• Published 16th Feb 2013
  • 4,074 Views, 92 Comments

Equestria Noir Case 19 "Womb of the Ocean" - Jacoboby1



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

  • ...
1
 92
 4,074

Chapter 5 "The Eye Has It"

Chapter 5

“The Eye Has It”

Perspective: Idrena Eye

It had been some time since Private ventured to the island. I knew he was hoping to learn something about Reeflet. Although how he expected to find any clue off the ship didn’t seem to click in my mind. Private was an Eye, however, I'm sure he had his reasons.

While he was off on his adventure though, it was time for me to get to work. I walked inside the central hall of the ship. I saw mares far younger than I throwing their lives away with stallions my age. I’m guessing I’m not one to talk. After all, I married Adamus for the same reasons they're throwing themselves at the rich gentlestallions. At least I stuck with the marriage for far better reasons.

I spotted Fancypants and Fleur on a nearby couch. My, look at how they’ve grown. I walked up to them and said warmly, “It’s wonderful to see you two again, my dear Trottanams.”

Fancy’s eyes grew quite wide upon seeing me. “Idrena Eye?” he asked. "I thought I saw you with Private when we rescued him, but I hardly recognized you.”

“I should be saying the same about you,” I said with a small laugh “Last I saw you, you were just a young prep school student pining for sweet Fleur here.”

Fleur blushed and giggled at the memories, while Fancy recalled some of his antics with a hearty chuckle. He smiled at me and asked, “What can we do for you, Idrena?”

“I need you to tell me everything Private told you about this case,” I said firmly. “I'm going to help him solve it.”

“You two do look very similar,” Fleur said, “I see the last name is no coincidence, yes?”

“Quite so, Fleur,” I replied with a smile. “Now, what's the skinny?”

___________________________________________________________

“So Northwind almost drowned and then he claimed that a mare saved him out in the middle of the ocean?” I asked, skeptically. “That's quite a story.”

“Indeed it is,” Fancypants said. “I, for one, am quite curious about that sailor that Northwind saved.”

“I am quite curious as well,” Fleur commented. “If we find him, he can validate Northwind’s story, no?”

“Possibly,” I said. “Unfortunately, Tailwind never gave us a name to go on.”

“Perhaps we could ask him?” Fancypants suggested.

“It would seem quite odd for you two to be asking him about some sailor,” I explained. “Neither of you are into ships, so it wouldn’t make sense. He’ll probably lawyer up if he believes that we are working with Private.”

“Then what do we do?” Fleur asked in that charming accent of hers.

“I will speak to him,” I said with a small smile. “I have assumed many identities in the past, this will be no different.”

“I must admit,” Fancy said with a raised eyebrow, “when I made the connection you were Private’s grandmother, I wasn’t expecting this.”

“I hate bingo, I can’t knit to save my own life, and I’ve never enjoyed rocking chairs,” I said flatly, laughing a little to myself at their expressions. I do so love playing with the grandmother image, but in some ways, I am a grandmother…

____________________________________________________________

18 Years Ago…

“Sherlock stood over the desk, his eyes constantly moving. Part of me wondered what manner of stallion can see in such a desk. It was plain, had nothing on it, yet he could find the details…” I stopped reading and looked up to see little Preventus sound asleep. Poor dear had a long day playing with that darling Moongale. Listening to his grandmother read probably bored…

“Grandma?” I heard his voice ask. He blinked open those grey eyes so like his mother's. He was all tucked into his bed, and his eyes looked over at me, as I sat in a nearby chair.

“Sweetie,” I said, trying to sound as gentle as I could, “you should get some rest.”

“Aw, Grandma,” he complained, “I wanna find out who killed the rich guy.”

“Surely your little mind could figure it out,” I said with a challenging smile.

“I’m trying to stay awake long enough for that to happen,” he said, with a tired smile, but then he gave a wide yawn. He was as stubborn as his parents, and by extension me.

I smiled and closed the book, saying, “Sherlock Hooves was a colt once, and he needed his sleep as well.”

“But Grandma,” he said, fighting sleep.

“No buts,” I scolded gently, using my magic to move the colt’s blankets back on him. He gave another yawn as I set the book aside and stood over his bed. He looked up at me wide eyed and asked, “Grandma, when I grow up, will I be like Sherlock Hooves?”

I smiled and gently stroked the brown mane he'd inherited from his father. “Yes, but only if you sleep,” I said gently.

“Okay,” he mumbled finally giving in to sleep as I gently stroked his mane. It felt… nice, to have a grandson like him. Little Preventus curled into his pillow and blankets as I left, gently closing the door behind me.

“He does like it when you come over,” a soft melodic voice said.

I turned and saw my daughter in law, Sparrowheart, young and quite beautiful despite the fact she was getting a bit older. I gave a small smile and replied, “He only tolerates me for the books.”

“He does enjoy them,” she said, smiling at me. “Preventus got his cutie mark last year, so any encouragement is good in my book.”

“You flatter me, dear,” I said, slowly turning away. “Take good care of my boy, and my boy’s boy.” I walked out, leaving a smiling Pegasus in my wake.

________________________________________________________

Some days I wonder, was I right to encourage Private as I did? Had he not expressed his love for detective work, Adamus wouldn’t have…

No, Adamus resented Private and Sparrow for a long time. He just got the opportunity and excuse to put them in that situation. Either way, I’m never letting Adamus get away with what he did. I'd spent the last ten years protecting Private from the shadows, and I’m not about to lose him again.

Nopony hurts my grandsons on my watch.

As I walked up to Tailwind’s cabin, I heard shouting from inside. I pressed my ear to the door, listening in.

“You are being too hasty!” Tailwind’s voice cried. "You plan to announce your love for Reeflet so soon after Shellheart’s death? Have you gone mad?”

“I know what my heart wants father!” Northwind shouted back. “I see it in her eyes, Reeflet loves me in a way that Shellheart never did.”

“Even still,” Tailwind said, trying to sound reasonable, “Why so soon?”

“I have my reasons, father,” he said. I heard his hoof steps coming my way and stepped aside just as Northwind swung open the door, walking right past me. Typical noble, so enraptured in his own business that they never notice what’s right in front of them.

Still, Tailwind is right; it does seem odd for him to want to love Reeflet so soon after Shellheart’s death. Maybe I’m just biased, but it took my son nearly ten years to mourn. I still think Irenius is mourning Sparrow in his heart though.

However, grieving future father in law or no, I had to get the information out of him. I reached into my dress and pulled out a small masquerade mask. This one was black with red lining on it. I slipped it on and used a glamour spell to turn my dress black and my coat pure white. Time to play the grieving long lost sister.

I knocked on the door and heard Tailwind say, “Enter.”

As I entered the room Tailwind gave me a familiar look many stallions have in the past. For a mare my age, I'm still pretty hot. It wasn’t surprising when dear Tailwind found himself practically drooling at the sight of me. Alas, I was here for a different purpose, maybe later if he was good. “Please sir; is this the room of Duke Tailwind?” I asked in my best Trottingham accent.

“Indeed” Tailwind said, the old horse starting to blush as I ventured closer. “To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from such a charming mare?”

Two out of twelve points for originality, and that’s with a high curve. I ignored grading his attempts at winning me over and looked at him with now pale blue eyes. I always had a talent in glamour spells, it’s helped me out of several situations I didn’t care to be in.

“I was wondering if you could help me find my brother,” I said, looking down on the ground in sorrow.

“Your brother?” Tailwind asked.

“You see, sir,” I said meeting his eyes, “about two months ago I received a letter from my mother. She said that she had an affair with a sailor a number of years ago and had a child with him. She told me that she didn’t know his name, but that she heard a rumor that he was going on a ship of yours. When I heard the ship was destroyed I spent the next month tracking down all the sailors that had been on it. When I found out that none of them were my brother I had all but given up hope.” I began to sob quietly.

“I’m terribly sorry for your loss,” Tailwind said sympathetically, just like I wanted him to “If there is any way I can aid you tell me.”

“I overheard your son saying he tried to save a sailor when he was on the ship. Did he ever save him?”

“I’m afraid not,” Tailwind said, his ears flattening. “Northwind said he couldn’t save him, and he drowned along with the ship.”

I looked down at my hooves, then I spoke up again “Then, may I at least have his name? So that I may tell mother about the stallion he’s become?”

“I believe his name was Scallywix,” Tailwind recalled. “I’m afraid I do not know much about him, he just kind of just showed up on our roster.”

Interesting, very interesting, I smiled and bowed in respect. “I thank you, good sir, I hope my dear mother can find peace” I said.

I was ready to walk out when Tailwind said, “Your name, I never got it!”

I simply smiled and looked back at him, speaking quietly in a dark voice, “May you never learn it…”

His eyes grew wide as I walked out. That should keep him from investigating me further. I don’t need somepony looking into my personal history. Now I had a name, however, I just needed to get the face.

______________________________________________________________

Fancypants and Fleur flanked me as we walked the deck along the side of the ship. "I must ask," Fancypants said, "will your informant be able to help?'

“He should” I said confidently. “Let’s just say my informant always has his ears to the ground.”

I looked over and saw a cloaked figure walking towards us. Nearly twice the size of a pony, his stench was the most noticeable thing about him. Fleur put a handkerchief to her nose to block the scent. I don’t blame her; I’ve never found that scent particularly endearing myself.

I shook my head bemused “Must you wear that cloak, Earthfang?” I asked. “We all can figure out what you are.”

“Keep it down, Idrena,” he said in a low voice. “If any ponies found out I snuck aboard this ship they’ll toss me overboard.”

“As much as you could use the bath, you have a job to complete,” I answered with a teasing grin at my old friend.

“You are friends with a diamond dog?” Fancy nearly shouted in shock.

“Yes, Earthfang here is a friend of mine,” I said, gesturing to the cloaked figure. “When I said he has his ears to the ground, I mean quite literally.”

“The Eyes never cease to surprise me,” Fleur mused, laughing a little before covering her nose again.

“So what did you find out about Scallywix?” I asked.

“Not much actually,” Earthfang answered “I asked around my usual contacts but all I could dig up was this sailing license.” He handed me a copy of a sailing license.

“That is a fake,” Fleur said, looking it over carefully. “It lacks a seal from the sailor’s guild. No sailor worth his salt would go aller faire de la voile without it.”

“I must say, Fleur,” I said with a smile, “I'm impressed by your knowledge.”

“My dear wife is a Linguist” Fancypants explained. “You have no idea how many bad deals she has saved me from performing.”

“Either way the ID is fake,” Earthfang explained. “I also tried asking around for family or friends, but nothing came up.”

“It only took you an hour though,” Fancypants pointed out. “How can you say you haven’t found him when you spent so short of time looking?”

“With the way Diamond Dogs work,” I explained, “an hour is considered slow.” I looked back at Earthfang and asked, “What about a body? Surely a salvage team was sent to try and recover the ship.”

“One was, bout a week after the ship sank,” Earthfang said, raising a paw “but, they never recovered Scallywix’s body. When the team arrived, they said it was like somepony dragged something away. I can only guess it was our pony.”

“Why would anypony want to move a body, and from so far down?” Fancypants asked. “I can barely swim to the shore myself from that distance.”

“Perhaps somepony wanted to make sure that Scallywix wasn’t found. Though how they managed to get so deep,” I mused as I shook my head, “I don’t know what to make of it.”

“Anyway,” Earthfang spoke up, “There's the matter of my payment.”

“The pictures of you and that cat have been shredded,” I said with a smile. "I made sure of it."

Earthfang nodded and left. I looked back at Fleur and Fancypants and they were giving me odd looks. “It’s not what you think,” I reassured.

“Just making sure, mon ami,” Fleur said, finally removing the handkerchief for some fresh air. “Par la princesse how do you stand such a smell?”

“When you’ve lived around boys as much as I have you tend to get used to strange smells that make a diamond dog’s smell like perfume,” I said, waving my hoof dismissively.

“So where does this leave us?” Fancypants asked. “Northwind’s story about almost drowning doesn’t’ seem to have much to do with Shellheart dying.”

“On the surface, yes,” I explained “but you mentioned that Tailwind said this son was acting strange ever since he almost drowned.”

“Are you suggesting he may be a changeling?” Fancy said, causing Fleur to let out a small gasp.

I shook my head and said, “If he was a changeling, and let’s say hypothetically he killed Shellheart, why display her? The ocean below is a perfect hiding spot.” I gestured to the open waters. “Somepony wanted to send a message, but what kind of message?”

“Perhaps,” Fleur suggested, “he wanted the body to be found?”

“That’s quite possible, my dear,” Fancy answered. “It’s as if he wanted the body seen by everypony. I remember back in Trottingham, when Raustam was killed. Roland wanted everypony to see the body so that Phantom would be seen as a villain.”

“But who’s the villain,” I asked, “and who does he want to blame for her death?”

“Sir, Madams,” I looked over to see a servant come forth. He was a rather young looking earth pony with a short blond mane and a deep purple coat. He was clad in a suit, obviously a messenger of some sort. “Will you three be joining the party this evening?”

“Party?” Fleur asked. “There has been a murder here, what imbécile would host a party at a time like this?”

“Duke Tailwind’s son has announced a get together for the evening,” the servant answered stiffly. “He said it was very important that everypony attend.”

“He seems rather chipper so soon after losing his fiancé,” Fancy observed.

“Also,” the servant continued, gesturing to me, “there is a call awaiting you Lady Idrena, the stallion on the other line said it was important.”

I nodded and replied, “Thank you.”

_________________________________________________________

“You are going to explain to me right now what you are doing there!” Adamus shouted on the other end of the phone. I frowned knowing he was ready to go into a rant.

“I’m helping my grandson,” I snapped. “Something you should consider doing once in a while!”

“He is not my grandson! Neither is that crippled chicken that I know you’ve sent checks to!”

“You’ll find that the checks that Private was sent belong to a charitable organization. They never received money from me; I was in Vanhoover at the time.”

A noticeable growl was heard over the phone. “I grow tired of this game you play with me, Idrena!”

“I have no interesting in playing with you or doing anything else with you, for that matter,” I answered. “Just stop treating Private and Tailspin like bastard children!”

“That foul bird seduced Irenius for his wealth! The poor wench used him!”

“Oh, will you quit burying yourself in bits?” I growled. “You never could see past them. I’ve told you a hundred times, Irenius fell in love with Sparrow of his own accord. Your precious wealth was never stolen. He raised the money himself to pay for that wedding, which you never even attended, I might add.”

“You will come home this instant, Idrena!”

“I most certainly will not, that stopped working thirty years ago, Adamus.”

“Why do you insist on siding with Irenius’ foolish ideals? That bird only softened him, made him weak and unable to become a true…”

“Cold, heartless individual, just like his father?”

“You know I only wanted what was best for him.”

“I know why you really called today,” I said flatly.

“What?”

“I read an interesting headline in the tabloids today, ‘Adamus Eye, Fortune 500 C.E.O., in Poor Health," I said, unable to keep containing a grin, "It was a clever move on your son’s part.”

“That has nothing to do with this!”

“It has everything to do with it,” I retorted. “I know you, Adamus; you just want to attach a leash to me, so that you can prove you still have it in you. Well, I’m telling you now, try to leash me and I will bite your hoof off.”

“Do not make me an enemy, Idrena.”

“I have little tolerance for stupidity, Adamus, and you don't scare me.”

I hung up before the old fool could say any more. I sighed deeply, how could he be so stubborn? He should feel blessed for even having grandchildren in the first place. I reached into my dress and pulled out an old picture of Private and Tailspin. I had the photo taken secretly by a young photographer colt. They both have grown so much, yet Adamus refuses to acknowledge the gift he truly has…

I will make sure that Adamus will not hurt either of-

Riing!!

I picked up the phone again and said, “Idrena E-“

“Grandma!” I heard my grandson’s voice call.

_____________________________________________________________

Perspective: Private Eye

I held the receiver to my mouth as I explained everything. Twilight and I managed to find a pay phone when we made it to shore. Trouble was our spell wore off and we had to swim far away from the port. The ship was too far away to swim to or even have Twilight teleport us there.

I wasn't exactly sure what the impostor was up to, but I had to warn my grandmother. “That’s when we found Northwind’s body! The Northwind up top is an impostor!” I explained urgently.

“We figured that out up here,” Grandma answered. “I find it a little hard to swallow that Seaponies would be involved.”

“There’s no time for that!” I exclaimed. “What’s going on over there?”

“Northwind has announced a party for the evening.”

I looked at Twilight who looked equally worried. “He’s planning on announcing it at the party!”

“Listen, Grandma,” I ordered, “I need you to stall that party! Northwind is going to make an announcement that could destroy everything!”

“How could announcing his love for Reeflet be so much trouble?”

“Her father probably knows where she is now!” I explained. “Raequa most likely went back to tell him! If he discovers that Reeflet is going to become a permanent pony, who knows what could happen!”

“What about the spell?” Twilight pointed out. “We could just keep Reeflet from kissing him?”

“That won’t work, if she is a seapony as you say,” Grandma answered, hearing Twilight’s voice. “With such a large crowd, he’ll accuse Reeflet of killing Shellheart and tricking him into falling in love with her."

“So what do we do?” Twilight asked.

“Grandma,” I said “You get Fancy and Fleur to stall that announcement as long as possible. Get Reeflet out of there! We can’t let anypony see her transform!”

I hung up and Twilight and I broke into a run. Twilight looked over at me and cried, “We can’t let Northwind use Reeflet like that!”

“He isn’t Northwind,” I pointed out, “but even still, we have to hurry.”

“If we don’t all of Equestria could suffer for it,” Twilight said gravely.