• Published 18th Sep 2013
  • 2,081 Views, 169 Comments

My Little Investigations: The Silent Dirge - Metool Bard

Some maniac is aiming to silence every musician in Equestria. I, for one, will not stand for it.

  • ...

Karma's Curse

April 9, 6:25 PM
Lincolt Center
The Bent Trumpet

Well, it appears that neither of my wishes have been granted. It has been several hours now, and Lyra is still nowhere to be found. Thus, this nightmare will continue. I can't say I'm all that surprised, but I can't say I'm happy about it, either.

I decided to join Vinyl for dinner and help her console the still-despondent Bon-Bon. She was a lot more mellow than she was before, but she was still taking this pretty hard. I truly sympathize with her. I don't wish to engage in any idle gossip during such a delicate situation, so I'll just say that she and Lyra are very close. As such, it's only natural that she'd be in such low spirits.

"I was so proud of Lyra when she got invited to perform at this year's festival," Bon-Bon murmured. "This was gonna be her big night."

"I know," I said soothingly. "I was, greatly looking forward to it myself."

"Yeah, same here," said Vinyl. "Do you know what she had lined up?"

Bon-Bon let out a bitter chuckle. "Yeah, but she made me promise not to tell. It was going to be a surprise."

"And, you're still not telling," said Vinyl.

Bon-Bon shook her head. "Sorry, no."

Vinyl grinned. "Good to see you've still got hope that she'll pull through this."

Bon-Bon chuckled again. "Yeah, well. I know Lyra. She's one tough pony. I'm sure she's hanging in there, wherever she is."

"Well, her note did say not to worry about her," said Vinyl with a chuckle of her own.

I sighed inwardly. I couldn't say for certain if Lyra was just putting on a brave face or if she was actually okay. Still, I felt it best to keep that thought to myself. I didn't want to dampen Bon-Bon's spirits with my own worries. She needed all the support she could get.

"Vinyl and I can help you look for her tomorrow if you want," I suggested.

Bon-Bon smiled at me. "Thanks, but you guys don't need to do that. You've done enough for me already. Besides, Lyra wouldn't want me running around and making a fool of myself."

"You mean like you've been doing already?" said Vinyl, raising an eyebrow.

"Vinyl~!" I scolded.

"No, it's alright. She has a point," said Bon-Bon with a self-mocking grin.

"I know, but she should at least show a bit of decorum," I said sternly.

"Well, hello there, Scratch."

A smug, all-too-familiar voice made itself known, and I heaved a great sigh. This could only end poorly. I turned around in my seat, and sure enough, there stood Symphony with Concerto right behind her. Her complacent expression led me to believe that she wasn't here to offer her condolences.

"Not now, Symphony. We're busy," said Vinyl sternly.

"Oh, this'll only take a second," said Symphony. "You see, I have a bit of news for you."

"Not interested. Piss off," Vinyl growled.

Symphony pouted. "Ugh, you pseudo musicians always have to be so rude," she said, folding her forelegs.

"Really not in the mood for this, Symphony," Vinyl said through gritted teeth.

"Fine. Be that way," huffed Symphony. "I guess I won't tell you who's performing tonight due to Ms. Heartstrings's absence."

"It's you, isn't it?" said Vinyl.

Symphony paused for a moment, and then scoffed. "Humph. Lucky guess," she said.

"Luck had nothing to do with it, Symphony. I figured it out the moment you approached us," I said firmly. "Anyway, Vinyl's right. This really isn't the time for you to parade in here and gloat."

"See? I told you," said Concerto meekly.

"Shut up, Concerto," Symphony grumbled before turning back to us. "Anyway, Scratch. Prepare to have your meager little set overshadowed by a true artist."

"Yeah, yeah. I'm so frightened," said Vinyl sarcastically. "Now will you get outta here?"

Symphony snickered. "Mock me while you can, Scratch. Because your noise can never compare to..."

"Do you just not care?"

Symphony blinked at my interruption. "Wh-what do you mean?"

"The reason Lyra cannot perform tonight as scheduled is because she's been kidnapped, Symphony," I said, looking her straight in the eye. "You may be a snob, but I never imagined you to be this cold. Show a bit of respect."

Symphony gasped. "Wait, she's been what?"

"Kidnapped," I said. "And no, I'm not joking. Ask security if you don't believe me."

Symphony's face flushed red. "B-but that's ridiculous. I mean, there's no way... Are you...? How did...?"

"Why do you think we don't want to hear you blowing your own trumpet right now?" said Vinyl, folding her forelegs.

Symphony had no real retort for that. "W-well, my performance w-will still be ten times better than y-yours!" she sputtered. "Y-you just wait and see, Scratch! C-come along, Concerto!"

Thoroughly embarrassed, she marched out of the cabaret. Concerto sighed.

"We, honestly didn't know," he said with a bow. "On Symphony's behalf, I truly apologize for this. You have our condolences."

With that, he rushed off after his partner. I let out a sigh of my own.

"Honestly, she should really learn to use that brain of hers," I said. "Are you alright, Ms. Bon-Bon?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine," said Bon-Bon. "Really, I'm too exhausted to get mad anymore."

"Well, at least we can say this much," said Vinyl.

I had a good feeling as to what was coming next. "What's that, then?"

"I may lack decorum, but at least I'm not like Symphony."

And wouldn't you know it? I was right. I simply sighed and shook my head. "That doesn't justify your actions, Vinyl," I said.

April 9, 6:57 PM
Lincolt Center
The Whinnyton Maresalis Theater

After dinner, we all headed over to the theater for the big performance. I managed to find a seat next to Pitch Perfect, who was talking to Beauty Brass.

"Oh, hey there Octy," said Beauty Brass with a friendly wave. "Pitch and I were just trying to guess who's performing tonight. You know, with Ms. Heartstrings missing and all."

So, it appears that everypony knows about Lyra's disappearance. I was somewhat expecting that. If they didn't hear about it from the security, they certainly heard about it from Bon-Bon running herself ragged all day.

"It's a dang shame, really," said Pitch, furrowing her brow. "Kazooie an' I were really lookin' forward to hearin' Lyra. She's a big hit over in Ponyville, so I reckon she'd be a big hit here, too."

"You'll get no argument from me," I said. "Still, I'm sure she'll be found. She'll just be performing on a different day, that's all."

At least, I hope that's the case. But again, that's the worrywart in me talking, and I didn't want to spook Pitch and Beauty Brass. Especially not Beauty Brass.

After a few minutes, Slick Licks came out onstage and was greeted by a round of applause. He bowed a few times before raising his hoof.

"Welcome back, fillies and gentlecolts," said he. "We hope you're all enjoying the festival so far. Tonight, there's gonna be a change in the program. Due to circumstances beyond our control, Lyra Heartstrings's performance has been switched to a different day."

Everypony already knew this, so there was no muttering of confusion beyond the occasional "What do you think happened to her?" After a pause, Slick Licks cleared his throat.

"That being said, tonight's performance is still gonna be sweet," he said. "We've decided to take it slow for all you classy ponies out there. Straight from Canterlot, these two are a duo that can't be beat. Or, so they claim."

I stifled a laugh, and I clearly wasn't the only one. I can just imagine the anger that Symphony must be trying to keep under control right now. I know, I know. I shouldn't laugh at her like that. I blame Vinyl for corrupting me.

"Well, we'll just have to see if they've got the talent to match their claim," said Slick Licks. "Let's all give a warm welcome to Symphony and Concerto!"

There was a round of applause as the two violinists took the stage. Symphony seemed to be taking Slick Licks's insult in stride, which was not that surprising. Despite being a snob with a big ego, she at least tries to be professional whilst onstage. She and Concerto gave the audience a friendly wave before standing up on their hind legs and raising their bows.

Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Pitch's ear twitch. Curious, I turned to look at her. She appeared to be troubled.

"What's wrong?" I whispered.

"Somethin' ain't right," she muttered darkly. "I can't quite put my hoof on it, but..."

Before she could continue, there was a sharp twang and a shriek. I turned back to the stage and gasped. One of the strings on Symphony's violin had snapped and scraped her cheek. Surprised and disoriented, she stumbled back and fell to the ground with an unceremonious thud. Concerto was quick to notice this.

"Symphony!" he exclaimed, rushing over to help her.

As he did so, I saw Pitch's ear twitch yet again. Before I could ask her about it, a familiar shadow rushed onstage and pushed Symphony and Concerto out of the way. A second later, there was a snap, and a sandbag fell from above and landed where Symphony and Concerto just were. My heart stopped for a moment as the sandbag made contact with the stage. Just like Vinyl's set, Symphony's concert was cut short due to an attempt on her life.

Concerned, I made my way through the crowd and rushed up onstage. When I got there, I saw the Mysterious Mare-Do-Well standing in the shadows while Concerto tried to sort himself out. With a salute, Mare-Do-Well disappeared.

"Th-that was too close," said Concerto, still appearing to be rather shaken. "Symphony, are you alright?"

Symphony rubbed her cheek and growled. "Augh. That stings," she hissed. "Wh-what just happ—?"

She then saw the sandbag laying onstage. Her eyes went wide, and her jaw dropped. All was silent for a time.

"Um, Symphony?" said Concerto nervously.

Symphony rubbed her cheek again and looked at her hoof. She saw that she was bleeding. Her body trembled.

"Th-that looks like a nasty cut," said Concerto, holding out his hoof. "Here, let's get you patched up. Then we can go back onstage."

Symphony didn't even look up at Concerto. She was too busy staring at her hoof.

"Oh, Celestia. Oh Celestia, this is real," she murmured. "I-I can't..."

Concerto tilted his head. "Symphony, what's gotten into you?"

Symphony's breathing became erratic. "No. No no no no. Th-this can't be happening. Th-that letter couldn't have been serious."

"I-I'm sure it was just an accident. N-nothing to get excited over," said Concerto, although he didn't sound too sure of himself. "Seriously, not even I was scared by that phony threat, and you know how timid I get."

Symphony shook her head. "I-I don't know anymore, Concerto. I-I just don't."

From there, she started sobbing. I can't say for sure, but I think Symphony's a bit conflicted. Her pride won't allow her to admit that she's wrong, but at the same time, she doesn't want to die. Concerto sighed.

"Well, what are we going to do?" he asked. "We shouldn't disappoint the audience, but I can't do this without you."

Symphony didn't respond. She just sat there, crying. I decided to intervene.

"I'm sure the audience will understand," I said. "The same thing happened last night with Vinyl, after all."

Symphony looked up at me for a brief moment, and then turned away. "D-don't look at me," she sniveled. "Y-you can't see me like this."

Concerto sighed again. "Come, Symphony. You're obviously in no condition to perform tonight."

He then hefted her up and placed her foreleg around his shoulder. Symphony didn't bother fighting back, probably due to shock. As I watched Concerto carry his partner away, I felt my heart sink. Now I knew for a fact that this was real. Symphony and Concerto got the same death threat, and they almost paid the price for defying it. Someone out there is holding a sword over all of our heads, threatening to drop it if we play music. I don't know why he'd do this, or who he is (if it is a he), or even who's next on his blacklist. But I do know one thing. I have to stop him. I just wish I knew how to go about doing that...