Breaking Wind
IC date: Spring 28
OOC date: April 23
Location: Dragon Isle
PCs: Blackbird Rusty-Gears
NPCs: Tarnish, The Wind

When we last left our intreped heroes(?) on the Good Ship Sulkfest, Tarnish had just given Blackbird and Rusty a briefing about the nearby Dragonfire Isle (because that terrorist group really isn't very creative with their names), and was giving them time to make their final preparations for the big moment.

Just a couple hours later, Tarnish is at the helm to make the final approach when an odd-yet-familiar whistling noise strikes up. The sort of sound that usually precludes…

*KERSPLOOSH!* Something heavy and moving at a high-velocity crashes into the water not ten yeards from the ship! A small explosion sends a geyser rising into the air seconds later! Two more crash around the ship, each one a little closer than the last! The whole mess making Tarnish shout and cuss.

"Those darned super-paranoid freaks of feathery nature! They're not supposed to be bombing me! Horseplop on a stick!"

The grumbly silvery pony leaps from her post at the ship's helm, stomping her way onto the deck. "BB! Rusty! Small change of plans! Pick a crate and hope it floats, cuz' this ship's gonna sink! Get to the beach when you can, and stick to the plan!"

Blackbird has been doing his level best to make sure the ship lives up to its name as he sticks to himself and stays uncharacteristically silent and stony. He's avoided his marefriend as hard as he can the whole time, keeping things distant and 'safe'. But when horseplop gets real, he's up on his hooves, bounding over toward Rusty to skid beside her, not hesitating for an instant before thrusting his head toward a crate to push it toward her. "Hold on tight!"

Rusty-Gears, perhaps oddly, does not seem at all thrown off by the sudden chaos. Or, for that matter, at all surprised by it. In fact, she seems much more concerned about snagging all of her tools and creations and stuffing them into sacks and saddlebags than she does about getting in the crate herself just yet! Luckily, most of it was already packed up in some form or another, so it was just a matter of gathering it all together and tossing it into said crate.

Just in time, too! The next barrage of pegasi-guided bombs strike home in rapid succession, dotting the deck of the ship in explosions that tear the whole thing in half! Tarnish dives over the side, making a break for the docks in the distance, leaving the cargo of the ship behind to float about, the ship itself quickly succumbing to the watery depths surrounding the terrorist-occupied island.

Thankfully they were close enough that the waves alone will naturally push the crate Blackbird and Rusty picked towards the beaches, a dash of luck causing the crate to slide up onto the beach with a pile of other ship debris. And for the moment, not a single pony in sight!

From this vantage point, the beach stretches east and west, curving in the distance. A sheer rock mountain rises towards the north, lining the beach to make it a swath of sand some thirty yards across. The west part of the beach leads back towards the docks, where a commotion is brewing. Likely due to Tarnish coming ashore. The eastern part of the beach is much more quiet, and likely leading up to the jungle given by the map.

This is where The Wind was supposed to be on patrol today, but there's no sign of him at the moment… What will the 'heroes' do?

What will they do?

Rusty-Gears is, first, going to wring out her hat. PRIORITIES.

Blackbird shakes out his waterlogged coat a bit, huffing and puffing. "You…okay?" he pants to Rusty, as his eyes scan the skies and then the surrounding jungles. He has no hat to wring, so he'll just have to be taut and ready to spring when an enemy crops up!

Rusty-Gears blinks over at him, giving herself a slight shake before plopping the hat back on her head. "M'good," and she turns to heft her saddlebags and then the sack of supplies. "S'gonna take some time for some'a this to dry out, though," she mutters around a mouthful of sack. Because clearly /that/ is the real issue here. She looks around, ears perked, eyes narrowed a bit as she peers over at the commotion, and then up towards the jungle.

The commotion seems to be fading towards the docks. A couple pegasi flit up and towards other parts of the island. Whatever happened, it seems to be coming to an end and normal island operation is resuming.

"We should see if we can't sneak over that way," Blackbird says of the commotion, eyes narrowing in that direction. "See if Tarnish is over there."
Rusty-Gears frowns and tilts an ear. "'Course she's over there. She's part of their group. That's right where she was headed. That was the plan from the start, wasn't it?" She flung the sack over one shoulder, hooking it to one of the saddlebags. "And we were s'possed to go the other way."

"…I suppose," Blackbird replies, frowning. "I don't know that that was how the plan was supposed to go, though." Still, he shakes out his mane and tosses his head, sending it flopping out of his eyes … and back in them again. He puffs air in irritation and decides to press on blindly anyway. Literally.

A short trot up the beach has the sand trailing into more firm soil, with shrubs and small trees growing here and there alongside the mountain cliff. Said rocky wall is shrinking bit by bit, this stretch going on for another half-mile before turning into a visible line of trees instead. The jungle is up ahead!

So is the sound of beating wings coming from behind. A pegasus patrol?
Rusty-Gears gives a small snort, following after him. "Always gotta be ready for little changes in the plan." That said… she blinks, twitching an ear to catch the new sound - and following it up after a moment with her head, looking around for anypony approaching - and, more importantly, anyplace to hide from the passing of potential patrollers. "Get out of sight," she hisses up at Blackbird, "they've got pegasi around here."

There are a few small trees scattered about, a couple shrubs, and maybe a pony-sized rock or two that may make okay hiding places. The wingbeats suggest there may only be one pegasus approaching. Has it already spotted the invading ponies?

Luckily, one of the reasons Blackbird is named the way he is, is he's at least passable at stealth! He looks up when Rusty does, ears flicking, before he crouches low and sneaks quickly and smoothly toward cover under a tree. He turns to look for the pegasus, squinting into the sky — after he's sure Rusty's with him, of course.

Rusty-Gears is indeed close behind him, crouched down and slinking along, casting quick glances back over her shoulder. See, see, this is why the hat is important. Between the hat and the sack and the saddlebags, she's a lot less of a big red conspicuous blob and a lot more of a brown inconspicuous lump.

Blackbird would probably do well to not refer to her as either, though.

Moments later the pegasus in question comes into view! A pegasus in a red jumpsuit, obviously tailored from a Wonderbolts costume. He matches the description given for The Wind, looking this way and that as he flies by. As luck would have it, the pegasus lands just ahead, studying some of the trees nearby and scuffing at the ground.

"The tracks end around here…" he can be heard muttering, turning towards the jungle, his back to the heroes for the moment. "Did I lose them?"

Blackbird narrows his eyes as he watches the Wind. But with the enemy's back turned, he reaches into his own soaked saddlebags, pulling out a small, apple-shaped orb. He glances to Rusty and nods at the guy. Who first?

Rifleriflerifle. It takes Rusty a moment to return Blackbird's glance. She's pulled… a thing, out of her saddlebag. It's not a particularly large thing. It looks kind of like a miniature catapult mixed with some sort of crossbow. Whatever it is, it's clearly meant to fling things. And the 'thing' fit onto it currently is for all appearances a bundle of rope, with some oddly black weights at various intervals. It's… it's certainly something.

The Wind grunts. He turns away from the jungle to begin walking back up the beach, one hoof lifting long enough to tap his headset to talk as he walks. "Dragonwing to Dragon Nest. I saw sign of wreckage on the beach, and some tracks, but haven't found bodies yet."

Blackbird glances at it, and casts a faint smirk her way around the apple-shaped grenade in his teeth. To be fair, it's not your traditional grenade: the bubbling flask on his flank ain't for tinkering with robotics. No: some of his limited supplies were a few chemical potions he could mix together if need be. Like now!

The Wind stops again a bit further back where the sand began to taper off. More scuffing at the sand. He may not be a mighty tracker, but he knows a hoofprint when he spies one! "At least one. Maybe more. Hiding…" He promptly spins about! "I know you're out there! Show yourself! Or be blown away by the Black Wind of Dragon's Breath!"

Dramatic much?

Rusty-Gears rolls her eyes slightly. Oh, goddesses, he has himself a /title/. She takes aim, reading the… launcher… thing. It gives a little click as it's prepped, and then something of a twang as it's fired. If all works correctly, the ropey bundle should uncoil in the air, making itself into something of a net. If all /continues/ to work correctly, those weights should crack upen as it's fired, and by the time it lands on the big pegasus, the whole thing should be quite sticky with gunky black tar.

Unfortunately it seems uninclined to uncoil quite right. Perhaps sticky tar does not properly lend itself to uncoiling rope. So it's less of a flying net than it is a lump of rope coils and tar. Either way, it's still gonna be quite a sticky gunky mess when it connects!

And as soon as that goes off, Blackbird rears and slings his grenade to go sailing through the air! … And land about ten feet off, as it spurts a sickly green gas meant to target and lock muscles.

Alas! Neither attempt at a surprise attack quite lands where it was supposed to, the gunky pile of rope splattering just to the left of the pegasus, while the grenade lands off to the right. The Wind rears back! "Haha! I knew it! Fine, that's how you want to play…"


The Wind decides to show off how he earned his name! Those powerful pegasus wings unfurl and give a hard flap, two small whirlwinds rising up to claim the two traps! Another flap of wings guides the two whirlwinds together, creating a sickly green, slightly bigger spiral of wind with a black gunky thing twisting within it. One more flap of those wings, and the green tornado is sent off in the direction The Wind surely thinks his assilants came from! "Take /this/!"

Well crud. Rusty gives an irritated snort as the launcher fails to quite work as intended. And then curses rather more irritably as the tornado comes spinning back their way! Unfortunately, being so loaded down with supplies is not exactly condusive to moving quickly, and she was hoping their ambush would give a little more leeway! Suffice to say she's left floundering in the brush, nowhere near quick enough to get out of the way.

And Blackbird darts, swearing loudly and ready to scamper — but Rusty's floundering, and he's not exactly the agile Mister Birdy he was so many years ago. He scrambles back a few paces and grabs at her saddle bags, yanking hard to try and untangle her from the brush.

The whirlwind doesn't quite hit its mark either. Close as it comes, it ends up spiraling off the beach and into the waters, carrying a toxic payload with it. Its purpose has been fulfilled though! The Wind now can see his assailants! Hovering a few feet in the air with lazy wingbeats, The Wind eyes Rusty and Blackbird in their tangle, crossing his arms. "So. Rats on the island. You're not with our army. Did you come here on The Traitor's boat? How many more of you are there?"

Blackbird chances a glance to the jungle behind him, before putting on a faux false bravado: "Just us," he claims, insinuating himself between Rusty and the Wind.