• Published 4th Apr 2017
  • 520 Views, 2 Comments

New beginning. - zman123

Having finally been pardoned of her crime by Celestia, Lightning is left in the care of Fluttershy and friends in the hope that she will be able to start anew. But as Lightning sadly learned, wounds can heal but scars remain.

  • ...

chapter 2

"Hello" Lightning eventually managed to say, her voice strained and filled with gravel. It was the best she could do.

Twilight did not deign to reply.

"It's nice to see Rainbow Dash's friends at long last. She told me you were very nice ponies"

"Oh she did, didn't she?" hissed Applejack, batting her eyebrow.

Fluttershy wasn't exaggerating when she said Applejack could smell a liar from a mile away. The element of honest really could tell whether every word that came from Lightning's mouth was true or not.
But knowing how she must have felt towards Lightning, Lightning doubted that even if she did tell the absolute truth that she would be completely believed.

Lightning only sighed. Her chance for an apology had not come yet and she feared it might never come even now.

"Where's Rainbow Dash" asked Lightning nervously, trying to break the ice in any way she could.

"Rainbow Dash doesn't want to see a meanie like you." was the reply. It came from the element of laughter Pinkie, whose usual sunny attitude had been replaced today with an icy and cold repression. There was a quiet anger in her voice despite her otherwise calm and gentle tones.
"Dash doesn't like meanies." She avoided looking at Lightning when she spoke.

"She's right." added Rarity, also averting her gaze as she spoke "Our Rainbow Dash doesn't need a selfish, uncaring ruffian like yourself as her partner. She's onto bigger and better things now."
Rarity sighed and in a feigned sympathetic tone added "You could have had the same chance in the Wonderbolts as her if you hadn't ruined it all for yourself and nearly for her as well. You deserve what you've gotten."

Lightning only shut her eyes. Rarity really had snatched the words from her mouth.

Now it was Applejack's turn. Unlike the others, she glared coldly at Lightning as she spoke, so that Lighting could see the dark coal like
eyes that longed to look at any pony but her. A cold look of utter disgust that the most deranged and emotionless serial killer would have felt was excessive.
"Selfish and dishonest ponies don't succeed and never will. Honesty and dedication to your friends is what gets you places in life. "
Applejack shook her head. "It's why Dash is where she is now and why you got what you got instead. A pony is meant to care about other ponies and how their actions affect other ponies around them. And they're meant to tell the truth about their actions and admit their mistakes. Like me for instance. It's because I'm honest and never cheat that Sweet apple acres is what it is today."

"I'm sure it is." complimented Lightning in a desperate attempt to look at least halfway presentable.

"Ponies like those no good richtown in them fancy places like manehattan or Canterlot. They got none of that good old honesty
and that means they aint got no friends. They'll get ruined one by one by their pride, their ego and their selfish ways, you'll see."

Plenty of those selfish ponies threw me money when I was starving, thought Lightning to herself.

"It's why good old Ponyville is our home and we love it here so much." explained Applejack, allowing a fleck of colour to appear on her
cheeks as she held out her hoof.

Then why doesn't Fluttershy love it here, was Lightning's only thought. But she kept it silent and gestured for Applejack to continue.

"Dash warned us about you Lightning Dust. So don't you try nothing with me." warned the farm pony smoothing her hat.
"I ain't gonna believe a word you say. Anything you tell me will be lies. It always was while you were partners with Dash."

"But I, I did want to be good friends with Dash." protested Lightning Dust on an impulse.The words simply slipped from her mouth.

"Friendship without trust is like a apple tree without roots." exclaimed Applejack like a mantra.
"And you are dead wrong if you think that Dash will want to trust you again after what you just did to her and us."

Lightning tried to control herself but once again the words jumped out on a whim "I didn't mean to do what I did. I didn't mean to hurt
any pony. I just wanted..."

"It doesn't matter what you wanted. What you wanted was selfish and wrong and you were wrong for trying to get it. That's the way I see it at least." And the other ponies grunted in agreement. "When you want something selfish, you never get it."

But all Fluttershy wanted was to help others with her ideas but no pony listens to her.
And all Chrysalis wanted was to feed her starving hive of changelings, and as Fluttershy would say, changelings are just as much living
creautures as us ponies and therefore have just as much a right to life.
And don't get me started on the fact that Starlight, even if I do disagree personally with her methods slightly, at first only wanted
to make a haven where ponies could live without fear of their cutie marks separating them which to some extent I can admire.
These thoughts were just a few of many that circled Lightning's mind as the stories Fluttershy had shared with her during their first
days together came back to her.

Applejack even if she was well intentioned, was simply wrong. But Lightning wasn't one to talk. She didn't have any right to say who was right and wrong and she never would.

And so once again, she flattered Applejack's ego. "You're right. I'm sorry."

"As you well should be. And you should be much more sorry than you sound to me right now because that to me is the most insincere apology I've ever heard since the flim flam brothers came and left. And you'd better listen when I tell you that as bad as Flim and Flam were when they dared to set hoof on our sweet apple acres, you are making them seem like gentlecolts in comparison. So you'd better watch your tone Dusty before we throw you out of here like the filthy dust you really are."

Lightning turned to Fluttershy who had been still as a statue, her head down.
She lifted it up briefly and gave Lightning a glimpse of her tear sodden, half closed eyes.

Lightning sighed. Fluttershy couldn't help her here. Her friends really didn't listen to her.
Any words Fluttershy could add would only make her look worse. And by extension, could ruin Fluttershy's already uneasy relationship with her friends. And Lightning couldn't have that. Their quarrel was with her and not Fluttershy and she was determined to keep it that way at any price.

Being shackled once again in chains (which even now seemed to bind her) and to be thrown back into her cold, dark cell to be worked like a dog daily like a horse, in constant fear that the guard would lose his temper to lash at her once more with his terrifying whip was a small price to pay, so that Fluttershy's friends would focus their hatred on her and not her benefactor and savior.

Lightning turned to face Applejack once again, forcing back a flood of tears she knew had to remain secret if at all she felt any remorse.
They were crocodile tears, and to cry them in front of those you owed an apology to, was not only the most immoral thing she could do, but also the epitamy of dishonour.
And honour was something she like every Wonderbolt had been told was highly valuable.

"Please, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for any of this to happen. This is all my fault. Please don't blame Fluttershy for any of this. She just
wanted to help me because she felt sorry for me. I know I didn't deserve any sympathy. I know I was wrong."

Applejack scrunched up her face and a brief laughter filled the room. "Rant on as long as you like about how sorry you are. I won't believe you even if Twilight, Rarity and Pinkie do. And I know for a fact they don't."

Lightning knew that every word that came from Applejack's mouth was the brutal, harsh truth.
Save the time she had lied about winning the rodeo, Applejack told nothing but the truth.
And that made her words all the more painful.

"It happened so fast" explained Lightning wistfully "So fast. Everything went blurry and I lost control. I couldn't help. I didn't see you
until the tornado nearly got to you and I, I couldn't help. Please believe me."

"Yes yes yes." replied Twilight who had been silent since Lightning's arrival. "I'm sure you can continue to describe in ever more complex detail about what happened." Twilight's voice was calmer and less biting than the snide overtones of the orange earth pony, as would be expected from a high class Canterlot pony who had studied magic under the tutelage of noble Celestia and who had been dubbed some while ago as the princess of friendship.

"But I agree with Applejack that most of what you said might well be untrue especially since Rainbow Dash already told us what happened."

"I'm glad ya'll agree with me." said Applejack.

"But we'll give you the benefit of the doubt because Fluttershy trusts you. It's because Fluttershy trusts you that we're going to give
you another chance. Fluttershy is a very nice pony to do all this for you and you should be thankful for her."

Too nice, thought Lightning sadly. Too nice, It's you who should be more thankful for having such a good friend.

Fluttershy nodded and managed to stutter "Lightning Dust isn't a bad pony, I know she isn't."

"That's nice dear." replied Rarity, her sarcasm belied by her placating voice she spoke in, as if she was talking to a young, kindergarten
aged colt or filly. "But you do know about the terrible things this friend of yours has been a part of so you might want to be
careful around her."

"But look, she's apologising." protested Fluttershy.

"What she says doesn't mean nothing to no pony." muttered Applejack under her breath.

It was Twilight who eventualy broke the rising tension that unbeknownst to all save Lightning, would probably have escalated to a violent fight.

"But as Fluttershy said, Lightning did apologise. And we should at least try to be a bit more gentle with her if she really does feel
this bad about what she did." declared Twilight, her tone friendlier but only in a forced kind of way.

She held out her hoof. "Come to think of it, I never introduced myself. I'm sorry, where are my manners?"

"It's okay" Lightning managed to reply.

"I'm Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia's best student and the princess of friendship. It's a title I've had for a while now and even now
I'm still getting used to it. It's hard work but I enjoy it and I like helping other ponies see the value of friendship."

"I'm Applejack, and I run Sweet apple acres, that farmyard across the street." said Applejack reluctantly "as you prolly aready know."

"I'm Rarity, a fashionista and I own several botiques. Here, in Canterlot and even one in Manehattan. I'm sure you've already heard of me"
Pinkie's introduction was the last amiable of the four. "I'm Pinkie pie. I plan parties." she explained, still a quiet anger in her voice.
"But don't think I'll be planning one for you anytime soon" she whispered, leaning forward so that only Lightning could hear. "Or that
you'll even get to be a guest at one of my parties. You're a meanie. I don't like meanies."

"And of course you already know Fluttershy well" Twilight explained.

Fluttershy gently tapped Lightning on the back to signal that it was her turn to make an introduction. She sighed and took a deep breath.

"You already know my name is Lightning Dust. I was a Wonderbolt with a great future, but now I'm rock bottom after I done goofed."

And then Lightning gave Twilight and the others a much abbreviated account of how Spitfire had her arrested and how roughly each
day in the prison she was sentenced to would roll by for her. How she was the only convict in an otherwise empty prison and
how Fluttershy one day found her as she lay dying after she was left for dead in the woods.

How Fluttershy nursed her back to health and begged Celestia to issue her a pardon, which Celestia did with much prompting.
But anything Fluttershy had told her about her past and her own past, Lightning kept secret.

They didn't need to know, and quite frankly, didn't deserve to know.

"And that's why I'm here" concluded Lightning apolagetically.
Rarity, Pinkie and Applejack didn't seem to believe Lightning, but Twilight mostly just seemed indifferent or at least only mildly moved.

"Well, I guess you'll be staying here then." stated Twilight clearly not too interested in Lightning's story.

"I guess I will. Thank you."

"Starlight will show you to your room. I'm sure you'll like it."

Ah Starlight, the pony Fluttershy mentioned was once Twilight's worst enemy.
The pony who once went so far to try and wreak revenge on Twilight that in doing so, spent more than a month patiently stalking her enemy waiting for the perfect moment to strike. And then she very nearly caused unthinkable damage to Equestria and several thousand lives if not many more, in a vapid attempt to embitter Twilight's life. Her motive was to put it simply petty and a flaglant example of refusing to accept or take the blame for her own wrongs.
And her plan made no sense.
Her plan involed time travel, Fluttershy claimed, though that was all Fluttershy knew.

But then Twilight forgave her and made her one of her closest friends, sputtered Fluttershy angrily, while leaving you to rot in a cold,
dark cell in a prison built specially for you.

But Lightning was curious. What kind of pony was this Starlight?
Fluttershy stated that she was a very powerfull unicorn whose skill in magic dwarfed even Twilight, and Twilight's special talent was
magic based on her cutie mark.

But what would this Starlight be like?

Author's Note:

Thank you once again kindly for reading.
Please review and tell me if my writing has improved since last time.
Also check out my blog "Lightning isn't as bad a pony as she seems okay?" if you really wanna know what inspired me to write this story.
Finally overcoming my writer's block which has been there for a while now.