• Published 8th Jun 2012
  • 2,393 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 4

Chapter 4.

“Oh you remember me, I’m so touched,” Snow Heart put a hoof on her chest pretending to be flattered.

“Remember you? You almost killed me!” Diamond Tiara shouted, her surprise changing into brief anger. It quickly disappeared when a white hoof slammed onto the wooden floor leaving a crack. Snow Heart lowered her head, glaring daggers at the filly.

“I did NOT almost kill you, you stupid brat!” she snarled. “I was trying to prevent you from making any more mess than you were already making!”

“You threw me across the living room!” Tiara protested but shrunk back when the mare’s eyes began to twitch and her snout twisted into a sneer.

“I slipped on the mud you were trailing all over the floor, that I had spent HOURS cleaning before you waltzed in without a care in the world!” Snow Heart growled.

“You did not fly across the room. You just skidded across it. But no, as usual you had to make up huge drama over everything, accuse me of trying to kill you and of course your father believes every word of his precious little princess!” The mare raised her head but still glowered down at the filly.

“You were already driving me up the walls with your bratty behavior. Every time I clean something, you messed it up only a moment later. And Celestia forbid I spoil your fun by asking you not to mess everything up, crying to daddy that I’m being mean to you! Make up stories about me; accuse me of doing something I never did!” the Unicorn stamped her hoof again hard to the ground; the crack became a bit wider at the force.

“You know how easy it is to get a new job when your last employer believes that you were harassing his daughter? It’s practically impossible! I couldn’t even afford the surgery needed to mend my horn that you caused to break!” Snow Heart lowered her head again still frothing in anger.

Diamond Tiara could only listen, the older mare looked feral and frightening at the moment. After a bit more glowering the anger seemed to vanish from the white pony. The sinister grin returned and she raised her head.

“But you are going to help make up for all that. If your father wants to see his precious little princess again, he’s going to be forking out the bits. He is going to suffer for what you did to me,” the mare chuckled.

“My father is going to have you exiled for this!” Tiara growled but fell silent when a hoof kicked the cage. The shaking caused the filly to fall down. That really hurt.

“All your father is going to be doing is paying up, he owes me a lot of back pay,” Snow Heart snorted, she watched the disoriented girl in the cage for a moment before looking at Paul.

“Give me the key to the cage,” she ordered the Gryphon who began searching his chest feathers. He pulled out a string hidden under them holding a small key. Paul took it off and gave it to his boss.

Snow Heart’s brow wrinkled in hard concentration and a white glow came on her stub and the key glowed too as she took it via levitating magic. This was clearly a struggle for her with a broken horn and the sweat poured down her head. But the mare stubbornly turned around and used the key to open the cage.

Diamond Tiara was still dizzy after the kick and trying to orient herself. She didn’t notice the cage door open until Snow Heart reached in and grabbed her tiara with her mouth and pulled it off.

“Hey!” the girl began to rise up again but the mare was already locking the cage.

“Give me back my tiara!” the filly shouted and tried to reach for it through the bars but was ignored.

The old mare tried to levitate the key back to Paul but finally lost what little concentration she had. The horn stopped glowing and the key fell to the ground, but the Gryphon walked over and picked it up, replacing it on the string. The Unicorn rubbed her forehead tiredly for a moment before spitting the tiara to the floor.

“Give it back!” Diamond Tiara reached as far as possible through her prison. She could almost touch it, it was so close. But a white hoof came crushing down and smashed it to pieces.

The young filly’s eyes bugged out and the jaw hung loose at the sight. Her precious tiara was gone, only smashed pieces of metal and pearls remained. Slowly she sunk down with one leg still reaching out from the bars. The girl looked up, a cruel face stared right back down at her with an evil smirk.

“What? No ‘daddy is going to do something to me’ for this?” Snow Heart asked and laughed mockingly.

“My… tiara…” Diamond Tiara whispered. Tears began to form at the corners of her eyes.

“Aw did I break the crown of the poor precious princess?” The mare continued to mock the filly.

“I could keep this up all day; alas I must get going again. Paul, you sweep up the remains into an envelope, it will go with our next note to her dear old daddy.” Snow Heart turned around and began walking away. She grabbed up her cloak and swept it around herself, pulling the hood over the head.

“Yes Ma’am,” the Gryphon saluted, his beak forming a solid grin. He had enjoyed the show very much. He rescued an envelope from an old table and began using the end of his own tail to sweep up the tiara remains.

“You boys behave now and keep an eye on our meal ticket,” Snow Heart ordered and glanced back from the cottage exit. “I’ll be making sure we get our first payment.”

“So do we send the next note before or after we get the money?” the Gryphon asked.

“We’ll send it after we get the first pay, unless Mr. Rich needs further encouragement. I’ll notify you boys when the times come. For now just keep watch,” Snow Heart explained to him before leaving the cottage.

Paul nodded and finished sweeping up the remains. He put the envelope on the table and proceeded to lie back down. He took one last glance at the cage and chuckled. Diamond Tiara was still lying down, one leg reaching out from the bars and the tears crawling down her cheeks.

“Not so mouthy now you stupid little brat,” he muttered and stretched with a big yawn. The Gryphon curled up and proceeded to make full use of the blessed silence and take a nap.

Silver Axe had watched the whole thing in silence, mostly due to his inability to talk. He looked at the cage, Diamond Tiara was still not moving from her position. The stallion wondered why the filly was so heartbroken over a simple tiara. He figured she had a closet full of the things back home.

He glanced at the dresser and saw he had one last muffin left. Using one wing he grabbed it up and walked over to the cage, the Pegasus dropped it down within reach of the filly. The girl stirred and looked up. There was no sneer, no haughty look. Her lips were trembling and the eyes showed genuine distress.

The large pony stared back, first with his usual hard almost unfriendly expression. Then for a brief second a flicker of a smile crossed his lips. Silver Axe turned around and walked away. He glanced back and saw that Diamond Tiara had pulled the muffin closer and was nibbling at it through the bars.

Rainbow Dash groaned in frustration and took to the skies once more, leaving the house she had been at behind. The Pegasus had spent a good portion of last night flying to where she originally thought her old friend lived, but the female Gryphon had moved away. Dash then found a cloud to nap for the night before resuming her search in the morning.

She had then been going from one place to another for most of the day. Dash couldn’t at first understand it; it seemed the Gryphon never lived for very long at any house or apartment. It didn’t look like she was trying to disappear since she always did leave a forwarding address for her mail and/or any family.

“Or friends if she has any left,” the light blue pony snorted. At the last location she was now racing away from she had finally figured out why Gilda was always moving.

“That’s the tenth house I’ve been at. Why is she always moving!” she had shouted in frustration.

“Probably because she is a very bad tenant,” The landlord pony had bluntly stated.

It turned out Gilda was always so loud and rude that complaints piled up against her in matter of weeks, forcing any landlord to finally evict her. Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe she hadn’t figure that out sooner. Other landlords had always frowned and scowled when the Pegasus had brought the Gryphon up and then flatly stated she didn’t live there anymore.

“Oh horse apples, I forgot to ask for her forwarding address,” Dash groaned and took a sharp turn back.

But if she isn’t at that address I’m quitting this, she seems to be bouncing around all of Equestria, the Pegasus thought and found herself quickly back at the big house.

“Hey, I forgot to ask if Gilda left a forwarding address,” she addressed the maroon colored Earth stallion who was painting the building.

“She didn’t,” the landlord said with a shrug. Dash’s face fell, looked like her search had come to a dead stop.

“She hasn’t sent it yet, so she probably hasn’t found a new place to live in. I think she said something about going to Las Pegasus before taking off,” he added.

“Great, if she hasn’t found a place yet I might still find her there,” Rainbow pumped one hoof in the air before speeding off again calling thanks back to the landlord.

“Wonder why she’s going to Las Pegasus,” she wondered as she left Fillydelphia behind and headed for the gambling capital of Equestria.

The flight took few hours, even for a pony as quick as Rainbow Dash, but finally she could see the first tall buildings of the city in the distance. The pony grinned and figured Gilda was good as found. She didn’t even bother with avoiding few small clouds in her way, smashing right through and pulverizing them.

Aha, a challenge. The Pegasus smiled even wider when a particularly large cloud appeared in her way. “I will show you who the boss is.”

She went right through, the cloud was too large to disappear that way, so the Pegasus intended to fly up and do a back flip back into it to make more holes. That was at least the original plan, unfortunately the moment she reached the other end she crashed right into someone.

“Hey watch it, I’m flying…” a rough female voice began growling but it changed into mild surprise. “Dash?”

“Whoa what the …” Rainbow managed to untangle herself away; they weren’t falling since the crash had landed them on another cloud that fortunately held them. The pony flew back up and realized she had barreled right into her former friend from Junior Speedster Flight Camp.

Gilda’s surprised expression quickly changed into annoyed one and she too took to the air. The Gryphon snorted and folded her front legs, glaring at the Pegasus who was doing the same now.

“Oh great, that’s just what I needed. I’m kicked out, again, have to find a new place to live in and now you show up!” she snapped and prepared to fly off, much to her frustration Rainbow Dash immediately followed her.

“Hold it right there, Gilda we have to talk,” the pony shouted.

“About what? You chose to live with those dweebs back in Lameville,” the Gryphon snorted and quickly found herself nose to beak with Rainbow Dash who gave her a stinging glare.

“Hey! You don’t call Ponyville lame or my friends’ dweebs. If anything I should be mad at you for how you treated them. Oh wait, I am mad at you for that,” the Pegasus pony snapped.

“Whatever!” Gilda grunted. She pulled herself back and tried to fly around but Dash immediately zipped right back in front of her.

“Leave me alone Rainbow Dash, it’s been a very long bad week for me and I’m in no mood for you,” the Gryphon snarled and again tried to get past the pony.

“I will leave you alone if you tell me about your cousin or uncle or whatever, the one with the glass eye that visited you back in flight camp,” the Pegasus flew right back into her former friend’s flight path.

“Cousin Paul? Huh, he’s even lamer than your Ponyville,” the half lion/half eagle female snorted.

“What did I tell you about calling Ponyville lame?!” Dash growled and poked her hoof harshly into Gilda’s feathered chest.

“Whatever Dash…” the Gryphon snapped and pushed the hoof away. She didn’t try to escape this time, she folded her arms again. “What do you care about Paul anyway?”

“Because he is involved in a foalnapping in Ponyville and attacked a filly that is now in the hospital,” the Pegasus said. “I need to know how we can find him.”

“Cousin Paul a foalnapper?” Gilda blinked before she started to laugh.

“Hey, what’s so funny?” Rainbow asked scowling.

“That geek would never have the guts to pulls something off like that. He’s all talk and no brawn.” The Gryphon continued to chuckle.

“Well I don’t know that many Gryphons and the one who attacked the fillies matches his description,” Dash pointed out. Gilda snorted and rolled her eyes.

“Look Dash, I know Paul. He’s always pretending to be tougher than he really is. Always talking about finding work with somepony who could get him easy money, always thinking he is such a gangster. He even made up a street name for himself. Glass-Eye Paul, laaaame,” she explained and snorted again.

“What if he has?” Rainbow asked frowning heavily. “When is the last time you met him? Gilda, your cousin has badly injured a young girl and foalnapped another. Is that cool even by your standards?”

Gilda opened her beak to say something but fell silent. Her eyes shifted down as she seemed to be considering something.

“Gilda, I’m not here to demand an apology for what you did to my friends back in Ponyville. I know you are far too stubborn and proud to do that. But if you really did consider me your friend once, could you please tell me where I can find your cousin.” The Pegasus eased her frown a bit and watched her former Gryphon friend who seemed to be having some inner debate.

“Sorry Dash, haven’t seen him in years.” Gilda finally spoke after a while. She flew around the pony and headed towards the city.

Drat, I really thought I was on to something, Rainbow Dash thought and watched the Gryphon disappear into Las Pegasus. With a sigh she turned and headed back for Ponyville.

Applejack followed the sound of music coming from among the trees. She had been doing a routine checking of the fields when the tunes reached her ears. The farm pony knew exactly where it was coming from and just couldn’t resist checking on things. As she had suspected the Cutie Mark Crusader’s clubhouse was soon in view. By the sounds of things the three little fillies were having the time of their lives inside dancing to some upbeat tunes.

The Earth Pony chuckled and was convinced now that her sister’s friends weren’t letting yesterday’s events bother them too much. If anything Apple Bloom was probably not allowing them to dwell too much on it. She was about to head back when hearing a rustle and hoof steps approaching.

Now who the hay could that be? She thought and stood still, watching the direction the new sound was coming from. The farmer got her answer soon enough, Rarity came into view looking nervous and worried.

“Hey Rarity, what brings ya to these parts? Checkin’ on your sister?” AJ addressed her friend. The Unicorn almost jumped, she hadn’t noticed the other pony.

“Why, uh yes. That’s exactly what I’m doing,” Rarity chuckled nervously.

“Or where ya maybe always followin’ them from discreet distance and were first now catching up?” Applejack peered at the fashion designer as she trotted closer, a knowing smile crossing her lips.

“I um… why do you say that… I wouldn’t spy on my sister…” the white pony tried her best to look innocent as ever. The farm pony chuckled and shook her head.

“’Cause Sugar Cube, almost everypony in Ponyville is doin’ the same with their own youngins, either keepin’ them close or followin’ from a distance,” she pointed out. “This whole foalnappin’ case has everyone rattled.”

“I… well yes I guess it is true.” Rarity relented. “It’s just such a dreadful thought, Applejack. I can only imagine how Mr. Rich is feeling. I was surprised that you allowed Apple Bloom to stay with us for the night.”

“Well, gotta admit that Ah did have an uneasy feelin’. But Ah trust ya Rarity and figured Apple Bloom would be just as safe in yer house as she would be at Sweet Apple Acres,” Applejack told her friend. She then nodded towards the clubhouse. “An’ Ah feel a bit safer knowing she’s on the farm now. This is a secluded and private.”

“True enough.” The Unicorn agreed. The music continued playing from the clubhouse, intermixed were happy giggles of young fillies.

“I probably should return to my shop,” Rarity said, feeling less worried.

“Ya do that and have no fear; we’ll keep an eye on her while she is on the farm,” Applejack assured her. “Want me to walk with ya back to Ponyville?”

“I would be very glad with your company,” her friend nodded. After taking one last glance at the clubhouse the white pony left with the orange one the way she had come.

The two mares weren’t gone long when the music stopped. Inside the Cutie Mark Crusader’s headquarters Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle stopped spinning and dropped down to sit. The two fillies laughed lightly as they caught their breaths again.

“That was fun.” The yellow pony smiled, her Unicorn friend nodded furiously in agreement. They both twisted around to check their flanks and groaned when nothing appeared.

“It doesn’t look like we will have cutie marks in wild dancing. Anything on you Scoo…” Sweetie stopped and looked around. She had been so involved with her dance number that the girl had lost track of the Pegasus. Scootaloo hadn’t gone far, she was sitting by the table with one hoof under her chin, the gloomy look returned.

“Oh not again,” Apple Bloom sighed and rose up. She walked over followed by the white filly.

“Scoot, what’s really botherin’ you?” the Earth pony asked and sat beside her glum friend.

“Um…” Scootaloo dropped her hoof and tapped it nervously together with her other one.

“Yeah, it’s not just that everypony is feeling sorry for Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara but you’re not is it?” Sweetie Belle wondered. The orange filly shook her head.

“Then what is it?” Apple Bloom was starting to wonder if they would ever manage to pull the reason out of her.

“Remember earlier when I asked you if I was awful for not feeling sorry for them?” Scootaloo whispered, tears threatened to come from the corner of her eyes. The Pegasus quickly dried them off but knew there was no use hiding it, her friends had seen it.

“Yeah and we said we didn’t mind… wait did someone call ya awful for it?” the yellow pony asked frowning heavily when her friend nodded, Sweetie Belle’s jaw dropped.

“Well no, not call me awful but… I didn’t just blow off on you guys… you see the police ponies came this morning to ask me about what happened yesterday. After I had told them what I remembered, I heard mom tell the police that we were all shocked over what happened and felt deeply sorry for them…” Scootaloo sighed and dropped her head to the table.

“That’s when I knew I did not agree with that. I did not feel sorry for them and… I said it and argued with mom about it and that’s when I said I hated them and didn’t care what happened to them. Mom said I shouldn’t be saying such awful things…” the Pegasus lifted her head. “I was told to go to my room to think about what I had said. But I snuck out the window and sped around Ponyville on my scooter until I saw you girls.”

“Wow,” Sweetie Belle said.

“Well yer mom shouldn’t be saying ya feel sorry for someone if ya don’t feel sorry for ‘em,” Apple Bloom stated. “Ah mean why do adult ponies always try to say we say sumthin’ we didn’t?”

“Yeah and if we try to correct them they just hush us,” the unicorn agreed.

“Adults sure are weird, huh?” Scootaloo chuckled weakly and so did her friends.

“Apple Bloom?” a deep voice called from the outside. “Ya in there?”

“Huh, wonder what Big Mac wants.” The yellow filly turned a bit to look at the entrance to the clubhouse. “Ah’ll be right back.”

“Comin’ big brother,” she yelled while galloping outside. The girl rushed for the railing and leaned half on it as she looked down. Down on the ground stood her older brother Big Macintosh, chewing lazily on a straw. But the large red stallion wasn’t alone, a light yellow Pegasus with a light purplish mane and three parasols on her flank stood beside him with a worried expression.

“Oh howdy there Parasol.” Apple Bloom blinked when recognizing Scootaloo’s mother. She wasn’t a common guest around Sweet Apple Acres.

“Hello Apple Bloom,” the Pegasus mare greeted her back.

“Parasol here is lookin’ for Scootaloo, she up in there with ya?” Big Mac asked.

Apple Bloom hesitated to answer knowing that her friend was upset with her mother right now. But the Earth filly’s silence was all the answer Parasol needed; she unfolded her wings, flew up and stopped to hover in front of the railing.

“Scootaloo,” she called, the concern in her voice was very evident. “I know you are in there, please come talk with me.”

“Why? What’s there to talk about?” The orange filly peeked out of the window with an angry frown. “I’m not taking back what I said about them.”

“No, no of course not,” Parasol said knowing too well how independent and willful her daughter was. She ascended a bit to get over the railing and landed on the wooden platform surrounding the tree house.

Apple Bloom in the meantime glanced back to the ground when hearing Big Macintosh clearing his throat. The large red stallion was nodding to her to come down. The yellow filly nodded but knew she would have to get Sweetie Belle out first. The young Earth pony tip toed over to the entrance and waved to the Unicorn to come. Scootaloo didn’t notice as her attention was fully on her mother.

“Why don’t we all go an’ take lil’ walk while they speak with one another?” Big Mac suggested when the two fillies came down. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle reluctantly agreed and walked away from the club house with the stallion.

End chapter 4.

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