• 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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Heaviest Anchors

The air above the cabins hummed loudly and the pine trees swayed. Overhead, the Ledomaritan zeppelin roared away on churning propellers. Six enforcers armed with electrified tasers escorted Pilate, Belle, Kenna, and Baxter up the road from where they had been deposited.

"You will remain in your homes until a representative from the Council of Ledo is brought here to assess your infraction," one unicorn with a tight beret uttered. Frowning, he narrowed his eyes and added, "Trespassing beyond the boundaries allotted you is a criminal offense, and you shall all be dealt with accordingly."

"Yes, officer," Baxter said in an uncharacteristically somber tone. He gave Bellesmith a cold glance, then hung his head as he shuffled forward alongside Kenna. "We understand."

"It won't happen again, officer," Kenna added.

"That remains to be seen," the enforce said. His horn glowed as he tugged at the four figures, making them stand and bear the brunt of his dialogue. "You will all be lucky if you don't get sent to four completely different facilities after this."

Kenna gasped. "The Council w-would separate us from our b-beloveds?!"

The unicorn coldly replied, "If your luxuries here have allowed you to act in such foalish manners, then perhaps you don't deserve the beloveds you currently have. Tampering with the fence is beneath Ledomaritan behavior."

"Tampering?!" Kenna exclaimed.

"Kenna, honey..." Baxter reached out to her.

She shrugged him off, frowning at the guard. "Who are you?! You don't speak for Council! You don't speak for anypony!"

"The Enforcers are the council!" he said, his taser raised towards her antlers. "From now on! Now go to your cabins or I will be have to throw your unconscious body in!"

"Officer, please!" Belle exclaimed, breathing heavily. "Forgive them! They got involved only because of my impulsiveness!"

"Beloved..." Pilate begain.

Belle stomped her hooves and seethed towards the guard. "I led them astray! I haven't been myself since sequencing with the subject deep in the facility! They had no idea of this, and I brought them to the fence while in a state of confusion and—"

"Wait..." The guard turned towards Belle, his brow furrowing. "The Aridstone Pegasus Project. You're involved?"

Belle blinked. She glanced at the others around her.

Kenna was confused. Baxter mouthed 'Aridstone Pegasus' with a pale expression on his face. Pilate was dead silent.

"What's your name, pony?" the guard asked.

"Uhm..." Belle fidgeted, then turned to face him. "Doctor Bellesmith, from Mountainfall. I'm prime sequencer of Level Twelve Beta, Dalton's division."

Another enforcer leaned in and whispered into the guard's ear. The guard listened, nodding. Eventually, his eyes widened and the hardened features of his face grew relaxed. With a deep breath, he sheathed his taser and whistled to the others.

Every enforcer relinquished magical grip of their sparkling weapons.

Pilate lifted his head, curiously tilting his ears towards the absence of the tasers' electrified hum.

"You are free to go about as you pleased," the guard said in a neutral tone. "Return to your lives, and remember not to approach the mana fences."

"Wait..." Kenna leaned forward, blinking. "You mean we're no longer sequestered to our homes? We're n-not in trouble?"

"Go about your lives," the guard grunted, turning around with a scuffle of his hooves. He trotted down the hill in line with the other enforcers "Business here is concluded."

The four stood silently while the guards left as if nothing had transpired there to begin with. After a few seconds, Baxter chuckled nervously.

"Well," he said. "Guess it wasn't so bad a day for a picnic after all?"

"Baxter..." Kenna said breathily, her eyes watering.

He looked at her, and his smile left. Giving her a gentle nuzzle, the male anteloupe aimed her towards their home down the dirth path. "Come, darling. Let's go inside and rest. Spark knows I need a breather..." He gave Pilate and Belle a forlorn glance, but was soon gone with his beloved.

Belle sat on her haunches, exhaling hard. She ran a hoof through her mane as she glanced down at the road. The barest hint of four emblems lingered beneath her from where they had been "drawn" the previous day. The wind had blown so much of it into obscurity. The wind...

"Pilate," she murmured, her voice wavering. She gulped hard and turned towards him. "Pilate, I'm so sorry about all of this. It was like... it was like I c-couldn't control myself. It was like I didn't even want to think! I wanted to move! I wanted to run! I... I wanted..."

"You wanted to fly," he said.

She inhaled sharply, biting her lip.

He paced towards her slowly. "I can't lie, beloved, especially to you. I don't like what's happening to you, to your psyche. But what I like even less is not being able to do anything about it." He sat down and exhaled slowly through his teeth. "I was so excited yesterday, so thrilled by the prospect of discovery, that I lost track of what was most important." He gulped. "I lost track of you, of your mind, of how terribly lost you are in the sequencing..."

"Oh, darling," she said, sniffling. "I'm the one who's ruined so much today. Don't be hard on yourself. You're the last pony who should be—"

"Why did they let you come back, Belle?" he asked. "The Enforcers, I mean." He gestured towards the direction in which the guards had trotted away. "When have they ever shown this kind of mercy? That one guard was right; they normally would have split us all apart and sent us to the furthest reaches of the Confederacy. How come that hasn't happened?"

She rubbed a tear dry on her cheek and smiled pitifully. "Can't we just be thankful, Pilate?"

"I'm definitely thankful," he said, murmuring in thought. "But I am also confused. You're obviously very valuable to what's happening here in Blue Shelf, in the facility. Why would they let you come home when you could be of so much use to their experiments?"

"But I'm not of much use, Pilate. I... I..." She seethed. "Just listen to me!" She choked on a sob and hid her face in her hooves. "I'm so lost. So excited and scared all at once. I'm... I'm..."

"You're not the one," a voice said.

Belle gasped, raising her head up and panting heavily.

"Belle?" Pilate's ears twitched. "Belle, darling, what is it?"

"But you are the emissary to the one," the voice continued. "So long as she is in the earth, she cannot reach the sky, she cannot seek her wind."

"Wh-Whitemane..." Belle whimpered like a foal. "I-I can't do this. I don't... I d-don't..."

"Whitemane?" Pilate exclaimed, jittering with anxiety. "Belle, are... are you hearing her right now?"

"To be free, one must cast loose from one's anchors, and hers are the heaviest of all."

Belle's eyes twitched. She looked down and saw blue hooves. A green field stretched beneath warped wooden houses, and five piles of ash littered the sanctum.

"No..." she cried. "No, please. I don't..." She shook her head as her eyes pulsed red against the tears. "I don't want to be here! I-I don't want to see..."

"Belle!" a zebra's voice shouted. He sounded like he was a million miles away, and dwindling. "Belle, stay awake—"

"Pilate!" she sobbed.

She was spiraling through the heavens. The foundations of home collapsed. Winged ponies flew in random directions. A city dissolved into wispy oblivion, and a demonic voice chuckled beyond the nebulous chaos of it all.

"Pilate, I love you! Please... I don't want to g-go home! I don't want..."

She was falling. A pair of limbs caught her, but didn't. White feathers of an alicorn spread apart like seafoam, and all that lingered beyond was an ocean of darkness.

Belle plunged deep, and spread her wings.

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