The Town: Crime is Magic - Chapter 3
Meet the Unit
“Trixie: Light blue unicorn, violet eyes, white mane, systems tech at Moontribe Security.” Officer Frawley and Officer Dino addressed a collection of federal agents sitting around a table. On a large display chart were enlarged mug shots and sepia-toned photos of Trixie, Deadbolt, Willowisp, Tripwire, Fergie, and a number of other ponies. Above the chart in bright red letters read Downtown Canterlot Prime Suspects.
“Miss Trixie’s never seen the inside of a jail cell,” Frawley continued. “She got the tech job about 6 months ago after a stint as a traveling performer, probably just a cover for weapon trafficking. Now, most of these ponies get no-show jobs. They take the armored truck, foreman goes, ‘Yeah, she was here yesterday,’ and shows us a forged time card. But they can't play them games at Moontribe 'cause it's a public company. If you don't show up it's a recorded sick day. And Trixie here has some interesting sick days: Saltlick National Robbery, Fillydelphia Armored lift, Downtown Canterlot Merchants infiltration....”
“Celestia, this bitch gets around!” one of the officers slurred.
“Deadbolt. Only in Bucktown is a pony named Deadbolt,” Dino said as he pointed to a picture of Deadbolt. “Big, burly earth pony, dark green coat, blue-green eyes, buzzed brown mane, enjoys long drives along the beach... in your carriage.”
“Mr. Deadbolt never met a motor that he couldn’t boost,” Frawley pointed out. “He’s the kind of talented individual that could start your truck while you were still lookin’ for your keys.”
“Willowisp,” Dino continued. “Tan pegasus, brown mane, blue eyes, short, athletic. Father died in prison, mother died HIV. Shot a unicorn named Bonzo outside the Ponyville cemetery when he was 18. Bled it out. When the judge asked him why he did it, he said, "I didn't like the kid." Convicted for ponyslaughter, but the bucker got out after a year on bail. Not only that, but he was allowed to leave the damn CITY on parole to find a job in Canterlot! Judge musta been braindead...”
“These guys plan and execute with sophistication and discipline, and that is NOT our boy Willowisp,” Frawley said as he pointed to a mug shot of a soft-eyed, bruised up unicorn. “We think the architect is this guy: Will’s best friend Tripwire. Unicorn, platinum coat, black mane, hazel eyes.”
“They’ve shared a house since they lived in Ponyville 8 years ago. Will helped take care of Trip’s sister Rarity, who’s suspected for drug muling for Fergie, the florist who used to employ Trip and Will’s fathers.”
“You need a buckin’ venn diagram for these ponies!” one of the officers said, followed by a short wave of laughter.
“Trip and Will moved from Ponyville to Bucktown. Got into the family business. Same song and dance: got into the drug trade. Apparently, Tripwire was some kind of acting prodigy, but that washed up when papa got life behind bars.”
“Their fathers Hotwire and Straightaway got life for the Stalliongrad heist, which MOST of you should remember. Hijacked a bread truck. One guard saw his face, they executed both of em with their own weapons.”
“Allright, there’s no way we can get 24 hour surveillance on these ponies without some hard evidence, so let’s start knockin’ on doors. Let’s start with some a’ Fergie’s connections. Get to work!” As Frawley dismissed the officers, he studied the faces of the four ponies posted on the wall, paying special attention to Tripwire. Dino came up and tapped Frawley’s shoulder.
“So, where you wanna start?”
“Fergie’s got a couple traffickers in Ponyville, let’s take a road trip...”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Rarity, where are we going? Doesn’t Pinkie Pie still need our help setting up the party?” Sweetie Belle was walking alongside Rarity in the mid-afternoon Ponyville sunshine towards the Boutique.
“We are helping Pinkie, Sweetie. She asked us to pick up something very special for the party, and it should be arriving any minute...”
“What’s this party even for? Is it someponies birthday?”
“You’ll see!” Rarity told an impatient looking Sweetie. “Oh, that looks like them!” Rarity told Sweetie as a large green van pulled up to the boutique.
“Them?” Sweetie asked with a puzzled look. But as the back door of the van slid open and she saw a tall, platinum unicorn step out, Sweetie was speechless. A huge, gaping smile grew across Sweetie’s face as her eyes quickly began to water. She left Rarity’s side and galloped full stride toward the van screaming “Triiiiiiiiiiiip!” She jumped into the air and collided with the tall unicorn, pulling him in for a tight hug. She began to cry into his shoulder, squeezing tighter and tighter.
“Hey Sweetie!” Trip said in a quiet but excited voice, still holding on to her. Before he knew it, Rarity had joined in on the hug and he threw a hoof over her shoulder. “Hey, Rarity!”
“We- we missed you....” Rarity said, trying to hold back her own tears.
The moment was broken only about ten seconds later when Deadbolt let out a low-pitched “AWWWWWWWWWWWW!”
Trixie and Willowisp began unloading the bags when Will peaked around the van and shouted “Hey girls!” Rarity peaked over Tripwire’s shoulder as she softly released him. She ran over to Willowisp as he caught her in a hug and spun her around.
“Will! Hey, okay, stop spinning! Getting! Dizzy! AAAAHAHAHA!” she laughed as Will brought her to a halt. They were quiet as their eyes locked, both of them studying the other’s matured face with a smile. “How’ve you been?” Rarity asked Willowisp with a calm stare and soft smile.
“Gettin’ better every day since the bits came flowin’ in. But you know all about that, huh, Miss Fashionista?”
Rarity giggled at him. “Oh, these must be your friends!”
“Yeah, the big ugly one over there’s Deadbolt,” Will said.
Deadbolt trotted over and punched Willowisp. “Nice ta meet ya!” he said with a smile as Willowisp rubbed his shoulder.
Will continued, “And the skinny lil’ mare back here’s Trix-”
“TRACY, hi!” Trixie said as she dashed over to shake Rarity’s hoof. “It’s so nice to see you again-for the first time, I mean! Tripwire has told me SO much about you!” Trixie said with a huge, cheesy smile.
“Um, nice to meet you both! This is my sister Sweetie B-... Sweetie?” she looked over to see Sweetie Belle still wrapped around Tripwire. She gave Rarity a smile as he set her on the ground.
“Okay, let’s get the bags inside,” Tripwire said. “We’ve been stuck in that buckin’ van for hours.”
“Hey, language!” Rarity said as she put her hooves over Sweetie’s ears. “You know she does everything you do!”
“Not everything,” Willowisp added with a grin.
“Heh, LOVE the accents, guys. Okay, get your bags and put them inside,” Rarity continued. “But hurry. We all have somewhere to be!”
“Does Pinkie Pie got something to do with it?” Tripwire asked with a sly grin.
“What, NOOOO, of course not!” Rarity jested. When Trip’s smile didn’t falter, Rarity sighed and said “I guess YOU got all the best acting genes, huh?”
Sweetie Belle hopped on Tripwire’s back and told him all about her friends and their adventures while they brought all of the suitcases into the house. Rarity unlocked the door as the 5 of them followed her inside. “Now, there have been a few changes since you left. I had a bit of an expansion project,” Rarity said as she turned on the light.
“Whoa,” was all that Tripwire could muster up at the sight of his old home, which appeared about 3 times as big as he remembered. Willowisp and Deadbolt’s jaws hit the ground as Trixie looked around, clearly impressed.
“Trip, I kept your room exactly how it was when you left. Unfortunately, there’s only 2 spare beds, but we’ll make room!”
Willowisp nudged Tripwire. “Heh, home sweet home, right?”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“SURPRISE!!!!” everypony shouted as the 6 ponies walked into Sugarcube Corner. When they saw Tripwire and Willowisp come in, the reason for the party became clear, and they all crowded around the two of them, sharing hugs and brohoofs. They all had the same questions, but it was still nice to see them and catch up. The music started and everypony hit the dance floor for what was easily one of Pinkie’s biggest parties ever!
“Heh, do it! I’ll keep watch!” Deadbolt stood in front of a snack table while Willowisp calmly emptied the contents of a metal flask into a punch bowl. They walked away to go catch up with a few mares that Willowisp recognized.
Tripwire and ‘Tracy’ were off to the side talking with a few ponies when Rarity called out for Trip from across the room. “Tripwire, Tracy, have you met Twilight yet?” Their stomachs sank and their legs went numb at the sight of the purple unicorn following Rarity.
“Oh, um, hi!” Twilight said to the 2 ponies on the verge of a panic attack. “Rarity’s told me alot about-” she stopped and looked intently at Trixie. She gave Twilight a huge grin as sweat started to trickle down her face. “....Wow Tracy, your mane is gorgeous!”
“Oh! Well, thank you!” Trixie said, relief apparent in her tone.
“So, you’re Rarity’s mysterious older brother? It’s nice to finally meet you! Gosh, I feel like the only pony here who doesn’t know you.”
“Well, uh, if you’re Rarity’s friend then i’m sure we’ll be friends in no time!” Tripwire’s acting skills showed none of his internal fear to anypony; he was a born con. “I’d love to talk more, but I gotta go to the little foal’s room, so-”
“I’LL GO WITH YOU!” Trixie interrupted.
“Uh, Tracy, guys don’t really-” Before he could finish, Trixie grabbed him with one hoof and teleported the two of them into Sugarcube Corner’s unisex bathroom across the dance floor.
Twilight just stood there, impressed with Tracy’s magical ability. “Oh well,” Rarity said. “When you gotta go...”
“I guess I can get to know him later,” Twilight said with a smile. “I’m gonna get more punch. I don’t know what Pinkie did to it, but it’s GREAT!”
As Twilight was walking away, Willowisp had just flown up to Rarity with a giddy Rainbow Dash by his side. “What’s up Rarity?” Rainbow Dash asked, clutching Willowisp’s front foreleg.
“Hey, you will not BELIEVE wha-” Will stopped dead as he saw Twilight walking away. ‘Aw, s***,’ he thought silently to himself.
Rarity said with an annoyed tone, “Why do all of you keep freezing up around Twilight?”
The only decent excuse to flash through his head was “Well, uh, she’s- she’s a cute mare...” He caught a flash of disappointment strike both Rarity and Rainbow Dash’s faces, so he corrected himself. “Well, I mean, she ain’t MY type, but I bet Trip just fell head over hooves with the poor girl! Guy’s got a loose bladder around broads...” Rarity’s smile returned.
“Heh, so what IS your type, Will?” Rainbow Dash asked him.
“That’s for me to know. Come on, let’s dance!” Will pulled a still-giddy Rainbow Dash into the air above the dance floor as he got over seeing Twilight again.
As Rarity let out a sigh, Fluttershy tapped her shoulder. “Don’t worry about it,” she said with a kind smile. “I mean, um, it’s just one dance, and he’ll be here for a while. I’m sure you’ll get your chance.... I mean, if you still like him or....”
“Thank you Fluttershy, and you’re right.... Let’s enjoy the party. OH DEADBOLT, have you met Fluttershy?”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Oh, man, oh crap, oh buck my life!” Tripwire yelled at himself in the mirror, Trixie pacing the floor of the otherwise-empty bathroom. “Of COURSE Rarity would be her friend! She’s the Princesses personal student for buck’s sake! Oh, this is not good....” He began to hyperventilate.
“Well, you told Will you’d keep tabs on her, let’s look at this as a good thing!” Trixie tried to convince Tripwire (and herself). “If she’s close to your sister, then she’ll probably trust you! I’m not sayin’ ya have to be her best friend, but talk to her! Find out what she knows...” Tripwire took a deep breath and splashed his face with cold water. “Be careful a’ this mare, though. She stopped a buckin’ Ursa Minor from tearin’ the city down, and she’s NOT stupid. Don’t tell her too much, just get her to trust you enough to tell you what she knows.”
A smile finally came to Tripwire’s face. “Who do ya think you’re talkin’ to, Trix? I’m the freakin’ prince ‘a thieves! I’ll get her ta spill everything by the end a’ the night!”
“So modest...” Trixie said with a soft smile. “Well, take care of it. Imma go tell Deadbolt that Miss Sparkle’s at the party so he won’t flip s*** when he sees her.... Oh, and remember, it’s ‘Tracy’!” With that, she teleported out of the bathroom and back into the party.
He chuckled to himself; Trixie always could bring a smile to his face. ‘Oh great, now I actually gotta go!’ Tripwire thought to himself as he walked into a stall. He went silent as he heard the door open. He looked under the stall to see the pony that just walked in was Twilight. She set her purse down by the sink and rummaged through it. When she pulled out what appeared to be a make-up case, she stopped and stared intently at her purse.
“Blood?” she asked, staring at a small crimson stain by the handle. Then, it all came back to her: The masked pegasus yelling at the bank manager, beating his skull with his steel gauntlet, blood splattering around the area, reaching for the bleach bottle, and then... kidnapping her. Officer Frawley’s omen rang in her head. ‘At some point, you definitely will cry’. It hit her all at once. She couldn’t help herself: tears began to run down her face as she choked on the knot forming in her throat. A wave of fear, helplessness, and loneliness crashed over her mind as she began sobbing into her hooves.
Tripwire heard this as he slowly stepped out and approached her. “Twilight? Hey, you okay?”
“Oh-uh...” Twilight fought to get the words out. “I’m f-fine...”
“You sure?” Tripwire asked, picking up some things that she dropped from her purse.
“I-i’m sorry, this is embarrassing...” Twilight responded, wiping her face with a paper towel.
“I’m just having a... a bad week.”
“I understand...” Trip said, trying to comfort him. “I usually like to go to the spa for a good cry...” Twilight laughed through her paper towel, smiling despite the tears. “Yeah, Lotus and Aloe are very understanding mares.” Twilight wiped her face off and they locked eyes. “Hey, let’s get back to the party, I like this song.”
“Wow, you work fast,” Twilight joked. “Is this how you meet all the mares? You walk in on them crying?”
“It usually doesn’t work this well,” he replied. “Come on, one dance. What’s the worst that could happen?”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
*Ring Ring* “Hello?”
“Is Bon Bon there?”
“This is Officer Frawley, who’s this?”
Frawley heard muffled sounds from the other line. “LYRA, GET OFF MY PHONE, BITCH! Hello, who’s this?”
“Hello Bon Bon? This is Officer Frawley, violent crimes robbery task force.”
“....Do I know you?” Bon Bon asked.
“You were in the can for 3 years, Bon Bon. Department of Justice made some moves.”
“Hey, i’m good with my parole officer!”
“But you’re at your lady’s place and I need to be sure there is nothing in her apartment that would violate you. Narcotics, weapons, that sort of thing.”
Bon Bon looked around; there are a few boxes of pills, some weed on the table, a handgun by the shelf. “No, nothing, I swear! I’m at work right now.”
“Oh, that’s good,” Frawley replied. Bon Bon jumped at a loud bang from the other room. “‘Cause i’m comin’ through the back door right now!”
Bon Bon looked at the back door, panicked, grabbed the gun, and bolted for the front door. “What the buck’s that banging?” Lyra asked. Bon Bon opened the front door, only to run in to Frawley who cracked her in the jaw with his assault gauntlet. She got up and took a swing at Frawley, who ducked, only to hit her again in the stomach. Scrambling backwards Bon Bon grabbed a plaque off the wall and threw it at Frawley, then made a mad dash. Frawley caught up with her, grabbing her leg as she tried to jump the couch. Bon Bon fell into the glass coffee table covered in trash and drugs, shouting in agony as pieces of broken glass pierced her legs and body.
Dino finally busted down the back door and apprehended Lyra, who was trying to hit Frawley with a lamp. Bon Bon got up, bloodied and bruised, and reached for her gun. Frawley stomped violently onto Bon Bon’s hoof, then proceeded to beat her into submission.
Frawley, panting trying to catch his breath, looked around the mess of a house, then back down at the now-handcuffed Bon Bon. “Oh Celestia.... guns, weed, oxy.... it’s like townie Christmas!”
With both Bon Bon and Lyra aprehended, Dino took Lyra into the other room for questioning. Bon Bon sat on the couch with her front hooves bound, still bleeding from the shattered glass in her skin. Frawley gingerly pulled a few pieces out of her legs as he spoke.
“Minimum federal sentencing, 85%. That’s about.... s***, 320 months! Sounds like you need a friend, and that poor girll in the other room ain’t it. Sweet girl, though. I can tell she really loves you. Good news for you is you have an alibi for the Canterlot job. Good news for me is you know something about it.” Bon Bon was silent, eyes glued to the carpet covered in glass and pills.
“You’re gonna cooperate, or I will make sure that every pony in that hellhole knows that you talked to me. Alotta time to do when they think you’re a snitch.”
Bon Bon sighed. “....Everyone does trucks,” she said, sadness aparent in her quiet voice. “But these ponies beat the alarm for the vault. I heard one of ‘em knows the security system inside and out. Probably.... works at the security company.”
Realization struck Frawley as a huge, cynical grin grew on his face. “Trixie....”