Gettin Too Old For This
IC date: Spring 29
OOC date: June 1
Location: Secret Terrorist Island
PCs: Blackbird Rusty-Gears
NPCs: Tarnish, The Sneak

Bright lights. It's very…oddly bright in this place. A very brightly lit dungeon. A very, /very/ brightly lit, and surprisingly clean dungeon. Sterile, one might even go so far as to say. Perhaps even recently washed. Perhaps this dungeon doesn't get a lot of use? Who exactly does this terrorist group have to throw into a dungeon anyway? So congratulations, Blackbird and Rusty Gears, you have won the Terrorist Vacation Giveaway! You get to be the first participants in Name That Torture Device!

There are, after all, torture devices. Most of them look positively ancient and very archaic. There's a rack, and an iron maiden, and a few other slabs of wood and stone with chains attached to them. Otherwise it's pretty wide open space, with metallic walls and no jail cells to speak of.

It's two of these slabs that Rusty and Blackbird have been chained up to, in fact. The dregs of the drugs given to them during their ambush wearing off to allow some semblance of consciousness. Enough to see that they're not alone in this room. That there's a third figure standing near them, watching as they rouse from their induced slumber. A silvery figure of a pony, leering at them.

"Rise and shine, little ones~" the figure of Tarnish sing-songs. "It's time to get up and meet your maker~ Big Hoss doesn't like to be kept waiting."

Blackbird is slow to rouse, but he starts to come to. Ugh, bright lights. He squints. Metallic room… torture devices? … Rusty! His head snaps to the side as he looks for his marefriend, more than a little worried. But when he sees she's okay — for given definitions of okay, anyway — he huffs a little relief.

Tarnish, on the other hand, just gets a look. It is a very particular look. It is a look that says he really does not appreciate the hoodwinking. It is a look that promises the next time they meet alone, it's not going to go well for the silvery pony.

Rusty-Gears shakes her head. A few times! She looks… grumpy. This was not entirely how she'd wanted to spend her week, to say the least! She glares up at Tarnish and gives a small snort. She's got a look for her too, and it's a look that says she'd very much like to introduce the pony to her favourite sawblade. Really, she'd love it. It's silver and shiny and oh so wonderfully sharp.

"Oh good, we're all awake now. Excellent." Tarnish glances from one captive to the other. "Oh don't give me that look. What did you expect, trespassing on our island? Big Hoss knows everything that goes on in this group. You didn't /really/ think we'd let The Traitor speak on our behalf without some form of chaperone, did you?"

Wait what? Chaperone? The Traitor? Tarnish gives a moment to let the implications of her words sink in, making a show out of jaunting towards one of the empty slabs of wood and stone. This one has a stand next to it, with a tray of very evil-looking 'tools'.

Blackbird's expression is somewhat impenetrably flat as she stares at Tarnish. … Mostly because he doesn't really understand what's going on, but he's not about to let that show! He's more than a little out of his league here. So he just waits, bides his time, and glares. >:|

Rusty-Gears doesn't seem inclined to do much but glare either. She is however glancing around, ears twitching as she tries to take stock of the situation. There's tools in here. Not the /typical/ kinds of tools, but maybe tools she can work with. She is doing her best to come up with some kind of plan!

The silence makes Tarnish's ears twist. She looks up from her idle checking of dangerous implements, cantering over to the captives again. "No quip? No snappy comeback? Not even a question? Pff. Some fun /you/ two are. Fine then, no monologue for you." She turns around, head held high and tail flicking haughtily. "No use explaining anything to ponies that don't appreciate a good reveal. At least the /real/ Tarnish appreciated it."

GAME: Blackbird made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Okay.

Blackbird's eyes narrow. He grinds his teeth a little, trying to think through the drugs, but it just ain't coming. "So the real Tarnish is dead?" he hazards flatly. He casts a glance toward Rusty, as sneakily as he can. Which may not be sneakily at all.

Rusty-Gears glaces back, tilting an ear. She might be functioning the slightest bit better in the brain department, but that doesn't mean she's fully on top of what all's going on. Either way, now is not the time for sympathy, that will have to wait. Now is the time for planning, and hopefully not getting killed.

Tarnish(?) slows, then stops. She smirks, though when she turns her head to squint at the would-be infiltrators it's with a somewhat more neutral expression. "Not yet." she says, mimicing Blackbird's flat voice. "She wouldn't be any use to us dead. But we couldn't let her just keep playing both sides. She — and you two, too, for that matter — will be used as an example. The first victims to our beautiful war machine. The first show of our unrivaled power…"

There's something off about Rusty's chains. They don't fit quite right. As though the right twist of a leg might let her slip her bonds… Will her state of slightly-more-alert-than-Blackbird-ness let her take advantage of this?

GAME: Rusty-Gears made a skilled roll with an outcome of Great.

"Ah." Blackbird looks fit to kill. "I've never been good at being an example. Bad luck, christening a war machine with bad examples. Worse than breaking a mirror." Not his best quips. Give him a break; he's tired.

Rusty-Gears knows bits and things about many useful things. Apparently, chains might be one of them. She keeps her eyes on 'Tarnish', and her expression a rather decent 'trying not to look scared' poker face. And takes a moment to twist her leg juuust so. And give that a little tug. And squirm just a little bit this way and… ha! But she keeps her expression carefully closed, and stays still for the time being, looking around for what is within hoof's reach and might be helpful.

"Well that's why we have three of you." Tarnish(?) says cheerfully. "Do excuse me, I need to let Big Hoss know you're awake enough to chat."

Around and useful? Well there's that tray of Dangerous Things, but it's not quite within hoof's reach. It's a very clean dungeon. But none of Rusty's shackles really fit her very well, so that's helpful!

Harumph. Blackbird just glares after Tarnish(?) in irritation. "Don't let the barn door hit you on your way out," he grumps. But as soon as she's gone, he looks to Rusty. "You okay?" he asks in an undertone.

"I've been better," the pinto mare mutters, but she does relax a bit to have the other pony out of the room. It lets her get back to squirming and twisting and tugging and… there we go. She stretches, and twists on the table to give the Dangerous Things closer perusal. Is there a sawblade? One of you has to be a sawblade. What good torture dungeon doesn't have sawblades, really now.

There is indeed a sawblade! A couple of them even. And a hacksaw to boot.

Sounds of approaching hoofbeats echo. Someone's coming…
GAME: Blackbird made a skilled roll with an outcome of Good.

"Haha, you and me both…oh hey." Blackbird blinks as she gets herself free, and then starts to tug at his own chains. Quickly! There are ponies coming! He hisses under his breath. Stupid chains. Stupid Tarnish! Or fake-Tarnish! WHOEVER YOU ARE!

Whoops! Time's up. Rusty snatches the most promising sawblade and squirrels it away, then lays back and stretches out, doing her best to make it look like all the chains are still on. Yup, just totally prone and bound here, that's her. Nothing suspicious here, folks. Look, she even looks a little scared. Totally non-experienced mechanic pony not wanting to be tortured.

Trot, trot, trot! In comes Tarnish again! Looking over her shoulder as she trots into the torture chamber.

Blackbird holds his breath! What will Rusty do?!

…And then Tarnish turns to the two captives! She stops for all of a couple seconds, assessing the situation, and silently trots over to the nearby table of things, plucking up the hacksaw in her mouth. "Hol fill…thif'll juf fae a feon" she mouths around the handle, advancing on Blackbird's slab, saw poised!

Blackbird stiffens, staring at the saw. On the one hoof, it seems rather rushed to kill him now. They're supposed to talk to Hoss or whatever, right? On the other, he clearly has not been able to predict this character in the least. Maybe she'll go murdercrazy and take out his spleen before he can blink! Then Sadaka won't have a father! NO! He starts to thrash on his slab, trying to break free and buck the hay out of her. RARRGH.

GAME: Rusty-Gears made a skilled roll with an outcome of Good.

It might not be the perfect opening, but it will have to do. Rusty rolls off of her table, snatching up the sawblade and springing at the hacksaw-weilding silver pony. She's not aiming to do much damage. Maybe more intimidate than anything. Disarm would be nice. But keeping one's cool works both ways, and she's not always so good at the 'not getting angry' type. In the end 'Tarnish' might well end up with a sawblade just a little too close to her neck for comfort. There may be a little blood even, if she's not quick enough to react.

Ack! Tarnish's eyes go wide as Blackbird starts bucking and resisting! "Shh! Shhhhh!" she tries to shush, but then she gets ambushed! Now with another pony (and a sawblade) stuck up against her throat, she decides it's best to just drop the hacksaw. "…Okay, okay! I was just trying to help! Now shut up before you get the whole friggen army breathing down our necks!"

Blackbird tenses, breathing hard. "What the flying buck is going on?!" he hisses, frustration mounting. HE CANNOT KEEP TRACK OF ALL THESE PLOT TWISTS. "Are you Tarnish or not-Tarnish?! Argh!!" At least he has the presence of mind to not /yell/ it so much as just grouse it sotto voce.
Rusty-Gears is also looking quite tense! She lets out a rough snort through her nose, teeth still holding to the sawblade. "'Alk fas'," she manages around it, glaring. She's in no mood for confusion.

"You're seriously asking that?" Tarnish wonders, a visibly wounded expression crossing her features. "I mean I knew it had been a while but /come on/… You of all ponies should know me from not-me." Her eyes flick towards Rusty and her sawblade. "…You, however, have permission to not know. Nice job getting free! Can you please not cut my throat now?"

More hoofbeats approaching! So soon after Tarnish! Who could it be now?

"I'M A LITTLE RUSTY," rasps Blackbird, though he casts a glance at Rusty. "I mean— I'm out of practice! YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Horsefeathers!" There are more ponies approaching and he's still attached to the slab. Argh!

Rusty-Gears twitches an ear, eyeing her for as long a moment as the situation allows before stepping back slightly and casting a glance to the door. "'Et 'im ou'," she mutters, twitching her head towards Blackbird, "an' if oo 'ry any'in' oo 'oose 'er head." Hopefully the meaning is communicated. She might be good at working with blades. Talking around them is a bit trickier.

Who's that coming into the room this time? Why… It's Tarnish! Again! And she's looking over her shoulder. Again. She's pretty quick to turn her head, to face the captives, looking all sorts of worried, when… Oh look. There's a Tarnish too! With Rusty free from her slab, apparently threatening the first Tarnish. And Blackbird still chained up.

The New Tarnish blinks. The old Tarnish blinks. They both flick their ears back. "Oh dear…" they say in unison, followed by a hoof pointing at one another. "Get her! That's Sneak!" A comical blink in unison, and both stamp their hooves. "No I'm not! YOU are!" they say again. What are they, twins?

"FOR THE LOVE OF HAY, GET ME THE HOOF OUT OF MY CHAINS!" Blackbird roars, because HE IS FED UP, OKAY, and he doesn't FEEL like making life or death decisions or beating up bad guys or anything! "I am just FED UP TO HERE WITH THIS BULLPLOP, and I want to GO HOME and READ BOOKS TO MY DAUGHTER, and BALLS TO ALL OF THIS. JUST. BALLS. TO ALL. OF THIS."

For good measure, he adds, "I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS CUD!"

Rusty-Gears blinks over at Blackbird. She looks for a moment as if she is torn between pride, and a deep urge to make a snarky comment. It is probably a good thing the sawblade keeps her from really being able to do either. She looks between the two 'twin' ponies and lets out an irritated huff.

Both of the Tarnish ponies blink at Blackbird's outburst. New Tarnish rolls her eyes, glancing at Old Tarnish. "Heart of a lion, this one. Really Traitor, you could have picked your allies just a /wee/ bit better, don't you think? What old merc's cemetary did you dig him up from anyway?"

Old Tarnish heaves a heavy sigh, takes a step back, and makes a gesture to Rusty. "Get him out of those chains. I'll take care of Sneak." She promptly ducks down and leaps at New Tarnish! "C'mere you slippery trickster! Nobody calls my partner an old-timer!" Even if, y'know, he called himself old first.

Blackbird can't help but smirk at Tarnish beating the tar out of Tarnish for calling him old. Well, okay. There are still /some/ things that are kind of fun about this old life, but they're numbering as distressingly few as time goes on. He looks to Rusty hopefully.

Rusty-Gears doesn't need to be told twice! She heads for the table, setting aside the sawblade - but keeping it close at hoof - and moving for the hacksaw instead. Because, really, it's easier to cut chains with something that has, you know… a /handle/. (It'd be easier with a key, but take what one can get.) She gets to work getting one of the chains to no longer be a chain; she'll worry about the actual shackles later.

By the time Rusty's done the deed, that sawblade making remarkably quick work out of Blackbird's chains, the Epic Tarnish Battle has certainly concluded! One Tarnish is standing on the other, triumphant and posing. "Tah-dah~" But which one is it? WHICH ONE?

That question is easy, because the Tarnish that's left over turns to the two free'd captives, fresh from breaking Blackbird's chains. She hunkers down, and flings herself at Rusty! At the moment of impact, there's a faint POOF of smoke. It doesn't last long…but when it clears, there's now two Rusty Gears sprawled on the floor. One of them's very quick to get back on her hooves, blinking at the other Rusty and Blackbird, the hacksaw laying about equidistant from all three ponies. "Oh great…" she mutters.

GAME: Blackbird made a skilled roll with an outcome of Great.

Free!! Blackbird squirms free and leaps down, the remains of the chains clattering. But then he stares at Rusty and Rusty. "Oh /ponyfeathers/," he swears, and without missing a beat, he leaps for the hacksaw!

GAME: Rusty-Gears made a skilled roll with an outcome of Okay.

Tackled! Rusty is, admittedly, taken by surprise. She sprawls for a moment, blinking and trying to clear her head, then sits up! And looks around! And mutters something a good bit less proper than her 'twin's' choice of vocabulary. And then she springs! Not for the hacksaw, but for that sawblade from earlier, since Blackbird already seems to have laid claim to the former. Or at least tried to.

Choices! Okay, so it's not really a choice. The copycat (and she's pretty darn good at being a copycat in looks if nothing else) springs after Rusty, and the sawblade by default! "Blackbird! Don't let her get a weapon!"

GAME: Blackbird made a talent roll with an outcome of Great.

Blackbird grabs up the hacksaw. And with a running, heroic leap, he tackles the copycat to the ground, pinning her down and glaring. "You do a piff-porr job of bein Ruffty," he grumbles around the hacksaw. How did she do a bad job? Who knows? But Blackbird can apparently tell the difference well enough. It's the little things. On the off-chance he's feeling observent that day, it's usually the little things he'll notice. "Yer miffin' the ffteel in her eyeff, and the confidenff in her walk. Better luck nefft time." That blade is set against her throat, and he stares at her. Kill her — it'd be easy. It's what he always did. It'd eliminate a problem.

But it sets his teeth on edge. Which is quite a feat, considering they're currently wrapped around a sawblade handle.

Rusty-Gears scoops up the sawblade and turns to blink over at Blackbird and fake-her. She looks relieved - and a bit touched. That has got to be the most romantic thing he has /ever done/. Whether this speaks more for the quality of their romantic outings or for the oddness of Rusty's mental processes is anypony's guess! She takes a step closer to the pair, ears back. But this is his call to make - she's not going to speak up just yet.

Oof! The copycat gets knocked flat, her gambit failed! Pinned down, with a saw pressed to her neck, it's all she can do to blink up at Blackbird. Is that fear in her eyes? They may not have the exact same steel as Rusty's own, but they're striking nonetheless. "O…okay… Fine. I surrender." Expressive eyes blink up at the dangerous merc! And then towards Rusty. Almost apologetic. …Or maybe that's more upset that she couldn't nail it in one take. Perfectionist?

"You ffurrender?" Blackbird asks, not quite buying it. "Ruffty, m'love, grab ffumffing to tie her up wiff, if you pleav." He's not breaking eye contact with Fake!Rusty, who is so disconcertingly like Rusty in appearance but /unlike/ her in those little weird ways. Ugh, so weird. "Taking no chanffef wiff thiff 'un." Squint.

Rusty-Gears nods, and once again manages to look quite proud. She looks around, then heads for the first implement of tying that catches her eye, be it rope or chain! "Goo' i'ea," and then she has to put down the sawblade to pick up the restraints.

"I surrender!" the copycat says again, ears pinned back, glancing from pony to pony and back. "…But what will you do? You can't just walk out of here. You'll have to walk through an army. And the Wrecks." She makes a face. "You should've just let us use you."

Tarnish is stirring now, groaning something about a 'cheap shot'. She lifts her head to squint at the other two. "Oh good. You got 'er. Go team."

There's plenty of chains! And shackles. Plenty to use to tie up the copycat.

"That'ff no conffern of yourv," Blackbird replies flatly. "There are ayffef we fftill have up our ffaddles. Jufft you wait." As Tarnish stirs, a muscle twitches but he doesn't dare look away from this pony. Grr. "Tarniff, you okay?"
Rusty-Gears is apparently still feeling a bit irked, because she opts for the shackles, and moves back to tie up the pony that looks not-quite-like-her. She casts her own glance toward Tarnish - she doesn't quite manage to seem /worried/, but perhaps slightly concerned. If nothing else, they need all the help they can get.

"I suppose you're right." Sneak says with a wistful sigh. "Heroes never monologue. So unfair."

Tarnish snorts. "So now that we've made enough noise to summon an army… Can you two get her dealt with already? We've got a mission to finish. I guess this wasn't part of the plan, but it did get us inside the big bunker." She scuffs a hoof. "So that's good."

As soon as she's shackled, Blackbird backs off, shaking his head a little. The thin red line of blood on "Rusty"'s neck is a little nerve-grinding. He tosses the hacksaw onto the slab furthest from "Rusty" and then nods to Tarnish. "We finish the mission. But after that, I'm out, yeah? I'm going back to my old merc graveyard in peace."

Rusty-Gears nods agreeingly, stretching a bit and looking around. "We're in, so we've gotta see it through. But I'm ready to finish up and be done with things."

"Good luck~" Sneak calls out, red line on her throat and all. "You'll need it!"

Tarnish gives both Blackbird and Rusty a disappointed look. "If that's your wish…" she says, shrugging and heading down the hallway. "I'm surprised you didn't just off her. Old you would've. I'm sure tempted to… That's Big Hoss' s number two there, y'know?"

"Yeah, well, it's swiftly becoming clear that I'm not the old me anymore." Blackbird seems grumpy, but maybe a teeeensy bit relieved. He walks in step with Rusty, keeping an eye out. "So. What's next on the docket?"

Rusty-Gears leans over to give Blackbird the quickest of nuzzles, before resuming her following along alertly. "That's two dispatched. One to go, then we get that… thing, and get they hay out of here, I imagine."