Gone Batty
IC date: Summer 80
OOC date: September 8
Location: Town Square
PCs: Sunshine-Stormcloud, Magpie, Ruby-Blossom, Thunnini, Moon-Willow, Gustaff, Tale-Chaser, Cross-Redfeather, Gladstone
NPCs: Night-Watch, Dirge
GM: Applejack, Diamond-Dog, Angel-Bunny

Summer is nearly over, but the hot days haven't given up yet. With half of summer having been interrupted by an impromptu winter in the Harbor, everybody is doing their best to enjoy the hot days while they linger.

This makes Town Square rather popular, what with the fountain in the middle of the cobblestone walkways making a sort of pleasant mist for ponies to hang out in. Especially with the new orphanage bringing all the foals from Daybreak that much closer, making the fountain look a lot more like an impromptu waterpark.

Today is just a lazy day. The NICE Factory is back in full production. Ponies are playing in the water, going about their business. And Harbor Guardsponies are keeping a watch on things, due to the recent increase in 'missing things' reports they've been getting… This is, in fact, what one Sunshine-Stormcloud is doing in the Town Square today. Keeping an eye on ponies, from the cofort of a nice shady spot blocking an alleyway between two buildings. Watching ponies play in the water has a very calming effect, don'tcha know.

Moon-Willow is perched on the edge of the fountain, cooling off from the splashing of others. she has a little bit before her break ends and it's back to tending to the orphanage.

The fountain also makes for a nice place for transformationless seaponies to hang out, as well. The fact that there's lots of other foals around for Thunnini to play with is an extra bonus as far as the seafilly is concerned! Her bucket-kart is parked next to the fountain for ease of access, but Thunnini is primarily playing in the fountain itself.

The Harbor Waterpark, yes thats a good name for it. High atop that center most point lies the visage of 'Seafoam' that historical founding forepony of Horseshoe Harbor, and atop even that, sits a diminuitive griffon. Dr. Redfeather has taken this perch upon the back of Seafoam as her roost. It is quite comfortable at that, with the nice mist arising from the fountain below, and the cool breeze coming in from the water its quite pleasent. "What a marvelous day!" the Dr. can't help but mention.

Sun! Warm! Water! Water that isn't freezing cold and full of ice, that is. These things are all still new and wonderful to the lone griffon from Daybreak who has climbed his way partially up the fountain. "CANNONBALL!" Then jumps off into the water below, spashing all the other kids nearby.

Magpie acks! and giggles at Gustaff's splash. "Hey, watch it, fuzzball!" she shouts good-naturedly. "Some of us don't wanna get wet!"
Sticky, perched on Magpie's horn, just looks at the griffon with a blankly reptilian gaze. If he's upset by the spray, it isn't very obvious.

Moon-Willow giggles at the griffin cubs antics. "Thank you, I've trying to cool off better with out getting in." her normally spiked hair is now a bit limp from all the water and her fur looks quite rediculous.

It's all so adorable, really. Horseshoe Harbor has no lack of adorableness layered overtop all the ex-criminals and other outcasts of general acceptable society with hearts of gold and all that. The sudden cannonball brings Sunny back out of her thoughts, the Harbor Guardsmare chuckling to herself, adjusting her shade umbrella, then her sunglasses. This beats garbage collecting any day of the week, yessiree.

There's more than one seapony making good use of the fountain. Tale Chaser is flopped out, on his back, leaning up against the edge of the pool. He sits up and looks around as Gustaff splashes and Magpie protests. "Bein' splashed isn't so bad," he says. "You get kinda used to it."

Thunnini giggles and splashes Gustaff right back, directing a small current of water at the griffon cub. "Nice cannonball," she cheers.

Cross-Redfeather watches the foals below her with a keen eye, watching for any potential trauma and mumbles to herself, 'Lifeguard on Duty' with a soft chuckle as she watches the crowd frolicing in the pool below. She can't help but wave to the seapony 's? "Oh my, there are more than one?! my my my!" the little griffon practically Kreeee's with joy at watching such creatures as these "Hello Miss Thunnini and friends" she coos out

Gustaff comes back up after his big splash, squawking as he gets splashed back by Thunnini. Then laughs as he swats water back at the seafilly. "Bah, what's to complain about? We never could have fun like this before, with the eternal winter night and all."

And while all this adorableness goes on, there is apparently some lurking going on as well! A pair of shadowy, apparently cloaked figures, skulking about an alleyway. The taller of the two peers out at the crowd. /PEERS/. "Crowded out there," he asides to his companion. He looks irritated at this. Should have seen that coming. Really should have. Darn it all.

Moon-Willow freezes at the sight guardsmare. no guilt here! not at all! it's not like any pony has noticed the fresh shallow cuts on her forelegs. don't look at her! they can smell guilt!

Magpie laughs and gives Tale Chaser a friendly head-bump, then (as is her wont) hugs his adorable tail. She grins. "Well, I *imagine* if I were a seapony that lived under the sea and all, I'd probably not care as much."

As it happens, the alleyway Sunshine is lurking in front of is the same one those shadowy figures have decided to look out through. Guilt? She senses nothing. But 'shady cloaked'? That's more radar-worthy. Or maybe it was the quiet whispering. Either way Sunshine's ears perk up, the mare peering back over her shoulder towards the alley. Then over the rims of her sunglasses. There may be a straw in her mouth from a drink held in one hoof. *slurp*

Sunshine squints…

Tale Chaser smiles, nuzzling back, and with a little flip of his fluke, splashes Magpie himself. But just on the nose. 'cause he's got skills. "You wanna start freakin' out seaponies, though? Go down there an' blow bubbles indoors. A lot of 'em don't like that. Creates air pockets, they say, s'all a pain in the butt to get rid of."

"Hello miss Cross!" waves Thunnini to the watchful griffon. The seafilly then stifles a quiet giggle as Maggie hugs Tale Chaser. The two of them are so /cute/ together~!

Gladstone comes trotting along down the street with nose held high and a happy laugh. He's wearing brand new shoes, brand new vest and he has finally rid himself of his bulky bandages; his wing is now in a matching floral printed fabric sling. He flicks his purple hair away from his face and examines the scene before settling himself on a potential…target. A lovely looking mare with long tropical printed clothing, and a hat, with a big bow. And a nice long gold necklace with a bulky stone pendant on the end. Gladstone watches her discreetly as he examines the fountain…."Costume jewellry. Ah well…well..WELL! What have we here?" he forgets about the mare, and approaches the fountain. His eyes widen. "Seaponies?" he says. "Then they really do exist," he watches from afar, completely mezmorized.

The second hooded figure leans up slightly to peer over the head of his fellow, squinting out at the plaza, his features hooded and obscured. "Huh. Yeah. You think we can take 'em? I think we could take 'em. Except the kids. Lots of those. They'll swarm, you know. And bite ya behind the ears and on the ankles."

Magpie laughs and rubs at her nose with a fetlock. "Really?" she asks Tale Chaser. " 'You jerk, you filled my house up with air', sorta thing?" She looks up at Gladstone and nods, gesturing towards TC's tail. "Yep! They exist and they're cute as all get-out." Beam. She levitates the uncomplaining Sticky over to sit on TC's head. There. Double-cute.

Gustaff continues to paddle around the fountain, enjoying himself. He's having too much fun to worry about anyone lurking in the dark corners. He does wave a talon up at the griffon playing lifeguard as he scoots around though.

Tale Chaser is all smiles and goo-goo eyes, but shies away a bit as Gladstone approaches, slipping further down into the pool such that the top of his head and his nose stick out. He sits up again, though, as he finds himself beSticky'd, and sits up to reach up with a hoof and pat the gecko. "Heya, Sticky." He sits up further and does his best to cordially nod to Gladstone like professionals do. "Er, hiya. Yeah, we're, uh, we're real."

Thunnini swims over to the newcomer. "Hi, I'm Thunnini! What's your name?" she asks cheerfully.

"Croikey," pips up a voice. Adelaide pops her head over the edge of the fountain, peering suspiciously at TC. "Ya ARE real!" she asks. "Mum's gonna be so excited." She climbs up onto the edge of the fountain and peers around at all the ponies she doesn't know (or doesn't know she does know).
Cross-Redfeather gives a little salute with her own talon to the other griff below her and a beaky grin too as she looks over the scene sharp eyes looking about to all the usual visual points, the alleyway isn't exactly something she'd pay attention to as her focus is on the foals below. She does have a contract with the Orphanage afterall for service and treatment of any of its residents.

Moon-Willow hums to herself and touches the silver necklace she always wears. thankfully the gold bracelets she wears cover most of the cuts. she wonders if it would be better to have worn more brackets. at least the gold won't rust from the water. in fact it makes the rubies set in them gleam even more. she smiles to herself as she remembers fondly when she got each piece of jewelry she has. a much better idea then focusing on her NOT-guilt. she makes sure to keep an eye on the few from the orphanage though, such as Gustaff. she really can't afford to lose her job right now.
The first figure gives the second a look. A /look/. "They will not. How would they even get to your ears?" Because that is totally the issue at hoof here. "I don't think they can jump like that." He peers around. "Maybe if we stick to the walls we can get by to the next alleyway."

The second cloaked figure pffffts to the first. "They got springy legs, don't you know? It's how they get around without wings. They hop like fleas, then latch onto you and bite. Not to suck your blood or anything but just to bother you. I mean, do you see any ladders here going to the roof?" He leans back and twists about, looking up. "I certainly don't." He says this as though it proves his point. "Anyway, let's try circling around the back."

Such a fascinating conversation. Sunshine must know more! The metal-legged guardsmare sets her drink down, taking a moment to stretch and pop a couple joints, a brief look of bliss crossing her features. Gettin' older sucks…

Then she turns towards the Shady Figure Alleyway and pokes her head inside! She has the most friendly look on. Like, a genuine smile and everything. She's toally been practicing that. "Well hello there, strangers! Welcome to Horseshoe Harbor. You look like a couple of ponies in need of a little help from a good ol' Guardspony. So how can we help you?" She may have been practicing an accent, too. Studies have shown that certain accents make one seem more friendly!

Gustaff didn't really mind living in Daybreak, but hey, if they get to have fun like this he's not really going to complain. It's kinda like living with all the pony kids at the Hive, just with less having to hide for your life and wait for the adults to send you food and stuff. Silly adults, always worrying about everything else going on.

He gives his tail a few swats that flicks a few droplets of water as he jumps up and grabs onto the statue to climb up for another jump. For not being able to fly very well, the kid sure can swim and climb with the best of them.
Gladstone gets up close to the fountain now and continues to watch the seaponies. "My name is Gladstone, and I can see something special when I..uh…see it," normally he's more eloquent, but quickly recovers his wit. "Can you sing?" He queries them. "I rather enjoy hearing a nice sea shanty…"
Magpie taps her chin. "Well, why don't you just put, like… Like a drain, only in the ceiling, right? So that way, if you get bubbles, it'll just, uh… go out. Up. Thing."

Cross-Redfeather most certainly didn not see any hint of the shadowy figures that roam in the alleyways, all her focus was on the foals below her perch upon the old fountain, though she does see Miss Sunshine-Stormcloud turn her interest away from the frolicing foals of the fountain.

Moon-Willow narrows eyes on Gladstone. always be suspicious on ponies talking to colts! "Hello!" she greets Gladstone cheerfully. "I don't think we've met." she looks back at Gustaff, "Be carefull! the water isn't very deep."
Tale Chaser shakes his head briskly. Hold on, Sticky! He then reaches up fo fix his glasses, which slipped down his nose amidst all the shakin'. "Nope. No singing," he maintains. "I totally failed choir class. They actually told me they'd give me a passing grade if I stayed home." Lie: He aced choir class. Not because he likes singing, but because he had a GPA to maintain.
Magpie volunteers, "I know a sea chanty! And it only has a little bit of cursing!"

For the record, Magpie has never been in a choir room in her life, and the world is better off for that.

"Well, some of them do have wings. Just look at that one there!" But the figure doesn't seem inclined to argue this any further. "Yeah, I guess we can find a back way arou-…" And then there is a Guardspony! The cloaked figure freezes, staring over at her. He seems momentarily unsure what to do with himself in the face of such accented smiley friendliness! CLEARLY IT IS A RUSE. "We need no assistance," he says in his best calm and stoic voice.

"Nice to meet you, mister Gladstone!" smiles Thunnini. "Not sure how well I can sing, though… and I'm not sure I know any sea shanties." The seafilly takes on a thoughtful expression.

Gustaff pauses when Redfeather calls after him. He looks up, looks down, looks up again… and then huffs softly and climbs down a little lower. He doesn't want to break anything, after all. Or land on any of the other kids and hurt them. "But sometime I wanna go diving on the actual beach then," he chirrups back, then jumps into the water once more. Splash!

Gladstone ignores Magpie, as if by rote, but smiles at Moon-Willow. "Gladstone," he offers her his hoof. "I'm new here in town, staying until my injury heals," he adds a little tragic note to the last bit, "But with all the kind and friendly greetings I've had, and with all the friends I've made here, I may have to stay longer, extend my involuntary stay into a voluntarily taken time of restitution," he turns to smile at the seaponies again. "Thats too bad," he says to the young ones. "Perhaps you'll learn as you grow…"

Moon-Willow frowns at Magpie. "ANY amount of swearing is never appropriate." she turns her attention to Gladstone once more. "It's very nice to meet you. are you stay at the inn?"

The second figure draws himself up to his full, angular height. He's tall and thin but broad of shoulder, giving him a profile like an inverted triangle. A dark red nose frowns at Sunshine Stormcloud for several moments from where it protrudes from his hood.

Rather abruptly, the figure bursts into action, throwing open his cloak and flinging a handful of something at the guard captain's face! What is that somthing? Sunflower seeds!

"POCKET SEEDS!" he shouts, before turning and running down the alleyway! "C'mon, Captain! Let's get out of here!!"

The second figure looks appropriately, if momentarily, baffled at his partner's actions, but doesn't seem surprised. He's dealt with this all before. (/Sigh/.) But a distraction is a distraction, so he spins on his hooves to dash back into the alleyway.

"Aw c'mon, don't be shy! We don't bite!" Sunshine says, stepping a hoof into the alleyway. "You two really look like you need some —" Fling! Seeds hit Sunshine's face, making her pause mid-speil, her eyes closing and face scrunching up just so!

"What… H-hey!" Sunshine holds out a hoof as the shadowy pair begin to turn and bolt! "You! Stop!" Of course she must give chase! A small shower of sparks fly out as metal legs momentarily screech on the cobblestone roadwork, before finding enough traction to propel the off-white Guardsmare on down the alleyway after the cloaked ones. "You just assaulted a guard! Get back here so I can arrest you properly! I HAVE QUESTIONS!"

Gustaff … just blinks a couple of times from the fountain. Then looks to the other kids. ".. What just happened?"

Tale Chaser sits up in the fountain, looking towards the alleyway with a puzzled expression. "What's with the shouting?" he asks. He stares for a moment, then frowns, looking back to Gustaff. "I figured they were usually kinda… laid back about stuff around here. If the guard is mad it must be kinda serious."

Thunnini thinks for a moment. "Maybe we should see what's going on?" the seafilly suggests, a hint of curiosity and eagerness in her voice.

Sudden commotion, The guardsmare yelling, and an assult in progress?! Danger Danger! The foals come first! Doctor Redfeather jumps from her perch and in a bolt is down to the fountains edge, standing in a very defensive stance, wings spread wide and protective as she practically bristles, not thinking a note about herself, only in defense of the foals. 'Kaaaahisssssssss!' she shrilly kreee's out

Moon-Willow frowns. "Cross, keep any eye on things here. don't let Gustaff jump too high and DON'T let them get involved. I'm going to go help." with that she's off like a bullet after Sunshine.

The tall, lean figure hits the end of the alleyway quickly, looking back and forth hurriedly, then up, towards the roof line. He eyeballs a rain barrel and some wood sheets stacked up against the back of a building speculatively, then frowns and, using them as a series of footholds, nimbly hops, skips, and hauls himself up onto the first-story roof of a building. He turns and throws a hoof down for his companion to grab. "Captain, hurry! She's going to bite you in hard to reach places and it'll itch most awfully!!!"
Sunflower has disconnected.

"Aaaw com'n, you're blocking the view!" Gustaff crawls partway out of the fountain and stretchs up to try and see past the wings down spread in front of them. When that doesn't work he hunchs down and tries looking underneath instead. "I wanna see what the strange ponies are doing."

"I told you that's not what they do!" 'Captain' calls up to the tall figure, but takes the offered hoof and springs up to help with the haulin'. He's tall, too, though not quite so lean - a bit more of a muscular figure, but he seems agile enough.

Gladstone jolts to sudden alert at the flurry of motion. "What was that commotion?" he takes the opposite side of the Gryffin to protect the littles in the fountain. Surprising. "I may not be able to fly, but I'm sure my new shoes will leave quite a mark," he boasts. A strange turn of events.

Cross-Redfeather gives a nod to Moon-Willow before she bolts off, and looks behind me, "Foals please stay between me and Mr Gladstone I do believe it was" she churrs out in a very shrill voice. Her wings are still wide and protective, up on her haunches still bristling all sharp talons wide and ready to defend her charges.

Magpie totally ignores her previous complaints about splashing. She leaps into the fountain, scrambles to the statue, and swarms up it to better watch the action, or at least the direction of the action. Street theatre!
Cross-Redfeather looks back to Gladstone, "Don't know the commotion, just that was the Guardsmare Captain, and somepony just attacked her somehow, or other"

Moon-Willow winces internally as she hears the title 'captain'. it better not be Mwai. if it is she'll help how she can but there's nothing she CAN do unless she knows for certain. "Sunshine! if I knock em down you can handle them from there, right?" she shouts down at the guard.

Thunnini looks towards the alley, then at Cross and Gladstone, and finally at Gustaff. "How fast can you flap?" the seafilly whispers to the griffon cub, glancing at her bucket-kart.

"Oh for pony's sake!" Sunshine shouts, skidding herself to a stop where the other two just climbed to relative safety. She might be a mite too clumsy to try that trick! Grr. "Don't think you're gettin' away that easy!" she calls out, shaking a hoof at the pair, turning right around to start trotting back out of the alleyway. Where she spies Moon-Willow giving chase. "…Oy! You! If you wanna be useful, go get those two down!" She side-steps and keeps on trotting. "I'm calling in backup…"

Of course, the off-white guardsmare blinks when she leaves the alleyway and sees /so many eyes/ looking her way. "…Oh. Uh. Don't mind us! Just…doin' our duty to keep everybody safe!" Cheesy smile, Sunshine trotting towards another nearby guard. The smile is dropped, as well as much hushed whispering between the two. Then one guard goes back down a different street, while Sunshine starts heading down the main street, keeping an eye on the alleyways.

The Lean Figure helps his burlier companion up onto the roof, then promptly puts his hooves on his back and gives him a shove towards the waterfront. "I'm not going to let them catch us and find out! You got the map, you lead the way! It's towards the water, that's all I know!" He turns and looks up as Moon Willow surges into the sky up above, grimacing, and hauls up onto his hind legs to wave his hooves at her. "Shoo! SHOO!"

Tale Chaser hauls himself up onto the edge of the pool, frowning. He reaches up a few times to nudge Sticky's tail out of his eyes. "Uh…"
Gustaff looks back to Thunnini, then shifty eyes towards the adults before looking to the seafoal again. "As fast as I need to!"

Moon-Willow scowls. "You're going down." she tells the cloaked ponies. "I'm not going anywhere." she sincerely hopes they aren't part of the crew. Mwai will probably have her killed if they are…

Cross-Redfeather of course has her back turned to the foals, as she looks out for danger out there, not from some trouble-getting-into foals behind her. She doesn't know these foals well enough yet evidently. Not that she's a big time threat, given her small stature, but talons, and claws, and wings, and a beak, she's plenty places of pointy pain!

Gladstone sees Tale Chaser getting up out of the pool and turns around. "Now stay close to your guardian," he looks over at Cross-Redfeather. "No wandering…" and he turns to look around the area in case the villains in question return to the scene of the kerfuffle. "Do things like this happen often in this town?"

'Captain' seems content enough with this. He scrambles ahead, dashing along the roof towards the Harbor proper, hooves skittering on the tiles with a rather practiced gait. "It's this way! Stick close!"
"Only if we're lucky!" Magpie shouts to Gladstone.

Thunnini nods to Gustaff. "Hold onto the back of my kart, and when I tell you, start flapping as fast as you can," she whispers, climbing into her bucket-kart and taking hold of the pole she generally uses for propulsion and steering.

Gustaff nods and hops over to do that, grabbing on with his talons and bracing himself against the back with his wind paws. Wings twitch and flare a bit, ready to go. Pushing stuff he can do just fine, especially when he doesn't need to actually fly.

The Lean Figure hops up a few times, trying to swat at Moon Willow. Until he realizes she's probably trying to get close enough to bite him, or sit on him until the mean metal-legged mare can get up there to bite him, or something! With a yelp and a skitter he takes off after the 'Captain,' nimbly leaping from rooftop to rooftop, black cloak trailing behind him. "This is bad. This is bad!"

Moon-Willow keeps pave just behind the pair easily. In the air is where she shines after all. "I suggest you surrender now."

Gladstone sees that Cross Redfeather has everything under control, and takes the opportunity to return to the crowds, and to try and find that woman with the costume jewellry. It may not be worth anything to him, but it could be to somebody else! Ahem. Off he trots!

The chase is on! Moments after Sunshine passes word of what's going on, several more guardsponies come charging down the street! Two of them pegasi, the other two galloping as fast as pony legs can gallop. They're a little behind though, but the fact remains, those two shadowy figures may have a hard time outright ditching their pursuers! Not to mention all the foals they just got the interest of.

Sunshine herself is doing her darndest to keep pace with the two using the rooftops, weaving around ponies and carts and booths. Occasionally spitting out a sunflower seed. Seriously, who throws /seeds/ at another pony? Worst thieves ever! "I'll show you bad! Come down here and face us like a proper grown-up pony!"

Meanwhile, in Town Square, things have apparently gone more or less quiet again. The threat there has, apparently, passed, leaving most of the orphans that didn't take off after the guardsponies to look on wistfully. Someday… Someday they will be part of an epic chase over rooftops… One of the orphans, one little unicorn named Night Light, swims up to Cross to poke one of her tailfeathers. "Can… Can we keep swimming?"

Magpie sighs, mental images of that Epic Chase Over Rooftops… featuring her in the front, naturally…

Once Thunnini is ready and says to, Gustaff starts beating his wings as hard and fast as possible, and away they go!

"NOW!" shouts Thunnini, pushing off with her pole to give the bucket-kart an initial boost of speed.

This /is/ bad, but the Captain's not going to admit that. This was /supposed/ to be simple. Quiet. Chief's not gonna be happy about this one, nosirree. "We just have to find the point, get the package, and get out of here!" STICK WITH THE PLAN.

Cross-Redfeather drops her defensive pose, on seeing all the guardponies about, *breathe, Breathe, Breathe* she hufffs, looks back to the swimming foal, "Yes dear, please do have fun, just stay close alright" she huffles softly. *breathe, breathe, breathe* Then she bolts upright into a hover as Thunnini shouts, she practically featherpoofs's "Now what?!"

Epic Rooftop Chases may be epic, but they're also a bit treacherous. Roofs aren't made with running in mind, after all, and eventually one roof /ends/ and you have to leap to the next one. Thus are the fleeing figures doing a lot of leaping, scrambling from one roof to the next, heading towards Portside. The Captain seems to know where he's going, which is only appropriate since he's in the lead. He seems to be aiming his course towards a warehouse, one flat roof among all the peaks and angles. Unluckily (or luckily as the case may be) they haven't picked a route yet that will block any of the persuers on the ground. Maybe they don't know the town quite well enough to run them through dead ends!

Moon-Willow chuckles as she slowly grows closer. well one of them if going down. she pulls a needle from her wing and let's it fly for the one nearest to her. the needle should hit the right nerve and paralyze them!

The Lean Figure follows 'Captain' closely, but takes frequent glances back over his shoulder, watching Moon Willow. "It's no use!" he calls ahead. "This one's got some kinda weird wings covered in fuzz! We can't escape her!" He looks back again, grimacing. By now, his hood has fallen back, revealing a dark grey mane, eyes with slitted pupils, and funky ears. What's with those ears?

He looks forward, slowing for a moment, reaching up and tossing his cloak to the side, freeing a pair of wings! Bat wings, no less! They beat powerfully, pulling him up out of a leap and into a glide- just in time, too, to avoid the needle-wielding pegasus swooping in behind him. "Ack! HEY! Assassin!" he hollers. "Captain, they've got pointy things!!"

Thunnini and Gustaff go speeding down the street, with the seafilly keeping an eye on Moon Willow to help determine which direction the two youngsters should go.

All the way to Portside, Sunshine runs, by the time she breaks out near the boardwalk her ever-helpful Guards have pretty much caught up to flank her. Very much out of breath, her pace slows, but there aren't a lot of rooftops left for the shadowy pair to escape to here! "We've….caught you….now!" the metal-legged guardspony wheezes, pointing a slightly-shakey hoof up at the rooftops. "Now… Come down here… And let's do this like… oh geez blacking out…" Huff, huff!

That's about when one of the ever-helpful guards flanking her also points a hoof up. "They've got wings! Bat wings! More bat ponies!"

Gustaff continues to apply the speed, while leaving the steering to Thunnini. Wheeee! Now this is a really exciting way to wrap up a summer afternoon that's already been loads of fun.

'Captain' glances over his shoulder. "Moon above!" That was likely supposed to be some sort of expletive, and not just a fitting assessment of the situation. He slows just long enough to shrug out of his own cloak as well and spread his own pair of wide leathery wings. His deep violet eyes are similarly slitted, mane a dark navy with a mess of slightly bluer color near the tips, coat a dusky grey. He's paying very little attention to posible persuers now, just intent on getting to that flat roof. Luckily, the ability to fly makes that more feasible!

Moon-Willow growls and curses. so close! maybe it's time to break out the daggers? "Alright you! you're still going down!" she shoots forward for a tackle, hoping to knock the bat ponies legs out from under him.

Cross-Redfeather seriously doesn't do well with being startled, and Thunnini's shout did indeed startle her, skiddish thing that she tends to be when in the right or in this case wrong situation. The flyer's head practically spins as they race off, and away from the other foals in her stead, she looks confused, seriously confused, "But Danger, there, and you, and you, but , Danger!" she shouts after the not quite flying fishiepon propelled by the wings of a griffon. She looks to Magpie, looks to the fleeing foal-pack gives a pleading look, her way, looks at the other guards nearby, then takes off after Thunnini taking what she thinks might be a shortcut. Right, shortcut, uh huh

The deep red batpony with the lean build and the sunflower seeds gets his legs taken out from under him! He's sent tumbling about! However he still has his wings out and ready to go, and a few dextrous flaps carry him out of the roll and into the air. He tries to keep pace with his Captain for a few more moments, but Moon Willow is making for too much of a delay. "Captain, go on!" he shouts, before breaking away and veering off in a path perpindicular to the Captain's own. While his companion heads towards the waterfront, and that warehouse he seems worried about, the red batpony is instead headed in some unknown direction.

And along the way, he goes ha! And kicks a weathervane! And then he goes HA! and kicks a brick off of a chimney! And then he goes HI-YA and he kicks over a potted plant! On the roof! Why did someone have a potted flower on the roof?! Well, they don't have one now, that's for sure! "C'mon and try and stop me, you scoundrel!" he shouts back at Moon Willow, taunting her.

Thunnini continues the pursuit, starting to catch up with Sunshine and the other guards. "Hi, miss Sunshine!" the seafilly calls out. She'd wave, but her hooves are full with the pole for steering.

Moon-Willow smirks. "Nice try!" she takes off after the mysterious 'captain' even more vigorously then before! now that she knows that their bat ponies she's quite certain they aren't a part of Mwais crew. which means their probably competition! Mwai would probably be happy if she took out competition. geeze, who knew she'd ever like being a pirate?

Gustaff can't really wave either because he's got to keep his grip on the cart. "Nice night for a chase scene though!", he caws. He's really enjoying getting a workout like this, if nothing else.

It's a beautiful day in the Harbor, a perfect day to take little foals out for their first kite flying experience! Perfect except for the occasional heavy breeze, and one breeze in particular carries a large blue kite with it - a sizeable thing being chased by Ruby-Blossom and the two teeny foals strapped to her sides - one little solid-white pegasi and her twin sister a little blue and yellow unicorn. "Wah…you're not supposed to get away, that's not how you work!" she yells at the rogue kite that soars through the air - possibly right into the path of fleeing bat ponies.

It's a good distraction attempt but alas! It does not seem to work. The Captain flaps harder and dashes ahead, eyes on the warehouse, angling for a good dive, casing for an open window or some other means of egress, and OHGOSHKITEWHAT. He does a barrel roll! Who attacks a flying pony with a kite?! What sort of place is this?! Worse, he's sufficiently distracted that his dive for the warehouse is not going to hit any open window, precious seconds lost.

The skies are so exciting right now! Sunshine certainly waves to Thunnini, her leg of the pursuit heavily slowed by being not as in shape as they used to be for this sort of things. It takes another moment for the Guardsmare to finish catching her breath, ambling out on a more conservative trot towards the place the 'Captain' went and dove at. "Ohhhh we have them now…" she grumbles.

The red batpony lands atop some roof and skids to a stop, then turns about to watch Moon Willow and his captain disappear into the distance. He pants quietly as a scowl gradually darkens his expression, then turns, drops over the edge of the building, and disappears from sight without a sound.
Moon-Willow dives after the pony. ack! kite! she swoops to the side and follows the dive of the batpony. she's got him now! he's done for! she narrows her eyes. but wait a sec. where did the other one get to?

Oh! Look it's auntie Sunshine - the two little foals strapped to Ruby squeel in delight, and Ruby offers a friendly wave to Sunshine who's totally working right now. She points at the kite which has now become lodged a bent weathervane on a roof. "Our kite got stuck, can you retrieve it?" seemingly oblivious to the mare's slowed pursuit of batponies - maybe Sunshine should lay off the second helpings of pie Ruby insists upon.

Thunnini's bucket-kart speeds along towards the warehouse. "Hi, miss Ruby!" the seafilly calls as she rolls by the motherly mare.

Sunshine, so intent on the warehouse now, almost doesn't notice Ruby until she's spoken up! "Wha? Who? Kite?" The metal-legg'd mare blinks. "Ruby… Now is not a great time. Uhm. You, featherpony." She points to one of her fellow guards, whom salutes despite scowling at Sunshine for being unable to remember a simple name. It's Bonny-Feather, not Feather-Pony!

But that's besides the point. Sunshine pointed at the pegasus, and again at the kite. "Go fetch it, would ya? We got criminals to catch." A smile is offered to Ruby, the pega-guard taking off to retrieve Ruby's kite for her. Sunshine is much more intent on getting to the warehouse to see what happened to that crazy diving batpony. "I know you're over there! You might as well give up now, cuz' we've got you surrounded!"

"Heya Ruby!" again Gustaff's shout is just behind Thunnini's because he's the one pushing. Wheeee chases are fun when you're not the one being chased around.

Ruby ohs curiously as Thunininini and Gustaff dart by, and Sunshine's mention of criminals to catch is motivation enough for Ruby to trot after the out-of-shape Sunshine. "Baby's first chase!" she chimes sing-songily at the two foals who squeel in delight - so many things happening, when is it there turn to ride in the Bath n' Dash?

The Captain hits the ground at a run, charging the last few yards to the warehouse door. There's no windows open on this side of the building, see. So he approaches the door, spins, spreads his wings, and rears forward on front hooves, kicking his back legs out at the door with enough force to make a pretty loud BANG. Apparently, he's a pretty strong pony! …Apparently, that is also a pretty strong door. A second kick's probably gonna do it, though. There's some splintering going on already.

Magpie belatedly comes trotting along the street, watching for the continued chase, which seems to have gotten a bit confused here. "Oh hi Mom," she says as Ruby starts running alongside.

Moon-Willow grins and shots forward. "You're mine!" she growls. she lets out a war cry as she moves to plow into the pony. "RAAAAH!"

Sunshine rounds the corner just in time to witness the first kick! "H..hey! Now you're breaking private property too!" Her head lowers, pace quickening, fully intent on getting some effort in those legs of hers to get up to tackling the door-breaking batpony! She might even get there the same time as Moon-Willow!

The other three HarborGuards stand back to watch. They don't feel this need to get involved just yet. Batponies are…odd. The pegasus guard flutters down behind the trio too, kite in mouth, being held out towards Ruby.
Long distance to (Magpie, Ruby-Blossom): Sunshine-Stormcloud flusters.

Thunnini's kart is speeding along, far enough behind Sunshine to not be caught up in the tackle, but not much further behind than that. The seafilly lowers her poling staff into a jousting position, ready to try tangling up any batpony legs - hey wait, batponies? That's different…

Pegasus with bat wings? That's not right, is it? That does get Gustaff's attention enough to distract him somewhat, so it's a good thing he's just providing the speed and Thunnini is the one steering. And now jousting as they close in.

The Captain's gone and reared up for another kick, balanced precariously on front hooves, wings spread for balance, head turned to look back at the door - he's got no chance to dodge. A double-tackle is more than enough to unbalance him; he and likely his attackers both topple back into the door, which splinters and creaks and… holds? Wow. Tough door.

And then, plink! A little seapony pole strikes the base of the door. It gives with a loud crack, dumping anypony leaning on it right on into the warehouse.

Moon-Willow grunts. darn it! she's partially crushed by sunshine but at least she's got the pony beneath her. "Ack…Sunshine can you please get off?" she grunts. ow! large splinters scratch her slightly. at least she's not wear any armor for it to get lodged in.

So much mayhem! Ruby peeks into doorway to peer curiously at whatever mayhem has ensued - and two more much smaller heads poke along with mommies; both little pegasi and unicorn squeel in amusement. A moment later the little unicorn foal sneezes loudly and a brilliant burst of color errupts from the tiny unicorn horn - washing everything it's path in a myriad of colors; it's very possible we might end up with pink bat ponies.

Collapse! The door goes down! As well as the batpony, and a pegasus, and it's such a mess. Hooves, wings, pony everywhere! Sunshine manages to disentangle herself from the other two, wobbling up on her legs and squinting down at the bat-winged pony in particular. "Hah! Finally! One down…" She lifts her head, peering around the darkened warehouse. Look! Boxes! And a catwalk! And bags of stuff! "Hmmm… Why were you trying to get in here, anyway? Is this where you've been hiding all the stuff your little rogue group stole?"

Also Sunshine is now a pale blue color. Wha.

Meanwhile, the Harbor Guards have duties to tend to. This is officially a crime scene! So they set up a perimeter of sorts, circling around the warehouse to see if they can find that other batpony. Two of them trek down the alleyway between the warehouse and other buildings, one starts to climb up a pile of boxes to get onto the warehouse roof, and the last one hovers next to Ruby. Kite still in mouth. "Mmmph."

The impact of the pole, combined with the sudden deceleration, results in a partially polevaulted pony of the sea… at least until Thunnini loses her balance and grip and falls on top of the pony pile. After a moment, she grins. "That was fun - can we do it again?"

Magpie, peeking around the door just below Mom and her siblings, lets out a yell! Her coat is still white, but all her black spots have suddenly turned — well — every color! She's a clown-pony! They're going to try to put her in the zoo! "NOOOO!"

Unfortunately when the cart stops Gustaff doesn't, the bucket pitching him over it and right on top of the pile of everypony else next to Thunnini. Good thing he's small and light still. With a chuff he sits up, looks around. "That was," thrusts his clenched talons over his head, "AWESOME!"

As the third guard hauls up onto the roof, he unfortunately does not find the red batpony. There doesn't seem to be anything of interest up there.

At least until a shadow detaches itself from a nearby chimney, behind the guard, out of sight of anybody who might stop it. It sweeps in, spreading its wings and cloak wide, engulfing the guard and dragging him out of sight before any of the others can notice.

Ruby grins sheepishly behind one hoof as her little unicorn who seems to have a very strong and natural inclination for color magic, and admittedly this isn't the first time this has happened. Soon Ruby has something much larger to hide her sheepish grin behind as the guard pony returns her kite. "Thank you." she mutters while hiding her face behind it.

Moon-Willow growls. "Thunnini! Gustaff! you know better!" what's this? why is she varying shades of bright yellow?! she continues to lay on top of her target. he's not going anywhere until he's nice and tied up!

Gustaff blinks at Willow, and looks to his partner in trouble. "We do?"

The Captain blinks. And grunts, and twitches an ear. And gives a little snort, and tries to disentangle his wings. This did not go as planned. This is not proper conduct. And… and… is he neon blue now? THIS IS NOT DIGNIFIED. "Gerroff!" He demands sharply of the ponies atop him - though it's sharpness might be a bit limited, squished as he is. He blinks - nay, /glares/ - up at Sunshine. "The stuff /we/ stole? I am here hunting what was stolen from /us/! And you will return it!" Because he is so totally in a position to make demands right now.

Moon-Willow blinks. "Hey…are you missing a little foal?"

Magpie huffs at Moon Willow. "That would be KIDNAPPING, not STEALING. And anyway he didn't get stole OR kidnapped."

Thunnini shrugs at Gustaff. "I dunno," she says, then starts poking cautiously at the batpony's wing. Poke poke this is new poke poke.

Sunshine frowns down at the pinned batpony captain, then squints at Moon-Willow. "Alright. Let him up." she says to the spunky (and yellow) pegasus. "I think he's going to be a little cooperative now." Her attention turns again to the warehouse, then to the batpony Captain. "Okay… Let's say I believe you. Why did you pick /this/ building to break into?"

Oh everypony is distracted - this makes for great oppurtunity and Ruby quietly trots a few steps into the warehouse amid the hustle and bustle; it's important to hear what's going on and it seems to talk about thievery and reverse thievery. This she understands.

Gustaff pokes at the other wing. Poke. "How come your wings are weird?"
Bonny-Feather, having delivered the kite, moves to stand near the busted doorway of the warehouse. She adopts a stoic frown as she observes the tense situation brewing inside.

Meanwhile, the other two remaining guards take up point at either end of the alleyway, ready to stop any curious onlookers from getting involved. Nothing to see here, folks, keep on moving. One of them, a brown earth pony, leans up against the wall. Things seem to be well in hoof, so he doesn't worry much about it. The other, an orange unicorn, scratches his head. He's still a little anxious, looking back over his shoulder frequently.

He looks again. There's his associate, down there at the other end of the alleyway. There's the open warehouse door- the boss, Bonny Feather, and some of the civilians that got wrapped up in this are in there still. He sighs. Nothing to worry about. He turns back around to his side of the street and looks out, alert and ready to act!

"Because your… agent," because one must use proper terminology, "dropped his map," the Captain snaps. He looks up at Moon Willow. "Ha! You see? Don't play your innocent acts." But he doesn't seem in the mood to wait around for answers. He's got his hooves under him and keen ears perked! And he is, indeed, a strong pony. He stands straight, flaring out his wings in the hopes of knocking Moon Willow off of his back, and dives into a nearby pile of crates and bags. There's a second's rifling, then a triumphant, "Ah-ha!" As he snatches up a large sack in his hooves. …A large, wriggling sack.

"Our Agent…?" Sunshine echoes, the pale-blue pony glancing towards Ruby for no particular reason. Honest. She wasn't implying anything! Her attention snaps back into place when a sack is grabbed, and it /moves/.

Ruby points at the bag and blurts without hesitation "FOAL!"
Magpie says "NO!"

Magpie wagh! "It's alive! What is it?!"
Ruby-Blossom lifts her hooves over her head in a X formation "Foul?" she whines sadly.

Magpie gives Ruby a reluctant nod.

Sunshine claps a hoof to her face.

".. Adults are weird." Is all Gustaff has to comment on the bag shinnanigans. He bounds over to Thuninni's bucket-cart to turn it back upright. "That was fun, but next time we're doing it down a hill so I can ride too."

Moon-Willow however, isn't so easily gotten rid of! she clings to the pony desperately. "Listen! he was without an adult! we took him in because he had no parents to take him! he was perfectly fine!" she narrows her eyes. "Why would he be in a sack he was safe in the orphanage!"

Scuff. The orange unicorn flicks his ears as he thinks he hears something over the sound of voices behind him, and turns to look at the alleyway.

There's the door. There's Bonny Feather, or at least her rear end, as she faces inside. And at the other end of the alleyway… the brown earth pony is gone.

The unicorn wheels about and blinks. Where'd he go? He advances back towards the doorway, and the other side of the alleyway beyond it. He then jumps at the sound of scuffling and shouting inside. A disturbance! His hooves slip over the pavement as he starts to run back towards the warehouse door!

He doesn't make it that far- with the swoop and flutter of a dark presence, he is whisked from view with only a stifled 'eep!'

Bonny Feather sits up with a start, looking back over her shoulder into the now-empty alleyway. Weren't there two other guards out here…?

Thunnini nods to Gustaff. "Yeah," she agrees. Then she headtilts towards the batpony. "Why are your wings like that, mister?" she asks.
Moonglow has arrived.

"A likely story!" The Captain snaps to the clingy pegasus upon his back. One wing's still wriggling to try and shake her off. "That's how wings are," he asides distractedly to the pony in the tub. You're in a tub and you're asking him why his wings are like that? Why're your legs like that? It's just how he's put together! He might say more, but he's too busy tugging on the rope holding the sack closed.

He finally pulls it loose, and out pops a little head! A… very little head. It is a pale, dusty pink, like someone mixed red with a pale grey and this is what they got. It is very definitely a foal, a tiny little filly. And she blinks around with big, wide blue eyes, tilts her head back, and /WAILS/. "WAAAAAH! I WANNA GO HOOOME!"

The Captain looks well and rightly confused. "…Peony?"

Magpie blinkblinks. "Who's THAT?" she demands.

Moon-Willow blinks. "Hey! why is their a filly in that sack!" she growls. "Kidnapper!" she accuses the batpony.

Is there a crying foal there? Did he make that foal cry? *stomp stomp stomp* Ruby begins to stomp straight towards the batpony stallion and upon her muzzle is a stern, motherly glare. "Why you…" says the mother with no less than two foals strapped to her.

Sunshine lowers her hoof, spies the appearance of a foal in the sack just as predicted, and the multiple accusations. …She replaces her hoof on her face. "Days like this I miss being on the other side."

Gustaff gaaahs and clamps his talons over his fuzzy ears at the whining. "Now that the brat is out of the bag, someone quiet them down!"

Thunnini crawls over to the sack with her pole, then uses it to help brace herself so she can partially "stand" on her tail. "Hi there! I'm Thunnini; what's your name?" the seafilly cheerfully asks the foal-in-a-sack.

The Captain blinks and frowns defensively. He looks downright /offended/, he does. He lifts the little pink pony free of the sack, hugging her up in one hoof. "Me? It's you ponies who are the kidnappers! Taking our little ones right from their caves!" Indeed, the filly is sporting a pair of tiny little bat wings, along with the distinctive slitted eyes and tufted ears. And she's sure clinging to the big batpony as though he is not what she is scared of right now! And the Captain might not be too motherly, but he can match Ruby's stern level with the best of them.

The filly keeps on wailing. At least, until she's addressed. She quiets mid-yowl and blinks down at Thunnini, too stunned to remember she's supposed to be crying. Blinkblink. "…Where'd your legs go?" she asks with a sniff.

Magpie ahems. "Um, sir? I know somepony obviously took her and put her in that sack, but it wasn't us. I mean. Not like the city watch or somethin'. We don't even know where you live!"

Magpie adds after a moment, "By the way, just sayin', /love/ the eyes."

Moon-Willow releases the batpony. "Me?! I would never take a child from its home! How DARE you accuse me of such?" she nuzzles the little filly. "I'm sorry for the shouting little one. Peony, was it. I'm Moon Willow." she sticks a hoof out to the bat pony. "Hi. It's nice to meet you. if you'd like I think I can take you to the little colt you might be missing."

Ruby huffs cutely and stops in her tracks at the little baggamuffin is released from it's confines. "Somepony is taking your young?" she asks curiously before glancing over her shoulder and outside towards Luna knows where. "Hmmm…" she turns towards the Captain and beams. "I'll help you find them - I'm good at finding foals." Hopefully there's a finders fee - those rafters at home are pretty empty.

"Nice to meet you, Peony! I'm a seapony! That's why I have this tail instead of another pair of legs," explains Thunnini, wriggling slightly to highlight that fact.

Ruby-Blossom hmms cutely and brings a hoof to muzzle "Guess everypony can relax now that the bat's out of the bag.."

Gustaff helps by picking up Thunnini and holding the seapony up tail first for Peony to see. "Seaponies are really a real thing."

Bonny Feather frowns, looking back over her shoulder. Things seem to be in hoof… or at least not getting any worse. She heads back out into the alleyway to look for the other guards, armor clink clank clink clanking as she makes her way down the path.

A minute later, she returns, clink clank clink clank, slips back inside the open warehouse door, and leans up against the wall, out of the lingering sunlight streaming in from outside. It's easy to forget she's there. Just a guard, keeping watch on the situation.

Sunshine squints, closing the distance between herself and where Ruby/Moon-Willow/Magpie/Thunnini are accosting the batponies with questions and such. "Hey, hey! First of all, everybody calm down! Secondly, everybody /calm down/!" Except the ones that are calm now. Which is awesome. She blinks at Thunnini and Peony. So quick to make friends, foals.

The guardsmare shakes her head. "Anyway." She squints at the Captain. "We don't know anything about this. But we do know that things have been disappearing from our town, and until we know who did it it's hard to say who's innocent of what here." She frowns, glancing down at Magpie. "Like she said." she says, looking back up at the captain. "We don't even know where you guys came from, let alone sent anyone out to foalnap. So maybe you oughta be working with us instead of pointing hooves." her head turns just enough to squint at Moon. "That goes for you too, you know."
The Captain glares. GLARES. He's got a pretty piercing glare. He turns it on Ruby. Making jokes? This is /serious buisiness/ and that was not funny at all not one little bit (snrk) not at all nope. And then he looks to Moon Willow. "Ah! You admit you know where Fugue is?!" He's trying to sound demanding and imposing and not at all concerned. Nope, this is all perfectly in hoof. He's got this.

Peony gapes. "Woooow," she breathes, wide-eyed and awed. "I never seen a pony with a tail like that before!" And then she looks at Gustaff. "What're you? Are… are… are you a birdpony?!" 'Cause. Y'know. He kinda looks birdish. And clearly /everything/ is pony.

Magpie swats Ruby on the shoulder, hard.

Gustaff snorts. "No, I'm a griffon." Pauses. "But I grew up with ponies, so close enough."

Moon-Willow huffs. "I'm usually know better then to point hooves without proper evidence." she bows her head to the adult batpony. "My apologies, sir. would you like to come retrieve your foal now? I'm sure he'd like to go home."

Magpie blinks a bit. "Fugue? I thought his name was… uh.. Sable-mane." She tilts her head. "Who's Fugue?"

Moon-Willow narrows her eyes with concern. "sweet Celestia how many foals are missing?!"

Magpie says sternly, "You really should keep better track."

Ruby-Blossom squeeks at Maggie's swat and gives the little filly a glare that totally says 'no cake for you' while rubbing her shoulder. "I didn't do it." she huffs at Maggie - it's not like she's sneaking off to foalfill her desires or anything. Sheesh. She glances back towards the Captain and offers a warm, reassuring smile. "It is a serious matter - but if you get all hard headed you'll run around accusing all the wrong ponies and making a ruck…oh wait." she motions towards the current situation with one hoof. "But seriously - we don't kidnap foals." she stops to ponder a moment and double-check her mental records. "Nope, we don't. Well Queen might, but I don't think she'd even want them around - so that seems unlikely?"

"I don't think I've ever seen a pony with your wings before," Thunnini admits to Peony. "Your eyes and ears are pretty neat, too!"

The Captain stamps the hoof that is not full of small foal. "I'm asking the questions here!" He's looking edgy. Definitely angry. "Are you going to lead me to Fugue and the others or not?" He fixes Moon Willow - for she has mentioned leading the most - with a piercing stare. "First it was the elder foals and then it was the young ones and now you're taking ones barely out of their nesting caves!"

Moon-Willow glares fiercely back. "Listen. for the thousandth time, we haven't taken anypony! I don't know a Fugue. only a Sable-mane."

Sunshine sighs, rubbing her forehead. "This is getting heavy… Okay look. I can say without a doubt that we haven't noticed any of your foals around town. I think we would know if we had. But we don't know who /you/ are, or where you live, or anything. So let's just…" She turns to start to leave the warehouse. "Let's show them to the batpony we do know about, and go from there, alright?"

The guardsmare pauses. "…Featherspony. How about you escort Mr. Captain there." Her eyes squint. "If you're up to it. You look a little…off."

Peony, meanwhile, has totally forgotten the direness of the situation. She's met a seapony! And a griff-thingie! And she's getting compliments! "Thanks! I like 'em too." She gives her wings a little flap.

"Sure thing, boss," says Bonny Feather, from her shadowy position, as she pushes up off her casual lean against the wall. Her voice is a little hoarse, but it sounds like a lady pegasus enough. "You there, 'Mr. Captain,' c'mon. Let's go."

The Captain gives a little snort. He lays his ears back, and turns to head for the door, still looking edgy. Peony gives a little ack as she's pulled away from her conversation and deposited on his back; she peeks down past his wing and gives Thunnini and Gustaff a wave.

Ruby-Blossom scootches towards the little bat pony foal "I'll just watch this one until they get back?"

Thunnini hugs Peony before she's out of reach. "Maybe you could visit us some time? It's always nice to hang out with friends," the seafilly smiles at the batponies.

Moon-Willow sighs and fluffs her wings. "He's this way." she giggles at Peony, "Oh aren't you just too adorable." she coos, scratching her at the base of the wing where a friend of hers pet bat had loved so much.
Gustaff waves after the odd winged ponies as well. "Yeah, don't be strangers!"

Sunshine wrinkles her nose. Must be some of that weird flu going on. Whatever. The guardsmare begins a trot off out of the warehouse. "C'mon then, a quick stop to the orphanage and then we can figure out how the hay we're supposed to get in touch with you again. Because this /needs/ looked into."

Ruby reaches back to pat her little ones atop their respective heads before looking towards Magpie with longing eyes. Ruby wants something!
Peony beams. Is this all it takes to make friends? Get snatched and stuffed in a sack for hours? Is that how you're supposed to do it? She /never knew/. "Okay!" she promises, because to a small child that seems like a perfectly easy promise to make. She flitters her little wings at Moon's scritching. Yup, this isn't scary at all anymore!

As Mr. Captain, with Peony astride, makes for the door, Bonny Feather, as directed, detaches from her post by the door and falls in beside him.

Then, 'she' reaches up with a dusky red hoof, hooks it smoothly around the bat-winged foal, spreads 'her' own pair of batwings, and takes off into the sky. A few leathery flaps carry 'her' up, up, and away, rapidly distancing from the group with foal safely held close.

Actually, the real Bonny Feather is snoring loudly underneath an overturned cardboard box a block away, stripped of her armor and with a little bump on her head. Surprise.

Magpie scowls at Ruby. "HE'S taking the foal WITH him. You can't have it!" She sticks her tongue out. Seriously, what's wrong with Ruby?

Thunnini yelps and clambers towards her bucket-kart. "C'mon, Gustaff! Help me get this back on its wheels!" she calls out. Their friend needs them!
Ruby-Blossom scrunches her nose at Magpie before grumpily muttering "That isn't what I wanted…stingy." she harumphs and stands up straight.
Gustaff pushes the bucket back onto its wheels once Thunnini is climbing in. "There we go!"

Moon-Willow blinks. "Um…was that kidnapping?" she spreads her wings, ready to go at a moments notice. "Gustaff if you don't stay here and out of trouble when we get back to the orphanage your going to in A LOT of trouble."

Magpie blinkblinks. "Um… I guess it's their kid anyway.. right?"
The Captain looks relieved - satisfied, even - as Peony is swept up by a familiar compatriot. "No," he states bluntly, giving Moon Willow a cool look, "that is a filly being taken safely home to her parents. Where she will stay," he states, firmly, as though if he says it determinedly enough it'll ward off kidnappers all over everywhere forever the end.

Gustaff is all ready for another race through the streets!… until Moon Willow yells at him. Then he flumps down on his rump and crosses his forelegs in a classic child sulking pose. "Fffffff." Why are adults such spoilsports sometimes?

Indeed, there seems to be a lack of protest from the filly, at least that can be heard from this distance. The black wings and trailing dark cloak of her rescuer can be seen, rapidly vanishing into the evening sky to the east.

Thunnini blinks. "Oh," she says, mulling over the Captain's words. "Can she still come over to visit? Or - can we visit her?"

Ruby-Blossom says "Can she come for birthday parties?"

Moon-Willow nods. "Ah, that's where your friend went. sunshine you might want to send somepony to look for your guard. and your foals this way." at that she takes to the sky at a steady and moderate pace, over the roofs to the orphanage.

Sunshine mulls this over. "I'll make a note of that after we deal with our current issue." Poor guards, never knew what hit'em. The metal-legged one glances back at the Captain as walking happens. "So! Where /do/ you guys live? Y'know, in case we find any more of your kids to send back or something."

Ruby-Blossom chimes "I bet they live in the same place the pegasi from the otherside lived. I mean, that's where'd I live if I were a bat pony in that secluded mountain pass thing."

The Captain peers over at Sunshine, raising an eyebrow. Does she /really/ expect him to fall for that? Come on, now. Though, he does cast a suspicion-filled glance at Ruby. Does that indicate that she is correct? Who knows? He's looking suspiciously at everypony. He trots on after Moon Willow, casting glances about as though he's trying to make sure they don't lead him into a corner or something.

Ruby-Blossomrubs her chin "Maybe Solar-Wind and I have will have to go have a look." she hops to her hooves and stretches out. "But first you little ones need to get home - it's almost bedtime." the word earns Ruby a couple dissaproving foal glances.

Moon-Willow lands in front of the orphanage and trots inside, completely unconcerned. "Sable! there's somepony here to see you!"
Someone has awarded you karma! Keep being awesome!

Sunshine waves a hoof as Ruby trots off with her little ones. "Sleep well. Leave a light on, I may be working late tonight and I hate stepping over tripwires in the dark." She keeps walking!

Suddenly orphanage! Sunshine follows Moon inside, stepping off to the side to allow others to enter and the summoning of the foal of the hour.

The Captain pauses outside the orphanage and looks about suspiciously. That seems to be his default expression.

A number of foals look up at Moon Willow's call. A pair of pink filly eyes stare from over a pile of blocks. STARE. But no little batpony is forthcoming.

Moon-Willow sighs and pokes her head in the room sable had been placed in. "Sanle there's other batponies looking for you."

Sablemane is conspicuous only by his absence. He's not asleep on the bed, and he's not playing with any toys. (He's not asleep /under/ the bed either!)

Sunshine notes all the foals. Looks like Horseshoe Harbor still has their fair share of kids! But the lack of the one batpony kid they supposedly had is disturbing. She backs out of the orphanage, leaving Moon to keep searching. "Looks like Sable might've stepped out…"

Moon-Willow narrows her eyes. "This is getting concerning. who was in charge while I was out?" she sticks her head under his bed. "Sable?" concern and fear laces her voice. what if he was taken?! or hurt?!!

The Captain peers coolly over at Sunshine. "What are you playing at here? This is no joke. We want our foals back." He steps back slightly, flaring out his wings. He can strike quite an imposing figure when he tries, even now in the middle of the day. "It would be in your best interests to comply."

"For all I know he could be flying his merry little way back to wherever you guys came from." Sunshine replies in kind, one of her ears perked and twisted to listen to Moon's growing concern. She finds herself sitting up as imposingly as she can manage. Once upon a time that was pretty effective! "Either way he doesn't seem to be inside. You are, of course, welcome to sit here and wait for him to return, or we can send him flying your way once we see him again." Just stay calm…

The Captain does not seem to be in a waiting mood. "We want our foals back," he repeats. "We will be watching. If they are not returned to us safely soon, we will have to take action." With that, he flaps his wings, taking off swiftly. He's pretty fast once he gets in the air, winging his way off in the same direction his companion had taken the foal.

Left on the ground where he had been was a tattered piece of parchment. Drawn on the parchment is a crude map - it seems to detail a route from the Harbor up into the White Saddle Mountains, right to a particular system of caves, on which a few are circled in smeared charcoal. Scrawled in messy hoofwriting in one corner are the words 'Drop at the old warehouse by the CCC by nightfall'.

Moon-Willow takes a few shaky breaths. "Sunshine? sunshine…he's not here." she clearly panicking now. oh he's probably kidnapped! that poor foal!

Sunshine breathes out a sigh when the bat pony captain takes off. But he left something behind? The guardsmare tilts her head, stepping forward to pluck up the piece of paper. Hm. Evidence! This gets tucked away for the moment when Moon-Willow appears. "Yeah… I kinda gathered. It's okay. None of the others are missing, right? He's probably…enjoying the night air. Bats do that, don't they?"

Moon-Willow sniffles. "What if he was taken?!"

Sunshine shakes her head. "Then we'll have to figure out by who and rescue them, won't we?" The guardspony smiles. "Good job today. Don't know if I could've caught up with those two myself. Uhm…" She scuffs a hoof on the ground. "I have some work to do. But uh, you're welcome to help us investigate this whole mess… Alright?"

Moon-Willow smiles. "Gladly." she bows her head, "I'll go see if Rising is here."

Sunshine-Stormcloud bows her head as well, then turns to trot off. Work to do! Work to do.