None Shall Pass
IC date: Autumn 44, 1007
OOC date: November 3, 2012
PCs: Sodium-Fizz, Magpie, Kludge, Winter-Solstice, Jellybean, Heartsong
GM: None

Want to leave the base? TOO BAD. Unless you have a good excuse or you have brought something to bribe the guard with. Or she just likes you. She likes everybody, though, so it's really not that hard to get out. Unless you're a foal. Which she still likes, but she's not taking any of their guff today. Winter Solstice is manning the door outside, and has hardly gone far past it since the fiasco on Nightmare Night. Oh, sure, the immediate threat seems to have passed, without anybody bein' all Piped Piper on the resident children, and that makes it easier, though when they come close Winter still gives them a -look.- But there are zombies out there, evidently. Zombies everywhere. Soooo many zombies. You can hear them through the walls if you have a particularly rambunctious imagination.

Magpie comes trotting up the long hallway to the outside. She comes up and smiles to Winter. "Hi…"

"Winter, how are you holding up? Still standing guard?" The voice, it certainly isn't a zombie, less one of the scrapes and cuts Sodium-Fizz garnered before Kludge pulled her tail out of the proverbial fire have gone and turned her into one. And it's certainly not from the other side of the wall. And typicaly it's not followed by a grinning smile and soft tittering if it's zombies, too. Fizz does come up a bit short at the Look, but after a moment she continues. "Brought you something."

The alchemist half turned, revealing the battered tray resting on her back, complete with several cups of steaming tea. Spotting Magpie she smiles widely, giving her a little wave. "Hello Maggie."

"NOPE," declares Winter, in response, as Magpie approaches. The big mare drops her butt down right in front of the door and draws herself up. "You can't go. Sorry. I saw what happened last time. Sorry about the biting and stuff, but, well, you know. Beats being turned into a smoothie by Nightmare Moon or whatever it is she does to kids."

As Sodium approaches, Winter brightens up. Hey, it's an adult! Adults are just as wont to try and sneak out these days, but they tend to be much more exciting about it when they try. Winter anticipates trouble… but ENTERTAINING trouble. Rising to her hooves, she reaches out and nabs a cup of tea. "Thanks, Soda! What's in it? Is it made of blue leaves?"

Kludge is idly sketching some designs. So far, nothing really seems to be standing out, and most of the sketches seem to be adjustments and fine-tuning of previous designs of his. This usually would be fairly relaxing for him, but something just doesn't seem to be sitting right.

Magpie blinks at Winter a few times. "Um…. 's okay. I wasn't gonna." She hoofscuffs, then gives the big mare a nudge. "Thank you for saving my life. I wanted to, uh.. give you this…" Her horn limns in lavender and she floats up a bracelet made out of three braided copper wires, probably borrowed from a piece of scrap material. (One hopes.)

Heartsong trudges down the hallway, wings drooped a bit, head hanging. She looks far more exhausted than upset, at least, but she's not very cheery. She's also /not/ trying to get outside. She's just wandering. However, the voices make her prick her ears a little and look up.

Sodium-Fizz smiles and lets out a auidable 'daaw' at Magpie's gesture. A moment later the little filly finds a cup of steaming tea on the floor next to her. "It's just plain ol' Earl Grey, suprisingly normal. Then again, it's out of the stocks we pilfered from the camp… Labeled Earlessa White though, I guess Earl Grey never did introduce tea to Trottingham in this universe. Fancy that! Want a cup, Kludge? Heartsong?"

Her head whiped around to look at them. Then whiped back to Kludge. "Oh! Kludge! Just one of the ponies I wanted to see!"

Winter-Solstice is getting ready to sip the tea from the mad scientist when she pauses, looking at Magpie, then at the floating bracelet. Winter's eyes widen. She almost drops the cup of tea in her haste to set it aside and reaches up to nab the floating copper braid with her big clumsy earth pony hooves. "Oh my gosh!" she blurts. "THIS IS BASICALLY AS AWESOME AS THINGS GET." Immediately she's wrangling it onto one of her forelegs, bending the copper wires in the process, until it's in place, and then she tugs it back into shape. The whole time she's grinning broadly, rear hooves tip-tapping against the floor in an eager prance. "Wow! Wow!" Waggling a foreleg around, she bounces the bracelet about her shaggy wrist. Ankle? Something like that. "Thank you, Magpie! Golly! You didn't need to make me a thing at all. I just save people 'cause that's what, you know." She shrugs. Ogling the braclet, she reaches back with her other forehoof and fumbles for the tea, very nearly bumping it over as she misses retrieving it often. Briefly she glances past her new shiny to watch Heartsong, but is dstracted by shiny a moment later because shiny.

Kludge looks up, glad for something to distact him from the (lack of) progress he's making. "Sure, a cup of tea would be appreciated. What's on your mind?" he inquires as he takes one of the cups.

Jellybean rolls out of a pile of blankets, looking bleary-eyed and confused. So, like normal. "Did somepony say tea?"

Magpie giggles at Winter's excitement, beaming at how well her gift was received! She leans up against Winter. Then she peeks sideways and asks, "So…. NOW can I go outside?" She lets that hang just long enough for Winter to open her mouth in protest before she giggles, "Kidding! Kidding! A joke!"

The alchemist smiled and nodded, trotting across the room, only stopping to give Magpie a gentle nuzzle and a encuraging grin. "Yup, tea it is, Jellybean. Here you go. And here's one for you, Kludge! Enjoy. As for what I wanted to ask you… Have you heard of crossbows? It's a gryphon contraption, mostly wood, that uses mechanical energy to launch projectiles. I'm woundering, do you think you could look into making one? Or a few even. Apperently throwing stuff on meglomaniac alicorns doesn't work that well."

She giggled and looked at Heartsong, holding up the second to last cup and wiggling it at her. "Tea?"

Winter-Solstice backs off, having been about two seconds away from sitting on Magpie. She settles back in where she was, narrowly avoiding sitting on her tea in the process. "Seriously, though, it's pretty scary out there. And probably only gonna get scarier." Reaching up, she scratches the back of her head with a hoof. "You know we've been here for like am onth now? We're here much longer and I'll have been here longer than I'd been in Horseshoe Harbor before all this happened. I just moved here! Does that mean I officially get to be a resident of Horseshoe Base and when we go home everyone will be like, 'Oh horseapples! The spell didn't work, one of those weird frozen ponies came back with us!'" She drops her hoof and calls out to Heartsong. "Hey, Heartsong! Hey!"

Jellybean accepts the tea and sips on it: he makes a face, because apparently he didn't like tea as much as a foal as he did when he was a big pony. "We're all going home, Winny. Things are going to work out."

Heartsong blinks and waves shyly. "Uh… h-hi." She blinks again at the offer of tea, rubbing one foreleg with the opposite hoof for a moment before nodding and edging over. "Well, uh… okay. Sure. That… that sounds nice. Thank you. I hope I'm not interrupting anything."

Magpie grins at Jelly. "Yeah! We've got the sun thingummy! That means we win."

Kludge ponders Fizzy's request. "I could probably make the stock and other wooden components, but I'm not as confident about the mechanical components," he explains between drinking his tea. "Good tea, by the way."

Jellybean pulls out the Sun Thingummy. "I don't think it means we win by itself, but I do think it helps."

"Yeah, great tea, Sodium," says Winter, making another fumbling, distractd grab for the drink she has not actually sampled yet. She bumps it and it rocks back and forth precariously, nearly spilling its contents, but then gets distracted by Heartsong. "Interrupting? No, like, you were here first! Come over here! Hi! Hey, nice trick with the singing the other day. I think things probably could have gone about nine times as awful if you weren't there to help. Do you do weddings? I should marry someone someday so I have an excuse to throw a party maybe with singing and probably fireworks."

Magpie eeps and squirms away from Sodium's nuzzle, blinking at her. "What?"

Sodium-Fizz flashed Heartsong a wide grin. "Nope! Actualy, the more ponies the better, even! We're workin'!" The exclamation was followed by a hoof punching into the air before spining around and leveling it on Kludge. "When I say mechanical, I mean so in the most basic of sense! Mechanical tension, think catapult arm, but bendy. A easy way to tense the darned thing would be helpful too."

Fizzy spun around again, the almost manic grin still on her face. "And don't worry about it, Jelly. We have a plan! Or… well, we're working on a plan. Maybe. I mean, right now it's just me I guess…?" She hummed for herself, rubbing her muzzle for a moment before perking right back up again, flashing Magpie a smile. "What, what? It's a good gesture, you're a lot nicer than first impression might sugest. We're all going to need each other…"

Heartsong blinks over at Winter. "Oh, uh… I… don't know. I've never… seen a wedding." She tilts an ear, blushing. "…Thanks, though. I… really didn't know if that was gonna work." She still kind of couldn't believe she'd tried it in the first place! Though now she couldn't get the darn melody out of her head.

Kludge gives a shrug. "I had heard that there were gear or levers or other somesuch involved in the cocking process of a crossbow, but if that's not the case, then it should make things much easier. Got a preference for size?"

"I bet we can figure something out, Soda," says Winter. "I'll help plan. Although I gotta warn you, and I'm totally being honest here, the last time I tried planning anything I ended up setting a barn on fire. But if it turns out that the queen's castle in this land is a barn, that might work out pretty well." She quiets and looks over to Heartsong thoughtfully. "Hey, has anybody here actually ever been to Canterlot?"

"Honestly, Kludge, I have no idea what the case is. Just… ask around, I guess? You're a clever pony, you'll find a way. And I figure a bit on the small side, I imagine Solar's little pegasus 'guard' might find them useful, and possibly Ruby too." Turning Fizzy looked over at Winter. "Well, I've been there repetedly myself, a few times each year. Hard to be a traveling salesmare and not go to Canterlot, you know? As for you, miss Heartsong… Indeed, thank you. That could have turned out a lot worse. The same goes for every single one of you, in fact! It's why there's tea."

Heartsong tilts her head. "Well… well I think, um, I think Glimmer comes from Canterlot. She… she doesn't talk about it much. Not that I've heard."

Winter-Solstice makes a guilty sort of face when Glimmer is mentioned. She still feels like a heel for bodychecking her earlier in the week. "Yeah, well… if we can get some kinda idea what's there, maybe that will help. I mean I'm guessing eventually we're going to have to go there for some reason. Maybe just to save one of our people that gets all abductered." She does not glance at Jellybean when she says this at all. But she DOES look at Sodium next, after not looking at Jellybean. "Hey, crossbows. Oh! Oh. I still have that vial you gave me last night. I didn't use it. Was I supposed to? Was it gonna give me eyelasers after all? Maybe I should have tried it."

Kludge starts working on some designs that might be vaguely defined as crossbows. Or maybe oversized slingshots; it's kind of hard to tell. In either case, the primary launching components seem to be fairly straight forward. Trying to figure out how to effectively wield it, however, might be a bit more problematic.

Jellybean whimpers a little. This is getting into the territory he's not too comfortable with this. As if subconsciously acknowledging that fact he burrows back under the blanket-nest he'd made for himself.

Magpie giggles a bit. "So, what was that thing you threw at Nightmare Moon? I mean, uh… it didn't work, but…

Magpie doesn't mention that she hit the queen of the night with a snowball right after that.

Heartsong sat back, sipping her tea. She… didn't remember much of what had happened that night. It had been terrifying and apparently she'd done something kind of heroic? That was really all she'd grasped. It was kind of a blur. She perked an ear at the question. "…Someone threw something at Queen Moon?" Blink. That… that sounded risky. Gee.

Winter-Solstice thumps Magpie with an elbow. "Mags here got slush up Nightmare Moon's nose. It was hilarious," she says, with a grin.

Jellybean giggles fro under the blankets. "I saw that. I was really scared at the time but it was funny."

Sodium-Fizz gave Winter-Solstice a grin. "Well… no, it wouldn't. Just keep it. This way I won't have to pull another one out of my flanks the next time. As for the vial… it's sticky gunk! Brilliant, the numbers of things you can do with sticky gunk. Gum up pegasus wings, create foal-proof barriers, blind angry goddesses - asuming you hit anyway, darn it, this is why I want a crossbow - and even makeshift building repair! Amazing, gunk… Kinda embarasing that Magpie did better than me though…" She frowned at the filly for a moment, though it broke into a smile a moment afterwards.

"By the way, Magpie… If you find Ruby, Luna knows I've been looking, tell her I want the two of you to use those wounderful brains of yours to think up some way to annoy our two big, scary problems… while making it look like it's the other one's that behind it." She grined and giggled.

Magpie ducks her head and blushes. "I just wanted to distract her from coming after Jelly. It … wasn't anything, really…"

Jellybean's head pokes out. "Don't say that. You did something really brave and smart, Magpie. Sometimes I can be brave but I don't think I'm ever really that smart, even when I'm a big pony."

Winter-Solstice snorts. "It was heroic!" She prances in place and then drops back onto her haunches so she can lift a foreleg and flex it. "And you should act like it, Magpie! You say, 'And then I gave her a one-two in the nose with a snowball! And she ran away from the might of my justice.' That is how you impress chicks. And fellas." She stands back up, trots her way over to Jellybean's blanketpile, and reaches down to noogie him through the blankets. "Stop bein' all down on yourself, Bean! 'Tisn't proper for a young lord."

Kludge looks up from his design sketches. "Say, Fizzy? Do you use a standard size and shape for your vials and flasks, or do they vary by a fair amount? It might alter how the design goes."

Jellybean giggles, squealing and struggling a little against the onslaught of the dreaded Noogie. "I didn't mean that like a bad thing. I'm okay not being that smart. Smart ponies have a bunch of things they have to worry about that I don't."

Magpie giggles a bit. "You were very brave too, Jellybean. She was like 'muahaha, I have you now!' and you were just like 'Oh no you didn't!' PSHOO!" …that was really neat.

Heartsong smiles faintly over at Jellybean. "That's a pretty positive way to look at it. …But I think you seem pretty smart to think of it that way." She blushes a bit, going back to her tea.

The alchemist stuffed her muzzle into her cloak once more, fishing out a vail before hoofing it over. Together with one of the small, sphereical clay firebombs. "There were crates of these things down here. Though I'm starting to run a bit low on the vials. Can make more of the bomb-casings though…" With that Sodium-Fizz turned her attention to Winter, Magpie and Jellybean.

The big, stompy mare certainly had a way with them she didn't, that was for certain. "True, don't sell yourself short… Goes for everyone of you. But I have to run, I need to see about those maps… Magpie, please, if you find Ruby talk with her about a way to make the bad-gusy cross on each other. Being sneaky is what's going to save our hides for the moment…" She reached out, ruffling Magpie's mane for a moment before setting off down the corridor. "I'll see you lot later!"