Troubled Waters
IC date: Autumn 58, 1007
OOC date: November 16, 2012
PCs: Stormdancer Rising-Chaos Queen-Pegasus
NPCs: None
GM: None

Celestia's sun shines down on the streets outside Rising's home, food merchants and street vendors being heard doing brisk trade as most ponies break for lunch. The laughter of foals is in the air as a small pack practice their rock-kicking skills on a poor zombie that got separated from the horde, a pair of elderly Earth ponies sitting back in rocking chairs and smoking their pipes. Ah, tranquility… At least, outside. Inside the Lair of Chaos, well…

Inside, or at least at the border of the two realms, there's a scuffling at the front door before it creaks open, Stormdancer poking her head in. She looks a wreck, sea-salt crusting on her coat, mane undone and ragged, and her wings bare of cloak or bandages, instead showing the spiky growths of new pinfeathers. The mare perks and swivels her ears, listening for signs of life as she hesitates on the threshold.

Rising-Chaos is most certainly home. the house is in almost frighteningly pristine condition, not a single thing out of place. The only light in the house is in the library, a single candle burns on the table in front of Chaos, who is sitting in her favourite chair reading a book. She hears the door open but pays it no heed, she's in a rather bad mood it would seem.

The wayward assistant peers over at her employer before creeping in on tippyhooves. The effect is slightly ruined by the light jangling under one cupped wing and the closing creak of the door behind her, however. The stairs are right there! Stormie makes to sneak up them- maybe she can make it to her room before Rising notices she's back?

Rising-Chaos isn't about to let somepony just waltz into her house. She looks up and spots her assistant. "Hello Stormdancer, nice to see you finally come back." Her voice is cold. "Where have you been, I wonder? Imagine the stories you could tell. I am extremely interested."

Stormdancer freezes and pastes on a grin as she faces her boss. "Oh, heya, Arcee! Would ya believe me if I said you'd rather not know?" A small cloth bag slips out from under her wing, landing on the floor with a clatter, with a bunch of shiny golden bits sliding out. She looks down at it, scooting it behind her with one hoof. "- 'cause really, you don't wanna."

Rising-Chaos puts the book down and gets to her hooves. "Oh, I rather think I do want to know, my lovely assistant," she says, approaching Stormdancer. Her face isn't so much angry as disappointed. Her gaze flickers down to the bag of gold, then back to Stormie's face. "I don't mind if you got loot from somewhere, I just want to know why you ran off without telling me." By now she is very close, face to face.

Stormdancer beams. "Aw, you think I'm lovely! Even after being stuck in a rowboat for two days, I've still got it." She flexes her wings and struts in a small circle, grinning over at Rising. "And I didn't mean to! We just went out to dinner, had some drinks, had some more, and…" She rubs the back of her neck. "The rest've the night was kinda a blur." Perking back up: "Oh! If the Royal Guard or a three-legged earth pony callin' himself Captain Dreadbeard show up askin' about me, tell 'em I talked about getting on a ship to Zebrica." Grin!

Rising-Chaos looks unimpressed at Stormdancer's explanation. "So all you have told me is that you are probably a criminal and a ship's captain wants you for whatever reason, probably revenge." She let's a moment of silence stretch out for a while. "Well, I think I may be able to forgive you, this time. Though I would suggest not trying it again." She walks past Stormdancer towards the door, blocking the only exit. "I will cover your flank with the ponies chasing you as well, this once. Next time you run off, give me notice." She pulls her machete from it's sheath inside her saddlebags which were beside the door. "Now, about your punishment."

Stormdancer nods at Rising's summary, grinning shamelessly. "Aw, thanks, boss!" She goes to nuzzle the unicorn- before her employer mentions 'punishment' and draws the machete, at least. The blue mare freezes, neck outstretched in mid-violation of personal space. "… Sent to my room without dessert?" she asks, hopefully, eyeing the blade.

Rising-Chaos uses an illusion to make her blade glow with green smoke. "Well, considering that my life was threatened, and you abandoned me at the start of the biggest project I have ever started, I was thinking a little bit more severe than that." She moves in and completes the nuzzle which was aborted, an evil smile on her face. "Get outside, on the street, now. Leave your things in here." She steps aside to give Stormdancer room.

Stormdancer sweatdrops, despite in no way being Neighponese. "I wouldn't say abandoned," she complains, as she pulls the door open. The (small) bag of loot spills out a trail of bits as the door catches on it, dragging it across the floor with the jingle of gold. But she's heading out, yes! Keeping an eye on the surprisingly menacing Rising and her glowy chop(ing)-stick. Instead of, say, anypony who might be about to come in.

What kind of evil master wouldn't invade her minion's home - it's all about standards, ponies! The taller pegasi mare stands at the entrance to Rising's door as it opens - interest certainly perked by the spilling coins and more so by her machete wielding minion. A soft tsk ringing out. "Lashing about because our relationship makes you feel powerless, Rising?”

Rising-Chaos watches her assistant move out the door on to the street, spotting Queenie behind her. She doesn't seem fazed by the sight, in fact her smile grows a bit wider. "Hardly my Queen, quite the opposite in fact. To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?" She ignores the dropped gold and follows her assistant closely, making sure the pegasus knows she can't run off.

The featherless pegasus manages to not get a face full of pink, through some odd stroke of luck. Which she then quickly squanders as her ears perk up. "Oh! You must be the Boss's secret lover!" she chirps out, possibly a bit too loudly. She canters around to get a better look at the two, while simultaneously tucking her wings against her body self-consciously. And whistles. "You've got good taste, Arcee."

Queen-Pegasus chuckles in amusement as the smaller mare manages to slip out without bumping into her - Single blue eye watching the featherless pegasi. "I don't think there's anything secret about it," a rather amused grin crossing her face. "You act as if I'm in need of reason - though typically a 'happy to see you' would be a far more charming greeting." She leans towards Storm, "Is Rising having difficulty punishing you?”

Rising-Chaos stares in shock at her assistant's brashness for a moment. Then she blushes a deep red and advances on Stormdancer, growling. "She is not my secret lover you foolish mare," she hisses. She whirls back towards Queenie. "This is my research assistant, Stormdancer. She disappeared for several days and I am now going to punish her for her disloyalty. I do not want an assistant I cannot trust." She is completely thrown off, however. Her words sound strong but the blush is making her look anything but threatening. Even while flustered though, survival instincts kick in. "It is good to see you though my Queen, it is always an honour."

Queen-Pegasus trots a small circle around Rising and Storm before asking. "Disgraceful little thing. Clearly she didn't fly away," eye darting to Rising. "Did you tell her not to leave?" she asks the mare. "A dog with no leash has no boundaries…" Again circling the pair. "Followers are punished when they don't do what they are told…leaders are punished when they fail to tell others what to do.."

Stormdancer's face goes through a brief flurry of expressions- a silly grin, surprise, then settles on a pout. Her wings ripple in what would be a flutter, and she harrumphs, sticking her nose up in the air. "When my primaries aren't burned out from crazy explodey unicorns or dragonfire, I'll have you know I'm a great flier." She peeks one eye open, and smirks at the Queen. "Give me a few months, and I could show you~", she adds with a lilt.

Rising-Chaos realize by now that her momentum is gone. "She was given a specific set of tasks, most of which remain undone. Were my work not affected and my life not threatened in the time she was away I may have considered letting her off," she explains, her voice mostly at a mumble. Chaos is starting to get the distinct feeling this isn't going to end well for her.

Queen-Pegasus 's eye darts back to Stormdancer as Queen sets some very clear boundaries. "I recommend you learn your manners, or you won't have a few more months to show anypony anything." Eye darting back to Rising. "So she failed to do her chores? Who threatened your life? That simply won't stand…" Either oblivious or just cruel by asking that. "Clearly she chose treasure over duty," eye and grin widening. "So the only question left - is how much do you value the girl.”

Stormdancer (quietly) raspberries the pirate queen when her attention turns back to Rising, and plops her flank down on the street, looking like she's busy inspecting her wings. Her ears keep swiveling to follow the conversation, though! And she may or may not have muttered something along the lines of 'your loss' under her breath.

Rising-Chaos is uncomfortable with the thought of her assistant being hurt badly by Queen. "She is a rather competent research assistant, very helpful to have around. Replacing her wouldn't be easy." She doesn't mention Sky Sparkler, her primary assistant, and her imminent return, mostly for Stormdancer's benefit. "I'd like her to learn her lesson, but not be badly hurt. As for the death threat, it's nothing new, Spindrift seems to dislike me, for very good reason." She doesn't mention that it only disturbs her because Spindrift is more than capable of carrying it out.

Queen-Pegasus leans way forward to totally invade Storm's personal face as she practically touches noses with the other mare. "She's quite disrespectful - making facings and muttering under her breath. I've cut out tongues for less insolence." One hoof reaching over to slowly brush through Storm's mane in an intimate fashion - unnerving considering the psychotic one-eyed gaze the other mare is under. "For starters, the treasure is forfeit," eye drifting oh-so briefly to Rising. "Running away can always be discouraged with the breaking of a leg, or severing of a wing…" a soft chuckle "and can leave a lasting impression if done with the proper tools." No hint of tease or play to her tone - nor remorse. "While Rising may be angry, she's by no means capable of such punishments. Clearly there is only one option.”

Stormdancer leans back in surprise as, hey! Pink-in-face. And casts a squicked-out look at the apparently crazy mare she hasn't seen, or heard of, before. Probably unwise, but ignorance is, briefly, bliss. The blue mare turns to move away and, if unhindered, head back inside. "You are creepy, Creepypatch. Arcee, I'mma go draw up a bath. Lemme know if you want lunch when I'm done."

Queen-Pegasus 's eye darts to Rising as the other mare begins to trot back into the house - clearly very displeased. "Clearly your assistant lacks common manners." the taller mare trotting towards Rising. "It's fairly obvious you've failed to explain proper manners to her; a most grievous crime before me, wouldn't you admit?" Eye darting to the empty doorway once Storm has made her way inside. "Let her have her bath. Her lesson will come.”

Rising-Chaos knows when enough is enough. She moves and blocks Stormdancer's path, but stops when Queenie interferes. She growls in the direction of the doorway but lets Storm go. She's is fuming with anger at Stormdancer and terrified of Queen Pegasus at the same time. "I will try and fix that, my Queen," Chaos promises, standing with her head low. "I must apologise for her behavior, I could not have anticipated this." She winces, certain something bad will follow. Stormdancer had just thrown her into Queenie's bad books, again.

Queen-Pegasus trots over to her little pet and brushes on hoof along the other mare's cheek. "Angry as you may be, I'm afraid you've simply not a stern enough hoof to teach a pony manners," tilting Rising's chin upwards so she's looking up into Queenie's eye. "We're often forced to surround ourselves with those less competent." Possibly a shot at Rising - or perhaps simply her own crew.

From just inside the door, there's a scraping as the insolent mare shoves bits back in the bag, and a jangle as she takes it upstairs with her. … Stormie just doesn't listen, is her problem. That, and leaving her boss alone with dangerous ponies.

Rising-Chaos is too nervous to care if it was a shot at her or not. She matches Queenie's gaze, trying to keep her face calm. "I have never been in command of ponies before. Perhaps I have been less than strict."

Queen-Pegasus chuckles warmly while petting Rising as if she were a literal pet. "We'll just wait a few minutes." Indeed - plenty of time to draw a bath! The mare giving a small nod "You might prefer to wait here." Trotting into Rising's house without permission then right to the bath - ear perked to ensure the water is running before nudging the door open. Sometimes timing is everything - and here Queen finds Storm leaving over the tub checking the temperature of her bath; the taller mare approaching quietly from behind with the full intent of grabbing Storm from behind and shoving her head and shoulders into the bath. Queen, while sleek and tall is also quite toned - strength and beauty are everything.

Besides checking the temperature- Nicely warm! Perfect to counter the autumn air and stress!- Stormdancer's examining a smallish silver circlet with her other hoof, wings spread for balance. Muttering under her breath words to the effect of 'crazy mares' and 'find my own place'- a movement in the surface of the jewelry is all the warning she has, enough time to get out a loud "AWP-!" before she's down to burbling. … And kicking. And trying to smack her assailant with her wings. While not as big as the Queen, and getting a touch soft from being ground-bound for so long, she's still a fairly athletic mare, now given a nice burst of adrenaline. Counter to that… she hasn't had a good meal in a couple days, and is rather more tired than her flippancy shows.

Sadly for Stormdancer, athleticism is simply no match for psychotic and evil. With the advantage of both surprise and leverage, the mare has a less than difficult time holding the struggling mare under water - the noise of the ruckus drifting out the front door - loud splashing and clopping of hooves as the drowning mare struggles for her life. Queen pulling the other mare up long enough to allow her a single breath while while hissing. "You best thank Rising for her lenience," shoving the poor mare's head back into the water - body weight used to hold the mare under water; fully intent on all but drowning the girl.

Rising-Chaos shifts uneasily in the street as the noise drifts out of her house. She fervently hopes nopony is hurt, especially not in her house. This won't do anything for my reputation, Chaos reflects. After an especially loud burst she winces, to afraid to interfere.

Stormdancer gets out a single "Buck…!" before she's pushed back under. The mare's faced death before, though burning all over is rather different than burning lungs. The fade to black is rather more gradual this time, her struggles going weaker, and weaker- Rather than a sudden stop after a long drop. The bubbles slow, slow… stop.

Queen-Pegasus pulls Stormdancer free and tosses her on the ground with enough force that's sure enough to knock the water out of Storm's lungs. Queen opts for 'better safe than sorry'; being the kind-hearted mare that Queen is, and roughly stomps one hoof against Storm's chest several times until the girl sputters and coughs. That single blue-eye glaring down at the half-dead pony. "You will show me proper respect from this moment forth. You'll find I'm quite reasonable when respected," patting the other mare's cheek with one hoof. "I'd hate to see Rising upset over losing you," trotting out of the bathroom and down the stairs - returning to Rising clearly no worse for wear but certainly wetter.

Rising-Chaos watches Queenie leave the house and is unwilling to meet her eye. She continues to shift uneasily, unsure what to do. She could go in and save Storm, and risk the rage of Queen, or stay outside and risk Stormdancer's disappointment.

Fortunately for her, Stormie's too out of it to muster up a suitable response, or to even glare very intensely. So she just kinda lays there, soaked and wheezing, all alone.

Queen-Pegasus tsks softly "That was unpleasant; I'm utterly soaked," clearly far more concerned about her coat than Stormdancer's well-being. "As promised - unharmed." She throws a glance Rising's direction. "I do believe I've told you that honesty will take you far with me," brushing one hoof against her fur. "Ugh, she uses such low-quality bath salts…"

Rising-Chaos considers her options. Queen will always be her priority, Stormdancer may be a problem, but Queen Pegasus wouldn't hesitate a moment before killing her. Her decision is made. "Honesty is what I practice, my Queen, thank you for leaving her intact." She bows shallowly. "Would you mind if I checked on her my Queen?"

Queen-Pegasus motions one hoof towards the door. "Do educate her on proper manners, then bring her by tomorrow evening so she can apologize. I suggest she not hold a grudge or attempt to fake an apology," the mare begins to trot away then stops. "Do feel free to come by this evening, after taking care of your assistant," trotting off towards the Vanity.

Rising-Chaos waits until Queenie is out of sight. "Of course my Queen, I will be by later tonight." Once her boss is gone she runs into the house and up the stairs. She stops in front of Stormdancer, a mix between a sneer and a worried frown. "You foolish, foolish pony," she mutters. She casts a healing spell to fix up Stormdancer's wounds. "You still with me? I do hope so." She nudges her assistant lightly to see if there's still life there.

Stormdancer coughs up some more water, and keeps coughing. Somewhere in the middle of all that, one can make out 'pluck' and 'mule'. She's not too battered, considering- Just the bruises on her shoulders and chest. And the whole lack of air thing. No grudge? Good luck! The pegasus is moving, though, trying to get back up on her hooves.

Rising-Chaos helps Stormdancer up. "If you want my advice, having worked with Queen Pegasus for some time. Do not hold a grudge, be thankful you aren't dead and be very polite to the mare. She is powerful, has a crew of vicious pirates and has many ways of making your life miserable. However, if you are good, the rewards can be many." She steps away, letting Stormdancer stand on her own. "Of course, if you continue this one sided struggle, I can no longer associate with you, since you'll just get me in trouble as well." She shakes her head at the silliness. "Let's get you cleaned up and to bed, maybe rest will make you less irrational."

Stormdancer squints at Rising, leaning against the edge of the tub. "… -Queen Peg'sus-? Kaf 's bad's Cap'n Fireflank." And flexes her wings, frowning. "Poppa Flight, 'e said, 'somepony tries kill you, you try kill them right back'," she adds, mimicking a thick Stalliongrad accent. And glaring. Oh, the glare. There shall be no pancakes from this mare come morning.

Rising-Chaos sighs. "I am saying this for your own good Stormdancer, trying to kill Queen Pegasus will only result in more problems than it's worth." She rolls her eyes at the glare. "You can hate me later Storm, for now we need to get that water out of your lungs and for you to calm down." She leaves the bathroom and Stormdancer alone. "Since you seem to not want my help, I'll leave you to it then?"

"Y' do that." Stormie flattens her ears, before turning back to the tub to drain it, wings twitching in agitation. "Don't wait up."

Rising-Chaos leans against the door after closing it. "I am sorry though, nopony deserves that." She sighs, actually unhappy with how this turned out. "I'll see if I can find a way to make it up to you." She trots back downstairs and gets back to work. "This will put a dent in all of my plans," she mutters to herself.

Stormdancer watches the water drain out of the tub. "Get me m' feathers back, y' care so much," she tosses over her shoulder. The glint of the stolen circlet catches her eye, earning a frown. She raises a hoof, poised to stomp it… then pauses, quietly scooping it and the re-spilled bits bag into the damp bag.

Rising-Chaos doesn't seem to be able to settle down. She packs up a few books so she can go take a walk. Before going she leaves a note on the table:

If you stay, I get your complete loyalty and you get your wings back in two weeks at most. If you leave take your stuff and get out, I will know if you take anything.

She considers this for a moment, and it all seems to be to her satisfaction. She leaves the note on the kitchen table and leaves.

Stormdancer skips her bath, somewhat put off by the idea- Instead, packing up her meager belongings into her battered and worn saddlebags and pulling on her cloak. Stomping down the stairs towards the door, her stomach grumbles, loudly- diverting her to the kitchen. Hey, she hasn't quit yet

The pegasus doesn't see the note until after her snack- not as heavy a meal as she'd like, but she knows enough to not stuff herself sick. Reading it, she glares- She gets ready to rip it up- Puts it down. The mare spends some time pacing, muttering, shooting glances at the paper, and at her wings. Then puts her books and lil' cloud pillow on the table, leaving her packs empty but for her loot, and scrawls onto the bottom of the note:

Gone shopping. Will talk after. -S