.

So, she rummaged through the shrubbery and picked out the plants that were dying or halfway dead. With the use of her hatchet, she ripped the dry twigs apart and formed kindling. She prepared a campfire for the night, but made sure to pack even more twigs and sticks of wood for the mountainous journey.

Night fell. The fire warmed her. She sat in peace, half-covered by her blanket, surrounded by soft grass and flowers. The stars painted a muted canvas over her head, and for some reason staring at them didn't fill her heart with lonesomness that evening.

She rolled over onto her back. Exhaling, she saw her breath spreading vapors in the amber firelight. The cosmos dipped in and out of the mist, and her eyes bounced around and did loopty-loops between stars, imagining that she was a lone speck of a pegasus outracing a bumbling group of ill-minded Shadowbolts.

For the next hour or so, she kept her body as still as possible and squinted at the starlight, attempting to spot where and in what direction the constellations moved. She wondered briefly if the entire universe was still—including the earth—and that she was the only thing that moved. She didn't understand where she was going with that thought. She fell into slumber with a smile.

The next morning was a foggy affair. She poured sand on the fire, stretched her limbs, took a breakfast bite of flowers, and took off. The saddlebag weighed three times as much, but after a brief strain she hardly mind. It was an invigorating challenge, and she tore her way skyward against the wind.

It took a solid hour of flight before she reached the rising slope of the first mountain range. In her feeble mind, she had imagined that she made camp at the very western edge of the land ridge, but she realized that she was wrong. The first attempt to scale the rising topography gave her a clear picture of just how immense these peaks were going to be. They dwarfed the elevated landscape of western Wintergate by a long shot.

Whistling, Rainbow Dash nevertheless climbed her way up the troposphere. The air grew thin, and she was stabbed from all sides by a persistent, knifing chill. It made her heart beat faster, and she felt slightly nostalgic for Cloudsdale. It was the second thing in the last twenty-four hours that made her smile. In a way, she was even somewhat proud of herself. It gave her a boost of strength as she skimmed over the top of the first summit, and came to a high coast above the first row of mountains.

From here, she could see the entire east horizon—but that very same horizon was blocked. There were innumerable mountains blocking her sight, all of them taller and more daunting than what she was just then scaling. Their elevated tips shone with bright sheets of snow and frost. It looked like she was about to glide over a gigantic field of ivory bones, deposited by some ancient gods.

Rainbow Dash blinked. She raised her goggles with a smirk. For the next hour, she challenged the biting cold head-on, not even doubting who would win.

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