• Published 19th Oct 2012
  • 9,088 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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Good Unions

Bellesmith sat in her seat, numb, her face gray and silent.

Ponies in lab uniforms shuffled around her, attaching the necessary wires and cables to her limbs.

She glanced up only once, to witness the length of red coils being attached to her broken horn. With a sigh, her eyes fell towards the metal box standing upon a pedestal before her.

At that moment, Dalton walked into view. He bore a weathered, mustached smile. "Ever the diligent unicorn, I see."

Belle exhaled through her nostrils. Silently, she avoided his gaze.

His smile dissolved. With a nervous clearing of his throat, he leaned in and spoke in a soft voice, "Darling, I am most terribly sorry for the fact that you've been pulled here yet again. If only I had more power in the facility, I'd—"

"Garnet can't do anything," Belle said in a mumbling voice. "This is Enforcer business now. It's out of all our hooves, including yours."

Dalton's mouth hung open. With a melancholic drooping of his ears, and stared off into the shadows of the magically humming room. "There was a time when Ledomaritans had decency, when they saw science as a study of nature, and not some mechanical artifice to be exploited. We're supposed to be discoverers, not plunderers." With a muffled growl, he lifted his head up and glanced at the empty, translucent windows high above. "It's all this damn war's fault. Peace should have been made with Xona years ago. If Sera had been around still, instead of Ledo, then we would have had a Queen whose logic overweighed her pride and—"

"Shhhh..." Belle managed a weak smile. "Watch what you say this deep underground."

"But it's absolutely unfair! They—"

"If Shell's running the place now, then there're more eyes and ears down here than there ever were before," she said calmly. "Don't say things that will get yourself in trouble, Dalton. You can't afford it—not at your age."

His mouth slowly shut. He gave a gentle nod. "You're a genius as always, darling," he said. "Dare I say a saint as well?"

She managed a dry chuckle, parting her mane to the side as the technicians added the finishing touches to her limbs. "Well, Pilate thinks so."

"Did you get any time with him? Any time at all?"

She gulped a lump down her throat and said, "We didn't leave each other's side." Her eyes twitched, as if spotting the shine of a crimson apple. Still, she uttered, "Not for one m-moment..."

"How I envy you at times," Dalton said.

Her face twisted confusedly. "Me? You'd like to be worked to the bone as well, Dalton?"

"I envy the fact that you have so many years left to cherish," he said. "Especially with your beloved." He gazed past her into nothingness as he whispered, "Long ago, back before the Confederacy grew militant, a community of ponies had a vision. They dreamed of a society built out of commitment, out of love, out of respect for the souls that inhabit this domain. Ponies would love each other, and their unions would infect the structure of civilization with their devotion, making prosperity blossom and spread throughout the world."

Dalton's eyes grew jaded as his jaw clenched into a wrinkled frown.

"But then the Matriarchy began, and the concept of unions bowed before the power of the one. Peace was a barricade against the flow of reckless ambition, and breakthroughs in magic became advances in weaponry. The only way to prosper was to make sure our neighbors did so our way, and to that purpose we annexed them, one by one, until we became what we are today. No wonder Xona wishes to resist us so much; we're a patchwork monster of assimilated cultures."

Belle looked at him with a sympathetic gaze. "How do you deal with it, Dalton? How can you stand to weather such a truth?"

He looked at her, and his lips broke into a smile. "I have Mildred, I have my children, and I have you. The way I see it, we were all placed on this world to love each other to the best of our abilities, even if those in power above us don't believe in the same thing. The way I see it, you are all my beloveds."

She returned a warm grin. With a melancholic sigh, she looked aside and said, "I wonder if Prime Enforcer Shell has a beloved."

"If you ask me," Dalton said, stepping back. "It's war." He nodded towards the technicians.

The technicians nodded back.

"Are you ready, darling?" Dalton asked as the metal sarcophagus rose up out of the floor on the far end of the room.

Belle inhaled sharply and said, "As ready as I am to be finished."

"Take your sweet time, Belle," Dalton said as he stepped out of the path of manalight piercing the box on the pedestal. "If anything, you can be guaranteed that the subject won't pressure you."

"Maybe I'll ask her who her beloved is," she said without thinking, closing her eyes.

"Sequencing Interface ind Three... Two... One..."

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