• Member Since 16th Jun, 2014
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billymorph


Hey all, I'm billymorph, a semi-professional writer, self-published author and full-time pony fan. If you enjoy my work, please support me on Patreon!


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Anything can fly with enough force behind it, even Scootaloo. An adult and still flightless, Scootaloo poured everything into a jet powered suit to get her into the air. But, with her debts mounting and the Hearth's Warming Derby organisers frantically updating the rules to stop her ever racing again, she has to fly faster than ever before if she wants to keep her wings.

Second place in the November Write-off "Out of time"


With thanks to the Write-off reviews for their feedback, and docontra and sevenofeleven for their help pre-reading. Cover credit to ShinZm1911, cover design (with huge thanks :twilightsmile:) by Novel Idea.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 47 )
Comment posted by Smallfry deleted Nov 29th, 2015

Really interesting - Scootaloo as an enginner makes much sense.

That certainly was an enjoyable read.

I for one would love to see more of Jetaloo here...
:scootangel:

Unless Spitfire plans on giving Scootaloo a constant source of money, what Spitfire did at the end is pointless as Scootaloo won't have any money after that since she can't enter anymore Derby's for Prize money. I am sure that even if she makes one that works perfectly with what Spitfire gave her, she will still need money for regular maintenance and the like. And she obviously does not want to work in a lab or factory or anything like that so those are out. Also, how can there be a next time since rules now state that Scootaloo's method is basically banned. And since no more races, that means no chance at a sponsor since who would want to sponsor someone who is banned from competition. That bag of money is nothing more than a bandaid being put in a partially severed limb and being labeled as fixed.

Anything can fly with enough force behind it, even Scootaloo.

*except Scootaloo :raritywink:

Long story short, Scootaloo is a broke Tony Stark. Very nearly could have ended up with his heart generator things.

Unfortunately, not being able to race does mean she'll have to get a 'real' job. Since we have no indication that the change to the rules has been reneged, she won't get that money from racing. Or have an official next time.

What has happened here is that Scootaloo has gained Spitfire's respect and proven that she could cut it at the top even without a workable pool of magic. Now she also has the means to one day return to the sky even if it is only between shifts at a mundane and earthbound job.

Yes, there is no real resolution to the ban from future races, but...s3.amazonaws.com/static.carthrottle.com/workspace/uploads/comments/54676791-54fd9858a1d04.jpg
and the primary recipient of this message was herself. She can fly with the best of the best through the exertion of her mind. She is a pegasus, and she is not broken. So now, with her debts mostly settled (assuming she has insurance), she has nothing left that she needs to prove to herself.

That said, I'm pretty sure she is going to follow up with Spitfire for an unofficial rematch.

I really enjoyed this story, both the concept of Scootaloo working herself into an engineering genius as well as the rest of the emotion and plot stuffs.

6680362 Oh... It's you.... I've seen you on another story somewhere.

Absolutely loved everything about this. It'd be great to see the story continued.

I love this story, and while I'm not sure if this story would have the same impact if there was a continuation I wouldn't object against it.

Given that Spitfire is the one who probably got the rules changed, I'm not sure I would have taken her money anyway, and can't tell how she was allowed to stay long enough to pass that money without getting kicked out on her ass.

It's good but, the rule changing still leaves a untouched aspect to the story that NEEDS to be addressed. From the cheers of Scoots' entrance it seems that she has "some" fans who would most likely be just as outraged, not to mention Rainbows reaction when she finds out. I'm not saying this needs a sequel. But it does need to be addresed somehow. This is an important part of the rising action and to see it be ignored in the climax and falling action just feels wrong.

6685846 Sorry if that was awkward. :twilightsheepish:

6679546 Yep, just look at the cutie-mark she got :scootangel:

i.imgur.com/3D5bPPf.png

What do you mean its oil?
6680143 Thanks!

6680362 Heck we need more magi-tech in general!

6680448 The money is indeed a band-aid, but far more important for Scootaloo is that she finally lets somepony in. There were pleanty of ponies that would have helped Scootaloo if she just asked, but she never did. Perhaps now that she can fly as well as the rest she can finally swallow her pride.

6681145 Awesome, glad you enjoyed it.

6682204 6682938 Heh, might be hard to do both guys. Though there's probably a prequal with Scootaloo first flight with the suit waiting to be written.

6684234 Well Scoots isn't in any position to be kicking... but mostly she's there on Rainbow's coin and the fact she was kind of the hero in saving Scoots.

A pony couldn’t sub the longest serving Captain of the Wonderbolts

I think that should be "couldn't snub".

Anyway, I still really like this. You should totally submit it to the Royal Guard.

I reviewed this story!

My review can be found here.

6729446 Awesome, thanks TD :pinkiehappy:

6732328
You're welcome! Thanks for writing something good!

PS. You should submit this to the Royal Guard, if you haven't already.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I noticed a lot of "a sigh escaped me" that was kind of very oddly passive, but otherwise, this was p. gud. :B

So for a while, I agreed with Spitfire in that Scootaloo racing like this is cheating, regardless of what the rules say. But at the same time, that didn't seem quite right. Scootaloo's putting in just as much work as the others, and she has to overcome her inadequate wings to boot. At which point, it occurred to me that her machines and whatnot were much closer to a prosthetic leg than steroids.

Once I got to that conclusion, I really enjoyed the story. It was fantastic, and you actually did a decent job of capturing what goes on inside a racer's head during the race.

You might wanna work on your direct addresses (#6), though.

Poor Scootaloo. Grounded, she still comes up with something innovative, only for it to fall apart on her at the very last moment.

Then again, she's only a few timely inventions away from becoming Iron Mare and building Scoots Tower in downtown Manehatten :scootangel:

This was a fun story, and even though it ended much as I expected, the journey there was very fun. I felt the intensity of the race and Scootaloo as a character was very likable or at least sympathetic. The moral about letting people in and helping you was nice too. I suppose only one nitpick I have is that Scoots was keeping her disability a secret. I have a hard time believing she could keep it a secret, let alone why she would. That seems like something to brag about; that against her own disabilities she threw everything she had into becoming a great flier. I suppose that would have changed Spitfire's behavior and wouldn't have worked with her role as the rival/antagonist.

But still, that's a nitpick. Overall, a great read.

6786191 Glad you had fun Hat Man, as far as Scootaloo's motivations for keeping her disability secret she's not really struggling to be recognised, she's struggling to be normal. She's a very proud pony, but it's all wrapped up in this character she's trying to create of this perfect pegasus. She refuses to tell anyone about her disability because she fears being pitted as much as being earthbound.

6789484 I think I can understand that interpretation of the character. :twilightsmile:

Like I said, even that criticism was more of a nitpick than a real complaint. The story was excellent. What the hay, have a follow on top of it! I look forward to seeing your future work!

I would bar her from racing.

This would be akin to allowing people on motorcycles to compete in the Tour de France.

There's a reason there are rules against even such things as doping. This could be considered the technological equivalent of doping.

If significant enhancements of any single sort are accepted, then ALL enhancements must be accepted, and it ceases to be a race and becomes more about who can modify themselves artificially to be the fastest.

In that case, you might as well just forget racing and build Battle Bots instead.

“What, tell ponies I’m a cripple?” I shot a glare over my shoulder at her. “That I’ve got about as much flight magic as an earth pony? That I am never going to be able to fly with my own two wings?” I turned away. “It doesn’t come up much.”

A bunch of ponies with missing legs, blindness, deafness, and a couple unicorns who lost their horns all come in and glare at Scoots. "Pretentious prick," they mutter before filing out again.

THIS is what makes me unsympathetic to Scootaloo in this story. She hides the truth about her condition, forces herself to take an absurd risk to win a race, puts EVERY OTHER PONY IN THE AREA in danger with this new and potentially lethal technology, then after surviving a JET ENGINE EXPLOSION BASICALLY IN HER FACE... still complains that she can't fly on her own. Doesn't care to ask if anypony else was injured from the high-velocity shrapnel either.

And then, instead of using the money to get out of debt OR to use her technology to perhaps found a commercial company to design jet aircraft for ALL PONIES to use... she plans on making ANOTHER dangerous personal suit.

It's one of the most severe cases of selfish self-delusion I've ever seen. And the ponies just seem to be compounding her self-destructive behavior.

Great job!

The fights in car racing are EXACTLY like this. Everyone barking about "Da Rulez" has never read how teams CONSTANTLY edge them, from restrictor plates to tweaking body panels for aero, (up until templates), to turbine engines, four steer wheels, all sorts of things. "Coolant tanks" that bled weight off the car as the water dumped out. That huge wing Superbirds and Daytonas had for one season, and banned immediately afterward.

Scoots is in a long standing tradition...

And considering how much a Pegs racial and personal identity is wrapped in flight...

Excellent job...!!

Crystalheart

Wow, both Spitfire and Rainbow come off as really condescending. Makes senses given it's from Scootaloo's POV.

While this is not the first time I've seen an engineer Scootaloo story, this was by far the best. Just perfect.

My wings are full of images of holding back
They are still weak but I'm sure I can fly....
Oh My Love~

So, everyone just forgets that the racing rules ban Scootaloo from racing in the future?

Gods damn. You just captured the essence, the pure essence of what a Pegasus race SHOULD BE. Thank you, you've given me a lot of ideas.

It wasn't enough.

Ah, I knew then it would be a great story. I wasn't disappointed. Very nice work.

6816036

"Thanks for giving me your money, pal. I guess since you got the rules changed to ban me from competing, you don't have to worry about me being able to build another suit with this" :trixieshiftleft:

My thoughts at the end.

The Fallout:Equestria cybernetics list contains jet-engines for pegasi.

6909377 Presumably a Minotaur energy drink company will sponsor her. Maybe Everfree Energy Drink.

Or, say her tech's banned from Formula Pegasus. Now she has to go to IndyChariot or another series.

This was the first fanfic I've ever read, and after finishing three and in the middle of one, and this is so far my favorite. It was very figurative and relaxing to read. 10/10!

Fantastic vision of a Scootaloo who pushes herself to the absolute extreme to do what she's always dreamed. This was an epic story and the technology you implemented was both advanced and suitable for the world. I never saw the Spitfire rivalry, but it came across very naturally. The whole thing was handled wonderfully from start to finish, so well done!

That was an incredible story.

Scootaloo may have fallen in this one, but I'm sure she'll rise in the end and soar through the skies.

Meh, ignore my rambling born of sleep deprivation.

Again, awesome story; I'm faving this as soon as I figure out how.

So, by the time the race started I hated both the protagonist and antagonist. I mean, Spitfire was really close to not being hated, but then for some reason the universe decides that it just never came up that Scootaloo's a cripple and so she's forced to massively disrespect the plucky orphan so that we'll hate her.

Which is all well and good, but then five minutes after being given a speech about the literally back-breaking effort that every other pony in the race has gone through just to get there, Scootaloo acts like Spitfire hasn't ever had to actually try for anything in her life, was just born into being Wonderbolts captain, and looks down on everypony else in the whole world.

And unlike Spitfire, she doesn't get a moment at the end of the story where she realizes her faults and changes her worldview. She gets to keep being a pointlessly vindictive brat while the world rolls over and lets her keep having her racing career (which is infinitely more pointless than her actually channeling her abilities into engineering, building a jetpack for personal use and just flying around sometimes).

So, at the end of this Scootaloo story, I passionately dislike Scootaloo and want to hug her supposed mortal enemy.

On the plus side, the race itself and the technical aspects of the jetpack were very well-written.

Eh, I can understand Scootaloo's rage. Imagine that you were born without legs. After spending a bunch of time creating or adapting technology to allow you to run with money from people you promised that you (or others) could win races with, people who were born with legs tell you that you are a dirty cheater who cheats and that real racers' work is only training to use the legs you were born with. And then they specifically change the rules to screw you, so that if you don't do well you'll have your new, custom built legs repossessed and never get them back. After all, racing is for people training hard with their natural legs and not dirty cheaters who don't have legs.

At the end, she's only mostly screwed instead of completely screwed because she's still banned from the easiest and most popular venue to advertise her creation. A ban that seems to have been, if not specifically created and driven by, at least backed and supported by Spitfire. At the end, she's still angry and still afraid that she'll lose what she built. She hasn't lost quite yet, but the yet hangs over her head.

Was she foolish for not telling others that the tech is the only way she can fly? Yes, but people rarely make rational decisions about things they are so emotionally invested in. The story seems to presume that Scootaloo's problem is almost unique, or at least rare enough that there isn't really any interest in her technology, or she's so obsessed that she's not considering other possibilities. Either could be correct.

I enjoyed the hell out of that story. I almost never comment, but i had to say something. Wish there was more to it :p but that is often a wish people have for stories they really enjoy. Thanks for sharing this.

7928459 Heh, very nice. Poor Scoots :rainbowlaugh:

Sweet Jesus this is preposterously good, and I say that as someone who takes his Scootafics serious.

This Scootaloo is not a happy pony, and I don't think that she ever will be with how much bitterness she has locked inside of her, angry at the world for not being fair. The thing is, the world isn't fair, as much as Scootaloo refuses to accept that, living in a delusion. She thinks that she's owed something by the universe for this grand injustice against her, just because she got a raw deal. And because she's unable to accept reality, she pours her talents into an exercise of pride, instead of using her talents for something useful.

If this were merely about her wanting to fly, she wouldn't have to be in a race. Spitfire pointed out that she could easily get a job with her obviously-amazing talents. She could make her jetpack, and maybe make it so that others could use it too. The problem is, Scootaloo has to prove to everyone that she isn't a pegasus with a disability. She's let that disability define her, in that she'll do anything to prove that it doesn't exist. Scootaloo is happier to look like a cheater, rather than a pony who has overcome great adversity to get where she is now. She can't let others see her for who she is, because she's trapped in this idea of what a pegasus should be. Seeing how she reacted after the race cements this idea: she doesn't ask if anyone else was hurt, she isn't concerned about herself, she's concerned about her suit, her lifeline to being "normal."

And that's why she's one of the best tragic protagonists that I've read about on this site: she has great potential, but she's let her disability define her. If she continues to follow the destructive that path she's on—and the ending gives us no reason to think otherwise, she'll either die for her dream—or she'll remain bitter and alone, having pushed everypony else away. She's already trying her best to push Dash away, because Rainbow knows about her disability, and Scootaloo hates that she's seen as anything less than the ideal of a pegasus that she's crafted in her mind.

I liked this story at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how great Scoots' character is. It has easily won a spot on my "Love It!" shelf.

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