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Broken by Underpable Broken by Underpable
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…
Add a Comment:
In this A.U. that Twilight originally fell into, I never would have thought that R.D. would even be gunning still to be a Wonderbolt. So the vision behind the image was quite striking. Originality also comes into factor with the same written above, and caught me slightly off guard. But in the good way! Technique is flawless, the light shines in just the right angles, and part of me really loves the shadow effect on the ground there. The mechanical wing is lovely, drawn with just enough sharp edges to give the feel of another wing, with the slight glint to add effect to the metal. I think the only thing I am really noticing that is just -barely- off, it seems like where the feathered wing is attached to R.D's back could have been shaded one or two hue's darker to match with the shadows along her lower backside for a more follow-through to the wing itself. Overall though? A lovely piece, one an artist can really be proud of.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
341 out of 354 deviants thought this was fair.

1) Awesome-great-cool-etc... (I am impressed, actually).
2) Things which annoy my eye (may be technically this is ok, but gives impression of something wrong)- . Also shades under tail/butt can be darker, there is nor ambient nor direct light in these areas.

If you do not publish my critique, I am totally ok with that. But I am interested, is such brief critique is useful or not.
Well, DA forces to critique to be not brief, so a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
136 out of 169 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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CalamittaBat Featured By Owner 5 days ago  New Deviant Student Traditional Artist
CloudSky14 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This reminds me of that sad comic where all the mane 6 died and spike was the only one who lived for thousands of years.

He married fluttershy's daughter though haha
Underpable Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2017  Student General Artist
No wonder. Spike and Fluttershy are 2 worst characters
CloudSky14 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
0_0 Poor fluttershy :(
TheJekyllBrony Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2017  Student General Artist
Is this from the AU of the Sombra War?
Underpable Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2017  Student General Artist
TheJekyllBrony Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Student General Artist
That makes sense.
LyricArchive Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
poor dashie
Drac-Keagan Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
May I do a reading of this on my Youtube Channel, and use this image as the cover? All credit will go to you!
Underpable Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2017  Student General Artist
Drac-Keagan Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ShroudedWolf51 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017
Man, this is hella rad. 

Also, am I the only one that suddenly wants to go play Baten Kaitos: Lost Wings and Eternal Ocean again?
Aevlynran Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Student Digital Artist
This is so lovely and heartbreaking. Truly wonderful work. 
fyregal Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2017
I love the backstory that goes with this and I love the picture as well.
Pierrehans Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017
This is Badass!!
jolliapplegirl Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm loving the backstory of this picture but my favorite thing about this is Rainbow's cutiemark. It's interesting that her cutiemark, that thing that defined her dreams and aspirations, got scared as well as losing a wing. Losing one of those things could break anypony but both? That will never leave her. They kind of act like a constant reminder, both physical and emotional.

...That probably didn't make too much sense but hopefully you got it.
youwillriseproject Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2016
This piece would be perfect for a project we are working on -- an online gallery for artists who deal with the theme of bullying in their work. It's called the You Will Rise Project, and I'd love to have this piece be a part of it. Check it out here: and read the "Submit Work" section to have your work featured. Thanks!
Underpable Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2016  Student General Artist
But I'm not dealing with bullying and this picture has nothing connected to bullying in it
somercet Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016
Wow. Great picture, and a lovely story by Epic-Prose.
weehawk99 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2016  Hobbyist
This is pretty awesome even if the mechanic of it don't make sense to me.
weehawk99 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2017  Hobbyist
looking at this again, the structure is pretty good, like bone wise.  Still the mechanics are fantasy.  Either I forgot or just now noticed that it seems like she has muscle tissue showing, I'd imagine that should be scars instead?
ijustloveit619 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2016  Student Digital Artist
With those Last Words in the Description I can feel Dash's Determination willing even in the face of Disaster and Misfortune

I can also imagine her saying... "If only it had happened Differently" which calls to theme of the Episode, Epic!
KatonOra Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome art but this is so sad, poor Dashie ... Rainbow sad 
lceBlu Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016
Rainbow Dash (cry) plz 
DYDSart Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
mad-matt-57 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016
What didn't kill you makes you stronger.....
Awesome job, I love the details of the prosthetic wing, the locker with the helmet and the flak jacket, the poster on the door, the medals etc....
This is a fantastic picture ! Well done !
Bigoldinosaur Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2016
That which is broken can sometimes help make you stronger. 
dontpsy Featured By Owner Edited Jul 21, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I wonder why that episode's soldiers doesn't use any weapons.
Even they have technology to make a cyborg.
TheFrozenDiamond Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2016
This is epic. The comment is epic. Part 2? :÷
snowcloud8 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Man, I'm not even super into MLP but this is so cool!
ShylylavenDER Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2016
This is amazing love the details!
JayTheKitsune Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2016
Just put a horn on her and you have the starting of RUA.
caballero-nocturno Featured By Owner May 27, 2016
MystalurDimensh Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Professional General Artist
Why would you do this to her? :C
(though it looks awesome!)
Hetalialover91 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2016
Its from an episode the cutie re mark
FuturitsicCrystal Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
spacewolflord Featured By Owner May 17, 2016
A picture that is made all the better with a good story behind it.  This is just great.
I would think a place as magical as Equestria would have good healing magic.  Don't change the fact that this piece is great just a thought I had.
Thank you for sharing.
That's what you get for being lax on the field, missy.

"Casualties of War", from the soundtrack of "Medal of Honor: European Assault".

Now, that too would be a fitting tune.
spartmaz Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dashie went to war..

And came back looking like candyman 😅
CrystalKnight427 Featured By Owner May 2, 2016
poor Rainbowdash. :sad: 
MrMudkip3660 Featured By Owner May 1, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really liked this^^ it was amazing!
LeafeonGaming Featured By Owner May 1, 2016  Student Digital Artist
FriendshipIsFreddys Featured By Owner May 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a beautiful piece of artwork
Argamis Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2016
This art was used on this song:
  "War Wounds" { Multiverse War Sequel } by Jyc Row
Rosezuma Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
WildKnight215 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2016
I like this.
youwillriseproject Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016
This piece would be perfect for our anti-bullying project -- an online gallery for artists who explore the theme of bullying in their work. It's called the You Will Rise Project. Check it out here: and read the "Submit Work" section to read how to share your work on our site. Thanks!
Azagwen Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2016  Student Digital Artist
rainbow factory incident, i guess ?
Kyoshyu Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
But, she gets to be a general/marshall. :)

Beautiful piece.
Add a Comment:

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Submitted on
March 24, 2016
Image Size
4.0 MB


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