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When Scootaloo learns what the Ancient Pegasi did to their foals that couldn't fly, she's afraid the same fate awaits her. A trip to Cloudsdale with her idol Rainbow Dash teaches Scootaloo what her life is really worth. (A response to Rainbow Factory)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 51 )

Ooh I really like the plot synopsis. Definitely going to shoot you another comment after I've read the first chapter!

References! References everywhere!

I admit to singing "Won't come back from Dead Colt's Drop..." early on.

And come to think of it, I believed some fairly bizarre things myself when I was that age.

I really did like this, a lot. I feel good for having read it.

No taxes because it's not on the ground...pardon me while I go work on anti-gravity for my house.

Just a note of thought: in human societies, babies that were killed because they were deformed or very sickly were killed for a reason. Yes, it was barberic and horrible thing to do, but it was a different world. It was a world where the parents (who statistically was likely to be a peasent) could not afford to feed a mouth that was unable to work.

I am not trying to make a horrible act appear as acceptable, merely point out the necessary practicality of it. Many people don't get that it is only a century-long thing for children born to not be stillborn and have very good chances to reach adulthood. In an age before reliable food supply, modern medicine (you have no idea how important vaccines and antibiotics are to a population's general health), modern sanitation (yes, soap is old, but its widespread use is not) and whatnot, life was much more brutal and hard than we would think (and yes, modern life can be brutal and hard too, but as most often, people lack historical insight). So a child with a deformity or even obvious sickness (meaning internal deformity) would have to look forward to a life more full of suffering, more laden with hunger and far more short than an average person of same birth. Unless the child was born to noble or simply rich parents, the child's chances of survival were far worse than that of healthy child in a similar situation.

Not to mention that a healthy child could work: nowadays, the modern world does not want to hear the words "child" and "labour" next to each other, but before widespread general education, children spent their lives helping their parents (who, again, are statistically likely to be peasants of some sort). Yeah, children mucked about and messed around, but generally, they were put to work as soon as they were able. It was life.

It boils down simply to food and resources required to raise a child that would later give back to the family. It is a horrible, brutal truth but it was a truth of survival nonetheless.

Equally, the whole Ancient Pegasi thing obsessed with flying may have been once a necessity: as a warlike people ("mighty tribe of warriors" and all that) who are also defined by the fact that they are airborn, in a time when there is no harmony with their land-dwelling brethren, not being able to fly would be an obvious problem. Again, the issue is not just not being unfit by cultural measures, but a practical problem of resources.

As for the bit about "making rainbow out of flightless pegasi", my best guess is that it's just anti-pegasi propaganda. It's one thing killing young out of necessity, but trying to harvest them for resources? Even the obvious repugnant issues aside, you would need a truly absurd amount of young to ensure a constant supply of that resource! I mean, think about it! You would need a tremendous amount of flightless pegasi foals to make a constant supply of rainbows for just a year!

Don't have much to say about the fic. It was a quick read, but I guess it was more of a "getting this out of my system" type of story?

Nice story. Easy thumbs up from me. As a reaction to Rainbow Factory it works well, and really, all the MLP "horror" fics could never take place in the "real" Equestria. It's all about harmony and love. A well-written, enjoyable read; hope to see more from this author in the future.

“You have beautiful eyes” :rainbowlaugh:

I really did laugh at that part. Awesome reference.

Just a couple of mistakes I spotted:
“Alright. We’ll save the Cloudosseum for the next time Cloudsdale floats pass.” -> "past"
"flying would only take me way from my two best friends." -> "away"


Thanks, I just corrected those two mistakes. No matter how many times you proofread something, you never catch everything. :facehoof:

very good story :twilightsmile: memories of when i read "Rainbow Factory" have surfaced :raritycry: especially when i read "You have beautiful eyes"

And a valuable lesson was learned. :ajsmug:

Very great story. If you don't mind me asking, whats your next story going to be about?

Some people have noted that the ancient Pegasi (at the time of the first Hearth Warming Eve) greatly resembled Earth's Spartans both in attitude and culture. The Spartans did kill sickly and inferior children, so it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that, in ancient times, the Pegasi did kill those who couldn't fly fairly early on. The Princesses would never have tolerated that, though, and neither would have the other two factions that united with them to form Equestria, so I'm sure it's been a dead practice for millennia.

Hmmmm. Those ancient pagasi remind me of something........


I lol'd.

I almost wish that they had pulled a prank on Diamond Tiara for her nasty talk :trollestia: but even then it was a good story :twilightsmile:

Huh. Weak children killed. Kinda like Ancient Sparta.

Great take on this fic, and crossing it with a few Cupcakes references. Great job!

I read Rainbow Factory around 7 months ago, and it is not until now with this fic that's out of my system. Great job.

I really liked this! A bit rough, lots of telling instead of showing, pacing was wonky. But it was sweet, and a good way to get that awful Rainbow Factory taste out of my mouth. :twilightsmile:

Quite lovely. I loved the bit about Dash not paying taxes on her house. :rainbowlaugh: Good response to Rainbow Factory!:rainbowdetermined2:

Amazing work on this story SilverSolstice!
As someone who has read both "Rainbow Factory" and "Cupcakes" this story got rid of any bad feelings I had for them, so thank you for that! :twilightsmile:

Overall a great fic! You deserve a :moustache:

"The instant he opened it Scootaloo went whizzing passed him,"

It should be 'Whizzing PAST him."

Other than that, I can't find too many issues.

Comment posted by Honey Mead deleted Jan 8th, 2013

Beautiful one shot. Though i have never read rainbow factory, probably should now that i've read this, i know one piece of FIM canon that I would use to argue the concept of sacrificing weak pegasi fillies to make rainbows:

Fluttershy. :fluttershysad:

I have no further objections. LOL-ed painfully hard at the ending.

1564024 looks that way to me. Also, your explanation of ancient societal eugenic killings was both eloquent and informative to those not in the know. Have three Pinkie Pies :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

As an explanation as to why they might throw those pegasi into the machine, since sugar was very hard to come by in those days, glucose would have been an excellent source. I would think Rainbows would be a sort of appeasement gift for times of strained diplomacy, using the stored spectra liquid as a bargaining tool when times with the unicorns/griffons/dragons/insert more dangerous race than pegasi here were difficult. Much like how the infamous White Elephants were gifted in India, or any other number of pointless diplomatic niceties today.


That's an interesting thought about glucose, but: why use their own species? Why not just other sources of meat, like ambushing land-dwelling creatures (hunting is easier when you are a fast-flying creature with weapons)? Or even just using the bodies of their enemies?

I still like the idea that the whole "used flightless pegasi to make rainbows" is a smear. Like how they frequently accused Jews of poisoning wells. Maybe you can't create perfect unity and harmony between previously warring tribes so easily, and thus the smear survived long enough to become a myth that got stuck circulating in history books.

2633379 thinking on that, possibly they had the sacrifice of their unfit children and enemies as an offering to their gods, and the Rainbow was part of that process. Unless we assume they already had the Princesses as their god analogues, tribal cultures tended to sacrifice to their gods.

The smear idea is good too, I'm just saying it's possible either way.

this is good

That. Is. IT!

I need an anti-gravity device for my house! I bet RD would be looking at us poor schmucks like this: :rainbowlaugh:

Anyways, have an upvote! Please, I insist.

This is simply beautiful. It has been added to my top mlp fanfics :rainbowkiss:

I liked the idea behind this, but I didn't really feel Scootaloo's despair quite as much as I would have liked to, neither at the first peak, when she thinks she's going to be killed, nor the second, when Rainbow Dash pulls her aside to comfort her.

Though I'm sure the Rainbow Factory is a horror story in their world; gotta make up terrible stories about innocent things, kind of like how people believe that McDonald's hamburgers are made out of earthworm.

4758865 To be fair, earthworms would be healthier.:trollestia:

4787208 :rainbowlaugh: :trollestia: True that, true that.

I wish I could be more pissed at Diamond Tiara than Scootaloo, I really do. DT is a horrible bully and pony in general, but I've come to expect that from her, I'm numb to it if you will. But how dare Scoots believe Rainbow could do something like that, even disregarding the fact that she's the element of loyalty. Excellent story, had to read the last bit of it through water-glasses.

What next, Diamond Tiara? You going to tell us that Cheerilee is planning on commiting a bunch of murders? :trollestia:

All seriousness, this was amazing. I just read Rainbow Factory for the first time today, and it left a sour taste in my mouth. It was written well enough but...

Great work. You get another like and favorite!

She's a kid, a kids are impressionable

“You have beautiful eyes,” she cooed, soft, yet clearly.

Nice little shout out there.

“Also, never believe anything you read in books,” Rainbow Dash added.

“No Rainbow, that’s not the moral here,” Twilight insisted.

“That’s my alternative Aesop,” Rainbow Dash replied.

“Agghhh, I hate those!” Twilight groaned.


Will there be a sequel? Maybe the CMC Learning that Pinkie ISN'T making Cupcakes out of ponies? How about Diamond Tiara getting her just deserts?

A fantastic mix of sad and hilarious and d'aww. I could totally imagine Sweetie Belle immediately jumping to conclusions and Rainbow adding in her "alternative aesop".

That ending though


I reviewed this story as part of Read It Later #67.

My review can be found here.

... and years later - somewhere on an archeological dig - the site of the original Rainbow Factory is found, before all was moved to Cloudsdale. There, the so-called Pegasus Device is uncovered, which looks like a twisted, rusted, uncanny valley version of a pegasus with mechanical wings. Twilight Sparkle manages to re-activate it and - starving, ravenous for what we know as spectra - it attacks -- but the Alicorn is able to restrain it as it is old, rusted and slow.

Twilight - after examining its brain - discovers a horror: the Pegasus Device was - IS - an actual Pegasus; there's the remains of a Mare beneath all the wires and clockwork and magic. A mother - declared unfit after giving birth to two deformed colts - forced to undergo the whole nightmarish process of being transformed into the Pegasus Device, 'useless' womb gutted to make way for the tank to process the spectra from the corpses of her own foals ground up by the grinders her stomach was replaced with... and still more, and more, and more after that.

The Pegasus Mare did NOT want this, she was forced to be this way, driven mad by the grief, rage and pain, her own and those of the foals force-fed to her. The Princesses were unaware of this even happening at the time; they had no power or influence over Cloudsdale, the Ancients guarding their cloud city fearlessly. The Mane Six - of course - are utterly horrified. The Magical/Cybernetic Clockwork Pegasus is of course pardoned and then put into the care of one she might have been made to eat long ago: a yellow-furred, pink-maned Pegasus named Fluttershy...

Aww I really liked this, a nicer alternative to Rainbow Factory. Cheers!

That leaning on the fourth wall at the end though.

I found this story long ago, before I even read the original. But I didn't remember enough to find it again until I Googled:

"scootaloo" AND "eugenics" AND "factory"

I really love canon compatible stories. It may yet still be canon compatible in 2019 as the series comes to a close. I'll reread it to see if the updated parental status is in conflict with that one new episode.

I know this is an insanely old comment but I just wanted to commend you on your insight. History is one of the most difficult subjects for the very reason you point out, it is FAR too easy to look at something like Sparta and be like "THOSE MONSTERS". I have a disability, I am autistic and not even 50 years ago I would likely have been put into some kind of "institution" to spend the rest of my life as a drooling wreck, I'm left-handed for a lot of things, and I'd likely have been punished for being "deviant". In short many people (myself included at times, to be honest) are horrified that history is NOT kind, or sympathetic, or loyal, or any of the other virtues we hold dear (both here and in Equestria).

I did NOT like Rainbow Factory for the sole reason that like Cupcakes, it was written pretty much exclusively for the shock value. I always thought that putting it with a historical context would allow for both the shock without it turning RD into a twisted murderer "for the lulz, just because, etc." This is RF as it should have been written.

“You have beautiful eyes,” she cooed, soft, yet clearly.

Ow... my heart...

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