Sunshine In The Storm
IC date: Spring 84, 1007
OOC date: June 13, 2012
PCs: Mad-Mare, Salty
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em
GM: None

It's late and the downpour outside is just torrential, which means those who aren't snug at home are probably holed up in some restaurant. Like here! I mean, really, why else would you come here? One such person is the ever-adventurous mayor of Horseshoe Harbor, who's taken up her customary table somewhere in the center of the tavern, hind hooves up on the table and mug of ale nursed in her dubious grip.

There's a pair of colts singing for today's entertainment, though perhaps it'd be more accurate to say they're caterwauling — but either way, she waves her free hoof along to the erratic beat, singing along when she remembers the words.

Rainy. By Luna's cursed rump, why does the end of Spring have to be so blasted wet? Really, who came up with these methods of changing the seasons? Who wrote that darn book?

What a time to have to come to 'town' too. The blockade's gone on long enough that the boats have practically become part of the harbor, since it's the only place close enough to get any real supplies. One would think they'd get more from their home office, but…scuttlebubble says there's some problems going on between here and there.

Either way, bottom line is that a very wet and rather irritated Mad Mare arrives to the tavern, clopping her way inside with her usual bodyguard escort. Silently do the trio wander to their favorite table in the corner, the best place they can sit and survey the whole of the tavern, oft pretending to be more high and mighty than they really are these days. Maddie takes a seat, but Rock'em and Sock'em go to fetch the drinks. There must be drinking when it's rainy. There /must/!

"OooOOOOHHHhhhhh!" comes crowing from the table right across from theirs, where Salty has set up shop. "I must say, my dear Mad, you look terrible. Town treating you badly again?" The mayor offers an all-too-saccharine smile and waves a hoof, but she just looks /so smug/. Eugh.

Now how did Maddie miss that? She starts at the sudden shout of sound, eyes wide and locking quick on the owner of a voice she has come to loathe. /Loathe/. There not even a fake smile for her to hide behind. Nothing but frowns and glares. Oh goddess, she's heard about the sinking ship, hasn't she? Or the fact that she can't even keep foals hostage without them causing chaos? Or… Any number of little failures, really.

"Do we have to do this tonight, Mayor? Can't you see I'm brooding here?"

The only thing Salty can really reply with at first is a snide little grin, like a cat that's gotten into the cream and escaped scot free. She chuckles in her throat and leans forward. "Now now, don't be like that. I'm sure we all have our shares of little /Stormclouds/, don't we? You just gotta buck up and let the /Sunshine/ in. Give us a smile, Maddie dearest!" So hard…not to laugh!

That was so…direct. The Mad Mare stares, unblinkingly at Salty for the longest moment, her face somewhere locked between rage and abject horror. Trying to decide, whether those two particular words were intentional. They're common words, so it's…possible.

Then her thugs return! Rock'em and Sock'em take their cushion seats, setting a mug in front of the now-twitchy Mare, whom immediately drains half the darned mug. "Urgh… Fine, alright. How about please? Will that help? Please shut your trap, Ms. Mayor, and let me sulk in peace, quiet, and rum. Take you'n that…smile somewhere else."

"Oh, you forfeited the right to pleasantries and common decency when you instigated a blockade on my harbor, Mad. You made your bed, and now I'm going to make you lie in it." Salty, in fact, slings down from her table and weaves over to Mad's to plonk her mug down. "Goodness gracious, Maddie. Capturing and torturing foals? Aren't you the big mare on campus." Still, she seems woefully unperturbed by this, as she sits uninvited and waves a hoof for a refill from the bartender. "I gotta say… you're boring the ponyfeathers out of me, Maddie dearest darling duck…duck? Where'd that come from?"

Glare. /Glare!/ Maddie ponders the fickle fates of life. Why couldn't she have been a cockatrice? Huh?

"For Pete's sake…" the Mare mutters, draining the rest of her drink right quick, pushing the emptied mug over towards Rock'em. "Refill, now." she growls to the goon. He hasn't even taken a swig of his yet! So he just..passes his drink over, and scrambles to go get the mug refilled. Such a good pony he is. Sock'em promptly buries his face into his drink. He's not sure whether to grin or cry.

Planting both hooves on the tabletop, Maddie leans forward to keep /glare/ing at the Mayoral-type. "For the record, /they/ came to /me/. I just gave'em a dose of reality. Something that seems to have escaped you years ago!" Heavily does the Mare slump back into her seat, bringing her hooftips to her temples. "I could've done worse than a blockade, you know. But I've got…" Rules? Naw. She can't admit that there's /rules/ to what she's doing. Surely not that there's a /rulebook/ that states she has to play nice, and that everything she's done up to this point is just entertainment! Naw. "…Standards. An order to things. Would you rather I just start shooting cannons until I get my way?"

"That's because they're fine upstanding citizens of Horseshoe Harbor," Salty replies, "but y'know, I'd expect better from you. You seemed better than that." But again, she's not perturbed; she just shrugs, and drinks. "And reality and I have a … shared compromise, I guess. Meh."

As for the whole going past a blockade thing, she shrugs. "Oh, I'd rather you pack up and go home, but that's clearly not gonna happen. Barring that, I'm just sayin', this is the most boring blockade I've ever experienced. You're terrible at this."

Tch! "Fine? Upstanding? Horribly chaotic! Worst citizens ever! You've practically got your own bloody crime organization he-" Eyes go wide! "…Ohh… By Luna's moon, you /do/, don't you. It all makes sense now. So many rough ponies. And you, Ms. Dread Pirate Mayor, ringleader of it all!"

Sock'em snorts! …Which was a bad move considering he had his nose centimeters from his booze, causing him to snort alcohol into his sinuses. Ohgeezburn! He tips backwards out of his seat, spilling what's left of his mug everywhere on the wall behind him! Rock'em's returned though, sitting back down, an extra mug in hoof. "What'd I miss..?"

Salty flashes a grin at Mad. "Ooh, aren't you the thinky one. Now, either I'm a sloppily drunken sad excuse for a government official, or I'm a deviously intelligent puppetmaster. But which is it? Whiiiich is it?" Well, at least she's self-aware. She takes another drink and nods to Rock'em as he returns, waving her ale. "You missed Maddie's deafening realization that I'm /awesome/."

So much ego! It gives Maddie a headache. "Buck if I know." she states, crossing her forelegs over the table and laying her head in it. She stares at her now-full mug! "The raving wench in me wants to call you the devious puppetmaster, but my gut says you're just a broken ex-pirate, trying to enjoy her last days away from the craziness of life, who's managed to find a cushy position in a far-off outpost of backwater civilization far enough away from the watchful eye of real authority to do anything you want and not worry about repercussions."

She sits up, and drains her new mug! One gulp. Well, several gulps, but one go. The mug is clopped to the tabletop, Maddie's squinty glare still focused squarely on the Mayor. "…And the blockade does suck. It failed. I'll admit that. Frankly, I never understood the reason behind them. They're like…passive-aggression. Have you /ever/ seen a passive-aggressive criminal?"

"You're so cute when you play psychologist," Salty smirks. "But I agree, blockades are just… I mean, who even… I dunno, man." She waves a drunken hoof, and takes her new refill as it's delivered, giving it a pretty healthy gulp herself. "So, I take it you've got plaaaaans, for after the blockade, eh? Grand encompassing plans?"

Sigh. Maddie rolls her eyes at the psychologist comment, taking the second 'spare' mug for a slower, but no less draining drink. That's what…Three and a half now? This time when she sets the mug down, it's less violent and more..thoughtful. "It takes a broken mind to know a broken mind, that's all." Her ears perk up! Plans? The Mad Mare just..stares. No longer glaring, but still incredulous that she'd even bring up something like that. "Now that's just insulting. Of course I have plans." She leans on her elbow, sipping at the last half of her beverage, "…It's just a question whether those plans involve this place or not. After this resounding failure, maybe I'll get lucky and be called back for a real job, and you can berate a different schmuck's inept attempts to fulfill the desire of our corporate leader."

"Fair enough, fair enough," Salty concedes, and she sips her drink a little slower. "Well, best of luck in your plans, really. I mean it. But I gotta ask. How's Mister Syndicolt doing, huh? I'm sure he's just peachy with the fact that you're having to torture /foals/ to get any fun around here, huh?"

Maddie purses her lips. "Must you go back to that?" she grumbles, tapping a hoof on the table. "What do you care what he thinks of my activities? All you should care about is getting me out of your mane." Well it's not like the foal torment's a /secret/, what with both foals having already been (or currently lay) in the hospital and all. "Honestly, Mayor."

"Oh, because I must. I /must/. Because one would think that torturing foals is a chump's game. What do you even get out of it?" Salty sips more of her drink, grinning. "I care, because it's fun to needle you. And your response was just ~so telling~. I take it He of the Unfortunate Moniker doesn't care for your failures. Which has everything to do with getting you out of my mane. Either you'll snap and go crazy and try to raze the town, or you'll be /reassigned/ to, I dunno. Mop duty."

"Everypony's gotta have a hobby, don't they?" Maddie sits up, spreading her arms, "Some ponies collect stamps. I torture souls. I usually try to stay above a certain age limit, but when opportunity drops in your lap…" Another shrug! She leans back, using the wall to brace her back, "Two of'em weren't my fault, anyway. That was my captain. And he did it because that particular foal launched a facefull of egg at him that gave him some weird kind of plague. Rather tragic, really. That other filly's broken legs? I have no idea. Wasn't me. I've been too busy pushing that easy pony's buttons to care!"

Trying to get comfortable, the Mare closes her eyes. She's had enough to drink, a lot of things are sliding right off her back now. Mmmmm, buzzy! "For all you know, Mr. Syndicolt approves of everything I'm doing. Maybe he wants the blockade to fail just so he can tell me to bomb the joint. Heck, maybe his plan was to test your defenses. Passive-aggressively." she snorts.

"Sure, just like my brand new hobby is antagonizing you." There's a pause before she snorts. "Oh, with your grumbling? I highly doubt that's the case, Sunshine." Oh yep. There's that snide smile again.

A chill sweeps across the table… Deflected, no doubt, by Salty's smugness, though both Rock'em and Sock'em feel it. They both shiver, scooting back in their cushions.


Maddie's brow knits in a moment of confusion. Second time she's had that word thrown her way now. In a way that she does not like. She grimaces, like she'd eaten a bad salad, peeking through booze-lidded eyes at the mayor. "I /prefer/ Mad Mare. Or Maddie."

"Awwww, did I touch a nerve, Sunshine?" Salty's talking louder now. "C'mon. It's just the most adorable nickname, Sunshine Stormcloud. I mean, it suits you so wonderfully, with that sunny disposition of yours, and your cloudy-stupid brain."

"That's the problem." Maddie grumbles, trying /so hard/ not to dive across the table. This is an outright attack! Much more direct than the sly slights Salty's been slinging all evening! "It's not a nickname. Just a horrible name to give a foal. That's why I dropped it, Ms. Salt-in-the-wounds." Trying /so/ hard not to let it get to her. So hard!

Indeed, and Salty just laughs uproarously. "Oh so that's your real name! Oh, I do declare, I have stumbled onto the best little nugget of information, haven't I?" That insult just gets another laugh, and she rebuttals, "It's Saltlick. And HEY EVERYONE!" The bar, as a whole, turns to look at Salty, including the singing colts, who falter and blink unsteadily. And very drunkenly. "Did you /know/…that the fearsome Mad Mare of the Syndicolt is really named /Sunshine Stormcloud/?" And she collapses in laughter as a good portion of the tavern does too. Those in Maddie's employ are likely giving her the Spooked Face right now, but the rest, well. It's just so /silly/.

In a world of ponies, where names like 'Sunshine' and 'Sunbeam' and 'Giggles' are common, the fact that a pony would indeed think their name is silly is in and of itself, silly! And yet. There we have it. The one mare in the whole of Equestria who actually hates her given name enough to bury it under a mountain of bad deeds and bodies!

Now trapped in a tavern-full of laughing faces. Laughing at /her/.

Yes, any Syndicolt goon is looking a little spooked. The one or two that manage to grin get a hoof clapped over their mouth right quick. Rock'em and Sock'em just look…white, staring at Salty, whom seems to think it's the funniest thing ever!

Those lidded eyes stare at Salty, then flick around the bar. From patron, to patron, sneering grin to laughing smile. Her eyes roll back. "That's ENOUGH!" Pushing off the wall, she whips herself around to give her table a hard buck with both hind legs, sending what mugs and drinks were left on it scattering every which way! Rock'em managed to save his drink! Sock'em got completely drenched. Bah. What a waste of good rum.

One good buck deserves another, the Mare apparently out to prove something by leaping to the nearest table of laughing patrons, lashing out a veritable storm of bucking trouble! No doubt she'll catch a few of'em off-guard before all Hades breaks loose, many of the Syndigoons in the tavern already getting up from their seats, prepared to either help their boss, or run like crazy.

Salty, on the other hand, gets a table to the face and a bloody nose for her trouble. The drunk mayor flops back on the floor under the table, blinking dizzily through the drunk. Huh? Wha? But then she blinks and scrambles up, laughing. "Oh, yeah! Sore spot! This is going to be so— much— FUN!"

Salty's horn starts to glow, as she attempts to levitate one of the chairs to slam over Mad's head. Any of the more seasoned residents who spy that happening match Rock'em and Sock'em's unflattering shade of white, and however eager they were for a brawl a second ago, they start scrambling for the exit. Luckily, not everyone there is a seasoned resident! FIGHTING FOR EVERYONE!

Of course, the reason they're scattering is because the chair misses Mad entirely, and instead slams into the support beam for the building, causing the chair to explode, sending wooden shrapnel and splinters into the faces of everypony nearby, Mad included. Because when your talent is Chaos, your magic always has a particular … flavor.

So much fighting! Intent on her new sport, Maddie's got some poor patron pinned down, shaking his head into the flooring, when.. Suddenly chairsplosion! Splinters! Pain! Momentarily blinded by the explosion of wood shrapnel, the Mare stumbles back, screaming! Through bloodied gaze and over her shoulder she squints at the drunken mayor, whom should really have been her main target to begin with. Head lowered, she paws the floor once, twice…

Rock'em and Sock'em choose that moment to blindside their boss! Both of her ponygoons barrel into the Mad Mare, knocking her flat onto her side, pinning her down underneath their combined weight. It's…difficult. For a mare, she's got a lot of strength in those angry legs, and her rage lifts both her goons up off the floor several times during the struggle. "S'not worth it, boss!" Rock'em grunts, "Jus' calm down! This ain't a good place to start a fight!" Sock'em's too busy holding to add much to the conversation, though he's trying to get meaningful glances in at the remaining Syndigoons to help! "Not to ruin the fun, Mayor…" the bodyguard grunts, "But we'll be takin' our boss back to da ship now. Before you two kill each other."

Salty just can't stop laughing, and it's getting a little bit of that familiar crazed quality to it the more she does. "Ooooh, we're going to have fun with this, yes we are! I expect a visit from you soon, Sunshine, my sweet!" And with a blown kiss and another bout of laughter, she lets the Mad Mare go, with the chaos she begat swarming around them as Syndigoons fight residents, and residents fight Syndigoons, because that's what you do.

The blown kiss is enough to make Maddie try and leap out from under the growing pile of Syndigoons keeping her contained for the moment. "Soon can't come soon enough! I'm gonna rip you apart for this! Lemme goooooo!"

They don't, of course, the goons (what goons aren't fending off Harborites, anyway) dragging Maddie out kicking, screaming, and otherwise shouting so many obscenities. Just how Salty wants it, right?

And Salty stays, laughing hysterically, surrounded by chaos.

Because that's just how Salty wants it.