Shadows Of The Past
IC date: Winter 20
OOC date: 08/01/13
PCs: Stormdancer, Rising Chaos
NPCs: None
GM: None

The fields around town are wide open and inviting. Even in the hard weather they are a ncie place to reatreat and do things you would rather do alone. For one mare, solitude is exactly what she needs. Her task is a little embarrassing, and very difficult.

Rising Chaos is going to get her magic back. She stands in a field with several instruments around her, as well as several of her preactcie balls. There's a look of deep concentration on her face as she closes her eyes and tries hard to make the magic work. It's been too long, she's tired of this nonsense.

Naturally, if Rising's trying to do something tricky, her nemes- err, foil- err, /former assistant/ has to come along to ruin everythi- complicate! Complicate things. Stormdancer's flying along close to the ground, where the air currents -aren't- busy going crazy (and blowing in the wrong direction). On spotting the unicorn, she veers in that direction, slowing down on her approach. She starts to say something- but, ohhh. This looks like Rising is trying to concentrate! She'll just hover behind the unicorn quietly. Waiting.

The effort is useless, no matter how much she concentrates nothing is happening. Rising Chaos moans with frustration ad opens her eyes. "Why doesn't it work?" she yells, kicking over a table. She sits down in the dirt, fuming.

Stormdancer rears back a bit in midair before settling down. "Why ain't what workin', Risin'?" she asks- well, mildly, from behind the other mare. At a surprisingly close distance. Maybe she's part owl or something!

Rising-Chaos whirls around in panic, somepony got too clsoe. She let her guard down, she's in danger, this pony is… Stormdancer, it's Stormdancer. this isn't necessarily better, mind, just less dangerous. "My magic, it's not working." Stomping the ground and kicking another table over, because she can. "It's maddeningly frustrating."

Stormdancer nods as Rising flips another table, watching it topple, before looking back to her and settling onto the ground. "Not workin' like, normal not workin'? Or worse?" She blinks, stepping closer. "Somethin' new 'appen?"

Rising-Chaos frowns, apprently she hadn't told the mare yet. "Not working like I can't use it at all. It's the first time in my life when I've been completely cut off from magic. It's the worst feeling ever." Her voice drops to sound more sincere, a hint of sadness. "I lsot it when I oevrexerted myself on the beach that one night. It was worht it."

Stormdancer gets a brief look of horror on her face, before immediately trotting up to Rising and giving her a big ol' hug, wings included. And a little light snark, just in case the mood was getting too sappy: "Didn' think Patch was -that- 'eavy."

Rising-Chaos hugs back without hesitation and gives a little chuckle. "Yeah, turns out while her flanks may not be /that/ big, they were too much for little old me." The hug does wonders for her mood, making her feel safe and happy. "Thanks Stormdancer."

Stormdancer gives a wry smile to Rising. "'s nothin'- I recall a bit've what't must be like, losin' yer magic." She eases up on the hug, though not entirely letting the other mare go- More of just scaling it back a bit. "Any've th' othe' magicky-sorts been've any use?"

Rising-Chaos is secretly glad ot be let go of a bit, the hug was ncie but very, very awkward. Things she'd rather not think about but really SHOULD think about. Instead she latches on to the convienient topic. "None of them understand, and I cna barely go and tell them. 'I'm so weak that when I cast a few spells I overexerted myself so much I can't use my magic any more.' I would look like an idiot. Which to be fair, I am. I think I cna feel it trying to come back though, it's why I'm out here."

Stormdancer gives Rising a light bonk on the shoulder. "Ya burnt out tryin' ta 'elp somepony. Can't nopony fault ya fer that. - Mebbe fer -who- ya were 'elpin', but that ya were 'elpin', nah." She finally releases the unicorn, stepping back and looking over the now-scattered array of supplies. "- Sa, there anythin' ta this ya need a 'oof with?"

Rising-Chaos smiles, remembering just who she was saving. She smiles shyly and scuffs the ground. "I guess you're right." The scattered supplies and the like she dismisses with a wave. "This is all garbage, only thing I need to get over this is here." She points a hoof at her head, then her horn. "And here. I could use a break though, it's been like this for a long time and I just need to relax, I think."

Stormdancer hrms, rubbing her chin with one hoof. "Well, d'pendin'n th' type've relaxin' yer lookin' fer… Don' think they've got th' Lusty Seapony back up 'n runnin' yet…" She makes a face. "- Though considerin' recent 'vents, mebbe nah, e'en 'f they were open. Lessee… Ya don' really drink…" A look over at the unicorn. "- 'less ya gone'n picked up some new 'abits?"

Rising-Chaos blushes and scampers back at the mention of 'the lusty seapony'. "N-n-no! That's not what I had in mind! I just wanted to chat, spend some time outside. Though I have taken up drinking as an option." The embarrassment is clear on her face.

Stormdancer snickers briefly, sharing a small smile. "Didn' reckon't'd be on yer list anyways- Just missed gettin' a rise outta ya." She glances up at the sky, then back at Rising. "Well'n, wanna see'f Champagne Bay's willin' ta let me back in yet? Gettin' ya a round's th' least I coul' do fer ya."

Rising-Chaos smiles, that sounds, nice. Despite her relunctance to go in to bars in general, perhaps just this once she can make an exception. "Sure Stormdancer, I'd love to." A quick gaze is run over her supplies, only the magic balls are packed in to her bags. "This stuff if garbage anyways, any pony is welcome to it."

Stormdancer perks up! Then glances back towards town, thinking. "… Then 'gain…" And back at Rising, with an uncertain smile. "- Still got a decent 'mount back't m' camp, 'f ya don' mind a bit've a walk. An', um, if'n ya wanted ta see th' place."

Rising-Chaos is interested, very interrested by the offer. Mutely, she nods at Stormdancer, her expression curious. What could this mean? Is this a sign of acceptance or a trap? She remmebers herself enough to be polite. "It would be an honour, Stormdancer. Let's go."

Stormdancer changes direction! Rather than looking back towards town, she points to the north of it- Towards the Wintersong. "This way'n! Ain't ta far in- Just 'nough ta where somepony who's lookin' fer it woul' be like ta miss't." Taking the lead, she chuckles. "Prolly don' need ta keep't there na more, but's a nice spot."

Rising-Chaos follows the pegasus willingly. Rising has figured that even if it is a trap, well, she deserves it. "you seem to have taken precautions Stormdancer, very nice. Having a little forest retreat is a nice idea." She shivers as they come under the leaves of the forest, it's hard not to remember the unpleasant things that have happened to her in here.

The pegasus hehs softly, leading Rising on a fairly circuitous route. It's certainly not the easiest path to take, despite making use of the occasional natural trail. "Wish I 'adn't felt th' need fer't, but…" A shrug. "Gives me a 'scuse ta keep m' old trainin' from goin' rusty, 'leastwise."

Rising-Chaos continues to follow the mare, fairly sure she's not taking the 'direct' route, but understands. "Practice and caution make perfect. I am happy you're safe, and even if you do feel the need for it, at elast you've found it." Her tone reveals absolutely nothing at all, despite the raging emotions inside her. "Speaking of which, why do you feel the need for this camp? Something tells me there's another reason."

Stormdancer glances back at Rising with a Look. "'tain't obvious? Th' reason's pink, 'bout two shoulders tall, an' weren't nearly as threatnin' when draggin' 'er up from th' beach." She takes a moment to flutter back up over the unicorn, muddling the join of their path with the trail they were on previously, before going back to leading the way deeper in. "Picked up th' basics an' cached 'em ou'side town afte' th' first time I met 'er."

Rising-Chaos grimaces, that would make sense. "Well I alreayd know I won't be able to talk you out of it, but she's changed. For example, two stallion attacked me and she gave them a light, if hilarious punishment. I don't think she wants to HURT anypony any more." she shrugs, while walking, harder tha it looks as a pony. "It doesn't matter though, I respect your right to live out here." she falls silent, feeling like she did something wrong. Perhaps it would just eb better if she was quiet.

Stormdancer stops in her tracks, wings flaring up as she looks back again. "-Attacked- ya?" She paws at the ground briefly, with a glare back towards town, before calming down. Mostly. "- 'd be -nice- ta believe what she ain't vicious an' crazy na more. Woul' still 'ppreciate't if'n ya didn' share this with 'er, though."

Rising-Chaos shrugs, it doesn't bother her so much any more, or at least, mostly, kind of. "Forced themselves on me is the better way to say it. One kissed me while trying to calm me down, he wasn't so bad. The other one out of spite, which was worse. I've,' she pauses, shivers, then continues. "Gotten over it." Her tone is about as convincing as you would expect. "And don't you worry, Queen Pegasus will know nothing of your lovely little hideaway here, it's none of her business." She gives an encouraging smile to Stormdancer before motioning to continue.

Stormdancer gives Rising a careful look, before patting her shoulder with one wingtip. "Still a couple've stallions what coul' use a hoof'n th' face," she mutters, leading on again. "- Sorry 'bout th' smell," she apologizes in advance of an odd, musky scent that lingers on the edges of the senses. "Need ta git 'round ta invitin' Gravity by someday, but 'til then, it keeps th' critters 'way. Can't really notice't when yer in th' camp proper."

Rising-Chaos chuckles, this si nothing. "Stormdancer, I work in a lab, I have been around things that chemically smell as bad as possible, this doesn't bother me." Indeed, she barely notices it, and trots through quite happily. "A nice little camp, have everything you need. Care to give me the grand tour?" In all honesty, she's just deperate to hear Stormdancer speak and be friendly, be Stormdancer. It's something that she finds herself missing disturbingly often.

Once past the invisible border marking the border of the camp, it -is- a cozy little spot! Build in and around a dense patch of trees, the underbrush has been cleared away and replaced with a soft carpet of pine needles, aside from the center, which is a circle of bare earth stamped down, surrounding a ring of stones that form a little fire pit. Overhead, the branches seem to be exceptionally tangled- Extra ones have been added in and lashed together with the natural growths, and… it looks like a layer of cloudstuff has been layered into it as well, again, aside from a central hole above the firepit. A softly burbling stream provides background ambience (and running water)… It's a rough sort of civilization, but it's signs of some none the less.

"Well, I don't keep a whole lot down't groun' level," Stormdancer explains, gesturing up towards the artificial canopy. "Got m' stocks an' sleepin' space up 'bove, layered inta th' trees." She sounds rather proud, here. "Kin fly right o'er'ead an' na e'en know this place's 'ere, e'en when I got a fire goin'." On that note, she sets about starting one! No fancy survivalist tricks for -that- though- Just some good ol' flint, steel, and tinder.

Rising-Chaos is suitably impressed. She's uncomfortably aware with just how hostile the Wintersong Woods are. If her ex-assistant could build this quaint little place, that's quite a feat. Rising moves over and stands near the fire, wishing she could help, but she's even more useless with her hooves than by doing nothing. "Smart, very smart. You really are a survivor Stormdancer, aren't you? Nothing can keep you down for long." Not even me, it seems, her midn fires at her, making a guilty shiver run through her body. Eventually she gets herslef bakc under control.

Stormdancer chuckles softly as she flaps up to the upper level, slipping through a gap in the branches with a soft rustle. "Dunno 'bout that," she replies, her voice drifting down as she pokes around at her 'stocks'. "Na sure'f keepin' movin' really counts- Don' really settle nothin', just 'voids dealin' with th' consequences a bit longe'. Ah! There." She descends with a wooden cask clutched between her hooves, along with a couple of deep bowls between her teeth.

Rising-Chaos looks straight at Stormdancer, being dead serious. "It's better than taking all of your problem on at once, head on. It's better than hurting anything you think may even remotely slow you down, trust me." After taking a deep breath she brightens up again. "now about that drink, I think it's exactly what I need."

Stormdancer pauses after Rising's solemn statement. Then she nods, and sets about arranging things by the fire, scooting up a wide, (mostly) flat rock to serve as a table for the two. The bowls are laid out, the fairly strong cider is poured in… And the pegasus hostess finally sits down, looking mostly at the fire as it crackles away. "- Ya e'er think…" She breaks off, taking a slurp of her drink first.

Rising-Chaos takes a seat, not letting the dirt bother her. Normally she would be reulnctant, but this is a special occasion. She watches her hostess carefully, not even taking a drink before she asks. "go on? You know me well, I think often, it's my job." She offers a weak smile, and takes a sip in the hopes of encourgaing the amre. Only barely able to stop herself from caughing at how strong it is, she isn't used to this!

Stormdancer snickers into her drink, settling back and rustling her feathers. "- E'er think what mebbe gettin' zotzed b' that black gem thing were a good thin'? Like… say ya got a broke leg, an' it weren't set right. Gettin' it rebroke- it's gonna 'urt, an' ain't nopony gonna look forward ta it, but… Gives ya a chance ta git it right, 'stead."

Rising-Chaos frowns, looking downwards to hide her expression. That was unexpected, and it hit way to close to home for her to be comfortable. She takes a few very deep breaths to steady herself before replying. "That… Thing, whatever you want to call it, is evil." Her tone is flat, by dint of sheer effort. "It tore me apart, and broke me completely, twice. If I didn't have what I do, I would be lost to madness." Taking another sip to mask the wobble in her voice, she continues. "But I think you're right, it's helped me see just how broken I-" She cuts off, not wanting to continue, even with how she is right now, she doesn't want to shwo weakness.

"- See 'ow broke I was," Stormdancer continues softly, glancing over at Rising. "See 'ow I was hurtin' othe' folks an' m'self by strippin' off all th' lil' lies what built up an' made't easy ta live with doin'." She takes another drink. "Not what it didn' add more've it's own ta replace 'em, but havin' 'elp ta see past -those-…" The pegasus trails off, looking into the fire again.

There are many thoughts and emotions coursing through her head, enough to give her a headache. Rising Chaos can evil feel the dcold grip of the black heart squeezing tighter, being aware of it just makes it even worse. Taking deep breaths to try and control herself, she doesn't even reply. It's hard though, especially without her magic, everything seems to be working against her and this si not relaxing at all. the drink is completely forgotten as Rising just stares at the stone, no expression on her face.

Stormdancer glances over at the stone-faced unicorn again- Well, so much for reaching a heart-to-heart. Her expression falls, then she takes another, much longer, drink from her cider. Muttering to herself, she tops it off from the keg. "'m such a featherup…"

Rising-Chaos blinks, in confusion. Stormdancer thinks she's the mess up here? That's the last straw. She surges to her hooves, growling. Her cup almost falls over, but with a nsnarl a brust of light from her horn stabilizes it. Apparently she doesn't notice she just cast magic. "No Stormdancer, you aren't. You are a fine, lovely, helpful, kind, accepting and gorgeous mare who deserves only the best. Unfortunately, you met me, and I'm a monster." Rising storms around the rock and looks Stormdancer right in the eyes. "All I've done since we met, is hurt you. All I do to ANYPONY is hurt them. It's me, it's what I do, I thought it was okay. To treat ponies as possessions, pawns."

Shivering, the unicorn marches off towards the edge of the camp. "All I do, is mess things up. I can't do anything right. Just when I had a pony who made me feel special, who supported me, who was the first pony I thought I would honestly call a friend, I kicked them out the second they became a problem. I made up all sorts of excuses, tried to convince myself not to care. I failed, it seems."

Rising Chaos breathes deeply for a few moments, trying to regain her composure. "I'm sorry, for hurting you. I'm sorry for taking so much, and never giving back. I'm going to change, then one day, maybe when I am worth something, I'll come and try to be friends with you again. but for now, I wouldn't do that to you." Without looking back she walks towards the edge of camp. "I'm going home, thanks for the hospitality, miss Stormdancer."

Stormdancer blinks in shock at Rising's outburst- The flood of words takes a few moments to filter through her mind and process correctly. When it does, though, she's scrambling to her hooves, getting all het up in response. "Oh, don' ya dare take all this onta yerself, Arcee. Ya ain't th' only'n in th' wrong!" She stomps a hoof on the stone, the clop echoing out through the otherwise peaceful trees. (And also knocking the bowls back over again.) "Ya ain't th' one what wrecks e'ry good thin' what 'appened ta ya 'cause ya can't see a single 'oof past yer nose when ya git some feather'eaded idea stuck'n yer mind. Ya ain't th' one what's made e'ry single pony ya worked fer send ya 'way 'cause they're tired've puttin' up with yer dumb flank makin' their jobs inta Tartaurus 'stead've doin' yer job like yer s'posed ta!"

The pegasus stomps after Rising, rearing up- and descending on the unicorn with another big, all-engulfing hug. … Something seems to be making the other mare's shoulder damp, somewhere about the vicinity of Stormie's eyes. "Ya ain't done nothin' more'n what I'd been gettin' 'afore, Arcee," she continues, slightly muffled. "Ya've just been th' least subtle-like 'bout it."

Rising-Chaos doesn't know hwo to react. She's still furious with herself, and she's right, she knows she's right. There's all this evidence, and it's HER THAT DID IT. Also some of the things Stormdancer says she didn't do, sounds suspiciously like things she did. for the longest moment, she stands in shock in the hug, eventually returning it half heartedly. "It doesn't matter Stormdancer. Whatever else you may have done, you are this precious, amazing mare. I am lucky to have met you, you understand that? You deserve the best." What could pass for a chuckle for a good humoured pony follows. "and you know what? Those things sound familiar, really, really familiar." Her breaths haven't gotten any smaller, but at least she's more under control. "I just hate the thought of you hating me, while at the same time knowing that you should. It's a terrible feeling. So I'm gonna go, and get myself sorted out, once I'm not all emotional, maybe I'll come back and we can talk this out a bit better, okay?" She gives Stormdancer a little pat on the back. "My invitation is still open though, you come by any time, for anything. If you don't want Queen Pegasus involved, leave a letter. I will come find you. okay?"

Stormdancer lets out a long, shakey breath. "I… don' hate ya, Arcee." She gives off a weak chuckle, letting Rising go again. "Didn' much care fer ya when ya yanked m' feathers, mind- but that's long settled." She rubs a foreleg across her eyes before looking back up. "An' I think we gotta 'gree we're both a couple've featherups, then, 'ey? Ya shoul' 'least lemme git ya ta th' edge've th' woods 'fore ya go wanderin' off."

Rising-Chaos smile wearily, that's news that she's really glad to hear. "That was never something I wanted to do, I was falling apart. That wasn't Rising Chaos, trust me." Looking around at the trees she gives a grim chuckle. "Oh I know these woods well enoughg Stormdancer. I ran away from zombie hordes through here, been on expeditions to recover fortunes, it's almost nice to be back. You get some rest, I need some time to breathe." A quick trots forward and she nudges Stormdancer's shoulder. "And as one featherup to another, you stay safe. That's an order." With a wink that's about as reassuring as her non-existant smile, she's off. Rising disappeasrs in to the trees in seconds, off for home.