• 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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Princess Celestia

My hoofsteps somehow managed to echo against the frame of the newly built tower. Before me, surging bands of black energy spiraled continually upwards from a focused point in what was once the natural ground of Ponyville. I saw a bright, glowing figure on the other side of the ethereal cyclone. Wincing against the dizzying array, I prepared to trot around towards her.

I stopped suddenly in my tracks. Turning around, I glanced back.

Princess Luna stood outside, just beyond the threshhold to the great tower. She sat on her hind quarters, gazing at me neutrally.

I raised an eyebrow. "Your Highness? You're not coming?"

"We hath escorted thee this far, Rainbow Dash," she said. "Thy conversation with our beloved sister is thine and thine alone. Far be it from us to interfere."

My brow furrowed. I felt there was more to her answer than she was willing to say, or myself for that matter. Regardless, I was thankful for her grace. I was just... thank you.

"You've done nothing but take care of me this whole time," I said. "While Celestia's been pinned with this awful job, while you've had to take on so many tasks for the good of Equestria." I gulped and formed the fairest of smiles. "For what it's worth, thanks."

"It is worth more than thou thinketh," Luna said, then nodded towards the far end of the tower with her horn. "Proceed."

Nodding back, I turned about and shuffled towards the light source. I rounded the billowing edge of the chaotic anomaly. My heart beat harder and harder with each shimmering inch of the Princess. Soon, she sat before me, her body paradoxically calm for the phenomenon at hoof. The only part of her that betrayed any degree of strain was a tensed furrow to her brow. I hadn't finished trotting when one eye opened, then the other. As though she was waking up, Celestia unfolded her wings halfway and gave me something I hadn't expected: a smile.

"You're quite grounded these days, Rainbow Dash," the Princess said. "Your wings must ache from not being given a workout."

"Believe me, I flew and flew until I couldn't fly no more," I said. I blinked. "How did you know it was me just now?"

"Maintaining equilibrium..." She lisped slightly, her brow furrowing tighter as she sat, ever-facing the column of onyx bands. "Keeping balance between harmony and discord... it gives me a keen awareness of life in all of its form..." Her lips curved slightly. "As well as anti-life, if you must know."

I gazed down at the stone masonry that had been freshly laid around the glowing mess. "Which do I qualify for?"

"I was hoping you would illuminate me," she said. "Have you recovered from your initial bout of chaotic affliction?"

"That depends," I muttered. "Can you keep the world from shattering and chew the fat at the same time... er... Your Highness?"

"I assure you, Rainbow Dash, I am more than qualified for observing both the rift and you," she said. "If it helps, it brings my soul great delight to see you in person. I'd go so far as to say that it makes this task all the easier."

"How can that be?" I asked, squinting at her. "You know how this all began..."

"I also know how worse it could have gotten," Celestia said, her rosy eyes softly reflecting the shimmering bands as she glanced my way. "This world has lost so much, and yet it could have lost so much more. It is hard to see past the pain, Rainbow Dash, but the defeat of Discord brought salvation to the entire physical plane."

"Yeah, well..." I gazed aside, exhaling hard through my nostrils. "Not all of us have the thousands and thousands of years to look past death so easily—"

"Look past death?" She stared at me straight, and for a while there I was afraid the rift would explode. Instead, she masterfully contained it with golden magic as she spoke in a somber tone, "Twilight Sparkle has meant more to me than any single soul in the last five millennia. I felt her first breath when she was foaled. I sensed the fabric of magic changing the very moment she first existed. The day she entered this world, I committed myself to observing her gifts and guiding her towards the masterful sorceress she was destined to be."

Her ears flicked, and a shadow crossed her pale features. Celestia gazed deeper into the tornado of darkness, softly exhaled.

"Or so, I had perceived that it was her destiny. In my heart, I knew that she was meant for great things. She had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but she did not know why. I gave her the material she hungered for, but I knew that even that wasn't enough. Twilight needed to be flexible if she was to grow. So, I moved her along the path towards meeting her friends, towards developing a healthy life. I wanted the best for her, and when she discovered Ponyville and found her soulmates, my heart rejoiced. All was good with the world, for there was harmony... a harmony that existed in the souls and not in the substance of this reality."

I watched as her wings coiled tightly by her side. She took a deep breath and flexed the muscles in her neck.

"I provided everything that was within my power to her, and still it was not enough to save her, to protect her. My sin is not overestimating the resilience Twilight had at her disposal, but underestimating the forces of energy this universe had to offer in resistance. If I had been subtler, if I had kept a distance, then maybe... she would still be here today..."

I reeled slightly. I stared into the vortex and felt the dizzy swirls of a horrible day resurfacing to my mind. I had been made to think that Cloudsdale was falling and all the ponies with it. As I glanced down at the ruptured earth beneath the vortex, and the five splotches of ashen white along the circumference, I almost wished the city had indeed collapsed instead.

"This is all my fault, Rainbow Dash," Celestia murmured, her eyes reduced to soft, glossy pools. "This town, this rift, Twilight, all of your dear friends..." She narrowed her gaze upon the blackness. "I should have had the power to foreseen this. I should have known that the Elements would backfire the way they did. I should have known that there was no proper way of containing Discord." Her eyelids shut as she shuddered in mid-meditation. "What kind of a ruler am I to have let so much that is good go to ruin? How could my loyal duty to all ponykind have let those most precious to me perish?"

I felt my mouth opening before I could stop it. "With all due respect, Your Majesty..." I gulped and looked narrowly at her. "Loyalty isn't exactly your department, now is it...?"

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