• Published 30th Sep 2013
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Dust in the Wind - dj_neon_lights

Lightning Dust had finally reached her dream. After years of practice, broken bones, and sacrificed, she had finally been accepted into the Wonderbolt's Academy. But, not every dream ends in a happily ever after...

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Chapter: 1 - Past Acquaintances

Dust in the Wind

By Michael A.

Chapter: 1 - Past Acquaintances

In the early hours of the Equestrian morning, a dark figure sat upon a cloud high above the outskirts of Ponyville. The figure had arrived around sunrise; and had remained at that point for several hours. As the figure sat, it kept its eyes locked on a cloud house that floated not far from its current position.

After a few more minutes the figure stood up on all fours and walked over to the edge of the cloud. It stopped when it reached the edge, then muttered in an angry tone, “Time to show you who the the best flyer really is!” The figure then took a deep breath, before leaping off the cloud.

~Meanwhile in the cloud house~

Rainbow Dash rested peacefully in her bed. Her mane stretched out on the pillow like a rainbow spiderweb, and her dreams were filled with her doing all of her amazing tricks in front of a large audience.

The cyan mare wasn't one for waking up in the early hours of the morning; she would much rather stay happily in bed and sleep until the late afternoon. Sadly, this goal was usually unachievable due to the fact that she had to get up early for work on the Ponyville weather team. Thankfully, this goal was achievable today due to her having the day off. Because of this, she had decided the night before to shut off her alarm clock off so she could sleep in…or so she though. Rainbow was rudely awoken from her sleep by a loud 'boom' coming from outside her house. With the unexpected wake-up call, the cyan mare promptly shot up from her bed; sleep lingered in her dazed magenta eyes. After shaking her head and trying to clear out the ringing in her ears out with a hoof, Rainbow looked around to see what could have rudely awoken her. The mare’s eyes scanned the room, looking to see if anything had fallen off a shelf and broke.

Though it may be hard to believe, things can still break if they hit a cloud, especially the clouds that Pegasi used for building. These clouds were custom built to be able to support solid items--such as furniture--that normal clouds couldn't hold. This type of cloud, however, still couldn't support a non-Pegasus. Upon seeing nothing broken, she looked over to her pet tortoise to see if he could be responsible for the loud noise. As she located the tortoise she saw that he was still, somehow, fast asleep.

Looking to the window located on the opposite side of the room, she noticed streaks of multicolored light seeping through the blinds. Curious at this, the Pegasus walked over to the window and pulled up the blinds.

She realized her mistake instantly, her eyes burned from being introduced to the bright light that greeted her from outside. The mare quickly turned away and covered her eyes with a hoof.

After taking a few seconds for her eyes to readjust and blinking away the white that stained her vision she looked out the window. What she saw made her gasp, for outside her house lay the unmistakable remains of a sonic rainboom.

Dash was filled with awe at the spectacle,but was replaced soon after by a feeling of confusion. 'I am the only pony in Equestria who could do a Sonic Rainboom… right?' she thought to herself.

She then looked at the rainbow trail that was left behind by whoever had performed the trick. Dash quickly flew through open the window and began to fly after the rainbow trail. While she flew only one question crossed her mind, who could have just done that?

Applejack woke long before any of the day's excitement. She always had to get up at the crack of dawn to start her farm chores. For the past hour or so she had been awake she had done some odd jobs here and there, like oiling the squeaky barn doors, fixing broken fence posts, and doing other odds and ends. She was currently in the east fields getting an early start on her apple-bucking for the day.

Whew, nothin' like a lil' applebucking to wake ya up in th' mornin', the orange mare thought as she thrust her hind legs against the tree.

She had gotten an early start on bucking today because she would be tackling the trees in the east field. The trees in this part of the orchard were the biggest and consequently needed to be bucked the hardest. This made the process of collecting all of the apples take twice as long..

After taking care of a few more of the big trees, the earth pony was finally beat. She had decided that it was about time to take a break. Resting against a nearby tree Applejack stared out over the orchard. Sure, farming was hard work but the feeling of accomplishment after a hard day's work made it all worth it, and consequently being the strongest mare around from all of the physical labor wasn't a bad perk either.

After sitting there for a while, Applejack's eyes wandered to the cloud house that was floating not far away. “Ah bet RD is probably going ta sleep in again. Some hard work would do that lazy pony some good," Applejack chuckled to herself and shook her head.

The orange mare then lifted her head back up to watch the clouds above her float by, though Applejack would never admit it; she took great pleasure in cloud watching.

While she stared at the clouds she couldn’t help but notice a tiny dark dot on top of one of the clouds located high above her friend's cloud house. Sitting up, she squinted and tried to get a better look. Upon further inspection she recognized the spot as being in the shape of a pony.

“Ah wonder who that could be?” Applejack thought out loud.

She then witnessed the figure jump off of the cloud and accelerate towards the ground at an amazingly fast rate. Applejack kept her eyes locked on the figure while it plummeted towards the ground.

Then, in an instant, rainbow lights burst out from the area in front of the falling Pegasus and was soon followed by a loud boom moments later. Applejack continued to watch as the Pegasus then made a seemingly impossible 90 degree turn and started flying over the Everfree forest.

After a taking a few more seconds to marvel at the rainbow spectacle she spoke up, “Ah didn’t think that Dash could get up this early. Might have ta have a talk to her later about do’n Rainbooms so early, probably woke up half the town."

Getting up to return to her work but stopping when she saw something poke out of a window in the neighboring cloud house. Applejack tilted her head; slightly alarmed at what may be in her friend's house, yet before she could think further on the subject, the object in question shot out of the cloud house and start to fly away. She looked closer at the figure and saw that it was in fact Rainbow Dash.

This confused her and after a few seconds it finally clicked why in her mind, “Wait! If that's RD… then who the hay was the first pony?!”

Rainbow Dash continued to fly after the rainbow trail at a blazing speed. From the combination of just waking up and not having her breakfast, Dash was having a hard time keeping up her pace. She hated flying on an empty stomach.

Rainbow followed the trail as it led past Sweet Apple Acres and over the Everfree forest. With the trail dissipating in front of her, she started to fear she wouldn't find out who had done her rainboom. She picked up her pace. The trail eventually led her to a field on the opposite side of town.

Touching down, Rainbow began her search for the mystery pony. She didn't have to look long before she was greeted by a familiar voice.

“Took you long enough to get here,” the voice said with a mocking tone.

Rainbow Dash then turned around to come face to face with none other than Lightning Dust. Clenching her teeth the cyan mare grated out, “What do you want!?"

Lightning Dust the trotted around Dash, keeping a confident grin and spoke, “Oh, nothing. Just trying to check up on my old wing pony, that's all."

Dash instantly shot back with annoyance clear in her voice. “Whatever. I don't have time for this. I’m in the middle of looking for," she hesitated before continuing, "something.”

Lightning Dust noticed the hesitation and smirked. “Oh, don’t you mean somepony? Perhaps the one who did that sonic rainboom?” Lightning Dust said, leaning closer with each word.

Taken back by these words, Dash quickly responded, looking everywhere but at the pony in front of her as she spoke. “W-what makes you think that it wasn’t me?!”

Clearly seeing the nervousness in Dash's voice, Lightning Dust responded, “Oh that is simple, really, because it was me!”

Dash was stunned by this. She knew that Lightning Dust was fast, yet last time she checked, she couldn’t do a sonic rainboom. In fact she hadn’t seen Lightning at the academy in a while, so she figured that she had been demoted to someone else's wing pony. Getting back to the matter at hoof Dash replied, “Y-you can do a sonic rainboom!”

“Ha, well I just did! See anything different about this one?” Dust said, pointing with her hoof at the fading remnants of the rainboom.

Dash then looked at the rainboom in question and noticed upon further inspection that it had a slight tint of mint green and yellow,“T-that proves nothing!” Dash retorted, not wanting to believe the evidence before her eyes.

“Keep telling yourself that,” The mint-green pegasus said as she rolled her eyes.

Relying on the last ounce of belief that Lightning was in fact not the pony that did the rainboom, she spoke, “If you had done it, I probably would have seen you practicing it at the academy!”

When she heard this, Lightning Dust froze in place, her look of confidence and pride was soon replaced with one of both anger and sadness. She looked at Dash for a second, then to the ground and spoke, “You don't know, do you?”

“Know what?” Dash replied with genuine confusion.

Lightning Dust snarled then shifted her gaze from the ground to Dash, “After you got lead pony I wasn't demoted to wing pony” She paused and scrunched up her face “I was kicked out!”

Dash was shocked at this, she thought that Dust had just had a talking-to and was then demoted. She felt a slight pang of sympathy for her, but pushed it aside. She thought she deserved every bit of it. Rainbow Dash was about to speak before she was interrupted by Dust.

“I got kicked out for all of the stuff that you helped cause! You were equally responsible and did you get kicked out? No! You got praised and rewarded just because you felt bad about what you did. Don't you think I felt bad about what happened, too? And even if you felt like we were being irresponsible the whole time you didn't say or do anything until it affected your friends!" Lightning yelled. She then lowered her head and spoke in a quiet tone. "You ruined my dream, Dash.” She was now at the verge of tears.

Dash was taken aback by this information. Was she really partly responsible for what happened? She wanted to say 'no' but she couldn't convince herself of it. She had never told Spitfire about how she was a part of it. It was true that she didn’t fight back or question Dust’s actions until after it became personal. She felt a lump in her throat as she gathered her voice, “Dust… I’m sorry about what happened.”

Lightning Dust shook her head and responded, “It's too late for sorry now Dash! I’m out and there is nothing I can do about it. I tried to re-apply hundreds of times but they won't take me!”

“Well-” Dash started to say before Lightning Dust cut her off.

“After I got kicked out I trained myself harder than ever before and now I can even do the legendary Sonic Rainboom.” Dust walked closer to Dash, getting in her face “And now I'm going to prove to everyone who really deserved to be kicked out of the academy!” With that, Lightning Dust flew off.

Dash wanted to follow her but decided against it. With all that Dust had said, Dash now had a lot to think about. But one thing in her mind stood out the most, ‘Was it really my fault?'

Lightning Dust flew as fast as she could away from the field. She was at the verge of tears and didn't want Dash to see her if she broke down. She suppressed her emotions by focusing on flying. She could let it all out once she got to her destination. It only took her a few more minutes to arrive at the far side of Whitetail Woods.

This area of the woods was about a half hour flight from Ponyville. Because of its distance from any towns, this area remained isolated. If it weren't for the annual Running of the Leaves, this forest would be completely unnoticed.

Lightning Dust arrived at the area of the woods and landed in a nearby clearing. When she made contact with the earth she immediately started walking up to a small log cabin. She had to walk as there was neither the access or visibility from the air. Upon reaching the door, she walked inside. The cabin was small and only had three rooms, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room/kitchen combo.

She made her way to the bathroom sink that ran off an old-fashioned well pump, and washed off her face. Using a nearby towel to dry herself off, she made her way to the small bedroom.

When she reached the bedroom, she promptly threw herself onto the bed that lay in the center of the room. The bed let out a squeaky sound as she made contact.

Turning to face the nightstand that sat beside the bed, she picked up a small picture frame that rested upon it. Lightning Dust then took the picture frame and brought it to her chest.

The picture held in the frame was of of two Pegasi; a mare and a stallion. They were holding a smiling mint-green filly in their hooves. Dust took the picture off of her chest and looked at it. She smiled a little at it. “Don’t worry, I'll still make you proud.” Pulling the picture back to her chest, she started to cry. She continued to lay there until she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Author's Note:

And so it begins!