Equestria Noir Case 19 "Womb of the Ocean"

by Jacoboby1

First published

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

The body of a young bride is found hung over the side of the S.S. Water Glide. Private and Twilight are sent to investigate her death right when she was announced to be engaged to a young prince. Things are hardly as they seem when a pony from Private's past makes her appearance. While investigating Private falls overboard in a terrible storm and is saved by a forgotten race of ponies, dubbed Seaponies. The lost tribe is in search of one of their own who left them. The twist? She left because she fell in love with the very same prince who's bride was murdered. Was she responsible? Or are there darker forces at work here?

Chapter 1 "There's No Cure Like Travel"

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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”


“The gal who owns you”


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


“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.


“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.”

Chapter 2 "There will always be a Lady Fair"

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Chapter 2

“There will always be a Lady Fair”

I broke the embrace with my grandmother and simply looked at her. “Eleven years,” I said to her slowly, “Eleven years without hearing from you.”

She closed her green eyes and said guiltily, “I wanted to contact you sooner, but I couldn’t. I had your grandfather hunting me down at every turn.” She shook her head. “Adamus, he’d give stubbornness lessons to a mule. No offense, deary,” she said to a nearby mule.

“None taken, Ma'am,” the mule said as she walked off to enjoy the party.

My grandmother studied me and adjusted her glasses. “You’ve been quite busy over the past half a year,” she remarked.

“As have you, according to some of the tabloids,” I said with a small smile. “Can you believe one said that you were in a passionate relationship with a diamond dog?” I blinked and eyed her wearily, asking, “That’s not true is it?”

“Of course not,” she answered.

“Phew,” I said, wiping my brow.

“My relationship with dear Earthfang is strictly professional.” She gave a small smile and added, “Though, it was never unpleasant to be around him, he’s quite a gentleman.”

I blinked and just decided to move on. “So, what are you doing here?” I asked curiously.

“Duke Tailwind is a friend of mine,” she explained “When I heard his son was planning on announcing his engagement I couldn’t resist coming.”

“What can you tell me about Duke Tailwind?” I asked.

She thought for a moment then said, “He was always a kind but prideful soul. His wife died a few years after North was born. He doted on the boy and loves him dearly. In matters of business, however, he's shrewd and not afraid to use underhanded tactics to get what he wants”

“What about Northwind?” I asked, writing everything she was saying down.

“He’s a sweet boy; however, he is hardly the romantic. I was surprised he would put on such an elaborate display to announce his engagement. He and Shellheart were together for a while, though.”

Another thought crossed my mind and I asked, “What about Reeflet?”

“Such a sweet girl, a little odd though,” she said, tapping her chin. “I once caught her trying to use a fork as a comb. She was absolutely fascinated with my watch and anything else I had on me too.” She shook her head bemused.

That was definitely odd. “Have you noticed she looks a bit wobbly on her legs?” I asked.

“Always a keen observer,” she said, with a smile. “Yes, I have noticed that, but every time I ask, Northwind tells me she has always walked like that.”

“How long have they known each other?” I asked.

“About a month,” she answered. “She just kind of showed up at the castle on the shore and wouldn’t leave Northwind’s side. They’re good friends from what I heard.”

“Thanks, Grandma.” I closed my notebook and said, “I’ll ask the captain where Shellheart’s cabin is. Maybe I can find something there.”

“Before you leave,” she said with a mischievous grin, “You’re going to tell me all about that lovely unicorn you came with.”

I blushed bright red and rubbed the back of my head sheepishly “That’s um, Twilight Sparkle, my marefriend,”

“Oh, my dear grandson has fallen in love,” she teased, with a laugh that reminded me all too well of her son. “And with Princess Celestia’s personal student no less.”

“Grandma,” I groaned.

“I was in the crowd when you examined the body,” she continued, grinning wider. “I’ve seen the looks she gives you; she thinks the world of you, Private.”

“Grandma!” I cried, my blush evident.

Her laughter died down and she recalled fondly, “Your father used to have the same reaction when I teased him about your mother.”

“Dad was that nervous, huh?” I asked, glad to change the subject.

“Oh, he was a hopeless romantic,” she reminisced, “after meeting her at that play he spent nearly every waking moment with her. I remember catching him at night writing love letters to her. I still have a couple of his first drafts.” She made a small laugh “He had such a sweet way of stating his love for her.”

I smiled a little, knowing that Dad went through similar pains in falling in love. Granted he didn’t have to fight Nightmare Moon or anything like that. My grey eyes went down a little, Dad loved Mom so much, was I ever in the way?

I felt a hoof on my cheek and saw Grandma; she gave me a small smile. “You’re wondering whether you took time away from your parent’s romance. I’m telling you now, Private, that you are the embodiment of their love for one another.”


“You look so much like your father,” she mused, “but your eyes, sharp pegasi eyes, meant for seeing the tiniest of details from the air, are all your mother’s.” She smiled and continued, “Your parents wouldn’t trade you for anything, Private.”

“Thanks, Grandma,” I said, putting my hoof on hers, “I really miss mom, though.”

She pulled me into a tender hug and replied, “I miss her too, dear, but I’m happy she lived long enough to give me such wonderful grandchildren.”

“Tailspin doesn’t know about you,” I said, as I looked at her, “should I…”

She shook her head and said regretfully, “The time will come when I reveal my existence to him, but not today, you have a job to do.”

I nodded; about to walk off, then I looked back at her and said, “The Judge did it.”

“And then there were none?” she replied with a smile. “You always did love Agrippa Cantly.”

I smiled and went away, giving her the ending of the last book she read before Tailspin came into my life, and my mother left it…


The captain, a sea dog by the name of Dutch Flyer, led me and Twilight into Shellheart’s cabin. It wasn’t large but it was well decorated with several paintings and flowers on the walls. That wasn’t what caught me, though, the place was torn apart, with chairs knocked over, drawers open, and even the desk was flipped over.

The Captain gave both Twilight and I a look. “I told ya two the place was trashed,” he said.

Twilight looked at the mess and frowned. “Somepony was looking for something would be my guess,” she speculated.

I nodded and turned to the Captain, asking, “If it’s not too much to ask, could you arrange for cabins for my partner and I? Just in case this lasts more than a day.”

“Well,” he said, with a small snicker, “I’ll see bout arrangin' a lover’s suite fer ya two.”

“Not that’s no-“He was gone before I could correct him. I face hoofed and turned to begin searching the room. Looking under a nearby desk I saw a small picture. I picked up with my magic and saw it was ripped in half with Shellheart on the side I had. “Looks like somepony wasn’t exactly happy for her.”

I slipped the picture in my pocket and started digging through the drawers. My grey eyes grew wide as I saw a small revolver inside it. I carefully lifted the revolver to my eyes and opened the chamber. “No shots fired, she must’ve been expecting trouble but couldn’t get to it in time.”

I set the revolver in a plastic bag and heard, “Private, come look at this.”

I looked over to see Twilight near the closet. She was pointing to something on the ground. I got a closer look and saw it was a small plastic bag filled with the same kind of quills like the one stuck in Shellheart’s neck. I held them up with my magic and asked, “Twilight, do you know these kinds of quills?”

She shook her head and replied, “I don’t think I can tell you any more than Sherrie could.” She face hoofed and exclaimed, “I should’ve brought that book on marine biology!”

I patted her on the shoulder and said soothingly, “Hey, it’s okay, Sherrie will probably be able to identify it.”

I slipped the quills in a plastic bag and put it inside my trench coat with the other items. “So,” I said to myself, “we’ve got poisoned quills, a ripped photograph, and a gun with no shots fired.”

“You think Shellheart knew what was happening?” Twilight asked. “That would explain the gun.”

“I think so,” I replied with a nod, “but the question is, where’d the other half of the photograph go?”

“I’m starting to think Reeflet is involved somehow,” Twilight threw out there. “You saw the guilty expression she had. If she didn’t have some involvement than at least she can tell us what’s going on”

“We'll talk to Northwind first,” I said firmly. “Let’s ask for directions to his cabin.” I was about to walk out when Twilight spoke up again.


I looked over at her as she walked to me, her violet eyes betraying concern. “That lady you were with earlier, who was she?”

“You followed me?” I asked.

“Well, yeah,” she admitted. “I just, I don’t want you to leave me during a case.” She looked down at her hooves. “I almost lost you too many times…”

I saw her expression and my heart broke at the sight of it. I knew she was worried about me; I’d be worried if I was in her hooves as well. I gently lifted her face to meet mine. “I’m not going anywhere Twilight, you’ll remain right by my side through this whole thing,” I reassured her.

She smiled and kissed me gently on the cheek. “Sorry, I’m just kind of anxious, so who was that mare?”

“That was my grandma,” I replied.

“She was your grandma!” she exclaimed, her jaw dropping. “I didn’t know you even, wow”

“She generally likes to keep her distance,” I explained. “That’s why you probably haven’t heard of her before.”

“I would like to meet her once this is over,” she smiled. “You got to meet my parents after all.”

I laughed a little and replied, “Yeah, I guess that’s true. She’d like you.”

“Well, we’ve got a case to complete first,” she said, sounding official and marching out. “Come, Private, the game’s ahoof!”

I rolled my eyes at the reference and watched Twilight walk outside. Was it just me, or was she swinging her tail just a little more than…

Private! Don’t become Raiden!


“She loved the sea,” Northwind said, looking out a window towards the ocean outside. “I remember when we were children and she’d always run into the sea every day. Just to have an excuse to get into the water,” he said, with a sigh as he returned to his seat in front of Twilight and I, “but now, she’ll never get a chance to see it again.”

“Prince Northwind,” I said seriously, “Can you tell us about the last time you saw her?”

He sighed again and said, “Last night I was hosting an engagement party in celebration of Shellheart accepting my proposal.”

“How long have you two known each other?” Twilight asked.

“Since we were children,” Northwind explained. “She was the daughter of one of my maids. We grew up together and became close friends. I fell in love with her when she sprouted into truly a beautiful mare.”

“Forgive me for asking,” I spoke delicately, “but did she have any enemies you know of? We found a gun in her drawers.”

He shook his head and answered, “Not that I know of, she always got along with everypony. I couldn’t imagine her needing a gun.”

“Maybe she thought somepony was threatening her?” Twilight asked. “You know, a prince is an awfully good catch.”

He gave a modest chuckle and said, “I thank you for your flattery, I can understand where you’re coming from. Now that you mention it, she did seem apprehensive around Reeflet.”

“Apprehensive?” I asked.

“She never really like Reeflet for whatever reason,” he said with shrug. “I always found her charming, despite her rather… odd ways.”

Twilight and I looked at each other than back at the prince. “Okay, now that we’ve got that settled,” I said. “What happened to you last night?”

The Prince recounted his story, “After the party I decided to head back to my cabin. I was on my way back when I heard yelling coming from Shellheart’s cabin. I was about to investigate when Shellheart ran outside and down the deck. I chased after her and she said that Reeflet said something horrible and she wouldn’t stop crying. I thought she was being hysterical so I took her to my cabin for her to calm down. I went to get some drinks but when I came back she was gone.”

“The next time you saw her…” Twilight said.

“Was this morning,” he said sadly. “I had hoped to ask her what was wrong today, but, I now I’ll never get the chance.”

“We’ll find the pony or ponies responsible,” Twilight said firmly. “We can promise you that.”

The Prince nodded as Twilight and I got up. As we walked out I couldn’t help but notice him eyeing Twilight. The kind of look Onyx gave Celestia. I fought every urge to sock the guy in the jaw.

Nopony looks at Twilight like that on my…

What the hell was that all about? I shook my head and followed Twilight out to the deck. I looked over and saw Fancypants walking towards me, Fleur by his side. “Did you find anything out, dear boy?” he asked.

“That apparently Reeflet was having an argument with Shellheart the night before she was murdered,” I explained. “What did you two find out?”

“That Duke Tailwind knows how it got started,” Fancy said gravely.


“I told him it was a bad idea to marry so soon,” Duke Tailwind said inside the party hall of the ship. He sighed and took a swig of wine as Fancy and I stood in front of him. “Maybe none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t talked to Shellheart.”

Twilight and Fleur were speaking to some of the other nobles nearby. I kept my focus on Tailwind and asked, “You spoke to her before she died?”

“I tried to tell her that they shouldn’t get married now.” Tailwind shook his head and said, “It was around eleven o clock when it happened. It was shortly before the party ended. I pulled Shellheart aside and asked her if she was serious about all this.”

“Was she?” Fancypants asked.

Tailwind sighed and said, “Yes, she was, and she was utterly determined to marry Northwind. No matter what I said.”

“Isn’t it good that your son was getting married?” I asked.

“Under normal circumstances, yes,” Tailwind said with a nod, “but you see Northwind has been acting quite odd since he almost drowned about two months ago. I find it odd that he would have an engagement party on the sea after such a traumatic experience.”

“He almost drowned?” I asked in astonishment.

“Yes,” Tailwind said, looking slightly guilty, “it was his birthday party when a terrible storm hit. We managed to escape onto lifeboats but North went back to save one of the sailors that got trapped in the ship. I thought I lost him when the ship capsized after he saved the sailor, but he got trapped himself and ended up in the ocean.”

“Quite a dangerous situation,” Fancy commented. “How did he survive?”

“He claims somepony pulled him to shore,” Tailwind mused. “I’m sure he managed to save himself, he was always a strong swimmer. However, he insists that a young mare saved him from drowning.”

“A mare?” I asked as I raised my eyebrow. “In the middle of the ocean?”

“That’s what I said,” Tailwind replied, “I asked if it was a Pegasus who flew him out, but he said she had no wings. Only the most beautiful voice he ever heard in his life.”

This was definitely odd, I’ve never heard of ponies popping out of nowhere in the middle of the ocean to save drowning sailors, let alone princes that tried to save said sailors.

“What about Reeflet?” I asked, “What do you know about her?”

“Not much, to be honest,” Tailwind said, tapping his hoof on his chin. “We found her on the shore and she couldn’t tell us where she came from. She has barely left North’s side since she got here. North seems to like her, so I decided to open up my home to her. She’s a charming, if strange, young lady.”

“Where is she now?” I asked.

“I think I saw her up at the bow of the ship,” Tailwind said with a smile. “She always liked looking out at the sea.”

“You seem to like her quite a bit,” Fancy observed.

“North just seemed happier around her,” Tailwind mused, but then he frowned. “Though, he has been acting strange since he met her.”

“Aside from wanting his engagement party on a ship?” I pointed out.

“Yes,” he replied, “ever since he met her he’s stuck to her like glue, hardly ever interacting with anypony else. He’s also been short tempered with some of our servants.”

The way he looked at Twilight it’s a wonder I didn’t lose my-

I shook my head and refocused. “Thanks for the info, sir; we’ll get back to you if we have more questions.”

Fancy and I walked off before Fancy asked, “Private, are you all right? You kind of faded away for a minute there.”

“I’m fine, Fancypants,” I lied. “It’s just, maybe I’m becoming too clingy towards Twilight, I thought I saw North look at her in a way I just…”

He put a hoof on my shoulder and smiled. “I know exactly how you feel, dear boy, but I can assure you, you’re merely caring about Twilight.”

“I guess,” I said with a sigh. “I just don’t want to seem like I’m being overprotective of her or something.”

Fancy shook his head and repaid, “To be honest, now you probably know how it feels for Twilight.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I remember back when were in Trottingham,” he reminisced. “She made similar comments when that one stage hand tried to offer you a… back stage tour.”

That was back when we were helping Moongale rehearse for her debut. Twilight did say she was worried about me leaving her for the first mare I saw. Maybe it was just part of being in love I guess. I sighed and said, “You’re right Fancy.”

“Of course, dear boy,” he smiled. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a dinner date to prepare for.”

I looked at my watch; it was almost 6:30? Dang, I guess the questioning and running around the ship must’ve taken longer than I thought. I nodded and looked over at Fancy, asking, “You and Fleur getting together tonight?”

He gave a sheepish smile and nodded. “Yes, quite right, she wishes to discuss, um,” he paused, trying to recompose himself, “foal names.”

I laughed and said, “I’m going to get Twilight so we can talk to Reeflet.”


“I’m really happy for them,” Twilight said as we made our way to where Reeflet was supposed to be. “They just want to be together so much.” She brushed her coat against mine. “I hope we can be like that.”

I smiled and laid a kiss on her horn, “We are, aren’t we?”

She blushed a little and said, “Well, yeah.” She met my eyes for a moment, before looking out at the setting sun. She rested her forelegs over the railing, staring out at the open waters. “Private?”

“Yeah, Twilight?” I asked, putting my own forelegs over the railing.

“Remind me when I get the time; I want to have a place here. Just an island home where we can retreat too.” She scooted over and pressed her coat against me and added, “Just the two of us.”

I smiled and nuzzled her gently. “Maybe one day, I’d like to see what you look like in a swim suit anyway,” I said teasingly.

Twilight’s face turned as red as a tomato, then she blubbered “I, um well, I mean, I haven’t, well…” She rubbed her hooves together nervously.

I smiled and kissed her on the cheek, saying, “I’m only teasing.”

“Private,” she said, looking at me, “do you think I’m… pretty?”

“Where is this coming from?” I asked.

“It’s just,” she said with a sigh, “I’ve noticed you’ve been staring at me a lot more lately. I was wondering if it was because you found me,“ she paused, blushing deeply “attractive…”

I blinked at this; I have been looking at Twilight a lot more. I guessed I’ve never really thought about that before. I mean, I say she’s beautiful, sure, but this was on a different level. I regarded Twilight for a minute, looking from her horn, to her mane that was a fine shade of purple, to her face which stared at me. I then looked down lower, to her rather skinny yet well curved body that seemed very soft. I felt the urge to run one of my hooves along where her cutie mark was…

Then I snapped back to reality and nodded. “Um yes, I find you attractive, I mean,” I said, rubbing the back of my head in embarrassment, “I’m your coltfriend after all.”

She gave a small smile and then kissed me on the lips. “So, there is a crack in your shell after all.”

I gave a mock gasp of shock and accused, “You were trying to get me to get all flustered like you get!”

She giggled and replied, “Not my intention, but you looked so bashful when I asked you and, it felt… nice when you looked at me like that.”

I fought a very strong urge between my legs, but then I heard a low rumble. I looked over towards where the sun was, but it was gone. A bunch of storm clouds seemed to have come out of nowhere.

I grabbed the railing just as a large wave hit the ship with full force. I held on for dear life as I looked over at Twilight and yelled, “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know!” Twilight cried, as rain started pouring down on us. “There wasn’t a call for a hurricane in these parts!” She let out a yelp as a wave hit us both hard. I flew back and found myself against the door of a nearby cabin. I looked up and saw Twilight was hanging onto the side of the ship, her body dangling over the side.

“Private!” She yelled.

I was about to get up when I saw that standing between us was Reeflet. She stood over where Twilight was. Instead of helping her up though, she looked at me with guilty green eyes. They seemed to say, “I’m sorry…” Before she ran away.

“Wait!” I cried, slipping on the wet surface of the deck. I fell on my stomach and groaned in pain. I looked over at Twilight who’s hooves were slipping from where they were gripping on the railing. Right before she slipped I reached out with my hooves and grabbed hers. She looked at me and exclaimed, “Private, don’t let me go!”

“I won’t, Twilight!” I struggled and tried to pull back when I felt a big pull on Twilight. I looked down and saw a black tentacle wrapped around her leg. Twilight screamed as I tried to pull against it, but the tentacle was too strong and my grip slipped on Twilight. She fell into the water yelling for me.

“Twilight!” I cried as I removed my trench coat and hat. I was a decent swimmer, having taken classes at school. I left my gear on the ship and dived in after her. I landed in the choppy waters and saw Twilight getting pulled down by the tentacle.

I swam after her and fired a magical bolt at the tentacle. I heard a screech underwater as another tentacle reached and wrapped around me. I struggled against it, I couldn’t bite it for fear of losing air. I tried to zap it again but the squeezing on my stomach caused me to lose concentration.

I looked over at Twilight. She looked over at me, we were both running out of air. She reached over with her hoof and touched mine. If we were going to die, it would be together…

Recéde bestia!!!!!!

Suddenly a blast of sound hit the creature below. I covered my ears as the sound rang in them. The scream was like a banshee yelling into a megaphone. I looked down and saw a strange sight, there was a seaweed green colored pony. She had hooves on her forelegs and a horn, but she had no mane, instead she had a flat head with some kind of crest on it. She also had no hind legs, but a long fish like tail.

She bit into the tentacle and I felt it go lax around my stomach. I saw her swim over to Twilight and help her get free. I noticed that the weird pony had gills on her neck. She took Twilight in one of her forelegs, then reached over for me, and we started swimming for the surface. Right before my vision faded to black, I thought I heard a voice say,


Chapter 3 "All Through the Night"

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Chapter 3

“All through the Night”

Perspective: Twilight

I coughed out some water as my eyes opened. I looked up to see Fancypants standing over me. He smiled and looked over at Fleur, who was beside him. “Thank goodness that you two are all right,” Fleur said.

I jolted upright and cried, “Where’s Private?” I looked around and saw Private lying next to me on his side. I ran to him and put my ear to his mouth. Thank Celestia he was still breathing! He must just be unconscious.

“You’re lucky he came up when he did,” I heard a voice speak behind me. I turned to see the mare Private was talking to before. This was Private’s grandma? I could see the resemblance. “We managed to get the water out of his lungs, he should be awake soon,” she informed me.

“Thank goodness,” I said with a sigh of relief before turning back to him. Private’s breathing was soft, but even. He must’ve worked himself to exhaustion trying to save me… again.

I gave a small sigh; Private’s always throwing himself at danger. I looked over as Private’s grandmother bent down next to me. “You are Twilight Sparkle, yes?” she asked.

I nodded slowly and replied, “It’s a pleasure, but I wanted to meet you under better circumstances.”

“As did I, dear,” she said with a small smile. “Do not fear for Private, he will be find after some rest.”

“Okay,” I said, wrapping my magic gently around Private to carry him. “I’m going to take him to our cabin. Can you guys give me a hoof with the rest of his stuff?” I asked Fancy and Fleur who nodded and began picking up Private’s tossed aside gear.

I carried Private in my magic as we were led by a sailor to our cabin. He kept mumbling something in his sleep. Something about a thief or something?

Private, I’m sorry for being a burden…


Fancypants and Fleur left for the evening as I put Private’s soaking wet trench coat and hat up to dry. Our cabin wasn’t anything too large; it had a pair of beds, a small bathroom, and a couch. Private still hasn’t awoken from whatever happened back there.

Just who was that mare? Why’d she save us? What is she exactly?

A thousand questions ran through my mind as I watched Private’s Grandma return from putting her grandson onto a bed. She looked over at me and said, “I know what you’re thinking, Twilight.”

“How do yo-“ I said in shock

“I know what it’s like to nearly lose somepony you love,” she said slowly. “Do not blame yourself for what happened, that storm came out of nowhere and surprised all of us.”

“But I,” I quavered and shook my head, “I shouldn’t have gotten caught by that tentacle thing. Private could’ve…” I fought back the tears in my eyes as the older mare gently rubbed my back.

“Dry your eyes, young one” she ordered holding up a handkerchief which I used to wipe my eyes. “If the situation was reversed, you would’ve dived in after Private, wouldn’t you?”

“In a heartbeat,” I said, folding up the hanky “He’s always getting hurt on these cases though. I can’t help but wonder if a part of it is my fault.”

She shook her head and said, “I don’t want to hear talk like that, young lady.”

She reminded me a little of Celestia. “But I…”

She put a hoof on my shoulder and said, “My grandson thinks the world of you, Twilight. You would’ve thrown yourself into the ocean if you thought Private was going to get hurt. Private would be the one sitting here as you are if that happened. In any relationship, both parties have to carry the weight, or one will get crushed.”

“You sound like Private’s dad,” I mused.

“I’ll take that as a compliment, dear.” She gave a small laugh and said, “Irenius was always a wise one.”

“You’re not at all what I expected,” I stated. “When I heard all those things about Adamus…”

“You figured I was just as evil?” she asked.

“No I-“ She gave me a look that told me to shut up.

“To be honest,” she said with a small sigh “I didn’t marry Adamus for the most…romantic of reasons.”

“Why did you marry him if you don’t mind me asking?” I asked, adopting a little of Private’s inquisitive tone.

She replied flatly, “I married him for his money.”

I blinked, not expecting that one. “You don’t seem like…” I paused trying to think of a polite way to word it.

“A gold-digger?” she asked with a laugh. “Oh I was back in my youth; I had stallions practically killing each other for my hoof. However, I had no interest in romance. I married Adamus for his title and station, expecting to live out the rest of my life as some trophy wife.”

“What changed?” I asked.

“I had Private’s father,” she said, smiling warmly. “When I held little Irenius in my hooves for the first time, I wept. Here was a young colt, who loved me not for my station or money. He loved me for me.”

I smiled and observed, “You seem to have become a better pony through that.”

“Indeed,” she agreed, “sometimes all it takes is one pony in your life to change your perspective on things.”

“Like Private with me,” I said, closing my eyes with a smile.

I felt somepony hug me and looked to see Private’s grandmother doing so. She held me tight and said, “Thank you for being there for him.” I hugged her back tightly.

After she left I glanced back to Private who was still sound asleep on the bed. I walked to the bed and climbed onto it, looking down at Private as I lay on my stomach. He was sleeping so peacefully. He was probably still exhausted from all the excitement. Private is usually a pretty rough sleeper, always moving around and grumbling. Nowadays he seems calmer though…and…cute…

I shook my head. Cut it out Twilight! Don’t think thoughts like that!

I watched him and noticed his ears twitching. I wonder if he’d notice if I…

I can’t believe I’m doing this! Private will think I’m weird or something! But, I just want to…

I scooted over to Private and gave one of his ears a quick lick. He didn’t react for a minute, and then he smiled a little in his sleep. He was saying something, “Mom…”

Was that the kind of dream he was having? About his mother taking care of him? I guess I would expect Private to have dreams like that. He always loved his mother dearly. However, she wasn’t here to take care of him anymore. So I decided to oblige. I gently gave Private’s ears a few more slow licks. He smiled more as I went on grooming him. He just seemed so content when I was taking care of him like this. I gently nuzzled Private's brown mane and I felt him move his head towards me.

Slowly his grey eyes tried to open “Twi,” he said drowsily.

“Shh,” I said, putting a hoof on his lips, “you exhausted yourself trying to save me.”

“Twi,” he said sleepily, “I’m glad you’re okay.” He moved himself so he was lying down on his belly. He set his head down on the bed and closed his grey eyes again. I never told him this but I always found them beautiful. I pressed myself into him and gently nuzzled his back. He let out a contented sigh and drifted off to sleep. I kept gently rubbing my muzzle on his neck as he did. He didn’t seem to mind I was doing it. In fact, I think he enjoyed me caring for him like this.

Private always gave a front of being an indomitable hero, but in reality, I think he’s lonely just like any other colt that lost his mother. Back when he stayed at the library with me I remember hearing him cry in his sleep sometimes. I wasn’t his marefriend at the time so I didn’t comfort him like this. Part of me still feels guilty about that.

Private was just as vulnerable and scared as I was on these cases. He may do a better job of hiding it but I could tell. He just wanted somepony to care for him; I was here to do that. I love him, I will always love my Preventus…


Perspective: Private

Brother please!

You are no sister of mine, Crystallite!

Please Sombra! Let my people go! They don’t deserve this!

You sniveling brat! You expect to give orders to your king?

Just stop this, Sombra! Please!

Tell me where it is! Tell me where I can find it!

And see you destroy another kingdom with its power? Never!

Then I shall remove you, as I should have years ago!

Leave her alone, Sombra!

Eclipse! You should be dead!

She doesn’t have what you are looking for!

What have you done with it?

I’ve hidden it, in a place you can never find it! You will never abuse its power again!


I blinked open my grey eyes and groaned as I felt every part of my body protest against moving. I felt something warm against me and looked over to see Twilight sleeping soundly. I’m guessing she was tired from yesterday as well.

I flicked my ears a bit, they felt, I don’t know, better. Did somepony groom them in my sleep or something? I shrugged and got out of the bed and gave my limbs a stretch. It was still night out, Luna’s moon hanging gracefully over the night air. I’m going to have to call somepony to watch Tailspin for the night.

I walked to a nearby phone and started dialing my home phone number. This phone was magically linked to the phone lines back home. This allowed me to contact Sparkler.


“Sparkler? It’s me, Private”

“Hiya, Private, how’s the case going?”

I decided to omit the part about me nearly drowning and simply stated, “It’s fine, listen, can Tailspin stay over with Dinky for the night? I think this case may take a while.”

“Sorry, Private, I can’t. I got work tonight and Mom’s been sick all week. I don’t think she could handle watching two kids herself”

“Thanks anyway, Sparkler,” I said with a sigh. “I just don’t want Tailspin in the house all by himself.”

“I know, sorry I can’t stay.”

“You just focus on providing for your mom,” I said firmly. “I’ll worry about my brother.”

“Okay, see ya.”

I hung up and dialed again, if Sparkler couldn’t watch Tailspin for the night, maybe Raiden could? He’s always liked Tailspin. I dialed up Raiden’s home number and didn’t get an answer. I tried Rainbow’s place and got a female voice on the end.

“You’ve reached the home of the most awesome flyer in Equestria!”

“Hi, Scootaloo,” I said with a laugh.

“Hey, Private! It’s good to hear from you!”

“Listen, is Rainbow’s boyfriend around?” I asked.

“Yeah, Rainbow asked him to watch me while she’s at the academy. I’ll get him.”

“Thanks, Scoots.”

The phone was given to Raiden and I explained the situation. Raiden may be irresponsible, but he cared about kids. After explaining everything Raiden spoke up, “Sure man, I’ll get Tailspin now and we’ll make it a cool sleepover.”

“You’re a lifesaver, Raiden,” I said, sighing with relief. “I was hoping to contact Potso, but with his annual reunion coming around I can’t ask him.”

“I know, dude,” Raiden said firmly. “Don’t you worry about your little bro, he’s in good hooves.”

“Raiden, if you try and get my brother to do anything I wouldn’t approve of with Scootaloo…” I warned.

“Drat! So much for playing the responsible one…”

“Just keep an eye on them all right?” I said with a roll of my eyes. “I don’t want you trying to turn my brother into a mini you.”

“But fillies like mini me,” he whined.

“That only worked once and need I remind you I still get calls about that!”

“All right, dude,” he relented. “So, any progress with Miss Sparkle?”

I was hesitant to proceed, Raiden has been trying for months to convince me to “advance my relationship” with Twilight. I would explain how but there might be children reading this story. If so, go ask your parents about it, they’re better at explaining it then I am.

And that’s how you break the fourth wall folks!

Pinkie, get out of my narration!

All right…

I sighed and said, “Look, Twilight and I are just working on a case together.”

“Dude, where at?”

“The middle of the ocean.”

“No wonder she’s been all lovey dovey with you!” he said with a laugh. I heard Scootaloo snicker in the background as well.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Dude, everypony knows that the ocean makes romantic encounters automatically 15% more likely!”

“This according to good studies or that column you write?”

“You never read my column.”

“Only to save my sanity and my integrity as a stallion.”

“Stick in the mud…”


“You’re still letting me watch your little bro?”

“So long as you don’t try and give him advice. Pinkie Promise on it!”

“Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye…”

“That’s good, Raiden,” I said with a smile “Thanks again for agreeing to watch him.”

“Hey I like Tailspin. The little guy’s got a lot of heart. Kind of like his bro.”

“See ya, Raiden,” I said, before hanging up the phone. For all the ways he irritates me he still somehow finds a way to make me want to keep him around. I can never figure out why.

I heard something moving outside. I slowly levitated Blackbird out of her holster. I gently pushed open the door and excited the cabin. I looked up and saw Reeflet standing there. A notepad in her mouth, my fury took over “You!” I shouted.

She recoiled at my harsh tone.

“What the hell was that?” I shouted “Twilight could’ve gotten killed! Why did you abandon us?”

She shook her head and held up the pad. On it read in misspelled words…

“I’m zory.”

I raised an eyebrow at this “You can’t write well, can you?”

She shook her head and set down the pad. Writing again and saying “I did not meen for her to get hurt.”

I blinked, and then asked, “Why did you abandon us?”

She wrote again, “Father waz mad. I did not want him to find me”

“Your father?” I asked “What does he have to do with this?”

She turned to a new page and wrote, the pencil in her mouth moving with a bit awkwardly “Father did not want me to leave, father sent the storm. I’m zory.”

I blinked, she looked genuinely sorry. But how could anypony send a storm cloud so quickly? I asked slowly, “Did you have anything to do with Shellheart’s death?”

She shook her head, her eyes almost in tears. She wrote again, her lips quivering. “She did not understand, I luv Northwind, she did not understand…”

I looked at her in shock. She was in love with the guy! That explained why she wasn’t going to separate from him. I gave her a look “I ask again, what happened last night? Did you kill her?”

“No,” She wrote. “No, I did not, I only defended myself and put a Sea Sleeper quill in her neck. She tried to hurt me, she said so many mean things. Instead of her going to sleep though, she only said more mean things.”

I raised an eyebrow and asked, “Sea Sleepers?”

She nodded. “A kind of quill fish who’s spikes can be used as a sleeping aid. Only I didn’t know it could make ponies madder,”

“So, just who are you?” I asked. “You’re obviously not a pony…”

She looked at me for a moment, then wrote down again “Go to the island and find Clamshell cove, my sister will meet you there and explain everything…”

“But why can’t you say it?” I asked, desperate for answers.

She wrote one last sentence on her notepad “Because, I don’t want to go back…”

I watched her leave, seeing the sadness that hung over her. Somewhere in my heart pity was found. There was a good reason she didn’t want to tell me what she is. She wasn’t happy about hiding it, but she had to for whatever reason. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and see what her sister had to say.


Twilight and I managed to get a small boat to the island where it wasn’t difficult to find the morgue. Shellheart’s body was on the table in front of me. Her eyes closed in an almost sleep like state.

Sherrie looked up from the clipboard she had “I did find traces of a type of poison in her blood like you said.”

“What kind of poison?” Twilight asked, “I thought it was a sleeping aide like Reeflet said.”

“Well, it was originally meant as a sleeping aide,” she said holding up one of the quills in her magic “Problem is, this comes from a type of quill fish nicknamed the predator’s minion.”

“Not very flattering,” I said, looking at the quill. “How’d it get the name?”

“From its habit of putting to sleep smaller fish,” Sherrie explained. “In order to avoid sharks and other predators it would stab smaller fish to use as bait. That way the fish would get away and the shark would get lunch.”

“This was used as a sleep aide?” I said warily “I wouldn’t want to stab that into my neck.”

“It’s not very common,” Sherrie said, putting the quills down on a trey “Only rich ponies really use the stuff, it was banned by the EHA because of its side effects.”

“Would going into a rage by the result of it?” I asked

“With the right dose, it's possible,” she said with a nod, “however, in order for an effect like that to happen, you’d need to supercharge the drug with magic.”

Twilight levitated one of the quills and did a small scanning spell “Yep, somepony definitely used magic on these, a very powerful enhancing spell,”

“Reeflet isn’t a unicorn,” I pointed out, putting a hoof on my chin “She couldn’t have used magic on it.”

“Not unless she got some pony to do it for her,” Sherrie said.

“What about Shellheart?” I asked. “Was she in a drugged state when she was hung?”

“Yes” Sherrie nodded “The poison was still in her blood stream when she was killed. So, the drug was still active on her when she was killed.”

“So, somepony altered the drug’s properties,” I said, “but who would do that?”

“Where can you find the puffer fish that has these quills?” Twilight asked.

“At the bottom of the ocean,” Sherrie answered.


Clamshell cove wasn’t hard to find on O’hay Island. In fact during the evenings it was a big luau spot. Tourists come to the island for its rich scenery, the warm climate, and the beauty of the ocean. I was tempted several times during the journey to just stretch out on the beach and soak some sun.

However, I had a job to do and as a result Twilight and I walked the shore line of Clamshell cove. The waves were calm in the early morning and gave a nice sound. I could fall asleep listening to those waves.

What would I give to live where you are…

“Private, do you hear that?” Twilight asked her ears perking up.

I nodded and closed my eyes to focus on the sound.

What would I pay, to stay here beside you?

“It’s coming from over there!” I cried as I pointed to a spot on the shore, hidden by some tropical foliage. Twilight and I ran into the cover and followed the sound.

What would I do to see you, smiling at me?

The voice was a soft melodious tone. I was reminded a little of Moongale’s singing voice. Although this voice sounded older than my friend was.

Where would we walk? Where would we run?

“Where could we stay all day in the sun?” Twilight sang along to herself. I gave her a look and she looked back at me in shock, “Princess Celestia used to sing that to me when I couldn’t sleep!”

I moved aside the last bit of foliage and came onto a secluded part of the shore. There, sitting on a rock was the strange pony from before. Twilight and I stared in awe at her. She was just so exotic, her sea weed green coat shone in the light of the morning. I noticed that where her hind legs where the fish tail was scaly and sparkled in the light.

She looked at us with a soft smile, and then continued her song, “Just you and me.”

Twilight smiled and continued, “And I could be…”

Both girls sang in perfect harmony, “Part of your world.”

I stared as the girls laughed at having finished their song. I knew Twilight could carry a tune, but to hear her bounce off such a good singer. That was something else.

The strange pony gave us a small smile, rolling onto her belly, “You are the ponies Reeflet told me about?”

“I guess,” I said, just taking it all in. “Just what are you?”

Twilight nodded and said, “I’ve never seen anything like you before.”

“My name is Raequa,” she answered, “I am a seapony.”

Twilight and I dropped our jaws in shock. Seaponies were an old legend, they were said to have lived under the sea. I remember mom reading me stories about them when I was a kid. However, to see one before our very eyes.

I shook my head and asked, “You are Reeflet’s sister?”

Raequa nodded, a little sadly, and said, “Yes, although I wonder if I should even call her that.”

“What happened exactly?” Twilight said, her voice comforting.

“About two months ago Reeflet was like any normal sea pony.” Raequa explained, “She was always father’s treasure. She was sweet, kind and had the most beautiful singing voice under the sea.”

How can you sing under water? I got a jab in the ribs from Twilight. That kept me from over thinking it.

“The problem was that Reeflet always wanted to go on shore,” she said with a smile at us. “She was truly fascinated by your kind.”

Reeflet was starting to sound like Lyra, only with a pony obsession instead of humans. Which everypony knows is a total myth.

“One day she saved a pony from drowning,” Raequa went on “Over the course of a month she visited the shore in secret. To see the pony again, I tried to tell her to stop, that it was too dangerous.”

“Something tells me that she couldn’t keep this under wraps forever,” Twilight added.

“Indeed,” Raequa repaid. “When our father found out he was furious with her. He utterly destroyed all the pony items she had. I tried to warn Reeflet it would come to that, but she wouldn’t listen. Then she went and visited a sea witch, she made a deal with her that she would become a pony for a month.”

“A month?” I asked.

“What?” Raequa gave me a look. “You expect him to fall for her in three days?”

“No I guess not,” I said.

“In order for the change to be permanent,” Raequa explained, “the pony had to kiss her, and confirm his love for her in turn. If she does so, she would remain a pony forever. However, if she doesn’t, she’ll turn back into a sea pony.” She started tearing up a little. “She was so desperate she gave up her beautiful voice as payment.”

“Then how come Reeflet doesn’t just say she’s the one who saved him?” I pointed out. “It would’ve saved her trouble.”

“I was planning on asking the sea witch herself,” Raequa’s voice had some confidence, “but, since you want to find answers as well. I’ll take you both with me.”

“Um,” Twilight pointed to our necks, “how are we supposed to breathe?”

“Never underestimate a little sea pony magic,” she said, as her horn glowed, and I got a weird feeling on my legs.


It was a little disorienting at first, having to adjust to having a big tail instead of hind legs. I looked around under the water; my eyes could move all they wanted without getting hurt by sea water. I felt the gills on my neck breath water in and found air for me to breath.

I looked over at Twilight who was laughing brightly while swimming around. “Private, this is great!” she called, swimming around me. “I could do this all day!”

I watched her have fun while swimming in the waters of the ocean. I smiled at her as her violet mane moved with the currents. She looked as if she was flying, utterly flying underwater.

I looked over at Raequa who was smirking. “What do you think?” she asked.

“How long does this last?” I asked, looking down at my tail.

“Bout two hours,” she explained. “Now come on! We have a sea witch to find!”

Twilight and I followed our sea pony friend. She led us through huge coral reefs, sea weed forests, and even over sunken vessels. I swam to keep up with Raequa and asked “So where is the rest of your kind?”

“Attrotica,” she said with a smile, “the city under the sea.”

“I’ve never heard of anything like that in textbooks,” Twilight said, swimming to Raequa’s other side.

“That’s because it’s only been under the sea for about a thousand years,” she said, “or so my grandfather said. Plus we like to keep hidden from surface dwellers.”

“Do we really scare you that much?” I asked.

“Well, a long time ago we were much friendlier,” she explained “Mother tries to make us friendlier by having us sing our ancestor’s song”

“What kind of song are we-“

Shoo be doo, shoo shoo be doo!!!

Suddenly we were surrounded by dozens of Seaponies. All of various colors, some didn’t sport horns but had larger fins on their backs. I’m guessing that was the undersea version of pegasi. The inhabitants were all smiles and one spoke up “Hello, Princess Raequa! Your father was worried about you.”

“Forgive me, Waverly,” Raequa answered. “I was just passing through.”

“Who are your friends?” a larger male sea pony asked.

Twilight spoke in a very diplomatic tone, “I am Twilight Sparkle, personal student to Princess Celestia; we are honored that you would welcome us.”

Several whispered among themselves, many gave excited tones. A younger sea pony spoke up, “You’re the student to the surface Princess?”

“Yes, I am my little seapony,” Twilight smiled. “We come in peace and simply wish to pass through.”

“What about him?” one seapony asked, getting closer to me.

Suddenly the seapony gasped as he met my eyes. I tilted my head and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“The grey one!” he shouted. “It’s the grey!”

“What?” Twilight asked, looking at Raequa. “What are they talking about?”

Suddenly Raequa swam a little bit away and cried, “You, you are the grey, I hadn’t noticed before…”

“What’s wrong?” I repeated. “What are you all talking about?”

“He wields the foul magic,” one cried. “I sense it in him!”

“Foul magic?” Twilight asked looking at me “Private, what are they talking about?”

I have no idea, why did they suddenly, lash out at me like I’m a criminal?

“He’s in him!” one shouted. “He’s got the tyrant’s magic in him!”

“The very same power that sunk our city in the first place!” another cried, pulling a smaller sea pony behind her.

Well, this was going well…

Chapter 4 "Under the Sea"

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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?

Chapter 5 "The Eye Has It"

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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.


“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-


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.

Chapter 6 "Poor Unfortunate Soul"

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Chapter 6

“Poor Unfortunate Soul”

Perspective: Idrena Eye

I stood among the crowd as everypony gathered in the hall. I feared not for myself but for young Reeflet. The poor child got herself caught in this, all in the pursuit of love. Northwind and she were standing at the top of the stairs. The other guests gathered around below.

Northwind spoke up, “My friends, I have mourned the loss of Shellheart with a heavy heart, but as my mother has always said, we cannot live in the past forever.”

I frowned; I wonder whose mother said that. I looked over where Fancypants and Fleur were supposed to be. I saw the pair standing among the nobles, ready for my signal. I had hoped Private would have gotten here sooner, but we had to stop this announcement from happening whatever the cost.

I turned my attention back to young Reeflet, naively gazing adoringly at her prince. She had such awe in her eyes. I hated to do this to her, but we had little choice in the matter.

“In my time of mourning one mare has stood beside me,” Northwind said, a resolute look in his eye. “That mare is dear Reeflet.” He turned and smiled lovingly at the mare beside him.

I gave one last look around for Private, but no such luck. Where was that boy? I set those thoughts aside and refocused on Fleur. I tapped my hooves twice on the floor. She nodded and stormed towards her husband, as if in a tirade. Fancypants saw her coming and pretended to be aloof towards his wife.

Fleur shouted loud enough for all to hear, “Fancypants von Trottanam! There you are!”

Fancypants looked at his wife and answered calmly, “Dear, so nice of you to join me.”

“I turn my back for deux secondes and catch you eyeing her flank!” She pointed to a random noble who scoffed at the mention. Fleur was utterly fuming, I started to wonder how much of it was acting “I know you think I’m fat!” she cried bursting into sobs. ”With our foal coming you will only think so more!”

“Fleur let us not make a scene here,” Fancypants said awkwardly, trying to calm her. “It’s probably just the hormones.”

“Northwind is up there proclaiming to the world his love,” she declared, “yet I can hardly get two words out of you!”

“Well you’re no saint, my dear!” Fancypants fired back. “I caught you speaking to Northwind before all of this!”

“So I am not allowed to congratulate our host?” She crossed her forelegs and said sadly, “I’m starting to think you do not care how I feel.”

“Of course I care about how you feel!” Fancypants cried so the whole room was looking at them now. I knew they were acting but it seemed so real. “I just wish you would believe me when I say you are truly the most wonderful mare I’ve ever met!” Fancy declared, his voice full of love.

I knew they couldn’t stay mad at each other for long. Fleur tried not to give in though, she simply huffed and tossed her pink mane. “Then do not speak anymore! I tire of hollow words that mean nothing!” she cried, coming within inches of her husband’s nose. “Show your love now! Prove to me that you st-”

She was cut off when Fancypants grabbed her, dipped her, and pressed his lips tightly to hers. Neither party was acting anymore; they knew in their hearts the love they shared. I watched as Fancy passionately kissed his wife, trying not to tear up at the sheer genuineness of it all. Fleur’s makeup started to run as she felt her husband pour all the love he held for her into that one action. No words were necessary.

Adamus... could we have ever been like that?

Fancypants finally relented from kissing his wife and wiped her eyes with his own sleeve. “Forgive me my love, for not showing how much I truly care often enough.”

“Forgive me for doubting,” Fleur said, looking at her husband with tear filled periwinkle eyes. “You’re right; it might just be the hormones getting to me.” She met her husband’s sapphire eyes and continued, “Mon amour, I will never doubt your love again. You are the only stallion for me. I can think of no greater stallion as my husband or a better father to our petit enfant.” She put one of her hooves on her belly.

Fancypants simply smiled and put his own hoof on top of hers. “I can think of no greater mother for him or her,” he replied, gently nuzzling her on the cheek, and catching her renewed tears. “I have loved you since the day we met. May I never forget how wonderful you are as our foal comes into the world.”

“Mon amour,” was all Fleur could say before embracing her husband tightly. Nobles around them cheered and stomped their hooves on the floor. I smiled at the couple, just taking in how much in love they were. They will make great parents when their foal comes. I wished I could have had a love like that with Adamus.

“My congratulations to both of you,” Northwind said, getting the attention of the crowd again. “I can see that the love these two hold for one another is genuine. May Celestia bless your impending foal and your lives going forward.”

Fancypants and Fleur hadn’t let go of each other yet. They were just in their own little world. A wonderful distraction indeed, my friends.

“Now without any further interruptions,” Northwind announced, turning back to Reeflet, who was looking on the couple with a wide smile on her face. She obviously hoped the same would come of her love. I looked outside a porthole quickly, the sun was just setting. What in Tartarus was keeping Private?

“I can say with a happy heart that I hold the same love for my dearest Reeflet here,” he said, gesturing to the now blushing coral mare. “May we both find happiness in the near future.”

Celestia, if you don’t set that sun slower I swear I’ll show those pictures of you and that banana! We can’t have her transform in the middle of this crowd. That will make her a prime target for Northwind’s imposter.

The prince took Reeflet in his forelegs and tilted her chin up to face him. She smiled so wide I felt heartbroken by what had to be done. Forgive us Reeflet, for we do this for all our sakes. Northwind said ““May we seal our love with a ki-”


I looked behind me and saw my grandson with his revolver wrapped in his magic. He fired a shot at the ceiling to get everypony’s attention. All the ponies in the room looked on in shock as they stared at the detective, now drenched in sweat, walk among the crowd. His marefriend, Twilight, wasn’t far behind.

That look in his eyes, I was about to see just the kind of stallion my grandson had become. I couldn’t be more proud as he stepped up to Northwind and stepped in between him and Reeflet.

“What is the meaning of this, detective?” Northwind cried, indignantly.

“You stay away from her,” Private growled. “Impostor!”

Perspective: Private Eye

I glared at Pseudo Northwind, everypony in the crowd chattering at my accusation. Northwind himself simply demanded, “What is going on? Why do you stand between my beloved and I?”

“I know what you want of her,” I said, with an angry glare. Twilight stood beside me, her glare just as dangerous. “I also know that you are not Northwind!”

“What manner of madness is this?” Tailwind shouted as he came to the front of the crowd.

“Your grace,” I said, looking at the noble “everypony here has been deceived, for I searched the very bottom of the ocean and found this.” I reached into my trench coat and pulled out the locket.

“A mere trinket?” Northwind scoffed. “How does that prove anything?”

“Your reaction proves it all” I said simply, using my magic to unlock the trinket. The picture inside showed Shellheart and Northwind. I continued smoothly, “The real Northwind wouldn’t forget something as important as this.”

His blue eyes became pin pricks in shock as he demanded, “Where did you get that?”

“Off the corpse of the real Northwind,” I said sadly.

Reeflet covered her mouth in shock. Tears starting to form but she could not give sound to her woes. Twilight tried to comfort her but she wouldn’t even look up at her.

“You’re speaking nonsense!” Tailwind shouted in denial. “My son is right here!”

“Your son drowned two months ago,” I explained. “Scallywix, the sailor who Northwind tried to save, was never found. His body was never recovered by the salvage team”

“A terrible loss yes,” Tailwind retorted, “but what does that have to do with anything?”

“Two months ago,” I replied, turning to look at Reeflet, “this mare, saved Northwind’s life as he drowned. She thought herself in love with him and you knew it,” I said as I glared at Northwind.

Northwind growled but didn’t say anything.

“Two months ago,” I further explained, “you swapped positions with Northwind just as he went back to help you. The chaos was perfect cover as you made sure Northwind went down with the ship. Then you moved his body so that the salvage team wouldn’t find it. If you try to deny the body’s existence, one call to Sherrie Illusions will state that she has the body in the morgue.”

Tailwind turned to the doppelganger in shock and asked, “What, what is this?”

“He’s lying!” Northwind shouted. “I am Lord Northwind! I am heir to the island! I am your son!”

“You’re also the murderer of Shellheart,” I said, causing the whole room to gasp.

“See how he spouts nonsense, father!” Northwind cried, pointing at me. “Now he says I killed my former love!”

“Then who could’ve killed her?” I asked. “Reeflet?”

“It’s possible,” Tailwind said. “She did have the motive!”

“It’s too possible,” I said, “If I was the murderer, I would’ve let the body fall into the ocean, never to be seen again. Yet she was placed out for everypony to see. The murderer obviously needed a victim. Reeflet loved your son, but she is neither sadistic, nor showy.”

“So if Reeflet didn’t kill her,” Tailwind said in utter disbelief, “you stand by the statement that my son killed Shellheart?”

“To make it look as if Reeflet killed her,” I stated. Reeflet was openly sobbing now, refusing the comfort Twilight was trying to give her.

“For what purpose?” Tailwind demanded. “Why would my son kill her?”

“I’ve told you he is not your son at all,” I stated. “In fact, he’s not even a pony.” I pointed at Northwind and yelled, “Show yourself, Saladin of the Sea Ponies!”

Everypony looked on in amazement as Northwind broke into mad laughter. He smirked at me and shouted, “So, you surface dwellers are clever after all!”

Suddenly a bright light enveloped him and what stood before me was a pony out of nightmares. He stood floating above the ground, magic carrying his body as he grinned maliciously. His coat was dark violet, his mane long and silver as he floated in the air. Instead of the typical seapony tail, he had the same octopus like tentacles that Aphrodite had. Only his tentacles looked like they’ve done far more than simply fixing loose hairs. His horn was glowing an interesting color, green with a violet outline. His eyes sported the same color as well.

“I’ve seen through your scheme monster!” I shouted, as the crowd looked on in fear. “What is it you wanted to accomplish by twisting Reeflet’s heart like that?”

Saladin laughed and gloated, “I have known for ages that Reeflet held a love for the surface world. So, I just bought into her fantasy and turned myself into a prince for her. Sweet, innocent Reeflet fell for it so well.”

“How could you do this?” Twilight shouted, glaring at the sorcerer. “How could betray your princess like that? She gave her heart to you!”

“Everything I’ve done is for the sake of my kingdom!” he declared. “For far too long Poseidon has been content wallowing in the waters while you surface dwellers have your pick of the land! I just want to claim what was rightfully ours. That which was stolen a thousand years ago by the very magic you wield,” he cried, pointing at me.

“You knew Poseidon would want to start a war if he knew his daughter was trapped here!” I fired back. “You just wanted to give him an excuse!”

“Poseidon’s power could’ve drowned this world ages ago,” Saladin declared, “but the old fool would never listen to me! So, I decided to take matters into my own hooves.”

“You knew Aphrodite would put that spell on Reeflet,” I shouted.

He laughed. “Aphrodite, another sea pony who cares not for the power she wields,” he scoffed bitterly.

“Your game is up Saladin,” I said, aiming Blackbird at him. “I’ll make sure Poseidon knows of your crimes!”

He smirked and his horn glowed a green and purple lined color. Suddenly small portals opened all over the area. Nobles screamed as monstrous tentacle monsters came forth. I recognized the black tentacles from before! They were the monsters that tried to drown Twilight and I!

Saladin floated up above the crowd and smirked, “I hope you enjoy my pets, I plan to make the first strike on Equestria. Once your lifeless bodies are discovered, your nobles will press for war against my kind. Then Poseidon will have no choice but to drown you all!”

I looked behind me and saw that the sun had just started sinking below the horizon. I then saw Reeflet running away as fast as her hooves could carry her. I saw Fleur follow behind her as I ran to grandma. She looked on at one of the monsters and then at me. “Private!”

I stood beside her and fired Blackbird right into the beast’s eye, causing it to screech in pain and flail it’s tentacles. I looked at my grandmother and saw that she was running to a nearby fire ax behind glass. She muttered, “This is going to be murder on my hips.” Then she bucked the glass with all her might, and levitated the ax in her pale grey magic.

One of the monsters tried to grab her but she dodged it and brought the ax down on one of the tentacles. The creature screeched in pain and flailed it’s now severed limb. Grandma then looked to me and ordered, “I’ll get the nobles to life boats! You and Twilight go after Saladin!” She then sliced at another tentacle.

Even at her age she can still hold her own, I guess that’s where I got my fighting spirit. I looked over at Fancypants who pulled out a pistol and aimed it another tentacle beast. He called to me, “Where’s Fleur?”

“She went after Reeflet!” I replied, firing Blackbird at the beast’s face. “You and Grandma help with the civilians!”

I spotted Twilight among the crowd, using her magic to levitate a beast and throw him out a window. her eyes met mine for a second before she broke into a run after Saladin, who was heading for the deck. I followed behind my marefriend, not willing to let anypony else get hurt by him.


Perspective: Fleur de Lis

I first noticed something odd when the trail that Reeflet left behind was steadily getting wet. I almost slipped trying to keep up with her. Private was right! She was a sea pony, I had only heard of them in tales my mere told me as a little filly.

I rounded a corner and saw the poor thing enter a nearby cabin. I walked into it and saw a terrible sight. Reeflet was on the ground, her legs now a beautiful scaled tail. Her hooves were clenching a kitchen knife and she held it near her throat.

“No stop!” I shouted, running to her.

“Do not come closer!” she cried, her voice was back. Such a voice belonged to a singer like Moongale, but the poor thing’s voice was now choked up as her tears became evident. I feared the worse.

Mon ami,” I tried to speak as gently as I could, “do not do what I know you want to do.”

“What is the point in living anymore?” Reeflet shouted through her tears. “Saladin used me! He killed and impersonated the stallion I loved! My father hates me for what I’ve done! Why should I even breathe anymore?”

I closed my eyes and said softly, “Do not throw your life away.”

“Have you listened to me at all!?” Reeflet said, her tears flowing as her grip on the knife tightened. “I was only a pawn in Saladin’s plan! I thought I was in love but I was so foalish! Nopony would want a disgrace of a mare like me to-“



“Just stop thinking like that,” I said, fighting my own tears “I once thought as you did, a long time ago.”

Perspective: Private Eye

Twilight and I ran out onto the deserted deck of the ship. Everypony else was already fleeing the ship on life boats. Nopony wanted to stay long on a ship with a crazy magician on it.

I looked up at Saladin who laughed at the sight of us. “So this is what the surface world sends to defeat me? Two unicorns?”

“My name is Twilight Sparkle,” Twilight shouted at the wizard, “personal student to Princess Celestia. I’m giving you one chance to come quietly and face your crimes.”

He laughed again. “What of your friend here?” he asked. Then suddenly his horn glowed that same green and violet lined color and a beam of magic hit me square in the chest. Instead of flying however, I only fell back a few feet.

I shook my head, wondering what the hell that was all about?

Saladin smirked, “Interesting, you seem to have a small resistance to dark magic, but your magical skills are lacking overall. You’re not even a full blooded unicorn.”

“I can still hurt you though, you bastard!” I charged at Saladin and fired three shots out of blackbird. Suddenly Saladin teleported away and reappeared behind me. He fired that strange magic and this time it sent me flying. I slammed into a nearby railing and saw stars for a minute.

I looked up to see Twilight standing over me; she then looked back at Saladin. “How dare you!” she shouted. “How dare you lay a hoof on him!”

“Oh, I’m so scared of a little filly,” Saladin mocked.

“You’d better be,” I said, wiping some blood off my mouth before standing up beside Twilight. I looked over at her and started to say, “Twi, you sho-“

“No,” Twilight said, looking at me with those wonderful amethyst eyes of hers. “We fight together, or we don’t fight at all.”

I smiled and reloaded blackbird. “It won’t be easy, he does know that I don’t have a strong magical resistance now.”

“Then I will make up for it,” Twilight said, as her horn glowed. “I’m not letting him hurt you again!”

“Twi,” I said.

“Yes?” she asked, looking at me.

“Just know, no matter what happens, I love you.” I gave her a quick kiss and we charged with all our might at Saladin.

Perspective: Fleur de Lis

Reeflet blinked her eyes at me and asked, “What are you talking about?”

“When I was sixteen,” I said, hating myself for having to delve into such sombre memories. “I came to Canterlot. I knew I could get a better education there then I could’ve gotten in my homeland of Prance. While there, I met a charming noble by the name of Sacred Blue. I was in love, I thought, he was so charming and helpful to me.”

Reeflet’s eyes tracked my every word. Her mind was off the horrible knife. That was a start, I had to keep her focused on me.

“I was so convinced I was in love with him I wrote home to my parents and said I had intentions on remaining there with him together. They disapproved of it, saying I was far too young to make such a decision about my life. However, I was so convinced that he was the one, I ignored them.” I kept my eyes closed as I recalled the horrible memories I’ve kept suppressed for so long.

“You’re with Fancypants,” Reeflet pointed out. “Whatever happened to Sacred Blue?”

“I did not meet mon amour until a year afterwards. One day at a party I was waiting to meet Sacred Blue, in the hopes that we would make our love official. However, hours went by and I never saw him. I became suspicious and went to his home, where I caught him with another mare.”

“Fleur, I’m so sorry…”

“I soon learned that the only reason he wanted to be with me was so that he could gain my father’s inheritance,” I said sadly. “That was the true reason my parents resented him. I was so heartbroken, for myself and for how I treated my parents who were only trying to protect me.” I looked down at my hooves as I recalled the worst memory I had. “So I jumped off a bridge into a river.”

Reeflet’s eyes grew wide; tears were starting to come forth again. I was thankful they were not for her own sorrow.
“When I woke up I saw a pegasus standing over me,” I continued, a slow smile coming to my face. “She had the most splendid rainbow mane I have ever seen. She asked me why I tried to kill myself. After hearing my story she told me, after every rain shower comes a rainbow waiting to be seen.”

“So you see Reeflet,” I said, gently, levitating the knife out of her hooves and away from her. “There is so much of your life you still have to live. Don’t let what happened to you make you want to throw it all away. Don’t let Saladin win.”

She then slid over to me and embraced me tightly. I held her tenderly in my forelegs. She started sobbing deeply and managed to say, “I only wanted, I only wanted to see the surface…”

I gently stroked her red mane as I smiled and said soothingly, “Do not cry, little mer pony.” She seemed to calm down a little. She would not take her life today. She had so much to live for, I hope that Private and Twilight make that bâtard pay for driving her to such sorrow.

Perspective: Twilight Sparkle

Private and I were sweating as our battle with Saladin raged. I dodged a magic bolt aimed for me as Private fired his gun at Saladin. One of the bullets entered his foreleg, causing it to bleed. Saladin growled and levitated Private in the air.

“No!” I shouted, firing my own magic at Saladin. The bolt hit the magician, causing him to drop Private.

The dark wizard glared at me and roared, “You bitch! How dare you foil my attempts at destroying him!”

“Private is my coltfriend!” I shouted, my horn glowing as my rage grew. “Nopony hurts him on my watch!”

“Then I’m sure you’re willing to suffer through this!” Suddenly Saladin fired a bolt of lightning towards me. I watched in horror as Private threw himself in it’s path. The bolt hit him square in the chest and he tumbled to the ground.

I ran to him and looked down. He took the full brunt of the blast. I nuzzled him, trying to rouse him from his state, “Private, please be alright!”

“Twi,” he said weakly, opening his grey eyes, “you’re okay.”

“Of course I am you idiot!” I shouted. “Why’d you throw yourself like that? You know I have a greater resistance!”

“I couldn’t stand seeing you hurt” he said, reaching up and touching a hoof on my cheek. Why did this all seem so familiar? Private smiled at me and said, “I can handle it, I’m stronger then I look.”

“You aren’t invincible, Private,” I said, fighting tears. “I wish, I wish you didn’t have to get yourself hurt!” I poured all of my feelings out, openly crying now. “I hate it! I’m supposed to look after my friends! Seeing one of them get hurt right in front of me! I can’t stand it. The greatest friend I’ve ever had, getting hurt because I was careless,” I sobbed, wiping my eyes.

Private pulled me into a weak kiss. He smiled at me and said softly, “Shh. No matter what, I still love you. I would throw myself in front of a hundred lightning bolts…”

“If it meant that we could be together”

That voice, it didn’t sound like Private’s. The chanting was coming, I could hear it.

I looked down at Private’s neck and saw Tenacity there. Saladin swore and tried to fire another magical bolt at us, but somepony was blocking the spell. I felt the weight of the Element of Magic on my head as I watched. Was that… me?

No, she just looked like me. Her coat was the same shade of lavender but her violet mane was much longer and her horn more prominent. Sweet Luna she was beautiful. Her sharp green eyes glared at Saladin, as she held up a barrier to keep Saladin at bay. I then noticed a cord of light connecting her to me and then to Private’s element. Who was she?

She looked over at me, slowly smiled, and then she turned to Private. Walking towards him as Saladin wailed on the barrier with all his might. I then noticed the cutie mark on her flank… She had a star cutie mark like mine!

“Who are you?” was all I could muster as the chanting grew louder.

She didn’t answer, just walked over to Private, and touched her horn to him. Suddenly Private’s wounds were completely gone. I felt the familiar sensation of being lifted into the air by Private’s magic. I looked over at the mysterious mare, who walked to me, and we touched horns.

Suddenly, magic seemed to flow in my veins like water itself. I felt a rush like when I got my cutie mark. I glared glowing white eyes over at Saladin. My horn flowed as bright as the sun as I said in a voice not my own, “You seek to use magic as a means to rule over others! Magic is a gift to the world! It should never be used for evil!”

I raised my hooves and felt energy rush through me. A glowing sphere formed above Private and me. I looked over at him and saw he was awake, and smiling. Although, there was no sign of the mare from before. Private and I nodded to each other, and poured all of our power into the sphere before releasing it at Saladin.

The glowing sphere hit Saladin right in the chest. Suddenly Saladin’s body began to freeze, ice covering his body. He swore as his entire body soon became frozen and his prison was sealed.

The chanting stopped and we descended onto the deck of the ship. I looked on the frozen Saladin, then looked over at Private. His beautiful grey eyes just stared at me. I wonder what he was thinking…

Inside Private’s head…

Holy crap, my marefriend is the sexiest, sweetest, kindest, and most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria!!!


I blushed at what he must’ve been thinking. He just ran to me and embraced me. I smiled and embraced him just as tightly. I pressed myself into his chest and heard his heartbeat in my ear. I felt his muzzle on my cheek as he whispered, “Twi, you really are amazing.”

I looked up at my coltfriend and kissed him on the horn, replying, “I couldn’t have done it without somepony equally as amazing.”

With that, I kissed my coltfriend, glad the fighting was over. The monsters below probably vanished with their master’s magic gone. I didn’t care though. All that mattered was that Private was okay. I let myself fall into Preventus’ embrace. I never want to leave it. I never want to leave him, my Preventus…


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Perspective: Private Eye

“So you see your majesty, that’s what happened,” I explained as I stood on the shore. Poseidon was there, wading in the shallow waters of the ocean. Twilight and I had arranged a meeting using Raequa as a liaison. Poseidon’s expression through the story of what happened was a mixture of guilt and self-loathing.

“To think that my most trusted magician would do such a thing,” Poseidon said sadly, as Raequa swam to her father and gently put a comforting hoof on him. “I owe your people a great debt,” Poseidon said, but then his eyes turned to Twilight. Who was walking here with Reeflet on her back. The seapony was looking away from her father in shame.

Twilight gently set Reeflet down on the shore. She risked a glance at her father, but then returned to looking down at her tail.

“Reeflet,” Poseidon said, swimming as best he could to her, “I was so worried.”

“I caused all of this,” Reeflet said sadly, “I should’ve listened to you, daddy.”

“No, my dear,” Poseidon said, looking at his daughter with kind eyes. “I should’ve listened to you. All you wanted to do was see the surface. I destroyed your dream because I was afraid of losing you.”

“Daddy,” Reeflet said, tears in her eyes.

“I think both parties are at fault here,” I said knowingly, “but let’s start mending the bridges now.” I reached under Reeflet with my nose and lifted her onto my back. I then walked over and gently slid the sea pony into the water.

She met the water and spent a few minutes getting used to her tail again. She surfaced after two minutes and swam to her father. The father and daughter embraced each other tightly. Tears filled Reeflet’s eyes as she gave many apologies to him. Poseidon was doing his best not to cry as well.

Raequa then swam to us and said, “We will make sure Saladin never harms anypony ever again. I’m sorry for yelling at you too earlier.” She bowed her head in apology.

Twilight shook her head and replied, “You were just worried about your sister. I would’ve said the same things in your position.”

Poseidon and Reeflet swam up to the three of us and Poseidon spoke with a small smile, “My daughter and I have reached a compromise. I have decided that in a few years’ time she will be able to return to shore as an ambassador from our people to yours.”

“That’s great!” Twilight smiled. “This means you’ll get to see the surface again Reeflet!”

Reeflet gave a small smile and wiped her eyes, “That’s all I really wanted in the end. Nor- I mean, Saladin was only an excuse. I hope one day to make my people proud.” She bowed her head in respect. “May our people find favor in your eyes after this.”

Twilight and I bowed in turn. Raequa swam away, Reeflet at her side as they dived into the ocean. Twilight looked over at Poseidon “I shall inform Princess Celestia of all that occurred. Now, I believe you owe my coltfriend an explanation.”

Poseidon looked at me for a moment, then slowly nodded, “Very well, I shall explain why our people reacted as we did, but you may want to discard your trench coat. It’s a bit of a swim.”

Here we go again….


Perspective: Fancypants

I looked over at Fleur as she went about packing to leave. I had heard what had happened with her and Reeflet. I watched my beautiful wife and wondered just how long she had been harboring those memories.

She had noticed my staring and she walked towards me. She spoke in that charming accent of hers, “Mon amour, I know what you are thinking.”

“Are you really well, my love?” I asked, “After all, what Sacred Blue did to you…”

“Shh,” she said, putting a hoof on my cheek, “there is no need for guilt to enter your heart, mon amour.”

“Had I known what had happened,” I sighed. “I wouldn’t have ignored you for so long.”

“Remember Trottingham?” she asked.

“How could I forget?” I said, smiling at the memory. “I fought for your honor after all.”

She put a hoof on where she got hit by that bullet. The scar had long healed but I could tell she sometimes felt the pain. My beautiful wife, marred by the weapon of a mad pony the memory still stung.

“The Fancypants I fell in love with,” Fleur said, gazing at me adoringly, “never left me, he was always here. Just as he is now,” she put a hoof on my chest. “Remember how we met?”

“How could I forget?” I laughed. “I tried to ask you to dine with me in Prench.”

Fleur giggled and recalled, “You said, ‘may I eat your shoes Madame?’ It was quite charming.”

“Fleur, I never thought to ask, what was the name of the mare who saved you?” I inquired.

She tapped her hoof on her chin in thought and said, “I think she was a friend of the pegasus who told you to ask me in the first place.” She then tilted her head. “I know her name was Rainbow… Rainbow Shine?”

“That would be it indeed,” I said. “Whatever happened to her?”

Fleur shook her head and replied, “I do not know, I had tried to look her up but all I could find was that she was trying out to be a Wonderbolt. She had a foal however, and that changed everything.”

“I’m guessing she knows full well how much life can change course quickly,” I replied.

She smiled at me and said, “Also how much pleasure it can give without warning.” She then walked up to me and pressed her lips to mine. I tasted sweet Fleur and held her in my forelegs. I almost lost her once; I’m never going to lose her again…


Perspective: Private Eye

I swam to keep up with Poseidon as he led me to a private room in his palace. The Seaponies were in a much cheerier mood with the return of their princess. Some were still weary at me for whatever reason, but I wasn’t focused on them. I was focused on finding answers.

Poseidon led me to a darker cavern in his castle and used his horn to light he way. Before me was a strange mural, filled with all manner of pictures and carvings on it. Poseidon pointed his trident like a teacher would at a chalkboard. He pointed to a picture of ponies in a kingdom, happily dancing around a single tower. It was originally part of the Unicorn Kingdom, but we seceded after the Windigo incident in order to gain our independence.”

“We have a play we do every Hearth’s Warming Eve,” I pointed out “They never explained what happened to the old kingdoms.”

“Most of the old kingdoms died out or eventually merged into Equestria at a later date,” Poseidon explained, then he pointed to another picture of the ponies in prosperity. “Ours was an island nation my father ruled. We were a prosperous kingdom, our location at sea made us invaluable to trade between the nations. Our wealth was quite grand and our people strong.”

“So what changed a thousand years ago?” I asked, almost scared to hear the answer.

“The grey came,” Poseidon said ominously, he pointed to a picture of a strange unicorn. Unlike the other unicorns in the picture, he was slightly taller, clad in armor and his eyes were green like Saladin’s.

“What is he?” I asked.

“Nopony remembers nowadays,” Poseidon explained. “I was too young at the time to remember all of the details, but ponies that were alive at the time called him the grey. He had a name, but to say it aloud is considered a grave misjudgment.”

Why did he look familiar?

Poseidon went on, “The grey came from a kingdom across the sea to the far north. He gave my father, the king at the time, an ultimatum. He would have us surrender our kingdom or he would use his dark power to destroy it for good.”

“Judging by the state of things,” I said, gesturing to the ruined cavern around me, “he refused.”

“Indeed, and not quietly either,” The seapony king said, gesturing to a depiction of a battle. I noticed an odd detail, on the unicorn king’s soldiers, the carvings all were covered in crystal. “They came as if out of nowhere. Mighty armies of ponies unlike anything my father has ever seen. They had the ability to turn their skin into a substance harder than steel. Our blades shattered as we tried to fight back.”

I swam up for a closer look at the ponies, I felt…


“Did you hear that?” I asked Poseidon.

The king shook his head and replied with concern, “I have heard nothing, are you alright?”

I nodded and said, “Yeah, maybe I’m just woozy after the battle. So what happened next? Did you find a way to counter attack?”

“We did,” Poseidon nodded. “We discovered that while blades were ineffective, they still could fall to blunt weaponry. We swapped swords for hammers and magic to counter them. Our victory was near, until…” He gestured to the next picture.

It showed the unicorn king standing on a rock outcropping. My eyes grew wide in horror as I saw, that around his neck was Tenacity. This guy had my power, and he used it…

I looked at the rest of the shot; it showed the ponies of the kingdom being overrun by the soldiers. Many were being killed by black weaponry held by the invaders. Poseidon went on gravely, “The power of the element increased their strength tenfold. We were no match for them. Our people were slaughtered in the street like animals.”


So much death and pain, caused by my element of Tenacity. Did it really hold such dark power inside itself, or was it simply this grey’s power that tenacity unlocked unknowingly? Either way, I felt a deep feeling of guilt in my heart after looking at the picture.

Poseidon looked at me somberly and said, “Now you see the heavy burden you bear.”

“How was he stopped?” I asked. “He couldn’t have fought forever.”

“Legend has it,” Poseidon explained, gesturing to the image of the unicorn king ,“that a hero came from Equestria and stole the element of Tenacity from him. That hero disappeared and his identity was lost…


I felt a splitting headache right then. What sounded like a thousand voices screaming at once rang in my ears. I covered my ears and flailed like a possessed pony. Trying desperately to relieve the pain in my mind. I closed my grey eyes…


When I opened them I saw a strange sight. There standing before me, was the unicorn king from the picture. He was tall, clad in armor and a long red fur lined cape. His coat was a dark grey and his eyes were the same color as Saladin’s. His grin bore sharp fangs and his wild black mane seemed to flow with an unseen breeze.


That was all he said, his voice as sinister as a snake. What was he? What did he want from me? I watched his strangely curved horn glow with dark magic. I recognized it, the magic that Saladin used.

“Stay your hooves, Sombra!” I heard a voice cry behind me. Suddenly a unicorn was standing before me. He was about my height, his coat was a dark grey as well. His eyes were a deep brown, Nocturne? No, this guy had a black mane and was skinnier. He looked more like a scholar then the lunar stallion.

“Back away, Eclipse! We shall have what is rightfully ours!” The dark being declared.

“You shall not have this one,” Eclipse said, his voice speaking in a similar manner to Nocturne. “This stallion is well protected by us!”

“Your line cannot hope to stop me!” Sombra cried. “For my return is nigh! I shall take dear Aria’s heart and use it to take back what was stolen from me!”

“Geez, they never seem to learn do they?” I looked over in shock. There was Littlepip, my descendent standing beside Eclipse. The small framed mare glared at Sombra. “And Velvet Remedy says I’m the one with problems.”

“Littlepip?” I asked in shock “How are you here?”

“Because fair Private,” I turned and saw Nocturne, clad in his lunar armor walking towards me. “Within every element of harmony…” He turned and gestured to a small army of ponies behind me “Lie the spirits of everypony who used it.”

“But Littlepip isn’t born yet,” I pointed out.

“It also has those who will use it,” Littlepip shrugged. “That or you’re just going crazy again.”

“You are definitely my descendent.” I said as I rolled my eyes and turned back to Sombra. “I may not know all that’s going on, but you’re not using Tenacity’s power for evil ever again!”

Suddenly everypony around me started chanting. They were the ones that sang whenever I used Tenacity. I had no idea what was being said the strange tongue, but it caused Sombra to screech in pain. I watched as a bright light shone around me in the dark world.

When it was over I stood among all the ponies that have, and would carry Tenacity in their bloodlines. They all closed their eyes one by one, slowly fading. Littlepip remained, her smile evident, “You’ve learned a lot since we met last.”

“I have to ask Littlepip,” I inquired to the little mare, “does Tenacity have dark magic in it?”

She nodded. “Left over from Sombra’s time with it.” She frowned slowly. “You cannot let him have it again. You must not let anypony else in power use it either. One day, you will be tempted to give it to Celestia and have her use it. You must not, I implore you, Private. You must not let my future come about.”

“Your futur-“ I was cut off when a bright light shone again…

I blinked open and saw Poseidon looking at me worriedly. “Are you well, Private?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” I replied as i shook my head and rubbed it a little. “Just a very weird dream is all.”

“Very well,” Poseidon said. “Now I must ask you to not keep that element here any longer. I fear how my people will react if they know I showed you all this.”

I nodded and we both swam out, not exactly sure of all that was going on. Littlepip said I was supposed to keep her future from coming about? I wonder what future could be so terrible that she would want me to stop it?

Would Celestia really want Tenacity? I hoped it would never come to that. I pray it will never come to that. Tenacity is my burden to bear. I never asked for it, but I shall carry it’s power wisely.


Fleur and Fancypants left for Canterlot. Apparently their foal's room was being built and they wanted to be there for its completion. Right now I stood on the deck of the S.S. Water Glide with Grandma in front of me. Twilight and I were just about to see her off.

“Are you sure you have to go Grandma?” I asked her.

Her green eyes closed and a smile came to her face. “As much as I’d like to spend more time with you. I have other business to attend to” she replied.

“It was a pleasure meeting you,” Twilight said, her smile evident.

“The pleasure was all mine, dear,” Grandma answered, her green eyes fixed on my marefriend. “I’m happy to see that Private has found such a mare to be his special somepony.”

Both Twilight and I blushed at the comment. Grandma said teasingly, “I’m so glad that I have lived long enough to see my grandson find love.”

“Grandma,” I groaned, all too similar to when Dad teases me.

Grandma then walked to me and hugged me tightly. I hugged her back just as tight. She said to me, I could tell she was fighting to keep in control, “I’m so proud of you, Private. The way you handled yourself, and inspired such loyalty in Twilight. I can say with a firm heart that Irenius and Sparrow have given me a true blessing.”

I held Grandma for a moment and replied, “I’m glad that I got to see you. I hope one day, we can all be a family again.”

“That’s a long ways away, Private,” Grandma said, breaking the embrace and putting a hoof on my cheek. “I shall do everything in my power to aid you from the shadows. One day, I will get to meet Tailspin and Cross. I look forward to that day with great hope.”

With that, Grandma met her sky chariot and flew away with a pair of pegasi carriers. I waved goodbye as Twilight did as well. Twilight then looked at me and asked, “You and she were close?”

“Yeah,” I said, smiling a little, “she’s one of the reasons I became a detective. She was the one who taught me how to think like I do. I owe her so much.” I then closed my grey eyes in sadness. “I miss her though.”

I felt Twilight press her muzzle into my neck. I smiled and rested my head on top of hers. Twilight always seemed to know what I needed to keep from breaking down.

Just one of the many reasons why I love her so…


Perspective: Twilight Sparkle

I left Private when we got back to Ponyville. He had to pick up Tailspin from his stay at Rainbow’s place. I yawned widely as I entered my home. It was late at night when we got back. Spike was probably in bed right now.

As I entered my room I saw Spike, just as predicted, sleeping in his basket. He was starting to get too big for it. Maybe I should consider giving him an actual bed? Good Celestia I was starting to sound like mom when I was little.

I used my magic to tuck in Spike a little better. He groaned and curled up tighter in his sleep. I laughed and found my bed. It was then that I noticed a letter lying on my bed. I lifted the note on top of it to eye level and read it aloud softly.

My faithful student Twilight,

I felt a strange surge of magic today, and I heard about what happened on that ship. I must say you and Private continue to impress me. Knowing you as I do, I’ll bet your curiosity has led you to want to research Tenacity. I have no intentions on deterring you from your venture. In fact, I believe this would be a fine clue for you. Enclosed is a picture made long ago. I believe you will recognize the ponies in it.

Your teacher always,

Princess Celestia

I gave the letter a weary look. A picture that would help me find out about Private’s power? Well, I’m always eager to see….

My eyes grew wide as I pulled out the picture. It wasn’t so much a picture as it was a detailed painting folded up on age old paper. I saw six ponies in it. One was a yellow earth pony stallion with long orange hair and deep green eyes. Beside him was a pink earth pony mare with a long magenta mane and soft glowing blue eyes.

No way! They looked just like Applejack and Pinkie Pie! Well, if Applejack was a stallion.

I then saw to the right, a cyan pegasus stallion with a long dark blue mane. He didn’t look exactly like Rainbow Dash but he had a similar cutie mark. Beside him was a butter yellow pegasus mare with a shorter pink mane then Fluttershy’s. The contrast between them was quite vast, but the artist depicted them holding one another. They must've been close.

The middle couple interested me the most. The stallion resembled Rarity, with a white coat and a long violet mane. He seemed to have a stoic depiction here. Then the mare was the same one I saw earlier! She looked exactly as she did before! Who was she?

That’s when I noticed one part wasn’t completely unfolded. I used my magic to unfold the painting and saw a sorry sight. There was one more unicorn; he was a deep grey with a long black mane and soft blue eyes. He looked on the others with such sorrow. As if he wanted to be a part of them too.

What did Celestia want me to get out of this and why did the unicorn look so much like Private?