• 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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Closed Eyes

Pilate was humming, his lips smiling pleasantly as he trotted the long, winding way towards the couple's cabin. A few spaces ahead of him, O.A.S.I.S. hovered in a dull white glow. The path swam in a gradual curve, carving its way through the beds of pine needles that lined the sunlit slopes of Blue Shelf. All the while, he had a familiar thick tome balanced on his hindquarters. And all the while...

Belle trotted alongside him. Her gait was far more labored as her gaze fell towards the path below them. Her nostrils flared, and she looked forlornly at the setting sun beyond the trees.

"Hmmm... Nothing like a fine afternoon of research," Pilate said out loud. "I am enraptured that Great Stare allowed us to take this old book home with us. Judging from the expression on his and his beloved's faces, I'm certain they were just glad that we left so their heads could relax some." He chuckled, adjusting his path as the runes in his plate resonated from the direction O.A.S.I.S. was leading him. "If I could venture to say, Belle, we're onto something here. Alicorns, old Proto-Xonan emblems, a new angle of studying the Spark..."

"Yes..." Belle could barely manage. She looked east, towards the dark side of the sky as the day died over the Confederacy.

"Belle?"

She bit her lip. Something in the dull darkening of the globe haunted her, like the cold glaze of Enforcer Shell's one eye. She had difficulty breathing.

"Beloved?" Pilate had turned around to nuzzle her.

She leapt at his touch, gasping... ultimately regretting the breathy outburst.

He paused his place, his ears flicking. "You've been awfully quiet since we left the archives."

"I... I'm sorry, Pilate," Belle stammered. "I should be used to this by now. But... But it's all still so much."

"I did not mean to be insensitive, darling," he said, his voice close to her muzzle. He smiled. "I've always enjoyed helping you solve mysteries, and this one is the most remarkable of all. Whoever this Whitemane is, I can't help but think that she only wishes to bring you good news."

"Yes. I... I feel like I trust her too..." Belle stammered. "But..." She bit her lip. "I never asked her to get into my head. I sequenced with Rainbow D—" She winced. "I sequenced with the subject because it was my duty to Ledo. Now, what am I? A message in a bottle?"

"Oh Belle..."

She clenched her eyes shut and shook her head. "I don't like this! How could she expect me to bear all of this data? Does she even know a thing about me? Does she care?"

Pilate leaned in and kissed her softly. Leaning close to her ears, he said, "I care, Belle. And I'm going to help you through this. You're not just a bridge for data. You're the smartest, gentlest, most precious pony in the world. I think she reached out to you because she feels in you what I know is there: that you're righteous, and that you care about this world. We may not have alicorns amongst us, but I know for a fact that I have an angel right here."

She slowly smiled, gazing up at him. "Since when could a scientist grow wings?"

"Since she raised me up out of the ashes," he said softly, the runes on his plate flickering.

She leaned in and embraced him. Sighing, she gazed misty-eyed over his shoulder and into the pine trees. "What is this Spark, Pilate? What does it have to do with us?"

"One thing at a time, beloved. Let us enjoy this evening together," he said. "Before any force—caring or careless—tries to rob it from us."

"They can't rob anything from us," she murmured. "Not what we have right now. Right here." And her eyes closed.

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