• Member Since 12th Dec, 2011
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Jake The Army Guy

Be excellent to each other, and PARTY ON, DUDES! ~ Abraham Lincoln



Ponyville is shaken to its core when a body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. As the townsponies grieve, the mysterious Special Agent Bentgrass from Their Majesties' Royal Investigative Service arrives at the Books and Branches library and drags Twilight into a world she's only read about: lies, corruption, suspicion, and murder.

Faced with an indifferent police force, and Agent Bentgrass's infuriating methods, Twilight must put the pieces together and catch the killer. But as blood continues to spill and questions pile up, one thing is terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at play than mere murder.

Chapters (19)
Comments ( 519 )

Well written, my friend. Have to wonder if 'Bentgrass' is his true name, though.

Can't wait for more

Glad to see it finally up here! Looking forward to where it goes next :twilightsmile:

I've praised you enough in PM, so this comment is for potential readers of this story:

Under a Luminous Sky is a gripping, chilling, compelling examination of what happens when violence strikes in a small-town. The setting is palpable and atmospheric, the dialogue crisp and clever, and both the show-characters and the OCs are rich in personality. Definitely a dark romp, but if you like police/FBI procedurals, supernatural murder mysteries, or... you know... PONIES, then give this story a look. I didn't know quite what to think going in, but I came out with a smile on my face and the sweat of suspenseful anticipation on my brow.

If this were a finished story, I would have read the whole thing in a night.

-Guesswork :raritywink:

971605 heh, Jake asked me if it was alright to use my OC in a minor role here, and I was more than happy to oblige :pinkiehappy:

Ah excellent! I was hoping that you would put this on Fimfiction. It's easier to keep trace of fics this way.

A recommendation by one of my absolute favorite authors on this site? I have no CHOICE but to read this, now. :raritydespair:

Added to Read List. Love the premise. I actually really enjoy gritty fics where the "darkness" is for proper plot, not just for it's own sake.

I'm really liking this story, it's well written and Bentgrass is amusing. Reminds me of some noir comics I've read, I'll definitely be following this one :twilightsmile:

Damn this is good, deserves its feature on EqD and should be featured here as well. Liked and fav'd.

Great chapter. You're really turning the screws on these characters. Very noir: so many lies, coverups, furtive glances, and secrets pushed into the backs of drawers. This story is a like a Monet painting with a shadow falling across it.

I'm looking forward to this story's updates. I just hope there's more to Bentgrass than the "mysterious deadpan investigator" archetype.

Wow. Okay, epic reply time, GO!
Bentgrass has many secrets, but his name isn't one of them. At least, his last name...

Thank you, kind sir! Also, just FYI, I've scrapped the chapter with Cloudhammer. Just didn't add enough to the plot. So now you don't have to worry about me butchering your character, literally or figuratively. :pinkiehappy:

So I have learned. I just felt more comfortable writing in GDocs. All updates will post here.

A few more of those, and I'll be swimming in follows. MWUHAHAHAHA!!!! :trixieshiftright:

Thank you! I hope you read it. I have a few on my read later list that have fallen to the wayside. Too many good stories...

Thanks! I tried really hard to make Bentgrass believable, not one-dimensional.


Heh, thank you. Though I'd really like to turn the screws on Applejack. I'm a sucker for freckles. :heart: :ajsmug: Wait, um...

More will be revealed about his past, but slowly. By the end of his run, I think you'll have a deeper appreciation for his methods.

Oh, you guys! Thank you so much for reading! :yay:

993698 Keep Cloudhammer in the story. I really liked his character! Think of a reason for him to go to Ponyville.


Honestly? I'm thinking of using that chapter as kind of a bonus chapter. Not sure when I would release it, but it would basically be a side story about Shining. I'd still have to edit the f:yay:k out of it, but yeah. Because I agree, I really do like the chapter, it just slows down the story.

993763 Shining Armor is freaking out about Twilight's safety, so Cloudhammer volunteers to go to Ponyville and keep an eye on Bentgrass as a "liason" or something.

993763 I just liked how Cloudhammer seemed like a guy who not only had a firm understanding of the secret politicking that goes on behind the scenes, but had access to unorthodox means of getting things done. That's my favorite type of character, and a great rival/ally for Bentgrass, even in a minor role.

Yay that was good.

"For a place dedicated to saving lives, Twilight thought, this floor seems really... dead"

1 dislike?!?!?

Get your pitchforks and torches, some poor sucker's in for it. :pinkiecrazy:

So, the killer cut out her heart and carved a symbol into her flank...

*sighs* I guess I'm going to have to go to Tumblr and question Ipsywitch about which of her relatives is currently trying to summon a dark god. :trollestia:

I hope Agent Bentgrass isn't like that detective on Law and Order Criminal Intent. That guy is annoying.

Not to worry, never watched CI. Used to watch SVU, until every single episode became the exact same one over and over and over and over and over and over and over. :pinkiesick:

Nice chapter! I caught a solid "Sherlock Holmes" vibe from it.

I find it very weird that this story doesn't have more views, ratings and comments. Seems unfair, judging by the [strike]very good[/strike] great quality of this piece. I've never read Sherlock Holmes before and all the knowledge I have from him would be the two movies... and I'm not sure how they relate to the actual works. Point is: I wouldn't know about any correlations between Bentgrass and Mr. Holmes. Still, he is an interesting character. I like his witty charm and his more-logical-than-Twi's train of thought. I am very eager to see what his story is and I thank the Gods that you're above a "boo-hoo-hoo, look at me, I had a tragic past!" and other rather mediocre things kind of backstory.

The writing left me completely immersed in the story. The flow is very, very, very good and the characters so far are believable. More than that: you've built an interesting "what if" future situation for the Mane/Main 6 that I'm sure (or I hope, at least) will be clarified when time comes. Clarified not in the sense of "it's confusing, help!", but in the sense of "I hope we'll see more of what the Mane/Main 6 became in these years that have passed".

Y'know, after reading tons of E. Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft books in a row, I thought I had enough of these kinds of detective stories (I know they aren't detective per se... pardon me if I commit any mistake, English is not my mother language and I'm unable to... find the right words for it; police novel, maybe? I'm really not sure) for my entire lifetime. And yet, as I took a glance at the prologue "just because", I knew that this story is definitively worth reading. I couldn't simply "put it down"... I had to know what really happened.

Before I end it, I'd just like to state that I like the way the suspense is building. There's still far to come our way, but you made do without using cheap tactics like cliffhangers. Every chapter I finish reading, I am already eagerly awaiting the following. My only complaint is that I wish I could read this in one sit-through...

Excuse me if my "criticism" was too short, but I am... 'programmed' to find errors in stories. And as much as I paid attention to this, I failed to do so. Either your writing is good to the point in which I feel enamored with the story and I simply fail to catch the errors or you've worked some sort of satanic pact to keep the writing pristine. Either way, keep doing it!

I wish someone with a better sense than me could come and validate my points...

Initially I was kind of put off by Bentgrass, but I'm starting to like this story more and more.
Also, Night Guards reference! Woo!

This just keeps getting better and better! And why hasn't this been featured yet, it's better then most of the crap you find in that box.

I can only agree with what has been said in the previous comments. Although I only started reading this story yesterday, I’ve read all of the existing chapters in one go, which is unusual for me. I’m not a native English speaker, wherefore I read rather slowly and tend to read multi-chapter stories over the period of several days. But this fic is just so absorbing! It flows very well and I particularly like the dialogues.

Also, it is really impressive how you manage to integrate your detective story into the world of MLP:FiM. Conventional detective stories are about a crime against one ore more unknown persons in a random place and focus mainly on the investigators and their work. Your story, on the other hand, needs to convincingly depict the emotional impact of the murder on the peaceful pony society and on the story-relevant characters from the show while maintaining the suspense which is typical for a detective story, and I can imagine that this is not easy to do. There are many scenes which could have either given not enough credit to the characters’ feelings or ruined the suspense, but so far everything works out perfectly.

So… as much as I would like to write a devastating critique and relentlessly bring up all the flaws of your story, I’m afraid I can’t see any major problem. I cringed a bit when I read the disguise scene in the latest chapter because, having read several Sherlock Holmes stories lately, I’m tired of this kind of twist and saw it coming right when the disguised Bentgrass was introduced. However, this is rather a personal complaint than a real issue. I love your story and I’m looking forward to the next chapters.

By fan broke from all the shit that just hit it.

This be gettin real. And yay longer chapter yay. :yay:

Wait, I assume ERS is federal, Shackle has zero authority. Basically doesn't Bengrass have the power to remove Shackle from duty, reopen the investigation and commandeer all resources he could want?


Shackle can whine and complain all he wants, but Bentgrass probably can't remove him or vice versa.
On the flip side a few letters can get Shackle removed but that would take long enough that the idiot can cause a delay that will probably kill another pony.

As for the murderer: the zebra (might not actually be Zecora) did it and the sheriff was bribed.

I look at it like the FBI. Sure, they have more power than a local police precinct, but by law they can't just come in and take over. Unless they can prove the crime crossed state lines, they have no authority, save some massive bureaucratic process. This will be expanded upon later. :ajsmug:

Hmm, interesting theory...


Wow so some pony gets murdered and you instantly think a zebra did it. I'm not saying it's a little speciest but... :trollestia:

Well the heart was removed by a blade, sounds like a ritual of the worst kind: pony sacrifice :pinkiecrazy:
Not that unicorns are big on ritual or the occoltish stuff of course. :trollestia:

and since i see a lack of image i will now rectify this.


Well the heart was removed by a blade, sounds like a ritual of the worst kind: pony sacrifice :pinkiecrazy:

Maybe that is just what the killer wants you to think. Jeffery Dahmer stole organs but it wasn't for an occult ritual.
Now given the type of story this is, I wouldn't be surprised if it was occult but that doesn't automatically make it a zebra's work.

Maybe it will be like Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit

well it could just be for the evilolz, keeping the heart or throwing it at something else.

But i'll stick to my occolt theory :rainbowwild:

Perhaps the occolt ritual will summon Terac to cast down the princesses and release discord.

I get the feeling that it may have been a zebra, too. Agent Bentgrass did seem interested in Zecora's ritual dagger, and I don't believe for a second that Zecora doesn't know what it's used for. Considering Zecora's reluctance toward talking about her past, as well as Bentgrass's experience in Zebrica, I think the tribe that Zecora is from may have had tendencies for ritual sacrifice...and Bentgrass knows it. Maybe Zecora herself was assigned to be a sacrifice, but she managed to escape the country. On the opposite side of Equestria, near a "podunk" town, she's set herself up in the depths of a hostile forest--the Everfree makes an excellent hiding spot.

But now, maybe somepony from her old home has found her, and is trying to draw her out with an unspoken threat: "The longer you hide, the more ponies will die."

its a pair this time, the last one was Berry so it will probably be someponies who are named. Kinda expecting somepony like Carrot Top or Cloud Kicker though the fact its a pair does bring up the possibility of it being Lyra and BonBon.

Twilight be pissed mon... and I don't think Sheriff Shackle should stand in her way and Agent Bentgrass's way... for his sake.

Looking forward to reading more! Not sure I fully like Agent Bentgrass's methods completely however I usually prefer a gentler touch. But that's just me. :twilightsmile: :twilightsmile: However, I'd have to say that he reminds me of some of the investigators from shows like PBS's Master Piece Theatre :twilightsmile::twilightsmile:

Well, the killer likes to attack from bushes. Armed with this knowledge, I assume the killer is Garen. Only problem is nopony screamed DEMACIA during the murder scene.

Simply amazing lol! I'm loving this story more an more, Bentgrass and Twilight make a great team.

How would Rainbow Dash explain her date to Big Mac? Another great chapter :rainbowlaugh:

Something tells me Bentgrass is going to exploit RD's date to get information from Deputy Bale...

Also, would it be possible to get a sketch of the mark carved into the bodies? I'm not quite sure I understand the description correctly.

Trio of.. diamonds? Now I assume that that wasn't Rarity, judging from Twilight's lack of reaction, but I would change that unless it is Rarity. It scared me a bit too much to be enjoyable.


Yeah, it freaked me out for a moment, too. However, the "light-purple" color establishes her as Sparkler, and the description is accurate.

To the author: I noticed an error: “Agent Bentgrass, I think there’s something in her stomach.” They're talking about the stallion; it should be "his."

As always, great work! :twistnerd:

I'll take a guess the stallion was Pokie Pierce (who enjoys popping balloons).
strange though, mutated parasprites. An interesting twist.

Of course, you could say that for almost every chapter so far, but still.

Congratulations, any evidence you now obtain will be rendered null and void as you obtained it using illegal methods (unless Equestria's Justice System is really screwed up).

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