• Member Since 29th Dec, 2012
  • offline last seen January 23rd



The new guy at work isn’t a guy or even a human. Can a pony even do construction work?

Rated teen for profanity and innuendo typical of construction workers. Construction workers will mock literally anything in good fun without meaning any actual ill intent.

Written for Admiral Biscuit’s Working Ponies “Not-a-Contest”.

Incomplete tag because I have no idea if there’ll be another chapter, but there’s a non-zero chance.

Cover art: https://www.deviantart.com/silvervectors/art/Dust-Devil-318551424

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 127 )

The conversations seem to have moved fast. I like the world building and shit-shooting. If you can explore the character's motivations and feelings a little more without breaking the narrative, you can make the dialog heavy bits extra solid.

Following to see where this goes. 👍

The interactions with the characters were a lot of fun. The romantic tones were funny, and thie nuance of the HVAC stuff feels based in reality.

I quite enjoyed this for what it was, hope to see more!

The real world references combined with the casual conversation between the characters gave a sense of immersion.

If this is your first piece of creative writing since school, I say you have talent.

The prose is a bit floaty, or rapid. To give an example, I would've added 2 commas to the first paragraph to break it apart:

“We’re supposed to be getting that new guy today, right?” I asked after finishing my sausage biscuit. Our crew was sitting in the connex, going over the plans for the day’s work.

That, and other errata, e.g.

looked like they [were?] clipped on instead of using nails.

I dislike the use of colloquialisms (Um, Ok, most contractions), but I doubt pedantic criticism will help, especially given the A/N.

Another thing I noticed: the gulf in quality between these two instances of dialogue.
Daniel & James:

“It seems like it. Do you have a problem with that?”
“You go right ahead but don’t be a dick about it. That’d be a real good way to get laid off.”

The background—and for that matter, even the corporeality of the characters themselves—ceases to exist throughout the dialogue. Talking head syndrome.
In stark contrast, the rest of the fic's dialogue is executed seamlessly, with description interweaved with speech. To give an inverse (good) example,
Mike, James & Dusty:

“It’s a bit more complicated than your system. Mike, I need the next piece.” He handed us a section with an elbow, straight piece, and a square to round. “On a basic level, we use a liquid refrigerant that travels through pipes absorbing heat from the air in one place and releasing it in another. You lined up?” I asked as I held up the duct.

As for the author's notes, I didn't really notice the dialect—or at least, I fail to differentiate the quirks in accent with actual errors in writing.

This is interesting dude, a fresh calm g story where the date if anything is on the line, a social story, I'm following and waiting for more :D.

This a good.

Id hate to be on the metal end of HVAC. I had enough fun at University trying to design the stuff according to flow rules, then realising I had to redo it all to get the thing to actually fit given location, materials and workers.

Really anoying when you go to all the trouble of designing a balanced system for that building and that climate, then some idiot goes in the boiler room and turns the heat to full because they wanted their office shag carpet to cover that unsighly vent in the corner and hide the radiators behind book cases etc. :twilightoops:

I do HVAC work myself and it was interesting to see a story and a pony invoking this trade. I haven't done much duct work but I'm familiar with the process and the tools. I've run a lot of copper tubing and iron pipe, though and have often wished there was a Pegasus working with me (or that I was one!) so that I could get up higher without a lift. I had to laugh at the passage about the safety harness. That would be a pain in the ass for a flying pony!
The banter between the co workers was very believable. You brought to light how some people would be prejudiced and some would treat ponies as just another person. And the first person who acted romantically interested in a pony would definitely get teased, but then don't folks do that to each other?!

I liked that you added the story notes, too. They can really help people understand elements of the story.

I think you did a great job introducing your characters and the setting where they first meet. Your writing is solid and I know will become more fluid as you write more. And I certainly hope you continue this story. It's great! I think I've found a new favorite pony!

If this wasn't your first try at voluntary storywriting I would say it was good, but seeing as this is your first try at this it is phenomenal. I hope to read more of your storys in the future.


I will go ahead and add those commas. I often feel like I use too many commas when texting or commenting online and tried to dial it back a bit. Good to see that someone else thinks the way I wanted to write it originally worked better.

looked like they [were?] clipped on instead of using nails.

This one I'm not sure which way I prefer it. I think it works with or without the "were". Without it, "they clipped on" refers to the shoes doing the attaching; with it, "they were clipped on" refers to someone having clipped them on. I really don't know if it matters and I'll leave it unless you or someone else thinks I'm just being stupid.

Regarding the dialogue, I wanted to add more into that first example but it's a quick conversation while driving, one of those things that takes more time to read than to actually happen, and couldn't figure out any way to do so without feeling like it was dragging on. I will continue to think on it and will update it if I can think of a good way to do so.

On the colloquialisms vs writing errors, I'm sure a lot of people would consider an Oklahoma dialect to be 40% errors. Imagine a Texas drawl but sped up and with half a mouthful of mashed potatoes and then imagine that the person speaking like that doesn't concern themselves much with proper grammatical structure or with finishing words completely. Though that is a bit of an extreme example.

And sorry if it isn't to your taste, but I like it when verbal pauses are included in dialogue. It feels a bit more rounded and lifelike to me.

Thanks for the input.

Oh no, you're one of the office guys. You're not allowed to read this and I'm banning you. /s

I had enough fun at University trying to design the stuff according to flow rules, then realising I had to redo it all to get the thing to actually fit given location, materials and workers.

At least you caught it. I've installed duct that bottomed out below the grid ceiling because the engineer needed to offset under a beam and didn't check the ceiling height. We had to wait til the ceiling was in for the change order to go through and then tear out the old offsets to replace them with transitions that flattened the duct out.

Great job, can't wait to see a possible chapter 2.


Im old enough that when at University, I asked my tutor what I needed to do the transition from an annular duct to a circular duct correctly, he looked at me as if Id just sacrificed a chicken on his desk. Mainly because it was such a black art, the sacrifice occured in sanctified laboratories. Best exampl I could think of was that proper fan blades were these weird wavey shapes. 30 years later, they can finally manufacture them. Pity really, Hubless are more efficint.:twilightoops:


Pony A/C is "battery" powered swamp coolers without plumbing.

I can dig it.


Do all Oklahomans have shitty taste in movies? I can think of 4 benevolent Alien movies without even trying. (Reminder that the The Day the Earth Stood Still remake was shit. Not as bad as the travesty that was The 47 Ronin, though. Nice that Keanu is made a big comeback, but never forget)

I wonder if the No Man's Sky devs are fans of Contact. (The book was way better)

It'll really suck if Morgan Freeman passes before Rendezvous with Rama gets made. He's pushed so hard for it.

How sweet! For your first story you've done rather well for yourself, everyone comes through clearly and the descriptions are evocative. Looking forward to your next installment!

So pony A/C is serviced sort of like an icebox, in that it uses consumables delivered by a specific service (much like how ice was delivered for iceboxes), and operates on similar principles as a swamp cooler. (Though in more humid climates, it may even *be* filled with tornadoes and ice instead, since IIRC swamp coolers don't work so great when it's too humid to evaporate the water properly.)

(And don't think that I missed that interrobang that you snuck in there at one point, either... :derpytongue2:)

Definitely a solid start, well above a lot of the experienced writers on the platform. 100% following where it goes from here!

Well, it's good, keep it up an i will keep reading

Jesus, no wonder I didn't notice anything off...got a fellow Okie here, lol. In any case, really liked what you have going here, always game to see these chill atmospheric world blending SoL fics!

I see a pony on Earth story I click like. Nice start for this story. I really like when people explore how a pony would be on Earth instead of the usually HiE

Ooohh.... this is neat. Can I have some more, please?

“Yeah,” I said, “OHSA’s a bitch.

Ain't that the truth. In this case actually dangerous... putting a harness on a pegasus might lead to injuries in a situation where she instinctively flaps her wings but is partly restrained.

“That’d be a shame,” Dusty said contemplatively, “because it’s possible that in that scenario the answer would be yes if the person had the courage to say something.”

Love this. Yeah, dear Equestria. Where it's the mares that make the first move. Which, in this setting among builders, is a delicious role reversal. Also, take that you background bigot from the beginning.

So yes, please write more. I already care about these three.


got a fellow Okie here,

I haven't decided yet whether or not I'll mention it in the story, but just so you know the job site that I am loosely basing this on is one of the new hangers at Tinker. So I may end up with real location references around here.

You'll probably have to keep Dusty off of Tinker. I don't think you can do contract work legally at a secure Federal facility without permanent residency at the minimum.

We aren't technically on base yet. There's no gate so they just move the fence to swallow each building as it's finished.

I'm pretty sure some of the sheetrockers don't have permanent residency either.

There is going to be a scene though where she's bitching about not being able to fly to work because it's in restricted airspace. That's why she has the motorcycle.

I would love to see where this story goes if you feel motivated enough to continue it

I would imagine each pony race would have their own construction idiosyncrasies.

"Hey!" I waved the new guy over. Just when I was getting used to having a pegasus on the crew, here came something else to knock my sanity into the scrap pile. "Bender, can I get a moment, please."

"Sure thing, Boss." The unicorn stopped under my stepladder and looked up with big yellow eyes, which went well with the hard hat (with hole for his horn) and bright yellow vest. If there were some sort of dress code for construction workers, Bender could have strutted down the runway in a minute. He even managed to keep his hair... that is mane neatly combed at the end of the day when he took the hard hat off. "Oh, you found the T junction splice I had to do in order to meet the LEED standards for air circulation. I was going to tell you about that as soon as I tested the other airflow diverter, just to make sure it was going to meet code. We'll need a change order, too."

"What do you mean, diverter?" I asked, waving one hand at the air return. "This goes straight into that support beam! It can't--" As impossible as it seemed, there was airflow coming out of the unfinished ductwork, and when I bent over and looked through it, I could see daylight and part of a tree. Which was a pretty good trick, considering the only trees on the site were on the other side of the building, and there was no sign of any cuts on the support beam.

"I thought bringing in fresh air from under the maple tree would make the building smell better," continued Bender, "so I employed a simple n-orthogonal dimensional bracing strut splice to cross-link the spatial coordinates. Once I finish the thermal exchanger and retune the spinwise torquing, the exhaust air should match the intake air temperature within a quarter of a degree. Not the best solution, but it's the best I could do given the time available if we're going to finish next week."

Neat! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled, then. In any case, great work so far!

Very good stuff, I hope you will continue the story. This is as solid as the Admiral's work IMO. Unfortunately I have no input of value.


I believe the proper term is OSHA.

This is solid work. Not too much faffing about, just a clear line straight to the interesting stuff and good work with the dialogue. For your first work, this is very impressive. You have the potential for professional authorship.

“Yeah. I don’t trust them. They come through a damn portal, invading our world, using freaky magic and shit, and we’re just supposed to accept that they have good intentions? For all we know they’re gathering intel and biding their time to influence or take over our world. When’s the last time you saw a movie with aliens appearing on Earth that were genuinely benevolent?”

If nine years of this fandom have taught me anything, it's that the only reason ponies would invade Earth is to secure access to an endless supply of ear scritches, tummy rubs, and HMD. And I, as ever, stand ready to welcome our new, fuzzy overlords.


I believe the proper term is OSHA.

Son of a... How did I do that? :facehoof:

This is as solid as the Admiral's work IMO


But seriously, thanks.

I think a dark, gritty story where Equestria invades to exterminate the virus that is humanity before it can come for them could be pretty cool.

She may not be human, but by God she had better pull a 500 micron vacuum on the copper lineset. Fucking builders piss me off when I have to replace a burnt-out compressor on a 1-year old system because they wanted to be lazy.

This is fenominal for a first story!
you got talent kid.
Just remember, always write for yourself.
never let the overwhelming pressure of giving people what they want crush your spirit!

Go for it. You'll make all the other middle school zoomers seethe with jealousy at the daring intensity of your edge. For myself, I prefer my pone intake to be comedic and sweet. The show was, for all intents and purposes, a fairytale-- Disney, not Grimm's-- and so trying to use it to advance negativity in place of love and tolerance just doesn't do anything for me anymore.

Please be more specific than "floaty" if you want to be constructive. Critique doesn't help if it's vague, or if the writer being critiqued is unfamiliar with the principles that you mention. I won't offer advice for prose, as I am not the most prosaic writer, myself. It would be more helpful to point out why those commas are necessary.

The most important uses of commas in punctuation, in order of priority, are as follows:
1. Separation of parts in a complex sentence.
2. Separation of parts of a list.
3. Pure punctuation; i.e., after "X said" and at the end of dialogue when correct.

The most important use of commas in dialogue, purely for dialogue clarity, is to indicate a verbal pause, even if it may not be technically perfect.

The most terrible use of a comma is known as a comma splice.

Wrong example: This is when you have two distinct and complete thoughts separated only by a comma, they should be separated by a semicolon or period.

Right example: This is when you have two distinct and complete thoughts separated only by a comma; they should be separated by a semicolon or a period.

A semicolon is best when the second part is directly related to or a followup of the first part.

You should take a gander at Days of Wasp and Spider.

"Laws of physics? See, there's your problem. If you call it a law, then you think there's something all horrible about mashing things up and spitting 'em out how you want 'em."

For someone who claims to be really our of practice, I'd say you did really well! I really liked the level of world building that you included in this, never considered the implication of weather control for HVAC systems till today! The character's all felt pretty real, and giving each other shit as they worked seemed pretty genuine. Can't wait to see where you take things from here, keep up the good work!

Man, I read that back when it first came out and have been trying to remember the name of it ever since. It's one of those stories that I keep finding and losing over and over again. Thanks for the reminder. Fingers crossed, let's hope it takes this time.

Almost every time I run across one of your comments, I find something else to look up. You seem to know a little about everything.


I only realised something after. If theyre using ice and tornadoes for HVAC, because it can be Open Cycle, as in Lord Kelvins origional Steam Engine powered Heat Pump, that is more efficient because theres one less heat exchanger for boundary layer insulation to reduce the power transfer. The tornado, related to an idea Ive seen thats effectively Rifled Tube Exchanger, gives rise to an effect I dont know the correct name for, but Rolls Royce used on the Pegasus engine on the Harrier aircraft, that of what is effectively Centripetal Lapse Rate Exchange. You spin a cylinder axially at high speed, and the air within it acts as if its under very high gravity, so the cold air sinks to the rim, and the hot air rises to the axis. Theoretically, its efficiency approaches the best Ive ever seen, that of a Low Pressure Fountain and Water Jet Condenser OTEC power unit, which is 95% of Theoretical Carnot Limit. Or COP 20:1. For every kilowatt electrical power into the motor, up to 20 kilowatts heat output. Or, heat a house with a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Then you have noise, vibration, all the fun real world stuff.

I used to know a lot of little stuff, but I know Ive forgotton an awful lot of that over the years. Havent been keeping up on my rereading updates on the old stuff or taking new stuff in as much. Put me in place, and I break, because Im missing the critical bits of being able to be sucessful at anything.:pinkiesad2:

Great story, straight to the Quack Oneshots for now; Moving it to my Rastreadorks one in case MOAR is given.

If I might offer my own Suggestion:

Her hooves clip-clopped as she walked up and offered me a hoof, which I shook. She had metal horseshoes that looked like they clipped on instead of using nails.

Her hooves clip-clopped as she walked up and offered me a hoof, which I shook. She had metal horseshoes that looked like they were clip-on instead of nailed.

I tried to use "clip-ons", but Grammarly kept marking it as a wrong usage, and I offered this because I heard my horde of sisters whined a lot on how the clip-ons hair accessories kept falling on them (yes, they used the word/phrase clip-ons to describe them, even if our primary language is Spanish) back in the day.

Of course, I might be totally, utterly and completely HORSESHOED, but that's for the Grammar Officials and Government of Germany of the 1930s-1940s to decide.

Cute little story. I hope you get around to writing more. Tossing this in my taking list just incase.

No constructive criticism, but I like it, and I look forward to more. Ponies on Earth / HiE in more mundane fashion tends to catch my interest more than the fantastical ones.

Say, this is pretty good! :moustache:

Not sure what to say here. Enjoyed it, tracked, and upvoted.

From semi truck drivers to car repair shops loving me these one off ponies on earth stories.

I do wonder though. In your universe where dose a pony back come up to on say a six foot tall human?

I really have to wonder how most conspiracy theorists survive. I’d think the stress alone would kill someone off pretty quick.

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