Seagull Advice
IC date: Summer 22
OOC date: July 12
Location: Outskirts of Town
PCs: Whirligig Spindrift Sunshine-Stormcloud
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em

A bright, sunshining day, that's what we have here in the ol' Harborside town. It's been so peaceful. So nice. So…close to /normal/ these days, that the general residents have actually started to forget that this is a town where Very Odd Things tend to happen. So peaceful that the biggest news of the day is the approaching wedding! Not that weddings are bad things to be excited over, but it's the only news in the newspaper. One page: "Big Wedding Planned!" Really more of a flier than a newspaper today.

Nontheless! There are three ponies roaming along the residential districts along the Outskirts of Town. City Guards, on patrol for anything that might even be close to going wrong. Two big ol' brown stallions, and one moderately-sized white mare. White and bronze, more like, with the steady thunk-thunk that heavy legs make when tramping on dirt or cobblestone.

Rock'em, Sock'em, and Sunshine, wandering down the road. Rock'em happens to have one of those one-page newspapers, walking with three legs so he can read and hobble along at the same time.

"Y'know that's dangerous, don'tcha?" Sock'em notes to the other big, brown stallion. "Readin' and walkin' like that. Gonna fall down a well or something."

"Pff." Rock'em promptly pffts. Without looking up. "There's no wells for miles around. Or puddles. Or dips in the road. Except that one you're about to step into, Sockie."

Sock'em blinks, promptly stopping to glance down. Indeed! There's a small divot in the road where someone had tripped over, and ended up moving, one of the cobblestones to make a neat hole. Sock'em blinks, steps over the hole, and catches up a few steps to resume marching alongside Rock'em. "How'd you do that..?"

"Talent, my dear brother. And a lot of practice doing this." Rock'em finally does look up from his newspaper. His eyes are crossed. "I can see /everything/!"

Behind the two, Sunshine snickers under her breath, shaking her head. They may be her ex-goons, but they're still as goofball as ever.

Huff, huff, huff! A pony comes barelling out from the woods and right onto the path. It's a shame she wasn't able to see the pothole the stallions had just pointed out to each other. There's no real telling at first what the young mare is running from at first. She hits the divet, tumbling and skidding in a cloud of dirt the rest of the way across the path.

"Get away from me!" Whirligig cries. Who is she talking to?

From the trees, a flock of seagulls floats out like a cloud and starts to surround the pony. She rears up on her back legs and steps backwards with her front legs flailing. Her head is turned to the side with eyes slammed shut as she waggles her hooves to try and get the birds to go away. It doesn't appear to be very effective and she winds up tripping again, landing once more on her rump. The gulls surround and she lets out a squeal.

Earperk! Sunny's the first one to stop and turn at the sound of screaming, let alone running and tripping pony! Sue turns her head just as the poor chased mare trips on the pothole, but before she can even go and ask what's wrong the skies suddenly darken… At least that's the impression one gets from having a whole bird flock pretty much rise up out of the forest and land all around. By now all three of the Guards have stopped, several of the seagulls finding them fine enough perchest with which to surround poor Whirligig.

"What…" Rock'em starts to say. "…Just happened..?" Sock'em finishes, glancing at each other, and then to the beset-upon mare.

Sunshine, however, starts stepping over birds, batting at a few of them with a hoof so she can get closer to the other downed mare. "Shoo birds! Shoo! Leave the poor girl alone already!"

The gulls hardly seem concerned with Sunny's orders. Rather, a few of them squawk at her as if they're annoyed by her presence. They don't appear worried about getting out of her way either and only move if they must.

In the center of everything, Whirligig is completely conceiled by gulls. Where she had been sitting is now a pulsing lump of birds engulfing her. It churns and wriggles around a bit as the seapony struggles against the fowl in an attempt to escape. Nothing happens for a while.

Suddenly, there's an explosion of feathers everywhere as Whirli punches one of the birds with enough force to sent it off like a rocket into the sky. For a moment, she's exposed from the pile as she pants heavily from the excersion of her escape. Wide eyes stare as Sunshine.

Admittedly it isn't every day one gets to see a…pulsing mass of wings and feathers like that. Let alone one that supposedly has a pony inside! Something about the sight makes all three of the Harbor Guards pause. Not that either stallion had made much of a move to help yet anyway. "Oh…my…" Sock'em grunts, making a face. "What are they /doing/ to her?"

Rock'em, his eyes still crossed from earlier, stares in open-mouthed horror. "They're… They're…! I…" He points a hoof! "I think…" Pause. "…I dunno. But it's making me all sorts of uneasy watching. You wanna go grab a drink to wash this out of our memories with?"

Sunshine rolls her eyes. glancing back at the two bigger stallions. "And here you two are supposed to be the /good/ examples now! How 'bout you help her?" But then POW! A bird is sent flying, and the whole flock goes up in a roar! The metal-legged mare drops her front half (those back legs don't let her duck so quick y'know), arms over her head until the worst of it has passed, then she peeks up into a wide-eyed Whirligig's expression. "Uh… Hm. That works! You need any"

Sadly, only a few of the birds followed to find where their pony-propelled friend had been launched off too. The others settle back around Whirligig though this time, they're a little more cautious about swarming around her. They do, however, seem to be gathering the most between the seapony and the metal-legged mare as if trying to keep a barrier between the two of them.

Whirli squints her eyes at Sunshine and tilts her head, still panting a bit from the struggle, "Heeeey…where do I know you from? You look familiar…"
Dark clouds and screaming tend to attract attention. A MYSTERIOUS BLACK-CLOAKED FIGURE WHO just kidding it's totally Spindrift approaches from the waterfront at a brisk trot. She's far enough away that she can't hear the conversation just yet, but she is close enough that she can make out the gulls, and on seeing them, her trot speeds into a gallop. She tucks her head low, hood pulled back from her head by the wind, and looks like she's gearing up to make with the smashy-smashy.

A mountain of gulls is oddly menacing. Sunshine finds herself backing away, veeeeery slowly from the gathering of feathered fiends, having to continually glance around them. "Uhhh, know me? I don't..think I know you? I mean you might! I know a lot of ponies here, more or less. More less than more." She shakes her head. "We're getting off topic! Do I need to start bucking birds or are you alright?"

"Heh, heh. Bucking birds." Rock'em snorts. Sock'em rolls his eyes, rears a hoof back, and smacks Rock'em right upside his head! Hard enough that he does a full head-first wobble, sitting up again and rubbing the spot. "What was that for!? H..hey. My eyes! I can't un-cross my eyes!" He drops to his knees, lifting his forelegs up to the skies! "Noooooooooo!"

Sock'em shakes his head, catching sight of faster movement. "Hey! Sunny! Something incomming!"

Like a tidal wave in the middle of the path, several of the gulls swarm up and ripple towards the charging mare. They're…protecting…Whirligig? At least, that would be how things appear. The bunch has now separated with half between the two seaponies and the other between Whirli and Sunshine.

Whirli nods a few times, "I know you from somewhere! I don't know where…but I do! I TOTALLY DO!" Though, the last time she had seen Sunshine she was still two different ponies. She shakes her head, "It wouldn't really work" and slumps a bit, "They just keep coming back over and over…"

Spindrift raises her voice in a furious roar, tucks her head low, and aims to bowl right through the intervening seagulls! It might be a bit more impressive if she wasn't rail-thin. She doesn't have a hurly-burly fightin' build. But she is, well, mean. Sunshine might be asking permission, but Spindrift is throwing herself right into the business of throwing hooves at seagulls. "Off, off!" she hollers! "Away from her! Away!!"

"I remember your birds, if that counts." Sunshine answers, head turning to catch the rush of the PONY TRAIN! Well, pony-scooter at least. "I just tried that!" she grunts, ducking her head and leaping forth to lend a helping hoof to the dispelling of these winged pests! "Ponies aren't bird-food! Go find something else to glue yourselves onto!"

Rock'em's collapsed into a pile at Sock'em's hooves. Sobbing. Sock'em's just watching the whole scene with the most neutral expression. "They're just birds." he states. "Maybe she did something to tick'em off?"

Whirligig gasps as her jaw drops dramatically. She points at Sunshine, "Wait a minute…I remeeeeeember you! You're…THE EVIL PONY THAT WAS TRYING TO EAT THAT OTHER REALLY NICE LITTLE PONY!" Her eyes go wide, "Can you eat the birds? Would that make them go away? How does that work anyway? I mean…I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to eat another pony let alone all these birds!"

As Spindrift puts herself right into the middle of the action, the gulls swarm over her in a blanket of feathers, squawks, and annoyed pecks. There's likely a few other 'surprises' left by the seagulls in the midst of the attack.
Spindrift is lost beneath the flock. Wings and beaks and assorted grey gull bits, everywhere! A blue hoof occasionally pushes out and waggles around or thumps a nearby gull, along with the occasional shout of anger or pain or a threat, like "Away from here, you feathery fiend!" or "Unhand that! Unbeak that! Whichever!" or "I'll boil you into a stew!" or something.

Sock'em winces. "Ooh. Ow… Okay, I take that back. Them's some Mean ol' birds. Hm…" Rock'em reaches up, hoofing at Sock'em's chest. "Please… Help me…" he whispers, promptly getting another 'thonk' of a big ol' hoof from Sock'em atop his head. "Yer not helping. How's about you do something useful and go get a bucket."

Sunshine blinks at the sheer mobbing Spindrift is subjected to. "…Ugh." But Whirli's exclamation brings her attention, and a very nervous looking face, back to the originally distressed mare. "W..who? Me? Eat a pony? A..hahahah, of course not! I could never do that! I can't..even fight a bird. Apparently. Let alone eat another living creature!" She blinks down at a seagull whom happens to be eyeing her up in a 'yeah, you're next' sort of way. "…You ever thought about maybe asking them nicely to leave you alone?"

Whirligig looks at Rock'em and Sock'em with a wide half-crossed Rodney Dangerfield-esque look in her eyes as she points a hoof towards Sunshine in a 'Can't you beleive this mare' sort of way. She then waggles her hooves once again at the birds around her. They don't really do anything other than squawk a bit. "Of /course/ I asked them to. But, they're birds. Birds don't speak pony. Duuuuuuuhhh"

The fighting from Spindrift grows less and less exuberant until eventually there's not much more than a heap of pecking, flapping, squawking gulls. They get bored and/or decide to go gloat over their victory, and fly away, one by one, until the seapony is left all balled up on the pavement. Her mane's a mess, as is the rest of her, covered as it is in places by seagull droppings.

Except the cloak. That's pristine. It's protected… by magic.

Spindrift picks herself up and scowls from behind a mask of small welts and cuts at the nearby birds, then turns to fix Whirligig with a glower. "Your condition is a blight. Address it immediately. Avail yourself of the local alchemist's resources if you must." She turns to fix Sunshine with the same look. "And if not that, the weaponry of the local constabulary. These disgusting things have overst- hugk- pfft-" She coughs up some feathers and scowls. "… overstayed their welcome long enough!"

"Weapons. Right." Sunshine steps back a few more steps, happy enough to put some distance between herself and the birds. And a pony accusing her of…of stuff. "I think this one's a touch above my pay-grade, to be honest. I don't know if anything short of a volcanic eruption could clear /this/ flock out."

Sock'em clear shis throat, finally stepping up next to his flunkie. Aw, he's so proud to actually have a flunkie! Especially one that used to be his boss. It's so adorable. "Swords. I bet a good sword, or mace, or explosion or ten'll clear this right up. I could go fetch a few things, and then me'n Miss Stormcloud here'll get right to work taking care of your problem." He grins.

Sunshine does not. She looks rather pale at the thought. Then again she always looks pale.

Whirligig gasps at Sock'em. "Swords? What? No! Nononononono. No swords! I don't want to /kill/ the birds!" She picks one up and holds it out in her hoof as if showcasing it, "I mean, they're living breathing things after all!" She gets a pretty grumpy look on her face, "I just wish there weren't so many of them constantly living and breathing around /me/. I don't even like seagulls! They're loud and obnoxious and crazy…not to mention the feathers!"

She gives a glance towards Spindrift as the other seamare is freed from the gulls. "They aren't /always/ this bad. They just don't like it whenever somepony evil is near me." That last bit is said almost too casually. "Besides…how do I even know magic would be able to fix this?"

Spindrift narrows her eyes slightly at the mention of ~evil.~ She's not evil. Nobody even called her evil when she was railing about destroying the town from atop her giant storm tower of doom. The seapony looks away and tries not to sniffle.

Then she looks back to Whirligig with a glower. "Magic can fix everything, if you apply it cleverly enough. Or copiously enough." She reaches up and starts pushing her mussed mane back into place. "Your condition could simply be physical, however. It is an overproduction of certain proteins and bodily humours that causes…" She pauses. "Certain ponies to smell, to seagulls and other simple creatures, as overly fishy." Spindrift hikes her chin slightly. "It could be genetic. If you will not stand for magic, then perhaps a whole-body herbal cleansing, including inside the ears and nostrils. I hear the proper blend only burns slightly."

Sunshine frowns and flicks her ears back despite herself. The gulls certainly didn't mob /her/ like that, and she was evil once! How'd those birds know otherwise? …Then again why should she anguish over not getting mobbed? Emotions are weird. "How do you know magic didn't /cause/ your problem?" Sunshine answers, even though the question wasn't exactly directed her way. "If you really want a non-lethal way of dealing with these pests, magic might be the best way to go!"

Sock'em's head droops. "No swords then..?"

Whirli gets an almost motherly tone about her as she crosses her legs across her chest. "No swords. If you /really/ want to use swords, you could always find a tree that needs cut down…or something." She gives a wise-looking nod.

Of course the gulls didn't openly go after Sunshine. She wasn't the one charging at high-speed towards Whirli! Whirli throws her hooves up in the air, "I don't smell like…like fish. Well…not more than any other pony like me! I mean…I don't /think/ I have much of a fishy smell. Wouldn't they be trying to eat me if I did, anyway? They don't try to hurt me, after all." A hoof is placed on her chin in thought, "I mean…I could give magic a try…but…I dunno…"

"They may not be hurting you, but others…" Spindrift reaches up to touch a hoof to a welt on her cheek, and winces briefly. "May not be so lucky. Also, they are filthy things, and vectors for disease. Are you familiar with Gull Pox? Gull's Disease? Perhaps the symptoms of Gull Toxicity Syndrome?" She narrows her eyes and frowns severely. "It is unpleasant, to say the least." Her expression relaxes. "Also, they poop on everything, and steal food. Just last week I heard tale of a flock of seagulls stealing right from a local food vendor's cart. Criminal!" She scoffs. "Do you mean to tell me you are complicit in such things?"

Sunshine glances sidelong towards Spindrift, standing a little straighter. "She's got a point. You know, the way they all hover around you, you're practically their ringleader. You might wanna do something about them before some hoity-toity government official gets it in their head that you're the problem instead of them!"

Sock'em snorts. "Hoity toity. Around here? Not since that one Princess…"

Whirli waggles a hoof at Spindrift and rolls her eyes, "You're just making half those things up! Besides…the only reason they attacked you is because well…you attacked them first!" She looks back and forth a bit between Spindrift and Sunshine, "It's not like I have any control over what they do. I can't tell them to do anything. I can't make them do anything. They just…follow me! And okay okay…" she makes a bit of a face, mocking them, "I mean, they do tend to swarm around me…but that's about it! If I weren't here…they'd still be eating and stealing and pooping everywhere!"

Spindrift draws a hoof up to her chest and leans back slightly. "That does not mean we should condone such things, nor offer aid or comfort to these-" She lifts her hoof and waggles it at the circling gulls. "… these scoundrels! You said it yourself- you don't even like them. Yet in you they obviously find some manner of comfort or encouragement, or at the very least, a rallying point! Perhaps you ARE complicit. Perhaps they act at your discretion! Perhaps you are merely training them to enact some terrible scheme of widspread lunch pilfering!"

Sunshine nods along with Spindrift's accusations and such. "Mhmm! For a pony that supposedly doesn't like these things, you're being pretty shady about getting rid of them! It would be horrible if you really were the innocent bird-plagued pony you claim to be, and someone decided to arrest you for disturbing the peace with your flock of crazed birds."

Sock'em grunts, finally lifting his head. "…Arresting ponies is pretty high on my list of things I like to do these days. Almost as good as breakin' out the ol' Guard weapons. But, uh…" He squints at Whirligig. "I really don't…think she's doing this on purpose. She's too freaked out. Maybe she's on some kind of drug? That's worth arresting for too! But it comes with a free trip to our local rehab center." He beams proudly. "Did you know Lorelei had us build a rehab center? It's really just a remodeled dungeon, but it's got a lot of taped-together padding just so ponies don't hurt themselves trying to escape while we're rehab'ing them!"

Whirligig hits herself repeatedly in the forhead with a hoof in disbeleif. She grumbles something to herself before finally speaking up. "Of course I want them gone! I don't want to hurt them though! I mean…they aren't actually hurting my or doing anything wrong to me!"

The seapony sighs as she slumps a little, "If I could make them /not/ be pests, I would. Really. But, they're not /my/ birds. They're not /my/ flock. I can't make them do anything. I don't want them to be, either! I don't want to be able to control them because then that means they /are/ mine!"

Spindrift draws herself up and finishes fussing with her mane. She manages to look fairly dignified. You know, under the seagull droppings. She frowns. "Then what do you intend to do?" she asks. "Your desires are clear. How will you pursue them?"

Sunshine, far less covered in bird poop, puts on her most professional posture. "We're just trying to help. And point out the problem with not doing anything. Someone's gonna blame /you/ sooner or later."

Whirligig grumbles a bit more. She looks a bit at a loss for words, or if anything, a loss for ideas. The mare shakes her head and shrugs her shoulders, "Well, I have no idea what to do. Violence doesn't work. Asking nicely doesn't work. Doing nothing does nothing. Like I said…I don't want to /hurt/ them…I just want to get rid of them!"

"It is not enough to merely -want- to get rid of them," says Spindrift. "You must act." She waves a hoof irritably. "Methods both arcane and mundane have been suggested. If even still you remain at a loss then I am not sure what more can be done."

Sock'em still looks hopeful. "Maybe… Maybe if you're in our dungeon and they can't get to you, they'll leave you alone? I promise it's comfortable there!" He's grinning again. "Lorelei wouldn't want us to go hurtin' anypony that didn't deserve a good wholloping. We'll even feed ya!"

Sunshine blinks at Sock'em, but can't add much to that offer, so she shrugs. "Uh. Yeah." She scuffs a hoof into the cobblestone. "What they said…"

Whirligig glares at Sock'em and Sunshine. "You…you're kidding right? A dungeon?" She shakes her hoof at them dramatically, "I'M NOT A PRINCESS! I'm not going to let myself just get locked up in a dungeon. That doesn't solve problems! Besides!" she slumps, "They'd probably find a way in, anyway." Her eyes roll in Spindrift's direction. "If you/really/ want to try magic, we can try magic. Just…no killing them, please?"

Sock'em joins Sunshine in poking at the cobblestone. "Nobody ever takes the dungeon option…" he mutters, poutingly.

"Oh, I don't have any magic that might help," muses Spindrift, casually. "I was merely mentioning it as an option." She frowns. "There is the alchemist I mentioned- Sodium Fizz. There is also a magic shop I run with some associates operating out of Run Manor, on the outskirts of town." She waves a hoof irritably. "Lest you accuse me of having a conflict of interest, I would be happy to at least determine a successful method to rid yourself of these pests free of charge." She shrugs as she lowers her hoof. "If there are other magical options available in this town, I'm not aware of them. There's also a prolonged dip in the ocean- the seagulls can't follow you there. A long enough snorkel should enable you to stick around down there."

Whirligig turns into Whirligiggle, almost falling over as she laughs and snorts at the prospects of having to use a snorkel and goggles. /Surely/ Spindrift is aware that she's a seapony. Seaponies are like that, you know. They can tell their own kind! She finally pulls herself back together, "And when I come back up, who's to say they wouldn't be waiting for me? I mean…they already do that! I go for a swim…and when I come up, they're all floating around like…like apples or something else that floats in water!"

"You go try that magical stuff." Sunshine quips. "I'll see if I can't find someone who knows a thing or two about seagulls to help. I know we have a few smart ponies in this Harbor now, surely someone has an answer."

Spindrift has her suspicions about Whirligig. She's not about to go voicing them in front of a group of land ponies, though. She remains stone faced through Whirli's giggling, and then rolls her eyes at the mention of waiting flocks of seagulls. "Excuses, excuses. Once more, what matters most is not the trials you face, but how willing you are to face them."

Dramatic cloak toss! Fwaaah! The tall seapony lifts a hoof to point it at Whirligig! "So, are you strong enough to take hold of your destiny and shape it- or are you to let these feathered demons dictate your circumstances for you!?" Her challenge might sound a bit more imposing if a seagull didn't land on her head somewhere between 'dictate' and 'circumstances.'

Whirligig shoots a glance to Sunshine and her guards in a 'Please don't tell me she's being real' sort of fashion at the theatrics. "If by that, you mean 'Am I ready to try something new and harmless to get rid of my seagull plague' then the answer is yes." She squints her eyes at Spindrift as if something is off. After rubbing her chin with a hoof, she points at the other seamare. "You've got a seagull on your head."

Sunshine puts a hoof to her mouth. It does look rather silly, dramatic poses with seagulls involved. If it were a raven, maybe that would've been much more effective! When Whirligig looks her way, she raises a hoof and waggles it towards the much more dramatic member of Team Helpful Mares. "I think you're in good hooves now. I mean, if she can't help you get rid of the seagulls…at least she can be their tackling dummy to give you a breather now and then."

Spindrift reaches up and shoos the seagull away from her head, then sets her hoof back down with a little 'hrmph.'

Whirligig giggles at Spindrift then nods at Sunshine, "I guess. I mean…it doesn't hurt to give it a shot." Her mind wanders on that a bit, "Well…I certainly /hope/ it doesn't hurt to try!"

Sunshine's mind wanders as well. Back to an image of a writhing ball of seagull that supposedly had a pony inside. She shudders. "…ugh. Just..fix it. Fix it before they figure out how to ponynap you and fly away." She turns, tugging on one of Sock'em's legs. "C'mon you. Better get back to the manor before.." she pauses, the word sticking in her throat. "..Boss..starts to worry."

Spindrift is about ready to say something like 'sometimes pain is the price we pay for ambition' but decides she's spouted enough dramatic platitudes for one evening. The seapony gathers herself as best one can when bedraggled by a bunch of seagulls. "As mentioned, Rune Manor. Come if and when it suits you. We will have precautions in place to keep the gulls at bay while we work." She nots to the other two before turning back towards the waterfront, since she is seriously grossed out right now and needs to go take a long, salty bath.

Whirligig makes a motion as if writing something down on an invisible notebook with an invisible pen with invisible ink. "Rune…Ma.." she 'scribbles out' whatever she just 'wrote' "Ma…nor…" and promptly gives a salute with a serius face to Spindrift, "Aye-aye! I will stop by when I get the chance!" She waves to the seapony as well as Sunshine and company.

Sock'em and Sunny spare a hoof to wave back! As they wander off, Sock'em leans closer to Sunshine and murmurs. "I think she might be a little bit crazy…"

Sunshine shakes her head. "We're all mad here, Sockie. Where the heck did you send your brother off to, anyway?"


Cue image of Rock'em, his head buried in a bucket that may or may not have been filled with booze at the Rusty Bucket.