• Published 12th Mar 2019
  • 683 Views, 62 Comments

Return the Night, or no Deposit - totallynotabrony



Detective Fit is stuck on a case involving a spree of anti-lunar graffiti. There are no clues, and Fit is getting desperate. Desperate enough to call the craziest consultant he knows.

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Chapter 10

Fit woke up in darkness with an aching head and body. The floor under him was cold and smooth. He rolled over, groaning involuntarily.

“How’s it going?”

His head jerked in the direction of Mirror’s voice, though he couldn’t see her. He was surprised and still disoriented, but said the first thing that came to mind. “I think I lost a fight.”

“Sorry to hear that,” said Mirror. “I didn’t plan on you losing, too.”

Fit shook his head and collected his thoughts. If she was here, then apparently they’d taken her, too. Whoever they were. “So did you set up everything at your motel room in anticipation that they would grab you?”

“I was expecting somepony. I was showing my face around town to get a reaction. If they only sent one or two ponies after me, maybe I could turn the tables. But they sent a squad, so I figured I could learn a few things from the inside. And when I didn’t show up for a few days, you’d come looking for me and have enough probable cause to do what you needed to do.”

Fit sighed. “But I walked into it and now we’re both here.”

Mirror chuckled. “To be fair, the EUP thought they were just getting me. Wait until they find out you’re a cop.”

“You really think it’s the EUP?”

“Don’t you?”

Well, Fit decided, he couldn’t think of anypony else who would be painting pro-Solar graffiti and would have sent a crew to foalnap a troublemaking Lunar Guard.

“How did my motel room look, by the way?” she asked. “I didn’t have much time to check.”

“It was pretty well trashed,” Fit replied.

“Well, there goes the deposit.”

Changing subject, Fit asked, “Any idea where we are?”

“Nope. Best guess is the basement of the hospital.”

Fit tried to light his horn. He felt heat, but nothing happened. A quick check with a hoof confirmed that he was wearing a standard issue Guard magic inhibitor. “They’ve got me ringed. You?”

“Nothing.” He heard a faint shuffle of wings. “But the ceiling isn’t very high.”

Fit got up, fighting vertigo that passed quickly, and stretching in an attempt to relieve sore muscles. He walked cautiously in a straight line before gently bumping his nose on the wall. From there, he began to get a feel for the room. It was maybe five paces by ten, with smooth concrete walls. The door was sturdy iron.

“You might want to stay away from the center of the room,” Mirror said. “Broken glass. There used to be a lightbulb there.”

He heard her hooves circling the room opposite from him, though it almost sounded as if she were just out for a stroll. She’d likely been here long enough to have already surveyed the room.

Fit turned his thoughts inwards, trying to remember anything from the past few days that might help. Every detail from the party, every face in the crowd, at the Cop Cavalcade. The ponies they’d encountered since then, in the hospital and elsewhere. Every moment of the altercation on the top floor that had landed him here.

A non-sequitur jumped out at him. He remembered the conversation in the motel room. Mirror had said Tree Hugger’s name, trying to remind Fit that somepony was waiting on him in order to get him to leave the room, presumably before the foalnappers came for her. “How do you know my marefriend?”

“I’ll let her tell you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Just what I said.”

After Mirror abruptly shut the conversation down, they lapsed into silence again. Fit turned it over in his mind. Was it a secret? Was it just Mirror being Mirror? Should he be concerned - about either?

His jumbled thoughts took another sidetrack as he realized he was naked. His usual polo shirt he’d been wearing earlier was nowhere to be found. Okay, maybe they’d stripped him to make sure he didn’t have any escape tools.

But if they’d stripped him, did that mean…?

His eyes probed the darkness in the direction of Mirror.

He was suddenly unsure what he wanted to see. He’d only ever known her in uniform. It would be weird to see her any other way. The curiosity was strong, though. Who was the real Cracked Mirror?

But suddenly the door slammed open, the glare forcing Fit’s eyes to squint. Somepony was thrown into the room, and the door slammed shut.

“Ouch!” said the newcomer. “What’s the big idea?”

“Haven?”

“Fit?”

Yes, it was definitely Haven’s voice. She got up and stumbled in his direction. The bumped into each other and sat back. She kept one wing touching his shoulder, something to keep them together. He felt the feathers. They’d taken her Lunar Guard disguise.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, though regretting the question instantly.

“I came looking for you.”

“Did you tell anypony what happened?”

“I tried to find Trixie, but she did a disappearing act.”

“Literally?” said Mirror.

Fit felt Haven tense in surprise at hearing Mirror’s voice, but she replied, “I don’t know, I didn’t see her leave.”

“Trixie’s vanishing acts are pretty good,” said Mirror, apparently not questioning the illusionist’s involvement.

“Did you get word out to anypony else?” Fit asked.

“There wasn’t time.” Haven’s voice fell.

“Well, Trixie’s still out there,” he reassured her.

“Unless they toss her in here too,” said Mirror.

Fit held his breath. Several seconds passed, and he relaxed. He felt Haven do the same.

Haven sighed. “What do we do now?”

“Let’s start with what we know,” said Fit.

“Acerbic Cure clammed up. I didn’t get anything. As I was coming out of his office, I saw a gurney with a sheet on it,” said Haven. “It didn’t make any sense for a body to be completely covered in the colonoscopy clinic.”

“Unless something went really wrong,” Mirror interjected.

Haven went on. “It was you under the sheet, Fit. I followed them downstairs, but they must have caught on. I don’t know this building and they cornered me.”

“So we’re in the hospital, makes sense,” said Mirror. “Lots of rooms, lots of ways to hide ponies, food, waste disposal, torture tools.”

Fit decided not to think about that last part. What cause would the EUP have to torture them?

“Well, we might be here a while. We should find a way to pass the time,” said Mirror. “Want to make out, Fit?”

“That would be weird, ma’am.”

“Want to make out, Haven?”

“No. Also, I’m kind of insulted to be your second choice.”

Fit used the ensuing silence to roll his thoughts over again. Haven being here meant that the two of them going missing might be noticed sooner, but unfortunately those looking for them might have less to go on.

“So...does anypony have a plan?” Haven asked.

“Nope,” said Mirror.

“Charging in without a plan is kind of what got us here,” Fit reluctantly admitted.

“Just the two of you charging in to rescue me without even an idea I was here or what sort of opposition you were facing?” said Mirror. “I love it.”

“What, after you planned to get captured?” said Fit.

“Wait, what?” said Haven.

Fit gave her the short version of the story.

“So now we’re all just sitting here,” said Haven. “Fit, can’t you magic something up? At least give us some light?”

“They put an inhibitor on me.”

“Oh. Well, I can fix that.” Haven moved closer.

“Didn’t they search you?” said Fit asked in surprise.

“They did, and they found my cuff key. They didn’t find my spare one, though.”

Mood suddenly lifting, Fit stood still and let her work by feel. It took a little while, but the key fit in the lock and she got the magic-cancelling ring off his horn.

“There, that should-”

The door slammed open again.

Squinting in the light once more, this time Fit saw a masked mare silhouetted in the doorway.

His mouth opened - partly surprise, partly to say something that he still hadn’t considered. There was a shout from outside the room. The rescuer’s head turned towards the sound. Her hoof flicked, and Fit heard something clatter across the floor towards Mirror. In the next moment, the masked mare was gone, her cape disappearing down the hallway.

Fit heard running hooves and put his own into motion, charging for the door. One of the stallions from earlier stepped into his path just as he reached the hallway, and Fit’s momentum carried them both to the ground. He snapped a quick punch to the other pony’s gut and turned to face another who was responding to the breakout.

Mirror got to the next one first, her bat wings propelling her body into his face like a cannonball. She kicked him under the chin with a hind hoof, flipping backwards to land on the floor.

“This way!” shouted Haven, gesturing in the other direction down the hallway. Fit galloped after her, unsure if Haven knew where they were or if she was following their rescuer.

The passageway got darker, rougher, and narrower, and it only seemed as if they were going deeper into the ground. However, Fit kept running, long minutes passing. Shallow puddles of water began to dot the floor and and the hallway - more of a tunnel now - stopped being lit by artificial lights. Fit began to wonder if this was really a good idea. Was this some sort of drainage system? Had they stumbled into the sewer? Fit lit his horn to help the three of them along and the kept moving. The alternative was going back.

Right up until the floor vanished completely and he came to a sudden halt.

Fit glanced over the ledge, hearing falling water somewhere below, but his light didn’t reach far enough to see it. He lifted his head, hearing muffled pursuit from somewhere behind.

“Well, come on,” said Mirror, offering a hoof. Fit took it. Haven grabbed his other foreleg.

He stepped into the air and the two of them took up his weight, though only barely.

“Okay, I take back what I said about you being a studmuffin,” Mirror said, beating her wings furiously. “Muffins are supposed to be light and fluffy.”

Haven said nothing, just straining to carry him.

They made it to the bottom, depositing Fit in a pool of salt water deeper than his head. He tread water, looking around at the vertical rock walls in a circle around him.

“I think there’s an outlet over here,” said Haven, flying over to check out the wall. She shifted over to keep her shadow out of the way of his light. Fit swam towards it.

The ceiling dropped lower and lower until both the mares were forced to reluctantly enter the water alongside him. Fit became concerned that he was going to have to hold his breath, but then a slight breeze blew across his nose. A few more strong strokes brought stars into view, and he found himself down by the shore of Manehattan Bay. He turned, spotting the tall statue in the harbor lit up against the night.

The other two joined him and they hauled themselves out of the water onto a cobbled street in lower Manehattan. The shops were closed, but the streetlights were lit. Instinctively, the three of them hurried away from the scene.

“Oh my gosh,” Haven panted. “Mare Do Well is real.”

“I have to say, I really didn’t expect her to rescue us,” said Mirror. “She’s really more of a passive superhero, saving ponies from natural disasters and whatnot, not breaking and entering against violent foalnappers. Anyway, I’ll have to thank her at our next teatime.”

Haven stared at Mirror for a long moment, but then shook her head and said nothing.

She was finally getting it, Fit decided.