• Published 12th Aug 2016
  • 795 Views, 46 Comments

Thunderbolts - Beakwood



Aiming to fulfill her dreams on becoming a Wonderbolt, Rainbow Dash gets the opportunity of a lifetime in the form of an international event. Thorough this adventurous task she will discover how big can she dream and how little can she expect.

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Party Distaste

The arrival at Sugar Corner went smoothly thanks Star Hunter's enjoyable company. Ponies from all around Ponyville were already gathered inside for the party. Star Hunter, once spotting his friend Thunderlane among the crowd, left the group with a quick goodbye.

Lightning was somewhat dissapointed he left so soon. Hunter was an easy stallion to talk to, always making humor of things and being so chill. Rainbow was glad he left, she always suffered when Hunter or Kicker were around. At least Star's jokes were clean and innocent unlike Kicker.

"Not a bad fella, think he's a good flier?" Gilda asked Dust since she would like to share opinions.

"I don't know. Rainbow probably knows, she's the one who lives here. " Lightning replied while keeping an eye on the several ponies around them. As much as she would like to stay away from this party it was inevitable that Lightning would need to settle her problems with Rainbow's friends. A party may not be the best moment for that, but she much rather do that with lots going on around than being the center of attention.

One particularly white pegasus with blue mane and tail approached them with the clear intent of having a conversation.

"Hi Rainbow! Long time since I've seen you." Rainbow's eyes widened in surprise at the familiar face.

"Lightning Bolt? I thought you were at Cloudsdale for this month."

Dust shook her head as if to understand that she heard that right. The mare's name was Lightning Bolt? She wouldn't say it out loud but that sounded cooler than dust.

"Oh, yeah I was. Something happened regarding the pegasus that went to Vanhoover and Stratusburg. Apparently the changed shifts were called back, they advised me to return to my area at Ponyville, dunno why though." Bolt replied unsuredly.

Lightning Dust halted abruptly. The mention of Stratusburg caused a very negative from her body. Both Rainbow and Gilda only took note that Lightning was missing after heading few meters away.

"LD, what's the matter?" The griffon asked worriedly as she saw the darkened expression on the mare.

"Nothing." Dust sounded conflicted. "Just some things I reminded about."

"Are you sure? Listen, if you don't want to be at the party we ca'

"No! It's....not the party, okay?"

Lightning knew that Gilda wasn't letting it go so easily, especially now that the griffon got selected as captain she took a great responsibility over each one of them. Honestly Dust was really glad about Twilight's choice and, unsurprisingly, Rainbow acted like just as the same when she got selected as Wing Pony back at the academy. This time however Dash had nopony to run to that could change that decision, and giving Twilight's imperceptible irritation with Rainbow's behavior, it was very unlikely that Lightning and Rainbow would really get along.

"Why don't we introduce you around? There's a lot of awesome ponies here that you would like to meet." Rainbow suggested on an attempt of distracting Dust from whatever thoughts she's having. Thankfully the attempt proved to be quite effective.

"Awesome ponies?" Lightning raised an eyebrow skeptically though her voice sounded humorous. "They must be quite the bunch if you think that highly of them."

"Sure they are! You couldn't ask for a better place to make friends." Rainbow's praise to Ponyville made Lightning somewhat intrigued about what kind of ponied she would be seeing in this party. As long they weren't like Pinkie Pie.

"Oh, shoo." Gilda said as she went still once spotting a very familiar yellow coated pegasus with pink mane. "Now this will get awkward."

Rainbow noticed at what the griffon was referring to once she followed her gaze.

"You gotta talk with her G. You gonna be here for weeks! You can't just keep avoiding Fluttershy forever."

"I know that!" Gilda retorted rispidly. "I just....I probably gonna scare her once I get close enough. Why don't you come with me and give her a heads up? This way I won't shock her by appearing all of sudden." Rainbow groaned feeling aggravated enough by this old issue regarding Gilda and Fluttershy.

"Lightning, go ahead without us. Gilda has some stuff to handle and I gotta help her, we'll catch up with you later."

"Fine by me." Lightning replied coolly. Previously she would be worried about walking into a party on her own, but after all the positive feedback from Rainbow perhaps these ponies wouldn't be that hard to associate. Not that she would ever take anything that Rainbow Dash says for granted.

Once Rainbow left, followed by a very hesitant Gilda, Dust made her way through the party with hopes of blending in to avoid the pink one of seeing her right away.

Of course that was hopeless wishing.

"Lightning!" A very high pitched voice screamed nearby halting Dust immediately. "Welcome to the party! AreyouokayareyouhungryareyouthirstydoyouwannaashakeIhavecupcakes!!!"

"Uhhh..." Dust glanced around to make sure she wasn't being the center of attention at the moment. Her worst fears became true once she saw several ponies staring curiously at her. "Sure, I'll get some soon. I'm just looking around."

"Great! Hey, Berryshine! Come here!" Pinkie called somepony that was nearby to meet with them. Soon a purple coated earth pony with a lighter purple mane joined them. Her cutie mark consisting of berries and strawberries. "Lightning, this is my friend Berryshine! She makes delicious juices."

For some reason Dust thought that sounded inexplicably hilarious, thankfully she managed to maintain a straight face.

"Hi, name's Lightning Dust. " She introduced herself while shaking hoofs with the other pony.

"A pleasure, you can call me Berry Punch. It sounds better for me." Berryshine's voice sounded groggy. "I was back at the table having a drink with my friends, would you like to join us?"

The invitation caught Lightning by surprise, especially because she never thought of herself to be a drinking pony.

"Uh, sure. I'll be joining you. Lead the way." Lightning responded hesitantly. Berryshine nodded as she turned around to make her way back.

"Alright, this way then. See you later Pinkie."

"Later! I'll let you know when Minuette arrives!" Pinkie replied enthusiastically.

"Thanks!"

'These ponies sure can get energetic for a party. I hope I don't end up doing something I usually don't' Dust thought concerned about getting into drinking by socializing.

Once reaching the main table were most of the food and drinks have been set Lightning saw three mares, all earth ponies, standing nearby each other while chattering excitedly.

The first one had a beige coat, pigment blue mane with a rose pink streak, cerulean eyes, and a cutie mark of three objects displayed as three candies and as three bows.

The second one hada a hot pink coat, Naples yellow mane and tail, purple eyes, and a cutie mark of a pair of cherries.

The third one had a magic mint coat, brilliant cyan mane and tail with a white streak, sunglow eyes, and a cutie mark of a lyre.

"Lyra, Bon Bon, Cherry! This is Lightning Dust, the pony Pinkie made the welcome party for." Berry Punched introduced her when they got close enough.

"Oh, hi!Welcome to Ponyville! I'm Lyra Heartstrings!" The one with mint coat said with an unusual ammount of cheerfulness. Thankfully not as intense as Pinkie Pie. "I heard from Cloud Chaser that you came here to compete for Ponyville. "

"Yeah, it's not like I had much to do anyway, I could use the excitement. I've been stuck on ground for too long." Lightning somewhat admitted while wondering when Gilda would be back.

"That's alright, I guess even pegasus can get bored despite being able to fly. I dunno if I would. I love flying! Name's Cherry Berry by the way. " Lightning stared confused at the pink pony.

""You love flying? But ho-

"She forgot to tell you she's a balloon Twinkler. I'm Sweetie Drops, but you can call me Bon Bon." The mare with beige coat, her voice sounded heavier than the other mares. "Cherry is always transporting ponies around unless Princess Twilight requests the ballon for personal tasks."

"Oh, well that explains the googles on her head." Lightning pointed out with a chuckle.

"Ops, I forgot to take them off." Cherry admitted sheepishly.

"Where's Carrot Top? I thought she would be joining us soon." Berry asked while serving herself of some cider.

"She's probably still with Applejack. Big Mac had to make a personal delivery to Appleloosa and Carrot covered for him. They both will be here soon." Cherry replied before tasting a piece of chocolate cake.

"So are you friends with Rainbow?" Lyra asked to Lightning distractedly as Sweetie passed away a drink to her.

Well, so much for the social interaction. Perhaps Dust should take the honest approach for this one.

"We used to be, but after some...incidents we kinda drifted away. I came here to join the event more out of favor than anything."

It was still close to the truth, at least better than saying she resented Rainbow Dash for getting her expelled from the academy.

"Oh, that's really sad. I hope you two can retain your relationship as used to be." Cherry said sympathetically.

Lightning very much doubted that.

As soon the other four mares started a conversation of their own Dust glanced around in an attempt to locate any familiar faces.

She saw dozens of ponies spread around is the fairly sized store. Even so tables have been set outside due the whole town coming at this specific party due Twilight's public request.

At a short distance Lightning saw Cloud Chaser and Flitter exchanging words, one looking smug while the other blushed intensely, for whatever reason Dust couldn't know for sure.

Not far away from the mares were Thunderlane, Star Hunter and two other stallions. One with white coat and black mane and tail. The other was mostly brown, though his mane and tail were slightly darker. They seemed very well acquainted with each other, probably really good friends, or mostly because it was really hard to find other stallions around.

On the far side of the room she saw Gilda, Rainbow Dash, Twilight and Pinkie Pie all around a yellow coated pegasus with pink mane and tail. Gilda was looking somewhat distressed while Rainbow and Twilight were arguing for some reason. Things only seemed to get worse when they were joined by two ponies, one was an earth pony with orange coat and yellow mane and tail using a weird hat and other was an unicorn with white coat and a stylish purple mane.

Whatever the argument was about it only made the yellow pegasus flinch and hide her face into her own mane. Lightning was making her mind about joining them, but the arrival of another very familiar pony brought even her breath to a stop.

Spitfire.

***************************************************************

"Can you all be quiet?!"

Twilight's scream brought all the arguments to a complete stop as everypony stared at her in amazement. Twilight screaming was a really rare occurrence.

The purple alicorn took deep breaths as she tried to keep a leveled head over the situation. Things were going bad enough with Gilda's sheepishly apology to Fluttershy thanks to Rainbow Dash saying things out of context that only screwed up everything. The add of Applejack and Rarity into the mix made it ten times worse, especially with Applejack making accusations right of the bat and making Gilda feel miserable. Rarity, for the sake of logic, came around the idea of making a more formal reunion to discuss friendship problems at her boutique, she was displaying a great interest on using Gilda as a model for a line of Griffon outfits.

"Look sugarcube, Ah'm not to try to get ya'll upset but Gilda's not entirely innocent till she apologizes to Granny for what she did. In mah view she's still guilty." Applejack said somewhat stubbornly.

"Kinda hard to apologize to Granny when she has to apologize to Fluttershy first!" Rainbow retorted defensively. The shy pegasus wanted nothing more than dissappear from sight and for that Gilda couldn't blame her.

Everything was going fine until Rainbow ruined it by saying something really stereotypical about griffons, which could only end on Gilda getting very annoyed and scaring Fluttershy by accident. Then Twilight and Rainbow broke into an intense argument while the griffon stood hopeless unsure of what to do.

As if things weren't bad enough the add of Applejack's hostility and Rarity's nonsense only brought everything into an incessant turmoil of accusations. Though Applejack crossed the line when she called Gilda 'abomination of nature'. Twilight lost her cool at that exact moment.

"I do not care about whatever things Gilda did in the past or not. I do not care about your personal opinions about her. All I want is for Gilda to be given the chance of apologizing without being hammered by such insensitivity! Am I clear?"

Twilight's edgy tone had the desired effect as nopony said anything at all. The silence in the room was defeaning as everypony that was at voice range stopped to listen the alicorn chewing her friends.

"Is this a bad time Princess?" A familiar voice asked while Twilight stared at her ashamed friends. The alicorn and Rainbow Dash quickly turned their heads around as they realized who this voice belonged to.

"Captain Spitfire? What are you doing here? I thought you were at the Academy running tests for the event." Twilight asked going from angry to puzzle in the spam of a second.

Rainbow Dash's initial reaction was to bring both her hooves to her face to stop her own fangirl scream while her eyes shined in pure glee. Though that only lasted few seconds as her mind finally clicked the missing detail of the situation.

Spitfire was here. Lightning Dust also was here.

.......

Ponyfeathers.

"I was, but there were some issues with members dropping out to compete for their hometowns and I ended running a bit short on promising flyers. The reason I came here is to promote Rainbow Dash to full fledged member and for her to join Cloudsdale team."

Another silence followed at these words, though aside a very shocked Rainbow Dash, many ponies muttered their worries at this unexpected development. Rainbow Dash was the star of Ponyville's team, they didn't want to lose their best flier to Cloudsdale. Even so being a Wonderbolt has been Rainbow's dream since fillyhood, they couldn't deny her of her dreams.

Twilight was thinking the same thing as she felt a dreadful feeling inside of her that had nothing to do with the mint flavored cupcakes she just ate.

"Oh, that's....surprising." Spitfire nodded apparently unaware of the ponies uneasiness.

"I know, wasn't expecting to make this call so soon, but finding great fliers these days ain't easy."

"Probably wouldn't be if you didn't keep booting them for threatening your career."

Twilight closed her eyes as she prayed for Celestia, Luna, or whoever else that was out there to stop what was going to happen.

Spitfire slowly removed her googles as she glanced at one particular spot in which a pony she hasn't saw for a long time was standing. The look of absolute hatred coming from that pony confirming Spitfire's suspicions.

Rainbow Dash finally broke out of her stupor once she realized the danger presented in this dreadful encounter. At one side stood the pegasus she admired her whole life, the one that was everything Rainbow wanted to be, and on the other stood Lightning Dust, the pegasus that shared Rainbow's dream and had it taken away from her by the same pony she admired.

Rainbow knew this wasn't her fight, but still....

She would have to choose which one she would follow, and which one she would abandon.