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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 Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:44 am

Huh. I've never lost a file to that sort of thing. I do have a backup drive in case of hardware failure, though.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vinylshadow on Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:58 pm

Computers are fickle creatures

Treat them well

*noms on fast food while typing this*

I r a hypocrite
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:19 pm

Turns out Windows has a file recovery system that if you dig through long enough, you can find a lost file.  Granted, everything over three pages was corrupted, but three pages is okay.  I can build on three pages.  Rewriting is a nightmare though.  I can't repeat the feeling I get from a first time down, and it frustrates me.

Anyway, editing chapter 7 of accords today.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vinylshadow on Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:49 pm

Best of luck to you with that endeavor
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:35 pm

And up.  ::crosses hooves and hopes it gets featured.::
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vinylshadow on Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:47 pm

Strange that I prefer Triptychverse one-shots over the actual story itself

Excellent, more reading material for tonight.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Caoimhe on Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:51 pm

Vexd wrote:Wait, "lukewarm" for what the sacrifice was, or
that detail:
the detail in the epilogue that states she can leave at any time?

Lukewarm as in
Spoiler:
Homage was royally screwed on a last minute meeting with Pip and it was heartbreaking, then after all the erratic and poor paced third person mumbojumbo Celestia gave every logical alternative to Pip as possible and she wouldn't have any of it. Then the epilogue read like a copout based on legitimate fan concerns over the ending. Personally it felt insulting to the characters. You can do a bittersweet ending but at least holdfast to it and include some legitimate resolution.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vexd on Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:32 pm

Pip is stubborn like that

Epilogue:
Still a better ending than Mass Effect 3. If there is some form of legitimate issue the ending, I lack the capacity to notice it. All I know is it gave me a happy-feel good despite every that had happened prior.
But that's just me


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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:46 pm

Vexd wrote:Pip is stubborn like that

Epilogue:
Still a better ending than Mass Effect 3. If there is some form of legitimate issue the ending, I lack the capacity to notice it. All I know is it gave me a happy-feel good despite every that had happened prior.
...I liked ME3's ending. Mostly. It had some pretty severe issues.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Silver136 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:39 pm

Scienza wrote:
Vexd wrote:Pip is stubborn like that

Epilogue:
Still a better ending than Mass Effect 3. If there is some form of legitimate issue the ending, I lack the capacity to notice it. All I know is it gave me a happy-feel good despite every that had happened prior.
...I liked ME3's ending. Mostly. It had some pretty severe issues.
I liker it too...though I understand why so many people were unhappy with it.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vinylshadow on Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:38 am

Just do what I do: Consider ME3 non-canon and stick to the first two
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:43 pm

ME3... was perfect till you went to earth.  Then, all of a sudden, it turned into a monopath grind.

If I were doing it...

Hackett: If these were Allicance forces, I'd feel better assigning formations, but with mixed fleets... I'd like to get your feel on who should go where Sheppard.

Then you assign which fleet will be the core.  Which will be the vanguard.  Which will be the the right wing.  Which will be the left wing.  Which will be assigned to skirmish.  Which will be held in reserve.

Some wonderful cut scenes and speeches and what not.  Then you go to earth.

Now you have three required missions to reach the portal to the citadel... but there's numerous side missions too.  There's also a number of reaper units on the minimap too.  Doing side missions may save civilians / researchers... come to the aid of Krogan ground troopers... Capture a fallen reaper...  Whatever.  You have to get to the portal before the reapers cut you off completely, but the ground assets you gathered buy you more time and make the three required missions a little easier.

Of course there's interspaced cut scenes were we see whomever is assigned to the vanguard blown away in the opening salvo.  Then the wings getting hit.  The skirmishers attacking the reaper's flanks.  And then another levithan class dreadnaught reaper pops in and the reserves get called up to deal with it.

When the space battle is done, the value of each fleet remaining determines the 'global space' situation.  The events in project hammer cultivate the end of specific story lines.  And rather than having the star child... a harbinger reaper makes a final attempt to cut you off from it.  You now have three choices.  Fight it: which leads to the 'red' ending.  Believe the elusive man, fight your way into the Reaper's AI matrix and assume command of it, downloading shepard into the reaper collective programing via the crusible.  Or you have to make a number of speech checks and get Harbinger to admit that the cycle isn't achieving its goal and maybe there's another way.  Failure gets Shepard obliterated in a beam of red light.

And done.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vinylshadow on Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:04 pm

Why haven't we packed you off to Bioware?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:53 pm

I'd work for Bioware in a heartbeat.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:07 pm

Somber wrote:I'd work for Bioware in a heartbeat.
Holy shit this would be awesome.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:11 pm

I haven't even played any of the Mass Effect games, and that sounds like a good ending to me. You keep doing this, Somber! :D
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:19 pm

The characters would be mind-blowing. Bioware is my favorite dev because their characters are just so goddamn good (among other things), and I've already fangushed like mad over PH's characters, so a Somber-written Bioware game would be a dream come true for me.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:39 pm

Vexd wrote:Wait, "lukewarm" for what the sacrifice was, or the detail in the epilogue that states she can leave at any time?
Yes, mostly the fact that she can leave at any time and the only reason she has to stay is a misguided sense of responsibility toward Celestia. If the process was permanent, it would be rather more of a sacrifice. (Not that I think Rainbow Dash would approve of a permanent process in the first place.)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:46 pm

Somber wrote:ME3... was perfect till you went to earth.  Then, all of a sudden, it turned into a monopath grind.

If I were doing it...
...This is the game I want.

Stick the Vorcha up in the vangard. They'll appreciate the honor, and nobody will mind when they get blown away.

I note that this would give you a serious benefit for completing the Quarian missions -- you lose Legion, but the combined Quarian-Geth fleet would be a fantastic core for the fleet, beyond the rather bland +X% bonus to War Resources. The Rachni would also make an interesting contribuition.


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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:48 pm

SilentCarto wrote:
Somber wrote:ME3... was perfect till you went to earth.  Then, all of a sudden, it turned into a monopath grind.

If I were doing it...
...This is the game I want.

Stick the Vorcha up in the vangard. They'll appreciate the honor, and nobody will mind when they get blown away.
That, and the fact that they're OP as hell. Dat flamer...
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vexd on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:15 pm

Scienza wrote:That, and the fact that they're OP as hell. Dat flamer...

Annnnd, now I miss the multiplayer
I'd get it on PC:
But I refuse to touch Origin
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:30 pm

Well it would be like this for the vanguard:

Alliance Fleet: Earth was the first system invaded by the Reapers.  The Alliance Fleet was the first to take the fight back to them.  The united 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 9th fleets met the enemy with valor, and received annihilation.  Alliance suffered over 95% casualties, but through their sacrifice, the remaining fleets held strong following the battle.  The terran alliance never regained their military footing, and many colonies and outposts were abandoned in the wake of the war.  However, in the centuries that followed, humanity emerged on the galactic stage with a newfound respect from all Council races, and successfully shaped the future of the galaxy.

Taurian: The Tuarian fleet were the greatest and strongest military the galaxy had ever seen.  In the battle for earth, many Taurians cried for vengence for Palaven and the millions who perished there.  The Taurian fleet unleashed firepower that even gave the Reaper pause... breifly.  In the exchanges that followed, Taurian firepower was battered, then broken, against the relentless firepower of the reapers.  The taurians would never recover from this conflict, and their military prowess and pride would be rendered a footnote in the annuls of military history.

Quarian: With the largest fleet ever known, the migrant fleet took their position at the head of the formation.  Their life ships empty of their civilian cargo, deposited on Rannoch, the Quarians crashed against the Reapers like a mighty wave, and with sheer mass, broke the enemy lines.  Sadly, they would weather the counter attack poorly.  When the reapers were beaten, the admiralty assessed that the migrant fleet was essentially no more.  However, in light of their reacquisition of Rannoch and the eliminatation of the Reapers, this was deemed an... acceptable loss.

Geth: The geth fleet initated the battle with the reapers and for the first time in Reaper history, synthetics willingly fought on behalf of organics.  This was a holy war, and the Reapers employed annihilation on the Geth with unusually excessive zeal.  The Geth fleet was utterly decimated in the engagement, but in their distraction, bought precious time for other races.  Those Geth who survived withdrew back behind the persius veil, and some believe departed the galaxy forever, to try to find new truths, and a new way for their kind.

Quarians and Geth: Never before had organics and synthetics united willingly in opposition of the reapers.  Never before had slave stood with master, nor abuser with victim.  In the long and torturous history of the Geths and Quarians, few imagined it could end peaceably.  Thus, few could envision the combined Geth and Quarian fleets charging into the heart of the Reaper armada.  Synthesizing AI processing power, electronic warfare, and sheer numbers, the combined fleet instituted a hammer blow that gave pause to even the Reapers.  So furious and effective was their assault that they were able to withdraw before being utterly destroyed.  In the time that followed, Geth and Quarians returned to Rannoch and established a new and vigorous power in the Terminus systems, and eventually, took their place among the council races.

Citadel Forces: Though technologically advanced, the mixed Citidel forces were ill suited to face the brunt of the Reapers' first salvo.  Asari dreadnaughts inflicted horible damage, but were quickly torn down by the reapers.  Volus fighter bomber squads were torn to pieces.  Elcor support vessels were utterly annihilated.  The Salarian home fleet was undone.  In a span of minutes, the citidel races were rendered militarily obsolete.  For centuries, the Asari, Salarians, Volus, and Elcor accused the alliance of deliberately sending their forces to their deaths to secure power for the new citadel leaders, but this was never proven.  After the reapers, even the mighty asari were reduced to a footnote in the annuls of history.

Terminus Fleet:  The terminus fleet bore the initial attack of the reapers quite well; cutting and running just before the first shots were fired.  Exposing the formation to the Reapers, they fled back to their bases and dens.  Following the destruction of the reapers, the Terminus fleet became a bane unlike any ever seen.  Eventually, a deal was made granting autonomy and legitimacy to the Omega Confederation for a time.  But it would not be long before old habits would ignite the terminus systems in war once more.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Silver136 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:35 pm

Vexd wrote:
Scienza wrote:That, and the fact that they're OP as hell. Dat flamer...

Annnnd, now I miss the multiplayer
I'd get it on PC:
But I refuse to touch Origin
The multiplayer is well worth it, trust me. That's one of my friends and my favorite games for co-op.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:43 pm

Seconded. The multiplayer is incredibly fun and, complaints about the ending aside, the single-player is still fantastic. Especially Citadel. Citadel is the best thing ever.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:34 pm

Somber wrote:Well it would be like this for the vanguard:
Maybe I misunderstand the purpose of the core fleet, then -- I thought they'd be the ones absorbing the bulk of the fight while the vanguard would scout and engage the lighter vessels, like a destroyer screen. Are you proposing instead that the vanguard engages the Reapers while the core fleet protects the landing craft as they punch through?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:02 pm

The vanguard takes the first wave of hits.  They're the front of the line.  The core actually does the slugfest once the fleets close.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vergil on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:28 pm

Ugh. When I invent time travel, I'm finding a way to put Somber in charge of ME3. The ending we got isn't even in the same league as yours (if it's even playing the same sport).

As for the comments on 70...as I hoped, Cai hit the nail more or less on the head for me. Thanks for that! (She's far more eloquent than me when it comes this this kind of stuff, and I was a bit too out of it at the time to make an attempt anyways.) I'm still okay with how this is all shaking out and can't wait to see where it goes, though. (Also, this all really makes me wish Van Buren had been a thing.)

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:04 pm

Yeah, so. Chapter 55. I don't think that it had quite the peaks of emotional impact that the first third of 54 did, but it did some heavy lifting in showing how Blackjack's been growing up. She's putting more thought into things, and trying not to just get caught up in doing what feels right when the costs (particularly to others rather than her) could end up being worse than what she wants to fix. Add to that a great moment with P-21, Grace, who I think is a lot like the Applejack of her family, but with more that she wants to accomplish and more she needs to protect what she already has against (and thus far, far more interesting), and a bunch more, and you've got a pretty good chapter.

Chapter Fifty Five Running Thoughts:
They have a spark generator that builds up a charge and then blasts the nearest target with a bolt of lightning.  It actually has about the same power as one of a Raptor’s main guns, as I understand.

If I'm reading that right, a generator loads capacitors or the magical equivalent, which then directly supply the power for the shots, similar to the operation of rail and coil guns.


That whole ‘not embraced your destiny’ line was either terrifyingly strong faith in higher powers or a load of contrived bullshit.

Can't it be both? Or, at least, can't he have faith in higher powers motivating him to whip up a batch of bullshit for this situation?


In fact, the Legate worried me far less than either Lighthooves or Dawn at the moment.

Well yes, that would be why you're doing something about Lighthooves now rather than him.


Rampage asked, looking at Glory with a small frown.  She'd been cross ever since the fight with the Legate.  He was, as she put it, a ‘big bad freakily familiar fucker’, or BBFFF for short.

Nope, don't like this for a variety of reasons, notably that the acronym wouldn't have had any particular relevance to any of the souls in Rampage, and there wasn't any particular prompting to tie them together. Now, if he had been a major factor that had never been mentioned until then, and was probably created for that chapter specifically without pre-planning and shoehorned in regardless, then this would be a more apt reference.


"So just unplug me?" I asked with a hopeful grin.  Glory gave the ‘Blackjack is not a smart pony’ sigh.  “Come on.  There had to be some way to turn me off.”
   “Does anything do that for you?” Rampage asked with a smirk, and I rolled my eyes.

Ha!


Glory opened her mouth to argue, and then hesitated.  "It... might?" she finished tentatively.  Then she shook her head sharply.  "But you don't have to do this, Blackjack!  Thunderhead's problems aren't yours, and you already have enough problems that are."

And now it's Glory's turn to just not get it. Or perhaps more accurately, to wish that the traits she loves about Blackjack didn't have consequences.


"Then Thunderhead wins.  Huzzah.  Neighvarro will have to submit and watch as their power crumbles away to the economic and technological might of Thunderhead."  I put a hoof across Glory's shoulders and asked, "Do you think they'll fold like that?"
“They might…” she began.

That is some powerful denial right there.


"Hush," P-21 said with a small smile.  "So what's your plan?  I assume it will involve running for our lives at some point?"
"My plan?"  I frowned at him a moment.  "Getting to Thunderhead, meeting with Honored Councilor Stargazer, and having her put the brakes on this crazy train."

You can't deny, for the broad stokes, that's a pretty nice plan A. Leaves most of it to them, minimal risk, and it's all diplomacy based.


Glory stared at me with a small smile, then said, "Only you could say something like that with utter sincerity and still have it actually sound possible."
I smiled and rolled my eyes a little.  "Oh, I don't know.  I'm pretty sure that LittlePip or the Stable Dweller could take on the Enclave and give them a run for their money."  
Funny how that little comment seemed to shake their confidence a bit, and, oddly enough, I imagined a tiny lavender unicorn groaning and covering her face.

Twilight's all the more justified in that now she gets to add the shame that it's coming from her only living descendant.


The striped mare entertained herself by hypothesizing on ways to kill the Legate involving meat pies and balefire eggs.

Well, the best way with a meat pie, though it might not work as well for instant gratification, is having the meat be tainted with the raider virus.


“Blackjack, you are a good friend.  Despite your faults, and they are many, you have always attempted to act in the best interests of others.  Your sacrifices are admirable, and your hope that good can ultimately triumph is an inspiration.”  Another pause before [Lacunae] added in a mental whisper, “I do not want to wrong you again, Blackjack.”

Ah yes, the Psalm memories and the connection to Unity they led to. Probably not foreseeable, but quite harmful all the same.


“Such language.  Such impudence.”  The Goddess chuckled.  “You should be more respectful.  After all, when this Lacunae is broken, the Goddess will need a new cesspit.”  The sensation of being gripped became one of being squeezed.  “Guess who the Goddess has in mind for the role?”

And this plot line just keeps getting more fun. Eugh.


“Continue your little quest.  The Goddess doesn’t want your friends to interfere before it’s time.”  There was a pause.  “Oh.  And if you behave, I won’t have you crush your little blue lover’s head like a grape.”

For a minute there I forgot that Glory was Rainbow Dash at this point (since Blackjack tends to think of her as gray anyway), and thought this was another instance of someone (Dawn, maybe Caprice) saying things about P-21 being romantically involved with/interested in her.


“Yeah,” I said with a happy smile.  “I’m just fine.  Fine as I’ll ever be.”
Overhead, Lacunae shed tears for both of us.

You know, I think that the second line might be overselling it: the echoing of Lacunae's refrain, but of course with Blackjack diction, may have been enough given the other context.


“Okay, to be fair, I don’t actually know someone who has a flying machine.”  P-21 frowned, his ears laying flat.  “More like, I’ve seen a person who had one.  A long time ago.”  Glory knitted her brows together with a smile that made me wonder if she was reminding herself that she loved the not-smart pony,  “I don’t know if the flying machine still exists, if it can still fly, or if I can get my hooves on it if it does and can.”

Look, I don't think I'm being too pedantic here to say that you might as well have said that in the first place. And worded it less cryptically. Independent of content, it's totally fair that Glory might need to remind herself that she loves a poor communicator.


Blue bars were scattered here and there too, and once I spotted a scavenger hiding from us as we passed.  We drove by a small caravan of three armed guards escorting a dozen wretched-looking ponies, but when the armed trio saw me atop Deus they immediately broke for the woods.

Oh hey, a rare instance we see the low level enemies disappear, instead of them just being gone the whole time. Neat.


More ponies were moving up onto the top of the barricade, mostly possessing simple hunting rifles.  Not a missile to be seen.  It didn’t mean that they weren’t keeping bigger stuff in the rear, though.

I'm a little disappointed that she's not also thinking along the lines that they don't need to get too lucky with a rifle to kill or cause real harm to some of the people she's with.


“You know what would also be really funny?  Us driving this tank right up your ass.”  Deus revved his engine in agreement.
   “Rampage, that’s enough,” I said as I stood beside her, trying to suppress my smile.
   “Enough?  I hadn’t even started!”  Rampage replied with a pout.

Hmm, starting (continuing?) the build-up to Rampage's outburst about playing nice on the way to Thunderheat?


“Oh shut up!  You’re going to get yourself killed,” a mare snapped from behind the barricade.  The guard ponies started in alarm.

And not just himself. Seems like that could have broader repurcussions, too. Glad someone over there didn't take her stupid pills that morning.


“You moron!” the mare snapped.  “If they were attacking, you’d have been dead two minutes ago!  Honestly!”

"It's so hard to find good help these days!"


It swung wide and a trio of white unicorns stepped forward.  A shield protected the three from the misting rain.

Well, I don't think it would shield them from too much else, or anyway not everything Blackjack and co. could throw at them, unless it was a super alicorn level shield.


The white, blue-maned stallion who I’d met months ago outside the Fluttershy Medical Center still stirred a base, fundamental part of me.

I mean, I get that in this context it's meant as more "basic" or "foundational," but it's still weird to think of Blackjack calling her sex drive or attractions "base."


To his right approached a cross, younger-looking mare that shared his coloration so closely that I wondered if they might be twins.

In fairness, it does seem that twins/siblings don't work quite the same way for ponies.


She eyed the severe, blue-maned mare, who had to be Splendid’s sister.

Is it really necessary to say she must be Splendid's sister after Blackjack already was thinking she might be his twin?


Grace scowled at the younger filly and stepped forward, saying quickly, “We don’t want any trouble, Security.  You can come and see my father, but the tank and your weapons stay here.  If you try to force the issue, then things will get uncivil.”
“Celestia forbid that should happen,” Charm quipped with a roll of her magenta eyes.  Then she grinned at Rampage.  “Make it happen.  Please?”

Yeah, I get why Rampage likes her and all, but Charm's sense of indestructibility, or presentation of such, really isn't as justified and all this comes off as callous disregard for anyone but herself, and poor thinking about how to get what she wants, too.


“I’m afraid Grace is right.  Abrupt, but correct.  We can’t let you in so… overarmed.”  Funny, I didn’t know a pony could be ‘overarmed’ these days.
Still, that was refreshingly straightforward.  “We’re not going in unarmed,” I said with a smile.  “You know you can trust me, Splendid.”

Blackjack's lines have the nice double entendre that even if they leave Deus and get rid of most of their weapons, they're still probably better armed than the Society: Blackjack, Rampage, Lacunae, and Glory don't need weapons, they are weapons, and P-21 would at least have some explosives hidden. Course, I don't think she was specifically thinking that when she said it.


“Tank.  Rampage.  Security.  Hello?” the filly said as she gestured to all of us.
Grace considered us and then sighed.  “You won’t be helpless, you know.  You and your alicorn have magic, you have a broadcaster to call for help, and you have a tank to come to your rescue,” the blue-maned mare said with a toss of her head.

Was that a subtle dig at Blackjack's transmission? Is that even allowed?


“Princess Aquilina Augusta Awesomeness the Graceful,” she said with exaggerated formality.

I like the inversion of expectation with pony names. Also gives a definite reason for the name matching (or in Charm's case, it would of course be ironic); it raises the question, though: is Vanity's name Blah Blah Blah the Vain? If so, who gave him the epithet, and why would he go by it? (Oops, getting Splendid and Vanity mixed up. Could still work, though.)


P-21 just wore a little smile that said they’d be lucky to find any weapons he’d secreted and gave a little nod.

Oh hey, that's what I said.


But well-informed as she was, she couldn't know what business we had here. Meeting with us in person was still a considerable personal risk.

Eh, I kind of disagree. The only really less risky alternative would have been to flee the Society upon Blackjack's arrival.


“Don’t blow up anything friendly,” I replied casually as I passed over my guns for storage inside Deus.  I lifted the sword and said, “I’m keeping this.”

Probably just wanting something less messy, more precise (though I'm not sure bringing a weapon that wants to kill to a diplomatic function is a great idea), but I'll note this also takes the only known way of destroying soul jars away from Rampage.


The barbed-wire-topped fences, I’d been told, were to keep the serfs from fighting with each other in the middle of the night and to protect them from occasional radigators from the lake.

"Trust us, it's for your own protection." Question is, just how much are they fooling themselves, and how much are they making weak justifications for Blackjack?


“Serfs,” Splendid corrected immediately.  “Not slaves.”
   “Forgive me if I don’t appreciate the distinction,” P-21 replied.
   “There isn’t one,” Charm said with a shrug and a happy smile.

This could come off as a high-minded dig or accusation on their self-deception or hypocricy, but I just can't see that knowing Charm from more than just the beginning of the chapter. Seems more like she's trying to stir something up.


“What?!  There is a difference between a pony starving and a pony forced to sign or die!” Grace snapped.  “Do you mean you knew about this, Splendid?  Does father?”
Splendid screwed up his face and made a vague expression.  “Eh, I’m sure there’s somepony investigating it.  The point is that the work here is far better and safer than scrounging in the Wasteland.”

And it's probably about there that I start seeing Grace as the best of them. "Eh, whatever, someone's probably handling it" isn't exactly an admirable tack in any case, and here less than usually.


He tried his loin melting smile on me once more, baffled that it wasn’t having the effect it once did.  If it hadn’t been for Stygius, I would have bucked his head clean off his shoulders

Beyond the help with handling sex-related PTSD, Stygius is quite a contrast to Splendid as a charming prince, not nearly as good of a flirt but a lot nicer once you get to know him.


“I remember killing everypony there because I fucked up and didn’t make sure that Rivets knew about the virus!” I roared back at him.  “Do not ask me to radically change societies!  I am not qualified!”

Blackjack's difficulty in accepting a combat loss (which is fairly justifiable, since it's a lot of who she is, and she is very good at that) contrasts well with her humility regarding her weak points.


“So you’re the only one who gets to have a set of priorities, Blackjack?  This place is wrong!  Damned wrong and you know it.” . . . “But, oh, so long as they get you what you want for your next step, it’s fine.”
   I gestured at the door with a hoof.  “I already have half the Hoof against me, P-21!”  And any day the Goddess might take me over for good.  “I’d like to not add another group after my head.  You’re assuming everything is bad just from where they live.  For all you know, they’re happy to be here.  They may even be grateful.”

Both make some decent points. Blackjack is perenially self-centered in various ways, and yes, slavery/serfdom is (generally) wrong. P-21's got the much more emotionally satisfying side here, but I do think that Blackjack is right in various ways, like how it's not clear the cost of trying to free them would really leave them with an imporved situation, or how, if nothing else, they'll still be there to free later, where that won't be the case if the bioweapons get launched and reach their targets.


“I know I’m not being objective here, Blackjack, but I need to do something.  And I need to know that you will do something too.”
   “Why?” I demanded, wanting my heart to thunder and my breath to snort.  Wanting to show my agitation and frustration.  This mechanical stillness inside me was infuriating.  “Why me?”
   “Because you can and I can’t!” he shouted in my face, tears running down his cheeks in frustration.  “Because you have the power to do this and I don’t!  You do the audacious and the impossible every single day and I know that if you wanted to change all this, you could!”  He closed his eyes, shaking as if on the verge of breaking.  “You do so much... do this...”

This is very uncomfortable, basically seeing him beg her. And he's right, but it's also a painful reflection of how in some ways he's in a similar situation to what he was in in 99, at the mercy of the whims of a mare.

What the fuck was wrong with me?  Why was I trying to rationalize this?

Because of your bad track record of overthrowing communities without their input since basically Brimstone's Fall, which I think may have been the last time it really worked.


A much clearer picture showed a metal stand and a large purple and green dragon blasting a black pony silhouette with green flames.  ‘Traitor executed for crimes against Equestria.’

And some weight given to the idea that maybe Goldenblood's execution wasn't quite so lethal as you'd think. Interestingly, of course, this inference requires either a larger leap of faith or knowing the end to FoE. Sure, you could put it together later and not have it make much difference if you were reading both so that events were basically simultaneous, but interesting to think about.


I saw a rank of golden memory orbs in a glass case that nearly had my horn twitching.  Unfortunately, I knew a lock that was out of my league... maybe P-21 could come in here and borrow them for me?

Also, that'd either be stealing, or you'd be knocking yourself unconscious in a semi-maybe-hostile-ish environment. Not that that's stopped you before.


“Goldenblood?” a stallion said in a brighter, healthier voice that was naggingly familiar.  “You’re late.  Garnet’s already started the meeting.”  There was a long pause.  “You look terrible.”
   “Pinkie Pie arrested Clovertail again, Trottenheimer,”

Not that it's hard to have a livelier voice than someone in Goldenblood's condition, but I'm always stuck of thinking of Trottenheimer as the defeated man who died alone to his own creation and his own hand, and it's hard to think of that same person as "brigher" or "healthier."


There was no answer for a long minute, and then Goldenblood replied, “I haven’t been eating much.  Sleeping less.  I’ve been trying to keep Luna out of my dreams.”

Well, given how that's played out in the past, I can't blame him.


“That will probably be the point when the plan can finally be finished.  Luna will have a government that will last a thousand years.  Equestria can finally return to normal.  And Twilight will be executed for crimes against equinity and undermining the regime.  Goddesses, if only she stopped…”

I mean, I get it's a purge, but what are the crimes against equinity? Gardens I get as undermining the regime, but what else? Can't be the alicorns, since I'm pretty sure that's above-board. Likewise megaspell weaponization.


“Bully for her.  What about you?”  Trottenheimer asked.  There was a ping, and for several seconds a long low tone rang out.  It sounded... familiar... but it couldn't be that.  “Put that thing away, Goldie.  I hate that sound.”

It is disappointing to see Goldenblood take to the tone. He didn't always, I think playing Trottenheimer's role in a similar conversation earlier with Horse.


All that matters is Equestria.  That when I’m finally removed, everything can return to those better days.  We’ll have a Princess who can rule the kingdom as she needs to rule it, and there won’t be a need for war or the Ministry Mares anymore.  And things will be… better.  I just have to hold on a few more months.

Can't help but think that if Goldy really believed this he'd be more open to talking with Luna about it all. But he needs to try to believe in the future if he's to work to bring it around, I suppose.


A promise that, if you were good and tried hard, everything would turn out okay.  Goddesses, I loved Equestria.

This feels weird, coming from the time of the war. I wouldn't have taken Goldenblood for venerating the Sisters as goddesses, especially since it was so rare at the time. Or maybe it's a zebra thing from his childhood coming through; there were those who saw Celestia at least as divine, right?


The recording came to an end, and I sat there, thinking about what I’d heard.  It hadn’t been anything… important.  Nothing about Horizons at all, really.  But to hear him talk about his own execution so casually... and that talk about loving Equestria.  It had to be an act.  It simply had to be.  Goldenblood was a villain and a murderer who’d done unspeakable things.

Well, there was that bit about a contingency. Anyway, you'd really think that after all Blackjack's experiences she'd know that there can be more to a villain and murderer and unspeakable criminal than all that. She's seen it, if not to his degree. But it would be so much easier if everyone were Brass, wouldn't it?


“Most ponies believe my interest is just a sign that my wits are slipping.  Wastelanders concern themselves with the here and now, not the once was.”

That's kind of a stupid thing to think, since it sounds like he's had that interest for a long time, since the Hoofington Six.


For some reason I've suddenly started imagining King Awesome's voice as Bane's from Dark Knight Rises. I don't know how I feel about that. Didn't like the movie, or his voice actually in the movie, but it does work as a tool for humor. The problem is, I don't think Awesome is supposed to be funny.


“It’s not semantics to me.  Wrong is wrong, and the Society has a lot of wrong going on as far as I can see.

Blackjack, he was conceding the point! Sure, he was maintaining some differences of degree, but saying that the difference between slaves and serfs is semantic is saying there's no real difference.


But what you keep failing to understand is that the Society was, and can be, far worse.  The distinction between serf and slave may not be much, but it is a distinction.  Far better than the terms given by Red-Eye.

I like how he's trying to frame the debate between his Society and the worse alternatives, rather than a further-reformed Society or no serfdom at all.


“Well... It just seems like you’re getting a better deal,” I muttered lamely, no longer certain of what to do.

Yeah, that's usually the case for incumbents, for the rich. They get to set the terms, and if you're doing that, you might as well make them in your favor, right? Not that that's the right thing, but by the nature of the situation, who's going to stop you?

“Aristoponies always do,” he replied with a smile and a shrug.

Happened again. Where's my tinfoil hat?


I found out that Keeper’s weakness was for something called ‘strawberries’ and that Big Daddy’s hooves were ticklish.

Umm . . . Blackjack had made comparisons of blood or gore to strawberry jam/jelly even before she heard about how samples of strawberries had got more support for the VC in Thunderhead.


“You’re a fool, Blackjack.  But a good fool, and that’s better than all the other kinds in this world.”

Probable line from the chapter that sums up the story nicely.


It will take some time to prepare though, and I think that I should stress that this is a loan.  The Society will definitely want her returned, for sentimental reasons if nothing else.”

Then you should really ask what she's using it for. I don't think her plans would work nicely with it coming back in one piece if anything goes wrong. Granted, with things going wrong, there might not be anyone to hold accountable.


But he’d fallen asleep in his chair.  I rose to my hooves, took one look at the collection around me and what answers it might have, and started to leave.  Then I stopped and regarded the slumbering, elderly unicorn.  I’d never really had a ‘father’ or ‘grandfather’ before.  Whatever pony had sired me in 99 hadn’t filled any kind of mentoring role.  I hadn’t even understood the word before leaving Stable 99, but as I saw him lying there, I got an odd feeling that I’d never had before and wasn’t sure what to do with.  Finally, I trotted to his side, made sure he was actually asleep, and then gave a polite kiss to his cheek.
It seemed the civilized thing to do.

Aww . . .


“Glory, why are you turning their kitchen into an abattoir?” I asked as I looked at the bloody meat in one heap, the pile of bloody cybernetic components in the second pile, and the spread of cleaned cyberpony parts.  Boo and Scotch Tape sat in front of the pantry, building a small wall of provisions.  The kitchen staff worked as well as they could, watching the blue pegasus with poorly hidden expressions of horror.  “What are you even doing with the zebra body parts?”
Glory was a fright, blood smearing her hooves and spotting the cloth tied over her mouth.  “I needed to remove these components from the Brood,” she said, gesturing to the pile of gorey machinery.

This would make a great picture. Also, didn't she request a bath before? Who bathes and then goes to work on a bunch of meat, which doesn't need to be kept clean since nobody will be eating it?


“Okay.  Just try not to scare these folks.  No animating the dead for your army of cyberghouls,” I teased, noticing the horrified looks on the faces of the servants listening in.
   Glory blinked at me in confusion and gestured to the bloody heap.  “But there’s not enough materials here for even one cyberghoul.”  It took every last bit of restraint I had not to burst into laughter at the shock on the servants’ faces.

That was pretty funny, even without needing to see the servants. But their presence makes it all the better.


“I’m not opposed to the idea, but please be careful.  I’d hate for us to repeat what happened at Flank, or Fallen Arch,”

In fairness with Flank, the entire problem was that Flank never just asked them to leave, or asked them what their agenda was. That was mostly Flank's fault.


[Glory] seemed surprised, looked down at the messy business before her, then raised her bloody hooves.  “I’m up to my withers in zebra here.  But you go.  And do come back quick.”

Blackjack wouldn't mind being up to her whithers in zebras. Or Glory being up to her whithers . . . or both.


“Blackjack, you are utterly incapable of staying out of trouble.  If trouble doesn’t find you, somepony sends trouble to you, and if that doesn’t happen you’ll stir up some trouble simply by trotting along.  Sometimes I think that you need trouble to survive.”

Ooh, that's a good one, too. On which not, no shit, Glory, were you even paying attention? That was pretty much the whole reason for Blackjack leaving the last time, and I'm pretty sure you discussed that.


“Ambushed!” Scotch Tape snapped, then lobbed a Fancy Buck Cake that exploded orange filling across Boo’s face.  “Direct hit!”  the filly crowed.
   Boo’s pale eyes appeared amid the dripping orange filling.  Then her tongue swept up and collected all the dripping confection in one long circular pass and swallowed it with a gulp.  Scotch Tape blinked in shock and flopped over.

. . . That's some quality foreshadowing right there.


“Thirty one!”  Rampage crowed as we wound our way northeast towards the navigation tag Triage had given me.  “Might have been more, but you know, after you feel the blast, you lose track of things.”
“You make it sound like sex,” I muttered as we rolled along.

Hold on a minute, let me check something out . . .
“Aw… now ain’t that just romantic?  Don’t that just tug at your heartstrings?  When did my assistant get so cheesy?  Oh, and there’s a P.S.:  Thirty-one.  Huh.  What’s thirty-one mean?”
I see what you did there. Also, fuck Homage. But not that way.


there were a few odd buildings mixed in with rusted, bold plaques like ‘Carrotech’ and ‘Radish Fabrication Research’ on them.  ‘Technology parks’ I supposed they were once.  Really, what did you fabricate with radishes?

Well, as I recall Sparkle-Cola RAD could be altered to make an explosive. So maybe something along those lines?

I saw the large Stable-Tec R&D building and wondered if I might make a side trip to my side trip.

Like PH's structure generally?


“Hey, Deus!  We need to paint you bright pink to lure in more things to kill.  This auto travel is boring!”  Deus revved his engine in a very negative tone.  “Hey, it was a suggestion!”

Isn't she a little old to be playing dressup with Daddy?


“N… no.” I stammered own, feeling a will besides my own carefully manipulating my mouth to go on, “She’s fine.  I’m fine.  Nothing wrong at all, Rampage.  Brain damage!”  My lips pulled back in a rictus grin as Rampage stared at me in concern and bafflement.  “Just wanting some booze and to get laid!  And to shoot some shit because that’s what I do!”  I was grinning like an idiot, and Rampage just gaped at me.  I felt the Goddess’s strings quiver in frustration.  “How are you?” I added, and finally Rampage relaxed a little.

Marginally more convincing than when she was doing Han from the prison bay during the Thunderhead arc. Man, it's bad when someone takes you over and makes you say this, and it barely raises an eyebrow.


I felt the strings quiver as the Goddess plumbed my mind for what I should say.  I replied with the most colorful insults I could; oddly, she didn’t seem impressed.

Can't tell if Littlepip swearing reference . . .


“Never think otherwise.  It doesn’t matter if you have a soul of your own.”
   She cocked her head at me, and I felt the awkwardness rolling off the connection. . . .
“R…r…” I stammered, trying to get a word to her.  Rampage was immortal; the Goddess couldn’t kill her.  And there was Deus too.  I had to tell her.  “G…She… Co… I…” I blathered like an idiot.  My lips twisted as I struggled to spit out a few simple words.  The pressure built till I was sure my brains were going to explode out my eye sockets.  Then a memory orb floated out of my saddlebags. I looked up at the blank face of Lacunae above as the orb touched my horn.  A flicker of magic, and the world swirled away.

Okay, Rampage has to figure something's up now.


The scene-setting for the fake-Crusader orb was great.


Then the mustard-yellow Horse trotted out in front of us with an easy grin.  “Fillies and gentlecolts of the O.I.A., I just know how much you love these little demonstrations.  So, with no further ado, may I present the Crusader, one point two!  A marked improvement over the original Stable-Tec design in terms of processing power and capabilities,”

Let's be honest, did anyone need to see the rest of the scene to know this was going to be a spectacular failure?


“Thanks to your painstaking work of looting Equestria’s patent office, I’ve been able to extend to Equestria as a whole a maneframe superior to anything produced by Stable-Tec.”

. . . Does Horse not know how patents work? You don't need to loot anything; the designs are right there, open to the public. The protection comes from the legal monopoly granted by the government. Now, had he been talking about Stable-Tec trade secrets, sure.


“And with a push of a button!”  He pushed a large red button on the side of the machine.  For a moment, the Horse on the screen looked alarmed, but then it was replaced by a field of static as the pony Horse proclaimed, “The upload is purged and can be replaced by any other mind you may wish.  Come on up and try it.”

This seems like a real lack of intellectual and moral curiosity.


As the demonstration went on, with each pony giving the computer and Sweetie Bot a trial trot, Horse kept giving glances over at the scarred stallion.

Well, it's not really the pony giving the Bot a trial trot, is it? It's the copy. So the ponies never really experience it, unless the mental connection is two-way, I guess.


Suddenly there was a shout and and shove, and for a moment, something metal touched his mane.  Then Psalm was there, darting in, and there came a muffled shout as Goldenblood was shoved to the floor.
   “Are you okay?” Eclipse asked as she knelt beside him.  He glanced up in time to see the glittering mesh descend down and land firmly atop her inky head.

Smooth, Horse. And here we go.


“Now.  You seem to have a computer to fix.  Do so, and maybe then we’ll talk.”  He said as he turned on his hooves and walked out of the lab with Eclipse and Psalm.  I heard him shout about fixing his Sweetie Bot first.  Wonderful priorities there, given that it had only suffered a small scratch to its flank...

In a rare instance, I actually find this bit with Horse more humorous than appalling.


See what we can commandeer and sneak out from him.  I doubt his security is as tight as Apple Bloom’s.”
   “Espionage on her own subjects.  What would Her Majesty think?” Goldenblood said in an almost teasing voice.
   “Princess Luna knows nothing about it whatsoever.  Princess Luna sits on her throne and makes impressive speeches while the Ministries do all their acts behind her back.  Poor Princess Luna,” Eclipse giggled as the world began to blur away.

For all the badness there . . . that's funny and kind of cute. Almost a little bit of Woona, maybe.


Two more followed it, mindlessly firing missiles and gatling guns at the war machine before the cannons fired twice more and eliminated them.

And if he'd been trying hard and they had independant targetting, they'd have only had to fire once. Rampage is right; tanks are OP.


“You’ve been controlled by the Goddess.  She has had you running in, shooting the Sentries, and rushing out again on auto pilot.  Apparently, she finds it quite... entertaining as she waits for LittlePip to arrive.”

Well, that's not good. Though at least it seems she can only really pull off the full control while Blackjack is unconscious. Question though: why isn't Blackjack causing the huge feedback effect that happens when two alicorns are around?


“Uh... remember?”  Rampage said as she trotted towards me with a look of irritation.  As she walked, her flesh began to sag.  Bloody rivulets began to trickle between the gaps in her armor.  I stared in horror as one eye popped in a slurry of pink foam, only to regenerate a second later.  “I mean, I can go down there if you want, but it’s really gross.”

She just told you that! Also, gross.


I walked alone into the factory, hearing the distant Enervation scream struggling against a cool, soft note that radiated from inside me.

Is that the star song, I think? Or maybe the statuettes? Actually, I don't think the statuettes would explain Snips's and Snails's resistance.


“Lacunae?  Can you hear me?”  I thought at her, but it didn’t pierce the Enervation scream.  How had the Goddess used me?  Had she programmed me like a robot?  Could I be programed like a robot?  I had a horrifying image of myself like Sweetie Bot, the Goddess copying herself into my brain.  The thought made me shiver.  And worse, I couldn’t think of any way to tell somepony!

Good questions, all. Were bits of this added to address questions about why Blackjack didn't just radio what was happening once she got to a high-Enervation environment?


Still, even with my resistance to Enervation, I noticed that I was barely healing from the shots.  Even I had my limits.

Even hits the talismans. That's no good. Is that effect, too, muted by proximity to moonstone?


Once I’d staunched my wound, I dug out my bobby pins.  Then I took a long look at the rusty lock, pursed my lips, and simply hit the door as hard as I could with my hoof.  It let out a brittle snap and swung open.  P-21 would not have approved.

Hmm . . . I feel like that's from an old Loony Tunes or something. And like it's missing her rubbing her hooves together and wiping sweat from her brow before the punchline drops.


Slowly, I shoved the door open, the rust screeching and setting my teeth on edge.  These walls were solid concrete.  Even with the metal decay, this chamber still seemed quite sturdy.  There weren’t even leaking pipes.  It was dark in here; everything was in shades of gray in my augmented vision.  The floor was ankle deep in viscous fluid as I walked along tables stacked with long-still fabrication machinery.  I could taste metal in the air.  Coppery.

Scenery porn, but gore. Still good, though.


‘Roseluck Agrifarms: Emergency Protocols.’
   Step one: Evacuate all personnel to designated emergency shelters.
   Step two A: Wait for the all clear to be given by emergency personnel and management.
   Step two B: If evacuation warning is sounded, proceed to the north parking lot.  Remain calm.  Walk.  Do not run.
   Step three: When the all clear is sounded, contact your division manager for damage and risk assessment.  Do not simply leave the premises.

Well, the protocols beat the hell out of Four Stars's, or presumably Hippocratic's.


> I got another nastygram from our legal department.
   >Something serious?
   >Treason count?
   >What?!  What’s going on?
   >Intel found the zebras using an ‘arcane device’ identical to our pest solutions.  Ring and all.
   >WHAT?!  How!  They can’t produce those without unicorns, and, even if they had unicorns, we’re the only ones with the designs.
   >Hence the nastygram.

Shiiiiit. And with the Amadi potentially involved (potentially? If they knew what it was, no tribe but the Starkatteri would touch the things!) . . .
But what would they be using them for? The Enervation effect as a way of clearing areas? Localized alternative to megaspells?


‘Roseluck Pest Solutions.  No chemicals.  No talismans.  100% safe sonic technology.’

Things that are not true: this.


>All our tests show that it’s safe and neutral.  The MoP confirmed it.  Besides, we got the metal from Hippocratic.  If there was really anything wrong with it, don’t you think that they would have noticed?

Yes. Of course if the good, honest ponies at Hippocratic noticed, they would tell you.

>Rose!  What about the ponies getting sick?  We have to tell somepony.
   >Fine.  Notify Garnet.  She can tell the MoP there might be something off about this stuff.  Meanwhile, keep production going till we have to shut it down.  Hire a second shift and rotate them out more frequently.  Maybe that’ll help with the health problems.

Somehow I don't think this jives with Equestrian principles. Or basic morality. See it all the time in the real world, though.


“It took me so long watching and waiting.  When you came here... I knew you would be alone.” Dawn hissed softly.

So, does this mean that Dawn doesn't have a soul anymore? I don't think she's fine with the Enervation just because of her cyberization, and I don't believe she ever would have died to see the stars. Maybe when she "almost" died before being brought back by Cognitum, her soul was taken by the Enervation, and her cyberized body is run by a computer with an uploaded mind? Or is it just she has basically no organics left at all?


Still, it was difficult to-- I felt a little pink pony and tiny blue Glory thump my brain and sent me diving forward as Dawn divebombed where I’d been standing just moment before.

Aww, that's always a nice touch. And the placement during a situation where she'd be rushed and thinking all on instinct makes it feel all the more natural.


“Stop!” Dawn shrieked as she gave a little hop, and I half scrambled, half backstroked away from her as her wings tore into were I’d come to rest.  “Shooting!” she snapped as I continued flailing in the general direction of away as she pounced again.  “My!”  I turned, kicked off of the wall, and slid across the floor as she leapt once more.  “Face!”

You know, this seems almost like something I could see Psychoshy saying, and just like that.


“Weakness of flesh...” Dawn replied as I rose to my hooves... and realized I stood in a field of gore.

Okay, so it probably is just that she's not organic at all anymore.


Focus.  Endure.  If a little white pony inside me could handle her soul being ripped to pieces, I could handle a little pain.

A noble sentiment. Not one I'd want on a motivational poster in my office, though.


I pushed the guns to her head as I stared into her glowing eyes...
   And saw myself...
   I was a mix of machine and meat.  She was a synthesis of synthetics and steel.  Both of us wanted the Wasteland saved.  Both of us had ponies we’d loved.  We’d suffered.  We’d fought.  We’d killed.  Two sides of the same coin.  Were it not for my friends, what would have stopped me from becoming just like her?  She was mad, corrupted... violated... my enemy... a pony who nopony, not even her daughter, would blame me for killing.
   Be kind, a tiny yellow pony inside me begged.

Yes, but just because you had the benefit of your friends, or that you could become her, doesn't really change the fact that you're in a fight that could still easily end in your death if you just let her go. Also, sometimes dead is better. And dammit, Fluttershy. But if I want to have it be Blackjack . . . gotta listen to her.

Fierce red eyes stared into blazing green for a minute longer, and then I pulled away as she shrieked in rage and frustration.

Is a minute-long impasse really a good idea when you are dying of Enervation? Especially when your opponent isn't?


Heh... I could have hopped on my broadcaster and... wait...
   I sat up with a groan, staring straight ahead.  My broadcaster!  Why hadn’t I thought of it while I was inside?  I could have told everypony about--
   The Goddess’s smugness enveloped me, and I imagined a condescending pat on my head.  Of course, we were going away now.  And she wasn’t going to let me go back into the Enervation field now that she’d let me think of that.  Oooh...

Fuck, the Goddess is awful. I love it. And hate it.

‘I hate you...’ I thought viciously at the consciousness in the back of my mind.
‘Lesser beings usually do,’ she replied grandly.  I muttered to myself as we returned.

I swear, every mode she works in is just amplified to ridiculous degrees.


“Should I have killed her?  Would it have been kinder to just finish her off?”
   “You say you saw yourself?” King Awesome asked politely.  I nodded and he asked, “Would you want to be spared, or slain in her position?”
   “I’d...” I closed my mouth.

Well, at best that depends on when you asked her. And at times she might not have said what was probably in her heart, based on the things she was doing.

Pushing past my nasty self destruction habit, would I want to be saved or destroyed?  The idea of simply being done, of my life ending, was terrifyingly seductive.  And if I’d been answering a few weeks ago, I’d have happily suggested it.  But now... now I hoped that I was a better pony.  Somewhat.  “I’d want my friends to save me,” I admitted softly.

Someday, you'll be able to easily just say that, without needing to think about it.


“You sent this pony to spy on us!  We caught him in the plantations, interfering with an overseer.”  I felt a dangerous calm overtake me as I began to think about how best to neutralize the two former Rangers.
   “Of course I did,” I replied calmly.  “And I want him back, and healed.” I added firmly.

Oh, Blackjack. It's a good way to go with this, "Whatcha gonna do about it?"


“Consensual!  When you control every part of a pony’s life, where precisely does consent come into it?” he spat at her, making her back up as he trotted over to me.

Aaannd that's why I said I'm more morally comfortable with young adolescents fooling around with each other than supervisors having sex with the employees they supervise.


“I don’t want anypony to die either.  Please believe that and pass that on.  But I also can’t do nothing.”
   Grace sighed and slumped.  “I see.”  She then straightened and said sharply,  “You understand that every minute I try to convince others not to act, I put my own wellbeing on the line.

And Grace has a good point. I think that the Society arc might be one of the most nuanced, challenging things Blackjack's had to navigate, from an ethics perspective.


Scotch Tape scowled thoughtfully.  “Is there any way we can do all three?  Like... make things better for the worker ponies, help the Wasteland, and get the memory orbs?”
   “Kid, you pull that off and I’m nominating you to be in charge,” Rampage replied.  She then looked at me.

Heh. Well, gotta try, right?


“I also remember Riverside and what you created there,” Glory replied with a small smile.
   “And you helped in Chapel,” Scotch Tape added immediately.

Those both had significant buy-in from the communities, and in the latter case only worked after a filly was killed by their stubbornness and idiocy in insisting they didn't need "structural engineering" advice from a non-orphan!


Rampage let out a scornful, “Oh, will you two just shut up and fuck already?  I’m sure Blackjack would love that too!”
   Glory and P-21 gaped at each other, at her, and then at me all in perfect unison.  “With her?!” blurted P-21 as Glory gave a scandalized, “With him?!”  They concluded with a simultaneously disgusted, “Gross!”

Tee hee hee!


For an instant, I wasn’t looking at some freaky mutant lackey of a snide and vicious ‘goddess’ but at a true alicorn.  One loving and accepting and nurturing of us all.

Calling back to Blackjack's initial reaction to seeing Celestia and Luna, and the awe and love it inspired, is great here, and ups the contrast of Lacunae's humility, self-sacrifice, and devotion to the Goddess's ego and viciousness and hate.


“King Awesome has passed away,” he said as he revealed a golden crown decorated with diamonds and rubies.  I gaped, unable to think as he jammed the crown atop my head.  “All hail Queen Blackjack, new leader of the Society!  Long live the Queen!”

This, I think, was one of those moments when I was just gobsmacked. You think you've seen peak twists, and then bam! The protagonist is crowned Queen of a people she doesn't really like and really would rather just get away from, passing over three more obvious heirs! Great way to end a chapter.


I sat there, my shield dropping in shock and the rain dumping down on me.  I said the only words that I could think of at a time like this: “Oh, fuck me...”

Hey now, you'd better be careful, Your Majesty: someone might take that as a royal command.
Chapter Fifty Five Overall Thoughts:
So, we're starting the Society arc. One of the things that's most immediately obvious about this part is how much focus is put on the issue of just what to do about the Society, a slave (serf) state which nevertheless might be preferable to the alternatives. Blackjack isn't too interested in doing anything on her own account; she's leery of interfering with the status quo given her history of unsuccessfully forcing community reformations, as with Flank or Fallen Arch. It's not that she likes their system, but she sees some ways it's safer and more prosperous than the Wasteland generally, and with its high level of defenses would be difficult to overthrow without the serfs likely getting caught in the middle. And that leaves aside the question of what would happen after. Really, she just wants to get their airship and leave, as she has more pressing concerns, and if nothing else, there's no reason to believe the Society couldn't wait a bit in comparison to the Lighthooves issue, where he could at any point fire off his bioweapon-tipped missiles. In this way, not to mention the generally diplomatic stance she's taking throughout the chapter (big stick, sure, but with preventing hostilities in mind), Blackjack demonstrates, I think, a level of maturity and thoughtfulness that really wasn't there for most of the story. (Our little Fishy is growing up!)
Naturally, that's not really how the rest of the group sees things. Rampage is the simplest, and would just like to stomp them because she doesn't like their collective personality and it would be fun. Interestingly, for completely understandable reasons, P-21 and Glory kind of reprise what they advocated for the foals in "Play": Glory is taking the side that they should leave things as they are and hopefully someone else (then the Enclave, now the Society under Splendid and his expansionist plans) will make the situation better; P-21 advocated euthanizing the kids, and here he's likewise proposing an interventionist stance, in that they should overthrow the Society and free the serfs. P-21's original conversation with Blackjack about this was a high point of the chapter, and one of P-21's better character scenes in a while that wasn't about his relationship with Scotch Tape. He's of course very passionate about the matter, and knows he isn't being objective because of his personal history in bondage. He breaks down, begging Blackjack to do something about it. Blackjack asks why is has to be her, and his answer is wonderful: because she's strong, and he's weak; she has the power to change things here, and he has none, so all he can do is ask that she do what he can't. It brings a focus on how P-21 is still living in the shadow of a mare, and for all he's changed and his position has changed, he can't accomplish what he wants to without the goodwill of someone he once was forced to serve, someone he once hated. Blackjack resolves the issue, for the moment at least, by having him scout out the place to report back on the conditions, saying that she couldn't promise to do anything, but that if it was as bad as he thought it might be they might be able to think of something. And I also think that his point is something that Blackjack doesn't like to think about, that now, just because of who she is and what she can do, she's at least somewhat responsible for the things that go on around her, since she is so often in a position to make a difference. And if she chooses to do nothing, that's still a decision that she needs to own. To an extent, she's already been feeling this in iminiature for a while, as with, for example, Clink. But it's growing, and that kind of responsibility is a frightening and unwelcome prospect.

The major characters introduced this chapter are the members of the Society's royal family. We already know Splendid, and he's about the same as ever, but revealed some extra depth by talking to Glory (offscreen) about his vision for the future of the Society, which involves cutting down on the luxuries and expanding, bringing their version of order and prosperity to more of Hoofington. Charm, the youngest of the three, gets the least development but has the strongest stage presence. About as old as Scotch Tape, she's kind of bratty and very irreverent, and sort of comes off as anti-Society, seeming excited by the idea that Blackjack and company were there to overthrow the place or kill everyone. But, I think, out of Awesome's three children, Grace is the one who deserves the most attention. She's the one holding things together, dealing the most directly with the new arrivals. She tends to be more straightforward than her brother and sister, and often less distinct, but when frustrated seems to let a harsh attitude and sometimes even a bit of biting sarcasm through. Her best moment was when she confronted Blackjack with P-21, who had been caught spying on the overseers there. When Blackjack essentially responds "Yes, and?" she misses a beat or two before recovering, going with Blackjack's request that he be patched up and freed right away. But she doesn't just cave; she also makes a point to Blackjack that every time she tells the other nobles Blackjack isn't there looking to start a revolution, she's putting her neck on the line, and tells Blackjack to be more discreet.

Then there's King Awesome. He's the member of Dawn's old group that's most showing his age, and shares in common with Blackjack a keen interest in the past, especially the O.I.A. and Goldenblood. Their time together, not only talking about their shared hobby and their lives, but also the Society, was very nice. Faced with him, and his arguments about comparing the Society to how much worse it could be, and was before he reformed it by appealing to the people's pretenses to nobility and using appeals to noblesse oblige to get them to shape up and see their slaves/serfs not so much as a resource from which to wring out every bit of labor they could get from them, but people they shared a social contract to protect and nurture as well, Blackjack pushes back with more idealism than she'd been exhibiting for most of the chapter, probably not seeing it as something she was going to do, but more of a debate. Awesome's line, of course, sees the problems in the Society, but appreciates the improvement's he's been able to make, while acknowledging that maybe a better pony could do more.

The memory orb for this chapter is the one where Horse unveils his shitty knockoff Crusader Maneframe (it's twice the size, draws twice the power, probably has half the computing power, and can't handle an afternoon of heavy use!). Its major innovation is the ability to copy a mind, rather than only transfer one. Horse copies his own, and those of a bunch of the people in the audience, erasing after each. Goldenblood declines at the end, and Horse tried to slip the mind-transfer mesh on his head "as a practical joke." He fails in this, with Psalm making the save, and the headgear instead lands on Eclipse's head, causing the maneframe to overload. Beyond the plot importance of the birth of one of Blackjack's major late game antagonists, this segment has some cute bits with Goldenblood and Eclipse talking about the situation. And for one of the only times in the story, we see him having fun. Which was quite a contrast to an audio recording of him earlier, when he was abusing a starmetal tuning fork like we've seen Horse do, mentioning he was sleeping less and trying to keep Luna out of his dreams, and talking with Trottenheimer about needing to just hold things together for a little while longer before he can be removed and executed or exiled to the sun. When asked about what happens if things don't work out, Goldenblood says that if everybody loses, Twilight has a contingency, and that if Equestria is lost, he does. And this point is especially emphasized because of how he had just been elegizing about how much he loved Equestria, immediately and completely from when he first arrived for the first time from the zebra lands of his birth, yet how he always felt separate from a goodness in the place that he'd never known and could never have imagined before. He believed he wasn't worthy of Equestria, and if he ever tried to really touch the beauty of Equestria, he'd destroy it. He says it's practice for his trial, but as with so much of what he says and does, it's hard to tell how much might just be true. What really comes off as true, though, is that he believed, or was forcing himself to believe, that once the war was over and he was removed, everything would be better, all so that he could keep working to make that happen. The last major bit of Goldenblood for the chapter was a newspaper, showing his execution by dragonfire, clearing up a detail that had been left hanging for a while, with the best lead until then, Sanguine, having missed the execution but noting that hey, the bombs fell that day anyway.

The other big section of the chapter, and the one with its action segment, was a trip to Roseluck Agrifarms to investigate things there that the Collegiate couldn't get to because of the extreme Enervation. Along the way, Blackjack tries to tell Rampage what's going on with the Goddess, who takes over her speaking (poorly and, later, with difficulty), before forcing Blackjack into the above memory orb and controlling her body while she was unconscious. During parts of this, the Goddess divulges that Lacunae will soon reach her breaking point, becoming overloaded with the memories and emotions the Goddess doesn't want, at which point she'll be locked up somewhere with a barrel of radioactive waste and left, catatonic. At which point, she'll need a new vessel for any further parts she needs to excise, which is her plan for Blackjack. While in the Enervation hellhole, which turns out to be the Agrifarms' pest control research facility (so many Enervation rings!) Blackjack finds they'd received the starmetal from Hippocratic, and that a bunch of the E-rings were bought and being used by the zebras, which wouldn't have been able to produce them without unicorn magic. Moreover, it's suspicious the zebras would be using them at all (it's not said how), at least if they knew the source of the raw material for making them; and not just the Eater connection, but I figure they'd shun them just on the fact it's a mineral from meteorite. Maybe they don't know, but I suspect Amadi has something to do with this, or maybe other Starkatteri. So, Dawn shows up, they fight, it's close, but Blackjack ends up winning (after making the baffling choice of staying in the super souped-up Enervation for a minute at the end, at an impasse with Dawn, who was fully immune where Blackjack was pretty affected), but sparing Dawn and thinking about how in many ways, Dawn is just what she could have become, and could still become if she doesn't have her friends to keep her on a good path. After leaving, Blackjack realizes she could have used her transmitter while in the Enervation field to tell the others about the Goddess and what she was doing to her (possibly, there was a passive mental block on that, which the Goddess lifted after Blackjack left the field), and the Goddess gloats. Right near the end of the chapter, long after this, in the middle of a hug-pile with the rest of her friends, Blackjack looks up to see Lacunae, just happily observing their happiness, and was reminded of the orb in which she first saw Celestia and Luna. It's another instance of Lacunae being used as a foil to the Goddess, and a particularly striking one to me, because of just how much it means for Blackjack to not only associate her with the Princesses, but that particular time, when she was overawed by them, and despaired over the world's loss with their deaths.

And then the chapter ends with Blackjack being crowned Queen of the Society upon King Awesome's death.
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Icy Shake
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:05 pm

O. Hinds wrote:I haven't even played any of the Mass Effect games, and that sounds like a good ending to me.  You keep doing this, Somber!  :D
It's true! Also, I haven't played it either.

Vinylshadow wrote:Why haven't we packed you off to Bioware?
And,
Somber wrote:I'd work for Bioware in a heartbeat.
But we need you to go to Warner Brothers and make DC Comics live-action screenplays that are good and closely related to the source material! (Their straight to DVD animated movies, from what I've seen, tend to be pretty good, as were the first two Nolan Batman movies, but . . . )
Somber's The Dark Knight Rises:

Somber wrote:If it's any help, Silent, you aren't alone. This third movie was botched, badly. It wasn't just the fact that bane's presence was both incomprehensible and ham handed. It was from the launch onwards. The movie started with Bruce having been MIA for eight years. WTF? No. Batman doesn't do that. He'd go insane. The movie should have started with Batman taking down someone like Mad Hatter or Killer Croc. Albert comments that this really is no kind of a life and he's wondering what the endgame is. We should have seen Bruce in full Batman / Bruce juggling mode and introducing Talia as a woman who seems to 'care too much and knows too much' early on.

Suddenly Batman comes across a arms dealer who doesn't break. Who says there's someone in Gotham who's even scarier than the batman. Who says he's dead anyway... there's no protection. No escape. Infact, he's only alive to deliver this message... then he blows his own brains out rather than go to jail.

Batman does some investigating and finds a LOT of guns are coming into the city, but they're not hitting the streets. If they're not hitting the streets, there's no profit. Meeting with Gordon. Arkham is at capacity. Blackgate is OVER capacity. And there's a BnE at an energy subsidiary working on fusion... seems almost too smooth. Catwoman is involved. A chase, a fight, flirting over the stolen fusion core. Catwoman gets away....

We get a glimpse of Bane. She hands it over. He praises her. Then he asks a mook for a canister of tritium gas. The mook failed. We see a hand come out of the shadows. The mook bent like a fish bone, snap. Bane wants that tritum, but the only place that has it is Wayne Tech and she'd need Bruce's access to get the tanker of gas. Now Selina Kyle meets Wayne at a gala to address the poor and unfortunate. Talia asks if Bruce really thinks the city is worth it. If 99% are scum, why go through so much effort to save the 1%? Selina says 'hey, not everyone is an angel.' and Talia says that eventually gangrenous limbs must come off. Selina gets the access (biometric, whatever) and goes to flee when she comes across Talia, who lets her go?

Bane tells his minions to get ready to sieze the tritium. Ah, but what about the batman and the police? Ah... don't worry. Batman will be... occupied. Queue two suicide bombers blowing the front right off the prison. the bridges are severed. The tunnels are blasted. And then Bane himself blows the front off of Arkham. Batman's rogues all run for the hills, save the joker who snickers in his dark cell 'Oh, I just know the joke's gonna be on him...'

Now a montage. Batman working his ass off, fighting off thugs, beating down villains, wearing out as he tries desperately to save his city. Catwoman confronts him and says he shout quit while he's ahead; that this is gonna get him killed, and what the fuck is he fighting for anyway. Then she tells him that Bane is stealing the Tritium now and Bane told her to tell him. Batman, pushing the ragged edge, injects himself with adreniline to keep going. then bane steps out and calmly beats an exhausted batman, then snaps his back. So much for the hero.

Alfred comes to Bruce's rescue in the bat plane thing, and gets a doctor to help Bruce's spine after his 'accident' in the riots. Talia, of course, is there offering sympathy. Why doesn't he go away with her to Fiji. The city is in anarchy. People are killing at murdering... the 1% worth fighting for is gone! And he can't walk any more; he may never walk again! She'll take care of him... if he'll let her. Then she goes.

He stares out at the city. Alfred asks him why he doesn't accept. Bruce tells him that at the end of the day, Bruce Wayne is nothing without Batman, and Batman is nothing without Gotham. If he gives up on the city, what is to stop him from giving up on every remaining person in the world? Alfred says it's moot. After all, he can't be batman from a wheelchair.

Then bruce looks out at the city and wheels his way to the secret door to the bat cave He looks down all those stairs and begins to crawl down them. He drags himself through the bat cave to his computer and pulls himself on to his feet. Tottering, in agony, he glares at the computer and starts typing. Alfred finds him and asks what he's doing. Bruce asks why Bane hasn't nuked the city. He can't smuggle a whole tanker of tritium with a fusion bomb out of the city. So what is he waiting for. Indeed... he's not even sure if the fusion device would work like that.

So montage of him building the model, strugging to walk, failing to quit, meeting Talia in his chair, but wiring it up. He puts in the Tritum sample, powers it up. It makes plasma and then... Pop. The model fizzles and the power goes out... for five mils. Batman realizes that the EMP of the fusion reactor going off doesn't make a huge fireball like expected. No, it creates an EMP that destroys power infrastructure.... and worse. The EMP is trapped inside the earth's magnetic field. It'll expand, going farther and farther and destroying every power plant and generator in the world. Without power, the world is a few days away from ripping itself to pieces. Bane doesn't need to move the bomb. Once it has converted enough tritium to energized plasma, it'll cripple the world.

Unless Batman can stop him. And he has only weeks to pull it off. Batman works his body as he worked his mind. He simply can't wait for the doctors. He has to keep going. We see Selina looking at spoils taken in the rioting. We see bane making the energized plasma from the tritium. We see Bruce training, pushing through the pain. and also, trying to find out who hired bane...

Finally he's ready, it's the final night. And then Talia comes into the bat cave. She's known for years. She's watched him from afar, marvelling at his strength and dedication. He is a paragon of humanity... and Gotham and the world does not deserve his sacrifice. She pleas once more from him to join her. He refuses. Well... that's just too bad. And then she knifes him, driving him to his knees. This is a reboot for humanity. Her father worked to slow and too small. Humanity raped the planet for far too long... stab.... now it is going consume itself. Stab. It's just too bad that the future will be short one Paragon.

Then he's saved by Selina, who takes her out from behind. Batman drags himself to his feet, makes her staple his hide closed, and staggers to the bat plane. Selina's like... 'you're crazy and going to die.' 'There was only ever one end to this.' And wounded but determined, he goes out and faces Bane. Catwoman quips that the good ones are always the crazy ones... and then get's her head slammed by a bloody and really pissed off Talia.

Bruce flies over the city and Bane gets the call. 'I broke him once.' and then he picks up a missile launcher and blasts the batplane. It goes down, and Batman is dumped in the middle of the street. Out comes an army of thugs and criminals he helped put away. 'gonna fight all of us?' one thug asks. 'No. We are.' Gordon says as the police and a citizen army swarm forth to beat down the army of criminals.

Batman confronts Bane who bored asks what's different, really? He broke him once and he's still wounded and weak. But Batman isn't just a man. A man can be broken, silenced, killed. Batman is a symbol. An idea. A legend. and Bane, for all his strength and for all his intellect, is just a thug. A strong thug. A smart thug. But ultimately a thug. They fight, and batman injects him... Bane thanks him! He gets injected again. And again. And Batman is getting beaten as we hear a heartbeat going faster and faster, as Bane is getting faster and faster. And then suddenly he keels over, clutching his chest in agony. Now batman begins to beat HIM down. And every time he starts to put up a fight... another shot. Bane's heart is beating like a machine gun as he gasps for air. And then finally it stops. Bane collapses like a stack of bricks.

Then the tanker truck takes off. It's got ten minutes before the Plasma discharges the EMP and Talia is at the wheel. They rocket through the debris choked streets, kicking and fighting as she tries to stall. The gas pedal is floored. 'You fool, we'll both be killed!' 'Then I'll die saving this city. Are you going to die to destroy it?" And looking horrified and pissed, she jumps as it rockets down one of the blasted bridges. Batman stays at the wheel and steers it right off the edge as it starts to discharge, and then slams cab down into the river. Five seconds later the river glows a bright vivid blue. The city goes dark. From space, we see a huge chuck of the eastern seaboard go dark. In gotham, people stare up in the absolute darkness. Then the bat signal, wired to some car batteries, goes up. It shines on the clouds and the weary cops let out a shout.

To the denoument.... video clips of news reporting that the truck was dredged from the river with no body, but the EMP radiation would have fried him... right? People on the street, speculating on who the Batman was. The mayor saying 'I'd want to give him a medal and shake his hand, and then send him for twelve months of therapy.' Gordon saying that while he can not condone vigilantism, there comes a time for men to step up, to do better, and to give for for their common man. Alfred then meets Fox and signs over controlling shares of Wayne Industries to him, with a caveat that a significant portion goes to help both the world, and Gotham city. He then asks what Mr. Wayne will be doing on his 'extended vacation?'

Oh I don't know. What DO multi millionaire playboys do? Ziplining...' cut to batman swinging along a street. 'jogging.' Batman chasing down a crook. 'Boxing?'

'Protecting those who can't protect themselves?' and Alfred just smiles. End with dramatic music going up a building. Batman standing at the corner. Bat signal behind him. Then he dives, camera follows him, he shoots his grapnel gun and swings out of sight as everything flashes to black and then roll credits.

Anyway... that's how I would have done it.
Chapter Fifty Five Editing:
"A spark battery?  A missile?"  Glory suggested

extra space after quotation


Glory flushed, "In any case,

comma should be period, or need speaking verb.


I’m pretty sure she--“  The pegasus began, then groaned as I flushed.

inverted quotation marks, extra space after quotation, "The" shouldn't be capitalized


"We bust into Shadowbolt tower and destroy the plague ourselves."  I answered, glossing over the

"tower" should be capitalized, period should be comma, extra space after quotation


That gave me a chance to address something else.
**Most of the quotation marks and apostrophes before this are non-directional


stallions or something like that.” Given what the

only one space after quotation


“You don’t understand,” Lacanae said in an anguished

"Lacunae"


What is going on?”  I asked as she wept.

extra space after quotation


“Blackjack?  What is it?  What’s wrong?”  Glory asked

extra space after quotation


P-21 frowned, his ears laying flat.

"lying"


she loved the not-smart pony,  “I don’t know if the flying

extra space after comma


I hadn’t even started!”  Rampage replied with a pout. “At least let me get a barrel

extra space after quotation, onlhy one space after period


Really!  I mean it!” I sighed; I really did not want to

Needs second space after quotation (it's not Blackjack talking)


“O…one!  T… two!”  he began in his high strung voice.

extra space after quotation, "high-strung"


glow surrounded the gate. It swung wide and a

only one space after period


know what business we had here. Meeting with us in person

only one space after period


and Scotch Tape. “The rest of your friend

only one space after period


“I suppose we can go hunting Radroaches or something.”

"Radroaches" shouldn't be capitalized


another little roll of her eyes. “Honestly, trying to deny entry

only one space after period


something that Splendid had called a ‘Golf Course’,

I don't think "Golf Course" should be capitalized


they’d been groups of a dozen or so

"there'd been" or "they'd been in"?


All our serfs willingly agreed to work for the society.

"society" should be capitalized


“Do you mean you knew about this, Splendid?  Does father?”

"father" should be capitalized


You’re the one who pushed me into the filly’s room!”  I retorted.

extra space after quotation


“Right, and I was ‘reproductive equipment.’  

period to outside of quotation marks


Grace, Splendid, and Charm gaped in bafflement, Scotch tape and Glory in concern.

"tape" should be capitalized


Do see that she gets to father, dear sisters.”

"father" should be capitalized


Let’s get you to father’s study.

"father's" should be capitalized


Glory observed as the princess lead us away from the well-dressed ponies.

"led"


back for you when you’re finished with father

"Father"


‘Office of Interministry Affairs.’  The banner

period to outside of quotation marks?


A large newspaper article in a frame asked, “Just what is the O.I.A., and who is in charge of it?  Answers not forthcoming from Princess or the Ministries.”

single quotes?


“Bully for her.  What about you?”  Trottenheimer asked

extra space after quotation


sat in a wheelchair with a blanket covering his hindlegs.

"hind legs"


I admitted as I examined a bland pamphlet that read, ‘Office of Interministry Affairs: Career Opportunities.’

period to outside of quotation marks?


The designer looked as if they’d gone out of their way to make the available positions seem as boring as possible.

she can't see the designer, just the design: suggest "It looked as if the designer'd gone"


“Well, better than ‘garbage’ or ‘shit father collects’ I suppose,”

"Father"


Better to hunt down raiders and horde bottlecaps and bullets.

"hoard"


Far better than the terms given by Red-Eye.

"Red Eye"


Who can say?”  He said with a little chuckle,

extra space after quotation, "He" shouldn't be capitalized


“Well... It just seems like you’re getting a better deal,”

"It" shouldn't be capitalized or there should be a second space after the ellipsis


I found out that Keeper’s weakness was for something called ‘strawberries’ and that Big Daddy’s hooves were ticklish.

Blackjack knows about strawberries.


It will take some time to prepare though, and I think that I

comma after "prepare"?


, gesturing to the pile of gorey machinery.  

"gory"


“Direct hit!”  the filly crowed.

extra space after quotation


“Thirty one!”  Rampage crowed as we wound our

extra space after quotation


‘Technology parks’ I supposed they were once.

comma after "parks" outside of quotes, and one after "were"?


just doesn’t compare.”  Rampage said as gestured to her

period to comma, extra space after quotation, "said as she gestured"


Then she repeated, gesturing left then right with each group., “Pissed off Steel Ranger?

delete the period


Onery radigator?  Tank.  

"Ornery"


“If you can’t beat em.”

apostrophe for "em"


“Uhuh… anything I can do to help?”  Rampage asked casually.

"Uh-huh" (I didn't know uh-uh and uh-huh were actual words--learn something new every day), extra space after quotation


“N… no.” I stammered own, feeling a will besides my own

period to comma, "own" to "on"


I closed my eyes, struggling to get even the simplest explaination out.  

"explanation"


At first glance it appeared to be some sort of indoor junkheap.

"junk heap"


and capabilities,” he said, turning towards Goldenblood and giving a small bow, “Thanks to

should that third comma just be a period?


So, with no further ado, may I present the Crusader, one point two!

"1.2"


He jammed the golden spiderweb onto his head, and the dozens of tiny Talismans began to flicker and blink.

"spider web", "Talismans" shouldn't be capitalized


“Once connected to the Crusader 1.2,”  the robot said, a faint

extra space after quotation


The Crusader finally let out out an immense pop,

extra "out"


“I’m fine.  I’m just fine,”  Eclipse said as she rubbed her temple.

extra space after quotation


Psalm looked to Eclipse, and the black pegasus gave Goldenblood a long glance, then a small shake of her head.

Is Eclipse black or "dusky lavender", as she was originally introduced in 49? The third time I found that her color is named specifically, in 59 ("accompanied by the black pegasus Eclipse in the"), it's black. If it matters (for aethetics, I guess), her mane is royal blue, and I don't think her eye color was identified.


Do so, and maybe then we’ll talk.”  He said as he turned on his hooves

period to comma, extra space after quotation, "He" shouldn't be capitalized


of the lab with Eclipse and Psalm.  I heard him shout about fixing his Sweetie Bot first.

it might be nice to make this "him" "Horse" instead, since in the last sentence the subject was "he", Goldenblood.


Once they were out in the hall, Goldenblood muttered, “He was probably hoping to have a peek in my mind.”  He said darkly as he walked down with the other O.I.A. officials avoiding his gaze.

You've kind of got that quotation double tagged. Maybe make the "He said darkly" a facial expression, like "scowled" instead?


He looked at Eclipse, “Are you sure you’re okay?  

comma to period, or include a speaking verb


She has had you running in, shooting the Sentries, and rushing out again on auto pilot.

"Sentries" shouldn't be capitalized


I got it.”  I said as I stood and dusted myself off with a hoof.  “I’m going.”  I said as I trotted down towards the building,

periods in quotations to commas, extra space after quotation in each case. Also, really similar structuring.


“Are you coming?”  I asked, as I glanced back at Rampage

extra space after quotation


“Uh... remember?”  Rampage said as she trotted towards

extra space after quotation


cascades of nitre down the side of the sacks.

"niter"


Can you hear me?”  I thought at her, but it didn’t pierce the

extra space after quotation


Something that would definitively let me tell tell Triage

extra "tell"


speaking of ‘last times’...   I had some bandages wedged way down deep next to some old,

three spaces after ellipsis


I saw that the screen said ‘Roseluck Agrifarms: Emergency Protocols.’

period to outside of quotation marks?


I examined at a cardboard box beside the

cut the "at"


“No... you’re wasting lives...” she hissed maliciously “Murderer...

period or comma after "maliciously"


I knew you would be alone.” Dawn hissed softly

period to comma


Don’t stop moving. The fluid sloshed around my knees as I

only one space after period


rounds would penetrate the tabletop --heck, I wasn’t even sure where I was aiming-- but it’d be better than nothing.

symmetrical spacing about dashes?


They could only liquify

"liquefy"


fighting against the starmetal rings that threatened to liquify me

"liquefy"


If I killed Dawn and was liquified anyway...

"liquefied"


Pushing past my nasty self destruction habit,

"self-destruction"


“Blackjack!”  Grace shouted down the hall

extra space after quotation


“And I want him back, and healed.” I added

period to comma


to do something about it.” I replied evenly, relaxing a bit as

period to comma


She then straightened and said sharply,  “You understand that

extra space after comma


us from the rain due to her treatment by the goddess...

"goddess" should be capitalized


“So... what did you find?” I asked P-21, trying to copy mom’s ‘no exaggerating’ look.

"mom's" should be capitalized


supervisors force workers to fuck them?”  P-21 asked as he rounded on

extra space after quotation


“What does that have to do with anything?”  P-21 countered.

extra space after quotation


It was like mom throwing a pop quiz at

"mom" should be capitalized


“Oh sure... No hugs for

second space after ellipsis or don't capitalize "No"


no no no... Don’t you

second space after ellipsis or don't capitalize "Don't"


alicorn watched us all. Her face was not blank or

only one space after period


For an instant, I wasn’t looking at some freaky mutant lackey of a snide and vicious ‘goddess’ but at a true alicorn.  One loving and accepting and nurturing of us all.

"goddess" should be capitalized, I think
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Icy Shake
Alicorn

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vergil on Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:47 am

Never saw Dark Knight Rises.

Now I don't need to anyway.
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Vergil
Mobius One

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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