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Father of the Night 21: Bad Moon Rising.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:39:11 PM

  1. =Father of the Night 21=
  2.  
  3. >You sit in your seat on the train and stare out the window at the passing countryside.
  4. >Celestia's sun hangs low in the sky and if you look out the other side of the train, you can see Luna's moon rising over the horizon giving way to the night.
  5. >You did your best work then.
  6. >Your companion next to you turns to look at you. "Are you sure we'll find her, Bruce?"
  7. >You turn to look Dinky in the eyes, you can see the worry in them.
  8. "The clue we gathered the other day pointed to Canterlot as our best bet, Dinky. We must have faith that out investigation will either turn up a clue about your mother's whereabouts or her herself."
  9. >Dinky sighs and looks around the train car. "All by ourselves?"
  10. >You sigh..
  11. "I know it can be scary your first time...out. But we will travel together and ensure we do not become seperated. Also remember that my uncle and tante are there, they will assist us."
  12. >"How?" she asks.
  13. >You look out the window over Canterlot as your train enters into the mountainous tunnels.
  14. "They have lived in Canterlot for many years and will know things of the city we do not."
  15. >Dinky gets up and looks out the window with you. "Are you sure your dad will be okay with us being out?"
  16. >That gives you pause for a brief moment.
  17. "...Mister Anonymous does not mind me being out, and I will keep you safe while we are."
  18. >The loudspeaker at the front of the car crackles to life. "Canterlot station. Next stop: Canterlot station."
  19. >You hop down and throw your saddlebags over your back.
  20. "Come on, we should...get ready."
  21. >You had a job to do.
  22.  
  23. >Dinky and you step off the train onto the platform in Canterlot.
  24. >The train station was, like many other things, build into the side of the suspended city and gave way to a sheer vertical drop at the edge before the tracks went back onto the mountain.
  25. >You hear Dinky shudder next to you.
  26. "Do you suffer from Acrophobia?" you ask turning to her.
  27. >Dinky cocks her eyebrow. "What's that?"
  28. "A fear of heights."
  29. >Dinky looks back out over the sheer drop down below. "No, just...it's a long way down."
  30. >You lead Dinky away.
  31. "Then...perhaps it is best to avoid such things."
  32. >You weren't used to how normal kids reacted...better to play it safe.
  33. >From the other side of the station, you hear a familiar voice. "Bruce my boy!"
  34. >You crane your head and catch sight of a pair of unicorns, both white, one with a blue mane and the other with pink.
  35. "Come along, this way."
  36. >You and Dinky trot over to the two of them.
  37. "Hello Mister Fancypants, Tante Fleur."
  38. >Their faces shift ever so slightly, sinking a bit, but you do not know why.
  39. "Thank you both for offering to help us."
  40. >"Yeah, thanks a lot Mister and Missus Pants."
  41. >Mister Fancypants chuckles and pats Dinky. "No need to thank us, my dear! Why anything we can do to help you or Bruce find your dear mother is just gravy to us!"
  42. >Tante Fleur leans down. "Do either of you know exactly where you shall begin looking?" she asks in her accented voice.
  43. >She was not using her native tongue, she must be concerned.
  44. "The mail superior gave us records indicating that the package was meant for the wharfs, we shall begin searching there."
  45. >Fancypants nods. "If-WHEN you find her, come to our home. You can all stay there until you are ready to leave in the morning."
  46. >You bow.
  47. "Thank you Mister Fancypants, that is very kind of you."
  48. >His face hardens into a smile. "You're...very welcome my boy."
  49.  
  50. >You and Dinky leave the station and make way for the wharfs. A pair of small children walking alone through the Canterlot city streets at night.
  51. >You turned a few heads, but none of them thought to try and stop you.
  52. >In time, the two of you arrive at the wharfs. Airships of various sizes and shapes lift off and dock at the various moors to either be loaded up with cargo or unloaded.
  53. >You look to Dinky. [spoiler][/spoiler] "We should ask around to learn if anyone has seen her. Do you still have your picture?"
  54. >Dinky nods and floats a piece of paper with a crayon drawing of a wall eyed grey mare on it smiling.
  55. >"Do you think this'll be enough?" she asks.
  56. >...It wasn't the best as far as these things went.
  57. "It's a start." you say.
  58. >The two of you begin asking around, stopping anyone who seemed to know their way around the area and asking if they had seen the mare in the drawing.
  59. >The more helpful among them were only able to tell you that mail in Canterlot was delegated to many, many couriers, and that finding one who was from out of town would be impossible.
  60. >The less than helpful offered less than that.
  61.  
  62. >You once look over and catch Dinky with her head down low and her face contorted into a frown.
  63. "We will find her, Dinky." you say.
  64. >"But everyone we've talked to hasn't had anything that could help..." she relents.
  65. "Then we have yet to talk to enough people."
  66. >You spot a large dock supervisor that you do not remember talking to.
  67. "Come on, he might help."
  68. >The supervisor looks down at the two of you as you approach. "Hey, who let these kids in here? This is a work site! Go on home, you's two."
  69. "In a moment, sir."
  70. >Dinky levitates the drawing up for him to see.
  71. "Have you seen the mare in this picture?"
  72. >You didn't expect much, Dinky seemed to expect less, but it was still important to try for her sa-
  73. >"She the one who has a problem flyin' inta walls?"
  74. >Dinky immediately perks up. "Mom has eye problems! Yeah!"
  75. >The supervisor's face shifts a bit. "Yeah, I seen her. Over on the far side of the wharf though, near that crab shack the tourists go to."
  76. >Dinky looks at you. "Come on, Bruce! This could be it!" she says before running past you.
  77. "Dinky! Wait up!"
  78. >You run after her as the supervisor quickly shuffles into his office.
  79.  
  80. >You chase after Dinky all along the wharf until you reach the location the supervisor said.
  81. >Joe's Shack O' Crabs was over your right shoulder.
  82. >The two of you walk through the near deserted boardwalk straining your eyes in the dim light of the street lamps, trying to find anything out of the ordinary.
  83. >"There! Look!" Dinky exclaims.
  84. >You follow her hoof and catch sight of a grey pegasus with a blonde mane laying limp on a far off bench. Straining further, you could see her stir with movement.
  85. >Dinky sees it too, it seems, as she runs past you towards the bench shouting "MOM!"
  86. >The mare's head rockets up at the sound of Dinky's voice and looks around, she bounds off the bench and rushes to Dinky.
  87. >"Sweety!" she shouts.
  88. >The two of them meet and embrace in the middle of the path, Dinky nuzzling into her mother's neck as she holds onto her tightly.
  89. >You feel a slight pang in your chest...but banish it quickly as you catch up with them.
  90. >"I was so worried, muffin. Are you alright? Have you eaten?" she asks.
  91. >Dinky giggles. "I'm fine, mom! I've been staying with Bruce and Mister Anonymous the last few days, he helped me find you!"
  92. >The mare looks at you with mismatched eyes. "This little boy...?"
  93. >You offer a curt bow. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Hello. My name is Bruce Mane. I am nine."
  94. >She smiles and nods back. "Hello Bruce Mane, my name is Derpy Hooves."
  95. >Derpy Hooves, then.
  96.  
  97. "Miss Hooves, may I ask what happened? Why you dissapeared?"
  98. >Miss Hooves' face drops as she pets Dinky's mane. "I-I just got told to deliver a package to a warehouse here...when I knocked on the door, this gross green gas started to come out from under the welcome mat and I fell asleep! I only woke up when I heard Dinky calling me..."
  99. >Your own face falls now.
  100. "Ma'am...that was days ago."
  101. >Derpy's ears perk up. "I'm not even hungry!"
  102. >What could whoever did this have wanted...?
  103. >Miss Hooves looks around. "Hey, has anyone seen my mailbag?"
  104. >You look around and don't spot the mailbag. What you do spot is a bit of graffiti on a nearby warehouse wall in angry red.
  105. >You take a few steps closer and examine it.
  106. >"That was on the warehouse I was gassed at!" Miss Hooves says.
  107. "Really?" you ask.
  108. >She nods.
  109. >That was curious...
  110. >You look again. "Οι πυρκαγιές εξαπλώνεται." it says.
  111. >You scratch your chin.
  112. "Blast...I can't place this, it's not in a language I know."
  113. >The sounds of great flapping wings draws your attention skyward just in time to see a blotch of midnight blue streak over the inky blackness and touchdown nearby with the slight "clink!" of crystal horseshoes.
  114. >The deep azure alicorn folds her wings back in and looks to you in particular.
  115. >"Perhaps we can assist." she says.
  116.  
  117. >Dinky, Miss Hooves, and you all stand in silent, open mouthed shock at your new arrival.
  118. >"Princess Luna!?" Miss Hooves exclaims.
  119. >"What are you doing here!?" Dinky asks.
  120. "How did you even -find- us here?"
  121. >The monarch chuckles and gestures to the moon high above. "Why we say you come in, of course. The moon sees all that there is to see at night, and we see all it does."
  122. >She smiles down at you. "Tis a gift!"
  123. >That...makes sense. You guess.
  124. >Magic always eluded you.
  125. >You clear your throat. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Yes...well. Uhm...you said you could offer insight?"
  126. >Princess Luna's face hardens promptly. "Yes. Over the past several months, there have been repots of ponies being abducted. Always in the dead of night in large cities and always with the same methods Miss Hooves described. Tis nothing the local guards could not handle, but it caught our attention just the same..."
  127. >Dinky cocks an eyebrow. "Why would a Princess worry about that kinda stuff?"
  128. >Princess Luna looks back at her. "We take the safety of our subjects -very- seriously, Little Dinky."
  129.  
  130. >You point to the tag.
  131. "And you believe this could mean something?"
  132. >Luna looks to it and squints her eyes in concentration. "I believe so...yes. In my many years, I have learned many tongues. This seems to be ancient Minian from the south..."
  133. >She scans over the tag several times before sighing in frustration. "I am sorry, little one, it is using a dialect I am not clear on. The only word I can make out is "fire"."
  134. >You rub your chin again. Fire...
  135. "Well...it is more than we had a moment ago..."
  136. >This was worth perusing, you would look into it once you got home.
  137. >But for now...
  138. "Miss Hooves, Dinky, let us return to Mister Fancypant's home, it has been a long night for many of us."
  139. >The two of them nod as you offer a quick yet deep bow to the Princess.
  140. "Your Highness, we thank you very much for your assistance."
  141. >Princess Luna returns with her own small bow. "Freely given, Mister Mane."
  142. >You trot past her to follow the others.
  143. >"Oh, and Mister Mane?" The Princess says.
  144. >You turn and look to her, she is already hovering in the air. "Tis nice to see you out of your cape, we always found them to be so garish." she says before rocketing off into the sky.
  145. >She-
  146. >Wha-
  147. >WHAT.
  148. >You stand there dumbstruck for a moment before Dinky calls you from down the path.
  149. >Shaking your head you run to catch up with them, your mind still mulling over what you just heard.
  150. >That...could complicate things.
  151.  
  152. -Epilogue-
  153. >You walk through the dank caverns in the near total darkness.
  154. >The liked it like this, said it let them move more freely and made them have to listen better.
  155. >And these times were all about listening.
  156. >You had hightailed it into here after you called up the boys once those kids showed you that drawing. Just like Boss said.
  157. >You'd been found out, someone had come looking, best to let them have what they wanted and leave.
  158. >A bit touch and go for a bit there, but it had all worked out.
  159. >You finally come across a more lit cavern with a lake at the bottom.
  160. >Canterlot had a few underground reservoirs that fed into the waterfalls cascading from the side of the city.
  161. >Workers weaved around you as they saw to their various tasks in this miniature beehive of activity. Meanwhile, you made a straight beeline for the Boss.
  162. >You find him sitting in his big stone half-chair/half-throne with his back to you, just as always.
  163. "There's a problem." you say.
  164. >"Hmm?" he says in a low rumble.
  165. "Someone came lookin' for one of the marks that we grabbed, only this time a PRINCESS showed up with 'em! They're gonna find somethin' out for sure.
  166. >Muscles creak as the Boss rises out of his chair, his horns almost scraping the ceiling. Two workers nearby look up from the pilfered mail bag and letters they were sifting through with you, but go back to work.
  167. >"If they come knocking, they'll get a rocking."
  168. "You sure that'll work? We aint too big, boss."
  169. >He folds his hands behind his back. "There isn't time to mess around, get those cells working underground."
  170. >You nod.
  171. "I'll let the boys know to speed the time table up."
  172. >With that you turn and walk out of his chambers.
  173. >On your way out, you hear him mutter "Οι πυρκαγιές εξαπλώνεται." loud enough for it to echo over the entire chamber.
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