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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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Blackjack Cutie Mark and Stuff

Post by ILM126 on Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:11 am

Icy Shake wrote:
ILM126 wrote:Thanks for the confirmation  Dash clapping

@Ice Shake Thanks for the answer, I really liked what you said there. It's a straight to the point and yet still detailed response. ^^

Also, when Blackjack became a blank, does she still have a cutie mark? I wondered that when I saw this on deviantART.

So... does BJ have her Cutie Mark still? And this artwork is amazing ^^
You're welcome.

As for the cutie mark, nope. See, for instance:
Chapter 69 wrote:        “Another one of those damned impersonators!” yelled another.
       “You don’t even have her cutie mark!” guffawed a third.  “Get her off the stage!”
       “Now wait a minute,” I said, glad for the authority of the microphone, cutting off the hecklers.  “I am Blackjack, also the pony known as Security.  We are all here because this place... this horrible, dangerous place, is our home.  It’s a home that is under attack by enemies seeking to either control us or destroy us.”  The heckling died away as I took a deep breath.  If I stopped, I’d probably never get going again.

Ok, so now that's confirmed ^^

O. HindsNice picture, though.

Mhm ^^ Kkat literally started a fandom within a fandom! I wonder if that's possible?! And Somber also created another empire with his story, with his word length and genius writing! =D  Fluttershy
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by JadedPony on Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:22 pm

I've been re-reading the older chapters because there is so much I've forgotten like Nails saying he's sorry for what happened on the boat while she was in the happyhouse. I totally missed that the first time but it's good to see her having mercy on him pay off in the long run. 

There really is just so much intertwined stuff you have to reread to take it all in.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Silver136 on Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:30 pm

I've read PH four times now and still find things that I hadn't necessarily missed, but I'd forgotten. Or other things that seemed insignificant but in hindsight are absolute foreshadows. A testament to the incredible writing quality I think.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:44 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Nice picture, though.
True that. And as they say, don't look a gift horse on the ass.  Spike

ILM126 wrote:Kkat literally started a fandom within a fandom! I wonder if that's possible?! And Somber also created another empire with his story, with his word length and genius writing! =D  Fluttershy
Yeah, it's something that happens from time to time. Of course, it's the sort of thing that's not going to tend to be especially visible outside of the parent fandom, so I can't think of too many. But in FiM there's also the Conversion Bureau sub-fandom, Doctor Whooves, that sort of thing. Outside, you've got things like Superwholock or Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

Chapter Sixty Three Running Thoughts:
“I’ve got my eye on you.”

Great choice for the chapter quotation.


The halls of Stable 99 smelled different than I remembered: an antiseptic tang lurked in the corners, under the beds, and in the closets.

That one sentence does a couple things for me, even if some only in hindsight. It strongly suggests Blackjack is still alive, for one. Choosing to start with 99 both strengthens that and allows for a transition into the third person–dominated remainder of the chapter.
That said, it's easy to miss when it's all hung on one pronoun in one sentence. It's strange that the answer is right there, yet it still feels like a mystery for most of the chapter.


“Hard to believe that, a few months ago, all that was empty and we were contemplating leaving this place for good.

And a rough indication of the time jump.


“Blackjack’s been dead for a quarter of a year.

And more precise.


The speaker buzzed, and Fargazer’s voice said, in low tones, “Paladin Stronghoof?  She’s back.”

To the drydocks!


Planting a hoof on the desktop, he sprang over in a single leap and raced to the door with Crumpets close behind him.  The sight of a massive white unicorn in half a ton of articulated steel barreling ahead was enough to get everypony out of their way.

That and they're probably used to that kind of thing. It would not be outside the realm of possibility for simple natural selection to leave only those who can get out of his way still around him.

The one power-armored soldier who didn’t found himself scooped up, moved deftly aside, and set down in one elegant pirouette that didn’t even break Stronghoof’s stride.

Or not.


“It’s rained for nearly three months, non-stop,” Crumpets said with a sigh.  “I wish I knew why this ‘Lightbringer’ can’t give us a break,” she said as she looked up, rain pattering off her visor.

Well, probably less control with Shadowbolt Tower gone, possibly interference with normal MASEBS towers, natural Hoofington weather patterns in the absence of active control, and of course the fact that Hoofington needs to keep its unique setting characteristics to serve the atmosphere of the story.


Then the tangled brush parted, and the waterlogged alicorn stepped forward.  Her dark purple mane and tail, knotted and tangled by briars, hung about her neck and haunches like decaying rope.  Black rags clung to her thin frame as scared eyes stared at one of the ponies and then the other.  Her breathing was harsh and ragged as she looked back over her shoulder, as if expecting somepony to be there.  Through the sodden tatters that might have once been a dress, a candle could be seen upon her flank.

I like the description of her, and it paints a good picture of how she's been in the intervening time. Also, interesting that she kept the tatters of the dress.


“No!  No… I’m not her.  She was me, but I wasn’t her,” she stammered, rubbing her face with her drenched wings.  “I’m not supposed to be here.  I’m… I’m supposed to be in a bad place.  Because I did bad things.  But… but now I’m not.  I’m here.”

Psalm's never really been the best at looking at the bright side. And given who she is, it's fair that finding herself not in hell could be a little distressing.


“I…  No.  Please.  I want to see him… but I don’t deserve to see him… but I… I…”  She sat in the mud and bowed her head.  “He’ll think I’m her.  And I want to be her.  I can remember… remember everything!  Remember him dancing with her.  Remember her friends.  I… want what she had.  But I’m not her!”

Reminds me a bit of Caprice, and how she was enjoying being someone else. Of course, this is one of those cases where there's not much of a substantive external obstacle, given that she has the option of Blackjacking it and trying to be better, and more like Lacunae. But of course it's not that easy, due to her many and considerable internal problems.


“I... we... I...” she stammered, then bowed her head.

In addition to not being used to no longer being Lacunae, it sounds like she's still adjusting to not being part of Unity, and no longer having the Goddess in her head. Possibly. The "we" could also just refer to the three of them in the forest, her, Crumpets, and Farsight/gazer, I guess.


“Dead?”  She pressed her wings to her temples and shook her head rapidly.  “No no no.  She… I… we… if she’d been there, then we wouldn’t have let her die.  She… I…”

She sounds a lot like Blackjack here, which makes sense given Psalm/Lacunae is probably the one I think has the most in common with Blackjack's self-recriminating side.


“No.  I mean, I don’t believe she’s dead,” Psalm said, her voice now returning to calm.  “We need her… just like Princess Luna.”

Well . . . it beats pure denial, I suppose.


“I wouldn’t have done it.  I would have slapped a bomb collar on any pony that objected and made them work, complaining or not.  I would have hired more foreponies and guards.”  [Splendid] shook his head.  “I wonder if that’s why Security chose you [Grace] rather than me.”

You wonder? Come on, have some more confidence in your really, really easy deductions.


The Grace/Splendid segment seems a little weaker, much more directly an exposition dump without much else going on. Sure, there's him getting along with Grace despite the hurt pride of not being the one chosen, but even Glory's rejection is just a report.


With a grin, all four hooves began to thrash at the dragon’s crotch, each hit punctuated by a blast of fire from his hooves.  A few second later, he slowed, the dragon gazing down at the scarred stallion with a scornful curl of his lips.  “Dude.  They’re internal, and you’re not my type.”  
“Oh, shit,” Candlewick muttered.  Huh.  That usually worked...

Being aware that that's still Blackjack narrating . . . the commentary gets a lot funnier.


You know, it's interesting that they changed the format of the fight so that at least Candlewick had his weapons and equipment to start. I guess since it was tryouts rather than exhibition/conflict resolution?


As [Razzle Dazzle] healed [Candlewick], he suddenly grinned.  “Don’t heal ‘em all the way.  Chicks dig scars.”
She flushed and turned away.  “We do not.  Otherwise, he’d get all the mares,” she said with a smirk as she glanced at the other scarred ponies approaching.
“Toaster does get all the mares.  Most of ‘em, anyway,” Candlewick replied.

While that may or may not be true in general, if the one mare who you're actually interested in says in general they aren't, just take her at her word rather than saying something like that.


“Did I fucking tell you those superheated power hooves would fucking do it?  Did I fucking tell you or what, little bro?”

Umm . . . they didn't do all that much. Given the reaction, he'd have got just as far in antagonizing the dragon with bare hooves, though being able to overload the one in the dragon's mouth did assist.


“Oh yeah.  He’s a charmer,” Dazzle replied dryly before trotting away.
“Damn it, Toast!” Candlewick protested.
The large orange stallion snorted and rolled his eyes.  “She’s a pretty face, Wick.  They ain’t interested in burned things.  Everypony knows that.”

Well, misogyny and emotionally belittling the people around you as a way of reinforcing dependency is one way to set yourself up as someone the readers hate.


“Bebop!  Rocksteady!  Fortify that bit there and that one there!” she ordered, pointing imperiously at where the wall sagged and threatened to collapse.
   “We’re Steel Rangers, not Steel Ditchdiggers!”

I'm not sure if those are the right kind of silly name for Steel Rangers. On the other hand, as a descriptive matter, work better for them than most.


Children still outnumbered grownups by almost three-to-one, though, many of them coming from outside the Hoof, lured by stories of a safe place where there was plenty of candy and Sparkle-Cola.

Quite a way to market to children. I'm still not sure it'd be better than most places not in Hoofington, but I guess the open door policy for (orphan) children is a pretty important factor.


“Then what are you going to do about the deadmare-switched landmine I put under the pillow you’re sitting on, Razorblade?”  The filly’s eyes popped wide.  “It should be active now.”
   “I… you… you’re bluffing!” the filly spluttered as P-21 smiled.  “You’re insane!  What kind of teacher are you?”
   “One who put a landmine under your butt,” P-21 replied casually.

The most important kind of teacher. And still nicer than the Wasteland itself: he at least let you know about the mine. Yeah, there's the beeping, but if it's buried, or loud around you . . .


I like the bit with the Med-X. Kind of shows where P-21 hasn't changed, where Scotch has by taking charge and fixing the problem, and their relationship.


“You don’t want me to go,” Scotch Tape said with a sigh.
   “You know I don’t.  A little part of me is terrified at the thought of you… dying…”  He faced away from her.  “But you’ve earned the right to decide for yourself what you’re going to do.  I’ll do my best to look out for you, and I know you’ll do your best to look after me.”
   She rushed up to him and gave him a tight hug around his neck.  “Thank you, Daddy.”

Bet that's not easy for him, and that it doesn't help he's only just been her father for about half a year. But he trusts her, and that means a lot. Granted, you've got to figure that he of all people wouldn't be one to tell her what she could and couldn't do on that level.



Once, this had been a place inhabited by ponies.  If not of them, then at least for them.  The playgrounds of schools in the towers, the still galleries of art, the solemn libraries... all for the people who were to live here.  And for a time, it had been good.  For a time.  But the foundation was unsound, the roots rotten.  Nothing founded on a lie can last forever.

This kind of strikes me as an emotional inversion of "All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter," especially the lines "The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."


“I believe I was the one who told you so, ma’am,” Twister said as she sat down opposite the general.  The tipsy mare leaned forward and pushed the bottle towards her.  Lifting it with her hoof, Twister took a drink of something that could only loosely be called ‘wine’.  “That stuff is awful.”
   “All our stuff is awful.  Haven’t you read the Lightbringer’s story?” she asked as she swirled the glass with one hoof while the other lifted a thick printout.  Her wing put glasses on as she stared down at the paper.  “We are, and I’m paraphrasing here, the soulless monsters that attack helpless surfacer settlements and disintegrate little foals that she collects in soda bottles while destroying ancient cities of Equestria’s roots, all the while conspiring with giant blue alicorn goddesses that want to assimilate all of ponykind.  Not only that, but we are the fartwinds that for the last two centuries have made the surface a mess, but rather than letting us make up for our mistakes, she is going to do it for us.  Because we, apparently, can’t be trusted to do so.”  She tossed the papers aside.  “And THAT is how history is going to remember the Grand Pegasus Enclave.  Because that is what the victors have written.”

Yeah, it can be kind of easy to diminish the members of the Enclave who refused, or even actively mutinied against the war criminals, to say nothing of the civilians who didn't really do anything wrong. But it's true, that's what happens. Doesn't help that there's the distinction between the GPE and the pegasi generally, which of course can certainly be used to directly hit the Enclave harder, while kind of implicitly letting that taint the rest.


“And with no flow control talismans, the ship will never fly,” Twister said grimly.
   She laughed bitterly.  “Oh, [Castellanus]’d fly.  Her reactor and main turbines are fine.  You just wouldn’t be able to slow down, and steering would be pretty minimal.  Perhaps for three minutes at top speed before the engines exploded.”

Sounds like just the thing to give to Rampage for ramming, since the crew of the Rampage wouldn't do it.


And playing Mare Do Well… well… there’s plenty of mares, stallions, zebras, and griffins doing well without a mask.  I’m thinking of just giving the suit to Monkey Wrench.  I’ve touched base with Spike… wasn’t that rough… and even said a few words with the Lightbringer.  We both agreed that the history books will say I died.  Why correct them?  So now… I dunno.”

Dash, I'm not sure going without a mask is really compatible with not correcting the history books, unless you plan on just disappearing somewhere.


Storm Chaser seemed to accept Rainbow pretty quickly. I guess maybe it was hard to see her as that great an enemy, when so many were more prominent and Dash had tried to do things so differently. The point about taking out the three cruise missiles probably helped. And, of course, Rainbow's more moderate stance on the Enclave than Littlepip's.


I like Adama so far. And Sekashi seems to have some moves, even if they've never really had a chance to be used before now.


“I want to go home.  I want to take care of the children.  There is far too much lightning to fly safely.  Master Vanity told me to take care of the children,” she rasped in a daze.

Hi, Harpica!

The tiny zebra sprang across the ground and landed on the wagon.  “You’re taking care of me, miss Harpica,” she piped, patting the ghoul’s drenched mane.
   The ghoul gave a shaky smile.  “Yes.  I am.  We should go home before you catch your death of cold.”

Also, good on Majina for knowing how to take care of Harpica.


Majina nodded, but then frowned at her mother.  “But what about your story, Mamma?”  Her lips exaggerated each word.
“Patience, love.  There is a time to tell stories, and there is a time to live them,” Sekashi replied.

Man, that's a great line. Up there with "even the dead were silent."


Accompanied by Moonshadow pushing Sky Striker in a wheelchair, Doctor Morningstar had taken steps to reduce her hotness with thick glasses, a lab coat, and messy tousled mane.  It did absolutely nothing to detract from her hotness.

Okay, that was pretty funny.


“I’m sorry, my dear, but when I said it’d be wonderful to be as sexy as I am smart, I never anticipated how distracting it would be.  Why, I was lucky to even make it out of the bathroom!” the doctor said in injured tones.

I wonder how galling it was to Glory that Morningstar now has a physical reminder that she's as smart as she thought she was.


“I… I can hear it!”  Vivid green boils of magic bubbled along Triage’s horn, exploding in bursts of green and purple.  

Making use of the effect from Sombra's dark magic? Or maybe not. That had a lot of black going on.


“I don’t think the Killing Joke realized just how much you’d enjoy it,” Glory growled before looking at Triage and holding up the silver orb.

Yeah, I'm thinking she didn't like that at all.


He pressed his lips together a moment in a scowl before asking, “Why did you tell me spark grenades don’t work on cyberponies?”

I get why she'd tell him that. But I've kind of wondered why nobody ever seemed to try it on Deus, as far as I can remember. Not just out of the Blackjack crew, but generally.


“Who are you to question a Goddess?” Dawn demanded.
“It’s always fun to question the psychology of a supposed higher power,” [Steel Rain] chuckled.  “And in this case, it led me to three disturbing possibilities.  First, that your ‘Goddess’,” he said, twitching his forehooves in the air, “is completely insane and irrational.  That would explain a lot.”

I'm not sure we need to look behind doors two and three. Okay, maybe "completely" is overselling the point, and she's I guess fairly rational if you start from her insane premises, but it covers a whole lot.


“There’s possibility number two: that Cognitum is incompetent.  

Okay, you do make a good argument for an alternative.


“Because that brings us to option three.  One that explains how your Goddess has made an absolute mockery of things with conflicting orders, mission creep, and boneheaded decisions.”  He paused as he stared into her robotic restraints.  “It’s not Cognitum giving all the orders, is it?  It’s you.”

Note that that can be read as both saying that she's in conflict with other goals and the resources controlled by Cognitum, and that Dawn is herself insane, irrational, and incompetent. We might just have a winner: all three of them!


“Do you think that you’re the first officer to ‘creatively interpret’ a superior’s orders?  It happens all the time.  Happened during the war.  Happens now.”

See, for instance, Storm Chaser. Also, look where that got her.


“You have betrayed me,” a mare said calmly in the blinding glare of the Ultra-Sentinel’s lamps.

Nice way of keeping her hidden a little longer, yet still confirming independent existence, size, etc.
Chapter Sixty Three Overall Thoughts:
Because of the fragmentary nature of this chapter—the first of the three planned Perceptitron chapters, of which two (this and 72) have been published at the time of writing—it's a little harder to get a read on.

One thing to say is that the first sentence kind of gives the answer to the major question hanging over the rest of the chapter—is Blackjack alive? Well, blink and you'll miss it, but that sentence indicates she's still alive, and the one experiencing these things. (I guess it could be some other survivor of 99, but later on P-21 and Scotch are ruled out, and the comment doesn't make sense unless coming from someone who had left.) The light touch, with narration both in character scene segments and in the transitions eschewing "I" and "me," and only rarely going into Blackjacky commentary, which was stuff which could have reasonably passed for an objective narrator anyway, especially in the format of something like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (saying that attacks to the genitals usually worked, or that the things Dr. Morningstar had done to look less hot hadn't helped at all, for instance). That's very much not how 72 was done, with it being very pointedly Blackjack narrating, thinking, commenting, and all that. Of course in that case, it was just filling time and keeping us appraised of goings-on in the Hoof, rather than focused on whether Blackjack was still around, and how the people she knew were dealing with her disappearance.

Also, the transitions between the Perceptitron sections were all glimpses of the Core as it currently is. They kind of reminded me of Cold in Gardez's "Lost Cities," but with less explicit history and of course confined to only one city. Both in these and some other respects, Somber was indulging his appetite for scenery, and to a lesser extent, character, description. Maybe a little much coming right off the last few pages of chapter 62, but it helped ground things when we're kind of unteathered from the narrative style to date.

We start with a view of 99 through Crumpets, and spend some time with Stronghoof and Farsight/gazer. Basically, things are going better there than anyone expected when Blackjack blew up Shadowbolt Tower. Crumpets and Stronghoof hear from the Overmare that "she" is back. "She" is Psalm, and Stronghoof is very excited, but in the end convinced not to go to her so that she won't run again. So it's on Crumpets and Farsight/gazer. Now, one of the few big things going on in this segment is deepening Farsight/gazer's character. She's stoic, wants what's best for her people, values freedom. She thinks that her blindness gives her some insight she wouldn't have otherwise. And she's considerably more diplomatic than Crumpets, or at least towards Psalm. This actually has an extra dimension now that she's straight and pretty into Stronghoof (or at least no longer just gay), where before, that wasn't a factor. Psalm is highly conflicted right now, because she's not Lacunae anymore. It doesn't help that she wishes she were: if she were Lacunae, if she were there with Blackjack at the tower, she figures she could have saved Blackjack from dying or falling to the Core; Stronghoof is in love/is infatuated with Lacunae, not her; she's supposed to be dead, in hell, not alive. On top of that, she still seems used to having the Goddess in her head, probably more so than some other alicorns who had been fully immersed in Unity all along simply because it seems she's been on her own these last several months instead of with other alicorns/people generally, working on how to go forward. In the end, she's taken back to 99, where Crumpets will explain to Stronghoof how Psalm isn't Lacunae, since she isn't up to seeing him. So, a big part of this segment: continued shipbait!

Next is probably the weakest segment, between Splendid and Charm. Even where all the segments have parts that are expositiony, this is the most pronounced. At least half is talking business, and I just wasn't feeling much passion about anything in the interaction. Even where Splendid was talking about how Glory was the one who got away, or the two about Charm, it was just . . . kind of lifeless. I'm not even sure there was really any particularly important plot information included; their profitability, relations with the former Enclave, and so forth could probably have just been left in the background. If any segment were to be cut, I'd say this would be the choice, easily.

It's followed up by a scene at the Arena via Candlewick, and basically starts with a fight between him and an adolescent dragon to decide which will join the Reapers. Given his disadvantages against a fireproof dragon, this was a pretty intense battle. Then we have DazzleWick shipbait, which was enjoyable as they have some good chemistry, but West Side Story–style (fine, R&J) politics kind of keeping them apart. Now, the cause of that is Candlewick's "bro," Toaster, who is the leader of the Burner Boys. At this point, he's just easy to hate, and right off the bat. He doesn't come off as particularly smart or practical, and when it's pointed out that his ideas can be kind of stupid, he just brushes it off, and making up stuff about how he ended up not in the Reapers. But the real issue is his misogyny and/or xenophobia, pushing fairly hard to always put the Burner Boys first, even to the point of just not caring about others (notably Dazzle). It goes along with his negging of Candlewick, saying that he (Candlewick) knows that "pretty faces" "ain't interested in burned things." He comes off as a domestic abuser, working to keep his family/gang members dependent on him, isolated, and in their place. For all that, though, we see that besides the DazzleWick flame still burning, the Burner Boys–Flash Fillies–Halfhearts–Highlanders bond between the guys Blackjack had met up with and traveled a bit with (plus Storm Front from the Best Night Ever taking the place of Busted Heart, and introduced in "The Best Night Ever") is still there, and they are more interested in working together. Of course, they may not have a choice.

On to Chapel, with Scotch Tape and P-21. Scotch is the town's civil engineer, and handling things well, seeming to have grown into the authority granted her by competence and the place's need. P-21 is a teacher, and I'd say a good one for the Wasteland. P-21 is shown to still kind of freeze up around Med-X, but Scotch handles it without missing a beat or directing any negative feeling at him at all, which is notable given how he kind of jeopardized her recovery in order to get his fix way back when. But they're getting along well, and it's nice to see something just plain good. They discuss what to do if Glory finds a way into the Core to look for Blackjack; P-21 say's he'll go if Glory lets him, and Scotch wants to as well. He doesn't want her to go, but will let her make her own decision. It's what I'd hope to see in any case, but with him works as a particular synthesis of his growing to be able to love and care for Scotch with how for him, more than anyone else, the freedom to choose your own path is sacrosanct.

Now we have Storm Chaser, Twister, and later Rainbow Dash talking aboard the hulk of the Raptor Castellanus. Honestly, it's very much the Storm Chaser and Dash show, with Twister mostly a sounding board for the old general until Dash arrived, and even then Storm Chaser kind of holds the most attention. But she's the one who's handling the new situation the worst. Twister's going with the flow and integrating, Rainbow is figuring out what she's going to do. Storm Chaser is bitter. She's needed, out of integrity, to abandon Castellanus, the ship she'd been on during the Thunderhead arc and the one captained by Racewind, whom she'd had strong feelings for but stayed professional with at his insistence (she was speculating a bit about what could have been if they'd been different people, or it'd been another world). But beyond that, the Enclave is fucked, with Neighvarro defeated, Thunderhead gone (though it sounds like the structure itself could in time be repaired), a bunch of the smaller and more marginal settlements being abandoned, and the last Thunderhead-class warship departing to parts unknown. Oh, and they're painted as monsters by the Lightbringer, which is in some respects fair, but lacks the nuance that there were a lot of good men and women who hadn't gone along with their war crimes, refusing to follow orders, fighting against those who were the real problem, sometimes facing the firing squad rather than consenting to be a part. And all that was barely mentioned. So, she has it rough. In a lot of ways, she was like Glory, wanting to reform the Enclave from within. Sure, maybe she didn't want to help the surface, but she wanted to make the most of the good in it rather than see it overthrown. Even Rainbow wasn't really happy with how things ended up happening; yeah, she wanted the Enclave toppled, but her vision of that process didn't involve the deaths of thousands of innocent pegasi. The scene ends with a toast to the future, past, and present (roughly paraphrasing/interpreting), courtesy of Twister, Storm Chaser, and Rainbow Dash, respectively. (Also in this section, Rainbow revealed that Hoofington couldn't possibly have been built on the timescale it was. It would have taken too much time, too many materials, too much manpower. It just couldn't have been done, and no amount of auditing mistakes could cover that. Shadowbolt Tower should have taken over twenty years to build, not under five, and where given how fast all the buildings rose people assumed they were hollow, they were all fully-equipped. It wasn't uncommon for people to leave and return to work the next day to find that their work had been completed in their absence, without a shift between. This is matched in one of the transitions with a description of some sort of building and repair happening in the Core even now.)

A scene with mainly a bunch of the zebra cast: Lancer, Sekashi, Majina. Lancer's old romance, Adama, is introduced. She's overseeing some prisoners/slaves from Glyphmark, whom the others are freeing. She's at first not happy about seeing Lancer, but never tries to kill him or raise the alarm. He wins her over given time and the chance to needle the concerns she'd already harbored about the Legate, the Brood, and so forth. She ends up defecting, and along the way we got to see Sekashi demonstrating her hand-to-hand and Majina's skill with a blow-gun (Mr. Sleepytime, which inspired a Meleagridis story here) and being cute generally. Not too much here that we didn't already know plot-wise, but a nice scene showcasing Lancer's continuing redemption and some of the nicer, more fun side charaters (including one of my favorites, Harpica).

Easily the longest and densest piece is at the Collegiate with Triage, Morningstar, Glory, Sky Striker, and Moonshadow. Character-wise, there are a couple bigger things. Glory won't give up on Blackjack until she's been to the Core and can't find sign of her; she still really cares. We get some background on Triage, which while interesting probably won't amount to much (she got pregnant, the father immediately left, and she ended up miscarrying). Morningstar is played for comedy hard, being full of (now) herself physically and mentally, yet still a real source of frustration for Glory because for all that she's insufferable and distractible, she's actually about as good as she thinks she is and thus too valuable for Glory to just violently vent her frustrations on. But the most notable part here is actually the plot/setting/backstory. It's all dealing with Enervation and starmetal. It's determined that Sky Striker has millions of tiny Enervation rings in his blood, deposited there in his fight with Dawn, and that's why he's a walking Enervation source and can't recover. Then there's the stuff about the magical spectrum associated with Enervation, which turns out to be pretty complex, somewhat surprising me given how starmetal reacts to only one very precise frequency and cancels all others out, Discord talks about not being dumb enough to use that tone, and the Eater's always described as giving off a monotone note. But that could just be a matter of different levels of abstraction at different times. So, we also hear that there's an Enervation signal coming from space, 800 million light-years away, and thus, the event causing it happening about 880 million years ago since magic travels ~10% slower than light. Also, there's speculation that now that they know Enervation's magical signature, they could cast the counterspell; and, as it turns out, Moonshadow believes she's seen that spectrum as well (it's from moonstone).

Lastly for the Perceptitron scenes, we have the Core, with Steel Rain and Dawn. He's pulling a Blackjack, goading her into spilling stuff while he's transmitting to Cognitum. Long story short, the reason Dawn and the Harbingers have been such crap at actually accomplishing anything against Blackjack is that they are working at cross purposes. Cognitum is really interested in Blackjack, and wants to choose her for some role in her plans; Dawn is jealous, and wants to stop Blackjack herself so that she'll be the chosen one. Thus there's been a lot of confusion and seemingly terrible decisions made. Dawn ends up wounding Steel Rain, but Cognitum shows up and nails Dawn to the wall, thinking about how she might see if she can still be "redeemed." Steel Rain will be rewarded, too, for his role in exposing this, starting with being healed from the wounds he'd sustained and not being augmented.

We end with a really short scene showing Blackjack and Boo still alive, and then Rampage arriving.
Chapter Sixty Three Editing:
The speaker buzzed, and Fargazer’s voice said, in low tones,
At the gate, surrounded by a rain-shield bubble, stood Fargazer with two other Steel Rangers
Every step Fargazer took, her PipBuck let out a click.
For a moment, Fargazer stopped, then said quietly,
you’ll find it quite tolerable,” Fargazer replied.
“It’s her, isn’t it?” Fargazer murmured softly.
the Steel Rangers didn’t mean to startle you,” Fargazer said in her calm voice
“That’s a nice name, Psalm,” Fargazer replied in that
Fargazer said solemnly, “I’m sorry, but she’s dead
PipBuck tag.  I’m afraid that she’s gone,” Fargazer replied.  “
Crumpets returned up the muddy hill as Fargazer and Psalm followed behind.

in chapters 62.2 (5 cases) and 71 (1), her name is "Farsight," where in this chapter, it's "Fargazer."


In less than a minute he was up the tunnel and outside in the constant Hoofington drizzle. . . . At the gate was another covered area for traders and their brahmin to get out of the downpour. . . . “That was quick,” she said as her blank eyes stared out into the deluge.

"drizzle" should be upgraded to something reflecting the amount of rain the later descriptions suggest


Together, they walked out into the soggy, dead forest, following the trail Deus had once torn in his pursuit of Blackjack.

Right there, Blackjack is thinking in the third person, which really isn't something she tends to do. A way to avoid that while still not using something like "me" could be to say "pursuit of EC-1101"


Then the tangled brush parted, and the waterlogged alicorn stepped forward

make second "the" an "a," since it's her introduction for the chapter, and so far in dialog she'd just been "she"?


Stronghoof would like to--“

inverted quotation mark


Their lobbies held pamphlets depicting balefire bombs bouncing off shields as if they were rubber balls and boasted of security measures to screen out dangerous infiltrators

"boasted" should be "boasting" (I'm assuming the subject for that is the pamphlets, not the lobbies themselves) to match "depicting"


One of the other scarred raiders trotted up and patted Candlewick on the back.

should that be "gangers"?


“If you say so,” he said leaning in and giving her a little nuzzle before

comma after "said"?



She smiled, “Anyway, with the

comma after smiled should be period, or speaking verb needed.


The curving streets only lead inward, and even the most concerted effort

"led" not "lead"


“You’re taking care of me, miss Harpica,”

"miss" should be capitalized


them to hunt sharks and--”  she glanced back to the now empty end of the staff, “squid?”

suggest having only one space after the first quotation, and possibly a dash at the start of the second. If treating the end of the first quotation as fully terminal, "she" should be capitalized, and leading into the second could maybe use a speaking verb


Shelf after shelf of book and magazine, never to be read.

books and magazines?


From the magical radiation to be hitting us now, it must have been something pretty spectacular.”

delete the "to"


find the answer with this.” the doctor said from the

quotation should end with comma, not period


“’Your Goddess’?  You speak about

inverted opening single quotation mark


“For what?” now Steel Rain stopped smiling.

should have second space after quotation and capitalize "now"


She shook her head forcefully, making the restraints creek

"creak" not "creek"
Other Editing:
21:
Daisy stared at me in horror as mother asked slowly

"mother" should be capitalized


38:
Look,  I know you can’t access any

two spaces after comma


look and added, defensively,  “I know that Scalpel mentioned

two spaces after comma


because of something in his head--“  But I whirled on her

inverted quotation mark


Luna could never--“ Twilight began, but was

inverted quotation mark


Flux recombobulator matrix, which--“

inverted quotation mark


ramming that gatling beam gun right up he--“

inverted quotation mark


Makes it a mite tricky fer a bot to get his job done,”  Wait, I might not

quotation should end with period


It was worse than Rampage; it was like fighing Gemini again.

"fighting"


ripping out my neck and taking the the vital plumbing to

repeated "the"


I looked at the map, then tapped the the circle marked

repeated "the"


“Perhaps… but that depends,”  he said as he walked to a terminal

should have only one space after quotation


Twilight murmured in faint curiousity.

"curiosity"


Lets find it, finish jerky pony off, and go.”

"Let's"


They were moments where my actions had lead to complete failure and terrible consequences for others.

"led" not "lead"


A narrow catwalk just wide enough for one pony lead gradually uphill

"led" not "lead"


We  trotted up to the ring, and he collected

extra space between "We" and "trotted"


39:
minotaurs…   Oh, I know you all look so

three spaces after ellipsis


I am going to--“ she began,

inverted quotation mark


Oh shi--“ was as far as I got before we

inverted quotation mark


you look a lot better than I--“ I said as I stepped

inverted quotation mark


Yes, what is it Black--“  But her mane wasn’t black

inverted quotation mark


The pair are natural obfuscationists, entrepreneurial in the extreme, and unscrupulous but cowardly.

"obfuscators"?


I see.“

inverted quotation mark


The clicking-clanking hoofsteps of Protectaponies, the rolling treads of sentries, the levitation talismans of Mr. Handys...

"of Mr. Handy's"


I frowned at that throught, remembering Goldenblood threatening

"thought"


she ran in, her hide marred and powerhooves blackened.

"power hooves"


mechanical wind up toys and inhale the cloud

"wind-up"?


rows of conveyors as a trio of Protectaponys spraying crimson beams around me.

"Protectaponies"


pounds of asprin, and a few days to rest and recover at this point

"aspirin"


gaining power all the time, and the potential for his magic was mindboggling.

"mind-boggling"


40:
“Scotch… is she…?   She’s alright

three spaces after question mark


will have to do.  I--“

inverted quotation mark


And so he did.  “With bo--“

inverted quotation mark


would take to stop yo--“

inverted quotation mark


“Damnit… do you want to know why I keep going?

"Damn it" or "Dammit"


Ahah!  Now I knew where Boo had picked it

"Aha"


I knew the chems and his own self loathing were keeping him there.  

"self-loathing"


“Once the Tokomare is working, Equestria won’t need coal any more.”  

"anymore"


“Damnit, Glory, there must be something I can do!

"Damn it" or "Dammit"


41:
She pulled off the respirator,  “Who are you and what

comma should be period


LittlePip is th--“  And then her lips

inverted quotation mark


“Woah woah woah!  What’s going on?”

"Whoa whoa whoa"


“Woah,” Rampage gasped.

"Whoa"


“And she drew a bulls-eye beneath it,” added P-21 dryly.

"bullseye"


but others are really well armed and looking for you.

"well-armed"


“I don’t whine,”  I muttered, flushing.

should have only one space after quotation


‘no self respecting king rules from a fridge’

"self-respecting"


been this tired since allnighters at school

"all-nighters"


Remember?  Great fun.  Lets do it again!”

"Let's"


“Like… no.  But I respect it and admire its craftmanship and capabilities,” she said as she pointed it up the hillside to the west, looking through the scope.

"craftsmanship" (mare?) (dialogue, but I figure Lacunae would get it right)


58:
The black dress ripped off her purple body; perhaps a sign she was returning to the guidance of unity?

"unity" should be capitalized


60:
But something had made that board creek.

"creak"

Thankfully, Glory’s snores covered the creek of my own hooffalls.

"creak"


72:
Like a black blob, the brood reacted with overwhelming force,
The brood were trying to get inside my stable, and...
Xanthe spun to look at two unicorn brood with silver blades
"brood" should be capitalized
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:52 am

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

Icy Shake wrote:"of Mr. Handy's"
Really? Huh.

Icy Shake wrote:in chapters 62.2 (5 cases) and 71 (1), her name is "Farsight," where in this chapter, it's "Fargazer."
Oops! Corrected to "Farsight". Thanks.

Icy Shake wrote:delete the "to"
That would make the clause "From the magical radiation be hitting us now", and I don't think that Moonshadow has a dialect in which that works. :)
I've removed the "be" as well.

Pity Meleagridis hasn't been in in a while.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:53 pm

Mr. Handys: Whoa, was that ever a false positive! I think I misread the context there.

And yeah, mistyped that the whole infinitive should have been cut on that last one.

I miss Meleagridis too.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 pm

Icy Shake wrote:Mr. Handys: Whoa, was that ever a false positive! I think I misread the context there.
Ah, I'll change it back, then.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:19 am

Sigh... have to go into the IRS soon.  My taxes are a mess.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Frost on Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:10 am

Fuck it, dude, do what I do and just let the Army take back your entire paycheck. Boom; taxes done.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:54 am

Sorry, Somber.

@Frost:
That reminds me of my Mandarin professor in undergrad telling us how, in the PRC, taxes were just taken out of their pay before it was given, and they never even knew how much it was.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Frost on Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:11 am

Oh, I get a Leave & Earnings Statement every month detailing exactly where my money is going--specifically, where besides my pocket my money is going. (+$300 allowance for sustenance, yay! -$350 for access to the DFAC, which is open at best 45% of the time, yay!)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:32 am

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

Post by Frost on Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:01 am

Eh; it's the same old shit--the inevitable result of miring every step of every process in layers of bureaucracy--especially when processes are regulated and automated for the sake of 'efficiency'--the Government at large, but especially the military, virtually runs on mid-to-low-level personnel from operations to administration being willing to (technically illegally) scam, sham, and corner-cut their way to solutions that actually manage to make things worth through the haze of bullshit.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:06 am

Huh. Also interesting. Thanks.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:09 am

Hurray! I'm too young to pay taxes XD
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Thoroar on Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:33 am

So when they were in Thunderhead and Dawn killed the councellor and said one of Blackjack's friends betrayed her, did we ever find out who or how?

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:01 am

Do you really think Rampage could be drugged like the rest of the household?

And I let them take an extra 10 dollars a check in taxes just to have a pad... with the understanding that I'll get it back.  Unfortunately, some one used my SSN last year when they filed their taxes to claim an exemption on the kid, and now suddenly I can't file my taxes or get a return.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by StoneSlinger88 on Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:24 am

Frost wrote:Oh, I get a Leave & Earnings Statement every month detailing exactly where my money is going--specifically, where besides my pocket my money is going. (+$300 allowance for sustenance, yay! -$350 for access to the DFAC, which is open at best 45% of the time, yay!)
"Here's 300 bucks for food, but since fuck you we're taking 350 for eating the food."
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Frost on Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:26 am

"Oh, hey, funny thing. We fucked up, and you, an E-3,  have been getting E-2 pay for three months. Don't worry, we'll have it sorted out before you make E-4. No, you don't get back-pay."

"Oh, hey, we fucked up. You wound up with an extra fifty bucks a few years ago. I know it's 0930 on your comp-day, but we're gonna need you to drop by S-3 (make sure you have a fresh shave) and get that back to them."
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by StoneSlinger88 on Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:33 am

"Hey, I know you got promoted to E3 a year ago, and even though there's a video of the promotion, we lost the paperwork so you're still an E2." --two weeks before a promotion (back?) to E3.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Frost on Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:16 am

"Hey, I know you're getting fucked with this [anything] going on, but I'll make it up to you." --every squad leader ever

Current "Make it up to you" points--12, after resetting at the beginning of the new year
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:15 am

Another artwork I found, I'm sure that's what Blackjack would do ^^
http://nemo2d.deviantart.com/art/Security-Mare-394881065


She did do that back in Stable 99, right? ^^"
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:27 am

Hee.  Except she's not allowed alcohol, and in 99 her being drunk would have been a big problem.  99 doesn't have much in the way of punishment and rehabilitation, so it doesn't take much for a mare to recieve capital punishment and some other lucky mare gets to have an extra kid.
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LOLs and LOEs

Post by ILM126 on Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:42 am

Somber wrote:Hee.  Except she's not allowed alcohol, and in 99 her being drunk would have been a big problem.  99 doesn't have much in the way of punishment and rehabilitation, so it doesn't take much for a mare to recieve capital punishment and some other lucky mare gets to have an extra kid.

Alright then. LOL. Also, anyone "trying" to play Legends of Equestria?
If anyone has a window laptop and wants to download the game client, I got a version on my site ^^ Hope this helps! https://treblesketch.net/downloads/

(I'm off to bed now, I just spend the past 2~4 hours Scootaloo  trying to get LOE to work... 12:11am 25/01 now, Zzzzzzz Applebloom )
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:51 pm

Somber, I hope you can get your tax problems sorted out with a minimum of pain and trouble.

Somber wrote:Hee.  Except she's not allowed alcohol, and in 99 her being drunk would have been a big problem.  99 doesn't have much in the way of punishment and rehabilitation, so it doesn't take much for a mare to recieve capital punishment and some other lucky mare gets to have an extra kid.
Well, there was at least flogging. But given that you could get that for sex in the showers while off shift, I guess I could see drinking on shift as requiring something harsher. But damn, it's like they were trying to speed the day the whole stable would be massively inbred.

Somber wrote:I also imagined red alicorns with flamer and fireball type spells, yellow alicorns who could do lightning, and orange alicorns who could manipulate time. Probably a good thing I didn't go there, huh?
Yeah, I see some problems there. Where they'd come from is one (though I suppose some uniquely powerful in magic and personality unicorns could have just recently been added to Unity or something, or maybe a second Unity with an initial trial from Red Eye), but past that, fire and lightning seem a little too ordinary to justify a alicorn classes. And adding time stuff seems both potentially too powerful and like something that, if done, would make a better focus of a smaller story than piece of PH. And at that point, why not just make it about the unicorn with the time powers, rather than incorporate it into Unity?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:27 pm

ILM126 wrote:
Somber wrote:Hee.  Except she's not allowed alcohol, and in 99 her being drunk would have been a big problem.  99 doesn't have much in the way of punishment and rehabilitation, so it doesn't take much for a mare to recieve capital punishment and some other lucky mare gets to have an extra kid.

Alright then. LOL. Also, anyone "trying" to play Legends of Equestria?
If anyone has a window laptop and wants to download the game client, I got a version on my site ^^ Hope this helps! https://treblesketch.net/downloads/

(I'm off to bed now, I just spend the past 2~4 hours Scootaloo  trying to get LOE to work... 12:11am 25/01 now, Zzzzzzz Applebloom )
The LoE servers were under a DDoS attack.  Quite annoying, given that last night was the only time this weekend I knew I'd be able to play.

Why do you have your own version of the client?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vergil on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:17 am

Okay, who is the Blackjack at magfest? I see you.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:22 pm

We've edited 72 to give the lunar facilities Equus-normal gravity.
Old Text:
At the bottom was yet another hatch.  I pushed it open carefully and trotted down the corridor beyond as silently as I was able.
New Text:
At the bottom was yet another hatch. I pushed it open and carefully poked my head through; on the other side was a corridor with, right in front of the door, a stretch painted with caution stripes. Signs warned of 'Caution: Weight Increase' and 'Caution: Weight Decrease' with arrows pointing in opposite directions, however that worked, but there was no sign of anything or anyone hostile. I crept out as silently as I was able and made my way down the hall, my weight indeed increasing back to what I was used to on Equus from one end of the caution-painted area to the other. Scotch and P-21 following me, though I had to look back to make sure the latter was there, I approached the lit doorway and the red bar at the hallway's end.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:32 pm

Sigh... sorry.  Unfortunately this weekend wasn't very productive at all.  I was hoping to get up to page 24 brushed and edited this weekend.  It didn't happen.  And with how little work we got done, I don't know if it will be up next weekend either.

Everything in life right now seems to be turning out as fail.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Vergil on Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:09 am

Sometimes things take time. Usually they turn out all the better for it!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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