• Published 26th Jun 2014
  • 1,503 Views, 34 Comments

Scoot Camp - theNDinspector



It's been a long and hard journey, but Scootaloo has finally done it. She can fly and is following in her idol's hoofsteps by going to the Wonderbolt Academy. Will she soar high in the sky, or crash hard under the pressure?

  • ...
1
 34
 1,503

Day 2: Teamwork

The rest of the morning was almost exactly the same as the previous day. They still did the various exercises and warm-ups they had already known. What was different, however, was that they did everything as teams of two: lead pony and wingpony complete with gold and silver colored medals respectively.

“Remember,” Major Soarin said during instruction. “When flying in formation, you must think as one. It is the most difficult and essential task that any elite flying squadron faces. Anypony can do a trick or flight maneuver by himself, but to do that same thing in sync with another requires concentration and skill. Any lapse in concentration could cause you to split from formation too early or result in a dangerous collision. We’ll start off simple on the oval flight track. Give me one hundred laps!”

He blew the whistle and the cadets took off—“trying” to fly in formation. It was very similar to the track and field that Scootaloo remembered from high school; but knowing that, she had to resist the urge to pull ahead of Blue Yonder. The racing spirit was hard to fight. More than once, Scootaloo bumped into Blue Yonder by inadvertently trying to pull ahead or whenever Blue Yonder took a turn faster than she did.

Through the process, Scootaloo unwittingly got very familiar with Blue Yonder’s back side. One thing in particular she noticed was Blue Yonder’s cutie mark—a sun behind a skyline of mountains and clouds.

‘I wonder what her talent is for something like that,’ Scootaloo thought while trying to stay focused. ‘She can’t control the sun, that’s Princess Celestia’s thing. Is she a rock climber? If so, then why is she here? And she’s a pegasus, so why would she even climb a mountain? I’ll have to ask her about it.’

About halfway into the exercise, Scootaloo and Blue Yonder were finally starting to get it, along with several of the other companionships. Soon they were flying around that track like nopony’s business. Scootaloo could always tell when Blue Yonder was going to make a move and then coincide. Blue Yonder, in turn, always knew where her wingpony was and what they could and couldn’t do together.

“All right, cadets,” Soarin said once the last group had finished their laps. “We will now do some figure-eights.”

He took them to a field where there were five flag poles: two at each end and one in the middle. They were to do one serpentine path around three poles, go higher in elevation and do another serpentine path around three poles—the one in the middle being passed twice in the process. Then they were to lower their elevation and repeat the process. This exercise was designed to teach them to fly together by turning left and right as well as going up and down. It was also designed so that the teams wouldn’t hit each other in intersecting paths. At least, that was the plan.

Umph!” Scootaloo exclaimed as she and Blue Yonder crashed for what had to be the third time. Unfortunately, this time it was with Lavender and her lead pony.

GET OFF ME!” Lavender shouted as she started bucking Scootaloo off her back. She was stronger than she looked, especially when angry.

“Sorry about that,” the brown-maned, white stallion named Barrel Roll apologized.

“No, it was my fault,” Blue Yonder said, brushing the dirt off her uniform. “I keep forgetting to pull up at that side over there.”

“I guess that’s something we all need to work on,” Barrel Roll said.

“Will you stop chit-chatting!” Major Soarin shouted. “This is a training exercise, not recess!”

With that, the four pegasi scrambled back into the air. It took far longer, but they were able to get the hang of this course as well. It was certainly an exercise better done with fewer ponies on the track. However, a lot of other cadets would use this during free-time in the evening, so they would have to get used to it.

“That’s enough cadets, fall in!” Soarin commanded and each of the cadets landed and fell into attention. “You’ve all done very well this morning, but this is only the beginning of your training. After lunch, you are to report to section B in the Northern Field at 1400 hours. Company dismissed!”

“Whew, that was a bit of a workout,” Blue Yonder stated as they headed for the mess hall.

“I know,” Scootaloo agreed. “I can’t wait to eat, I’m starving.”

As they approached the mess hall, Scootaloo suddenly remembered something.

“Hey,” she said to Blue Yonder. “I noticed your cutie mark back there. What does it mean?”

Blue Yonder suddenly stopped and started stammering, “Oh…uh…you noticed that? Well…um…it’s really personal. You’ll probably think it’s dumb.”

“No I won’t,” Scootaloo said. “I’ve asked that question a lot when I was a foal and I didn’t think they were dumb. Okay, I’ll admit that I thought some were cheesy or not as cool as Rainbow Dash’s, but I was young then.”

“I see, but I really don’t feel comfortable talking about this right now,” Blue Yonder explained. “Can we just forget it?”

“Okay,” Scootaloo answered, a little disappointed.

They continued walking. Scootaloo didn’t want to pursue the matter further, but she also didn’t want to walk in this awkward silence either.

“Hey, have I ever told you about my hometown?” Scootaloo asked.

***

The mess hall was as busy as ever. It had to be large by necessity since there were so many cadets, all at different levels of training. Despite the large number of ponies, however, Scootaloo and Blue Yonder always managed to find a seat somewhere together.

“So let me get this straight,” Blue Yonder said as they sat down. “You have both an earth-pony and a unicorn friend?”

“Yeah,” Scootaloo said defensively. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Oh…there’s nothing wrong with it,” Blue Yonder stated. “It’s just…I’ve lived in Cloudsdale my entire life. So the only friends I’ve ever had were other pegasi and the occasional gryphon. I’ve never seen too many earth-ponies or unicorns, even with that spell that Princess Twilight Sparkle can do to enable them to walk on clouds.”

“Yeah, I still don’t understand how she does it,” Scootaloo said.

“And you know the princess and live in Ponyville,” Blue Yonder said in awe. “It’s weird, because so many interesting things have happened there over the past several years when it used to be pretty out of the way.”

“I guess it has changed a lot over the years,” Scootaloo agreed.

“So tell me,” Blue Yonder said, leaning in closer. “Are earth-ponies really dumb and unicorns finicky?”

“What? No!” Scootaloo exclaimed. “Apple Bloom is one of the smartest ponies I know. And Sweetie Belle loves getting dirty! Her sister, on the other hoof-”

Scootaloo never got a chance to finish what she was going to say, for at that moment, they were joined by Silverwings. He looked very distressed with a shaggy mane and rapid breathing.

“Please, you gotta help me!” Silverwings begged. “I can’t take Hot Shot anymore! He’s too selfish and overbearing!”

“What makes you think that we can help?” Blue Yonder asked.

“You can convince Colonel Spitfire to let me be with you two, or even switch companions,” Silverwings suggested.

Scootaloo was about to protest, but Blue Yonder cut it first.

“No,” she said flatly.

“Pleeeaaase,” Silverwings begged, giving his best sad-puppy dog face.

He even made his eyes wide and ears flat on his head. It would’ve definitely made Sweetie Belle proud—had she been there.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t keep fighting your battles for you,” Blue Yonder explained. “You’re going to have to deal with this on your own.”

“Oh, now you’ve decided to leave me alone!” Silverwings exclaimed.

Just then, Hot Shot appeared and took Silverwings by the shoulder.

“There you are!” Hot Shot said. “Come on, we need to eat quickly so we can get back to training.”

With that, Hot Shot took Silverwings away to the far end of the cafeteria. All the while, Silverwings glared back at Blue Yonder.

“You know,” Scootaloo said. “You actually are kind of evil doing that to him.”

“I know I am,” Blue Yonder said, maniacally chuckling as she began to eat.

***

After the usual stretches and exercises, the cadets found themselves facing another special training. This time they were at another edge of the compound and divided into two teams. Scootaloo and Blue Yonder found themselves grouped with most of the stallions by a blue flag. The only stallions not on their team were the Hot Shot/Silverwings pair and the mixed group of Barrel Roll and Lavender—who were with the rest of the mares by a red flag. Of course, they were also joined by the film ponies that populated the base.

“I know they are doing a documentary, and all,” Blue Yonder whispered, “but I don’t feel comfortable having them watch us all the time out here.”

Before Scootaloo could respond, Major Soarin called them to attention. He was joined by Lieutenant What’s-his-name, who carried a stopwatch and clipboard.

“All right, cadets,” Soarin started. “Today, we’ll be participating in a flag hunt. The flags have been placed all over the compound and mountainside. You’ve been divided into two teams: Red and Blue. Your objective is to find as many of the opposing teams flags before time is up.”

There was some murmuring among the cadets. Even Scootaloo was confused by this activity that felt like it belonged on a school playground, as opposed to an elite flyers training facility.

“I know this may seem like a game,” Soarin said in response to the mutterings. “But this is a training exercise. You are to fly in your pairs the whole time and work together to find the flags. Usually, we would disqualify a pair if they split during the exercise, but I will give you a chance today. Instead, the pair will be penalized by being grounded for two minutes before returning to the exercise. The reason I’m doing this is because the winning team will be given a prize. They will get the rest of the afternoon off while the losing team will have to stay for some more flight exercises.”

Some more chatters of excitement arose from the cadets.

“Don’t get too excited,” Soarin warned. “You still have an inspection today at 1800 hours. The winning team should use their time wisely and prepare for it. The losing team will also be given adequate time to prepare for it as well.”

There were some groans, particularly from Scootaloo. She hated having to make her own bed or clean up her room when she was at home.

“Now that your teams are set, you have ten minutes to find the flags,” Soarin said as Lieutenant What’s-his-name took up the stopwatch. “Ready? GO!

At the blow of a whistle, the cadets took off; all in search for the flags hidden around the mountain. Blue Yonder and Scootaloo went back and forth, determined to find as many flags as possible.

“Do you see anything yet?” Blue Yonder asked.

“No, not yet,” Scootaloo answered, still scanning the ground bellow. “They hid these flags good—WAIT! There’s one!”

Scootaloo spotted something red on the cliff face. It was very-well placed and nearly invisible if you didn’t have a keen eye. Without warning, Scootaloo dived for it. She increased in speed as she got closer, the wind whipping her mane and tail behind her. Extending her hoof, she grabbed the flag. Triumphant, she headed back to the starting position.

“It seems that the Blue Team has obtained the first flag,” Soarin said as Scootaloo placed the red flag at the Blue Team’s base. “Unfortunately, you split your companionship, leaving your lead pony behind.”

Scootaloo’s eyes widened as she realized her mistake. She turned her head and saw Blue Yonder land, frowning at her teammate. Scootaloo smacked her forehead with her hoof.

“Two minutes in the penalty box,” Soarin said and nodded to Lieutenant What’s-his-name to keep track of the time.

Scootaloo and Blue Yonder moved to the designated area and waited. Scootaloo kept hitting herself in the forehead.

“Stupid…Moron…Idiot!” She said as she pounded on herself. She was also taking extreme care not to resort to more “colorful” words.

“Will you STOP IT!” Blue Yonder shouted. “Beating up on yourself isn’t going to help us any! Just calm down and get focused!”

Scootaloo stopped hitting herself and took a few deep breaths. She looked over at the lieutenant who was keeping track of their time.

‘Somehow, he’s even more intimidating when he isn’t even talking to you,’ she thought. ‘How is that even possible?’

They watched as flags were being collected by both teams. Every companionship on the Red Team found at least one flag. Somehow, both Hot Shot and Silverwings managed to find three. The Blue Team was also finding flags, but not nearly as many as the Red Team.

“All right,” Lieutenant What’s-his-name said. “Penalty’s up.”

“Finally!” Scootaloo exclaimed.

“Try and stay with me this time,” Blue Yonder scolded.

They were off to the air again with a renewed determination to find as many red flags as possible. They managed to find five more, but the damage had already been done. Soon, time was up.

“And the winner is the Red Team, which found nineteen flags as opposed to the Blue Team’s fifteen,” Soarin declared. “Red Team, you are dismissed.”

Cheers erupted from the Red Team as they left the field, leaving the Blue Team behind.

“For the rest of you, it is apparent that you need to work on sticking together,” Soarin said to the remaining cadets. “So we’ll start off by doing some more figure-eights.”

Groans erupted from the stallions. Many of them glared at Scootaloo, the reason for their demise. Scootaloo shrank as she lowered her head and ears. She dared not look anypony in the eye.

“Hey, it’s not so bad,” Blue Yonder said. “At least we can improve our flying together.”

“If you say so,” Scootaloo said glumly, but her spirits were lifted a bit up by her partner’s confidence.

“All right, give me three hundred laps!” Soarin commanded before blowing the whistle.