Chasing Stormcloud
IC date: Spring 25
OOC date: April 15
Location: Portside
PCs: Sunshine, Ruby-Blossom, Sadaka, Magpie, Tale-Chaser, Rising-Chaos, Whirligig
NPCs: Stormcloud
GM: AJ

It's been one week since a fateful magical accident left one infamous Harbor 'villain' sundered into two separate bodies. One week since the arrival of a little filly foal named Sunshine to the Mane Event, nice as any pony can get, but scared of the monsters that lurk around every corner. One week since the arrival of a metal-legged mare named Stormcloud, once known as Mad Mare, yet devoid of what small amount of goodness may have existed.

In that week things have happened. Sunshine has found a small nugget of courage and several friends. She roams the streets, despite the cool rain and stormy weather, in search of a big bully to tell off.

Stormcloud has also found a possible ally, in her quest to snuff out her 'better half'. She, too, is roaming the streets, her mission to seek-and-destroy. Or at least seek-and-make-disappear. What will happen when these two sides of the same coin meet up again?

For now we join Sunshine and her current escort, the little filly decked out in a raincoat cut to her size, little adorable face set in a look of pure determination. It only wavers a /tiny/ bit whenever the clouds light up with a dash of lightning and peal of thunder, but she's been getting so much better at holding her ground against the scary weather. Just remember, Sunny, it's just pegasii playing in the clouds… Just pegasii in the clouds…

It helps having other ponies to walk with at least. So even if the thunder actually /did/ turn out to be some horrible pony-eating monster, it'll surely think twice about taking on ponies that aren't her! Right? …Right?

Escort mission! Ruby has no doubt that Winny will be sore at missing out on the XP for this quest; a ponderful expression - or would Winny simply consider 'escort missions' to be 'for chumps'? She shrugs and offers a re-assuring smile to Sunshine. "Don't worry, Sunshine - everyt…" no wait, never say that! "Don't worry - we'll call for back-up if need be!"

Lingering nearby the pair is Tale Chaser. Near Sunshine, he looks positively beefy, which is quite a feat, especially considering he doesn't look nearly as sure of himself as Sunshine does. Sure, he's seen some scary things before, but this scary thing they're on the hunt for?

It uses its back legs -as a weapon.- That's freaky. That's freaky and weird.

Also, Magpie isn't here and in true dork fashion, he isn't doing so hot without his social link to the group present. The young seapony stops every so often to futz with a bookbag slung over his back, before hastening to catch up, otherwise lingering near the back of the procession.

And because every party needs air support, Sadaka is trailing along after the group, trying /not/ to have a face that says 'this is all a terrible idea'. She's pretty good at that face. She's not so good at not making that face, right now. But she's making a valiant effort! One way or another, she's sticking protectively close to the little filly, looking around alertly and occasionally shaking rainwater from her wings.

In a spray of rainwater and flashing hooves, TC's social link, otherwise known as Magpie, comes charging towards the group. "I'm here! I'm here!" she shouts as she aims for the group, skidding and sliding at the corner. She's got her yellow newsie cap, as usual, and no sign of Sticky, but she's got a set of saddle-bags that bulge a bit. "Don't worry!"

Sunshine is grateful for the presence of any friendly pony! Let alone a socially awkward one. Any friend of Magpie is immediately an /awesome pony/ in Sunshine's eyes. The little white filly keeps trotting back and forth between bookworm, winged and horned filly friends, and motherly mare, while somehow keeping that adorably 'stern' face. "Y..yeah! M..more backup! If S-stormcloud puts up a fight w-w-we'll get more backup!" Because that's a perfectly acceptable 'good guy' method of dealing with problems, right? More good guys.

*KRAKOW!* goes the thunder, a particularly impressive burst of it this time, which makes Sunshine hide quickly behind Sadaka! "Eeee! U-u-uh but let's hurry… T-the pegas-si are playing rough in the c-c-clouds today…"


Luckily for Sunshine, it doesn't take long for the small group to bump into their chosen quarry. There's a ruckus going on just around the corner! Sounds of a scuffle, of things crashing, grunts, shouts, everything a good ol' fight can have to indicate the violence just out of sight.

Who it is becomes readily apparent when one pony body comes crashing into the street from around said corner, tumbling into a sprawl. Why, it's Rock'em! One of Lorelei's personal bodygoons! Who gives a low groan to go along with his graceful landing. The sound of one more swift buck later, and his partner, Sock'em, tumbles into the street as well, sprawled alongside Rock'em. They both look all sorts of roughed up, maybe even a black eye and injured nose, no doubt their fair share of bruising.

Then Stormcloud comes into view. Her steps are slow and on the unsteady side, every snort of breath she gives coming out in a small puff of steam from her nose. "Useless!" she cries, pouncing on the two fallen stallions to step hooves on both their chests. "Both of you are so…so useless! You had one job! One! And you couldn't even do that!" She's sure doing a lot of stomping on those poor ponies while she's ranting. Poor guys! "And now here you are, playing /goodie goodies/? Did you forget who you work for?"

"But Boss…" Rock'em starts to protest, though this earns him a swift hoof pressed to the side of his head. "No excuses! You have one chance to redeem yourselves. Tell me where /she/ is… Speak up!"

Oh, thank goodness! Magpie is here to save the day. She'll make everything right. She has a plan! She knows what to do!

And what to do is to comfort Tale Chaser, who bustles over to join her as he sees her approaching. "Maggie! You made it!" He grins goofily. "We're, ah, we've been looking for a while, and- and there's no sign of any- aahh!" He falls quiet as the thunder rolls and rattles in place, ears slicking back as he looks up at the sky. With a gnaw of his lip he glances at his fillyfriend, and is about to say something, when…

Goons! The young seapony blinks behind his plate glass spectacles and glances about, taking a step back. "Is that- oh-"

Stormcloud is greeted with a very, very stern look - that perfect look that can even make feral foals submit; the gaze is brief before ruby-red eyes settle on Rock'Em and Sock'Em then back to Stormcloud. "…" Like some insane mare she trots /towards/ the source of the disturbance while not keeping mind not to stray far from Sunshine.

Stormcloud is greeted with a very, very stern look from Ruby - that perfect look that can even make feral foals submit; the gaze is brief before ruby-red eyes settle on Rock'Em and Sock'Em then back to Stormcloud. "…" Like some insane mare she trots /towards/ the source of the disturbance while not keeping mind not to stray far from Sunshine.
An ominous lone seagull circles around over head with a small screech.

Magpie gives TC a nuzzle, but this isn't the time for makin' out. Especially 'cause… wow. "What's goin' on over there?" She slowly trots after Ruby, shifting her saddlebags with uncomfortable awareness of their contents.

Sunshine squeaks! The fallen goons lay sprawled not thirty feet from where the gathered ponies are, close enough that the sudden arrival of Stormcloud makes Sunshine immediately lose her single nerve. She starts to step back, panicked little filly expression and all, until Ruby starts to trot forward. But! But!! This doesn't ease the filly's anxiety any, but it does remind her that they were here for the sole purpose of confronting. So… With a deep gulp, Sunny forces her legs to move /towards/ the rampaging Stormy instead of /away/…

The continued approach certainly draws attention. The movement makes Stormcloud's grey head snap up, inky black eyes glaring down the street, from Ruby to Magpie and Tale-Chaser. Then down to Sunshine. "…Hmm." She glances down to the poor stallions she's turned into her personal kicking bags, pressing a hoof hard against one of either goon's cheeks. "Was that so hard? All I had to do was rough you boys up and look. The good comes running." A glance at Sunshine, whom is trying to keep either Ruby or Magpie between line of sight. "…Well, crawling anyway."

Stormcloud thusly sits up! On her ex-goons, no less, turning to regard the approaching mare. "Ruby! So delightful to see you again-again. I expected you earlier. I see you brought the kid with you this time."

Tale-Chaser swallows heavily. Right then! Bravery time. He's got a girl to impress. And the girl's family to impress. And, you know, more importantly than that, a scared little filly to help protect. Even if he's not the best-suited for the job, he's been drafted for the position, so…

Nosing into one of his bookbags, he mouths something and pulls it out. It's a thick, almost rope-like ribbon, the sort that is, apparently, attached to the spine of a book, that is soon pulled free and danging before him.

Its worn leather cover is wrinkled and creased; its edges are lined with tarnished bronze plating. This book is obviously dense as a stone, and on its cover, in spidery language, is the title: ON THE ART OF HOOFSTICUFFS BY SIR IRONSHOE BUCKWORTH.

The young bookworm swings his improvised weapon to and fro as he creeps along behind Magpie, eyes all knit into a worried wince behind his Glasses of +2 Don't Hit Me.

Sadaka blinks. And stares for a moment. And lays her ears back flat. And flares her wings a bit. This is not good! She half-glares over at the goons, but sticks close to Sunshine, creeping after her protectively but keeping her mouth shut.

Ruby huffs adorably and looks to Sunshine, and then to the group of ponies who have joined around the little one. "Actually…" she glances back to Stormcloud. "We came because Sunshine has something to tell you, Sunshine." referring to Stormcloud by her real name. She reaches behind to encouraging nudge Sunshine. "You're in the right, Sunshine - so tell her.

Just like last time, here comes Rising Chaos. From up behind the group of the good guys, she approaches as if, again she has every bit of curiosity as to what is going on. Still too far away to do anything, she'll watch for now.

"Caaaauuuuggghhhhhh!!!"

Another seagull screams angrily up above. Soon enough a few more join in to make a small pack of the scavenger birds.

Magpie blinks and peeks sideways at Tale Chaser. "Heh. Heh heh. Yer gonna throw the book at 'er, right?" Her horn limns and she pulls a small pouch out of her saddle bags. It clinks and rattles like a sack of coins as she hefts it menacingly at Stormcloud.

Stormcloud lifts an eyebrow at Ruby's declaration, crossing her hooves in front of her chest. "Oh really now. This ought to be good for a laugh." Her coal black eyes squint down at Sunshine. "Yes. Tell me. Tell me off like a good little conscience. Tell me how bad I'm being."

Sunshine's eyes get big! Wah! She's been called out now! There's audible scraping noises as Sunshine's skidded with Ruby's helpful nudge to the front of the pack. It's all she can do to stare up at Stormcloud without running away!

Which doesn't exactly impress Stormcloud any. The dark grey mare sits up straight, peering down at the tiny white filly. "…Well?"

Sunshine squeaks. "I-" but loses her voice and has to clear her throat, nearly hyperventilating in the process. "I-I-I" Little blue eyes peek down at the goons Stormcloud's currently using as a seat, then back at her friends! "I-I c-c-can't…"

Stormcloud gestures to the trembling filly, lifting her gaze to regard Ruby. "So. It took you all week to train her to do that? Really?"

Sadaka frowns, stepping forward a bit and extending a wing to drape protectively over Sunshine. "It's okay… you can do this," she asides gently. "We're here for back-up." And then she glares over at Stormcloud and gives a small huff. She still doesn't think this is a good idea, but who's she to say so? She does have something to say, however! "You big bully! I thought you were trying to be better than this!"

Tale Chaser draws close enough to stand behind Sunshine. Brave backup? Hardly. His knees wobble a bit and he keeps his gaze downcast, watching everything out of the periphery of his vision, ears folded back. Still, he holds his ground- and his book. The Art of Hoosticuffs hangs like a pendulum from his mouth.

The sinister Stormcloud's snide rebuke makes him wince. He glances up and murmurs, quietly at first, then abit louder: "You din't… you din't let her finish." It's rude to interrupt, you know.

A small white blob drops from one of the seagulls, falling right at Stormcloud's head.

Magpie lets out a little gigglesnort despite the situation. She gives Tale Chaser a rueful glance. Heh.

Ruby-Blossom huffs cutely "Everypony calm down…" glancing at the assembled super-team known as the Foalsome Four. She huffs again then gently nudges Sunshine. "You can, I believe in you." her glance distinctly on Stormcloud as she speaks those words - clearly Ruby believes in Sunshine as a whole - good and bad seperated be danged. "But if you prefer I go first, I will." she suddenly trots forward with full intent of trotting right upto Sunshine.

Stormcloud glares at Sadaka and Tale-Chaser, but before she can exactly tell them off, something strikes her ear. Splat! Ew… The grey mare sighs deeply, reaching down to 'borrow' one of the pony goon's vests to wipe the gunk off with. She glares at the seagulls. "Don't think I've forgotten about you either! You're all fish-food when I get my hooves on a proper crossbow!" Grumble mutter. She's been dodging bombs all week, it feels like.

Oh right. Tormenting a filly. Stormcloud grunts and glares at the fearsome group of goodie-goodies surrounding the white foal. "Get to the point already. Do I get my conscience back or not? I have important /things/ to /do/." Each emphasis ending with a hoofstep on Rock'em's poor face.

Sunshine, through all this, doesn't move more than an inch, and that inch is more towards the three bigger kids surrounding her. Trembling hard, even with the encouragement, there's little tears in her eyes! It looks like Ruby's going to have to go first.

Seems that Rising Chaos is getting a little closer, still not intruding on the little scene unfolding. A part of this? Oh no, dear pony, you must be mistaken, I am only watching.

For starters - Ruby doesn't look nearly as afraid of Stormcloud as she should while trotting towards the other mare. Matter of fact she trots /right/ up to the big, mean mare all the while wearing a stern, confident look on her face. "Sunshine. You know this behavior isn't what you really want, and you're just acting this way because…" she trails off - deciding to details aside for the moment. She huffs "I know you didn't make alot of friends, and did alot of really bad things you'd prefer to forget." Naturally 'forget' entails disposing of her 'good half'. "But, I by no means am going to let you do that to yourself." Then it happens - Stormcloud is exposed to the most heinous and terrifying weapons in Ruby's arsenal…

*HUG!* Stormcloud finds herself in Ruby's clutches in what could only be described as a big affectionate bear hug - complete with cheek nuzzles and squeezes. Clearly alot of ponies would argue this is too good for Stormcloud.
Tale-Chaser's ears flick back. He gnaws the bookmark of his tome of punishment anxiously, and glances up at Ruby. She has a plan! Let's see what she does.

In the meantime, he just reaches out with a hoof and rests it on Sunshine's shoulder.

"We've been over this." Stormcloud states as calmly as she can. "I don't have a good side right now. You're babysitting my good side." the dark mare states, pointing at Sunshine. She leans to the side, commenting to Ruby, "Wonderful job on that, by the way, she's learning /so much/, I can tell." Then she straightens up, "I'm just the—" HUG! WHAT! That makes Stormcloud promptly stop talking, her mouth just hanging open. Looking all sorts of confused. Ruby's the same one that kicked her last time! Now hugging?

Seeing /that/ makes Sunshine blink though, twice! Clearing the tears (and a sniffle too), she stares at the image of Ruby hugging Stormcloud. And…then she turns to hug Tale Chaser! And Magpie! And Sadaka too! (sniff!) Then she zooms. Literally zooms, bounding over wet cobblestone, over to where she can crawl up on the hugging mares. Because that's the best vantage point she has to look the big, scary, dark mare in the black eyes and give an adorable huff. "Y-yeah! Y-y-you don't wanna hurt me! A-and I can be strong t-t-too!" She can only keep the hold for so long though, skidding down the mare's back and onto the street again, where she turns around and starts trotting back to the rest of the ponies looking as dignified as a little white squirt can look. "A-a-and I don't need to be a-afraaaaaiiii…" *THUD*

Just like that, Sunshine suddenly faceplants into the street.

The seagulls all gather together and suddenly flock down somewhere a few streets away. There's a muffled scream.

Magpie lets out a snort-giggle and trots forward. "That's right. She doesn't have to be afraid of you. 'cause she's got friends who won't let you be in charge any more, got it?"

"Sunshine!" gasps Tale Chaser, hastening forward to kneel at the filly's side. The book is left on the cobbles for now- don't worry, its cover is BLOODPROOF, so a bit of spring sogginess isn't about to hurt it- as the seacolt checks to make sure she's not, y'know. Dead by way of coming into direct contact with evil.

He glances towards the seagulls, but doesn't worry too much about them, because they, like all flying things, are best not considered too closely.

Rising-Chaos walks up beside Tale Chaser, seeing her chance to intervene. She kneels next to sunshine and the colt, giving them both a small, TOTALLY SINCERE smile. "Hello there, has Sunshine hurt herself?" Because she has band-aids, how helpful.

Sunshine isn't doing a whole lot of moving post-faceplant. Breathing sure! But not much else. Did she knock herself out? Or faint? Or..?

Ruby's hug appears to have had an effect so she maintains the status quo of hugs and affectionate nuzzles; after all she is Sunshine's friend as whole - even prior to the split; not that anypony would believe Maddie had a friend.
Sadaka blinks, returning the hug! And drawing herself up a bit! Because Sunshine's being /brave/. Yay! It's good to be brave. And stand up to bad ponies. Like her Papa does, totally! The elation doesn't last /terribly/ long, though, as Sunshine seems to exhaust her stores of bravery pretty quickly - the little zebra squeaks and scampers off after Tale Chaser towards her fallen friend as well.

Magpie steps forward, but it's in the attitude of a guard rather than to help Sunshine. She won't take an eye off the iron-legged monster. "Ruby," she says warningly.

Tale-Chaser, still beside Sunshine, moves to collect the filly and get her up out of the street. She may be breathing but that's not as reassuring as he was hoping for. The young seapony glances to Sadaka as she draws near, gesturing for her to help collect the fallen Sunshine, but turns his attention back to Rising Chaos momentarily, brow furrowed. "Who're you…?" he asks, wary. He'd probably actually know if he stopped to think, but he's not thinking very straight right now. "Do you… do you know her…?"

A low-flying swarming mass of seagulls rolls out onto the street. It seems there is a pony stuck in the middle of it.

As probably the biggest pony here and not hugccupied (eee, for once!) Rising makes the logical decision. "Here, I'll carry her. My name's Rising Chaos, I'm Ruby's friend, I know Sunshine a bit. I only want to help." She moves to do just that, getting Sunshine on her back. "She'll be fine, I know how to heal her if she's hurt at all." Hear that soothing voice, not enhanced in any way.

The hug was stunning for sure. Stormcloud had no idea how to react to that! She froze, and got yelled at by the white filly, and now… Now she's got this /dark/ look on her face. As if the greyness of her coat turned into black all around her face. Like a monochromatic blush. She watches ponies taunt her. She watches Sunshine lose consciousness, with ponies tending to her so fast.

She breaks free and takes a step back, something about the situation just /clicking/ in her head. "Heh. Heheh. You're right. You're all right. I no longer interested in killing off my better half." Her head dips. "…It'll be much more fun to watch you all squirm instead. Maybe we'll play again! Hide and seek. Hohohooho!"

Stormcloud thusly spins about and, with a single moment to rear back, gallops off down the port streets, cackling her merry head off! …Possibly even right through the big ball of seagulls. "Get outta my way you birdbrains!" Zoom!

Ruby is left with a confused look upon her face after Stormcloud breaks free and rushes off. Quietly she watches the path where the mare dissapeared for a long moment before getting up to join the others; offering a nod of greeting to Rising-Chaos along the way. "Sadaka, sweetie?" she glances around before locking eyes on the foal. "I should let you know, that Maddie and I kind of became friends before she dissapeared. That doesn't excuse anything that she's done - just…" she rubs her cheek, best not to mention the kiss - that was the love potions fault. "I don't think she's a bad mare deep down." pointing towards Sunshine as evidence.

Tale-Chaser doesn't look so sure, both of Rising's reassurance and of his own ability to stop her when she moves to collect the filly. "Rising Chaos…?" Familiar name. Where has he heard that before? Wait! Shouting! Action! He glances about, eyes wide. "R-Ruby? Magpie?" Someone confirm! Oh god! He glances towards his book, then back at Sadaka once again, then up at Rising Chaos.

Uh. "She's not actually /evil/," comes Magpie's not-so-ringing endorsement. She looks after Stormcloud and slowly pockets the bag of ball bearings she's been hovering the whole time. "What'd that last thing mean? Watch us squirm?"

Sadaka blinks, moving to gather Sunshine up, but is halted by Rising being a bit quicker (and, you know, bigger). She blinks up at her, looking a bit uncertain herself. "Wait, we… Ms. Ruby can help, we've got it," she states, blinking over at Ruby as she approaches. Then she pauses, and frowns, and tilts an ear, looking suddenly quite confused. And a bit put off. "…Wait, you… what?" She peers up at Ruby, then after the way Stormcloud had taken off. "…You're her /friend/?" She glances over her shoulder towards Sunshine as Ruby points, looking even more confused. What the hay does that have to do with the matter? Sunshine isn't Maddie, duh. Sunshine is a /nice/ filly. Sunshine is /her/ friend. Maddie is… /Mad Mare/. And now the little zebra just looks confused, and a bit uneasy, and rather disconcerted on top of it all. Wat.

Ruby-Blossom huffs cutely. "Rising can help carry Sunshine back to the salon." afterall, Ruby is already carrying extra weight as is. "I am Sunshine's friend - yes." she looks confused. "You /do/ know what Maddie's /real/ name is, right?" she asks Sadaka curiously while reaching out to gently pat her head. "Let's talk while heading back. I know she was -unpopular- to say the least, but she's not as bad as everypony thinks, and well maybe if she had more friends she'd come around, right?"

The gathering of gulls momentarily explodes as Stormcloud charges through. Poor Whirligig is caught in the middle of the mass.

See, all this doubt wiould be frustrating for most ponies. Rising Chaos takes it in stride. She stands still, waiting for a general concensus in the general direction of 'leave'. The unicorn smiles down at Tale Chaser. "Yes, I am a friend of Ruby Blossom. When I saw Sunshine in trouble I came over to help. Who are you, do you know Sunshine?" She looks up and over to Ruby returning the nod. "Will we be taking her to the Salon then? I can help with that, it would be my pleasure."

Oh wait, you thought she was a bad pony here? She's being serious, nothing but supportive and good will here.

Tale-Chaser nabs his book, looks worriedly at Rising Chaos once more, then turns to hover near Magpie. The questions go unanswered. He was thinking he'd be satisfied if he made it out of this without getting kicked in the face, and he did- everpony did, hurrah for our noses!- but now that that has actually come to pass it it's not all that fulfilling. Was this a victory? It doesn't feel like one. This is all very unpleasant.

Magpie gives TC a nudge. She looks just as discomfited as he does.

So it is that finding Stormcloud was easy. Dealing with her, not so much! What happened to Sunshine? There are no easy answers to be had on the way back to the Mane Event… It isn't until the helpful group of ponies step inside, unconscious Sunshine in tow, that they find someone who might have an idea waiting for them.

Indeed, a somewhat unusual visitor has stopped by the salon. Manyara is sitting on one of the waiting chairs, looking over a magazine with a somewhat subdued interest. While the abada's presence might not be /that/ strange - she certainly has plenty of mane to style - she's never come by the salon for such things before! And from the fact that her mane is beaded and brushed as much as it ever is, one wouldn't expect she's here looking for a manecut today. She looks up as the little group makes its way in, and gives a small smile and a nod of greeting, as though she'd been the one waiting there for them instead of this venue, you know, belonging to one of the ponies /in/ said group.

Ruby's reaction to Manyara's appearance could almost be described as 'expectant', and it comes with a little huff - not mean, just you know magic >:| "Hello, Manyara." she gives a small nod. "Would you like some tea?" Ruby asks calmly - in all honesty she is curious, and doubts Manyara's appearance is coincidence.

Tale Chaser has no idea who or what that thing is. His vaguely sullen state of worry is soon replaced by mute bewilderment. He still hovers near Magpie. The book is back in his satchel, though the bookmark by which it shall be wielded hangs out.

Having carried Sunshine all this way, Rising Chaos is starting to feel a little winded. Just because she is the biggest, doesn't mean she's that strong, even if she happens to exercise a lot. She'll keep the filly on her back for a bit, though, since the unicorn has no idea who Manyara is.

Magpie leans over to nuzzle Tale Chaser's cheek. "You were very brave," she says loyally, her perception of the event perhaps somewhat slanted by her obvious affection for the colt.

Sadaka trails along after the group, still looking somewhat confused - and keeping her distance from Ruby for the time being. She's not /entirely/ sure what to make of all the mare's talk, but one thing's for sure, she doesn't seem to like it. 'Not as bad as everypony thinks', huh? Clearly Ruby does not know what Sadaka knows. That is the only explanation.

Manyara smiles warmly, and nods, setting the magazine aside. "Thank you, Ruby dear, that would be just lovely. I am quite fond of a good cup of tea." She turns that smile on Tale Chaser, and gives a faint chuckle, not seeming at all put off by the bewildered look. "Well hello there, little one." She glances back to Ruby, and then around to the group as a whole. "I hope you'll pardon my neglecting to make an appointment. I wouldn't want to to intrude," though she speaks with a tone that seems to somehow indicate that she doesn't mind, at all, really.

Tale-Chaser relaxes visibly at the nuzzle, and offers Magpie a smile. "Thanks," he says. He doesn't agree, but there's no real point in arguing. He gives her a quick hug, then moves to check on Sunshine, still keeping a wary, yet curious eye on Maynara. He repeatedly fails his lore checks but keeps making them anyway.

Ruby moves as swiftly as a mare in her current state can, and sets water to boil at the snack station near the waiting area. She motions back behind her towards the spare couch in the waiting area of the salon. "Lie Sunshine on the couch. I've no doubt she'll be fine. Rising, and Tale-Chaser; this is Manayara. She's like an ubercorn or something." She retrieves some snacks from the mini-fridge under the counter, and returns to the group with tea, juice, fruit cups, and cookies. The waiting area of the salon should be comfortable enough for everypony to get comfortable. She must admit - how come Tale gets the kudos for being brave, she's the one that hugged Stormcloud.

Magpie 's not dating Ruby, that's why.

Manyara gives a faint chuckle. "I am an abada," she states to Tale Chaser. "I imagine we are just as much myth and legend to your kind as your people once were to me." She seems quite amused by this idea. Perhaps the slightest bit wistful. Ah, seaponies. Absolutely /fascinating/. But now is not the time to reminisce! She accepts the tea with a grateful nod.

"It would seem," the abada begins, apparently not wanting to skirt around the matter, "that some strange happenings have been going on involving a pony of our… mutual acquaintance." This is directed at Ruby, though her gaze for a moment lingers on Sunshine. "Unusual indeed, though interesting to say the least."

Sunshine makes a small noise as she's set down on the couch, and talked about no less! But she doesn't quite awaken.

Magpie circles the couch and hops up behind, draping herself over the back of it. "Yeah, yeah," she says with a wave of her hoof. "Do you know why she's asleep all of a sudden?"

Rising-Chaos nods, and places Sunshine on the couch. She keeps an eye on ALL parties, and takes up a place in the corner. she's still got a bit of glow going on with her horn, but seems to be content to listen and just be here.

WHACK! A seagull slams into the window!

After depositing the tray on the table, Ruby is quick to provide Manyara with a nice up of Earl Grey with double bergamont; then another cup for Rising - should the mare decide to be social and refrain from her Batman-like persona of quite solitude. It's onto four cups of juice before settles on the couch beside Sunshine; leaving the snacks available for all ponies present. "Does her split have anything to do with your magic?" Ruby asks flat out. "Or is something else at work?" Gently brushing a hoof against Sunshine's mane. "Regardless…I'd like to know exactly what is occuring so we can help, properly."

Tale-Chaser helps himself to a cookie.W ell, too cookies. And then he scoots over to the couch where Maggie sits and hauls up onto it to settle on it like a normal pony does as opposed to some pony doing their best impression of a throw rug! Abada, huh? He files that away for future reference, but stays quiet for now. The sudden slap of the seagull causes him to jump, looking towards the window with alarm- AAH SHE FOLLOWED US HER CREEPY METAL LEGS CAN RUN AT LIKE A THOUSAND TOES PER HOUR! But no. Just… just the wind. Yeah… he brushes some cookie crumbs off of the couch from where they were terror-gasped out of his mouth and hopes Ruby didn't see.

Manyara gives a small smile, raising a hoof. "This is no direct a result of my magic, no. I've done nothing to cause it - the last time I saw our dear Mad Mare was quite some time ago." She sips at the tea appreciatively. "No, something else is at work here, I believe. As to why she's… asleep," she asides to Magpie, "well, it's not normal for a pony to be split in two. …Perhaps a bit more normal for the Mad Mare," she amends after a moment's thought, "but a mental split and a physical split are very different beasts. I daresay this is not a healthy condition for one to be in." She doesn't seem startled by the seagull at all. In fact, if it weren't for the sideways glance she gives the window, one would think she hadn't even noticed.

Magpie jumps prety high herself when the bird hits the window. O.o She lets out a nervous giggle a second later and reaches down to rub TC's mane. Muss muss muss muss

Magpie 's mussing slows to a stop. "…Not healthy..?" She puts a hoof to her mouth. "…you mean she's sick? She might… die?"

Tale-Chaser is calmed by the petting, but no amount of Maggiemusses can soothe him as the prospect of ponies dying is brought up. He looks to Sunshine with alarm, then back at Magpie, then at Manyara, eyes wide and worried. But she's so cute!

Ruby doesn't pay much attention to the mess made by Tale-Chaser, after all Maggie can clean-up after her coltfriend later. "Manyara means we'll need to make Sunshine whole again, and sooner than later." She pets the foals mane gently with one hoof. "Maddie's not as bad as she's acted in the past, and I think…if everypony remembers this side of her afterwards, that Sunshine would end up for the better." she puffs her cheeks - thinking about what Mad-Mare did to Sadaka for a moment. "Sunshine did mention a purple pony helping her before…I just don't know of a purple pony capable of such things." Despite a purple pony being in the room.

Rising-Chaos didn't notice, seagulls smashing in to windows? Amateurs, she had insane alchemists and filly Ruby blossom crashing through ehrs. Still, she takes the tea, and sips it calmly. "So long as the two halves are seperated, either their condition will continue to degrade, or eventually they will stabilise, but either way it won't be good for her." Using her extensive knowledge of not really understanding it at all.

Sadaka, meanwhile, has sat back on her haunches, looking between the abada, to Sunshine, to Ruby, to Sunshine, to Manyara, to Sunshine again. …Click. "Wait, she… /she's/ Mad Mare?" That came out rather squeaky, didn't it? Yeah, that was a squeak. "That… that's not… /possible/. She… she's a foal. And she's… she's /nice/, and…" WAT.

Magpie ums. She's still draped over the couch. "She's… um… she's like all the good stuff inside Mad Mare, right? And Stormcloud is the bad stuff. There, uh… there's a lot more bad stuff than good stuff, see. So Sunshine is tiny.

A flurry of seagulls swirls around right outside the window, almost like a tornado of birds.

Magpie glances at Ruby, then at Manyara. "So… so, if they don't get back together, they'll get sick, right? And Storm is bigger, so she won't get sick as fast, right?" That's logic, that is. "But — but what if we told her she'd die without Sunny? She'd have to glue herself back together, right?"

Ruby-Blossom looks mildly annoyed. "It's not as simple as 'good' and 'bad' - they're two parts of a whole, and even Stormcloud has good attributes!" quick to defend the other half - simply because it's half of the whole. "Stormcloud also represents Sunshine's strength and will - the things that kept her going despite all the bad." she glances down into her lap. "The Stromcloud half of Sunshine isn't one to listen to reason - she's one that…" no need to mention that here; Ruby sighs. "I think we need to find out how to mend her, and then we'll have to basically…trap them both."

Tale-Chaser looks back and forth between the various participants. Okay, nopony seems to be about to die, though the situation is still unpleasant. He furrows his brow and finishes chewing and swallowing- talking with your mouth full is rude- and speaks up. "S-Stormcloud seemed to, uh… think that… like she seemed like she was acting like she'd… done something, there. Like she knew something we didn't, before she left. Did… did anypony else think that?"

Magpie says "It kinda sounded like a threat t' me." She glances sideways at TC. "We should all stay together until this is over. Y'know. For safety.""
Manyara nods to Rising, and then to Magpie. "That's about it, yes. How exactly it will go, I can't be certain. But they can't remain two separate entities. They are both parts of each other." She casts Ruby a glance, and gives a small smile. "Sometimes things are simple. Perhaps it'd be easier if this were one of those times." She glances down at Sadaka. "Ponies aren't so… black and white. If you'll excuse the turn of phrase. Even the worst of ponies have some good in them somewhere. You won't always get a chance to see it like this."

"Yeah, that's a good idea," agrees Tale Chaser, clueless. He goes to take another bite of his cookie and freezes with it against his lips, then glances back at Magpie, then blushes beneath his already pink coat. "Ohh, uh."
"You can stay in my room!" Magpie offers. So generous! She's an inspiration.

Ruby-Blossom puffy cheeked - "It's possible Stormcloud is aware of the situation…and is willing to forgo re-union." Maggie promptly gets a firm poke. "He can stay with Kludge, you already have Sunshine. Nice try." she grins warmly. The thought of firing Sunshine at Stormcloud using one of Carronade's cannons comes to mind…but that probably wouldn't achieve the desired result. "Manayara, any suggestions?"

Magpie eardroops and sticks her tongue out at Ruby. "What if he wants to sleep in the /tub/, huh?"

Tale-Chaser glances back at Magpie, then across to Ruby, then down at the carpet. "I… I like tubs," he says, almost guiltily.

Ruby-Blossom glances towards the wall seperating the waiting room from the salon. "Actually, a fishtank might look good there…"

Tale-Chaser doesn't look like he would dislike the idea all that much. He's about to open his mouth and sugges that if Ruby installs one, that it has room for two, but he never gets that far and shrinks back in his seat with a blush and a glance up at Magpie.

"So, er… if we need to find Stormcloud… where did she go?" He thinks. "Maybe we could ask her, um… goons?" He thinks. "Come to think of it nobody checked on them, did they…"

Insert short clip of seagulls pecking at Rock'Em and Sock'Em.

Manyara looks over at Sunshine, tilting an ear. "Well… these things are tricky. Rejoining can be a touchy subject. They're meant to be one being, but if they won't accept that, it may be difficult to force the issue." She takes another sip of her tea. "If they're going to be one being, they need to stop acting as though they are two."

Because that is /so incredibly helpful/, indeed.

Rising-Chaos has had enough of the chat. "As nice as this has been, and I am glad I could help. I think it's time for me to go home. Have a ncie day, everypony, hopefully I cna see you in better circumstances soon." Yeah, sure chaos. "Pleasure finally meeting you, Manyara." Wtih that she makes to go.

Ruby-Blossom waves warmly to Rising "Stop by soon." she tells the other mare.

Manyara nods to the departing pony, giving a small wave. "Nice meeting you too, Rising Chaos. Perhaps we shall see each other again."

"Bye…" says Tale Chaser, waving a hoof to Rising. Who is she… who is she… OH! Right when Rising is out the door, he realizes. The one Spindrift is all- like… living with. Oh. Ohhhh. He suddenly feels quite silly for his suspicion and gnaws a cookie guiltily.

"I will," Rising chaos says, before leaving for home.

The door opens as Rising departs, and there's a fog of of seagulls.

Ruby stiffles a small yawn and motions towards the stairs at the back of the salon. "Everypony who's staying head upstairs." grumpily she hefts Sunshine onto her back - one on the bottom, one on the top; tough work as she hauls Sunshine upstairs.

Manyara gets to her hooves, setting the teacup aside. "I suppose it is time for me to take my leave as well. Thank you for the tea, Ruby, it was lovely." With that, she makes her way towards the door.

Tale-Chaser glances out the door at the seagulls for that terrifying moment they're visible, staring. After the door shuts, he glances about. "I'm staying," he blurts. "Nice to meet you, miss Manyara, thank you for helping to explain things." With that he hastens upstairs after Magpie.

Then pops back down and grabs another cookie and heads back up.