Hoof Wrasslin
IC date: Spring 73, 1007
OOC date: June 2, 2012
PCs: Salty, Mad-Mare, Broccoli-Sprout, Addled-Shock

It's a stormy day outside, which puts a greater-than-average number of sailors, buccaneers, blockade-ponies, and other unsavory types indoors today. Specifically in the Rusty Bucket, where the chatter is loud and unfriendly, and the stench is just unforgiveable.

In one corner of the tavern, however, the sound seems loudest, as a light-green unicorn mare with dark blue hair is eagerly arm wrestling one of the thicker, doofier goons from the invading blockade on the harbor. Her gold-toed booted forehoof curls around his, her muscles tensing and shaking and making her cravat tremble. Yet, she wears a determined, crazy grin, not unlike their boss's as her golden eyes stare into her opponent's. "You think you can best the Dread Mayor Saltlick? I'll have you know I'm— nigh—" WHUMP. She slams his hoof down into the table. "UNBEATABLE. HAH!!" A cheer goes up, the table trembles with the force of hooves clopping on boards in applause. She leaps onto the surface and points around. "Who's next, you lugs? Ornery, you owe me a round!" (The last is directed to the loser, who looks rather sour about it. Harumph!)

Broccoli-Sprout is an unaccompanied colt, who walks in with his head high, though his mane is mostly hiding his eyes, anyway, waterlogged as it is. If he acts like he's allowed to be here, no one will throw him out, right?

He makes it a few steps into the tavern, weaving around a few ponies near the door, before the number of rough ponies, loud conversation, and now cheering cause him to pause, mouth open. What has he walked into, other than a place his parents told him never to go, especially not without them? This -has- to be good. Well, it would be, if he could see better. He reaches up to push back his wet mop of hair, but it falls back into place as soon as he sets his hoof back on the floor.

Addled-Shock charges in from the cold and rather wet weather going about outside; he had just come from the Carrot Cafe. Where, he might comment, he just had some very delicious sweets. With this on his mind, he completely forgets to stop on his way in and bumps or rather, collides tragicly with another pony waiting by the door.

As luck would have it, Ornery actually does happen to be that particular pony's name. Complete with a >: sort of face for a cutie mark. Nobody ever said life was always fair for pony-kind. Said Syndigoon pony stomps off towards the bar to get the esteemed mayor the requested round of drinks, whist YET ANOTHER of the Goons from his club settles heavily into the seat across from Salty, all muscle and grit and stern looks, just like all the others that have been whupped by this Ace Hoof-wrassler. Grr!

Yet the Dread Mayor isn't the only celebrity spending the evening drinking and carrying on in uneasy peace. The leader of the blockade-running ponies, Ms. Mad Mare, or Maddie to most, has occupied a table at the opposite corner of the tavern, with her twin personal bodyguards, Rock'em and Sock'em, various wrappings showing just how merciless their lives have been lately, drinking away. Calm tonight, the Mad Mare is, watching all the excitement Salty brings in beating each of her crewmembers one by one in silly contests of strength. It brings a sigh to the Syndicolt leader's voice.

"Isn't that sad, boys? How far into denial she is?"

Rock'em and Sock'em look up from their drinks, eyebrows lifted at their boss. "'Scuse me?"

Maddie points towards Salty's endless victory streak. "I torture and torment several prominent ponies, and this is the most aggressive she's been towards us. Hoof-wrestling and winning /drinks/. You know I haven't even received a death threat from her yet? Or an assassin? I'm so, /so/ very disappointed in her. Maybe I should say something."

Both Rock'em and Sock'em glance a meaningful look to each other, and quickly down the rest of their respective drink. They've been injured every night this week so far. Their tears would be flowing like waterfalls if they didn't know they'd get in trouble for it.

Salty barks a laugh, and starts to take her new opponent's hoof, when the new round arrives. A sudden abort has her moving to take that instead, taking a deep swig. "Hoo, boy! What a good day! And—" Blink. She spots the two ponies at the door, blinking a few more times. "Children! Come here!" Is she talking to them? Why yes! She's pointing right at Addled and Broccoli.

Addled-Shock gives out a small squeek as he looks up at the man he bumped into. "S-Sorry!" He says and tries to back away slowly, only to be frozen in place with the words "Children!" as the blue pony across the room points at him.

Broccoli-Sprout jumps further away from the door, when he catches movement over there. He has no desire to end up underfoot, even if that's somewhat inevitable. He's quick to react, but his landing's awkward, on those hooves he hasn't nearly grown into, yet. So, he skitters over a few more steps, almost backs into a surly somepony-or-other, and giggles. Whoops. All right. Where was he? Eyeing the crowd!

His ears perk up. The winner is calling over for him - he's pretty sure he counts as one of the "children", seeing as how he can't imagine there's anyone shorter here. He weaves around a few more tavern-goers, and over to Salty's table. "Ma'am?" He doesn't sound worried, but definitely curious.

Snubbed was the goon-pony! Snubbed by children! Insult to injury! Rage! Rawr! And so forth. Though all of this is pretty much just expressed by a frown and a growled out: "Hey! I'm tryin' to challenge you here!"

Maddie and Co. honestly wouldn't have cared about a traffic jam at the ol' tavern doorway. Except that Salty cares. Which perks the Mare's ears up. Anything the mayor's interested in /must/ be worth paying attention to, right? "Oho… Who do you suppose we have here, boys?" she murmurs to her cohorts. Both of which immediately order another drink.

"Yes! You, little…are you a colt? You look like a colt. And you! Frozen pony over there. Get over here. I'll make it worth your while~" Which, apparently means she's going to call over to the surly bartender and order a few rounds of fizzy grape for the kids. Because why not. "What in the /world/ are you two doing in here of all places?" she asks, swaying a little on her hooves. She has maybe had a lot to drink, with all those victory rounds. The challenger's complaint gets a great big laugh though. "Aww, are you sore? Have a little patience, big guy! Gotta make sure the minds of tomorrow are preserved or some horseplop like that."

Addled-Shock walks over, deciding he should probably accept the invitation and avoid the staring eyes of the pony he bumped into. Well, his eye that was left… Anyways, he was still very scared and would rather be as far away from him as possible. "I-I was…" He gulps, she doesn't look too stable on those hooves of hers, and the whole rooms eyes seems to be on them… Or atleast, they are in his head. "I was hiding from the storm outside…" He finally got out, trailing off as the end-bit of words left his tounge.

Broccoli-Sprout smiles, politely. "It's raining out, so I came in," he says, matter-of-fact. "I don't know why he's here." He looks back over at Addled-Shock, then back to Salty. Then back over to Addled-Shock. Oh! An explanation! He gestures with his hoof. There you go, drunken mare. "Him too. Well, -I- wanted to see -the tavern-, and I thought, it's raining, so why not… go see the tavern." Then, he notices the scowling challenger, shuts up, and cringes down a couple inches.

Patience? In a bar? The rough-'n-tumble Syndicolt goon grits his teeth. Surely ALL of his buddies are laughing at him now. The ones that haven't taken their turns getting beaten are, at least. His pride and honor are at stake here! Regardless of the approaching Addled and Broccoli, the goon slams both his hooves upon the tabletop. "You can talk to'em while you're wrestling! It's my turn dangit!"

"Do we really hire that many whiners?" Maddie comments off-handedly to her bodygoons.

"Uh. Yeah, boss." "They just don't whine around you cuz' they know you'll kick'em overboard."

"Oh. Well, fair enough! This is probably not a place for kiddos like you, but eh. Hey, you ever been in a hoof-wrestlin' match?" Salty's eyes light up, big ol' grin crossing her face. "You look like a bright eager lad — you wanna go first, and shut this whiner up?" She jabs a hoof over her shoulder at the complaining goon, apparently unfazed by his violence; though she does roll her head back on her shoulder to look at him upside-down. "PS, my good stallion: hurt the kid, and I'll make you a gelding. Just so we're clear." Beam!

Broccoli-Sprout stands up straight, again. He shifts his weight from one front foot to the other, hop-hop. "No, ma'am!" Totally not for kids, sure, got it, moving on and staying here anyway!

He is intimidated by the goon, moreso than any of the other ponies here, because now the goon's attention is being directed to him. "Uh… yes. I mean, no, I have not, but yes, I challenge you!" He puts his best brave expression forward - that does not come out very well - and his hoof up on the table, clunk. The kid is practically made out of fluff and beanstalks.

Addled-Shock moves ever so slightly backwards as to stay out of the commotion that will probably ensue during this event, with both ears perked he turns his attention to the goon and Broccoli.

The 'Angry' and now thoroughly humiliated Syndicolt pony is stunned. Stunned! The mayor just told /him/ to go easy on a foal! It's just too much. Stunned turns to angry, turns to dark glowering and bulging neck veins and… Suddenly there's a hoof on his shoulder. The goon whips his head around, about to tell whoever it is what they /really/ think of the Mayor's suggestion, when he spies just who the hoof belongs to.

"At ease~" Maddie chimes to the goon she's just stopped from likely a Very Bad Night in the hospital, adding in a flick of her head. The goon blanches immediately, wilting as though the strength were drained out of him, quickly absconding from the cushion to allow his boss precedence. Maddie smiles, sweetly, as her minion vacates, taking his place in the seat to favor Salty and Broccoli both with the sweetest, /fakest/ grin she can manage. "I hope you don't mind if I step in?" she asks, propping a foreleg up on the table in Ye Olde Hoofwrestling Position. "I won't hurt him. I've already filled my quota of foal-injuring for the week~"

Salty beams, thoroughly pleased as Broccoli takes up the mantle. "Atta boy! That's right, we breed 'em tough here. All brawny confidence, eh boy? (You are a boy, right? Can't always tell with the foals.)" To be fair, she can't hardly tell with the adults, either, usually. But she hops out of the way for Broccoli to take his spot, and moves to another bench nearby, beckoning the other pony over. "C'mere, other child! Have a grape thing and sit with your Illustrious and Fabulous mayor. I demand a hug!" A mug swings in her hoof in celebration! WOO!

But then Mad-Mare steps in for the angry goon, and her brows lift as she laughs again. "Oh my! You're gonna take on the broad from the blockade, kid! The lady of the lagoon, the monster of the…of the…" She pauses, sways…and burps. "Eh. Got nothin."

Broccoli-Sprout's ears go back. Being tough is good, but it's the kind of thing his parents want from him, and he wouldn't be off wandering into dive bars by himself if he were completely in-line with his parents. So, instead of responding to that, he answers her second question, instead. "I'm a boy," he says, again matter-of-fact, but then he freezes.

And then he slides his hoof off the table, and starts to back up, at the goon's reaction to all this, when he's afraid this might turn violent. His ears flatten as much as they can against his mane. Coming here is suddenly not a good plan, at all. When the other mare sends the goon away, his relief is obvious. He slumps a bit, and laughs nervously.

This is a way more important situation in which to be tough. Much more important than farm stuff. This is the mare behind the blockade - he isn't skeptical of the claim, even though he wouldn't know the Mad-Mare from anypony else in the tavern - so he darn well better smile, too. It is equally fake, the sort he imagines is appropriate for showing the Bad Guys one is not afraid of them and their dastardly schemes. Except, his voice is still polite, and terribly cautious. "Maritime Misfortune?"

Addled-Shock perks both of his ears at the word "Monster" uttered from Salty's lips. "M-Monster?!" He repeats and starts to slowly back away towards the bench she's sitting in, only to end up bumping into her and clumsily making his way into the seat on her left. After he's seated, he sits there in silence… Not sure if he wants to give a completely drunk mare a hug nor drink the "Grape Juice" given to him.

"I do indeed have great respect for the children of this town, Ms. Mayor. They seem to have more guts than all the grown-ups around here." Maddie chimes out, waiting for Broccoli to be a Brave Little Pony and take a seat for a good ol' hoof-wrasslin' match. Her ice-blue eyes peer down at the greenish colt, her head tilting ever so slightly, hoof still offered. "I think my normal title will suffice. Call me Maddie, squirt. Now show me what you've got!"

By this time, most of the Syndicolt goons have either cleared out to give Maddie her space, or occupied tables close enough that they can listen in without interrupting. Rambunctious they may be, but they're on a short leash where their boss is concerned. Good thing Salty and other dock ponies are still there to make plenty of noise!

It's too bad Addled doesn't want a hug, because the drunken mayor slings an arm around him and gives him a good, rough squeeze and a clap on the back. "There ya go, slugger!" She leans back again, leaving the poor poor colt to his own devices as she looks to Mad again and laughs. "Yep, our foals are somethin' to be proud of. Though I hear you sunk a ship of them in the harbor. Tut-tut, my good rival; every pirate knows the way is to take prisoners and use 'em for leverage."

Broccoli-Sprout takes his spot and puts his hoof back up on the table, ready to make his attempt! He's not sure what the routine is, but once his arm's in position, he waits for some signal for the game to begin, all tensed up and concentrating, like he can will his arm into being stronger. "Maddie, okay." Hey, even pirate villains should get to be called what they want to be called.

Addled-Shock flinches a bit as Salty gives him quite a hug and slightly knocks the breath out of his straight afterwards. He relaxes a bit, still being tense from his run-in at the door and tries to figure out if the Grape Juice is really grapes while watching the match that is about to commence.

"I'm not a pirate, Ms. Mayor." Maddie quips, glancing over Broccoli since she's finally having /words/ with her 'rival'. "I'm a businessmare. But since you brought it up, I do have three foals captive, and leverage is in the works." Then she peers down to Broccoli again! He seems to be ready. Good~ She hooks hooves with the colt, leaning her other forearm on the table, looking like she's ready to just throw all her weight into ending this quick! But… When the signals' given, she just holds her arm there. Expectantly. "Put all your effort into it, kid. Don't hold back!"

"Oh! You do? Man, nopony ever tells me nothin." Salty sits up and yawns, taking another swig of ale or grog or whatever the heck she's got in that mug. "Well, good for you! I'm glad you've managed to really lean into your work then. You could use a little pizazz but, eh. I can respect a work in progress." She beams, and then looks at Broccoli. "Yeah, slam her hoof down, kid! Show 'er who's boss!"

Broccoli-Sprout does put all his effort into it. It is nothing but what might be expected from his build, but throws all his weight. He squints, because his hair is still wet, and dripping down into his eyes. He ignores that. C'mon, arm! Do your thing!

Addled-Shock quietly agrees with Salty… "Ya… Go!" He says and trails off at the end, taking an absent-minded sip of the grape juice that he still had in his hoof.
The grape juice tastes fizzy. And grape-y! And very, very preservative-y.

Maddie's eyes glimmer, her fake smile tensing. Pizazz? /Her/? She holds her hoof mostly still, wobbling only under the efforts of Broccoli's straining. She even offers the colt some hope, letting her arm start to list towards the table! "You've got some strength in you, kid. You might have a bright future ahead of you! Maybe as a librarian?" she observes, watching all the effort put into this..play-match.

She really can't keep from poking more at the Mayor either. It's really all she came to port for! Well, that and the booze. "There's plenty of pizazz to go around, Ms. Mayor. I'm just curious though, how long are you going to make me wait before you play your part in all this? Do I have to start killing harborfolk? Make a few explosions?"

"Man, you got an arm on ya, kid," Salty observes in amusement. She waves a hoof at Maddie. "Oh, I don't know. We'll see. I haven't really made any plans yet. I'm sure the good folk of Horseshoe Harbor would be a little put out from explosions, though; we just rebuilt the town. But hey, we already do that every season or so, so if that's what y'gotta do, that's what y'gotta do." She nods solemnly.

Broccoli-Sprout is too wrapped up in trying to win this to be insulted by the fact that there's (sinister) chit-chat going on while he's struggling to budge Maddie's arm. Look, see? See? Her arm moved a little! Take that! Grr!

Addled-Shock looks up from his drink a bit and sinks even further into his seat. Killing, Explosions? Those are both things he'd rather stay away from, and to keep out of the aim of Maddie… He just kept his mouth shut.

Always a sucker for a little 'drama', Maddie lets her arm almost get to the table before she starts to fight back, sloooooooowly putting her strength back into the match, so she can watch Broccoli sweat about the turning tide of the match! "Oop, c'mon kid, I'm fighting back now! Don't give up! Is that really all you got?" She grins at the colt, rather enjoying teasing about who might win.

Seems she also likes scaring kids with Evil Talk! Addled gets a sweet smile from the Mad Mare~ So does Salty! "I do like a good explosion though. So pretty~ I suppose the fact I've been torturing your local schoolteacher doesn't mean anything either? Lack of business? Just let it all slide off your back while everypony else gets ticked off, Ms. Mayor?"

"Eh. He's easy to torture. His buttons are like great big glowing lights that say 'PUSH ME.' It's not very impressive." Salty downs the rest of her drink and squints into the empty vessel, frowning, before she sets it down on Addled's head. Convenience! "Lack of business certainly hasn't been a problem. You're all providing /plenty/ of business in port, I might point out. Zebras h'ain't been around much but they've got other ports to hit. Not to worry, we'll take action at some point, but it's fun to watch you squirm in the meantime." The mayor's smile levels at Maddie, uneven and maybe a little crazy — not unlike the mare hoof-wrasslin' the Sprout.

Broccoli-Sprout is going to lose?! This cannot be! He was winning a moment ago. And if he loses, he is losing to this pony who's threatening to blow up the town and torture kids and the teacher and… maybe he should headbutt her while she's jabbering at the mayor? He looks up through his mane and glares at her, but honestly, he's still too intimidated to try for it. What if she counted that as cheating and decided to keel-haul him or something?

Addled-Shock shakes slightly as Salty sets her empty mug on his head. Trying to reach up for it with both hooves, he completely forgets about the half-sipped grape juice… thinger in one of them and ends up spilling most of it onto his head.

Now how about that? It's not often Maddie gets to look in a mirror-image of herself like that. That's practically what she sees in Salty's grin. Is she anywhere near that unnerving when she looks that way at other ponies?

So distracted at that moment, Maddie completely forgets about the hoof-wrestling match. Which is why the sudden sound of a hoof smacking the tabletop brings her attention back to the present, and down to the kid who has 'beat' her. "Well whadda ya know? I guess I lose this round… Congrats, kid, you got a lot of muscle 'n guts in ya."

The match, over, the Mad Mare proceeds to shake Broccoli's hoof in his victory, and then scoots out of the cushion seat, casting Salty a look somewhere between 'worried' and 'enlightened', only to wander her way back to her table, with her bodygoons.

Salty blinks at Addled. "That's not where that goes," she says helpfully. "Believe me, I know." But with that, she hops off her bench and claps Sprout on the back. "Good job, kid! We oughta recruit you to the Watch or something. But for now, you can walk away tall." Which is exactly what Salty goes to do — she walks away, tall, toward the bar for more booze, swaying and stumbling cheerfully on her hooves.

Broccoli-Sprout blinks a few times, as his victory sinks in. But, he shakes Maddie's hoof. "Thank you for the game," he says, like a good colt. Then he lets out a triumphant whoop, and hops, setting all four hooves on the floor once again, but only briefly, because he keeps hopping. "I won! Ohmygosh do you think I'd be good at being in the watch?" Wait until he tells his parents! Wait… eheh. Maybe not! He is thrilled, though!

Addled-Shock claps quitely for Broccoli in his victory celebration and watches Salty walk off to the bar for more drinks. "I think I'll go out and wash off a bit…" He says, mostly to himself and walks back out into the storm, very much avoiding bumping into another one of the ponies at the door on his way out. — The door closes behind him and he walks down the pier, probably just to end up back in the Carrot Corner for another round of cake!