Rainbow Dash and the X-Treme Showdown
If it’s one thing Rainbow Dash likes, it’s being awesome. She couldn’t have been more proud when she got her name in the Book of Equestria Record-Breakers, not just once, but seven times! Her records included most clouds busted, fastest takeoff, and most tornadoes wrangled at the Cloudsdale Weather Rodeo. Nopony had ever come close to breaking any of her records, thus, she had nothing to worry about. That was all about to change…
“He’s amazing! He’s awesome! He’s the coolest of the cool!” The latest headlines of newspapers across Equestria read of a superstar stallion named Daredevil who had been gaining fame by performing daring and dangerous stunts. He had jumped his scooter over the fountains outside Flim and Flam’s casino in Las Pegasus. He also took a nosedive, free falling from a hot air balloon and then spreading his wings and lifting up 25 feet above the ground. He set a new record by lifting up at an astonishing 15 feet!
Daredevil soon became the talk of Ponyville. While everypony saw his death-defying accomplishments as incredible, one pony, however, saw them as a challenge.
“I can’t believe it,” said Rainbow Dash in shock. “Daredevil has broken two of my records.”
“Looks like y’all got yourself some competition,” noted Applejack.
“You got that right. He broke my record for most clouds covered in a single bound. I cleared eight. He cleared twelve! Do you realize what an incredible takeoff that is? I gotta step up my game.”
“You’re not seriously going to try to do all those crazy stunts, are you?” questioned a concerned Pinkie Pie.
“Yeah, they all seem so dangerous,” said Fluttershy.
Rainbow Dash replied, “Dangerous? Ha! Dangerous is my middle name. And I’m not gonna trythem, I’m gonna dothem. Imagine all the publicity this’ll give the Wonderbolts. Only one of them brave enough to take on Daredevil.”
“So, is that what this is about?” Twilight asked. “This is just a publicity stunt?”
“Stunt? Yes. Publicity? It’s an added bonus. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some training to do.”
Before either of her friends could say anything more, Rainbow Dash flew off in a flash, leaving behind a technicolor trail.
At her home in Cloudsdale, Rainbow Dash was ready to warm up and train. She wore sweatbands around her hooves and forehead.
“Okay, Tank, this is how it’s gonna go down,” she told her tortoise pal. “We’re gonna train, and we’re gonna train hard. We gotta raise our awesome level by 20 percent. Before you can get it, you gotta want it. Now, lemme hear you, Tank. Do you want it?”
Tank yawned and smiled.
“That’s the spirit!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “Now, let’s go fly ten laps.” She took off in a split second. Tank followed slowly and steadily. He had only cleared a few feet when Rainbow Dash completed all ten laps. “Whoo! What a rush!” She smiled as she watched Tank cruise by. “Uh, Tank, you don’t have to race. It’s cool.”
Several days had gone by and nopony in Ponyville had seen Rainbow Dash since she began her training. Concerned about her, Twilight and Fluttershy flew to Cloudsdale to check on her.
“Oh my, I don’t think she’s checked her mailbox in a while.” Fluttershy observed Rainbow Dash’s overstuffed mailbox.
Twilight knocked on the door. “Rainbow Dash, are you home? Please answer.”
To Twilight and Fluttershy’s delight, Rainbow Dash answered the door. “Hey, guys. What’s happening?”
“‘What’s happening?’” repeated Twilight, a bit irked. “Rainbow Dash, we haven’t seen you in a week. Nopony’s been able to get in touch with you. Just look at your mailbox.”
“Relax,” Rainbow Dash responded casually. “I’ve been training to reclaim my records.”
Their conversation was politely interrupted by the mailpony. “Uh, excuse me, are either of you Rainbow Dash?”
“I’ve got a letter for you from Daredevil.”
“Daredevil?!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed in disbelief.
She tore open the letter and began to read.
“What does it say?” asked Fluttershy.
Rainbow Dash read her letter aloud: “Dear Rainbow Dash – that’s me! – I’ve been told that you are an amazing flyer and the only Pegasus to ever perform a sonic rainboom. What do you say to a friendly competition? I’m starting a new X-Treme Showdown and I’d be stoked if you could be in the show. It’d be a great way to show off your skills, too. Plus, I love a good challenge.” She looked up from her letter. A look of determination flashed in her eyes. “Challenge accepted, Daredevil. You’re on!”
In preparing to take on Daredevil, Rainbow Dash asked Rarity to design a “super cool, ultra-awesome, totally rad flight suit.” When it was ready, she went by Carousel Boutique to pick it up.
“I have made your flight suit according to your suggestions, darling,” Rarity informed. “The retro Wonderbolts design was absolutely a nice touch.”
“It’s awesome!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “Thanks, Rarity!”
With her new suit and matching aviator hat, Rainbow Dash was ready to win back her records in Daredevil’s X-Treme Showdown.
On the day of the competition, everypony from across Equestria came to experience the extraordinary extravaganza. Ms. Harshwhinny, who helped to promote and organize the event, was on the scene to ensure that everything went well. In the stands, Rainbow Dash’s friends, her parents, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, were eager to see her do her best in the competition.
The crowd went wild when Daredevil, dressed in a flashy jumpsuit with a cape, stepped out before them. Wearing an aviator jacket and sunglasses, Rainbow Dash came out to greet the crowd.
“Go, Rainbow Dash, go!” her mother, Windy Whistles, cheered.
“That’s our little girl!” exclaimed her father, Bow Hothoof.
Rainbow Dash looked up into the stands, and seeing them, waved and gave them a wink.
Soon, it was show time! Ms. Harshwhinny said a few words to open the show. There would be a series on games played by the competitors. Bulk Biceps was a natural at the Sisyphus Challenge, which saw him pushing a heavy ball up the ramp in seven seconds flat! Rainbow Dash and Daredevil were equally skilled and equally matched in the events they were in, each winning half the challenges. All that remained was the final challenge, the main event. With Rainbow Dash and Daredevil tied, this would determine who the victor would be.
Very early the next morning, Rainbow Dash got up to train before the final challenge. She flew as fast as she could through the canyon walls and tested her agility by weaving between boulders.
Peering from behind a rock, Twilight and Spike watched as she pushed herself to her limits.
Rainbow Dash was not flying as strong as she knew she could. “Come on, come on,” she told herself. “You can do it. Just a… little… more…”
It was no use. She was just too tired to go on. After a bumpy landing, Twilight and Spike hurried to her side.
“Rainbow Dash!” Twilight exclaimed. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Rainbow Dash groaned. “I-I just gotta walk it off and try again.”
“You’re pushing yourself too hard. You need to stop.”
“No! There’s no way I’m stopping. Not until I beat Daredevil.”
“Why do you want to beat him so badly?” Spike asked.
“Why? Because he’s breaking all my records. I gotta defend my titles.”
Seeing that there was no way of getting Rainbow Dash to stop, Twilight and Spike returned to the stadium.
Later that day, it was time for the final challenge. Here, Rainbow Dash and Daredevil would go head-to-head in a race through the speedway, flying through hoops and dodging obstacles.
Backstage, Rainbow Dash and Daredevil waited to be called on.
“Best of luck to you, Rainbow Dash,” said Daredevil.
“Thanks,” Rainbow Dash replied. “Best of luck to you, too.” She thought to herself, You’re gonna need it ‘cause I’m winning back my records.
Then, Ms. Harshwhinny introduced, “Fillies and gentlecolts, please join me in welcoming Daredevil and Rainbow Dash.”
As the pyrotechnics were set off, the two competitors flew to center stage. Rainbow Dash sported her new flight suit and aviator hat. Daredevil wore a red flight suit and black open-face helmet. They took their places at the starting line. Daredevil was full of energy. Rainbow Dash, on the other hoof…
“Rainbow Dash doesn’t look so well,” Rarity observed.
“She’s been in the canyon training all day long,” explained Spike. “She said she won’t stop until she beats Daredevil.”
“She’s plum tuckered out,” said Applejack. “She ain’t in any condition tuh race.”
As tired as she may be, Rainbow Dash was determined to challenge Daredevil and win. At the sound of the horn, the competitors took off in a flurry. They began neck-and-neck, but Daredevil steadily took the lead.
I want it, I want it, I want it, Rainbow Dash repeated to herself. C’mon, Rainbow Dash, you got this.
In the stands, her friends and family cheered her on. Her eyes were getting weary and she was tired, but she fought through it to stay in the race. Daredevil, however, had a commanding lead. Rainbow Dash knew that the race was his. Daredevil crossed the finish line with Rainbow Dash following in second place.
The Mane Six, Spike, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Bow Hothoof, and Windy Whistles went to meet Rainbow Dash.
“Way to go, sweetheart!” exclaimed Bow. “Congratulations, you were awesome!”
“We are so very proud of you,” said Windy.
“Did you see the way she flew through those hoops?” Pinkie Pie excitedly began. “Or the way she cleared those hurtles? First, she went up, then she went down, then left, then right. Phew! You had me out of breath.”
Rainbow Dash didn’t share in their revelries. “It’s not good enough,” she explained. “I came in second place. I lost. The celebration’s over.”
She lowered her head and walked away.
“Rainbow Dash,” Windy called out.
“I’m sorry,” said Rainbow Dash. “I just want to be left alone.”
As everypony celebrated and mingled, Daredevil was looking for Rainbow Dash. “Has anypony seen Rainbow Dash?” he asked. Ahead, he saw her party. “Hey, have any of you seen Rainbow Dash? I wanted to congratulate her.”
“Sorry, Mr. Daredevil, sir,” replied Fluttershy.
“She’s run off,” Applejack explained.
“Run off?” Daredevil questioned in confusion.
“Seems she’s a wee bit upset she came in second place.”
“I think I know where she is,” said Twilight.
She led them to the canyon where she and Spike found her training. Sure enough, she was there, sitting by her lonesome.
“Rainbow Dash?” Twilight began.
“Hey, guys,” Rainbow Dash replied in a disappointed voice.
“Daredevil is here. He wants to tell you something.”
Daredevil stepped forward. “Hey, Rainbow Dash. I wanted to congratulate you and tell you how awesome you were out there.”
“But, I came in last,” said Rainbow Dash. “How was I awesome?”
“Even though you came in second place, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a champion. You’re a champ just by going out there and giving it all you got. Before I became an all-star, I lost plenty of times. In fact, I still lose sometimes. You beat me in half the challenges. But losing is what makes me stronger. Competition isn’t about being better, it’s about bringing out the best in each other.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t such a good sport,” Rainbow Dash apologized. “I never looked at competition that way. For me, it was all about winning, but you’re right, Daredevil. It really is about bringing out the best in us.”
In the time since the X-Treme Showdown, Rainbow Dash found herself setting new records. There were competitions she won, and some she lost, but that was all right because the important thing is that she had fun and did her best. Soon, it became time for the Equestria Games. Rainbow Dash represented Ponyville and her competitor, Daredevil, represented Cloudsdale. Before the race began, they smiled at each other, wishing the best of luck to one another. In the end, it’s not about who the best is, it’s about being the best you can be.