The Phantom Thief Strikes
IC date: Autumn 31, 1007
OOC date: October 20, 2012
PCs: Brume, Caramel-Sufganiyah, Ginger-Spice, Lorelei, Maple-Breeze, Pumpkin, Queen-Pegasus, Rising-Chaos, Spearmint, Spindrift, Thunnini, Windsplitter
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em
GM: Trixie

Continued from Boardwalk Bun Binge

The town square is in a panic! Well, sort of. Okay, not really. A number of ponies are looking curiously at the fountain in the middle of the square where the statue of Seafoam usually resides but everything is otherwise pretty normal. 'Usually' in this case because it currently does not reside there! This in and of itself is not that weird considering all the explosions and whatnot that knock it down on a pretty regular basis, but the fact that it's not anywhere in the nearby vicinity either is a little strange!

In its place is a card wedged into the gap between the statue's base and the plaque bolted to the front of it.

Pumpkin trots quickly but carefully into the square with Thunnini on her back and Spearmint by her side and then stops in shock. "Now how in the Hay did somepony take a whole statue? This don't seem natural at all." She trots forward to inspect the base, seeing the card. "Thunnini, you think you could get that card for me? Ah don't wanna jostle you."

Spearmint tilts his head, following Pumpkin towards the fountain. "Like… seriously? The whole statue's gone? …How big is it? I always thought it was too big to… y'know… pick up. And make off with."

Maple-Breeze as a pegasus might enjoy the extra flying room in the town square. Though she does have a taste for aesthetics. A plain fountain in the center of town won't do. She flaps and peers about just wondering how one would just make off with a thing. Of course it would depend just how large the statue is!

"Will do!" nods Thunnini, reaching out to take the card. Now that they're no longer in a rush, she can move around a bit more… in fact, since this is a fountain, she hops right into it!

"Now, what does this say…?" she wonders as she opens the card…

Rising-Chaos skids to a stop in the town square, having expected a lot more. She trots up to the erstwhile resting place of the statue. She eyes the area carefully, making a shwo of looking for clues. Meanwhile, she's sensing the air for magic. She may as well pout on a show of interest, and it seems like whatever did the deed is gone. Chaos reasons that she may as well figure out what did this and how, if only for later use.

Spindrift and Brume arrive soon after Rising, but not too quickly, having not beein in QUITE as much of a hurry as everybody else. So, too, did Brume stop to finish off his illicit chili bun, lest Rising try and want it back, so by the time he arrives, he's coughing all over again, his sore throat re-agitated and his stomach protesting wholeheartedly (wholestomachly?) at being so overstuffed. In fact, he's so preoccupied with the after-effects of wolfing down the spiteful little bun he soon falls to the side of the group and sits down out of the way to sputter and gasp to himself about how it was totally worth it.

Spindrift, in the meantime, approaches the fountain, brow furrowed. "Strange," she says. "I was here not fourty-five minutes ago; it was here then. Whoever did this must have worked quickly." She watches Thunnini as she says this, curious about the card, and quieting to hear if the seafilly reads it off.

The card is easily removed by the little seapony from where it was wedged. It's about the size of a typucal greetings card and a pretty shade of crimson. Its front is embossed in gold with a picture of a globe.

On the back of the card is a mouth-written note written, the gold ink drawn in a delicate cursive script.

Good evening, my little ponies! I hope you don't mind that I've borrowed your statue for a little while! I thought it would make an excellent piece for a game I'm playing.

Speaking of! Are you fans of riddles? I've got one for you if you feel like playing along~ Some say that towns are just like ponies. When you look at the others thronging through this square it does come across like a heart, doesn't it? If you thought about it I bet you could find it's backbone, its mouth, and it's rump if you know what I mean.

But for the life of me I can't figure it out: where are the brains in this big dumb pony?


Thunnini reads the card aloud, then starts pondering. "The brains? Would that be leadership, or learning? Spearmint, Pumpkin, either of your two have any guesses?" Sometimes living *in* the harbor has its disadvantages…

Pumpkin thinks. "The brains? Maybe the schoolhouse?" She sinks a little, as this makes her think of their teacher and the foals still missing, but she stamps a hoof: nopony is getting away with stealing HER home's statue.

Maple-Breeze flaps slowly from above, nearly having to put herself upsidedown to peer at the card from over Thunnini's shoulder and the surrounding investigative ponies. Wings help with things like that. She can't help but quip herself, "Maybe it is talking about Town Hall? Where all the decisions are made?"

Spearmint tilts his head thoughtfully. "The brains… of the town? Like… like what runs it? Or… Hm." He frowns. He hasn't done many riddle puzzles before.

Brume coughs for a few more moments, clears his throat and swallows, before looking up and speaking across the square from his seat at the side. "I'd imagine half the brains in this town are inebriated to some degree at any given time. Maybe we should be looking for a bar."

Spindrift listens, head turned, then rolls her eyes. "The schoolhouse seems much more likely," she counters. "It's just over there, even." She lifts a hoof and gestures just over there. See? Just over there.

Queen-Pegasus trots into the square - head held high, and appearing to be a rather splendid mood; at least as splendid as moods come for the blood-thirsty. Spying the missing statue she pracitcally gleams "How splendid! Perfect realestate for a statue in my likeness, although the gift would appear wasted on such simpletons." staring down her nose at the gathering of ponies around the base of the statue - taking a monent to see if she realizes any.

Maple-Breeze looks at the card then at the strutting mare who seems all too happy to see the statue gone. Quite a change from all the astonished onlookers! Suspicious change. Maple hovers near and squints, "How did you spell your name again, Cue-een. Wasn't it?"

Rising-Chaos pauses to consider the message on the note. She decides to keep her guesses to herself, so she has time to properly think about them. She leaves the company of the foals, and wanders away from the pedastal. She spots Queen Pegasus enter the square and begins to trot in her direction.

Spearmint tilts an ear thoughtfully. "…Do we have a town hall? I… I think Dad said the mayor's house is town hall. …But if we're not far from the schoolhouse, that might be it too…"

Pumpkin looks at Spindrift and Thunnini, nudges Spearmint and says, "You wanna check it out, then? Maybe we'll find somethin' there. If that don't work we can try Town Hall but ah'm not so sure about that one."

"Sounds good to me," agrees Thunnini as she hoists herself out of the water and holds onto Pumpkin. Hey, it works, and since we're (sorta) in pursuit, maintaining speed is a good idea!

Queen-Pegasus chuckles. "Maybe if you wander about you'll spot a clue - oh wait, you can't spot anything, now can you?" waving a hoof in front of Spearmint in sheer mockery of the poor boy. Her gaze shifting towards Rising as she momentarily finishes insulting the poor colt. "Well hello there." strangely enough not insulting the other mare - at least not right away.

Spindrift turns away from the fountain, watching Queenie for a moment, before looking instead to the foals. "The schoolhouse seems likely. Let's go." She then turns and crosses the square, approaching the schoolhouse carefully; she studies it to see if anything looks amiss. Any statues on the roof? Any statue-shaped holes in the wall? Climbing up the steps to the door, she knocks a few times and then opens it to peer inside. "Hello…?"

Spearmint blinks and blushes deeply, recoiling a bit from the breeze of the hoof waving in his face. He lays his ears back, looking down. The statue could be right in front of him and he'd not know, this is true. Statues don't smell (usually), or make noise (also usually). He bit his lip, fidgetting shyly. "Uh… y-yeah, schoolhouse, right, um… you… sure you want me along?"

Considering that Blackbird has been whisked away to Celestia only knows where it's been a pretty depressing few weeks at Bramblebrush. Classes have gone on with a substitute teacher but it's just not the same.

Of course, it's Saturday night so the place has been empty since yesterday afternoon! Except for the night janitor, anyway, who when she isn't flagrantly abandoning her duties to go get plastered down at the portside. Which she is, uh, currently doing again. Yeah…

Aside from the janitor being AWOL again, surprise surprise, nothing seems amiss at the schoolhouse. The door opens when it's knocked on revealing the main schoolroom being perfectly tidy. Aside from the current assignment due after the weekend written on the chalk board (a book report on Pinto Pan) there are no other notes here.

Pumpkin bumps Spearmint. "Why of COURSE we do, Spearmint! Just because you can't see anythin' don't mean you can't help us. Why you're twice as smart as ah am." When they get there she has a look around the schoolhouse, peeking under desks and inside cabinets like she thinks sleuthy types are supposed to do. She looks around for a moment and opens up the teacher's desk drawer.

Rising-Chaos nods to the Queen. "Hello Queen," she says, her tone respectful. Chaos watches Spindrift and the others approach and enter the schoolhouse with a measure of amusement. She's pretty sure she knows the riddle's answer, btu isn't about to give it out freely.

Once the Foal Squad has made it to the schoolhouse, Thunnini looks around at the various things. Some items are things that you usually don't see underwater, but one of the biggest eye-catchers for her is a map of Horseshoe Harbor. "So this is what the town looks like… wait."

She squints slightly and tilts the map, then lowers her voice so Pumpkin and Spearmint are the only ones who can hear her. "Is it just me, or does the map of the area look like a pony's head?"

Brume wobbles to his feet, adjusts his cloak, and whirls about, departing the town square at a brisk trot. Schoolhouse, schmoolhouse, he's going to go down to the docks. Which he does- filtering through the streets, making his way back to the boardwalk where the group came from before. A pity- it looks like Ginger Spice has packed up for the evening. Making his way further down the docks, he instead heads towards the Rusty Bucket, because surely, SURELY, this is where the greatest minds of the city meet! Surely this is where the statue can be found! Surely this is a good place to get tipsy in case he's totally wrong, and half of him hopes he is.

Spindrift remains near the doorway of the schoolhouse, standing back, and letting the foals poke around. This is because she does not see anything and does not anticipate finding a clue. She resents the idea that Brume may have been correct, but manages to stifle her irritation long enough to speak up. "Do any of you see any notes like the one by the fountain? Perhaps she left something here to lead us on to the next step." Oh yeah- someone's getting lead on, that's for sure.

Queen-Pegasus appears sufficently smug after belittling a defenseless foal - seeming to take pride in flat out cruel treatement of youth. Her attention though remains on Rising-Chaos. "Hello, sweetie." offering a rather wicked smile to the smaller mare. "It appears something is ahoof with these locals, doesn't it? Care to fill me in?" watching the ponies scatter, and run about all for the amusement of an unknown pony.

Spearmint perks up a bit at Pumpkin's reassurance, blushing. "Come on, you're plenty smart." He edges into the schoolhouse, ears perked for any curious sounds. Hm. Nothing leaps to mind, but you can't hear notes, anyways. "Is there anything here? …The town looks like a pony head? That's kinda neat. What's the brains? If it's not the schoolhouse here, I mean. Where else do ponies think a lot? Or… well we're looking for the town's brains… not our brains… or…" he sits back on his haunches. "Wait, I'm confusing myself."

Thunnini gives the map a long look. "Well, the mountains are the mane, and the port is the mouth, which means the part where the brain is located is…"

She tilts her head. "…the Wintersong Forest?"

Rising-Chaos gives a small bow to Queen Pegasus. "Of course," she begins, "when the statue was stolen, a note was left behind. On the note were several clues as to the whereabouts of the statue. Talking of a town's semblance to a pony, asking us to find it's backbone, mouth and rump, as well as alluding to the importance of the brain." She makes a motion indicating the group aruond and inside the schoolhouse. "That group there is following a guess that the schoolhouse is the brain."

"Hey, what're all y'all doin' here?" a voice from behind the group. Silhouetted against the light of the sunset streaming in through the open door is a black-maned mare wearing coveralls. Certain not-blind students might recognize as the janitor's uniform. "Yer a bit late for class," she drawls before her gaze turns in the general vicinity of the adults. Somewhere just to the left and behind them. "And parent-teacher conferences were… uh, were last month? I think?"

She scratches her head. "Anyway, I don't think y'all are supposed to be here. Mr. Blackbird wuz always real clear 'bout that part: No ponies in the schoolhouse when there weren't classes. Somethin' 'bout too many tacks left on his chair, I think." The mare takes a step to the side to usher the group out of the building.

Spindrift turns to watch the janitor for a moment, listening, then looks back to the kids. "Thunnini," she calls out, across the room. "I believe you have the right of it." SHe turns to leave, then stops, considering the reputation of the forest. Turning back to the others, she looks them over. "If you children would like, I will accompany you to the forest." While she waits for an answer, she stops to stare at the janitor, tipsy as she may be.

Pumpkin closes the desk drawer quickly with a guilty look. "Well, yes sir! We were just looking for a statue that got stolen. There were some clues about looking for 'the town's brains' whatever that is. Ah think Thunnini's got it figured out, though, so we'll be moseying on out of your mane."

Thunnini does pause for a moment. "Miss janitor? When you were cleaning up, did you happen to see a card that looks like this?" she asks, showing the card with the first clue.

Queen-Pegasus hoos softly "Interesting, no wait that's not interesting at all. You know what I find interesting - The Elements of Harmony; of course that's not a conversation for the streets. Now is it?" Gaze roaming over the scrambling ponies. "What do you think the answer is? The mayor? Hardly a brain if you ask me…"

Spearmint blinks and tilts an ear. "…I… I don't think it'd be the forest," he offers timidly. "The forest doesn't do any thinking for the town. And… and that's what this is about, right? I mean, the Square isn't the 'heart' of the map, but it's the 'heart' of the town… So… so we're looking for where the thinking for the town is done. And if it's not here, then…"

The janitor shakes her head. "I di'n't see one. Why? Is that a love note or somethin'? Isn't your teacher a bit old for ya'?" You can almost see the light bulb going off over her head. "Oh, wait, it's for one of yer classmates, isn't it? You changed yer mind about confessin'! Sorry, hun, I think he must've already took it."

Rising-Chaos shrugs non commitally on the issue of it's interest. "If you were to ask me, we'd be better served finding every part of the riddle before moving on to the brain, and establish a system." She shrugs again. "Not that it matters, really, it's just a pointless statue." She lowers her voice, so only her and the Queen should hear. "As for the elements, one of the ponies present knows where one is."

Thunnini rolls her eyes. "Well, there was the thought that city hall or whatever the equivalent is might be another possibility. Maybe we should check there, just in case?"

Queen-Pegasus ohohos softly "So which one do we shoot to get that information, hmm?" wiggling her hoof into a saddle bag to produce an small ankle-mounted flintlock pistol. "Or do we shoot them all?

Pumpkin says "Ah guess we could check town hall. Or isn't there a hall of records somewhere? Y'know, where all the smart ponies put all the fancy paperwork?" Pa and Ma have had some things to say about fancy paperwork."

Spindrift turns to look back at Spearmint, considering. "Not the forest?" she asks, before frowning thoughtfully. After a moment she shrugs and turns towards the door. She's not from around here, and she's running out of options. Maybe Brume was right- the bar is the place to go. She steps out and back into the square, looking around for him, only to find he's gone. Great. With a sigh she draws back and waits, either for her partner to reappear or for the foals to sally off.

Meanwhile, across the town, Brume is halfway through a pint. "… and that's when I said, 'Don't bother- she's my wife!'" The crowd around him in the Rusty Bucket laaaaaughs, but you had to be there to know why.

Spearmint blushes, rubbing the back of his head. "I think Dad said they keep all that stuff in the mayor's house 'cause this town doesn't have a proper town hall," he offers sheepishly. His father tended towards bookkeeping jobs, and apparently it had been quite the job to get all of the paperwork in order after the semi-recent mayoral change. He'd heard enough ranting about the mess to know where it all had probably ended up, at least.

Rising-Chaos shakes her head. "Not a good idea, I suggest we tag along, maybe even help out. We watch and wait, that way, we learn." She smiles malevolently. "We can always take care of the pony later. No need to rush things." She changes her smile to something more friendly and turns back to the group. "The mayor's house sounds like a good place to start for the brain, how about the back bone?"

Pumpkin nods. "Well, let's check out the mayor's house. That should be okay, right?" Cutie Mark Crusader Home Invaders! YAY!

Spindrift, standing outside the schoolhouse still, looks across the plaza, watching as Queenie and Chaos converse. She can't hear what they're talking about, but they ARE talking. She furrows her brow slightly, but doesn't stare too long, suspecting that drawing Queenie's attention is more of a pain in the bonker than it's worth. She looks back up towards the schoolhouse, tilting her head. The mayor's house, then? She thinks a moment about where that might be found, before turning in that direction, and goin' at a slow pace, not wanting to go and outpace everybody.

Queen-Pegasus scoffs and putts away her flintlock pistol with a pout. "But I've hardly a chance for bloodshed since landfall." she protests despite having no need to - after all she is the pony with the gun. "The backbone is clearly the port - Rising." she points out before making a motion with her hoof. "The backbone is the port, I would assume the mouth is the farm country, and the rump - well that might be the outskirts.

The janitor waves to the ponies as they depart towards their next destination, closing the door of the schoolhouse behind them. We don't want any little foals getting bright ideas about tacks on chairs, after all.

The trek to the town hall-slash-Mayor's manor is uneventful! The streets are lined with ponies who either didn't hear or didn't respond to the call to action to find the missing statue, wrapping up their business before heading home for the night. At least until the party gets to their destination, anyway. It's not so quiet at the manor tonight! In fact, there's some sort of commotion. The Mayor in question is standing outside her own front door, ranting and fuming. To nopony in particular! Something sure has upset her, though!

"Who wrote this?! Rock'em! Sock'em!" Wherever the two called-for goons are, it's apparently not within earshot! …Or they're just wisely not getting involved. "Who does this pony think they are?! This is… rude… presumptuous… I never… hmph!" She seems to lose a lot of her articulateness when she's angry!

As for what she's angry at… she's holding a familiar little card in one hoof. Waving it about, in fact! Dramatically!

The two ex-goons in question, Rock'em and Sock'em, are both standing…or rather, lurking, just down the steps from the Mayor's front porch, resting in a shadow. Hiding, apparently, from their new Boss, while still somehow managing to keep an eye on the road.

"Geez, Sockie. Remind you of anything?" "Yeah Rocky… But at least this one doesn't buck us in the face when she's done yelling."

"'Scuse me, miss? May I see that card?" asks Thunnini with the total innocence of one who not only doesn't have a clue, but doesn't know that there is a clue to be had. What could possibly be wrong with asking politely…?

Rising-Chaos decides to follow the ponies to the mayor's house. She regards the mayor with an expression of disdain. So this is the mayor of horseshoe harbour? No wonder the city is so lawless. She spies Rock em and Sock em hiding in the shadows and chuckles. "If this is the brains of the town, I'm worried for our sanity," she mutters to herself.

Spindrift once more takes to lurking nearby, rather than approaching directly. We have Entrepid Foals to do that for us- and it looks like they know exactly what to look for. That card, being waved around by the mayor. The mayor… Spindrift narrows her eyes, studying her for a moment, before opening them wide, glancing about hurriedly, and drawing back a few steps. Soon, like Rock'em and Sock'em, she's keeping to the shadows, hers those beneath a tree. She draws her hood up and cinches her cloak a bit more closely.

Pumpkin says "We're trying to find the statue that got stolen, Mayor! An' there was a clue that we thought maybe meant we should look here. Maybe you could help us? It's for the good of the city an' all that."

Lorelei blinks, ranting interrupted! She glances down at the foals, snorts, looks back up at the card… and then down at the foals again, staring wide-eyed at Thuninni for a moment. "What in the tides are you doing here?" she asks before catching herself, blinking and twitching an ear. "I mean… I've… never seen a seap- creature like you on land before." Stare.

She's pulled out of her stare by Pumpkin's words, frowning. "A clue? To the statue? …The statue is missing? Oh, you have to be joking. By the Queen, how could a full statue go missing?" She frowns deeper, but offers the card, somewhat hesitantly, to Thunnini. "I suppose this might be the… 'clue'."

The card is identical to the previous one! Crimson red, gold globe embossment, and a nice little note on the back! Well, for a given value of 'nice'…

I guess that makes sense! Even if she's not a very clever pony I guess the mayor does count as the brains of this outfit! Well, maybe more like the face, I think we all know who the brains was before she hightailed it out of town. <3

Here's another riddle for you for your trouble! You all probably know what you can put in a bucket to make it lighter, but you have to be pretty mean to it to get one there in the first place.

What would put it in your bucket?


Rock'em and Sock'em both perk their ears up when the ranting is interrupted. By the group of ponies that just walked up the road no less! They both poke their heads above the deck, peering at the Mayor and the Shrimp both.

"Our statue's missing?" "When'd that happen?"

"Thank you," replies Thunnini as she accepts the card, a quizzical frown on her face. The phrase "what in the tides?" is somewhat familiar to her, as it's not uncommon for it to be used among the seaponies… but why would a seapony want a job that's obviously this stressful?

After reading the latest clue, Thunnini tilts her head. "Removing part of something would make it lighter. So… a hole?"

Queen-Pegasus can't help but chuckle as Thunnini reads the note aloud. "Pretty mean - a hole. How crudely clever." she glances sideways at Chaos. "Crude is awefully fitting for this town, but clever is a change."

Pumpkin hmms. "What puts holes in buckets? Well, some of the stuff mah brothers make, but what else? Termites? A drill?"

Spearmint tilts his head. "I don't think we've got termites around here…" ("I should hope not!" is inserted by the mayor indignantly). "I guess you could get drills at the market? Maybe? But… but it's late, isn't it, I think the market stalls are closed. Where else would there be hole-y buckets?"

Spindrift, hood still drawn up, still hiding off to the side, doesn't hear the reading of the card. She watches the rest of the party out of the corner of her eye, keeping her back turned towards the Mayor, and waits for everybody else to take off. Contributing? Certainly. Just not right now.

Queen-Pegasus ahs softly as something seems to pop into her head, and yet another chuckle from the unwelcome mare whom appears to be tagging along with Chaos. "I see, how simple yet clever." watching the trio to see if they figure out the clue.

Thunnini blinks. "Spearmint, I think you're onto something. The clue is hinting about a hole in a bucket, but what caused the hole? A drill? A termite? Or maybe… rust?" Beaming grin!

Rising-Chaos nods sagely. She is a little lost in the riddle, but is more than happy to tag along. She's also a little embarrased by her complete lack of ability to solve it. When the Queen chuckles she raises an eyebrow. "Found the solution my Queen?"

Meanwhile, across the town…

Brume, at the Rusty Bucket and two and a half pints in the hole, has a foreleg around a pink pegasus mare. "Yes, yes… I AM quite brave," he's saying. "You're as kind as you are beautiful. But that's surely NOT the grandest adventure I've been on. Have I ever told you about the time I defeated the Snapping Dragon of the Palomino Peaks?" He sweeps his free forehoof out in front of him. "There I was- days after overthrowing the corrupt Duke of Das Hayford…"

Lorelei blinks and glances back to Thunnini. "…That seedy bar? Oh, dear. You foals can't really be intending to go there! That's no place for foals your age." She frowns disapprovingly. In her opinion it's hardly a place for anypony of any age. Hmph.

Queen-Pegasus motions towards Thunnini at Chaos' inquiry; the mare seems to figure it out swiftly enough "Perhaps there is a hint of clever in this town - well in the Harbor at least." Reaching out to mess Rising's mane with one hoof. "Indeed - no place for children or two legged sea-ponies. I suppose I could be bothered to lend a hoof - after all that's what's being friendly is all about - or so I'm told.

"Aw it's not so bad Boss." Rock'em interjects, suddenly appearing to Lorelei's left flank.

"Nope." Sock'em adds, to Lorelei's right. "Shoot, the last mayor practically invited kids into that place on a regular basis."

Rising-Chaos chuckles, finally getting it as well. "I would be honoured to accompany you Queen, always ready to lend a helping hoof." She accepts Queenie's attentions good naturedly, smiling the whole time.

Spindrift, still lurking, notices the rest of the group gathering up in the manner of those ready to go somewhere. Where? She's not sure! Away from here, though, hopefully. She moves away from the Mayor's house, out of easy view of the Mayor herself, and turns to look back towards everybody else, waiting.

"Onward to the Rusty Bucket!" cheers Thunnini. As the group turns to leave, she looks at the mayor and the ex-goons. "Wanna come along?" she beams. They seem to be helpful ponies, and they did find the clue, after all.

Lorelei blinks, hesitating a beat. And then nods. "Yes, that's probably for the best. I can't have children traipsing off alone into places like that." Whatever the 'last mayor' did, she still does not approve! Besides, she's got a bone to pick now with this 'C' pony. Poked at a sore spot, that note did!

Which means the two bodyguard ponies get to tag along too! Rock'em shrugs, but Sock'em looks giddy about this for some reason.

"Clues, huh? Are we looking for something? Ooh, ooh, do you need a detective? Should I go get my magnifying glass and kit?"

Spearmint blinks and nods. "Sure! I… don't think I've ever been there. But it sounds right! It's even got 'bucket' in it!"

As the ponies pass through the town square the janitor can be seen toddling away from the schoolhouse with the awkward gait of one who has had a little too much to drink but has not yet hit the point of being completely unable to support herself. Apparently she's decided to make another sojourn to one of the taverns instead of minding the school like she's supposed to. Someone will need to talk to her superior about that later. She is easily outpaced as the group continues towards the portside.

As they approach the tavern the sun is finishing its steady descent under the horizon, although thanks to the heavy overcast the sunset is less a dramatic splash of color as it is a gradual darknening to black. Thankfully there are lamp posts that are lit an hour before sunset by convenient public works ponies! Thanks, Mayor Lorelei!

Inside the bar it is as rowdy as ever. The situation hasn't deteriorated into the inevitable brawl just yet but there's no reason for the group to push their luck by sticking around any longer than they have to. The gruff stallion behind the bar lifts his head as he sees them enter and gestures with his chin that they should move closer.

As the Foal Squad sidles over to the barkeep, Thunnini gives him a respectful smile. "Yessir? Is there something here for us?"

Queen-Pegasus follows along - welcome or not (most certainly not). Upon arriving she curiously surveys the tavern before sticking her tongue out. "How appauling - what kind of scum would…oh." seeing a handful of her own crew huddled in the corner - busy harrassing a local pony or two. "That certainly explains it."

Pumpkin looks around at the bar curiously. She recognizes a few bottles as coming from the farm's supply, which doesn't surprise her too much. As for the barkeep, she adds her smile to the pile for added encouragement. You wouldn't disappoint three little foals, would you?

Brume is at the bar, of course, and is finishing off his third pint. He glances up, notcing the Bartender's attention, and turns to peer back over his shoulder at the party as they enter. Realization eventually soaks through the cloud of inebriation that hovers about his head, and he brightens up. "Ahh! My friends. I see you, too, have decided to bugger this all for a fool's errand. Come, come, join me!" He raises his empty glass in a toast, moves to take another drink out of it, realizes there is nothing there, and frowns at the empty glass.

In the meantime, Spindrift enters, slipping in quietly, hood drawn up. She spots Brume, stops, scowls, and bustles over to the bar beside him, to elbow him hard in the side. He winces and turns to blink at her innocently.

Spearmint wrinkles his nose the second they get through the door. Augh! It smells foul in here. Dear Celestia, don't any of these ponies ever bathe? Or… clean up the booze spills? And the… after-booze 'spills'? Oh, yuck. That is not a good smell. Snort. He rubs at his nose and tries to breathe through his mouth. That doesn't help. Now he can taste it. Ewwwwww. He flattens his ears and follows demurely after the others, smacking his tongue to try to get the 'flavor' out. Myah.

Lorelei looks equally disgusted. She steps daintily into the bar, frowning disapprovingly at just about everything and sticking protectively close to the foals.

Rising-Chaos seems unimpressed by the state of the tavern, gazing around the room with a look of calculated disinterest. Eventually her gaze falls on Brume, and her expression changes to one of amusement. She sticks by Queenie's side, fully aware how violent the place could become at a moment's notice.

"'ere, youse guys looking for C?" the bartender says with a gravely voice. "I was told to give dis to a bunch a' townies who came in 'ere lookin' like dey had a purpose," the bartender ducks his head down under the bar for a moment and rises with another red card clenched in his teeth. He drops it on the table with the note face-up so that they can get a good look at the words on the page.

Right again! I've never punched a hole in a bucket before but I've had the bottom rust out on one, and then everything inside of it ends up falling out and making a mess of everything! Kind of like this tavern, actually.

To make up for bringing you out to such a terrible place here's one last puzzle for you to solve: The reason that ponies get sent to jail to teach them a lesson, but there's one prison that teaches everypony EXCEPT the trouble-makers.

What is it?


Thunnini looks at the card. Then she looks at the crowd who have been hunting clues. Then she looks at the card again.

And then she giggles.

And giggles more.

Soon she's giggling so much she falls off of Pumpkin's back, and is practically rolling around on the floor from laughing so hard.

Rock'em and Sock'em are still there! Practically hovering behind Lorelei. Sock'em's got a spiffy detective's hat on too. Though he seems to have left the rest of his 'kit' behind. "Ooh is that the next clue..?" He loooooms over other ponies so he can look at the clue too! "…hmm… Hmmmm… HMMMMM…."

And then Thunnini starts giggling like mad. Which makes Sock'em stare in confusion, finally admitting with a downwards gaze at the dirty, sticky, smelly floor.

"I don't get it…"

Pumpkin says "Uh, Thunnini? Are you all right? Is this some kind of seapony thing? You want a glass of water?"

Brume blinks a few times, seeing several faces he doesn't recognize with the party. Two lumbering brutes, and- hello there! He pivots on his stool and flashes a winning smile towards Lorelei- tipsy he may be, but the drifting swagger it gives his movements only serves to emphasize the slow, fluid manner of his movement. "Why hello there. You look like you deserve a better place than this. Why don't we head b-"

Spindrift leans up to whisper hurried in Brume's ear. He pauses with his mouth open, stares at Lorelei for a moment, arches his eyebrows slightly, then quickly retreats to his seat. "Nevermind, thought you were someone else."

He and Spindrift proceed to have a heated, whispered discussion. Halfway through, Spindrift lifts her head, listens to the clue-reading, and frowns. "The schoolhouse," she says, before drawing back from the bar, grabbing Brume around the elbow, and hauling him upright towards the door. He waves to the bartender as he goes and tosses a handful of coins onto the bar. "Farewell! Farewell, my friend!" he calls out, before stubling into line behind Spindrift.

After finally calming down and catching her breath, Thunnini nods towards the departing Spindrift. "The schoolhouse. The very first place we check, and it turns out to be the last place on the list of clues." A small giggle escapes her lips. "Whodathunkit?"

Queen-Pegasus scoffs while looking down at Rising - seemingly the only pony she doesn't talk about shooting. "Why do I get the feeling they'll adopt this as the official method of welcoming new ponies to Horseshoe Harbor? Utter waste of time." complain, whine, complain, threaten, insult, complain - do something useful why don't you?
Spearmint blinks and tilts an ear, turning his head towards Thuninni as well. "What? What's funny? …I feel like I missed something. Did someone do something funny?"

Lorelei has opened her mouth to comment as well, but is cut off by Brume's approach. She blinks and him, unable to keep from standing up a bit straighter - shows off her figure, of course - and tilts her head curiously, watching him somewhat quizzically. Until he retreats as quickly as he came! Then he gets a blink and a raised eyebrow, and a small huff. Yes, she does not like this bar.

The bartender sweeps the bits off of the counter and into his till with a curt nod to Brume.

Pumpkin blinks for a second, then gets it. "Now how in the world did we not find it last time? Ah don't get it." She nudges Thunnini. "C'mon, giggles." To Spearmint, she explains: "She just figured out that the last clue is at the first place we looked. Let's get a move-on, all right?"

"A schoolhouse. Of course. Elementary." Sock'em states with a slow, knowing nod, earning a squint from Rock'em. To which Sock'em shrugs. "…Well, we don't have a high-school around here now, do we?"


Thunnini nods in agreement as she hauls herself up onto Pumpkin's back. "Maybe the thief doesn't complete the entire trail at one? Like they stay just two steps ahead of those who are following?"

A voice from the far side of the bar roars, "THAT PUN WAS TERRIBLE! IT MAKES ME WANT TO PUNCH SOMEONE!" Presumably that is what happens next because the other side of the room abruptly breaks into a fight.

Rising-Chaos smirks at the newest clue, of course, what delicious irony. She looks up to Queen Pegasus. "Wouldn't surprise me, not in the slightest, this town messes with a pony's mind." She chuckles, remembering all the things that she's suffered. She turns towards the door, obviously eager to leave the place as soon as possible. "Shall we proceed to the schoolhouse then my Queen?" she says sweetly. Her smile fades as the tavern erupts into a brawl. "Perhaps with some haste?"

Spearmint winces and lays his ears back at the shout. "…Yeah. Let's, uh… let's go. Now. Please." He waits a second to make sure Thuninni's (probably) settled before nudging Pumpkin towards the door.

Pumpkin's ears flick. "Yeah, ah reckon these grown-ups are about to be dumb." Exit, trotting left.

Lorelei winces as well. She glares disapproval over at the brawling ponies while turning towards the door. "Come on. We're leaving. Let's see what's at this schoolhouse." She doesn't wait for her guards to respond, trotting towards the door, eager to get out of there.

Queen-Pegasus is already well on her way to leaving Chaos behind - the mare barely finishing her sentence by the time Queen has exited; clearly somepony has her priorities - and she's always at the top of the list. The taller mare fluttering her wings once outside "Such a vile establishment, utterly disgusting." complain!

The gumshoes successfully escape the Rusty Bucket without falling victim to the wave of violence that rushes from one side of the room to the other. It is well and truly night now with the only light on the street coming from the lamps and a few lit windows. The streets are much emptier than they were as most everypony has gotten home by now.

Back at the town square the door of the schoolhouse is ajar and the inside is dark. Did anypony bring a lamp?

Outside the schoolhouse are Spindrift and Brume, the first to have left, and although Brume was intent on wandering off every twenty feet, so incredibly uninterested in this task, Spindrift kept him on the course until the two arrived.

A lamp, you say? Why yes! She's climbing down from a lamppost right now, one of the lamps held in her mouth. Thanks, Mayor Lorelei! She'll put it back when she's done with it, don't worry. She's settling on the ground just as the rest of the group is arriving, and looks back towards them with a flat expression, nodding her head towards the stairs. "Go on. I'll light the way."

Sock'em looks completely dejected! His ears flat back at either side of his hat, which even looks like it's drooping on his head. He manages to hold this look for two steps on his way out when a bottle spins through the air, smashing into the side of his head. Rock'em, already outside, turns back just in time to watch his cohort shout a crazed battlecry, joining the brawl. "…" He shrugs, turns, and follows the Mayor and crowd of ponies out.

By the time he catches up, Sock'em's hat is horribly askew and smelling of cheap alcohol, and he's got a few extra stains on his pelt too. Rock'em tsk-tsks. "Just had to, didn't you."

Sock'em pouts. "They insulted my hat. What would you do?"

"Not have a hat that stupid-looking, for one." Rock'em notes. "Go wash up." He keeps following Lorelei to the schoolhouse! While Sock'em dejectedly wanders to the fountain to clean off.

Time to be brave and curious! Thunnini and the others carefully make their way into the schoolhouse. What has changed in the time they were away?

Spindrift moves to follow as the foals enter, staying close so that they can see by her light. She's tall, see, and also Spearmint and Pumpkin are busy luggin' Thunni around.

Brume sits down on the schoolhouse steps and starts singing about a pretty beach.

Spearmint follows after the others, not seeming put off by the darkness at all! Makes no difference to him! Who needs lamps?

Lorelei hurries to catch up with the group, following along behind them and looking admittedly a bit curious! Though she does cast Spindrift a sideways glance. Suspicious? Not at all! Probably much more wondering how she came to get ahold of that lamp. You'd better put that back! Can't have a darkened school district, can we? Who knows what somepony might get up to.

Pumpkin, on the other hand, is slowed down by the relative lack of light until somepony grabs a lamp. "All right, let's see if we can't finish this wild goose chase already." Her tail swishes in a vaguely irritated fashion.

Rising-Chaos follows the others inside the school house. Eager to see the last clue in a place they had already checked. She stays in the shadows off to the side. She doesn't trust this 'C' character not to appear and cause trouble, and if they do, Chaos wants to be well out of it.

The light of Spindrift's lamp reveals that the Pinto Pan assignment has been erased from the chalkboard. In its place a large map of the planet has been drawn in yellow chalk. It's criss-crossed with arcs that more navigationally-minded of ponies might recognize as common sea routes between the continents.

Perched in the chalk tray beneath the diagram? A red card with a gold globe.

Thunnini picks up the card and reads it aloud. What message does this mysterious "C" have for those who have taken the time to follow the clues?

Good guess! Ask any colt and filly and they'll say the same thing about school! The warden here must have some tough skin to take all that guff from his students.

Sorry for lying, by the way, but I've got one last place for you to trot. What was the first move in our little game?


From outside the schoolhouse can be heard the loud *THUNK* of something heavy being put down on stone.

Of course, since Brume had the foresight to not enter the schoolhouse he'll get to see exactly what made that noise. Descending from the sky the statue of Seafoam, suspended by several ropes that disappear into the heavy cloud cover. Standing on top of the statue with one foreleg looped around a rope for support and the other holding a crimson, wide-brimmed hat on her head is the school janitor. The *THUNK* in question is the sound of it gently resting upon the fountain pedestal it was stolen from.

Rock'em and Sock'em lurk behind Lorelei. Sock'em smells distinctly like fountain water now. Which may or may not be worse than smelling like a barroom brawl. Did they ever put those filters in?

Spearmint perks his ears immediately at the thunk. "…Did anypony else hear that?" Of course they did. That wasn't exactly quiet.

Pumpkin says "The first move? Wouldn't that be stealing the sta-" KLUNK, "-ue?"

Brume is outside the schoolhouse, yes, still sitting on the steps, still singing. The lyrics are insipid and not worth relating here. His voice trails off as the statue descends, and as it settles into place, he lifts a hoof to wave languidly to her. "Hullo there! Quite the show you've put on!"

Spindrift turns her head, listening to the clunk, and then Brume's greeting. She scowls and whirls out of the schoolhouse, the light of the lantern jostling and swinging as it hangs from her mouth still, to prance down the schoolhouse steps beside her besotted partner and look up at who is, presumably, the mysterious C.

Rising-Chaos is already out the door, slipping out quietly the moment the note was read aloud. She lurks into another dark corner and watches the end of the statue being returned. "quite the show indeed," she mutters to herself, agreeing with Bume. "But for what purpose?"

Thunnini gives an amused snort. "I think this 'C' character is rather silly. 'Borrowing' a statue, just so ponies can run around trying to solve clues?" She pauses for a moment. "It was kinda fun, though," she admits.

Pumpkin thinks about it, a smile on her face. "Ah guess it was kinda fun. Like a nice game." Pause. "Only we never got our buns. Shucks. I was lookin' forward to those. Maybe some other time?"

Lorelei stares at the map curiously for a moment, head tilted. Currents? Maybe. Hm. But before she can puzzle that out too much, there's a noise! She jumps! And then whirls to hurry back outside and see what that was! Because if somepony's breaking things in her town, that is a problem.

"I certainly like to think so!" C says cheerfully to Brume. "What good is being able to pull off a perfect heist if nopony can appreciate the beauty of it?" She tips her hat slightly in greeting as the investigators come out of the schoolhouse one by one. "What purpose, hmm? Can't a mare just want to have fun one night?" She swings gracefully around her rope, unlooping it from Seafoam's outstretched hoof and grabbing onto another one. "I'd like to congratulate you on a wonderful performance! It's always great fun to match wits with another pony and there are so few who are up to the challenge."

Even as well-illuminated as she is from the many street lamps in the town square it's incredibly difficult to get a good look at her between the fact that she's standing so high above ground level, the floppy brim of her jauntily angled hat and the coveralls she's still wearing from posing as the janitor. You can't even see her cutie mark in those things!

Brume nods sagely in response. "You put up a good show, C! It WAS a pleasure to match wits with you, and bested your tricks I have. Now, how about you and I head off and we can see what else we can matc-"

He is interrupted as Spindrift reaches over and bonks him on the side of the head with her hoof. "You didn't help, and you're also an idiot," she says, after setting her lantern down on the ground beside her. She then looks back up at C, face drawn, brow furrowed. "Cleverly played, indeed. Who are you, anyway? What does C stand for?"

Brume rubs the side of his face and watches, smiling absently.

Pumpkin trots out the door after the sound and ends looking up at the thief. "All right, we found you. You ready to give up? Or am ah gonna have to get rogh with you?" She's about to rear up on her hind hooves threateningly and then she remembers that she's currently got a rider.

The bodyguard ponies rush outside with everyone else! And they stare. The statue is back! Hurrah! Sock'em points a hoof! "Of course! It was the janitor! It's always the janitor! Case cl-" *WHACK!*

Rock'em sits on the dazed Sock'em, spitting out the blackjack he'd just used to shut him up. "Statue stealin' never would'a happened if Boss had stayed in town…"

Spearmint scrambles out after everypony else, trying not to trip down the stairs in his hurry. "What's going on? What is it? Is… is the statue back? What's going on?"

"What is the meaning of this?!" Lorelei demands, staring up at the not-janitor and stamping a hoof. Rock'em's words make one ear twitch, and she turns to look back at him sharply. "What did you say?"

Thunnini contemplates acrobatic attack maneuvers, but the thief is a bit out of reach for her. Instead, she does the next best thing: she blows a raspberry at the thief. "Why not just play tag next time?"

» Mad-Mare rolls 1d2 — Result: 1 | Sum: 1

Rock'em blinks! "I er… Nothing!" He rolls his eyes up. "Nothing at all Miss Mayor."

"Caramel Sufganiyah," the behatted mare offers to Spindrift as the hooded pony silences her oversexed associate. "You seem like a well read sort, maybe you've caught my name in the papers in Canterlot. Or Neighpon. Perhaps Trottingham." She smiles down at Pumpkin. "It's alright, little filly, I give up! You can have your statue back!" Thunnini's little outburst earns a chuckle. "Isn't that what we just did? You chased me all over town, and now I'm it!"

C adjusts her grip on her rope so that she's holding onto it by the crook of her elbow rather than her fetlock joint. She pulls her hat off with the now freed hoof (forward so that her face is still obscured, of course) and uses her free one to reach down the neck of the coveralls. When her hoof is drawn back out and the hat placed back on her head she reveals a glittering gold necklace. "Since you all played along so nicely, I'll even give you something you can hide. I found this a week ago, but it's of no value to me. Maybe you know somepony who has a use for it."

The thief tilts her head to the sky and whistles sharply. The ropes, now free of the statue, all begin to retract back into the sky with Caramel hanging from one of them. She drops the necklace neatly onto Seafoam's head as she begins her ascent, landing it so that it hangs around the statue's neck and shows off the off-white gemstone set in its center. The distinctly shaped gem looks just like a ghost. "Until next time, my little ponies!" she calls out playfully.

Spindrift watches, staying quiet, studying Caramel quietly, memorizing mannerisms, the tone of her voice, the way in which she carries herself. She's clever, revealing little. The trick with the hat is neat. Something tells her this isn't the last time the thief is going to try something like this, though.

Especially when the necklace is revealed. Spindrift's eyes widen, before her expression hardens. She knows exactly what that is, and she wastes no time. Vaulting forward in a swift gallop, she closes the distance between herself and the fountain, scrambling up onto its edge, then leaping towards the statue itself. Long limbs grab onto it and haul upward- as was the case with a tree some week and a half ago, she's not a very *good* climber, but she's spirited enough to compensate, scrambling to reach the revealed Element. Someone similarly motivated could certainly beat her to it, or at least keep up, but she is clearly driven to retrieve the artifact.

Brume watches, his absent smile fading a bit, a little clarity coming to his gaze for the first time in hours.

Pumpkin blinks. "…ah don't really get what just happened."

Spearmint blinks and bounces a bit. "What is it? What'd she drop? What's going on? What'd she give us? Where'd she go? Somepony tell me what's going on!"

Lorelei blinks, glaring for a second before looking down, ears flattening. She stares at her hooves for a moment before looking pack up, ears re-perking in alarm. "H-hey! Get back here!" She scrambles over to the fountain, craning her neck and peering up through the clouds to try and figure out where she was going. She is - again - distracted by Spindrift's acrobatics, however. "Hey! W-wait! You can't just… climb on the… come back here! Whatever that is it's evidence! Don't touch it!" She looks about ready to start climbing up after her! And snag the 'evidence', and use it to stop the criminal! She will be useful!

Thunnini's eyes widen. Not because of who the thief is - honestly, she's not well versed in landpony current events - but because that style of necklace looks VERY familiar. "I think she was playing a bit of a joke on us, Pumpkin. And as for what she dropped… well, remember the hubbub about a necklace when I met you, Spearmint? She dropped one that looks a lot like it."

Awww, now Rock'em looks sad that he made the Mayor sad! He scuffs a hoof. On Sock'em's hat, no less. "C'mon Boss, I didn't mean it like that! I just meant that she made a good Captain is all! I'm sure it would'a been one of our ships that got stolen instead of a statue or…something…" But then Lorelei starts scrambling for the shiny thing atop the statue, and Rock'em blinks. He dutifully trots up next to the statue base to offer his back as a stepping stool for the mayor!

Spindrift latches onto Seafoam's hip, holds tight, pushes upward, grabs the statue's hand that shades her face, pulls upward, and reaches out with her free forehoof, reaching for Spectre's Element, and seizes it-

… just as Lorelei does the same. Spindrift hesitates, then turns to level a steely gaze at the Mayor. Spindrift doesn't try to fight for the chain, but nor does she surrender her momentary grip on it. "State your intent, miss Mayor," she says, in a voice as calm and unyielding as the look in her sea-green eyes.

Pumpkin says "Are you sayin' this is yours, Thunnini? Ah'll get it for you if you like."

"More like I'm guarding a similar one until I can locate the pony it belongs to," Thunnini clarifies. She doesn't want to claim something that isn't hers. On the other hoof… "But given how similar they look, the owners probably know each other. If I hold onto the necklaces, then I can get them back to their owners in one batch!"

Lorelei peers over at Spindrift, frowning. "My 'intent' is to find the pony who attempted to deface our town and make her answer for the crime! This… this…" whatever it is! What is it? "…necklace, is evidence! Clearly it was stolen from somepony. This needs to go through proper channels!"

Brume eases up from the steps, stretching his long legs, and strides forward until he's standing near the foals. "It's the Element of Honesty," he says, in response to Pumpkin's question. "From the other world- the one brought over with those strange ponies the other week." Reaching up, he taps his bearded chin thoughtfullly. He pauses as Thunnini speaks up, and turns to look to her. "You have another, Minnow?" He smiles in as kindly a fashion as he can manage, although one gets the impression he's more used to grinning at pretty ladies than children. "Are you keeping it safe?"

Pumpkin says "So…" her face brightens, "this could help us get Mr. Blackbird an' all the other ponies back from wherever they are?"

Spearmint perks up a bit as well. "These necklaces can get everypony back, then?" He doesn't really understand all that happened. Just that their teacher's gone missing, and one of the usual members of their little foal crew! And apparently a bunch of other ponies. And the group's just seemed a bit sadder since, and that's no fun.

Spindrift does not appear to like that answer very much. She narrows her eyes slightly as she regards Lorelei from her perch, adjusting it carefully so that she does not slip. Still, the limb from which she hangs is trembling, her grip being tested more by the moment. "It -belongs- to one of the six ponies that arrived here two weeks ago. I'm sure you keep up on current events in your town, so you know who I'm speaking of. This is an Element of Harmony- and likely the key to seeing them home, as well as bringing back your town's missing residents. If I yield it to you, what assurance do I have that you won't interfere with their quest to see everybody back where they belong?"

Thunnini looks at Brume, Pumpkin, and Spearmint. "I'm keeping it where no normal pony could find it. Not sure what it can do, but I think miss Chaos got on the bad side of it when she tried to wear it." She ponders things for a moment. "How many Element necklaces do the otherworld ponies have their hooves on?" she finally inquires.

Lorelei blinks and frowns irritably, looking downright offended at that insinuation! Geez, everypony is out to hurt her feelings tonight. "Why in the seven seas would I try and interfere? My best schoolteacher is missing! Our foundrypony! One of our best builders! Our firepony!" Queen knows they need those in this town! "One of our most dedicated weatherponies! If this is some key to getting them back that's even more reason I need to have it!" She would have stamped a hoof, but all three that aren't holding the necklace are clinging precariously to the statue! "I've got to fix things, it's my job!"

Pumpkin scuffs a hoof. "Ah think this is a job for the grown-up ponies."

Spindrift doesn't react at first, instead keeping her steely gaze fixed on Lorelei. She appears to be Thinking. She Thinks for several long moments. Then, she relents, lowering the hoof that rests on the Element to instead shore up her grip on the statue. "I suppose I have no reason to doubt you," she admits through a growl of reluctantly surrendered pride. "But you're taking on a much bigger responsibility than streetlamps and statue maintenance, Mayor. Please remember that."

With that, she starts climbing down, picking her way back down to the base of the statue much more carefully than she clambered up.

Brume sighs with relief and nods to Thunnini. "Take care not to let anybody ~funny~ know where you've hidden it, then," he advises Thunnini. "A lot of people are counting on it." He rises just in time to greet Spindrift, who is stalking back across the square towards him, her expression dark. She casts a glance about the group before continuing beyond its edges, evidently leaving. Brume watches her go, before looking back to the others with a grand wave. "Good times, all. Let's do it again sometime, shall we?" He then turns and hastens to pursue his grouchy companion into the night.

Lorelei takes the necklace with a satisfied sniff, though she blinks over at Spindrift curiously. Of course it's a big responsibility. That's the point. She's got to handle the entire town. All the citizens and everything. Their well-being depends on her! And she's going to do it right dangit. With nothing else to do with the necklace, she drapes it around her neck for safekeeping until she's back on the ground. …Now how does she get down from here? For that matter, she's not entirely sure how she got up. Oh dear. This might take a little while.

Rock'em helpfully pushes the still-dazed Sock'em closer to the statue. Then he takes two careful steps back, glances up, and cups a hoof to his mouth. "Jump mayor! He'll catch you!"

Thunnini watches Spindrift and Brume leave, then gives Pumpkin and Spearmint a big hug. "That was fun! Do you think we could hang out again sometime? Maybe get some of those buns without being interrupted by silly thieves playing tag with statues?"

Spearmint blinks and smiles, nodding and returning the hug. "Sure! Of course. Yeah, I wanna try one of those buns. And… and it'd be fun to hang out more."

Pumpkin nodnods. "Ah think that's a great idea, Thunnini." She yawns hugely. "But right now ah'm really tired, so ah wanna go home and go to bed. Can ah give you a lift back to the shore? Maybe walk you home, Spearmint?"

Spearmint nods sheepishly. "Sure. Yeah… Momma will be mad if I'm out too late." Again.

The yawn proves to be contagious. "Sleep does sound like a good idea," Thunnini admits after she finishes her yawn. "And a lift back to the shore would be appreciated, thank you." She leans over and nuzzles Spearmint. "I'm glad I got to see you again," she shyly comments as a slight blush crosses her face.

Spearmint blushes and shyly returns the nuzzle, fidgetting his hooves sheepishly. "I, uh… me too. We'll… need to hang out more." He nods slightly, pretty confident in this decision. Yep. Hanging out. It will happen.

Thunnini giggles~

Message: 3//24 Posted Author
Phantom Thief Strikes! Sun Oct 20 The Grapevine
On the evening of Autumn 31 the statue of Horseshoe Harbor founder Seafoam was stolen from its place in the town square fountain! Thanks to the hard work of Mayor Lorelei and several publicaly minded town residents the statue has since been reclaimed and returned to its proper place. Authorities have said that, based on eyewitness accounts, they believe the heist to have been committed by the notorious criminal known as Caramel Sufganiyah. Sufganiyah is wanted in most of the civilized world for the theft of everything from priceless national treasures to famous landmarks to the third tier from the top of Queen Celestia's birthday cake.

When asked about how the Harbor intends to respond to the attempted theft of one of the few artifacts to survive the town's six previous destructions Mayor Lorelei was quoted as saying, "While I'm happy that we were able to return the statue of our town's founder to its proper place so quickly, rest assured that we are not going to rest on our laurels while such a brazen criminal is allowed to run free. We are devoting as many resources as possible to her capture."