The Crimson Crusader Strikes Again!
IC date: Summer 35
OOC date: 7/25/2013
Location: Main Street
PCs: Magpie Tale-Chaser

A cold wind is blowing through the harbor. A wind of darkness. A wind of Evil.

But that evil wind ruffles the cape of Justice! A red-clad gray filly perched on the facade of the Hobknob Theater stares from behind a domino mask. This is the harbor. *HER* the harbor. Hers to defend. Hers to protect. Hers to… occasionally borrow small things of some minor value… uh… from.

Is it also hers to swim around in? Probably not. It is someone else's, though. Specifically, a drunken sailor who topples over the railing of the Rusty Bucket and is forced to paddle his way back to the boardwalk, gargling a shanty along the way. His is the kingdom of the sea, or at least the duchy of the bottle.

Meanwhile, a pink seapony colt watches him! Tale Chaser is shivering in place as he starts picking his things up from the bench he'd been sitting on. The sunset was making for a nice enough light to read by, and the weather wasn't too abominably chill, but both of these are ceasing to be advantages one can enjoy as the night creeps across the harbor and brings with it its cold, dark, Evil wind.

"Shoulda got a coat," he mumbles to himself, stuffing books in his bags. "In the middle 'a summer, too. Always figured pegasus weather management was kinda wonky…" He suppresses a shudder. So many feathers.

The Crimson Crusder — for it is she who watches over the city this night — tugs on the thin, dark line she uses for such tasks. Satisfied with its soundness, she seizes the rope and leaps into space! She swings down, cloak billowing dramatically behind — so awesome! — until she starts the upswing opposite and lets go—

Oh. The rope was wrapped around her back hoof. The Crusader lets out a yelp and flips upside down, sort of dangles from one leg there. Oh geez…

The Crusader pendulums.

Who is the shadow that yelps in the night? Who swings like a pendulum between justice and vengeance (and by justice and vengeance we mean the Carrot Corner Cafe and the Scurvy Scallawag Mercantile and Supply Co)? Who does the thing with the thing at night? It's the Crimson Crusader, of course.

Tale Chaser, in the meantime, is freakin' out because things hanging around in the dark put off sort of a spooky vampire bat vibe even when you can't see them, so he's just picking up on a general undercurrent of spookiness. Here he was trotting back into town and back to his apartment, but now he's on edge, tiptoeing forward. Is that a yelp he heard? A scuff? A scuttle? Did it come from that building over there? He knows better, but he slowly picks his way over to investigate, head low, ears half-folded back, and squints into the shadows… is that…?

"Uhh…" he calls out, to the danglin' shape. "Are you, uh, are you okay?" Gulp. "An'… an' somethin' that can answer?" Because it sort of looks like a bundle of goth laundry someone did a poor job of hanging out to dry, too..

The Crusader squeaks again, quieter this time, and covers her mouth. She quickly pulls herself together, crossing her hooves in front of her chest and tryin' to look like she meant to be here. "Everything is fine, citizen," she rasps in a falsely deep voice. "I just, uh… just…" She leans up to one side, trying to tug her leg loose. "Just a minor malfunction… Uh…"

Tale-Chaser knows his 'uhs' and those are the 'uhs' of the misfortunate if ever he's heard them. So he doesn't leave this strange harbor citizen to her own devices, but approaches a bit closer, still cautious. "You… don't sound so sure about that. Do you need a hoof gettin' d-" Oh! He blinks as he draws close enough to get a good look at the Crusader, drawing himself up and touching a hoof to his lens frames. "It's you!!! The Crimson Crusader!" His cheeks are flushing rapidly, and he moves his hoof from his glasses to cover his mouth. "I, er- are you- is there danger about?!"

The Crusader blushes under the charcoal-colored soot that's keeping her identity secret and safe. She holds her hat on with one hof. "Uh.. I imaine you can help… uh… no, no danger. That I know of. Um. Have you seen any?"

Tale-Chaser glances about hurriedly. "Nnn… not besides the usual…" He turns to look back at the street. "There's some broken bottles over there… someone could cut themselves. An' I was at the market earlier an' I saw some milk that had gone sour- that could make you sick…" He looks back to the Crusader and approaches cautiously, but not as cautiously as before. Quasi-tiously. He sits beneath her and reaches up to try and hold her steady. "Here, uh- let me, er, lift you up a bit an' then you can, uh, untie your hoof."

"Oh! Um. Thanks." The Crimson Crusader lifts herself up on Tale Chaser's hooves and wiggles a bit until her leg slips out. "There. Wooops!" She slips down, pressed up close against Tale Chaser's chest. She squeezes him firmly before she slips away. "Thank you, citizen." She leaves a sort of black smear behind.

The Crusader tosses her cloak back, shifts to the side a bit… showing off her bright red tooled utility belt, brand new even, as she tugs on the rope to convince it to, no really, let go of the theater building.

As the Crusader draws away, she leaves Tale Chaser standing bolt upright and stiff as a board. He's blushing brightly once more. "Y-you're welcome," he says. "Least I can do for, uh, uh, a h-hero such as yourself…"

He proceeds to hang around like a proper fanboy would. At least he isn't asking to be her sidekick. "That's a neat belt… what does it do…?"

The Crusader gives a casual, "Huh? Oh! This? It's a utility belt. It holds all my… utilities." She opens a few pockets. "This one has a little knife, and this one has some rocks I can throw, and this one has snacks!" <crunch crunch crunch> "I try not to mix up those two." The rope finally lets go — dumb rope! — and the Crusader coils it into a circle with a glow of reddish magic, then affixes it to the little strap on the belt for the purpose.

"Ohh. Those are all…" Tale Chaser rubs his nose. "Well, I guess they're all useful in their own ways… you should prolly get a lighter, an' a little camping set of forks and knives. Those are really useful, especially if you have to go solve some crimes in the woods but it takes you all night…" He scuffs his hooves and bows his head, smiling shyly. "Do you… do you have a… a secret hideout?"

The Crusader beams. "Oh, those are good ideas! And yeah, of course I do! It's the secretest hideout in town! It's in the — Wait, I shouldn't really tell anypony." She giggles. "Sorry, Tale Ch— I mean, Citizen."

"Oh…" Tale Chaser blushes -again- because he's looking like a total nerd in front of the babe. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I could promise not to tell anypony myself, but, er, I don't know if I could really keep that information safe if I were bein' tortured… or… or somethin'…" Scuff. "You don't have a nemesis, do you…?"

Morose sigh. "Noooo," the Crusader grumps. "But, y'know. It's okay, I'm sure I'll find one eventually. Maybe it's like a cutie mark, you get a nemesis when you figure out how to be a real hero."

"Ohh…" Tale Chaser's ears droop. "That's too bad. I think you're a real hero, at least… I don't think…" He trails off, his gaze growing a little abstract. "I don't think you ~need~ a nemesis to be one…"

The colt sits up and glances at the Crusader for a moment, a curious, conniving glint in his eyes, before he glances away. "Th-though it prolly doesn't hurt."

The Crusader huffs. "Well, I don't have a sidekick either," she comments. Peeks at Tale Chaser. "Hmmmm…" Thoughtful hum.

Tale-Chaser freezes in place, breath held, and turns to look back at the Crusader. "Er, ah. You don't…?" He squirms about in place and swallows dryly. "Do you need one?"

The Crusader hmmms. "Maybe~" She grins. "You'd look very dashing in black," she muses.

Tale-Chaser sits his butt down in the street and covers his mouth with his hooves. "Do you really think so?" he asks. "Though- though I'm not… really all that brave, and I don't know how to judo-buck evildoers, or anything heroic like that… I guess… do you need the kind of sidekick that can fix your costume if it tears, or maybe think of new things to put in your utility belt? I could do that, maybe!"

The Crusader nodnods! "And, and you could get captured and I'd have to come save you, like all the time…" She giggles. Eee, this is gonna be so neat!

Tale-Chaser grins, sitting up with an excited wiggle, but pauses after a moment. "Oooh! And-" Wait. "Wait! Captured?! By who!?" On the one hand, being saved by a brave heroine, and swept off his hooves, and carried away from danger makes him all weak in the knees. On the other, he'll be captured. And on the other… he has a fillyfriend.

A moment of panicked romantic arithmetic ensues as he tries to figure out if being sidekick to a superhero works in a romantic relationship or if it's against the rules.

The Crusader waves a vague hoof. "Oh, y'know, whoever I'm fighting with at the time, really."

Tale Chaser lowers his head and peers at the Crusader anxiously. "Are you good at rescuing ponies…? Like… like before they start gettin' holes poked in them, or get left out in the sun to dry out, or get made into sushi or all the other things they prolly do when they catch you?" He shifts his weight from hoof to hoof. "If you haven't had a sidekick before you might not be all that practiced at it yet."

The Crusader says, "It's okay, you're probably aren't very good at being a sidekick yet either. We'll learn together!" She smooches the pony's nose, and turns to trot off. "I already have an outfit for you, even!"

Tale-Chaser gulps, which is all that he can manage, having gone all rigid where he stands again. He lingers on the sensation of that kiss, and a fresh wave of Magpie-guilt. "Uhh.. you…" he mumbles, as he recovers. "You do?"

The Crusader grins. "Oh, yes! I'll bring it by… soon," she says mysteriously.

Tale-Chaser prances in place. "When!?" he asks, in spite of having just been told 'soon.'

The Crusader vanishes in a *fwoosh!* of capes into the nearest alley.

As the Crusader departs, somewhere in the streets behind her, a plaintive voice calls out. "That doesn't answer my question at all!"

Then, "You left some Crimson Crusader Snacks behind!"