Pain. That is what she needed to make her feel. Unbearable pain, like what she herself had been made to feel when her fashions were rejected by that - that pompous, egotistical, over-blown photographer. What did she know about modeling anyway? She could picture her now, squirming on the floor in agony, flailing around in a sticky pool of red, the life force slowly fading from her pathetic little body.
The thought amused the white unicorn, very much so. She pulled up the black case she had been carrying behind her, and set it on the ground.
A twisted smile curled at the edges of the pony’s mouth. Yes, she thought, that will certainly show her. Next time, she shall think twice before snubbing Equestria’s true future fashion star: Rarity the unicorn!
With a jolt of blue magic she clicked open the latches, causing the metallic container’s lid to spring up and reveal its contents: a sniper rifle. Carefully taking out each piece, she busied herself with assembling her gun. Her smile suddenly mutated into a wicked grin, and she erupted into manic laughter. Except, there won’t be a next time for her! Oh the irony! The sweet, delicious irony! How it made her giggle.
After settling down a bit, Rarity continued putting the weapon together, humming a little tune to herself as she went: “Piece by piece, putting it together…”
It really was a beautiful weapon. What she had gone through to get that thing! It had taken months of carefully studying book after book about guns (earning her a rather odd look from Twilight Sparkle when she noticed this strange new taste in reading) just to identify the right kind to use for this situation, and how to use it properly. Then, she had to snoop around for some place that actually sold the kind she needed. Who knew there were so few gun shops near Ponyville? In the end, though, she had gotten lucky, and was able to scoop one up off of the black market for a steal of a deal. It was her best shopping story ever, really. It was a shame she couldn’t share it with anyone.
Returning to the matter at hoof, Rarity decided to mentally run over her carefully laid out plan for the umpteenth time: First, she’d get to city hall exactly twenty minutes before Photo Finish was scheduled to appear. Well, that had been inanely easy; those trusting ponies never locked the place, so all she had to do was walk right up to it, make sure nopony was looking, and slip right in. So Check.
Then, she’d sneak up to the balcony and ready her weapon; looking over the rifle, she made sure it was completely assembled and loaded. Check.
And she had already planned the perfect escape route (hardly anyone even knew about the fire escape way towards the back of the building), so now all that remained was to sit and wait, making sure that nopony discovered her before she –
Rarity nearly jumped out of her skin. Was that the door downstairs? The indigo-maned pony carefully, oh-so-carefully, peered over the railing of the balcony, making sure not to accidentally give away any hint of her presence to any prying eyes down below.
A member of Photo Finish’s entourage came in through the front door, followed by another, and another still. Each was bringing in photography equipment from a carriage outside.
Looks like I finished getting ready just in time Rarity mused to herself as she quietly slumped back down behind the safety of the railing. As long as nopony comes up here, I should be all right.
She had no reason to worry, really. The security for this event was very lax. And why shouldn’t it be? It was only a simple magazine advertisement being shot in the quiet, out-of-the-way town of Ponyville; safe, boring old Ponyville. What could possibly go wrong there? Rarity again snickered at the irony of the whole situation. Photo Finish, she thought, this is the very last place you’d want to be without proper security measures. She had to stifle a full-blown laugh, lest she be discovered.
Sitting out of sight of the crew below, Rarity’s mind wandered to the source of all this, the reason why she had wanted to go through with this in the first place: that one fateful day Photo Finish had come to Ponyville for the first time, looking for the star of her next modeling campaign.
Oh, sure, at the time she had acted like everything was all right, that she was okay with the whole incident. But deep down there was a quiet rage, a festering hate for that idiotic photographer, one that Rarity just couldn’t let go of. Reject Rarity’s fashions? And in favor of Fluttershy, of all ponies? How dare she! Why, that stupid cameramare wouldn’t know true artistic beauty if it hit her in the head!
At this, the diamond-flanked unicorn couldn’t help but let out a loud snort of laughter, which she immediately regretted. She put her hoof to her mouth, but it was too late: the bustle of activity downstairs had stopped completely. She could just picture the ponies downstairs straining their ears for any hint of sound; she dared not look to confirm. Seconds stretched by; slow, agonizing, dread-filled seconds. What if they came up here and discovered her? How would she explain being stationed on a balcony with a sniper rifle? In the same room a celebrity was scheduled to appear in, no less? She wouldn’t even get a trial; it would be execution for sure, no questions asked.
At length, noise returned, but not in the way Rarity had hoped; nowhere near, actually. Rather than the hustle and bustle of activity resuming downstairs, the sound of hoofsteps coming up the stairs entered Rarity’s ears, and a knot formed in her throat. The indigo-maned pony froze, unsure of whether to scramble around and hide her highly incriminating equipment, or to stay still and hope whoever it was didn’t come all the way up.
The hoofsteps drew nearer. “Hello?” called out Photo Finish’s assistant, “Is somepony up there?”
Rarity started sweating bullets. That pony would be up there any minute now! There’s no way she’d be able to hide herself and the gun without making a terrible racket. This was it! Her carefully laid-out plan, ruined! The weeks of training and shopping, all for naught! Why, oh why, had she been so careless? If only she could create a diversion of some sort!
The unicorn blinked. Then, her face lit up as she reached a moment of clarity. As fast as she could, Rarity mustered up her magic, and with a discrete flash of blue light, the gun and its owner shimmered out of sight, replaced with a bored-looking cat. Rarity smiled in satisfaction: looks like learning that illusion spell for putting on fashion shows had paid off in more ways than one.
And not a moment too soon! thought Rarity: mere seconds after she had put up the illusion, a brown pegasus came into view. Rarity held her breath. Her illusion should work, as long as that pony didn’t get too close. The pegasus searched the balcony for any sign of activity, and upon noticing the cat, shook his head and turned around.
Waiting until the hoofsteps were completely gone, Rarity dispelled the illusion, breathing a sigh of relief as she slumped to the floor. It had worked! She was safe, for now, anyways. Her only minor complaint about the whole matter was that in her haste to create a convincing facsimile of a cat, she had subconsciously chosen her own pet, Opal, as the template. Oh well, that can’t be helped. Anyway, I’m sure it wouldn’t be enough to link me to this location and time. She could never be too sure, though; she’d have to get rid of that cat when she got home, just to be on the safe side. Rarity continued waiting patiently, and at length the noisy din of activity resumed downstairs.
After what felt like hours to the unicorn, the noises finally ceased, and a catchy fanfare started playing, followed by the sound of a German accent barking out orders to various underlings.
“I, Photo Finish, have entered ze building!”
Rarity’s heart leapt into her throat. It was her! At long last, Photo Finish had arrived! The unicorn peeked over the edge of the balcony at her target. The blue earth pony was standing there, ordering her lackeys around left and right. Rarity snorted. If she keeps standing around like that, this will be easier than I thought! She looked over her weapon once more. Good, everything’s in place. Now, just one more thing to do… Pulling out a compact, the unicorn quickly looked herself over, tidying her mane here and there. Finding it satisfactory, she smiled and put the item away. Now everything’s ready. She looked over the edge of the balcony again, gun at the ready.
There was shooting. Lots and lots of shooting. In the short amount of time Rarity had taken to get ready, Photo Finish had already begun shooting photographs of her newest model. Rarity was mildly surprised to see Ponyville’s own mailpony on the other side of the camera. My my my, she really does have low standards, Rarity noted, quietly keeping her rage in check. Why, if that googly-eyed nopony was considered ideal modeling material, then why on Earth weren’t her stylish fashions? Ah, but it’ll all be over in a few minutes Rarity reminded herself.
Heart beating quickly now, Rarity carefully raised the gun up, and rested the barrel on the ledge in front of her. Looking through the scope, she lined up the Photographer pony in her sight, making sure she had a clear shot to the head.
This is it, she thought, heart beating ever-faster, the moment I’ve been waiting for. It’s now or never, Rarity; time to make your move! Making sure the rifle was still steadily trained on Photo’s head, Rarity wrapped her azure magic around the trigger. Time to taste “da magics,” Photo! Here’s your finish! She smiled, and pulled the trigger.
Rarity’s eyes shot open, her heart pounding furiously. She sat up in her bed, and massaged her temples with her forehooves. Every detail of the dream was crystal clear, and she was absolutely horrified.
“Did – did I really just dream that?” she said, voice trembling. “How utterly awful! How could my mind come up with such a horrible notion?” Using her unicorn magic, the white pony picked up her monogrammed silk handkerchief and delicately dabbed at some tears starting to form at the corners of her eyes. “I mean, it’s true that I wish Photo Finish had featured my fashions in her photography shoots, but that’s certainly not any reason to kill her! I would neverdo such a deplorable act! It’s not just unladylike, it’s not right!”
The white unicorn got out of bed and started getting herself ready for the day. “Besides, a gun would be far too messy,” she mused, “I clearly would have chosen a tidier, more elegant death for her. Perhaps one with poison, I think.” A bitter chuckle escaped her mouth, and she shook her head. “All kidding aside, though, I do wonder what kind of pony would get so consumed by blind rage as to actually go out and kill someone…?” She thought on this for a moment, and shrugged, returning to her morning ritual.
* * *
Not far away, at city hall:
Pain. That is what she needed to make her feel. Unbearable pain, like what she herself had been made to feel when she was paraded around in front of pony after pony by that - that pompous, egotistical, over-blown photographer. What did she know about modeling anyway? She could picture her now, squirming on the floor in agony, flailing around in a sticky pool of red, the life force slowly fading from her pathetic little body.
The thought amused the yellow pegasus, very much so.