Speeches Smoothies And Serenades
IC date: Summer 54
OOC date: August 13
PCs: Mad-Mare, Lorelei, Shiroyuki-Hanako, Amber-Shot, Shanty, Emberlocks, Sadaka, Rusty-Gears, Blackbird
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em, Shorty, Drunk Heckler
GM: Mad-Mare

It took all week, and most of the weekend to prepare…but the Midsummer Bash is now ready to open! The beach has been reopened to the general harbor public, with a great many booths set up along the boardwalk and in the beach itself. Arts, crafts, food, entertainment, face painting, entertainment… And bonfires. Quite a few bonfires set up along the beachfront.

Then there's the stage. A big stage has been set up on one end of the beach, with plenty of umbrellas and towels and such set up for ponies to lounge out in while things happen. Apparently there's musical and talent-type acts set for all week long, but tonight is the First Night. And the First Night requires an official sendoff.

At least, that's what the great coordinator of all this has decided. Who'd have thought that the scourge of the Harbor would've made a great Event Organizer? For that matter, who'd have given Maddie the position if she hadn't Taken Steps to make it happen? Yet for all her dour moods and threats to ponykind, it seems she's taken her job as Watch Captain seriously, and decided this should be extended to keeping the Midsummer Bash under control.

Which means she's got all manner of 'goons' and 'thugs' patrolling the beach to keep the peace, and an especially mean-looking crowd guarding the stage. Because she's planned there to be a speech by official-types, Celestia be willing, and it's almost time… So she lurks, the Mad Mare does, behind the scenes of the stage, pacing back and forth with a clipboard, trying to not think about the angrier voices in her head fighting it out with the 'goodie two shoes' voices so she can make sure this Bash doesn't explode.

Prematurely anyway.

However, everyone knows who the /real/ celebrity is at the beach. Princess Shiroyuki Hanako steps daintily onto the sand, testing it before heading sedately out onto the sand. She's looking decidedly unprincessy today, yet still managing to seem graceful in her big, floppy strawhat, sunglasses, and the light fabric laid over her back and flanks. Celestia forbid that royalty should burn!

"So this is what the common folk do for fun around here? Hmmm… Embershot, be a dear and find a spot near the stage, would you?" she says, flicking her mane and glancing back to the poor colt carrying a pile of blankets, baskets, and satchels on his back.

Big parties mean lots of ponies, and lots of ponies need lots of food. The Midsummer Bash is always a great boon to the proprietors of the Champagne Bay, and this year will be no exception. Hopefully. The yellow bartender stallion from the tavern has managed to get some prime real estate for his stall: close enough to the stage that anypony who gets hungry while watching the show will likely spot him first, and he has plenty of sweet summer drinks and all manner of deep fried whatever-you-can-think-ofs to sell them.

The colt in question is tottering back and forth with such enthusiasm! "Yes, your majesty! Of course, your majesty!" The blankets and supplies piled onto the poor stallion sends Emberlocks staggering through the sand and slipping and sliding here and there while trying desperately to balance it as he passes the bartending booth. "Oh, now that does smell good," he comments with a sigh. "Common food can be so delicious…"

Blackbird, meanwhile, has parked himself on the edge of the beach with his ward in tow — and possibly Rusty, of course — but he's pacing back and forth, a little too nervous to approach the actual festivities just yet. You never know when Mad's capricious nature will turn.

Big parties mean lots of ponies, and lots of ponies mean lots of loose cash just waiting to be thrown into a talented musician's accordion case! After ariving back in town just a few days ago, Shanty has been practicing nonstop for this gig. Through pure charisma, he managed to swing a last minute booking as a stage act (surely the organizer was kidding about the "leg-breaking if you suck" part…), but since that wasn't until later, Shanty decided to work the crowd a bit before the opening ceremony. Having already procured a prime spot along the board walk, he neverously adjusts the strap on his instrument one last time.

Lorelei has settled herself down backstage as well, idly coming her mane with a seashell comb as she watches Maddie pace. "Are you /sure/ there isn't something else I should be doing?" she finally offers, tilting an ear. It seems improper that everypony else should be so nervous when she, the one supposedly 'in charge', should just be relaxing! Because of course she's not nervous at all about the idea of addressing a crowd. Why would that be something to be nervous about. Clearly. :<

Sadaka and Rusty have indeed accompanied Blackbird! Rusty is looking quite pleased to be out and about. No sense holing up inside all the time, right? Right. Nothing says it's 'interfering' to come out and join the party. Surely nothing terrible can happen at such a big, public party thing. …Right?

Sadaka, though, is looking somewhat nervous. Not about the party! More about the beach. She keeps eyeing the waves downshore, keeping to one side so that Blackbird or Rusty is always positioned between her and the ocean.

After checking for the fifth (and final) time that his instrument is properly tuned, Shanty eyes the large crowd. He's never performed in front of such a enormous group of ponies before, but he tries to play it cool. After all, he would have to get used to playing in front of huge crowds once he bacame a famous musician, right? Right! He takes a deep breath, and then begins singing a lively sea shanty while accompanying himself on his accordion.

Speaking of opening ceremonies…

Maddie's pacing becomes slightly more nervous. She'd sent her favorite goons off to find the pony she'd put in charge of speech-writing. Of /course/ she was having a speech professionally written for the mayor to go off of. What kind of politician doesn't use a script? But they hadn't returned yet. For that matter, she'd just gotten word that the opening acts she'd planned on to entertain the masses until the Mayorial Address would not be able to make it.

Something about Ms. Great and Powerful being too busy and important to come to some rural hicksville.

When Lorelei speaks up, Maddie casts her a half-annoyed glance. "There's nothing for you to do until you get out on stage, Ms. Mayor." she replies, her voice slightly edged. "I had a beautiful speech prepared. All that happy sappy nonsense that gets all the ponies teary-eyed and on your side. But they're late… So horribly late… You may just have to improvise." The Mad one squints at her (not-a-)seapony friend. "You /can/ improvise a speech to woo a crowd, can't you? This is your first time actually addressing these ponies. It has to be memorable!"

Blackbird paces back and forth, full of nervous energy, which means Rusty is surrounded by a pair of fretting, nervous ponies. Surely living with Blackbird can't be /good/ for Sadaka. All that mounting stress and panic provides an /example/. And a bad one! But the parent pony can't help it: there are lives on the line. And fun isn't a good enough excuse! But it is! But it isn't! BUT IT IS.

Shiroyuki-Hanako follows after Emberlocks, exuding a powerful air of boredom as she surveys the awed crowd. Her wings flap slowly, gentle enough to spare not a single bit of breeze for anyone but herself. Her gaze casts about the crowd, and settles (frowning) on a pegasus sailor who is…doing /something/ horrible to a box held between his wings. It must be horrible, because it's making such an awful, screeching noise.

"We're running out of cookies?" the bartender stallion says in surprise as he opens a tray at his stand to fry more desserts. "Already? How can that be, they haven't even started yet!" Clearly ponies love some deep fried cream-filled cookies. "Shoot, I've gotta get word to Carrot Corner to send some more down here." He just hopes they take IOUs, after all of his restocking money was pick-pocketed last week he's been running up tabs with his suppliers and is hoping he'll be able to pay them off after tonight. For the moment he is, thankfully, outside earshot of Shanty's shantying.

Emberlocks sighs mournfully. No deep fried cookies for him. The stallion is sweltering and staggering, but it's okay! Because his highness is just so in need of that lovely breeze, and he is but a lowly servant. Finally, he flops down in front of the stage and drops all of his cargo, turning to gaze at Shanty in amazement. "How /fascinating/," he enthuses, ears perked. "What a wondrous instrument!"

There are cookies! The bartender isn't out yet! Don't leave! He wants your money! Nooooooo!

Lorelei blinks and lays her ears back. Improvise? A speech. …She can improvise a /song/. Give her a fiddle or a flute or just call for some singing and she'll woo any crowd. But a speech… that's new. And different. And… gulp. "Well… sure, I… I suppose I can. Of course. Yes." Because that's the mayorly thing to do! To be able to address a crowd.

Rusty blinks over at Blackbird, tilting her head. "Calm down, Blackbird… it's alright. It's just a party. Nothing big going on. Just a holiday. You're going to wear yourself out before the sun sets at this rate."

"I can't help it!" Blackbird replies, as he turns to pace another length. There's a furrow he's walked into the sand. "She's going to see us and send her goons after us. What if she takes Sadaka from me? What if she has guns or something?" WHAT IF THE SUN FALLS OUT OF THE SKY AAAA

"Surely you jest, Emberlocks," Shiroyuki scoffs, standing daintily beside him, her head slowly casting this way and that, "That's the most horrid sound we've ever had the displeasure of hearing something make. Ah…ahem. A blanket?" Hint hint, reminder.

Shanty finishes up his first song to resounding applause. (That, or the hoof-falls of uninterested fair goers passing by.) Taking a bow to his non-existant admirers, he raises his head, ready to launch into his next song, when his ears hear an (actual) complement! He turns with a wide grin to the interested colt. "Why, thank you kind sir! (he tastefully nudges his open case foreward with his back hoof.) I'll have you know that this lovely instrument was invented by the gryphons many years ago!" As he launches into his spiel, Shanty turns to adress the crowd in general, and finds his eyes inevitably drawn to Sakura. "I have managed to become the first pony to master this esoteric relic only through years of training and dedication under an old gryphon maaaaa… maaaaa… maaaaa…"

"O-of course, it is a little shrill," Emberlocks admits in embarrassment. And he turns to /totally/ ignore Shanty, and even flicks his tail up at the thought of giving him /money/. Instead, he plucks up the blanket and noses it out in front of the stage for the princess, carefully flattening it and rolling it out for her and dusting it free of sand. "For you, my queen!"

"It's not difficult…" the Mad Mare says to the fishy Mayor. "Just talk about your desire to make this Harbor the best it can be, or something sappy like that. You'll be fine. Really what they're going to be judging you on is how you handle your first time in front of them. The parade didn't count. It was waving and smiling and there was an…interruption."

Maddie glances past the stage, just /knowing/ a certain pony was lurking in the crowd. Like a great big winged eyesore. So happy, and high-and-mighty-y, and… Urgh.

"Just remember, don't let anything they do get to you. Might be a heckler or two ready to see if you're willing to stand up for yourself. Or your new 'best buddy' might try to upstage you." Maddie turns back to Lorelei, advancing close enough to bow her head down and /stare/. "But this is /your/ night… Don't let them take it away from you. If anyone gets too rowdy, my boys will put them back in their place."

Speaking of which. Amber's stall is getting visitors. Three of'em! Rock'em, Sock'em, and a lanky, geeky-looking stallion that looks like he'd just run ten miles in a desert. "Hey!" Rock'em shouts. "You got anything good in here? We're /starving/!"

Shanty 's mind is a jumble of barely coherent as his gaze is locked on the beautiful mare before him. .oO(Eyes! Mane! Perfect! Dignified! Beautiful! Flank? Don't look! Insult? Forgotten! Lovely! Name? Other guy? Gone. Money? Cheapskate. Shrill?! Blanket? Horn? Wings? PRINCESS?!?!) While this highly intelectual internal monologue is going on, he continues to stare slack jawed at the alicorn before him.

Rusty sighs softly. "Blackbird. It would have been more suspicious for you to stay home than it is for you to /be/ here. Don't you think people would have wondered why you didn't come? Sadaka's friends would have wondered where she was. They would have asked questions, and that seems more like it'd be 'interfering' than you just coming, relaxing, and enjoying the party, yes?" LOGIC.

Lorelei nods slowly. "Right. Of course. My night." Indeed. It's just like putting on a show back home. Just have to impress the right ponies. Right? Right. No big deal.

"You are a saint and a gentleman," Shiroyuki croons, patting Emberlocks' head with a hoof before settling down right in the middle of the blanket. "Now, be a dear and go get us a drink. Cold, but not too cold! And something that won't go right to our royal hips."

It's hard to tell where she's looking, but maybe…just maybe, her gaze fell briefly on Shanty. And…was that a quirk of a smile? Or is it just his imagination?

It's… those useless ponies! The ones who didn't get the bartender his money back! Mumble grumble they better not be hoping for a handout. "I've got all sorts of juices and ciders if you're thirsty," the yellow pony says to Rock'em, Sock'em and their new friend. "It's a little early in the day for cocktails, I'll break out the liquor when it's closer to sunset. Far as food goes, I've got half the stock from the tavern and a deep fryer, so whatever you can think of I can probably batter and fry for you. I'm running low on creme cookies, though…"

"But…sure, that's the /logical/ thing," Blackbird replies, with a goodnatured eyeroll and maybe a little smile… that fades as he leans in, "but Mad's never been much for logic, you know?" Still… he looks over the party, then back at his nervous ward, then over at Rusty. "Well… I guess if it ends badly, we can run like the dickins." Another light smile touches his face, and then he leans down to nose Sadaka encouragingly. "C'mon, sprout! Let's go check out the party!" And, with a deep breath, he ventures down the beach a bit closer.

Emberlocks, meanwhile, bows and scrapes his way backwards, only to bump right into Rock'em. "Ah! Sorry! Oh— this is the place! How are you good sirs? I come to bring refreshments to the great Lady Shiroyuki!"

Both Rock'em and Sock'em grin when they recognize Amber. "Hey!" Rock'em says, turning to his partner. "You solve his crime yet? Deadline's loomin', buddy. You're going to owe a lot~" Because of /course/ he's teasing Sock'em about it. Who was it that pulled out some stupid silly fake pipe and pretended to get all uppity about detective-work when he knew nothing about it? Oh yeah, that'd be Sock'em.

"Shush…" Sock'em mutters, ears laying back, looking all manner of sheepish up to Amber. "We'll just take a couple cookies then. Before ya run out." He glances down to their nerdy charge. "Pay the nice pony, Shorty."

But then they get interrupted! Rock'em doesn't exactly budge much when Ember bumps into him, but it does earn a glance, and then a grin. "Oooh, drinks for a lady huh? Hey, Shorty'll pick those up too. Jus' order whatever the hey you want, we got the tab."

'Shorty', through all of this, looks nothing but nervous. Nervous, sweaty, and about to become many bits lighter before the night's over.

Maddie stomps her hooves angrily. /Why/ aren't her goons back yet? Why? Why have they forsaken her? Where's Trueshot? At least she thought she could count on /that/ pegasus… But there's no time. No time! The Mad one heaves a deep sigh, glancing sideways to the Mayor. "…Welp, that's that. No opening act, no more delays, we best get your speech out of the way before someone starts a riot or something. I'm going to have /words/ with those two numbskulls when I find them…"

The bartender feels kind of bad for 'Shorty' and his wallet, but hey, bits are bits. Doesn't matter who they're from right now, so long as he isn't stilll up to his eyeballs in debt by the end of the night. Although… "Hey, I don't suppose you guys would be willing to run down to Carror Corner cafe for me, will you?" he asks as he begins opening trays in his booth, placing a mortar and pestle on his counter. "If you let 'em know that I need more cream cookies, I'll fry you up some free ones when they arrive. Hey, you, what sort of fruit does your Lady Shoobedoo like?"

Rusty chuckles and follows after Blackbird, giving a slightly relieved smile and leaning down to nudge Sadaka along gently. "C'mon, kiddo. Don't worry, no boats, and you don't have to go anywhere near the water if you don't want to. We'll stay up here dry on the sand." Sadaka gulps faintly but nods, following after them.

Lorelei lets out a slow breath. "Right. How long should I talk for?" Short, sweet, and to the point? Or long-winded and eloquent? Oh, she'd feel more comfortable if somepony would just hand her an instrument! Pity, that's unlikely. And might be the wrong way to impress ponies, granted.

"Lady Who? My good sir!" Emberlocks straightens and stamps, sending his mane tussling. "She is the good Princess Shiroyuki-Hanako! She is grace herself! Beauty in the daytime! A thousand twinkling bells accompany her every word! She is the most brilliant of ponies, the most deserving of love and praise; she brings the sun's brilliance in her smile, and the moon's mystery in her gaze! And I would demand that you pay her proper respects!" STAMP. "…And she likes dragonfruit, as exotic and mysterious as she is."

Both Rock'em and Sock'em perk their ears up at mention of 'free cookies'. "Well. Can't pass this up, can we Rockie?" "No, I don't think so Sock. I don't think so. We'll be right back." Both of the big burly stallion goons peer down at Shorty. "…You stay put. Don't make us find you a second time…"

Shorty gulps, nods meekly, and huddles himself next to Amber's shack. "Y..yessir…"

Then the goons dash off! Presumably to Carrot Corner. Hopefully they don't get distracted on the way.

Maddie nods in approval of Lorelei's question. "I have you slotted for at least ten minutes, but honestly it doesn't matter as long as long as they like it. Heck, you can sing to'em for all it matters. This is supposed to be a fun event, so make it fun!" She snorts, "There'll be plenty of chances for more serious speeches later. I promise…"

Shiroyuki-Hanako tosses her mane in the wind, sending a shower of sparkles all over the nearby ponies. FABULOUS! But where's her drink?? That odd pony holding that screeching box is making eyes at her, and it's making her nervous.

"Hey, you watch your mouth," the bartender says as he points a hoof at Emberlocks. "It doesn't matter how good your dentist is, the only pony who brings the sun's brilliance is Celestia." He reaches into one of his trays and pushes some more mundane starfruit and prickley pears aside. "I might have a couple dragonfruit, we had some zebras in port last week with some unique foods to unload. Does she do smoothies? Or are we looking for something that goes down a little smoother?"

Emberlocks sniffs and tosses his head again. "She /reflects/ the sun's brilliance in her smile," he amends, though he doesn't sound happy about it. "And she seeks a drink that won't go to her royal hips. So something…healthy. But good-tasting! Sweet, like her majesty."

Shanty snaps out of his daze just as Emberlocks trots off to fetch Shiroyuki's drink. Oh, come now, Shanty, he thinks to him self. What could such a vision of perfection want with a (admittedly dashing) street performer such as yourself? She surely must be serenaded by maestros of every instrument on a daily basis, each inspired by her radiant beauty. To even think that she would ever deign to grace one as low born (and handsome) as myself with a…


Was that…

It was! She actually smiled! At me!
Knowing an obvious invitation when he sees one, Shanty begins to walk toward the lovely alicorn on the beach. His feathers itch to play her beauty for the world to hear, but what song would do he justice? Ah! Of course! Arriving beside the princess, Shanty launches into a classic Bitalian love sonnetm sung in it's original language (Or as close as he could remember to what that drunken Bitalian sailor had taught him.)

"A smoothie, then. Half the weight of it is ice, and something frozen'll make sure she drinks it slowly instead of gulping it down and wanting another right away." 'cause if she wants something else to drink right away, she might make the mistake of ordering a drink from whatever stall is closest to her, which might not be the Champagne Bay's, Celestia forbid. "Gimme a minute and I'll have one whipped up for you. That'll be ten bits, by the way."

Says the bartender pony.

Shiroyuki-Hanako must not have noticed Shanty right away, because when he starts up that song, she jumps a little in surprise and she turns her head down to the pegasus beside her. Her eyebrows are up in surprise…and there's the light quirking of a forced smile. "Oh, that's… nice?" she offers, "Does your box make that noise often?"

Emberlocks sniffs and reaches into his saddlebags to toss the bits down on the counter. "I suppose that will have to do. It does sound fascinating, but…" He glances over his shoulder and jumps. A scallywag! A ruffian! A ne'er-do-well! Near /his/ princess?! At once he starts prancing in place, watching. Will he panic? Will she cry? Does her brilliant emminence need help banishing the foul tempter? "Oh /please/ do go faster! It's an /emergency/!"

Lorelei nods, giving her mane a light shake and running the comb through her tail before setting it aside. No need to be nervous. No problem here. She's a performer! This is just another type of performance. "Alright. Entertaining and fun. Got it."

"Go knock'em dead~" Maddie says, behind Lorelei. She may have very well meant it.

With Rock'em and Sock'em gone, Shorty felt no need to chip in bits for the lady's drink. Probably for the best everypony forgot he had been volunteered to pay up! He shrinks against the booth. And debates running. Far, Far, Far away…

Shanty just winks at Shiroyuki, then starts into the lyrics. "O stole a mizo! Storefront a tea…" It quickly goes downhill from there.

The bartender rolls his eyes and crunches up some ice in his mortar ever so deliberately.

Shiroyuki-Hanako's jaw drops open as Shanty goes on, her wings frizzing when he hits a few odd notes. "Oh, erm…ah… do you… ah, happen to know any Equestrian songs?" she asks loudly, hopefully so she can be heard over the crowd. All of whom are starting to giggle and snicker, making the Princess' ears poking up out of her hat turn completely red in shame and horror. Emberlooooocks, where are yooooou? she thinks, frantically looking around for him.

Emberlocks stares, and prances, and prances some more, and finally: "I'll be back for her drink!" and ZOOM! Off like a shot, to skid next to Shiro and pant, "Her Highness requires at least ten feet of space around her unoccupied at all times, with the exception of her royal hoofcolts, which is me, so if you could please, sir, step away from Her Radiance, that would be just marvelous, and it would be better for all involved!"

At some point, Rock'em and Sock'em return to Amber's shack, carrying a few sacks of materials with them. Such good delivery ponies they are! "Hey chief, where d'ya want all this stuff?" Sock'em pipes up, whilst Rock'em peers around. "…Where's Shorty?"

The yellow stallion behind the stall leans over to get a better look at Ember playing the knight in shining armor. Now that he's not actively spiting the froofy handcolt anymore he finishes grinding the ice in a matter of seconds. He swiftly moves on to peeling and mashing the fruit, adding some sorbet and a couple of other filler fruits and puts it together. He wraps it up just about when Rock'em and Sock'em canter back. "Right around back is fine. That ought to last me for… well, at least an hour, I hope."

The question about Shorty draws only a shrug out of the bartender. "Maybe somepony stole him. Wouldn't be the first time a wallet's gone missing and the Watch hasn't been able to find it." He opens one of the sacks and begins unpacking it. "Did you two want cream cookies or something else?"

Lorelei takes a deep breath and slowly moves to step out on the stage, trying not to look nervous. She stepped daintily, movements rather graceful; she had quickly gotten used to moving about on four legs again. The slim pony did indeed have a dignified air about her young self, and was rather eye-catching, what with that faint shimmer about her and all. She clears her throat, looking around to try and gauge how many ponies are present.

Blackbird, who's been wandering with his lady-friend and daughter, looks up as the shimmery pony clears her throat at the stage. The stallion frowns, ears flicking back. "Hey, the new mayor," he comments to his companions thoughtfully.

Shanty can't believe how well this is working! Not even through the first verse, and already the lovely lady is already asking for a second song. But of course, a true musician doen't just leave a wonderful performance halfway done, so Shanty continues to sing the song as faithful to that (drunken) sailor's original performance as he possibly can. Just before he can segue into the challenging and innovative yodeling refrain that unsung Bitalian master claimed to hae come up with on the spot, Shanty is rudely interupted by that other guy! The tightwad with the towel! First he has the gall to stiff Shanty on the tip, and now he interupts a wonderful performance to boot! Shanty puts on his best 'Affronted Artiste" look. "Excuse me 'Sir', But I'll have you know that Her Radiance was enjoying my company just fine! She even asked me to play her another song after the one you so RUDELY interupted!"

Shiroyuki-Hanako lets out a breath when suddenly she has her faithful handcolt between her and Squealing-Box-Pony, shifting regally on her blanket to settle down again. Putting her hoof to her lips, she shushes the two of them before turning her Royal Attention to the mayor on stage. Oh good, a break from the music.

Emberlock stamps a hoof. "She does not enjoy—" Oh! Shushed! The colt immediately plops down, looking the same way Shiro is, ears perked.

Shanty prepares to lambaste the intruder further, but at the sign for quiet from the beautiful princess, he settles down beside the two. (with only a minimum of kicking the jerk in the side when the princess isn't looking.)

Emberlocks kicks Shanty surreptitiously back when no one's looking. >:(
A veritable flurry of descrete kicks are exchanged throughout the speech.

Most of the beach-bound ponies who bothered to set up next to the stage and take advantage of the wonderful shading and free towels are surely paying attention! The ones that aren't, y'know, looking annoyed and/or giggling at Shanty's crooning. Maddie doesn't need to be on stage for this… In fact, it's best if she doesn't make a formal appearance at all. What with the 'being hated' and all. Now that the mayor's on stage, she can focus on other things. Like wandering the boardwalk to look for her stray bodyguards.

Both of which are now in serious discussion with one another at the Champagne Bay's booth, having delivered their goods. They're waiting for their reward, obviously, and totally ignoring the potential speech since…yeah. Security team and all that. They're much more concerned about their missing 'friend'. Really, when did they stop being able to do anything right?

Probably at about the time that they started accepting cookies as bribes instead of coin. "Here you are," the bartender says as he offers Rock'em and Sock'em each a paper bowl of a half dozen deep fried cookies. The crispy, creamy-filled sandwich cookies now have the consistency of delicious chocolatey brownies. "If it's not too much trouble, would one of you mind taking this smoothie over the Princess Shiroyuki as well? Her pet stallion couldn't stand being away from her for too long and left without her drink." He points at Pretty Princess Alicorn sitting on her towel over yonder, then notices that the noise is slowly dying down and glances up at the stage to see what the new mayor is doing. She doesn't /look/ totally plastered, which is new and different for a leader of Horseshoe Harbor.

Lorelei clears her throat again, drawing herself up and smiling winningly out at the crowd. "Hello! Good ponies of Horseshoe Harbor. I wish you all a happy Midsummer Bash! I do hope that everypony is enjoying the festivities tonight, and continues to throughout the week!" She looks the crowd over. Well, ponies /seem/ to be paying attention! "I am very pleased to address you all! I know this town has been through some hard times recently. We've had some troubles and some tragedies. But everypony has pressed through it, and those times are passed. Now is the time to celebrate this tenacity." That's a good word, right? Tenacity. Gee, it's hard to sound fun and formal and dignified all at once.

Shanty *kick*
Emberlock *kick* >(

Some stallion in the audience who clearly didn't feel enough shame to wait until five o'clock to break out the alcohol shouts, "Take it off! Woooooo!" at his beloved mayor.

Blackbird listens keenly, eyes on the new mayor and ears perked. Maybe this mayor will really be better. Maybe not. He doubts it, if Mad put her in charge. He reaches a hoof out to pull Sadaka into a one-armed hug, while stepping closer to Rusty. Just in case!

The shout gets a /glare/ from Emberlocks. How dare they interrupt an official!
Shanty quickly converts his laugh from the shout into a cough.

Maddie pauses in her roamings to peer towards the stage. Okay! That's a good start. Looks like she may have been a great pick for this role after all! The Mad one almost cracks a smile. Almost. But then she spies…Blackbird.

Whom she stares at. /Stare/.

Rock'em and Sock'em are listening too, now that there's Important Words being spoken, and since they have cookies to eat. They sure can't go on a missing stallion's search empty-bellied, can they?

Lorelei blinks and tilts an ear at the shout, glancing back at herself. …Take /what/ off? All she's wearing is a thin belt, holding a shimmering fish-scale pouch at her hip. That's not going anywhere. She clears her throat again, trying not to blush. This must be what Maddie meant by 'heckling'? Hm. "Well. It is my intention to help the Harbor come back from these hard times stronger, better than before. I hope everypony will share this goal with me. You are a strong, spirited town. Together we can ensure that the future of the Harbor is bright. Let this summer celebration be the start of a new and better age! While we celebrate the season, let us also look to the future, and celebrate good times to come. I hope the good spirits to be found this week will continue, and I am honored to be a part of this good town's future." Well! That sounded nice. Humble. Regal, even! Maybe she can be good at this.

Shiroyuki-Hanako ahems at the two petulant children beside her. >:(
Emberlocks kicks Shanty extra hard this time. LOOK WHAT YOU DID.

Shiroyuki-Hanako AHEM!

Blackbird, oblivious to the stare of the Mad Mare except for the prickling on the back of his neck, straightens a little and calls out, "Miss Mayor — what's your platform? How are you going to make the harbor better?"

Shanty glances at Shiroyuki, and then rolls his eyes as if to say, "can you believe this colt?"
and then kicks Ember again as soon as the princess turns her head.

Emberlocks gives Shanty the most scandalized look. How /dare/ yoooou!

It's a good thing Shiroyuki's wearing her sunglasses, because her eyerolling is pretty epic. She turns her attention fully to the stage now. Best to just ignore them both.

Aw geez… Maddie's eye twitches. It figures, the one pony she advises to keep his nose out of everything, whom she's /glaring/ at right this second, is the one that decides to speak up first with questions. Questions weren't part of the plan! This wasn't a Q&A! It was a Midsummer Bash Sendoff. And she's too far away from the stage to stop Lorelei from answering anything, too!

Well, it can't be helped now. It's out there. Floating like a moment of bad gas. Maddie will just have to look for her bodyguards later. She spins about and gets trotting back towards the stage.

Lorelei blinks. Platform? Well, she's… standing on a stage, that's pretty clear what her plat-… oh. Oh! Oh. Okay. Right. Of course. Ahem. She looks over in the direction the question came from, clearing her throat again to buy a moment's time and trying not to appear flustered. "Well. I am… that is, my advisors and I have been… reviewing the town's history and recent records. I am trying to discern where improvements could be made." She had been, in fact! Reviewing the records, looking over town plans. She wanted to be /useful/! And some of it even made sense to her. "The Harbor has a history of troubles with small disasters, harsh weather, a string of fires… looking into ways to counter these, to build up homes that could withstand such little disasters, that's in the works." She pauses, stilling slightly fidgety hooves. That… that's a good answer, right? That's something she'd like to do. Anti-fire. Fire was a new thing to her. Fire was not good! Surely nopony would want more fires. Not in their houses, at least.

"Beyond that… my advisors and I will continue to review records, and receive information from the citizens, and… and try to find what is needed to make life in the Harbor better."

Shiroyuki-Hanako makes a low noise of assent, calculated to be /just/ loud enough to be heard in the pause after Lorelei's words. The Princess approves, apparently!

Blackbird blinks, and manages to look impressed. Quite impressed, in fact. The stallion nods thoughtfully, and releases his stance, looking at the rest of the crowd. Any more questions?

That didn't turn out nearly as bad as she thought it might. Maddie finds herself nodding along with the rest of the town, before she catches herself. … Well! Too late to find a mayor with less sense. She'll make do with what she's chosen. Surely the town could do with some improvements anyway.

Nontheless the Mad Mare returns to the area behind the stage, easing up just behind the curtain Lorelei's standing in front of. Just in time for spontaneous applause, apparently. "Time's up, your Mayorship. Time to take a bow and let the party start. Unless you're wanting to push'em into an impromptu question and answer rally." she whispers through the curtain.

"Wooooooo!" cheers the drunk stallion once more when the idea of continued partying is put forward.

Emberlocks starts stomping his hooves in applause! Woo!!

Lorelei glances back at the curtain, giving a slight nod. No, no… this doesn't seem like the time for such a thing. Not to mention she had no idea what else she would answer to other questions. She still wasn't /entirely/ sure she'd answered that one right!

So she bows her head slightly and smiles warmly again. "I thank you for your time, everypony! I won't hold up the festivities any longer. Again, I wish you all a happy Midsummer Bash! Let the party begin!" With this she bows slightly again and waves a hoof, and turns with intent to head back behind the curtain.

The applause shakes Rock'em and Sock'em out of their silent reverie. Hey, they liked Lorelei. It's just neat to them that she seems to have a good head on her shoulders, and that it's not as waterlogged as they feared it would be. Then Rock'em looks at the counter, and notices the drink. Oops. He nudges Sock'em, who winces. It's probably not so much 'ice' and more 'watered down' by now, but hey. A drink's a drink! So they scoop it up, and trot towards the Princess. "Drink delivery, yer Highness!"

Shanty immediately jumps up and intercepts the burly pony. He deftly swipes the smoothie up in one wing. "So sorry, but her Highness requires at least ten feet of space around her unoccupied at all times, with the exception of her personal musicians, which is me, and hoof-lickers, which is him. So if you could please, sir, step away from Her Radiance, that would be just marvelous, and it would be better for all involved." He deposits a couple of bits in the smoothie's place with his other wing, and gives the goon a swift pat on the shoulder. Turning about, Shanty trots the few remaining steps to the princess' side. With a flourish, he presents her with the smoothie. "Only the best for you, my exotic and mysterious flower."

In a flurry of feathers and sappy language, both Rock 'n Sock are stopped mid-delivery! They blink at Shanty. Neither one of'em really completely understood what all that meant. But the drink's gone, and they have extra bits for their trouble, so… They both shrug.

"Hey, suit yourself." Rock'em says, apparently to Shanty's back. "It's no hair of our hide if the Princess doesn't want official /Watch ponies/ keeping the riff-raff off her flanks. You can totally have that job." The pair trot away back through the crowd. And towards the stage, to finally make their report to their boss.

Whom is welcomming Lorelei back behind the stage. "Very well handled, I must admit! Especially with that troublemaker. I had a feeling he'd start causing problems sooner or later…"

Emberlocks whirls around and looks just /scandalized/ at Shanty. "Wha! That's my— how dare— you even— but I— " GUH. THE NERVE. The poor colt looks humiliated, scandalized, and just /so ruffled/.

Shiroyuki-Hanako glances over at the arriving henchmen in time to see Shanty snatch up the drink and offer it to her. She blinks elegantly in surprise at his pronouncement, and actually /giggles/ a little before levitating the drink out of his grasp. "Thank you, valiant sir. You are much more entertaining this way. We are very pleased." She takes a sip of the drink…and smiles more. "Emberlocks," she says, off-hoofedly, "Please look into hiring some watch-ponies to guard us."

Emberlocks just wilts and sighs, ears flattening. Aw maaaan. "Yes, Your Majesty." ;-;

Lorelei smiles over at Maddie, looking admittedly relieved. Whether at the approval, or just to be out of the spotlight, is anypony's guess — though it certainly didn't seem as if she /minded/ the spotlight! "I thought it went rather well! They seemed attentive."

Rusty blinks and smiles, looking over at Blackbird. "Well! She didn't seem too bad. A little young… but, hey, who am I to talk."

Shanty Perks up at the mention of watch-ponies. "Excuse me, your Radiance, but it just so happens that I served as a watch-pony on the ship that brought me to Horseshoe Harbor. You can search the entire town, but you will not find a guard more alert and attentive to your needs as I!" Shanty strikes a gallant pose, before genuflecting before the princess. "Please, your Perfection, allow me the singular honor of escorting you for the duration of you stay."

"Except for me!!" Emberlocks pipes up forcefully, stepping in front of the other pony. "I can do it, your Radiance, your Glimmering Star! I can serve you! I can be a guard pony too! I will be utmost faithful, loyal, and watchful! I'm a good pony!!"

Blackbird, meanwhile, nods to Rusty thoughtfully. "True enough! I really hope she can stick to that platform, but I'm a little wary with Mad about…"

Shanty glares at Emberlocks, before grabbing him by his tail and yanking him bodily out of the way. He steps up to the princess, eyes shining with sincerity. "Please, your grace! Let me be your guard! You are the beauty in the daytime! A thousand twinkling bells accompany your every word! You are the most brilliant of ponies, the most deserving of love and praise; You brings the sun's brilliance in your smile, and the moon's mystery in your gaze! My heart would break at the very thought of being sent away from your presence!"

Shiroyuki-Hanako silently holds up a hoof for quiet from the two colts. She clears her throat, patiently, "Your offer is impressive, Box-Player, and your words fall on our ears like sweet nectar. But Emberlocks is now wholly and loyally Our Right-Hoof Pony." She pats the poor auburn unicorn's head with a warm smile. "But! We see the value in providing others with the chance to prove themselves. You are hired under Our Service as a Royal Watch Pony!" Man, how does she do the caps when she talks?

Now that the Mayor's Address has been settled, Maddie starts directing goon traffic about to close the stage for the night. Surely the rest of the week will see it busy with performances the likes of which the ponies of Horseshoe Harbor have never seen before! Or wanted to see.

Orders given, Maddie returns to Lorelei. "The question was valid enough though… I suppose it's about time we got down to the business of doing something with this town, hm? I've been putting a list together of items you'll want to give your attention to. Just to help, of course. I'm only here to help…"

Emberlocks looks just HORRIFIED that Shanty has taken his own words and turned them against him! The blasphemy of it all!!! But that vanishes swiftly, to be replaced by puffed-up pride, as she appoints him, /him/, her Right-Hoof-Pony. Oh, yes, yes yes. He shoots a look at Shanty like, TAKE THAT, bwahahah!! … Until he's appointed guard pony and he just looks aghast. Whaaaa??

The bartender munches a starfruit and enjoys the encore show from Emberlocks and Shanty. Definitely worth getting up early this morning to stake a claim on this stall.

Shanty Prostrates himself before the princess once again. "Thank you, my sun and stars. I swear you will not regret your decision." Properly humble, Shanty picks himself up and takes up position on the Princess' left-hoof side. He is the very picture of diligence and watchfulness as he scans the crowd for threats, taking only a moment to stick out his tounge at Emberlocks when the Princess' attention is diverted elsewhere.

Lorelei nods thoughtfully. "Indeed. From what I've seen from the records, there's a lot of things that could use improving… they really /do/ have a problem with fires. A lot of the building plans seem to have been redone many times. That's not… normal, on land, is it? In my home, buildings and settlements can last for many years."

Emberlocks straightens up on the Right-Hoof side, and shoots a haughty glare at Shanty, and even sticks his tongue out right back. Take that, villain!

Shiroyuki-Hanako takes a sip of her smoothie, head up and wings flapping slowly. "All is right in the Royal World. We are pleased."

"Fireproofing is already underway. We had to do a certain amount of that due to the bonfires we intended to light." Maddie notes to her 'superior'. "I've also taken the liberty of initiating a few small construction projects. Namely the docks needed some heavy improvements… I'm building a new..dock authority complex. Very state-of-the-art. I intend to double it as a headquarters for the Watch when it's finished. Y'know, for efficiency purposes." Maddie flashes a grin, "But this is all stuff to discuss when we're both not quite so tired, and probably after the festivities. For now, my Mayor, you may as well enjoy yourself with the rest of the town. There's plenty of business for later."

Lorelei nods again. "Yes. Of course. It is a party, after all… such things can be addressed at a later time." Right? Because things are going well! There's a plan! And the town will be better for it. And she'll be a great mayor! One for history to remember. Beloved by all her citizens! Right? Of course she would. Naturally.