Anti Drama Efforts
IC date: Spring 23
OOC date: April 13
Location: Town Hall
PCs: Lorelei
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em

It was a dark and stormy night…

'Business' hours in the Harbor have finished. The City Hall is dark, quiet, and empty. Yet this was where the note to Lorelei said to go. 'Go to City Hall, we will meet you on the stage. Must talk! Signed, Rock'em <3 <3 <3'

In the darkness (odd that the lights aren't on. Or working! Spoooooky), it's possible to see a trail of something leading up the steps and into the hall. Dark liquid something…

Well this was certainly… unnerving? Disconcerting? Concerning. All three? Unexpected! That too. Lorelei lays her ears back. Then pricks them back up. Then twitches them this way and that, listening. "Uh… hello?" Oh look there's an echo in here. Gulp. She edges in slowly, most likely against her better judgement, and peers down at the dark… something. She kind of wants to sniff it. To see what it might be! But that sounds like a terrible idea. Hey, at least she does not feel the urge to lick it. (Clearly she hasn't lived in the Harbor quite long enough yet.)

Echo! "hello? hello? hello? hello! hello…" the echo bounces around, the only noise in the entire building at the moment. But nothing happens because of the echo. The darkness beckons…and the trail of Stuff doesn't have an extremely strong scent to it from waaaaay up off the ground. Meaning it's possibly sat there long enough to dry up! At least it's not a wet mess.

It /is/ leading inside though, and towards the stage no less. Where the very faintest outline of…something sits. A chair? A shape? One simply can't tell from way over at the entrance.

Gulp, again. "Rock'em? …Sock'em? Guys? …This isn't funny." Lorelei edges slowly towards the stage, casting the occasional - if 'occasional' can be used to mean 'about every five seconds' - glances back towards the door as if highly considering bolting for it at any moment.

When Lorelei looks back at the door with such thoughts of escape in mind, it suddenly slams shut! SLAM! With the sound of the door bolts locking into place, too. *Click!* At the same time, a light comes on above the stage. A single spotlight, shining on what the dark shape was that the trail was leading up to. It's a chair. And in the chair, tied /to/ the chair, with his head slumped over and a messy trail of dark red /stuff/ stained all over him…

…Is Sock'em.

Lorelei makes a sound that lies somewhere between a yelp and a strangled squeak. Whatever it is, it's quite undignified. She scampers - legitimately scampers, that is not a particularly graceful gait - for the stage, nearly tripping over the stairs in the process. "Sock'em! Oh no oh dear ohnowakeupohdearwhatdoIdo…" prancepranceprance. She circles the chair, looking a bit scared to touch him, looking him over in a way that probably would have been much more useful if she actually had the knowledge or current composure to know what the hay to look for in the way of injuries anyways. It might be prudent to, you know, call for help or something, but all she seems to be managing to get out right now is a whole bunch of 'oh no's and a few 'wake up don't be dead's thrown in for good measure. This is the face of one panicked young seapony.

"I screwed up, Boss."

Rock'em's voice comes from just behind where Lorelei scampered up the steps to get onto the stage. The darkness is more intense when one is standing in the spotlight, so it's difficult to tell what he's doing, but his general shape is there, and he's carrying…something on his head. Something that isn't a hat.

"I screwed up big-time. I dunno how to fix it… Y'know I've never been good at actually fixing things? S'why the old Boss kept us around, cuz' we were so good at screwin' up."

Sock'em isn't moving much. But he /is/ breathing! So that's a plus.

Lorelei jumps a mile at this, hooves skittering on the stage. "Rock'em!" For a moment, she looks quite relieved. Yes! Back up! Somepony whose job it is to /do something/ when she doesn't know what to do! Yay! "Call a doctor! Call the Watch! Get the sheriff, somepony…" …blinkbling. Wait. "…What?" She freezes to peer up at him. Then back at Sock'em. Then back up at Rock'em again. "You… wh… he… what?" So very panicked. So very much confused.

Rock'em also blinks! "Wha? …Okay, but I dunno how a doc's gonna help much…" the bodygoon says in an unsure voice. Three more steps has him close enough to dip his head down, setting a plate, with a sandwich just /covered/ in red junk. Fresh red junk that smells strongly of some kind of tomato/pepper mixture.

"I mean, unless the doc's a chef, too. Maybe I ought'a call a chef! I should'a maybe had this shindig catered, but I really didn't think it'd be necessary, y'know? What with just the three of us."

Rock'em grins like a doofus. And Sock'em makes a low groan.

By now, Lorelei's expression has gone from panic to more one of utmost confusion. What the hay is even going ooooooon? She opens her mouth. Closes it. Opens it again. Twitches an ear. Looks at the sandwich, at Rock'em, at Sock'em. "What…" She sits back on her haunches, the picture of bafflement, not even sure what question to ask first. "…I-is Sock'em hurt?" she finally settles on, which feels as though it should /probably/ top the priority list. Following that up appears to be, "Why is he tied to the chair?"

"Hm?" Rock'em flicks an ear, doofus grin fading and head turning to regard the tied-up pony. "Hurt? Er…" He rubs his left hoof against his right leg, glancing away, "Mebbe a little. He wasn't cooperating! So I might'a hit him with a ketchup bottle." He hangs his head. "Sorry fer the mess. I'll make sure it gets cleaned up Boss!"

Sock'em groans again! Finally lifting his head, peering out through squinty, groggy eyes. "…my head… You big jerk…"

If Lorelei weren't already sitting down, she might have fallen over with relief. She blinks wide eyes over at Sock'em, still looking somewhat shaken. "Oh, by the tides… I thought… you looked…" she lets out a breath in a huff. Okay, pony. Breathe. "Okay. O-okay. So… it… dinner. Right."

"Right. Dinner!" Rock'em agrees, glancing down at the plate and spicey-ketchup-covered sandwich. "…Well it was /going/ to be dinner. But that's not important!" Rock'em sits down on the stage, staring at the waking Sock'em. "I was just tryin' to get /this/ guy…" he says, pointing at Socky, "…to stop bein' a mopey-butt. Both of you, really. Cuz' it's silly, and dangerous if we're bein' all emotionally dumb and something really really /bad/ happens."

Lorelei blinks, twitching an ear and biting back a faint giggle. For some reason, that's funny! Maybe because she's still coming down from thinking something really really /bad/ HAD happened. "I am not," she states, trying to regain some appearance of dignity and composure, "being a… mopey-butt." That might be more convincing if she were able to say it with a straight face. She kind of looks like she might break into a gigglefit.

Rock'em doesn't look as amused! In fact, he sits up and swivels his hoof dramatically to point straight at his boss! "You, Boss, are one of the mopiest of butts! In fact, the only one mopier is /him/." Pointing back at Sock'em again! Whom is outright glaring.

"Maybe I wouldn't be so mopey if you two weren't always conspirin' to make me miserable!" he retorts. "Don't think I've forgotten the last 'dinner' I attended with you two lovebirds!"

Lorelei blinks over at Sock'em, laying her ears back slightly and sheepishly rubbing one hoof against the opposite foreleg. She's /still/ not entirely sure what happened there. Which makes it kind of hard to explain herself! "Making you miserable is not the intent. …And there's no conspiring. I didn't even know about this!" She adds as proof of fact, waving a hoof around at the 'this' in general.

Rock'em's grin returns. "She's right. She had nothing to do with me tying you to a chair, Sockie."

Sock'em rolls his eyes. "…Whatever. Get to the point and let me get back to work. I got some important pacing up and down the docks to do."

"That's just it." Rocky states. "You've been so mopey that all you do is pace! Pace, sigh, stare out at the clouds, pace s'more, dig holes in the sand to bury yer poor, bleeding, achey heart, etc." He points at the mayor again! "What about yer duty to Boss, huh?"

Socky stares evenly at Rocky. "Aren't you 'covering' her jus' fine without me?"

Lorelei blushes faintly, pinning her ears back sheepishly. "Well, I… want… you around," she mumbles, somewhat sheepishly. "It's not the same with you always out." She clears her throat, becoming suddenly very interested in one of her front hooves. Yup. That's a hoof alright. Mm-hm.

Rock'em isn't sure what to say to Sock'em's retort, so it's a good thing Lorelei spoke up then! It gives Rocky a chance to point at the mayor, in a 'well?' gesture. "See? She wants you around! Cuz' we're a team. Like, the three of us. And not, like, a romantic team, or anything." He stamps a hoof. "We're not dating, Socky. Alright? Nothing ever happened. I've been tryin' like hay to set you two up, and I have no clue what happened, but it's failing."

Socky's ears pin back, but this time he doesn't have a retort. He glances away, frowning.

Rocky sits on the stage, poking at the plate still in front of him. "That's how bad I am at fixing things. An' how badly I screwed up. So I'm sorry, to both of you…"

Lorelei glances over at Rock'em. If this weren't kind of a serious situation she might be amused. "Well… you tried," she offers, in that semi-sympathetic tone one uses when you can't quite deny that things didn't /exactly/ work out as planned. She glances back to Socky. "…We aren't dating, though. …I'm not sure what… I mean, we didn't /mean/ to… he's a nice guy but I'm not… interested… like that." She blushes, glancing sideways at Rock'em. He knows this! They've discussed it. Still, nopony wants to inadvertently hurt feelings. …Again. Ahem. She takes a deep breath, examining the hoof again. "…I think he, um… /has/ been trying to… set us up?"

Rock'em gestures again! So much emphasis! "SEE? Straight from the pony's mouth." The goofball pony nods slowly. Like that should be the end of all arguements or something. "I heard there was weird stuff going on all over town, y'know. Like, weird love bugs or something, so we can chalk up that embarassing day to a moment of insanity and call it good! Right?" He grins, looking hopefully towards Lorelei. "…Right?"

Sock'em lifts his head, staring at the other two. Rock'em first, then Lorelei, though for a shorter time before looking back to Rock'em. "…I dunno if that makes things better. Cuz' it means I've been a royal pain to both of you if it's true and I shouldn't have been."

Lorelei nods over to Rock'em. Sure. Let's go with that! "Right." She blushes faintly, looking back at Sock'em and then glancing down sheepishly, giving a small sigh and scuffing the by-now-thoroughly-examined hoof against the floor. "Everything kind of went… badly." Romance is /complicated/.

Now it's getting a little awkward. Rock'em looks from Sock'em to Lorelei. "…So. I said my piece." he states, rubbing the back of his head. He focuses his gaze on Sock'em. "You got anything to add? Cuz' I think it's time we put all this silliness behind us and got back to, y'know, bein' happy ponies again."

Sock'em sighs and droops his head. "…Oh fine. But." He lifts his head to squint at Rock'em. "…Don't try to help my love life again, alright? I can handle that on my own." Maybe. He glances sorta sidewayslike at Lorelei. Maybe he hasn't quite given up on that yet…

Lorelei glances back. And blushes. And clears her throat slightly. And possibly smiles a bit. "…Maybe we can all just… start over? And be proper…" coworkers? Business partners? Government officials. None of it quite sounds… right. "…friends, again," she finally settles on, though perhaps a bit nervously. Hopefully, even. Friends. We're friends, right? Maybe? Yes?

"Friends." Sock'em agrees, finally offering a hint of a smile. But just a hint. "…Eh. so how 'bout untying me?"

Rock'em, grinning now that things have..lightened up again, nods and trots over to undo the knots in the rope. The moment they loosen, Sock'em stands up on just his back hooves, stretching! "Ahhhh… …Something's missing."

Rock'em blinks, sitting back with the rope in his mouth. "Wha?"

Sock'em turns, picks the chair up with his front hooves, and promptly brings it down over Rock'em's head! Crash! The pony drops into a sprawl on the stage, with little x's for eyes. Knocked out cold. "…That. Hit /me/ with a ketchup bottle will you." Then the stoic pony turns to the mayor, dips his head a little in apology, and nudges the plate with the sandwich aside. "Er… Don't suppose you'd do the honor of joinin' a silly pony to a real dinner?"

Lorelei blinks and jumps a little, but… doesn't actually protest this display! Perhaps she's become a bit more used to such things by now. Or maybe she secretly agrees that that was kind of deserved. Rock'em /did/ scare her half to death with this whole set-up, after all! She gives a faint chuckle, and smiles albeit somewhat sheepishly over at Sock'em. "Dinner… would be nice, I think."

"Great. Let's get outta here. I hear there's a new place that just opened up, might be fun to poke into." Sock'em states, starting to guide the poor Mayor off the stage and out of the building. Leaving the camera to focus on Rock'em, sprawled out, with a small pool of ketchup from the overflowing plate nearby creeping towards him.

Someone's going to have a lot of explaining to do when they find this 'body'…