Rusty Crater Party
IC date: Autumn 24, 2012
OOC date: October 13, 2012
PCs: Skyflower, Seaside-Sunset, Brume, Spindrift, Thunnini
NPCs: None
GM: None

Okay, so there's a big hole in the portside still, a crater in need of repair (and it is being repaired, albeit slowly, the damaged earth and road being cleared out in preparation of filling it back up). And sure, there's still a lot of people missing, which is having all sorts of subtle effects on the local economy. The proprietor of the Mane Event? Gone! Hairstyles everywhere are getting shabby. The local weatherpony? Absent! There's an unauthorized cloud, right now, drifting by! Iron Stock's foundry has had to turn down all sorts of orders, and that's causing all manner of ship repairs to fall behind schedule. Also, the weather is getting cool. Also, pirates and ships being burned.

But that's no reason to fret! In fact, some ponies have taken it as an excuse to party. Why worry, huh? Why let all this get us down? We still have alcohol! Things could be worse! The town hasn't burned down in at least a few weeks!

As such, the Rusty Bucket is the scene of a particularly big gathering today. Lights are strung up along the masts; music plays from below decks, as revelers and drunkards and dancers and boasters and sailors and shopkeepers decide to have an impromptu celebration of nothing in particular except wanting to have a celebration. You there! Are you tolerant of noise? Can you stomach liquor of questionable quality? Do you know any bad jokes or just want to hear them being told? YOU are invited.

Skyflower is not the sort of lady who can turn down a party. Friendly gatherings are very much her cup of tea. For that matter, the cup of tea on the table in front of her is ALSO her cup of tea. One might ask how she convinced the bartender to serve her this at what is clearly an alcohol-centered gatheing, and one is welcome to ask.

It'd be silly to think the twin filly would miss a party; the mare pair chatting it up with any and everypony they bump into - their bubbling chatter having a tendancy to confuse other ponies which results in each 'victim' politely excusing themselves. Seaside-Shimmer looks at her sister. "Something I said?" Tropical-Sunset cheerfully replies. "Clearly note. We're just too much mare." "True dat." a high-hoof ensues.

Also present are Mysterious Wanderers from a far-off land, although the sound of them carries much further than the sight.

Sound? Sound! Indeed, for Brume is present, and that bundle he carries with him- a stringed instrument, a dulcimer for those who are keeping score at home- is deployed on a table up on the top deck of the ship. It's a stationary instrument, and perched on a nearby chair, he works its strings with expert taps of his hooves, rapping out a lilting rhythm that wanders through the din of the crowd like an echo of an older time on clear, resonating notes. It's not THAT unusual to him, but it may be a bit different than the accordion shanties most of these salty sailors think of when they they think of the word "music." They are also on their own to supply bawdy lyrics. Sitting on the table beside his dulcimer is big ol' tankard of something alcoholic.

Spindrift sits nearby, towards the railing of the ship. She's keeping just out of view, listening to the song, and peoplewatching as always. Soon her sea-green gaze is peering through the crowd towards the Twins- there is a face she recognizes, and in duplicate, no less.

Sound carries well, particularly in and around water. Thunnini is relaxing somewhere around the waterline of the Rusty Bucket, give or take a few ponylengths. When at the surface, she sticks to the shadows around the ship and listens to the songs and jokes float through the air; further underwater, she presses an ear against the ship and tries to guess what the ponies inside are up to.

Skyflower perks her ears, listening to the music. She decides to get up and take her teacup somewhere closer, so as to hear it better. She eyes the area around the dulcimer player, looking to see if he has a hat out or the like: busking, don't you know?

Suddenly Twins! Popping up behind Brume and to either side where they loudly proclaim "We know you!" "We totally me the other day." "And, the day before the other day." "One time here." "One time portside." "We totally followed you into the woods that one day." "It was like really cold." "We like it hot." "Hot is the correct aggetive for us." "I completely agree, a perfect descriptor." "Come here often?" "I think you're girlfriends bored." "YOu should really entertain your girlfriend." "Afterall you wouldn't want her to dump you."

Brume does not, in fact, have a hat out. It could be he is playing the instrument just 'cause he likes it. Then again, the harp cutie mark on his hip might indicate he plays because he is compelled by pony biology and its insistence on specialization. In any case, his payment for the music makes itself evident in short order as his Tankard of Something Alcoholic is augmented by a second of the same, the server waving a hoof across the crowd. "From the one in the hat!" Brume looks up with a smile, and keeps playing with one hoof as he raises the second tankard in a toast towards the one in the hat- he isn't sure which one because there are several in hats, but thankfully they are still in the same general direction, so he waggles his drink in that direction and keeps his smile unfocused on any face in particular- before tipping the drink back and downing a good half of it. As he slaps it back down on the table he tucks back into the music with both hooves amd a broad smile, running his tongue over his upper lip. If he's tipsy, his music doesn't show it.

Spindrift's attention shifts, moving from the twins over yonder to Skyflower instead, studying her. It's not a particularly -hostile- gaze, but should Skyflower catch it, it certainly comes across as direct. Searching. Analytical.

Brume starts slightly as the Twins pop up behind him, skipping a note and hastily correcting himself. Spindrift glances towards them with an arch of a single eyebrow, before looking away.

Brume flashes the two a grin. "Why hello again, ladies. I remember you both, don't worry. Did you enjoy the other evening's outing? Quite an expedition, no? Are assassins commonly found in the trees around here?" He keeps on playing, though the song- an ad-libbed jig of sorts, something light to fit the festive atmosphere- shifts into a slower rhythm. "And her? She's not my girlfriend, ha ha ha. Friend, yes, but I'm not her type. Nor she mine, in that she scowls FAR too much."

Spindrift scowls as she hears this.

A loud 'oh' emits from th twins in stereo at which point they throw their arms around Brume. "Well in that case." "You can entertain us tonight." "Since she won't mind." the pair glancing briefly towards Spindrift before nuzzling Brume's neck from both sides. "This has been like the worst trip ever." "Not a great start considering it's our first." "Our friend is totally missing." "That makes being new town extra hard." "Extra hard indeed. "You know, you're right." "She does scowl alot."

Thunnini pouts slightly. That lively music was fun! Just the type of thing to go dancing among the waves with - except that in order to get the right speed for that type of dancing, she'd have to cover lots of ocean, and that would take her away from the music, which would make it hard to dance to the music. Phooey.

Skyflower tilts her head to one side to better look at Spindrift and offers her a charming smile. "Why hello there. Quite a lovely soiree, don't you think? Charmed to meet you: my name is Skyflower. What's yours?"

Brume's music slows a bit more, its focus shifting a bit. What once was a direct, active song, however impromptu, is giving way to lilting, melodic noodling on the strings. It's still pleasant to listen to, at least if you like formless musical ambience, but it's not exactly something you can bustle to. Several patrons notice and look a little crestfallen, though a few who don't exactly care for the music- it gets in the way of a good dirty shanty!- look relieved. Brume sighs forlornly as he finds himself embraced by the pair. "Ahhh, entertaining two fine ladies such as yourselves? You ask much of me, but I suppose I'm up to the challenge." He smiles that polished smile of his to one twin, then the other. "And who is your friend? She's one of the ones who vanished last week, is she? That is a shame. We've seen neither hide nor hair of them since."

In the meantime, Spindrift is losing interest in Brume and his womanizing- not that she had much in the first place. She looks back to Skyflower, watching her for a moment, before nodding her head. Her manner is detached, but cordial enough, and without Brume there to play social tank, she has to step up herself. "Spindrift," she says. "Hello." She glances about the soiree. "It's charming enough." She's flicking an ear as she speaks, towards the railing and the waters down below, and glances out over the edge for a moment with a little furrow of her brow. Seapony sense… tingling. Thunnini must be out of sight, though, for Spindrift sits back up a moment later, turning back towards Skyflower.

A pair of pouts ensue. "Our friend Ruby." "We're assuming she got swept up." "In whatever it is that is happening around here." "We've also entertained the idea that she ran off." "To elope with Kludge - he's missing too, ya know." "The pair's pout replaced with an amused grin. "That'd be aweful." "Only cause we wouldn't be there to catch the boquet." "Yeah!" they agree in unison.

Skyflower sees that her conversational companion seems perhaps a bit detached, bored, or possibly ennui-ridden. "Oh come now, don't be like that. Enjoy yourself! This should be fun, don't you think? Why, later tonight I was hoping to-" she pauses, then shakes her head with a slightly impish smiile, "Oh but that would spoil the surprise."

The lack of danceable music and the mild sounds of disappointment give Thunnini an idea. Swimming underneath the anchored ship, she starts playing the keel like an oversized hoofdrum, beating a jig-like beat. Maybe that will help the ponies dance!

Spindrift's expression darkens. "It's hard to enjoy myself, knowing that there are several residents of this town missing, perhaps for good. Frankly I am surprised more of you Harborites aren't concerned about it. Then again, you…" She drifts off, then sighs, releasing a bit of that pent-up frustration with a shake of her head; her surly glower relaxes and she regards Skyflower evenly for a moment. "… what are you planning?"

Over yonder, Brume takes a moment to gracefully draw off his tune, then pushes his instrument back across the table for now as one might push a plate away after a meal. He picks up one his Tankards of Alcoholic Something and takes a quick pull before turning to smile to the twins once more. "Then let us hope that is all that happened- and that send word to you both, not only that they are hale and healthy, but that you are invited to the wedding." He reaches out with his freed hooves to hook his forelegs around the twins, looping his long legs about their middles in a loose drape. "So what is it you ladies do? Besides practice how to finish eachother's sentences so skillfully, of course."

A few ponies belowdecks hear the drumming through the ship, and decide to go with it, dancing about in a manner both enabled and hampered by inebriation. Someone with an accordion picks up the tune and starts playing along. The sound and the rhythm filter up through the decks, until a group on the topmost deck is dancing along as well. It's a dance sustained more by the percussive beat of hooves against the ship's worn wood than any driving melody, such that soon the whole ship seems to gently throb and creak in time with the tune.

Skyflower does look a little glum when that's brought up. "It IS troubling, but I'm sure everything will work out. This town has faced…" she thinks, "well, no, not worse but it HAS faced plenty of terrible things. I should know: I grew up here. But we'll find a way to solve things, and in the mean time there's nothing wrong with keeping a chin up, what?"

The question only causes her to smile a little more. "Just a little display, love, nothing more. We all have our hobbies."

The twins beam proudly. "We don't pratice." "It just comes naturally." The stop to ponder this as if it's never come up before! Each turning to look at their own cutie mark then the other's. "We just think alike." they reply in unison before blushing just a tad - seemingly embarrassed now that somepony pointed it out - a moment later they beam cheerfully. "It's totally cool though." "Totally, we're never lonely." "Well, almost never…" a pair of very suggestive glances thrown Brume's direction as he holds the twin's waists, accompanied by a fit of giggles.

Thunnini grins. Yay, she started up more dancing music! She starts drifting her drumming further up the hull, swimming under the keel as she goes from port to starboard and back, going so far that her hooves even get above the waterline. This percussion keeps going as she wanders from fore to aft and back, her zigzagging trail criscrossing underneath the tavern-ship.

Brume glances between the twins as they talk, at first smiling to see them suddenly so self-conscious about their twinny mannerisms, and then laughing aloud when they blush, his voice boisterous and good-natured. He's a bit louder than usual, in fact. Maybe the drink is to blame.

Spindrift listens to Skyflower's words intently, once more adopting an analytical eye as she watches the unicorn. She nods slowly in response to Skyflower's explanation, though she doesn't appear to be quite convinced. "I hope you're right, then, Skyflower," she says. "And that -everybody- who is missing is returned to those who are expecting them." Sitting up, she rises from her seat and stands instead, giving her a better view as she once more looks over the edge and towards the water below- longer this time, searching something out.

Her standing is timely, as a moment later her chair is nabbed and dragged close to the table, as Brume sits up, releasing the twins and hooking a pair of chairs to drag them close to the table. His side, it should be noted, flanking his own. "Why don't you ladies sit down and join me for a bit, hm? Can I order you anything to drink?" He nods to his instrument. "Have any requests, maybe?"

Skyflower pouts a little. That didn't exactly go swimmingly. Ah well. She takes a seat and listens to the music some more for the time being.

Seaside-Shimmer and Tropical-Sunset gently nudge Brume. "We need drinks too you know." "Yeah, something fruity." Seaside nods in response to Sunset's reply for something fruity. "Sweet." "Fruity." "A little alcohol." "A lot of fun." the pair grinning broadly. "We'll tell you exactly what we do." "Once we have our drinks."

The pair join Brume at the table at his invitation.

The wandering rhythm down below, wandering the ship as Thunnini raps on the hull in a circuit, is a little confusing to the revelers inside. With no real idea where the drumming is coming from, everybody just sort of assumes it's someone else around them, and then across the room. This in turn inspires the crowd below decks to gradually separate into two sides- one stomping and dancing in tune with the beat in turn, before it wanders to the other side of the ship, the opposite team taking their turn. It's like a dance off, except everybody is tipsy and people switch sides fairly often. Every now and then a roar of approval and hoof-stomping applause rises from belowdecks, as someone pulls off a particularly impressive move, or falls on their bonker in a particularly entertaining way. Though anchored as it is, the ship begins to creak back and forth with a subtle motion, just a slight bobbing.

Thunnini is grinning from ear to ear. The landponies seem to be enjoying her drumming, and it's encouraging her to get more creative. Every so often, when she approaches the waterline, she swims upward with a vertical current giving her a speed boost, then runs her hooves up the side of the ship as she goes clear of the water. As soon as she splashes down in the sea again, she then drums her way to the other side of the ship.

Brume nods, and waves a slender hoof, flagging down a waitress. "A pair of rum swizzles for my friends, here. Heavy on the sweet." As she bustles off to fetch the drinks, Brume turns his attention back to the twins. "Well, then, I'll just have to hope she gets back soon. Where are you two from, then? Can you tell me that much, or does that, too, only come with ordering you something?" He smiles in his handsome leading man fashion between the two of them, never really seeming to address one or the other but address them in unison.

Spindrift glances towards Skyflower, but if she's put off by how she put off the unicorn, she doesn't show it. She does furrow her brow with a small measure of alarm at the glimpse of Thunnini's fins poking above the waterline for one brief, percussive moment. Spindrift's lips draw in a worried frown. She glances up again, back at Skyflower, and hesitates before speaking up. "You've lived here your whole life?" she asks. "Do you… have you ever known any sea ponies to visit this town?"

The pair seem more inclined to chime in together for somethings including their reply "Marehattan." Seaside continues. "We grew up in what some ponies might call the bad part of town." "We were Two Bad Mares from Marehattan." They grin "We ran into Ruby one night." "She help set us straight." "Got us enrolled in beauty school." "Really turned things around." Who could imagine these two as punks with leather coats and chains? "She didn't hang around though." "Ponies suggest she doesnt' hang around." "Which is why we're worried she left." "Totally worried."

Down below, the DANCE BATTLE continues, with neither side gaining the upper hoof and no real point other than the simple fun of the back and forth rhythm of it. A few start to find the increasingly distinct sound of Thunnini's drumming curiously unusual, glancing up from the party belowdescks to follow the sound with their eyes, but c'mon, they're just imagining things, surely! It's not like there's someone OUTSIDE the boat, tappig on it from out there. That would just be silly.

Except a few ponies up top, listening to the alternating noise down below and feeling the ship gently rock beyond the mere play of the calm evening waves, start to wander back and forth, trying to see where that noise is coming from. Of course, by the time they get to the edge and peek downward, Thunnini has already come and gone, making her way back over to the other side, just in time to surface and drop back down before the curious ponies up top can see her.

And now for another variant! Thunnini starts swimming laps around the ship, hooves galloping along the curve of the hull to maintain the percussive rhythm. She is *completely* enjoying herself here!

Brume listens with a slight smile, and if his raised eyebrows and incredulous blink is any indication, is surprised by why he hears. "Manehattan! Truly? Remarkable, then, that a pair of roses as lovely as yourselves have arisen from such an upbringing. This Ruby has done us all a favor in bringing you here."

About then the waitress returns with a tray balanced on her head; she stops near the table to reach up and bring down two drinks with a warm and rummy sort of concoction inside, and little cherries in there amidst the ice. One is set before each of the twins before the waitress withdraws. "Ahhh," says Brume. "Your drinks. Lovely. That means you're free to answer: if you went to beauty school, I can only imagine you're beauticians now?"

Spindrift is soon one of those ponies trying to look over the edge of the water, though while others are motivated by idle curiousity, her concern seems real. She glances at Skyflower, who seems lost enough in the festive atmosphere she missed Spindrift's question, before sitting up and wandering to the stern of the ship, peering down over the edge of the forecastle. Sure enough, there's that seafilly from last night. Biting her lower lip, Spindrift turns away, glancing about at the other ponies, trying to see if anybody else has seen Thunnini below.

Brume listens with a slight smile, and if his raised eyebrows and incredulous blink is any indication, is surprised by why he hears. "Manehattan! Truly? Remarkable, then, that a pair of roses as lovely as yourselves have arisen from such an upbringing. This Ruby has done us all a favor in bringing you here."

About then the waitress returns with a tray balanced on her head; she stops near the table to reach up and bring down two drinks with a warm and rummy sort of concoction inside, and little cherries in there amidst the ice. One is set before each of the twins before the waitress withdraws. "Ahhh," says Brume. "Your drinks. Lovely. That means you're free to answer: if you went to beauty school, I can only imagine you're beauticians now?"

Spindrift is soon one of those ponies trying to look over the edge of the water, though while others are motivated by idle curiousity, her concern seems real. She glances at Skyflower, who seems lost enough in the festive atmosphere she missed Spindrift's question, before sitting up and wandering to the stern of the ship, peering down over the edge of the forecastle. Sure enough, there's that seafilly from last night. Biting her lower lip, Spindrift turns away, glancing about at the other ponies, trying to see if anybody else has seen Thunnini below. (Re for Skyflower)

Skyflower does indeed seem lost in thought, but presently returns to her senses, following after Spindrift. "Coo-ee!" She calls out. "Terribly sorry, spend half a day brooding in a teacup sometimes, what? Now what was it you were asking? Seaponies?" She ponders, a hoof to her chin. "Well, one does hear stories, of course, but I've never met one in the fins, as it were."

The twins pluck the cherries from their drinks, and reach around Brume to feed their own cherry to the other! A small giggle is quickly silenced as the mares proceed to /pound/ their icy drinks - elicting a delighted little howl from the twins - seems they may like liquor. "Woo!" "Cold." "That reminds me of that time." "That was years ago!" Clearly these two were trouble years back. The pair blink before Tropical replies. "Ruby invited us to work her in Salon." "It was being rebuilt when we arrived." "She said it burnt down." "So that was a shock." "Aside from beauty care we enjoy astrology."

A few ponies have figured out that instead of running around the surface of the ship, trying to catch up with the wandering sound of Thunnini's percussion on the hull down below, they are better off staying still an waiting for the sound to come to them- and they are rewarded for their effort as a glimpse of the seafilly flashes by. Of course they're not exactly sure what to make of what they just saw, turning towards eachother with a blink and talking amongst themselves. The word 'seapony' drifts by on the tides of conversation on more than one occasion, and a few more ponies move towards the railing to peer downward for a glimpse of their own.

Down below, the DANCE BATTLE has degenerated into noise and commotion, the two sides having set aside their differences (those differences mainly limited to physical location in the large below-decks drinking hall). Who won? The bar did! Business is great.

Hmmm. The dancing seems to have fallen apart. Maybe all of Thunnini's moving around wasn't good for the dancing? Guess she'll have to do something about that! Swimming under the hull, she listens carefully. When there seems to be a lull, she drums a distinct pattern, then waits. After a few moments, she drums the same pattern again, trying to see if the landponies will take part in a percussive call-and-response.

Brume glances back and forth, and can naught but admire the view as the fetching fillies handle their cherries and their alcohol with typical teasing class, left grinning afterwards. He retrieves one of his Tankards of Alcoholic Something and draws it close. "Now now, ladies, no need to hurry," he chides with a wink. "The night is still young." He pauses for a moment to finish off that drink, then slide it across the table. "Astrology, you say? Fortune-telling, or are you just the resident matchmakers here in town?"

Although previously, he was content to sit and listen to the pair, he glances up after a short while, looking towards Spindrift. He may be distracted but he catches enough of the surrounding conversation to get an idea for what's going on in the water outside, and his friend's concern is further indication. Still, he doesn't say much for now, limiting his involvement to an occasional glance her way as he once more smiles to one of the twins, then the other.

Spindrift paces about the forecastle, and starts as Skyflower's return to reality spurs her out of whatever thoughtful reverie she had fallen into herself. "No?" she asks, watching the unicorn for a moment. She nods slowly, then. "Do you think there's anything to those stories, then?" She gestures to the crowd. With Thunnini disappearing back below the water once more, the ponies up top trying to see the seafilly are left disappointed and soon turning back to their drinks and conversation and, in one case, armwrestling. Grrrr.

The previous response- a building back-and-forth ryhthm- doesn't happen this time. Maybe everybody's wise to that trick. Thunnini may be surprised, however, when she drums on one part of the ship only for someone to knock back from the other side in a short, sharp, rapping rhythm.

The twins settle back into the seats to admire their half-full glasses - heeding Brume's advise they begin to nurse the cold, fruity drinks in a more lady-like fashion. "Astrology just comes naturally." "A bit of an oddball skill." "It can be useful." "A omninous star alignment on the night of the explosion." "A alignment suggesting new meetings." the pair grin broadly. "We enjoy watching for signs."

Skyflower says "Why of course I do!" She puts her hooves on the railing, looking out over the harbor. "Think of all the different shapes ponies come in, to say nothing of cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and all the other talking folk. If you think about it, Seaponies are hardly such a strange concept, are they?"

Not the massive stomping of hooves that Thunnini was hoping for, but a start nonetheless! She drums back the rhythm that was knocked to her, adding a flourish of her own at the end. Sort of "I see your rhythm and raise you a measure or two; top that!"

"And have you gotten any good readings lately?" asks Brume, gesturing to the open sky above with a hoof. "Anything to suggest what happened to your friend?"

Spindrift ends up at the railing beside Skyflower, looking down into the water once more. Nothing there. She sighs and looks up, towards the horizon. "No, not an especially strange idea. Still, if you haven't actually SEEN any…"

There's no immediate response to Thunnini's challenging drumming. What follows is the same pattern as before, a bit hesitant; the conversational equivalent wouldn't be a raising of the stakes, but a boozey "Uh… what?" Of course, a moment later there's another knock beside the first, as someone else taps out Thunnini's rhythm and raises the stakes with a round of hoofy stomps in a booming percussive beat. Looks like SOMEONE's game.

Skyflower smiles. "Oh, but I haven't seen many things. Why should I doubt something just because I haven't seen it? Perhaps it's immature of me but I rathe think it makes things fun."

Thunnini grins. Someone wants to play! She responds with the current rhythm, using both hooves to get as much poundy power as the stomps - she's only a small filly, after all! She adds to the rhythm with a series of beats drifting lengthwise along the ship. Not too far, mind you, but enough for a couple of steps.

Spindrift grunts softly in response. "Good point," she notes. She pushes back from the railing, looking to Skyflower, then past her, towards Brume. The stallion is finishing off his drink and taking a moment to gather up his instrument, wrapping it carefully in thick cloth and binding it with straps. No indication where the twins went, nor is he forthcoming with the details as he catches Spindrift's look and returns it with a smile. He's looking a little rosy-cheeked. Maybe he's just a bit tipsy.

Spindrift draws away. "Looks like we're getting ready to go," Spindrift says, turning to look back at Skyflower over her shoulder. As seems to be customary, there's clearly gears turning in her head behind her sharp gaze, and a thoughtful pause before she speaks. "Have a good evening, Skyflower."

Once more, there's no immediate response to Thunnini's tapping. Eventually, though, at the termination of her wandering beat, there's a response from a third party- a BANG BANG BANG of something solid hitting the side of the boat. The irritable voice of a crotchety old sailor rises above the din, shouted from belowdecks, and vaguely audible through the ship's hull. "Go 'way! We're not set to push off until the spring comes back 'round!"

Skyflower pouts. "Oh, do wait just a moment, please? Wouldn't you like to see the surprise? You see, I too had been feeling less than spiffing, but then I realized that perhaps this town needs a reminder." She looks at a clock. "And I do believe that the reminder should be ready any moment now." She clears her throat, re-entering the bar proper. "Everypony? Everypony please, would you all leave the bar at this time and wait just out front? In three minutes, I'm sure you'll all understand." With that she starts trotting outside, smiling a self-satisfied little smile.

Well, phooey! Thunnini sticks out her tongue at the complainer even though she knows the sailor can't see her. She then swims away at a few ponylengths below the surface, not coming topside until she's hiding under a dock. From this vantage point, she resumes watching the tavern-ship and the silly ponies on board.

Spindrift lingers, then, watching Skyflower. She doesn't say anything just yet, but she's not going anywhere. Of course, that Brume is heading inside to pay their tab is probably a good excuse to hang around. Increasingly, though, as Spindrift waits, she's looking a little tense, her calm, people-watchy demeanor giving way to an alert and darting gaze, such that while her expression remains neutral, her eyes are that of somepony expecting trouble.

But it seems Skyflower's request worked, otherwise. Some folks don't listen and don't care, but more than a few look up with curious or amused or skeptical expressions and push up from their seats, off of their bar stools, away from the walls to begin filtering out onto the top deck, glancing about. It grows noisier, more crowded, and Spindrift's eyebrows knit together as she glances suspiciously at the warm bodies pressing in around her. A few recurring themes rise amidst the noise: "What's going on?" "Who was that?" "Hey, why'd we come out here?" "Did someone say there were free drinks out here?" "I heard they're closing the bar. That's not true, is it? It's so early!" "Where's the bathrooms? I thought we were going to the bathrooms?"

Brume is amongst the crowd emerging from belowdecks, still smiling in that placidly buzzed fashion. Seeing Spindrift looking increasingly anxious, he clucks his tongue and reaches up to draw one of his cheeks up. 'Smile!' he seems to say with the gesture.

Thunnini watches the ponies pile out of the tavern-ship, her curiosity piqued. What are they going to do, and will there be fun to be had?

Skyflower gestures grandly towards the night sky. "It may seem right now that things are very dark indeed. Our friends are somewhere far away, and travelers have come to our little town telling us of terrible things happening to them and their loved ones. It is easy to lose hope," she continues, as her horn starts to glow a soft golden light, a light matching what seems to be the end of a fuse, which sparks, flares into life and rapidly begins to consume itself, "but I feel that each and everyone of us would do remember that no matter how dark it becomes there is always th-"

Sadly, while her expertise in chemistry is unmatched her expetise in timing speeches seems to lack something, at least in this instance. The end of her sentence is drowned out by a series of bangs, kaboombs and fthooms as rockets launch themselves into the sky in a riot of colors: purples, reds, oranges and yellow. Starbursts fill the night sky one after the other in rapid but clearly carefully-planned succession, building into a rapid pitch until, just when it seems as though the whole night should be turned into dawn, one last salvo goes off, exploding in unison to create a replica of Celestia's own Cutie Mark.

Skyflower coughs when it's all over. "Just a few more seconds on the fuse, next time. Ah well, silly me."

The speech attracts the interest of about two thirds of the crowd- some listening out of interest, others out of politeness, others still because they want to know what all this is building up to. Of course everybody is taken by surprise as the first few fireworks go off- gasps! One fearful cry! Several "What in the-!?"s! After a few moments, though, everybody figures out what's going on, and everybody likes fireworks, so Skyflower has a rapt audience in short order, even the skeptics turned to look up at the bright and festive display. There is ooh and aahing, a few cheers and claps.

Spindrift looks about ready to bolt when it first stops, but doesn't go far when she realizes the -surprise- is not as nefarious as she suspected it might be. She glances about the crowd, over a sea of upturned faces lit in alternating colors by show, Brume's among them, before turning to watch as well.

The crowd's appreciation builds along with intensity of the fireworks- until, with the climactic sunburst, everybody erupts into a cheer, a deep and resonant roar of thumping rocking the ship as everybody 'applauds' with cheerful stomps of their hooves. A few ponies nearby slap Skyflower on the back or direct their applause more towards her than the sky. She gets several different offers for drinks. Spindrift, still standing nearby, watches her, and when the crowd calms down enough, offers the unicorn a nod. "Very impressive. And inspiring. Well done."

"What she means," says Brume, swaggering up beside Spindrift and giving his companion a nudge, "is that it was fabulous. The perfect capstone to an evening of revelry! Bravo, madame, bravo."

Skyflower smiles proudly, nodding back. "I'm glad that you liked it. I only hope next time I remember how long the fuses should be." But she does seem quite pleased, all the same.

Ooooo, pretty lights~! Pretty, explody, colorful lights~! Thunnini claps and cheers from her hiding place beneath the docks. Last she saw, there was nopony over here, and any that were are probably still distracted by the fireworks display. Yay!

"Look at it this way: your surprise was even more surprising than you had planned," suggests Spindrift. She watches Brume for a few moments, as he smiles aimlessly at the lingering smoke in the sky above, before nudging him towards the gangplank. She turns to nod back to Skyflower, before moving to follow her friend, keeping a close eye on him lest he stumble off the plank and into the water.

Skyflower says "Why yes, yes of course. And with that, good night my little ponies. I simply must get my beauty sleep."