• Published 9th Nov 2015
  • 2,369 Views, 71 Comments

Equestria Noir Season 2 Case 16 "True Noir" - Jacoboby1



A feud between sisters, a valuable medallion, all tie to a mystery as old as EW2. Now Private and Evenstar begin their hunt for a killer from the past.

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Chapter 4 "Long Dead Faces"

Chapter 4

“Long Dead Faces”

Perspective: Twilight

Presto Avocado sat across from me as I held up the picture I had of his grandfather. We both sat in the interrogation room at Ponyville’s police station. Princess Perks got us some time together to talk things out. As I sat there I marveled at just how much he looked like his grandfather. “Uncanny…” I said to myself.

“It’s not magic your highness I swear, just genetics,” Presto replied. “Now can you tell the police that I’m sorry for breaking in a door? I have more than enough money to pay for the damages.”

“Actually Presto I was wondering if you got anything else from your grandfather aside from his looks.” I said firmly. “Like a pair of revolvers that were used to kill Historic.”

Presto’s eyes grew wide, “Wait you think I killed him?” He said frantically.

“You did have access to those guns…” I pointed out.

He leaned forward and said, “Look your highness, Historic came to me. He told me his name was Tell Tale, and that he was a biographer. He offered to write a piece on my grandfather focusing less on his underworld dealings and more on how he helped the community.”

Yeah, helped by stealing and killing said community…

“I’ve been wanting to fix the family name for years,” Presto admitted. “So when he gave me the pitch I gave him everything I had on my grandfather. His old papers and whatnot. I figured I could do what I could to help him out.”

“Except…”

“Except it was all a lie,” He said with a shake of his head. “See there was this zebra singer who used to headline at my grandad’s club. Her name was Muimbaji, and a couple of weeks ago she passed away. Wanting to pay my respects to an old employee of my grandads I stopped at her funeral. And lo and behold I found “Tell Tale” chatting it up with some old guy. He saw me and bolted out the back way. I wondered what was up and I looked at the guest list and turns out he signed his real name.”

“And that’s how you figured out he wasn’t just some biographer hoping to fix your family name.” I said, writing all of this down.

“Just another low life treasure hunter looking for Celestia’s Medallion.” He said with a shake of the head.

I narrowed my eyes at him, “And of course the one person most deserving of the medallion would be you of course. Maybe you followed Historic back to his office and shot him, and frantically searched for the Medallion to reclaim your lost inheritance.”

“No, your highness, you have to believe me!” Presto said frantically. “I read about historics death in the Equestrian Times. I was in a coffee shop up near Manehatten at the time. The staff saw me there you can call them.”

__________________________________________________

“So his alibi checked out,” I said to Private over the phone inside the police station. “Coffee shop owners had him at the time of the murder sipping an espresso.”

“I figured as much, still uncanny for Presto’s grandson to show up out of nowhere.” Private replied.

“Yeah, I’m having Dunnit and several other officers asking around hoping to find a witness or two.” I said with a sigh. “Let’s hope we find a witness who can shed light on what happened to Historic.”

“Well if he can’t, maybe Whiskey Rocks can.”

“Whiskey who?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

“See while you were tracking Presto's alibi Even, Sparkler and I stopped by the funeral home where Muimbaji was serviced. We wondered why Historic would go to her funeral.”

“Research hoping to find where the medallion was?” I suggested.

“Not on the medallion actually, but he did spend a lot of time talking with one Whiskey Rocks. He was a friend of Muimbaji back when the Goldilocks was still open. And get this, Whiskey was the bartender at the time.”

“Well you track down that lead, I’ll see what I can find out on my end.” I said with a firm nod.

“Hopefully this lead can finally get us somewhere…”

________________________________________________

Perspective: Private

We were led inside an old apartment building by a rather older mare with glasses and fading pink fur. Even, Sparkler and I stepped into an old but well loved apartment. I could hear music playing on an old phonograph, and saw two old ponies sitting at a dinner table with one another. The stallion looked like back in the day he was quite the fighter, with silver hair and a light blue coat. The mare was clearly a former looker, despite age taking her she still looked lovely with long silver hair and a red coat that faded a little with age.

The nurse looked to them and said, “Whiskey? Gin? This is Detective Private Eye and his two assistants, they wanted a word with you two.”

“Hey, aren’t you the detective on the television?” The mare, who I assumed was Gin, asked. “Care for some soup?”

“Actually no ma’am, we shouldn’t be too long.” I said politely. “I just wanted to ask your husband some questions.”

A look passed between the pair and Whiskey simply shrugged and said, “Sure thing, have a seat.”

As we all sat down Sparkler’s ears perked up at the sound of the music playing. “Hey isn’t that, “I can’t give you anything but love?” Mr Rocks?”

“You got a good ear, young lady, that’s the best recording of the song,” Whiskey said with a smile at Sparkler. “Didn’t figure a youngster like you would know about the music of my day.”

“Oh my mom was always a fan of the old stuff.” Sparkler said, and then quickly fixed herself. “Not that you’re old I mean I-”

Whiskey chuckled. “Ah it’s alright. Gin and I accepted being old a long time ago.” He then looked at me. “I don’t suppose you came here just to talk about music did you?”

“No actually, we came here to talk about a stallion named Historic.” I said, pulling out a picture of Historic to show to Whiskey.

“He was murdered, and we’re wondering if you’ve met at Muimbaji’s funeral.” Even added.

“Murdered?” Whiskey said, blinking. “Poor kid…”

“Did he mention anything about Celestia’s Medallion?” Sparkler asked.

“Oh sure,” Whiskey said. “He asked a lot of questions about it. Where it was, where it could be, did I know anything about it’s history. Truth is I was just the bartender at the time, wasn’t much help.”

I frowned, so much for this lead…

“This is gonna sound like a weird question.” Even said, picking up where I dropped off. “But do you remember anything about the night when Red Light and Case File were murdered?”

“Oh sure,” Whiskey said, only hesitating a minute. “Everybody was talking about it back then. Presto, fella who owned the club took them out back and shot them both in cold blood.”

“Well what about a mare named Chandelier Light?” Sparkler asked. “She would’ve been like, Even and I’s age back in the day. She also had a pink coat if that helps.”

“Oh I think I know who you were talkin’ about,” Whiskey said, nodding. “About a year before the murders I was hired to be the bartender. I remember it clear as day that Chandelier was there. See, Presto wasn’t dating Redlight back then. He was dating a gal named Nova Bloom, pretty little thing.Nova was given Celestia’s Medallion to wear by Presto and as a result he brought her everywhere. But everywhere the pair went they were always followed by Nova’s best friend Chandelier Light. They were thick as thieves, at least they were until Presto saw Red Light. Not long after he dropped Nova like an old hat and Chandelier along with her. Poor Nova ended up dying from an overdose of Mageth not long after.”

“And Chandelier?” I asked.

“Well a few months after Case File and Red Light’s murders she up and vanished. That was until Presto died of a heart attack. Chandelier showed up at the funeral all dressed up and pretty, ordered one of the hard donkey stuff I kept on the top shelves, downed a whole glass and grinned. She said she was ‘free’. That was the last time I saw her.” Whiskey said with a quiet look.

“Guessing Chandelier blamed Red Light for what happened to her friend and somehow tried to set her and Case up.” Even said thoughtfully.

“Yeah but how…” Sparkler said, tilting her head a little in thought.

“Sadly none of this helps us figure out who killed Historic,” I said with a sigh and then looked at Whiskey. “So uh, do you mind if I use your phone?”

“By all means,” Whiskey said, pointing to it.

I picked up the phone and called Twilight. After a minute I got my answer, “Hello?”

“Hey Twi, it’s me Private. Any luck on the witness?”

“I was just about to call you. I found a witness, On the night when Historic was murdered a building inspector, Buzz Saw nice guy, was coming by to check the building. When he arrived he was shoved out of the way by none other than Treasure Seeker. He glared at Buzz and told him to get lost. Buzz then left but heard Treasure ruffling around the office before he left.” Twilight explained.

“Seems Treasure Seeker wasn’t entirely honest...I’ll get Officer Yang to bring him in…”

“And what about Insight? Your not worried he’ll cause trouble with you using the EPD Building?”

“He’ll play nice, lest he wants Celestia to come knocking again.” I said with a sigh. For a brief beautiful moment I forgot Equestria was saddled with the most hard-headed idiot for a police chief.

“Thankfully I have a neat way to ensure that he can’t cause trouble even if he wanted to.”

______________________________________________________

The precinct had seen better days. The black and white checkered floor was shabby and worn, the utilitarian gray metal desks showed chipped paint and dents from unruly suspects. Filing cabinets were pretty much in the same condition, files stacked atop them, waiting to be put away. The place was buzzing with activity, as one would expect from a large metropolitan police station.

Insight looked like he was about to pop eight different veins as he looked at the scroll unfurled in his hooves. I tried not to look smug as I stood there with Officier Yang standing next to me. I had to leave Even and Sparkler at the entrance waiting room though. Shame, Even would’ve loved to see this.

“By royal order, Preventus Phelps Eye is to be put in charge of the case involving the lost medallion of Celestia.” Insight growled as he read the scroll. “The previous detective was cited as being incompetent and as a result is to be relieved of the case in favor of one who has regularly proven himself on numerous occasions to be an asset to Equestria’s well being. Any further attempts to obstruct him will be met with swift punishment and the relievement of those in charge...signed...Celestia de Sol and Luna de Sol….crown princesses of Equestria…”

“So Chief, I’d like access to Treasure if that’s alright with you.” I said politely.

“You think this is funny!? Do you realize how you are making me look! Clipper’s family are big wigs in Manehatten and if he doesn’t get many cases cleared we could-”

“Lose the oh so generous donations his family gives to the department?” I replied. “Need I remind you that Clippers is the genius who almost got a hero of Equestria, I.E. Spitfire, arrested?”

“Don’t think this is over! One of these days Private Eye you won’t have the royals to back up your arrogance!” He said, and stomped off.

Yang sighed, “It’s getting worse and worse around here, Insight is way more interested in ensuring the department looks good to the right ponies instead of helping out ponies involved…”

I just shook my head. “Shinebadge had his faults but even he wouldn’t like how Insight does things…” I observed with a sigh.

“So, are you gonna thank me for getting the other unis together to pull Treasure out of his condo?” Yang said with a smirk.

“Yes, you are welcome and all of you unis would get raises tenfold if I had that kind of power,” I said with a chuckle as she lead me towards the interrogation room.

I stepped inside to find Treasure looking nowhere near as smug as he did in the diner. He glared at me as I sat down.

“I was under the impression I was to see Detective Clippard or my lawyer.”

“Your Lawyer is being held up in traffic and Clippers is going to go whine to daddy that the mean old detective is being competent while he’s incompetent.” I snarked a little. “Now, you were at the offices of one Historic on the night he was murdered. One Buzz Saw claimed you were there before you shooed him off.”

“You expect to take the word of a peasant over mine!?” Treasure yelled. “I have TV deals! Hundreds of books about real historical finds! And you want to take the word of some no name blue collar earth fu-”

“I will ask you to watch your tone...this is being recorded…” I said, pointing to the little mike in front of him.

That shut him down real quick and he sat down, glaring at me.

“Well, if you want we can end this right now, you’ll got to prison because you were the only person there when Historic would’ve died. So if you don’t want to make a new show called ‘How I languished behind Bars’ I suggest you start spilling.” I replied.

“Fine! I was there the night Historic was killed but it wasn’t me that killed him!” Treasure yelled.

“Then enlighten me as to why you were there, for the record…” I said, pointing to the mike.

“Like I said before, Historic came to me to help find Celestia’s Medallion. He wanted all of my research about the medallion.” Treasure admitted.

“And you said no.”

“Of course I said no. I spent fifteen years searching for that damn medallion and I was to hand it over to some no name? The glory was to be mine.” He said coldly.

“But he clearly was onto something,” I pointed out. “And you knew it.”

“I did, I could tell that he was close, so very very close. Historic knew things about the medallion, the club, the night it disappeared, so many things that I had never even heard of!”

“So when he wouldn’t hand over what he knew you figured you could sneak into his office and steal it.” I guessed. “Only he was there and possibly in a moment of shock, you pulled out your gun and shot him.”

“That wasn’t what happened.” Treasure fired back. “Yes I had a gun, part of my trademarks but I was only going to use it to scare him. I also had a mask in my jacket and some hoof gloves to make it look like a regular robbery. If he was there I was going to threaten him and take what was mine.”

“So I figure that didn’t happen.” I replied.

“After telling off that peasant of a building inspector for daring to get in my way I laid in wait for Historic. He came into his office, and pulled…” He looked at his hoof, clearly imagining the medallion in his hooves. “The medallion...out...it was the most beautiful treasure I had ever seen.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“Well I was about to go at him when suddenly I was grabbed from behind. I struggled for a minute with my attacker until he put something over my muzzle. A rag that smelled sweet…”

“Chloroform…” I surmised.

“Yes, everything went dark after that and when I came to Historic was dead. I searched his body but whoever knocked me out must have taken the Medallion with him because it was gone.” Treasure implored...he wasn’t lying I could tell. That only made this more odd.

_________________________________________________________

“Sweet Celestia I wish it was him.” Even grumbled as all three of us sat on a park bench taking in some ice cream.

“How did you hear the conversation?” Sparkler asked curiously as she licked up some strawberry swirl. “Are your ears really that good?”

“When I uh...concentrate enough…” Even said blushing a little and getting a lot more interested in his chocolate chunk ice cream.

“Sadly without a confession from him the evidence is circumstantial.” I explained. “We’ll have to settle for getting a warrant to search his condo. I’ll pick one up after we finish here.”

“It’s kinda disappointing though.” Even said with a sigh. “I was hoping that solving Historic’s murder would give us some answers as to what really happened to Case and Red.”

“Yeah but we do know what happened.” I said, “Presto shot them both.”

“Yeah well that’s the obvious,” Even argued. “What about Chandelier though? What’s her part in this? Why in Equestria would she hire Case in the first place?”

“I guess we’ll never know…” Sparkler said, shaking her head.

“Something else was going on…” Even said, and pulled one of the journals out of one of the saddle bags. He scanned the journal for a moment and then said “Wearing some fine looking white shoes over her pink colored coat and her fine dress, I could tell this girl did not belong in the city…”

Sparkler then blinked, “Wait what did you just say?” she asked Even.

“It’s uh, Case’s description of Chandelier, when she first came in-” Even began.

“No I mean about the shoes.” Sparkler said, “Because…” She then pulled out an old photograph of the back of the carriage…

“Did you take that from the evidence storage?” I asked.

“No I had it copied, special copying spell I picked up working retail.” Sparkler admitted, showing the picture to the two of us. She pointed next to the carriage a white shoe was laying there on the ground.

“That’s a white shoe alright, the kind you wouldn’t wear to a club outing…” I said, looking at the picture, and then at Sparkler, “You don’t mean…”

“If Red Light was going to a fancy club that night she’d be wearing an elegant dress and some hoofwear a lot nicer than those shoes, if any at all.” Sparkler explained.

“Then that means this isn’t Red Light at all.” Even said, pointing to the picture. “This has to be Chandelier.”

“But that can’t be Chandelier,” I said. “The bartender said that she showed up at Presto’s funeral months later.”

“He must’ve lied!” Even and Sparkler said at the same time. I tried not to let my inner shipper squee too much.

“But that was decades ago, why lie?” I asked them.

“Wait,” Sparkler said, “Remember that song that was playing at the bartender’s apartment? ‘I can’t give you anything but love’?”

“He said that was the best version of the song.” Even added.

I thought for a moment and then things started clicking. “That was Long Hoofstrong’s version of the song.”

“Case File said his favorite musician was Satchmo!” Sparkler added quickly. “Satchmo was Hoofstrong’s nickname when he was a performer.”

“Put it all together…” I said with a smile, “and it’s all coming together. Crystal Clear…”

________________________________________________

The three of us arrived at Whiskey and Gin’s front door. I knocked lightly and the old couple opened the door to see us three standing there. Gin smiled upon seeing us, “Oh, hello again.”

“Hello Red Light.” I then looked to Whiskey. “Hello Case File.”

Author's Note:

Congrats you lovely people! You don't have to wait two years for the next chapter! Woo!