• Published 16th Feb 2013
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Equestria Noir Case 19 "Womb of the Ocean" - Jacoboby1



A murder mystery in equestria starring the lost tribe of ponies.

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Chapter 1 "There's No Cure Like Travel"

Equestria Noir

Case 19

“Womb of the Ocean”

By Jacoboby1 and ShatteredIllusions

Chapter 1

“There’s No Cure like Travel”

“Pinkie,” I said flatly, closing my grey eyes and sighing, “I know you care deeply about Rainbow. I miss her too, but this is just getting out of hoof, so I have to be perfectly firm at this point.” I shouted into where Pinkie was hiding, “Get out of my mailbox!”

Pinkie somehow managed to squeeze her way out of my mailbox and landed in front of me. At this point I don’t even bother to question how she did that. We have a phrase for that, “Pinkie being Pinkie”. She sighed a little and said, “Sorry Private, ever since Dashie left for the Wonderbolt Academy I’ve been eager to get word from her.”

“She’s only been gone for two hours,” I informed her, rolling my eyes. “That was after you gave her the care package too. Don’t you think you’re being a little obsessive?”

She shook her head and said, “Nope, I just care about my friends.”

I pointed away and ordered, “Just go to your own mailbox next time. If Dash sends anything to me I’ll let you know."

Pinkie hopped away as I gathered up my mail. I walked back into my house sorting through the junk. Tailspin and his friends were all gathered in front of the TV for their weekly Disneigh marathon. It looked like the girls won the toss up as they were all watching Marederella. It was at the part where the titular mare danced with Prince Charming for the first time.

Sweetie Belle sighed as she saw it and said dreamily, “It’s so magical.”

“Why wouldn’t he ask her name first?” Applebloom asked. “It would’ve made finding her a lot easier.”

“It’s part of the story, Applebloom,” Dinky explained. “He’s gotta find her after she loses her glass horse shoe. It wouldn’t be a very good story if he just walked up to her door the next day.”

“That’s another thing,” Tailspin said as he raised an eyebrow, “he completely forgets what she looks like. He also doesn’t even go looking for her himself, he sends his servant to go look for her.”

Belle gave Cross a look that asked him to defend her. I swear that filly has my cousin wrapped around her little hoof. Cross spoke up after a minute and said, “Maybe he was caught up in royal duties or something.”

“Either way they do get to live happily ever after, right?” Dinky said, watching as the movie reached its climax.

“They’d better,” Applebloom said firmly, “after all the work Marederella went through, that prince outta treat her right.”

I just chuckled and looked at them all, “I’m off to visit Twilight, okay guys?”

They all looked at me and Dinky asked, “Are you gonna have Twilight try on a glass horseshoe to see if you’ll live happily ever after?”

Everypony laughed including me. I just shook my head bemused and replied, “No, I just promised her I’d help her out in the library today. I’ll probably be gone for a while. Sparkler will be here soon to watch you guys until your parents come pick you up.”

Everypony cheered at the prospect of Sparkler looking after them. I gave a smile and walked outside. Those kids watch way too many Disneigh movies for their own good. Oh well, I don’t need a glass horseshoe to know that Twilight is the one I care about.

_________________________________________________________

I walked down the street to Golden Oaks library and opened the door. The interior was deserted except for Owloylicious resting on his perch. His beady black eyes looked at me as I entered. I smiled at him “Hey pal, you seen Twilight anywhere?”

“Who?” Was his answer

“Twilight my marefriend”

“Who?”

“The gal who owns you”

“Who?”

“Th-“ I smirked and said, “Oh, you’re good…”

“Who?”

“Don’t even start pal,” I said as I rolled my eyes and walked to pick up some books on the floor.

“Who.” He shrugged his wings and went back to sleeping.

I set some books on the shelf and found myself strangely drawn to one book. I recognized a violet book mark on it. Twilight put that book mark in any book she was currently reading. At Twilight’s speed the bookmark moves around so many books I never bother to notice it.

That is until I read the title of the book or lack thereof. The book had not title and was instead written in strange characters. It resembled Zebra language but was a much cleaner and less artistic style of writing. I could tell there was a clear alphabet, but that was about it; I’d never seen this language before.

I opened up the book to where Twilight’s bookmark was. I saw Twilight had some notes stuffed inside, she was trying to translate. Twilight’s notes were all over the place, words and sentences crossed out or completely rewritten as the process went. But I could make out five words she had absolute confidence about.

Crystalis cor, which according to Twi’s notes meant “Crystal Heart”

Eclipsis, which meant Eclipse, but I could’ve guessed that after she translated the characters to Ponish.

Tristisa, she managed to translate to Somber.

Morbus, this meant Disease.

Finally, the last phrase she could translate was elementum tenacitate which meant Element of Tenacity?

I heard the door open and turned to see Twilight there with a bunch of quills in her saddlebags. She trotted over to me and said excitedly, “Sofa’s and quills had this amazing deal, so I thought I’d take advanta-“ She was cut off when she saw me with the book. Her eyes grew a little wide. “Oh, you found that…”

“What is it, Twilight?” I asked, looking down at the indecipherable characters. “Some kind of ancient tome?”

“I picked it up over at the royal library,” Twilight explained, setting down her bag of quills. “The librarian said he’s never seen it before. He just found it on a table one day. I think it’s written in the Alicorn tongue”

Bits and pieces of ancient Alicorn writing surfaced a few years ago. Archeologists have yet to figure out a proper translation and Celestia refused to comment on her knowledge of the language. Therefore many of us ponies were left to our own devices in attempting to decipher the language.

Hey, no knowledge is useless in the field of law enforcement.

“So any luck deciphering it, yet?” I asked, running my hoof along the letters. Suddenly I felt a strange sensation and I heard… voices.

_______________________________________________________

Eclipse, read the story for me one more time.

Your Highness, I am not a-

Please, dear Eclipse, I like hearing it.

Very well, Princess, but you shouldn't be seen with me…

I know you’re worried, but there's no reason to fear me…

I don’t fear you, I fear for you, he will come for you.

I do not fear Sombra, I will protect my home.

Which is why you know I must depart,

Must you?

In order to save you, and keep it out of his hooves…

________________________________________________________

I blinked and shook my head. What was that about? It felt like I was in Nocturne’s diary again. Only I this time only got the sound, not the picture. I looked over at Twilight and asked, “Did you hear that?”

She raised an eyebrow “Hear what Private?”

I shrugged and looked down at the book “You mind if I hang onto it for a while?”

“Of course not” She smiled at me “Just remember to give it back once you’re done”

I nodded and then the phone rang. I walked to it and placed the receiver to my ear. “Golden Oaks library how can I help you?”

“Private?” a familiar Trottingham accent asked over the phone. It was a voice I hadn’t heard in a while.

“Fancypants!” I exclaimed. “Is that you?”

“Indeed, my dear boy, I’ve heard quite a lot about your adventures since we parted. I was glad I got to participate in at least one of those adventures.”

“It’s good to hear from you again, Fancy,” I said with a smile, as Twilight stood next to me, smiling as well to hear from our friend.

“I wish it could be under better circumstances, however, I need your help on a matter most urgent. Fleur and I were on holiday on the S.S. Water Glide and a fellow passenger was murdered. The body was found this morning.”

“Are the police there?” I asked, giving Twilight the, “Pack things and get ready to go,” look. She nodded and started packing her saddle bags.

“They arrived an hour ago, but I’ve received word to ask for you specifically.”

“Who asked for me? Shinebadge?” I speculated.

“No actually, a rather older unicorn asked for you. Lovely mare by the name of Le Shark…”

I blinked in surprise; and putting aside the other question, asked the most important one, “Where is the ship docked?”

“We just docked in O’hay an hour ago.”

“O’hay?” I shouted in shock “As in O’hay Island? In the Marribean?”

“Yes, it's a lovely place, currently owned by Duke Tailwind. He’ll be terribly distraught over what happened.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“The victim was his future daughter in law…”

_____________________________________________________________

The Marribean Islands were a small set of islands just off the coast of Equestria. They used to contested territory during EW2 but now the islands have become a frequent tourist spot. Dad used to own an island not too far from it, but he had to give it up when he decided to marry mom.

I looked out the window at the ocean below as Twilight and I flew in a carriage pulled by a pair of solar guards. Twilight was able to get her brother to loan us a ride out here. My nose took in the salty air of the ocean as I stared down at the beautiful scenery. Celestia’s sun seemed to shine the brightest here. I was tempted to ditch my trench coat and dive into the water myself.

I looked over at Twilight and she too was enjoying the ocean spread out before us. I watched her mane flow in the wind like some model in Rarity’s fashion magazines. Her eyes closed and she inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of the ocean. “If we weren’t investigating a crime I’d suggest we take a vacation here,” she said with a dreamy smile.

“Maybe after the case is done,” I said, smiling back at her “On the bright side, at least we’ll have some beautiful scenery around us while we try and solve the murder.” I turned my thoughts to the case ahead and asked, “So, what do you know about Duke Tailwind?”

Twilight tilted her head and recited, “He's the current ruler of O’hay Island. It was given to him by his father, who bought the island when it became available at the conclusion of EW2. The island’s main export is tropical fruit. Originally there were plans to dig for rich minerals, but they were blocked by environmental protestors who wanted to keep the island’s beauty intact.”

As she went on I couldn't help but notice how cute she looked when she was talking. She just was in a world of her own where knowledge was king. I loved the way she tilted her head a little whenever she was thinking of something. I don’t know why I kept staring at her, but I shook my head and snapped out of it when the ship came into view. “We’re here,” I announced.

The ship itself was a rather large cruise liner like you see in all those vacation commercials. While a little smaller than the average cruise liner it was still imposing. Dozens of ponies lined the deck, watching the police as they worked.

The Solar guards landed on the ship’s deck and we hopped out of the carriage. I tipped the guards and took in the scene before me. Uniforms were keeping the onlookers away from the taped off area. I saw a familiar grey unicorn with a purple and blue mane examining the body.

Twilight and I ducked under the tape as I greeted the grey unicorn, "Hey, Sherrie."

She looked up and smiled at me. “Long time no see, Private," she returned.

“Forceps couldn’t make it again?” I asked, as she stood and faced me.

“He’s over at Fillydelphia on business” the pathologist replied, her voice sounding a little annoyed. “I had plans with Astro later, too.” She shook her head and pointed down at the body.

I kneeled down next to the deceased unicorn mare and asked, “What have we got?”

Sherrie answered, “She's been identified as a marine biologist named Shellheart.”

Shellheart was a light blue colored unicorn with a short black mane. I speculated she was a swimmer by the looks of her closely shaved coat. Some ponies kept their coats shorn down in order to swim better. I noticed she was clad in a rather pretty black dress, probably evening wear.

“Where’d you find her?” I asked.

“Over there,” Sherrie said, pointing to the railing. “She was hung over the side, cause of death was strangulation from the noose around her neck.” She gestured to a set of marks on the mare’s neck. “We bagged the rope for analysis.”

As I examined Shellheart’s neck I noticed a small needle in the back of it. I carefully pulled it out with my magic and examined it. “Looks like the kind of quill a porcupine or a sea urchin would have,” I observed.

“There’s a lab over on the island,” Sherrie explained. “Once I have it analyzed I'll get back to you guys.”

I nodded, levitating the needle into a plastic evidence bag, and tossing it to a uniform. I looked back at Sherrie and said, “Twilight and I are going to see if we can find her roo-“

“Shellheart!” I heard a voice cry. I looked over to see a noble stallion trying to push his way past the uniforms. He was young, probably mid-twenties, with a white coat, long black mane, and deep blue eyes. He struggled against the uniforms as I approached him.

“You knew the victim?” I asked.

He shouted, “She’s my fiancé! I demand to see her!”

I looked at both uniforms holding him back and nodded. The stallion walked through and bent down over the dead mare. He gently nuzzled her tears streaming down his face. As I watched a young mare with long red hair and a coral colored coat ran past me to the stallion. She put a hoof on his shoulder. He looked to her and smiled faintly, “Thanks, I'm okay.”

I walked to the noble stallion and his companion and said, “I'm terribly sorry for your loss. My name is Private and you are?”

“I am Lord Northwind,” he answered regally. “Son of Duke Tailwind, future ruler of this island.”

“She was your betrothed?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, flattening his ears as his female companion kept a hoof around his shoulder in comfort. “Last night we just announced our engagement.” He closed his blue eyes in sorrow.

“What is your name young lady?” I asked the mare. She looked at me for a moment, shook her head and tapped her throat.

Twilight raised an eyebrow and asked, “What’s wrong with her?”

“Her name is Reeflet and she is mute,” Northwind explained. “She is a dear friend of mine, however, and she is right to be here when I need her.”

“Your lordship,” I said respectfully, “I will give you some time to mourn, but then I need you to answer some questions.”

He nodded firmly and growled, “Anything to find the bastard that did this to Shellheart.”

With that he and Reeflet started away. As they walked past me I noticed a look of guilt in the coral pony’s eyes. Also… I wondered, does she look a bit wobbly to anypony else?

I shrugged and turned my attention back to the body. “Have you estimated a time of death?” I asked Sherrie.

“At the moment, due to body temperature and condition, my best estimate is sometime around midnight.” Sherrie explained, “I’ll have a more accurate measurement after I get back from the lab.”

I nodded and said, “Alright, Twilight and I are going to start asking around.”

Twilight and I ducked under the police tape to find a sight for sore eyes. Fancypants was walking towards us. He smiled at us and exclaimed, “By jove, it’s been too long!”

“Hey Fancy!” I exclaimed, as Twilight and I ran to the couple. I shook Fancy’s hoof while Twilight hugged Fleur who was happy to hug back. Memories of our adventure together in Trottingham came flooding back. I was happy to see these two again.

Fancy spoke up, adjusted his monocle, “It has been quite a while since Trottingham.”

“How have you two been?” I asked.

“Quite well, my dear boy,” he said, giving his wife a smile she happily returned. “We’ve been traveling quite a bit since we parted.”

“How have you two been?” Fleur asked, in a heavy Prench accent. “Has love sprouted finally?”

Twilight and I blushed causing Fleur to let out a small giggle. I looked sheepishly at Fancypants and asked, “So how’s the marriage coming along?”

“Oh it has been eons better,” Fancy replied as he slung a hoof around his wife and she nuzzled him lovingly. “No small thanks to your advice, my dear boy.”

“You flatter me,” I said modestly as I smiled at the pair.

“Mon amour,” Fleur said to her husband, rubbing against his neck lovingly “tell them the news.”

“Of course, darling,” Fancy said, smiling at us. “We have just discovered last week, that Fleur is going to have our foal.”

“Congratulations!” Twilight exclaimed. “My brother and Cadence just had their foal too! I’m so happy for you guys!”

“I must say it’s quite exciting,” Fancy said with a wide smile.

Twilight then whispered in the Stallion’s ear, “Just stock up on watermelon in the near future.”

Fancy raised an eyebrow but shrugged and looked to me, asking, “You are aiding the police in their investigation, Private?”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “You said somepony asked for me specifically?”

“A lovely older mare by the name of Le Shark,” Fancy said with a nod. “She is actually inside now, in the ballroom.”

“Direct me there,” I said with determination.

_______________________________________________________________

I left the others and walked around the party floor. The room was jam packed with nobles, servants and several crew men all moving about the place. They were chatting, eating, drinking and just enjoying the things money and privilege can provide. I wasn’t there for the party, however.

I was there for the mare sitting alone on a nearby couch. She was older; I’d say seventies by now. Her mane was silver, half held up in a high bun by a silver hair band and the rest falling loosely down her back. She wore a beautiful silver dress that accented her grey coat beautifully. On her nose sat a pair of horn rimmed glasses that made her green eyes stand out.

She was wearing a mask as well, a masquerade mask with sharks on the side. I walked to her, and said, “I know who you are.”

“You do?” she asked innocently. “I am Le Shark, an information broker from Prance.”

“You aren’t from Prance,” I said firmly.

“Oh?”

“Your dress gave it away,” I replied. “It’s made from a very expensive fabric. Glitter silk, incredibly rare and used only by the highest nobles of Equestria.” I went on, “Also, your brooch,” I pointed to the brooch around her neck. “It's custom made by a designer named Spritsu over in Manehattan. Also your perfume doesn’t mask the Manehattan smell I know so well. So, in conclusion, you’re a high ranking noble mare from Manehattan, not an information broker, and not from Prance.”

She sat there in silence for a time. Then a smile came to the old mare’s face. “Your mind is truly a beautiful thing” she said with admiration.

“Eyes and brains, my dear Watter,” I quoted.

“The Diamond Dog of Baskerville,” she mused, “the first book I read to you.”

“Which you would not tell me the ending to unless I solved it for myself,” I said with a smile on my face. “I had to track you down half way across town in order to tell you the answer.”

“You were so excited when you got it right,” she recalled with a small laugh. “I was so proud of you; I went back every weekend after and read you the entire series.”

“I got better at guessing the endings,” I mused.

“That turned you into the detective you are now,” she said, motioning me closer.

I moved closer and she slowly levitated the mask off revealing her face. I smiled at her as she reached over to embrace me. I held her tightly and said, “I missed you”

“I missed you too,” she said, giving me a gentle pat on the back. “My wonderful, brilliant and handsome grandson.”