A Groggy Proposition
IC date: Second New Years Day
OOC date: 3/21/12
PCs: Salty, Snowfield, Sadaka, Jettison, Blackbird
NPCs: None
GM: None

It is the second, count 'em, SECOND day of New Years — something that comes around only once every four years as a gift from the goddess-queen, Celestia. Not one day of celebrating. Two! TWO WHOLE DAYS! And Horseshoe Harbor is /very/ festive for it. There has been non-stop feasting available day and night for anypony who's hungry or in the mood; streamers are hung everywhere, confetti has been strewn every which way — and it's magic confetti that even disappears without cleanup after a few hours. The mood is pretty much universally jolly, as everyone gets to take the days off and just… PARTY!

On the downside, a few things … /have/ been going a little haywire. The weather has been downright unpredictable, even with the little team of weatherponies trying to keep things sane. Flowers have been springing up everywhere, and really, things are just a little…crazy. But no one much cares because PARTY!

In the midst of it all is Salty, drunk on her apple-noggin and sipping some brand spankin' newly distilled apple cider. She's gathered a small collection of tankards around her, cheerful and drunk as ever. "YESSSS, everypony! Partake! Enjoooooy!"

If there's one thing that Snowfield hates more than socializing with other ponies, it's revelry. Unfortunately one simply cannot skip the New Year's Celebration or everypony will think she is sick and come hassle her /even more/, so the little mare is putting in a token appearance at the town-wide celebration.

The miniature unicorn is currently wallflowering at the town square, watching Salty make a fool of herself and nursing a mug of… well, 'cider' would be generous. Perhaps it's more accurate to call it rotgut. Where she got such a low quality drink when cider is taken so /seriously/ in Horseshoe Harbor is anypony's guess.

"You really take this whole… last angry mare thing seriously don'tcha?"

Ah, here comes Jettison, smirking faintly as he passes on by Snowfield, giving the mini-corn a little nod and a wink, waltzing on by towards Salty. He knows that Snowfield is <REDACTED> years old, so it was okay to tease and hit on her a bit…. he was a young and dumb stallion after all though, right?

He's heading towards Salty's little enclave of tankards, and gives the mayor a friendly wave of the hoof. "And many happy returns to you again, Miss Salty!"
Sadaka trots through the square, smiling cheerily. She didn't really understand /why/ everypony was out and about and the town was all decorated and everything — hadn't there just been one holiday? Now it was a new one? Okay, sure — but hey, it was pretty and fun and an excuse to stay out late without the town being all… quiet and lonely and kiiiiinda creepy. Being able to stay up 'til whenever she really wanted normally didn't lessen the appeal of actually being /encouraged/ to stay up late.

(OOC) Snowfield: Silly Sadaka, there's a holiday every 45 days like clockwork.
(OOC) Sadaka: but there just WAS one, it hasn't been any days yet
(OOC) Snowfield: That just means it's one big holiday.

"Happy returns, everypony!" Salty replies to Jettison, settling for 'everypony' since she can't for the life of her remember /anyone's/ name this many drinks in. "What's yer resolutions? My resolution is… is… NOT TO BURN ANYTHING DOOOOWN!" This is met with a cheer — a somewhat cautious cheer, but a cheer nonetheless, by the surrounding ponies.

"HELLO!" That voice belongs to Siyana, the other little zebra filly, who has confronted Sadaka oh…two inches away from her face. "Happy New Years! How are you? I'm great! They gave me FIZZY CHOCOLATE. Do you want some? I can get you some! FIZZY CHOCOLATE." She thrusts a mug on the other zebra, which contains, indeed, some sort of strangly fizzy hot cocoa. "/It'ssogood/," she emphatically blurts.

(OOC) Sadaka: XD good resolution.
(OOC) Sadaka: also ohgod fizzy chocolate

"Somepony has to do it," Snowfield says sourly to Jettison as she takes a sip from her mug. "Aren't you lucky that you have such a connoisseur of crankiness to be the town grump? Imagine if it was somepony like Jellybean or Blackbird." She rolls her eyes at Salty's resolution for the new year and half-heartedly stomps the ground in applause when the cautious cheers go up. She doesn't see that particular resolution lasting the season.

"Ahh, you do know to darken the day so well, Snowfield…" Jetti teases back, and stomps his hooves with the others when the Mayor makes her resolution.

"Oh by the Princesses, a resolution. Hmmmm… I'm resolved to get a full working crew for my ship around, and start dredging up some of the older wrecks from the harbor!"

Sadaka jumps, rather startled by the sudden pony-in-face. "Wha… oh, hi! New Years? Is that what's going on? What's that mean, does it have something to do with all the sn-… chocolate?!" she cut herself off mid-question, ears perking. Oooh, she liked chocolate. Fizzy? Was chocolate supposed to be fizzy? Could it be? Did it matter? Not really. It's chocolate. She takes the mug happily, beaming. "Thanks!" Yay chocolate!

"We can do that for ya!" Salty cries to Jettison, toasting the air and taking another drink. Woohooo!!! And, meanwhile, since Salty is too busy being cheerfully drunk to interact with other ponies, there's another unfortunately familiar voice behind Snowfield. "I'm not grumpy enough for you?" Blackbird grins down at the wee unicorn — practically a smirk, really. He's too amused. "You know, I could fix that if you prefer."

Siyana grabs Sadaka's face in her hooves and leans in. "CHOCOLATE. Fizzy. Chocolate." And she breaks into a big grin. "Yes! It's New Years! It's the time between years! Tomorrow will start one-thousand-seven, and it'll be AWESOME. It's Spring tomorrow! And we just finished Winter Wrap-Up, and the Week of Giving, but I didn't have much to give so here have a flower." One of the many lavender sprigs around has been plucked from her saddlebags and dropped on Sadaka's head. Siyana has, perhaps, had too much fizzy chocolate. She's practically vibrating.

Speak of the devil. "You don't strike me as being particularly grumpy, no," Snowfield says with a tilt of her head towards Blackbird. "I imagine it has something to do with that whole schoolteacher… thing… you have going on." She gestures vaguely with her mug of cider. "It just wouldn't suit you. Perhaps if you went the mad alchemist route instead I could see it working."

Jettison smiles a bit more, and takes up a mug of cider for his own, sipping slowly from it. He sighs, rolling a hoof around a bit in the dirk. So much partying /was/ tiring however, and it looked like he was about to drop off any moment

Sadaka blinks, ears perking up a bit as she peeked up at the flower, chocolate momentarily forgotten. "For… f-for me?" she asked sheepishly, blushing. She couldn't remember ever having been given a gift before, save for when some nice pony might stop to buy her food. For a moment she looked pleased nearly to tears. "Thank you… b-but, um… I don't have anything for you… Nopony told me we should bring presents."

"Oh! That's okay," Siyana says cheerfully, "You can just enjoy the fizzy chocolate! And you smiled, so that's nice! Hey! We should hang out. What do you like to do? Do you have hobbies? Do you have a resolution?!" Yeah. Way too much sugar.

Blackbird grins at Snowfield. "Ah, but see, you don't know what I do in my spare time. I could be a mad alchemist. A school teacher does not necessarily a sane pony make." He sits down beside her, apparently not going away anytime soon. Ugh.

(OOC) Snowfield hums, "Last Friday night, ponies danced on tabletops, and we took too many shots~"
(OOC) Salty XD

"It doesn't make you sane, but it does preclude you from being too hateful of a pony," Snowfield says as she takes another swig from her mug. "At least if what I've heard the foals in town say is true, anyway." Perhaps the drink is starting to get to her for she offers the mug to the schoolteacher and asks, "Care for a drink? You seem far too lucid for someone celebrating." She neglects to mention that her rotgut is probably not suitable for equine consumption.

(OOC) Snowfield is probably the only pony for miles who drinks this trash for the taste.
(OOC) Salty XD

Sadaka smiles happily over at her, nodding a bit and reaching to tuck the flower behind one ear for safekeeping, not wanting to risk losing it. "Hobbies? Well… um… I dunno, I explore sometimes. And Mr. Purple Prose is teaching me stuff! Like how to read and things." She sipped at the chocolate, ears perking up happily as she took a longer sip, licking her lips. "What's a resolution?"

(OOC) Snowfield: It's the end. +_+

Blackbird lifts a brow at the drink and takes it, though he side-eyes Snowfield. "Don't believe everything you hear. I'm actually very mean. They just /think/ I'm nice." He takes a drink and goes very still, aside from his widening eyes, as he tries to choke it down without being too obvious about it. At last, he makes a relieved sound and passes it back, an uncertain grimace of a smile on his face. "Uh — th… thanks."

Siyana beams brightly. "I LOVE to explore! I get in trouble about it sometimes… but I love exploring. We should explore together! I know a cool cave. And a resolution is like… is like… a promise! For what you're gonna do next year."

Snowfield watches Blackbird's reaction carefully as he drinks the terrible cider, taking the mug back quietly. "You're remarkably skilled at supressing your gag reflex," she says matter-of-factly before taking another swig for herself. "So how does a crazed inventor wind up teaching fillies and colts what makes the sun come up, anyway?"

Jettison has disconnected.
Sadaka blinks and nods, thinking for a long moment. "Hm. Well… I… don't know. It'd be neat to find a good roof for my house. Or find out more about this 'school' thing Mr. Purple Prose keeps talking about." She tilts an ear, taking another sip of her drink. What else could she do? Go see the docks without being scared. Or try and find out more about the ship that'd brought her here. Or… hm. "I dunno, I'll have to think about it, I guess!"

Blackbird gives Snowfield a somewhat strained smile at her 'compliment' before clearing his throat. "Yes, well. I have drunk a lot of foul concoctions in my time. Mad scientists tend to do that." He winks, and shrugs. "Passion for knowledge can easily translate to a passion for passing that knowledge on. I don't always know if it gets through, but y'know. So it goes. Siyana over there is one of my students. She comes and goes with the Destiny but when she's in town, she's usually in class."

And, hearing that, Siyana whips around, perked all up. "What? Oh! Mister Blackbird!" She beams, and then turns and grabs Sadaka by the ear, dragging her that way. "Come meet my teacher! He's really nice!"

(OOC) Snowfield yeeees, make /all/ the ponies uncomfortable.

This is getting… interesting. Snowfield is not entirely sure she likes the way small children are gathering around Blackbird. The last thing she needs is ponies assuming that she's one of his students, as if she doesn't get enough of that already whenever she meets someone new. "I can only imagine what manner of foul brew you craft in your idle hours, Blackbird," she says while taking a sip of her own noxious concoction. "Both of these are your students, then?"

Sadaka squeaks and stumbles along after her, trying to hold onto her mug at the same time. "Oh, uh, okay! I like meeting new ponies." She blinked up at the two, smiling. "Oh! Hi, Ms. Snowfield!" Whether or not Snowfield would remember /her/ was questionable, but Sadaka had seen the unicorn mare a few times, coming and going from the forest.

"Terrible stuff," Blackbird concedes with a grin, though the question gets a flick of an ear. "Nnnno, I just know the one. Hello, kids. Who's this you brought with you, Siyana?" The zebra beams brightly, and bounces at Blackbird. "This is Sadaka! She lives in a tree!" Blackbird blinks. "A tree?"

(OOC) Sadaka: not inaccurate! XD

Snowfield looks between Siyana and Sadaka curiously, listening to the one zebra filly tell tale of the other. "That sounds legitimate," she says from over the rum of her mug, paying particular attention to the one of them who appears to know her. "Sadaka, is it? I don't recall being introduced to you."

(OOC) Snowfield http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_luzb785C5m1r3k1m8o1_500.png
(OOC) Salty XD

Sadaka blushes faintly, shrugging. "Well, it's sorta… half a tree. Ish." She looks up at Snowfield. "I've seen you come out of the forest a few times! Do you live out there? I've never been in very far…"

"Errr." Blackbird slides a look at Snowfield, the other adult in this situation. Adult enough anyway. Then back at Sadaka. "You live by the forest in half of a tree? With your parents?" he asks carefully.

"Nope! Sadaka doesn't have parents! She can do whatever she wants!" Siyana is quite thrilled with this idea. Not that her dad puts too many restrictions on her or anything, but ship life does come with its share of chores and responsibilities.

(OOC) Sadaka: XD I like how the adult's like 'um… okay, wait, what now?' and the other kid's like 'isn't it so /awesome/?!'
(OOC) Salty XD XD
(OOC) Snowfield is an adult and sees no problem with this situation.

Snowfield glances back at Blackbird, eyebrows lifted as if to say 'What do you expect ME to do?' She turns back to the fillies. "Is that a fact?" she asks noncommitally, wondering if the girl is an orphan or a runaway. "You could say that. I usually keep to the forest this time of year."

Sadaka blushes a bit deeper, tilting an ear. "Well, I… don't know where my parents are. I don't /think/ they're in town… nopony's told me about them, and I can't find any who's my family." She glances down sheepishly, looking a bit awkward and taking a long drink from her mug to try and buy a little time to collect herself. "But it's a nice tree! It's pretty dry an' I found some big leaves an' made a curtain an' a bed an' stuff…" She looked over at Snowfield, nodding. "Don't'cha mind it being so cold at night? I guess it's warmer now, all the snow's gone…"

Blackbird gives Snowfield another look, that says something like 'Well do /SOMETHING/! I don't know what!!' But he's still focused a little wide-eyed on Sadaka. A hoof comes up to rub at his mane nervously. "Well this puts a bit of a damper on festivities," he mutters to himself, before he gives the zebra filly as warm and reassuring a smile as he can manage. He actually isn't half-bad at it, despite the growing worry knotting at the corners. "So you don't actually know your family then? Are you lost?"

Siyana bounces and drapes her forehooves around Sadaka's neck. "Oh! Oh! We should have a sleepover! And we can go hunt for the ghost! And it'll be so much FUN!"

"The ghost?" Blackbird echoes, confused.

(OOC) Sadaka: yeah, Snowfield, be useful. You're the eldest here, aren't you? :P
(OOC) Snowfield: More children should be self-sufficient members of society like Sadaka. It builds character.
(OOC) Salty snrks XD

"It's not," Snowfield says curtly. "Warmer, that is. It's always freezing in the Wintersong Forest once you go deep enough." She exchanges another look with Blackbird, this one having a bit of a 'Whatever' vibe. "Only pretty dry? Perhaps you should find some wider fronds to cover the top of it, or salvage some driftwood from the coast."

Sadaka shrugs. "Well… no, I don't think so. I mean, I'm here. I know where I am, sorta. I dunno, the ship that brought me here left, I guess… and I sorta like it here, so it's okay. I don't really… know where I was before the ship…" she frowned faintly, then shrugged again. "But I'm here now." She casts a glance over at Snowfield. "I've been looking for bigger leaves, but… I… don't really like goin' down by the water."

She blinks and smiles over at Siyana, perking up at the idea. "A sleepover? I've never done that before!"

"Uhhh." Blackbird just kind of stares. He may spend most of his days surrounded by children, but he's got no experience with protective services. He grimaces, rubbing his mane a little harder now in thought, which causes it to stick up at all sorts of crazy angles. "Sadaka, I think that perhaps you should stay in a house for now. And this week, we're going to go look into where your parents are, okay?"

Siyana pouts. "Aw, Mister Blackbird, but her tree is /really cool/. I mean, I bet it is. I haven't been there personally. But it's probably awesome!"

(OOC) Sadaka: It's the coolest tree.
(OOC) Salty XD
(OOC) Sadaka: all leafy and tree-like.
(OOC) Snowfield: more like bald and stump-like
(OOC) Snowfield: THIS STUMP IS REALLY REALLY BALD
(OOC) Sadaka: Why you gotta make the tree feel bad about itself?
(OOC) Snowfield: Trees don't feel, no matter what lies Hayseed might have told you.
(OOC) Salty snrrrrk

"Neither do I," Snowfield says with a dismissive wave of her mug, which is sufficiently drained that nothing splashes out with the gesture. "The ocean is a wicked mistress, it defies control and is beholden only to its own whims. That's what makes it all the more important that you should it you mean business, lest it be that which controls you."

The white unicorn glances at Blackbird as the stallion tries to Do The Right Thing. "She came by ship, and that ship left," she reminds the teacher before peering into the depths of her mug. "Hmm, I've run out of cider. Just as well, I think I've put in enough of an appearance to ward off any overly concerned ponies. Shall I leave the fillies to you then, Blackbird?" Snowfield doesn't wait for a response before raising her mug slightly towards Sadaka and Siyana in farewell and beginning to wander off.

Sadaka blinks up at Blackbird. "Well… Okay, I guess, but I don't have a house, I've just got a tree." She blushed faintly at Snowfield's comment, glancing down; really, she didn't think she'd had parents on the ship either. She remembered some of the sailors; only one had been striped like her and she was pretty sure they hadn't been related. "Though, uh… it'd be neat to find my parents… if I've got any." She looked over at Siyana, smiling. "I can show you sometime."

Watching Snowfield go with a bit of desperation and floundering, Blackbird shifts his hooves and turns back to the fillies at hand. Er, hoof. "Er. Well… I, uh have a house, of sorts," he says uncertainly, but then he points to Siyana. "And she lives on the ship with lots of other zebras. Maybe Mayani would take you in. Er, not that you /can't/ stay with me, or anything, it's just — well, I have equipment, and I don't want anything to happen to youuuu…Sadaka, was it? Right? Okay…" Closing his eyes, he tries to think, to sort it all out, but it's a little hard with that buzzing squeal of panic in his brain. "Most everyone will be indisposed today… so, uh, how about, just for tonight you can stay on my couch, and tomorrow we'll see if we can't get you situated in a better place, okay? It's no tree stump, but it's… dry, and warm, and someone will feed you. Okay?"

Siyana bounced on her hooves a few times. "OH, YES. I will ask my dad. You can stay with us! Except he is very drunk right now? So maybe later. But maybe now is the /best/ time to ask! Oh, and I'd have to ask the Captain. How do you feel about being a pirate?"

Sadaka smiles faintly, tilting an ear thoughtfully. "Well… okay. If you say so, Mr. Blackbird." She blinked over at Siyana. "What's a pirate? Are they like sailors? I wasn't too good at being a sailor, but I guess I was kinda sick then… maybe I'll get better at it."

"…Yeah, okay Mayani's a bad choice," Blackbird murmurs. "Seasick, itinerant children, want to keep that number as low as we can… Okay. Uh, yes." Smiling a little too brightly, he points at the feast table. "How about we get some food, and some drink, and— and Siyana, you can come too, and— keep her company or something when we get back to the house, because I … have to call some ponies. Okay? Okay."

"Okay!"

"Okay. Let's go." And with that, the frazzled inventor-teacher gets up from his seat to lead his new charge and her friend to get some food. While it may be common in pony society for the village to raise the child, that doesn't mean everyone's fit to be a parent. And Blackbird's not sure he's up to the task, not even for a little bit.

But hey, it's a new year. Anything could happen.