“And right after I saved that farmer, I was all like whoosh! I flew right into him and he was all ‘Oh, I’m more powerful than you, you can’t stand against me’ or whatever and then I did some impossible maneuvers, which were easy ‘cause it’s me after all, and sent him flying on his way with a little tornado.” Rainbow exclaimed as she flew around and motioned her hooves around to try and recreate her battle with Storm Stallion for her friends as they walked through Ponyville on their way to lunch.
“Well it sure sounded like ya’ had one interesting morning.” Applejack commented as they walked.
“I’m just glad you didn’t get hurt. He sounded really dangerous.” Fluttershy chimed in.
“Yeah, yeah! From what you said he’s all like superpower-y and stuff.” Pinkie Pie added.
“Psh, no worries, guys. He’d actually have to been able to hit me in order to hurt me,” Rainbow chuckled as she floated back down and landed back in line with the rest of her friends, “And you know how hard it is to land a hit on me, especially when I’m moving at the speed of Dash. Ya’ see, it’s sorta’ like the speed of light, except at least a thousand times more awesome.”
“I for one actually want to meet this Storm Stallion fellow,” Rarity said, causing all of the others to look over at her, “What? His outfit sounded dreadfully pieced together. I’d like to give him some lessons on how to make a proper costume.”
Rainbow snickered again, “For once I’m going to agree with you on that, Rare,” she then turned to Twilight Sparkle, who had yet to say anything about the subject, “What do you think, Twilight?”
“I’m actually more interested in his abilities. I’ve never heard of any ponies outside of the Weather Ministers being able to manifest lightning or storms the way you described.” Twilight replied.
“The Weather Ministers? Oh wow, they sound really important.” Pinkie said.
“Darn tootin’ they’re important. They’re the ones in charge of weather during the seasons.” Applejack added.
“They’re probably going to end up making me one after what happened today!” Rainbow laughed.
“Rainbow, I don’t think that’s how becoming a minister works.” Twilight sighed.
“Hey, a pony can dream, right?” Rainbow said with a shrug. All of the sudden, a powerful wind came up and nearly knocked the six friends off their hooves. They looked to see the source of the wind and found a familiar pegasus descending from the air, only now he wore a much more professional looking version of his original outfit and was now wearing a helmet with a pair of goggles.
“Well, well. I thought that I’d find you here, Rainbow Dash.” He said with a sinister grin.
“Oh, you mean the town that I live and work in? Yeah, I’ll bet you had to try really hard to figure that out.” She said with a sarcastic eye roll.
“Continue to mock me all you want, but for now…our rivalry will be settled here!” Storm Stallion called out as winds formed around him.
“Hey, reality check, pal. You can’t have a rivalry with someone if you just met them,” Rainbow pointed out, “Oh, and ya’ both have to be at least a bit on the same level too, which you are totally not.”
“We shall see. Oh yes, we shall see.” Storm rose into the air.
“Bring it! You want another trip on the whirlwind express of pain, then you’re going to get one!” Rainbow said with a fiery expression as she flared her wings and moved into a fighting stance.
“Rainbow! You’re not going to fight him here in the middle of town, are you?” Twilight scolded her with a concerned look that the others shared as well.
“Don’t sweat it, Twi. This’ll be over as quick as I can clear a sky. In ten seconds fla-“Rainbow’s boast was interrupted as a lightning bolt struck the ground near them, causing everyone except the multi-colored pegasus to scatter for cover, “Hey! I wasn’t ready yet!” She angrily glared at Storm.
“Well I am!” Without warning, he flew forward and tackled her, sending them both flying across the ground.
“Oh, you look like you’re serious now!” Rainbow flipped around and threw him off of her as she managed to regain her balance and slid across the ground, coming to a quick stop next to a store that the filly Scootaloo was just leaving.
“Hey, Rainbow!” The young purple and orange pegasus said happily, “How’s it go-“ She started.
“Sorry, Squirt. I’m a little busy.” Rainbow quickly replied as she flew back into the air, “Also, stay inside!” She added, which Scootaloo quickly obeyed after seeing Storm Stallion floating in the air and crackling with electricity.
“Take this!” He roared as he fired two bolts at her. Rainbow went to dodge them, but she remembered where the fight was taking place and instead dashed forward as quickly as she could to form a wind barrier in order to absorb the lightning. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as both bolts impacted against her shield and sent her flying across the sky, smacking against a few clouds as she did. Eventually, Rainbow regained her composure and yet again attempted to go combat Storm.
“Yeesh! I guess losing last time really ticked him off. He’s sure bringing his A-game this time around.” She thought.
“You want a real fight? Fine then! Let’s do this!” Rainbow flew at him and threw a hard double kick at him, which he ducked out of the way of and threw a hard strike that caught her across the chest and knocked her away. Rainbow quickly shrugged the hit off and countered by hopping onto his back and grabbing his mane with her teeth.
“Hey! Let go!” Storm cried out as Rainbow yanked back hard and he spun around trying to get her off.
“No way! We’re going to take this somewhere safer where you can’t hurt anyone!” Rainbow said through clenched teeth as the two pegasi tumbled through the air and eventually hit the ground, the two of them bouncing across the ground and ending up a short ways away from one another. Rainbow quickly stood up and faced down Storm, who was struggling to get up having taken the brunt of the impact.
“Agh…you…are…really really…MAKING ME MAD!” He shouted as his eyes flashed with lightning and he began forming an electrically charged whirlwind above himself. Rainbow hunkered down and scrambled in her mind to figure out how to disrupt the attack and prevent him from unleashing it in the middle of town. Her idea was seemingly answered, however, when a streak of purple and black shot from nearby and knocked Storm to the ground. Rainbow looked over to see where the streak had come from. She looked up to one of the buildings and observed a mare dressed in a very familiar looking purple outfit with a full mask, a pair of goggles, and a fancy looking hat.
“Oh you’ve got to’ be kidding me.” Rainbow growled, “Look, whichever one of you it is, I’ve got this! I don’t need help!” She yelled at the mare, remembering the last time she’d played hero and how her friends had dressed up as another hero named Mare-Do-Well in order to help her stop being so boastful of her actions. Instead of replying, the mare leapt down and began running at Storm.
“Oh? You’ve got some hidden backup, huh, Dash? I knew you were egotistical, but I didn’t think you were a cheater too!” Storm rose up again.
“Hey, I’m no cheater!” Rainbow retorted.
“And look who’s talking Mr. I’m-the-example-everypony-should- follow.” Rainbow then watched as the mare ducked past lightning bolt after lightning bolt with fast, almost unnoticeable movements. As she got close to the now-panicking storm, she rushed in and pummeled him hard with numerous strikes before spinning and drilling him into the air with a hard uppercut strike from her right hoof. Storm soared up and came down on top of a cart of apples.
“Ow…” He groaned before rolling off, now covered in smashed apple bits, “Okay, Dash, I guess I’ll wait until you actually want to fight one-on-one and then I’ll come back to challenge you!” He pointed a hoof at her before stumbling off and soaring into the air, leaving Rainbow to stare dumbfounded at him as he flew off, tilting to the side as he awkwardly soared through the air. Rainbow watched and then turned as she watched the masked mare jump away across the buildings, eventually disappearing from view. She then grit her teeth and started shaking with anger, her concentration only broken as she looked back to see her friends run over to her.
“Oh, Rainbow! Are you alright?” Fluttershy asked with a very concerned tone.
“Yeah, it looked like he was givin’ ya’ a big trouncin’.” Applejack added. Rainbow looked around and noticed that one of her friends was suspiciously absent.
“I’m fine.” She quickly said as she ran off.
“Wait up, dear! Where are you going?” Rarity inquired. Rainbow ignored her as she kept running toward her destination. Scootaloo then hurried over to the others.
“What’s wrong with Dash? Is she okay?” The young filly asked with a worried look.
“Here, let’s go be sure!” Pinkie quickly put Scootaloo and ran off after Rainbow, the other three ponies following her.
At the town library, Twilight’s frantic dictation of a letter to Spike was interrupted when Rainbow slammed the door open and angrily announced her presence.
“Twilight! You had better start explaining!” She yelled, fury clearly pleasant in her red eyes. Twilight, however, ignored what she said and focused more on the injuries her friend had.
“Rainbow! You’ve got scratches and bruises all over you! Are you okay?“ Twilight franticly said, walking over to her friend.
“Don’t you ‘Rainbow’ me, Twilight! Explain that little stunt you pulled out there!” Rainbow stamped her hoof and pointed outside.
Twilight raised an eyebrow and looked fairly confused, “Rainbow, what are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about how you showed me up outside when I clearly told you that I had that situation handled!” Rainbow angrily yelled as she paced around the library.
“Showed you up? What? Rainbow, you’re not making any sense.” Twilight responded, remaining calm.
“Yeah, you didn’t get hit in the head or anything, did you?” Spike asked, obviously sounding nervous and not trying to provoke Rainbow.
“Quit playing dumb already! I know it was you in that Mare-Do-Well getup again since I saw everyone else except you afterward!” Rainbow quit pacing and got closer to Twilight.
“Mare-Do-Well? Rainbow, none of us have worn that outfit in months. In fact, Rarity still has all of the different ones at her boutique last I checked.” Twilight began looking rather annoyed at Rainbow’s accusations.
“Oh, so you’re telling me that it’s just a coincidence that you leave then Mare-Do-Well shows up and takes out Storm Stallion before I could? Oh, and after you berated me for fighting him in the first place?!” Rainbow snarled, adding the last sentence with a louder yell.
“Yes! Why would I lie to you, Rainbow?” Twilight said, raising her voice slightly, her waning patience evident in her tone.
“So that you wouldn’t have to take responsibility for interfering in something that I had handled!” Rainbow replied, getting in Twilight’s face.
“And I’m telling you that it wasn’t me!”, Twilight yelled, her tolerance for the accusations now completely gone, “I don’t really appreciate your attitude or tone, Rainbow, and if all you’re going to do is yell at me and accuse me of things that aren’t my fault, then I’d like you to leave!”
“Fine! Maybe I will!” Rainbow turned around and stomped toward the door as the rest of her friends with Scootaloo in tow, entered the library.
“Rainbow, are-“ Rarity started, but Rainbow yet again ignored her and flew off, “My word, she is very upset.”
“What happened, Twi?” Applejack asked.
Twilight sighed, “Apparently someone showed up dressed as Mare-Do-Well and she accused me of showing her up again.”
“Which it couldn’t have been since you ran back here to send a letter to Princess Celestia about Storm Stallion.” Spike added.
“That and I have those four outfits at my boutique in the first place,” Rarity said, “Which reminds me, I really should modify those at some point now that I have more time to work.” She said, thinking to herself for a moment before shaking her head, “But this isn’t the time to worry about that.”
“She was really angry.” Fluttershy said as her ears drooped.
“That one does have a real short fuse, ‘specially when someone shows her up.” Applejack looked back out of the door before she turned toward it.
“Where are you going, AJ?” Twilight asked.
“I know she needs some time cool down, but I wanna’ make sure she’s alright. Anypony else comin’?”
“Rainbow most likely needs time to herself. I’ll go try to talk to her later on.” Rarity said.
“I’m the one she’s most mad at…I’m going to pass too.” Twilight looked at the ground with a sad expression, met with a pat on the shoulder by Pinkie.
“I’ll go with you, Applejack.” Fluttershy said, looking over at Applejack.
“Same here!” Scootaloo hopped off Pinkie’s back and trotted over to Fluttershy and Applejack, who all left the library.
“Don’t worry, Twilight! I’ll throw a make-up party and then you and Rainbow will be friends again for sure!” Pinkie said with her usual optimistic, happy attitude.
“I don’t think we ever stopped being friends, Pinkie. We just had a fight and it needs to get worked out.” Twilight looked over at the bright pink pony.
"Well duh! Of course I know you're still friends. If you weren't, I'd be having this reaction right now." Pinkie then plopped down and began crying fountains of tears in the middle of the library floor before standing back up with her happy expression again, "You see? Like that! The party would be to get you to be super duper ultra friends again!"
"Erm...right." Twilight nodded, "Although at this point I'm more interested than ever in that strange pegasus." She said with an inquisitive look as she walked over to the bookshelves and began scanning them.
"Well, if we are no longer needed her then I shall take my leave. Goodbye for now, Twilight," Rarity said as she left the library with Pinkie, "How are you able to cry on command like that? It's rather impressive."
"Oh that? It's a long story." Pinkie giggled.
“Stupid Twilight,” Rainbow grumbled as she slowly flew through the outskirts of the Everfree Forest, ducking through some trees in order to take her mind off the day’s events, “I told her that I could take that guy and not get the town damaged or anyone hurt, and I did it! I had everything under control and then she had to come step in and mess everything up! Agh!” She yelled out and landed before pacing around the forest floor in order to calm down.
“That was really impressive the way she fought him and took him down, though. I didn’t think she was that good a fighter,” Rainbow thought with a short smile, though the smile went away when she began thinking about something else, “Of course, with the way she was moving and dodging that lightning, she could’ve just teleported instead of moving that quick…yeah, Twilight definitely would’ve done that.”
“Maybe that other mare wasn’t Twilight…” Rainbow said.
“Oh, you think? I’m insulted now that you thought I might’ve been using magic for all that.” A distorted female voice came from the trees above, startling Rainbow. She looked up and again saw the mare standing atop a branch. Now that she had a clear look, Rainbow could see that the outfit, while similar, was much different than what her friends had worn before. The basic layout of the outfit was the same (even down to the ridiculously oversized hat, as Rainbow saw it) though Rainbow could now see that some type of armor also adorned the mare’s back and the cape was pure black.
“Huh, this day keeps getting weirder and weirder,” Rainbow said with an intrigued smirk, “So what’s your story? And don’t think you’re impressing anyone right now since you’re only the second costumed weirdo I’ve seen today.”
“That other one’s nothing compared to me,” the Mare-Do-Well impersonator said as she jumped down, still speaking with the same apparent voice filter, “As for my story…I don’t think you’d be able to handle it.”
“Yeah, yeah, you think you’re awesome and everything, I get it. In fact, I actually respect that kind of confidence. “ Rainbow walked over closer to the mare, “I’m still expecting an answer either way.”
“No, I mean it. You wouldn’t be able to understand what’s going on with me,” the mare said as she got up to Rainbow Dash, “And I have something else to say: back off.”
“Says the person getting up in my face, and try being a little more specific.” Rainbow narrowed her eyes.
“This whole thing with that Storm Stallion guy? I want you to go home, do something else, and forget all about it. I’ll handle it from here.” The mare said, emphasizing her stern words. Rainbow stared back at the mare and leaned in close, pushing her forehead against the mare’s.
“I don’t like getting threatened, you little punk. You talk tough and you can probably fight back to justify it, but that still doesn’t mean that I’m going to let you do it to me.” She said.
“Oh trust me, I can make you back off if I want to.” The mare replied, pushing her head against Rainbow’s.
Rainbow glared at the mare and jumped back, “You know, let’s see about that. I want you to prove you can stand up against me, especially without giving me a good reason for me to not deal with this Storm Stallion pony.”
“You’re challenging me? I hope you realize this is the biggest mistake you’re making today.” The mare also jumped back as the two ponies began circling one another, watching each others’ moves with a close eye.
“This is good. I’m in a super bad mood and maybe kicking your flank across the floor might help me blow off some steam.” Rainbow said.
“Not my fault you were dumb enough to think your egghead pal was awesome enough to fight.” The mare simply replied.
Rainbow grit her teeth at the insult, more so at the insult to Twilight than anything else, “That’s it! You can bash on me all you want, but you do not talk about my friends that way!”
“Make me stop then.” The mare replied, remaining calm in the face of Rainbow’s anger. The two stopped circling and faced down, each waiting for the other to make a move. The two mares stared intently. The air was silent for a short time, the only sounds were the natural ambience of Everfree. Then, without warning, the two charged at each other at top speed. As they got close, they each stood and threw a hard forward strike, their hooves clashing together as they sparred, trading hit after hit and having the other respond by blocking the strikes each time. Rainbow finally ducked down and rushed forward before leaping up to deliver an overhead strike only for the other mare to jump up and spin kick her, sending Rainbow flying through the air. She quickly shrugged the hit off and flew down to face down the mare only to see her opponent had vanished. Rainbow looked around the tops of the trees and through the forest trying to find where the other mare had gotten to, only to see her jump out of the tree, extending a pair of wings and allowing Rainbow to see both that this mare was a pegasus and that her armor apparently contained some sort of a small cannon as it folded out and the pegasus began shooting at her with it. Rainbow, after focusing back from her shocked expression, back flipped out of the way of the initial bursts and quickly ducked to the sides to avoid the blasts.
“I’ll have you know this is cheating somehow!” Rainbow yelled before she ducked into the bushes. The mare came down and looked around trying to find where Rainbow went. She scanned the trees, thinking Rainbow would try the same thing that had been done to her earlier. Suddenly, the mare heard a noise behind her and immediately turned to face Rainbow standing close behind her. The mare paused for a moment and laughed, retracting her cannon.
“Really? You tried to sneak up on me? How adorable,” she said, only to see Rainbow fade away suddenly, “Wait, what?!” She said with a shock.
“Gotcha’!” Rainbow suddenly leapt through the bushes and tackled her, sending the two of them rolling down a hill, through several bushes and a thorn patch before landing hard on the ground at the bottom, with Rainbow on top of the masked mare, “Oh, so what was that about sneaking up on you? I tried to do it? Well guess what, I actually did do it. In your face!” She laughed, looking down at the mare, only to see that her mask had come off and the expression of a very familiar pony was under it. Instead of one of her friends as she had originally assumed, it was the face of an orange pony with a messy purple mane tied up into a loose ponytail that had come partially undone in the fall. Staring into her light purple eyes, Rainbow came to a shocking realization about the mare’s identity.
“Sc..Scootaloo?!” She asked with a shocked tone. Before she could say anything else, she heard voices coming from the top of the hill.
“Rainbow! Are you okay?” Fluttershy called.
“Speak up, RD! Let us know where you’re at!” Applejack added in. Rainbow glanced up top in response to their calls before quickly looking back down at the mare, only for her to be knocked down to the ground with a hard punch. As she laid on the ground with her head spinning from the sneak attack, Rainbow managed to regain enough coherence to see the Scootaloo look-alike put the hat back on and duck into the trees. She then blinked a few times and managed to see AJ and Fluttershy coming down the hill to help her, but with the actual Scootaloo with them as well. Her head swam in confusion before she finally collapsed and fell unconscious.