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Lightning Dust's botched attempt to make it into the Wonderbolts set her back quite a bit. Desperate to show her stuff and find the action she desires, she enlists in the Equestrian Royal Guard.

Not possessing much in the way of patriotism, Lightning ponders what could be worth risking her life over, but a mission into the heart of a dragon hiding spot could provide the answer she seeks.

(My submission for Equestria Daily's Flash Fanfiction Event: Memorial Day Edition.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 31 )

Right, so as the description implies, this was a quick story busted out in the course of a weekend for EQD's flash fic thing. Hope you like it, but don't be surprised if it's riddled with bullshit, for which I apologize in advance. I think it turned out alright, all things considered.

That's deep, bro. That's real deep.

"I could feed the population of Cloudsdale with all that corn."

God dammit, LD. Can you not be serious for like, two whole seconds? :raritydespair:

Never change, Dust. Never change.

Buck up, Lightning. At least you know yourself.

I'e always been a huge fan of Lightning Dust. I can't wait to read this story. I'm sure that I am going to love it.

Good story.
Especially because Lightning Dust.

I can see where this is going, Dust not wanting to die but filled with self loathing for her motivations has herself committed to an asylum in hopes that they could fix her. Say hi to Screwball and Screw Loose for me Lighting.


Admittedly one of the more fascinating stories I've read...
I never once pictured Lightning Dust as a truly evil character, or even one that was really all that reckless. However my opinion may very well have been changed... Looking at the character from this angle, with the stark reality of death being right in front of her throughout the story, seems almost to change her. Joining the royal guard after being kicked out of the wonderbolts is exactly the sort of thing she would do, and that situation is more than enough to, if not reveal this side of the character, then at least create it within her...
Long story short, this fits so well I am physically scared by it.
Though I will admit I typically don't read stories just to be sad, I did enjoy the shock factor of this. I would be very interested in reading more stories like this, so please, post some more like this.
Also, I'm really biased not only because you're using the same writing style as me, but because I too have a character named Lightning, so you've won both my biased and unbiased support, make of that what you will :twilightsmile:
8.9/10 for awesome, believable story and because it's very well written.


Thank you for the kind words, sir. I can't guarantee I'll be writing more stories with this sort of tone, but another idea may pop into my head like this one did.

It's always a pleasure to see a different perspective for characters. Seeing Lightning Dust as she is in this fic, a pony whose sole desire is to experience thrills that bring her repeatedly near death, was absolutely fascinating and brilliantly portrayed. Well done, mate. Well done.

Hmm, this is different. It's great to see someone do something new with this character, as much as I enjoy the homicidal maniac Lightening Dust at points. I especially liked how you reflected her self doubt in what she was doing and why. Usually when people are as angry as she was in the episode, they're hiding some sort of doubt in themselves, and you made that clearly evidenced here.

a3V #11 · Sep 2nd, 2013 · · 2 ·

I guess I'm speaking from my experience as a former team leader in several projects and overall "group supporter", but I did not like this fic at all. Which, of course, is obviously the intent of this fic.

The one that that irritates me about Lightning Dust here, more than anything else, isn't the fact that Lightning Dust wants to fulfill that dangerlust. Rather, it's the fact that she would do anything to achieve that rush with no regards to anyone in the vicinity, or their safety. She knows that, but she still follows her drive anyways, which to me demonstrates a case of willful endangerment to anyone in proximity.

As a colleague once eloquently put it, "that $#!& don't fly."

Anyways, you've written a good fic. Lightning Dust is one of the few MLP characters who I dislike very much, and you've done an excellent job writing a story about why I do.

This is a great example of "didn't learn anything fic." She has a better understanding, but she didn't learn anything "new". You just made LD feel more real, and her disregard for equine life even more unsettling. Faced not just with a punishment but with the consequences of her actions, she chooses not to change.

Nice, well done character study. Takes everything presented in the episode and expands on it perfectly. :twilightsmile:

This is completely wrong IMO. It's not that Lightning Dust "disregards equine life", it's that when chasing the rush she forgets about the fact that she is endangering more than just herself. If she really didn't care, she wouldn't "hate it".

She just needs to find one of those extreme sports, what I think I've heard called "deathsports", and find one that won't cause collateral damage and which she can do alone. Go nuts. Figuratively.

It's always interesting to see someone admit that they are a terrible person.

So what you're saying... is that Lightning Dust needs to star in a Death Race crossover fic.

Someone get on this shit, ASAP.

Came here from the reviews.
It was far different and even better than I expected.
Take my like and a bow, my dear :3

No dark tag, but nonetheless quite grim. I like it.

don't hurt anymore civilians."

Spl, should be "any more"

in case somepony -or somedragon- heard him.

Should be em dashes, not hyphens. They also should either have spaces on both sides or none at all

I mean, you're reason doesn't even


Sorry, wait, the soldiers are going to be attacking dragons who probably didn't have anything to do with the Vanhoover attacks? Not just forgoing any attempt at negotiation and forcing them out, but murdering them? I thought Equestria was being run by Celestia, not some careless douchebag who's perfectly okay with blood on their hooves. My mind couldn't help but wander off on a tangent in which Twilight's closest friend happened into that wilderness somehow, was brutally attacked by the soldiers who were committed to protecting civilians like himself, and was taken home to Canterlot so that Princess Celestia could suffer the horrifying, heart-shattering experience of watching one of her scouts proudly present her with the young corpse of the little guy she raised in that very castle.

Anyway, aside from treating dragons like savages, it was a very good tale about a less-then-reputable pony discovering who she is and coming to terms with what drives her. Before Tailslide answered Lightning's titular question, I imagined his approach was going to be to challenge Lightning's judgment and self-worth. Ask her if she really needs crowds worshiping her deeds just to know she's doing something good. Does she require constant reassurance to know anything she does is worth something, or can she decide for herself? But instead of taking that route, the story ended up somewhere much darker, and a little more personal. I found this a much more appropriate way to wrap up a story focusing on Lightning Dust.

I'm sorry, but sometimes a mare's just gotta take a leak, even in the heat of battle.

Caboose: "I was just trying to find a bathroom. Church always has me go before a big battle. He hates when I have to go in the middle of one."

Dragons are scary, but they aren't that exciting.

There's a dragon in Ponyville whom you didn't meet at the Academy for some reason. When he grows up a little more, mares are going to say the very opposite.

It was definitely not a sound that a pony could make without smoking a year's supply of pipes,

Pipes last. I think you meant a year's supply of tobacco.

The errors have been corrected. Thank you for pointing them out; I don't understand how I could proofread a story several times and miss something as simple as "you're vs. your". :facehoof:

3184364 Eh, no one is perfect, and the small number of mistakes didn't prevent me from enjoying the story.
And you're quite welcome. :twilightsmile:

Thats was badass I like LD even more now!

I feel that I can fully understand what Tailspin was talking about, now that I know I am a pony whose reason for fighting has no benefit.

For a second there, I almost thought Lightning Dust had forgotten Tailslide's name. Or was that intentional?

Other than that, good story. I don't normally read Lightning Dust, but this was a pretty good fanfic follow up to the episode and a great interpretation of her character. Definitely something that deserved its Seattle's Angels feature.

Lucky she didn't get...LICED and DYECED! Mwahahahahahahaaaa! If ONLY this little filly was a Power Pony...I'd be so proud.

I shall add this one to my...shave-orites eagerly, due to the soldiery's violently aggressive attitude toward pony-dragon relations. Their stance is so delightfully EVIL!

This was a very good look at the way Lightning Dust's mind works from the pony herself.

We need more Lightning Dust stories. Despite her criminal recklessness, she isn't actually evil. She deserves pity, and maybe she'll get it all together one day.

This is a story that I'm gonna favorite very reluctantly (I'm only doing so because the admins are gonna need to deactivate the account I had it favorited on, and that account only existed for stories that I wanted to remember, but didn't love enough to fave as Swashbucklist).

As well-written as the story is, it paints the dragons as absolute monsters whose lives are worth less than a pony's, and you heavily imply that it's Princess Celestia herself who thinks things should operate with this prejudice in mind. That's really fucking despicable, yet you never gave any explanation--via reply, journal entry, or author's note--for how Equestria could harbor such evil. I raised this issue 118 weeks ago, and you don't appear to have given a shit (unless you PMed me, in which case I apologize in advance).

This is easily the best one-shot I've read on this site after about a year of having this account, and after looking at the comments section for the first time I feel a deep contempt for many of the other readers.

3183034 What you're doing is basically screaming at the background of the Mona Lisa for the contrast of the landscape with the local biomes around where it was painted. You make a good point, but it really doesn't matter. I'm guessing this opinion is based on a by no means misplaced liking for Spike, but he was enslaved at birth into pony culture, and it has been seen time and time again in the show (and by that I mean two or three times), and even referenced in this fic itself, that typical dragons do indeed act in such a way as to completely justify this.

3142846 I don't really have a response to this other than 'I hate you'.

5583471 Shed no tears for Lightning Dust, for she may very well rise again. Stronger. Tougher.

I looked down at my hooves; admittedly, I could feel just the slightest twinge of shame. "That's just the thing. You and the guys all talk about 'being patriotic' and 'fighting for the honor of Celestia', but I just don't feel any of that. I don't really know anypony in Vanhoover, dragons have never personally given me problems, and as blasphemous as it may sound, I don't really think Celestia needs me defending her honor. All I see are two ponies, in the middle of a sweltering mountain range, trying to see whether dragons or boredom will kill them first."

That's a really powerful statement, It brings to mind "All Quiet On the Western Front" to me at least.

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