Lance Corporal Jackshot grimaced and ducked, covering his ears with his hooves as the bullet whizzed overhead. The projectile, propelled from a firearm by a spectator in the front row, slammed into the skull of Supreme Commander Celestia and caused her to fall over.
The cheering of the crowd died down, the last vestiges of the clamor reverberating off the storefronts that surrounded the block. A few muffled gasps left the mouths of worried observers. The podium (Widely known as the Democracy Podium or the Freedom Podium) where the Princesses had stood moments before, orating their speech to their subjects, was now empty as the Night Princess hurried to her sister's side at the bottom of the stairs.
The entire square was silent in stark contrast to the white noise of the past hour. The waving Equestrian flags fell still as the Democracy Police, armed with riot shields and batons, roughly seized the gunmare and drove away in the Democracy Van. The offender was probably to be taken to the Democratic Building- a large, monolithic skyscraper in the center of Canterlot where ponies went into and never seemed to come out of. Nopony knew the nature nor purpose of this building, but most speculators agreed that it probably had something to do with democracy and the system thereof. It was in the official government name, after all, so it HAD to be true.
Jackshot swore under his breath. If one of the Princesses at the Democracy Podium had been killed, there would be absolute hell to pay.
He looked across the square and signaled one of his Liberty Guards to disperse the crowd. Standing in a perfect line, the white pegasi each brought to bear a standard-issue Freedom Hose and opened fire. The high-velocity pressurized water kindly notified the civilians that they had the freedom to leave, which they all chose to do so immediately.
He rushed to the fallen Princess's side, waving his front hoof to move aside the Democratic Royal Family onlookers. He approached the prone royal sister, making sure not to disturb her as the sounds of the completely voluntary mass exodus from the square began to fade.
"I- did I do well?" The white Princess spake, flecks of crimson liquid falling from her maw as she did so. The crowd of rich-looking gentleponies and the Night Princess looked on coldly, as if gazing through a glass partition.
Jackshot (Who was also white and gold, in accordance with the Democratic People's Protection Writ of 1976), replied positively and assured the mare that she had done her job correctly. After a minute, the light drained from her eyes as he gently closed them with a pass of his hoof.
It was over.
The square was once more perfectly silent, save for the stray newspapers and Freedom Flyers carried across the cobblestone by the wind. The Canterlot elite stood around the corpse, hanging their heads and silently mourning the mare who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Democratic Socialism.
The holy silence continued for a minute.
"Well, SHIT." Jackshot spat, casting a spell on himself. A brilliant light shone for a moment, wrapping around him before she reappeared in her true form.
Supreme Commander Celestia. The real one.
She spoke again, the crowd instinctively bowing as the voice changed from masculine to emasculating. "Almighty Gods above, how hard can it BE to have a political double of myself that lasts for more than a year?! I've half a mind to have you all executed, starting with the prettiest ones!"
The attractive members of the forty Canterlot Elite, all two of them, became weak in the knees for a moment before remembering their place. If the Supreme Commander wanted them executed, then of course there was a good and benevolent reason for it. It was the way of Democratic Socialism.
The nobleponies began to talk amongst themselves, leaving the commanders more or less to their own devices.
"Sister, would it not be prudent to begin the search for a new double immediately?" Luna, slightly shorter than Celestia, stepped forward. The younger sister was in charge of all matters not involving politics,, catering, or war- which, unfortunately for Celestia, this little snag fell into quite nicely. "The peasantry would be heartened greatly to see their new Princess "recovering" as soon as possible, and the supposed injury makes it all the more likely that there will be a second attempt at that time."
"Don't you think I know that?" Celestia angrily snapped, causing the nobles to recoil and several- including her nephew Blueblood- to wet themselves in pure fear.
"Oh, I know all about the peasantry and their ways." Celestia continued, storming about the square and impersonating a whiny lower-class pony. "We want our PRINCESS! Waaaaah! I want SO BAD to be held under the iron yoke of an oppressive, neo-communist demigod! Jesus in Tartarus, this job is just too difficult sometimes. I need a break."
Luna waved off the nobles with her tawny wing, who engaged in polite chatter while walking away. "Trust me, sister. Nopony (or diety) hates the peasantry like I do, but we have to keep them at least partially pleased if we want the Republic to continue and hold fast. This almost always requires sacrifices on our part."
"Yes." Celestia looked at Luna. "But sometimes it doesn't even seem like they WANT us to lead them. I know that it isn't true, but-" Her voice trailed off for a moment- "I wish that I could give a personal speech for once instead of a government-sanctioned impersonator. At least you don't need a double when you go to - er, book signings, or whatever in Tartarus you do in your allotted free time. You wrote a book, right?"
Luna whipped her sister angrily with her wing, causing Celestia to look back at her with an expression of anger before softening. Her sister was the one government official she could never purge, if only because she was nearly as powerful.
"We need to get back to the castle. We have business to conduct, sister."