Night has filled the sky, the town is quiet, ponies have begun to settle in for the night until a shriek echoes throught the streets. Ponies rush outside to see guards running after a shrouded pony with a bag in his mouth. Everypony gathers around as the guards surround the pony. No pony can see his face since it is covered by his cowl. All they know is it looks like a small child. As the guards approched the young pony started laughing. He removed his cowl to show his dried blood red skin and glowing red eyes. His body had black stripes everywhere and black hair almost darker than the night. A silver key dangled around his neck. All the ponies knew this young mare for he was a legend.
"I am Scipio the Theif Lord, master of the night. If you come closer you will suffer a great fright. The night air is cool, and the stars are bright. Stay in my way and feel my might. No cage can hold me, for I am a shadow. Now everypony watch, since here is the show."
Before the guards could move Scipio slowly started to sink into the ground. Soon he was gone leaving the entire crowd shocked. The legend says Scipio is an earth pony with powers beyond belief. He does not age and can somehow use magic. All this because of a mystic key he said the Night Mother game him. Meanwhile under the streets, Scipio and Crypt start walking towards the Celestial Kingdom.
"Why do you always speak in rhymes everytime you get cornered?" Scipio started laughing as he gave the bag to Crypt. "When I do that they stop to listen, giving you time to use your magic to get me out. Plus it adds more mystery to my already shrouded name." The two walked until they reached the end of the tunnel where there was a brick wall with a steel door. Scipio held up his key and it flew into the lock and opened the door. Inside was a giant castle made of stone, left by the ancient ponies who built it.
Inside the two were greated by the three younglings. Raggamuffin was a little earth pony with dark blue fur. There was also her two older brothers, a pegasis named Swift Hoof and a unicorn named Pick, each as gray as ash. Scipio gave them the bag so they could get their food and see the new treasures he found. Scipio always remembered to grab a chocolate cupcake for Raggamuffin since they were her favorite. After dinner Scipio always regaled the three children with one of his many stories. Today's story gets to be chosen by Pick.
"Well Scipio, I am great at using my magic to open doors and chest yet your key does it with ease. I want to hear the story of that key." Even Crypt had not heard the full story of that key. Scipio was overjoyed to tell his story.
"Well this story takes place back when I was your age. Me and my mother was moving to a new kingdom called Ponyville when I noticed she had dropped her necklace. Before I could get it a guard had picked it up and put it in his bag. Back then I didnt know what stealing was yet so I reached into his bag and took it. Before I could even turn the guard had me and escorted me off to prison. I cried for days since I missed my mother so much. Then one night I looked up at the moon and wished for my mother to come save me. When I turned around I noticed a purple alicorn was outside my cell. I was so happy since I thought it was my mother, but it wasnt. I asked her her name but she wouldnt tell me. All she said was to take this key and run free. She said one day I would pay her back. I took the key and she was gone. Next thing I knew I was unlocking all the doors in my way and running through the night. I found this place and started living hear. Soon after I met Crypt here when he was a young boy and together we have been stealing all that we wantedd to get back at the kingdom for seperating me from my mother. Ever since then that alicorn has been my Night Mother and I love her as such. The end."
"Wait Scipio," Raggamuffin couldnt let the story end there, "did you ever go look for your mother? Wasnt that the whole reason for escaping?" Scipio thought about it and couldnt think of any reason. "I asked Crypt and he said there was no place called Ponyville. He also said alicorns didnt exist but he is wrong about that and he is wrong about Ponyville. Hear that Crypt?" Crypt sat in his corner reading and caughing. "I will believe it when I see it. Until then we need to plan out next heist. we are running low on supplies. we can get them all at the same place but there is just too much to carry."
"Cant you use your magic to make a portal to just dump the stuff into or something? Or mabey you can teleport it here." Raggamuffin came up with her own plan. "Scipio, I have a plan." Her brothers quickly stopped her. "You know me and Pick dont want you going outside. If you get caught we dont know what we would do. You are too young to start involving yourself with these things." Pick nodded his head in agreement.
"Just listen, I can use my cuteness to lure the pony out of her home. Once that happens you four can sneak in and get the supplies. If somepony walks by and notices anything Scipio can just make a run for it to keep the guards distracted while you three get everything to a safe place so we can transport it here later on." Crypt arose from his corner and started applouding the young filly. "That is quite a wonderful plan. It covers all angles of capture and even has a plan B in case we fail at first. How did you come up with something like that?"
"Well I listen to you and Scipio everytime you make a plan. I have learned a lot." She looked to her brothers and they reluctantly agreed. That night they comensed the plan and it went off without a hitch. Raggamuffin led the store clerk to the entrance to the Celestial Kingdom while Swift Hoof stayed in the sky to monitor for guards. They got all the supplies they needed and then some. Once they arrived back at the Celestial Kingdom they noticed a small envelope on their dining table. This scared them all since Scipio was the only one with a way into the kingdom. Scipio picked up the letter and noticed it had a picture of a key on it.
"This is clearly ment for me. Im just scared by the fact that some pony found an entrance into this place without my key." Scipio opened the letter and quickly read it. He suddenly dropped the letter and stood motionless. "Crypt... that was a letter from the Night Mother. She wishes for me to return the favor for the key. The Night Mother finally contacts me again." Crypt grabbed the letter and read over it. "This says she will be here tommarow night to discuss our next mark. This cant be possible since alicorns arent real. This is clearly a trap."
"How about this Crypt, if it is not the Night Mother then she wont be able to get in. If she is then she will prove it herself. We shall wait and see." The two seperated and Raggamuffin fallowed Scipio. Her, Scipio, and the brothers all share the same room. Crypt finds another place to sleep for some reason. "Scipio, can you tell me about the Night Mother again?" Scipio put her on her bed and tried to remember that wonderful night.
"Well her hair seemed to flow with the stars in the sky. Her eyes were bright purple and full of wisdom. She spoke with kindness and compassion like my mother once did. She had on a dazzling outfit that seemed to have been made by the gods themselves. The best part was how she glowed in the moonlight and put light in the darkness of my cell. She was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. Is that good en..."
Raggamuffin had fallen asleep, a big smile on her face as she slept. When Pick and Swift Hoof walked in Scipio made sure they didnt disturd Raggamuffin. Scipio was so excited to see his Night Mother once again. He found it hard to sleep but knew he should so that tomarrow could come faster.
The next morning Scipio had an early run to the bakery so he could pick up some hot fresh pasturies and a chocolate cupcake for Raggamuffin. On the way there he heard some commotion on the city streats. It seems like they were hanging new wanted posters. Scipio loved to collect his wanted poster everytime a new one came out. Once everypony cleared out he jumped down to see his new poster, except his wasnt new. Evidently that night some pony saw him and his friends pull off their heist and gave a descrition to the guards. Swift Hoof, Pick, Crypt, but worst of all was the poster of Raggamuffin. Scipio took them all and continued on to the bakery.
One of Scipio's secrets was that he was friends with the bakery owner ever since he stole back his necklace. Since then Scipio has been paying for his baked goods and enjoyed some chit-chat with Cupcake the shop owner. "You really do make the best pasturies in the kingdom. It makes me almost glad that I dont have to steal them." Cupcake always thought Scipio was adorable, even as children growing up in the streat. "Well I am glad you dont steal them since you are my most valuable customer. No a single pony buys as many as you do. Also I remember you telling me that Raggamuffin has a birthday coming up right?"
"Yeup, she is going to be six. I havnt figured out what to get her yet though." Cupcake motioned for Scipio to enter the back of the shop. Inside her back room Scipio found a giant chocolate cake. "You made this for Raggamuffin? I dont believe this." It stood taller than Scipio and Cupcake put together. "Its not done yet but when it is I will tell you so you and Crypt can take it back safely."
"Well for this I am going to give you that amulet I told you about. Heck I might even let you meet the Night Mother." Scipio stopped since he forgot to keep that a secret. "Wait, you said the Night Mother was the alicorn that gave you that key, does that mean she is coming to visit?" Scipio nodded as he collected his bag. "I will be back with payment in a day or two, dont have enough for everything. Scipio darted out and made his way back to his home. Inside he noticed that the others hd already gathered at the door.
"Whats wrong guys? Did you get locked out?" Crypt pulled Scipio to the side. "I said I wouldnt believe it until I saw it, well I saw it. Not only are alicorns real but there is one inside right now. She has to be the Night Mother since she managed to let herself in." Scipio quickly ran past them all and opened the giant iron door. It didnt take him long to find the alicorn and he instantly hugged her. "Oh Night Mother, you dont know how happy I am to know that it is really you."
The alicorn hugged him back and wiped the tears from his eyes. "Dont cry anymore young one, your mother has returned."
It wasnt longer after the introductions that the Night Mother started sending Scipio to steal certain items for her to test his abilities, all the while Crypt was no where to be seen. Scipio found that each tast became more and more difficult but he still managed to do each one with ease. Soon though, strange things began to happen. It started with a strange request the day after Scipio finished stealing everything the Night Mother told him.
"Young Scipio, please come here." Scipio would rush at the sound of her voice. "What shall I do for you Night Mother?" The Night Mother gave him the bag of treasures he stole the other day. "I want you to take these items and return them back to the houses you found them in. I want them in the exact same place that you first picked them up." Scipio thought it was very strange but was not going to question his mother. Before he could leave Swift Hoof and Pick blocked him at the door. "Whats wrong guys, I have a mission to do."
"What is wrong is me and Pick dont like what your Night Mother has asked of us. You know we will help out when needed but one thing we wont allow is for anypony to put Raggamuffin in danger. She might not be out blood sister but she is still our sister. Your Night Mother wanted us to use raggamuffin in a heist." Pick finally chimed in for once. "We dont do anything that isnt in the best interest of our sister. We dont do much anyway. Just know that if she does anything that puts our little sister in danger we will not hesitate to do away with her."
"But guys, she is the Night Mother. I am sure if she has a plan it will work and there shouldnt be anything to worry about. Just trust her like I do." Scipio went to open the door but Swift Hoof slammed it shut. He seemed very angry and got very loud. "You need to stop being ignorant. Your putting your trust in a complete stranger that just so happens to fit the description of your Night Mother. You are blindly fallowing orders like... like... like a child obaying his mothers every command. Your nothing but her tool."
Scipio put the bag down and focused on Swift Hoof. "You do make a point, I am childish. I guess putting my trust into a stranger is a bad idea, but one thing needs to be clear." Scipio quickly slammed Swift Hoof into the wall and pinned him to the floor. Scipio's eyes glowed bright red with rage. "The Night Mother saved me all those years ago and gave me a new life for me to live. I owe her everything so if I catch you saying anything bad about her again I wont hesitate to do away with you and your brother."
Pick quickly jammed his horn into Scipio's side, sending him to the floor. "Im glad I still remember how to strike a nerve. Now it is my turn to speak Scipio. You wont ever seperate us from our sister. This is just as much our home as it is yours. I dont talk much so I am going to keep this short. Dont you dare allow her to put our sister at risk or you will have to deal with us. You are eighty seven years old, start acting like it."
Swift Hoof and Pick left Scipio paralized on the floor. Pick can use his horn to attack pressure point in order to incapasitate the enemy for a short period of time. After four hours Scipio was finally able to get back up. Lucky for him it was already night time which made his his mission alot easier. Though tonight he noticed something strange, the happyness he was causing. Seeing the ponies get their belongings back, the smiling faces, made him miss the old days before Crypt started to grow up, when they stole for fun instead of survival.
While Scipio sat upon a wall waiting for the last house to get quiet he noticed something in the room he got the necklace from. It seemed that the young filly was crying. Scipio got close enough to the window to hear the conversation between her and the mother. "But mommy, you know I cant sleep without my special locket. You gave it too me for my sixth birthday. Now it is missing and we will never find it again." The mother curessed her daughter's head. "Dont worry honey, I promise we will find it. Now please try and get some sleep."
Scipio watched for hours as the little filly struggled to fall asleep. Finally Scipio knew what he had to do, it was show time. Scipio pounced through the window and awoke the little filly. "Oh no, its Scipio. Please take what you want but please dont hurt me." Scipio decided he needed to play it up for her. "Have no fear little girl, for I shall not hurt one little curl. You see I was sent, for us to meet, to bring a gift to you, a wonderful treat." Scipio threw the little filly the bag and watched her eyes glow as she pulled her locket out of the bag. The shriek of the little filly awoke her mother who raced upstairs and found Scipio.
"What do you think you are doing here?" Scipio jumped back towards the window. "It seems now my choice is clear. Its time for me to disappear." Scipio leaped down off the window and made his way back to the window so he could see how happy both of them were to see that she had her locket back. With his job done Scipio quickly made his way back to his home to find Crypt waiting outside the iron door. "Well it is about time you showed up Crypt. Where have you been for the past two days?
"Reaserch my dear old friend. Turns out several ponies know of your Night Mother. But right now I need to focus on Raggamuffin's birthday. Only an hour left." Scipio was shocked to realize he had forgotten all about Raggamuffin. He raced out into the night towards the bakery to got the cake. It was hard for him to carry but he decided it was his burden to bare. Once he finally made it back he was greated with sad faces. What really hurt him was how Raggamuffin was not there. "Dont tell me I am too late?" Swift Hoof nodded his head. "She already went to bed, waited up all night for you but you never came. She was devastated. I hope your Night Mother is happy."
Everypony left him there in the dark to deal with what he had done. All he could see was darkness. Finally a light shined through the darkness, it was the eyes of his Night Mother. "Stop crying my child, I know I have caused you greif. So I have one final task for you then I shall leave forever." Scipio buried his head into his Night Mother. "No, please dont go. My friends have given up on me. You are all I have left." The Night Mother rubbed his head until the tears finally stopped and he had fallen asleep. "Dont worry Scipio, soon you wont even need me anymore."
The Night Mother put Scipio in his bed and headed back to her room when she heard a familiar voice from the shadows. "It is a pleasure to meet you Night Mother, or should I say, Princess Luna. Actually I think the title Former Princess Luna would be more fitting for your current situation." Luna chuckled a little and focused on Crypt. "So you finally figured it out. What took you so long old friend?" Crypt walked along side Luna as they found a skylight that aloud the moon light in.
"I knew it was you the moment I saw you. afterall I was the first one you gave that accursed key to. Cant believe I became friends with the second key holder so easily without telling him the truth. I have just been trying to figure out why you came back so suddenly." Luna bathed herself in the moonlight. "I need the new key holder to help me get my title back. You didnt have any potental like Scipio does. There is alot more to him than you realize. Soon though, Scipio will learn the true nature of the key."
The fallowing morning Scipio tried to make things up to Raggamuffin but nothing seemed to work. Scipio could do nothing but sit with Luna. "Scipio, it is time you completed your final mission for me." Scipio shook his head and refused to leave. "If I do it then you will leave and I will have nopony anymore." Luna got up and gave him a picture of a crown. "This is Queen Golden Star's crown, what do you want it for?"
"Well I need to tell you something Scipio. My name is Princess Luna. I once ruled this Kingdom until Golden Star stole my crown. Whoever wears the crown rules the kingdom. I wish to reclaim my title as princess Luna so I can fix the damage she has done." Scipio got up and started to walk towards the door. "So you mean to tell me that I am just your means to get your crown back? Wsa giving me the key just a long elaborate plan to groom me into the perfect theif so I can get your crown? Well I wll do it Night Mother, but afterwards I want you gone. You have ruined my bond with my friends and made me re-think all that I know. You are still my Night Mother, but your a horrible parent."
As Scipio made his way outside he noticed a large crowd in the center of town. Once he got closer he saw the most horrific sight he had ever seen. All of his friends and Cupcake had been captured. He got in close to hear the guards. "These five have been charged with aiding the wanted theif Scipio. By order of Queen Golden Star they will be sent to the dungeon for the rest of their days and are to be made an example to all those who wish to aid in any wrong-doings." Scipio could only watch in horrer as his friends were caged up and moved towards the palace.
Scipio raced to his home to find Luna, but she was gone. Inside all he found was a note: Scipio, I know your friends were captured but I cannot help them yet. If you can get me my crown I can set them free. Scipio started to cry as the cruppled up the note. He grabbed his cowl and threw it on as he made his way to the door. "You want that crown so bad, well your gonna get it, and then deal with me."
Scipio marched his way to the castle at nightfall. Tonight, he did not care if anypony saw him, he knew what had to be done. Some say his eyes glew red with hatred to the point that they could be seen from atop the palace. Scipio quickly found himself at the foot of the palace, greeted by two guards. "Halt Scipio, you are wanted for crimes against..." The guard frozen when Scipio lighted up his head. His eyes pearced the heart of both guards and left them stunned. Scipio knew the crown was held in the upper most point of the tower, but that was his second stop.
Scipio entered the palace and managed to sneak his way all the way into the lower areas. It was like a maze of dark tunnels and little light. Soon, Scipio found the dungeon room and his friends. "Guys I came to rescue you. What happend?" Scipio was shocked to see that he was not greeted with smiles. Pick pushed at the bars of his cell as though he thought he could bend them. "It is all your fault Scipio. When you didnt show up for Raggamuffin's birthday party she thought she should try to do things on her own. When we figured out she went out to get a cupcake we all raced after her. Once we found her the guards found us. They quickly figured out that cupcake was feeding us and grabbed her too. Worst of all is now Raggamuffin is being held alone in the top of the tower. I hate you right now Scipio, you better get our sister back our you will wish that I never get out of this cage."
Scipio turned and made his way back to the door. "Dont worry Pick, im gonna get her back. Then once you are all free, I will personally take down Queen Golden Star." Scipio discovered that sneaking back through the palace was much more difficult then he first imagined. Finally he made it to the top of the palace and noticed two rooms. He saw the crown in one but more importantly, he saw Raggamuffin in the other room, caged up. "Oh Raggamuffin I am so glad I found you."
"Just leave Scipio." Scipio felt as though his heart was ripped from his chest. "This cage has no lock so you are useless. Just leave before you cause anymore trouble." Scipio started to cry and refused to leave the cage. "Dont worry, if I can get that crown to the Night Mother she will be in charge and she will set you free and you can have a normal life here in the palace so that you will be happy. I promise I will set you free one way or another." Scipio raced over to the other room to grab the crown but when he did, metal spikes shot through the floor and trapped Scipio. He then heard the laughter of the queen.
"Well it looks like the great Scipio was tricked by a simple decoy." Queen Golden Star was bright yellow with black souless eyes. Scipio looked down at the crown and noticed it was a fake. "Oh Scipio dear, that is not the decoy." Scipio seemed confused until he noticed that Raggamuffin was out of her cage and laughing at him. "See this is one of my guards who shapeshifted using his magic. Raggamuffin was swearing up and down that Scipio will come and save her and that the Night Mother will come and get me. Then after the baker told us about your feelings towards her I jst knew it would be the perfect decoy."
"WHERE IS SHE?" Scipio could barely contain his rage. "Calm down Scipio, she is back with her brother. Right when you left the dungeon we put her back in her cage where all the rift-raft belong. I also noticed that your little rhyming game is over, how sad. Now if you dont mind I am on my way to your Celestial Palace to destroy it." In a moment, Scipio was alone but he felt more alone than ever. No friends, no Night Mother, no mom. It was just like this all those years ago.
"Where did I go wrong? I was so happy then everything turned to ruin. It is all this stupid key's fault. Not only has it only caused trouble but now when I need it most it doesnt even work." Scipio took of his key and threw it on the floor. "Now why would you do that to my gift." Scipio turned towards the window and saw Luna sitting on the window. "Get away from me. My friends wouldnt be in this situation if it wasnt for you." Luna laughed and made her way to him. "How about this, what if I were to tell you there is more to that key then you know?"
An hour later Queen Golden Star had finally found the door to the Celestial Palace. "Well Cupcake was right about this door. Since it is solid iron there is no chance we can bust through. I guess we are just gonna have to destroy the rock around it. Once inside we can claim all of the stolen treasure in my name." The second she laid her hoof on that door a might explosion shook the ground and dusked filled the tunnel they were in. As the dust cleared the queen noticed Scipio standing in the moonlight. "How did you escape my trap?"
Only one thought went through Scipio's head, show time. "Im glad you asked my dear queen, for the answer shall soon be seen. My key unlocks doors of any kind, but more importantly, it unlocked my mind. I discovered the powers that I always had, that could beat any trap no matter how iron clad. I will now show you my power of the night, I just hope your ready for quite a fright."
Suddenly Scipio began to chance, his hooves grew fangs, his teeth turned to fangs, and he sprouted the wings of a bat. He was truely a creature of the night. His molevolent laugh echoed through the tunnel with great force. "The Night Mother gave me these powers so great, so I can use them to seal your fate. Since you used your rule to feed the gred that you own, I use the power of the moon to turn you to stone." Scipio's body glowed white with the energy from the moon. The energy was then blasted at Golden Star. It was so bright her guards were suddenly blinded. Once the light faded they all gasped in horrer as they noticed the queen was now nothing more than a statue. They all just sat back and watched as Luna appeared and reclaimed her crown from the statue.
"If you value your lives you will leave very soon, or you two can face the power of the moon. And remember this if you choose to return, come back here again and it will be your turn." The guards quickly ran back into the tunnels as Scipio returned to normal. "Now Scipio, rhyming return with turn, how lazy." Scipio laughted a little and gazed at his key. "I couldnt think of anything. Now I still have something to do so meet you at the palace.
Back at the palace Scipio's friends were excited to see him again. "See, I knew Scipio would come back for us. I just knew it." Suddenly all the cage doors flew open and Raggamuffin ran up and hugged Scipio. "Alright, Cupcake, Swift Hoof, Pick, get her to the throne room. There is something we need to do." The four headed out of the dungeon rather quickly. "So Scipio, care to explain how you opened the doors without using the key?"
"Lets just say I learned a few new tricks. Now lets skip over the small stuff and get down to it. I know that after this moment we will never see each other again. You are going back to your original home, before you found the key." Crypt laughed more in that moment then he had in years. "Im afraid so old friend. I wish to see my family before I pass. You will never know the need to do such a thing since you dont age." Scipio shook his head and pointed to his key. "I am afriad I might have broken it. It doesnt keep me from ageing but it still opens doors. I guess I dont need it anymore, want it back?"
"I wouldnt dare take that acursed key back." The two shared a finally laugh together and went their seperate ways. Scipio met up with his friends in Princess Luna's throne room. "Well Scipio I am happy to say that you completed your mission perfectly. Sadly to say that now that I am in charge I still have to hunt you down fro your crimes." Scipio laughted and headed towards the door with his friends. "It wouldnt be fun if you didnt Night Mother, see you around."
"Oh I forgot to mention, about you Celestial Palace, it seems I cant remember where it is. I guess it is still your safe haven." The door closed and Luna sat back and knew she had done things right. Outside the friends laughed about their ordeal. "Well I guess I cant go back to my shop now since I am a wanted pony. Mind if I crash with you kids?" Swift Hoof circled over her with a smile. "Of course, it will be great having a cook handy."
Raggamuffin started to walk along side Scipio. "Hyey Raggamuffin, I want you to have something." Scipio removed his key from around his neck and gave it to Raggamuffin. "Do you really mean it Scipio? I can have your key?" Scipio nodded. "I did miss your birthday so I think you deserve your cake and two bonus presents." Raggamuffin couldnt take her eyes off of the key. "Wait you said there is another present right?"
"Yeup, I got you a pretty new statue for out room. I know your gonna like it." Scipio laughed really hards all by himself. He looked up at the moon and realized his true life begins after this night. He will finally be able to grow old with the girl he loved. He also knew his mother would be proud. "Oh Scipio, tell us how you managed to stop Queen Golden Star and save all of us."
"How about I save that for story time tonight?"