• Published 12th Aug 2016
  • 794 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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Crowded Clouds

Lightning joined Rainbow Dash and Gilda for breakfast. Thankfully the griffon had some experience with cooking aside just baking. Rainbow Dash couldn't cook to save her own life, unless baking cookies or something similar was enough to keep her afloat.

"Hey LD," Called Gilda from the kitchen sink. "You should take a bath and get a treat yourself. The way your feathers are gloomy you're less like lightning and more like dust."

Rainbow chocked on her own food as she tried to contain the laughter. Lightning rolled her eyes at the griffon's antics.

"I'll look into that. I'm just starving, it was being hard to get ahold of myself. If my parents haven't insisted on providing me some income I probably would've starved to death."

That retort had the desired effect as Rainbow's laughs died down quickly. It was just too easy to trip - guilt the cyan mare. Too bad the moment was short lived as soon Gilda brought Lightning's food.

"How so? By the way your mane is sticking out like tree branches I'm amazed the birds haven't made a nest. You would've a nice supply of eggs to cook."

Rainbow couldn't help but fall on the floor while laughing like a maniac. Lightning huffed at the display but didn't say anything else for the rest of the morning. After she was done the former wonderbolt went straight to the bathroom to clean herself and establish a more dignified appearance.

"Gilda, you're terrible." Rainbow said after recovering from the hysterical attack of laughs.

"Well, that's a part of me you already know." She replied distractedly while eating at her food. "I'm glad you still kept these fruits. Will do until I'm starving again. Gotta go hunting my own food for now."

Rainbow nodded as she finally remembered how in poor condition the griffon was, both physically and financial. It was clear as daylight that the griffon had lost some mass since last time she was around. Even Gilda's feathers had lost their bright and resembled more Lightning's condition. The griffon was visibly cleaned, so the real issue wasn't dirth accumulated.

"Hey, G. " Rainbow said after a thoughtful silence. "How you're doing on bits?"

Gilda noticeably paused for a second before responding. Obviously it wasn't a desirable subject for her to discuss.

"Not enough to move out of Griffinstone. Still enough to keep myself in businesses. Though things have been slow." Gilda said somewhat hastily.

"How slow?" Pressed the cyan mare with interest. Gilda took another pause while trying to avoid eye contact with the pegasus.

"Way too slow."

Rainbow observed quietly while expressing concern as the griffon behaved embarrassed in front of her.

It weighed on Rainbow too intensely the fact that her childhood friend was living on miserable conditions and starving all the same. She didn't recall knowing anypony living at such extreme poor situation, not one of her friends at least.

Has Gilda's life been always this difficult? Surrounded by rude and insensitive griffons in such unhealthy and unfriendly town? Did the only moment of joy from her life happened at Juniors Speedsters Camp? Was meeting Rainbow Dash the only nice thing that happened to her?

"Dash, you're alright?"

Gilda's concerned voice broke Rainbow's line of thought. The cyan mare blinked a few times as she focused back into reality.

"You look like you're about to cry." She said while observing Rainbow with apprehension.

"I-It's nothing G......I'll be fine. I......I'm worried about you. " She confessed while trying to gather her feelings back into place. Gilda seemed confused.

"Why?"

"Because I was a stupid ignorant, that's why!" Rainbow replied hotly.

Gilda's eyes raised at shock in response to the unexpected abrasive self-insult. Unsure of how to react to this, the griffon waited for the pegasus to explain herself better.

"You were right, and so was Twilight! I was such a hard headed mare since my fillyhood to try-

"Was?" Gilda asked mockingly. Rainbow groaned irritated.

"Would you mind?!I'm trying to be......huh.....what's the word I'm trying to say?" Rainbow asked while thinking hard on the search for the answer. Gilda shrugged.

"Dunno, assertive? Sensible? Sympathetic?"

"Yeah, yeah. Something around that." Rainbow said waving her hoof dismissively. "Anyways, like I was trying to say, I....feel I should have asked this a really long time ago, but.....how's your family?"

If Gilda's cold glare could give away any indication, Rainbow Dash could rest assured she just screwed up.

"Well, aside Grandpa, they're dead. Any more questions?" Gilda responded hastily.

Rainbow felt light headed as she tried to absorb the, incredibly impacting, reply.

Well, this already explained somehow why Gilda was at Juniors Speedsters Camp, if she lost her parents at such young age then her grandpa must've sent her into a place for someone to educate her and she could grow up away from Griffinstone.

But that was short lived, especially after Rainbow left.

The cyan mare didn't know what to say. Was it a good thing she never asked about it before? Was easier for Gilda to cope with the loss after so long? Rainbow could understand a bit since her own mother left when she was a little filly. Thought her father, Rainbow Blaze, was always there for her and helped Dash to grow into the strong and confident mare she was now.

Rainbow stared at the griffon sitting across her, words wouldn't change the tense atmosphere that established around both fliers, it was hard to see any sign of sadness from the griffon, she rather seemed upset to talk about the subject. It was hard to say if it bothered her because of what happened or if because Rainbow never asked before.

"I just sucked at being a friend back then," Rainbow lamented as she tried to find a way to make the situation less awkward.

"Not totally, you were a good friend to Flutters." Gilda said apparently relieved to change the subject. "Though you still suck." She added humorously. Rainbow snorted.

"Please, I'm the greastest flier there is. There's no way I could ever suck." Rainbow replied smugly. Gilda grimaced at her words.

"Life is much more than being a flier Rainbow. Just because you're the best at it doesn't mean you shouldn't try harder to be better at other stuff." She said with an edge to her voice.

Rainbow could rest assured she screwed up again.

Thankfully Lightning's return saved Rainbow from making the situation any worse as it was.

"Hey, looking good LD. That was pretty quick too. What's your secret?" Gilda asked right away so she could look at something else other than Rainbow.

Lightning's mane was visibly clean and much more shiny than a normal mane would look like. She actually managed to preserve her mohawk style, even her fur and feathers were looking much brighter.

"No secret, I'm just fast at everything I do." Lightning replied smugly, she was actually feeling much better than she had in ages.

Gilda rolled her eyes at her response. She just ended a conversation with an egocentric Rainbow Dash to start other with the egocentric Lightning Dust.

Before anything else could be said a sudden knock on the entrance door, that echoed all the way up to the kitchen, surprised the group.

"Huh? Who could it be?" Rainbow wondered as she trotted towards the entrance. "I'm pretty sure is not Pinkie Pie. " Dash added as she saw the griffon grow concerned. Once Rainbow realized she could just fly all the way down that's what she did. Though she didn't realize that Gilda and Lightning followed after her.

Once she landed at the door she heard muffled voices outside, but since she was unable to figure who they belonged to Rainbow just opened the door right away.

She surely did not expect to be facing a fairly ammount of pegasus waiting outside.

Cloud Chaser, Blossomforth, Helia, Pizzelle, Thunderlane, Cloud Kicker, Stormfeather, Meadow Flower, Star Hunter, Sunshower Raindrops, White Lightning and Twilight Sparkle. All of them waiting at her door while chatting excitedly.

All the conversation died down as soon Rainbow Dash showed up. Twilight, after requesting everypony to calm down, came towards the cyan mare with clear glee in her eyes.

"Rainbow! Isn't this amazing?! I know we made a list and all that sort of thing, but when Cloud Chaser started asking the names around all the others quickly were informed about the team that...." At this Twilight paused, glaring annoyed at the cyan mare. "....we put up togheter. Even Meadow came all the way from Cloudsdale to take part!"

"Guess you didn't see it coming, huh Dash?" Cloud Chaser said while smiling proudly. "Can't say you're lacking options, all great choices right here."

"Oh, yeah. That reminds me...how things went with Gilda and Lightning Dust?" Twilight asked enthusiastically. Rainbow facehoofed.

"WHAT?!"

All the other pegasus stared wide eye at the two bearers of the Elements of Harmony.

Lightning Dust, that was waiting at the side of the door, merely sighed as she heard the expected reaction from the other pegasus. All of then were the same pegasus that were present at the Academy when Lightning was expelled for endangering her colleagues. Obviously none of them would be thrilled to see Lightning again.

Gilda saw Lightning's despair at the reaction from the group outside. The griffon imagined that probably the group had a grudge against her. Once she saw Lightning trotting to the exit Gilda followed after her to provide support if she needed.

"You!"

The unmistakable tone of accusation did not surprise Lightning, still it made the situation very tense. Twilight was still trying to apologize to Rainbow Dash for slipping that Lightning Dust has been searched for. The cyan mare decided to focus on the angry mob of pegasus instead of dealing with the Princess of Friendship.

The glares of animosity being directed towards Lightning suddenly turned into surprise as a griffon stood near her. Some quiet whispers went around as they tried to figure out who the other newcomer was.

"Wait! Isn't that the same griffon that made Flutters cry few months back? Gilda, isn't it?"

Unsurprisingly it was Cloud Chaser who made the appointment.

Thunderlane, a tall stallion with black fur and a mohawk styled mane stared intrigued at the griffon. While he was very displeased seeing Lightning Dust again it still made him curious about why Rainbow had brought this griffon in particular. Cloud Chaser's question made him wary of the griffon since it was unlikely for Cloud Chaser to misjudge stories around Ponyville. Even if he never heard before about such episode.

None of the other pegasus were pleased with Lightning Dust being present, but with a griffon at sight they decided to wait for Rainbow to explain herself before start complaining.

If there was a pegasus who hardly refrained herself from making opinions, that pegasus was Cloud Kicker.

"Yo Rainbow Dash, cool griffon though. Even if Lightning Dust being here is kinda bucked up." Rainbow rolled her eyes at the always 'sociable' purple mare. "Also who cares if Flutters cried because of some other reason. I tried to hurry her up the other day to help me carry some stuff and she nearly cried me a river saying I was pressuring her too much."

Cloud Chaser huffed at Cloud Kicker's dismiss of Fluttershy's sensitivity. Thunderlane chuckled a bit, even if it felt a bit harsh on poor Fluttershy he had to agree that for the yellow pegasus to cry wasn't that hard to happen. Just looking at the griffon he could tell she could get really intimidating if angry.

The only pegasus that never went to the Wonderbolt Academy was Blossomforth, therefore she never heard of Lightning Dust or any story about a griffon visiting Ponyville.

"Look, I know you have your reasons to be upset at Lightning. Trust me, I had the most of it..." Rainbow Dash trailed off a bit, but with a quick shook she managed to keep on track. "....me and Twilight talked this through and we decided to givevthem both another chance. We all expect those who make part of this team to do the same. If you don't.....well, feel free to leave at any time."

The pegasus from the group were quite surprised with Rainbow's bluntness. They could either deal with it or get lost.

"Listen, I know all of you had problems with Lightning back at the academy. Even so such experience only ended with Lightning getting all the bad results by herself. While she may have performed with irresponsibility she did not deserve the disowned she's been marked with for the rest of her life."

Twilight's speech caught many by surprise, mostly by the fact that Lightning has been technically forbidden at achieving a career at all.

"What? Now that's bullocks, who would do that?!" Cloud Chaser asked surprising even Rainbow Dash.

"Spitfire. " Was all Lightning said after the long time she stood quiet waiting for things to develop.

"That can't be," Thunderlane said in disbelief as he stared towards Rainbow Dash, he waited for the cyan mare to contradict Lightning, but she never did. " Twilight, how come something like this could happen to anypony? I understand if Spitfire wanted to kick Lightning out, but marking her and leaving her jobless for the rest of her life? How could anyone allow such cruelty?"

Lightning stared surprised at the mohawk stallion, while she did expect for them to dislike her for being here it would be too much to expect for them to understand her situation, much less sympathize with her.

Yet there was Thunderlane, despite not really pleased with Lightning Dust, he couldn't deny the injustice the pegasus has been submitted. A sickening feeling at the pit of his stomach made him rethink a lot of what he always admired on Spitfire, and to a certain extent, the Wonderbolts.

The other pegasus around him were muttering their thoughts on the matter, whatever negative feelings they had towards Lightning were now being slowly redirected towards Spitfire.

"I do not know. I couldn't do nothing at the time since I wasn't a Princess and the Wonderbolt's affairs were something only them and Princess Celestia could decide uppon. I already advised Lightning to enter with a representation towards the Princess against the Wonderbolt Academy, but.....Lightning refused." Twilight replied as if even her could not understand Lightning's decision.

The daredevil merely sighed before raising her head to face the other pegasus she once had as colleagues.

"I had lost the motivation to do anything after being expelled.I mean...what was the point? Even if I cleared my name I would never be able to go back to the academy. My dream, the thing I worked so hard for my entire life......I would rather die than live out of it."

A certain ammount of gasps raised from the group as they stared baffled at Lightning Dust. Even Rainbow at her side seemed extremely uncomfortable.

"I had few bad weeks, but thanks to Twilight I managed to go day after day without giving up. Then Rainbow and Gilda came and gave me the chance to prove myself against Spitfire. I guarantee to you all that I'll do my best for Ponyville to win."

Lightning could sense their hesitate at her last words and immediately realized what had got them concerned.

"Also I.....wanted to apologize for what a did back at the academy. I should've not put you all in danger like I did. Even if want to do my best for Ponyville to win this event.....I won't do it at the expense of my fr- my teammates."

"Yo, we can be your friends just fine, just don't let that ego inflate your head. We already have Balloon Head Dash here to cover the spot." Cloud Kicker said jokingly. All the pegasus around, except for Lightning and Rainbow, laughed their plots off at the expense of the rainbow-maned pegasus.

"Hey!Watch yourself Cloud Kicker!Or I'll have you cleaning the next snow-clouds all by yourself next season!" Rainbow said with her face flushing red at both anger and embarrassment.

Lightning stood quiet during the exchange, she did not expect things to develop this way, much less when Cloud Kicker and Thunderlane, among other pegasus, welcomed her with hugs and hoofbumps.

Even Gilda got her share of attention, thought most likely because they barely knew her or ever saw a griffon they could relate to.

Twilight stood aside seemingly content with the end results. Perhaps it would take a while for Lightning and Gilda to overcome the differences and be fully accepted into their town, but as long they were dispose to leave past difficulties behind there was nothing to stop them from achieving the friendship they so much needed.