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Asuka Yakushi
by on October 29, 2019
In the early afternoon Detective Joe Winters exits his house, and enters his vehicle. His wife watches from the front door as his vehicle backs out of the driveway, and heads off down the street. As far as she knows he's off to the police station. Things have been very tough for him, and all the other detectives, and officers lately. She's hoping that whatever it is that's causing them all so much stress will be over soon. Joe on the other hand doesn't just hope. He's certain what he's doing today will give him the lead he needs to put a stop to the violence. To make the streets of Vanhoover a safer place. He's tired of seeing the citizens living in fear. Tired of twiddling his hooves, waiting for the next report. He's going to end this all now.
The Emergency Line call sickened her. Every part of Asuka's body shook at once after they were done playing it in the briefing. She, 2 teams of SWAT officers, and 3 other Tactical Paramedics had just suited up, and loaded into 2 separate vans. Not a single word was spoken by anyone during the ride. Their destination? Mapleton Square Mall.
Detective Winters pulls into a parking garage a few blocks from his actual destination. He pays the parking fee, and places the receipt inside the windshield of his car. Even an on-duty detective wouldn't be immune to a parking ticket. Especially not when his current job was "off the books." He was considered to be on-duty for this meeting, but the paperwork would say he was "on break." Joe makes his way out of the garage, and head's down the street east. To the other citizens going about their day he just looks like an office worker making his way to work. He takes note of how populated the street is before locating the building he needs to go to. Joe makes his way to a crosswalk, and waits for the light to cross. He then makes his way to the target building.
The building he's standing in front of appears to be an office building. He takes a moment to straighten his tie before entering through the front doors. The first room Joe enters is a lobby. There's a single receptionist sitting behind the tiny desk. Joe is relieved to see that there's someone out there with a desk smaller than his own. The mare behind the desk looks over from her computer, and smiles. "Ah! Hello! Mr. Figali has been expecting you. Please wait here, and I'll call someone to escort you to him." Joe thanks the receptionist, and takes a seat at one of the unusually comfortable chairs dotted around the walls. There's a good bit of decor for the lobby of an office building. He looks around at all the different signs, and trinkets along the walls. Of course, he's not looking just to sight-see. Joe takes note of the doors around the room, and any places there might be a secret entrance, or exit. He figures the person who sent him the letter must be this "Figali" guy, and if he's got an office building like this, there has to be something secret to it.
A few minutes later a stallion wearing an immaculate suit, and a spotless stetson enters the room from a door on the north side of the room. "Detective Winters? Follow me please." Joe obliges, and stands from the chair to follow the suited stallion. He follows the stallion through the north side door which is closed behind him. Joe takes note of how long the hallway is, how many doors are on each side, and if there are any cameras. There are plenty. The two walk in silence as the stallion enters a door on the right at the end of the hallway. A janitor's closet? No. There's more to it. The suited stallion knocks a pattern onto the back wall of the closet. Seconds later the wall slides open, and the two are let in. The office interior gives way to what could only be described as the interior of a concrete bunker. There he's stopped by a different stallion. This one is wearing body armor, and has a rifle strapped to his back. The man frisks Joe, and takes his gun, and badge. Joe hadn't brought any hoofcuffs. He knew he wouldn't be making any arrests here.
Once his possessions had been confiscated, and tucked away in a secure locker the armored stallion lead Joe through the bunker, and it's long, winding hallways. Whoever this person he was meeting was they clearly didn't want to be disturbed. Though something felt off about all this. There weren't nearly as many guards as Joe would expect for a bunker of this size. Before long the armored stallion stops in front of a rather intricate door. He gives the door a few knocks before opening it to let Joe inside.
Joe steps into what appears to be an office. the first thing he notices is a stallion sitting behind a cushy desk with a computer screen in front of him. The floors appear to be made of red velvet carpet, and the walls give off a sort of "home office" feel. The second thing he notices is 5 monitors adorning the back wall. Each showing what Joe assumes to be a live feed of different parts of the city. The stallion behind the desk moves his computer monitor aside so he can see Joe. "Ah. Detective Winters. It's nice to see you got my letter. Please, have a seat." As instructed Joe sits in the only other seat in the room. A comfortable office chair across the desk from the stallion. Joe isn't given any time to ask questions before the stallion speaks again.
"Let's get to the point detective. You want answers, and I have them." Joe hears the door behind him close. "Ask me any question, and I will answer it to the best of my ability." The stallion leans forward onto his desk. Joe clears his throat to speak. "Who are you." The stallion smiles and responds "I am Donato Figali. I am the head of the Figali family, and all it's activities. Each stallion and mare from my sons and daughters to the street rats answers to me. They do as I say, when I say." Joe had found the elusive second party he was looking for. He was sure of it. He still wanted to be sure. "Are you the one ordering all these gang activities?" Donato shakes his head. "Not directly. We hired the hoodlums to distract you so we could work without being disturbed. We gave them the money, and weapons, and they gave us time." Joe had a sinking feeling. He wouldn't be hearing all this information if he was leaving with it. "Alright. What is it you were doing while the gangs were about?" Donato is quiet for a long time. A smile slowly forming on his face. "Preparing for the coming of the new age, detective. While you were busy chasing the hoodlums, we toiled in the shadows." He turns, and motions to the monitors behind him.
"As I'm sure you've noticed detective, each monitor on the back wall shows a different location in the city. In each of these locations, a device has been hidden. Once all the devices have activated, the new age will begin." Donato turns back to the detective sitting across from him. "Have you ever heard of the term 'baptism by fire' detective?" Joe's feels his gut wrench. His body is covered with goosebumps. "After today this city will be born anew. The old will be purged with flame, and a new city will rise from it's ashes. The weak will perish, and the strong will survive. You and I will witness the destruction of the old."
Joe looks to the first screen. It's the communications center used by Vanhoover's emergency line dispatchers. They all appear to be working away. "Watch closely detective. The rebirth will begin very soon." The two sit watching the first monitor in silence for a minute before something happens. Someone bursts into the room, and appears to be shouting. The others quickly stand and begin to run towards the exits before the feed is abruptly cut. Joe's eyes race to the second screen. It shows what looks to be a factory. There's a bright flash from within the factory, all of the windows suddenly burst, and debris is shot everywhere. Half a second later the feed is lost. Joe's heart sinks. This is really happening. It's happening because of him. Because he couldn't figure it out in time. He didn't put the pieces together, and ow the city is paying the price. The 3rd feed shows what looks to be 6th street. Two SWAT vans come into view just before the feed shakes, and is lost.
Asuka and her team are nearly there. The team is silently preparing themselves for what's to come. It's a solemn silence. The silence is broken by a partially muffled "BOOM" followed by their driver screaming obscenities. Asuka feels the van be tossed, along with everyone in it. She's only able to experience it for a second before her head makes contact with the other side of the van, rendering her unconscious.
The fourth feed shows the Vanhoover Department of Justice building. There are ponies standing outside, confused, scared, and bewildered. The building rumbles, a pillar crumbles to the street below, and the feed is cut. The fifth screen shows the outside of the office building Joe is underneath. The 3 ponies he saw on his way here are hurrying out of the building. It's too late for him. He knows the information he's learned won't be leaving this room. Donato turns to Joe with a somber smile. "Well detective. This has been a lovely evening. We'll have to continue our chat later... I'll see you in Tartarus."
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"Joe Winters" Tell me that isn't THE MOST GENERIC Detective name you could come up with :3
Asuka Yakushi
"Detective Clue Finder."