• Member Since 27th Dec, 2011
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The events of the Wonderbolt Academy have played out and Rainbow Dash is in the stretch to achieving her dream but still has a hard time getting a certain erstwhile friend out of her mind. After taking a few minutes to contemplate things, she decides that she's been given enough second chances in her life to see to it that somepony else gets one as well.

Rated Teen for some language later on, though nothing extremely vulgar.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 178 )

This was a great read and a fantastic way to have things resolved with Lightning Dust. If she doesn't just vanish or wait until another season (and there better bloody be more!) to come back for revenge or just to beat Dash (she appears at start of the episode as RD is about to win something/do something cool continues to beat her all episode until RD has a revelation and wins with a morale to go with it) I hope they at least have something to resolve it all. Something as good as this, I would. Thumbs up and favourite from me, it was great to read.

Tiran #2 · Dec 18th, 2012 · · 1 ·

Pretty good, but I think after the episode, Lightning Dust would need to do a lot more than have a sympathetic backstory to redeem herself. She didn't just screw up by almost killing Dash's friends, she didn't show even the slightest bit of remorse over her actions and she expected Spitfire to approve of her actions. She deserved what she got. Dash was never as bad as Lightning is.

I do think Lightning could be redeemed, but I think you'd need a longer story than this to do so.

I'll be honest and I'll admit that I never saw the Wonderbolt's Episode nor the Mare-do-well one, but from the fans reactions on both episode it makes me question the efforts that the production team puts into the show and showcasing the moral of it.

I mean How can one person write two DIFFERENT Rainbow Dash Themed Episodes and that we can still find bits and pieces that are flaws within the episodes and showcased some it to highlight, the negativity that these episodes tends to generate ? :rainbowhuh:

Sure the writer may have gotten better with Rainbow Dash in this episode, but it is not without a few more flaws. :twilightoops:

However, no show is perfect and that's what Fan-fics are for.

I find this entire story to be the true headcannon/aftermath of this tale and shows the episode in a much better light than what we were originally given.

You have truly done a great job with this idea and I am glad to read it. Everpony, or person, deserves a Second Chance, am I right ? :twilightsmile:

there are a few minor typos here and there, but I still feel confident saying inb4 featured. This looks like it's going places :moustache:
Edit: Congrats on the feature. CALLED IT!

Well I found it very well written and good, but I'm one of the people who thinks that Lightning Dust deserved to get kicked out of the Academy. Until she learns respect for teammates who aren't as good as she is, to be more cautious, and to have basic respect for the lives of innocent bystanders she doesn't belong on an elite military/stunt team, even if she is almost as good as Rainbow Dash. Still though you've done a good job making her more sympathetic.

LD got off REAL easy. The Mane 6 are not only the Elements of Harmony, they're full-fledged KNIGHTS (knighted at the ceremony at the end of the Season 2 premiere), so if anything happened to them, Spitfire would have ALSO been responsible, by placing LD as lead pony.

The beginning and middle were good. The story could have ended with Spitfire telling her that - not to get back into the class, but that she was welcome to apply again next time (and since most applicants were from Ponyville, it seems likely that these tryouts are more frequent than annual). The tail end of the fic seemed tacked on.
>I know you're type

>till your too old to fly

> "Yeah, I'd like that," Rainbow answered

> Spitfire began, casting a sidelong glance at a sheepish looking Rainbow Dash
She... isn't talking about RD herself, is she? They're not good friends.

Great job, by the way I'd like your oinion on my work in progress


It works on a similar theme but I think it would be more about not being the end of a dream but the start of a new one.

This story is awesome! It's 20% cooler! :rainbowkiss:


Nice idea, good execution, good job :twilightsmile:

This was great. I hope there are more fics with Lightning Dust, I really liked her character.

Much like Trixie she kinda got a raw deal in the episode which left me cold. Dismissing her would be a waste of talent.

I hope the fandom does more with her in the future.

Lightning Dust deserved what she got. Ignoring what she almost did to the Elements of Harmony, she could have crippled her fellow cadets earlier on when she coerced Dash to blow past them with her. Pegasi might be crash-resistant to a degree, but that does not mean they are crash-proof, especially in the wing area. Top that off, she injured her wingpony, was informed beforehand that it was too dangerous for her wingpony, went through with it anyway - then acted as if a wing injury wasn't a problem instead of stopping to see Dash off to be looked at. Chance could have been that Dash might have broken her wing on Dust's command.

She endangered her fellow cadets, disobeyed instructions to kiss ass, destroyed Academy property, nearly killed Equestrian heroes, and was not only unapologetic - but pulled rank just to get out of having to deal with it. There is nothing redeemable there, there is no reason to feel sorry for her.

If anything, I'm tired of there being so many Celestia-damned Dust-apologists, trying to say "Well maybe this maybe that it's just not fair" she had ONE chance to show them she was team material, and she proved them wrong. She proved she can't function properly in a team, She knew what failure to work in a team meant - that she'd never make the Wonderbolts, and she blew off everything the Wonderbolts team required of its members. She doesn't deserve a second chance, and she won't be getting one. You do NOT accept potential threats into a squad where cohesion and adherence to orders is absolute, or someone's going to lose their life.

You don't see any solo-showboats in the Navy Blue Angels, do you? They're where the Wonderbolts even come from in the first place. You pull shit like that in close formation flying in jets, you're going to send more than just your own jet spiraling into the ground. Oh look, that still applies to Pegasi. Dash here showcased maturity - that she's growing up somewhat from being like how Dust is. She's surpassing the old Dash who would have acted just like Dust, without thinking what it would cost her.

Dust did NOT consider what she might lose, and did not think before acting rashly. If she got a second chance, then the Wonderbolts would not be the ace team they are, letting dangerous fliers into their ranks would just destroy unit cohesion as a whole and drastically drop their performance level.

No amount of sob story changes what she did, and what she is. We need fewer apologists trying to say all the villains are just misunderstood. Who CARES if they're misunderstood? Discord brings about a candy-coated apocalypse, Nightmare Moon nearly brought genocide on her own subjects, Chrysalis tried to enslave an entire race of beings, Sombra went evil and enslaved a whole kingdom. Yet everywhere I go I find people raving about how it's not their fault, or they need second chances.

Trixie, at least, was somewhat understandable. She didn't actually bring the Ursa Minor, and it's quite possible that her boasting is just part of her stage presence. I get that, even though she was still bitchier than she should have been. Gilda, regardless of how close she might have been with Dash - was a thief and enormous asshole. She deserved what she got. Dust, regardless of anything else - is a threat to those around her, and did not use her brain before endangering her Wonderbolts dream, meaning she was very well not worthy of it.

Annoying as all hell that I can't throw a stone and not hit someone trying to make every jerk, bully, dark god, and washout sound like a tragic hero who just got a bad shake. I completely accept that might be someone's headcanon, the problem I have is that there are so many of them forming these weird little cults and bitching at anyone who says different anywhere I go. /endrant

I wish this would make it onto the show.... It shows a lot about Rainbow's character.

Interesting...very interesting.

"I still think you're a bit on the dangerous side, but you can be my Wingpony anytime."


Rust #17 · Dec 18th, 2012 · · 1 ·

I can see where you're coming from. In situations where the performance of teammates is the difference between life and death, there are no second chances. You'd better be damn sure your wingman knows their shit, and you know yours. Lightning Dust doesn't deserve a second chance to join the Wonderbolts. Or any other stunt flying team, for that matter. She had one shot, and one shot only, and she blew it sky high.

But... that doesn't mean she can't learn from her mistakes.

1820925 Meh, except for the fact that Spitfire was initially impressed with her use of the tornado until RD mentioned she almost hurt her friends, and on top of that, Spitfire encouraged her reckless behavior by promoting her to wing leader in the first place. On top of that, how dumb do you have to be to think it would be a good idea to take an uncontrolled hot air balloon into airspace where they knew flight training was being conducted? Isn't Twilight supposed to be smart? It's just as much Spitfire's fault they were nearly killed as it is Rainbow and Lightning's. RD did nothing to stop the creation of the tornado, hell she even helped make it!

Things can't always be black and white.

I agree with pretty much everything Aurora Dimmet said. I would like to add that inventing a rich pony with perfect parents background for Rainbow Dash to further play up your contrasting Lightning Dust backstory really reenforces their point.

1821290 I agree with all of your points save one: the bit about Twilight taking the balloon to a flight training camp.

I'm pretty sure that since a training camp is considered a controlled environment, you wouldn't really expect a natural disaster to be waiting for you once you got there. Yes, she is smart. No, being smart does not give you an ability to predict the future.

1821312 Spitfire's reaction made it seem like that kind of thing was not unheard of, but I see your point. Still, their balloon had no visible means of control, so I still wonder how they even ended up there in the first place. Well, I guess there's always magic!

Well aren't you just a bag of sunshine and rainbows I presume.

It's nice to see Lightning Dust get some closure, but I don't feel Spitfire needed to apologize for being hard on her. She did endanger the lives of her fellow recruits and the mane 5 and damaged/destroyed Academy property and deserved to be chewed out and dismissed from the Academy for those actions. The important thing though is that she can learn from those mistakes and perhaps some time in the future try again with some other Aerobatic team(I doubt the Wonderbolts are the only flying team of their kind in Equestria).

I give this story four out of five mustaches :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

Good story, nothing bad here! :twilightsmile:

You're absolutely right, a character like Lightning Dust deserves a second chance. Newly introduced characters like her are too often tossed aside by the end of the episode.

Not a bad story if you accept the premise that Lightning Dust deserved better than what she got - and I do. The episode didn't give her any resolution whatsoever, so any continuation of it is welcome.

That said, two minor quibbles: One, check your usage of "you're" vs. "your" and "they're" vs. "their". There (ha!) are a lot of switch-ups of that kind in the story. Two, labeling this story "Random" might be the most egregious misuse of a story tag I've ever seen. This isn't a comedy story, much less something that falls under the umbrella of "Random". Just "Slice of Life" will do nicely.

1821440 1820925
I agree on both counts. Spitfire had nothing to apologize for. Them's the rules. And yes, LD blew it, no going back, no second chances.

But these are ponies we're talking about. We can bend the rules if it makes for a happy ending. So there. :pinkiehappy:


Yes, because it's not like the whole purpose of training is to spot these problems and deal with them early.

Oh... wait. I forgot.
Spitfire and all the other trainers we saw didn't seem to give a flying buck about paying attention to such things and actively promoted Dust's recklessness by allowing her to demand a higher setting on the dizzitron, then going off to award her the lead pony role. Not to mention that they ignored Dash's injury and - given Spitfires expression when Dash looked her way - even appeared to taking the stance that quitting was not an option. Any sane instructor should have been demanding to know what the hell happened for one of them to have sustained a clear wing injury like that. Not to mention that her response to the other trainees being thrown about in air obstacle course was to insult their skills as well as prove that she had apparently not watched a single bit of it given Dash and Dust made their move in plain sight and had Spit, or any other instructor, been watching she should have been on them both like stink on a bug for their actions.

At which point we have Dusts first jerk speech - which is quite frankly nothing worse than anything Dash has boasted about or claimed in past episodes.

And then the tornado... in which Rainbow dash is inspired by Spitfires own words to go along with the plan. And it's not a bad plan, I highly doubt Dust would have brought it up if she'd never worked tornados before because to claim such is to rely on her having an idiot ball to explain it. The tornado going out of control, then, can most likely be put down to simple accident. What's more important though is that this tornado went out of control... and none of the wonderbolt staff did a thing about it. The thing even smashed through the scoreboard so there is no way in hell that they didn't notice it!

But hey, a tornado is apparently not worth doing anything about. Maybe they were just morons, maybe they didn't care - or, far more likely, they knew the local airspace was restricted in some way so that there would be no-one around to be harmed by such things. Which, if so, would put Twilight at fault for being hit by the tornado on the simple basis that she should not have been there. Funny thing about military training spaces that - civilians aren't meant to randomly wander through them. I doubt this is any different for the training grounds of an elite air display / air force team.

Plus, even when the five fall it's down to Dash alone to save them... because apparently the staff and trainers still don't care to do anything about it.

And then comes the big finale of Dust's apparent indifference to the disaster. What, exactly, does she do that's so terrible here? Lets see... she appears to not care about the fact that five ponies fell to their death... well no. As she said, they didn't. They were saved. Dash has reacted in even worse ways to such things before - the whole Mare Do Well thing being the prime example - where she was actively showboating while ponies lives were in danger. At least Dust only did it after they were safe. Insensitive yes, jerkish yes, but hardly high crime.

Dash then accuses Dust of 'making' her hurt her wing and sending the others into spins. Which is funny since it was Dash who chose to follow her on both occasions, Dash who had the option to not do so, Dash who never spoke up at any point about anything that was an issue until her explosion right at the end. Good job Dash! The moral of your story is essentially 'I was just following orders' given you never questioned anything!

In short - Dust was an arrogant jerk at best and one that would have been a complete non-issue had the trainers at this poor excuse for a training camp actually done their jobs.

Actually in such a training camp one should be more likely to expect danger since a big chunk of the point of such training is that any accidents and mishaps will happen there rather than on the proverbial field. If Twi hadn't been there then the tornado would likely have just ended with light punishment and either a warning not to do it again or training sheduled on how to properly use a tornado. It's only Twi + co suddenly popping up that turned a negligible incident into something major.


As to the fic itself... My biggest complaint, really, was that you felt the need to give Dust a woobie-tastic backstory with the whole dad and stepdad thing. You really could have done without much of it, likely just leaving things with the fact that Dust had worked herself hard to get there despite aerobatics not being her special talent. Giving her the sade backstory rather diminishes the character as rather than acknowledging the characters screw-ups and/or personality flaws you as an author instead appeared to manufacture sympathy so that the audience would judge the character on that backstory rather than on the character themselves.

I'm kind of iffy on the idea of Dust hero-worshipping Dash... I think you laid it on a bit too thick with that, but I will admit that it is likely she would have followed Dash from at least around the time of the Best Young Flyer contest.

You have a tendency to mix up thinks like your and you're so watch for that, and i'm not really sure what your tagging is doing - Random brings to mind weird-as-heck crackfics, not things like this.

Other than that, not too shabby. Good work!

Amazing topgun reference near the end there. what you did: i see it.

great story :)

Good, good. Let the leather pants flow through you.

She really is becoming the new Trixie.


The training grounds is a place where traffic and visitors should be going in and out rather frequently. There's probably a place where visitors enter and leave from, which the Mane Six likely took. It's not like someone can't avoid the great big balloon while they're flying around.


Geez. I have clearly been told. Surely I must bow down to your ability to both browse and misapply TVTropes articles.

Or, y'know, I could just ask you to point out where I claimed that Dust could do no wrong and that everything was the fault of circumstance around her. Or perhaps I could just ask you to justify the double standards you hold regarding Dash's behavior in prior episodes compared to Dust's behavior now when it can be proven that Dash has done equal or worse than Dust in the past. Maybe I could even go one step further and ask how exactly you managed to get 'baw baw baw don't be mean to poor widdle Dusty' from a rambling rant about incompetent instructors, Dash's refusal to complain about anything and the fact that had Twilight + co not shown up in the middle of a training field no-one would likely have even cared about the tornado accident.

But I suppose that would require you to do something a bit more complex than lay all the blame at the hooves of the one pony you don't like much.


When a fandom takes a controversial or downright villainous character and downplays his/her flaws, often turning him/her into an object of desire and/or a victim in the process.

People, such as yourself, tend to forget that tropes have more then one interpretation. The trope "Draco in Leather Pants" isn't just "baw baw baw don't be mean to poor widdle Dusty", it's when a fandom takes a character who's been canonacially established to act negatively and attempts to portray them in a more positive manner.

I could just ask you to point out where I claimed that Dust could do no wrong and that everything was the fault of circumstance around her.

While you never said she could do no wrong, you most certainly did blame the circumstances:

The tornado going out of control, then, can most likely be put down to simple accident.

It's not Dust's fault, the tornado going out of control was an accident!

...and none of the wonderbolt staff did a thing about it.

It's not Dust's fault, The Wonderbolts should have stopped the tornado!

...they knew the local airspace was restricted in some way so that there would be no-one around to be harmed by such things. Which, if so, would put Twilight at fault for being hit by the tornado on the simple basis that she should not have been there.

It's not Dust's fault, Twilight shouldn't have been there to begin with!

one that would have been a complete non-issue had the trainers at this poor excuse for a training camp actually done their jobs

Yup, you're not trying to blame anypony else. Moving along...

Dash has reacted in even worse ways to such things before - the whole Mare Do Well thing being the prime example - where she was actively showboating while ponies lives were in danger.

While it is true that Dash's ego kept ponies in danger, there's a big difference: Dash wasn't the one that put them in danger to begin with.

Dash who never spoke up at any point about anything that was an issue until her explosion right at the end.

"We should slow down. It doesn't look like both of us could make it at this speed."
--Dash, immediately prior to injuring her wing.

"Um, Lightning Dust? Next time, maybe we don't cut the other teams off like that."
--Dash, after cutting the other teams off.

she appears to not care about the fact that five ponies fell to their death... well no. As she said, they didn't.

No, she didn't care that her actions nearly caused five ponies to plummet to their death. Dash may have helped with the tornado, but her reaction to it says it all:

She was horrified by what had happened and immediately set out to save them. Lightning Dust? She sat on her ass like those instructors you so like to blame.

But I suppose that would require you to do something a bit more complex than lay all the blame at the hooves of the one pony you don't like much.

Funny, please point to where I said I didn't like her. I think she's a great character that helps to show just how much Dash has grown from when we first saw her. Judging by your. and others, reactions, I'm sure she'll do very well in the fanfics and I look forward to it--just as long as she doesn't wear any leather pants.

(God I love the new preview comment feature.)

Wow, I never really noticed how much Rainbow Dash has changed until you pointed it out in the Author's Note. Lightning Dust really reminded me of the Mare Do Well episode when Rainbow was also being a bit of a reckless jerk, and I like how you mentioned that her friends gave her a second chance, which made her do the same for Lightning Dust. I'm just waiting for another episode with Lightning Dust in it. This is one of those stories that's so beautiful I just want it up on my wall. :twilightsmile:

1819797 :twilightangry2: They seem to be giving up on morales. One morale so far, one letter to Celestia. No news when Celestia visits after Trixie goes crazy (Trixie doesn't trust wheels! I don't blame her, but if you won't use something on wheels you should walk)

Dear Princess Celestia, Today I learned that inflation and the scarcity of coal (bad zebra relations) leads to huge price increases on ink.
Your Faithf


I do wish things went this route in the episode. Even though Lighting Dust did deserved to be punished, the look on her face after being dismissed from the academy was heart-wrenching. :fluttershysad: Great story!

I'll read this as I'm a Lighting Dust fan, hopefully I'll like this. XD

I"m glad you liked it. Thank you for the thumbs up, favorite and the compliment :)

I can definitely see your point in this one and I probably could have stretched this out over several chapters but honestly, I have no idea what else I would have done with it if I'd made it any longer :twilightsheepish:

Careful, you'll swell my ego and make me blush with compliments like that, but I'm really glad you enjoyed it, that was what I was hoping for. :ajsmug:

Yes you did! When I put this up this morning, I never even thought for a second that it would generate the number of views/comments/likes that it has and I never expected it to get to the feature box. Color me very surprised and beyond thrilled! :yay:

In addition to what was stated in my author notes, I'm a fan of the background ponies and the ones that are supposed to be one-shot antagonists... I'm not saying I really expect to see a lot of Lightning in the future, but this idea really wouldn't leave me alone. Glad you liked it!

Corrections have been made, thank you for pointing them out! Also, I freely admit that the ending was tacked on around the time I posted the story, but for some reason just leaving them flying out to do their laps didn't work for me.

I won't be able to tonight but I'll be happy to take a look at it soon. Happy to help!

Thank you!

Thanks, glad you like it!

Much appreciated! :pinkiehappy:

Thank you! I'm not really gonna say that she didn't get a raw deal, cause she did screw up and was pretty callous to the other cadets, but I think they could have done a little more with her. Hence this fic. :ajsmug:

I'm not gonna bitch at you or say that you're wrong, you've got the same right as everybody else on what you do or don't like and I'm fine with that. Feedback is feedback whether positive or negative, but in the end you read my work and took the time to leave a comment for it, so whether I agree with you or not, I'll still say thank you for at least giving me your time.

I never expected it to get where it is, I'd shoot for the stars and hope it got tacked on as an episode, but that might be setting my sights just a tad bit too high :twilightsheepish: Thank you though, I'm glad you liked it!

Much appreciated!

I'm afraid it's not. In all honesty, it just sounded good ^^;

Glad people are getting the Top Gun references!

Sorry if you felt it was sappy or improperly used, but like you said, I wanted to pull up a contrasting back story to do what I wanted to do with the fic. It is what it is.

Indeed, everything works in contrasting shades.

That was pretty much my point, though whether she actually does learn from her mistakes or not is for some other author to write. :derpytongue2:

Thank you for the mustaches

I've got a bunch of corrections to make, but thank you! :pinkiehappy:

Many thanks to you! Glad you liked.

I freely admit I'm not the greatest writer... and unfortunately I'm not a very good editor, especially at 5 in the morning, but thank you for the advice and the comments, I'll do my best to fix stuff up in the coming weeks :twilightsheepish: Also, I wasn't sure if this really qualified purely as slice of life or not, so I added the random tag mostly for the same reason I tacked on the ending, because it felt right at the time ^^; I'll probably take the tag off at least though. Thanks!

I'm glad you liked the story and thank you for the honest comments and criticism.

Glad you enjoyed it and glad you got the references! :pinkiehappy:

Thank you very much for the compliment and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, though careful or you'll make me blush again :twilightsheepish: Seriously though, I'm glad you liked it and I'm pleased to see that I'm agreed with in the character development and second chance departments

Really glad you enjoyed it and I'll do my best to keep the your/you're mistakes to a minimum and/or correct them in the near future :twilightblush:

Magic of Friendship is all about learning from mistakes and getting second chances when they come available. I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you!

Hopefully you will!


Even with Spitfire being involved, yes. It is black and white. There is wrong and right. Spitfire is not nearly as much to blame as Dust is.

Think of what Spitfire SAW. All she witnessed was Dust and Dash working well together, all she got to observe and hear about were Dust's results. She did not see or hear about any of the other crap she'd done. That's just the way shit works, otherwise every officer in every military unit would be worthy of their position instead of slipping their negative and disqualifying 'qualities' by the promotion board.


It was just a rant in general. Your story was more or less fine, aside from a few details others already brought up. So don't take anything I said personally, it wasn't any sort of insult to your writing - just my distaste for how common Dust-protection is overall. Keep up the good work.


I don't even know where to start with how pointless your post is.


Ye verily. You shall not find someone as chipper as I am. Please choke on my joy and good cheer.


Oh yes, I didn't mean to imply that Dust can't learn from her mistakes. Dash did, after all. But the problem is TIMING - Dash learned her lesson before being accepted, and cemented it by seeing Dust in action. You could SEE it on her face and hear it in her voice "Is this how I am to other people?" and she knew she had to grow the fuck up, y'know? Dust can probably make a great comeback, but Wonderbolts is out. Just because she fixes her crap doesn't mean she deserves a second chance, any resolution for her needs to be about her overcoming her issues and making the most out of her life. Got no one to blame for her failure but herself, is all I meant to imply.


Well written: I feel like all the characters are in-character, and it all flows together perfectly to create a compelling and feel-inducing story. It also helps that it all makes sense. :rainbowwild:

I can totally see Rainbow intervening on Lightning's behalf; they are so similar, they make excellent rivals. Lightning does strike me like a young Rainbow Dash now that I think about it, and for Rainbow to take her under her (metaphorical) wing makes a lot of sense to me.

-required wisecrack-

Color me very surprised and beyond thrilled!

What color was surprised again? Green? No, that's jealous... maroon? And thrilled was...?

Really glad that you enjoyed it and that you feel I got the characters in character. I'm also glad you think it makes sense cause that is always important!

As for the color of surprise, I've always considered it to be a whitish-gold kind of color and thrilled is sort of a dark blue... I really have no clue as to why :pinkiecrazy:


-required (pony related) wisecrack-
Surprise is whitish gold? Gee, wonder why...?

Blink blink... I... um... yeah... wow... didn't see that one coming :derpyderp2:

I loved it! I think it's the perfect way to redeem Lightning. :pinkiehappy:

I'm glad you enjoyed, thank you! :twilightsmile:

Hay, even Barbell, for all muscle and 'yeahs!

Wasn't that character's name suppose to be Reynold Rage?

But still a cool tedemption story overall.

Great job with this man. I felt for Lightning Dust and I don't even like her. At all.
Keep up the good work.:pinkiehappy:

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