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Silent Assassin


The Final Word


        In a dimly lit but decorative room a mare sat at a mahogany desk chewing the end of a pencil in her mouth. She studied furiously over newspapers and sales statistics. Frustrated, she slammed her hoof onto the desk, knocking off the various papers and snapping the pencil in her bite.

        “Damn it! These two bastards are showing me up! I was supposed to be the new number one up-and-coming author this year!” she exclaimed to herself. In her anger, she accidentally knocked over an inkwell filled with dark red ink, which spilled over newspapers covered in headline stories of two notorious authors. Upon seeing the red liquid staining the images of one of them, a sinister grin curled around the mare’s lips.

        “No...” she muttered silently to herself, “No, this is merely a stumbling block to my writing magnificence and path to greatness. I should not; I will not allow this minor shortcoming to scrape my knee!” She reached for a phone and stared at it for a moment with enraged yet ecstatic eyes.

        “I am Velvet!” she continued maniacally, “I’m wealthy and destined to become the greatest author ever to have graced Equestria! No, with a few bits I can remove this rough patch in the road and grease my way to the top! I just have to call him. He has ties to this sort of thing. He can get me what I need!” Upon finishing that sentence she pressed a combination of buttons, and the phone she called began to ring.

        We live in a beautiful world, where many people are happy and contented to do as they please and live in peace. A world of incomparable harmony. However, there are still those who have problems with this world, and want those problems solved through “non-traditional means.” That’s where The Agency comes in. The Agency is a clandestine organization that provides services of assassination and mercenaries; talents not often found in this day and age of Equestria. The Agency sports the motto of Merces Letifer - Lethal Trade. They are politically neutral, and morals do not exist for them. All that matters is the money.

        My name is 47, though not officially. I don’t have a name, nor a cutie-mark, and I sport a pale tan coat, and a dark-grey mane and tail, both of which I have practiced quickly changing the styles. I was not even born the same way as most other ponies. I was created as a clone, in an attempt to create “The Perfect Killer.” Given traits of speed, strength, and intelligence far above the average equine, I applied my skills to the profession I know best: Assassination. Why I have no cutie-mark to match this I don’t know for certain, but I’ve speculated that it could either be to assist in my ability to remain unknown, or that the one who I was cloned from had this talent and that cloning doesn’t account for these marks. I was also built to fit in; to look like just your average Joe, with nothing distinctive or noticeable about my appearance. Nopony could match my skills, and I was the best assassin in the world. I was indeed the perfect killer. I didn’t even have the advantage of magic. The Agency never hired unicorns as assassins, as magic could be detected and traced easily, making many hit jobs appear as foul play.

        Unlike in your world, we have no firearms in Equestria. To take out our targets, we had to rely on cunning and brute force. The Agency had developed various tools to make a hitman’s job easier. Instant Copy Tattoos were developed for those like me who either had no cutie-marks, or dyed them blank. These would be able to copy the cutie-mark of another pony and place it again wherever necessary for a short time, allowing for a better disguise. They also created special hair dyes to recolor our manes in a timely fashion, though it has a distinct smell in close proximity which those familiar with the product might recognize.

        I had just retrieved information of a drop containing details on my next mission. My Controller, Diane, always made sure to give me the highest paying missions. My next contract was hidden under the cushion of a specific chair in the theatre in town. I stayed for the show, and waited for the audience to leave. One very important thing an assassin must have is patience, and I waited to make sure that there was not a single person to witness me. Once everyone had left, including the actors on stage, I quickly stood up and removed the cushion, revealing a brown envelope.

        After retrieving the envelope, I made my way to my hideout, hidden away in a long empty alley in an underground storage basement. Here is where I kept all of my necessary supplies, including various poisons, different binoculars, lock-pick sets, and a fresh supply of ICTs (the Instant Copy Tattoos), and my favorite pair of fiber-wires. I sat at a table and dumped out the contents of the envelope. An ear-piece, a photo of a dark-blue stallion with a rather colorful mane, and floor plans of an estate that seemed large enough to be a mansion. There was also a small slip of paper, on which was written, “LISTEN TO THE EAR-PIECE.”

        The Agency had various ways of giving its agents mission details. Sometimes through a written letter, a recorded tape message, or an encoded message. I slipped on the ear-piece, which seemed very inconspicuous to have on, as it fit inside the ear and matched the inner-ear’s color, and pressed a button. Upon doing so, I heard my Controller (those who assign us our contracts and missions), Diane’s voice. She never sounded like the type who would be involved in this profession with her cheery sounding tone of voice, but she still managed to make herself sound perfectly serious.

        “Hello, 47. Diane here. We’ve got a well-paying contract for you. Our client has asked that we eliminate two very infamous authors, known for creating highly controversial and scandalous works. It’s all perfectly legal of course, but there are many who disapprove of them, and our client wants them stopped once and for all.

        Your targets go by “Midnight Shadow,” and “Pride,” but we could only obtain a photo of Midnight. Pride is a recluse, and has never been seen by anyone other than his personal bodyguards and Midnight. We’re not sure if Pride even has anything to do with his real name.

        The targets will be holding a night party at their mansion tonight at 8:30 P.M., celebrating the release of their new collaborative work. Unfortunately we couldn’t get you an invitation, 47, so you’re going to have to find some way inside. Keep this ear-piece with you during the mission, 47, as I’ll be giving you intel as we obtain it. It also has a recording feature when a message is sent through it, and can play back the previously received message, but it only holds one recording at a time.

        As usual you will receive a bonus if you kill only the specified targets, and even more-so if you can make it seem like an accident. Also, the client has offered a bonus payment if you destroy any unfinished works by the two if you find them in the mansion.

        We don’t have much information about security at the party, but it looks like they don’t have surveillance cameras, so you shouldn’t have a hard time sneaking around. Good luck, 47.

        As soon as the message ended, I gathered my necessary supplies: some ICTs, dyes, and my fiber-wire set, all of which I stored in my custom-tailored tuxedo. I studied the layout of the mansion carefully and made sure I had the photo of one of the targets imprinted in my mind. I had quickly made my way to the party, right on time for it to start. There were already various other well-dressed ponies waiting at the front gate, many of which were distinguished authors, critics, and journalists. The estate was surrounded by high concrete walls and trees, and I couldn’t see any way in other than the front gate from my position.

        I decided to make my way around the guests making their way inside past the bouncer one-by-one and went around one of the corners of the high walls. As soon as I made the corner, I froze to notice someone a slight distance away from me in a tuxedo; probably another guest. He was standing on his hind legs, holding himself up facing a tree. It looked as though the guy had to take a leak before entering the party. I looked down the walls, and didn’t see any other entrances, so I decided this stallion relieving himself was my way in.

        I crept up to him slowly and quietly, waiting for him to finish before making my move (entering the party wet and smelly was probably not a good idea). He let out a satisfied sigh and lowered himself back down onto all four hooves. I closed the few inches I had on him and wrapped one of my forelegs around his neck, and used my other to hold one of his in place. I choked him only for a short while to render him unconscious, as killing him wasn’t part of my mission. As soon as he slumped in my grasped, I pulled him behind some of the bushes and trees and started digging through his pockets. I located a very convenient party invitation, including his name, and now had the easy way inside.

        Leaving the unconscious stallion where he was, I made my way to the front gate. The line of people waiting to get in had become significantly shorter, and I watched a few ponies’ invitations get rejected. I only hoped that my invitation wasn’t a false one. As I made my way up in line to the bouncer, he stood in front of me. He was much bigger up close, and didn’t seem like anyone I’d be able to take on.

        “Name and invitation?” the stallion asked, in a frank but intimidating tone.

        “Star Buck” I replied quickly, handing him my invitation. He took it from me quickly and reviewed it for a moment.

        “And why exactly were you invited?” the guard asked, his eyes seeming to pierce into me, trying to judge whether or not I should even be here.

        “I’m a very wealthy and... generous donor.” I answered. He continued to stare me down for a moment, but I showed no signs of nervousness or intimidation. He tossed my invitation into a bin like he did with everyone else’s he was presented and stepped aside, motioning me to go on in. I stepped through quickly. The whole front courtyard was lit up with decorative lighting, and many of the guests were already conversing. They were unimportant however, as I moved in further, scanning the crowd for the one target I knew the appearance of. It wouldn’t be hard to miss, seeing as he had a brightly-colored rainbow hairstyle.

        I made my way inside the actual mansion, following a few people through the double-doors at the front entrance. As soon as I went through, I identified my first target. There was Midnight Shadow, talking to a small group of guests. It didn’t seem like anyone else was lining up to talk to him, which seemed rather strange to me. Either way, it gave me an opportunity to try something. Normally, direct confrontation with your mark is very risky, but I needed to find out about Pride and Midnight was the best way for me to do so.

        As I made my way up to the group, I nearly flinched as Midnight immediately greeted me with a sudden hoof-shake. Thankfully it seems that he didn’t attempt to know the faces of all of the nearly one-hundred guests he invited.

        “Heh-hey! Welcome to the party! You enjoying yourself so far? Can I get you anything?” he asked me rather spontaneously. With one as wealthy as him, he could have hired professional hosts to cater to the guest’s needs, but apparently he enjoyed getting in with his fans.

“Actually...” I began, “I was wondering if we would see Pride during the party? It is, after all, celebrating one of his books.”

        Midnight frowned and shook his head. “Yeah, about that. Sorry, but Pride’s still going to be his usual self - hiding from the public. He’s actually afraid of negative critique you see, and with what he writes he’s rather paranoid about confronting anyone who might have read his stuff. I’ve tried to talk him into at least doing a secret interview, but he insists on keeping himself holed up in his room all of the time.”

        Midnight then stepped away abruptly and began to announce to the crowd inside.

        “Attention everyone! Since Pride won’t be showing up at the party, I’ll be compensating you all by opening up the pool!”

        With that, Midnight opened up another set of double-doors on the other end of the main hall. None of the guests expected this, and not many were really prepared for a pool party, as most of them were dressed formally. Still, none of them could object to the spontaneous decision as some of them followed Midnight out to the pool area.

        I decided to follow as well. I needed to keep an eye on my target to study potential patterns, but the moment I stepped outside I noticed he was in a hot tub. It bothered me that my target seemed so very impulsive. It meant he wouldn’t often stay in one place at any given time, thus making him a problem. I would have to find some way to deal with him here and now. I thought back to the estate’s layout, and remembered there was a shed nearby with a power-box in its basement, which I could find some way to use in disposing of Midnight.

        I immediately spotted the shed I was looking for, and it wasn’t all that far off from my target. I casually made my way over, not trying to attract any attention. The entrance to the shed didn’t seem to be facing the pool, which was a good thing. Sneaking around to the back where the entrance was, I was pleased to see it was conveniently dark, as not much of the lighting reached this spot. I quickly tried the door to the shed, only to find it locked. Quickly darting looks left and right to make sure that no guests or guards could see me, I retrieved my lock-picking device from my tuxedo and began to work on the door, holding it in place with my mouth. You might think that with a lack of hands we ponies would find this an increasingly difficult task, but we always find our ways of getting around it just as easily as we could with hands.

        In a few moments, it worked like a charm, and the door opened before me. I quietly made my way inside. There were no windows, so turning on a light wouldn’t be harmful. Flipping the switch on, it seemed like a typical shed filled with various tools and supplies for different maintenance tasks. Also I noticed some stairs leading down to a small basement in the shed. Seeing nothing of interest up here, I decided to head down there in hopes of finding the power-box. Making my way down to the basement, I noticed small slivers of light coming from the tops of the walls where a dozen holes - about the size of a golf ball - allowed light to bleed into the room.

The room itself was still dark; but with those holes there turning on the lights would be noticeable, so I decided against it. Even in the low light, I could see the circuit breaker I was searching for. All I needed now was a plan involving it. I stood up to peer through the holes in the corner of the ceiling, and could see the entire pool area. Multiple guests were in the large pool, but Midnight was alone in the Jacuzzi. On the floor below the power-box I noticed a bundle of electrical equipment, including wires, and an idea popped into my head. I picked up a long but thin wire that was grey to match the color of the concrete. I grabbed a set of wire-cutters and removed a length of rubber from both ends.

I hooked up one end of the exposed wire to the power-box, being extra careful so as not to electrocute myself. Keeping the other end a safe distance from me, I pushed it out of one of the small holes in the top of the wall. The wire was rigid enough to keep it straight, and I lined it up for a path to my first target. I had to be very careful with this technique, however, as there were a lot of guests wandering around. I was moving it slowly enough and it was too small for them to notice casually, but I needed to maneuver it back and forth out of their paths so I didn’t end up killing one of them instead of Midnight. I was interrupted as I heard a very familiar voice in my ear, but I kept my focus while listening.

“47; Diane here. We just got some information on Pride, though it isn’t much. Apparently Pride is a smoker. You might want to be on the lookout for guests at the party that could be him incognito.”

It was hardly useful information, and served mostly only to distract and slow me down. In that time where I had to reduce my concentration on killing Midnight, a couple had joined him in the hot tub. I didn’t want to revoke my bonus by killing anyone but my targets, so I slowly began to pull the wire back, and then: catastrophe. One of the guests stepped on the wire, but fortunately not on the exposed area. I expected them to move, but they were standing there talking to Midnight. I couldn’t yank the wire back without potentially tripping or shocking them, and tugging on it would make them notice.

At that moment, things got only worse. I heard the sound of someone stepping down the stairs, and I immediately turned to see another guest. He wore a tan fedora, and was holding a camera. His pen-and-notebook cutie-mark suggested that he was a journalist, and was probably snooping around for a story on the two authors. He instead found me, and froze gazing at me. Even in the low light of the room, with the light bleeding through he could tell exactly what I was trying. I had to take care of him here and now, and I couldn’t allow him to get a photo of me. A look of fear crossed his face as he detected my intentions and turned to start back up the stairs. I immediately snapped the wire back, hearing the guest outside who was standing on it yelp as they received a quick shock. When the wire came inside, I quickly whipped it into the journalist’s neck. He only let out a sudden gasp as his entire body convulsed and he collapsed down the stairs. So much for my bonus, I thought.

I moved the wire aside and checked his vitals, and he was definitely dead. Though I couldn’t understand why he didn’t scream. Any normal pony would have screamed before they were even attacked, but even when he got a fatal electrocution he was dead silent. I immediately discarded the question and thought back to my plan. Peering through the holes once again, I noticed that Midnight was no longer in the hot tub, and was instead tending to his frightened guest. I quickly came up with a new plan, and looked down at the dead journalist.

I disrobed from my tuxedo, and took the journalist’s clothing and hat for myself. I retrieved one of my Instant Copy Tattoos and proceeded to steal his cutie-mark. His coat was already the same color as mine, but I didn’t pack the correct dye to match his red-brown mane. I compromised with a black dye instead, and quickly altered my style to match his own. Now disguised as the journalist, I left his body and camera there and went back upstairs to search for Midnight, and potentially Pride. It didn’t seem like anyone at the party smoked, though. I somehow doubted that he would even want to be here incognito, considering what Midnight told me.

Before I turned off the light in the shed, I noticed a small bottle of lighter fluid on one of the shelves. It was probably used for grilling vegetables and fruits for an exotic meal, but it would also prove useful in disposing of any unfinished books. I took the lighter fluid, stashed it away in one of my pockets, and proceeded to turn off the lights and return outside.

I noticed Midnight heading back inside, and quickly made my way over to catch up to him. I had to make another direct confrontation, but I’d need to try and mask my voice a little. I tapped Midnight’s shoulder to get his attention. He quickly turned to me with a cheery face, but it almost instantly disintegrated into a look of disappointment.

“Ah, a journalist.” he said, already having noticed what I looked like. Luckily he didn’t recognize my face. “Do you want something? I can’t do interviews; I’m trying to host a party.”

As I shook my head and was about to reply, I head Diane’s voice again over the ear-piece, but tried to ignore it as I spoke to Midnight.

“Actually, I was invited here by Pride.” I replied, to which Midnight gave me a suspicious look. I had to roll the dice, and even if it didn’t succeed, I’d still be able to find a way to eliminate them. I changed my voice to a whisper as I continued, “I’m an underground journalist, and Pride asked me to do a private interview, so long as I don’t provide any critique of his work, be it positive or negative.” I had used the information I gathered from Midnight earlier in hopes that this would sound a bit more believable. Midnights look of distrust and disappointment switched back to his cheerful and inviting attitude.

“So he finally gave in and took my advice!” he said excitedly. “Yeah, I’ll get you to Pride, but you’re gonna have to go with a guard, and we’re going to search you first.”

I was then led over to a door blocked by two rather massive looking stallions. Midnight explained the situation to one of them, and he opened the door for me. I went through, and the second guard followed me in and started to lead the way, while the first guard remained at the door. He didn’t have anything to say to me, and hadn’t yet frisked me. I only hoped that I concealed the lighter fluid and fiber-wire decently enough. While we started making our way around corners and through doors, I remembered the message I received from Diane, and pressed the button on the ear-piece to play it back.

“We’ve got some intel on the security situation, 47. Apparently almost every door to the restricted area in the mansion is being watched by one or two guards, but they have very few or no guards actually patrolling inside the restricted parts of the estate. As such, I’ve located an entrance from the outside of the building that isn’t being watched. It leads into an underground basement with only one other entrance that will get you straight inside the restricted area. It’s the part on your map marked Cellar-02.”

The message ended, and even though the latter part was useless since I had already gotten inside; knowing that there weren’t many guards actually on the inside would make my job much easier. On the way to Pride’s quarters, I spotted the exit from the said basement. Knowing its location might come in handy for an escape I thought. On the next bend, the guard pointed ahead and stated, “Right through those doors is Pride’s room. I’m gonna have to check you before I let you in.”

He didn’t turn to face me yet though, and now that he had given me the information I needed, I no longer wanted a guard hovering over me and taking away my tools. I silently retrieved my fiber-wire and tightened it as I crept closer to the guard. He’s bigger and likely physically stronger than me so I’d have to make sure I took him down in the first attempt or things could get difficult. I quickly made the jump on him, biting onto one handle of the fiber-wire as I wrapped it around his neck and pulled him into me so he couldn’t simply fall backwards to avoid it. He gagged as I strangled him vigorously, but quickly elbowed into my side. Unable to avoid the attack, I was caught in the rib. Even though I grunted with pain, I kept my death grip on the wire. He wasn’t going down easily, and he pushed me back into the wall, knocking down a painting. This was proving to be very troublesome, as we were making too much noise too close to my target’s door. With another slam into the wall, I lost my grip on the fiber-wire and he was released. He quickly turned to take me down, but I quickly reacted and grabbed a decorative vase off of a small table in the hall and as the guard came at me I made a quick and hard smash into his skull. Since he was already dazed from nearly choking to death this was the final blow I needed to render him unconscious, and that vase was pretty heavy too.

He collapsed to the floor with a resounding thud. I quickly peeked into one of the doors of a nearby room to make sure no one was inside. Satisfied with its vacancy, I dragged the incapacitated guard inside and went back out into the hall. Luckily nobody had come investigating the racket, and I made my way up to Pride’s door. It already stunk of cigarette smoke as I came to it, which confirmed this was the right place. I peered through the keyhole and saw him sitting at a desk in the back of the room that was facing the door. He was looking over various papers; writing things down on them and scratching things out. Since he was facing the door, I’d have to find some other way inside... but as soon as I deducted that, he stood up and went off through another door in his room. I quickly took the opportunity and made my way inside, pleased to find the door unlocked. Pride had closed the other door behind him and I examined the room. The floor was made of a highly polished hardwood, and there were no rugs or paintings. There was very little decoration at all. I closed and locked the door behind me, moving to investigate the desk.

It was littered with various papers, a nearly full ash-tray, and had a very classy looking water-bottle on one end. Another idea popped into my head as I pulled out the lighter fluid. I poured some of it into the ash-tray and then created a small liquid trail to all of the papers on the desk, but made sure not to get any of the ones in the front noticeably wet. When he would next either put out his cigarette or dump some of the ashes the desk would catch fire. At which point I would make the jump on him while he was surprised and eliminate him. Before I moved to conceal myself, however, my eyes quickly darted to an object of importance. There was a smoke detector on the wall and as I was about to go and disable it, I quickly remembered that Pride had probably already done so himself to prevent it from going off while he smoked.

I heard steps approaching as Pride was returning to the room, and I darted into a wardrobe in the corner of the room. I left it open by a small crack to monitor my target, and started the waiting game. Pride once again sat down at his desk, but had a puzzled look on his face as he noticed some of his papers and spots of the desk were wet. He then made his fatal mistake, and dove his lit cigarette into the ash-tray. In but a quarter of a second, the entire top of his desk was set ablaze. Pride yelled in surprise and grabbed the water-bottle, dumping it out onto the desk in an attempt to put out the flames, but the water only pushed the blazing papers off of the desk into his lap, and he himself had caught fire. He screamed in horrific agony as his fur coat was alight with a bright yellow and red fire. He was blinded by the fire and in too much pain to make it very far across the room to the door. Soon enough, my first target collapsed to the floor as a charred and dead body. The floor itself didn’t catch fire, probably due to a fireproofed finish. The desk also seemed to get the same treatment, but most of the papers were nothing but ash now.

It was two birds with one stone. I had eliminated my more troublesome-to-locate target, and would receive a bonus for destroying his work-in-progress. As I moved over to drag the body away from the door, I heard knocking and immediately flattened myself up against the wall.

“Mister Pride? Is everything alright in there? I thought I heard screaming.” I heard one of the guards call out. He then jiggled the door handle to find it locked, and spoke again, “Guys, I think something’s wrong in Pride’s room.” It seemed like he was communicating with the guards through a radio. I decided to wait and see what happened next.

“What’s wrong? ...and don’t say ‘guys,’ I’m the only other one with a radio.” I heard a voice call back over the radio.

“I smell smoke coming from his room.”

“That’s because he smokes, you idiot.” The guard on the other end sounded rather drunk when he spoke.

“Yeah, but the door’s locked too.”

“Then he’s asleep. So leave him the hell alone and get back to your patrol.”

The guard on the other side of the door sighed, and I heard him move away back down the hall. Now I was presented with two problems: First, was that I wasn’t convinced that Pride’s death didn’t go completely unnoticed, and second was that there was no way I was getting back into the party without my escort leading me back in. I went to the room that Pride retreated to a moment ago to check for another escape. All I found was a bedroom with absolutely no windows and soundproofed walls. This guy really was paranoid. It at least ruled out the possibility of someone else hearing the event.

While coming up with a way out, I remembered the basement that led into the restricted area. It would now be my designated way out. All I would have to do is avoid the guard on patrol making my way there. I unlocked the door to the room and peered outside making sure the coast was clear. With no guards in sight I made my way back down the hall to the spot where I saw the cellar entrance. It was only a matter of time before they got suspicious about me and the guard not returning, so I had to take care of my second target quickly.

I entered the cellar, remembering that it was mostly a straight hallway to a door leading outside, save for a wide open area around its halfway point. Upon making my way almost halfway through, I spotted a small light on up ahead along with one of the guards standing under it. I thought that this was supposed to be an unguarded spot, but this guard clearly wasn’t even supposed to be down here. He was stealing various fine and expensive wines from his employers, and even taking a few swigs from one of the bottles. Noticing the radio strapped to his haunch, I realized this must have been the guard speaking to the other one earlier. He turned to face me, but his eyes were up to the ceiling as he was downing the rest of a bottle of wine, but as soon as he lowered it I was in his sights. He was shocked to suddenly see me standing there and stumbled as he flinched.

“Y-you’re not supposed to be down here!” he said nervously.

“Neither are you, I take it.” I replied. With that, the guard moved his large grab-bag of assorted wines to the side and made a charge at me. In his drunken stupor he was very slow and clumsy, so all I had to do was avoid his attacks. He suddenly spun around and leaned on his front legs preparing to kick me with full force, but as tipsy as he was - having downed an entire bottle of wine - he lost his balance and fell flat on his stomach. I quickly jumped on his back and pinned his head to the ground. I grabbed one of the wine bottles that rolled over to him and smashed it against an adjacent wooden support column, shattering it into pieces and splattering the contents onto my victim’s head, giving him his last drink. He struggled to get out from under me, but it was already too late for him. Sliding the sharp broken glass of the remaining half of the wine bottle under his neck, I pierced into his jugular and tore it open, killing him then and there.

I quickly made my way to the exit. None of them would come looking for a dead guard in a place he isn’t supposed to be. I slowly opened the door to the outside, and I could hear the party going on. It seemed the guests were getting a lot livelier. I crept away from the cellar’s entrance and checked to make sure I didn’t have any blood on me, which thankfully I did not. Making my way back to the pool area, I spotted Midnight Shadow’s unmistakable rainbow hair as he had returned to the Jacuzzi, joined by a few guests. Once again, I heard Diane’s voice coming from the ear-piece to give me some new intel.

“We’ve got an update on the intel about the estate’s electricity, 47. Apparently they have a backup system in-case any part of the house gets thrown offline, whether it’s cut off manually or short-circuits. The backup power comes online exactly ninety seconds after the power goes out. The toggle switch for this backup power is located in a shed on the opposite side of the pool from the one we marked already containing a circuit breaker. If you toggle the backup power off, it won’t come online when the power goes out.”

With that last piece of information a brilliant idea crossed my mind that would help to wrap up this entire mission. I casually made my way to the other shed housing the backup’s switch, making sure to stay out of sight of Midnight, as he would want to talk to me about how the ‘interview’ went (which for me, went quite well). As soon as I made my way around to the dark spot behind the shed, I was face-to-face with some random mare.

“Well? Did you get anything?” she suddenly asked me. I could only stand there looking confused, as I tilted my head. “Well did you? Where’s your camera?” she continued. At that moment, I realized she must have been a partner to the journalist I killed earlier. She didn’t realize that I wasn’t him in the dark. I decided to take a gamble and pointed at the shed’s door.

I made sure to whisper quietly so she couldn’t determine if my voice wasn’t authentic, “In here, take a look.” But as soon as I said that, a look of sudden alarm crossed her face and she took a step back.

“Wh-who are you!? Quill can’t-” She started to say, but she was too frightened to finish, but immediately as she said that I discovered just why that journalist didn’t scream when I killed him; the bastard was a mute! I quickly grabbed the mare and covered her mouth, feeling my way to the door. With a stroke of luck this shed wasn’t locked, allowing me to simply swing it open. I pulled her inside, and kept a firm grip on her as she tried to struggle to get away. I quickly retrieved my fiber-wire and silenced the girl, strangling her helplessly. In just a few moments she was left lifeless and went limp in my grasp. I left the light off and set her down on the floor. This new outcome could potentially offset my plan.

I was going to make it seem like the journalist murdered the two authors but ended up accidentally killing himself, but I’m not sure if the investigators would buy him killing his own partner to do it. I decided to go ahead with my plan anyway. The shed was almost exactly the same as the other, and proceeding downstairs I noticed the power-box for the backup power was in the same spot as the other circuit breaker. I stood up to look through the holes and check in on Midnight, pleased to see that he was still relaxing in the hot tub. There were more electrical wires below the power-box in this shed, but they were all bright red; however this wouldn’t matter for my clever scheme. I quickly prepared one of the wires and hooked it up to the box for the backup power, which was currently offline since the power had not yet gone out. I poked the other end of the long wire out of one of the holes, but didn’t push it any further.

Instead I proceeded back up and out of the shed. I crept around the crowd of guests at the pool, keeping myself out of Midnight’s view and made my way over to the first shed. Sneaking around to go inside, I headed down the stairs. The journalist’s body was starting to smell, but it wouldn’t be noticeable on the outside for quite a while. I disrobed from the journalist’s clothes that I had stolen from him and proceeded to put them back on his lifeless corpse, leaving the bottle of lighter fluid in his pocket. I then recovered my tuxedo, and had all of my own belongings with me again. With a dye that matched my coat, I covered over the temporary tattoo of the journalist’s cutie-mark and was once again myself, save for the black hair. It was now time to put my plan into full swing.

Instead of using the wire inside of this shed to sneak it over to Midnight’s hot tub, I left the wire on the journalist’s body to make it look like he killed himself. The next part to my plan was all about timing. I put my hoof on the main breaker for the power-box and prepared myself to get moving quickly. I looked back to the stairs to memorize where I needed to run, and quickly threw the switch down. With a couple of sparks, the entire area around the pool went pitch black. Screams of alarm came from the crowd. I had ninety seconds to get to the backup power. Upon making it outside, I heard Midnight keeping his guests calm.

“Everyone calm down, it’s alright! It’s probably just a short-circuit, the backup power will be on in just a few moments! The water in the hot tub’s still nice so you’re welcome to join me!”

In the near total darkness I was able to move quickly without being noticed. I made my way back to the other shed and went back downstairs. I had only a minute left. I grabbed the red wire I left poking out of the hole and pushed it quickly towards Midnight, using only what little moonlight there was to see where I needed to go. In a short moment, I had gotten the exposed end of the wire into the Jacuzzi where Midnight remained to relax, and as soon as the backup power would come on, that water was going to be much hotter than he’d want it to be.

I quickly made my way back outside, and people had calmed down some, but Midnight was expressing his disappointment of people wanting to leave him alone in the hot tub, but he still refused to leave it himself. This was all I needed, and now was my chance to leave before they realized he was dead. With half a minute left, I quickly made my way back to the front gate, heading around the outside of the house instead of cutting through the inside. The power at the front was still on, as it was on a separate circuit from the quarter of the house by the pool.

The bouncer then stopped me and asked, “You leaving the party early, too?”

A smiled and nodded. “Just when things were getting exciting too,” I replied. He then stepped out of my way and let me leave. I had already made my distance away from the estate when I watched the lights come back on at the pool, followed immediately by screams of terror.

Most Agents and Controllers check the police reports to get details on the outcomes of their mission, so that the Controllers would know if the Agents successfully completed their contracts. I, however, found a personal preference in reading the headline news. I sat at the table in my hideout reading up on today’s big news, and I knew that somewhere our client was reading the same page. The front image was a very gruesome visage of a dead stallion, whose coat seemed to have been completely singed with his eyes boiled to blackness and his lips melted away. His brash rainbow mane, however, seemed to remain in almost perfect condition, save for its new spiky do-up pointing straight into the air. I continued past it to the actual story.

Authors Murdered!

Five ponies were found dead last night at a party celebrating the release of two author’s collaborative piece. The authors, Midnight Shadow, and the one only known as “Pride” were killed in cold blood during their party in a murder-suicide. However, it seemed as though the ‘suicide’ part seemed entirely accidental, as the killer clumsily electrocuted himself attempting to use the very weapon intended for his crime. The suspect was one “Silent Quill,” a mute investigative journalist who openly disapproved of Pride and Midnight’s novels. Quill’s partner was also found strangled and asphyxiated to death, though investigators are unable to find a reason as to why. “We can only speculate that she tried to stop him from committing a crime, and he wasn’t having with that,” the Chief of Investigations stated.

The author Pride was found in his room burnt to a crisp as he was burned alive in his own estate. Investigators found that lighter fluid was used to destroy the writer’s unfinished book, of which only scraps of burned paper could be found. The same lighter fluid was found on the journalist’s body, further linking him to the crime. The guard who claimed to be escorting Quill to have an interview with Pride was knocked unconscious by the journalist and identified his body to be the same person he was escorting, with a few minor differences.

The author Midnight Shadow was killed in a clever scheme involving the house’s electrical system, in which exposed wires were put into the writer’s hot tub while he was relaxing during the party. Investigators say that the journalist likely didn’t realize that one of the power-boxes he used was only a backup power box, and when he shut off the power he was still preparing the second wire. When the power returned as a result of the backup, the journalist Quill suffered an instant death by electrocution. Guests claimed not to have noticed the wire that was put into Midnight’s hot tub, as it was too dark to see something so small and insignificant.

The head guard hired by the authors was also found dead in the estate’s wine cellar, killed by a lethal blow to the neck with a broken wine bottle. The other guards stated that he was likely stealing wine from his employers, as none of them were permitted to be down there.

The two authors Pride and Midnight Shadow were notorious for creating appalling works of fiction and non-fiction. Many disapproved of their works and demanded their novels be banned from public libraries, but others defended them under freedom of expression. “It was only a matter of time before someone wanted to put them to a stop for good,” says a critic from the Canterlot Institute of Arts.

Quick Notes

First of all, thanks to Pride, Velvet, and Midnight for letting me use their names/characters for this bit.

Now; the characters represented in this fiction do not represent the actual persons. For instance, the real Pride isn’t a smoker, nor is he a paranoid git. He is an awesome brit with a sexy accent. They don’t actually create super-controversial works, I just needed something that one would normally find amongst the storyline of Hitman.

-Written by Lios-