• Published 8th Sep 2012
  • 3,973 Views, 412 Comments

One Mare's Worth - Equestria Buck Yeah



When Rainbow Dash's speed during a new trick turns out to be too much for her own good, she comes to realize how important she really is when she finds herself in a war-torn version of her old home.

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Chapter 1

Rainbow Dash wrapped a leg around her number one fan's head and affectionately gave her a noogie. Scootaloo had asked her idol to come perform some tricks for her fan club last week, and Rainbow was more than happy to jump at any chance she got to put on a show for anypony. Today was the day they had agreed upon, and it was difficult to tell who was more excited, the mare or the filly.

The pegasus had suggested to her loyal fans that they meet out in Town Square. If she was going to be putting on a show for the kids, why not include the adults too? The more ponies who got to admire her greatness, the better! To Rainbow, asking her not to enjoy the spotlight would be like asking her not to breathe or eat; she might as well be dead. Fortunately, even though she was known to be a bit of a braggart, she could always back up her boasting. Should be just another walk in the park today for the proud pegasus.

She came up with a spectacular idea for a grand finale a while after talking to Scootaloo originally. Rainbow asked for Fluttershy's assistance once she had it drawn out, literally. Her plan was to Sonic Rainboom and write her name in the sky using the rainbow colored vapor trail she left when she broke the sound barrier. But with all the twists and turns she'd have to make in order to connect all the letters in her name, and to do it fast enough so the first half of her name wouldn't fade away as she was completing the second half, she needed a plan going in.

After scribbling down the best and fastest possible flight path, she needed a second set of eyes on the ground making sure she wasn't just writing a bunch of nonsense overhead. Fluttershy's place was ideal since she could practice out of view of the town and any blabbing little sisters who happened to be friends with the Rainbow Dash Fan Club President.

She had practiced hundreds of times over the course of the week. At first, she could barely form an R. As the days past, her name became more and more legible until she could write it completely. Unfortunately, she couldn't quite maintain the pace needed to complete the words without them beginning to disappear. Ugh! There was only two days left until her performance and if she couldn't do her trick, both she and Scootaloo would have been devastated.

No way! She wasn't about to let the kid down. She glared, opened her wings again and took to the sky. Giving herself some space, she sprang forward and blasted a hole in the sound barrier. She flapped her wings as hard as she could as she launched herself up, down, sideways and every which way in between, trying desperately to maintain the breakneck speed needed to finish her name. It felt like her wings were going to break or her muscles cramp up. This only made her push harder.

After several more attempts, she had worn herself into exhaustion. She had made some progress, but it wasn't quite enough to get the job done. She'd have to try again tomorrow, but that didn't mean she had to stop building up endurance. Over the last couple days and nights prior to the show for her fan club, she did next to nothing other than practice her skywriting and work out.

On the final day before she had to be ready, she had just developed enough stamina to finish writing her name before it began to fade away. She had collapsed to the ground with a triumphant grin to go with her burning lungs and wings. But, she did it. Now, she just had to do it one more time for those kids. But jeez, did it ever take a lot out of her.

Late the following morning, the day she once again got to show off her awesomeness, she met with her followers at the statue in Town Square and said her good mornings. She didn't want the dazzling performance to be too long, as she was still a tad sore from the intense training she had gone through over the course of the past week. It was a good kind of sore though. The kind that reminded you that overcame adversity and achieved the success you were after.

Rainbow flew up and wowed the kids with her usual litany of spins, twists and loops. Nothing she hadn't done a thousand times before, and this would be a good way to keep herself loose enough for the final act of the day. She dove towards them and swooped up at the last second, tickling their manes and blowing off some of the club's trademark lightning bolt hats with a powerful gust of wind. The fillies' hearts raced with excitement and their smiled stretched ear to ear as the spectacle continued. Many of the older onlookers had stopped what they were doing to enjoy Rainbow's acrobatics as well and were enjoying themselves almost as much as the little ones.

After a short while, Rainbow decided the moment had come. Time to amaze them all with a new signature move, so to speak. She almost wondered before she began her routine if the citizens had thought over the last several days that they had been under attack or something, what with all the explosions she had been producing while she practiced. However, she figured the colorful displays would have tipped off the populace as to what was going on anyway. Hopefully, they had enjoyed the previews before the main event.

Fluttershy's critters had vanished after the first day of training and left the shy pegasus a bit upset that she couldn't be around her little friends. Rainbow chuckled at what she found to be trivial concern but still hoped her friend would be able to deal with the temporary loneliness. Maybe she'd stop by after the show and tell her how she did. She kind of owed it to the animal lover since she did have to turn the Cutie Mark Crusaders and their curiosity away a few times in an effort to keep her new trick a secret.

Rainbow popped her neck and spun her shoulders loose. With a few flaps of her powerful wings, she rocketed forward and almost instantly performed her most famous, firework-style maneuver, sending a wave of prismatic coloration across the sky with a deafening explosion. She immediately turned upwards and began spelling her name. Gritting her teeth and tightly flexing her wing muscles, she focused on where to turn and spin back around, and the letters took shape one by one. Her little fans took turns smiling widely as they figured out what their idol was doing.

The last few letters started to take their toll on her body, but she couldn't quit. Her wings felt like they could pop out of their sockets at any second, but she continued on. Finally, she completed the H and slowly descended to the ground, breathing heavily and on the verge of tears. She wiped her eyes clean before she touched down, not wanting Scootaloo and her followers to see her in such a state. Cool mares didn't cry!

Her hooves hit the ground hard, her legs feeling rubbery after spending nearly every ounce of energy she had. She looked up and saw her name glittering as a multicolored trail for a few seconds before it was slowly erased from left to right. It was as if the gods themselves took a moment to show themselves using the heavens as their parchment and Rainbow's mane and tail as the ink. All in attendance let out an uproarious cheer, and Scootaloo threw her tiny forelegs around Rainbow's neck. Barely finding the strength to lift her own leg, she managed to return the orange filly's hug.

"That was the most awesome thing ever! Oh, thank you thank you thank you, Rainbow Dash!"

"Heh! Anytime, squirt," she said with a proud smile. She let Scootaloo go and rubbed a few of her other followers heads in appreciation. After a little while of hanging out with the club members, which allowed her to recuperate a bit, she wished them well and headed off to a nearby cloud for a well earned nap.

-----

Rainbow spent half the day snoring on her cloud bed. The extra sleep felt great after she had worn herself ragged. At least everypony enjoyed themselves. Knowing they did felt even better than the nap. She put her hooves behind her head and smiled at the thought.

As much as she was inclined to spend the rest of the day laying around, something was bothering her. Sure, she was Equestria's fastest flier, but preparing for a trick hadn't been this frustrating since the Best Young Flier's Competition. She knew she had to have had the speed, right? Nopony else came close to flying as fast as she did. She'd be willing to bet that she could even take the Princesses in a race if it came down to it. She also knew she had to have had the stamina to fly as hard and as long as she did. She had gone toe to toe with Applejack plenty of times, and everypony knew how long that mare could go at a physical activity. So why did she suddenly feel so weak?

Was it just her limitations rearing their ugly head? Nah, couldn't be. She had no limits, right? The very idea made her want to retch. Still, was only flesh and blood. But then again, so was Celestia and she seemed to be able to do anything. However, she was an all-powerful, immortal, near-goddess. But, Rainbow had yet to meet a challenge she couldn't overcome! She wracked her brain debating herself before sighing, admitting defeat.

She recalled how much her wings and lungs hurt after finishing her routine for her fans. She could almost feel the pain flaring up again as she lay there on her comfy cloud. She glared at her wings angrily, as if they had somehow betrayed her. If she could barely perform one complicated trick, what's to stop her from almost failing again, or maybe even failing completely?

She wasn't about to let that happen, but she resigned to the fact that she may need some help. She didn't like asking for help, but her friends had always come through for her before. Even though she could ask any of them for advice or assistance, there was only one who she felt could give her more so than the others. Besides, even if she couldn't do much for her, the newest Daring Do book was supposed to be released soon and it may be in. If not, any of the others would have been fine. They easily warranted a re-read! She stretched and lifted off her cloud, slowly gliding toward the library. She was going to take it easy on the way as the soreness in her wings jabbed at her with each flap.

-----

Darn. No such luck with the new release yet. Ah well. Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone was always one of her personal favorites, so she grabbed it off the shelf and sat down on Twilight's staircase. She smirked at herself. If she got anymore familiar with the location of some of the texts in the place, her unicorn friend may ask her to stick around and help her reorganize them some day. Well, at least if it was only the Daring Do novels.

Rainbow was a only a few pages into her story, but was clearly distracted by Twilight's studying. The diligent unicorn was going through another of her almost innumerable magical books, learning yet another in the seemingly inexhaustible list of spells to be found. Rainbow sighed and closed her novel. She knew how powerful, and yet humble, Twilight was. It didn't seem like there was anything she couldn't learn or do. Magic was pretty amazing in that regard. Heck, with enough power and studying, she could probably wink away to the other side of the universe if she wanted to like it was no big deal. Rainbow needed to get what had been bothering her for a little while now off her chest.

"Hey, Twilight, this may seem like a weird question, but do you ever feel there's anything you can't do like, with your magic or whatever, and it really bothers you?" Rainbow asked.

"No, it doesn't really worry me at all. I don't expect to learn every spell ever made, and even if I did, I doubt I'd have the chance to use most of them," Twilight responded. "Why, is something bugging you? You can tell me."

The cyan mare rubbed her neck dejectedly, "I was performing a new trick for my little fan club earlier. I was practicing it for a week and I just barely completed it. It felt like I almost lost a fight with my wings, and you know how much I hate losing at anything."

"Even your wings can only fly you so fast, Rainbow. You completed your trick, right?" The pegasus nodded. "Then, what are you worried about?"

Rainbow shrugged, "Your magic doesn't seem to have any limits. I don't want to have any limits either."

"But, that's magic. Anypony's body is going to have its limits. Even Celestia's does. I'm not really sure what I can do to change something like that."

"I'm sure you could find a spell that could make you lift a mountain with one hoof if you wanted to," Rainbow joked. "I bet that could get you a lot of attention!"

Twilight laughed, "I'm sure you'd love a spell like that, wouldn't you? We all know how much you like to show off your amazing feats. I wield more magic than just about any other unicorn in Equestria, and even I can't deny how cool your Sonic Rainboom is. I heard a lot of explosions this past week, and I saw a lot of rainbow colored waves of light flying around. That was you practicing, I assume?"

"Yep, it was a lot of work. I wanted to write my name with my rainbow trail following a Rainboom. Almost didn't make it."

"Wow! I wish I could have been there to see it! That sounds incredible!" Twilight gushed.

Rainbow's puffed her chest at the compliment at first but eventually ended up slouching. Twilight noticed her friend's sudden change in composure. "What is it?"

"You're going to think this sounds nuts, but.. after all the practicing, after doing it so many times, I think I'm a little bored with the Sonic Rainboom, as cool as it looks," Rainbow sadly revealed. Twilight's horn ceased glowing and the book she was holding up fell to the floor, as did her jaw. She tried to express her disbelief, but only gibberish came out.

"I know, it's weird. I had only done it only three times before, and each time was something special, y'know? When we all got our cutie marks, the Young Flier's Competition, and your brother's wedding. I don't even need to wind it up anymore. I can just be sitting there and 'BOOM!', off I go," the speed demon explained. "I barely even needed to get going at Shining Armor's wedding, and I was going up that time too. I guess it's getting to be kind of.. meh, seeing as how it's not really much of a challenge to do anymore." She looked away, almost embarrassed that her signature move had become more of a novelty to her than anything else.

Twilight's ears slouched and a frown found her lips. "Have you thought about coming up with a new trick?"

"I suppose that'd be the easiest thing to do. I just need to come up with something. It would have to be big! You don't mind if I sit here for a while and think about it, do you?"

The unicorn perked up, "Not at all! If you want some help too, just ask!"

"Thanks, Twilight. You're a good friend."

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