• Published 19th Oct 2012
  • 9,073 Views, 9,535 Comments

Eljunbyro - Imploding Colon



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

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Cloudy Home

I trotted into Ponyville, only it was a different village. Some dark, cloudy fascimile of a town stood in its place. At first, I thought it was because no competent weather flier had been overlooking the place for the past week. As I trotted deeper into the dim streets, I soon realized otherwise.

Up close, the bands of chaos energy bolting into the sky drowned out all natural light. It felt like an hour past sundown, even though it was the middle of the day. On either side of me, street lamps were lit beyond double the capacity. I saw torches propped up on fences and building fronts, but that wasn't all I saw.

Ponies were gazing at me, wide-eyed and breathless. Gasping droves of neighbors—most of whom I recognized—were standing at attention. They stood at street corners, hovered about shop fronts, and paused in the middle of reconstructing the damage left from Discord. I knew that their shocked gazes weren't locked on the Princess and her guard trotting behind me, because the Ponyvilleans' eyes were full of sorrow.

My nostrils flared. I couldn't look at them; I couldn't even pretend to bridge the gap. I stared forward and muttered, "This was a bad idea. I should have just flown all the way to the rift and touched down there."

"These art thy friends and companions, Rainbow Dash," Luna said in a low voice as she came up beside me. "They have spent the last week worrying over thy countenance. Their hearts and their concerns go out to thee."

"They'd have better luck looking forward to a plague." I fumed, my ears flattening against my head as I glared forward. "Face it. All I mean to them is a reminder of who's no longer here."

"But thou art here," Luna said. "Thou art a symbol that all is not lost."

"Isn't it, though?" I muttered. Just then, I flinched, for I heard several ponies calling out to me.

"Rainbow Dash! You're well!"

"We thought you were a goner!"

"Did the Princess make you better?"

"You've still got the Element?!"

"Look, everypony! It's Rainbow Dash! The one and only original!"

"Yeah, well..." I chuckled towards them, trying not to openly sweat as I trotted by. "Originality is no picnic. I'd love to stay and chat, but..."

"We were so worried!"

"Won't you tell us what happened?"

"Why were you gone for so long?"

"Look, I really need to... uh... go talk to the Princess," I said. There were so many ponies crowding around us. Just a week ago, I would have been thrilled at such attention. But now... "Look! I mean it! You guys can... I dunno... write me or some crud."

The murmuring voices grew louder and louder. I felt my breaths getting shorter. I blinked, and against my eyelids I saw piles of ash. I wanted to scream.

"Be still, our little ponies, for decency's sake!" Princess Luna said in a thunderous voice, instantly silencing the crowd. "There is a royal matter here that needs to be attended!"

I felt the crowd withdrawing pensively. Several ponies looked hurt and confused, but I wasn't about to complain.

With a shuddering breath, I smirked aside at Luna. "Thanks, your Highness. Though, making a crowd go quiet doesn't have to be as epic as making the sun and moon go down."

"We are working extensively on our public skills," Luna said. "However, we could use some practice..." She glanced aside in a strangely demure gesture. "We haven't... had our sister around so much lately to assist us in such a manner."

"Sooner than later, you'll no longer have to be stuck foalsitting me," I muttered and pressed on forward. "By then, you'll be better off—"

A purple, scaly figure plowed into me, knocking me to the floor with a dear hug.

"Rainbow! You're okay!" A pair of emerald slits blinked at me above a fanged smile. "Gosh, for a while there I didn't know what to think!"

My vision focused, and I let out a huge sigh before ruffling the spines on his head. "Hello, Spike. Still being as annoying and scrawny as ever."

"Hahah! You're just the same!" He said, nuzzling me. "And here I was imagining that the magic had turned you—" He stopped in mid-speech, his draconian nose wrinkling from proximity to the ruby lightning bolt. He glanced at the pendant around my neck, the tilted up to gaze worriedly at me.

I merely stared back. I was smiling, but it reflected dully in his eyes.

He gulped and murmured, "Is everything okay?"

With a dry chuckle, I shrugged and said. "As good as I'll ever be. How... uh... how have you been holding up?"

He smiled, but soon that smile wavered. The slits in his eyes fogged over as a tiny puff of steam filled the air between us. He tried sitting up straight, but all it took was a gentle push from my hoof and he was burying his face into my chest, holding back his answer with sniffles and dry heaves.

I held him to me with one forelimb as I gazed lethargically across the village. I saw familiar faces and coats and manes—all turned dull by the dim sky churning above us—and they turned away in solemn silence as the whelp continued his quiet sob.

After a while, I exchanged glances with Princess Luna and patted Spike's shoulder. "Yeah, well, that's... uh... that's all right. It can't be easy holding the fort here by yourself since everything went crazy bad..."

"Everypony h-has missed you..." Spike sniffled and glanced up at me, wiping the tears from his quivering face. "I've missed you, Rainbow Dash."

"Hey... I'm here..." I said with an awkward smile. "It takes a lot more than the end of the world to take me out—" I froze in mid-speech.

She looked at me from beside a tree, her ears drooping, her tiny body doing its best to stand still. Upon my return glance, she bit her lip and stared straight at the floor.

For the first time since I had arrived, I felt a lump in my throat.

"Ah jeez..." I murmured.

Gently, with everypony watching, I placed Spike on my back and trotted slowly over towards her. Then, gulping, I produced a warm smile and very bravely spoke.

"H-hey there, Scootaloo..."

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