Was It Bad Tea
IC date: Summer 19
OOC date: July 9th
PCs: Mad-Mare
NPCs: Rock'em Sock'em
GM: None

The very night the Good (Dread) Mayor Saltlick kicked the bucket (banged her head on it even), on a big, grey, and imposing looking boat harbored some distance out of town, a pair of ponies are relaxing in the Captain's quarters. The twins of the Syndicolt, Mad Mare's personal bodyguards and right-hoof stallions, had spent most of the day locked in extra-cirricular activities. Namely the secure sending of messages and general planning to prepare for the iminent change of mayorship, so wonderfully orchestrated by their crazy boss. So many details to handle! Lists of ponies to gather intel on, to figure out who to keep, who to fire, and who to drop head-first into a prison cell.

But they'd finished all that. Enough of it for one night at least. Now they were relaxing and waiting the arrival of their illustrious leader for further instructions. Perhaps, even, a party to celebrate the completion of a scheme well done! Thus was Rock'em lounged in the captain's cot, his hat cocked over his eyes to keep the dim lights out. Sock'em, his counterpart, was busy trying on hats. For some reason, many of these Syndicolt ships come with hat collections, though /this/ ship in particular dealt in both stallion and mare styles, allowing Sock to toy with the idea of keeping the bowler hat style he'd discovered in a certain gypsy's tent just last night. Nothing like a good, classy hat!

It was a peaceful, almost joyous aura the two put off. Shattered by the sudden, startling arrival of a shrieking banshee of a pony, an off-white blur of motion that crashes through the captain's door, closing it with a hard kick from gleaming metal legs, nearly knocking it off its frame. The Mad Mare presses her back to brace the closed door, taking deep breaths that each squeak out a whinny of noise. Her eyes wide, pupils like pinpricks amid a sea of white, they look about the room without appearing to see much, passing over both of the ponyguards without so much as a hint of recognition. Whatever she's looking for, she apparently doesn't find it, a moment of exhaustion, maybe even relief causing her shoulders to slump against the door.

"F… Finally. I thought I'd never outrun her." comes a breathy voice from the quickly crumpling mare. Both her cohorts scramble from their stations, bounding across the room in a quick effort to get Maddie propped up between them, one limb draped over either of their backs.

"Easy does it boss…" Rock'em says, his voice trying to be a soothing presence.
"Yeah… Take it easy. Ya look like ya just ran a marathon." Sock'em echoes, in much the same voice. This isn't the first time they've had to try and calm their boss down. Old hat, this.

Still out of breath, slowly catching it up, Maddie's eyes drift closed. The comforting presence of familiar ponies does much to ease her immediate panic. Or maybe it's the sheer exhaustion of outrunning something that doesn't breathe has something to do with it. Either way it's all she can do to avoid fainting away between the two stallions before they even get her to her cot, hoisting the mare in, metal limbs and all.

"Boys… This has been the worst day, ever." the Mare mutters with a bit more breath in her. Both of her ponyguards tilt their heads.

"Worst day, boss?"
"But everything's going our way."
"Yeah, we got the messages out."
"And all yer spy info organized."
"And the brig cleaned."
"And-"

"Boys!" Maddie growls, fixing a still-tense gaze at the pair. "Hush. I don't care. It doesn't matter. You don't understand. This is /bad/." Her head falls back into the cot, those blue eyes of hers closing again. "I watched the mayor die today. She wasn't dead yet, and it took her all stinkin' day to get around to it. That stupid gypsy's wish couldn't have been slower!"

"O..kay." Rock'em quips, hesitantly. "How's that bad? What's it matter when it happened so long as it happened?"
"Hey, did'ja get to gloat?" Sock'em adds in, his features starting to grin.

Both of the twins get a smack with a forehoof for their troubles. "Shut up! You don't understand! I /saw/ her /die/!" Intense blue eyes peer open again, the Mare working herself to an upright position to fix both her guards with a grim look. "And after I watched her die, she bucking chased me all through the forest!"

Stunned by the hoof-slap, Rock'em and Sock'em both take a half-step back. "Uh." Rock'em starts, while Sock'em closes one eye, peering at their boss with the other. "…Boss?" Neither one of them's too keen on saying much more, if it's going to earn them more abuse. Yet Maddie looks on at them with an expectant gaze, in silence that lasts a full minute, until Rock'em gains enough guts to breathe out a sigh of resignation. "…If she's dead, how could she chase you?" the stallion asks, bracing for another potential impact.

"Her ghost." Maddie says, her own eyebrows knitting in concern. "Her freakin' ghost. I /saw/ it. And she saw me!" What moment of calm the mare had been enjoying begins to dissapate amid the iminent memories. "She /saw/ me, and she chased me out of town! Laughing the whole time! It's only a matter of time before she finds me here… Only a matter of time before she tells the whole darn world about what we're here for!"

Even though they hadn't been hit, both Rock'em and Sock'em wince. Ghosts? Really? They look to each other in no small sense of worry. This is it, isn't it? Their boss has finally gone so crazy she's seeing things. Salty finally got to her.

Noticing the skeptic looks, Maddie grits her teeth. Nothing makes her angrier than being brushed off. "I'm serious, boys! I swear, she's just going to walk through that door! Any minute now…" Her gaze shifts to the doorway, as though expecting a blue specter to barge on in to prove her right! She even holds a hoof out to point for emphasis.

Rock'em and Sock'em's heads turn to follow Mad's gaze and pointing hoof. They watch, for another full minute, but when nothing happens they both look back to their boss with raised eyebrow. "You, boss, are working too hard. There's no ghost there." Rock'em states, pushing Mad's hoof back to her own chest.

"Yeah. Besides, the Bone Mistress takes all dead ponies away so there can't be any ghosts." Sock'em states, matter-of-factly. Like he were an expert on the topic or something. "Even if the mayor did stick around fer a few minutes, I bet the Mistress caught up with her quick enough. C'mon boss, you're not usually this…" He struggles to find the right word, looking to Rock'em for help. "…Okay, nevermind, you're always pretty high-strung. But you usually don't go so far as to see things that ain't there!"

Defeated, at least for the moment, Maddie's eyes dim. She settles her hooves into her metallic lap, ears laid back. "I…" A creak in the room sends those ears right back up, crazed eyes darting around. Oh she's going to be on edge for weeks to come! When no spooks suddenly jump out on her though, she pins her ears back again and looks up at her two sworn guards. "…Maybe you're right. I blame that gypsy. She put something in the tea. She /had/ to have put something in the tea…"

That, at least, was a bit more believeable, if only because neither Rock or Sock trusted that transaction. "Maybe…" Rock'em agrees tentatively, with Sock'em shrugging his shoulders. "What makes ya say that, boss? Aside from the seein' spirits thing."

Maddie shakes her head, falling back into the cot with spread limbs. "I haven't felt like myself since I left her tent. This…knot in the pit of my stomach keeps turning. Makes me ill just thinking about wishing that fool dead. I should've done it myself, boys. It was the only sure way to take care of business, and I passed it off like some two-bit schmuck to a voodoo queen."

"What's that got to do with the tea?" Rock'em wonders, to which Maddie waves the question off with a hoof. "Everything!" she replies, heaving a deep sigh. "That whole deal just didn't set right, and now it's made me all sicklike! Don'tcha see? I've been poisoned! That had to be her price the whole time! She's poisoned me in exchange for wishing Salty dead!"

Sock'em wrinkles his nose, "That's sneaky. I wouldn't put it past a gypsy to think of something like that." Rock'em nods slowly in agreement. "Well if you're gonna get better, you've got a couple days while the red tape clears up. Then you'll be back on yer feet and ready to run the town from behind your seapony friend!"

Mad's head shakes. "I'm not leaving this one to chance, boys… I want you two to fetch me a doctor. Kidnap him if you need to, just get one here so I can get back on my hooves and into business. Alright?"

Both of the ponyguards perform a quick one-hoof salute. "Aye aye, ma'am!" Then they both charge out of the captain's quarters, quietly shutting the door behind them. Leaving the Mad Mare to slump back into her cot.

They didn't believe her about the ghost… But then they didn't believe in seaponies either, and look how true that was! She knows what she saw, consarn it! She'll be darned if she's going to let a spook get in the way of her plans. Or this stomachache… She rolls onto her side to get comfortable in her cot. Moments later, ghosts and all, she's fast asleep.