• Published 2nd Nov 2014
  • 427 Views, 12 Comments

War In The Dark - Lyraah



A rare blue diamond, a lost artifact dating centuries had found its way onto the hooves of a mafia boss. One pony will do anything to 'retrieve' the gem, all that she could, however illicit the means may be. But, there are two sides to this

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Act III: Divergent

War In The Dark

*** Divergent ***

***


Amethyst sat in the back of the minibus. Escaping from that mare was one thing, evading the police was another. She was sure that the police had set up roadblocks in the vicinity. Amethyst peered out of the window to make sure no one in particular was following, gazing at the streets through her shades as if it was not suspicious at all.

The bus turned the corner of a street, revealing an active roadblock in the middle of the road. Several vehicles up front were getting checked by the officers operating the roadblock. They were cautious and well armed.

Amethyst knew she would be recognized off the bat if she didn't do something right away. There was no worrying about her cutie mark because Amethyst had concealed it with the long coat she was wearing. The only thing that could give her away was her duffle bag; a pistol and that bag of diamonds does come off as a questionable combination.

After glancing about the bus for a moment, Amethyst caught sight of somepony who might grant her a way out of this.

Seated two rows ahead was Roseluck, the florist living a few blocks down. She had just moved to Manehatten two weeks ago to expand her little business. Back in Ponyville, Lily had taken over her old shop. Amethyst recognized her with her long luscious mane, and she had been past Roseluck's shop before.

Amethyst hesitated, for she knew that the mare probably recognizes her as well. Roseluck was a frequent visitor in her father's jewelers store which she was due to take over soon, as a result of some complications. Amethyst had seen her browsing the store, but never buying anything.

As she sat behind the counter, Amethyst would usually see her staring at a particular diamond necklace, or a diamond band, looking on dejectedly; almost heartbroken. Then, she would trot out of the store without a word. Many a time, Amethyst wished she could just talk to her, not like this. Not now. What would she think?

Rose peered out of the window, at the officers checking the vehicles whilst the bus slowly rolled closer to the barricade. She was surprised to see Amethyst take a seat beside her. Roseluck took one look at the unicorn and glanced at the half-opened duffle bag on her lap. Her expression remained somewhere between curiosity and shock as she gaped at the pistol sticking out of the bag.

Amethyst's cold gaze met hers but she said nothing. Sliding the bag and pushing it under Rose, Amethyst squeezed the bag under the inner seat and out of sight. Roseluck glanced furtively at the officer's a few cars ahead and back at Amethyst, she wasn't breaking a single sweat. Although deep down, she was feeling a little scared, just a little.

Amethyst curled her hoof around the earth pony as she jumped a little. "You'll be fine as long as you keep quiet." Amethyst hated to say those words, but it had to be done, for she didn't know if she could trust Roseluck yet.

Rose didn't utter a single word, just made herself comfortable, her gaze still as distant as it always were. Amethyst removed her shades and gently slid it on Rose's face. Amethyst pulled out a music player and put an earbud to her ears, then the other to her own.

Outside, the officers were cautiously approaching the minibus, casting sharp glances into the windows. They were certainly determined to find Amethyst, although most of them haven't a clue of what she looked like. Only the description of a duffle-bag carrying and semi-long maned pony. And she was certainly alone, that's for sure.

Amethyst tugged on Roseluck's shoulder, nudging her towards herself. "Lean on me." She whispered. Roseluck watched her captor with uneasiness, but she complied nonetheless. She leaned in and laid her head on Amethyst's chest, brushing her cheek lightly against the warm fur.

The bus came to stop and the swinging doors flapped open. The officer trotted up the steps carefully, casting a cold eyeball at the commuters. The air around him was tense and serious, as though everypony in the bus was a suspect. The officer's partner stood by the door, eyes flashing about, trying to spot out any suspicious behaviour.

"What's this?" The officer furthest away asked a young mare with a duffle bag placed on the seat beside her.

"Old clothes." She said, with no intention of hiding anything.

"Open up." Amethyst nuzzled the earth pony lovingly, watching as the mare unlocked her bag. "Who's it for?" Roseluck just laid there contently, returning the nuzzle. She seemed to not mind a single bit.

"I'm donating it, sir."

The officer ambled past the pair, smiling slightly at the affection that unfolded before him. He took a quick glance at the back before returning down the aisle. Amethyst rubbed her partner's shoulder, prompting Roseluck to relax.

The officer gave another squint at the entirety of the bus and alighted after sensing nothing suspicious. "Drive on." He waved at the driver, who simply nodded. The doors swung closed and the minibus continued past the barricade.

Amethyst looked on as the roadblock slid further and further away. When the bus turned a corner, Roseluck involuntarily lifted her head and extracted the earpiece.

"Sorry, thank you." Amethyst stuffed the music player into her pocket and pulled the duffle bag from underneath the seats, leaving Roseluck to stared at her as she got up. "Drop off at the intersection!" She yelled to the driver.

Amethyst alighted down the road as the bus turned right on the intersection. She slung the bag over her shoulder and crossed the road ahead.

Roseluck shook herself from her daze and took off the shades, calling out to the driver. "Please stop by the side of the road." She got up and trotted briskly to the door.

The bus stopped by the pavement and Roseluck rushed down the steps, eyes darting about for the light purple mare. Amethyst was cantering down the street, paying no attention to Roseluck, who was padding across the road slowly.

Roseluck trotted down the street, keeping her distance from Amethyst, who was peering up at the apartment buildings ahead.

Amethyst could hear hoofsteps behind her, she pressed her lips together and smiled. Rose was studying the unicorn closely, scanning her from head to tail. She combed Amethyst like a filly seeing the world for the first time.

Roseluck looked down and Amethyst suddenly turned around purposefully. Roseluck jumped and let out a little squeak, blinking.

"Why are you following me?" Amethyst asked, swiping her tail with intent.

"I- I live here." Roseluck pointed to the apartment block and started cantering towards it. Amethyst took one last look back and continued her way down the street.

"Hey, um. This is yours." Roseluck loped over and pressed the shades onto the unicorn's hoof, trying very hard to avoid her gaze. Amethyst received the shades and watched as Rose disappeared into the apartment block. Her heart sank.

---

"No no no. You must first get one thing straight. Solving a case isn't like mathematics, one plus one doesn't always add up to two. I can assure all of you, she will not leave the city." Minuette cantered up and down the case board whilst her team stood by, listening.

Violet was carrying a crate containing the attire found in the trash on site, it looked like she had set up a clothes store in the department. Lightning Bolt was leaning against the desk. "Stay in Manehatten so that she could get caught?" She asked in deep question.

"No, you should take a deep look inside the fundamentals of this case, the process and thought. Then you will notice that this mare isn't just any robber." Minuette gesticulated frantically with her hooves as Lightning danced her eyes about, trying to keep up with her random jerking. "What motives do she harbour? What was she trying to achieve? Surely, this is worth racking your brains to understand."

Lyra sat in her office, studying Minuette as she flailed about, trying her hardest to incite thought from her team. "I get it, you're the one who promoted her to the Serious Crime department. I understand completely. But, she disregarded orders and even carried out her own command without notifying her superiors first; the suspect fled because of this." Lyra hesitated, the phone floating against her ear as she stood up, casting a hard gaze at the blue unicorn. "I've tolerated her more than I usually would, but this isn't the first time - it's the same story with the case of the bank robbery-"

Lyra frowned, and shook her head, "No, no. That's not what I meant. I'm not trying to implicate you or anything. I understand that you two have been friends for quite some time..." She sighed, and squinted her eyes in a painful look. "Yes, I get it, mam. Goodbye." Lyra set the telephone down and trotted out of her office.

The crew had all gathered around the conference table as Minuette went on, pointing between several pieces of information at once. "We must enter the suspect's mind to get a grasp of what she was thinking. But of course, we would need to be clever and insightful to catch the little details. Chief Lyra." The team also turned to greet the chief, who was still glowering.

"Scrutinize the pieces of evidence." She stated, ambling over the Minuette. "Quite a few military-based stores sell police uniforms, go through them and check their recent sales." Lyra pointed out.

"Blueberry had already gone to check, mam." Raindrops mentioned.

Lyra tapped the box that Violet was carrying earlier, "Bring these to the arms specialist for inspection."

"I already did. He said that those uniforms are sold almost everywhere. How do we investigate?" Violet said, waving her hoof at the box. Minuette kept silent and tried not to fidget. She was feeling very lively today, after all that happened.

"Check for hoofprints."

"Minuette examined the clothes already, there were no hoofprints." Violet added. "The suspect must've had some sort of gel on her hooves at the time."

Lyra was not satisfied although Minuette seems to have everything covered, or that she had had everything covered. There wasn't a good excuse to reprimand the blue unicorn. "Sketch up a drawing board for the case, I want all pieces of information on it." She scowled at the mare.

"It's here, we've also set several divisions on high alert for the suspect and sent out an arrest warrant." Minuette stepped aside to reveal the board, scribbled with pen and sticky notes.

Lyra was caught somewhere shock and the refusal to give in just yet. "What else haven't you done?" She asked in exasperation, as if she really wanted Minuette to do something wrong so that she could just enjoy giving her a scolding.

Minuette stared blankly into the chief and suddenly slammed the table with both her hooves, making the chief jump a little. She sprung awake, jabbing her hoof at Lyra. "That's it. Stupid, I'm really stupid - I almost forgot about the most important clue! The financial company! How audacious of me to overlook this vital piece of the puzzle! We could go and check right now."

Lyra gaped at the enlightened mare and kept her muzzle shut for a moment before replying, "The lights in the corridor are flickering. Go get somepony to fix them!" Lyra stormed off, flicking her tail dangerously as the rest watched her.

---

* Five days ago *

"Such a long time... I almost thought you were dead." A grey pegasus donned in a black blazer and tie approached an old pony sitting in his recliner. He had a briefcase with him, which he set on a small table.

The old stallion just smiled, and promptly put his voice-output communication aid to his neck. "Don't assume I would just help you." He said in a robotic voice. "I only wanted to see the diamond."

The younger stallion glanced about the dark ambient room, the air hung like stale bread and the scent of smoke was stifling. He unlocked the case to reveal a glimmering necklace with a beautiful blue diamond embedded at the end. "Go on, Mr Quarat." He said with a grunt.

Quarat took off his glasses delicately, a pale pink aura enveloping the diamond necklace. He reached out to have a feel of the blue gem, which sparkled under the dim light above.

"You're still short of five million, sir." A mare sitting beside the counter glared at the grey stallion. Hooven glanced over at the briefcase filled to the brim with money as a smile pulled from the side of his muzzle.

"Each pony gets two point five million, but the other two didn't come." He said calmly, not breaking his composure.

The briefcase was slammed shut as the mare stood up, a deadly expression rose from her face, "They are dead, and the Berletto Mafia is still after our heads." She shouted and stomped a hoof.

Quarat was peering though a magnifier with a satisfied look on his face. He paid no attention to the ongoing argument.

"That's your problem, not mine. I just wanted to know if the diamond is real, after that, you are free to leave." Hooven waved off. He took a quick glimpse at the two ponies by the counter and reached for his pocket. He pulled out a gun and directed it on Quarat, who was not bothered with the fact that he could potentially die.

The two ponies with the money immediately pointed their pistols at the grey pegasus upon the first draw. They kept quiet, but if he fires, all hell will be unleashed. "Is it real?" Hooven said, his voice not louder than a whisper.

"Isss real." Quarat tried to say without his vocal aid, but only managed to let out a sharp hissing flow of air. It was clear enough for Hooven to discern what he meant. The pistol lowered from his head.

"I'd say it's a crude fake." Hooven snapped.

Quarat looked up at the arrogant pegasus, pressing his vocal aid on his neck once more. "My word is that it's real." His voice flickered and buzzed, like a candle flame being blown by strong winds.

Hooven raised both his eyebrows, "Nah, that's fake."

The two ponies by the counter were losing their patience, the mare reached for a pistol and rasped, "What are you playing at? Stop wasting our time, give us the rest of the money and let us get the hell out of here!"

Hooven turned quickly and raised his pistol. Before the two ponies could react, he fired multiple shots at both of them. They dropped their weapons and flopped onto the floor in a lifeless heap. Quarat got up from the sofa slowly ambled towards the exit, "Need a new buyer? Call me."

Hooven holstered his pistol and took over the sofa, "Clean up." He ordered his ponies, who stood around during the 'exchange'.

"Clean bills only." Quarat added before trotting out of the door.

Hooven chuckled, eyeing the coruscating blue diamond like it were a precious thing to him. It was a very valuable artifact, after all. Contented after knowing that it was indeed the real deal, he shut the case and hauled it off the table.

---

"I've already told you everything! There's nothing else I can say." Daisy let out a groan as Minuette followed her out of her office. She had been sticking around for an hour now, and she has business that needs to be sorted out. "You've been asking since you got here!"

"Indeed I have."

Daisy griped again, "I have work to do, I'm not a free pony like you are, mam."

"Yes, yes. I understand, it's okay. Listen, it doesn't matter if the details are small; be it an expression, a brush of the mane, a smile, or a small harmless sentence - actually an abstract one is fine too! You must call me if you remember!" Minuette shook the manager, who was trying to reply, but was always cut off when she wanted to say something.

"I will call you, goodbye!" Daisy swiftly cantered off.

"Anytime is fine!" Minuette watched as the manager went back into her department. But somewhere down on the other end of the level, she could see several ponies wearing suits escorting another suit-wearing pony. They all look the same. Minuette shrugged at the silly thought.

Minuette cast a deeper gaze, her eyes training on a briefcase that a stallion was carrying on his back. Her eyes then rolled up in deep brooding. Minuette shook her head infinitesimally and followed cautiously.

"Put in the passcode." Hooven beckoned a smartly dressed mare as he and his ponies approached a glass door.

The mare blinked and stared at the security lock. She obviously didn't know the code, but was too afraid to ask. She randomly punched in a few numbers as the lock beeped with every input. The door remained shut.

"It's three two five eight, Maya." Clover, the pegasus beside her whispered.

Maya stared between the pegasus and the lock, chuckling. She punched in the correct code and smiled gleefully as it clicked open. Hooven shook his head. The two mares stood back and held the glass door open as the procession went by.

The department was a huge empty room, with countless cardboard boxes backed in the corners and walls. There were utility stairs leading to an upper level. A long row of glass windows separated the department from the corridor. If one were to look in, they would see crates piled up high.

Hooven went up the stairs and further into the upper rooms. "The diamond is worth a few ten millions, keep it under twenty-four hour surveillance." He instructed the ponies following him.

Minuette trotted leisurely past the long row of windows looking into the department, peering intently. Upon reaching the glass entrance, Maya came by to see her standing there and smiling like an idiot.

Maya opened the door, but blocking the doorway with her body. "What is it?" She asked, perplexed as to why Minuette was looking so keenly into the department.

"Oh! I'm just perusing." Minuette replied succinctly. "Um, your company..." She stepped forward, meaning to push past Maya, but was stopped when she put a hoof across the door.

"Hold up." Maya gave her a wary look.

"Oh, that's nothing. I just feel that your department was gorgeously decorated." Minuette praised. "What does your company do?"

Maya looked away, racking her brains to come up with an answer. Honestly, she had no idea. She paused for an eternity before replying, "Why'd ya ask?" Maya rubbed her cheek nervously.

Minuette pulled out her identification card from her pocket and displayed it for the mare to see. "I'm from the police."

"Transport and delivery." Maya replied snappily.

"Ah..." Minuette threw her head up slightly. Then pointed to the financial department across the level, "There was a robbery over there, did you see any suspicious ponies loitering about?"

"Your colleagues have already been here. Six thousand times!" Maya hastily came up with an excuse to shoo the persistent mare away.

"Oh, I see. I'm sorry to bother you. Six thousand?" Minuette said apologetically, turning away.

"Yes, six thousand!" Maya snapped, shutting the door. Minuette backed up into the corridor, eyes still fixated on the glass door. In the corridor, she swiveled her head upon hearing rapid shuffling of hooves.

Down the hallway, Daisy was shifting along in an uncomfortable position. She stopped abruptly when she saw the detective. "I'm just going to the washroom." She said. Minuette did not budge, her eyes staring lazily at the manager. For a few seconds both mares stood still, not moving, until Daisy broke the silence. "Fine, I'll pass." Then quickly scrambled back to her office.

Minuette looked between the manager and the glass door, furrowing her brows. Something was wrong, she could sense it.

---

It was about time. The diamond had been secured, locked up in the three key combination vault. Amethyst knew because she was looking right at the entire process. She smiled to herself, knowing that the next step can now be carried out, with the help of a particular inquisitive mare.

Amethyst continued staring at the monitor, which displayed full angle of the vault door opening and the briefcase being locked up inside. The snake-cam she installed in the vents above provided her full visual of the vault.

She shifted her attention onto a bolt which she had taken from the company earlier. The bolt was supposed to be fastened onto the grate, but she took it, knowing that a message needs to be sent, more importantly, received. Otherwise, her plan would not work.

Amethyst floated the bolt and laid it gently onto a padded case which she had taken from her own jeweler's store. She placed it on the table, nodding in satiety.

---

"There are two problems that we need to iron out." Minuette rested her forehooves on a table lamp. "That is, why did she rob the financial company? In the same building, there are several antique and jeweler stores; if she wanted money, she could have easily targeted those. Am I right?"

She turned to Violet, who was nodding in agreement. "That's why, I've come to an obvious conclusion that her motive is not for cash. Next off, why did she choose me? Why, why, why me?" Minuette shook her hooves in the air. "And why all the trouble on the rooftop? Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that she wanted something from me, or out of me. I beseech all of you here to help me think, thank you." Minuette ended her oration.

"Um, Minuette?" Lightning raised her wing in question.

The blue unicorn sprung up, "Any ideas?"

Lightning Bolt hesitated, glancing at the clock. "It's... five sharp already."

Minuette let out a sudden smile. "Yeah, it is." She pointed to the white pegasus. "You need to fetch your roommate from her piano class. Florence has a game of cards with her friends. Raindrops, your roommate made dinner for you. Blueberry has a train to catch. What about you, Violet?" She turned to face the mare.

Violet glanced around at her colleagues, "I- I have a date." With myself, Violet thought with a lonely smile.

"Good luck for that. Alright then, I guess it's time to knock off." Minuette sat down on the chair, the table lamp being the only source of light shining at her. The rest of her team scrambled to pack their things.

"Goodbye, mam!" Lightning Bolt flew out of the office. The rest of the crew said their goodbyes and left the department.

"Minuette, somepony dropped this off earlier, it's for you." Violet passed the unicorn a bulky package and went off.

Minuette unpacked the package as curiosity furrowed over her brows. She pulled out the black box that was stuffed inside the cardboard package. Minuette studied the exterior of the box before flipping the cover.

Using her magic, Minuette floated out a bolt of some sort, feeling more astonished than ever.

Author's Note:

There is a reason why Roseluck was at Amethyst's store frequently, it may or may not be revealed, but the story is coming together now. Prepare for the next act, for more of plot will be laid out. There will be action.