Continually Unlikely
IC date: Winter 27, 1007
OOC date: January
PCs: Rising Chaos, Spindrift
NPCs:
GM:

The beach of Horseshoe Harbour is a chaotic place. It's receiving the worst of the storm, wind and rain pelt it endlessly. There is no logical explaination for a pony to be out here in this weather unless the need is urgent. After all, who would wnat to get closer to that spire?

Rising Chaos does, apparently. She's yet again found herself unable to sleep, as is the case with most ngihts, As is also the case with most nights, she's come to the beach to be alone weith her thoughts. The storm tossed waves and horrible weather are oddly soothing. Hardly surprising that a pony named Chaos finds such chaos to her taste.

Currently she's laying on her side on the ebach. Her cloak covers her, seemingly impervious to the rain. Said resistance may or may not be due to a faint glow form her horn. The mare looks tired, but not run down, she's been exercising almost all day after all. The wound on her chest is ignored, but has new bandaging.

With the howl of the wind and the irritated roar of the uneven surf, it is never quiet out here. One may be alone with their thoughts, but it is not a silent solitude. Always there is that constant noise of the storm. It's grown uneven, wobbling about on its axis of the Spire, such that occasionally the lopsides whirlpool sloshes heavily, a tidal wave cresting at the edge only to slosh back in to the spinning basin created by the vortex.

Noisy as it is, Rising is likely to completely miss the slow, shuffling hootsteps, muted by the wet sand and a sluggish speed, until they stop nearby. The perhaps familiar voice of Spindrift speaks up, hoarse and measured. "Hello, Rising Chaos." The seapony is in her land guise- the collar-like plates of her phylactery hung loosely about the same chain that hangs the Black Heart, which remains, as always, hanging from her neck. She still looks ill, and thin, with that oily presence in her eyes, and large patches of bare skin on her forelegs where red sores have erupted.

Rising-Chaos is caught completely off guard by the apeparance of Spindrift. She manages to control herself though, and doesn't jump or even move. She does, however, smile, Spin is now a friend, and she would like to keep that up. "Hello miss Spindrift. What brings you to the beach on this fine evening?" She's enjoying the weather, as not many ponies could. Even the howl of wind and danger doesn't deter her. It's strange that a pony who finds so much stress in just being around others can find this, of all things, relaxing.

"Where else would I go?" offers Spindrift in lieu of a proper answer. She's staring down at Rising, looking her over, and stopping at the sight of that chest wound. It's only after several moments of consideration that enough lucidity comes to her gaze that she seems to realize what she's seeing. The seapony's eyebrows lift ever so slightly. "You've been in a fight."

Rising-Chaos shrugs non-commitally. Only now does she look over at Spindrift. "Stabbed last night, it will heal. You look worse though, why don't you have a seat?" She pats the sand beside her, an inviting smile on her face. Perhaps if she can get Spindrift talking, she can help her, at least a bit. Her magic isn't quite exhausted after today anyways.

Spindrift looks slowly to the indicated spot, and wobbles slightly as she considers it. She doesn't sit, but nor does she appear to have really understood the offer. "Why don't I sit…?" she says, absently, before blinking up at Rising. "I have… something. For the wound." Turning about, she roots about and retrieves an object wedged in one of the links of the chain around her neck. It's a small vial with a dark red substance inside. She holds it in her teeth for a moment, then leans down to lay it near Rising. "A gift from… from Sodium Fizz. I believe that was her name." The seapony pauses. "She says it is a healing potion. You should drink it."

Rising-Chaos looks at the healing potion, then up at the mare who offered it to her. The raises an eyebrow. "I hardly think I'm going to take this when you are in worse need. What kind of friend would I be if I did, hmm? Besides, my wound isn't so bad, it's already healing." The unicorn pats the spot again, meaningfully. "Lie down, Spindrift. You look like you need it."

Spindrift drops down to the sand without much in the way of protest, knuckling over onto her forelegs then dropping her hindlegs down heavily. She looks back and forth between the vial and Rising with bleary-eyed confusion before furrowing her brow. "Your magic has returned. That's good."

Rising-Chaos levitates the vial in to the air, removes the lid and offers it to Spindrift meaningfully. "My magic has, indeed returned, sooner than expected as well. Now drink up." There's a half pleading, half serious look on her face. "Seems I'm taking care of a bunch fo stubborn mares recently," she chuckles grimly.

Spindrift squints at the vial as one might an uppity gnat, and after a moment, reaches up to take it in a hoof, holding it steadily. "Who else?" she wonders, absently, before turning a frown towards Rising. She seems to slowly be gaining a bit more presence of mind, if the grouchiness is any indication. "And you are hardly one to talk. A sucking chest wound is hardly something to shrug off. Who assaulted you?" She frowns. "These are hardly conditions to take it out in, either. Ensure that the bandages are changed as soon as you go home."

Rising-Chaos notices Spindrift gaining coherence. She watches the vial intently, intending to see to it that Spindrift drinks ALL of it. "Well, I am one of said stubborn mares. But I've had worse than this and walked it off. It was a pony named Heart Throb, he decided he wanted to have some fun at my expense." Her horn flashes, and Spindrift will no doubt feel some of her wounds feeling better. "It's not a question of me being wounded though, I can take care of myself. You don't seem to be able to do so, so I'll help you." Her tone is steady, sincere, no grouchyness.

Spindrift has little in the way out outright wounds- a few of the sores on her legs seem to fade slightly, becoming less enflamed. She flinches at the unexpected spell, ears flicking back, then blinks her eyes open and scowls. "If you will not see it healed supernaturally, then at least ensure it heals ~properly,~" she chides. "Lest it leave a scar." She still holds the vial in her hoof, and glances at it irritably, having not made a move to drink it but obviously sill keeping it in the back of her mind. "I trust you made sure this… Heart Throb regretted his actions. As this town lacks anything in the way of law enforcement, some sort of primitive justice will have to have sufficed."

Rising-Chaos nods. "The wound will heal, I am taking good care of it. You don't have to worry about me Spindrift. I may lose, but I always survive." She winces at the thought of Heart Throb. "No, I didn't. He completely overpowered me, Stormdancer came to my aid, but was unwilling to hurt him. Queen Pegasus eventually scared him off, but earned a stab in the back." Rising looks sidelong at Spindrift, pausing to at emphasis to her next words. "A far more serious wound than mine." She looks back out to sea. "So he's still at large. I intend to train myself so the next time I see him, he doesn't have the chance to get close."

Spindrift's eyes narrow at the mention of Queen Pegasus, but she holds her tongue. She continues to do so for several long moments, watching Rising thoughtfully, the hoof that holds the vial slowly lowering. "You are romantically involved with her," offers the seapony at last. "Is that the case?"

Rising-Chaos stiffens at that. That tone of voice, coupled with the implication and what Spindrift has said about her Queen previously just made her mad. She controls it, something she does often. "I am in love with her, yes." Rising rests her chin on her hooves and waits for the derision.

Spindrift tilts her head slightly, turning her gaze out towards the water. "I'd always wondered just what it was you saw in her. What she offered in exchange for your obeisance." She gestures vaguely with that vial-holding hoof. "Power of some sort. Promises of control over parts of the town, something to that effect. I had never simply considered the possibility that all it was was a simple matter of love." The seapony stares at the water for a moment longer, before shrugging with a dismissive arch of her eyebrows. "Good that you have found it, provided she reciprocates. Does she know you speak so candidly with me here?"

Rising-Chaos is surprised, but doensn't show it. the answer wasn't positive, nor was it overtly negative. "At first, it was power. Then it was loyalty, now love. The feeling is mutual between her and I, I know that much for a fact." The question makes her think for a moment, a long moment. During that time, Chaos takes out one of her practcie balls, and tosses it up in the air, catching it, tossing it, catching it, over and over. "I don't think she cares, though I would certainly tell her if she asked. You may be surprised to learn, but to us, you aren't the big bad. I'm about as concerned about your plans as you were of my interference."

"Good to know I have been dismissed," says Spindrift. "Sodium Fizz was of a similar mindset- that all of this is inevitably going to blow over. Disregarded." She gestures again, this time towards the Spire, and with an irritable snap of her hoof. The contents slosh about and quiver as they come to a rest. "Tell her, then, if she asks. Let her come and run me through. If it gives her a sense of victory or of vengeance fulfilled, then my death will serve more of a purpose than it otherwise may."

Rising-Chaos chuckles at that. "I think you didn't quite undersatnd what I said Spindrift. I'm not intimidated by you anymore, or your plan. Because I am now, quite fond of you. I am fairly sure I told you that you were going to survive this, did I not? If that means that I will stand in the way of the heroes at the end, and drag you to safety myself, that is what i'll do." She casts another glanc espin's way. "Drink your potion, by the way." A soft chuckle follows. "I don't think Queen Pegasus will run you through any time soon. Once this is all over, we can get you back to having a life."

Spindrift scowls slightly, lifting the vial. She stares at it critically. "Wasted effort," she says, lifting the vial as if in a toast, before tossing it back like a shot. She releases the vial afterwards, letting it land in the sand. "I am no longer interested in intimidating you or anyone. I have failed in that regard; I realize that. And I will not believe your beau does not hold a grudge when I hear it directly… from her…" The seapony drifts off as she lifts one her forelegs, watching as one of those sores, already calmed by Rising's magic, slowly smooths over, leaving skin that is still bare and furless, but smooth and unharmed. Soon all of the sores are likewise gone. She seems dumbfounded, and she certainly isn't complaining anymore.

Rising-Chaos looks ecsatatic at the healing process, and places a hoof on spindrift's. "Never a wasted effort for a pony I care about. I will see you back to what you really are, becasue this isn't you Spindrift." The ball continues to go up, and down, and Rising turns back to the sea, not wanting to make Spindrift uncomfortable. "It's amazing, really."

Spindrift's surprised gaze flicks up to Rising at that touch, the seapony still clearly a bit beyond words at the moment. She looks back down at her leg afterwards and slowly puts it down, then looks out to sea. "What is…?" she asks, the astonishment gradually relaxing from her expression.

A moment later, the Black Heart throbs with a heavy, low beat, just below the edge of audible hearing. The seapony groans silently and sinks down to the sand as if all the energy has been sucked out of her, her bewildering gaze turning to one of utter despondence.

Rising-Chaos was expecting this. She turns back around, shuffling so she's looking right at the larger mare. Time for plan A, Rising has never been very god at plans. "This is what's amazing." She lunges forwad and hugs Spindrift, the second time that's happened. This time though, She uses on hoof to grab the Black Heart for all it's worth. "I learnt what's more powerful than despair."

Ice needles lash out from the Black Heart as it is grasped, painful to the touch, but lancing also into the spirit. Rising has touched that fel crystal before- she may know exactly what's happening when it starts to eat away at her hopes, as all that she enjoys and looks forward to seems more bleakly impossible by the moment. Spindrift struggles, weakened by its pulse a moment earlier, trying to simultaneously push Rising back while wedging her forelegs between the unicorn and the Heart. The seapony's phylactery, having only loosely been gathered around the Heart, falls free to land in the sand. "D-don't!" hisses Spindrift. "You foolish unicorn! What… what do you think you could possibly accomplish by subjecting yourself to this…?!"

Rising-Chaos smiles, the ice cold needles don't feel so bad. This is the third time now, except for last time, she recovered almost immediately. This time, she thinks she can take it, for a friend. "This danged artifact has touched me three times now Spindrift. And yet, Here I am today, smiling. Ever wonder how I do it?" The unicorn thinks of Queen Pegasus, and things don't seem so bad. Even if the black heart HURTS, she knows she'll feel betetr soon. The fear isn't there, if there's one thing Chaos is good at doing, it's certainty. "I found love, happiness, friends. I solved my insecurities and petty hatreds. This stupid hunk of rock has nothing on me." She leans in and nuzzles Spindrift, affectionately, as a friend of course.

She's so going to pay for this later. Her defenses won't last forever.

That black void into which hope is drawn pulls harder at the source of Rising's assurance; it rages against the bulwarks of her comfort, and aims to devour her security. Its feral hunger is deep, and not something one can escape from unscathed, especially when they confront it so directly- but in those securities she finds a measure of stability. She may be drained, but never fully.

Never completely emptied as Spindrift has been. For Rising finds something in that searing embrace- a strange moment of spirits united. All those whom the heart pulls from are joined in suffering, a bond the unicorn may understand by experiencing firsthand, and given a unique insight into eachothers' hearts. Spindrift's eyes flicker open for a moment, pupils dilated, as she feels that hint of love across the distance of that brief connection.

But so, too, does Rising feel in Spindrift an utter lack of the same: of all but the most fleeting hopes snuffed out, crushed and left behind. This is what the Black Heart draws upon for power- and it has the seapony in its complete and unrelenting control.

Try as she might, Spindrift can't push Rising back. "Then… then do not risk it. Do not look back…" She twists her head up and glances out to sea, calling in a hoarse voice. "P-pull her away! Make her stop!!"

Out in the water, the surf bubbles and rolls. The tide rolls in, and when it withdraws, slides around the ghostly limbs of the large, black-eyed Storm Elemental that has been Spindrift's all but constant companion this past month. The creature looks hesitantly between the two ponies as it arrives, as distraught at what it sees as it is hesitant to get involved.

Rising-Chaos stares at the other mare for a while. She udnerstand what is going on, if not why. Nor does she porpose to find out, studying the heart is a decidedly bad idea. Her vice is soft, muted as she speaks. "This thing has really hurt you, hasn't it Spindrift?" that's not soemthing she's ever felt before, even if only distantly. Even her experience with the heart left her something, anything. "You poor, poor soul."

The elemental comes out of the water, and Risnig whips her head aorund to glare at it. She remembers this joker, oh yes. This is the thing that she CAN scare. "Try it, you mindless gust of wind, and I will take you apart and reassemble you as MY servant." She kind of wants to do it anyways, has nopony else noticed how AWESOME that things is?

Rising Chaos looks back at Spindrift, currently struggling in her embrace. the effects of the black heart, desvastating as they may be, take second priority. "I refuse to let that thing win. I refuse to let it's control over you be this complete forever. I…" She removes her hoof from it and opens and closes her mouth a few times, speechless. The ball falls to the sand, rolling towards the elemental. Her voice drops to a helpless sounding whisper. "I'm fine, really."

At the threat, the elemental's coal-black eyes widen, and it shrinks back into the water. Its internal winds are calm enough that it has an easy time blending in- if not for the surf washing around its body instead of through it, it could effectively disappear in this weather.

Once Rising withdraws from the heart, Spindrift is quick to wrap her front legs around the Heart entirely, shielding Rising from it, but is otherwise too spent to go anywhere, sinking towards the sand, or towards Rising, whichever one is there to catch her fall first. She wheezes heavily, eyes half-open, pupils wheeling about as she hovers somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness. She brings herself to gradually, coughing a few times. "You… you have something to anchor you," she rasps. "Somepony. I do not. -That- is why the heart yields to me when it would resist you. Only when seized from the bottom of despair does it become a tool that can be used. But it doesn't let go after that. It will never let go."

She turns her head to watch Rising out of the corner of her eyes. "You… and the mayor, Lorelei… and Sodium Fizz… all of you have come here offering comfort, promising to help. I wish I could believe it would work. I… no matter how much I try, though, no matter how much I hope… it won't… it won't let me." She closes her eyes, tiredly. "Do you remember the zebra smuggler? Muzaji?"

Rising-Chaos doesn't believe that it won't help for a second. She just needs to be SNEAKY about it. That suits chaos just fine, the direct approach has never worked properly. She doesn't let Spindrift have a whiff of her plans, and nods. "Of course I know her, we remain in contact. What of her?"

Spindrift's breath gradually evens out as she recovers. She reaches out with a hoof, feeling about in the sand, then finds her phylactery and drags it close; soft blue sparks sputter where the metal touches her skin, though that is the extent of the reaction. "Shortly after… after Brume died, she found me as I was leaving the harbor. I had made up my mind, then, that this place to be destroyed, but I hadn't said as much then. She told me I should return, that I had friends here." The seapony hesitates visibly, breath held, before she releases it in a sigh. "I think she was right. I didn't listen, though. I was wrong. I've been… so wrong…"

Rising-Chaos nods sagely. "Being wrong is not the worst thing a pony can be Spindrift. I have been wrong many times, I'm not so bad." Rising pulls back, and paws the ground nervously, this might be sensitive. "As for Brume. You do know, that you don't have to be remembered as the bad one, right? You have every right, and every chance to be remembered as every bit of a hero as I will ensure he is remembered as. It's never too late." That's something that's been on her mind a lot recently, and not only about Spindrift.

"No…" breathes Spindrift. She takes a few moments to collect herself, picking herself upright, sand sticking to her chin and legs. The chains of the Black Heart rattle softly as she sits up, the crystal remaining inert at the moment. She opens her eyes and looks up at the looming Spire. The windows formed from the shipwrecks bound up in its mass stare back, black and empty. "I've told you- I can't stop this. Sodium Fizz told me that I was a villain, and she was right." She watches a bit longer, then turns to look at Rising once more. "It is kind of you to say that about Brume, however. Thank you."

Rising-Chaos gets to her hoovesd as well, she should really get back home. As it is, it's a mareacle she's holding herself together. "You're wrong, and I will see to it that the name Spindrift is loved, wherever I go." She retrives the ball from near the elemtnal, who's done nothing since it's appearance. "I miss back when I first met you. You were the hero, I was the villain. You would make my life a headache, and I would be too petrified to do anything about it. You make a pretty terrible villain Spindrift." She spares a wink. "I'm much better than even Fizzy. I try harder at least."

The elemental shrinks back as Rising draws close, then turns to disappear into the wind, a little whistle the only sign of its passing before it is gone into the stormy night.

Spindrift reaches up with her hoof, shakily donning her phylactery. A faded blue light envelops her figure briefly as her rear legs give way to a fish tail and fins form in the proper places, and as the effect ends she sinks back to the sand, too tired to move further. "You may be making a villain of yourself by trying to sing my praises," she notes with a brief cough that sounds like an misfired chuckle. "But I look forward to the resul-" At the mention of 'looking forward' to anything, the Black Heart pulses softly and Spindrift swallows her words. "Ugh." She takes a few moments to steady her swimming head, and glances up at the town, then back to Rising. "Goodnight, Rising Chaos. Thank you."

Rising-Chaos smirks, that was about as convincing as she is! "I'm far gone as a villain, miss. It's a life I revel in, we have more fun." There's an actual glint in her eyes as she continues. "You'll be spread around as my arch rival, the only pony who could frighten and defeat the terrible Rising Chaos." She bows in the sand, somehow managing a smile. the elemntal melting away at her very presence was nice, that stupid thing will be hers one day though. "good night, my friend."