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Prologue

“Today’s the day,” Rainbow Dash grinned as she pulled the pair of goggles over her face and adjusted her flight suit. She thought herself to be one of the greatest stunt flyers to come out of Cloudsdale. Her thoughts were correct, as she had been given the opportunity to try out for her idols, the Wonderbolts, Equestria’s most famous flying team. All at the young age of seventeen. Ever since she had received the news, she’d been preparing her routine for months in preparation and she felt more than ready. She took a deep breath and entered the stadium that the Wonderbolts used for their practice. Off to one side of the arena, was a table sculpted out of cloud. Seated there were Spitfire, Captain of the Wonderbolts, well known for being the youngest captain in Wonderbolt history, and Soarin, the co-Captain of the team. Both were dressed in their Wonderbolt uniforms

“Rainbow Dash?” Spitfire asked, looking down at the clipboard she held in her hooves.

“Did my mane give it away?” Rainbow joked, a smirk playing on her lips.

“She’s funny,” Soarin commented, giggling slightly.

Spitfire simply glanced towards Soarin. “Well that won’t get her through this,” she said sternly, turning to give Rainbow a hard look. “Okay, here’s the deal kid,” the yellow pegasus began,”We don’t have a whole lot of time today, so you can’t have a long routine. We would prefer that you do a favorite stunt or something like that. Make it a good one.”

Rainbow Dash blinked in surprise. One trick? I prepared a whole routine dammit, the pegasus thought. Instead of voicing her thoughts, she continued to smirk, doing her best to project her aura of confidence. “Works for me,” She replied.

Spitfire nodded. “Alright then.”

Wasting no time Rainbow spread her wings and took off, aiming for the upper atmosphere high above the flying city she called home. She climbed until the city below was nothing more then another white dot in the sky below. She paused, taking in the view. Well...here goes... Taking a deep breath, she flipped over backwards so that she was facing the ground and fell into a straight dive.

Back in the stadium, Soarin and Spitfire watched with interest. “What’s she doing?” Soarin asked.

“Something stupid,” Spitfire replied with an uninterested tone , shaking her head.

In the air Rainbow Dash could see that the stadium was rapidly coming closer and closer. A mach cone began to form around her. Rainbow’s body started to vibrate with the forces of the air buffeting her body, causing her to have difficulty keeping control. she noticed that she had begun to drift off course. Come on you got this, the cyan pegasus thought to herself as she pushed forward regardless of the danger. Just a little more...you can do it... Then, the worst possible scenario became a reality. The wind resistance became too much for the young Pegasus’ wings to handle and she spun out of control.

Meanwhile down below, Spitfire and Soarin’s concern grew as the tiny blue dot came closer and closer, now moving about erratically.

“What’s going on?” Soarin asked, looking at Spitfire expectantly. Spitfire kept her eyes fixed on the dot.

“I don’t know...” she replied.

All of a sudden, they were greeted by Rainbow Dash’s voice screaming at the top of her lungs. “Oooh CRAAAAAPPP!” She shrieked as she hurtled through the clouds that made up the floor of the arena, her body nothing more than a multicolored blur to their eyes.

“Did she do that on purpose?” Soarin asked blinking, seemingly unable to process what he had just seen.

“No and at that speed she’ll be paste if she hits the ground,” Spitfire said, bolting into action with Soarin not far behind.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash panicked as she tried to right herself, the moisture from the clouds she’d passed through making it that much more difficult to get her feathers back in the right positions. “No, no, nooooo!” the frightened pegasus shouted as she saw the ground quickly growing closer and closer by the second. She looked around wildly, searching for something to slow her down. She noticed a cloud drifting lazily in the distance. She quickly began tilting her body in its direction, sending her tumbling in the direction of the cloud.

Once she was close enough she reached out for the cloud, hoping to grab it and hopefully slow her descent. She cheered on the inside when her hands came in contact with the cloud, unfortunately her speed proved too great and she wound up pulling the cloud along for the ride. Her speed had dropped significantly due to the cloud, but the tree tops of the forest below were still getting closer. Rainbow started scanning the trees looking for the tallest one she could get too. Deciding on an oak a few hundred feet away she waited for the right moment and then pushed downward on the cloud and towards the tree.

Dash started to panic again when the cloud left her grasp, but quickly focused on the tree. Seconds before she collided with the top of the tree she tilted her body towards the nearest branch and attempted to grab it. The branch snapped off due to the force but slowed Rainbow down enough to regain control. What Rainbow Dash hadn’t counted on was the rest of the tree. All of a sudden she felt her head impact the trunk of the tree knocking her unconscious as everything went white . Her suddenly limp body then proceeded to fall through the trees limbs, hitting each one hard until she slammed into one branch back first, her wings crushed between her and the bark with a sickening crunch.

////////////////////////////////////

Spitfire and Soarin meanwhile, tried to catch up with the falling pegasus, but she had been moving much too fast for them. They had lost sight of her once she had hit the tree. Spitfire immediately went into a steep dive in the direction of where they had last seen the rainbow maned pegasus.

“Spitfire wait!” Soarin shouted after her, worried that his friend would repeat the younger mare’s mistake at that speed. Spitfire however seemingly didn’t hear him.

Spitfire meanwhile, reached the tree Rainbow had hit and immediately began searching it for the fallen Pegasus, her eyes darting around. She saw several snapped and broken branches, along with some feathers. She let out a sigh of relief when she caught sight of the blue pegasus, sprawled out rather awkwardly across a particularly large branch. However, the branch, as large as it was, was noticeably damaged by the impact and looked as if it might break at any moment. Spitfire quickly swooped down and grabbed younger pony before she fell any further.

Spitfire felt her stomach turn when she saw the condition of Rainbow. Her body was battered and bruised, a cut on her forehead was bleeding profusely and worst of all her wings looked like they’d been run over by stampeding buffalo, bent in unnatural ways. “Oh dear Celestia,” She heard Soarin say, horror in his voice.

“Don’t just hover there, we need to get her to the hospital,” Spitfire said sternly, motioning towards Cloudsdale above them.

“Right,” Soarin said nodding as he helped Spitfire lift the young mare and they flew as fast as they could back to Cloudsdale.

///////////////////////////////////////

“Why today?” Muttered a dark grey unicorn with a dark orange mane. He was Comet Dash, founder and CEO of Dash industries, still wearing his suit from his previous appointment. He had been interrupted in the middle of a very important meeting with the information that his rambunctious pegasus daughter had suffered an accident. He had been forced to cancel the meeting and take the first hot air balloon to Cloudsdale and now walking through the halls of Cloudsdale General, searching for the room his daughter was in. He noticed a lot of the Pegasi he passed staring at him with surprise or shock on their faces. “Cloud walking spell.” Comet Dash shot at a nearby pegasus who was looking at him with jaws wide open. The pegasus quickly averted his gaze, instead deciding to study the patterns on the cloud floor.

Comet Dash halted when he heard a familiar voice shout in anger from down the hall.

“What the hay do you mean I won’t fly again?!”

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Comet Dash began walking again, giving the confused pegasus doctor staring at him who had just exited the room a dirty look. “Just get out of the way,” he ordered, leaving no room for argument. The doctor complied without question. The unicorn entered the room and glared at its only occupant. On the bed was a very angry looking blue pegasus mare with a rainbow colored mane. She was hooked up to several machines that beeped and hummed and had an IV in her leg. She was covered in bandages, the majority of which were around her head and abdomen.

“Dad! What are you doing here?” she asked, seemingly shocked at her father’s surprise visit.

“My daughter nearly kills herself and I’m expected to stay on the ground until she gets better?” he asked in a disinterested tone. Rainbow Dash shifted in bed.

“If you were anypony else’s dad I’d believe that,” Rainbow retorted, sounding quite annoyed. “Why are you here?”

“Because I was interrupted during a weapons demonstration because you screwed up your audition,” he stated matter of factly. “But I guess you’ve already paid for your failure.” he said, looking around the bed at the machines.

Rainbow glared back at him. “I nearly died and all you have to say is that I failed?” she asked, sounding beside herself with anger.

Comet Dash simply rolled his eyes and sighed. “No, but I’m hoping the loss of your flight will give you some perspective on life,” he countered. Rainbow only glared at him. “I told you that trying out was a bad idea and that you should wait until you’re older, but you didn’t listen. I don’t even see why you’re wasting your time with all this Wonderbolts business anyways. It’s a waste of time,” he paused, sitting down next to Rainbow, who was now looking out the window.

“Rainbow...listen, you’re a smart girl. You’ve got quite a brain in you...” he paused again, collecting his thoughts. “I heard the diagnosis. If only because you screamed it loud enough so that I could hear it in the hall,” he continued.

“What are you talking about?” Rainbow Dash grumbled, looking at him.

Without responding, Comet Dash reached into his jacket and pulled out a rather weathered book, setting it on the bedside table. The title read Mechanical Theories: a Guide to Unconventional Machinery.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” she asked.

“Rainbow, as much as I might feel that you’re obsession with flight is rather childish, I still see that you are one of the most driven and dedicated flyers I know, and, I know from experience that you can’t be kept on the ground if there’s a way off of it.”

Rainbow raised an eyebrow. “Are you suggesting that I start making flying machines?” she asked.

Comet Dash simply shrugged. “If that’s what you want. The way I see it you can either just lie down and live as a flightless pegasus or you can make something of the hand you’ve been dealt,” he explained.

Rainbow looked back at the book. “I’ll think about it,” she said after a long silence. Comet took that as a sign that he should leave and made his way to the door.

“I hope you make the right choice,” he said as he opened the door and left.

Rainbow looked at the door as it closed, considering what her father had told her. She turned back to the book. She closed her eyes for a moment trying to imagine what her life would be like grounded. To never be able to feel the wind in her mane, or to sit on a cloud to watch the sunset. It was all lost to her now. She felt a tear rolled down her face. She let out a quiet sigh. “If that’s what it takes...” she said as she reached out a hand and picked up the book.

Author's Note:

As promised Iron Mare. Enjoy folks

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