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Never gonna be a Wonderbolt

Poster: The Wonderbolts
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:iconepic-prose: made a cool comment with a backstory and it's just too awesome to just be lost in the comment section:

Broken, they'd told her.

Useless, they have called her.

Rainbow Dash had faced many challenges in her life, from the bullies in flight school not leaving her best friend alone, to becoming the weather coordinator for a small town an hour's flight from Canterlot.

Nothing would ever be as challenging as this, however.

Removing her armored flak vest, Dash opens her locker and puts it away along with her helmet, her boots, and her satchel. Moving a hoof to close the locker's door, she pauses, eyes pulled to the worn and faded poster taped to the inside of it.

Despite it's age, she can still see the stoic faces of the Wonderbolts' looking out at her, their confidant smiles bringing forth one of her own.

She had awoken every day for years to the sight of this poster. Every day, she had seen it and her dream to be counted among their ranks, the ranks of the most experienced, most amazing fliers in all of Equestria
had been born anew. Had become stronger. 

So when the war had started, when Spitfire herself had put out the call to arms for all Pegasi. Dash had not hesitated a moment, never thought for a second that joining their ranks to help combat the growing threat in the North would be anything less than the most amazing idea she had ever had. She had been filled with a feeling of pride so complete that she had sworn she might explode the day she had been given her wings, had been made the leader of a combat aerial patrol group. 

Her smile falters, as in the reflective metal surface of the locker door she spies it. The source of all the scorn, all the hurtful words the other Pegasi tossed at her.

Her prosthetic wing.

It had not been her first mission, it had not even been her tenth mission. It had been her twentieth, when her ego and the confidence that had defined her for almost her entire life, had made her lax.She should have seen it coming, should have seen the signs of the ambush. Perhaps if she had, she'd still have her wing.

And her squad might still be breathing.

She could still hear the yell of her second, a Sergeant who'd been with her since they'd both joined up in Cloudsdale. She could still smell the burnt feathers, the rancid smell of the fireball striking her friend, her wingmate, in the chest. She could still feel the sensation of falling as the pain of her wing caused her vision to swim and turn black around the edges.

The images flash through her mind as she grits her teeth, trying desperately to get the memories to stop playing. She didn't want to see their faces! She didn't want to hear their frantic calls for help over the radio, the answering call of 'five more minutes' causing her stomach to drop more than the fall had. She didn't want to feel the hoof gripping hers as her friend's smile had started to slip as their eyes had closed.

And yet, even as all the images swim to the surface unbidden, causing her to lean against the locker, why can she not remember her friend's final words?

"Command Sergeant?" A voice comes from behind her, causing her wings to snap out, the fiberglass and steel of her prosthetic catching the light and causing the pony who had called over to her to breath sharply.

"Yes, Corporal?" Dash replies, looking over one shoulder, unwilling to admit that she can't fold her prosthetic easily.

"Captain needs to talk to you," the Corporal, a mare, says shakily. Dash chuckles inwardly, as the mare must be knew if she was still gasping at her wounds.

"Tell her I'll be right there," Dash sighs, looking back at her locker. The mare nods, and runs off.

Turning her attention back to the locker, Dash folds her wings, wincing inwardly at the creak her prosthetic makes. She looks one last time at the poster, putting a hoof against it, and smiling.

And, in a whisper that she is sure only she can hear, Dash smiles and says the words she's been telling herself since the firs time they'd called her broken.

"I might be broken, but they've not beaten me yet...."

Now there's even a song =P…
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teamstarfox64's avatar

i have metal legs so agreed