• 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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Soldier On

"I don't get it," Eagle Eye said.

"Shhh!" Crimson insisted.

Biting his lip, Eagle Eye crouched low on his branch. Perched next to the muscular stallion, the petite unicorn leaned over and whispered, "I don't get it. You said you sensed an entanglement of leylines. I only see one unicorn, and her horn's shattered." He blinked his violet eyes. "Plus, she hasn't brushed her mane in over a week."

"I don't think it's the unicorn," Crimson said, pointing from their lofty hiding place above the forested clearing. "I believe it's the zebra."

"What does he have to worry about? His mane is naturally straight."

"EE..."

"Erm... S-sorry, boss," Eagle Eye stammered, his lavender ears drooping. "Is he a magical equine? I've heard of several hoofed creatures to the west who are capable of wielding magic even though they have no horn."

"Look for yourself. I can't exactly tell what's on his forehead."

Eagle Eye crept forward on the edge of his branch. Squinting, he murmured aloud, "A black tattoo—no, that's metal. It's a plate, and there are inscriptions on it."

"Runes..."

"Pardon?"

"Ponies to the north practice runeforging," Crimson said. "It's said to imbue a wielder with magical powers, connecting them to an otherwise inert leyline."

"So, he's, like, a magical zebra?"

"That's one way to put it."

Eagle Eye shifted the weight of the sword and shield on his vested flank. "Could he... could he pose a threat?"

"There's no real way to tell," Crimson spoke aloud, looking at the area around the clearing. "They must be capable of defending themselves if they made it all the way here on their lonesome."

Eagle Eye nodded. "They'd normally be timberwolf fodder... or food for an ursa major."

"Still, I could have sworn there was another pony with them."

"Another pony?"

"Hmmmm..." Crimson rubbed his chin and gazed towards the edges of the clearing. "An escort. A guide, perhaps. Whoever it is, it's a pony who can move fast."

"Maybe it's another unicorn—but with a functioning horn! A teleporter! That could be what you've sensed... uhm, sir."

"No, it's definitely coming from that zebra," Crimson said. "I sensed it first thing this morning."

"Why can't I sense anything? Or Phoenix or Zenith for that matter?" Eagle Eye blinked. "Is it because we're not at Prime Enforcer level training?"

"I doubt you've encountered leyline entanglement before. It was used a lot in the Blue Plateau campaign."

"Ohhhhh." Eagle Eye smirked. "You always have such amazing stories to tell of liberating the Ledomaritans of that region."

"Yes, well, I learned a lot."

"You were certainly very brave."

"That'll do, EE."

"Ahem. Yes, sir..."

"Are Phoenix and Zenith in position?"

Eagle Eye squinted towards a line of trees far beyond the clearing. "Yes. Twelve o'clock and two o'clock sharp. They're staying put just like you told them to."

"Are they? I can't even see them."

"I assure you, boss, they're there."

"Astounding." Crimson gazed softly at the smaller unicorn. "Your sight never fails to amaze me."

Eagle Eye hugged the tree branch, letting loose a breathy giggle. "At least I'm good for something, right?"

"You're not as clumsy as the others say you are, EE," Crimson muttered, squinting back down at the two equines. "Not so long as you put your heart into the matter."

"Well, that's what I'm here for, sir! To give you lots of heart!" Eagle Eye saluted. "After all, you carried us three back from carnage and imprisonment! The least I can do is—"

There was a cracking sound. Eagle Eye's branch lurched several inches.

Crimson blinked widely.

Eagle Eye gulped, frozen in mid salute. "—hold on tight?"

With a sickening snap, the branch broke and Eagle Eye went sailing down to the forest floor like a lavender comet.

"EE!" Crimson hissed, gnashing his teeth.

"Gaaaaah—Ooof!" Eagle Eye landed roughly between Pilate and Bellesmith.

With a shriek, Belle hopped up to her hooves. Gasping, Pilate stood up and planted his body in front of her, tilting his ears every which way.

"Who goes there?!" the zebra shouted.

"I... uhm... I—Ow!" Eagle Eye winced, his limbs flailing as he struggled to stand. "I mean you no harm—Ow! Sonuva..."

"What in blazes?" Pilate stammered.

"Who are you?" Belle asked.

"I... I..." Eagle Eye glanced up at her, his coat bespeckled with leaves. He blinked at Belle's cranium, then murmured, "I really like your mane..."

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