• 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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Rude Awakening

Pilate's ears twitched just seconds before the underground chamber shook. He looked up from the old tome with wide eyes.

Bellesmith shot up with a gasp. She clung to Pilate, her blinking, chestnut eyes aimed at the sliver of daylight above.

"Was... Was that an explosion?!"

"I doubt there are many volcanoes in Foxtaur," Pilate murmured.

"It must be the shelling again!" Belle exclaimed, immediately shivering. "The Ledomaritans must have found us!" She gasped with a high-pitched breath. "Oh, Pilate! The others!" She scampered up to her hooves and rushed up the steps. "Eagle Eye! Crimson!"

"Shhh!" Pilate hissed, standing up and waving a striped forelimb. "Beloved! Keep it down!"

"But the others might be hurt by the shelling—"

"I don't think it is shelling," the zebra said. He trotted steadily towards Belle's side. "There's something different about it. I can hear it in the air."

"A mana grenade, then?"

"Something like that." Pilate gulped and pushed Belle gently aside as he scaled the stairs.

"Darling, what are you doing?"

"Taking a little peak..."

"Don't you dare go out there!"

He smirked slightly. "I wouldn't be able to do much even if I wanted to." He murmured into the choker around his neck. In response, the manasphere floated up the steps and towards the gaping entrance to the upper, sunlit ruins above. "Seems to be awfully smokey up there. Maybe O.A.S.I.S. can give us a better idea."

"I still think we should call for the others."

"And we just might do that still." He furrowed his brow as the runes on his head flickered in concentration. "One thing at a time, beloved. If I can just get a scan..."

Belle watched, biting her lip.

The manasphere flew higher and higher, its surface glinting from the sunlight. A bright laser strobed into the forested area, spinning a miniature circle.

Belle gulped. "Well? What do you... uhm... see?"

Pilate's ears drooped. "There's something out there. A metallic substance. Like armor."

"Armor?"

"Wait a second..." Pilate exhaled. "It's moving. Moving fast—"

A loop of black metal flew in and wrapped four times around his face.

"Mmmmmfff!" In a monochromatic blur, Pilate was yanked up through the ceiling of the chamber.

"Pilate!" Belle shrieked, instantly leeping forward. Her forelimbs clamored to catch his hooves. For half-a-second, she managed to latch on, but then a severe yank from the other side drew Pilate out of there in a blink. She fell forward onto the steps, breathless and mortified. Looking up, she watched with quivering eyes as the sphere of O.A.S.I.S.—now dull as a rock—fell inertly like a bowling ball down the cold, granite steps.

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