• 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 9

Trixie agreed to do them the favor of playing an extra set of eyes. It took some cajoling, but in the end her ego won out and Fit was able to convince her that she didn’t need too much practice before her show later. The three of them went to the station to get ready.

Bulldog gave Fit the stink eye as he led yet another quirky mare into the police station. Trixie had insisted on wearing her hat and cape, at least while she was out and about around the city, insisting, “It’s good for Trixie’s image.”

“Not a consultant,” Fit said in response to Bulldog’s glare. “Just a friend.”

He and Haven raided the evidence locker and eventually found the contents of Mirror’s motel room. Deep in one of the bags, they found the enchanted tail band.

Haven sat back on her haunches, holding it up. “What’s it like?” she asked, staring at it

“You won’t even notice, unless you look at yourself.”

Trusting her partner, Haven got up and lifted her tail. Fit had already averted his eyes, having seen Guards changing before.

When he looked back, with little fanfare, Haven’s white and orange motif had been replaced by the blues and greys of a Lunar Guard.

“How do I look?” she asked, fretting over the skin appearance of her wings.

“Plausible,” was the best thing he came up with.

She gave him a look and dug back into the confiscated items to pull out the uniform. Haven wasn’t quite as petite as Mirror, but was close enough that the uniform did fit. It covered her cutie mark.

“It’s a little itchy,” she said.

“You won’t get used to it,” advised Trixie.

The three of them trooped back out into the office. Bulldog started, but then cocked his head at the uncomfortable expression on Haven’s face.

“We’re going to do some undercover stuff,” said Fit.

“If that’s how you want to do it.” Bulldog shook his head.

“Does this police department really have so little oversight?” Trixie asked as they left the building.

Fit shrugged. “The sketch artist got promoted to Chief. I’m not sure anyone outside the department really cares how it’s run. I wish I’d known that when I joined.”

Fit, Haven, and Trixie went down to the hospital. In a low voice, Trixie coached Haven on acting as they walked. By the time they arrived, Haven could recite her lines with some confidence. She was Inspector General, a Lieutenant of the Lunar Guard, newly arrived in Manehattan following the disappearance of Cracked Mirror.

“‘Lieutenant Inspector General’ is a mouthful,” Haven observed.

“It adds a touch of realism,” said Trixie. “A pony named Inspector General would know that joining the Guard and getting a rank would complicate things, but would do it anyway for justice. Plus, this distracts the audience with the puzzle of your name while you’ve moved on to other things.”

“It sounds too complicated and risky.”

“That’s why you keep leaning forward to keep them off balance. Perhaps tell them Mirror sent a letter that implied some interesting things. Of course don’t reveal what those things are, but keep pressing until something shakes loose.”

As they reached the downtown area, Trixie sniffed the air. The maple syrup distillery came into view. “Perhaps Trixie should start getting her EUP veteran care here.”

“Seems like a health risk,” Haven observed.

They separated a block from the hospital and went in separately. Trixie took the lead to have a look around the place first. Haven went next, still nervous but managing to keep it off her disguised face. Fit walked in last.

He glanced at the directory, examining which clinics were on which floors. He wasn’t sure where he would find evidence, or even what kind of evidence he was looking for. Some sign of Mirror was the priority, but something indisputably linking Acerbic Cure and Library Long to the graffiti would be good, too.

He walked past Trixie, who sat in the waiting room reading a magazine. She met his eyes for a moment, but didn’t convey anything with the glance. All clear, apparently.

After reading the directory, Fit had decided to try and get close to Acerbic Cure’s office. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do from there, but maybe Haven could lure the stallion out and Fit could search the place. It wasn’t much of a plan, but they didn’t have anything better.

The clinic at the top floor of the building, and presumably closest to Acerbic’s office, was gastroenterology. Thinking on his feet and coming up with the best excuse he could in order to quickly get himself up there, Fit approached the front desk.

To the mare behind the counter, he said quietly, “I...need an emergency colonoscopy.” His face flushed in real embarrassment.

Fortunately, the nurse was a professional and told him where to go, giving him a clipboard with some forms to fill out.

Armed with a clipboard, Fit knew a lot of figurative doors had just opened. Maybe not as many as if he were wearing a lab coat too, but he still got into the elevator with the air of a stallion with places to go and plausible appearance to be just about anywhere in a hospital.

On the top floor, he walked by Haven, who was talking to a mare sitting at a desk in front of a closed door that sat in an alcove off the hallway. Seeing an opportunity, Fit waited patiently behind her.

Haven’s story apparently was good enough and the secretary agreed to let her in. She was just reaching for the intercom sitting on the desk when Fit pushed forward. “Excuse me, do you know where the colonoscopy clinic is?”

“Down the hall.” The secretary tossed her head.

“No, I mean, I need very specific directions,” said Fit. “Please, if I…” his words stuttered as he tried to think of something and he hoped it sounded like embarrassment. “I’m here for an extreme nervous bowel symptom and if I walk into the wrong door, I might just…”

The secretary sighed and stood up and came out from behind her desk into the hallway, though careful not to get too close to him. She pointed down the hallway. “Go this way. It’s the fourth door on the right.”

She started to turn away, but Fit said, “Should I knock? What if it’s locked? Please, could you go with me? I need help.”

Wondering if maybe he could play the attractiveness card, Fit subtly flexed.

It didn’t work, probably due to his earlier story about nervous bowels. The mare shook her head. “I can’t leave.”

She turned back to her desk a fraction of a second after Haven finished straightening up from it. Not noticing anything, the secretary hit the intercom and let Acerbic Cure know he had a visitor.

Fit couldn’t find any reason to hang around, and turned for the direction the secretary had indicated. He glanced up and down the hallway, seeing nopony, and began trying doors on his way.

The first on the left was a supply closet. Fit glanced through it but found nothing to help him. The second door on the left was locked. The third was already open, revealing an empty patient room. Ditto on the next few. He switched to the other side of the hallway.

The first door opened to reveal a small office. An earth stallion sat with his hooves on the desk, reading a newspaper. He was rather stout, and his mane was buzzed. The cutie mark on his hip was of a coffee cup.

“Uh, hi,” said Fit. “I’m looking for the colonoscopy clinic.”

The stallion stared at him for a moment, eyes narrowing. His hooves came down off the desk. “You look familiar.”

“So do you,” said Fit, stalling because he had never seen this pony before. “Did we go to high school together?”

“I was homeschooled.” The stallion got up and put the newspaper down, freeing his hooves. Fit, an expert in musculature if he did say so himself, saw tension begin to flow into his shoulders. The stallion said, “I remember now. You were down at the Midnight Motel the other day meeting with-”

Fit threw the clipboard in his face and charged.

With the distraction, he pulled the stallion into a facedown hold, but before he could announce his police status or say anything, he was forcibly yanked off by somepony else.

Fit spun as best as he could inside the half-nelson, shifting his weight to throw another stallion over top of him. The pegasus’ wings thrashed, saving him from hitting the floor.

That would have been fine, if he was the only newcomer. Fit caught sight of another pony’s hoof speeding towards his face and reflexively ducked. The first stallion was getting up off the floor, and Fit threw him off balance, striking out against the second stallion who’d ambushed him from behind. He used a brief magic hold to flatten the pegasus’ feathers on one side and get him off balance for a throw to the floor.

The two of them down for a moment, he turned to face the rest. It was a unicorn stallion and a pegasus mare. She shot towards him while the stallion charged a spell. There wasn’t time to think, but Fit instinctively ducked, absorbing the mare’s attack and subtly redirecting her directly into the path of the spell. It turned out to be a stunner, and she caught it in the back, dropping her to the floor.

That was one out of action, though probably briefly. Even guards in practice could rarely put a pony down for any length of time with magic. Fit charged the unicorn, grappling and staying low to keep out of horn range. Fit threw him back, but was piledriven from behind by the two stallions he’d previously engaged.

He felt his forehead bounce off the floor, but not much after that.