• 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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Door Ushers

Rainbow Dash zipped left and right through the trees as she sped east. Her peripheral vision strobed from the billowing waves of the spreading forest fire. Her ears were filled with the crashing of branches and the snapping of wooden bodies. A large groan echoed above. Her eyes darted up just before she could get a face-full of tree. Grunting, she threw herself onto the ground, grinding to an awkward stop just inches away from where a thick trunk thunderously fell.

Dizziness was still plaguing her from her little stunt with the pendant. When she got up this time, it was only after considerable effort. The pegasus' legs and knees wobbled as she attempted to catch her bearings on the shaking ground.

"Rainbow!" a voice called out from ahead.

She glanced up, her thin eyes darting across the smoldering landscape.

Five bright bodies waved at her, their smiles awash in the glow of Sugarcube Corner. Then, with a wave of ashen smoke, the dancing amber light of Foxtaur's demise returned, spitting a curtain of embers into Rainbow's face.

Grunting, she kicked off the ground and flew after the voice. It was growing louder now, more pronounced. The burnt grassy floor of Foxtaur bent down in a rocky slope, and giant crags of stone appeared before a rising crest of earth. There, six ponies stood, huddled, with two of them struggling with a pile of boulders.

"Friggin' day of my life!" Zenith hissed, loudly. With a glowing horn, he shoveled clump after clump of gravel out from the slender mouth to a cave—a cave that was currently blocked by a fallen landslide. "One of the shells must have done it!"

"We'll never get through in time!" Phoenix stammered, struggling to haul his own bundle of rocks. "If the flames won't get at us, the smoke will! We'll suffocate!"

"Everypony just calm down and keep working!" Crimson shouted. "All that matters is that we keep picking away at this blockade!"

"It's no use, Captain!" Zenith hissed. "Can't you see that?! The stuff is thick—we were boned before we even got here!"

"There's a fissure in the center!" Pilate exclaimed, scanning a chunk of the debris with O.A.S.I.S. He pointed at the spot with his hoof. "Right there! If you concentrate on that—"

Zenith shoved him back. "Give us space! We know what we're doing!"

"Hey!" Eagle Eye frowned. "He was only trying to help!"

"If you wanna marry him already, princess, I believe he's already claimed for!"

"Zenith—" Crimson began.

"Captain, now's not the damn time!" Zenith growled, casting a glare over his shoulder at Rainbow Dash. "Of course, we could have had more time if somepony wasn't pissing off the Ledomaritans so much!"

"Now you're not even being fair!" Eagle Eye hissed.

"Can we just focus on the task at hoof, please?!" Crimson snarled, sweating up a storm. Soot and wooden flakes clung to his mane and body. He coughed, wheezed through the smoke, and aimed his horn at the center of the debris. "Spark alive... this isn't budging..."

"How much of it is there?" Rainbow asked, hovering down beside them.

"Huh?" Phoenix flashed her a strange look.

"You deaf or something, dude? How much of this crap are we dealing with?"

"Enough to fill six wheelbarrows—Why?" Zenith asked.

"I got an idea!" Rainbow Dash pointed. "All four of you stop digging and just—like—concentrate on floating the rocks up against each other, in a huge ball!"

"What good will that do?" Phoenix asked.

"I'll then push all of the junk out of the way!" Rainbow Dash's voice cracked. Her ruby eyes were bright as she entreated them. "You feel me?"

"Sounds like teamwork!" Eagle Eye said.

"You gotta be kidding me..." Zenith groaned.

"It'll work!" Rainbow said, then flinched as a boulder fell beside them, tossing up dirt and dust. "It'll have to work!"

"Can you really do it?" Crimson asked, breathless. For a moment, he blinked, then turned to look at Bellesmith and Pilate. "C-can she do it?"

Pilate was nodding. Belle leaned forward and uttered, "Our lives are on the line. She can totally do it."

"Captain..." Phoenix gnashed his teeth against the rising waves of heat. "Whatever we do, it's gotta be now..."

"Crimson?" Eagle Eye asked.

With a deep breath, the muscular mercenary slapped his hooves tight against the ground and aimed his horn forward at full glow. "Alright. We've got one shot at this!"

"Ah jeez..." Zenith winced as he clenched his jaw tight in concentration. "This is gonna hurt like heck."

"Steady... Steady..." Eagle Eye chanted out loud as his glowing magic joined with Phoenix's and the others'.

Belle gazed and Pilate listened as the rocks started clumping together, forming into a big ball of rattling boulders. Then—with each of the four soldiers hissing in the strain—the huge sphere started to lift. Their horns started to shimmer and fade. The huge cluster of rocks lurched once... twice.

"Almost... almost..." Belle murmured allowed.

"There!" Rainbow squeaked. At the first hint of a dark space, she darted past the rock and flew deep into the tunnel.

Zenith twitched, his frowning face covered in sweat. "Wait! Where the heck does she think she's going—?"

"Nnnnngh!" Suddenly, the levitating ball shoved outward from within. Rainbow Dash's wings were blurring briskly as she threw her shoulder into the floating mess. Then, with a burst of strength, she let out a shrill cry and shoved even harder.

The stallions released their energy, and the boulders flew across the forest floor in a shower of thudding debris. Rainbow Dash instantly plummeted, only to fall over Phoenix's spine.

The mustached stallion shouldered her weight, breathlessly motioning to the rest of the group. "Okay! Let's go! Move!"

He ducked in first, followed by Pilate and Belle—side by side. Zenith followed, shouting back at the final two. Crimson started, only to hear a groan from behind him. He skidded to a stop, spun around, and telekinetically yanked Eagle Eye after him.

"EE! You okay?"

"Y-yes, Captain..." Eagle Eye dizzily stammered, bearing a thin smile. "Just... n-not used to that k-kind of magical strain..."

"We're through, buddy," Crimson said, ushering him into the tunnel as the sounds of shells turned into a dull echo all around them. "Just lean against me. You'll need your strength for the trek ahead."

"Yes, Captain..." Eagle Eye swallowed nervously, adjusting the shield on his back as he hobbled alongside the larger stallion. "Thank you, Captain..."

They stumbled past Phoenix, upon whose back Rainbow Dash was just starting to stir.

"Unnngh... Someone get the license plate off the back of that migraine," she murmured.

"You did good, Rainbow," Belle said, her quite voice bouncing off the vibrating walls as they descended. Pilate's manasphere illuminated the surroundings as the couple hobbled after Rainbow and Phoenix. "We couldn't have done it without you."

"Yeah, well, I couldn't have done it without m-me too..."

Belle smiled.

"What happened to the bounty hunter?" Pilate asked, his metal forehead flickering as he kept O.A.S.I.S. at a steady glide overhead. "Did she put up a fight?"

"I let her go," Rainbow said, resting on Phoenix's spine.

Pilate's brow furrowed. "She didn't want to run to safety?"

"Her definition of safety is different than yours and mine..." Rainbow Winced, rubbing her forehead. "Ugh... assuming those rusted golem chicks even have dictionaries..."

Suddenly, Belle gasped. "Rainbow! Y-your head!"

"What about it? Is my brain leaking out?"

"I..." Belle winced. "I-I don't know... but..."

Rainbow blinked, then followed the path of Belle's chestnut eyes. She tried in vain to rub the two bloody spots dry against her coat, but ultimately sighed. "Look... I did what I have to do to keep her alive, okay?"

Belle's face stretched with concern.

"I'm alright..." Rainbow said with a weak grin. "Seriously. I'm totally cool..."

Belle winced as she ultimately said, "For now. But what if you keep taking that off, Rainbow? What then?"

Rainbow bit her lip and said nothing.

The group descended into the darkness as the world burned above them.

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