A spring evening
Sky Blue, Marble Memory, Cheerilee
OOC Date: April 6, 2014
Characters: Sky Blue, Rainbow Dash, Marble Memory, Cheerilee
Setting: A cold one after work becomes a query about workplace safety regulations
((Note: See Rainbow and Sky's previous meeting here: <a href="http://equestriamuck.proboards.com/thread/433/mead-meanderings">http://equestriamuck.proboards.com/thread/433/mead-meanderings</a> ))
It's business as usual in the Sky and Salsa Meadery! A bustle of various ponies are gathered around tables, playing darts, and sitting up at the bar, where the titular cyan pony is busy serving drinks, while Screwloose is trotting around and delivering pastries to various tables, while an insane saucemare can be heard muttering loudly in the kitchen. Business as usual! And no young 'un's allowed. ESPECIALLY after what happened when Nitro Nine and Twist visited.
Rainbow_Dash is feeling really swell right now. She passed her Wonderbolts history test, her workload is lightening up thanks to the spring, and she finally found some free time to just chillax. With a satisfied gait she trots into the Meadery, taking in the sights and sounds of this long-missed establishment. Hey, just like new!
Cider, cider, three pastries, four pastries and a cider... phew! Sky Blue wipes a hoof across her forehead. The queue is finally clear, some bar stools are freed up, and now she can relax. And, later, maybe count vast piles of bits. That's when Rainbow Dash enters, and a big squeaky smile appears on the young filly's face. "HOWDY, RAINBOW DASH!" she bellows across the establishment, at her usual cacophonic levels. "Long time no see! What can ah get fer y'all?"
"Whoa, hey!" Rainbow Dash utters, taken aback by the other pony's speed. "Hey, it's Sky Blue, right? It's definitely been a while, for sure! You, uh..." She looks around. "You got the place tidied up from that...thing that happened, heh."
"Yeah, the insurance finally arrived, and so ah got some help buildin' it back up!" Sky Blue declares, sounding as excitable as ever. "Now ah'm splittin' mah time between tendin' bar here, helpin' out Derpy with the mail, and workin' in the mine. It's good t'be all real busy again! Plus, ah miss the company y'all get with a bar. Can ah get y'all a cider? And a Haynish pastry? On the house."
"Free food is always great, heheh, sure!" Rainbow Dash quips, walking over to the bar and settling into a seat. Ah, nice and plush. "Wait, so you really /do/ have a mine? It's not some crazy rumour?"
"Yup! And nope!" The mare ducks down behind the bar, then pops up moments later with a tankard of cider, plonks it down on the counter, then repeats the trick with a icing-covered pastry. "Y'all see that trapdoor over there?" Sky asks, pointing over a large and totally not OSHA-approved trapdoor behind the counter. "Ah decided t'start minin' again. Ah tried it once before, but the chancellor came along and told me ah couldn't dig anymore 'cause of subsidence or buildings collapsin' or some such. This new one runs all the way under Ponyville!"
"Huh!" Rainbow Dash says, peering over at the trapdoor. "I didn't think you could actually do that! I figured that, you know, if they wanted a mine they'd send some fancypony with, uh, royal letters and stuff, and a whole bunch of servants for him too. Wait, did you say all under Ponyville?" She regards the earth mare with a little worry.
"Yup!" Sky Blue replies, smiling brightly and looking quite unaware of the fact that she's potentially doomed the whole town. "Ah'm surprised ah ain't been visited by fancy ponies in suits'n stuff, though..." she adds, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "Ah suppose they were all too busy with important things t'come see mah silly old mine. And ah ain't had a cave-in fer over two weeks! It's a personal record!"
Rainbow_Dash idly takes up the tankard and sips it surreptituously, hoping the delicious taste will calm her new anxiety. "And...how long how you had this mine by now?"
"Oh, ah ain't much good fer numbers!" Sky Blue says, giving a hearty Applejack-esque chuckle to boot. "Ah reckon it's just shy of a moon or so?" A low rumble and a dull thud sounds from the direction of the trap door, prompting the filly to slap the counter and mutter, "Gosh darn it."
Rainbow_Dash suddenly realizes that her day has shifted from 'Cheery' to 'Concerning'. "Uh...what was that?"
"Probably just another cave-in," Sky Blue says casually, with an idle wave of her hoof. "Ah still don't understand why those darn tunnels won't stay up by themselves. The earth doesn't move when ah ain't diggin' in them, so why does it move when ah dig in 'em? Anyhow, enough of that. How're y'all doin' today, Rainbow Dash?" Another distant thudcrash.
Rainbow_Dash is no expert on matters geological, but even she is able to surmise that this mine is very much doomed. "Oh, I'm doing pretty good, considering," she answers, having a nibble of her haynish, and resolving to let the town authorities worry about Sky Blue's irregular economic activities. "Spring's a bit easier than winter to deal with, but there's still all the rain and the warm fronts and stuff."
Sky Blue is no expert on matters meteorological, but... well, no, that's it, really. "Ah sure ah wish ah was a pegasi," the earth pony sighs, gazing dreamily out of a convenient window. "Bein' able t'fly this way and that, make things all nice'n sunny, t'go up t'Cloudsdale, and do all that real fancy stuff y'all do." A third rumble.
Tact demands that Rainbow Dash says something about the advantages of being an earth pony over being a pegasi, but since she can't think of any she just nods politely as she has another swig of cider. "Aren't you, uh, a little worried about that...shaking stuff?"
"What, that? Nah." Another casual hoof wave. "It's just a shame when a tunnel collapses," Sky Blue explains, walking over towards the trap door, flinging it open, then sticking her head in. "There's so many real fancy gems down there that ah lose out when there's a cave in." She pulls her head out, now distinctly dusty, and moves back over to the counter in front of Rainbow Dash. "Why, just the other day, ah found a diamond the size of yer head!"
"Guess there's a lot of money in this mining stuff!" Rainbow Dash observes redundantly, trying to put the collapsing mine out of her mind. She fails. "Are you sure you're not about to WRECK THE WHOLE TOWN?"
A confused and concerned expression that should rightly stay permanently upon Sky Blue's face decides to make an appearance. "What're y'all sayin', Rainbow Dash?" she asks, souinding worried.
"FOR THE LOVE OF CELESTIA STOP THE MADNESS!" Marble (Pareto) Roosevelt Memory shrieks as he walks into the meadery, looking haggard and worn out.
"I mean you're totally digging holes under ponies' houses that's gonna make them fall into the...the ground! If you keep going you'll make half the town sink!" She takes several agitated before downing a large portion of her cider, and that's when Marbs shows up. "Look, you even brought the paper-pusher in!"
... and cue the Apple Bloom-style flailings. "What the hay am ah gonna do?!" Sky Blue exclaims, grasping Rainbow Dash by the... whatever ponies can be grasped by, and shaking her back and forth. "Ah don't want Ponyville t'be destroyed! It'll be another Black Rock all over again! What'll ah do, Rainbow Dash? Ah can't come up with any bright ideas! Ah need help!"
"YOU are not going to do anything more! YOU are the cause of this mess. It's a wonder I am not having another coronary." Marble says. Helps he keeps his pills with him at all times. "We'll have to send an expert team of contractors to repair the damage."
"Yeah, what, uh, he said!" Rainbow Dash says, trusting that Marble, for all his weirdness, knows something about safety. "You're gonna have to, well, err..." She leans over to MArble. "Psst...what does she have to do?"
"Just... stop mining or whatever it is she thinks she was doing. She had no license, or training or authority to start mining out our town. Be glad I'm not the Chancellor anymore or I'd probably kick you out!" Marble says angrily.
"But-but-but..." Sky Blue looks at a loss for words. She sinks down on her bar stool, her eyes wide and shoulders lowered. "But ah've been donatin' over half of whatever ah've mined t'Ponyville, the Filly Scouts, and the Homeless Society! Ah though ah was doin' good fer everypony!"
Rainbow_Dash somehow doubts that Marble ever had that authority even when he was the Chancellor, but still. "Fat lotta good it'll do if I gotta buy snacks from a hole in the ground!" Rainbow Dash states. "Like...you gotta do that stuff that miners do to keep the tunnels from falling apart, and...stuff!"
"No! She's done mining! Forever! This little incident here pretty much guarantees she won't be licensed. And the costs in the damage to Ponyville pretty well outweighs all the donations." Marble starts flitting out copies of paperwork documenting the costs. "All-told her mining operations could very well BANKRUPT Ponyville."
The young blue filly's eyes start to well up. Then, abruptly, and with a wail, Sky Blue gets off her stool and gallops out of the meadery, leaving a trail of tears in her wake.
Rainbow_Dash gawks as Sky Blue makes her dramatic, tearful departure, persisting in awkward silence for quite some time. "...Well, that escalated quickly," she comments, musing as she consumes her haynish.
"Well, paperwork is a messy, unpleasant business. So many ponies think we're just wimps in bureaucracy... but we have to face the REALITY of EVERYTHING in Equestria. EVERYTHING." Marble says, then sits on a stool. "... I forgot she was in charge of tending the bar here..."
"What was THAT all about?" asks a slightly soused-sounding Cheerilee, as she comes walking up behind the pen-pusher and awesome hero of the Equestrian skies, then climbs into a seat on Rainbow Dash's other side. Marble Memory may or may not have just recieved a narrowing of eyes that may or may not have something to do with his reign of tyranny as the curriculum editor.
"Hey Miss Cheerilee," Rainbow Dash greets, giving a little wave. By now she's finished her whole pastry and downed all the cider too. "I should be going, guys, I, uh..." She doesn't even come up with a reason, but just slips off, a bit flummoxed by this odd evening.
Marble sighs and leans his head on a hoof rested on the bar. "Ugh. Why oh why did my wife want to live here?" Marble says grumpily.
Sunday, April 6, 2014