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BlasTech
2012-10-09, 07:34 AM
[OOC Thread is HERE (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254824)]


I read within a poet's book
Some words that starred the page,
"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage."
Yes, that is true, and something more:
You'll find, where'er you roam,
That marble floors and gilded walls
Can never make a home.
But every house where Love abides
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home, sweet home;
For there the heart can rest.

Henry Van Dyke – Home

************************************************** ************************************************** **********


Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there were two regal sisters who ruled together, and created harmony across all the land. To do this, the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn; the younger brought forth the moon to begin the night. Thus, the two sisters maintained balance for their kingdom and their subjects, all the different types of ponies.

But as time went on, the younger sister became resentful

...

And so, as the story goes, the moon princess fell; consumed into a nightmare of her own making. Her banishment at her sister’s hooves lasted a thousand years, during which time the tale of Nightmare Moon passed into legend and ultimately, myth.

As time passed for the ponies of Equestria, and new generations were born, this tale eventually began to fade. No longer a statement of fact, it became a simple story used to frighten foals at bedtime, a cautionary tale about what happens if you let your jealousy control you.

At least, that is, until that fateful day when their princess returned.

The exact details of what happened on the solstice remain hazy, even now, even amongst the ponies who swear to have witnessed it. Few of them can say with certainty exactly what happened to cause the night to last for so long, or what it was that finally returned the sun to Equestria.

Hearsay and embellishment, the age old enemies of fact and historians, have again begun their work; Was Luna forgiven and released? Did she finally defeat the darkness that took hold of her so long ago and return as a new mare? Or was she rescued - nay, saved - by an unlikely band of heroines?

Two short years have now passed, and the path of the story and the path of the facts have already diverged again. It is an old cycle, one that both princesses are familiar with. But, like with the Long Night, the journey from fact to myth can come full circle when that one, small, hard, unchanging kernel of truth is made relevant once again - That something happened.

Today is Hearth’s Warming Day in Canterlot, and a time for the celebration of all the things that the three pony races have been able to achieve while working together. Celestia’s sun shines bright in the clear winter sky, but does little to alleviate the chill in the air or to melt the snow from the streets. Those will remain until the Collegiate convene to change the seasons again. For now, Winter rules in Canterlot as surely as the Princesses.

As a result, there are only a few ponies outdoors; a shopkeeper here, a guardpony there, a group of foals throwing snowballs in the street. Most citizens, most sane citizens, however, have opted to stay indoors instead of venturing out into the cold. Every so often, you can catch glimpses through windows of families in their homes or in one of Canterlot’s many cafes and restaurants. Couples, young and old, are partaking in the pleasures of the holiday with cousins and grandchildren; their simple joy at each other’s company providing as much warmth as the heat from the fireplaces or the steaming mugs of cocoa.

By contrast, the Canterlot Central Railway Station is even emptier than the roads outside; save for a few ponies pulling carts of luggage, or lingering around the departures board, it looks like everypony else is enjoying the day off. The solitary sound of ones hoofsteps echoes off the tiled floors as you make your way through to the main ticketing office. It would be creepy, if not for the relentlessly bright nature of the decorations; white marble with a sunburst motif below, crystal windows above that catch the afternoon light like stars.

Only one ticket window is open, manned by a tan unicorn with wireframe glasses perched above his nose. Rather than spending his overtime by admiring the majesty of the surrounding architecture, his attention is fully occupied by the latest Daring Do novel, released last week. In this most mundane of occupations, it would seem that adventure is a welcome consolation to having to work on a holiday.

What is of little consolation to you, however, is that the departures board currently lists almost every train as “delayed” ... Figures.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 09:17 AM
The steady sound of hooves clopping on marble echoes round the hall, making it difficult to pinpoint their origin. Eventually, if one was paying attention, they would solidify down the south entrance, where a green pegasus stands, awestruck at the architecture. He's swift to pull a notepad and a small pen from his right saddlebag, but checks himself before he can use it. "Ticket first," he mutters.

Green wings carry him swiftly to the schedule board, where he smirks wryly at the multitude of red 'Delayed' markers. "Of course they are," he chuckles softly. "Everyone wants to go home for Hearths Warming Eve."

Shaking his head a bit, he approaches the ticket booth and checks the prices. Bits clink on the counter in front of the distracted teller as he clears his throat softly. "One adult one-way to Ponyville, please."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 11:25 AM
Another set of clopping hooves joins the first, falling heavily on the marble floors. A denim blue earth pony mare approaches the ticket booth, with a fairly hefty suitcase on her back. Her short, unkempt gray mane and hastily arranged toolbags on her her sides bely a stressful day.

As she falls into line behind the green pegasus, she looks up at the departure board and groans. "Well, there goes our holiday dinner plans," she says.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 12:36 PM
The pegasus merely nods and smiles sympathetically. "Family?" he inquires.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 12:59 PM
"Yes, in Ponyville," she replies. "I wanted to get out this morning so I would get there in time for Hearth's Warming Dinner. But then there was one problem after another. At this rate, I'll be lucky to get there before midnight."

Balmas
2012-10-09, 01:19 PM
"It looks like we'll be taking the late train together, then," he remarked, slight discomfort creeping into his voice. "Do you know of any good inns in Ponyville?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 01:47 PM
She thinks for a moment before replying. "Well, there is one I know of, I think it's called the Sweet Dreams Inn or something along those lines. Actually, I think it might be the only inn they have." A little bit of tension starts to leave her face as she gets into the rhythm of small talk. "I'm guessing you've never been to Ponyville?"

Balmas
2012-10-09, 01:55 PM
"I'm afraid so," he said, his features showing a bit of relaxation with this stranger. "I've been doing a bit of traveling lately, trying to discover everything I can about Equestria."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 02:38 PM
"It's a nice, quiet little town. Or at least it was quiet when my folks moved there a few years back. I can hardly believe half the things my sister says goes on there these days."
"If you've been travelling, though, I bet you've seen all kinds of interesting things."

Balmas
2012-10-09, 02:57 PM
"A bit," he chuckles uneasily. "I've been mostly learning about the larger pony cities, like Manehattan, Fillydelphia and Canterlot. Trouble is, there's not a lot of things to be discovered there, so it's time to move on. I heard about a truly intriguing forest near Ponyville, so I decided to investigate." Stretching, he works out a kink in his wing before continuing. "My name is Dive Bomb, son of Thunderhead and Aurora Wind. What's yours?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 03:05 PM
"Grease Spot," she says, extending a hoof. She shows no recognition of his parents' names. "It's nice to meet you, Dive Bomb."

Ravian
2012-10-09, 03:48 PM
In the station, a thin mottled grey unicorn walks sullenly, shivering against the cold. She carries a small saddlebag which she hugs close to try and get some measure of warmth from it.

"Of all the stuff I put up with this has got to take the cake." she mutters to herself as she walks toward the ticket booth. "'Hey Soot? Mind running a few errands for me?' he says 'Sure' I say 'I could use a few bits to buy a gift or two for Heart's Warming day' 'Great' he says 'Could you run down to Canterlot to pick something up for my marefriend?'"

She snarls to herself as she realizes that the only thing that tops that is the fact that she agreed to it. "Okay, okay" she mutters to herself "Don't think about that, you did the job for him, and the foals will be escatic when they see what you brought them."

She looks at her saddlebag with a smile, thinking about Scamp's face when he saw the hoof spun helicopter, how the twins would adore the ornaments to make their little home look the part for Heart's warming day. And the little smile Whisper would make when she wrapped him up in the scarf. She had considered using the scarf now with the cold around her, but no, she decided, these gifts were special and nothing, not even the cold was going to spoil her mood going home.

This hope was quickly stomped on when she glanced up at the train times.

"WHAT THE FLICK!!" she loudly exclaims to everypony in a mile radius.

BlasTech
2012-10-09, 04:05 PM
Any further familiarities between Grease and Dive Bomb were interrupted by the sound of a pony clearing his throat behind them.

"Pardon me sir, ma'am, but are either of you going to buy a ticket today?" The teller asked, his tone acerbic. Honestly, ponies these days. Couldn't they see that they'd interrupted his reading only to ignore him like that?

He opened his mouth to say something more when a loud exclamation caused him to take note of a grey mare near the departures board.

"Oh. A dissatisfied customer. Joy." he deadpanned.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 04:07 PM
About to extend a hoof, Dive Bomb halts when he hears a filly's shrill exclamation. Glancing between the ticket booth and the source of the noise indecisively, he settles for a quiet call of "Is everything all right?"

Glancing back at the teller, he pushes forward his bits. "One adult one way ticket to Ponyville, please," he says again.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 04:26 PM
Grease Spot's ears flatten against her head as she turns, startled by the sudden noise. However, unbalanced as she is from her attempted hoofshake, her luggage sways on her back, forcing her to stagger drunkenly to keep it from crashing to the floor.

Once she regains her balance and sees the source of the shout, she lets out a nervous chuckle. "Sounds like somepony is having a worse day than I am."

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-09, 04:29 PM
Outside, the snow draped beautifully over the ornate station. Although Crown Cork traveled regularly, the site of Canterlot station always took his breath away. Empty and abandoned, full of bustling ponies, sunlight off the windows, winter freezing its walls, it could inspire him all times of the year. Tonight, the magic of Hearth's Warming just made it all the more beautiful. For a brief, happy moment, he took in the sight and forgot all about the unhappy task at hand, and the decision he would have to make at its conclusion. And then it was over, his cabby pounding at the window impatiently.

The downside to Hearth's Warming's magic was that it meant all the busboys were at home, enjoying their time off. He'd have to carry his suitcase himself; how fortuitous he packed so lightly. Yes, just his spare sketchbook, a half-dozen or so jars of paint, a set of brushes, an easel, his pencils, the notes for the meeting tomorrow, his extra scarf, and not to mention his bits. Just the essentials for an overnight trip. He'd hauled his luggage up the stairs when a shrill, oddly family cry reached his ears. "Oh, I do hope that isn't the sound of cruel fate aiming yet another blow against me," he mused to nopony in particular as he started off at a brisk trot into the terminal.

(Staggering his arrival to let Soots have her proper intro)

Ravian
2012-10-09, 04:45 PM
Soot's ears catch Dive Bomb's comment and her head whips around towards him. She begins to stomp over to the back of the ticket line.
"Alright? Of course I'm alright, why the hay wouldn't I be alright?" her voice seems to drip with sarcasm "I've always wanted to spend Heart's Warming Day freezing my flank off in a train station, and now look where I am!"

She pulls out the small tattered bag where she keeps her bits out of her saddlebag "Honestly how could this day get any better?" she asks to herself before reaching inside her bag with her telekinesis. Her face suddenly freezes as her magic feels around inside the bag before turning it inside out and depositing a single bit into her hoof.

She appears frozen in time as she stares at the coin.

Her eye twitches involuntarily.

BlasTech
2012-10-09, 04:47 PM
Grease Spot's ears flatten against her head as she turns, startled by the sudden noise. However, unbalanced as she is from her attempted hoofshake, her luggage sways on her back, forcing her to stagger drunkenly to keep it from crashing to the floor.

Once she regains her balance and sees the source of the shout, she lets out a nervous chuckle. "Sounds like somepony is having a worse day than I am."

"Not as bad as mine" muttered the teller, who had been promptly ignored again.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 04:56 PM
Shrinking back a bit, Dive Bomb sighs a bit, causing a cloud of mist to hover in the air briefly. He shoves his bits at the cashier and then turns to the filly. "I'm sorry," he says quietly. After a few seconds where he appears to be debating internally, he continues. "There's really not a lot we can do, though, except wait."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 05:11 PM
Once Dive Bomb collects his ticket, Grease Spot advances toward the ticket booth and pulls a few bits out of her saddlebag, placing them on the counter. "One ticket to Ponyville, please," she says warmly, before turning back to the distraught filly.
"I think all of us would like to be by a warm hearth right now. Celestia knows I do." She pauses, seeing the single floating bit. "Are you..."

Ravian
2012-10-09, 05:14 PM
Soot appears not to hear Dive Bomb or Grease Spot, instead staring at the single bit as if it had just wished her a merry Heart's warming. Her eye twitches once more.

BlasTech
2012-10-09, 05:15 PM
"Thank you for choosing to ride with Canterlot City Rail. A fair fare from here to there" the teller droned, miffed that nopony had bothered apologizing to him.

"There's a waiting room over there." he finished, indicating a nearby doorway that was clearly marked with a sign.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 05:31 PM
"Thank you," Dive Bomb says, perhaps a bit coldly as he snags his ticket. Seriously, this guy acts as if he's the only guy working tonight, he muses. Slacking on the job, ignoring customers, and he gives us grief for making his night worse? His internal dialogue is cut short as he notices the single bit floating in the frigid night air. A rapid glance at the price table confirms his suspicions. Well, that won't do. Um. Phrasing... "Where do you need to go, kid?"

BlasTech
2012-10-09, 05:55 PM
Unfortunately for anyone who had a problem with his attitude, the teller pretty much was manning the only open ticket window today.

Ravian
2012-10-09, 06:20 PM
Soot seems to smoke as she begins to believe that the universe is actively trying to make her life into some sort of cruel joke. Her twitching intensifies and for several moments it appears she's about to explode. Then Dive Bomb's words register and fuse is cut as she returns to reality.

"Huh?" she looks at the Pegasus slightly suprised. "Um.. Manehatten" she regards him for a moment and frowns, a look of suspicion on her face "Why do you care?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 06:38 PM
Grease chuckles a little bit at Dive Bomb's words. He can't be more than a couple years older than her.
"I think he doesn't want you stuck in a cold train station without a way home," she says. "That's no way to spend Hearth's Warming Day."

Balmas
2012-10-09, 06:44 PM
"Indeed," he says, nodding in confirmation. "A bit won't buy you very much distance traveled. Do you need help?"

Ravian
2012-10-09, 06:52 PM
"Oh, well yeah I guess." the suspicion still evident on her voice. She still looks suspicious, unused to such charity and still wary for some kind of trick.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 07:29 PM
Squinting a bit at the fareboard, Dive Bomb signals to the cashier. "If it's not too much trouble, one foal's ticket to Manehattan, please? Thank you!" He places some bits on the counter, looking with dismay at his own diminishing supply. I really need to fly more places, he thinks to himself. Traveling isn't cheap. "So, you're pretty far from home," he said slowly. "Is everything alright?"

BlasTech
2012-10-09, 07:42 PM
The teller quirked an eyebrow, as if to ask "is she really a foal?"

Shrugging, he began processing the order. It wasn't like it was his own money at stake here.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 08:02 PM
Grease passes Dive Bomb some bits. "Here, I'll help cover it. Young travelers aren't usually known for their bit supply."
She then turns to the gray unicorn. "If you want to pay us back somehow, I could always use some nice conversation to pass the time. It looks like we have quite a wait ahead of us. Which, incidentally, I would like to spend sitting down." With that, she starts walking toward the waiting room.

Balmas
2012-10-09, 08:25 PM
The pegasus smiles gratefully at the older mare, pocketing the bits. "That sounds reasonable," he says, handing the small slip to the grey foal. Breathing out another cloud of mist, he clenches his wings tighter to himself. "I'll come in a second," he says quietly, picking up the notebook and pen again. "This architecture is incredible; I have to get a sketch, maybe a rubbing."

Ravian
2012-10-09, 08:28 PM
Soot watches the two ponies help her and each other, surprised by such generosity from and between strangers. She listens to Dive Bomb and sighs "It's fine, just a tough day is all." as they walk towards the waiting room his other words register "And what do you mean kid? I'm 16, thank you very much and I certainly don't need anypony patronizing me"

"As for passing the time" she says to Grease Spot "I suppose it's not like there's anything better for us to do except chat." she pauses, secretly not very keen to talk about her frustration to some mare she met at a train station, and hopeful said mare will provide most of the conversation in the dialogue.

BlasTech
2012-10-09, 08:34 PM
"Lady" said the teller, glancing up from his book. "Holiday tip, don't go advertising your age like that when you're riding on a foals ticket ... Or fork up for a full fare one."

Shrugging, he resumed his reading. "Not that I really care."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-09, 08:46 PM
In the waiting room, Grease set her suitcase down on the floor with a thump and sits down on a bench. "Ah, that's much better. Now we just need to wait until our trains get here. My name's Grease Spot, by the way." She offers a hoof, idly wondering whether something would interrupt her hoofshake again.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-09, 11:59 PM
"Oh merciful sun!"

On the other side of the terminal, Crown Cork fell to his knees, clutching his suitcase like a comfort blanket. He raised his head to the windows of crystal, but alas, no ray of sunlight met his face.

"Nothing? Not even a peek? Do the heavens themselves conspire against our family today?!" he exclaimed with a single hoof raised to the sky. Just as quickly as he'd thrown himself to the floor, he picked himself back up and raced across to the ticket window. "Sir! I must make it to Manehatten by tomorrow morning, are there any trains left that will make the journey in time?!" he asked, panting for air from his mad dash.

(Not sure if I ever posted my physical description yet. I'll do that tomorrow, too sleepy now.)

Balmas
2012-10-10, 12:57 AM
At the sound of somepony wailing, Dive Bomb looks down from his position near the ornately decorated capital of a pillar. Corinthian. An interesting choice, when you take into account the rest of Canterlot's Ionian style. He moves forward and braces himself on the column, the better to capture a charcoal rubbing of a rearing knight nestled at the top. The craftsponyship is astounding. Look at this; nopony would ever see this detail up close without a pair of wings. He grins to himself as he flutters toward the ground. Lucky me.

He lands near the earth pony, looking him over somewhat curiously. "Is something wrong?"

BlasTech
2012-10-10, 01:26 AM
"Oh merciful sun!"

On the other side of the terminal, Crown Cork fell to his knees, clutching his suitcase like a comfort blanket. He raised his head to the windows of crystal, but alas, no ray of sunlight met his face.

"Nothing? Not even a peek? Do the heavens themselves conspire against our family today?!" he exclaimed with a single hoof raised to the sky. Just as quickly as he'd thrown himself to the floor, he picked himself back up and raced across to the ticket window. "Sir! I must make it to Manehatten by tomorrow morning, are there any trains left that will make the journey in time?!" he asked, panting for air from his mad dash.

(Not sure if I ever posted my physical description yet. I'll do that tomorrow, too sleepy now.)


There was a startled yell, followed by a sudden flurry of paper from within the ticket booth. It was a few seconds before the teller was able to pick himself back up and respond to the newcomer's query.

Ordinarily, he would have told them off, but the newcomer was clearly a customer and, even worse, looked rich.

It was manners time.

“Er, thousand apologies ma’a—er sir. I mean, about the delays that is. Royal Edict and all.” He babbled, trying to regain his mental and physical footing. Glancing to the train schedule, the flustered teller made his best attempt to provide a good enough service so that he'd still have a job come the new year.

“Um, right, Manehatten was it? Uh … your best option is probably to catch the next train out and change at a place called Ponyville. It’s an overnight train, but with the connection tomorrow morning it’s the only one that will get you in Manehatten before lunchtime, sir.”


At the sound of somepony wailing, Dive Bomb looks down from his position near the ornately decorated capital of a pillar. Corinthian. An interesting choice, when you take into account the rest of Canterlot's Ionian style. He moves forward and braces himself on the column, the better to capture a charcoal rubbing of a rearing knight nestled at the top. The craftsponyship is astounding. Look at this; nopony would ever see this detail up close without a pair of wings. He grins to himself as he flutters toward the ground. Lucky me.

He lands near the earth pony, looking him over somewhat curiously. "Is something wrong?"

Having dispensed his worldly wisdom to his customer, the teller gave Dive Bomb a disapproving glare. Irritated at the constant interruptions, and also recognising the rude pegasus from earlier.


In the waiting room, Grease set her suitcase down on the floor with a thump and sits down on a bench. "Ah, that's much better. Now we just need to wait until our trains get here. My name's Grease Spot, by the way." She offers a hoof, idly wondering whether something would interrupt her hoofshake again.

The waiting room was wide, expansive, and filled with benches that faced a series of large glass windows. The immediate view outside was of the platform, where a train was being unloaded by a smattering of station staff. Beyond that, the vista provided was of the lowlands beneath Canterlot.

Only a few other ponies occupied the waiting room, an earth pony couple stood in the corner, nursing a pair of infant foals, while a charcoal grey unicorn guardspony sat along one of the window benches, reading a magazine.

On closer inspection, a couple of oddities were revealed. Namely that the two children were a pegasus and a unicorn, and that the guard's magazine was entitled "A foals guide to becomming a better policepony."

Ravian
2012-10-10, 06:38 AM
Soot's ears perk again as she half-hears a familiar wailing.
"Was that..." she frowns and shakes her head "Nah couldn't be..."
She turns back towards Grease Spot "Name's Soot" she meets the offered hoof and shakes. Another pause follows as she thinks to herself before asking "So... where are you off to?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-10, 09:46 AM
((Past tense ahoy!))

"Oh, I'm going to Ponyville to visit family," Grease said. "Though I wanted to be getting there by now. This train delay is really wrecking our holiday plans. I was looking forward to tonight. Though I'm sure you know how I feel."

Balmas
2012-10-10, 10:30 AM
The corners of Dive Bomb's mouth twitched upwards a fraction. Oh, sure, NOW he's alert and attentive. When I try to buy a ticket, he ignores me and makes me repeat my request. This guy comes in here, yells a bit, and gets instant service. Is that the way you do it? His brows furrowed a bit as he absentmindedly began to hover. Yelling is discouraged, but also grants better service in some cases. Hmmm. This requires more investigation.

Ravian
2012-10-10, 03:05 PM
"Yeah know what you mean" Soot sighed as she thought about the others back home. She had often been gone for a day or so, but she never liked being away from her family, and being away on Heart's Warming Day seemed like some sort of Tarteran sin in her mind. If I ever get my hooves on that son-of-a-basilisk Cork, I can't be held responsible for my actions. she thought to herself with a scowl.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-10, 03:33 PM
Cork turned to the hovering pegasus, disbelief plastered across his face. "Wrong? Of course there is something wrong! The fate of one of the greatest soda empires known to ponykind rests in my very hooves!" He raised his forehooves for effect, sticking his suitcase between the two ponies. He quickly set it back on the floor with a huff. "That was not the fate of one of the greatest soda empires known to ponykind. That was my luggage."

His intense gaze was brought to bear on the hapless teller. "But the need is still dire! If I am in Manehatten at lunchtime, then I cannot be back in Canterlot by dinnertime, and all will be lost. Is there any other way to reach Manehatten sooner?" Cork's forehooves were planted firmly on the counter, his muzzle nearly pressing through the bars. "Money is no object. I'll pay any price it takes."

(Oh my goodness, Cork is so much fun to write for.)

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-10, 04:04 PM
Grease let a sigh of her own join Soot's. "I just hope the rest of my trip is more restful than today has been. I've been working basically nonstop since the invasion." She gestured with one hoof to emphasize how busy she had been. "I really need some R&R."

BlasTech
2012-10-10, 04:17 PM
"Uhh, sorry sir." the teller replied, checking the schedules and doing some quick mental math. "The best I can do is get you a cabin on the first train out once they start running again. Unless you're only making a brief stopover in Manehatten, there's no way for you to get back here before tomorrow evening."

"If it's any consolation, the trains should be running again soon. The only way to get them moving any faster would be to talk to the Princesses, I'm afraid. Terribly sorry sir." the teller finished, his brow perspiring. A rich customer like this, and worse yet an easily upset one, might just cost him his job before the day was out.

Balmas
2012-10-10, 04:50 PM
Dive Bomb shook himself out of his revery, temporarily stunned. Who is this guy? Melodrama much? He shrugged a bit, comparing his sketch to the soaring buttresses of the train station. Needs a bit more... there! Better. Gently, he eased the notebook back into his saddlebags while looking curiously at the frantic colt in front of him. Not a lot I can do to help him, he mused. I could probably beat the trains there, but not carrying a full grown passenger.

He looked over the suitcase curiously as he headed towards the waiting room.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-10, 04:58 PM
Crown Cork gripped the bars, his eyes boring holes into the panicked teller's soul. "How brief is brief? How fast would I have to fly? What level of miracle must be born for me to make that train?" His voice was low and hard, deadly serious. This was no joke; if he could just figure out how to grow wings on the ride there...

BlasTech
2012-10-10, 05:23 PM
"Sir? Uhh." The teller backed away from the bars slightly, looking nervous. "If you only spent an hour or so in Manehatten, you could get the express back to Canterlot in the evening. I have no idea about flying sir, not a pegasus ..."

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-10, 07:00 PM
An hour to run down to the estate, well, pay a cab handsomely to run him down to the estate, grab a briefcase, then dash back to the train station? Foal's play. Cork went back down on all fours to count out the requisite bits, smiling politely at the spooked teller. "That will do wonderfully then."

As he pushed across the small pile of bits, a horrifying realization stayed his hoof. "Although, an hour is hardly enough time to save the business...and to warm the hearth of my winter's rose, however late a visit may be." He bowed his head, gritting his teeth and clutching a hoof to his chest. "But I must! For the sake of my father, I must keep us apart for a few more painful days. Sir, a round-trip express ticket to Manehatten, before my resolve wavers." With a final steeling of his heart, he pushed the bits the last remaining inches over to the teller.

BlasTech
2012-10-10, 08:25 PM
"Y-Yes sir" stammered the teller, doling out the requisite ticket.

"An announcment will be made as soon as we know when trains are running again. Until then, you can wait in the waiting room over there sir."

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-10, 08:38 PM
Crown Cork gave the poor teller a final, polite bow, nipping up his ticket in his teeth. "Thank you, it has been a pleasure, sir. I believe I can keep myself quite occupied in the meantime." He patted his suitcase lovingly, hearing the jostling of brushes just waiting to take a dip in some color. Perhaps he'd be getting that painting of the station much sooner than expected.

He was just trotting out to the waiting area, surveying who might be sharing this lonely evening with him, when his eyes spotted a familiar-looking filly chatting with an older mare. The colt's face lit up. "Why, Soot? Soot, is that you?" he called out, waving in her direction. What luck! Perhaps this evening wouldn't be so lonely after all.

BlasTech
2012-10-10, 09:07 PM
After the teller finished dropping all of Cork's bits in the cash register, he put up a "back in five minutes" sign and took refuge beneath his desk.

Ravian
2012-10-10, 09:08 PM
Soot's ears seemed to quiver as they heard the familiar voice. Her eye twitched once more before her head slowly turned towards the doorway, those in the room might well have sworn they heard a sound not unlike rusty metal grating against itself as the unicorn's neck seemed to twist like an owl.

"You..." Soot hissed as her face twisted into a portrait of hatred. The rest of her body twisted around so she fully faced the Earth Pony before leaping at the pony with a savage scream of rage.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-10, 09:29 PM
Cork slowed his waving as the filly turned about. "Soot?"

That was odd; he'd never seen her looking like that before. Was this merely a case of mistaken identity? He squinted at her and trotted closer. "Soot, is that you-"

And then the little savage leaped at him like a guided, angry swarm of bees. He held up his forelegs to shield himself, dropping his suitcase to the ground in the process, but the effort was fruitless. The two of them tumbled across the floor, Cork ending up with the angry filly perched on top of him. "Ah! Help! Police! Murder! Murder I say!" he wailed as he tried his hardest to protect his face.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-10, 09:47 PM
Grease looked up at the doorway as the colt entered, calling Soot's name. Oh, so she does know somepony in town, she thought. That's good, she almost seemed... wait, what is she...

Her confusion turned to alarm as Soot launched herself at the colt, screaming. "Whoa, whoa, hey!" she yelled, running over towards the two as they fell to the ground. She pushed her hooves into the fray, trying to remove the enraged filly before she injured somepony. As she did, a thought crossed her mind. Did I just help pay for a madmare's ticket?

(So... does this call for a contested roll?)

Balmas
2012-10-10, 09:48 PM
Dive Bomb looked up from the magazine he'd been reading. Well, that's a change of pace... Discretion says that I ought to stay out of it, while morality dictates a swift intervention. As such, he thought, shifting off his bench slowly, I am required to act.

"K-kid," he called from just outside the range of the desperate melee, "can I b-be of any assistance in resol-solving this conflict?"

((Gah! Ninja'd!))

Ravian
2012-10-10, 10:18 PM
Soot gazed down upon the stallion beneath her with a look of rage and loathing smeared across her face "You had me... go all the way to Canterlot... to pick up a present... for your marefriend... when you were going there in the first place!" she jamed her hoof into his nose "I'm stuck in a train station on Heart's Warming Day because you couldn't bother to pick up a gift yourself!"

Her horn glowed with a golden light as she tried to fight off Grease Spot's attempts at pulling her off "Let me go! I'm gonna give this puffed up peacock a piece of my mind!"

Balmas
2012-10-10, 10:45 PM
Okay, plan A is not working. Turning to the guard in the corner, he said, "Isn't it your job to stop stuff like this? There was more than a hint of panic in his voice.

BlasTech
2012-10-10, 10:54 PM
"Huh wha?" The guard replied, scratching the back of his helmet with a hoof. "Oh, yeah, I guess it is isn't it. What with me being a guard and all."

Seemingly not in any great hurry, the unicorn set down his magazine and trundled over to the two combatants.

"Uh ... please stop?"

Meanwhile, all the noise had started the two foals crying, their parents were briefly occupied with attempting to keep them quiet.



(So... does this call for a contested roll?)

[Assuming Ravian is okay with moving it out of the realm of pure RP, which I'm assuming he does given his last post ... It's be a contested body based roll to pry her off by force. Highest total wins. Go nuts! ^^

The guard pony is ready to intervene, so if you don't do the roll first, he will.]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-10, 11:06 PM
Cork bravely tried to defend himself, but striking a filly, even in retaliation, was something he just couldn't bring himself to do. Soot's quick hooves delivered a snappy jab to his muzzle, and he brought up his forelegs to stave off further hits. "Augh! I paid you handsomely for the trouble! How was I to know the accursed trains would be delayed?! Now unhand me at once!" he demanded.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-10, 11:11 PM
Grease Spot spared a moment to give the guard a deadpan look of half disbelief and half disapproval. Then she returned to the task at hoof, forcefully prying the angry filly away from her target.

Body (4) + Extra Talented (Strong) (1) = +5
1d20+5 18
Second roll for Talent: 1d20+5 16
Ok, I guess no forum roller. I'll just roll IRL and post the results. I promise I won't fudge the dice.

Ravian
2012-10-11, 10:54 AM
Soot tried to resist the stronger mare's attempts at prying her off of Crown Cork
Body: 2
[roll0]
but was wrenched off without much problem. The filly struggled in vain against Grease Spot, anger still boiling in her eyes as she looks at Cork.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-11, 11:56 AM
Grease held the struggling filly back, considering how she could calm this situation down. She hadn't quite caught everything that the two had said in the struggle, but apparently all the colt had done was pay her to go to Canterlot and back, hardly worth jumping him like that. Well, the only way to find out was to ask.
"Now what in the name of Luna's striped stockings are you attacking your employer for?" she asked.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-11, 01:37 PM
With his attacker subdued, Cork picked himself up and dusted off his coat with a huff. There would be strong words for the security of this station come tomorrow. "Yes, what has possessed you, Soot?! Was your fee that insufficient?"

Balmas
2012-10-11, 03:24 PM
Dive Bomb let loose a whoosh of breath, glad that things seemed to have calmed down. Good. Now, to get to the bottom of things... "Erm, e-excuse me," he said quietly. "Why is she even here? Shouldn't a foal be at home with her family, especially on Hearth's Warming Eve?" He ducked back, looking off to the side. "I mean, if you're going to c-come here anyway, w-why send her?"

Ravian
2012-10-11, 03:29 PM
"Insufficient? Oh yes I suppose you did neglect to add in my non-local delivery rates, my overnight fees, and the additional cost for MAKING ME SPEND HEART'S WARMING DAY WITHOUT MY FAMILY!" she strained once more against Grease Spot's grip. "Now they're spending the holidays with no idea where I am, and I'm stuck here with a bit to my name until tomorrow!"

"So yeah I'd say it's insufficient you strutting, melodramatic, pr..." Soot stopped in mid sentence as the two foals' crying suddenly registered. She looks at herself, trying to attack a pony who never did her any wrong. Everypony else here was in just as rough a spot as her, and here she was taking out her anger on one of the few ponies to think highly enough of her to trust her with a gift for his very special somepony. All because forces beyond either of their control had conspired against her.

"I..." she whispered as she hung her head down "I'm sorry..."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-11, 05:20 PM
Once she was sure that Soot wasn't going to try attack the colt again, Grease let the filly go. For an awkward moment, she stood there, the only sound coming from the two crying foals and their parents' attempts to calm them.

Grease felt like she should say something, if only to break the silence. "I'd rather be with my family right now, too, but I'm not feeling the urge to beat somepony up," she said. It sounded a tad harsher than she really meant it to, but perhaps that was for the best. No pony should feel good about going around harming those who irritate them.

And on the topic of harm, she turned and helped the colt up off the ground. "Are you alright?"

BlasTech
2012-10-11, 05:24 PM
The guardpony glanced between the two ponies, wondering what was going to happen next.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-11, 07:23 PM
The staggering vitriol this filly spouted at him laid Cork flat. Well, he was already flat from when she'd tackled him and tried to box his ears, but now he was flat physically and emotionally. Then she seemed to taste her own words and whimper out an apology, and Cork was silent. Such a turn of events was nearly enough to make him forget his own injuries. Almost. He gratefully accepted the leg up. "My nerves have taken a far greater beating than I, though my chest aches a bit," he stated shakily. True, apart from a growing bruise on his barrel where the filly had tackled him, he was unscathed. And in fact, it was likely just a bump.

Despite his grievous wounds, the colt managed to dust himself off, trot over to his fallen luggage, and then checked its contents for damage. None of the paint jars had broken, the brushes were still intact, and there was hardly a scratch on his palette. As he rummaged, he addressed the gathered ponies. "It may appear odd, even superfluous, to employ a filly to fetch an item from the same city I was traveling to. But until ten minutes ago, I would not have had even a moment to myself. And as this young lady is keen to remind us, it is a very special day, and this gift was for...a very, very special pony. And I would not stand to insult her with a belated delivery."

With a curt nod, he snapped his suitcase shut, the sound echoing through the empty terminal. "It cannot be helped now; fate has decreed we remain here for now. But really, if that made the fee so disagreeable, why did you not simply speak up? It would have been far less trouble than making such a scene." With a flick of his hoof, as if he were merely throwing out some rubbish, he tossed a bulging bag across to Soot. Bits glinted through its loosely-tied mouth; enough to nearly double her current fee. "Family cannot be bought nor replaced; I simply hope that may ease this evening's heartache," he explained, placing his suitcase on his back. "I trust that will suffice?"

BlasTech
2012-10-11, 07:55 PM
"Awww that's so nice!" the guard pony beamed, enveloping both Soot and Cork into a powerful hug. "You're all friends again, and I didn't even need to give any pony a fine!!"

There was a second of stunned silence following this, before the entire room was plunged into darkness.

The guards voice was tinny in the large waiting room. "Who turned out the lights?"

[ooc: Soot can recognize this as similar to her area darkness spell, and gains a plus 4 bonus to dispel it, dc15. Everyone else has a mind based check. DC 15 to navigate out of the room by memory. Situational bonuses if you help each other out.]

Balmas
2012-10-11, 08:18 PM
"Gah!" Blinded by the sudden loss of light, Dive Bomb dropped to the floor. Okay, what is this? Scanning left and right revealed nothing; even passing a hoof in front of his eyes showed no change. Alright, you can do this. Just like flying in a thunderstorm...

No idea how to do forum dice rolls, so rolling in person. +5 mind = 18

He groped his way to where he remembered the door, and began digging in his left saddlebag. Flashbangs, no... Dynamite, not very helpful... Eventually, his lips moved over the thin stick that he sought, and the acrid tang of iron swelled on his tongue. Striking the sparkler on the floor to get a spark going, he called around it, "Ovher here!"

((Not sure whether it will light or no in the magic spell. Rather, not sure whether it will show in the magical darkness. Your call.))

BlasTech
2012-10-11, 08:40 PM
The flare burst into light, casting an acrid white beam over an area ... Of about a meter. The darkness seemed to push back on the light. Preventing it from going further.

[Dive bomb and anyone who joins him, gains a +2 to his navigation check.
]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-11, 09:13 PM
An exasperated sigh came from where Cork had been standing. "Goodness me, now darkness itself conspires against us. Really, I'd ask what else might go wrong, but that would just give a thunderstorm an excuse to blow in." The guard and Soot would feel him start to move, nudging them both along as well. "Come, come, perhaps the lobby is still working properly."

Upon hearing Dive Bomb's voice, he tried to move to meet up with the pegasus.

Mind Check: [roll0]

But it seemed in all the scuffle, he'd gotten turned around. "Hellooooo? Mister Pegasus? Could you stop moving and tell us where you've gone to?" he called out as he wandered aimlessly through the darkness.

Ravian
2012-10-11, 09:18 PM
"What the hay?" Soot muttered as the room plunges into darkness. Her horn alighted with golden energy as she searched through the magic maintaining the darkness.

Mind 4 + 4 for familiarity = 8
[roll0]

"There we go" Soot smiled as light begins to flood back into the lobby.

BlasTech
2012-10-11, 09:42 PM
Light returned. There was a moment where everyone let out a collective sigh of relief.

"Pound? Pound boy, where are you?"

"Pumkin dearie?"

The calls were coming from the earth pony couple who were peering under seats and behind their bags. There was a depressing lack of children accompanying them.

"Oh nooooooo! They've been foalnapped! Somepony call the guard!" cried the guardpony.

".... Oh wait, that's me isn't it?"

Puffing himself up, he continued, his voice dropping an octave or so into a bass rumble in the process. "Right! This 'ere is now an official investigation! For starters, you're all under arrest!"

"Now, to look for clues!!" Striding across to a nearby doorway marked for janitorial supplies, he threw it open. It slammed shut behind him.

The sound of muffled thumping could be heard for a moment, before a much less pompous voice called out.

"Uhh, can anypony let me out? .... Please?"

[ooc: posting via phone is haaard]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-11, 10:24 PM
"Oh, now what?" Grease mumbled to herself as the lights went out. As the others moved around, trying to navigate in the darkness, Grease chased down a line of thought. It seemed odd that it would be completely dark when there was daylight coming in the windows, not to mention the suddenness of the darkness. No, it had to be a spell, likely a Light Diminishing one. And if somepony was going through the trouble of blacking out the train station...

Grease tensed, preparing herself for whatever might appear out of the darkness. Just as she was about to call out a warning, however, the darkness lifted, Soot's horn glowing with light.

She surveyed the room, not immediately noticing anything out of place. That is, aside from the two missing foals. She was about to go look over her luggage when the guard decided that they were all under arrest. And then promptly got himself stuck in a closet.

She sighed, and walked over the closet in question, opening up the door. "Did you find any clues yet?" she deadpanned.

Balmas
2012-10-11, 10:29 PM
Standing at the base of the doorway, Dive Bomb put out the sparkler, placing what remained in his saddlebag once more. Okay, so we're looking for a unicorn filly and a pegasus colt. Enclosed space means that whereever they went, it's out of here. He swiftly flew out the door and began scanning the station for any sign of the missing children.

((Does this call for a skill check? Probably mind or heart.))

BlasTech
2012-10-11, 11:11 PM
She sighed, and walked over the closet in question, opening up the door. "Did you find any clues yet?" she deadpanned.

"Not yet!" replied the guard. "But I was able to defeat this 'ere varmint, after he ambushed me in there!"

He levitated out his trophy, a toy rubber chicken, and handed it to Grease Spot.


Standing at the base of the doorway, Dive Bomb put out the sparkler, placing what remained in his saddlebag once more. Okay, so we're looking for a unicorn filly and a pegasus colt. Enclosed space means that whereever they went, it's out of here. He swiftly flew out the door and began scanning the station for any sign of the missing children.

((Does this call for a skill check? Probably mind or heart.))

The main concourse was much as it had been earlier; cavernous and empty of life. Somewhere, the sound of a clock chiming echoed off the marble walls.

There was nopony in sight, even the ticket window appeared to now be closed. Apart from the doors to the platform, which remained locked, there were plenty of areas which might have hidden a child; Phone booths that lined one area of the walls near the entrances, a series of private waiting rooms on the far side from the public ones where Dive Bomb now sat, even a cafeteria area that looked like it would reach its peak patronage for the day as soon as anyone decided to pay it a visit.

[No skill check here, yet. Might wait till more people are searching]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-11, 11:25 PM
Grease balanced the toy on one hoof, glancing between it and the guard. She opened her mouth like she was about to say something, then it closed it firmly. Logic was wasted on some ponies. The rubber chicken flopped to the floor as she trotted over to the main part of the station.

"Hey! Uh, Dive Bomb, any sign of the foals?" she asked, scanning the area herself.

BlasTech
2012-10-11, 11:28 PM
"H-Hey!" The amber coated earth pony exclaimed, as he saw the rubber chicken drop to the ground.

"That belongs to our daughter, little Pumpkin Cake!"

Balmas
2012-10-11, 11:37 PM
After casting one more long look around the station, Dive Bomb folded his wings, dropping until with a flare, he halted his fall next to the mare, shaking his head. He hovered through the air, 'pacing,' after a fashion. After a few seconds of thought, he said, "No sign of them. And in a place this big, who knows which way they went?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-11, 11:48 PM
"Yeah, if there's still here at all. Nothing for it but to look around, I suppose."
A moment later, the stallion's words in the other room registered in her mind, and she facehoofed. "Of course. Why else would a rubber chicken be in a closet?" She ran back the way she came. Maybe they weren't foalnapped after all, and they really did just run away in the dark.

Balmas
2012-10-12, 12:02 AM
But if we look around, we'll lose time, and time is one thing we don't have when foals go—his head snapped around, tracking the blue mare's movements. "Did you find them?" he called as he followed. Oh, that would make life so much easier for me.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-12, 12:12 AM
Cork was at the parents' side almost immediately, offering a handkerchief to the mother and other such comforts. "Dry your eyes, we will find your foals. I swear it upon this day of Hearth's Warming!" His voice rang with the intensity and authority of somepony who was used to giving orders, and usually having others listen. "Now then, do the little ones have any other toys, names they answer to, anything notable about them that may help us find them?" Out from his suitcase, he produced a pad of paper and a pencil, and prepared to take down notes.

(Ugh, late post for me)

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 12:12 AM
"Maybe," Grease said as she ran back to the closet. She flung the door wide, looking for a sign of the foals.

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 12:49 AM
Cork was at the parents' side almost immediately, offering a handkerchief to the mother and other such comforts. "Dry your eyes, we will find your foals. I swear it upon this day of Hearth's Warming!" His voice rang with the intensity and authority of somepony who was used to giving orders, and usually having others listen. "Now then, do the little ones have any other toys, names they answer to, anything notable about them that may help us find them?" Out from his suitcase, he produced a pad of paper and a pencil, and prepared to take down notes.

(Ugh, late post for me)

"Oh thankyou dearie." Replied the blue coated mare, taking the hankerchief in her hoof and dabbing at her eyes. "It means so much to us to have nice young colts like yourself who are good enough to help us!"

"Our two precious ones are called Pound, that's the pegasus (Thanks to my wife's great aunt second cousin twice removed)" said the husband, moving up to give the mare a reassuring hug. "and Pumpkin, the unicorn (because of my great great great great grandfather) .... But apart from that, they isn't that much that I can think of to say about them."

"Well dearie, don't forget that Pound does like to hit things." said the wife.

"Oh yes, buttercup thanks for reminding me."

"Oh, and Pumpkin has a bad habit of liking to chew on things, especially her toys" she continued.

"Yes, honeymuffin, I was just getting to that."

"Anyway, if you can find them, please be careful dearie." The mare continued, speaking directly to Cork. "They've been having these spells lately, their magic is rather unpredictable."


"Maybe," Grease said as she ran back to the closet. She flung the door wide, looking for a sign of the foals.

The cupboard was ... pretty unremarkable. A few water pails and a mop, but nothing large enough for a foal to have squeezed through, and definitely no children inside.

Balmas
2012-10-12, 12:58 AM
Dive Bomb listened to the couple speak, mentally groaning when he heard the mention of "Foals" and "magic" in the same sentence. "Could that magic have done anything on this"—here, he gestured around them—"scale? Darkness, possible teleportation?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 12:59 AM
Grease pursed her lips, thinking. It wasn't surprising, exactly. The guard may have been dense, but she doubted that he would miss foals in a cupboard. But they must have been there, or else how did the rubber chicken get there?

"Hey, guard," she said to the guard, realizing that she had no idea what his name was. "What exactly happened when—" she rolled her eyes, "—the chicken attacked you?"

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 01:08 AM
"Well, I was just minding my own business, looking for clues as to the perpetrator of this nefarious scheme and so on ... when that there plasticine fowl tried to jump me. It just went right for my head, but I fought it off with a crackle and a pop!"

"That's when I realised the blighter had locked the door on me, so I bravely called to you to rescue me, and then you did! Everything worked out fine in the end." He finished, with a big grin on his face.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 01:18 AM
Grease looked up at the shelves that it had most likely just fallen from. "Locked the door?" she asked. "Are you sure?"

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 01:21 AM
"Yeah, it's one of those doors that has an automatic lock, see?" The guardpony replied, pushing it shut behind Grease. It locked with a click.

Balmas
2012-10-12, 01:29 AM
With a rather exaggerated facehoof, Dive Bomb moved to the door and turned the handle to release the larger mare. What use is a closet door that locks from the inside? Traditionally, you'd want a door that can be opened from the inside, but needs a lock to get into from the outside. The thought gave him pause, prompting a closer examination of the door as he pulled the doorknob.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 01:34 AM
Grease jiggled the handle of the door. Well that was one mystery solved. The only thing to do next was search the other parts of the station. Though she was getting the feeling that the mysterious unicorn had grabbed them and ran.

...

...

"Ok, you can open the door again now."

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 01:36 AM
With a rather exaggerated facehoof, Dive Bomb moved to the door and turned the handle to release the larger mare. What use is a closet door that locks from the inside? Traditionally, you'd want a door that can be opened from the inside, but needs a lock to get into from the outside. The thought gave him pause, prompting a closer examination of the door as he pulled the doorknob.

On closer inspection, the lock was actually faulty. It looked like somepony had decided to jimmy it from the outside one time too many, resulting in the inside handle being jammed.

[Mind check - DC 10 to repair it]

Balmas
2012-10-12, 01:51 AM
"Huh," he sighed, looking at the lock. "Makes a bit more sense." I suppose that I could try using a sparkler-stick as a prod, but since this was caused by jimmying the lock, it probably wouldn't be helpful. "Anybody got some tools?" he asked, not looking away from the doorknob. "This lock's been picked once or twice, but I think I can fix it."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 02:03 AM
[Repair you say? :smallbiggrin:]

"Oh, I've got some in here. I'll take care of it." Grease said. She rummaged through her toolbags for a moment, cursing their recent reorganization, before coming up with a narrow screwdriver that could fit in and clear the jam. Then she leaned in, looking for the problem.

Mind 5 + Mechanic 4 + Repair 4 + Improvised Tool (+1) + Cutie Mark bonus (+1/2 again on the roll)
[roll0] Still not working for me. On to manual rolling.
Rolled a 4, so 4+2+14=20

A brief moment later, the mechanism clicked into place, and Grease opened up the door. "Come on, let's keep looking," she said after replacing her screwdriver. "They might still be around here somewhere."

Balmas
2012-10-12, 02:24 AM
((Wooo Teamwork! Also, Holy auto-success rate!))

"Well done," Dive Bomb commented, though a little put out. I coulda done that... Although his pride was somewhat injured, he had to admit that the mare was good at what she did.

Not in the closet, unless they're invisible. He felt around, just to confirm the absence of illusory infants. Assuming this was a burst of foalish unicorn magic, then they could have teleported, or just wandered off during the blackout. Though, to both blackout a room and teleport herself and her brother would probably be somewhat difficult for even a trained mage, I'd think. Two difficult, simultaneous castings? Not impossible, but statistically improbable at at least the .01 level.

Eventually he spoke. "How are we going to do this? The more time we spend chasing false leads, the more time the foals are in danger. Either they've been foalnapped, in which case they're in danger, or they're on their own in a snowstorm in Canterlot, in which case they'll probably be frozen in a matter of minutes."

He turned to the couple. "Has your daughter ever displayed the ability to teleport, phase through walls, black out buildings, anything like this?"

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 02:28 AM
The two earth ponies exchanged a glance.

"Well, um. According to one of our babysitters." began the father.

"Whom we trust completely dearie."

"Yes yes, moon pie, I know. Anyway, one of our close and trusted babysitters did mention that little Pumpkin both levitated herself and could phase through objects. The nurse said she should be growing out of that soon though ... we hope." He finished, a worried expression on his face.

Ravian
2012-10-12, 06:24 AM
"Sweet Celestia what a hectic day." Soot muttered. Almost anything could have happened to those poor foals, they could have been foalnapped, or if they were having these surges, they could have gotten themselves anywhere, even hidden beneath their noses.

"Hidden..." Soot's eyes glimmered as an idea struck her, she begins to channel magic into her Detect Life spell. Hopefully they were only a small distance away and simply hidden from view.

((the spell's within my abilities so are any rolls required? Also I basically modeled it after the Elder Scrolls version of the spell, causing all sentient beings to cast a golden light in Soot's mind))

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 07:57 AM
The magic began to coaleasce around her horn, a golden nimbus of light, but how much would it tell her?

[OOC: Going to do something a bit different here. Mind based roll, add skill ranks in the spell and tell me your result. The higher you get, the more you will see. Minimum to see anything beyond the room is DC 10]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-12, 08:19 AM
"Magical surges, hmm?" Cork started to pace along in front of the parents, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "That solves the mystery of the magical darkness rather neatly." Suddenly, he spun to point dramatically at the inept guardspony. "You couldn't have done it, because at the time of the crime, you were busy uncomfortably hugging myself and Soot. We both would've seen you cast a spell of this magnitude!" Another whirl, another point at...the terminal door? "And our good friend the teller couldn't have cast it because he isn't even present! He had to leave unexpectedly after our conversation about the trains. Some unrelated business, no doubt." A final whirl, this time to point triumphantly at the parents. "And that just leaves little Pumpkin. Take heart, for this was no foalnapping; just a mere accident. Which, thankfully for us, narrows down our searching considerably."

Now they were getting somewhere. On the scent, as it were. Made his blood boil with the thrill of the hunt, er, despite the seriousness of the situation. "Now we just need to whip up a search party, and we'll have them back before you know it. You! Miss!"

He turned to Grease Spot. "Go outside and search for any sign of them. You! Sir!"

He turned to Dive Bomb. "Hover up to the ceiling and see if they levitated. If you can find a window, check the roof. You! Soot!"

He turned to Soot...who seemed to be in the middle of casting some spell. The bruise on his chest throbbed noticeably. He kept on turning. "Keep doing what you're doing. You! Other sir!"

He turned to the guard...who seemed to be struggling with a rubber ducky. "...you...help me search in here. Remember everypony; look for foalish chew marks and listen for things getting pounded."

He trotted a few steps away, then turned and pumped his hoof to the sky. "Those foals will be found! Now let's go!"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 10:11 AM
Grease Spot arched an eyebrow quizzically at the colt (who's name she still didn't know, but that could be worried about later). Who exactly was he to give orders now? Especially since she still suspected a foalnapper. Unicorn foals may manifest unexpected powers, but a Spectacle like that should have still been beyond her reach.

Still, though, it was possible, and if they were just outside someone should go check and see. She even had a direction to start looking in, given that they had passed through that closet.

She nodded to the colt, and trotted out the door, mentally tracking where they would have gone if they phased through the back of the closet.

Balmas
2012-10-12, 10:17 AM
Although his wings bristled a bit at the brusque instructions, Dive Bomb did as instructed. You'd think some of these windows would have been designed to open, he scowled. After all, Canterlot gets hot in the summer. Eventually, he located a window whose latch hadn't been painted or rusted over, and flew out up to the roof.

His eyes flitted, birdlike, from point to point on the roof, looking for the telltale signs of life. I really hope they're not up here. The pegasus could maybe survive, depending on whether he's gotten his down or not. Unicorn's a different story. Shaking his wings dislodged a layer of snow, though a sugar frosting appeared the second after.

Ravian
2012-10-12, 10:54 AM
Soot frowned as she tried to concentrate with Cork barking out orders. Because of course, we leave the guy who can't find his way out of a darkened room in charge. she tried to clear her mind as she focused on the life energy of every pony in the area.

Mind 4 + Level 1 rank in Detect Life
[roll0]

Bingo! Soot eyes glowed with a golden sheen as she opened them, illuminating all sentient creatures nearby in a similarily colored glow.

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 03:29 PM
<Snipp'd for length>

He trotted a few steps away, then turned and pumped his hoof to the sky. "Those foals will be found! Now let's go!"

The guard gave Cork an approving smile as the two began to search the room.

"Hey, you're pretty good at this, you ever thought of being a detective?"

[Mind check to see if you can find clues regarding the twins movements. DC 10]


Grease Spot arched an eyebrow quizzically at the colt (who's name she still didn't know, but that could be worried about later). Who exactly was he to give orders now? Especially since she still suspected a foalnapper. Unicorn foals may manifest unexpected powers, but a Spectacle like that should have still been beyond her reach.

Still, though, it was possible, and if they were just outside someone should go check and see. She even had a direction to start looking in, given that they had passed through that closet.

She nodded to the colt, and trotted out the door, mentally tracking where they would have gone if they phased through the back of the closet.

Trotting outside, and past the nearby waiting rooms, Grease evenetually found herself looping around a corner and into an area that looked like it had been set aside for administrative offices. Her hoofsteps echoed eerily across the empty space, silent except for the chiming of the station clock, ringing out the hour.

There were three doors in the approximate area her mental map directed her towards. Two were marked "Staff Break Room" and "Admin". The third door was marked "Station Master" and ... surprisingly, was flanked by a pair of alabaster-white pegasus guards.


Although his wings bristled a bit at the brusque instructions, Dive Bomb did as instructed. You'd think some of these windows would have been designed to open, he scowled. After all, Canterlot gets hot in the summer. Eventually, he located a window whose latch hadn't been painted or rusted over, and flew out up to the roof.

His eyes flitted, birdlike, from point to point on the roof, looking for the telltale signs of life. I really hope they're not up here. The pegasus could maybe survive, depending on whether he's gotten his down or not. Unicorn's a different story. Shaking his wings dislodged a layer of snow, though a sugar frosting appeared the second after.

The rooftop seemed largely deserted, the snow was falling lightly, but it was by no means heavy enough to obscure a wonderful view of Canterlot City. It did, however, dampen down the sounds of the metropolis. Muting them such that the revelry of its citizens was nothing more than a distant murmer, punctuated by the occasional chiming of a clock in the near distance.

Unfortunately, there were no hoofprints in the snow, nor anything to signify the passage of the children.


Soot frowned as she tried to concentrate with Cork barking out orders. Because of course, we leave the guy who can't find his way out of a darkened room in charge. she tried to clear her mind as she focused on the life energy of every pony in the area.

Mind 4 + Level 1 rank in Detect Life
[roll0]

Bingo! Soot eyes glowed with a golden sheen as she opened them, illuminating all sentient creatures nearby in a similarily colored glow.

The spell snapped together, if not perfectly, then at least functionally. Immediately, Soot became aware of the presense of creatures just on the far side of the janitorial closet wall.

One, two ... five ... eight indistinct, but large, golden glows seemed to be gathered in one room just on the far side. An unusually high number for a day like this, where the station was practically deserted.

Balmas
2012-10-12, 03:48 PM
Grunting lightly, Dive Bomb took off again, soaring around the station in a loop to see if there were any hoofprints in the snow. Seeing nothing, he circled around until he was facing the main entrance. Pumping his wings energetically, he drove himself up and around into a tight three-quarter loop, driving himself down towards the ground before pulling up in front of the door. He smirked as he touched down, leaning his shoulder against the door. Still got it.

Entering the terminal, he shook himself briskly, sending frigid droplets of ice skittering along the marble floor. He then looked around again, listening and looking for the missing foals.

((Is Dive Bomb close enough to see Grease Spot and the two pegasi?))

Ravian
2012-10-12, 03:50 PM
Soot looked around before noticing the glows beyond the closet wall. "Hold on a second everypony, I think I've found something, or rather somepony" she trotted into the closet and began tapping the far wall in various places. She was no stranger to hidden panels, nobles seemed to love the things for hiding valuables. "Now if I were a handle to a secret door, where would I be?..."

Mind Check to find anything suspicious on the walls
4 + 2 from job of thief= 6
[roll0]
extra roll from wary trait [roll1]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-12, 03:56 PM
The guard gave Cork an approving smile as the two began to search the room.

"Hey, you're pretty good at this, you ever thought of being a detective?"

[Mind check to see if you can find clues regarding the twins movements. DC 10]

Cork's ego gladly ate up the compliments, the colt smiling to himself in satisfaction. "Really, it's just a question of paying attention to details. And, sometimes, a little push to get everypony on the right track," he said with a little wink. Now then, his painter's eye hungered for investigation. He took in the scene, looking for those little things the untrained pony may glance over.

I don't know what might apply here. Perhaps his Painter job and Painting skills for attention to detail? There isn't anything to make special here, so no Talent for him. Anyhow, here's the base roll, and the relevant potential modifiers:

Base Roll: [roll0]
Job: +2 for Painter
Skills: Either +4 for Painting or +2 for Sketching

EDIT: Well. That makes the question a mite superfluous, now doesn't it? :smalltongue:

Something caught the clue predator's keen eye. "Well well well...what have we here?" He mused aloud as he closed in.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 04:03 PM
Grease blinked in surprise at the two guards. Didn't think anypony else was here. Well, this is more or less the other side of the closet, they should have seen something. Maybe they even have them safe and sound.

"Excuse me," she said, polite but short, "A pair of young foals have gone missing, a pegasus and a unicorn. Have you seen them?"

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 04:13 PM
Grunting lightly, Dive Bomb took off again, soaring around the station in a loop to see if there were any hoofprints in the snow. Seeing nothing, he circled around until he was facing the main entrance. Pumping his wings energetically, he drove himself up and around into a tight three-quarter loop, driving himself down towards the ground before pulling up in front of the door. He smirked as he touched down, leaning his shoulder against the door. Still got it.

Entering the terminal, he shook himself briskly, sending frigid droplets of ice skittering along the marble floor. He then looked around again, listening and looking for the missing foals.

((Is Dive Bomb close enough to see Grease Spot and the two pegasi?))

The foyer in the front atrium was wide and open, giving clear sight of the pegasi as they spoke to Grease Spot.

The quietness of the station today, void of sound except for the chiming of a clock, even enabled him to hear every word that was said in the conversation.


Soot looked around before noticing the glows beyond the closet wall. "Hold on a second everypony, I think I've found something, or rather somepony" she trotted into the closet and began tapping the far wall in various places. She was no stranger to hidden panels, nobles seemed to love the things for hiding valuables. "Now if I were a handle to a secret door, where would I be?..."

Mind Check to find anything suspicious on the walls
4 + 2 from job of thief= 6
[roll0]
extra roll from wary trait [roll1]


Soot scoured every inch of what ... in the end, turned out to be a completely innocuous and unremarkable janitorial closet.

Thanks to her fine-tooth combing of the place, however, she did notice a faint, almost imperceptible magical residue at about head height on the back wall.


Cork's ego gladly ate up the compliments, the colt smiling to himself in satisfaction. "Really, it's just a question of paying attention to details. And, sometimes, a little push to get everypony on the right track," he said with a little wink. Now then, his painter's eye hungered for investigation. He took in the scene, looking for those little things the untrained pony may glance over.

I don't know what might apply here. Perhaps his Painter job and Painting skills for attention to detail? There isn't anything to make special here, so no Talent for him. Anyhow, here's the base roll, and the relevant potential modifiers:

Base Roll: [roll0]
Job: +2 for Painter
Skills: Either +4 for Painting or +2 for Sketching

EDIT: Well. That makes the question a mite superfluous, now doesn't it? :smalltongue:

Something caught the clue predator's keen eye. "Well well well...what have we here?" He mused aloud as he closed in.

Details details details. An ordinary pony may have missed these, but thanks to his fabulous senses, Cork was able to recreate a scene in his mind's eye.

The lights go out, both foals begin near their parents.

Some toy blocks were scattered near their bags, the direction point outwards, away from the two earth ponies, suggesting that something left the area rather than entered it.

The chicken had been discarded inside the closet, plainly marking the passage of one of the foals.

But no, he was not finished yet, some tiny hoofmarks on a nearby pile of magazines, which had been knocked over near the door way, coupled with a small thread of fabric caught on the doorframe indicated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the passage of the other foal.


Grease blinked in surprise at the two guards. Didn't think anypony else was here. Well, this is more or less the other side of the closet, they should have seen something. Maybe they even have them safe and sound.

"Excuse me," she said, polite but short, "A pair of young foals have gone missing, a pegasus and a unicorn. Have you seen them?"

"The two pegasi shared a quick, disciplined glance, before responding.

"No foals passed by here ma'am." the first replied, gruffly.

"And no admittance either, except on official guard business" The second responded, in a gravelly rumble.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-12, 04:30 PM
The breath caught in Cork's throat as the little clues put themselves in place, rushing to form a single, beautiful picture. "Nopony move!" he cried out, lest somepony disrupt the scene. Oh, were it not for Cork soda and his paints, he would've made Fetlock Holmes quiver in his tweed jacket.

Like a pony possessed, he strode over to where the parents still sat. "The foals started here, with their parents. The lights go out," he started to slowly trot away, following a pair of ghostly foals his mind had conjured into the scene. "And they start moving. These blocks were knocked over, away from the foals. Ponies left instead of coming. Our two foals. The chicken in the closet shows the passing of one," he knelt down, pointing out the scraps of fabric and hoofprints. "And these show the passage of the other. Both foals were in the closet. And now they are not." He turned to face his audience; time to close the case. "If we forget the possibility that Celestia herself, detecting them in danger, spirited the foals away to safety, then we can only conclude the foals are..." he turned to dramatically point at the back wall, "Behind there!"

His final words echoed through the empty hall, leaving a long silence in their wake. After which the master detective remembered to add, "You may resume moving, the deducing is done for the moment."

Balmas
2012-10-12, 04:38 PM
The foyer in the front atrium was wide and open, giving clear sight of the pegasi as they spoke to Grease Spot.

The quietness of the station today, void of sound except for the chiming of a clock, even enabled him to hear every word that was said in the conversation.

"The two pegasi shared a quick, disciplined glance, before responding.

"No foals passed by here ma'am." the first replied, gruffly.

"And no admittance either, except on official guard business" The second responded, in a gravelly rumble.

Dive Bomb looked with surprise at the two pegasi standing in front of the office. Fairly sure that they weren't there before, he pondered. Are these the royal guard? He looked at the two guards carefully, casting back his memory to the royal guardsponies he'd seen.

Again, rolling in person. Someone tell me how to do complex die rolls, please. And, holy crap, Brockjones: Nat 20+5 mind = 25.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 04:58 PM
"Well, if you see them, please let us know so we can get them back to the waiting room," she said, before turning and taking a quick look into the break room and the Administration office in turn.

[[OOC: Considering that her father used to be a Royal Guard, is there any reason why Grease would suspect that these aren't real guards?]]

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 05:07 PM
The breath caught in Cork's throat as the little clues put themselves in place, rushing to form a single, beautiful picture. "Nopony move!" he cried out, lest somepony disrupt the scene. Oh, were it not for Cork soda and his paints, he would've made Fetlock Holmes quiver in his tweed jacket.

Like a pony possessed, he strode over to where the parents still sat. "The foals started here, with their parents. The lights go out," he started to slowly trot away, following a pair of ghostly foals his mind had conjured into the scene. "And they start moving. These blocks were knocked over, away from the foals. Ponies left instead of coming. Our two foals. The chicken in the closet shows the passing of one," he knelt down, pointing out the scraps of fabric and hoofprints. "And these show the passage of the other. Both foals were in the closet. And now they are not." He turned to face his audience; time to close the case. "If we forget the possibility that Celestia herself, detecting them in danger, spirited the foals away to safety, then we can only conclude the foals are..." he turned to dramatically point at the back wall, "Behind there!"

His final words echoed through the empty hall, leaving a long silence in their wake. After which the master detective remembered to add, "You may resume moving, the deducing is done for the moment."

After the pronounciation was made, there was the clopping of enthusiastic applause from ... well it was only coming from the guard pony.

"Well done!! ... now what do we do?"


Dive Bomb looked with surprise at the two pegasi standing in front of the office. Fairly sure that they weren't there before, he pondered. Are these the royal guard? He looked at the two guards carefully, casting back his memory to the royal guardsponies he'd seen.

Again, rolling in person. Someone tell me how to do complex die rolls, please. And, holy crap, Brockjones: Nat 20+5 mind = 25.

The two pegasi were quite clearly the genuine article. In fact, thanks to his exceptionally keen eye and repository of knowledge on the subject, Dive Bomb was able to make out the subtly hidden insignia on their collar plates. A sign that marked these particular pegasi as members of the Equestrian Diplomatic corps - usually tasked with the security of dignitaries of state.

Any fake guards would not likely have remembered to include such detail on their uniforms.

[OOC: The most important things with these rolls is that you tell me clearly what you are attempting to achieve. That usually makes it easier to tell what bonuses apply. Feel free to put forward suggestions on talents or skills you think may apply and why. ]


"Well, if you see them, please let us know so we can get them back to the waiting room," she said, before turning and taking a quick look into the break room and the Administration office in turn.

[[OOC: Considering that her father used to be a Royal Guard, is there any reason why Grease would suspect that these aren't real guards?]]

"Will do ma'am" The guards replied.

[Nothing that would cause her to suspect anything]

Balmas
2012-10-12, 06:13 PM
As Dive Bomb stared at the small insignia on the armor, something clicked in his mind. Suddenly, everything made more sense than a bit-converter. Of course, he thought. Somepony important is here, so they've got guards. The guards had to get in here somehow, preferably without anypony knowing, thus the cover of darkness. That's why the trains are all late. During the darkness, the twins goo-goo'd their way out of the waiting room...

He paused in his conjecture, moving forward to join the blue mare. No, that doesn't make sense; they'd need to move much too quickly for that to have happened. After all, I went to check for them myself. He frowned in frustration, and nudged the older mare. "No sign outside," he said, giving a semi-jittery shake of the wings.

Ravian
2012-10-12, 06:47 PM
Soot rolled her eyes at Cork's dramatics "Well done Fetlock, I can just hear the criminal underworld shaking in their saddles." she peered at the magical disturbance. "I think my spell spotted one of them. The unicorn, Pumpkin Cake was it? I think she phased through the wall" she gestured to the two worried parents "See if you can coax her to come out, the walls may be thin enough for her to hear. I'm going to go see where the room she's in may be." Soot kept her detect life spell on as she went out into the main station, looking for doors to rooms neighboring the waiting room.

(do I need another roll for Detect Life to keep track of the gleam of light that is probably Pumpkin Cake?)

BlasTech
2012-10-12, 07:00 PM
Soot rolled her eyes at Cork's dramatics "Well done Fetlock, I can just hear the criminal underworld shaking in their saddles." she peered at the magical disturbance. "I think my spell spotted one of them. The unicorn, Pumpkin Cake was it? I think she phased through the wall" she gestured to the two worried parents "See if you can coax her to come out, the walls may be thin enough for her to hear. I'm going to go see where the room she's in may be." Soot kept her detect life spell on as she went out into the main station, looking for doors to rooms neighboring the waiting room.

(do I need another roll for Detect Life to keep track of the gleam of light that is probably Pumpkin Cake?)

The two earth ponies shared a worried glance before poking their heads into the closet.

"Pumpkin dearie? Are you in there?"

"Come out, come out wherever you are."

The stone walls of the closet did not react to their calls.

Meanwhile, Soot was able to follow the wall around to the office area without much trouble. As she did so, the number of large golden blurs increased to ten. It soon became apparent that the two newcomers were Dive Bomb and Grease Spot. Two more blurs were accounted for in the two pegasi guards. The remaining six seemed to be inside the office they were guarding.

[its a concentration spell, so no new roll needed. Unfortunately, while the spell cast successfully, you can't really pick out Pumpkin in any of the life signatures. (roll wasn't high enough for that sorry!)]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-12, 07:33 PM
[I'm assuming there was nothing of note in the other two rooms Grease checked? I'll revise this post if there was.]

"There doesn't seem to be any sign of them over here, either," she said. "I though they had phased through the wall of the closet, which would bring them out here somewhere, but these fine gentlecolts said they didn't see her. Unless," she addressed the guards, "they might have appeared inside the room?"

Ravian
2012-10-12, 08:43 PM
Soot trotted up beside Grease Spot and Dive Bomb looking at the door between the two Pegasi. "Oh joy, guards... and of the non-bumbling variety at that" she muttered to herself and her companions.

She reviewed her options: Negotiation, frankly she knew from experience that guards, particularly royal ones like these, were remarkably stubborn in regards to accepting requests from dirty underfed fillies asking them to let her into whatever entrance they were standing in front of.
She could go get that idiot in the waiting room, but she didn't trust him to remember what a foal looked like, much less find one that could phase through walls in a room, he would be a last resort.
Infiltration, it was what she did best, but she doubted even she could sneak into a crowded room with only one obvious entrance guarded by royal guards and get out with a foal without raising too much of a fuss.
Direct combat, she looked over the two guards before deciding that her day would not in fact be improved by being pinned to the ground by Canterlot guards.

There was of course another option. Guards could be stubborn to anypony's requests no matter how sensible they seemed, but with a little luck, whoever was inside would be a tad more understanding. Soot took a breath before whispering to Grease Spot "After they're gone, wait half a minute before walking in and saying you think a foal got in here." Then she turned to Dive Bomb "Play along" before quickly opening his saddlebag, grabbing his bag of bits and bolting towards the nearest pillar. Once there she lighted her horn and willed the light to simply ignore her. "Magic don't fail me now" she whispers

(I assume there'll be some checks involved in hiding from the guards, how much of a modifier would my stealth spell give to that?)
For the spell's effectiveness
Mind 4 + Spell Level 3 = 7
[roll0]

Stealth check
Body 2 + Skill 3 + Job 2 = 7
+ modifier provided by spell
base roll [roll1]

Balmas
2012-10-12, 09:14 PM
Dive Bomb had just enough time to think, play along with what? Then, a hoof dug into his saddlebag, and the grey filly took off running. He stared after her with a flummoxed expression normally reserved for assault victims, and then growled and gave chase. "You dirty rat," he roared, "I paid your ticket price! Get back here! Guards! Guards!"

I'm going to assume that seeing through an illusion is going to be mind based, since it's the attribute related to the senses. So, +5 mind, rolled twice for the Wary trait.

Roll 1: 13
Roll 2: 11

...Ouch.

He halted in the middle of the atrium floor, his abrupt stop sending clattering echos around the hall. "Where'd she go?" he muttered, looking around wildly.

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 01:01 AM
"There doesn't seem to be any sign of them over here, either," she said. "I though they had phased through the wall of the closet, which would bring them out here somewhere, but these fine gentlecolts said they didn't see her. Unless," she addressed the guards, "they might have appeared inside the room?"

"Don't know what you're talking about ma'am. We haven't seen anything come by here since we came on station about a quarter hour ago." Replied the first.


Soot trotted up beside Grease Spot and Dive Bomb looking at the door between the two Pegasi. "Oh joy, guards... and of the non-bumbling variety at that" she muttered to herself and her companions.

She reviewed her options: Negotiation, frankly she knew from experience that guards, particularly royal ones like these, were remarkably stubborn in regards to accepting requests from dirty underfed fillies asking them to let her into whatever entrance they were standing in front of.
She could go get that idiot in the waiting room, but she didn't trust him to remember what a foal looked like, much less find one that could phase through walls in a room, he would be a last resort.
Infiltration, it was what she did best, but she doubted even she could sneak into a crowded room with only one obvious entrance guarded by royal guards and get out with a foal without raising too much of a fuss.
Direct combat, she looked over the two guards before deciding that her day would not in fact be improved by being pinned to the ground by Canterlot guards.

There was of course another option. Guards could be stubborn to anypony's requests no matter how sensible they seemed, but with a little luck, whoever was inside would be a tad more understanding. Soot took a breath before whispering to Grease Spot "After they're gone, wait half a minute before walking in and saying you think a foal got in here." Then she turned to Dive Bomb "Play along" before quickly opening his saddlebag, grabbing his bag of bits and bolting towards the nearest pillar. Once there she lighted her horn and willed the light to simply ignore her. "Magic don't fail me now" she whispers

(I assume there'll be some checks involved in hiding from the guards, how much of a modifier would my stealth spell give to that?)
For the spell's effectiveness
Mind 4 + Spell Level 3 = 7
[roll0]

Stealth check
Body 2 + Skill 3 + Job 2 = 7
+ modifier provided by spell
base roll [roll1]

The very fabric of light seemed to warp around the young mare until, with a snap, the spell fell into place. Where there had once been a rather unkempt looking filly, there was now just a blur in the air.

[DC 15 check to cast the spell effectively. Check passed; Soot is now invisible for the duration of the scene (5-10 minutes or until she drops it)]


Dive Bomb had just enough time to think, [i]play along with what? Then, a hoof dug into his saddlebag, and the grey filly took off running. He stared after her with a flummoxed expression normally reserved for assault victims, and then growled and gave chase. "You dirty rat," he roared, "I paid your ticket price! Get back here! Guards! Guards!"

I'm going to assume that seeing through an illusion is going to be mind based, since it's the attribute related to the senses. So, +5 mind, rolled twice for the Wary trait.

Roll 1: 13
Roll 2: 11

...Ouch.

He halted in the middle of the atrium floor, his abrupt stop sending clattering echos around the hall. "Where'd she go?" he muttered, looking around wildly.



"Oi, you!" Cried the first. "Stop, thief!"

"Stop right there, criminal scum!" cried the second.

Both guards took off in pursuit of Soot, right on the heels of Dive Bomb. Passing the pillar in a clatter of hooves, they continued straight on and down the nearby thoroughfare without a moment's hesitation.

[Thanks to invisibility spell, the DC for avoiding these guards on the run was only 10]

[In this case, Dive Bomb's search check is mind based, and directly opposes Soot's sneak check above at a -4 penalty due to invisiblity. Given her sneak roll was 13, I think that means DB fails both checks?]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-13, 01:46 AM
Grease tried to register Soot's words, confused. Wait, what? But we just need them to ask, not get in... She suddenly realized that the filly was about to do something stupid, just as she ran off, followed by a yelling Dive Bomb, and them the guards. Pulling a prank like this on the Royal Guard was sure to bite them all on the flank... but she did now have an oppurtunity to ask those inside whether or not the foals were there. This was a legitimate situation, and she would be out of their manes immediately.

Once she assured herself that she was in the right here, and passing a little but of time, she knocked on the door. "Excuse me, this may sound like an odd question, but are there a pair of foals in there?"

Balmas
2012-10-13, 01:58 AM
As the echoes of the guards' heavy hooves got softer, Dive Bomb sat perplexed on the atrium floor. What did she mean, "Play along?" Was this planned? Scratching his head yielded no answers, though it helped relieve an oncoming headache.

Well, either way, I've got a choice now... He hovered back towards the denim-coated mare. "Somepony, or possibly somebody important is behind those doors," he stated quietly when she was in earshot. "Going in means I might get caught, but we could also find the foals." The gears of his head were already turning, providing risk-benefit statements and approximate odds of success.

Ugh, he groaned within himself, we really don't have a choice? If we waste more time, then there's more chances that the foals will be placed in danger. He alighted on the ground with a quiet click of hooves, and proceeded to stare at the door while he worked an imaginary kink in his wings. Then again, if we get caught and imprisoned, I can't do much good for anypony, much less two foals. He growled to himself in indecision and frustration.

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 06:52 AM
The door cracked open a fraction at Grease Spot's knock, allowing a few strands of conversation to drift through.

"-vate train if you desire."

"No, no. A private car is already more than sufficien-"

The voices cut off abruptly as Grease asked her question. The silence that followed ... stretched ... it was not the silence that asked "who was that", but a wary, tense silence that spoke of weapons being readied at the sudden realisation of a threat.

Suddenly, a large yellow claw gripped the door frame and wrenched it open. Grease Spot immediately found herself staring straight into a pair of intense yellow eyes, set beneath a red-plumed, iron helm.

It would be difficult for Grease to pull her own sight away from that gaze, the one that sized her up like some predatory bird, seeking a meal. If she did so, she would first notice the other immediate features of the being confronting her; the pale white feathers of the creature's face, the light brown coat and wings ...

The silence stretched for a moment longer, before the she-gryphon spoke.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't have you for lunch, little pony." she said, her voice hard and threatening.

The silence returned, as tense as ever, broken only by the ironically timed chiming of the station clock.

[OOC: Courage check for all those at the door, DC 15 (20 if you've never seen a gryphon before). Failure causes 3 points of courage damage, success limits it to one]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-13, 10:52 AM
(Sorry for the late post, long baseball game + feeling sick = bleh. Just assuming that Cork continued his investigation, headed to the door and all that, because I don't feel like making a flowery post about it)

Cork's heart leapt to his throat. No matter how many times one met a gryphon, those lion-eagle faces never became less terrifying. His hooves told him to run, but his heart told him to stay, stay and save these ponies from a lunchtime fate...

Courage Check:
With a +6 Courage: [roll0]

His spirit was shaken, but his resolve was firm. These ponies were under his command, were they not? Would they have wandered to this door without his direction? Then was not he responsible for this diplomatic timebomb waiting to go off? Fortunately, a Cork always remains prepared for such situations;

"Among the many reasons involving the simply disastrous diplomatic fallout of eating a pony on this holiday of friendship and Harmony," Cork started, stepping to the forefront, "That would also leave us with three missing little ponies instead of just two fledglings." The Gryphon lingo felt odd on his tongue, but then again, Gryphon tongues were pretty odd themselves. The colt started into an odd gesturing with his forehooves and head, one that would likely appear foreign to the other two ponies, but - provided his memory hadn't decided to fail him - the gryphon would immediately know as a traditional Gryphon greeting, translated for those without claws, of course. When finished, he kept his head bowed as he introduced himself, "Crown Cork, son of Pop Cork, second-in-command of the Cork Soda Company. I do apologize for the interruption, but we have a pair of little ones missing."

[I'd like to try and make a Heart based roll, using a combination of the Cork family clout, Crown Cork's knowledge of Gryphon handshakes/basic etiquitte, and the initial appeal of 'there are two little ones missing'. Right now, I'm just trying to keep him listening to us, not actually appealing to let us into the room.]

Balmas
2012-10-13, 12:08 PM
Courage roll, +6 courage. Total of 19.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_YejcPR-AFIQ/TKfyE1r_WUI/AAAAAAAAAQw/HBr2wG-aBkc/s400/success_baby.jpg

Wrestling his heart back down out of his throat, Dive Bomb stared at the griffon. Yup, that would do it. He'd seen griffons before, but had never been in such close proximity, and certainly never with one so angry. If it comes to a fight, he thought, his wings twitching nervously, then my only advantage will be speed and maneuverability. Certainly, most useful for running away, especially in an enclosed space like this. Perhaps try to trick them into chasing me and then hitting the wall or floor? He groaned a bit. But the architecture would be ruined...

For now, he sat back and let the other earth pony do the talking. He cataloged the series of motions made by the business pony, intending to ask about them later.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-13, 12:55 PM
8 courage: rolled a 4, so total of 12. Ouch.

Grease Spot had seen gryphons before; she had lived in Canterlot all her life, and there were occasional diplomats that came through. But she had never come face to face with one before. And she had definitely never been threatened by one.

She gulped, gazing into the fierce yellow eyes. Her legs wavered for a moment, before she caught herself. The bossy colt had come up from behind her at some point, and was babbling away the story of the missing foals. She decided that he seemed to know a bit more about dealing with gryphons than she did, so she let him talk while she built her nerve back up.

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 04:02 PM
They Gryphon's gaze softened, and she repeated the greeting to Cork, adding in the aspects that required both claws and wings.

"Manners. Well that makes two good reasons not to eat you then." She replied, her voice marginally warmer, but still a little cool. "It still doesn't explain what you want, nor where the two guards who were on duty here have gone."

And, speaking of guards ....

While there was no sign of the two pegasi yet, a lone, lost unicorn guard trotted up the main thoroughfare, past where Soot was hiding.

"Oohhhh, I wonder where everypony has gone ..." He muttered, as he glanced around in concern.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-13, 04:33 PM
With the gryphon's threat of eating her mostly gone, Grease was able to gather her wits enough to respond. "We just... we simply wanted to know whether a pair of foals were in the room with you. If they aren't, then we're sorry for wasting your time." She hoped that one of the others there had enough wits about them to give an explanation for the guards that wouldn't get them in worse trouble.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-13, 05:10 PM
Crown frowned in concern. "I heard a commotion before I came to the door, perhaps they saw something that warranted their attention. More than that, I don't know." He let Grease Spot handle the basic explanation, before chiming in with some more details. "We found evidence they entered a supply closet in the main terminal, but now there isn't a sign of them. And if they left, we would have spotted them. Now, the closet backs to this room, and one of them is a unicorn going through some little difficulties with her magic. The parents have said she's passed through walls before." He put on his most disarming smile, strengthened by the fact that everything he was saying was Celestia's honest truth. "If we cannot enter, could you just have a quick look around to see if they've wandered through here? Their parents are nearly beside themselves with worry."

[Heart check?]

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 05:19 PM
"I ... don't know."

The gryphon was silent for a moment, before she turned and called to someone else in the room.

"Sir?"

[Heart check. DC 20. +4 for roleplay (explaining where the guards went and what you want clearly), +2 due to Cork's appearance, +2 for use of appropriate verbal tools (the greeting), +1 Harmony bonus from Grease helping with the story.]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-13, 05:39 PM
Cork stood firm, lending his heartfelt plea the force of his own presence and personality.

Okay, I don't know if this can qualify for his Charismatic talent, so if it does, I'll just roll a second die if this one fails. And I'm spending 1 XP for a +5 temporary bonus. I'm not ready to leave this to a near 50/50 shot, even if my luck has been good so far.

+9 from bonuses + 3 Heart + 5 from temporary bonus = +17 to the roll.

Roll: [roll0]

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 07:20 PM
There was a hushed conversation from within the office before a voice called out ...

"Let them in."

The gryphon at the door nodded, but spoke again.

"Just so you know ... if you try any funny business, I'll be flossing your hide out of my teeth tomorrow." She said, before moving aside and allowing the party to see what lay beyond the door.

Inside the room, the station master's office was an opulent, wood panelled affair. While it felt in line with the reserved decorum of the rest of the building’s architecture, here the grand sweeping vistas were replaced with something more private, more intimate, that felt much more conducive for thought. The main fixture of the room was a large, mahogany desk, crowded with stacks of paper and a small plaque that read “Time Table: Station Master” in small golden letters. The rest of the office was taken up with bookcases and the occasional typewriter, buried amongst the work papers and train schedules.

The room itself was fairly crowded with creatures. Two more guard pegasi stood against the back wall, flanking an incredibly handsome unicorn stallion. His physique seemed to have been chiselled from the same marble that gave his coat its white sheen and even his teeth seemed to sparkle as he smiled at the newcomers. Upon looking at him, one might have assumed that his presence should be accompanied by some kind of fanfare - a burst of trumpets or angellic chorus, perhaps. Unfortunately, fate only seemed content to provide the chiming of the station clock outside for his musical accompaniment. Finally, his cutie mark - a sun, bisected by geometric markings, marked him as a likely member of the Canterlot nobility.

The fifth occupant was another gryphon, but this one was a study in contrasts with the one that had opened the door. Clearly older, his coat appeared slightly greyer, slightly more washed out than the younger guard that had answered the door. His attire also spoke to a different profession; where the guard gryphon wore items that were clearly of a martial nature, including an iron helm and breastplate over a dark red doublet, the elder gryphon wore a dark red and gold gamberson jacket. Like with the unicorn before, his attire spoke to a higher station than the guards that surrounded them.

Last, and ironically, the least impressive of the room’s occupants was the poor station master, a light grey coated earth pony with a dark grey mutton chop beard. Interestingly, he all but ignored the newcomers, choosing instead to shoot worried glances at each of the room’s other occupants in turn, as if he were worried about their displeasure.

"Come in, all you ponies out there." said the gryphon, the owner of the first voice that had spoken. "While addmittedly unusual, I can't pass up the opportunity to meet more of this nation's subjects while I'm here. What do you need of us today?"

Ravian
2012-10-13, 08:36 PM
Soot couldn't resist a snicker after the two Pegasi passed her by. And Drizzle wonders how I keep from getting caught all the time. she thought to herself. She kept her spell up though, the guards would be back sooner or later and she'd prefer to avoid them until she had returned the gold to that Pegasus and worked him through an alibi. So long as he agrees not to press charges, there shouldn't be anything they can arrest me for. she suddenly noticed that she had subconsiously begun to count the bits in the small bag before she stopped herself. No! Bad Soot! This money we're giving back. she closed the bag with just a hint of reluctance, but there was certainly no reason to steal from a colt who seemed short on bits as it is, even if he did keep calling her "Kid".

She then noticed the other guard wander past, looking confused. She debated the pros and cons of the situation before concluding that she was bored and this pony seemed like a potential font of entertainment. She focused a moment
before a mote of light blue light began to form before the guard's eyes.

Follow the pretty light spell, 4 mind+ 1 spell level= 5
[roll0]

Soot smiled as the mote of light focuses into existence, and moved it around in front of the guard's face just to make sure he had his attention. She cleared her throat and suddenly shouted "Hey! Listen!" at the guard

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 09:22 PM
The guard paused, wide eyed as he followed the light with his head.

"Oh hello Ms shiny light thing!" He said "I haven't seen you around here before!"

Ravian
2012-10-13, 09:54 PM
Soot grinned an invisible grin Let the fun begin "There is no time Sir Warrior!" she shouted in a shrill tone "I am Feelala, Queen of the fairy ponies, the fate of the Wilkerspoon kingdom is in your hooves!" the ball of light zoomed forward till it was less than an inch from the guard's face "Quickly! You must heed my words or else the snarggles will surely triumph! Go! Go and return here with a tofu dog!" she paused for dramatic effect before adding "Manehatten style, extra mustard, hold the relish. Now go! Before King Kazoo returns! You sir warrior are the fairy ponies only hope!"

Soot intensifies the glow of the ball of light before having it disappear in a suitably spectacular fashion.

Balmas
2012-10-13, 09:57 PM
Dive Bomb, although hesitant, couldn't resist the siren pull of knowledge. Do griffons even have teeth? he wondered. He stood off to one side in the room, his wings fluffed out as he took in the room.

"We're looking for some missing foals," he said quietly, attempting and failing to hide behind his own mane. His awareness of his heart palpitating like he'd just done a quadruple aileron-roll Immelman through a lightning storm wasn't really helping. "They disappeared in a spell of darkness about five minutes ago."

BlasTech
2012-10-13, 10:23 PM
Soot grinned an invisible grin Let the fun begin "There is no time Sir Warrior!" she shouted in a shrill tone "I am Feelala, Queen of the fairy ponies, the fate of the Wilkerspoon kingdom is in your hooves!" the ball of light zoomed forward till it was less than an inch from the guard's face "Quickly! You must heed my words or else the snarggles will surely triumph! Go! Go and return here with a tofu dog!" she paused for dramatic effect before adding "Manehatten style, extra mustard, hold the relish. Now go! Before King Kazoo returns! You sir warrior are the fairy ponies only hope!"

Soot intensifies the glow of the ball of light before having it disappear in a suitably spectacular fashion.

"Yes Ma'am!!" he replied, before speeding off towards the station cafeteria.


Dive Bomb, although hesitant, couldn't resist the siren pull of knowledge. Do griffons even have teeth? he wondered. He stood off to one side in the room, his wings fluffed out as he took in the room.

"We're looking for some missing foals," he said quietly, attempting and failing to hide behind his own mane. His awareness of his heart palpitating like he'd just done a quadruple aileron-roll Immelman through a lightning storm wasn't really helping. "They disappeared in a spell of darkness about five minutes ago."

"A spell of darkness? We haven't noticed anything like that." The handsome unicorn replied, looking to the others present for confirmation. "But if you think they are in here, you are more than welcome to search the room. Isn't that right Mr Table?"

"Err, yes." The station master replied, sweating beads. "Of course, your eminence. I think I have enough to sort out the final preparations now, by your leave, gentlebeings?"

The gryphon and the unicorn nodded, and the stationmaster beat a hasty retreat out the door.

"Take your time, please. I'd hate for a child to go missing on a holiday like this" replied the elder gryphon.

[DC 10 mind check, the hard part was getting inside this room]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-13, 10:55 PM
Grease Spot nodded quickly. "Thank you, sir," she said, going to search the room. The foals shouldn't be too hard to find.

Mind 5
Rolled a 4 (again) for 9.

However, she wasn't able to find any sign of them. Great, now we've made ourselves a pain for a gryphon diplomat for nothing.

Balmas
2012-10-13, 11:10 PM
Dive Bomb quickly set to looking around, taking care to avoid bumping into anyone.

Searching room; +5 mind, Two rolls for wary trait.

First roll total 20,
second roll total 24.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-13, 11:12 PM
Crown Cork would not dare neglect giving the elderly gryphon the formal greeting he gave the guard, only this time, adding in the appropriate gestures for deference to a higher station. He was, after all, a mere businesspony on holiday. "You are quite understanding, sir, and you have our gratitude."

Well, what were they waiting for? There were foals to find! Sadly, he'd gotten a bit turned around from the main terminal, and he didn't quite recall which wall would be the most likely culprit. But no matter; the situation at hand was so extraordinary and their current successes so complete that positively nothing could hold him back now.

Search time! 3 Heart + 5 from the temporary bonus = +8

[roll0]

Truly, it was as if the Sisters themselves had seen fit to bless this humble colt in recompense for the ill fortunes of earlier.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 12:03 AM
Grease Spot nodded quickly. "Thank you, sir," she said, going to search the room. The foals shouldn't be too hard to find.

Mind 5
Rolled a 4 (again) for 9.

However, she wasn't able to find any sign of them. Great, now we've made ourselves a pain for a gryphon diplomat for nothing.

Grease Spot pottered around the area of the room behind the desk, under the watchful eye of the assembled nobles and soldiers. In fact, all that constant attention was rather distracting, and as a result Grease found herself staring at nothing much at all, simply to avoid their eyes.


Dive Bomb quickly set to looking around, taking care to avoid bumping into anyone.

Searching room; +5 mind, Two rolls for wary trait.

First roll total 20,
second roll total 24.

Dive Bomb was poking around the far corner of the room, away from the desk and near the wall which bordered the janitorial closet. At first pass, nothing jumped out at him, but on closer inspection something interesting caught his eye.

A small toy block, with the letter 'C' on it had been dropped against the wall. Against the side wall that was, namely not the one that had bordered the closet.


Crown Cork would not dare neglect giving the elderly gryphon the formal greeting he gave the guard, only this time, adding in the appropriate gestures for deference to a higher station. He was, after all, a mere businesspony on holiday. "You are quite understanding, sir, and you have our gratitude."

Well, what were they waiting for? There were foals to find! Sadly, he'd gotten a bit turned around from the main terminal, and he didn't quite recall which wall would be the most likely culprit. But no matter; the situation at hand was so extraordinary and their current successes so complete that positively nothing could hold him back now.

Search time! 3 Heart + 5 from the temporary bonus = +8

[roll0]

Truly, it was as if the Sisters themselves had seen fit to bless this humble colt in recompense for the ill fortunes of earlier.

If this was the sister's blessing, somepony really needed to pray harder. Against the wall lay a pair of saddlebags, their clasps fashioned like a scroll, much like the cutie mark of the station manager.

And one of them was moving.

When it was opened, it revealed the small, orange unicorn foal that had been in the waiting room with them earlier. Pumpkin Cake was found at last! Bells, or rather the station's clock, chimed to celebrate the discovery.

... and she was chewing on the station master's collection of fine silk ties.

[One foal found, the honours go to the highest search roll (namely Cork with a critical success). Unfortunately, your pegasus foal is in another castle!]

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-14, 12:15 AM
"Aha!" Cork exclaimed triumphantly. With the gentleness of a spring breeze, he scooped up the foal, tie and all. He treated the foal to a wide, open-mouth grin and chuckle, hoping to get her to follow suit and stop eating the station master's tie. Regardless, he turned to his dignified audience, bouncing the little foal in his forelegs. "And here is the little grand magus herself. Though still missing her more flighty half." He gave a cursory glance around the room, but really, the others were doing the searching. It was important enough to find one foal to show they weren't crazy.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 12:25 AM
"Hah! Incredible!" Laughed the elder gryphon. Five guards and yet a foal manages to sneak in here. Just as well we were not discussing any secrets of state, Duke?"

The handsome stallion smiled, and inclined his head as the gryphon continued. The three soldiers, meanwhile, had the good graces to look abashed.

"Truly, if she can keep out of trouble enough to live as long as I have, she might turn out to be of no mean skill in magecraft." He chuckled.

Balmas
2012-10-14, 12:25 AM
Dive Bomb turned, releasing a rare, small smile at the sight of the unicorn foal. Huh. She's actually kind of cute. Most of his attention, however, was taken up by the small wooden cube in his sights. He moved slowly, quietly excusing himself around the large white stallion. It felt small in his hoof, clearly a foal's toy.

"But if this was over here, then where did Pound go?" He looked up, wondering if this could be one of the few foals that could fly, like his brother had been.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 12:43 AM
"Perhaps I can help" Said the handsome stallion, his voice mellifluous. "I have no claim to arch-magery, but I do know a few tricks."

A light purple glow enveloped his horn, and soon spread across the wall in a wave of magic. When the burst of light had faded, a small patch of the woodwork was glowing with a light blue sheen.

"Ah-hah. If I'm not mistaken, this appears to be the residue of an insubstantiation spell that somepony recently cast here. I assume that this point would correspond to the foals point of access?"

Turning he swept his magic across the wall where Dive Bomb had found the cube, sure enough, another small patch of blue was left behind on the wall that bordered the staff break room.

"I assume your other missing foal snuck out through here, with the rest of us none the wiser." finished the handsome stallion, with a self depricating grin.

Balmas
2012-10-14, 01:30 AM
His smile turned somewhat tighter at the corners at the easy use of magic, but he turned to the stallion. "Thank you," he said, poking at the patch of blue.

He looked around for the station master, intending to ask where this wall went, but didn't see him. Odd, he thought. He's been acting very queer, I think. Suspicious body language, combined with a foal in his saddlebag. This needs thinking about.

Eventually, he turned and bowed to the griffons and the stallion, before heading out the door to see what room was adjacent to that wall.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-14, 01:40 AM
"Oh, thank you, sir," Grease said. She hasn't seen the Pegasus when she peeked in, but these foals apparently had a propensity for getting into small spaces. "Again, sorry for taking up your time." With that, she left the room, hurriedly motioning for the others to come along as well.

She walked into the break room, giving the place a more thorough look than she had before. "Well that was more stressful than anything I was expecting to do today," she said, letting out a breath of relief.
Mind 5
13+5=18

Balmas
2012-10-14, 01:57 AM
Dive Bomb's mouth twitched in the beginnings of a smirk as he looked around the room adjoining the stationmaster's office. Nor I, ma'am. Nor I. He prodded around the approximate area of the foal's presumed entry point, and then hovered near the low ceiling to see if he could detect any changed air currents that would indicate a small body's passing.

Searching the room! +5 mind, rolled twice for Wary.

8+5= 13
6+5= 11

He sneezed horrendously as he flew through a spider's web, dislodging a small cloud of dust in his face. I pity those two earth ponies later on, he thought grimly, when their children can get into this much trouble as foals.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 07:09 AM
"Oh, thank you, sir," Grease said. She hasn't seen the Pegasus when she peeked in, but these foals apparently had a propensity for getting into small spaces. "Again, sorry for taking up your time." With that, she left the room, hurriedly motioning for the others to come along as well.

She walked into the break room, giving the place a more thorough look than she had before. "Well that was more stressful than anything I was expecting to do today," she said, letting out a breath of relief.
Mind 5
13+5=18


Dive Bomb's mouth twitched in the beginnings of a smirk as he looked around the room adjoining the stationmaster's office. Nor I, ma'am. Nor I. He prodded around the approximate area of the foal's presumed entry point, and then hovered near the low ceiling to see if he could detect any changed air currents that would indicate a small body's passing.

Searching the room! +5 mind, rolled twice for Wary.

8+5= 13
6+5= 11

He sneezed horrendously as he flew through a spider's web, dislodging a small cloud of dust in his face. I pity those two earth ponies later on, he thought grimly, when their children can get into this much trouble as foals.

A thorough search of the room yielded little results, at least of the foal-locating variety. Sadly, the only thing out of place in the break room was a bent piece of metal, which appeared as if it had been dislodged from a vent on the wall that bordered the station's main hallway. If Pound Cake had been here, it looked like he hadn't lingered long.

The chiming of the station clock underscored the realisation that the party still had more detective work to do, but a rapidly shrinking amount of time in which to do it.

[DC was 10 to notice the grill, I'm guessing DB might notice some disturbances showing that the foal has pretty much flown straight out into the station proper again.]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-14, 11:21 AM
Grease inspected the broken plate. "Looks like he went out into the hallway," she said. "Come on, let's go see if we can find any other clues. You check high, I'll check low." She trotted out of the room, looking for more evidence of the foal's passing.

Mind 5: 18

Balmas
2012-10-14, 11:29 AM
Dive Bomb nodded, pausing in his attempts to rid his face of silk. And, unless I miss my guess, he can fly. The air currents in that room were still settling; he'd been here.

He quickly ducked through the door, and soared through the atrium, checking behind pillars and decorative moldings, looking up at the skylight grills full of grey December clouds, and occasionally just casting his gaze down at the floor.

Searching the atrium: +5 mind rolled twice. Possibly +1 more from the thoroughness associated with his Research skills.

[roll0]
[roll1]

We need to work out some kind of deal with the dice gods so that at least one of us gets a good roll in all circumstances.

Ravian
2012-10-14, 12:33 PM
Soot snickered again as the guard rushed off to fulfill his destiny. Dumb and gullible, my favorite kind of guard. she thought to herself. About 15 seconds passed before she realized she was bored again. Suddenly she saw the others leave the office.

She trotted over to them, still invisible.
"Any luck?" the air seemed to ask Dive Bomb and Grease Spot.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-14, 01:07 PM
Grease Spot flinched a little bit in surprise, looking around for Soot. "Neat trick. We found one of them, the unicorn filly. She's perfectly fine, too." That really is a good spell, she thought, I can't even tell where she is. I'll talk to her about her stunt later, maybe on the train. It's better for a more private conversation anyway.

"The pegasus foal came out into the hall somewhere. He can't have gone far," she said, peeking under a bench.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-14, 03:55 PM
Cork, for his part, gave the gryphon dignitary a traditional farewell, as well as bowing low to the pony noble. Should he have a moment to rack his brains, he no doubt could've produced his name, but such was life. Sometimes you found yourself with all the time in the world to think, and other times, you were interrupting tense, diplomatic meetings with a foal half-asleep on your back. "I bid you all a fond farewell, especially to you, sir Gryphon. Were it not for your kindness and understanding, this little one would not be finding her way back to her parents anytime soon. I will be sure to spread word of your kind spirit to all I meet." A touch dramatic, but true. Many of his chums would hear of this fantastic tale before too long, and word does spread quickly in the right circles.

As his hoof touched the handle to leave, a looming specter stole over his mind, planting a scene in his vivid imagination. Pop Cork, shaking his head sternly at his foalish son. "You had an audience with some of the most important figures in Equestria, and you never once thought of the business?! How can I leave the family heritage in the hands of such a narrow-minded foal! In fact, a foal would do a far better job running this company than you!" Pop plucked Pumpkin Cake, now wearing a little business suit, off of his back, and plopped her behind his desk. With an idle wave of the hoof, he dismissed Crown. "Away with you! My new daughter and I have much to discuss!"

...well, alright, it might not happen quite like that. But really, if his father were here, he'd think of the family first, wouldn't he? With a strained smile, he turned one last time to the present company. "And if any of you should be in Manehatten, do stop by the Cork family home and have a few sodas on us. I assure you, sir Gryphon, that it will be an experience you won't soon forget." The blatant pandering and begging for attention, the words sickened him as soon as they left his tongue. Such double-minded speech was most unbecoming, and it could even cast their noble foal search in a negative light. But if it was for the family, then he could stomach his pride for just a moment.

If they let him go without further comment or conversation, he would make his way to the main terminal. He had a foal to deliver to some worried parents.

(I figure that Cork sodas are ubiquitous enough that he shouldn't have to explain more than "the Cork family" and folks will get his line of work, at least in Equestria.)

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 04:05 PM
"Similarly, should you find yourself in Talos, I would be happy to receive you there, Garim Highwind. Until next time." He replied, raising a claw in farewell.

Outside the office and break room, the atrium was wide, and the grand hallway beyond it even wider. Visibly, nothing had changed in the short few minutes since they had last passed through here; The phone booths still stood along one wall, the private waiting rooms along the other and the ticket booths were still closed.

The superb architecture was also visibly unchanged, whether it be the columns, the crystal windows or the the elaborately ornate station clock down the far end of the concourse, that was again chiming out the hour. "Bing-Bong-Bang-Bong"

The only thing that looked different on the surface was the presence of a pair of dispirted pegasi guards, exiting the cafeteria. The two of them spotted the searching party and wandered over to Dive Bomb.

"Apologies, sir. We weren't able to find anypony in our search."

"Well, apart from that guy." Said the second, looking over his shoulder to where a tofu-dog-laden unicorn guard was emerging from the cafeteria again.

"Can you let us know how much was stolen? We'll make sure the appropriate notifications are posted." finished the first.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-14, 05:33 PM
Crown Cork made a mental note of the name; there could be a potential market in the making here. Almost immediately, he felt sickened to be using a potential friendship for business ends. All for family, all for family, he repeated to himself as he trotted back into the main terminal. Speaking of which...

"Worry not, fretful parents!" he called out as he entered. "One half of the problem is solved!" Provided they didn't pounce upon him as soon as he entered, he briskly trotted over with his precious cargo and handed off little Pumpkin to her rightful guardians. "I believe my associates are working to find her other half as we speak. We have his trail, and before long-"

Bing-Bong-Bang-Bong

Again with the infernal ringing! Had some ponies never heard of proper volume control? With a little huff, he continued, "As I was saying, before long, we will have little Pound as...well..."

Like the rays of Celestia banishing the morning gloom, an idea flared to life in his mind. Of course! So obvious, and yet he didn't think of it before! "Quick! Do either of you have..." a glance showed neither of them were wearing a watch, and he stomped the ground in frustration. "Blast it all! No, wait, what am I thinking? The station clock! We may have him yet!" And like a hurricane, he was gone as quick as he came; a flurry of activity that left the parents holding their child without so much as a chance to get a word in edgewise.

As soon as he was in sight of the clock, he'd do what he should have done a while ago; check the time.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 05:40 PM
The time on the clock read quite clearly; three thirty five in the afternoon.

Despite this, it continued to chime out the hour.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-14, 05:54 PM
Crown Cork gave a triumphant cry as he galloped across the main terminal, slowing only as he passed the other ponies talking to some guards about something or other. No matter, there was a foal to fetch! He skidded to a stop by them, and wildly gestured down the hall. "The clock! The clock! He's in the clock!" he cried. Any more than that, and they'd have to follow him there themselves.

Once at the massive device, Crown would stop and catch his breath - detective work could really wear out a pony! - and give the timepiece a thorough investigation. They were almost to the end now, they must not falter!

Mind Check to search the clock:
Mind 3: [roll0]
Add five if the temp bonus is still active.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 05:55 PM
The clock was several pony lengths in the air, up against where the wall met the roof and thus precluding the ability of Cork to search it on his own.

It was a very nice clock, despite its demonstrated penchant for chiming the hour every five minutes.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-14, 06:25 PM
In contrast to the high-energy colt of mere moments ago, it was a much more subdued Cork that gazed up, up, up at the massive timepiece. "It is quite high," he stated to nopony in particular. The melodramatic businesspony glanced sheepishly back at the entrance to the main terminal, all the way on the other side of the station. Somewhere, he supposed a low horn was blaring a mournful note for his dignity. "I suppose...it looked a little closer to the ground from a distance?"

BONG

"Oh, hush you!" he hissed petulantly up at his mechanical opponent.

(Apologies for the rapid-fire series of posts, but I did miss out on a few rounds earlier. That, and I just couldn't resist bursting Cork's bubble. :smalltongue:)

Balmas
2012-10-14, 07:26 PM
Dive Bomb looked on in comprehension, and then swiftly hovered up to the clock face. He inspected the clock face, knowing that there had to be a way to the inner workings. Looking down at the earth pony mare, he called out, "If you were an access hatch, where would you be?" He quickly ran his hooves over the face of the clock, searching for an entrance.

Searching the clock, looking for a way in. +5 mind, maybe +1 Researcher, rolled twice you know the deal.

[roll0]
[roll1]

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-14, 08:17 PM
Mind 5, Mechanic 4
Rolled a 4 (AGAIN) for 13. Not any better than what Dive Bomb got.

"If I was an access hatch?" Grease said, a little confused at the wording. "Well, they're usually on the back or side, but with big custom pieces like this it depends on each one. You should be able to find it from up there."

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 08:27 PM
There was an access hatch, in fact, there were two - built to allow access to different bits of machinery. Opening one, Dive Bomb found a small, light brown pegasus foal, quite happily hitting the chimes with his hooves.

"Bing-Bong" said the clock, accompanied by a giggle from Pound Cake.

Unfortunately, as soon as Dive Bomb began to approach, Pound Cake moved further away from his reach and closer to the second exit from the clock.

The little foal stuck his tounge out at Dive Bomb, clearly not intending to come willingly.

Ravian
2012-10-14, 09:06 PM
Soot glared at the two guards invisibly, they were standing right in the way and that Pegasus had left before she could run him through the alibi. Worse yet her tofu dog bearer was waiting for Feelala. She looked up at Dive Bomb going into the clock, when an idea struck her. She nudged Grease Spot and whispered to her. "Send those two up, if the other foal's up there it won't matter how good a flyer he is if 3 Pegasi have him cornered."

Balmas
2012-10-14, 09:09 PM
Dive Bomb looked at the foal as Pound snuggled in between a catch-wheel and a cog, eagerly kicking at a gear. You remind me of myself when I was younger, kid, he thought resignedly; Always getting into places you've no business being. "He's up here," he said down to the rest. "He just doesn't want to come out."

He turned again to the small brown foal. "Kid," he said, endeavoring to make his voice jovial. "Do you like shiny things?" It would be just my luck to find the one foal who doesn't like sparklers.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 09:39 PM
Dive Bomb looked at the foal as Pound snuggled in between a catch-wheel and a cog, eagerly kicking at a gear. You remind me of myself when I was younger, kid, he thought resignedly; Always getting into places you've no business being. "He's up here," he said down to the rest. "He just doesn't want to come out."

He turned again to the small brown foal. "Kid," he said, endeavoring to make his voice jovial. "Do you like shiny things?" It would be just my luck to find the one foal who doesn't like sparklers.

As if in answer, the foal turned and hit the bell again.

"BONG"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-14, 09:52 PM
Again, Grease flinched a little at the unexpected touch and voice, but she nodded at the words themselves. Her plan was solid. "Excuse me?" she said to the guards. "We found one of the foals up in the clock, but he seems to be pretty evasive. If you fine gentlecolts could fly up and give a quick helping hoof, we'd be very grateful."

I'm guessing this will be a Heart roll to appeal to their egos.
Heart 3
And that's a 1. Well crud.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 09:57 PM
"Yes ma'am, always happy to help" the two guards took to wing, surrounding the antique clock.

"Ready for him if you want to flush him out sir" They called to Dive Bomb.

[No need for a check, it's part of their jobs. You're lucky though, a 1 means a critical failure, which probably would have been hillarious.]

Balmas
2012-10-14, 10:30 PM
Dive Bomb nodded at the guards and smiled at the pegasus in the clock. Tick tock, little foal. Time's up. Rapidly, he jabbed a hoof inside the clock, swiping for the foal while making sure not to hurt him or the inner workings.

BlasTech
2012-10-14, 11:43 PM
The pegasus foal bolted.

"Gotcha -- oof!"

"There we -- oop!"

The two guards swiped at thin air as the foal flew out the second door and swung back underneath the clock. Doubling back towards Dive Bomb, Pound Cake tore through the air with a buzz of wingpower.

[DC 20 to stop him, body/aerobatics check]

Balmas
2012-10-15, 12:09 AM
Oh, no you don't! With a grim look of determination, Dive Bomb launched himself after the baby foal. Nopony outflies me but my dad and my brother! Although the small foal corkscrewed and dodged, Dive Bomb dove after him, his mane flapping in his own wind. The thought of the foal getting hurt in his haste drove him to flap even harder, reaching out for the small brown blur.

Okay, rolling Body and Aerobatics for +8, and spending one point of willpower to get +9 to the roll. This drops Dive Bomb to eight willpower, and makes a cumulative +17 to the roll.

The forum ate my roll, so I'll roll by hand. Total of 22.

Thinking quickly, he flew just ahead of the foal and set himself up like a hoofball catcher, and caught the foal as he barreled into his forelimbs. "And you, little terror, are just as cute as your sister," he muttered.

BlasTech
2012-10-15, 12:46 AM
The little pegasus struggled valiantly in Dive Bomb's clutches, before realising that his little joy flight was now over.

Adopting a ridiculously cute pout, the foal crossed his forelegs and sat quietly, waiting to be returned to his parents.

The two guards dropped back to the ground, kicking up small clouds of dust as they did so.

"Good catch!"

"Well done, sir. He was a quick little blighter that's for sure."

"Anyway, now that this is all sorted" continued the first "did you want us to file a theft report for your stolen bits?"

Balmas
2012-10-15, 01:19 AM
The thought gave Dive Bomb pause, an interesting sight on a pegasus in flight. He caught himself before he had fallen more than a foot, and circled in the air as he cradled the foal in his forelimbs. What to do, what to do... If I don't get the bits back, then I'm broke, and might have to get a job. On the other hoof, she'll probably give the bits back, if this was part of a planned diversion. Probably.

He turned slowly in the air as he continued to think. On a third hoof, she could bolt and just catch a later train. She's proven herself quite adept at giving the guards the slip. Chuckling to himself, he continued his train of thought. Hay, a foal could give them the slip.

He landed, still thinking and debating with himself. Once he'd weighed the options, he turned to the guard nearest him, and said, "No, don't bother. She's long gone, and my bits with her. Besides, she probably needs the bits more than I, if she's that desperate."

She's gonna catch the train anyway, and I thought I heard her voice a while back. It was not in his nature to trust people, especially those who ran off with his money, but he decided that it was an acceptable risk. Besides, if nothing else, he'd heard that the Ponyville weather office always needed more pegasi; last year, they'd barely passed muster to get the water Cloudsdale needed, and that was with every pegasus in Ponyville. They could use a few more.

BlasTech
2012-10-15, 01:54 AM
"If you say so, sir. I guess it's a Hearth's Warming present for her then, although I honestly don't think she deserves one." The guard replied, mouth set with distaste at the thought of a criminal getting away with a crime.

"Oh ponyfeathers!" The second exclaimed. "We'd better get back to guarding that door!"

The two of them hurridly bade the party farewell, and took off.

Back in the waiting room, the amber stallion was still wearily calling their son's name into the back of a janitorial closet while his wife nursed their wayward daughter. Everypony perked up immediately when they saw the party approaching.

"O-oh! Did you have any more luck out there? Were you able to find him?" asked the stallion, as they entered.

Balmas
2012-10-15, 02:12 AM
As Dive Bomb walked in, he merely showed them the small brown foal in his arms, and nodded with a self-satisfied twitch on one side of his mouth.

((I sense a Dear Princess Celestia coming sometime soon. Henceforth, DPC.))

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-15, 08:05 AM
Crown Cork followed closely behind, having enough of a sense of dramatic timing to know not to say anything. Yet.

Ravian
2012-10-15, 10:58 AM
As the two guards returned to their post, Soot snuck back towards the waiting room and finally dropped her illusion. She smiled as she watched the two foals be reunited with their worried parents. It reminded her of her own family in Manehatten. This thought brought back the worry she had been holding back before with all the excitement, but looking at the happy family helped her cope with the fact that she would have to wait a day before she could see her family.

Suddenly she remembered that she was still holding Dive Bomb's bag of bits in her telekinesis, she was about to say something before realizing she ought to wait until the touching scene was over.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-15, 01:36 PM
Grease walked into the room behind the others, smiling. Finally, everything was going to settle down again, and she could relax. Well, try to relax anyway. She got the feeling that it might take her a little while before she fully recovered from the stress of the searching for those foals.

Soot faded back into sight beside her. Grease gave her a mildly judging look, but didn't say anything, reminding herself that the conversation could wait until after fully reuniting the family ahead of her. No sense in spoiling that moment.

BlasTech
2012-10-15, 05:52 PM
Pound Cake yawned as he was handed back to his mother. The blue mare gave the foal a quick nuzzle before placing him next to his sister where the two children promptly began to doze - tired out from their adventure.

"Oh thank you dearies, I don't know what we would have done without your help." she replied, quietly so as not to wake the toddlers.

"Yes, I just wish there was some way we could repay you ... O-oh wait, muffin dear, do you still have that box we were going to give to aunt Marble?"

"Oh yes, dear. Here you go." she replied, before picking a gaudily decorated box out of their baggage pile. She placed it on a nearby bench before undoing the silk ribbon that held it shut, revealing a box of perfectly delicious looking frosted cupcakes.

"We made these at our shop in Ponyville, Sugarcube Corner. If you're ever passing that way please do come and visit us. If either myself, my husband or our ... well if Pinkie Pie is there, she'll take care of you too." she finished, retying the box and nudging it towards the party.

"These are for you, feel free to divide them up amongst yoursleves dearies, there's plenty to go around."

"Also, I-I know it's a bit late to be giving introductions now" stammered the orange stallion. "You've er- already met our little Pound and Pumpkin, but I'm Carrot Cake, and this is my wife Cup."

[OOC: Yay, family reunited! Prepare for scene change when everyone next checks in. Also, have a relevant image"]

http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/258/198/acc.png

Balmas
2012-10-15, 06:55 PM
((OOC: D'aaaaww))

Dive Bomb awkwardly nodded his thanks among the crowd of ponies. "Dive Bomb," he said, shaking the mustard stallion's hoof. Glancing over the cupcakes, he selected one with multicolor frosting and began to chew thoughtfully. Got to keep up the calories, anyway, he mused. Is this... blueberry? Blackberry? Whatever it was, it was tasty, and he murmured appreciatively.

Ravian
2012-10-15, 06:59 PM
"Aww..." Soot said with a loving grin. At the sight of the cupcakes she licked her lips and reached for one with an even bigger grin
"Sweet!" she was about to take a bite when common manners struck and she gave a quick "thank you" to the couple.

"Oh yeah!" she said as she tossed Dive Bomb his bag "Now remember, if anypony asks, this is a game we play, where we snatch each other's stuff and run, got it."

She licked her lips again as she prepared to take a big bite of the cupcake.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-15, 07:57 PM
"Oh, you are simply too kind, Mr. and Mrs. Cake," Cork proclaimed (quietly) with a slight tilt of his head. "Cupcakes sound simply delightful after some hard sleuthing. But where have my manners gone?" The tilt grew into a fully-fledged bow as he first firmly shook the hoof of the father, and daintily kissed the hoof of the mother. "My name is Crown Cork, of the Cork family soda company. A true pleasure to make your acquaintance." Cork promptly selected a cupcake and bit into it with relish, clearly savoring and enjoying every little tidbit of flavor. "They are quite extraordinary cupcakes," he commented, as if the family name were nothing really to dwell upon.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-15, 08:00 PM
"I'm glad we could help," Grease said, smiling at the couple and offering a hoofshake. "And it's nice to meet you officially. I'm Grease Spot." As she spoke, Grease looked over the cupcakes. She wasn't as enthusiastic about the treats as she might have once been, but they did look quite good. Having one can't hurt...

After she picked out a cupcake, she continued talking with the Cakes. "Looks like those two have tired themselves out. Good thing too, maybe now we can all relax while we wait for our train."

BlasTech
2012-10-15, 09:38 PM
"WAAHHH HOOO-oooh sorry" the unicorn cut off mid-cheer as he bounded in the door to the waiting room, followed by a veritable constellation of tofu dogs orbiting him in a haze of golden magic. Luckily, the two foals were too tired to do more than roll over and yawn.

"Oh hey, you got the kids back, awesome!" he continued, slightly more quietly, as he strode amongst the party, doling out tofu dogs to everyone he passed. "This calls for celebratory tofu dogs! Good thing I have a dozen right here, eh?"

The two adult Cakes shared an uncertain glance, worried at the effect that combining cupcakes and tofu dogs in a single meal might have on their stomachs. Fortunately, the opportunity for culinary experimentation was interrupted by the sound of the station loudspeaker crackling to life.

"Attention, attention. Train services will be resuming shortly. All passengers please make your way to the platform for boarding. Canterlot Rail apologises for any inconvenience caused."

"Oh my, I suppose you'd best be going." Said Mr Cake, simultaneously relieved at the distraction and worried that the babies might wake up again. "Wouldn't want you to miss your train after everything else that's happened today."

"Oh yes dearies, thank you again." said Mrs Cake. "Do pay us a visit if you're ever in Ponyville."


************************************************** ********

In comparison with the deserted interior of the train station, the platform was awash with activity. Engineers clambered over the engine and cab, checking that everything was in working order, while station staff were patrolling the carriages to ensure that everything was in pristine shape for the journey.

The engine itself was large and black; one of the older dual-propulsion models which meant that, while it ran on coal, it also had attachment points for the engineers to hitch on to if they wanted to run the train themselves. For now though, the fire was stoked and smoke billowed from the chimmney. A cloud of steam blanketed the platform, giving the entire area a slightly damp but energetic feel, particularly when coupled with the almost bestial hissing of the engine as it built up pressure.

Down the far end of the platform, and flanked by an entourage of pegasi guards, the two gryphons from earlier could be seen boarding a private car. Apart from this custom caboose, the rest of the train was relatively standard fare for a long distance journey - the wooden cars included the full variety of specialised carriages; lounge, sleeping, dining, baggage and so on.

Given how quiet patronage was today, there was little purpose in enforcing reserved seating as there was plenty of space in the train for passengers to pick from.

Standing down the front of the train, the grey-coated station master checked his watch before giving a very professional hollering.

"All aboard!!"

Balmas
2012-10-15, 10:12 PM
Dive Bomb looked up at the great hissing serpent, poised to swallow them up and vomit them out on Ponyville. He hovered for as long as he could, making notes of the various gauges and dials before he was shooed away by a combination of the dirty cloud pouring out the smokestack and by the slightly over-eager engine stoker.

As he entered the first passenger car, he shook his wings in a vain attempt to dislodge the grit trapped there. It was worth it, he thought as he reviewed the diagrams in his notebook. Nevertheless, he checked around himself before starting to preen his wings, forming a small pile of dust on the windowsill.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-15, 11:30 PM
Grease walked up the platform, suitcase already delivered to the baggage car, as she licked the last bit of cupcake frosting off of her lips. I'll have to swing by their place again while I'm in Ponyville. They know their sweets. Her tofu dog was carefully wrapped and tucked into the one clean pocket of her saddlebags, saved for later.

She walked back over, thinking about how she would like to sit with Dive Bomb and talk to him for a while on the train. Their conversation had been interrupted earlier, and he seemed like a nice enough colt to spend time talking with. Then there was Soot, who Grease still wanted to give a talk to. Although, her plan had actually worked. And there had been no lasting consequences. But still, it was reckless and just plain unnecessary.

She shook off her thoughts as she saw Dive Bomb enter the passenger car, and followed him in. "You still want to be travelling buddies?" she asked as she sat down near him, only slightly teasing.

Balmas
2012-10-15, 11:49 PM
Almost got it... Dive Bomb thought, gnawing at the last speck of dust on his right wing. As he spat it out on the windowsill and set about straightening his feathers, he heard someone enter the car. Stiffening at the sound of the older mare's voice, he rapidly stood up again, brushing the dirt out the window as he did so.

He stared awkwardly at the other mare, before letting out a soft, almost inaudible, "Sure?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 12:48 AM
Grease chuckled while she unstrapped her toolbags. "Ah, feels good to get those off." She stretched out, clearly enjoying herself. "They get kinda uncomfortable after a while, even with all the padding I've added. I usually keep them on from when I head out in the morning until I get back, but I figure that this train ride will be long enough that I can leave them for a bit." She paused for a moment, giving Dive Bomb a chance to join in the small talk.

Balmas
2012-10-16, 01:45 AM
Dive Bomb was many things: above average stunt flyer, amateur pyrotechnician, chemist, and budding physician. However, conversationalist was not one of them.

"I suppose," he murmured. By all that the Sisters love, how come I can never get this right? When things start going wrong, it's so much easier to talk... "I don't really have that much." Apart from some cash, some medicine, my scarf, and enough chemicals to launch me to Cloudsdale, I mean.

Nervously, he brushed a hoof through his mane, to no great effect on the navy mop. (The mane and the Brush nation were at a nervous peace, the mane having eaten the previous two ambassadors.) Abruptly, he remembered the earth pony almost falling down earlier, and extended a hoof. "Um. I think I owe you one of these..."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 09:36 AM
Grease smiled and returned the hoofshake. "That's right, we never did that. Just one more interruption that we've had today." She shook her head disbelievingly. "Really, things have just been crazy today. It seems like ever since I got up this morning my delays have just been getting odder and odder. It's starting to feel rather contrived, really."

Balmas
2012-10-16, 10:21 AM
Dive Bomb bobbed his head in sympathy. It had felt somewhat awkward, hadn't it? The silence drew out, prompting him to gulp and attempt another foray into conversation. I just need to make sure that she does most of the talking. "So, you're a mechanic?"

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-16, 11:34 AM
Standing at the platform, gazing up at the mighty engine with his heavy suitcase on his back, Crown Cork rolled and cracked his neck. One last trip to Manehatten as humble Crown Cork. The next time I board this train, I may well board it as 'Mister' Cork, on his way for a lifetime of stifling offices and suffocating meetings. The colt let loose a long, mournful sigh. Oh father...and yet, I'd live a thousand dull lifetimes if it meant you could hold your head high. With a practiced step onto the carriage, and a final gaze upon the terminal with a tear clouding his vision, Crown Cork boarded his final train to Manehatten.

************************

Empty...empty...empty...car after car, and not a soul in sight. His muse had to ponder what to tell his father, but how could he do so in an empty car? Such silence would make him go mad. He was about to turn in defeat to his assigned seat when, lo and behold, who should be chatting in the next car, but two of the brave ponies who assisted him in locating the lost foals? What luck!

"Hello there!" he called out as he trotted over and placed his suitcase on a seat near the two of them. "My apologies for leaving my assigned seat, but the whole train is practically deserted, and I just couldn't take the quiet on a night like tonight." He offered the two of them a sincere, apologetic smile. "I hope you don't mind a little extra company? If it is a problem, just say the word, and I shall be as silent as the grave." He placed a hoof over his heart, apparently meaning every word.

Balmas
2012-10-16, 11:45 AM
Dive Bomb indicated one of the benches next to himself, mentally singing praises to Celestia and Luna. Brilliant! He'll talk, she'll talk, I'll listen; everypony's happy.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 11:51 AM
Seems to have a pretty wide shy streak there. Must not get out of his studies much.
"Yep. I've got my own shop here in Canterlot. From wagon wheels to sound systems, if it's mechanical I can keep it running," she said with a wink. "If you don't mind me doing a bit of advertising." She chuckled. "Not that I need more business right now. The invasion really piled the work on these past couple of months.
"It's kinda funny, really. The attack lasted for maybe half an hour, but they did an awful lot of damage. Sure, the craters in the street were cleaned up inside a couple weeks, and most ponies thought that meant everything was taken care of. But there was so much more that was less visible, the city commissioned just about every mechanic, builder, and technician they could find to fix it all."


Just then, the colt who she had to pry Soot off of earlier came in, asking (somewhat over-formally) if he could sit with them.

"No problem at all," she said. "In fact, the more the merrier. My name's Grease Spot. You're Crown Cork, right?" she said, remembering how he introduced himself to the Cakes.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-16, 12:48 PM
Crown gladly moved his suitcase over to the bench the pegasus pointed out. No need to go shouting across the aisle, is there?

"Yes, indeed, the one and only," Cork replied, hoof shakes all around. "A pleasure to meet you, Grease Spot and...Dive Bomb, was it?" He too vaguely remembered the introductions to the Cakes. "What brings you two to travel on a day like today?"

Balmas
2012-10-16, 12:58 PM
Not seeing any alternative, Dive Bomb nodded. "Dive Bomb, son of Thunderhead and Aurora Wind of Cloudsdale. I'm going to the forest near Ponyville to investigate the curative properties of the local flora."

He turned again to the mechanic, his interest piqued. "I wasn't here for the changeling invasion, and the accounts I heard seem to have been somewhat exaggerated. Could you describe it for me?" Nosing his way into his right saddlebag, he gripped the pen and notepad, preparing to take notes.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 02:37 PM
"I'm also headed to Ponyville, to visit with family," Grease said in response to Crown Cork's question.

"As for the invasion..." She paused for a moment, collecting her thoughts. "Well, I'm not sure what you've heard, but it was a pretty chaotic half-hour. I suppose I could tell you what happened to me.

"I was working in my shop at the time. There was a huge noise like shattering glass outside, so I looked out my window in just enough time to see the shield around the city collapse and those bugs start smashing into the street. Ponies were screaming and running all over the place.
"Of course, with the shield and the curfew everypony knew that the city was being threatened, so it wasn't too hard to figure out what was going on. Sure, I didn't know what a changeling was, but it was obviously an attack. My brother and I had agreed to meet at home in case of an emergency, so I grabbed a hammer to defend myself and started running.
"After running and dodging the bugs about halfway to my place, I ran into another pony running the same way. Or at least, he was a pony until he got close to me, at which point he turned into one of the bugs and attacked. He bound me up in some kind of mucus and stuck me to the ground. (Which, by the way, is disgusting.) Then he ran off, I guess to chase down more ponies.
"A few minutes later, the shield came back, tossing all the changelings away like they were toys, and dissolving the mucus. The guards came by, telling everypony that the invaders were gone and we should all go back home."

Grease licked her lips, her mouth a little dry from telling the tale. "I heard later that the couple that was getting married that day — the Captain of the Guard and the Princess? — they were the ones who got rid of them, though the details are kind of vague."

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-16, 03:28 PM
Cork listened with rapt attention, eyes shining wide. "Fascinating! I wish I could have been there, well, not badly enough to actually be there and be captured, that sounded dreadful. But to see the invasion first-hoof!" The young businesspony sighed wistfully. "Events like that don't come along once every decade, you know. There is little I heard that you failed to mention, though rumors are flying of how the shield came to fall in the first place. I heard from some who claim they made it to the wedding that there was some foul play on the changelings' part. Something about an agent incognito." Cork wrinkled his muzzle at such distasteful tactics. If they wanted a proper invasion, then they should've just gone and invaded. "Personally, I think they just wore down the shield, then the brave Captain got his hooves on a bit more magic, and that was the end of that. He doesn't seem the sort to give up just because his first go at it fizzled."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 03:40 PM
Grease shrugged. "I honestly don't know for sure. It seems like every pony I've talked to has a different story about what happened. Some say that there was a changeling disguised as the bride, others say it was the groom, or maybe one of the guests. I've heard stories of the changelings ponies hostage to force the shield down, or mind controlling the guard. There's even some who say that a changeling beat Princess Celestia in a magic duel." She shook her head. "Really, how about that for exaggeration? Just about the only thing everypony agrees on is that a changeling got into the wedding. They are shapeshifters, so it makes sense that they pulled some kind of underhoofed trick."

Balmas
2012-10-16, 04:10 PM
Some kind of insectoid ponies? Dive Bomb made a few notes on the pad, next to a series of sketches of an armored demon with a jagged horn. For half an hour's worth of attack, you'd expect at least some kind of photo to turn up, some kind of study. It had to be some strange wonder of fortune that all the changelings stuck inside the walls of the city weren't trapped by the expanding sphere. Instead, all you got were piecemeal accounts and tabloid pieces, boasting that Prince Blueblood was secretly the son of Luna and the changeling Prime Minister.

He sighed as he examined the sketches before turning to show it to the mare. "How would you describe a changeling? Which of these sketches comes closest?"

Ravian
2012-10-16, 04:21 PM
Soot wandered down the corridor of the train. Empty, empty, empty. Come on how is an entire train empty on Heart's Warming day?

True she had no particular reason to be looking for anypony, Cork's bonus many she and her family could live it up for the holidays without much problems. But it was a long train ride and she was feeling a bit lonely. Suddenly she heard voices from a carriage. She poked her head in and saw the three from the waiting room.

"So this is where the party is. Mind if I join you?" without waiting for a reply she slid in next to Crown Cork.

"So... What are we all talking about?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 04:27 PM
[Since you didn't describe what the differences between the drawings were, I'm just going to make assumptions. :P]

Grease examined the sketchpad for a moment, before tapping one of the drawings, one with dragonfly-like wings and a twisted horn. "I'd say that one, except they were proportioned more like a normal pony, and the horn was smoother. Oh, and they had big gaping holes in their legs. I remember because the wind made a screaming noise through them whenever they dove out of the sky."

She was about to comment on how good his sketches were, considering how little description he had, when Soot arrived. She looked between her and Cork, somewhat surprised at the lack of hostility, given her reaction earlier.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-16, 05:13 PM
Cork gave the filly a cheeky wink. "See? Isn't asking so much nicer than leaping on me? We were discussing the recent changeling incursion, namely how the sneaky brutes managed the whole affair."

Turning back to Grease Spot, he shook his head. "Really, beating Celestia in a duel? I'm told I have an over-active imagination, but that takes the cake. In a fair fight, those ruffians wouldn't stand a chance. Come to think of it, they hardly did once the shield came back up, didn't they?" He chuckled at his little joke. "Little wonder they had to resort to such trickery. Ah, and what have we here?"

Crown Cork studied Dive Bomb's drawing, taking great interest in the various designs. "Ooh, quite fearsome on that one.And the leg-holes...ooh, I can see it now. It seems I'm traveling with a fellow artist. Would you mind if I had a look at those later? I think I'd like to make a copy myself."

Balmas
2012-10-16, 05:27 PM
((That was the plan. XD))

Squinting a little at the selected sketch, Dive Bomb marked it with his hoof and turned to his saddlebag to pull out a short, well used pencil. He took the opportunity to double check and secure his bits bag before nodding a welcome to Soot. A hint of red swam in his cheeks under Cork's compliment, and he nodded his assent.

Pony proportions, he thought to himself as he lightly drew a pony shape on a new page. Two circles became a body, a third ovoid became the outline of a head. His brow furrowed as he drew some legs, and then began to erase sections to make holes. A small bent triangle became a tail of sorts. I can never get the eyes, he thought, ill content with with how they came out. All in all, it could have been worse. The wings were the easy part, though not like his own; all he needed were a pair of ovals, veined and choppy at the edges. He bent closer to the paper to dot a pair of triangles on the upper jaw, and a spiky fin on the neck. The last item was a unicorn horn, rapidly erased and redrawn to be more curved and pointy.

He drew back and critiqued his drawing. It was crude and sketchy; he'd need to refine it later on after he got this mare's input, and perhaps ink the lines. "How about now?"

BlasTech
2012-10-16, 05:42 PM
"Fweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet"

Farwelled with a fanfare from the station master's whistle, the great iron beast began its long journey down the mountainside. It moved slowly at first, its breaths deep and laboured, but like all long distance runners, it soon found its stride - the chuffing of the train fading into a regular background beat.

The descent was slow and controlled, the path looping and periodically interspersed with tunnels and changes to direction that almost always opened up on new and spectacular views. The engineers who had built it knew that the train would need several switchbacks in order to reach the base of the mountain, and had incorporated several of the mountain's natural vantage points into the trip.

One in particular stood out; as the train neared the halfway point and twilight began to fall they emerged from a tunnel into a spectacular panoramic view of Canterlot City. The marbled, mountainside metropolis was suddenly illuminated by the light of the setting sun. No longer a city of white and gold, for a brief moment it became a city of brilliant pink and shadowed blue against a sky of orange and teal.

[OOC: Don't mind me, just some background for you guys while you talk. Let me know when you want dinner served, or you can just assume one of the train staff comes in to let you know.]

Ravian
2012-10-16, 07:32 PM
Soot peered at the drawing "Changelings, you mean it wasn't just some tabloid horseapples? Who would of guessed." an idea came to mind "So does that mean that that tool Blueblood married one? Please say yes, please say yes." she said in a mock pleading tone.

She turned back to Cork with a slightly annoyed look. "Don't get your hopes up Soda colt, I'm still peeved about the whole 'not telling me I was going to Canterlot beforehoof' thing. What in Equestria was so important you couldn't pick up a present for your marefriend anyway?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-16, 07:34 PM
Grease Spot nodded along with Crown Cork's assessment. "I agree, those are pretty good. Anyway," she said, turning back to the earth pony, "However they got in, I'm glad they were sent packing as quickly as they were."

[Dangit Ravian, you keep posting at the same time as me :smalltongue:]
"And no," she said to Soot, "They were definitely real. Though I can't say I've heard of Prince Blueblood marrying one," she said warily, not quite getting Soot's joke.

While the pegasus scribbled away on his pad, Grease looked out the window at the passing landscape. Her heart warmed when she saw Canterlot in the winter sunset. It made her city look absolutely beautiful. She may not have been the most artistic mare around, but she could appreciate the sight as well as any other pony.

"Hmm?" she said as Dive Bomb got her attention again. He was holding a rough sketch of a changeling. "Yes, that one looks closer to what I remember. Though I admit my memory's not perfect. At the time, I wasn't exactly focused on what they looked like," she said apologetically. "I was a little more concerned about not being turned into food."

At the mention of food, her stomach quietly growled. Seeing the mountain sunset had also reminded her that it was approaching dinnertime.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-16, 08:02 PM
Crown Cork sighed happily as he took in the sights. Canterlot; the city built out of the mountain. High enough that pegasi could make homes from the clouds, built lovingly in tune with the mountain it called a foundation, and home to literally some of the most enchanting architecture in all the land. Was there no other city more fit to be the capital? "No, no, I can't say I'm aware of the Prince involved in any relations with the creatures," the colt distractedly answered. "Though there are many-"

Soot's next question interrupted his gossip, and his taking in of the beautiful vistas. "Well, I didn't see any reason to mention I was going. I hardly see what that had to do with your job." The colt deliberately scooted away; last time he'd answered unfavorably, he'd nearly gotten strangled for his troubles. "But to answer the question, I was busy preparing for a very important meeting tomorrow. I couldn't possibly have picked out a present and hoof-delivered it and still had time for my work."

(Note: If he does get interrupted at any time, just quote up to the point just before he gets cut off.)

Balmas
2012-10-16, 08:10 PM
Satisfied with the mare's approval, Dive Bomb placed the notepad back into his saddlebags. He could ink it later, once he found a calm place, and one that didn't jerk about quite as much as the train did.

As the filly came in, he looked at her warily, checking once more that his bits were where he'd left them. As he nosed around in his saddlebags, tucking things away, her question lodged in his ears; he nearly inhaled a lungful of saltpeter as he snorted in amusement.

Looking out the window, he paused to admire the view of Canterlot. Even as used as he was to impressive vistas, the capital held a special magic in the dusk lighting. Cloudsdale had the best planetariums and observatories, but one had to descend below the cloud layer to get the best sunsets.

He looked down as his own stomach rumbled; cupcakes were tasty, but not his usual fare. Smiling sadly, he looked around for the dinner cart.

BlasTech
2012-10-16, 09:49 PM
As if summoned by their thoughts, an orange earth pony colt entered through the forward doorway, pushing a cart laden with food in front of him.

"G'evening, ah - Fillies an' Gentlecolts" said the newcomer, in a rather thick Trottingham accent. "Oim Sidways Shunt, and oil be yer maytre-dee this evenin' ... apologies for me, less formal apperance, but with so few of ye on this 'ere train, the comp'ny didn' put on the formal waitstaff."

Chivvying the trolly closer, the others could see it was laden with an assortment of different foods, ranging from the sweet to the savory, healthy sandwiches, salads and flowers, as well as a small, steaming bowl of freshly made hay fries.

"If ye want anythin more 'earty than this, I can also tell yew that the dining car is open for business. It 'as a roight real buffet goin there, if ye want to head on through to the next room."

Balmas
2012-10-16, 11:03 PM
Now that's more like it! Dive Bomb trotted away from the window, saving himself from a stumble as the train hit a small bump in the tracks. Snagging a plate and balancing it on his wing, he quickly loaded up on sandwiches, salad and then paused. Protein... where are the... there! After scooping some honey barbecue beans onto his already-full plate, he headed back to his seat and nodded his head to the others before digging in.

Ravian
2012-10-17, 12:11 PM
Soot was equally excited at the prescence of the cart. She quickly loaded up on sandwiches of various kinds before she settled back into her seat. Discreetly she snuck most of them into her saddlebag. No sense in letting a cartful of food go to waste if there are some ponies that can benefit from it. She then settled into a dandelion on wheat.



Soot's next question interrupted his gossip, and his taking in of the beautiful vistas. "Well, I didn't see any reason to mention I was going. I hardly see what that had to do with your job." The colt deliberately scooted away; last time he'd answered unfavorably, he'd nearly gotten strangled for his troubles. "But to answer the question, I was busy preparing for a very important meeting tomorrow. I couldn't possibly have picked out a present and hoof-delivered it and still had time for my work."


"Oooh secretive aren't we, well I guess not even true love can stand against the cut-throat politics of the Equestrian soda industry." she said in a mock dramatic tone "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. What'd you get her anyway? It was all wrapped up when I picked it up."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-17, 03:14 PM
Grease looked at the cart, thinking. It was Hearth's Warming Day, and it would be good to get a dinner fitting as such. But on the other hoof, what one ate on Hearth's Warming wasn't as important as who you ate it with, and it seemed like the young ponies that she was spending the train ride with wanted to stay in the car. Besides, the contents of the cart looked satisfying enough.

Decided, Grease Spot pulled up a plate of salad with dried daisies, a sandwich, and a small helping of beans. She also retrieved her tofu dog from her saddlebags, and set in to eat.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-17, 04:09 PM
Something that could overcome true love? Preposterous! "Hmmph. Hence why I took measures to ensure she'd get my package despite my schedule." He sighed wistfully, a sparkle lighting up his eyes. "No force on earth could hope to compare to our-ooh, are those hay fries fresh?"

Well, dinner could at least hope to overcome his bragging about their love. Couldn't give a filly a proper report on an empty stomach, now could he? Despite his sophisticated manners, he seemed to have an undiscerning palate. His plate grew loaded with hay fries, beans, sandwiches stacked with flowers and other condiments, all sorts of the traditional pony comfort foods. Crown Cork wasted no time in digging in, clearly enjoying every bite. "Ahh, that's better. As for the package, it's just a little number I commissioned from a jeweler friend I know. Something to help a little ruby in the rough see how much she truly shines." A titanic force of will kept him from simply swooning away in his seat. If it were possibly to tap conversation for sap, Crown Cork should've gone into the syrup business.

Balmas
2012-10-17, 04:11 PM
Given the pegasus' limited means, it had been a while since Dive Bomb had been given carte blanche with a tray of food; his naturally high metabolism approved of the change of circumstances. Looking up from a demolished plate of beans, Dive Bomb reached for a napkin to wipe away the straggling crumbs of a sandwich.

It would probably be impolite to have seconds before all have had their firsts, he reasoned. Mulling it over, he looked at the cart, and then longingly at the door to the next car over.

BlasTech
2012-10-17, 06:05 PM
"Roight" said the trolleypony, once everyone had taken their bits of food. "If any o' yew need anythin else, oil be up front, 'appily workin' in that there kitche-nette"

Turning the cart around proved a minor challenge in the narrow cabin, but the cockney pony managed it and was soon able to leave the others to the privacy of their conversation.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-17, 10:07 PM
Grease Spot slowly munched on her food, watching and listening to the others with amusement. I wonder if that colt ever says anything normally?

She swallowed a mouthful of food and spoke, trying to keep some conversation going. "You said that you're here in Canterlot on business. What exactly do you mean by that, if you don't mind me asking? And why are you rushing away on a train now?"

Ravian
2012-10-18, 11:06 AM
Soot looked around the room as she finished her sandwich, her eyes finally falling on the Pegasus who had bought her ticket for her and who she had pulled that ruse with. She suddenly realized that she didn't even know his name.

"Uh hey." she said to the pegasus. "Don't think I ever caught your name, or introduced myself, or really thanked you for buying my ticket, or apologized for snatching your money without asking, or... alot of things really."

She rubs her neck akwardly for a moment "Sorry I'm usually not this bad at stuff like this. The name's Soot by the way." she extends her hoof "So you don't have any excuse to call me 'kid' anymore got it?"

Balmas
2012-10-18, 11:41 AM
Dive Bomb's saddlebags clipped shut before he gingerly extended his hoof. "Dive Bomb." Looking away, he said, "It's okay." There was a brief moment of silence before he continued, "Do you do that often? Run away with people's stuff?"

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-18, 11:51 AM
"Not at all, not at all," Crown Cork brushed aside Grease Spot's worries like so many irritating cobwebs. "The business is hardly private, after all."

The colt's skinny barrel puffed out with pride. "As you may have guessed, I share my name with the Cork brand of bottled sodas, and let me tell you that is no coincidence. The head of my family, Pop Cork, is also the head of the company, and I am his right-hoof colt in the business. Together, we quench the thirst of Equestrians everywhere, not just for drink, but for a flavor experience like no other!" He thrust a hay fry to the sky, as if daring Celestia to strike him down should he exaggerate.

Thankfully, no lightning barbecued the business-pony, and the hay fry was summarily chomped. "Now, more to the point, my father's been causing quite the stir lately. Seems he has a mind to make a rather large announcement regarding the future of the Cork family business, in Canterlot, no less. He and I have been running ourselves simply ragged preparing for it. Press, venue, reception, we've had a hoof in it all. Why, were it not for our sodas and their bubbly energy, we likely would have both collapsed hours ago!" He gave an airy chuckle, but the lines around his eyes didn't lie. He'd hardly slept a wink this whole past week.

"Ah, yes, but it seems even that was not enough. In all the hustle, some documents were left back home in Manehatten. I'm simply running back to retrieve them, then popping back to Canterlot tomorrow for the press conference. Provided this train makes it to Manehatten on time..." He drummed his hooves on the windowsill anxiously, willing the engine on to greater speeds.

Ravian
2012-10-18, 04:50 PM
Dive Bomb's saddlebags clipped shut before he gingerly extended his hoof. "Dive Bomb." Looking away, he said, "It's okay." There was a brief moment of silence before he continued, "Do you do that often? Run away with people's stuff?"

Soot frowned at the question "Let's just say I'm a mare of many skills and leave it at that." she said with a hint of curtness in her voice. It was those questions that always bothered her, since they tended to end with guards or social workers. She quickly tried to change the topic "Moving on, where are you off to this fine holiday?"

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-18, 05:29 PM
[Ok, I'm gonna timeskip ahead to bedtime, unless anyone has objections.]

"Oh, I see," Grease said. "I know how you feel. Seems like no matter how much you prepare, something always slips through the cracks. Reminds me of one time..."

Grease Spot chatted with the three younger ponies while it grew dark outside, sharing small anecdotes and experiences, and listening to what they had to say in return.

Some time later, Grease yawned and looked at the clock hanging on the wall. "Well," she said, tying her saddlebags on loosely, "As much as I've enjoyed talking with you all, I think I'll head off to bed now. And though I'm sure you'll disagree, I think you could use some rest too." She stood up, stretching out her legs to get the blood flowing again, and looked around to see which way the sleeper car was.

BlasTech
2012-10-18, 05:47 PM
With a bump, the train exited the final mountainside tunnel and emerged into the lowlands beneath Canterlot. The sun had set, and the stars were out. Directly ahead, the brilliant white orb of Luna's moon was cresting the Drakenridge Mountains.

The sleeping cars were towards the rear of the train and contained both individual cabins as well as the bunk cars usually reserved for families or groups of friends travelling together.

The individual cabins were all identically designed, a door that opened onto the access corridor along one side of the carriage, a small bed and sink with a cupboard for storage. The decor didn't scream opulance, but it was above what was generally referred to as "cattle class", much to the chagrin of several of Equestria's inhabitants.

Balmas
2012-10-18, 07:06 PM
She quickly tried to change the topic "Moving on, where are you off to this fine holiday?"

"The Everfree forest," he replied quietly, wishing he'd taken another sandwich so he could politely refuse speech.

As the evening passed on, he noted his companion's general attitudes, aptitudes, and the ties between then. Speaking only when spoken to, he was nevertheless an active listener.

Swiftly though, Luna's tendrils wound their way under his eyelids, and he blink-blinked his way to the sleeping cars. They expect us to sleep in these things? I can practically touch all four walls at the same time! His wings drooped as he entered the small chamber and sat on the bed, staring blankly at the opposite wall a few feet in front of his face. At least there's a window, he thought bleakly. Otherwise, I'd really be going crazy...

The window screeched as it slid open, providing just enough clearance for Dive Bomb to stick his head out and feel the breeze generated by the engine. He sighed, enjoying the rich navies and midnight magenas with which Luna painted a starlit Equestria. Sitting on the floor with his chin on the windowsill was hardly the most comfortable of positions, but the wind in his mane and the openness of the cool December night conspired in such a way that the Pegasus hardly noticed when he dropped off to sleep.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-18, 07:23 PM
Grease Spot walked into one of the individual cabins, swaying a little as the train rocked. She looked around appreciatively, enjoying the cozy little space. While some ponies she knew might have complained about the size or the plain decor, the denim-blue mare found it just to her taste. Comfortable, reasonably private, and no fancy frills to get in the way of usability.

She put her saddlebags down on the floor, fishing out her toothbrush and paste (luckily, they hadn't wound up in her larger luggage in the craziness of packing earlier in the day). After taking care of the typical before-bed hygiene, she turned out the light and tucked herself underneath the narrow bed's covers. They were soft and warm, just what she needed for the cold winter night. Closing her eyes, she let the stress of the day get carried away by the rumbling engine, clacking tracks, and swaying car.

Ravian
2012-10-18, 07:54 PM
Soot opened the door to her bunk cautiously, as if she were sneaking into it. It was strange not sleeping in the cattle class or even in a closet when she couldn't afford a ticket. Compared to that, this seemed like a master bedroom in Canterlot palace. "Nice..." Soot said to herself as she surveyed her accommodations. She put her bag in the drawer and curled up in the bunk. "Nice pillow" she mumbled to herself and wondered if anypony would notice if it was gone when she got off. Nah, it's too big to fit in my bag, plus Penny found tons of pillows in that box that fell off that moving cart last week. We'll should be fine for a while now in terms of resting our heads. the thoughts of her family made her smile as she slowly drifted off to bed.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-18, 08:24 PM
The hours melted away in the company of some rather fascinating individuals. Crown Cork spent the time away in idle conversation, enjoying the experience of discovering new friends, and finding new sides of the old. Spontaneous tackling aside, Soot proved to be a fascinating little pony, thoroughly devoted to her family. He would never have guessed that; he'd never seen her with them. Oh, the things that lurk just beneath the surface...

Unfortunately, the beds left little beneath the surface. Cramped, lumpy mattresses packed in almost like sardines. Thankfully this was one of the "nicer" cabin cars; Celestia knows how he'd get any sleep in one of those abominations against privacy. Still, with no luxury trains available, this would have to suffice. Another small suffering, endured in the name of his father. After washing up (and lamenting the lack of breathing space to any who'd listen), Crown Cork crawled into his cramped cabin. Even then, sleep would not come easy for the young businesspony. The meeting tomorrow weighed heavily on his mind, and the bedding had no hope of whisking him quickly to dreamland. In the wee hours of the morning, exhaustion would finally shut his eyes.

BlasTech
2012-10-18, 08:41 PM
And so, as the train steamed on into the night, the four ponies drifted off into the realm of dreams. Not yet friends, perhaps, but the seeds had been planted through the simple act of working together.

Day 1 End -

XP summary

+1 for activity
+1 for helping the Cakes.
+1 if you can articulate a lesson learned in the OOC thread (DPC style! :smalltongue:)
+1 for Colt/Fillies
+1 for Earth Ponies


Potential total: 5xp.

BlasTech
2012-10-19, 04:50 AM
Day 2 - Unexpected Paths

Life.

A small word, perhaps, but a powerful one. Life is something which defies classification. Some call it simple, others hard, some spend years pondering its value and its mysteries, while many more breeze through it with nary a thought. Life is many things - It is happiness, it is sorrow, it is pleasure, it is suffering. Many would agree that life is valuable, particularly when talking about their own.

It is also fragile.

Not just from the threat of ending early, although that morbid possibility certainaly does exist, but also from change. The one constant of life is its unpredictability; plans, painstakingly crafted, can be swept away in a moment - the seemingly stable foundations of a pony's life, the certainty that tomorrow will be like today, ultimately less permanant than a daffodil in a breeze.

It was the earliest hours of the new day. The party was still making its way under the stars and across the moonlit plains in the comfort of their carriages. The night outside bore silent witness to their passage, the land of Equestria was at rest.

The train jolted.

That was the first sign that anything was amiss. What followed was the gentle tugging of inertia as the train accelerated. A shout, echoed by another in the darkness, broke the sacred peace of the night. In the corridors, there was a brief thunder of hooves.

And from outside came the surest sign of all that something was not only amiss, but deadly wrong.

A steady, pulsing beat of displaced air, audible even over the sound of the engine ...

Womph. Womph. Womph.

Like a heartbeat, it was a direct reminder of one's mortality.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-19, 10:43 AM
Grease Spot's peace and comfort was disrupted by the train's sudden jolt as it smacked her head against the wall. "Celestia's teats!" she swore, groaning and clutching her tender cranium.

She sat up in the small space, blearily alternating between rubbing her eyes and her head. As she gradually regained awareness, she noticed that the train was swaying much more than it had before. There was also a slightly heavy feeling, which she realized was the train accelerating. And aside from that, there was a rhythmic thumping sound which she realized wasn't in her head.

The full implications of an accelerating train suddenly struck her. Something's wrong with the train. Something's wrong with the train and we're out of control. Oh goddess, we're going to derail.

She started to rush out the door, but her attention was caught by her saddlebags, causing her to hesitate. I might be able to help. No, I have to help. She hurriedly swung the bags on and opened the door, walking out into the hallway. She started walking towards the front of the train, slowed by the rocking train, looking for a train staff to talk to.

Balmas
2012-10-19, 12:27 PM
"Ow!"

Nursing a sore chin and a bruised ego, Dive Bomb sat up again, promising himself that next time he'd be flying, blizzard or no. That conviction solidified as he heard and felt his surroundings; something was very wrong.

He stood up and quickly poked his head out the window again to determine just what.

Ravian
2012-10-19, 12:30 PM
Soot was sleeping peacefully in her little bunk when the train shook. She'd always been a light sleeper, a trait that was easy to pick up when you sleep on the streets, but at first she was not sure what was happening or where she was. "Huh! Whazzat! Kids? What's happening?" her head jerked this way and that before she remembered where she was. She quickly grabbed her saddlebag and akwardly tumbled out of her bunk thanks to the train's jolting. She saw the mare from yesterday rushing to the front of the train.

"Hey! Grease Spot, what the hay is going on?" she called as she rushed after her.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-19, 01:36 PM
Crown Cork yawned, snuggling up tight with his pillow."Mmmm...my sweet...my little blossom...tell me...how you get your coat so soft...is it a new shamp-"

His sweet respite from the waking world was abruptly cut off, as he was thrown bodily into the side of his small cabin. "Augh! What in the name of unholy Tartarus-what kind of train drivery is this?!" Only one thing to do now; march right down to the conductor and demand an explanation! No sooner had he taken a step, then he lost his balance amidst the train's acceleration and tumbled headlong into the front passage. He was about to voice his dissatisfaction, when something...odd, caught his ears. A deep thrum, like the heartbeat of some titan, shook the very air he breathed.

The young businesspony gulped audibly. "N-nopony panic!" he shouted to the now almost empty car. "Stay calm now! We'll get to the bottom of this, just everypony, don't. Panic." He trotted, calmly, over to the window where Dive Bomb was, and joined him for a peek outside. "Now, let's just see what all the fuss is about..."

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-19, 01:45 PM
"Soot?" Grease said, quickly considering what to tell her. "I think something's wrong with the train. I'm trying to find out what, see if I can help. Follow me," she said, a thought occurring to her. "Some unicorn magic might be helpful." With that, she set off down the hall again, as quickly as she could with the train's unsettling movements.

What am I doing, getting a kid involved in this? She could get hurt, she thought. Her thoughts answered back quickly. Yes, but she might be able to help. Besides, if the train derails then she'll be in danger no matter what.

BlasTech
2012-10-19, 03:29 PM
As Grease and Soot entered the lounge car, the lights on the train went out, plunging the cars into darkness.

Before their eyes could adjust, there was a clatter of noise from the far door, followed by voices.

"-bout time. Bluffs, light now."

A cone of white light burst into existence, dazzling the two ponies as it shone in their faces.

"Oh great." groused the gravelly voice "Civilians, return to your cabins at once."


********************************************

As Dive Bomb and Cork peered outside, the light of the moon went out.

It was not like the darkness in the train, sudden and complete as one turned off the switch. This darkness swept across the face of the moon, lasting only seconds, as something passed in front of it.

Balmas
2012-10-19, 04:23 PM
Dive Bomb blinked as the soft moonlit landscape suddenly wasn't, and then focused swiftly on where the moon ought to be. As the... whatever it was passed the moon and the soft blue glow suffused the world again, Dive Bomb's mind was already doing what it did best. Okay, so we have some kind of massive critter passing in front of the moon. "We have a problem," he muttered to the earth pony at his side.

The door to his cabin crashed to the side as he stumbled out. Awfully dark in here. The air filled with the acrid smell of a burning sparkler as he ran towards the front cabin, looking for the other two ponies.Why am I doing this? The logical thing is to find a door and jump out; my actions have no rational explanation. He shouldered aside the question and opened the other cabin's door.

BlasTech
2012-10-19, 04:34 PM
"Sir I think we've lost it." came a voice from the far end of the lounge cabin, eliciting a sigh of relief from others present.

"No, wait."

The silence was tense, during which time Soot and Grease's eyes were able to pick out the glint of golden armour I the other occupants of the car.

"it's picked us up again, I think it's setting up for a pass!"

Gravelly voice swore freely. "First flight on me! We're the bait. Second try to ward it away." he ordered, leading the other guard pegasi out the end of the carriage. "Bluffs, get these foals under cover"

The other guards barrelled out, leaving Soot and Grease alone with a very familiar unicorn guard pony.

"H-hi again guys." he stammered. "I'm afraid I have to ask you to get back in your rooms, like, right now."

Balmas
2012-10-19, 04:46 PM
Dive Bomb stood in the door, and looked at the rest. "There's something big outside," he said slowly, looking at the unicorn guard. Bluffs, was that his name? He gulped a bit before continuing. "What is it, and how do we get away?"

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-19, 06:09 PM
Crown Cork simply nodded; for once in his life, words failed him.

He followed his companion's flickering light, brain racing into overdrive. That thing...we can't hope to stand against it. All we can do is...pray. Pray Celestia shines her favor upon us and this thing goes away. My father...my sweetie...what were the last words I said to you? Did they let you know how much I love you both? Or were they just a casual goodbye? Argh, Sun and Moon...

I can't remember.

The haunted visage of the young businesspony appeared alongside Dive Bomb. The colt's face was deathly pale, and his pupils were shrunk to pinpricks. He shook as one trying desperately to contain the desire to run screaming into the night. "We...have to take shelter," he finally said. "If there was a way out, we'd be long gone by now."

Drawing up upon some reserve of hidden strength, he looked the useless guard dead in the eye. "Please sir, is there not anywhere secure on this train where we can hide ourselves?"

[Scene change incoming anyway, but is there a Heart roll I can make to get us a more secure hiding spot?]

Ravian
2012-10-19, 06:47 PM
Soot's hoof hit her face in annoyance at the reappearance of the guard. "You again?, what the hay is going on?!" she shouted angrily, she pointed out the window "What in Tartarus was that thing?" she was scared but was trying to hide it with anger at the situation itself. Right now she was afraid she would freeze up if she didn't keep some sort of emotion on display.

BlasTech
2012-10-19, 06:51 PM
"We get away by losing it in the dark. The guard hissed at the flare wielding Dive Bomb."

He winced at cork's question. "I don't know ..."

[DC 20 heart check. He doesn't want to tell you."

Balmas
2012-10-19, 07:14 PM
Dive Bomb nodded, his brow furrowing in annoyance as he pinched the flare out with his two front hooves, wincing a bit at the heat. "You're the one who cast the darkness spell in the waiting room," he said, making clear that it was a statement, and not a question. "Why?"

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-19, 07:20 PM
"Sir." Crown Cork put on his voice of authority, the voice he used when other ponies just wouldn't listen to him. Or thought the prissy stallion wasn't worth taking seriously. And then he promptly did something no person of authority would do unless their life was on the line.

He begged.

"Sir, you have armor. You have magic. Your allies have wings. You all have training. We," he gestured to the four of them, "We have the clothes on our backs and the personals in our luggage. We have nothing. If you cannot help us, then...then all we can do is huddle under our beds and pray for mercy." He bowed his head, tears springing unbidden to his eyes. "Please, sir. Is there truly nothing you can do for us? Is there nowhere we can go?"

This is Cork talking, he'd blow the bank on this roll. 1 xp for a +5 bonus, spending 1 WP for a +8 bonus, Charismatic means two rolls. LET'S DO THIS.

First Roll: [roll0]
Second Roll: [roll1]

On his final plea, the young colt's voice cracked with true, genuine emotion. These ponies were under his care, and he would sniff them out a safer harbor for this storm.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-19, 08:49 PM
Grease rolled her eyes in the dark at Crown Cork's melodrama.

"At the very least, could you tell us what's going on? Is the train under attack? Is that why it's going so fast?" A stern note entered her voice. "We have a right to know how much danger we're in."

Heart roll, if it matters: Heart 3
nat 20 +3 = 23
Yay, my first crit!

BlasTech
2012-10-20, 09:17 AM
Dive Bomb nodded, his brow furrowing in annoyance as he pinched the flare out with his two front hooves, wincing a bit at the heat. "You're the one who cast the darkness spell in the waiting room," he said, making clear that it was a statement, and not a question. "Why?"

"I didn't cast any darkness spell." replied the guard, seemingly confused.


"Sir." Crown Cork put on his voice of authority, the voice he used when other ponies just wouldn't listen to him. Or thought the prissy stallion wasn't worth taking seriously. And then he promptly did something no person of authority would do unless their life was on the line.

He begged.

"Sir, you have armor. You have magic. Your allies have wings. You all have training. We," he gestured to the four of them, "We have the clothes on our backs and the personals in our luggage. We have nothing. If you cannot help us, then...then all we can do is huddle under our beds and pray for mercy." He bowed his head, tears springing unbidden to his eyes. "Please, sir. Is there truly nothing you can do for us? Is there nowhere we can go?"

This is Cork talking, he'd blow the bank on this roll. 1 xp for a +5 bonus, spending 1 WP for a +8 bonus, Charismatic means two rolls. LET'S DO THIS.

First Roll: [roll0]
Second Roll: [roll1]

On his final plea, the young colt's voice cracked with true, genuine emotion. These ponies were under his care, and he would sniff them out a safer harbor for this storm.

The guard paused, conflict written across his features. It was odd seeing such a worried expression on the face of a pony who had, earlier that day, been solely concerned that his tofu dogs were distributed evenly.

But with all the commotion going on outside, he could only spend a few seconds waging his internal battle.

"Look" he replied "I don't know if we have anywhere safer, but stick with me then okay? Just ... please don't say anything to the other guys ..."


Soot's hoof hit her face in annoyance at the reappearance of the guard. "You again?, what the hay is going on?!" she shouted angrily, she pointed out the window "What in Tartarus was that thing?" she was scared but was trying to hide it with anger at the situation itself. Right now she was afraid she would freeze up if she didn't keep some sort of emotion on display.


Grease rolled her eyes in the dark at Crown Cork's melodrama.

"At the very least, could you tell us what's going on? Is the train under attack? Is that why it's going so fast?" A stern note entered her voice. "We have a right to know how much danger we're in."

Heart roll, if it matters: Heart 3
nat 20 +3 = 23
Yay, my first crit!

"I don't know okay??" he replied, his voice genuinely upset. "Nopony tells me a thing! For all I know, it could be an elder manticore, a dragon, a world snake or even a balro-oooooohhh dear ..."

He bolted to the window, for the sounds outside had changed.

The carriage shook as a massive cry rent the once-peaceful night asunder. The bestial noise was like the scrape of iron on rock - a harsh noise, that caused many of those assembled to plug their ears.

And when that noise faded, it was replaced by one far worse ...

If anypony had ever had the misfortune to witness a wildfire, they would have recognised it for what it was - the surrounding, omnipresent roar of the flames. A sound that seemed to be everywhere at once and that only grew louder with every passing second.

The rush of wind before a gale that signified the end of the world.

"Hold on!" shouted the guard, setting himself. His horn blazed with golden magic.

Outside the carriage, the world turned yellow, then red, then a terrifying emerald green.

Standing in the center of the room, the guard staggered.

"I - I can't"

The green flame swept over them all - a bright, blinding light.

And then darkness.


**************************************

Sideways Shunt was running. He had been running for Celestia knew how long and would continue running as long as his body held out. Sweat poured down his flanks, his breathing was laboured but still he bolted along through the night. He was an engineer pony, that meant he could shovel coal, fix boilers and, occasionally, pull trains.

Even so, he'd never run as fast or as hard as this. Neither had the rest of the team, strapped in beside him. Together, the train ponies ran as if the very fires of Tartarus were behind them - for it seemed quite likely that they were.

The sky behind them brightened, but he did not look back. He felt a wave of heat growing, heard the roar of the flames, but did not look back.

He suddenly felt their speed jump, as if they were not pulling as much weight anymore.

He didn't look back until the engine reached Ponyville.

When he did, he could only sit there, silent and motionless, and offer a prayer of thanks to the Princess for seeing him safe ... and a prayer of mourning for those whom she had not.

Balmas
2012-10-20, 12:13 PM
"Come on!" the grey stallion roared. "You can do a better Immaremann than that! Aim up and twist at the top! What's so hard about that?"

Nimble Bolt and his little brother shared a look; it had been a long day, waiting for their dad to show up to teach them. Thunderhead seemed determined to make up for it, for the night stars already glimmered above them. Dive Bomb smiled, admiring the vast swath of shimmering pinpricks in the celestial dome, wondering how other ponies lived not seeing this so clearly.

Nimble Bolt smiled, and then joshed his brother out of his reverie. "You heard the old man; what say you to one more go?"

Startled, the smaller pegasus looked up at his brother and smiled before racing off the cloud. He grinned as he heard his brother call at him to wait up, and pushed even harder. It didn't matter much, as they completed the maneuver at around the same time, laughing themselves silly. This devolved into an airborn game of tag as Nimble Bolt tagged his brother 'It' and flew off cackling.

Standing on the cloud beneath them, Thunderhead smiled at his sons. They were good boys, he knew, nimble and strong like pegasi should be. One day, Dive Bomb would pull his nose out of those dusty medical tomes, and realize that stunt flying was the only respectable career for a member of their family. Seven long generations of respected flyers; a niece in the Wonderbolts, just like his own father. Thunderhead winced at the memory of his own failure, many years ago. It was okay, though; he'd make it up to himself and his father when his sons made the team. He winced again as Dive Bomb tumbled rather spectacularly off a cloud and into his brother's waiting forelimbs.

"Alright, I think that's enough for one night," he called. "Let's go home." Nimble Bolt and Dive Bomb shared another look, and then identical predatory grins. Thunderhead wailed in mock surprise as he found himself the center of a pegasus sandwich. Giggling and laughing all, Thunderhead smiled tenderly as his youngest nuzzled his cheek and said, "I love you, Dad." Discord could come back, and it wouldn't matter, so long as he could hear that word with that tone. Stunt Flyer, Captain, Sir, all titles paled compared to the simple Dad.

Dive Bomb eased out of the hug and took another glance at the stars before pausing in disbelief; there were two moons in the sky. As he watched, the thin sliver of moon disappeared, its light drowned out by the sphere of blue light as it began to grow. It engulfed half the sky by now, and Dive Bomb was uncomfortably warm; he saw now that the moon was no moon, but rather a raging inferno, shooting off gigantic rings of flames. He shrieked as one of the flares came out to lick at his wings--


* * *


"It hurts..." he moaned, kicking out in his sleep. A sudden jolt of pain in his hoof caused his eyes to shoot open, and then scrunch shut again. Light. Light is bad. Light hurts. He squinted against the evil searing rays of light, and righted the end-table he'd knocked over in his sleep. Rather, he attempted to do so until he noticed that no matter what he did, it would not stand straight; the floor was uneven.

What's more, the interior of the cabin felt as if someone had set it to broil. Recipe for pegasus dinner: stuff with food, place to roast, he thought, smiling at the grim thought. Wait, hadn't he just dreamed about something like that? Fire, and heat, and... something else? He winced, shaking the thought loose before sticking his head out the window to look around.

One Tin Soldier
2012-10-20, 07:31 PM
A metal washer rolled across the smooth floor, as if it sought to escape through the open door. Just as it seemed about to reach freedom, its movement was halted by a hoof, connected to a deep red leg.

"Hey Grease, having trouble keeping a hold of your merchandise?" said the stallion who owned the leg, smirking in amusement. He gave the washer a kick, sending it rolling back in the direction it came.

"Thanks, Brush," Grease said, pulling herself out from under a large hunk of machinery. She caught the washer between her teeth and pulled herself back. Once it was in place and out of the way, she spoke again. "I'm almost done, just give me a minute and I'll be ready to go."

"No rush," he responded. "Well, actually we're late, so do hurry, but, well, you know what I mean."

Grease laughed while she tightened the last bolt. Brush Stroke may have been an artist with stone, but he was far from a master of words. She pulled herself out from under the mass of moving parts one last time, wiping a literal spot of grease off of her cannon. She looked out the window next to her brother, somewhat surprised to see the night sky, far more brilliant than it ever should be in the middle of a city.

"Wow, I must have lost track of time. I'll have to return this tomorrow," she said, indicating her work.

"Hey, we going yet or what?" came a loud voice from behind Brush Stroke. A pink mare elbowed her way into Grease's shop, wearing a pair of sunglasses. She looked around the shop a moment longer than necessary before spotting the denim-blue mare. "Hey, there you are! Come on, let's get this party started!"

Grease Spot looked at the mare with an arched eyebrow. "Looks like you started the party a while ago, Berry," she said. The hint of disdain in her voice made a slight whistling sound as it passed over Berry Punch's head.

"Nah, just pregaming, sis," she said. "Family dinners are no fun sober, you know?" Grease shook her head disbelievingly as she finished cleaning herself off and walked out the door with her siblings.

"Come on, Mom and Dad are waiting," Brush Stroke said, leading them out into the crystal clear night. They quickly reached the edge of Canterlot, giving a view of the glittering lights of Ponyville far below. A long, sloping path ran down the mountain in front of them, leading directly to the small town.

"Straight Shot's not joining us tonight?" she asked her brother as they began their trek down the hill.

"No, he's visiting his folks," he said. "Just family for dinner tonight."

"Yeah, just my number ones," Berry loudly agreed.

"Just family," Grease said. She looked up at Luna's sky and smiled. It had been a long time since they had a dinner that was just family. It would be a real treat.

As she looked into the sky, a single star above Ponyville grew brighter. Soon it outshone the moon, acting as a spotlight directly on her. She felt her face heat up with its light, and she began to wish she had her sister's sunglasses. It grew brighter and brighter until it seemed like the sun had risen early. Grease Spot opened her mouth to say something to her siblings.


* * * * *

"Get away," Grease said urgently, suddenly finding her eyes closed. She opened them, only for a sharp line of white light burning into them, causing her to close them in pain and rub.

Once she had regained her bearings, she realized that she was back in her cabin on the train, lying on top of the messy covers of her bed. She was glad of it too, because the car was stiflingly hot compared to the night before. The curtains covering the window were open a crack, letting through a blinding ray of light.

She rolled out of bed, rubbing her eyes tiredly once more. Her mane was a total mess, even with its manageably short length. She realized that the car was not moving at all, and that she couldn't hear the engine any more. Are we in Ponyville now? she wondered.

She pushed the curtains open, squinting in the sudden brightness as she waited for her eyes to adjust.

Ravian
2012-10-20, 09:54 PM
"Scamp! Give it back!" Olive shouted at the Pegasus colt hovering several yards over her head. The offending clot stuck his tongue out at the filly below as she jumped up and down in the air trying to reach him. "Gotta catch it first Olive." Soot looked at the scene with disapproval "Scamp give Olive her ribbon back." she resumed searching through the trash can, shifting through the contents for something of use or value "Wrapper, wrapper, soda can, not even going to try and figure out what that is." she looked out on her family doing similar work elsewhere on the board walk. Nights on Coneigh island had a certain charm to them, especially after all the ponies were gone. Drizzle kept on worrying that the foals should be in bed around now but she wasn't about to say no to eager helpers on a scavenging trip, and besides, they never got to go to the carnival in the day, let them live their fantasy now. She watched Penny playing around on the carousel, jumping from one painted chariot to the next giggling. Her observation was interrupted when she felt her tail gently tugged. "Whisper?" she turned around to see the little unicorn look away shyly and mumble something incomprehensible "What is it honey?" the unicorn hesitantly drew out a little saddlebag with the bottom worn away. "Oh this is perfect Whisper, we'll be able to fix it in no time." she nuzzled the little colt, who smiled and mumbled something again, before going off towards some of the closed food stalls. She watched him go when a blue-grey Pegasus colt only a few years younger than her landed beside her. "He find something?" the colt asked "Yeah, old saddlebag, real find" Soot showed him the bag
"Nice" the Pegasus said simply, a pause followed before he added "You know that somepony's going to come looking for him eventually, right?"
Soot sighed "I know Drizzle, I just, hope he ends up in good hooves."
"I know Soot, I just hope you don't try to stop it." Drizzle took off again, Soot's gaze followed him as he flew past a particularly bright star. The star seemed to grow brighter as she watched it, slowly intensifying in light and heat until she could barely stand it. Then everything went white
-------

The sun and heat beat down on Soot as she stirred from her spot on the train. Her head pulsed with an aching pain. "Kids?" she asked in confusion as she shakily made her way to the window and peered out, trying to adjust to the light.

TheAmishPirate
2012-10-20, 11:13 PM
~Cork! Cork! Cork!~

An off-white, aging Earth Pony stallion waved down hordes of cheering ponies, their flashbulbs lighting up the crowd like the stars above them. "Filllies and Gentlecolts! Esteemed guests and members of the press!" The stallion's voice boomed through the mob, ringing with absolute authority. "It is with great honor, and deepest pride that I present to you," he swept his leg stage right, signaling a salvo of fireworks into the night sky. "Crown Cork! My son, and the new head of Cork Sodas!"

The curtain fell, revealing the paragon of colt-hood. His mocha coat positively flowed through his smart, black suit, like freshly-stirred coffee. His golden mane, one of the many gifts his father had given him, sparkled gracefully upon his head. His eyes burned with the fervor that promised to raise the family name to new heights.

The crowd went ballistic. Hooves met the floor in such thunderous applause it seemed the very ground would be rent asunder. A wall of cheering (which would surely have toppled a lesser pony) merely served to blow his mane back. He could not keep the crowd waiting, it was time to give them what they wanted; a proper victory speech. Motioning for silence, the rising start tapped his notes against the podium with professional poise. All spotlights were on him now. "My fellow ponies," he started in. "Long have I dreamed this day would come. A day when I would...when I would..."

The colt glanced down at his page of notes. Instead of words, there was a half-finished painting of a bottlecap. Wiping nervous sweat from his brow, the colt chuckled and shuffled his notes amid murmurs from the crowd. "A-as I was saying, a day when I-" Next page, another half-finished painting. This time, of him and his marefriend, lounging in a field. Those murmurs became louder, the spotlights growing in intensity. Crown pulled nervously at his collar. "N-now, now, i-it seems there's been...been a slight mix-up...oh dear..." He flipped through his notes; painting, painting, painting, painting, nothing but paintings! A few dissident voices grew into a chorus of boos. The colt tried to duck as the crowd started throwing rotten tomatoes on stage, only to be blinded by the every-growing spotlights. "No! Please! Let me explain!" As the light and heat overtook him, the last sight he saw was the face of his father, frowning and shaking his head in disappointment.

********************************

Despite the oppressive heat, Crown Cork awoke in a cold sweat. The young businesspony covered his eyes, shielding his pounding, aching head. "Another chance, father! Please!" he moaned as he backpedaled away from the feverish visions plaguing his mind. Only when his head thunked into a wall did the colt think to crack open an eye and take stock of his surroundings.