The Sparx of Friendship

by CaptainSparx

A Place to Call Home

“Well shoot, there’re just too many darn books in here.” Tinker pulled another one from the collection of travel books.

“Well anywhere special you had in mind?” The uni… no the alicorn asked. It was so not fair Tinker thought, to have both a horn and wings.

“No not really. Unless you can think of something at least semi pleasant, with not too many ponies around.”

“You’re more of a solo pony then?” Twilight trotted past, levitating a book off the top shelf and setting it down to flip through.

“No, I just seemed to get off on the wrong hoof last place I went.” Tinker grumbled.

“What about this one Twilight?” Spike slid down a ladder with a large book in his claws.

Twilight read the title aloud, “Atlas of Equestria: a Traveler’s Guide. Sounds interesting enough.” She flipped thought the first few pages, then handed it over. “Well I’m afraid I can’t be of much help to you HiLite, I haven’t traveled too many places and those that I’ve been tend to all be rather busy.”

“Yeah, no thanks… I’ll pass on busy, crowded and nosy.” She snickered.

“Hmm, nosy eh? I won’t ask then.”

“Wait? Won’t ask what?”

“Oh what you do, for work anyway, I saw your airship; whatever it is you do it must pay very well.”

“I built that,” She rolled her eyes. “I fix things, and make a few things from time to time.”

“Really! That is so cool!”

“Who cares…? It’s not like any-pony needs my skills anyway I was more use on the farm.”

“Did you say farm?”

“Yeah, I did. I grew up on one.”

“Oh you have to meet somepony, I’m sure you two will strike it off right away!” Twilight smiled with delight. “Come on follow me.”

Tinker followed the alicorn out of the library, it wasn’t like she was getting anywhere with the books anyway. Nothing seemed to interest her too much and she could use the fresh air.

Spike collected the books from the floor and began to neatly stack them as the two ponies closed the door behind them. Twilight trotted alongside HiLite. “So what do you think of Ponyville so far?”

Tinker glanced around, she hadn’t had too much time to actually think about it, much less explore. “I don’t know, it’s nice I guess.” They made their way to the side of town and headed down a dirt lane. Tinker looked on in awe at all the apple trees, spreading as far as the eye could see. “What is this place?”

“Howdy, and welcome to Sweet Apple Acres.” A brown mare said, bucking a tree and losing all its apples.

“Hi Applejack! I have somepony for you to meet.” Twilight galloped over, motioning for HiLite to follow.

“Well, uh nice to meet ya.”

“This is HiLite, she grew up on a farm and now she fixes things!” Twilight exclaimed.

“But I don’t have nothing broken?”

“Well maybe you too can just chat then.” Twilight smiled as she took sloppily to the air. “I have some reading to catch up on.”
Applejack watch as Twilight disappeared over the tops of the apple trees. She looked over the stranger. “So…”

“Yeah, I know… This is really awkward.” Tinker finished her sentence for her.

“Um, hmm I guess I can take a break for a bit.”

“I’m sorry to intrude like this.”

“No problem, I’m sure Twilight had her reasons… even if I don’t understand them right away. So whatcha doing in Ponyville anyway?”

“Well, I was just passing through and stopped at the library to look at some maps.”


“I’m kinda wandering from place to place looking for a quiet place to settle down.”

“Well Ponyville sure is nice a place as any.”

“I don’t know… I haven’t seen much and I can’t really afford a place anyway.” She shrugged, thinking of the sad estate of her bit bag.
“Well there sure ain’t many places to set up, what is it you do again?”

“I fix things that break, sometimes I make entirely new things.”

“Well we sure don’t have a pony in town that does that sorta thing.”

“Hey sis! The pumps broken again!” A small filly galloped up. “Oh, hay there.”

“Um, hello?” Tinker took a step back.

“Come on sis, I was doing the dishes and it just stopped.”

“Okay fine, I’m a coming.” Applejack looked over at HiLite. “You want to tag along?”

“I don’t have anything better to do…” The trio trotted off towards the house.

“Names Apple Bloom, what’s yours?”

“My name is HiLite” Tinker nodded, getting used to the new name.

“Your new to town ain’t ya?” The filly bounced along beside the two older mares.

“I guess, if you say so.”

“Oh boy, wait till I tell the rest of the gang! See ya later!!” Apple Bloom bolted off at the gate, heading towards a treehouse on the hill.

Applejack walked over to the old rusty water pump, the handle laying broken in the dirt. “Don’t mind ‘em, they just get excited over new things.” She kicked the handle with her hoof. “Well, I swear, sure is a mess.”

Tinker looked over the simple design and rusty components. Noting various pieces of metal scrap lying beside the barn, as she envisioned how the pump assembly worked.

“I’m gonna have to order a new one this time,” tossing her hat on the ground and stomping on it in anger.
“Applejack if you don’t mind… I think I might be able to rig something up for you temporarily?”

“Pfft, be my guest, not like it works anyway. I’ll get you some tools.” She stormed off to the barn and returned a short time later with a wooden box full of wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers. “This work for ya?”

“I’ll make it work best I can.” She grabbed a wrench and loosened the main pump housing, then removed it entirely. “Might take a few hours.”

“Okay, I got some chores inside come get me when you’re all done.”

“Sure thing.” Tinker gutted the pump workings and set about laying them on the ground, piling up any parts that were beyond repair. She dragged some of the scrap metal and a few old pieces of timber from next to the barn over and set to work. Cutting and bending the metal, carving and sanding the wood. Slowly and surely the inner workings started to get pieced back together. She put the main assembly back on and rigged up a new handle fulcrum out of an old tin can. Running a rounded piece of wood though the fulcrum and the handle, then roping the handle top to the pump. “Here goes nothing…” She drew the handle up, then down; nothing. She pumped a few more times with no result. “Hmm…. That’s odd.” She lifted the handle one last time and slammed it down as hard as she could. A small trickle formed at the spout. “Come on, just a bit more….”

“Whatcha doing??” Apple Bloom questioned from behind her, scaring her half to death.

“Whoa kid… you need to work on your entrances.” She took a deep breath. “I’m trying to fix the water pump.”

“Can I try?” She jumped over and grabbed the handle in her hooves.

“Sure, be my guest.”

Apple Bloom bounced up with the lever, hanging on to bring it back down again. The trickle started back up. A few more bounces and a nice steady flow was streaming out of the spout and onto the ground.

“Well I’ll be, you done it.” Applejack closed the house door behind her and trotted over.

“It works even better than before!!” Apple Bloom shouted with excitement, bouncing up and down with the handle.

Tinker followed the filly’s movement with her head, starting to get dizzy. She shook her head quickly from side to side to reorient herself.

“I dare say your skills could be pretty darn handy around town if you do plan on sticking around.”

“Maybe, but I still wouldn’t have a place to stay.” Tinker thought of her ship. Where in Equestria would she find a place for that? It wasn’t like she could afford a dock fee, and it definitely wouldn’t fit in a small house.

“Hey… Applejack… what about…” Apple Bloom stopped bouncing and stood in the mud she had created. “What about that old barn down on the edge of the property?”

“I don’t know, I don’t even know if it’s still standing.”

“Aww come on, please?” She begged, smiling as hard as she could.

“I don’t know… do you want to see it?”

“Sure, I don’t mind.” Tinker shrugged. Anyplace was better than no-place at the moment. At least with a barn she might be able to get her airship inside out of any weather.

Applejack led her across the vast acreage of the farm, coming to an overgrown growth of trees near the edge. The trees had stopped bearing fruit years ago, and half of them were dead. Tinker could just make out an old rusty weather vane creaking in the wind over the tree tops.

“It ain’t much… but if you want it you can have it. We have no use for it.” Applejack opened the door, creaking on its hinges as it swung open. Cobwebs covered the rafters and several broken pieces of machinery sat collecting dust.

“It’s perfect, how much do you want for it?” She asked hesitantly.

“Much?? Oh nothing, you can have it, like I said we don’t use it anymore.”

“Are you sure? I want to pay you something?”

“Are you kidding? You fixed the water pump. If anything I should owe you. Call it even?” she held out her hoof.

Tinker thought about the offer for a minute. Her mind whizzing away at the potential the place had. She took Applejacks hoof in her own and shook it. “Deal.”