Wheels still spinning836 posts omitted. Click reply to view.
As you are in uptown near the palace, you can see the university clock tower from here. The piping office isn't immediately obvious though. You take a moment to search and notice, across the square, there is indeed a building with some large pipes.
Municipal Water Reserve
Hmm, maybe this was the building the pony was talking about?
Being lost in your thoughts - trying to shut out the idea that you are Southern to the core - makes it easy to go numb and ignore your body. Blackpaw finishes scrubbing you and washing you. He pulls you out and dresses you. Yesterday, all of this might have felt like a violation of privacy, but you don't have the energy to protest.
You're left to your thoughts, sitting still on the couch. You smell like a steel mill.
In any case, it doesn't take her long to recognize Cumin in the robe. "The prodigal prince returns! Do you need some more dresses 'for the palace maids'?"
Cumin turns red. "N-no! P-lease, don't! Don't tease me. I, uh… brought you a new customer. I didn't think you would s-spread rumors…"
"Of course not darling. Is he ready for his measurements?"
"S-stop! S-she's my, uh… s-special somepony."
"Oh? This should be fun, then. Come on back."
"Maybe… it's a little disconcerting though… I'm not in the business of hurting anypony, I used to be a nurse."
She gathers herself on the couch and straightens a picture frame housing a bullet on the wall, which had been knocked askew during the shouting.
"Oh so that's what it is! Rubber! Oh of course! Stevie, I need some of that rubber really bad, could you cut some of it for me pleaseeee?"
"Woah, woah little dog. I just told you, it's not just normal rubber. You take rubber out of a tree and it's going to crack the first time you put any pressure on it. This is vulcanized. It's not exactly an easy process. Just how much do you need?"
"Ooh, even faster than an equestrian pony?
I heard they broke a speed record recently.
" I reply in an very relaxed humming voice.
"I heard about that, but that was for one of those 'Iron Horses'… Your company makes them, right? Well, pegasus may have a 'sonic rainboom', but I will tear through this forest!
With an incredible leap of agility, you feel the wind on your face as she bounds skyward and dashes across a roof. The sheer force as she propels herself off sends shingles shattering and flying – ONE hoof touches the great wall that divides the port from the forest, before she lands sheerly on the other side of the moat. Now on flat terrain, your whole world begins to rumble as she takes off at full gallop, ribbing through the jungle with no regard for foliage or vines. Mere plantlife breaks before her. You'd try to get a look around, but the incredible hurricane-force of wind bearing down on your face, combined with the jiggling below you as her legs move, are causing you to slip backwards into the catsuit. You need to fight to keep on the shoulder, lest you end up slipping onto her back!
"I can imagine it's not. I would ask if you could teach me I wasn't in a rush. I need a strip that I can wrap around a metal rod that is about 8 centimeters thick, the strip could be around 25 to 30 centimeters long but I also need it to have a little extra bit sticking out of it about the shape of my fingers!" hold up my paws as reference
"Do you think you can manage?" I ask, slightly more meekly
"What, that's it, little dog? I thought you wanted to seal up a door or something. Yeah, check the bin. I was going to melt down the parts I cut off to use in the next batch, but you can pick out a strip of that size."
'1d10' Nani?! She's fast.
keep my head up so I can watch.Roll #1 6 = 6
"Oh that works too then. Thanks Stevie"
Let's get those strip straps and b-
"Oh and by the way… Did you see Flapjack anywhere?"
You simply don't have the strength to hold on – not as you are. But your breezie ingenuity pays off. Drawing your head inside the suit for a moment, you spot an area on her deltoid where the muscle is positively bulging. Thick veins run beneath her soft, pleasant fur – and you grab a hold of them. As your whole body rocks on top of her muscles, you realize you may soon know her power better than she does.
Task completed, you pop your head back out of the liner, eyes watering as a flurry of leaves fling past your head like some kind of razorleaf.>>684805
You pull out one particularly long, sturdy looking strip.
"Flapjack? I think he's in the closest thing we have to a mess hall, down on cargo level. He's been playing with the limited cooking supply we've got, trying to make you one of those traditional alpaca candies. Not having much luck from the sounds of it. If you want to surprise him, next time you go into trade, maybe see if you can get any caramel."
Oh, and roll again, this time to search
'1d10' I'm not sure anyone can even sneak up on someone so fastRoll #1 2 = 2
My ears flatten "Aye, I understand… Oh do you need anything too? From the trade place I mean, in the Donkey village. I'm planning to Mae only one trip so this is your only chance!" put my foot on the doorway, ready to leave
Her speed is literally blinding, and you can't see clearly with all the wind in your eyes. You wish you had goggles like mom at this moment… maybe that's something to work on, if you plan on being carried like this again.
You don't have time to think, though, as a drop of sweat dislodges you from your position and you slide down the suit onto the ninja's back! Firmly pinned, you can hear her enormous lungs pumping in air with practiced ease below you. There are two obvious options: try to climb forward to the shoulder again, or climb backwards toward the tail hole and watch the rear. The rear view, obviously, not the butt! No one would know if you wanted to, though.
"Yeah, little dog. Can you get me a pile of ugly meat, some tangy mayo, and some sweaty pinkish cheese?"
Well.. nothing like literally watching her back, and her tail will make a good place to grip.
'1d10' climb down.Roll #1 5 = 5
My face twists a little "That sounds kinda… Nevermind, I'll grab those for you no problem. Thanks again Steve, see you"
Now let's get back to work
You let out a little involuntary gasp as you pop free of the tail hole, it's nice to have some fresh air no matter your thoughts on Horosha's personal aroma. Before you, her tail stretches off into the distance like a streamer or perhaps a great flag, caught in a wind with no terminus. With your new vantage point, you see with a degree of incredulity how her hooves literally tear apart the forest floor where they make contact, propelling her forward with hard-to-imagine speed. With the tail to secure yourself on, you are in no danger of slipping any further, and you shift into a more comfortable position, properly spread out, belly down, on her toned flank, now accustomed to the rhythmic bouncing. Is now your chance to get a good look into the forest?
"You got it, little dog. See ya later."
Right, now it's TIME FOR SCIENCE!
Now with the strips, I can use the ingots and fashion the rod
Which and how many ingots I had again?
It could be.
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
3 iron, 3 tungsten, two gold, one silver and 5 copper
Iron: A strong, flexible material popular for alloying into steel, which is used in most weapons. Attracts magnets.
Copper: Used primarily in alloying brass and bronze.
Zinc & Tin: Soft, brittle metals used in alloying.
Nickel: Mostly used in alloying, particularly stainless steel. Attracts magnets.
Tungsten: Primarily used for heavy metal alloys useful in plating. Your rocket-ship likely uses tungsten.
Silver & Gold: Highly conductive, resists corrosion. Mostly used in gilding.
Feeling a little more secure on the butt, you scan your environment. Fortunately, now that you're looking BACKWARDS the wind isn't in your eyes at all and you're free to look clearly. And you don't like what you see.
A furious swarm of pygmy ponies! Normally their little armada wouldn't be able to catch you in a million years at your speed (you're still pulling away from the pack), but some of you are following in what resembles the dumbest, most suicidal hunt method you've ever seen. They appear to have stolen wheels off carts from the old city before it was overtaken with jungle, and they are now RIDING INSIDE THE WHEELS where the spokes were removed – spinning, looking sick, but as blood-crazed as ever. And the wheel pygmies are gaining enough to catch you.
How can you let Horosha know from down here?! Working your way back up her muscly body will take time you don't have, you have to get her attention to look BACK somehow!
There's only one thing I can do.
'1d10' tug on her tail, trice so she knows its intentionalRoll #1 5 = 5
You pull, pull, pull! Even one hair comes loose! Uh… want to put it back? Or, let it go into the wind? It might make a momento, too.
Horosha suddenly leaps up into the treetops in response to the tugging! Clearly she got the message and looked back, and you bound from limb to limb. It's quite something, watching the bird nests and bromeliads whiz by. You can feel her lean, powerful backside as it propels her once after another, almost spring loaded. It's a little relaxing after the incredible speed from before.
"My gold and iron are pretty expensive and I have very little… Since this is a prototype, I'll stick to iron and the copper and I can work on a proper model once I'm back"
I'll work with just one ingot of iron for most of the 'body' of the stick and the copper for the trigger/lever part. I'll take the measures of the Amber Heart and make a properly fitting slot to set it on. Make it tight, but not a permanent fit since I will take the Ember out later
The trick here though, is that I'll pad the slot with the rubber before setting the gem, or else it would be constantly on, obviously, that's what the trigger will be for (which will also be made of copper)
Now the other side of the stick will have a small, paw sized depression so I have a good grip, wrap it with the rubber, tighten some bits here, calibrate the switch there, more science terms on this bit aaaaaaand…
Hold my breath as instructed.
Looking good! You've got a long iron shaft with a copper trigger mechanism that draws the amber-slot close enough to generate a big spark.
Maybe you should show it off to Steve and get his impressions on your prototype before you go to the final version?
Your world shakes and trembles as bubbles explode all around you, and suddenly you're below water! For one split second, you're face to face with a frog big enough to gobble you up in one bite before Horosha kicks away. After what must have only been a second - but feels like three full minutes - you burst free of the water's surface and onto some kind of wooden log floating. You're out of breath and you didn't even do any running!
A big hoof starts picking around the backside and, after some careful navigation, your ninja picks you out from above her cheeks and brings you up to her face. With a little grin she points out at the pygmies, who have been stopped dead by the river they dare not cross (and, of course, the wheels that fell into it helplessly).
"Thanks for the tip. You weren't so bad out there. And by the way, I know you like me, but you're getting bold, sitting on my backside!
Let's do a few tests ourselves first. Let's gently shake it a bit, it feels nice on my paws, good grip
Now let's test its functionality. If I keep the trigger held down does it produce continuous Sparks instead of just a brief flash?
Yes, success! You do need to be careful though, if you pull the trigger too hard it connects with the metal and the spark disappears as it conducts directly into the metal. Maybe some sort of limiter bar is needed.
Oh dear, and I'm a wet fairy, and she thinks.. flicker my wings to distract myself from turning completely red. "L-like? It wasn't.. I just fell down there, I didn't look..
That's what I thought would happen. Easily fixed problem though, I'll just bend the trigger a little bit back so it won't touch the Amber unless I press it down REALLY hard
I have trust in my trigger dexterity but I should include a bar in the final project just to be safe…
Let's show this off to Steve!
Smugly, she raises her eyebrow and points at the tail hair you're still holding. "Oh? What's that, then?
Before you can reply, she leans forward as you offer your excuses and gives you a little peck. Of course, at your size, that means kissing your entire head. "You earned it. I'm glad you let me know about those idiots. I've got a new job for you,
though. I'm going to raft us up the river,
but I know there's a waterfall sooner or later. You've got wings but I can't fly.
By the time we get there, why don't you try to come up with a way we can get up to the top, alright?
Checking it out, he edges back a little uneasily once he realizes what the 'heart' is. "Oh, that's a pretty sharp little setup you've got there. You can do way better than that, though, little dog. You thought about throwing in a helix spiral? That way there are several narrow places for the electricity to arc between the iron. There's another reason too… but maybe it should be a surprise, eh little dog?"
So cool.. Just coil that hair up so I can hold onto it, as a fancy rope or something, yea.
"A way up a waterfall, and here I thought you wanted something hard.
'1d10 confidently look at the plantlife near the river.
Roll #1 7 = 7
I hold on to the rod, examining it while heeding his words
"I haven't… But this has just been a little prototype for me to use in dark places where mushrooms definitely grow, I will work on the real thing
once I get back! I whipped this up in a no time because I'm hurrying, imagine what I could do with a couple of hours" I wave the staff around proudly
"Another reason… Steve This isn't going to be exploding on my face right? You know I don't like surprises so tell me what it is!"
Out in the forest you see several varieties of vines and clinging ivy. The river itself is host to big masses of ivy, lilypads, and algae. There are a few protruding rocks, which host moss. In terms of fauna, you can make out freshwater salmon bounding up the river, perhaps returning to their spawning grounds somewhere upstream. They're no doubt going to have to leap the waterfall themselves. If you were feeling particularly daring, you could ride one, since you're so light. Horosha is, of course, much larger than a fish.>>684834
"Let's call it an emergent property that happens when you run a lot of voltage through a coil. Maybe I should show you the engine room, eh? You're about old enough to see the rotary solenoid."
I have a few questions, but I'll keep them for until I see this rotary thingie "I'm old enough, where is it?"
Too large huh.. but what if the fish was bigger.
"Do you think you can lasso one of the salmon?
"That," He stops and points at you, "Was a rhetorical question, little dog. C'mon, it's at the back of the ship."
He leads you to a door, far at the aft end, with a sign that says:
DANGER DO NOT OPEN
- so of course, he opens it.
"We've gotta be fifty - no, one hundred - years ahead of the rest of the world. Manako Group think they're so clever with internal combustion. We have electromagnetism."
He displays to you a hulking coil of metal taller than you are, and no less than four meters long. It's rigged up to a huge fan-looking thing below, which is in the water.
"When power is run through this coil, it spins the blade, propelling the ship forward. That's why our vessel has no sails.">>684837
"Foal's play. You have something in mind?
"Yes, catch one that is about to swim up,
grow it so it can carry us both.
" She stands, as you can hear the rush of the water draw near. "You need to be fast though…
You're about to ask why, when she picks you up in a hoof and coils herself up, tensing her back legs. "Because we don't have a rope. We're gonna grab one midair!
With one last desperate spring, she takes off, crushing the log below her with her statuesque legs! Now's your chance, land it just right! Grow the fish she's about to grab onto!
+2 for prepared plan
"Woah wow WOAH! One hundred years?!" I exclaim, leaning down to get a good view of this huge thing "This can't be… You guys are geniuses, I mean I knew you already were before but this… This is like, beyond genius, this is something way above" I pull myself back before I slip and fall into the water
"Steve… Who made this?"
'1d10+4' that's a big bonus. make my fish grooowRoll #1 1 + 4 = 5
"Hmm, I made the current design with the applied mechanics, little dog. But the electromagnetics - that was all MacMeal. What did you think his specialty was, little dog? Bossing scientists around? You know I work on the ship and Gunny works on the rocket.">>684842
In a moment of tremendous lack of concentration, you feel your standpoint on Horosha's hoof getting precarious. You look down, just in time to see you've accidentally shrunken Horosha down to your size! Unable to course correct you – GULP
The world goes dark. You're huddled in the world's tiniest hug, tightly gripping your ninja companion, inside the terrible, stinking maw of a salmon. Gobbled up like a common river fly. At least you're going to get to ride up to the top of the waterfall.P A U S E
Your mother was right. It's the worst to acknowledge because it's true. You remember all those days you spent in that little cage when tutors came for "safety". And how your father had to talk her into letting you go see the world. And now you've been eaten by a common salmon. Reminded of your place at the very bottom of the food chain. The creature's thick, slimy tongue writhes on your back, but you don't slide deeper into its maw. Horosha has a tight grip on you, both arms around your body, and straddles the throat. You dragged her into this, shrinking her down to bug size, and now she's bailing you out.
The world shakes and suddenly everything turns ninety degrees. "I need some of your plant herbs. The foul ones. Hold your breath, too.
"Space travel wouldn't even be imaginable without this kind of technology. We believe the reason we lost Toffee's Rocket was due to a failure in our measurement instruments. We were using gyroscopic balls, but there may be emergent properties up there in space we don't know about little dog. With electromagnetism, we can keep accurate readings."
Whatever her plan is, its worth a try, fork over the smelliest herbs
"That old Goat! I knew he had something more under that old fur he kept hiding from me. If he knows all that imagine what more he knows about electrical energy? We can change the world with this">>684924
"Gyroscopic balls?" my ears perk and my tail starts wagging
I look up "what are those properties? Have you guys found out anything about it yet? I guess you can't build a rocket if you don't know what you're dealing with and what goes on up there…"