You'll Never Find Out

by Lupus

The Finale

Only twenty minutes into the journey, Cliff Hanger was already contemplating caving in his own skull against the carriage walls. Two members of the ACPD, both earth pony stallions, were carrying him to his future home at the prison known as the Hole, and one of them just wouldn't shut up. From what he could see, Cliff empathized with the elder greying stallion who seemed to be resigned to his fate. The younger of the two either didn't notice his partner's inner suffering, or else didn't care, and would talk just about anything that seemed to catch his interest.
Every now and then, the talker would look back at Cliff Hanger and sneer as if he were the one that put Cliff there. So far, Cliff had been spared the "pleasure" of his conversation, but Cliff knew that eventually all good things must end. "You ever been to the Hole, horny?" Cliff Hanger's eyes narrowed slightly at the slur, but before he could respond the talkative stallion continued, "Of course you haven't. 'Cause if you had, you'd still be there," he smirked, "Well let me fill you in on what you're in for."
The older stallion sighed, "Don't talk to the prisoner, Loose Cannon."
"Now now, Grizzled, our 'friend' deserves to know what he's in for," looking back at Cliff Hanger, Cannon smirked again, "Do you know why they call it the Hole?"
It took all of Cliff Hanger's will to not roll his eyes, "I assume you mean besides the fact that it's a giant hole in the ground?"
Loose Cannon scoffed, "It's because when they toss you in your small, windowless cell, and they'll just forget about you. Don't worry, though. You won't starve to death. The chains they'll use to bind you to the wall are..." he faltered as he looked for the right words.
Grizzled sighed, "Enchanted."
"Yeah, enchanted. Anyway, they won't let you starve. That's why they can just forget you exist." Loose Cannon laughed as if he told a very amusing joke.
Grizzled just sighed again, "Will you stop antagonizing the prisoner?"
Cannon kissed his teeth, "Not like we'll ever see him again after tonight," Cliff Hanger smiled at that. Cannon, seeing this, scowled, "What, think you can escape the Hole? Well allow me to kill that last bit of hope. There are over two hundred royal guards stationed there at all times, and you will have a special place at the very bottom with the rest of the filth where you belong. Even if by some miracle you break outta your cell and make it outside, nothing but a sheer cliff face waits for you," he chuckled, eyeing Cliff Hanger's cutie mark, "And no matter how good you are at rock climbing, you'd never survive the ballista."
Cliff's smile widened until he couldn't contain his laughter. He met both of there eyes, "No no no, you are quite mistaken as to the nature of my talent. It lies not in climbing mountains, but in the stories ponies call life. For example," he focused on Grizzled, " you have been on the force for many, many years. In that time you've had a very successful career, and always played by the book. That is until your new partner," he gestured to Loose Cannon, "dragged you into...undesirable situations. His reckless actions have nearly cost both of you your badges on numerous occasions, but together you've taken down some of the city's most notorious criminals." Cliff Hanger nodded, "Yes yes yes, the two of you are quite famous amongst my kind. Or infamous as it were.
"However, while piecing together one's life story is a simple enough task, I cannot see how their stories will end. Which, while frustrating at times, I've found that I prefer not knowing," he smiled, "Yes yes yes, it means that anything could happen."
Cannon opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, they all heard the high pitched screaming of a mare. With just a glance to one another, Grizzled and Loose Cannon galloped towards the source of the scream, while Cliff Hanger relaxed against the wall of the carriage. The smile never leaving his lips.

Less than a minutes gallop led the police stallions to a Pegasus mare weeping on the unconscious form of a rather large earth pony stallion. Her mane was a dual toned black and yellow, and her coat was an ashen grey. Her cutie mark depicted a theatre comedy mask, however the mouth was lined with rows of pointed teeth. Her ears perked up as the stallions drew near, and she turned to them with red, tear filled eyes.
"Oh thank Celestia!" she cried with a smile, "Please officers, you have to help us!"
Loose Cannon and Grizzled came to a stop and Cannon unhooked himself from the carriage before trotting over to the mare, "What seems to be the problem, ma'am?"
"It's my brother," she gestured to the brown maned, blue coated stallion, "he just collapsed!" the mare threw her hooves on Cannon's chest as the tears began to flow again, "Please, please you have to help him!"
Cannon gave her a not so chaste smile, "Don't you worry miss, I'll see what I can do." With a gesture to Grizzled to take care of the mare, Cannon trotted over to the fallen stallion.
The mare wiped her tears away as Grizzled laid a hoof on her withers, "Despite how he looks, my partner is trained in field medicine. Your brother will be fine."
The mare threw her arms and wings around the old pony, "Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!" Despite himself, Grizzled felt blood rush to his face at the rather intimate hug. The outpouring of affection almost distracted him from noticing the mare's brother on his hooves, and Loose Cannon on the ground, lying in a pool of his own blood and a dagger firmly lodged in his chest.
A giggle from the mare was all the warning Grizzled had before he felt the cold steel of a blade slide across his throat. The mare backed away from him with a manic grin, and Grizzled tried to stem the flow of blood from the wound in his neck. He tried to speak, but all he managed was a strangled gurgle.
"Thank you very much, officer," the mare said while dangling a set of keys in one wing, and stowing a bloodied knife with the other. "You've been a tremendous help Truly a cut above the rest!" It was then, even as Grizzled's vision faded, and when he caught sight of the stallion's cutie mark, a theatre tragedy mask, as both the stallion and the mare walked past him, that Grizzled recognized the two ponies. Dark Comedy and Tragedy, the siblings who were parts of Cliff Hanger's "family."
Grizzled's strength gave out, and he collapsed to the ground, his vision fading to black. His final thought was, Damn, only two days till retirement.

Turning away from the bleeding old stallion, Dark Comedy skipped happily up to the back of the carriage they were hauling. Finding the right key, she threw the carriage door open with a bright smile, "And here at the scene of a grisly murder where two brave stallions of the APCD tragically lost there lives as a very sexy criminal mastermind aided in the escape of the notorious, and less sexy criminal Cliff Hanger!"
Cliff Hanger clapped his hooves at Dark Comedy's narration before hopping out of the carriage, "Good work, very good work. Yes yes yes, the both of you preformed marvelously," Dark Comedy bowed at the compliment like an actress before her audience, when Cliff Hanger was scooped up and pulled into a crushing hug by Tragedy.
"Cliff Hanger!" he bellowed, tears streaming down from milky and useless eyes, "I've m-missed you s-so much!"
Cliff struggled for breath in Tragedy's embrace, "And it's-urk- good to...see you, too."
Dark Comedy laid a wing against Tragedy's side, "Easy there, big brother. You don't ant to kill him, do you?"
Tragedy immediately dropped Cliff Hanger and wailed, "NOOOOO! That would be so saaaad!"
Despite the pain in his ribs, Cliff Hanger laughed and stood on shaky hooves, "I don't blame you. It has been over two years, yes yes yes."
Dark Comedy cuffed the back of Cliff's head with a wing, "And why was that? What took you so long to contact us?"
Cliff rubbed the back of his head, but still smiled, "All part of the plan, dearie, I assure you." At Dark Comedy's scowl, Cliff raised his hooves defensively, "No no no, no need for that. Just put on those uniforms," he gestured to the bodies of the officers, "and we'll be on our way."
Tragedy sniffed, "B-but they won't fi-fit us."
Cliff Hanger cleared his throat and pointed to the ring still around his horn. Dark Comedy gave him a sheepish smile, "Heh, sorry."
"W-what? What am I mi-missing?"
After the ring was removed, Cliff Hanger used his magic to adjust the sizes of the uniforms to fit his friends forms. He then placed an identical, but useless ring around his horn and said, "Now we have one more stop, but our final destination is the Hole?
Dark Comedy raised a brow, "Why would we want to go there? Doesn't sound like a hole lotta fun to me." The wind blowing was the only thing heard after that. Not even the crickets made a sound.
Tragedy wailed again, while Cliff Hanger sighed, "Didn't miss that," he said to himself. With a smile he said aloud, "Because, dearie, there's someone there I think you'd like to see again."
Dark Comedy gasped in excitement, "You mean...?"
"Yes yes yes, it's time our family was whole once more."
With a squeal of unrestrained glee, Dark Comedy threw her hooves around Cliff Hanger, and Tragedy bellowed, "I'm so ha-happy!"
Soon Cliff Hanger was back in the carriage, while Dark Comedy and Tragedy pulled it towards the Hole. Dark Comedy was humming to herself, unable to wipe the smile off of her face. Tragedy was quietly sobbing, and Cliff Hanger muttered with a smile, "I win again."

In the depths of the Hole in the furthest room on the bottom most level, chained against the wall of a small, windowless cell sat a creature never before seen in Equestria. This creature, who claims to have crawled out of the depths of Tartarus itself, committed so many atrocities on not only ponykind, but on nearly every sapient race on the planet, that it was given the name Gore. This creature, after finally being caught and imprisoned, had been silent over the two years of its incarceration, much to the prison guards' fear and confusion, as Gore was known to talk. At length.
This creature, for the first time since imprisonment, laughed.