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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:36 pm

I think that ideally it would reflect a goal or motivation like many of the other named weapons from that era. Duty and sacrifice, and the guilt over his class's failure to uphold them, were the reasons Vanity joined the army. Doof wanted to be taken seriously, and one of his problems was that violence was his only means of persuasion. Sniping was both Psalm's sin (even before Shattered Hoof Ridge) and her penance. As the head of security, vigilance was characteristic of the role Card Trick and her line were expected to plan in helping to bring the ponies of Stable 99 safely through to the future.
Big Macintosh's reason for joining up was pretty basic, to protect his country
Big Macintosh, to Cupcake on whether Equestria can win with soldiers like the new recruits wrote:If ya’ll don’t mind my sayin’ so, Equestria’s a lot more than its soldiers.  Every single one of us loves this country.  Sure, none of us are like your guards.  I’d like to be in the south acre right now.  But Equestria needs me to fight for this land more than it needs me harvestin’ apples.  So I’ll learn whatever I need to to do it.  The south acre will be there when I’m done.
and the major thing he offered was predictable, calm stability even in the heat of battle
From the first memory orb Blackjack saw of the Marauders wrote:And the foundation of that rock wasn’t the hill itself or the fortifications.  It was Big Macintosh.  He moved constantly but did not retreat or hide behind cover.  He never swore or shouted at the enemies fighting their way up.  With the rifle he fired precise and disciplined bursts of fire.  When the enemy came too close, the shotgun would come into play with a deadly barrage of shells.  Some zebras, running more swiftly than I thought physically possible, attempted to attack him with their bare hooves!  Yet Big Macintosh remained atop that hill and took them down with awe-inspiring discipline and courage.  Some ponies were wounded.  Some ponies died.  But while Big Macintosh stood, they would not break, even as the zebra line crawled closer and closer to their fortifications.
and in the end he died, not to try to win a battle or a war, but to save a pony who didn't deserve to die
Hoss's journal entry on the death of Big Macintosh wrote:Big Macintosh wasn’t a hero for saving Celestia.  He was a hero because he’d have tried to save anypony who didn’t deserve to die.

So in all seriousness, I think you could do a whole lot worse than Security. Because it's what he wanted, it's what he gave those around him, it's what he died for, and even if the motto didn't exist at the time, Security Saves Ponies. It would also make for one motherfucker of a reveal, and be a reminder of/connection to how Blackjack isn't just Twilight's great^n granddaughter, but his as well, since (let's be honest) the story has, for very good plot reasons and Blackjack's magic-use development, focused much more on Twilight as her ancestor than Big Macintosh.

"Guardian," per Downloaded Skill, would also be good, but I think doesn't fit with the others as well because a guardian is a person or substantial thing, rather than a concept like the rest.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Dekshuduph on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:53 pm

decumos wrote:Just remembered this poster. "Perseverance" sounds good, doesn't it?
I second this idea.  (It's the only suggestion so far that seems to match the other weapon names)

Edit: Didn't notice the next page, I also second Icy Shake's post. The only qualm I have with Security is that I think the other weapons were named by their previous bearers, so it should be the same way with the shotgun. That's assuming we can feign Blackjack not having noticed an engraving on the shotgun, edit the last chapter or have her learn about it some other way.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:23 pm

Dekshuduph wrote:
decumos wrote:Just remembered this poster. "Perseverance" sounds good, doesn't it?
I second this idea.  (It's the only suggestion so far that seems to match the other weapon names)

Edit:  Didn't notice the next page, I also second Icy Shake's post.  The only qualm I have with Security is that I think the other weapons were named by their previous bearers, so it should be the same way with the shotgun.  That's assuming we can feign Blackjack not having noticed an engraving on the shotgun, edit the last chapter or have her learn about it some other way.
Interestingly, perhaps, I feel just the opposite (not about the mechanics of the name reveal—that is an issue I wasn't particularly thinking of): Perseverance is probably one of the best names possible . . . for Blackjack to give to a gun (if she's being serious rather than playful or silly at the time) (and I was assuming that the name was one given by Big Mac, prompted I think by O. Hind's post with AeupAyup). I think that perseverance was more her thing than Big Mac's, and if he got the Ironpony towards the end of his life, he may already have been thinking about leaving the army after his tour of duty wrapped up. Granted, I suppose it could work in the sense that he just needed to persevere through the end of it, plus his one last mission, but I do think it would be more appropriate for someone who wanted to be reminded of their intention to push through to the end of the war, come hell or high water, regardless of—or for the sake of—who and what they had waiting for them on the home front.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:21 pm

Ah, sorry about the confusion; it seems I forgot to mention something: yes, unless we edit an earlier chapter or the name is Ayup, Blackack would be the one doing the naming. I'm not sure if editing the earlier chapter is on the table, but, given that it would be changing one word, it presumably would be if Somber liked the prospective name enough. The default is that Blackjack gives it any non-Ayup name, though.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by CD on Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:48 pm

Boomstick, because Blackjack is the ponification of Ash Williams.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Dekshuduph on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:04 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Ah, sorry about the confusion; it seems I forgot to mention something: yes, unless we edit an earlier chapter or the name is Ayup, Blackack would be the one doing the naming.  I'm not sure if editing the earlier chapter is on the table, but, given that it would be changing one word, it presumably would be if Somber liked the prospective name enough.  The default is that Blackjack gives it any non-Ayup name, though.
So it seems Icy's big reasoning spiel is for naught, if this is the case. Ah well.

Hey, if there comes to be multiple suggestions and we can't all agree on one, would you do the honors of making a poll? I know it probably goes without saying, but I would hate for Somber to pick a suggestion that the majority disliked.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:09 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Ah, sorry about the confusion; it seems I forgot to mention something: yes, unless we edit an earlier chapter or the name is Ayup, Blackack would be the one doing the naming.  I'm not sure if editing the earlier chapter is on the table, but, given that it would be changing one word, it presumably would be if Somber liked the prospective name enough.  The default is that Blackjack gives it any non-Ayup name, though.
:(
Oh well. Glad it'll be (re-)named, though, because although I can see where Ayup's coming from—Macintosh is an uncomplicated, humble character and that fits him well—and it works individually, and I could even see breaking the cycle for that because of it, but I just don't really want to read narration with stuff like "I fired Ayup" or "I was running out of ammo for Ayup."

CD wrote:Boomstick, because Blackjack is the ponification of Ash Williams.
Already done with an IF-84 Stampede riot shotgun in 65.

So yeah, one of the things I was thinking after I started on the line of thought that led to "Security," but before I think I got around to the battle scene quotation, was "Okay, it can't be too close to Vigilance. And his whole this was protecting ponies, I mean, I'd like to work the Hoss thing in somehow. But there's no way I'm suggesting Big Macintosh name a gun 'Protection'!"
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:13 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Okay, mission from Somber!  What ought Blackjack's IF-88 to be named?  It hadn't occurred to me that it wasn't named Ayup (which I still favor), but Somber apparently didn't intend that as the name.  When the question arose, it was decided to open it up to the forum's decision.  Close of voting is whenever Somber feels like it.  Good luck!
I like Valikdu's suggestion of Victory.

However, Mac seems like a simple, sentimental type. So I'm going to suggest Miss Maripony. Granted, it's maybe more of a fighter plane name than a gun name.

Edit:
O. Hinds wrote:Ah, sorry about the confusion; it seems I forgot to mention something: yes, unless we edit an earlier chapter or the name is Ayup, Blackack would be the one doing the naming.
Oh! Well. Um. In that case I'm just going to second Valikdu. It's her alleged talent, after all.

I don't like "Ayup" at all (or my preferred spelling, "Eeyup".) It seems to suggest Mac isn't thoughtful at all and just named it after that thing he says a lot.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:44 am

...I kind of like "Victory", actually.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Silver136 on Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:06 am

I thought "Perseverance" sounded good, especially given PH's reoccurring theme of "get up and do it again." However, just to throw it out there, I thought "Diligence" sounded good too, because Blackjack is "Security", the defender of those who can't defend themselves.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Luminous Lead on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:35 pm

Macintosh's locker. wrote:I brought up the locker of Big Macintosh.
Password Clue: Where the heart is.
... Is it weird that I kind of want it to be called "Heartbreaker"?

At the Lockers in Chapter 70 wrote:The locker clicked open. Inside was a large black case with a note on the top. I leaned over and read it. Thought you should have the prototype, Cupcake, since it was made for him. Sadly, anti-machine rifles are more effective against zebra robots and infantry. Might roll out a model for power armor. Hope you can use it to inspire others to follow in his hoof steps. Braeburn.
Or, you know... it would be terribly embarrasing to be killed by "Cupcake" XD

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Captain Stramash on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:08 pm

Hey folks been donkeys since I last commented =)

Hmm... I like Perseverance most out of whats been suggested so far.

Personally I think "Steadfast" "Endeavor" or "Hope" would be symbolic of the story. However...something humorous would certainly be in line with her character.

anyway thats my two bits on the matter.
Keep up the good work nearly there now=)

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by decumos on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:35 pm

Captain Stramash wrote:However...something humorous would certainly be in line with her character.

I for one believe that giving a humorous name for her gun at this point, when the story is so close to its conclusion, would be extremely anticlimactic. This weapon could be the one that kills the last standing bad guy, thus it must have a serious and symbolic name.
That is why I also don't like variants like "Ayup".
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Evilgidgit on Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:02 pm

There are lots of good potential names there. For reference, I'll list all of the names here for everyone:
-Victory (Valikdu)
-Guardian (Downloaded Skill)
-Perseverance (Decumos)
-Memories (Scienza)
-Unbroken (Scienza)
-Resolution (Scienza)
-Mine's Bigger (Scienza)
-Suck it, Steel Rain (Scienza)
-Citizen's Arrest (Scienza)
-Eye Tentacle Penis (Scienza)
-Boomstick (CD)
-Diligence (Silver136)
-Heartbreaker (Luminous Lead)
-Steadfast (Captain Stramash)
-Endeavor (Captain Stramash)
-Hope (Captain Stramash)
-Forgiveness (Icy Shake
-Foundation (Evilgidgit)
-Inspiration (Evilgidgit)
-Tarot (Evilgidgit)
-Brevity (Evilgidgit)
-Turkey Call (Evilgidgit)
-Humility (Evilgidgit)
-Good Samaritan (Evilgidgit)
-Macintosh's Shadow (Evilgidgit)


Last edited by Evilgidgit on Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by tylertoon2 on Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:48 pm

Evilgidgit wrote:There are lots of good potential names there. For reference, I'll list all of the names here for everyone:
-Victory (Valikdu)
-Guardian (Downloaded Skill)
-Perseverance (Decumos)
-Memories (Scienza)
-Unbroken (Scienza)
-Resolution (Scienza)
-Mine's Bigger (Scienza)
-Suck it, Steel Rain (Scienza)
-Citizen's Arrest (Scienza)
-Eye Tentacle Penis (Scienza)
-Boomstick (CD)
-Diligence (Silver136)
-Heartbreaker (Luminous Lead)
-Steadfast (Captain Stramash)
-Endeavor (Captain Stramash)
-Hope (Captain Stramash)

And for my own contributions:
-Foundation
-Inspiration
-Tarot
-Brevity
-Turkey Call
-Humility
-Good Samaritan
-Macintosh's Shadow
I vote Perseverance
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vergil on Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:30 pm

I'm partial to Resolution, but I'd have no problem with Perseverance.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:41 pm

Luminous Lead wrote:
Macintosh's locker. wrote:I brought up the locker of Big Macintosh.
Password Clue: Where the heart is.
... Is it weird that I kind of want it to be called "Heartbreaker"?
Not at all, because that's what it's going to be doing. It's going to cause tragedy, as well as avert it.

@Vote 
Personally, I'm a fan of "Resolution" (probably because I submitted it), but if not, I like "Steadfast" and "Hope."

Honestly though, I'd be happy with any of these names.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by WavemasterRyx on Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:05 pm

I would probably vote for "Victory", but Endeavor and Perseverance also seem like pretty decent choices.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by CD on Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:59 pm

Hmm, Victory is probably the one that rolls off the tongue easiest and fits Blackjack most. So that's my vote.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by DaWarWolf on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:03 am

I gotta go with Victory too, for some reason it feels the best to me.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:19 am

Too late for much else, but I've got another long shot (this time actually based on Blackjack naming it, though): is "Forgiveness" pushing the irony button too hard (and maybe stepping on Penance's toes even more than Perseverance on Vigilance's?)?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Luminous Lead on Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:10 am

Evilgidgit wrote:There are lots of good potential names there. For reference, I'll list all of the names here for everyone:
-Victory (Valikdu)
-Guardian (Downloaded Skill)
-Perseverance (Decumos)
-Memories (Scienza)
-Unbroken (Scienza)
-Resolution (Scienza)
-Mine's Bigger (Scienza)
-Suck it, Steel Rain (Scienza)
-Citizen's Arrest (Scienza)
-Eye Tentacle Penis (Scienza)
-Boomstick (CD)
-Diligence (Silver136)
-Heartbreaker (Luminous Lead)
-Steadfast (Captain Stramash)
-Endeavor (Captain Stramash)
-Hope (Captain Stramash)
-Forgiveness (Icy Shake
-Foundation (Evilgidgit)
-Inspiration (Evilgidgit)
-Tarot (Evilgidgit)
-Brevity (Evilgidgit)
-Turkey Call (Evilgidgit)
-Humility (Evilgidgit)
-Good Samaritan (Evilgidgit)
-Macintosh's Shadow (Evilgidgit)

You forgot "Cupcake" XD

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by pokeperson1000 on Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:22 pm

Luminous Lead,Cupcake was the name of the soldier that the gun was sent to. you remember Colonel Cupcake, don't you?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Evilgidgit on Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:29 pm

Could Colonel Cupcake be considered a tenth Marauder or rather their go-to commanding officer?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:33 pm

Luminous Lead wrote:
Macintosh's locker. wrote:I brought up the locker of Big Macintosh.
Password Clue: Where the heart is.
... Is it weird that I kind of want it to be called "Heartbreaker"?
That's good too!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:49 pm

Once again, we interrupt your regular programming to bring a probably post-breaking wall of text. I'd offer the resulting IF-88 name proposal here, but I did that last night. Anyway, there was a lot to like about "The Best Night Ever," and I think it in some respects succeeded as a large-cast party chapter in ways that chapter seventy was a little weaker, probably for two major reasons: it had a smaller cast, so the characters who were given focus (notably Grace, Splendid, Pain Train, and to a lesser extent Stronghoof and Steel Rain) had a little more room to breathe; and the event was an end in itself (which incidentally meant that many of the people there weren't brought there for Blackjack specifically), culminating in a major decision of undeniable importance, rather than just being a last hurrah before the coming battle.

Chapter Fifty Seven Running Thoughts:
I’ve never been good with parties.  I’d had a few celebrations at 99, but, by and large, parties were things that happened to other ponies.

Oh, sweet memory hole. How we've missed you. Then again, I guess I can understand the impulse of wanting to distance yourself in your memory from the kind of party 99 tended to have, if that's what's going on, but I'd like to think Blackjack's bigger than that.

Even after getting outside, I always got a little squirm in my gut from the idea of being in a social situation where I was the center of attention.

This part I can believe.

Cuddling with Glory and talking about ‘psychosexual metamorphic influences’ was more appealing than being in a place where I was expected to actually interact.

This part I can't: "interact" is too broad and easily covers things that Blackjack handles just fine, like her games with the Pecos or at Megamart.


“Hey, I know you don’t like it.  I don’t like them much either.  I put the fear of Rampage into them, but I’m afraid that when she and I go, they’re going to resume their old bullshit games.  So I want you to stay here.  If anything deadly happens to the regent and Hoity Toity, I give you full permission to take over and give this place to Big Daddy, the Collegiate, or the Finders; whoever you want.  If this place stays sane for a couple weeks, go back to Chapel and keep it safe.  Just keep a radio ear open.  You can travel faster and safer than almost anypony.”
   I think it was the word ‘pony’ that did it.  His cannons raised and dropped, and then the turret pointed back over the water.  Call me crazy, but the image seemed so… lonely.  I tapped his armor again and he swiveled a camera at me.  I reached out and hugged his tank tread; it was too wide for my legs to fit around, but it was the thought that counted.  “Thanks.  I mean it.  You’re a better pony than the one I met in 99.”

Ooh! Another (crack) idea for what Blackjack could call the Ironpony: "Forgiveness"! Don't know if she's quite that much of a fan of irony, though, and it might be too close to "Penance" (but then, there's a degree of similarity between, say, "Perseverance" and "Vigilance," too).
But more to the point, it's nice that giving the second chance in this case worked out. It can't always, of course . . . but I'm happy this is one of the times it did.


“Ponies…”  [Pain Train] slowly rose till his horns scraped the ceiling, and despite myself I took a few steps back.  It was silly; I’d faced far worse things than him, but there was something about the sheer presence of him.

Kind of like Blackjack's reaction to a hellhound, but without any surface fear of being raped.


“What I want is respect.  What I want is to find another of my own kind.  To know whether or not my species is doomed to extinction or not.  To learn if my home still exists.  Fighting.  Politics.  Petty squabbles for transitory power.”  He turned his head and spat to the side.  “None of these matter to me.”

Yeah, it's a nice change, and I get his options were sort of limited at the time, but all this doesn't really seem at all consistent with working for guys from the Society and helping them coerce ponies into bondage by sapping the life out of them with Enervation.


“This land is poisoned.  All of this land.  It is a poison seeped into the very stones,” he said as he turned them over.

I have to wonder to what extent he would have felt the same thing before or during the war; presumably he's talking about the high concentration of starmetal, but probably it's more pronounced now due to the levels of death from the megaspells and the amplifying effect it has on the metal.


“This land is poisoned.  A sickness seeps away its life.  My kind has felt the cries and weeping of the earth for centuries.  Since before your war.”

Okay then.


He looked troubled.  “I… don’t know.”  Pain Train knelt and stared into my eyes.  “You seek to end this?”
   “I just want to save ponies,” I muttered, at a loss.  “That’s what Security does.”
   “Just ponies?” he asked with a scowl.
   “No.  I mean… not just ponies.  I want to save the lives of everyone I can.  Griffins.  Minotaurs.  Zebras.  Everyone,” I added and then looked at the pebbles he held and levitated one out of his grasp.  “Even little rocks, if they’re alive.”  Lancer looked up at me, his eyes dark and unfathomable.
   The words made Pain Train actually smile… a little.  “Very well.  If you can be selfless enough to protect my kind, and little rocks, I will do the same and protect yours.  For now,” he replied.

Man that kind of caring sincerity gets me. Seems to be working on PT as well, and it's hard not to think that this sort of thing's working on Lancer over time, too, since he heard a similar line during her fight with his father as well. And isn't it easier to want to believe in an ethos of love than one built around hate?


“Did my brother do something this afternoon?  He’s been acting… smug.”
   “Glory had sex with him."  I had a feeling he’d thought it would give him an ‘in’ with me.  I frowned in annoyance, then saw Grace gaping at me in shock and added, "He behaved himself, didn't cross the line." At least Glory hadn’t said he had.  If that changed…  But Grace seemed even more disturbed.  “By all accounts, he was okay at it.”

Oh, Blackjack. :D

“Blackjack,” Glory called from the bathroom in that tone that meant I was doing something Blackjacky.
   “What?” I asked looking over at her through the door.  
   “Most ponies don’t talk about other ponies having sex with other ponies,” she said, looking through the door from the tub, folding her blue forelegs under her chin.  She spoke exactly like mom when explaining to me that guns were dangerous.

The wheels are spinning, but they don't seem to be catching purchase on anything. I'm okay with it.

“They don’t?” I blinked in confusion.  “That was at least half the gossip in 99.”  
   “Really?  What was the other half?” Grace asked with an amused smile.
   “Everything else,” I answered.

Ask a stupid question . . .


She finished with her brushes and placed the headdress on top.  A few bobby pins… so that was what they were for… and she gave a little nod.

Simple joke, but I like it.


She gently turned me away from the vanity and towards a full body mirror in the corner.  “Yeah, right.  It’s going to take a lot more that that to make me look…”  A mare stood in that mirror that I’d never seen before, wearing a dress of deepest purple with silver threadwork moon motifs on the breast and haunches and stars along the hem.  Countless tiny amethysts glittered softly, catching the light to make it appear as if she were wearing a silken swatch of the night.  Atop her head rested a purple headdress decorated with a crescent moon surrounded by four silver stars and matching purple feathers.  She had glossy black metal limbs, but they so blended with the dark fabric that it was almost impossible to tell where steel ended and silk began.  Her unblemished white hide betrayed none of the abuse and hardship its owner had suffered.
   And that mare was me.
   I couldn’t talk as I looked at Grace, tears welling in my eyes.  If only mom could have seen me like this.  “Thanks,” I muttered, dropping my eyes.


Scenery porn count: 1.
More seriously, beautiful description, and incorporated in a way that doubles as one of those snapshot of another, different, normal life moments. While also bringing out Blackjack's insecurities by the contrast to what she sees now, as opposed to the alienation she was going through in the run-up to "Black" as her body fell apart inside and became ever more ugly outside.
Less seriously, kind of a Hermione at the Yule Ball moment, but from her perspective rather than Harry's, but with the disbelief mixed in.


“Since pleasant appearances are so rare in the Wasteland, they are a mark of superiority.

Reminds me of something I once read, with a historian commenting on the realism in an--HBO, I think--show with Vikings, saying that if they'd wanted to be accurate, the high-ranking ones should have been wearing bright orange-and-white striped pants, to signal (with the orange) that they could afford those dyes, and (with the white) that they could afford to keep them washed, clean, and bright. Of course, that would be lost on audiences and they wouldn't get it, just thinking they looked like clowns.


She looked back and replied coolly, “Not if it’s true.  And even if it was, isn’t aristocracy supposed to be arrogant?”  I couldn’t think of a counterargument to that.

No, they're supposed to be self-assured and actually better. Ideally, of course. That's the fiction. But given a society that actually has expectations, some will hopefully do the work to make the fiction the reality. Oh wait. That's what's happening here, only more cynical. Carry on.


She wore the dress that Velvet had altered for her larger frame, looking like an echo of a princess of yesterday in magnificent burgundy and gold.

Confused for a second there, since it's the kind of thing that very much could have happened with the other Velvet, but didn't.


Splendid’s room was decorated with photographs of Ministry Mares, particularly Rainbow Dash and Applejack.  Huh, who knew?

Well, not too surprising. Seems that he and Grace took after Awesome in liking history, in their own ways.


A beautiful striped mare without steel wire in her tail cowered there.  Her tangled, curly mane had been straightened and trimmed by what had to be magic.

Well, that would be easier than chemicals and heat. But "had" is a little strong. Somber, have you so little faith in hairdressers? Or are you being a little overawed by their craft?

She was wrapped in a lovely white silk dress.  It was simple, elegant, and lacked a single barb or spike anywhere.  Instead, it was beaded about the waist with strands of pearls and delicate rubies.  An ivory manecomb with a heart-shaped fire ruby gleamed in her scarlet mane.

Is it . . . that heart-shaped fire ruby? If so, I wonder what happens to it afterward.


Scotch Tape commented on how Glory’s dress made her at least one fifth cooler.

On the one hand, it's one of the most overused references in the fandom. On the other hand, the content works in context, especially given Scotch's long-expressed view that Glory is just the most boring.

Rampage hung back, looking oddly sweet in her insecurity.  

Oh hey, that's often how I feel about Blackjack.


So, I could make sure my friends could take care of everything once I was gone.
   That was the least I could do after all the trouble I’d caused them.

For instance, right there.


Epicure, the pine green colt, stood by the doorway and nodded to both of us.

I think it's kind of funny that Blackjack never bothered getting his real name.


“Princess Charm,” Epicure said with an uncharacteristic break in his voice.
I turned to address the filly... and nearly choked with the effort of containing myself.  Her spectacular mane looked like she’d cut it with an air duct fan.  Her tail sported only a few dozen tufts here and there.  Her pristine white hide had proven to be quite accepting of at least a half dozen different colors of stains.  Her horn had been scribbled black with a marker of some sort.  Not even the fancy party dress she wore could cover the sheer ridiculousness of her appearance.

Mmmmm . . . A jerk getting her comeuppance. And in such a cute way! Good job, Scotch and Rampage.


She gave a nasty smirk, “Oh, I didn’t want you to miss out on your present, Your Majesty,” she said as she levitated a bag off her back and tossed it to me before trotting off the far side of the dais.  I glanced at Hoity, then opened the drawstring.  It didn’t sound like a grenade or anything.  It clinked when I levitated it, and I peeked in.
“What is it, Blackjack?” Glory asked in concern.
I couldn’t answer.  I just felt… tired.  I cupped my forehooves and poured a small pile of broken glass into them from the bag.  Curved glass.  The exact curve of memory orbs.

Gotta give it to Charm, though: she knows the importance of (at least sometimes) shooting the hostages.


Another four ‘honored patrons’ passed me a bottle of Wild Pegasus, some very nice emeralds, a magic beam pistol, and some overcharged gem cartridges.  The latter two I immediately passed to Glory the second the patron turned away.  She examined it closely and then grinned.  “Wow.  Mint condition Shadowbolt sidearm!”  She turned the gun on its side and cocked her head.  “There’s an inscription.  ‘Pew-Pew’?  Who names a beam pistol pew-pew?

Still not as good as Mr. Sleepytime. On which note, Meleagridis's story featuring Mr. Sleepytime was really, really good.


“Ugh.  I am so sick of Rainbow Dash,” Glory slumped.  “I’m sick of her face and her stupid mane and her boy-liking body and ponies calling me Rainbow Dash.  I want to just be Glory again.  Boring, plain, everyday Glory.  This joke has run its course, and it’s not funny anymore.”
   “I’m sorry,” I said, giving her a little nuzzle.  “Sometimes I feel like that’s my whole life.”
   “You’re not serious, are you Blackjack?” Glory asked as my attention drifted to someone keen on giving me a brightly wrapped box and guards who were finally living up to their name and escorting the pony out.  I gave a little shrug, and she sighed and covered her face with a wing.  “Celestia give me strength.”  Then her wings and hooves seized my shoulders and turned me to face the room.  “Look at where you are.  You’re Queen of the Society.  Nopony is laughing at you.  Everypony in this room respects you in one way or another.  Sure, you can be a little aggravating at times, but a joke?  Never!”

Okay, in fairness, the Queen of the Society part was basically a cruel joke life played on her. Even the respect part, well, that's not really what Blackjack ever wanted, was it? Sure, she would have liked to be less of a disappointment to her mother, but it seemed to me like she wanted more to be normal and to be liked than to be respected. Basically, though, I think it comes down to a bit of miscommunication here: Blackjack isn't a joke, but really, it's pretty fair for her to see her life as one, even if it isn't very funny.


“I trusted Lighthooves and mother when I shouldn’t have.  My mistakes nearly got my father killed.”  She hung her head.  “I was so sure I was inadequate that at first part of me was glad I was turned into Rainbow Dash.  That I’d be better for you if I was somepony strong and assertive.”

Inadequacy for everyone! Though, one of the nice threads through the story has been the idea that it's okay to be who you are, and you can still make a contribution even if you don't think you are perfectly suited for every situation. That everyone matters, and that (depending) you can be a better version of yourself without compromising who you are. Anyway, kind of got me thinking of those old ads (are they still on?) that said, "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfet foster parent."


“You’re not the only pony who can be a hypocrite, Blackjack.

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS LINE. It's up there with "It's not always about you."


“Hey,” I turned to face her, staring into her eyes.  “You have things that Rainbow Dash never did.  You have a father whose life you saved.  You have sisters.  You have a mother, even if she is a madmare.  You are ten times smarter than Rainbow Dash, and a hundred times a better pony than me.  Someday this curse… spell… thing will end, and you’ll have the last laugh.”  She smiled a little, and for a moment I could see the purple-maned mare as clear as day.

It's especially at times like this that I just don't understand when I hear the idea that Blackjack doesn't love Glory. She hurts Glory, and their relationship was never the healthiest one, but that doesn't mean the love isn't there.
That said, I don't really get the whole mother and sisters thing. I don't remember Blackjack ever having a reason to think that Rainbow didn't have a mother or sisters. Probably never saved her father, though. That's a reasonable assumption. As for the "hundred times better than me," well, we already knew about that character trait. Inadequacy for everyone, after all. ;)


Right now we can certainly use them, what with our zebra problems.”
   “Zebra problems?  In the northwest?  Isn’t that the exact opposite direction from where the Remnant operates?” I asked with a frown.
   “I have no idea where they came from, but they’re scaring the shoes off of the caravaners.  They’re not threatening.  Not hiding.  Not doing anything besides setting up camps along the road between Manehattan and Hoofington.  But they’re armed twenty times worse than any raider, and they’re watching.  It’s been a boon for the arms sales, that’s for sure, but everypony knows that they’re going to do something sooner or later,”

Okay, looks like the Brood getting set up for the war with the Harbingers later.


“Sorry it’s taken me so long to deal with Paradise, too.”
   “Oh, that?  That was taken care of,” Bottlecap said with a warm smile.
   “It was?  How?  By who?” I felt my mane frizzing.  Nopony in the Hoof could fix anything besides me, if my experiences were any indication!  I immediately began imagining the worst case scen--

I mean, I get it, and there's a degree of truth to it, but it's still a bit of an "I'm in a video game" moment. And it's not like nobody else was able to accomplish anything, more that the ones who get things done do things Blackjack wouldn't want to happen.


“Two of them were ghouls and one a zebra, but they were quite capable.  They said they were funding a trip to Shattered Hoof Ridge of all places.”
   “Xanthe?  Snails?  Carrion?  Silver Spoon?” I asked with an idiot grin.

Yay! It's hard not to root for those guys, what with Xanthe being one of the most adorable things since Harpica or the seaponies, Silver Spoon being great, and just . . . I do kind of hope that someone writes side stories about them after the main one is over.


“Number of digits of personal wealth.  The value of all a pony’s property, liquid assets, and facilities.  I get to figure in Megamart, Charity her… post office and vault, and the like.  Otherwise, we’d be lucky to break a four.”  Charity sighed and nodded.
   “Pardon me, but are you two related?” Glory asked as she looked from one to the other.
   Charity narrowed her eyes, clearly contemplating a stupid questions fee.  Bottlecap just smiled sadly.  “Probably.  Father doesn’t keep track.”

So, I didn't think that this:
“One hundred caps for wasting thirty seconds of my time.”  She thrust a hoof at a large, half-filled jar of caps on the counter; the label read ‘Blackjack’s Stupid People’s Comments Fee’.
from chapter seventy had had lead-up, but I guess I was wrong. Though given who apparently really inspired it, I'm a little surprised it started out for just Blackjack. I guess she could have intended it to be just for her anyway, though, since she's always had it out for Blackjack, and just expanded it to cope with the influx of outsiders.


“Actually, that’s what I was discussing with Sagittarius here.  We’re hoping to bring in some professional help to neutralize the ooze.  If we can’t, we might have to evacuate the hospital and relocate to Rocket Town at the Luna Space Center.  Unfortunately, we have friction with the ghouls who live there,” Windclop said with a sour twist of his lips.  “They believe they can use their rockets to fly away to a promised land.  Madness, really, but they are my own kind.  I’d much rather stay in good old Meatlocker, of course.”

Not sure if working rockets had already been established or not. If not, then getting that done. But man, those cultists from Fallout 2 were some of the weirder, dumber people you met.


“How are Pisces and Capricorn?” I asked with a grin.
   “They’re well.  I think they miss you.  You should visit them sometime.  We replaced Taurus and Gemini, and Leo retired.  He never really recovered after his punting from Rampage,” he said, and frowned.  “I’m a little concerned with the new Gemini; I’m not one to trust a pony with severe personality disorders, but she does bring in the bounty.

Wish she could. Who doesn't like the seaponies? As for not trusting ponies with severe personality disorders . . . I take it that means he doesn't trust Blackjack?


My eyes roamed freely over his fit emerald form, his verdant goatee, and drifted back towards his...  he cleared his throat and snapped my eyes back to his.

Still does this less than Littlepip.


“The professor is back.  Or her brain, in any case.  Mounted it on a hover robot and she’s back to work in the observatory.”
   “She is?”  If I wasn’t the Goddess’s perpetual puppet after tonight, I’d look her up.  Probably.  Eventually!  Ugh, there was so much to do!  Still, I made a mental note to track her down.  I had questions regarding the cybernetics in the Brood.  “I should say hello,” I said.

Well, I think she might have managed a "hello" when they caught up again. :D


I was yanked off my hooves like an insolent filly and hauled into the air!  I felt my body whirled around as a massive stallion crowed, “Glorious day, Your Majesty!”  He held me like a cyberpony doll with one powerful foreleg while the other thrust towards the heavens.  “Never would I, Paladin Sugar Apple Bombs Stronghoof, have imagined that such a low and listless young mare would rise to such glorious heights!”  He pressed his hoof to his brow beneath his miniscule horn, “It is truly an inspiration to us all!”  Luna as my witness, there were sparkles cascading around us.

I am so glad I got over my initial feeling of him being an unwelcome intrusion to the story. Granted, that might also have been before outside characters really started showing up in FiM, like the crew from The Big Lebowski in season two, or characters from Gravity Falls, Fringe, Doctor Who, and more in the comics. So why shouldn't someone from FMA be in PH?
Anyway, it's too bad we never really got, that I can remember, a scene with him and an alicorn Goddessing, or even the Goddess intruding in on Blackjack's thoughts. Granted, that might have ended up being just too much . . . too much.
I'm not sure he was being entirely fair, here, since he at least had been very complimentary of Blackjack's noble spirit and everything when she challenged him to the duel when she first met him. Granted, she was pretty physically low at the time, but not listless.


“Knight Crumpets, it is well known that friendship is magic and magic is strength and strength is the ability to do good in this world!  Are you denying the strength of my friendship?  Are you?”  He quivered as he flexed his massively muscled forelegs, body pulsating.  “Feel the power of my friendship!  Feel!” he demanded, his mustache quivering.
   Crumpets leaned back, her face flushing in complete mortification before she covered it with her hoof.  “Oh for pony’s sake…” then she scowled up at him, twisted, and rammed her hoof upside his head, “Bloody well stop!”  Glory’s jaw dropped at the sight of the smaller mare knocking back the massive muscled stallion.  

Crumpets is a good straight man for him. But then, almost anyone could straight man for Stronghoof.


“In the maintenance around the reactor.  They’d sealed off the lowest levels of the stable when the… first attack… happened and didn’t come out.  Seemed they didn’t believe the all clear, so somepony named Rivets told them they could stay till they got bored and wanted out.”
“She never told me!” I said, sitting down hard.  “I… I thought Scotch Tape was the only uninfected pony!  I…”  Then a horrible feeling crept over me.  “Do they… do they know how the stable was gassed?”
The pair looked at each other, all smiles gone, and I got my answer.  Stronghoof put his hoof on my shoulder.  “I’m sorry.  In the service of doing what is right, hard choices have to be made.  But that does not mean others will understand or forgive those who have to make them.”

Well, can't have an unalloyed victory, can you? Well, Blackjack can't, anyway.
But on the plus side, there are survivors. Mixed blessing as it is, I'm sure that means a lot to her.


“And your warning spared us as well,” Stronghoof added.  “Had we not been diligent, we would have eaten the same contaminated food.  There were some,” and he huffed, his mustache fluttering, “some Rangers who were less than respectful with the slain suggested that we repeat the previous mistake.  Their behavior was corrected.”  Good.

Wat. I get the lack of respect for the corpses; they were in a hard situation and all. But come on! You get warned that there's a fatal neurological disease spread by eating tainted meat, and you think that eating recycled ponies from a stable where there was an outbreak is a good idea? The hell?


“Are there a lot of zebras around the stable?”
   The question seemed to catch her by surprise, and she nodded.  “Yes.  They haven’t been hostile, though.  They keep their distance, and we’re grateful for that.”

I'm impressed that Steel Rangers are showing forbearance with respect to zebras, even if in this case it's probably helped out by their weak numbers and such.


“Dear lady,” he said as he clasped her hoof between his. “Such a vision of loveliness as yourself should not be left alone in such a time.  Please, allow me, Sugar Apple Bombs Stronghoof, to escort you in this social affair.  Beauty and grace such as yours should not be consigned to the wall.”

Man, it would have been really awkward if that had been a different purple alicorn.


“G… gallant sir.  I am unworthy of your praise.  Surely there are others here deserving of your genteel attention.”
   “Dear lady!  You merit yourself far too little!  If you are unworthy of kindest attention, then truly Equestria is lost for good.  I pray, gift me your company, and I shall consider myself honored more than any stallion ever,” Stronghoof said as he gazed up at her.

I just realized what this reminds me of, now that it's a thing: Trixie/Maud.


I swear, it seemed a spotlight shone only on the two.

Well, in one sense, there's a spotlight on whatever Blackjack is paying attention to at a given time.


Lacunae looked helplessly at Crumpets, Glory, and me.  The orange earth pony waved her hoof.  “Oh, don’t mind me.  I’m strictly for the mares anyway.”  Glory and I glanced at her with simultaneous, identical arched brows, and she flushed, “What?”

I'm now thinking it would be hilarious if the only place in FoE Equestria where the large majority of mares weren't lesbian or bisexual was Stable Two. Or, better yet, if it was even true there, but Littlepip never figured it out.


“Good sir, I accept.”  He stepped up beside her, and side by side the pair marched out to the dance floor.
   I’d kept it contained for as long as I could, but I let out a little giggle, prancing on my hooves in decidedly unregal fashion.  “Yes, yes, yes, yes!”  Oh, nothing could be more perfect!

Confirmed: Blackjack is a shipper.


“I was wondering if we could talk a little.  We found some notes on the virus in Blackjack’s bedroom, and I was hoping you might have some advice on making sure the recycler is clean.”
   Glory frowned and looked from Crumpets to me.  “I… um… I’m not sure this is a good time…”
   “Oh go on.  This sounds like something Rainbow Dash couldn’t do,” I said with a warm smile.  Glory blinked, then smiled back.  I couldn’t resist, grinning and saying in a much lower voice, “And you heard what she said.”  She looked at me flatly as I grinned back.
   “You have some kind of personal vendetta against monogamy, don’t you?” Glory countered.
   I spread my hooves wide.  “Love wants to be free!”

I like the sentiment, Blackjack, but I think you might need to rephrase that. Cops and hippies are natural enemies, after all. You don't need another reason to beat the shit out of yourself. :D


Something had to go bad.  It was just the way things worked.  I was so paranoid that I lifted the tablecloth of a buffet table, half expecting to find a bomb or something underneath!  Dawn swooping in from above.  Zebra invasion.
   Nothing.  I plucked a sandwich off a tray, checking for poison... or expired mayonnaise.

Now, I know that the quality of Blackjack's assassins hasn't been great. And expired mayo could be due to other things. But I'd hope that even her assassins wouldn't be so dumb as to think that poisoning her would be very successful after she demonstrated she could eat a knife.


“Really?” Brutus said as he looked down at me.  I tried to look tough in return, but he just shook his head.  “You’re no more queen of the Society than you are a Reaper of the Top Ten.  Everypony wants to claim a piece of you, Security.  But you don’t belong to any of us.”

Not sure if he's saying she's something unto herself, she belongs to Hoofington/the Wasteland as a whole, both, or something else entirely.


I could definitely see myself belonging to the powerful black earth pony.  At least for a night.  See just what kind of power he could unleash on a cybermare who could take it.  I hitched my hips a little as he looked down at me, swishing my tail just a bit more.

Despite her offer, I still think this would lead to one unhappy girlfriend.


“There is something about this place,” Brutus rumbled.  “I’ve fought in the pits of Fillydelphia.  

Okay, so unless he only got to the Hoof very recently, that means that the pit fights predated Red Eye. Interesting.


“Maybe the Wasteland is magically repopulating itself with small groups of zebras to kill so we can take their stuff?” Rampage said with a grin.

The PH version of the urban legend/hypothesis that Discord's (or was it Pinkie's) spirit roamed the wastes putting a few caps or little bits of ammo in random places, I guess.


“Might be they have something to do with all the raiders getting hit across the Wasteland,” Brutus said deeply.  I cocked my head curiously at him, and he went on, “For the last week now there’s been attacks on raiders.  We get stragglers coming this way and joining up with other gangs.  Whoever is behind it hits fast and hard and doesn’t leave much in the way of survivors.  Stallions.  Mares.  Young.  Any group out on their own gets hit.  Most get dusted, others taken.  Then gone without a trace.”

So, Steelpony/Brood conversions?


Candlewick said that somepony named Napalm would be tough to convince, but nopony wanted to get stomped by zebras or Security.

So, I was getting ready to say "Man, fuck Napalm. Guy's an asshole," but then I realized he hasn't come up again and I was thinking of Toaster. Wonder if we'll ever see Napalm.


“Were you a part of Enclave Intelligence?” I asked.  He frowned at me, seeming to weigh how much of his past life he could discuss, but nodded.  “Do you know anything about Lighthooves?”
   “You mean he who must not be named?” Storm Front replied with a small smile.  “Yeah.  I knew him.  Smart bastard.  Scary conviction.  We all love Thunderhead, but I’m pretty sure he wanted to make Thunderhead the Enclave.”
   “Do you know about his biological weapon?” I asked in a low voice.
   “I heard rumors about it before I left,” he replied.  “Some surface plague he wanted to weaponize and disperse more widely.  Neighvarro gave him the okay since it didn’t affect pegasi.”

Should have thought of it sooner, but yeah, that raises an interesting point. Either Lighthooves got the virus to infect pegasi up to "a year or two ago," or Storm Front's girl went raider "naturally"/non-Hoofington raider. That or she was on the surface a really long time before going raider.

“How could some ponies break into the tower if they had to?”
   “They can’t.  It’s impossi--“ he started and then silenced himself.
   “You were going to say impossible?” I asked, and he gave a little nod.  “Has anyone ever gotten in?”
   “Twice.   The first was Contrail.  Old ex-Wonderbolt a hundred and fifty years ago.  Flew above the top of the tower and landed on the roof… which is quite a feat.  Had to bring his own oxygen source, and he still died even after getting inside command.  The other was the wife of some war hero.  Flew in low over the Core.  Craziest thing I ever saw.  Aside from the very real chance of getting dusted by the city’s defenses, she was in the Enervation.  Somehow she made it to an old maintenance accessway below the living areas and got inside.  Damnest thing I ever saw.”

So, was the second Dawn? Sounds likely.


He snagged another passing glass from a waiter and downed it all in one go.  “So what is your business here?” I asked him.
   “Why, none of yours.

Well, as the currently reigning monarch, you could make the case that all business there is hers. Especially if it involves a known enemy.


“Well, good luck with that,” I replied.  Out of his armor, I was struck again by how positively cute he appeared.  Fit body.  Athletic.  Smart.
   Ack!  No!  Mortal enemies was where I drew the line!  Like Lancer... though I really wished I hadn’t drawn that line and... he seemed to catch me staring and smiled smugly from ear to ear

Eh, somehow I just don't see as much appeal in a SteelJack one night stand as a BlackLance.


“Indeed.  Things would have been much simpler if you’d simply left me the Celestia.  But who has time for regrets?” he said with a smile.

The irony of asking Blackjack that, of all people . . .

“Now, if you’ll excuse me.  I need to see a filly about a collection of memory orbs.”
   It must have been the drink that made him slip.  “You mean this collection?”  I asked, pulling out the bag of crushed glass and giving it a little jingle.  He blinked as he took the bag of smashed orbs and opened it up.  For the first time, he looked truly stunned and horrified.  “Charm decided to smash it when I didn’t make her regent.”
   “That... the technical schematics.  The technology!  How...” he pursed his lips and silenced himself as he fought for composure.  “Tell me you punished her for this... this... insult!”

Well, that really didn't work out too well for her, did it?


“What do you think you’re doing?”  They started patting him down, but didn’t find any weapons on him.  Just a pendant that I confiscated... just because.  “Give that back!”  He shouted, stretching a hoof towards it.

Now, I believe that'll be a moonstone pendant, for the Enervation in the Core. Depending on how well she'd been paying attention, it's possible Blackjack would have recognized it as such from memories of the Tokomare. I think that on first read, one major guess from the readership was that it was a targeting talisman.

“I’ve been reading the ‘Pinkie Pie guide to tyranny’,” I answered him with a grin.  “While you’re right that I have no interest in killing you unarmed like this, I also don’t mind locking you up for a few days.”  A little purple unicorn in me gave a nod of satisfaction.

Huh. Not sure why that would get Twilight's approval rather than Pinkie's or Fluttershy's, even Rainbow's.


It was a simple round, plastic-covered disk on a nylon lanyard.  Something about it was familiar, though.  I placed it around my neck and tucked it out of sight beneath the dress.

Okay, honestly not sure how she'd recognize it's plastic-covered rather than plastic (weight, maybe?).


“Yes, clearly the political situation with the Twilight Society is one that needs to be addressed first, don’t you think, Lady Boo?” a mare asked, and Boo cocked her head in reply.
   “Oh, I agree completely!  While the Twilight Society should be considered, it’s clear that Red Eye and his army is a far more pressing concern,” a fancy stallion said immediately, and Boo just cocked her head at him instead.  “I’m certain that you agree, Miss Boo.”
   Boo seemed far more interested in the hors d’oeurve cupcake he levitated beside him.  She stretched up to take a bite, when another mare reached out and hugged her.  “Oh, you are too right, Baroness Boo.  We’re stretching ourselves out trying to concern ourselves with problems abroad when we have so many right here!  All these refugees streaming into the valley are a ripe opportunity, wouldn’t you say?”
   Boo’s nostrils twitched and she took a deep breath.  The fancy ponies leaned in raptly, and then she sneezed right in the mare’s face.  For an instant, all were silent.  Then a stallion crowed, “Hear hear!  We shouldn’t be exploiting these poor folk, Wineglass!  Take a page from our new queen.  Exploitation might get you ahead in the short term, but we need to look at things from a longer perspective.”

That is some really high quality sucking up. Or they really do think she's some kind of oracle.


“Splendid... I know you did, but you don’t know me.  You see a young Rainbow Dash.  I’m not her.  I’m a gray mare with a purple mane and one wing.  Who’s gay,” she added, a touch lamely.
   “I see a mare who is loyal, intelligent, compassionate, and unappreciated for those talents,” Splendid replied, his voice rising.  “I love you, Glory, and no matter how you look, I’d want you as my wife.”
   “Hello!” I said as I immediately trotted up onto the dais, right in between the blushing pair, and threw my forelegs around each.

Now I think there are at least two ways to read this. One is Blackjack moving in to break up a conversation she sees is uncomfortable for Glory, which is pretty consistent with Blackjack's earlier thing about destroying him if she found out he treated Glory badly. The other, perhaps less likely, but maybe a contributing factor, is that Blackjack doesn't like the idea of Glory being romantically, rather than sexually, involved with someone else, consistent with her compartmentalization of the two and stressing that what she really cared about was that Glory be there with her in the end.


“You three complement each other really well.”  I looked to Grace, “You handle problems with poise and care and worry about what’s right and wrong.”  I swapped to Splendid, “You’ve got vision and an idea for the future.”  I looked at Charm, “You get things done.

Okay, I'm pretty much 100% behind what she said about Grace. Not too bad on Splendid, but of course the idea for the future, as currently envisioned, is one built on a base Blackjack really dislikes, even if the ends look good. As for Charm . . . given what Blackjack's seen, I think she's going overboard in trying to say something nice. She tried to get things done, and certainly put a lot of plans in motion, but all of them were ill thought-out or poorly executed.


“I know that King Awesome named me Queen of the Society.  And I also know that while I would be honored to accept his gift, I’m going to have to pass it to another to rule in my place.  My mission in the Hoof takes precedence over running one group, no matter what wonderful company they may be.”  A little yellow pegasus inside me gave a tiny cheer.  

Okay, so in this case is it because Blackjack is channeling charisma, the stat that Fluttershy boosts? Because I have trouble seeing anyone, including her, get worked up over perfuctory throat-clearing otherwise.


“I can’t wear this crown myself, and the burden is too much for one pony to bear.”  And it was much too coveted, to boot.
   I nodded to Hoity, he nodded to Epicure, and the green colt lifted my sword carefully in his hooves.  I levitated the blade and, with a sweep of glittering silver, sliced the band.  A second cut.  A third.  And the crown glittered in three pieces in the air before me.  I lifted the front of the crown.  “This piece, I give to my regent, to rule in my place until such time as I see fit to return and mend this crown.”

Man, I can't help but think of the King and Regents of Gondor (and I guess Arnor) here, and the broken sword Narsil, prophesied to be reforged when the crownless would again be king. Despite that having next to nothing to do with this. But I still love the symbolic gesture. Might have shades of Arthur having passed to Avalon, too, though I wouldn't be surprised at all if that had been an influence on the situation surrounding the heirs of Elendil, too. And of course, the petty, pointless split (after the one's extinction, anyway) between the lines of Anarion and Isildur is something that kind of rhymes here, too.


“No!”  Charm screamed at the top of her lungs.  “It should be me!  Me!  I’m the one who deserves it!  Give it to me!”

She actually sounds kind of like Cognitum, I think, right there.


“Fuck Blackjack!  Fuck you!  Fuck him!  Fuck all of you!” [Charm] shrieked as she thrashed at Grace.  “I’m gonna kill all of you, and then you’re going to be sorry!  You’ll see!”

And so we see that truly, Blackjack made a huge mistake in not choosing the charming and mature Charm as regent.

“Right.  I think that’s enough of that!” I said loudly.  “Scotch Tape!  Rampage!”  The pair rushed to the dais, looking at me with nigh salivating grins.
   “Yes, Blackjack?” Scotch said eagerly.
   “You called?” Rampage asked.
   “Please escort Charm to her room, and teach her to watch her language,” I said as regally as I could.
   “Fuck yeah!” Rampage grinned at the filly.  “Run, little piggy!  Run!”  Charm screamed as she raced for the door, pursued by the pair.
   “Don’t rip those dresses!” I yelled after them.  Then I sighed.  “Who named her Charm anyway?”

1) Charm is best toy.
2) Yeah, it's one of the more ironic names in the story.


“Somehow, I don’t think any one pony can save the Wasteland,” I replied evenly, with a small smile.

So far best choice for the line from the chapter that sums up the story as a whole, I think.


“Go on,” I said, giving Grace a little nudge to the front.  “Make a speech.”
   “I had one planned,” she said lightly, “But... you picked me.”  She looked at the gold on her hoof, as if she still couldn’t believe it.

I think that one of the rules of PH is that good guys don't get to believe in themselves, to have self-confidence. To believe that good things will happen to them.


I’d played my role.  Hoity had put the protections she’d need in place, and I’d added a few of my own to make sure she’d have the chance.  I wasn’t going to let what happened in Flank happen here.  And as Grace addressed the crowd, I felt a little purple unicorn inside me being quite proud of what I’d learned.  The only oddity was... why did I want to write to the princess about it?

Okay. That was good.


“I need to find Glory.”  Pressing the band of gold to [Hoity].  “Hold on to this for me, okay?”
   “You don’t want to hold on to it?” he asked in surprise.
   “Hoity, I’ll eat it.  That gold is delicious.  I can taste hints of platinum too.  And those spicy rubies... no.  Besides, I might get vaporized tomorrow.”

Not quite a fat Blackjack joke. :(
But back on topic, knowing you're about to have your mind and body taken over can sure do a lot to get you focused on the future, and what happens after you're gone.


“May I shake your hoof and congratulate you on your marvelous debut?  I was certain you were going to run through the halls shooting and screaming ‘Emancipate!’ at the top of your lungs.”

Let fly the red flag of Revolution! Have the band . . . uh, Daft Punk ponies . . . strike up L'Internationale!


“I can’t believe he wants to marry me.  I can’t believe I actually considered it!”  I heard the anguish in her voice and leaned over to see her kneeling here, P-21 holding her lightly.  “It’s got to be this body.  It has to be!  There’s no other reason why I should be attracted to him!”
   “Do you like him?” P-21 asked.
   “I... it’s... you...” Glory stammered.

And the potential of GloryJack-21 raises its little head once again.


“Ugh... don’t start that.  Just because I’m a mare doesn’t mean this is due to hormones,” she snapped.  “Mares aren’t weak just because we get this way.”
   “Glory, I’m an expert on mares when you get that way,” he said, closing his eyes.  “Yes, I didn’t have any choice in the service I provided, but I know mares, and always it was more than just sex.  Duct Tape liked to pretend we were married.  Marmalade wanted a friend.  Sometimes we didn’t even have sex.  Palette wanted body paint.  Misty Hooves wanted everyone to hear us so people would stop thinking she was a filly.  Gin Rummy would tell me her worries about her daughter.  Rivets would rut, then complain about the Overmare to me, because I’d listen and not report her.  Mares need things in this time.  So what is it you need?”

Sometimes it can be hard to reconcile people's complexities, but I'm glad this came up. On the surface, it's a reminder that the mares of 99 were more than just rapists and the owners in a slave state, but people too. Beyond that, of course, there's the fact that P-21 has seen that and knows that, and always has beneath his hatred for their entire sex. And for more than just Duct Tape.


“I needed someone nice and safe, and, above all, somepony I didn’t have a relationship with.  I used him,” I admitted with a shrug as I looked out into the night.  “Not the noblest thing I’ve ever done, but he was pleasant enough about it and even helped me when he could have just taken off.  I guess that’s what made it okay for me.”

Eh, hardly the worst, either, especially with the Silver Spoon thing close on its tails.


Then P-21 stepped out and looked at me.  Just... looked at me with a small smile and a warm look in his eyes.  “So... is this part of the plan?”
   “Plan?”  I gave a little half smile.  “I’m so far off a plan that I’m just totally winging it here.  I’m personally waiting for everything to explode.  That seems to be how most of my ‘plans’ end.”
   “Well, if that’s what you need,” he said calmly as he offered his foreleg.

Double entendre ahoy!


My trusty horn did not let me down; I gazed upon the amber mana of Wild Pegasus and polished the whole damned bottle off.

Amber, sure, in most light, maybe a darker brown. But I think I'll long remember being struck by the beautiful color that happens when late-afternoon sun passes through a handle of Wild Turkey 101—a deep, rich red with a hint of gold to it.


So, backtracking, a bit:
I coughed and knocked on the doorjam before stepping outside.

Everything from this to the scene break is just wonderful, in at least two or three different shades. The tension in Blackjack's and Glory's relationship moving from being discussed by P-21 and Glory to her and Blackjack, and Glory trying so hard to see what Blackjack sees. How you can see that some of what both want is just stability, knowing that the other will still be there. P-21 and Blackjack and the not-hate between them, and him leading her. The drunken swirl of activity, with individual moments rising to the surface of an impressionistic fluidity of a last few hours of happiness, with the Goddess's sword of Damocles hanging over it all.


When I woke, the music had ended.  It was just past midnight. . . . I nuzzled soft and wonderful pony before cracking open my eyes.

So she probably has a literal internal clock, maybe constantly showing in EFS, maybe directly hooked to her mind? Or is it via Unity?


Then I looked behind me and froze.  No.  Not Splendid at all.  Flushing far more than I ever had after coitus, I pulled myself free from them.  P-21’s eyes opened a little, his lips curling in a slightly inebriated smile.  “Time to go?” he muttered sluggishly.  “Don’t call medical.  They’ll think I did a bad job.”

This might be one of the saddest things in the last several chapters. And yet, can we ever really expect that he could be free 99 entirely, in mind as well as body?


“So.  Now what?” I asked the mare in the mirror.
   She firmly locked down on my body and told me.  There would be no verbalizing this scream.  No fights that could wake my friends.  Nothing.  Lacunae’s horn glowed, and together we disappeared in a flash.
   We were on our way to Maripony to kill LittlePip.

Good ending, with both horror and a cliffhanger.
Chapter Fifty Seven Overall Thoughts:
Unsurprisingly given the last couple of chapters, the plot focus of this one is on Blackjack's decision regarding whom to make her regent, and related plans and fallout. The decision itself is saved until fairly late in the chapter, but the buildup around it starts early. Plans for making her choice stick revolve around Deus and Pain Train. Deus is supposed to stick around for a few weeks, then go to protect Chapel while keeping an ear out for news from the Society. If anything happens to the regent or Hoity Toity, he gets to basically crush the Society however he sees fit. He's not the most enthused about the plan, but gives in after Blackjack basically appeals to him as a pony. We get some more out of Pain Train, what with his ability to do things like talk. lackjack offers him a job as bodyguard for her regent, or of course to just let him go, with a letter of reference to the Reapers if he wants one. He's not interested, and insulted that Blackjack thinks that he cares about fighting, before explaining himself further after she expresses interest. His backstory is different, with him coming to Hoofington to investigate anomalies in its stones, which he says are dead. He was then captured and kept in Awesome's menagerie for some time, then worked for various people in the Society to get by after it was disbanded. Now, he wants to know if there are other minotaurs still alive, or if their race is doomed to extinction. Blackjack suggests that he could do a lot worse than staying at the Society, since he should get plenty of news there, and word could get out that there's a minotaur guarding the administration there, plus of course a very Blackjacky declaration that what she really wants is to protect and save ponies—and not just ponies, but minotaurs, zebras, griffins, everyone, "even little rocks, if they're alive."

There are then some fun scenes getting ready for the Gala—on which note I'll say that it feels like somewhere in the middle of the story there was a change with Blackjack starting to act like she'd never been to a party before, which seems in conflict with the impressions I'd gotten early on, and I'm not sure if it's retcon, Blackjack dropping things down the memory hole or just being bad at self-assessment, or past misreading on my part, but it's something that's kind of bothersome to me, and it reappears in 70, even worse because at that point she'd also been through the Gala itself—with the highlight possibly being Scotch being dressed in Sweetie Belle's punk rock outfit, and Grace making sure everyone else said just how good she looked in it. At the Gala, there's a fair amount of mixing and mingling, with a few things standing out. One is how seriously everyone (not from the Society) is taking Blackjack, and seemingly not just because of her (new, temporary) status in the Society, but then, there is also a group of Society ponies who are sucking up hard to Boo. But for Blackjack, it's a very unfamiliar experience, having people care what she thinks. Over the course of the night, she gets news of camps of zebras popping up all over the place, but they're just sitting there, not doing anything unless approached. She's suspicious, especially with the Harbingers having so recently showed up, too. In the end, she suggests to the people around her that they prepare for something bad to happen, stockpiling arms and ammo and replenishing their numbers by recruiting refugees if they need to, but most of all, not to fight each other until they have a better idea what's going on. She also gets word that the Trottingham Rangers at 99 are not in great shape, woefully understaffed to handle a stable that is supposed to take hundreds to run. But she does also hear that there were about a dozen survivors from the stable, hidden away after the original lockdown; the downside is, they know who gassed the stable. As part of this, of course, we have more Steelhooves and Crumpets, who each make enjoyable contributions—he more visibly so. As interesting as their conversation with Blackjack is, though, there's a sudden break the moment Steelhooves sees Lacunae, and insists on and eventually succeds in being her escort for the remainder of the event, despite her belief he could do better than her. Particularly good is when he shoots down her objection that given the enmity between Unity and the Steel Rangers, it would be unseemly for them to be seen together; he's having none of it, invoking both how she is apart from the rest and is known to act differently, and he couldn't care less about the opinions of anyone who would think the worse of them for being together that night. As he goes of with Lacunae, Glory and Crumpets leave to talk about the mechanics of decontaminating, feeding, and maintaining the new 99. Blackjack ends up encountering Steel Rain, who isn't doing anything to grab EC-1101 from her, at least for the night. He mentions having hoped that Dawn's failures would lead Cognitum to have more confidence in him, to instill in him more authority, but it hasn't happened, as she wants him to become more augmented. He's not interested in going down that path, though; the kill switch is more than enough. Blackjack finishes her discussion with him by having him thrown in jail for a few days, and while he was searched, pulls a plastic disk on a nylon lanyard off of him and puts in on under her dress. She seems to recognize it from somewhere, but doesn't place it as very similar to what she saw the workers at the Tokomare wearing in a memory a little while back.

Before making her announcement, Blackjack gathers Awesome's children together, and asks that the two she doesn't select as regent to swear to work with the one she does, with exile as the alternative. She outlines what good she saw in each—Grace's diplomacy and decency, Splendid's plans, the way Charm gets things done (personally I think in her case she was going full flattery, given how poorly thought out and executed Charm's plans had been since Blackjack arrived). Addressing the assembled Society and guests, she splits the crown in three, and chooses Grace as regent. The fastest reaction is Charm's, when she blows up and vows Blackjack will regret making that call, but Blackjack just has Rampage and Scotch chase her out. Splendid is disappointed, saying how much they could have accomplished, but Blackjack just thinks of how it would have been done, and he winds up swearing to serve Grace. For her part, Grace was stunned, saying that she had a speech prepared, but it didn't apply since she was the one chosen. Having given each of the two remaining siblings one segment of the crown, she says she'll keep the third, and return it should she ever abdicate the throne entirely, that it may be reunited; as she leaves the room, she hands it off to Hoity, since it'll be safer with him, even independent of the fact she's about to be fully mind-controlled by the Goddess. For his part, he was very impressed over how she handled herself, having expected a violent rampage of emancipation for the serfs.

Now we come to what I think is the high point of the chapter. Blackjack leaves the Gala, following where she'd seen Glory head off a bit before. She hears her talking with P-21. Talking about how conflicted she feels about Blackjack and their relationship, and how much she hates being in Rainbow's body, how it makes her feel. How she thinks it's making her attracted to stallions, how Splendid offered to marry her, how she had considered it. P-21 commiserates; he knows how overwhelming it is to be around Blackjack, and how for all it's painful and difficult, you can't help but want to be there in case she ever needs you. But more, in a nice piece of character development for both him and Stable 99, he tells Glory—after she insists she's not weak and just because she's on her cycle it doesn't mean everything is just hormones—that in his experience, there was almost always more than just sex, especially when mares were in estrus. The mares of 99 wanted other things, whether it was Duct Tape's desire to be a family, another's to be seen as not a child anymore, Rivets's need to vent, or others. The question was what Glory needed. She said she needed to apologize, which Blackjack took as her cue to enter. Glory does, and Blackjack shakes it off—Glory could fuck her way through the whole Wasteland, and as long as she ended up back in her arms, Blackjack wouldn't care—to segue into an apology of her own, for making Glory feel this way, because even if she doesn't care what Glory does, Blackjack does care about how she feels, and about how she only ever seems to hurt her; she suggests they might be better off breaking up, if that's all she can do for Glory. After a pause, Glory asks about Stygius, whether he was nice. Blackjack goes into how she needed someone safe, and someone she wasn't in a relationship with, and how she used him, but yes, how he was nice. Glory ends up responding by talking about how the whole time she was comparing Splendid to Blackjack, and how she wished Blackjack were there with her (then felt perverted for thinking it). Blackjack comes back predictably, and Glory suggests that maybe she should start imagining less and experimenting more, then asks if Blackjack will always be there if she needs her. She will. Always. This conversation over, Glory returns to the Gala, but P-21 and Blackjack hang back for a moment before rejoining together, him asking her to dance and saying it'll be nice to use his skills because he wants to rather than because he's being coerced. Blackjack downs a fifth of Wild P, and the rest of the event goes by in whirl of sensation, with a few moments rising to the surface before the night ends happily in bed. Interestingly, I think that the feeling of this segment, from when Blackjack and P-21 return to the Gala through the scene break after the sex, feels a lot like the end of "Black," on the Seahorse after Blackjack's rape, for all that the tone is extremely different. In both, Blackjack seems basically to be floating in semi-consciousness, with only occasional intrusions of concrete reality. And in both, perhaps more than anything, she seems finally free in her last moments before losing herself, then to death, now to the Goddess's control. I think that it's that in both cases there's a combination of a directly altered state of mind—whether blindness and brain damage and dying or mere drunkenness—and Blackjack letting go, knowing that there's nothing left for her to do before oblivion, that her responsibilities are over. And both times, it was beautiful.

But in this case, that's not where the chapter ended. Blackjack awakens and shares a brief moment with P-21, who was talking in his sleep, before being fully taken over by the Goddess in front of the bathroom mirror. It's time, and after some preparations, including leaving behind Blackjack's PipBuck so she can't be tracked, Blackjack and Lacunae are off to Maripony, where she will kill Littlepip. A combination horror-cliffhanger ending? I think we can all live with that.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:51 pm

Chapter Fifty Seven Editing:
that killed one idea… “Can I make thre

should have second space after ellipsis


And I expect you to do everything you can to help.” I replied with

period to comma


I know the Society has a lot of rot to it, but--“

inverted quotation marks


but there were others of such delicate beauty that I had no idea if I were supposed to sniff, look, or eat.

"were" to "was", maybe? "look at" or some form (e.g. "regard") that doesn't need a preposition for the verb phrase


Glory had sex with him."  I had a feeling

non-directional quotation mark


"He behaved himself, didn't cross the line." At least Glory hadn’t

non-directional quotation marks, should have second space after quotation


“Yeah!  How’d…” She slumped in the tub

should have second space after quotation


She spoke exactly like mom when explaining to me that guns were dangerous.

"mom" should be capitalized


“Wait.  What are you…” and I blinked as I felt it shift over my

should have second space after quotation, "and" should be capitalized


If only mom could have seen me like this.

"mom" should be capitalized


“You three look quite lovely,” then she looked

comma to period, second space after quotation, "then" should be capitalized


“Come on, how bad could I be?”  I asked with a smile

first "I" should probably be "it", extra space after quotation


“So’s mine!”  Scotch squealed as she jumped out of

extra space after quotation


The olive filly beamed quite happily.

maybe drop the "quite happily"?


As my friends and I walked along the hall towards the stairs that lead to the ballroom,

"led", not "lead"


It’s going to take a lot more that that to make me look

"than that"


“Woah.  You look good, Daddy!”

"Whoa"


Then he regarded me, “Your Majesty.  Would you

comma to period, or needs a speaking verb


“You’d want to enter with me?” He said, an

"He" shouldn't be capitalized


Epicure, the pine green colt, stood by the doorway and nodded to both of us.

Before, he was lime green, with pine green mane and tail.


“Presenting Her Royal Highness of the Society of Equestria, Queen Blackjack, and her escort, Sir Hoity Toity of Canterlot!”

"Majesty", given it's his job I'd expect him to get it right


most of it wasn't as spectacular as the Rarities we wore, but all of it was formal wear to some degree.

I think in this case it should be "Raritys"


“What?” I blinked at him a moment

should have second space after quotation


Just stressed…” at least I could say that!

should have second space after quotation, "at" should be capitalized


She gave a nasty smirk, “Oh, I didn’t want you to miss out on your present, Your Majesty,” she said as she levitated a

comma after smirk should be period.


Give myself a brain hemorrhage trying to spit out the phrase ‘goddess mind control me is gonna!’?

capitalize "goddess"?


“There’s an inscription.  ‘Pew-Pew’?  Who names a beam pistol pew-pew?”

should the second "pew-pew" be capitalized?


I am so sick of Rainbow Dash,” Glory slumped.

comma should be period, or there should be a speaking verb.


“I trusted Lighthooves and mother when I shouldn’t have.  

"mother" should be capitalized


Some wore expressions of scandal, others amusement, and more than a few with the detached interest of a sporting event.

I don't think that "with" should be there ("Some wore expressions of with the detatched interest" doesn't make sense)


“It was?  How?  By who?” I felt my mane frizzing.

should have second space after quotation


one tear…. You’re mine.

ellipsis should have only three dots, two spaces after or "You're" shouldn't be capitalized


I blinked in shock before she smirked, “And thanks

period should be comma, or speaking verb needed



Sagittarius asked, the green unicorn twirling his dark pine-green goatee.
My eyes roamed freely over his fit emerald form, his verdant goatee,

In 69, we have "Sagittarius didn’t seem too happy either, though, what with the rain and all soaking his golden mane and goatee", so it should change either there or here (personally, I like the green-and-gold, which also goes with the occasional archer coloration of blond guy wearing green (Link, Green Arrow, sometimes Robin Hood), which I actually thought the latter case was a reference to)


and drifted back towards his...  he cleared his throat and snapped my eyes back

"he" should be capitalized


I bet she is, I thought to myself.

should "I bet she is" be italicized?


Not… well… ahem…” the brown ghoul gave an apologetic shrug,

should have second space after quotation, "the" should be capitalized


I felt someone step up behind me; ahah!

"aha"


He pressed his hoof to his brow beneath his miniscule horn, “It is truly an inspiration to us all!”

comma should be period


She spoke in the odd accent from Trottingham and had a toasty orange coat with a crispy tan mane and tail and a cutie mark of some sort of biscuit with butter atop it.
The orange earth pony waved her hoof.
Crumpets asked Glory, and the blue pegasus swapped her amused look at me to a nod at the orange mare.

Later, you have Crumpets as, in 64, "The crispy-brown-coated mare’s reflection in the window betrayed her smile" and in 70 as "Steel Ranger Crumpets.  The buttery yellow brown mare with the freckles wore her armor casually" and "The yellow mare thumped Psalm’s chest."


“Oh for pony’s sake…” then she scowled up at him, twisted, and rammed her hoof upside his head, “Bloody well stop!”

should have second space after first quotation, "then" should be capitalized, last comma should be period


Crumpets sighed and shook her head before smiling at Glory and me, “Nice to see you

comma should be period, or speaking verb needed


enough to allow us to attend,” she paused and looked sharply

comma should be period, "she" should be capitalized


When my hoof was free, I smiled, “So what are you

last comma to period


If it wasn’t for the survivors’ help--“

inverted quotation mark


a stable for five hundred. With two hundred technically

only one space after period


but my stable was on the far side of the hoof.

"hoof" should be capitalized


her hoof between his. “Such a vision of loveliness

only one space after period


Glory and I glanced at her with simultaneous, identical arched brows, and she flushed, “What?”

last comma should be period, or speaking verb needed


The only one I didn’t recognize was a teal pegasus stallion with a Dashite Brand and a Halfheart pendant.

"Brand" shouldn't be capitalized


Dazzler smiled at me, “I think the Society

comma to period or needs speaking verb


“You’re no more queen of the Society than you are a Reaper of the Top Ten.

"queen" should probably be captalized


I turned to the pegasus, “We haven’t met.”

comma to period or needs speaking verb


“And they’re well armed?” I asked with a frown.

"well-armed"


Zebras from nowhere.  Well armed.

"Well-armed"


though, why let the survivors past?”  Dazzle asked

should have only one space after quotation


They can’t.  It’s impossi--“ he started and

inverted quotation mark


below the living areas and got inside.  Damnest thing I ever saw.”

it's dialog, but for thoroughness: could be "Damnedest"


“Twice.   The first was Contrail

three spaces after period


be dramatic, wouldn’t it?”  He countered with a smirk tha

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


“You mean this collection?”  I asked, pulling out the

should have only one space after quotation


I replied, marvelling at the surreality of commiserating with a pony who had tried to kill me repeatedly.  

"marveling"


“Give that back!”  He shouted, stretching a hoof towards it.

should have only one space after quotation, "he" shouldn't be capitalized


I wouldn’t kill him out of hoof.  So...” meh, I was getting that annoying

should have second space after quotation, "meh" should be capitalized


Boo seemed far more interested in the hors d’oeurve cupcake he levitated beside him

"oeuvre"


I looked to Grace, “You handle problems with poise
I swapped to Splendid, “You’ve got vision
I looked at Charm, “You get things done

comma to period, or needs speaking verb


“May I introduce the regent of the society: Princess Grace!”

"society" should be capitalized, and probably "regent" as well (title, "King of France" as opposed to "France's king")


“No!”  Charm screamed at the top of her lungs

should only have one space after quotation


“I think she always preferred ‘Princess’ personally,” Hoity said lightly.

comma after "'Princess'"?


Using bomb collars and slavery... “Somehow, I don’t think

should have second space after ellipsis


said it was a requirement in his position...” she shook her head and groaned

should have second space after quotation, "she" should be capitalized


I coughed and knocked on the doorjam before stepping outside.  

"doorjamb"


She laughed and shook her head. “The fact that you can

only one space after period


He lead me out to the ballroom.

"led"


but he lead me to the middle of the

"led"


I recalled seeing Brutus and Stronghoof locked in a flexoff that seemed

"flex-off"?


“It’s time,” the goddess said simply in my mind.

"goddess" should be capitalized


mussing up her dress.   On and on the night continued till

three spaces after period
Other Editing:
1:
ew…  unacceptable.  I tossed

extra space after ellipsis


“Damnit, Midnight!  No running in the halls!”

"Damn it" or "Dammit"


Oh sh--“ I barely got out before

inverted quotation mark, should have second space after quotation


Woah, pity party; table for one!  

"Whoa"


was beyond me.  “Identification please.”

comma after "Identification"


tearing pop that signalled a damaged joint

"signaled"


and her eyes a were a lighter pinkish color

delete first "a"


I’ve a list of…  of everything you

extra space after ellipsis


I suppose I could, but--“

inverted quotation mark


What?  How--“

inverted quotation mark


Get out right now or I’ll--“

inverted quotation mark


How did you end up with--“ but my

inverted quotation mark, should have second space after quotation, "but" should be capitalized


5:
“And get me on your back, damnit!”  Please!

"damn it" or "dammit"


“Ahah!  Bugs.  I can kill bugs.  Bring on the caps!”

"Aha"



14:
Handing you over to Deus and Usury will calm a lot of air for me,” he replied matter of factly.

"matter-of-factly"


don’t think…about my guts trailing behind me…  don’t think

need space after first ellipsis, extra space after second


I’d ever seen with my own eyes... “I’ll be

should have second space before quotation


to assist me in taking out the leader .

shouldn't have space between last word and period


and I was completely wrong.  I--“  

inverted quotation mark


“I was reading about them in ScientificaEquestria.  

Should there be a space in the middle of "ScientificaEquestria"?


19:
I backpedalled from the heat so quickly that I fell over.

"backpedaled"


Now, I know someponies might have fallen over themselves

"some ponies"?


Irrational and self destructive.  And whiny.  Definitely whiny.

"self-destructive"


“She‘ll own the Wasteland some day,”

"someday"


much bone, but that googley-eyed expression fit

"googly"


“Lets make sure his memory is nice and

"Let's"


reflexively tyring to ready a weapon that wasn’t there.

"trying"


“Ahah!  Here we go.”  

"Aha"


I mean, I know they purifies and remixes the waste.

"purify and remix"?


, you should track that--“ and then there was a ping and a

inverted quotation mark, should have second space after quotation and "and" should be capitalized


Stonewing, slowest flyer in all of Equestia,

"Equestria"


holding her close under her dried and dessicated wing

"desiccated"


My useless, exhausted little horn let out an anaemic flicker and went dark.

"anemic"


52:
So far, there were only two red bars, but I had no idea if they were Harbingers at the edge of my sensor range or Radroaches trying to get out of the rain.

"Radroaches" shouldn't be capitalized


That hardly mattered, through.

"though"


and it swivelled the lamps towards me.

"swiveled"


I tried to find something I could used for a better shield than the stallion’s corpse

"use"


Suddenly, something connected, and a jolt ran trough my hind leg.  

"through"


“Listen…  please

extra space after ellipsis


“I’m Morning Glory,” she interupted as she frowned sternly at the mare

"interrupted"


With a furious scream, she plunged her her bladed wings deep into his body

repeated "her"


53:
With his machines of war we shall bring Red-Eye to heel and save all of Ponykind from the Wasteland.”

"Red Eye"


“Trotski from Staliongrad.”

"Stalliongrad"


She made her way closer, and well dressed ponies looked at her, sized her up, and made room for her

"well-dressed"


the black metal ended at mid thigh and continued at my haunch.

"mid-thigh"


“Do you have any Rad-Away or Rad X, Operative?”

"RadAway", "Rad-X"


“I need that fucking Rad-Away, Operative,”

"RadAway"


He’s always going on about having the biggest, baddest fighters in the hoof.

"hoof" should be capitalized


55:
fast like your recon legs, or agile like your shadowbolt upgrade?”  

"shadowbolt" should be capitalized


Suddenly there was a shout and and shove,

"a shout and a shove"

I came to to a rest under one

repeated "to"


(everything after this for the chapter is related to quotation mark and apostrophe formatting, so handle that how you will)


they are our "servants."  We have given

could be you want to keep them this way since it's the opening quotation, but quotation marks are non-directional


"So, tell me about the lightning rods,"
who the 'Neverenders' had been
how they'd been replaced by the 'Hells Ponies'.  Then
"I don't know the specifics of their operation," Glory replied, looking at me in concern and chewing on a wingtip.  "All I can give you are generalities."
going on, "Well, lightning rods
. . .
, as I understand."
"How do they find their targets?" I
"Blackjack, are you sure..." Glory
"I'm sure," I answered, frowning (apostrophe, too)
"Well, Dusk would know
. . .
sends a fire command."  
"I think it used to be completely automated, but there was a friendly fire incident a decade ago and they disabled that."
"What counts as a magical energy source?"
"A spark battery?  A missile?" Glory suggested.  
"Maybe even a charged
. . .
observation of the ground."
"Have you ever heard of surfacers reaching the Enclave?"
"Every now and then you hear stories about somepony slapping together a hot air balloon or something."
"No.  Patrols usually find those."
"It doesn't end well for them, I’m told.  Something about giving surfacer ponies ‘flying lessons’." (single-quotes, apostrophes are okay)
"Of course," Rampage muttered.  “Why are we saving these assholes from eating each other, again?”
"In any case, Blackjack, it wouldn’t matter what you used to get up there.  Your cyberpony body itself counts as a power source."
"So just unplug me?"
"Blackjack, we can't just deactivate you!  Those systems control your heartbeat and respiration." (apostrophe, too)
"Okay..." I said slowly as I thought it out
"So... what if you
. . .
Would that work?"
"It... might?" she finished
"But you don't have to do this, Blackjack!  Thunderhead's problems aren't yours, and you already have enough problems that are." (apostrophes, too)
"Right.  Between Dawn and that striped motherfucker, I'd say your plate is pretty full," (apostrophe, too)
"No," I replied, glaring up at the
"Maybe Twister will reach help in time.
weapon on the Wasteland."
"But what if Lighthooves is right and the Neighvarro back down?"
"Then Thunderhead wins
Thunderhead."  I put a hoof across Glory's shoulders and asked, "Do you think they'll fold like that?"
"Lighthooves is betting that the (apostrophe, too)
"But I saw High General Harbinger in a meeting, and he was ready, actually eager, to attack even with the possibility of the bioweapon."
"Did that bullet knock some extra smarts into your brain, Blackjack?"
"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?" (apostrophe, too)
"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."
"And if she can’t or won’t?"
"We bust into Shadowbolt Tower and destroy the plague ourselves,"
"We give them Lighthooves as
attack anyway, we stop them."  
"Only you could say something like that with utter sincerity and still have it actually sound possible."
"Oh, I don't know.  I'm (apostrophes, too)
a run for their money."  

nondirectional quotation marks


I’m pretty sure she--“ the pegasus began

inverted quotation mark


no idea how we'd accomplish such
I put a hoof across Glory's

nondirectinal apostrophes


58:
So much energy being expended to keep her self from being crushed by its force.

"herself"


Oh shi--“ screamed the second

inverted quotation mark


you’d realize what you’ve beco--“

inverted quotation mark


Time…  there just wasn’t enough of

should have only one space after ellipsis


I was hoping we could resche--“

inverted quotation mark


“I was supposed to be a fashionistia

"fashionista"


Already makin--“ the Goddess

inverted quotation mark


“Who is that?” they asked, half accusingly and half questionly.  

"questioningly"


I’d forgotten…”  The Goddess murmured

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


Don’t kill me!” He wailed as his wing

"he" shouldn't be capitalized, or there should be a second space after quotation


Pressing my back against them, laying flat, I counted.

"lying"


Xenith escaped on the griffinchaser, but with the radiation levels

"griffinchaser" should be capitalized


Powerhooves discharged in unison, blowing away most of the hellhound’s cranium and chest cavity.

"Power hooves"


and then smashed a powerhoof upside its head

"power hoof"


Can’t stand em!  

apostrophe for "em"


Rampage sighed.  “Okay.  Okay.  I’ll get pedalling.”
I frowned after her and looked at Glory.  “Pedalling?”

"pedaling"/"Pedaling"


59:
“They thrashed the pedal system,” Scotch tape complained as I set the bag down on the deck.

"tape" should be capitalized


Killing someone in self defense is one thing,

"self-defense"


Rampage could listen in as she pedalled below.

"pedaled"


Lancer said quite matter of factly.  

"matter-of-factly"


He continued, “The Last Caesar was elected admist great controversy

"amidst"


“No no,” Glory replied, matter of factly.

"matter-of-factly"


“Stop pedalling!” I said briskly down into the guts of the ship.

"pedaling"


stop poking m--“ Glory said as we broke

inverted quotation mark


I carefully carried her upon my back and a dufflebag of Dusk’s belonging in my jaws.

"duffel bag" (16 vs. 3 "dufflebag")


even quicker pace than when Rampage had been pedalling!

"pedaling"


“We just wanted to say sorry bout the shots at yer friend,”

apostrophe for "bout"


“Take care o yerselves,”

apostrophe for "o"


63:
Scotch tape looked at him.  “And you?”

"tape" should be capitalized


We must-- I must--“

inverted quotation mark


“Did I fucking tell you those super heated power hooves would fucking do it?

"superheated"


?!  I heard a beep!  I--“  

inverted quotation mark


This rain... this neverending storm... it is not right.

"never-ending"


in the ballpark of eight hundred million lightyears away.

"light-years"


and observation and--“

inverted quotation mark


other things…  and when I heard that note

extra space after ellipsis


67:
From 52 (Dawn speaking):
“Still… Hoofington?” I muttered weakly, just not seeing it.
“No.  Lunaria.  The capital of Princess Luna.”  My shock and confusion had to be showing.  “History gave her the far less flattering title of Nightmare Moon.”

Now:
Her own city, her Canterlot.  But Celestia refused, and it drove Luna to darkness.  Imbrium was never to be.  

Don't know if two different names for it is how it's supposed to be.


Whisper cooed, stroking his cheek with a powerhoof.

"power hoof"


A desk and a terminal sat in the middle of the room, facing me, with with a beam turret in each corner.

repeated "with"


Goldenblood asked, then repeated himself in zebra,

"zebra" should be capitalized


They’re not curses!  They’re--“

inverted quotation mark


Fluttershy just cries.  Rarity…”  she shook her head.

"she" should be capitalized


“That’s why the M.A.S. facility was set up in Splendid valley.

"valley" should be capitalized


Talk to Greasy Rag in the O.I.A. motorpool.

"motor pool"


Goldenblood had a whole lot of shes complicating his life

italicize "she" or "shes"?


Have all the fucking mint-als!”

"mint" should be capitalized


an all consuming green glow filled his entire world.  
"all-consuming"


I never feel sick.“  

inverted quotation mark


He passed a few ponies in emergency hazmat equipment, but the concentrated pink gas had liquified them as well.

"liquefied"
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:24 am

@Icy Shake:
Ah, thank you very much as always.

…Oh dear, that is a lot in the other chapters section. Laggy times ahead…

Icy Shake wrote:inverted quotation mark, should have second space after quotation
Negative on the second bit, I think; sorry.

Icy Shake wrote:“And get me on your back, damnit!” Please!
…That's not in 5. More lag!
…It's in 24?! Wow, what happened there?

Icy Shake wrote:Handing you over to Deus and Usury will calm a lot of air for me,” he replied matter of factly.
…Aaaaand that's not in 14. Looks like it's in 13.

Icy Shake wrote:(everything after this for the chapter is related to quotation mark and apostrophe formatting, so handle that how you will)
I think I'll pass on them, sorry. They're barely noticeable to me, and I have no idea what controls them. My correction strategy is just to retype them and hope that whatever thing is/isn't suppose to happen does/doesn't.

Icy Shake wrote:"never-ending"
Hm… It really seems significantly better to me without the hyphen; sorry.

Icy Shake wrote:Don't know if two different names for it is how it's supposed to be.
I've changed this one to "Lunaria" to match the other.

Icy Shake wrote:italicize "she" or "shes"?
I opted for inverted commas instead; sorry.

Whew! Took nearly an hour to get through those. On to the main chapter!

Icy Shake wrote:maybe drop the "quite happily"?
Why?

Icy Shake wrote:"Majesty", given it's his job I'd expect him to get it right
I'm hoping you meant that that's what "Royal Highness" ought to be changed to, as that's what I did. Your text was unclear, though, so please let me know if it ought to be "Royal Majesty".

Icy Shake wrote:In 69, we have "Sagittarius didn’t seem too happy either, though, what with the rain and all soaking his golden mane and goatee", so it should change either there or here (personally, I like the green-and-gold, which also goes with the occasional archer coloration of blond guy wearing green (Link, Green Arrow, sometimes Robin Hood), which I actually thought the latter case was a reference to)
Aye, a nice point; thanks.

Icy Shake wrote:Later, you have Crumpets as, in 64, "The crispy-brown-coated mare’s reflection in the window betrayed her smile" and in 70 as "Steel Ranger Crumpets. The buttery yellow brown mare with the freckles wore her armor casually" and "The yellow mare thumped Psalm’s chest."
…Urrrrrrgghhhh…
…Opening 64 and 70…
Yes, I know the scripts are unresponsive! I can see that! The warning boxes just provide even more things to slow down!
…And joy of joys, the bit in 64 isn't actually in 64! Closing 64, opening 63…
Right, I've made her toasty/crispy yellow-brown.

Incidentally, I just do not get the whole "buttery" thing. Thinking about butter just tends to make me mildly nauseous.

Icy Shake wrote:I just realized what this reminds me of, now that it's a thing: Trixie/Maud.
…I had not heard of this ship. It is oddly attractive. :D

Icy Shake wrote:Okay, so unless he only got to the Hoof very recently, that means that the pit fights predated Red Eye. Interesting.
Are you reading Wasteland Bouquet? That might be relevant. Alternatively, I suppose he could indeed have gotten here recently; there'd probably be quite a story in that.

And done, a bit more than two hours after starting! Whew!
Sorry for maybe sounding ungrateful at a few points; I do very much appreciate how much you put into this. It's just that it's a lot of work on my end, too (see the "a bit more than two hours" thing above), and sometimes frustrating. Thanks again!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Derpmind on Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:57 pm

I'm disappointed that for a shotgun that BJ is going to name, none of you made any Whiskey-related ideas. Something related to kicking or hangovers, maybe. Like "Morning After". (That's a terrible idea. Time for more!) Aftermath, Wasted, Fuck! Or... Consequences? Consequence. I actually really like that last one, though it's a bit long.

Anyways, I wouldn't put it to a vote, but for what it counts of the names suggested by others Victory, Guardian, Heartbreaker, and Boomstick are the only ones that feel right. And Perseverance doesn't even feel like a name you would use on any gun, let alone a shotgun.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Scienza on Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:11 pm

Derpmind wrote:I'm disappointed that for a shotgun that BJ is going to name, none of you made any Whiskey-related ideas. Something related to kicking or hangovers, maybe. Like "Morning After". (That's a terrible idea. Time for more!) Aftermath, Wasted, Fuck! Or... Consequences? Consequence. I actually really like that last one, though it's a bit long.
"I call this baby 140 Proof 'cause one shot from it'll make you wake up in hell with a headache."
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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