• Member Since 16th May, 2013
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Technical Writer from the U.S.A.'s Deep South. Writes horsewords, and reviews both independently and for Seattle's Angels. New reviews posted every Thursday! Writing Motto: "Go Big or Go Home!"


This story is a sequel to No Heroes Part II - The Journey Home

In No Heroes Book II, Lightning returned to the orphanage that raised her only to watch it – and all the children she loved – burn to ashes. Yet the tragedy wasn't a total loss: she was able to rescue one filly. Burdened by failure, Lightning decides to take tiny Keen Arrow into her care.

Lightning has never considered what it might take to raise a child. Has she rushed into another task too big for her wings? Now she's in a position she never would have imagined, and Lightning must make a choice between her dreams of glory and her new responsibilities.

But is Keen willing to wait for her to figure things out?

This story expands upon the events established in No Heroes. Although reading the series will help in understanding the background material, it is not essential to enjoying the content of this story.

Thanks to Mercury Gilado and Absolution for pre-reading!

Cover Art Credit: EternityFaprio

The No Heroes Series
Chronological from Top to Bottom:
Shadow Pony
Reddux the Tyrant
No Heroes Part I - The Roster
No Heroes Part II - The Journey Home
Lightning's Bolt
No Heroes Part III - For Dreams
No Heroes Part IV - The Crystal Empress
No Heroes: Beyond the Everfree
No Heroes: Life of Pie

The Fleur-Verse
Chronologically from Top to Bottom:
Shadow Pony
Reddux the Tyrant
No Heroes Part I - The Roster
No Heroes Part II - The Journey Home
Lightning's Bolt
The Weed
The Challenge of Fleur
Ordinary World
A Challenge for Fleur
Sweet to Eat: Tales of Nightmare Night

Chapters (21)
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Comments ( 164 )

My gosh man, the feels, they be strong with this one. It's been too long since you and I have gotten to chat. I'll be keeping a keen eye on this. Keep up the greatness!


At some point we'll have to catch one another on Skype!

The feels, I intend for them to get very strong, indeed.

:moustache: I'm working on it! Sometime later today, in fact. :moustache:

I wish I could put up more thumbs....

The parents bit was pretty sad, and the part with fine crime was very well done. This chapter really hits hard in the feels department.

I'm hoping a lot of chapters will do that. Especially towards the end.

Well keep up the amazing work. I look forward to the next chapter.

Do my best! But at the moment I'm working on a certain contest entry, and it's taking up a lot more time than it was supposed to. :fluttercry:

Take your time. Excellence can't be rushed.

This story is great. Seriously don't worry about update speed the quality makes up for it twice over

Glad you think so! But really, much of the time consumed is spent on all the other things I need to do on this site. If I had a smaller list I'd be working on two stories, as I'd prefer.

Here! Shoves a foal in Para's gator mouth. Chew on that while you wait. You'll get your more in time!

I just noticed the only food Iv seen in your stories are salads....

I started to notice it, too. I need to discover more creative food items, but salads are just so...easy.

Even though I hate them. :pinkiesick:

I now expect you to jump for joy – or something – come chapter 11.

Alright, so far, I'm struggling to think on what the main climax is going to be....
I mean, all we have set up is that Lightning hates Rainbow... (Nothing new) And Keen is afraid of anypony that isn't Lightning, Fine (And now Fluttershy and Twilight) But is now learning magic....

So, yeah.... What the main conflict is, I'm still unsure... Since you have characterised three other younglings, yet haven't seen them since the scene at Shy's...
So, if there's a main conflict brewing, I have no idea what it will be, or where it's coming from... But so far, it's nice to have a story where no-one's trying to kill each other.... Well, I'm sure Lightning doesn't like RD, but that's normal, so I won't say anything......


So, yeah.... What the main conflict is, I'm still unsure...

I'm actually glad to hear you say that! There is a conflict brewing, but I've only been giving subtle allusions to it. It's one of those things that slowly builds up until all of a sudden it's in your face. Chapter 13 is set to reveal the... 'issue'.

That said, you're right; this is going to be a mild and generally non-violent story. Purely a slice-of-life little drama. Bear in mind that I've actually written two-three chapters beyond what's already posted, and just lingering on the pre-reader edits and my schedule.


Fair enough, well, I'm not sure how much of it I'll read tonight; Probably a lot since I've got night-shift tomorrow night and need to prepare my staying awake as long as possible tonight...

I'll let you know tomorrow what I think

Wow, now THIS was a chapter worth waiting for...
Also, I commend you on keeping Rainbow in character the entire time...
Lightning with the revelation of a lifetime, and Keen being as cute as ever!

Aaahhhhh I KNEW I'd love this story once it was revealed Lightning was being a parent!
Now to continue waiting for major plot point 2.


Keen is an adorable little thing, isn't she? :twilightsmile:

A bit more development, another major reveal for Lightning, and then we get to the trouble.

Hey, just a quick note:
Upper Crust says " sandwiches are's bad"
You posted before I could correct it.

It is heartbreaking to read the tense walk from Keen's perspective: While Lightning is hoping to see a single hint that Keen wants any sort of affection from her, Keen is waiting for Lightning to prove she cares by losing her temper or reaching out in some way... which Lightning might've done at one time, but now her confidence is broken because every time she follows her instincts and goes all out she screws up, and then is raked over the coals for it.

Also an aside about Lightning. Spitfire was right about her: she's not untalented or lacking in conviction, she just needs to put her efforts into the right direction... which is why I'm wondering why Rainbow Dash thought it was a good idea to put her in a position where her trying her hardest haphazardly would hurt others and make her look like a jerk, especially without warning her. Lightning doesn't need to cool down, she needs help with aiming properly. And now all of what's happening is threatening to destroy the one virtue she did possess, her ridiculous ability to go all out, by breaking her self-confidence.


I'm wondering why Rainbow Dash thought it was a good idea to put her in a position where her trying her hardest haphazardly would hurt others and make her look like a jerk, especially without warning her.

I simply peg it down to 'nopony's perfect.' I might be depicting Rainbow as more mature than how we typically see her in the show, but that doesn't mean she knows exactly how to handle her former rival.

But Lightning's experiences are actually helping her aim a little better. Let's not forget that this isn't just about Lightning; Keen's at least partially at fault for not seeing how desperate Lightning's starting to be. Granted, she's only five, but given her remarkable talent for accuracy one would think she'd see what Lightning's feelings really are.

But again, nopony's perfect.

So glad to see someone finally commenting on this! Have a moustache. :moustache:

But Lightning's experiences are actually helping her aim a little better. Let's not forget that this isn't just about Lightning; Keen's at least partially at fault for not seeing how desperate Lightning's starting to be. Granted, she's only five, but given her remarkable talent for accuracy one would think she'd see what Lightning's feelings really are.

I think it's pretty clear after this chapter they're both trying to figure out how to reach out to each other but don't really understand what to do. Keen is used to the adults in her life already knowing how to handle situations like this, and Lightning has her new found confidence problems making it so she is afraid of screwing up if she pushes the issue too much.

I definitely think Lightning's judgement has improved from before... but she still gets a whole lot of crap from everyone when she does anything even a little wrong. I mean before she set out on the cold front she actually consulted with her boss, and they agreed it was the best plan given the circumstances. Then, when she has to get help and unintentionally endangers Airheart the general opinion turns it around into how irresponsible and incompetent Lightning is, when everyone on site agreed it was the only workable idea. I'm not even sure what she did wrong, except that it turned out pretty badly and didn't include Airheart in her plans to begin with.

Of course, Lightning's general attitude probably encourages ponies to think the worst of her, and all of Luna's group getting overshadowed even if they do good things is kind of a thing until after the end of Part 4.

... And you just said that it's not just about Lightning and I spend three paragraphs talking about her exclusively. Keen is definitely smart, but there's no kid (and a bunch of adults to boot) that doesn't have a problem stepping back and looking at it from someone else's perspective. It's actually a significant developmental stage to be able to empathize like that (especially without being prompted to), and Keen's a little young for that yet... But I think once they stop a standoff things will work out well.

As long as her responsibility to Luna's team doesn't get in the way too much right here, and make things so distant that Lightning has to fight that much harder to continue. I can't remember offhand what the next adventure is... was it the one where half the team went to the other continent? I can't remember if Lightning is part of the intercontinental team or not.


...and didn't include Airheart in her plans to begin with.

And there you go. She keeps getting in trouble because she never thinks anything through and doesn't listen to the advice of others. And she didn't 'consult' with Rainbow on the best course of action, she outright said "this is my plan, it's right and you're wrong." The fact that Rainbow ultimately agreed doesn't mean she was diplomatic in her approach, and in fact Rainbow only agreed through the convincing of Airheart and Cloud Kicker.

Then she made no attempt to let Airheart have a say in the best course of action for the storm, nor did she consider how Airheart might respond to this.

But then, one of the big reasons everyone's blaming her for the Cold Front fiasco (include herself) is because she's developed such a bad reputation and everyone just expects things to be her fault.

Which is another hurdle she's got to jump.

As long as her responsibility to Luna's team doesn't get in the way...



*averts eyes*

What a curious coincidence that you might bring this up now...

Those gifs. I am amused.

But no, not powerful. Not yet. Powerful is chapter 15. Well... I thought so.

I really love how both LD and Keen had legitimate viewpoints and that just because they've reconciled here it doesn't automatically get rid of all the conflict between them. Fine's story was amazing. This whole chapter was very touching.

I feel there's no way to really eliminate every conflict between these two... but an understanding? That, at least, could be arranged.

Regarding Fine's story... well, it really is his story.

I just wish I could get the next chapter out sooner. :fluttershysad:

This chapter had me in full on tears, which I can say doesn't happen very often. As a huge Lightning Dust fan, I found this single chapter to probably be the best single document I have ever read in my entire life, and I've read tens of thousands. The story that Fine Crime told, that scene right at the end with Lightning and Keen - all of it was true perfection. I really feel that this story is really, really unappreciated for how good it is. Excellent job!

One little thing, though:

The damn broke for real this time; Lightning wept as joy erupted in her mind. She clutched Keen close and sobbed, sobbed like she had with Airheart, sobbed like there was nothing else in the world that mattered.

I believe you just meant to say "dam."

I thank you for the lofty praise! I'm betting the next chapter will hit you hard, as well (it certainly hit me hard). I blame this story's lack of attention squarely on the public's general dislike for Lightning herself. I firmly believe that if people would just give it a chance instead of passing it up on principle they'd love it as much as I do. That might seem a bit arrogant, but it's how I feel.

What? An error, you say? I see no error. *shifty eyes*

There really needs to be another Lightning Dust episode. Also, another changeling episode/arc, but that's besides the topic.

Lightning Dust will forever be best pony.

Changelings scare the shit out of me (as this story hints), but I would like to see more of them in the show. Same for Lightning Dust. To be honest, I was shocked she didn't at least make a cameo in Rainbow Falls.

Actually I feel Luna is best pony, but meh, headcanon opinions.

To each their own. As for changelings, I like to think that Chrysalis isn't the only changeling queen, and that her hive isn't the only changeling establishment. In my headcanon, her hive is just the most aggressive out of all of the changelings.

Wow...this chapter didn't so much hit me in the feels as it just started wailing on them without stopping till the end

And it's not over yet! We got a-whole-nother chapter with more where that came from coming this weekend.

“Lightning wants to adopt me. She wants to be my parent. I wanted you to know. She can be rough, but she’s just learning. So, if it’s okay with you, I wanted to let her try.”
Lightning’s eyes began to tear up. She set both hooves to her lips and struggled to keep it in.
“Thank you both for getting me so far. You were wonderful parents. I love you both, and I promise I’m not replacing you. Lightning can raise me, and I’m sure she’ll make you both proud.”
It was too much; tears fell down Lightning’s cheeks. She kept her lips firmly closed to keep from making any sounds and interrupting.
“I… I have one last favor to ask before I go live with Lightning. I hope you don’t mind. Mom, you’ll always be my mother. I promise.
“…but if it’s okay… can I call Lightning ‘Mom?’


Ah, the sweet sound of success. :pinkiecrazy:

Holy god, my tissue box exploded when I read this chapter. It's so... good! Amazing! Spectaculonderful! I really think that this is a good wrap up to the story, and I really do hope that you make a sequel. The "No Heroes" saga is finished, correct?

Oh wait, there's an epilogue. Time to read that.:twilightblush:


Yes, the 4-part No Heroes main series is done. It was done long before I ever even started writing this one.

Well, I already posted a comment on the last chapter, but I think that I should give a comment to wrap up:

Sir, I do believe that you have done Lightning Dust the proper justice that she deserves through the course of this story, as well as No Heroes. It is a side of Lightning Dust that I believe should be explored more often, as it shows her in a very good-hearted, grudgeless light that really makes her shine. The characterization all throughout this story has been top-notch, being some of the very best that I have ever seen anywhere in a fiction, not just on FiMFiction, but anywhere where fanfiction is common. I thought that every scene between Lightning and Keen Arrow was absolutely delightful, not just to read their struggles to become closer as a family, but to read the perfection of intricacies that you have included to give the scenes really nice pops. This is definitely in my top three (alongside a New Home by APoeticHeart and Maternal Instincts by Magic Man), and I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to write a masterpiece such as this. The pacing was really good, with only a couple instances where I think it went a tad too slowly for my tastes, and your grammar skill is also very good (with the help of your gracious editors).

I sincerely hope that you make a sequel to this wonderful story. Keen Arrow and Lightning Dust forever! :yay::rainbowkiss:

Oh, and you have my follow.


4721667 Yeah. I wasn't sure whether to go back and read the first two books, read this, and then finish the other two, or to read the entire series and then come back to read this, so I ended up doing the latter.

And I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It's always better to be told what I'm doing right (and wrong) instead of just seeing an up/downvote. I hope the rest of No Heroes meets with your approval, and that any future stories I provide will make your follow worth it.

I do have some ideas for other Lightning and/or Keen stories. The trick is that they mostly require some other No Heroes content to happen first, because I hate plot holes and writing any LD material first just invites them. I might have a short story in mind that I could get to, though. But first, I have to finish one of my two new projects.

Sometimes I hate having dozens of concepts vying for my attention. :facehoof:

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