• Member Since 13th Jan, 2015
  • offline last seen Last Tuesday


Leave a message at the tone.


Rainbow Dash was the Iron Wing. She was a war hero, the Slayer of Shadows, the Liberator of the Crystal Empire, the Wrath of Celestia. And depending on who you ask, she still is.

But the war is over. There's little need for a pony like her in peacetime. So she keeps telling herself that she needs to adjust, that she needs to find a new role to fill in the world that she saved. But Equestria seems content to let her remain what she has become, even though they have no need of a warrior.

"This isn't how it's supposed to be", is something she keeps telling herself. But every time she says it, the only thing she can reply is, "so what should it be?"

One whole year after the close of the war, and Rainbow Dash still doesn't have the answer.

Art by NCMares.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 217 )

Even as the world and her outward personality changes irreversibly, there remains an important part of her mind and soul that makes her who she is. Her need for thrill.

Well done.

Edit: There, I made feedback! :raritycry:

What's the point of all this? I mean, Why?

I don't know sir. I don't think anybody knows. But I do know is that someday, this War's gonna end.

Then what? We're Soldiers. What happens to us then?

Captain Rex and ARC Trooper Fives after the battle of Umbara in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

That was really sad! But very good. :fluttercry:


Aaaaaah I really liked and enjoyed this despite it's sad ending :raritystarry:

This is a very good one-shot.

I love to see children smiling, and laughing, instead of having to wear specially fitted uniforms and marching in disorganized rank.

Well. There's an added layer of disturbing, desperate darkness...

In any case, an excellent look at the mentality of a different iteration of Rainbow Dash. I especially love how you didn't take the easy, Flash resource-conserving route with her cutie mark. Despite the dark themes, this is the timeline with the most hope to it; fitting that she triumph in the end.

Well done, and well timed. Coming from a military family, I can relate to this. While I never got to serve myself, I have seen that haunted look in the eyes of my family. PTSD is no joke.

Very nicely done, and well done on the picture, captures it perfectly.

What follows may be the most insensitive comment I have written, and I am a terrible person


Damn 0.0

Brilliant story!

"Sometimes, I wish I was back there again. Maybe for no other reason than to wish I was back here." - anonymous Vietnam veteran, quoted in John Keegan's Soldiers: a History of Men in Battle.

Nailed it. Thanks.


Sad? There is no Sad or Tragedy tags in this story. Reality blurred, she gave just that little push... She didn't kill herself, she did what she was born to. She went beyond anyone and anything and broke the barriers that hold firm even the best ones, and become the fastest pony alive.
Such is a Sonic Rainboom.

That does make the ending that much more powerful, as I see it. It's a message for the future, not to the past. :rainbowdetermined2:

Also curious about who her wife is, though :rainbowwild:

7713436 Possibly Fluttershy.

It really depends on the author, though

Maybe the author is military?

It seems like this really came from the heart, and he knows what he is talking about. It's simultaneously sad and a little dark.

Feels hurt mission complete!

Wow, this is deep. I like it.

"Remember back in The Empire, Soarin? Before things got bad? We were talking... About nothin', really. I said somethin' about goin' home, and you... You said-"

"Home? We can't go home. There's a line ponies like us have to cross. If we're lucky, we do what's necessary and then we die. No... all I really want, Rainbow, is peace."


the earth screaming in fear that I might actually hit it.

She's not trying to hit the ground. She's looking for an adrenalin rush by going faster than ever before. Aimed towards the ground, faster and faster to the point that tears are filing her eyes, and to just give that one last push...to do the Sonic Rainbow she missed doing as a child

This was a fascinating insight into what post-Crystal War RD would be like. Nice work.

The war gave me everything I ever wanted. It gave me a purpose, where before I was a layabout cloud-bucker. It gave me friends, ponies who valued me, when before I just had my co-workers. It gave me hope, and security, when all it would have taken was a slightly more qualified up-and-coming pegasus to put me out of a job before.

The really scary thing here is that this happens in real life, and not just for the 'good' guys. People often ask, "How could they choose to join (insert evil faction here) of their own free will?"

Well... this is one common reason.

You don't need me to say it, but this is an excellent little story.

Beautiful short fic, in many ways it does capture how a soldier returning from battle can feel. A lot of emotion packed into this and you've earned an upvote.

Dayum, thats deep

The deepest wounds are always to the soul.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Dang. A very good one-shot.
While am not deluded enough to even pretend to talk like I'm an expert in military mentality, especially those who have seen actual combat, I think I know enough to recognize how real this actually is.

Nice job here. Love this story. It was beautiful.

Excellent emotion is inherent in this story throughout. Considering the time of year it's been released during it's especially poignant. Very well done.

I have nothing to say except that I know my fair share of veterans. Most of them with one form or another of PTSD. My Grandfather was among them.

Rest in peace Iron Wing.

Bout Time she got to do her sonic Rainboom.

This has to be one of the better representations I've seen of a soldier recovering from war on this entire site. I'm probably missing a few other stories, but you've executed this very well.

Excellent job!

*Stands and salutes* My infinite respect to those that keep moving through this every day, and my congratulations for capturing it so realistically.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Very interesting and thoughtful read.

I would point out that The Hell's Angels motorcycle gang was started by WWII vets & some of the most famous Wild West outlaws were Civil War vets (including most of the James Gang). WWI vets founded the Nazi party in Germany.

Dear writer,
This f***ed me up. A great deal in fact. I love you for posting this, because as a veteran, I can attest, this is EXACTLY how I feel. To that aspect I must also hate you, or at the very least this story. I didn't know what I was going into reading it, and I damn near cried by the end. I can only assume that Rainbow either was wanting to commit suicide, or actually succeeded. I don't know how often I've been there in the past. I'm better now, but by god... I miss war. I miss being overseas where food is served four times a day, for free. I miss my room being there, with no worries for bills. Money I got was spent on bathroom necessities, the occasional haircut, and entertainment. My clothes were provided. The only care I had was whether or not I was going to die. Even though I never fired a gun at anyone, even though I never directly saw combat, after a while, the indirect fire attacks on the base became... exciting, once I got over my fears. Eventually it becomes something you look forward to. I worked as a counter-fire radar operator. IDF comes in, we send the point of origin to HQ, and they "deal with it." Whether that was sending out a team to neutralize the threat, sending out our own IDF, calling for a drone strike, or a plane taking them out, I felt I was doing something important. I helped save lives, by helping end others. I've been a vet for a few years now, but I went back as a civilian for nearly two more years. Almost 3 in Afghanistan, and one in Iraq total. As a civilian though I saw far more action. I didn't have a weapon but I got shot at. Being in danger, and living through it is an exciting thrill after the fact.
Back home, I have to deal with bills, and god they have stacked up for me. I'm in debt up to my eyes, and even got served last month for a court date for collections. I have very young kids now and I have to worry about them. My truck got repossessed, and for a time there, I was damn near homeless. If it wasn't for staying with a friend I would have been. I've been in therapy for suicidal thoughts, and am now on anti-depressants. I used to write on this site, twilight sparkle/shining armor fic so don't read unless you're into that, but I haven't written anything since I came home. It was all done overseas, where I was happy and felt free. As a civilian, I had to buy more things, clothing, internet access, but still free food, free living, free power, free water. Now, I am a college student with a very part time job, a disabled vet, and just trying to keep my life together.
Some days are good. Some days not so much, and some days, some days are bad. I don't like the bad days. My family doesn't like the bad days. But I'm a recovering alcoholic! I quit two years ago and only have a single beer or drink every now and then! I used to drink heavy, get to sleep by drinking til I passed out. So I'm getting better. I hope others can keep their lives on track too.

Are you a veteran? A family member of a vet? Or a close friend of one? I'm curious because this was so damn spot on that it is terrifying. Sorry for the long post, I just needed to vent feelings I got from this.

7714071 First off, she didn't commit suicide. She did a Sonic Rainboom.

Second, I am a twenty-year-old Canadian, and the closest I've ever gotten to a war zone was being two streets over from the site of 9-11 in New York while on vacation. My grandfather was a tank commander, but he's never said a single word about what the war was like. Two friends I've had decent-sized conversations with have seen active duty as combat medics and army journalists, but unsurprisingly, they don't talk about their trauma and such. I functionally know nothing about what I just wrote down.

When I submitted this, I expected to be inundated by vets like yourself decrying this story as woefully inaccurate, deeply disrespectful, trivializing of a struggle I don't understand, and any other variety of things. To hear you and others describe this story as anything but what I expected is perhaps the most surprising thing that's ever happened to me on this site. I have no experience, no frame of reference, no anything for what this sort of shit feels like. I'm probably one of the least qualified people to ever write a story with this subject matter.

Well thank you for clearing up that she didn't off herself. A vet dies by suicide every 65 minutes in the United States, or around 20 daily. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_veteran_suicide It wouldn't be a stretch to think she did too. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head for me. To the T.

It was so accurate I wanted to give you the number for the suicide hotline right away and remind you people are there for you.

That said, any vet in the states reading this, http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html please talk to someone. You can get help.

That. Was. Excellent.

You jokingly called me senpai once, but your use of prose is far above my own, in my opinion, and I'm not empathetic enough to write something like this I don't think. I try to understand other people as best I can, but I don't think my mentality could ever truly fit. I'm the Mimikyuu to everyone's Pikachu.

I hope to see more stuff like this!

This was a lot better than I expected it to be. It's always kinda interesting to see stories that focus on a soldier or warrior missing war.

I am not a man of many words, but I am one who enjoys reading them. Especially if they are arranged in such a way like that of this story. So, though I may not have many words to say, I do have one that you may like: bravo.

7713570 Yep.. though whether it ends good or not is not said.. It could of ended with her crashing and dying, or succeeding and living.. That's why it's equal parts sad and happy.

In war you have some very big concerns. Your life and your comrades lives hang in the balance. But at the same time you have so many less concerns then in civilian life.

Literally you don't have to worry about social standing, family obligations, taxes, money, politics.. Your path in life is simple and with purpose you do what your supposed to, you complete your necessary tasks be that vehicle maintenance, weapon maintenance, guarding an entrance point.. whatever. And you get positive feedback when you do things right, and negative feedback anytime you mess up.

In the civilian world, you don't get that feedback consistently, nor do you get clear directions, You have to think for yourself again and without support or direction its easy to look back and lament the war. And decisions just don't seem to matter that much without the threat of death looming over you to motivate you to do your tasks.. Your tasks often just seem pointless.

Well. Another chilling and impressive story. I'm glad that Iron Wings/Dash finally got her Sonic Rainboom, and it- coming from a person who has zero experience in the military- is very believable. I actually hadn't thought of things in this light before.

I haven't served in the military, but I've read accounts of people coming back, either from leave or from the war entirely and not being able to fit in. Often, soldiers in WWI were relieved to actually get back to their trenches, home life becoming strange to them.

Once I saw that image and who wrote it, I knew I had to read it. I'm not disappointed in the very least. Very moving and accurate. The other pieces of this timeline were good but this one is on an entirely different level. The improvement from then to now shows as well.

Recently, I've been finding it difficult to find something I actually wanted to read. I thought I was tiring of this site. Thank you for reminding me why I'm here. Top Shelf for you sir. You deserve it.

Also, thanks for showing stories for this timeline can still be relevant. Makes me feel better about the one I'm working on.

This needs a sequel.

I get you Rainbow Dash. I get your desperation. I get your angst. I understand your want and need. I know what you are feeling.

I ... I need a minute.

Wow :raritystarry:

This is a masterpiece. After reading the first paragraph I could only continue in awe. It's emotionally engaging, beautifully written, and throughout I found myself entranced. Thank you for writing this.

I was never good with words. You, on the other hand, seem to be a master using them.

Looking throughout these comments, I'm hearing so many stuff about people's experiences in a war, or how they have a family member who was in a situation like this, et cetera. Me? I'm just an American teenage girl looking for some pony in her life. And, well, I guess that's something I can relate to.

I can already tell others will be telling me I haven't talked about the actual fanfiction throughout this comment of my own. Which, I actually haven't done. But to be honest, I just can't.

I can't describe this masterpiece, because it's too magnificent, there are no words in the English dictionary that can say how much I enjoyed it. This, this fanfiction, is the one piece of literature on this site I can't just merely 'favorite' or give a thumbs up, and be done. It's just that goood!

So, KingMoriarty. You, mon amie, have become my favorite fanfiction writer on the site in only 1,548. My question is:

What do you say about that?

Login or register to comment