Good Ol' Appleoosan Hospitality [June 1st, 5151]

Joined: August 2nd, 2012, 1:34 am

November 21st, 2012, 9:02 am #1

It was a rather warm day in Appleoosa today, and that was saying something. Not that Socket Wrench, or "Ratchet" as he was known around town,was concerned. He had his Winter Atmosphere Emulator™ set to "Slightly Chilly", and he couldn't be any more content as he tinkered away at his latest invention within his workshop, a flying device meant to bridge the gap between groundbound parents and their winged children. All too often, he'd heard tales of earth ponies or unicorns who started a family with their sweetheart, who was a pegasus, and their kid ended up taking after their winged ma or pa, and every time, those stories would tug at his ol' heartstrings.

He had been busy revising the overall the design of his latest prototype, (he had been figuring out a way to reduce the weight of the wings without compromising structural integrity, though the main issue was that the wings were too complicated to operate without some sort of magical enchantment; something he was incapable of making.) when he had heard a sort of rattling sound. Pausing for a moment as he held a screwdriver between his teeth, he looked around for a moment, unable to determine the source of the noise. Shrugging, he continued to tighten the screws that held the frame together, when the rattling grew louder. taking the tool out of his mouth as his goggled head looked in the direction of the workshop's northern wall, where his W.A.E was perched; the rear of the machine blowing hot air outside through a precisely cut and measured hole that the contraption was situated in, where the cool air would cover most, if not all of the shop.

"Now, what in tarnation is that racket?"

His question was soon answered by another bout of violent rattling - from the Atmosphere Emulator no less! His eyes widened in horror behind his darkened goggles, the machine was coughing and sputtering and rattling so hard you would think Pinkie Pie was hosting a party inside of the thing!

With a loud BOOM, the Winter Atmosphere Emulator™ exploded, sending smoke everywhere!

"Daggit nabbit, naggit dabbit!"

Coughing and sputtering as the smoke filled the shop, Ratchet made sure to open all of the windows he could, letting the smoke billow out and allowing his vision to clear.

Still hacking up a storm, the beleaguered repairpony staggered outside to find that some fool bird had the bright idea to build a nest in his Atmosphere Emulator, clogging the exhaust! He found the culprit, a lone buzzard staggering away from the workshop as though it were drunk off its rocker; clearly, the explosion affected more than the shop's interior.

"Well, don't that beat all?"
Penn Inkwell||Unicorn||Male
Socket Wrench, AKA "Ratchet"||Earth Pony||Male
Obsidian Blade||Unicorn||Male
Silver Star||Pegasus||Male
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 8:13 pm

November 21st, 2012, 10:31 am #2

Barley had had a long journey. It had been several months since she'd slept in an actual bed. She'd been making due with forest clearings, piles of hay, stacks of leaves—wherever she could find, really, that was relatively soft. She'd been paid well enough for her last job, sure. But it had just been a temporary one, as usual, and she never knew when the next one would come along. Besides, why spend money on a hotel when a grassy field would do just as well? Well, not quite as well, she thought, rubbing a hoof along her back. Resting on the ground with her saddlebags for a pillow and the stars for her blanket was never the most comfortable sleeping position. But there was no telling when she'd find work next, and her funds were currently running low when she reached the city of Appleloosa.

She was passing by a particularly normal building, and would have continued past it, had she not heard an explosion come from within. A few seconds after, smoke began billowing from a window outside of her view, and in another moment, it seemed to be coming from two different spots. Combined with the sound she had heard and the smoke present, there was only one thing on her mind: fire!

Barley slipped off her saddlebags—sure, an emergency wasn't the time to be worried about worldly possessions, but she had very few and couldn't very well afford to lose them. Besides, they would only slow her down, she reasoned, as she bolted for the house. She fiddled with the doorknob—locked of course! Well, somepony was in trouble, so... with a heave, she lifted her hind legs, bucking the doorknob and area around it twice before the door gave way.

“Hello?” she called, before nearly choking on the air inside. Outside, the air had been clear and dry, if a little dusty at times, but inside it was polluted with smoke. Having the door open, along with the various windows Ratchet had already reached, was helping to dissipate the air. Barley ducked down, trying to crawl below the smoke as she called out again. “Anypony there?”

She had no idea of the layout of the building, nor if there was one or multiple ponies. She didn't even know in which room the fire had started, or if anypony had been injured in the explosion. Barley would have kept searching too, if she hadn't felt a set of hooves make contact with her ribs and said her toppling over. She cried out, both in surprise and pain, as she looked in the direction the other pony had landed. He was a yellow Earth pony, and Barley could only hope he was okay. Her side was throbbing too much at the moment for her to get up.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2012, 1:34 am

November 21st, 2012, 10:46 am #3

Ratchet stood up, shaking away the wooziness that had come from the unexpected impact with whoever it was that had tried to play hero. Ever the southern gentlecolt, he remembered that concern for another pony's wellbeing always came first. "Aw shoot, you okay? Sorry, I didn't see you there, smoke's still a bit too..." he paused to turn his head, coughing a bit. "Er, 'scuse me. Smoke's still a bit too thick... Didja come through the front entrance? Smoke's spread further than I thought. That, or I plumb forgot to close the door into the store."

He paused in the middle of his ramblings, and ducked down below the smoke's cover to come face to face with the mare he had accidentally run into.

"Ah'm sorry. Am I talkin' too much? Ah tend to do that, ev'ry now and then. Let's get'chya outta here; it's not the best--" another pause to cough a few more times. "Not th' best place to be holdin' a discussion."

Gingerly, he wrapped his forelegs around the mare, and helped her up.

"Easy now, ya'll must still be feelin' tender after that tumble..."

Step by step, Ratchet led her outside, and let go of her, hoping that she was at least able to stand.
Penn Inkwell||Unicorn||Male
Socket Wrench, AKA "Ratchet"||Earth Pony||Male
Obsidian Blade||Unicorn||Male
Silver Star||Pegasus||Male
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 8:13 pm

November 21st, 2012, 11:25 am #4

“Oooohhh.” she breathed through clenched teeth, trying to ignore the pain. She managed to roll over into a crouched position, holding onto her left side with her right front hoof. “Fine, fine.” she grimaced, despite trying not to show her discomfort. “Are you okay? What happened? Is there anypony else inside?” Her injury wasn't all that bad, it was just the immediate pain that was giving her trouble.

“Yeah, front entrance.” she began to cough again as the two made their way outside, the action irritating her sore ribs. “I think—“ She gulped in the fresh air, despite the twinge in her side. “—you might not have much of a front door anymore.” Barley glanced around for her saddlebags. “I—I said I was fine.” She pulled away from him, slipping on her saddlebags, though she wasn't going anywhere. She was simply cautious of leaving what little she owned unattended.

She turned back to the other Earth pony, noticing his lack of panic. “I suppose from your calmness that you were alone. But aren't you worried about the fire?” Come to think of it, the smoke that had been pouring from the house had significantly lessened, which was odd if there were things still burning. Well, it wasn't her house, so Barley wasn't overly concerned if the other pony wanted to stand by while their residence burned down.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2012, 1:34 am

November 21st, 2012, 11:40 am #5

Ratchet simply offered the mare a lopsided grin. "Don't got many flammable objects in th' workshop. Anything that can catch on fire's all tucked away, and I got sheetmetal all over th' walls anyhow."

"Might be suicidal durin' the summer to be workin' in thar, but that's what my Winter Atmosphere Emulator™ is for." He let out a bitter chuckle. "Or was for, anyhow, since some dumb buzzard tried makin' a nest in th' exhaust, causing it to overheat and kersplode while I was in th' middle of my latest project."

He sighed, his ears drooping a bit.

"Months of work on that little box, all gone. All that time an' bits... down th' drain." he muttered, hoping she wouldn't hear him.

Seconds passed before he straightened back up, and turned to the mare, tipping a hat that wasn't on his head, and offered her a smile.

"Pardon me fer not introducing myself earlier, by th' by. Name's Socket Wrench, local repair pony and inventor 'round these here parts. But everyone jus' calls me 'Ratchet'."
Penn Inkwell||Unicorn||Male
Socket Wrench, AKA "Ratchet"||Earth Pony||Male
Obsidian Blade||Unicorn||Male
Silver Star||Pegasus||Male
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 8:13 pm

November 21st, 2012, 12:04 pm #6

“Pleasure to meet you.” The brown coated mare extending a hoof toward this “Ratchet” fellow. She cleared her throat, glancing behind him at the mess she'd made of the door. “So, there's no fire, and neither you nor your house is in any danger?” she shuffled her hooves, knowing what she had to say next, but dreading it. “I'll—I'll pay for that.” Barley said sheepishly, pointing at the door. She'd made a hasty mistake, and it was only right that she face the consequences.

She'd been too long without a shower that wasn't take in cold stream, and without a bed made out of a mattress and a real blanket. But paying for damages was going to deplete the last of her funds, and she'd be lucky to find dinner this evening. “I might be a little short...” Barley scuffed her hooves. “Would you happen to need any work done? I'm pretty handy with farming. Appleloosa is a farming community, right? Although you don't exactly seem to own a farm, do you?” she looked past the pony and the building, to where a field would probably be if Ratchet actually owned one. Nothing.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2012, 1:34 am

November 21st, 2012, 12:12 pm #7

"Well... Naw, I cain't say Ah rightly do." He put a hoof to his chin, the gears in his brain beginning to turn.

"While I might not have a farm y'all can work on, I do need an extra hoof around th' shop. Ya any good with tools?" he asked, his voice hopeful. He'd been in need of help for a while, in all honesty; he wasn't getting any younger, and he had a lot of things on his plate, in a manner of speaking. There was the matter of the busted Winter Atmosphere Emulator™, the broken door, and then there was the unfinished flight harness prototype he was working on.

In fact, there was a whole bunch of half-finished projects lying around the shop already! Ratchet mused that perhaps he really should try to remember to focus on one thing at a time.
Penn Inkwell||Unicorn||Male
Socket Wrench, AKA "Ratchet"||Earth Pony||Male
Obsidian Blade||Unicorn||Male
Silver Star||Pegasus||Male
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 8:13 pm

November 21st, 2012, 10:48 pm #8

Barley slid her hoof from her side to rest on the ground. The pain had subsided, and it didn't feel like anything was broken. Breathing was becoming easier, both because of the lack of pain and lack of smoke. But the sun was beginning to beat down on her, and Barley was without any sort of cover. She forced herself to stand upright, rather than hang her head low to rest, but her chest clearly heaved in a slow and somewhat labored way.

“I'm a good learner.” she said tentatively. Her expertise was certainly farming, and what she would be more comfortable with, but she had to eat somehow. “Here.” she reached into one of her saddlebags, pulling out the last of the bits she owned. The door thing wasn't even her fault. She'd just been trying to help a pony in need... but it seemed it would have been better for her to keep looking out for number one.

Barley's stomach growled as she handed over the money. Right, she hadn't had breakfast, she recalled. Well, it look liked it would be some kind of wild grasses for dinner... again. She ignored the rumble for the moment. “Do you want me to start now, or tomorrow, or...?” She wasn't really in the mood to do work now, but the responsible thing to do was to pay for her mistake.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2012, 1:34 am

November 23rd, 2012, 9:53 am #9

"Tell you what," said Ratchet, still wearing that same lopsided grin. "You can start work tomorrow, but on one condition."

He jabbed a hoof at the mare's midsection. He certainly wasn't deaf, even he heard that growling gut of hers!

"Y'all better try a bite of my world-famous buttermilk pancakes, y'hear? I cain't very well let somepony on mah payroll go hungry, can I?"

Without waiting for an answer, Ratchet trotted back towards the shop, which was finally smoke-free, and turned back in the mare's direction, tilting his head in a rather quizzical manner.

"Well? C'mon now, don't tell me you'd turn down free flapjacks, wouldja?"
Penn Inkwell||Unicorn||Male
Socket Wrench, AKA "Ratchet"||Earth Pony||Male
Obsidian Blade||Unicorn||Male
Silver Star||Pegasus||Male
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 8:13 pm

November 25th, 2012, 9:39 am #10

Barley had half a mind to sock Ratchet when he put his hoof against her. The gesture wasn't threatening, but it was surprising for somepony she didn't know to be so friendly and inside her personal space. “What's that?” she replied, trying not to sound fed up with the conversation. She was exhausted from her journey, and wanted to lay down somewhere to rest—whether it was an overly comfortable place or not.

She blushed and grimaced as Ratchet mentioned her rumbling tummy. She wasn't much for accepting charity, but she was going to be working for him come tomorrow, so she would be able to pay him back. Barley follow him reluctantly, too tired to try to argue. Besides, if she accepted a meal now, she wouldn't have to waste energy searching for something. This was a desert, after all. Her normal forest fare probably was not readily available.

Once inside, Barley glanced around the workshop. Half finished gadgets, tools, and dishes lay all around, it was a wonder she missed tripping over something. Well, she could certainly tell that he was a bachelor. No wonder something had caught fire. At least nopony had been hurt. Oh, what had she gotten herself into?
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