• Published 25th Jul 2012
  • 8,264 Views, 512 Comments

Under A Luminous Sky - Jake The Army Guy



Twilight and an investigator from Canterlot must catch a killer

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Chapter Five- Have A Drink On Me

Under A Luminous Sky

by

Jake The Army Guy

Chapter Five- Have A Drink On Me


I wish I’d brought a sweater or something The cold evening air sent a chill down Twilight’s back as she approached the pub, still unsure what exactly she was supposed to do. Bentgrass’ instructions were irritatingly vague.

Simply walk into the pub and have a seat at the bar. Order a drink, if you like.”

She ground her teeth at the thought. Why am I still working with that crazy pony? In the short time she’d known him, he’d been nothing but deceitful and sneaky, two traits she could not stand.

Still, I don’t have much of a choice, do I? As distasteful as it sounded, if there really was a killer loose in Ponyville, Bentgrass was her best bet at finding out who it was. His methods rubbed her the wrong way, but as long as he continued to get results, who was she to argue? After all, he was a seasoned detective.

A loud clang came from behind her. Twilight yelped and spun around, the fur on the back of her neck standing on end. As she scanned the darkness, a sudden movement from a nearby trash pile caught her eye. Her horn glowed brightly, preparing to subdue whatever was stalking her.

“Mew.”

Twilight’s shoulders slumped, a loud groan escaping her lips. The tiny cat studied her for a few moments before returning to its search for food.

Great job, Twilight. You’re jumping at shadows. And you almost vaporized a kitty cat. She cursed under her breath and turned back towards the bar.

Taking a deep breath to steady her nerves, Twilight approached the door. A slightly faded sign hung next to it: The Watering Hole. Twilight chuckled lightly at the name. The smell of alcohol wafted through the closed door, and light murmurs of conversation mixed with the quiet howl of the wind. She was really not looking forward to this.

In her time in Ponyville, Twilight had learned a lot about interpersonal behavior. She was no longer the repressed shut-in she was when she first left Canterlot, but there were still certain situations that made her very uneasy. What she was sure she was about to walk into was near the top of that list: ponies in mourning. She had barely known Berry, and here she was about to walk into a room full of ponies who knew her very well, just days after her death. The thought sent her stomach roiling as a light sheen of sweat covered her forehead even in the cool of the night.

Okay, Twilight, it’s not going to get any easier by just sitting out here. With one final, deep breath, she pushed on the heavy wooden door and entered.

A raucous wave of laughter shocked her as the door swung shut behind her. She looked around in confusion. The small pub was packed full of ponies, most of whom were currently gasping for air between fits of laughter. Twilight’s tail flicked behind her as she slowly began to walk towards the bar, her eyes scanning the room. There wasn’t a single frown or tear as far as she could see. Ponies were good-naturedly patting each other on the back. The loud clinking of glasses raised in toasts was barely audible over the massive wave of hearty guffaws. A jukebox in the corner played a light, jaunty tune, almost lost over the din of conversation.

As she approached the bar, the laughter began to die down. A large, grey earth pony with a long, blonde mane stood behind the bar, trying to talk while gasping for breath.

“So Berry stumbles up to me and says, ‘Tap, gimme four shots of apple whiskey.’”

“Just four? Must have been a slow night!”

Another wave of laughter came at the heels of the joke.

The grey earth pony continued. “Anyway, I said, ‘Berry, w-why do you need four shots?’”

“Why wouldn’t Berry need four shots?”

“Sh-shut up, shut up!” he said, quickly losing his bearing. “Okay, okay so— shut up!” He giggled again. “So, I said ‘Berry, why four shots?’ And she s... she says, ‘Well, Tap, I don’t want anypony to feel left out, so I’m gonna buy one from all four of you!’”

The tiny bar exploded. Howls of laughter rang through Twilight’s ears as she approached the bar. Countless bottles of alcohol were arranged on two shelves situated beneath a large mirror that spanned the entire bar. In it she could see the patrons still smiling and laughing, drinking from old-style mugs. She turned and scanned the bar. Medium-sized tables were strewn across the floor, each with four or five chairs that were situated low to the ground so a pony could sit comfortably. Every table was full, with ponies standing around them as well. Along the left wall there was a small raised platform with a microphone and what Twilight guessed was a karaoke machine.

The walls of the pub were lined with knick-knacks from various parts of Equestria: a heavily faded wooden sign that read, Welcome to Appaloosa, Population- One More, a flashing neon sign advertising live mares, which made Twilight a tad uneasy, and a carriage license plate adorned with the letters MRE CDER.

Scattered around the decorations were pictures of ponies, whom Twilight guessed were patrons. Some of them were wearing sports jerseys, others simply holding large mugs and smiling drunkenly. When Twilight turned back to the bar, she saw a large collection of pictures above the mirror, each containing a magenta mare performing various activities. One showed her shouting into a microphone stand. In another, four stallions were holding her on their shoulders, while a hat reading Birthday Mare sat lopsided on her head. Just above the pictures, a carefully drawn wooden sign read, In Loving Memory.

The earth pony behind the bar smiled at her. “Welcome to the Watering Hole, little filly! What’s your pleasure?”

“Oh, um... just a water, please.”

“Hmm, can’t say we’re known for our water, but okay, sure!” He knelt down and produced a mug of water and slid it to Twilight. She pulled up her coin purse when the bartender shook his head. “On the house. Tonight’s kind of a special night,” he said, smiling warmly at her.

“Oh?”

He nodded. “Yup, tonight we pay tribute to a fallen friend.” He raise a hoof to the collection of pictures above the bar.

Twilight followed his hoof and nodded in understanding. “I thought there were a lot of ponies in here for a Sunday night.”

“Well, we all kind of decided that a hangover at work was worth paying our respects in the way she would have wanted.” He turned around to face the pictures above him. “Berry was the last mare who would have wanted us sitting around, crying about her. She would have wanted us to laugh and remember the good times.”

“So, Berry was a regular fixture here?”

Tap let out a bark of laughter. “I should say so! She was one of my best customers. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, without fail, Berry would be here in that very stool.” He nodded towards the stool next to Twilight. Currently, a slightly overweight blue earth pony sat there milking a shot glass. He wore a ratty overcoat that spanned his entire body. His black mane stuck out wildly from his head, and a faint, unpleasant smell came off of him. He turned and looked at Twilight, and loudly grunted when he saw her studying him.

Tap shook his head. “Well, not everypony can be as social as Berry was.”

A quiet moment passed between the two, laughter still coming from behind Twilight. She took a small sip from her mug before speaking again. “So, it sounds like everypony here really cared for Berry.”

“Yeah, she was something special.” He produced a towel and began wiping down the bar in front of her. “You know, and I say this with all the love in Equestria, but Berry was kind of our mascot.” He chuckled at Twilight’s raised eyebrow. “What I mean is, she was here every weekend, like I said, but it was more than that. Every time somepony would walk in the door, no matter what she was doing, she’d stop and welcome them. Hay, if a pony came in after a bad day and couldn’t afford a drink, she’d buy him a round! ‘All life’s problems can be solved with cider,’ she’d say.”

“Wow, it sound like she... really loved her cider.”

He laughed, picking up a mug and wiping it down. “Well yeah, but she wasn’t some raging alkey. She just liked to unwind and help ponies forget their troubles.”

Twilight nodded and took another sip from her mug as Tap went to the opposite side of the bar to tend to another customer. She looked around the bar again. With the exception of the surly pony next to her, everypony in the bar was smiling and laughing. It struck her as a little odd that they would be grieving like this, but the more she thought about it, the less it bothered her. Berry was apparently a friend to everypony here.

Which makes me wonder why we’re looking here for a suspect! Where in the hoof is Bentgrass? She scanned again, but still could not see hide nor hair of the detective. She sighed to herself and spun back around to face the bar. Well, if he’s not going to do it, I guess I’ll have to investigate.

When Tap was done with the other customer, Twilight flagged him down. He trotted over to her. “Care for a refill, miss?”

She shook her head. “No, thank you. Actually, I was wondering if I could ask you a few more questions about Berry Punch.”

He cast her a sideways glance, then brightened back up. “Sure, why not?”

“Well, what happened that night?”

“Let’s see, Berry came in at about nine, like usual. It was actually a fairly typical night for her. She started drinking as soon as she came in. She sat around, telling jokes, talking with the other ponies.”

“Were there any new ponies there that night? Maybe somepony paying special attention to her?”

“Hmm... nope, just the regulars.” Tap gazed at her a little harder. “Are you working for the sheriff or something?”

She gave a nervous laugh. “Oh, no, no. I’m just curious.” Suddenly, it dawned on her. “You know, you don’t have to talk about it if it makes you uncomfortable.”

Tap’s eyes softened. “No, it’s okay. It’s just...” His shoulders slumped and he hung his head. “Well, I mean... I cut her off early. She was pounding them back a little harder than usual, nothing too bad. But I was worried for her. Sherif Shackle had picked her up up a few times in the past for public intox, and I didn’t want her to spend another night in the tank, you know?”

Twilight nodded as he continued.

“So a little after midnight, I cut her off and sent her home.” His left foreleg pawed at the floor briefly. “How was I supposed to know she’d go to the Everfree Forest?”

Twilight reached across the bar and placed a hoof on his shoulder. “It’s not your fault. Hey.” Tap slowly looked up at her. “You were just trying to be a good friend.”

Tap’s mouth curled into a tiny smile. “Yeah, you’re right. I know.”

Twilight smiled at him. Then, a curious look appeared in her eyes. “So, she never mentioned anything about going to the Everfree before?”

Tap looked up and rubbed his chin. “Hmm, no, not that I can recall. As far as I know, she only really ever went to home, work, or here.” He looked back down at Twilight. “She was kinda private like that.”

Twilight’s head cocked to the side. “Private? But you make it sound like she was the life of the party?”

“Well, in here she was. But out there,” he gestured to the door, “she was different. She’d see you on the street and smile and nod, maybe make a little small talk. But she was never really that outgoing. When she came in here and got a little cider in her gut, though.” He chuckled. “I guess you could call her a social butterfly.” His smile faded, and his eyes glazed over slightly, a look of longing in them. “Kinda makes me wish I’d gotten to know her a little better out there.”

An awkward silence fell, causing Twilight to shuffle her hoofs for a moment. She was about to say something, when Tap shook his head. “Bah. Like I said, Berry wouldn’t want us to cry over her. Hey! Listen up!”

The other ponies all turned towards him, the conversations quickly dying down. Tap raised a mug of cider in the air. “This one’s for the best customer I ever had, and one of the best mares I ever had the privilege of knowing!” Everypony in the bar raised their glasses as well. “Here’s hoping the Celestial Parents have a nice stock of hard cider saved up for her!” A small wave of laughter sounded. “To Berry Punch!”

His toast was echoed by the other patrons who then finished their drinks and slammed the mugs back on the table. Tap turned back to Twilight, when a new voice spoke up.

“Pft. Yeah, whatever.”

Both Tap and Twilight turned to the stallion next to her. “What was that, friend?” Tap asked, a slight edge in his voice.

The dirty stallion threw back his shotglass, reaching for the mug of cider next to it. “Yew heard what Ah said.” His voice was rough, like somepony who gargled whiskey on a daily basis. He lifted the mug up and spun around to face the rest of the bar. “Hey! Ah got one!”

The other patrons once more turned to face him, all eager to raise the next toast. The blue stallion staggered a little and spoke again. “Here’s t’ one of most useless wastes of fur Ah’ve ever known! A lyin’, cheatin’, thievin’ little whore! T’ Berry the Bitch!”

The bar was silent as the drunk stallion threw back the mug, a good portion of the cider falling down his coat. He slammed the mug down, almost falling off his hooves, and belched loudly.

Twilight stood shocked. She looked around, and every single face she could see was twisted in anger. Several ponies had stood up from their tables, some beginning to walk towards the drunk pony.

“How dare you!”

“Yeah, Berry was one of the sweetest mares I knew!”

“You better take that back!” Suddenly, Tap grabbed the drunk by his shoulder and violently turned him to face him. “Friend, I think you’d better leave before something ugly happens.”

The drunk pony chuckled. “Somthin’ ugly can’t happen. She’s dead, remember?”

More voices came from the crowd. “Berry was one of my best friends!”

“She took me in when I lost my job, and helped me get back on my hooves!”

“Who in the hoof do you think you are?”

“Ah’ll tell yew who Ah am,” he answered, swaying slightly. “Ah’m the one who knew her fer what she really was.” He turned back to Tap. “A two-timin’ whore who’d spread her legs and rut anythin’ with more ‘n six inches an’ a pulse!”

Tap began to speak, but was silenced when a large pegasus spun the drunk around. Twilight had to suppress a gasp at the sight: the pegasus was easily as bulky as Big Macintosh, his tight black t-shirt straining to hold in the layers of muscle. He was just a hair taller than the drunk, but his bulk made him seem impossibly bigger.

The hulking pegasus grabbed the drunk by the collar of his coat and pulled him close. “Hey, pally! You gots a lotta nerve to come in here and talk about Berry like dat! Especially since yer sittin’ in her stool!”

The drunk barely batted an eye at him. “Oh, this is Berry’s stool? Well, in that case...” He wormed his way free from the pegasus’ grasp and turned to the stool. A loud gurgling sound came from his throat. As Twilight watched in disgust, a ball of phlegm that would have made a camel proud flew from his mouth and landed on the stool.

“Dat’s it!” The huge pegasus grabbed the drunk’s collar again and reached back his other hoof to strike him.

“Brick, wait!”

The pegasus froze, turning to look at Tap, who stood behind the bar with fire in his eyes. “Look, we can’t have you breaking any more tables in here.”

Twilight sighed in relief.

“Take him out back to the alley.”

Brick grinned at the instructions. A roar of cheers rose from the crowd as Brick took the drunk’s coat in his mouth and dragged him towards the back door. The drunk struggled feebly, but could do little to stop the muscular pegasus. A few patrons threw their drinks at the drunk pony, the alcohol quickly staining his already dirty coat.

Twilight whipped around to Tap. “You’re just going to let him go out there and beat him?”

Tap’s eyes settled on her with an icy gaze. “We take care of our own.” Another chorus of agreement came from behind her.

Twilight glared at him. She looked over to see the back door swinging closed. She quickly moved to follow, dancing in between ponies who had gone back to their drinks.

The faint smell of trash and urine wafted over Twilight as she closed the back door behind her. The cool autumn air was downright freezing in the dimly lit alley. Only a single bulb above the door provided any light.

As she watched, the bouncer threw the poor drunk against the far wall of the alley, sending him crashing into a large pile of trash. Brick now stood opposite of him, wings unfurled and his eyes dripping venom.

“You’se gonna pay for dem things you said about Berry!” He cracked his neck to both sides, his hooves digging into the cold ground.

Twilight turned to face the drunk, hoping he was okay. He staggered to his hooves.

Suddenly, his whole body posture changed. He no longer swayed on his hooves, and his shoulders were square. Now that he stood up to his full height, he was on eye level with the raging Brick. His head low, he spoke in a soft voice. “I have the information I need, good sir. Please allow me to leave in peace. I do not wish to hurt you.”

Twilight gasped at his voice, no longer the ragged grumble from before. Now, he spoke in a genteel, musical accent. That... no, it can’t be... “Wait!”

With a primal scream, Brick lowered his head and charged towards the drunk pony. His heavy hoofbeats echoed off the stone walls of the alley. Twilight’s horn began to glow, her mind desperately thinking of a spell she could use. She never got the chance.

With Brick now only a few feet away, the drunk moved in a flash. He fell onto his back and thrust out his hind legs. Brick let out a pained howl as the drunk’s hooves impacted his knees. In a movement Twilight didn’t think possible without wings, the drunk flipped forward and brought his forelegs down hard on Brick’s shoulders, driving his head into the ground. Before he could even cry out, the drunk planted his hoof on the side of Brick’s face and drove his left hind knee into his chin. A loud crack echoed, and Brick was silent.

All was quiet in the small alley as the drunk stood up. Twilight stood slack-jawed as he removed his overcoat and threw it away from him. It landed next to Twilight, and she looked down to see what looked like pillows lined the front of it. She looked back up and saw the drunk now standing in front of her. He lifted his hoof to his chin. The sound of velcro ripping apart came as he removed his jowls from his face, revealing a thin jaw line.

The drunk calmly trotted up to Twilight and picked up his coat. “Fantastic work in there, Ms. Sparkle. I knew you would be a boon to this case.”

“B... Bentgrass?!”

A small smile graced his lips as he lifted his hoof to his right eye. He pulled it away, holding what looked like a contact lens. He then looked back to Twilight, revealing a yellow, slitted eye. “Naturally.”

He moved past her and began packing his things, removing the wig he wore and stuffing it in the pocket of the coat. “I must say, that was much more fortuitous than I thought it would be. I dare say we—”

What was that?!”

He jerked to a halt and turned back towards her. “Gryphonian hawk-kido. I spent some time in the Mount Grundel eyrie when I was a colt.” He raised his left hoof and slowly rotated it, quiet pops sounding. “It was originally designed for aerial encounters, but I’ve found that if one is spry enough, it works quite well for hoof-to-hoof comb—”

“No!” Twilight stomped her hoof on the ground, ignoring the dull pain. “Not that! That!” She pointed towards the door with her hoof. “Playing dress up! Making everypony in there hate you! I thought we were looking for suspects, not picking fights!”

“But that’s precisely what we did,” he said matter-of-factly. “They don’t hate me, they hate this stallion.” He picked up the overcoat and slung it over his back. “And tonight, I shall take a shower, the dye will wash out, and nopony will be the wiser.”

Twilight’s tail twitched furiously. “And how exactly did that help our case?”

“Simple. Berry Punch had no family. Her parents died a few years back, and she was an only foal. Her apartment was on the second floor of her juice shop, meaning she was almost always there. I already spoke to her grape suppliers before I came here, and they bore no ill will towards Ms. Punch. The good Mister Tap told you how she was somewhat shy during the workweek, so she had few friends outside of the bar.”

“But, I—”

He raised a hoof. “Furthermore, this evening was a tribute to Ms. Punch, offering half-priced drinks, which would attract virtually everypony who would wish to remember her. When I was in there besmirching her name, every single pony in the bar, ostensibly everypony who knew her well, became enraged.” He trotted next to Twilight. “When we combine this with what you learned, that she was not a regular in the Everfree Forest, we can deduce that Ms. Punch was a victim of opportunity, not premeditation.”

“And you couldn’t have just, oh, I don’t know, asked them?”

“That would have taken too long. Besides, ponies tend to clam up around me.”

I wonder why. Her ears flicked in annoyance.

“Also, to assuage your fears, don’t worry about poor Mister Brick there.” He gestured towards the twitching pegasus on the ground. “I did no permanent damage. He should wake up in around twenty minutes with a splitting headache, but nothing more.” With that, he turned and trotted towards the open end of the alley. “Now then, let’s be off, Ms. Sparkle.”

“No!”

Bentgrass stopped and turned back towards her. The confused gaze was gone from her face, replaced by a simmering anger.

“What do you mean, ‘No?’”

She purposefully trotted up to him, her forceful hoofsteps echoing off the walls. “I mean no! I’ve had enough of this!” She stopped just short of Bentgrass, her face mere inches away from his. “Ever since you got here, you’ve been nothing but dishonest and sneaky!”

“Now, Ms. Sparkle, I assure you th—”

She silenced him with a hoof in his mouth. “No! You broke into my library, you lied to the doctor about working with the sheriff, and you just lied to an entire bar full of ponies, while at the same time insulting their dear friend who just died! And then, you savagely beat a pony!” She backed off a few steps, but her gaze was no less intense. “I’ve had enough! I’m not helping you anymore until you start telling the truth!” With that, she stomped her hoof to the ground.

Bentgrass eyed her carefully for a moment. “Very well, ask away.”

“No, I...” She blinked her eyes a few times. “Wait, what?”

His face was as neutral as ever. “You want me to tell the truth, then ask me anything. I am an open book, and we both know how much you adore those.”

Twilight's mind skipped a beat. “Um... I, uh...” She hadn’t expected him to be so open. In her confusion, she blurted out the first question that came to mind. “What happened to your eye?” Immediately, she winced.

Bentgrass merely let out a low chuckle. “It always come back to the eye, doesn’t it?” he muttered under his breath.

At that moment, Twilight was sure she had never felt so small. Still, she was angry at him, so it didn’t bother her too much. Well, I may as well go with it. “What happened? Is it a birth defect? Or a curse of some kind?”

Bentgrass chuckled again. “No, nothing so noteworthy, I’m afraid.” He strode over to her, leaning his head down slightly. “I was recruited into the R.I.S. from Her Majesty Princess Luna’s Night Guard. There were some... complications removing the enchantments they had placed on me.”

Twilight looked up at him with her brow creased. “Enchantments? But I thought it was just enchanted armor that made you all look the same.”

“Oh, for the Day Guard, yes. But the Night Guard is a special assignment that requires something a bit more intensive.” He smiled. “Besides, I’m sure you are aware of Princess Luna’s... flair for the dramatic, yes?”

Despite herself, Twilight chuckled. She shook her head and cleared her throat, struggling to maintain her angry face. “So, all her Night Guards have to go through that?”

“Oh, this is nothing. You don’t even want to know what her elite guards have to go through.” He knelt a little closer to her ear. “Pray you never run afoul of Captain Cinnamon Oatmeal.” He gave a dramatic shudder.

Twilight opened her mouth to ask, but just shook her head. “So, you’re stuck like that forever?”

Bentgrass shrugged his shoulders. “Oh, it’s not that bad, actually. The eye gives me improved night vision, which is always a boon.” He gave another low smile. “Plus, Captain Anvil seemed to think it would, ‘help me with the fillies.’”

Twilight’s mood seemed to lighten slightly, but her forehooves still dug at the ground. Bentgrass looked over and noticed this. He backed up slightly and spoke quietly.

“Look, Ms. Spa... Twilight. I realize that my methods are... unorthodox, to say the least.” He ignored the sarcastic look Twilight shot him. “But they are effective, and quick. When dealing with crimes of this nature, time is of the essence. Normal investigative procedures simply take too long. We must piece together the clues and catch this madpony before he strikes again.”

“You think he’ll,” she gulped, “kill again?”

He nodded. “There is little doubt in my mind. A crime as violent as this does not simply come and go. The killer will strike again, and it falls to us to stop him.” He turned towards the open end of the alley, looking back at Twilight.

For a few moments, she simply stood there, thoughts raging in her head. She still didn’t like the way this pony did things. If her time in Ponyville had shown her anything, it was that if a pony did the right thing, situations tended to resolve themselves.

But this is different. She had never faced a situation like this: a crazed killer loose in her town, murdering innocent ponies. This strange stallion that stood before her, though she still did not fully trust him, seemed to be the best chance they had at stopping any more bloodshed.

Setting her shoulders, she trotted towards Bentgrass. “So, what’s the next step?”

Bentgrass looked down with her, a hint of admiration barely visible on his pale features. “Next, we need to talk to any witnesses. I believe Ms. Fluttershy has already told the sheriff everything she knew. Is there anypony else who lives near the forest who might have seen or heard something?”

“Well, there’s Zecora. She lives in the forest.”

Bentgrass’ eyes went wide. “She lives in the forest? Amazing. I should very much like to meet this Zecora.” He looked up at the moon. “However, it is late, and the Everfree can be quite dangerous at night.” He began walking out of the alley, Twilight following close behind. “I suggest we retire for the night. Tomorrow, I shall call upon you when I am ready to go.”

“Do... you have a place to stay?” Please say yes, please say yes.

“Yes.”

Twilight breathed a sigh of relief. While she had accepted that she had to work with this pony, sleeping in the same building as him would have been very unnerving.

“I’ve rented board with a lovely young pegasus mare and her daughter on the outskirts of town. I believe she is the local mailmare.”

Twilight halted for a second before continuing. “You’re... staying with Ditzy Doo?”

“Yes. I despise hotels, and Ms. Doo offered me a very fair rate for her spare bedroom.”

She opened her mouth to ask, but then shut it. She’d had enough headaches from this pony for one day. “So, uh, I’ll... see you tomorrow?”

“Indeed. Fino a domani, Ms. Sparkle.” With that, he turned away from her and trotted off.

Twilight shook her head and turned towards the library, her thoughts raging.

I know I have to work with this pony, but I’m tired of always being in the dark!

As she walked, she ran through her options. She couldn’t very well ask the Princess about him. It seemed like a waste of her time, and besides, she may not be able to tell her anything. State secrets and all that. She probably just tell me to smile and nod at him. She chuckled grimly at the thought. I never could say no to her—

She jerked to a halt briefly. A moment later, she smiled and began to gallop home. She may not be able to ask the Princess, but there was one stallion in the Equestrian government who could never say no to her. She hoped Spike was still awake.

She had a letter to write.
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A/N: Captain Cinnamon Oatmeal is borrowed with permission from Guesswork's epic story Daylight Burning. Go read it!

Captain Anvil is borrowed with permission from Raugos' amazing story Night Guards. Go read it!

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