• Published 19th Oct 2012
  • 9,031 Views, 9,515 Comments

Eljunbyro - Imploding Colon

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

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Last Piece

Celestia's head turned to look at me for once. "Hmmm?" Her inquistion came out in a low hum as her glossy eyes reflected the nebulous miasma.

"It was... always your task to lead us, to rule over us, to... t-to protect us." I gulped and said, "But loyalty? You were a mentor to Twilight, your Highness. You were her teacher, her guardian. You took care of her because you chose to. Me?"

I turned towards the cyclone of chaos. I took two bold steps and stood on the dizzying edge of the phenomenon. "I didn't expect friendship, not here, not in this place. I didn't think I'd get along with so many ponies whom I'd not give a flying feather about had things gone differently. A frilly fashion designer, a party-crazed lunatic, and an anxious bookworm? Heh..." I smirked ever so slightly, staring into the ethereal black ribbons. "Totally uncool ponies. I shouldn't have given them the light of day. And yet..." I swallowed dryly, my throat sore. "I-I couldn't stop myself. They just.... They made me feel... feel s-so..."

She stared quietly at me.

I sighed and ran a hoof over my hair. My head hung, and as it did so, my chin brushed against the damnable weight of the pendant. I turned and looked at Celestia with my lips hanging between a grimance and a frown.

"I never thought I'd be born as the Element of anything, much less Loyalty. But it's taken their death to make me realize what I was... and how much more I could have been. Now I'm just as l-lonely and friendless as I was before I met them..." I took a breath and murmured forth, "But I'm not the s-same..."

"Rainbow Dash, your strong and resilient, but more than anything I sense in you the ability to adapt—"

"How long ago did you foresee the Elements scattering and being bound to bearers?"

"You are defined by more than just that pendant around your neck—"

"How long ago, Princess?!" I growled.

Her nostrils flared slowly. She leaned her head back, her eyes trained on me. "Since they were crafted from the Harmonic Prism," she eventually said. "At the beginning of all things, when my sister and I brought life and purpose to this world, I knew that the Elements could eventually be broken down and disseminated among mortals for the sake of protecting the tranquility of this plane." Her wings flexed slightly as she spoke. "When the thousand years of Nightmare Moon's imprisonment was coming to an end, I felt that the time was right to give the power to the ponies of Equestria. That's how Loyalty came to you, Rainbow Dash. You were in the right time and place, as was my st-studen, Twilight." She hung her head with a heavy sigh. "I am sorry that your choice was not involved in the matter, but neither was mine."

I clenched my teeth and stared back into the blackness. "Mmmm... Yeah," I muttered. "I'll buy that. Most of it, anyway." My brow furrowed. "Couldn't the Elements have been safer as they were? Did you really need to lose control of something that you began?"

"You are right when you say that loyalty is not my department."

I turned and gazed curiously at her.

She was staring back, and her eyes were strangely week. "I am not immortal, Rainbow Dash. And neither is my sister."

My lips parted. Squinting, I raised a hoof and stammered, "But I thought—"

"I have lived for a long time, and I shall continue to live even longer, but not forever," she said, shaking her head. "What my royal subjects believe to be true is something that has protected them and their interests for countless eons. However, there will come a day when my sister and I will no longer have the strength to breathe. Like the alicorns who came before us, we shall perish, and all of the magic and energy we've brought to this world will be left to the devices of this plane." She cocked her head slightly to the side. "What are we to do? Allow things to decay? To fall to ruin? I am incapable of infinite loyalty, Rainbow Dash. But you, you are incredibly gifted and spectacularly versatile. A mortal such as yourself is capable of expressing loyalty infinitely, in such a precious and finite frame. I may not have been the force behind the Element of Loyalty choosing you, but I can see that it was a good choice. You brought Twilight and the other Bearers great joy and contentment. I suspect you were no less fulfilled while you were together."

I was breathing heavily at this point. I hung my head to avoid her gaze. My legs were shaking.

"Rainbow Dash..."

I didn't look at her.

"Rainbow, you did not need to come here. You did not need to see me. I sense great anger and distrust in your soul, and I cannot rightly blame you for such churning emotions. Still, you came here, facing the very sights and sounds of that which took our most precious companions. For what reason, I ask? I may be capable of sensing many things, but the complexities of your mind are a secret to me." Her horn glowed as she stabilized a rippling wave of chaotic energy and glanced at me once again. "I may be capable of fixing the heart of Equestria, but it is you I wish to repair most of all. You're the last piece of Harmony, Rainbow Dash. You're all that remains of something in this world that was good and pure. Please tell me how I may be able to help you."

"I came..." I whispered. I glanced up at her, frowning, and my vision was foggy. "I came... to give you something... the only thing you need..."

Her expression twisted in confusion.

I wasn't finished yet. "You say that I'm the last piece of Harmony? I wish that was true, your Highness. I'm just the pony carrying the last piece." That said, I brought my hooves to my neck.

Celestia's jaw dropped. "Rainbow Dash! Don't—!"

"It wasn't me who took out Discord with the power of the elements!" I said, seething into a blinding wave of dizziness as I hoisted the golden necklace off me and held it out towards her on quivering hooves. "It was this stupid thing! This right here is more important than me and more powerful than you!"

"Put it back on this instant! You'll die without it—"

"I'm alone either way!" I shouted, the hair rising on my neck as the world spun in madness. "Now take the last fragment of your stupid Harmony and finish what you started!" I heaved, fighting the bile rising up my throat. My head was splitting in two and bleeding out my forhead. "Be smart! Y-you can't be loyal to me forever! Be l-loyal to Equestria and use it f-for something better than k-keeping a miserable pegasus alive..."

"Rainbow Dash, without you, Harmony won't be—" She stopped in mid speech, gazing up as a huge wave of disruptive energy billowed through the black vortex. "Good heavens... the rift..." The blackness spread thicker and thicker, pounding against the walls of the half-constructed tower. Rivulets formed in the concrete blocks. Dust and debris flew in the wind. "It's intensifying! Rainbow Dash! Put the pendant back on! Please!"

I had collapsed at this point, wheezing and curling up into a fetal position. I felt on fire all over; the pain was unbearable. I closed my eyes and begged for the dark beyond the incoming wave of numbness. Maybe I'd be alone there, but I wouldn't be in the condition to know it.

"Rainbow! I can't do it for you! Sister! Luna, please—!"

Thunder and noise. I tasted my own blood. I clasped my hooves together and found talons instead.

So cold. Applejack hated the cold. I was always around. If only she asked for a hug. I wouldn't have made a big deal about it. No tears. No shivers.

If she had only asked...

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