• Member Since 23rd Mar, 2014
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Loving husband and proud daddy of two girls


Although still a novice flier, Twilight has begun to feel comfortable in the sky. But when Rainbow Dash asks her to enter a flying pairs competition with her, she believes that her inexperience will only hinder her friend's chances of winning. Twilight's misgivings deepen when Rainbow learns that two old rivals will be competing as well, and her desire to win begins to drive a wedge between them. Full of doubt of her own abilities and anger toward Rainbow's fierce ambition to beat the others, will Twilight overcome these obstacles and compete with her friend, or will she quit the competition altogether?

This story was accepted by The Goodfic Bin! If you haven't been there, why not check them out once you're done here for some other great stories?

Chapters (13)
Comments ( 267 )

Wow...what a rather solid start to what, sounds after reading only the first chapter, is a interesting tale. Even from the first chapter, it feels more like I am watching an actual episode (in my head) and am forgetting its just words on a page. Damn I really like this story and I can't wait to read more when it gets updated. Your character representations of both Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle were on par, their personalities are spot on and I applaud you for this. I also look forward to reading more of this contest. :pinkiehappy:

I am also a huge fan of both RD/TS and this definitely deserves a favourite and a like. :yay:

-Frost :pinkiesmile:

Calling it now: this'll get featured by the end of the week. Excellent work!

There is a lot to like in this first chapter, but I have to wait and see how you handle Gilda and Lightning Dust before I can really form an opinion on the story.

In the mean time, I will be tracking this.

:rainbowwild:Hope to see the next chapter. :twilightsmile:

Can I make a cover art for u?:rainbowkiss:

:pinkiehappy:5202456 I agree with you there. Now to reading


I am also a huge fan of both RD/TS

I love the relationship between these two. It is so cute and fun, I really wish we saw more of it in the show.

I'm very happy that you've enjoyed the first chapter. I've been having a real blast writing it, and hope to have chapter up as soon as possible.:twilightsheepish:

That certainly would be nice! Thank you.:pinkiesmile:

That is a very kind offer. If you are willing to spend your own valuable time making cover art for me, I would not only accept but be very grateful.:raritywink:

5202552 They're in good hands, I promise!:pinkiehappy:

how will u like your cover art good sir. :pinkiehappy:

Liking it. :) Can't wait to see what happens next.

5262132 Of course, beans would really be musical fruit then. :D

Although I like this story and this chapter, part of the message is a bit... off.

Instincts are what drive people to panic, because it clouds thinking. Instinct is what gives you absolute, mind-fogging terror because it screams LIVE LIVE LIVE DON'T DIE at the expense of your ability to think. Rainbow Dash could have been right beside her for the entire dive, and instinct would tell her to START FLYING RIGHT NOW OH GOD WE'RE GONNA DIE. The fact that Rainbow Dash even exists is tossed away. It is only by controlling yourself that this is curbed--and while even the most rational people fall prey to panic, it is only by thought and determination that we can do something our body tells us should kill us.

Additionally, instinct would be the reason Twilight Sparkle, who uses magic as her first recourse to almost any problem, would forget she has it and try to catch a falling friend when she has a complex about her own flying inferiority. There are a lot of cases of Twilight panicking and forgetting about magic (the hydra, for one) until she had a moment to compose herself and use magic (although there are also instances of her using magic seemingly on reflex). But even if magic use was an instinct, in those first moments of realization it is fear that dominates the mind--and fear makes you stop thinking and just react. She would have caught Rainbow Dash with magic almost immediately.

Fear makes much of our decisions bypass the frontal lobe, which is the basis of our empathy, trust, and conscience. This is why scared people almost universally make stupid decisions (horror movies got that part right, at least). Life-risking stunts require to you work through your instincts, not surrender to them. It is possible to learn to control and direct your instincts, which it seems Twilight will have to do, but what you've depicted instinct as is not how they actually work.

Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed reading this (enough that I'm adding it to my favorites), and the part about learning to trust was well-handled. I also liked seeing a clever Rainbow Dash.

Let me just say that after coming home from a long day of work filled with performing the same mundane tasks again and again, it is wonderful to find such an intelligent comment. Now, there are a few points I want to make.

You are referring to the fight or flight response. First off, the fight or flight response does not cause panic or fear, it causes increased heart rate, sweaty palms, increased blood flow to muscles, and so on. All these things would help you survive a life or death situation. Let's say that you are a shoo in for a promotion at work, and then someone else gets it unexpectedly. You're financial future, and maybe the well being of your family, is suddenly in jeopardy. What is the reaction of every person put in this situation? They either want to storm into the office and give their boss a piece of their mind, or straight up quit and walk out. This is a perfect example of the fight or flight response in our society. Any fear or panic you would feel in this situation is from your desire to earn more money and provide for your family, not your instincts.

You do make a good point when you talk about us. The fight or flight response really isn't needed anymore, our technology and our way of living have evolved so much that it has become obsolete. Notice that in the previous situation neither response would help your current situation (they would in fact make it worse), this is proof that our way of life is ruining our instincts. For this story, however, these are not human beings, and these ponies live much simpler lives. Also, the fight or flight response has served animals well since the dawn of time, and is still their best chance of survival today. Birds use their instincts to fly south and then return home, dogs use their instincts to return home when they become lost, and opossums' instincts tell them to play dead when a predator is near. Animals are way more in tune with their instincts than we are, and they serve them well.

Let's look at it this way. Your friend pretends to punch you in the face, and you flinch away. Why? What happens? You immediately close your eyes because they are the most vulnerable part of your face, and then you pull away. Hitting an object moving away from you will cause you to hit it with less force than if it were sitting still, so everything you did was to protect yourself, and once again there was no fear involved. Your instincts weren't yelling, "You're going to die!" you reacted without a single thought. This is why Twilight should have used magic to catch Rainbow right off the bat, and this is what Rainbow is explaining. The problem is Twilight's excessive worrying.

when she has a complex about her own flying inferiority.

She doesn't have any such complex. She is just simply worried that she won't be able to fly well enough to properly compete, and so ruin the competition for Dash. The reason why Twilight is blocking out her instincts is because she can't turn off her own mind. We see in Spike at your Service just how bad her OCD is when A.J. barely moves the ink bottle and Twilight heads straight over and puts it back in place. Everything in that library needs to be in just the right place, that's how she feels safe and secure. In the sky, she loses all sense of control. This is why she is so uncomfortable in the air, and why it took her so long to learn to properly fly. It's also the reason why she is unable to listen to her instincts in this fic. She worries excessively, and it impairs her ability to act, which is why she doesn't use her magic right away. Have you ever made a decision, and then second guessed yourself and made a second decision, and then realized too late that you were right the first time? That happens because you thought too much into it. Your second decision is solely your mind's after it goes over several what if scenarios, while your first decision was based more on instinct because if it wasn't, you would have probably come up with the second decision first.

Anyway, I have rambled on for way longer than I initially intended. I'm glad that you have enjoyed the story up to this point, and don't worry if you feel that this topic was a deal breaker because the instincts topic doesn't come up again. I merely mentioned it here so you could see what Twilight's training consisted of. When she attempts the trust fall again, I will be focusing on her loss of control issues, not instincts. Thank you for the favorite, and your comment, and I hope to hear more from you in later chapters.:twilightsmile:

I'm really enjoying the depiction of both leads here. Striking the right balance between their personalities can be difficult, and even the show itself rarely has them interact for long scenes (Season Four's "Testing Testing..." being the most substantial pairing of them seen, I think.). This story keeps them both lively, fun and in character, to the point where I quite enjoyed their training session and am as eager for the next one as Twilight!

Thank you very much.:twilightsheepish: I thoroughly enjoy the relationship these two share, and as you stated, it isn't depicted nearly enough in the show, so I decided to explore it myself. I'm truly having a blast with this story, and it's great to hear that you have enjoyed it so much. I hope that you continue to enjoy the rest of the story as well.:heart:

5266835 Fav'd, and followed. You sir, are an AMAZING writer.

Man, I'd hate to be the judges for the contest. If they give Rainbow and Twilight a high score they'll be accused of showing favoritism to a Princess. If its a low score they'll be accused of being tribalist to non-pegasi. If a moderate score they'll be called indecisive cowards.

Unless of course Twilight does so well or so poorly that the judgement should be obvious.

That's a good point, but I already got it covered.:twilightsmile: But yeah, she is totally going to make things a bit harder on them.

Why thank you! I hope I can continue to please.

Comment posted by BronyDad deleted Nov 14th, 2014

Applejack crossed her forelegs across her chest.  "Ya know, some of us didn't have it so easy as fillies and had to scrape by with only the basics of education."

So does this mean that Cheerily is a reformist who opened tne school house so that all foals, regardless of background, could have a good education?

It means with her parents gone, Applejack didn't have a lot of time for school, and so got by the best she could. Also, I highly doubt that Cheerilee would have been A.J.'s teacher.

Comment posted by Emperor Of Nothing deleted Nov 21st, 2014

5297493 No I meant that schooling wasn't available to farmponies until Cheerily accepted Apple Bloom.

Either way, I was clearly misinterpreting the line.

God damn it Pinkie... you had one job, ONE, SINGLE, EASY JOB! Then you went and screwed up the elevator...

Ooh... Politics enters the story. Just ramping up the pressure on the new Princess, or is there further intrigue incoming? Regardless, I quite liked the interactions on the train, and the way Pinkie and AJ were looking out for Twilight especially. Nicely done bit of characterization there!

5298239 I don't think that was pinkie

I don't think I made that as clear as I should have... I really just put that in there to be a bit of a continuity with my other stories. In my Apples story I cover AJ's past, and her education. This was just a bit of a nod to that. All of my stories are interconnected like this.

Not even Pinkie Pie would have found anything to laugh about in that particular scenario.

Lies! :twilightangry2:

She would have gasped and sympathized with her, and then probably cracked a silly joke to cheer her up, but only Rainbow would have found the circumstance itself funny.

...Oh. Ignore that last bit, then. :twilightsheepish:

"Okay, good." Suddenly, Rainbow snatched up the scroll, and crumbling it into a ball, tossed it over her shoulder and kicked it with a hind leg.

"My checklist..." Twilight said sadly as she watched it bounce away.

I probably laughed far more than I have any right to. :derpytongue2:

"Trust me," Twilight spat. "That wasn't the first place I thought to put it."

I think I laughed at the exact amount I have a right to. :rainbowlaugh:

I'm definitely enjoying the interactions between Twilight and Rainbow. You have done an excellent job in my opinion. :twilightsmile:

I am unable to truly express just how much I love the way you handled Pinkie's portrayal during the train ride. THAT is the way more people need to write her. :pinkiesmile:

I must apologize for not reading this sooner. I should have realized what I was missing out on...


THAT is the way more people need to write her.

That would be nice, but I wish the show would portray her like this. All they use her for on the show is comic relief, and it drives me nuts. She has so much potential, there is so much that they could do with her, but they just use her for jokes and that's it.:ajsleepy:

I'm pretty sure I've told you this, but don't apologize for taking too long to read this. I greatly appreciate your desire to read all of my work, and the time you devote to doing so. I don't care how long it takes you to get to a story, I won't appreciate it any less if it were two months from now. Take it easy, now!:raritywink:


She has so much potential, there is so much that they could do with her, but they just use her for jokes and that's it.

Do you mind if I asked you if there are any episodes you haven't seen yet? There are a handful episodes where her character is given more depth, but yeah, the show writers do seem to over-exaggerate her status as comic relief. Also, here's a group you may or may not be interested in: More Than Laughter

By the way - Yes, I believe you have told me that before... :twilightsheepish:

I've seen them all multiple times. Along with both Equestria Girls movies. And yes, they have kind of explored her, kind of, but they haven't gone nearly deep enough. I mean, in A Friend in Deed, we see that she has an eidetic memory, and that she is very observant. I know that she is much more intelligent than the show depicts her, especially season 4.

And yeah, I've found that group before, and when I finally get around to writing The Good, the Bad, and the Pinkie, that will be the first group I put it in. But thanks for the referral!

You know, while you were agreeing to enter the competition, I was having a late lunch with Fluttershy at the Sugarcube Corner. All of a sudden, Rainbow came flying inside, yelling and shouting about how excited she was that you were entering. I think she nearly scared the life out of Fluttershy!" Pinkie began to laugh and raised her forelegs over her head. "She was all pumping her forelegs in the air and flipping around. She was so happy, Twilight. You should have seen her.

What's that? No Romance tag? Lemme get my shipping goggles...
Ahh. That's better.

I entered it when I was little with my dad
it will feel like...like it did with my dad.

This reminds me of the times my Da and I went to the classic auto shows when I was in secondary school...

Good times.

There are so many subtle moments where you want to tear up without even realizing. Or maybe that's just me?

The story is nice but what I really enjoy is just how well its written. I'm a nut when it comes to sentence structuring and grammar and for the first time I've been stumped finding any mistakes.

I really hope something doesn't happen between nations.

I thought you did a good job on the chapter and it keeps getting more interesting with every chapter that passes. I admit that I can't wait to read about the actual competition now and what will happen to twi and dash. I wonder what this "Hans" character is going to do. I don't like him to be honest and I just hope that he, "ambassador" or not gets what comes to him. (mmm...I can just taste Southern Fried Griffin...)

Anyways I shall look forward to reading more from you again when you update this and as usual keep up the good work!

-Frost :pinkiesmile:

I see Hans sabotaging the competition great chapter by the way

This is going to end with Hans slack jawed holding up a card saying 10 on it, isn't it...?

Oh come on Overwatch, you should have demanded to be added as well, just so that you could balance against him. Silly pegasus.

Just because I saw this movie the other day, and it produced a somewhat fitting quote for this chapter, I have one question:

That paragraph describing the food... Mmmmm... You just made me hungry. *Drools* :rainbowwild:

"Enough!" Gideon shouted. Once the two ambassadors quieted down, he asked, "Princess Twilight, is it truly necessary that you compete."

I believe there should be a question mark there...

I think that would have been a bad idea, simply because Overwatch is most definitely biased. While it's doubtful that Hans is truly unbiased himself, given his granddaughter's involvement, at least he can claim to have no bias one way or the other regarding Twilight's participation...

5477952 True, but his previous comments show a clear bias against her, and now with an even number of judges it leaves it open to a tie, which is never a good thing. And while Overwatch might have a clear bias, it is a bias that would countermand any of Hans bias towards Gilda, regardless of his feelings towards Twilight.

I mean, we knew there was going to be someone against Twilight competing, if for no reason other than because it's notoriously hard to do a story without an antagonist unless it's a slice of life.


I believe there should be a question mark there...

Fixed! Thank you for pointing that out.:twilightsheepish:

Depending on how the judges scoring is performed, there is a possibility that there could have been a tie even with three judges. I believe that Overwatches' bias would not have necessarily countermanded Han's bias so much as it would have tipped the scale just a little too far in Twilight's favor...

because it's notoriously hard to do a story without an antagonist unless it's a slice of life.

...You may want to take a closer look at what this story is tagged as. :derpytongue2: Seriously, though, I perfectly understand what you mean by that.

You're welcome! :twilightsmile:

There's also the problem that with a 4 judge panel, ties become far more probable (depending on the scoring system, of course). I keep thinking of the original Iron Chef in that context. Heh, if there are ties, I hope that BronyDad has some interesting methods for breaking them.

I found the chapter interesting, but am really hoping that Hans develops better. The other characters are well drawn, but he seems to be edging right up on Saturday-morning-cartoon-villain territory. I'll be quite disappointed if he's handled that heavy-handedly for the rest of the story.

I also hope that Rainbow figures more prominently in future interactions with griffons. Given her background of several years friendship with Gilda and Cloudsdale primary education, I figure she'd largely be point-mare when it comes to pony-griffon social interactions. Yes, Twilight has a background on their history, but I would figure Dash would be more up on their current attutudes. Dash would also probably be a better judge of posturing and bravado (when it's fake, when there's something actually backing it) given her background as an intense athlete not unfamiliar with serious competitions. It would have been nice to see her come to her team mate's defense at the table more directly -- a little verbal thrust and parry with Hans -- instead of just sit there. Show him there's more to contend with than just a pretty princess looking to make a name for herself in the competition. There's her own temper to factor into, true, but that's why you have Twilight and the rest of the girls, to reign her in.

Anyway, just a bit of food for thought. I'm finding it an enjoyable read so far, hope that we get into the meat of the competition soon, though.

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