Nice Knowing You
IC date: Autumn 30
OOC date: October 19
Location: NICE Factory
PCs: Carronade, Hemlock, Kludge, Mayflower, Moonglow, Quintessent-Rune, Midnight-Sun, Whistlestop, Cross-Redfeather, Glitter-Bomb
NPCs: Phantom, Spin-Doctor, Dirge, Night-Watch, Bellows
GM: Diamond-Dog, Applejack

A meeting was held. A plan was set. Today is the day Horseshoe Harbor takes a stand against corruption! Tyranny! And golems!

It's a simple plan. The factory is fortified. Sunshine Stormcloud and all available Harbor Guards have volunteered to play decoy, making noise and commotion in front of the factory, while a group of ponies sneak into the factory from the underground tunnels. This was the idea put forth, approved, and planned around. So here we are. In the tunnels. Funnily enough just beneath Town Hall. These tunnels seem to criss-cross beneath most every building in town! Thus it's no wonder there was a spot under the Hall where the infiltrating team could gather.

The ponies set to meet this Away Team are no stranger to darkness and caves. Phantom, Chief of the Bric-A-Brac tribe, and two of his finest guards, Night Watch and Dirge, are down there waiting for the interested ponies to show up.

Phantom in particular has set up a makeshift 'throne' out of boxes, a ratty old blanket, and his custom-built shiny, fancy nameplate set next to his chosen seat. Blue eyes glitter in the relative darkness of the tunnels, dimly lit by a few torches and the light coming from the door that leads back upstairs to Town Hall.

Whistlestop, as part of the orphanage staff, has decided to do what he can to help. He may not be very good at fighting things, but he's big and strong and he's very upset that the foals were taken and somepony should have to pay! So he stands in the tunnels with all the rest, trying not to be in the way and failing magnificently.

Dirge keeps close to the makeshift throne, and his chief, wrapped up in the dark velvet cloak and dark helmet that is his usual attire. His red eyes gleam out of the darkness of the tunnel the way eyes tend to do when they are red, and spooky, with slitted pupils. He's studying the gathering Harbor ponies carefully, while turning occasionally to murmur hushed words to Night Watch nearby.

There, right there, back of the crowd is the diminuative Doctor Cross Redfeather. She's here, been here before, and she's not going to just go away, she's here to help. So back of the pack, there's help for those in need of it, or backup, or, well she'll cover ya!

Midnight-Sun wears a grimly determined expression as he paces in mid-air. His mane is matted and there are circles under his eyes as though he's had no sleep since yesterday at least. Sophie is taking advantage of the break in the action to nap in her saddlebag. Every loud noise starts the pegasus into flicking his ears but for once, he does not seem inclined to bolt at everything.

Kludge is prepared, both for battle and for mechanical mischief. The craftspony has his tools in saddlebags, and he's also wearing his scrap-lumber armor. There's a determined look on his face - or what little others can see of it, anyway.

Quintessent-Rune isn't particularly a stranger to darkness either, having grown up in some of the deepest and darkest parts of the Starlight Kingdom. That doesn't mean she likes it, though, and as such the mare seems to have decided to bring with her a small charm pinned to her midnight blue cloak with it's scalemail reinforcement - shining the way as she makes her way to the little gathering. She looks jumpy, but even so she seems to have forsaken the heavy armor she wore during the meeting. Jumpy is good, but jumpy is really hard when weighted down by armor and you REALLY need to jump away.

Night Watch is, of course, also quite near the throne, and Dirge - near enough to be murmured at, and to murmur right on back. such things must be done in hushed tones, after all. Why, it's practically protocol. He's looking somewhat imposing in his Shadowsworn armor, purple eyes casting about the caverns. You know, it's not a bad cavern really. It's kind of nice down here! He might possibly murmur these opinions to his companion.

Mayflower is…not used to the darkness or caves for that matter. Having spent a good deal of time both in the clouds and at the very least, in open space on the ground, caves were a mystery. She shows up a little apprehensively, following the sights and sounds of the others who had chosen to volunteer for this mission. The only accessory she had with was a worn baseball bat, scuffs and scratch-marks adorning it's well worn sides.
You'd think a big, typically noisy lug like Carronade would be a bad choice to send on a 'sneaking' sort of mission. But there are two reasons that this choice was made.

One: He's a member of the Harbor Watch, and they needed someone big and imposing to escort the team.

Two: His speciality is cannons and demolitions, surely something to be useful against the golems and other security measures inside.

Three: The Twins convinced him to strap some thick fluffy slippers to his hooves, so his usual CLOMP-CLOMP-CLOMP stride has been muffled to a *clip-clop-clip-clop*

Moonglow has come along, what with how her previous exit from the factory went. This won't do. Even if it does - shudder - involve MORE tunnels.

Arriving in utter silence, and moving with the practiced ease of a lifetime of experience, a long lifetime, comes a pony dressed almost head to hoof in black cloth. He clinks as he moves, from the chainmail armour hidden by the silky clothes. There's an ivory white mask with a long beak and red lenses for eye holes hanging by his side, and he's wearing a pair of sleek and lightweight saddlebags. It is, in fact, Hemlock, you can tell because his face is revealed and the olive green stallion with the purple mane is grinning like an idiot, ruining the whole 'serious and imposing' look. He's absolutely at home in the tunnels, an he immediately moves to stand at the front, which is where all HEROES should go. "Looks like I got here just in time." The stallion beams brighter to the bat ponies. "Are you the fellows in charge?"

Dirge narrows his eyes slightly as he studies Hemlock. He's not sure whether he should laugh at that outfit or be jealous that he isn't the one wearing it. The batpony jerks his head towards Phantom. "The Chief is presently leading this expedition," he says.

Glitter-Bomb is here too! I mean, if all the /other/ demolitions ponies in town were turning out, surely she's needed too! She looks something like a ninja. A very, very pink ninja.

This gets a small bow. "Thank you, sir." He turns to 'chief, and waves enthusiatically. "Sir, I would like to make my introductions. I am Hemlock, hero for hire, and here to serve. I have thirty years of adventuring experience, so I won't be letting you down. May I have the honour of knowing the name of who is leading me?"

Quintessent-Rune leaned forward slightly from where she stood, nudging Hemlock. "Mister Hemlock… you are laying it on a bit thick, are you not…?" As she spoke Quintessent looked about, her gaze falling on… "Miss Bomb, is that you?"

Moonglow stands up a little straighter. "Why Lady, er, Miss Rune! How wonderful to see you! And yep, it's me! I guess this is kinda my first real MISSION, huh? That's so exciting!"

Glitter-Bomb stands up a little straighter. "Why Lady, er, Miss Rune! How wonderful to see you! And yep, it's me! I guess this is kinda my first real MISSION, huh? That's so exciting!"

Mayflower gives a look over those who had arrived to help and has to stifle a laugh at some of the get-ups she was seeing, though her not wearing anything besides her usual wasn't really keeping in line with everyone else. She sits down near the others and passes Hemlock a polite nod, setting the baseball bad down at her haunches.

Night Watch blinks, and trots after Dirge, looking a bit irked that his companion got to it first! He likes to pose too. Well, he can be a guard from this side of the throne, because bomb threats can come from anywhere, don't you know.

Quintessent-Rune frowned ever so slightly. "Ponies do insist on 'Lady' for some re-eep!" A split second later Quintessent was practicaly hugging Hemlocks backside, staring up at Dirge. Jumpy pony is jumpy, jumps a lot better without armor.

Ponies are arriving! This is good… A good crew for a little corporate mayhem. Phantom studies the group with a particular spark of interest. From the biggest of the big ponies, to the not-so-big, but very well armored ones, and even to the little tiny medi-griff in the back. Very nice. Very diverse! The big batpony chief shifts in his 'throne'. Time for an appropriately dramatic beginning.

Phantom flashes a grin to the black-clad pony that asked a question. Already answered by Dirge, so he doesn't have to say boo about it, that doesn't stop the batpony chief from admiring the outfit. Even when more questions are flung his way. Hmph. "You want to know my name? So be it!"

Suddenly Phantom rises from his throne, one foreleg sweeping his cape behind him, his wings stretching out (and knocking over a small pile of cardboard boxes), head lifted in the proudest of motions. "BEHOLD! Ye who dare step into these halls, look upon those who have volunteered to rush head-first into the unknown! BEHO—DIRGE!"

His introduction ruined by a sudden interposing of one of his batpony guards, Phantom /glowers/ down at Dirge. Whom is doing his job spectacularly. "Ahem!"

Carronade leans over to one side of Hemlock and looks down, then looks back up to Rune. "But he's not laying on anything?" He even remembers to whisper!… which is about normal voice for any other pony.

A smattering of moderate applause is stomped out by Kludge, accompanied by a mostly-stifled grin.

Things are finally starting to move — good thing, too, since Midnight has just about worn his nerves to tatters by now. He looks for a place to set down, sees lots of ponies he recognizes amongst the… well, it's a mob. One is a recent acquaintance, though, and he lands next to Glitter Bomb opposite Quintessent. "Hey there, pink stuff," says he. "Come to join in on the… I almost want to say 'fun'. Anyway, to see justice done." He frowns. "I'm kinda surprised you found your way down here, though, since the way I hear it this is supposed to be the 'secret' attack."

Dirge cringes as he is called out by the chief, scrambling away. "A thousand pardons, your Lugubriousness!" he stammers, bowing repeatedly, backing up, until he is back to his former place, in a shadow thick enough to draw himself up and look menacing in. Although he's a bit too shaken to do that. Shaking his head slightly, he looks to Night Watch, before slinking ahead to the head of the tunnel and turning an ear towards the darkness.

He listens for a moment, then looks back. "Our forward scouts say they've found the entrance to the factory, sire!" he calls. "I believe we are ready to proceed. They will be joining us as we reach them."
With a small chuckle and a look back at Rune. "Why, milady, I'm merely being polite." Yeah, sure you are Hemlock, sure. He looks up at the chief, and the interrupted display. Something about his face implies that he is taking notes. Drama is important, guys, it's his job. He reaches back idly and pats Rune, not that he minds the current circumstances. However, Hem's attention is drawn by all the others, icluding madam violently pink. "You know, I think you have the right idea. What is your name miss?"

Oh? Is it time to go? Hemlock is so ready to go he's there last week.

Phantom glowers. Even after Dirge moves, his carefully rehearsed, perfectly arranged introduction is now ruined. He relaxes his pose, settling his rump down on the tunnel floor, wings flicking irritably behind him to make his cape flick in the subsequent breeze. Grumble. "Right then. Follow us, brave souls. We know not what waits in the depths of these despair-riddled pits, but be prepared for anything. WE MOVE!" A hoof is pointed! Down the tunnels! And Phantom begins trotting at a quick clip after Dirge, whom gets one more sidelong glance.

Glitter-Bomb looks over at Hemlock. "Why hello! I'm Glitter Bomb! Um, does this sort of thing happen often around here?" Bouncebounce.

Quintessent-Rune frowned ever so slightly at Hemlock. Pat her on the head, really? With a small huff she straightened up before setting of down the tunnel. First. Which she seems to realise a few steps in, comming to an screeching halt to let the others pass her by - or at least Hemlock, who she sticks next to.

Whistlestop sidles over to Mayflower, and leans down to whisper, "Is it time to go now?"

Cross-Redfeather flits forward with the others, working to find a good perch on somepony she knows, "Sir Hemlock? My what spectacular atire, perfect for lurking down here" the griffon offfers politely. /perch found?/

Carronade takes a position closer to the front, so he doesn't have to deal with potential ponies getting between him and targets, and starts muffled trudgling along after the leader.

"Not as much as I like, miss Bomb. What a lovely name by the way, we should get dinner some time." Well done, Hemlock, priorities. He doesn't wait for long though, the second he's told togo, he darts forward, wanting to be RIGHT AT THE FRONT, maybe even beside the cool Phantom guy who has excellent taste. Guys we're going on an adventure!!! He smiles more widely as Cross perches on him. "Why thank you, Cross Cutefeathers, and it's spectacular to see you well. time to deal with these horrid ponies once and for all, I think."

Moonglow checks her bags, looks forward, takes a few notes. She settles in near the back of the party and keeps a reasonable pace, headlamp on and notebook in wing. (That headlamp, really one of her best purchases since moving here. Really, do pegasi spend /this/ much time underground anywhere else?)

Night Watch is now not quite so irked that he didn't get to dive first. He waits for Phantom to pass and falls in behind him, ears turning this way and that as he listens, eyes scanning the shadows around them. He is alert! And focused! And just /so happy/ to be in a cave to work again, you don't even know. Dumb towns with all their roofs and open spaces and alleyways to get chased through. Caves are so much better.

Mayflower finds it a little hard to concentrate with all the chatter, but the dramatic displays by Leisure Suit Hemlock and BatStallions was enough to send the proper impression that perhaps now would be the best time to move out. She's just about to start trotting when the purple pegasus gets her attention. After giving him a mild look over she smiles warmly towards him and nods. "Y-yeah. I think we're going out now. Just follow everyone else and I think we'll be okay."

Midnight-Sun is not a front-of-the-line pony. He is the redundant backup note-taking pegasus with bonus spider. As the crowd surges down the corridor, he trots along near the rear, sort of naturally drifting near Moonglow. Notepad in hoof, mapping and annotating. And possibly sketching little angry cartoons in the margins. One note reads: "totally buy a headlamp".

That big purple pegasus bobs his head. "Okay. Good. Yes. We will follow all the ponies." And he does so, tiptoeing the best he can though sticking somewhat close to Mayflower as he does so. She seems a nice pony and he's way out of his depth right now.

Quintessent-Rune shoot Hemlock and Cross a nervous glance… This was a lot further up than she'd prefere.. On the other hoof, this is where Hemlock is. "Ah, hello Miss Cross…" She faltered. Smalltalk would be nice right about now, to keep her nerves in check. Of course, nerves were making smalltalk kinda hardtalk to come up with.

Hemlock is trotting along happiily, quick stepping it seemingly with the intention of leading the charge, not those batponies. This is Hem's town. He's half humming happily to himself, since it's still the warm up part. "Miss Rune, it's lovely to have you here. You bring a ray of light to the tunnels. Did you bring anything interesting along with you? Besides yourself, of course."

Dirge relaxes somewhat as Phantom takes the lead and the journey gets underway. This isn't the first time he has earned the ire of their capricious chieftain, and he's reasonably certain that, yet again, all will be quite literally forgotten in about ten, fifteen minutes. Besides, now he has more things to worry about- like being watchful. Sure, there's no reports of any threats in the tunnels, but one can never be too sure. A Lumber Hulk could burst through the wall at any moment and try to accost them for their woodcrafts! Around any corner could be a Sweatered Mole Rat, waiting to scoop them up in an entangling web of yarn! They could hit their head on a stalactite! That hurts. Hitting your head. Truly the underground is no place to let your guard down no matter how nice it smells or how comfortable the cool darkness is.

Cross-Redfeather wing curtsies to Miss Rune. "Miss Rune, good uhh, evening?" she looks around, shrugs and looks back, "Good of you to join us in this effort, would you offhand have any good tidbits of information to share with us regearding the medical er, physical profiles of your constructions? Weakness's, and that sort?" the little griffon asks

Carronade glances back and forth as they go down the tunnel, then lowers his head to avoid bumping it on something. This also makes it easier to whisper closer to ear level of the two batponys. Again, whisper for him is like normal volume for other ponies. "You don't think there's any grues down here, do you?"

Kludge walks along with the others, also keeping his eyes open for trouble.

Quintessent-Rune shuffled slightly as she walked. "I… brought the light," she nodded down at her luminecent broche, "but not a lot more… Oddball and Screwball. As for your question Doctor Redfeather, it was covered during the meeting… though it mostly comes down to their deadswitch cables - unplugging them will turn them off, as well as all golems 'downstreams' from them. Of course, I expect them to be able to jack the others back in."

Quintessent was silent for a moment. "They would be big and lumbering, look dumb though might be more clever than you expect. They think in straight lines, so use that. Unplug them… or maybe try to get to the thaumathrode set from which they are controled and stop it there." As she spoke Quintessent's ears under her cloak folded back, and she sighed.

Midnight-Sun doesn't look up but answers with precision, "There've been no confirmed grue sightings in the last four hundred years. And the records from before then are… unreliable. Academic consensus holds that grues are no more real than seaponies." Beat. "Also, we've got lots of lights."

Hemlock is here specifically to make it less glum. "That sounds simple enough to shut down then, I don't foresee any problems." He wants this to be interesting, so he's tempting fate on purpose. "They certainly aren't more clever than me. Thank you for sharing milady, and thank you for the light."

Mayflower lifts her weapon and slings it on her back for ease of movement while she follows the rest of them down the dark tunnel, her eyes slightly adjusting to the dark. She felt a little more at ease now that she could see better, but it still didn't stop the fact that this is still pretty dangerous. Especially with them being less than quiet about this. She offers the large plum pegasus a smirk when he follows along, but perks an ear towards the company of the others.

Twist! Turn! Hard right! It takes a couple minutes of pretty steady trotting through the tunnels to come to the point spoken of in Dirge's prior report. A section of tunnel, guarded by a couple other dark-pelted bat-winged ponies, that has apparently had a wall of concrete reinforced by some metal plating where a 'door' would be. This is where the charge is forced to stop for a moment. The first obstacle in their mission!

Thus this is where Phantom paces, back and forth in front of the pony-constructed wall, snorting breaths after that long walk through the cool caves. "Hmph! They think a mere pile of masonry is going to keep the great wheel of Justice from rolling over their little operation? They think something as trivial as mere earthy things will keep them safe!?" He steps back, so he can rear on his hind legs and strike that spread-winged pose, a foreleg pointed at the concrete/metal wall. "Ye brave souls whom trapse through the darkness on a quest to right the wrongs of the world! Whom among you has the skills to strike true and sweep this mass of metal masonship away!? Who can break this wall of LIES so we may introduce the blazing hoof of TRUTH to our enemies!"

Cross-Redfeather doesn't heft weapons, other than her foretalons, sharp beak, and kitten like sharp little hindclaws. She should have a 'Danger, Sharps' logo on her somewhere but besides that she does carry her full medical back-pack that has other sharp if misused products in it. "I see, so a surgical strike at the controls as it were, I see" she ponders the batpony ahead of her, "Why not just use the door?

Breaking things??? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Whistlestop is GREAT at breaking things. He shifts on his hooves a little, wings flap-flapping on his back, but he doesn't speak up, not yet. There are other ponies here who break things too. He can tell.

Moonglow slides up next to Rune. "So, the golems. How resistant to feedback loops or overpower in the cable are they? I mean, are they properly thaumically fused, or did NICE cheap out on that bit?

Glitter-Bomb looks at the "door" thoughtfully. "Well, I suppose we could just use a cutting charge! Those are fun!" She looks over at all the other smashy-ponies and explodey-ponies! "Or hmm, this actually isn't that firmly constructed.." Her horn glows and she looks carefully at the door.

At the prospect of overcoming a CHALLENGE, a chance for his HEROIC SKILL to be PUT TO THE TEST, Hemlock seems strangely calm. He looks up. "I think we're going in the loud way, my dear. Could you put the mask on me please?" He motions to the ivory mask, it's easier to do with not-hooves. "I have some acids we could use to weaken key points, if that is helpful." Gota be a part of things, and for the best! "They really are quite powerful."

The 'door' is solid, but beyond the inherent durability of a foot and a half of concrete and some sheet metal, there's not a lot to reinforce it.

Dirge comes to stand nearby, regarding the wall carefully, then turns and surveys the crew. "Do you have a method to break through, then?" he asks, gaze darting from Hemlock, to Whistlestop, to Glitter Bomb, to Caronnade. He's sure the answer is 'yes,' but he's going to leave the specifics up to the experts.

Quintessent-Rune glanced at Moonglow, eyebrow slightly raised. "Feedback loops? Thaumically fused? Miss Moonglow, those are issues of concern within straight up makeshift Unicorn enchantments. This is top quality runecraft, which they most certainly paid for - quite a huge sum of bits at that. The best one can do is possibly osscilate the thaumic field in the orichalium wirres to cause some confusion… if the wires were not magicaly insulated. I'm afraid they're nigh on imprevious to such things."

A wall? A WALL? What evil is this?!

Because really, it's pretty lame evil all things considered.

"Stand BACK, citizens, we've got this." Carronade forgot to 'whisper', but can you blame the stallion for getting a bit worked up? He nudges his way to the front, then rears up to spit in his front hooves and scrunch them together in a knucklecracking fashion even if its questionable that ponies have such things. Which is followed by a hefty *THUMP* as he pulls a sizable cannon and sets it in front of himself. Where does he even keep that thing? Then again, cannons are his specialty. He leans over the top of it, adjusting it a little to one side, then the other.

Then nods to Hemlock and Glitter-Bomb. "Then SOFTEN it up. And I'll do the rest!" A little more adjusting, then he pats the cannon on top and settles behind it, grabbing the pullcord in his mouth. "Juff shee fhen…"

Cross-Redfeather happily assists Hemlock with the mask, then flits up above towards his upper flank. above that. hovering for now

Mayflower , overhearing the need to break something, sits on her haunches and lets everyone else go at it. Her baseball bat did have some smashing potential, buuuut it paled in comparison to the heat some others were packing. She takes this time out to inspect her folded wings, occaisionally flicking them outwards, similar to how a runner might stretch their legs before a competition.

Whistlestop tries to squish out of the way, but it's sure hard when you're a big ol' wall o' pony. He flattens against the wall though, watching the chemical ponies and the cannon pony do their work.

Cross-Redfeather says "I was under the impression we were trying to sneak in, not 'GO BOOM, LOOK We're HERE!""

Glitter-Bomb looks up. "Ooh! Acid! That sounds fun!"

"The objective is to get in, sneaky is nice but we can handle a little attention." Hemlock, the god of self confidence, iseems ot imply he cna handle ALL the attention. "Now, We have a cannon, and acid, and charges. We can get this out of the way. Is my assitance even required?" Cheeky.

Dirge stares at the cannon. Where…? He shakes his head, drawing a step back, and sits down, reaching up to cover his ears. The other various guards gathered in the shadows follow suit. One even covers his eyes with his batwings.

Carronade spits the pullcord back into a hoof to look to the mini-griff. "We got THIS FAR sneaking. So they'll NEVER SEE it coming. So, SNEAKY." … it's not entirely unsound logic, actually. He's just making idle chat while the other ponies do their acid and stuff. No, I mean put it on the wall. Not do acid like… comin' really, we're Ponies, why would we do anything like that?! Maybe if one of those oddball zebras were here, they'd… uh, what was I doing again? Oh yeah, waiting for the acid.

The tiny red scarf came with matching tiny earmuffs. Sophie doesn't have ears as such, but she scrabbles for them anyway and pulls them down on her head. It is adorable.

Midnight-Sun forgot his earmuffs. He just puts his hooves over his ears.

Where did Glitter even get earplugs that gaudy? You don't want to know. Anyway, they're in her ears now, managing to somehow make her mane look even MORE obnoxious.

since it seems like the way to go, Hemlock walks up to the wall. He sets one of his bags down, and takes out a pair of vials. They are uncorked with the mask (handy little thing, it is), and their contents are placed in strategic locations on the wall. Once this is done, Hemlock darts back, giving Carronade the go ahead. "Stelth is fine and all, but I prefer spectacle."
Moonglow, on the other hand, has an entirely practical pair. Thunder-Stop brand.

Kludge hunches down and slides his hooves over his ears. Admittedly, from the outside it looks more like a pile of lumber stopped looking quite so ponylike, but it is what he's doing.

"FIRE IN THE HOLE!" With that out of the way of being yelled, Carronade puts the cord back in his mouth, squints one eye down the cannon's length to make sure it's properly lined up one last time, and pulls!


If they somehow don't hear the cannon on the other side, just wait until they hear what it does to the wall it's being fired at!

Mayflower didn't have the luxury of earplugs..or the fact that someone literally brought a cannon with them. She sinks down to her stomach, holding her hooves over her ears as the sounds of explosions and probable wall-crumbling clear themselves out. The ringing from the initial blast will likely linger though.

Sound gone? Sound gone, good. At least, Quintessent figured it'd be - and it really didn't matter at this point. Tugging at her scarf she pulled her head out of one of the extra-dimensional pockets of her scarf, letting out a loud gasp before gulping down fresh air. She really needed to add some enchantment to make the extra-dimensional space breathable, Quinty figured.

The hooves do nothing. Midnight Sun grunts as the shockwave — in a tunnel, no less! — drives his eardrums into his skull. Slowly, gingerly, he puts his hooves down, blinks in the sudden blizzard of dust. He looks down at his shopping list, adds 'goggles' under 'earmuffs'. Sophie, meanwhile, gives a relieved blink and perches forward on his head to see what there is to see. She's wearing four pairs of tiny goggles.

Glitter-Bomb bounces excitedly! Whee, 'splodey things!

Phantom watches the debate. Watches this BIG OL PONY just try and get out of the way for other ponies to do things. And then spies the cannon. That'll do, pony, that'll do. He does not put his hooves over his ears. He bears the brunt of the noise, and possibly rubble shrapnel, of a wall being blasted! BLASTED! That might get some attention. Or the commotion topside may be covering it up.

One good cannon blast almost has the wall obliterated! The metal sheets are twisted and bent around the cannonball, the center of the concrete wall is practically pulverized into so much dust and rubble, leaving just the edges of the structure intact. "BEHOLD!" comes the sound of Phantom's voice. Which may or may not actually come anywhere near the sound of echoing cannonfire. "The wall comes down! The first step into the dragon's den of utmost evil has been taken!"

Hemlock has all sorts of fun gadgets to help with harsh noise built in to the costume, you guys are under prepared. He trots forwards as the dust clears. "Onwards and upwards, Hemlock leads the charge!" He beams back at the group. "That handsome stallion with the cannon and the locvely miss Bomb, I would be honoured if you would come with me, as well as everypony else, of course." Not that he wiats, the stallion jogs forwards to go ADVENTURING to stop EVIL.

Quintessent-Rune pulled a small fan out of her scarf, blowing he dust from the 'demolition' away. "I do not think dragons will be in any way involved in this," she noted dryly.

Whistlestop did not have the thought to cover his ears and so the bang of the cannon comes with a bellowed yelp for no additional charge! He claps his hooves over his ears, eyes watering with the dust as he coughs.

By the time the dust is settling Carronade has already put the cannon away. Wherever. It's easier to move that way. And to be honest, he looks like he could handle some trouble even without it. "ONWARD FOR JUSTICE!" Pause. "AND PIE. Someone said there would be pie afterwards, right. Or JUSTICE PIE! Yaaay!" And with that, he takes off after Hemlock.

Cross-Redfeather flits over to Whistlestop, presenting a cloth for which to wipe the pony's tears away, "Just a little dust, its alright" she offers politely hovering right before him to try and help, she points to a little medical cross on her arm, hinting that she's the 'medic' for the team as it were

Billowing concrete dust swirls through the cavern, obscuring the view of much- save for light pouring in through the hole that has been opened. It isn't much light, but compared to the darkness of the tunnels, it's bright indeed. As the dust gradually clears, an underground storage room- a basement, really- is revealed on the other side. Wooden crates are stacked up, many of which have been reloacted or smashed open by the explosion; office supplies are spilled across the floor. A few electric lights on the ceiling shed a buzzing, yellow industrial glow.

At the opposite end of the room is… well, a big ol' hole in the wall where the cannonball sailed through. But beside that is a stairwell heading up into a larger area, from which more light spills.

More light… and sound. The sound of machines- of clunking, clanking, of manufacturing. The sound of distant, muffled thumps and voices, plus other voices, nearby. It appears to be the heart of the factory, where operations continue even in the face of apparent invasion from without- and soon to be definite invasion from within.

Kludge stands up and does a small jump, both to help shake off dust and to let the armor hang loose as it's supposed to. The craftspony follows along with the rest of the group.

Midnight-Sun fans his wings to clear the air a bit, coughing all the while. He checks on his passenger and the rest of the group, most of whom seem to be better off than him. Good. He gingerly follows where Hemlock treads, looking for a way to get airborne.

Mayflower coughs up quite a bit of dust after the resulting explosion and the heavy ringing made things less than enjoyable. Not being able to see at the moment, she starts rapidly flapping her wings backwards, generating a wind that'd pull the dust towards her and send it further down the tunnel so that she and the party could see. Once that's done she looks up towards the hole that was made and…sighs. The sound of machinery was also a fairly large cause of concern, but judging by the reactions of the leader-like types…maybe they were just heavily optimistic?

In either case, the mare picks up her baseball bat and steps into the hole, looking around for any immediate sign of trouble…or maybe something useful like a steel pipe or a rope or something.

Quintessent-Rune waved her fan around a few more moments, just to clear the air enough, before steping forward timidly through the hole. Creepy, creepy… hole… No, not the hole, the sounds coming from above. That.. "I do not like this place… The sound of the golems, here, now… disturbs me greatly…"

the jog increases in pace from a job to a dash as he clears the hole. He springs through, instantly looking for cover, his practiced eyes taking the whole room in in seconds. What he notices is a distinct lack of apparent danger. "It's clear, everypony, do come in." See look, it's okay, you were invited now. Hem advances on the satairs, using cover where he can to keep himself protected form as many sides as possible. He doesn't slow down how anything.

The basement storage room doesn't seem to be occupied. Except by office supplies. Piles of spilled pens clatter underhoof as Hemlock scurries through and as others follow. To one side, a large box of sticky notes does absolutely nothing. Elsewhere… paper clips wait. They bide their time.

Dirge steps through, joining the others, and slinks around the edge of the room, moving deftly through the shadows. He ends up near the stairwell, glancing to the rest of the group, then turns to listen at the stairwell, one ear perked. The other batpony guards filter in as well, hanging back. Most of them don't look very confident- a few visibly nervous. Out here in the dust and the light, readying to face an opponent that has caused their clan so much grief, they seem rather out of their element.

Phantom doesn't have a chance to head up with the ponies. A bat-winged guardspony slinks in from down the hall, earmuffs and everything, leans up and whispers (maybe shouts) at their leader. Phantom's ears perk up. "Oho! The topside fight needs me!" He straightens up, cape fluttering in the leftover breeze of knocked over walls. "Dirge! Night Watch! You're in charge of finishing this raid. I must be off!"

Without another word, Phantom dashes off down the tunnels following the earmuffled guard.

Midnight-Sun technically *is* in his element, inasmuch as he's surrounded by office supplies. Even more technically, he's swarming through the guts of a hostile enterprise with a bunch of loonies. Which is not something Momma Morning Glory prepared her son to face!

Glitter-Bomb tidies a few things up as she sweeps through. A quick flash of her horn and those paperclips are in cute little heart shapes! And the sticky notes flap about, little origami butterflies tweeting soft tunes of joy.. oh, right, the Adventure! Adruptly, the office supply beautification project is abandoned and she hurries back after Hemlock.

Back to the tip-toeing! To the tune of piano keys, Whistlestop tiptoes his giant self after the rest of the ponies, trying to be as inconscpicuous as he can. And, as usual, it's still not working.

Quintessent-Rune scuffled nervously where she stood, geting a bit closer towards Hemlock. Her attention was turned up though, towards the roof - and the machines above them. Her mouth moving, humming a soft tone while managing to intone the words to the tune as well…

"Out of the ashes, risen once again
The last of the fallen, not for deaths domain
Invincible foe, made from magic and hate
For saviours, we cannot wait~"

Moonglow looks around, and over to Midnight. "Well, at least it's less messy than the last time we were here! ..barely."

As IF Dirge is in charge, Hemlock is already on the stairs and going up! The stallion doesn't want to stop, because stopping is for nerds and ponies who aren't heroes. Besides, he can handle himself. He can move, though, and it's possible to see the glint of metal, sharp and pointy metal, on his hooves. Spiked horseshoes give excellent traction. "Don't stop! Let's go see what trouble we cna cause upstairs!"

Dirge snaps off a salute to Phantom. "Give 'em Tartarus, sire!" he calls out, before turning and looking to the others. He watches Hemlock go up the stairs, then gestures to the remaining guards. "Alright, let's go finish this!" And up the stairs he bounds.

Cross-Redfeather Is attending to Whistlestop but looks on, "We'll catch up when he's good to go!" she chirps up to the others, watching Hemlock as he goes, "Be careful!

Quintessent-Rune's head snapped around as… Hemlock? A shiver ran down her spine as the one pony she'd trust to keep her safe in this mess left."

"The storm is hereWe will show no fear," she sang as she bounded up the stairs herself, voice rising ever so slightly.

Quintessent-Rune says "We will lead the way ime for action drawning near~" Reaching the upper floor she dug her hooves in, head snapping around to take in the view."

Knowing they ought to muscle on, Whistlestop sniffs and sneezes, and then reaches down to pick up the diminutive griffon in one hoof and put her on his back. "It is okay, Miss Catbird!" he whispers. "I will be a-okay. Skyflower said so."

Quintessent-Rune's head snapped around as… Hemlock? A shiver ran down her spine as the one pony she'd trust to keep her safe in this mess left.

"The storm is here
We will show no fear," she sang as she bounded up the stairs herself, voice rising ever so slightly.

Quintessent-Rune says "We will lead the way
Time for action drawning near~" Reaching the upper floor she dug her hooves in, head snapping around to take in the view."

Mayflower grumbles at the prevalence of them breaking into the supply closet. Clearly nothing of terrible use, but it would be noted in case it became important later. She slowly makes her way over towards the staircase up, letting those who want take the lead to take the lead.

Cross-Redfeather chirriups as she's lifted to shoulder, and becomes some sort of odd mascot critter to the massive Whistlestop. "Charge than?" she asks then points a wingtip forward shouting out a warcry "CHARGE!!!

Charge?!?! SOMEONE SAID CHARGE. Whistlestop rears, bonks his head on the low (to him) ceiling, and then stumbles a few steps — and then charges forward up the stairs with ALL THE OTHER PONIES!

Kludge follows Whistlestop from a respectable distance - the better to let any resulting debris settle before the craftspony walks through the area.

-- The Factory in Ruins: -

The factory spreads out around the party. It is, as it has always been, vast and cluttered with machinery.

But now it looks dusty and ill-used. Cracks run through the walls; damage incurred during the escape of the imprisoned foals remains, all but wholly unrepaired. Many of the doorways leading off the main factory floor are thoroughl barricaded- so caked with boards, slapdash concrete or hastily bolted plating as to be more sturdy than the walls that surround them. Large swaths of the factory floor lie in darkness, where the overhead lights hang dark and silent. A bit of late afternoon light filters in through the windows high above, but between the boards that cover many of them, the overcast weather, and the season, it is little indeed.

Where once twelve assembly lines spanned the breadth of the vast atrium, only three seem to be in operation- the others essentially pushed out of the way, forming large heaps of indsutrial equipment shoved aside and forgotten. The remaining three are staffed by the golems.

There are eighteen in all- six to a line, separated by conveyor belts. The golems, nearly the height of a two-story house, are built like massive cubes of black metal. An articulated, crab-like leg sits at each corner of the cube, propping the golem up. On each of its sides is a pair of red eyes, as well as a number of more delicate, mechanical arms for manipulating objects. The bottom third of the black cube extends downward, pistoning open like a 'mouth,' inside of which glows various bright and magical lights.

Aided by the conveyor belts, the golems are gathering materials from stacks of metal and plastic blocks at one end of the assembly line. These are fed down the line: one golem stuffs them into its mouth, where with a flash of light, the material is shaped into something a little more intricate. These parts are then passed down the line, further refined, until they gather at the end- where the last golems in the chain are assembling the gathered pieces… into toasters.

Toasters. Thousands of toasters. A vast heap of toasters is being piled up at the far end of the factory floor, near the shuttered and silent loading docks. Once, this is where completed goods were crated and made ready for shipment overseas, but now there are no boats, there are no ponies to man the crates. The toasters just pile up and up.

Attached to the head of each golem is a little silver 'cap,' which leads to a silvery cable. This cable connects them all in a daisy chain- zig-zagging from one production line, to the next, to the third, and from there, it trails across the factory, up towards the darkened offices and meeting rooms suspended over the factory's eastern wing. The cable disappears up into the floor of one of the few rooms that appears to have activity inside- the forepony's office. Its glass windows are papered over from within, hiding the contents.

And standing near the the northern wall, on a raised platform overlooking operations, is Spin Doctor. The tall unicorn stallion is wearing a flawless white suit, so crisp and well-tailored that it looks as though it was carved from marble around him. Underneath this is a bright green shirt and tie. He's consulting hurriedly with ihs bodyguards- a pair of brutish pegasi in pink NICE jumpsuits. They're looking haggard, but motivated by anger as they discuss something. None of them seem to have yet noticed the ponies pouring into the factory- or to have heard the explosion. Judging from their preoccupation, and from the noise filtering in from outside- more shouts, thumps and explosions, general angry mob sounds- the Harbor Watch's plan to offer a distraction seems to be working.

-- A NICE Mess Indeed --

Charge? There is one pony here who is more than happy to oblige. He may not be the biggest, burliest, pony here, but Hemlock is a strong stallion. He crashes through the dorr, going in to a rollas he enters the room and immediately scans for threats. There are 22 threats here, easy enough. Hemlock seems to settle down a bit, and trots forward as he waits for the others ot pile in. this might require some co-ordination.

Of course, there is the villain right there. Hemlock doens't know forsure it was spin doctor, but it is kinda obvious. "Hello." His voice booms out, and it does boom, it's HEROIC.

we all agreed to ditch stealth, right?
"Hunting a legend, from reef to reef
Relentless raider, strike out from afar
Resurrected nemesis behold
Tale of horror unfold~"

Quintessent keept on singing softly for herself, her eyes scanning the Nice factory in sheer horror, from the loading dock to the golem chains, to the forepony's office and finaly over to Spin Doctor. A madhouse for certain, and the thought send a shiver down her spine and made her step over closer to Hemlock. The stallion, her horror at the sight of the place and her own song seemed to steel her though, making her turn her muzzle upwards towards the doctor and… well, scwol at him at least?

"The storm is here
We will show no fear
We will lead the way
Time for action drawing near~"

Carronade charges in heroically!…. Only to skid to a stop as his head snaps to the side, eyes widening at the ever increasing pile of toasters being piled up by the non-crating crating section of the assembly lines. The burly stallion stares at this, uninterrupted until his stomach rumbles a little at the sight.


Yeah, he's not the most astute of ponies.
Glitter-Bomb looks around. This place is such a mess! And they have no sense of style! And apparently they're evil or something too? She was a little less clear on that part.

Moonglow, on the other hand, remembers this mess all too well. She looks over at Midnight: "So, it's about how we left it, huh?"

Midnight-Sun smiles grimly at Moonglow, then nods upwards. Sophie has put on her flightcap, which is how you know this is for-serious. Taking advantage of the distraction afforded by Hemlock and the various other heroic ponies, he flits upwards along some convenient pipework. They're looking for a way to approach high and unseen. A pony might be weak and he might be cowardly, but that just means you won't see the hooves to the head coming.

Mayflower sidesteps Whistlestop's charge, not wanting to be ran over by that particular train on her way up. Once at the top of the stairs, she takes a position behind the MANLY STALLION SQUAD (tm) and looks at the bizarre sight of this particular factory and it's golem army assembling…toasters. Huh. She scratches the side of her head for a moment before noting the Evil marble unicorn and his two surprisingly burly henchdudes. She pulls out her baseball bat and brandishes it, ready for anything that might come her way…and that the application of a wooden bludgeoning object could be useful on.

Kludge looks around at the factory space, considering his equipment. An idea comes to mind, and he starts skirting around the perimeter of the floor, heading for the massive pile of toasters.

The vocal challenge interrupts Spin Doctor's conversation. He freezes in place, staring at his cohorts, then slowly reaches into the breast pocket of his suit. The unicorn draws out his silver pocketwatch, opening it to check the time, and the green glow it casts as it opens up shines in the uneven light of the factory floor for a moment before it is snapped shut. Spin Doctor returns the watch to his pocket and slowly turns to face the factory floor. His Pegabrutes flank him and scowl brutishly. To be fair, everything they do is brutish, but this time they're really amping up the brutitude.

The three assembly lines stand between the stairwell from which the ponies emerge, and the platform on which Spin Doctor stands. This leaves him fairly well insulated from the gathering ponies- but nothing a raised voice can't cover.

"I should have known you Harbor types had something more in mind than throwing yourselves at the barricades," he says, annoyed if resigned. "I guess we missed a few of the tunnels when we secured this place. They're everywhere, you know. A nightmare to engineer around- or to try and stop up in their entirety." He waves a hoof. "But now you're here. What exactly were you hoping for? Quality goods at reasonable prices? NICE is still prepared to offer these to you, although you've all made it that much harder to pass the savings along!!"

Hemlock is unreadable behind the mask. In fact, he looks rathe rimposing, with his entire body covered in the armour and his movements all aggro all the time. Even his stance is a defensive one. Still, underneath the mask he's smiling, good ponies are nearby. Unde his voice so Spin can't hear he ctalks to ponies. "We need ot shut down the golems, if that could be done it would be very helpful, thank you! I'm going to go introduce that stallion to my hooves, I plan for it to be a speedy meeting." He chuckles grimly, before walking forward.

He moves like a predator, watching his spacing around the golems, but moving as close as he can get at this point. "I'm afraid I'm rather choosy about where I shop. I was rather thinking I should tear down your rotten establishment and throw you in jail, though. That sounds more fun." He bows low. "I'm Hemlock, by the way, feel free to surrender at any time." He looks back up, and starts moving in to golem range, ready to spring aside.

Dirge and the batpony guards fan out in the back. They keep quiet, communicating by means of various hoof-signals. Dirge waves a hoof around in the air three times and points at the door; the six guards all nod, then group up together over by one of the golems. Dirge makes a face and waggles his hoof like a fish. The guards salute, and start gathering in a pony pyramid, three layers high. Dirge facehooves, then glowers up at the group. He sits down and bobs his shoulders back and forth while paddling his outstretched hooves through the air. The batpony guards perform a silent, graceful aerial acrobatic routine.

One of them lands and hastens over to talk as Dirge looks about ready to blow a gasket. "What's wrong…? Is the rhythm off?" asks the guard. Dirge fumes at her. "Fan out and ensure the exits are covered! That's what you should be doing!" The guard blinks at him. "Oh! Okay. See, that's four shakes, not three, and you have to circle once before you point. Night Watch is much better at this than you, you should have him do it next time."

"For the lost we have to find
For all we left behind
For all of ponykind
For the hope that sleeps within
For all that could have been
For the safety of our kin~"

"The storm is here
We will show no fear
We will lead the way
Time for action drawing near~"

A slow smile started to spread ever so slightly Quintessent's muzzle as she glanced at Hemlock. It's not liquid currage… It's more like mob currage, mixed in with musical curage!

"The storm is here
We will show no fear
We will lead the way
Under the shining spear~!"

Draging a deep breath Quntessent turned her attention up towards Spin Doctor. "Actualy, Mr. Doctor… I do belive we brought a cannon."

Moonglow has been creeping through pipes and wiring and stuff! She now has a very good vantage point on Spin and the two pegabrutes, though right now she's more focused on keeping that spider's ride from doing anything else foalish.

Cross-Redfeather tucks herslef into the rafters, unseen for now, perhaps she'll turn up when its not so scaryloud n stuff.

The talk about the barricades and his cannon snaps Carronade back to the matter at hand. "Well you did a HORSEAPPLES of a job at it then!" Carronade's voice could carry even without the echoing effect of the factory's size. Not that it matters as he's no more than a few steps behind Hemlock in the first place. "Only took ONE SHOT to blow it open, THROUGH all the stock in the room, AND out the opposite wall!" There is no shortage of pride in his voice over how much collateral damage one firing did. "But we're past that."

This is where the stallion stops and raises one hoof to POINT DRAMATICALLY towards the Doctor's platform as his ears lay back. "In the NAME of the HARBOR WATCH you are under arrest for FOALNAPPING, QUESTIONABLE BUSINESS PRACTICS behind doors, and BREAKING the GOOD WILL of this fine city with your using CHARITABLE ACTS to cover your NEFARIOUSNESS!"

He pauses, tapping the hoof to his chin, and then thrusting it up again. "Oh, and the MOST DISPICABLE act of all!" He sweeps his foreleg towards the assembly lines. "Having ALL these TOASTERS and not A SINGLE LOAD of BREAD to go with them!"

Midnight-Sun would totally have fit through that space is not for these saddlebags! Anyway, he got back out with a minimum of scrabbling. I mean, yes, his mane is even more of a mess than before and his eyes are darting around wildly, but he's cool, he can handle it! And anyway, he's caught up with Moonglow again, it's all good.

Sophie, meanwhile, demonstrates her ability to cephalothorax-pedipalp x2 combob.

"The only thing the golems are doing, Mr. Hemlock, are making goods. Don't take your anger out on them for doing their job." Spin Doctor gestures irritably at the silver cable. "But do your worst, if you think it's necessary!" He turns to flash a brief, irritated look at Carronade next. "These charges won't stick. The foals were… taken by an outside contractor. NICE Co. does not endorse his actions and has taken steps to ensure he is no longer influencing operations. As for MY involvement- I'm afraid I can't discuss an ongoing legal matter such as this. Surely you understand."

The two pegabrutes look around, then up at the rafters, frowning. Flying ponies around. Makes 'em nervous.

Speaking of the toasters…

Kludge climbs onto the pile of toasters, then slightly burrows into the pile, partially leaving the scrap-lumber armor behind in a collapsed pile. The visual effect is not unlike a pat of butter melting on a pancake, really.

Carronade uuuhs, and reachs over to tap Hemlock on the shoulder. "Tagging you back in. If he's gonna get all wordy, you're better suited to deal with it."

Whistlestop's clenches his jaw for a moment and then flaps his tiny wings. "HEY! Y-you— you KNEW the foals were under your factory! You are a bad, bad pony!" And buzzing as fast as he can, he looks around quickly and charges the nearest golem WITH HIS HEAD. YAAAHHH

Hemlock looks at the things. "Alright, I won't, they're pretty cool anyways." He nods back at Carronade, then just like that, he darts forwards, looking for a way to get to where Spin Doctor is. It's not going to be tough for him. Not that he lets his guard down either, the seocnd a golem takes a swing at Hemlock, the stallion will be long gone. "See, the issue is, sir, that I don't especially care if you manage to worm your way out of trouble with the law. Your whole business is toast." He's really making quite a lot of headway, cut off the head and the body will fall. "So this is your one last chance to come with me quietly, and maybe nopony has to get hurt today. I know none of us will." He pauses, looks back at Whistlestop. "None of us will except him, he might have a headache. He's right, of course."

"Actualy, Mr. Doctor, I do belive that the Harbour Watch would be entiteled to arrest you on these charges pending further investigation, is that not the case?" Quintessent said, glancing at Carronade. "And even if the charges do not stick, it is still the perogative of the law and failing to follow them might possibly be a crime upon… itself…" Quinty trailed off, staring after Whistlestop.

"No wait, they can be dangerous!" Quinty called out, hoof raised after the charging stalion… thoug not moving.

Spin Doctor's eyes widen slightly as Hemlock goes on the offensive. He draws back a step, letting the pegabrutes move to stand before him, as he wavs a hoof quickly in a signal… a signal that has a much better effect than poor Dirge's earlier pantomimes.

And while the charging Hemlock might do a good job of avoiding the golems that seek to grasp him as he runs by, there's only so much one can do to dodge a wall. The closest rank of golems abandons their toaster production, drawing back a step, and drops down in place, one beside the other. The ground shakes powerfully with their combined weight all settling at once- and forming a two-story bulwark around Spin Doctor's platform. Bull rushing, it seems, will only get a pony so far.

… unless that pony is exceptionally large. The golem that Whistlestop charged buzzes as much of a question as a mute automaton can manage, tipped up onto two legs by the blow. It flails its manipulator arms before slowly pitching over, teetering out of the assembly line and landing heavily on its side.


The silver cable on its head is popped loose and hangs slack between the golem's neighbors. Immediately, the tipped golem goes still, its lights going dark and inert.

Midnight-Sun exchanges a glance with Moonglow, leans in to whisper to her: "You think that's Bellows up there, controlling them? Wanna go find out?"

Hemlock beams at that. He got the bad guy to be afraid, and also got him to be quiet! Victory! "Right, get the cable, cut them pop them off anything. Well done my lad." Hemlock takes a step back from the golems, before reaching in to another bag, pulling out a pair of knives. These are sent soaring to try and cut one of the wires for a pair of golems, and it's a good enough throw. Until then, Hem will watch to find a way through. He can jump, he can get ANYWHERE. Especially with pegassistance or a platform.

Quintessent-Rune blinked, rather in shock, staring at Whistlestop and the golem he just knocked over. "Oh my… That…"

"YEAH, what THEY SAID," Carronade chimes in. Let the talky ponies do the talky, let the action ponies do the action.. ey… oh you get the idea. And now there's golems making a wall, even as Whistlestop goes slamming into one. Guess it's time for the real action now. "Oh, by the way, Doc…"

Carronade thumps down his special talent in front of himself again.

"The lady wasn't JOKING about the CANNON!"

And then Hemlock points out the cables. That apparently do something to make them do nothing if they're busted. "GOT IT!" He gives the lower back end of the cannon a kick to angle it up towards one of the daisy-chains of cables, and opens fire! *BOOM!*

The good thing is the golem knocked over! Whistlestop staggers back, spins in place dizzily, crosses his eyes…and falls over, tongue out. He's done his duty! Now he'll just have to be in the way.

Moonglow looks back at Midnight, nods. "I bet so. And we're not going to get a better distraction than now! Just be sure those pegabrutes don't see us." She sneaks towards the forepony's office, trying to stay out of sight.

Midnight-Sun obviously follows his leadpony.

Glitter-Bomb sizes up the closest golem. That hat simply won't do! She reaches out with her magic.. and crafts a much prettier hat!

Oh, and puts it on the golem. Which requires taking its ugly magic controller hat off. No loss!

Quintessent-Rune flinched as Hemlock pulled the knives. "Hemlock! You don't need to cut the cables - they're made of mettal anyway! Just unplug them, that should do the trick…"

Quinty spun around on the spot, eyes going up to the foremans office. "And… we should get there as well, that's where it's all is comming from! And…" Quinty bit her lower lip, glancing at Hemlock, Carronade and Whistletop and the others, then broke of in a run towards one of the exits she know towards the stairs up. Asuming they're not blocked.

The sounds of sawing, hammering, and more sawing come from the pile of toasters, in the rough vicinity of Kludge's wooden armor.

The cables ARE sheathed in metal. Thrown knives glance off of them, doing little more than scratching them. But cannonfire does well to knock them loose. Another golem in the middle rank goes still as it's unplugged, then another nearby as the swinging cable pops loose as well.

By now the assembly lines have been disrupted enough that nobody is getting ANY toasters made. Active golems twiddle their manipulators in confusion as they expect a half-formed toaster shell and instead receive nothing, or try and pass a completed piece along to a neighbor that appears to be taking a nap. This is getting confusing. Several of them emit a loud BEEP that rhymes with 'do what now?'

The six gathered near Spin Doctor maintain their protective formation, while inside, the unicorn watches the assembly lines steadily coming apart with a grimace. He turns and exchanges hasty words with the pegabrutes- they nod and make their way over to a table nearby to start rifling through the junk there. Spin Doctor watches them for a moment, then grits his teeth as he looks back past the balcony of his platform and towards the growing chaos below.

Mayflower finally gets her chance to do something! With the others charging ahead, she flares her wingspan to it's fullest extent and leaps into the air, taking flight. Thanks to the wide 'airspace' of the factory, she's able to fly around fairly freely, though the ceiling was something to be highly avoided. She angles her wings so that she could turn as hard as she could, flying around in a tight ring. Any pegasus could instantly tell that she was trying to form a tornado of some sort, but she wasn't flying horizontally, but instead at a 45 degree angle. Given her wingspan and her speed…this might want to bear some sort of attention from those below.

Dirge, lingering near the back with two of the batponies, adopts a cocky little grin as he sees several of the golems being taken out. He turns and gestures to the remaining batponies, then at the cable. "Go! Unplug them!" he calls. The other guards nod, spread their wings, and take to the dusty air, dark shapes sweeping towards the gathered ranks of disrupted golems.

Yank! Yank! One by one the batponies land on top of the golems and start severing their connections. The massive machines shudder and go still as they're disconnected from the network.

A network that still leads up to the forepony's office, where Moonglow and Midnight Sun are headed…

Hemlock frowns as his cool knives didn't do anything, but he sees a chance. He dashes up to Whistlestop and hops on top. "Sorry my lad, it must be done. I'll get you a proper massage later." From there he performs a complicated series of acrobatics to get to top of the toppled golem. Panting now, and putting his spiked horseshoes back on, he looks at Spin Doctor. "That didn't slow me down much, colt."

Then, eyeing his route towards mister unicorn, he starts taking the fastest one, and Hemlock can gain ground fast, especially when he's up above ground level.

That worked, and now the batponies are lending a hoof. And wing, as they're flying up there to do it. A lot more convenient.

But there's other matters to deal with, like that jerk up on the platform trying to hide behind the golems that are being disconnected. And look at those acrobatics by Hemlock.

Carronade stuffes another load into his cannon, angles it towards the platform, and pulls the cord. Fortunately this time all he loaded it with is fireworks, but some bang and flash might just distract the mastermind and his stooge guardponies from the incoming heroics right?

Moonglow stands before the forepony's office door. She looks over to Midnight. "Ready?"

Midnight-Sun grins at Moonglow. "No, but that's never stopped us. Lets go!" Dynamic entry! … assuming the doorhandle yields.

Quintessent-Rune gasped as she came stumblind down the corridor well behind Moonglow and Midnight. "C-cursed… pegasi… flying about like…" She blinked, raising her head to peer at Midnight and Moonglow, a quick gulp of breath helping to settle her. "Ah…"

The two pegabrutes find what they're looking for in the pile of papers and coffee mugs and bring it over to Spin Doctor, hoofing it over to their suited director. He accepts it, then waves the burly pair back. He has his eyes on Hemlock the entire time, staring at the stallion as he hops and leaps his way across the tops of the towering golems towards him- and he doesn't look frightened. He is a little startled as fireworks erupt around him, looking up with alarm, drawing back a step, but as the flash and bang clears and the thick smoke starts to filter away, he is revealed still maintaining a solid hoofing and a look of determination- even as Hemlock leaps across the gap between the rearmost row of golems and the platform.

But if Hemlock attempts to barrel into Spin Doctor, he finds himself skittering through an illusion- one that sputters and fades. A moment later, powerful hooves seize Hemlock from behind as the pegabrutes step in and grab him.

Spin Doctor, emerging from behind a magical reflection nearby, clucks his tongue. "Never get too optimistic, Mr. Hemlock, when you're dealing with somepony talented at making things look better than they really are." He waves a hoof towards the floor. "Escort him from the platform." The two pegabrutes haul Hemlock bodily into the air, powerful flaps of their wings pulling him away.

Spin Doctor watches as Hemlock is carried off and dropped back out over the floor, then looks to the golems. More are disconnected than connected right now. So it's time. Time to activate his final option.

He lifts the device the pegabrutes gave him over his head- a remote control, with a big, red button on it. The button is pressed.

The factory floor is bathed in piercing white light as the lights above flare brightly and burst. The batponies gasp and cry out as their sensitive, spooky slitted eyes are overwhelmed by the sudden flare. Darkness descends on the factory floor as the flaring lights give out, and a moment of tense stillness follows.

Fortunately, Moonglow was looking at the door. As Midnight was kicking it open. Still, ow!

Glitter-Bomb is, temporarily, unable to see. Fortunately, her training actually did deal with such things - but it still takes time. Her horn glows as she tries to clear her head, and get a sense of what's where. That wasn't an explosion exactly..

Hemlock finds himself crashing through a pony who isn't there, then doesn't even have time to struggle properly (and beat those fool up) before he's dumped off the platform. The fall /hurts/ but it doesn't take him long to get back up, wheezing a bit. "Hmm, I suppose round one is a draw, then." He LEARNT something. He also didn't get blinded by the light because smoked glass is AMAZING, and he turns his head down quickly. It's almost like he's a prepared pony.

That did not work as well as planned. And before Carronade can load up another round, there's extremely bright lights going off. That's harsh, even for ponies not sensative to bright lights. With a gwuff of confusion the big stallion thumps on his rear and rubs his eyes with his forehooves to try and clear his vision. Everyone else can be glad he at least knows not to try and fire his cannon while partially blinded.

The door to the forepony's office is kicked in! Revealing…

Bellows' Office

Once past the door leading to the forepony's office, the one place in the factory that didn't overload and have its lights burst apart, a million tiny little adorable eyes greet the factory infiltrators.

Posters. Wall to wall posters, ceiling to floor posters. All of an adorable kitten hanging from a tree branch. 'Hang In There!' printed to infinity in all directions, covering the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the windows, the desk, the bookshelves, the coffee maker, the file cabinets, everything.

They create a cocoon around a structure in the center of the room. Something that the wires from outside are being piped to, the only thing to interrupt the perfection of inspirational words, leading to a hat-like object, sitting atop the head of a fellow named Bellows. Eyes closed, the corners of his mouth twitching in time with the heavy movements of golems outside and the random jerking of wires going on, he's firmly entrenched within the system. So much so that everything below his head has been…wrapped in posters, like a nest, forming the aforementioned cocoon.

Mayflower maintains her tight flying ring up in the air, keeping an eye for anything going on from below. Seems so far that the enemy is preoccupied with the efforts of the others. As she continues to gather wind, one might spot the tornado forming. It wasn't as fast as some of the speedster's are capable of making, but it was fairly spread out- just like the ring she was flying. Only a little more time needed to finish it.

Quintessent-Rune gasped and recoiled at the sight seen between Moonglow and Midnight. "Bellows…" The seapony blinked before pushing forward, trying to wedge between the two ponies - and a spider. "Quick, get the thaumathrode set of his head - quick! It needs to come off, he's been wearing it for too long!"

Moonglow carefully, but quickly, approaches the inspirational cocoon. She reaches out with a wingtip to lift the helmet off.. and as Quinty shouts, there's no more hesitation! Off it comes, with a sickly POP!

Factory Floor:

The darkness of the factory floor is pierced by a spotlight that shines down on the platform. Spin Doctor's white suit gleams in the light; he takes position at it scenter. The two pegabrutes emerge from the darkness to flank him at either side.

"You'll have to thank miss Quintessent Rune for designing golems that could be shut down so easily…" says Spin Doctor, projecting his voice out into the darkness. As he does, lights are starting to come down. Multicolored spotlights, shining down on rearranged ranks of golems surrounding the platform. They're inert, but upright, and waiting.

"Which, in ordinary circumstances, would be ideal. Very safe. That's why we had to engineer around this vulnerability. I suspected that this day might come- so we installed a little backup."

Spin Doctor whirls and strikes a pose, holding one hoof out at his side; the pegabrutes follow suit, their movements synchronized. The golems rumble, then sit up, their red eyes flaring to life. The massive beasts, moving as one, turn about and mimic Spin Doctor's gesture, turning elegant, if massive circles, then holding their manipulator arms out to one side.

"Behold!" calls Spin Doctor. "The Direct Activation, Numerical Control Exigency!" He swings forward, making a single, powerful STOMP, the movement again mirrored by the pegabrutes.

And, once more operating in unison, the golem ranks STOMP forward, taking a menacing step towards the gathered ponies.

A glint of orange glow appears in the pile of toasters, followed by more and more glints. There's an occasional cyan flicker to them, plus the smell of smoking wood. Kludge emerges from the pile and pushes his sloughed-off wooden armor out of the way, and now the source of the glow (and the smoke!) is obvious: about a dozen toasters surround him, the ends of the power cords tucked under his hat.

Midnight-Sun doesn't think of himself as a pony who deals well with surprises, so he's not in the least disappointed that his first reaction is to stop stock-still and stare. The spider beating an irritated tattoo on his skull doesn't jerk him entirely out of his daze, but the earth pony pushing past him does. Where'd she come from? He takes a half-step into the Home That Motivation Built, but stops. They've got this well in hand. He turns around and heads towards the emerging unsafety DANCE.

Hemlock isn't a pony who is menaced easily. In fact, he mostly does the menacing. "Somehow I'm not surprised, just like old time." He laughs, quietly and to himself. He stretches, all traces of tiredness falling away. "Right, time for round two. Where's my way up?" He looks for one, there's gotta be one. Well, there's that nice stallion with the cannon. "Sir, do you think you could let me fufill a dream of mine? I want to fly."

Inside Bellows' Office

*pop* goes the helmet. The pony that had been attached to said helmet immediately slumps, not having a 'job' to perform with his subconscious any longer. Breathing is irregular, but he is at least alive! Not exactly awake. but alive! Unfortunately removing his hat doesn't seem to have completely disabled the golems.

Glitter-Bomb gets herself set once more. Head, cleared. Environment, no worse than before. Colors, OOH PRETTY COLORS! The golems are doing a /dance number/? eeeeeeeeee… oh wait. What's up with Hemlock? She rushes over to see how he's doing, and why he's climbing into a cannon..

Moonglow looks over to Rune, proffers the helmet. "You built these things, can you drive them?"

Carronade blinks a couple of times and shakes his head to get what little sense he has back in order. Then looks up at the golems now mimicing the trio's movements. "That's gotta hurt the head to be doing that. But." He grunts as he gets up and pulls his cannon back to him. Just in time for Hemlock to come over and did he just suggest what he thinks he suggested?

By the way the stallion's expression lights up, he must of.

Because by the next moment he picks up the smaller Hemlock and plops him down into the cannon. "Oh, you might want this." And plops a helmet down on his head. Because safety first, after all. Don't ask how that works, involving cannons in the first place. "In case you need to HIT SOMETHING." Or maybe not so much for safety after all.

Now he just needs something witty to say. Uh. Hmm. He's almost too giddy about this to really think of something on the fly. "Your little DANCE number is LACKING in BASS. Let's DO SOMETHING about THAT!"

And then he pulls the cord to DRAMATICALLY LAUNCH Hemlock into the air over the golems and towards the platform once more!

Quintessent-Rune blinked at Moonglow for several moments. "Control the golems? Me? But I built them! I can't… or I must not… I mean… do you TRUST me with doing that?"

Moonglow looks back, expression steady. "I trust you much more than I trust the good Doctor right now, that's for sure. And you're the only pony here who knows how to work this thing."

Quintessent-Rune cringed slightly then nodded, accepting the theaumathrode crown. "Okey… okey, I can do that. I can do that… See if you can get everypony to start hooking up the golems then - hopefuly the crown will overide that trick with the dancing. I'm going to be so getting the plans for that…"

With that, and a deep breath, Quintessent put the thaumathrode crown onto her head, eyes shutting. "Ough! What did they do with this thing? That is certainly not the default settings… jikes, talk about bad taste."

Factory Floor:

After a few more stomps, movements mirrored by the golems, Spin Doctor adopts a slight smile. It works. Perfect. Time to amp it up a bit.

He turns and glides into a smooth spin, arching up onto the tips of his hooves, then slides back a bit, moonwalking his way across the platform. Another spin, and he swings a hoof forward in a punch. The movements are of course mirrored by his pegabrute accomplices, who are fabulous dancers, of course, and it's a shame you'd ever suspect they weren't.

The golems follow the movements. They turn about, slide up onto the tips of their legs, moonwalk to the side, then turn about to drive one leg forward in a thrust. They're not close enough to hit any ponies, yet, but they'll soon be in place to start stomping the gathered group. Already they're trampling the remains of the assembly lines, while sending piles of scrap metal and ruined machinery scattering in all directions. The sound of the large, mechanical beasts moving in rhythm creates a sort of music- a heavy, percussive tune, of bone-shaking thumps interspersed with higher clangs of metal and hisses of flexing actuators.

"Ha! I knew you would have opted for brute force!" says Spin Doctor, mid-flourish, as he sees Hemlock sail through the air ona cloud of fire and smoke. "Do you really think that's going to be enough to stop us? You can't just pound your enemies into submission, Mr. Hemlock, no matter how much gunpowder you use!"

The golems' red eyes blaze with life as they follow Spin Doctor's movements. It seems they're studying him- tracking him and the two pegabrutes 'visually.' At the same time, the eyes on their cube-like bodies facing the ponies are watching them as well, just as interested in their own movements as they are Spin Doctor's.

Kludge takes a deep breath, a grin on his face despite the look of concentration. "Let's see how well these toasters work!" he calls out, angling the toasters towards Spin Doctor and his goons. The craftspony closes his eyes in redoubled concentration, and the orange glow of the heating elements flare to cyan as the toasters launch slices of toasted lumber.

Midnight-Sun checks. Okay, that's… that's not good. On the other hoof, looks like Hemlock is being a superb distraction. And while Spin Doctor almost certainly has more personal defense tricks up his sleeve — the pegabrutes look like they're having to pay pretty close attention to the dance number. Midnight's ears come down as he realizes what he's contemplating, but he swoops around, getting behind the platform, and then charges hooves-first at Lefty…

Midnight-Sun . o O ( Justdon'tthinkaboutit! )

Mayflower 's efforts have gone unnoticed from her position, and after gathering the wind to the point to where she might not be able to contain it, she breaks her flightpath and aims a torrential amount of wind directly down on top of the unicorn in charge. She flares her wings out to their maximum, keeping herself from falling out of the sky. The sound of it would likely be enough to rattle the higher windows of the factory. Taking out the baseball bat she'd been keeping for all this time, she holds it out from the side of herself and lets go, letting the strong wind she'd created take it on down towards the unicorn. This…might hurt. Alot.

Hemlock couldn't be happier right now, the helmet is removed quickly, because it cramps his style, and he doesn't need it anyways. With a flash and a rush of wind, Hmelcok is flying, and he is laughing SO HARD with utter joy. He zooms towards the dancefloor.

Somehow, some way, he sticks the landing. He hits the floor with a forward roll, popping up to punch one of the pegabrutes in the face. That spiked horseshoe got a little bit of bonus added to it. So in addition to the strong stallion hitting the pegasus like a freight train, he gets a hefty shot of sleepy times. As Hemlock plays out his momentum, a dart is thrown at the second pegabrute. "For your subordinates, a special little concoction of mine. They will feel immediate numbness, followed by almost certain loss of consciousness within moments." He's breathing hard, that took a lot out of him, but he's pretty clsoe to just winning right here, he thinks. "I don't like being thrown around."

"What about strength AND smarts?!" Carronade bellows when Hemlock punches things with his fancy injecting hoof things. Go show them what for and stuff and… oh, before he forgets.

Carronade turns partially away and leans back on the cannon as he pulls a small notebook, flips it open, and checks off 'Fire Another Pony Out Of Cannon' off the list of things to-do.

Spin Doctor looks up- a movement mirrored by the pegasi and in turn the golems- to see the tornado and the bat whirling towards him. He ducks his head and turns a shoulder, grunting as the bat ricochets off his shoulder, trying to catch it and failing. At the same time, bits of heated wood are fired from Kludge's makeshift toaster battery. Spin Doctor is forced to abandon his groove entirely and take cover- at the same time his pegabrutes are set upon by Hemlock and Midnight Sun. They, too, fall out of synch.

And with nobody to direct the dance, the Golems just maintain course. They're sort of tapdancing in place. The floor rumbles as the golems drum their big, mechanical feet in an uncomplicated but persiostent rhythm. Shockwaves reveberate up through the walls and ceiling; the lights above creak and swing, while several windows rattle loose from their frames and fall from above to shatter at the edges of the factory floor.

"Nnngh! ENOUGH!" Spin Doctor pushes upright, unslinging his coat jacket from around his shoudlers and tossing it aside- it's scored in several places by burn marks and, in one spot, bears a sleeping dart intercepted before it could reach one of the pegabrutes. Spin Doctor and the brutes drop down like linebackers and barrel forward, shoving Hemlock and Midnight Sun back across the platform, putting a bit of space betwene them.

The golems follow suit, surging forward across the floor. Dirge and the batpony guards cry out with alarm and scramble out of the way, dragging ponies along with. One of the golems barrels through the toaster pile along the way- forcing Kludge to find new footing if he doesn't want to be swept away with the quality consumer goods!

Spin Doctor strikes another pose and starts tapping a hoof, regaining his rhythm. The pegabrutes, battered and panting behind him, follow suit,and though they're keepin' on, they don't look happy.

"Your two vs. our three," says Spin Doctor. "Because the baseball bat doesn't count. You're still not bringing enough groove to the fight! Is this really the best you can do!?"

Kludge puts a hoof on his hat, then drags his collection of toasters out of the way of the golem. Once he's out of the path of the magi-mechanical monstrosity, he starts reloading the toasters.

Glitter-Bomb marvels at what terrible dancers these golems are, and tries to figure out a way to get up to the platform..

Mayflower 's expression is of pure shock when she notes that not only did he manage to stay grounded at the last second, but that the bat didn't do as much damage as she thought. Growling loudly to herself, she curls her wings in and dive bombs the unicorn from above, holding her hooves out in front of herself. She eventually reflares her wings and makes a wide turn around the factory, re-aligning herself to come from the unicorn from behind, intending on tackling him with a good deal of speed. Not quite as much as she had just tossed at him, but a fair share. Her brows are furrowed, the mare's teeth are grit together tightly and her hooves are clenched.

It's go time!

Hemlock goes quiet as he's pushed back, and he surveys the situation. O…Kay… He tosses a vial of somehting to Midnight Sun. "Drink this, make sure Sophie gets some. We're going to dance, and I'm going to give us a show." The mister in his mask starts whiring as he starts it up, and mist is expelled. Sleep potion mist. Anypony without the antidote (A.K.A. anypony except Hemlock and Midnight) is gonna be asleep sooner or later. It will slow them down, at least.

Meanwhile, Hemlock stands upright and opposite Spin Doctor. After a couple seconds of watching, he matches the Doctor's pace. "I never got your name, I like to record my defeated enemies, I think you'll rank among the small amusements, but I should get it anyways." Stallion's got soul, he can match the dance, if that is the objective.

Carronade grabs his cannon and hoofs it (hahaha) out of the way as the golems start to stomp about, though the constructs' heavy steps drown out his own, and he's usually the loudest thing walking about unless Winter-Solstice or Whistlestop are about… wait, wasn't Whistlestop here? That headlong charge must of knocked him for a loop or something. Not important right now.

What's important is the attackers. Or more so, the ones controlling the attackers. Because if you stop the guys giving orders it stops the other things. Usually. That's about as far as Carronade's grasp of strategy goes. But there's already ponies after the controllers so somepony's gotta keep the attackers busy. Right.

On a whim Carronade grabs some of the cables that were unhooked from golems and things, shoves them in his cannon, and fires at the golems. Maybe that will tangle them up a bit.

Okay. Dance off. Midnight Sun has done weirder things, probably. As Hemlock starts to try to match the Doctor, Midnight's ears go up in sudden surmise. "No! Not like that! Don't try to beat him! Dance *badly*! Here, I'll show you!" And Midnight proceeds to demonstrate everything he failed to learn at that finishing school he never went to. He yells, "If everypony else can keep him distracted, we can *breakdance* them!"

Moonglow looks at Rune. "It's not working! What's wrong?"

"Now that's the spirit," says Spin Doctor, as Hemlock looks to be getting into the swing of things- and Midnight Sun as well. The dance off has BEGUN! The dapper unicorn and his pegabrute posse launch forward in a few deft steps, swinging from side to side, hooves blurring busily, while around them, the golems thunder and stomp in accompaniment, and then there's some twirling and her comes a cool flourish and-

… and Spin Doctor is thrown off his hooves by Mayflower barreling in from behind. He spins about the lands heavily. The pegabrutes, in the meantime, hop into the air, turn about, land, and start going into a twirling breakdancing routine until they realize that falling over was not part of the plan. They stop, leaving plenty of golems standing on their heads out on the factory floor, and pick themselves up with confusion. The golems follow suit.

But then the cabling is fired their way! Enough autonomy remains for the golems to identify the orichalium control tether. Immediate prioritization is given to reinstating it. Three of the nearest golems go and plug themselves into the silver tether- not realizing that, on the othe rend, the control crown is now worn by Quintessent Rune. They immediately go back to awaiting input, because right now, there isn't enough coordinated dancing to direct them.

Spin Doctor wheezes as he pulls himself upright. His white suit pants and green shirt are scuffed; his tie hangs at a crooked angle, and his warm grey mane is out of place. The Silver Pocketwatch hangs loose from the pocket of his shirt by a chain, and he quickly tucks it back in. The unicorn fixes Hemlock and Midnight and the departing form of Mayflower with a glower, before slowly taking position once more. The pegabrutes follow suit, but they're feeling a bit woozy, and looking the part, wobbling slightly on their hooves.

"I was wrong about you harbor ponies," says Spin Doctor, tapping a hoof once more. "I didn't think you'd have what it takes to tear this place down. But it looks like you're going to do just that, anyway."

Hemlock watches as Spin doctor tries ot be cool, and after his inevitable failure, again doesn't react. He keeps the rythm, tapping his hoof in time to the missing beat. "You're backup dancers are running out of steam, and so are you. Looks like we win, and you are coming with me, one way or another."

He steps forward, then slides to his elft, and stomps his hooves. Really he's tii tired to do much fancy dancing, but he's getting closer to Spin Doctor and that's the main thing. As Hemlock continues to advance stylishly, he starts giving his opponent opportunities ot join his dance more closely.

Quintessent-Rune sighed in frustration. "Splendid, they all do appear to have been dissconected from the system," she sighed with relief - no more chance in screwing up further. Of course, that also ment she couldn't help stop the DANCE routine. Of course, there's a good amount of information of the DANCE stuff in the headseat too - usefull for bulk-copying it into new golems after all… I'm sorry Miss Moonglow but I do-ooh~"

Quintessent giggled and rubbed her hooves together. "Well hello there golems~… Lets see, purge the DANCE stuff from their memory and… Oh my, is that a routine for using the manipulation field to speak? Interesting… Right, dump that in, and full audio and visual feeds~" Quintessent giggled for herself and rubbed her hooves together. "I could quite possibly kiss whoever hooked these up."

…Wait, did she just transmit that to the golems? Judging by how it echoed inside the factory outside the office… yes.

"I COULD QUITE POSSIBLY KISS WHOEVER HOOKED THESE UP," bellow the three wired golems, in a voice with a noble feminine lilt but all the mechanical weight of a roaring steam shovel.

Dirge and the batpony guards, lingering nearby, draw back a step, distancing themselves from Carronade.

Midnight-Sun sighs, "Seriously, do you think this is the time to get into some sort of heroic caballo-a-caballo thing?" He's very bad at this dance-off thing, and he's running out of ideas. Well, he's got one idea, but she's really going to hate him for it. He lets the dance take him to the other side of Spin Doctor from Hemlock, counting on the latter's presence to draw attention and hoofing Sophie out of his mane. "Sorry about this," he mutters, then lobs her directly at Spin Doctor's face, shouting, "Say hello to my little friend!"
Sophie is going to make a new friend! Yay!

Carronade just… blinks a couple of times. Whoa those things can talk?! And say weird things. "Uuuh." Rubs his head with a hoof. "I already have a girlfriend. And her twin sister." Pause again. "Besides, you don't even have a mouth." Apparently he thinks that was actually the golem speaking.

A trio of golems turned their eyes towards Carronade… and managed to look like they were blushing in embarasment before speaking with their thunrerous voice. "NEVER MIND THAT, PLEASE! PONIES, YOU ARE ALL REQUIRED TO DANCE - DOING SO WILL DISSRUPT THE DANCE COMMAND SYSTEM THAT SPIN DOCTOR HAVE INSTALLED IN THE GOLEMS BY SHEAR INPUT OVERLOAD." A moment of thunderous silence follows. "HOP TO IT!"

Kludge thinks for a bit, then pulls the power cords out from under his hat. He then starts dancing among the now-cooling toasters, getting somewhat tangled up in the power cords. The resulting dance is mostly flopping and flailing, and certainly isn't anything coordinated.

Glitter-Bomb heard dance, and dance she shall! Finally, something /else/ she's good at comes up! Pony dance party time YEAH! ..where did she even get glowsticks?

Mayflower zooms by as she successfully knocked the Unicorn off his feet this time, her wings flaring to kill the speed a bit so she doesn't slam into something. Knowing that this isn't quite over yet, she maintains her flight, but by now she was getting tired, mostly from the first manuver, not so much the second. She flies directly above the stage for the final time and folds her wings again, this time going for a hoof slam directly on top of him, hoping to end this so that this place could be dismantled properly. It was fairly interesting that none of the pegadudes had came after her yet but if they weren't, she wasn about to make them pay for it.

Carronade dances! ….. or tries to. It looks about as dorkish as a certain purple unicorn trying to do so because the big lumox isn't really that good with such graceful movements in quick succession. But at least he's trying! Even if he keeps tripping over his own hooves.

Spin Doctor moves to start matching Hemlock's steps. "It isn't going to be that easy," he says, in response to Hemlock's assurance. "You don't get to parade me around like some prize and then string me up like some high-risk trader who overreached." He pushes up onto his hind legs and sweeps his hooves back as he scoots around in a bipedal position. He really is a good dancer, and it would have been even better if his suit hadn't been all messed up by the melee. "You've all ruined so much, but I won't let it be complete! I won't- AUGH, SPIDER!" Sophie is on his face. Spin Doctor bats at the spider as he scoots back, stumbling just out of reach as Mayflower comes barreling down where Spin Doctor was dancing a moment earlier. "Spiders are market-tested and proven to be consistently unpopular with many demographi- aaahh!!" As he scrambles away, he hits the balcony of the platform and tumbles back. Sophie is flung free, but the unicorn plummets towards the clutter on the factory floor, passing out of the light cast by the colorful spotlights above.

Three of the golems are shuddering and jerking in place, conflicting subroutines making it hard to control them. It seems SPin Doctor's DANCE modifications weren't just one through software, but hardware as well- they can't be purged so readily.

In the meantime, the other golems, requiring further rhythmic input, start staring at the ponies that surround them. One of them is mimicking Kludge's toaster-tangle tango; it stumbles about, pitches over, and struggles to stay upright as it smashes its way through the wall and out into the cafeteria.

Another is watching Midnight Sun. It doesn't even know WHAT is going on, but in the process of trying to figure it out, it runs headlong into another golem that had a different interpretation of Midnight's routine.

A half-dozen are following Dirge and his batpony accompaniment. They're keeping it together, and their dark, spooky groove is quite the Thriller to watch.

As for the pegabrutes, they're snoring on the platform, Hemlock's spray finally having gotten through to them.

The factory floor is descending into chaos. There's more coordinated dances on display in your average schoolhouse social. What's more, the lumbering, dangerous golems are proving to be quite a weapon after all- though the only real threat they're posing is to the building, or any pony clueless enough not to get out of their way. The factory continues to shudder and shake with every poorly-timed bellyflop or stumbling step the golems make.

Hemlock reaches out for spin Doctor, to take him in to a deadly tango, just as everything goes wrong. He cuts the mister, and looks around. Everything seems to be perfectly normal and under control, so Hemlock goes to chase after to Doctor. He leaps after the unicorn. "I don't plan on it parading you around, I just want to have a private little dance." OF PAIN.

"STOP! STOP! I DO THINK WE MIGHT HAVE SHINDINGED THE GOLEMS OUT OF COMISSION, FOR NOW," echoed Quintessent's voice through the hall - golems are good for that, amplifiers! From up in the foerpony's office, for anyone listening, the words 'did I just say that?' were spoken. "I WOULD RECOMEND HOOKING GOLEMS UP TO THE SYSTEM ONCE MORE SO I MAY ATTEMPT TO DEACTIVATE THEM ON A MORE PERMANENT BASS…-IS. WE ALSO NEED MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, MR. BELLOWS SEEMS IN BAD SHAPE."

Midnight-Sun, suddenly the only conscious being on the platform, trots to the edge to look down after Spin Doctor — and try to pick out Sophie. Oh, there she is. "Yup, she is going to be *so mad*" he says to himself as he vaults the railing and flies to where she is hanging by a thread.

Mayflower …missed? Oh dear. The Pegasus mare slams into the platform hard, landing chest first onto it. Instantly knocking the air out of her own lungs, she bounces off of the ground and lands a final time on her side, sliding. Her wings fold up instinctively before she hits the ground, preventing them from taking extra damage, but the mare isn't going anywhere for the time being. She's laying limply on her side, grimacing in pain, trying and failing to pick herself off of the ground. Her mane drapes over her eyes as she attempts to keep an eye on the situation at hand.

Carronade finally just makes himself dizzy and thumps down on his rump once more all swirly eyed. "Did we win yet?" @_@

Spin Doctor's tumble from the platform carries him out of immediate sight. Hemlock moves to taunt further, but it isn't immediately clear if anypony actually hears. The pile of discarded indutrial equipment at the base of the platform offers plenty of nooks and crannies for a pony to hide, especially in the uneven dance hall lighting that the factory is cast in currently.

Golems continue to twirl around, dancing badly. They had a good thing going on at first, but now not so much.

Especially when one of them careens through several of the support columns underneath the office complex suspsended above the factory floor.

The poster-plastered room lurches around Quintessent Rune, the unconscious Bellows, and Moonglow, shuddering alarmingly. The floor slowly starts to tip down to one side; Bellows' desk sliiiiides across the floor and bumps up against the windows. Nearby crashing suggests that other parts of the office complex are likewise giving way, collapsing into the floor below.

Back on the factory floor, Dirge looks up with a gasp of surprise as the offices start to collapse. The time for Thriller is over; he turns towards his fellow batponies and gestures hurriedly. "Get up there and get them out of there! Move!" Three guards begin making for the forepony's office to assist with evacuation. The other three wait for orders. "Find Spin Doctor! And start getting ponies out of here before this place falls down!"

Indeed, the half-dozen golems that were engaged in the dance all pirouette off in different directions. Three get tangled up on equipment and fall over, the fourth goes out into the cafeteria where another sits dormant and damaged, and the other two go through the wall and into the lawn outside.

That seems to be the last that the factory wants to take. It wasn't ever really all that sturdy a building, and it can only put up with so many retaining walls going out before the whole thing groans like a whale with a tummyache. The ceiling towards the western end, near the loading docks, shudders and dips downward. The colored lighting on the ceiling sputters and fades, only to be replaced with silvery streams of moonlight as the ceiling shears open in spots to reveal a clearing night sky above.

This dance party is over. Time to clear out.

Moonglow grabs Bellows, heaving him out of the pile. Or at least trying to. Those motivational posters are surprisingly strong! "A little help here?"
As things start to go Very Wrong, Glitter-Bomb is running on instinct. A shield bubble pops out from her, debris bouncing off it. Unsurprisingly, it is the gaudiest shield bubble ever.

Quintessent-Rune blinked as the… everything shook, taking a moment to study the situation through the golems before janking the cords out of the thaumathrode crown and tossing it into her scarf - where nopony else can use it for something stupid - before nodding at Moonglow. "I can try…"

Despite apperances, Quintessent isn't much of an strong earth pony - what with not being an earth pony at all. She is, however, carrying a lot of stuff. Like the stone sphere she pulls out of her scarf and drops on the flore where it lights up, starting to pull posters of the wall and off Bellows in an attempt to form a body around it. "Screwball, we require your assistance in freeing Mr. Bellows from his… poster bondage… and then for you to deactivate and return. Hurry!"

Carronade has accidentally damaged enough buildings in his time to know that sound is not a good thing to be hearing. Hooo boy. "I think the knock the building down part of the mission is a SUCCESS. Let's GET OUT OF HERE."

Got her! Okay, Sophie is secured back on Midnight Sun's head where she belongs, and none too soon, either. This place is coming apart. Midnight flips upright and ascends, surveying the scene. Looks like everypony is in trouble, but a convenient exit has just opened up. Too bad it's flyers only. On the plus side, looks like the night ponies are already on helping-with-that. He makes for the nearest earthbound pony, which happens to be Glitter Bomb. "Hey, Your Pinkness! Grab hold!"

Moonglow, as soon as Bellows is freed enough, grabs him up and flies out. "Let's get outta here! Rune, can you make it on your own?"

Hemlock is quite ready to stay here until he finds the unicorn. He can see well enough through his lenses, kind of, enough to make out shapes. So the stallion is gonna rummage until he finds the nefarious pony.

He looks up.

Maybe this is a bad idea. With a sigh, Hemlock darts off to get out, the batponmies can handle this. Unlike him, they're getting paids, and are yound and have nightvision.

Glitter-Bomb drops shields and grabs on!

Moonglow, as soon as Bellows is freed enough, grabs him up and flies out. "Let's get outta here! Rune, can you make it on your own?"

Kludge disentagles himself from the toasters, then grabs his tools and his wood armor and runs outside through the "door" so thoughtfully provided by the golems.

Quintessent-Rune frowned at Moonglow ever so slightly as she picked up the core from the now self-destructed motivational poster golem. "Obviously, I'm a flightless pony stuck upon the upper floor of a building about to colapse. I'll be just fine." Ah, sarcasm at it's finest. Leaning out the window to the bottom floor she peered around and… Batponies? Yes, batponies. She waved. "Would you kindly offer a lift, please? Mare in need of rescue."



Hemlock stops as if halted by a physical force, and looks up at Rune. He RACES towards her, and he'll be rescuing her soon enough. He moves faster than ever now that he has a conrete target. "Coming, milady, don't you worry about a thing!"

Once the collapse of the building starts, it doesn't take long for it to accelerate. The slumping western wing shrieks in the off-key tones of tearing metal as it buckles inward; dust and grit billow through the air into the central and eastern portions of the large, rectangular building. Water can be heard sloshing as bits of the building collapse where the factory's loading docks meet the sea.

But the good news about the place falling apart is that it makes for ample escape opportunities! Hints of the greenery that spreads out around the factory can be seen as the walls shudder and give way. Pegasi and batponies have the easiest route to freedom, but it shouldn't be too hard for the rest to get out. Although they might not see quite what they expect when they do…

The factory has always rested on a rather well-tended plot of land. Manicured gardens, topiaries, organized little gravel and concrete walkways- all very controlled. All very civilized. But the sight unfolding around the factory is one of untamed and angry wilderness.

Gnarled trees, their leaves caked with ice and snow, jut upward, crowding around. They look like they've always been there. Their roots entangle the base of the factory's walls, crumpling sheet metal. Paving stones are split by woody underbrush; gravel is scattered by leaves and needles that could only have gathered after years and years of unmanaged seasons.

The factory isn't just being destroyed from within- the Wintersong Forest has come to reclaim it. Ponies spilling into the cafeteria find it caked and overgrown with blue and dark green foliage lurking quietly as though it had always been there. The plants don't move, of course, aside from as collapsing structure knocks and jostles them around, but even despite this there's a palpable aura of hunger, cold and closing in like the jaws of a predator.

The batpony guards arriving in the collapsing offices hasten over to Moonglow and Quintessent's assistance. One moves to help Moonglow carry the unconscious Bellows away. The other three- Dirge and two more- look to Rune. Dirge watches her for a moment, then nods. "Grab on," he says, offering her a hoof.

Meanwhile, back at the platform… a hint of a white and green suit shuffles out from behind a machine, and a battered, weary Spin Doctor casts a glance back at the group. He looks around and spots a barricaded fire exit, some of its reinforcement knocked free by the collapse. Maybe he can get it open and sneak out the back while everybody flees elsewhere! Venturing from his hiding place, the unicorn shuffles towards the door and starts trying to kick it open.

Mayflower weakly starts to bring herself to her hooves, but considering how hard she'd hit the ground, moving with any kind of speed is going to be difficult. With a momentous thrust of effort, she raises to her feet, noting that none of the party that she'd came in with were immediately in the area, leaving her alone. She eventually slides off of the platform and hits the ground pretty hard, whining a little bit. Her ears fold down against her head as she focuses on trying to find some cover from the building collapse.

One of the batpony guards alights near Mayflower and kneels. She's a skinny-looking mare who looks barely out of adolescence, but she's putting on a brave front. "Ma'am?" she asks, offering a hoof to the pegasus. "Here, let's go- it's not safe!"

Collapsing building? Not fun. Overgrown plants? That's something he can at least handle. Though Carronade does take a moment to wonder as he barrels through the overgrowth "Where did all THIS come from?!" But still focused mainly on getting the heck out of the factory as it falls apart, worry about the weird reappearance of plant life later.

The remaining two guards are busy trying to drag the snoring pegabrutes out the door. Their bat wings flutter like a hummingbird's as they struggle against the meatheaded deadweight.

Quintessent-Rune sighed for herself as she eyed Dirge before lunging forward, grabing a hold of the batpony… Clinging might be more accurately. Very tightly. And tighter still and with her eyes shut as she glances down at the floor bellow her. There might even be a startled squeak. "Th-this is so undignified," she mumbled.

Hemlock spots Spin Doctor and pauses. Villain or damsel. He looks up nervously at the batponies helping Rune. "Make sure she's safe or I will hunt you ponies down, I'm gettign the leader of this outfit." He means it, oh, he means it, those batponies are handling precious ponies. Changing course, Hemlcok goes on an intercept course for the unicorn trying to escape, with full intention of tackling him to the ground. Another dart is sent flying, to maybe slow him down.

Dirge wraps that hoof tightly around Rune. "I've got you," she says. "Don't worry." He ignores Hemlock's demands; Mr. Hero will just have to trust his fellows to get the job done. He and his cohorts, assisting Moonglow with Bellows, take to the 'sky,' just in time for the air to rush around them as the office falls away in a cacophany of smashing glass and fluttering kitten posters.

Spin Doctor curses as he hears a pony approaching, tucking his head low and galloping faster. He aims to smash his way out the door- and he does! The wood sealing the door up splinters, the door swings open, and Spin Doctor is free to-

… trip immediately over a gnarled tree root and stumble headlong into a thicket. Right outside the door. Who left that there? He coughs and pulls himself upright in a hurry, only to turn around and see Hemlock bearing down on him. Anger flashes through his green eyes, and he bares his teeth, but the fight is visibly draining out of him as he backs up against the intercepting tree, thinking fast- but not fast enough.

Kludge looks at the encroaching forest, then finishes securing his tools in his saddlebags and puts his scrap-lumber armor back on. He doesn't think any of the usual Wintersong predators are here yet, but that's not a risk the craftspony is willing to take.

Midnight-Sun is not the strongest pegasus, but he's suffering pretty extreme adrenaline poisoning by now. A buzz of wings and he gets spider and unicorn safely out of the collapse zone and into… the Wintersong Forest? Really? He *hates* this place! He checks and asks his passengers, "You guys okay? Do you think everypony got out?"

Mayflower looks up when she's spoken to by the Batpony, forcing herself to sit up as she looks up towards her. She shakes her head. "Nnnth. I don't think you are big enough to carry me and I'll slow you down..alot. My wings aren't quite broken though…Let's see if I can.." She starts to open her wings and lets herself lean over, allowing her wings to start flapping without any obstruction. "I think I got it. Thank you for not leaving me on my own like everyone else." She starts flapping a little more rapidly, pulling herself from the ground, hovering a few feet off of the ground.

Holy cow this was so much harder when injured.

It certainly isn't fast enough because Hemlock slams in to him, probably winding the unicorn, since that is the intention. The stallion then whips some rope out of his bag to restrain his new captive. "You will find, my friend, that I do not necessarily work within the context of the law. I am quite capable and willing to put you down should it be required so if you cherish your ability to function in normal society I would suggest you do not resist, and I am going to take you out of here." So he gets ready to do just that, giving Spin Doctor a thump on the head for good measure, the unicorn probably has enough sleepy times potion in his body to make him woozy, at least.

The skinny guard watches Mayflower curiously. "Oh…. okay…" she says, thoroughly unconvinced. The unconvincing only intensifies as Mayflower looks more and more pained, until eventually the guard sighs. "Here, uh- keep flapping, and I'll… I'll…"

The guard takes to the air, moving deftly- looks like her skinny little build is good for something, and that something is being quite nimble in the air- and circling back around. She reaches down, grabs Mayflower around the haunches, and pulls upward, helping to propel the bigger pegasus along like an outboard motor. In the air. With wings. "O-okay! We can do this! We're gonna make it!"

The factory continues to collapse. That didn't stop being a thing that was happening. With the remaining offices pouring down on the empty factory floor, the eastern wing is free to collapse like the western wing did before it. Office supplies, papers, kitten posters- they billow through the air in a storm of cubicular mundanity. Others are caught by the wind and carried out into the trees, catching on branches and in leaves, shredded by the thorns of bushes that are soon found caking boxes labeled with the pink NICE logo.

Spin Doctor grunts at the thump, reaching up to rub his head. He's a sturdy fellow- leanly muscular, clearly someone who has done more than just push papers around in his life. He struggles against Hemlock's ropes for a moment, before he stops, and sags where he stands. Behind Hemlock, the factory is in all but total ruin. More is lying in a heap than upright. There's no sign of life from the golems, and the pegabrutes can be seen in the distance, still hanging from underneath struggling batponies totally not getting paid enough to do this.

Spin Doctor hangs his head and bites back his anger and grief. But he only wallows for a moment before pushing upright. "I'll- I'll go willingly. Just let this be the end. It could have been so much. It could have been perfect. I don't want to see it ruined any further…"

The Wintersong Forest may be surprisingly close- far closer than it was when the factory was built, for example- but it seems the ponies escaping out into the cool autumn night are not TOO embroiled in the mysterious woods. They're still on the tangled outskirts. The road that connects Horseshoe Harbor to the factory remains… though it looks thoroughly overgrown by small trees and shrubs. Still, the lights of the town can be seen in the distance, gleaming warm and inviting. The way home should be clear even for those ponies forced to hoof it.

Carronade is hoofing it SO HARD

Hemlock nods. "It's the end, sir, but perfect? No, it couldn't have been perfect, you were wrong. It's going to be better now that we've stopped you, let that fact comfort you." He's not very nice, not to villains who made him mad. He doesm, however, thump spin doctor one more time, a surgical strike to make an unconscious pony. Afterwards, Hemlock is on the straightest path out of the factory, mission accomplished, and villain in tow.

Mayflower lets the determined mare help her out as she's brought up and out of the factory before any serious damage can befall either one of them. Once out of the factory and a small distance away, her flapping slows and she descends towards the ground unless the batpony is capable of holding her entire weight. If not, she'd land on her rear and pant fairly heavily, looking out towards the others who were gathered around, her expression…less than sunny. In fact, the pegasus looks rather angry about something.

The skinny batpony guard can't support Mayflower on her own. She helps guide the pegasus to the ground before pausing to rest, panting thoroughly. "We did it! We made it!" she says, turning towards Mayflower with a bright smile- though that stops soon as she sees Mayflower's surly expression. The guard blinks. "Er, uh- I'll go- I'll go help the, um… others…" She soon takes to the air and flaps off after her fellows.

Kludge walks over to the other ponies. "Not sure what I expected, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't it," he mentions to nobody in particular.

Spin Doctor goes down like a sack of flower once Hemlock knocks him out. He isn't out cold, but he knows it's probably the best way to spare himself the indignity of getting thumped further if he acts like he is.

As Hemlock enters the factory once more, he finds the landscape warped around him. A thicket of ice-coated trees sits placidly where not that long ago, columns of golems were dancing menacingly. The golems themselves are caked in vines and moss; one even has a surly owl nesting between its cube-like body and leg, giving Hemlock and Spin Doctor a wary stare as they shuffle past. Up above, remains of the ceiling shudder and groan in preparation of collapse.

Two batpony guards flutter in, stare around at the undergrowth with alarm, then bustle up to Hemlock. "Here, this way!" calls one. They make to show the earth pony the swiftest way out through the remains of the factory and onto the road where the others gather.

Hemlock follows the batponies, bearing his load well enough. Spin Doctor is safe and sound, so don't you ponies worry. "On my way, I'll be safe, don't you worry. It takes mroe than a collapsing building to slow me down."

Mayflower looks up towards the female as she leaves and sighs, bellowing out after her. "Thanks for saving my life! I really appreciate it!" She sounded friendlier than her expression suggested, but as soon as that was over, she picks herself up off the ground again, wincing and looks out over the other ponies. Doing this only furthered her intense resentment as she turns to walk down the path to Horseshoe Harbor, her ears folded back against her head and her winded mane messily splayed over her entire head. She starts speaking sarcastically to herself as she walks, leaving the others to their own devices.

"Jeez, could have at least tried to come help me or something but noooooOOoooo. I could have died back there and only one pony turns around and it wasn't even any of the ones I knew!" She stomps the ground a little bit as she continues to weakly trot along. "Playing hero is more important than saving your friends huh? I'll remember that next time. If there's ever a next time."

The two batponies escorting Hemlock exchange a glance, then nod, but stay close. They want to make sure Hemlock and Spin Doctor BOTH make it back safely. Perfectly understandable, of course.

The other guards mill around. Dirge can be seen lingering near Quintessent Rune off to one side, watching the others. Seems the guards have a 'first in, last out' policy with regards to ponies in danger, so even if they're all a skinny, spooky bunch, at least they're loyal even to harbor ponies with whom their relationship has been rocky.

Kludge watches Mayflower go. He's no hero, and he was much closer to the (hole in the) wall than he was to the rest of the party - what was he supposed to do? The craftspony shrugs, then notices that one of the toasters had gotten its power cord tangled in the armor. Looks like he got a memento!

Carronade tromps up behind the batpony guards. "Maybe we should GET RID of him by shooting HIM out of a cannon." Regards Spin Doctor for a moment, and then snorts loudly. "Nah, getting to ride cannon blasts is TOO GOOD for a jerk like him." And then he tromps off again.

Hemlock looks at Carronade, impossible to read because mask. "He's my prisoner, I am taking him in to my custody. We'll sort things out with the law later." With that, he trots away, because Hemlock is Very, Very, tired, and needs to sleep. He has to look tough while ponies are watching, though.

Once Hemlock and Spin Doctor are outside of the factory, the last of its upright structures collapse inward. The sound rings across the forest for a minute, the roar echoing off distant hills and trees, before being swallowed up by the cold night air.

The stillness that settles on the site of the ruins is piercing in comparison to all of the noist that precipated it. In the distance, some sort of forest beast yowls. There's a soft rush as somewhere, snow tumbles from an overburdened branch.

Moonglow drags the wilted forepony through the air. On her way out, she sees another, brown pegasus below, who seems at least mostly okay. She sets down, her rather heavy load - still breathing - good - and asks "You okay?"

Mayflower dissappears down the road slowly enough, folding her ears down and keeping her head down the entire way, her voice now out of earshot for those still present. But judging by her shillouette, she may have resorted to making hoof puppets of those present with fairly sarcastic quips about the power of friendship and…pancakes? How bizarre.

Glitter-Bomb is out. LUNA this place is weird. A couple times back and forth, dragging a few ponies out of the collapsing structure, deflecting a few formerly-supportive support beams, (and a few formerly-motivational motivational posters) and generally making herself useful. But she's tired, and it's time to get back to town. What a day.