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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Silver136 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:16 pm

Exodus Hero wrote:
Silver136 wrote:
Loud_Taffy wrote:It's so quiet in here.
Probably pre-release blues, or at least that's what I call it. The silence before the new chapter is released and discussion begins anew.
I got the notification that the forum updated and I thought it was because the chapter updated but now I'm just disappointed.
Sorry to dissapoint, but now you see why I call it pre-release blues!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Loud_Taffy on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:01 pm

Exodus Hero wrote:
Silver136 wrote:
Loud_Taffy wrote:It's so quiet in here.
Probably pre-release blues, or at least that's what I call it. The silence before the new chapter is released and discussion begins anew.
I got the notification that the forum updated and I thought it was because the chapter updated but now I'm just disappointed.

sorry.
On a happier note, I just posted some new songs on my YouTube channel if'n you want to take a look.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Borsuq on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:03 pm

Since people complain it's quiet... To pass the time as we wait for the next chapter (and mind you, it's 1am on my side) I would like to use those few hours before the next chapter comes out and ask a question that has been bugging me for some time: why do I hate Steel Rain sooooo much?

Most villains have some redeeming qualities that make them relatable, or at least something that makes them worth some form of respect. Sometimes villains are even the most interesting characters to read about. But Steel Rain... does he have any good qualities, and I am just not seeing them? The only instance where he had something that could make me like him was at his introduction when he came to Stronghoof's rescue... and then I began to dislike him like half a page later.

I am not saying, of course, that there aren't fictional characters that you just can't wait to see them fail. That is, after all, the villains's most basic reason for existance in the storyline. But seeing how Project Horizons' villains we had so far (Deus, Sanguine, Lighthooves) turn out to have their reasons for turning up like they did... and even before that, I liked Deus for his, what's the word... lethaly? Let's go with that... and Sanguine for this 'crazy scientist' thing he had going (those are always interesting). Lighthooves rescued Blackjack and Glory at one point. So what is it exactly in Steel Rain that made me at least twice on this blog post wish him the most painful death imaginable? To make him my 3rd most hated fictional character ever (after Ciri from Witcher [2nd] and Garrosh Hellscream from World of Warcraft [1st])?

Is it because he gloated over my most favorite character Blackjack when she was blind and at his mercy? Because he showed no remorse when she spared him after Dawn offered to kill him? Because when he later met her at Sociaty's Grand Galloping Galla he was an ass? Because in the previous chapter he was talking about dismantling her legs (brrr, bad memories of a certain chapter!)?

So I am using those last hours before the next chapter comes out (where it will be highly probable he will get axed off (cross my fingers!) to ask if I am simply biased by the above mentioned reasons and I am simply not seeing anything good in Steel Rains, or I am right and he is there to just be hated?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:46 pm

Well, brushing has been going reasonably well, but things just keep coming up; it looks like we're not getting it out this weekend, either. Sorry.

On the bright side, Somber thinks that it might reach fifty pages.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:49 pm

Loud_Taffy wrote:It's so quiet in here.
Yeah, it's like that a lot now. Before the thread started producing more spam than your average Hormel plant (sorry for my role in that, by the way), it was livelier; now, it goes through stretches of activity and sedation, with the latter often happening more pronouncedly in the days before a new chapter goes up.

O. Hinds wrote:Well, brushing has been going reasonably well, but things just keep coming up; it looks like we're not getting it out this weekend, either.  Sorry.

On the bright side, Somber thinks that it might reach fifty pages.
So, slightly shorter than an average Murky chapter?

Chapter Forty One Running Thoughts:
My magic wasn’t nearly enough to stop a speeding pegasus, but that was what fingers were for.

Well, it's a step up from Applejack always using her mouth.


Rampage screwed up her face.  “Reaper is sort of a dead end career.  Don’t get me wrong: nice perks.  Arena housing.  Thugs are usually easy to come by whenever you need more hooves.  But really… it’s not exactly satisfying work,” she said as we trotted along.  “Really, it’s just Big Daddy making sure he’s got the best fighters at his beck and call and keeping the peace between the gangs.  I mean, how many cage matches can a girl do before she’s bored with it?  So we generally find other ways to pass the time.  Deus found new and clever means of buggery.  Gorgon trained radroaches to wrestle.”

It's a good point. Within that career, there isn't really anywhere to continue advancing, at least while remaining within the Reapers. And wouldn't the point of getting to the apex be that you don't really need to spend a ton of time taking care of your own needs? It kind of raises the general point of how decadence arises in ruling or conquering peoples, since, well, once there are no more worlds left to conquer, what remains to fill the time?
Oh, and I always forget about Gorgon's Wrestling Radroaches.


Besides, Big Daddy frowns on moonlighting with them.  He’s never forgiven Bulldozer for leaving us to become Taurus,” Psychoshy said irritably, and I glanced over my shoulder at the rifle slung across my bags.  “But then, he was a Highlander, and they’ve always been a bit funny.”

So, that's Taurus, not Big Daddy, who was the Highlander, right? Well, it'll probably be cleared up later.


I floated out a snack cake as we walked, holding it in the air beside me.  “Highlanders?”  The name sounded familiar.  Boo lunged forward to take bites from the cake, and I occasionally lifted it up out of her reach.  She seemed to like the game, watching for it to dip low enough for a bite.

Blackjack agrees with me that Boo is a cat.

Psychoshy watched the two of us with an angry little scowl.  Hey, if she was jealous, I’d float a cake in front of her mouth too.  Practice for me, either way.

I wish that this happened.


“Annnnnd that’s what we were mostly talking about last night.  Her wanting to kill you.  You mashing her into pony butter.  She’d be dead.  You’d be whiny and angsty.  Everypony loses,” Rampage said with a roll of her eyes.  “And I so want to avoid hearing more Blackjack whining.”
“I don’t whine,”  I muttered, flushing.
“No?”  Rampage grinned and mimicked my voice with disturbing ease.  “Oh why couldn’t I save them?  Why couldn’t I stop it?  Why can’t I do better?  Why can’t I be the saint pony of the Wasteland?  Why can’t we all just get along?  Why do I keep getting my ass blown off?  Why why why?” she moaned.
“I don’t sound like that.”  I pouted.

And this is one of the reasons I love Rampage. Still, not quite as good as the ganger with U-21 from the early chapters: “Shut up!  Do all stable ponies whine this much?  ‘Please don’t kill me, I don’t wanna die.  Please don’t rape my ass!  It hurts, don’t do that.’  Bitch bitch bitch...” a buck said sharply.
Also, good job whining about how people think that you whine, Blackjack. That's not a good time to pout.


Besides, she hates me!”
Rampage snorted as we resumed walking again. . . . “Nah.  That’s just the hurt and the hormones talking.

Not sure, but I think that this is the first time that's come up since Twist, and this seems like good placement, soon before it becomes important for Glory and Blackjack.


“An Enclave cloud terminal.  Only pegasi can touch it.  No idea what it’s doing here, though.”  I tried pressing the keys with my magic, but that too had no effect.  “I have no idea how we’re going to shut it down.”
“No idea?  I thought you were supposed to be a Reaper now,” Psychoshy snorted as she flew over the terminal.  “We smash it!”

I can only partly blame Psychoshy here. Blackjack should have thought about having her just use the terminal first. It's not like she isn't used to having a pegasus around, after all.


“Why does that little freak get to stay while I have to go?  If she stays, I stay!  I don’t…” Psychoshy began when Rampage bit her tail and dragged her out like a fluttering kite.  “Hey!  Let go!  You’re not the boss of me!”

It's kind of weird for Blackjack not to be the most petulant member of the group.


“Okay… well… something must have happened!  Somepony shot and… LittlePip defended herself!  She wouldn’t just take over a Ranger base like that without good reason,” I said as I looked at Homage.
“Wouldn’t she?  The Steel Rangers attacked her home.  They attacked Stable 29, where the Applejack’s Rangers have been gathering.  Maybe she thought that they were loyalists and were fair game,” Homage said, sniffing as she rubbed her eyes.  “The only report I’ve gotten on that attack was a distress call they sent out, saying that LittlePip demanded a water talisman.  Then it was shooting and screaming.  I’m trying to get some sort of… something to explain what she did.”

Wasn't DJ Pon3 pretty negative on the Steel Rangers? So why jump to the negative conclusion about Littlepip's role? It's not like the optics were any worse than a bunch of other things that group, or plenty of others, have done.

“I know.  I know.  I’m looking for one.  I’m looking so hard for one,” Homage said, pulling herself together as she typed more keys.  “But as bad as that was… it was nothing… nothing compared to this.”

Ah, fair.


I only had slightly inebriated knowledge of LittlePip in battle... was this how she usually fought?

Well, I guess the real fighting that night was relatively early on, and so probably before most of the gallon really hit her, or even before she drank it.


“He said there wasn’t any change in the healing potions…”  I deflated a little.  “Until Mrs. Ivy had a heart attack.  She was brought to the clinic, but he wasn’t able to save her.  Afterwards though, he checked on the potions.  He said there was a slight decrease in their potency.  He also heard something… a note.”
“Like a scream?” I asked, and Homage blinked and looked at the paper, then nodded.

And that answers one question that's been lingering.


“Well there goes the neighborhood,” Rampage sighed.  “Steel Ranger toys getting blown up.  Reapers actually having to pay!  What’s next?  Enclave actually doing something productive?  Alicorns with personality?  Sunny days?  What’s the world coming to?”

Hey, you know an alicorn with personality!


“Yup, it’s Deus and the bounty hunters all over again,” I replied with a sigh.  I watched Boo wander into the office bathroom.  Good.  She was finally figuring out where to do her business.

Since it was just recently brought up, well, it does seem that "Boo" was easily taught, if not shame with respect to bodily waste, then at least the behaviors associated with it.


“They haven’t actually gotten smart enough to verify the info... yet.  I mean, everypony knows they’ll turn over ridiculous amounts of goods for a rumor you’re out east or west or somewhere between,” Bottlecap said before she chewed her lip.  “Or else they’ve got so much they can just throw it all away for the smallest rumor.”

Well, it all depends on what the limiting factor is. If it's manpower, then this might make sense even with a low hit-ratio. Depends on what the next best option was, of course. If they would have had a good, systematic search instead, then chasing after phantom rumors and hoping one ends up right doesn't look as good.


“Bottlecap, that’s my stable!” I cried, wiping the glee off her face.  I mean really, did she honestly plan to loot my home?  That was just…  “Besides, it’s filled tight with poison gas and raider plague.”  And soon Steel Rangers as well.

Can't tell if Blackjack got to the right side or was just covering herself. Hard to sympathize too much with the "well, it's okay as long as the target isn't someplace I have sentimental attachment to."
Also, there could be other bunkers. I mean, "some kind of bunker facility up north" is pretty general.


She stared at me a moment, then gave a wan smile.  “Your life is so much more interesting than mine, Blackjack.”
“Yeah!  A life.  And I’d like to keep it.  I’ve lost one already.

That's a good line.


I’d bought Boo a fresh, plague-free apple; I doubted I’d ever trust fresh produce again myself.

So why trust it for Boo? Oh, man! What if there were raider Boo? Didn't Ryx do that at some point?


“A much better question, Psycho, is why, now that you know why Blackjack’s trotting all over the Wasteland, are you still following us?”
Psychoshy’s pupils shrunk.  “Oh fuck…”  She clutched the sides of her head, ignoring the spiked shoes dimpling her hide.  “It’s infectious, isn’t it?  That’s why all of you follow her.  She infects you with her crazy suicidal stupid thoughts and you follow her into places that you know will get you killed.”
“Well, that’s P-21’s most popular theory,” Rampage replied.  Boo stopped short, her eyes wide as her ears swiveled.  I stopped too, but I couldn’t see any bars, red or otherwise.  “Personally, I think that she’s got some kind of freaky mind control powers that constantly broadcast ‘this is a good idea’.”
“Isn’t the heroine embarking on her noble quest to save the city supposed to get a little respect?” I asked in annoyance.  The pair simply stared at me a moment, then both flopped on the ground, laughing outrageously.  “No respect at all.”  I snorted and lowered my head sullenly.

Great exchange, right there, and I don't think that's the only time Blackjack's done the Rodney Dangerfield routine.


Then she raised her head, and I saw the green face of a mare not much older than Scotch Tape.  Her eyes met mine; she wasn’t a killer.  Just some mare who’d put on the barding and the battle saddle, then strapped two carbines to it and came after my head.  She stared right at me; I gave her at least two seconds as I raised the revolvers and sighted along the barrels.
Two seconds was an eternity she let slip by.  Then I fired; the range was such that I seriously doubted I could kill her.  Not this far away with revolvers.  Then the two heavy rounds struck her cheekbones and her head vanished in a spray of red, green, and white.  All that fancy armor and weaponry thudded to the ground in a heap.
I stared at the smoking barrels and then at the heap lying at the base of the slope.  “Sorry kid,” I muttered.  She’d wanted me dead; I hadn’t wanted the same.

Reminds me of the raider kid in FoE that Calamity killed and got LP and VR all worked up over, but with some stuff switched around. More underplayed, though.


There was a boom, and I was slammed almost completely out the empty front windows of the steam shovel cab by the impact of the fifty caliber round. Then my barding started to sizzle and smoke as the incendiary round burst into flame.

Even with everything, it's hard to see her getting back up from a .50 that easily.


The mare’s eyes widened in excitement as her carbines chewed into my armor.  Until I flung both revolvers in her face.  An earth pony wouldn’t have moved; there was no way my horn could actually throw something hard enough to really injure her.  But the brown mare flinched instinctively, jerking back and spraying above my bleeding neck.

Ah, the "Superman bad guy" move. But bear in mind, just because [i]Blackjack
couldn't pull much off doesn't mean no unicorn could; Blackjack herself saw Littlepip pull off some crazy TK in the Arbu footage earlier.


I stared into her eyes, and I felt an anger building inside me.
“Why?” I asked as I stared into her wide eyes.  She grinned in anticipation.  “Why are trying to kill me?”
“I have to.  You have to die so Equestria can live!” she yelled in my face.  “It’s for Equestria’s future.  My future!  A better tomorrow!”  Maybe it was what I’d seen LittlePip do.  Maybe it was the fact that I kept trying to help ponies who tried to kill me.  It was probably the knife that had found a gap in my armor’s side and was working its way between the ceramic plates.
I was sick of being a good pony.
“You don’t get a tomorrow!” I shouted as I kicked out with all four legs, sending her flying as my horn glowed.

It's been gone for a while, perhaps justified by the focus being on helping Scotch and not having many real people around as antagonists, but the hair trigger anger we were starting to see as the group followed Sanguine's rampage is back as we lead up to "Reaper."


“I believe he also included the words ‘you featherbrained nincompoop’ ” Archibald said.
Splendid’s eye twitched a little.  “Why yes, Archibald.  I think he did say that.  How silly of me to omit it.  Whatever was I thinking?”
“I think you were trying to improve your reproductive odds with Blackjack,” Archibald said.  “I’m fairly sure that you were going to offer blatant and obvious praise of her appearance, ability, or intellect next.”  I couldn’t help but smile in amusement as one of Splendid’s perfectly groomed hairs popped free.  “Perhaps you’ll suggest some sort of classically romantic venue back in Elysium-“
“Thank you, Archibald!” Splendid said sharply as he whirled on the buck, his lips pulled in a tight grimace.

Well, there are worse hobbies than tweaking the royals, I guess. Of course, if Archie were more perceptive, he probably would have notices Splendid had already backed off after Blackjack's initial response wasn't at all receptive.


The yellow earth pony inside the bathroom jumped to her hooves and spun around to face me.  Her orange mane was a bit straggly, but not really messy.  She looked like a pony not long out in the Wasteland.  She wore bulky, reinforced leather armor and a respirator, and a camera hung around her neck.  She cupped a leather bag in her hooves.  “Don’t shoot!” she shouted in a drawling accent as she raised her hooves defensively.

Call me Chicken… everypony does,”

Otherwise they’ll never believe me back in Appleloosa!

Somepony down there mentioned there was some kind of flesh eatin’ plague too.

“Not them there Volunteer Corps?  They seemed like friendly sorts back in Flank, with good, cheap food.  You don’t believe them there tales that they’re behind that plague?  I hear anypony with feathers can’t catch it.

“Not if Operative Lighthooves has anything to say about it,” I muttered, and she widened her eyes even more in baffled shock.

I didn't read this as closely the first time around, and missed a bunch of the signs. Whoever assigned Chicken this job wasn't expecting anyone to be asking questions. Also, you don't eat the prolefeed!


“I thought you could just mix up some sort of chem cure and woosh, all better!” I said with a hopeful grin.  She just gave me one of those patient smiles that said she didn’t want to call me stupid.

In fairness, this conversation did already happen last chapter.


“Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy tale, Blackjack.  You can’t just trot up, give a doctor a hundred caps, have them wave a magic wand, and be all better.  Now, if it was a recent addiction, sure, I could do something to reduce the physical effects, but he’s been on Med-X for so long that his body doesn’t know how to function without it.  I could flush every trace of the chem from his body right now.  Unfortunately, it’d probably kill him.”
“And that would be bad,” I said softly.

Almost surprised Blackjack doesn't think back to the thing with Littlepip and how it tied in to addiction.


I gaped at my own reflection.  Where before my face had been a mangled mess of meat and metal, there was now a smooth white sheet of unblemished, scar-free hide.  I stared, pulling at my cheek.  Never before had I appreciated looking like a pony.  Maybe it was vanity, but as I stared I felt a great weight lift.

This feels a little off because Blackjack did have feelings along these lines while her body was breaking down on the road to the naval base, but was fixed up cosmetically with her reconstruction. Maybe before it was just about appreciating what she had had, and immediately after coming back from the dead she was too preoccupied with other things, but it still doesn't seem like this should be a wholly novel emotion.


“Only a week?  A whole week?!” I said as I jumped to my hooves.  “Are you serious?  I can’t just take a week off.”  I started pacing back and forth.  “Do LittlePip and her friends take a week time out?  Does the Stable Dweller?  No!  I know where I have to go next, and we can’t just…”
“Blackjack,” P-21 said softly, making me freeze.  I slowly looked at him and his tired, pained smile.  “I can’t keep up with you anymore.  I’m sorry.  I wish I could, but I can’t.”  He turned and stretched out a trembling hoof, resting it on the arm of Scotch’s wheelchair.  The green filly reached out and hugged his leg between her hooves.  “I want to spend some time with my daughter.  I need a few days where I’m not being shot at.”
I felt sick as I looked at him.  “Come on, P-21... I... You know we can do it.  We took on Hippocratic Research and got out alive.  We can’t just... stop...”

Now, of course this hasn't really come up yet since Tenpony, when Blackjack went out with Littlepip, but it makes sense since the whole time they've been back in Hoofington she's had to do things right now. But now that's changed, and her friends can't keep up, and Blackjack can't just stop. Like the explosive anger earlier, her drive to always be moving is back.
P-21's delivery is pretty good here, too.


“I just do.  I cut out the Mint-als for a few hours.  I close my eyes and try and push everything away and imagine a big, tangled knot.  Then I slowly unravel it.  Eventually, my brain just kicks over.”  She sighed and rubbed her mane.  “It’s a little bit scary.  Sometimes, I have dreams that make no sense… and sometimes I’m scared that when I wake up, I won’t be… me.  But the alternative is a bloody beast.”  She smiled and shrugged.

Well, interesting to know how she does it, and why she doesn't want to.


“Blackjack?  What are you doing?” Lacunae asked softly as she trotted into the storeroom where we’d found Nurse Redheart.  I had arranged the five figurines in front of me, set out little paper cups in front of them, and then poured them each a drink.  Since they couldn’t drink, I was drinking for them.  Their normally bright and happy faces looked oddly sad for some reason.

Basic, but great image and especially narration.


I tried to clear my brain of everything in it, but it was like trying to stop sand with my hooves.  I’d just treated all of Twilight’s friends like toys.
“I’m sorry, Twilight.  I’m sorry,” I murmured quietly into her chest, listening to her slow and steady heart.

Beautiful end to the scene, especially with the Lacunae/Twilight connection.


The purple alicorn did comment on the anti-machine rifle I’d picked up, though.  Her magic lifted the gun effortlessly, and she smiled as she sighted through the scope.  “Wonderful high caliber weapon.  A bit too much for sniping, though; the accuracy falls off after a thousand yards.”  She worked the slide and smiled in satisfaction, loading a magazine.  The size of the weapon and the fact she could handle it at all with just her horn reminded me of LittlePip.

And followed up with Psalm showing through.


“We split up,” I said softly.
“I’m going to have to file that under ‘really bad idea’, Blackjack,” Rampage snorted.
“Look… they’re after me, right?” I asked as I whirled on them.  Having a threat helped me focus and pull my head together.  “If they see me leave with you, then they’re going to attack us sooner or later.  But if they see me trot off east and you go south, who are they going to follow?”
“You want them to chase you?”  Glory gaped and I felt myself grinning.
“Sure!  I’m the one with the robolegs, remember?  I’ll lead them away from you till you’re all recovered.  They’ll get tired long before I do,” I said as the plan came together.
“You should still take Flutternut and me with you,” Rampage said as she looked at me.
“I don’t want the Harbingers getting the idea of taking hostages.  I need you with them.  I know they’ll be safe with you, Rampage.”  And I was faster than the steel-clad mare.
“Well then, take Psychoshy, at least,” she pressed.  The yellow pegasus grinned wickedly at that suggestion.  I gave Rampage a slightly sardonic look, and she sighed.  “Okay, maybe not…”
“I need to be sure that you’re all safe.  This way, they’ll be chasing me, and then later we’ll meet up,” I said as my thoughts oriented from the dread of sitting around to the plan of action.

The jump back to something resembling normality for Blackjack's mental state is pretty apparent. However, there are little bits in the narration that indicate how she might be trying to separate herself from everyone else, and not just to protect them. Like how she's faster than Rampage, when that really doesn't matter that much. The grinning, too, and the "plan coming together" is ambiguous enough to mean her plan to keep moving even as her friends need calm.
Only downside for me is that the "thoughts oriented from . . . " came too late for my taste, after the details of the plan and justifications had already been set out.


“Yeah, I guess it is,” I said with a smile.  I wonder what Scoodle would think of the ‘stable pony’ now?  I turned to her and gave her a hug.  “I’m sorry for what I did with your friends.”
“I’m sorry too,” she replied, stroking a wingtip along my cheek.
“For what?” I asked.  For the Goddess being a tool?  For not being able to help the craziest pony in Equestria?  But she just smiled sadly and shook her head.

Ah, the apology for Psalm's memories. I think this is an early indication of Lacunae's role in making Blackjack worse.


From the author's note:
Also, more specifically... at this point PH is longer than the original FoE.  It’s well on its way towards being a bajillion pages long.  Is this story taking too long.  Should I just wind it up and have it done with?  Once I break 1.1M words, we’re getting into Harry Potter territory... like... all of Harry Potter.  So I just want to know if things are dragging or not.  Anywho, I hope you enjoy the story... dragging terribleness or not.
Note the use of "once I break," not "if I break."  Spike 
Chapter Forty One Overall Thoughts:
This one starts out farily slice-of-lifey, with BJ, Rampage, and Psychoshy heading to Megamart. There's some nice dialog, showing how nicely the two Reapers play off of each other. It does a bit of world building in showing how the Reapers don't really have much going on and need to find other ways to fill their time. Gorgon's wrestling radroaches, Psychoshy helping out Sanguine, that sort of thing. It also establishes, I think, the Highlanders as tough and insular, and the perception of them as sort of hickish ("inbred" was used, and it was said that either they preferred after the bombs fell or just never noticed). Taurus was identified as one.

This was a lead-in to a conversation with Homage, in which Homage reveals the battle of Bucklyn Cross and the slaughter of Arbu. She is really broken up over both, particularly the latter, and doesn't know what to do, particularly wanting to avoid knowing the truth since it could reveal Littlepip to have snapped or fallen. Naturally, Blackjack is appalled, but hopes that the truth will vindicate Littlepip, and insists that Homage must spread the truth, no matter how much it hurts. She also assures Homage that if need be, she will come back, join up with the Stable Dweller, and bring Littlepip in. The audio feed is cut before Homage can tell her that Littlepip is the Stable Dweller, because while heroes can die, running gags are eternal. During this time, Blackjack (Psychoshy) has restored functionality to the optics in the Hoofington MASEBS tower, which was interfered with by an Enclave cloud computer.

Then, Megamart. Drama over Psychoshy due to her role in Sanguine's attack on the store is quickly diffused by Blackjack saying she's with her and has caps to trade (also, trade saving the Wasteland and all that and a lie that Psycho was just a hired merc for Sanguine), somewhat to Psycho's chagrin since she's so used to not needing to pay at Megamart. That policy's over, since Big Daddy can no longer guarantee safety and stability. Information about the Harbingers, how well-equipped they are and how their ranks are growing, and how much they want Blackjack, reinforcing the fact that the three had been chased by some Harbingers earlier.

There's a fight scene with the Harbingers, which includes two kills that pretty strongly contrast. The first is a child that she tries to basically give a warning/wounding shot, but whose head she ended up blowing off because Duty and Sacrifice are just that much better than your normal pistols. Here, she basically thinks, well, it's short enough to just quote:
I stared at the smoking barrels and then at the heap lying at the base of the slope.  “Sorry kid,” I muttered.  She’d wanted me dead; I hadn’t wanted the same.
This one sort of rhymed with the child raider that Calamity killed in FoE, shocking the delicate sensibilities of his stable-dwelling companions. Blackjack's muted reaction seems strange, but I guess it's partly based on the fact that she did try not to resort to lethal force, which just didn't work out that way.
The other was an adult, the last of the Harbinger Seekers in the battle, whose face was torn apart by a grenade Blackjack whose pin Blackjack had pulled before the mare was ready to throw it. Here, she started along the mercy kill route, but of course couldn't follow through, and wound up trying to save her with a healing potion to give her another chance to do better, and ends up relatively broken up afterward. Rampage is used to this, where Psycho thinks it's crazy. Notably, all this was immediately following and instance of and with respect to the person who brought out the hair-trigger anger that Blackjack had been experiencing while following the tracks of Sanguine's rampage when he was trying to draw her out. This was a nice transition from her more sedate last chapter and her problem-focusedness ever since the poison joke happened and the last portion of the chapter.

Back at the FMC, there's some stuff with Splendid and Archie, the guy from the Collegiate, which mostly serves as comedy in the vein of the ongoing Rampage/Psycho interactions. Then comes Chicken, the Enclave spy who isn't very good at hiding it and is lucky it was Blackjack who caught her searching for Rainbow Dash, since anyone else would probably have seen through her easily.

But then we come to what I thought was the real highlight of the chapter: Blackjack's reunion with Glory, P-21, Scotch, and Lacunae through when they leave the next day. Scotch has a postoperative infection but will probably get over it. P-21 is in bad shape but is at least happier now that he's normalized his relationship with Scotch. But what stole the show was Blackjack's growing hysteria. Interestingly, but perhaps appropriately, it began not in narration but in dialog: the trigger was the others telling her that they need to recover for a week or so. Blackjack can't handle this, and starts freaking out to such a degree that Glory asks when she's last slept, with the answer being "not since I was dead." Blackjack can't handle staying in one place anymore, and fears losing herself to dreams of other ponies' lives and indeed death itself should she ever sleep. This is all done with a frantic, frenetic tone only ever silenced when Blackjack forces herself to be still to comfort Glory or Lacunae. Lacunae's part happens after Glory's is over and a short talk with Rampage about sleep—Rampage doesn't need it physically, but the last time she tried to go without, twenty years ago, she became a full-on bloodthirsty monster, the recurrence of which she now holds as worse than the prospect of waking up as someone else—and begins as Blackjack's gone full "Party of One" with the figurines she has. It's short, in fact, probably shorter than the scene from the episode, but does capture something of the feel. After the party's over, Blackjack begs for Lacunae's help, but is rebuffed: the Goddess no longer wants to help her, and unconsciousness isn't sleep. Blackjack suddenly feels an empathy for the Goddess, understanding why she dumped her doubts and guilt and anxiety into Lacunae, as she wishes Lacunae could take some of her away. But it is not to be, and Lacunae apologizes a second time—presumably for offloading Psalm's memories onto her, but Blackjack thought it was for being unable to help—and Blackjack apologizes to Twilight for treating her friends like toys.

The very end is when they leave the hospital, and split up so the Harbingers follow Blackjack rather than the rest. It's another good scene, and plays to the opposite side of the coin of Blackjack's crazy: here, she goes from hysterical relatively in control as she's given a physical problem to deal with and incidentally uses it as an excuse to get away from everyone else—this comes through to a small extent in Blackjack's dialog, but more so in some of the subtext of her narration and expressions—since although there's no doubt she loves them, she just can't handle being held back by them at this point; frankly, if she were less cyborg, she probably would have had a stroke in the night. Nobody is really happy with the plan but her and maybe Psychoshy, but it happens all the same. Details are planned out, Psychoshy is a hilarious bitch, and some nice goodbyes are said, and we're off to "Reaper."

Overall, an engaging chapter. I don't think that there was all that much that was especially revelatory in it, especially as there wasn't too much in terms of plot plot happening apart from setup and the character scenes were more vivid than developmental, but the combination of comedy, worldbuilding, and during the Homage scene and at the end the relation of emotional state meant there was almost always something worthwhile going on. The weak points included the overrapid diffusion of tension at Megamart, the fact that I don't like Homage,getting hit in the chest with a .50 caliber incendiary round fired from a sniper rifle barely slowing Blackjack down, and possibly the reiteration of the time and effort it will take for P-21 to recover from his Med-X addiction—though this last could be interpreted as a side effect of Blackjack's growing mania, in that the conversation the day before may have slipped her mind. It might also have been nice if during the discussion of Arbu with Homage Blackjack had thought about how she had pressed Littlepip to use PTMs while she was in Manehattan, given her new understanding of how addiction affects people, and especially since she specifically thought of Littlepip being on a ton of Stampede as a potential explanation. On the other hand, given Glory's later position that “Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy tale, Blackjack.  You can’t just trot up, give a doctor a hundred caps, have them wave a magic wand, and be all better.  Now, if it was a recent addiction, sure, I could do something to reduce the physical effects . . . " and how things played out with respect to the PTM addiction in FoE, I can understand not wanting to draw too much attention to it so close to P-21's being an important plot point.
Chapter Forty One Editing:
“Yeah, that was it.”  Rampage said as she rolled her eyes.

quotation should end with comma, not period, and should be followed by only one space


Reaper is sort of a dead end career.

I think that, when used as an adjective, "dead end" is hyphenated.


to wait to find out which way they were going. They were close

only one space after the period


We reached the landing where weeks ago I’d smashed off Roses’ horn trying to free some slaves,

"Roses's"


she put a good battery in her saddlebags. Really, what was it with
with the black towers. Another showed several
be sure from this distance. There were a number of ponies

only one space after the period


The rangers had clear numbers on their side,

I think "rangers" should be capitalized


few agonizing seconds. Then she lay still

only one space after the period


“Ah… yeah… Um… Blackjack?”

Should have two spaces after second ellipsis, or not capitalize "Um."


crowd to tackle Psychoshy. The pegasus

only one space after period


me and now you shoot me? I thought this was a place

only one space after the question mark


‘Hoofington Rises?’

Question mark to outside of quotation marks.


My eyes finally locked on a green X north of Paradise marked ‘Meatlocker.’  It was drawn over a square labeled ‘Hoofington General Hospital.’  And just north of that?  ‘Hightower Jail.’

periods to outside of quotation marks?


it’s not a little ‘jail,’ but a

comma to outside of quotation marks


Today it’s a huge feral ghoul nest.

comma after "today"


Am I going to become ‘a cyber ghoul unicorn Reaper what the fuck?’!

question mark to outside of quotation marks?


I’d tried to tune into the radio show, but s

"tune in to"


stayed back from the striped young mare. Still, she spoke in zebra for

only one space after period, I think "zebra" should be capitalized since it's the name of a language


Psychoshy mouthed the words ‘screaming room.’

period to outside of quotation marks


and slapped it on her foreleg. “Mmm… Ragey

only one space after period, should have second space after ellipsis or not capitalize "Ragey"


I drew back. Every now and then,
fifty caliber round. Then my barding

only one space after period


as I slowly lay her down again.

"laid"


“I believe he also included the words ‘you featherbrained nincompoop’ ” Archibald said.

comma between single and double quotation marks


classically romantic venue back in Elysium-“

second hyphen for dash


“Just a momento… Otherwise they’ll never

should have second space after ellipsis ("momento" is the accent, right?)


I frowned after her, then looked around the hospital room. Even if none of the supplies
I’ll be fine. If Glory can

only one space after period


“Scotch Tape and P-21 are both looking at several days recovery in a non-enervated environment.

"days' "


Come on, P-21... I... You know we can do it.

second space after second ellipsis or "You" shouldn't be capitalized


“Even I could do with a few days recuperation,”

"days' "


I am miss Blackjack the cyberpony and I don’t need to sleep.

"miss" should be capitalized


I frowned too, extended my fingers, took out Taurus’ rifle, and looked through its scope.

"Taurus's"


“She wrote ‘Security’…” Lacunae said softly, “Only she left out the ‘I’.”

should the I not be capitalized, since it's not the word "I"?


“Yeah, I guess it is,” I said with a smile.  I wonder what Scoodle would think of the ‘stable pony’ now?  I turned to her and gave her a hug.  “I’m sorry for what I did with your friends.”

"wonder" to "wondered"?


The fat, swollen clouds overhead rumbled low and deep; the heat and damp pressing down.  As if some great stratospheric beast’s stomach growled in anticipation of the impending chase.

I suggest a reordering, as the sound is separated from the simile made about it by the description of the temperature and humidity: The heat and damp pressed down; the fat, swollen clouds overhead rumbled low and deep, as if some great stratospheric beast's stomach growled in anticipation of the impending chase.


I looked back at the hill and saw every set of eyes locked onto me.

"locked on to," I think
Other Chapter Editing:
40:
“You. Did. What?!”

Should have two spaces after each period.


‘Equestian Legal Statutes’, ‘History of the Law’, and a dozen files sat in stacks.

"Equestrian"


46:
There were some dead end storage rooms full of some useful salvage, but no way out.

I think that, when used as an adjective, "dead end" is hyphenated.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:11 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Well, brushing has been going reasonably well, but things just keep coming up; it looks like we're not getting it out this weekend, either.  Sorry.

On the bright side, Somber thinks that it might reach fifty pages.
So, did anything happen between you and Bronode after Somber and I left?  Spike 

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:58 am

Hey guys, I think BJ just got a new ball gown...
For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils spoilers:

Borsuq wrote:Most villains have some redeeming qualities that make them relatable, or at least something that makes them worth some form of respect. Sometimes villains are even the most interesting characters to read about. But Steel Rain... does he have any good qualities, and I am just not seeing them? The only instance where he had something that could make me like him was at his introduction when he came to Stronghoof's rescue... and then I began to dislike him like half a page later.
Steel Rain strikes me as someone with good ideals, but he's completely off base as to how to get there. He's been seduced by Cognitum's promises of peace through technology and superior firepower, though he seems to be regretting that by now. And worse, he's a pragmatist; unlike Stronghoof, he lacks a sense of honor that would prevent him from doing a little evil for the greater good.

But I think he really does want the best for the Wasteland. It's just that as a Steel Ranger, presumably from birth, he tends to think that every problem looks like three inches of case-hardened steel. He seems to take the idea of "better life for ponykind" seriously, but like most Rangers, he tends to look down on Wastelanders as violent barbarians (which isn't entirely incorrect...) who need to be swept aside to make the land safe rather than the very ponies who need to be taught a better way of life.

I think he's capable of enlightenment, if he chose to take off the blood-colored glasses he's wearing, but I don't think he's going to. Even if you took him for a walk down the middle of Chapel, with everypony working together and living in peace, he would still sneer at it as a bunch of ramshackle huts just waiting for a raider band rather than a group of good ponies doing the best they can with what little they have.

That's the impression I get from him, anyway.

swicked wrote:So, did anything happen between you and Bronode after Somber and I left?  Spike
Bow chicka bow wow?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:47 am

Icy Shake wrote:
Loud_Taffy wrote:It's so quiet in here.
Yeah, it's like that a lot now. Before the thread started producing more spam than your average Hormel plant (sorry for my role in that, by the way), it was livelier; now, it goes through stretches of activity and sedation, with the latter often happening more pronouncedly in the days before a new chapter goes up.

O. Hinds wrote:Well, brushing has been going reasonably well, but things just keep coming up; it looks like we're not getting it out this weekend, either.  Sorry.

On the bright side, Somber thinks that it might reach fifty pages.
So, slightly shorter than an average Murky chapter?

Chapter Forty One Running Thoughts:
My magic wasn’t nearly enough to stop a speeding pegasus, but that was what fingers were for.

Well, it's a step up from Applejack always using her mouth.


Rampage screwed up her face.  “Reaper is sort of a dead end career.  Don’t get me wrong: nice perks.  Arena housing.  Thugs are usually easy to come by whenever you need more hooves.  But really… it’s not exactly satisfying work,” she said as we trotted along.  “Really, it’s just Big Daddy making sure he’s got the best fighters at his beck and call and keeping the peace between the gangs.  I mean, how many cage matches can a girl do before she’s bored with it?  So we generally find other ways to pass the time.  Deus found new and clever means of buggery.  Gorgon trained radroaches to wrestle.”

It's a good point. Within that career, there isn't really anywhere to continue advancing, at least while remaining within the Reapers. And wouldn't the point of getting to the apex be that you don't really need to spend a ton of time taking care of your own needs? It kind of raises the general point of how decadence arises in ruling or conquering peoples, since, well, once there are no more worlds left to conquer, what remains to fill the time?
Oh, and I always forget about Gorgon's Wrestling Radroaches.


Besides, Big Daddy frowns on moonlighting with them.  He’s never forgiven Bulldozer for leaving us to become Taurus,” Psychoshy said irritably, and I glanced over my shoulder at the rifle slung across my bags.  “But then, he was a Highlander, and they’ve always been a bit funny.”

So, that's Taurus, not Big Daddy, who was the Highlander, right? Well, it'll probably be cleared up later.


I floated out a snack cake as we walked, holding it in the air beside me.  “Highlanders?”  The name sounded familiar.  Boo lunged forward to take bites from the cake, and I occasionally lifted it up out of her reach.  She seemed to like the game, watching for it to dip low enough for a bite.

Blackjack agrees with me that Boo is a cat.

Psychoshy watched the two of us with an angry little scowl.  Hey, if she was jealous, I’d float a cake in front of her mouth too.  Practice for me, either way.

I wish that this happened.


“Annnnnd that’s what we were mostly talking about last night.  Her wanting to kill you.  You mashing her into pony butter.  She’d be dead.  You’d be whiny and angsty.  Everypony loses,” Rampage said with a roll of her eyes.  “And I so want to avoid hearing more Blackjack whining.”
“I don’t whine,”  I muttered, flushing.
“No?”  Rampage grinned and mimicked my voice with disturbing ease.  “Oh why couldn’t I save them?  Why couldn’t I stop it?  Why can’t I do better?  Why can’t I be the saint pony of the Wasteland?  Why can’t we all just get along?  Why do I keep getting my ass blown off?  Why why why?” she moaned.
“I don’t sound like that.”  I pouted.

And this is one of the reasons I love Rampage. Still, not quite as good as the ganger with U-21 from the early chapters: “Shut up!  Do all stable ponies whine this much?  ‘Please don’t kill me, I don’t wanna die.  Please don’t rape my ass!  It hurts, don’t do that.’  Bitch bitch bitch...” a buck said sharply.
Also, good job whining about how people think that you whine, Blackjack. That's not a good time to pout.


Besides, she hates me!”
Rampage snorted as we resumed walking again. . . . “Nah.  That’s just the hurt and the hormones talking.

Not sure, but I think that this is the first time that's come up since Twist, and this seems like good placement, soon before it becomes important for Glory and Blackjack.


“An Enclave cloud terminal.  Only pegasi can touch it.  No idea what it’s doing here, though.”  I tried pressing the keys with my magic, but that too had no effect.  “I have no idea how we’re going to shut it down.”
“No idea?  I thought you were supposed to be a Reaper now,” Psychoshy snorted as she flew over the terminal.  “We smash it!”

I can only partly blame Psychoshy here. Blackjack should have thought about having her just use the terminal first. It's not like she isn't used to having a pegasus around, after all.


“Why does that little freak get to stay while I have to go?  If she stays, I stay!  I don’t…” Psychoshy began when Rampage bit her tail and dragged her out like a fluttering kite.  “Hey!  Let go!  You’re not the boss of me!”

It's kind of weird for Blackjack not to be the most petulant member of the group.


“Okay… well… something must have happened!  Somepony shot and… LittlePip defended herself!  She wouldn’t just take over a Ranger base like that without good reason,” I said as I looked at Homage.
“Wouldn’t she?  The Steel Rangers attacked her home.  They attacked Stable 29, where the Applejack’s Rangers have been gathering.  Maybe she thought that they were loyalists and were fair game,” Homage said, sniffing as she rubbed her eyes.  “The only report I’ve gotten on that attack was a distress call they sent out, saying that LittlePip demanded a water talisman.  Then it was shooting and screaming.  I’m trying to get some sort of… something to explain what she did.”

Wasn't DJ Pon3 pretty negative on the Steel Rangers? So why jump to the negative conclusion about Littlepip's role? It's not like the optics were any worse than a bunch of other things that group, or plenty of others, have done.

“I know.  I know.  I’m looking for one.  I’m looking so hard for one,” Homage said, pulling herself together as she typed more keys.  “But as bad as that was… it was nothing… nothing compared to this.”

Ah, fair.


I only had slightly inebriated knowledge of LittlePip in battle... was this how she usually fought?

Well, I guess the real fighting that night was relatively early on, and so probably before most of the gallon really hit her, or even before she drank it.


“He said there wasn’t any change in the healing potions…”  I deflated a little.  “Until Mrs. Ivy had a heart attack.  She was brought to the clinic, but he wasn’t able to save her.  Afterwards though, he checked on the potions.  He said there was a slight decrease in their potency.  He also heard something… a note.”
“Like a scream?” I asked, and Homage blinked and looked at the paper, then nodded.

And that answers one question that's been lingering.


“Well there goes the neighborhood,” Rampage sighed.  “Steel Ranger toys getting blown up.  Reapers actually having to pay!  What’s next?  Enclave actually doing something productive?  Alicorns with personality?  Sunny days?  What’s the world coming to?”

Hey, you know an alicorn with personality!


“Yup, it’s Deus and the bounty hunters all over again,” I replied with a sigh.  I watched Boo wander into the office bathroom.  Good.  She was finally figuring out where to do her business.

Since it was just recently brought up, well, it does seem that "Boo" was easily taught, if not shame with respect to bodily waste, then at least the behaviors associated with it.


“They haven’t actually gotten smart enough to verify the info... yet.  I mean, everypony knows they’ll turn over ridiculous amounts of goods for a rumor you’re out east or west or somewhere between,” Bottlecap said before she chewed her lip.  “Or else they’ve got so much they can just throw it all away for the smallest rumor.”

Well, it all depends on what the limiting factor is. If it's manpower, then this might make sense even with a low hit-ratio. Depends on what the next best option was, of course. If they would have had a good, systematic search instead, then chasing after phantom rumors and hoping one ends up right doesn't look as good.


“Bottlecap, that’s my stable!” I cried, wiping the glee off her face.  I mean really, did she honestly plan to loot my home?  That was just…  “Besides, it’s filled tight with poison gas and raider plague.”  And soon Steel Rangers as well.

Can't tell if Blackjack got to the right side or was just covering herself. Hard to sympathize too much with the "well, it's okay as long as the target isn't someplace I have sentimental attachment to."
Also, there could be other bunkers. I mean, "some kind of bunker facility up north" is pretty general.


She stared at me a moment, then gave a wan smile.  “Your life is so much more interesting than mine, Blackjack.”
“Yeah!  A life.  And I’d like to keep it.  I’ve lost one already.

That's a good line.


I’d bought Boo a fresh, plague-free apple; I doubted I’d ever trust fresh produce again myself.

So why trust it for Boo? Oh, man! What if there were raider Boo? Didn't Ryx do that at some point?


“A much better question, Psycho, is why, now that you know why Blackjack’s trotting all over the Wasteland, are you still following us?”
Psychoshy’s pupils shrunk.  “Oh fuck…”  She clutched the sides of her head, ignoring the spiked shoes dimpling her hide.  “It’s infectious, isn’t it?  That’s why all of you follow her.  She infects you with her crazy suicidal stupid thoughts and you follow her into places that you know will get you killed.”
“Well, that’s P-21’s most popular theory,” Rampage replied.  Boo stopped short, her eyes wide as her ears swiveled.  I stopped too, but I couldn’t see any bars, red or otherwise.  “Personally, I think that she’s got some kind of freaky mind control powers that constantly broadcast ‘this is a good idea’.”
“Isn’t the heroine embarking on her noble quest to save the city supposed to get a little respect?” I asked in annoyance.  The pair simply stared at me a moment, then both flopped on the ground, laughing outrageously.  “No respect at all.”  I snorted and lowered my head sullenly.

Great exchange, right there, and I don't think that's the only time Blackjack's done the Rodney Dangerfield routine.


Then she raised her head, and I saw the green face of a mare not much older than Scotch Tape.  Her eyes met mine; she wasn’t a killer.  Just some mare who’d put on the barding and the battle saddle, then strapped two carbines to it and came after my head.  She stared right at me; I gave her at least two seconds as I raised the revolvers and sighted along the barrels.
Two seconds was an eternity she let slip by.  Then I fired; the range was such that I seriously doubted I could kill her.  Not this far away with revolvers.  Then the two heavy rounds struck her cheekbones and her head vanished in a spray of red, green, and white.  All that fancy armor and weaponry thudded to the ground in a heap.
I stared at the smoking barrels and then at the heap lying at the base of the slope.  “Sorry kid,” I muttered.  She’d wanted me dead; I hadn’t wanted the same.

Reminds me of the raider kid in FoE that Calamity killed and got LP and VR all worked up over, but with some stuff switched around. More underplayed, though.


There was a boom, and I was slammed almost completely out the empty front windows of the steam shovel cab by the impact of the fifty caliber round. Then my barding started to sizzle and smoke as the incendiary round burst into flame.

Even with everything, it's hard to see her getting back up from a .50 that easily.


The mare’s eyes widened in excitement as her carbines chewed into my armor.  Until I flung both revolvers in her face.  An earth pony wouldn’t have moved; there was no way my horn could actually throw something hard enough to really injure her.  But the brown mare flinched instinctively, jerking back and spraying above my bleeding neck.

Ah, the "Superman bad guy" move. But bear in mind, just because Blackjack couldn't pull much off doesn't mean no unicorn could; Blackjack herself saw Littlepip pull off some crazy TK in the Arbu footage earlier.


I stared into her eyes, and I felt an anger building inside me.
“Why?” I asked as I stared into her wide eyes.  She grinned in anticipation.  “Why are trying to kill me?”
“I have to.  You have to die so Equestria can live!” she yelled in my face.  “It’s for Equestria’s future.  My future!  A better tomorrow!”  Maybe it was what I’d seen LittlePip do.  Maybe it was the fact that I kept trying to help ponies who tried to kill me.  It was probably the knife that had found a gap in my armor’s side and was working its way between the ceramic plates.
I was sick of being a good pony.
“You don’t get a tomorrow!” I shouted as I kicked out with all four legs, sending her flying as my horn glowed.

It's been gone for a while, perhaps justified by the focus being on helping Scotch and not having many real people around as antagonists, but the hair trigger anger we were starting to see as the group followed Sanguine's rampage is back as we lead up to "Reaper."


“I believe he also included the words ‘you featherbrained nincompoop’ ” Archibald said.
Splendid’s eye twitched a little.  “Why yes, Archibald.  I think he did say that.  How silly of me to omit it.  Whatever was I thinking?”
“I think you were trying to improve your reproductive odds with Blackjack,” Archibald said.  “I’m fairly sure that you were going to offer blatant and obvious praise of her appearance, ability, or intellect next.”  I couldn’t help but smile in amusement as one of Splendid’s perfectly groomed hairs popped free.  “Perhaps you’ll suggest some sort of classically romantic venue back in Elysium-“
“Thank you, Archibald!” Splendid said sharply as he whirled on the buck, his lips pulled in a tight grimace.

Well, there are worse hobbies than tweaking the royals, I guess. Of course, if Archie were more perceptive, he probably would have notices Splendid had already backed off after Blackjack's initial response wasn't at all receptive.


The yellow earth pony inside the bathroom jumped to her hooves and spun around to face me.  Her orange mane was a bit straggly, but not really messy.  She looked like a pony not long out in the Wasteland.  She wore bulky, reinforced leather armor and a respirator, and a camera hung around her neck.  She cupped a leather bag in her hooves.  “Don’t shoot!” she shouted in a drawling accent as she raised her hooves defensively.

Call me Chicken… everypony does,”

Otherwise they’ll never believe me back in Appleloosa!

Somepony down there mentioned there was some kind of flesh eatin’ plague too.

“Not them there Volunteer Corps?  They seemed like friendly sorts back in Flank, with good, cheap food.  You don’t believe them there tales that they’re behind that plague?  I hear anypony with feathers can’t catch it.

“Not if Operative Lighthooves has anything to say about it,” I muttered, and she widened her eyes even more in baffled shock.

I didn't read this as closely the first time around, and missed a bunch of the signs. Whoever assigned Chicken this job wasn't expecting anyone to be asking questions. Also, you don't eat the prolefeed!


“I thought you could just mix up some sort of chem cure and woosh, all better!” I said with a hopeful grin.  She just gave me one of those patient smiles that said she didn’t want to call me stupid.

In fairness, this conversation did already happen last chapter.


“Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy tale, Blackjack.  You can’t just trot up, give a doctor a hundred caps, have them wave a magic wand, and be all better.  Now, if it was a recent addiction, sure, I could do something to reduce the physical effects, but he’s been on Med-X for so long that his body doesn’t know how to function without it.  I could flush every trace of the chem from his body right now.  Unfortunately, it’d probably kill him.”
“And that would be bad,” I said softly.

Almost surprised Blackjack doesn't think back to the thing with Littlepip and how it tied in to addiction.


I gaped at my own reflection.  Where before my face had been a mangled mess of meat and metal, there was now a smooth white sheet of unblemished, scar-free hide.  I stared, pulling at my cheek.  Never before had I appreciated looking like a pony.  Maybe it was vanity, but as I stared I felt a great weight lift.

This feels a little off because Blackjack did have feelings along these lines while her body was breaking down on the road to the naval base, but was fixed up cosmetically with her reconstruction. Maybe before it was just about appreciating what she had had, and immediately after coming back from the dead she was too preoccupied with other things, but it still doesn't seem like this should be a wholly novel emotion.


“Only a week?  A whole week?!” I said as I jumped to my hooves.  “Are you serious?  I can’t just take a week off.”  I started pacing back and forth.  “Do LittlePip and her friends take a week time out?  Does the Stable Dweller?  No!  I know where I have to go next, and we can’t just…”
“Blackjack,” P-21 said softly, making me freeze.  I slowly looked at him and his tired, pained smile.  “I can’t keep up with you anymore.  I’m sorry.  I wish I could, but I can’t.”  He turned and stretched out a trembling hoof, resting it on the arm of Scotch’s wheelchair.  The green filly reached out and hugged his leg between her hooves.  “I want to spend some time with my daughter.  I need a few days where I’m not being shot at.”
I felt sick as I looked at him.  “Come on, P-21... I... You know we can do it.  We took on Hippocratic Research and got out alive.  We can’t just... stop...”

Now, of course this hasn't really come up yet since Tenpony, when Blackjack went out with Littlepip, but it makes sense since the whole time they've been back in Hoofington she's had to do things right now. But now that's changed, and her friends can't keep up, and Blackjack can't just stop. Like the explosive anger earlier, her drive to always be moving is back.
P-21's delivery is pretty good here, too.


“I just do.  I cut out the Mint-als for a few hours.  I close my eyes and try and push everything away and imagine a big, tangled knot.  Then I slowly unravel it.  Eventually, my brain just kicks over.”  She sighed and rubbed her mane.  “It’s a little bit scary.  Sometimes, I have dreams that make no sense… and sometimes I’m scared that when I wake up, I won’t be… me.  But the alternative is a bloody beast.”  She smiled and shrugged.

Well, interesting to know how she does it, and why she doesn't want to.


“Blackjack?  What are you doing?” Lacunae asked softly as she trotted into the storeroom where we’d found Nurse Redheart.  I had arranged the five figurines in front of me, set out little paper cups in front of them, and then poured them each a drink.  Since they couldn’t drink, I was drinking for them.  Their normally bright and happy faces looked oddly sad for some reason.

Basic, but great image and especially narration.


I tried to clear my brain of everything in it, but it was like trying to stop sand with my hooves.  I’d just treated all of Twilight’s friends like toys.
“I’m sorry, Twilight.  I’m sorry,” I murmured quietly into her chest, listening to her slow and steady heart.

Beautiful end to the scene, especially with the Lacunae/Twilight connection.


The purple alicorn did comment on the anti-machine rifle I’d picked up, though.  Her magic lifted the gun effortlessly, and she smiled as she sighted through the scope.  “Wonderful high caliber weapon.  A bit too much for sniping, though; the accuracy falls off after a thousand yards.”  She worked the slide and smiled in satisfaction, loading a magazine.  The size of the weapon and the fact she could handle it at all with just her horn reminded me of LittlePip.

And followed up with Psalm showing through.


“We split up,” I said softly.
“I’m going to have to file that under ‘really bad idea’, Blackjack,” Rampage snorted.
“Look… they’re after me, right?” I asked as I whirled on them.  Having a threat helped me focus and pull my head together.  “If they see me leave with you, then they’re going to attack us sooner or later.  But if they see me trot off east and you go south, who are they going to follow?”
“You want them to chase you?”  Glory gaped and I felt myself grinning.
“Sure!  I’m the one with the robolegs, remember?  I’ll lead them away from you till you’re all recovered.  They’ll get tired long before I do,” I said as the plan came together.
“You should still take Flutternut and me with you,” Rampage said as she looked at me.
“I don’t want the Harbingers getting the idea of taking hostages.  I need you with them.  I know they’ll be safe with you, Rampage.”  And I was faster than the steel-clad mare.
“Well then, take Psychoshy, at least,” she pressed.  The yellow pegasus grinned wickedly at that suggestion.  I gave Rampage a slightly sardonic look, and she sighed.  “Okay, maybe not…”
“I need to be sure that you’re all safe.  This way, they’ll be chasing me, and then later we’ll meet up,” I said as my thoughts oriented from the dread of sitting around to the plan of action.

The jump back to something resembling normality for Blackjack's mental state is pretty apparent. However, there are little bits in the narration that indicate how she might be trying to separate herself from everyone else, and not just to protect them. Like how she's faster than Rampage, when that really doesn't matter that much. The grinning, too, and the "plan coming together" is ambiguous enough to mean her plan to keep moving even as her friends need calm.
Only downside for me is that the "thoughts oriented from . . . " came too late for my taste, after the details of the plan and justifications had already been set out.


“Yeah, I guess it is,” I said with a smile.  I wonder what Scoodle would think of the ‘stable pony’ now?  I turned to her and gave her a hug.  “I’m sorry for what I did with your friends.”
“I’m sorry too,” she replied, stroking a wingtip along my cheek.
“For what?” I asked.  For the Goddess being a tool?  For not being able to help the craziest pony in Equestria?  But she just smiled sadly and shook her head.

Ah, the apology for Psalm's memories. I think this is an early indication of Lacunae's role in making Blackjack worse.


From the author's note:
Also, more specifically... at this point PH is longer than the original FoE.  It’s well on its way towards being a bajillion pages long.  Is this story taking too long.  Should I just wind it up and have it done with?  Once I break 1.1M words, we’re getting into Harry Potter territory... like... all of Harry Potter.  So I just want to know if things are dragging or not.  Anywho, I hope you enjoy the story... dragging terribleness or not.
Note the use of "once I break," not "if I break."  Spike 
Chapter Forty One Overall Thoughts:
This one starts out farily slice-of-lifey, with BJ, Rampage, and Psychoshy heading to Megamart. There's some nice dialog, showing how nicely the two Reapers play off of each other. It does a bit of world building in showing how the Reapers don't really have much going on and need to find other ways to fill their time. Gorgon's wrestling radroaches, Psychoshy helping out Sanguine, that sort of thing. It also establishes, I think, the Highlanders as tough and insular, and the perception of them as sort of hickish ("inbred" was used, and it was said that either they preferred after the bombs fell or just never noticed). Taurus was identified as one.

This was a lead-in to a conversation with Homage, in which Homage reveals the battle of Bucklyn Cross and the slaughter of Arbu. She is really broken up over both, particularly the latter, and doesn't know what to do, particularly wanting to avoid knowing the truth since it could reveal Littlepip to have snapped or fallen. Naturally, Blackjack is appalled, but hopes that the truth will vindicate Littlepip, and insists that Homage must spread the truth, no matter how much it hurts. She also assures Homage that if need be, she will come back, join up with the Stable Dweller, and bring Littlepip in. The audio feed is cut before Homage can tell her that Littlepip is the Stable Dweller, because while heroes can die, running gags are eternal. During this time, Blackjack (Psychoshy) has restored functionality to the optics in the Hoofington MASEBS tower, which was interfered with by an Enclave cloud computer.

Then, Megamart. Drama over Psychoshy due to her role in Sanguine's attack on the store is quickly diffused by Blackjack saying she's with her and has caps to trade (also, trade saving the Wasteland and all that and a lie that Psycho was just a hired merc for Sanguine), somewhat to Psycho's chagrin since she's so used to not needing to pay at Megamart. That policy's over, since Big Daddy can no longer guarantee safety and stability. Information about the Harbingers, how well-equipped they are and how their ranks are growing, and how much they want Blackjack, reinforcing the fact that the three had been chased by some Harbingers earlier.

There's a fight scene with the Harbingers, which includes two kills that pretty strongly contrast. The first is a child that she tries to basically give a warning/wounding shot, but whose head she ended up blowing off because Duty and Sacrifice are just that much better than your normal pistols. Here, she basically thinks, well, it's short enough to just quote:
I stared at the smoking barrels and then at the heap lying at the base of the slope.  “Sorry kid,” I muttered.  She’d wanted me dead; I hadn’t wanted the same.
This one sort of rhymed with the child raider that Calamity killed in FoE, shocking the delicate sensibilities of his stable-dwelling companions. Blackjack's muted reaction seems strange, but I guess it's partly based on the fact that she did try not to resort to lethal force, which just didn't work out that way.
The other was an adult, the last of the Harbinger Seekers in the battle, whose face was torn apart by a grenade Blackjack whose pin Blackjack had pulled before the mare was ready to throw it. Here, she started along the mercy kill route, but of course couldn't follow through, and wound up trying to save her with a healing potion to give her another chance to do better, and ends up relatively broken up afterward. Rampage is used to this, where Psycho thinks it's crazy. Notably, all this was immediately following and instance of and with respect to the person who brought out the hair-trigger anger that Blackjack had been experiencing while following the tracks of Sanguine's rampage when he was trying to draw her out. This was a nice transition from her more sedate last chapter and her problem-focusedness ever since the poison joke happened and the last portion of the chapter.

Back at the FMC, there's some stuff with Splendid and Archie, the guy from the Collegiate, which mostly serves as comedy in the vein of the ongoing Rampage/Psycho interactions. Then comes Chicken, the Enclave spy who isn't very good at hiding it and is lucky it was Blackjack who caught her searching for Rainbow Dash, since anyone else would probably have seen through her easily.

But then we come to what I thought was the real highlight of the chapter: Blackjack's reunion with Glory, P-21, Scotch, and Lacunae through when they leave the next day. Scotch has a postoperative infection but will probably get over it. P-21 is in bad shape but is at least happier now that he's normalized his relationship with Scotch. But what stole the show was Blackjack's growing hysteria. Interestingly, but perhaps appropriately, it began not in narration but in dialog: the trigger was the others telling her that they need to recover for a week or so. Blackjack can't handle this, and starts freaking out to such a degree that Glory asks when she's last slept, with the answer being "not since I was dead." Blackjack can't handle staying in one place anymore, and fears losing herself to dreams of other ponies' lives and indeed death itself should she ever sleep. This is all done with a frantic, frenetic tone only ever silenced when Blackjack forces herself to be still to comfort Glory or Lacunae. Lacunae's part happens after Glory's is over and a short talk with Rampage about sleep—Rampage doesn't need it physically, but the last time she tried to go without, twenty years ago, she became a full-on bloodthirsty monster, the recurrence of which she now holds as worse than the prospect of waking up as someone else—and begins as Blackjack's gone full "Party of One" with the figurines she has. It's short, in fact, probably shorter than the scene from the episode, but does capture something of the feel. After the party's over, Blackjack begs for Lacunae's help, but is rebuffed: the Goddess no longer wants to help her, and unconsciousness isn't sleep. Blackjack suddenly feels an empathy for the Goddess, understanding why she dumped her doubts and guilt and anxiety into Lacunae, as she wishes Lacunae could take some of her away. But it is not to be, and Lacunae apologizes a second time—presumably for offloading Psalm's memories onto her, but Blackjack thought it was for being unable to help—and Blackjack apologizes to Twilight for treating her friends like toys.

The very end is when they leave the hospital, and split up so the Harbingers follow Blackjack rather than the rest. It's another good scene, and plays to the opposite side of the coin of Blackjack's crazy: here, she goes from hysterical relatively in control as she's given a physical problem to deal with and incidentally uses it as an excuse to get away from everyone else—this comes through to a small extent in Blackjack's dialog, but more so in some of the subtext of her narration and expressions—since although there's no doubt she loves them, she just can't handle being held back by them at this point; frankly, if she were less cyborg, she probably would have had a stroke in the night. Nobody is really happy with the plan but her and maybe Psychoshy, but it happens all the same. Details are planned out, Psychoshy is a hilarious bitch, and some nice goodbyes are said, and we're off to "Reaper."

Overall, an engaging chapter. I don't think that there was all that much that was especially revelatory in it, especially as there wasn't too much in terms of plot plot happening apart from setup and the character scenes were more vivid than developmental, but the combination of comedy, worldbuilding, and during the Homage scene and at the end the relation of emotional state meant there was almost always something worthwhile going on. The weak points included the overrapid diffusion of tension at Megamart, the fact that I don't like Homage,getting hit in the chest with a .50 caliber incendiary round fired from a sniper rifle barely slowing Blackjack down, and possibly the reiteration of the time and effort it will take for P-21 to recover from his Med-X addiction—though this last could be interpreted as a side effect of Blackjack's growing mania, in that the conversation the day before may have slipped her mind. It might also have been nice if during the discussion of Arbu with Homage Blackjack had thought about how she had pressed Littlepip to use PTMs while she was in Manehattan, given her new understanding of how addiction affects people, and especially since she specifically thought of Littlepip being on a ton of Stampede as a potential explanation. On the other hand, given Glory's later position that “Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy tale, Blackjack.  You can’t just trot up, give a doctor a hundred caps, have them wave a magic wand, and be all better.  Now, if it was a recent addiction, sure, I could do something to reduce the physical effects . . . " and how things played out with respect to the PTM addiction in FoE, I can understand not wanting to draw too much attention to it so close to P-21's being an important plot point.
Chapter Forty One Editing:
“Yeah, that was it.”  Rampage said as she rolled her eyes.

quotation should end with comma, not period, and should be followed by only one space


Reaper is sort of a dead end career.

I think that, when used as an adjective, "dead end" is hyphenated.


to wait to find out which way they were going. They were close

only one space after the period


We reached the landing where weeks ago I’d smashed off Roses’ horn trying to free some slaves,

"Roses's"


she put a good battery in her saddlebags. Really, what was it with
with the black towers. Another showed several
be sure from this distance. There were a number of ponies

only one space after the period


The rangers had clear numbers on their side,

I think "rangers" should be capitalized


few agonizing seconds. Then she lay still

only one space after the period


“Ah… yeah… Um… Blackjack?”

Should have two spaces after second ellipsis, or not capitalize "Um."


crowd to tackle Psychoshy. The pegasus

only one space after period


me and now you shoot me? I thought this was a place

only one space after the question mark


‘Hoofington Rises?’

Question mark to outside of quotation marks.


My eyes finally locked on a green X north of Paradise marked ‘Meatlocker.’  It was drawn over a square labeled ‘Hoofington General Hospital.’  And just north of that?  ‘Hightower Jail.’

periods to outside of quotation marks?


it’s not a little ‘jail,’ but a

comma to outside of quotation marks


Today it’s a huge feral ghoul nest.

comma after "today"


Am I going to become ‘a cyber ghoul unicorn Reaper what the fuck?’!

question mark to outside of quotation marks?


I’d tried to tune into the radio show, but s

"tune in to"


stayed back from the striped young mare. Still, she spoke in zebra for

only one space after period, I think "zebra" should be capitalized since it's the name of a language


Psychoshy mouthed the words ‘screaming room.’

period to outside of quotation marks


and slapped it on her foreleg. “Mmm… Ragey

only one space after period, should have second space after ellipsis or not capitalize "Ragey"


I drew back. Every now and then,
fifty caliber round. Then my barding

only one space after period


as I slowly lay her down again.

"laid"


“I believe he also included the words ‘you featherbrained nincompoop’ ” Archibald said.

comma between single and double quotation marks


classically romantic venue back in Elysium-“

second hyphen for dash


“Just a momento… Otherwise they’ll never

should have second space after ellipsis ("momento" is the accent, right?)


I frowned after her, then looked around the hospital room. Even if none of the supplies
I’ll be fine. If Glory can

only one space after period


“Scotch Tape and P-21 are both looking at several days recovery in a non-enervated environment.

"days' "


Come on, P-21... I... You know we can do it.

second space after second ellipsis or "You" shouldn't be capitalized


“Even I could do with a few days recuperation,”

"days' "


I am miss Blackjack the cyberpony and I don’t need to sleep.

"miss" should be capitalized


I frowned too, extended my fingers, took out Taurus’ rifle, and looked through its scope.

"Taurus's"


“She wrote ‘Security’…” Lacunae said softly, “Only she left out the ‘I’.”

should the I not be capitalized, since it's not the word "I"?


“Yeah, I guess it is,” I said with a smile.  I wonder what Scoodle would think of the ‘stable pony’ now?  I turned to her and gave her a hug.  “I’m sorry for what I did with your friends.”

"wonder" to "wondered"?


The fat, swollen clouds overhead rumbled low and deep; the heat and damp pressing down.  As if some great stratospheric beast’s stomach growled in anticipation of the impending chase.

I suggest a reordering, as the sound is separated from the simile made about it by the description of the temperature and humidity: The heat and damp pressed down; the fat, swollen clouds overhead rumbled low and deep, as if some great stratospheric beast's stomach growled in anticipation of the impending chase.


I looked back at the hill and saw every set of eyes locked onto me.

"locked on to," I think
Other Chapter Editing:
40:
“You. Did. What?!”

Should have two spaces after each period.


‘Equestian Legal Statutes’, ‘History of the Law’, and a dozen files sat in stacks.

"Equestrian"


46:
There were some dead end storage rooms full of some useful salvage, but no way out.

I think that, when used as an adjective, "dead end" is hyphenated.
Ah, thank you very much as always.

Icy Shake wrote:("momento" is the accent, right?)
What do you mean?

Icy Shake wrote:Note the use of "once I break," not "if I break."
Is it not glorious? :)

swicked wrote:So, did anything happen between you and Bronode after Somber and I left?
…Are you still trying to ship us? We talked about work on the chapter. That's all. :)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:16 pm

Shipping nothing.
All I remember is you two were arguing and then, all of a sudden, you two were decidedly NOT arguing anymore.
"Not arguing" to such a degree that Somber immediately called it a night and signed off :P

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Loud_Taffy on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:00 pm

Anyone else think that last Mlp episode was weird as hell?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Moodyman90 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:16 pm

I wouldn't call it weird but that's because I've seen the plot before. Pretty standard "get revenge, feel bad and fix what you done" episode.
But that does remind me that we haven't set up the tread for that episode yet. We're getting bad about that.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Loud_Taffy on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:26 pm

Moodyman90 wrote:I wouldn't call it weird but that's because I've seen the plot before. Pretty standard "get revenge, feel bad and fix what you done" episode.
I don't know, It had a kind of off kilter vibe to it.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:09 pm

swicked wrote:Shipping nothing.
All I remember is you two were arguing and then, all of a sudden, you two were decidedly NOT arguing anymore.
"Not arguing" to such a degree that Somber immediately called it a night and signed off :P
Because of a joke that broke through the argument, remember?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:09 pm

Loud_Taffy wrote:Anyone else think that last Mlp episode was weird as hell?
Well, I thought it was top-tier. Certainly one of the best of the season. The conflict was perhaps the best-framed they have ever written, I liked the "Christmas Carol" stylings, and I loved how Luna drew the connection between herself and Sweetie. Plus, it was written by--

DAVE POLSKY?!

I... I... Everything I know is wrong...

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Loud_Taffy on Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:02 pm

I don't mean to clutter up this thread but if it’s not too much trouble I would be nice if some of you would listed to the stuff I’ve posted on YouTube. It’s all original work but it’s just side projects. Some feedback would also be appreciated.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:09 pm

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:("momento" is the accent, right?)
What do you mean?
It's spelled "memento," but the speaker has a moderate Neighvarro (I guess it could be Appleoosa . . . one of them, at any rate) accent that is sometimes shown through spelling.

swicked wrote:Shipping nothing.
All I remember is you two were arguing and then, all of a sudden, you two were decidedly NOT arguing anymore.
"Not arguing" to such a degree that Somber immediately called it a night and signed off :P
"Shipping nothing" as in "of course I'm not shipping you" or "shipping nothing" as in "it's not shipping if it's true"?
Because that's real easy to read as trying to foment the ship in the minds of the forum. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; we all have our hobbies, right?)  Spike
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:46 pm

Icy Shake wrote:It's spelled "memento," but the speaker has a moderate Neighvarro (I guess it could be Appleoosa . . . one of them, at any rate) accent that is sometimes shown through spelling.
Ah! I misread. Well, I think that that was likely a typo, but it's one of those happy typos that works.

Icy Shake wrote:"Shipping nothing" as in "of course I'm not shipping you" or "shipping nothing" as in "it's not shipping if it's true"?
Because that's real easy to read as trying to foment the ship in the minds of the forum. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; we all have our hobbies, right?)
My, has this started something? The irony is that swicked doesn't even like shipping much. …Or so he's been claiming. :)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:07 pm

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:"Shipping nothing" as in "of course I'm not shipping you" or "shipping nothing" as in "it's not shipping if it's true"?
Because that's real easy to read as trying to foment the ship in the minds of the forum. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; we all have our hobbies, right?)
My, has this started something?  The irony is that swicked doesn't even like shipping much.  …Or so he's been claiming.  :)
I don't like shipping, but I didn't even start this. This ship has already sailed, if I'm to believe what I read before I signed off after Somber to leave those two alone  Spike

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:14 pm

Hey, like I said, we talked about matters relating to the work on the chapter. If you're reading things into it...

(Though I don't actually have the chat log anymore, I'm pretty sure that I would have remembered something of that sort. :))
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Exodus Hero on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:30 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Hey, like I said, we talked about matters relating to the work on the chapter.  If you're reading things into it...

(Though I don't actually have the chat log anymore, I'm pretty sure that I would have remembered something of that sort.  :))
pun intended?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:34 pm

No. What pun?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Exodus Hero on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:47 pm

O. Hinds wrote:No.  What pun?
Reading things into it. You're reading the new chapter. I might be reaching but it was still funny to me at least :P
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:07 am

Ah. :)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by neoaustin on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:43 am

all this shipping. its glorious.... now im going to go lock Blackjack, LittlePip, Kkat, and Somber all in a closet together and record the results.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Overlong Analysis Cobalt on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:54 am

@Taffy
Not to guarantee a response or anything, but you might find more of one if you posted a link with the request - looking things up is several steps more effort than an average internet citizen wants to go through. Chat thread might also be a better bet.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Loud_Taffy on Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:37 pm

Overlong Analysis Cobalt wrote:@Taffy
Not to guarantee a response or anything, but you might find more of one if you posted a link with the request - looking things up is several steps more effort than an average internet citizen wants to go through. Chat thread might also be a better bet.


Ahh thank you. For some reason this never occurred to me.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaMcnfbxm3DVk5dTZwMgxwA/feed
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Overlong Analysis Cobalt on Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:36 pm

@Taffy
First off, this is coming from a person who mostly listens to metal and rock and the like - though I'm not stranger to largely electronic music, most of my delving into that side of things comes through industrial (and Anup Sastry's stuff, but that has live drumming at least, and djent is meant to sound robotic anyway so the programmed guitars don't stand out AND they're high production value). That's my disclaimer.

Spoiler:
-Popcorn, first one I listened to. I liked the middle bits the best, I think, before the bass drum came in - they seemed fairly complex, first listen, and were interesting. The chirping sounds early on (before other elements came in) had a somewhat unpleasant bite to them, kind of clicky. Overall, though, definitely not bad.

-Afternaps had an issue that seems common to synthesized instruments, which is that the string section notes all had the same texture in the first section. Also, the notes had issue transitioning into one another; this wasn't much of an issue except when moving from low to high or vice versa - the note would cut off unnaturally, and it ended up sounding very soulless. Drum intro was... kind of strange. It ended up sounding very light and bouncy, which seemed to clash with the orchestral drum samples used. Another strings-based section came up, pretty inoffensive - layering different tracks made it work much better here. The cymbal rolls (?) didn't sound very good - it sounded like one sound during the start, and then a different one once the roll had come to a head. Faster strings section starts up here, wasn't really to my taste; seemed simple, and it sounded like the same violin sample just sped up. Slows down again, song ends.

I will be honest, I've got a pretty huge dislike of most synthesized versions of actual instruments - it takes a very high production value to make them sound anywhere near as good and textured and real as the actual instrument (in my opinion, at least). I think it gets exacerbated by slower songs, because long, drawn out notes invite the listener to examine the textures of notes, and if the textures sound gross and plastic, it doesn't go well.

Honestly, I'm probably not the best guy to review this kind of music, but those're my thoughts. Note also that I've got zero musicology experience or anything like that.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Loud_Taffy on Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:54 pm

@Overlong
I have to agree with you on one thing, it does lack soul.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:35 pm

SilentCarto wrote:Hey guys, I think BJ just got a new ball gown...
For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils spoilers:

Borsuq wrote:Most villains have some redeeming qualities that make them relatable, or at least something that makes them worth some form of respect. Sometimes villains are even the most interesting characters to read about. But Steel Rain... does he have any good qualities, and I am just not seeing them? The only instance where he had something that could make me like him was at his introduction when he came to Stronghoof's rescue... and then I began to dislike him like half a page later.
Steel Rain strikes me as someone with good ideals, but he's completely off base as to how to get there. He's been seduced by Cognitum's promises of peace through technology and superior firepower, though he seems to be regretting that by now. And worse, he's a pragmatist; unlike Stronghoof, he lacks a sense of honor that would prevent him from doing a little evil for the greater good.

But I think he really does want the best for the Wasteland. It's just that as a Steel Ranger, presumably from birth, he tends to think that every problem looks like three inches of case-hardened steel. He seems to take the idea of "better life for ponykind" seriously, but like most Rangers, he tends to look down on Wastelanders as violent barbarians (which isn't entirely incorrect...) who need to be swept aside to make the land safe rather than the very ponies who need to be taught a better way of life.

I think he's capable of enlightenment, if he chose to take off the blood-colored glasses he's wearing, but I don't think he's going to. Even if you took him for a walk down the middle of Chapel, with everypony working together and living in peace, he would still sneer at it as a bunch of ramshackle huts just waiting for a raider band rather than a group of good ponies doing the best they can with what little they have.

That's the impression I get from him, anyway.
Aye. Steel Rain's an idealist. He doesn't follow Steel Ranger orthodoxy that techology is to be hoarded, rather he believes that it must be used to enact change. However, he believes that force is the only means with which change truly occurs and so he won't hesitate to whatever it takes. He's kind of like the Red Eye of the piece.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:55 pm

I don't know that Steel Rain is an idealist. He always struck me as someone just attempting to thrive within his environment. To lead the steel rangers and finish their enemies for good, then to not just survive the coming of cognitum but to finish out on top. He's Sanguine minus the family. He's Horse minus the inferiority complex. He's a jerk who wants to thrive, not unlike most of the wasteland. He's just got better allies and a skillset that places him near the top of the heap.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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