• Published 8th Jun 2012
  • 2,411 Views, 161 Comments

In the broad daylight - Askre

Two of the Cutie Mark Crusaders witness the foalnapping of a classmate. But do they want to help?

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Chapter 14

Chapter 14.

Parasol was sitting outside the hospital room Silver Axe was kept in when the two police ponies arrived. With her was also the royal guard appointed with guarding the room. Both of them glanced towards the incoming officers. Mulberry slowed down his approach before they fully arrived, but Tango didn’t stop until he was right with the two Pegasus Ponies.

“Where is she?” Tango inquired about Snow Heart.

“In there.” Parasol indicated to the closed room. “She’s talking with Silver Axe.”

“Alone?” Mulberry asked frowning; he didn’t like that idea much.

“Yes alone, she’s been searching for the guy for weeks and finally finds him here in Ponyville hospitalized and under arrest for foalnapping. He took her in and apparently she cares enough about him, I think she deserves to be allowed to talk with him in private,” the yellow Pegasus stated sharply.

“Yes of course, that is quite understandable,” Tango nodded and ignored the questionable glare he got from his working partner.

“Tango, do I need to remind you that Snow Heart was named by Diamond Tiara as well in this case?” Mulberry pointed out.

“And we got contradicting statements about that,” the thinner Earth Stallion countered. “It doesn’t help either that Snow and Tiara’s histories together aren’t exactly in Tiara’s favor. She has already accused Snow wrongly before and the Gryphon is already taking all the credit for the foalnapping.”

“But….” Mulberry protested but was cut short by Tango’s stern look.

“You read too many crime novels Mulberry. The fact of the matter is nopony can back up Tiara’s statement. Her own foalnappers say it was only them and so far Snow Heart has stated she’s been on the road for weeks. We need something more solid and even a witness that can confirm Tiara’s account before Snow Heart can be put under suspicion,” he told him.

Mulberry dropped down to his haunches and made no attempt to respond to his partner. He now only watched as Tango began quietly talking with Parasol, the guard appeared to be listening as well but didn’t really partake much in the conversation.

“Ah’m gonna check on Sweetie Belle, see ya later sis.”

The police pony looked back over his shoulder when hearing the child’s voice. He saw Apple Bloom trot quickly out of another corridor and head for the door leading downstairs. Shortly after the girl was gone Applejack and Twilight Sparkle came walking from the same corridor. Spike was riding on the librarian’s back.

The stocky Earth Pony glanced back to where Tango and Parasol were talking before standing up and headed over to the two mares and the dragon. They noticed his approach and all three greeted him.

“So how is the case going with the foalnappers caught?” Twilight asked then she added with a wink. “I don’t expect you’ll need my help any further.”

Mulberry cleared his throat in embarrassment knowing what she was referring to. He truly didn’t mind the help she and her friends had done for the town; his desire was far more to solve real criminal case rather than dealing with dragons and parasprites.

“Hold that thought Twilight. This is case has become more complicated than we thought it would,” he said. Applejack raised an eyebrow while Twilight frowned in confusion. Spike scratched his head.

“What do you mean more complicated?” he asked what the two mares were thinking.

“First of all, the Gryphon is claiming full credit for the foalnapping, stating he only hired Silver Axe as a muscle to help him. Diamond Tiara has stated that Snow Heart is the one behind it all. Snow Heart meanwhile claims she’s been on the road for the past several weeks looking for somepony that took her in. That somepony turns out to be Silver Axe,” Mulberry explained.

“Huh, Ah heard Snow Heart was back in town,” Applejack remarked. Twilight nodded and opened her mouth to say something but a multicolored flash interrupted her. Suddenly Rainbow Dash was there staring intently at Mulberry.

“What was that about taking credit?” she asked.

“Ah the Gryphon, Paul is claiming credit for the whole foalnapping and that he hired Silver Axe as his muscle,” the officer repeated. All eyes were now on Dash who was scowling, something didn’t make sense to the rainbow mane Pegasus.

“If Silver Axe is the hired muscle and Paul was his boss, then why would Silver Axe let Paul be beaten up by Gilda? Why didn’t he do what he was hired for?” she asked.

Mulberry blinked, so did Applejack and Twilight. Again Spike scratched his head looking very confused. They looked over to Silver Axe’s room and saw that Snow Heart had emerged from it and was speaking with Parasol and Tango.

“Something is not right here,” Twilight remarked. “And it is an odd coincidence that Tiara would name Snow Heart and then she arrives in Ponyville the day Diamond Tiara is rescued.”

“That’s what I thought,” Mulberry grunted. “But Tango as usual can’t see any wrong on Snow Heart. I think he’s still embarrassed over the incident few years ago when Tiara first accused Snow Heart.”

“Maybe we should just ask her,” Rainbow Dash grunted and prepared to head straight to the other group, she was quickly stopped by an orange hoof stepping on her tail.

“Hold it there Sally, if something is up and Snow Heart already has made a statement that is conflicting with Tiara’s,” Applejack said to the annoyed Pegasus.

“Then she’s not going to confess anything incriminating when she has no reason too,” Twilight finished.

“Yeah, currently the only one who can name her is Tiara and her foalnappers are not agreeing with her.” Mulberry nodded.

“So what will we do?” Dash asked.

“We need to carefully ask around,” Twilight explained. “Is Gilda still in her room?”

“No she has already left,” the blue Pegasus told her. “She’s going to claim her cousin’s apartment in Los Pegasus.”

“If I recall correctly she was the last one with Paul, go after her and ask if Paul said something out of the ordinary,” the Unicorn instructed. Rainbow Dash frowned but then shrugged and took to the air and flew to the stairs.

“We need to keep a close but subtle eye on Snow Heart and hope she slips up somehow. Maybe we should talk with Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle again, they did witness the tail end of the foalnapping, maybe they overheard Paul say something,” Twilight said.

“I can do that,” Mulberry claimed.

“Good, Applejack did you know Snow Heart back when she used to live here?” The Unicorn looked at the farm pony.

“Not really. Knew of her and remember the ruckus that caused her to leave, but Ah can’t say we were much acquainted. Pinkie knew her better, but then again she knows everypony, Parasol over there was her main friend if I recall correctly,” Applejack responded with a slight shrug.

“I wouldn’t bother talking with Parasol, she’s already shown that she’ll stick with Snow Heart,” the police officer grunted.

“Friends tend to do that, she has no reason to suspect someone she calls a friend,” Twiligh told Mulberry with half a smile.

“But what if Snow Heart is innocent after all?” Spike asked.

“That is still possibility Spike,” the Unicorn said and turned her head to look at the young dragon. “But there is still enough reasonable doubt to at least investigate. There are few questions unanswered and her arrival seems rather convenient.”

The group fell silent when sounds of hoof steps indicated that Snow Heart, Parasol and Tango were approaching. The guard remained outside Silver Axe’s room. The white Unicorn and the yellow Pegasus just politely greeted the three ponies and dragon before heading down the stairs. Tango halted and looked at his partner.

“You coming, Mulberry? The mayor probably wants us to finish up this case and give her a report,” he said.

“I guess,” Mulberry grunted. While Tango turned towards the downstairs entrance and headed for it, the other stallion leaned closer to Twilight but kept an eye on his partner.

“I’ll drop by the library later to talk about this extra investigation, I don’t think Tango is too open for any discussion on it,” he whispered. Twilight nodded her head and with Applejack and Spike watched the officer depart after the other one.

“Well Ah better head home and update Granny on Big Mac,” the farm pony spoke up and started towards the stairs.

“We’ll come with you,” Twilight said and followed.

Apple Bloom noticed Scootaloo’s scooter parked just outside the door of Carousel Boutique. She didn’t think much of it and figured the Pegasus filly had finished with whatever her mother wanted and had dropped by to check on Sweetie Belle. The girl opened the door and peeked inside.

Rarity was working with a client who was in need of a new hat. The white unicorn had a stack of headwear nearby and her customer stood in front of a mirror putting them on and taking them off to see how they looked on her.

“I’m also sure darling we could also get a fine gown to match the hat you will pick,” Rarity assured the gray Pegasus.

“No thanks, I just need a hat,” the mare said.

“Good day, Rarity.” Apple Bloom entered the store fully when not spotting Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo right off the bat from her vantage point. “Good Day, Derpy.”

“Oh hello Apple Bloom, how is your brother doing?” Rarity turned around and so did her client.

“He’s fine, just bumps and bruises, he’ll be out tomorrow,” the yellow filly informed her with a nod.

“Well that’s good to hear, if you are looking for Sweetie Belle, she is upstairs with Scootaloo,” the white Unicorn said.

“A’right, thanks,” Apple Bloom took a beeline for the stairs. Rarity and Derpy in the meantime turned back to the matters of hats.

“Dear, if you pick this one,” she gestured to the dark blue wide brimmed hat the Pegasus was currently wearing. “I have a dazzling cape that would go right with it.”

“Oooh, that does sound neat,” Derpy nodded in excitement.

Meanwhile Apple Bloom reached the second floor and walked over to the room Sweetie Belle made use of when visiting her older sister. She could already hear faint almost frantic voices of her friends and frowned in confusion. It didn’t help at all when she opened the door to see what was going on.

Sweetie Belle lay on the bed and madly flipped through a book, her sprained leg was properly wrapped and propped up so not to disturb it. Scootaloo was quickly skimming through a stack of books, tossing the ones she finished with behind herself. Already a pile of books was forming there.

“We are doomed, we are doomed,” the orange filly complained as she continued to toss books away after skimming them.

“We are in so much trouble,” Sweetie Belle cried, her voice cracking a bit.

Wow, and they say I overreact, Apple Bloom blinked at this peculiar scene. “Hey gals, what’s the trouble?”

“Apple Bloom,” Scootaloo jumped away from her pile of books and rushed over to the newly arrived filly. She grabbed her friend and began shaking her frantically. “We forgot the school assignment for tomorrow.”

“W-w-w-h-h-h-a-a-a-t-t-t?” the Earth Filly could only stammer as she was shaken, she managed to break free mostly because the Pegasus was letting go and began pacing back and forth.

“Our writing assignment, an important pony through pony history and I can’t write about Rainbow Dash again,” she explained.

“We were so busy with the foalnappers we forgot to even find anypony to write about,” Sweetie Belle waved the book from her position.

For a moment Apple Bloom just stood there as the realization hit her. Slowly the lower jaw began descending towards the ground, her eyes shrunk and she felt cold sweat coming all over her body. Scootaloo stopped pacing to look at her friend and Sweetie Belle was watching too.

“Yer right, we are doomed,” the yellow filly whispered, she grabbed Scootaloo and began shaking her this time. “What are we going do to? What are we going to do??”

“We are trying to work on it,” the orange filly pulled herself loose. “We just can’t find anything; Sweetie Belle doesn’t have many history books here.”

“Well then, why don’t we go to the library?” Apple Bloom wondered.

“I dunno if Rarity will let me,” the Unicorn sounded unsure. “I’m supposed to stay here until our parents come and pick me up.”

“Alright, Apple Bloom and I will go to the library and get books, we’ll come back here and if you have already been picked up we’ll come to your home,” Scootaloo suggested, that prompted positive nods from both her friends.

“Sounds good to me, we better skedaddle though and hope Twilight is back there by now,” Apple Bloom said.

“Okay, see you again soon,” Sweetie Belle waved.

The two other fillies darted out of the room and galloped down the stairs. Derpy was still trying on hats and had added a cape too. Rarity turned her head sharply when the two girls came running past them.

“Girls, no running in the house!” the Unicorn snapped.

“Sorry Rarity, we’re just going to the library to get books for a school assignment!” both fillies shouted as they disappeared out of the boutique.

“Children,” Rarity sighed and shook her head; she then turned back to her customer. “So Derpy, you never told me why you needed a new hat.”

“So what did he say?” Parasol asked while she walked back home with Snow Heart trotting beside her.

“Well he didn’t really say that much, he’s mute dear,” the Unicorn told her and chuckled at the ‘you know what I meant’ glare she got from her old friend.

“He admitted he liked me, liked me very much and he wanted to help me a get a horn operation,” she explained and sighed slightly. “But those are terribly expensive and he didn’t really work anymore.”

“So he decided to help foalnap a filly?” Parasol scowled.

“He was desperate, he did say he only agreed to this as long as the filly would not be hurt and returned immediately to her parents once the ransom was paid,” Snow Heart shook her head.

“Well the ransom was paid or so I heard, but I guess Mr. Rich will get that money back since they got caught,” the yellow Pegasus said.

Indeed, a slight chink in the plan, I had hoped to at least get the first payment. Oh well, the plan is pretty much on inprov right now, we are too soon in it, Snow Heart thought as she nodded to what her friend was saying.

“Well I guess I’ll be staying a bit longer than planned, I’ll want to see Silver Axe’s trial and where he’ll be taken,” she mentioned.

“You can stay with us as long as you need,” Parasol assured her.

Their route took them close to town hall and the two mares noticed a large gathering of ponies in front of it. Mayor Mare was stepping up to a podium and seemed to be preparing a speech. Snow Heart and Parasol looked at each other half confused then curiosity spurred them to take a closer look.

“Citizens of Ponyville,” the mayor started. “I am pleased to announce that the dreadful foalnapping case is over with the capture of the two foalnappers and Diamond Tiara’s safe return to her father Mr. Filthy Rich.”

“I see the mayor hasn’t changed much,” Snow Heart murmured. Around her the crowd was cheering the news.

“We naturally thank the Royal Guards for their valuable help in apprehending the criminals, but we can also take pride in it that our very own citizens participated in the search and rescue. A proper celebration will be held in due time and you’ll hear the announcement of that soon.”

Yak, yak, yak, still loves the sound of her own voice, the unicorn snorted and turned to leave.

Parasol waited a bit to listen more to the speech but lost interest when it just went on to congratulate those who participated in the search. She headed after Snow Heart who waited for her outside the crowd. The Unicorn looked at the arriving Pegasus but a thrill shout then caught her attention.

“You should be in jail!”

Diamond Tiara appeared on the run with a new tiara on her head. The filly stopped right in front of Snow Heart and glared up at her. The mare only took a step back and raised an eyebrow. Mr. Rich appeared soon after looking apologetic but didn’t get a chance to speak either as his daughter was rambling on.

“You foalnapped me. You broke the tiara mom gave me. You should be arrested!” she cried and pointed an accusing hoof at the mare.

Parasol winched and wondered if she should step in. Snow Heart’s eyes were beginning to twitch, a sure sign that the Unicorn’s temper was rising. Rich was trying to reach and drag his daughter back but Tiara kept evading him.

“I-I’m sorry Ms. Heart, she is just still recovering from her ordeal,” he tried to explain.

So she is, deep in her mind Snow Heart was laughing. And playing right into what I had in mind for her all along.

The Unicorn took a moment to eye around; it hadn’t escaped her that the mayor had fallen silent. The entire crowd of ponies and Mayor Mare were watching the spectacle, all appearing unsure what to think of what they were witnessing.

“I see,” Snow Heart snorted glaring daggers at Mr. Rich. “I see your daughter hasn’t changed much, throwing wild accusations around as per usual.”

“Snow, maybe we should just go.” Parasol finally made the decision to try and get her friend away and approached.

“I should be demanding an apology here,” the Unicorn ignored her friend for now, stomping her hoof hard on the ground. Some of the ponies in the crowd cringed and seemed to fear the worst.

“But.” All anger suddenly vanished from her face and she looked away with an indignant expression. “I suppose I can understand and forgive that the child is confused after her ordeal.”

“What… but… Daaad!” Diamond Tiara looked at her father who just shook his head and gave her a stern look.

“We don’t exactly have the best history together Diamond Tiara and I. I suppose it’s just natural for her to think of me as some bad scary mare, especially after her frightful experience this weekend,” Snow Heart continued, appearing more indifferent now.

There were murmurs from the crowd. Ponies were now nodding in approval and some looked sympathetically at both Snow Heart and Diamond Tiara. The mayor was smiling and approached the podium again.

“Well it does seem we have two happy occasions today. A dreadful criminal case over and a return of an old friend, welcome back to Ponyville Snow Heart,” Mayor Mare declared.

This caused the crowd to break into cheers and greetings. The ponies gathered around both Snow Heart and Parasol and soon enough both were being escorted to the Mayor. The Unicorn at first pretended to protest this sudden overwhelming welcome, but relented soon enough.

Mr. Rich and Diamond Tiara were left behind. The stallion was sighing in silent relief that nothing disastrous had happened. His daughter on the other hand was watching with her mouth agape and eyes bulging out in shock and disbelief. She just could not believe that her tormentor was being welcomed so readily and now was shaking hooves with the mayor.

“Come along Tiara, let’s go to the restaurant like we were planning to do,” Filthy Rich gently began ushering his daughter away from the crowd.

The filly didn’t resist as she was just too shocked to do it with any conscious effort. But as they passed the crowd, the girl did take one last look towards the stage. Her eyes met with the golden colored eyes of Snow Heart who was staring right back at her, smirking slightly before the mare turned back to the mayor and resumed a more normal smile.

Why does nopony believe me? Tiara was almost tempted to run back and challenge the Unicorn again, but the crowd was too thick and her father kept prodding her onward.

End Chapter 14.

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