• Member Since 7th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen Oct 23rd, 2021


I'm old.I fly airplanes.I have a job.


What starts out as an ordinary afternoon for Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash quickly turns deadly, as forgotten schemes of vengeance awaken and come to fruition. Rainbow Dash will learn the true purpose of the Wonderbolts, what it means to be a hero, and what it costs.

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 27 )

In some ways, it is reassuring that even Celestia can be surprised and caught off-guard. The worrying thing is imagining what precisely could do that for her!

Really? They could be artificial or the red sparks could be hot debris around the central objects. I'll have to wait for Luna's explanation for more details.

Site Blogger

Wow, never thought I'd see this here! What changed your mind?

Reality. I'd put up a new story on DA, and in a month it's gotten only a hundred views. If a ponyfic author wants his/her/its work read, DA is no longer the best venue to harvest eyeballs. I still wish this site had an explicit statement of rights non-assignment, but they don't, and they won't.

Site Blogger

I kinda suspected. Welcome to the big show, as it were.

Comment posted by RichardBerrios deleted Mar 6th, 2013

So... Twilicorn...

Will you edit the story now that she's an Alicorn because there are only minor details that would need fixing.


No need. This would have taken place well before Twilight's epiphany. This was written between seasons one and two, and in particular it still works with Luna's personal arc and development. I had imagined Luna going through a recovery period after her return, and at this particular point she still is loaded down with personal guilt from the Nightmare Moon incident (the moreso because it was directly driving what happened in this story). This doesn't go against "Luna Eclipsed", and strictly through the luck of how the writers developed Luna this could have been part of the transition of "teenage Luna" to "royal Canterlot voice Luna". After this incident Luna might well have gained some self-confidence from having defended Canterlot successfully, and started coming to grips with her past by facing its consequences.

In any event, I don't like to revise stories in response to new canon lore. The stories stand as-written, as a reflection of what was known at the time of writing as well as my own mindset at the time of writing. "Han Solo shot first" and all that. Besides, if I were to put that kind of effort into writing, I'd rather spend it on a new story :ajsmug:


It is useless to resist. The Feels will absorb you!

I really liked this. It shows Rainbow's development without being too heavy handed with the tragedy, and it kept me riveted the whole way through. Thanks for sharing :pinkiehappy:

I don't know when I found this, it was in my read later list but I'm glad I did as this was amazingly well done.

Very glad to have found this again - and on FiMFiction no less! I loved this story back in 2011, and still love it now. Very well done.

Awesome story, so glad I read it

I was just going through my favorites list and moving some stories I had never gotten around to to my read-it-later list when I came across this one. I started to file it away but changed my mind when I noticed the length and I am glad that I did. Great story, and great characterization for Dash.

Have a thumbs up and a follow.

I found this on deviant art shortly after I became a barony. Roughly three years ago. I had hoped that this story would`ve gotten more attention.

Huh. that was surprisingly great.

Strong feels and some great tension wrapped in a tight package. Considering how old this is, it definitely should have gotten more love.

The technical details are strong, from flight maneuvers to orbital eccentricity, but the emotion definitely needs work. The narration is oddly prioritized at times, bogging down some sections with unnecessary detail while glossing over others to provide characterization and emotion through explicit statements rather than allowing the characters to feel and establish themselves through actions. (I'm looking at you, Nimbus.) The telliness persists throughout the story, but the narrative does flow more smoothly as time goes on, especially during the climax.

Speaking of Nimbus, I just didn't feel invested enough in her to feel as sad as the story wants me to be after her sacrifice. We only knew her for a few scenes; a heroic sacrifice in the line of duty is noble, but without getting to know the character, it just feels like she made that sacrifice because Dash is the protagonist and she isn't. The mention of the cost of being a hero in the description also telegraphed it. Making Nimbus the only fatality further highlights how much the story tries to make me feel sad. Emphasis on the word "tries." Tugging heartstrings rarely ends well if the reader can feel the pull.

All that being said, underneath the stylistic issues is a very good story. The setup's a little slow, but after that, it moves well from scene to scene, establishing the stakes, raising the tension, and even putting in relative breathers as Dash's attention drifts. All this story needs is some more finesse in presentation and subtlety at the resolution.

Also, while I appreciate not wanting to bend over backwards to accommodate canon younger than the story, adding some kind of notice to the description or an earlier author's note about when this was written would be very helpful. People are going to look at this story, see it was published just after "Magical Mystery Cure" aired, and be very confused. I know I was.

Well. It got me to cry. Just a tiny bit.

I will say that this fic kind of made me hate the tragedy tag. Between that and the description some part of me couldn't help but keep guessing what the big Diabolus ex Machina was going to be. Rainbow Dash loses her wings? Rainbow Dash dies? Come on man, what are you going to hit me with since I know it's coming? I'm also just really frustrated with myself and the situation I found myself in as I was just bombarded by distractions. I tried to start reading it at seven. I didn't finish until nearly three hours later, and that wasn't because I'm a slow reader. So, yeah, I worry I didn't like the story as much as I could.

Some of the pacing and action felt strange to me, and the above might be partially to blame. There were also some times I felt the fic was treading water just to get us through uninteresting narrative bits that probably could have been cut all together and summarized in dialogue. The focus on Twilight repelling the last meteor shards, the time between RD landing and her shouting, and the start of the epilogue before Spitfire shows up come to mind. That said, when I sort of stepped back and thought about what was going on, I really got a sense of gravitas for what was happening here. The image of the falling stars, the red light. The strange, alien comet. This images stuck out to me and impressed upon me not a sense of dread, but of determination. Of facing death with dignity. That mood was a palpable draw for the story for me. Also, despite feeling a little detached at Nimbus's death, Spitfire's bluntness in the end was what drove the emotion home for me.

"This is the Hall of the Fallen. These are the marks of the Wonderbolts who have died so that others could live."

And, well, yeah, you already know how I reacted.

So, yeah, I guess in the end I liked it despite God and I trying to sabotage my own enjoyment at every step. It's emotions were deep, but not overwrought, and despite everything, I was still affected at the end.

"Slow down!" Twilight pleaded as she wrapped her forelegs around the guard-rail of the passenger cockpit.


"Next time I'm going to bring a parachute. And some reins. And a buggy-whip."

Was not aware it was this kind of fic.

"Because they have that cool armor! And they get to kick butts when ponies get in the Princess' face too much!"

Rainbow. YOU kick butt when ponies get in Princess' face too much already. Or when there's some kind of world threatening crisis. Or just whenever you feel like it really. As to the armor? Why not have some commissioned for you? You're practically royalty yourself at this point, you're so close to Twilight.

"When have you ever heard of the Guard actually 'kicking butts'? They're soldiers, not bouncers at a nightclub!"

Did hear about this one place that had a theme going though.

"Yeah, well, I'm really doing this because I saw the Wonderbolts pulling stunt ponies on air-skis once. If they know how to tow, I gotta know too! Besides," Rainbow Dash said with a Rarity-like toss of her head. "Princess Celestia said I was the best flier in Equestria. She might want to get somewhere in a hurry someday. And might want to look cool doing it too, y'know?"

Or she can have good reasons, that works too I guess.

Twilight almost snorted at the mention of 'hard work' from Rainbow Dash

Being that awesome is pretty hard work.

"Hey, am I invisi—" Rainbow Dash started to protest the snub, but then recognized the guard-pony. It was one of the soldiers whom she had taunted weeks ago in Ponyville. She silenced herself, and flew sulkily ahead, making a show of ignoring the guard as surely as he was ignoring her.

Rainbow regretted going to that nightclub all around really. The bad music wasn't even that good, and the drinks were over priced.

Twilight grinned impishly at Rainbow Dash. "Why, would you like me to introduce you? As far as I know, he's single..."

She wouldn't have said this if she had seen how he was acting at the club. He actually liked the music! *cringe*

Twilight had been right; "Momma Gaspacho's", though somewhat fancy as pizza parlors go, was excellent

Rainbow Dash caused a minor scene before realizing that it was supposed to be served cold.

Lieutenant Cloudmane chuckled quietly, muttering something about sauces and geese.

Not only was he stalking her, but he seemed to be obsessed with the concept album, sauces and geese. Stupid hipsters.

Celestia laughed merrily. "Oh, I have no doubt that you will. But there's so much more to being a Wonderbolt than flight skills."

Rainbow Dash looked a little puzzled. "What do you mean, Princess—"

She did know little of the Byzatine Canterlot politics, blood sacrifices, orgies, and 80s sitcom marathons involved in becoming a Wonderbolt.

Overhead, behind Celestia, a tight formation of pegasus-ponies streaked across the sky from the direction of Cloudsdale, marker-lights attached to ankle-bands on their hooves

Oh god, more ponies from the horrible club! Rainbow Dash should never have caught the attention of that raver demon!

"Waitaminute. Why would she need us?"

I could point out how often they save the day, but Rainbow does seem to have self esteem issues.

Obtuseness aside, strong introduction. Good characterization. Curious to see where things go from here.

Agreed. Overall, this story has a lot of strength to it, though I have some misgivings with delivery.

While the stylistic issues didn't bother me as much as they did you, I did notice them. I agree that there's room to improve; it seems like the story's construction makes it seem clunkier than it really is, if that makes sense. The plotline and character development, abstracted from the style, are pretty flawless, I feel.

It does seem like the description/tags had a bit of a spoiler effect for multiple people. I have a weird habit of completely forgetting the description of a fic as I'm reading it, so that wasn't as much of an issue for me.


Thanks very much for your thoughtful criticisms.

Yes, pacing is something that I had a few issues with. I think cinematicly more than anything else, and tend to write scenes more than chapters. I'm working on it. i just didn't feel I had the page-budget to spend on Nimbus, and didn't want to go too far down the obvious set-her-up-just-to-be-hurt path.

As for when it appeared... this story was published between seasons 1 and 2 on DeviantArt. I didn't put a copy here until much later. At the time of the writing DeviantArt was ground-zero for pony fanfic.

Times, they do change.

Interesting. A well done story. You got my attention from beginning to end, and even though I am reading this well into season 8, I was not lost. This story definitely deserves more views than it has. Hopefully Seattle's Angels will pick up this story like they did for "The Good King", which brought me to your profile in the first place.

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