• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Landmark

Rainbow Dash knew she had ascended to heights like this before. Cloudsdale, where she was born, was higher than any mountain in Equestria. Still, as she glided endlessly upwards to scale the jagged summit, she gnashed her teeth against the biting cold, wincing in disbelief.

When she first saw the mountain, she thought that her eyes were deceiving her. Nothing that large and rigid should have existed. Regardless, when she set out that morning to pierce the east horizon, there it was: a monumental promontory of granite construction, occupying a great deal of the sky.

Rainbow Dash had to pause several times on random cliffaces before she could fly any further. Those were tense, shallow-breathed moments spent panting in frustration as she clung to the earthen beast that was refusing to budge. It occurred to her that she could very easily have flown around the immense structure...

The pegasus spat on the rock. Her saliva froze in a blink. Cracking her joints and flexing her wings, Rainbow Dash merely shot up again. The wall of rock became her “ground,” surging past her as she bulleted towards the ceiling of the world. The blueness in the sky had turned into a muted haze, and Rainbow Dash felt like her lungs were shrinking. Concentrating on breathing was the one thing to keep her mind off of freezing. She felt the blood pulsating through her vessels as she finally... finally came upon the top of the mountain and evened out on a ridiculously thin plateau. She landed with numb hooves and trotted weakly towards the opposite cliff. She both anticipated and feared what would be on the other side of the great barrier. If it was already the edge of the world, she somehow wouldn't have been shocked.

What she saw almost took the last remaining breath out of her.

She slumped down onto her haunches and slipped the shaded goggles up to her brow. Wiping a sheen of snowy frost off her face, she blinked her ruby eyes hard and gazed into the expanse.

There was no more world; all was swirling mist and clouds and fog. Occasionally, a sharp mountain or two would rise up through the ceiling of moisture, daring to pierce the heavens with a fraction of the audacity that Rainbow Dash had embodied. As the sun shone down over the glittering peaks and the bubbling clouds below, everything glittered with a platinum shine, as if a hovering pool of flame had chosen to baptise the middle lengths of the mountains teeming below Rainbow Dash's twitchy hooves.

It suddenly occurred to her that something very special had happened that moment. Rainbow glanced down at where her legs were contacting the lifeless, frost-speckled rock of the mountain peak. She imagined that she was the only living soul to have made contact with that very rock. Furthermore, she highly doubted that any other pony in the rest of unwritten history would ever stumble upon that site again. Even if she left a landmark to tell of her having been there, what purpose would it serve? That peak was likely to be left untouched, undisturbed, and virtually unseen for dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of years after Rainbow Dash's hooves stopped scratching it.

Suddenly, the thought of leaving a landmark was no longer important to her. Nopony else in the legacy of the universe was bound to know of that spot, of that scenery, of the beauty and wonder it entailed. The only permanence it would ever have would be for Rainbow Dash, for she had lived that moment and would carry it with her to the grave, like a personal time capsule engrained in the stone surface of her soul.

She smiled. It was the first time in weeks that she had actually felt proud of something.

Rainbow Dash kicked off the cliff and flew into the platinum brilliance. She was careful to resist the urge to dive... in order to preserve the blood that was pulsing through her electrified heart.

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