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Rainbow Factory

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Rainbow Factory
Rainbow Factory coverart
The coverart on FIMFiction
Writer(s) AuroraDawn
Date published late August, 2011
Words 8,264
Status Complete
Type/genre Tragedy
Sad
Dark
Alternate Universe
Featuring Scootaloo
Rainbow Dash
Based on Rainbow Factory (song)
Story link(s)
|| ||
Rainbow Factory is a short story by AuroraDawn. It is typically considered a "grimdark" story; the author calls it a "Gluefic". It has been translated into seven languages other than English, and is based on a song by Glaze.

The song

Rainbow Factory (song)
Creator(s) WoodenToaster
Published August 13, 2011
Duration 3:28
Main article: WoodenToaster#Rainbow Factory
The song was a submission to a Toast Beard competition. The task was to create one piece of music about the creation of rainbows within a week. The song's lyrics are not explicit, but suggest that Cloudsdale is not all it seems. The titular rainbow factory is said to be a place "where your fears and horrors come true". WoodenToaster links to the fanfic from the song's YouTube page and has called the story "good".[1]

Style

The story is segmented into a prologue and six chapters; each chapter except the last one is preceded by a two- or four-verse quote from the song by Glaze. Except for the prologue, the story is told in the third person and primarily from the perspective of Scootaloo.

Setting

"Rainbow Factory" is set in Cloudsdale. Cloudsdale is not the only Pegasus settlement, but it is the most prestigious, because it supplies all of Equestria with its weather. In the story, the town appears to have a significant amount of autonomy vis-a-vis Celestia's government in Canterlot. Cloudsdalians tend to consider themselves superior to other Pegasi and weed out any citizens not considered worthy of being part of "the Flock". Pegasi who graduate from flight school must pass an arduous test of physical endurance or risk being exiled; those who are exiled tend to never be seen again, putting special pressure on the graduates to perform.

Summary

Relative to the show, the story takes place some time in the future. Scootaloo is old enough to be able to fly, but it is implied she does not yet have her cutie mark. The narrative sets in on the day of Scootaloo's flight school graduation test. She is among three ponies who do not pass the test: a filly with the name of the author, AuroraDawn, dislocates her wings during a dangerous stunt; the colt Orion Solstice is disqualified for trying to help Aurora instead of completing his maneuvers; and Scootaloo herself is distracted watching the two and does not stick the landing.

Disgraced, the three are taken away in a windowless carriage. Their mysterious destination turns out to be "The Factory", the place where the weather is made. Specifically, they are in the Rainbow Facility, a section of the factory off-limits to visitors, which has led to many rumors about how exactly the Spectra, the colors of the rainbow, are manufactured.

A stalion named Dr. Atmosphere orders guards with tazers to prod Scootaloo, Aurora, and Orion into a room with chains hanging from the ceiling. A large piece of machinery occupies one end of the room; the machine has a wide opening at the top and tubes that lead from the device to several tubs on the floor. The tubs contain pure Spectra. There are other ponies in the room, ponies who have also failed their flight tests.

Not long after Scootaloo's arrival, several older ponies appear on scaffolding above the machine and announce that while the flight school rejects are "worthless" to Cloudsdale, they are still going to serve a purpose. As a masked pony explains: when Luna was banished a thousand years before and Celestia had to take on raising the moon as well the sun, she outsourced the creation of rainbows to the Pegasi of Cloudsdale. They soon found a way to do so without the help of unicorn magic: by harvesting ponies to extract the Spectra directly. The graduation tests therefore serve the dual purpose of ridding Cloudsdale of "the weak" and ensuring the supply of Spectra with ponies whose disappearance won't be questioned.

Rainbow Dash with blood on her face
PetirepAdded by Petirep

The masked speaker turns out to be Rainbow Dash, the current manager of the Rainbow Facility. A shocked Scootaloo confronts her, but elicits only disgust; because she failed her test, she also failed her mentor Rainbow Dash, and thus deserves to be punished. Guards tie Orion to a chain, which lifts him up and into the machine, killing him.

Scootaloo passes out briefly, but recovers quickly and relays a plan to Aurora and some of the other nearby ponies while the guards are slowly approaching their position. They take off and try to reach the unguarded catwalks above them. Because both Rainbow Dash and the guards are unused to resistance, Scootaloo does manage to get to a door and escape, but at a price: none of the other young ponies make it out of the room alive. Aurora, who has a chance to come with Scootaloo but knows she would never make it because of her damaged wings, is killed by Rainbow Dash personally when she blocks the door frame to buy Scootaloo some time.

Scootaloo flies down a corridor, with Rainbow Dash in hot pursuit. She spies a narrow chute which she hopes leads outside the Factory. Rainbow Dash is too big to follow her, but makes no attempts to even try or call others to go after her. Scootaloo soon realizes why: the chute does not lead outside after all, but back to the killing room. She is captured and subdued, and eventually Rainbow Dash arrives to finish the job. The story ends before she can do so.

Aborted endings

AuroraDawn (the writer) and a co-author, B.X.S, have also published a 1,600-word rough draft (including some author commentary) of a coda to the original story. It sets in where the story left off and offers three possible endings.

In one, Rainbow Dash complains to Scootaloo about how she just messed up her quota, and starts to beat her to death. The younger pony tries once again to reach out to her, and this time seems to succeed, triggering a psychotic break. Rainbow Dash shifts between horror at what she has done and hatred that Scootaloo "betrayed" her, loudly arguing with separate sides of her personality. Her jerky movements entangle her in the chains hanging from the ceiling and eventually cause her to fall into the machine. Her last words before she dies are an apology to Scootaloo. Scootaloo herself is not freed at this point; Dr. Atmosphere comes in, murders her, and orders the other workers to cover up the whole incident so the Rainbow Facility can start producing again as soon as possible.

In the second alternate ending, Rainbow Dash still dies but Scootaloo does not. In a manner that is not specified, the authorities are informed of what used to happen at the Rainbow Facility. Dr. Atmosphere is demoted and that particular wing of the weather factory is demolished. Yet Scootaloo cannot find peace, missing Orion, Aurora, and Rainbow Dash. Her soul died that day even if her body did not, an idea reinforced by the fact that this ending closes with a partial quote of the final verse of the song.

The third, and final, alternate ending is a variant of the first in which Scootaloo becomes a loner and never tells anyone the truth. It is implied that she is shadowed by agents who make sure she keeps her mouth shut, because the Rainbow Facility continues to operate, "the source of pride for almost all of Cloudsdale, save one".

All three endings are expected to be nullified in "Pegasus Device", an official sequel written by AuroraDawn.[2][3]

Trivia

  • It is implied that Fluttershy escaped being sent to the Rainbow Facility as a filly because she never graduated and chose to live in Ponyville instead.
  • Scootaloo's plan to escape the factory utilizes the maneuvers of the test she failed to complete.
  • Rainbow Dash's change of personality is explained as the result of years of pressure to keep the goings-on in the Rainbow Facility secret, having been first initiated after her first sonic rainboom.
  • Rainbow Factory author AuroraDawn has confirmed that the "pegasus device" is officially named "The Super Speedy Filly Squeezy 6000" in the Google Documents file of the story. The name was first suggested here, and is a play on "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000," the cider-making machine used by the Flim Flam Brothers in the episode of the same name.

Derivative works

The song itself has been remixed and set to scenes from the show several times. As is the case with many other "grimdark" fanfics, fans have recorded themselves reading the story. Links for both kinds of derivatives are provided on Glaze's YouTube page as well as the google docs file linked to within the infobox.

The fifth episode of Rainbow Dash Presents is a loose adaptation of "Rainbow Factory".

Stormy Water's Adventure In The Rainbow Factory is a fan fiction by Flare2266 based on the original Rainbow Factory Story, featuring an OC known as Stormy Water. Stormy Water befriends Rainbow Dash, but soon realizes her secret. This story takes place sometime after the events of "Rainbow Factory".

A comic by DOOM1945, which the original author, AuroraDawn, calls "outstandingly beautiful" and has posted on the fic's official FIMFiction page, illustrates the ending.

BronyDanceParty, created an animated PMV for the song "Rainbow Factoy" on January 13, 2012. Later, on September 14, 2012, he created another PMV for the song "Awoken", another song by WoodenToaster and H8 Seed. In the music video for "Awoken", a worker (represented by H8 Seed's OC) in the rainbow factory is fed up with his job, and decides to quit.

References

  1. UK of Equestria Podcast with WoodenToaster (2012-03-24). 46:43
  2. AuroraDawn (2012-01-16). Working on projects!. FIMFiction blog. Retrieved on 2012 June 7.
  3. AuroraDawn (2012-05-19). The first chapter of Pegasus Device.... FIMFiction blog. Retrieved on 2012 June 7.

External links

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