• 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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Unscrew Thyself

Eagle Eye's world was a blur of tree limbs and wispy fog. He panted and scrambled his way through the underbrush of Foxtaur, leaping over exposed tree roots and ducking errant limbs. A flock of birds erupted out of a cluster of high grass, forcing him to skid to a stop—gnashing his teeth. Glancing behind him, he spun around, and heroically threw himself into a dense thicket of brambles and emerald foliage.

Here, he squatted down until his belly was to the soft earth, and he crawled forward. He kept his movement slow and deliberately sluggish, careful not to disturb too many of the leaves his petite body was squirming over. All the while, he kept his ears pricked to the breezy lengths of the forest beyond. The weight of his sword shifted within the vest across his flank. Flies and mosquitoes buzzed around his nostrils, but he forced himself to ignore them.

Eventually, his stealthy sojourn took him towards a babbling brook. He paused at the bank, eyeing several exposed rocks of brimming alabaster. After mustering enough courage, he bolted out of the thicket, galloped across the set of stones, and slid to a stop beneath a series of low-hanging branches.

Hiding from the morning sunlight, he pressed himself up to the gnarled bark of a heavy tree and struggled to catch his breath.

After several minutes in hiding, he murmured to himself, "Gotta... gotta wait for the mists... double back... find some high ground..." He gulped, staring up through the waving leaves with his gifted eyes as he attempted to pierce the misty fog overhead. "Look for the others. They must be netted somewhere." He clenched his teeth. "Gotta be more than one! To have taken Crimson like that! Just how..."

The birds in the immediate vicinity stopped chirping. The air of Foxtaur above him became dead quiet.

Eagle Eye froze, not even daring to breathe. He gulped hard, his eyes darting back and forth through the miasma above.

After a few minutes of silence, he hissed through clenched teeth.

"They're c-counting on me. I gotta approach the ruins low, get some of the explosives from the supply trunk... fl-flush the enemy out..."

He started taking several deep breaths, steeling himself.

"I can't let them down. I just can't. I just..."

He clenched his eyes shut, seethed, and tensed his body.

Another flock of birds flew skwyard as Eagle Eye burst out of cover. He ran in a curved path, following the riverbank, scaling it over a log that had fallen countless decades ago. He made for a thin line of grass heading northeast through the denser foliage. His every hoofstep was soft, yet sure. He made more distance in two minutes than he had ever measured before in his young life.

Then, just as the edge of the ruins reappeared through the fog—

His velvety mane flew into his face from a strong gust of disturbed air.

"Nnngh!" He skidded to a stop, wincing. "Zenith's right! I should get a dang ponytail—" He parted his bangs.

A black blur was surging towards him.

Stifling a shriek, Eagle Eye rolled to the right.

The streak surged past him, kicking of dust, mist, and leaves. By the time he rolled up into an even squat, the figure was gone. He sat alone—hyperventilating—on a lone slab of granite. He was exposed.

"Oh blessed Spark... Oh blessed Spark!" he stammered, kicking back up to his hooves.

The leaves and branches parted ways directly above him. He didn't dare look up. He galloped and galloped and slid for a cluster of ancient brick.

A shadow rushed over him.

He slid at the last second, gliding swiftly beneath a partition of rock. Rolling through the mud on the other side, he hopped up to his hooves and made a break for a cluster of ruins at the far end of a rubble-strewn clearing. Rays of light broke through the fog, stabbing his sweat-stained vision as he limped and sprinted for cover.

A brief smile came to his lips as he approached the crest of the ancient shelter.

Just then, the air was sucked out of his ears. In a gasp of silence, something landed directly behind him and wrapped two limbs around his body.

Eagle Eye yelped, flinging both hooves up to fight off black tentacles.

It was too late. The stallion was hoisted up skyward, scaling three dozen feet in the space of seconds. He literally sensed his scream trailing behind him as he slapped and jabbed at the limbs—to no avail. Finally, with finesse that he had only ever witnessed from the likes of Crimson, he telekinetically reached for his sword, slid it out of the scabbard, twirled it mid-air, and stabbed it directly into the body that was behind him.

The tip of the blade ricocheted ineffectually of the hard surface of a ruby lightning bolt.

"Put that crud away before you hurt somepony," cracked a familiar voice.

"Rainbow?!" Eagle Eye exhaled. He looked behind him, and his violet eyes lit up. "Rainbow Dash! You're alive!"

"Shhhh!" she insisted, frowning as she flapped the two of them up onto a lofty tree branch. "Keep it down, will ya?! We're not alone!"

Without much ceremony, she plopped the two of them down onto the oaken limb. Eagle Eye floundered for balance, ultimately stabbing his sword into the trunk and gripping it to stay aloft. Rainbow Dash perched atop the branch beside him, squinting down at the misty clouds hugging the earth below.

"I'm not the only one who's been looking for you guys," Rainbow Dash said. "Whatever else is out there, it beat me to you."

"Rainbow, it's got Crimson!" Eagle Eye said, hoarsely. He winced and fitfully added, "And Pilate and Bellesmith and Zenith and—"

"What do you mean it's 'got Pilate and Belle?!'" Rainbow Dash glared his way. "Did you see what happened to them?"

"Well, n-not all of them. But I heard it! They've been ensnared in black metal cables and—"

"'Black metal?'"

"Yeah!"

"Hmmm..." Rainbow Dash took a deep breath. "Right when I went under from dizziness, I thought I saw some metallic airship landing not too far from me."

"Was it a dirigible?"

"No, it was large, bulbous, and mana-driven."

Eagle Eye spat. "Searonese!"

"Searo-what, now?"

"Bounty hunters... an entire country full of them..." Eagle Eye shuddered, running a hoof through his disheveled mane. "Zenith and Crimson were right. We've got a Spark-forsaken metal mare..."

"Did you snort too much of the mists while you were running for your life?"

"This is no joke, Rainbow!" Eagle Eye flashed her a look. "We're dealing with—" Suddenly, he gasped in dismay. "Good heavens! Your flank!"

Rainbow Dash's wing coiled to cover a deep cut that had been patched over with a rough bandaged fashioned out of leaves and twine. "It's no big deal. I'm fine..."

"Did the Enforcers do that to you?"

"Look—Did I say I was fine or didn't I?!" Rainbow snarled. "What matters is that you and I aren't the ones who're screwed. Our friends are! And we gotta get them unscrewed!"

"Just the two of us against a metal mare?!"

"Yeah? So?"

"They've been known to take out entire batallions!"

"And I've body-slammed chaos fiends and dismembered giant centipedes before breakfast. Let's do this crud."

"I'm telling you, Rainbow Dash, you've got no idea what you're dealing with!"

"And neither does this rust bucket. Now did you lose your eyeballs overnight?"

"Well, no—"

"Then be on the lookout." Rainbow Dash grabbed him in a tight hug. "We're going in."

"Okay, first, lemme just catch my—breathhhhh!" He shrieked as the two of them dove down into the obscuring fogs, disappearing darkly within.

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