Upon Sorrowful Tides
IC date: Autumn 63, 1007
OOC date: November 20, 2012
PCs: Muzaji, Spindrift, Thunnini

Although Thunnini set out in pursuit of Spindrift last night, following the collapse of the portal between worlds, the kart-bound seafilly rapidly found herself outpaced by the leggy adult. Either Spindrift didn't notice she was being followed, or she did and didn't bother to slow up.

But the Mysterious Wanderer is easy enough to find now, at least for someone who hangs out in the water. As evening sets over the first day after the collapse of the portals, Spindrift is approaching the beach where, several weeks ago, bonfires were lit in celebration of Ghost Walk. Now, there's nobody to be seen; empty firepits and hunks of driftwood are the only witnesses as Spindrift makes her way down the sand. Her cloak continues to serve as a makeshift bundle, bound loosely to her back by a few straps, and bulging around a few odd items. At length, she stops and turns to lower the bundle to the ground, then futzes with its knot.

Thunnini has taken to swimming around more of the harbor, as she is no longer guarding any treasure for the ponies from the other world. She happens to see Spindrift alone on the beach, and swims closer to see what the odd pony is up to.

Muzaji had just been minding her own business. No really, I mean she had been making sure her shop is in order. Because new settlements meant new business, from new ponies who would need new things… and possibly things of the not entirely legal variety that they would of never had the guilty pleasure to indulge in before. But said shop also has a fine view of the beach from the boardwalks, so it was hard not to notice one of the two wanderers slipping by with a bundle. "Now what could she be up to at this hour?" As usual, being too curious for her own good (or potential profit) Muzaji heads down to the beach to investigate.

Spindrift is digging through stuff, that's what. She finally gets the knot loose and lets the flaps of the cloak drift away. The most obvious object inside is Brume's dulcimer, that trapezoidal stringed box. Beside it is what appears to be a fine, silvery net, neatly bundled up; there are a few more mundane objects, small boxes and smaller bundles. She reaches down and plucks up the net, and starts unfurling it on the sand nearby, soon transferring items from the opened cloak to the net. Before she gets far, though, a little sack hanging from her teeth, she stops and lifts her head, turning it, a tall ear turned towards the boardwalk above.

Thunnini finishes swimming up to the beach and starts crawling across the sand to get a better view of what Spindrift is doing. Good thing that the beach is damp from the waves!

Muzaji hardly attempts to conceal her approach. It's an open beach, after all, and other than her colors blending into darkness well it's really rather pointless. "Hello there, my wandering friend." Though as she gets close enough to actually see the items she pauses, taking note of the familiar instrument, but not the familiar pony that goes along with it. "… It would seem I have missed something again."

Spindrift hears Muzaji approaching readily enough, and turns her head to stare at the zebra as she draws near, expression stoney. At length she looks away, dropping the bundle in her mouth on the net. "Brume was slain by Nightmare Moon in the frozen world," she says, simply enough. "It was not something you should regret missing."

As she retrieves the next item, she notices Thunnini, shuffling up the sand. As has often been the case, Spindrift's flinty exterior softens a bit at the sight of the seafilly… but not much. If anything, Spindrift seems a bit resigned, and though she doesn't greet Thunnini with anything more than her voice, focusing instead on her work, she does indeed greet her. "Hello, Thunnini. It was very brave of you to attend last night's… event."

"Daffy and the other ponies from that world were my friends, and I had guarded some of their Elements while they were here, so I wanted to make sure they got back safely," Thunnini replied, the usually energetic seafilly being much more subdued after having watched the happening of the previous night.

… Okay, yeah, she'll agree she doesn't regret missing having to deal with -that-. But hearing the lovable occasionaly doofy stallion didn't make it back does draw a more concerned expression across Muzaji's feature. "Tis always a shame to lose such a fellow. Even against tough odds was always so mellow." Not that she was one to make such things as 'friends' since half the time she's dealing behind backs and such, but the guy had been nice to her despite all so he deserves some proper respect.

The Mysterious Wanderer pauses in her work at Thunnini's reply, setting down a little box atop the net and turning to look at the seafilly. Her flinty expression has softened to the point that she just looks… exhausted. There's cricles under her eyes, her long, straight black mane is a bit frizzy. It looks like she hasn't slept a wink since last night. Briefly, she turns to look back at Muzaji. "It is a shame. He thinks-" She pauses. "He thought you were rather entertaining, Muzaji. You were unpredictable and that fascinated him."

She turns her attention back to Thunnini. "You call them your friends. Why?" Lifting a hoof, she gestures back at the harbor behind her. Up on the boardwalk, up on the beach, the lanterns and windows of the town start to blend in with the stars coming out in the open sky above. "The land-dwellers. Don't you fear them? Don't you think they fear you?"

"Nope, and not really," Thunnini shrugs in response to Spindrift. "All of the ponies I've met seem more surprised than anything, and they seem to be friendly when I'm friendly."

She scowls slightly at Queenie's ship. "With the exception of certain skyponies, of course," she grumbles.

Spindrift turns to look down the beach, towards the Vanity docked at a distance. Her expression clouds, briefly, with a hint of a deep and abiding contempt, but it passes in a moment. She looks back to Thunnini, and there's a searching quality to her gaze. Soon, she kneels, peering a bit closer at the seafilly. "Why did you come here? Do you not have friends and family back home? What does this place of… grit and misery offer you that you cannot find back in the Starlight Kingdom?"

"It is a shame that our first adventure together will also be our last. But as much as we try to hide from it for most of our time here, death is just another part of the path of life. One could say another journey, even. Alas, for most it is one that is taken by oneself, one way all the way." A bit of Zebra mystism slipping in there.

But then the conversation shifts to the seafilly for the moment, and Muzaji quiets down. Because that's a very good question.

Spindrift glances back over her shoulder to Muzaji. "Perhaps. Except this was in a world full of zombies. I can only hope he made the journey successfully." Her tone of voice indicates she is not hoping especially hard.

Thunnini sighs. "Middle child in a large family. Too young to be with my older sibling's friends, and too old to make friends with my younger sibling's friends. Too young to watch the babies, or help with the other chores, but too old to stick around underfin without doing something." She looks at Spindrift and gestures at the docks. "As for why here, there's obstacles and there's air. Swimming underwater is fine, but it lacks a certain amount of challenge. Up here, I can try to see how long I can stay in the air, and what tricks I can do before landing in the water again. But what would you know about swimming…" The seafilly's eyes narrow as several layers of facts start to come into focus, one word at a time.

Muzaji gives Spindrift her best reassuring look. "Only the weak spirits remain chained to the mortal coil, and his was anything but." Then it turns to a more coy smile when the youngster starts catching on to a few things. Not that Muzaji hasn't had her own suspicions after seeing some of the tricks those two, when there was two of them, pulled. "You know, the kid does have a very interesting point…."

Spindrift pushes to her feet and resumes transferring items to the net. SHe's almost done, of course, the only remaining things a small, locked box of lacquered wood, and Brume's dulcimer. Both of these she shifts over with a bit more care than the myriad objects from before; the box rattles subtly as she moves it, the sound of something delicate bouncing about against padded walls. That done, she begins drawing the corners of the fine net upward and making use of small ties to cinch it up around this new bundle of materials. The fogbank grey cloak lies untouched in the sand. "You're also clever," she says, at length, to Muzaji. "He liked that, too."

The willowy mare turns and digs into a saddlebag at her side and roots around for a moment; she withdraws what appears to be a series of plates bound by delicate chains. The silver plates are broad and thick, but finely-etched with stylized images of waves and abstract, flowing shapes, highlighted here and there with rough-cut but brilliant sapphires and inky black pearls. As she lifts the jewelry up and peers at it, blue sparks play off where the metal touches her slender hoof. She glances past it, then, at Thunnini. "Do you keep in touch?" she asks. "Do you let them know you're okay?"

"I do try to check in every so often, to let them know how I'm doing and where I'll be hanging out," comments Thunnini, who then grimaces slighty. "Of course, I might be running a bit late this time because I was guarding the Elements, but I think they'll understand when I tell them about it," she sheepishly adds. Oops.

Muzaji had already figured most of what was going on here when she saw the stuff being laid out and shifted to a different means of carrying it. Really, it was obvious enough when one stopped to look. But there were a few things that even she doesn't overtly pry into. Spindrift will say what she needs to say when she feels to do so. "Only lousy parents wouldn't make an exception for helping to save…" pauses to mimic counting, despite having no idea how many new inhabitants there are "… a lot of ponies."

Spindrift watches Thunnini for several long moments. If there's a dramatic pause before she dons her phylactery, it's only because she is still ever so puzzled by the seafilly. Still her expression is searching, curious… eventually, though, the mare sighs and looks away. Reaching up, she slips the necklace of silver plates on over her head. It's broad and voluminous, settling about her shoulders and rising up to encase half her neck in the manner of a thick collar, and where it touches her body, more blue sparks play off, flowing through the air like water before winking out.

But soon a bright glow in the same radiant blue encases her figure, her tall, slender profile silhouetted in brightness at once intense enough to appear as white and yet not harsh on the eyes to look upon. The contours of her body shift like waves in a storm. And in mere moments, the light drops, revealing her once more. Gone are the hind legs, replaced by the powerful curled tail of a proper seapony; a spined dorsal fin plays down her back, matched by frilled ears that seem much more aquatic than the pointy pony ears she had before.

She seems rather nonchalant about it, considering. Propping herself up on her tail and one leg, Spindrift reaches over to pull the bundled net close. A few straps are readily hooked about her shoulders such that the net hangs loosely off her side. She glances up at Thunnini as she works. "Talk to them soon. They may worry more than you suspect." She slows, briefly, looking past Thunnini, at the water. "A lot of ponies," she says, echoing Muzaji's words. Another pensive moment passes. "I hope so. I'd thought that maybe the outlanders had family of their own waiting after them. They didn't come back through the portal with everyone else. I wonder…"

"…huh. No wonder you two called me Minnow," Thunnini remarks once Spindrift's transformation is complete. Affectionate seapony terms for kids, the occasional insight that would be unusual for a landpony… yeah, in retrospect it was fairly obvious, but the Mysterious Wanderers were subtle about it.

Muzaji smirks a bit to herself as she watchs the shilouetted transformation. Everything added up, most of her hunches were true by the looks of it. Subtle, and with all the crazy-buck weirdness that seems to happen around the Harbor, most ponies probably never thought the much of it. Unless you're somepony like the zebra, whom learns to pay attention to finer details of people, because it's part of how you do business.

"So then it's true." She nodded towards the net-bundle as Spindrift shrugged it on. "Leaving, are you?"

"Yes," answers Spindrift. "There is nothing left for me here except ghosts." She starts shrugging her way towards the water. Being a seapony on land isn't the most dignified thing, but she's close. "Thunnini…" The adult seapony stops and turns to look down at the filly. "If you do have friends here, take care of them. See they don't remain when it gets to be too dangerous. Nobody else needs to die, to Zombies, or to Pirates, or to anything." She's about to shrug on a bit further but hesitates and calls back over her shoulder. "Muzaji, you're resourceful. I'm sure you'll be fine during what's coming."

Thunnini hugs the older seapony. "Take care of yourself as well, Spindrift," she whispers, a slight tear in her eye. "Thanks for being a friend."

Muzaji merely nods her head a bit. She can understand. The mystery solved, but at a considerable loss. Something that often causes a desire to be.. anywhere other than the bad memory. "Take care, and come back to visit." The rueful grin starts to creep back into her expression. "Despite what you may think of us airbreathers, you do have friends around here that will want to see you again."

Spindrift freezes in place at the touch of the seafilly, looking away. There's no hood to cover her face any longer- her cloak abandoned, forgotten on the beach- but her long mane does a good job of hanging in the way instead. Her shoulders hunch and quiver for a moment; it's as if she's resisting some physical force.

When the moment passes, it's with a swift movement from the seapony. She then turns and pushes Thunnini back- not roughly, but firmly, putting space between herself and the filly. "Unlikely," she says, back at Muzaji. "Partners of circumstance, but never friends. Do not eagerly anticipate when I return." She shrugs forward towards the water with renewed urgency, the waves soon licking at her hooves and her tail. Only then, half-submerged in the surf, does she stop and turn to look back at the zebra and seafilly. Within the shadows cast by her mane, her sea-green eyes blaze with grief and anger.

"Because when I do, I'm going to destroy Horseshoe Harbor."

She turns and throws herself into the water. Beneath the lapping waves, there's a brief glimmer of rising moonlight off an iridescent coat, before she is gone.

Thunnini watches Spindrift vanish, then after a moment she glances over at Muzaji. "No offense, but… adults are weird," the seafilly tells the zebra in a matter-of-fact tone.

"… Well that was certainly a downer to the moment," Muzaji remarks as she watchs the seapony disappear beneath the watery surface. "And here I was ready to actually get all sentimental." At the comment she patted the seafilly lightly on the head. "Yes, most of them are." But dark eyes were still fixed on the waters Spindrift had disappeared beneath.

"And so the Mysterious Wanderer did depart; upon sorrowful tides to drift apart. Like a crushing wave her heart was wrought… but was destruction truely the answer sought?"

Only time would tell for sure.

Muzaji remembers the discarded cloak. She picks it up with a hoof. "Here kid." And tosses it towards Thunnini. "Somethin' to remember her by. Maybe one day you'll get your pretend legs and be the next wanderer." Then turns to wandered back up to the docks… She'll have to take a couple of the gems from that treasure and set aside to remember them by.

The cloak, despite its unassuming appearance, is a fine garment. It's of tightly-woven, treated wool, such that it could likely repel all but the most stubborn of downpours. It's doubtlessly poorly-suited to an underwater environment, though, which is probably why it was left behind. It's the color of a fogbank, with a subtle pattern of simplified waves running along the edge in a subtle, darker grey tone. It is also- sorry, Thunnini- sized for an adult pony.

"Thanks, miss Muzaji!" Thunnini calls before folding up the cloak and swimming with it on her back over to where her go-kart is parked. Best to keep the cloak in at least partially good shape, after all! She's not sure what she'll do with it at the moment, but at least she has it available.