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Wingless


T

Spoilers in comments!

Rarity wasn't so sure of her life walking into this little night club on the East Side of Canterlot. But one stallion changes her unstable composure into one of pure desperation. Will she do anything, to achieve that long sought after dream of being the most respected and known designer in this bustling city?


This started off as a quick "one-shot" story one night while I was drinking some Fat Tire.
Now featured on Equestriadaily.com on 03/29/2013
Reviewed by The Equestrian Critics Society. Score: 10/10?

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 77 )

You glorious bastard.

Woah. Dark, tense, and Rarity. I enjoyed it thoroughly, good sir. :raritystarry:

Damn, the suspense is killing me.....

Haha, I get it. Russian Roulette, a One-Shot story, I see what you did there.

Well, don't leave us in the dark!

Did she survive... or did she lost the game? :twilightoops:

Comment posted by Wingless deleted Mar 26th, 2013

2010821 Never heard of Russian roulette?

One of my favorite one-shots because of the suspense. When I first started reading I thought it was going to be a suicide story. But i'm glad i was wrong.

Comment posted by BleedingRaindrops deleted Feb 7th, 2013

the tension was so thick that I cut it apart and served it for supper and baked the rest into cupcakes:pinkiecrazy::facehoof:

Wingless, you magnificent bastard, I read your fic! :raritywink:

I am shaking. Brilliantly written, and you could not have ended it better.

I have to ask, though, could you possibly edit the story to specify the number of chambers in the gun? For some reason, I feel like there's a big difference between a five-round cylinder and a six, maybe enough to change Rarity's initial decision to play the game.

Do you want me to die? This is the worst cliffhanger I have EVER read. I may die of a heart attack or aneurism if this isn't updated soon!!!

Oh. My. Goddesses.... This is AMAZING! The only thing beating this on a suspense scale is waiting for the new season. Hats off, 2 hooves up, slow clap, whistles and whinnies, and all other signs of approval to this fic.

2342448 Hmm I do suppose the number of chambers in the cylinder would change up the odds of actually shooting oneself. Although when I wrote this I had envisioned a standard six round .38 or .44 Mag. (Remember: LITTLE ponies. I doubt they'd be waving around the five round .500 magnum or a four to five round .45 LC) But anyway, good point. I may or may not change it. Just have to wait and see.

So since this says incomplete will we get a finishing chapter or is it meant to end like this? Please... i need to know! :pinkiesad2:

Very good story. Only 2 complaints. "Suddenly her life flashed before her eyes." Extremely cliche stock phrase. I know many disagree, though I think not having an ending is lazy writing. "If I'm going to imagine the end, I might as well imagine the beginning and the middle" http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=prometheus_nutshell

I will say that was quite good. But I will go on to say that I think any kind of actual ending will ruin the whole thing. I mean that's the point of this you're supposed to fill it in however you like.
If you think she blows her head off. She did
If you think she survives. She did
If you think they stop here before it all goes south. They did
If you think Discord came in and turned the gun in to snowflakes. Then by Celestia he did.

That or you just enjoy the suspense.

2343073 Maybe. You will have to wait and see the next update.

2343310 Yeah I know it's cliche, but I saw it as more of an expression of character on Rarity's part. Who and what does one think of when they stare very probable death in the face? What was so important to her that they would be her possible last thoughts? And yes, you're right. Prometheus was crap.

2343350 See sentence two of the beginning of this comment.

2342808

With five chambers, total odds of survival are (4/5) * (3/5) * (2/5) = 19.2%
With six chambers, total odds of survival are (5/6) * (4/6) * (3/6) = 27.8%

Not a trivial difference when your life is on the line, but the important point to take away is that Rarity is pretty crazy either way.

Speaking as someone who doesn't know much about guns, I automatically assumed a standard Western-style six-shooter.

2343457 Hmm thanks for doing the math. I can't math. But yeah she crazy.

I know what happened and I'll never tell! XD

That made me jittery. In a good way. On edge as it were. Good story so far, and I most definitely want to see how this ends. :twilightsmile:

Magnificent! :raritystarry:

I think this sums it up better than any comment I could write:

:raritydespair: What happens next?! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!?
One of the most compelling stories I've read in a while. I understand if it's just a one-shot story, but seeing it as "incomplete" tortures me, one of the few instances where that is a good thing :raritywink:
A great way to "end" it - you know what - A great story all around :yay:

I'm quite enthralled with this story.

Very nice, it eased me in before leaving me on the edge. :twilightsmile:

AAAAGH CLIFFHANGARRRR :twilightangry2:

2344410 Oh come on! That would be horrible! Right in the mouth like that, it would burn her throat so badly, she'd probably never speak again.:raritycry: I'd prefer there to be an actual bullet than that.

I had the same basic idea D:

Are you going to end this?I want to know if she...dies.:raritydespair:

It does say incomplete.....:unsuresweetie:

2342808 I see you changed it, and rather elegantly, as well. Thanks.

Even apart from the raw effect on the probabilities, a five-round cylinder simply seems more psychologically intimidating: after you hear the description of the game, you would instantly think "Wow, the last spin is probably going to kill you." It's a stupid reaction, because the odds are technically against you either way, but you'd have to be truly insane to play the game with a five-shot weapon, in my opinion. Specifying six rounds characterizes Rarity as more desperate than crazy, which I think is the intention.

I kinda want it to end in media res, or with a thematically linked non-sequitur.

Anyway, I may have paid for the whole seat, but I only used... THE EDGE. Great suspense and ambience, specially how you built up to the point that Rarity going ahead with this crazy idea was believable.

If I have any issues, it was mainly with how fast the two first shots went. It felt rushed, but I also have no idea how it could be changed.

Masterful build up of suspense. Loved it.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they're duds. Not blanks, just empty shells or something. Howie's only trying to show Hoity that she's willing to put her life on the line. They'd be in a fuckload of trouble for actually getting her killed. And don't say that because she was willing and she pulled the trigger that it's her fault, just means it's manslaughter(ponyslaughter?) instead of murder.

2349730
Not duds, eh?

"...and we find the defendant guilty of all charges."

"Gawd dang it." Howie whimpered. He sunk back into his chair, his jaw falling slack. The proceedings of the courtroom drained away until it was nothing more than a dull murmur of activity falling on deaf ears. No matter how hard he tried not to, he could still see her.

The arc of the hammer.

A deafening explosion of sound, unable to mask the loud splatter of gore on the wall.

The intense ringing in his ears and the meaty thud that followed seconds after.

He clamped his eyes shut. What on Earth had possessed him to go through with that?

"Cheer up, buddy!" his lawyer jabbed him softly in the shoulder. "Twenty years isn't that long."

2344496 But then she would be a world-famous MUTE fashion designer! That would be amazing for her career, in and of itself!

2349730
If they believe they are getting away with having one of Elements of Harmony killed on Princess Celestia's turf, they are quite stupid.

On the other hoof, they just may be quite stupid.

Quite excellent. I did catch a couple of small grammar mistakes, only one I was able to get in copy and paste because I really wanted to keep reading.

"You really love what you do huh?" You should have a comma right after "do" so it reads "You really love what you do, huh?". At least it seems. If there purposefully wasn't supposed to be a pause there, then ignore me. There was one other minor grammatical issue immediately thereafter too, but that was all I caught. I know your proofreaders did an excellent job and can't catch 100% of things. Infact, this is a story I will be referring the authors I'm proofreading for. It was very good, and I for one, am excited for the next chapter.

Nice Story. I heard of Russian Roulette But I never imagine anyone ever playing or consider how scared shitless they must feel.:raritydespair: I just had a bad thought in my head and it really scared me.:fluttercry: Thanks for the story. Now I’m going to try my best and sleep now. Good Night.:twilightsmile:

2343310 Also... if you listen to the song this story was originally based on, you'll see why I used that expression.:ajsmug:

2356577 It's not like they would of been the ones to kill her.

2404395
Incitement to suicide is a serious crime. And I doubt they'd see much in the way of mercy.
Also, while Howie might get away, and merely serve prison time for unknowingly assisting, I guess Hoity-Toity would be hanged for high treason, conspiring and causing a major damage to Equestria's defense. He managed to disable the Elements of Harmony, exposing Equestria to critical threats, and he'd be very hard-pressed to claim ignorance of Rarity's importance. (and it would make quite the waves, anypony ever associated with him would be suspect of being a spy, and become a pariah.)

2404485>>2356577>>2349177 Your comments doth stir things in my head, and I must reply to thou henceforth.

...hanged for high treason, conspiring and causing a major damage to Equestria's defense. He managed to disable the Elements of Harmony, exposing Equestria to critical threats, and he'd be very hard-pressed to claim ignorance of Rarity's importance.

If they believe they are getting away with having one of Elements of Harmony killed on Princess Celestia's turf, they are quite stupid.

I have/had thoughts on this particular problem. "She's an Element of Harmony! How could such a thing happen if she DOES die?" Well my first thought would be to write up a small story pertaining to Luna, who finds Howie not long after the removal of Nightmare Moon. She pulls the trigger three times, blah, blah, blah. He had helped her, so she's fine and dandy with it. Same story, different character and motivations. Exactly why I didn't do that.

Thought two, was that the Princesses allow/tolerate it, due to some "Rainbow Factory" style reason. Like "Howie's victims make dark, stormy and depressing rain clouds because all his victims are unreasonably angsty or something of the sort. I love the song, but sorry, don't like the story itself. Interesting concept, but... it's still a no for me. The main reason I decided against thought two.

Thought three, (and I was really stretching with this one) Howie IS one of the Princesses. I was drunk then too, get off my back.:facehoof:

After all that, I settled on this, and I am going to write it in a way that does not spoil, so do not take this as pure canon for the story. I will recomment or blog a better, lengthier version of this explanation: The reason this is all able to take place right in Canterlot, simply put, the Princesses don't bloody know. If they did, poor Basic Beats would be out of a Head of Security, I'm sure. I like to think that murders are pretty scarce in this world, yet once in a great while someone is. So I would say that any suicide assistance would be classified as a degree of murder, and a murder case would bring either life imprisonment or death. (I like death. I would have to go with death. Capital punishment is universally decent deterrent to commit that crime.) But back to the Princesses not knowing. Say Rarity does die. Of course when she disappears, the Princesses and all her friends will come running to the last place she was seen to try and find her, or find out what happened. But if no one knows about Howie and his exploits, how would they come to the conclusion that he, for lack of a better term, "took advantage of an emotionally distraught mare" and "Coerced her to play Russian Roulette?" In a disappearance case, it would certainly not be the first thing that pops into my head. Probably one of the last things, actually.

Also saying "Oh, well they're the Princesses! They would know if somepony was doing this/what pony did this." is not accurate in this sense. They are not omnipotent. Semi-omnipotent, sure. But do they know, and can they do, everything and anything?
images.sodahead.com/polls/000920611/aw_hell_naw_answer_2_xlarge.jpeg

See Barack knows his shit. I like to think the Princesses are like Q from Star Trek, but a little less omnipotent. They know a LOT, but certainly not everything.
2344410>>2349177 I have to talk about this one just briefly too.

They're blanks.

No. Just... no. First off, a blank round still contains a primer and powder. Ow. Go ahead and set aflame some sulfur and charcoal and take you a big ol' whiff of it! Now imagine all that being hurled down your throat at 500 fps. Give me a bullet instead of that any day. Also, the paper or whatever wad holding the powder in place can still travel down a barrel at alarming speeds, making blanks nearly as deadly/dangerous as live ammunition.

They're duds.

I have thought about this. First off: I know one of the first rules of gun care is never dry fire. (I.E. let the hammer/firing pin fall when there's no chambered round.) Super bad for the pin. I replaced many a rifle pin in my childhood because I was fool. I now have shells with spring tensioned primers, made specifically for if I do need to dry fire. These would also do well if you placed 3 of these dry fire shells with 3 live rounds. Would certainly reduce wear on your hammer and pin. But using a dud? Nah. First off, it is explained early on in the story that although rare, robberies and life threatening fights DO occur in Equestria. On top of that, he's head of security. Would you keep effin DUDS in your only weapon when you work in a place you might actually have to use that weapon?

Also I would figure that unless this random club gets 13 masked, heavily armed gunponies rushing in there, he wouldn't really need to carry all that much ammo. He wears a vest and a hat. Where would he put spare rounds, let alone duds? In his vest? Sure could probably put in another full cylinder or two, but more than that and he might as well open-carry that revolver.

Good Celestia I ramble. Sorry about that, I just like responding to those who read my story. I like hearing their opinions and thoughts about it. I also like telling people their opinions and thoughts are wrong. :trollestia: Nah, joking. Or am I? :unsuresweetie: I just thought I'd let you know my thought processes regarding those little things. I hope all this makes a least SOME lick of sense to y'all. If not, tell me why. TTFN.


Edit: I think a great way to think about it would be to look at BronyWriter's Secret Life of Rarity. I loved his concept of the legal system in Equestria. First murder in years deserves a nearly immediate execution. And of course the responses of the Princesses are pretty close to what I would expect. A "Got dangit son, I am disappoint!" but mixed with a "We just gotta kill you, it's that law" and they would get all depressed and sad like all those downer weepy people in every single anti-depressant commercial.

2404691
I get you on the duds thing. I know they wouldn't be blanks (I've seen a demo of what they can do).

Say Rarity does die. Of course when she disappears, the Princesses and all her friends will come running to the last place she was seen to try and find her, or find out what happened. But if no one knows about Howie and his exploits, how would they come to the conclusion that he, for lack of a better term, "took advantage of an emotionally distraught mare" and "Coerced her to play Russian Roulette?" In a disappearance case, it would certainly not be the first thing that pops into my head. Probably one of the last things, actually.

Howie has to dispose of the body somehow. If murders aren't common, then more 'advanced' techniques presumably wouldn't be known. Being in a city doesn't help at all. Off the top of my head, I can see only one way of Howie getting rid of her: Concealing the body and transporting it out in a carriage/wagon then disposing of it/hiding it. He could potentially head to the Everfree and try and leave her for a manticore, but I think that'd take a bit long and might arouse suspicion.

So far, only Howie and Hoity know she's dead. The bartender, poker players and any ponies who happen to be at the bar at the time know she was with Howie. Poker players know Howie, Rarity and Hoity were last seen together.

I reckon it'd only take a day or so (Pinkie would have squeezed a return date out of Rarity to plan a party) before the mane 5 get suspicious, contact Princess, yadda yadda, decide she's missing.
High profile pony goes missing, guards out looking, missing pony posters and I'm guessing rewards for info.

Hoity might be questioned for being a last known contact (he could break here).

Only one pony has to come forward and claim the reward for saying she was at the bar at the time.

If they find the body, easy to say gunshot wound as cause of death.

Howie prime suspect. Guessing because of the peacefulness, guns aren't common in city areas, and may be limited to security. If so, it may be that Howie's employer pays for his weapon/ammunition and would keep records of it. There'd be one missing bullet.

Howie doesn't seem like a murderer, so I'll go out on a limb and say that he may be a bit overwhelmed and be likely to forget things about covering his tracks. Same applies to Hoity.

It can be traced back to them. Of course, a lot of info here relies on things that you ultimately have power over and have not revealed, but still, it's something.

2404936 Hmm now hiding a body WOULD be a bit hard to do. Here's my thoughts on that: Obviously, they're in a club, so no big bottles of hydrofluoric acid or lye just lying around to dissolve her Walter White style.. And when the bar has patrons there would be the SMALL problem of sneaking a body past them. But, as is stated in the story, he's done this before. Quite a few times. So assuming this is true, we can only assume that he has a way of disposing of the body.

Now I think in any case, even though Howie isn't... normal, shall we say, he would have the tact to not cut her up into tiny pieces. Plus that would make a huge mess and would take all night. Nor do I think he would just roll her up in a carpet and chuck her to the garbage collector. But in my mind, he has ways of distracting authorities. We can think of any of his security staff, the bartender, the DJ, servers, even Basic Beats himself. Anyone of them he could have played with as well. Or gotten them out of a jam and really owe him, much like Hoity. Either he could be awarded with short term silence or little white lies from these employees while he disposes of her. Just a little extra time can make a world of difference. Not only will it give you more time to look over the disposal of evidence, but you're not in as much of a fearful rush to dispose of it. Think of it kind of like any murder suspense movie. You know there was a murder. You know the murderer got away and there is no body. He got rid of him/her somehow, but it's left as a big mystery. Get used to that idea, because I'm not describing how Howie would go about it. Plus I couldn't, because it may/may not be a spoiler for the next chapters. There are many ways to get rid of a body. Choose any of those, and you're set.

Also, these poker players are meant to be seen as... "unscrupulous." Much like a drug dealer who wouldn't give up the name of his supplier, these guys wouldn't give up Howie. He lets them gamble and drink and smoke in their own little VIP spot in the basement. Who knows, maybe he lets them smoke some pony ganja down there? These are lowlifes. Bottom of the rung kind of ponies, who even though answer to the highest bidder in terms of information, they remain loyal to that highest bidder.

And more info pertaining to the firearm will be given in coming chapters.

Now I do see two things that could be a problem for Howie in disposing of a body in this situation. First, the pony chauffeur who dropped Rarity off. He would actually be the first to be interviewed since he was seen driving off from the fashion show with Rarity in tow. Second is indeed Hoity Toity. Yeah he could snap. But there's always that possibility for everyone in real life and pony land. There's always blackmail, or actual threats that can be used to make sure he stays quiet. Death can be quite the motivator to zip your lip. And a ruined reputation.

This wasn't mentioned, but I will bring it up anyway. Twilight mentioned the bar to Rarity. Recommended it to her is more like it. But is this a epileptic-seizure-inducing, ecstasy-fueled rave club, or a somewhat more posh club, not quite for the elite, but much nicer than those aforementioned drug-crazy clubs. You can decide on that, but remember: Rarity didn't like the place when she walked in, you can probably assume Twilight would think Rarity wouldn't go to such a place. Her being Rarity and all that jazz.

In conclusion: In any investigation one would go to the last place she was reported to be seen. To me I think that would be the fashion show. It's where her friends KNEW she was last, so they go and get info from there. That can take awhile, trying to get hold of many fashion critics, producers, directors, dressers, servers, anypony that could have info. There they find out the producer got her a limo to take from the show. They go and question the driver, he says after hearing her crying throughout the ride he drops her off at this night club. There they question the owner, and any who worked there that night. At this point, you can readily assume Howie has had at LEAST four to six hours to dispose of that body. This includes the moments after her death, through the time the bar remains open, and the brief time after it closes up until she is reported missing by her friends, who of course may not be expecting her until later that evening. In that case you could guess he would actually have a full DAY to remove the body.

Once again, this is all speculation, most of which could be added as canon but 99% of which will not be told in the story. This comment in no way shape or form gives spoilers as to the fate of Rarity after she pulls the trigger the last time.

2404936
You forget in that world ponies have MAGIC. Almost certainly all testimony would be gathered under lie detection spell. It should be quite basic level spell.

Avenue 1:
They would ask a lot of ponies who'd seen Rarity last - at the show. "Do you have any clue what happened to Rarity after she left the show? Do you have any clue where she went?"
Hoity-Toity should be one of top. The driver could be easily located too.

Avenue 2:
The club was quite packed. There would be ones who noticed her. They would be willing to make a grab for the royal bounty. She WAS standing out like a sore thumb in that place.
Then the investigation would ask the club employers. So, they ask the security guy. He will NOT get away with excuses about "many customers" and "poor memory".

Avenue 3:
Also, I think the binding between the Elements is strong enough that they should be able to locate her body. How many ponies in Canterlot carry this caliber guns?

Oh, and the poker players: They are pissed with Hoity. They've seen Rarity. They are penniless. The heck they wouldn't tell on him for a bounty.

Celestia doesn't have to be omniscent, she needs just halfway competent forensics officers.

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