Captain Who?
IC date: Summer 53
OOC date: August 12th
PCs: Rocket, Gamble
NPCs: Fuzzball
GM: None

It's been a great weekend. So great.

What's made it a great weekend?

Gamble got to be a beach bum. And /nothing happened/. It was great. He got to pretend like he could get a tan, and soaked up sun, and laid on a towel, and did nothing!

It was wonderful.

But all good things come to an end. So, too, does the weekend. Gamble has come back from the beach, towel draped over his neck, and…a keg on his back. It's hard cider this time. Not as strong as rum, but so much more tasty.

If he can just get it home. He's trying to be super careful, he is. Lots of looking around. Lots of careful steps. And very alert ears.

Rocket, on the other hand, has had a much more frustrating weekend! Hunting, failing, falling… buttons! So many buttons. And then, failing to read. Much reading failure. Pony language doesn't make sense! >: But there's a bunny! Maybe. So that's kind of neat? Today would find her heading back from the forest, parchment case slung over her back, flag and book stashed in her pack. Heading towards Gamble's place, in fact! Because at least he seems to like her enough to maybe do a little reading for her.

It's a miracle! A miracle! For once, Gamble finally makes it back home with a prized barrel! It must have been the rum. Rum is cursed. Just ask any pirate.

He even gets it inside and placed on the floor of his hut, hat and towel flung to the pad he calls a bed. Ahhhh, home after a long day of sun soaking.

It was such a nice day…
Knock knock! Rocket raps a talon on the door, fluttering her wings a bit. She might have been invited, sort of, but… still probably rude to barge in, right?

Knocking! Gamble's ears perk. Noo! He'd just set the barrel down! It could still be ruined! RUINED!

With a momentary burst of panic, the rusty pony creeps over to the door, tugging it gingerly open. "Whozat? …Oh! Feathers. S'you." Gamble steps back to nudge the door open further, turning about to give the barrel a tap or two. "Yer jus' in time fer a drink!"

Rocket blinks and perks up a bit. "A drink? What is it? Hey, you got another barrel! Awesome. Sorry 'bout the last one. …Again."

"It's cider!" Gamble says with a grin, high-stepping his way to a nearby box, fishing out a couple beat-up mugs. He got them for a great deal! Many ponies got a great deal for things that floated up ashore after the Blockade incident.

He sets the mugs down next to the barrel, then fetches a barrel tap from the same box. Why else has he been trying to drag the darn things home for a month now? The tap is pushed into the barrel, and Gamble sits back, getting a little tear in his eye. So…beautiful…

Rocket chuckles and settles down on the ground. "Cider, eh? Saw some of that at the tavern. Smelled good. Seemed real popular, too."

"Yep! Cider." Gamble confirms, with a happy step. "Hopefully good stuff too." Naturally he fully intends to find out now. One mug is pushed beneath the spout, filled with cider, nudged to the side..then the other cup, filled up too. He picks one up, and gestures to the other. "Drink up!"

Rocket scoops up the mug, sniffing at it for a moment before taking a testing sip. Hey, the ponies like it! If it's 'good stuff', then it'll probably be enjoyable!

Gamble grins, lifting his own mug. "Depends on yer tastes. Cider's better'n most cuz' it actually has a good taste to it. Most other liquors are…more of an acquired taste." He offers a tap of mugs, then tips his back to get a good swig! Ahh, priceless cider. His personal cider. Somehow having it at his own house just makes it taste better.

Rocket nods, tilting her head. "Huh. Kinda… apple-y." She clicks her beak, taking another sip. "I like it!" She spends a few moments enjoying the drink before shrugging off her pack, emptying book and flag and case and quite possibly bunny onto the floor beside her.

Tumble, tumble! The bunny comes tumbling out of the pack right alongside all the rest of the stuff. It looks dizzy, and groggy, and very much un-eaten. Mr. Bunny rubs his eyes, stretches, looks around.

Gamble blinks at all the stuff that empties out. "What'cha got there, Feathers?" the rusty pony wonders, swirling his cider about. Just..savoring the aroma.

"Some stuff I found in a metal tree in the woods," Rocket answered nonchalantly. "Well, the stuff wasn't in the tree. Buttons were in the tree. Stuff was in the stump by the second spike pit. Stupid buttons. Hey, can you read pony writing? Book doesn't have many pictures."

Gamble blinks again! "Stuff in a metal tree? In the woods? Trees aren't metal…" He sips his cider, stepping towards the pile of junk-plus-bunny. He nudges the case, and then the flag, finally the book with a forehoof. "You sure it's ponywriting?"

The gambler's horn glows to pick the book up so he can take a closer look. "Kinda disturbing picture on the front, don'tcha think?"

Rocket blinks and tilts her head to look over at it. "Oh. I just figured it was some… pony thing. Like the flags on those ships that come in sometimes, that they always put down before they get all the way in to the port." She shrugs. "I'm pretty sure it's pony writing. It's not gryphon writing."

Gamble rubs his chin thoughtfully. "I never thought about gryphons havin' their own style of writing. Interesting." Another swig of cider later, and Gamble sets the book down to fetch a lantern. Seeing as he couldn't afford electricity or anything fancy like that. "Wonder what a book was doin' in a tree! An' buttons. An' all that."

Rocket shrugs, picking up the parchment case and looking it over. "Dunno! I was expecting something… fancier, after all the trouble it was to get at it. Like… I dunno. Jewels or gold or herbs or soemthing."

The rusty pony chuckles. "Gold? In a tree?" A few fireflies in place, the lantern giving a good light now, Gamble lays the book out and settles onto the floor, cider nearby. He flips the cover open, squinting at the first page. "This Diary belongs to Captain Jean Luc Faux Pas."

Mr. Bunny, having finally recovered from his tumble, peers around his new surroundings. A pony hut! Darn sight better than a forest of things trying to eat you, that's for sure. He hops up next to the gryphon that had, at one point, tried to hunt him down and started the whole button-pushing thing, and starts sniffing at her mug of cider.

"Well, I dunno, why would there be a book in a tree?" she counters with another shrug. "Jean Luc what? You ponies have some weird names. Whozzat?" She sets the case down, taking a sip of the cider before setting the mug down as well, glancing sideways at the bunny and smiling faintly. "Hey, have a good sleep? You konked out there, fuzzball."

Gamble finds he doesn't have a good answer for that. "Good point." he notes. "It's kinda weird all around. What exactly happened?" He turns his attention back down to the book, flipping the pages. "I have…no idea who in the hay Jean Luc is. Never heard of'im, so he can't be too terribly famous."

Fuzzball, for that is now the bunny's new name, brushes his ears back in a spot of quick grooming. He looks up at the gryph and nods! Slept like a baby bunny, apparently.

Rocket nods. "Good, good." She looks back over at Gamble. "Well, I was hunting, right… and then we ran into this tree. But it wasn't a tree, it was like a metal… tube thing. With a button. So I pressed the button, and there was a panel, and that had more buttons."

"You were hunting." Gamble repeats, looking up from the book to tip his head at the gryphon, and her new bunny friend. He eyes the bunny in particular. Not a snowbunny, is it? No… If it was a snowbunny, someone would've been sliced up already. Okay then! "…I guess yer hunt was a success, eh? I uh..think I see part of yer bein' hungry problem though. I would'a thought after ya catch somethin', ya eat it." Maybe he just doesn't understand gryphons.

Fuzzball rolls his eyes at Gamble. He's /totally/ in with the preds now. That makes him a safe bunny, doesn't it? He's heard legends of bunnies that get in good with ponies and such. Some of them even become bodyguards! …He keeps sniffing at the cider mug, peering over the edge of it. Apple~

Rocket blinks and frowns faintly, scuffing a talon lightly. "Well I usually do! But it didn't seem fair after he went and ran into that tree and all." And… and… and just look at him! He's fuzzy. :< It's a lot harder to eat something after you've had an adventure with it!

This earns a chuckle from the gambler pony. "Yea… Well, he's prob'ly glad ya didn't too." To which Fuzzball nods emphatically. Just before the bunny dips a paw into the cider mug and gets himself a good taste. Yum~

"Anyway…" Gamble continues, tapping the book with a hoof, "So ya found a tree, but it had buttons, and the buttons led to more buttons, and…one of those buttons had a book in it?"

Rocket nods. "Well the first one didn't do anything. And then there was a spike pit, but the spikes weren't real, so it was kinda pointless." Pun unintended, of course. "And then the other one had /real/ spikes, but I got 'im out before anything happened. And then the tree branch had bouncy spikes, so I guess that mighta hurt, but we hid in the pit. Then there was a snake, but it was all dusty so I didn't eat it, and then the stump opened up and there was the book. And this thing." She nudges the case. "Both wrapped up in that flag."

"Pits… Spikes… Snakes…" Gamble tries to follow all this, but he's not quite..getting a clear picture. He decides, to let it drop. "So ya pushed a lotta buttons, got this stuff, an' nearly killed yerself 'n that bunny over it. Gotcha. Well…" he goes back to flipping through the pages. "I dunno what this is s'posed ta be exactly, 'cept some pony's journal. But I can read it, so he had ta be from Equestria, at least."

Fuzzball hiccups! This may be because he went ahead and finished off Rocket's drink for her. So now he's sprawled out across one of the gryphon's taloned feet, looking more than a little tipsy for his efforts.

Rocket looks down at the bunny, giggling a bit and spreading her talon to make a bit of a cozier place to sprawl. A bit less pointy, at least. "Woah there, little guy." She glances back up at Gamble. "So what's it say? Anything good? I couldn't figure much from the pictures."

Gamble raises a hoof, then grabs his drink with it, taking a nice slow swig. Ahhh~ "I'm just browsin' it right now. Tryin' ta figure out what it's all about. This pirate was a captain, butI don't think he was a very nice one." Several pages flip by. "He sure kept a neat journal though… And by 'neat', I mean 'entries for everything'. Like this one." He taps the page he's currently looking at.

The rusty pony clears his throat. "Listen ta this: 'Dear diary. Today we had kelp stew for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 'Tis the tenth day in a row we've had nothing but kelp stew to eat. My crew will surely mutiny if we don't find a ship carrying more than seaweed. It probably doesn't help that I put some of my special seasoning in today's meals just to see if it would be spicier. Several of the crew ended up exploding as a result. Mental note, gunpowder makes a horrible spice, but a great prank. Remember this.'"

Rocket blinks and tilts her head. "…Huh. That's… interesting. …I don't think I'm gonna be trying that anytime soon." She picks up the parchment case again. This thing has to be /something/, doesn't it? Peer.

It's certainly a parchment case! A good ol' tube. Closed at both ends. Strap to let it hang off somebody's shoulder. It doesn't even look like there's a way to lock it.

Gamble finishes off his cider mug, setting it aside, and goes back to rubbing his chin. "Yeah… No, this was definitely not a very nice pony. Thought he was funny as all get out though." He flips to the back of the book, his head tilting. "H'uh. There's a page torn out. An' this last page is all written in red."
Rocket glances over at him. "Red, huh? Change of ink, I guess." Maybe he had one of the filled quills and it broke. Writing on paper was weird like that.

She turns her attention back to the tube, poking at the ends with her beak to try and figure out what end you open the thing at. CONTRAPTIONS.

Close examination of the case shows that one end unscrews! Easy enough to open, and it's been well preserved in that stump so it isn't even very difficult to twist.

"Maybe. Red usualyl means somethin' bad… Ahem." Gamble clears his throat again, reading this aloud. "To Ye Who Finds This Book.

"Ye who hath found this recount of mine exploits, this be thy lucky day. For I, Captain Jean Luc Faux Pas, pass unto thee a chance to finish the joke of all jokes. All of that which I've taken is no longer of use to me and mine, so I offer this, a chance to seek all that I've hidden, and enjoy the fame and fortune that lies within. Clues and traps alike lie within this journal's pages. It is up to thy better judgement to decide which is truth and which is jest. Only those I deem worthy will reap the rewards they've sown."

"If this path be the one thy feet travel, then take heed. A key item of great importance lies in the hooves of the tricksey forest folk. Be mindful, for they do not toy with strangers."

Rocket tilts her head, idly twisting the top off of the case. "Huh. So it's like… a riddle book. A scavenger hunt! Or something like that. We used to have them all the time at home, to train the egglings. More complicated ones for the kits." She peers into the opened tube, then turns it upside-down and gives it a light shake.

Out comes a piece of parchment! Rolled up, naturally. A very boring piece of parchment though, since unrolling it reveals that it is totally and completely blank. Blank as a newborn foal's flank, even.

Gamble taps his chin. "Yeah… I guess it's a lot like that, isn't it? I dunno though. I mean, this obviously wasn't one of the more popular pirates. So what kinda treasure could he hide? This…is goin' ta take a little research."

Well, that /is/ boring. Rocket peers at the parchment, turning it this way and that, holding it up to the lantern, looking for any sort of marking or somesuch. "Well this seems silly. Why hide paper with more paper?" She tilted her head. "I dunno, maybe he had something… fancy. Pirate's a pirate, probably plundered something, right? …Maybe he had magic stuff! I like magic stuff."

Yep. Totally boring parchment. No markings, and only a little yellowing around the edges due to the extreme age of it. At least the case isn't paper. That thing's all metal, with its interesting wavy designs and such. So artistic!

"Yeah, maybe." Gamble agrees. "Magic stuff is jus' one of many things that went around by boat, y'know? But it might've already been found, too. For all we know, this pony went 'n hid his diary, an' then got caught, an' had to lead someone to his goods."

He closes the book, resting his chin on his forehooves. "Then again, if nopony's found it, could be one heck of a find. An' maybe a decent adventure."

Rocket nods, re-rolling the parchment and sliding it back into the case before settling down next to the tipsy little Fuzzball, stretching out one claw to give his ears a gentle scritch. "Dunno. If no creature's heard of him, maybe it's still around. Could be something neat! The tree thing was kinda neat. Weird, but neat."

Fuzzball hiccups! Poor little thing's pretty much passed out already. Hard cider is hard! But the presence of something warm nearby prompts the tipsy little bunny to curl up into feathers, talons, whatever, like a little burrow, ears splayed to the scritchings. Aww.

"True…" Gamble agrees. "An' that's why I'm gonna check up on this at the library t'morrow. See if there's any common knowledge 'bout this Captain guy. A little treasure adventure couldn't hurt anyone, right?"

Rocket nods agreeingly. "Can't hurt to check, right?" After all, all the trouble she went through getting this stuff, it'd be nice to see something come of it. …Something other than adorable bunny. Who is pretty adorable. And cuddly~ She could get used to this. >.> But shhhh. She's got a reputation and all that.

One thing bunnies have down pat is that whole being adorable thing. Fuzzball looks so content!

Gamble magicks the diary up, levitating it towards the rest of the odd pile. He eyes the flag. Yep. Unfamiliar. "He sure liked his jokes…" Then the rusty pony spins, plucks the lantern up, and carries it towards his pile of bedding, setting it nearby so he can climb into the soft mess and get himself all settled. Ahh~ A good beach day, with a good drink, and something interesting to think about. "Wouldn't that be a real kick in the rear, ta find an honest-to-Celestia pirate hoard."

Rocket chuckles faintly, settling her head onto her talons. "Sounds like it could be a fun trip, at least." She'd always liked scavenger hunts.

Fuzzball kicks a couple times, getting re-comfy amid Rocket's feathers. The little bunny even has tiny snores!

Properly situated in his bedding, Gamble peers towards Rocket and Fuzzball. … Now that's just going to make him feel bad. Especially with the added cuteness involved. He rolls out of his bedding, and starts to thin it out a little. "Hey, Feathers. D'ya want some of this stuff fer a bed of yer own? It's not gonna sit right with me if I keep makin' ya sleep on the floor."

Rocket blinks and looks over at him, blushing a bit beneath her feathers. "Oh. Well, um… sure. If you're sure. I mean, I'm already sharing your place. And your drinks," she added with a small grin. "I wouldn't want to impose /too/ much here."

"S'not about imposin', s'about comfort. I ain't a good host if I'm lettin' guests, even potentially permanent ones, be uncomfortable." Gamble grunts, going about the task of essentially tearing his hay-bed apart to make a couple smaller piles instead. "I'll just hafta get s'more material later. The local farm was pretty generous with this." Within moments he's got a couple piles sorted out, pushed just far enough away from each other to act as servicable bedding. Then he nods, turning to the gryphon with a grin, "'Sides, I never had a place of my own ta share before, so it's kinda fun knowin' I got that kinda power, y'know? You get somethin', and ya share it, n' it feels good, that's all."

Rocket smiles and nods faintly, picking herself up and moving over to settle onto the hay — after circling a time or two, of course. And moving quite carefully to not disturb the sleepy Fuzzball. "Well, thanks. I do appreciate it."

Gamble bobs his head, practically crashing back into his own pile of haybed to once again get cozy in. "Eh, don't mention it, Feathers. Maybe if this treasure thing turns out well enough, we can get ya yer own place here in town. With a real bed, 'n all." Once satisfied that he's cozy enough, the rusty pony turns to the lantern to let the fireflies out.