• 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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Sky Five

"You mean to say that they have been following us all this time?!" Belle stammered.

"Aye," Crimson nodded. He, Belle, Pilate, and Zenith stood on the high wooden platform along the roof of Foxtaur's forest canopy. They gazed west towards the looming gray shape of the Steel Wing as it pressed ever eastward. "It has been approaching quite swiftly, until now."

"You mean it's slowed down?" Belle asked.

"Well, duh!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed. She was hovering besides the four ponies as she pointed towards the distant battlecruiser. "We just cut them off from listening in on us all this time, didn't we?"

"It's possible to assume that they're stopping to catch their bearings," Crimson said, stroking his chin in thought. "We may just have bought you three some time to make a run for it."

"A run for it where?" Pilate turned his head towards the lead mercenary. "So long as they know that we're in this forest, they'll stop at nothing to find us! They'll comb this place from tree to tree, for sure."

"All the more reason for you three to make some headway," Crimson said. "Personally, I suggest taking an erratic course to the southeast—away from the edge of Foxtaur that borders Blue Nova."

"Southeast?"

"Eagle Eye knows the path. He and Phoenix can guide you."

"Yeesh. I gotta ask." Zenith smirked. "What did you guys do to be on the Ledomaritan Armada's hit list?"

"Zenith, that is none of our business," Crimson groaned.

"Seriously, though! They must have done something wickedly epic!"

"And we didn't?" Crimson frowned at him. "If I've learned anything from my experience with Ledomare, it's not to judge ponies so heatedly."

"Yeah! Besides..." Rainbow Dash hovered over their heads. "If anything, we're guilty of being too friggin' awesome!"

"Look, lady!" Zenith waved his hoof, hissing through his teeth. "Will you get down? We brought you up here to take a look at your enemy, not fling your colors around!"

"Please, Rainbow," Belle pleaded, shivering slightly. "Let's not risk—"

"What?!" Rainbow shrugged, her back to the faraway speck of an airship. "We broke the link, didn't we? Besides, unless those saps have a dozen of their own Eagle Eyes, there's no way in heck they can see us—"

There were two bright flashes of light along the starboard side of the vessel.

Crimson and Zenith froze in place. Belle bit her lip.

Pilate's ears twitched like mad. "Uhm..." The zebra fidgeted. "Does anypony else hear that whistling noise...?"

A patch of forest exploded two leagues to the north.

Everyone gasped. Rainbow spun, her blue wings blurring.

A second shell impacted the forest floor less than two hundred meters away. A crack of thunder roared over Foxtaur, littering the air with twigs and soil.

"Gaaugh!" Zenith shouted. The entire platform rocked from the wobbling length of the tree beneath it. He and Crimson clung desperately to the railing of the outlook. "Somehow, I don't think they're shooting for pheasants!"

"I don't get it!" Belle shrieked, clutching Pilate as she and her beloved collapsed across the wooden floorboards. "How could they know where we are?"

"Looks like they're guessing!" Zenith growled. "With artillery shells!"

"We gotta get you guys down from this thing!" Rainbow shouted.

There was another series of bright flashhes: four this time.

"Here come more rounds!" Crimson yelled. "Everypony! Get on the lift—"

The forest around them exploded. One shell hit a cluster of trees several yards south, and it sent a huge chunk of wooden splinters flying the group's way. Shrapnel pierced the middle of the large tree atop which they were perched. With several crunching, groaning noises, the entire trunk began to teeter over.

"Belle!" Pilate shouted, reaching for her.

"Gaaah!" She was slipping, falling along with the rest of the lopsided platform as the tree broke its way through leaves and branches and ropelines.

Zenith was holding on by a single hoof. Crimson was already jumping to avoid being skewered by an adjacent tree's branches. Rainbow Dash—

"Just hang on!" She dove into the collapsing mess of wood and greenery as even more shells from afar randomly littered the natural environment.

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