• 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 4 "Under the Sea"

Chapter 4

“Under the Sea”

I figured Attrotica would be a beautiful city under the ocean. I wasn’t expecting a vast sunken city that almost resembled Canterlot. Seaponies were everywhere, swimming around going about their business. The place was illuminated by a strange type of coral that glowed. Twilight would probably want to study it’s properties when all of this was over. I would’ve enjoyed it far more if guards weren’t pointing spears at Twilight and I.

The two Seaponies behind us were clad in coral armor. I didn’t doubt their skill with the spears they held in their magic. Twilight looked over at me nervously. I could tell she was wondering how I fit into all of this. I’m starting to wonder that myself…

They led us into a large sunken castle. The seapony nobles inside cast nervous glances at me as we passed. Mothers hid their children behind them. What did I do wrong that caused them to fear me so?

We were led into a large throne room where an imposing looking seapony stood. He was aquamarine colored with a long silver mane. He had a long horn on his head and large fins on his back. This must be the seapony version of an Alicorn. He held a large trident in his right hoof and his silvery eyes glared at me as we entered.

“What is this?” he asked, his voice regal and authoritative. “They are not Seaponies! Look at how much effort it takes them to maintain balance.”

“Your Highness,” one of the guards said, “we found them accompanying Princess Raequa. They are from the surface.”

Raequa, who was following us, swam up to her father. “Please father! I had no idea the he was the grey one!” she cried.

“What’s going on here?” I asked. “I didn’t do anything wrong!”

“You may not have.” the King said, pointing his trident at me. His horn glowed slightly and I felt Tenacity appear around my neck. How did he do that? I looked as other Seaponies gasped in shock. The king said slowly, "However that element you have is the reason we are under the sea in the first place.”

Twilight swam in front of me and addressed the King, “Your Highness, with all due respect, Private deserves an explanation.”

“Who are you?” he asked, gazing down at Twilight.

“Twilight Sparkle,” she answered, in a firm tone that reminded me of Celestia. “Faithful student to Princess Celestia, wielder of the Element of Magic, and you are currently pointing your weapon at my special somepony.” She gave him an angry glare. “I highly suggest you stop before you start a war.”

I watched the two stare at each other. The tension in the room was so thick I expected the water to start boiling. Slowly but surely the King stopped pointing his trident at me, his expression impressed. “I have seen few ponies, sea or otherwise, willing to stand up to me as you have,” he said with admiration.

The guards moved their weapons away from me and I swam up to the King. “My name if Private Phelps Eye, I think I deserve an explanation.”

He glared at me. “I am Poseidon, son of Mizuchi, and King of Attrotica. You are the grey, your power is the same power that destroyed the kingdom and sank it into the sea itself.”

Tenacity caused an entire city to sink into the ocean? Just what kind of power does it have? “I have never used its power for evil,” I pointed out. “I simply wish to help your daughter.”

Twilight spoke up, “We originally came under the ocean in the hopes of finding the sea witch that transformed your daughter into a pony.”

Everypony in the room gasped and whispered amongst themselves. Poseidon’s face turned sullen. I could tell he felt a great guilt on his heart “You know where Reeflet is?” he asked.

“Yes,” I explained, “She has gone to the surface in the hopes of getting the prince she saved to fall for her.”

His silvery eyes closed, Raequa swam to her father to comfort him. He opened his eyes and looked at me. “Tell me, is she safe?”

“Um,” I raised an eyebrow. “You probably know that, didn’t you send a storm yesterday?”

“I did not send a storm yesterday,” He gestured to his trident and explained, “Although I do have that ability. I never would send a storm without cause. It would draw undue attention to my people.”

“So you didn’t know your daughter was on the surface?” I asked.

“No, I did not.” He sighed and continued, “I had my suspicions, however, so I sent my most trusted magician, Saladin, after her. He has been gone for as long as she has. He cares for her, so I expected word swiftly. So far, however, I have not heard a word from either of them.”

I’d have to ask about this Saladin guy later, I decided to move on. “Reeflet is safe, I’ll tell you that much. If you didn’t send the storm, then who could’ve?”

“I know of only one other power under the sea that could be capable of that,” Poseidon said slowly, “that is the sea witch Aphrodite. She would be the cause of this no doubt.”

I could see several mares in the room fume at the mention of the sea witch. I’m guessing she had played a hoof in several of their love lives, both beneficial and not. But she was our best shot if I wanted to find anything more about the spell she put on Reeflet.

“I will make you a deal,” Poseidon said firmly, “if I point you in the right direction to find Aphrodite, then you will return my daughter to me.”

I looked at Twilight who slowly nodded in turn, this was our best shot. I looked at Poseidon, pointed to Tenacity and said, “Also, once everything is dealt with, I’d like to listen to everything you know about this…”

He stared at me for a long time, gauging my trustworthiness. He looked to Raequa who nodded at her father. He pointed his trident at me and declared, “I will honor your deal, but you will get no more words out of me until my daughter is safe.”

I nodded and asked, “Then where is Aphrodite?”

__________________________________________________________

Raequa led the way outside of the city. I couldn’t ignore all the looks I got from the Seaponies. Just what did Tenacity do?

What do they have against me?

Did I hurt them that much?

Why do they hide from me?

That was unusual, usually when I start thinking those thoughts they’re angry. This one felt almost sad, however. That part of me only seemed to get stronger the longer I stayed here. Just what are they hiding?

I looked over at Twilight whose eyes were showing concern. “Private, are you all right?”

I decided to be honest with her. “I don’t know Twilight; I still can’t get what Poseidon said about Tenacity out of my mind. How can an element of harmony destroy an entire city?” I replied.

She swam and pressed herself into me as we made our way out of the city and into the coral reefs. I nuzzled Twilight for comfort which she was happy to give. After about two minutes I heard a small giggle. I looked forward at Raequa who was smiling at us. “I suspected you two were together, now I see that’s quite the understatement” she teased with a grin.

Twilight and I flushed brightly at having been caught. Raequa just laughed and swam on. I swam up to the princess and asked, “Who’s this Saladin that your father mentioned?”

“Saladin is a court magician,” Raequa explained. “He’s rather young, but he has a great amount of magic in him. He has been away for some time, however. I haven’t seen him in two months myself.”

“What about Aphrodite?” I asked, “What can you tell us about her?”

“Long ago she was a princess on the surface world,” Raequa explained, “but when our home sank she sank along with it. She used her great magical powers to save herself by becoming an angelpony.”

“Angelpony?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“That’s what we call Seaponies with horns and wings,” Raequa said. “Though, that’s only the general legend about her, some say she was a demon whose sole purpose is to cause dissent in lovers. Which tale you believe really depends on whether she helps you find love or not.”

“I’m guessing that’s why someponies call her a sea witch,” Twilight concluded “So, she helps out ponies in love? My sister in law is like that in a way.”

“She does,” Raequa said warily, “but she is often, how do I say… manipulative in matters of love.”

Twilight and I looked at each other. I got a strange uneasy feeling running through me. If she was manipulative in matters of love, we could be dealing with a changeling on our hooves. We swam on into rather bare waters until we came across a large whale skeleton. It looked several centuries old simply on the fact that coral had started to claim the remains.

Raequa led us into the skeleton and the interior was lit by the glowing coral. I felt that strange feeling of unease… and guilt? Just what was going on here? We ventured deeper into the tunnel until we came by a sea weed curtain. Raequa looked back at us and said, “She knows me, I’ll go in first.” She moved the curtains aside and swam deeper into the caves.

I got the uneasy feeling we were being watched. I looked over at Twilight, she seemed nervous as well. Too bad I had to leave Blackbird on shore, I had very little way to defend myself should someth-

I felt a prick at the back of my neck. I felt it with my hoof but could find nothing there. I looked back at Twilight and… oh boy.

As I looked on Twilight with love-struck eyes, her sexy newfound tail seemed to show off her well curved body. I wanted to run my hooves along that round firm flank of hers, and pull her body tightly against mine.

I watched her mane move with the water currents. I had the urge to run my hooves through that mane, tilt her head back, and nibble that long neck. She was so beautiful, and so…

What the hell am I thinking?

I heard a laugh and I turned to see one of the strangest looking ponies I’ve ever seen. The top of her body was a soft pink, her mane long and pure white, and her eyes a deep blue color. Her bottom however was entirely different, it was as if she stepped into a black dress and her hind legs became long black tentacles with pink suction cups under them. She gave a small smile and spoke in a low seductive voice, “I must admit, I wasn’t expecting such,” she paused and smiled even more, “intriguing company.”

“You’re Aphrodite,” Twilight asked as she swam to my side, “the Sea Witch?”

“I prefer the term helper,” Aphrodite said, looking at her hoof and then up at me. “What business do you have, unicorn?”

“You know what we are?” I asked slowly.

“Of course I do,” she said, then she smiled slowly. “I know quite a bit about you from that last spell.”

“What did you do to him?” Twilight demanded to know.

“Oh nothing,” Aphrodite said innocently. “Just a simple spell to sate my curiosity about your relationship.” She smirked a little and continued, “I must say, he has very interesting thoughts about you, fair student of Celestia.”

Twilight looked at me and blushed bright red. I blushed just as much, thoroughly embarrassed at what happened. It certainly felt like Cadence’s love spell. Only I could tell the intentions were far more… physical then Twilight’s sister in law.
Raequa entered and saw all of us. Aphrodite spoke to Raequa, “Ah, hello Princess, came to hear how your sister is doing?”

“Please Aphrodite!” Raequa begged “My sister has made a terrible mistake! You need to change her back into a seapony!”

“Why would I do that?” Aphrodite asked, one of her tentacles reaching to fix her mane. “Why would I deny Reeflet love when it’s within her grasp?”

“What do you gain by helping her?” I asked, “I was told you took her voice as payment for turning her into a pony. Why would you do that?”

“Frankly, it was to give her a challenge,” Aphrodite said, our jaws dropping at how casually she said it. “If she were to simply walk up to prince charming and say ‘hey I’m the mare who saved your sorry flank from drowning’ he would’ve fallen for her far too easily.”

She was too the point that’s for sure. Raequa begged, “Please, just tell us how to break the spell.”

“I’ll tell you the same thing I told her,” Aphrodite said, a little annoyed, “Get dear ole princey to fall for her and give her true loves kiss, or wait until the next full moon when the spell is broken.”

“The next full moon is tonight!” Twilight said in shock.

Aphrodite nodded. “Indeed, I had to use its power to cast the spell in the first place. Once Luna raises her precious moon the spell will be broken.”

“So, what happens to Reeflet?” Raequa asked, her voice venomous. “If she doesn’t do your stupid spell, what happens to her?”

“She lives the rest of her life as a seapony,” Aphrodite explained. “I hold no malicious intent towards her, dear princess.”

“Then why did you help her?” Twilight asked.

“The same reason your beloved here helps others in love,” she replied pointing to me. “I read some of his early memories and saw how he’s been known to be quite the matchmaker himself.”

I blushed at her statement; I was guilty of that I guess. Aphrodite went on, “I simply wish for Reeflet to be happy with the pony she loves. Am I so cruel to aid her?”

The more she talked, the more she sounded like Cadence. In fact, I started to get a strange familiarity with her. I then asked, “Have we met before?”

She slowly shook her head, “Not unless you’re over a thousand years old.”

“You’re that old?” Twilight asked.

“And I don’t look a day under four hundred,” she said with a laugh, “I’m far younger than Celestia, but I have lived on this earth long enough to know see when love truly is in bloom.” She looked between us. “I’m getting off track; however, you’re here to talk about dear Reeflet.”

“Do you think Reeflet could’ve murdered somepony?” I asked. “A filly named Shellheart was the prince’s intended.”

She scoffed, “Shellheart couldn’t convince a desperate virgin to even hold her hoof.”

“Why do you say that?” Twilight asked.

“Simply because she was a self-entitled snob,” she said in obvious disapproval. “I remember visiting the surface on occasion to see how Reeflet’s progress was going and I overheard the tramp in a bar saying how brilliant she was for snagging the prince. I asked her about it and she said she only wanted to marry Northwind for his title and estate.”

“That doesn’t sound like the way Northwind described her,” Twilight said, crossing her forelegs. “Tailwind spoke highly of her too, but it would explain why she wanted to marry him so badly.”

“Do you think she saw Reeflet as a threat?” Raequa asked.

“Yeah, that would explain the argument,” I said as I nodded slowly, “but that doesn’t explain who killed Shellheart.”

“Whoever did it should get a medal in my book,” Aphrodite growled. “The little snob only became friends with princey so that she could get into the castle. The fool, but I guess love can truly be blind and deaf sometimes.”

“So, that leaves you,” I said, narrowing my grey eyes. “You have plenty of motive for killing Shellheart. Get her out of the way and Reeflet has no competition,”

“True,” Aphrodite replied, smiling and gazing at me, “but you don’t believe that.”

“Why would you hang her outside of the ship?” I mused. “If you really wanted to get rid of Shellheart you could’ve just tossed the body into the ocean. Then nopony could find her in a million years.”

“You are quite intelligent, unicorn.” She swam to me, one of her tentacles reaching up to run across my chin. I could tell Twilight was doing everything in her power to keep from ripping her in half with magic.

I swam away from her and said firmly “Listen, thanks for your help, we’d best be on our way.”

“Very well,” Aphrodite said, shrugging “but just know, I’m always willing to help souls in love, no matter how poor or unfortunate.” She smiled at a blushing Twilight.

We swam out before it got any stranger….

___________________________________________________________

“I can’t believe she didn’t just reverse the spell right there!” Raequa shouted, as we swam away from Aphrodite’s home. “That witch could’ve but she wanted to keep Reeflet on the surface? Just for some prince?”

“Raequa,” I said firmly, “Reeflet’s in love. She wanted to be with Northwind so badly she was willing to sacrifice her voice to do it.”

“She could’ve had any seapony under the sea,” she shouted at me, “but she had to go with some prince on shore! She’s going to get herself hurt when he finds out about her!”

“Raequa,” Twilight said, swimming up to the seapony, “try and understand.”

“How would you feel if you threw everything away for something you can’t have?” Raequa growled at Twilight. “Reeflet is young! She doesn’t know what she’s doing! I thought you two would agree with me, but I can see now father was right about you surface dwellers!” She pointed an accusatory hoof at us and cried, “You were only ever interested in finding out who killed Shellheart! Never once thinking about bringing my sister back home!”

Before anything more could be said she swam off, leaving Twilight and I to float there alone. Twilight saw my expression and asked, “Private, what’s wrong?”

“Just,” I said, sighing, “I can’t help but feel maybe I was too eager to put my faith in Reeflet”

“What do you mean?” she asked, putting a hoof on my cheek.

“Twi, maybe Reeflet was the killer after all. Maybe I just didn’t want to believe it because she seemed so sincere in her love for Northwind. Am I wrong to think that way?” I asked.

She shook her head and replied, “Private, I know you’re a pony who trusts his instincts. If you believe that Reeflet didn’t do it, then I know it’s because you know it in your heart.” She put a hoof on my chest, tracing a small circle with it. “You have a kind heart; you just want to help out ponies when they need you.”

“I didn’t always,” I said slowly, “I’m just worried maybe I’ve become too soft.”

Twilight shook her head and pressed it into my chest. “I don’t think it’s a difference between hardiness or softness. I think you’re just opening up to others. Your heart is just getting used to thinking about others. A part of you will always want to become cold and strict, but I know in the end you’ll always do what’s right in your heart.” She nuzzled my grey chest fur.

I smiled and embraced her warmly. “Even if I mess up, I know you’ll be there for me.” I gave her a gentle kiss on her horn and said, “I'm glad I have you to keep me on the right track.”

We smiled at each other but then Twilight’s eyes flickered downward. I followed her gaze and saw something shiny on the sea floor. Twilight and I swam down to it and saw that what we were staring at was a corpse…

Water and beasts have taken most of the skin, leaving behind the bones. However, the bones clearly had hind legs, so it was no seapony. This was a regular unicorn pony. I looked at Twilight and asked, “What’s a skeleton doing down here?”

Twilight’s horn glowed as her scanning spell went to work. She wasn’t as good as Sherrie, but she had read up a little on Pathology since working with me. Granted, it wasn’t her favorite subject, but it proved useful. She looked over at me and said, “Unicorn, male, about twenty five years old, the corpse has been here for several weeks.”

I swam down for a closer look and saw tattered remains of clothing on the corpse. It looked like the jacket Shining wore to his wedding, only a sharp blue color. He must have been at some kind of formal event. I then saw what was shining before. I held it up and saw it was a locket of some sort. I opened it and saw inside, was Prince Northwind and Shellheart.

“Twilight, I think I know who this is,” I said warily.

If Prince Northwind’s corpse was on the sea floor… then who was playing the prince up top?