• Published 22nd Sep 2016
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My Little Engineer - Soren Mercer

A space explorer, crossing the known spances of the universe comes across an unregistered planet out in deep space. What happens when he's forced to co-operate with a new species to not only save his life, but the entire species?

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Really Bloody Important, Got It.

Pilot’s Log

Date: 01/02/2406

“Okay, so to start the log, which I’m not doing through the ship’s VI by the way, happy whatever holidays I guess. It’s the second of January by Earth standards and work has been going steady. Vinyl’s progression into an AI has been steady and she’s taken to ‘liking’ spending time with Sunset Shimmer. I’m kind of worried about what will happen if Vinyl does evolve into a full on AI. I’m hesitant to upload her to the processing facility since AI’s are illegal by Intergalactic Laws. If she gets in there then there’s a sincere possibility that she’ll upload herself into the Wyvern, getting access to the anti-ship weapons on that thing. The Wyvern doesn’t have a remote control unit because of this reason.” I began as I laid back on my bed in the single domicile of the Processing Facility with my voice recorder resting on my chest. The calming pulses of the Assemblers at work below me were calming; reminded me of my waking hours on the ship while in space.

“Regards to the status of my stranding here, the Processing Facility is mostly nothing more than this single pressurized bedroom, the Refinery and Assemblers without their upgrades and an Azimuth Fusion Reactor. I’m getting close to breaking down enough spare components to build the Ore Detector I'll need to begin surveying from the Wyvern so that’s exciting, I suppose.” I sighed and paused my recording to retrieve the recorder and stand to look out the single window from the room. It wasn’t the best view, just an overlook of the above ground Refinery and the landing pad that the quiet Wyvern was sitting on.

“A quick note about my health,” I began once the recording had resumed. “My body isn’t used to being awake for more than a few hours so I’m still falling asleep at odd hours of the day and not waking up for at least sixteen hours. Luna, the blue Alicorn, has been helping me to stay awake by magically preventing my body from becoming fatigued until the same time that everything else goes to bed at nine. I’m still forced to live in a suit of some kind, that’s not likely to ever change until we get into space and I can set up zones in the future colony ship to always have the higher concentrations of Xenon that these ponies require while the rest of the ship remains purified.”

“Regards to the colony ship, I’ve been bouncing between two colony ship designs but I’ve settled on the old Boxton Super Heavy that the ICGS used to use before it was outclassed. It’s still going to be a long ways down the line before I can start on that thing, I gotta start with wide-area mining but we’re already covered where we’re at with that.” I returned to my bed, the only other real thing in the room being a simple console I’d scavenged from the command deck and uploaded with old movies, music and literature. I was quite partial to the historic classics: Disturbed and a bit of Avenged Sevenfold to name a few.

Sitting down at my desk instead and setting my socked feet up on the console itself, I navigated the holographic screens to get to the movies before letting the randomizer make a few random selections before I settled in on one of the Golden Oldies, the original Marvel movies since I avoided the 2256 reboots like the plague.

“The purple princess, Twilight Sparkle, remains missing. Celestia, Luna and Sunset can’t find her magically and the search parties haven’t found hide nor hare of the girl since losing the trail in a forest near to Ponyville -that town that’s closest to the crash site and just a kilometre away from here. I’ve promised that once I get my ore detection capabilities up and running to help look for the girl while I'm doing my prospecting.

“The Rosetta Stone technology is remarkable. It’s perfected the written language between the ponies and myself yesterday and allows me to form complete sentences and paragraphs without the ponies misunderstanding me. Speech is a whole other creature since Vinyl is sure that the ponies use telepathic undertones in their communication, something I’m not capable of replicating to understand them. Vinyl is currently working with Sunset and Luna to create a sort of foreleg mounted messaging system that’ll network every pony I need to be able to talk to and issue commands to. It’s supposed to be set so that the ponies can input their own language and have the Rosetta program automatically translate it for me and vice versa.” I reported as I minimized the movie tab to look over Vinyl’s blueprint for the small device. It looked like an archaic smartphone strapped to a leg or arm.

“Sir,” Vinyl’s voice appeared in my ear, the tiny communication unit being the only trace of the VI on my person at the moment and the only piece of her allowed to enter my room. “Parts have been broken down and the Ore Detector components are underway to begin assembly. Should only take an hour before you can begin building the unit.”

“Thank you, VI.” I replied with a finger to my ear for a moment. “Update on the mining and looking for Twilight Sparkle, the Detector Components have begun assembly and will be used tomorrow after I wake up. The assembly should only take an hour but given the late hour, I'll do it tomorrow and put it through it’s tests then. Speaking of tests, the right rear engine of the VTOL continues to be a pain in my ass. I’m tempted to scrap the whole thing and start over, would certainly be easier than all this trial and error bullshit.”

Provided following a yawn, “End of log, I’m probably going to settle down and watch a movie if I don’t fall asleep. Got a bit of work to do tomorrow.”

“So, have you remembered anything yet?” Culus, the mercenary griffon who’d been with Twilight the last couple days, demanded as he sat down at a nearby table -just out of reach of Twilight’s chains- with a plate of his own dinner, what smelled like meat and assorted veggies with mashed potatoes. “I know I won’t be hungry enough for all of this so who knows, maybe if you give me something, I'll feel like sharing.” he teased and tore into the steak with his beak.

“I…” Twilight groaned from where she lay, already in the early stages of malnutrition and well into dehydration. “I don’t know… anything… Please…” she rasped through a fit of coughs. “Let me go…”

“No no no, I can’t do that and you know why.” Culus waved a finger in reply while chewing, juices dripping from his beak and onto his leather/steel plate breastplate. “It’s also why we keep you on whatever that anti-magic potion is. You’re an important asset to my employers, they want you alive but malleable for future negotiations.”

“So… I’m a hostage that-” Twilight took a moment to cough and glare at the bird. “Your employers intend to use against Equestria? What could they-” Another short fit of coughing and hunger pangs. “They want that the Princesses would trade me for?”

“Well, I don’t know the details myself, but there are rumours that the thing that crashed here has plans for getting himself and a large group of ponies and other creatures off the planet and onto a colony ship.” Culus announced as he bit into another chunk of steak with a forkful of the mashed potatoes over that. At Twilight’s expanded eyes, “I know, I could barely believe it too!”

“But… it’s not possible for us to get to orbit, never mind build a craft large enough to jump-start civilization on another planet!” Twilight remarked as she sat up from her sprawled out position in the tent. Doing so rattled the chains that bound her by the neck and wings to the stake set into the ground. Twilight had already tested whether she could pull the stake out or not but found that the small pole was either too deeply buried into the ground or there was some kind of Zebric charm keeping her from pulling it out and escaping.

“You know, I had thought the very same thing!” Culus grinned and inserted another hunk of meat into his mouth after waving it before Twilight’s face teasingly. “But apparently the creature has already created a vehicle that achieved remarkable airspeed; speed unachievable by any biological creature.”

“Seriously? And you expect me to know about something that was built after I was captured and taken hostage?” Twilight demanded, emboldened by this bit of information. If he could fly, then the human was likely getting closer to being able to find her, save her.

“Not at all.” Culus countered casually with his fork hanging between two claws over the emptying plate. “We expect you to know something about the crashed ship’s workings. How does it work, how does it fly and achieve orbit?”

“I’ve already told you! I don’t bucking know!” Twilight screamed. Culus remained calm and collected despite the screaming and instead returned to his dinner. “Give me something to eat or I’ll be useless as a hostage! If I'm kept healthy then Princess Celestia will be more inclined to agree to whatever terms your employers have!”

“Hmm, that does make sense.” Culus remarked thoughtfully, sparking that flame of hope in Twilight for something, anything to eat. “Unfortunately that’s not for me to decide.”

“Oh come on! You may be just a lackey but you still have a heart! I won’t tell anyone anything!” Twilight pleaded as Culus looked her over apprehensively. “Please!”

“Mmm, sorry.” Culus announced, dropping Twilight’s head in defeat. “Can’t do that.” he added as he stood and grabbed his plate with whatever remained on it. Stepping past Twilight, his rear paw hit the table leg and tripped him, sending the plate wobbling around in his grasp. The plate hit the ground before Culus did, however Culus reacted quickly and collected everything before taking off.

Twilight watched him go in glaring silence before visually inspecting the zone of impact for anything Culus may have left behind. Following her nose, Twilight reached the end of her chain at the pile of grilled peppers that, frustratingly, remained just out of reach of her hoof under the table.

“Celestia dammit! If only I had my magic!” Twilight groaned and flopped down to her stomach where she was, watching the peppers and wishing they’d just come a bit closer so she could get them with even just her tongue. With a groan Twilight closed her eyes and began to concentrate as hard as she could, trying to connect to some shred of telekinetic ability to grasp at least one pepper to feed herself.

Surprisingly, she felt something within her. Something deep inside that, just maybe, was enough magic bubbling to the surface to let her eat. Focussing on that feeling, Twilight fought to bring it to the surface and to her horn for a minute before that feeling instantly vanished with the burp that it actually was.

Letting out a groan of defeat, Twilight moved herself back to the dedicated sleeping spot and rolled onto her side, curling up while her stomach reminded her of her failings.

“If only somepony could find me…” she whispered before trying to let herself fall asleep. As she did so, she thought she could hear the sound of rumbling engines like the ones that had been on the ship.

Five Hours Ago

“Your highness!” a guard announced as he burst into the Canterlot throne room. “Reporting!”

“Go ahead, what have you found?” Celestia demanded as she looked up from a pile of papers that she and her sister should’ve gone through upon discovery of the crashed ship. Seemed that her parents, the previous rulers of Equestria before her reign with Luna, had even devised a mountain of paperwork for the event of a discovery of another race on Equestria and how to properly initiate First Contact. Those pages in particular had been burned before the Royal Archivist had found out they’d existed.

“Nothing, your Highness. I’m sorry, but we can’t find any trace of Princess Twilight Sparkle.” the guard replied sincerely with a bow of the head. “We’ve even searched every inch of the Everfree and thought we’d found tracks but after following them it appeared to have just been a pair of Griffin hunters.”

“Griffin hunters?” Celestia’s ears perked up at the mention of the hunters. “Did they have their Hunting Licenses?” If they didn’t, then they were either poachers and to be arrested, or they were Twilight’s captors and to be hunted down themselves.

“They did, your Highness. We even had them checked against our records to make sure. They were up to date and everything checked out.”

“Dammit!” Celestia let the word slip before she’d even known what she’d done and held her lower lip held between her teeth in irritation. With a nod of the head, the Guard was cleared from the room and left her in silence, alone with her thoughts. “Where are you, Twilight Sparkle?”

“Sister,” Luna appeared in a bulb of magic before approaching the throne. “The Suit says that his small ship has been outfitted with the detection machine and is ready to set out and begin prospecting Equestria.”

“Fine, fine. Just have him make notes on a map of where everything is for me, please?” Celestia willed herself to calm down to think about other things but her mind continued to go back to Twilight’s unknown location. Luna gave her sister a quick hug before offering a friendly smile and taking off in the same magical sphere she’d appeared in.

You are clear to take off. Celestia wishes for you to record the locations of minerals you find. Luna wrote down and passed the note to the human as he sat on the lip of the hangar ramp with his feet dangling.

Having read the note, the suit nodded and hoisted himself up and back to the ship. Spitfire, who’d taken Dash’s place as temporary navigator while Dash was studying the material the suit had given her, rested against the weapons battery on the right of the ship and tugged at her suit.

“This thing is so uncomfortable, why couldn’t my Wonderbolts suit work instead?” she sighed before snapping to attention at the Suit’s approach. With a wave of his hand, the suit ordered Spitfire up into the second cockpit as his jetpack lifted him up to his own seat.

Both settling down, the pilot lowered both canopies and fired up the engines -the rear one having been torn out and rebuilt with newer parts- before lifting the craft and activating the ore detector.

His new sensor array, shared between him and the Navigator, fired up and unfortunately found nothing nearby. Easing out of the hangar, the entire ship lifted to just above the trees before starting off at a leisurely pace to make sure that the detector was working. Concerns were rested when the ore radar pinged on a small iron deposit above the ground a few hundred meters away and to the left.

With Spitfire marking the location, the pilot turned the ship into a large spiralling circle around the crash site to visually inspect the ground for signs of ore. He was hoping that despite the odds against him, he could see the darker ground denoting veins of ore in the ground but the vividity of the foliage and even the grass itself remained constant even after a note for Magnesium and Silicon appeared directly under Ponyville.

Marking that location as well, the ship and its sensor package aimed for Canterlot to see if the mountain had anything of value that could be easily mineable without interrupting anything. Passing by the entire mountain, the pilot and navigator flew off towards the Everfree with nothing to say for the location.

Sir, I’ve got a reading you might be interested in. Spitfire announced textually as the pilot received the same readings on his own displays. An ore I don’t know the name of has appeared over the Everfree Forest.

I’m aware and this has got to be the most important location for mining we’ll have. Mark down the location of the Uranium with a note of urgency. I’ll have to go over the importance of Uranium with Celestia later on. The pilot replied with the Rosetta Stone program automatically translating his word to translated text.

If I may ask, sir, what is the importance of that ore?

Uranium is the fuel source of the fusion reactors of this ship, the Processing Facility and the crashed ship. We’re going to need it by the tonne for the Space-Dock and the future Colony Ship.

So, it’s really bloody important, got it. Spitfire’s last message before going silent gave the human a chuckle and turned the ship northward for a peek. Not being able to see the land-indications was a pain in the ass but the pilot was determined to find a node for everything he’d need. Save for Platinum but that was only found on asteroids and moons.


An hour later and the ship returned to the Facility having discovered the single largest location of every ore all grouped together some couple hundred kilometers away from Ponyville and buried under the Smoky Mountains. That would be where the mining facility and new base of operations would be set up as soon as permission to dive into its surface was given.

Spitfire hopped out of the cockpit and glided down to the ground so that the Suit could take the craft back up with Dash in her seat again. Luna was now sat in the back of the craft on the left side seat in order to provide a third set of eyes in the search for Twilight Sparkle.

Taking to the air, the trip itself took four hours and only returned to the Facility when the reactors needed refilling and the batteries needed recharging. The Facility had been set up with Solar Panels scavenged from the crash in order to charge up the Facilities internal batteries which would then be used to charge the VTOL’s batteries overnight.

Returning against Luna’s wishes, the craft sat down on it’s launch pad before shutting down and setting its batteries to recharge. Both pilot and navigator extracted themselves from the craft while a pony nearby connected the heavy transfer cable to the bottom of the craft and locked it into place. Dash went on her way while Luna joined the pilot at the cockpit while he transferred the map data from the ship to his wrist computer before closing everything up for the night.

I don’t suppose you managed to find any indication of Twilight that you didn’t tell me about, did you? Luna asked by writing the words out in the air before her. They acted like a sort of subtitle like the ones in the shows that the pilot occasionally watched.

Sorry, I didn’t find anything to help the search. The pilot replied via HUD before turning away with a wave and headed into his room in the Facility. Luna gave a short tch of annoyance before flashing away in her magic.

“We’re going to find you, Twilight. Believe in us.” Luna mumbled to herself as she stepped into the throne room with the news.