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Manehattan - 9:30 PM

Scumbag: the most prolific term in my vocabulary is the word scumbag, and for good reason; almost everyone I meet in the streets nowadays is a scumbag.
What constitutes a scumbag? The signs are too long to list, but I don't need to; I know a scumbag when I see one, and the unicorn running away from me at this very moment constituted a grade-A example of what a real scumbag is.

The filthy piece of scum ran - flying almost - as I pursued him, pistol levitating near my head in a soft, dark colored glow. He sure ran fast for someone who had just had a bullet pierce his hind leg; but I had grown accustomed to this sight, as it had played out in the same form for more times that I dared count.

His ragged red robes concealed just how dangerous this piece of equine filth was, and this one was as vile as you could get: a foal-raping, mass-murdering cannibal cultist who was mere seconds away from having his brains become part of the pavement.

The cultist nearly collapsed from exhaustion and pain, finally standing on his rear legs to grab to a wall with his tattered hoof.

The perfect opportunity to shoot.

I aimed at his now fully exposed back and pulled the trigger. The gun's kick would have been more than a match for even the strongest stallion, or any male of any other race for that matter, but that was one of the beauties of being a unicorn; magic made it possible to shoot such hand cannons effectively and - and as we all know - magic is quite the handy tool to have when the whole world is bearing down on you.
my weapon was a modified ebony-colored peacekeeper revolver I had nicknamed 'Negotiator'. She fired .44 caliber death-dealers, and she never missed.
The bullet blew a two-inch hole in the left side of the cultist's back. I could almost see his still beating heart through what remained of his exposed ribcage.

The cultist tripped on his own legs, stumbling to the left, straight through a pane of glass that was the storefront to an old furniture shop.
Seeing that the cultist was down for the count, I holstered Negotiator and walked over to the broken remains of yet another soon-to-be-dead piece of trash. He kicked and struggled as he dragged his sorry rear over the shards of broken glass.
I was amazed at both the damage of my attack and the fact that the cultist was still kicking. I almost felt pity for the piece of scum, but criminals of his caliber deserved neither pity nor mercy.

He gasped and wheezed as I stood over his soon-to-be corpse, he began to laugh, cackling like some demented psychopath, gargling his next words.
"Kill me you may… but none can stop its arrival. It comes, past the walls of reality, past the walls of sanity; it does not forget; it does not forgive…" he then produced a small sawed-off shotgun seemingly out of thin air, clicking the hammers into place and continuing his maddened laughter.

My eyes widened, hairs standing on end. I reached for Negotiator, but the cultist had already aimed the weapon at my head.
       
Too slow; I was too damn slow…

I closed my eyes, stepping back by instinctively, knowing full well it wouldn't do a damn thing to save my sorry rear; my head was about to be blown into a red paste. I grit my teeth, anger sweltering inside me. Should have blown the scumbag's head off when I had the chance!

The cultist pulled the trigger. I heard the hammers click against shells in a fraction of a second, followed by a loud explosion. Then, the sound of a wet bag being crushed by a pair of hands; the sickening noise of breaking bones and snapping tendons and the wet snapping of a water balloon: all of these sounds berated my ears, but it hadn't come from me. I was still alive.

I opened my eyes and faced what was left of the cultist. His head was no longer on his shoulders, instead having become little more than a new coat of paint on the glass and walls around him. Pieces of skull were scattered every which way, likely on my duster as well. His body was still rigid, but it soon slumped over, blood flowing from the stump that was his neck like an overturned milk carton.

I exhaled, still shaky from the adrenaline rush. I looked at my reflection in one of the still intact glass panes. Sure enough, I was covered head to hoof in blood and pieces of skull and brain.
I used my magic to lift all the liquid and body bits off my duster, coat, and hair. I rolled it all up into a nice little sphere, floated the ball of gore on top of the cultist's corpse and released it, drenching his already filthy robes with even more filth.

I looked around; a large crowd had quickly begun to gather around the scene: colts, mares, fillies and even a few griffins were all looking at the scene with a wide mix of emotions as varied as a rainbow. Some displayed fear and revulsion, others wonder and excitement, but most simply didn't care or simply didn't choose to display sentiment, looking on with empty gazes; the chilling result of ten years of senseless violence just like this.

As I looked at the scene, I could relate to those who no longer wished to display emotions; I myself had long ago lost all sense of feeling. Looking up at the dark sky, I couldn't help but feel the hole where my heart had once rested become wider, taking up more and more of my chest.
It was becoming an even deeper void.
Some part of me, likely my sense of reason and morality, told me the only sensible response to these feelings of emptiness was to cry. Tears, however, would do nothing. Tears wouldn't stop the murders, tears wouldn't stop the rapists; they wouldn't wash away the blood that had coagulated in the gutters and sewers after who knows how many dead bodies had rested on the pavement: they would do absolutely nothing.          

And yet…

Tears; tears were precious, more so than all the riches in the world combined. Tears represented the only sign of sensibility left in this hellhole of an existence. Tears represented innocence lost so long ago.

Soon, the crowd dispersed; some took pictures, other talked about the horrid scene. Most simply kept to themselves.

I stood over the dead cultist, stiff like a statue.

I wanted to hate this cultist, this mass murdering, filly raping equine, but aside from his crimes - which were unforgivable in their own right - I had no reason to hate this unicorn, no reason to jeer and scorn at his now lifeless body. For all I knew, maybe he hadn't even raped a filly or killed an innocent mare; maybe this cultist had been an initiate - a kid who sought power above all else - brainwashed into becoming yet another disposable pawn in a sick game of chess. I wanted to hate the dead cultist, but I knew damn well that it wasn't him who I actually hated; it was that twisted reflection of what I was becoming that I hated more than anything else…

Loud sirens rang in the night; the police were here; likely come to clean up the mess Negotiator and I had caused.
They arrived in their fancy armored cars, stepping out to take the glory of the kill all for themselves. Their white and blue riot gear did nothing to hide their true nature; most were cowards at best, corrupt scumbags at worst. Years of brutality and senseless violence had changed them into something they originally couldn't have imagined. Money, greed, power: all of these turn the rookies - who always came into the force eager to clean up the city - into apathetic equines out to serve only themselves.

They could have the kill, they could take the credit; I didn't care anymore.

I stepped out of the way and let them tape up the scene. They went through the usual motions, gathering evidence and questioning me about the incident. They asked me why I had blown the equine's head off, to which I replied that he had done it himself either due to brainwashing or because he wanted to send a grisly last message.
The officers scoffed in open ridicule, but wrote it down anyway. They told me they would take care of the mess, and congratulated me on another flawless take-down. They offered me some cash; likely dirty money from a large, violent drug bust or sale, possibly some gang related extermination, or even perhaps a weapon deal.
Either way, the money was foul, and I refused to take it, instead telling them to add the REAL reward to my account, which they already knew by heart.
They always gave me this dirty look, as if I was too noble or misguided to be around them, but they kept their mouths shut, never speaking a single word of contempt.

The police finished cleaning up the scene, leaving it cleaner than it had been before. They took their tape, the body, and left the scene just as quickly as they had come.
I again looked at the spot where the cultist had taken his own life; yet another spot out of thousands where someone had died.

I turned around and headed back to my office - which also happened to be my apartment - feeling no better about myself or what I had done.
   
This city; it was rotting me away from the inside out...

Name's Bogart, Bogart Maltese. I'm a charcoal-coated, green eyed, light-gray maned unicorn born in the far off human continent known as The Federation. When on duty, I wear black and grey riot gear similar to the one once worn by Civil Protection soldiers on top of which I sported a weathered brown duster that had at one point had been my partner's.
Not exactly the standard issue uniform, but it doesn't matter anyway; as a high ranking Regulator officer working in the city of Manehattan, I can wear whatever I want and shoot whoever I want provided I submit the correct paperwork at the end of the day.
Despite this 'license to kill', I am no murderer, nor am I a crazed gunman; I was not like the corrupt police officers that patrolled Manehattan's streets 24/7. I hunt down the filth that is slowly choking the life from this city rather than nourish it and help it propagate further. Just the thought of so much corruption in plain sight makes me sick to my stomach. My desire to clean the streets was kept in check by the harsh reality: I am but one equine in a large city full of vice and sin.

I am but one Equine fighting a losing battle...

As I continued walking down the dark streets, memories I had believed forgotten slowly stirred back to life within the dark recesses of my mind. Most of these memories pertained to painful events long past, back to a more savage time when fires raged and chaos was rampant. As always, these events began when everything was happy, peaceful, and most importantly, innocent…

Equestria Noir – A Neo-Noire Tale
Written by: Ed "Garnot" Ch

Prologue


Equestria: a land shared by three equine races: pegasi, unicorn, and earthen pony. A beautiful country that had seemingly always been at peace. Everything was as sweet as syrup, rainbows and all floating in the air.

It made you want to reach for insulin.

It was a time when crime was nonexistent and corruption was unheard of; a time when love and tolerance were commonplace and endorsed above all else; a time when the equines of this nation, under the caring rule of Princesses Celestia and Luna, had lived in relative harmony, keeping everypony safe whether during the day or at night.
Loving and accepting love, giving without ever expecting anything in return, and enjoying an unbreakable bond with nature and life as a whole; these were the virtues every citizen lived by.

It was these reasons above all others that made the wake-up call truly tumultuous...  

Ten years ago, on an unnaturally cold night, when the moon was at its fullest and all the stars in the sky were clear and bright, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna vanished without a trace.
Days passed, but all search parties returned with empty hooves. The princesses had vanished from the face of the planet, leaving no trail to follow, taking all political power with them. The vacuum they created severely weakening Equestria.

Many began preaching that the disappearance of the celestial sisters foretold the end of Equestria; others even went as far as to declare the end of the world. Those that kept their heads however quickly came to realize that it was not the end of the world: the sun and the moon still rose and set, plants still grew and prospered, animals still roamed the land and magic was still available to all who could use it.

As the citizenry wept, several nobles, ponies who had once bowed to Celestia and Luna's will, quickly organized themselves under a new banner and a new name: The Regime. The Regime quickly took total control over all aspects of Equestrian life, imposing order through fear.

Wasn't long before the populace begun to get fed up with the Regime's brand of fascism. With every passing day, the underground resistance grew both in numbers and influence. The Regime's answer to the uprisings was simple; kill everyone.

Soon, open conflict erupted all over the country.

Order broke down in the metropolitan areas first, swiftly followed by the countryside. The deterioration became so overwhelming that Equestria's Royal Guards, the only group that had taken on the responsibility of keeping peace and order following the outbreak of war, found itself quickly overwhelmed by the chaos. With little choice, the head of the guards contacted the griffins for aid.

Now, the griffins weren't that much of a trusted society; their war-like culture and their rather unsettling taste for equine flesh made sure of that. They however, were widely known for keeping their vows of honor. A griffin that made a promise would gladly claw its way out of the depths of Pony hell if it meant keeping said promise and it just so happened that the griffin emperor – Crissaegrim as he was called – had bowed to 'protect and come to the aid of Equestria should it ever need such aid.' True to the vow, the griffins answered the call, providing troops to help quell the riots and pillaging.

Another unexpected ally to suddenly pledge its aid was the Human Federation.

Just like the griffins, the humans were seen as a war–like race not to be fully trusted, mostly because of the constant self–destructive wars they waged among themselves, but also because of their innate lack of magic. Despite lacking the ability to harness magic naturally, none doubted the technological marvels humanity possessed.

Though the humans promised aid, they were unable to spare much manpower, choosing to provide tons upon tons of food and medical supplies instead. So many supplies the humans provided, the royal guards were greatly overstocked at first, but the supplies quickly begun to grow thin in the coming months as the war escalated to levels never before seen.

True to their vows of non–interference in civil matters, the Royal Guards mostly stayed out of the conflict, as did the griffin and human forces loyal to Equestria. The two groups focused all their resources on creating safe heavens for the thousands of refugees.

The war lasted for almost five years; five years of unimaginable chaos, destruction, and death. All the happiness and tolerance that was once preached broke down, giving way to hate and division, creating scars that have yet to heal.

When the flames of war finally burned themselves out, only the horrible aftermath greeted those who had survived. What little hope of a brighter future that had escaped untouched quickly shriveled up and died, becoming nothing more than ash in the wind.

Equestria, now completely leaderless and its denizens entirely hopeless, came close to total breakdown. Those who had once believe they could ride out the horrors quickly began to move away to neighboring countries, never to be seen or heard from again.

It was at this time, when all hope seemed lost, that history took a new turn.

A mysterious Equine suddenly appeared from the shadows, boasting an army of heavily armed troops. This equine, who called himself Fifth, took the reigns as the new ruler of Equestria, a rule many feared would plummet the nation back into the shadows of war.

Fifth was a unicorn, larger than the average equine, with a mane of vivid white and a body of platinum. His mark was that of the moon and the sun mixed into one silvery orb, which he also bore on his jacket, which itself was adorned with all sorts of Federation, Griffin and Draconian medals and awards.

Fifth, taking the role of commander-in-chief, mobilized his personal army of equines: ponies, unicorns, pegasi, and kirins - equines who hailed from the far east and sported silver or blue-white coats, white crackling manes and a large, sharp horn which allowed them to control lighting at will - and began what came to be known as 'The Great Crusade'. His armies used modified Human weapons and armor - armaments once believed to be known to the humans alone - as well as a few Draconian nomad tricks, including elemental gems and magical fire.

I myself had at one point wielded a human armament, a gauss rifle, to be more precise. I also wore a modified set of armor once used by human police: riot gear.
The humans knew how to make weapons of the finest quality and lethality. It made me glad they were on our side.

The advanced weapons, superior tactics and near unstoppable war machines Fifth's armies had at their disposal gave them the upper hand in every conceivable way. Within weeks, peace was once again restored throughout Equestria, with all traces of rebellion and dissent quickly disappearing. In order to prevent further outbreaks of violence, Fifth personally ordered the creation of a security force to serve solely as the hammer of justice in Equestria.

The Royal Guards, once under the servitude of Celestia and Luna, were chosen as the best candidates for this mission. Their leader, supreme commander Hagar Finn, an old and weathered earth pony-kirin hybrid nearly twice the size of a pony - bearing a gray-blue coat and a lion-like mane that glowed white hot due to his kirin ancestry - stepped forth into the vanguard of Equestria's future.

The enclave was to operate as judge, jury, and executioner; acting entirely autonomous of any established organization, including Fifth's own rule. The oath was "to hunt down corruption and villainy is our goal; one that we will accomplish till death take us all."

And thus the Regulators, under Hagar's command, were born. Sporting white exoskeletal armor and the same advanced weapons Fifth's armies had used. They went about stomping out crime and villainy with an iron hoof.

Soon, many came to call them tyrants; others called them heroes. To the majority however, they were simply 'judges.'

Within a month, the first batch of newly trained recruits hit the streets of all major regions. For a time hope seemed to be on the rise as everyone dared to believe that maybe, just maybe, things could go back to the way they had been when Celestia and Luna ruled.

But the dream was just that – a dream. Crime continued its steady incline. Paramilitary groups – all of whom vied for control over Equestria's many natural and militarist resources – began to appear in every major city and town. Corruption became more and more noticeable with each passing day...

Manehattan - 10:00 PM

Walking down the street, I saw many things that reminded me of good times and bad times.
The park to my right of course brought about images of fillies playing, carefree and gay.
It also brought about images of bums and junkies going about their drug trips.

The drug store to my left brought about images of a caring shopkeeper handing out free soda and candy on weekends. It also brought about images of a violent crime scene, that same shopkeeper gunned down by some crazed lunatic.

I Sighed. Equestria still had many hurdles to overcome, but despite the challenges and the suffering in between, Fifth's empire slowly continued to flourish, bringing back the old Equestria bit by bit. But this small ray of hope did nothing to clear the darkness that had blanketed Equestria after the war. No longer was love and tolerance preached by the populace, only caution and paranoia. Ponies went about their lives, caring little about others, choosing to ignore the world as a whole. Emotions became almost taboo, and hope became little more than a fairytale from days long gone. Criminals still ruled the streets, and despite the Regulator's efforts to stomp warlords and petty thugs, crime always found a way to flourish.

These problems however were only the tip of the iceberg.

A new evil, ancient and cryptic, slowly crept from its dark hole to overtake the cities and towns; it created fear and brought forth death. This new organization, calling itself 'Nix Kruxado' or simply 'The Cult', declared an unspoken war on the Regulators and all forces of order, painting the streets red with the blood of the innocent.

Despite these problems and the fact that everyone tried their absolute hardest in those early days, the death toll needed to maintain peace and order proved daunting.

Those still loyal to the original cause of the Regulators endured with whatever willpower they still carried within them; but willpower can only get one so far…

My willpower was officially beaten out of me the day my partner was murdered...

***

It had been a rather rough night; our unit had just taken down an entire group of red robed psychopaths, the 'Cult' everypony feared so much.
The battle had been bloody, half of our unit had been wiped out by the group, whose members had all attacked with little concern about their own welfare, chanting in an unknown, twisted language. Despite the heavy losses, we ended up securing the warehouse which served as their hideout. What we found inside, however, proved too much for many of us to bear.

Bodies everywhere; hung up by hooks, wires and all manner of improvised tools and contraptions. Half-eaten corpses lined the floors and walls; a freezer was stuffed to the brim with body parts from all conceivable races. They were fulfilling sick and twisted fetishes using flesh and bone...

Many of us emptied our guts right then and there. The sights I saw that night lingered in my mind for months to come. I was glad my partner had decided to stay at the office to get some paperwork finished; her gut was not on the strong side.

Our unit called for backup and started the daunting task of cleaning up the building, but many just couldn't bring themselves to go back into the warehouse. Hagar himself showed up, and was just as repulsed and horrified as many of the other troops. Unable to stand the sight of the now hellish warehouse, he decided to torch it, a funeral pyre for the innocent who had been butchered.

Unable to maintain my attentiveness any longer, I asked permission to leave, which Hagar granted. I got in my vehicle and drove back to the office, wanting nothing more than a cold shower and a long night's rest.

But as soon as I opened the door, I came face to face with another nightmare.

My partner had been pinned to the ceiling using rusty railroad nails. Her entrails had been ripped out of her abdomen, violently spread over the floor in intricate patterns that evoked images of evil rituals. On the wall was a message, written in a cryptic, evil language I somehow understood...

"Kill a man; one is a murderer. Kill thousands; one is a conqueror. Kill them all; one is a god."

For the second time that night, I puked with little control, screaming in horror so loudly that I lost my voice for a few days.

After the funeral, I dedicated myself to finding those responsible for the murder. I promised myself to, "hunt down the ones responsible for his death. I'll hunt them all down and end them once and for all – for her sake; for everypony's sake."

***

Ten years have passed since Princess Celestia and Princess Luna disappeared, leaving us all to fend for ourselves in this brave new world.

Five years have now passed since the Regulators' formation, and we have made almost no progress in destroying the Cult. Crime remains just as rampant as before, and the populace still remains as hopeless and uncaring as ever.

Two years have passed since my partner's murder, and I still have nothing to show for all my work.

I sighed in hopelessness; nothing to do but head over to the office, put more clues together, try and piece together this incomplete puzzle, and bang my head against the wall in frustration, just like I have done for the last two years…

This was going to be a very long night…

Manehattan - 10:15 PM

A white and gray car suddenly pulled up next to me. It was a Regulator's car. I stopped in my tracks, knowing full well who was behind the wheel.
The door opened and out stepped Hagar Finn, the only truly righteous stallion left in this city. His mane was starting to age, graying here and there, almost devoid of the fire glow it had once bared. What could be seen of his coat trough the heavy trench coat he wore still retained its silvery blue sheen from days long gone however, hinting that perhaps he wasn't getting as old as I had originally assumed.
He smiled at me, stepping out of his car. "Long time no see Bogart," he said in a soft yet stern voice that carried with it the wisdom and courage that this city lacked, "Heard you've been keeping busy chasing cultists and all manner of lowlifes."
"Yes sir," I said with forced resentment. "come to try and give me a more appropriate assignment sir?" I asked, full well knowing he would say no.

I held nothing but respect for the old stallion, but when I had made my choice to leave the main force to work solo, Hagar had scorned it, calling it foolish and dangerous. Hagar of course had been wholly correct, but my desire for retribution at the time had been so intense, instead of taking his words as the absolute truth, I had screamed and cursed, calling him all manner of ill, non-deserving names that I still felt shameful for using.

Now, as the old Stallion stood before me, I wanted nothing more than to apologize for the things I had once said, but I didn't know how to do it, so I instead feigned resentment, if only to cover up how pathetically lost I felt.

"Actually, I've come to lend you a helping hoof," Hagar said, smiling with all the self confidence of a war hero. "Come, I'll drive you back to your office; maybe get some coffee on the way."
"Coffee would be nice," I said with a slight smile. I got into Hagar's passenger seat and fastened my seat – belt. He drove off rather quickly, keeping his eyes wholly on the road ahead.

"I did some digging around," Hagar started, eyes never parting from the road, "And I believe I've found something that might interest you." He motioned to his glove compartment. I opened it and pulled out a file; it was rather thin, almost as if it bore absolutely nothing.
"Sorry if the file is shorter than the ones you are used to going through; not much information to be dug up these days it would seem. Criminals are getting smarter about covering their tracks."
"Any new information is good information." I said, opening the file and reading its contents. I felt the car pull over once again, glancing to the side with my peripheral vision. It was a coffee shop, crowded with many young fillies and colts enjoying the last few hours of their night before it became too dangerous to roam outside.

Hagar stepped out of his car and prodded my shoulder. "What are you having?" he asked. I looked at him, mulling over my coffee options.
"Something strong, lots of sugar and cream and oh yeah; ask the clerk if she can mix some chocolate into the bottom of the cup."
"Alright, I'll be back in a few minutes." Hagar said as he closed his door and walked into the coffee shop, where he was immediately surrounded by a large group of young colts who had undoubtedly recognized him as Hagar Finn, war hero and supreme 'judge' of the Regulators. They all wanted his autograph and picture.
I half-laughed at his predicament, but then returned my full attention to the files Hagar had compiled.

Minutes later, Hagar stepped into his car, two cups of hot coffee in his hooves. He handed me my special order and warned me to be careful. I took a sip and smiled; the coffee would allow me to stay up a little later.
Hagar turned the car's engine on and we drove off again. By the time we reached my office, I had re-read the files Hagar had collected about five times, and despite the information being clear, what it pertained to was anything but.

Hagar pulled into the garage and. turned over his car's engine. "So," he said as he took a sip of his coffee, a very strong, almost mud-like black brew. "Anything in that file relevant to you?"
"Yes," I told him, taking a sip of my now warm coffee, "useful, but not very helpful." I opened the files and read a small excerpt of the research notes:


Cultists are known to attack random victims in the streets, using the blood of the murder as a means of sending cryptic messages to the authorities. It is not unheard of, however, for carefully planned executions to take place, usually as a means to put pressure on certain groups or eliminate potentially dangerous opposition before it becomes a threat. Out of all murder cases, two stand out as particularly chilling in their method of execution and potential endgame. The first, the murder of a Regulator operative whose name has been withdrawn until full investigation is complete.


I looked at Hagar. "My partner's murder no doubt." I sipped my and continued reading.


The other incident being the murder of a family of 'rock farmers' ,aka quarry owners, near the town of Stalliongrad about two years prior to this report. The family murdered did not have any previously known affiliations, prompting many to believe that it was another random murder. However evidence has surfaced that the family may have been connected to the Cult prior to their deaths, suggesting the murders to be retaliatory in nature.


I stopped reading, putting the file down. "Both of these cases I already knew about, though the information pertaining to the second set of victims, particularly the fact that they may have been possible Cult members, is new." I took a large swig of the coffee this time. "But the second little tidbit of information you placed on here is what caught my eye the most: that out of the rock farmer family deaths, there had been a lone survivor. But the files only mention her gender, nothing else. No mention of her appearance or even how old she was at the time. The files simply stop at a single phrase: 'Ponyville'."
"That's right Bogart," Hagar said with a frown, "that was the only real piece of concrete information I could dig up." He took a swig of his coffee. "This filly, she likely moved to ponyville to start anew or at the very least, passed by the town. If she did settle there, she probably has a new identity by now."
"Well, if that is the case, then Ponyville is where I need to go next." I handed the file back to Hagar, who merely shook his head. "Keep it," he told me with a smile, "I'm sure you'll want to re-read that file in more detail."
"Very well, I'll keep it with me." I said, opening the passenger door and stepping out. "I'll start packing my things; I leave for Ponyville in the morning."
"Good luck. Oh, and one more thing:" he took one final swig of his coffee, emptying the cup in one gulp. "be very careful about this case; I get the feeling you are digging to a dark place. You may not like what you end up discovering." He turned on his car's engine and managed a broad smile. "I better get back to HQ; somepony's probably freaking out about my disappearance by now."
I closed the passenger door and saluted Hagar as he pulled out of the parking lot and drove off into the night.

I again looked at the files in my hoof and truthfully smiled for the first time in quite a while. I finally had the break I had been looking for all this time. Now, it was just a matter of time before I got some real answers.

My next destination was Ponyville.
Set in an alternate Neo-Noir Equestria.

Ten years have passed since Celestia and Luna mysteriously vanished from the face of the planet, leaving their nation to slowly fall apart. Now, crime, corruption and a faceless evil threaten to destroy the slowly recovering nation.

In the middle of this chaos stands Bogart Maltese, an equine and member of the Regulators - an enclave dedicated to fighting crime, corruption and villainy - who is on a quest to find and punish the ones responsible for his partner's murder. Along the way, he will meet another soul, who just like him, longs to understand her own tragic past.

To find the answers they both seek, the two will have to travel to hell and back. What they discover may change the face of Equestria forever.

Trust no one and fear the dark places of the world.




Comment and provide any feedback (positive or negative so that I can improve.

-Update-

Major edits done to first half. Should now read with more clarity. Changes for second half still pending. Also, updated preview image to one more fitting to the Noir style.

--Update--

Final update lest I rewrite some things. Has been proofread and is ready for official reading. Thanks Chris!

--Update--

Yet another rewrite is in the works. Expect it soon.

Partial Re-write is done. More soon to follow.

--Update--

Yet another rewrite-this one rather major- has been completed. I also added a new picture (just because I've been wanting to use it :3) Read and Enjoy!

-Minor Update-

Bow has been fixed to vow.



Pinkie Noir belongs to :iconeternal-equilibrium:


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Add a Comment:
 
:iconbaneat:
baneat Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
Excuse me but how does one shoot a pony's back? did the protagonist jump or elevate or something?
Reply
:iconshilvicthehedgehog:
shilvicthehedgehog Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Student Artist
are the other ponies in it awesome action scene by the way.
Reply
:icondefjam101:
DefJam101 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
Oh, and sentences like:

"The police finished cleaning up the scene, leaving it cleaner than it had been before."

Make large chunks of this read like a parody fic. Although, if that was your intent, great job.
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:icongarnot:
Garnot Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
You've brought up a valid point. To be honest, this fic is a bit of everything. Its supposed to be a sort of satire all the while presenting its own tale. It's dark, something I set out to do from the very begging. Noir is also a part, but really, I need to nail the mood more accurately. It's more a pulp/hardboiled.

As for fixing this errors, that's exactly what I'm doing right now. The tale is currently undergoing an overhaul. Various aspects of the tale are being re-worked. I'm still going to keep the satiric elements in, as well as references (because I like to drop those from time to time) but I will make them more obscure.

Thanks for the posting your thoughts. Feedback is appreciated. I will work to make this tale more appealing.
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:icondefjam101:
DefJam101 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
My thoughts: the narration here is far, far too melodramatic to fit the noir stylings. It verges on outright whining more than a few times and conveys far too much sentimentality.

The coveted 'noir feel' owes more to cynicism than outright darkness (though darkness certainly helps). Here you've more or less nailed the darkness, but you're missing the essential layer of experience that forms the core of the narration style. It's not enough to simply be a good, or uncaring, person surrounded by assholes — the narrator has to be jaded.

That said, this has a few good moments.

Have you read Altered Carbon and/or Watchmen recently? I feel a strong vibe of both of 'em coming from this fic.
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:iconobsesed-bunny:
obsesed-bunny Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Student Writer
The picture is just too cute! :squee:
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:icongarnot:
Garnot Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Cute, for now.
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:iconpaxtofettel:
paxtofettel Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011
One question: Is Bogart Maltese based on Humphrey Bogart and his role in The Maltese Falcon?
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:icongarnot:
Garnot Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Partially. I took the names and mixed them together, sort of as a homage to the classic. Well, that and the fact that much of Bogart's 'cynicism' is based off Spade. Heck, I might even toss the titular gold statue somewhere down the line.

The name is at least better than the original one: Harrison Deckard. (You know, Bladerunner).
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:iconpaxtofettel:
paxtofettel Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011
Ah I knew it.

I must commend you on making such a fantastic grimdark fic. Usually I avoid these types of fics but the Noir themes (though I prefer the old 1940's style of Noir to NeoNoir) and the suprisingly complex backstory got me hooked. Great Job, good sir.
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