• Published 8th Oct 2013
  • 3,234 Views, 170 Comments

Repair and Deliver - SleeplessScribe

If there are two things Torque loves more than anything, they're helping people and mechanical work. When a worker shortage forces him to move to Ponyville, he meets a young filly with a struggling mother that allows him to do both.

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Chapter 2: Friend Maker

Repair and Deliver
Story 6
Chapter 2: Friend Maker
By: SleeplessScribe

I kept my eyes on the two fillies I had spoken to until a wall separated us. As I headed back to the shop, I realized something that, admittedly, should have been much higher on my priority list.

I had no house in this town.

That kind of scared me, to be perfectly honest. Well, I got less scared as I thought more about it. Staying in a hotel or something until I found and bought or built my own house wouldn’t be that bad, but it was still a concern. What was even more of a concern was the fact that I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn’t even notice the pegasus heading straight for me.

Well, I didn’t notice her until she was on top of me and we were both on the ground. The light grey body rolled itself off of me as the mare poured out more apologies than my brain could process.

“Oh I’m so sorry! Are you alright? Please forgive me! Oh, oh, oh, stupid Ditzy!”

My eyes widened at her words as I picked myself up. She was shaking her head rather violently, but I grabbed hold of it and forced her to look at me. That was when I saw the most peculiar thing I’d ever seen before: this pegasus’ eyes were crooked, with one at an angle while the other looked straight at me.

This didn’t really bother me, though. In fact, coupled with her voice, it was actually kind of cute. “Hey, that was an accident, don’t call yourself stupid. I’m alright, don’t beat yourself up over it.”

She let out a long sigh and attempted to calm herself down, plopping her rear onto the ground. “Thank goodness… still, I’m so sorry I bumped into you. I’m not the greatest flyer in the world.”

I dusted myself off with a smile. “Don’t worry, friend. Really, it’s perfectly fine.” In an attempt to show my sincerity, I held out my hoof. “My name is Torque. What’s yours?”

The pegasus slowly reached out her own hoof and began to shake, her own mouth starting to curve up in a small, but genuine smile. “I’m Ditzy Doo… though most call me Derpy on account of my lack of coordination.”

That was a word I’d never heard. “Derpy? What does that mean?”

She shook her head slowly. “I honestly couldn’t tell you… I’m sure they’re not actually trying to insult me, but it’s just not a nice sounding nickname….”

As she spoke, I wondered how many ponies that had somewhere to be like I did would’ve been staying her like I was. I gave her a gentle pat on the back, helping her gather up the letters that had fallen out of her bag.

“Thank you very much. Not many would’ve done this for me after I flew right into them.”

If that was true, then those “many” she was talking about should be ashamed of themselves. “Don’t mention it, Ditzy. I’m always happy to help.”

Ditzy herself began to smile again, trying to steady herself as she ascended into the air. “Thank you again, Torque!”

We both waved to each other as we went our separate ways. Had it not been for the fact that the job I was doing didn’t have any specific timestamp, I might have been just a little scared of Sparkplug. Luckily, there was no guarantee as to how long the repair would take, though I refused to lie if she actually asked what took me so long.

As I approached the shop, the door to the office swung open and the pink forelegs were wrapped around my neck. “Hello, cousin of mine! It’s so awesome to actually meet you!”

I shook my head quickly and stared at the mare before me. “Wait… what?”

A wide grin crossed her face as she released me from her embrace. “Ratchet is my favorite uncle, and I’m astonished at myself for not recognizing you! Wait, speaking of… you didn’t recognize me either! What the heck, Torque?”

It took a few minutes, but it finally dawned on me. I was looking at probably the coolest cousin in the world, and I hadn’t even realized it. “Hang on a second, what happened to you? I remember when you were all pigtails and dark blue mane.”

She lifted her shoulders with a smirk. “That’s what happens when you grow up and don’t see others for a few years! My hair started to lighten up when I was about fifteen. It finally got to this color on my nineteenth birthday, and it’s been that way for two years. Thanks for missing all my birthday parties, you butt!”

Sparkplug playfully nudged my shoulder before we wrapped each other in hugs again. “If I’m seriously working with you, this has officially become the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“Well start celebrating, because I run this here shop!”

We both slammed our front hooves together, absolutely elated to be working together after not seeing each other for so long that maturity kept us from recognizing one another. “This is going to be so cool!”

She grinned at me, pulling me inside and taking my bags. “Sorry about the kind of harsh greeting earlier. Anyway, because I was so eager to get Cheerilee’s job done, I failed to mention some of the essentials I shouldn’t have told you once you arrived. If you’ve been worried about housing at all, Ratchet’s already bought you an apartment not too far away. I also want to apologize for sending you off without any tools, but the fact that you came back and didn’t ask for any tells me that didn’t pose a problem, right?”

All I did was shrug. “Well, it would have if Cheerilee didn’t keep a screwdriver in the classroom.”

She nudged me shoulder again, taking down a tool belt from the wall and tossing it to me. “Well from now on, you’ll always have that with you. In addition, if we think an outgoing job is going to require additional hardware, we’ll send you off with that. Torque, you have no idea how many home requests we get. All of my guys came back while you were gone, and in that time we got at least seven calls. Unfortunately, aside from you and I, we only have four other workers. Sorry to send you out again so soon, but do you think you could handle another assignment right now?”

I rolled my eyes at her and stuck out my tongue. “What you should be sorry for is feeling like you even needed to ask me. What needs fixing this time?”

Spark pulled my map out of the bags she had replaced with the tool belt, setting her hoof on a rather large building not too far from where we were. “This here is Carousel Boutique. The owner of the fashion store is a unicorn by the name of Rarity. Now, don’t freak out when you go over there; Rarity has a tendency to… exaggerate things.”

“So… it’s probably not as serious as she’s going to make it sound?”


“Alright then.” I waved to her as I stepped out, making my way around the back of the shop and forward. Carousel Boutique really looked like whoever was living there took extremely good care of it, even at a distance. The entire building was shiny and gleaming, and as I approached it, I could almost see my reflection in the sparkling walls.

As I approached the front door, I could ear muffled sounds coming from inside that didn’t sound like anything one would typically hear in a fashion store. Well… they didn’t sound like anything I’d think one would hear in a fashion store.

My knocking was met with a rather joyful “Coming!” The door swung open, revealing a gorgeous white unicorn sporting a rather professionally well-groomed mane and tail. The unicorn I assumed to be Rarity flashed me a bright grin, performing some kind of bow curtsey thing that looked to me like she was attempting yoga.

“Oh, you must be from Engage, aren’t you? So lovely to meet you, dear. My name is Rarity, and this is Carousel Boutique!”

She repeated that odd gesture, and I held my hoof out. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Rarity. My name is Torque.”

The unicorn simply stared at my hoof for a moment before looking back to me. “Um… you have some mud on your hoof.”

I tilted my head, turning my hoof around to look at it. There was indeed a dark brown spot where I had probably stepped in wet dirt. “Huh, I didn’t even notice that.”

Before I knew what had happened, the spot was gone, and Rarity was tossing a rag into the trash can. “There we go!” She set her hoof on mine and shook it with a smile. “Clean as a whistle.”

Well that was certainly a… different introduction. She brought me inside, and that’s when I noticed that sound again. This time it was much clearer, and I just had to close my eyes to listen. Someone in the boutique was singing and playing music, and it sounded phenomenal.

“Say Rarity, who is that singing?”

Her ears perked up at my question as she turned back to me. “Oh, that? That would be my sister Sweetie Belle and my friends Beat Tempo and Vinyl Scratch. Ah, before you say anything, yes, it’s that Beat. Get this, a few weeks ago Sweetie got a cutie mark for her amazing singing talent, and at least once a week, those two come and record albums with her! My little sister is a star!”

She let out an excited giggle, almost squealing when she was done. I couldn’t blame her, either, that sounded like an enormous, and very rare opportunity. “Well, she sounds really happy doing what she’s doing.”

“Oh believe me, she is. You should have seen her face when she actually got her cutie mark, she was positively beaming. Speaking of… I haven’t seen you around here before! Are you new in town?”

My head was doing a lot of moving today. “Actually, yes. I just got off the train this morning.”

Rarity clapped her hooves together before taking my own in them. “Then you simply must forgive me for not giving you a proper ‘Welcome to Ponyville!’ I’m afraid I’ve just been so caught up with my current… issue.”

Now my ears perked up as she reminded me of why I was here. “Oh, right! What exactly did you need us for, Rarity?”

She took a hold of me again, pulling me through the door on the other side of the room. I was led to this odd looking box about the size of a typical microwave with three tubes jutting out of the left side, two small openings on the front and the back, and a cord connecting it to a pedal beneath the table it was on.

“This here is a nifty little machine I bought a few days ago. It speeds up cloth making substantially! See, normally if I want any kind of colored cloth, I have to either buy it or make the dyes myself and dye the fabric manually. This device allows me to do both of those at once. See, I slip the fabric through this hole,” she motioned to the opening in what I assumed to be the front of the machine, “I pour my ingredients for the dye into these tubes, and it mixes them up much more quickly than I could do it myself, and then it spreads the dye evenly over the fabric, and the colored result comes out in this end.”

I scratched my chin as I examined it, turning back to my new friend after a bit. “Alrighty. So, what exactly is the problem?”

“Well,” Rarity pressed her hoof down on the pedal, but nothing happened, “it’s supposed to start running when I press down on this pedal, but as you can see, it isn’t. Might you have any idea what’s wrong?”

Stuff like this was normally easy to diagnose, even in machines I hadn’t seen before. “Well, if it’s alright with you, I’d like to take a look inside this thing. If it’s what I think it is, than the cord is the problem, but I’d still like to see just to make sure.”

She nodded and used her magic to open up the top of the machine along the middle. Moving both sides revealed the mixing station that the tubes led into and the guide that the fabric was led through as it was dyed. From the looks of things, the little turbine in the center was what mixed up the dyes, and once it was complete, the belt would move and take the fabric with it.

“Would you mind trying to run it again? Seeing it now tells me a lot, but seeing it try to operate will tell me more.”

“Of course.” The unicorn pressed down on the pedal again, but this time I noticed the turbine twitched as she did. I held up my hoof for her to stop, and waved it a little to indicate for her to begin again. A second time the turbine tried to move to no avail.

“Alright, I thought the issue was a short in the cord keeping electricity from traveling, but it might actually be this little rotor here. See, every time you press the pedal, it does some kind of twitch. I assume it’s supposed to spin when you do that?”

Rarity nudged the piece with her hoof before nodding. “Yes, the ingredients go in here to be made into the dye. You think this may be the source of the problem?”

Judging by the layout of this machine, the mixer was probably attached to something else that also spun, which was most likely keeping the device from working. “I’m going to need to take a few pieces off to take a peek underneath. Is that alright with you?”

She waved her hoof at me, flashing another smile. “By all means, dear. Please feel free to do what you think is necessary. In the meantime, I’ll fix you up a nice cup of tea.”

“Well thank you, Rarity. That’s very kind of you.”

Once again she waved me off, letting out a small giggle. “Don’t be silly, it’s the least I could do. Let me know when you’ve fixed it!”

My friend trotted off, leaving me to get to work. I searched through my belt for an appropriate tool and took a pair of needle nosed pliers to the bolts holding down that rotor. Once all for were off, I slowly lifted that piece and caught sight of the issue. This entire thing ran on what looked like a small rotary engine, and apparently today was national fan repair day. The actual component that did the spinning was attached to the mixing turbine with one stinking screw.

Whoever slapped this thing together clearly didn’t realize that these things spun pretty rapidly. One of the fin-like pieces of plastic that connected the blades of the rotor to the mixing turbine had snapped clean off and was now wedged in the rotor itself. Popping it out with the pliers was a cake walk, and that would get the machine running again, but I was nowhere near content with just getting it working.

My next goal was to make sure that this never happened again, but that would mean replacing or somehow fortifying the connections between rotor and turbine. There was plenty of room around it to bolt two pieces of metal to the sides of every blade for both pieces but I didn’t want to do anything without asking Rarity.

Luckily she had just finished making her tea. “Torque, the tea is ready if you’d like to take a break!”

I turned to her with a nod and followed her into the kitchen. “Actually Rarity, your timing couldn’t be better. I’ve fixed the problem, but I’d like to add a little insurance to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. Do you mind if I take this thing into the shop to fix it up?”

“Oh please, be my guest. Is that going to cost anything extra?”

I took a sip of the tea before responding. It was actually really, really good. “Nah, I’ll vouch for you. Normally it would, but I’m doing this because I want to. Plus it’ll save you a lot of headache later.”

She smiled at me and sipped at her own cup. “Well I very much appreciate that. Thank you, darling.”

“Not a problem, Rarity. I’ll take it right now and get to work.”

Rarity waved to me as I lifted the thing onto my back, carefully walking through the front door. “Thank you again, Torque!”

I explained the situation to Sparkplug when I got back to the shop, and she gave me the go-ahead to work on this thing. The idea of cutting off the already existing plastic links kept bouncing around in my head, as well. At first I thought it would help for reasons I actually didn’t have, then I thought it would be a bad idea because they gave added strength, but in the end I decided to go through with it.

The metal didn’t guarantee that the other links wouldn’t break off, but they did guarantee that the turbine and rotor would stay connected without any problems. Once it was done, I gave it a test run and it started up like it had never had a problem to begin with. Carrying it back to Rarity was a little bit of a challenge, but I didn’t drop it, so that was a silver lining.

She seemed elated to have her… thing in working condition, and repaid me with a big hug. “Oh, thank you Torque! You’ve done me a great service, dear. Please don’t be a stranger, you’re welcome here any time!”

Once again I found myself waving to a new friend on the way to a door. “Thank you, Rarity! I’ll be sure to remember that!”

I made my way back to the shop, and when I stepped into the office, Sparkplug immediately grabbed me and dragged me into the workshop. There before us stood four ponies, three colts and a mare.

“Torque, meet the crew.”

The first one she motioned to was a greasy stallion much bigger than either of us. His light brown coat was covered in faded stains that most likely came from oil. Man, looking at him made me feel like a pansy, seeing as how I freaked out the one time my foreleg got splashed with oil and it took me days to get the stain out completely. He wore a white and red trucker's cap that barely hid his long, yellow mane. I took the hoof that was held out to me and gave it as strong a shake as I could.

"Nice to meet you, bud! Name's Drill Bit and I look forward to working with you!"

“Likewise, friend.”

The next one in my cousin’s introduction list was what looked to be the youngest of the bunch. He was at least six inches shorter than I was, and he even behaved towards me as a kid would to an authority figure.

The kid held out a slate grey hoof and used his other to scratch the back of his head. I had to wonder how he could have any itches with such a short mane. Heck, I couldn’t even tell what color it is, but it looked dark blue.

He also seemed to have trouble speaking, stutters and pauses plaguing his sentences. “H-Hello sir! I’m Stainless Steel, and I-I-I’m kinda new to all of this.”

I took his hoof and shook it slowly, nudging his shoulder with my other. “Don’t worry about it, buddy. You’re in the company of seasoned professionals, am I right?”

Pretty much everyone, even the two I had yet to be introduced to, gave a loud, resounding. “Yeah!”

Now it was the purple coated, so-dark-purple-it-was-almost-black maned mare to introduce herself. She puffed out her chest and thrust her hoof out confidently, though when she spoke, you could kind of tell she was trying just a little too hard.

“Great to meet you, Torque. My name is Sprocket, and I hope we get along well.”

There were a lot of shoulders being nudged today. “I’m sure we will, Sprock.”

She gave me a small smile, and caught sight of a light pink tint forming on her cheeks. Now that was cute.

Finally I was directed to a tall, lanky, dark red colt with brown hair so long it covered his eyes. A part of my wondered if that went against regulations; I’m pretty sure it could be considered a safety hazard. Vision didn’t seem to be a problem, though, as he held out his hoof to me just as the other crew members did, though he sounded much more at ease than the previous two.

“What’s up, man? Name’s Fuse Box, but all my friends just call me Fuse.”

For such a skinny guy, he had a pretty strong shake. “Then Fuse it is. Nice to meet you, all of you.”

Sparkplug set her hoof on my shoulder and grinned at me. “Look at this, bud! Not even a full day in Ponyville, and you’ve already got a bunch of friends!”

They all started to laugh and nod at me, and I couldn’t help but chuckle as I looked at my cousin. “I’ve got more friends already than you realize.”