Mountain Limerick
IC date: DATE
OOC date: DATE
GM: None

It's cold out.

This is hardly a surprise, as the Curtain of Snow started two days ago. It's yet to hit a particularly hard point, but the fact of the matter is that it's only a matter of time before the snows get heavier and any chance to get the Mountain Limerick are lost until the spring thaws. What's Jellybean doing about this? Nothing, apparently. "I hafta be responsible," he says, directing the workforce of the weather service and planning out the upcoming winter. But what if he's not done before the snows are too thick? Clearly this will not do. Luckily, Thunnini and Magpie were there when the hermit griffon explained where Mountain Limerick could be found.

Magpie sighs a bit, but she doesn't seem to mind so much. "Everypony stay together," she reminds the kids unnecessarily. She's wearing her new deep green jacket, almost the same color as a pool table, but the cold doesn't seem to bother her that much. She's seen WAY worse lately.

And speaking of the seafilly, she's looking a bit odder than usual today. Cold winds are much different than cold water, so Thunnini had to bundle up. Fortunately, she has a waterproof cloak that a certain somepony had left behind, and the fact that it's technically too big for her just means she can use it as multiple layers.

Gustaff bounds along with the others, entirely unbothered by the cold and snow. This is nothing compared to the world where it's always dark and winter all year round. "This is -so- awesome! We never got to sneak out of the Hive, somehow Pinkie Pie always knew. Claimed it was because she'd used the extact same tricks when she was a foal. It was weird." The young griffon is just all too excited to be on his first real adventure.

Siyana, for herself, is cheerful enough with all the snow and ice around. She's humming under her breath as she traipses after, oversized scarf around her neck. "o/‘ Hup, two, ready yer shoes! Three, four, til yer legs are sore! Five, six, huntin’ lim'ricks! Seven, eight, setting Jellybelly straight! o/`"

And then there's Dream Daze! Stepping somewhere behind Siyana in time to her sing-song march. And mouthing the words herself! Because, she likes to at least pretend she can sing, sometimes. She has no idea what they're coming here after, but if it's to help Jellybean grow up she wants to see what this is all about!

Sadaka flutters along after the group, looking… much more eager for adventure than she has in quite a while! Also, not cold. She's wearing a scarf, because that's just the thing to do in this weather, and a fluffy hat that her papa gave her, because HATS. But compared to some of the cold she'd been in before this, this might as well be a nice spring day! "So does anyone know what this flower looks like?" she calls down cheerily, peering about. "Or are we just grabbin' whatever looks pretty?"

As soon as Pumpkin heard about Magpie's plan she had only one thing to say. "You want help with that? Sure ah'll come along." And now she's bringing up the rear, keeping eyes peeled for any dangers or likely suspects for the elusive flower they're searching for. "Magpie!" she calls out to their fearless leader, "Did y'all hear what this here flower looked like when you heard where it was planted? Ah THINK I know what it is, but ah'd sure love to know for certain."

Spearmint tromps along at the back of the group, ears perked as he listens for hoofbeats. Snow muffles them juuuust enough to be annoying, and dangit he's /not/ getting lost in the mountains /again/. He's… bundled. Scarf, hat, sweater, even mittens around his hooves. …His mother knits, see. And crochets! He's quite seasonal and festive. And just a little bit embarrassed, because, seriously, Mom. Every year.

"W-well," Magpie hedges. "It's… uh… well, they're sorta… blue and curlyish."

It shouldn't be hard to find them, honestly: as the foals approach the point where the flowers are supposed to grow the undergrowth is clearing out, leaving grasses and bushes growing in isolated clumps over bare earth and patches of open stone. Hoofbeats echo ominously amidst the mountain peaks above.

"I think it had tassles… or am I thinking of corn?" Thunnini muses.

Magpie ohs! Oh! "Yes! Yeah, tassels! I remember that!" She bounces on her hooves excitedly.

"I bet it tastes good too," Gustaff chimes in. "Granted, everything tastes better than the cave lettuce. Bleh!" The griffon sticks his avian like tonuge out briefly, tail lashing at the memory. Then wings flare out, but instead of taking off he just uses them for a push to jump up on top of a bush. "This is so awesome! I get to go on an adventure, with zebras and seaponies to boot! Fire Bright is going to be soooooo jealous."

"I hope it tastes good," Siyana muses, her song trailing off. "I bet it would suck to… wait, does Jellybean have to eat it? Or…like, use it as soap, or what?" The zebra pauses, then scampers to catch up with the group again.

Magpie says "Soup, I think."

"What's cave lettuce?" asks Thunnini as she keeps poling herself along.

Gustaff hops off his perch and scampers along next to bucket-riding seafilly as he explains, "There's no sun in that other world I came from because queenie meanie is a big doody head, so the only thing we had to eat most of the time is the odd blue leafy stuff that could grow underground without it."

Sadaka blinks and looks down at Gustaff. "That stuff was from caves? It wasn't… /terrible/." It wasn't great, either. 'Good' might even be a stretch. She does a lazy loop in the air. "Stuff here's a lot better, though. Have you all tried ice cream yet? You gotta try ice cream." So what it's winter. ICE CREAM.

Pumpkin is looking around at the sparse patches of grass for anything blue and tassle-y. "Any y'all see anything yet? Ah don't much like the looks of this place, so ah'd rather get outta here 'fore too much longer."

Siyana wrinkles her nose. "That sounds gross," she comments, trotting along after the rest of them, her blue braids swaying on her head. Suddenly remembering she's supposed to be looking for something, she swivels her head around. "Nothin' here, Pumpkin!"

Magpie circles around the group, keeping an eye on the little kids. She pauses next to Spearmint to give him a little nudge. "You doing okay?" she asks quietly.

Spearmint scuffs a hoof, ears twitching. He jumps a bit at the nudge, blushing. "Yeah! Yeah, I'm fine. Just not fond of snow. It's all… I dunno. It makes things sound wrong." He lowers his nose to the ground, sniffing a bit. "…And smell wrong. Everything smells like… cold."

"Blue… leaves?" Thunnini asks with a headtilt. "Is that what miss Fizz made the Blue Leaf soda out of? Because that soda was tasty!"

(OOC) Thunnini giggles~
(OOC) Pumpkin gently taps Dream-Daze.
(OOC) Magpie: <thump>
(OOC) Gustaff: Augh, I hate phonecalls that say they'll be quick and yet it's anything but
(OOC) Dream-Daze tips over! Apologies! Roomies were demanding attention…

You'd think it wouldn't be too hard to find something that's supposed to be that colorful in the midst of all this white and gray and brown, but here we are. There seems to be some grass growing on the steeper parts of the hillside, but it doesn't look too accessible…
"She must be really good at making stuff then," Gustaff replies. Then cranes his head in Sadaka's direction. "What's ice cream? Isn't ice usually hard and stuff?" Poor guy has got a lot to learn, doesn't he?"

Siyana peers over toward the steeper bits. "Hey, Sadaka! Can you fly over and see if there's any in that grass stuff over there?" Accessible shmaccshmessible. We got a flying zebra!
At the mention of others flying Gustaff skulks for a moment, tucking his wings down more tightly. HAving just a slight moment of self-conciousness there.

All through the friendly back and forth banter, Dreamy bounces along with the crew. Fifth wheel? Maybe. Does she care? Not one bit. Why should she care when she's among friends? She swivels her ears at all the sounds of foals searching for things, quickly snapping out of her own personal daydreams of…stuff…and staring /intently/ at the nearest plant.

…Nope. That's definitely not blue.

Sigh. She bounces off after the group again! And gives Spearmint the gentlest of nudges on her way by, beaming a smile at Magpie since she's there.
Sadaka blinks and perks her ears. A task! "Sure! They're blue, right?" Better correct her quick if she's wrong, 'cause she's already on her way! She peers down at the grass patches. Heeeere flowers flowers flowers.

Thunnini keeps poling along, her eyes open for any sign of tassel-ly blue flowers. "Here flower of blue, flower of blue; come out, come out, wherever you are!"

(OOC) Magpie giggles at Sadaka's scootaloo callback.
Magpie capers a few dance steps. "Flowers of blue, oh flowers of blue, hiding from me and hiding from you… When the snow melts, it will be too late, for Jelly, dear Jelly, to have his first date…"
(OOC) Pumpkin likewise giggles.
(OOC) Pumpkin: Sorry, discussing the planned scene a bit: forgot to take something into consideration.
Gustaff ughs and rolls his eyes. "Do you guys have to be so sappy about it? Sheesh." The griffon bounds off, and makes up for his lack of being able to fly very well by climbing up a snow dusted tree. He scrambles out onto a branch, eagle eyes squinting to try and get a better look at the location. "You'd think a buncha flowers wouldn't be hard to find, even this time of year."

He pauses for a long moment.

Then looks down to the other ponies on the ground. ".. What's a flower look like again?" The kid's only use to snow and ice and more snow and darkness, remember.
Pumpkin giggles, trotting next to Gustaff and helping him look. "Think lahk grass, only it's got pretty stuff on the end. Leaves, but softer. Just y'all back at your village wait until spring comes: you'll understand."
Spearmint ducks his head to sniff at the ground again, wandering off thataway to join the hunt, as it were. He keeps his ears perked, listening for hoofbeats, and pauses for a split second to smile and sheepishly return Dreamy's nudge, because hey, you gotta stick with your friends, right? Especially if the both of you are kinda hanging at the back of the group.
Magpie gallops on up ahead again. Gotta keep an eye on the kids. Gotta find the plant. Lots to do. Gotta be responsible. "Maybe there's some under the snow," she muses.

A thought crosses Thunnini's mind. "Hey, does anyone know if this affects how ponies speak? Like the Punflower and the Duncecap?" the seafilly inquires with a slight tone of worry.

(OOC) Pumpkin: Poor Magpie, learning the downside to being the big pony.

Siyana runs along, peeking around as she goes. She too feels the need to keep an eye on younger ponies, though she's really quite easily distracted. "No sign yet, huh? I bet there aren't any trees on the mountain… Ugh, I shoulda asked my dad for advice!"
(OOC) Gustaff LOLS at Thunni
Magpie hmmms, considering Thunnini's question for longer than is really necessary. Then she answers,
"It's got downward turned bells all in blue,
And we need some for Jellybean's stew.
I don't know if this flower
Changes speech with its power,
But five bits gets you ten, says it do."
Magpie beams.
(OOC) Gustaff: … Are you sure you're not part zebra?
"Uh, okay." Gustaff isn't entirely sure but he'll go with it, hopping down and sprinting along with the others. At least he doesn't seem to have any trouble with keeping up on the ground, after growing up with ponies instead of other griffons.

Is that color up ahead? With the snow it can be a bit hard to tell but it /looks/ as though there may be a patch of blue nestled into the cleft of a tall, snow-covered hillside with an open cave entrance.
(OOC) Magpie played Zecora for some time over on Equestrian Dawn and only stopped 'cause tehre'es not
(OOC) Magpie played Zecora for some time over on Equestrian Dawn and only stopped 'cause there's not that many stories you can tell with her before they repeat badly.
Sadaka circles the cliffs a few times before fluttering down to land - a bit awkwardly, still - on one, looking around. Well… it's grassy up here at least! But you'd think blue would stand out more. "I don't… /see/ anything here. Does it still grow when it gets cold?"

"Nice rhyme, Maggie!" grins Thunnini, thumping her free hoof on her bucket for a round of applause.

Siyana blinks, and grins. "Your rhyming scheme is fancy, your words are clever too! It could be kinda dance-y, if we hummed a simple tune?" She pauses, though, and points! "AHOY! That looks like some…all the way over there! Maybe!"
Magpie gives Siyana a playful scowl, but then eeps and starts running in the direction she pointed. "Where?! WHERE?!"
Pumpkin sees Magpie go off running. "Aww no you don't, varmint! I'll race you for it!" She starts running after the taller filly: she's got a good turn of speed, her.
Sniff sniff sniff. Snufflesnuffle. Sneeze. Spearmint wipes at his snow-coated nose, giving a small snort and shaking his head. Then he pauses, blinking. "Hey! This looks like something!" He calls back to the group, ears perked. Of course, it sounds like he's not the only one.
(OOC) Pumpkin awws. "Poor Spearmint."
(OOC) Magpie:
Gustaff looks up at the point. "Finally!" The griffon bounds past some of the others, jumps up to grab some rocks, and starts half-climbing, half-leaping up towards the hillside cave. Claws and talons scrape against the stones, but he's making really good progress for someone that -should- be able to just fly up there but can't very well. He'd probably miss entirely and crash into the side of the hill or something, and that's embarassment he doesn't need in front of all these new friends.
(OOC) Sadaka: something like that.
(OOC) Dream-Daze haa.
(OOC) Pumpkin's favorite Toph moment is still "It's upside-down, isn't it?"
(OOC) Magpie: Yes. :D

Well, with most of the foals charging off one way, Thunnini decides to help out Spearmint. Poling her way over to the landpony colt, she inquries "What did you find?"

(OOC) Magpie likes the part about the library. "I've held books before. They don't really do it for me."

Suddenly everybody thinks they found one! Dreamy blinks as ponies scamper, turning her head one way, then the other. Ponies dash off! And Spearmint's right there! But…but! …Well, she still bounces over to where Spearmint's poking at a plant, with Thunnini. To at least see if its close to what they're looking for. And to flash him an image of a lot of the other fillies scampering off towards a mountainside.
(OOC) Sadaka: aww. the only two he gets are like his best friends. XD he's gonna feel bad for foolin' now.

"What? You found some, squirt?" Siyana leans over with Thunnini and Dream-Daze. "Where is it?"
Magpie glances sideways at Pumpkin. "Varmint? VARMINT?!" Oh. It. Is. On. And Maggie /cheats/. Her horn glows, and a second later a snowball whizzes at Pumpkin!
Spearmint blinks, looking admittedly a bit surprised anypony actually paid him any mind. "Seriously, guys?" he waves a hoof in front of his eyes. "I found some snow. And a rock. I think it's a rock." He kicks said solid object, which is just as like to be an ice clump. "How'm I supposed to know where flowers are?" There could be a flower /right in front of him/ for all he knows. Maybe there is! He's got no clue.

Siyana blinks. "What? You'd just lo— oh." :|
Thwap! Pumpkin is caught in the face with a snowball. "Hey! You no-good lousy cheater!" Her playful tone belies the words she's using. She turns to look back at the rest of the group, "Y'all should grab Thunnini an' Spearmint and come on this way! We found the Limerick! Last one there's a rotten egg!"
(OOC) Gustaff: … I forgot Spearmint was the blind one.
(OOC) Magpie giggles.
(OOC) Magpie: Thus the toph jokes.
(OOC) Sadaka: people love to drag him along on adventures and scavenger hunts and he's like 'HOW DO I HELP'
(OOC) Magpie: MOral support and +3 adorableness.

Dreamy's still…looking at the rock. At least for a few more moments, after he says it's just a rock. Y'know, to make sure he didn't..miss something. But nope. Just a rock. No plant. Her ears splay. Is she gulliable? A little… She can't even go all sad-filly about it because he can't see. So she does the next best thing, scoops up a hoof-full of snow, and applies to Spearmint's mane. Then she flashes him an image of her sticking her tongue out and trots off after the other two fleeing fillies!

Thunnini blinks for a moment or two, then giggles. "Good one, Spearmint!" she cheers as she leans over to ruffle the snow out of his mane.

Gustaff perchs on a rock and turns to shout back towards the others. "Quit gawking at rocks guys, the flowers are up here!" Then turns to look in the direction that was indicated. ".. Those are the flowers, right?" Alas, he's not much better off in knowing what to look for in this case.
Magpie laughs loudly, pounding in the general direction of the flower, but more intent on slowing down her competition with a few well placed snowballs than watching where exactly she's going. The next snowball aims at the little griffon as she goes by.
Sadaka blinks and spreads her wings again, hurrying to take off after the group. "Hey! Where's everypony going? Wait for me!"

Spearmint blushes and chuckles a bit, shrugging. He jumps a bit at the snow, shaking his head. "Hey!" He frowns for a second, then gives a small laugh. "Okay, I deserved that, didn't I?" He grins and shrugs, flashing a smile in Thunnini's direction before trotting off after the others. "Sorry."
Winter-Solstice has arrived.
(OOC) Pumpkin: Rawr?
(OOC) Winter-Solstice is here to watch, if that's okay
(OOC) Pumpkin: Sure!
(OOC) Magpie dances for Winny's amusement.
Thunnini has reconnected.
(OOC) Thunnini: Last thing seen: Pumpking OOCly going "Rawr?"
(OOC) Magpie: Nothing interesting happened since.
*splat* Gustaff gets hit with a snowball, but had the foresight to cover his face with a wing first. He flicks it back, shaking the snow off. "Okay, you asked for it," he squawks with a laugh, digging into the snow with both talons. "I learned snowball fightin' from the best in the Hive." Considering who was in charge of watching over the kids most of the time… He rears up with each foretalon full and tries to roar-kaw mightily, but it ends up more cute sounding than anything. Then whips a snowball at Magpie. The throws the second one a few moments later, to catch her off guard when she dodges the first!
(OOC) Pumpkin: So the cave mouth is just a little ways up the hill: where are ponies now?
(OOC) Magpie: Oh, I dunno, somewhere IN FRONT OF YOU. ;)
(OOC) Gustaff got distracted by SNOWBALLS! (this is the problem with a bunch of kids, yo) X)
(OOC) Sadaka: Sadaka's in the air probably a little behind the main group following; Spearmint's just leisurely trailing along after them.

Well, Thunnini isn't exactly set up to sling snowballs, so instead she poles along towards the cave. At the very least, it'd be out of the worst of the cold, right?

Winter-Solstice has left.

Siyana scampers after the other ponies, heading after Thunnini toward the cave. Hey, better keep an eye on all the little ones, right?
Dream-Daze chases after all the others, towards and into the cave! She miiiiiight have tried to throw a snowball or two of her own somewhere in there.
Pumpkin laughs when Gustaff throws some snowballs in Magpie's direction: she uses the moment of distraction to tackle her with a triumphant cry! "Gotcha! YAH!"

Now that ponies are closer it would seem that there are blue petals here, but no flowers. The hint of a breeze comes from the cave, but it's going out, not in.

Siyana looks up… and frowns. "Hey wait— aren't there supposed to be flowers or something? Are we sure this is right? Ugh, it's cold! Too cold to be out."

Sadaka frowns, peering down at the little blue flecks. "…Where'd all this come from? Dang, I thought they'd be the flowers. What if we can't find it? There's /gotta/ be some here somewhere…"

Gustaff hops over after the snowballarama and looks down. Jumps up to the top of the cave and leans over the edge to look inside, head feathers flickering backwards as they're buffeted in the breeze blowing out of the cave instead of into it. "Maybe it's inside?"

Pumpkin looks around and then down at the petals. "Ah'd say that's likely, Gustaff. Y'all wanna go check? Maybe we should go together, just in case." Scared? Her? No, of course not.

Thunnini nods. "Sounds like a good idea," she agrees. Yup, best to go as a group.

Gustaff drops down to the ground with the others. Stands up and spread wings as bravely as a foal sized catbird can look. "Well duh, of course we'll go together. Haven't you guys heard any campfire stories about what happens when you split up exploring caves?"

Dream-Daze bounces next to Thunnini's cart and starts to step her way inside. Cold or not, if the right plant's inside, she's ready to go check it out! She lights her horn up for good measure. In case it gets dark in that cave, y'know. Littlest torch, go!

Magpie slows to a canter, then to a walk. She stops in front of the cave's mouth, staring up at it, and down inside it…

"Terrible things," Spearmint agrees, catching Gustaff's last sentence as he catches up with the group. "…Are we exploring a cave?" This cannot be a terrible idea at all! Except… "Do flowers grow in caves?"

Magpie shrugs. "Blue leaves do," she says absently.
"If stuff didn't grow in caves I wouldn't be here right now," Gustaff chimes in

"Let's stick together," Siyana agrees, trotting up close. "Sure! I fell and got trapped in a cave last year, and there were lots of things growing in there." She pauses…and shudders. "On second thought, maybe that is not the best story to tell right now."

Sadaka flutters down to land - again not exactly perfectly - peering into the cave. "Well… If leaves can grow in caves than I guess flowers can. It's worth a try, right?"

The cave, upon being lit, proves to be a tunnel of sorts: spacious but leading further in. There's still the faint hint of a breeze from further in, along with… some kind of spicy aroma?

Unfortunately there's something else a little more pressing immediately afterwards. As the last of the ponies are near the entrance the rumble of snow can be heard from above: an avalanche!

Thunnini yelps and poles her way deeper into the cave, trying to put some distance between where the snow may collapse to and herfelf!

Siyana yips in surprise and grabs the nearest foal, and races toward shelter: the cave! Which is probably really dumb! "AVALAAAAANCHE!"

Magpie dive-rolls forward into the darkness, her horn lighting as she turns back, hauling at Thunnini's bucket as hard as she can!

Squeak! Sadaka might not know what that sound is, but she knows she wants to get away from it! She darts into the cave with a yelp, glancing back over her shoulder.

Spearmint, on the other hand, pauses for a moment. Not intentionally! Just… the ground is starting to shake! And something is /very loud/! And now ponies are running everywhere! It's all incredibly disorienting, and he's gone and lost track of which way is the 'right' way. "What's going on?!"

Dream-Daze, the 'nearest foal', flails cutely as she's suddenly carried off into the cave! Yeep!

Pumpkin grabs Spearmint and throws him over her back before running deeper into the cave. "Hold on, Spearmint!" A few moments later, when the snow has finally stopped, she looks around. "Is everypony all right?"

Gustaff on the other hand knows -very- well what athat sound was, and makes use of what little flying ability he has to grab Dreamy before she's swept away entirely and haul her after the others. Unpracticed wings have to beat even harder to yank the filly back out of danger before the griffon pretty much collapses on the floor. "Geez, even in your world the snow is evil!"
Magpie is silent for a few moments in the dark as silence falls. Then she asks in a tiny voice, "…what was that story, Siyana…?"

"EEEEEEeeee oh applesauce." Siyana finally flops over and lets out a breath. "…That story had a happy ending?" she hazards hopefully to Magpie. "Surely the town isn't going to just … not realize all its foals are missing, right?"

The cave is… well, it's a cave. For the moment it's a wide sort of tunnel with a bare earth floor and stone walls. In the sudden quiet after the avalance the soft sound of running water can be heard. The spicy aroma is still noticable, too. Finally, on the floor are more of those blue petals.

Gustaff gets up and shakes himself off. Then squints a bit. He's got pretty good eyesight from living in a dark world for so long, but at least the moon gives some light. In here, there's nothing. "Uh.. somepony didn't think to bring a lantern or something, did they?" That they're stuck in a cave doesn't really bother him, this is still steps up from where he came from.

Magpie 's horn goes out, then a second later re-lights with the pale illumination of an elderly firely. "Sorry," she says quietly, blushing. "That's all I can do…" She looks aorund slowly. "Is… everypony… here?"

"I…I didn't bring one, no," Siyana says in a small voice. She hunkers down, fretting a little bit and having trouble mustering the courage to be the big girl she's supposed to be. "I didn't think we'd be going into a cave…!"
Pumpkin looks around and gently sets Spearmint down. "All right. Well, we're all here. This is a mite scary but let's try to stay positive about that." She closes her eyes for a second, as though in thought. "Does anypony else feel that breeze?"

Dream-Daze shakes herself off after wherever she's been dropped, taking a few moments to get her horn glowing too. Light isn't exactly her forte, it's more akin to a nightlight than a real torch, but at least it's something to add to Magpie's glow. She flits her ears back. That was scary!

"I'm okay… I think," volunters Thunnini.

Sadaka looks around, fidgetting nervously. She nods slowly. "Yeah… yeah, there's a breeze."

"And something smells… spicy," Spearmint adds after a beat, mostly spent regaining his senses from the sudden hefting.

"I feel it," Siyana agrees, inching closer to Magpie. Gulp.
Gustaff turns without a second thought and starts farther into the cave. "If there's air moving out this way, it's gotta be coming in from somewhere else."

Magpie hesitates. She looks back towards the snow-choked entrance. "…o-okay. Okay. Let's go deeper in," she agrees finally. Hey, this can't be worse than the last cave she was in, right? That one had zombies and a lich and a cannon and Nightmare Moon. In that order.

'Deeper in' turns out to be a single tunnel: a few minutes in and there's still no sign of branching or anything like that. The smell remains, subtle but persistent, as does the hint of breeze. The tunnel bends, and around the bend there's light! Not much light, but light!

Dreamy starts chasing after Gustaff! If only because he seems to be leading the charge deeper into the cave, and by golly he might want some light. At least until, further down the tunnel, there begins to be some more ambiant light. That's a relief! So much so that it adds a prance-beat to her trotting along the cave.

Siyana skulks along with the group, peering up and around. "Ohhh…I don't wanna get stuck in here. But at least there's that breeze… That means there's probably a way out, so… so that's okay." She casts a little grim smile at Dreamy and her dancing, and takes a deep breath. Right. She's supposed to be a grownup here. Or something like it…

Fortunately having to hide indoors and underground a lot helps with seeing in dark damp places like this. Not in complete dark, but the bit of shine from the unicorn helps Gustaff navigate through the tunnel that fortunately doesn't branch off or anything. Cave-in aside, this was still an adventure, and adventures push onward! "Com'n guys, I see some light up ahead!"

Thunnini poles along, keeping an eye on the tunnel itself. She's not quite sure what might happen around here, but she's ready to swing her poling staff at anything that tries to attack her or her friends.

Pumpkin follows along after the other fillies. "Ah'm sure we'll find a way out of here. An' after all, the flowers have gotta be in here somewhere, right? Ah mean, the petals were comin' out of this here cave."

"It's true. There has to be a way, and now there's light!" Siyana tosses her braids and prances a little more forward, glancing around. "And hey, if there's not…I'm sure we can dig our way out or something. It's not a big deal. We'll be fine."

Sadaka trots along after the group, looking around curiously. Back on the ground again. And it's kinda chilly in here. And dark. She peers deeper into the cave, frowning. "A light is good, right?"

Spearmint is not at /all/ bothered by the darkness. He tromps after the others, ears pricked, listening. There's got to be something interesting to hear, right? Other than echoing hoofbeats. There's plenty of those.

Gustaff slows down when he realizes he's getting ahead of the group. "I told ya, if there's a breeze in here to blow that stuff out it's gotta be coming -in- from somewhere too. That's our best chance of getting."

Dreamy tries to mirror Siyana's confidant prance. Head held high, tossing her mane back and everything! Until she trips and falls flat on her face. Oof! She shakes her head, looking around to see if anyone saw that, then slinks back near Spearmint and Thunnini instead. Apparently she doesn't need to produce as much light now, so she turns that off to her normal 'talky' glow, sending out a quick image of the whole foal group wearing explorer hats, happening upon a big ol' underground forest! Because that would be exciting~

Thunnini grins. "I like adventures. Wish I had a faster way of travelling around, but I haven't figured out that one dream way yet."

Siyana pauses and blinks as Dreamy winds up on her face. But she seems fine! "Good point, Gusty," she says to the griffon. "Well, onward ho! And when we get out, explorer hats!'

As they round the bend the source of the light becomes clear: the cave opens out into a wider chamber. In the center is a pool with a little island in the middle. The pool trails off in another tunnel. There's a hole in the ceiling, through which the light is coming. It's much too high up to be reached by anything but wings, but the light shines on the blue flowers that grow on the little island.

Sadaka perks her ears, spotting the blue moderately quickly, what with the light pointing right to it. "Hey! Those're blue flowers. Are those /our/ blue flowers? Did we find 'em?"

Oooh pretty… Dream Daze's eyes widen at the sight of the open cave, the hole and sunlight and flowers and everything! She scampers on down to the edge of the pool, staring down at the water and, hesitantly, dipping a hoof into it to see just how cold it is.

It's pretty bracing: not frozen, thankfully, but definitely cold.

Siyana blinks. "A way out! … But it's so far up… How're we ever gonna get up /there/?" She pauses, and looks to Sadaka and Gustaff. "Well…most of us, anyway." At Sadaka's mention, however, she finally looks at the little island. "Whoa! Neat! I dunno, we'll have to see, huh? Is it cold, Dreamy?"

Dreamy promptly shivers at the water's chill, turning her head to nod at Siyana. She flashes a quick image of an ice-cold drink. That cold!

Gustaff snickers a bit at the image from Dream. That's not quite what they find in the chamber, but still, it's exciting! The griffon cub stops and looks up, and then points with a claw. "See, there's the hole out too!" Pause, tail lashing. He was hoping it would be closer to the ground, but…. Seeing as they have a lack of fliers present other than him and a zebra with a contraption. "I don't suppose anypony thought to bring some rope…"

Thunnini parks her go-kart near the pool, then dives into the water. Bracingly cool, but no worse than the sea during winter. She swims around, checking the bottom of the pool for anything unusual, and taking a quick look towards the cave with the stream in it.

Spearmint keeps on walking, even as the group pauses. He's listening, but clearly, not to what's being said! Until hooves meet water, at least. He freezes for a split second, then scampers back a few steps. Nopenopenope. "Woah. Water. …Are we out of the cave then?"

Magpie shakes her head. "No, it's… some kinda underground spring, I guess?" She gives Spearmint a nuzzle. "Oh, and I guess that's the flower we're looking for? Did anyone find one already?"

Dreamy squints at the opening waaaaaay up there. Then at the flowers. Then at the water again, her head tilting at the way its flowing. Flowing! It's a stream? Her ears perk up, and she starts to walk along the bank, suddenly distracted from the flower quest to see where the stream flows off to. She stops at the tunnel mouth where the stream disappears down and peers in.

Pumpkin says "Ah bet that's the stuff we're lookin' for!" She stands at the edge of the stream: she looks ready to try to hop on across."

Gustaff continues to stare up at the hole, mincing his talons together on the ground. "Maybe we could stack on top of each other and push Thuninni's bucket out first, then climb up one by …. no, that's silly, there's not enough of us to do that." Emits a squawk of annoyance as he minces back and forth some more. Augh! He doesn't want to admit he's not very good at flying yet.

"Don't think so," Siyana says to Magpie. "That's probably it though." She frowns, then backs up, gallops, and leaps into the pool! When she comes up to the surface, she gasps sharply. "It's COLD," she yelps! Still, paddling to keep warm!

Dreamy scampers back up the stream bank a few moments later to the rest of the group, just in time to see Siyana jump in! She shivers, then rubs her chin… And /then/ looks at Thunnini's go-kart, flashing a quick image to the seapony: Go-kart = Boat?

Thunnini swims back over to her go-kart. "Good idea, Dreamy," she agrees, emptying out the water that's in the go-kart so her friends don't have to sit in anything worse than damp wood. "If I was bigger, I might try giving you guys rides across, but at my current size…" Shrug.

Gustaff gets distracted from fussing over the hole for the moment and bounces over to the others. "I can push it!" Yes, distraction. "And that's one less someone to have to ride, too." Push them along the water, sure. It's going -up- he's worried about flying.

Pumpkin beams. "That's a great idea! You think we could get out of here that way? But don't forget the flowers! It'd be awful silly if we came all the way here and then forgot them."

Sadaka gives her wings a couple flaps. The air's different in here, but she's pretty sure she can manage this! And the worst she gets if she can't is… okay, it's pretty bad. She eyes the water unhappily, flattening her ears and scuffing a hoof. "…M-maybe I'll… stay over h-here."

Magpie ums. "I might be able to pick it from here?" the unicorn offers uncertainly, giving her head a little shake to indicate her horn. "I can… probably reach…"

Dreamy happily jumps into the go-kart after it's emptied in the water, flashing Gustaff an image of a griffon-propelled cart-boat filled with ponies! She puts her forehooves on the front, looking all too eager to go for a boat ride to Flower Island. …And maybe beyond.

Pumpkin hops into the boat as well. "C'mon, everypony."

"I don't think that hold all of us, Pumpkin!" Magpie says, worrying for everyone since nopony else is doing it.

Spearmint blinks, edging towards the boat uncertainly. "We're… all going across the water?" He's been on a boat once. He didn't like it much. It moved weird.

Siyana, who's really already in the water, paddles alongside. "W-w-well I'm alr-r-ready th-this wet so I m-m-ight as well not g-g-get you guys wet t-too!" And, she looks up to Gustaff. "I c-can help s-steer if you need."

Gustaff grabs the back of the kart with his talons, and nods to Siyana. "Great! You steer, I'll push. We'll get over there in no time!"

"I can help keep it steady while it travels," offers Thunnini, swimming under the go-kart and holding onto it like it was an oversized basket on her head.

"Awesome." And Siyana takes up a steering position!

Dreamy beams~ And blinks at Spearmint. She shoots Gustaff a quick image of the griffon picking Spearmint up and plunking him into the boat! This comes with a batting of little blue unicorn eyelashes all 'pretty-please' style.

"Huh? Oh! Sorry, I forgot." Gustaff doesn't say, he just picks up Spearmint and plunks him down in the go-boat as well. "There we go. Everypony ready?"

"This is a bad idea," Magpie predicts as she climbs into the bucket-boat. She hugs Spearmint. When things go wrong, she's AT LEAST gonna make sure the poor blind colt gets out.

Spearmint squeaks, flailing a bit as he's lifted. He hunkers down immediately once he was back on the ground - as it were. This is damp ground that moves unnaturally under his hooves and he /doesn't like it/. He leans slightly into the hug, letting out a breath. Just don't get seasick or something, we're not even on the sea.

Pumpkin looks around at the group. "Well, ah could help push. Ah've got mighty strong legs, y'know."

Sadaka is just going to stay over here not near the water thank you very much. She looks around the cave, peering down the tunnel, sniffing the air a bit - was it those flowers that smelled spicy? Something outside? Something deeper in the cave? She's not going down that tunnel. There's /water/ in there.

The spicy aroma is definitely coming from the island.

Gustaff glances towards Sadaka for a moment. "If you're not comin' across, why don't you fly up to the hole and see where on the mountain we are?" And then I don't have to do it, either. He doesn't bother asking, or really thinking of it, if her mechanical wings actually work without full wind or not. Not important to him right now. He spreads his own wings to stretch, then gives them a few flaps as he pushes off the ground. "Here we go! Batten down the hatchs and all that stuff." Push push puuuuuush.

Magpie groans, "We don't have any hatches! And I don't know how to batten!"

Thunnini giggles and swims, making sure to go at the pace that Gustaff is pushing the go-kart at.

The water is calm and the makeshift boat gets to the island in short order. The blue flowers bask in such sunlight as reaches from the hole in the ceiling.

Gustaff just snickers a bit. "But it's what the sailors say, isn't it?" Idly he flicks his tail along the edge of the water. "I'm not use to seeing water that's not, like, ice and stuff. This is cool!" At least until the boat bumps to the other shore. Pause. "Uh… land ho!" Looks to the foals. "That is the right thing to say, right?"

Magpie's horn limns and a dusty rose glow surrounds the flower. She gives a firm tug, but she's been running her horn nearly non-stop for the firefly-light it provides, and it just sort of fizzles when she pulls. "Ow…"

Pumpkin steps out of the boat "You all right there, Magpie? You should rest your horn since we've got that there light up top."

Sadaka blinks. Oh. Right. Hole. She peers up at it, gulping a bit. Okay. Okay, she can do this. Yeah. She backs a bit away from the water first, just in case - and then spreads her wings, giving them a few flaps. This is a lot different from flying outside - cave air is kind of dead air, there's no moving wind to help with lift. Not something she'd practiced before!

Gurble glub — GASP! Siyana pops out of the water and crawls onto shore, looking not unlike a wet, bedraggled rat. "Wh…whoof!" she puffs. "B-BRACING!"

Magpie sticks out her tongue at Pumpkin. She does, however, rub her horn with a hoof. Ugh. It's not SUPPOSED to ache like that, she's almost sure.

Thunnini crawls out of the water and takes a good look at the flowers. Mindful of the last batch of flowers the foals dealt with, she cautiously sniffs the flowers, trying to not get pollen on herself.

The flowers have a spicy aroma to them, but don't seem to be doing anything bizarre like the last batch did.

Gustaff just perchs on the edge of the boat bucket. "Are those the right flowers?"

Siyana looks up. "Sadaka! How's it g-g-going?"

Dreamy sticks to the kart-boat for now, letting others worry about picking flowers. She's thinking. Looking up at the hole. Then down the tunnel where the water's flowing out.

Sadaka blinks down at Siyana. She's gotten off the ground! But this is taking some effort, and she's admittedly limiting her space, trying to keep away from the water. "It's… g-going!" She calls back down, panting a bit.

"You're d-doin' fine!!" Siyana calls up, before trotting away from the others and shaking her coat out. She then u-turns back toward he flowers and sniffs them as well. "Alright, who's gonna grab the flowers?" she calls. "Maggie? Gusty?"

The hole isn't /too/ hard to reach by wingpower, and is indeed more than wide enough to permit entrance or exit by a foal.

Pumpkin trots over and plucks a few blooms out of the ground. "Ah can handle it." She looks up. "Sadaka? You all right up there?"

Gustaff snorts from his perch on the edge of the makeshift boat-cart, and turns his head to look up at the flying zebra filly. "Exploring caves and flying zebras. The kids back at Daybreak are gonna be -so- jealous!"

Magpie gives the wet Siyana a look. "Are you sure you're gonna be okay..? If you get too cold…"

Siyana lets out a puff of air, and gives Magpie a gritted-teeth smile. "I'll be f-fine! I got dunked in the sea l-lotsa times on the Caravel. A l-l-little cold water's /nothin'/." Brrrr.

Thunnini shakes out the cloak she had been wearing when the group was out in the snow, glad that it's water repellent enough to not get soaked. "Maybe we should huddle under here to warm up?" she offers. And since the cloak was made for an adult pony, it's plenty big for foals to pile under.

Sadaka finally makes it high enough to flutter over to the hole, dashing over the water as quickly as her wings could take her. She hooks her front legs out the top of the opening and hoists herself up enough to poke her head out and look around. "Yeah! I'm g-good!" …Getting /down/ is going to be interesting.

Spearmint, meanwhile, has huddled in the bottom of the makeshift boat, looking decidedly uncomfortable. "Are we at the flowers? Can I get out? What are we doing now?"

Oh, good thinking. "Yeah guys, get back in the boat and wrap up, so we can see 'bout getting outta here now that we found the flowers." Gustaff gives his wings a stretch, warming up to play motorboat again. No not THAT kind of motorboat, there's kids here! He glances up. "I mean, seriously. Sadaka and me can fly, but I don't think we can carry you all up to that hole."

Sort of. Kind of. Gustaff still doesn't want to admit he's actually a terrible flyer

The hole opens up to a hilltop surrounded by trees: it's not surprising that nopony's found this one before. The town is visible from here, though it'd be a bit of a schlepp.

Magpie ohs… "Sorry, Spearmint… we have to float outta here, I think." She nuzzles the colt, and offers Siyana a hoof to snuggle up to if she will…

"F-floating sounds good," Siyana agrees, and she hops back into the bucket with Spearmint and whoever else. "If y-you don't mind, I'm gonna skip the swimming this time." With that, she snuggles up to Magpie and possibly Thun if she's in the boat, for warmth. Brr!

Sadaka blinks, looking around. "It looks like we're… in a hill?" She calls down to the others. "I can see the town! But it's kinda a ways away. And there's lots of trees an' stuff."

Pumpkin says "Well, one of you flyin' types could go get the big ponies while we wait here: they could get rope an' then we could just climb out. Or we could try down this here tunnel? Ah don't know about it, though."

Magpie grumbles, "Of course we're in a hill! We went in a cave in a hill, didn't we?"

Thunnini snuggles with the others, tucking the large cloak around them to help keep in the warmth. "Maybe the stream goes somewhere?" she suggests. "Besides, as long as we stick to the stream, I don't think we'd be able to get lost."

Magpie says "Unless the stream goes underground somewhere. We can't breathe down there, kid.""

Once everypony's back in the boat Gustaff pushes off from the island and starts chugging along the water with his wings flapping away. "Well, lets go take a closer look at least? Just because we found the flowers doesn't mean the adventure has to end now." He starts pushing in the direction of the stream. "Uh, yeah… Sadaka's already up there, she can fly to town if she wants… I want to explore more!" Convenient excuse.

"W-well… we can follow the stream until it runs out or something, and then we can turn back around if we have to. We're griffon-powered, after all." Siyana snuggles in close under the cloak, somewhat relieved to be warm, and not have to play tough. "Sadaka! Think you can get back to town with your wings and bring grownups?"

Pumpkin hunkers down in the boat. "Ah'm fine with whichever way, though Magpie's right: we don't know if this here stream goes out anywhere."

Sadaka blinks and glances back down through the hole. "I, uh… p-probably!" Though they're like to get in trouble for going off without a grown-up in the first place, she suspects. "Should I go an' do that?"

Magpie says "H-hey, if we're going somewhere, we can't split up! What if they come to get us and we're stuck someplace else?"

"But… well, I guess so," Siyana sighs. "Maybe we should stay put then. We won't get in trouble with the grownups, will we? If we get them here?"

Gustaff exhales, making a cute little hissing sound that's probably suppose to be a sigh. Being part cat and part bird results in some interesting noises. "I suppose we could just wait for grown-ups. If we were worried about getting in trouble or not we wouldn't be here, now would we?"

Pumpkin's tail swishes. "Ah don't know. Mah parents got pretty mad the last time ah got lost in the woods. Ah'm guessin' if we wait for rescue they'll be awful steamed."

"Papa Blackbird told me I'm not supposed to go off without a grownup," Sadaka calls down her two bits. "I'm… not sure if he'd think you count, Magpie, even if you're bigger than us."

"I'm gonna get grounded either way," Spearmint chips in. What else is new? That happens often enough.

Thunnini shrugs. As long as she checks in with her family at least every few weeks, her parents aren't too worried about her.

Magpie shrugs a bit. She doesn't have any parents to get mad. And Ruby would probably think it was a great adventure. "Let's try to do it ourselves, then. Remind me to bring rope next time I have an adventure."

Siyana sighs, and looks up at Sadaka. "Well… let's stick together. It'd be even worse if somethin' happened to you on the way to find the grownups anyway. Come down into the boat with us and we'll try to find our way out!"

Magpie says "C'mon down, Sadaka. We'll send you for help if we can't figure a way out ourselves."

Gustaff shrugs, making his wings rustle a bit. He's in the not having direct parents department too. Sure the Daybreak adults might be a little mad, but this is nowhere -near- as dangerous as going out alone in their own world. But then everyone decides to explore more anyways. "Yeah, com'n back down, we've still got the stream to explore! Maybe we'll find treasure! With all the pirates the adults in town say don't really exist and all around."

Sadaka blinks and nods slowly. Ugh… boats. She fidgets a bit, trying to figure out exactly how to go about this 'getting down' business. Hm. Uh… Okay. Welp! Nothing else for it. She lets go, dropping a good few yards with a yelp before managing to catch herself, fluttering in place for a moment before gliding a decent distance from the water to drop down the rest of the way with a slight thump. "…Well. That… worked." /Really/ gotta work on those landings.

Pumpkin nods. "You could always walk along-side the boat if'n you prefer. Ah might do it too, just to give the other ponies some more legroom."

Gustaff starts chugging the boat towards where the stream starts to flow down its tunnel. "Hey, Pumpkin's right. I think there's still ground on the side there." He beats his wings to pick up some speed to get closer for the others.

"Yeah, c'mon and walk with us. Let's get a-goin!" Wriggling out from under the cloak, and accidentally kicking Spearmint in the face, she rears up at the "prow" of the go-kart and points streamwards. "Tally-ho!"

Magpie yelps in protest, curling protectively around Spearmint. "Hey, c'mon… Why don't we /all/ walk, okay? Gus doesn't have to push us around if we can use our own four legs!"

Pumpkin nods. "Magpie's right. Let's just walk it. Ah mean, 'cept for you, Thunnini. You don't have to walk if you don't wanna."

"If I'm the only one in the go-kart, I can move myself along with the pole," points out Thunnini, moving the go-kart along like a gondola.

Yipe! Spearmint snorts and backpedals away from flailing hooves, rubbing his sore nose. "…Ow." Why does he keep coming along on these things? "…Yeah, I think I'm gonna do the walking thing."

Magpie gives Spearmint a hoof getting out of the bucket.

Siyana blinks and looks back. "Oh! …Sorry, Spearmint, I didn't mean to kick you." Blush. She clambers out of the boat as well and hops onto dry land, skittering away from the blind colt. Oops, oops, oops.

Dreamy suddenly jerks awake! Relatively speaking. She was /awake/, but she was having this totally awesome daydream about sailing, and swashbuckling, and beating out this totally gnarly storm, and…

Oh right, /stuff/. The little blue unicorn's ears twist, blinking at the commotion and questions of who's riding and who isn't. It turns out nobody is. But… But… Boat! Well fine. She parks her rump in the cart with Thunnini then, puts her front hooves on the rim, and watches the rest of the gang choose to walk.

Then she realizes she totally missed where they're going and turns her head to blink quizzicly at Thunnini.

Sadaka picks herself up and shakes herself off, heading over to the group and peering down the tunnel. Well… there's room to walk. But she's staying over here by the wall. Evil water, just waiting there to do something… something evil. Hmph.

Magpie walks right next to the evil water. Woooo scary scary.

Gustaff remains perched on the edge of the bucket. "You guys can walk if you want to. But I'm takin' the fun way." Well unless Thunnini decide she wants to actually push her cart along the ground instead of sailing.

Magpie is, actually, keeping herself between Spearmint and the bank.

The tunnel is twisty, following whatever windy path the stream has opted to take or possibly make, and it's not long before the group leaves the light of the hold behind them.

Siyana flattens her ears as they start walking in darkness. "Egh… anyone got a light?"

Magpie rolls her eyes just a bit. "Gus, I'm pretty sure I can walk faster than you can buzz." She blinks a little and ums. "Hang on. Lemme… lemme try." She HAS had a little while to rest her poor horn…

Magpie's horn glows fitfully but manages to get back to the "elderly firefly" level. At least you can be pretty sure you won't walk into a wall or off the edge of the river.

The S. S. TunaCart sails along, helped by Thunnini using the pole to push along. This is actually a bit faster than doing the same type of thing on land, as the go-kart doesn't lose as much speed on the water as it does on the land.

Dreamy eyes Maggie's light, scrunches her nose up, and sets her horn to glowing too! Double the light, double the fun?

At least that's one perk of his situation; Spearmint doesn't mind the dark at all! All these twists, though, are a bit awkward. He steps carefully, ears pricked and twitching this way and that as he listens for hoofbeats and echoes, focusing on the sounds and doing his best to keep himself from running into a wall and making his nose more sore.

Pumpkin follows after the rest of the group, seeming content to bring up the rear. "At least we haven't run into anythin' scary in here so far, like bears or bats or dragons or somethin'. Don't this look lahk a dragon cave to anypony else?"

Dreamy sneaks out an image of a pink, polka-dotted dragon with a big boquet of blue flowers. Maybe /that/ kind of dragon.

Magpie's mane suddenly starts to crawl. "…PUMPKIN!" she yelps. "Why did you have to SAY that?!"

Pumpkin jumps. "What? Ah was just noticin', is all. You know, to pass the time. An' to keep mah mind offa mah belly." It rumbles a little.

Yoink! Suddenly Spearmint is lifted off his hooves and plonked down on someone's back. Siyana's back, in fact. "Sorry again for kicking you. Don't want you fallin off— /dragons/? Nah, there's no dragons here… right?" She pauses then taps her chin. "How much of that flower did we gather? Enough for a snack?"

Magpie says "Oh, right, because DRAGONS are so much better than HUNGRY!"

The shout echoes around the tunnels, bouncing back at the foals. "Dragon… hungry dragon… hungry dragon…"

A sudden 'evil' idea… Dream Daze gives Thunnini a little nudge with an elbow, then turns the light of her horn up a notch and lifts her hooves. A shadow on the cave wall turns into a somewhat convincing shadow of an open mouth! With teeth! …There may have been magic involved.

Sadaka blinks. "…Well that's not creepy at all," she mutters, shivering a bit. She remembers dragons. Well, /a/ dragon. It didn't seem to be a nice dragon, though. She'd rather not run into another one like that.

Squeak! Spearmint flails a bit as he's lifted, but admittedly relaxes some as he's put back down. Blinkblink. "Oh, uh… it's okay. No… no big deal." He pricks his ears. "I don't /hear/ anything dragony." Well, except for, you know, the word 'dragon'. Echoing. That's kinda dragony. "Or like that fake dragon from the last cave, either."

SQUEAK! Siyana leaps about two feet in the air. "DRAGON!" she yelps! And she goes charging and screaming into the darkness, because that is what seasoned pirates do.

Pumpkin eyes the small amount she grabbed and stuffed into a little pouch she had hanging on the belt she brought for just this purpose: if she knew what a fist was, she'd say it was a fistful. "Not that much: ah didn't think they'd need too much to do whatever magic they gotta do to fix Mr. Jellybean." She shrieks when the shadow appears, then scowls. "All right, who did that?"

Dreamy makes a breathy noise that might have been a giggle, until she realizes Siyana's gone charging off. She taps a hoof on the wood of the go-kart and points at the fleeing filly! Carrying the blind colt! Point point!

Siyana, charging ahead, will find that the river apparently changed course on her rather suddenly: she's now in the drink again.

Thunnini had giggles at Dreamy's little light show, but once Siyana started running off, the seafilly started paddling as fast as she could over to the dunked duo. "You two okay?" she asks worriedly.

Gustaff just rolls his eyes at everyone panicing at a dragon that's not even there. "Oh, com'n. It can't be any worse than TOM. He was big AND ugly." … But someone takes off running all the same. Sheesh. He grabs onto the back of the cart and flaps his wings to go a bit faster in the direction the crazy zebra ran off in.

YAWP! Sploosh. Now Siyana AND Spearmint are splashing around in the water. Siyana, being a little bit taller, gets her hooves under her pretty quickly. Whoof. "Q-quick before the dragon eats us!" she gasps, fumbling for the other foal in the dark. Gotta get out and run!

Spearmint yelps, instinctively clinging to Siyana as she takes off. At least until they hit water. Then he squeals. And flails. And flounders. AAAAAGH WHERE DID THE GROUND GO. He does a pretty good impression of just about every weekend cartoon involving not-so-deep water ever, splashing and flailing and just generally making a fuss. Stand up? What is this concept?

Pumpkin nods to Dreamy, "C'mon! Let's get some light over there so they can get out of the water!" She advances, but not fast enough to put her out of the light.

Thunnini hops out of her go-kart and hugs Spearmint calmingly, holding him up so his head is above the water. "You okay?" she asks again, nuzzling him.

Siyana flattens her ears and scrambles out of the water again. "There was… I thought…" Whuff. "…sorry…"

Magpie shoots Dreamy a glare. "This is YOUR fault," she informs the filly, and goes trotting quickly after Siyana. "Is Spearmint okay?!"

Flail flail flailflailflail oh hey something to hold onto. Spearmint clings to Thunnini, eyes wide, back hooves still kicking out to find the ground and stand on it. He's not drowned, but he's sure as hay freaked out.

Sadaka blinks and scrambles after Siyana with a yelp, but skids to a stop at the end of the light, ears flattening. There might be /water/ up there! In fact, the ensuing splash pretty much clears that up - there IS water up there. "Siyana! Spearmint!" She prances nervously in place, but can't quite bring herself to risk going beyond the light, waiting for the rest of the group to catch up.

Pumpkin catches up. "Is everypony all right?" To Magpie: "Now none of that, y'hear? We need to work together, an' arguin' isn't gonna help."

Dreamy blushes and ducks down into the go-cart.

"Y-yeah, just a little wet," Siyana mumbles, ears flat. She's supposed to be the older one. She's supposed to /not/ be terrified of caves, and she's supposed to be responsible. Seeing that Spearmint is in good hooves, she slinks back to the group and takes a spot near the back. "S-sorry. I got carried away."

Magpie scoops up Spearmint, murmuring to him to let him know he's okay, she's got him. She pulls him back up to the dry land and squeezes him gently..

Gustaff just perchs on the kart-boat to keep it in place while Thunnini does rescue duty. Swats at the water playfully with his tail. "You should of seen the look on your face when you took off like that! Like you'd seen a ghost." Followed by a mewrp and hunching down a bit when Pumpkin scolds them for arguing. "Sorry."

Now that the ponies are all clustered together again, though, it seems like this is another larger chamber. The stream cuts through the middle and keeps going down another tunnel, but a second tunnel carries with it something encouraging: another breeze and the distant sound of birds.

Thunnini's ears perk up at the sound of birds, so she pushes her go-kart onto the shore - since the stream doesn't head that direction, it wouldn't make much sense to keep paddling along.

"Well, I vote the way that doesn't have water," Magpie says firmly. "Sorry, Thunnini."

"Yeah…I know," mumbles Siyana to Gustaff. "It was really dumb." Sigh. But now they're in a chamber! With a promising tunnel! "…Think that's the way out?" she ventures timidly.

Spearmint hunkers down against Magpie, shivering. Ground. He's never gonna leave it again. (He always says that. It never sticks.) "I a-also vote for the n-non water w-way," he agrees. He perks his ears and points a hoof. "There's b-birds. I hear 'em."

Gustaff hops off the cart as Thunnini paddles for the other side, gliding a bit to land on the ground and poke his head towards the other non-watery tunnel. The feathers of his head ruffle just faintly. "Com'n guys, there's a breeze coming from here!" He turns around, and only then realizes he's on the other side of the stream than everypony else. ".. Oh bother."

Magpie puts a hoof in front of Spearmint. Just in case. "One little boat ride to get there, okay?"

Pumpkin beams. "That's great! That's gotta be the way out!"

Sadaka blinks, peering across to the tunnel. That is over there. And she is over here. And there's water in between. This is problematic! She glances back the way they came. "…Maybe I'll, uh, go back for that… hole…"

Siyana butts her head up against Sadaka's…er, well, butt, pushing her toward the water. "Oh no you don't. It's just a little jump for a flappy zebra like you! No harm, no foul!"

Dreamy peeks over the rim of the go-cart when it hits land, then ducks down to where just her horn's poking out, pumping all her focus into making as much light as she can with it.

Pumpkin says "C'mon, Sadaka, you can do it. Just give it a good run-up and ah bet you'll be fine."

Sadaka squeaks, backpedalling rather ineffectively against the pushing. "W-wait, I… b-but it's… I… c-c'mon, it's not th-that bad a w-walk, I…" Gulp.

Pumpkin says "If you walk back then Dreamy or Magpie'll have to walk back with you on account of the dark."

Magpie gives Sadaka a look. "*I* am not going back there." She peers at the stream. "I bet I can jump that all on my own." It'd be a stretch, but…

Magpie says "Anyway, it's easy. You can do it if you try, it's just a flap, flip, and flump."

"C'mon, exactly like Magpie says!" Siyana claims, shoving Sadaka a little harder. "Just flap your wings and fly over! It's not so hard, and if I gotta confront my fear of caves, you gotta confront your fear of flying over water! If you don't got confidence, you'll never get better at it."

Sadaka blinks and flattens her ears, trying to dig her hooves in. "B-but… but there's no wind, it's n-not exactly that easy you know, and I… the water's probably real cold, a-and… and this isn't e-exactly a running start, is it…"

Pumpkin stamps a hoof. "Here. Ah'll show you it ain't so bad." She trots away from the river for a moment, then turns to face it and runs full-tilt. With a mighty "Yeeee-haw!" she leaps into the air, landing on the other side. Well, her forehooves anyway: her hind quarter is in the water. "Okay, but the point is that you have wings to help you," she says, embarrassed, as she pulls herself out.

Magpie gives Spearmint a little nuzzle. "Here… the boat's over here.. you better take that across… Gus, make sure he gets across okay." She backs up then, confronts the river. Hoofscrape. CHARRRRGE!


"Yeah, the water's cold; I been in it twice already. But it's not even deep enough to go over your head! It's like a puddle." Seeing Pumpkin make the leap, she squares her hooves, keeping Sadaka at least in place for now. "And anyway you got like a zillion friends to help you if you fall in. It'll be fine!"

Gustaff just rolls his eyes from the other side. "Com'n Sadaka, I was able to glide over here and I can't even go very high!" Whoops. He kind of let that slip out in frustration and doesn't seem to notice. "Stop being a bunch of worryworts and get over here already. Or make up your minds so I can come back for the boat at least."

Spearmint feels his way over to the boat, letting out a breath and moving to clamber in. /He's/ not going in the water again, thank you very much. At least the boat is solid, even if it's not ground. He hunkers down next to Thunnini, trying to wring the water out of his tuft of a tail.

Gulp. And… gulp again. Sadaka stares down at the water, biting her lip and taking a deep breath. "…F-fine. Fine, just… j-just give me s-some room." This can't go terribly at all. It's not like water's /literally/ out to get her or anything. Right?

And then there's a sound from down the tunnel the stream goes through. A growling kind of sound. A big, slow growling sort of sound.

Magpie lets out a loud shriek as she splashes right dead center in the water. She struggles her way out and scrambles, dripping, onto the other shore. "S-s-s-s-see? N-n-nothing to it."

Thunnini snugs Spearmint, helping him warm up as he wrings out the water. The growling catches her attention, and she whirls to try to see what made the sound. "M-maybe we should start heading across," she stammers as she starts poling the go-kart across the stream.

Siyana backs up, grinning and giving Sadaka room. "That's the spi…" She jumps at the sound, and yelps. "Meanwhile, I think it's m-my turn to try to cross too!"

Siyana backs up, runs, and… well, her legs are a little shaky. She leaps and finds herself face first in the water again. Sigh.

Pumpkin's eyes go wide, facing the rest of the group. "Y'all might want to hurry it up just a bunch. Ah think we woke somecritter up."

Gustaff perks up at the sound, wings flaring up. "Geez guys, hurry up already. Maybe there -is- a dragon down here, and I doubt any of you want to be over there if it is!" .. He's trying to be motivating. Really.

Sadaka is really not feeling good about this now. She jumps herself at the growl, gulping and breaking into a gallop towards the water - and skidding to a stop about a foot from it, nearly toppling and planting her rump quickly on the ground to keep herself from skidding right on in. Nopenopenope. False start! "Aaaaaaah…" She gets up and prances in a circle, taking a few deep breaths. Okay. Okay, she can do this. Okay. …Maybe it's a /nice/ growly thing. She backs away from the water again, spreading her wings. She's really gonna do it this time! Hopefully.

The growling is now being supplemented by a splashing noise, and as it comes closer a long-jawed sillouhette can be seen. It yawns. Mighty impressive yawn.

Dreamy watches all the jumping and splashing and not-splashing and everything. Perhaps a little bit envious. Or apologetic. Or something. But then Dream's ears perk up! She lifts her head and peers down the tunnel. That sound wasn't her! Whatever that growling is! That shadow also isn't her! She taptaptaptaps on the gocart rim with a hoof, pointing down the tunnel with her other!

Sadaka takes a deep breath and dashes towards the stream, 'AAAAAAAHHHHH'-ing the whole way. LEAP! She springs into the air, closing her eyes tightly and flapping to try and get a little extra distance. For such a tiny zebra it's not a bad jump. She makes it across, just barely dunking her hind hooves in the water upon landing; she scrambles away from the stream with a squeak, prancing and fluttering.

Siyana splashes her way on shore and shakes off with a huff. "Who's still gotta go across? Gusty, get Dream and Spearmint in the cart!"

Pumpkin cheers. "That was great, Sadaka! Only, uh, we better get a move on."

"On it!" With everypony else finally making their way over, Gustaff jumps off the shore and glides over to meet the cart, grabbing onto the edge of it with his talons and planting his back paws on the side. "Thunnini, turn us towards the exit and HANG ON!" He pumps his wings as hard as he can for extra speed.

Magpie dances on nervous hooves. She gives Sadaka a swat on the rump. "Good jump! Run! Run!" Her horn brightens a bit and she snatches up a hoof-sized rock in a glowing pinkish aura.

Hey, uh, guys? That's an alligator. It's a yawning alligator, but that's not exactly a comforting sight either.

Thunnini finishes poling the cart across the stream, then focuses a current of water on the back of the go-kart to help push it onto dry land. Once the wheels are back on terra firma, she poles he way along mightily, doing her best to keep up with the others. "Gusty, could you give me a boost, please?" she asks, appreciating the power that a set of wings can provide.

Pumpkin starts running and shouting: that seems like the thing to do right about now: the tunnel, fortunately for those who have decided to join her in this pasttime, bends sharpy not too far down and light can be seen: an exit!

"Good! Good job Sadaka! Let's RUN!!!" And run Siyana does, galloping after the others toward the exit! Yawning or not, that thing has TEETH!

Sadaka is way too freaked out already to notice the alligator much, but the swat and command is plenty to send her skittering off after the rest of the group at top speed. Whether she's intending to run away from the growly thing or just trying to get further from the water is anypony's guess!

Magpie hangs back, holding the little rock threateningly and waiting to make sure everypony gets out before she takes off herself.

Gustaff was going to let go once they got on land, but Thunnini asks him to keep the wing-power going so he does. Makes sense seeing as she's still got a couple of passangers in there. Though he does glance over his shoulder for a moment. "That's not a dragon… what -is- that?" Weren't a lot of reptiles back home due to the cold, you see.

The alligator seems to be waking up, slowly but surely, and is now heading in the direction of Magpie.

"Magpie, come on!!" Siyana hollers over her shoulder as she runs, as pretty much every other pony is on their way out of the cave!

Magpie backpedals towards the tunnel out. "I'm not afraid of you!" she shouts, lying her tail off. As soon as the cart is in the tunnel, she wheels and takes off after it, letting the rock fall behind her — Oh, daylight! How I've missed you!

Pumpkin keeps running and shouting: that seems to be the order of the day. The alligator also seems to be getting into the spirit of things, although it shouts rather differently.

Thunnini and her go-kart (and all of the passengers and impromtu "crew" thereof) are making good time down the tunnel. A bit of well-timed, well-placed poling keeps it properly steered, and the travelling progresses with no major problems.

"Right back at you ugly!" Gustaff squawk-growls in responce to the gator's bellowing. But doesn't stop with pushing the bucket cart along, because that's more important right now, getting his friends out of here.

Siyana's contribution is a simple "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!" She is very helpful. But she runs! Yes she does!

Sadaka takes to the air as soon as there is once more wind and open sky, though she stays low enough to still be with the group, mostly using her wings to pour on a little extra speed to get away from the cave.

Dreamy's holding onto the cart! And by 'holding on' we mean 'has her hooves lifted with a look of pure 'wheeeeeee' on her face. Faster, cart, faster!

Pumpkin is still shouting now that they're outside, running in a straight line away from the alligator. The alligator, meanwhile, reaches the edge of the cave and comes to a halt. It yawns, huge and loud, and then slowly turns around and starts lumbering back into the cave. …maybe he just wanted ponies not to interrupt his nap?

Spearmint is looking much less 'whee' and much more AAAAAGH, hunkered down in the bottom of the cart with his hooves over his eyes.

Magpie doesn't look back. She learned that a long time ago. If somepony's chasing you, you never look back, and you run twice as far as you think you need to. So when they hit open air, she just keeps charging down the hillside.

Nope, never look back!! Siyana charges after Magpie, in case the alligator decides to change its mind and chow down on an unexpecting pony snack.

When the cart starts going downhill Gustaff stops flapping, and leans back a little just to keep it upright. Other than that, it's finally his chance to enjoy the ride. "Wheeeeeee!"

Pumpkin reaches the bottom of the hill and rolls to a stop, landing in a snowdrift and finally giving in and just laughing herself silly. "We made it! An' we didn't have to be saved by any grown-ups, neither!"

Magpie only slows from her headlong rush when she sees Pumpkin relaxing. She risks a look back then, and lets herself slow to a canter, then to a walk. Whew. She pants for air, and starts to wiggle out of her wet coat. Oh, gosh. Her brand new coat….