Crime Pays

by chillbook1

Heavy Is The Head

“A laundromat?”

“I’ll explain it when you get in.”

“I’m right outside.”

“See you soon.”

It was hours ago that I made the drive from Ponyville to Canterlot. I grabbed my van from the alley, loaded it with all of my stuff, and drove. I suppose I should’ve been upset, or sad, but I wasn’t. I was calm. At the end of the day, I did get most of what I wanted. Dash was out of the way, Lyra was dead, and I had successfully completed the greatest heist of all time. Perhaps getting arrested wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. At least I’d be able to see Shining again.

Shining Armor limped through the door, moving quite briskly despite the cane. He moved almost as if he didn’t need it, which he probably didn’t. Most likely, it was just to keep Cadance off his back. Shining was clearly on his guard, which was understandable. Last time we saw each other, he ended up shot. I’d be cautious too.

“Hello, Shiny,” I said. “It’s good to see you.”

“You look like hell,” he said. He was right, of course. My lips was still bleeding slightly, my face was speckled with a bit of blood from Rainbow’s beatdown. My eye seemed to be blackening, swelling slightly closed.

“Feel like it. But I feel better now. Come in, we have a lot to talk about.”

“I’ll say. You have a lot to answer for.”

“If you only knew.” I strolled over to my dryer, which had been unlocked since we left for Appleloosa, and tipped it on its side. I beckoned for Shining to follow me, then quickly descended the ladder. Shining followed me, a bit more slowly, and we set out for the Mythos HQ. Home.

“Sorry about the ladder,” I said. “There was no way to put in stairs or something.”

“I’m fine. Let’s just get this over with.”

I nodded, pushing open the double doors and stepping into the Planning Room. God, how I missed it. Being there made everything feel like it would be fine, even though I knew it couldn’t be.

“Jesus… How did you manage all of this?” asked Shining.

“I never needed money, so I could devote most of my earnings to upgrades and whatnot,” I said. “As for the location… Well, this basement already existed. Used to be for storage and things. Spike knew a guy who closed it off and modified it for our needs.”


I crossed the room, through some unbreakable habit, to the chessboard. It was still set, waiting all this time for its masters to return for a game. Now, it didn’t need to wait anymore. I slung my duffel bag to the ground, then took a seat.

“Would you care for a game?” I asked. “One last game?”

“I came to arrest you, not play games,” said Shining.

“You can do both. Just one more game.”

Shining stared at me, searching for the truth. After a moment, he took a seat across from me and moved his pawn forward. I smiled slightly, moving a pawn of my own.

“Who broke your face?” he asked.

“Former associate. Employee, actually. I voiced my disapproval for her resignation, we got into an argument,” I said. “She then proceeded to kick my ass.”

“Hm. She’s the one who made the call. Where’s Spike?”

“No clue. I haven’t spoken to Spike in… Well, too long. Last I saw of him, he was in Appleloosa. Probably long gone by now.”

“He’ll turn up someplace. Now that we know who we’re looking for,” said Shining. “Maybe he’ll come quietly now that you’re in custody.”

“I don’t think so. He seemed to be laying low for good. He’s out of the game,” I explained. I hummed lightly, happy to be with my brother despite the circumstances. “What did you tell Flurry? About me?”

“The truth. I don’t like to lie to my daughter,” said Shining. I nodded. I figured as much, but I dared to hope.

“Does she hate me?”

“She’s a kid. She doesn’t truly have the capacity to hate. She just wants to understand what’s wrong with Auntie Twilight.”

“Could I talk to her?” I asked. “I don’t want her to think that I don’t love her anymore.”

“When you’re in the box, I’ll let Caddy know that you’re asking about visiting. I can’t make her go, and I wouldn’t even if I could. Her decision.”

“That’s more than good enough. Thank you,” I said. Shining was different than the last time we spoke. He probably sensed the surrender in my voice. He was much calmer than before. Of course, that might’ve had something to do with the fact that there were no windows around for him to be sniped through.

“What changed?” asked Shining. “Why come easily now?”

“I intended to turn myself in last time, too. The only reason I didn’t is because Spike intervened, and I didn’t want him to have shoot you for nothing.”

“How thoughtful of you. But you could’ve came in ages after that, and you didn’t. So why now?”

I took a minute to think about that. Why now? What was truly different? Was it because I had been to the top of the mountain already? I had nothing left to lose. I’m sure that was a part of it, but the truth was a bit simpler.

“Because you would’ve caught me eventually. Without my Crew, I’d never be able to outrun you,” I said. “Not on my own. And I decided that I’d go down my way. Not to some random badge, but to my brother. God knows you’ve earned it.”

“I’ll say. Of course my last case would drive on for so long,” mumbled Shining. “You know, I never once considered retirement until that night at dinner. That was right around the time I found out the truth. My sister is a dirty criminal.

“Why are you so angry? So bitter? My job doesn’t change who I am,” I said. “I’m still the same Twilight you’ve always known. Every conversation, dinner, and game of chess we shared still counts for the same, regardless of my true occupation. I’m not a murderer. I’m just a thief. And it’s not like I’m stealing food out of people’s mouths. I don’t rob the poor.”

“So now you’re Robin Hood? A thief with honor and good intentions?”

“I never said that. I just don’t understand the hate you have for something that you don’t understand.”

“I understand just fine,” said Shining. “It’s really quite simple. You take things that aren’t yours. You use fear and deceit to get what you want. You put innocent people in danger to stretch your bank account. You hide behind a mask because you’re afraid of the world seeing who you are. And no explanation of things that I’ve heard so far has made me change my stance on it.”

“Did you know that I have fans? I’m quite famous in the criminal underground,” I said. “The Silk Road especially, there were blogs and webpages dedicated to Mythos. Fans. I have adoring fans, people begging me to reach out to them and grace their pitiful lives with my greatness.” I shook my head, remembering the fervor and fanaticism of some of my followers. “Their words, not mine.”

“Where are you going with this?”

“I have nicknames. The Snake God. The Serpent. But, my absolute favorite, the one I resonate with most… The Queen of Thieves. I love it. Gives me chills. I’ve been the Queen for years. People look up to me, idolize me, maybe even worship me. And, before all of that, I read books for a living. From the looking at dusty books to being revered as a god.”

“A god to psychos and scumbags on the internet.”

“But a god nonetheless. I got into my business for the same reason that you got into yours,” I explained. I grabbed my duffel and moved it closer so that I’d be able to show Shining what it contained.

“I became an agent to put criminals like you away,” said Shining. “I did it to maintain justice and order. You’re just selfish.”

“No, you didn’t. If you wanted justice, you’d have been a lawyer or a judge. But you went into law enforcement, to the highest level we have. Because you like the rush. The high that comes when you’re getting shot at,” I said. “The thrill of catching the son of a bitch that’s caused you so much trouble. We seek the same thrills, Shining.”

“But, even if what you said was true, I still seek my thrills within the confines of the law,” pointed out Shining. I shrugged, not committing to the notion that he had a fair point. I knew I’d never win the argument. I just wanted to prove a point.

“Why attack the castle?” asked Shining. “What did you want?”

“Let me show you,” I said. I zipped open the duffel and slowly lifted out the Crown. His eyes grew wide as I set it on the table next to our board. “Impressed?”

“Jesus… Why bother? You couldn’t sell this. No one would touch it,” said Shining. “And you wouldn’t be able to sleep, you’d have to be on the run every minute of every day or you’d be found.”

“Heavy is the head that wears the crown,” I said with a light chuckle. I glanced down into my duffel, then pulled my masks from its depths. It had been what felt like years since I last donned the Gorgon. It felt strange to look at it now. The last of the original Mythos masks. Her brothers and sisters were all gone now. I set the masks down, tracing along the Gorgon’s face with my thumb.

“Where’d you get that other one?” asked Shining.

“Let’s call her a friend, but that’s a story I don’t feel like getting into right now. Perhaps when you come visit me, I’ll tell you all about it,” I said. I stood up, my eyes still drawn to my mask. It was time. “Alright, Shining. I’m ready to go. You can call it in now.”

“Good. It’s time for this to finally end,” said Shining. He pressed his finger to his earpiece. “Agent Armor, calling in an arrest. Yeah, I got her. She’s coming now. Send a car. Address is 5301 Trotters Street.”

I reached into my duffel bag and grabbed my revolver, aiming it at my brother’s chest. His eyes grew wide, and he quickly reached for his gun.

“What the f—”

I fired twice, impacting him in the chest. He stumbled backwards, reaching for his gun before lurching forward and collapsing onto the chessboard. Pieces toppled to the ground, dropping into the ever-growing pool of blood on the floor. My brother tried futilely to work his way back up, dropping back down after I emptied my last four bullets into his back.

I glanced down, past my brother with six holes in his midsection and to the floor, where the white queen had fallen on its side. I lifted the piece out of my brother’s blood, studying the new red half of the piece. I placed it on the table, next to my masks. After a moment of thought, I pulled Moondancer’s glasses from my pocket and set them down next to the chess piece.

I took the crown from the table, placed it on top of my head, then headed to the surface in wait for the men who would come and take me away.

“Why did you kill Shining Armor?”

“No clue.”

“You don’t just murder someone unless you have a good reason, especially not your brother.”

“Maybe you don’t understand me as well as you like to think.”

Twilight leaned forward, surveying the courtroom curiously. She hadn’t given this moment much thought. Her story was finally over. What could possibly be next? She supposed she’d be sentenced and taken away. She wondered how many years she’d be given in prison. Not that it much mattered. Killing an FBI agent is twenty years on its own, and then there were all of the heists, murder, and acts of vandalism. Any of the likely sentences would probably be too long for her to even consider seeing the light of the outside before she died. She wasn’t as young as she used to be. Her years were numbered, and prison would do nothing to prolong her life.

“You killed your brother for nothing? Is that what you want us to believe?” asked the prosecutor.

“I don’t care what you believe,” said Twilight. “I told the truth. Whether you believe or not is your choice. For all you know, I Iied about everything. Maybe I didn’t kill Lyra. Maybe I killed Rarity unprovoked. Maybe I never worked with Celestia. Not that it matters.” Twilight smirked. “Perhaps we should reevaluate how we elect our leader. Or, at the very least, remove the sovereign immunity doctrine. I can see how having a king or queen completely immune to the law can be problematic.”

“It doesn’t make sense.”

“Some things don’t. Some things are just the way they are,” said Twilight. “You can’t explain most things in the world, least of all people. We are illogical at best. Most people don’t know why they do anything they do.”

“But you’re not most people. You’re an anomaly. A deviation. You never do anything without a purpose. So, Twilight Sparkle, why did you murder your brother?”

Twilight stared ahead, her eyes dead and unfeeling. She looked past the prosecutor, through him, as if he were made of glass. She remained silent for a spell, collecting her thoughts.

“Because he was there,” said Twilight. “Because I hated him. Because he hated me. Because everything in my life had gone to shit, so why shouldn’t his? Because I’m a bad person who does bad things and I can’t help it. Because I have two sides. There’s Twilight Sparkle and there’s Medusa, and Medusa acted in a way that Twilight Sparkle probably wouldn’t have.” She leaned forward, resting her chin in her palms. “Is that what you wanted to hear? Did you want to hear that I regret it? Because I don’t. If I had to, I’d kill him again. I’d kill Cadance. I’d kill Flurry. I'd kill them all, again and again, if I had to.”

“No further questions,” said the prosecutor, clearly disturbed.

“Oh. So that’s what you wanted to hear,” chuckled Twilight. “It’s funny how easy you are to manipulate.”

“You’re going to jail, Ms. Sparkle. Who cares if you can manipulate me? I still won.”

“No, sir. You won the case.” Twilight grinned mischievously. “But I still won the game.”