• Published 12th Dec 2013
  • 1,638 Views, 140 Comments

My Little Investigations: The Gemstone Godfather - Metool Bard

Some jerk is trying to shake me down for gems, but he won't tell me who the buck he is. Why me of all ponies? I have no idea.

  • ...

Smoking Shards

July 13, 10:06 AM
Pie Rock Farm
East Field

"Mother, I don't mean to interrupt, but Father says we still have to move these rocks to the South Field."

"I understand, Marble, and so do they. Which is why it would go a lot faster if you three were more cooperative."

It seems that Cloudy Quartz hasn't given up on the rocks being key witnesses. She was still interrogating them when I got back from interrogating Byakko, and from the sound of things, it wasn't going all that well (I can't say I'm all that surprised). Pinkie, meanwhile, was still looking at the pawprint through her magnifying glass.

"Mom, are you sure you got all the readings from this trail?" she asked.

Cloudy Quartz sighed. "Yes, I'm sure, Pinkamena. That trail ran cold as soon as that tiger showed up. I can't get any more visions from it."

"Hmm," said Pinkie, knitting her brow. "I dunno. There's something about this pawprint that's awfully strange, but I can't quite put my hoof on it. If only that tiger would come back so that we can do the ink pad test."

"That won't be necessary, Detective Pinkie," I said, making my way into the conversation.

Pinkie looked up and smiled. "Oh, hiya Sparkler! Welcome back," she said. She then tilted her head. "Where's the tiger? I thought you said you were gonna apprehend him."

"Oh, we had a little chat," I said. "Turns out he has an alibi."

"An alibi?" parroted Pinkie. "What did he say?"

"He was actually in the West Field while the crime was being committed," I said.

"What was he doing over there?"

"He was looking for something. In fact, the reason he came back here is because he hasn't found it yet."

"Did he tell you what he was looking for?"

"Nope. Apparently, it's supposed to be a secret."

"I see," said Pinkie thoughtfully, blowing a few bubbles out of her bubble pipe. "Marble, do you know what the tiger might be looking for in the West Field?"

Marble stroked her chin in thought. "Well, we have some granite over there. And a gold deposit in the underground tunnels. Oh, and some beautiful geodes that are just about ripe for harvesting. That's about it."

None of that sounds like anything Byakko would be remotely interested in. So maybe he was looking for something that the Pie family wasn't aware of. However, that could be pretty much anything. Seeing as this wasn't going anywhere, I decided to ask Pinkie about her progress.

"How are things on your end, Detective Pinkie?" I asked.

Pinkie frowned. "Not so hot, Sparkler. Mom hasn't been able to figure out anything from Jack, Diddly, or Squat. I don't know why; they have no reason to hold out on us."

"You have to understand, Pinkamena. Rocks can be quite stubborn," said Cloudy Quartz. "If we're gonna get anything useful out of 'em, it's gonna take some time."

I'm not gonna comment on the whole "interrogating rocks" thing anymore. Really, I've just run out of stuff to say about it.

"Well, what about you, Detective Pinkie?" I inquired. "Did you find anything else while I was gone?"

"Yes and no," said Pinkie, looking at the pawprint through her magnifying glass again. "This pawprint here is the only one in this area, and as I said, I've been looking for something like this ever since we got started in the North Field. There should be a lot more of these, especially if they were left by the same animal. But there isn't. It's just this."

That's exactly what Byakko mentioned when I pressed him on the issue. He also mentioned something else that's pretty important.

"Actually, there's something you should know about that, Detective Pinkie," I said. "The tiger claims that this pawprint over here isn't his."

Pinkie raised an eyebrow. "Well, how are we supposed to know that for sure if we don't submit him to an ink pad test?"

Marble's face suddenly lit up. "Wait, I think I have an idea," she said. "Sparkler said that the tiger was in the West Field, meaning there should be some pawprints over there. If we make a cast of this print and compare it to those, we can find out if he's telling the truth or not."

"Good thinking, Marble!" said Pinkie. "Luckily, I have some plaster in my saddlebags. Excuse me for just a minute; I'll be right back."

With that, she darted off towards the house. Part of me wants to question why Pinkie would be carrying plaster around, but then I remind myself that it's Pinkie Pie. She apparently has to be prepared for anything. Maybe it's a side effect from her Pinkie Sense; maybe it's because she's just weird. Whatever it is, I've stopped questioning it long ago.

"Hey, Marble? While we're waiting for Pinkie to come back, I've got a quick question," I said.

"Yes?" said Marble.

"Do you guys get any Diamond Dogs around here?"

Marble's brow furrowed. "Not really. We might get an infestation once in a while, but once they realize that it's not worth the trouble to attack our farm, they're quick to leave. Why do you ask?"

"One of the suspects in my case just so happens to be a very influential Diamond Dog," I said. "And another suspect is a member of his pack who's rebelling against him."

Marble rubbed the side of her head. "And, how exactly does a talking tiger fit into all this?"

"That's, actually a bit of a long story," I said. "You see..."

"Now, that wasn't so hard, was it? Thank you for finally deciding to be straight with me, gentlemen."

Before I could explain everything, I was interrupted by Cloudy Quartz wrapping up her interrogation of the rocks. Oh, this I gotta hear.

"So, what's the verdict, Mrs. Quartz?" I asked.

"Well, it's quite queer, Sparkler," said Cloudy Quartz, pursing her lips and placing a hoof to her muzzle. "After I had gotten the rocks to stop squabbling amongst themselves, they all confessed that all they remembered was the sound of shattering glass. After that, all was quiet until morning."

That wasn't a whole lot to go on, but it was a lot more than I expected to hear. Then again, I'm not sure how valid a rock's testimony really is (sorry, I know I said I'd stop talking about that. This is the last time I'll bring it up, I swear). Deciding to humor Cloudy Quartz, I took a quick look around.

"Well, I'm not sure where they heard that," I said. "I don't see any glass here."

"Perhaps the culprit cleaned it up?" suggested Marble.

"No, I'm sure the rocks would've seen that," said Cloudy Quartz. "What we need right now is some real evidence."

"Okay, I'm back!"

As if on cue, Pinkie Pie returned with a bucket full of plaster and a portable hairdryer she held in her tail.

"Um, Pinkamena? Are you sure you know how to use that?" asked Marble.

"Of course I do, silly! There are instructions on the tin," said Pinkie, pointing to the bucket of plaster. "Now, let's get to work!"

And get to work she did. With expert precision, Pinkie poured the contents of the bucket into the pawprint and used the hairdryer to blow it dry. Once the plaster was good and hard, she took out a hammer and chisel from her mane and carefully carved it out.

"There we go. That should do it," said Pinkie, wiping some sweat from her brow. "Now, all we gotta do is compare this cast to the prints in the West Field. Then we'll know if that talking tiger is telling the truth."

We were about to head off and do just that when something in the plaster caught my eye. It was a faint glimmer at first, but in the span of a few seconds, something started to glow brighter and brighter. Eventually, that something became plainly visible to the naked eye.

"Hang on a sec," I said. "Detective Pinkie, I think you should take another look at that cast."

"Um, okay," said Pinkie with a shrug. She then took her magnifying glass and looked over every inch of the bit of plaster. When she saw what I was seeing, her eyes went wide.

"Whoa! Where did this come from?!" she exclaimed.

"Wh-what is it, Pinkamena?" inquired Marble.

"I, uh, I'm not sure. But it sure is something!" said Pinkie.

I rolled my eyes. "Let me take a look at it, Detective Pinkie."

"Huh? Oh, okay. Here ya go."

Pinkie carefully held out the plaster to me, and I used my magic to snatch it from her grip. Looking at the underside of the cast, I could see that bits of some sort of gemstone were sticking out of it. It was a deep green hue; emerald if I had to guess. Now this was odd. If there were emeralds inside the pawprint, why didn't we see 'em until now? Not only that, but it appears that these emeralds were somehow broken. There were a lot of jagged edges sticking out of the cast, most of them very small. And the really big chunks had this sort of wedge shape to them; not what I'd expect from a shattered gemstone. It's almost like it was peeled off of a pearl of some...

Wait a minute. Something about that shape is causing the gears in my head to go into overdrive.

"Detective Pinkie, come take a closer look at this," I said, pointing at the wedge-shaped shard with my hoof.

Pinkie complied. "Ooh~. It's kinda pretty," she said. "It almost looks like a piece of something you'd make, Sparkler."

"Save the flattery for later, Detective Pinkie," I said sternly. "But, could you be a bit more specific?"

"Well sometimes, you carve these gemstones into nifty little pearl shapes for necklaces," said Pinkie. "It looks like this shard came from one of those pearls. Do you think the culprit was wearing some of your work?"

That's it. I know what this is.

"I, don't think so," I said. "However, I want to know something. Do any of you know about mystical gemstones?"

"You mean like Fire Rubies?" asked Cloudy Quartz.

"Exactly," I said.

Cloudy Quartz knitted her brow. "Well, I don't claim to be an expert, but I know of them. They don't really have much use out here on a rock farm, though. Why do you ask?"

"Because I think that's what this is," I said, pointing to the shards embedded in the cast. "All of the crimes committed so far, from the attack on the jewelry store to the kidnapping of Limestone Pie, were done without anypony noticing. I firmly believe that some sort of magic was involved, and that magic must've come from a mystical gemstone like this one."

"Well, that's all fine and good, Sparkler," said Marble. "But which mystical gemstone is it?"

"I, don't know yet," I confessed. "But I do know how to find out."

"Ooh, ooh! I do, too!" said Pinkie, hopping up and down. "Twilight probably has a book on this! She has a book on everything!"

My thoughts exactly, even though I think Pinkie might've been exaggerating. While Princess Twilight does have a lot of books, I highly doubt her library has a copy of every tome ever written. Even so, that's probably gonna be my next stop.

"Do you guys mind if I borrow this?" I asked.

"Go ahead and keep it!" said Pinkie, looking into her bucket of plaster. "We've got enough to make another cast. You going to the library?"

"Excellent deduction there, Detective Pinkie," I said with a smirk. "I'll be sure to let you guys know what I find."

"Okey-dokey-lokey! Best of luck!" said Pinkie. "We'll keep you posted, too!"

"Thank you for all your help, Sparkler," said Marble with a bow. "It really means a lot to us."

"It's no trouble, Marble," I said. "After all, we're all after the same thing. Give Mr. Pie my regards."

With that, I took off back for Ponyville as fast as my legs could carry me. Heh, about time something went in my favor. Now all I need to do is find out what mystical gemstone this is, and find a way to counter it just in case the prick gets any more bright ideas. It might not bring me that much closer to the culprit, but every little bit counts. And who knows? Maybe this will be the clue that busts this case wide open.


Nah, I think that's getting my hopes a bit too high. When it comes to a mystery like this where a lot is on the line, I believe it's important to have realistic expectations.