• Published 29th May 2016
  • 7,438 Views, 153 Comments

Not Wonderbolts Material After All - Autismo555



After Rainbow Dash's shocking resignation from the Wonderbolts, Twilight and her friends must do everything in their power to change Rainbow Dash's mind... but will her downward spiral prove it all to be for nothing?

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Chapter I

Author's Note:

So, I edited this chapter while I felt my creative juices flow through me again. I added some stuff that needed to be written, subtracted what didn't need to be in the chapter, and redid some parts to better fit the chapter. Also, I've taken the liberty of taking out my rant about the episode. Even I thought it was a bit over-the-top.

But yeah, "Newbie Dash", in my opinion, was the worst MLP episode I have ever seen. I'd like to see MysteriousMrEnter do an "Animated Atrocities" video about the episode and listen to what he has to say about it.

Hope you enjoy the new and improved chapter,
~Autismo555

It was only a couple of hours after the disastrous performance with the Wonderbolts.

Globs of pink cotton candy littered the grounds of the Ponyville track as a couple of maintenance stallions worked to clean the entire area from its stick residue.

Nearby, the flap of a magenta medical tent was opened by a plump nurse mare, and out from the opening came the beaten, battered, and utterly humiliated form of Rainbow Dash. Her cyan body was patched with some smaller bandages, and her rainbow-colored mane was kept up by one long bandage running around her head for a few laps. To the nurse mare, she was a Wonderbolt who suffered from minor injuries from a botched performance. To Rainbow Dash, she was the living proof of complete and utter failure.

She knew she messed up her performance. She knew she let her friends down. She knew she let down her team down in front of everypony in Ponyville. She knew her dreams of becoming a Wonderbolt would end soon. She knew she would once again become the laughingstock of Ponyville, Cloudsdale, and beyond. It was all thanks to that disastrous first impression, and the horrible nickname she was labeled from her fillyhood resurfacing to reopen old wounds.

When she stepped out of the tent and into the spotlight of Celestia's setting sun, she found herself facing the last ponies she wanted to see: the Wonderbolts. Each member of the Wonderbolts wore faces with mixed reactions of disapproval and disappointment. The one who wore that face the best was Spitfire, the leader of her team, and one of the ponies to rub the salt in her reopened wound.

"You gonna tell us what just happened, newbie?" Spitfire asked with her firm, authoritative voice.

Rainbow Dash sighed. "I'm sorry."

"I should hope so," Spitfire snapped. "You changed the routine without consulting me and put other ponies at risk. I've drummed flyers out of the 'Bolts for less."

"I know, and I'm ready for whatever punishment you want," Rainbow Dash submitted herself. "You guys were right to call me 'Rainbow Crash'. I've always been a standout flyer, but since I joined the Wonderbolts, I've only stood out for making mistakes."

Rainbow Dash sighed as she hung her head in shame. "It's been my dream my whole life, but... I guess maybe I'm not Wonderbolt material after all."

Suddenly, Rainbow Dash's teammate Soarin's came up to her and nudged her on her wing, surprising the crestfallen pegasus. "Are you serious?! You're the most talented flyer we've ever had!" Soarin' exclaimed as he and the other Wonderbolt members grew a smile.

"And you've saved all of Equestria like, a dozen times!" Fleetfoot added as she sided with Soarin'.

Rainbow Dash was completely perplexed and speechless. "Uh, I..."

"Of course you're supposed to be a Wonderbolt," Spitfire assured as she pressed her wingtip on Rainbow Dash's chest. "We've been waiting for a spot to open up ever since you joined the Reserves!"

"But... you guys all called me Rainbow Crash," the disheartened Rainbow Dash said.

Soarin' came up to Rainbow Dash's side again. "Yeah, so? My nickname's 'Clipper'. You know why they call me that?"

"Uh... 'cause you're as fast as a ship?" Rainbow Dash guessed.

"Because I clipped my wing on a flagpole as I was landing on my first day," Soarin' told her with a single chuckle.

Something inside of Rainbow Dash began to click. "Huh?"

It was Fleetfoot's turn to take the stage. "'Flatfoot'. My first day, I misjudged my landing and came down right on Spitfire's hoof," she said, waving her wing down for effect, making Misty Fly next to her giggle.

"'Dizzy'," the latter said.

"'Slowpoke'," Surprise spoke up.

"'Hoof-in-Mouth'," said High Winds.

Rainbow Dash felt something inside her stir as each of the Wonderbolts listed off their own nicknames. She didn't know what it was, but she knew exactly what she was feeling from it. Anger. Perplexity. Exasperation. These feelings were slowly mixing into a concoction that was similar to a chemical bomb, a feeling in the form of pressure in her chest.

How come they didn't tell her before about these things and chose now of all times to do so?

That's what bothered Rainbow Dash the most.

With a satisfied look on her face as she heard her teammates' nicknames, Spitfire turned to Rainbow Dash. "You don't wanna know what they call me," the leader of the Wonderbolts said, whispering it softly into the rainbow pegasus's ear. The mere mention of Spitfire's unheard nickname did nothing to quell the pressure rising in Rainbow Dash's chest. Instead, she backed up and placed a hoof out to stop everypony from getting a word in before she did.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, time out. So, we each get nicknames based on mistakes we made on the first day?" she asked for clarification.

"Yep," Spitfire answered.

"And everypony here calls each other those nicknames all the time?"

"Uh-huh," Fleetfoot nodded.

"And this is normal in the Wonderbolts?"

"You bet," Soarin' said.

The cyan pegasus felt her body become as still as a stone statue in the Canterlot Gardens. Her eyes went wide and her expression fell into a state of catatonia, utterly devoid of any life or emotion. The bottom lid of her left eye twitched a couple of times as she stared out into a distance, soaking up the facts she should've been learned about a long time ago.


Walking across the pink-splattered grass were a group of five mares, three fillies, and a baby dragon. Their faces were a spread of concern and worry for Rainbow Dash, having witnessing her second humiliating performance with her ending on the ground, covered in Pinkie Pie's oversized serving of cotton candy and reprimanded by Spitfire for it. Out of the nine ponies and dragon to be highly concerned for Rainbow Dash's wellbeing, there was the buttercream pegasus named Fluttershy, the orange earth mare named Applejack, and the little pegasus filly named Scootaloo, the closest ponies that Rainbow Dash had ever grown close to.

"Twilight? Do you think Rainbow Dash is going to be alright?" the pegasus filly Scootaloo asked the alicorn leading the group.

"Given her physical condition, I think she's going to recover in no time at all," Twilight, the Princess of Friendship answered the young pegasus. "The one thing I'm more worried about is how this ordeal has affected her mentally."

"After beatin' herself somethin' bad by that last performance, I'd be just as worried about how much it's eatin' her right now," Applejack said.

"Me too," Fluttershy concurred with the apple farmer. "Rainbow Dash could never stand being called 'Rainbow Crash', especially since the Wonderbolts started calling her that for the past couple days."

"Knowing Rainbow Dash and her... uh... cavalier actions, her pride as a Wonderbolt has been damaged to pieces, the poor dear," Rarity assumed based on her observations of her pegasus friend's daredevil stunts. "I'd be as devastated as her if my finesse as a fashion designer was suddenly shattered in two days."

"Well, at least she's not hurt too much. My cotton candy helped soften her crash landing," Pinkie Pie piped up, earning the deadpan looks from her faces. "What? She could've been super, super, SUPER hurt if she hadn't covered with a coating of my cotton candy."

"Well, whatever Rainbow Dash is feeling right now, it's probably a good idea to check to see how she's doing," Twilight told her friends. "Seeing her friends being there for her might be the best thing she needs."

"I wouldn't count on that, Twilight. Look," Spike called, pointing his finger in the distance at a bandaged rainbow-maned cyan pegasus, surrounded by a team of a several dissatisfied pegasus ponies in tight suits and goggles with only their manes, tails, and mouths sticking out from the holes.

Twilight squinted her eyes to get a better look at what she was seeing. From her distance, she saw a smile on the faces of each member of the Wonderbolts as they said something simple that bemused the bandaged pegasus. Applejack trotted up next to Twilight, took a good look at what the Princess of Friendship was looking at and gasped. "Hoo boy. It looks like Dash is already in the middle of gettin' chewed out."

"I don't think so, Applejack. They seem to be encouraging for... wait, hold on a minute," Twilight said as she saw the Wonderbolt leader, Spitfire whispered something in Rainbow Dash's ear which in turn surprised her. For a moment, the only thing that Rainbow Dash did was stand like a stone statue in Celestia's Garden, eyes widened and devoid of emotions with her left eye twitching, her mouth slightly opened in a small frown.

Scootaloo came out in front of Twilight as she held a hoof over her eyes to what was going on. When she saw her favorite idol and older sister figure stand at a catatonic state, her concerns had increased into a level of worry as she gently nudged her tutor. "Twilight, what's happening? What are they telling Rainbow Dash?"

"I don't know, Scootaloo, but it doesn't look good," Twilight answered.

All of a sudden, from afar, Twilight saw the expression on Rainbow Dash's face twist, one from emotionless and shocked to a teeth-grinding rage. The alicorn had only a brief time to sharply inhale air as a cyan blur suddenly shot into the air, hollering the loudest profanity heard from twenty yards away.

"ARE YOU BUCKING KIDDING ME!?"

The Elements of Harmony and their younger siblings all gasped to the sound of Equestria's biggest swear word, big and loud enough to make Rarity fall over backwards and faint. Spike quickly covered his ear flaps, Fluttershy quickly gathered up both Scootaloo and Rarity's little sister Sweetie Belle, and Applejack quickly held her little sister Apple Bloom, both holding the fillies' heads tight into their chests to muffle out any more colorful words coming from the colorful-haired pegasus's mouth.

"Uh...? Did Rainbow Dash just say what I think she just said?" Spike asked, turning to Twilight.

"Yes, she did," the alicorn answered her young dragon assistant.

"Just what in tarnation was that about!?" Applejack demanded to know.

"I don't know, but it doesn't look too good," Twilight said with a little shake of her head. "Girls, you stay here. I need to check this out for myself."

Twilight reluctantly cantered over to the crowd as she saw Rainbow Dash hovering above the ground, her hoarse voice cracking from anger and exasperation from the distance. The alicorn watched her mad tomboyish friend throw her face close into the faces of some of the members in her team as her voice became clearer as she approached the scene.


The Wonderbolts stepped back to the sudden scream and profanity of their team's most talented flyer. While speaking those loud five words, Rainbow Dash flew up in the air and looked down at her teammates with the most irate expression she never conjured up since the beginning of Tank's hibernation. Every suit-clad pegasus looked up at her with gaping mouths and wide eyes, shocked from their fellow teammate's outburst.

"I can't believe you guys! I can't believe that after all this time, letting me stew in my own bucking Tartarus, you all held out on me!" Rainbow Dash screamed with all of her fury.

The steadfast leader of the Wonderbolts looked up to the furious newnewest member. "What's the deal, 'Crash?' What's gotten your feathers in a twist all of a sudden?"

"That, Spitfire! That name is what's been twisting my feathers for the past two days!" Rainbow Dash screamed loudly. "Ever since I had that accident during my first show, you guys have kept calling me 'Crash' left and right! 'Oh, you're breaking formation, 'Crash'!' 'Check your nine, 'Crash'!' 'Worst flyer of the day has to clean up the entire compound, 'Crash'!' 'Crash!' 'Crash!' 'Crash!' 'Crash!' Bucking 'Rainbow Crash!'"

Soarin' reluctantly spoke up with a scared voice. "Calm down, Rainbow, what's the big deal? It's just a nickname, isn't it?"

Rainbow Dash shot herself in front of the stallion's face, their noses pressed together tightly while her angry eyes pierced into his. "No, it is not just a nickname, Soarin'! That name is the worst thing that happened to me when I was a filly, and it's been haunting me while I was stuck in that Celestia-damned flight camp at that age! I thought... I really thought... that I was finally rid of that name and every horrible memory that followed with it until by some divine joke and an accident crash landing, my life has once again become a living Tartarus by you guys!"

The enraged pegasus flew back to the middle of the gathering and hovered while she berated her teammates. "You kept calling 'Crash' while I tried hard to fly along with you guys! But every time you called me by that name, I kept messing up with my flying! And because of that, you guys called me the worst flyer this week, laughed about it while I had to clean your disgusting toilets until it got dark out and just when I had barely an inch of dignity left, you guys pinned that nickname on my bucking jacket!"

"Now hold on a moment!" Spitfire said, forcing Rainbow Dash away from Soarin' by spreading her wings out to their full span. "You can't get so worked up over some dumb old nickname you had when you were only a filly!"

"Yeah, that's right! The 'Bolts always accept our nicknames like they were our own!" one Wonderbolt stallion spoke up, followed with a series of agreeing murmurs and nodding heads.

Spitfire was one of those ponies who nodded her head. "Like it or not, Dash, each member of the Wonderbolts are given a nickname based on our appearance, actions, or mistakes on the first day. Those names are our own personal lessons on how we overcome them as an individual and that's how we become that strong of a team," the fire-maned pony explained, shooting her hoof out to Rainbow Dash, "and frankly, Rainbow, you haven't learned from those mistakes and you haven't learned how to overcome them!"

Rainbow Dash looked around as she saw the crowd of Wonderbolts nodded and concurred amongst themselves, angering her even further. She flew up to Spitfire's face, her furious expression clashing with Spitfire's disapproving half-lidded frown. "So you say I haven't leaned anything, huh? You're saying I haven't learned how to overcome the name 'Rainbow Crash' and become a tougher mare than I was before, huh? This coming from the mare who wanted to replace Soarin' with me after that little incident at Rainbow Falls!?"

Spitfire said nothing, but her eyebrows narrowed as Rainbow Dash pulled away and hovered in the center of the gathering. "Okay, fine, I understand completely. Why don't I tell you all a little fairy tale about a little pegasus pony and how she was stuck with the name, 'Rainbow Crash'?" she calmly said on the outside, masking the rage she felt on the inside. "Once upon a freakin' time, in the magical land of Equestria, there was a little filly named Rainbow Dash who wanted to become part of the greatest flying team in the world. She had the vintage posters from the previous Wonderbolts generations, she knew the names of every great flyer from the first generation to today, and she dreamed that she would become the greatest Wonderbolt to hit the skies."

Twilight approached the scene, but kept her distance as the rage and venom was bubbling up in Rainbow Dash's voice. "One day, her daddy decided to send her to flight camp to improve on her ability to fly. When she wanted to show how she was going to be the greatest flyer in Equestria, she gets into an accident and ends up in the trash! That's when one of three mentally underdeveloped colts gave her the name 'Rainbow Crash' and everypony was laughing with them, including that useless, no-good, do-nothing nag they called the flight instructor who never raised a hoof or a voice to stop them and help me in my time of need!"

"Rainbow!" Twilight called, drawing the attention of the Wonderbolts and the mad cyan pegasus.

"Not now, Twilight, I'm almost finished with my story!" Rainbow Dash growled at the alicorn. "Now, we jump ahead to not too long ago, the filly has grown up to be a full-grown pegasus pony who worked brain and body to finally get herself into the Wonderbolts, but she had to make a good first impression at her first performance. That's when just one teeny tiny little accident in her first performance caused her to crash and she was officially relabeled as 'Rainbow Crash'! She tried to fit in with her fellow Wonderbolts, but they kept calling her 'Crash'! She tried so hard to focus on her performance practices, but the mere mention of the name 'Crash' distracted her, and caused her to fall into a bucking trashcan, where she was called the worst flyer of the day by her ungrateful, insensitive teammates!"

"Rainbow Dash, that's enough!" Twilight called out as she quickly flew up and hovered towards Rainbow Dash to stop her.

"I'm not finished, Twilight!" Rainbow Dash barked, causing Twilight to jump back a couple of steps. "Then as an insult, her teammates sewed a badge on her jacket that depicted the name 'Crash' and every time she looked at it, she could even feel that badge calling her 'Crash'! No matter how much she tried to fit in, no matter how much she tried to overcome that bucking nickname, she was still remembered as the pegasus who could never fit in with her team!

"And that's when an idea popped into her head! It was a risky idea that would've finally wiped her hooves from the name 'Crash' for good during her second Wonderbolts performance, but that completely backfired and she ended up landing in an oversized serving of cotton candy! And now, as she was walking away from the medical tent with what's left of her dignity, and just when she was finally ready to throw in the towel on her lifelong dream, her teammates came up to her and they had the nerve... the absolute nerve... to tell her that she was the most talented flyer you guys have ever seen, and you tell on the worst possible times that calling each other nicknames was completely normal in that stupid team!"

"RAINBOW DASH!"

"Now hold on!" Soarin' interjected before the princess could do anything. "We meant every word when we said you were the most talented flyer! You've saved our skins in more ways than one!"

"Oh really, Soarin'!?" Rainbow Dash snapped, thrusting herself into his face. "Then tell me, 'Clipper', have you gotten over the fact that Spitfire and her little partner 'Flatfoot'," she sharply moved her hoof towards the two aforementioned mares, "tried to replace you with me at Rainbow Falls at the instant you got your wing clipped by accident!?"

Soarin' looked to the wing he clipped at Rainbow Falls and tried to stammer out a mumble when Rainbow Dash shot herself to one member of the 'Bolts. "Or what about you guys, during that time in Canterlot when you all threatened to kick me out of the Reserves for a crime that I didn't commit because you thought I'd get a spot on the Reserves by letting Spitfire go missing and nopony but my friend believed that I didn't do it!"

"But a bit of your mane was in Spitfire's room! We couldn't have known it wasn't you at the time!" High Winds argued.

Rainbow Dash flew up to her face. "That doesn't matter because none of you guys trusted the one pony who saved the lives of other ponies more times than any of you guys combined!" she screamed, motioning harshly in Spitfire, Soarin, and Fleefoot's direction. "And those ponies happen to be three of those lives that I've saved! If I hadn't come along, the Wonderbolts would've taken a huge nosedive without a leader within a month's time, and this is how you repay me! Way to go! Way to make me almost lose faith in the heroes I looked up to!"

Having enough of this, Spitfire spread her wings and thrusted herself at Rainbow Dash. "Now wait just a minute, Dash! You were as much fault for this like you say we were!"

Rainbow Dash pushed her snout against Spitfire's, pushing her back. "Really!? How was this my fault as well!?"

Spitfire pushed back against the rainbow pegasus's snout, pushing her back further. "You were so caught up in trying to change your nickname that you had to showboat yourself to the entire team and make a complete fool of yourself each time! Not to mention that you put a little filly in danger so she could help you hog our show!"

It was Rainbow Dash's turn to push back even further. "I'm a complete fool!? That's funny coming from the same mare who was knocked out by a flailing hoof in midair!"

Spitfire pushed back harder. "You see!? You're making a complete fool of yourself now! You know, this could've all been prevented if you just told me about your nickname in the first place!"

Rainbow Dash pushed back even harder. "Yeah, well, there are things in my life that I've tried desperately to move past from, and look at where we are right now!"

"Yes, I see perfectly where we are! We're stuck in a conflict between a headstrong leader and a newbie who has too much pride for herself!"

"Hey! My pride was all I had left until you guys started calling me 'Crash'!"

"You know, I'm thinking that recruiting you for the Wonderbolts was a big mistake, 'Crash'!"

"The feelings mutual, 'Spitfu--'!"

"ENOUGH!"

With her outburst, Twilight unfurled her wings out, drawing the two arguing pegasus mares apart from each other. With a few heavy breaths, Twilight turned to both Spitfire and Rainbow Dash with a discouraged face formed on her muzzle. "Both of you, stop this fighting right now! You two are fighting over something important that both of you should have told each other, but for whatever reason you didn't! Things have gotten way out of hoof today, and there's nopony to blame but yourselves for this!"

Twilight turned to the fiery-maned leader of the Wonderbolts. "Spitfire, while your team has a tradition of using nicknames for your teammates, there are some nicknames that can seriously upset a pony. Next time, you and your team need to let any new recruits about this ahead of time so you could avoid another incident like this."

When she was finished scolding Spitfire for her mistake, Twilight turned to Rainbow Dash to repeat the same process. "And you, Rainbow Dash! I know you don't like to talk about your fillyhood or anything that you would find to be a sensitive topic, but you should've let Spitfire know how you were feeling, and she would've completely understood! It's not a weakness to tell anypony what's hurting you personally."

Rainbow Dash and Spitfire exchanged hard glances at each other and turned away while Twilight continued. "Furthermore, you two belong in a team made of the greatest flyers in Equestria, a group that's dedicated to teamwork and pride amongst the pegasus ponies! And this squabbling over nicknames or somepony's personal pride is already bringing the Wonderbolts down by its wings! Don't you realize how much damage you're doing to your team right now, much less yourselves!?"

The rainbow-haired pony scoffed at the question. "It's too late for that, Twilight, because from where I'm standing, the damage has already been done."

"Rainbow!" Twilight gasped.

"What are you saying, newbie?" Spitfire inquired with her hard glare.

"I'm saying that I've had enough of this, Spitfire! I'm done trying to get myself on this team! I'm done trying to prove myself to you! And I am most certainly done trying to fit in with you guys!" Rainbow Dash emphasized with the wave of her hooves outward. "You guys were my future! You guys were my life! You guys were my dream I worked so hard to make come true! You all gave me the reason to fly freely and try my best to get where I wanted to be, and I worked so hard to be a proud member of the Wonderbolts!

"But ever since you guys started calling me 'Crash'..." Rainbow paused for a moment as she let out a depressed sigh. "I feel like my entire life's work had been for nothing. I saved your lives many times before, I brought your attention to how being the best would never be at the expense of your fellow ponies, and I passed the entrance exam with flying colors. My blood, sweat, and tears went into making my dream come true, and all of came down to you guys to call me that name and laugh at my expense while I struggled to fit in with the team.

"And now... now you guys try to make me feel better by telling me that's how it was done in the Wonderbolts? By sweet-talking me to believe I was one of the most talented flyers you had?" Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes, but stopped herself when she felt some moisture start to fill over the brim of her bottom eyelids. She turned away to wipe the tears away and sniffled while the other Wonderbolts watched in worry and guilt, but then she turned back to Spitfire with a hard look in her eye.

"Well forget it. Forget even trying to talk me back into coming into the Wonderbolts, Spits, because from this moment on, I quit." The gathering of winged ponies all gasped in a cacophony while Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes. "For good this time."

Rainbow Dash bent her knees and unfurled her wings, prepared to take off as a lavender hoof tapped her shoulder. "Rainbow Dash, please don't do this," Twilight begged. "The Wonderbolts have been your biggest dream since you were a filly. If you fly away from this, then your entire future will be all for nothing."

Rainbow Dash gently brushed the hoof away. "Sorry, Twilight, but I've made up my mind. I don't belong here; not with a bunch of ponies I once called my greatest heroes. I just can't go through all of this again. I just can't."

Soarin' quickly stepped in, hoping to stop the resigning pegasus from flying away. "But you can't just leave us! Who are we supposed to recruit somepony who's as great and talented as you are!?"

"I don't care. Maybe you can find someone else who wants to become the best at anypony's expense, just like you guys," Rainbow Dash said, her words pounding into the heads of the Wonderbolts like a steel hammer. "How about you have Lightning Dust rejoin? She may be impulsive and reckless, but at least she's as good of a flyer like I am. Heck, she could be the best flyer the Wonderbolts had for a long time, far better than I could ever do trying to fly with you guys."

With a gentle thrust, the humbled Rainbow Dash flew straight up in the air and hovered in place, but not before giving her farewell to her former idols. "Now if you guys don't mind, I need to be alone so I can reconsider my life's choices. I'm wiping my life with looking up to guys clean, and that means I never want to see any of you guys ever again. So with that, I wish you guys a good life."

Rainbow Dash turned away, giving one more sideways glance to the appalled top-ranking members of the team. "The most talented flyers in all of Equestria," she huffed. "Guess my dad was right. Hero worship is unhealthy."

Twilight abruptly flew up to her and held a hoof out to stop her. "Rainbow Dash! Wait!"

It was too late. Rainbow Dash took off in a flash, leaving behind a rainbow contrail of her mane and tail behind as she disappeared as a dot into the distance. None of them could've ever guessed that while she flew, little drops of her tears dripped from her eyes and sprinkled onto the ground. Twilight retracted her hoof back, an open-mouthed hurt shown on her face as the Wonderbolts saw the departure of their most talented flyer vanish in the night.

With a deep sigh, Spitfire lowered her head down, reinforcing herself to hide the shame behind her toughness. "Looks like we lost another talented flyer, and this time, it's on us," the disgraced pegasus sighed to her teammates. "Rainbow Dash was the greatest flyer we've ever had for a long time, but I guess that we as a team should've taught her how everything worked in the 'Bolts first. I guess it goes to show how even the toughest pegasus pony can be brought down so easily because of one little thing, and we were the ones who helped her fall. It seems that we have more to learn about how we welcome our newer members than how we let them learn our ways.

"Come on, everypony. Let's move back to base," Spitfire said as she trotted ahead of her group. "There's no more reason to stick around here unless you're all willing to collect the dew in the morning."

Spitfire unfurled her wings, but she looked back to her team and saw them only standing in their spots, staring at her with a collection of worry, uncertainty, and shock. "Didn't you guys hear what I just said!? Let's move, now!" she barked. "That was an order, not a suggestion!"

All of the Wonderbolts were brought back to reality from the raise in their leader's tone. With thrusted wings, every Wonderbolt member present all took off in the air and flew for the direction of Cloudsdale. All but one Wonderbolt remained at the scene, standing by while her team flew for the barracks and looked back at the sky where her fellow Wonderbolt... her former fellow Wonderbolt, to be precise... had flown away with her pride shattered and her dreams broken. She even managed to catch Twilight's attention for a moment as the two looked at each other for a spell.

Heaving a sigh, Spitfire flew after her team at the barracks, Twilight watching her become a silhouette in the light of the starry night while her friends, the baby dragon, and the three fillies caught up with her. "So what happened, Twilight? Why did Rainbow Dash leave all of a sudden?" Applejack asked.

Twilight knew there was no way to break the news out to the group. She turned to the group reluctantly and said in three simple words, "Rainbow Dash quit."

Another cacophony of gasps came from the group. "She did what!?" Applejack replied.

"But... but she was just recruited into the Wonderbolts! What happened to her that made her fly away from the same team that she practically worshipped!?" Rarity asked.

"Well, it turns out that the nickname the Wonderbolts gave Rainbow Dash was their own intimate way of identifying each other," Twilight explained. "When she found out about this only now, she became furious with them and quit the team before she flew away. I've never seen her so angry like that."

"Wait," young Scootaloo trotted to the front of the group. "You mean that Rainbow Dash isn't going to be a Wonderbolt again? Like never ever again?"

Twilight wrapped a hoof around the little pegasus's shoulder. "Never ever again."

This was just enough to break Scootaloo's small heart. Scrunching her face, and forming tears in her eyes, Scootaloo buried her face in her hooves as Twilight brought the filly closer into her chest, allowing the young one to weep into her fur at a muffle while her tears soaked her lavender coat down to the skin. The others looked at each other concernedly as they tried to process what Twilight's summary of Rainbow Dash's resignation.


After her flight home took a few minutes what to her seemed like forever, Rainbow Dash had finally reached her cloudominium, a place she needed to be alone for a day or two, she didn't really care. She didn't want anypony, not even her friends to see her like this. When she went inside her dark home, she did not stop for a swig of apple cider or for a bite of apple pie like she did the first thing she did when she got home. The first thing she did was march up to her room and turned the lights on.

In her room, sitting on her cloud bed was her loyal pet tortoise, Tank, already in the midst of having a wonderful dream when the arrival of his owner woke him up. The tortoise yawned once and looked up to the forlorn face of his friend, the pegasus collapsing on her bed with her back turned away from him. Slowly, Tank stood up on his legs, walked over to Rainbow Dash and gave her a slow, rubbed his scaly head on the back of her nape.

Rainbow Dash felt her pet nuzzle her on her nape. With it, she turned her head up and cast a glimpse of her shelled reptilian friend show his love and affection to her, right before he looked at her with a slow smile. Sighing, Rainbow Dash turned over in her bed, curled up on her bed and gently brought Tank in for a highly needed hug. Something on her wall caught her eye as she hugged her pet tortoise, and when she looked up, she saw the sight of her favorite Wonderbolts poster nailed to the cloudy wall.

Releasing her embrace from Tank, Rainbow Dash gently got up and trotted up to the poster, taking a prolonged gaze at the gigantic paper that held her room together. She stared at the images of three of the goggled, uniformed upper bodies of the Wonderbolts, above them, five rays of light with a dimly light form of a uniformed pegasus flying with the vectors. All that art and illustration placed precariously above the symbol of the Wonderbolts centered in between two lightning bolt.

The symbol of the ponies she once called heroes, now the same ponies that shattered her pride as a Wonderbolt.

The same ponies who brought that awful nickname back from her past.

The same ponies who sweet talked her into joining their team despite the troubles they have caused.

The same ponies who made her feel worthless as a pegasus.

The same ponies who mocked her... called her "Crash"... made her the worst flyer of the team... laughed at her expense...

The same ponies who held out on her... held her back from becoming something greater...

The lousy, no-good, manipulative, condescending, good-for-nothing, worthless...

With that thought in mind, Rainbow Dash screamed as she tore that poster off the wall with a loud rip, splitting the poster in two and two repeatedly until they couldn't be ripped any further than sixteen pieces. Tank witnessed the meltdown in terror and shrank back into his shell all while Rainbow Dash moved to a group photo of her and the Wonderbolts moments after she had won Equestria's Best Young Flyer competition. With a grunt, she threw the picture down on the tiled floor near her door and smashed the frame until the wood and the glass were shattered. After she was done disposing her picture, she quickly moved to her closet, Tank taking a peek from his shell while he witnessed Rainbow Dash take out a box of Wonderbolt memorabilia from the top shelf and throw it down to the floor. The impact was so hard, that it spilled old Wonderbolt posters, Wonderbolt pennants, the tiara she won from the Best Young Flyer, the lead pony badge from her days at the Academy, and other Wonderbolts merchandise such as cups, caps, and history books.

Like an angry tiger against a defenseless bunny, Rainbow Dash snarled and dove right into the spilled items to ravage it piece by piece. Posters and pennants were ripped and broken. Caps, cups, and badges were destroyed under her hooves. Pages from the books were ripped out by the teeth and their spines broken beyond repair. Tank once again retreated in his shell to avoid the horrifying spectacle and listened to the sounds of angry roars, ripping paper, and little crunches from outside.

When the noise of personal property destruction settled, Tank heard the blue pegasus whimper and then cry, bawling from the top of her lungs. The tortoise looked out and was saddened to see his friend had fallen on her belly in the middle of the mess, forearms covering her eyes doing nothing to hold back the tears puddlingon the cloud floor.

While Tank got up to go to his owner, Rainbow Dash realized how far she had fallen in one day.

Her dream was gone.

Her planned future was wiped away.

Her self-esteem had been crushed into dust.

It was like back at flight camp, when she had broken down in private because she felt truly alone in this cruel, unforgiving world.

After minutes of wailing, Rainbow Dash felt Tank nuzzle her shoulder. At the moment she lifted forearm away from her tearing eyes and looked at her only friend she had tonight, Rainbow Dash snatched up Tank and brought him in for a tight hug, needing the support and love from her saddened pet as she cried the entire night away.