• Published 19th Oct 2012
  • 9,085 Views, 9,536 Comments

Eljunbyro - Imploding Colon



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

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Of Course

"It's over here, dudes!" Rainbow's voice called out.

Stepping over high bushes and shrubbery, Crimson and Zenith emerged from a line of foliage. They froze in place, squinting from where they stood between the trunks of massive oaks.

Lying in a sunlit clearing, as clear as day, was a slender black vessel, built like a giant bottle made out of reflective metal panels. Four sets of landing gear propped the heavy craft atop the soft soil beneath it. Sharp foils spread across three ends of the vehicle's rear, outlining a circular assortment of jagged crystals. The surface was so smooth that it was difficult to to ascertain where the cockpit was, much less a doorway of any sort.

"Okay, I give," Rainbow Dash muttered as she hovered above the thing. "How the hay does it fly?"

"I would venture to guess the bounty hunter lends it some of her hot hair," Zenith droned.

Crimson rolled his eyes as he stepped closer towards the vessel. "Most likely, it's powered by enchanted crystals that propel the ship through the air. At the notorious speeds these Searonese vessels are known for, it'd be no surprise if the crystals burn out at a swift rate."

"Just where do they get the crystals?" Rainbow Dash asked, circling the craft from above. "I thought I heard that the ponies of Searo were mostly earth ponies."

"Ledomare trades enchanted materials with them," Crimson said.

"What for?"

Zenith answered, "For what Searonese mares are good at: finding and destroying enemies of the state."

"Ew. So, like, Ledomare just buys ponies from outside the Confederacy to do its dirty work?" Rainbow frowned. "Is there a kingdom beyond Dream Valley that doesn't believe in some ridiculously stupid system or another?"

"Huh?"

Rainbow Dash sighed. "Never mind. Just forget I said anything."

"Hmmm..." Crimson marched up to the ship, squinting at his reflection in the black panels. "The metalwork here is amazing. Not even Xonan armor has this immaculate quality."

"Haven't you bumped into Searonese airships before?"

"This is the closest we've ever come to one," Crimson said. "Metal mares work alone. The only reason a mercenary such as myself would cross paths with the likes of Roarke would be if there was a bounty on my head."

"That's kind of what happened," Zenith muttered.

"Soldier..."

"Either of you ever flown a manaship?" Rainbow asked.

"We've never flown, period," Zenith stated. "All the places we've ever gone, we've marched. The Council of Ledo doesn't exactly provide transportation to Blades Guild members."

"'Cuz you're from beyond the border, right?"

"Exactly."

"Then I guess this will be a learning experience for all of us," Rainbow Dash said, rubbing her hooves together.

"What do you propose we do?" Zenith raised an eyebrow. "Snap this thing open, ignite the power core, and fly east to pick up the others?"

"Power... core...?"

"All Searonese technology has a central conduit," Crimson explained. "A metal mare has several of her natural organs removed right after birth, replaced by a mana crystal that powers the prosthetics she will have attached to her when she grows up." He looked up at the pegasus. "The same method is used with most of their vehicles."

"So, let's get in there, then!" Rainbow Dash flew to the very top of the vehicle. Her expression brightened. "Hey! I think I see a doorframe here! Lemme just pry this open—"

Crimson gasped. "No! Don't—"

It was too late. A bolt of blue energy flickered all around the body of the craft and surged into Rainbow's body. With a dramatic, voice-cracking shriek, she flew back from the vessel and slammed into a tree. Her body slumped down to the ground, dizzy eyes flickering ruby to yellow and back to ruby.

"Unngh... should have guessed some crud like that would happen."

"Heheheheheh... heh..." Zenith cleared his throat and went deadpan again under the glare of Crimson. "Ahem. Sorry..."

Crimson sighed and trotted over to Rainbow Dash. "Are you alright?"

"I've been through worse—like—just this friggin' morning." Rainbow grumbled as Crimson helped her up to her hooves. "Seriously, though, what gives?"

"Searonese security. I should have warned you. If it's any excuse, I always thought that such a thing was only rigged on larger battleships."

"So what now?" Rainbow Dash shrugged, smoothing back her straight strands of prismatic hair. "The thing is charged to fry whatever nuzzles it!"

"Most likely the enchanted crystal core inside the metal mare's body could be used to deactive the shield," Zenith said.

"Alright!" Rainbow Dash's wings flapped. "Then let's grab her, drag her over here, then turn the stuff off!"

"I seriously doubt it will turn off without her expressed permission," Crimson said. "And Searonese are especially picky about keeping other ponies from messing with their equipment."

"I'm sure she can be persuaded to turn it off for us," Zenith said in a distant voice.

Crimson glared at him. "Don't even pretend to insinuate what I think you're—"

"You have a better idea for how all of us can get out of here?" Zenith pointed up towards the sky. "And outrun the artillery of a freakin' battleship?"

"If we can reason with her and get her to understand the trouble that she too is in—"

"Cap'n, I love you to death, but you know as well as I do that nothing's ever gonna be that easy with that hydraulic freak." Zenith frowned. "Miss Wildcard here just spent the better part of an hour locked in mortal combat with the she-devil. What makes you think she will cooperate like a sane equine?"

Crimson shook his head, glaring towards the vessel. "We have a ticket to freedom right here, and yet it feels like it's a continent away."

"So let's do something about it!" Zenith squawked. "Let's show the metal mare we mean business and get her to open the ship or else!"

"Or else what?"

Zenith shrugged. "She's had organs ripped out of her before, right?"

"That's totally not cool!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

"Lady, at this rate, the world's gonna be scorching!" Zenith frowned and pointed. "The fact is, all seven of us have very few easy ways to get out of here, and all of them could end up with our flanks full of mortar fire. I'd say we accept the metal mare as a casualty that she brought upon herself and run with whatever assistance she can give us. Kindness be damned—she sure as heck isn't about to show us any reasonable mercy."

"Zenith, do you even hear yourself?"

"Do you even see where we're at?!"

"You know what I see?!" Rainbow Dash barked. "I see a big ugly black banana pretending to be a ship and it's a real stupid shame that I can't unpeel it!" She flew over to Zenith. "You got that polearm?"

"What about it?"

"Do you have it with you or don't you?"

"Of course. I carry the darn thing all the time."

Rainbow turned towards Crimson. "And you've got your hammer?"

The muscular stallion nodded. "I think I see where you're going with this..."

"Good, cuz between your guys' weapons, your guys' telekinesis, and my wings—I don't see why in the sparkly mane of Luna we can't open this piece of crap on our own. So let's stop squabbling with each other and work on something that matters while we still got daylight. Got it?"

"Pfft!" Zenith spat. "Since when were you elected leader—?"

Rainbow Dash's glaring eyes were in his face. "Got it?!"

Zenith stared back, frowning. He glanced aside at Crimson.

The muscular stallion slowly nodded.

With a sigh, Zenith levitated his polearm and plopped it into Rainbow's grasp. "There. Try not to break, then the only use I'll have is digging latrines for that worthless prisoner you've bestowed us."

"Yeah, maybe you can bore a hole in yourself and fill them while you dig." Rainbow Dash flew up with the pointed weapon and nodded to Crimson. "Captain? Thank you can lend a hoof—er—or a horn?"

"Absolutely. Just try not to shock yourself again."

"I'm making no promises."

Crimson trotted after her.

Zenith was left standing alone, staring at his hammer-wielding superior... or more specifically staring at a particular pocket of Crimson's vest. The hint of blue light emanated from within. Running a hoof through his mane, Zenith grumbled and marched off into the shade.

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