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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 pm

swicked wrote:
O. Hinds wrote:
FeatherDust wrote:Just a few initial thoughts.

Cogs is still thinking of the Eater as a mere thing, but it's not.  It's alive, in a way.  Or perhaps undead.  I thought it was rather nice irony that the Eater's influence continually creates and destroys random life-forms.  Irony: The eater forges flesh and blood into tools, the same way flesh and blood ponies forge starmetal.

As they went down though the city's roots, I was struck by another bit of irony: Cognitum's dream of a chrome future is literally built on a rotting foundation.

A couple editing issues:

>>She closed her eyes in an almost orgasmic expression of bliss.
Blackjack's body still doesn't have eyelids, remember?

>>“Finally,” she said, and closed her eyes as if she’d climaxed.
AGAIN!  I hate to harp on this, but...
Argh, I thought that we'd gotten all of those.  Thanks!
If these are the only two instances that finally got through, I'd call it a job well done.
I think Somber should probably make those corrections, though, rather than nuking the sentences or anything.
...Um, the corrections are already made (I don't make the post until I've done the corrections, unless the chapter is too crowded) and weren't just deleting the sentences. This is the standard procedure. If Somber wants to change something I did, he's of course welcome to, but I think that I recall at most one complaint on one correction out of the dozens and dozens of chapters I've been doing this with. I see no reason to by default take up Somber's valuable time and slow improvement of the story for small issues like this.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:38 pm

Derpmind wrote:Well, she is "Cognitium" so going logically, if she has the capability to make holograms indistinguishable from reality, (and we know she has good enough intel and sensors for the data to make it accurate,) then not fake it when actually doing it is going to get you the same quality pictures and cost you lots of peasants? Cognitium did spend a good deal of the chapter reinforcing her tendency to keep ponies around in her stasis pods. Why burn villages down when she can rule over them instead?
I don't know... there's so many odd little details. Things like the Seahorse getting scorched but probably escaping. Rover pulling Fifi out of the line of fire of the first strike, then being somewhere in a crowd that got blasted by the beam. If she was trying to apply pressure by showing BJ her friends getting killed, wouldn't she, you know, show said friends getting killed?

Moreover, there are better targets to offer if she was simply making it up. Glory or P-21, for instance. Scotch Tape. Lacunae Psalm. Stronghooves. Rather than threatening entire communities, she could make the threat much more personal. But she doesn't. She targets acquaintences and locations instead of those nearest and dearest to Blackjack, and that suggests to me that she's picking out targets that she has available at that very moment.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by FeatherDust on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:49 pm

SilentCarto wrote:Okay, wait just an apple-buckin' minute.
Ch. 65 Spoilers:
The whole "Maiden of the Stars" thing was total BS, right? A prophecy Vitiosus made up himself. And yet, he was able to pick out and target the mare who would ultimately become the vessel for Princess Luna.

There's still something screwy going on here...
Just because the prophecy was made up doesn't mean it isn't also true.  Derpy Hooves 

But yes, something is definitely screwy.  Blackjack does indeed have a connection to the stars unlike any other living pony; from Sparkle, to an ancestor who visited the moon in utero and had 'stars in her eyes', to being personally saved by the stars on multiple occasions and at least one full on soul-visit to their realm.

She didn't just stumble into a fake prophecy.  It may be that Amadi is himself a pawn in a game much deeper than he suspects.


As to Blackjack's cutie mark, I kind of tend to agree that there's something 'off' with Cognitum's analysis.  Primarily because Blackjack's name isn't Blackjack.  The symbol only means victory in a game that she isn't even named for.  In Go Fish, that's an unmatched set, a losing hand...  I can't accept that her mark means "big win" based on a nickname. (Of course I always kinda have a problem with the "I don't know what my cutie mark means!" trope. As far as I'm concerned, a cutie mark comes from the mind and soul of the pony who got it; it's inherently meaningful to them, and you could no more get a mark without knowing its meaning than you could write your name and not know who it's talking about.)

Do we know if Blackjack even started going by that name before she got her cutie mark?  Actually does anyone recall where her cutie mark story was given?  I can't recall and searching for "cutie mark" is a needle in a haystack operation.


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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:11 am

Wow. That chapter was something. Too late to add much right now, given consecutive nights of insomnia, a travel day yesterday, and work in the morning (heck, it's really too late already), so just the basics.

Chapter Sixty Five Running Thoughts:
“You’ve interfered for the last time,” the Legate growled.  Something about his voice was so… familiar.

Crack theory: the Legate is Goldenblood.


“Enough,” he bellowed, leaping at him... her... ugh, Discord was in a mare’s body… but male…

You'd think that after watching Glory get used to Doctor Morningstar she'd be less flustered. Granted, I guess there's nothing indicating Discord's embraced it quite like she did.


“Ole!” Boo cheered, and I glared back at her.  “Ah.  Yes.  Wrong side and all that.  Boooo!  Hisssss!”

Well, Discord's all about fun, and it's fun to cheer a winning team, I guess.


He tried to dive under me and heave me out of the way, but I’d put on a few hundred pounds since we last danced.

Blackjack fat joke #23927.


Really, I was fairly certain that he could have done much more damage to me if he really wanted to.  Why was he taking it easy on me?

I was not expecting a Grease reference in this story. Now, though, we need a Palomino to show up in the chapter.


“And Coyotl as well, for the time being,” Rampage said as she scowled down the street.  “If he wishes to kill him, it must be for a reason.”

Whaaa? Okay, that's interesting. Granted, he is a shapeshifter.


As we raced towards them, he struck out with a double hooved stomp that would have crushed Boo if he'd landed it.  Instead, after rolling aside, it found the end of a flat tipped shovel.  The handle flashed up, smashing the stout wooden handle across the Legate’s skull helmet.  He whirled, kicking out at Boo with his back legs.  Again, she dodged aside.  His hooves smashed into the wall behind her, and the wobbly stones at the top fell and thudded down on him.

Discord fighting classic Warner Brothers animation style? I can dig it.


And impacted with six hundred pounds of cyberpony as I swooped from above and slammed into him, knocking him completely off target and giving Boo a chance to scramble out of the fray.  “Next time, don’t talk,” I chided, shoving him away.

The irony isn't lost on me.


“Get off of me!” he roared.  “You should be dead!  Why aren’t you dead, you red-striped freak?!”  He rammed the skull helmet back, one of its horns gouging her eye socket.

You'd think he'd have better intel than that.


“Oh no you don’t, you motherfucking Pink!” she swore, biting his mane and struggling to keep on top of him.

Okay, so far Shujaa, Twist, probably Officer Softheart, now Razorwire. I have trouble believing Doc Oc will make an appearance as a fighter, but now I want the Angel. And it could be interesting to see her post-therapy.

“I’m sensing a lot of aggravation from you.  Perhaps you can calm down and tell me about your mother?” Rampage grunted into his ear.

See, not much fight there.


“Don’t you start!”  I warned her, then resumed stomping.  The head was starting to regrow, a pink mist slowly spreading up and forming into tissue.  Just like…  “Rampage, he’s got a phoenix talisman too.”

Yeah, we all saw this coming.


“Dawn was the one that wanted you dead.  Cognitum is prepared to wipe the slate clean and let bygones be bygones.”  She gave a weak smile.  “Just imagine it, Blackjack.  No more shit in your life.  The Harbingers will leave you alone.  You can go to Star House with Glory and turn my old bedroom into a nursery, and boink each other’s brains out all day.  Be head of Security for Chapel or Stable 99, or wherever.  All this shit could be over.  Just… over.”

Yeah, I don't think Blackjack is going to buy this, and even if she did, there's still the matter of the cost to everyone else.


“You know, I was never supposed to stay a villain.  My role was very clear.  Open antagonist to challenge Twilight Sparkle’s presuppositions of friendship and make her face having her friends turn on her at the outset, and then I was supposed to grow into a grudging ally of sorts.  I had the scripts, and I was quite looking forward to my time with Fluttershy.  Rehabilitation.  Yay,” Discord said sarcastically, pressing her hooves together and fluttering her eyes, then slumping.  “Only it never happened.  I stayed a statue, and things went… wrong.”  I arched a brow at her, and she rolled her eyes.  “Oh, don’t give me that.  I’m a spirit of chaos.  I’m a connoisseur of wrongness.

I . . . really don't care for this, but let's see how it goes.


“Ugh, I’d forgotten how gushy you ponies can get when it comes to your winged unicorns.”  Discord made a gagging noise.  “Yes, a princess the same as Moonbutt and Sunnyflanks.

And see, that's a small part of it; sure, we don't really know what they are in the show, but we do in PH, and it just seems that's really not the same.


Even Princess Sunnybuns could be wonderfully manipulative at times.

"at times," right.


“Boo is unique.  Precious.  An individual.  Why, she’s growing her own soul and everything.  And she’s as immortal as I am.  Plus she sees things as they really are, which is probably why she loves you no matter how scary you become,” he said, regarding herself in a puddle on the floor for a moment before going on, “But the Brood… mindless, soulless, immortal automations of magical flesh and steel.  I look forward to seeing you take them all apart.”

Maybe without the fourth wall breaking exposition earlier, this wouldn't be too much, but even then it would be a lot. And I get that there are many threads to be wound up in probably not much space left, but having big parts of it in exposition from an omnicient Discord doesn't help.


“I’m hurt, Blackjack!” she said with a simpering pout.  “Didn’t I say I was forced to be a villain?  Cast in such a role by powers beyond your comprehension?”  She sat and pushed a hoof to her brow, then smiled and rolled her eyes.

Okay, this one was a little better.


“Well, however adorable it might have been, you freeing the God of Chaos and telling him to start obeying traffic laws or whatever, you were doing it because you thought that that was good.  And looking around at the shameful sort of chaos you’ve been having to deal with, I suppose that I can’t blame you too much.  You’ve done good and sown disorder, but you haven’t gotten the spark that links them in your head yet.  Look around a bit harder.”  She swung her forehoof in a wide arc.  “This whole city is a testament to unchanging corruption and stagnation, to what happens when order goes too far.  And that’s not even mentioning what’s under it…”

Nice speech there.


“Cognitum wants stasis.  She wishes to freeze the world into the state she thinks it should be, optimally with her on top.  Funny how that’s usually the case,” Discord said with a grim smile.

Like locked in an eternal night?


Boo blinked, “Wazzit, Discowd?”

Still not 100% convinced she's separate at all. There could still be value in keeping up a charade.


The red mound twitched rhythmically, and then a half dozen eyes bubbled open.  Two fleshy tendrils sprouted, wrapping around my neck and horn, and as it pulled itself closer, a large mouth filled with toothy protrusions snapped at what little face I had left.

Ew. Also pretty threatening.


And while Penance was an exquisite firearm, it wasn’t the ideal weapon for use against a swarm of opponents.  I was missing my Boo luck charm, too.  “Damn it!”  I shouted, slamming my hooves against an intact, tipped-over container as I wondered if I could fly back to the hole without getting puked on.
   The lid broke open, and dozens of twelve-millimeter semiautomatic weapons tumbled out around my hooves, each still in its translucent plastic wrap.

You were saying?


Two more blobs dropped onto me, one tangling in my wings with ropy masses and hooked limbs, the other ripping into my rump and legs with scythe like blades, tearing rents in my armor.  Okay, that sent my ‘oh fuck no’ level through the roof.

Yeah, sounds about right.


An IF-84 Stampede riot shotgun.  In a flash, I tore the translucent wrapping paper off, took in the sharp scent of lubricant, and popped out the drum.  I selected the ammo with my PipBuck organizer and loaded the gun with red-banded shells.  With a distinctly manic grin on my face, I murmured.  “I shall name you Boomstick.”

Blackjack shops smart.


Still, I fell into a moment of peace.  Shoot.  Jump.  Kick.  Blast.  Run.  Dive.  Reload.  Grab.  Smash.  Shoot.  Toss.  Smile.  Retreat.  Lunge.  Cast.  Shoot.  Block.  Twist.  Stomp.  Twist.  Reload.  Shoot.  Laugh.

Blackjack wanted to know where the mare who sang while blowing through a place was? Never too far away.


“Oh, you have got to be kidding!” I shouted as it grabbed another flatbed car and sent it whirling at me.

There have been a lot of those this chapter, and Oh, come on!s.


Then the train’s engine came shooting out the tunnel, half rolling and half falling, it streaked towards the monster.  I activated my wings, launching myself off the last flatcar and into the air.  Like a hammer striking a chisel, the flatcar sheared right through the outstretched claw hand and then clean through the monster’s body.  A millisecond later, the engine rammed right into it with an enormous crash, splattering it against the wall.  For good measure, I sent a missile flying, not at the monster, but the rock wall beneath it.  Then the whole messy, bloody, flaming mess fell into the crevasse, tearing down the bridging tracks with it.  I watched it fall…

Nice climax to the fight.


“You were no different.  If anything, you were worse.”  I gave a skeptical sniff, and she grinned at me.  “It’s true.  And you didn’t limit yourself to milk.  How you got your hooves on your father’s apple cider, I’ll never know.”

Funniest part of the chapter so far.


She looked up at me with teal eyes and smiled a little before glancing back down.  “Most ponies don’t have as much experience with mind games as you, Blackjack.”  Tears began to run down her cheeks.

I wonder what the teal eyes mean. Luna/Cognitum?


“Perhaps it delights in tormenting us.  Or maybe it thinks it’s protecting us from the Everafter.  It can’t get all of us.  I’m still waiting for my sister to join me… and horrified she will…”

Luna


“Someone who knows what it’s like to deserve to hurt,” she replied in a whisper, the light fading out around us.  She scooped up my filly in her other hoof.  “I’ll look after your babies till you return.”

And they will be born abominations, already knowing more than most ever do; the son will wed the daughter, and rule for five thousand years over an equinity in stasis, readying it for it to expand beyond anything it had imagined before upon his death at the hands of the one thing he couldn't forsee and loved most of all.


The mottled, horrifying visage of an abomination pony met my eyes.  It only had one eye, a maroon orb on the left side of its face.  Only the fact that my E.F.S. was blue kept my magic bullets in check.

Man, I thought you were over the ugly-equals-bad thing long ago.


I had to trust that they knew where we were going.  The pipe led to a crevasse which led to a partially collapsed subway which led to a rockslide.  All the while, I passed by more and more abomina… weird things.  Plenty were ponies, but I spotted others that appeared to be griffins, or zebras, or even hellhounds.  They stood around, or wandered aimlessly.  Every now and then, one would misstep and tumble, coming apart like wet roadapples.  A mote of light escaped and wandered away.  The bloody goop would form spiders, or scorpions, or other skittering things that I occasionally had to splatter with Boomstick.  Once, I watched as a mote slipped into a puddle of bloody goo which then coalesced into a tiny weird griffin.

Nice atmosphere here, and neat concept. But then what was animating the great terror, and why were the bits thrown off able to operate on their own?


“Was you really bad?”
   Discord didn’t answer for several seconds, and when he did it was soft and reflective, “I suppose I was, dear Boo.”

This little exchange has been the best part of Discord's appearance so far this chapter.


“Dear me.  Two centuries locked in a starmetal tomb, and I’ve gotten all mopey.  But then, the mope is in high style around this horrible place.”

Now that's how you do a fourth wall reference right!


“Is yous gonna be bad again?”  Boo asked innocently.

Fuck, the only thing separating her from Jar Jar is an "a" on the end of her yous. Just have to get that out there after the last couple chapters.


But I can’t help but think that, even if her mane’s a little short and she can be so terribly depressing at times, Blackjack does remind me of what a certain yellow pony would have been.  I mean, seriously, freeing me, no questions asked or deals demanded?  Telling me to do better?  She needs someone around to tell her to stop apologizing to the dragon trying to eat her.  And take her out drinking!  I like Drunkjack.”

It's weird. Even here it's better. I think it works because it's more oblique. Too direct, and too much at once hurts it. Somehow I think the voicing is better, too, though I can't shake the feeling that part of it is just the Drunkjack. But he would like her, wouldn't he?


“Oh, absolutely delightful.  Wonderful place to sit around and linger,” Discord replied, rolling her mismatched eyes.  “I’m thinking of setting up a summer cottage.  The view of the horrific abyss is quite lovely this time of year.”

Still might be better than Fluttershy's cottage a few months before.


“An alien device of immense complexity that may also be an eldritch abomination of mindshocking power projecting a field that liquefies flesh causing that flesh to transform and alter into monsters of grotesque magnificence?” Discord gushed, her red and yellow eyes growing by the second as she leaned towards me.  Then she gave a dismissive wave of her hoof.  “Nah.  Couldn’t be.  Personally, I think there’s something in the water.  Fluoridation.  Look it up.”

No! I am not surrendering Discord to the Precious Bodily Fluids crowd! They do enough damage, and not in fun or interesting ways! Well, except General Ripper, of course.


“Or shine.  They’re very proud of the shining.  And the singing.  Stars… ech,” she snorted, waving her hoof dismissively.  “Primadonnas, every one of them.  Always needing the spotlight.  Never standing to be upstaged for even a moment.”  Then she blinked, and touched her chest at my smirk.  “What?”
   I couldn’t take time to enjoy Discord’s blatant hypocrisy though.

I can work with this. 'Course, wasn't the whole point of almost every star that they weren't about upstaging each other?


It’s like saying there’s no difference between ‘Blackjack’ and ‘messiah archetype’ or ‘Twilight Sparkle’ and ‘Fussypants protagonist’.

That got a good laugh out of me.


I made my way through the basement as silently as I could manage.  I knew Cognitum wasn’t alone, but she didn’t know about me or Discord.

I wouldn't be too sure; did just use EC-1101, after all.


Heavy structural reinforcement beams had been attached to the side, and for some reason a crane arm had been mounted on top.

GlaDOS?


The crane hummed overhead, and a new pod was set down beside the table.  Within was the prone form of a yellow, emaciated earth pony who was barely breathing.  “Oopsie.  Wrong jar.”  It was whisked up once more.  “I’m sure you’ve noticed that these jars function the same as the stasis pods.  Quite useful technology.  It can keep a body preserved… forever.”

Eh, can't say Horse deserved a very good end.


The crane whirled and deposited another jar.  In it was what appeared to be a skinned pony.  Bare, sightless, emasculated.  I got the impression of looking at an adult-sized fetus.

I guess the first wasn't him. But in fairness, how many characters were yellow earth ponies from before the war?


You’ve killed thousands.  You’ve killed foals, Blackjack.  Helpless foals.  You’ve killed indiscriminately.  Your hooves are far bloodier than mine.  So let’s not throw about that ‘E’ word so casually, thank you very much

Ah, ah, ah. If you're Luna, which I'll readily grant, your hooves are bloodier by far than Blackjack's. And that's before counting any actions after the bombs fell.


Oh, she was good.  Very good.  Rational and reasonable… and worst of all, I thought she might be right.

And yet, that's the problem. Perhaps not writ large, but certainly in this argument; for when has Blackjack been driven by her mind rather than her heart?


“I want her dead!  No, wait, not dead.  I want her alive.  Like, take her legs off.  And make sure some Harbingers fuck her up her tail.  Like, ten times.  At least!” the filly said with a cruel grin.  “Maybe you can set her up on a stand somewhere and we can get a whole row of stallions to fuck her over and over.  Like, the whole Hoof.”

Ah, the charming Charm.


“We can bring peace to the Wasteland, unity to all the races that inhabit it, safety and security to all that crave it!” Cognitum pleaded as she stepped before me.  “I know you don’t approve of my methods, and I don’t expect you to, but I know you desire the same ends I do.  Work with me, and you can help return the world to its glorious state!”

It's not quite Vader's appeal to Luke in Empire verbatim, but it's close.


I shoved her aside hard as the crane lifted the jar up into the air and returned it to the side, seizing the last one.  “Tell me!” I yelled, a final time, the missile ready to fly.

You know, Blackjack is now rather echoing the old "Give it to me" of, I think, the Cyberdemon.


“And if she gets out of line, the Twilight Society can blast the Core with Celestia One, or the Lightbringer can drop a hurricane on this place.  It doesn’t have to be you,” she said as she stared into my eyes in earnest, the pale gaze sincere and craving my acceptance of her decision.

I'm not so sure that would work, though. Especially with the Tokomare up and running.


The metal tendril climbed over and into the jar, and the golden netting spread out to cover the blank’s head.

Wait. Is it a blank if it was templated?


The mare floated there in a jar, looking at a black cyberpony, a frozen unicorn robot, and a striped mare struggling against the hooves of a pony in glittery silver power armor.  Dimly, she was aware of something terrible having happened, but she didn’t care.  She simply bobbed in the jar, hearing the black cyberpony talking to the striped mare about what was best for Blackjack, Rampage, and the world.  More than once, they regarded her, gesturing with sweeps of their hooves.  She just waited, indifferently.

Huge decompression right there, going from the cliffhanger to this. And I think it's going to work.


Then the black cyberpony backed away as the bony skull began to cast a spell in concert with the black cyberpony.  A swirling black disk bubbling with bursting green and purple boils began to whirl about the black cyberpony, and she struggled as if in agony once more.  From the midst of the disk came a small white orb.  The jagged black spiral caught the orb, which jerked as if caught in a powerful wind.  The orb was blown over to the floating mare and pushed against her chest, and a warm sensation flowed through her.

It'll be weird having Blackjack not be on the edge of invincibility anymore. But it does open up the door for a happier ending than I ever expected, even if that's still not my base case.


Sweetie Bot’s eyes flickered to life, and she said in filly’s high-pitched voice, “I reckon, if y’all want to find out, you should jes follow the routin’ path to wherever it was tryin ta go.  That’s yer best bet ta find what Horizons is.”
   I now had enough blood to appreciate the sensation of it running cold.  “You were Applebot.”  The robot went dead again, and my old body nodded.  “But why?”

This might just have been more surprising than Discord.


“You used me,” I said, ashamed and disgusted that I never questioned the routing taking me straight to my enemy.
“You like being used.

In fairness, it's kind of true. And not just the sex part.


‘Enter Password’
   Cognitum froze with all the abruptness of a mare on the edge of climax getting doused in ice water.  Her head twitched back and forth.  “What is this?  Password?  What password?  What is going on?”
   “What do you mean?” Steel Rain asked.  “Don’t you know it?”

Ha ha ha! Better help Echo soon! But then, I bet you can't.


Hint: The name he likes so much.

P-21, or Whisper?


She’s lying.  She must be lying,” Steel Rain insisted as he stood beside Cognitum.
“No.  She’s not.” Cognitum answered.
“How can you be sure?” Steel Rain replied.

Because she rarely lies, and doesn't play games like this?


“You should interrogate her, still.  Tug off that pendant and see how she likes having her soul torn out,” Steel Rain replied, then paused and continued, in a lower tone, “Or... you have her baby...”
There was a resounding clang as Cognitum popped her hands out, grabbed Steel Rain, and threw the silver-armored stallion to the ground.  With cold contempt, she said softly, “Never, ever, suggest such a thing again.”

Well, contact with Blackjack makes people better. And how much more direct could you get?


Through the gloom ahead of and below the platform, I made out a massive body of... mist?  Water?  Something was churning far below.

Flux. No wonder Discord was in bad shape.


I stared in awe at the largest, most beautiful bullet in all of creation flying through the void… towards Equus and Equestria below.

That's new. Haven't named the planet until now. Seems like a popular name, lately.


Okay, bad guess; sounds like the Flux didn't end up at the Tokomare.


“Give me EC-1101, and perhaps I will be able to negate the Tokomare’s Enervation field,” Cognitum answered smoothly

Color me sceptical.


Yeah.  Maybe.  “Why is touching my ‘purest Blackjackness’ so intolerable?” I asked sourly from inside my jar.  “I know I’m not the best pony, but–”
   The prompted a laugh from my old body.  “Oh dear.  And I know you mean that too.”  She sighed, shaking her head.

Uh oh. You just went and called your OC "best pony" in your own fic. Batten down the hatches.


“Of course,” Cognitum nearly purred.  “That is... if Blackjack tells us what she knows about EC-1101’s key.”

why haven't they just ripped it from her yet? seems like it's within the capabilities of Cognitum.


“It’s time for you to be rewarded for your loyalty and devotion, Echo.”  She stuck out her hoof.  “Snips, please transfer him back.”

Oh, duh. I may need to reread the Echo scene later.


“I’m not letting the world die.  You underestimate my friends.  Glory and P-21 will learn what has happened to me.  They will contact others.  LittlePip.  Homage.  Calamity.  Grace.  Others that respect the cause I work towards.  They will find a way to stop Horizons, with or without EC-1101.  Then they will end you,” I answered, the truth so clear and simple to me that even here, like this, I felt a great sense of peace.  “It’s not about you, Cognitum.”

I don't think it's been Blackjack who's said "it's not about you" before! All the better because of the implicit "it's not about me, either" attached.


“No!” I yelled as the green beam swept out, blowing the roof off one of the campus buildings.  Even wartime Equestrian overengineering melted and exploded into flaming debris as the beam blasted through everything.  Ponies wheeled about in a panic, struggling to find somewhere safe.  The harsh green glare of the deadly line focused on the foundation of one structure and bored in.  Flames exploded out the basement windows, and then the first story, then the second, and then ponies with their manes and clothes ablaze scattered out.  “Please!  Please no!” I screamed, the green line sweeping across the medical school, tearing the facade away.

Wow. Quite a way to rack up the death toll.


“You said you didn’t want my soul.  Couldn’t bear to touch it,” I said as I stared up at her.
   “And I don’t,” she replied in that terrible, soft voice.  “I want victory.”

Stealing a cutie mark. Interesting.


"Your special talent . . . is being the protagonist!"


“Oh please.  Where’s the fun in that?” he asked as he disappeared and reappeared dressed in fine evening wear, considering Cognitum.  “Hmmm... clearly dadaist in the melange of cobbled together elements.  Really, it looks almost as if it were thrown together utterly at random.  A selection of Jungian shadows mixed with soaring inferiority complexes pasted together with narcissistic delusions of grandeur in a purloined body.  Really.  I don’t think I could do better if I tried.  And believe you me, that’s saying something.”  He smirked down as they stared from him to each other in bafflement, and then he gave a permissive wave of a claw.  “Oh, and if you want to go grab a dictionary right now, go right ahead. I have time.”

Not bad.


Then he regarded me, and his eyes softened a moment.  “And this poor pathetic little lump of a mare.  What is she doing here?  She clearly doesn’t belong in this assembly at all.”  He swept me up in his arms, stroking my mane gently.  “A pony of my very own!  I will hug her and stroke her pretty mane and call her George.”

Aww. But I don't want Blackjack snapped or crushed.


“I knew Princess Moonbutt back when your ancestor was an abacus.  I don’t know what you’re supposed to be, but you’re no Princess.”  He then gestured at the bright soul being held by the straining unicorns.  “THAT is a princess.”

Of course!


“You’re a bit of a packrat, aren’t you, Cogwheel?” he asked with a grin, going back to petting my head as if I were a cat.

And after all this time I've been saying Boo was a cat.


Then I dared to look at the center of the platform.  Cognitum crouched there, black wings covering her head.  “Please be good, Luna.  Please be good, Luna,” I prayed over and over again.

Or, "Please be Good Luna." : )


Then she rose.  Was it just me, or was she now... larger?  She threw back her head, her mane streaming behind her like a bloody banner streaked with soot.  Her armor seemed sharper now, the laser-etched filly and ‘Security’ gone.  She stood before us all, a Princess of Death.  Her red eye panels blazed with light as she began to laugh, high and exultant.
“Fools!  Fools!  All of you, fools!  I am the Queen of the Night!  And this world is mine!” she crowed, her wings spreading as her red and black magic mane and tail snapped in the air behind her.  “Bow before my greatness!”

Not seeming that way. Even with the better soul, I guess the mind was too much.


I stared at the scene, my brain locked up at the sight of the zebra, his face covered in bright red magical tattoos resembling the orbits of planets.  At his neck, they inexplicably became black, save for a few lines where Rampage’s tail had scraped him earlier.  He knelt, lips pressed to the tip of her hoof, then pulled away.  “Beautiful.  You are beautiful, my Maiden.”  Then he regarded me in amusement as she stopped the crackling lightning, and I realized that I knew this zebra...
Amadi.

Well. That happened.


“Your friends are now my friends,” Cognitum replied smoothly.  “I’ll have to deal with other heroes abroad, I’m sure.  Perhaps use a smaller version of Tom against the SPP.  There must be some force strong enough to split that egg open.  Regardless, you’re done.”  She patted my head.  “If you’d been loyal from the outset, I might have had a future for you as well.  Now all I want is for you to see me triumphant.”

Somehow I doubt that they'll buy you. Just sayin'.


Then everything went dark all at once.  The hologram.  The terminals.  Even the maneframe.  Cognitum turned her head wildly in bafflement, the only illumination coming from the stream of lights circling the spire and Cognitum’s red glowing eyes.  “OH, COME ON!”

You had to get one more in, didn't you?


Then a familiar rasp filled the air.  It was long and low, wet and labored.  And a gravelly, wet voice asked, “Identify yourself.”
   Cognitum froze.  She glanced from Steel Rain to Vitiosus to me, then answered, “I am Princess Luna reborn, rightful heir to Equestria!  You will transfer control of EC-1101 to me, immediately.”  Nothing happened.  Then she asked, her voice a little more wary.  “Who is this?”
   “Project Horizons Command AI,” the voice rasped.

Hi, Goldie! And here's yet another person who will know the real deal from fake Luna.

Or maybe not.
Chapter Sixty Five Editing:
“Hello everypony! Did I miss anything?"

Should have second space after exclamation mark.


My work concerns had been limited dealing the occasional incident of indecent exposure, tracking down fillies raiding the supply stores for parties during their sleep shifts, and tracking down males who’d either been misappropriated or needed to be retired.

"limited" should be followed by "to," a comma, or a colon.


and trying to talk another mare into coitus.

Between them, two mares don't have the equipment for coitus


Today, I was a cybernetic mare, pregnant, in the middle of the deadliest place imaginable and facing an enemy who had beaten me like a drum.

final serial comma after "imaginable"


thematic aspect of ‘badassness’! Come on

should have second space after the exclamation point


The last time?”  Boo taunted from behind me,

should have only one space after quotation


"I couldn't help but notice how roomy it was! How homely! After all, it was built from my blood. My stolen blood, I remind you." He explained, his voice taking on an increasingly dark and dangerous tone before he fizzed back to enthusiasm. "Wher

second space needed after each period, exclamation point, and the quotation.


Either taking my advice to heart, or simply pissed off beyond words, he charged me without a word.  

With the "either," I think the first comma isn't necessary.


“You have the right to shut the fuck up or die, you sick son of a mule!”  Rampage replied,
“Blackjack!  Headshot!”  Rampage cried
“Don’t you start!”  I warned her, then resumed

should have only one space after quotation


A zebra phoenix talisman… the zebras had stolen project Chimera and project Steelpony.

the "project"s should be capitalized


With Rampage on my back, I trotted to Boo. “Now, you

only one space after period


“not to put too fine a point on it, but perhaps we should be moving along?  One thrilling chase was quite enough for me for the moment.

closing quotion mark needed


“Au Contraire,” Boo contradicted.

I don't think "Contraire" should be capitalized.


and you don’t have any questions?”  Discord said with a sickly grin.

should have only one space after quotation


Whatever it was, instead of Twilight becoming an Alicorn, she remained an ordinary mare.

"Alicorn" shouldn't be capitalized


That is, unless you don’t take the role yourself.

"unless you take" or "if you don't take"


Can you… I don’t know… control the brood of Coyotl since they’re made of Flux too?”

"brood" should be capitalized


Discord… Coyotl… flux… Boo… “Brood of Coyotl… they’re blanks!  Just like Boo!  Made with flux

"flux" should be capitalized


“Ages?”  I asked with a frown

should have only one space after quotation


this planet's ever seen. I would have been quite
She then paused. “Hold that

only one space after period


“We should be attacked right about…. Now!”

should have only three dots in ellipsis


Okay.  I could do this.  I got out Penance as I backed away… then balked.  “What do I shoot?”

Note that Penance was broken down at this point.


the wall a few feet above my horn.   “Okay!

Three spaces after the period


“You have got to be kidding me!”  I shouted, reaching up
“Damn it!”  I shouted, slamming my hooves
Where are the damned bullets?”  I asked as I ran

should have only one space after the quotation


hoofslams to knock it back. Physical blows wouldn’t

only one space after period


“Owww!”  I hissed, gritting my

should have only one space after quotation?


into the launcher. Time to

only one space after period


I just needed to hit it hard…like with a boat

space needed after ellipsis


As its flailing limbs dispersed more and more of the smoke, I hope to see at leas–

"hoped"


Then the train’s engine came shooting out the tunnel, half rolling and half falling, it streaked towards the monster.

first comma -> semicolon


I was only hopeful that I would land somewhere in the vicinity of Boo, Discord and their

comma after "Discord"


“I’m glad you’re here, mother.
Outside the window came a colossal flash of energy, turning mother into a black silhouette.

"mother" should be capitalized


“Who are you?”  I murmured as tears ran down my eyes.

should have only one space after period


“Is yous gonna be bad again?”  Boo asked innocently.

should have only one space after quotation


Primadonnas, every one of them.

it's two words


What stakes could be higher?”  Discord declared grandly, hooves

should have only one space after quotation


simply controlling , repairing, and utilizing infrastructure

shouldn't have space before first comma


I paused, then frowned, and glanced at my Pipbuck.

"PipBuck"


the blue barred ultra sentinel, wary of it turning red and vaporizing me

"Ultra-Sentinel"


a missile till it behaved.    “Cognitum,” I said as I slowly

four spaces after the period


“That day, when Horse was showing of his latest innovation,

"showing off"


to land on the head on one mare who attended the meeting in

"the head of"


A few seconds worth, before he jumped into the stasis pod,”

"seconds' "


I was princess of the Moon, of the night!

"Moon" shouldn't be capitalized, or "Princess
should be (and maybe "night" too)


Not at all.” Cognitum said

period should be comma


eye sockets like stars. “Hello, Blackjack,”

only one space after period


collected over decades of hard work by one King Awesome.”  Cognitum replied with a smirk as Snails was

period to comma, should have only one space after quotation


“I want her out of that jar, now.” I ordered, about to smash it

period to comma


“Do you accept my offer.  

Period to question mark


“Purge?  What fool purges a super critical megaspell program after two fails?” Cognitum asked incredulously.    ‘Who is ‘he’, Echo?

three fails, not two, and four spaces after the period


“Can’t you hack the password?”  Steel Rain demanded, incredulously.

should have only one space after quotation


"Of course I could. The problem is that

only one space after period


been flesh and blood.   I’d been

three spaces after period


Cognitum replied. “The mechasprites only

only one space after period


“Tom must descend within eighty degrees of the Core’s vertical axis for the modified F.A.D.E. shields to catch it.”

Wouldn't that be ten degrees? Or over eighty degrees from the plane defined by the axis?


Soul ripping was a byproduct? “You think

only one space after the question mark


transformers, and starmetal girders. A hole had been bashed clean through

only one space after the period


The soul is the being of self.” Snips said from inside

period to comma


The inclinator slid into a berth, and there were a series of clangs as plates locked the mechanism into place.

"were" to "was"


I picked out a few Sand Dogs in their midst, and one in particular that I knew.

"Sand Dogs" shouldn't be capitalized


Luna in you... stop.” I begged

period to comma


I saw Rover and other Sand Dogs directing the ponies towards the subway station

"Sand Dogs" shouldn't be capitalized


I didn’t win then!”  I argued

should have only one space after quotation


you’d find some way to do so.”  Cognitum replied evenly

period to comma, should have only one space after quotation


pouring from the tip of Snip’s cracked horn.

"Snips's"


now, go right ahead. I have time

only one space after the period


The soul of princess Luna.

"Princess" should be capitalized


manage second-rate villainy.”  He said with a disdainful

period to comma, should have only one space after quotation


magical wind blowing Cognitum’s mane  The Legate stared

need period after "mane"


“OH, COME ON!”  She screamed, then demanded. “What is going on

if the scream is the quotation, "She" shouldn't be capitalized and there should be only one space after the quotation. If not, that's fine, but in either case there's only one space after the period.
Editing was taken from the version about five or six hours ago.
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Icy Shake
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vergil on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:42 am

A belated happy birthday to you, Somber. I managed to read the chapter yesterday and found it an interesting mix of hilariously awesome (Discord) and building anxiety (the loss of a piece of BJ herself and her foal) the likes of which this story only also hit for me with the Goddess slowly taking BJ's mind. Nice work, and now we'll see if I can keep from going crazy before the next chapter.
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Vergil
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:22 am

Icy Shake wrote:Wow. That chapter was something. Too late to add much right now, given consecutive nights of insomnia, a travel day yesterday, and work in the morning (heck, it's really too late already), so just the basics.

Chapter Sixty Five Running Thoughts:
“You’ve interfered for the last time,” the Legate growled.  Something about his voice was so… familiar.

Crack theory: the Legate is Goldenblood.


“Enough,” he bellowed, leaping at him... her... ugh, Discord was in a mare’s body… but male…

You'd think that after watching Glory get used to Doctor Morningstar she'd be less flustered. Granted, I guess there's nothing indicating Discord's embraced it quite like she did.


“Ole!” Boo cheered, and I glared back at her.  “Ah.  Yes.  Wrong side and all that.  Boooo!  Hisssss!”

Well, Discord's all about fun, and it's fun to cheer a winning team, I guess.


He tried to dive under me and heave me out of the way, but I’d put on a few hundred pounds since we last danced.

Blackjack fat joke #23927.


Really, I was fairly certain that he could have done much more damage to me if he really wanted to.  Why was he taking it easy on me?

I was not expecting a Grease reference in this story. Now, though, we need a Palomino to show up in the chapter.


“And Coyotl as well, for the time being,” Rampage said as she scowled down the street.  “If he wishes to kill him, it must be for a reason.”

Whaaa? Okay, that's interesting. Granted, he is a shapeshifter.


As we raced towards them, he struck out with a double hooved stomp that would have crushed Boo if he'd landed it.  Instead, after rolling aside, it found the end of a flat tipped shovel.  The handle flashed up, smashing the stout wooden handle across the Legate’s skull helmet.  He whirled, kicking out at Boo with his back legs.  Again, she dodged aside.  His hooves smashed into the wall behind her, and the wobbly stones at the top fell and thudded down on him.

Discord fighting classic Warner Brothers animation style? I can dig it.


And impacted with six hundred pounds of cyberpony as I swooped from above and slammed into him, knocking him completely off target and giving Boo a chance to scramble out of the fray.  “Next time, don’t talk,” I chided, shoving him away.

The irony isn't lost on me.


“Get off of me!” he roared.  “You should be dead!  Why aren’t you dead, you red-striped freak?!”  He rammed the skull helmet back, one of its horns gouging her eye socket.

You'd think he'd have better intel than that.


“Oh no you don’t, you motherfucking Pink!” she swore, biting his mane and struggling to keep on top of him.

Okay, so far Shujaa, Twist, probably Officer Softheart, now Razorwire. I have trouble believing Doc Oc will make an appearance as a fighter, but now I want the Angel. And it could be interesting to see her post-therapy.

“I’m sensing a lot of aggravation from you.  Perhaps you can calm down and tell me about your mother?” Rampage grunted into his ear.

See, not much fight there.


“Don’t you start!”  I warned her, then resumed stomping.  The head was starting to regrow, a pink mist slowly spreading up and forming into tissue.  Just like…  “Rampage, he’s got a phoenix talisman too.”

Yeah, we all saw this coming.


“Dawn was the one that wanted you dead.  Cognitum is prepared to wipe the slate clean and let bygones be bygones.”  She gave a weak smile.  “Just imagine it, Blackjack.  No more shit in your life.  The Harbingers will leave you alone.  You can go to Star House with Glory and turn my old bedroom into a nursery, and boink each other’s brains out all day.  Be head of Security for Chapel or Stable 99, or wherever.  All this shit could be over.  Just… over.”

Yeah, I don't think Blackjack is going to buy this, and even if she did, there's still the matter of the cost to everyone else.


“You know, I was never supposed to stay a villain.  My role was very clear.  Open antagonist to challenge Twilight Sparkle’s presuppositions of friendship and make her face having her friends turn on her at the outset, and then I was supposed to grow into a grudging ally of sorts.  I had the scripts, and I was quite looking forward to my time with Fluttershy.  Rehabilitation.  Yay,” Discord said sarcastically, pressing her hooves together and fluttering her eyes, then slumping.  “Only it never happened.  I stayed a statue, and things went… wrong.”  I arched a brow at her, and she rolled her eyes.  “Oh, don’t give me that.  I’m a spirit of chaos.  I’m a connoisseur of wrongness.

I . . . really don't care for this, but let's see how it goes.


“Ugh, I’d forgotten how gushy you ponies can get when it comes to your winged unicorns.”  Discord made a gagging noise.  “Yes, a princess the same as Moonbutt and Sunnyflanks.

And see, that's a small part of it; sure, we don't really know what they are in the show, but we do in PH, and it just seems that's really not the same.


Even Princess Sunnybuns could be wonderfully manipulative at times.

"at times," right.


“Boo is unique.  Precious.  An individual.  Why, she’s growing her own soul and everything.  And she’s as immortal as I am.  Plus she sees things as they really are, which is probably why she loves you no matter how scary you become,” he said, regarding herself in a puddle on the floor for a moment before going on, “But the Brood… mindless, soulless, immortal automations of magical flesh and steel.  I look forward to seeing you take them all apart.”

Maybe without the fourth wall breaking exposition earlier, this wouldn't be too much, but even then it would be a lot. And I get that there are many threads to be wound up in probably not much space left, but having big parts of it in exposition from an omnicient Discord doesn't help.


“I’m hurt, Blackjack!” she said with a simpering pout.  “Didn’t I say I was forced to be a villain?  Cast in such a role by powers beyond your comprehension?”  She sat and pushed a hoof to her brow, then smiled and rolled her eyes.

Okay, this one was a little better.


“Well, however adorable it might have been, you freeing the God of Chaos and telling him to start obeying traffic laws or whatever, you were doing it because you thought that that was good.  And looking around at the shameful sort of chaos you’ve been having to deal with, I suppose that I can’t blame you too much.  You’ve done good and sown disorder, but you haven’t gotten the spark that links them in your head yet.  Look around a bit harder.”  She swung her forehoof in a wide arc.  “This whole city is a testament to unchanging corruption and stagnation, to what happens when order goes too far.  And that’s not even mentioning what’s under it…”

Nice speech there.


“Cognitum wants stasis.  She wishes to freeze the world into the state she thinks it should be, optimally with her on top.  Funny how that’s usually the case,” Discord said with a grim smile.

Like locked in an eternal night?


Boo blinked, “Wazzit, Discowd?”

Still not 100% convinced she's separate at all. There could still be value in keeping up a charade.


The red mound twitched rhythmically, and then a half dozen eyes bubbled open.  Two fleshy tendrils sprouted, wrapping around my neck and horn, and as it pulled itself closer, a large mouth filled with toothy protrusions snapped at what little face I had left.

Ew. Also pretty threatening.


And while Penance was an exquisite firearm, it wasn’t the ideal weapon for use against a swarm of opponents.  I was missing my Boo luck charm, too.  “Damn it!”  I shouted, slamming my hooves against an intact, tipped-over container as I wondered if I could fly back to the hole without getting puked on.
   The lid broke open, and dozens of twelve-millimeter semiautomatic weapons tumbled out around my hooves, each still in its translucent plastic wrap.

You were saying?


Two more blobs dropped onto me, one tangling in my wings with ropy masses and hooked limbs, the other ripping into my rump and legs with scythe like blades, tearing rents in my armor.  Okay, that sent my ‘oh fuck no’ level through the roof.

Yeah, sounds about right.


An IF-84 Stampede riot shotgun.  In a flash, I tore the translucent wrapping paper off, took in the sharp scent of lubricant, and popped out the drum.  I selected the ammo with my PipBuck organizer and loaded the gun with red-banded shells.  With a distinctly manic grin on my face, I murmured.  “I shall name you Boomstick.”

Blackjack shops smart.


Still, I fell into a moment of peace.  Shoot.  Jump.  Kick.  Blast.  Run.  Dive.  Reload.  Grab.  Smash.  Shoot.  Toss.  Smile.  Retreat.  Lunge.  Cast.  Shoot.  Block.  Twist.  Stomp.  Twist.  Reload.  Shoot.  Laugh.

Blackjack wanted to know where the mare who sang while blowing through a place was? Never too far away.


“Oh, you have got to be kidding!” I shouted as it grabbed another flatbed car and sent it whirling at me.

There have been a lot of those this chapter, and Oh, come on!s.


Then the train’s engine came shooting out the tunnel, half rolling and half falling, it streaked towards the monster.  I activated my wings, launching myself off the last flatcar and into the air.  Like a hammer striking a chisel, the flatcar sheared right through the outstretched claw hand and then clean through the monster’s body.  A millisecond later, the engine rammed right into it with an enormous crash, splattering it against the wall.  For good measure, I sent a missile flying, not at the monster, but the rock wall beneath it.  Then the whole messy, bloody, flaming mess fell into the crevasse, tearing down the bridging tracks with it.  I watched it fall…

Nice climax to the fight.


“You were no different.  If anything, you were worse.”  I gave a skeptical sniff, and she grinned at me.  “It’s true.  And you didn’t limit yourself to milk.  How you got your hooves on your father’s apple cider, I’ll never know.”

Funniest part of the chapter so far.


She looked up at me with teal eyes and smiled a little before glancing back down.  “Most ponies don’t have as much experience with mind games as you, Blackjack.”  Tears began to run down her cheeks.

I wonder what the teal eyes mean. Luna/Cognitum?


“Perhaps it delights in tormenting us.  Or maybe it thinks it’s protecting us from the Everafter.  It can’t get all of us.  I’m still waiting for my sister to join me… and horrified she will…”

Luna


“Someone who knows what it’s like to deserve to hurt,” she replied in a whisper, the light fading out around us.  She scooped up my filly in her other hoof.  “I’ll look after your babies till you return.”

And they will be born abominations, already knowing more than most ever do; the son will wed the daughter, and rule for five thousand years over an equinity in stasis, readying it for it to expand beyond anything it had imagined before upon his death at the hands of the one thing he couldn't forsee and loved most of all.


The mottled, horrifying visage of an abomination pony met my eyes.  It only had one eye, a maroon orb on the left side of its face.  Only the fact that my E.F.S. was blue kept my magic bullets in check.

Man, I thought you were over the ugly-equals-bad thing long ago.


I had to trust that they knew where we were going.  The pipe led to a crevasse which led to a partially collapsed subway which led to a rockslide.  All the while, I passed by more and more abomina… weird things.  Plenty were ponies, but I spotted others that appeared to be griffins, or zebras, or even hellhounds.  They stood around, or wandered aimlessly.  Every now and then, one would misstep and tumble, coming apart like wet roadapples.  A mote of light escaped and wandered away.  The bloody goop would form spiders, or scorpions, or other skittering things that I occasionally had to splatter with Boomstick.  Once, I watched as a mote slipped into a puddle of bloody goo which then coalesced into a tiny weird griffin.

Nice atmosphere here, and neat concept. But then what was animating the great terror, and why were the bits thrown off able to operate on their own?


“Was you really bad?”
   Discord didn’t answer for several seconds, and when he did it was soft and reflective, “I suppose I was, dear Boo.”

This little exchange has been the best part of Discord's appearance so far this chapter.


“Dear me.  Two centuries locked in a starmetal tomb, and I’ve gotten all mopey.  But then, the mope is in high style around this horrible place.”

Now that's how you do a fourth wall reference right!


“Is yous gonna be bad again?”  Boo asked innocently.

Fuck, the only thing separating her from Jar Jar is an "a" on the end of her yous. Just have to get that out there after the last couple chapters.


But I can’t help but think that, even if her mane’s a little short and she can be so terribly depressing at times, Blackjack does remind me of what a certain yellow pony would have been.  I mean, seriously, freeing me, no questions asked or deals demanded?  Telling me to do better?  She needs someone around to tell her to stop apologizing to the dragon trying to eat her.  And take her out drinking!  I like Drunkjack.”

It's weird. Even here it's better. I think it works because it's more oblique. Too direct, and too much at once hurts it. Somehow I think the voicing is better, too, though I can't shake the feeling that part of it is just the Drunkjack. But he would like her, wouldn't he?


“Oh, absolutely delightful.  Wonderful place to sit around and linger,” Discord replied, rolling her mismatched eyes.  “I’m thinking of setting up a summer cottage.  The view of the horrific abyss is quite lovely this time of year.”

Still might be better than Fluttershy's cottage a few months before.


“An alien device of immense complexity that may also be an eldritch abomination of mindshocking power projecting a field that liquefies flesh causing that flesh to transform and alter into monsters of grotesque magnificence?” Discord gushed, her red and yellow eyes growing by the second as she leaned towards me.  Then she gave a dismissive wave of her hoof.  “Nah.  Couldn’t be.  Personally, I think there’s something in the water.  Fluoridation.  Look it up.”

No! I am not surrendering Discord to the Precious Bodily Fluids crowd! They do enough damage, and not in fun or interesting ways! Well, except General Ripper, of course.


“Or shine.  They’re very proud of the shining.  And the singing.  Stars… ech,” she snorted, waving her hoof dismissively.  “Primadonnas, every one of them.  Always needing the spotlight.  Never standing to be upstaged for even a moment.”  Then she blinked, and touched her chest at my smirk.  “What?”
   I couldn’t take time to enjoy Discord’s blatant hypocrisy though.

I can work with this. 'Course, wasn't the whole point of almost every star that they weren't about upstaging each other?


It’s like saying there’s no difference between ‘Blackjack’ and ‘messiah archetype’ or ‘Twilight Sparkle’ and ‘Fussypants protagonist’.

That got a good laugh out of me.


I made my way through the basement as silently as I could manage.  I knew Cognitum wasn’t alone, but she didn’t know about me or Discord.

I wouldn't be too sure; did just use EC-1101, after all.


Heavy structural reinforcement beams had been attached to the side, and for some reason a crane arm had been mounted on top.

GlaDOS?


The crane hummed overhead, and a new pod was set down beside the table.  Within was the prone form of a yellow, emaciated earth pony who was barely breathing.  “Oopsie.  Wrong jar.”  It was whisked up once more.  “I’m sure you’ve noticed that these jars function the same as the stasis pods.  Quite useful technology.  It can keep a body preserved… forever.”

Eh, can't say Horse deserved a very good end.


The crane whirled and deposited another jar.  In it was what appeared to be a skinned pony.  Bare, sightless, emasculated.  I got the impression of looking at an adult-sized fetus.

I guess the first wasn't him. But in fairness, how many characters were yellow earth ponies from before the war?


You’ve killed thousands.  You’ve killed foals, Blackjack.  Helpless foals.  You’ve killed indiscriminately.  Your hooves are far bloodier than mine.  So let’s not throw about that ‘E’ word so casually, thank you very much

Ah, ah, ah. If you're Luna, which I'll readily grant, your hooves are bloodier by far than Blackjack's. And that's before counting any actions after the bombs fell.


Oh, she was good.  Very good.  Rational and reasonable… and worst of all, I thought she might be right.

And yet, that's the problem. Perhaps not writ large, but certainly in this argument; for when has Blackjack been driven by her mind rather than her heart?


“I want her dead!  No, wait, not dead.  I want her alive.  Like, take her legs off.  And make sure some Harbingers fuck her up her tail.  Like, ten times.  At least!” the filly said with a cruel grin.  “Maybe you can set her up on a stand somewhere and we can get a whole row of stallions to fuck her over and over.  Like, the whole Hoof.”

Ah, the charming Charm.


“We can bring peace to the Wasteland, unity to all the races that inhabit it, safety and security to all that crave it!” Cognitum pleaded as she stepped before me.  “I know you don’t approve of my methods, and I don’t expect you to, but I know you desire the same ends I do.  Work with me, and you can help return the world to its glorious state!”

It's not quite Vader's appeal to Luke in Empire verbatim, but it's close.


I shoved her aside hard as the crane lifted the jar up into the air and returned it to the side, seizing the last one.  “Tell me!” I yelled, a final time, the missile ready to fly.

You know, Blackjack is now rather echoing the old "Give it to me" of, I think, the Cyberdemon.


“And if she gets out of line, the Twilight Society can blast the Core with Celestia One, or the Lightbringer can drop a hurricane on this place.  It doesn’t have to be you,” she said as she stared into my eyes in earnest, the pale gaze sincere and craving my acceptance of her decision.

I'm not so sure that would work, though. Especially with the Tokomare up and running.


The metal tendril climbed over and into the jar, and the golden netting spread out to cover the blank’s head.

Wait. Is it a blank if it was templated?


The mare floated there in a jar, looking at a black cyberpony, a frozen unicorn robot, and a striped mare struggling against the hooves of a pony in glittery silver power armor.  Dimly, she was aware of something terrible having happened, but she didn’t care.  She simply bobbed in the jar, hearing the black cyberpony talking to the striped mare about what was best for Blackjack, Rampage, and the world.  More than once, they regarded her, gesturing with sweeps of their hooves.  She just waited, indifferently.

Huge decompression right there, going from the cliffhanger to this. And I think it's going to work.


Then the black cyberpony backed away as the bony skull began to cast a spell in concert with the black cyberpony.  A swirling black disk bubbling with bursting green and purple boils began to whirl about the black cyberpony, and she struggled as if in agony once more.  From the midst of the disk came a small white orb.  The jagged black spiral caught the orb, which jerked as if caught in a powerful wind.  The orb was blown over to the floating mare and pushed against her chest, and a warm sensation flowed through her.

It'll be weird having Blackjack not be on the edge of invincibility anymore. But it does open up the door for a happier ending than I ever expected, even if that's still not my base case.


Sweetie Bot’s eyes flickered to life, and she said in filly’s high-pitched voice, “I reckon, if y’all want to find out, you should jes follow the routin’ path to wherever it was tryin ta go.  That’s yer best bet ta find what Horizons is.”
   I now had enough blood to appreciate the sensation of it running cold.  “You were Applebot.”  The robot went dead again, and my old body nodded.  “But why?”

This might just have been more surprising than Discord.


“You used me,” I said, ashamed and disgusted that I never questioned the routing taking me straight to my enemy.
“You like being used.

In fairness, it's kind of true. And not just the sex part.


‘Enter Password’
   Cognitum froze with all the abruptness of a mare on the edge of climax getting doused in ice water.  Her head twitched back and forth.  “What is this?  Password?  What password?  What is going on?”
   “What do you mean?” Steel Rain asked.  “Don’t you know it?”

Ha ha ha! Better help Echo soon! But then, I bet you can't.


Hint: The name he likes so much.

P-21, or Whisper?


She’s lying.  She must be lying,” Steel Rain insisted as he stood beside Cognitum.
“No.  She’s not.” Cognitum answered.
“How can you be sure?” Steel Rain replied.

Because she rarely lies, and doesn't play games like this?


“You should interrogate her, still.  Tug off that pendant and see how she likes having her soul torn out,” Steel Rain replied, then paused and continued, in a lower tone, “Or... you have her baby...”
There was a resounding clang as Cognitum popped her hands out, grabbed Steel Rain, and threw the silver-armored stallion to the ground.  With cold contempt, she said softly, “Never, ever, suggest such a thing again.”

Well, contact with Blackjack makes people better. And how much more direct could you get?


Through the gloom ahead of and below the platform, I made out a massive body of... mist?  Water?  Something was churning far below.

Flux. No wonder Discord was in bad shape.


I stared in awe at the largest, most beautiful bullet in all of creation flying through the void… towards Equus and Equestria below.

That's new. Haven't named the planet until now. Seems like a popular name, lately.


Okay, bad guess; sounds like the Flux didn't end up at the Tokomare.


“Give me EC-1101, and perhaps I will be able to negate the Tokomare’s Enervation field,” Cognitum answered smoothly

Color me sceptical.


Yeah.  Maybe.  “Why is touching my ‘purest Blackjackness’ so intolerable?” I asked sourly from inside my jar.  “I know I’m not the best pony, but–”
   The prompted a laugh from my old body.  “Oh dear.  And I know you mean that too.”  She sighed, shaking her head.

Uh oh. You just went and called your OC "best pony" in your own fic. Batten down the hatches.


“Of course,” Cognitum nearly purred.  “That is... if Blackjack tells us what she knows about EC-1101’s key.”

why haven't they just ripped it from her yet? seems like it's within the capabilities of Cognitum.


“It’s time for you to be rewarded for your loyalty and devotion, Echo.”  She stuck out her hoof.  “Snips, please transfer him back.”

Oh, duh. I may need to reread the Echo scene later.


“I’m not letting the world die.  You underestimate my friends.  Glory and P-21 will learn what has happened to me.  They will contact others.  LittlePip.  Homage.  Calamity.  Grace.  Others that respect the cause I work towards.  They will find a way to stop Horizons, with or without EC-1101.  Then they will end you,” I answered, the truth so clear and simple to me that even here, like this, I felt a great sense of peace.  “It’s not about you, Cognitum.”

I don't think it's been Blackjack who's said "it's not about you" before! All the better because of the implicit "it's not about me, either" attached.


“No!” I yelled as the green beam swept out, blowing the roof off one of the campus buildings.  Even wartime Equestrian overengineering melted and exploded into flaming debris as the beam blasted through everything.  Ponies wheeled about in a panic, struggling to find somewhere safe.  The harsh green glare of the deadly line focused on the foundation of one structure and bored in.  Flames exploded out the basement windows, and then the first story, then the second, and then ponies with their manes and clothes ablaze scattered out.  “Please!  Please no!” I screamed, the green line sweeping across the medical school, tearing the facade away.

Wow. Quite a way to rack up the death toll.


“You said you didn’t want my soul.  Couldn’t bear to touch it,” I said as I stared up at her.
   “And I don’t,” she replied in that terrible, soft voice.  “I want victory.”

Stealing a cutie mark. Interesting.


"Your special talent . . . is being the protagonist!"


“Oh please.  Where’s the fun in that?” he asked as he disappeared and reappeared dressed in fine evening wear, considering Cognitum.  “Hmmm... clearly dadaist in the melange of cobbled together elements.  Really, it looks almost as if it were thrown together utterly at random.  A selection of Jungian shadows mixed with soaring inferiority complexes pasted together with narcissistic delusions of grandeur in a purloined body.  Really.  I don’t think I could do better if I tried.  And believe you me, that’s saying something.”  He smirked down as they stared from him to each other in bafflement, and then he gave a permissive wave of a claw.  “Oh, and if you want to go grab a dictionary right now, go right ahead. I have time.”

Not bad.


Then he regarded me, and his eyes softened a moment.  “And this poor pathetic little lump of a mare.  What is she doing here?  She clearly doesn’t belong in this assembly at all.”  He swept me up in his arms, stroking my mane gently.  “A pony of my very own!  I will hug her and stroke her pretty mane and call her George.”

Aww. But I don't want Blackjack snapped or crushed.


“I knew Princess Moonbutt back when your ancestor was an abacus.  I don’t know what you’re supposed to be, but you’re no Princess.”  He then gestured at the bright soul being held by the straining unicorns.  “THAT is a princess.”

Of course!


“You’re a bit of a packrat, aren’t you, Cogwheel?” he asked with a grin, going back to petting my head as if I were a cat.

And after all this time I've been saying Boo was a cat.


Then I dared to look at the center of the platform.  Cognitum crouched there, black wings covering her head.  “Please be good, Luna.  Please be good, Luna,” I prayed over and over again.

Or, "Please be Good Luna." : )


Then she rose.  Was it just me, or was she now... larger?  She threw back her head, her mane streaming behind her like a bloody banner streaked with soot.  Her armor seemed sharper now, the laser-etched filly and ‘Security’ gone.  She stood before us all, a Princess of Death.  Her red eye panels blazed with light as she began to laugh, high and exultant.
“Fools!  Fools!  All of you, fools!  I am the Queen of the Night!  And this world is mine!” she crowed, her wings spreading as her red and black magic mane and tail snapped in the air behind her.  “Bow before my greatness!”

Not seeming that way. Even with the better soul, I guess the mind was too much.


I stared at the scene, my brain locked up at the sight of the zebra, his face covered in bright red magical tattoos resembling the orbits of planets.  At his neck, they inexplicably became black, save for a few lines where Rampage’s tail had scraped him earlier.  He knelt, lips pressed to the tip of her hoof, then pulled away.  “Beautiful.  You are beautiful, my Maiden.”  Then he regarded me in amusement as she stopped the crackling lightning, and I realized that I knew this zebra...
Amadi.

Well. That happened.


“Your friends are now my friends,” Cognitum replied smoothly.  “I’ll have to deal with other heroes abroad, I’m sure.  Perhaps use a smaller version of Tom against the SPP.  There must be some force strong enough to split that egg open.  Regardless, you’re done.”  She patted my head.  “If you’d been loyal from the outset, I might have had a future for you as well.  Now all I want is for you to see me triumphant.”

Somehow I doubt that they'll buy you. Just sayin'.


Then everything went dark all at once.  The hologram.  The terminals.  Even the maneframe.  Cognitum turned her head wildly in bafflement, the only illumination coming from the stream of lights circling the spire and Cognitum’s red glowing eyes.  “OH, COME ON!”

You had to get one more in, didn't you?


Then a familiar rasp filled the air.  It was long and low, wet and labored.  And a gravelly, wet voice asked, “Identify yourself.”
   Cognitum froze.  She glanced from Steel Rain to Vitiosus to me, then answered, “I am Princess Luna reborn, rightful heir to Equestria!  You will transfer control of EC-1101 to me, immediately.”  Nothing happened.  Then she asked, her voice a little more wary.  “Who is this?”
   “Project Horizons Command AI,” the voice rasped.

Hi, Goldie! And here's yet another person who will know the real deal from fake Luna.

Or maybe not.
Chapter Sixty Five Editing:
“Hello everypony! Did I miss anything?"

Should have second space after exclamation mark.


My work concerns had been limited dealing the occasional incident of indecent exposure, tracking down fillies raiding the supply stores for parties during their sleep shifts, and tracking down males who’d either been misappropriated or needed to be retired.

"limited" should be followed by "to," a comma, or a colon.


and trying to talk another mare into coitus.

Between them, two mares don't have the equipment for coitus


Today, I was a cybernetic mare, pregnant, in the middle of the deadliest place imaginable and facing an enemy who had beaten me like a drum.

final serial comma after "imaginable"


thematic aspect of ‘badassness’! Come on

should have second space after the exclamation point


The last time?”  Boo taunted from behind me,

should have only one space after quotation


"I couldn't help but notice how roomy it was! How homely! After all, it was built from my blood. My stolen blood, I remind you." He explained, his voice taking on an increasingly dark and dangerous tone before he fizzed back to enthusiasm. "Wher

second space needed after each period, exclamation point, and the quotation.


Either taking my advice to heart, or simply pissed off beyond words, he charged me without a word.  

With the "either," I think the first comma isn't necessary.


“You have the right to shut the fuck up or die, you sick son of a mule!”  Rampage replied,
“Blackjack!  Headshot!”  Rampage cried
“Don’t you start!”  I warned her, then resumed

should have only one space after quotation


A zebra phoenix talisman… the zebras had stolen project Chimera and project Steelpony.

the "project"s should be capitalized


With Rampage on my back, I trotted to Boo. “Now, you

only one space after period


“not to put too fine a point on it, but perhaps we should be moving along?  One thrilling chase was quite enough for me for the moment.

closing quotion mark needed


“Au Contraire,” Boo contradicted.

I don't think "Contraire" should be capitalized.


and you don’t have any questions?”  Discord said with a sickly grin.

should have only one space after quotation


Whatever it was, instead of Twilight becoming an Alicorn, she remained an ordinary mare.

"Alicorn" shouldn't be capitalized


That is, unless you don’t take the role yourself.

"unless you take" or "if you don't take"


Can you… I don’t know… control the brood of Coyotl since they’re made of Flux too?”

"brood" should be capitalized


Discord… Coyotl… flux… Boo… “Brood of Coyotl… they’re blanks!  Just like Boo!  Made with flux

"flux" should be capitalized


“Ages?”  I asked with a frown

should have only one space after quotation


this planet's ever seen. I would have been quite
She then paused. “Hold that

only one space after period


“We should be attacked right about…. Now!”

should have only three dots in ellipsis


Okay.  I could do this.  I got out Penance as I backed away… then balked.  “What do I shoot?”

Note that Penance was broken down at this point.


the wall a few feet above my horn.   “Okay!

Three spaces after the period


“You have got to be kidding me!”  I shouted, reaching up
“Damn it!”  I shouted, slamming my hooves
Where are the damned bullets?”  I asked as I ran

should have only one space after the quotation


hoofslams to knock it back. Physical blows wouldn’t

only one space after period


“Owww!”  I hissed, gritting my

should have only one space after quotation?


into the launcher. Time to

only one space after period


I just needed to hit it hard…like with a boat

space needed after ellipsis


As its flailing limbs dispersed more and more of the smoke, I hope to see at leas–

"hoped"


Then the train’s engine came shooting out the tunnel, half rolling and half falling, it streaked towards the monster.

first comma -> semicolon


I was only hopeful that I would land somewhere in the vicinity of Boo, Discord and their

comma after "Discord"


“I’m glad you’re here, mother.
Outside the window came a colossal flash of energy, turning mother into a black silhouette.

"mother" should be capitalized


“Who are you?”  I murmured as tears ran down my eyes.

should have only one space after period


“Is yous gonna be bad again?”  Boo asked innocently.

should have only one space after quotation


Primadonnas, every one of them.

it's two words


What stakes could be higher?”  Discord declared grandly, hooves

should have only one space after quotation


simply controlling , repairing, and utilizing infrastructure

shouldn't have space before first comma


I paused, then frowned, and glanced at my Pipbuck.

"PipBuck"


the blue barred ultra sentinel, wary of it turning red and vaporizing me

"Ultra-Sentinel"


a missile till it behaved.    “Cognitum,” I said as I slowly

four spaces after the period


“That day, when Horse was showing of his latest innovation,

"showing off"


to land on the head on one mare who attended the meeting in

"the head of"


A few seconds worth, before he jumped into the stasis pod,”

"seconds' "


I was princess of the Moon, of the night!

"Moon" shouldn't be capitalized, or "Princess
should be (and maybe "night" too)


Not at all.” Cognitum said

period should be comma


eye sockets like stars. “Hello, Blackjack,”

only one space after period


collected over decades of hard work by one King Awesome.”  Cognitum replied with a smirk as Snails was

period to comma, should have only one space after quotation


“I want her out of that jar, now.” I ordered, about to smash it

period to comma


“Do you accept my offer.  

Period to question mark


“Purge?  What fool purges a super critical megaspell program after two fails?” Cognitum asked incredulously.    ‘Who is ‘he’, Echo?

three fails, not two, and four spaces after the period


“Can’t you hack the password?”  Steel Rain demanded, incredulously.

should have only one space after quotation


"Of course I could. The problem is that

only one space after period


been flesh and blood.   I’d been

three spaces after period


Cognitum replied. “The mechasprites only

only one space after period


“Tom must descend within eighty degrees of the Core’s vertical axis for the modified F.A.D.E. shields to catch it.”

Wouldn't that be ten degrees? Or over eighty degrees from the plane defined by the axis?


Soul ripping was a byproduct? “You think

only one space after the question mark


transformers, and starmetal girders. A hole had been bashed clean through

only one space after the period


The soul is the being of self.” Snips said from inside

period to comma


The inclinator slid into a berth, and there were a series of clangs as plates locked the mechanism into place.

"were" to "was"


I picked out a few Sand Dogs in their midst, and one in particular that I knew.

"Sand Dogs" shouldn't be capitalized


Luna in you... stop.” I begged

period to comma


I saw Rover and other Sand Dogs directing the ponies towards the subway station

"Sand Dogs" shouldn't be capitalized


I didn’t win then!”  I argued

should have only one space after quotation


you’d find some way to do so.”  Cognitum replied evenly

period to comma, should have only one space after quotation


pouring from the tip of Snip’s cracked horn.

"Snips's"


now, go right ahead. I have time

only one space after the period


The soul of princess Luna.

"Princess" should be capitalized


manage second-rate villainy.”  He said with a disdainful

period to comma, should have only one space after quotation


magical wind blowing Cognitum’s mane  The Legate stared

need period after "mane"


“OH, COME ON!”  She screamed, then demanded. “What is going on

if the scream is the quotation, "She" shouldn't be capitalized and there should be only one space after the quotation. If not, that's fine, but in either case there's only one space after the period.
Editing was taken from the version about five or six hours ago.
Ah, thank you. I hope that your insomnia goes away.

Icy Shake wrote:Should have second space after exclamation mark.
Normally, I'd agree with you, but I'm assuming that the quoted passage omitted the second space.

Icy Shake wrote:Between them, two mares don't have the equipment for coitus
My dictionary just defines "coitus" as "sexual intercourse".

Icy Shake wrote:if the scream is the quotation, "She" shouldn't be capitalized and there should be only one space after the quotation. If not, that's fine, but in either case there's only one space after the period.
Ah. I was not previously aware of this addition.
New, brushed version of the concerned bit::
“OH, COME ON!” she screamed, then whirled and demanded of me, “What is going on?”
“Don’t look at me. This magical mystery megaspell shit is your bag,” I said, raising my hooves in defense.

Icy Shake wrote:That's new. Haven't named the planet until now. Seems like a popular name, lately.
…Hm. I was sure that we had, but a search of the story disagrees.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by FeatherDust on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:56 am

Wait a minute wait a minute
I just realized in all the shell-gaming I forgot to keep track of Blackjack's soul.

The thing that was in the computer that just got blown up, that was only her mind.  Her soul is still inside the blank-body that Steel Rain kicked off the platform!

As much as Cogs was dismissive of it -- "You might transfer your soul, perhaps.  Eventually, you might regain something of your previous self, but it wouldn’t be the same pony." -- we know that a soul, alone, retains the self-ness of a pony.  Blackjack was still Blackjack when she got soul-ripped or went to visit the stars.  Ghouls are essentially a soul wandering around with a decaying or even missing brain (that is to say, mind).  If all that's left is the Blackjack that walked with stars, that's not a bad Blackjack to have around.

I mean, when the, uh... Blankjack had her mind but no soul, it was passive, totally inactive.  It's the soul that turned her back on like a switch.

Hell, for that matter this might be doing good.  Cogs herself said that BJ's mind and soul are in disharmony and that clash is what causes her self-destructive impulses.  Remove the block...

Edit:
From a narrative perspective, I saw this coming.  I think I predicted some time ago that the final battle would be faced by a Blackjack returned to flesh and blood.  It's the only thing that fits.

The greatest and worst enemies BJ has faced along her way were those who gave up their humanity (pardon the term) for power.  Some of them didn't do it on purpose, others did, most of them embraced their monstrosity either way.  Whether bio-monsters like Brass, Gorgon, and the Hightower Warden, or cyberware creations like Deus, Dawn, Lighthoof, and Cognitum.  Blackjack defeated them, but often by doing just what they did, by sacrificing more and making herself more monstrous.

You can't do that, ultimately.  You can't win by trying to out-monster the monsters.  They're always better at it in the end.  At the last it's got to be regular old normalcy.  Blackjack isn't her wings.  She isn't her cyberware.  She isn't her alicorn-brain or her barding or her guns.  I admit I didn't predict that, ironically, she gets back to normal by making the biggest sacrifice of all, losing her mind (whatever that entails) in returning to a real body.

But I will predict one more thing -- I bet the next time she faces Amadi and Cognitum, Blackjack will have stars in her eyes.


The Teal Eyed Mare
In other news, the Teal-Eyed Mare in the dream almost has to be Luna.  I recall seeing Pinkie and Rarity mentioned, but they both have blue eyes (baby blue for Pinkie and dark blue for Rarity).  Teal is more like green with a tinge of blue.  The only character I know of with that color is Princess Luna herself, and she has dreamwalker powers, so it's not weird that she'd step in on BJ's dream.  She mentioned a sister who had not yet joined her, which fits with Celestia stuck in the SPP.  And there's one more clue; in the dream, the Teal Eyed Mare was very much interested in Blackjack's twins, in motherhood and all that.  And Cogs, the robot that has virtually no empathy for anything, flipped the fuck out when Steel Rain suggested using BJ's child as leverage.

I'd say children are very important to Princess Luna, even as far back as the during the war.


Last edited by FeatherDust on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by OneMoreDaySK on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:15 am

Wow, what a chapter.
Spoiler:

Few questions though. Too much to take in at the moment.
Where did Boo dissapear to? I lost her between the action and the reveal that everything is Xehanort's Cogitum's fault.
So Discord died trying to meld Lulu's soul into Cogitum, and that ended up making her NightmareMoon!Cogitum?
So currently Cogitum is occupying Blackjack's cyber body, which also has the twins still? And Blackjack was to be transfered into the blank but then her mind got shot up by Steel Rain? 
I'd try to look it up again, but my workplace doesn't like Google Docs.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Technowolf on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:31 am

FeatherDust wrote:She didn't just stumble into a fake prophecy.  It may be that Amadi is himself a pawn in a game much deeper than he suspects.

Or perhaps he's been lying to Cognitum/Luna(?) and Steel Rain the whole time?  I mean, he did seem almost too dismissive of the whole "Eater of Souls is alive and hypermalevolent, omnicognizant and other words I haven't made up yet" deal.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by FeatherDust on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:25 pm

a couple more editing things:


There’s no way you’d fall to a common spawn of these depths, no matter how delightful.”
        Lovely?  I supposed to something like him...

Need to use the same adjective.

That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy being a grandmother a little, can I?”
Needs to be "does it?" since the phrase started with "doesn't".
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by FeatherDust on Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:04 pm

OneMoreDaySK wrote:Where did Boo dissapear to? I lost her between the action and the reveal that everything is Xehanort's Cogitum's fault.
Boo didn't enter Cognitum's lair.  They said their goodbyes outside (that's when Discord made BJ promise to write him) and then BJ went into the belly of the beast alone.  Discord then showed up later without Boo, so she's gotta be outside somewhere, hopefully leaving the Core or fetching help or somethin'.

So Discord died trying to meld Lulu's soul into Cogitum, and that ended up making her NightmareMoon!Cogitum?
More or less.  Keep in mind (hah) that the mind has primacy over the soul.  We've seen that several times; when Blackjack's soul went to walk among the stars, and later when she got pulled into the Tokomare due to Snips' soul-ripper spell in Hightower, after her return to her body, her mind couldn't access the experiences from her soul-walk.

But the soul is important -- that's the "essence of self" according to Cognitum.  I don't think Discord's ploy failed; if anything he's playing a deeper game, and that was the fatal stroke to Cognitum.  She just hasn't yet noticed that she's been mortally wounded.  By putting Luna's soul in there, he put back her conscience, all those niggling doubts, all the dissonance that Cognitum was so pained by when she brushed against Blackjack's soul.  If Luna was indeed the teal-eyed mare in BJ's dream (and there's every reason to think she was), the clash between that kind, caring soul and Cognitum's activities (both current and past) must be catastrophic.

I wonder if Luna's soul knew what was going to happen.  In the dream she swore that she would "look after your [Blackjack's] babies 'til you return".  Now Luna's soul is inhabiting Blackjack's body... what else could that cryptic remark have meant?

So currently Cogitum is occupying Blackjack's cyber body, which also has the twins still?
Yep.  And Luna's soul.

And Blackjack was to be transfered into the blank but then her mind got shot up by Steel Rain?
BJ's mind and soul were both in the blank during most of the encounter.  Then at the end, her mind was transferred out of the blank and into the computer, and Cognitum said to leave her there (with her soul still in Blankjack), trapped until their return.  Amadi and Steel Rain went behind Cog's back to blow up the computer just after Cogs left, presumably destroying BJ's mind-patterns permanently.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:41 pm

OneMoreDaySK wrote:Wow, what a chapter.
Spoiler:

Few questions though. Too much to take in at the moment.
Where did Boo dissapear to? I lost her between the action and the reveal that everything is Xehanort's Cogitum's fault.
So Discord died trying to meld Lulu's soul into Cogitum, and that ended up making her NightmareMoon!Cogitum?
So currently Cogitum is occupying Blackjack's cyber body, which also has the twins still? And Blackjack was to be transfered into the blank but then her mind got shot up by Steel Rain? 
I'd try to look it up again, but my workplace doesn't like Google Docs.
Spoiler:
Boo/Discord trotted off shortly before Blackjack faced Cognitum; they wanted to be both relatively out of danger and potentially able to launch surprise attacks.
Wait and see. :)
Yes, yes, no, sort of. Cognitum wanted Blackjack's mind and body/soul stored safely and separately, in case they'd be useful later. Steel Rain disagreed to the point that, after Cognitum left, he pushed Blackjack's jar off the edge of the platform and fired his cannons at the computer storing her mind.

FeatherDust wrote:
a couple more editing things:


There’s no way you’d fall to a common spawn of these depths, no matter how delightful.”
        Lovely?  I supposed to something like him...

Need to use the same adjective.

That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy being a grandmother a little, can I?”
Needs to be "does it?" since the phrase started with "doesn't".
Ah, thank you.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Evilgidgit on Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:31 pm

Hmmm...so, putting things into perspective. Who exactly was in on the New World Order that Garnet was talking about? Was it Cognitum's idea, since I assume she was behind Partypooper's activation to eliminate those who would take her power, and since she has Luna's soul, she knew the real/other Luna was dead. But was she behind Garnet sending poor Jetstream off to nuke Foal in order to get the zebras to retaliate with the megaspells? And why would she wish to wipe out Equestria in the first place when Luna was already in charge? Or was it because the real Luna was in charge and not her?

And also, who sealed Redoubt if Horse wasn't hiding in there like Garnet thought? The O.I.A. took Redoubt from the aristoponies, so I'd assume Horse was behind that judging by Vanity's resignation letter to him.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:22 pm

FeatherDust wrote:Do we know if Blackjack even started going by that name before she got her cutie mark?  Actually does anyone recall where her cutie mark story was given?  I can't recall and searching for "cutie mark" is a needle in a haystack operation.
"Hatches" is a more useful search. The scene you want was the beginning of chapter 15. It doesn't say she changed her name, though.
I also ran a search for the name "Go Fish", but it didn't come up with an answer. I'd tend to assume she took the new name after her mark appeared.

FeatherDust wrote:Ghouls are essentially a soul wandering around with a decaying or even missing brain (that is to say, mind).
That's not entirely accurate. "You gotta shoot 'em in the head", right? The brain is the only weak spot on Canterlot ghouls (which are a totally different thing, I know.) While ghouls often have missing bits of soft tissue, the brain seems to be critical.

FeatherDust wrote:If all that's left is the Blackjack that walked with stars, that's not a bad Blackjack to have around.

I mean, when the, uh... Blankjack had her mind but no soul, it was passive, totally inactive. It's the soul that turned her back on like a switch.
Blankjack.  Spike 

Interesting theory, though I want to note that BJ's mind was still able to scream in the void after being shot. I think Steel Rain just destroyed the sensors she had access to. The data is still intact. I assume her body is still safe -- even if the stasis pod broke when it hit the ground, that should have left her to fall only a foot or so. Unless she fell into flesh-goo, but hopefully the soul motes can help with that.

At any rate, there's one other possibility for retrieving BJ's body. Back in the zebra village, Glass's soul mote apparently retained enough mind to converse through nodding and gestures, and could make a basic medical examination of BJ's foal(s). With BJ's body temporarily deprived of mentality, one of the soul motes might be able to drive her around like those fleshmobiles.

FeatherDust wrote:But I will predict one more thing -- I bet the next time she faces Amadi and Cognitum, Blackjack will have stars in her eyes.
Oh, absolutely. Good point.

FeatherDust wrote:The Teal Eyed Mare
In other news, the Teal-Eyed Mare in the dream almost has to be Luna. I recall seeing Pinkie and Rarity mentioned, but they both have blue eyes (baby blue for Pinkie and dark blue for Rarity). Teal is more like green with a tinge of blue. The only character I know of with that color is Princess Luna herself, and she has dreamwalker powers, so it's not weird that she'd step in on BJ's dream. She mentioned a sister who had not yet joined her, which fits with Celestia stuck in the SPP. And there's one more clue; in the dream, the Teal Eyed Mare was very much interested in Blackjack's twins, in motherhood and all that. And Cogs, the robot that has virtually no empathy for anything, flipped the fuck out when Steel Rain suggested using BJ's child as leverage.

I'd say children are very important to Princess Luna, even as far back as the during the war.
Well, but it really can't be, can it? Luna's soul has been held in the middle of the Tokomare since before BJ visited in the aftermath of Hightower Prison.

Incidentally, Sunset Shimmer had teal eyes too. Not that it means anything.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Exodus Hero on Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:40 pm

Overlong Analysis Cobalt wrote:@Somber
"So, okay chapter then?"
Spoiler:
Ja. I'd put this chapter at around... trying to think of a metaphor that actually makes sense to someone who isn't me; difficult at the moment, on cold meds and not much sleep... not very good cold meds, either, they want me to wait for four hours between doses but only seem to work for like, one... Oh, well, it was pretty fuckin' excellent. Hell with metaphors. I do not need their ilk. Except for, y'know, thinking, since they're integral to human understanding and stuff or whatever. Although IIRC there's a mental condition that leaves people unable to understand them? Fuckin' weird. I'm digressing. Point is, I really liked this chapter. Also, it made me want to pull a GRRM fan on you, a bit, in terms of "oy get the next one out already" because, y'know, cliffhanger 2: revenge of the cliffhanger. But I won't. But I want to.

Let's just say I eagerly anticipate the next one.

Aaanywho, uh, some more specific thoughts... Really liked the ending. Really liked how Boo and Discord were treated and all that (really really liked Discord throughout this, in fact). Liked the interactions between everyone in down in the bowels of the Evil Headquarters of Evil. There are a lot of threads being plucked right now, and I'm going to need to see the final pattern of 'em before casting judgment, but I'm definitely liking the weave thus far. I don't expect to see Blackjack floating in the computerized ether too long, for my part; and also, we all know what happens when a pony takes on another's cutie mark, and it ain't gonna be pretty for Cognitum. Which reminds me, the little references in this chapter to ponies things and FOE fanon/canon theories worked quite well, I thought, which is rare because usually I'm the kind of reader to sort of skip over references and suchlike. Oh, and also the combat bits with the flesh bits were interesting, mostly because of the pony-flesh; the scorpion-flesh scene was done well, but I mean, y'know, it was kind of whatever - didn't feel purely obligatory, but it did a little bit. That's me, though, the I-get-bored-of-combat-scenes-usually guy. Uh, quoi d'autre? Liked Rampage, here; liked the interaction between her and Blackjack, both accepting that the other's going to do what they always do 'cos of how well they know one another. Interesting things about identity coming in through Rampage and Cognitum, incidentally. We'll see how that all plays out, anyway.

As said, looking forward to the next one! Thanks for writing and editing this 'un, Somber et al.!

@Exodus Hero
Spoiler:
Amadi's the zebra Horse had hanging out with him and his international team, working on the Tokomare project. He gave important information like, "What, does the Eater of Souls myth have any truth to it? Naaaah." and "You should totally listen to this starmetal tuning fork, Horse. Doooo eeeet." For reference, when I need to look stuff up, I use this! It updates quickly with all the new PH chapters in one handy place, all the better for CTRL+Fing your way through the ginormity that is Project Horizons. :)

@SilentCarto
Spoiler:
Ancient evils, yo, not malfunctioning machinery. Amadi has a history of playing ponies in power who underestimate the EoS. Not saying that's a for-sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if his motivations clash with Cognitum's. He's been in the game longer than her, and the Starkatteri have been in for longer still (well... maybe longer. He seems to be immortal, after all).
Thank you.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:58 pm

Technowolf wrote:Or perhaps he's been lying to Cognitum/Luna(?) and Steel Rain the whole time?  I mean, he did seem almost too dismissive of the whole "Eater of Souls is alive and hypermalevolent, omnicognizant and other words I haven't made up yet" deal.
Well... yes. He's Starkatteri. He worships the thing. I'm not sure whether he'd try to raise it like the zebras of old, or if he'd go along with Cog's chrome future to acquire more worshippers, but I'm positive that he ultimately works for the Eater of Souls.

FeatherDust wrote:I wonder if Luna's soul knew what was going to happen.  In the dream she swore that she would "look after your [Blackjack's] babies 'til you return".  Now Luna's soul is inhabiting Blackjack's body... what else could that cryptic remark have meant?
Hmm. Fair point. I still don't see how she could go visit BJ's body from the middle of the Tokomare, though.

Evilgidgit wrote:Hmmm...so, putting things into perspective. Who exactly was in on the New World Order that Garnet was talking about? Was it Cognitum's idea, since I assume she was behind Partypooper's activation to eliminate those who would take her power...
More or less. I think Cog was planning to replace Luna and the Mane Six with herself and the OIA liasons. But then you throw in plots by Goldenblood, Amadi and the Eater, Horse, and even the military plans of Zebra High Command. Gambit Pileup.

Evilgidgit wrote:But was she behind Garnet sending poor Jetstream off to nuke Foal in order to get the zebras to retaliate with the megaspells?
Roam. And I think she was expecting to defend the city with its super-shields and have Hoofington be the last city standing, winner by default. The golden dream was her vision of what Hoofington would have been by now. But that's where Amadi and the Tokomare threw a wrench into her plans, and everything since then has been Cogs trying to salvage her perfect world from the ashes.

Evilgidgit wrote:And also, who sealed Redoubt if Horse wasn't hiding in there like Garnet thought? The O.I.A. took Redoubt from the aristoponies, so I'd assume Horse was behind that judging by Vanity's resignation letter to him.
Interesting question, isn't it? I think it was Goldenblood, in the Redoubt, with the Stasis Pod.

He was supposed to "fry", right? Everybody and their mother saw him burn. Well, you know who else allegedly burned to death? Littlepip. I've had my suspicions for a long time, and now I'm almost positive. I think his execution was a sham. He was probably incinerated by the dragon we now call Mouse and whisked away to Luna's old fortress, AKA the Redoubt. I mean, Luna was supposed to fly off the handle and order the execution of Goldenblood, the guy she'd worked with for years and years and hatched plot after plot with in disguise as Eclipse, based on "evidence" produced by an ambitious little prick like Horse? I think she played her role to the hilt, gave the conspirators all the rope they needed to hang themselves, and sent Goldie into deep cover to complete his plans against the Eater of Souls. I wouldn't be shocked if there were no Project Horizons Command AI at all, just Goldenblood playing Mr. House through a neural interface.

Of course, then the zebras set off their gas bomb in Canterlot and killed Luna, which pretty much put an end to everyone's plans all at once. Now there's not much for Goldie to do but wait for the timer to run out on Horizons and nuke that silvery son of a bitch into oblivion.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:12 pm

FeatherDust wrote:Hell, for that matter this might be doing good.  Cogs herself said that BJ's mind and soul are in disharmony and that clash is what causes her self-destructive impulses.  Remove the block...
"Discomfort is the antidote to conformity." That very dissonance is what drives BJ to strive so hard to "do better". I don't think taking it away would be a good thing at all. Isn't that a lot like removing Scotch Tape's memories of the event that caused her to fear machines?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:39 pm

Okay, a bit of wrap up before I go back and read the thread backlog.

Chapter Sixty Five Overall Thoughts:
I think the place to start is a couple weaker points. The first is probably just a matter of taste, which is that I didn't like Discord's reference to the events of seasons three and four and talk about scripts and what the world should have been. I think that it was too much, drew too much attention to the fact that what's going on isn't real, and left me feeling disconnected for some time after. The later uses weren't as distracting, some I thought even worked okay, but I don't think that this was a good use of fourth-wall awareness; I don't think that its use for setting development and more reflective tone was a good choice for the tool. The second bothered me less, but I think is also less tied to personal taste: there was a lot of monologuing in this chapter. It helps that it was fairly broken up, the actual exchanges tended to be strong, and the bulk of it was very much motivated monologuing—Blackjack wanted information and Cognitum wanted to convert her—but all the same, there's a great volume of verbal info-dumping. On that note, since it's related, I wonder why Cognitum never used any of her tech to directly pull Blackjack's guess of the password from her mind.

I thought that the dream sequence with Luna was quite good and served as a nice contrast to Cognitum once we saw more of her, but I have to wonder just how it worked, with Luna's soul confined. Perhaps it was an aspect of her magic that was independent of her physical form? Oh, and of course I assume that, like the Goddess, it doesn't work on non-ponies, since that seems like it would be necessary for her not to have that as an espionage tool during the war. Granted, even then you need to wonder about its use domestically.

The best action scene was with the biomatter monster, and I now suspect that at some point Blackjack will lead an army of soul-occupied biomatter against the Eater.

I thought that Echo's betrayal was interesting, and makes sense of how a bunch of his arguments about why Blackjack should stop never really held together; he was ambivalent about getting her to quit, and he probably didn't believe them himself. I do need to go back to read the part where the spell is done on him, though; I'll want to get some timing and such straight.

Snips's seemed stranger to me, since—and I'll admit it's been a long time since I read that part—it didn't seem like before that was all he really cared about. But then, it could be he was just playing a part.

It was cathartic to see what became of Horse; it's vicious of me, but if anyone deserved something like that he was up there on the list. And the Cognitum reveal just adds more to how much I feel like he was out of his league trying to play Goldenblood's game, since both his start (the tape of Goldenblood pushing a mare down a mine shaft) and the key to forcing Goldenblood out basically just fell into his lap—and he still could hardly hold it together!

Apart from the above, I thought that Discord was a positive of the chapter. Particularly when he's given a physical role, he kind of shines through seeming to have changed less. And many of his lines and attitudes are plausible extensions of his character based on the experiences since being turned to stone again. And he got to go out with a bang, which was heightened by the fact his last act included goading Cognitum into doing something that wasn't a good idea for her—sort of a parallel to his time in the maze at the start of season two. On which note, I think that a fondness or respect of Fluttershy could alternatively have been derived from her time in the maze and his need to directly mess her up rather than just tricking her into abandoning her Element.

I'm not too sure of what to think of the Legate right now. Naturally, I believe that he's preparing to betray Cognitum in service of the Eater, but it does seem to me like the conflict with Discord was genuine, and I have to wonder if there may have been more behind it than we've yet seen.

As for Horizons, I wonder what exactly Goldenbood's plan was. It would seem quite a reversal for him to have wanted to use it to destroy Equestria or force an abdication, as my impression was that he truly did wish to see Luna succeed, so much that he even gave his all when ordered to take courses of action he didn't think were the best. Granted, Horizons by its very nature requires either Luna's ignorance or her consent, since at minimum the moon's location and orientation matter to it, and it's entirely possible that Luna could exert a degree of influence on a mass of moonstone approaching Equestria. So I can see the problem there.

Putting Blackjack into her "old" body was an interesting and unexpected move. I'll look forward to seeing how she reacts going forward, and to what extent she continues to call, maybe even think of, her augmented body as her own as opposed to the cloned one. On a similar note, I hope that Cognitum is mistaken about Blackjack's cutie mark/special talent. Yes, she still got to define what victory meant each step of the way, but frankly it's hard not to see things as a little hollower if that's what it turns out to be. On the plus side, Blackjack clearly didn't win in that exchange, narrative structure indicates Cognitum isn't likely to come out on top, and I note we still haven't seen any real detail in Blackjack's cutie mark story, which I'm now somewhat anticipating will happen in the chapter of Cognitum's defeat. Oh, and the thing about blanks/clones not being able to carry a baby to term seems weird and arbitrary. Maybe it's a lie, but I'm not sure what would motivate it given the timing.

All in all, I think a pretty good chapter that manages to raise a few questions even at this late stage of the game, despite some parts I didn't care for. Thanks as ever to Somber and the editing team for their work on it, and I eagerly await finding out what happens next. [Edit: wow, what a difference a day makes when you weren't reading at anything like full capacity! I forgot some of the best parts of the chapter, particularly related to Rampage. Suffice to say, though, that even neglecting that, "pretty good" was an understatement resulting from distance.]

And now for thread responses:
DM:"You’ve done good and sown disorder, but you haven’t gotten the spark that links them in your head yet."

Discord's saying all the right things, but if he switched places with Celestia he'd probably be just as guilty of too much chaos for chaos' sake as Celestia was of order for order's sake. Also, he's forgetting that his reformation with Fluttershy, as 'the script' (the stars) would have it, would have involved him learning friendship. He should try friendship with Blackjack some time.
Also, forshadowing is noted. *Wink*


So, you could say that she could take Twilight's role, but for the Elements of Discord?



DM: "“Trottenheimer’s firing trajectory is unaccommodating for interception,”"

...oh fuck me sideways, Folly is Goldenblood's backup plan. The backup plan to the 'destroy the planet' plan. Project Horizons fires, and Folly intercepts it and destroys it.


And that's just one reason he's on an entirely different level than Horse.



SC: If I ever saw that snaggle-toothed son of chaos again out of Boo’s body, I’d give him a kiss that’d make his antler... horn... – whatever! – pop right off.

Quest Perk added: Kissed by Blackjack


Aww, she missed her opportunity!


Point of order: Rarity's eyes are very decidedly blue, not blue-green at all. I could maybe spot you Pinkie Pie at a stretch, but the real teal eyes out of the Mane Six belong to Fluttershy.


Anyway, on the issue Silent raised about how Luna appeared in and observed Blackjack's dream, my interpretation is that dreamwalking might be a magic linked to her soul (perhaps uniquely so), so she doesn't need a body to use it, and in any case the magicians were holding the soul in one physical location, but there's every reason to think that Luna's dream magic operates at a distance.


Hinds:
Editing:
Hm, the sources I've seen for "coitus" seem to slant strongly in the penis + vagina direction, but it does look like there may be a degree of ambiguity (though interestingly the Merriam Webster definition for "sexual intercourse" is broken into 1) coitus (which itself directs back to sexual intercourse, because acyclic graphs are for wusses) and 2) "other intercourse").

Also, a couple more:
The black cyberpony levitated out a little pendant and slipped it around the floating mare’s neck, A soothing song filled the floating mare’s ears

comma should be period, should have only two spaces after it


there was a consumer culture with a rampant thirst for coal.

as a solid, would "hunger" or "appetite" be a better metaphor?
On a personal note, if you haven't yet read "The Railway Ponies: Highball" (there's a chance!), it would be relevant to your interests.


Last edited by Icy Shake on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:47 pm

Icy Shake wrote:And they will be born abominations, already knowing more than most ever do; the son will wed the daughter, and rule for five thousand years over an equinity in stasis, readying it for it to expand beyond anything it had imagined before upon his death at the hands of the one thing he couldn't forsee and loved most of all.
...what?

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by FeatherDust on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:48 pm

SilentCarto wrote:"Hatches" is a more useful search. The scene you want was the beginning of chapter 15. It doesn't say she changed her name, though.
Yeah, I found that one, I thought she addressed her mark more clearly at some point. Oh well.

Interesting theory, though I want to note that BJ's mind was still able to scream in the void after being shot.
...
With BJ's body temporarily deprived of mentality, one of the soul motes might be able to drive her around like those fleshmobiles.
That was just a fanciful description of what dying feels like. And why would another soul be better at driving her around than her own soul?

FeatherDust wrote:In other news, the Teal-Eyed Mare in the dream almost has to be Luna.
Well, but it really can't be, can it? Luna's soul has been held in the middle of the Tokomare since before BJ visited in the aftermath of Hightower Prison.
Hmm. Fair point. I still don't see how she could go visit BJ's body from the middle of the Tokomare, though.
She's a dreamwalker. Presumably dreamwalking doesn't require Luna to physically enter the dream-realm, and it obviously doesn't involve launching her soul out of her body, as that is a HUGE DEAL in Project Horizons. If entering another's dreams doesn't require proximity of her body or soul, there's really no reason to assume she couldn't use it from inside a magic circle under the Tokomare.

I'm willing to stipulate that her state (as a bare soul) and location put severe range limits on her, since she only visited BJ in a dream from less than a mile away. She never showed up when Blackjack was sleeping in Chapel or even in the Core itself; only when BJ was literally almost on top of her.

SilentCarto wrote:Luna was supposed to fly off the handle and order the execution of Goldenblood, the guy she'd worked with for years and years and hatched plot after plot with in disguise as Eclipse, based on "evidence" produced by an ambitious little prick like Horse? I think she played her role to the hilt, gave the conspirators all the rope they needed to hang themselves, and sent Goldie into deep cover to complete his plans against the Eater of Souls. I wouldn't be shocked if there were no Project Horizons Command AI at all, just Goldenblood playing Mr. House through a neural interface.
It's possible. On the other hand, once Horse had Cognitum, he knew that Eclipse and Luna were the same person and knew what she'd been up to. Cognitum claimed that he used her to learn all the right buttons to push to make Luna turn on her closest ally, and I don't really doubt that particular claim. Horse was, if nothing else, a master at manipulating others.

SilentCarto wrote:
FeatherDust wrote:Hell, for that matter this might be doing good.  Cogs herself said that BJ's mind and soul are in disharmony and that clash is what causes her self-destructive impulses.  Remove the block...
"Discomfort is the antidote to conformity." That very dissonance is what drives BJ to strive so hard to "do better". I don't think taking it away would be a good thing at all. Isn't that a lot like removing Scotch Tape's memories of the event that caused her to fear machines?
No, not at all. Maybe that's what got her out of the Stable and into the wide world, but she's got better drives than self-recrimination and self-loathing now, and removing those barriers can only make her more capable of fulfilling her potential.

From the earliest age, Blackjack's whole life has been one of stifling her potential. She might've had the makings of an archmage all along, but whatever destiny she might've had, they said NOPE BE A COP BECAUSE MOM. They made her join security, and then when she tried to do her job and protect ponies (Daisy, in this case), they said NO YOU ARE WRONG TO PROTECT HER. Her social development was stunted by everyone treating her like THE COPS all the time. Her future was as straight-jacketed and as smothering as P-21's.

Losing the mental constraints imposed by so many years of repression can't be harmful. She's even lost her cutie mark -- one she can't even explain the significance of. As previously said, I don't buy Cognitum's explanation of its meaning. But with that and her consciousness pulled away, what you have left is the core of Blackjack with all its potential available. I have this feeling she's going to turn into some kind of Twilight-level mage... She always blamed her 'compact' horn for her lack of magic, but that horn has managed to teleport a half-ton mecha-body some pretty decent distances. I think what was really holding her back was her inner turmoil. And now she's back in a flesh and blood body... I don't know what cyber-augments do to your ability to use magic, but it can't be good, and now she's a lot lighter and less dense. I'm sayin' she just took off a thousand pounds of magical training weights.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by FeatherDust on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:51 pm

And oh geez I just realized Blackjack lost her cutie mark, so that makes her a real Crusader now. And, if I'm right, heir to the endless potential of a blank flank...
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:55 pm

SilentCarto wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:And they will be born abominations, already knowing more than most ever do; the son will wed the daughter, and rule for five thousand years over an equinity in stasis, readying it for it to expand beyond anything it had imagined before upon his death at the hands of the one thing he couldn't forsee and loved most of all.
...what?

Reference to Leto II and Ghanima Atreides of Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune on the tenuous relation between the dream and the telepathic aspects of becoming a Reverend Mother, then extrapolating to the effects on progeny in utero.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:52 pm

@Icy Shake:
Ah, thank you. Please don't put corrections in edits so far removed from the original time of posting, though; I almost didn't see that your post had changed from when I first read it.

I have indeed read it, yes, and found it shockingly moving. I even recommended it in the fanfic recommendation thread.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by JadedPony on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:38 pm

First I would just like to thank the writers. This story is pretty amazing. It is one of the better books I have read in my long life of reading a lot of sci-fi. 
It dragged a little in the middle but now I'm waiting with baited breath. Save the foal, save the world! 

Also I wanted to offer this viral thought to all of those who enjoy the story as much as I do. I'll hide it under a link because it involves adult language. 

Naughty Words Here:
Every time I read the name Cognitum in the story, my brain converts the word to Cuntium in Deus' voice. Cuuuuuuunt! HaHaHa!  
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:42 pm

Thank you, and welcome to the forum.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by chinman on Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:13 am

Well there goes 4 hours of my life, and y'know what?  I'm perfectly fine with that! :D

Okay seriously this chapter more than lived up to it's title.  I really don't think Somer needs to worry about there being too much "talk talk" when that "talk talk" is finally, FINALLY answering so many of those burning questions.  Also the fact that Black jack...
SPOILER:
loses those fancy augs should go far in mollifing those who poo poo-ed her newfound alicornhood.  Remember folks wings or no wings, a character is not truly a Mary Sue unless their power outstrips the problems they face to the point where the problems become so trivial that all drama is lost. 

Ahem *steps off soapbox*

With that of the way, ONTO THE REACTIONS AND CRAZY FAN THEORIES!!

REACTIONS AND CRAZY FAN THEORIES ALSO SPOILERS!:

Reaction 1:  This chapter goes a long way towards reminding us all why Discord is best villain/anti-hero/god of chaos... thing.  Absolutely loved every scene he was in.  It also makes perfect sense that he'd be opposed to the villains of the piece (text book lawful evil, or at least orderly evil).  It's probably safe to assume his last act (i.e. bamfing away Dawn and Snips, and talking Cogs into recombining with that captured soul) will end up being the spanner in the works for the villains' plans.  So fair well you snaggle toothed sonuva bitch, you will be missed *sniff*

Reaction 2:  Wow I don't know how he did it, but Somber managed turn Cogs from a relatively abstract character to a villain who reeeeeally, truly deserves to die, and managed to get me to hate Steel Rain even more.  Granted this chapter also made me feel genuine pity for both Charm (sidenote:  so THATS why Steel Rain visited BJ's coronation!) and Dawn.  Heck especially Dawn.  To the point where Dawn comes off more as a Jerkass Woobie than a true villain.

Reaction 3:  Okay this may be a minor point but man, it never even occurred to me that that "tracking signal" attached to EC-1101 was really the work of Cogs and her efforts to regain lost knowledge and "test" her would be vessel, so kudos to Somber for that particular twist.

Crazy Fan Prediction 1:  Okay I'm going to call it now, when Pinkie's message mentioned that "just because ponies do bad things doesn't mean they aren't still your friend", she wasn't talking about Rampage, she was talking about Echo, whom I suspect will play a key role in helping BJ out of this mess.

Crazy Fan Prediction 2:  That soul that was recombined with Cogs was not Luna, or at least, not all of Luna.  Rather it was the portion of her being that was most closely associated with Nightmare Moon, and which was the part of her that was excised by the Elements of Harmony (though apparently there's enough of Luna in her to make Cogs balk at killing the unborn, if her reaction to Steel Rain's comments is anything to go by).  The rest of Luna is currently hiding out in Blackjack's unborn children or piggybacking with Blackjack her self.

Crazy Fan Prediction 3:  Despite being one of the most impressive displays of "Dangerously Genre Savvy" villainy I've seen in a while, Steel Rain's attempts to off BJ permanently will end up aiding in her escape.  Admittedly this may be less of a prediction and more wishful thinking, since I would REALLY love to see Rain's reaction if this proves to be true.

Crazy Fan Prediction 4:  This is the big one,  Cogs, Steel Rain and even Amadi/Vitiosis are all going to find out the hard way that yes, the Tokomare is indeed more than just a machine to be exploited, probably in the most painful way possible when some or all of them become the first victims of a newly re-awakened star.

So yeah that's about it for now.  I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Dekshuduph on Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:04 am

This chapter... wow. I believe I will just say that this chapter was a box of Twizzlers.

chapter 65 thoughts:
...In that it was so full of twists.

There's a couple things I like to say about this chapter. I find interesting how the predictions we made were revealed in the story; people here spend so much time on predictions but not many people really said, "Aww yis, I was right!"
Particularly:
A) Biscord. I was kept on the edge of my seat on that one, as I couldn't be sure where his influence on Boo could be placed on the spectrum. On one hand, he could have been completely silent to Boo (other than to inform her of his presence) and just been placing chaos everywhere. On the other, he might have been completely puppeting Boo's behaviour, so he was faking switching the 'control' over Boo's body. Along with that, that could mean that when he left, he either completely got rid of Boo or he used his brief burst of chaotic power to make a replacement. Another option is what people have been predicting, which is sort of in between those two extremes, and is what Blackjack likely believes as well. I was a little annoyed with how Blackjack was pestering Discord about Boo at the very start of the chapter. In fact, I'll touch on Blackjack's behaviour in general in a bit. Moving right along...
B) Lunitum. Yeah, people predicted correctly who Cogs was, but then we get the whole part in the story where Blackjack wasn't believing her. I can say that that's realistic, but to have known for sure due to evidence given in the story, it created a pretty noticable disconnect between myself and Blackjack as a character, simply because... well... she's kinda stupid.

And that leads me into Blackjack. This is really the only thing that bothers me about this chapter, yet ironically I view it as a great part of her character. This is the first time I've read something this big by typing it out, so although it took me two days straight to read through, I caught a lot more details and was able to enjoy the read a lot more. It is, in turn, also the first time I could really appreciate a writing method I've theorised about but could never really appreciate in use. And that, fellow readers, is character stupidity. The author comes from a set level of intelligence, and they control the world that they are going to write about. Usually, good writers are going to have pretty high intelligence or are pretty clever in how they write, so the characters they create to fill the roles of the story can never be as intelligent as the writer themselves. This makes the reader able to be on the same level of basic knowledge as the lead character and sympathise with them; this, however, is broken when the reader is overanalysing the story and can see through what the author's doing. It makes the main character seem stupid, when in reality they just don't have enough time to think as you do. Even if you're not as intelligent as that character actually is, you as the reader can still lose your suspension of disbelief; after all, knowledge ≃ intelligence × time. Or I could be completely wrong and everything this paragraph says is bullshit. So let's move on to something else I liked.

I particularly enjoyed the scene between the big fight and the return to Boo/Discord. It was a nice ambient with indirect exposition about the Eater's powers. Maybe this just reminds me a lot of Vessel; that game was very enjoyable in that it had this curious yet awesome ambience to it. I know this was just a one-shot setting, but seeing more of these flesh blobs coagulating around motes (that five-word descriptor being necessary as we don't really have a name for it) would be a lot of fun, especially if they get an important role (EEE! Can't wait for next chapter! Again!).

This chapter had sooo much exposition, and yet the drama that was mixed in made it all quite enjoyable. Glad to know what Project Horizons really is, even though we already knew about most of the details. That made the "To the mooon!" line from Nightmare Jack at the end kinda funny. But... so many twists. I suppose we pretty much know everything about the past now, since we've covered what Luna's been doing (bleh, I never quite knew what her deal was until now) as well as the last and most important Project. We're also left with quite the cliffhanger this time around, something akin to 33 but not quite as peaceful... or something. The footnote is what really sealed the deal. Happy April Fools, everypony!

Oh, there was also the ending, which I should mention. We've seen that this story is pulled from Blackjack's mind and memories, not her soul and the experiences that it follows. This has been shown to be true countless times. But it got a bit confusing at the end, and even though some people here have came up with ideas as to how it works, what's happening or whatever, I just feel really lost.

chapter 65 edits:

[...]if he’d really wanted too, though I[...]
‘too’ to ‘to’
He turned towards Boo and me.
‘me’ to ‘I’
[...]was quite enough for me for the moment.
‘for’ to ‘at’
As immortal as me.
‘me’ to ‘I’
She closed his eyes.
I know the pronoun confusion has already been addressed, but I believe this sounds strange, like the two words referring to two different people. You could say that it's okay since only Discord was being addressed, but it still caught my attention, so.
[...]the behemoth let out a ear splitting screech as it turned[...]
‘a’ to ‘an’
But then, well, If the norm is civility
‘, ’ to ‘.’ (or something like that)
“Do you know what that that monster was?”
Um... add a dash or remove a ‘that’, I think.
I paused, then frowned, and glanced at my \Pipbuck. EC-1101 had been made to access \Equesrian systems… did robots count?
Two things:
‘Pipbuck’ to ‘PipBuck’
‘Equesrian’ ... lol
Can you used EC-1101 to keep them[...]
‘used’ to ‘use’
[...]tears on his cheeks at he stared at me[...]
‘at’ to ‘as’
[...]towards the blue barred ultra sentinel,[...]
‘ultra sentinel’ to ‘Ultra-Sentinel’
Do forgive me my poor choice in servants.
Remove ‘me’
“It’s good to finally meet you. Face to face.”
“Ah well. I knew from the moment we first met \face to face\ that you were special. You passed all my tests, albeit with a little help every now and then.”
Contradictory, or something. Might not be changed because Cognitum is stupid and when I noticed this I laughed.
[...]when Horse was showing of his latest innovation,[...]
‘of’ to ‘off’
“Say hello, Director!”
There should be quotes around ‘hello’, as I just typed it.
[...]his eyeglow brightening as he saw at me.
Woah, now! You can't ‘saw at’ someone, you can only look at or see them. Maybe he saw her?
“By accessing an archive of information related directly to the O.I.A., collected over decades of hard work by one King Awesome.” Cognitum replied with a smirk as Snails was lifted up into the air.
First, the end of the quote should use a comma ond one space, not a period, I think. Second, that's Snips, not Snails.
Then face the fact that this is the solution where gets everypony what they want.
Something must be done here, but there's oso many choices.
“Dealer. Dealer! What are you doing dealer? Stop it!”
‘dealer’ to ‘Dealer’
Scholars I dispatched to learn more came back infuriatingly lacking in formation, if they came back at all.
Maybe remove the space in ‘in formation’, but otherwise I really have no idea what's being said there.
[...]I asked as me passed one quivering, humming lump.
‘me’ to ‘we’
The prompted a laugh from my old body.
‘The’ to ‘That’
Green lighting from their horns raked across it,[...]
‘lighting’ might be ‘lightning’
Steel Rain Stepped forward.
‘Stepped’ to ‘stepped’
Snip’s skull whispered.
I feel like ‘Snip’s’ should be ‘Snips'’.

Also, I could go into how that really is not an apostrophe, what's actually used there (’) is the end single quotation character but that's a common facet in formatting due to the way word processors like Google Docs automatically reformat base QWERTY input. I could even, beyond that, go into what a huge ass Google Docs is about juggling indentation and line spacing formats in seemingly no real order. I guess that's for another day, though, because right now it seems to work well enough for you.

“I have to start it off like this: ‘knock knock’?”
Shouldn't the question mark be inside the quotes?
The soul of princess Luna.
...oh, wait, someone actually got this one. Of course. It was way out on its own paragraph for all to see. I guess it is being worth it to double check the doc before posting these, but then again I guess that's just out of curtesy so you don't have to see the same error twice. Damnit, it's way too late for me to be rambling, I guess I'll just stop now. Thank you and goodnight.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by WavemasterRyx on Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:47 am

O. Hinds wrote:Ah, yes; I already wished you a happy birthday on your Tumblr, but, as that was using a different name, here it is again: happy birthday!
Ah, you did, sorry...  I keep forgetting your username there...  Thank you again though, sir.

*hugs Hinds and Somber each very gently*

Chapter 65 Commentary:


"In a flash, Boo ducked behind me, shoving me towards the cloth-wrapped zebra who'd landed where she'd been standing a second before 'On second thought, this really is your thing, Blackjack!'" - Discord does a very good job adding what little levity there is to this chapter...

As I thought, really none of them stood a chance against Amadi... even together...  It was nice to see Rampage get a chance to actually try to do some damage, even if it was utterly pointless, and she ended up suffering so dearly for her efforts...

The confrontation between Blackjack and Rampage about about her betrayal does hurt quite a bit...  I can't blame Rampage though... she was used every bit Blackjack was, and it was really the only chance she had left.  I had hoped at least that Rampage could die smiling, but even that seems unlikely now.

I did particularly like Discord's line of "Plus, it's Tuesday, and everyone knows Tuesdays are ideal for spelunking." though...

"Imma here Bwackjack.  Imma sowwie I didn't tell.  He say it was a secret." - I've been really torn as to whether this was actually Boo or just Discord acting...  

"Would you like to know a Wild Pegasus rain spell?" "No." - As small a thing as this is, it's also really quite sad...  I wish he could have had a chance to teach it to her...

Discord's exposition on the past is really quite nice.  It seems like a very reasonable explanation, and it didn't feel out of place.

"Boo is unique.  Precious.  An individual.  Why, she's growing her own soul and everything.  And she's as immortal as I am." - This is really sweet to hear, I just wish I could be happier about it...  Right now though, all it seems like it would mean is an immortal Boo stuck in the Core having to live through its horrors... and a very long life without the pony that meant the most to her...

"Stoppit Discowd!  Imma not gonna be bad!  Imma gonna be like Bwackjack!" - This made me tear up again, Boo really is cute.

"Chaos is change. [...] It's a gamble." - An interesting choice of words...

"You've done good and sown disorder, but you haven't gotten the spark that links them in your head yet." - Ever since I finished the chapter I had completely lost hope for a miracle to happen, and for Blackjack to get a happy ending...  I still don't know if it's really possible... but re-reading her conversation with Discord here gives me the ever faintest hope for a chance...

The fight with the scorpion abomination is... I don't really know if "refreshing" is the right word, but it's all I can think of.  Even though it's a horrific undying monstrosity it's a very "simple" enemy.

"I was missing my Boo luck charm, too. 'Damn it!' I shouted, slamming my hooves against an intact, tipped-over container. [...]  The lid broke open, and dozens of twelve-millimeter semiautomatic weapons tumbled out around my hooves, each still in its translucent plastic wrap." - I can't even begin to say how nice it was to finally see Blackjack with access to such a huge supply of weapons, too.  It feels like such a long time since she was fully equipped.

"I could kiss Discord so hard her hooves would... wait... no.  That'd be weird.  A hug would suffice." "If I ever saw that snaggle-toothed son of chaos again out of Boo's body, I'd give him a kiss that'd make his antler... horn... -whatever!- pop right off." - These are fairly cute lines, for being in the middle of the fight.  Her happiness at finding the shotgun was really cute too.

Blackjack's babies really do sound cute...  Even though it's a front seat to the end of the world it's still a nice dream, at least because Blackjack doesn't let it get to her...

I agree with Discord, I like Drunkjack too...  And poor Boo trying to hug her and getting a face-full of armor...

The little "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" exchange was nice...  I wish they'd had a chance to have that pizza with marmalade...

The parting between Blackjack and Discord is incredibly touching...  The fact that Blackjack does consider him a friend, and him hugging her... how could I not cry...



And... with my very deepest apologies... this is where I have to stop re-reading this chapter.  It's not that the second half of the chapter is bad at all, just the opposite really...  It's so well done that with how much you've made me care about the characters I simply can't handle reading it again right now...

Between Blackjack being used and betrayed... and the lasers... and Cognitum stealing everything she can of Blackjack's one piece at a time... it just really, really hurts...

Probably the best part, no matter how painful, is Discord's final sacrifice.  It was done /beautifully/ and I don't think I can emphasize that enough.  The show of majesty even as he was falling apart...  I really want to believe his sacrifice wasn't meaningless, and that it accomplished something other than handing Cognitum exactly what she wanted...

I also want to believe there's some significance to Cognitum's reaction to the restored Echo and Steel Rain threatening Blackjack's foal, but I don't really know if there is...

I really want to believe a miracle can happen and everything will be okay...  I don't want to lose Blackjack...
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Stormhopper on Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:08 am

Nooo! BJ cant be dead! But that hasnt stopped her before

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:11 am

Dekshuduph wrote:This chapter... wow.  I believe I will just say that this chapter was a box of Twizzlers.

chapter 65 thoughts:
...In that it was so full of twists.

There's a couple things I like to say about this chapter.  I find interesting how the predictions we made were revealed in the story; people here spend so much time on predictions but not many people really said, "Aww yis, I was right!"
Particularly:
A) Biscord.  I was kept on the edge of my seat on that one, as I couldn't be sure where his influence on Boo could be placed on the spectrum.  On one hand, he could have been completely silent to Boo (other than to inform her of his presence) and just been placing chaos everywhere.  On the other, he might have been completely puppeting Boo's behaviour, so he was faking switching the 'control' over Boo's body.  Along with that, that could mean that when he left, he either completely got rid of Boo or he used his brief burst of chaotic power to make a replacement.  Another option is what people have been predicting, which is sort of in between those two extremes, and is what Blackjack likely believes as well.  I was a little annoyed with how Blackjack was pestering Discord about Boo at the very start of the chapter.  In fact, I'll touch on Blackjack's behaviour in general in a bit.  Moving right along...
B) Lunitum.  Yeah, people predicted correctly who Cogs was, but then we get the whole part in the story where Blackjack wasn't believing her.  I can say that that's realistic, but to have known for sure due to evidence given in the story, it created a pretty noticable disconnect between myself and Blackjack as a character, simply because... well... she's kinda stupid.

And that leads me into Blackjack.  This is really the only thing that bothers me about this chapter, yet ironically I view it as a great part of her character.  This is the first time I've read something this big by typing it out, so although it took me two days straight to read through, I caught a lot more details and was able to enjoy the read a lot more.  It is, in turn, also the first time I could really appreciate a writing method I've theorised about but could never really appreciate in use.  And that, fellow readers, is character stupidity.  The author comes from a set level of intelligence, and they control the world that they are going to write about.  Usually, good writers are going to have pretty high intelligence or are pretty clever in how they write, so the characters they create to fill the roles of the story can never be as intelligent as the writer themselves.  This makes the reader able to be on the same level of basic knowledge as the lead character and sympathise with them; this, however, is broken when the reader is overanalysing the story and can see through what the author's doing.  It makes the main character seem stupid, when in reality they just don't have enough time to think as you do.  Even if you're not as intelligent as that character actually is, you as the reader can still lose your suspension of disbelief; after all, knowledge ≃ intelligence × time.  Or I could be completely wrong and everything this paragraph says is bullshit.  So let's move on to something else I liked.

I particularly enjoyed the scene between the big fight and the return to Boo/Discord.  It was a nice ambient with indirect exposition about the Eater's powers.  Maybe this just reminds me a lot of Vessel; that game was very enjoyable in that it had this curious yet awesome ambience to it.  I know this was just a one-shot setting, but seeing more of these flesh blobs coagulating around motes (that five-word descriptor being necessary as we don't really have a name for it) would be a lot of fun, especially if they get an important role (EEE!  Can't wait for next chapter!  Again!).

This chapter had sooo much exposition, and yet the drama that was mixed in made it all quite enjoyable.  Glad to know what Project Horizons really is, even though we already knew about most of the details.  That made the "To the mooon!" line from Nightmare Jack at the end kinda funny.  But... so many twists.  I suppose we pretty much know everything about the past now, since we've covered what Luna's been doing (bleh, I never quite knew what her deal was until now) as well as the last and most important Project.  We're also left with quite the cliffhanger this time around, something akin to 33 but not quite as peaceful... or something.  The footnote is what really sealed the deal.  Happy April Fools, everypony!

Oh, there was also the ending, which I should mention.  We've seen that this story is pulled from Blackjack's mind and memories, not her soul and the experiences that it follows.  This has been shown to be true countless times.  But it got a bit confusing at the end, and even though some people here have came up with ideas as to how it works, what's happening or whatever, I just feel really lost.

chapter 65 edits:

[...]if he’d really wanted too, though I[...]
‘too’ to ‘to’
He turned towards Boo and me.
‘me’ to ‘I’
[...]was quite enough for me for the moment.
‘for’ to ‘at’
As immortal as me.
‘me’ to ‘I’
She closed his eyes.
I know the pronoun confusion has already been addressed, but I believe this sounds strange, like the two words referring to two different people.  You could say that it's okay since only Discord was being addressed, but it still caught my attention, so.
[...]the behemoth let out a ear splitting screech as it turned[...]
‘a’ to ‘an’
But then, well,  If the norm is civility
‘, ’ to ‘.’ (or something like that)
“Do you know what that that monster was?”
Um... add a dash or remove a ‘that’, I think.
I paused, then frowned, and glanced at my \Pipbuck.  EC-1101 had been made to access \Equesrian systems… did robots count?
Two things:
‘Pipbuck’ to ‘PipBuck’
‘Equesrian’ ... lol
Can you used EC-1101 to keep them[...]
‘used’ to ‘use’
[...]tears on his cheeks at he stared at me[...]
‘at’ to ‘as’
[...]towards the blue barred ultra sentinel,[...]
‘ultra sentinel’ to ‘Ultra-Sentinel’
Do forgive me my poor choice in servants.
Remove ‘me’
“It’s good to finally meet you.  Face to face.”
“Ah well.  I knew from the moment we first met \face to face\ that you were special.  You passed all my tests, albeit with a little help every now and then.”
Contradictory, or something.  Might not be changed because Cognitum is stupid and when I noticed this I laughed.
[...]when Horse was showing of his latest innovation,[...]
‘of’ to ‘off’
“Say hello, Director!”
There should be quotes around ‘hello’, as I just typed it.
[...]his eyeglow brightening as he saw at me.
Woah, now!  You can't ‘saw at’ someone, you can only look at or see them.  Maybe he saw her?
“By accessing an archive of information related directly to the O.I.A., collected over decades of hard work by one King Awesome.”  Cognitum replied with a smirk as Snails was lifted up into the air.
First, the end of the quote should use a comma ond one space, not a period, I think.  Second, that's Snips, not Snails.
Then face the fact that this is the solution where gets everypony what they want.
Something must be done here, but there's oso many choices.
“Dealer.  Dealer!  What are you doing dealer?  Stop it!”
‘dealer’ to ‘Dealer’
Scholars I dispatched to learn more came back infuriatingly lacking in formation, if they came back at all.
Maybe remove the space in ‘in formation’, but otherwise I really have no idea what's being said there.
[...]I asked as me passed one quivering, humming lump.
‘me’ to ‘we’
The prompted a laugh from my old body.
‘The’ to ‘That’
Green lighting from their horns raked across it,[...]
‘lighting’ might be ‘lightning’
Steel Rain Stepped forward.
‘Stepped’ to ‘stepped’
Snip’s skull whispered.
I feel like ‘Snip’s’ should be ‘Snips'’.

Also, I could go into how that really is not an apostrophe, what's actually used there (’) is the end single quotation character but that's a common facet in formatting due to the way word processors like Google Docs automatically reformat base QWERTY input.  I could even, beyond that, go into what a huge ass Google Docs is about juggling indentation and line spacing formats in seemingly no real order.  I guess that's for another day, though, because right now it seems to work well enough for you.

“I have to start it off like this: ‘knock knock’?”
Shouldn't the question mark be inside the quotes?
The soul of princess Luna.
...oh, wait, someone actually got this one.  Of course.  It was way out on its own paragraph for all to see.  I guess it is being worth it to double check the doc before posting these, but then again I guess that's just out of curtesy so you don't have to see the same error twice.  Damnit, it's way too late for me to be rambling, I guess I'll just stop now.  Thank you and goodnight.
Ah, thank you.

"‘me’ to ‘I’"
No, 'me' is correct there.

"‘for’ to ‘at’"
That would be a valid usage, but I think that the meaning and sound of the current version are better. Sorry.

"‘me’ to ‘I’"
I again believe 'me' to be the correct word there.

"I know the pronoun confusion has already been addressed, but I believe this sounds strange, like the two words referring to two different people. You could say that it's okay since only Discord was being addressed, but it still caught my attention, so."
Yes, if it was someone other than Discord, for whom the confusion is somewhat fitting…

"Remove ‘me’"
No, the construction is valid.

"There should be quotes around ‘hello’, as I just typed it."
Hm, no, I think that it works as it is.

"I feel like ‘Snip’s’ should be ‘Snips'’."
'Snips's", actually, according to the rules we're operating under.

"Shouldn't the question mark be inside the quotes?"
I'm not sure what you mean; it is inside the quotes. It ought to be a period, though, so I'm still glad that you pointed it out.

"..oh, wait, someone actually got this one."
Aye, that was true for several of the errors you spotted, but that you anyway; I'd much rather skip over some reports of already-fixed errors than have any go unreported. And there do always seem to be errors to report, no matter how many times the chapter has been gone over…

"Oh, there was also the ending, which I should mention. We've seen that this story is pulled from Blackjack's mind and memories, not her soul and the experiences that it follows. This has been shown to be true countless times. But it got a bit confusing at the end, and even though some people here have came up with ideas as to how it works, what's happening or whatever, I just feel really lost."
Unless Somber's changed his mind and not informed me, the story isn't "pulled" from anywhere, unlike FoE. I'm afraid that I lack the literary vocabulary to properly describe it, but PH is just written in the past tense in the present.
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