The Crimson Crusader Strikes!
IC date: Spring 77, 1008
OOC date: June 15, 2013
Location: The Rusty Bucket
PCs: Magpie
NPCs: The Contact
GM: Trixie

Darkness is a cloak for those of wicked intent. And also a cloak is a cloak! Like the sweet red cloak a gray-coated filly is wearing as she perches on a rooftop overlooking the Rusty Bucket. Her broad brimmed fedora matches it, bright red with a darker red hatband, and she's accessorizing with a black domino mask. Not the stealthiest costume, especially when the cloak flaps in the sea breeze, but dang it looks awesome!

The costume stands in start contrast to an earth pony mare wearing oil-stained coveralls working a late shift down on the docks. She's hitched to a cart and is towing half a dozen large barrels — kegs, really — down the piers towards the Bucket. Her eyes glance around the area, taking in her surroundings. At this time of night, or perhaps morning, the bars have by and large closed and the last of the drunks have passed out in unobtrusive places. Nopony to witness any… unfortunate events.

GAME: Magpie made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Okay.

(OOC) Contact: Not bad for unskilled.

In a rush of wind, the masked filly hurtles down, barely belayed by a rough rope rigged to the roof. She hits the ground on her feet and skids a few inches, coming to a stop in front of the contact. "Where are you taking those barrels?!" she demands in a voice like a throat full of gravel that smokes two packs a day.

The mare looks down at the littlest thief and cocks her head to one side. "To a friend," she answers impassively, taking a moment to gather her thoughts as she looks up and down Magpie's outfit. "…what are you wearing? Is that a voice changing spell?" Someone is not particularly impressed, or perhaps doesn't realize she's supposed to be playing along.

Magpie scuffs a hoof. "Naw.. I can't do any magic," she says in a more normal voice. "Er, I mean, uh," Gravelly: "Do you like it? I'm the Crimson Crusader!"

"You've got quite the talent for voices," the contact encourages. "That'll serve you well, keep practicing to increase your range." She looks down the pier at the Rusty Bucket. "I'm not sure if 'bright red everything' is what you want to be wearing while breaking and entering, though. That's an outfit that makes a very specific statement."

Magpie says, "I'm not stealing anything, though!"

Magpie made a promise about that. "In fact, I'm /giving/ them stuff. So it's okay."

"I didn't say you were stealing," the contact points out. "I said you were breaking and entering. Which you are. You are going to enter the heck out of that bar." She looks at the Bucket and harumphs in thought. "These barrels should be pretty light because of what's in them but there's still so many that I don't think you'll be able to take them all in at once… how do you think we ought to get them in?" She looks like she has an idea of her own but, just as when she tried to quiz Magpie on the plan the other day, it seems the contact seems to enjoy watching the little thief work out her own solutions.

Magpie hmmms. Rubs her chin. "What if I pretended like I was stealin' 'em and then got caught, and they'd take 'em all inside for me?" Beam.

"That's… not a bad idea, actually," the contact says with notes of surprise in her voice. "You could probably get away with it, too, in that getup. They might think you're just a kid from town playing way too late past your bedtime." She gestures towards the Bucket. "Lead the way, Crimson Crusader. I'll leave these wherever you want me to and we can let the show begin."

Magpie thinkthink. "Stack 'em up down by the gangplank. Just out of the light.

Magpie beams at the approval of her plan. It is a good plan. She levitates one barrel and considers the Bucket. After due thought, she tries one of the lines, but shakes her head. She's not a dockrat. The gangplank will work, if she can find the right moment.

"Can do, Crusader," the contact says with a salute. She pulls the cart down to the Bucket's gangplank and unhitches herself with practiced ease. The barrels are unsecured and roughly stacked just out of the light of the lamps on the ship's deck. She rehitches herself and walks away to leave Magpie to her dirty work.

The deck of the ship currently appears to be abandoned. If anypony is still in the Bucket, they are… well, in the Bucket at the moment, cleaning up after the night's brawl. For a given value of 'cleaning'.

Magpie , still levitating the barrel, backs up the gangplank. 'cause that way it looks like she's leaving. Right? Right. At the top she darts to the side and peeks around, starting to head towards the…. the… that big room what has all the barrels of booze.

The storeroom is inside of the Bucket in an area poorly labeled 'CREW ONLY'. Unfortunately the only obvious way to gain access to that storeroom is through the salloon itself, through a door near the bar. There are a couple of ponies currently working inside: a gruff looking bartender who is spitting in glasses to 'clean' them and a ship's hoof who is chipping various pony fluids off the floor to be swept away later. Looks like someone was violently ill at some point tonight.

Magpie is not surprised by either of these things. She considers. This is a toughie. Especially carrying stuff. She waits until the bartender is spitting to dive under a table, and hugs the barrel to her chest.

The ship's hoof looks up as he notices the clopping sound of hooves on deck. "Did you hear that?" he asks, glancing at the bartender.

"All I'm hearing is the sound of you not mopping up that barf on the floor," the stallion behind the bar says disinterestedly.

"I'm telling ya', you don't want to just mop it up," the hoof says pointedly, taking a step towards the bartender — and coincidentally stopping next to Magpie's table. "Now that the stuff's dried, getting it wet again will just make it smell terrible again."

"That's 'cause you haven't been working here long enough. Give it another two weeks, you won't have a sense of smell anymore." The bartender turns around to begin futzing with the bottles on the back wall, pulling down any empty ones.

(OOC) Contact background musics.

Magpie licks her lips. Okay. Here goes nothin'. She darts out of hiding, a blur of red cloak running for the door with a barrel held aloft in a magical field that only serves to make it more visible! She doesn't run quite as fast as she could, though… don't wanna get away too quick.

The ship's hoof is startled by the sudden flash of red and barrel in front of him as Magpie darts out from her hiding place. He stumbles backwards into another table, tripping over it and sending both him and the table to the ground with a loud crash.

The bartender whirls around to look at the commotion. "Quit goofin' off and get… hey! HEY! What do you think you're doing!?" The stallion drops his bottle on the counter and dashes around the edge of the bar. "Get off your keister, somepony's in here jacking kegs!"

The hoof clambors upright. "I'm on it!" he shouts as he gives chase as well, dodging awkwardly through the tables to try to head off Magpie.

"It's free booze daaaaay!" the Crimson Crusader shouts in protest — in Magpie's voice, unfortunately — as she runs out the door and thunders down the gangplank. She's fighting the urge to laugh! This is fun! "You saaaaaid!"

"It's discount booze!" the ship's hoof shouts as he gets out of the door first, skittering across the deck as he tries to change direction a little too sharply. "Not free booze! DISCOUNT! You've still gotta pay!"

The bartender crashes out of the bar next, practically throwing the door off the hinges as he looks around for the little red footpad. "Stop arguing and just catch her!" he shouts as he, too, charges down the gangplank.

Magpie wheels to dash past the pile of barrels by the dock, and shrieks in fillyish "terror". The glow of magic still surrounds the barrel she's "stealing", but she starts to pull it forward, glances back over her shoulder…

The bartender stallion ignores the barrels on the pier in favor of barreling down the dock towards Magpie, surprisingly fast for such a hefty stallion. It's like something out of one of those movies from Los Pegasus where the giant boulder is bearing down on the adventurer. "When I catch you, I swear…!" he half-growls, half-shouts.

The ship's hoof stumbles down the gangplank and blinks, letting his eyes get used to the dark. "Boss! Hey, boss! There are another five barrels here! She must've been sneaking in and out with 'em for the last hour!" He gallops down the dock after the others.

Magpie waits for the right moment, then hucks her not-so-ill-gotten barrel back towards the bartender, and makes a sharp turn towards an alleyway! It's just like when she used to get caught pickpocketing, only more fun 'cause she really didn't do anything!

The bartender rears back as the barrel comes flying towards him, catching it awkwardly in his front hooves and tumbling flank-over-teakettle due to his poor balance. "Yeah, you'd better run!" he shouts as he gets back to his hooves. "If I catch you around the Bucket again, I'll have your hide!" A hoof is shaken indignantly at the corner Magpie rounded.

Magpie makes a couple more turns, then climbs up to rooftop level to slinks back towards the Bucket, to check that they're taking the goods inside. Yesssss. Now, if only she knew what was in the barrels and why they want it inside the Rusty Bucket..?

Mumble grumble stupid thieving brats. The bartender tromps back down the pier to the Rusty Bucket, pushing the barrel in front of him with his head.

"Any luck?" the ship's hoof asks as he meets the gruff stallion a third of the way down.

She got away, but at least I got the keg back.

"There's a whole lot more of them just off the gangplank. If we hadn't caught her just then we would've lost a ton."

The bartender growls at the hoof and smacks him upside the head. "You should've been paying attention! Standing in the middle of the bar like that and you didn't notice somepony dragging half a dozen barrels back and forth!? Idiot! Help me get them back inside."

Back on the shore the orange mare watches as the two stallions begin to roll the barrels onto the Bucket with a smile on her face. "One by one the pieces fall into place," she says, just loud enough for the filly on the rooftop above her to hear.

Magpie snorts. "What's next? A corner piece with a bit of sky?"

"I'm sure you'll appreciate the big picture when it all comes together, Crimson Crusader," the mare says as she looks to the stars. "Sometimes the most trivial of events wind up being surprisingly important. Without that little bit of sky the puzzle is just trash."