All These Ponies Are Crazy
IC date: Spring 73, 1007
OOC date: June 2, 2012
PCs: Blackbird, Rusty-Gears, Gamble

Not too long after the pair of Harbor ponies exit the big iron beast of a Syndicolt flagship, the gloominess has only intensified. It's now beginning to rain, as though the skies themselves beheld the drama that had taken place moments ago, drenching everything in its sorrows. The rain sends many ponies dashing for shelter, many of them opting for the Tavern, or other socialish places.

Whether or not Blackbird and Rusty are among the ponies running for cover when the downpour stops, the Syndicolt Flagship's gangplank rolls its noisy way down to thunk into the harbor, and the Mad Mare, flanked by her ponyguards, wander off into the Tavern as well. Where they will be summarily beat down verbally by a certain mayor, and physically by a foal. But that's another story for another log.

As it starts to rain buckets, the schoolteacher — once livid, now gloomy again — looks up into the skies and glares. "Oh come /on/," he growls at a passing pegasus. "/Now/?" But the pegasus just shrugs. "Just doing my job, man!" he pipes, before he twirls away, and Blackbird just continues toward their destination, soaking wet and generally Very Unhappy. Though, as far as he's concerned, he doesn't have a destination; he's pretty much just…walking next to Rusty, wherever that happens to lead.

Rusty-Gears paces along beside him, incensed temper slowly being calmed somewhat by the downpour. This was not the sort of situation she was used to, where she really had no immediate course of action that could fix it. She wants to /fix/ things, it's what she does, everything's supposed to work and mesh and this… this does not /work/. It was almost worse that this wasn't nearly as cut-and-dry as she'd initially expected it would be, because it meant that they couldn't just shout abduction and run in their bombs flying to mount a rescue. …Which was a little disappointing. She liked that plan.

A hint of a shadow, difficult to see in the gloom of the rainy times now, passes by Blackbird's field of vision, the only hint available before a blur of rust-red and brown streaks across the muddying road, colliding into Blackbird with a loud grunt and a louder wet crash!

Gamble, who may have just lost his footing in the mud when he spied his friend and his friend's friend, nontheless winds up perched atop the teacher post-crash, certainly as though he'd meant to do it, hooves on Blackbird's shoulders, shaking them even. "Why didn't you tell me they sent /her/ here?"

Blackbird is content to continue in morose silence, wherever they were headed — but somepony else has other ideas. "Oof!!" Suddenly, the teacher finds himself sprawled in the mud staring up at Gamble, of all ponies. He blinks in confusion. This day has been nothing /but/ confusion. "What? Who? Her who? What the heck, man?" Perhaps it's not the best day to push him over into the mud, appropriate though it may feel on some level.

Rusty-Gears gives a startled yelp at the crash, skipping back in time to avoid being toppled over as well — though she probably still got a decent splash of mud over her — before trotting back forward, bristling a bit. "Geesh, watch where you're going, you'll hurt somepony! …And get off him!" She wanted to be mad at somepony, and she didn't recognize this one. It would do for the moment at least, until she'd snipped a bit and worked off the temper.

It would seem Gamble's in a bit of a panic again. Not quite as intense as his last go-round, but enough so that he's willing to tackle ponies! Blackbird's confusion only adds to his, the back and forth, as well as Rusty's yelling, prompting the gambler to scoot back and sit in the mud, head drooped enough that the water can run off the rim of his hat while he stares at the teacher. "/Her/, teach. The Mad Mare. Y'know? Mayor of Crazytown? What in the hey were you thinkin' takin' on a loose cannon like /her/, an' all by yerself, too?" It seems he's finally managed to track down details of the duel! And maybe the recent foal-pirate-ship incident too.

Blackbird scrambles up and shakes off a little, though it does nothing: it's pouring rain, he's covered in mud, and that's all there is to it. He glares balefully at Gamble. "What, her? Mad's just a selfish child. A dangerous selfish child, but nonetheless. I didn't think it was worth mentioning." Grump! Grump grump. "I had help," he adds irritably. "And we won. Took some of the wind out of her sails. But now…" He looks away, because glowering at the mud is better than glowering at a friend.

Irritation fades quickly at Blackbird's tone, and Rusty's ears droop a bit as she moves to sit beside him slowly, leaning over to nuzzle him encouragingly. "We'll figure out something. We /will/." She glances back up at Gamble. "You /know/ that crazy pony?"

"Won?" Gamble practically lays in the mud, his hat just covering his line of vision. "Ya don't 'win' against her, teach. Cuz' she don't quit the game 'til she's done double th' damage you could'a done to her. Why in blazes d'ya think I was so dang spooked? Did ya just take me fer a pony prone to panic?"

Green eyes flick towards Rusty. He doesn't know this pony..but she sure seems to be on good terms with Blackbird here, so he tips his head despite her earlier angryish tones. "Ya could say that. She chased me through two other harbor towns b'fore I managed to escape. Thought I'd gone far enough away from their influence." He snorts "I saved her life once, she never let me ferget it."

"To be fair, I dueled her before I talked to you," Blackbird retorts, grumbling a little. "And really, this is a town that knows how to hold its own. It's like a cockroach. You can keep stepping on it but it'll never freaking die. So it's less that I think you're prone to panic, and more that I think this is nothing new." The morose teacher nuzzles Rusty back a little, flumping down to sit now. "You think we can rescue all three?" he asks of Rusty, though he sounds like it's improbable at best. Nevermind that Gamble has no idea what he's talking about. (Or does he?)

"Well, we'll just have to, won't we?" Rusty states, sounding much less uncertain herself. "They seemed like good ponies. If they're lying, they're right good actors." She sighs softly. "Wouldn't feel right, leaving them there, especially if they somehow /are/ her parents." Another glance towards Gamble. "I guess we kind of saved her life, too. Well, Blackbird did. …I sort of nearly beheaded her," she admits, looking a bit uncomfortable with the idea. /Hurting/ her, sure, okay, that had been the plan, but even Rusty would be a bit awkward with the idea of /killing/ another pony. Even a crazy psychotic evil one.

"Fair enough, boss. I'll admit, this town's tougher'n most. If anyplace has a chance ta resist'em, to resist /her/, this'll do it." Gamble tips his hat up, ears perked towards the two and their conversation next.

Rumors are fast, but they aren't /that/ fast. Gamble, naturally, doesn't completely know what happened just today. He heard about the failed pirate ship attack, but those rumors were so scattered it was difficult to completely understand it. He can guess though. Blackbird didn't exactly put away the 'toy' Maddie gave him at his house. Hearing the teacher say something about rescue puts a wince in Gamble's face.

Moreso when Rusty explains a little about the duel's heroics. All this talk of rescue, Gamble finally realizes just how down they look. He rubs a muddy hoof on his chin. "Hoo boy… Somethin' else happened, didn't it? What're y'all about to do, an' /tell/ me ya don't plan on doin' it alone…?"

"We will," Blackbird agrees with Rusty uncertainly. "And they /are/ her parents. They have to be. I mean, I— … You know." Because it's extremely humiliating to admit that you made a wish to the local gypsy. Sigh. Gamble's admonishment does not go unnoticed, and he frowns at the wanderer. "Sadaka. My ward. Well— not my ward anymore. Her parents…rescued her when she and her friends /apparently/ tried to storm the ship. Her parents are with the Syndicolt, but they appear to be trapped in it unwillingly. So…"

Rusty-Gears nods slowly, sighing a bit. "…Heh. Kind of jarring to find out there's good ponies in that crazy batch, I'll admit. Kinda hard to hate the whole bunch when some of 'em turn out to at least seem pretty solid."

Gamble looks from one crazy pony to the other, so many things he wants to say, but the words just don't come out. A couple false-starts later, and the gambler tugs his hat down over his eyes, giving a soft cough to clear his throat. "So when're we gonna do this? D'ya got enough time to get more help, 're d'ya wanna hit'em when ya think they'll least expect it?"

Blackbird nods to Rusty, that glum moroseness sitting square on his shoulders. "Exactly. Just have to treat them like captives though, I suppose." He sighs, and shakes his head, rubbing a muddy hoof over his face as he thinks. "I don't know. I mean…I just found out about this an hour or two ago. I don't…I don't even know if we have a plan yet. Do we have a plan?"

"…But whatever the plan is, I'm pretty sure we could use the help."
Rusty-Gears frowns. "I… don't know if we have a plan. I think my… 'usual' plan is going to need some editing. It sounded like she was expecting us to try /something/. And we're going to have to make sure that in the end it's something /different/ than she's expecting." She looks over at Gamble. "It sounds like you've had experience with this all before. You might be able to help us out… if you're willing."

Gamble finally cracks a smile now that he's being included in the planning. "S'more like it. 'Course I'm willing." he declares, sitting up straight in the mud, hat tipped high on his forehead again. "I'm no good with plans. More of a 'take it as it comes' sorta pony. But I will say that you better be prepared to do some smooth talkin'. There's a lotta traps in this world, an' none of'em's more dangerous 'n one that works on emotions. If they think it's in their best interests ta stay where they are, an' keep their kid with'em…" he trails off, ponderously.

"I've got some good experience in runnin' away an' escaping." the Gambler notes to Rusty. "An' that might come in handy when y'all are tryin' ta get back out again. I think I got an idea on that. Means I won't be goin' in the ship with ya, but I think I can provide a bit of good support gettin' ya in an' out again."

"That's a good bit of help to offer," Blackbird replies with a humorless grin. He takes a moment to ponder, frowning a little. "Hopefully we can convince them otherwise. Surely being here in the harbor would be safer than being /anywhere/ with that mare. And no way in Tartarus am I letting them take Sadaka out of here. That's absolutely ludicrous." And maybe he doesn't want to give her up, of course. But hey. "And maybe…Manyara has something that could help. Somehow. I don't know. A potion or a charm or something. Or…we could get the Watch to help. I don't know."

Rusty-Gears nods, shaking herself off a bit as well. "Any help we can get. Hey, an escape route could be a /big/ help, I'd say. Don't want anypony getting stuck in there." She looks between the two colts. "The Syndicolt hasn't made many friends in the town. I bet we could get a lot of backup if we try."

The rusty Gambler grins, his head bobbing and hat splashing water at the heroic duo of ponies. "Sounds like it's settled then. I'll see who I can't help round up fer a good rescue attempt. An' procure the escape route. I doubt gettin' in's goin' to be a problem." Yes! Purpose! And a chance to stick a hoof up in defiance of Evil! Now he feels good.

Too bad the weather doesn't seem to share in the positive mood.

Blackbird snorts, and nods. "I have a whirlygig at your disposal," he adds. "If that will help in your escape route. And I'll go see if I can't round up a few friends as well. And then we can all get together and put our heads together for a plan, yeah? A proper one. Because I'm pretty bad at plans, generally." As Rusty would know by now. Erm.

Rusty-Gears chuckles and nudges him lightly. "We'll figure out something. All together… we'll make it work. We'll send that crazy mare running back to wherever she came from."