• Published 18th Sep 2013
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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.

  • ...

Luncheon with Lyra

April 10, 11:54 AM
Lincolt Center
The Bent Trumpet

"Hey, Octy! You're just in time!"

When I entered the Bent Trumpet, the first thing I noticed was Vinyl waving at me. She was sitting with Lyra and Bon-Bon. I sighed inwardly. No rest for the weary, I suppose. Then again, Lyra's testimony was crucial to unraveling all of these mysteries. I walked over to Vinyl.

"Just in time for what?" I asked rhetorically.

"I was just about to start grilling Lyra on what happened to her yesterday," said Vinyl.

Did she have to phrase it that way? Wait, what am I talking about? Of course she did. How else was she going to annoy me? I suppressed a groan.

"You okay, Octavia?" asked Lyra, tilting her head.

"F-fine," I said with a sigh. "Actually, I wouldn't mind hearing this story myself. You don't mind if I join you for lunch, do you?"

"Nah, not at all," said Lyra with a grin. "There's, not a whole lot to tell, though."

"That's alright," I said, taking a seat. "Do you want me to call for the waiter?"

"I got this," said Vinyl. "Yo, Garçon! Over here!"

There was probably a more polite way to say that. Well, at least she pronounced garçon correctly. Resisting the urge to scold her (it wouldn't have done any good, anyway), I turned to Lyra.

"So, what did happen to you yesterday?" I asked. "You really had us all worried."

"Yeah, I know," said Lyra, brushing the back of her mane. "I'm really sorry about that."

"You don't need to apologize, Lyra," said Bon-Bon affectionately. "It wasn't your fault. It was that bastard who kidnapped you."

"I, actually wouldn't be so quick to call him that," said Lyra.

I blinked. "What do you mean?"

"Well, let me start from the beginning," said Lyra. "I was just sitting in the performance studio hiding from that dock-hole Star Maker and practicing for my big show. Then, all of a sudden, I hear this sound."

"A sound?" I parroted. "Like from outside?"

"I don't know," said Lyra thoughtfully. "All I remember is that it was really pleasant. And after hearing it, I blacked out. Next thing I knew, I was in this pitch black room, somewhere."

Typical. It's not likely that a pony who is kidnapped would know where they end up. "What happened then?"

"Well, then some guy started talking to me," said Lyra. "Don't ask me who it was; they were hidden in the shadows the entire time."

"What did they say?"

Lyra heaved a great sigh. "Alright, this is where things get kinda scary. Do you ponies think you can handle it?"

"I-I'm ready," said Bon-Bon with a swallow.

"Don't worry 'bout me, Lyra," said Vinyl as she finished talking to the waiter.

"Just get on with it, Lyra," I said, bracing myself for the inevitable.

Lyra sighed again. "Okay then, here goes nothing. Bons, you remember that letter I got when we checked into the hotel?"

"You mean the prank about someone killing you if you play music ever again?" said Bon-Bon.

"That's the one."

"What about it?"

"It's not a prank, Bons. It's real."

Bon-Bon gasped. "S-so, Ms. Octavia's theory is true then?"

Lyra raised an eyebrow. "Octavia's theory? What are you talking about?"

"Looks like the cat's outta the bag, Tavi," said Vinyl with a shrug.

Ugh, the least she could do is act like this bothered her. Oh well, I might as well get this out of the way. "Lyra, you're not the only one who got that letter."

Lyra's eyes went wide. "You knew, too?"

"It was a guess at first, but what happened to Symphony last night clinched it," I said. "She was substituting for you during your disappearance, and she was attacked before she could even play a single note."

"Ever since the incident at my performance, Octy has been trying to figure this out," added Vinyl.

Lyra was surprised for a moment, but then gave me a sly smirk. "Wow, Octavia. I didn't know you had it in you."

"I'm sure you'd do the same in my horseshoes, Lyra," I said. "Music is important to all of us here, and I'll be buggered if I let some madman take it away."

"Well said," said Lyra with a nod. Just then, our food arrived. "Thanks."

"So, did the kidnapper say anything else to you?" asked Bon-Bon. "Like, why did he do it?"

"Apparently to protect me," said Lyra with a shrug. "I guess he didn't want whatever happened to Symphony to happen to me."

Meaning the kidnapper and the killer were not the same person. That was important to know.

"And the kidnapper never told you his identity?" I asked.

"Nope," said Lyra. "But he did check in on me every now and then to see if I was hungry or if I needed anything. He even let me practice on my lyre."

"In the dark?"

"Well, I had my horn providing some light," said Lyra.

"And you didn't use it to see the kidnapper or figure out where you were?" asked Vinyl.

Lyra blushed. "H-hey, I was scared, okay? Cut me some slack, Vinyl. Sheesh."

"But you could've cast some sort of illumination spell once the kidnapper told you his true intentions," I said. "He clearly meant you no harm."

"Yeah, well. I couldn't really be sure of that at the time," said Lyra.

"I suppose you're right," I said. "So, what happened then?"

"Well, eventually, I got tired and fell asleep," said Lyra. "When I woke up, I was sitting on that bench where you found me this morning. That's when I realized the guy wasn't trying to hurt me."

"I-I'm gonna be honest, Lyra. I-I don't know what to say to that," said Bon-Bon, munching on her hay fries. "Why did this guy feel the need to abduct you? Why couldn't he just be direct?"

"Maybe he thought he'd sound crazy," said Vinyl, chuckling a bit. "'Hey, Lyra. Listen, I know this sounds silly, but someone's out to kill you. Do you mind if I protect you? 'Kay, thanks!'"

Although she said it in an infantile way, Vinyl did have a point. This whole mess is very surreal, and there's no way any rational pony would believe it without proof.

"So, that's why you left that ransom note," I said.

Lyra blinked. "Um, what ransom note?"

"Uh, duh! The note left in the performance studio," said Vinyl.

Lyra blinked again. "Uh, yeah. I, don't remember writing a ransom note."

"Then, what was that note all about?" inquired Bon-Bon, echoing my thoughts exactly. "It said if we wanted to see you again, we had to give into the demands."

"And there was a postscript telling us to do the opposite of that and not to worry about you," I chimed in.

Lyra shrugged sheepishly. "Sorry, guys. I don't know what to tell you. None of this is really ringing any bells."

"What about Pan?" asked Bon-Bon. "He gave me a note this morning saying that there would be a surprise for me at Coltlumbus Circle, and that surprise was you."

"Well, if Pan did rescue me, he was pretty damn quiet about it," Lyra chuckled. "Like I said, I fell asleep in that room and woke up where you guys found me."

Curiouser and curiouser. Perhaps I should ask Pan about that later. In the meantime, how was I going to fill the rest of the blanks in Lyra's story? She clearly wasn't hiding anything from us, so there was no way of knowing who her kidnapper was or where she was taken. All we know is that someone wanted to protect her from the killer.

Could it have been Mare-Do-Well's doing? After all, she made it clear to me that she's here to protect us, and she knows that the death threats are real. No, that can't be right. If it was, Pan would know about her, considering that he apparently rescued Lyra. But from what I understand, the only ones who know about Mare-Do-Well are Vinyl, Fiddlesticks, Silenus, and myself. And Pan doesn't believe Silenus. So, is someone else looking after us?

"Oh, I almost forgot something."

My musings were interrupted by Lyra, who was brandishing a piece of paper.

"I woke up with this lying in front of me," she said. "I don't know what it means or who gave it to me."

"May I see it?" I asked.

"Sure, knock yourself out," said Lyra, passing it over.

I unfolded the paper, and, well, it was odd. Very, very odd. It appeared to be some kind of blueprint. Of course, all of the diagrams and schematics were gibberish to me. The best I could figure was that it looked like a large subwoofer on wheels. But what really caught my attention was the title of the document.

"'The Bass Cannon?'" I read aloud. "This sounds like something Vinyl would put together for one of her inane rock operas."

"What?! Here, let me see that!" said Vinyl, her face lighting up like a child in a sweets shop. "Yoink!"

Before I could say anything, Vinyl gripped the paper with her magic and read it over. Her eyes sparkled.

"Who-ho-hoa~! This baby packs a punch!" she said. She then paused for a moment and cringed. "Yeesh. Maybe too much of a punch."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, unless I'm planning on fighting Discord, this thing's way too powerful," said Vinyl. "My rock opera ideas are pretty wild, but I don't think I'd want anypony to get killed in 'em."

Now, that is quite strange. Who left Lyra with this blueprint, and what did it have to do with this mystery? I mean, it had to have some relevance, but for the life of me, I can't even begin to form a connection. What's more, I don't know who I would go to with this information. My best guess would be Mike Check, but how exactly would he know where this came from?

"Maybe we should just hold onto it for now," I said.

"For now nothing, Tavi. I'm keeping this," said Vinyl with a wide grin. "This could be a fun pet project for me."

"Vinyl, none of your rock opera ideas get off the ground. What would we do with a, Bass Cannon?" I asked.

Vinyl shrugged. "Hey, you never know. It might come in handy someday."

I, give up. There's obviously no way I'm going to talk Vinyl out of this. "Fine, whatever. But that can wait for when we get home. Right now, we have more pressing concerns."

"Yeah, okay," said Vinyl, putting the blueprint away. "So, what's next on the agenda, Octy?"

"Next, we have lunch," I said. "I can't think on an empty stomach."

"Alright, good thinking," said Vinyl. "So, Lyra. What song are you gonna play for your performance?"

Lyra giggled. "Oh come on, Vinyl. I'm not going to reveal any spoilers that easily."

The rest of our meal was taken up by small talk and witty banter. Beneath the jovial atmosphere, however, I still felt pangs of worry eating at me. Lyra was alright, sure, but her story was still missing some vital pieces. I figure I could ask Pan, but he doesn't seem to know about the murder plot.

Then again, Silenus does. Or at least he appears to. That and he's accusing Mare-Do-Well of everything. If he's investigating just like I am, maybe it would be best if we were on the same page.


It just hit me. I'm planning to exchange notes with a drunken donkey. What's more, I've somehow convinced myself that this is a logical course of action. I'm lucky that living with Vinyl has desensitized me to this sort of absurdity; otherwise I'd be stark-raving mad by now. But even so, I have a bad feeling about this...

Author's Note:

((OOC: For those who caught the reference in this chapter (it should be pretty obvious), let it be known that I regret nothing. :rainbowwild: ))