• Published 2nd Apr 2018
  • 374 Views, 22 Comments

Detective Pony Comics Presents (Vol. 1) - Coyote de La Mancha



Where could a black fox inspire a wealthy unicorn to dress like a nocturnal flying herbivore and fight crime? Only in Equestria. For lo, when the sun has set and the parties are done, Prince Blueblood sets aside his socialite mask and becomes...

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Chapter Two: The Refreshment Room

WE REJOIN BATMANE AT THE CANTERLOT MUSEUM, HAVING JUST LEAPED OFF ITS ROOF AFTER THE ARCH-CRIMINAL CONUNDRUM…


With a high-pitched series of maniacal giggles, Conundrum held her hooves together as she hurtled around the museum’s exterior on a slide made entirely out of twisted-together balloons. Right behind her was Batmane, angling himself with the masterful grace of a salmon spawning in baby oil, forehooves first, determined to capture the mistress of mysteries. Yet, for all that he was both more aerodynamic and wearing spandex, the derrière of the duchess of dastardly dumbfounding devices somehow slid with superior serendipitous speed.

“Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…!”

The treacherous slide of villainy squeaked and wiggled perilously with the centrifugal force of their journey as the two chased down and around, the multicolored ride encompassing the entirety of the regal estate several times in its spiral, finally reaching the ground. Conundrum bounced to her feet and bounced away, with the Shadow Sleuth in hot pursuit.


ONE RELATIVELY SHORT BAT CHASE SCENE LATER, IN THE CANTERLOT WAREHOUSE DISTRICT…


The warehouse was old, its doors and windows sealed shut with bboards and years of disuse. Abandoned, splashed only with occasional silver moonlight, its interior was as dark as an arch-villain’s dreams. Conundrum bounced past the front doors and around the corner, with the Caped Crusader fast behind. He could hear his prey smash through a window before him, and even as he dodged the remains of broken boards and shattered glass lining the decimated portal the Batmane rolled capably to his hooves in the middle of a large, darkened room.

The shadows, usually his ally, now seemed to mock the Dark Knight. The only source of light was the shaft of his aunt’s moonlight piercing through the decimated window behind him, the expanse of shelves forming corridors in several directions. An expert glance around himself confirmed the truth of the large black-on-orange sign posted high on the wall across from him: PERSONAL COLLECTION OF STOLEN PRICELESS JEWELS. Yet, of Conundrum there was no sign.

Then, suddenly, out from the darkness ahead, a taunting voice:

“Riddle me this, Batmane! I am the pearl bound in silken black manse, the fathoms mimic me and follow in my dance. What am I?”

“The moon.”

“Correct!” A child’s party favor gave its high-pitched cry from the darkness.

Eyes narrowed, the Shadow Sleuth carefully began making his way towards her. Keep her talking, he thought.

“Now try this one!”

Easily done, apparently.

“Brought by race of tail and mane, orchards burn within my flame—”

“Autumn.” He continued to stalk into the darkness. Where was she?

“Hey, you shouldn’t interrupt a riddle! Don’t you know that?” the super criminal ranted. “You might miss something important, Batmane!”

Normally, the Dark Knight preferred the darkness. But Conundrum knew every nook and cranny of her criminal habitat, and that gave her an advantage.

One that he intended to remove.

Reaching into his utility belt, he withdrew his set of monogrammed bat opera glasses and held them to his eyes. Their red lenses were magic, allowing his vision to extend into the infra-red spectrum. His adversary’s hoofprints were plain now, regularly spaced leap-points gently glowing like four-leafed clovers of illicit intent against the cool concrete floor. Slipping through the shadows like the whisper of a thought, he advanced upon her. Unseen. Unheard. A bane to criminals everywhere. The cause of their nightmares and the scourge of their villainous dreams.

“And so, what do these things have in common, Mister Smarty-Pants?” came her mocking challenge.

There she was, lounging next to a massive lever with a large sign above it marked, DON’T. She watched the ceiling with a mad grin. Stowing his opera glasses, his cape billowing out around and behind him like the wings of a dark god of terror, Batmane leaped upon her from the living darkness like a starving panda on a sushi roll. He collided with his adversary and bore her down, using his mastery of ancient blind fighting techniques to full advantage.

“It’s over, Conundrum! Hold still while I apply the bat cuffs!” he commanded.

Succumbing to the weakness of every criminal, Conundrum’s mad giggles betrayed her cowardly fear of the avenging vigilante. “Eek! That tickles!”

“I have you now!”

“Yay! Twister!”

“Your struggles are futile! Crime never pays!”

“Right forehoof green!”

“You’re only making this harder on yourself!”

“Left rear hoof red!”

“I’m not wearing hockey pads!”

“Left forehoof--- wait, what?”

“I am vengeance! I am darkness!”

“Aha!” With the speed of a tap-dancing serpent, Conundrum somehow stretched her left foreleg at an impossible length and angle, pulling the DON’T lever into the down position. The floor dropped out from beneath Batmane like a wet pair of bloomers even as the ceiling lights activated, reducing the Dark Knight to clutching the edge of the newly-opened pit. Conundrum, meanwhile, bounced like a yo-yo, held aloft by her mane… which had somehow wrapped itself around the staff of a stallion magician’s statue.

What is it with mares and statues tonight, Batmane wondered as he scrambled for a better grip.

“Gravity!” she proclaimed joyously.

“But what does that have to do with aaaaaaaaaaaaa…” his heroic grip failing him at last, Batmane plummeted into the inky void below.

“Everything, if you’d answered the second riddle right,” she admonished him. “It isn’t ‘Autumn,’ it’s ‘Fall!’ Get it? Fall? And the tides under the moon?” She lapsed into more giggling. Then, cocking her head, “Wow, you’re really not very good at this.”

“I am the night!” came the muffled reply.

“Well, okay, The Night, but there’s still the question of what to do with you.” Impossibly, Conundrum flexed her mane and pulled herself into a backwards summersault, landing on the other side of the pit. “Fortunately, I’m always ready for party guests.” She gestured around herself grandly. “Welcome, Batmane, to my Room of Refreshment!”

The Shadow Sleuth, meanwhile, had wasted no time in examining his new environment. Precisely ten feet across, perfectly circular, exactly fifty feet deep, the walls made unclimbable with a lining of… he sniffed the wall suspiciously, then, frowning, licked it.

Caramel topping! His worst suspicions confirmed, he could only look up the nigh-frictionless shaft at the silhouette of his tormentor. “You’ll never get away with this, Conundrum!”

“Oh, you silly billy, I always do!” she giggled. “And now that you are in my needlessly convoluted death trap, I shall activate your unnecessarily slow demise and leave, blithely assuming that everything shall go according to my sinister plan.”

As the Caped Crusader watched helplessly, his villainous foe pulled a large contraption partway over the pit and pressed a series of buttons. It began churning and chugging, sending a cascade of cool air downwards into the deadly shaft. Beneath its flashing lights, another black-on-orange sign labeled it in chilling detail: ICE CREAM DEATH SUNDAE MIXER DEVICE.

“Rocky road would kill you instantly,” she declared maniacally, “but for your interference in my achieving the pink panther diamond, I want you to die slow… so it’s pistachio chip for you!!”

“You fiend!” Bad enough if he must die, but to die buried in his favorite ice cream--!

As the diabolical contraption above his head continued to churn, green confection began to rain down upon the hero in uneven globs.

“This is the end of the road for you, Batmane,” Conundrum chortled. “My death sundae mixer can generate enough ice cream to fill the entire shaft! Um, however much that is,” she considered idly.

“Exactly three thousand, nine hundred and twenty-six point nine-nine-oh-eight-two cubic feet, or just under thirty thousand gallons,” observed Batmane. “Naturally, that doesn’t account for the loss in volume when it melts… which averages about forty-eight percent, making the net volume after melting approximately one thousand, eight hundred eighty-five cubic feet, or a height of only twenty-six feet.” He paused, then added, “Not counting evaporation, of course, and the inevitable formation of foam.”

“I guess I’ll just have to come back and top you off,” she grinned. “Enjoy your just desserts, Batmane! I’m off to steal the pink panther diamond… and a twenty-pound maraschino cherry!” As she turned away, she began laughing with the sinister merriment of an evil kitten wielding a polymorph potion.

Suddenly, she stopped. “Wow,” she considered, “I sure went from naughty to downright evil in a hurry, didn’t I?” She paused, then shrugged. “Oh, well.”

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce…

The hero heard Conundrum’s kinetic egress from below, even as he furtively searched around himself for some way out. Yet there seemed to be none. The coming centuries seemed to mock him like demons of despair, promising him a tomb for all time in frozen deliciousness, even as he felt the level of frozen hard-serve around his ankles slowly begin to rise…


CAN IT BE?


BATMANE, DOOMED TO DEATH IN A DEVISTATING DESSERT??


WILL EVIL BE VICTORIOUS AGAINST THE FORCES OF GOOD AT LAST???


CAN THIS TRULY BE THE TERRIBLE YET DELICIOUS END OF THE SHADOW SLEUTH’S CRIME-FIGHTING CAREER????


AND WHAT ABOUT… NAOMI?????


FIND OUT NEXT TIME, BAT BELIEVERS!


SAME BAT-TIME!!


SAME BAT-CHANNEL!!!