• Published 21st Jan 2017
  • 2,780 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 1 - A Bad Day

What happened, Rainbow?...



“Left wing formation!” Rainbow Dash called.

As Rainbow banked to her left with little to no effort, she looked behind her to see several of the Wonderbolts-in-training flutter and waver in their course, adjusting sloppily and messing up the formation of the entire group. With a face of dissatisfaction, Rainbow curved to the right once more.

“Stay together! Don’t break up, and watch each other!” Rainbow cried. With a last ditch effort to try and get them to lock in formation and to cement their flying, she began to spiral up.

“Vertical Corkscrew! Keep your eyes focused on what’s in front, not what’s around!”

As she spun around and around, she could feel her own vertigo threatening to overwhelm her. Narrowing her eyes behind her goggles, she took a deep breath and focused on the time between each flap of her wings. It always helped to calm her nerves.

“Now, scatter!” she yelled before releasing her locked forelegs and bursting up one last bit. She looked down and yelped as nearly all of the recruits kept going, hitting the cloud cover above in a burst of condensed water and dizzy confusion. She looked at some of the other trainees and sighed as she could see they had abandoned about halfway through and were trying to keep their lunches inside them.

“Bad day,” Rainbow muttered, holding her head as she could feel a headache coming along. What was so hard to understand about keeping your mind when you flew in a twist? With so many things already on her mind, the invasion of Equestria for the second time by changelings and her kidnapping; it hurt her head just to think about. And with all the new threats popping up daily now that other nations, pony or otherwise, had heard of how even the highest authorities had let the same culprit invade them twice…

Equestria hadn’t been on the brink of war in over a thousand years.

She slowly flapped downward and waited in the air as her group of amateurs gathered around. All were either grasping their barrels in contorted queasiness, or were holding their heads as their eyes gradually stopped spinning. Sighing, she faced each of them directly.

“That could’ve gone loads better, but it was okay for a start.” Rainbow flew above them a few hooves before lifting her goggles from her face. “You all are better than the average flier, but if you want to make it into the Wonderbolts, you’re going to have to do better than that.”

“How are we supposed to when all you’re doing is giving us vague commands before telling us how to do it?” a mare with a fiery red mane asked.

“You study. Or in my case…” Rainbow put her goggles on and did a routine in front of them that she had practiced over a million times. “You adapt, you train, and you never give up. It’s as simple as that,” she stated as she landed in the center of the hovering group of pegasi. They all now looked at her with awe and wonder. “I didn’t become a Wonderbolt just by being as awesome as I am-”

Several groans could be heard but Rainbow elected to ignore them. “I flew every single day. I trained. I made up a schedule. I relaxed. I did everything I could to get better, and look where that got me.

“And if you can tell, one is not like the other,” Rainbow smirked. “Yes, rest and relaxation is a thing too. I know for a fact, that some of you train every single day, but that those of you who don’t take the time to rest and to recharge and to have fun.”

“Isn’t this fun for you, though? You’re a Wonderbolt already, and that’s awesome!” a stallion shouted and Rainbow almost facehoofed.

“I’m also surrounded by jockeys and idiots, no offense, that I have to train because it’s part of the job. Or at least, this shift is. You don’t know how tiring it is to have to listen to your arguments about how your lifestyle is already ‘good as it is’ and ‘doesn’t need changing’, or that I’m too harsh of an instructor and I should be fired for being this rough,” Rainbow explained. With a flap of her wings, she flew a circle around them.

“And now I’m getting restless as I’m hovering here talking to you sorry excuses for fliers. Get back to the Academy and get a drink before coming back. Pronto! ASAP! Whatever you say to get ponies moving, just hurry up so I can finish this last round with you girls and move on.”

As they began to fly their way back to the compound, Rainbow could sense multiple things begin to happen around her. With her subconscious tracking ability going haywire, she shouted out in alarm. “Hey, everypony, buddy up! Something’s wrong!”

As they all heard the urgency of Rainbow’s tone, they rushed in a frenzy to find a partner. Without warning, rifts began to open at random around them. As Rainbow began to fly around the disruptions in reality, she scanned the entirety of her field of view. With a startled sucking of her teeth, she could see that these portals, as she was dubbing them, were appearing randomly and for any amount of time for as far as she could see.

“Stay close to each other, ponies! Don’t let each other out of your sight! Get back to the Academy now!” Rainbow commanded, and everypony in her training squadron began to fly as fast as they could. Satisfied that her regiment would be okay, she began to look for anypony who might’ve been left behind.

And there she was.

Spitfire had been out with her own gaggle of Wonderbolts and they had only now realized what was happening. As Spitfire tried to get a hoof on the situation, a portal opened up behind her and a stray piece of debris seemed to knock her upside, causing her to falter mid-air. At the sight of the portal attacking Spitfire, the squadron scrambled, leaving a dazed leader of the Wonderbolts on her lonesome.

“Spitfire!” Rainbow shouted as she raced to her position.

“Rainbow? Whoa, where did your twin sister come from?” Spitfire murmured, and Rainbow widened her eyes behind her goggles, knowing what just happened.

“Come on, Spitfire, let’s get you back to base,” Rainbow uttered.

“Wait, argh! Why are there two of you?” Spitfire cried, painfully coming to her senses as she still couldn’t think fully straight.

“You have a concussion, and we need to get moving! Something’s happening and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon!” Rainbow said urgently before pulling Spitfire to base. The orange-maned Wonderbolt tugged her hoof back and shook it.

“I’m perfectly capable of flying on my own, thank you-agh!” Spitfire said as her head throbbed in pain. “I’m fine!”

“And I’m taking it from the mare that got hit in the head,” Rainbow rolled her eyes before watching a spark of black appear behind Spitfire. Time seemed to slow as Rainbow began to bolt forward.

“Watch out!” Rainbow shouted as the portal coalesced into a full fledged gateway. Her movements seemed so sluggish to her, yet she was moving as fast as she could. Shoving Spitfire out of the way, the leader of the Wonderbolts tumbled toward the tarmac of the Wonderbolts Academy and Rainbow skidded to a halt at the fringe of the portal.

By the time she noticed the blue beam of mana headed her way, it was too late.

She flew backward as the force of the magic knocked the air out of her, causing her to wheeze and sputter. She only had enough time to see the shocked look of a unicorn with a cracked horn before another portal opened up behind her. Just as she fell through, she could see Spitfire tumble to safety, and she resignedly sighed before she tried to flap her wings. To her horror, she found her entire body from her neck down to be numb from the blast, and she could only watch as the portal closed and she crashed to the ground below.

With her form practically in a comatose state, she lay on her back staring up at the sky for a time. She was surprised to see how the terrain around her seemed so much more different than the one that surrounded the Academy. But this took the cake. She was shocked to see a plane fly overhead.

A plane hadn’t been in use since before Luna’s banishment, and Rainbow knew this. With a grunt of effort as she could begin to have feeling in her hooves again, she threw one foreleg after the other and pulled herself out of her little impact crater. Looking around, she widened her eyes, not believing for a second what she was seeing.

“Bad day…” Rainbow finally said, choosing to fall back into the crater and stare at the suddenly night sky and ponder.

Very bad day…”