The name's Clues. Clover Clues. The boys down at the precinct call me Lucky Find, but I don't think that's fair. You don't get to where I am today by being lucky. To make it as a Detective for the Maretropolis Police Department, you have to be good and lucky.
In a city of five million ponies, I stand among the few. Those who seek out the truth and fight for justice. In short, I'm Clover Clues, and I close cases.
Case 1: A Ton of Bricks
It was a hot day in the City. The local fillies and colts were currently holding a sidewalk egg-frying contest. It was hard to tell who was winning, but it was probably the sidewalk.
That's when she walked into the office. She was a cream-colored pegasus who carried herself in such a way that I knew nopony had ever told her "No" her entire life. She sported a sewing kit cutiemark and a rotten look on her face.
"You there, are you Officer Clues?"
"It...it says so on your desk!"
I looked down at my newly outdated desk placard. "Oh right. That. I'm Clues, but that's Detective Clues now." She looked like couldn't care less about that.
"Well I couldn't care less about that. My name is--"
"Sheer Satin, I know. I've seen your billboards. You model for your family's boutiques, right?"
"They are salons...but yes, I model and design some of the pieces, but that's not why I'm here today. Shall I tell you, or do you already know that as well?" She leveled a keen gaze at me.
I threw up my hooves. "No, Ms. Satin, I don't, and I meant no disrespect. Let's blame it on the heat. What's the matter?"
Her gaze intensified. "Bricks."
"Yes. One through every window in every one of Papa's salons."
I got out my quill and pad. "Who first discovered the crime?"
"I did. I like to make an early morning fly-by to each of our Maretropolitan locations. To see if...any of the storefronts need cleaning..." Satin was on the verge of tears.
I adopted my best sympathetic look, which my MPD colleagues rate as a solid 'at least he's trying'.
"Don't you worry, Ms. Satin. We'll figure out who did this, and see that you receive full comp--"
"No, Detective. We will not be seeking monetary compensation."
"I want to see them punished. Punished for the damage they did to the Satin name."
I could see that her mind was made up. "Very well Ms. Satin. Of course there are some necessary--"
"--procedures which must be followed, of course Detective Clues." A smartly dressed unicorn with straight black hair seemed to materialize behind Satin. "I'm the Satins' legal counsel."
"YesI'msureyouare," I said quickly, before I could get interrupted again. "So you know the drill. Ms. Satin, I would like a personal tour of the Satin Salons."
Case 2: The Fragile Facades
Sheer Satin gestured to her family's ruined storefront. "Well, this is our place. My father's first salon."
The beautiful monument to fashion and fabulousness that was the Satin Salon was completely destroyed with a single well-aimed throw. The large pane of glass, which usually displayed the most up-to-date fashions for the most discerning mares and stallions, was covered with black plastic and duct tape.
"Okay, let's take a closer look. Sergeant Cake? Please cordon off the crime scene."
"Aye aye, Detective Lucky!" The reliable earth pony Sgt. Paddy Cake saluted and got to work.
"And as always, my name is Detective Clues. Clover Clues. Not...Lucky Find. What kind of cartoony name is that?"
"Sir! It just fits! Sir!"
"And stop that Cake! This isn't the Guard."
To that, the sergeant simply saluted again and returned to his task. I turned to Satin.
"I'll have to remove this covering. Has anything inside the store been cleaned up or moved around in any way?"
Satin shook her head. "No. Mother wanted things cleaned up right away, but I'm holding her off until you finish your investigation."
"Good. That makes things easier. I'll get to work; you're free to go now."
Satin shrugged and said, "I don't need to be anywhere. I was supposed to work here today. Also, I'm a little curious how you work."
I grinned and nodded. "You're free to watch, I just need to concentrate."
I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths, focusing on my horn. It began to glow bright green. I drew a magnifying glass from my MPD-issue saddlebag.
In a low murmur I said, "Sight beyond sight, sound beyond sound, help me find that which cannot be found."
I then opened my eyes, which now exuded a soft green light from the irises. I held my magnifying glass at the ready and began to process the crime scene.
"...what was that?" said Satin. She found she couldn't look away from the brightly glowing green eyes.
"Oh, the spell? My mom taught it to me. It helps me notice details that I would otherwise overlook. All MPD unicorns have to learn some sort of focusing spell."
As I talked, I scanned the pattern of shattered glass strewn all over the interior of the shop. All the outfits on display at the time were covered with sharp shards. I tried to estimate what the total losses might be, but gave up when that train of thought got me nowhere.
"Based on the pattern of the broken glass, I would say a heavy object was thrown near the base of the window. The same goes for the window in the door. And you said all of the salons are like this?"
Satin silently nodded, a dark look crossing her delicate features.
"We'll find the ones who did this, Ms. Satin. Now let's take a look at those bricks."
Satin fidgeted, an oddly awkward gesture for such a graceful pegasus. "Th-that's fine...I think I should leave, Detective. I trust you'll be able to find the bricks."
I nodded and watched her leave. Sergeant Cake approached after condoning off the area and placating the local gawkers. "What did you do to that nice lady?"
"Nothing, Cake! She just got flustered and left after I mentioned the bricks."
He shrugged his muscular shoulders. "I guess she has every right to be out for sorts. It's not every day somepony sabotages your family business."
Case 3: The Maker’s Mark
Eight bricks were lined up in rows of two on my desk. Each pair was labeled with a different street address. On the bulletin board was a map of Maretropolis, on which four pins were stuck, with yarn connecting them all.
I looked at the bricks as if they were trying to whisper their secrets to me, then up at the bulletin board.
A gruff looking pegasus passed my desk. "Good visualization, Luck. I'd like to see your reports if you're finished with them."
"Sure thing Chief." I magicked a file folder to him. Even though I had made detective, I was still very much in training. Chief Swiftwing could also weigh in on the evidence and see something I didn't.
He opened the file and hmm'd over it for a while. I went back to considering the bricks using my focusing spell. The bricks were a City standard size and make, with no apparent marks. I made a mental note to have our forensics team have a look at them.
Swiftwing closed then file with a snap and slapped it on my desk. "Decent, Luck. Decent."
That was as big a compliment as I was ever going to get out of him. I nodded seriously, while performing a happy little dance in my head. "Thanks Chief. Anything jump out at you?"
He grimaced. It was an expression that could quell any manner of bad behavior. I instinctively tensed up, despite just being complimented. "Only that somepony has to really have it out for the Satins. The attacks had to have happened nearly simultaneously, based on Sheer Satin's testimony."
I nodded quickly. "I thought so too. After taking these bricks to the lab, I should interview the family."
"Very good. Keep me informed."
"You got it, Chief!"
I magicked up the bricks and felt a sharp twinge of pain between my eyes. Okay, note to self: do not pick up eight bricks at once with magic. I then loaded them two at a time into a little cart I found to tote them to our forensics lab.
The pride and joy of the precinct, the MPD forensics lab was on the cusp of forensic technology. All the latest magi-mechanical and analog equipment could be found there; they even had some devices exclusive to the lab, designed by some of the brightest CSI's in Equestria.
"Hey Lucky," said Laser Focus. She was wearing her usual white lab coat over her dark red fur. Her horn glowed bright red as she was manipulating a microscope.
"Got some evidence for you."
She looked up from her microscope and into my cart. "...bricks?"
"Bricks. I've got to find their makers, or really anything you can tell me about them. I'm not getting anywhere."
Laser smiled brightly. "We'll take a look. I think our forensic architect is in today."
I didn't know we had a forensic architect, or what forensic architect even does. But I'm glad we had one. "Thanks Lase. Let me know if you find anything. Have fun!"
She gave me a coquettish wink. "You know I always do!" She magicked all the bricks over to a shiny metal table without any apparent strain. Ouch, my pride. I left the station and called a taxi to take me to the Satin residence.
Case 4: Meet the Satins
Burlington Satin was an unexpectedly imposing unicorn. His suit jacket was simple, but impeccably tailored. He was one of the tallest ponies I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot of ponies in my line of work.
The Satin family estate wasn't what I was expecting. For one, it wasn't an estate. It was the penthouse suite in an exceedingly fancy high rise. We sat in large pillow-lined chairs on the building's roof, magically shielded from the high winds.
"..and that's how to properly perform a Fancy hooficure," he concluded.
My lips clumsily searched for the straw in my glass of peach tea as I let him talk. I found that asking about a pony's profession is an easy way to break the ice. "Well, thank you for taking me through all that, Mr. Satin, I...actually think you've won me over. I might go get one when I have a chance. Now. Back to this morning's incident." I withdrew my notebook from my saddlebag. And magicked a pen to the ready.
For one brief moment, Mr. Satin resembled the lanky, awkward pegasus of his teenage years. "I don't know what to tell you, Detective. Sheerie flew in through an open window, screaming that there had been a break-in. Break-ins. All my shops..."
"We will find who did this, Mr. Satin."
"I don't much care who. I want to know why. I loved those windows. My sister hand-lettered each one. 'The Satin Salon' in bold, elegant script. Now they're gone. All gone. Why would someone do this?"
I put a comforting hoof on his shoulder. "That's what I'm here to find out. Now I need to ask this, but do you know of anypony who would wish you or your business harm?"
Mr. Satin gazed out over the city, lazily tracing the skyline with a wingtip. "Apart from a few, and I do mean very few, dissatisfied customers, I cannot think of anypony."
I nodded and set down the tea on a small glass coffee table. "Well, thank you sir. That's all for now. I'd like to get your wife's side of the story as well. Do you know where she is?"
Burlington scratched his chin with a hoof. "Knowing her, she's probably in our Manehattan location, trying to shoo away police so she can start cleaning up."
I stood up quickly. "Ah, I'd better be on my way then. Thanks for the tea!"
I found Mrs. Downy Satin in a very heated discussion with a long suffereing beat cop. "Now you listen here," she seethed. "This is my property, and I demand you let me through!"
"I--I'm sorry Mrs. Satin, I can't let anypony through until...oh hey Lucky! Here, Detective Clues is the lead investigator on your case. You can talk to him." The uniformed officer quickly made his escape from the small but imposing pegasus.
I gave the officer an 'oh gee thanks' look, and turned to the Lady Satin. She seemed to be the opposite of her long, lean husband. Downy was small and curvy, and very much embodied her name. But this outward softness belied a sharp tongue and a shrewd intellect, which was responsible for the financial success of her husband's salon franchise. She glared at me with the fury of Celestia's rising sun. I'm ashamed to admit that I quailed under her fiery gaze, even though she had to look up to stare those daggers at me.
"Well, detective? My storefront is in shambles. Are you going to let me inside so I can start fixing it, or do you have something more important to do?"
"Ah, well ma'am, I...yes. Come with me." I figured I could conduct my interview while investigating the scene, while keeping her from assaulting an officer of the law. "I'd like to inspect the windows. Then I'll be happy to help with the cleanup."
"Now you...oh. Alright." She seemed surprised at my offer to help.
I smiled at her. "I want to see this place back up and running as soon as possible, ma'am. Now, has anything been moved or cleaned up already?"
"No...they wouldn't let me," she said softly. She seemed to be calming down.
"Just give me one moment, and we can start making this right." I closed my eyes, let my horn glow, and recited my cantrip. "Sight beyond sight, sound beyond sound, help me find that which cannot be found."
I opened my glowing eyes and faced the broken window, looking carefully at the pattern of shards on the floor. The bricks had made contact at a low point in the windows, allowing most of the glass to fall straight down. They seemed to be thrown in just the right place to completely destroy the large panes. "It almost looks mechanically done," I murmured to myself. "It's exactly the same as the other shops." I blinked a few times, and the glow faded.
"You could tell all that just by looking?" said Mrs. Satin skeptically.
I nodded confidently. "Yes ma'am. And with the information I've gathered here, and the evidence being analyized by our experts at the station, we're getting closer to catching the vandals."
That seemed to satisfy her for the moment. "Good. Now help me clean up. This place looks deplorable."
I smiled obligingly. "With pleasure, ma'am."