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[Rhinestone] The Treasured Trinket:The Bar [PM for invite]

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Brazil Nut

in

The Adventures of the Treasured Trinket

((This story continues after the end of this thread in Treasured Trinket Part 2: The Map of Royals!!))

Martini Paradise let out a sigh of relief as she led the last prospector to the door, showing him out into the dark, dusty street. Closed at last. She loved her job, but at the end of a long night, lasting into the wee hours of the morning, she was glad to finally close the place up and be on her way - she was even more excited to close up tonight because of the eventful day she'd had. There had been special customers here and there, like that *sweet* unicorn with the gems, but she was especially excited about seeing Brazil Nut once again after all this time. He'd given her a very ... open ... invitation to come up to his office and chat. And she'd been feeling awfully lonely these last few years... and what filly wouldn't have a crush on such a dashing pony as he?

She stepped back to the bar, letting the half-sized doors swing back and forth behind her with their faint, comforting squeaks. She stepped up to the bar, lifting the tip jar with her horn and pouring the coins into the drawer that held all of the rest of the tips she'd made that day. It had been a nice day, in more ways than one. She smiled warmly, knowing that this job was paying off so much better than she had hoped! She already had enough to wrap up and send to her dear daughter Sunrise, over in Ponyville. That lonely ache squeezed her heart momentarily ... she missed Sunrise so much, but this rough-and-tumble town was no place to raise a foal. Tea Cozy seemed like such a nice mare, and Martini was sure Sunrise was gaining a real education there in that nurturing environment.

As eager as she was to get home, though, there was one small ritual she always had to do whenever she closed up. She pulled down a shot glass with her magic, floating the bottles around her without her usual flair ... there was no one to show off for, and she was feeling tired; a bit of pineapple juice and a dash of vodka, a touch of melon liquor, and then a quick splash of raspberry liquor. The red swirled through the yellow, streaking it just like the clouds over the beach at sunrise. Sunrise on the Beach, the drink her daughter was named after. A shot of that always made her feel a little closer to her absent foal.

Then the second half of her nightly ritual - she dug around under her tips and pulled out the little trinket her parents had left her. It was really the only thing her parents had ever given her - a tiny blue gem set into a silver half-sphere. It looked like it had been broken into two pieces. They'd no doubt found the broken thing in their own tip jar, and had given it to their daughter when she was a foal, who'd be impressed that it was shiny, and not care that it was broken. But ... she was glad for it, anyway. She missed her parents, too, and it had been such a long time since she's been back home to the Gallopocus Islands to see them...

The door squeaked, and Martini let out a sigh as she stuffed the trinket into the tip drawer and stood up straighter, turning around. "I'm sorry," she said, trying to make herself sound cheerful, despite her annoyance. Who would walk into an empty bar during these wee hours of the morning? "I'm afraid we're closed!"

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Baron von Hoofenstein stepped into the watering hole, giving his wings a flap. His dark green coat was half-hidden by the fine white pinstriped suit he was wearing, and he tipped back the white Panama hat perched atop his short-cropped blond mane. "Oh, no, Fohlen" he said, and gave a soft, dry chuckle. "Ve are not ... thirsty."

A half-dozen rather larger earth ponies stepped in behind him. Martini knew their sort - rough and violent stallions, willing to do anything for a couple bits to rub together. Most of them were looking grim and dangerous, but one perked up his ears, looking up at Martini, excitedly disagreeing. "Actually, boss, I'm kinda-"

"Shot OP!" the Baron cut him off, bristling. Good minions were *SO* hard to find. The right entrance was so important for conducting a business deal properly. To soothe his nerves and settle his excitement, he took a moment to take off the tiny small round reading glasses from his muzzle, polish them, and then put them back on his nose. Dreadful, hot weather out there - he was going to get burned, he just knew it.

"Ve are actually lookink for a shmall bit of jewelry held by vun Martini Paradise ... I hope, perhaps, dat ve haff found her, yes? Und dat ve kin come to an ... agreement. It iz a shmall t'ing, hyu haff, un blue gem, set into vun half uf un shmall sphere, ya, Fohlen? Hyu vill find I am villing to be qvite generous."

He gave a cold little grin. She'd better find his offer generous ... he'd been tracking this half for so long. It was time to finally see some progress. If she wouldn't be convinced by bits ... if such a poor pony as she wasn't convinced by bits, unlikely as that seemed, the minions would certainly seal the deal. They were, perhaps, a bit much - but it was best to be prepared, in case she was feeling stubborn.

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Martini Pardise turned around and was momentarily taken aback by the sight before her - a half dozen or so of the type of roughhooves one would hire around Roughrider when you wanted something done by force. Her eyes quickly focused on the leader, who certainly looked like someone trying far too hard to be a Manehatten upper-crust gentleman and failing spectacularly, at least in the fashion department.

What really caught the young unicorn mare off guard was his all-too-accurate description of the trinket given to her by her parents. How could he know about it? Why would he want it!? One thing was certain in her mind - he wasn't going to lay his greasy hooves upon it. She felt her legs shake a bit, even as she straightened up, nudging the trinket further under the counter and out of sight as she moved to slide a bottle over.

"Well that is an interesting ... umm ... and very generous offer you have, but what you are looking for isn't for sale, and even if it was, it isn't here, anyway. What would you want with such a cheap, broken little thing? It only has sentimental value, really." She wanted to tell him to get lost, but she wasn't in any position to fight. Not that she couldn't handle herself - but she was way outnumbered and out muscled here. She could only go with her best strength - her bartender charm. "Wouldn't your men rather have a round? We have the best drinks in all of the Ridge!" Martini smiled warmly, her nervousness disappearing as she put on her professional act, inside and out. They were just another difficult customer, after all.

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Baron von Hoofington blinked and tilted his head to the side, staring at the bartender. Was she... denying him? Oh, she had it, all right, the little liar. He knew she had it... why would she say she didn't? A brief flash of rage clouded his vision, and his hoof shook. She wasn't taking him *seriously*! She thought he was a joke! Just like all the others did!

He forced himself to stay calm. He wouldn't just jump on her and pummel her for her insolence. No. He was a calm, collected, civilized pony. He had minions to do the pummelling for him. He sighed. They always picked the hard way... He gave a little jerk of his head to signal the minions to approach her.

...

...

...

He looked at the minion. Why weren't they moving? He nodded his head towards her again, his eyes widening in exasperation. The minion ... oh, who was that ... he had a rock on his flank. Rocko? Rocky? Whatever, he finally jumped and let out an 'oh', and hurried forward to circle around the bar. Baron von Hoofington sighed. Why, oh why was it so hard to find good help?

"Vell, dot iz a pity, Fohlen," he said softly, stepping up to the bar. "it vould haff been much easier to just buy it from hyu. Now, ve vill haff to heh... do dis in a much less pleasant manner..."

A large stallion came in on either side of Martini, grabbing her and dragging her out from behind the bar, shoving her along roughly till she was pressed down against a table. Baron von Hoofington gestured to one of the ponies that was left with him, and the earth pony mare handed him a scissors. "Hrmmmm... let me zee... Vell, I hear dot short tails, zey are in fashion, yez? Vy don' ve zee vot ve can do about makink hyu ... fashionable? Ya, ve make hyu a big hit vit de colts ... den ve cut off hyu mane ... und if ve do not haff ze trinket by zen ... vell, ve see about makink hyu an earth pony..." He made the scissors snicker-snick threateningly.

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Martini Paradise stared at the strangely dressed pegasus with the even stranger accent, the rage of a thousand suns burning through her. Here he was planning to steal the one memento from her parents, the one reminder of her home, and on top of that, he was threatening her ... in her own bar no less! The only crime in her eyes that would have been worse is if they threatened her daughter. Did they think she was helpless? She'd been serving drinks most her life. She'd seen her share of bar fights. The hot rage suddenly disappeared, replaced with a cold fierceness and a defiant smirk, "Glad you like the horn, now enjoy the show!"

The next thing von Hoofington knew, a stool, glowing with the same green magic that emanated from her horn, rapidly flew across the room, one leg scraping across the floorboards before smacking into him and knocking him away from her, him and the scissors, falling slowly towards the floor as they dropped from his grasp. One of the burly stallions holding her gaped, letting out a quiet, "Whoah."

A bottle of seltzer water flew from behind the bar, shaking itself as it flew through the air. The top of it virtually exploded in a shower of suds, spraying the two stallions holding her in their stupid faces, throwing them off-balance so that Martini could twist away. She dropped low to the ground as she spun, her rear hooves kicking up to catch a third of the minions, and then an entire hail of bottles came flying from behind the bar, spinning through the air to smash at the other three earth ponies he with him.

She spun around, and glared at the horrible pony who had threatened to mutilate her, to take from her that which was precious to her heart. She floated those very same scissors he had threatened her with up into the air. "Let's see how you like it!" She sent it zooming across the room, blades open, directly towards the base of his feathered wing. Her face twisted with an agonized grimace, and she dropped her gaze at the last second, the scissors stopping a bare inch from cutting off the limb. She couldn't do it. she couldn't turn into him.

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Baron von Hoofington blinked and got back to his hooves, a flat look on his face as he brushed his forehoof across his jaw, then studied the faint bit of blood. She ... she'd struck him across the face with a stool. Really? He leaned down as he picked up the small pair of round glasses from the floor, letting a bottle fly by over his head, then stood up once more, settling them onto his muzzle. Ah, good. They weren't broken. It was terrible trying to get just the right prescription. He stepped casually to the side as one of the earth ponies stumbled backwards, wiping at the seltzer water all over his face. He sighed. If you wanted something done right, you had to do it yourself.

As the scissors flew towards him, he stood unconcerned, brushing himself off. Few ponies had the nerve to truly do something like that. They were followers, not leaders like himself, who had long since learned to pay the price for what is needed. Sure enough, the scissors stopped short, and he reached over to casually to pluck the scissors from the air with his teeth, as if she'd simply been handing it to him. He closed the scissors, tucked it casually under his wing, ducked another bottle.

As the bartender filly was concentrating on one of his minions, Baron von Hoofington took up the stool in his mouth, holding it by one leg, and walked up behind her to smash her across the back of the head, shattering it into wooden shards and knocking her senseless.

Quiet suddenly reigned across the bar. Baron von Hoofington looked up and glared across his minions, slowly getting to their hooves and recovering from the sudden brawl. "Ha, hyu is funny guys! Now, if hyu big tough earth ponies are done getting beat op by de delicate leetle filly, hyu t'ink hyu could grab her und hold her down, ya?"

The two stallions looked abashed at the Baron's scornful derision, then glared daggers at Martini, grabbed her under the forelegs and hefted the dazed unicorn up onto the table again. Baron von Hoofington retrieved the scissors from under his wing and approached. "Vell, dot *vus* a bit of fun, ya? Qvite a surprise! But is shtill no gut. I vus gon give hyu a chance to be a shmot gal, but ve haff to do zis ze fun vay." He poised the scissors at the base of her horn.

"Do no feel shad, Fholen. Hyu fight verra vell. But de only vun dot hast ever shtopped me iz-"

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A long solitary moment passed in silence before a shout came from outside, loud and clear for anypony inside the bar to take notice of!

" HOLD IT! "

This would be the appropriately correct moment for the interruption that such a speech made by a villain was made for as the door to the bar would find itself bucked wide open as a cockily-grinning brown/cream earth pony came galloping in with a somewhat smaller pony close behind - eyebrow raised at the villain in front of him, as a moment of recognition washed over, an ugly feeling indeed. Here was a familiar face whom he had run into on various occasions now - a certified ponyvillain by the name of Baron Von Hoofington - Nat a particularly pleasent way to start what had been intended a night to get to know the currently KO'd barpony now at the mercy of his 'old' foe....Baron Von Hoofington!

Regardless, he cleared his throat loudly and spoke aloud....he had to try and do something, anything to buy the mare some time!

" HA! I had a feeling that coming back this way would be a good idea... " The earth pony says with his ever-so-coy grin beaming as he walked over towards the other, rather more annoyed looking pony before him. " Baron von Hoofington - somepony told me they'd seen a familiar face clopping around town earlier today lurking around these parts! " Brazil stated boldly, before adding quickly. " I didn't think anypony was after a rodeo clown troup though..."

Before the other pony had any time to truly reflect on Brazil's words, the earth pony had buried his muzzle into his assistants saddlebag , grabbed a small multi-faceted cuboid object from it and tossed it at the Baron with a surprising amount of dexterity, aimed at the Boss's head. " Think fast! " was all Brazil could muster as he did so, trying his best to regard the situation with some sense of perspective...all the while doing his best to ignore the black look his assistant was giving him right now. Sometimes sacrifices had to be made for adventure!

Brazil wasn't about to let some pompous stuck up Villain wannabe just waltz in and make off with Miss Sunrise...not while he had any say in the matter

He could see that *something* was clearly on the agenda with the Baron, and he was ready to put a stop to the ponies schemes - no matter what they were eventually revealed to be, or however dangerous it turned out they were in the end!

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As he was suprised by his boss sudden urge to save the day again he looked at him and sighed.

''J-just, d-don't get me i-involved in a-any fights.. p-please..'' he whispered to Brazil.

As Survey was Brazil's assistant, he followed, and peeked over Brazil's shoulder, too see the Baron, wich made him bites his lip. He was overall too nervous to face the Baron, so he just kept on hiding his face again, hoping not to be seen by him wich was going less good that he would've wished for, as Brazil started to talk to him making him even more unsure about what to do.

As all of a sudden he finds his boss snooping around his bag. ''B-boss! W-what are you doing!'' he said in a bit of panic. When his boss suddenly grabbed his Puzzle Cube he had taken for the night he started to become a bit defensive. ''Hey! That's mine!'' he yelled as it was thrown at the Baron's face. He glared at Brazil as he shook his head. ''That was the only one i have for tonight..'' he muttered.

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Baron von Hoofington looked up in surprise as the puzzle cube smacked him across that face. That voice! That cube! That ... that ... that blasted... "BRAZIL NUT!"

A snarl spread across the Baron's normally cool and collected face. How? How did he do it! How did that interfering earth pony ALWAYS know JUST the worst time to get in de way! It's like the fates DEMANDED that he would always show up at the worst time! "GET HIM!" he yelled at his minions. "GET HIM! GET ZEM BOTH!" As the minions rushed forward as a mass, he held up one hoof in front of one of the stallions. "Not hyu, ve need hyu to tek care of de unicorn wit' de treasure. Hyu zink hyu kin do dot, ya?"

"Oh, yeah, boss! I can do that, sure!" said the stallion eagerly, heading back to Martini. He picked up one of the bottles that had gotten thrown from the bar, as he watched the dazed unicorn filly, popping the top off and taking a long swig.

Baron von Hoofington took several long breaths to cool himself down. It was all right. He'd won before, he'd win this time. It was too important not to win. "Doktor Nut!" he said cheerfully, his cool and collected face back on. "Vell, dis iz a surprize, ya? Hyu and dot shrimp are in dis dump? I could haff sworn dot hyu were off in de mountains by de Clopton Shores! A leetle t'ing about a map hyu find in some bar? I plant dot map for hyu myself!" A faint spasm of rage crossed his face again. "Hy von' have hyu gettin' in my vay! I VILL haff de key to de Lost Royal Vault! She VILL! giff it to me!"

He spun around and lifted Martini's face, his hoof under her jaw, glaring into her eyes. "VERE is it? VERE is ze key?! Giff it to me!"

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Martini Paradise's head was spinning, her vision clouded, and a dull pain throbbed in the back of her head. The noises around her were muted and distant, and the hooves and proddings she felt pressing herto the table once more seemed very far away. She knew how much danger she was in, but she could barely stand up on her wobbly, uncertain knees, much less focus enough to use her magic to protect herself. Oh Celestia, her horn ... they were going to cut off her horn! Distantly, the mare felt tears streaming down her cheeks. How did it all come to this? Why were they doing this to her?!

"I'm sorry Sunrise ... mama is so sorry," she mumbled, apologizing to a daughter who wasn't even there. At least Sunrise was safe, away from this, all of this violence. She clenched her eyes tight, wincing as she tries to prepare for what was about to happen. Why couldn't she focus her magic yet?!

If only she could have a few moments to clear her mind ...

Just then she heard a burst of the doors and a familiar booming, confident voice. Martini looked up, her eyes open in stunned surprise. "B ... Brazilll?" the words came out quiet and slurred, not nearly the shout of surprise she felt inside. She couldn't believe it was him! Like a stallion right out of the storybooks, appearing just in the nick of time! It really was him! Well, him and a smaller beige unicorn who didn't look nearly as confident. Still, it was one of the moments she needed, as the Baron forgot utterly about her, his attention solely on Brazil's dashing form. And it was such a dashing form!

Martini shook her head, trying to focus back on her immediate situation. As the moments crawled on, she could feel the magic building up in her again, her mental grasp painstakingly putting together the patterns that were usually so instinctive. She tried to grab the shelf-full of bottles to make another hail of missiles, but her head seemed to explode. OK, too much. Just one thing - she tried to grab a stool, but her head throbbed painfully and the spell shattered again. No problem, that was just too big. Ignore the pain. Try for a bottle, just one bottle. All she had to do was dispatch the one goon that still held her down. A bottle of cheap rotgut feebly scraped a couple of inches across the bar.

Then he was back, that barbarous "Baron", shouting in her face and demanding a key ... what key? Her precious broken trinket? For a moment she thought about doing just that, just to end this ... No! She couldn't, not to somepony like him. Martini gave him a defiant look and instead of answering with words, she spat in his face. Before he could recover from that insult, she grabbed that bottle of rotgut and pulled it across the room, right towards his head. "Here, have some cheap booze to go with that cheap suit!" she shouted angrily. She wasn't horrible like him, she couldn't bring herself to mutilate anyone, but clobbering such a foul jerk - that she could do!

Looking back at the bumbling goon still holding her down with a defiant angry stare, she figured she would at least give him a warning, the bottle of cheap rotgut lifting up threateningly. "Do you want one too, or would you rather be smart and let me go?!"

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Well, things were certainly taking on an unexpected turn of events - Brazil stood his own ground as he watched Martini clobber the uncouth baron around the head with a bottle, a wry grin on his features as he watches the scene with both interest and a small sense of awe. The mare was clearly a lot tougher than the crowd of villains had likely expected her to be, and that was something proving itself to be quite the mental glitch for the fiend and his minions. The Earth pony couldn't help but smile at the sight...watching her beat down the Baron was a thing of beauty.

" Looks like somepony bit off more than they could chew... " Brazil commented to Survey with a playful smirk before cantering over to a nearby table, turning around and bucking it with his hind legs as hard as he could into the pair of villains currently making their way to restrain the unicorn from behind - from the look of it, this was going to get pretty darn ugly, real quick.

His immediate thought was to check up on the unicorn, and thus he sought to get up to where she was located, only to find himself accosted by a villain by the side, who had taken it upon themselves to charge into him from the side and slam him into the side of the bar. Oh Celestia, this was gonna leave a heck of a bruise in the morning. Still, Brazil knew enough not to roll over and play dead, instead turning towards the bar itself and kicking off against it hard with all four legs, surprising the thug by sweeping his own legs from underneath him and taking him down to the ground. scrambling back to his own feet, Brazil turns and gallops back to the dazed unicorns direction, charging past the other goons as best he could before skidding to a halt beside martini...giving her a small grin as he does so. " Gotta say, Miss Sunrise, you keep some rough company...! "

Things still hadn't cooled off though, and the explorer knew that things were only going to get more intense...whatever it was that the Baron wanted with this trinket of Miss Sunrise's, Brazil had no intentions of letting the villain get that close again.

They really needed to get Martini out of here, quickly...before anything else happened!

" SURVEY! " Brazil called to his assistant. " GET THE DOOR...I think it's time We got Miss Sunrise out of here! "

The goons weren't going to be down for long, and the Baron looked like he was probably out for the count.

It was truly anypony's guess at this point as to what would happen next!

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Survey shook his head, he never really liked fighting, however he let out a short chuckle as the mare gave the Baron a piece of here mind. He quickly started to look trough his bag for a potential weapon, only finding out he had none he let out a frustrated sigh. He looked around, and noticed the broken Puzzle Cube on the ground. He levitated it towards him and tried to stand up straight.

''P-probably...'' he said and smiled nervously at Brazil as he watched him buck a table at some goons. ''B-be c-care-'' he cut himself off as he saw him getting slammed in the side. He shrieked, and stumbled back, as one of goons started nearing him, grinning evily at him. ''O-oh.. C-celestia..'' he mumbled to himself, as the goon started running at him. He flailed the broken cube around, hitting the goon twice, leaving one of the pieces in his eye making him change his course and smash into a wall. Survey sighed in relieve and sat on his flank.

He jumped back up as his boss yelled something about the door. ''W-will d-do!'' he said running over to the door, and holding it open, biting his lip and jumping up and down. ''H-Hurry, please!'' he yelled at Brazil.

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Baron von Hoofington was just about ready to explode. That was it. No more Mr. Nice Pony. He had never given in to anyone, no matter how much bigger or stronger than him they were... and he wasn't going to give into some little unicorn filly just because she had magic and he didn't! And he CERTAINLY wasn't going to give in to that hateful Brazil Nut! AND she'd knocked off his HAT! Oh, no, it was ON now!

But he did not strike the first counterblow. No, one of the stallions came barrelling across the room, shoulder-checking Brazil Nut into another of the nearby tables. Two more of the minions jumped on top of him, piling him under. Vell, finally! I guess hyu ken find gut help, hafter all. Hyu just gots to find ze right zing for dem to do.

A fourth of the minions was crying out in pain, trying to get a piece of the puzzle cube out of his eye, but his friend stood up and charged Survey with a snarl, angry that the little unicorn who'd dared hurt her friend! She ran pell-mell at him, ready to bowl him over! He was, after all, less than half her size!

And the last of the minions was doing his job. He let go of the filly so he could spin around around and kick, the floating bottle shattering with the force of his hoof. He turned back and loomed over Martini, an evil grin on his face. "Disarmed, little filly. Now, be nice and give duh boss dat ting he wants."

Baron von Hoofington blinked, and sat back, a broad smile on his face. No need to exert one's self when one had minions to do it for you! Well! Well well well! Dot's verra gut! Maybe zis iz a gut night after all! Den again, any day hyu see dot Nut get kicked in ze face hiz a gut night!

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For Martini Paradise, things weren't going as planned as she failed to knock out the Baron and that annoying thug that was holding her down managed to shatter her "weapon" into a spray of glass shards and droplets of cheap whiskey with his hindhooves. Of course "not going her way" was an understatement given what has happened in the last 10 minutes. Still, she could not give up! She must not give up!

"Disarmed, little filly. Now, be nice and give duh boss dat ting he wants."

Little filly?! He thought he could push her around in her own bar because she wasn't a stallion?! Oh! It! Is! On! "Disarmed?! In my own bar? I don't think so, mule!" Martini's head still throbbed in pain, but her ability to mentally focus was returning. With every ounce of mental strength, she sensed the nearby bottles with her horn, touching them with her magic. With quite a strain, she was able to lift two bottles off the shelf and aimed them directly at the goon lording over her. They didn't have to hit him, they just needed to distract him. As the large stallion jumped away to avoid the flying bottles, Martini saw her chance and bolted!

She spun and ran, not quite knowing where she was going - just following wherever her hooves carried, which in this case was up the stairs. As she reached the top, she realized there was nowhere to really go - all the guest rooms upstairs were still going to be locked! "Oh Celestia, still can't think straight!" Turning around, she saw that the same large, burly earth stallion was running up the stairs after her. There was no way she could fight him psychically! She looked over to the right, out across the floor and saw her only means of possible escape ... a chandelier. Normally, Martini would be nowhere near desperate enough to try something so ridiculous, but there was nothing even remotely normal about this situation, and no way she would let herself be captured again! The young mare climbed onto the railing and made a literal leap of faith! "Oh Celestia, get me out of this!" Somehow she managed to hook the chandelier with her forehoofs before gripping it with her entire frame out of sheer panic.. "WhatamIdoing whatamIdoing Like whoooooa!!!"

The chandelier swayed back and forth, or was the room swinging around her? Wooog. It no doubt had not been built with holding up a pony in mind, starting to break free from the ceiling as it swung. She had but one chance to make her inevitable descent count. As the chandelier swung forward one last time, she let go with a faint, terrified shriek. Martini's forward momentum propelled her over the room, and landed her right on top of the large mare who was about to pummel Brazil Nut's poor little sidekick, knocking her silly and breaking Martini's fall. Looking up at the undoubtedly shocked unicorn colt, she just smiled. "Meant to do that, really!"

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Brazil looked on as Martini made her daring attempt - clearly impressed at the unicorns ability to both defend herself and still look absolutely stunning as she did so. Shaking himself from the momentary daze that this interesting sight had thrust on him, he manages to get his wherewithal together quickly enough to buck at the thug-pony sneaking up behind him, sending the other pony reeling backwards into a neatly stacked pile of chairs!

" Right, well... " The earth pony explorer states, glaring at the villain who had so intently made tonight so much more troublesome than Brazil had counted on. Nope, this wasn't exactly what he'd had in mind when he'd been talking with the female in her bar earlier on in the day...not at all! " I think we really need to...OOomph! "

He's suddenly and rudely interrupted by a barrage of eager pony punks who crash him shoulder first into the bar, before finding himself piled upon by a group of equally eager foals who wanted nothing more than to prove to their boss that they were clearly the best hired help he could get. Well, Brazil had no intentions on going down so easily...not yet, at least!

" YAAAAARGH! "

His voice can be heard from under the pile of ponies before bucking the ones with his rear legs, then just rearing up as best he could to sock the couple on his front with his front hooves.

If he had to fight his way out of this mess, then by Celestia he was going to give it his best!

With a daring bolt, he charges away from the group before hopping around to the small stage of the bar...clambering up and looking at the small gathering of hoods from behind - leaping off at them like a missile and crashing hard into the group, sending them all stumbling into a table and spilling it over, Brazil managing to pull himself away just enough to remain free of the ruffians. He may not have a fancy horn, or a pair of wings, but Brazil wasn't about to let a group of no-name pony thugs get the better of him in a barroom brawl...not under these circumstances!

He makes a dash to get back to where Martini and Survey were - the baron was clearly not going to stop until his point was made clear...and Brazil had no intentions of giving in to whatever it was that pony wanted.

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Survey was still covering his face, as he waited for the big mare to hurt him. ''D-don't! H-Hurt m-me! P-please!'' he said, as he didn't dare to open his eyes. He heard alot of shouting coming from the other side of the room, followed by a sudden thud, slowly opening his eyes and seeying that the big mare has been replaced with the other mare that they were trying to help. He stared at her for a moment, as she told him that it was all going.. according to her plan. He gave a slight nod as he blushed a bit. He grinned akwardly, and slowly got up, offering Martini a hoof, as he stood there, stilll a bit tense. ''W-we s-should.. u-uhm.. g-get out of h-here!'' he said, nervous as ever. Afterall, it was still a mare, and not an ugly one for that matter. Not that any of that helped him talk or even assist her for that matter. ''B-B-Brazil! W-we should g-get out of h-here!''

Survey looked around, and noticed the broken Puzzle Cube laying on the ground, as he quickly used his magic to fetch it, trying to do it as gently as possible, so no more blocks could fall out. ''A-alright.. w-well.. i'll b-be f-fixing this w-when i g-get home..'' he said, sighing a bit, placing it in his saddlebag, looking back at Martini, still offering his hoof. ''L-let's.. l-leave.. n-now..'' he said, back to his very nervous state.

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The stallion mook that had followed Martini Paradise up the stairs readied himself. The chandelier swung back, and just at the point where it was closest to the stallion, he ran forward and leapt into the air. Just as the chandelier started to swing away again. The stallion's eyes widened, and he made several grabs for the retreating chandelier - all too short. His legs pinwheeled in midair, and he plummeted down to crash into a table, shattering it, laying amongst the wreckage with his eyes swirling much like the eyes of the mare that Martini had landed on.

Baron von Hoofington sighed and shook his head. Well, time to get involved, he supposed. It's not like it was any sort of surprise - the blasted Doctor Nut always messed up his minions - even if he was supposed to be half of Equestria away. And if you wanted something done right...

As Doctor Nut bowled over the group of minions, Baron von Hoofington lowered his head and charged forward, pounding into Brazil Nut's side and knocking him over, running him back up hard against the bar, then flipping over him to land atop the bar. Bottles scattered over the place, crashing to the floor in a cacophonic shower, sending booze splashing everywhere as they shattered.

"Hyu, leetle minions, hyu take ze filly an' ze shmall vun! Hy trust hyu kin do zat?" The four huge stallions grunted and scrambled towards Martini and Survey, snarling angrily. Well, the Baron wasn't worried - he'd already proven himself by beating the seventh one, the biggest one, senseless in single combat. They weren't going to turn on him.

Baron von Hoofington hopped up on his rear hooves and punched his forehooves a few times, hitting the air. "Und Doktor Nut, time for hyu an' me to have a bit of fun, ya? Hyu know it alvays comes down to zis. Vat vus I expecting, ya?"

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Martini took the nervous unicorn's hoof as she got back up on all fours. He was a strange contrast to the dashing, bold, outgoing earth pony Brazil Nut; it really made her wonder how these two ended up together. There was no time to ponder such thoughts in the commotion, though - Martini quickly swung around to witness the striking brown earth pony barrel through his would-be capturers with such magnificent form. At first she was just awe-struck by his handsome heroics, until it dawned upon her that all the furniture in the bar was being utterly destroyed. "Oh no! Not the _piano_!" Martini's exclamation came too late as one of the burly hoodlums went crashing into the large clavichord with such force as to knock it over and splinter its mahogany frame. Martini flinched with a twisted look on her face. "Oh, Celestia ... That costs more than a year's salary ..."

Things only got worse when that deplorable "Baron" suddenly leaped over Brazil and onto the bar, kicking up a fuss in his bluster, sending all her glasses and bottles everywhere with his hind hooves as he danced around the bar, jabbing at the air. "Wait ... Not the!" She exclaimed as another bottle of expensive wine shattered on the floor. "No, no, watch out for the whisk-" An unmarked square bottle went flying in a spray of pricy golden liquid. "Arrrrgh ... Like, he's totally wrecking everything in my bar! That odious, bogus mule!" Martini was turning visibly redder, starting to yell in her native Gallapagous accent as the baron kept kicking bottles into others, spilling spirits of every kind as he yelled in his incomprehensible vernacular. "That dude is totally wrecking my bar, totally bogus! Completely UNexcellent! How am I going to pay for all of this!"

Before she could gallop over to the bar and give the Pegasus a piece of her mind, four of the minions managed to recover enough under his barking at them to be charging her and Brazil's timid companion once again. Martini wanted to flee, to get out of the bar as quickly as possible, but she couldn't just leave her would be rescuers and she certainly wasn't going to leave her trinket behind. There was just NO WAY she was going to let that greaseball, bogus noble of a Pegasus get his hooves on it! She quickly looked back at the trembling chartreuse unicorn, "use your magic!" With that she looked off to the side, picking up a red mahogany stool with her horn, "Oh Miss Sterling, I am so sorry about this!" With her apology to the absent owner, magically threw the stool in a spinning motion towards the hooves of the front goon, catching his legs in its frame and causing him to tumble right onto his face with a hard crash, one of his companions tripping right over him before regaining his balance. Unfortunately the remaining three kept barreling forward. Martini quickly looked around, and spotted one of the card tables. She didn't have enough energy to lift it, but she could still move it! With all her might she quickly slid the table right into their path, watching as one hit it with such force as to almost crack it in two, "Oh, Ceslestia, how am I going to afford this?" Her worry then suddenly turned to renewed rage. "This is, like, totally coming out of your wallets or your HIDES!" Colliding with the table knocked the goon completely senseless. The other two managed to dodge the obstacle, one galloped right towards her. Not a problem though! As the large goon was about to leap, she magically bonked him over the head with a broken stool leg, knocking him unconscious.

Martini smirked at that clever little move and was about to say something sarcastic when she saw the last remaining goon charge Brazil's assistant. "Like, use your magic! Use your magic!!" She yelled out, flailing her forehooves.

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Oh this was getting far too messy far too quickly - the bar was becoming more and more of a wreck, and Brazil found himself feeling sorry for Martini with every broken stool, table and bottle that the fight taking place created. ENOUGH of these shenanigans - it was time for the showdown with his rival...!

" HOOFINGTON! " Brazil brayed, getting to his hooves, before bucking an approaching goon in the face who had been approaching from behind.

" You've gone too far tonight...you came here and ruined the delightful Miss Paradise's bar and have made the poor mare quite beside herself. I can stand a slight against myself, but... "

Brazil stomps the ground below him angrily - the sheer anger of the moment beginning to well up within him like an overflowing cup of rage....

" I will not take these actions against somepony innocent of everything except having something you want - for Martini, I hereby demand Satisfaction! "

The brown earth pony galloped his way across to the bar, leaping onto it with great gusto before skidding to a halt on the surface...it was polished and a tad wet from the spilt drinks and bottles, broken glass littering it with promise of great pain if one should stumble here.

" You're nothing but a thieving... " Brazil says, snorting with growing annoyed fury. " conniving cad - and I refuse to buckle into the demands of a pony like YOU! "

he says, stomping the wooden bar with both hooves. " If it's a fight you want...then it's a fight I'll gladly deliver! "

Brazil reared up on his hind hooves with a loud neigh, before leaping at his adversary - there was no going back from this now!

He yells out one word, a thunderous battlecry to demonstrate that he was entirely prepared to throw his all into this confrontation...loud enough to be heard by all!

" GERONIMO! "

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Survey gasped at the mare, as he looked around in a panic. ''M-Magic! R-Right!'' he said to himself, as he looked around for things to hurl at the thug coming towards him. He looked at several things, untill glancing over at a bookshelve. ''I-i'm s-sorry f-for this!'' he said to the mare, as he quickly used his magic to hurl the books from the shelve at the thug running towards him, hitting him in his face and his hooves. As he kept hurling books at the pony, them not being that effective as hoped.

As the thug kept coming closer, he ran out of books. He gulped, and closed his eyes, grunting, as he tried to make all the books he'd threwn into one big heap and threw it at the thug. The thug got hit and fell to the ground, now covered in a pile of books. He looked at the place where the mare was standing with a sad look. ''S-sorry about t-the..'' he tried to finish the line, as he remembers that he still needed to fetch a piece of his broken puzzle cube. ''U-Uhm, Brazil!'' he yelled, noticing that he was busy, he sighed. ''F-fine! I'll s-search for i-it myself..'' he mumbled to himself, as he began looking around the bar for his beloved puzzle cube piece.

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Baron von Hoofington grinned a toothy, eager grin as Brazil Nut leapt at him with that hated cry. Theirs was an old rivalry - no time needed to assess each other's fighting style, or feel each other out. They knew each other too well. Brazil Nut was bigger, stronger - Baron von Hoofington had to be faster, wilier. Despite being on only his hind legs at the moment, he nonetheless gave a little hop into the air - a hop that a flutter of his wings turned into a larger leap. As Brazil Nut's wild charge passed under him, he kicked out with one hind hoof to send the brazen adventurer tumbling along the bar's counter.

Ha! Score one for the little pony! He was just landing and turning when one of Brazil Nut's hooves caught him across the jaw, sending him stumbling backwards. He rubbed at his jaw, grinned up at his adversary. "Oh, so zat's how it iz, ya?" He leapt forward with a wild, exultant, and not-quite-sane grin, looked in hoof-to-hoof combat.

The two stallions and the mare trying to grab Martini were having a hard time of it. One stallion ducked the first bottle Martini threw at him, glancing backwards after it, and looked forward to let out a triumphant "Ha!" just in time to catch the stool in the face, knocking him head over hooves. The other stallion tried to dodge and bumped into the mare, sending them both tumbling over each other. The mare smacked the stallion with an exclamation of "Idiot!" before the card table crashed into both of them. The hail of items from all around the bar had them stumbling and off-balance, desperately trying to recover.

The last stallion, trying to grab Survey, seemed to be doing much better. There weren't many saloons with bookshelves, but these books were carefully chosen. The stallion contemptuously batted down the first book, "Roughrider Relics - Lost Treasures of the West," as well as the second, "Desert Plants - A Survival Guide." There were a couple western romance novels - "Love at High Noon," by Louise LeMare, and "Heartthrob Shootout" by Desert Rose, which the stallion ducked while barely trying. Book after book flew at him, such as "Makeshift Weapons - Make the Most of your Surroundings," and "Gold Digging - How to Get More Lumps." The massive stallion either batted the books aside or ducked under their arcing path, till he was standing over Survey.

"No books left," he chuckled down at the little unicorn, looming ominously, a great big grin on his face as he contemplated that he would be the only mook to have succeeded in catching one of these annoying pests. He didn't even notice the giant swarm of books floating over him, not till they all fell atop him in one giant heap. All that stuck out from under the pile was a single hoof that twitch-twitched weakly, then went still.

Baron von Hoofington flew off the bar counter to crash loudly into a shelf full of bottles behind it, laying there amidst broken glass and spilling booze. He groaned, wiping at the side of his mouth with one hoof. He'd gotten in several good hits - Brazil Nut would be limping for a day or two, he was sure - but he'd gotten several good hits, too. The Baron carefully reached up to make sure his hat was still there. Phew, it was. He let the room stop spinning for a moment before getting back to his feet with a soft growl. Woog. Everything swam just a little before him. He thought that he was even hallucinating a little - he could swear he could see the first half of the key laying on the bar right in front of him!

...

That was it! He darted forward and grabbed up the key in his teeth, the chain dangling from his mouth. "Fine, hyu vin zis round, Doktor Nut! But I vin ze day!" He turned and ran, darting out past the side of the bar and up the staircase, letting out a crazed cackle as his hooves thumped loudly and swiftly on the wooden stairs. Those nuisance ponies were all piled up in a heap in front of the front door, but there were other ways out!

He lowered his shoulder as he crashed into the door at the end of the hall, breaking into one of the rooms for rent. A green filly jumped up out of bed, her yellow mane in curlers, blinking the sleep out of her eyes ... she focused on Baron von Hoofington ... and then let out a shrill and piercing shriek of terror.

"Oye, Don' vurry, fohlen! I vill-" He didn't get to finish as a pillow hit him in the face. He brushed it aside and tried again. "I vas sayink-" Another pillow hit him in the face. He brushed that aside, too. "Oye! Vot do hyu-" He ducked a table. "Hy t'ink hyu over-reacting -" A rubber chicken flew past him. He stopped and looked back at it. "Now dot's just vierd."

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Martini Paradise stared in horror as the two ponies fought their way across the top of the bar. Bars are not for standing on, bars are for serving drinks! Well, except that one Coyote bar she worked in where she was supposed to dance ... but that was completely different! And what's worse, they were fighting up and down the bar and knocking bottles off onto the floor, shattering them and their precious contents!

"MOST heinous!" she cried in frustration, her horn glowing as she desperately grabbed at the bottle of 10-year Canternay, but flinched as she missed the bottle of 8-year Pedigree Rye whiskey! "Nooo! Oh, that was such a most excellent -" A dark brown bottle of Highland Scotch got knocked down, and she caught it right before it hit the floor, floating it over to set it safely onto a shelf. "Dudes, would you watch out-", her Gallopocus Island accent leaped into the fore as she sputtered through half-sentences, grabbing bottle after bottle from underhoof. "Not the - *crash* *flinch* Oog ... that was such a totally smooth Beakback vodka!" The bottles she rescued flew through the air to fit haphazardly onto the liquor shelves, as Martini tried to save as many of the pricy bottles as she could. "Like, could you please, like, try to smash only the cheap swill?!"

She stepped up higher to get a better look, not even realizing what she was stepping upon - the pile of broken furniture and goons that she'd knocked out during the fight. She ended up standing on top of a stallion whose tongue was lolling out and whose eyes were spinning dizzily, her own face intent on rescuing her precious charge of liquor from the battling stallions. "Dudes, most egregious!" Finally, all the bottles of the good stuff were cleared from the bar and tucked away on the shelf ... or broken and spilled all over the floor. She'd saved most of the good stuff, though. She let out a sigh of relief as she sagged tiredly from the panicked effort.

SMASH! The erstwhile Baron had gone flying through the air to crash into the very shelf she'd just loaded up with all the most expensive liquors in the establishment, shattering almost every last bottle in an expensive and wasteful spray. Martini just stared, disbelieving. No, it ... it couldn't have just happened. That ... no. How had her world just turned upside down? Everything had been perfectly normal as of ... ten minutes ago? She glanced at the clock to check ... But the clock.. It was broken too!

Something felt like it snapped inside her. Everything seemed to turn white in front of her eyes, her teeth gritted, a fierce and burning rage rising up in her. A soft growl started in the back of her throat, building louder and louder, and any second it would erupt in a shriek of rage and frustration...

Baron von Hoofington stood up from behind the bar, a familiar chain dangling from between his teeth. The hot rage suddenly was doused by an ice-cold lump that settled somewhere in her stomach. Her trinket! That loser had her trinket! As the green pegasus dashed up stairs, Martini leapt from the pile of goons determine to give chase. She wasn't sure what room he had ran into until she heard the screams of a young mare patron who was staying overnight.

Quickly following through the broken door, Martini ran in only to watch the panicked young, sky-blue earth mare toss a rubber chicken at Baron von Hoofington from her bed while covering herself up. "He ... he burst into my room while I was sleeping! And I'm naked!!" She screamed at Martini in an indignant tone. Martini just looked down at herself before plainly rolling her eyes. Ponies don't normally wear clothes. What was really odd was the rubber chicken ... Why did she have a rubber chicken in the bed!? Martini shook her head, never mind about that, it was the trinket that was important.

Martini quickly refocused on that horrible baron who had managed to turn her entire life upside down in only a few short minutes, "You! You low life, grody, greasy, common thug with a, like, totally trashy hat that barfs me out! You give my heirloom back or ..." Quickly looking around, all she could spot that was readily available was that same rubber chicken. She picked it up with her magic and began to spin it rapidly enough to make a buzzing sound as it whirled. "Or I will give you SUCH a wallop with this, and I promise, it will, like, totally hurt!!"

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Ugh - that Baron...Brazil found himself slumped down from the bar in a crashed daze, which he shakes off as much as possible...although DAMN, he still hurt all over. Brazil couldn't allow himself to just lay there and let things happen - that just wasn't his style!

In light of the adventurers condition previously, the baron had made his escape upstairs...forcing Brazil to follow suit as he made his way over to where a rather bizarre chain of events had just taken place, as the baron found himself being verbally assaulted by a mystery mare momentarily before said mare throwing a rubber chicken in his direction...which Martini had managed to 'take' via the power of Unicorn telekinesis and was now proceeding to shake it threateningly at the source of all her problems right now...

Brazil found himself pausing and watching Martini a moment, a wry smile forming on his muzzle as the Mare uttered threats of comedy violence against his personal foe, the Baron. He'd never seen somepony as worked up or as enraged as this poor Barmare who'd been expecting a good evening out but instead had been dragged into Brazils own world of crazy - he couldn't help but feel somewhat sorry for what she had been through...but at the same time he found himself gaining a whole new respect. Anypony who could stand up for themselves against an arrogant and despicable pony such as Baron von Hoofington was worthwhile getting to know.

" It looks like you've bitten off more than you can chew, Dear Baron! " Brazil says, watching as the angered mare rounded on him with the glare of pure anger burned within her eyes like a candle getting it's second wind. " Give her back the trinket - You're only making this all harder on yourself, you know that! "

He gestured behind him, downstairs - the dazed crowd of goons had given up trying to get up for more, as Survey stood there bemused and unsure what to do.

" You have to deal with the three of us, compared to the one of you...an' I get the idea your backups had it for the night, unless you've got somethin' stuffed in your cape there - which I very much doubt! " the earth pony says, aching and bruised but still just about oozing his usual levels of arrogant charm.

" So unless you wanna meet with Fowl play, drop the trinket an' get outta here! "

Oh sure, he wasn't sure just if the Baron had any means of escaping or if he had anything else that might spell trouble...but at this point, the bar was already trashed and Martini was clearly already quite upset - how could tonight actually possibly get any worse?

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Survey had no idea what to do, as he knew he was too weak to fight the baron, he really wanted to help. He has tried to take fighting lessons once, only resulting in the pony giving the fighting class to punch him when he kept on stuttering too much. Those were some less great times. He knew he was just cursed to always get in trouble somehow! He knew he had to do something to help his boss, however, he wasn't sure he could do... well.. anything usefull. He could have a try at hitting the goons with a blunt object, but since he didn't seen any non-broken furniture, and only small objects, he ran over to the one goon he could defeat, the one buried under the pile of books. Atleast one of those books could work as a weapon. How effective that would be, will probably not been tought about by Survey.

''U-uhm.. s-sorry sir..'' he said to the unconcious pony lying under the mountain of books. He was feeling a bit guilty, as the crook was only working for that baron because of the bits he could earn from the job. He grabbed a small amount of bits from his saddlebag, and placed them infront of the pile of books. ''E-excuse me, f-for the.. l-literature..'' he mumbled, as he searched trough the pile, making sure not to touch the stallion. He found many big books, however they all sounded very interesting, so he just left them be. He did found a dictionary and an old, empty book. He looked at the goons and threw the dictionary at them, aiming for all three of them, as he tought it would atleast hit one of them.

After he had thrown the other book, he grabbed the remaining book, the small one. It was slightly covered in dust, and looking quite rare. Survey, a fan of good books, for foals or for stallions, decided to take a look, and since it was indeed, empty, so he levitated a quill from his bag, and looked around for a place to write. As he saw a table, toppled over from the fight, lying on the floor. As he trotted over there, forgetting most things happening around him, knocked a lit candle over, placing his table right next to the fallen - and now almost fire causing - candle. He placed the book ontop of it, and levitated the quill onto the paper, writing his name on the first paper. As he wrote it, he ran out of available ink, so he looked back at where the ponies were fighting, only to notice the small flame the candle had caused, the flames scorching quite a bit of the wooden floor. ''A-AAah! F-F-Fire! H-Hot! A-A-Ah!'' he yells in panic, quickly levitating his gear back into his saddlebag, the side of the book catching flame. As Survey quickly noticed this, he began trying to blow it out, making it only bigger, while he did that, he threw it on the ground, and stomped on it, causing the flame to die out. While he was busy with his flamable book, the other flame was now starting to become bigger, easily noticable by the other ponies.

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Baron von Hoofington ducked the incoming objects, snarling in frustration as the delay caused that bartender and the blasted Doctor Nut to catch up with him! He didn't have any particular malice towards the bartender. Why hadn't she just sold him the key?! He'd tried to do things the nice way! They never listened! Well, he'd go his way, and she'd go hers, and he'd never have to see her again. The foal.

He froze at her words... and stared at her as a new light of absolute hatred lit in his eyes. "T ... Trashy ... hat?" he asked, his voice starting to shake his teeth practically becoming sharp in his frothing fury. "TRASHY?! HAT?! Hyu liddle foal! Vot is hyu callink a tashy hat? Dis hat is de verra finest of fashion! Hy iz searchink for days to gets just de right hat! Hy... Hyu... RAAAAAARGH!"

The baron spun around and, in a burst of furious strength normally beyond the diminutive pegasus, kicked the bed so that it flew towards the door and crashed into the two ponies there, the third pony screaming and clutching her pillow as she flew along with the bed, all three ponies getting buried in the wreckage of bed and wall, a cloud of feathers puffing out from the burst mattress and pillows.

The brief spurt of insane rage seemed to clear the Baron's mind, though he was still seething. His mouth opened in a furious yell, the trinket on its chain practically floating inside his mouth as he monologued. "Hyu tink hyu is a shmot gal, huh? Vell, sveethot, hyu just made de list!" He snorted a bit at Brazil Nut - though for the moment, he actually hated Martini more than his rival. "Hy am Baron von Hoofington! Und mine brains gots plenty of backoop plans! Hyu kin try all hyu vant, but de Baron vill alvays vin! Mine minions ain't mine shtrength - iz mine shmots vot makes me shtrong! Do no mistake dat I am a leedle pony! I vill neffer giff up, no matter how funny hyu all tink hy am! NEFFER FORGET WHO HY AM!" He suddenly calmed down, then, and gave a wicked grin. "And hy vin dis day, because hy gots de key. Und I do not forget dot."

With that, he reared up, front legs kicking the air, and spun around to gallop towards the window of the room. He leaped through it, hooves covering his face, the glass shattering around him. He dropped out of sight for just a moment, before his dark form could be seen lifting up again beyond, his wings flapping mightily to swiftly carry him away from the saloon.

In the chaos left behind by his flight, the cloud of feathers floated over the railing and drifted down into the main room, where Survey beat valiantly at the flames - one feather was touched by a spark and burst into flames, and the entire cloud went up, settling all over the saloon to set dozens of little flames. One settled into all the spilled spirits, and the alcohol lit up too, sending a wash of blue flame across floor and bar, the building igniting right and proper.

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