A Nightmarish Warning
IC date: Autumn 21, 1007
OOC date: October 10, 2012
PCs: Manyara, Ruby-Blossom, Sadaka, Sky-Sparkler, Snowfield, Solar-Wind, Winter-Solstice
NPCs: Professor-Redmane, Heatsink
GM: Applejack

Ruby-Blossom can be found lounging on a rafter (does the base have those?) - the mare glancing down at the sleeping solar. "Glad he's feeling better." she mummers before rolling over to look at well, one of the boring walls; admittedly the last few days she's kept herself very busy - repairing damaged thermal suits for the group, and even cobbling together a small shrine for Celestia as the base didn't seem to have anything more than mural or the like. At the moment she really hasn't found anything to do.

Solar-Wind isn't really asleep, he's performing one of Ruby's "relax medations' in attempt to keep himself level

Yet another cold, cold 'night' in the Tundra. It's been five days since the big magical explosion that transposed many a pony out of place. Five days for ponies used to more tropical and not-so-chilly climes to adjust to their new 'home'. For some the adjustment is going better than others.

This is noticed by many of the local ponies, whom despite their generally cautious and somewhat pessimistic nature have still shown a friendly side to them, accepting the newcomers as they would any endangered pony. This is true for the Professor most of all, being the closest thing to a 'leader' this particular outpost has, who has done his best to give duties to the new ponies, if not all the advice he can.

Tonight though, Professor Redmane has set himself up in the meeting room. Patient, yet pensive, the old labcoat wearing pony seems inclined to want to talk to some of the new ponies about something he's deemed important. So he's sent word out, sending some of the base-locals to find who they can, to let them know there is a meeting to be had…

Luckily a couple of the ponies are already here! So the message won't have far to travel.

Ruby-Blossom arrives in a rather befitting fashion unnoticed; the mare likely sitting in the room for several minutes before being noticed by Redmane or any ponies that arrived before her! The mare appears quite comfortable in her chosen spot by the time she's noticed offering Redmane a little wave in greeting.

Solar-Wind 's big head lifts and swings around hearing someone make said announccement, he lifts himself up, shakes his head hard to clear his creeping thoughts and that general feeling of (walls closing in on him) and trots over to join up with Ruby where he promptly sits down .

Snowfield has kept to herself for just about the entire time since she arrived with the others in this forsaken realm. She's been spending an inordinate amount of time outside, much to the chagrin of the ponies on watch duty. It's dangerous to go outside alone even in the best of times, but every day for hours at a time with no snow suit? The mare must be crazy. Her trips into the wastes have been even longer ever since Blackbird and Sadaka were dragged in, as if she doesn't want to be anywhere near the two.

Through an amazing coincidence, though, the forest witch happened to be in the Base when the call went out for dimensionally challenged ponies to assemble for a meeting. She is, however, not here yet.

Manyara has likewise been in and out a good bit, though not nearly so much as Snowfield, and rarely for quite so long. She has, however, left Snowfield to her own devices, finding her own paths to wander to do… whatever it is she goes out there to do. Who knows. When she's not off doing that, she's been surprisingly social around the base, chatting with anypony who seems friendly enough and asking plenty of questions, sometimes about rather inane-seeming things. Just trying to figure out their new place in the world, it would seem.

Sadaka has for the most part stuck very close to Blackbird, nursing quite a cold and seeming a bit intimidated by all the strangers. Tonight, though, Blackbird seems to be sleeping in, so it's the little zebra who noses her way into the meeting room, finding a corner to settle in shyly and rubbing at her nose with one foreleg. Sniff.

It seems Sky Sparkler seems to have gotten in hust in time! One cup of warm liquid later, she joins the other in heading to the meeting room. "So, what's up, Doc?" she asks, curious as to the intent of the meeting.

Ruby-Blossom has been particular busy after revealing the fact she was here - some ponies including Sadaka, Blackbird, and Manyara would likely be surprised to see another pony from the Harbor. Ruby spent the past few days repairing damaged//discarded thermal-suits for the group; which has allowed some of the other ponies to venture outside - of course not everypony is in the group has claimed their second-hand suits as of yet. She's cobbled together a small statue to help inspire the base occupants - busy mare.

The Professor counts quietly as ponies come, go, come again, and generally mill about or find seats. Not quite the full bunch, but that's alright. There's been a lot of new ponies lately, he's sure word will spread quick enough. He does his due diligence in greeting each new face with a smile and a nod of his head, answering Sky's question with a shrug. "I wanted to see how you're all holding up." he says, giving his glasses a nudge of adjustment with a hooftip. "If there's anything we can do to help. And then to talk. Because there is something that needs discussed…"

"But first." He sits up and gestures with both his front legs. "How are you all holding up?"

Snowfield would say something snarky about this depressing world making her ponder her own mortality but she is still not here yet.

Solar-Wind manages to keep it together though his wings do still do that flit in flit out bit, he's nervous, but he just mumbles softly, thugh well enough for anyone to hear him, "it, Its tight in here" he shakily admits, "b b but mm'holding up, t thanks to some assistance" he notes. "not used to beeing cooped up ina cave" he intones. The big pegasus is obviously not all there in his head though as he just keeps figiting trying to find something to focus on.

Ruby-Blossom places a hoof on Solar's to try and comfort the big lug. "I'm fine. Just doing what I can to help out." which has been alot all things considered. "I'd feel better if the pegasus could get out more, with proper supervision." she admits - honestly she's not comfortable letting any member of the party out without a member of the base - not like she has much say in the matter though.

Manyara smiles over at the Professor. "Oh, I think I've been holding up rather well, all things considered." Indeed, there is something slightly… strained, about that smile, but the Abada is doing her best to stay as calm and collected as ever. "You all have been very generous and friendly with us, I must say."

Ah-CHOO! Sniff. Sadaka rubs her nose again, blushing and mumbling a faint, "Sorry," for the interruption.

"Cold, mostly," Sky Sparkler says, taking another swig of the carrot-like soup broth. Really, what else is there to say. She is worried about how the others are holding up, but she's not quite ready to mention that yet. Oh, and she's getting more convinced that Horseshoe Harbor creates insanity. Or at least hates the idea of her getting any REST.

Professor Redmane nods slowly, eyeing Ruby and Solar for a moment. "It is unfortunate that you can't fly about as you please. The skies here are rightly unfriendly to your kind though. Not to mention what lurks in the clouds…" He smiles again, "Perhaps we can arrange a flying session for you soon, if nothing else." His head dips towards Ruby, too, "…I noticed the shrine. A little more color is nice to see. And thank you for your efforts with our snowsuits, too."

To Manyara and Sadaka, the Professor nods a touch more solomnly, flicking one of his ears at the sneeze. "Hmm… I do hope that cold doesn't get much worse, dear little one. Getting real medical help is…difficult without Hearth or Bonfire around. They were our medical experts." Of course they make do, but…

Then to Sky, another nod, another smile. "Unfortunate that the cold is about the only thing around here that's plentiful. Cold and darkness." He grunts, quietly, rising from his seat to study the group. "And danger. Danger is rather abundant around here too. That's what I've asked you all to come here for. I need to inform you of a coming danger, and what we need to do before it happens."

Solar-Wind shivers some though not with chill, then stabilizes at the hoof of another pony more or less stabilizing him. His head swivels about to look to Sadaka, then back to the Professor. at which time he actually stands up, and jams a firm Salute. He's still not quite his best form, but he makes a solid effort. "Sir, I am Captain Solar-Wind of the Royal Fireguard, Canterlot devision, Celestial Day, and the other, I am medically trained, and have rendered assistance, I will do my best to serve to that capacity, just need a little patience from time to time" he mentions softly "I don't do well with the tight circumstances here" he notes. "thank you for your consideration" and with that, he bows and sits back down, leaning slightly against Ruby, then looking back to Sadaka with a little smile, seeing that she at least looks better than before.

Manyara looks over at the Professor, tilting her head curiously. "Coming danger, sir? What might that be? Certainly, any way I might assist you in preparations, I shall."

Sadaka blushes and lays her ears back sheepishly. "M'okay… s'just a cold… s-sorry." She shakily returns Solar's smile, scuffing a hoof timidly.

"More trouble?" Sky Sparkler asks, as if being lost in an alien dimention, one hostile to pony life, what with both the cold and the hostile goddess… She wonders if he's talking about that approching low pressure system, which could shape up into a monster blizzard, that she's been keeping an eye on.

Ruby-Blossom waves at Sadaka - hoping to get her attention then motion the foal her way. She makes a hugging motion - openly offering to help Sadaka keep warm with friendly hugs.

"It's an unfortunate truth about our world." The Professor says, his tone taking on weary qualities to it. "There's always more danger. But this one is somewhat major to you new folk." He makes a gesture towards Sadaka. "Particularly your foals."

Once more the Professor takes his seat, his head tilted at the assorted crowd. "What do you know of Nightmare Night where you come from? Does it still exist?"

Solar-Wind "its a celebrated holliday dedicated to" he trails off, "the old version, the dark princess takes the ponies that walk at night away to their death… or something like that" he gulps, "I like the new version decidedly better. Its scary costumes, a festivle, a dedication to a certain princess that you all love to hate." he trails off looking down then up, "what is it like here?" he gulps rather hard.

Oh, look, there's Snowfield. Fashionably late to the meeting. "I know this story," she says. "A millenia ago at mid-autumn, which is what the Harbor is approaching right now, the Princess of the Moon drew the ire of the Queen of the Sun by stealing away with foals from the streets of Canterlot in the dead of night. We remember the anniversary of that event as Nightmare Night, and every mid-autumn since parents have hidden away their foals by dressing them up as monsters and other creatures of the night to keep Nightmare Moon from noticing them and stealing them away just as she did those foals so many centuries past."

The unicorn takes a seat in the meeting hall and casts her gaze towards the tunnels leading to other parts of the base. "Of course, with the Princess sealed within the Moon for so many years the true meaning of the memorial has long been lost as anything but a watered down fairy tale. Now it's just an excuse for foals to play dress-up and stuff themselves on candy."

Others know more about Nightmare Night than Sky Sparkler does, but listening to Snowfield… "Oh no, I think I know where this is going," she mutters.

It appears Ruby's invitation couldn't have come at a more opportune time considering the direction of the conversation. A hint of frown appearing on her face as she listens, and watches the Professor. "I see…" she mummers softly before glancing around the room. "So…you've some plan or the like?

Manyara nods to Snowfield. "Indeed," she agrees, though she seems a bit uneasy at the story. Perhaps not too fond of that one. "And it does still exist. It's become something of Luna - I'm sorry, Queen Moon's - holiday now, sort of as the Summer Sun Celebration is Celestia's, I suppose. A fun night for the foals, and a time for the rest of us to remember and honor those passed on to the stars."

Old pony ears twist, listening to Solar's explanation, and then to Snowfield's more detailed version, both descriptions of the holiday bringing a nod to the Professor's head. For a moment he lets his gaze get a bit misty. "That must be quite the holiday to enjoy for the little ones then, between costumes and candy, hm?"

His ears twist again, eyes resting on Sky for a moment. He nods. She probably does know. But he has to confirm it anyway, because it's just that serious. So he clears his throat, casting Manyara and Ruby a look. "It's hard to know how it began, because it's not exactly something our history books mention. Mostly because there's very few history books at all. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that here, Nightmare Night, and in fact the whole of Ghostwalk, is a time of fear and danger."

He rises for a second time, this time the Professor beginning to pace a small circle around his benchseat. "For a thousand years now, Queen Moon has dedicated this holiday to her terror. The restless souls of those slain under her reign wake up and attempt to hunt down any living pony they can see. The shadows themselves rise up in her name, ready to devour the unwary." He pauses to glance in Sadaka's direction. "Then there's Nightmare Night itself. The night the Queen goes hunting for foals. Monsoon could tell you what she does with them, but he's hopefully safe and sound in your world."

He pauses, the Professor resting a hoof on the bench. This time he's looking towards Snowfield. "…But a little game of dress-up seems to keep most ponies safe. As long as you're careful, a good costume will make the shadows and spirits pass you over. The problem is that it has to be…convincing enough."

"I'm going to assume that hiding underground for a week is out of the question," Snowfield says boredly. "And judging from how you only called the ponies who were pulled unwillingly into your world to this meeting, I'm also going to guess that you only keep enough costumes on hand from year to year for the usual population and not for vast numbers of immigrants." Her eyes focus on Redmane. "Which means we're on our own to hide from the Nightmare, doesn't it?"

"How do you mean… convincing?" Sparkler asks. She's got some old ideas, some of which may be workable, some of which may not.

Solar-Wind just stands up right then and there, "you're saying ther's no escape from this, no hiding, no trick up your sleave, no getting away from this nightmare" he asks then stops. "what if all the ponies are unconsicious during the wake of this nightmare?" he ponders aloud

Sadaka blinks and looks up, frowning. "She… hunts foals? But… but I don't have a c-costume. Papa Blackbird was gonna help me make one, but I couldn't f-figure out what to dress as, and I was g-gonna ask Siyana and D-dream and Lavender for i-ideas but they're not here, and…" Ah-choo! Sniff.

Ruby-Blossomglances towards Snowfield - Ruby eyes lingering for a moment, and then to Solar-Wind - she promptly reaches up and attempts to pull the stallion back to his seat. "I'm sure the Professor is going to give an us an idea what we can do." she says calmly althought with a hint of aggitation.

"I mean we try to look as un-ponylike as possible." Professor Redmane states. "Or at least, as un-alive as possible. The undead don't hunt their own, and the shadows are rather dense as to what they'll eat." Then the Professor squints at Snowfield.

"We keep a spare costume or two in case of emergencies." the Professor notes quietly, his lips forming a rare frown on the old stallion. "But we didn't expect ten-plus new bodies, no." He breathes a soft sigh, "And…hiding underground is what we tend to do, but that doesn't stop the Queen's magic from getting in. She owns this land now. It bends to her will. If she wanted, she could have the shadows feast all year long, but…" He shrugs. "I suppose it's like a game to her. A reminder of who's in charge, to keep ponies from getting ideas."

Once more the old Professor sits. "Needless to say, we need a few more costumes for you lot. The good news is that there's what used to be an old village nearby that we might be able to scavenge some supplies from."

The old pony lifts a hoof, making a soothing gesture towards Solar and Sadaka both. "Easy now… Costumes are our trick. They've kept most of us safe. That, and staying away from dark places whenever possible. And we'll help you make a suitable costume, we just need more supplies to do it. So I've got a mission for you folks."

Solar-Wind sits back down slowly, though only beacuse of Ruby's efforts, well mostly though the big guy is starting to do a taptaping of one hoof of his, and his wings are still doing that twitch flick in and out every so often. "I'll do my part" he murmurs

Ruby-Blossom huffs softly and leans into one hoof with her elbow on the table - clearly she has an opnion she isn't going to share in this public forum. Those Ruby eyes cast towards the professor again - clearly still listening even if a tad a huffy.

Costume as protective camoflage? That's not something Sky Sparkler has experience with… She usualy digs out one of her mother's old Wonderbolt uniforms, and goes around confusing people. But wonderbolts are both alive and ponies… She sits on her haunches, and considers.

"It's too late tonight to send you off to gather things." the old pony says, heaving a soft sigh, "And the village isn't that far away, so you should be able to get there and back in one day's time. But that's where I'd suggest you go to look for pieces. Especially around their graveyard." His head dips, slightly, "It's somewhat greusome, but costumes I know to work tend to involve cloth with old bloodstains, or other scents of the dead. Just looking the part doesn't always hide the fact that you have a heartbeat."

He glances up again, "But don't panic if you don't find anything there. We still have time to find supplies elsewhere. It's a good couple weeks at least before the beginning of that week. As long as you're ready by then, you'll be fine. That's why I bring it up now."

Manyara blinks and frowns, laying her ears back. This entire thing seems to agitate her quite a bit. "Wait. So instead of honoring your lost during the Ghost Walk… you dress up in their old trappings and hide yourselves from them?" She certainly could see the… necessity, in this case, but that didn't mean she'd have to like the idea.

Ruby-Blossom softly clicks her tongue in response to hearing the Professors plan - muttering soflty under her breath. "This is absurd." only the ponies closet to her can hear her whisper of a voice. Ruby red eyes locking onto the Professor, drilling into him from where sits - resting a cheek against one hoof. She's staring in a fashion that'd make almost any pony uncomfortable.

Naturally the Professor notices. How can one not notice someone staring daggers at them? He nods to Manyara first, looking all too grim about the task. "That's about the extent of it, yes. We don't like it any more than you seem to." Eventually he turns his gaze to Ruby, lifting a single eyebrow. "You, my dear, look like you have a question. Or a complaint. Or possibly both."

Ruby-Blossom huffily replies "We'll talk when everypony else leaves." secretive as ever it seems! "It's personal." she flat out lies - if any pony in the room took the time to get to know her they'd know this was a flat out lie.

Snowfield rolls her eyes. "I'm starting to think someone is playing games with me," she mutters. "Within weeks, weeks…" She glances at the terrified zebra foal. "I don't know what you're so scared of," she says to Sadaka. "The hero wins in this book, remember? If you don't do a good enough job tricking the monsters then someone will come and rescue you." She thinks for a few moments. "If the whole 'dressing as a zombie' thing isn't to your taste, I might be able to put something together for you."

Did someone just request solitude? Let us interfere with your plans! Winter Solstice bustles in from the Cafeteria, tromp-trompin' in with the sort of satisfied swagger one swans about with when one just ate a DELICIOUS LUNCH. There's even a bit of one of those wavy blue leaves stuck to her chin to indicate that, yes, she was eating, and she was doing it with as much of her face as she could manage. You must eat with gusto! You must show lunch who's boss!

And on her back is Jellybean, who not only got lunch, but a ride to go with it. Winter is yakking back at the foal. "… so that's when I kicked it in those and it was like, 'You haven't heard the last of me! I'm gonna tell my union on you and we're gonna throw the BIGGEST strike ever!' That's why the world needs to be on the look out for the Revenge of the Bushwoolies. It's cool, though, because I still remember the password to their secret base-" She stops as a glance reveals the Professor, TALKING to PONIES about THINGS. Staring around the room, then shutting her mouth, Winter then leans her head back and stage-whispers to Jelly. "Whoops, I think we showed up during a meeting. Stay quiet, you might spook them into not talking about the cool stuff." She makes no attempt to hide and instead starts glancing around with obvious, intense interest.

Jellybean stays quiet. He wants to hear about cool stuff too.

Winter-Solstice's interest is obviously obvious, intensely obvious and obviously intense. It is not in tents. She is intensely oblivious to whether or not she is intruding, as should be obvious.

The Professor has just finished telling a scary story! Or rather, the story of Nightmare Night, and how it still exists as a foal-eating holiday for really bad Queen ponies! Professor Redmane looks all too weary with the telling too, just thinking about Nightmare Nights gone past enough to give him a headache.

And now he's given the ponies a quest! To find costumes. From a destroyed village a quarter day's trek from the base.

Unfortunately he just finished talking. So the arrival of new ponies makes him perk his ears up. "Ahh… So that's why you were late." the Professor observes of the large mare. "I don't blame you. I prefer to eat before a meeting too." He casts about the rest of the group, "Does anybody have a..condensed version you might be willing to tell your friends here about what we just discussed?"

"Nightmare Night is coming and we need to dress up like zombies or we're all going to die," Snowfield says over her shoulder in Jellybean's direction, nevermind that she was just telling Sadaka the opposite. Snowfield is clearly the queen of mixed messages.

Sadaka blinks and peers over at Snowfield, gulping a bit but managing a shaky smile. Yeah, that's true… the good guys always win in books, even scary ones. Right? The second answer to Jellybean makes her ears droop a bit again, though. They are the good guys, right?

Jellybean engages GBWEP (Great Big Wobbly-Eyed Protocol) at Snowfield. "But I don't wanna die."

"Then tomorrow we're going to go grave-robbing and get you something to ward off the undead," Snowfield replies.

Winter-Solstice stares at the Professor. "Er, yes. Lunch. We were eating lunch. Before attending the meeting. So we wouldn't be like 'oh man quit talkin' when is it lunch time already. That is exactly what happened." Expression flat, she stares a moment longer, before sticking her tongue out, catching the bit of blue leaf stuck to her chin, and reeling it back in to much on it.

"Nah, jus' kiddin'. I totally forgot. Jelly's innocent, though, I grabbed him on the way to the cantina because I'm tired of telling all my best stories to just the salt shaker." She drops her flank down, sitting on the floor, turning her back into an incline down which Jellybean slides, but before he hits the floor, she reaches back, catches him with a forehoof, and scoops him around to set him on the floor in front of her. "Also, that sucks. Can I be the kind of zombie with bolts sticking out of its neck? I can totally even do the voice." She juts her lower jaw out and rolls her eyes up into the back of her head. "Urrrrgghhlll."

The Professor grimaces. That wasn't quite the explanation he was hoping for, but at least everyone knows what's going on now. More or less. He begins to get up from his seat. "I think I'll leave you lot to your planning. I'll send a guide to go with you, so don't worry about having to find the place on your own. Just remember, you're trying to fool magic and undead things, so your costumes have to be at least somewhat compelling." And with that, he begins to amble off towards the cafeteria. Dinner sounds awful good right about now.

Winter-Solstice turns her head to make her zombie face at the Professor as he makes his way to the cafeteria entrance behind her. "Urrrrgggggllll? No? Too growly?" She watches him go for a moment, before looking back to the room, her zombie glower replaced with a super sunny smile. "Undead! Wow! Really! This world really is a sack of rotten apples, isn't it."

Jellybean is making… faces? It looks like he's trying to make zombie faces. He's… bad at it?

Winter-Solstice sidles away from Jelly with a shudder. "So is that it, really?" she wonders, pushing to her feet. "That's what the meeting was? That's ALL they said?"

Snowfield shrugs. "It would've been longer if we didn't already know what Nightmare Night was." She turns back to Sadaka. "Stop making that face. You'll upset Blackbird if he sees you looking like that." She gives Sadaka a stern expression which will not make the zebra any more cheerful.

Ruby-Blossom slips to her hooves "I'm going to…I'm just going." she mutters before trotting out of the meeting to find someplace quiet to settle.

Winter-Solstice watches Ruby go, the perkiness positively evaporating out of her ears. "Seea, Ruby," she says, before looking about at the rest of the dwindling group.

Ruby-Blossom stops to glance back at Winny "Winny. A smile suits you best, keep that in mind you lunk." disapearing around a corner.~

Jellybean says "H-how long do we need to do it?"

Suddenly another pony! Heatsink, to be exact, grease-stained overalls and all, trotting towards the heater unit in this room to check up on it. She waves pleasantly to the assorted ponies, going about her business.

Winter-Solstice, with Ruby's encouragement, finds her cheer leak and plugs it up in time to salvage her waning smile at just sort of a little one. But hey, that's still more of a smile than the rest of everybody has. In fact Winter soon rolls her eyes and drags herself across the room. "Oh my gosh, I can't wait to get home just so everybody will stop being so GLUM all the time." She slouches a circuit around the perimeter of the room that eventually brings her up near where Heatsink is working, and reaches up to slap her on the back. "You can come with, seriously. We'll go to the beach. And we'll drink something green and fruity. There will be volleyball." She saunters back over to near the cafeteria entrance and turns a little circle.

Ruby-Blossom has disconnected.

"Oof!" Heatsink stumbles, slapped on the back! Her ears twist, as does her head, watching Winter wander. "…That sounds mighty nice. Ain't never been to a beach before. Kinda hard t'do with the snow and ice and junk." She turns back to the heater unit, squinting. "I know it can seem kinda dreary, an' dark, an' gloomy, but it ain't so bad once ya get used to it."

Winter-Solstice pops back over to Heatsink's side like whoa, suddenly there, sitting next to her, leaning in to look at her work. "I know, right? I like it! It's just like home except ten times more extreme. And I was telling others, you know, we shouldn't be THAT nasty about the place, because other ponies live here and by gum it's their world. So it can just be a vacation, right? I bet we'll figure out how to send people back and forth and everything and you can come right back here when you get sick of sand in your shorts." She stares at the heater work for a moment longer before wandering away. "It's getting close to dinner time, I guess I'll go see what's on the menu tonight."

Sadaka blinks and blushes, gulping a bit. "S-sorry. …I'm making a face?" She tilts her head quizzically.

Jellybean says "I don't think you were," trotting over to join Sadaka. "Maybe you want to practice with me? Zombies make all kinds of faces."

"She absolutely was," Snowfield says to Jellybean with that same sternness. "With her ears down and her eyes on the ground. That's my face, you know. You don't want to grow up to be like me, do you? I think Blackbird would rather you grew up like him, always upbeat and helping out everypony instead of sulking."

Clang, clang! Heatsink has a hammer, bopping the heater in a couple chosen places, ear cocked to Winter's words. Then she puts the hammer away and turns around. "Can't really say boo to that, but a vacation from all this would sure be nice." Then she rears back, and WHOMP! Bucks the heater a swift and hard kick! The machine groans a metallic noise, the inner fire suddenly lighting up again, allowing a warmth to begin radiating out from the device.

The orange mechanic turns around to look at her handiwork, nods once, and starts to trot off after Winter. "Prob'ly the same stuff we had yesterday. Dang plant's about all that grows 'round these parts. Believe me, we've tried!" She pauses near all the foals though, glancing at one 'bad' face to another.

Sadaka looks over at Jellybean. "Zombies make faces? I d-dunno much about zombies." Ah-choo! Again. She rubs at her nose, sniffling. And then sneezes again. Blurgh. "I th-think I saw a ponygeist o-once, though."

Jellybean nods. "I remember that one. But come on, try with me. I think it makes it less scary."

Snowfield looks between Jellybean and Sadaka with a frown tugging at the corners of her mouth. "You know, sometimes zombies lose body parts. You could pass as one without a jaw if you stuck your tongue out like this." She lets her tongue loll out of her mouth and goes "Bleeeeaaaah." It is a very un-Snowfield-like expression.

Jellybean lets out a sudden yelp and falls over backwards. "DON'T EAT ME! I'll be good, I promise!"

Sadaka blinks over at Snowfield, unable to keep from giggling a bit. She tries to mimic the expression, though it's only partially effective considering she's giggling.

Snowfield frowns at the little pegasus. "This is serious business, Jellybean. If you're going to survive, you need to give me your best 'bleah'. Right now." Sadaka is given a thoughtful expression. "It's a start, but you need to loosen your mouth up a bit. You keep smiling and it's making your dimples stand out."

Jellybean swallows nervously, sits back up and tries to calm down. Then: "Bleah."

Snowfield raises her forelegs into the air and waves them around. "Bleeeaaaaah!"

Okay it's really hard not to giggle at this. Why is it so hard not to giggle at this? Sadaka takes a deep breath — paused for a moment by another sneeze — and tries to steady herself before attempting her own "Bleeeaaah," doing her best not to giggle again.

Jellybean raises his hooves. Lowers them. Raises them again. "B-bleeeeh?"

"You need more practice," the little unicorn says. "Sadala, I expect you to practice in front of a mirror until you can do it without giggling like Jellybean. I'll check on your progress tomorrow." Snowfield gives Jellybean a disappointed look. "I've been more frightened by the stuff Blackbird left in the back of his fridge too long. Just… work on your zombie shuffle or something."

Jellybean hangs his head, scuffing a hoof. "I can too be scary," he mumbles.

Sadaka blinks. "Practice? Uh, o-okay… r-right." Scary zombie face. She can do this. She will be a truly terrifying tiny zombie zebra.

"Yes, practice. Meet me back here tomorrow night and I'll assess your progress." Snowfield pauses and realizes how silly it is to try to keep track of time in terms of days and nights. "…in twenty-four hours," she corrects.

Jellybean thinks. "I'm not sure I can keep track of that many hours."

The little zebra nods. "Okay, M-ms. Snowfield… I think, um, I think M-mr. Blackbird has a w-way to keep track, maybe." She looked over at Jellybean. "I c-can try and tell you wh-when."

Jellybean nodnods. "That sounds okay. In the meantime," he says, yawning hugely, "I'm getting sleepy. I think I'm gonna take a nap."

"Sleep well," Snowfield says in a level tone of voice that implies she's saying it because it's the appropriate thing to say and not because she actually means it. This whole 'actively socializing' thing is still a new concept to the mare.

Jellybean nodnods, stretching. "G'night everypony." Sadaka gets a sleepy but playful bump as he leaves the room: Snowfield, meanwhile, goes miraculously unmolested.

Sadaka smiles over at him. "G'night… I, uh, b-better get back to Papa B-blackbird, too. He wants me resting 'til I s-stop sneezing so much."