• Published 21st Jan 2017
  • 2,753 Views, 228 Comments

The First Wonderbolt - Essay Jay

When an unnatural phenomenon sends Rainbow Dash back in time, she must adapt to an Equestria at war while all the while looking for a way to get back home.

  • ...

Issue 0 - A Cold Reception

“Thanks,” Daring Do murmured as she took the mug in her hooves. She looked at the thawing figure of her number one fan and sighed before turning her attention to the four mares working on Rainbow Dash.

“It’s the least we can do after your efforts, Darling,” Rarity whispered as she winced from pain. Her chest piece radiated softly with a blue glow. Apparently, while Daring Do and Tank had been searching, Rarity had been in a small predicament. And just a few days ago, so had Applejack.

It had been a whole year since the marehunt for Rainbow Dash started. A whole year since she had disappeared after Starlight had fought an entity from another dimension. Since everything in Equestria had seemingly gone to hell. The famous explorer, Daring Do, had been asked by everyone who knew Rainbow personally if she could find her. And find her Daring did. After a year of searching, she and Tank had done it.

“And you did gol-darn well too. Without you, I don’t think we would’ve ever found Rainbow,” Applejack said, fiddling with the hammer in her hooves. It arced with small jolts of electricity which were self contained.

“Um… thanks for finding Rainbow…” Fluttershy uttered, tucking a blanket over Daring and Tank’s shivering frames. Daring Do hated being pampered, but she lived with the conditions. She was being housed as a guest, so she would have to abide.

“I just hope she’s alright,” Pinkie whispered, her mane nearly flat and her coat a pale pink. “Because then I can throw her all kinds of parties… yeah!” She visibly began to brighten as plans raced through her head.

“I can set up a ‘Get Better’ party, a ‘Welcome Back to the Land of the Living’ party, a ‘Congratulations on Becoming a Super Soldier’ party, and a ‘Thanks for Saving Equestria a Thousand Years Ago’ party!” With that exclamation, Pinkie had returned to her chipper state and zoomed out of the room, leaving behind a trail of confetti.

“Never going to get used to that,” Daring Do muttered before petting Tank in a comforting way. They all stared silently as they watched Princess Luna, Twilight and Celestia work with Starlight to safely unfreeze Rainbow Dash.

It had only been hours since Daring Do had found Rainbow’s frozen body in that plane. After she and Tank discovered Rainbow, they had proceeded to quickly write a letter and used dragon fire to send it to Spike. Almost instantaneously, swirling blue sparks began to emerge from the air before turning into a full fledged portal. Behind it were Starlight and Twilight, who stepped into the crystal plane and saw Rainbow Dash and her shield.

At the sight, Starlight had broken down in tears and collapsed onto the ice holding Rainbow, saying many sorrys and weeping at it’s edge. Twilight stood composed, watching events unfold, yet had streaks down her face indicating her silent melancholy. Turning to Daring Do and seeing her state, she ordered Daring Do to go through the portal and into the graces of the warm castle.

She then watched as they carved the ice out that was holding Rainbow Dash and the shield that bore her colours and brought it through the portal. Almost immediately, they rushed the Dash-icle to their most capable Emergency Room and opened a portal to Canterlot Castle, where the Royal Sisters stepped out of and into their company. With a shout, Twilight announced that she could still detect a magical energy signature and the two Princesses plus Starlight looked at Twilight with shock. She began to write down how there was still a possibility that Rainbow Dash was still alive and in some sort of suspended animation.

Upon hearing this, Daring Do nearly lost her jaw at the thought that Rainbow Dash, apparently suspended in ice for a thousand years, could still be alive. Tank could only shed tears of joy at the thought and stretched a leg out at Rainbow’s frozen figure longingly. In a flurry of runes and magic, Twilight asked Daring Do to “Get the girls” before she shut the door to the ER. With no time to waste, Daring Do sluggishly got Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, as she was still at least 2 degrees below her proper body temperature.

Upon arriving and rushing into the observation room, Fluttershy ordered Daring Do to stay still as she prepared hot cocoa and four warm blankets, one for her and Tank while the other two warmed up. By the time they had salvaged Rainbow’s shield from the ice, Daring Do and Tank had had a change of blankets and two cups of cocoa.

“All I wanna know, is why she was even in the ice in the first place,” Applejack hushed. “It just don’t make sense.”

Daring Do remained silent as she listened to the exchanges around her. “What about why she’s dressed as a superhero from a comic book?” Rarity asked. “It certainly compliments her look, but she looks just like how I would think that old foals tale, ‘the First Wonderbolt’ would look.”

“Well, maybe she is the First Wonderbolt,” Fluttershy whispered, and Rarity couldn’t help but laugh.

“That would be preposterous, the name ‘Wonderbolt’ didn’t even come around until General Firefly organized her squad and called them ‘the Wonderbolts’,” Rarity said, churning the thought over in her head.

“It’s only a legend. A story used for the morals it presents. Loyalty, Generosity, Kindness, Honesty, Laughter… and… magic…” Rarity slowed down as she began to realize what she was saying and looked through the window at her frozen friend. “No… it can’t be…”

“How would that even work?” Applejack inquired as they all looked at Rainbow’s melting form. “The First Wonderbolt was a soldier. We never needed soldiers, not since the Crystal War.”

“That’s simple really,” Daring Do uttered after a while. The three mares and sleepy turtle in the room all looked at her and she sighed. “One thousand years. That’s enough time to make any story seem like a foals tale. Look what happened to Princess Luna.” Daring Do motioned to the midnight alicorn on the other side of the glass.

“She became Nightmare Moon. In only a thousand years, little to nopony remembered who she was, or that there even was a lunar princess. After years and years of twisting and re-telling, she became nothing more than a legend to scare fillies and colts. And then what happened? I’m sure you can all remember.” Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy all nodded.

Daring Do fixed her gaze on the nearly thawed out Element Bearer in the ice. “I looked an entire year for Rainbow. I know exactly what you’re thinking. ‘It’s impossible!’, right? ‘It’s just a silly story! A story that portrays a role model ponies can look up to!’, right?

“A pony that has no basis at all in real life!” Daring Do finished with dramatic emphasis. “But when are all the stories based? During the Crystal War. 6 years before Luna’s banishment. A time when soldiers were needed. A time when King Sombra reigned supreme and led a charge against Equestria’s forces. When the Princesses banished King Sombra.

“But what about how they did it? Certainly King Sombra wouldn’t have just let the Princesses have at him. What kind of idiot does that? No, there would’ve been many missions, many battles. I’m sure if you asked them right now, they would say it didn’t happen in a day. And since shadow magic was something nopony had ever seen before, some ponies might have even come to drastic measures in the hopes of winning the war.

“I’ve done enough research to last a lifetime in that past year to know what I’m talking about. It all adds up. And since I couldn’t get a single scrap on Rainbow’s whereabouts in the past twenty years apart from her own life ‘til her disappearance, I came to the disheartening conclusion that Rainbow might’ve been sent back further than any of us thought possible.” Daring Do breathed.

“Yet here we are now, discussing a fairy tale, that is now also lying in front of us in the form of our friend!” Daring Do finished, and the three former Element Bearers present looked at each other wide-eyed before once more turning their attention to Rainbow Dash.

“That… wow…” Fluttershy murmured. Finally warmed up, Tank left his blanket and snuggled up beside Daring Do. Having had enough of her own unconditional therapy, she abandoned her own comforter and moved to stand right up against the window. Setting Tank on the ledge, she stared down at the resting face of a pony that she had spent countless hours searching for. Shaking her head ever so slightly, Daring Do blinked.

“Oh Rainbow… What happened?”

Author's Note:

And so begins the tale of Rainbow Dash, the First Wonderbolt! Stay tuned as we find out just how Rainbow came to be trapped in ice for over a thousand years, and why she was sent back in time!

EDIT: Chapter in the eventual process of revision.