The Zebra Trap
IC date: Autumn 7
OOC date: September 26
Location: Outskirts of Harbor
PCs: Siyana
NPCs: Snakebite
GM: Applejack

School is harder to ditch nowadays, with so few students to attend. But that doesn't stop the latest juvenile delinquent from sneaking off anyway. Siyana sulks her way down the street, understated defiance in her carriage. At least Rising would be happy to see her, right? Rising could teach class WAY better than that stupid teacher could. She could make it INTERESTING instead of DORKY. UGH.

And so her train of thought goes, keeping her attention thoroughly inward.

Just another Autumn day… Things getting cooler, weather getting windier. Trees are changing colors, storms happen here and there. Animals native to the forest, and to the Wintersong, doing animal things. Off in the distance, near the line of trees that separates the town from uncivilized places, a pair of clockwork wings, sway in the breeze.

Wait,what was that?

They're hanging off of a lower branch of a tree just inside the most outermost trees. They've apparently been damaged. Several of the metallic bits bent here and there, the harness ripped in places…the whole contraption looking very scuffed up. Just hanging of the branch, over a bush surrounding the tree that practically glistens with driftwidow webbing. One particularly adventurous hatch of spiders apparently abandoned their usual snowdrifts to dare to infest this bush instead.

Siyana sulks along until that glint catches her attention. She glares over that way as though daring it to distract her from her grump — then widens her eyes. "Wha— Oh no!" Her heart starts to pound and she breaks into a run, bolting without care toward the tree and bush. "Sadaka! No!!" Once she gets there, she skids to a halt in front of the bush, head swinging every which way and that. Where did she go? What happened? Any sign of struggle??

Struggle? Well… The harness looks like it had been struggled with. But the area around the tree looks hardly scuffed up at all! Though there IS something set in the bush. It's sparkley, and very pretty when the light catches it just right, random sunbeams that peek between clouds making it glitter.

It's an earring, made out of a rare shell, and it's just right there. In the driftwidow web. Below the hanging wings.

Siyana starts scampering back and forth in a tight pacing line, heart pounding. "Oh no, oh no oh no oh no!" Does she dare disturb the driftwidow web? What if she's not there? But then— what if she's being eaten AS WE SPEAK? Well, first thing's first, she leans forward and tries oh so hard to delicately pick the earring out of the bush. She's got her school bags on her back so she could feasibly keep it safe!

It's a tricky thing, pulling something out of a sticky web without disturbing it too much. Especially when the web seems awful reluctant to let go of the object! That earring has resistance. The web is stretching, but it's just not letting go. And now there's the faintest rustle from the bush…

Squeak! Still, Siyana is bound and determined, tugging faster, trying to break the resistance before the obvious driftwidow attack comes pouring out. "Rrr!"

The tugging! The earring resists, but the web falls away, and now it can be seen that the earring is tied to…a string? A very tight string with such tension that a good jerk snaps it apart!

There is a second of pause, the sound of a spring going off, and then the sound of something firing! The very ground around the bush where the wings and earring were suddenly lifts straight up, a big net trying to capture the poor striped filly!

Siyana is taken entirely by surprise, yelping as she's suddenly in the air. She squirms and yells, and bites at the rope with a growl. "HEY!!! No fair! Let me down RIGHT NOW!!"

The net responds to Siyana's yelling by…hanging there. With the striped filly. But hey, both the clockwork wings and the earring are in the net too, right?

"Hss hss hss hss…" comes a soft hissing chortle from somewhere. Elsewhere? Above?? Above the net. In the trees! There's something in the trees! Hissing!

Siyana grabs the clockwork wings and hugs them to herself, glaring up at the presumed source of the hissing. "You… you're the one kidnapping foals, aren't you! You kidnapped Sadaka! I'm going to beat you up SO HARD!"

Without much further reason to hide his presence, a figure descends from the treetops! An upside-down face drops into view, wearing an Aussie hat bound by a cord around under his chin. Red slitted eyes glint in the random bits of sunlight, the hunter taking stock of his latest catch. After a moment his face twists into a hurt frown, spreading his bat-styled wings out and putting a hoof to his chest. "Oh no! You're going to beat me! Oh I'm in /so/ much trouble!" An arm moves to cover his eyes.

"Boo hoo hoo! Whatever shall I do?" Hiss!

He reaches two hooves out, pushing the net, face breaking into an immediate grin. "Maybe catch a little filly and put her in a stew?"

Leaving the net hanging, the figure drops out of the tree, spread wings letting him touch down lightly on the disturbed flooring next to the tree. "Then I'll set a couple traps, and catch all her friends too!"

The figure tips backwards, roaring in laughter at his own improvised 'poem'. "Baaahahahahahahaha! You and what army, little girl?"

Siyana's eyes widen when he mentions a stew, her nostrils flaring as she fights back tears. "You wouldn't!" she manages, hugging Sadaka's wings tighter to her. "You— you— my dad is gonna beat you up!! And so will Rising! Everypony will beat you up and you'll be— you'll just be paste when they're done!" Oh, and she's starting to cry.

The bat-winged hunter snorts. "Your pappy, huh. Hah! I got two towns of ponies lookin' for all you brats, and the closest they've come is sniffin' my flank! They ain't gonna find you, kid. They ain't ever gonna find any of you… Now pardon me, but I have a contract to keep."

The figure gets up off the ground and trots around the tree to where the trap is kept. When he comes back around, he's got a rope in one hoof, presumeably attached to the net, and a blowgun in mouth. There's no further taunting. No extra chuckle. Just a simple *PHOOT* and a dart of sleepy-time drugs for a cranky striped filly!

She's bawling in terror by now, as much as she's trying to keep it to herself. But as soon as she's hit, it falters, and finally fades into a sustained, soft whimpering whine, and then finally silence.

The hunter grins. "Sweet dreams, papa's girl." he comments, putting his tools away and lowering the rope enough so he can go about the business of bagging his catch. Just another foal for the machine.