• Published 12th Sep 2012
  • 771 Views, 20 Comments

The Collector - gallagsp the corgi

A pony is stealing Cutie marks, can Twilight and Colgate find out who before it's too late?

  • ...

Chapter 11

Lyra led the others to a used clothing store near the castle. The colt behind the counter looked bored, but brightened up when they entered. Being in this part of Canterlot he didn't get many customers. Twilight smiled warmly at him but the rest ignored him. They scanned the racks of clothing, looking for something to help them break in to the Crystal caves. Lyra approved and disaproved their clothing selections based on experience with breaking and entering.

"Not dark enough"

"Get rid of the stripes"

"Seriously? No."

After the fifth shirt Colgate had shown her she was getting annoyed. She groaned and turned back to the rack. Scanning the clothing she came across a plain black turtleneck. When she showed Lyra she smiled and nodded her approval. Finally they were making some progress. Lyra explained to the others what they were looking for, black plain clothing that covered them up so they wouldn't be recognized. With that in mind they stocked up on cloths in five minutes.

"Why didn't you tell us earlier? Twilight said as she pulled the black hoodie over her head.

"I figured it was pretty common sense."

"Not all of us have broken into a guarded cave system before." Octavia shifted in the scratchy black sweater.

"Yeah, didn't think of that."

"Okay, so we have out clothes, now what?"

"We pay for them and leave, then wait until night."

The others shrugged. It seemed obvious enough. They paid for the clothes, earning them a suspicious look from the cashier, and left without a word. They went to a motel a few blocks away and waited until the sun started to go down.

"So what's the plan?" Twilight asked.

"We'll have to see what the area is like when we get there. We'll probably need a distraction of some sort, to pull the guards away, then we need to open any locks or barricades they have set up."

"Obviously." Colgate said. "But what should we do specifically?"

"We'll figure that out. Like I said, it depends on the situation. Twilight, where did you say this entrance to the caves was?"

"Pretty close to the castle. Maybe two or three hundred feet. It's actually underneath a statue in the garden. Not suprisingly a statue of a giant crystal."

"Weird. Was that planned out?"

"I don't know. The entrance is actually partially open, the statue base can't cover the whole thing."

"So there's just a hole to some enormous cave system below the whole city in the public statue gardens?" Octavia interupted. The others gave a look of understanding.

"I have no idea how somepony hasn't discovered it already. I spent hours a day in that garden when I lived here and never found it." Twilight shrugged. Maybe it used to be buried before the changling invasion, who knows?"

"Let's get going. It's starting to get dark."

"Right. Let's make sure we have everything we need." Twilight levitated a checklist in front of her. "Dark clothes...check!"

"First aid kit, check!" Lyra added.

"Flashlights and rope, check." Octavia said.

"Food and water for two days, just in case." Colgate opened her bag and inspected the contents. "Check and double check."

"Great. That looks like everything." She rolled the checklist up and stowed it in her bags, which were buldging with supplies. She started for the door.

"Wait!" Colgate yelled. The others turned to look at her. She ran into the kitchen and rummedged through the drawers, finding what she wanted, she smiled and headed back into the living room with the others. "Magic torches." She said, holding up a bunch of crystaline rods. "That way we can follow them to get out of the cave."

"Good thinking. Who knows how deep we'll need to go."

"That's what she said."

"Real mature, Lyra. Real mature."

"Just trying to lighten the mood a bit." She grinned and headed out the door. They walked down the street towards the castle.

Twilight wondered how far they could make it before being stopped by the guards for looking so suspicious. She wondered if this would even work at all. She read books about secret agents who did this sort of thing on a regular basis but she wasn't so sure about it herself. Something was telling her to go back and rethink her plan. She sighed. It was too late for that now.

Lyra felt confident. It wasn't the first time she had to break in to a private place and it certaintly won't be the last. She walked halfway in the street, completely oblivious to any carrages that might come up the road from behind her. Not that she'd care anyway. She was a mare on a mission, nothing could stop her. She was running through a list of combat spells she knew and how to perform them, just in case the collector put up a fight. Knowing his style it didn't seem likely, but he did attack Octavia when he was cornered, she imagined how aggressive he could be when cornered in a dark cave by four angry mares.

Octavia was almost visibly shaking. This was way out of her comfort zone. She was musician, not a spelunker. She was sweating in that ridiculous sweater, her stomach was in knots. She could have sworn she had just whimpered, but nopony else seemed to notice. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath to calm herself. It was just one big performance. Yes, it was just an ensamble that she was part of. She would march onto the stage in confidence, play her beautiful music and leave with her prize. She would get her Cutie Mark back at any cost.

Colgate absent-mindedly ran her tounge across her teeth. Her lips and throat were dry, but that was the least of her concerns. She lagged a step behind the rest of the ponies, obviously the most afraid of all of them. She was grateful for their help, but this whole thing seemed ridiculously uneccessary. She was attacked, and now the four of them were going to climb into a dark, dirty cave to find her attacker and do Celestia knows what to him. She hoped he would give up without a fight, but she was also looking to bust some skulls for what he dis to her. Her fear was suddenly overcome with anger, she gritted her teeth, something that would have made her sensible side cringe at the tooth grinding, and increased her pace to match the others. She was determined to end this stallion even if she had to put him down herself. This had just gotten personal.

Author's Note:

This took WAY too long to write, sorry about the long wait but things have been REALLY hectic for me lately. Luckily I graduate in two weeks so school will be out of the picture until college in the fall.

I know I say it a ton, but I really do appreciate you reading this and as always, let me know what you think in the comments.