• Published 8th Sep 2012
  • 3,949 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 2

Rainbow had muddled silently over what she wanted to be her most amazing feat ever. She couldn't spare any expense over the size and awesomeness of the stunt. Finally, after a few hours, something big hit her. Real big.

"Twilight, you have a globe, right?"

"Yeah, why?"

"I think I have an idea, but I need to check something."

Twilight went into the next room and returned a moment later with her globe floating in front of her. She set it down on the table in the center of the main room and Rainbow snatched it up. She spun it around and found Canterlot. Close enough. Ponyville wasn't listed anywhere on the globe, as it wasn't a large, prominent metropolis, but it was right beside the royal city.

"Do you know how big the planet is by any chance, Twilight?" Rainbow asked.

She cocked an eyebrow, a bit startled by such a question. Why would Rainbow Dash need to know such a thing? "A little over twenty five thousand miles around. Why?"

Rainbow put a hoof to her chin and squinted hard. That was more distance than she anticipated, but she was intrigued. It was the ultimate challenge.

"I'm going to get started first thing in the morning," Rainbow said with a growing smile. "Need to start some major endurance training."

"Are you thinking about circumnavigating the planet?"

Rainbow blinked, "I have no idea what that means, so I'll say yes."

"Are you thinking about flying around the world?" Twilight reiterated.

"Ah! Yes, sort of. But it's more than that. Here's what I was thinking. Everypony in town knows about the Sonic Rainboom, right? Well, why stop there? You know how I like to show off, so why not show off to the whole world?" Rainbow explained. "Two problems though. One, I need to actually be able to make the trip, so I need to work on my endurance. Two, I want to be able to make it back to the starting area before the rainbow disappears. Tie everything together, y'know? I wouldn't expect the Rainboom's rings to stick around, but if I can make a worldwide rainbow in the sky, wouldn't that be just awesome?!"

"You realize half the world is going to be dark if you were to attempt this?" Twilight asked.

Rainbow looked away irritated. She had forgotten about that little detail. "Eh, I'll just have to make sure this side of the planet sees us clearly then. If I can pull it off once, I can do it again!"

"Well, if that's what you want to try, I wish you luck! If you need any help with anything, just let me know. I wouldn't want to miss something like that!" Twilight said happily.

"Sure thing! Curious, how far is it from Manehattan to Applewood? I'll see how long it takes me to fly that distance and try and make some calculations."

Twilight went up to her bookshelf and located one of her atlases. She magically pulled it out and left the book on the table next to the globe. After grabbing a ruler from one of her desks, she opened the atlas and started flipping through the pages until she found a familiar map. She examined the number of inches from one city to another and compared it to the scale in the corner.

"According to this, nearly twenty-eight hundred miles, give or take."

"Well, that'll be a good place to start. I'll head home and prepare for tomorrow. I better tell the weather team I'm going to need off until further notice on the way. Wouldn't want to make them mad."

-----

Rainbow was true to her word and began her intense training regiment as soon as she finished eating breakfast. Though the weather crew was a little annoyed that their best pegasus was going to be unavailable for an undetermined amount of time, they gave Rainbow the OK after she explained the situation.

Her daily exercises went on for about two straight months. Even her friends started to think she was turning into a bit of a shut-in. Once she felt she had reached a personal goal, she decided to pay the other five a visit to say hello and ask them to stop by the library the following day to wish her luck. She had bulked up a bit and it almost looked like you could see the fibers in her muscles move under her skin as she walked and flapped her wings. Near the end of the two months, she was able to push herself harder than she ever had previously, and she was able to do it from morning until night without stopping. She was ready for her first test flight.

The following morning, a little before lunch, Spike and the six mares were together at Twilight's place. Rainbow took one last look at the map she and Twilight and gone over the day she first came up with her crazy idea, trying to pinpoint exactly the direction she'd need to fly. Her intent was to go from the Statue of Harmony to the Applewood sign. Twilight went upstairs where she stargazed and found a compass in one of the drawers of the desk she had in her study. She trotted downstairs with it in her magical grip and gave it to Rainbow.

"Just in case," she smiled.

During a light lunch, they agreed to meet up at the library later that evening. If Rainbow had improved herself as much as she hoped, it was a good possibility they'd see her later that day. They said their goodbyes and the pegasus was away.

-----

It was nearly 11 at night when Rainbow opened the library door and begrudgingly dragged herself inside. The girls were waiting for her, just as promised, and Spike had been allowed to stay up as well to see how Rainbow had done. Surprise and concern were on her friends' faces the instant they saw the brash pony. She had a remarkably upset look in her eyes.

"Hey Rainbow. What's wrong?" Twilight asked.

"I have another problem," she said. "I was doing really well, making incredible time. Then, the friction started to get to be too much and I couldn't push myself any faster. It felt like my face was about to be ripped apart."

Rainbow looked to be on the verge of tears and did her best to hold back. She was going to cry in front of them, even if they wouldn't have cared if she did. But, she still feel like she failed. It may have only been a test run, but she reached another barrier and she didn't have any answer on how to combat it.

"How long did it take you to fly from one place to the other at your top speed?" Pinkie asked.

"Well, I got to Manehattan near 3 o'clock. At least, that's what the clock downtown said. When I got to Applewood, the first clock I found said it was about 5:10."

"You flew from Manehattan ta Applewood in just over two hours? That's amazin', Rainbow!" Applejack praised.

"I'm curious about one thing though," Rarity interjected. "It took you a lot longer to get back here than it did to get to Manehattan. How come? Isn't Ponyville more or less in the middle between them?"

"My wings hurt. I thought all that training would help that, and I guess it did. It just wasn't enough," Rainbow said with a heavy sigh. "I had to wait before I could move them enough again to get me home, and I took my time getting back. They still hurt pretty bad too. I feel OK, but my wings.. "

"Still though, that's incredible that you can fly so far so fast. You should be thrilled, Dash!" Spike insisted.

"The speed I need to reach to do the trick I told you about is still too far away, and even if I wore a mask, I have a feeling it'd probably get torn apart by all the friction anyway and I'd be stuck with the same new problem. I'm sorry I don't have better news, girls," Rainbow said glumly. "I just want to go home right now."

Her friends got up to head home, each one giving her a hug as they were about to leave. "You know if there's anything we can do to help, Rainbow, we will," Fluttershy said.

She barely nodded and sighed again, feeling completely defeated. It appeared that her Sonic Rainboom was going to be the zenith of her abilities. Suddenly, an idea came to her. One that she preferred didn't, but after today's subpar performance, she felt a bit desperate.

"Girls, wait," she called out quickly before any of them had left. "Twilight, can I speak to alone for a minute?"

The unicorn tilted her head curiously, "Sure, Rainbow, come inside."

They stepped into the next room. Rainbow checked to see if the others were out of earshot and spoke in a whisper, "I.. I hate to ask you for this."

"What?"

"Well.. you can do all kinds of things with your magic. I don't suppose you'd be able to help," Rainbow explained. "It's just that, if I were to do it with your magic helping me, I'd feel like I didn't do it on my own, y'know?"

Twilight put a hoof on Rainbow's shoulder, trying to calm her down, "You heard Fluttershy, you can ask anything. Besides, you'd still be the one flying up there, not me. Now what'd you want me to do?"

She hung her head sadly and looked away. Asking for help felt like the hardest thing she's ever had to do. "Two things. I know you can put a magical barrier around things. I was kind of hoping you could put one on me. It'd help against all the friction and I wouldn't have to worry about my face, and maybe the rest of me, getting torn up."

The unicorn smiled, "Of course, that's easy. What was the second thing?"

Rainbow smirked, "I don't suppose you have any way to, I don't know, turn my wings off? I still want to be able to flap them, I just don't want to feel it."

"Hm. I should be able to do something like that. I could check some things in the medical journals I have here. When did you want me to do this?"

The pegasus looked at her wings with sad, heavy eyes. They still felt like they were on fire. She hated the idea that she'd have to walk home tonight, and the thought of flying even a few feet into the air to reach her own front door made her want to cringe.

"How about three days from now? My wings should be rested by then."

"Sounds good," Twilight said. "I don't know why you'd feel embarrassed about asking for help, Rainbow. It's not that big a deal."

Except it was to her. "I guess not," she lied.

They returned to the lobby where the others were waiting patiently. "Girls, we're going to give this another shot in three days. Rainbow and I have figured out what we hope will be an answer to her problem. Say, 7 o'clock that morning?" Twilight asked.

Their friends happily agreed and finally said their good nights, heading home to get some sleep, save for the humiliated pegasus.

Once they had all left, Rainbow turned to the lavender unicorn, "Thanks again, Twilight. You didn't have to do this, y'know."

"You're worrying too much about it. If I have to say this, you know you're going overboard with it," Twilight said with a chuckle. Rainbow couldn't help but laugh at the joke, too.

"Listen, if your wings really are still that sore, why don't you just stay here tonight? I can pull out the spare bed."

The offer was tempting. She just wanted to pass out, not so much from exhaustion but more from her sorrow. "OK, sure. Thanks. I don't think I could have been able to lift myself an inch off the ground right now."

"Sounds good. Spike, would you help me please? Afterwards, you really should be in bed too. It's already late for you as it is."

"Sure, Twilight."

The pair trotted up the stairs and brought the bed out from where it was being stored. Rainbow stood near the bottom of the stairs, stretching her aching wings as gently as she could. Even extending them to their full length felt like an unbearable chore.

"OK, all set, Rainbow!" Twilight called from above. The pegasus slowly crawled up the stairs and plopped tiredly into bed.

"Thanks again, guys," Rainbow said humbly, right before her eyes closed.

The unicorn giggled, "Good night, Dash."

-----

It was the third day, and the seven friends had met at the library, as they had agreed. Rainbow's wings had finally stopped screaming at her. Remembering how sore they were almost reinvigorated the pain, but the pegasus did her best to get the thoughts out of her head. She was ready to take on her ultimate challenge again, even if she wasn't going to do it completely on her own.

On Twilight's behest, she had a rather large breakfast. If Twilight's magic actually helped, she was going to be burning through a lot of energy, and she needed to stock up. She just hoped that when she was in the air, any stress that she was inevitably going to be having didn't bring everything right back up.

Rainbow turned to her magically gifted friend, "So, how long will these spells last?"

"I can make them last as long as I want, but the longer you want them to last, the longer it's going to take to finish casting." Twilight explained.

It made sense. Powerful magic takes time to learn and time to use. "If I wanted them to last twenty-four hours?"

"Hm. For the two spells you want, probably about a half hour."

Rainbow snorted in annoyance. Patience was never one of her virtues. But if she was going to have a shot at all at completing her most amazing feat ever, she was just going to have to deal with it. "Alright, let's go ahead and get this going then."

Twilight focused and her horn glowed brightly, magic surrounding her friend's body.

-----

The longest half hour ever finally went by and Twilight's horn dimmed back to normal. Rainbow stood up, wearing a soft, skin-tight lavender glow, popped out her wings and flapped them hard. The joints were completely numb.

"Awesome! I didn't feel a thing! Hey! Somepony throw something at me!" She looked at her friends, who were perplexed by the request. Suddenly, a small rock bounced off her chest and landed harmlessly on the ground. All but Rainbow stared angrily at Spike, who shriveled up with an embarrassed grin.

"Sweet! I didn't feel that either! This is going to be so awesome!"

Rainbow grabbed Twilight in a big bear hug, "Thank you so much!"

The unicorn laughed, "You're welcome, Dash. Now get up there and show us what you can do!"

"You realize it may be several hours before you see me pass overhead again, right?" Rainbow asked.

"I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm willing to wait," Twilight said. The others agreed, noting that they were right outside the library and could get some things to eat if they wanted. "Also, Dash, just so you know, if you're still going close twenty-four hours, you're going to feel it in your wings first. The spell will start to weaken, so you'll know when to slow down so you don't get hurt."

"Gotcha!" Rainbow saluted.

"Good luck, Dashie!" Pinkie said.

She nodded her thanks and took to the sky. Even at the speed she climbed, she didn't feel winded in the least. It was like her body wasn't even aware it was moving. She hoped that would come in handy later when she was moving at the speeds she was hoping for. She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath.

Snapping her eyes open with utter determination, she rocketed off to the west, firing off a Rainboom. She flapped her wings aggressively, and sure enough, they felt completely at ease. This could really be it! Her spirits were lifted so high, so fast, that even if she had collided with a mountainside, she wouldn't have cared at all, thanks to Twilight's protection spell.

She began to believe that there was nothing to stop her now. Grinning with pride, she pushed her wings harder. She had to admit to herself that it was a bit odd not feeling the wind racing through her mane. She shrugged it off and focused on her goal. She had to go faster.

-----

Several hours later, Fluttershy had been looking to the east. She squinted with the sun behind her and spotted a glowing purplish dot in the distance. It was rapidly increasing in size. Rainbow Dash! She actually made it once around!

"Look! There she is!"

They looked up and saw a lavender blur followed by a rainbow trail zipping overhead. She had made sure to stay high enough above the town so the momentum didn't rip apart any of the structures on the ground. They cheered and hollered as she raced by, ecstatic that she was really able to make a complete trip around the planet. Now, she just needed to pick up enough speed to be able to reach the rainbow in front of her.

"How long has it been?" Rarity asked.

Fluttershy flew overhead and looked at the clock tower just outside of town. Rainbow had taken off close to 8 o'clock. The tower said just past 3.

"A little over seven hours!" the yellow pegasus yelled from the sky.

"Seven hours?!" Applejack asked in shock. "She went across the country in just over two. Just how much was the friction holdin' her back? Wow!"

"Now what?" Spike asked. "Didn't she say that she wanted to go once around the world?"

Twilight clarified, "Sort of. Now she just has to reach her rainbow again before it fades away."

"Ah. Jeez, that's going to need a ton of speed."

"So far, she's doing extremely well! This is so incredible!" Rarity fawned.

-----

Rainbow knew she had picked up speed. Occasional glances at the ground, specifically at larger things like gargantuan trees and mountains, had shown her that the environment was vanishing past her quicker and quicker as she went. She decided to focus on the distance instead of what was flying by her. Every time she looked below or to the side, she would almost instantly get a headache. She wouldn't have been able to tell anypony what she was flying over anyway. All she wanted to see in front of her was a rainbow.

She could have kissed Twilight for her spells. She still was barely winded thanks to the lack of stress on her wings and she was thrilled that her skin was staying attached. It was inevitable. She was really going to do it today. She was going to become the fastest thing Equestria had ever seen, if she hadn't already!

-----

"There she is again!" Twilight shouted, pointing at the lavender spot in the distance. It disappeared past them a second later. "Fluttershy, how long was that? Didn't she just pass us not that long ago?"

She flew over the library as before. It was only 5:20 now. "About two hours, fifteen minutes!"

The girls looked at each other in complete surprise. She had encircled the globe in a fraction of the time she took the first time.

Forty-five minutes later, she reappeared in the distance again and dashed past them again almost instantaneously.

"Are y'all seein' this? I don't believe it!" Applejack said. "Fluttershy?"

She looked at the tower again. "It's 6:05!"

They looked at each other again, their speechlessness broken by Twilight. "That time was less than an hour."

"Yeah, Dash! You can do it! Woo!" Pinkie cheered.

Twenty-three minutes later, she went by again. Then ten. Then three.

-----

She had no idea how long she had been flying, but her wings still weren't in pain and she wasn't about to pass out, so that was good enough for her.

Her cutie mark for a camera, though! Oh Celestia, how things were starting to look around her! Before, the lights and colors had started to bleed past her little by little. Now, it was almost like the entire landscape had started bending around her body, like she was going into an endless tunnel.

Then she saw it straight ahead. There it was! Her own rainbow trail! It had to be! She gritted her teeth and threw everything she could into her wings. Her eyes grew wide, seeing victory in front of her.

She crossed the colorful threshold, consumed by her own rainbow. She did it! Her basked in her multicolored world of sweet success for what felt like an eternity. She didn't know it, but it took nearly half a day to complete her unbelievable stunt, and could have easily called it a day, slowing down to find her friends below and celebrate into the late hours of the night.

But something compelled her to keep going, and why not? She had already won, and she still felt great! She hadn't felt such elation since her first Sonic Rainboom! 'No limits!' she told herself.

-----

Her biggest fans were cheering and screaming outside the library. They witnessed their cyan friend do the unthinkable and complete a rainbow ring around the entire planet right over their heads. The hint of the lavender shield behind the prismatic display above showed just how fast Rainbow was moving. It was almost as if it was one solid line, just like her namesake in the sky.

"So, how do we get her to come down, eh?" Spike asked jokingly.

A few minutes later, they watched the most amazing feat of speed they had ever seen slowly fade out of existence. The lavender glow had dissipated and the rainbow flickered away into nothing.

They waited several minutes, searching the skies, hoping to see their friend touching down beside them. Enormous grins adorned their faces.

Twenty more minutes passed. Still nothing. Their joy had become concern. She had to be OK, right? She had the protective spell and it wasn't twenty-four hours yet. She had to be.

Twilight let a single tear roll down her cheek as she feared for her friend. "Rainbow?"

-----

In a small, futuristic-looking room, a chestnut stallion and grey mare looked at each other, deeply troubled. A small screen had popped to life a short while ago with a pair of dates flashing on them, one being today's, before suddenly cracking.

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