Uncommon Dazzling Ships 232 members · 410 stories
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You know that character type you see sometimes in films and on TV, of a very intelligent, smooth, cunning, patient psychopath? Hannibal Lecter, Jim Moriarty, Yuri Orlov, the Man in Black, Dexter, every Bond villain and perhaps Bond himself, etc?

It's not real. Real psychopaths are not like that at all. In reality, a psychopath is less likely to be an evil overlord and more likely a street thug. Their criminal rap sheet is characterised by a long history of low-level petty crimes, because they're easily bored and lack the self-control to not indulge violent or rule-breaking impulses. A psychopath is in fact even less likely to mastermind an evil plan than the average person, because they lack the patience and would rather opt for something smaller offering an instant reward. Furthermore, those smaller activities would, in turn, be more likely to alert the authorities to a psychopath being at work. There's even some suggestion in studies of an inverse link between psychopathy and IQ, with it being less likely in smarter people.

Oh dear. This is sounding less and less like Adagio, isn't it?

Aria then, because few other MLP characters scream 'predilection for violence' like her (which has no hard canon evidence whatsoever to back it up, just extrapolation and conjecture). Except that one of the parts of the media portrayal of psychopaths that rings absolutely true is their ability to fake kindness, empathy and 'normal' interaction. They've had to do it from birth, so have honed the learned behaviour to a fine art, and can use it to coldly manipulate those around them with expert precision into liking them and giving them exactly what they want.

And Aria doesn't exactly act nice.

So. Who's the siren who's thought too nice to be evil? Who couldn't possibly be as guilty as the other two because she's so sweet and charming?

There's another angle to this, too.

Humanity has a long history of cruelty. Not just in warfare, where survival offers some justification, or even in terms of one demographic mistreating another. In Roman times, we made gladiators fight to the death for entertainment. In Victorian times, we pointed and laughed at the disfigured in their freak shows. With reality TV, we still do. Our relationship with animals, even when not using them as beasts of burden, has often been characterised by unkindness for the fun of it, or simply because we could. The bear baiting, the dog fighting, the fox hunting, the cock fighting, the badger baiting, the bull fighting. The dodos sailors clubbed to death simply because they didn't run away, or the bison men shot for the same reason. The enormous fees some people pay to fly to Africa and hunt endangered species with rifles or crossbows.

Cruelty has a human heart. That's part of who we are, deep down, and often who we become when left to our own devices. Our escape from this has been our higher reasoning skills. The ability to put ourselves in another's shoes. Sympathy may be an emotional response, but empathy is a more intellectual one. My conjecture is that, all else being equal, then the better you are at thinking, the better you'll be at thinking from someone else's perspective. And the more likely you are to think something through from all angles, including how others will feel about it, before doing it.

Sonata isn't so good at thinking. This we know. Of all the characters in the show, I could see her being one of the least likely to consider how her actions might make other people feel, and to weigh that against her own wants.

So, this is our prompt for this month: A story in which Sonata is undoubtedly the evilest of the trio. There've been stories here and there of her being evil before, and others of her being almost amoral in her otherness, but they're very much the minority. Common opinion is that she's the nice one of the three.

Let's try reversing that. Maybe Sonata takes villainy further than Adagio or Aria because she doesn't share their understanding of restraint. Maybe she's the slowest to catch on with changing her ways, because she's the slowest to catch on with anything, or still doesn't really get this empathy thing. Maybe Sonata was the child who stamped on butterflies, the Eric Cartman to whom others are not people but objects in her world. Maybe her feigned niceness was a backup strategy for when Adagio's plan failed. Maybe even her stupidity was fake, too, and she's the real talent behind the sirens - notice how effortlessly she gets a rise out of Aria or Adagio?

This doesn't necessarily have to be a shipping story, but since that's the focus of the group we're hardly going to complain if it is.

Here are some rules! Or guidelines, at least - who are we to tell you what to do?

There will be:

No maximum word limit! :yay:

No minimum word limit, aside from fimfiction's thousand-word standard! :pinkiehappy:

No rating restrictions! :moustache:

No prizes! :trollestia:

No SunDagio! :raritystarry:

No AriNata! :rainbowderp:

No SonPie! :pinkiesad2:

No time limit! :trixieshiftleft: ...I mean, it'd be nice to get it done this month, but, given the above thing about no prizes, if it takes you longer then it takes you longer... However, if you get it submitted this month then we'll read it and talk about it and shower you with praise, whereas by next month we'll have moved onto a different area of focus.

No more Mrs Nice Guy! And maybe, just possibly, more to a character than a love of Mexican food?

And that's it!

This picture is only a bit relevant but just too good to miss.

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