Craterside
IC date: Autumn 65, 1007
OOC date: November 23, 2012
PCs: Sodium-Fizz, Kludge, Rising-Chaos, Jellybean, Muzaji, Winter-Solstice
NPCs:
GM: None

Imagine a still midday morning, off a littel bit in the distance lies a small harbour town, a few ships bobbing up and down in the calm waters of the dock and ponies pulling carts and wagons between the farms at it's outskirts to the market. The town looks a bit battered, a large crater lined with charred houses being one of it's most prominent current features, though even so it is lively and everything seems as it should be. For the most part.

"What do you mean 'I don't know'?! This is important, buck it!" somepony shouted into the crisp late-autumn air, sounding a both infuriated and not a little bit desperate on top of that. Zoom in. There at the edge of the crater stands a grey pegasus wrapped in a frayed and worn cloak, glaring at a rather uncomfortable looking earth pony stallion with a intensity that would possibly melt steel… Or at least lead. "Who did you give it to?" Sodium-Fizz demanded.

"Um… a colt named… what was it, Dustdevil?"

"I… Dusty? Great… I have no idea where he lives…" she craned her neck around as she waved the earth pony away. So many, many things to do now. It was rather liberating to have a choice between eating, sleeping, brewing something and going outside to be chewed up by zombies. And it keept her buissy. Now if she could just find somepony that'd be of any use…

Rising-Chaos is busy inspecting the damaged area around the crater. Her cloak wrapped tight around her as a shield against the cold. She's scribbling notes into a book when she hears Sodium Fizz's yell. She turns around with a curious expression on her face, watching the mare intently. The name Dustdevil is familiar, she's sure, but she can't seem to think of a place where they live, so Chaos contents herself with watching for now.

The ships were in, the sailors and not-pirates (the town brochure says so!) were stocking up on goods for the winter months at sea. The farmers and craftponies were all too eager to provide, for the right price of course. Thus even with it's smoldered, delapitated state the market was abustle with busy ponies.

Or ones just looking for a convenient mark for a little wheeling and dealing of their own. Buy a little here, sell it there with a minor markup, rinse, repeat, profit! It wasn't a great amount of income, but it was enough tide Muzaji over until a more potential opppritunity came along.

Like somepony yelling? Hmm. The voice wasn't familiar, but with perked ears the zebra wandered closer to investigate for herself, being equal parts avarice and curious.

Over at another part of the burned area, another pony is hard at work. Kludge is working on rebuilding Ruby's salon, glad to be back and having free reign to build structures. The construction is proceeding at a nice rate, although it's almost time to take a break. His ears twitch when he hears Fizzy shout, but otherwise he is mostly focused on the carpentry.

It's nice being home again. Even if home is, as it always seems to be of late, about half burned down. Jellybean is back to work pushing clouds around, trying to get them in all the right places. He's still bitty at this point for whatever reason but he's not letting that stop him from working. Slow him down, maybe, but not stop.

Somepony dared to come close enough, or rather somezebra, to the very localized whirlwind of currently rather moderate crazy that's Sodium-Fizz. There's no escape. Hearing Muzaji's hoofsteps over the cobbles the cloaked pony turned around and eyed her for a moment before putting on a smile. "Ah, hello. You don't happen to know the residence or whereabouts of one Dustdevil, do you…? Or… Ruby-Blossom? Windrose? Solar-Wind? Sky-Sparkler? Klud-… Oh, wait, isn't that Kludge over there?"

The mare leaned to the side, peering beyond Muzaji off into the distance before giving the zebra another hollow smile as she walked past. "Thanks for your help! I… Oh?" She stopped in mid step, turning and eyeing Muzaji's flank for a moment, or more precisely her mark. "Is… that what I think it is? Looks kinda shipping crate-ish…"

Muzaji raises a brow as the pegasus starts rattling off names before she can get a word in, then apparently notices somepony else and is all about to just wander off again. Then stops again after staring at her flank. It's an abstract arrangement of stripes like most zebra cutie marks, but not so much that one can't tell what it is.

Despite all the huff and hurry she maintains her usual casual charm. "Why yes, my friend, it is indeed. Dealer in goods that ponies' need." She crossed one foreleg in front and dipped her head a bit. "Muzaji's the name, trading's the game."

Rising-Chaos watches this all with some amount of amusement. One day, she swears, Muzaji's curiosity is going to land her in some serious trouble. Still, for now the zebra is an acquaintance, and it gives her an excuse to see what the mare wants. She makes her way over to the two, wearing a smile. "Hello Muzaji." She turns to look at the pegasus. "You seem to be in some distress, may I help?"

"I'm… not so much in distress as I'm really frustrated," came Sodium-Fizz's lie. "You leave the world for one and a half months and when you come back a friend's made of with your things, your stylist's nowhere to be found - though that seems normal for Ruby in all honesty, and the one craftspony you actualy trust you to give a good suggestion just turns up and seem to be working…" Soda smiled thinly.

"Though, I supose there's a silver lining," she continued, pointing at Muzaji, "I need somepony to help me out getting a few things… You don't happen to carry brewing equipment do you? And… and maybe alchemy ones too, pegasi crafted if you have it but it's rather hard to get a hold on… Zebra-made works fine too."

Muzaji turns her head a bit to glance in the direction Rising's voice came from. "And greetings to you as well." I guess the captain actually does let you off the ship alone once in the while, she thinks to herself. But the thought doesn't last long, because somepony is talking potential business. "Oh, I know how to get my hooves on assorted research equipment." Chuckles softly. "Just ask Rising here, whom just recently got their gear restocked."

Trundle trundle trundle. Around yon distant corner rolls a cart, and heading it up is Winter Solstice. She looks like the sunniest ray of sunshine on the sun as she tugs what appears to be a big stack of iron posts down the road. The cart has a logo on the side, all bright and shiny like it was freshly painted, featuring red text on a faint blue background: IRON STOCK'S STURDY SEAWORTHY SINKPROOF SHIPWORKS. Astute observers may realize this is the foundry where Winter works. This means she must be doing something work-related! Gadzooks! The mystery is solved! She does not yet notice the familiar faces down the str- oh, wait. Just there, she noticed them. And she was already super cheerful, and already headed in that direction, so she Remains cheerful and Continues to proceed in the direction of Soda and Rising. And Muzaji, whom is not familiar, but like Winter always (well, sometimes) says: A stranger is just a friend who hasn't told you to go away yet!

Rising-Chaos adopts a sympathetic air as Sodium explains the situation. "That sounds vexing, yes. It must be difficult putting your life back together now that you're back." She nods at Muzaji's assertion. "Though it's true, the zebra here is able to lay her hooves on some very high quality equipment, my lab is complete thanks to her." She gives it some thought. "If you're looking for Ruby, we could always ask Kludge, he would be the stallion to know, come." She trots off to where she saw Kludge working earlier, not bothering to wait and see if the others follow her.

Well, it's kinda hard to miss a pony trotting on over to you. Kludge looks over at the approaching Rising Chaos and asks "Hello Rising; how are you doing today?"

Sodium-Fizz nods and turns to follow Rising-Chaos, "I know… They were giving each other googly eyes almost the whole time… I'm suprised they've not gotten together… Speaking off, I wounder if Jellybean have found his filly after we've gotten back…" She trailed off as she caught sight of Winter, giving the large mare a wave and the insincere smile on her muzzle replacing with a genuine one. If still small. Glancing back at her little group she found herself walking along next to Muzaji, giving her a curious look. "But… equipment, huh? Even brewing equipment? And more tricky, cloud-based alchemy gear? I don't think there's many that makes that… I could, but it's a pain in the plot-hole. I'd rather buy it… if I can find my money." Soda scowled at that realisation; great, she's not only without her keepsakes, she's without her bits too. That actualy left her feeling guilty, munching of Winter and Iron Stock till she could get back on her own hooves.

Muzaji's smile broadens with the supportive reassurance. "All I need is a list and we can negotiate details from there." Like she was thinking before about just middling little trades until a grander oppritunity comes along. She turns to follow after the unicorn as she moves. "Maybe a little more tricky, but I know a few ponies that know a pegasus crafter or two." Purple eyes glance sideways to the alchemist the mention of misplaced monies, casual charmer smile not leaving her expression. "Layaways are entirely possible. Or trades. Goods and services can always be exchanged for others."

Jellybean, having taken a break from cloud-hauling, waves down on everypony from the one he's using as a perch. To Sodium-Fizz: "If you need things done with clouds you should really just ask us Weatherponies: we're trained professionals, you know."

Rising-Chaos nods to Kludge as she approaches him. "I'm fine Kludge, and yourself? This pony here." She stops in her tracks, realizing she still doesn't knwo the mare's name. She turns around and smiles to the alchemist. "Pray excuse me for being impolite, my name is Rising Chaos, and yours?"

By now, the approaching Winter is in chatter range. Well, if she raises her voice enough about a third of the town is in chatter range at any given time, but the gaggle of ponies is in chatter range for relatively normal speaking volumes that are only slightly approaching a shout! "Heya, Fizzy!!" Winter is happy to see her, of course, but: "RISING!" Winter picks up her pace a bit and skips over to Rising Chaos, the cart bouncing around behind her, and grins broadly. "Hi! I haven't seen you in forever! How have you been?" As Rising asks about Sodium, Winter sidles over to the pegasus and throws a foreleg around her withers. "This is Sodium Fizz! She's the best! Sodium, this is Rising Chaos. Like she just said. She's a totally cool wizard type. I think you two would get along!" Winter then beams a smile up at Jellybean. "Heya, 'Bean!" She then grins at Kludge. "Hi, Kludge." She then grins at Muzaji. "Hello…" Her eyes narrow a bit. "… uh… s-stripe… pony?"

Kludge just chuckles. "Glad to be back in town and not stuck on an enemy-infested iceball, Rising."

Sodium-Fizz smiled and nodded in Winter's direction. "Heya Winny! As Winny said, I'm Sodium-Fizz. Nice to meet you. Kludge already knows me too."

Turning her face skywards she waved. "Hello Jellybean! I didn't see you there… heh. Usualy don't look up unless I'm flying… And… I know, I guess. But I'm not certain I trust a weatherpony to sculpt what, if I can gather the money, would be a very sensetive sixteen feet tall, lightning-charged, highly intewoven stormcloud contraption from a blueprints…" concluded Soda, smiling a bit nervously. "Not… that it's as dangerous as it sounds! Well… unless I run it."

Muzaji mmh hmm hmms. "Sound I add hiring pegasus construction workers to you list and needs?", chimes the trader in. Services were just another commodity to be aquired and sold, as far as she was concerned. "Zebra," she corrects the… really big mare. Whoa. She didn't know mares came in that size.

Rising-Chaos smiles weakly when Winter shows up. She likes the mare, really, just sometimes the boundless energy isn't what she needs. "It has been too long, hasn't it Winter. I've been alright, the harbour almost seems quiet without you here though. How about yourself, I see not even a terrifying dimension can bring you down." She listens intently to Fizzy as she talks to Jellybean, taking notes especially of the final comment. "And the pleasure is mine, I'm sure, hopefully we can get along." She turns back to Kludge. "Sodium Fizz here was looking for Ruby, as well as several other things. I thought you may be able to be of help."

Jellybean blinks. "…why would you want to build that?" he asks Sodium. Winter, meanwhile, gets a happy wave from the little pegasus, who leaps off the cloud and gives her a nuzzle before circling around her."

Winter-Solstice grins even bigger at Muzaji. "Hiya, Miss Zebra! Golly! I didn't realize they actually named zebras 'Zebra.' I guess it's an appropriate name, though. Bet it gets kind of confusing when you're with other zebras, though. Someone's like 'Zebra!' and everybody looks up. Then they have to be all… 'No, not you, Zebra.'" The earth pony quiets for a bit as she considers. "… I'm not sure what rhymes with Zebra. 'Would you like some tea, bra?'" Winter shrugs and pats Jellybean affectionately. Strapped up to the cart, she is perhaps difficult to circle around, UNLESS one is ittybitty and can just pass under or fly over the yoke affixing Winter to the cart. She then grins at Rising. "Anyway, it was totally a lot of fun in a scary sort of I wish it had been voluntary and I'd gotten to pack an extra pair of pants way. But I did get to meet Soda here. Well, we knew eachother before but only a little but now we are TOTALLY goin' steady." Winter's eyebrows waggle up and down. "It's fabulous. You should try it. Well, not goin' steady-" eyebrow waggle waggle "- with Soda but with someone else. I bet you'd make a fine catch, Rising! You should meet yourself, like, some sort of mysterious wizardy type. Maybe a wanderer from a far-off land. Someone in a cloak. I bet you two would get along great and talk about all kinds of cool arcane mumbo-jumbo."

Muzaji shifts her glance to Chaos talking to the others for a moment as mention of that other horrible dimension comes up again. For a moment she considers mentioning that the unicorn won't have to worry about a certain wanderer for a while, but decides not to broach the subject unless it actually comes up. She's still not entirely sure herself of what to make of the grim warning Spindrift gave as she left.

Kludge gets a contemplative look on his face. "Unfortunately, Ruby didn't say where she was going today," he admits with a shrug. "How time sensitive is it that you find her, Fizzy?"

Muzaji think blinks twice at Winter, and shakes her head. "No no, I am a zebra. My name is Muzaji," she polietly corrects.

"Muzajiiiii," says Winter. "Muzajiiiiiii." She seems to be talking mostly to herself. "-Muzajiiiiii."

Sodium-Fizz sighed. "It's… not that important… Especialy since I see what I'd wanted to ask of her would be a bit of a problem," she said while giving the salon a annoyed stare. That's at least till she tune in to Winter, her ears dropping and a blush creeping onto her face. Everypony -really- didn't need to know that, surely? And she wasn't talking abut Rising-Chaos and Muzaji either, Winter's voice must haver carried clear across the market!

Soda sighed and re-introduced her face to her hoof. "Winny, the whole of the Harbour does not need to know, please. And I need that equipment to work," she added with a glance at Jellybean, "so I can make bits and have a place to live… Though the potential bill for this makes it sound like I need to rob a bank!" …again.

Rising-Chaos turns back to Winter at the mention of going steady. She catches the waggling eyebrows and sighs. She just avoids the topic entirely. Her ears perk up as an idea springs forward. "Sodium, if you need a place to work, I could loan you the use of my lab. My work is, at the moment, more in the reasearch stages, and I don't need it. It may not have your specialist equipment but it's better then nothing I'm sure." Besides, this can only benefit Chaos.

Muzaji chimes in to jump on the oppritunity, "And if you produce a few marketable concoctions I may be able to help you with the matter of income." With her fair share of the profits, of course. "Surely such a fine, intelligent, if somewhat erratic at the moment, chemist such as yourself can think of something the needing masses would be interested in…"

Winter-Solstice unslings her leg from around Soda and glances about. "They don't?" she says, absently, glancing around. Well, Winter thinks it's totally neato, so it stands to reason everybody else should! Right? Though the more she considers it, the more Winter realizes that perhaps she is inaccurate in her assessment. Her look of mild confusion gradually gives way to dawning realization and she nods with a thoughtful frown.

Kludge looks at the reconstruction of the salon, then back at Fizzy. "Well, between the squashed phoenixes, the Foalpocalypse, and the side trip to the iceball, there has been a bit of a problem in returning the salon to a functional state," he points out. "Now, if you could convince some of the other Harborites to help out in rebuilding the salon, it would go much faster. Who knows, maybe Ruby will offer a discount if you get the salon rebuilt faster. No promises about that, though."

Jellybean raises a hoof. "I can help! I want to help! Can I help?" He lands, wings flapping eagerly. He'd really like to see the town back to looking good again and maybe even STAY that way for a while.

Sodium-Fizz scrabbled backwards for a moment, actualy seeming startled over Rising-Chaos' and Muzaji's offers, seeming to shrink back under her cloak. "I'm not erratic…" she muttere, shooting the zebra a glare and not being very convincing. "And I'm a -alchemist-! Not a chemist. Chemistry is working with the mundane popperties of matter, alchemy with the magical essences and propperties of it. Big difference. I might maybe take you up on that, miss…" Soda paused, looking at Rising-Chaos for a moment, seeming rather dissinclined to finish the sentance. "I could do it with a few rusty pans, but it wouldn't be neat."

In an unintentional bit of mimicing she huffed like Ruby before turning back to Kludge, eyeing the ruins around them. "I guess… Actualy, that reminds me. I needed to ask you if you know any other craftsponies, since you're buissy helping Ruby out… I was hoping to get a place of my own built, a place to live and maybe for me to put up my own laboratory at."

Rising-Chaos shrugs, not caring. "My lab is a bit better than a few rusty pans. Your choice on if you take me up on the offer." She nods to the group. "Now, I must be off, I have work to do." She waves and trots down main street

"My apologizes. I'm just a dealer, I was unaware there was a difference." Which is a flatout lie on Muzaji's part, but it was the best way to smooth out the nerves she had unintentionally razzled. "See you later, miss." She waves after Rising, then turns her attention back to Fizz. "Regardless, the aspect is the same. Prehaps taking up your friend's offer and using your skills to produce something to be sold is the best way to get yourself back on your hooves finacially to work towards your other desires."

Winter-Solstice looks up as she listens to this, watching Sodium curiously, and quietly. There is a bit of attentiveness and clarity in her gaze that wasn't there before.

Kludge ponders Fizzy's request. "I can give you the name of a few good craftsponies I know," he finally says. "Thing is, you might not want to actually mention my name when you ask them. There were… mishaps when I last worked for them. Nothing worth mentioning, but stil."

Kludge then looks at Jellybean. "I think you might be able to help a bit with raising the vertical parts into place, Jelly. Glad for the offered help, and I'm sure Ruby will be glad for the assist as well."

Jellybean hops. "I can't really lift anything heavy but I'm sure I can help out."

Muzaji's attention drifts as she watchs another pony pass by with a cart, then gives Fizz a nudge with her elbow. "Just let me know when you need something, or have something to sell. I need to get back to injecting stimuation back into this faultered marketplace." Followed by an exaggerated cross sweep of her foreleg and bow. "And the best to the rest of you, as well." With that said, the zebra makes a quick departure. There's so so many more deals to be made while the evening was young.

Winter-Solstice waves a hoof after Muzaji. "See you, Miss Muzajiiiiiii! Nice to meet you! Good luck sellin'… uh… stuff!" She drops her hoof back down and then smiles down at Jellybean. "Hey, 'Bean. You, uh, you're still kind of small, aren't you?"

Sodium-Fizz gives Muzaji a rather weary stare, though nods. In truth, she's a bit relieved she thought her just annoyed with misstaking her profession. "I… Of course, I'll see you around Muzaji, when I have something to trade. And you to Rising-Chaos, if I need to borrow your laboratory." Actualy, the idea of having access to a propper laboratory and not the cobbled-together monstrosity she had in the base was rather pleasing and brought a smile to her lips. At least till she turned to Kludge.

"Not…? Oh, I see, I think. That's a phenomena I'm more than familiar with, I won't tell if you don't want me to… or maybe it's for my own good." Her ears perked up slightly as she turned to look at Winter and, more specificaly, Jellybean. "Oh yes… I did understand you were… um… a bit more adult, normaly…"

"It's not so much lifting the items by yourself as it is keeping them from leaning the wrong way at the top," Kludge clarified for Jelly. "I can do most of the lifting and you can help keep them in place. That sound better?"

Jellybean blushes and scuffs a hoof. "I've checked with a few ponies but none of the ones I've talked to have had any of the cure. If I can't find any here I may have to go somewhere else to get it."

Sodium-Fizz blinks and raises an eyebrow. "A cure for what…?"

Winter-Solstice points a hoof at Jellybean and smiles. "Poison Joke!"

Jellybean nods. "There was a thing and a whole bunch of ponies in town got made into foals and then there was a cure only I didn't take it for dumb reasons." He blushes and takes a few steps to the side, hiding behind Winter.

Jellybean belatedly gives Kludge a nod.

"I wouldn't call it a dumb reason, Jelly," Kludge counters. "You wanted to share your feelings with your special somepony, and since the two of you were better able to talk about it as foals, you waited on taking the cure until after you wrote letters to each other as foals. So there happened to be an unexpected delay and a detour involved along the way…"

That brought out another bout of supprised blinks form Sodium-Fizz. A moment later it broke into a smile and a giggle. "Oh! I could whip that up! Provided I got the ingredients for it… I guess it's a bit late to ask Muzaji if she have that, I can't see her anywhere…" Soda's expression sombered right up upon hearing the reason though, nodding. "I… I can understand that… Seems like a much better idea than doing it blind drunk…" Her ears flattened against her head. "Or never, unless I get forced to…"

Winter-Solstice shifts about, adjusting the harness that affixes her to the cart, apparently completely oblivious to whatever Soda is talking about.

Jellybean beams, hopping up and down. "Really, miss Fizz? You think you can do that?" Hop hop, flappflappa, hop hop! "That's great! I'm gonna go find Typhoon and tell her! She'll be thrilled!" With that, he flies off! Zoom!

Winter-Solstice waves a hoof. "See you, 'Bean! Good luck!"

Winter-Solstice then turns to smile at Soda. "Oh, well. Guess I better get going. Boss wants this all delivered quickly and here I am, yaaaakkin' it up! She was even like 'and I know you're going to want to stop and yak it up with everybody but we seriously have a lot of work to do now that you're back.'"

"Indeed - good luck, and let me know if you need any help!" calls Kludge as Jelly zips off. Catching Winny's comment, he then turns towards the brawny mare and adds "Take care as well, Winny."

Sodium-Fizz waves after Jellybean, "See you! And, well… I need ingedients for a cure, just remember that!" Chuckling softly she turned to Winter. "Sure, Winter. Don't let us keep you, and have fun."

Soda looked away for a moment, chewing on her lower lip. Then she turned right back and leant forward, placing a soft kiss on Winter's cheek. "I'll see you later."

Winter-Solstice smiles a big smile, turning to nuzzle back against Soda's cheek following the kiss. "Yeah, you know where to find me! Hee hee hee." She flashes Kludge a grin. "Seeya, Kludge. Good luck fixing ALL of the things." She then turns and shrugs into the harness, soon rumbling back on down the street towards a late delivery.

Kludge just smiles at the affection between Fizzy and Winny, then waves as Winny trots down the street.

Sodium-Fizz smiled softly before turning to glance at Kludge. "You know, you should really sweep Ruby of her hooves one of these days. I think she'd love it. True, she'd be huffy about it first, but," Soda threw a look down the path Winter dissapeared, the smile growing wider on her muzzle, "it's.. well worth it. Either way, need a hoof? I'm a bit ground-bound at the moment, Winter's bandaged up my wing rather neatly but… I think I maybe need to try it out soon."

"I might be a rather grounded pegasus," she chuckled, "but even I need some airtime… Especialy when three minutes of it doesn't leave you with icicle wings."

Kludge grins. "The more help, the merrier," he agrees, then looks around conpirationally. "Are you making that suggestion as a way of getting some revenge against Ruby?" he quips.

Sodium-Fizz planted her rear end on the ground and stuck her muzzled underneath her cloak. After a few moment she pulled away the white gauze, though one might possibly percive a bit of red as well. "Not… really, actualy. She's quite litteraly put her life on the line to make me happy, though she seems unable to grasp the idea, and… I want to see her happy, too. And I'm pretty certain she fancies you, despite how much she acts and pretends she doesn't. Even to herself."

Removing the cloak itself, though, takes significatnly more time as the mare actualy seems downright self-concious about it. As she drops away it might be a bit more clear why; their last run-in with the zombies seems to have some scars that havn't gone away in addition to her break-down. She flexed her wings experimentaly a few time before pushing off and circling Ruby's ruined saloon once before touching down again, her face scrunched up a bit. "I… don't think the flight muscles are completely healed, no doubt it's the scar tissue… I should be able to help out with some of those high-flying problems, though!"

"Extra muscle in the air is a good thing, but don't go overexerting yourself in the process," Kludge cautions. "And both Ruby and I know that she loves me, but she has a problem convincing herself of that. I think the fact that I'm there for her helps, but I think I'll give your suggestion a try. Who knows, maybe that extra push is what it'll take for her to admit to herself that she's in love."

Sodium-Fizz nods. "Yeah… I needed a push to convince myself I liked Winter in that way… Do you know how many mare's I've passed up? I… don't know either, but in the range of 'many' to 'a lot'. Though I supose what I'm saying is, put in the effort. Ruby's to nice to let things just… just hang all wibbly-wobbly and unresolved like!"

Fizzly blinked before groaning for herself, "Ugh… I swear, Winny have some kind of memetic properties to her personality… Since when have I ever gone 'wibbly-wobbly like'…?"

"Agreed. Ruby… Well. Take the feelings of love you have for Winny, and that's probably a good estimate of the love I have for Ruby," Kludge chuckles with a faraway look in his eyes and a dreamy smile on his face.

The phrase 'love you have for Winny' made Sodium-Fizz flinch and her ears flattening against her head, giving her a downright ashamed expression. "I… I don't know if… that's the right word, I… I think I'm a bit like Ruby in that way. I don't… think I want to belive I'm in love, becaus if it doesn't work… and I always have this huge looming dread that it won't… Becaus if it doesn't work, I'll be heartbroken for real and… not able to just brush it off…"

Soda drew a deep breath and let it out ever so slowly before extending her wings and hauling herself into the air once more, if not by much. "So…"

"Ah," says Kludge, a thoughtful expression on his face. To him, it sounds like Fizzy's idea is more and more of a "voice of experience" suggestion, and sometimes those come from a mirrored perspective. "Would Winny sweeping you off your hooves and declaring her love for you more often help you be more comfortable in being in love with her?" he finally asks.

The pegasus mare dropped back to the ground with another sigh, she had hoped to drop the subject and get on with something constructive, both litteraly and figuratively. It seemd, though, not to be. "I… don't honestly know… It's note like either of us actualy have done it… I'd go so far as to say Winny have no grasp of romance, but she alwayus manages to be so incredibly…" She let herself trail off. "But… I think that if she were to just tell me… Not all rambling-like as she does… I think I could let myself," said Soda, before adding, "Though that's no doubt becaus I can't imagine Winter ever actualy lying to anypony, ever."

Kludge thinks this over for a moment, then nods to himself. "Fair enough. Now, let me show you the blueprints, and we can start figuring out the best way to incorporate your assistance…"

Sodium-Fizz nodded and trotted over to Kludge saying, "Right! Lets do that."