A platoon of Royal Equestrian Army soldiers returns from a distant mission. Hailed as heroes, the success of Gale Storm and his troops has inspired ponies all across the nation, including Rainbow Dash. In a time when disaster after disaster has eroded confidence in Equestria, with unrest on the rise, Rainbow wonders whether the time is now to enlist, and begin her journey on the road to being a Wonderbolt. Her friends have their doubts, however. With the way things are going in Equestria, a soldier's job is nowhere near as safe as it used to be. As Rainbow grapples with her decision, Twilight Sparkle finds herself drawn, as a representative of the Princess, into the shifting alliances and rivalries of the Equestrian political system. Given a mandate to try and encourage change, and reform among the backwards court of nobles, she meets more obstacles than she had prepared for. All the while, in the shadows, a new kind of enemy lurks, one which nopony in Equestria is truly prepared for...
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