• Published 27th Dec 2014
  • 1,300 Views, 46 Comments

Moonwing - Samey90

A filly gets murdered in the bat pony district of Canterlot. Scootaloo and Archer take the case.

  • ...

Ultimate Good

“Well, Lyra, I don’t think this song would be suitable for my daughter’s cute-ceanera...” Octavia laughed. “We’d better stick to something that wouldn’t cause the Canterlot elites to faint...”

Lyra put her lyre on the table. “I don’t get it,” she said. “You always liked playing this song with me...”

“That was when we were twenty and I wasn’t a mother,” Octavia replied. “Everything was much simpler back then.” She sighed. “Vinyl was still alive...”

“Same with Berry... and her nutjob cousin.” Minuette entered the room, limping slightly. “Speaking of Berry, my leg is a bitch again... Also, Lyra, Bon Bon said that if everything is supposed to be on time, you’re not allowed to enter the kitchen. She said that one kid there is enough.”

“Wasn’t going to,” Lyra replied. “Also, maybe you’ll convince Octavia that ‘My Coltfriend’s Apples’ is a good song to play at the cute-ceanera.”

“It’s not,” Minuette replied and sat on the couch, hissing and rubbing her leg.

“I still can’t believe that Heart Beat talks to Bonnie,” Octavia said, ignoring a nasty look Lyra was giving Minuette.

“I don’t know why you all think Bonnie is a bitch...” Lyra muttered. “She is, but only in bed. And she’s my bitch...”

“Note to self: don’t let Lyra anywhere near alcohol or nobles,” Minuette whispered theatrically. “Of all ponies you could’ve invited, you invited us, Octavia? I’m surprised.”

Octavia smirked. “Well, nobles are rather boring. I thought you’d be the stars of that party.”

“I can tell them about my scar,” Minuette said. “Your husband may fill the details.”

“I think they already know that story,” Octavia replied with a smirk. “But I guess you may attract a few listeners...”

“But seriously, it’s not something you talk about on cute-ceaneras,” Minuette said. “Back in my days, there were card tricks and spiked punch.”

“I can do card tricks,” Lyra said. “And I know a great trick with vanishing coins.”

“I know that one.” Minuette shook her head. “You once vanished twenty bits from me and suddenly forgot how to get them back.”

“I think I’ll see how Bonnie is doing,” Lyra said quickly, blushing. She trotted downstairs, nearly knocking down some statue standing by the stairs. She grabbed it with her magic and put it back on its stand. She wasn’t sure what it was depicting, but it stood in Octavia’s house and looked awful, so it was probably very expensive.

“I see you’re interested in the statue of Commander Arcturus?” Lyra heard a voice behind her. She turned back to see a tall, white unicorn with pink mane.

“You must be Fleur,” Lyra muttered. “Octavia mentioned that you’d come here. And actually, I was just going to the kitchen and I accidentally bumped into Commander Arctica...”

“Arcturus,” Fleur corrected her. “According to the legend, he was the leader of a bat pony tribe before the founding of Equestria. It is said that he and his followers slept in the caves during the meeting of the leaders of other tribes and that’s why they didn’t attend it.”

“I didn’t know about it,” Lyra replied. “And I’m kinda interested in old legends...”

“I heard that story from my maid,” Fleur said. “Of course it’s a legend. We don’t even know if he really existed.”

“Yeah... Same legend as the otherworldly creatures living underneath Canterlot...” Lyra muttered. She could swear that Fleur shuddered when she heard that.

Fleur scratched her mane. “I think I’ll go to Octavia...”

“She’s upstairs with Minuette,” Lyra said. “I think you’ll like Minuette. She’s the brainy one.”

“Surely,” Fleur muttered and walked to the stairs. Lyra shrugged and trotted to the kitchen.

The door was half-opened. Lyra stopped, listening to the voices inside – she wanted to know what mood Bon Bon was in, not to mention that she knew that Heart Beat would stop talking once she joined them.

“Heart Beat, honey, what did you do with the flour?” Lyra heard Bon Bon saying. She looked inside and saw her marefriend staring at something behind the table.

“It just happened...” Heart Beat replied. She had a high-pitched, rather melodic voice and she was apparently trying to mimic her mother’s accent, though the result was quite amusing.

“Just like the pitcher and the plate earlier?” Bon Bon asked and sighed. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell your mom about it...”

Lyra furrowed her brows. Last time she broke something, Bon Bon didn’t speak to her for days.

In the kitchen, Bon Bon leaned closer to Heart Beat. Lyra heard fast trotting and the filly’s laughter. When Bon Bon stood up, her face was covered in flour, and she was muttering some words fillies shouldn’t know under her breath. Lyra smirked. Because of Heart Beat’s selective mutism, many ponies assumed that she wasn’t mischievous.

Bon Bon turned towards the door and her eyes focused on Lyra. “Hello,” she said coldly. “I was just thinking about you...”

“Cool,” Lyra said, entering the kitchen. “Hello, Heart Beat.” She leaned towards the filly who was sitting on the floor, watching her. “Still not talking to me?”

Heart Beat didn’t make any move.

“Remember that there’s a big bag of candies waiting for you if you speak to somepony other than Bonnie or your mom,” Lyra said.

Heart Beat nodded.

“So, maybe you’ll say ‘hello’?” Lyra smiled at the filly. Heart Beat shook her head.

“Okay, maybe later,” Bon Bon muttered. “Lyra, can you help me clean that flour? We still have lots of things to do...”

“Her name was Cyan Skies,” Charge said, watching two guards levitating the stretcher with the body away. “She was also from Ponyville and worked in Canterlot as a...” He looked at the file closer. “... Concierge. You know, the guy who’ll get you tickets for a Wonderbolts show three minutes before it starts and so on.”

“Seems that she was also running other errands...” Scootaloo muttered. “What else is in her file?”

“She once tried to buy drugs for some client, but somepony paid a lot of money for her lawyer,” Charge replied. “Otherwise, her rap sheet is blank like a newborn filly’s flank.”

“Just great...” Archer sighed. “Guess we’ll need to get a warrant and look through her notes, then–”

“I’d like to remind you that you’re off that case,” Charge muttered. “Not to mention that you can’t stay in the crime scene and you’re forbidden to leave the town.”

“Okay, I’m going...” Archer slowly walked away, from time to time looking at the place where they found the body.

“You, Scootaloo, are off the case too,” Charge said. “Our main suspect is your cousin, so I guess, you understand...”

“Sure,” Scootaloo replied. “Who will take the case?”

“Riot Shield and Boysenberry,” Charge replied. “They’re good guards.”

“Yeah,” Scootaloo muttered. “Also, sir... Do you really think Archer did that?”

“If I did, she’d be in a cell,” Charge replied. “You’re dismissed. I think you understand that everything must be according to the rules.”

“Yes, sir,” Scootaloo replied and took off. She flew from the cave and caught up with Archer who was pushing herself through, as Schwalbe called it, “the most interesting part of the bat pony district.” The crowd was smaller than when they visited it for the first time – a group of guards walking there a few hours before was most likely the cause.

“He kicked you out too?” Archer asked when she saw Scootaloo. “Who’ll be our replacement?”

“Riot and Berry,” Scootaloo replied, trying to avoid getting tangled in the ropes supporting a large tent, full of holes patched with everything its owner could find, from pieces of cardboard to old clothes.

“He’s good, but she’s just a kid...” Archer muttered, almost stepping on a foal playing in the mud covering the bottom of the cave.

“She’s older than we when we caught Rumble,” Scootaloo said. “And Riot is more experienced than us. They’ll dig through Cyan Skies’ notes in no time and find the killer.”

“Yeah, sure...” Archer muttered. They walked out of the cave and found themselves in the more civilised part of the bat pony district. Scootaloo turned towards the upper part of Canterlot, but stopped in mid-air, seeing that Archer was walking in a completely different direction.

“Where are you going?” Scootaloo asked.

“To Schwalbe,” Archer replied. “She disappeared so quickly... Maybe she already has something about Cyan Skies?”

Scootaloo narrowed her eyes. “And you’re not going to try to solve the case with her?”

“Of course not,” Archer said, flipping her mane. “Just gathering information... To help Riot and Boysenberry...”

“You know that I can arrest both of you, right?” Scootaloo asked. “And I will do that if I see that you’re plotting something with Schwalbe...”

“You’d never do that,” Archer said. “Also, arresting Schwalbe? She’d probably kill you with a chainsaw hidden in her ass.”

“I can also tell Button that you’re cheating on him with a bat mare that could be his mother...”

“Schwalbe, his mother? No way...” Archer laughed and trotted off, disappearing between the buildings. Scootaloo only shrugged and flied away.

Dead filly and dead killer. Who stands behind them? In this town, someone always stands behind everyone. Thought I was done fighting evil in this town once. But when I snapped the last criminal’s neck in some dark nook, it turned out that there was somepony behind him, more powerful and evil than him. Didn’t fight. Started to think.

Maybe one day I’ll reach the top. The ultimate evil. But what then?

I’m afraid I’d have to take its place.

Schwalbe threw the pen on the table and went back to her can of baked beans. They were almost cold, but she ate them anyway, spraying tomato sauce on the yellowish pages of her diary. She sighed and slammed it shut.

After a while, however, she put the baked beans back on the table and opened the diary on the other page. Large letters, running across the paper, were saying “Why Moonwing was killed?”. Several other question marks were written under it.

Somepony knocked on the door. Schwalbe opened the drawer and took a large, sharp knife from it before walking to the corridor to open it.

“Oh, it’s you” she muttered, seeing Archer standing behind the door. “The blue one. How did you find this place?”

“Asked your landlord. She hates you,” Archer replied. “And I can see why...” she added, seeing the floor of the flat, littered with empty cans, pizza boxes, and bags of something rotting. “Are you a hoarder?”

“Useful,” Schwalbe replied. “Burglars trip on those.”

“An alarm would be better,” Archer said. “Also, who’d want to rob you?”

Schwalbe gave her a nasty look. “What are you doing here? Without your cousin?”

“I need help,” Archer replied. “You see, they think I killed Cyan Skies... You know, that mare who killed Moonwing. Anyway, Scootaloo and I are off the case.”

Schwalbe smirked. “Wanna find the killer on your own? Bad idea. Getting your hooves filthy.”

“If I stay here for longer...” Archer muttered, looking at her hooves.

“There’s worse filth than that,” Schwalbe said. “Don’t make me show it to you...”

“Oh, come on.” Archer rolled her eyes. “I know what you’re doing... I just need some help, you know...”

“I work alone,” Schwalbe replied. “Go back home. You want to help, don’t wander here.” Before Archer could reply, Schwalbe closed the door and went back to the kitchen. She opened her diary and wrote:

Becoming an ultimate evil. Not good. But, to think about it, is ultimate good something better?

When Scootaloo came back home, the first thing she noticed was the smell of cigarettes in the staircase. She knew that an old stallion who lived in the flat above hers had an annoying habit of smoking there, so she flew upstairs, ready to tell him what she thought about that.

She froze, seeing some lanky, cream-coloured mare with long, orange mane. She was standing by the window, smoking a cigarette. What surprised Scootaloo was that the mare was trying to avoid looking through the window – she was staring into the floor, covering her face with her hair.

“Excuse me,” Scootaloo said. “You can’t smoke here...”

The mare shuddered and looked at Scootaloo. She had large, green eyes. Scootaloo automatically took a look at her cutie mark and saw two theatre masks – a smiling, black one, and a sad, white one.

“I’m sorry,” the mare said, avoiding Scootaloo’s gaze. “I’m waiting here for... for a friend.”

Something clicked in Scootaloo’s head. “So, you’re that Curtain Call...” she said. “Diamond told me a lot about you... So, they let you out of the hospital too?”

“Y-yes,” Curtain Call replied, shuddering. “Diamond Tiara is your friend?”

“She’s my neighbour,” Scootaloo said. “Are you okay?”

“Not really,” Curtain Call whispered and sat on the stairs, holding her head with her hooves. “I don’t like open spaces... I wrote to Diamond Tiara when they were going to release me and she said that I can stay with her, since my parents...” She sighed.

“It’s okay...” Scootaloo approached Curtain Call. “I think she’s running some errand now. You can wait for her in my place, you know...” When she said that, she immediately thought of getting some weapon. Diamond Tiara was okay when she was on her meds, but Curtain Call... Scootaloo knew almost nothing about her and she didn’t seem to be well after travelling from Trottingham by train with her agoraphobia.

The sound of hoofsteps interrupted her thoughts. She looked down and saw Diamond Tiara walking upstairs with full saddlebags. She joined them and smiled at Curtain Call.

“Hello,” Diamond Tiara said. “I see that you’ve already met Scootaloo...”

“Yeah,” Curtain Call replied, her eye twitching. “I’m a bit tired...”

“Sorry that I made you wait,” Diamond Tiara said. “Didn’t know you were going to come here today...”

“Diamond, can I talk with you for a moment?” Scootaloo whispered when Diamond Tiara opened the door for Curtain Call. “Are you, umm... sure about her?”

“She’ll be okay,” Diamond Tiara replied. “She just left the hospital for the first time in sixteen years. No wonder she’s a bit nervous.”

“Come to me if you need something,” Scootaloo said. “I don’t want any of you getting hurt.”

The bar wasn’t as shady as the one Archer had visited in the bat pony district, but still it wasn’t a place she’d normally visit. Booze & Coffins was, in its previous incarnation, a basement of some half-ruined tenement house, changed into a bar by some clever mare. From what Archer heard, most of the patrons were servants and butlers of ponies living nearby.

It was evening and the place was crowded. Archer, wearing a long, dark robe, walked to the bar and sat on the stool.

“I’m lookin’ for Cyan Skies,” she said, trying to make her voice sound like she was from Trottingham. “‘ave ya seen ‘er recently?”

“Haven’t seen her in a while,” the bartender replied, spitting on a rag and wiping a tankard with it. “Ask that guy in the corner. He was talking with her last time she was here.”

“Okay, thanks,” Archer replied and walked to the corner of the bar. The stallion sitting there was also clad in a robe, his hood on.

“What are you doing here?” he asked in a low-pitched voice, eyeing Archer’s outfit. “I told all of you not to wear those in the open.”

“What do you mean?” Archer asked, dropping her accent.

“I mean you’re an idiot,” the stallion replied. “Get out of here!”

Archer leaned closer to him. “I need to see Cyan Skies,” she said. “It’s urgent.”

“Soon you will,” the stallion whispered.

Suddenly, Archer felt pain in her stomach. She slid off the chair and collapsed. Several guests looked at her. One of the waitresses screamed in horror. Archer looked down and saw a bolt protruding from her abdomen.

She felt cold. An image of Babs Seed, falling to the floor after getting shot in the chest, appeared in her mind. Several patrons rushed to her.

“Excuse me!” somepony shouted. “I’m a doctor!”

“Who’s she?” some other pony asked. His companion was trying to calm down the screaming waitress, but without any effect.

“No idea,” the navy blue unicorn with glasses, who said that he was a doctor, replied. “She’s my patient now...”

“Hey, where’s that guy?” the bartender asked, looking at the table in the corner. Archer, struggling to stay conscious, looked at that direction.

The hooded stallion was nowhere to be seen.

Author's Note:

Hello, Curtain Call... and Han Solo.