“Excuse me sir? We will be arriving in Ponyville shortly.”
The aquamarine stallion stirred in his seat as he slowly woke up. He thanked the conductor for the update, climbed to his hooves and placed his saddle bags securely on his body. Arriving at the station, he received directions to Ponyville city hall.
“Hello!” The mayor's cheery assistant welcomed him into the building. “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Pointing at the pair of double doors behind the aide, he asked if that room was the mayor’s office.
“Yes, do you have an appointment?”
The stallion shook his head. He walked up to the doors, stood on his hind legs and forcefully pushed the doors open. Locking the door behind him, he took a seat, and placed his back hooves on the mayor’s desk. After a few moments of awkward silence, Mayor Mare spoke up.
“Hello…have we met?”
“…can I help you?”
“Probably not…you’re the one who approached me to take care of your shark problem.”
“OH! You’re the Shark Fighter! I’m so glad you came!”
She extended her hoof, but the stallion just stared at her with his front legs crossed.
“I see.”The mayor quickly pulled her hoof away. “I have spoken with a lot of city officials from places you’ve worked before. They say you get the job done, but you have a bit of a…attitude problem.”
Leaning back in the chair, he laughed at the mayor’s accusation.
“It’s not that I have an attitude problem…I have a problem with ponies like you.”
“Ponies like me? “
“Yeah, politicians. You claim to care about your constituents, but in reality…you don’t. The only thing that matters to you is their support, and you don’t care how you get it. You’d sell your soul for another term.”
Mayor Mare assured the stranger this time would be different.
“You’ll have my full support in anything you want to do. I just want that thing gone.”
The Shark Fighter nodded attentively, but deep down, he knew she was like all the others.
I give her a day before she stabs me in the back.
“Anyway, what can you tell me about the attacks that have happened?”
“So far we’ve had two. The first was on a mare named Bon Bon. Some colts found her remains washed up on shore about three days ago. The next day, Big Mac, one of our stallions was killed. Unfortunately, his girlfriend watched the whole thing.”
Closing his eyes for a moment, the stallion hung his head. He felt horrible for the poor mare.
“First thing I want to do is speak with her. See if she can tell me anything about the incident. Second, I want to see any remains you still have in your possession. By looking at the marks the teeth made, I can narrow down the exact species of shark we are dealing with. Third, I want to see the location where the attacks have been happening. If I can get that done today, I will have a plan for getting rid of the shark first thing tomorrow.”
The mayor would agree to his terms, as long as he did one thing for her.
“With all due respect mayor, I thought you said you’d give me your full support?”
“I did…if you do one thing for me.”
“Ok, I’ll bite. What’s the one thing you want from me?”
Before the mayor could speak, her assistant called her over the intercom.
“I have Twilight and Fluttershy here for you.”
“Great! Send them in!”
A lavender unicorn and a yellow pegasus walked in and sat next to the stallion.
“Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy, I would like you to meet the Shark Fighter.”
Both mares extended their hooves, but once again, the stallion refused to shake. He simply nodded, which irritated Twilight.
“You know, if somepony offers you their hoof, it’s polite to shake it.”
“So mayor,” the stallion chose to ignore the unicorn. “What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to work alongside Twilight and Fluttershy.”
“Thank you, but your town is on its own. I work alone.”
As Mayor Mare watched her towns only hope open her office door with every intention of leaving, she knew what she had to do.
“Fine, leave because I ask you to work in a team. But be warned, if anypony else is killed by this shark, I will publicly hold you responsible.”
“You wouldn’t dare…”
Leaning back in her chair with her forehooves crossed, the mayor simply grinned at the stallion. He angrily slammed the door and walked over to his new teammates.
“If we’re going to be working together, make yourselves useful and take me to the hospital.”
“Excuse me, Cheerilee?”
The magenta mare glanced toward her open door to see a stallion she didn’t recognize.
“Hello, you can call me the Shark Fighter. I’m here to personally take care of the creature that took your boyfriend away, but in order to that, I’m going to need you to answer some questions.”
Cheerilee nodded, so Shark Fighter pulled up a chair alongside the bed.
“What do you remember from that day?”
“I remember my hat blew into the water, and being a perfect gentlecolt, he offered to get it for me. I watched him go into the water…”
Losing control of her emotions, she began to cry. Shark Fighter held her hoof.
“You’re doing a fantastic job. You’ve been through a terrible ordeal, and anypony in your horseshoes would be doing the same thing.” Gently stroking her hoof, he asked if there was anything else she remembered.
“The look on his face will haunt me for the rest of my life. When he first started going under, I thought it was a joke. I just watched him go below the surface, and pop up later…it was actually amusing at first. But right before he went under for good, the look in his eyes…he was in so much pain!”
She leaned forward into the stallion’s front legs, sobbing into his shoulder.
“Am I a horrible pony?”
“Cheerilee, why in Equestria would you ask such a thing?”
“I watched my boyfriend suffer! I could have swam out there and pulled him to safety! He would have at least died in my hooves!”
Pushing the mare far enough away so she could look into his eyes, Shark Fighter did his best to console her.
“Look, I want you to know that you had no idea this would happen. Ponyville has never had a shark problem, so it’s completely understandable that you though he was playing around. And I hate to say this…but if you went in after him, you’d probably be gone too.”
Wiping her eyes, Cheerilee admitted that thought had come to mind.
“But, I feel so guilty I’m alive and he’s not! What am I supposed to do, I feel so alone...”
“In my experience, I think Big Mac would want you to live your life. Go to work, take a walk, do whatever it is you like doing! As long as Big Mac is in here…” the stallion pointed to her head. “..and here…” He moved his hoof from her head to her chest. “…he will always be with you.”
For the first time that day, the magenta earthpony smiled. She had no idea who this pony was or why he cared about her, but she appreciated his help.
“I think I’m ready to leave…can you find a doctor for me?”
“Look, you girls wanted to tag along. That means you follow me where I go, and right now, we are going to the morgue.”
“Um…to be fair…the mayor made us come with you. I would have been perfectly happy with my animals back home.”
Fluttershy refused to exit the elevator. She knew what a morgue was, and she wasn’t very eager to see what it looked like on the inside. Twilight Sparkle was doing her best to coax her friend to follow her.
“Come on Fluttershy! It will be like those anatomy books I lent you a few weeks ago! They are just ponies!”
Once inside, Shark Fighter opened the drawer containing Bon Bon.
“Wow…that’s one big fish out there…”
Twilight’s curiosity got the better of her, so she asked how he knew that, just by looking at the remains.
“Well for one thing, there is hardly anything left.” He motioned for the lavender unicorn to join him at the table, but she declined. “If you’re going to keep asking questions, you’re going to do it over here.”
“I would, but Fluttershy is having a difficult time in here…”
Shark Fighter picked up on of Bon Bon’s legs and turned toward the mares standing next to the door.
“Really? Maybe I can lend her a hoof?”
Fluttershy promptly fainted, which caused the stallion to laugh heartily.
“Hey!” A furious Twilight walked over to the stallion. “Fluttershy did nothing to you, why in Equestria would you do that to her?!”
Shark Fighter shrugged. “It seemed like a good idea at the time. Since you’re here, take a look.”
“Well, that was mean! She is very sensitive.”
“You’re right, it was mean. As soon as she comes to, I’ll apologize. Better?”
The unicorn nodded as she moved closer to the table. “How long will it take you to figure out what kind of shark this is?”
“Oh, I figured it about five minutes ago.”
“I don’t believe you! There are so many types of sharks in Equestria, what makes you think you can identify the shark, just by looking at bite marks?”
“I’ve been doing this a while, you can chalk it up to experience.”
“Well, I’ve been reading about sharks for the past three days. Can I try and figure it out?”
Shark Fighter backed away from the table. Twilight examined the pieces laid that were laid out, but excepted defeat after a few moments.
“Would you like me to help you?”
Twilight nodded, so the stallion returned to the table.
“What can you tell me about this wound here?”
“It’s looks different than most pictures I’ve seen. It looks rather…clean.”
“Exactly. This wound tells me that this particular shark doesn’t have jagged teeth. It’s almost like this piece was sawed off, rather than ripped off.”
“Yeah, I can see that!” The unicorn answered excitedly, but began to feel guilty. “So what do you think? Is it a great white?”
Shark Fighter scoffed at the idea of a great white being the perpetrator.
“What is this, a badly written science fiction movie? I have it narrowed down to two species, neither of them are great whites. I need to see the location of the attacks before I make my final assumption.”
“Ok, Fluttershy and I will take you there…as soon as she wakes up.”
“Alright, let me make myself clear. I DO NOT want either of you following me into the water. Do you understand?”
Both mares nodded, but Shark Fighter wasn’t convinced.
“Repeat after me, ‘I will not go into the water.’”
Twilight rolled her eyes, repeating the stubborn stallion, with a monotonous voice. Fluttershy squeaked along.
The stallion unsheathed his knife and placed it in his mouth.
“Wait! Um…what happens if the shark comes? What do you want us to do?”
Taking the knife out of his mouth, he told Fluttershy to do nothing.
“I’ll take care of it.”
“What do you plan on doing?”
“Step 1: Stab shark. Step 2: Repeat step one if necessary.”
Before anymore silly questions could be asked, he dove into the water and started examining the area.
Water is pretty cold…a lot colder than I anticipated. I am also seeing a lack lot of fish and other sea creatures around. Not many sharks would stick around here for long.
After a few minutes of exploring below the surface, Shark Fighter exited the water. He purposely shook the excess water from his mane near Twilight and Fluttershy, getting them wet much to their dismay.
“Well, I’ve got good news. The water is pretty cold, and I didn’t see a lot of food in this area. I think it may be long gone by now. As long as you-“
“WHERE ARE YA, YA COWARD?”
The stallion turned around to see an orange earthpony run into the, screaming at the top of her lungs. He turned to the mares beside him.
“Who…who is that?”
“That’s our friend…Applejack.”
“What is she doing in the water?”
“Her brother, Big Mac was killed by the shark. She has been coming out here everyday since he died. She comes out, screams at the shark and goes home.”
“Haven’t you told her it’s dangerous to be doing things like that? Splashing around and noise attract sharks you know.”
“Well…we thought about it. But she is so close to shore, we figured it was ok.
Shark Fighter shook his head as he explained that most attacks happen three feet of water. Sensing the concern in the stallions voice, Twilight asked why he cared so much.
A small smirk grew upon Twilight’s face.
“She’s what, Shark Fighter?”
Before he could answer, he noticed a dorsal fin rise above the surface. The orange mare was so upset, she failed to see it.
“She’s about to become fish food!”
Shark Fighter ran as fast as he could, hoping to reach the mare in time. Once he reached her, the stallion wrapped his hooves around her mid section and pulled her out of the way before the shark could attack.
“WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YA’LL THINK YOU DOING?”
Her rescuer was unable to respond. At that exact moment, he saw the horrid beast.
For the love of Celestia…
Shark Fighter helped the orange mare to shore, but to his surprise, she wasn’t happy to see him.
“What in tarnation did ya do that fer?”
“You were about to become victim number three. I just saved your flank.” The orange pony continued to glare at him. “You know, when somepony saves a life, they are usually rewarded with a thank you at least.”
Applejack thanked him with a slap across the face.
“Ah’ don’t recall askin’ to be saved. I could have handled ma’self”
“If you think you could have taken that shark on your own…darlin’, you are a lot dumber than your accent lets on.”
The distraught pony ran away with tears in her eyes. Twilight informed the stallion he didn’t have to be so harsh.
“We have a lot more to deal with right now, than your friends petty problems.” He sat up and looked out toward the water. “I know what kind of shark we have out there.”
“Are you sure it’s ok if I stay at your house Fluttershy? I can always stay at a hotel…”
“Oh…well…normally that would be ok. Except Ponyville doesn’t have a hotel…”
“In that case…thank you for letting me stay here. Do you need help with anything?”
The yellow pegasus mentioned she could use some help feeding her animals.
“I would really appreciate your help! Four hooves are better than two, so we should get it down a lot faster!”
“Exactly how many animals do you…”
Fluttershy opened her front door, and the stallions jaw dropped.
“Well, I have a lot as you can see. Most of these critters were hurt, or sick at one point. I nursed them back to health…and they decided to stay I guess.”
The two ponies continued to talk as they fed her animals. Shark Fighter apologized for his prank earlier that day, and she graciously forgave him.
“Thanks Fluttershy.” He said, giving the yellow mare a hug. “So…how many animals do we have left?”
“We just have the otter and the seal left…”
The word otter was enough to form a smile on the stallions face.
“You have an otter!?”
“Yes I do, is there something wrong with that?
“No, I just love otters to death!”
Walking him down to small pond by her house, Fluttershy introduced her house guest to her otter friend. Shark Fighter fell in love immediately.
“Look at him, he’s so adorable!”
Watching the stallion play with the creature confused the yellow pegasus.
“I thought you hated animals?”
“What?” He stopped playing with his new friend long enough to ask why she would think that.
“Well, you kill sharks for a living…I figured you didn’t like animals…”
“Oh, I see. Well, believe it or not, I am…was a marine biologist. I spent my days studying marine mammals like this little guy here.”
“Oh, that sounds nice! Why do you kill sharks then?”
Shark Fighter hung his head, starting to grow uncomfortable with Fluttershy.
“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you. It’s kind of personal…I don’t talk about it with anypony.”
Placing the otter back in the pond, he excused himself, heading back to the house. He sat on the couch and began formulating his proposal for the mayor tomorrow.
“I’m sorry if I upset you…I was just trying to get to know you a little better…”
“Look, I like you Fluttershy, but it isn’t a good idea if we become friends.”
The mare suddenly looked upset. She asked if it was something she did.
“No, you have been a great helper and a wonderful host. I try to stay away from friends because of my line of work. If I
happen to die during a fight, I don’t want to leave somepony behind, crying over me. “
Fluttershy nodded, but the stallion could see she didn’t understand entirely.
“So…um, Shark Fighter…you said you saw the shark earlier?”
“Yes, I did. We are in for a rough couple days…I guarantee it.”
“I’ll explain at the meeting tomorrow” he sighed. “I’m gonna need a bigger knife.”