Hellfire once more took his stand on the podium to address every pony there. "Congratulations to all those that have made it this far in the competition, and for those of you who failed, do not tally on the fact that you weren't good enough. Instead take this to heart and push yourselves even more so that one day, you may join our ranks." He drew his attention to the collection of the finalist. "All of you have proven you have what it takes to become a Wonderbolt. You've proved that your strength knows no bounds,your speed could give the mightiest blizzard chills, your reflexes sharper then any blade, and your agility in tuned enough to out-fly any dragon."
Rainbow Blitz stood in-line with the rest of the Pegasi looking up with a smirk on his face. 'Stallion loves to him himself talk' he thought as Hellfire continued.
"However, one challenge remains and only fifteen spots are open in our regiment. To distinguish between who belongs, you will be competing in a cooperative challenge where only the top three teams will be chosen. These teams will be selective at random because we need to know how well you coop with working with unfamiliar faces. We need to know that in the time of battle you can fly with those next to you and call them your comrade, And since you were all lined up, I will begin selecting the teams."
Rainbow Blitz's mind was racing. It'd been years sense he flowed with a team. Last time he did that, it was in Hoofball all the way back in flight school.
As they got close, his stomach started to clutch 'Comeoncomeoncomeon , please let me be paired up with a good team ' He thought
'Four!' He shouted in his mind as he flew over doing a couple of tricks to where the other fours were while the other ponys stared at him at him as if he should be embarrassed.
When he saw all the fours grouped together but as he approached they made room for him.Rainbow had not the slightest clue as to who they were as he scanned each one of them, the other ponies giving him the same hospitality until one mare placed her hoof in the center.One by one the others ,including Rainbow, did the same.
"I don't know who you all of you are" The grey mare said with a strong tone in her voice "But what I do know is this, we're gonna win this competition and earn our rightful spots among the Wonderbolts, So let's do this. Team four on three; ONE! TWO! THREE!"
"TEAM FOUR" The five Screamed.
Rainbow did not know who or where this filly was from but he instantly liked her. With her and the rest of them on his team there's no way he can lose.
"Alright listen up, because I'm only gonna say this once" Hellfire announced "The last event is a simple: First you're all going to race down to Ponyville and pick up a practice dummy from Sora while dodging "enemy fire" from the residents of Ponyville. Then, you are to "escort it" to Sweet Apple Acres and by "escort it" I mean you're going to haul that piece of shit over a live battlefield will a small piece of wood to block off enemy fire with me there letting you know how well you did. Everypony got that?" He said in an almost joking matter as if he's expecting a show. After he gave the instructions he began to fly off to the starting line.
Blitz looked over his team and noticed that he was with three other stallions and one mare. "Okay..." He began "Who wants to carry the dummy?" They all looked at each other expecting the others to say something first but none of them gave a response. Rainbow was about to speak up, however he was stopped as the one mare volunteered.
"I could do it" She said in the most innocent tone ever.The other stallions looked at each other with disbelief and then looked at the cloud they were standing on trying to figure out the best way to tell her.
"Well..." The yellow colt started " I dunno, you sure you can even-"
"Stop!" The grey mare interrupted with her hoof in the air "I know what you're about to say and just don't. I'll carry the dummy and you guys cover me alright?" She said with a more demanding tone now.
"But..." The colt tried to interject but was stopped by Rainbow blitz who said "Don't...just let the mare do what she wants, beside we all can cover her better anyways"
"Alright if there are no more questions we should get to the starting line" The other blue stallion suggested.They all took off to the edge of Cloudsdale
When they arrived at the edge of Cloudsdale they saw the other racers lining up as instructed and joined them together as a team to await for the signal. They all saw Hellfire standing above him with his hoof held high ready to to start the race. Everypony there had the highhoofs down and backhooves up just itching to sprint after the ground.
'This is it' Rainbow though 'One more race and I'll be in.No more pushing clouds or waiting around. I'll be making something of myself'
"Before we began, I forgot to mention one tiny detail" Hellfire blurted out shocking the racers. "Being a Wonderbolt also means planning for anything, and I mean,anything. So in addition to having the townsfolk laying down enemy fire they'll also be providing a special weapon at my personal request" He said with a smile escaping his face. "All you need to know is you better be protecting your carrier at all cost." and without giving others time to get back ready he imminently slammed his hoof down signaling the race with the horn going off.
Rainbow, however, was ready for this and raced down positioning in first straight off while also leaving his team behind for they were caught off guard as well. It wasn't long before others were hot on his trail but he wouldn't give them an inch until he heard one of his teams mates pleading for him to slow down."Please" she said "You got to slow down the other can't keep up"
"Slow down?!" Rainbow snorted "What kind of race requires you to slow down?" He sarcastically asked.
"It's called a 'team race' "She responding still struggling to keep up with him.
"Fine then, you go help the others I'm going to buy us some more time" Rainbow said as he sped off completely out of earshot of his teammate before she said one last thing.
While talking to his teammate he let his lead get taken over by three other group and that would not stand for him. He knew there was only one way to win and obliterate the competition while giving his team the edge.
He started flapping his wing harder and faster as the wind flew straight between his eyes water them as he flew faster and faster with a white cone building around him building up tremendous force with each flap of his wing. He was not stopping until he hit the ground.
And with one final flap he heard a boom echo in the distance as he flew straight down with extreme speed. He heard his friend always tell him that his Sonic Rainboom was so intense that it felt like he split open the sky himself and judging how the other racers were in chaos and he was seconds from the ground, felt that was a pretty accurate.
When he finally touched down at the farm he saw booths set up for the other racers. He instantly galloped over the booth four a waited for his team to show up as he was way ahead of the other racers ."..." he just sat that with the dummy right beside him becoming bored rather quickly waiting for his teammates to finally show up but was greeted with a friendly shout of praise
"That was totally wicked" Sora yelled standing on her hind legs. She was stationed behind the dummy booth to give instructions to those. "That was even more awesome then one at Gleamings Shields weddings. How you even do that?"
"Oh that? I do Sonic Rainbooms in my sleep" He said while stretching his wings and legs. "Maybe if I get in the Wonderbolts I can show you a thing or two about about it and maybe some other tricks as well. It'll be just between you and me." He said while giving her wink. He may not be as formal as his friend Elusive but he had no trouble getting all kinds of mare to fall over him. Him and his friend Guilder used to always be the top flirts in flight school and continue to always wow the fillies every chance he got.
"oh uh..." She muttered trying desperately to hide her blush with no success" we'll see how the competition goes, though I'd love to have to stallion of your structure on the team."
Rainbow gave a successful grin 'nailed it' he thought while wiping his hoof on his chest.
"While we're on the subject of 'team' where's yours?"
Rainbow snapped back to the real world " uhhh well I went ahead to try and buy them some time you know." Rainbow stuttered "They couldn't keep up so I just... broke open the sky and bought them some time to catch up...cause I'm a team player...and stuff"
Sora just kept a straight face "So...you abandon your allies to help them catch up by causing a mass explosion to buy them some time by slowing down the other racers behind you so your team could speed up because they were with the other slow racers that was also behind you to" She said with a disappoint look across her face "By helping them of course."
Rainbow had a picture perfect look of "you don goofed" across his face. "uhhh it's not a very well thought out plan" He said while kicking the dirt a little as the other racers caught up. He was happy to see his other team thought they didn't look to happy to see him
"WHAT THE HECK IS YOUR PROBLEM?!" the yellowed colt screamed and got right in his face
"You left us behind there!" the blue colt added "The whole point on being on a team is to work together or haven't you been on a team before?"
"Kick each other asses later" The one mare butted in "We're not going to win by yelling at each other" She ran over and grabbed the dummy which was not as heavy as she thought. "Everyone grab a shield and lets move"
"Look I did what I thought I had to ok? Rainbow said ignoring the mare's words "bunch of ungrateful mules" He looked over his shoulders "no offence."
"None taken" The town mule said
"But I did that so the other teams would get thrown off and buy you guys some time. You should be thanking me for Solaris sake"
"Really? Okay" The Blue colt started with a smirk. "Thank you for ditching us and blowing us all the way to the Crystal Empire WITH YOU FREAKEN SONIC RAINBOOM. How was that?" he put on the most sarcastic grin
Rainbow was seconds from knocking all his teeth out when the Grey mare shouted "I said enough! if you really want to fight wait till after the race but if we really want to win we need to stop fighting and move" She hauled the dummy over her shoulders which she now felt the weight. "Now this dummy is too heavy to fly with so give me cover and watch out for the 'surprise'"
"If it's too heavy maybe I should-" The Yellowed stallion started.
"Don't even think about it. Just give me some cover and lets move, and keep a lookout for that 'surprise' I highly doubt that little stunt at the beginning of the race was the only thing Hellfire had in-store"
The four stallions nodded and grabbed a saddle with a shield attached and began moving to the finish line while giving the mare cover. The townsfolk began to bombard them with water balloons filled with paint from all directions without relent. The balloons splatted against the hard shields completely shading it with all sorts of colors and feeling the route of plastic and rubber shrapnel. The mare holding the dummy kept moving forward while her stallion defenders protected her from all harm.'This'll be one hell of a story to tell' she thought not slowing down.
She kept a steady pace which is more that can be said about the other contestants as everywhere Rainbow looked he saw the other teams struggling to keep pressing forward. Their good luck streak had to end sometime as the blue stallion was nailed in the chest and fell hard to the ground. Rainbow looked at his fallen teammate and saw the townsfolk getting ready to aim. 'I'm going to remember every single one of their faces and as Solaris as my witness they get so soaked that they won't have to shower for a week' Rainbow threaten with his inner thoughts as he blocked the next wave allowing his friend to stand up.
"Thanks man" The blue colt stated in appreciation. He trotted over to where he original was to protect the mare.Rainbow followed shortly after he held off another wave of enemy fire
"Dangit has anypony mange to hit them" A yellow townspony asked.
"I hit a couple but they don't seem to be slowing down" Another replied as he threw another balloon.
The yellow pony began stroking his chin. "Alright I think it's time. BRING OUT...'THE IRON CURTAIN'. There was a lot of cheering as all the townsfolk ceased their fire.
Rainbow and the rest of the ponies out in the field began scratching their heads as to wonder why they stop firing."The ponies they stopped firing" The yellow mare in Rainbows' group asked.
"Maybe they ran outof ammo?" The light Blue stallion wondered
However Rainbow was just struck with fear. "Haven't you ever read an action story?" He snorted. "Every time the enemy stops firing bad things always happen."
"You've read way to many comic book" The Blue colt stated
But Rainbow theory was proven correct as shortly after the townsfolk stopped their assault they saw what could only be pure utter horror. As approach from their left they saw 8 barrels of pure pink arrived on a cart hauled in by four stallions one of them being a familiar farm pony that Rainbow Blitz didn't see. Good thing too, as the one pony sitting on top of the barrels was a pink pony sporting a blood red bandanna holding his big poofey mane back.
"ARE YOU FREAKEN KIDDING ME?!" Rainbow Blitz shouted as every single competitors stopped to see what monstrosity was towering over them.
"Uhhh do you know him or what that thing is" The grey mare whisply asked.
Shortly after the cannons were set up two huge jugs of water balloons were set up beside it as two pegasi began hooking it up.
"Yeah that would have to be my crazy friend Bubble Berry and it looks like he made a few changes to his party cannons" Rainbow blitz explained "And don't think he's here to help us."
"If he's your friend do you think he'll take it easy on us?" The Yellow stallion asked hoping for a good answer.
"uhhh..." Rainbow blitz started sweating bullets "Long story short we have an agreement and he won't be taking it easy on me" Rainbow cursed his luck.'Yep this is payback isn't it'
They all heard a whirling sound as the small cannons began to rotate with increasing speed.
"INCOMING" Rainbow yelled to his comrades. As they all held their shields up high and down low at times. The cannons opened up to a barrage of balloon that shot so fast it was scientifically possibly for the rubber to keep intact as the balloon soared through the air nailing everypony it was in front of.
Rainbows' group was taking a lot of fire as they braced themselves while still moving rather slowly towards the end. "Could this get any worst?" the yellow pony stupidly asked as the townsfolk resumed their onslaught.
"Never say that again" Rainbow dashed threaten with a glare. The finish line was coming into view. They were so close but it felt like miles ahead as Rainbow took a nasty hit to the face completely bluring his vision for a while until he hit the ground.
Bubble Berry sat on his cannon spraying down fire singing a a little song that on one seem to recognize ""Ya-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta ya-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta do-de-da-va-daa-da-dada!" He sang. "
"You sure you don't know any of those ponies?" One of the town ponies asked the war torn stallion.
"I KNOW ONE OF THEM BUT DON'T WORRY WE HAVE A SEEEEEEEEEEECRET AGREEMENT AND HE CAN'T GET MAD A ME"The pink pony proclaimed. "PLUS THIS PARTY MINI-GUN IS TOO MUCH FUN TO STOP" He continued to mow down the progress ponies .He just kept up the bombardment until he hit his 'friend' straight in the face."ohhhh, I DON'T THINK HE'LL FORGIVE THAT BUT ,AFTER ALL THIS IS JUST A SIMPLE RACE!"He kept firing at the groups not knowing that the mare was asking him what a 'mini-gun' was.
Rainbow vision was weaving back and forth as he saw the one mare on his team reach her hoof out to help him up."COME ON WE HAVE TO MOVE NOW."Rainbow strain to keep himself up as another balloon hit him in the leg. The burning in his face and his leg was tremulously painful however he picked himself and ran over to were she left the dummy. "I GOT THE DUMMY THE FINISH LINE IS RIGHT THERE LETS MOVE! NOW!" She picked up the dummy once more and all five of them kept holding off the balloon slaughter until they finally crossed the finish line.
"Nice work" Hellfire commended as Rainbows team made it to the finish. Rainbow still had a loud ringing in the back of his head but it didn't matter he made it through one of the scariest moments of his life and was sure that he would be a Wonderbolt no doubt. He looked around the general area as the other soaked ponies began to remove their equipment.Some of them still shaking as though they had just been through hell.As the last pnies made it through the finish line Hellfire stepped up to address the contestants."Before we begin the judging I want all of you to speak freely in telling me what you thought of my "surprise?""
None of the Pegasi there could give a straight answer.Most of them saying something under their breath but none of them with the guts to tell the truth."I'm wondering how the hell you got Bubble Berry to assist you" a certain Blue Pegasus replied
"Oh that?" Hellfire responded with a chuckle."That was easy. All I had to say that I needed the crazy pony in town with the most insane way to throw water balloons and everypony that was in my earshot pointed directly to another pony called "Bubble Berry." It is a Wonderbolts job to be prepare for anything though some of you were however most of you fell flat on keeping your senses in check and I will be grading harshly on that" He snorted as he return to his other Wonderbolt companions to begin judging.
About 30 mins later Hellfire trotted up with Sora on his left and Fleetway on his right ,Sora looking disappointed for some reason."I want to thank you all for competing but we don't have enough spots for all of you so here as the four teams that made it:Teams 1,3,5,6 you have qualified present yourself to be awarded a uniform as for teams 2 and 4 you gave a good try but better luck next time.
Rainbow felt his heart sink into the lowest pit of his stomach as he dreams were shatter right before his eyes. He looked over to his other teammates that were giving him a deadly glare but the mare held them back insisting on it wasn't worth it."Hey" The Mare that never told Rainbow her named asked "You wanna grab a bite real fast?"
"I'm good ,thanks."Rainbow had sorrow in his voice "Besides I got somone waiting on me" He said as he flew off