• Published 24th Mar 2015
  • 325 Views, 20 Comments

Manehattan Takes Rarity - NeuroSparkle

When the Pony Everypony Should Know is found shot in a back alley, it's up to Beckett and Castle to solve the case.

  • ...


As the door opened to Montgomery’s office and he stepped out, he found Castle sitting in front of the murder board.

“Any news on Ryan and Esposito?” the writer asked as soon as he spotted him. He nodded.

“They’ll both make it, thankfully. Esposito is still unconscious, but doctors expecting a full recovery. If we’re lucky, we can talk to them tomorrow.” He paused. “Where’s Beckett?”

“She’s picking up a report on Gleam at the morgue,” Castle explained. “Should be coming in any second now.”

“Good, because I got the forensic reports in on the stuff Esposito retrieved from the wreckage, and you two ought to see this. Half of Manehattan has been working on this material, it’s been processed surprisingly fast. We’re extremely lucky Gleam decided to plant the C4 first and open the suitcases later.” As soon as the elevator opened and the cobalt mare walked through the metal door, he beckoned her over with a quick gesture.


The captain briefly repeated what he had already told Castle earlier. “So apparently,” he continued, “ballistics fixed the rifle up to take tests and they’re a definite match. The rest of the junk was badly damaged, but there’s hoofguns of the same model that shot both Rarity and Corde, drugs are a match to shipments etc. But here’s the interesting part: Esposito salvaged several sets of clothing, which are designed to look different, but they are only in two sizes, identified as Gleam’s and Discharge’s. I passed this information over to Narcotics, and they’re saying that there are no signs either of those two contacting anypony else regarding the drug business, including on the burner cells found in their apartments.”

This clearly left Castle and Beckett perplexed. “Are you saying they have been running the entire mob all by themselves?”

Montgomery nodded.

“Well, that would explain many things,” Castle attempted to integrate the newly obtained information into their previous theory. “While every cop in Manehattan is looking for an intricate system of mobsters they can hide right under our noses without being suspected. It just makes the information that Flanks possessed all the more deadly.”

“Looks like we’ve not only caught our killers, we also shut down the entire drug distribution network over the East coast of Equestria.” The writer raised a hoof while Montgomery talked. “Yes, Castle?”

“I don’t want to ruin the mood or anything, but…” He hesitated, noticing the other two ponies’ stares. “I’ve been thinking…”

“Well, that’s a new one.”

“See, Discharge and Gleam didn’t really have a reason to kill Rarity,” he continued, ignoring his partner’s derogative comment.

“What now, are you telling me they weren’t our murderers? Castle, the evidence is rock solid. If the bucker makes it through the night, there’s probable cause enough to put Discharge away for 50 years minimum.”

“No, I didn’t doubt that,” he replied, shaking his head. “What I’m saying is that we were missing something. Why murder Rarity if you could exchange her for Flanks? We know she wasn’t briefed about the Corde’s shooting, so why not take her hostage instead? That would mean that they could dispose of Hondo quietly in some place where nopony would ever find him.”

“Seeing how diligent they have been all this time running the cartel alone, it really seems like too sloppy of an operation,” Beckett acknowledged.

“Exactly. So I figured: something must have compelled Gleam and Discharge to change their plans rather acutely, and I went through the entire timeline to check on when they could have possibly received new information shortly before the murder.”

“It’s gotta be when they drugged Rarity with the Pentothal,” the cobalt coated mare mumbled thoughtfully, leaning on her table.

“… which means, Rarity must have been in there deeper than we thought she was, and she must have known something that unsettled our dearest Easties.”

“And how exactly was she involved in this? She’s a village pony, for buck’s sake.” Montgomery raised a brow.

“I wondered too, and then I tried looking for a connection. If Rarity hadn’t come to Manehattan, Gleam wouldn’t have had the chance to try pressuring Flanks, she would still be alive, the drug mob would still be running and Hondo Flanks would keep quiet out of fear for his family.”

“Are you implying that whoever sent her here was orchestrating the entire thing to shut down the East mob?” Beckett raised an eyebrow. Castle nodded. “That’s… absurd.”

“I thought you weren't opposed to the idea of Shores being involved in this?” Castle poked his partner verbally.

“Castle, I know you’ve helped us close cases before and I’m really thankful to have you around, since you’re thinking out of the box like that… but this really is a wild claim,” Montgomery stated carefully.

“It would be, if I didn't have evidence.”

“Implying you do,” Beckett stated, vocally expressing her doubt.

“Oh yes,” he replied with a smug smile. “I do.” He got up from his sitting position and started pacing to and fro. “Surely you remember the loan that Rarity had taken from the Equestria Bank?” Beckett nodded.

“Let me guess, there was something wrong with it,” the captain speculated.

“More than just wrong,” Castle replied. “I took the liberty of borrowing Ryan's gear while you were occupied thinking that maybe there was more reasoning behind it than just Rarity's financial trouble. Apparently, I was correct. I called the bank to ask for it, and guess what: they have never granted such a loan and they have never even heard of it. The money came from a closed account on the Caymare Islands that belonged to a fake ID and was wired through the Equestria Bank. Later, somepony actually bothered hacking into the database and altering the origin and purpose of the transfer to cover their tracks. Now, my assumption is that Shores not only invited Rarity to Manehattan, she somehow hired her to do something that would definitely arouse Gleam's attention. Why would she want that? Easy, Rarity's death was the linchpin to the breakdown of the East mob, which would allow their competition some serious expansion.” He finished with a wide grin on his face.

“Just when I thought this case might finally be over,” Beckett commented with a moan. “What are we going to do, sir?” she inquired, addressing Montgomery. With a sigh, the captain got up.

“I’ll get an APB out on Shores and send Spec Ops over. You have no idea how much this case costs the city…”

“Actually, I’m rather confident we won’t find Shores in her apartment now,” Castle called him back. “With how perfectly the rest of this operation was planned, she's probably on her safe way to the Westies' quarters somewhere in Las Pegasus by now.”

“I think making sure won’t harm,” he replied, before he marched off towards his office.

“Captain, wait!” Beckett exclaimed. “What about us?” The unicorn stopped for a moment, then turned around.

“Listen, Beckett, Castle, you’ve done an excellent job on the case. But with Ryan and Esposito down, I don’t want you to continue investigating. We caught our guys; Shores might be involved in this, but she’s not a killer. I’ll pass all the case files to the DEA and have them do whatever they like with them.” Brooking no dissent with what he had uttered, he closed the door. Beckett groaned theatrically.

“You know, this might be the right choice,” Castle said cautiously. The cobalt mare sunk to the floor.

“I know. It’s just, having seen what this did to Rarity’s family, I’d hate to see somepony screw it up.”

“Though, I confess, this would be an excellent pretence to visit some old mates on the West coast,” the writer added, to lighten the mood. “Going anywhere to investigate usually turns out fun.”

“What, you’re still sad that we didn’t get the chance to show up at the Canterlot Castle with a search warrant?” she smirked.

“You know, it might be for the better that this never happened,” he replied in a slightly confound tone. Not bothering to find out just what might have caused such distraction, Beckett got up to the murder board.

“Time to pin these off, I guess. Montgomery will want all the stuff together by the time DEA gets here.” After a short pause, she added: “You could help me with that, you know.”

“Actually, I have some very important business to attend to,” Castle declared. “It’s a royal dinner date,” he whispered demonstratively. Disregarding Beckett’s speechless expression, he trotted towards the elevator.

Going through the past days’ events in his mind, Castle stopped a cab, which he happened to spot an instant after he left the precinct and found himself on the street, alit with the evening sun’s final rays. Taking a moment to appreciate Manehattan’s occasional beauty, the writer stated his destination’s address to the driver, got in the carriage and fiddled with the radio controls.

“… are now switching to the live stream. Enjoy!” he heard the announcer pony speak, as the sound system finally received control voltage input. He sunk into the soft seat as clamorous cheering faded in along with a faint, yet increasingly dominant synth riff.

Somewhere else, a white unicorn set hoof onto his stage. Stepping behind his gear, he levitated a pair of headphones upon his ears that stuck out of the short, blonde mane, and adjusting his red jacket, lifted a hoof to greet the crowd. As the light show kicked in overhead, the stallion finally took over the controls and the soundboards started rendering his set’s first track. His mouth broadening to a smile at the unbelievable sensation that the audience’s applause evoked at every gig he played, reminding him of why he even produced music.

I think I’m in need of a quiet walk home…
And as we step forward we would rather be alone…

Esposito opened his eyes. Taking a moment to regain his orientation, he leaned back into his bed as he found himself in the hospital. Hardly remembering being brought here, he was still greatly relieved by the fact that he spotted Ryan, his assigned roommate during their stay, both alive and awake, lying on the adjacent bed, tweaking the volume of a radio that stood on a desk next to his bed. The Pegasus didn’t try moving as he didn’t want to bother with the pain this would undoubtedly cause, so he simply remained lying and soaked up the sounds.

So make some noise while you’ve got time,
Take this poison for your mind,
Who knows, you could be gone by this time tomorrow.

Sweetie Belle turned around on the couch she had been lying on while she awaited her mother’s return from the precinct. Music coming from the open balcony door made her rise, leaving behind the wet spot she had been pressing her face into. As she trotted towards the window of the dark Manehattan hotel room, she saw a TV through a window on the other side of the street. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she distinguished the footage from a concert on the tiny screen. The amplitude of the sound sufficed for her to perceive the intensification of the electronics as the build-up edged closer to its conclusion.

Another drop of salty liquid fell on the floor, leaving behind a tiny dark dot as the carpet soaked it up. It would be her final one—for now. She couldn’t promise for the future; but this very moment was the time to cope.

I don’t know where we’re going,
And I take pride in not knowing…

Kate Beckett stared out on the street through the glass. The soothing sounds seemingly snuck into the poorly lit precinct though the half open window, as she pulled the ring she was wearing around her neck on a chain out of her shirt and examined it. She didn’t try hiding the pain that this item undoubtedly evoked, but that wasn’t the reason why she decided to bring it out: instead, to remind her of the rift between the past and the present, of how she could carry on despite not forgetting, of how she shouldn’t let opportunities slip.

… and you say I will be the one to let this go!

On the last word, the white unicorn threw his hooves in the air, dropping it for the first time at this show, as lasers shot into the hall from the projectors above. The smile didn’t leave his face.

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Comments ( 4 )

:trollestia: A search warrant ?

:ajbemused: I'll burn the fields. . .

:applecry: But I like coca

:eeyup: Nnope!

:moustache: I'm going to do some of my own burning. . .

:duck: Meet Spike. He's not a dog but he sure bites. . .

5806620 I´m with you man. Thes "displaced"-stories are always the same. "Oh! there was that strange guy at a con..." bwuearg!

You know what? I´ll give that thing a chance. But first ... let me watch a bit af castle real quick. get into the right mood for some light crime and humor.


Yeah, exactly. It wouldn't have worked for this story's plot, anyway.

Tell me what you think when you've read a bit :pinkiesmile:

Okay Sorry I took so long, studies, exams, bad mood, yadda yadda yadda. I´ll still finish this before my vacation in Ireland.

Welcome my fellow Bronies and Pegasisters,

I´ll start off with the good points of this story. It was a wise choice to make this a ponified Castle episode. It wouldn´t have made too much sense any other way. And it was a bold move to combine those two serieseseses...Whatever! The story got more interesting, the further I got into it, so the pacing was actually really good.

For a first try, this story is actually quite solid, but there are also a lot of mistakes, which hold this story back to be good.

I analyzed some Castle episodes, and found a pattern, which is used in a lot of episodes. There is a main plot, which consists of the case. It is often coupled with a them like steampunk, horror, high society, strippers or whatever.

There is also a sub plot, told in slice of life bits out of castle´s live with his family. Those are actually really important, because they are used for the character development and sometime provide crucial clues to solve the case.

The use of side characters, suspects and some plot twists to form the main plot were okay, but you totally ignored the sub plot.

You also failed to introduce the characters and the respective lore of Castle and MLP. You must always expect the worst from your readers. You have to write your stories in a way that someone new to either of those story elements understands them. Even I got lost sometimes.

And even though I am not against guns in this, there were too many computers, mobiles and other technical gimmicks involved, wich would have made more sense in an Equestria Girls setting.

What bothered me most, however was how you portrayed Castle in this. You didn´t allow him to be the witty, smooth, charming celebrity he is supposed to be. He always has a story to tell or a stupid joke to provoke a little discussion with Becket. a I liked the Luna-bit because she was, what castle should have been. You "castled" Luna, which is not good by the way.

And then tere is the terrible phrase "show dont tell". It mostly means that you use dialogue and actions to describe an scenario, instead of just telling the reader directly.

The prologue, for example, was lacking in that aspect. You just told us the stallions instincts he had aquired on the streets of manehatten somehow told him that going down the ally was a bad idea. Nobody knows what those instincts are. Being a bit more detailed would have been a lot better her.

A shiver went down his spine, as he looked at his red tinted hoof. Shaking his head to clear his blurred vison, his eyes wandered up to see a thin trail of red liquid. The last bit of reason, which hadn´t been drowned in booze, begged him to turn around. "Curiosity always kills the cat!" He thought, shoving this doubt aside and followed anyway.

This is still not as good as it could be, but the reader at least knows what you are talking about.

How you introduced Discharge was also an example for that. He was suddenly there and you just told us he was working with Ryan and Esposito a few times. Why didn´t you mention him earlier or added a few conversations between them? He just came out of nowhere.

And lastly, the paragraphing. Some of your paragraphs were much too long. This not only looks bad, but also hinders your reader to get into a good flow while reading, which is really important in action sequences like the last chapters were. Having a big block thrown in your face when the action is suposed to be quick, is not good.

The Epilogue was a bit confusing. it did not feel like the story really ended. Did you plan to write a sequel to this?

I suggest you to look for a good editor and going over this, as well, because there are some typos.

Despite this story being a brave and good effort for a first try, I can only give it a final verdict of four out of ten. Sorry!


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