The Great Escape
IC date: Autunm 50 1007
OOC date: November 16, 2012
PCs: Solar-Wind+Plot-Twist, Ruby-Blossom, Sodium-Fizz+Winter-Solstice, Kludge, Windrose, Jellybean, Magpie, Manyara, Snowfield,
NPCs: Prof. Redmane, General Eyes, Translator Peony, The Sculpture of Will, Ice-Spiral, The nightmare troops/Shadowbolts, Polar-Breeze
GM: Mad-Mare, Siyana…?

The grey alchemist mare limped forward across the floors of the caves and tunnels
making up the Horseshoe Base, only stopping occasionally to peer at the map of
the place stuck between her primaries. "This is she spot," Soda said out loud
and turned towards her help, both of her apprentices and Polar-Breeze. A
reminder of what had happened to Solar in the lap had been enough to convince
the later to help out, for the most part. "Out of the way, but something we'll
have a problem covering ourselves. Goop it up, make sure it stretches across
the hall, they're not getting through here anytime soon."

Sat down heavily with a sigh, walking around on three hooves was starting to get
a real pain.

Solar-Wind is working on other odd non-fatal traps, large runs of rope have been
strung from the ceiling at odd positions to make flying a challenge, or wrap
up others if something larger were to get down here. Ice-Spiral assists with
the rope rigging tying the bottoms to weights made of rocks, or scraps of
random metal, to make walking down below either precarious, or just annoying
having to dodge them. Everything is designed to slow both pegasus and ground
based ponies down. To escape however its easy, and one way, and only once,
before one string can be pulled and everything set into chaos in the wake of
escape. A spider would be proud of such entrapments, only one thing left to
make the lines perfect, Black Goo!

When there's a need for black goo, there is only one pony for it. Well, that
would have been the case had it not been almost exclusively the thing made in
Fizzy's lab the last few days. There's goo a plenty, and it's used a lot.

Picking herself up, Sodium-Fizz set back down the tunnel, passing another team
of ponies working on sinking small goop bombs beneath the floor. Captain Twist
had said something about Diamond Dogs and no matter if the threat is real or
not, it can't hurt to be prepared. Anypony trying to tunnel in would be in
for a hard time, that much was for certain. Steping into one of the larger
caves she spotted Solar of to the side, limping up to him and glancing
skywards. "That's… rather a bit of rope there… Certainly will put me to a
dead halt, but then again I'm not as good a flyer as the Shadowbolts… Are
you sure it'll work?"

The big pegasus smiles down from his height as he tests his ropes
before adding any of that goo, the gooing process won't take too long
after-all, a little goes a long way with that stuff. "Heya Fizz, Sure they're
good flyers, but they'll practically have to fly into each other to avoid
these, wings spans and all, and one touch, is all it takes to set off the
rest. With the weights down below, it will work like a pendulum down below,
causing all sorts of disarray down below, and chaos of swinging ropes up
above. If the ponies coming in on the ground touch the rocks on the bottom of
the pendulums, than it causes trouble for the incoming pegasi too!, not to
mention if you happen to break the ropes, then it just gets sticky!"

Solar laughs some, and taps a rope that not gooed yet, and practically the
whole room is sent into a disarray of swinging stones, ropes, and a right
challenge to walk, fly, or about anything. Solar's fine as he's on the top of
the whole mess and just holding completely still at the top of the pendulums.
"See?"

Sodium-Fizz nodded and looked around for a moment. "Impressive. I've gotten more
barricades up in the less used and more vulnerable tunnels too, so they
should have a hard time flanking us, and if they have those dogs they will
have a hard time getting up through the floor. We still need to get our ponies
out though, and I've not had a chance to look through the evacuation plans…
Assuming there even is one. Is there?" Soda tapped a hoof to her lips, looking
about. "Would you think Redmane or Glimmer would take care of that, or is it
one of ours?"

"And that is why I'm here," Windrose chimes in, hovering just off to the side,
with one of her maps she made of the area around the base spread open in her
hooves. Both to find the best places to hide traps, and to make sure it's
noted where they are so the good guys don't stumble into their own defenses.
"Making sure we know where everything is so we're not the ones getting caught
up on the way out."

Solar-Wind grins as Windrose pipes up, "Good to know that there Windy"
he grins down to her, "With this, its a 'Set-it-and-forget-it' trap, we can
get out, then pull a line, and the trap will be set then there's only one way
to clear this trap, and it takes two ponies and a bit of rope, which is hidden
up in the rafters, I'd need myself and another strong flyer to reset it" he
smiles, "One pony on either side of the rope, and we do a bit of a round-up,
and a knot of the lines, then one pony holds em all together, and the other
unties it from the top. It would take time to do and thats why its offset from
the entry just a bit incase we needed to retreat or something, ya know, just
in case" he notes.

Sodium-Fizz nodded once more as she limped over to Windrose, a flick of her wing
presenting the map copy she'd been working off herself, with the notes of
what traps and barricades had been erected during this pass. "Have you found
a good way out yet? We'll need to decide where the final path goes so we can
barricade up more of the passages that aren't of any use to us."

"Not specifically," Windrose replies as she accepts the copy. "There's a couple
of viable options, but it might depend on just how we get attacked. Somepony
suggested we actually leave in the opposite direction and double-back to throw
off potential trailers, but that might take more time than we have available."

The currently trapped pegasus starts into the rafters and trots here
and there avoiding swinging lines, before dropping down nearby the two other
ponies, He flares his wings last second and alights before them heavily making
a perfect 4-point landing on his hooves with a mild *thump* and he trots
loosely over. "there is the relatively unpatrolled ice-sea-flats, its a zombie
free way of getting around everything. Ice's too thick for zombie-sicles to
get through, not to mention no want/need out there from the zombie horde as
there's only two ponies that regularly visit the ice wastes" Solar smiles
looking away with a little sigh (slight lovey look to his eyes) but he looks
back to the two of you"

Solar-Wind mentions thereafter, "That and its pretty much a loop around both
their base, and into the other-side of the forest." The guard offers,
"drawback however is that its fully exposed unless Fizzy has had any luck with
those snow-bombs I suggested?" He asks

Sodium-Fizz grinned widely and chuckled, "Was there ever any doubt? I had to
jury-rig a solution based on old-fashioned weather-couldruns. Did you know
that blue leaves actually -have- a use for something other than bland eating?
Great catalyst for snowbombs!"

"Good, because they're kinda crummy as food." Windrose hmms, tucking the two
trap maps aside for a moment and pulling out one for a larger area. "Boy I'm
glad making all these maps of our various explorations and scoutings is
actually coming in useful!" She holds it out for the other ponies to see. "..
Though I admit, besides my obsessive mapmaking as a stress control factor and
superb sense of direction, my actual exploration isn't so great. A lot of
these are made from the info the rest of you have been telling us."

Solar-Wind has a seat before you two, "well I can give you an update a
little bit, since I don't think anypony even remotely cares about the ice-sea,
well if ya think back to our Horseshoe Harbor, you'll remember that there's a
lighthouse out in the middle of the harbor, roughly in the middle, and
surrounded by a 'C' of land just like a horseshoe, the old kind" he heh's,
"But here no light-house just a spec of land in the midst of all the ice. That
point has been sort of used as a meeting point for myself and Captain
Plot-Twist, yes, of the ShadowBolts, but she's with us in a way" he offers,
"She's a /friend/" the stallion mentions in sort of a way that you both can
glean that she's more than just 'friends'

The big stallion smiles, "If you arc around the ice tween the dunes, you'll get
to the ice beach, then you can cross to the island, then arc around to the
forest, it completely avoids the rocky highlands, and the nightmare base in
one swoop." he grins, "if we have those snowbombs in effect, and a few pegasi
going for us to keep that snowstorm in effect, we can swoop across the harbor
unseen pretty much"

That's actually rather a bit of good news. Of course, knowing the typical luck
any venture like this have something is bound to come up that's bad news too.
"Unfortunately we don't have many of them, so keeping a cover all the way
might be a bit… tricky, at best," admitted Soda. And there it was, bad news.

Windrose raises a brow slightly. "You.. got one of them siding with us? Sort of.
Huh. Well, whatever works." She pauses to check a few more trap spots on the
other maps. "I'm not sure if I should be glad or disappointed I haven't run
into another -me- around here…."

Solar smiles to windrose, "My very special Somepony, is a captain of
the Shadowbolts, yes." he nods, "She's very special to me" he smiles "thats
kinda why none of my traps would be designed to kill a pony, as I could easily
rig something less than comfortable" he notes, and ooh's some, "If things get
rough, I do have a few" he gulps hard, "A few blades for close combat use" he
indicates a bundle of shiny yet rough looking implements, short swords made of
scraps of metal, and cloth wrapped about the handle/mouthpiece area, "those,
are for, eh, if things get bad" he offers with a sigh.

["Hopefully we won't need that either. I've whipped up a few panic potions,
hopefully we'll have enough of a reputation with the Shadowbolts after our
run-ins with them to work," said Soda as she pulled a vial from her cloak.
It's content looked thin, almost watery, and was completely clear. "Will be
interesting to find out if dousing them with this will work."

Someone knocks on the door. BONK BONK BONK. Oh! Who could it be? "Hey, open up!
It's Winter!" Oh. That answerst hat. BONK BONK. What was she doing out there?
"I'm back from patrol!" Oh! Okay. BONK. How did it go? "I got snow down my
pants! C'mon, let me in!" Well, it could have gone worse, it sounds like.

Windrose blinks at Solar. "That's going to be… awkward, going home. Talk about
long distance relationships."

Solar looks to Windrose, "With all luck she'll be coming with us, if
not" he sighs, "there is always the other thing, anyway, I'm not just going to
leave her" he states without no room for argument. He pulls the lines tight,
so there's a big gap in the middle, for escape or entry in this case, and
heaves the door open. He pulls out his Scimitar blade and jumps into the gap
tween door and Winny, to guard for any zombies or other creatures that may be
out there "Inwithya!" he mumbles over his blade!

BONK BONK BONK.

"Also by the way there's like an army of evil guys outside and they're starting
to get kind of close!" adds Winter, almost as an afterthought. BONK. "Can I
come in now please? I have, like- a message? And it's not even like a message
that's like a dead body or something. Which is good! Because I would be the
messenger and I sort of like having my hea-"

The door opens, and Winter pops in past Solar. "Thanks! Ugh! That snow!" Her
rear end dances about independent of her front half for a few moments. "Anyway
so like who's in charge? Seriously because like… like… like I think this
is sort of it, kids! How are the traps? Are they set? How's the evacuation, is
it ready to, uh… uh… evacuate? Do we have anybody here who is good at
parley? That would probably be the biggest thing right now, I think, honestly,
since, like, someone's gotta go talk to General Eyeballs." Winter beams a
smile at everybody.

Sodium-Fizz giggled softly, "I can't wait to see the look on her face when she
gets blinded by the sun, that'll b-…" Her mirth got caught in her throat at
the sound of Winter's voice through the thick door. And even more so as she
turned, catching sight of the tall, white mare as Solar threw the door open.
She opened her mouth. Then closed it. Opened it. Mulled over what she was
about to say. Closed it.

After a few moments of thought she seemed to deflate with a private sigh,
resigning herself to say, "Hey Winter. As for… Traps all set, more or less,
I'm not entirely sure of the evacuation though. And… not Ruby. Absolutely not
Ruby."

"Not me," Snowfield says. She's lounging off to one side of the main chamber,
lying on her back and floating a few chunks of half-carved ice over her head.
"I've been told my personality is abrasive at the best of times, if you let me
talk to them we're all going to die."

Windrose looks up from finishing marking the last trap points on her map. Frowns
at Winter's report. "Sounds like it's almost time to get this over with…."

Kludge comes trotting in from making a few last-minute repairs and
reinforcements. After hearing the debate about who to have be diplomatic, he
turns and heads out, looking for something easier than diplomacy to work on,
like making a stone statue with 500 points of flexible articulation while only
using toothpicks as tools.

Solar looks to the gathered ponies, "Me, oh gods no, Eyes would
probably go on a huffing killing spree if he saw you there Fizz, after the
last time she likely saw you, did she see you?" he asks and shakes his head,
That leaves me and Windrose here, right now" he shakes his head, "I'm a big
dumb guard pegasus, not some flippin diplomat" he jerks a hoof at Sodium-Fizz,
"just ask her how I operate, luck, and miracles, just dumb luck and miracles!"
he glowers looking frustrated, "I'm no Chicken though, I'll face her if it
comes down to it!

Winter-Solstice smiles from pony to pony to pony, trying to catch and hold
someone's gaze long enough for them to bravely step forth and say, I SHALL BE
THE ONE TO BOLDLY GO INTO DANGER. Of course, as pony after pony after pony
declines, or leaves entirely, Winter's smile fades. Snowfield… ehh, she can
agree. Kludge would get a nomination if he was still sticking around. Solar…
Winter peers at him for a moment, then frowns and peers at Sodium, and nods
briskly in agreement with Solar's assessment. She furrows her brow a little
and peers down at herself. "You guys aren't gonna make me do it, are you? I
totally will, just, you know. I'm not actually very good with words?" When she
looks up her expression is set. "But I'm not afraid of what they're planning
on doing so if that's what it takes to get the job done, then fine! Heck,
someone can come with SOlar and I and we'll guard them up there. Anybody who's
not going out- go start rounding everybody up. Spread the word! This train is
leaving the station tonight."

Sodium-Fizz sighed, rolling her eyes. "Yes, she saw us. Though obviously she
haven't decapitated Winny so I should be fine. I can go and talk with her…"
Her muzzle scrunched up for a moment. "I guess. Either way, whatever we do
somepony should gather everypony else up."

Snowfield rolls to her feet lazily. "I'm going to go grab Redmane and the other
silver-tongued ponies. Keep all the crazies occupied for a couple minutes."
She trots out of the room.

Solar looks to the gathered ponies, "You're serious, you all are
flippin' serious" he shakes his head and sighs. "I need two guards at the
door, armed, there's swords by the door over there, nothing fancy, but they
are sharp, pointy and painful" he states, "I need a pony on each flank, with
shields, or magic, or something for a fast escape if its needed, no show, just
go" He starts shouting orders stepping up to his role of a Captain of some
unit or other back home. "Alright everypony, lets get this done" he shouts and
faces down the door with a huff, and shoulders it open, "We ready?

Windrose's ears lay back, trying not to slightly panic now that the moment of
pressure is setting in. Solar starts giving out orders but most of it is just
static to her. "I don't know what to do! consign it Solar, I'm a navigator,
not a warrior!"
Winter-Solstice looks over the group for a moment, then gestures to Soda.
"C'mon, Fizz. You wanna help, let's do it." She then steps forward to join
Solar at the doorway. "Armed escort is a-go!"

Jellybean is watching for the moment. He almost steps forward to suggest his
services for parlay, but then realizes that this might be the worst idea he'd
ever had. He does, however, ask "Is there some way I could help right now?"

Snowfield would be incredibly proud of Jellybean right now were she actually in
the room to witness this display of foresight. Alas, she is not, so she shall
continue to think he's kind of a dunce.

Winter-Solstice turns to smile back at Jelly. "Jelly! Help keep the foals in
line, please. They might get scared. You've got to be a big brother to them
all, okay?" Also someone might need to help be a big
brother/sister/scream-queller for Jellybean, but, uh, she doesn't say that
part.

Sodium-Fizz groaned as she picked herself of the ground again, limping over in
the direction of the door. "Hold your horses, Winny. I'm kinda tired here,
I've been busily helping prepare this place." She glanced down at her foreleg,
still in the sling. "And this dead weight isn't helping much, either."

Okay, foalsitting, that Windrose can handle. And it's a little farther from the
front-lines unless she's actually needed to navigate at some point. "I'll help
Jelly keep an eye on the kids," she pipes up

Ice-Spiral glides in from elsewhere on base and lands near Solar, "I'm here
Captain, What can I do?" he asks of Solar-Wind, as he lands before Solar,
Whinny, and Fizzy. Solar glances to Sodium-Fizz then to Ice-Spiral and back,
"Fizz, I don't want to see you going into a potential 'situation' in your
shape, not to mention if Eyes saw you, than diplomacy will be less than
successful, Eyes hasn't to my knowledge ever even seen Spiral here" he looks
between the two. "but if you could give him something that would be good to be
a distraction should we need to get the hay out of there quick like, it would
be very awesome" he asks, "I know you're struggling with that hoof issue" he
mentions to Sodium-Fizz in an asking sort of way.

Jellybean nods and assays a salute to Winter. "I can do that. All the foals look
up to me." Kinda. Sorta. Not really. He's younger than a number of them.

Moments later…

Word is out, and everyone who is anyone within the Base has been gathered,
round-table style, despite the fact that there's not exactly a table. It
doesn't take long, and it seems no 'distractions' are needed to keep the
Nightmare Forces away. They're apparently waiting. Patiently, even.

The Professor, bleary from being woken from a nap after much intense packing of
supplies and whatnot, rubs sleep from his eyes, and regards the rest of the
assorted gathered ponies.

"Well, ponies, here we are. All packed up, all ready to move I hope. All ready
to get everybody moved out, right? Because that's what I expect anyone not
staying to go talk to this General Eyes mare to do. Get us moving safely
before any fireworks start."

He paces, the Professor, trying to work himself up for the coming interaction.
"I suppose I should ask for volunteers first. Any of you who thinks you can
parlay with a General, raise a hoof." He pauses, glances around the assorted
ponies. "…I wouldn't mind having a couple guards coming with either.
Furthermore, where's Will's head? I want to make sure that's somewhere safe in
case things go bad."

"Solar and I are ready to go play guard," says Winter, with a cheerful smile. "I
promise not to punch anybody in the nose and also Solar will be on his best
behavior too 'cause his giiIIIIIRrrrrllfriend is out there, I bet."

Manyara, who had followed the other ponies into the gathering, raised a hoof at
the Professor's question. "I would be willing to assist negotiations, sir,"
she offers calmly. "I've experienced a good bit of such things in my day."

Sodium-Fizz raised a wing, sweeping her cloak back. A big bag hung at her side.
"I got her head right here, as well as the required vials to get it firmly
attached and alive again. We figured we might have to use it to buy of the
dragon…"

Windrose follows after Jellybean. "Don't worry, if need be I can be the big
sister to your big brother to their whatever if need be." Because she -is-
bigger and older, but also has made some way with the kids by giving them
drawing lessons and such.

Jellybean nods gratefully to Windrose. "I'd really appreciate that." He cups his
hooves around his mouth and calls out to the foals. "All right, my little
ponies, can we all gather around? Important things are happening and we all
need to stay together for safety and so we don't get in the way of the big
ponies."

Solar looks to the gathered 'forces' to Redmane and Glimmer, "First of
all, I'd like to apologize for the stolen metal scraps, and secondly I'd like
to offer some uh, tools as it were in case we come under closer attack there
are sharp implements" he indicates a pile of various roughly made blades and
pointy bits in a bundle beside the door, "If you are confident in your
abilities with them, take them, use them only if you need to" he offers,
"they're nothing much, but if your or your friends lives are on the line,
than…" he trails off with a little sigh, "I'm hoping we all can keep you
safe against them, but ya know" he offers softly, then looks back to Redmane.
"As Winter has mentioned, we're ready, and able to defend" Solar then looks
back to Jellybean, "remember to use your light there Jelly, Light is the
weakness of many of these dark-siders, it will be a great distraction if it
comes down to that"

Windrose gets a strange twitch in the back of her mind when Jellybean says 'my
little ponies' for some reason, but shrugs it off because it's not important
right now. She remains at a low hover close to the floor, in case she has to
chase after any stragglers. "Let's get everypony together in one room so we
can keep each other company."

"I'd sooner not be here," Snowfield says. She followed after Redmane into the
room, which makes sense considering she's the one who woke him up. Turnabout's
a bitter berry, ain't t? "My skill set is best suited to guiding ponies
through the snow, not trying to convince dread knights to not kill everypony."

Kludge come walking back in, wearing his wooden armor. "Might as well get this
show on the road - I think we're as ready as we'll ever be."

Heartsong hurries to nudge the foals over towards Jellybean obligingly.
Foal-sitting! That… that she can do. That sounds safe and useful. And safe.

Sadaka hurries over to him as well, fidgeting nervously. "So… so are we
leaving now? Is that the plan?" She idly stretches one clockwork wing. Not
that they need to be stretched. But it's a surprisingly easy idle fidget to
get into! "I thought that wouldn't be for a bit. Are all the Pegasi ready? Do
we know where we're going?"

"… Maybe?" is the best answer Windrose has, still feeling rather out of place
in all this craziness despite how long they've all been stuck here. "I'm just
here for morale support."

Blackbird finally straggles in at the end, ears flicking. He's far too tired to
be a diplomat, but he can certainly help wrangle ponies. He stands over near
Sadaka, just bein' a dude.

This seems reasonable! The Professor nods slowly, studying each pony in kind
after their general declarations of staying or going. Manyara, Winter
Solstice, Solar Wind, and Sodium Fizz. That ought to be a sufficient group to
go talk to a General with, sure. This leaves a sufficient group of ponies
behind to handle evacuation duties.

The Professor gives his best tired grin to the group, particularly nodding to
Jellybean and Windrose. "Keep the little ones safe as you can." Then to the
rest, "Everyone, be careful. See if you can't start getting out of the base
while we have the Queen's forces under a peaceful flag."

With assignments given, the elder pony makes a grimace. "…I knew we would have
to do this sooner or later, but that doesn't make it any easier. This place
has been home for long enough that it's hard to think about leaving it. But
hopefully our next home will be a bit less dangerous and get us on the right
track to saving our world." There. That's a rallying speech, right? The old
pony frowns. "Feh. I always did hate speeches. I'm a much better storyteller.
Those of you coming with me to greet the General, follow me. The rest of you,
start moving out once we've crossed over."

Winter-Solstice, while listening to the speech, reaches over to hook a foreleg
around Soda's shoulders and pull her in for a clumsy sideways hug. Probably
made more so by Will's head-in-a-bag getting in the way. "You sure you should
bring that with us, Soda?" asks Winter, before moving forward to the door and
starting to haul it open. "It's one of our biggest bargaining chips, isn't
it?"

Sodium-Fizz chuckled and glanced over her shoulder in Redmane's direction, a
thin smile on her muzzle. "Well, look at it like this… It'll be one heck of
a story to pass down, won't it?"

Of course, being turned around blindsides her to Winter's half-hug, leaving her
with a startled eep issuing forth at the sudden contact. Turning back she
nodded slightly, leaning into the hug for just a second before pulling away,
blushing. "I'm pretty sure that's why we should bring it… Especially when I
make it clear it's in the same bag as the un-petrification potion and a
Stonefish Elixir… A smash and grab would be dangerous at best, and hopefully
it'll be a very good bargaining chip if we can give them the whole of Will
back in one swoop… I hope."

Solar snaps a quick salute, pulls a few cords and smiles, "the traps are set in
case anyone of their forces comes looking into the base. Spiders webs
engaged!" he grins then takes point behind just ahead of Redmane so that Solar
is at the front, Winter to one side, Ice-Spiral to the other side, and
Sodium-Fizz bringing up the rear more or less with Redmane. "We keep this
position until we reach The General then we can step aside for you to Parlay
with the General" states Solar-Wind in somewhat of a commanding tone, more
just his Guard tone really. Its calm, yet commanding at the same time. "For
your Safety, Sir" he adds in quietly.

Windrose sighs slightly. This isn't going to be fun at all. But she shakes the
doubting moment off and smiles reassuring to the other ponies. "Let's get
everypony together and organized. Keep the foals to the center of the groups
where they'll be safest." Then pulls out her map… wait did they ever decide
which way they were going? How was this going to work out? Augh, so much
pressure in so little time!

Jellybean flaps his wings and makes sure he has the attention of all the foals
before joining the rest of the herd in getting ready to leave. "Remember, stay
together everypony. And if I have to turn on the sun charm make sure you stay
near me."

Manyara blinks and moves to follow a few paces after the group, shrugging a bit.
Nopony told her to come along, but she volunteered, and /somepony/ who knows
what they're doing should be along, she assumes. She casts a sideways glance
at Solar. She's not much one for formations, but that's fine, as she hasn't
been put in the formation to begin with.

Winter-Solstice immediately veers out of formation because nobody discussed
plans for formations with her and even if they did she probably wouldn't have
paid much attention. She then smiles back at Manyara. "Oh! You're coming, too.
Hi! Are you good at diplomatting?"

Snowfield stands off to the side so that the negotiation team can leave first.
"Alright, colts and fillies. Everypony who's going to get the heck out of
dodge line up over here. I'm gonna make a path through the snow once Redmane
and his entourage have things under control up top." She begins murmuring to
herself almost immediately, focusing her magic's in advance with the music in
her head in case the evacuation team needs to bring out the big guns. You
don't live very long in the taiga without expecting everything to want to kill
you.

Sadaka gulps, looking up at Blackbird. "Should I get the ghosts? W-we can
disguise things, maybe. Or… or I can s-scout with the Pegasi. Or, um…" she
looks around at all the foals, tilting an ear. She really hopes this goes
well.

Ruby-Blossom simply hasn't been seen for the past few hours - this could be
incredibly good OR incredibly bad. Only time will tell.

"Scout with the pegasi, peanut," Blackbird says gently, as the pegasi in
question start moving out. "The ghosts can see what they can do."

Jellybean flies up and gives Sadaka a hug. "Be careful out there, okay? Stay
where you can see my light if it goes up."

"Ah…yes. For my safety. Indeed." Professor Redmane says, though he doesn't
exactly protest the escort. This is like walking into the waiting jaws of a
hydra, dressed as a sandwich. They're just hoping this hydra isn't hungry.
Thus does the 'negotiation party' get moving through the snowy wasteland
towards the Enemy Party.

Outside the base, the scene is rather intimidating. There is, indeed, something
of an army out maybe a hundred yards or so from the fallen shack that pretty
much marks the base entrance. Nearly thirty Shadowbolts are lined up behind a
hastily constructed tent. Outside which stand a pair of ponies in more
official dress. One grey pegasus mare with an eyepatch, and one bigger
blue-grey stallion. General Eyes, and Peony, whom looks remarkably less like a
statue than Sodium had left him earlier in the week. Waiting, oh so patiently,
for the Rebel Convoy to arrive.

Let's not forget Tom! He's standing behind the army, and the tent, trailing
little lines of smoke out of his nose. He looks awful irate at the whole
decapitation of his mistress. In fact, as the rebel party advances towards
General Eyes and the tent, he gives a baleful snort and an extra puff of
smoke. Just to make a point. Not happy dragon.

Manyara smiles over at Winter. "Oh, I have some… experiences with such things.
I suppose you could say it's something of a skill of mine." One can only
imagine what a spiderweb cutie mark could entail, after all. She looks out at
the group, taking careful stock. They are outnumbered. But at least it seems
there is the possibility of a diplomatic solution.

Sadaka nods, returning Jellybean's hug. "I'll stay close. And keep an eye on you
all. Don't worry." She smiles as best she can before scrambling out after the
Pegasi scouts.

As if being crippled wasn't enough to make walking difficult, snowy conditions,
in Sodium-Fizz's opinion, was just cruel. Of course once they got going she
didn't get much time to consider that as she took in the vista before them.
It… wasn't a particularly comforting one to be honest. True, she wasn't
scared of a spot of trouble but this was well out of a spot and more in the
area of a field. "Oh dear," she whispered, "I'd forgotten the dragon was that
big…"

Soda turned, shooting Manyara a glance, "I really, really hope so. They look
rather… cross."

Winter-Solstice smiles cheerfully at Manyara. "Great! And I guess if it all goes
pear-shaped you can curse them all with your wicked doom magic." She the leans
forward and tucks down into the muppet ruffles of her snowsuit's collar,
probably not hearing any replies as she worries instead about how cold it is.

And then worries about the dragon. His irritable huff is matched in kind by
Winter, although she is only pony-sized so it probably goes unnoticed. She
licked him once, she'll do it again!

Windrose is so glad Snowfield is here to lead the way. That means she can focus
on navigating and helping keep the others in order. Herding such a large group
of ponies while trying to avoid notice for as long as possible would -not- be
an easy task at all. Not to mention having to keep foals in order while
waiting for the enemy to be distracted enough for them to move out. She's
starting to wonder which group has the harder task, considering!

Solar-Wind holds up his lead pony position, "fan out a little, include Manyara
in our formation, Ice, Whinny, protect their flanksides" he barks little
orders to keep confidence, and protection there as he lets the ponies in the
center set the pace, himself just a pace or two ahead of them.

As ponies start straggling out for this parlay, Eyes and her translator step
forward to a neutral area in between. Eyes glances over at Peony, who bellows,
"Bring forward your negotiators, rebels! Make no sudden moves and you won't be
harmed. We bring a civil solution." Eyes gives a short, punctuated nod and
puffs out her breath, wings splaying and flapping in a brief display before
folding again.

Winter-Solstice's attention drops from the dragon, to Solar, as he starts
barking orders. "Right!" she says, then pauses in speech and step alike.
"Wait!" She hurries up to catch up, sticking close to Soda's side, and glances
back at Manyara. "She's fine! Also I didn't vote for you! Oh. Oh! Look, Soda,
they figured out how to fix the translator guy fellow. Okay, looks like this
is up! You're up! Go make everything better with a winning oratory on the
freedom of, uh, on the, uh, inherent freedom of ponies or something!" Reaching
back, she swats Fizz on the rump encouragingly. Or at least, in what she
thinks is an encouraging manner. She then eyes the Professor's rump
thoughtfully.

Snowfield waits just inside the exit of the base, ears perked even as she hums.
Once she hears that it's safe for them to leave she'll start leading the way
up. Until then… well, hopefully nobody panics and does something dumb. It is
a distinct and very real concern with this lot.

Jellybean is mostly involved in keeping the foals calm at the moment. Oddly
enough, being responsible for so many other ponies is making him calm down: he
seems to realize that it would be disastrous if he were to panic.

Ruby-Blossom lurks! Where she lurks, no pony knows~

Manyara steps up beside the Professor and Sodium. "I presume that would be us."
She admittedly is not the most imposing of figures, looking rather slim and
delicate compared to such soldiering ponies as Nightmare Moon employs, but
perhaps she looks sufficiently exotic to be worth a moment's pause? Or perhaps
not, it's likely she wouldn't bat an eye either way. She takes another step
forward, nodding her head lightly towards the General and her translator in
greeting.

Solar pauses before the Translator, and General eyes, and performs a bow the
likes of which only the Royal Guards would perform, its smooth and crisp in
its performance, and as he rises he steps to the side to reveal the three
Negotiators, while Himself, Ice-Spiral, and Winter are left to fan out from
there.

Kludge is being his usual "at least nothing has gone wrong yet" stoic self,
although he's not sure he trusts what the General would consider "civil".

Sodium-Fizz blinked as she took a staggering step forward, her face going
beet-red despite the dark grey fur as she shot Winter a stare across her
shoulder. What?! But? Why? What? Who? Where? And, again, what?! "W-Winter,
that… Uh…" Her mouth clamped shut. No, she had no idea how to even react
to that. She tried again, "I…" Nope, no idea.

Fighting back a frustrated, or maybe embarrassed, whinny she let her head drop.
For a moment anyway before turning and fishing something out of the bag
containing Will's head, hoofing it over to Winter. "I… Winny, would you hold
on to this form me, just in case… Thank you." She leaned forward, giving the
larger mare a brief nuzzle before joining up with the Professor and Manyara,
trotting (or hobbling) towards the Nightmare's representatives on the field.

Windrose seems to be in a similar position as Jellybean, as once she's got
something else to focus on she stops being so twitchy herself. Just got to
wait until the moment is right. In the meantime she fusses over making sure
none of the other ponies are straying too far from the groups before they
leave. Last thing they need is stragglers getting left behind.

Peony is stoic as he watches the ponies approach, but Eyes does lift a brow in
surprise, and possibly even wonder, as she spies Manyara. But, to her credit,
that's all she does before she clears her throat raspily and puts back on her
air of stern reprisal. Peony glances at her briefly, then looks back.

"We've come to offer you a deal," he says. "You have General Will's head. We
would like it back." Eyes elbows him, gives him a little glare. He clears his
throat. "…Please." He pauses, and continues. "If you return the head in
pristine condition, we will allow you all to escape to safety before he
destroy your base. The first sign of foul play, however, and our offer is
rescinded."

Winter-Solstice tries to catch the tossed vial and misses. "Oops," she says, and
starts rooting around in the snow for it. Every so often she lifts her head to
peek back at the action, varying formations of snow gathered up atop her nose
before getting dumped off the next time she ducks down to find the really
important thing someone gave to her for safekeeping.

Solar wind steps a pace backward to allow space for the Negotiators, give em'
space so they can do their business n all that jazz. Otherwise, he remains
quiet, patiently watching the proceedings with a glazed interest and merely
standing guard.

As the formation changes, and the Professor, Manyara, and Soda are more or less
'revealed', Redmane too steps up with the other two ponies. He takes a
fleeting moment to squint at Solar's deep bow, giving the Guardspony a light
nudge with a hoof. "Would you go let the others in the base know we're okay?"
he murmurs. Might as well get the ball rolling there.

Then he gives Manyara a similar nudge. "Negotiations are all yours."

Solar-Wind ducked his head to Redmane then looks to the others gathered and
offers "If you'll excuse me?" he ask. Solar looks to Ice-Spiral for him to
take up his place at one side, while Whinny and Fizz are at the other side of
the three Negotiators. Solar bows slightly again to those gathered, then turns
and makes his way back to the base at a hurried, but steady pace, not to draw
attention to himself, nor make it look like he's got something going on as he
trots back to the base to inform the others that things are underway.

Winter-Solstice is still rooting around, looking for that potion. Where DID it
GO, huh.

Manyara gives the Professor a slight nod before looking back at the two
Nightmare ponies, smiling disarmingly. She certainly does not look
threatening! No, this is a gentle… whatever sort of creature she is,
certainly one for a good diplomatic solution with no double-crossing. (Her
companions, however - well, she'll keep an eye on them.) "We do have the item
in question," she agrees. "And we have kept it unharmed as possible. We wish
no trouble from you," she adds, looking over to Eyes. "But you'll excuse me if
I am hesitant to just hand over what you are asking for without question. The
deal you offer is a good one. But we don't want foul play from you anymore
than you do from us, you understand. Once we give you what you require, we
need to know you will keep your end of the bargain. For the safety of all of
our respective friends."

Snowfield holds her hoof up to silence any murmuring between the evacuees as
Solar-Wind trots into the base. "How go the negotiations? Are we safe to
move?" The unicorn turns her attention to the assembled ponies behind her.
"Make sure your snowsuits are zipped up and your boots are laced properly. I'm
not slowing down just so you can retie your shoes in the middle of a
snowstorm."

Windrose looks up from helping a couple of younger ponies do just that and get
properly bundled up. "We should be all ready to go here as soon as you are,
Snow."

Sodium-Fizz took a step to the side and reached around, lifting the heavy bag
from her side and placing it, gingerly, onto the snow before her as if for
reassurance that eyes. This is it, it's here. Fizzy's wings folds and shifts
underneath her cloak, slipping a vial from it's resting place to between the
pinions of her feathers. This also for reassurance, though defiantly more for
herself than for the Nightmare ponies.

Winter-Solstice finally finds the potion and sits up, whirling to face the
negotiations with a stoic face, the vial held in her mouth. Of course, having
been in the snow, it's now cold enough that it neatly freezes to her lip.
Winter crosses her eyes and furrows her brow and flops her lips like she had
peanut butter on her gums, the little vial of fluid bouncing around on her
lower lip.

Jellybean nodnods to Snowfield. "We'll be ready, I promise."

As Solar drops away, Peony's eyes flick to him, pausing on the retreating pony
for a moment before going back to the discussion at hoof. Eyes nods
understandingly, however, pondering for a moment before tapping, motioning,
and otherwise communicating via her hooves. The translator watches, then
begins to translate. "The Commander would like to know what we can do to put
your minds at ease to make the transition. She prefers an honorable exchange
and as little loss of life as possible. Queen Moon has ordered a different
tac, however, and if negotiations delay too long, she may not be able to
preserve the lives of your ponies." Peony pauses, watching Eyes as she taps
out a message, her brows creasing. "Please save your young and your ill.
Please find a way out of this without bloodshed."

Solar wind trots into the base, "the negoatiations go, uh, well I guess, there's
alot of troops out there, and they mean business, There's not been any
'distractions' but the head is on the table' as it were, If we're gonna get
out of here we've got to go unseen, Snowfield, is there any way we can get
them out of here without using this big door? say out the lab via that hole in
the roof and a sled or something?" he asks, that way we can get everypony out
without a draw of coming out from the big door?" he asks

"Did somepony blow another hole in the roof?" Snowfield asks incredulously. "I
repaired that the first night we were here. When did ponies start
experimenting there again?" She shakes her head. "Honestly, some ponies… no
matter. Are negotiations going that badly? You don't seem very panicked for
someone running from an aggressor."

Letting Manyara handle the prime negotiations, Professor Redmane sets his flank
down in the snow. He doesn't want to be a backseat negotiator. He really
doesn't. If all of Nightmare Moon's forces were like this General, they might
not have been quite so vehemently opposed to eternal rule under night or
something. He leans towards Sodium, murmuring in his quietest stage-left
voice. "You do really have a way to reattach that head, right..?"

Sodium-Fizz turned slightly towards Redmane and nodded. "Yeah," she whispered
back, "Same way I stole it. Though somepony else will have to do it I think, I
doubt my stone leg would stand up particularly well to me downing the elixir
needed for the quick attachment job." With that said Soda sat down, her eyes
scanning the rank and file of the Shadowbolts, keeping an eye out for a
specific member. That was the only problem, really, in giving the head back.
It'd open the way for Will to reassert control…

Manyara nods, a bit of tension leaving at the reassurances. "I am glad we are
both looking for the same things. That is good to hear. Perhaps, then, we can
compromise. We want our families, our foals, safe and clear, first and
foremost." She glances back at the group, though she very clearly expects no
argument to /that/ statement! Save the foals first! "Perhaps, I may suggest,
we might begin to escort them safely clear now, before an exchange occurs. We
make sure our little ones are safe, and then we give you what you ask of us
and the rest of us leave peaceably? No need for blood to be shed when neither
of us want to see that happen."

Windrose shakes her head slightly. "I don't think who made what hole is really
important right now Snowfield." Just trying to keep things somewhat on track
here! "Considering we're all leaving, anyways, and all that." One foal tries
to curiously poke out of the group to see what the bigger ponies are talking
about, but she lightly pushes him back into the gathering with a hind hoof.

Solar shakes his head to Snowfield, "I remember that you fixed it, you could
unfix it right, let the pegasi out the hole in the roof, and the ground based
ponies would go the way of the door, The forces out front need to see at least
a representation of the ponies here out there, so they think that everything
is going per their plans. The pegasi will have to do some sneaking once they
get topside so they're not seen by the nightmare ponies. We could evac via the
two routes mentioned, one via the usual route, the other via the sea route,
and meet at the hive.

Winter-Solstice flips the vial stuck to her lip about, although by now it has
warmed up enough that it unfreezes. It's tossed into the air, and Winter
scrambles to catch it, rearing up and flailing her hooves, only for the vial
to slip past the ruffled collar of her jacket. She jumps and starts to do a
wiggly dance in place, face scrunched up, eyes staring into the distance as
she tracks, by feel, the slither of the cool tube of glass down the folds of
her. At length she waggles a foreleg about in front of her and the vial drops
into the snow. Phew! Glad that's settled. Winter smiles for five seconds
before dipping down and rooting through the snow with her nose once more.

Eyes looks contemplative at this, one hoof rubbing under her chin as she thinks,
and then she nods. Turning to Peony, she trots out her response. "This is
agreeable to us," he translates. "But only if you show us that you have the
head whole and unharmed first. Then you may lead your young and families to
safety. Then we will conduct the proper exchange, and you may…" He trails
off as he watches Winter flail, brow cocking in confusion, before Eyes stomps
on his hoof. "Ow! And then you may be assured that we will let you go free
without attack. Ow, Eyes, sheesh!" She glares at him with reproach. Don't be
mean to the rebel ponies.

Ice-Spiral looks over to Winter-Solstice then looks to the two other guards, er
General and her Translator, and kinda sighs some, "Don't mind her, she's a
little less in her head than the rest of us" he sighs some to himself. "big
pony, not much between the ears if you catch my meaning" he mentions
nonchalantly to the others hoping for some levity in this situation.

Plot Twist herself stands in front of her wing of troops, and at the
ready. At attention for the hearing. Behind her goggles her eyes glance from
the shadow bolts around her to the group of rebels not too far off. Worries
and doubts can't help but echo in the back of her head. Still she has been a
captain for a while now, and she has mastered the look of stoic indifference.
So she waits until something happens.

Windrose pulls out two rolled parchments at the mention of that. "Good thing I
made more than one copy of the maps."

Manyara nods. "Totally understandable." She looks back at Sodium - pausing to
cast a slightly-amused smile back at Winter. She doesn't look at all thrown
off by the antics! If anything, it's a nice bit of comedy in the midst of
seriousness. Winter is still Winter, and that is as it should be! "If that
would be agreeable to you, then, Sodium-Fizz, perhaps we shall show them that
we have what they ask of us."

Snowfield stares at Solar. "…why? That's needlessly convoluted. The entire
purpose of negotiating is so that we can all escape safely. There's no need to
split our group, it's not a secret that we have pegasi with us. It'll be
incredibly dangerous for /all/ of us if they're spotted and Moon's forces
think that we're trying to pull one over on them." She shakes her head. "Look,
don't try to be a big darn hero here, okay? Big darn heroes get ponies killed.
If Moon's forces turn on us, /then/ we'll go the subterfuge route, but until
then we stick to the plan." The unicorn makes her way up the tunnel to the
surface to see if she can't hear the way negotiations are proceeding herself.

Solar smiles back to Snowfield, "I'm going to go up to the entrance and
await a signal, or word or something. Once I get that confirmation, then you
can do your work so we can get our ponies clear." He sighs, and shrugs, and
grumbles at her response, "Ok, stick to the plan, right" he huffs as he trots
topside to await orders more or less. Ready at Guard duty again.

Ice-Spiral earned himself a glare lasting a good few seconds before Sodium-Fizz
turned back, a thin smile on her muzzle. "Excuse Ice-Spiral, he's a big pony
with little between his ears, he have no idea what he talks about. Winter's
just… Winter." The smile grew, both wider and warmer, for a few moments
anyway before wavering with worry before fading away. Nodding at Manyara she
reached down, using a wing and a hoof to untie the knot of the bag and
revealing the head inside. It looks just fine. Well, as fine as a petrified,
disembodied head of Nightmare's Will can look, anyway.

Windrose just rolls her eyes and mutters something under her breath about being
worried about keeping track of the kids when some of the adults still can't
see eye to eye. But fortunately it looks like Solar and Snow are able to agree
on the matter, so it's back to waiting for the signal to move out.

Professor Redmane can't help but peer over Sodium's shoulder, as it were, and
into the bag with the head. That's still so disturbing. So very disturbing.
"Everything seems to be in good condition here." he affirms. "You may see for
yourself if you wish, of course." Might as well offer them the same kindness
they were offered, right? He glances over his shoulder, back at the base.
Aren't they moving yet..?

Ruby-Blossom begins to understand why Winny prefers to smash and bash every
obstacle (This so boring! We already know they're intent on killing us!) The
mare thinks to herself - doing her best to remain 'stoic' much like the Pegasi
Captain knowns a Plot-Twist; not that any pony would notice - cause she's
totally not to be seen.

Jellybean looks up at the talks, wings ruffling a bit: he's worried, but he's
doing his best to keep it under control so as to not spook the foals. One
restless colt gets a hug from him.

Winter-Solstice fishes the vial out of the snow and picks it up with her hooves,
which should avoid her lips getting stuck to it. She holds it cradled between
them for several moments as she considers the least treacherous place to store
it. As she considers, she leans over to peer at the revealed head, just to
make sure it's the right one. Man, wouldn't that suck if they brought the
WRONG stone head? Ha ha ha! She smiles a bit in a satisfied fashion and leans
back a bit, looking up and at Eyes. There's something exultant in her gaze as
she considers the mighty victory and its unsettling trophy. Yeah. Yeah, we did
that.

Ice-Spiral grumbles under his breath and just stands there all guard-pony like
and takes it. *grumble grumble* He's on guard duty again

Eyes can't help but grin for a second at all this stuff with Winter, but Peony
just looks confounded. What? When the head is offered, though, Eyes trots
forward, pausing to keep Peony from coming with. No need to alarm the rebels,
right? And she leans forward to peer inside. Nodding, she backs up again.
Trot-stamp-trot. "Alright, get your kids and families out!"

"That's our cue," Snowfield says to herself. In a louder voice back down the
tunnel she calls, "Jellybean, Windrose! Lead them up! But only the families
with children! Anypony going stag needs to wait for the next group." Her horn
begins to glow as she flattens the snow in front of the entrance, paving a
makeshift path for the group so that nopony falls into the snow and gets
stuck.

Solar steps out from the base and starts to herd the others out, He's all guard
duty chest puffed out looking like some big bold guard, making well sure that
they are moving "Ok everypony lets get them clear, get them safe, get them out
of here, Windrose, remember the routes we discussed, lets be on our way" he
states as he stands between foals of the evacuation and the negotiation party
watching them go behind him as they pass.

Jellybean spreads his wings to start the signal. "All right, everypony, you
heard them. It's time to go. Everypony ready? Stay together. One, two, three,
four," he sings, in what may feel like an incongruously happy little marching
tune for the surroundings.

Captain Twist can't help but smile a little as she sees Solar go back
to the camp. For a moment there she almost lets herself daydream before
snapping back. Nope, there is a better time for that. Not here not now. Her
head fallows the group of ponies moving up out of the camp.

Foals, a few young parents, a handful of older ponies: these are what straggle
out after Jellybean, Windrose, and Solar-Wind. They all manage to make it up,
thanks to Snowfield's snow-clearing. Tension outside seems to heighten, as
both sides watch the other, waiting with bated breath for an ambush. But Eyes
and her lieutenant, at least, with their forces, hold their ground. Eyes
glances at the kids, then back at Manyara, nodding her head slightly at her.

Windrose flares her wings out to hover just over the group so she can be seen
and heard easily. "That's the signal ponies. Let's keep this orderly and
expedient. Keep your foals between you and the ill close at hoof." She nods to
Solar as he and Jellybean take the lead, and hangs a bit farther back to make
sure there's no strays or stragglers.

Sodium-Fizz chuckled softly. She knew she really shouldn't. Really. But she did
kind of like Eyes. Shaking her head for herself she reached down, tying up the
bag once more. No point in letting it just sit around like that. Especially if
they needed a sudden change in approach to the negotiations… Like escaping
for their very lives. Things like that.

First part, done. Redmane is among those holding his breath. You never know
quite what the Queen has in store. The fact that these negotiations seem to be
working is… Quite frankly, amazing. He turns his gaze on the assorted
Shadowbolts. And up at Tom. Not quite out of the woods yet though… He
finally levels his eyes on Manyara. So far, so good!

Winter-Solstice eventually tucks the vial in her mouth. It seems to be warm
enough it isn't sticking to anything. It hangs off her lips like a cigarette
as she turns to watch the column of refugees as they filter out of the base,
eyes narrowed. For a brief moment, then, they widen with sudden worry, and she
glances back at the General, then her friends, then back at the refugees, then
settles back, sitting her flank down in the snow and waiting, which is never
something she has been good at, especially with concerns bouncing around in
her head.

Manyara looks back towards the base, admittedly a bit relieved to see things get
underway so apparently smoothly. She looks back to Eyes, returning the nod
obligingly. "Thank you. I know time is of the essence. We have no desire to
delay anymore than necessary. We're very grateful you understand the
importance of their safety to us." She smiles faintly. "It seems we agree in
our intent, though. As soon as I am certain they are safely on their way, we
can make our exchange, yes? And then the rest of us will leave without
troubling you any further." She says this bit rather pointedly, with a glance
back towards the ponies behind her. Nopony start any trouble! They might get
out of this smoothly yet.

Solar slowly rotates around the group circling mid air to keep a constant
position of himself between the foal-group and the opposing camp, so that he
may always be the shield in case its needed. He prays that such actions aren't
needed, but knowing things out here, he'd rather be sure. His gaze does search
the camp though to spot a friend. For her he makes a silent prayer that she
comes out of this alive, and un-controlled by the likes of Nightmare Will and
her devious Mind-control Magic

Windrose pays most of her attention to keeping the evacuees in order and moving
steadily, but can't help but glance in occasion towards the gathered forces,
and wonder if the other her is there amongst those Shadowbolts somewhere.

Eyes dips her head to Manyara, holding her breath. Everyone seems to be quite
nervous, as the ponies all filter out. But soon enough the river slows to a
trickle, and then stops altogether, as they make their way through the snow
and away from the negotiations to the agreed upon route. "The head?" Peony
prompts, without Eyes communicating; and she glances at him with a hard
squint, nudging him. He clears his throat, but otherwise says nothing.

Sodium-Fizz glanced at Manyara and Redmane for confirmation. Heads time?

Redmane, in turn, makes a gesture with his hooves. If they're about to be
ambushed, at least they got all the foals out first. Might as well give 'em the
head and see if they hold up their end!

Winter-Solstice sits up and starts pacing in a tight circle, looking from the
General, to Peony, to the Bag o' Head, to her friends, to the distant column
of refugees, to the army of bad guys, and back around once more with every
pass. The vial held in her lips swings back and forth from corner of her mouth
to corner of mouth as she gums it anxiously.

Manyara waits for the Professor's nod before nodding as well, motioning to
Sodium. "Of course. As was agreed upon."

Plot Twist suddenly ears drop and she glares daggers behind her. The
whole Wing comes to attention more than they already where, about jumping out
their. One poor soul actually drops there weapon. Without another word she
stares forward, seemingly more gumpy than before, unable to give the stink eye
to who it belonged. The Wing looks at one another in confusion and just
shrugs.

Snowfield plows along through the snow, clearing a path around the Nightmare
battalion. She sings a melody which would be haunting under normal
circumstances but in this case is off-key so it just sounds kind of weird. She
lets the other ponies worry about keeping the foals and ill in line— she
already said that she wasn't going to slow down for anypony.

Solar tails his group of ponies, keeping his guard post over the foals watching
the proceedings, watching his friends beside the tent with Eyes and Peony.
He'd be there in moments if it came down to that. Foals, guard the foals,
guard the foals is his only duty right now.

"I added the same elixir I used to… um… borrow this… in here, should be no
problem putting it back," muttered Soda as she bends down, her wings spreading
and arching forward as she does. As she pushes herself back up the bag is
safely tucked back under one wing. One wing that is suspiciously free of any
vial, not that anypony would have seen her getting it to begin with hidden
away under her cloak. Smiling thinly Sodium-Fizz walked forwards, stopping
before Nightmare's Eyes and offering up the bag.

Windrose is distracted from her watching the Shadowbolts when one of the older
ponies stumbles, and dips down to the side briefly to catch his side and
firmly nudge him back into position. Tries to smile reassuringly when he
quietly thanks her for not leaving him to fall behind, but she's not feeling
entirely reassured herself. They're not out of this yet…..

Peony reaches forward for the bag when it's offered, dropping it and looking
inside. His ears flatten slightly at the gruesome, stony sight, but he chances
a hoof in to nudge the head around. Turning to Plot Twist and her contingent,
he orders, "Reattach the head, so we can be certain there are no problems with
it." Glancing back, he gives a stony look to the rebels. "If it checks out,
the rest of you may go." Eyes rolls her eye, huffing out breath. What a
serious pony. Sheesh.

Jellybean's role in herding her fellow ponies is a more or less passive one,
gently nudging a foal here and there. He tries to maintain a reassuring smile
at all times, no matter the tension in the air.

So many eyes are suddenly curiously watching Plot Twist and her troops, to see
what happens with the head! Plot has been given quite the honor, bringing Will
back to life and all. Will's Body is, in fact, being guarded by the
over-protective dragon, whom snorts another big ol' cloud of smoke when things
finally get to restoring his mistress to her former glory. He growls at all
the ponies. A distinctive 'hurry up already' sound.

Solar hears the proceedings as he hovers over the trail of departing ponies, he
winces deeply knowing full well that with Will back in power, that all of his
hope will be lost with his special somepony, that of Captain Plot-Twist.
Will's magic will be involved again, and he'll loose her. Solar lands upon the
trail and watches from this distance, just watches and waits looking out of
sorts with himself, and sad, but still hopeful praying that she'll be ok…

Plot Twist frowns some more extending a hoof to take the bag from
Peony. "Yes Sir." in her usual gruff tone taking the bag, and turns towards
Tom. A quick flutter of wings her and her men land around the statue of
Nightmare Will. "Thunder Lane, Rainday hold the head in place while I pour the
potion I guess." she sets the head down and looks at the ponies who both make
faces as the see the head. "Well I'm do both." clobbering one over the head
with a hoof and points. "Get to work." She looks up to Tom and smiles, Plot
would give him another Gem if she had one. "Hold your horses big guy we will
get her better again." taking out the potion she gives one last glance around
waiting to see if something is going to happen from the rebels. Then … she
tilts the bottle …

Winter-Solstice reverses her anxious circling to help un-dizzy herself, but ends
up toppling into the snow anyway. She picks herself up and wobbles side-ways
to Fizzy, and bumps up against her in what is either an affectionate gesture
or sheer clumsiness, while watching the goings-on with wide eyes that can't
quite focus but for the swirls she sees before them.

Winter-Solstice whispers to Fizzy while she's near. "You might wanna tell them
how to use it before this gets really kinda bad," she says. Except she herself
is really kinda bad at whispering so anybody nearby can hear her.

Sodium-Fizz wound up swaying to the side at the bump. Then her eyes went very
saucer-wide as she turned towards Winny with a very clear 'what did you just
say' look, followed by a 'oh buck me to Tartarus, this is BAD' one.

A grand nothing happens! Nothing at all. The statue now looks…somewhat wet.
And the ponies holding the head look awful silly.

Tom doesn't look very impressed, either. His growl's deepening enough to make
the ground around him shake.

The potion is poured, the head held steady, and…

…wait for it…

…something will happen…?

Nope. Nothing.

The entirety of Nightmare's forces are watching, and eventually Peony turns to
level a glare at the rebels. "What is the meaning of this? We offered you a
chance, a meager chance in this Winter misery, and you throw it in our
faces?!" Eyes, who had still been watching just in case, turns around,
perplexed but more worried about Peony's reaction. She lifts a staying hoof,
but he appears to be ticked off. "You had your chance!" he bellows.

Manyara blinks, wincing and tilting her ears back, looking back at Sodium. "Was
that the correct potion? Did something go wrong?" She gives a faint snort. "Do
you have another one? No, perhaps it is better if I just…" she looks over at
Eyes and Peony, holding up a hoof in a hopefully calming gesture. "Perhaps I
can be of service. I know a spell. If the potion is not working properly, I
can attempt to fix it myself."

Winter-Solstice's eyes widen. She blinks at Fizzy, then turns and looks towards
the column of refugees in the distance, or at least whatever bit of them is
still visible. "Someone find Kludge! He's got some… some cement, I bet!
Yeah! Yeah! Concrete! Rock… glue!" She then whirls back around, facing the
enemies, her frantic expression darkening, her brow furrowing. Eager prancing
soon gives way to the solidly planted hooves of someone waiting for the worst.

Solar swears under his breath gets ready to draw his sword, checks his
wing-blades for battle and listens, as Manyara pipes up diplomatically. He
pauses and watches with a curious gaze.

Plot Twist just tilts her head. "Huh." Looking at the bottle to see if
there is any text written on it. Then she searches the bag to see if she
missed something. She fidgets realizing she is now in the path of an angry
dragon and a whole lot of ponies it wants to snack on. "Order Sir?" she glares
at the two ponies who almost moved to put the head down and the refocus on
keeping that head where it should be.

"consarn it, Winny, I'm a carpenter, not a mason," retorts Kludge.

Jellybean starts fretting, wings flapping nervously, but then he closes his
eyes, swallows, and forces them to be still. "Stay calm, everypony, stay
together."

Snowfield pauses as she hears Peony raising his voice. "Well, that's our cue,"
she says with resignation. "Solar, go be a big darn hero, will you?" And with
that she changes her snow shoveling style. Now the mare is tossing the snow
into the air and letting it land behind the group, effectively fluffing the
ground behind them so that the snow is easy to sink into. Let's see them be
followed now.

The unicorn does not hear Manyara at all, since the abada is being level-headed
and calm of voice about the whole thing.

"Aw, horseapples." Windrose doesn't need to hear what Peony is actually saying,
just volume and tone is enough at the reaches of the range they can hear.
"Time to move it or lose it ponies." When Snowfield starts flinging the snow
into the air she drops down to the ground and folds her wings up into her
thermal suit, continuing to guide the evacuees on hoof. Because with the snow
being flung about it's going to be hard for their followers to keep track of
where they are too, thus it's time to put her maps and her sense of direction
to good use.

Peony rears up, points a hoof dramatically and opens his mouth to shout in
response to Plot-Twist— until Eyes' hoof smacks right down over his mouth.
She shoves her translator over, and PLONK, sits right on him. Snort! Then she
tips her head at Manyara, and points at Will.

Manyara nods. Attempts not to chuckle at the quick… 'handling' of the
translator. Pity they're not on the same side; she could get behind this
mare's methods. She moves slowly towards the petrified pony, stepping
carefully but purposefully, not wanting to invoke any /more/ chaos if she
could help it. "I can fix it simply enough, I believe," she assures the
Commander (and unhappy dragon), horn glowing a faint gold as she looks Will
over. "Just give me a moment."

Sodium-Fizz blinked, a clear shudder running through her. Failed?! But, but…
She turned partway to look behind her, at the cluster of moving ponies, before
facing from and center once more. This… was not going as planed, at all!
With a soft groan she leapt forward, apparently aiming a tackle at Nightmare's
Eyes. Or at least to get close enough to her it seems, as her mouth cracked
open in a grim grin, revealing… a vial of shimmering grey gas. A
petrification vial. With a crack she bit through it.

Winter-Solstice is not a clever pony, but she is a pony ready to smash evil at
the drop of the hat. Of course, such evil-smashing reflexes do not come
without side-benefits- for example, the celerity needed to stop a bad
situation from getting any worse. Like, say, Soda about to go all kamikaze on
Eyes just when the situation is possibly resolving itself. So Winter goes from
nosing Soda, concerned at her obvious distress, to leaping after the smaller
pegasus, forelegs outstretched, intent on grabbing her by the hind legs and
arresting her forward momentum. TACKLE HOOOO-

Winter-Solstice rolls 1d20 (charge and stun) — Result: 13 | Sum: 13

… and Winter nabs Sodium's hind legs, seizing them and holding fast as she
herself drops to the snow, belly-first. The breath is knocked out of her as
she lands, and there's a *crack* as the vial held in her mouth gets caught in
her teeth and fractures, the potion inside squirting uselessly out across
Winter's lips and the nearby snow.

Solar stands his ground out there watching the scene unfold, he's still
just there, out in the distance the group of evac-u-foals having evacuated
already and the other less-level-headed negotiators doing their /thing/ or
something like it. He looks to the bolts and back. His overall expression is
that of What tha fuuuu? He's got a snow-bomb tucked in his thermals in case
things get any worse/better/what the heck-ish, so for now he waits there
pretty much hidden in in a dumped on snowdrift

Throughout all this? Professor Redmane is wearing the most stoic stone-faced look
ever created. As though he had swallowed that petrification potion. Instead
of, y'know, the crazy blasted mare that just tried to assassinate another
General in front of her own army. Should he have expected this? Yes. Yes he
probably should have.

Tom is still growling! Louder. And louder. Especially once ponies start jumping
around! Ooooh that's pretty close to an attack! He bellows a
permafrost-shaking roar, to show that he ain't gonna take this foolishness any
longer! Grr!

Windrose has to fight off the temptation to want to go see how her friends are
doing, because getting these ponies where they're suppose to be going is more
important right now. Go dedication, whoo. Or something. Otherwise she'd
probably be calling the lot of you crazy, yet again.

As fortune would have it, what enough of the broken vial's content finds itself
splashed not only in the white snow but white fur as well. Fortunate for the
fact that the gas easily reaches Winter-Solstice as well. Sodium-Fizz, though,
is rather a lot less fortunate as her grey coat pales, taking on a similar
hue to her afflicted hoof and she, pardon the pun, goes lifeless as a rock
under Winter's hooves.

And Eyes? Eyes rears back as Sodium makes a dive, offense flashing across her
face. She backs away, off her translator, glaring angrily, even as Winter
stops the offender, even as Manyara still seems open to helping. She kicks her
translator to get up, and furiously stomps out a message. "…One more
chance," Peony wheezes as he stumbles up, before snapping, "Which is more than
I would give you." To Eyes, he growls, "You're too tender-hearted for this
war." Eyes, however is still stomping, and she kicks his knee to translate.
"Ow! Rrrgh. If you don't make good on your promise in thirty seconds, there
will be no more mercy."

Manyara has, as promised, gotten to work on her magic - namely, reattaching
stone head to stone body, which seems to be a good first step - and does not
immediately notice the commotion. Tom's roar gets her attention, though, and
she looks up. And winces. They wouldn't… no, no, they would. She shoots a
/look/ back at the Harborponies. Those eyes can flash when she stares. It's
actually rather intimidating, that stare. "I /said/ we would make the exchange
and leave without trouble. If anypony would like to make a liar of me, take it
up with me personally." She turns the stare on the dragon, just for a moment.
"Now I am going to finish this spell and we are going to leave, peaceably, as
we agreed, yes?"

Plot Twist trots forward to Manyara, both guarding her and watching her
as she moves up to Will. "Your lucky Eyes is not Will. You would have all been
killed by now." she grunts, waving a hoof to make her men stand away to give
you room. Only those holding the head remain until your work is done. She is
about deafened by the roar but pokes Manyara "Continue your work Rebel you
don't have time to be waisting" she turns her back on Will and raises a hoof
to her muzzle and gives her best drill sergeant Yell "The head is reattaching
General Eyes!"

Jellybean stifles a whimper and looks around: the foals are starting to fret
despite his best efforts. He looks among them and finds Magpie, trotting to
join her. "I need your help in keeping everypony calm: the last thing we need
right now is a panic, and I'm worried that if I use the sun-charm the Queen's
ponies will get mad. I don't want to use it unless things go wrong."

The Professor clears his throat, his face more than a little strained with the
sudden instances of double-crossing. In fact, he looks like he might faint
from all the sudden surprises. That happened from his side. He smiles wanly
towards Manyara, past Eyes, "If you would see fit to hurry it along..? The
problem was tackled. Winter, dear, can you see that our petrified friend is
taken back to safety?"

Solar is up from his snowdrift and trots slowly forward to rejoin the guards
and a statue of his friend. He performs his little Bow again so that he's all
dismissive of the General, "Sorry, almost forgot this" he mentions as he
nudges Solid-Fizz with a hoof He rolls his eyes some at his rocky accomplice
and takes off some of his winter gear so he can pull out his rescue harness
and starts hooking up the rather statuesque pegasus pony. He shakes his head
"total stoner"

Winter-Solstice coughs a few times, then turns her head to spit SHARDS of BROKEN
GLASS out into the snow. She is that hardcore. "Fizzy!" she protests, winded.
"Fizzy, that was dumb! Why did you…" Winter blinks her eyes open and looks
down. That rock she's pushing herself up off of? Sodium Fizz. Winter's voice
and expression fall as she stares down at the stoned pegasus. Didn't she have
a potion to fix this? Winter reaches up and paws at her own face with a clumsy
hoof. Oh… oh yeah. Oh yeah…

The big mare seems at a loss for a moment, then she gets an idea. It broke in
her mouth, and mixed in with the faint hint of blood- she must have cut her
lip on the vial- there's a hint of… citrus? That must be it. She still has
the potion. She STILL HAS a LITTLE TEENY BIT of the POTION.

Ignoring the fact that the wastes are about to erupt into a pogrom around her,
Winter reaches down, seizes stone Sodium, grunts as she pulls the pegasus
around and upright, stares into that desperate, frozen, stoned expression, and
leans down to give it a sloppy, potion-spiked, blood-laced kiss.
"Hommnfhffmmf," vocalizes Winter, as she tries to snog some of the
depetrification juice into Soda's petrified figure. "Forry, Profeffor, ahm
workin ong it. Mmnnaahghhggffslpr."

Windrose is doing her best to help keep the herd moving, but you know how kids
get on long trips.

Magpie 's head whips around at the sound of the dragon's roar. Nervous hooves
dance in place, wanting to carry her back to where Things Are Happening. She
hesitates at Jelly's comments, though. "Ah, I, uh…" She bites her lip,
staring back… "E-everypony keep walking. Don't run, and don't look back."
She starts running around at the back of the group, nudging and pushing foals
to keep them moving, occasionally sending a flick of her horn to tug a tail or
tweak an ear…

"…" Peony's face scrunches up into disbelief as he watches the rebels just …
snog? And not just snog, but snogging statues? "…Living in the wastes does
bad things to your mental health," he grumbles.

As for foals, a particularly troublesome cream-colored pegasus foal flaps around
on his back around Windrose. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How bout
now? What about now? Huh, Miss Windrose? Now? /Now/?"

Manyara turns her attention back to her work. She's still looking calm, though a
good bit less smiley. Somepony might get kicked later. Possibly. Those hooves
are dainty but they're probably sharp. Grumblegrumble. /Mortals/. Hmph.

She steps back from the statue, taking a deep breath. There's a flash of gold.
And then, bit by bit, color would begin to return to the petrified pony,
starting at the hooves and working its way up. "That should do it."

Eyes watches the transformation happen, but she's upset now. Turning back to the
rebels, she doesn't even bother with a translator. She just points furiously
at the forest, her expression saying 'GO NOW BEFORE I LOSE MY PATIENCE.' (Can
a pony force-choke without fingers…?) The entire army is getting restless,
adding additional urgency.

Windrose resists the urge to sigh as the pegasus goes into -that- routine. "No,
no, not anymore than we were when you just asked, kid." Flinch. "And please,
don't call me 'miss', it makes me sound -old-." Then solves the problem by
grabbing the kid and tossing him on her back and getting back into the
formation.

Plot-Twist rolls 1d10 (Plot Twist?) — Result: 3 | Sum: 3

That works for Kludge. He gives the assorted Nightmare forces a small bow, then
starts trotting off towards the forest along the planned route.

"Tell me about it sir." Plot Twist rolls her eyes trying hard not to
get stabby with all this silliness a sloppy make out sessions. Not that she is
jealous or anything. Nope. "Will you hurry up all-ready you don't have- oh!"
the captain blinks in surprise as Will starts to return to normal. Then it
hits here. Wasn't something supposed to happen before now to get her out of
mind control harm? Glancing around there is no Ruby anywhere to be seen. dang
worthless rebel backstabby ponies. With a sigh she falls back onto her flanks
cringing against what will come next….

Whomp! Fire-Bright lands on her back, then buzzes up into the air again. "But
you ARE old!" he exclaims, poking over her head to look at her with bright
orange eyes.

Snowfield is already on it! She's chugging along like a train, tossing snow
overhead to make a path and not really paying attention to if she's making the
skies difficult for Windrose or not. She should probably slow down at least a
little bit, though, because the snow is landing uncomfortably close to the
ponies at the back of the line.

Jellybean starts urging the herd onwards, nodding to Magpie in a 'help me?' sort
of way. It seems that they're anxious to move on in the first place.

The miraculous transformation from stone back to pony takes a few moments. By
the time its worked up the entirety of her body, Will has gone from frozen in
a very awkward position, to sprawled out on the snow covered ground, groaning
and coughing out little dust clouds from the remnants of her statue
experience. "Wha… What just happened…"

With Will's revival, Tom's growling diminishes. Though he doesn't get any less
overbearing, looming over the assorted ponies, army, and everything, planting
two heavy front feet near his mistress. Grrr! That's right, flee ponies!
Before someone says 'sic'em'!

Redmane just looks…confused. Between Winter /kissing/ the statue of Sodium,
and the insistence that they get out of Dodge, the old pony gives Winter a
nudge. "Yes, let's not overstay our welcome. We have places to go, things to
do."

A statue is, all things considered, not very snogging-friendly. Even the
two-minute previously fillyfriend statues. At least till it starts to darken
again, slowly sprouting fur once more. And trembling like a leaf in the storm,
a whimper rising from her as the stone recedes and she slumps against Winter.
With a groan she turned her face upwards, kissing the larger mare. At least
for a moment before turning her head away, hurking up blood-stained shards of
glass of her own and coughing. "U-ugh… Th-that was worse… than I
though…"

Solar still has the rescue harness attached to DeSolidified-Fizz and is
ready to help haul her to safety as she looks less than mobile, "Lets get you
on your way right, right?" he asks of her as he gets into a hovering position
ready to make a hasty retreat

Manyara nods, pausing for just a second to give a nod and perhaps something of
an apologetic glance to Eyes before hurrying back to the group. "Come on.
Let's be off. Quickly now, we have the rest of the base to hurry along."
Before somepony /else/ does something foolish. She's only got so much kicking
she can do before she loses some amount of dignity, after all.

Windrose marge noises at the kid insisting she's old. And now she has a
foal-hat. Well at least he's staying with the group, so to speak, by being
headgear. "Kid, you gotta learn that it's not nice to bring up age with a
lady."

Winter-Solstice reaches down to catch Soda as she collapses, or at least ease
her descent to the snow. "Soda!" says Winter, a bright smile curling across
her face. "Oh, thank heavens that worked. You're much easier to carry like
this." And with that, she piles the mad alchemist up onto her back and turns
to follow the professor. "That and I like you better as a squishy pony instead
of a stoney pony, that is also a big factor. Also we need to go right now.
Also please do not try anything like that again or I'll have to pop you in the
nose and that's just going to be sad for both of us." Winter reaches up to
wipe at her eyes a bit with her sleeve, then moves to follow the Professor.
"Chugga chugga, let's go go go. We haven't even gotten to the fun part yet."

Winter-Solstice does glance up and back at Solar, and reaches up to give the
harness a tug. "I got this, Solar. Keep an eye on the others, okay? Especially
you-know-whooOOOOoooooo."

As the ponies start to make haste out of there, Eyes stands rigid, snorting
angrily. Peony turns. "Plot-Twist, ready the Shadowbolts! We're going to go
in!" And just as the last couple of ponies are beating retreat, the army
surges forward toward the base, Eyes at its lead. Now there's no one who'll
get hurt. Just a lot of equipment that needs some frustrations vented on…

Magpie keeps running back and forth to chivvy the foals along. She so badly
wants to go back and see what's going on! Where's Ruby? What happened? Is
everyone all right?

Solar just makes sure the retreat is going well, as everyone departs for the
planned route he had laid out

Sodium-Fizz groaned, her head swinging around slightly, pale yellow eyes seeking
out Solar-Wind. "D-did it… work, right? Are they out of the p-picture? Will
and Eyes…?" The last part sounds rather regrettable, Eyes was actually kinda
decent… Kinda.

The ponies who are guiding the retreat are doing a fabulous job! For the most
part, aside from irritating foals, the ponies are moving along quickly and
without problems. The stragglers are swiftly helped by Solar, while Windrose
and Snowfield keep guiding along the rest and Jelly and Magpie corral the
foals into some semblance of order. Good job, ponies!

Will groggily sits up, glancing about through bleary eyes. As all the ponies
start moving in various directions, the 'rebels' off in the horizon, and all
the Shadowbolts down into the Base, she's absently rubbing her neck with a
hoof. Over a very noticeable, and rather /ugly/ bump. A bump that seems to line
all the way around her neck. Her eyes widen in alarm at this…this /thing/
marring her perfect pelt, her voice rising in squeaky panic, culminating in a
high-pitched shriek!

"NOOOOOOOOOO! What have they /done/ to meeeeeee!?"

"Don't worry you wont mind it long." The sound of a blade running
through flesh is a very particular kind of sound, though maybe its one easily
lost in the sounds of the huge army and massive dragon. All the same
Nightmare's Will seems to become well aquatinted. "Surprise." As fast as she can
Plot Twist retreats back into the ranks. Trying to use the mass of uniformed
bodies as quick cover from the no doubt raging dragon. Trying to get back
behind its path of distraction before hitting the sky as fast as she can.

Plot-Twist rolls 1d10 (Surprise Ending Special Talent?) — Result: 7 | Sum:

7
As the rogue Shadowbolt flits off, a very confused pony watches. Confused
because she now also has some kind of sharp implement sticking out of her
once-oh-so-fluffy-necked, but surprisingly now still stone robe. She thought
it felt heavy. It falls back, leaving Will shivering in the cold, with a big
angry growly dragon curling wings around, to keep her warm in her total
confusion.

Solar breaks formation with his friends and dives atop the snowdrifts
following the familiar path to the island in the middle of the harbor, its
the place he always meets up with his love, that of Captain Plot-Twist, he
hopes she'll be there, or get there soon so he can get her off to safety. He
lands in the snowbank lined encampment and tucks himself into a snowdrift to
wait with patience if you could call it that.

Captain- No not a captain any more. Plot Twist flies out into the
waists. Checking behind her shoulder every so often. No pony? That almost
worries her more than the whole army coming after her. Really it just kinda
makes her feel guilty. "At least no pony of any worth died …" she sighs and
heads toward the sea camp to see if Solar is there to meet up. She could use a
set of warm wings to burry herself into.

Solar may well be buried mostly into a snowbank and in his white thermal
garb, but he still has his muzzle out enough to spot the incoming lone
Shadowbolt. He stays hidden for a moment before tromping out into the open-ish
a white mass in the white of the snow-dunes that he has collected here via
pegasus weather power. Solar watches her desend and knows just exactly who it
is by her movements in flight, her body stance, and just everything about the
way she's flying

"I … I couldn't do it." Twist just lowers her head ashamed. "She was
right there, and … I pulled my blow … I never did that before." The
ex-captain shakes her head in disbelief. She knows it wasn't the mind control
either she just … didn't want to kill, and for Will that was a bizzar
feeling. "My talent is killing ponies and I didn't want to!" she bucks a
snowbank before falling into it. "I failed you guys I'm sorry."

Solar trots from his snow bank and wraps her up in his wings, "No,
Twist you did what was right, you tried, but couldn't bring yourself to kill
another, that, Thats a good thing I think" he hugs her strongly trying to
settle her down, "and feel this, feel with your mind, what do you feel, do you
feel any of that, whatever the hay Will used to do to you to get you all
glimmer eyed?" he taps your forehead a few times, "is that still up there?" he
asks honestly praying its not still there.

"It would have helped so many ponies. All of them free at last from
that. Tom would be sad, but at least he would find himself somepony decent.
Things are so much simpler when you kill them." Really its how she lived her
life before and its true from an assassins perspective. Letting you hug her,
she doesn't really respond to ashamed, simply shaking her head. "No. I think
the last of it snapped when I stabbed at her. Maybe in the end thats why I
missed." that thought doesn't seem right to her either. Really it wasn't like
a command it felt liberating at the time. "Sorry." she pulls her goggles up
and wipes at her eyes. "Sorry enough of my belly aching there is work to do.
We need to get back to the group, lets break camp and get back they will need
all the muscle they can get."

The big pegasus still holds the Captain in his wings. "I think her
being alive may actually help us a little bit, I've heard that Will is the
Queen's favorite" he comments, "now she's already ticked off at us, imagine if
we had just killed her best friend now hmm?" he asks with a little smile. "Tom
got his best friend back, creepy as /that/ is, so I'm sure he's at least a
little happy" he chuffs some, "Lets get you changed to something less uhh,
telling and we can be on our way to the next camp. We'll carry in the survival
gear I stowed here and we can call it good ok." he asks/tells her though has
yet to unfix those wings that are wrapped about her. "Twist, you've changed for
the better with this, and its good actually, we can work through this" he
smiles, "Oh and I brought you something" he smiles and fishes in his pockets,
then pulls out a different pair of goggles, they are more like welding goggles
then her current shades, darker tint than the yellow shades she has now.
"these will help your eyes at the place where we're going to be heading" he
offers them to you as he slips back a pace, then leans in to give her a loving
Kiss on the muzzle.

•~•