• 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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Long Awaited

"You sure you haven't forgotten anything?" Dalton asked as he stood next to Bellesmith besides a large, metal-framed elevator. "You've been down here over a week. There isn't a chance that you may have left your study books or journals back at the room?"

"I've got everything, Dalton," Belle said, fastening a saddlebag to her flank. She paused upon glancing at her cutie mark, an open book with a quill pen and ink well. She took a deep breath and glanced forlornly down the hall where several uniformed ponies in berets marched along concrete corridors. "There's no day I look forward to better than this."

"You most certainly deserve it," he said, but then glanced with concern. "Are you certain you haven't left anything in the lab? Lent anything to one of my associates who should have hoofed it back—?"

"I'm quite alright, Dalton. I mean it." She looked up at him and smiled. "You've been like a father to me, but that doesn't mean you have to go overboard."

He chuckled and nodded. "I'm just hoping that you get a chance to enjoy your coming week without any mishap. You've misplaced things before, and I know how easily you can let the small things get to you."

She shuddered. "Yes, well, for my beloved's sake, I'm trying to stop doing that." She ran a hoof through her brown mane and murmured, "Our days together are so seldom lately that I hate to ruin them by being worrisome all the time."

"I'm sure that he would forgive you, whatever the case," Dalton said with a wink.

She smiled up at him. "What about you? You've been working so hard here in the facility. Aren't you overdue for some time with Mildred?"

"Oh..." He took a deep breath, brushing a few of his gray bangs back. "My work here is extremely important. You're not the only one who gets close to the subject of sequencing. Sometimes, I swear, I don't know what Professor Garnet would do without me."

"He doesn't thank you enough for your hard work, Dalton," Belle said. "You should put your hoof down and go spend time on the surface with your beloved."

"Perhaps, perhaps," he said, nodding. "However, when you get my age, darling, you learn to practice patience in all things, especially if it's in anticipation of the sweetest of things." He took a deep breath, but then covered it up with a smile. "But that is not a philosophy I wish to impose upon you, not now. Go up to the surface and enjoy every moment of your youth that you have. By the time you come back, I'll have made some progress on the sequencing distributors."

"I look forward to it, Dalton."

"Don't lie to an old stallion."

Bellesmith giggled. Dalton's chuckles joined her, but were drowned out by the hydraulic hiss of the elevator lowering. The doors opened loudly, and two stallions in berets stared out.

"Doctor Bellesmith?"

"Speaking."

"You have performed well for the Council of Ledo. We've been asked to escort you to the surface of Blue Shelf."

"Guess that's my cue," Belle said, then spun around to nuzzle Dalton. "Try not to get too old down here."

He blinked at the end of her embrace, then nuzzled her back with a sweet smile. "It's a tough request to follow. I remember when this country was called Seramare."

"Maybe I'll become Queen someday," she replied with a wink. "'Bellemare.' How does that sound?"

"I think you need to go before the soldiers here get the bad idea."

She chuckled, waved, and stepped on board the elevator. As the doors closed heavily, she got one last glance at Dalton, and it was a melancholic one.

The shaft vibrated with the loud hiss of grinding machinery. With a spark of magic, the car slid up. Beams of manalight flickered on either side of her as she took several deep breaths. She glanced left and right; the unicorn guards were silent as the metal beneath them. Gulping, Belle shifted the weight of her saddlebag and looked straight ahead.

In a startling short time, the car hissed to a stop and the doors opened. Belle was immediately blinded. The smell of pine, cedar, and dew tickled her nostrils as she flinched away from the brightness. As her brown eyes relaxed, she saw the purple, smoky mountains stretching beyond the concrete structure of the elevator's exit. Sharply sloping hills of emerald green forest dipped into crystal blue lakes. Songbirds and insects chirped within earshot, almost drowning out the drone of distant soldiers and zeppelin motors.

As the glow from the eastern sun bathed the stub of her horn, Bellesmith put on a brave smile and trotted eagerly into the crisp air of Blue Shelf.

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