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Frenzied Factory Zone: Vaporization Department (Sign-up in OOC Thread)

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Vaporization Department: where clouds are born. In a space specially designed to retain heat, a good portion of the steamy rainbow liquid produced by PrismDep sits in rows of purple metallic vats. When cold water’s dumped into these boiling vats, huge gushes of steam blast forth in a fury of accelerated vaporization. As the steam collects near the skylight on the ceiling, workers make haste to condense it all using pegasi weather-magic into saturated clouds... the essential ingredient for rainfall. Clouds that are deemed safe and fit for use are sent off to TransportDev, which handles cloud distribution to all the weather teams.

New workers in VaporDep must take numerous precautions if they don’t want to end up with workplace injuries. Not only can the room get quite hot and muggy, but improperly-condensed clouds might very well be capable of producing unauthorized lightning. Just as long as the volunteers read all the warning signs around the place and follow the instructions of their team leader, everything should be fine... right.....?

OOC thread is here.

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Flitter enthusiastically flew into the Vaporization Department, fueled by Rainbow Dash's enthusiastic speech. Upon looking at the large metallic purple vats though her excitement quickly dimmed, replaced by a sudden apprehension brought on by the realization that she would have no idea what to remotely do.

Of course Flitter knew all clouds were just condensed water vapor, well water vapor with a tiny bit of rainbow particles suspended within. It is the latter that was thought to allows pegasai and other flying creatures to sit on the clouds themselves, or at least that is one theory of many. Regardless, it dawned on the lavender mare that knowing what clouds were made of did not equate knowing how to actually produce them.

Flitter took a deep breath to calm down; certainly they would explain how this all worked beforehand, besides she had Cloudchaser! Her partner was a weather pony by trade, so logically she must also have some knowledge in cloud creation and care, certainly well beyond the basic cloud shaping lessons most pegasai received in flight academy.

The lavender pegasus, slowly flew up over the vats where she could see the rainbow coloured mixture bubbling inside. It was beautiful as it was hot, and boy was it hot! The multi-coloured mixture warmed the room considerably,a nd with all the water around, it felt like the sauna at the Ponyville Spa. Ugh, why did she have to wear a coat and helmet in such a stifling environment?! She could take off the leg warmers to cope with the warmth, but c'mon, those were fashionable!

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[colour=#ffcc00]“ALL WORKERS, ASSEMBLE HERE AND FALL IN!”[/colour] Bellowing from the vat-filled room opposite of the main entrance came forth the Voice of Authority, the command of Colonel Pummel of the Royal Equestrian Army. Like the other volunteers, the towering stallion experienced minor discomfort from the humidity in the vast Vaporization chamber in the Weather Factory. And if the indications of Supervisor Apple beside him were anything to go by, things would feel even worse once cloud production really got up and running.

As a fit commanding officer in the employ of Her Majesty however, Colonel Pummel had the training to not wither away due to something as puny as humidity. He could only hope though that he would receive that same attitude from the volunteers under his command today. But first, everypony needed to gather in order to receive a special briefing from the Vapor Department supervisor about the unique nature of their assingments.....

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Moon Walker had been privy to the grave state of affairs involving Cloudsdale's weather factory, even before bulletins started going out for volunteers. After all, his wife worked in the weather factory. His wife had started complaining about all the pegasi calling in sick because of some flu going around in Cloudsdale (a bug which Moon Walker managed to avoid only through the fact that he spent a majority of his time in Canterlot). He had taken all the bragging she was doing about not coming down with some namby-pamby flu in stride, as he usually did. He didn't utter a single peep when she started getting sniffly and was still talking about how she had to work twice as hard because some pegasi were just too sick (said mockingly) to do what they were supposed to. When she started getting even more ill and was still trying to show up for work, though, Moon Walker put his hoof down. If not for his wife's sake, then for the sake of any of the remaining pegasi showing up for work. She'd have been responsible for an epidemic the rate she was going. Luckily, his wife was not the unreasonable sort.

And that was how Moon Walker had ended up here at the weather factory's Vaporization Department. Cloudsdale needed Pegasi, and by Celestia, he wasn't going to let Cloudsdale down when he could help. Given the dire situation, it had been easy enough to be temporarily relieved from his guard duties in Canterlot in order to volunteer at the weather factory, especially since somepony would need to be around to take care of his wife, too. He had initially ended up a little bit late to the orientation due to fluffing his wife's pillows, checking her temperature, making herbal soup, and so on (his wife had thought it was excessive but appreciated his efforts until she realized he was going to be late and had to push him out the door).

Luckily, it wasn't so late that anypony really noticed. At least, he hoped nopony had noticed. Given that the team leader for the Vaporization Department was Colonel Pummel, though, he wasn't going to hold his breath. Moon Walker saw no sense in worrying about it, though, and when the superior officer bellowed for everypony to assemble and fall in, he made sure to be right on time. Clad in factory uniform, he automatically, out of sheer force of habit at a commanding voice, stood at attention. The humidity in the vaporization chamber was stifling and causing him to sweat a little, but he didn't bat an eye at it. Also, strangely enough, the humidity had absolutely no effect on his ever-perfect mane.

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[colour=#00ffff]She was never fond of the humidity in the vaporization department. Her very thick tail became a very wet flail attached to her flank. She had long since grown used to it, but she still tried to get her duties done in that area as quick as possible.

Shortie entered just as the Colonel barked the order. Aside from a pretty lavender mare and a couple others, she also saw a rather striking stallion already at attention. She was under the command of the military? Things must be worse than she thought. She must have slept through the declaration of Martial Law! Well, if thats what the Princess ordered, thats what the Princess ordered. She was a loyal equestrian subject, and would do her duty. Was she technically a conscript then?

Well, she was a Mechanic Second Class in the weather factory, so that must be her rank now too! Unless someone else had already claimed that rank. She better be pro-active so she wasn't stuck with something else!

She quickly (and literally) hopped next to the standing stallion and made a incredibly exaggerated salute.

"Sir! Short Circuit, Mechanic Second Class ready for orders, Sir!"[/colour]

[colour=#00FFFF]While still facing forward holding her hoof up to her head and with eyes toward the general, she very obviously whispered from the side of her mouth.[/colour]

[colour=#00FFFF]"Pssst, am I doing it right?"[/colour]

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[colour=#000000]Cloudchaser was definitely excited, especially following the kiss her awesome fillyfriend had left her with. Yeah, it was bound to be exciting working with Flitter. That didn't happen too often; the two of them had vastly different jobs and areas of expertise. Usually it was only for the big events like the Cloudsdale tornado or Winter Wrap Up that called for every pegasus or every pony that the two of them might typically find themselves working side by side. She wasn't sure about anything else when it came to working on the Vaporization team, but being there with Flitter was going to make it fun. That she was certain of.[/colour]

[colour=#ffffff]"Huh, so we're gonna be making clouds?"[/colour] [colour=#000000]Chaser started with a grin as she flew up beside her Flitter. [/colour][colour=#ffffff]"Awesome! I've never done that before!"[/colour] [colour=#000000]she started. As a weather pony, she spent a lot of time moving clouds, breaking clouds, and changing cloud shape or density, but actually creating them wasn't something a pony in her position typically did. She was quite excited to see how it all worked. [/colour]

[colour=#ffffff]"This is gonna be fu--"[/colour]


[colour=#FFCC00]“ALL WORKERS, ASSEMBLE HERE AND FALL IN!”[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Or, maybe not... The bellowing voice made the spiky maned mare lock up. Her eyes moved toward a stallion in uniform. Ah yeah, this guy. He had given the speech following princess Luna, and well, Chaser had kind of tuned him out. So he was in charge of the Vapor team, huh? Ugh... so it was more of this? Military attitudes didn't mesh well with Cloudchaser, she found. Having to deal with Spitfire barking orders at her nonstop was one of the reasons she had dropped out of the Wonderbolt Academy. Still, she was at least used to this kind of thing from that. She had to wonder how Flitter would take it.[/colour]

[colour=#ffffff]"Best do what he says, Flit. Ponies like this get really angry if we don't,"[/colour] [colour=#000000]she said to Flitter before lining up next to a stallion and mare on the team. She stood rigidly and gave a salute as she had learned at the Academy.[/colour]

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Flitter sweltered under the relentless humidity as she floated about the large room looking at the steaming vats of liquid colours with a mix of curiosity and worry. Ugh, why did she have to wear this hat and jacket? Maybe the hat she could understand, we sort of, given it likely just fall off if she suddenly was unable to fly and fell, but the jacket? How did to help at all in the slightest bit? All it served to do is make Flitter unbearably uncomfortable in the intense warm mist; the legwarmers didn’t help either, but those were cute on her!

At least Cloudchaser was going to be in the room with her, although her marefriend’s statement about being just as inexperienced about the Vaporization Department didn’t help the pit of her stomach feeling Flitter was experiencing at that moment. Flitter gave a weak smile in response, [colour=#cc99cc]“well I’m sure it’s all pretty straightforward and easy, how complicated could they possibly be about vaporizing water into clouds?”[/colour] Surely that was all that was needed to be known, right? Flitter wasn’t nearly as sure though as her words expressed, she just didn’t want to flake out now in front of Cloudchaser, not after volunteering and all.

Suddenly out the mist came the bellowing commands of one Colonel Plummer; Flitter actually zipped back several meters with a contorted expression of fear on her face. Why would anypony yell like that in here? The room wasn’t that big, what was his issue? Cloucchaser though indicated they should do what he ordered, so with a weary expression, Flitter wearily flew down to where the other three pegasus were lining up before the grumpy old stallion.

Unlike Cloudchaser and the pegasus mare with the blue mane, Flitter didn’t salute. Were they required to? That would be ridiculous; this is a weather job, not the R.E.A. Instead, all that the pale lavender mare could jester was a shrug of her shoulders when that same blue maned pegasus ask if she was doing her own salute correctly, [colour=#cc99cc]“beats me, this is stupid if you ask me.”[/colour]

One word summed up the situation, [colour=#cc99cc]"lame"[/colour].

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Not giving a rather pitiful saluting attempt by one of the pegasi the benefit of any attention (at least one other pony seemed to have been properly trained in how to give one though), Col. Pummel decided to go on with this show; “Alright, at ease.” To that effect, the old stallion signaled to Sugar Apple that she could come forward and say whatever she needed to say.

“Alright everypony, ah hope y’all won’t mind th’ humidity in hyar. Anywho, yer job’s very simple; make sure them vats are kept full of th’ prism mixture, stir th’ vats, add water t’ produce steam, and help condense all thet into actual clouds. Hyar’s a basic step-by-step guide in case you need further reference.” Producing a stack of short pamphlets, Sugar used her muzzle to give everyone in the chamber an instructional reference.

“Y’all will also find safety regulations in thar. Don’t touch th’ prism, don’t fall into th' vats, don’t expose yer face t' hot steam, and don’t let th’ rainclouds turn into thunderclouds are our most important ones thet' everyone needs t' enforce follow. So, is thar anythin’ ah need to answer first before ah have t’ see what PrismDep’s up too?”

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Moon Walker went at ease in a second, though, there wasn't a whole lot of difference in his posture. The shift was subtle. The mare that stepped up to talk next didn't have a particularly commanding voice, though, she did seem to speak with some authority, and Moon Walker paid close attention to her. He took a pamphlet from her and studied it carefully. According to the pamphlets, the job didn't look nearly as difficult as he thought it would be! The step-by-step guide even came with pretty and helpful illustrations. He liked that. It made everything so much easier when there were pictures involved. The safety regulations were pretty common sense. He took a little more time to read before he looked up and addressed Sugar Apple. "Ma'am, I have every intention of following all instructions and safety regulations exactly, but IF there were an accident, do you have a pamphlet about emergency procedures, too?"

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One of the stallions saw fit to ask Sugar Apple a sensible question about emergency procedures. Without lacking the same enthusiasm from a few moments ago, the Vapor Dep supervisor quickly explained; “Thar’ should be instructions about what t’do on the back of the pamphlet yer readin’; just flip it over and ya’ll find them. Basically, make sure t’immediately notify yer supervisor of enny trouble and he’ll get ya’ th’ help ya’ need.”

At that moment, the shrill sound of a factory whistle racketed the entire complex to signify the start of the work day. Time for Colonel Pummel to take charge of his team from here on out, even if question time had to be cut short. “Playtime’s over folks!” he coldly instructed; “Get to your positions, ASAP! Come on, MOVE MOVE MOVE!!!” The towering officer expected that all he’d need to encourage his staff of volunteer workers was a little bit of military discipline.

With Colonel Pummel in effective control of Vapor Dep, Sugar Apple saw her cue to exit. As the other volunteers went about on their duties, the purple mare lifted off and flew her way out of the room. It’ll be a long day for her yet, as she’d have to make sure that all the other teams were doing their jobs too.....

*Exit Sugar Apple*

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“beats me, this is stupid if you ask me. lame"

Cloudchaser gave a small sigh. This was about what she would have expected from her Flitter. Neither of them were really the REA type at all, but in Cloudchaser's case she was an exceedingly "go with the flow" type mare and she had had it all pounded into her with Spitfire already. Flitter wasn't quite the same, so it made sense that all she had to offer to this Colonel Pummel guy was resistance. She just hoped it didn't get her mare into too much trouble. As far as she could tell, this guy meant serious business after all, and she was pretty sure he was the sort who was used to getting his way.

"Yeah..." she whispered to Flitter through another sigh. "But trust me, Flit, it's best you try not to ruffle any feathers with these types. It can get pretty ugly."

Cloudchaser breathed a sigh of relief when they were then addressed by an amiable factory mare with a accent just like the farmers back in Ponyville. As she went over the job they were tasked with doing, Cloudchaser hoped for a moment she would be the one they would mostly be working under. She definitely seemed more agreeable and like a type who would produce better results from Flitter. Alas though, upon saying her piece, this friendly mare departed leaving only the gruff soldier behind. More shouting soon ensued.

"Playtime’s over folks! Get to your positions, ASAP! Come on, MOVE MOVE MOVE!!!”

"Yes sir!" Cloudchaser replied with a salute.

She turned to Flitter then and shook her head. "C'mon Flitter, we better try and get started," she said as she began to trot slowly toward one of the prism vats, looking over the instruction pamphlet as she did.

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Flitter felt relieved when Sugar Apple came back into the room and spoke, hopefully this meant that the plum blue pegasus was the one really in charge of the Vaporization department, she seemed affable, and thus, likely easy to work for.

Flitter gave a smile when she took one of the instruction sheet, hoping to show how glad she was to be there, well at least give the impression she was. Truthfully the mint green maned pegasus was still pretty unsure about the whole affair, but Cloudchaser needed her to help and that was reason enough to make a real, sincere effort to do her best. As Flitter read over the sheet, it all seemed straight forward enough, nothing complicated, the only part Flitter still felt unsure of was how the clouds could go "thunderous" and how to keep that from happening, it didn't seem the place was large enough for that to happen, but she had Cloudchaser and her weather pony experience to deal with the possibility.

Then as on cue from the rather jarring work day whistle, Sugar Apple left the room, that meant... Before she could even finish that train of though, the angry old colonel started barking orders at them. Flitter looked appalled, this guy was a real hard-flank but Cloudchaser asked her not to antagonize the old git, but no way was she going to salute, no matter who he was! "Alright, alright, we're going, sheeesh."

With a discouraged air around her, Flitter trotted along side Cloudchaser to the closest vat, "I'm happy to do this for Equestria, and for you Cloudy, but that old goat is really getting on my nerves! We're volunteers, not recruits for his army that he gets to push around for the fun of it." Flitter sighed, she just had to keep calm, she was nervous enough over the job without somepony breathing down her neck. She looked up at the prism vat, "I guess we just got to fill it first hon, before we add water, sounds simple enough, right? Besides if we stand too long, old Colonel Plumbing there will start barking like a Diamond Dog."

She didn't say that too loud, did she? Nahhhh.

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Col. Pummel made no attempt to acknowledge a salute from one of the volunteers; it would take much more than for them to win him over. The imposing pegasus would have to keep a close eye on every one of the civilians; Pummel had to make sure each pegasi was taking this situation seriously and had the will to work hard. Just one bad apple, and this whole operation could go horribly wrong and cause havoc through Equestria!

And already, trouble brewed in the air. The colonel didn’t like that unenthusiastic look coming from the saluting volunteer’s companion, a mare who shared the other’s gray-lavender complexion. Making an assessment that this pony would be the most likely source of trouble from the Vaporization Team, Pummel slowly trotted towards her and her friend, but kept a distance at first. Instead, the gray kept back enough so he wouldn’t seem obtrusive, but was still close enough to overhear the two.

What Pummel heard didn’t sit too well with him at all; how dare somepony mouth off about their superior! Such insubordination never flies in the Royal Equestrian Army, and the old stallion reasoned that any other workplace possessing sanity shared the same point of view. Deciding that intervention was necessary, Col. Pummel lividly marched his way towards the insubordinate mare and proceeded to sternly growl; “Is there a problem here, worker?”

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"Alright, alright, we're going, sheeesh."

Chaser sighed. Yeah, the REA attitude and her fillyfriend didn't mesh in the slightest. That much was apparent from miles away at this point. Cloudchaser gave a faint smile and shook her head. Maybe it was good she didn't become a Wonderbolt after all. Had Captain Spitfire succeeded in making her a proper Wonderbolt cadet, maybe Flitter wouldn't have liked her as much in the end. It was hard to say, though she liked to think that no pony would be able to change her into somepony Flitter didn't love. Maybe being a Wonderbolt just was never going to mesh with who she was and who she wanted to be in the end. Thinking about it like that, she had no regrets.

"I'm happy to do this for Equestria, and for you Cloudy, but that old goat is really getting on my nerves! We're volunteers, not recruits for his army that he gets to push around for the fun of it."

"Yeah, I know, Flit. Think he's the type who isn't so good at making that distinction though..." Cloudchaser said through another sigh. She could see it already, but her sweet fillyfriend was going to land in some trouble.

"I guess we just got to fill it first hon, before we add water, sounds simple enough, right? Besides if we stand too long, old Colonel Plumbing there will start barking like a Diamond Dog."

Cloudchaser nodded as she too examined the vat. "Yeah, that sounds about right. This should be easy!" she said as she went straight to work filling the vat.

That's what they needed to do. If they stayed on task, maybe the old colonel wouldn't notice them? They just needed to do a good job and Flitter would be spared any reprimand... even if she was being rather vocal.

“Is there a problem here, worker?”

Cloudchaser tensed up. Or... not, apparently. She sighed as she looked toward the officer. He had evidently heard what Flitter had said. This wasn't good. She didn't want to risk anything getting ugly. She knew better than to confront this kind of pony, but there was no way she was going to not stand up for her Flitter. She stepped forward.

"No problem whatsoever, sir! Flitter and I are just doing our work," she said with a firm nod, hoping that would be enough to set the gruff REA pony on his way. There was, however, no way of telling what Flitter would say or do....

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Flitter sighed, it was apparent Cloudchaser didn’t want her to make any waves with this Pummel, even though he was being a complete mule about everything. She decided to just play along for the moment to make Cloudy happy, as she figure as long they just did their job, that old colonel won’t bug them at all.

Flitter looked about for a moment and quickly spotted the valve control that allowed the hot prism mix to pour into the vats. “Ah hah! Here we go Cloudy hon, step one is about to begin!” She gleefully turned on the tap and watched as the rainbow colored mixed slowly stream in. The whole job felt straightforward and simple enough; perhaps things will turn out alright after all.

Then she heard it, that voice, that authoritarian voice, not asking but demanding to know if there was a problem! Oh there was one alright, his jerky attitude! Flitter flapped down to where he was and was about to give the stallion a mouth full when Cloudchaser spoke to him first in an attempt at placating the old geezer. It was sweet of her even if Flitter felt her marefriend was being too obeisant towards the colonel. Still, it was enough to calm Flitter down.

Well, somewhat, there still was one immediate problem.

“It’s Flitter… Not worker, Flitter, my name is Flitter; it is easy to remember really, I’m sure even you’ll be able to do it.” Did that sound dripping with sarcasm? Maybe just a little…

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Col. Pummel recognized that insubordination could take on many forms, and not always be so blatant as outright dissing a superior. Take the disobedient pony’s friend for example; instead of sticking to her assignment, the volunteer felt the need to cover for her partner instead. Denying there was a problem was oftentimes even worse than causing a problem, as it meant somepony was actively blocking a solution. What Pummel needed right now was problem solvers; not problem enablers.

Even so, only an imbecile would throw away their pal’s attempts to make excuses for them and make things worse… and Flitter’s attitude was doing precisely that right now. As the bulky gray stallion felt himself too high in station to crudely shout at the workers like a common drill sergeant, Col. Pummel employed his trademark cold, menacing approach to his reprimanding. “I think,” he began, methodically pacing back and forth as if he was a hungry shark; “That you two don’t appreciate the severity of our situation. If we are to prevent a nationwide weather crisis, then everypony here needs to fly straight and work cohesively as a unit. If I let even a single pegasus make it difficult to achieve cohesiveness, then the whole unit falls apart!”

The colonel stopped pacing at this point as he sneer directly at the two gray-lavender mares; “If you two jokers would prefer to not treat your superior with respect, then I’d rather have you two fly out of here and head home… even though you both signed-up for this duty and the responsibilities it entails. If you’d rather not let your unit AND Equestria down, then the two of you better shape up. For starters, my name is NOT Colonel Plumbing; it is Pummel, or “sir”... I’m sure even a misfit like Flitter can easily remember.....”

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“It’s Flitter… Not worker, Flitter, my name is Flitter; it is easy to remember really, I’m sure even you’ll be able to do it.”

Cloudchaser could hardly refrain from bringing her hoof to her face. She supposed she should have expected it. Flitter wasn't the sort to back down, even when she probably should. She stood on principle and could be hard to move when she was sure she was right. Chaser admired that about her, but all the same, this guy was kind of scary and it was pretty evident to anypony he was no pushover either. On the contrary, Cloudchaser could pretty accurately predict what was coming next and how not pretty it was gonna be.

“I think that you two don’t appreciate the severity of our situation. If we are to prevent a nationwide weather crisis, then everypony here needs to fly straight and work cohesively as a unit. If I let even a single pegasus make it difficult to achieve cohesiveness, then the whole unit falls apart!If you two jokers would prefer to not treat your superior with respect, then I’d rather have you two fly out of here and head home… even though you both signed-up for this duty and the responsibilities it entails. If you’d rather not let your unit AND Equestria down, then the two of you better shape up. For starters, my name is NOT ColonelPlumbing; it is Pummel, or “sir”... I’m sure even a misfit like Flitter can easily remember.....”

Cloudchaser stood at attention as the military pony accosted them. She could take it and she was determined to. She was sure they could work past this and get back to work. She just needed to nod and say "yes sir" like he wanted and hope Flitter didn't exasperate things. it seemed easy enough to her... or at least it did until he got to the final sentence. Chaser's composure suddenly broke; her face bunched up and she took a step toward the stallion. She could stand by for a lot of stuff, but when it came to her Flitter she just had too much pride.

"Who are you calling a misfit? You don't know anything about Flitter!" Cloudchaser started in a strong voice. it wasn't like her to get confrontational. She was generally a scatterbrain and not exactly fearless, but she wasn't going to stand for any kind of mean words being lobbed at her mare. "It's a factory job and we're civilian volunteers; this isn't the REA. If anyone is a misfit here, it's you!"

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Flitter had a ironic bag of mixed feeling of exasperation and chagrin. Chagrin as in she certainly did not want to be that pony who let Equestria, and especially Cloudchaser, down when they needed her. Maybe she had no experience, and she could be a bit nonchalant when it came to labor, but she really was ready to help! One the other hoof, she was indignant that Pummel wasn't even giving her a chance! More importantly he was being just as hard on Cloudchaser! Cloudchaser, who stood there and was trying to be as accommodating and polite as possible to the angry, old pony.

Still, Flitter felt that she should at least promise she would do better, that is until the colonel called her a misfit! What the hay was that supposed to mean!? "Hey! That's uncalled for-" Before Flitter could finish her retort of righteous indignation Cloudchaser stepped up in front of her and riposted at the military pegasus.

She was shocked, up until this moment Cloudchaser was so respectful towards Pummel, even if he didn't earn such reverence; but now her mare friend did a one-eighty, in Flitter's defense! It was romantic, and heroic! Alright maybe that was an exaggeration in Flitter's mind, but it was still very appreciated!

The only question was, would Cloudchaser's new found bravado get his respect or get them kicked out?

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It required every ounce of strength in Col. Pummel’s fiber to keep collected in the face of such vile rudeness! Anypony who looked upon the stallion’s wrathful scrunched-up face would be not wise not to cross him further. As if it wasn’t enough for Cloudchaser to cover up her friend’s shortcomings (yes, Pummel did know every volunteer’s name), now she displayed even worse defiance than Flitter. To think she had the audacity to claim they knew better about running a weather factory than the colonel did, even though none of them had ever been employed in one!

But still… Pummel thought that maybe these two jokers could be given a chance to “prove” themselves better in the field of weather factory; “So..... I’m the misfit around here… is that right?” Eying the instruction pamphlet the two pegasi mares left lying about, the colonel abruptly shoved his way past them to confiscate their guide. “It looks like I give this pamphlet then to somepony else less experienced in factory work. Now if you excuse me ladies, I have other matters to attend to. Carry on.”

Storming off right then, Col. Pummel knew he was taking a calculated risk. If Flitter and Cloudchaser had any respect at all for his authority, they’d do the right thing and apologize for their gross misconduct to get their pamphlet back. Should the two decide that pride is more important, they could try fumbling on without written instructions… and potentially cause a major screw-up and throw everything off-schedule. Pummel hoped the mares had the intelligence to not let it come to that.....

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“So..... I’m the misfit around here… is that right? It looks like I give this pamphlet then to somepony else less experienced in factory work. Now if you excuse me ladies, I have other matters to attend to. Carry on.”

Even as the hard-edged officer took the pamphlet from her, Cloudchaser's anger still remained. As he turned to leave them, she gave a huff and quickly turned away from him. She was happy that he was gone. If there was one thing she had no patience for it was for ponies being mean to Flitter.

"Good. Get lost. We don't need some big stupid jerk around who's going to say mean things about my Flitter like that," she said, stomping her hoof and stepping ahead. "Like we even need that pamphlet to do this!"

Cloudchaser took the time then to look at the vaporization machinery. It took a few moments studying them before Cloudchaser realized she didn't really know where exactly to start. She turned to Flitter.

"You wouldn't happen to remember everything the pamphlet said, woud you, Flitter?" she asked with a hopeful smile.

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Flitter was both stunned and flattered by Cloudchaser's sudden spirited defense of her. Up until a moment ago, her marefriend was willing to being completely sheepish in regards to the old war-pony's belligerence and condescending attitude, that is until he called Flitter a misfit. She really had no idea what to say, just that at that moment she felt a bit flushed with a coy smile as it was made suddenly clear where the spiky maned pegesus' heart lied.

Of course their standing up to the Colonel meant they were on their own when it came to the vaporization machines. Flitter had absolutely no experience with making clouds and she wasn't sure if Cloudchaser had much in that department either. The only rainbow of hope was that she did actually read the pamphlet beforehand.

She gave Cloudchaser a reassuring smile, "oh sure, I remember what was written and all." That was an exaggeration; the truth is that Flitter remembered a good deal of the instructions, but not everything, and that still didn't cover the part about actually manipulating the clouds themselves, which was a job that could only be learned through hooves on experience. Still, no point in worrying about that part until they got to it, and hey Cloudchaser was a weather pony! Surely she could handle any clouds!

It was at that moment Flitter remembered the prism faucet! She had left it on! The lavender pegasus had a panicked look on her face as she zipped back over the vat now brimming with prism mix to shut down the tap. "Oops! Heh.. I guess I left it on a little too long…." Worried that Cloudchaser may now believe she didn't know what to do after all, Flitter attempted the reassurance route, "I'm sure it will be fine, we just got to be careful when stirring it, 'kay honey?" Of course that still didn't solve the issue that adding more than a little bit of water would overfill the vat. Guess they just have to take it slow to make sure not to spill too much prism while stirring until enough was converted into steam.

How bad can it be?

Oh right, they were on a tight schedule.. C'mon Flitter don't flake out now!

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Cloudchaser nodded and smiled, satisfied with how her fillyfriend was keeping it together. Sure, they were at a disadvantage without the instructions and having never done this before, but that wasn't about to get Flitter down. She truly was incredible. Cloudchaser had to do her best to follow suit. If they worked together, they totally had this. Her confidence began to come back to her to an extent.

"Ha! You're incredible, Flit," she said with a bright nod. "Leave it to my amazing fillyfreind to memorize that silly pamphlet," she added proudly.

"I just know we got this if we work together!" she continued, as she went to help stir the perhaps somewhat over-filled vat of prism mix perhaps just a touch too fast. Together no one could stop them. it didn't matter if they were new to this; they could surely work it out just fine!

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Flitter felt a bit nervous when she heard Cloudchaser's unflinching confidence in her ability to remember the instruction pamphlet. She felt she did indeed have the general gist of what it had said, but not every detail; still Flitter didn't want to actually admit that and have Cloudchaser suddenly lose her confidence in what they were doing, as Flitter knew her own belief in achieving this task emotionally depended on her partner's trust in their now ad hoc approach to rain cloud making.

As she watched Cloudchaser stir the prism mix with a bit too much enthusiasm, Flitter flinched a bit, there was a great deal of the rainbow colored mix spilling onto the floor. Although Flitter was sure it was harmless, she was sure that the colonel would make some big deal over the fact any was spilled. "Ummm.. Cloudy hon, you need to stir the prism a bit slower, it's getting all over the place. Imagine how much of a neat freak ol' Colonel Plumbing probably is. He'd probably sit there and lecture us about how theu keep the barracks perfectly clean and shiny with nothing more than a toothbrush or something."

At least the clouds were starting to form, but they were very small, hardly rain cloud material. Flitter knew what the problem was, too much prism, not enough water, of course the dilemma was how to add more water to the mix given the vat was filled to the brim as is. She didn't want to just say though they made a mistake and have Cloudchaser become disillusioned; she just needed to figure something out, stat!

Flitter looked around for something, anything, to hold the excess prism, then she spotted it, some old large white cloud sitting nearby at the entrance to the room. Flitter floated down and started to shape the cloud with her hooves into a bowl, well what could roughly be called a bowl, more like a primary school foal's first attempt of making a pottery bowl, but as long as it could hold prism, it didn't matter.

Flitter pushed the cloud next to the top of the vat and used one of the stirring paddles to push some of the prism over the side into the cloud; it worked, sort of, as the prism managed to splash all over the cloud, the ground, and the side of the vat, but at least the majority of it fell into the depression she made. More importantly, the vat had room for more water. "Okay, umm, that should hold it for a while, let's add more water, I'll turn on the tap, let me know when it gets almost full again, 'kay Cloudy?"

Oh Celestia, let's hope this worked. Flitter wasn't sure if the excess prism would just sit in the depression in the cloud or eventually soak in, and if so, what the reaction would be. Hopefully just a very colorful cloud. Can't worry now though, it was time to add more water!

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Behind schedule. This team was running behind schedule. Taking a look at the number of finished clouds awaiting transfer to Transport Dep, and cross checking the amount with the specifications that the document in his hoof listed, Col. Pummel grumbled at how these volunteers should have produced twice as many clouds by now. If progress didn't pick up in a sufficient amount of time, he’d need to devise new ways to motivate his crew. Maybe though output would increase as the volunteers got more comfortable working the vats.

As the colonel cast his attention back to his specification doc, he failed to notice the mess Cloudchaser and Flitter made over in their work area. And the towering stallion wouldn't notice the disaster in the making until it was too late.....

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"Ummm.. Cloudy hon, you need to stir the prism a bit slower, it's getting all over the place. Imagine how much of a neat freak ol' Colonel Plumbing probably is. He'd probably sit there and lecture us about how they keep the barracks perfectly clean and shiny with nothing more than a toothbrush or something."

As Chaser continued to mix the prism, Flitter spoke up. Flitter was completely right--well, Flitter was pretty much right about everything, so that wasn't really a surprise. She was definitely right here though. If they made any kinda mess that'd just give that big mean colonel something to yell at them about.

"Got it! I'll take it nice and easy so that big jerk doesn't have anything to get all huffy about," she said with an enthusiastic nod. She began to stir the prism more steadily.

Though even as she slowed it down, something didn't seem quite right with how it was looking. The clouds were small and it just seemed like there was more prism than they needed. The super perceptive Flitter of course noticed this and swooped in, She found a spare bowl and shaped it into a rather crude bowl to hold the excess prism. Unfortunately, she made a little more mess around their station well transferring the prism to this new cloud bowl, causing Cloudchaser to grimace a little. She hoped she didn't really end up scrubbing the clouds with a toothbrush or something. It kinda didn't seem very practical to her. Whatever happened, at least they could now add more water.

"Okay, umm, that should hold it for a while, let's add more water, I'll turn on the tap, let me know when it gets almost full again, 'kay Cloudy?"

"Got it!" Cloudchaser started immediately, smiling at her mare.

Flitter turned on the tap and Chaser watched and waited as the vat filled up. Once it was approaching the very top, she stiffened up and spoke again. "Now!" she called, though perhaps it was a second later than it should have been. She hoped Flitter would be able to turn off the tap before there was any overflow.

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