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The midday sun sat high in the sky above the pleasant town of Ponyville, ponies coming and going in the usual cheery way that Ponyville seemed to inspire in others, perhaps it was the fresh open air, or the quaint little shops lining the main street; or the giant crystal palace of the Princess of Friendship, which was probably partly to do with it. Though just because everypony else wandered around with a smile, doesn't mean that Lensblot would, and indeed he did not. He hated jobs in Ponyville; everypony just tried to be too helpful, despite not knowing the intricate nature of his work; couldn't go five feet without somepony attempting to make friends, and that annoyed Lensblot to no end as a pony who preferred to decide on who his friends should be, rather than having some crazy pony bounce into his face and declare it.

 

Nonetheless; he had just finished a case, albeit an annoyingly circular case, the cycle was over now as he pondered on what to do next; it was a little early to head back to Los Pegasus, but he also had no intention of doing a castle tour or the like, so instead he busied himself doing what he loved most; exploring, dipping in and out of the roads and alleys, looking through each kind of shop he could find, and what secrets were hidden away in the dark. He pushed his sunglasses back up his nose as he eventually comes to what seemed to be some kind of ice cream shop; deciding that this would probably be the cheapest place to get quick food to provide energy to get back home, he quickly nipped inside, strolling towards the counter as his tail sways from side to side, his face still resting with a slightly annoyed expression.

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Ponyville. It was a place that Ice Storm used to call home for the longest time and originally thought to be the place that she would end up settling down in. Little did she know at the time that events in her life would shake everything that she knew. If you would have told her a few years ago that she would be visiting Ponyville to run her store while the pony that she had hired to tend it was on vacation, and that she would be living in Canterlot again, she would have called you crazy on the spot. But a lot has happened since then. Spires fell, ponies were lost, and it gave her a greater calling. She loved her stores, all five of them, but she had so much more that she had to do now that keeping up with them to any degree other than running them while ponies are away and keeping them supplied was becoming a chore.

 

Such was the current situation with her Ponyville Store. The Pony that she had placed in charge of the store was going on vacation, and for the first time in a long while she wasn't on a mission. She took the opportunity to come back to Ponyville for a bit and possibly meet up with some of her old friends. With Twilight's castle being the centerpiece of the town now, and the town itself practically being the capital of friendship now, it was no surprise that the village grew rapidly. It was a decent walk from the Train Station to her shop, and the living quarters above. "Well nice to see that she's been doing a good job of keeping the place clean. Better than my Hoofington store. Still trying to pay off the art ponies for having to come in and redo the entire interior of that..." she mumbled to herself before making sure everything was in order before flipping over the open sign. However unlike most places, she didn't turn any of the ice machines on, and only kept the freezers on to keep the supply that she had shipped before fresh.

 

Customers came and went, and many of her usuals came by the shop once they heard that she was in town and running the store for a bit. It was good to catch up a bit on the word in Ponyville, and it was good to see that despite the town getting larger, it wasn't losing it's charm. Downside, it also didn't appear to lose it's sense of danger either. There was always something going on in Ponyville. Some scheme, some plot, some advances, but for the most part that could be found anywhere. Monster attacks were a bit more common here though with the village being so close to the Everfree Forest. Attack rates had gone down though with the presence of Twilight's new castle. It seems most of the creatures that cause trouble now, are ones that have been enemies in the past that just don't learn.

 

After a while of her customers coming in and out, business began to lessen a bit and gave her a chance to clean up a bit as she heard the bells chime once again. When she looked up, she spotted a coffee colored unicorn stallion with a black and red mane and tail. He was dressed in a black pinstripe button up, and a pair of bright green sunglasses that.... didn't really work well with the rest of the outfit. It's a good thing Rarity isn't here to see this or she'd be pushing all sorts of makeovers on his outfit, she thought to herself. Pushing the thoughts out of her mind though, she also noticed that unlike most ponies in Ponyville, this pony wasn't quick to smile. In fact, it looked like he was irritated and chose to drown his rough day in Ice Cream instead of cider. She was thankful for that at least. "That bad of a day huh?" she asked him as he came up to the counter. "What can I get for ya?" she said with a smile, hoping to make his day a little bit better at least. She didn't know what was making it a bad day, but hopefully she could shine a little bit of light on it.

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Lens was still stuck in his thoughts after his current set of cases, so much so he didn't notice the mare coming in. He was still wondering about these cryptic notes that kept sending him to Ponyville; it could be some kind of prank or joke, however it just all seemed too strange to be that, he was more starting to wonder if he missed something every time he arrived in the little town, or whether someone wanted him out of his own town. The confusion angered him and his anger confused him; he was not used to not having the answers; but this was a problem for him, rather than anypony else; and the one pony he could never save was himself. At least while here this time he was able to help a family with a missing pet problem, taking a dog thief off the streets was something he was sure would be especially noticed in Ponyville.

 

"That bad a day huh?" That snapped him back to reality, he nods to the bluetastic mare in front of him "You have no idea, lass." he says with his usual level of grump. "And I'll have whatever is cheapest. That way I may be able to afford it." he says as he pulls a small coinpurse from his jacket, still not smiling in the slightest as he brushes some leaves and branches off his jacket; it appeared this pony truly would have an interesting story, not often would you see a pony covered in things that belonged in the branches of a tree. He groans as he notices a new rip in his jacket, shaking his head "Dear Celestia don't let Rarity come across me now..."

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When the pony answered Ice Storm, she could hear in his voice the agitation that he had experienced. While she couldn't say what it was, she knew that tone of voice well, and one that she used herself quite often, usually when she was looking for something important or just wanting to be left alone. She could insinuate though from the ponies answer that neither of those were the possible source of the agitation. The phrase that was uttered... the cheapest so that he might afford it... insinuated that the pony was possibly going through a financial crisis, or was at the very least, low on funds. In both scenarios, she could see how a pony would become agitated. The comment exemplified from the previous statement of how she would have had no idea how bad the day actually was for him. From personal experiences, she knew that any day could always get worse, but it didn't seem like he was having to horrid a day otherwise. Of course, there was the fact that he was covered in leaves and sticks.

 

"Ah, you don't look that bad..." she told him trying to cover up the fact that she was just thinking about that exact thing herself not that long ago. "Although you're right, Rarity would probably gasp in horror, but she does that if you have even a wrinkle in an outfit sometimes. That being said, why don't you tell me a little bit about what's going on. Judging by your response, it seems that not everything has been going as you had planned or hoped that it would. Perhaps there might be something I can do to help change that and at the very least make today a bit better," Ice smiled. "As far as being able to afford it, just tell me what you'd like, on the house tonight," she concluded.

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Hearing her answer further pointed towards this pony being yet another overly positive pony typical to Ponyville, not that he minded the sentiment, however he often found the attitude overbearing, almost like a mother's way of saying 'everything will be fine' often while something is burning down around them, however it wouldn't be right to judge her, her offer to help make the day better worried him very much; not that he would ever admit it, but he was not good at forming friendships with ponies; as being in a job where you catch the backstabbers, quite often leads one to the mindset that everypony is out to get them in one way or another, and so even offers for freebies were taken with extreme caution, as was the case here as she offered something on the house.

 

"Nice try, kid. But I'm hired to spot lies and slight wavers in speech. I look like I've been dragged backwards through a forest, and I know I do. Just part of the fun of the job." he says calmly, without any malice, but just lacking enthusiasm at the tail end of his adventure "Problem is everything went exactly as planned. Seemingly easy case that ends up hiding much more beneath the surface, leading to yet another dead end in a trail, and a wild goose chase that ends up in being dragged through several gardens on the end of the leash of a rather massive dog as I try and untangle the lead from my hoof to catch the pony responsible for trying to steal it. Which I did." He frowns at the offer for free things "Well if there are no strings attached, then whatever you recommend, I guess."

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So, this pony was a private detective. It was an interesting turn of events indeed. Perhaps there was more to this meeting than pure chance. However, her demeanor instantly changed upon hearing this. The fact that she was an EPIC special agent wasn't really a well kept secret. A powerful mare with Ice magic isn't exactly very good for keeping a low profile. She kept her smile about her, but instantly red flags went up. She would have to be very careful with her wordings before she made any sort of moves one way or another. This pony didn't appear to be the sort to align with WRAITH, but looks can be deceiving.

 

When she listened to him talk about how the events that had unfolded were exactly as planned. It was an easy case that ended up hiding a lot more underneath the surface. More dead ends than a pony could count, and a wild goose chase. Albeit it getting drug though several gardens on the leash of a massive dog wasn't a usual part of any case. Hearing him describe the case that he was working on eased her concerns, but at the same time WRAITH was smart. they could easily have someone disguised as a simple detective working low priority cases to figure out what she was planning on working on next. She knew that she had to be a target at some point, especially since she had helped foil at least two of their operations, and played a part in the original invasion. She knows they know of her.

 

"So you're a detective. Might I inquire as to which agency you do detective work for?" she started, the change in tone apparent. "And always nice to see a case completed no matter how small it is. I'm sure the family is glad to have their missing pet back. It's something I probably would have dealt with myself if I had heard about it sooner. Alas, I just got back into town myself. I just spent the last few months on a scientific expedition in the Frozen North," she told him testing him. If he was WRAITH, he'd likely know a little bit about the mission from intercepted radio transmissions. Their connections might be secure, but so are WRAITHS and they can get intercept their transmissions easily enough. When he suggested about some strings being attached to his free offer, she was at first a bit offended, but at the same time understood. After all, she was just now as apprehensive of him. "Don't worry, I'm not like a Lawyer. When I say free, I actually mean free. As far as what's good here, everything is made fresh to order, so it's really whatever you desire. If it's frozen, I can put it in any combination that you'd like. Except for a cake... cause those take longer," she smiled.

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At last, a voice that may actually know that his work wasn't all glitz and godwork; he was rather relieved for a pony to take his work so lightly; it was a rarity indeed to get a minor response as opposed to something at either end of the scale, so he supposed he could ease up a bit, almost smiling now.

 

"I don't affiliate with any agencies. Don't enjoy group work as much. I have a little... Well no fancy way of saying shack... I got a shack in the Ground District of Los Pegasus, ain't nothing fancy, and I sleep in the chair I work in, but it's home." he shakes his head with a chuckle "I think the families were happy, aye. Never like to stick around long after a case though. Ponies get overly sentimental and it all just gets soppy." he tilts his head, not really being amazing at geography, or rich enough to afford to take cases up there "That's the shiny crystal city, right? With the shiny ponies? Wouldn't catch me up there in a thousand moons. Don't even own a scarf and I bet I'd look mad wearing sunglasses in a frozen place."

 

When it came to her reassurance of the offer, he couldn't help but laugh slightly; operating around Los Pegasus he knew all about the Lawyer freebee. "Okay, well I guess something with mint in it. Mint always helps me think about confusing cryptic messages, not that I've gotten any closer to an answer any other time."

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"Oh, I wasn't actually in the Crystal Empire itself. There is some kind of magic there that protects it from the harsh extremes of the frozen north. No, I was actually out in the tundra and spent a long while out there. Learned a lot about what's actually out there instead of ponies just hypothesizing and guessing. Guessing does everypony absolutely no good because I could guess that there is a geyser a mile outside of Ponyville a mile north of the Everfree forest, but without going there, there's no way to prove whether a pony is right or wrong," Ice smiled before using her magic to start mixing the ingredients together to form a bright green orb of liquid cream that slowly started to solidify. When it started to reach the preferred density, she mixed in some chocolate chips before molding it into the bowl and placing it in front of her customer.

 

"I can't really say that ponies get overly soppy with the investigations that I run though. The investigations that I tend to go on, well, I can't really go into many details. Everything I deal with is directly related to national security, so it's all highly classified. I can say however, that most of my investigations usually end in some form of hostility. In fact, I can't really say I'm much of an investigator at all. I'm one of the ponies that gets sent to get our investigators out when things go south. Sounds like you have a nice little office in Los Pegasus though, and with a location like that, I'm sure there's always something going on," she told him before giving him a puzzled look. "What type of message are you trying to decipher? Perhaps it's something that I can use my resources to help with." Ice offered.

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Of course she would be one of the nationals. It was never just a small time gumshoe like himself, it would have to be the big timers with the classified gigs and the government funding. But it seemed she was some kind of backup plan for when a more firm approach was needed, he guessed, noting that the ability to freeze things would probably come in handy with arresting problem cases. He watches her mixing the ingredients together using her magic, further reminding him of just how powerful most ponies' special talents were for multiple jobs compared to his own.

 

"Ah, even so you wouldn't catch me there. Everything seems so expensive except for when a festival is on, and then all the hotels shoot up in price. Learning about the frozen tundra... well I suppose it's something that somepony needs to do, but I doubt anything of use could exist in that kind of environment." he shrugs passively "Wish I had a useful special talent like yours, I must say. Mine's highly annoying and uncontrollable."

 

"Yeah I get it, maximum security, secret mcguffins, all of that kind of jazz. I just get called out for the small investigations for individuals, and also for ponies who have had their case turned down by everypony else. You only knock at my door when you are all out of options, and know it will be worse than it appears on the surface. Desperate times call for me and all." he laughs "I wouldn't call it nice, the windows are boarded up as the glass kept getting broken, it's probably smaller than your shop here, and light is a real big problem, as would sound if I was not so used to the constant thumping of casinos and clubs. And yeah there often is something going on, but normally it's beyond my paygrade. Last thing I want to do living in the Ground district is anger the Rat Princes." he sighs with a shrug "Not even decipher as much as figure out. Every few days a piece of paper is slipped through my door asking me to come to Ponyville. That something big is coming, each time I come, there's nothing, and I tried getting the writing analysed all over, and nopony knows who wrote it. So each time I come there is nothing, I end up helping a few ponies and then I go again."

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When he talked about the cost of living up in the Crystal Empire, she nodded. Things were a bit pricier up there, but she wouldn't call them expensive. Her definition of expensive though was somewhat askew at this point though. She nodded again though when he mentioned the hotel prices skyrocketing for the festivals. "Well, that happens anywhere though. Except maybe in Los Pegasus, but that doesn't really count since that city is almost always an active festival," she replied. "I wouldn't know of the hotel prices there though. I don't stay in them. I actually stay out in the tundra when I go up there. I make a hut of ice around me and it works just fine, and I have a natural immunity to the cold unless it's super extreme," Ice Storm told him as he said that he wished he had a talent like hers. That his talent was annoying and uncontrollable. "I can't say that I know what yours is, but I know that mine comes with a slue of issues that most normal ponies don't have and that they are probably most thankful for," she responded. She knew all too well what the side effects of her talent was and was reminded of them every night.

 

When she heard him talk about the state that his office was in, an assortment of thoughts ran through her mind. He told her that his windows were boarded because ponies kept breaking them, lighting was horrid, and the sound would be unbearable if he wasn't used to it. She couldn't say one way or another. She had never really been in an extremely loud environment before. Well, not lived next to. She's been enough large scale combats to know loud, but not like he was talking about. However, he said a name that peeked her interest, especially when tied to the fact that he said that he didn't want to make them angry living in the Ground District. I'll have to run that alias through my contacts and see what I can dig up on them. If they are causing disturbances, they need to be dealt with... she thought to herself.

 

Lastly though, when he started talking how every few days he got a piece of paper with writing on it stating that something big was coming to Ponyville. However, everytime that he's come to the area, nothing's been going on. He said that he had the writing analyzed but he couldn't figure out who wrote it. "Well, you said that you've analyzed the writing that is on it. The fact that no pony here can identify it means that the letter isn't coming from here. Which means it's likely coming from somewhere else in Los Pegasus. The next thing that I would look at to help with that issue would be the paper itself. What type of paper is this on? Some styles of paper can only be found in certain places.

 

Something else that you can do as well, and I might know of a couple that might be willing to help. Enlist the help of a changeling. If somepony is trying to make sure that you are out of the picture for something that's going down in Los Pegasus. Have a changeling take your guise long enough to leave the city. Then lay low for a few days during the time frame that your next letter says. Judging by how many you said that you've gotten, I can presume that there will be another one. If you don't like the changeling idea, then perhaps you can seek me out when you get your next letter and I can pay a visit as a tourist. I can perform a bit of undercover work there. At least as long as I'm not on another mission," she offered.

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He listens to her talking about her experiences and view on Los Pegasus, he always thought it wrong to describe Los Pegasus as an eternal festival, as very few things were as joy filled as their exterior suggested, very much so it was the reason his building was so bland looking and dull; hidden away from the glitz and glamour, the true dirt of the city in the clouds seeped through the cracks and stained the ground. Ponies went there either for a way to blow off steam, or to blow off money. Although he immediately regretted talking about the Rats to this pony, as he remembered her saying about her occupation; it was just too easy to see her as a friendly face. He assumed that was part of what made her so good at her job; he more held up the scowling face of cynicism to his clientele. He shrugs as she describes the limits of her powers "Yeah, but my special talent is literally to attract trouble. Or rather to be drawn to it I suppose. I thrive in situations where it all seems hopeless because I know that any second another wave of trouble will wash in and cancel out the other set with a whole new set of issues."

 

When she tries putting her two bits in on the subject of the letters he sighs "I know it's not from anywhere in Los Pegasus, as nothing has changed when I get back. Whereas every time I get sent here, something goes down in Ponyville. It's like having some kind of tip off, but the worst kind; a tip off for free work. And sadly it is standard scroll paper, basic of the basic. I'm just rolling with it until the true hand is shown. If whoever is doing this is wagering a gambit; I'm riding their bluff until the final turnover. Nopony tries to get a two bit detective out the way anyhow, not when there's the real star studded ones in the upper levels. Besides, I can't get the help of a changeling anyhow; barely got enough bits for myself; I'm not hiring an assistant for just one case. You may get resources with your people, but working solo means I am somewhat limited when it comes to technology and outside help. Been working this whole time with just a notebook and a good pen; and no offence to you or anything, but I prefer my work in isolation. Increases the reward when things go well, and lessens the blame when the plan goes south." Once again there was no malice in his voice, just a cool calm explanation on his view of the situation.

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Ice Storm gave a nod when the stallion said that he likely couldn't afford the services of a changling and that he preferred to work alone anyway. It tended to lessen the blame when a plan went south. She couldn't really say much. As she had said before, by the time she was usually involved in a mission, everything was already going south and she was there to get their operatives out. Naturally she didn't take any offense to what he had said to her. When he said that his special talent was to attract trouble, or be drawn to trouble. That he never worries about anything because at any given point a bigger trouble will emerge and get rid of the first trouble. Seemed like an endless cycle, but that is the life of a full time detective she supposed.

 

When she heard him mention the fact that it wasn't somepony in Los Pegasus sending the letters, because nothing had ever changed since he had left, and that the paper was just plain paper, nothing fancy about it. "I can definitely understand wanting to work alone. There are a few of those like that in my organization. They generally refuse help at first but then ponies like me are sent in after them once they get themselves into hot water. I tend to have a knack for cooling things down about hostility wise and getting our ponies out. As far as affording somepony goes, if you ever need help with a case that you're stuck on. I'm usually available, and I don't need bits. So I'd be more than happy to lend my services if you needed them without compensation," she told him. Now that she thought about it. She'd been doing a lot of probono stuff for EPIC recently. Her recent Expedition into the Frozen North was completely self funded, and she was happy that she had went on that trip. So much was learned, and the fact that it was as baron as it was up there... She still needed to finish the paperwork about possibly putting a base of operations up there for the more.... arctically inclined ponies, or anypony that could handle the cold.

 

"That being said, somepony has to know something about what's going on. The letters just didn't come from nowhere. Somepony is writing them, and there is a purpose behind them. Somepony or something is trying to get your attention, and my first guess is naturally thinking they are trying to get you out of the way for something. I know you said that you aren't a big time detective, but you are still a detective. Anypony that knows that can try to exploit that at some point. Where else do you do detective work at? Surely Los Pegasus and Ponyville aren't the only two locations you've worked in," she presumed. She didn't know exactly how old he was, but he appeared her age, so he was at least seasoned, and most detectives don't stay in one spot long unless it's a high-crime location and they can always make a bit off of it.

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Lens calmly listens to Ice talk, nodding as she does, listening about those like him in her organisation, and that she would then be sent in to clean up after them once they got in a tough situation, then came the offer of free help; a thing that seemed common in Ponyville, and yet, he was still always wary of it; even if they did work for free, quite often he would pay in other ways, such as a lack of recognition at the end due to a more talented pony lending help for free, or one more eye catching, such as Ice seemed to him.

 

"Well thank you for the offer again, but I think I would much rather figure this out myself. Unlike those in your organisation; I specialise at worming my way out of trouble, and getting to safety. I'm a remarkably good runner and probably don't deal with the types of situation that you have to deal with. It's just some letters after all, if anything almost made to make other ponies get involved as well. Sorry if I am coming off as a bit cold, but I like to do things a certain way; that being my way. And it's never really had room for extra ponies." As he listens to her next comment he shrugs "Actually that's pretty much it for locations I work in. Everywhere else has situations arise and then suddenly the problems go quiet again. Only place which never has that level of shadow play at work is Los Pegasus, and Ponyville. Appleloosa and that area pretty much governs itself in terms of law, and everywhere else is just too far for somepony with my resources. Besides, there's always something going on in Los Pegasus to make bits from. On both sides of the law." Not that he himself was a criminal, however sometimes to catch a criminal he did have to go against the legal norms.

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When the detective told her that he would much rather try to figure out what this was on his own, she nodded. She wasn't going to push the issue any further. The offer was on the table and she was sure that if he was ever actually in need of assistance he would know where to turn. He specialized in at worming his way into and out of trouble regularly and always got to safety. He was a remarkably good runner, and said that he probably didn't have to deal with the types of situations that she had to deal with. She wouldn't deny this fact. Then again, most ponies don't want to be in the situations that she normally ends up in. He apologized for being cold and she shook her head. "Na, I get ya. I completely understand where you're coming from. Besides, I'm the cold pony here. If it wasn't for the fact that most of my missions require multiple ponies, I would much rather work on my own as well. Much less risk of getting caught with one operative than multiple. Even then, that could force an unpleasant situation for other operatives if one is captured. Do they focus on the mission, which is usually top priority, or make sure everypony goes home? Thankfully Ice Storm has been lucky enough to have to have been forced to make that decision yet."

 

When he added that he pretty much only worked in Los Pegasus and Ponyville, she nodded. Any other reaction wouldn't have been appropriate even if her thoughts proclaimed otherwise. Then again he was just a local agent. He was probably from one of those locations so he was working in an area that he knew and was familiar with. That's good though because that means you know where to look for your criminals. The comment that he had though about always having ways to make bits on both sides of the law caught her attention. While she herself had done unsavory things to make sure her comrades were okay, she wasn't sure she agreed with taking advantage of said laws to gain a monetary benefit. Still, she wouldn't say anything on that aspect. "I know a few things about being using unlawful tactics to get what you desire. Most of my missions involve something like that, and usually at the very least, a lot of injured ponies left behind after I show up," she stated pretty matter of factly. She wasn't always proud of everything that she had to do, but she knew that it needed to be done to protect Equestria as a whole.

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When Ice spoke again, Lens carefully listened to her; glad she had decided to stop her attempts to help him; it was rare that a pony respected the wishes of another to remain isolated in their work, although this was evidently a pony who understood solitude as well. Albeit her decision to start speaking in the third person confused him; but he assumed that she was probably just thinking out loud by accident; normally ponies only lost their mind around him when they were trying to deal with him. He chuckles slightly at the joke she made, though not knowing how to react to her final statement, waited for her to speak up again.

 

Next up was her retort to his comment about working on either side of the law, and unfortunately; it seemed like she may have misunderstood the direction he was coming from with it, although her reaction to his saying about his limited work area did make him suspicious; she was oddly silent about it, merely nodding in answer to him, almost like she was trying to stop herself from saying something else. "I think you misunderstand. It's not that I use unlawful tactics; it's that ponies usually only come to me when the authorities have deemed their cases as wastes of time. Or even worse, when the authority in charge has an agenda of their own. So I quite often have to duck into locations and things to collect evidence before it is taken away by somepony who may want that evidence removed permanently."

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Ice Storm shook her head at the response that she got from the detective. Not that she was disappointed in hearing that he didn't use unlawful tactics as it was that ponies usually only came to him when the authorities deemed their cases a waste of time. She would have to have a word with the Los Pegasus detective unit at some point. She understood priority cases, but she also understood that there is no such thing as a case too small or meaningless to take. It seems like these ponies had forgotten this, which is probably why all of them have hit the max potentials of their careers. Only those willing to go above and beyond the call are the ones that progress further and become detectives that everypony can count on for anything. This pony may not be a master detective yet, but the fact that he's willing to help so many that others won't spoke volumes to her. Hearing about how certain authorities have an agenda of their own and that more often than not he had to sneak his way in to get the evidence quickly before it was permanently removed.

 

"I see. Do you suspect there to be any authorities there that are intentionally tampering with evidence? Authorities that could be putting innocent ponies in their crossfires for their own benefit? Based on what you're telling me, it sounds like there may be some corruption in the Los Pegasus branch. While I've never been there myself, I might know a few ponies who frequent there, and a few other higher-ups... in our own fields. While every agency has cases that denote priority, telling somepony that their case is a waste of time is the worst thing that any department can do. That pony felt their case was important enough to be heard and it to spit it back at them is cruel and heartless, and often times leads to more crime because ponies start taking matters into their own hooves. I don't like that. Every case is important, some more important than others, but nonetheless vital. I just wish more ponies understood that," she said with a sigh.

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Lens nods as he listens to Ice talk; she certainly spoke with a lot of passion and enthusiasm; it made it obvious to him that she had never done work in the areas of Las Pegasus that he worked in. Everypony and their pet dog had some kind of hustle up their sleeves, it was only a short time ago that a certain pair of ponies managed to dethrone the reign of Gladmane's monopoly on the Las Pegasus entertainment industry, and put another pair of hustlers in charge of the business, albeit far more open about their intentions than the two faced nature of Gladmane. Las Pegasus worked by the hustlers hustling the hustlers out of their hustles, it was an endless game of cat and mouse of different ponies working towards their own agendas, it is what made Las Pegasus a Investigators haven.

 

"They ain't anymore. I saw to a big branch of them already, only thing they'll be tampering with is the bedding in their cells. One of the only places I know of where detectives routinely end up putting ponies in high places into a nice cozy cell for the next however long. Unfortunately it also means that the good cops put a lot of work in and get overladen with cases, so do have to say no to some, which then get picked up by freelance detectives and investigators, who take some stress from the law enforcement; it's a cycle of helping one another really, also some ponies find the size of an organisation a bit scary, so going to a private eye instead seems a lot less imposing on them." he explains calmly with a nod

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Ice Storm was pleased to hear that the detective had already taken action against the corruption. He however added that the the side effect was that the good cops got overburdened with cases and they just simply couldn't take them. She nodded in understatement, though she still didn't like teh idea of turning ponies away that needed help. After all, she herself was only one pony and couldn't be everywhere to help everypony else at once. She supposed it was good to have smaller detectives and freelance workers as he called them to help take the load off of the law enforcement.

 

"That's good that the corruption was already dealt with. I am saddened that the corruption occurred to begin with. I guess even ponies with the best of intentions can be led astray once in a while. Not even the immortality of the princesses are immune to the power of corruption as we've seen. Not that I would ever say anything negative about her. I've looked up to Princess Luna since my early foal hood because of the corruption and how she fought her way through it, albeit with help, and was able to re-establish herself in a society that has drastically changed since she had last been involved with it. She's also one of my bosses now, as I have direct access to the private observatory in the castle. I'm allowed in there to study the stars and help with research on them when I'm not on missions or running my stores," she smiled.

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Lens again just listens to her talking about her view of his world, reflecting on it now he realised just how strange a world it was that he inhabited; a town completely at odds with the rest of the pony lands, where greed was valued above friendship, and in which friends usually just passed through. It certainly was a town unlike any other, but it had its quirks in that strange order of things. Especially for ponies like him, who made a name for themselves diffusing situations that may arise, or causing the occasional situation to escalate out of control to take it down properly. Still, no place was quite like it, and that made it special to him.

 

"Corruption is everywhere sadly. Just in a city like Las Pegasus, ponies are more open about their swindling and the like, and it's less corruption and more... a difference in order. In the rest of Equestria, one's worth is calculated by their friends or the like. In Las Pegasus, you are all in or you are all out. It's money or nothing in that society, and when you are driven by money, you have two ways to pursue it; by keeping your friends and morality intact, or by speeding up the process in exchange for those who are with you. It's why the best detectives keep the corrupt with them; easier to betray a corrupt pony to progress yourself; everypony else calls you a hero when you do it. I mean heck, apparently I'm making an impact on the scene; some of the big names in the business have expressed great want to ruin my career. Princess Luna, ah yes, it was a tragedy what happened to her, especially considering that nowadays there are so many ponies who prefer the night to the day. I do a lot of my work under the blanket of the stars, easier to walk and think in the cool darkness. One of your bosses? Wow, that's certainly an impressive space to hold. I don't think I've ever met anypony big who hasn't wanted my head except for Rarity."

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  • 3 weeks later...

EelWvW1.png

 

Ice nodded her head when she heard Lens talk about how corruption was everywhere. She couldn't disagree with that statement. If everything was running smoothing, and corruption had been completely eradicated, then the need for her entire organization would be non-existant. Yet here she was. She knew first hoof where most of the corruption stemmed from, and she couldn't help but wonder now, if there is so much open corruption in Las Pegasus, if they couldn't use that to their advantage at some point. Some place like Los Pegasus would be a breeding ground for WRAITH agents. For all she knew that could be one of the primary sources. She shook her head. She faced the facts. Las Pegasus was a gambling city, and a city where many desperate ponies congregate. It was no surprise that corruption would exist there and that the more powerful ponies would prey upon the weaker minded ponies by luring them into gambling addictions that they can not afford. She wondered how many lives that city has both created and flourished, as well as completely destroyed. She knew that latter number would be much higher...

 

When he said that he did a lot of his work under the blanket of stars, she nodded once again. "It is indeed tragic what she had to go through, but she is the reason that she is as strong as I am today. She was giving me strength and courage long before she even knew that I existed. Something that I take pride in myself. I could have taken the easy road and blamed everypony else for my problems, and turned to a life of evil. With the past I had... it would have been all too easy. Instead, I pushed through it. I took the pressure that was being put onto me my entire life," she said with a smile before making a solid crystal of ice in the shape of a diamond. "And let it turn me into a diamond. I've seen the corruption that Las Pegasus can cause first hoof. Not necessarily from gambling but from wealth. I've seen what wealth does to ponies, and have been a victim of it before. That was why I looked to the moon every night for strength. No matter what, every night I knew the moon would be there. Even if I couldn't see it, it was there. I too work under the cover of darkness most of the time. Nights tend to be colder and more comfortable for me to work it whenever I'm working on something other than this little shop here," she said as he mentioned as well that it was easier to betray a corrupt pony that you've been working with than one that is pure.

 

"This is true, but in the process of working with said corruption you have to be careful, less you become corrupted yourself, and you won't even realize it until it's too late. I have seen that happen many of times, and I've been tempted by it myself. But overall to me there is no gain for corruption. What would it be about? Bits? I have plenty of those. Power? I'm no Twilight Sparkle, but put me in a tundra and you'll never beat me. It's all about really knowing yourself. You have to know, and completely understand yourself, before you can ever hope to understand those that are around you. Especially in a city like Las Pegasus. From what you make it sound, if you don't understand yourself, and are firm in what you stand for, as you said, sticking with your morals, then you can easily be turned against everyone you love," she spoke to him. It was true, who you are, plays a very fundamental role into what you are. It took a certain type of pony to do what it was that they did. She knew that she was talking to that type of pony. She thought back to his agitation when they first started talking. Frustration was a common occurrence in the lines of a detective. Very rarely did anything go as planned. It was how you coped with it. Drowning your thoughts in what Ice Cream you can afford, a perfectly valid way of dealing with it.

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Lens carefully listens to her talk on corruption, nodding slightly as she speaks her views and thoughts on the matter, the topic itself raising quite an interesting thought for Lens, this mare had no need for bits, and was decently powerful, so did not view herself as a target for corruption, however it was obvious he had very little in the way of bits and power, which made him silently wonder if perhaps she viewed him as a possible issue, although, very much not a threat considering his lack of power, but nonetheless he knew that if he thought with that train of thought, the matter of the pony he was talking to would eventually come into play, an interesting thought but slightly worrying.

"Perhaps, although I do not think it can be so black and white, after all, I have met many a pony who has turned to a life of evil and cruelty to protect those they love and their morals. Sometimes a deed done with the best of intentions can go sour, after all, corruption is not about the reversal of what we stand for, more about tweaking the little motivations that we have for our goals." he comments calmly, before looking outside "Well looks like it's near time for me to get ready for my train back home, otherwise I'm sleeping on a bench in Ponyville tonight. It's been a pleasure meeting you, and I wish you all the best for your work going on from here. Hope it doesn't get too risky for you." he says with a smile as he stands, flicking one of the store leaflets into his pocket. "I'll try and drop by your other branches, see what they are like. So uh, until next time I guess."

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