• Published 26th Apr 2015
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Wonderbolt Trials and Tribulations - White Comet



Rainbow Dash finally gets the opportunity of a lifetime; a chance to join the Wonderbolts and fulfill her lifelong dream. She presumes that from this point on, it'll be smooth sailing. She was wrong...

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Chapter 4

Rainbow Dash stirred slightly as she woke naturally. She blinked a few times and looked around, double checking to make sure that she was the only one who was sleeping. Apart from Riptide snoring away, it still seemed to be quiet. Nopony was calling for them to get up. She was pretty sure that natural waking would be impossible after that intense last test she was put through yesterday. The room was getting slightly brighter, meaning is must still be the early hours of the morning. With some time to kill, and her pillow calling her to fall back down, she rolled over onto her other side and closed her eyes.

Although she wasn’t able to get back to sleep, she still found the rest to be very relaxing, hoping her prepare for another hard day ahead. About 15 minutes later, she opened her eyes again, the room yet again brighter. The light wasn’t coming from outside the hallway or from the light in the ceiling though, it was breaking through the clouds. It had a slightly golden glow to it. She was pretty sure that the sun didn’t move that quickly. She saw a few of her roommates begin to stir, but she kept her head down, feeling that it was best not to talk about it incase they woke anypony else in the room who wasn’t awake yet.

After another 15 minutes, the room was pretty much in daylight, with the light slipping through the clouds. Rainbow Dash had been around clouds long enough to know that this wasn’t normal. What was going on? Her roommates were now all beginning to liven up, looking around at what had been going on around them.

“What’s with all the trippy lighting effects?” Riptide asked as he rubbed his eyes.

“You’re guess is as good as mine,” Dahila replied, sitting up and onto the side of her bed.

“Looks like magic to me,” Bright Skies commented, looking around at the walls. “Natural light can’t break through this type of cloud, so it must be some sort of magic.”

Rainbow Dash looked up at the clock. It was 7AM. Compared to yesterday, they had been given a lie-in. But where they supposed to be getting up yet? Even if they weren’t, they certainly weren’t going to get anymore sleep with this amount of light on them.

“I take it that we are all awake now?” The voice of a stallion with a similar accent to Rarity called from the corridor. He had a loud voice, but he wasn’t bellowing at everypony like Spitfire was.

As Rainbow Dash watched her roommates move towards the door to identify who this mystery Wonderbolt was, she proceeded to do the same. As she found some room in the doorway that 7 other ponies were trying to stick their heads out of, she saw that the doors of the other rooms were doing the same. Everypony was awake. So it wasn’t just them who were getting the strange light treatment.

She looked further down the corridor to see a stallion standing at the end of it. He was already in his flight suit, and he had a grey coat with a curly mane which was coloured a much lighter shade of grey and white. She recognised him as Silver Lining. She had actually met him before briefly when she won the Cloudsdale Young Fliers Competition.

He looked around the corner briefly and gave a nod. A second later, all the light coming from the cloud seemed to disappear, and returned to its normal lighting conditions.

“Thank you, Gentlestallions,” Silver commented as a few Unicorns wearing Wonderbolt dress uniforms stepped out from around the corner. Bright Skies had said that it seemed like some sort of magic-based intervention, which they were obviously providing. Rainbow Dash had heard about the Wonderbolts using Unicorns as supporting staff. It made sense considering the amount of possibilities magic could provide.

“Natural light; the most efficient way to wake up.” Silver chimed as he walked down the corridor. “Go get yourselves showered, get some breakfast, then we shall begin today’s series of trials.”

At his words, everypony quickly started shouting their positions for the bathroom. Over all her roommates, Rainbow Dash managed to snag herself the 3rd spot. They were always allowed to use the locker rooms’ showers if they were struggling for time, but Dash really didn’t feel like walking all the way down there.

After she had showered, she went down to the mess hall to get herself some breakfast. Feeling a little more adventurous this morning, she got herself a selection of different fruits. After getting some on her plate, she got herself a seat near the door and watched the others piling in.

As she ate, she watched again how Soarin was not entering the Wonderbolts private room, but continued to socialize with the recruits. She didn’t know his reason, and probably never would, but it was still interesting for her to watch. Besides, she was more focused on getting herself pumped for the next day, wondering what challenges lay ahead. From Silver’s refined accent, she gathered it would be something a little more…intellectual…

After she had finished her breakfast, she walked back to her room and found a woven box sitting just outside their door. Some of her roommates had beaten her back and were already inspecting it. Torque opened it up to find it was their flight suits, back from cleaning. They were identified by the initials written on the labels written inside of them. Torque chucked the one that had ‘RD’ written on the label to Rainbow Dash, not giving her any warning, and barely any time to react. She only just managed to grab it before it hit her face.

“Hahahaha…WC…” Crash Dive laughed before holding it out to White Comet.

“I used that this morning,” his brother added.

“Harr Harr Harr," White Comet fake-laughed, "original joke, guys.” He said sarcastically before snatching his suit out of Crash Dive’s hoof.

Rainbow Dash let out a chuckle as she walked into her room to grab her goggles from the nightstand by her bed. Once she had got them, she proceeded down to the mare’s locker room to get herself changed.

She slipped herself into the suit and manoeuvred her head in, letting her goggles dangle around her neck as she walked outside into the training grounds for the next test.

It was pretty breezy this morning, but not that it would affect her that much. She saw that a large circle formation of billboards held high on poles, about half a mile in radius, with 3 clouds in a line after each billboard. She saw a white Unicorn with a blonde mane standing in the middle of the circle.

“This test is very straightforward, but I’ll let your peers arrive before I begin my explanation.” Silver explained, looking through the crowd.

It only took a few more minutes for everypony else to arrive. Once he had confirmed that everypony was here, Silver took to the skies. “Welcome to your 2nd day. Nice to see that none of you have decided to run off yet. My first test for you this morning is a nice little brain teaser to get the blood flowing through your cranium in the morning.” He flew over to one of the billboards. “Each one of these billboards will display a question,” he looked over to the Unicorn and nodded. The Unicorn nodded in return and shot the billboard with his magic, making bold red writing appear that spelt ‘1+1’.

Silver flew down to the 3 clouds in front of the billboard, “and on these clouds will display the potential answers.” As he finished his sentence, the Unicorn shot the 3 clouds with his magic, and the numbers 1, 2, and 3 appeared on them from left to right. “To pick your answer, you simply fly through the clouds. If your answer is correct,” he slowly drifted into the middle one which said ‘2’, and it dissipated as he travelled through it, “then the cloud will disappear and you carry on to the next question. If your answer is wrong,” he did the same with the cloud to his right, but instead of going through it, he just bounced off it, “then that will happen. And trust me, it hurts when you fly at full speed into clouds this dense. Your target is fifty questions answered correctly, and they will progressively get more difficult. Speed is the aim of the game. The quicker you answer the fifty, the better. However, keep in mind that if you fly too fast, it gives you less time to think about the upcoming question. The aim of this test is to test your ability to think on your wings. Something a Wonderbolt will be expected to do often. Any questions?”

“Uh,”

Rainbow Dash looked over at the stallion asking the question.

“are all the questions going to be math?”

Silver chuckled, “not quite, there will be some variety. But be careful what you wish for. It may be a subject that you’re better or worse at. Anypony else?...no? Okay then. One last thing. The questions get very difficult towards the end, so just passing the test will be an accomplishment. However, the faster you can do it, the better.” He gave a nod down to the Unicorn, who began to setup all the other questions, then looked back at the recruits. “Let us begin. Who wishes to volunteer to break the ice?”

With nopony volunteering, Silver picked the pony closest to him and let him go.

As Rainbow Dash watched the stallion fly, she began to think about the test herself. There was no sort of strategy that they would be able to implement for this one. This test was not only about knowledge, but it was also about reaction times. How quickly one would be able to think of the answer. Rainbow Dash’s confidence in this test was dwindling by the minute. She was no egghead, she would probably fail before she even got into double figures. Her math skill was very basic, and her other subjects were the same, if not worse. If her questions were to do with the Wonderbolts or flying, she would probably be alright. Otherwise, no way.

She watched a few more ponies make their runs before Frostbite stepped up to the mark. She had the feeling that he was in the same position as her. Although he looked a lot more confident. Perhaps he had more faith in his brain than she did. It was a simple case of the smartest pony wins after all. Of course, there was the timing element to it, so they had to fly fast, but the times were irrelevant if they couldn’t make it to the end.

Frostbite flew at a fairly fast speed. Dash could tell from where she was standing that he wasn’t flying at full pelt, which she wasn’t planning to either. He managed to make it to question 20 before he hit a solid cloud, making a loud ‘thump’ echo through the air as he went in headfirst.

Lots of ponies went on by, but none of them made it to the end. A few of them made it into the 40’s, but that was it. Dash looked back to the start line, where she saw Bright Skies lining up on it. She didn’t seem in any particular hurry on her take-off, but she slowly built up speed as she graced through the cloud. Before Dash knew it, she was already past question 10. Then 20. Then 30. Then 40. Slowly creeping her way up to 45. Dash could see the hesitation in her face. She could tell that she wanted to go faster, but by going faster, it would give her less time to think about the questions, which by now, were among their hardest.

She pushed through question 46. Then 47…then 48…

“Whoa, hang on, she could actually do this!” Dash heard Dahila’s voice to the right of her. Turning her head to face her, she saw Dahila start pumping her hooves into the air. “Go on, Bright! You can do it!” She cheered.

Seeing a few other ponies around her begin to cheer, Rainbow Dash joined in herself. “C’mon Bright!”

Hearing her name being cheered from behind her threw Bright Skies off temporarily, but she regained her composure and scored the right answer for the 49th question. She didn’t have much time to think about the last question however, as in her sudden rush of adrenaline, she accidently picked up her pace, and therefore, decreased her thinking time.

She looked towards the final billboard, but…there was so many numbers. She didn’t have time to work out the entire sum. With the clouds fast approaching, she had to do something quickly. She did a quick calculation of everything that she could in the short time, and she came to the number 4895. With that in mind, she looked ahead to examine her options.

4154

6389

9327

She gulped, ‘Well, this is the closest number to mine. Here goes nothing!’ She thought as she tilted left to head towards the answer of 4154. She pushed her wings as hard as she could and held her forehooves in front of her face for an impending impact. She braced as the cloud approached and closed her eyes. She felt herself impact…and fall straight through.

Her jaw dropped as she glided to a halt. She spun around and looked behind her. That was it. All 50. Cleared. She heard a few cheers from some of her fellow recruits, mostly the ones she knew. As she flew back towards them, catching her breath, she saw Silver approaching her.

“I do believe that you are the first recruit we’ve ever had to actually clear this test. Congratulations, that’s something to be proud of.” He said with a smile and patted her on the back.

Bright Skies was still trying to comprehend what she had just achieved, so she didn’t really have a response for him. All she did was grin stupidly.

As she flew back down to the cloud, she was getting hoofbumps from every other pony she walked past. “How did you do that!?” A stallion from somewhere behind the crowd of ponies in front of her called.

She looked in the general direction the voice came from. Although she wasn’t quite sure who said it, since she couldn’t see. She felt herself tensing up, as she absolutely HATED being the centre of attention. Although she wasn’t gonna lie, the praise she was getting was very warming, keeping her confidence high. “I read the question, figured out the answer, and went through the right cloud. Repeat.” Her response was very flat, but most ponies laughed, interpreting it at as sarcasm by the fact that she was making it sound so easy.

With the brief celebrations of Bright Skies’ accomplishment over, White Comet was the next pony to take the challenge. Although he was pretty smart, he still wouldn’t consider himself the smartest pony out of the few hundred odd pegasi he was competing with. He didn’t fly too fast as he went about the test, but it was obvious from the way he flew that he was confident in every answer he chose. He picked his line a long way before the clouds, and didn’t appear to be panicking every time one of them appeared. Although his overconfidence could have been his downfall, as he answered incorrectly on the 39th question, making a loud thud as he impacted on the cloud.

He flew back down and landed next to Dash, who had a smirk on her face. “Not quite as smooth sailing as you thought it would be?” She jeered.

“I never paid much attention in history class,” he replied. “Besides,” a smirk flew across his face, “I’d like to see you do better first.”

Rainbow Dash’s ears shot up at his words, as she didn’t have a response for that. Sure, she would probably do… ‘alright’…but she was by no means as smart a pony as White Comet was. In fact, White Comet’s in the top half of the scorers. He had been for the past few tests. He’s been very…

Rainbow Dash gritted her teeth as she thought of the word.

Consistent.

White Comet seemed to be able to perform consistently across the board. More consistent that many other ponies. Most ponies like herself have managed to remain consistent from a combination of fitness and natural flying talent. White Comet was definitely nowhere near as fit as her, but oh Celestia, did he have flying talent. Thinking about it made Rainbow Dash interested to hear what his wingpower was when they had it measured yesterday, but she would probably have to ask about it later. She didn’t want to give herself anything more to think about other than the test at hoof. Her thoughts liked to dance around inside her head, but she pushed them aside. She HAD to concentrate.

She watched Riptide begin to perform his run. He managed to make it up to question 22. She kinda gathered that she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed either.

As he hit the cloud, Rainbow Dash heard a chuff from her left side. “Loser,” she heard a familiar voice comment.

She looked to her left to find that Torque had somehow managed to make his way over to her. Probably from all the shuffling that tended to go on within the crowd, due to the coming and going of ponies and the competition for the best view.

When Silver looked around for the next volunteer, Torque immediately threw his right forehoof into the air and hovered a few feet off the ground. A toothy, enthusiastic smile forming across his face. Something that Rainbow Dash was yet to witness from him. No, something that anypony was yet to witness from him. As he flew towards the start line, Rainbow Dash saw the fire in his eyes as he accelerated. Something had definitely fired him up, but what?

As he took his marks, his eyes narrowed towards the first question. It wasn't going to be displayed until Silver said go. Only then would the Unicorn make the words and answers appear.

Rainbow Dash thought as he began his run. What could've possibly got his blood boiling? The test is exactly the same, the only difference was…the pony? Did he have a problem with Riptide? Is there some sort of friction between them? Sure, Riptide could be a bit of a douche at times, but this sounded like it was more than that. Something was fishy here, but now probably wasn’t the best time to ask either one of them. Any attempt to talk to Riptide usually ended up with him trying to flirt with her (and failing miserably at it), and any attempt to talk to Torque…well, Torque didn’t talk. Period.

Torque managed to make it to the 31st question, which was a pretty respectable position to make it to. He even looked slightly smug as he returned to the group.

Rainbow Dash watched with interest as a few more ponies took their turns. There was a lot of variation in results. Maybe if she didn’t do so well, she wouldn’t stand out like a sore hoof after all.

‘No!’ She mentally cursed herself. ‘That’s not the way to think, Rainbow. You heard was Soarin said. We’re being judged on everything…I’ve just gotta do my best…that’s all I can do…’

She watched Horizon do his run, and he seemed to be making last second decisions. Literally down to the last millisecond. He would look as if he was heading for one of the clouds, then all of a sudden dart off into a different one. Was he being indecisive? Or was he just…being Horizon.

Despise his odd approach to the challenge, he still managed to make it up to 31, a pretty high score. However, his bubble was soon burst when his brother Crash Dive got up to 32. As he flew back down towards Horizon, he assumed his smug face and began to taunt his brother. In a joking way of course.

Whilst the 2 were throwing trash talks at each other, Rainbow Dash looked up towards Silver, who was scanning for the next volunteer. She looked around. Nopony was raising their hoof. Now that she’d had a chance to observe how it’s done, she decided that now was as good a time as any. She raised her hoof into the air, and Silver called for her to get up.

She took her place on the starting line, feeling herself tense up slightly. This test was way out of her comfort zone. Sure, she was able to think on her wings, but her general knowledge? Pass. She tried her best to not let it dent her confidence. Her brain was pretty quick to react, so she should do alright.

“GO!” Within milliseconds of Silver shouting, Rainbow Dash had already shot off the line, but she made sure she didn’t accelerate too hard, as she needed to be able to read and think about the questions as well.

The first 5 questions were nothing too taxing, although the 6th question threw her off quite a bit. It read ‘What is the 5th letter in Canterlot?’ As Rainbow Dash was counting the number of letters into the word, she forgot that the clouds were rapidly approaching. She only just managed to get the E as she manoeuvred herself to push through the cloud on the right. Her hooves raised up to cover her face as she wasn’t one hundred percent sure that she was right.

She breathed a sigh of relief as she headed onto the next question. She didn’t find the questions to be taxing her brain too hard until about question 15. Even then, she was still able to think up some answers. Perhaps she was smarter than she thought. With this sudden boost to her confidence, she began to pick up the pace as the questions got harder. Although she cleared the next few questions at a much faster speed, she didn’t have as much time to think about the questions, and was now beginning to rely more and more on luck as she passed though each question.

On the 22nd question, she flew head first into a cloud. Although she had already expected it, so she had slowed down and covered her head with her hooves. ‘I never liked chemistry anyway…’ She thought as she pulled herself out of the cloud and made her way back down.

As she watched the next pony take his course, she felt as if there was something she could’ve done differently? Was it the speed? Or her method of thought? Whatever it was, it left her unsatisfied with the way her test turned out. She felt like she could’ve done better. Way better.

She watched the remainder of her competitors take their runs. The majority of them did better than she did, but she was still lingering just below halfway. Not a completely unrecoverable position.

“Well now, that concludes this test.” Silver said as he flew back down to them. He looked at his clipboard as he continued to speak. “There’s an extremely large variation in the results. Some of you did exceptionally well. Others…not so much. But don’t worry, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.” He scanned through the crowd until his eyes locked on Bright Skies. “And congratulations to you again, Bright Skies. What you did this morning was a great achievement, something that nopony has done before on their first go. Let me tell you now, it has most definitely not gone unnoticed.” He ended his sentence with a wink.

Bright Skies blushed slightly, but luckily it wasn’t visible beneath her suit, and rubbed her leg with her hoof, glancing downwards to break eye contact.

“Now, onto the next test. Follow me,” Silver turned and flew off to the right. Everypony else followed him.

They flew over to the other side of the training grounds where they found 2 poles like the ones from yesterday in a different layout. There was about half a mile between them, and one of them looked to be a couple of feet further forward than the other.

“Right then,” Silver grabbed a dust cover and gave it a hard yank, revealing a massive chalkboard that had been designed to be seen by ponies far away. Obviously, since there was a lot of them, something like this made sense, as there was bound to be some pegasi stuck at the back.

“This is a test of precision flying. Ponies will be put into teams of three for this test. Each one of these poles represents a ninety degree corner. You will fly towards the corner in a broad formation. When you take the corner, you are to knife through it, with the ponies on the side moving above and below the pony in the middle. This all has to be done whilst maintaining the knife.”

Knifing whilst changing altitude? Rainbow Dash knew from experience that that was pretty hard to do without lots of space, as you were likely to veer all over the place. Then again, she’d seen the Wonderbolts do it in formation plenty of time, so it wasn’t impossible. But would she be able to pull it off?

“Once you are out of the corner, the edge ponies are then to switch positions, essentially spinning one hundred and eighty degrees around the middle pony. Then repeating the same process, but reversed going into the next corner. After you have cleared both corners, you are then to complete a loop to finish your test. Side ponies, it is essential that you are able to accurately perform the actions without deviating your course towards the middle pony. Likewise, middle ponies, you will need to keep yourselves centered at all times. Go slightly too far left or right and you might bump into one of your teammates.”

Everything he had just talked about was shown on the blackboard for a visual reference of what he just explained. The 2 combined made it pretty clear-cut of what needed to be done. Although Silver made it look easier said than done…

Silver ducked behind the blackboard and pulled out a few caps. They were Wonderbolts baseball caps, most likely left over from last year’s merchandise. They all had little bits of torn up paper in them. “Your teams are going to be randomized, and I will select them by pulling names out of the caps.” He proceeded to do so, getting 3 names, and waiting for them all to get together before speaking again. “You can take a little time beforehoof to form a strategy and who’ll be taking what position. You can also do a test flight by flying in circles just above our heads beforehoof. This will help you set a speed and how close you can fly to each other.”

Rainbow Dash watched the 3 ponies that went ahead of her. They did pretty well, holding their formation tight. Although they were struggling with the knifing aspect, but that was expected. It was difficult to fly without your wings generating much lift.

She watched a few more ponies go by, a few of them failing by bumping into each other, causing a chain reaction that took them out of the skies. Rainbow Dash began to question the difficulty of the test. She was pretty sure that she would be able to handle it, but from the ways the ponies were dropping out of the air, would her teammates be able to handle it?

“Rainbow Dash!”

Her train of thought was suddenly interrupted as she heard her name being shouted. She hovered a few feet into the air to let Silver know that she heard him. Although it was pretty hard not to. Now that it was her turn, she just needed small, lightweight teammates to give her more breathing room.

“Bright Skies!”

Rainbow Dash breathed a sigh of relief. She had managed to at least get one teammate that was tiny, but now all she needed was –

“Riptide!”

“…Shit.” Rainbow Dash muttered. The last thing she wanted was a big pony like him, but it looked like she didn’t have a choice. Although she did have a plan in mind.

The three of them flew towards each other and met in the middle. “Sorry big fella, looks like you’re the one in the middle. It’ll be easier for me and Bright to move around you.”

Riptide shrugged, “hey, not the first time I’ve had mares either side of me.”

Rainbow Dash let out a snort as she covered her mouth, stopping herself from laughing. “Okay, that one was actually pretty funny,” she admitted.

“Well, I do try…” Riptide rubbed his hoof against his chest.

“Anyway,” Rainbow Dash looked over at Bright Skies, “do you want to be on the right or left, Bright?”

Bright Skies shrugged, “I don’t mind, whatever suits you best, Dash.”

Rainbow Dash copied her shrug in response, “guess I’m on the left then.” She took her position beside Riptide. “Let’s do a few laps before taking the dive,” she said as they took off. “Set a speed and find out how close we can get to Mr. Goliath Wingspan over here.”

The 3 of them did 2 laps around to check their speed and positioning, and then did a quick sharp turn to find out how hard Riptide could corner before he started to push.

Heading into a 55 degree dive to pick up speed, they began their run. They levelled out about 50 feet above the cloud to prepare for the corner.

Rainbow Dash marked her approach, counting down to make her move. 3…2…1…now! She dived underneath Riptide and tipped 90 degrees to the left. She already felt the force of gravity trying to pull her to the ground as she no longer had the lift she had a second ago. She tried her best to maintain her height from the turn. She didn’t want to deviate and accidently bump into Riptide, and take them all out, but the point of the test was to keep a tight formation, so she couldn’t float away from him either.

She weaved a bit through the air as she tried to maintain her line. She was trying to minimize the weaving as much as possible, but getting rid of it completely was impossible due to the nature of the manoeuvres they were performing.

They came onto the short straightaway between the 2 corners. Rainbow Dash levelled out and moved to her right to complete the transition. As she took her place on Riptide’s right hand side, she looked over him to see how Bright Skies was holding up. She appeared to be doing fine from Rainbow Dash’s point of view. Well, she was keeping up and didn’t crash. That was about it. Although she was so tiny, if she bumped into Riptide, he’d probably barely feel it.

Rainbow Dash turned her attention to the upcoming corner. ‘Just like last time, just the opposite.’ She told herself. As she watched her approach, she took one last glance to her left to make sure that she was a suitable distance away from Riptide. Once she confirmed it, she began her manoeuvre, lowering herself below him and putting herself on the knife edge by tilting 90 degrees to the right. She pushed as hard as she could to try and maintain her altitude, barely holding herself close to him as they rounded off and returned to their starting positions.

Now for the final part of the test; the loop. Rainbow Dash and Bright Skies simply followed Riptide’s lead on this one. He began to pitch upwards slowly, taking a wide arc. Rainbow Dash followed on with Bright Skies running parallel to her.

As they were nearing the apex of the loop, Riptide suddenly decided to increase his pace. Rainbow Dash, not knowing what else to do, did the same, although she didn’t agree with it. Bright Skies also followed. As they climbed, Riptide pulled away slightly, due to his larger wingspan and wingpower, but once they reached the apex, it started going downhill, where wingpower wasn’t as big as a factor. Rainbow Dash and Bright Skies matched him nose to nose as they finished the manoeuvre and completed the test.

“Elegant, precise, and fast. Excellent work you three,” Silver commented as he began picking names for the next team.

“Getting a little carried away there were you, Riptide?” Rainbow Dash said as she extended her hoof to him.

“Maybe a little…” He replied as he bumped her hoof back. “But I get that a lot.” He said as he bounced his eyebrows.

The 3 of them exchanged some brief feedback with each other about their work before they went to watch the next team perform. Rainbow Dash watched a few teams go by, the rate of passes to fails was about fifty-fifty. Maintaining altitude at such a pitch angle was a hard thing to do, yet alone keep a formation whilst doing it.

Rainbow Dash watched with interest as White Comet and his partners were selected. They appeared to be having some sort of argument about something. Not very loud, it sounded like they were just having some sort of disagreement. It only took a few seconds however, as they then proceeded to start their test flight. Rainbow Dash recognised Frostbite on the left hand side and White Comet on the right hand side. She didn’t recognise the pony in the middle of the formation, but he appeared to be slightly smaller than Frostbite. There wasn’t much in it, if anything at all.

They approached the first corner to start their test. White Comet began his manoeuvre to get above the pony in the middle, but Frostbite continued to accelerate towards the corner. It didn’t seem like anything was wrong at first, it just appeared that he was trying to go a little bit faster. It looked problematic when he didn’t appear to be adjusting his approach for the manoeuvre.

At the last possible moment, he sharply rolled 90 degrees and tried to go underneath the pony in the middle. Everypony saw his eyes almost pop out of his goggles as he realized that he was going too fast. He tried to correct it, but due to the tightness of the formation, there was no room. He ploughed straight into the stallion in the middle, who pushed into White Comet, sending them all out of control and into the cloud.

As they got up, Frostbrite immediately broke into an argument with the middle Stallion, but White Comet just walked away as Silver just shook his head with a stern look on his face as he went to pick out names for the next partnership. White Comet didn’t look too depressed, but it appeared that he was trying not to let it get to him.

‘Poor Comet…’ Rainbow Dash thought, ‘this test was about precision, something that was right up his street. It wasn’t his fault that they crashed. I really feel bad for the guy…’

Rainbow Dash watched a few more teams make their runs before she saw Crash Dive and Horizon step up to the mark. She presumed that it was a pure coincidence that they got chosen to be in the same team. Either that, or they did some sort of ‘rearranging’ in the hats to make sure that they got picked together.

Rainbow Dash smirked to herself as she saw the stallion in the middle dive down and begin their run. He had no idea what he just got himself into.

As they came out of the 1st corner, Crash Dive and Horizon moved into their respective positions…but they didn’t stop. They kept going and going until they were doing barrel rolls around the middle stallion. He was looking all over the place, trying to figure out what was going on, but then refocused on the upcoming 2nd turn.

“Reverse!” Crash Dive suddenly shouted as they held their positions above and below him during the turn, but then started doing barrel rolls in the opposite direction during their loop. When they finished the run and landed, their pupils were spinning around in their eyeballs for a few seconds before they returned to normal and hoofbumped each other.

Rainbow Dash watched the conclusion of the test. Silver didn’t really give any indication as to who performed well and who didn’t. Although she thought she did pretty well, so she had nothing to worry about.

As they were walking off to get some lunch, Rainbow Dash noticed that White Comet still looked a bit mopey from the fall. “Hey,” she called to him as she walked over, causing him to perk his ears up. “It wasn’t your fault, you know.”

“I know,” he replied flatly, “it’s just frustrating when something stops you from performing to your full potential.”

“Yeah, I know how that feels. Why did Frostbite try to do that anyway?”

“He’s very enthusiastic, but he lacks experience. A lot of experience. We originally planned to have him go in the middle, but he protested against it, saying that he wanted to be on one of the outside positions. I presume that since it looked like the outside positions were doing more, Silver would take more notice of him.”

Rainbow Dash chuckled, “he sure took notice alright.” She said sarcastically.

White Comet smiled, “I suppose that wouldn’t have gone unnoticed. Frostbite’s got potential, but he’s punching way above his weight at the minute. I wonder how long he can keep it up…”

As Rainbow Dash ate her lunch, she thought ahead to the next test. Given the nature of the previous 2 tests today, it would surely be something else to tax her brain…

Author's Note:

This chapter ended a bit abruptly because I'm trialling a new method of writing. Instead of posting long chapters, I'm going to break them down into shorter chapters, but hopefully update more frequently. At least that's the plan... :derpytongue2:

Thanks for reading. :twilightsmile:

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