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Everything posted by Wziela

  1. The tears began to flow on his face as the full force of her statement hit him. He choked back a sob. She blamed him. She really did blame him. And now she was... No... She couldn't be... The waterworks opened up. He sobbed and cried. Mourning his sister. Mourning the life she never got to live. She was right. He left her. He lost her. He was the reason she was like this. He was the reason her wing was hanging off her body by a thread. He was the reason she had massive scars criss-crossing her body. He was the reason the hope had vanished from those bloodshot pink eyes. He cried and sobbed pathetically. Muttering half-formed apologies in between his tears. He reached out a hoof to her, reaching out to the gray filly...
  2. Sundown's heart sunk in his chest. No. That couldn't be. No. No. No. She looked like she hadn't aged a day since that terrible night. His heart felt like it had been rended in two. He had been looking for her all these years. And now she was here. In the clearing with him. His heart broke when he saw her injuries. Nopony deserved that. Especially not his sister. The filly who had always looked upon the world around her in constant wonder. The filly who had spent her days as her big brother's shadow. The filly who had told Sundown that she wanted to be just like him when she got bigger. The filly who could brighten a room with just her smile. The filly whom the detective had loved with all his heart. And now, that filly was staring him down, her eyes filled with fear and anger. Sundown was speechless. Tears began to well in his eyes. His sister blamed him for losing her. His sister blamed him for not finding her. His sister blamed him for her injuries. His sister blamed him. He got choked up as he tried to speak, barely finding the strength to talk. "Aurora... I'm - I'm so sorry."
  3. That voice. He knew that voice. It'd been a long time since he had that voice. But how did he know it? She cried. The sound of the filly's sobs tugged at Sundown's heart. This poor filly had to have been hurt bad. She needed help. Then came the accusation. The words reverberated and echoed through the trees. Assaulting his ears with the question over and over. He took a step back instinctively and folded his ears against his head. Was that directed at him? What had he done? He called once again into the clearing. "Listen - Uh - You just stay where you are. I'm coming to help." With that said, he trotted the last few strides towards the entrance and stepped into the clearing...
  4. Sundown ran as the tall buildings gave way to tall trees and as nature overtook the structures. Rain pattered down relentlessly on the detective, soaking him thoroughly. Mud squelched underhoof as he galloped through the now bare ground. He hesitated when he felt the feeling of being watched return. But it was not the familiar sensation he had come to know from his shadowy benefactor. Instead, it was harsh and hostile. It made him want to shrink back and hide. Or to get onto his knees and beg for forgiveness from whichever force he had angered. The detective steeled himself. This was no time to dilly-dally. Somepony was hurt and needed help. After a momentary stop, he continued his charge towards the voice. His eyes focused on the clearing ahead. Dim light flowed out from the one entrance, illuminating some of the dismal forest that laid right outside it. He slowed down to a trot. The forest had just become very familiar. Like he'd been here before many times. This caused the areion some disquiet. He could swear he's never seen these woods before in his life; so why did it feel like he had? As he got closer to the entrance, he called out to the pony within, raising his voice so they can hear him. "Hello? Are you okay?"
  5. He shot up when he heard the scream. Lightning cleaved the sky in two, momentarily blinding the detective. As the thunder rumbled, his eyes adjusted and he took stock of his new surroundings. He was standing in the middle of a city block. Tall buildings towered over him. Dim streetlights lit the sidewalk. Rain pounded on his coat and mane. Where was he? He listened. The voice was softer now, muffled almost. As if the distance between him and the speaker had increased substantially in the past few moments. How did that happen? He shook his head. Now wasn't the time for questions. Somepony needed help! He ran towards the sound of the voice. Or at least the general direction of where it was coming from. He had to get closer to tell exactly where.
  6. The detective watched her disappear once again into the wind. Except this time the feeling of being watched left with her. He supposed she was truly gone. He thought a little on what happened as he chewed on his meal. His thoughts fell on his mysterious benefactor. Despite her shadowy appearance and enigmatic speeches, she did seem benign overall. After all, she was helping him avoid a horrible death. And she did make him a nice meal. Although, he didn't know much about her other than her name. But, the detective had to admit that was probably because of his own failure to understand her answers when he asked her what she was and where she was from. And now some details of those explanations were being lost to memory. He found himself wishing he had the forethought to have written down her answers. Eh, if he really needed to know something, he could just ask her the next time he sees her. A glance down at his plate showed that he had finished his meal. He stood up, grabbed the plate, and walked over to put it in his kitchen sink. It barely fit, with the entire sink almost on the verge of being overflowing with dirty dishes and utensils. He'd have to wash some of the dishes in the morning. After a quick check to make sure the oven was off, he didn't want to burn his residence down after all, he trotted down his hallway and made a quick stop in his bathroom. However, before leaving his living room he made sure to grab the golden device and bring it with him. After arriving in the bathroom, it took him only a couple minutes to do his evening routine. A quick use of his toilet, a wash of his hooves, brushing his teeth, etc. As soon as he was satisfied, he trotted out of his bathroom, closed the door behind him, and went into his bedroom. His bedroom was a mundane affair. A simple wardrobe sat against a wall, he used that to hold some of his loose belongings and the few pieces of clothing he owned. An average-sized bed sat with it's headboard against the opposite wall. His bed had a matching set of sheets and blankets and a couple comfy pillows. Nothing extraordinary, but it was comfortable and did its job. Next to his bed there was a simple wooden nightstand and atop that was a plain lamp. Most of this furniture was already here when the Royal Guard rented it out for the detective, and Sundown hadn't really added anything of his own to the room other than his belongings and the bedding. If his stay in Manehattan ended up taking a bit longer, he might end up adding some furniture of his own to the room. He sank into his bed's comfortable embrace. He was exhausted after all the excitement he endured today, and after turning off the lamp and laying the device on his nightstand, sleep came easily to the areion...
  7. The detective watched her emerge out of his floor out of the side of his eye as he ate, and then listened to her ask him his opinion of the meal. The areion lifted his head up from the plate and rubbed some errant splotches of sauce off of his muzzle with the back of his hoof. After a quick swallow to make sure he wasn't speaking with his mouth full, he spoke. "Oh, yeah. It's actually very good," He answered, but he then quickly appended; "Thank you again for making it." After he finished speaking, he went back to chowing down on the pasta. Although, now since he had an audience he slowed himself a little to make sure he didn't act like a complete pig while eating.
  8. The detective's cheeks reddened as he realized what her explanation meant. He had just spent the past few minutes looking for meaning where there was none to be found. And had made a bit of a fool of himself in front of his mysterious benefactor. No wonder why she seemed to be amused by something. He watched the plate float over onto the coffee table. As the tendrils laid it down in front of him, he recognized it was meant for him. "Oh - uh - Thank you. It looks great." He said, slightly surprised, but genuinely grateful. He scooted over towards the coffee table and sat right in front of it. He set the device off to the side of the plate. He looked down at the plate of food. It was a pasta with red sauce. It was simple dish but it smelled wonderful. He instinctively reached for a utensil to use, but he stopped halfway as he noticed there was no utensil sitting next to the plate. Probably because there were no clean utensils in the kitchen. His absent-mindedness once again biting him in his flank. He needed to remember to actually wash his dishes sometime. He brought the plate of food closer to the edge of the table. No utensils meant he'd have to eat it the uncivilized way. He cast a sidelong glance towards the kitchen. Shai was no doubt still in there. He brought his head down and began to eat the pasta straight off the plate. He just hoped he wouldn't be making too much of a embarrassing display.
  9. That was... unhelpful. The detective looked back to the golden device and began fiddling with it again. As he futilely rotated the rings of the device, he mulled over what she had said. Sundown was half sure he was more confused now than he was before she had answered. Four legs, two wings... and paws? He remembered the shadow had paws. Was she a griffon? No, that didn't make sense. No griffon he knew of had such magical ability, they were fighters and fliers, not powerful mages. He thought it over in his head. She said she was large. But he remembered the shadowy figure was pony-sized. So, did she mean she was big metaphorically? How does that work? He didn't understand. He noted that she sounded a little amused when she recited that verse. Was she messing with him? Or was his confusion funny to watch? As he finished another unsuccessful attempt to align the symbols on the device. He despaired. He'd been at it for a couple minutes now and he was no closer to figuring out how it worked than when he started. Maybe he should ask for help? There was no shame in doing so. It'd be better to throw his pride under the carriage and get the device working, rather than end up the plaything of some angry demonic mare. "Hey, uh," he called into the kitchen; "How does this thing work?"
  10. Huh, so she was from a faraway place. Interesting. Although, Sundown wasn't too surprised. If there were ponies with abilities like hers in Equestria he would've likely heard about them before. He sat silently for a moment after she finished speaking, not really knowing what to say. He fiddled a little more with the golden device futilely. She didn't seem to mind answering his questions. Maybe he could ask the one question that had been nagging him ever since he met her. He spoke a little trepidiously. "Uhm - What are you?"
  11. Shai. He bounced the name around in his head a couple times, getting a feel for it as it rolled about in his skull. It was simple, unpretentious, candid. A harsh contradiction to the mysterious character of the mare. Every word she spoke, every rhyme she made had was loaded with hidden meaning and implication. But her name did not share those qualities. Odd. He lifted his head from the device when he smelt the pleasant aroma wafting out from his kitchen. He looked over and saw the pot sitting upon a lit burner, but no sign of his mysterious companion other than a few shadowy tendrils working their way through his meager spice rack. Time for another question. He spoke again, a little more confident this time. "Where are you from, Shai?"
  12. Sundown was just finishing up another futile attempt at deciphering the cryptic object when he heard the humming coming from his kitchen. His ears perked up and twitched a little as he listened to the melody for a few seconds. It was exotic, foreign, a tune he had never heard before. He wondered where it was from, and how the shadowy figure knew it. Another thing to write off as one of the mysteries surrounding his enigmatic benefactor. He had multiple questions he wanted to ask her, but it never seemed like the right time to ask. Perhaps now that things seemed to be calmed down a little, he should ask a couple? He mulled over how to ask them for a moment. He heard one of the burners on his gas range light itself and then shortly after the sound of sizzling coming from his kitchen. Was she cooking something? She certainly was making herself at home in his apartment. That's it. If she was going to be using his stove, he might as well get her name. That'd at least give him something to call her other than 'that shadowy mare who can walk through walls'. How should he ask her, though? It'd probably be best to be polite, introduce himself first and then see if she returns the courtesy. It's worth a try, at least. He waited a moment before he piping up, he spoke while he was still fumbling with the device in his hooves, making his voice just loud enough that she could hear him from the kitchen. Although he suspected that she would hear him even if he didn't do so. "Uh - We haven't been introduced... My name is Sundown Trail, I'm a detective in the Royal Guard."
  13. Sundown grunted as his frustration began to grow. He'd been at this for a good minute or two and nothing had show for it. He hadn't been able to figure out a thing about the device, much less about how it works. As he continued to work the device, he heard the sound of clattering and an amused chuckle coming from his kitchen. Apparently, his shadowy companion had taken to pilfering through his kitchen. He fought the urge to say something to her about it. After all, he was kind of relying on her to prevent him from dying at the hands of a praeternatural mare. Although, he also wasn't thrilled that she wasn't giving him any help with figuring out the device. Maybe her test was that he had to figure it out on his own? He'll give it a couple minutes before he asked for help, he wanted to make sure he couldn't figure it out himself before he gave up. The kitchen was a mess. Dirty silverware and dishes filled the sink. The refrigerator was old and slightly dirty, inside were a couple boxes of half-eaten take out, a large storage container of leftover pasta, and a bottle of milk that was slightly past its prime. The gas range was practically vintage, with the top burners covered in residue carbon. A metal sauce pot laid on one of the corner burners. The oven was empty, but it was surprisingly clean. Although that may be evidence that it was unused. Next to the fridge was a panty cabinet that was filled with non-perishable food and easy-to-make meals, branded with the logo of a local grocery store chain. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but it was obvious that the kitchen needed a serious cleaning. And the detectives diet certainly needed to improve if he expected to keep his current figure.
  14. He stared at the object and the symbols upon it. Some quick and dirty math in his head told him there was at least a few dozen possible combinations of symbols. As tempted as he was to try to brute force the combination, he figured that'd be too time consuming and he'd likely get confused or lost while doing so. He had to use his intuition for this. He had to think of it like a puzzle. He began looking for any patterns in the symbols or their alignments. Maybe he could find some hints from that? The fact that he could feel no magical presence in the device disquieted him a little bit. Sure, he wasn't the most magically sensitive pony. But he was still able to feel the raw magic that came off most amulets or charms, even the most basic ones. He mulled over why this might be. He was sure that the shadowy figure wouldn't give him something defective, at least he hoped he was sure of that. Maybe it became charged with magic when the correct combination was achieved? Or maybe the magic was veiled under a spell that hid it from being sensed?
  15. The detective blinked, and she was gone. Vanished like smoke in the breeze. Her words echoed in his head, warning him of a test to come. He felt the cool weight of the device she had left in his hoof and he glanced down at it. Inspecting the interlocking rings and the runes written across the object. He wondered how it worked, and how it was supposed to protect him from the demon. A part of him was worried that it wouldn't work, but he pushed those thoughts out of his head. He said he trusted the shadowy figure, and he wasn't about to make himself a liar. He sank to his haunches and used his other hoof to attempt to actuate the device, to see if any part of it moved or rotated. Although, he was careful to not press too hard, lest he break it. His eyes ran over its the smooth surface and carefully inscribed symbols. Most of them were unfamiliar to the areion, but he wanted to see if he did recognize any of them. Maybe then he could figure out how to work the device.
  16. The detective looked at her, and then down at her paw. Her words echoing in his head as he mulled over his decision. Did he trust her? He thought for a moment about his interactions with her. Despite how cryptic her actions and words were to him at the time, she did seem to be benign. After all, she did try to warn him away, and she had protected him in the chamber. And right now, she was probably his best shot at avoiding a terrible death at the hooves of an angry demonic mare. There wasn't really any choice when he thought about it. "I trust you." He said cautiously as he took the offered paw with his hoof.
  17. He looked over the bag that she held in her tendrils. It was a plain clear plastic bag with a red lip and a basic zipper. Laid across the lip was a brightly colored tamper seal. One side of the bag had a piece of paper detailing various clerical items and the chain of custody. From what he could see, it was a typical evidence bag. But then she brought it closer to his face, and he saw its contents. It was a thick musty old book with a bland cover and a vague title. Sundown immediately recognized it as the book that he found in one of the victim's apartments. The one he found the address of the house in. From what he could tell when he initially skimmed through it, it was a manual on occult rituals and ceremonial magic. But, the detective thought that type of magic didn't really work, wasn't it mainly placebo or fake? But from what the shadowy figure was telling him, it seemed that the three victims had stumbled onto a ritual with some actual substance in that book. The detective thought over what she had said. Those three ponies had attempted to perform a ritual from that book, something they thought would benefit themselves. But they ended up summoning an evil entity instead. An entity that now had Sundown squarely in its sights. But what was this entity? How did it know of him? He would've remembered encountering something like that. He thought for a moment, and then it hit him. "They summoned that mare who was in the chamber with us?" He paused as the implications fully dawned on him. The pegasus mare had killed those three ponies, made them suffer horrific deaths. And now she was after him. A shiver ran through his spine as he thought about what could happen to him. Or even what would happen to others if she was fully loose. He dreaded to think about that. "How do we stop her?"
  18. As she spoke, she was able to examine the various possessions which the areion had in his residence. She found herself looking through old copies of case reports (mainly missing ponies cases), notebooks filled with scrawls of almost illegible notes, various puzzle books, an aging tome about the three main pony races, and even a couple of seemingly random objects sealed in evidence bags. It was all almost hopelessly unorganized, with each box having no rhyme or reason to its contents. One notable thing she was able to find was a framed photograph on the kitchen counter. It showed four areions, a mare, a stallion, a colt, and a filly. They all looked related to one another. If she looked closely, she could see that the colt's cutie mark matched Sundown's exactly. The photo depicted the family of four was standing in front of a modest wooden cabin located somewhere in the woods. They were all smiling, happy. If she were a sentimental type, the photograph would've almost been heartwarming. Sundown listened to her answer intently. His gaze was locked on her as she thoughtlessly explored his apartment and rifled through his belongings. A part of him didn't appreciate her going through his stuff so openly, but he decided against saying something lest he incurs some type of wrath on her part. Nevertheless, he found himself relaxing slightly in her presence. The way that she was speaking and acting implied that she wasn't an immediate threat. In fact, she seemed to just be curious. After she finished speaking, he remained silent for a few moments, mulling over what she had said. When he spoke next, he saw her examining an old take-out box from a Cloudsdalian-cuisine restaurant curiously, as if something interesting was on the bottom of it. When he spoke, she could identify that his tone was laced with slight confusion. "Their deaths were caused by their own greed and ignorance? ... How?"
  19. Sundown had just been getting comfortable when a sound caught his attention. It was a low rustling like if the wind were starting to pick up. But that didn't make sense; he was inside his apartment. His ears perked up and swiveled, trying to ascertain the source of the sound. Then he noticed the swirling, writhing haze in the corner of his room. He bolted upright in the sofa. That wasn't normal. The dark miasma expanded, picking up objects from its surroundings and floating them around the room. And then a figure stepped out. He watched as it walked out of a solid wall, as if it were walking through a doorway. The figure was feminine, however it was clouded in shadow and darkness. She glanced around his apartment before focusing her gaze on him. As her red eyes fell on him, the detective noticed the same feeling of being watched return in full force. Those red eyes looked familiar... She spoke, and he recognized her. She was the voice who had warned him earlier to leave the house. The voice who had fought the pegasus in the secret chamber. She spoke in verse, praising him for his bravery. His face flushed a little when she did so, his modesty preventing him from indulging fully in such praise. She raised her head, looking down at the detective. Her gaze was severe and intense. She stated that he was the target of a devil's ire and that he was danger. And after reading over one of his case notes, she asked him something. She wanted to know what he desired. He sat silent for a moment. His heart pounded in his chest. He didn't know what to expect from this figure. His eyes darted around the room, checking the exits. Could he make it if he ran? Questions raced through his mind. What was she? Who was she? Should he answer? Can he trust her? How'd she get in here? How did she know all this? What DID he desire? She wasn't threatening him, even if she was intimidating. If anything, she seemed to be trying to help the detective. After all, she had warned him of the danger in the house's basement. Maybe he should answer her question? It took him a second to settle on his answer to her query, but once he did he stated it out loud. "I want to know what happened in that chamber."
  20. As he approached his apartment door, he noticed the sensation of being observed had petered out. He took one last glance behind him as if he would be able to tell what had caused the feeling to go away. He shrugged after he saw nothing and stepped into his apartment. His apartment was dim and dark—the light of the late evening coming in through the windows. The apartment was laid out in an open style. The walls were painted an eggshell white. The kitchen was modest, and the appliances were old and well-used. The sink was full of dirty dishes, and take-out boxes littered the countertop. The living room was cozy, with a small couch and coffee table dominating it. It was cleaner than the rest of the apartment, but that's probably because the detective did not use that room that much. Really, the only evidence of use in the living room was a standing tack board that Sundown used to keep track of the case. Down a hallway was a bathroom and a petite bedroom. They were in a little better condition than the rest of the apartment, but they were not much to look at. The entire apartment was musty and slightly deteriorated. But Sundown didn't complain. The Royal Guard was paying for his room and board in Manehattan for as long as he was on this case, and the apartment was probably the best one they could find on such short notice. The detective knew he wouldn't be staying there permanently, so he didn't go through the motions of getting completely unpacked yet. This was evidenced by a couple of boxes full of notes or personal effects laid scattered about. After closing the door, the detective walked over to the sofa and sank into it with a huff. He had been on edge ever since he stepped into that cursed house, and now he felt exhausted...
  21. Sundown's gaze kept darting around. He could've sworn he saw movements in the corners of his eyes, but whenever he'd look over, there would be nothing there. The house was empty and quiet. But the detective could've sworn he saw things in the shadows, just beyond perception. Odd shapes and distortions, movement where there should be none. All while the terrible feeling of being watched continued to poke into his mind. Like if a pair of unseen eyes boring a hole straight through him. It sent a chill up his spine. When he got outside, nothing changed. The feeling remained. It was almost unbearable. Sundown had thought that stepping outside the decrepit house would make it go away, but this was not the case. He decided to get away from this house; maybe if he got further away, the feeling would leave him? The detective decided to head back to his apartment. He needed to rest, to clear his head. After locking the front door of the building, he began to walk away from the house. He was going to head back to his hotel room. As he trotted on the sidewalk, he checked over his shoulder multiple times. He could've sworn he saw something lurking in the shadows or in the alleyways he passed.
  22. The still silence of the house disquieted Sundown. It was too calm. Too tranquil. A harsh contradiction to the chaos that he encountered down in the chamber. He didn't like this. Who knew what else was lurking in this house? The gloves had already come off downstairs, and he doubted that bookcase would hold it back. He was going to go outside. Clear his head. Get out of the craziness. At least it'd let him smell something else than incense. He stood up onto his hooves and began to trudge his way through the dusty and broken down rooms of the house to get to the front door.
  23. The detective stopped in the study. And he heard the cranking and creaking of the hidden mechanism moving the bookshelf back over the passageway. He stood still and heaved as he attempted to catch his breath. He was relatively in shape, so usually, a short run wouldn't wind him like that. But he had put all he had into getting out of that chamber as quickly as possible, and he was now suffering the consequences of that. He breathed. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. And after a couple of moments, he relaxed. He took his last few deep breaths as he finally got his breath back and began to take stock of where he was. He was back in the study, the bust had flipped back down, and the entrance to the passageway had disappeared back into his hiding spot. It was like nothing had changed from when he first discovered the room, except for the places where he had disturbed the layer of dust. As the adrenaline finally wore off, his mental faculties started to return to him in earnest. He began to process what occurred in the past few minutes. What the hay just happened? There was a room full of runes, an altar, a shadowy voice, three dead ponies, and a white pegasus. As he calmed down, more and more of his memory became clear, yet there was a noticeable gap. It started right after that mare asked what he was and ended right after that purple magic thing appeared. He dropped to his haunches, semi-confident in the safety of his surroundings, and began to analyze what had occurred — trying to make sense of it. His face contorted with frustration as he couldn't pierce the veil of fuzziness and haziness which covered the gap in his memory.
  24. Sundown's head pounded. The headache he had got even worse. The voice and the pegasus were both speaking, contradicting each other. Verse and desperate pleas were flying through the air. The pegasus reached her hoof out. She was asking for his help, asking him to take her hoof. He watched as the pane of magic grew brighter and expanded. The purple glow got so intense that the detective had to squint when looking at it. The mare begged him not to listen to the voice. To take her hoof. Or else end up like those three ponies on the floor. Wait... Didn't she say something about them before? His memory was still fuzzy, but he was able to focus on some fragments. She said they were her friends. She said they ended up that way because they failed her somehow. Was she lying about that? Is she lying right now? The areion's head hurt, he didn't want to think about it. Sundown's headache grew even worse. The shadows moved, the pane glowed brighter, the mare's pleas became more desperate. All while the intense smell of incense continued to assault his nostrils. These elements mixed to create a cocktail of sensations that ground right into Sundown's head. He hated it. He was going to get out of here. He needed to clear his head. He needed to get away from those corpses. To get away from those insane runes all over the room. To get out of this dank chamber. With his course of action decided, the detective bolted out of the room. Running towards the exit to escape down the hallway.
  25. Sundown jumped back instinctively. Eyes unfocused. Disoriented. Confused. His thoughts were hazy and jumbled as he regained his mental faculties. Once he came to, he saw the scene before him. The white pegasus pony was standing across the room, behind a pane of purple magic. She seemed different - off. The only reason he was able to identify her was those same blood-red eyes. Except something was missing when he looked into her eyes. It was like he was expecting something more to be behind those eyes, except there wasn't. What had happened? The last thing he remembered clearly was her asking who he was. But everything after that was a blur. And wasn't she more radiant before? She now looked... ordinary. Then another voice. The detective recognized it from before. It was the voice of the shadowy figure who visited him. And with her came the feeling of being watched from earlier. The voice was still speaking in rhyme, but she was warning him of danger hiding beneath charm. Was she talking about the white pegasus? The white pegasus called from behind the purple magic. She was giving him that same gentle smile from before and took a step towards him. Sundown stepped back. She told the detective that he should leave this place with her. Wait a moment. What was happening? This didn't make sense... right? Or did it? The detective brought a hoof to his forehead. His head hurt. He was confused. Sundown spoke hesitantly, barely processing what had occurred in the past few seconds. "W-... What's going on?"
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