• Published 19th Oct 2012
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Eljunbyro - Imploding Colon



Bellesmith must perform experimental tasks in order to keep herself and her beloved safe.

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Party Begins

"I'm hearing crickets," Pilate said. "Is it getting dark?"

"The sun is setting as we speak," Belle said as the two stood on a hillside bordering a Ledomaritan forest. "No doubt there will be Enforcer patrols coming by to assess the damage to Blue Shelf." She gulped and glanced into the trees. "I think we should take shelter in the woods; it'll be harder for anypony to spot us in there."

"Nuts to that," Rainbow Dash muttered. She hovered ten feet away, gazing solidly towards the darker horizon. Her eyes had a distant look to them. "If you stick around here, you'll be found one way or another. From the looks of it, most of those baddies who want you dead are unicorns. It's a real female dog trying to escape the watch of unicorns."

"Then what should we do?" Pilate gulped. "We're not exactly marathon runners. The Enforcers will catch up to us no matter where we gallop off to or how swiftly!"

"Then run faster, I dunno..." Rainbow Dash shrugged without looking. "Just where are you two from? Don't you guys have a home?"

"We used to live in Mountainfall," Bellesmith said, then shuddered. "But we can't go back there. We're fugitives of the state now. Ponies will recognize us, and as friendly as our old companions may be, I doubt any of them is willing to challenge the Confederacy by hiding us from the government."

"Well, alright, then. What's... uh... what's in the direction those boats are headed?"

"What, west?" Belle remarked. "Why, it's lowly plains and rural countryside..."

Pilate added "But then the land gets drier and drier until it hits a wide river bordering a dead, desert landscape with a great deal of smoke."

"It's wasteland as far as Ledomaritan mapmakers can see."

Rainbow Dash gulped. "Yeah, it certainly is..."

The couples' brows furrowed.

Rainbow Dash took a deep breath before asking, "Okay, so how about east?"

"Uhm..." Belle bit her lip, stifling a whimper.

Rainbow Dash turned finally, squinting down at her. "What?"

"Relatively speaking, we're in the westernmost province of Ledomare," Pilate explained as Belle leaned against him. "The majority of the Ledomaritan landscape stretchest east of here, including the capital city, the warfronts..." He shuddered. "And then beyond that is Xona itself, and nopony has ever crossed the boundary of Xona and lived to tell the tale."

"Hmmm... Well okay then..." Rainbow Dash gazed once more towards the horizon in front of her. "Sounds crazy..."

"Most certainly..."

"Really friggin' dangerous, even."

"Yes..."

Rainbow Dash's wings fluttered harder. The slightest of curves overcame her lips. "I think you should do it."

"Do what?"

"Y'know: head east."

Pilate grimaced. He frowned blindly into the sky. "Are you insane?! We'd be skewered by guards or monsters or bandits before we even made it ten miles from the edge of Blue Shelf!"

"No you won't."

"What makes you think so?"

Rainbow Dash's smile left. She shuddered briefly, as if a cold chill was rolling through her limbs. Then she tightened her jaw and said, "Because I'll take you there."

Pilate's mouth hung open.

Belle glanced at him, then up at Rainbow Dash. She swallowed dryly and murmured, "You... would take us there?"

"Yup."

"Across... across so much forbidden territory and treacherous landscape?"

"I just said that, didn't I?"

"Rainbow Dash... I... we..." Belle bit her lip. "That's awfully nice of you to ask, but we can't... there's no possible way—"

"I'll do it!" Rainbow Dash's voice cracked. "I'll totally do it! Past all the super evil unicorn patrols and manticores and whatcrap. I mean, why not? You two woke me up from the dead and stuff, right?"

"Well, in a manner of speaking—"

"Screw, speaking! You two need a lesson in doing!" Rainbow Dash folded her forelimbs and smirked. "And if you can do stuff and stay alive, then who am I to abandon you?"

"Rainbow Dash, we'll just slow you down," Pilate said.

"Uhhhh..." Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. "Or maybe I'll just speed you two up? You ever think of that?"

Belle and Pilate leaned against each other, lingering in thought.

"I mean, if you're both afraid, I can understand. But you should leave that crud at the gate." Rainbow Dash smiled again. "Besides, I'll whoop the flank of anypony who tries to harm you. Have I not done that sort of stuff so far?"

"How can you be so fearless, Rainbow Dash?" Belle asked.

"How can you not be?"

"I'm serious..."

"Uhhh..." Rainbow Dash gazed east yet again. For the thousandth time that evening, a pulsating glow of lavender light pierced her vision. It shimmered over the treetops and hillsides like a second sun. With a shuddering breath, Rainbow Dash turned and said, "Let's just say courage and coolness come hoof and hoof. If I take the time to analyze it, I lose grip of wickedly nifty opportunities."

"To do what?"

"Exist? I dunno. Who cares? You both coming or what?"

"I... we..."

"Well?"

Belle and Pilate nuzzled each other, sharing a warm sigh. Eventually, Pilate tilted his head up with a thin grin. "You've not let us down, Rainbow Dash. If you say that you can get us places safely, then who are we to argue?"

"We'd be wrong to have any doubt in you," Belle added. "After all, you are Austraeoh."

Rainbow Dash stared down at them. After a few seconds she groaned. "Unngh... STILL the wrong 'a' word. I swear to Goddess..." She zipped up into the air, surveying the landscape.

Belle and Pilate exchanged secret smiles.

"Alright. Let's move out!"

"Where to?"

"Follow my voice and I'll figure out the rest."

"W-we're heading east?"

"No, we're heading towards the constellation Stupidtarius—What do you think?!"

"Heheheh—Just checking."

"Let me be the one to check. In the meanwhile, hoof it, you too!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed as the couple galloped in a close pair, running down the hill towards a stretch of dark green countryside under the blooming stars. Rainbow Dash flapped her wings to soar past them, when her ears twitched...

She thought she heard whispering.

Glancing around with a perplexed expression, Rainbow Dash lingered briefly. There was no sound, save for crickets and the rustle of leaves in the wind. She gazed east, and the lavender light gazed back.

Silence.

"Hmmm. We already have a blind pony. I'd hate for one of us to go deaf." She soared after the two. "Hey! Don't go cutting ahead of me! I'm party leader, alright! Let's get that straight..."

The night swallowed the three gracefully.

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