Right Place Wrong Time
IC date: Summer 83
OOC date: September 11
Location: Carrot Corner Cafe Warehouse
PCs: Lavender
NPCs: Snakebite
GM: Applejack

Late evening in the Harbor. The sun has set at least an hour ago, leaving the lights from Carrot Corner Cafe and a lone pair of street lamps to light this corner of the boardwalk. The warehouse, where a recent crime took place (or rescue depending on how you look at it) has been roped off by the Harbor Guard, awaiting interested parties to have the free time to investigate and maybe find a clue as to how and why one tiny member of the nearby bat-winged colony had been discovered on the premesis.

As it stands right now there's still a Guard lurking about, though he's leaned up against the warehouse with a newspaper draped over his face. It could be a ruse. Or he could be napping. The steady breathing suggests the latter…

From shadow to shadow, a smallish filly figure creeps. Carrot Corner is a familiar landmark to Lavender, but this warehouse in particular has not been a site of the filly's adventures thus far. Still in a stealthy sort of mindset from her recent adventures, Lavender observes that guard from around a corner, then picks up a rock and throws it into the distance. Either a judge of wakefulness, or a way to draw him off.

The guard's ears don't even flick. He's out pretty good! Sad but true, even ex-goon Harbor Guards have problems staying awake during really long and boring stretches of guard duty. Especially when they don't think they're guarding anything special.

The interior of the warehouse is pretty dark… Did the shadowy filly remember to bring a light source with her?

Lavender creeps past the guard and through the smashed door, on into the dark interior of the warehouse. She gets a few steps in before rummaging around in a saddlebag for a small lantern, which she sets down and lights. It's just about the entirety of her gear, aside from a coil of rope and her wooden sword. She picks the lantern back up, carries it in further from the door and looks around as it casts huge shadows up onto the walls.

Huge shadows, thanks to all the boxes and bags and whatnot sitting around! Most of them are stacked neatly, as any proper pony would wont to do in a warehouse. A couple of the stacks are more skewed, and with proper light shining, the floor would reveal quite a few scuffmarks. Several lines in the blown-in dirt and dust that oft collects on a warehouse floor show where the door was busted in, where Harbor Guards and Batpony Guards tussled about, and where the bag full of foal was discovered.

But those aren't all! Beyond the ring of boxes that make up this initial entryway, several 'paths' lead further into the cluttered space. Most of these seem more or less normal. Dirty hoofprints leading in and out. But one trail is off. It has more scuff-marks than the others. As though a pony was dragging something through that area, towards the back of the building.

Lavender sets the lantern down again to get a good look at all the paths, crouching down low and peering along them, hunting for more clues. When she finally picks it up again, it's to follow that drag-path, deeper still into the building and farther from any exit.

The scuffmarks lead through several 'towers' of boxes and junk, each one more messy than the last. How could the owners have been so careless with their things? By the time the other end of the warehouse is dimly in view by that lantern, there's nothing but an endless pile of…stuff. Not just baking stuff either. Little trinkets. Shiny objects. Marbles. Glittersand. Snowglobes…

A circular pile that creates a sort of cul-de-sac in the back corner of the warehouse, that's what this is. Right in the middle of it all? A small pile of gold coins, with a shiny sucker sitting on top of it. A red sucker that has left a faint cinnamon scent in the still air.

The filly pauses and stares at it from a distance, before asking aloud, "What?.." Then she slowly approaches closer. Never mind the candy; what is all the gold doing here? She glances left and right suspiciously, but her greatest worries are about the guard outside at this point as she reaches forward to pick up one of the gold coins—just to look at it, she tells herself absently…

It sure feels like a gold coin. Sufficiently heavy, but (recently) shined to a sparkley gleam. It's not a very big pile of coins, maybe twenty or so, but that one sure feels authentic!

Lavender hefts the coin, and peers at the others, chewing at her lower lip, then eventually abandons the pile (dropping the lone coin into her saddlebag) and starts looking around the other strange shiny things and knicknacks. Circling around and around, she sets down the lantern. Finally, curiosity gets the best of her and she picks up the sucker—"Why would anyone leave this here?"

It's a pretty typical sucker. Pretty big for a sucker, as a matter of fact. Easily three times the size of one of those coins in diameter, with a very shiny wrapper. It also resists being picked up, lifting all of an inch away from the pile. The reason for this appears to be a little string tied to the base of the sucker, leading back into the pile of gold coins.

String…?

She doesn't pull for long before her eyes widen and she lets go. "W-who's there? Is this some kind of trap?" Lavender steps back away from the pile of coins…but curious and confident, she draws her wooden sword and uses it to push the coins out of the pile they're in, seeking to uncover what the sucker is attached to.

Silence.

For a long moment there's nothing but silence. Then… The sound of something shifting, and a tiny snowglobe skitters down one side of the shiny-thing pile, rolling to a stop next to the coin pile.

That string has been threaded through a staple in the ground, and very carefully covered with dust to keep it from being normally detected. If this isn't a trap someone has a very odd way of making string-art.

The filly frowns and circles the scene, crouching low and peering at the floor. Could there be…a trapdoor here somewhere? She scuffs her hoof at the ground, pawing for secrets, and pays little heed to the snowglobe.

Secrets… Well the dirt is easy to paw at, and there's plenty of wood underneath! But nothing that jumps out as a possible hinge, or handle, or separation of the planks. Wait… The edge of…something is almost completely covered by a pile of shiny marbles. It's an indent in the floor. A very small, subtle indent, but it could be the corner of something bigger!

The barely audible sound of a 'hss' sneaks into the air, but it's difficult to tell exactly what direction… This warehouse has a pretty decent echo.

Lavender jumps a couple inches as she thinks she hears it, and strains to make out what it is or where it's coming from…but looking left and right, it must just be more of the junk pile shifting, right? She brushes the marbles aside with her sword and peers intently at that indentation, then uses the sword tip to try and pry at it.

Tink, tink, tink! Moving the marbles reveals a definite seam in the flooring, but it's difficult to get that wooden sword any leverage to pry it with. It feels as though maybe with a little more effort, or maybe this isn't the actual front of the trap door, or…

Another soft 'hss' sound. And then…there's the sound of a 'click'. The audible 'click' of some catch or another releasing echoes throughout the warehouse! A moment later come a series of other sounds: Something like rope zipping through a pulley at high speed, the whistle of something big falling… It's a cage! A big metal cage, dropped from the ceiling of the warehouse, landing with a mighty SLAM to the shiny-covered floor!

But was the little filly standing where she could be trapped by it?
[Newbie] Camilla says, "I think that Starbright needs more grifflets!"
[Newbie] Trixie says, "silly camilla, this is ponymush not griffonmush"

Lavender shrieeks and jumps backwards as a cage wall drops down in front of her!—just in time to realize that she's actually inside the cage. She drops her sword in the process, outside the bars no less, and rushes to try and scrabble to get it back; her lantern is likewise out of reach. "Hey, heeelp! Somebody help!"

Hss, hss, hssss! It almost sounds like laughter. Coming closer! Closer!! CLOSER!!! And then it stops.

*CLANG* Hooves land atop the cage, ringing the metal bars as a dark figure hops off his landing point, twists about, and re-plants his hooves on the ground proper. A pea-green pony, with purple muzzle and hooftips, and a bright sky-blue mohawk mane and goatee. His eyes are red, practically gleaming in the light given off by the nearby lantern, and very reptilian in nature.

Oh, and he's got a pair of leathery wings.

"Boo!" he shouts into the cage with a heavy, raspy voice. "Haahaha! And they told me you Harbor kids were s'posed to be difficult to catch!"

The filly scrabbles frantically and manages to grab her woefully wooden sword, pulling it into the cage with her and fumbling around to point it at her assailant. Given the total lack of room to work in, it's not very effective. Her screams do, however, turn into a kind of dumbfounded stare; "Who…Who /are/ you?" A shudder runs through her.

"Oh nopony of any consequence." the curious figure mentions, eyes lingering on that wooden sword. "Heh. Cute, kid. You s'posed to be some kind of pirate? I guess that makes me a pirate hunter then!" He takes a step back, flopping backwards into the pile of shiny objects, sending several of them skittering across the floor. Right next to where the filly had been digging out the trap door, no less! "The name's Snakebite, kid. Not that it matters none, where you're going I'm the least of your worries."

Lavender jabs her sword through the bars but can't get a good angle. "Snakebite? Is that supposed to be some kind of…evil villain name? You know there's someone right outside, right? Guaaard! C'mon, halp!" Then she pouts angrily at the batpony.

"Oh guards, Guards!" Snakebite puts a leg over his eyes, his other forehoof flailing, "Come save this poor, pitiful little filly from the horrors that await her! Oh boo hoo hoo hah heheheheh!" the pony doubles over laughing, kicking a few more of those shiny marbles around. Then he springs up, perching atop the cage nimbly. "It's not a villain's name, kid. It's /my/ name, and by amazing coincidence, my specialty." He glances down into the cage. "The guard's asleep because I put him to sleep. He won't be waking up…"

A gust of air blows into the cage as Snakebite flits up into the rafters of the warehouse. Still talking, no less! "Keep yelling if you want though! The more noise you make here, the less you'll make for your new owners after you wake up."

The filly snarls, furious, now that it's clearly no kid's game to play around with. "New owners? What exactly do you -nnf- plan to do with me?" The grunt of effort is her wedging her sword under the bottom of the cage and trying to pry it up, though there's not much to get leverage with. Not much at all.

Swoosh! The sound of displaced air heralds Snakebite's return, now with an Aussie hat and a bandolier with little darts lined across it, a blowgun holstered around one foreleg. "Me? I'm gonna put you to sleep. It's the nice, friendly ponies I'm gonna hand you off to that's gonna put you to work. But you look like a strong little filly. I'm sure you'll do a great job." He plucks a dart from the bandolier, beginning to load it into the blowgun. "Now hold still…" he mumbles, muzzle turned up in a grin.

Well, ponyfeathers. Her sword's stuck. Lavender grimly faces her fate, glowering at the batpony and the darts that she's now quite familiar with herself. "Oh, bite me."

"That's the point, kid." Snakebite murmurs, blowgun ready. Ptui! One sleep-drug dart, for one pirate filly! "Nightynight!"

And with a direct hit, Lavender blinks, looks down at the dart, looks back up at the batpony, then her legs all go wobbly and she falls over quite asleep.