• Published 19th Oct 2012
  • 8,995 Views, 9,443 Comments

Eljunbyro - Imploding Colon

Bellesmith must perform experimental tasks in order to keep herself and her beloved safe.

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Belle Smith

Waves crashed and receded.

A gentle roar filled the room, dwindled, and filled the room again.

Slowly, Bellesmith's eyes fluttered open.

A dull gray ceiling stretched above her.

Wincing, the young unicorn mare began to stir. She gritted her teeth and tried sitting up in bed. The effort took far longer than she wanted it to. She ran a hoof through her long brown mane and touched the tip of her stubby horn. The material was still hot to the touch. She hissed, then sighed. The gentle roar of waves filled her golden ears.

It was then that a gentle, elderly voice spoke from across the claustrophobic compartment. "For a moment there, you had me worried."

She gasped, clutching a bedsheet to herself. Glancing across the tiny compartment, she saw Dalton rising up from a lone stool. He stood in his white uniform beneath a glowing rod of pale manalight. His wrinkled features curved into a smile from behind a thick black mustache. Gently, he raised a hoof over a glowing orb atop a thin pedestal. With one tap, the orb dimmed and the sound of crashing waves was silenced. His next breath echoed intimately against the walls of the singular room.

"But I should have known you'd be resilient enough to pull through, Bellesmith."

With a deep breath, she relaxed. Brushing a few brown bangs from her yellow forehead, she smiled the elder's way. "Please, Dalton. You should know better by now. Call me Belle."

"I'm just glad to call you alive." He trotted over and stood by her bed. "You gave us all quite a fright."

She raised an eyebrow. "All of you?"

"Well..." He chuckled dryly. "I was worried beyond compare, of course. The others?" He sighed and gazed into the corner with a cold expression. "If I had a bit for every time I had to whip those incompetent grunts into shape, I'd buy my way out of this dungeon. It's inexcusable, Belle, darling. It's like they expected you to collapse like the rest of the sequencers. I swear, I think I'm the only one who sees your potential and—" He stopped in mid-speech, his eyes wide.

She was hugging him. "And I thank you for that, Dalton." She sniffled and tried to keep her composure as she nuzzled his neck. "That's another chance I have to see my beloved..."

He blinked, then reached a hoof up to pat her shoulder. "I just hate to see good talent go to waste. You were a lot more before they dragged you here. You should be teaching in front a classroom, not being a lab rat."

"Hey..." She parted the hug and stared at him with her hooves on his shoulders. "We all have to do our part. You have your own beloved to answer to."

Dalton nodded, gazing limply towards the floor. "I'm quite aware of that, Belle. Mildred thinks I've become one with the trotting dead sometimes, I swear..."

She chuckled and shook her head. "Don't be so hard on yourself. We all do best to abide by the Spark."

He gazed dully at her. "And what of the sequencers before you? How do they abide?" He gulped. "And just how have I helped any one of them?"

Belle bit her lip. She was about to reply when—

The metal door to the compartment slid open. Both the elder and the young mare looked over.

A unicorn stallion in a stone gray uniform and a black beret marched into the doorframe. With cold eyes, he glanced at the mare. "She awakes?"

Dalton swallowed. "She's still suffering from near-collapse. Her disconnect from the spheres was far too jarring. We're lucky she's in one piece to engage in sequencing again—"

"But she is awake?" the guard repeated, his brow furrowed. "She can stand?"

Dalton raised a hoof. "Now would not be a very good time to process her—"

"I have commands from Shell himself to bring her to Garnet," the guard insisted.

"Shell has little to no authority here!" Dalton sneered. "For Spark's sake, this is a Big Shelf matter—"

With a flick of his head, a light glowed from beneath the guard's beret. An electrified rod levitated threateningly before him. "All that is under the reach of Ledo is Enforcer business!" he sneered. "If you refuse to answer with fealty, you can answer with your flesh!"

"Now just one dang second—" Dalton growled.

"No..." Bellesmith reached a hoof over to Dalton's shoulder, softly holding him in place. "It's alright. I'm..." She winced and slid out from the bed, one aching limb after another. "I'm good to report to Garnet."

"But darling, you can't just—"

"I must, Dalton." She stood on wobbly hooves. He tried to help her, but she insisted on trotting forward on her own. With a flick of her brown tail, she regained balance. "You and I both know it's not wise to resist the Enforcers. Besides, this... this is our duty."

Dalton stood in place, shivering slightly.

She smiled at him. "I will see you later. When you get a chance, say 'hello' to Mildred for me."

"I shall, darling. Try not to let Garnet stress you unnecessarily..."

"I've been through worse," she remarked, waving her half-horn. With a subservient bow, she followed the gray uniformed guard out and into the concrete hallway outside the cramped room.

Dalton stayed behind, sighing. He pressed his hoof against the sphere and the sound of crashing waves once more echoed across the room. It brought him little solace.

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