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"Oh, you're our guest. Don't worry about it." She says, waving towards Spark
"Wiped out? Not even figuratively. The worry is always whether they would be the only ones wiped out."
“Well... you would like to be able to invite Madake back again I assume. You will need some more supplies if you want to have him and his friends over again, correct?”
"Oh, it's alright. We just... won't necessarily have coffee. Or real tea. But there is some nice ersatz tea they make now."
“But offering less than real tea and having no coffee simply won’t do. After all, a good host has plenty to offer the guests. It won’t be but a short trip to get some more for you.”
"Well... You're not from West Equestria, are you? You see, all of the tea and coffee plantations in Equestria are on the other
side of the line, and the Changelings aren't willing to sell much to buy luxuries, at least for most of the pony population. So... well, there isn't really more tea at the store." She smiles awkwardly.
“I might have a way to get some over the line. New Mareland is interested in trade with Madake’s village. I’m sure a few coffee rations can make their way over here once that opens up. In the mean time, I will double check the stores. I’m quite certain you are overlooking some.”
"Oh, you don't need to do that." She says, smiling
“I don’t need to, but I want to. Looking for a little coffee will help me get more familiar with the layout of the city and maybe meet some locals.”
"Well, I don't know if you really want to be seen moving about the city much. During the day it's fine, but at night... Well, you can't move about without good reason."
“It can wait until the morning I suppose.”
"Are you looking to stay the night?" She asks
“I don’t want to overstay my welcome. I can find another place to rest and be back with some tea and coffee in the morning.”
"Not so fast." The Zebra repositions himself to physically block off Amber before she enters the building.
"Nocreature enters without first being searched for weapons or explosives. Now, you are looking for someone invloved with... 'Hoebuck,' was it?"
There are some other obstructions, like a steel railing, that corral those who enter, and makes it difficult to enter without inspection.>>144913
"Oh no, it's hardly an issue at all. Although... I'm not sure how many beds we have. Still, we can prepare something for all of you, if you like."
“I would feel safer sleeping in a place like this.”
"Great! Make yourself at home. We'll prepare sleeping arrangements after dinner."
She nods nervously. "Y-yes. Actually, I going to turn in some evidence that...that I found nearby."
The mare slowly pulls back her cloak with her teeth to show a revolver of sorts. "Thsmm ss ull ah goat ohn muh,"
she says, her mouth muffled.
The Stallion's eyes grow wide, and he rapidly moves back, his hooves momentarily slipping on the tile floor. He moves back far enough to come to a wooden desk."SHE'S GOT A GUN!"
He yells, before himself producing a revolver, which slips from his mouth in the first instance.
Inside, a pony dives to the floor, while another tries to scurry away, slipping on the tile and falling down.
"PUT DOWN YA GUN MISS!"
The two green uniformed ponies from outside rush in, both of whom brandish wood and steel rifles, pointing them at Amber, though the second stallion quickly turns around, to look behind them and outside. A third green uniformed stallion rushes in from inside, also carrying a rifle and pointing it towards Amber.
The mare falls on the floor holding her hooves on her head. "Wait, wait! I brought it here because I want to give it to you!"
She looks in panic at the ponies with guns barging in.
One of the stallions in green starts talking:
"Get it! Get the gun! Who ya fightin' for? Glimma'?"
The zebra stallion uses a hoof to slide the gun closer towards himself
"A turn in?" He asks Amber
>>144920"I'm-I'm not fighting, I'm...yes, I want to...turn in....
She looks to be shaking half to death from fright.
There is a pause, and perfect silence for an extended period of time. Measured out, it's probably seven seconds, but when there are four different guns pointed at you, it surely feels like longer
"Uh, sorry miss." One of the stallions smiles awkwardly, tips his hat, and leaves the entryway, going back outside, followed by the other stallion, and the third green uniformed stallion, until only the Zebra stallion and a few others inside remain. The Zebra puts down his revolver on the cart. He picks up and examines the revolver Amber brought it.
"You can never be too cautious. You can get up now. Where did you say you found this?"
She looks around anxiously and, without that magical feeling of being mugged, slowly pulls herself up. She seems unsure of how to respond; lost, even. "Um, I, um,"
she mumbles, blinking confusedly.
Looking around, she can see no trace of the green-uniformed ponies who pointed rifles at her moments ago. Perhaps not no
trace, as the silhouttes of two of them can be seen outside, standing as there were before. Still, it is enough almost to cast doubt on whether the vent happened at all. Likewise, inside, the pink mare who slipped and fell on the floor is nowhere to be seen, and the storm-cloud grey Pegasus who jumped, now staring at Amber, is the only pony there besides the zebra.
The Zebra stallion repeats
"Where did you say you found this?"
She stares. "It was...near the Hoebuck tenement, um...in an alley. I, uh..."
she rubs the back of her head with a hoof. "...I saw something shiny by a dumpster."
He moves in a bit closer, his big, black muzzle nearing her face. He turns his head, and raises an eyebrow in skepticism.
"Hoebuck." He says to himself, pulling away
"Black Veil, do you know who heads the Hoebuck investigation? Is that that cultist case?"
The dark grey stallion moves in closer
"Yes sir. The... the 'New' government is claiming jurisdiction."
The Zebra stallion raises an eyebrow and looks over to him
"Oh they are? What does the chief say about that?"
"Same as the mayor. Don't budge an inch."
"Who is in charge though?"
"I think... Big Malt? It'll be assigned a special group I am sure."
"Well, let's collect all evidence we can."
Then the Zebra looks back to Amber
"Well, we really need to get it to somecreature working on the case. Especially one of the assigned detectives or the original police officer."
"Well, let's go see."
He speaks to the grey pegasus,
"Take my place for a few minutes."
He looks back to her, and offers the gun back
"You may be called as a witness in a future trial. Follow me."
Her ears fold back when she hears 'trial,' but otherwise she only replies, "Okay."
Hopeful but with her heart racing, she follows him.
"That would be extremely kind of you."
The creatures continue eating. The Doctor tries to make conversation, and Petal starts telling stories of the neighbors, followed by Ply Press telling stories of when he would hike through the woods.
Makade cautiously continues eating, while Waabishki finishes everything quickly. Petal volunteers to cook more.
Spark continues to listen until the meal is over.
Petal tells of her growing roses for competition in the State Fair back in the day, and how she made it to third prize in the entire region. She also tells of a couple neighbors, including of a mechanic's colt who went off to the War, and wondering if he is still prisoner.
Ply Press makes another mention of Mild Mirth, and also talks about going campaign on a series of hills. he mentions a close encounter with a... bear? Let's hope it was a bear, anyways. Didn't really sound like one, but damn was it big and furry and scary. Kind of hard to tell at night. He also mentions practicing marksmanship with Makade.
Spark makes a note of both a prisoner and a bear like thing.
Petal hastily goes upstairs, and the remainder make their way back to the living room. Waabishki, once again, looks anxious.
"Did you enjoy the meal Waabishki?"
She looking out, as if to the distance. It takes her a moment to turn her head to Spark.
"Huh? Oh. Yes. I was rather impressed ponies could make it that way."
“That’s good. Though I don’t suppose you are lost in thought about the flavor.”
"Well..." She looks down, and momentarily her ears come down.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
"It's the same as before." She says>>144956Perhaps. I'd prefer to make Amber's actions here in as long of chunks as possible
The Stallion goes slightly ahead of Amber, looking back
"Keep that where I can see it."
Note that it is actually Amber who has possession of the revolver.
The two go upwards, and upwards, until they enter through a door into another hallway with a bank of tables and desks, a hallway branching off to the right with closed doors, and a hallway straight ahead with doors with glass windows.
"Okay, now let's find a relevant detective. Let me see who's here..."
Amber keeps attentive and looks to either side of the hallway, trying to see if there are any names on nameplates or if there are any ponies observable through the windows. Meanwhile her ears are focused on the stallion ahead, trying to catch any names.
There are indeed nameplates and the windows can be seen through. One room is lit. However, Amber is a little far away and at the wrong angle to see much.
The Zebra Stallion moves ahead of Amber, in what would not have been a wise move had Amber been hiding bullets and a malign intent.
"Rosey! Hey! Rosey!"
Or maybe there's a witness already. Quickly, a small strawberry colored earthpony mare pokes out from the right hallway, and looks at the Zebra stallion and Amber.
"Calm down, it's not loaded, and it's evidence from that Hoebuck thing. We need a detective working on that case to turn it in to, or at least somepony who is working on it."
"Uh, oh. Okay. Well, Headliner is leading the case. Temporarily, I think the chief himself will lead it. And as for detectives..."
She looks down at a paper.
"We have Salted Stalwart here. He's in the back. He can check it in."
She goes through the names. Wait! None of them are Red Scabbard! I have to do something....
Panic rising in her chest, she asks, trying to be nonchalant, "You must have a lot of detectives here."
The Zebra responds
"A few, yeah. Only so many at 1:30."
The mare replies
"Let me get Stalwart."
"Okay," she says, but she intently looks at the doors to see if she can find the name she needs.
Roll two die [d20 = 4]
, one with wisdom modifier
Search though she may, Amber can find nothing useful on the nameplates
"Well, I..." He turns his head slightly down and away
"I've tried reading. History, poetry..."
Seeing no other option, Amber decides to wait.
"Anything from Severyana? 'War and Peace', maybe?"
A blue stallion walks from down the central hallway
And introducing himself
"Detective Salted Stallwart. You found a weapon near Hoebuck?"
"Yes. Caramel Marks, Valley Lemon's book on the State and..." He tilts his head.
"I haven't heard of that book before."
"It is Romanticist classic, written by Leo Trotstoy, one of Severyana's greatest authors. It is chronicle of Groverian invasion of Severyanan Empire and influence it had in following years after Severyana accepted Equestrian protection in wake of defeat."
"Ah." He nods his head
"Rather neat. I haven't, well, I haven't read that, but I've read some Equestrian and Aquellian literature."
Amber nods. "Y-yes, it was..."
she pauses to recollect her thoughts. "...It was in an alleyway by a dumpster."
"Let me write this down." He says, pulling out a paper and placing it on a table near him. He places a pencil in his mouth, moving it off to the side to let him speak.
"So, which alley did you find it in? And where was it located relative to the dumpster?"
"Anything good you would recommend?"
"Well... Yes. There are a couple by John Huffing. And the best is this one called Le Malheureux. The best I've read so far, anyways."
"Huh..." He writes something down
"Right by where we found those three unconscious griffins tied together in the dumpster. Wonder why the police missed it. When did you find it? Exactly where was it next to the dumpster? Do you think you could show me, or someone?"
"I admit I do not do as much reading as I should, but it is good idea to broaden one's horizons."
He finishes his glass of whiskey, and puts it on the end table.
"I had better stop it here, do not want to get too drunk before tonight. How are you holding up?"
>>144979"Um, I-I think I could."
She gives a nervous smile. "B-but I don't think you would be able to find anything else there."
"No no. It's where the gun was located. That says much about how it got there. And why it wasn't noticed on the first sweep. Whether it was even there on the night of the clearing. Here. Let me see it."
He extends a hoof>>144981
"Heh. I'm getting a little bit of a buzz now. At least I think I am? I'm feeling something, that's for sure." He has a strange smile
She cautiously hoofs over the gun, handle side towards him.
Silver gives him a light pat on the shoulder, and a smile.
"Everything feel alright, then?"
And he is pat.
"Uh, yeah. Everything's alright." He says>>144983
He takes it rather quickly, turning it over
"Lavender Number 2. Equestrian Service Revolver." He turns it over, then presses a button with his hoof, breaking the cylinder open. He spins the cylinder, then snaps the barrel back in place.
"Dated 1011. Wartime production, Mareway Small Arms Company."
He places the gun in a foreleg, and extends it forward, toward the wall in front of him. He holds it up, and looks down the sight, closing an eye. The way the gun is positioned between the ankle and the end of hoof is rather awkward. yet nevertheless he manages a squeaking action by pulling the end of the hoof inwards towards the ankle, pulling the trigger without jerking the gun. Amber could see the hammer rise and the cylinder turn, before Click
He turns around, and places it back on the table.
"This was probably issued to an Equestrian military non-commissioned officer. I wonder how it got here. It has most of the factory bluing. Wasn't found lying out on the battlefield. Not for long, anyways. Wasn't laying out in the alley very long either. It works fine and there is no rust. Not many scratches either."
"So...anything else you want to talk about? Anything you want to do?"
"Well... Make a life here, I suppose. Get in contact with the paper, or the activists here. they are much stronger than back home. Or leave, go to Aquellia or Stalliongrad."
"Should probably turn this in to evidence" He says
She perks up, looking a bit less anxious for now. "Oh yes, I should! Do you know the pony who runs it?"
"Hmm...well, as long as you do not get house raided by government, I would be happy to help you make your life."
"Well, there is a dedicated clerk for the room, but certain detectives can access it, so long as they make notes of what is placed in and taken out. I can take it back." He says>>144990
He smiles. Then the smile goes away
"What's this about a raid?"
She does not directly answer him. Instead: "Oh, can I have a looksie? It sounds really important."
She looks a bit more chipper. Youthful energy perhaps?This is my chance!
she thinks to herself.
He turns to her, and smiles awkwardly.
"Uh, at the evidence room? Civilians aren't normally allowed back there."
"At 1:30? Most of us go home long before then. Some of us stay late because we are working on a case, though there's always a few for dedicated nightshift. Tonight there's myself, Griselda, Sunnyside Meadow, Red Scabbard, Tracker, and Strummed Sound. Well, I think that's who hasn't gone home. Just six of us."
"Like, do not join any armed mobs or the such that would draw major attention from government. Did not mean anything bad, Clip."
He smiles again at the smaller stallion, before wrapping a foreleg around his shoulders.
"Well, you know what they do. You can't just do nothing." He says. But the smaller stallion lets Silver wrap his legs around him.
>>144995"They sound very different, and not at all what I'd expect ponies with detective-ing...detecting cutie marks to be named."
She says with slightly eager interest. "Can any pony sign up?"
"Then go ahead and do it. Working on paper sounds like good idea, maybe you could use fact you used to work for one in order to get editor position."
New Thread! >>145000 →>>144998
"They are not all ponies, to begin with. Griselda is a female griffin. Tracker is a diamond dog. Sunnyside Meadow's optimism is a value in this profession, as is Strummed Sound's thestral hearing, and Red Scabbard's talent in confrontation. But, well, sort of. but not really. You have to already be a police officer, or have some other prior experience for a number of years.">>144999
"Uh, alright. I'll do that."
He seems to wag his tail, though it's close to the bed and can hardly move. He has a wide, toothy smile.