1691 replies and 23 files omitted.
One of Melon Mangrove's tables just opened up
Another couple has arrived
Splendid! The large group can finally sit down.
Another couple enters
And another table of Melon Mangrove's leaves
The couple there first gets to sit at Melon's table.
... But another couple enters. As does an older mare with two adolescent colts.
Oh dear! Amber frets about this, though less so than before when it was even more overwhelming.
The mare with the two adolescent colts is considering turning away
But another old couple with a middle aged couple in the same group enter
But one of De Sew's tables, and one of Cream pop's booths opens up
>>143432"Oh no, please don't leave! A table just opened up."
She gives them Cream Pop's booth. The first remaining couple gets De Sew's table.
Roll diplomacy for good measure
It looks like this succeeds
The two couples (one group) remain waiting[1d4 = 4] [1d5 = 4][1d4 = 3] [1d4 = 4][1d4 = 2] [1d4 = 3]
One couple enters, as does another family with a young looking mare and stallion with two small foals.
Two tables leave. Both Larkhaven.
Amber asks the two couples, "You wouldn't mind eating at separate tables that are close together, would you?"
A mare answers
“The point of going out with my son and daughter in law, is to go out with my son and daughter in law.”
>>143442"Erm, of course. Please wait a moment."
The two couples not affiliated with them are called forth and given Larkhaven's tables.
Spark continues down the road with the wolves.
Trips, held securely in hoof
I bet the next post will be amazing!
Be patient, it'll likely be a few days.
The road continues, curving in a large arc, occasionally intersecting with or splitting off into what must be other major roads. The group periodically passes the slant-roofed, mostly one or two story buildings that dot the length of the road: a furniture store here, and a firestation there. But this is no commercial avenue, nor residential street. It is a larger thoroughfare that evidently connects parts of the city, and for the most part commercial and residential constructions exist further away from the road. Yet few trucks, carts and automobiles pass them, and even fewer pedestrians. Some do, forcing the group to stay well clear on the side. Though most of the length is adorned with sidewalks, in areas there is only the snow covered grass, forcing them to walk in the snow.
Perhaps it isn't the occupation that keeps ponies off the roads. There is something unpleasant about the air. The temperature has not risen above 20 with the afternoon sun, and whereas the forest had trees, and the denser parts of the city multistory buildings, to block the flow of the wind, it blows unimpeded here, perhaps even funneled by the buildings around it. Snowflakes, sometimes large, sometimes small, fall in small numbers from the clouded and overcast sky. There is a hint of diesel and coal smoke in the air. The doctor tries to keep his legs close together, and his head closer to his chest in the cold and wind. Waabishki is is not fazed by the wind and weather, but her nose twitches at the faint but unwelcome smell. Makade is not bothered by either, simply pressing forward.
The group turns off onto an avenue, and then a couple blocks to Rainey Street. Spark's journey is uneventful, really, though drones in uniform and with guns occasionally stand in pairs at street corners. The distance travelled by the creatures in total isn't actually that great, perhaps three and a half miles in full. Rainey street is two lanes, paved in concrete, and sided by parallel parking spaces and street lamps. Carts dominate over automobiles, which are scarce, at least out in the open. To each side are rowhouses, with a small patch of grass or tree in front of some and a short walkway to each door. The houses are two floors, though often windows are placed in the slanted or sometimes gambrel roofs, and walls vary in color from grey brick to bright red, usually alternating so that houses can be differentiated from each other.
325 Rainey Street is a house of approximately this description - a bright red two floor brick house with a window appearing out of a gambrel roof, closed blinds on the windows, a ight orange wooden door with a small window on the front, and a leafless tree only twice Spark's height in front.
Spark has arrived
Spark knocks on the door.
For a moment, there is nothing. But Spark sees a movement through the small window, and the door opens part way. Through the crack, the muzzle of a grey unicorn sticks out, looks over to Spark.
"Who is it?"
"Makade and company. May I ask you who you are as well?"
With a hint of uncertainty, or unease, the pony answers
Barely a second has passed before his eyes turn past Spark and to those behind him. He quickly swings open the door, and Spark can see that he wears a green sweater. He smiles, and turns his head back, yelling into the room
"Petal Dew, Lyka is here!"
Spark turns to Makade to see his reaction.
Makade leans a bit to the side and slightly lowers his make, while Waabiski’s ears rise to attention with intrigue.
Spark motions them inside.
The doctor moves forward rather quickly, shaking and patting his fur before entering to remove the few flakes of snow.
"So good to be out of the cold" He remarks
Waabishki is next, and she moves her head around looking from side to side. Makade is last, cautiously walking in. Ply Press walks forward towards Makade, and asks
"What brings you back?"
The entry foyer is kind of small, with stairs to the right, and over to the left is a larger room with wood floors, a chair, two couches, a radio, a couple tables and several pictures up. There is a small hallway between the stairs and the room
Spark watches if Makade will answer.
Makade looks over to Spark, with an almost unsettled expression, as if he expects Spark to answer for him. When this does not occur, he turns back to look at Ply Press.
"We are here for... well, for medical services for someone from the Zagaskway. We were... well, we need to stay somewhere, for at least a few hours. So I came here."
A rose red unicorn mare with her brown mane tied back and wearing a blue shirt walks down the stairs.
"Lyka! You're back!" She immediately runs to Makade, and sits down in front of him, pressing her hooves into each of his cheeks
Makade folds his ears back as she continues rubbing his cheeks, and then expresses surprise and then fear as she comes in for a hug
"It's been so long. I was worried for you!"
Waabishki, who sits at a safe distance, desn't hide her smile
"I'm sorry for the unannounced arrival. The circumstances have been a bit unavoidable."
She looks up for a moment in the direction of Spark. Ply Press is already looking his way. She gets up, an walks over towards Spark, granting Makade a reprieve. "Why hello! I'm Petal Dew. Who are you?"
She offers a hoof to shake
Spark shakes her hoof.
"I'm Spark. It's nice to meet you."
She shakes his hoof. Her shake is firm, but she releases perhaps more quickly than her excitement would imply.
"What brings you here?"
"There was a bit of a medical emergency in Madake's village. We had to transport his friend over to the hospital here for treatment."
Spark is curious about the new name, but figures that they must have a nickname for each other.
She turns over back to Makade, and quickly walks back to him
"'Makade'? Using your tribal name?"
Without warning, she presses her hoof onto Makade's head, much to his displeasure.
"I think it's cute."
"I hope you don't mind us staying for a little while. We won't be allowed back to the hospital to check on him until the procedure is done."
"Oh, not at all! We don't get visitors too often since moving here. Why don't you sit yourself down, and make yourself comfortable on those couches. That one right there we got new from Stinny's, since we had to leave the one we had back at the ranch. Do you need anything? Maybe anything to drink, or to eat?"
"I do hate to ask you for such a favor, but I'm sure everyone would like something warm to help thaw out."
"Oh, it's no problem at all. Let me make some tea for you."
And like that, she runs out of the room and through a door that enters into what is presumably
the living room over on the left.
This leaves the doctor, who sits on a couch, Waabishki, who sits on the ground, and Makade, who has not made it far past the entry foyer. Ply Press continues standing, looking at the group.
"Well, uh... make yourself comfortable here."
"I don't mean to pry, but she mentioned a ranch. Did you move here recently?"
"Oh. Yes. We had a property out in Lake County with 40 acres, mostly forest. It was nice, very nice. Not really a 'ranch' because we didn't raise animals, but we call it that. We had it for very many years. I bought it not that long after getting the job with Cardinal from a friend of my father... not long after marrying Petal. But yes, we had to sell it. The, uh, the Changelings... they don't like ponies who live out in the forest. Fortunately I knew somepony in Whinnyapolis who had the house here, so I got a good deal on this house. It's nice, but I miss the backyard.
"Interesting. Maybe I will take it off their hooves sometime. What's this job that you had?"
He tilts his head at the "Take it off their hooves" comment, but he quickly answers Spark's comments
"Cardinal Machinery. I worked as a liaison with the Lumber industry. What I would do is engineering work adjusting and repairing the machines that they sell that slice lumber into veneer. And especially I would work on the machines that would press wood together. I still work with them, sort of."
"Well... The company was placed under a regulatory commission, and is under new management. But my knowledge as an engineer is still valued, so I still work on press machines."
"It's, well... It's different."
"Well, they are Changelings."
"Right. Do they mistreat you?"
"Well... let's say they have a very particular idea of what they want, and how they think it should be done, and they, well they don't always have the best understanding of the machines or the processes in question, or the idiosyncrasies of the local timber."
"New management hardly ever understands."
"Yeah... heh heh. It's different under... creatures
who are a bit less flexible than some others."
At this time, Petal comes back in the room, looking out and yelling
"Water is ready! Do you want tea, coffee maybe?"
Spark motions to the wolves to have first pick.
"Oh, but surely you must"
"Don't worry, we stocked up during the War. We have enough to give out."
"I will take tea"
Petal's eyes grow wide
"You brought a girl
? Oooooh! What is her name?"
"Are you just now noticing?"
And with this, Makade and Waabishki's expression changes
Spark is not sure what to say, so he sees how the wolves will handle it.
Waabishki looks startled, finding herself less safe than she was before. She wraps her tail around herself.
Petal comes into the room, smiling and drawing breath
"Is this your 'someone' she's so pretty."
She comes closer to Waabishki, who scrunches
"You two would look so cute together"
Maakade smiles, evidently enjoying this. Petal tries to come even closer to Waabishki, seemingly to want to make some sort of physical contact, but Waabishki bares her teeth, causing Petal to back off
"You said it has been a long time. How long has it been since Makade came by last?"
Ply Press, still standing, answers
"We haven't seen him at all since the beginning of the War. Not when he left for training. And not much really even since he went up to Zagaskway.">>143497waves back>>143443
Hmmm.... Roll diplomacy
Wait... I am confused as to what is being attempted here
To get them to wait for a table that can seat four ponies.
I believe that one couple is waiting, along with two sets that are between three and five.
The couple has to get a high table.
They are seated, as those left waiting are placated[1d4 = 3] [1d5 = 4][1d4 = 1][1d4 = 4][1d4 = 4][1d4 = 3]
And another Larkhaven table clears out, as still another small group arrives
>>143505Oh Princess, I hope that this ends soon...
she wishes to herself.
Amber proposes to the group of three to eat at a high table, bringing an extra chair from another high table (leaving it suitable as a table for one).
The third pony is a bit skeptical
"Does that really leave us with enough room for our food, though?"
After a moment, they answer
"Sure, we'll give it a try"[1d4 = 4] [1d4 = 1] [1d5 = 5][1d4 = 2] [1d4 = 4][1d4 = 3]
They are seated. The lack of table space is definitely a possible issue, but it is so.
One of Mustard Trim's tables clears out[1d5 = 5]
of Mustard Trim's tables have cleared out
She goes to the group of five. "There are seats available for you now."
They are seated
But what of the two connected couples?
Uh oh, she had suspected she neglected something. Is there space at one of Mustard's tables for all four of them?
With a quick apology she brings them all over.
Hopefully there are no more headaches.
Life is hard, life is stressful.
Another Mustard Trim table opens up, and another larkhaven table opens up, as a group of four mares (looks like friends) and a larger party enters
"Well... a table might be better..."
A small sigh escapes the petite mare. "There's a table on the patio."
And thus, that table is seated.[1d4 = 2] [1d4 = 1] [1d5 = 2][1d4 = 1] [1d4 = 2] [1d5 = 1][1d4 = 1] [1d4 = 1]
Some singles come in, but no tables leave
A single who intends to dine is given the high table with one chair, the others are informed they'll have to enjoy themselves at the bar.
And so, all tables are filled again[1d4 = 2] [1d4 = 4] [1d5 = 4][1d4 = 3] [1d4 = 4] [1d5 = 1][1d4 = 2]
One of De Sew's tables opens, as does one of Larkhaven's. Meanwhile, another table of Larkhaven opens
>>143532Larkhaven's patrons must be in a hurry....
She tries to see if the large group can be squeezed together at De Sew's table.
Pack 'em in like cord wood
Fortunately they seemed accepting of it, having seen how crowded the restaurant is.
It's also a young group, perhaps teenagers or young adults
>>143537I wish I had a group of friends like that I could do things with,
she thinks wistfully to herself. Maybe when I get settled down more.
A pony can dream though. A pony can dream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SaH_JdyQ8M The real question is, how many more cycles of tables do you want to go through?
The patrons come in waves, and as Amber stands strong, the wave crests and breaks. More enter, but from this point onwards, the number entering is fewer than those leaving. Amber catches a break, and nears the end of her shift.
Although it's less stressful for Amber she still must focus on her job. The strain of standing relatively still for a long period of time and her hunger makes it difficult for her, but she continues to put on a cheerful demeanor for newcomers while wishing those who leave a good night.
More... then more... And then finally, 10:30. The cut off for new patrons, at least outside of the bar
She sits down on the floor by the entrance and rubs at her eyes with a fetlock, yawning. It takes her a moment to consider whether she's actually free at this time.
The restaurant isn't closed yet but it is for new patrons. No more hostess work, but she can't leave yet either.
Amber goes into the restaurant and tries not to get in anypony's way. She looks around to see how the waiters have managed and if they're as tired as she is.
Melon has become more lax, talking to a table. Larkhaven, slightly displeased, stands near the kitchen. De Sew is still moving. Cream Pop isn't visible at the moment. Mustard Trim is still running around. Their jobs are not done yet,
>>143547They're doing pretty well for themselves, I hope I can get myself to keep such a brisk pace even on busy days.
Seeing what Melon is doing, an idea forms in her mind. She goes to a nearby table and politely asks the occupants, "Hello all, have you been having a good time?"
A skinny white stallion looks up to Amber
But now I have to go to sleep>>143550
"Well, yeah. It's fun to go out with friends."
"That's quite some time. Did he write at all?"
"Oh yes. We sent him letters, and we got a few from him. One at the beginning of the War, one when he was sent in for training, and one just after its end. But we hadn't heard from him in months. We were worried about him."
Spark takes a look around the room.
"The changelings haven't made it particularly easy for the mail to be sent to and from a forest. But, hopefully that will start to change in the coming months."
"No. No, they haven't."
And after a pause, he adds
"Why is that?">>143557waves
"Just a feeling and a hope that things will be right again."
"A hope... yes..."
At this point, Petal has provided tea, as well as some sort of pastry
"Have you given up, or do you see hope left out there?"
"Well..." This question causes him pause, and Petal starts talking to either the Doctor or Makade - hard to tell.
"Things could be a whole lot worse. I have my health, my lovely Petal Dew, a nice house, and our Lyka is back. Things could really be a whole lot worse."
>>143552"Well, um, I don't want to bother you any longer.
Enjoy the rest of these fixin's and have a good evening!"
She goes into the kitchen for the unenviable prospect of begging for daily bread.
Aww... I'll have the stallion make his response to the original question
The stallion is slightly awkward, but he answers
"Well, we here know each other from school. But you can also get to know ponies at the public swimming pool at the Williams Society."
"Well, they have a few places all around, but uh, yeah, there's one up north a couple miles, and one over in Westtown."
"Well, if you are looking to swim, then swimming outfits. Same for any sports."
>>143569"You have to wear clothes to go swimming?"
She seems surprised by this.
"Heh heh, no. Just if you want to keep your mane, coat and tail in order. Or if you want to be as sleek in the water as possible, for speed."
"Some. I've lived here all my life." He answers
"What do you mean? Like a class in secondary school, or special training?"
"Oh. Well find you a band or a musician playing around at a bar or nightclub. They might give you some help."
"Uh, you're welcome." He says, smiling
The same zebra cook is there, as is a griffin male. Off to the side, in the back, is an unguarded loaf of bread, with dark crust.
>>143581Best not to be impolite....
She approaches the zebra cook. "Hello there, Mister...I don't think I got your name, sorry."
She pauses to collect her thoughts before continuing. "I hate to trouble you like this, but I'm downright famished and haven't had a bite all day. May I...may I please have some soup and bread?"
She smiles sweetly at him.
He turns around towards Amber, and places a fore-knee against a counter, smiling
"Well I don't know miss. Can you?"
"Ma'am. I'm sure the owner doesn't mind if you take some left-over or sent back soup or bread" he answers
>>143587"Thank you kindly."
Without another word she finds a bowl of soup that isn't marked to be sent out-or, if there isn't one, she grabs a bowl and fills it from a pot of soup. She also takes part of the loaf and finds a place to sit down to eat.
There is a bowl of an orange substance an the dark brown loaf. A booth in Cream Pop's section has opened.
Silently and without getting in anypony's way Amber walks over on three hooves. Sliding into the booth she thanks the princesses-wherever they may be-for letting her have a meal on this day. "Bless this bounty with your radiance and majesty, and thank you for the sunlight and kindness it took to bring these gifts to this humble abode..."
She digs in rather quickly, not having any conversation to spend time in. She would rather savor the flavor of the food but given limited time eating hurriedly is the best option.
The soup has a medium thickness to it, and a dark-orange red color, with leek, potato, a bit of alfalfa, carrot, and celery. And paprika. Lots of paprika. Perhaps more paprika than Amber would have preferred. The bread has a slightly tougher outer layer, and both the bread and the soup are cold, much colder than Amber could expect they were intended to be served.
She's grateful that it's a healthy meal at least and although the heavy spices make it hard to get down quickly, it does taste...interesting. She sops up the soup with the bread to soften it and make both easier to eat. Maybe it'd taste better if it was warmer.
As she's eating she keeps an eye on how the waiters are doing.
Cream Pop takes note of Amber's presence, given that she is in his section. Salt Mixer is still busy at the bar. Larkhaven is a bit lazy in his movements, and Mustard Trim runs frantically back and forth the few times he leaves the patio. De Sew and Melon Mangrove are not visible here.
The bread goes pretty well with the soup.
Amber looks at Mustard with a hint of regret. He's burning the wind moving so fast, he's going to wear himself out. I wanted to talk with him a bit, I guess that'll have to wait. I don't think I can even help without getting in the way...
She checks the time and with a sense of urgency finishes the meal, trying to get the last crumbs and bit of soup. Once she does so she carries the bowl back to the kitchen sink.
She asks somepony, perhaps the griffon, "Excuse me, do you happen to have a pen or pencil?"
The griffin narrows his eyes and looks at her oddly
"Did you lose the one at the hostess stand?"
He has a hint of an accent, and it's a bit different from what she's heard before.
She shakes her head. "Nope, don't worry. I, erm, just wanted to write a note."
She bashfully backs away and heads back out of the kitchen, making sure to grab a paper napkin or towel on the way. Is the pen at the hostess stand still there?
The pen is there, on the side of the stand, next to a piece of paper
Amber puts the pen in her mouth and writes the following message on the napkin:
I have to go now to meet a pony named Dark Descent. I'm told he's the owner of the Club Maurice on Falabella and I was asked to go see him before midnight. Not sure what it is or why tonight but it must be important.
Sorry I don't have time to chat tonight. See you tomorrow.
The mouthwriting is surprisingly decent though the pattern on the paper breaks up the letters a bit.
Once Amber is finished she folds up the napkin, puts the pen back on the stand and goes to Salt Mixer. "When Mustard is finished could you hoof this to him?" She slides the snapkin over the bar (obviously in a dry area).
"Hmmm?" It takes her a moment to notice that Amber is talking to her
"Club Maurice? That's over on east side, a bit south of here. Follow 13th.... uh, take a right to get to thirteenth from here, but follow13th until you get to Fallabella, then go south about... oh, I don't know how long. Some blocks. But you'll see the sign."
>>143603"How long would it take to get there at a brisk trot?
If it's alright with you, I'd like to be excused now and make it within an hour, hopefully having time to stop at my apartment on the way."
She asks this nervously, but not in a shameful sort of way, more like a filly asking for permission to go somewhere.
She looks up at the clockAmber is basically asking to leave before the nominal end of her shift/get out of cleaning up. Roll diplomacy
"Well... Okay, but you're going to have to stay longer to clean up next time." She answers
"It can depend, but maybe 20 minutes"
>>143609"Alright. Thank you again and goodnight."
Amber fastens her head scarf and cloak and heads out at a canter's pace. However, the direction she's going is that of her apartment.
It's a bit chilly, and the sidewalk is wet. There are numerous lights, and a few ponies, carts, and automobiles.
Amber avoids any visible puddles in her way. The combination of her clothing, leaving a heated building and exertion helps stave off the cold.
With all the clothing that she wears, she'll be hot, if anything.
It takes her some time, but she arrives back at her apartment
Amber takes the time to wipe off her hooves before going inside, but otherwise is in a hurry. She takes off her clothing, relieves herself in the bathroom, and takes a 2-minute shower. After shaking off most-but not all-of the excess water she straightens her hair with a brush and puts her dress back on, making sure it's straight. All in all, much faster than the average city mare could realistically achieve. Once her cloak and headscarf's back on she heads out again, this time at a trot heading south to the 13th or Falabella, whichever one she reaches first on the way.Glad I took the time to look presentable. I hope the chill doesn't get to me but I shouldn't be out long.
I'm skeptical of her ability to dry herself, but otherwise this is as described. Fallabella runs north to south, and Amber goes first west to Fallabella, and then south along it
If she knows the address number of the club she should know what side of the road it's on. Unfortunately, she is not completely dry but this state of affairs could be chalked up to the weather, and her woolen dress ought to help keep her warm.
Amber goes down the street until she comes to the location indicated. To her left is a rather long building mostly unassuming on the outside with white colored walls and at least two floors in height. There is a revolving door, and above that, neon illuminated lights saying "Club Maurice." If there are any kinds of special decorations or themes, they are not illuminated; not tonight.
Amber's heart beats faster as she comes to this unfamiliar place. She looks side to side before venturing inside.
The streets are hardly empty, with ponies passing. As soon as Amber enters, there is a Diamond Dog standing to her left. He is giant, and buff. Though he stares her down, he says nothing, and leaves Amber to herself. Shortly through the entrance Amber can see the interior with red carpet floors, and a hall with tables, an open dancing area, and a second floor railing above, with booths underneath. A few dim lights move. There is music as well; perhaps not the jazz or swing style she may have been expecting, but something a bit more classical in style. A viol plays wildly, with an intoxicated enthusiasm that varies between rapture and frantic escape. There are a number of ponies inside at various tables and booths, mostly couples and single individuals.
Amber is taken aback by the beautiful interior, which is a pleasant surprise to say the least. The interior is nothing short of palatial for the humble farm pony, with the music only reinforcing this display of class. She's so transfixed by a place totally out of her league that she forgets to move. Without having taken off her burlap cloak she certainly looks out of place.
At least for the moment, this is okay. The door's silent guardian stares at Amber, but thus far, he is alone in noticing her. On the dance floor, a couple - they look intoxicated - try and fail to match the pace of the viol. At a table a pair converse, and in a booth on the far side, if Amber squints at the shadowed booth, a couple makes out. At the railing on the second floor, a pony stands, looking to the left. From the way he moves his foreleg, he must be talking to a second pony just out of view, hidden by the ceiling of the floor above Amber.
Amber blushes and looks away from the far booth once she sees their activity. She turns to the diamond dog guardian and nervously tries to speak up, but her voice sounds a little squeaky. "Um, excuse me, mister, but a "Dark Denizen" asked me to see him. Do you know where I can find him?"
"Who sent you?"
It almost sounds as if he whistles these words, not because his voice occasionally breaks, but because there is an almost harmonic quality in his high pitched voice.
He almost lingers on the "y" sound, for a "Yyyyes"
He turns his head a bit to his left, and to Amber's right. He nods
"In an office in the back there. Your right."
>>143625"Um, okay, thank you."
She follows this direction.