• Published 23rd Aug 2016
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The Pony Dreadfuls - No one is home

A series of stories about ponies. Dreadful in both subject and quality. Enjoy :)

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Chapter 15 - Legal Considerations

“It’s no good,” Moon Phase shook his head, “We’ve got this Iron Hoof character dead to rights. Celestia’s put Princess Fast Change in charge of his trial, so he’ll get his, but he didn’t have any direct involvement with Gold Brick. Couldn’t even pick him out of a photo lineup. He delivered the drones to his human contact who supplied the weapon, but he never saw his face, so unless this ‘Anon’ fellow walks around town wearing a green mask on a day to day basis we’ve got nothing.”

“Wonderful,” Pip rolled his eyes, “So Pic goes dragging up my family’s dirty laundry, and I will hear about that…”

“Well, what did you want me to do Pip? You were pretty close to rock bottom.” Picture stamped a yellow hoof angrily. “And it was pretty obvious your estranged hive-sister was the best lead we had.”

“Well, I thought you’d realize there were reasons I hadn’t contacted Madame Butterfly,” Pip replied coldly, “Or did you think I was just too dense to…”

“Excuse me, there’s somepony here to see you,” a lunar guard interrupted poking his head through the door, “She say’s she has a lead on the whereabouts of this human named Anon.”

“Send her in already,” replied the exasperated guard captain.

“Miss Heartstrings? The investigators will see you now.” The guard's voice carried in from the next room.


“I don’t understand.” The minty blue unicorn shook her head in confusion. “I thought you were investigating Timothy’s murder… I… Tim’s a good human, he’s just a little… confused, that’s all.”

“Well, Miss Heartstrings, sometimes even those closest to us can have surprisingly dark secrets,” Moon Phase said grimly, “We have serious reason to believe your patient…”

“My friend, Captain,” Lyra corrected, “I’m not a doctor, I’m a professional friend.”

“But you do have a doctorate in transmogrification from a rather prestigious university in Canterlot,” Pip noted absently.

“Well, I suppose technically I’m a professor, and I do specialize in transformation magic,” Lyra responded thoughtfully, “But I’ve found my true calling is being a professional friend. Timothy was a displaced human who… let's just say didn’t take well to being trapped in Equestria. He had trouble accepting the reality of his plight. To compensate he created a fictional persona and believed he was a character in a work of fiction.”

“Well at any rate, he’s dead as heliocentric solar theory, and we once again have no way to link Gold Brick to the abductions.” Pip swept a jumbled pile of notes onto the floor in irritation. “All we have is the word of a handful of changeling prisoners in the Crystal Empire, who at the moment are considered to be agents of a hostile foreign government! With Anon dead we have nothing.”

“Mr. Orange Pip, if you don’t mind, Timothy wasn’t just an anon. He was a person just as much as any pony. He was a victim of a terrible crime as much as any of those poor changelings, or Rock Solid!” Lyra fumed in indignation.

“So you knew Mr. Solid then?” Moon Phase arced a suspicious, bushy eyebrow.

“I- of course I did, he was a regular at biped con,” Lyra confessed in confusion, “I couldn’t make it to Canterlot for his funeral, but we corresponded regularly.”

“And this Anon was your patient?” The Lunar guard’s face split into a grin. “Do you hear that Mr. Pip? We’ve got a connection between Anon and Rock Solid!”

“Yes, and if you look closely enough, inspector, you could find a very real connection between worms and bird shit.” Pip scowled angrily. “It won’t help you catch a worm, but the connection is there. What was that you said again about your friend not being ‘just an anon’?”

“Well, it’s true!” Lyra matched the earth pony scowl for scowl. “Timothy may have found comfort in taking a common human alter-ego, but that doesn’t make him a criminal!”

“A ‘common’ human alter-ego?” Picture interjected.

“Well, it’s not that common, I suppose if you don’t trot in ‘human’ circles.” Lyra quickly explained, happy that somepony was finally listening to her. “It’s a reference to part of their human-culture. In human tales a human named ‘Anon’ travels to other worlds, sometimes ours, sometimes others. He’s always faceless and nameless, and he’s essentially a faceless template for the human audience to project their own fantasies onto.”

“So Anon isn’t just one particular human, then?” Picture asked politely. “It’s an identity from human folklore that humans sometimes assume in our world.”

“That’s it exactly!” Lyra beamed happily. “Some humans do it just for fun, Ever since the first human showed up at Biped Con a few years back, there’s always at least one human showing up in costume as ‘Anon’. Timothy took it a step further, he used the identity to hide from his own loss. He had a family, a wife and foals, that he was seperated from when he got sent here. He couldn’t take facing what he’d left behind so instead he pretended he was somepony who hadn’t lost anything.”

“At any rate, a human named Anon was the culprit of any alleged crime in this instance.” A new voice drifted into the conversation with the face of a well dressed unicorn. “And a human using that name has been killed. No doubt he found himself in quite over his head, with all this involvement with pony-trafficking.”

“Excuse me sir,” Moon Phase turned angrily on the newcomer, “We are trying to conduct an investigation.”

“An investigation which does not concern my client or his business dealings.” The Unicorn snarled. “Mr. Gold Brick has been a victim in this from the start. My clients legal and legitimate business proceedings have been infiltrated by alien and foreign changeling interests. I have been sent to deliver an order to cease and desist in this unlawful harassment of my client and in any activity which seeks to besmirch his honorable reputation.”

“And how, sir, might you be privy to this privileged information concerning our investigation?” Moon Phase huffed angrily.

“My firm does not answer to you, bat pony!” the unicorn smirked as he slammed an official paper on the nearest desk and strode confidently from the room.

“Well, it’s certainly legally binding,” Pip’s eyes narrowed dangerously as he read over the paper. “The Law Firm Habeas, Corpus, and Knives… hmmm, well there’s nothing we can do, legally to touch Gold Brick now… Night Shift will be absolutely furious. Mr. Brick’s lawyers have certainly done him no favors.”

“Who’s this Night Shift?” Moon Phase inquired even as the name elicited a shiver from Picture.

“Better that you don’t know.” Pip turned absently to Lyra Heartstrings. “The matter of Gold Brick may be out of our hooves, but if you are really that sure of your friend’s innocence then there’s still one more guilty party left to find.”

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