Crime Pays

by chillbook1

Mythos Paid Internship Program

“Silver… Silver Spoon…”

“Not here.”

“Where… am I…?”

“Nowhere. Everywhere. Does it matter?”

Diamond Tiara stirred sleepily, her wrists bound by padlocked chain links attached to a ring on the floor. She was just returning to the land of the living, from the looks of it. She had been muttering about that friend of hers for a few minutes, and didn’t seem to be retaining any information. I had given the same “nowhere, everywhere” answer four or five times.

“Wake up, Ms. Tiara,” I said, flipping my revolver over in my hand from my improvised cinderblock seat. “I’m a busy woman.”


Diamond groggily sat up, just enough slack in her chains to allow her to rub her eyes. She let out a yawn, scratching behind her ear. Her apparent sleepiness was shed entirely when she saw the faint green face of my mask.

“Don’t run,” I said. Immediately ignoring my advice, she took off. She tripped over her bindings and fell, smashing her face into the cold concrete. “I warned you.”

“Who… Who are you?” She panted, scraping herself off the floor.

“They call me Medusa,” I said. “We’ve actually met before. I broke into your house?” I could see the remembrance flood her. “That thing of value I was looking for? I got it.”

“Look, if you want ransom money, you’re barking up the wrong tree,” said Diamond. “My dad won’t pay a penny for me.”

“Oh, no. This isn’t about money. Well, it is. But not like that,” I said, setting my gun down and pushing myself to my feet. “If I free you, can I trust you to not try and punch me in the face?” Diamond mulled it over for a bit.

“Silver Spoon. Is she okay?”

“She’s fine. As soon as we’re done with our chat, you’ll be allowed to see her.” I said. I pulled a key from my pocket, waving it through the air. “Seriously, I will be very upset if I end up with a black eye because I decided to be nice. If you do something stupid, I will break your legs.”

“What are you going to do to me?” The girl didn’t sound scared in the slightest. The arrogance in her voice was thick, slimy. I liked it.

“Nothing. I just want to talk to you,” I said. I carefully showed her the key, then unlocked the chains from her wrist.

“And you decided that chloroforming me was the best way to go about that?” snapped Diamond. She rubbed her wrists gingerly, trying not to show that they hurt. “Who the hell are you?”

“You really do have listening problems, don’t you?” I sighed. “They call me Medusa. I head a crew by the name of Mythos. We are some of the best heisters out there. You may have heard of us.”

“What does that have to do with me and my friend?”

“That bank you two robbed. The one where you pretended to shoot your friend,” I said. “That bank is, for all intents and purposes, mine.” Diamond shrunk down slightly, her mouth slightly agape. I could almost see the cogs in her head turning as she tried to find a way talk her way out of it.

“Er… Sorry about that,” she said. “We thought we were robbing people who wouldn’t kidnap us.”

“Cute. Well, I was impressed. I take it the C4 was real?” I asked. She nodded, unable to prevent herself from leaking pride. “My friend likes that one, but I’m partial to the gun thing. How did you manage that? With blood and everything?” Much like me, she couldn’t resist explaining her brilliance.

“I tied packets of costume blood to Silver Spoon’s neck,” explained Diamond. She tapped the sides of her neck to show precisely where. “I’m quite good with makeup, so I was able to hide them. I fired my gun, with blanks, and she clutched her throat.”

“With a pin in her hand,” I said, understanding the admittedly simple—but no less brilliant—trick. “That is very clever. That’s why I kidnapped you.”

“Eliminating competition?” she asked. I peered at her, waiting for her to elaborate. “If we’re so good, there are less banks for you to rob. Getting me and Silver Spoon out of the way brings you closer to a criminal monopoly.” I couldn’t help but laugh at that. Diamond thought so much like I did when I was her age.

“No, that’s not it. Clever though you may be, you don’t have the resources or experience to be any sort of competition,” I snickered. “You may be the best lemonade stand in the neighborhood, but I’m a multinational franchiser. I want to recruit you.”

“You want me to work for you?” she asked, a bit stupefied.

“You don’t steal for the money, do you?” She shook her head, confirming what I already knew. “Of course not. You steal for the same reasons that I do. I want you on my team. I have a bank heist lined up in Las Pegasus that would be perfect for a newbie like yourself. So, what do you say?”

Diamond looked at me, not with fear, not with concern, but with what appeared to be resentment. It was only there for a moment, but she was bitter. Bitter that I referred to her as a newbie? Or for insulting her operation? I hardly processed it, and she moved on before I could address her.

“When do we start?” she asked. I grinned.

“Welcome to the Mythos Paid Internship Program.”

“Alright, ladies and gentleman,” I said, pacing across the floor of the concrete floor of the auxiliary safehouse. “First National Bank of Las Pegasus. What do we know about it?”

“It’s big as hell,” said Rainbow. She made herself right at home on the couch, her feet kicked up on the table usually reserved for chess. “One of the biggest banks in Equestria, right?”

“Definitely the top five,” agreed Spike. “Which means it’s gonna be guarded.”

“Question,” said Silver Spoon quietly. I hadn’t heard much from her so far, further solidifying the idea that she was something of a sidekick. “Why are we robbing here of all places? There’s gotta be safer hits that are closer.”

“Shut up, Silver Spoon,” said Diamond Tiara. “Medusa knows what she’s doing.” Silver Spoon made no effort to argue. She just got quiet. That spoke a lot to what type of a friend Diamond Tiara was.

“She has a point, boss,” said Dash. “Why are we going across the country for a bank?”

“Two million a person, that’s why,” I said. Oh, the look on the little junkie’s face… You’d have thought she won the lottery. In a way, she had. “If you don’t want your cut, you can stay home and go back to mugging strangers. Otherwise, we need to start on a plan. Hydra?”

“I have some options, but they’re not perfect,” said Spike. “We have what we’ll call the Apollo Approach.”

“Rush in, balls swinging?” asked Dash. Spike nodded. “Sounds good to me.”

“Alternatives,” I said.

“Please,” added Diamond. She was quite the kiss-ass.

“Besides going in guns blazing, we can infiltrate through the rear,” explained Spike. “I don’t have any floor plans as of right now, but from what I can tell, there are two security rooms at the back. We sneak in, pick the lock, and knock out the camera dudes. We’ll control surveillance while Medusa heads to the top of the building to shut down silent alarms.”

“Downside?” I asked.

“It’s tough. We’d have to get in the building and security rooms without getting caught, or else we’ll be back to the Apollo Approach.” Spike pulled a cigarette from his pocket, lit it with his breath, and stuck it in his mouth. “Option number 2: We wait until dark, squeeze through an air duct, and pray we can get through the vault without waking up the entire neighborhood.”

“Sounds easy,” said Dash.

“Well, it’s not. If we run with this, we’ll have to find some information about the place. Might take a while, and if we botch it…”

“We’re caught with our pants down,” I said with a nod. “Risky move. Anything else?”

“Well… Not really, to tell the truth. I mean, I haven’t seen the place up close, so—”

“Uh, hello?” Diamond Tiara cut in. “Are you serious right now? There’s totally a third option. Why don’t we use my talents to get us in and out without resistance?”

“What, a C4 vest?” asked Silver Spoon. Diamond Tiara flicked her on the forehead.

“No, you idiot! A hostage situation!”

“Like one of your fake heists?” Spike puffed out a little swirl of smoke. “That might work, actually. We walk in like we’re nobody, mask up, grab our quote-unquote ‘hostage’, get the green, and peel off.”

“That’s a big risk for whoever isn’t wearing a mask,” I pointed out. “Who’s willing to do that?”

“I’ll be the hostage,” offered Diamond. “What’s a little risk to two million dollars?”

“Alright, then. We need to be in Las Pegasus to finish planning,” I said. “Hydra? Do we have room and board in the west?” Spike turned his head up, clearly thinking on it.

“We can get some. When do we leave?” he asked.

“Tonight. The sooner, the better.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out two disposable prepaid phones, tossing one to each Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon.

“What are these for?” asked Silver Spoon. “We have phones, thanks.”

“They’re burners. You conduct all business through those phones, and you break them after every job,” I explained. “Never use your real name, and never use any terms besides ‘business’ or ‘work’ when referring to hitting a bank. Never give any information pertaining to the job unless you are sure that the other person is alone. Hydra will teach you more on the drive over, you’ll be riding with him.”

“What, you’re gonna cruise with me?” asked Dash. I nodded. “Um, okay. I gotta stop by my place first, if you don’t mind.”

“Whatever. I need to take a look at your place for bugs, anyway,” I said. “Hydra, get the girls some masks. Maybe the Janus set.”

“Nah. Echidna and Typhon,” said Spike.

“Ooh, I forgot about those. Make it happen, we’ll set off in…” I gestured to Dash.

“Um… Half an hour? Yeah, half an hour,” she said. “I’ll drive?”

“Let’s go.”

I followed Dash out of her car, leaving our masks in the trunk. It felt almost strange to be approaching her house, being invited in this time. Dash still didn’t know that I broke in, that I was the one who stole her drugs. I prefered to keep it that way.

“It might be a mess in there,” she warned me, digging in her pocket for her keys.

“I can only imagine. Don’t feel too bad about it.” I smiled slightly. “My apartment probably looks like a warzone. Come to think of it, I haven’t been there in ages. I might’ve been evicted…”

Dash pushed open the door and stepped into the house, looking around as if she was afraid of something inside. I followed her inside, stepping into the living room. Someone was waiting for us on the couch.

“Sup, D,” he said. He was a bit lighter than Rainbow, and perhaps more stable-looking. Dash didn’t look like a tweaker, but there was something wild and disheveled in her. This guy, he looked like her rebellious older brother.

“Soarin? What the hell are you doing here?” asked Dash. “And where’s the Squirt?”

“She’s not my kid. I think I saw her hanging down by the park. Probably snatching chains.” He leaned forward, smiling politely. “Oh, hello. Don’t think I caught your name?”

“Paul,” I said blandly. “Dash, hurry up and do what you need to do.”

“I was just gonna tell Scoots that I was out, and maybe…” Dash’s eyes widened. “Soarin… Are you here to deliver something?” Soarin grinned, reached into his pocket, then tossed Dash a small baggie containing what appeared to be an eighth-ounce of cocaine.

“As per usual, the 8 ball is on the house,” said Soarin. “For my valued customer.”

“I thought…”

“Well, I like you, so I pulled some strings and got my guy to give me a bit more. I’m charging you, though.”

Dash held the bag as if afraid it would melt away in her hands. She shoved it into her pocket, ran over to the couch, and tackled Soarin in a tight, hysterical hug.

“Dude, you are the absolute fucking best!” she squealed. I sighed, shaking my head at the display.

“I’ll be in the car,” I sighed.

“Don’t you find your concern for Dash’s health to be a bit backwards?”

“How do you figure?”

“You’re convincing her to throw her life away. Who cares how she does it?”

Twilight didn’t see herself as particularly shallow or short sighted. She couldn’t understand how anyone could get the idea that she didn’t think for the long game. So the prosecutor's reasoning not only annoyed her, but it truly baffled her. Some things she just couldn’t wrap her head around, even with her genius.

“She’s my employee. I need her to be focused, or bad things will happen,” said Twilight, as calmly as she could. “Furthermore, she is my friend.”

“Was.” Twilight tilted her head slightly. “Well, she betrayed you and gave you up, so I struggle to believe that she’s your friend still.” Twilight made no response, which the prosecutor saw as his chance to ask a question that had been on his mind. “You said to Ms. Tiara that she steals for the same reason that you do. What reason is that?”

Twilight took her time answering. It wasn’t especially complicated, but she still wanted to take her time and ensure that she was saying everything she wanted, exactly the way she wanted to say it.

“I am a glorified librarian. Every few weeks, the Royal Library will call me and ask me to read a book. Sometimes, I read a book to other people. Sometimes, I explain to people how to read the book,” said Twilight. “I make a lot of money doing that. But it’s boring. It kills my mind. I’d been robbing banks for years prior to the original formation of the modern day Mythos crew, and it felt… It just felt so good. Nobody knew Twilight Sparkle, but everybody knows Medusa.”

“You robbed banks and kidnapped children,” said the prosecutor. “For recognition.” Twilight nodded, a small smirk spreading across her face.

“I took an apathetic world and gave them something to focus on. Nobody cares about a Royal Library worker, just like nobody cares about me.” Twilight laughed darkly. “Nobody cared about me until I put on the mask.”