• Published 19th Oct 2012
  • 9,031 Views, 9,515 Comments

Eljunbyro - Imploding Colon



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

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Stand Tall

The smoke and ash was still settling when Crimson got up to his hooves. Wincing, he felt around with glowing telekinesis until he found his hammer. With sturdy steps, he regained his balance and held the hammer up like a silver flag. His hard, squinting eyes pierced the obscurity surrounding him.

"EE?!" he hissed.

Trees and crumbled walls and marble pillars echoed his tone amidst the fog.

"Eagle Eye?!" he called again, louder this time.

Foxtaur was still. The smoke had a ghostly speed to it, spreading through the trunks and branches with haunting fluidity.

Crimson gritted his teeth, backtrotting towards the central camp of Site Beta. His nostrils flared as he eyed the trees and branches above for movement—any movement. It was difficult to see the top of the canopy, and yet he knew at any moment that something nefarious may launch out at him. He'd never encountered anything like this before, but he had heard many tales from fellow Franzington soldiers, of the earth ponies east of Franzington, and their tactics—

Something stirred behind Crimson.

With a growl, he spun and heaved his hammer.

Belle winced, trembling in his shadow.

Crimson caught his breath, halting the murderous downswing of his weapon. "Ms. Belle..."

"Captain, what is..." She shivered, her chestnut eyes swimming back and forth. "Where is everypony?"

"Shhh!" Crimson shoved the two of them back, back, back, towards an enclosure in stone. His horn glowed bright in a feeble attempt to part the mists lingering above them. "We're being stalked."

"Enforcers?"

"I think it's one pony, and it's not using Ledomare tech."

"I don't..." Belle whimpered, stammering. "I don't understand..."

"It's hiding in the shadows, and already it's grabbed Phoenix and Zenith," Crimson said. His eyes darted about the meager clearing in the mists before the two. "I was separated from EE when a series of grenades went off." He looked towards her. "Where is Pilate—?" He stopped in mid-sentence.

Belle was cradling the manasphere in her forelimbs. She simply looked up at Crimson, lips trembling.

Crimson took a deep breath and gazed out into the mists again. "Well, that's fine. We'll find him. We'll find all of them..."

"What can I do?! I... I-I don't have a weapon."

"Just stay close to me and don't go out galloping on your own." Crimson's brow furrowed as he thought aloud. "We need to go someplace safe. Were you in the lower chambers just now?"

"Y-yes..."

"Let's go back down there. We're too vulnerable out in the open."

"What then?"

"We'll wait for the fog to clear and then go back out into the—" He froze, suddenly. His ears twitched to the sound of a high-pitched whine.

"What is it?" Belle asked.

"I'm not sure. It's muffled. Almost as if it's coming from behind—" His eyes widened. He turned towards Belle, glancing at the wall behind her. "Miss Belle! Move—"

The brick and mortar behind her imploded in a burst of mana. The two ponies reeled from the proximity of the blast. Less than two seconds later, two black cables shot in from behind the wall, ensnaring Belle's body. She didn't even have the breath to shriek as they tugged her into the forest beyond.

"Nnnngh!" Crimson was already diving forward, swinging the hammer with all his might.

The silver weapon slammed through one cable, snapping it in two. Belle's mouth was freed, but it didn't help much. She dangled loosely, emitting a shrill shriek as her body was pulled up towards the canopy.

"Hold on!" Crimson shouted, tugging at the length of wire with is telekinesis.

For a brief moment, Belle hovered in mid-air, gasping in horror as Crimson's magic struggled and wrestled with the cable ensnaring her. Three seconds into this struggle, a spinning glaive soared down, lopping off several branches as it made its way violently towards the stallion.

He stood his ground, but soon regretted it. The spinning blades of the object grazed his shoulder, spilling blood onto the stone of the ruins around him.

He groaned in pain, gnashing his teeth. It took a few seconds, but his magic failed him. He slumped to the ground as the body of Bellesmith was yanked—shrieking—into the mists above. After a few metallic collisions, the glaive bounced back up into the fog after her, pulled by a glowing energy.

Quivering, Crimson struggled back into his hooves with the use of his hammer. He glanced up, panting for breath. Sweat formed a sheen over his body.

Just then, the mists parted.

Crimson spun, his eyes wide with adrenaline.

A series of black cables were shooting at him through the fog.

"Haaaugh!" He mightily deflected them with his hammer, only to see a body surging through the smoke. His twitching eyes caught a glint of black metal with the flicker of glowing red lines. Something was pattering towards him on all four hooves, launching a pair of glaives. "Nnnngh—Raaaaugh!" He charged into the black blur, his hammer swinging.

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