• 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 12

Late as it was, Fit was mildly surprised to see a few familiar faces still in the office when he entered with Haven and Mirror. Bulldog fired an angry glare in their direction that Fit realized wasn’t meant for Mirror but himself.

“Where have you been?” Bulldog demanded. “You were gone all afternoon and I’m still here making up for you!”

“All three of us were foalnapped by a cult,” said Mirror, smiling.

“That’s what happened,” Fit confirmed, not smiling.

“What was that about a cult?” said Chief Sketchy, coming out of his office.

“It’s going to take a while to get the full story out, but we learned that an anti-lunar splinter group inside the EUP has been behind the graffiti around the city,” said Fit. “As you know, they foalnapped Mirror, and then took Haven and I when we were looking for her. We just got free and came here to round up a couple of officers and go back to the hospital to make some arrests.”

Sketchy spent a few seconds absorbing that. “We can’t do it.”

“What are you talking about?” Fit said.

The Chief shook his head. “That hospital is national property. They do their own security and we don’t have jurisdiction there.”

“Are you kidding me?” Haven groaned.

Fit stood paralyzed. The fact hadn’t occurred to him until now. There’d never been a need to arrest anypony at the EUP hospital before. Now that he realized it, probably because they had always handed any rare instance themselves. “That...isn’t right. It’s our city. Nopony is above the law. And if the Guards might be behind this, who are we supposed to turn to?”

“That isn’t how it works,” said Sketchy, shaking his head. “I want you to file your report and we’ll do everything we can on our end. We’ll have to approach this by making a few inquiries and ask the Guards to conduct an internal investigation.”

Somepony in the Guards, if a member of the anti-Luna cult, could sweep it under the rug. “But-”

Sketchy cut him off. “We can’t do anything. There’s a complicated web at work here. Do you want me to draw you a picture?”

“Yes,” said Mirror.

Sketchy was taken aback. “Nopony’s asked me to draw for them in forever.”

“Just show us who is in charge, so we don’t make this same mistake again. We can also drop them a line this evening to let them know to be on their toes,” she said.

Sketchy happily drew out a quick diagram of the overlapping chain of law enforcement and how it tied into the Manehattan EUP hospital. Fit was loathe to realize that Acerbic Cure was on the list. He wasn’t a Guard anymore, but as the administrator of the hospital, he had oversight and probably held a lot of implied authority.

“You can talk to them,” Sketchy said. “I know what you went through might have been rough, but what you told me doesn’t sound like everypony in that hospital is part of this group. If you want this to hold up in court, do not do anything rash. Are we clear?”

He was right, Fit knew. Knowing the guilty party but not having concrete evidence had bitten them again. He bit back a reply and just said, “Yes sir.”

Fit put on his badge and left the office again, still frustrated. Haven and Mirror followed him out.

“We can still go,” Haven said in gentle tones. “Show the badges. Get some public witnesses that we were there. I don’t think they would take us again, even if they did have jurisdiction over the hospital. We can get Plowshore to go with us.”

“You saw the drawing,” Fit muttered. “The Manehattan Police Department can’t touch them.”

“Well, now’s a really good time for me to be to not be a part of MPD,” said Mirror. Fit looked at her. She went on. “So we can’t do anything to them in the hospital. I just have to get them to come out.”

“How are you going to do that?” said Haven.

“I’ll think of something.” Mirror grinned and spread her wings. “See you later.”

Fit and Haven continued to the Sheriff's office. Conveniently, Plowshore was working nights and agreed to come with them. They told him the story on the way.

“This is nuts,” said Plowshore. “They kidnapped cops?”

“We were undercover at the time,” Fit said.

“Still.” Plowshore looked at the drawing from Chief Sketchy. “I wish I could do more, but it looks like County is out of our authority here too.”

“I’m happy to just have some extra backup,” said Fit. “Mirror should be around, though.”

He had purposely not mentioned Mare Do Well to either the Chief or Plowshore.

“Speaking of her.” Plowshore shook his head. “Through all of this, your possibly-insane ex boss has been bending the law to pull leads out of thin air. I wouldn’t want to be you, writing the report when this is all finished.”

True, but at least writing the reports could wait until they actually knew the full story.

Fit led the group to the Cure-Long house. Unsure what reaction there would be to their arrival, he gestured for Haven to cover the back as he knocked on the front door.

Who is it?” a mare’s voice asked from inside the door.

“My name is Detective Cross Fit, from the Manehattan Police. I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

The door opened to reveal Library Long. She was, Fit noticed again. Long, that is. More importantly, she didn’t seem to recognize him.

“This is about the EUP,” he said. He added, “And your daughter.”

“Oh my.” Her eyes widened and she called over her shoulder “Cerbic!” She stepped back from the door and gestured them in.

Fit popped a few sparks off his horn, signaling Haven, and she joined Fit and Plowshore. They followed Library into the living room.

Acerbic Cure met them there. “What is this about?” He too didn’t seem to recognize them.

The three police sat down on the couch at Library’s invitation. She and her husband sat across from them in armchairs. Fit began the questioning. “We’ve come to ask you about a certain group inside the EUP that may harbor feelings against Princess Luna.”

Acerbic and Library traded an uneasy glance. “Why would anypony do that?” Acerbic asked.

“We caught your daughter paying a local artist to paint anti-lunar graffiti.”

The two parents looked stunned. Stunned, perhaps, but not surprised. Acerbic lowered his eyes. “She took after the wrong side.”

“Wrong side of what?” Haven asked.

Acerbic and Library traded a glance again. Library spoke, hesitantly, “The faction inside the EUP of which you speak...began right here in Manehattan. It was...not extremist. Not at first. We just wanted the new service to stop absorbing so many resources that we used to be entitled.”

Fit decided to push the envelope. “Were you members?”

“Yes,” said Acerbic.

“Cerbic!” Library exclaimed. She turned back to fit. “Were members.”

“We founded it,” said Acerbic.

Library gaped at him again, but didn’t try to correct him this time. Acerbic went on. “Maybe there was a personal angle. When Princess Luna returned, both of us applied to join the newly reformed Lunar Guard. I was disqualified for night vision. Library was disqualified for uniform requirements.”

“Uniform requirements?” asked Plowshore.

Library gave him a weary look and gestured to her extra-length barrel. Plowshore flushed.

Acerbic went on. “That was in addition to taking resources away from the Solar Guard. Everything was tight for a while. It didn’t help once we found out where Princess Luna had been and why. Some of us were a little sore at the Lunar side of the house.”

He emphasized. “But that’s just how it started. That’s all we did. It was everypony else that took it and ran with it until things got out of hoof.”

“Who else?” Fit asked.

“Isn’t that enough?” Acerbic asked. “My daughter’s already in trouble for this. Do you have to take our friends, too?”

They were already pushing the limits of the informal interview. Dragging anything else out would be more effective under oath.

“I think your daughter is in over her head,” Fit said. “Do you realize that this group foalnapped an investigating Lunar Guard?”

Library turned white. Acerbic gripped the arms of his chair.

“We’re going to go down to the hospital,” said Fit. “That’s where they’re headquartered, right? We’re going to need names.”

There was a lot at stake. He could see it written on their faces. But they gave him names. Fit wrote them down in his notebook.

“Dusty...she’s dating one of them. That’s probably how she got involved,” said Library. “His name is Dark Roast.”

Fit remembered the stallion with a coffee cup cutie mark that he’d fought at the hospital. Interesting.

It seemed that Library and Acerbic had given everything they had to give. The police stood up to leave and the two of them escorted the cops to the door.

“What about our Dusty?” Library said.

“We don’t have a lot on her,” Fit said. “If she’s willing to cooperate, she could probably get a deal. Your testimony could help, too.” Dusty Tome had already been released, but depending on how things went with arresting the other figures in EUP, they might know more about her involvement later.

Fit led the way out the door. He felt a sense of purpose that he hadn’t experienced in months. The case was going somewhere. He felt like he was doing something.

He squared his shoulders as he walked, flanked by Plowshore and Haven. That didn’t change the potential difficulty of what they were about to do. The radicals inside EUP had already shown the lengths to which they were willing to resort.

Fit still didn’t fully understand their motivation. He could understand a little resentment from the way Acerbic and Library had described the division of the two Guards, but having been a Guard himself he would have thought a sense of duty would have prevailed.

They headed for the hospital. Out of the corner of his eye, Fit saw Mirror materialize from the shadows and fall in with them.

“We’re set,” she said.

“Set for what?” Plowshore asked.

“The hospital is EUP property and jurisdiction of the Guard,” said Fit. “So we have to get them to come out.”

Fit’s ears flicked at a faint sizzling noise. He glanced at Mirror, who was just snapping her gold lighter shut after lighting up a smoke.

His eyes widened as he realized she was smoking a dynamite fuse.