• 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 4 - About Last Night…

“So your ‘aunt’s basement’ is ‘The Belfry’?” Picture Perfect leveled a steady stare on Orange Pip.

Pip replied casually, “The Apple family is big in the brewing business.”

“You’re part of the Apple Family? As in The Apple Family,” Picture pressed incredulously, “You actually live here?”

“What? Caramel Apple is my Aunt,” Orange Pip shrugged, “Apples and Oranges are two branches of the same family. When I got my internship with The Dreadfuls my dad wired Caramel and got me a real paying job at the Belfry. Pay’s not great, but it comes with a place to crash. And I can eat free, so long as I don’t mind a combination of lunar diet and carny food.”

That was how it started…

-=-=-=-=-

“It would take one hell of a unicorn to just knock a hole in a minotaur’s skull like that,” Captain Moonphase noted, before turning to Tarot. “We’re sorry to bother you Mister Solitaire, but the other victim… the drone… she wasn’t from the local hive. We assume she was a feral refugee from the circus. She was definitely one of Butterfly’s.”

A large, pale white minotaur with red hair lay sprawled in the alley with a changeling mare, her black chitin tinged deep blue.

A changeling guard stepped forward. “Murder is rare enough, but a double equicide involving one of Madam Butterfly’s drones….”

“So you think this was a unicorn’s bolt that did this?” Pip walked past the lunar and changeling guards and began examining the crime scene.

“Hey, now! This is an active crime scene, no looky-loos!” A gruff lunar guard quickly moved to intercept the orange earth pony.

“It’s quite alright,” the goat said with a faint smile as he moved between the two, “I brought my cousin along to be of assistance in your investigation.”

“You personally assured Princess Luna that you would offer assistance in any matter involving the circus incident,” Captain Moonphase argued with a scowl, “The changeling guard assures us that is one of Madame Butterflies drones, and that means this involves the incident!”

“And I’ve offered you the services of my quite talented cousin, Orange Pip, by way of assistance,” the goat countered easily, “If you wish to turn down my offered assistance, well there’s really nothing I can do about that.”

“Do you believe this wound was not, in fact, the result of unicorn magic darling?” A second changeling guard approached Pip. “If Mr. Solitaire vouches for you, that is good enough for Princess Fast Change, and certainly good enough for us, please do explain what you think happened here.”

“Well, I suspect when you complete the autopsy you’ll find a metal projectile lodged in Mr. Solid’s head.” Pip nodded to himself.

“Wait a minute!” Moonphase interrupted, “Just who told you the identity of the victim?”

“Please, captain,” Picture Perfect answered with a roll of her eyes, “There aren’t that many ginger minotaurs running around Canterlot. Even I recognized Rock Solid.”

“Yes,” the second changeling hung her head sadly, “He is well know to our hive as well. His son is friends with Diane Pastel, the adopted daughter of Train Wreck Pastel. He was a widower and single father, I can’t imagine who could possibly do something so dreadful.”

“What’s odd, is that the second victim, the changeling, seems to have been bludgeoned to death,” Pip noted absently, “Which is the biggest argument against the minotaur’s death being magic related.”

“So you don’t think it was a unicorn?” Moon Phase cocked his head, considering the earth pony’s words.

“Picture, dear, could you make me a drawing of the scene,” Pip smiled at his mare friend, “I might want to go over it later over a few drinks, and you can produce a far more detailed image than any camera, especially in this light.”

“We’re going to talk about this later, Pip,” the unicorn assured the earth pony as she set to work, pulling her sketch-pad and a charcoal pencil from her saddlebags in the steady grip of unicorn magic.

“Now, I’m relatively certain that the Minotaur was killed with some form of firearm, but tell me,” Pip looked away thoughtfully, “Do we have the murder weapon that was used on the changeling?”

“We do,” Moon Phase nodded grimly, “We found an iron pipe in a nearby dumpster coated in changeling blood. If what you’ve suggested is true, it makes a certain amount of sense, these deadly little human ‘toys’ only come with so many ‘shots’. Our minotaur was ambushed by a human, shot in the head, but then the changeling came along. The damned monkey only had one shot, so he grabbed an available pipe to use as a bludgeon. I have to admit I was skeptical, Mr. Pip, but that sharp mind of yours is proving as useful as the goat promised.”

“I wouldn’t become too attached to any conclusions just yet,” Pip replied with a shake of his head, “We haven’t examined the murder weapon we do have.”

“What’s to examine, it’s an iron pipe, it’s covered in changeling blood, it was clearly used to bash a changelings brains in,” the first changeling argued, as much with herself as with anypony else.

“Please, Split Shift, let Mr. Pip do his job,” the second changeling scolded her companion, “By the way darling, I’m Sweet Shift, and that charming mare is my sister Split, we’re…”

“Diane Pastel’s personal bodyguards, I know,” Pip answered absently as he fished into the gore-soden pipe with a piece of wire from his own saddle bags, “The subtle pinkish hue to your chitin is a dead give-away. Most refugee changelings either have the green hue from their old hive, or the red hue associated with Princess Fast Change. Your’s is close, but not quite… ah there it is!”

The earth pony pulled lose a scorched wad of cardboard, holding it up as if it’s secrets were obvious to all.

“It’s a burned wad of paper Pip,” Picture said flatly, clearly not at all impressed.

Author's Note:

Seriously Pip, what kind of a clue is that? :trollestia:

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