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Iron Pony 2019: Super Sure Shot Sniping Session

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Event: Super Sure Shot Sniping Session (SSSSS, or "Five S")
Location: Sweet Apple Acres
Setting:

Calling all marksponies! The Super Sure Shot Sniping Session is a special event that tests skill, wit, and accuracy together using special sling shots designed for hooves. A special shooting range has been set up by the far side of Sweet Apple Acres barn. Heavy wooden crates lay stacked against a field, with various targets -- big and small -- set up on top of them. Targets include glass bottles, cans, jars of various sizes, wooden cutouts of various mystical creatures (including manticores, cockatrice, and the dreaded hydra), as well as different fruits and vegetables, such as apples, melons, and pumpkins. Several banners with a target mark on them dot the area, and wave proudly in the wind. A line of boxes sit far away from the target crates, each holding several bowls full of different ammo -- small stones, marbles, and metal shot forged from melted horseshoe nails. Each ammo has different properties that might affect a shot:

Small stones: Fast and light, with good range, but have inconsistent accuracy because they vary in shape.

Marble: Round balls of glass that are an all-around good shot to use. They have a medium range, weight, and accuracy.

Metal shot: Balls of heavy metal made from melted horseshoe nails, these have a short range and heavyweight, but they are very accurate if used correctly.

Participants may bring their own ammo -- the above three are provided for free by the event!

Marksponies each get ten shots at the target range. Points are scored based on how many -- and what -- targets they hit. The larger the target, the less points it is worth, as it is easier to hit from a distance.

Mystical Creature Cutouts: 1 point. (2 points for a head shot.)

Fruit and veggies: 3 points each.

Jars, cans, and bottles: 4 points each.

The Golden Cupcake: A teensy tiny itty bitty little cupcake set on the farthest box in the target range. Worth 50 points!

After all ponies have made their shots, the three with the highest score win!

The Judge:

The 5S has only one judge - Lana Longfletch. A griffon hailing from the eastern shores, she wears an eyepatch and carries a custom modified ZX9 Woodswallow sling shot. She is also known as the "Mosquito Mauler", able to shave the eyelashes off of one at a hundred yards. Blindfolded. Despite her appearance, she is actually quite friendly, and cares about the safety of the participants of this event. She also has a piercingly annoying laugh.

(( )) Roleplayers -

This RP event will feature your character using a sling shot to hit things in the target range. Be sure to describe what ammo your character picks (they are welcome to try different kinds to see what works for them), how they will adjust for weather, if they are experienced and accurate, or sort of clumsy (a stray shot might do something funny and earn points for creativity), or perhaps a unique method of firing?

How to play:

Roleplay your character taking shots at various targets. At the bottom of your RP post, pick ten numbers from 1 to 99. Each number has a secret point value assigned to it with different tiers:

Easy Tier: 1-33 - Points are scored easy and often in this range, but for smaller amounts.

Medium Tier: 34-66 - Points are harder to score, but picking the right number will earn you more.

Hard Tier: 67-99 - Easy to miss, choose the right number and score BIG.

Players may mix and match their ten number picks from all tiers, as well as pick the same number more than once.

The Golden Cupcake number (worth 50 points) can be hidden in any tier. If a player scores the cupcake, it will be moved to a new, random number! Additional points (up to 20) will be awarded for roleplay post creativity! Good luck!

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So... this was the Iron Pony deal that Twilight was yammering about. Sunset Shimmer initially intended to play no role in the affair, having only planned on a brief voyage to Equestria for a face-to-face touching base session. But Twi, bless her heart, she was SO excited over an opportunity to expose her visiting friend to the Ponyville-grown magic of friendly competition. Sunset tried to politely reject Twi’s offer... but who could say no to such an adorkably sweet mare? Definitely not Sunset.


Sunset Shimmer didn’t like admitting it, but back in the old days, these sorts of local carnivalesque contests always intimidated her. Yes, you heard that right. You see, it was commonplace for event challenges to ban participants from using unicorn magic, the one attribute that had allowed the little filly to stand out above the rest. Without magic, Sunset had nothing to defend herself from the mockery of others.


.....That, and the festivals she remembered back in her hometown of Hope Hollow suffered from appalling mismanagement issues, with contestants accusing rival competitors of cheating over the slightest excuse. But that’s a traumatic foalhood story for another time!


Resolved to humoring Twilight, Sunset Shimmer began the hard task of training for Iron Pony. Because no matter what game she chose to play, Sunset never settled for anything less other than the win! First she studied every challenge in detail, assessing what each contest entailed and what potential unicorn-friendly loopholes to exploit were available.


Determining that the Super Sure Shot Sniping Session gave her the best chances of total victory, Sunset Shimmer next used the prep day she had available before Iron Pony to set up a practice target range. And by target range, she actually meant placing a single extremely small target on the extreme edge of an empty field. From what Sunset had gathered, SSSSS operated on Harry Trotter logic: whoever hit the Golden Cupcake would more or less win the match instantly, invalidating all successful attempts by others striking easier targets.


Then there was the issue of Magic itself. Sunset Shimmer figured that according to the Rules, once the projectile was launched via hoof... anything goes. She could get away with taking total levitational control of the projectile to remove gravity and wind from the equation, and nopony would be able to do a thing about it! In other words, the perfect crime!!! So then leave it to the Princess of Being a Killjoy to remind Sunset that blatantly excessive use of magic would ruin the spirit of the game for everyone.


Sunset tried to counter that there was no fun in playing without crushing the opposition... but ugggggh, Twilight was probably right, as usual.


Alrighty then, so Sunset Shimmer conceded that it wouldn’t be fair to give her projectiles any further momentum other than what she physically provided upon launch. Nor could she use spells to 100% cancel out gravity and wind direction. However, several options remained that would help Sunset stack the deck a little bit in her favor.


Firstly: ammunition choices. Metal shot sounded the best on paper for its theoretically good accuracy, but its heaviness severely limited its range. However, that was no problem at all for the magic school drop-out. One molecular reconfiguration spell later and PRESTO: Sunset’s round shot was now made out of a metal far lighter than any naturally occuring one found in Equestria. And thanks to magic, her ammo wouldn’t lose its accuracy properties in the process.


After that: guiding the enchanted metal shot on its path. Outright controlling them was out of the question, but each projectile could be given little magical course corrections here and there along their flight trajectory. That in itself would also tip the scales in Sunset’s favor.


Next up was the boring part: practice, practice, practice. The entire afternoon before Iron Pony, Sunset got a feel for her slingshot, what her are pulling strength measured up to, how to perceive where her airborne projectile was it in relation to its ground target, and so on and so on. Yet despite all her magical advantages, the Mock Cupcake remained a very hard target to strike (hence its huge worth in points). By Miss Shimmer’s calculations, she’d have about a 1-in-25 chance of hitting her mark each time she fired her slingshot.


To a sane pony, those were poor-as-heck odds. But Sunset Shimmer liked looking on the bright side of things: most ponies didn’t get 10 consecutive chances to score it big on the Las Pegasus roulette table. With skill... and a whole lotta’ luck, the fiery mare just might prevail tomorrow. Only time would tell.....


-------------


*THE NEXT DAY*


The decisive hour has come at last: 10 shots, 10 chances. Sunset Shimmer was determined to show the ponies of Ponyville what this gal was capable of!


Attempt #1: The enchanted metal shot fell far short of the Golden Cupcake. But that was to be expected: Sunset accepted it would take some trial and error to make the proper aiming adjustments.


Attempt #2: This time, Sunset’s shot fell just a little bit long. Again, not bad at all: this signaled that barring any wind changes, she’s found her range.


Attempts #3-4: Sunset’s next two shots straddle the target on each side, but fail to aim true. Alas, even with a glowing magical aura surrounding the projectile, it was rather difficult to make it out as it flew off into the distance, making course correction difficult in the process.


Attempts #5-6: Impatience taking hold, Sunset failed to take adequate time to adjust for wind when making her next few shots. The next two enchanted projectiles dispersed more wildly than previous shots.


Attempt #7: In a rather bothersome turn of events, Sunset’s next shot managed to ricochet off a closer target, sending the metal projectile back to its sender! OWWW!!! Those things really hurt!


Attempt #8: Losing her cool, Sunset inadvertently cast a fire enchant on her next shot. That of course added severe drag onto the projectile, and so it failed to even land in the same zip code as the Golden Cupcake. How humiliating!


Attempt #9: Fuming with rage, Sunset took her frustration out by aiming at a nearby cutout siren. Something about its smug stare ticked the fiery unicorn off, so it needed to be taught a lesson! Maybe that blow-hard siren would think twice about mocking Sunset if she hit that confounded jewel of her’s!!!


Attempt #10: Last shot, last chance. Sunset pulled herself together, sobered by the realization that she blew her last several shots thanks to poor anger management. Recalling advice that Twilight had once given her friend, Sunset placed a hoof over her heart, closed her eyes... and calmly exhaled as she gracefully extended her arm outward. Calmness was key here; she needed to keep a level head in order to have any chance of clutching this final shot.


The fiery unicorn took her sweet time in aiming her final shot. She took careful heed of the blowing flags around the field, patiently waiting for the opportune moment. Sunset waited and waited and waited; at last, the breeze started blowing consistently from behind her. That meant no need for horizontal compensation, and no fear of the wind blowing against the projectile to slow it down.


Sensing her moment had come, Sunset took the shot. Her heart pounded as she tracked the metal projectile along its flight path, praying she didn’t overcompensate for her course corrections. Please please please please please make it!!!!!


*INSERT TENSE CLIFFHANGER HERE* 

 

[OOC Lottery Numbers: 10, 33, 47, 59, 66, 73, 78, 81, 92, 97]

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The next contestant to approach the shooting range shared some rather obvious similarities with the judge. The brown griffon was wearing his typical bandanna over his eye as he approached, though nothing else, in the spirit of the competition. Not that that seemed to be part of the rules for this particular part, but oh well. 

 

Tehengu gave a nod to the griffon judge before picking up the slingshot provided to him. It wasn’t the same as firing a bow, but he figured it was close enough that he could adjust quickly. He examined his weapon and ammo for and issues they may have and eventually settled on using the marbles. A good, balanced shot with a consistent shape. 

 

The first few shots were at easier targets to get a good feel of the weapon, the marbles sailing towards various cutouts as he watched where they impacted to better refine his aim. Not bad so far, seemed he still had it. Marksmanship skills were the one thing he didn’t doubt he could still do nowadays it seemed...

 

Shots four through six saw him aiming at the next tier of targets, moving up slowly but surely. He took careful aim of each shot he took, methodically dialing in his aim even more. If there was one thing he needed for what he did, it was the patience to aim properly and wait for the right opportunity to fire. 

 

That patience would come in handy for the next three shots, as he moved on to the more distant targets. These were a bit harder to hit, but he could get enough force into the shots to get them down there with a bit more room for more power. Hopefully it would be enough for what he planned to do last. 

 

His final shot would be directed at the cupcake, and he took the most time out of any of the shots to line up his aim and put all the power behind it as he could. He even checked the wind conditions and adjusted accordingly. Then, finally, the griffon let the marble fly, watching it sail towards its target. 

 

Numbers: 10, 25, 7, 42, 35, 60, 69, 84, 90, 50

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Submitted for Judging

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Ranged weaponry.  Feng pursed his lips as he surveyed the target range; this was not his specialty as far as combat training went.  Not that he gave his initial academy sling training anything less than his all, but he might have let himself get the slightest bit rusty since then.  Hey, a Watcher couldn't be good at everything, and he'd chosen to specialize in close combat. It's a pity that the Iron Pony didn't have any martial arts events.  *Perhaps I should have a word with the organizers about next year...*

 

Well, they weren't likely to take him seriously if he didn't take them seriously, and that had to include this event.  The longma deferred the offered sling and ammo, choosing to use his Imperial-issued gear.  He tested the suppleness of the leather, grateful at least that the material hadn't stiffened from disuse.  There was a little bronze seal of the Jade Throne on the outside of the pouch, which he polished against the hide on his withers before trotting up to the line, loading one of the polished bits of stone into the pouch.

 

He warmed up with a couple of practice shots towards the cardboard cutouts, instinctively choosing to avoid crudely-drawn depictions of the barbaric Western Dragons.  A boorish contrast with the graceful long of his homeland though they may be, there was a bit of residual reverence there.  Plus, deep down, Feng felt a twinge of empathy towards their culturally rowdy attitude. Perhaps the dragon side of him was from across the ocean after all...

 

The next seven shots were all taken towards the fruit; pears and peaches each exploding in little bits of fruit as he got into his rhythm.  Not too many risks, but no need to go for too easy a target. He had training, but wasn't an expert, and chose his targets accordingly.  

 

Except for the last one.  That Golden Cupcake... no way he could leave the range without taking at least one shot towards it, right?

 

Numbers: 1, 33, 34, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 77

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Submitted for Judging

 

"Weeeeee!" Pinkie bounced about in the main customer section of Sugar Cube Corner. "It's alllllmost time!" She got down low and crawled until she was right in front of Gummy. The Ponk wagged her tail with excitement. "My favoritest of favorite Iron Pony events is tomorrow!"

 

Gummy blinked his eyes one after the other, his mouth opening an then shutting once.

 

"Ha ha! Silly!" She popped up and glanced at the stacks upon stacks of cupcake trays that could just barely be seen in the kitchen. "The cupcake eating contest is my favorite to get ready for! The Super Sure Shot Sniping Session is my favorite event to compete in!"

 

Gummy blinked again.

 

"Oh Gummy! Of course I have my super special secret silly surprise shot ready to go! I made them weeks ago!" She zipped up to her room and then zipped back down in a flash. 

 

"See! Just like party cannon balls but smaller." She held out a small hoof full of what looked like marbles with colored glass at the center. "Oops!" One of them dropped from her hoof and hit the ground...

 

SQEEEAK!!

 

A shrill squealing noise followed by a puff of confetti appeared. Where the shot hit the ground there was now the imprint of a smiling pony's face. She reached down and quickly rubbed away the mark. "I'm not sure the Cake's would really like my marks all over the floor..." She stood and smiled. "But they are pretty amazing don't you think Gummy? Plus they fade away on their own after a while."

 

Another blink.

 

Pinkie disappeared into her room to finish fine tuning her skills for the competition in the morning.

 

-----

It wasn't long before Pinkie found herself at the 5S range! She had her 6S shot all ready to go and tested three of the slingshots that could be used for the competition before selecting what she figured to be the bestest one.

 

She glanced at Lonna Longefletch. The griffon eyed her and nodded for her to begin her round.

 

"Okie Dokie Lokie!" Pinkie exclaimed before whirling around to the target range. Somehow in the blink of an eye she had donned her super sky outfit. Black suit, tie, and all! Mission Impossible music started playing from nowhere as she sighted her targets. Pinkie's face was grim.

 

"Targets sighted." She loaded a 6S into the sling shot and pulled back...

 

Shot #1: There were soooo many fun things to aim at! She couldn't really decide where to focus so she just pulled back and let a round fly! As the round hit a mark it exploded with confetti which instantly relieved her of her serious mode. "Ha ha ha! Those are just great! Too bad there's no pinatas to aim at!" A severe glare from the griffon running the show got her back on task.

 

Shot#2: She couldn't help but giggle when she saw a cut out figure of Discord in the closer part of the range. "How could I just let this opportunity pass me by?" She giggled again and let fly at that pesky draconequus!

 

Shot #3: Oh wow! How much fun was this?! "Hee hee hee!" Was that a cut out of the cloud of parasprites? "I mean I should really just march you guys out of town buuuut..." She aimed and fired at the parasprites cut out.

 

Shot #4: Time to try for some targets worth more points! She scanned about, taking back her spy demeanor. "Ok, where to next?" Ah! There was a whole bunch of fruits and veggies! "Time to make a fruit salad I think!" She aimed for a stack of oranges with her fourth shot.

 

Shot #5: The fruit salad continued on with a stack of banana bunches! "Woo hoo! Let's make a banana split!" She couldn't help the maniacal laugh that escaped her muzzle as her 6S sailed towards the target.

 

Shot #6: How could she possibly not take a shot at the big ol' watermelon. Just sitting there, asking her to aim at it!

 

Shot #7: "Hmmmm," Her eyes widened as she saw the bottles and can lined up. "Those look like fun!" There was a few colored bottles all lined up sparkling in the sun. It would be so cool to see a round of 6S hit one of those!

 

Shot #8-#9: She couldn't stop herself from trying to hit a couple more bottles. They sounded so cool when the shot hit them and all that confetti everywhere made the whole range look like a party!

 

Shot #10: Pinkie pulled out her spy binoculars and spotted the golden cupcake! The binoculars vanished and were replaced by the slingshot. "Okie dokie cupcake..." She sighted as best she could as the target was super far away. "Got you!" She shouted as she released the shot, hoping it would fly true.

 

Pinkie bounced away from the range as the squealing of the 6S faded and the last bits of confetti blew away. There was nothing the Ponk couldn't turn into a party!

 

[Lottery Numbers: 9, 12, 35, 48, 51, 78, 49, 50, 88, 95]

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The first batch of scores went up with great applause!
 

Sunset Shimmer: 33
Tehengu: 29
Feng: 33
Pinkie Pie: 34

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