• 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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The Wall

Belle didn't dare ask where they were taking her; she barely had the will to breathe. She trembled in the telekinetic grip of the unicorns as she heard their marching hooves echoing through long corridors all around her. Shell's heavy limbs had disappeared in the sweat slick cacophony of the moment. A band of light strobed through the dense canvas material of the bag before her eyes, and she heard a swish of metal. She was lowered onto a metal platform that shifted with her weight. She heard the hiss of hydraulics, then the closing of the metal doors as an elevator began moving. From the direction her blood was rushing, she knew that they were descending.

Belle's heart pounded in her ears. Thirty seconds passed, a minute, a minute and a half. She could tell from the hum of the mana conductors that the elevator car was gliding downward at excessive speed. She was at a loss to guess how deep the unseen shaft led. Were they headed towards the very core of the world?

Finally, the blood settled in her veins. The doors opened, exposing her to a gust of hot, stuffy air. A voice shouted in what could only be Shell's tone, and she hoisted once again off her hooves. She drifted into the dank nothinginess, taking a winding path. Every now and then, a cleft of uneven rock would brush against her dangling hooves. She wheezed as layers of exhaust filtered in through the bag's material. She heard deafening salvos of industrial machines grinding against brittle substances. But that wasn't nearly as alarming as what she heard next.

Where she was, the place was crowded. What sounded like muffled raindrops grew more distinct in her ears until she realized that it was the shuffling of dozens if not hundreds of hooves. A low drone of countless moaning, grunting, hyperventilating equines echoed in the mysterious expanse around her. She heard the occasional cry, followed by an authoritative shout and the unmistakable snap of a manataser burning the air. For a few seconds, the hellish ambiance would grow silent, and then pick up again in rhythm with clanking and clattering machinery.

One groaning sound in particular echoed to Belle's right. She gasped and tilted her head aside. A breath escaped her at the startling familiarity. "G-Garnet...?"

Enforcer Shell said something, and Belle was tugged faster, straight ahead, against whipping artificial winds of heat. She coughed a few times, then sense a constant glow lingering just beyond the bag.

Finally, the magic field died, and she was dropped onto her hooves. Before she could gain her balance, the bag was hoisted off her eyes. A blinding world exploded in front of her, and she winced, trying her best not to collapse onto her haunches.

The peripheral of her vision came into focus first. She became aware of bodies, service workers in soot-stained blue uniforms. They were being ushered swiftly out of the room by unicorns with tasers. One figure in particular glanced across the cavern and met Belle's eyes. She gave him half a glance, noticing his shaggy coat and ram's horns.

Before she could utter his name, her attention was directed towards the spectacle before her. The clouds of her vision had dissolved, and she was staring at a great blue sheet of pale metal. It was unlike anything of Ledomaritan design; the surface was smoothe, pristine, immaculate to a perfect shine. She could even see her own reflection from the conjoined array of multiple mana lights propped before the solid wall that had been mechanically chipped away from solid bedrock.

There was only one noticeable anomaly along the flat surface of glistening material. Just as Belle started fixating on the engraving, Enforcer Shell marched into view. He saw where here eyesight was pointed and gestured swiftly towards the two symbols in question.

"Is this what you now know the name of?" he asked unemotionally.

She blinked. She saw a hoof-print on the left overtaking a solar crest on the right. The lines were thin, dark gray, and carved with perfect, geometric precision in what otherwise looked like unbreakable metal.

"Yes," she said simly, reaching a hoof up to straighten her mane from the haphazard trip down there. Her eyes briefly darted up towards the ominous stalactites. "This... this place..."

"Say it out loud," Shell said.

She looked at him, her face grimacing in confusion. "Huh?!"

His eye narrowed. The tip of his horn glowed.

Belle blinked, then gasped as she felt her forelimbs being yanked forward in the soldier's grip. In less than two seconds, she was thrust against the wall. Shell slapped the bottom of her hoof against the omega symbol.

"Touch the metal surface and say the name of the symbol!" he said, loudly this time, in her ear.

"Nnngh!" she winced, caught her breath, and sputtered forth. "Au-Austraeoh!"

Nothing happened. The guards glanced at one another. The back of the cavern echoed with the dozens of bodies beyond.

"Louder!" Shell snapped, crushing the silence like a dying insect. "Clearly! Facing the door!"

"D-door?!"

"Do it!"

She gulped. Steadying her shivers, she faced her reflection beyond the symbols and spoke as solidly as she could. "Austraeoh." Her voice echoed, then died. "Austraeoh," she repeated. Agian, there was nothing. Her chestnut eyes darted nervously towards the Enforcer.

Shell took a deep breath, then leaned in so that he spoke icily just between the two of them. "Is that not the name that was given to you in your vision?"

"It... It was, s-sir..."

"Did you just make it up to appease the Enforcers of Ledomare?"

"No! I-I know it's the name! I just don't understand what—"

"In all of your sequencing, did you ever have a moment when the subject used the word or embodied it in any fashion?" His brow furrowed. "If so, what did she do? What did she say?"

"Rainbow... is... th-the Austraeoh," Belle murmured.

Shell leaned back, the good half of his face twitching to match the scar. "Rainbow?! What the devil—"

"Give her wind..." Belle murmured, her eyes lighting up. Her heart skipped a beat. Other symbols were forming in the wall. She saw two parallel lines and a serpentine shape. "Eljunbyro..."

"What?"

She glanced aside and saw more lines, more figures, more geometric patterns forming in the immaculate surface. Soon, an entire halo of glyphs had morphed into being around where her hoof was making contact. "By the Spark... do you see them all?!"

The guards behind them murmured confusedly.

"Doctor, I don't see anything but a confused mare," Shell said.

"It's beautiful. She must have known..." Belle gulped. "She needs me to deliver them. That must be it. That must..." Her eyes widened.

The solar crest was burning, glowing, pulsating with lavender light. It rose over the edges of her hoof, filling her soul with warmth and purpose.

"The sunrise," she whimpered. "I must..." Her coat hairs twitched on end, but there were no feathers to answer her call. Instead of flying, she fell, and fainted in Shell's forelimbs.

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