The Town: Crime is Magic - Chapter 1
Victim of Circumstance
“Driver's name is Arthur Ironside. Former Cloudsdale Police officer, 57 years old. Soon as his partner leaves with the cash bag, Artie cracks a Playfoal, and he don't look up 'til the guy gets back. Marty Swift. Armored courier. Four foot-ten, 160 pounds, 52 years old. Picks up every Wednesday and Friday at exactly 8:12 am, makes a hundred and ten dollars a day, carries a Sig Nine. Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia’s personal student, no combat training. Miss Sparkle will be picking up some very important forms from the Princesses royal vault at 8:15 am. And she’s about to get robbed.”
Tripwire briefed his squad on the situation as they prepared their weapons and planned out their tactics. They were all wearing identical black jackets, jeans, and boots. He’d been robbing banks and trucks with these three ponies for almost seven years, and their technique was almost flawless. He’d come to see them as his closest friends in the world: Willowisp, Deadbolt and Trixie. But they’ve never pulled off something as big as stealing from the Princess.
“600,000 bits!” Trixie proclaimed. “Even after we cut out the expenses, this’ll be our biggest score to date! Twilight should be here any minute...”
“This is all standard procedure,” Tripwire reassured everyone. “We're bucked if we see a helicopter, we're bucked if we see SWAT. We see a cruiser, stop, take out the engine blocks, keep movin'. No one needs to get hurt.”
“Yeah, but these guards like to test you,” Willowisp added. “They wanna be a hero for ten bits an hour, don't get in the way.”
“WAIT!” Trixie loudly whispered. “That’s her! Get ready!” The four of them hooked up their auto-assault gauntlets to their right hooves and put on identical rubber skeleton masks with dreadlocks.
The courier politely held the door open for Twilight, then followed in after her. Two seconds later, the four ponies bust through the door without any hesitation. As Deadbolt bodychecked the courier to the ground, Willowisp quickly flew behind the counter and forces all of the clerks to the floor at gunpoint. “Get on the buckin ground! Step AWAY from the computers!” Trixie forced the civilians on the ground and took their cell phones and pagers as Tripwire secured the front door closed and took the vault key from the courier. With all the bystanders taken care of, Trixie put all the phones and pagers in a bowl and bleached em. With all four of the skeleton-faced ponies screaming orders with total efficiency, Tripwire forced a terrified Twilight Sparkle to the vault at gunpoint.
“When’s the time lock expire?” he asked her.
“N-n-nine o’clock” she said on the verge of tears.
“You’re lying, it’s 8:15.” he said in a gruff, calm voice, slightly muffled by his mask. “Dont lie to us again, its not your money, understand?” Twilight nodded with her eyes closed tight. “When that clock hits 8:15, put in the combo. Noone’s gonna get hurt.”
As he spoke, Deadbolt rifled through the cash drawers, throwing out the tracers and stuffing the clean bits into a large dufflebag. There were roughly twenty ponies there, all terrified for their lives, and Trixie was keeping close watch over all of em. Willowisp picked up who he identified as the manager and threw him next to the vault door. It was only seconds before the lock would expire.
As the second hand hit the 12, there was a loud click heard from behind the vault door. “Go” was all that Tripwire said, and Twilight began working the combination lock. Her hooves were shaking, and she messed up on the second number. “S-sorry.”
“Come on, quit stallin!” Willowisp shouted as Twilight restarted the combination. Again, she was too terrified to work the lock. She gave a quiet, terrified *gasp* as she once again messed up the lock. “Whats the matter with you?” Willowisp shouted again as he held up his assault gauntlet to the bank manager’s head. “Is this guy a buckin’ friend of yours!?” He yelled, not taking his eyes off Twilight.
As Twilight once again raised her hoof to the lock, Tripwire reached out and grabbed her foreleg. She met his eyes through his mask as he slowly placed her hoof on the dial and quietly told her, “Take your time, okay. Breathe.” She took a deep breath and stopped shaking, then got to work on the combo. About ten seconds later, a large bolt was heard turning, and Tripwire inserted the key that he took from the courier. As they opened the large metal door, Deadbolt sprinted in with Willowisp following. Deadbolt ran to the security recorders and began removing the tapes, while Willowisp was filling three large dufflebags with thousands of gold bits and throwing out the tracers. Deadbolt threw the security tapes into a microwave in the break room and fried em, then went to help Trixie bleach all of the counters and shelves.
Suddenly, there was a knock heard at the front door, and Trixie snapped around and aimed her gauntlet at the shadow behind the door. “Hello, are you guys open yet?” he heard a casual male voice ask.
“Sorry, sir. Please come back later. We’re in the middle of a situation,” Trixie replied in a calm, sweet voice. When Twilight noticed that noone was paying attention, she used her telekinesis to quietly pull the silent alarm. When she looked up, she saw Tripwire’s mask staring at her.
“OH NO,” she thought. “IM CAUGHT! IM DEAD!!” Her mouth was agape, her eyes wide and pleading for mercy. She closed her eyes tight, waiting for him to shoot her.
“We gotta go!” was all that she heard. “Silent alarm, this address!” Deadbolt screamed with his hoof to an earpiece.
Willowisp had just finished filling the dufflebags and came out of the safe. “WHO DID IT?” he screamed at the clerks on the ground. “Come on, whose the big buckin’ HERO??”
“It doesn’t matter, we’re out the door. Let’s go.” Tripwire told him. Twilight only stared at him, a smile almost coming to her face.
“Oh dear Celestia, I’m going to live!” she thought silently.
“Look, nobody did anything!” the bank manager replied to the enraged masked pegasus.
“What?” Will asked, flying over to the manager in less than a second. “Huh? What’d you say?”
“N-nobody pulled the alarm! We’ve been on the grou-”
“You think you’re slick? Huh?! You SON OF A BITCH!” Willowisp screamed as he repeatedly beat the bank manager’s skull in with his gauntlet. The colt silently blacked out as blood leaked out of the top of his head. Will grabbed a bottle of bleach and was about to pour it over the colt’s head, but Tripwire ran over and pulled him away.
“Easy, easy! We’re on a time limit!” As they were struggling, Willowisp’s jacket slightly moved up his body, revealing his cutie mark to Twilight: a brown pot of gold. Willowisp calmed down and picked up one of the dufflebags. Deadbolt and Trixie went out the back door with most of the bags while Tripwire finished up bleaching the vault.
Twilight thought it was over, but then she felt something nudge her side. She looked up and saw Willowisp looking at her. “Where’s your purse?” the pegasus asked her. She broke into a cold sweat.
Tripwire finished up with the vault and ran out the back door to see his comrades loading up the escape van. Standing next to the van was Twilight with her front hooves bound behind her and her purse resting on her back.
“The buck is this?” he asked nopony in particular.
“Insurance.” Willowisp replied. “If we get jammed up we’ll need her.”
It was much too late to tell him how stupid that was and take her back, so Tripwire just sighed and threw her in the back of the van. Deadbolt started the engine and casually drove out the back alley. Trixie ripped a piece of cloth off Twilight with a knife, making her flinch. She used her telekinesis to tie it around her eyes. When the improvised blindfold was on, Trixie half-lunged at Twilight with the knife to make sure she couldn’t see anything. Everyone took off their masks and had a sigh of relief. “Take us to the beach.” Tripwire told Deadbolt.
About twenty minutes later, a blindfolded Twilight was walking towards a calm tide. When her front hoof hit the water, she removed the blindfold, only to find that her captors were long gone.
Traumatized and alone in an unfamiliar city, she hailed a cab and asked to be taken to the police station.
“That was way too close,” Trixie said as she heard the police driving in the direction of the bank. “Will, what the hell made ya think we’d need a buckin’ hostage?”
“Hey, she woulda helped if they had patrol waitin for us around the corner AGAIN.”
“Its behind us. Let’s just light up the van and meet Fergie at the flower shop.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Twilight was sitting in a small office at the FBI headquarters with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders and a hot cup of tea. She was taking in her surroundings; the walls were covered in photos of bank robberies, convicts, killers, and maps of Canterlot with several locations marked with red and black X’s. The building was bustling with many ponies rushing past her, paying no regard to her existence. The office door opened, and in walked a tall light-blue earth pony with a black vest and a badge hanging around his neck.
“Miss Sparkle, I’m Special Agent Frawley, violent crimes and robberies. I’d like to talk to you about your abduction.”
“Umm, okay, but I really need to get ahold of Princess Celes-”
“The princess has been informed of the situation. She’d be here herself, but she has her court to attend to. Rest assured, she’s very concerned about you. She’s arranged for you to return home first thing tomorrow morning to rest.”
“Oh, okay.” Twilight replied, sounding slightly comforted.
“I understand they threatened you?”
“Yes, and they took my ID.”
“Did you try to escape at any point? Or, is there anything you could identify about the colts? Anything you could testify to?”
“I didn’t try to escape; they had guns.... There was one pegasus, and the other three were earthbound. I’m not sure if the were unicorns or....” Twilight’s comfort was slowly deteriorating.
“....And they just let you go?”
“Yes. They untied my hooves at the beach and told me to walk until I felt the water on my hooves.”
“And which one threatened you?’
“The pegasus. He said that if I talked to the FBI, he’d come to my house and f*** me and kill me.”
Twilight brought the mug to her lips and took a sip.
“Anxiety is very normal for a pony in your situation,” Frawley feebly tried to comfort her.
“Oh, I’m fine, really. I haven’t even cried.”
“At some point, you definitely will cry. It’s gonna be okay. I know where to find these guys.”
“Wait, you do?”
The officer let out a chuckle. “Follow me.”
The two of them walked to the next room. Frawley opened a file cabinet and threw its contents onto the table.
“We had 370 robberies in Canterlot and Manehatten combined last year. But ponies like this, the hardcore run-and-gun professionals, 90% of them come from a small town outside Canterlot called Bucktown.”
“Are you serious?!” Twilight asked, her suprise completely unmasked.
“Hell yea. the first thing we do when there’s an armed car robbery in the city is close the Bucktown bridge. Armed robbery is like a tradition in the Town, passed down generation to generation.”
“So, you’re gonna, like, set up surveillance around this Town?”
“I’m afraid this doesn’t warrant the resources for a surveillance team. Bank robbery is only eighth on the federal level behind domestic terrorism, national, cyber, child safety... Fortunately, arrests are a function of focus, not ponypower.”
“Well, they’ve got my ID, so I hope your department’s got plenty of focus on this.”
“You, can sleep easy, Miss Sparkle. You’ll probably never see these ponies again outside the papers. Go get some rest, and you’ll be home in no time.”
With that, Twilight thanked the officer and left. Frawley stepped out into the conference room.
“Allright everypony! What are they doing right now? They’re cleaning the bits. Casinos, tracks, might be a big drug buy. They’re probably celebrating. Go check the bars, clubs, brothels, ask around! While you’re doin’ that, I’m gonna go catch these guys! Dino, put together a list of suspects, let’s go knock on some doors.... The buck you waitin’ for, GO!”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Heh, a HOSTAGE?” an older male earth pony said through a thick, unidentifiable accent. “What are ya now, bleedin’ mercs? Oh well, ya got her ID, right?”
“Yup,” Deadbolt replied. “Twilight Sparkle, 24, Unicorn from Ponyville.” Tripwire and Willowisp lit up at the mention of Ponyville, but didn’t say anything as the florist broke into a laugh.
“Oh thats buckin rich! Hahaha!” The four of them shared a look of confusion. “Ha, maybe ya can pop in and say hello on your next job!” he slurred sarcastically.
“Wait, Fergie, you mean the Ponyville job came through?” Tripwire asked him.
“Damn right. We got ya some false papers, cover jobs, alibis, the works. You’ll need ta find a place to live, but that shouldn’t be too much trouble for the likes ‘a you.” The four of them broke out in huge smiles. “You’ll be leavin’ in three days, so pack yer bags. Oh, and Trixie, ya might wanna do somethin about yer hair. Don’t want nopony recognizin’ ya from yer last scoutin’ trip.” Trixie looked at her flawless mane, dreading the idea of staining it with chemicals. “Ye’ll get yer money before ya leave, and i’ll send a messenger with all the details on the job.”
The four of them thanked Fergie, unloaded the bits into the back of the shop, and went out to celebrate; Bucktown was alive 24 hours a day, and heists were commonplace enough not to disrupt the daily lives of the ponies who called it home. On the way downtown, Tripwire took out some paper, an ink, and a quill.
“Ya lettin your sisters know we’re comin back?” Willowisp asked him.
“Yup.” he said with a pleasant grin. “Its been years since we came out here. When Rarity and Sweetie Belle find out we’re comin’ home, they’re gonna flip!”