The Ballad Of Sunshine (And Her Wee Stripey Nemesis)
IC date: Summer 75, 1007
OOC date: 09/03/2012
PCs: Mad-Mare, Siyana, Kludge, Pumpkin, Sadaka, Trueshot
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em
GM: None

Celestia's sun is starting to make her way down the horizon, sending vivid splashes of red, orange, and purple across the sky. Against that sky, reflected in the ocean, is the Destiny caravel. The whole ship's been cleaned from stem to stern — at least on the surface. (Any pony unfortunate enough to sit near enough to the rear mess might catch a rather terrible smell once in a while. Best to avoid that.)

Ponies from all over town have gathered, for a duel is a duel, no matter what the subject, and all Harborites enjoy a good duel! Makeshift bleachers have been made by means of crates and empty chests, and more than a few more naval zebras and pegasi have made their perches in the crow's nest and along the sailing rigs. A few even sit along the net of rope used to climb elsewhere along the ship.

Standing proudly at her position near her zebra crew and her friends, Siyana smirks across the way at her opponent's crew. It's not quite time to start yet, but it's getting very soon, and the blank flanked zebra turns to look at her companions with a big grin. Insult song-fighting? Piece of cake.

Speaking of Siyana's opponent. Many of the ponies what came to see this glorious event also happen to be part of the current Harbor Watch. The merry gang of thugs, whom pretty much are as buddy-buddy with the rest of the Harborites as they can get while still being 'professional security' ponies, are sprinkled in throughout the bleachers, with several of them in their 'official' garb standing guard to make sure nothing gets out of hand.

After all, a duel's a duel. Just because it's not supposed to have any violence doesn't mean the possibility doesn't exist, right?

As for the opponent herself, Mad Mare meets Siyana's smirk with nothing less than an open glare. She's sitting more or less stonefaced at her designated spot, her three personal goons with her. Yes, she even brought Trueshot in for support on this one, alongside Rock'em and Sock'em, where Maddie can whisper conspiratorial thoughts (or general complaints) without fear of a crowd riot.

"You can do this Boss…" Rock'em says, all grins, clapping a hoof to his bosses back. Which, naturally, earns him a glare.

"Yeah Boss. You're pretty good with insults anyway, all you hafta do is sing'em. That's not that hard, is it?" Sock'em offers, also grinning like a fool, and earning a similar look from the Mad Mare.

"This is…different. Somehow. I don't know how, I couldn'f find any /rules/ about this sort of thing in any book. I may have to…" Maddie wrinkles her nose. "…Use rhythm. Or, sound good. Or even /rhyme/. I don't rhyme! Why am I even bothering?"

"You could always just give up if it bothers you that much." Rock'em notes, while Sock'em nods sagely.

Maddie rolls her eyes. "I can't. I don't give up. I'm the Mad Mare! The Syndicolt Scourge! I don't just…let little seaweed-scrounging fillies walk all over me! Not without putting up a fight, dangit."

Sadaka prances in place, looking incredibly nervous and just generally skittery, keeping /far/ away from any railings. She'd all but leapt onto the ship to begin with, scampering away from the gangplank; that venture had been successful, and luckily it was a little too soon to really worry about how she intended to get /off/ the ship again. Which left her plenty of worry left over for all the ways this could go /wrong/ somehow! Not that she had any clue how a singing-insult-duel could go wrong, but there had to be some way. So she's just a stripey ball of nerves.

Trueshot, on the other hand, is wearing an expression somewhere between exasperation and boredom. She doesn't expect much 'action', not from fillies, not from singing… and 'moral support' isn't exactly the forte of a pony semi-known for her default expression of quietly distrustful staring. What exactly, then, she's expected to do is a mystery to her! But she was told to be here, so she is. Even if the whole thing just seems rather silly.

Kludge is in the crowd, here to cheer on Siyana and her friends. He appreciates the feisty-ness of the foals, as well as their delicious lemonade, and has taken it upon himself to support them as best he can. For tonight's song-duel, that means cheering and applauding for the blue-maned zebra filly.

Siyana moves to nudge Sadaka reassuringly. "It'll be fine. We'll get this plenty taken care of." And Blackbird, sitting on a crate behind the foals, ruffles his daughter's mane with a little smile.

One of the zebras — a big, burly, scarred, thick-necked and gold-toothed specimen — steps up and downs a bright yellow potion. "Mares and stallions!" he suddenly booms, his voice carrying like it were over a loudspeaker. "Onboard the Destiny will rage a fierce and terrible battle, on the mine-pitted battleground of insult song-fighting!" He pauses, as all the zebras and harbor ponies put in a hearty cheer. "In this corner, the little zebra from the deep, the tiny terror titan of Tartarus— "

"Hey! I'm not that tiny!" Siyana cuts in, stomping a hoof petulently.

"…Sorry, the /moderately-sized/ terror titan of Tartarus, the Destiny's own Siyana!" One half the ship cheers, the other boos. Either way, it's a lot of noise! "And in this corner, we have the challenger! The crazed kitten from the Syndicolt, the one and only Maaaad-Maaaaaare!" He flashes his grin at Mad and her goons, as the sides who cheer and boo swap places.
Pumpkin squeezes her way through the crowds to get into Siyana's corner. "You show that meanie who's boss, Siyana!" With that she takes a seat next to Sadaka.

"Who wants lemonade?" snarks Kludge loudy after Maddie is introduced. This draws chuckles from some of those in the stands, and scowls from others… mostly from those in the Watch.

"Kitten?" the Mad Mare grumbles, her ears pinning back. "Really?" She rubs her face with a hoof. "I think I'm developing an intense hatred for things with stripes."

Despite the rather less than enthusiastic way she's taking this competition, this 'honor duel' of song and snark, Maddie has one hope. Hope that, after this, maybe she'll never have to look at another foal again. She's done with foals. Kids suck. End of story. How any of them ever make it through childhood without someone strangling the life out of them is a total and complete mystery.

With that thought in mind, the Mad Mare turns her gaze to the group of ever-bucking cuteness just waiting to rip her a new song. At least…this isn't /group/ insult song fighting.

(OOC) Siyana: … West Side Story, natch
(OOC) Siyana | The foals spend the whole song trying to figure out how to snap with hooves
(OOC) Kludge: By the alicorns, if the /entire/ Legion of Cute started going on piratical raids by singing songs of wit and zing….. they'd be nigh unstoppable!
(OOC) Mad-Mare snrk.
(OOC) Siyana grins.
(OOC) Mad-Mare: Lavender's Crew will rise again?

Siyana takes a deep breath, and then turns, galloping forward to skid toward her half of the open center of the ship. "Heeeeeyyyyyyyyy-ey!" she shouts, with a young, but rather nicely rounded singing voice.

"I'm callin' you out, you terrible lout,
for all you've seen and done!
I'm telling you, by the time I'm through,
I'll be number one!"

She grins crookedly at her opponent, stomping a hoof expectantly.

Trueshot blinks and glances up as Siyana starts the show. It's… /really/ going to be singing. Ohboy. She tilts an ear, glancing over at Maddie. This can still be called off, right? /Right?/ …No, no of course not. Hmph.

"Oh boy." says Rock'em, scooting back a half-step. Sock'em follows suit, both of the goons giving their boss a push on her back. The Mad Mare stumbles, naturally, and looks over her shoulder to glare at the goons. Then she throws her head back, marching a slow, proud march towards the center of the ship, where the young zebra waits. She spent all of Siyana's song just walking up to the proper place, leaving a long moment of silence as she thinks up a reply.

This is not her forte… There was no training. And words are hard. But Maddie isn't about to let a kid show her up! So she clears her throat, gaze glancing about the stands and ponies, falling to the little angry bundle of striped fury. Then she speaks, voice raised enough, and with the best song-voice a crazy mare can muster.

"You best be careful what you wish for,
you angry little squirt.
It takes more than words and a pretty voice
to leave me in the dirt.
You've called me out, so here I am.
Hit me with your best.
Because if you don't, when I strike back,
you'll die just like the rest."

Then she, too, stomps a single hoof. Kind of like a chess clock. Only…with words. So many words…

» Mad-Mare rolls 1d10 (How /is/ Maddie's singing voice, anyway?) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5
(OOC) Mad-Mare is a middlin' singer. As expected.
(OOC) Sadaka: it's average!

"This little test, I must confess,
has barely just begun," Siyana sings back, with a little skip, as she rhymes off of Mad-Mare's last.
"Soon you'll find, with metered rhyme,
you look like a monkey's bum!"

And then she stomps, and breaks into gleeful giggles before she cuts herself off, trying to be serious. Ahem hem!

It takes everything Maddie has not to put a hoof up to her face. So silly. This has to be the silliest thing she's done. Ever. She spares a glance up at the filly's 'support'. Probably lingering on Blackbird for a moment. Now /that/ was a duel…

Sigh~

Again her gaze drops, peering to the feisty filly trying to rhyme her to death.

"You may be right. I hate to rhyme.
But I don't care if I lose.
The difference between you and I,
is I have nothing to prove.
This little test we're having here
means nothing in the end.
Bug me again, and I won't hold back.
On you or your little friends."

Siyana snorts derisively, and tosses her braided mane.

"You're so /pathetic/, you sillly Mare.
You think it's super-cool
to throw around your stupid weight,
and threaten dirty pool.
You think you scare me, stupid Mad?
You think I won't fight back?
You think I'm going to let you hurt the fillies in my pack?
You just try, I'll take you down.
I'm not some silly foal.
My hooves will find your crooked teeth
and knock them to the shoal!"

Stomp stomp.

» Kludge rolls 1d10 (How worked up is the crowd so far?) — Result: 8 | Sum: 8

Between the singing, the rhyming, and the threats, the crowd is loving the song-duel so far. Cheers and jeers, aimed at both sides, sail through the air, and the bookies are busy with wagers ranging from simple "who will win?" to "what rhyme scheme will be used next?"

Maddie might just be getting a little bit into this. Just a little. When Siyana gets all derisive and stompy, the Mad Mare sits her rump down onto the ship, lifting a foreleg to buff a hoof on her pelt.

"It must feel good to say such things.
To tell me off and all.
To be so mad you can hardly stand,
and feel like you're six feet tall.
Just keep in mind when you tell me
these grown up things you'll do.
Look back to your little striped friend
and ask what I put /her/ through."

Sadaka has been on her hooves and looking /even MORE nervous/ ever since Maddie pulled the 'die just like the rest' line. You can't sing someone to death… can you? /CAN YOU?!/ O,O

But this gets her to flinch, and droop, and lay her ears back flat, and it wouldn't really be possible to be any more on-edge, but she sure doesn't want anything like all /that/ to happen to Siyana, especially not for her sake.

Pumpkin stiffens, whipping her tail angrily at Mad-Mare's taunt. "Siyana, you put her in her place, y'hear! She can't talk that way about our friends!" Sadaka gets a comforting nuzzle from the little orange filly.

Kludge narrows his eyes at that. While he hasn't asked for the backstory, he's heard enough to know that Sadaka is much sadder than she used to be, and that Maddie was involved somehow. That, along with what he's seen of Maddie around town, was enough to make him suspicious of the Watch Captain. But this? Threatening to do more of the same (if not worse) to another filly?

"Kludge" might not rhyme with "grudge", but he's definitely got one now.

Siyana's eyes widen for a second, before she growls angrily and races forward, braids flying.

"Now listen here, you brainless twit,
I'll just remind you now:
our duel was swords and matching wit,
but fearfully you bowed!
You /chose/ to match me word to word,
not blade to blade as such,
because you sniffed, and teared, and had
your precious pearls to clutch!
I'll beat you senseless any time,
I'll string you stem to stern!
We beat you fair at lemonade,
and we'll beat you every turn!"

Suddenly, she grins and rolls her eyes, flinging a hoof to her forehead.

"'Oh me!' you'll cry,
'oh my! Oh no! Whatever shall I do?
These little foals are just so good
at dragging me through poo!'
And then we'll laugh and point our hooves,
because you're just so /small/.
You think you're grand and all of that,
but you're just Sunshine after all!"

(OOC) Kludge: Quick check - Maddie's real name is somewhat commonly know… is her reaction to that name also well known?
(OOC) Mad-Mare: Yes to both counts.
» Kludge rolls 1d10 (How worried does the crowd get at the mention of Sunshine?) — Result: 10 | Sum: 10
(OOC) Sadaka: oh dear.
(OOC) Siyana: WELP.
(OOC) Kludge: Just for a counter-check…
» Kludge rolls 1d10 (How panicked are they?) — Result: 10 | Sum: 10
(OOC) Siyana dies.
(OOC) Mad-Mare XD
(OOC) Sadaka: STAMPEDE.
Announcement: Trixie shouts, "Spot Ruling: Kludge is not allowed to +roll anymore."
Announcement: Fluttershy shouts, "Roll more, Kludge! ROLL MORE"

There is a quick stampede as the spectators run for varying degrees of cover. Some hide in various buildings, while others hide in different parts of town. The distance between a Harborite and the duel appears to be inversely related to how much they want to see Maddie's reaction… and directly related to how well they think they can avoid being seen.

(OOC) Kludge: And of *course* on a quiet roll (to see how much Kludge had heard in town before this) I get a more moderate number: 5 - knows that Maddie has a beserk button, but not what it is.

Tch! Maddie takes a step back against /that/ particular tirade! Even her goons tip their ears back. They can't deny it. Their boss /has/ been rather 'weak' lately in regards to all things foal. But throwing it all in her face like that, and then using the S-word?

The Mad Mare's eyes widen, while her pupils shrink, focused on the little furious striped menace before her. They don't even blink anymore, as much as they just kinda…twitch around the edges.

"You call me twit but you're the one
who's treading on thin ice.
I've had just about enough
of all this playing nice.
The only reason we're singing now
is because I wanted to try,
to turn that leaf, or whatever it's called,
and let bygones go by.
I'd had enough of shedding blood,
and killing on the spot,
but everything you say is true…
I /hate/ you /and/ your sorry lot!
If you really want to have a fight,
I won't hold back again.
The only thing you'll have to do
is name a place, and when…"

"You named your fight, you got your duel!
It's singing songs and verse!
I gotta say, your rhymes, they pale,
and you could do no worse."

Siyana sniffs and tosses her head, before trotting back away from Mad in a circle, and suddenly busting out into a new tune.

"Who made you the boss of everything?
You've got no place to squeeze!
The Harbor casts off what it don't want,
and pleeeease, pleeeeeeeease, oh pleeeeeeeease!!
It don't want you none, oh Sunny Sun Sun!

Your heart is crazy like the rainbow extract for our booze!
Your eyes are tiny pinpricks when you're mad as heck you'll lose!
Your metal legs all clink and clank, and wake us from our sleep!
Oh please, please, Sunshine, won't you give us some reprieve?"

She leaps on an abandoned crate, grabbing an errant mop for a microphone.

"Because you-hoo-hoo aren't welcome anymore!
You don't be-long on the Harbor's noble shores!
We take in all the scum and dregs of tyrant villainy,
but even you-hoo-hoo are too much for us to keep!

You don't fit in, and we don't want your brand of Special Hay!
You only irritate us since you've wo-o-rn out your stay.
So back on out and don't you let your flank hit up the door,
cause you-hoo-hoo aren't welcome anymore!"

Maddie gets up on those same metal legs called out in the song, pacing a tight circle throughout Siyana's last burst of song. When it's done, the Mad Mare practically seethes!

"I've gotta say, you got me good.
You've got me on the ropes.
Your little song there really packs a sting.
Dashed, are all my hopes.
And yet! When we leave this ship, some things will still be true!
I'll keep my job, I'll still be here, I'll still be bigger than you.
You'll be surprised at all the things
that I still have in store.
So enjoy your win, I'm done with this.
Begone you little —"

Tackled! Somewhere during that last line of 'song', Rock'em and Sock'em took it upon themselves to bodycheck the Mare before she could keep talking! Wrestled to the ground, even, one with a hoof clapped over their bosses mouth. "Okay folks, I think our boss has had enough for one night!"

"Yep! She sucks at singing, now we all know. Get on out of here now, go tell your friends or something. Nothing left to see here!

GAME: Celestia's purging the non-believers. Please stand by.

(OOC) Sadaka: XD that… was an opportune moment for Celestia to purge.
(OOC) Siyana /dies/!
(OOC) Siyana: That was, all of that, perfect. I was already dying at the pose. XD
(OOC) Pumpkin: Celestia knows when things must end.
(OOC) Mad-Mare: She's gooooood.

Ponies start to cautiously poke their heads out from where they were hiding. Kludge applauds, both for Siyana's victory and for the henchgoons' actions. Rock'em and Sock'em have earned a modicum of respect from the craftspony - not much, considering their boss, but enough that Kludge doesn't lump them in with Maddie on his Roadapple List.

"Your bitter tears are nothin' but fuelin' victory!
I bet you'll just go back to woeful misery.
Cause what I got, you lack in total, I decree—
yes, I got friends and utter harmony!"

Siyana leaps off her crate with a twirl, and bows the microphone over her knee.
"Yes I've got friiiiiiieeeeeee-he-he-he-heeeeeennnndssss…"

She opens her eyes to grin and point at said friends, gathered in her corner, before belting out,

"And ha-a-a-aaaaarmo-o-ho-hoooo-hoooo-hoooohhhhh….NEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

And on that high note, she bends back, hoof raised in the air.

And on her flank? A jagged, stylized music note, surrounded on one side by emanating lines.

Trueshot has watched the entire show, mostly with a coolly indifferent expression — though a close observer may have caught the occasional faint smirk — sitting back on her haunches and casting glances between the two 'combatants' and occasionally over the crowd. However, she's on her hooves as well for this ending, not joining in on the tackle but looking quite ready to make a spring if necessary.

Pumpkin's eyes go wide. "Oh mah gosh! Siyana, look! You got your Cutie Mark!" She fairly leaps forward to give the zebra a hug, noogieing her affectionately. "That's incredible! An' ah can't imagine a better story to tell folks about how you got it than yours!"

(OOC) Siyana :D
(OOC) Mad-Mare :| "Mom, Dad, I got my cutie mark by tellin' off the Harbor Watch captain using a mustang song!"
(OOC) Siyana dies.
(OOC) Kludge: This went up to eleven, broke it into pieces, and just kept on going. That's how awesome this was.
(OOC) Siyana: I got my cutie mark by being a total tender heart.
(OOC) Mad-Mare: To a total bitter berry.
(OOC) Siyana grins.
(OOC) Pumpkin: To no-good sugar cubes everywhere! Cheers!
» Mad-Mare rolls 1d10 (Anger Level?) — Result: 6 | Sum: 6
(OOC) Kludge: All hail the Legion of Cute!

Sadaka gapes over at Siyana, ears perked and eyes wide. /Woah/. Not only was that admittedly /quite impressive/, but… cutie mark! A much better-looking one than last time, too! (Plus there's still that tiiiiny part of her that's pleased to see Maddie get tackled, because… ha).

Post-tackle, Maddie finds herself pinned down by her own heavy goons. She can't even bring herself to look at the extreme scene of pure cuteness, triumph, and all that jazz the group of foals are most likely giving off by this point, what with the cutie mark and all. When Rock'em and Sock'em dare to actually /applaud/ the gaining of a cutie mark though, (because let's face it, any pony's cutie mark is a BIG THING) Maddie hefts herself up, toppling both the goons over! She takes two steps out, winds up, and delivers a swift kick, one metal hoof to either goon!

Rock'em and Sock'em practically fly, what with the power Mad's got in those legs, both going right over the side of the boat to make two heavy splashes in the water. Then Maddie's gaze darts to the cute crowd. She /growls/…ducking down as though she might go ahead and pounce the ever living stuffing out of all of /them/ too!

"Oof!" Siyana is suddenly beset by Pumpkin, and she laughs, collapsing on the deck. "Hahaha! Wait, what?" She blinks and squirms around to look at her flank, eyes widening. "Wha— what! I got! I got my! YOU GUYS I GOT MY CUTIE MARK!" And she flails, /flails/, scrambling up again to run in circles looking at it. "I got my cutie mark in singing! I Never would've thought it! Holy cow!!" And she leaps over to hug Sadaka and /all/ her friends next, and giggle. Because foals giggle a lot, after all. The group is surrounded by hoof-stomping applause, cheers, and whistles, all of which the newly marked zebra takes in with glee.

Of course, then Mad bucks off her entourage, and Siyana freezes, jumping to her hooves and standing strong as she stares at Maddy and tries not to quail. Some of the zebras who man the ship, the announcer included, are drifting a little closer and hanging threateningly around the edges. "You lost, Mad! So beat it!" she huffs, puffing her chest out with all the bravery and good feeling her new mark is giving her.

Oh, ponyfeathers. One can practically see the exasperated sigh. But duty is duty and all that. And so Trueshot dutifully springs, a flap of her wings hopefully enough to propel her with some force, because she is not a large pony and certainly lacks the bulk of the other two ponygoons. Not to mention she's a good bit more fragile, so it's probably in her best interests to do more than just try to bodyslam Maddie into submission. "Boss! It's just some fillies. Image. Half the town's out."

Kludge trots on up to congratulate Siyana on both her victory and her cutie mark. With the zebras on alert, he gives the crew a respectful nod, then focuses a steely stare at Maddie. The situation might be in the process of being defused, but he's not going to trust the Watch Captain until she's away from the ship.

Image. Half the town. Oh… Right… Maddie can't be Syndicolt Mad Mare right now, she has to keep being Harbor Watch Maddie. Despite every fiber of her being wanting to go teach some foals a lesson or two in adult problems. Nevermind the whole crew of other adults ready and willing to hold her back! Wordlessly, Maddie glances up at Trueshot, then turns and trots off. Just like that, down the gangplank. Gone back to do her /job/. Or something like that.

Siyana glares at Mad as she goes, and then looks up to Trueshot and gives a little nod of begrudging thanks… before she brightens up into a brilliant smile again and bounces over to hug Kludge. And everyone. BECAUSE CUTIE MARK.

The pale pegasus gives the slightest of nods back — what. It's a kid. You don't ignore a kid — before sighing slightly and trotting over to the edge of the ship, glancing down to make sure Rock'em and Sock'em haven't gone and drowned or something. Because that would make her life more difficult.