• Published 28th Dec 2013
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It Runs In The Family - Onomonopia

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Clues to the Crime

The Cave

Batmare always hated going through the teleportation process that was required for her to get back to her cave, but she had found that if she thought about her work while she teleported back, it was tolerable. As the light from the teleportation process died down, she thought to herself how useful the multiple teleporters were that she had set up in various towns and cities throughout Equestria. She used the teleporters whenever a crime came up in a city close to her home, allowing her to get there almost immediately. She stepped off one of the teleportation platforms that sat in a circle in a hollowed out chamber and thought about how Twilight was so well-skilled with inventions and magical abilities. Batmare headed past a rocky outcrop and finally reached what she considered to be home...a massive cave. The cave was three stories' worth of rock and darkness, illuminated by a number of blue flames in lanterns that hung from the ceiling every few floors. The teleporters were located on the bottom floor where she could jump down to them if needed. She opened her wings and kicked off of the ground, flying up to the uppermost floor in one wing beat. She then gently landed on the metal structure embedded in the wall and walked over to a chair that sat in front of a massive crystal screen, pulling the dagger out of her belt and placing it in front of her on a grid.

"Computer, full scan of the item's symbols and compare them to any other symbols in the data base," she said to the computer before her. It hummed as it came to life, the massive screen lighting up to cover her in a bluish glow. The invention of the computer was still ages away from being even thought of in the land of Equestria, but Batmare had gotten this one from a...friend for her last birthday. It ran on magical crystals that were supplied by her comrades, and it was one of her greatest tools in the war on crime. Some days, she wondered how she'd get anything done without it. While the computer was scanning the dagger, she decided that she would try to find out more about tonight. She rose up out of her chair and headed to a pole near the computer, her cape swishing behind her as a damp breeze blew through the cave. She wrapped an armored hoof around the pole and slid down to the second floor, where she kept an archives that had been around for hundreds of years. The books were stored on massive shelves that went all the way up to the bottom of the floor above and were fifty feet across, it was an impressive collection of knowledge. She scanned the shelves with a discerning eye, finding what she needed within seconds.

"Advanced rituals and dark magic," she muttered to herself as she floated up to the top of the shelf to grab it, pulling it out with such precision that she didn't bother the books next to it. "If that symbol where I found the body of the filly murdered is in any book, it will have to be this one," Batmare said to herself. Although she had found traces of the symbol in the past, this was the first time she actually saw one up close, due to the quick-working ponies that cleaned up after the ritual. But now she knew what to look for. She flew down to a comfortable chair that she kept for whenever she needed to get some research done and sat down, cracking open the book and flipping through it until she found what she was looking for. The symbol was a summoning circle, used whenever a pony wanted to summon...'a demon or any other creature of dark and mysterious power'? Batmare frowned as she read that sentence, already not liking where this was heading. As she read on, she found to her increasing disgust that a sacrifice was required for demons or creatures of stronger power, the greatest of them requiring six sacrifices. But the demons could be made even stronger if the sacrifices were young fillies of pure blood, killed in just the right way.

"And tonight was the fifth filly," she muttered to herself, closing the book and placing it on the chair as she began to pace, lost in thought. Six sacrifices were required to unleash the most powerful of demons, and since this mysterious sicko was using fillies as sacrifices, that told her that he was going all the way with the sacrifices to summon a full blown demon. Her next stop was the floor just below this one, where her chemical lab was set up. A number of chemicals and potions lay on the table, as well as a number of vials that she had to be very careful with when using. One wrong move and she might blow the whole cave to Hades. Batmare reached into her belt and pulled out a small bag containing some blood that she had found on the knife that hadn't belonged to the filly, and came from some other pony. She slowly poured the blood into a vial and gently placed it over a beaker, reaching next for the spell-searcher potion. This potion was designed to determine the properties of the blood of a pony, telling if it was unicorn, Pegasus or earth pony. As she poured a small bit of the potion into the vial, she watched with a nod as the potion turned purple upon touching the blood. That made sense to her, since only the most dark rituals could be performed by the most advanced unicorns. She heard a ding from the computer above, telling her that it was done scanning the dagger.

"Mental note, write princesses about findings tomorrow," she muttered to herself as she placed the equipment down and turned all of the burners off, stifling a yawn while she headed for the pole and grabbed onto it, letting it pull her up three floors to the computer. As she walked over to the computer, she felt her eye begin to hurt again, which probably meant that she would have a black eye in the morning. She sat down at the computer while rubbing her eye, cursing herself for not seeing his attack coming and allowing herself to get hit. She always hated to explain her wounds to the other ponies. "Computer, what did you find?"

'Information found in secret reports by the princesses. The writtings on this dagger correspond to a race of ponies that vanished into the sea long ago, never to be heard from again,' the computer told her in a calm voice that still unnerved her when it 'spoke'. She was used to the computer voice, yet its lack of emotion bothered her. She rubbed her eye again, wondering how bad the blow had been. She reached around to the back of her dark mask and unhooked the cowl from the rest of the suit, slowly slipping it off her head and placing it on the table in front of her. With the mask gone, her purple mane came tumbling to her neck and allowed her to see again without obstruction. She wiped away the black face paint from her mouth that she used to disguise her face so that her natural orange color did not show. She held up a mirror to her face, allowing her to see the full extent of the damage.

"Damn, that's going to be black and blue in the morning," she muttered aloud as she looked in the mirror at her right eye, which was already beginning to swell. "Scootaloo, you have to be faster. Make another mistake and it may be your body that gets cleaned up. Computer, who were these sea ponies and what did they have to do with the rituals," Scootaloo asked the computer as she put the mirror down.

'The sea ponies used the dark rituals that consisted of sacrificing fillies to summon monsters to fight off those who tried to take over their race and their homes. Legend says that when the forces of King Sombra tried to invade the kingdom of the sea ponies, they used all of their powers to summon forth the greatest of monsters, the kraken." Scootaloo placed both hooves together as she began to think again. She had read of the kraken, one of the greatest sea monsters of all time. But she had also read that the kraken's assistance came at a price.

"What happened next?"

'Legend says that while Sombra's forces were defeated, he managed to steal one of the sea ponies' foals for his own, along with the spell book that contained all of the dark rituals. Enraged by this, the sea ponies sent the kraken into the land to finish him and get their foal back, forcing him to retreat to the Crystal Empire. The kraken returned without the foal but still demanded to be paid with more fillies for it's work. However, it had been weakened due to its time on land and it's battle with Sombra. The sea ponies, seeing how weak the kraken was, decided to betray the kraken and kill it.'

"But nopony betrays a beast like the kraken and gets away with it," Scootaloo said, not needing the computer to answer.

'Correct. The legend ends with the kraken returning as an even more powerful monster and dragging the home of the sea ponies to the bottom of the ocean, where it made them its eternal slaves as revenge for their betrayal. Legend says that they are still there, eternally trapped by the will of the mystic kraken.' Scootaloo smiled to herself at how familiar that sounded, a mystical being of unbelievable power forcing ponies to be their slaves. The same thing would have happened to Equestria if a certain someone hadn't fought for them.

"What happened to the book?" she asked the computer.

'No pony knows, although most of legends say that the original book was lost when Sombra's forces fell. Copies, like the one you have, were made, but the original still holds spells within it that are not in it's copy. The book and its dark rituals were lost to time and to this day no pony knows what became of it.'

"But some pony found it," Scootaloo said with a frown, realizing that she might be out of her depth here. She was used to fighting criminal scum and the occasional psychopath, but mystical dark arts and monsters that could wipe out an entire race of ponies might be out of her league. She gently cast a look towards another item that sat on the desk next to her cowl, a small stone that hummed with power. This stone was what she used whenever there was a case she couldn't solve or a problem that was too big for her. This was her backup. She slowly reached out a hoof to take it...but decided against it. There was still one more ritual to be stopped, and if her hunch was right, she had at least two weeks before this cult would try again, time that she could use finding out where the ritual would take place.

"I need to do this on my own," she convinced herself as she got to her hooves, grabbing the cowl and placing it over her shoulder. She walked over to an opening in the rock wall next to the computer, a crack that revealed a set of staircases that headed up to the surface. Next to the crack was a suit stand, the stand where she hung her suit when she wasn't using it. Scootaloo placed the cowl on the stand first, allowing herself to be drawn in by the design, from the empty eye sockets that were smaller than her eyes to the pointed horns that were reminiscent of her teacher.

"Even after ten years, I still smile when I see those horns," she whispered to herself with a smile before attending to the rest of the suit. Next came the body armor, the part of the suit that more often than not kept her alive during her crusading. She smirked at that thought, realizing that even though she had grown from a filly to a mare, that she was still crusading. Her eyes returned back to the armor. It had been designed in a plated form with lightweight poly-metal plating. The poly-metal plates were some of the toughest and lightest material in all of Equestria, easily able to shrug off a fully charged spell or a spear to the chest. But what made her smile the most about the suit was the bat symbol that had been crafted into the chest piece. It was a grey batarang, made of a material called 'anti-source' that could stop any magic dead in its tracks. This batarang wasn't just special to her because of its power, but because it had been given to her by her hero. After she had taken off the armor, all that was left was the black body suit that she wore underneath so that no pony would know her coat's true color. She had just started to remove it when she heard a ripping sound.

"Darn, that's the third time this month," Scootaloo said with a frown as she held the black body suit in front of her eyes, sighing at the massive tear down the side if the suit. "Rarity's going to kill me. She hates how long it takes to sew this up, especially considering I'll probably get it torn again by the end of the week." Finally after she had hung up her suit, she took the belt off the armor and headed toward the armory. The armory was hidden behind two massive metal doors that were located next to the stairs to the surface, and they could only be opened by her hoof print. She placed her hoof print on the scanner (another birthday present) and stepped back with a smile as the armory swung open, allowing her to look upon her items and gadgets. Three panels greeted her as the doors swung open, each one holding a different set of gadgets. On the first panel were all her batarangs, ranging from her electric ones that she had used early, to exploding batarangs that could bring down a wall. In the center was her bamboo staff, a memento of her time training with Rainbow Dash and Zecora in the way of the martial artist to perfect herself physically.

"Ah yes, I remember that time fondly," she said with a smile as she held the staff in her hooves, spinning around like a flash and swinging it behind her. "So much training, so many bruises. Who knew that Zecora could be such a harsh teacher?" She placed the staff back on the shelf and went over to the third shelf, where she kept her detective vision goggles and grappling gun, something that she mostly used when her wings got injured or she couldn't fly, which was more often than she cared to admit. She took her belt off and emptied the contents onto the table in front of her, sorting out her batarangs from the smoke pellets that she had brought with her but hadn't used. She yawned again after a few minutes of sorting her gear, hoping that she hadn't stayed up too late again. She finally finished putting all of her gear away after inspecting it and closed up the armory, yawning again as she passed through the crack in the wall and headed up the stairs. The stairs came out at an old grandfather clock, which slowly swung open as she pushed a button on the wall that opened it for her. The clock opened into her small dining room, which was barely big enough for a table, a few chairs and the clock. As she started to walk towards her bed, she could feel the weariness really start to get to her, making her stagger instead of walking straight and blurring her vision.

"Yawn...ugh, hopefully it's not as late as I think it is," she muttered to herself sleepily as she staggered through the open door into her bedroom and over to her bed, where she fell down face first and instantly fell asleep, dreaming to herself about what she had seen tonight and how much it frightened her.

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