All In Vane
IC date: Summer 19, 1007
OOC date: July 9, 2012
PCs: Fidget, Mad-Mare, Mwai, Polaris, Salty, Snowfield

It's a fine summer evening, with lovely warm air and the sun's set into a pleasant twilight. Everything is quite nice… except for the loud mayoral voice yammering at her assistant. Poor Polaris. "And then — and then we should probably get some balloons ordered for the Midsummer Bash. Can we fill them with rum? Can we have water balloons, but with /rum/? Oh my god, we must. Make it happen!" The green unicorn seems, so far, perfectly fine and dandy, thank you very much. And quite alive. Hm.

Walking a few steps behind the mayor, Polaris has the long-suffering look of someone who's known Salty for a /long/ time. The teenage palomino nods and mutters along with canned answers of, "Yes ma'am" and "No ma'am" and "That would kill everyone, ma'am". Currently, he's saying with as much patience as he can muster, "I don't think rum balloons would be a good idea, ma'am. There will be open flames there."

Mwai decides that there are advantages to having Salty in charge of a town after all.

"All the better, then!" Salty struts cheerfully. "We could make fireworks! Ooh oh, how much would it be to get that griffon guild to make another firework display? Like last year?" Last year, when it exploded half the town (again).

"Off the top of my head?" Polaris says with a sigh, eyes turning skyward, "Probably at least double. You know, since we set the griffon caravan on fire last time."

A fine summer evening indeed…

And yet! On this fine summer's eve, there be cloaked ponies attempting to be generally inconspicuous among the other harbor residents walking the streets. For at least half the day, this cloaked figure's been trailing Salty, in one way or another, because… Because this wasn't /right/. The cloaked figure, known to others as the Mad Mare, or Maddie, was promised results, darnit! The mayor wasn't meant to survive until morning, let alone the next night!

Thus do mad blue eyes watch the chaotic mayor, and her talk of rum-filled balloons. Whilst musing about how unfair life actually is. So unfair.

"Oh. Well, get on that, Polaris. Bargain them down, wouldja?" Salty ponders. Meanwhile, unnoticed by her, a pair of ponies on the street are juggling flaming swords back and forth, and Salty's headed right for it. Surely she'll be skewered to death!

Siiiigh. "Yes, ma'am. I'll see how much jerky we have left."

Following behind Salty, Polaris' thoughts turn inwards. Calculating expenditures, estimating bribes, planning out the volunteer fire department's schedules… So much to do when Salty gets around fire. … Fire? He looks up just in time to see Salty walking directly into the path of those flaming swords, and he squeaks loudly. "Ma'am!"

Snowfield is in town today for reasons best left unspoken. Reasons currently hijacked by a couple of ponies juggling flaming swords. She is mildly impressed by their feat of hoof dexterity as she watches from a safe distance, wondering what the blades have been coated with to keep them burning so steadily like that.

It's like watching a bad horror movie. Or maybe a grim comedy. One of those 'accidents happen' flicks where you have to keep guessing how the victims are gonna get it. Except there's only one victim, and the movie's been going on for /hours/. There's just a couple more hours left until it's been a full day since Maddie's wish!

She slinks, through shadows and between ponies, the Mad Mare does, thinking such /evil dark thoughts/ at the mayor. Like she could get her way and make a flaming sword /drop/ just by staring at it. If this keeps up she'll have to resort to Plan B. And demand a darn refund from that gypsy.

Salty, however, blunders on obliviously, right until Polaris squeaks a warning. She turns as she walks. "What is it now, Polaris?" The very act of turning her head puts her out of harm's way, as they spin harmlessly past, only a hair's breadth from her body. She walks out of radius of fire without a single scratch, or even a single /clue/, while the juggling ponies gawp and catch the swords. Oh god, they almost stabbed someone. They almost stabbed the mayor!

Of course, now there seems to be some moving ponies straining to push a huge cart up the nearby steep hill. HNNGH.

Polaris is left gawping in wide-eyed horror when the mayor goes right through those swords… and he gives another squeak of relieved amazement when she just keeps going, obliviously. He puts a hoof over his heart, taking a deep breath.

Snowfield catches sight of the mayor bumbling into danger just as it's too late to say anything to warn her of the imminent danger! Luckily, her second banana is there to keep Salty's head where it belongs. Cutting it that close… it can't be mere luck, can it? She must know what she's doing, must be hyper-aware of her surroundings to successfully be so apparently oblivious. Putting on airs to keep everyone off their guard.

"She has to be the most competant pony in town," the forest witch murmurs as she takes a few steps forward to keep an eye on Salty's progress. "There's no other reasonable explanation."

Maddie grits her teeth. /So close!/ That has to be at least the twentieth close call today! It's so frustrating how purely lucky this unicorn is. That'd just be her luck if her wish didn't even make it to the Mayor, and hit some other poor pony instead. The very thought makes her gag a little. Hurk.

Salty keeps walking, yammering off more details, and more hare-brained idiotic ideas. A workerpony nearby shakes a malfunctioning nailgun, and it shoots out a nail that whizzes over her head. A chunk of cornice falls off a nearby building with a WHOMP just after she passes it. And finally, one of the mover ponies trips and falls flat, as the cart goes whizzing down the hill, this time headed straight for her. There's no way she could escape this one. Honestly.

Mwai mutters under his breath at powers unseen. "Laying it on a little THICK, aren't we?"

… Oh wait, CRAP! "Ma'am!" he squeaks again, hooves scrabbling in the dirt as he tries urgently to catch up with her. "Ma'am! Ma'am! SALTY!!" he yells… And she doesn't even hear him. How can she not hear him? She just keeps sauntering forward… right past the path of the careening cart, the wheel just barely brushing her tail.

Unlucky Polaris slams on the brakes, realizing just how close he is to—WHAM! The cart sideswipes the Mayor's aide, sending him toppling over and sliding on his back along the street. His eyes roll in his head, and birdies fly around his head along with the burst of scattering papers from his saddlebags. "Ma'aaaaam… preeeetty coloooors…"

Snowfield's brow quirks as she watches Salty narrowly avoid several different kinds of violent ends. This can't be a coincidence. Perhaps it could be early manifestations of the Nabber's Curse again? "Oh, there goes the aide," she comments as Polaris gets spun around by the out of control cart. She trots forward to poke the poor colt in the ribs with her hoof. "Hey, you, has Salty touched anything she shouldn't have recently? Encountered any strange ponies? Eaten gifts from mysterious suitors?" She speaks in a tone of utmost seriousness.

"Oh COME ON!" the Mad Mare blurts out, immediately clapping a hoof to her mouth! She slinks back towards one of the nearby alleyways to duck into. The fates are just teasing her now. Horrible, horrible fates. /Horrible/.

"Eaten suits?" Polaris mumbles, head still spinning, "Nooo… Miss Salty only has a taste for flannel…"

"…that is more than I ever wanted to know," Snowfield deadpans.

That gets Salty's attention! She whirls around and blinks. "Oh! Polaris, sheesh! Watch where you're going, kid! You're liable to get hurt!" She trots back to him to try and help him up, though there's a small crowd of nearby ponies also attending him in panic. And Snowfield.

"I've done no such thing," Salty scoffs. "I've just been doing the same ol', same ol'. C'mon, Polaris, up and at 'em." She kicks her poor aide, which is apparently all it means to 'help him up,' and then struts onward toward a banana peel. Which she neatly misses. Some foals playing marbles take their turn, and a single marble rolls out…


…and her hoof comes straight down on it. The mayor yelps and slips, stumbling backward, only to slip on the peel and go skidding forward. She hits her head on a bucket on a nearby stall, which sends it flying up into the air to hit a bird, which goes careening with a frantic squawk into a weather vain, which arcs magnificently into the air and…

…slams straight down, arrow-first, into the hapless, dazed mayor. It was a quick and painless death, even if it wasn't as…peaceful…as Manyara had intended. (Nothing ever is, with Salty.)

Lorelei has partially disconnected.

Polaris groans, the birdies over his head disappearing in a flash of gut pain, and he pushes up to his feet. "Okay, okay I'm up, I'm fine, I'm…" The arrow comes down, and Polaris just blinks for a moment at the sight of Salty laying on the ground, a huge cock stuck in her back. "Fine?"

From the alleyway, Maddie can only stare. No sooner does she cry out at the complete injustice of the world's most lucky mare than it…happens. Just like that. Like a well practiced comedy routine ending in a perfect slapstick demise. That was…


And so worth the wait. In fact, she can't stop staring now that it's happened. Wide blue eyes peering from under her hood at the image of Salty, fallen to a weather vain of all things. Where's a photographer when she needs one?

And yet, the more she stares at this picturesque ending for the Dread Mayor Salty, the more she has this….feeling. Her brow knits curiously. The more she thinks about it, the more it becomes apparent that this wasn't /nearly/ as satisfying as it should have been.

With a grim sigh, Mwai trots up to Salty's corpse. He sits down beside her and whispers into her ear. "You are so lucky the world is boring without you. You want the RED BOOK on the dias. You're always the last one when you're in the room, so make sure you flip to the FIRST PAGE without any ink. Make sure you write quickly, you only get about half an hour…"

Salty is dead. Very, very dead.


"… Ma'am?" Polaris pushes himself to his feet, moving slowly towards the ex-mayor's body. His eyes are wide, brow furrowed in a disbelieving stare. "Captain Mwai, what're you… is she…" He can't stop staring at the steel arrow stabbed right through her spine. "Is she okay?"

Snowfield goes back to watching Salty's progress through town, avoiding dangers both deadly and mundane without a care in the world. Then she slips on a stray marble. "Pfft, figures," the little unicorn says as she watches the mayor stumble backwards, slip on a banana peel and knock herself out on a darn bucket. She shakes her head and turns to walk away as the sounds of chaos continue behind her. Birds squawking, metal creaking, a dull thud, everything going strangely quiet with the occasional surprised gasp as punctuation.

She pauses. /That's/ not a chaotic sound. She turns around again to see Polaris staring dazedly at Salty on the ground, some weird zebra in a festive hat whispering to her, a growing pool of blood, a weather vane in her…

…in her…

"…aaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Snowfield shouts. She doesn't even stop to think as she charges straight at the mayor, jumping onto Polaris' back and kicking off of it to clear the distance in a single bound. "Out of the way! OUT OF THE WAY! Oh Celestia, oh Celestia, oh Celestia!" She stamps her hooves in agitation as she circles the body.

"AAAAAA!" Polaris screams when some /loud/ thing leaps off him, and he leaps backwards, sending out another cloud of fluttering papers. "What what what oh Celestia what?? Is, what, it she what you??" Polaris dances up close to Snowfield's stamping, frantically prancing in place. "What she it dead not what how this even blood WHAT??"

Maddie struggles to her hooves, the shock of the moment, /her/ moment of triumph (though nopony quite knows this yet), starting to wear off. She has so much to do! So much to prepare! Of course most of it is being prepared already, but that's besides the point! Yet she can't quite take her gaze away from the sight. Not even when Snowfield comes charging in.

What? The snow witch?

…Great. Now Maddie has to stay. That'd be a great way to ruin her glorious moment, having some bloody miracle happen to magically save her prey. Blue eyes narrow at the small unicorn. Oh how she hates unicorns… Hates them. And zebras. So much hatred! So much that she bucks the nearest wall with a metal leg, out of reflex. Which is only odd since metal legs have no reflexes.

"What in the blue blazes just happened?"

That would be the voice that Mad hears. Belonging to the ghost that Mad sees, of a very bewildered Salty blinking down at her body. The ghost kicks her skewered body — or tries to, but given that she's pretty much incorporeal, she can only nudge it slightly. (Did the body just twitch? IS SHE ALIVE? No.)

"…Oh fer the love of— I'm dead, aren't I? Great. Okay. Thanks, Mwai — good idea. That's not creepy at all." She snorts, and leans in to poke incorporeally at the weather vane. "Sure hope this thing isn't a deal breaker, snapped through my spine and all. But I'll do just what you said, red book and all, as soon as the Bone Mistress comes and gets me." She stomps around a little in irritation, and looks around expectantly… but no one's come to usher her away. "…That's supposed to be now, right?" she adds wryly, to no one in particular. "…This doesn't bode well."

Mwai mutters, "And also, don't go yammering about it out loud this close to you know who showing up…"

Snowfield doesn't notice Maddie whatsoever, too busy is she panicking over the fact that somepony just died right in front of her. Even if it /is/ Salty. She continues trotting in place with agitation when she gets a brilliant idea. /Manyara!/ Obviously the Wishmaster will have something handy that can, uh, unsnap spines? The heck if Snowfield knows! But it's worth a shot!

"Move!" the unicorn shouts, mostly to Mwai, as her horn blazes to life. An icy glow surrounds the body of the late mayor as it is picked up, weather vane and all.

"What? No! What? What are you… what? NO!" Polaris blathers, still prancing in place as Snowfield picks up Salty's dead body, his eyes wide in horror and bottom lip quivering pitifully. "You can't move the body! You… this… THIS WASN'T IN MY DAY PLANNER!!"

Normally, Maddie might've gone back into 'cloaked mode', to follow Snowfield stealing Salty's bloody corpse away. But she's busy being startled by the all too familiar voice of the ex-Mayor in the air. "Whahuhuzzah!?"

Pressing herself against the nearest alleyway wall, she stares, /stares/ at where Salty's corpse was, and where the mayor's ghost currently /is/, a mask of complete confusion covering her expression. What. Is. This? Dead pony ghosts don't appear! This isn't part of the plan! Why can't anything go according to plan!?

All she can do now is quietly turn around and hope her psychotic episode included hallucinations tonight…

Snowfield whirls around to glare at Polaris, her irises lost in the glow of her eyes as adrenaline and magic combine in the tiny unicorn. "BUCK YOUR DAY PLANNER!" she shouts at the secretary before bolting off down main street towards the town entrance. Hopefully there aren't any little colts or fillies staring out their windows at the commotion and seeing the bloodied corpse of the mayor being floated through the air.

Polaris GASPS! Buck…the Day Planner?? Well now, /two/ completely unbelievable things have happened today. He's in so much shock, that he doesn't bolt after her until she's almost out of sight. "W … WAIT!!"

"Welp." Salty watches Snowfield run off with her body, brow piqued in interest. "I'd never have pegged her for a body-stealer, but hey! You think you know somepony." She starts trotting after, more irritated than freaked out or panicky or existentializing, before something glints in the sunlight and catches her eye: somepony's metal leg. Which belongs to someone staring right at her. Mad, in fact. "Oh, great. Queen Syndicopout didn't die? HEY. TAKE A PICTURE, IT'LL LAST LONGER." Not that she actually /expects/ Maddie to hear her, or actually be seeing her. But she's a little ticked at dying right now.

Fidget and her gaggle of foals stop dead in th street. The Dread grump Snowfield causing to all come screeching to a halt as they ran down the street. Then the body. So many stares. Confused shocked stares of so many foals. Their look to one another for an explanation a few tearing up.

"Oh my Celestia Snowfield finally killed Salty!" Fidget points and hoof and her jaw drops. All the kids scream in terror and split.

Maddie freezes! Which was probably a huge mistake, both in reacting to a likely hallucination brought on by possible heatstroke or mental issues, perhaps even alcohol related despite not having had..much to drink all day. Nontheless, she stalled, and even dared to glance back over her shoulder in mild panic.

Then she bolts straight down the alleyway. The /last/ thing she needs right now is her arch-rival haunting her /now/!

Mwai watches the grisly spectacle with the sort of detached nonchalance that only the undead can have towards a fresh corpse. "This is probably the best shot I'll get at that diamond liquer she keeps in the back bookcase."

Salty blinks as Maddie reacts to her words… and then a slow grin crosses her face as she gallops after. "Oh! Oh ho! You can see me, can you? And hear me? Hahahahaha, YES. Suddenly this is all worth it!" She races after the hapless mobster, cackling loudly. "You can't run fast enough, Mad Mare!"

She probably makes an awful racket, the Mad Mare's metal legs sparking off the cobblestone walkways. "Go away! You're dead! I didn't wish for a ghost! You're /DEAD/! Ahhhhhhhh!"

Good thing Salty's corpse was such a wonderful distraction, or else somepony might've noticed Maddie's quick trip out of town. Chased by the specter of her choices.