Let It All Out
IC date: Summer 57
OOC date: August 16th
PCs: Sadaka, Blackbird, Mad-Mare
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em
GM: None

One thing can be said about the Midsummer Bash. Everypony loves week-long parties. Festivities pretty much have been non-stop since the opening, and there has been some crazy moments. Like an imploding 'ghost house'. And the constant stream of 'talent' upon the stage!

For Maddie though, it's been a pretty constant headache. Oh she was expecting this, of course, but that doesn't lessen the impact. Her and her goons have been running security since the start, and this has mostly involved kicking too-drunk, rowdy ponies out of the beach, into jail, or wherever. There's even been a makeshift 'jail' constructed for temp-beach banning, and the general jeers of passing ponies.

This doesn't mean that there hasn't been more serious issues… There's rumors of a major 'threat' coming. This may not be of too much concern, as there's /always/ rumors of doom and gloom surrounding a town full of ex- (or current) criminals. But this rumor came from within her own force, and that lends a little more weight to it. Which is why Maddie and her two most trusted earth-bound goons have cornered a poor, skinny, nerdy-looking colt in an alleyway just a little ways from the docks. Yes, they finally found Shorty.

And Maddie is looking none too happy that she'd had to spend this much time to re-track his lanky rear down again. Poor Shorty's flanked on both sides, with Mad in front of him, glaring daggers down at the poor 'script-writer'.

"I'm /very/ disappointed in you… You should have known better than to try running. You're one of us. You knew we'd catch up, and you knew what would happen when we did!"

Blackbird, for his part, has been trying to avoid the areas around the docks, but sometimes you just can't make it work the way you'd intended. And that would be because some of the streets are closed off today for the party as it leaks into the streets, and he's intent on making a quick trip to the library with Sadaka. "C'mon, kiddo. Stick close. Let's get out of here before they see…"

The stallion slows to a trot, as he sees Maddie menacing the poor pony. The back of his neck prickles, his mouth twitches; he stands stock still. To rescue the stranger and risk Maddie's considerable wrath, or to go along and pretend he saw nothing? On the one hoof, he's worried for Sadaka. But on the other… well, what's he teaching her, if he just lets it happen? He stares, stock still, breath caught as he tries to decide what to do, a few feet from the mouth of the alley.

Sadaka trails along after Blackbird, looking around uneasily. The party was fun and all, sure. Sometimes she even managed to relax and enjoy herself. But she could tell Mr. Blackbird was nervous, and if he was nervous there must be a reason to be nervous, and if there's a reason to be nervous then well dangit she's nervous. So she obediently sticks close, skittering along behind him as covertly as she could.

As a result she nearly runs into his leg when he stops suddenly, blinking up at him and then over at the mini-commotion. And then she's frozen as well, gulping nervously. Oh dear. This doesn't look good. Poor skinny pony!

Shorty looks nervous enough that he might just sweat himself away to nothing! A look of sheer panic etched on the colt's features, the nerdy Syndicolt does little more than nervous stamps at the ground and wild looks between the two burly goons and Maddie herself.

"So I'm afraid, my dear Shorty, that this means we'll have to terminate our professional relationship. Your services are no longer required." Maddie's eyes narrow. "I trust you understand what that means."

Shorty practically turns white! If he was panicked before, he's absolutely on the verge of a total mental breakdown now! "B..b..b..b..b…bu…bu…b…" Aw, poor guy can't even form a proper word anymore! Tough luck for a pony who specialized in speeches!

Well. That settles it. If Shorty dies, that makes another pony's blood on his hooves, in Blackbird's convoluted mental checks and balances. They may be a little skewed to the martyr side. Maybe. A little. But regardless, he takes a deep breath and turns to Sadaka, to speak quietly. "Stay out here and keep out of sight, okay? No matter what happens. If something happens to me, I want you to run all the way to Miss Rusty's house and tell her. Okay?"

Sadaka blinks. Wait, what? What would happen to him? What's he gonna do?! She gives an alarmed squeak, looking up at him wide-eyed. "B-but… but what're… what're you gonna… …Y-you're gonna come b-back, right?"

At this point, both Rock'em and Sock'em are looking so grim they could be mistaken for palace guards. Or gargoyle-statues. They both crack their hoof joints ominously. Which only makes Shorty whimper, ducking down into a little ponyball.

"You know what to do boys." Maddie speaks, turning to begin her exit from the alleyway.

Blackbird hesitates, and then leans down to nuzzle Sadaka, quickly but affectionately. "I'll be back," he assures her. Which may very well be a lie, but. Eh.

With that, he turns and steps in front of Mad, tipping his chin up. He doesn't say anything, but the look in his eyes is pretty plain. I won't let this happen!
Sadaka gulps thickly, staring after him and trotting in place for a moment as if debating darting after him. Instead, obedience wins out, and she darts around the corner, cowering down low and peeking around the building in at what's going on.

Maddie, of course, stops in mid-step. She squints at the figure in the alleyway, the dramatic entrance enough to draw the attention of the goons and their 'target', too. The Mad one snorts once in annoyance, resuming her casual step to bring her closer to the potential intruder. "Yes? Can I help you? The party's the /other/ way, you know."

"Yes, well… sorry, but there's only so much senseless murder I can take." Blackbird narrows his eyes, and suddenly whirls, bucking Mad in the face in hopes of a surprise attack. And if that goes well, he'll charge toward Rock'em and Sock'em next.

"Senseless mur-" Ka-POW! Maddie's confused look is interrupted by a swift hoof to the face! Thusly wildly bucked, the Mare winds up flat on her back, metal and fleshy legs alike windmilling in the air. Oof!

The subsequent charge at Rock'em and Sock'em is equally surprising, both of them looking just as confused as their boss. Even Shorty's looking…not exactly relieved that he has a rescuer, though he has enough sense to bolt away from the goons as they're the apparent target of a crazed pony!

And Blackbird is charging straight at the goons, to whirl and buck Rock'em in the jaw, and then head-butt the other in the stomach. "RUN!" he shouts to Shorty, which the pony seems to be doing anyway, and so he turns to bite and buck the goons to keep their attention off their fleeing contractee.

Suddenly with their hooves full, Rock'em and Sock'em can't do much to keep tabs on Shorty! He has a free chance to run! Run and be free! Run and don't get killed! But… Well. He's not running. In fact, after he cleared the immediate vicinity of the crazy pony's attack, he just kinda…crumpled next to a nearby trash can to watch. Cowering.

Surprise attacks aside, neither Rock'em nor Sock'em are exactly pushovers. When Blackbird heroicallyl stays put to confront the trio of 'murderous thugs', he finds that he does, indeed, do a great job of keeping their attention. He might also realize that they're not exactly fighting back. Dodging, ducking, and turning, but not fighting back.

Just keeping Blackbird busy enough until Maddie can get back to her feet, and /glare/ openly at the assaulting teacher. "Enough! What in Tartarus do you think you're doing!? Stand down before we have to restrain you!"

Blackbird keeps up his vicious assault, kicking and bucking and punching and all that despite their evasions. When Maddie yells at him, he whirls on her, mad as a bull, and snarls. "I can't stay on the sidelines while you're killing ponies! And I'm sure as hay not going to let you continue your reign of terror on Horseshoe Harbor! How many innocent ponies have to die, huh? Are you planting a bomb? Are you going to bring your ships back and fire on the children in the harbor?"

Every 'evil' suggestion thrown Maddie's way earns Blackbird a deeper and deeper frown. By the time he's done 'ranting' at her, her gaze flicks up to the two goons poised behind the teacher. Whom promptly pounce, with full intent of pinning the plucky colt down onto the ground!

And down the teacher goes! Flat under the goons, Blackbird tries to buck and thrash, but they're some pretty heavy ponies, and he is, how you say, out of practice. He does put up a pretty good fight, though, and he /nearly/ unseats them. So instead he turns to bite everyone instead. Anyone in reach!

These goons are experts at restraining ponies. It's part of the reason why Maddie adores them so! They /are/ good at what they do, when they do it. The goons sit on either end of Blackbird, pinning limbs down and applying just enough pressure to the back of his neck to try and keep his biting to a minimum.

This leaves Maddie to appraoch without fear of getting bucked a second time, crouching down when she's close enough to bring herself more level with the downed pony.

Despite Blackbird's violent rage, Maddie keeps calm. Oddly calm. Dangerously calm. "Mr. Blackbird. I haven't killed a pony since the night I lost my legs, and right now the mere thought of such leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Which is good, since that means I can't stomach the thought of killing /you/ right now, either, for this unwarranted assault."

Blackbird, pinned and still trying uselessly to fight it, glares death at Mad-Mare, as all that pent-up nervousness comes out as pure anger. "You expect…me to believe that?" he grits out against the ground. "You're insane, Mad. Insane, with a heart made of wind. Capricious and dangerous and incorporeal! And I swear, by Celestia above, I /will/ end you before you hurt another pony! I /WILL/!" ~Melodrama~

Maddie shakes her head slowly. "Who's the crazy one here?" she asks, unable to resist poking at least a little at a pony when they're down. It really is in her nature. "You're the one that decided to barge in, knowing nothing about what was going on. Speaking of which…"

The Mad one stands up, clearing her throat so that Shorty can hear. "Shorty? You're dismissed. Go get your things, be on the next ship out of town. I'll know if you don't… You may want to try Canterlot for a new job, I'm sure some silly pony somewhere needs a useless, stuttering speech writer. We would escort you ourselves, but we have a mad pony to deal with."

Crestfallen that the interruption hadn't somehow saved his job, Shorty hangs his head, and quietly walks past the pony-pile that is goons and teacher, past Maddie, and on out the alleyway.

Blackbird isn't going to stop there. "Watch your back, Shorty! You never know when she'll turn!" he snaps. He bucks and thrashes, but still, no leeway. He finally glares, panting, up at Mad. "So now what?" he growls.

"So aggressive…" Maddie resumes her low crouch. "Y'know, if you didn't have a thing for that inventor, I might've fallen for you. But your taste in mares…" She trails off.

Both Rock'em and Sock'em roll their eyes.

"That, Mr. Blackbird, is a very good question. If I let you up, you'll just try to 'end me', as you put it. I can't have that, I have a job to do. Security around here isn't going to run itself. On the other hoof, if I don't let you up, your darling little daughter ends up wondering where her dear daddy went off to, and why he got in trouble with the law. Somepony would be forced to explain, and that would probably have to be me. You /know/ how that would go, don't you?"

Blackbird glaaaares at Mad. "I'd never," he snaps at her, regarding falling for her. But by the end of her speech, his eyes flick toward the mouth of the alley and back, before he kicks himself mentally. Out of practice indeed. "So where does that leave us?" he growls.

Maddie heaves a deep sigh. "In a very unfortunate position." she says, shrugging. "You've outright attacked me now. After repeated warnings. What of your foal? Where is she while you're out and about, attacking other ponies? You've become a threat to the community, and I can't say I'm surprised. Knowing your past, I guess it was just a matter of time before you showed your true colors. So…"

The Mad Mare stands up straight, casting a much more critical gaze downwards. "…Prison, I suppose. Until I can be sure you're going to stop this crazy nonsense. I worry for your foal, Blackbird. You don't deserve her. Maybe she'll have the sense to go find a better home while you're stewing on why random attacks on Harbor Watch ponies is not a good idea."

Sadaka squeaks and perks her ears, eyes wide as she peers around the corner at the scene, trembling. She'd nearly run out in a panic when Blackbird had been taken down, but either fear or obedience had kept her in place — barely. This, though… this is not good.

Well that certainly gets to him. He jerks, as if stung, and looks away from her, glaring at the ground and baring his teeth in anger and frustration. And then: prison. He flashes anger up at her. "Prison! I can't— go— to prison!" Each word is punctuated with a strong buck, but he still can't move the goons. Thinking of Sadaka alone, roaming the forest, or doing whatever— despite the fact he told her to go to Rusty, of course — makes him start to hyperventilate as he strives helplessly to get away.

The goons sure had to fight to stay on top of the panicking teacher though! They're looking at their boss with wide eyes and confused expressions. How can one colt be so strong!?

Maddie, of course, is nonplussed. "You really should have thought of that before you butted your nose into Watch business. Again. Apparently it's the only sort of punishment that means anything to you." Crossing her forelegs, the Mad Mare watches with an expression that's both curious, and restrained. The crazy in her /does/ want to come out. It's fighting against her mental bonds much the same way Blackbird is bucking against the weight of goons. But the weight of forced peace is obviously winning, adding a 'sad' quality to the Mare's expression.

"It's for your own good. Maybe I'll go easy on you and only keep you overnight. A week at most. Enough to give you time to cool off and maybe wonder if your continued rage against me is worth the pain it's going to cause you and your foal in the long run."

Sadaka blinks and squeaks, ears perking again as Blackbird starts fighting. Prison? But… but… prison is for /bad/ ponies. Mr. Blackbird isn't a bad pony! At all! If anypony here should be going to a place for bad ponies it's Maddie. Not Blackbird! She looks around somewhat frantically, as if help will appear from behind one of the buildings or something.

But help doesn't come. Blackbird just spits at Maddie, and keeps trying to fight, unable or unwilling to give it up and go peacefully.

Maddie wrinkles her nose as she's spit upon. She stands slowly, heaving a great sigh. "I knew you'd be the hardest case. Alright, well, prison it is then. Boys?"

She turns around and begins to walk down the alleyway again. Rock'em and Sock'em look unsure. They can't get up without letting him go! And they have no rope. "Should we just knock him out 'til we get to the jail?"
Sadaka blanches at the idea of them hurting Blackbird, gulping thickly. They can't! Not someone else… not /again/… She tenses for a moment, then springs out from her corner before she can talk herself out of it, ears flat and teeth bared. "D-don't you touch my papa!"

That gets the feisty pony to pause, panic hitting an even higher high. Oh, god. …desses. (Whatever.) (I can keep the tension.) He rears and manages to break their holds just enough to scramble arduously forward a few feet before another window presents itself to get him re-pinned. "Sadaka! Get out of here!"

Maddie stops again! Now there's a foal in her way. A…ver familiar, striped foal, calling Blackbird 'daddy'. The Mad one grimaces, baring teeth and taking a small, half-step back. "You didn't… Blackbird, you didn't attack me with your foal /watching/, did you?" She glances over her shoulder, looking absolutely horrified at the thought!

Imagine her, horrified at a foal watching violence. What?

She snaps her head back to Sadaka, starting to get a look of panic herself. Even as her goons struggle with re-pouncing the escaping teacher! Crash! "…Yes. Get out of here, Sadaka. You don't need to see this. You should be home. Or enjoying yourself. Or /anything/."

Sadaka glares up at her, trembling slightly but too angry to try and run. "Don't you tell me what to do! You're just… you're just a big /meanie/! I don't have to listen to you!" She stamps a hoof. So fierce! And tiny.

Oh, goodness. Blackbird blinks, still struggling a little with the goons but decidedly subsiding in surprise at Sadaka's fierce little stance.

Maddie lifts a hoof to her forehead. "Dear Celestia, Blackbird, what have you been teaching this kid?"

Of course the goons are rather shocked, too. That crazy foal!

Maddie stands tall, even in the face of such tiny fierceness. Though the look she has, looking down at the little one, is of confusion more than anything. "Look. He attacked me! I have the bruise to prove it. So go home… If your daddy behaves, he can go home later."

Sadaka stares back, ears flat. "Well, you deserved it! You've been mean to everypony! I woulda kicked you too!" Granted, it would've been more of a kick in the shins. Not quite so effective. But she looks like she's considering trying it!

"Daddy said you were mean 'cause you wanted power so you won't be alone! But being a meanie doesn't get you power and it's not gonna keep you from being alone! Friends keep you from being alone! Friends give you power!" She stamped a hoof again, looking about ready to start hopping with energy. She'd started out a bit above normal volume; by now she was shouting. "I thought somepony just needed to be your friend, and then maybe you wouldn't be so mean! But I was wrong. Nopony'd ever be your friend! You hurt ponies! You kill them! Mama and Daddy didn't hate you! Maybe they coulda been your friends! But you didn't /care/! And now they can't ever be anypony's friends again!"

She glares sharply up at her, eyes teary. "You're scared of being alone, so you're mean! But being mean isn't ever gonna get you any friends. Nopony's ever gonna /like/ you! You're gonna be all alone and it's gonna be all /YOUR FAULT/!"

Blackbird just stares, dumbfounded. Well wouldja look at that! He is momentarily arrested, in the midst of his arrest.

"But… Ah…" Maddie stammers. Stammers! The Mare's practically on the defensive, every little stamp and hop Sadaka makes also making Maddie flinch! Several times, she flinches, each time lowering herself closer to the ground. Until she's actually below Sadaka's eye level, her ears pinned back, eyes wide as plates, pupils small as pinpricks. Misty-eyed, even.

Rock'em and Sock'em are so…stunned by this, that they actually forget they're holding Blackbird down. Whoa. Mad Foal.

"I'm… I'm trying…" Maddie manages to eke out.

Sadaka blinks and pauses, panting a bit from the effort of shouting that whole rant. She peers down at Maddie, violet eyes narrowed. "Then maybe you should try saying you're sorry! And bein' nice! And not throwing all the ponies in jail and fining them and yellin' at 'em and making 'em feel bad just 'cause they did something you don't like!" And she's not entirely talking just about Blackbird there. She'd seen the jails on the beach too. Those ponies always looked embarrassed and sad.

Maddie whimpers in reply. Just…whimpers. That wishbound conscience of hers is really kicking her in the heart right now. It shows in the way watery eyes just start streaming tears. Tears! She sniffles! And sobs! And bursts out crying, flailing her forelegs out.

"I'm so-o-o-oryyhyhyhyyy!" she finally sobs, earning a flat-out jaw-drop from both of her goon ponies.

This is totally going in both of their diaries.

Sadaka blinks, looking… admittedly a bit surprised by this as well! That… was not entirely the expected result. …Now what does she do? There's a small twinge of 'oops', a slight feeling like maybe she should apologize herself for yelling, but it was easy enough to ignore. All she's got to do is close her eyes just long enough to bring back those unforgettably horrible images. Whip. Sword, knife. Blood. She shudders a bit and shakes her head, looking away and a bit teary herself.

Whine, sob, sob, whine! Maddie just can't stop the waterworks now. It's as bad as that time with Salty's ghost by the lake… Only this time she's got a bunch of cobblestone gravel where the tear streaks are every time she cries into the ground.

At some point, she even reaches a hoof out, as though…begging through the tears, for /something/ from the zebra. A hug? Forgiveness? A tissue? Who knows! She couldn't say it herself, she's too busy crying! Like a dam of tears let out over a foal's rant against her awful deeds.

Blackbird is just staring. Gaping, really. He blinks a few times, and shakes his head. "Don't even," he mutters at Mad. "You've done horrible things. Groveling isn't gonna fix 'em."

Sadaka gulps faintly, looking down at her again and then over at Blackbird. What do I dooooo? She'd expected to be shouted back at, or kicked, or whipped again, or something. Not sobbing. And yet she couldn't say she felt entirely bad for the Mad Mare. In fact, there was a small bit of her that felt… pleased about it. Some sort of faint revenge. Maddie felt bad and she /should/. She isn't entirely sure that's the right way to feel, but she can't deny that it's there.

Blackbird's words make Maddie wince and close her eyes tight, the tears never stopping. One harsh sniff later, her arms come to cover her nose, hiding her from the world. She stays like that for a good minute before one of her ears twitch, and faint words rise from the crossed arms. "Let him go…" she blubbers to her ponygoons.

Neither Rock'em nor Sock'em object. They get off Blackbird to let him up. Even dust him off a bit, then lean on opposite sides of the alleyway. Looks like the rest of the night's going to be quiet, if nothing else.

She can't find the strength in her to lift her head, but she does move one arm to peer a blurry eye at the zebra filly, standing still so angrily before her. Sniff! "I'm sorry…for taking them away." she whimpers out.

Blackbird stares at Mad, and then looks at Rock'em and Sock'em in surprise as they do actually get off and even dust him off. He shakes himself, and then looks down at Mad, mouth tightening. For a moment it looks like he might kick her head in, or something equally gruesome. But instead, he lays a hoof on her head.

"You can come back from this," he says slowly. "Ponies will hate you, and they will have a right to hate you. But you can make it better, by /being/ better. Apologies are a good start. I'm … sorry for assuming the worst. Given everything I've experienced from you, I'm reticent to give you another chance." He steps past her, over to the foal, and looks back at Maddie. "But I think it would be unfair of me to deny you a new start. You know what I mean."

Sadaka blinks and Maddie's words, laying her ears back and looking down. She opens her mouth… closes it… opens again… closes. Sniffles a bit. And moves over to Blackbird, pressing up against his leg. 'Sorry' was all well and good. But 'sorry' didn't bring them back.

No snappy comeback waits Blackbird this time. Just a watery stare from puffy, tear-streaked eyes. By the time she averts her gaze to continue her sobfest, her goons have advanced to stand to either side of the fallen earth pony.

Rock'em rubs the back of his head. "I think that's enough excitement for everypony tonight, yeah?" Sock'em mirrors Rock'em's gesture. "Yeah… Best if we dragged boss here somewhere a little more private to cry her eyes out. Maybe we oughtta get the doc again… Uh. You two have a good night, a'right?"

Blackbird wraps an arm around Sadaka and pulls her close, giving her a tight hug. "Have a good night," he replies distantly to the goons, before bending down to lift Sadaka up onto his back, to start trotting away.

"You don't have to ever forgive her," he says quietly to her. "It's okay, sweetheart."

The goons sigh in tandem when Blackbird trots off, foal and all. They peer down at their fallen boss, nod to each other, and get to work. Rock'em crouches, so Sock'em can pretty much just roll Maddie across Rock's back. The Mare doesn't even have the strength to protest. Then they, too, lope off towards the direction of the Mayor's Manor.

Sadaka sniffles, settling onto his back and hugging onto his neck shakily. "Y-you're not gonna go to j-jail… right?" she finally asks faintly.

"I'm not," Blackbird promises gently, turning his head to nuzzle her reassuringly. "We're going home and we're going to have hot cocoa, and we're going to read books, and do whatever you want to do."

Sadaka nods slightly, nuzzling him back. "Okay, Papa Blackbird." Home sounded like a very nice idea right now.

Blackbird's ears perk as she calls him that, and a soft smile crosses his face. "Hey," he says gently, "Shortstuff." He looks back at her over his shoulder, and smiles. "I'm proud of you."

Sadaka blinks and blushes, looking down at him for a moment before smiling shakily, hugging onto his neck again. "…Thanks."