• Published 21st Jan 2017
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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.

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Issue 1.2 - A Bit Of This, A Bit Of That

Rainbow looked around in bafflement and wonder.

Everypony was dressed in at least a shirt and a wool cap. As if the nakedness ponies so well presented was still taboo. She couldn’t really argue herself in the current state she was in, what with a Wonderbolts uniform and all. Pulling back the part of her costume that covered her face, she breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the wind buffet her air-deprived fur.

Lights, both magical and technical in nature floated all around her, attached to cables or travelling to their own whims. Soft orange, blue and yellow light illuminated everything as far as she could see, and couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia. Something she didn’t quite get. In the center of what seemed to be a fair, but if Rainbow could recall correctly, that filly had said an expo, was a large brass globe that was spinning of it’s own accord.

Hollow and supporting itself with wire frames making it completely transparent, it showed off the many lands that inhabited Equus. She could recognise Equestria, and all the lands round about. Griffonstone, Zebrica, the Crystal Empire, Maretania, etc… it all spiralled around and around, ever so slowly, ever so monumental. Rainbow couldn’t recall when something like this had been erected. If it had, she would’ve known, because that thing looked awesome.

She could see retro-like script illuminating many displays and shops, soft neon lights prevalent almost anywhere she could see. As far as Rainbow knew, there had always been electricity in Equestria, but it had never been flaunted as much as it was at that moment. Smooth cobblestone steps were founded on every hoofstep she took, and the clothes ponies wore, that all ponies wore, were, to put it simply (or in Rarity’s words), out of fashion.

“Seriously, what?” Rainbow whispered, looking around. “Where am I?”

“You’re at the Exhibition of Future Technologies, ma’am!” a colt said in passing, saluting to her. Rainbow frowned at that. “Thought you would know that!”

“The what in the hay now?” Rainbow asked, already losing sight of the little capped colt. With the tiny figure disappearing, she felt her focus shift to her primary directive at that moment. Finding those two fillies.

It didn’t take long. Seeing two fillies dashing around to look at exhibits, she began to canter in pursuit. “She said her name was Firefly, right?” Rainbow muttered to herself. She couldn’t think for the life of her why that name sounded so familiar. “Firefly! Wait up!”

She could see the little filly’s ears perk up and she turned around to see her. The filly, now at the destination wanted to be at, happily made her way to the polychromatic mare. “Hi miss soldier pony!” Firefly called. Sky waved a hoof, looking at her with her own gaze of wonder.

“The names Rainbow Dash,” Rainbow smirked before dropping it, “And I’m not a soldier. Never was… and I might think about it.”

“You know, I don’t think I’ve actually seen a mare be a soldier yet!” Firefly fluttered her wings excitedly. “You do look a bit small and thin for one anyways.”

“Hey!” Rainbow complained, and the two fillies giggled.

“She’s got a point,” Sky said, “You don’t look near as beefy as the ponies that go to sign up, and most of them are colts and stallions. The mares that do sign up are usually assigned to the medicare ward.”

“What?” Rainbow paused, “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” Firefly assured, “And most are usually unicorns or earth ponies, and maybe the occasional pegasus.”

“Gosh, that would be so cool to be on the front lines… fighting for Equestria…” Sky murmured, and Rainbow hardened her gaze on the little filly for a few seconds. Even though there hadn’t been a war just half an hour previously, she knew what war entailed, and what it meant.

“Look, squirt,” Rainbow began, “War isn’t like that. I may not be an actual soldier, but-”

“Then how would you know?” Firefly interrupted. “How would you know what war is actually like if you’re not actually a part of it?” Rainbow raised a hoof to argue, but lowered it.

“I… don’t.”

“Hey, Firefly, didn’t you want to see that presentation?” Sky muttered, pointing to a large stage with a carriage set up on it.

“The Belle Industries one?” Firefly’s eyes lit up, “Hell yeah I do!”

“Hey, watch your language!” Rainbow blurted out, frowning at their use of the word. She didn’t like it when fillies and such were exposed to it, so she never swore in front of of foals, a particular set she knew of consisting of three rambunctious fillies. God only knows what would happen if they tried to earn a ‘Profanity’ cutie mark. “Kids like you shouldn’t even know those kinds of words!”

“Yeah, well, live in Brooklyn long enough and you get used to it,” Firefly shouted. “Hey, you should join us!”

“In what, watching a stupid light show?” Rainbow said.

“What?” Firefly asked, scandalised, “Any Belle Industries show is worth watching! They're not ‘stupid light shows’.”

Something about the name struck her with realization. “Belle… Industries?” Rainbow asked herself, following the fillies with nothing better to do. “As in, Rarity Belle?”

“Who?” Sky inquired, looking at Rainbow quizzically, just as the lights around the stage dimmed and a stallion stepped up, grinning from ear to ear. At this, both Sky and Firefly hushed in anticipation. At the sound of giant lights turning on and filling the air once more, Rainbow frowned as she looked on.

“Mares and gentlecolts, Missus Luster Belle!” a pony announced. Upon stretching out her left hoof to the right of the stage and walking backwards, another pony walked onto the stage.

“Welcome, one and all!” the mare on stage shouted as lights focused on her. Many ponies cheered and stomped their hooves in reply. Smiling, the mare continued, “What if I told you that in a few years time, your carriages and transportation would have no need to touch the ground at all?”

Rainbow narrowed her eyes at the statement, pondering what it might mean. She couldn’t help but notice that Luster Belle, whoever she was, was an earth pony. She proceeded to watch as ponies of all three races helped in removing the wheels off of the coach, revealing four sleek machines, all stamped with a Belle Industries seal.

Luster grinned at the sight of her creations. “With Belle archaic reversion technology, you can do just that!” Rainbow watched in confusion as the mare eagerly pushed a lever up on her panel before something began to happen with the machines. A low whir emitted from the carriage, soft blue light beginning to pour out, and the sound of pure energy and mana began to take form.

Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe her eyes. In all her time living in Equestria, she had never seen something like this. This Belle pony, she had to be related to Rarity. Because the only pony she knew of with a last name like Belle was Rarity and Sweetie. Could she have landed sometime in the future? Where Sombra made his return for the third time and succeeded once more in enslaving his entire race?

She didn’t know, but what she did know was that the carriage in front of her shouldn’t be floating. The coach began to levitate on it’s own, with no outside help. No unicorns using their horns to lift it, no strings pulling it up as far as she could see, and no tricks. It was real. The engines that lifted it were humming with power, and like a horn, were surrounded in a mystical aura.

As quickly as it astonished everypony in the crowd, it began to sputter and die. In one swift motion, each machine flickered off, causing the whole thing to come crashing down. One look at the engines and one could see that they were hammered and unsalvageable. Smiling nervously, Luster Belle turned to the crowd once again.

“I did say a few years, right?” she chuckled, and the crowd followed suit. She even had Rarity’s accent.

“What is going on?” Rainbow muttered worryingly, a mixture of awe and confusion evident on her face.

“That was so awesome!” Firefly whispered excitedly, “I always love it when she comes up with something new!”

“The way it went vrrrrrm and fwoooo!” Sky agreed, sighing, “I wish I could make something that was that cool.”

“Keep dreaming, kid,” Rainbow couldn’t help but murmur. What could this mean? That Rarity finally made a name for herself in the world? That she finally had success and was branching off from her icky-gicky fashionista tendencies?

Firefly had said Princesses, as in plural, which meant Luna and Celestia were together. Rainbow sighed at the connection, but that could also mean that Twilight and her foalsitter Cadence were still here too, which was even better… But then, why would Cadence and Shining Armour let Sombra back in to terrorize his previous victims? Some things just didn’t add up, and Rainbow was determined to get to the bottom of it. She just needed to fly over to Ponyville and see how things were going. She was sure that with Twilight’s help, all would be solved.

“Haafwaa!” Firefly yawned, patting her mouth as she did so. “I’m tired, Skylark. I’m heading back home to hit the sack.”

“Yaaaaaaaw,” Sky agreed, stretching her wings out. “Yeah, I think I’ll do the same. Goodnight!” And just like that, Sky had dashed off in the dispersing crowd.

“Hey, do you have a place to stay?” Firefly asked Rainbow suddenly, and Rainbow looked down at the little filly.

“Yeah, of course I do!” Rainbow announced proudly, looking ahead stoically. “Only the best cloud house you can find in Ponyville!”

“Pony-what now?” Firefly asked. Rainbow froze in her place, slowly craning her head back to look at Firefly.

“What do you mean ‘Pony-what now?’?” Rainbow inquired nervously.

“What do you mean ‘what do I mean?’? I’ve never heard of ‘Ponyville’ before.”

Rainbow could feel her blood run cold. She could feel her heart stop and just about her whole world come crashing down, yet she remained firm. “You… haven’t heard of Ponyville… as in, ever?

“Nope.”

Rainbow took a few shaky breaths and calmed herself down. It’s probably just ‘cause she’s a filly, Rainbow thought to herself. There’s no need to panic. If she flew over there right now, she’ll probably find Twilight’s castle and all her friends. Just because one pony doesn’t think it exists, doesn’t mean it doesn’t, right?

Right?

“Is that a yes or is that a no? Cause I have some room if you need to bunk. And you seem pretty cool, I wouldn’t mind having you in our apartment.”

Maybe a good night’s rest would ease her qualms. Yes that sounds good. And in the morning, she could thank the Firefly and she would be off, finding her friends doing their everyday things and they could all worry about the war together. Rainbow nodded.

“O-of course I’m cool! I’m the fastest mare in Equestria!...” she chuckled nervously, “And uh, sure. I’ll take you up on that offer.”

Firefly grinned, saying, “Sweet! I get to have a soldier pony in my house!”

“I thought you said-” Rainbow began, irritated and slightly confused.

“Shhh,” Firefly interrupted, “I know what I said. I know what you said. Nopony needs to know!”

“Hey, that’s not cool!” Rainbow said as she began to follow Firefly. “Besides, why did you even offer me a spot in your house? I’m a complete stranger!”

“You looked like you need some help and sleep,” Firefly explained, “And you seem to know about as much where you are as I would in the middle of the ocean.”

“But, I-” Rainbow stuttered, before sighing deeply in defeat. Knowing she was tired all of a sudden after getting hit by magic, falling through a portal and it suddenly being night… When she put it that way, well, it would seem, no, it even sounds tiring. Shaking her head, Rainbow began to follow Firefly.

“Hey, Small Fry,” Rainbow said, smirking with the nickname she came up with, “Thanks.”

“No problem- hey!” Firefly shouted, fluttering her wings in protest. “Don’t call me that!”

“Call it payback for abandoning me earlier,” Rainbow said.

“That’s not fair,” Firefly grumbled, “You held us up and we almost missed the awesome presentation!”

“How about ‘because I feel like it’?” Rainbow smirked.

“I get to call you Skittles,” Firefly snapped back, and Rainbow chuckled.

“You remind me of another little filly I know,” Rainbow laughed, “And her name’s Scootaloo.”

Firefly looked almost repentant at the name. “Goddess, it must be totally brutal to deal with nicknames when you have a name like that.”

“Like you wouldn’t believe,” Rainbow piped up, and they both laughed. “You’re not bad, squirt.”

“You’re pretty awesome too…” Firefly scrunched her nose as she tried to remember. “Hey… I don't think you ever gave us your name.”

“It’s Rainbow Dash.”

“Well, Skittles fits even better now.”

“Hey!”

Author's Note:

Yeah, my update schedule is pretty erratic right now. I'm on break, so... whenever I get a chapter done, I post it! Anyways, it should normalize in the next few weeks.

Or not.

I'll post when I can, it's rough setting up a universe.