• Published 8th Jul 2013
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The Rainbow Pigment - Jetstream S



After a stunt goes haywire in her very first Wonderbolt air show, Rainbow Dash will learn the true reason for her being the only "rainbow maned" pegasus around.

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Chapter One: Realization

The Rainbow Pigment

By: Jetstream S in collaboration with Luna Silverscale


Chapter One: Realization

I'm still wondering where to begin, even after the past year, my thoughts are still swimming with questions, with answers being seaponies after a shipwreck. Even though smarts isn't my normal repertoire, I'll try to make this as intricate as possible. See? I can talk like an egghead from time to time.

Well, I guess it's better to start at the beginning like a normal author would. But keep in mind, I don't have a quill and parchment as a Cutie Mark, so forgive me if I make a mistake... or two. Sit back, relax and grab a cold daffodil shake or something, because this is gonna be one hay of a ride.

The year was 1324, (I don't feel like writing out one thousand three hundr... Damn.) Anyway, the day had finally come where I was gonna show my stuff as the newest addition to the Wonderbolts. It was only three in the afternoon and I was starting to get extremely nervous...




The locker room of the Cloudeseum was cluttered with the flailing wings and loud conversations of her teammates as Rainbow Dash zipped up her brand new Wonderbolts uniform. The mirror in the back of her locker reflected the image she had longed to see ever since her first airshow with her father. She smiled again as she realized for what she thought was the trillionth time that day as she remembered: Her dream had come true.

The rest of her team was already headed toward the entrance to the stadium while Dash hung back a ways. The anxiety was beginning to grip and tug at her already pounding heart. She knew she was more than capable of keeping the routine in check, but even the slightest thought of failure was sending her confidence reeling. She felt the light embrace of a large wing around her shoulders as she stopped.

"C'mon Dash, its your first show! I wouldn't be late if I were you," Soarin said. His voice was unusually soothing.

Rainbow turned to look him in the eyes. Those bright green eyes that always seemed to melt away any shred of doubt no matter the situation.

"Yea sorry, I'm just a little nervous," she chuckled uneasily.

"Oh come on, a flier of your caliber was meant for this. I know you can do it." He flashed his trademark grin, further reassuring the ailing mare and washing the butterflies from her stomach.

Dash began to blush furiously as Soarin locked his eyes with hers. Those green irises always seemed to have a direct line to her inner mood dial. It wasn't until he had cleared his throat for the second time that Rainbow snapped out of her stupor.

"huh, wha-" Rainbow stumbled.

Soarin found her predicament quite amusing and expected. He had known about her crush for weeks now, but wanted to see if his hunch was correct. This little episode all but proved it.

"So, dinner on Friday?" he asked.

Dash froze, but a smile was creeping uncontrollably onto her face. She had waited for this moment ever since the night at the Gala those years ago.

"Y-yea! I'm totally up for d-dinner on Friday... W-with you..." she stammered. A whole week away? Why not tonight?

"Well alright then," he whispered, "I'll pick you up around eight, but right now," he looked out to the entrance to the stadium, "we got a show to put on!"

He began flying toward the entrance, waving his foreleg for her to follow. Even with all the anxiety... and total heart tug... She could tell today was going to be the best day of her life.

Now lined up, the Wonderbolts were now ready to begin. As the announcer outside began his introduction, Spitfire gave the command to "open wings". The team systematically opened and stretched their wings, mentally going over the routine. This was it. Rainbow Dash's moment of truth. She was finally going to be a real Wonderbolt! The sheer joy had extinguished the fire of anxiety and she was now preparing to live out her dream.The chatter from the crowd outside erupted into cheers as Spitfire flew from the entrance closely followed by the rest of the team. The light outside nearly blinded her as she followed at the rear, saving her entrance for last. Luckily, her eyes adjusted quick enough for her to keep track of her team in front. Judging from the crowd, the rainbow colored streak from her tail seemed to highlight the team's entrance quite nicely.

"MMMMares and gentlecolts! Please join me in welcoming... the Woooooonderbolts!" The announcer exclaimed. "And for the first time ever performing in the team, let's stomp our hooves for the newest member: RRRRRainbow... Daaaaaash!"

Rainbow was following the intro perfectly as the rest of the Wonderbolts all barrel rolled around her, creating spirals of smoke that extended from the entrance all the way up into the sky. They ended their dizzying spiral with a massive explosion of sparks in the shape of Rainbow's cutie mark. Rainbow was left hovering in the center of her mark, waving to the crowd with both forelegs.

The roar from the crowd intensified as she hovered, taking in the newly found attention. She even spotted a group of very rugged stallions with each letter of her name painted on their chests in all colors. A large blush formed on both cheeks as she watched them go crazy along with the rest of the crowd. Bright flashes of cameras were everywhere and they all seemed to be focused on her.

"So Dash, how'd ya like your first introduction?" Spitfire yelled over the crowd.

Through her emotion-filled waving, Dash yelled back, "Nothing short of awesome!" with tears in her eyes.

Spitfire beamed and lowered her goggles, motioning for Dash to follow. Dash pulled down her own goggles, flying to her place at Spitfire's left flank. The entire team did a smooth fly-by over the stands, then climbed into another steep arc. This was where things were supposed to get really interesting.

As the Wonderbolts reached the top of the arc, they leveled out, rolling over the top and flying level on their backs toward the center of the stands. Dash wasn't quite used to flying upside down while level, but her determination and pride would not see her fail. She remained level and focused, remembering what the next move was. They reached the stands, pushing up into a climb from their upside down positions. Simultaneously, Spitfire activated the cartridges of smoke on her flanks followed by Dash and Soarin. As a shock to the crowd, the remaining three members broke off, smoothly flying back into the opening from where they had first flown out. This left the two most experienced fliers... alone with the rookie.

Dash wasn't as easily fooled as the two veteran fliers would think. The change in air density and noise was enough to tell her that nothing was following her. She was alone with her idol and love interest.

THIS should be interesting, Rainbow thought.

They were nearing the center of the stadium again and now was time for the real show to begin.

"Team, reverse slide!"

As soon as Spitfire's words met their ears, Rainbow and Soarin broke off from her flanks, banking into each other. Rainbow yawed over Soarin, resulting in a perfect crossover behind their leader. They both completed the roll, becoming level again. Upon doing so, they were now perpendicular with Spitfire and pulled up at the exact same time. The trio then began another upward spiral before activating their smoke cartridges to create three corkscrews of smoke. They eventually rejoined, flying level with the ground and nearing the center of the Cloudeseum.

Rainbow was painfully aware that exceeding her teammates' speed was strictly off limits. The second stage of Wonderbolt training all but drilled that into her head. But soon she would get the chance. Her chance to attempt what nopony in history had ever attempted. She would warp and control the Sonic Rainboom into a dazzling display of light with nothing but her speed. She called it The Counter Rainboom.

Dash's subconscious nearly slapped her as she began veering ever so slightly away from Spitfire's proximity. The quick maneuver she used to negate the drift was smooth enough not to be detected by the crowd watching below. Spitfire finally angled up, activating the sparkler nodes on both flanks. A brilliant trail of sparkles shined between the silvery columns of smoke as the trio rocketed up into the bright blue sky.

Soarin, and Rainbow Dash deactivated the smoke, leaving spiral pillars in perfectly aligned height with bright sparkles fizzling out between them. They came together again, Rainbow at the lead this time. They were unnaturally high, and all were having trouble breathing. Rainbow looked back to her right flank, where Spitfire soar. They locked eyes, Spitfire nodded, and the signal to start the finale was given.

With a smile that stretched across her face, she adjusted her goggles and shot straight down. The fans watched in heavy anticipation from the Cloudeseum as the rainbow streak flew ever closer to the ground.

Being this high, Dash could see the Cloudeseum as one of Joe's doughnuts as she looked down. Spitfire dived, closely followed by the rest of the team, leaving Rainbow hovering. The plan was to count to ten, do a few more aerobatic maneuvers for the cameras, then initiate the final trick of the day. She went over the trick in her head

"Oh no... no no NO NO NO!!"

She was approaching her correct speed too late. She was in the exact center of the Cloudeseum when the familiar sound and release of energy was heard and felt. She immediately pulled up, unnaturally shattering gravity's pull in the process. Startled fans seemed to watch with glazed eyes partially expecting to be obliterated. But the wave of prismatic energy did not reach them. In fact, it seemed to be condensing back to the point of it's summoning.

She instantly regretted not practicing this outside the show, but Spitfire insisted on her ability to do it. Dash was beginning to think her Idol might have been wrong as the enormous ring of prismatic light began pushing her nearer and nearer toward the stands. No! Please, somepony, ANYpony, help! She could feel tears beginning to grip at her eyes as the air between her and the energy lessened in density. She also knew that if the energy were to touch her, she would be completely mangled. She had to stop it. Somehow.

NO! I won't let this happen! Thousands of innocent ponies...

Dash could feel something beginning to stir within her. Something she had never felt before. Her vision was getting clearer, she could feel the strength within her wings begin to amplify, and the speed in which she was orbiting the lethal energy wave was increasing exponentially.

I WILL save them, even if it costs me my life!

The fireproof fabric of her suit was beginning to smoke as the friction from the air began to superheat it. Dash let out a final yell just before increasing her speed further.


A blinding flash of light, a massive pressure concussion, and and a towering column of light later, the scenario was over. Dash back winged, slowing to a stop to admire her work. The energy from the Rainboom was shooting upward into multiple swirls of prismatic light

"Heh. Close call there," she sighed with relief.

The crowd began to cheer, but their cheers were short lived, replaced by gasps and murmuring hushed tones. Rainbow paused for a second wondering why her vision was no longer obstructed by her goggles. She reached a hoof up to rub her eyes - when she took notice of her new color. Her pupils reduced to pinpricks as she took notice of the glowing white appendage in front of her face.

"What the HAY?! I don't remember bleaching my coat!"

Her voice was louder than she anticipated, making a very visible blush cover her now white cheeks. She examined herself further, attempting to rub her mane in confusion but feeling nothing meet her hoof. She felt... bald?! It was then she took notice of the thousands of cameras that were still flashing. They were taking pictures of her?! NOW?? She attempted to hide her head under her hooves, still feeling nothing, when a flicker of color danced across the upper portion of her field of view. I don't even wanna know... she thought.

From nowhere, a sudden exhilarating rush of strength filled her limbs and body. She examined herself to find her uniform had somehow vanished, leaving her naked and her coat glowing an unnatural white. She looked down, or tried rather, when something around her neck poked at her chin. She could make out a red tip outlined with gold when she looked down as far as she could.

"Strange, is that... What is the Element of Loyalty doing on my neck?" She asked herself.

Patting it, she heard the metallic clang of hoof on metal to confirm the bizarre occurrence.

"Fire!" somepony from the crowd yelled, "Rainbow Dash is on fire!!"

Rainbow immediately began flailing her forehooves, feeling nothing but the flowing of her mane, that wasn't even there as far as she could tell. Through her flailing, she accidentally hit herself in the face. Hard. Her vision swam for a moment, making her flying more erratic than a hover. It was then that Soarin and Spitfire had joined her in the middle of the Cloudesium.

"Rainbow Dash... is that you?" asked Soarin

The look on his face clearly suggested he was staring at somepony else. He hovered closer, before jumping back, seemingly in pain.

"What the... what's with that heat?

Rainbow was now even more confused, realizing Spitfire was also staring with pure awe. Rainbow suddenly felt the urge to fly. Fast.

"Uh, gimme a sec."

Rainbow flapped as hard a she could, straight up. The result was an immediate sonic boom, knocking Soarin and Spitfire into the stands and making sitting ponies fall to their backs. She was ascending with inpony speed, the pressure wave that followed shattering any cloud within a dozen feet of her thin mach cone. Again she felt the release of energy that a Sonic Rainboom produced, but she felt herself flying even faster and producing several more circles of energy behind her.

From the ground, it seemed like a never-ending stream of outward shining color was blossoming from Dash's former position. The portion of audience that wasn't cursing Dash's name to Tartarus for the face-full of sonic boom had begun cheering again, basking in the light of the beautiful prismatic display above.

Dash had finally regained what little self control she had, flapping upward and halting her climb. She looked out over the world, whose atmosphere was clearly visible from the dull dark blue she found herself in.

"Sweet Celestia..."

She was looking at the planet from the outer exosphere, somehow surviving with no air to breathe. Realizing that shouldn't have been possible, she immediately flapped hard again, parallel with the world. She angled down, still flapping with strength that she could only describe as... super. Before she could blink, a mountain had appeared in her line of sight a mountain had become one with her face. Expecting a very painful collision, she snapped her eyes closed, but to her surprise, the mountain didn't stop her. She simply went right through the rock, leaving a pony-sized smooth tunnel. In her shock, she stopped midway into the mountain, and lost her mind.

"Sweet Celestia's flank, what's going on?! I'm literally chest deep in the middle of a freaking mountain!"

Her breathing was comparable to that of a pony who had been holding theirs for a minute or so.

She still felt a small heat radiating from her body, and the surrounding rock began to glow a dark red. She was still in her flying position, forelegs and hind legs stretching fully in both directions.

"Ok, gotta stand," she said to herself.

With little to no effort she stood, her body and extended wings carving into the bedrock. She also took note of the fact that she wasn't breathing, but felt great. The new Rainbow Dash-sized enclosure was starting to turn a dull red, absorbing the intense heat radiating from the mare. She rubbed a rock with the forward edge of her hoof, and the space was lit with a shower of sparks.

With no warning, she suddenly began to feel weak, and the heat began to make her sweat. A thought occurred to her about her new appearance and the sudden burst of energy. Was she... special, in some way?


Rainbow lifted the quill from the parchment, thinking.

"Pfft, 'course I'm special. Although I'm still wondering why I'm writing this in third pony... where was I? Oh yea..."

All at once, the white glow began to fade, leaving the red hot rock's glow to take it's place. Her hooves began to feel hot, to the point of pain. She scrambled to get off the hot rock, but as far as she could tell, she was trapped in an oven. She knew she wasn't back to normal yet, but when she was, she knew she would burn alive. The sudden change in state seemed to offer a degree of invulnerability, but it seemed to be running out.

In her panic, she began beating on the rock face opposite of the small tunnel. The strange alabaster hooves in her view began to fade, and she could feel her strength begin to drain. Her hind legs felt as though they were candles, her hooves being the wicks. Being essentially bone, they could withstand the heat, but not forever. She poured what little strength remained into one final blow, connecting both forehooves with the rock. She was rewarded with a loud crack, followed by her falling forward.

Again Rainbow put the quill down, imagining the light from the cracks as her freedom was assured. Looking back, she knew stopping in a mountain for a panic attack wasn't the best option, nor was it the right time as her power was nearly diminished. She knew her abilities well now, but she was a foal in the scale of knowledge back then.

She tumbled out of the hole, her coat now completely normal. The opposite slope of the mountain was steeper than most, so she slid on her belly down the face. She began to feel strange, as the world began to swim in her vision. A curtain of black began falling over her view, and she finally lost consciousness.


Now, I don't remember much after I woke up, until I found myself lying in some sort of cage...


"Uhh... mfg... what, whats goin on?!"

Rainbow snapped awake, fully aware she was in a very enclosed space. She jumped to her hooves, staring into a very black room. Stepping forward, her muzzle hit something solid, making her fall back. She reeled around, regaining her jelly-like stance. Her gaze came face to face with a mirror. What she saw was unlike anypony she had ever seen in her life; That pony being herself. Her reflection was... was...

Rainbow released the quill, thinking hard on the image that had managed to burn itself into her mind in all of the two seconds she stared.

A matted mane, a portion of witch was slightly cut, and a large bruise spread across her left shoulder. She looked away into the darkness as a sound reached her ears. Flicking involuntarily, her ears traced the direction of the sound, and sure enough, the dark outline of a pony stood mere feet away. She let a menacing low growl escape her muzzle, readying for a spring.

"Calm, my subject..."

Rainbow's face instantly released it's tight scowl and her body eased as Luna's voice graced her ears.

"Princess, what's going on, where am I? Does this have something to do with what happened earlier?"

Luna raised a hoof, silencing Rainbow, "You are needed in Princess Celestia's keep. It would be wise to not keep her waiting, as she has very important matters to discuss with you."

As she turned to leave, Rainbow stopped her.

"Princess," Luna stopped and turned to the captive pegasus, "why am I in a cage?"

Luna's gaze hit the floor, before a bright flash of magic opened a hole in the cage.

"My apologies. Celestia was worried that you might try to leave as soon as you were awake. The matters are that important I'm afraid."


Crap, gotta get more ink...

Author's Note:

Key

Narration
Present tense dialogue
Present tense action
Flashback (Main story text)

Hey guys, before I posted Chapter Two, I decided to improve upon this one first. And oh my, there is a lot of improvement needed! After three months, my writing skills had sharpened from a household butter knife into a chef's cleaver, and now I want to take said cleaver to this chapter. I'm more than certain you will like the changes!

*Note* As of November 18th I've edited as much as I could with what little time I had. I also added a few more details here and there. For returning readers, it'll be like "Find The Improvements." Thank you for taking the time to read what I've worked hard to write!

For all my readers, a muffin:

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~Clockwerk