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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:31 pm


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Welcome to the Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion Thread!
This is the place to discuss Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons, a Fallout/MLP:FiM crossover fic by Somber. Story discussion is on the left, group therapy to the right. Please try to schedule your emotional breakdowns when they don't conflict with anyone else's.

Rules
We have just a few simple rules here.

  1. Don't put down Somber.
  2. Project Horizons is a grimdark fic which deals with adult topics, so we might discuss subjects that some readers may find uncomfortable. Be mature about it.
  3. If Somber or a member of the editing team says to end a discussion, please do so.
  4. Spoilers abound. If you're not current on the fic, we recommend that you catch up before you read on.
  5. Expect random discussions that may or may not have anything to do with the story.
  6. Have fun!


People You Should Know
Somber: The author of Project Horizons, creator of Blackjack, maker of awesomeness, is a small gray mare who lives in the head of a guy named David. Ignore her claims of suckage.
Bronode, O. Hinds, swicked, and Heartshine: Your editing team. They make awesome writing look all shiny and pretty.
Snipehamster: Member of the editing team from Chapter 28 to Chapter 54. He made awesome writing look all shiny and pretty.
Kkat: The author of the original Fallout: Equestria. Not a participant in this discussion (yet), but you should be aware of her anyway. If you haven't read FOE, why are you even here? Go! Read!

Somber's Tip Jar
Thank-yous of the monetary variety may be made through PayPal. Simply click on Send Money, send it to  David13ushey@gmail.com and mark it as a personal gift.

Story Links
GoogleDocs chapter index - Links to every chapter, plus FOE and FOEPH resources, media, and story download formats.
.epub Format - Thanks to Scorch_Mechanic.
LaTeX ebook .pdf - Thanks to ThePowersGang.
Nallar's Fanfic Archive - An auto-updated collection of fics offered in a variety of formats including Kindle .mobi, .epub, and .html.


Last edited by Icy Shake on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:35 pm

Icy Shake wrote:Bronode, O. Hinds, swicked, and Heartshine: Your editing team, presented in alphabetical order.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:39 pm

swicked wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:Bronode, O. Hinds, swicked, and Heartshine: Your editing team, presented in alphabetical order.
I'll fix it. The first try was from an old template. The second one was, I thought, merged correctly with SilentCarto's most recent.

Also, I wasn't expecting 73 this weekend! Exciting!

Oh, so it did get to "Apogee," just jumped the gun on it being last chapter.

So, based on my roommate's audio right now, I just remembered that the Superbowl is on. Guess how much that's affecting my reading? Spike
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Borsuq on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:19 pm

Awesome chapter, as always (duh).

For a moment there, I was certain that it would end with Blackjack falling down into the Flux, so in the next chapter she would emerge as an alicorn, but a real one, not like the Goddess' ones. But that's totally not what happened!

Okay, now to the thing that currently matters to me the most. Glory. Apparently, she is alive, and getting treated. And I must say, at this point, it will be better for the story if she were to be alive. All this build-up from this and the previous chapter, it simply would look bad if it went nowhere. Alright, let me rephrase that: it would be better, if she wouldn't die anytime soon, not until Blackjack would get back from the moon. I suppose she could die in Blackjack forelegs, after saying finally goodbye or something (though I really, really, really, really, really, really really really don't want that!). Also, I would like to point out how masterfully this is being dragged on, the uncertaintly of Glory's fate. We (those who like her) have been devasteted by chapter 71, but it turns out she can still die. That would be painful.

So, Angel is gone, huh? So, this means that Blackjack can do soul magic? Or did she just get a boost from the moondust and moonstone to her mind magic? Since mind is what connects soul to a body, it could be... right? (Also, I have just now recalled that one Rampage's souls is called Angel "of Death"! I had created a new FoE story where main character is named Angel [self advertisment for the win! ;p], now I will have to be carefull if I ever plan to mention Rampage in there...).

So wait, Angel wanted to give the entire planet a hug?

Gentlemen, we need to find a way to add crazy Rampage to those internet memes...

Okay, I think that's all I wanted to cover for now I think... I will probably recall something tomorrow, but won't have energy to write...

Oh, one more thing! In the beginning, word "feet" was often used, like "I got on my feet" (well, I can remember twice that happening, so maybe not often...), instead of "hooves".
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Epsilon on Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:08 am

She just wants a hug!:

Seriously though, great chapter as always you guys. I get the feeling that Blackjack's going to be taking a swim in that lake of Flux before engaging Cognitum, though. That would certainly make for one hell of a final battle.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:36 am

Borsuq wrote:Oh, one more thing! In the beginning, word "feet" was often used, like "I got on my feet" (well, I can remember twice that happening, so maybe not often...), instead of "hooves".
Thank you. This has been brought up before, however, and it has been declared that "feet" is in such contexts valid.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:21 am

O. Hinds wrote:
Borsuq wrote:Oh, one more thing! In the beginning, word "feet" was often used, like "I got on my feet" (well, I can remember twice that happening, so maybe not often...), instead of "hooves".
Thank you.  This has been brought up before, however, and it has been declared that "feet" is in such contexts valid.
Similarly, it kind of gets me when people say "arms" is wrong for forelegs. Okay, only "forearm" for part of it is really, unambiguously correct, but come on, it's a logical extension. Isn't it? Tilt

Chapter Seventy Three Running Thoughts:
“Forget it, Twilight. I know what you're up to. The second I go in, you'll have your little minion Spike come and take Tom!
Tom?
Well, it's not going to work.”

Man, now I kind of want Spike to show up and save the day somehow, even though that wouldn't make a damn lick of sense.


But she’d been in pain, and had wanted to die, and I… I wanted my friend to live. I could have found a way to kill her if I’d really tried.

"Found" is probably over-selling the effort it would take. Pretty good odds all she needed to do was use the sword.


And so, she had betrayed me to my enemy for the promise of an end to her life only for it to be denied her yet again. This was a mare cursed with life.

Well, depending on the exact terms of the deal, which I'm not going to look up right now, Rampage might just not have completed her end yet.


“I mean, of course it’s ‘kill’. Couldn’t be to tie you up and toss you in a closet or delay you with a musical number. But let’s face it, when it comes to consistency, Cognitum’s got more than a few shorts in her processors, if you know what I mean.”

I don't know, seems pretty consistent with her general method to me. Or did Rampage mean she's too consistent?


“What? No banter? No comeback?” She looked at Scotch Tape and grinned, “Hey! You made it to the moon! Awesome. Is this cool or what?”

Somehow, I just don't think this is going to end with happiness or good-natured understanding quite that quickly and easily.


“What the fuck happened to you two? Did Blackjack botch some mind magic or something?” She surveyed the terminal. “And where’s Glory? Back in the rocket? I mean I know she’s not flying around out there,” she pointed to the window and the moonscape. “And Boo? She’s got to be somewhere around, right?”

It's sounding like, just maybe, Glory was one of the half-dozen or so ponies in the world (excepting kids generally, natch) who Rampage gave a flying fuck about. Can't exactly say that she's getting much sympathy from me if that's the case.


“Oh… damn… Blackjack, I’m so sorry!” And sadder still was the sincerity in her voice. I doubted that there were many ponies Rampage would talk about like that.

She makes the same inference as I do, but, naturally and as usual, Blackjack seems more understanding and empathetic than I feel right now.


Either she’ll use her überpowers to eradicate me, or she’ll get what she deserves and I’m no worse off.”
“Or you could help us,” I said.
Rampage chuckled, rolling her eyes. “She said you’d say that.”

Because that prediction is so hard to make.


“Okay, now you’re just being ‘pop my head like a bloatspite’ stupid, 'cause that's not true,” her annoyance focusing into anger. “That’s impossible.”

Ohmygod you went there.
:D


That’s why he stopped fighting for the Harbingers. That’s why he followed us around as long as he did. It was the only way he could be around you,” I said as I held my gaze. Some of that might have been guesswork, but it felt solid.

Incidentally, those scenes had some really nice use of alternative body language.


“I’m not Peppermint,” Rampage countered sharply. “I’m Rampage. A killing machine! That’s all I do! I’m a monster!”
“You’re Peppermint, a filly younger than Scotch Tape. Think about every time you’re disintegrated.

Eh . . . kinda. I'm a little fuzzy on that. It's true, she's not exactly matured super well on the emotional front, but I find it hard to really get behind her being younger than Scotch when she's been alive and experiencing things for a couple decades, I think. I dunno.


I pulled out the teddy bear and threw it at her. She caught it in her hooves. “You left that behind.”
Rampage trembled as she held the teddy bear in her hooves and stared into its slightly forlorn face. “I’ve…” She brought it to her muzzle and inhaled the scent. “I… I know this… but…”

Well, if it's a chance, go for it. And bringing it back around to how emotional associations can be kept after removing memories, like with Scotch, is a nice touch.


“Now shut it, get back on your rocket, and get gone. I’ll take care of Cognitum. I don’t want her to kill you three anyway. Well, maybe you, Blackjack, but only ‘cause you’re being a jackass right now!”

Yeah, when I said she hadn't exactly matured emotionally . . . here's an example. Granted, it's patchy, and sometimes she's more than that, but right now, not great.


Or was Twist the one who sold out her friends?” She shifted her whole body towards me, leaning forward, widening her stance, and flexing her powerful hindlegs like a four-hundred-pound steel cat. “That’s right. She was a worthless, no good moth–”

Oh, I like where she's going with this.


“No bullets or bombs!” Scotch Tape screamed as I pulled out Sexy and P-21 drew Persuasion. “‘Hard Vacuum’, remember?!”

Also makes things easier for Rampage, in one sense, but I'm not sure how much she'd like being sucked into space herself.


Easier said than done. As I watched Rampage, though, I realized that she wasn’t fighting like she could have been. Where were the commando grips? What about the Proditor kicks and tricks? Police combat and dirty fighting were also conspicuously absent.

That's an interesting point. I hadn't really been aware of them actively helping her when they weren't the surface personality. Or, at any rate, that they could control or withdraw it. Granted, that could be a newer thing, coming out as they've become more aware of each other and their situation.


I raised Sexy, glanced at all that glass with space on the other side, and hoped that it was thicker than it looked, or maybe magic, unbreakable glass.

I'm . . . not liking this plan very much. Hope she only fires at really close range so the spread is all inside Rampage.


I turned Sexy sideways just in time and watched her claws scrape at the metal. Thank Celestia for reinforced barrels! I wasn’t going to lose this gun so quickly!

On the one hand, you've been pretty good about keeping named weapons, even if you've lost unnamed special weapons a few times. On the other, it's a shotgun. You never get to keep a shotgun for long. And even the one you named, "Boomstick," you lost in a chapter or so.


Rampage immediately jerked sideways, spasming and flopping like a four-hundred-pound steel-scaled fish as half the lights in the terminal winked out.

Man, for some reason I'm just not feeling it like when an X-hundred pounds thing came up about Blackjack.


I advanced to the twitching form. “Looks like,” I said as I pressed the gun to her forehead. “Time to reboot.”
Rampage opened her eyes, tears running down her cheeks. “Please,” she whimpered, “help my little girl.”
I blinked.

You. Dumbass. Even if she is a little filly, she knows you and how to manipulate you, and on top of that is probably more genre-aware/savvy than almost anyone in the cast this side of Discord and Pinkie Pie.


Then Sexy went flying as her hoof moved faster than I could see, knocking it to the far corner of the room.

Also, S.A.T.S.? Seems like it'd be helpful at some point. She does have her, or at any rate a PipBuck right now, right?


I blasted her with a magic bullet, but while it tore the side of her head away, her body began to repair the damage immediately. I reared up and planted my forehooves against the gun, trying to push back as I danced on my hindlegs. A second magic bullet to the face failed to go through her brain. The third missed completely as we whirled about.

S.A.T.S.

P-21 and Scotch Tape took cover as we danced around and around on our hindlegs, both pressing against Sexy as I struggled to land a shot that’d blow her brains out so she'd see reason.

S.A.T.S.!


She bit my horn! Bit it! I screamed as my focus shattered and I felt something crunchy happening atop my forehead.

Holy shit.


I looked up at her, my vision swimming with tears of pain, and spotted her staring past me with a look of trepidation… and awe.
Then we were blasted through the window.

I'm interested in how this doesn't become death number four. Teleportation, probably. If, of course, her horn isn't too badly damaged.


Instinctively, I tried to hold my breath,

I hear that's the opposite of what you want to do.


I looked up at the line of windows a story above us. A metal plate had dropped down, covering the ones we’d punched through.

So, good that there's a fail-safe. Bad, bad engineers for having it deploy after catastrophic failure, rather than as cracks are forming as determined by some kind of sensor.


I stared up at the sight of P-21 and Scotch Tape looking down at me through one of the intact ones, mouths moving.

That's good, at least.


Get up, Blackjack…
I don’t want to.
Get up, Blackjack!

Okay, blue. Presumably Luna's soul, contacting Blackjack from within Cognitum.


I stared up at the world above. So small. So sick and injured. Could I do anything that would help?
Where there is will, there is hope.
Where there is hope, there is action.
Where there is action, there is possibility.

Well, beats the hell out of "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate . . . leads to suffering."


I wanted to sigh, but I was feeling pretty numb and wobbly.

Let's be completely honest: almost every character in this story, at almost all times, is on the verge of sighing. It's like what Al Gore was made out to be in that one debate in the 2000 campaign (or did that end up sticking to the whole thing?).


The moondust coating me made my horn tingle like it was plugged into an electrical socket.

Oh, I wonder if that will help. Tingling horn might be a good thing. Also, real lucky Rampage hadn't decided to just bite the thing off.


“How come you didn’t explode? I thought you were supposed to explode on the moon,” Scotch Tape asked, actually sounding slightly disappointed.

Blackjack's already exploded enough; that was her Joke, after all.


Was there something wrong with my mouth? I didn’t want to not be able to taste Sugar Apple B... damn it, P-21...

Well, at least you're making use of the change. BUT! Blackjack, you need to get in line; I think both Psalm and Crumpets have been waiting for a taste of him longer than you. ;D


The steel shutter slammed down over the window, blocking the escape of air. “Peppermint this,” Rampage hissed as she started to squeeze, eyes bloodshot and bulging as she dribbled moon gravel all over me.

Wow. That was a terrible one-liner, Rampage. And not in the cheesy sense, either. I expect better from you.


She ripped the banner in two and then looked straight into my eyes. I leaned forward and jammed my moonstone-coated horn into her brow. “No, this is Peppermint!” I hissed.

Wouldn't have thought of that. Clever. Here's hoping it works. Given that souls seem to like Blackjack (though it may be they like a lot of people), and the special affinity for her moonstone's shown in the past (as with her trip from taking a bite), I think it might want to help.
Also, good recovery with the one-liner. Don't think Rampage could have anticipated it, though.

Without the recollector, there was no way she could experience the memory in the orb.
So I gave her mine, transferring a memory of a memory into her mind.

Ah. Well, that works, too.


I scrambled back as quickly as I could, flopping as I watched the armored mare flail as if in the midst of some epileptic fit.

Hey, man, one of your friends and potential lovers is epiliptic! Be nice! :D


“She wanted me to live. Mommies die for their babies. But I didn’t. I killed my baby, mommy. I killed her,” she choked out through helpless sobs. I approached slowly as she muttered, “I’m sorry, Mommy. I am so sorry.”

Arrrgh! Stop making me feel sorry for people I want to stay angry at!


I... I fucking murdered my own daughter, Blackjack. How do I come back from that?”
Gee, where had I heard that before? She embraced me, and I braced myself as she wept.

And then I got lost trying to think of who killed their own daughter, instead to realizing it was referring to "How do I come back from that?" which, of course, was Blackjack herself and makes far more sense. Wait. Okay. Hear me out. Blackjack is going to give a version of the do better speech from Watcher, and that'll be his contribution for the chapter, even if it doesn't involve stealing Tom. Directly, anyway.


Keep the anger in check, though. I struggled to keep my voice even. “I need your help.” Her sobbing slowed, and I waited, rage condensing to hate. “We need to save the world.” Show your fucking face...
Her weeping stopped. “No,” Rampage breathed as her hooves tightened around me in a crushing embrace. Then she lifted her head, stared into my eyes, and smiled. “We need to give it peace!” There you are!

Blackjack is really calling things right when it comes to Rampage, it seems. Though I can't help but remember that the Angel said that, having refused her mercy, she wouldn't be granting it. Of course, I think that this doesn't really count as that.


I dug down all the way to a hard little knot that I couldn’t push into, and seizing every bit of that slimy, acidic, poisonous thought, I pulled. I ripped. I consumed. I eradicated. With mental ferocity that outpaced the ruin of any balefire explosion, I tore every last bit to splinters.
Then my horn burned out with a pop, and we both fell again. The moonstone that had stuck to my horn had turned inky black. It fell freely around my hooves, and I watched as it disintegrated, releasing a black shadow that was swept away with a tiny pathetic scream upon an ethereal wind.

Okay, my assessment of her possibly being Magic ticked up a bit right there.


“I went after that thing that killed Hope, Rampage,” I said,

ALLEGORY HARDER!!!!1!


“Mom would be so ashamed of me,” she muttered.
“Join the club,” I said, shifting and sitting next to her as I scrubbed at my temple.

I disagree. Now, commiserating's great and all, and getting and keeping Rampage on board is probably more important than completely honest and accurate self-assessment, but I believe that, when you had the chance to call it quits, your mom showed just how proud of you she was. Of course, you wouldn't really remember that.

“I know just what my mom would think about me. ‘Couldn’t you have done better without the bodycount?’”

Maybe. Maybe. But this is sounding like internalized shame from years of actually disappointing her more than thinking through what she might actually say, especially given how she reacted to your leaving in chapter one.


“Oh, would you two just stop?!” P-21 shouted at the both of us, throwing his forehooves into the air. “Honestly! You pick now to whine about which of you more disappointed your mothers? I was born with a penis. I beat both of you for disappointed mothers!” he shouted as all three of us just stared at him. He noticed, turned red, and blurted, “Now is not the time for this!”

You're right about the timing. But I think you're missing the point that it's not as much about disappointing their mothers (and yeah, pot, kettle on that given my above comments, but . . . ) as what they were themselves ashamed of. And for all the problems you've had, I don't remember you ever seeming to think that you were worse for being a male (ashamed of things related to the serial rape, yes), or that anyone would be right to be ashamed that you were born one.


“Oh, and by the way, Blackjack? I totally would have kicked your ass if you hadn’t broken out the freaky mind magic shit.”
I lifted myself to my feet, looking at the tatters of my barding. “Yeah. No argument here,” I replied,

Yeah, no shit. But that's the thing: Blackjack Classic was all about finding ways to win battles she shouldn't. Still was, even after the augmentations meant she could usually steamroll her way through most things, but it didn't come up quite as much.


I had moonstone tangled up in my mane. Stuck to my hide. Everywhere! It was making me feel decidedly weird, and I brushed off what I could, collecting it in a Sparkle-Cola bottle.

Is this a reference to that kid who got disintegrated in Friendship City, and whose ashes Littlepip carried around in a jar or Sparkle-Cola bottle?
Also, remember: Blackjack is made of stars (formerly blood and stars).


“Seriously?” Rampage asked P-21.
“Your reset button is a bullet through the brain. Blackjack’s is through her happy hole,” P-21 replied with a casual smile and shrug. “I didn’t make you crazy mares this way. I just work with that I have.”

I feel like this is directed at the audience. And P-21 is speaking for Somber. (At least for the first couple sentences, because obviously the latter couple don't apply to the author.) Granted, given what apparently happened after last chapter, I guess that's understandable.


“Even if I teleported away, I couldn’t take any of you with me.”

I'm just gonna go with "Boo is special/Discord did it" to explain successfully teleporting with Boo at the tower.


“What’s in the Astrostable?”
“Dunno,” Rampage replied with a shrug. “The blanks that helped build this place, I think.

Aww, I was thinking that could have been a moment Boo might have shone.


Lots of shrugging on this page.


Rampage had scratched up her finish badly, and I couldn’t help but shoot the striped mare a reproachful look as I tried to buff it out.

Aww, given how she's tended to think of large small-arms, I figured she'd equipomorphise it male-gendered.


“But you’ve been using that an awful lot today,” P-21 warned. “Maybe you should just take it easy. The state that thing is in, it'll probably give you brain damage.”
“No, I’m... won’t!” I frowned at their various skeptical expressions.

It seems like a valid concern, given you've repeatedly used "I'm brain-damaged" to excuse some of your behavior or decision making.


Finally Rampage did what she did best: she ripped the helmet off my head and stomped it repeatedly till the light show ended.

Huh. I was figuring there'd be another Perceptitron chapter on the way back from the moon. Find another? Cut due to weak response? Something else?


“…sure that they’re broadcasting outside the Hoof?” Homage whispered in my ears. “To whom? Why?”
“No idea,” Windsheer replied.

Well then. Carry on.


Some scavengers bridged the gap into the Core. There’re a lot of ponies wanting to go in…”
“No. Stop that at all costs,” Goldenblood said sharply. “I don’t know what’s happening with that place, but I know it’s a trap. Nothing good comes from there. I know. I helped build it.”

Okay, so maybe the Legate was just bad at running a battle last chapter. But I'm with Goldenblood here. If the Core is letting people in, it's not a good thing.


The bodies collapsed on top of one another, merged together, and sprang upon Brutus as a three-headed, six-legged profanity of flesh. Some of them had anatomy that no zebra or pony possessed: eagle claws, lion paws, and snake tails.

Whoa! Hey, there. Maybe there's some possibility of Discord coming back after all? I kind of hope not, but that's raising some interesting possibilities. Even if nothing comes of it, cool visual.


You thought I was going to run. To take care of myself. To abandon you… all of you… because that’s what aristocrats do.

Okay, so she can even listen in on thoughts now. Kind of like a limited version of the Goddess.


The tram was now moving through mountains of moonstone that loomed like colossal tombstones over the track, jutting out at sharp angles overhead. To one side, towards the massive chasm, the pure white was tainted by streaks of dark purple, blue, and black. I could barely make out a low structure ahead of us, the top of the terrace built into the edge of the ravine.

You know, it occurred to me that PH moonstone could kind of give a mechanism for the mare in the moon appearing.


“I think she’s having a hemorrhagic stroke, or something very similar to one.”
“A stroke? P-21 gives a great stroke,” I said with a giggle, feeling a little drunk as I slumped against him, still bleeding out my nose and ear.

"I'm going to let that slide, because you're having a stroke."


The door to the tram opened up into a foyer with a familiar immense rolling door in the far wall

Hey, man. Branding matters.


But I wasn’t ready for the sight of fifty white ponies in party hats facing us with bright star-filled eyes, grinning happily and shouting in unison, “Welcome to the moon, Princess Luna!”

Okay. Cute, potentially creepy. Also, the irony. And it sounds like they probably grew souls, too. Being on the moon probably helped. It also likely means they are not evil.


The despairing, crying ponies behind didn’t stop, though, and their press sent the pony I was in into the salty ocean as the Applejack, laden with hundreds of lucky refugees, moved away from the end of the pier. Then the forecastle of the ship exploded in flame and shrapnel as the tank struck home.

ouch


A flash of white wing and golden mane, and the stunningly beautiful Morningstar landed in her path. “One life! One life?! How can you say that?! That one life is worth a thousand of the people you’re wasting it on!”

Okay, this is ratcheting up the possibility that Glory is still alive. Also, Morningstar, that's not the kind of thing you say out loud. I would not be surprised by some pain in your new future.

(Called it.)


“Liaison Sapphire knew the O.I.A. was conducting regular launches transporting Flux to the Lunar Palace. She started sending members of the M.o.A. and O.I.A. that she trusted up here with each launch. She was our first overmare, too.

Appropriately enough, I think Sapphire might just be the most awesome of the liaisons.


“So… I gotta ask, Doc Comet. When’s the next scheduled orgy?” Rampage asked, looking around as if expecting group sex to break out at any moment. “Come on. If this place is based on 99, it’s got to have something perverted going on.”

Ooh, wrong stable. Needed to go to the Redoubt.


Normally I’d be bundling you up in a corner to bliss out among the stars while sticking you under that talisman for a few more hours.

Okay, from coming off of the "blissing out" from the Core, the golden world, this parallel use creeps me out a bit.


“Yep,” Rampage said. “Tie her up and give her a good dicking. She likes that.”
“No time for quickies now!”

Uh oh, she really does need more healing. She's delusional! But I kid.


“Blackjack, you’ve had a stroke,” P-21 explained as I rose to my hooves.
“It’s not the first time I’ve fought with brain damage!” I said as I swayed and thumped against one of the tables. “I have to go. The big glowy pony of light said so.”

You make a compelling argument.


“No. She’d get a spoon and defeat you, She’s tricky like that,”

Well, the first time she tried to fight a doctor with a spoon she lost, but this time she probably has magic, and definitely has non-jelly legs.


“Thank you for helping me, doctor. I mean it. And I don’t think I got your name.”
“Comet. Doctor Comet,” he said with a small smile in return.

Okay, my search results for "doctor comet" are . . . interesting. I like this image result, though: http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/comicsalliance.com/files/2010/08/comet02.jpg
So I'm just going to imagine that he's Comet the Super Horse, for some reason.


I don’t know the details personally, but I’m sure the Overstallion could explain it better,” Doctor Comet said with another smile. I was sure he couldn’t. Still, I couldn’t miss the wistful look on P-21’s face.

Thought he might like that.


I tele– Correction, I faceplanted into the ground as my horn sparked wildly and went dead.

Okay, I was optimistic about the effects of moon dust.


Biting down on Vigilance with my mouth, my cheek pressed against the ground, I saw the force field flickering where it met the floor. I dropped into S.A.T.S. and targeted four armor piercing shots at her front left hoof.

FINALLY! Damn!


She wasn’t a pretty mare. Blue-gray like homage, but with a flat black mane. Her eyes stared up at me. I’m hit. Fuck. Can’t feel… can’t move… fuck! Her eyes widened as her breathing picked up, blood bubbling in her mouth. No. I have to kill her. Russet will be okay if she dies. Everyone will… Her body trembled as I gazed into her eyes, a tear cutting through the blood on her cheek. Russet… my beautiful girl… I have to… have to… to… Then she went slack, slumping over as her red bar disappeared from my E.F.S.

Uh oh. Not going to be a good thing if Blackjack needs to see mooks as people. In one sense, yes, of course, but it's one of those expedience vs. idealism things. And right now, I think the situation's weighted pretty heavily to focusing on the former.


I turned to Doctor Comet. “Thank–” I started to say, and then I saw him lying prone on the ground. A bloody hole oozed in the pink hide of his forehead right where a unicorn’s horn would be.

Whoa. Was not expecting him to get offed.


I tried to use my magic, and from the blue stallion came words as if from an old stereo. Just get through today. Whatever happens, get through today with no one else dead. Just get home, and everything will be alright. Get Scotch Tape home safe. Watch Rampage. Damn, Blackjack’s ass is almost as nice as Calamity’s. Get back safe.

Hee hee.


“Whispers. Flickers. Like... I thought I saw Nightmare Moon and Princess Celestia,” Rampage said as she looked at one of the dark purple crystals particularly close to the track.
“I saw something like that too. Nightmare Moon leading an army towards Princess Celestia’s army,” P-21 agreed.

Thought something like this might happen when the dark crystals were first brought up.


“You can read my mind?” Scotch squeaked in shock, then pressed her hooves to her temple. Don’t think of having sex with daddy. Don’t think of having sex with Rampage. Don’t think of having sex with Blackjack...

. . . Stupid sexy ponies!


“Oh yeah, prove it. What am I thinking?” Rampage demanded. I glanced at her, stopping my rubbing and letting my horn tune in. I’ll tell her she’s wrong no matter what. Goddesses, Blackjack is frigging weird sometimes, though. Still, if she’s wrong, maybe Scotchy won’t think she’s actually reading minds, because frigging weird! “Well? It’s a number between one and billion.” No, it’s not!
“Uh...” I blinked at her. “Seven?” I glanced over at Scotch.
Rampage blinked as well, then pointed a hoofclaw at me and laughed loudly. “Hah! Wrong! I was thinking your butt is fat!” She snorted at me, rolling her eyes. “Reading minds. Yeah, right.”
I relaxed a little and smiled at her. “Yeah. Guess I was wrong. I’m frigging weird sometimes,” I said, robbing her of her laugher. “Just saying,” I added.

Managing to tell Scotch what she needed to hear and getting that jab in? Nice work.


It took a few minutes to work it out. Apparently, as long as they were thinking it at me, I could pick it up, and vice versa. The only limitation was that my friends couldn’t think at each other, which was probably for the best. You know what this is, right? P-21 asked with a small smile as the tram reached the base of the ravine.
Yeah. I thought back at all of them with a small, hopeful grin. An edge.

So yeah, when I said earlier that Blackjack was getting more like the Goddess? Wasn't expecting it to go this far.
But also, were all those things before really being thought at Blackjack?


The Lunar Palace rumbled like an immense turbine in bad need of a new bearing.

Damn it, now I'm thinking about Scotch's vagina. This is your fault. At least it wasn't humming.


Four smoldering Ultra-Sentinels lay scattered around the rim.

That's some serious fire power, on both sides if they managed to take them out.


Cognitum had erected a blood-red magical field that protected her and only her as her two floating turret drones returned fire.

Ass.


“What I mean when I say it’s stupid is that that room doesn’t make any sense architecturally.” She sighed, took off her saddlebags, took out some paper and a pen, and sketched the room. “So... like... why put an enormous platform over a deep pit with a throne in the very middle, out in the open?” She scowled and pointed up at the glowing hemisphere. “For that matter, why put a maneframe up there? There’s no maintenance access, and if it fell, anyone on the throne would be smack underneath it! It’s like somepony wanted this room to be the most impractical thing imaginable.


The throne is over the barrel of the gun, isn't it? Likewise, the maneframe. You can only fire it, unless you reconfigure a bunch of stuff, if you end up killing yourself.


“Shit,” I muttered as I realized she was right. “Horizons was made to kill Nightmare Moon. This whole place... the throne... the glowing pit... even the name... it was all one big lure to Nightmare Moon’s vanity.”

Yeah.


From her horn emanated a red cone of magic that focused on me like a spotlight, and I felt myself start to grow warm. Really warm! Rampage, jump to your left! I thought. She spang, somewhat ungainly, into the path of the cone.
Agh, fuck, Blackjack! You bitch! Fire sucks!

Laughing a fair amount at that one.


I hit the ground behind her, peered at Cognitum, and fired a magic bullet right at her face! The spell was twice as hard to cast as usual, but I felt great that it worked at all, even if it just popped ineffectually off her magical shield.

I am really impressed it worked at all.


One came streaking past and detonated behind me, a magical field flickering to life over those immense windows. F.A.D.E. shields.

Fade shields were part of what guided/held moonstone. Could support this being the barrel of the gun.


Below us lay more of that diffuse white light, like glowing milk.

Or like however many metric tonnes of moonstone?


I pointed Sexy at the dangling unicorn and unloaded a burst, but just before I fired, she let go and dropped to the girder below her. A second blast glanced her; but she managed to get behind cover before I could really tear into her.

SATS


“It doesn’t matter,” Charity said. A shot rang out from the defenders, and she shouted out, “Ten caps from any moron who doesn’t wait for them to come in range! Wait!”

It's not "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes," but it's certainly her.


Of course, now my problem was more of the falling-to-my-death-impaled-on-some-spur-or-hung-from-wires sort rather than the imminent-decapitation-by-chainsaw sort.

Why doesn't GDocs know that a hyphen is a breaking character? Hell, that's very specifically ONE OF ITS JOBS.


Who knew what that much would do to me? Heal me? Turn me into one of those fat blanks from Hippowhatever? Give me super powers?

You mean even more superpowers?


Awww, she doesn’t have her magic. Scotch tape thought sarcastically. However will she get by?

Hey, it's harder going from magic to no magic (and hallucinating if you ever try to use it) than being used to no magic from the start. That would be a much more valid complaint if she were stuck without magic for a longer period.


Shit. Can you aim Horizons to miss the Core, at least?
No. Something like that requires you to use the mind interface on the throne. Of course, the second you do, the F.A.D.E. targeting fields will go off and trap you inside the firing tube.

Yeah, figured.


Then P-21 staggered, blood fountaining between his shoulder blades. He dropped, eyes bulging as he collapsed to his haunches, his eyes still on the computer terminal. “No!” I screamed, turning Sexy towards the girders above, switching to explosive slugs, and going to town as I screamed mentally at Scotch Tape. Healingpotionhealingpotionhealingpotionnownownow! I couldn’t lose him. Not him! Not now! Not ever!

Not good. Even if he survives, that's costing time.


He looked back at me, in obvious pain, and smiled. I love you too.

Yay!


Hee! Blackjack and Daddy sitting on the moon. He’s gonna make her...er... damn it. And she fired another burst with renewed vinegar.

"Swoon"? Not a good time for it, but not so bad. "Spoon" or "Croon"? "Something something poon"? I guess that one could be worthy of a bad reaction. Or maybe it's that she couldn't think of a good rhyme.


“And then what? The Wasteland stays poisoned and polluted forever? Hope that six heroes magically make everything better with their friendship?” He typed faster than I could follow, even faster than P-21. If they worked together, maybe they could do something. “Has the Wasteland changed pony nature, Blackjack?”

Eh. No. Yes. Not that much.


You might think this lightbringer is going to make everything all right, but that’s exactly what everypony thought when the Ministries were announced. ‘Oh, Luna is taking over. Everything will be different!’ And it was, only it was worse!”

. . . Which is why you're killing everybody? Or giving shitty-Luna everything she wants? Huh?


“She’s what we deserve!” he shouted, turning away from the screen and looking at me with anguish in his eyes. “We fucked up. We fucked it all up! We deserve a monster like her to rule over us. To punish us for taking two centuries and still not setting things right!”

So he might be the real anti-Blackjack. Man, this is an outlook I just hate. And it strikes me as self-defeating on its own terms. Seriously, it's like, We made things shit, Then we kept them shit, so now we deserve Cognitum to make things shittier. Wha?


“You don’t get to make that call. Neither do I. But nopony deserves a shittier life. Not me. Not you. Not even Cognitum, even if she’s causing all this mess. Everypony needs a chance at a better life, and if they blow it, another chance. Nopony deserves a worse life. Ever.”

Eh, I have some reservations with that, mostly relating to issues of equitability, but for a first pass and certain definitions of desert, sure.


So I really shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was when a stallion’s rolling deep bass voice boomed out, NO! HORIZONS MUST FIRE! THE EATER OF SOULS MUST DIE!

Stallion's? That's interesting and unexpected. Goldenblood, presumably.


YES, IT’S NICE TO FINALLY MEET YOU FACE TO FACE. The voice chuckled. I turned, looking left and right, then behind me at the massive moonstone. Only this time, the light that had swirled within had coalesced into a gargantuan glowing pony-shaped outline… an alicorn-shaped outline. Well, that raised a couple theological questions I didn’t want to think about at all right now! The pony’s eyes were ovals filled with bluish light. CALL ME TOM.

Oh. Well, I'm having trouble deciding just what to think now. Because I trust the star to have gotten it right more than late-war Goldenblood, but then, I'm also not sure it has all the information, especially about the conversion process.


(Author’s notes: Okay. In order to prevent a sixty page chapter, it was best to end here.

I am shocked, shocked that this would happen.


Hope it was okay.

Yep.


I look forward to reading people’s feedback on cloudsdale, FimFic, or Reddit. Let me know what I did wrong.

Well, for one, if you want to get feedback on Cloudsville, it would have been a good idea to get the name right. :D


swicked: Special thanks to Heartshine for teaching me, if you ever feel a bit too excited while looking at Stonehenge, just eat a whole raw potato and those less than double-holy thoughts with clear up in a snap.

Oh, the wonder that is satirical news sources.
Chapter Seventy Three Overall Thoughts:
That was a trip. Extra so due to the trippy!

Okay, the Rampage thing was handled with more style than I had feared might be the case, chronic pessimist that I am. Obviously, the end result was as expected, but the way there was exciting, and you built in a way for it to have real consequences, positive and negative. That's good. Oh, and I wasn't expecting Comet to die, so good there.

Suspicions that Glory might be alive are increasing. On which note, I thought that the way that what was happening back at the Hoof was handled nice. Keeping it to little scenelets, for the most part (biggest exception probably Chapel) addressed the need to know what's happening while keeping it from bogging things down, and kept them more focused, too.

The moon stuff is cool, and it's a shame we couldn't see more of the stable, of course, but what are you gonna do? The throne room setup was about as expected, but I was surprised that the blue voice Blackjack was hearing was Tom, not Luna. I guess I shouldn't have been, though, given the much different tone compared to Luna talking with Blackjack below the Core or in the shadow realm. Also, the color might have been different. And we knew about the star spirit bound in Tom. What did surprise me, though, was that the star wanted to be bound, and wants Horizons to fire. Don't know just where that will go, since although I'd expect the star to know this shit better than end-of-war Goldenblood, he might not know about the moonstone-to-starmetal conversion process, in which case, he made a bad call.

Blackjack continues to be wonderful, notably with Rampage, her first conversation with Tom, and with Echo. It's like he's given up believing in good, and it's become so much of who he is that he's unwilling to see that there is another way, even when it is literally standing before him, asking him to come with. Like Goldenblood indeed. I hope; Goldenblood got better. Oh, and the short exchange with Twist. That with Rampage was nice, too, and played to the warm fuzzies I get whenever Blackjack is WRONG! about herself and what a disappointment she is to everyone she's ever known and just a bad bad pony all around.

Beyond all that, though, there were some pretty good comedic moments. P-21 thinking about how nice Blackjack's butt was (Oh! And he said he loves her! She's been waiting a while for that.), Rampage trying to let Scotch think Blackjack can't read minds, how much and how fast that blew up, Blackjack using Rampage as an equine shield and Rampage being indignant about it.

Strong chapter, and I'm expecting a more favorable reaction than to the last.
Chapter Seventy Three Editing:
“Forget it, Twilight. I know what you're up to. The second I go in, you'll have your little minion Spike come and take Tom!
Tom?
Well, it's not going to work.”

Each line should have its own opening and closing quotation marks (and that's also how you've handled it in the past).


She’d leapt down upon a bounty hunter who’d been set on taking me into Deus.

"to Deus", right?


the doors that presumably lead to the tracks to our destination.

"led" not "lead"


She looked at Scotch Tape and grinned, “Hey!  You made it to the moon!

comma should be period, or speaking verb needed


I hope not.” I fought to keep the tremble

should have second space after quotation


She winced as if struck and for a moment, then managed a genuinely apologetic expression.

the "and" shouldn't be there, or there should be something to follow up "and for a moment", or that whole phrase could be cut


Or Barbed Wire?

"Razorwire"


been shredded to ribbons. I flopped

only one space after period


The weapon was, however, less than as effective as I’d hoped.

this is really awkward sounding. Maybe "less effective than I'd hoped"?


blocking her plunging hoof blades and really missing my

"hoofblades"


face, my head immediately pounding as my heartrate picked up again

"heart rate"


one, after all.).  and dozens more.

"and" should be capitalized


I killed my baby, mommy.  I killed her,” she choked out through helpless sobs.

"mommy" should be capitalized


overdid it, and whatever it was...” I glanced at the sooty

should have second space after quotation


“Ow,” I winced, then glared at the display, turned,

quotation should I think end with period, not comma


“She bleeding out her ears and nose.” Rampage said

"She's", quotation should end with comma, not period


“I bet if I really try to kill her, she’ll end me properly.

needs closing quotation mark


The red-armored pony unleashed a torrent of flame fire.

I think it should be either "flame" or "fire", not both?


It seemed as if it’s production had been ramped up,

"its" not "it's"


“I will be the lady father wanted me to be.

"father" should be capitalized


For father.  For the Society.  For my people.”

"father" should be capitalized


“Goodbye, Brother.  Be sure to give Charm my love when you take her with you.  I believe Tenpony will be a wonderful place for her to recover,” Grace said calmly, with no animosity or bitterness.  Take care of her, brother.

should the "brother" at the end match the earlier?


medical specialist inside miss Peppermint here, yes,”

"miss" should be capitalized here


And momma Shujaa… and… now I can’t really stop feeling them.

should "momma" be capitalized?


hull and the Applejack’s Ranger’s flag flying

"Applejack's Rangers' "


Behind them, a zebra tank rolled towards the shore, Steel Rangers fired volley after volley at the war machine as it crawled into firing position.

comma splice: add an "and" after "shore," or make that comma a semicolon, or change the "fired" to "firing", or add an "as" before "a zebra tank"


The Seahorse, scorched and battered but not yet sunk

"Seahorse" should be italicized


I don’t–“  I tried hopping off the table

inverted quotation mark


at my own reflection. "My eyes glow.  Again."

only one space after first period, non-directional quotation marks


“No.  She’d get a spoon and defeat you,  She’s tricky like that,”

first comma should be period


“Thank you for helping me, doctor.

"doctor" should be capitalized


He grew worried, “Of course

comma should be period, or speaking verb needed


Just more reason to hur--“

inverted quotation mark


Then Rampage dove atop me as the miniguns opened up with streams of steel.

should that be lead?


wanted this room to be the most impractical thing imaginable.

needs closing quotation mark


Is that metal or ceramic?   We skirted the

three spaces after question mark


Rampage hooked her claws into the grate, its the holes large enough

"its" or "the", not both


I glanced over to where P-21 was halfway through the hole the hole, his hindlegs

repeated "the hole"


Then from beyond the core she spotted something strange:

"core" should be capitalized


Then she turned back to the battle and murmured “Over fifty thousand caps of C-4, though... ”

comma after "murmured"


Fortunately, something at both ends must have held, and the slowing ending in a stop instead of the cable joining me in my fall.

"ended" not "ending", or delete the "and"


place has only the basest Stable Tec programing security.

"Stable Tec" should be hyphenated


You might think this lightbringer is going to make everything all right,

should "lightbringer" be capitalized?


I look forward to reading people’s feedback on cloudsdale, FimFic, or Reddit.  Let me know what I did wrong.

"cloudsville"
Thank you, Somber and co., for a very enjoyable chapter. I look forward to the rest of Blackjack's moon adventure whenever it happens to come out. You chose a great cliffhanger location.


Last edited by Icy Shake on Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Epsilon on Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:36 am

I think you got your running thoughts and your overall thoughts mixed up there, Icy. Spike

Not really sure how I should feel about the possibility of Glory surviving, though. Said it before, but I really don't think it'd be a good idea to have her somehow defy the conventions of logic and survive. I'd love to see some manner of final send-off for her though, say if the Eater managed to capture her soul and Blackjack was therefore given the chance to communicate with her before the end. But to have her actually survive, especially through such an emotional climax as C71? I don't know... that really just doesn't sit well with me.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by WavemasterRyx on Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:09 am

*nuzzles Somber and Hinds each just barely*


Chapter 73 Commentary:


The opening to this chapter is extremely strong, the interaction with Rampage and the fighting that follows is all very well done.

I was very surprised when Rampage busted back through the window though.  I didn't think the vacuum would kill her, but I was expecting it to put her out of commission.

For how unhappy the circumstances, the glimpse at the Zodiacs fighting was really nice.  I appreciated them still getting a small moment to shine.

And that poor stallion with Grace...  If he survives the war, I'll send him a snack cake.

"But I wasn’t ready for the sight of fifty white ponies in party hats facing us with bright star-filled eyes, grinning happily and shouting in unison, 'Welcome to the moon, Princess Luna!'" - Definitely not what I was expecting either.

"And so you guys just stay up here and... do what?  Spend all day wigged-out on moon dust?"  "No!  That's... rarely happens." - Made me laugh quite a bit.  So did, "No.  She'd get a spoon and defeat you.  She's tricky like that."

Doctor Comet was cute.

The trickling of thoughts is a very interesting mechanic, and put to great effect.  The scene ending with them figuring out they could use it two ways was especially nice.

The infiltration of the Lunar Palace was well done, and the fighting was handled well too.  I especially liked Scotch ranting about the design of the throne room though.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:09 am

@Icy Shake:
Ah, thank you.

Icy Shake wrote:"cloudsville"
Hm, I tend not to edit the author's notes, but this might impair feedback and the like, so...

Icy Shake wrote:Well, the first time she tried to fight a doctor with a spoon she lost, but this time she probably has magic, and definitely has non-jelly legs.
I thought that too.  swicked, had forgotten the spoon scene, though, so I went back to look it up... and she actually did win.  Granted, it's not certain how long her victory would have lasted, given that the her escape plan was interrupted by finding out escape wasn't necessary, but still.

Icy Shake wrote:Damn it, now I'm thinking about Scotch's vagina. This is your fault. At least it wasn't humming.
It was in the original version, actually.  :)

@Ryx:
Glad you liked it.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:32 am

Oh wait... 73 was released today? (12am Tuesday here)
Yay! I'm reading it now! Fluttershy
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:56 am

Ugh.  S.A.T.S.  Why'd I forget all about it?  Ugh... sorry.

Anyway, thank you very much for the commentary.  I'm glad the story was alright.  I'm really sorry for the next chapter.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:23 am

Icy Shake wrote:
Spoiler:
“Okay, now you’re just being ‘pop my head like a bloatspite’ stupid, 'cause that's not true,” her annoyance focusing into anger.  “That’s impossible.”

Ohmygod you went there.
:D
Spoiler:
I don't generally point out the silly stuff I all but sneak in to PH, but I'm particularly proud of that bit. We so rarely come across any of that old sci-fi americana fallout's known for, so I insisted on this particular wording. I couldn't be happier it was caught :D

Somber wrote:Ugh.  S.A.T.S.  Why'd I forget all about it?  Ugh... sorry.
Eh, it's hardly all your fault. I'm sorry for it, too.
Shouldn't happen again, though. I'm adding it to my brushing checklist in-between "Boo" and "Rampage's mentats addiction".

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:55 pm

As I am.  Sorry.  Even with five people on the team and all the time we spent working on the chapter, it seems none of us noticed that.  Well, it could have slipped Blackjack's mind too, I suppose.

Thanks, swicked.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:15 am

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:Well, the first time she tried to fight a doctor with a spoon she lost, but this time she probably has magic, and definitely has non-jelly legs.
I thought that too.  swicked, had forgotten the spoon scene, though, so I went back to look it up... and she actually did win.  Granted, it's not certain how long her victory would have lasted, given that the her escape plan was interrupted by finding out escape wasn't necessary, but still.
Yeah, I was thinking more in terms of where she'd go from there.

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:Damn it, now I'm thinking about Scotch's vagina. This is your fault. At least it wasn't humming.
It was in the original version, actually.  :)
Well, as long as that's what I was supposed to be thinking.  Spike
Which it sounds like it was.

swicked wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:
Spoiler:
“Okay, now you’re just being ‘pop my head like a bloatspite’ stupid, 'cause that's not true,” her annoyance focusing into anger.  “That’s impossible.”

Ohmygod you went there.
:D
Spoiler:
I don't generally point out the silly stuff I all but sneak in to PH, but I'm particularly proud of that bit. We so rarely come across any of that old sci-fi americana fallout's known for, so I insisted on this particular wording. I couldn't be happier it was caught :D
I think that getting around to playing Fallouts 1 and 2, reading up on things, and just generally seeing how much of that sort of thing was actually in there (to say nothing of, for instance, their Mike Tyson), really helped me to loosen up about the references in PH. I'm happy for that, because, among other things, it's made Stronghoof a lot more enjoyable.

Somber wrote:Anyway, thank you very much for the commentary.  I'm glad the story was alright.  I'm really sorry for the next chapter.
You're welcome, as always! But now you're making me worried!  Derpy Hooves
It's a good thing. Exciting and all that.

swicked wrote:
Somber wrote:Ugh.  S.A.T.S.  Why'd I forget all about it?  Ugh... sorry.
Eh, it's hardly all your fault. I'm sorry for it, too.
Shouldn't happen again, though. I'm adding it to my brushing checklist in-between "Boo" and "Rampage's mentats addiction".
O. Hinds wrote:As I am.  Sorry.  Even with five people on the team and all the time we spent working on the chapter, it seems none of us noticed that.  Well, it could have slipped Blackjack's mind too, I suppose.
Eh, things get missed, sometimes. And it's not like it made a big difference, since all of those were cases where I could see S.A.T.S. still not getting her what she needed. (High agility and -AC opponent, needing crits + high follow-up rolls against Rampage, it just being a bad shot below the thrown room, plus the added difficulty of using a battle saddle instead of levitation . . . ) But it's something I'd expect her to use, at any rate, even if it didn't help that much. And yes, it could just slip her mind, but then, it's not something I buy quite as easily as, for example, the various peripheral things she forgot about while aboard Storm Chaser's ship; fighting is just what she does, and what she had been trained to do before that, and S.A.T.S. has always been a part of that. Again, not the biggest deal, but kind of distracting while it's going on.

A bit more editing:
20:
Some spray paint and I was just Security again.

"spray-paint"


72:
I asked,  gesturing at the tram with a

two spaces after comma


forward and kissed him with a mid air smooch, then

"midair"


of flamer fuel into a smouldering fire.  When the memory

"smoldering"


“Shh…  shh… It’s okay, Peppermint

should have only one space after first ellipsis, and two after the second


‘Couldn’t you have done better without the bodycount?’”

"bodycount" is two words


Instead, I saw saw Sagittarius blasting at a Brood

repeated "saw"


with the name ‘Applejack’ spraypainted on the flaking hull

"spray-painted"


The same sensation I’d felt while laying on the dust outside the terminal

"lying"


One way, or another.”

unnecessary comma


I blinked as I became aware of a hooves straddling either side of me.  

"aware of hooves"


Is the fate of the world to continue being a postapocalyptic nightmare?”

"post-apocalyptic"


They keep trying to juryrig the F.A.D.E. fields to

"jury-rig"

Also fixed my other post. Thanks, Epsilon.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:23 am

@Icy Shake:
...So are you saying that you think we should to go back and edit all of that, or not?

Thank you for the corrections, though. However, your 72 corrections appear to in fact be for 73.

Icy Shake wrote:unnecessary comma
Unnecessary, yes, but I think that it's doing the job there of portraying the particular pacing of the speech.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:28 am

O. Hinds wrote:@Icy Shake:
...So are you saying that you think we should to go back and edit all of that, or not?

Thank you for the corrections, though.  However, your 72 corrections appear to in fact be for 73.

Icy Shake wrote:unnecessary comma
Unnecessary, yes, but I think that it's doing the job there of portraying the particular pacing of the speech.
No. It's probably not worth the effort for that minor payoff.

Sorry. Forgot what the most recent chapter was. I'm kind of low on sleep.

Sounds good.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:52 am

Icy Shake wrote:No. It's probably not worth the effort for that minor payoff.
Ah, thanks!

Icy Shake wrote:Sorry. Forgot what the most recent chapter was. I'm kind of low on sleep.
No problem; I quite understand. :)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Valikdu on Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:33 am

Icy Shake wrote:Oh. Well, I'm having trouble deciding just what to think now.

Well, as long as it doesn't want to solve the conflict between synthetic and organic life, I think we'll be fine.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:42 am

Could be worse...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3OXs_5AD2A
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Dekshuduph on Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:03 pm

73 edits:

[...]three-headed, six-legged profanity of flesh.
Thought ponies normally have four legs. I must be doing the math wrong.

Rampage stared into my eyes. “Blackjack, do you have any numbness, weakness, or paralysis? Blurred vision? Headache?” I made a muttered yes-ish noise to each. Rampage looked at the other two. “I think she’s having a hemorrhagic stroke, or something very similar to one.”
“A stroke? P-21 gives a great stroke,” I said with a giggle, feeling a little drunk as I slumped against him, still bleeding out my nose and ear.
Rampage shoved a healing potion in my mouth, and I chugged it reflexively. That allowed the pain to abate a little, but I still didn’t feel any better. “How do you know?”
“Six years of medical school and two years of residency,” Rampage replied as she stared at me. “My field may be psychology, but I know severe red flags when I see them. We need to get her to the stable’s medical station at once. Hopefully they’ll have something more substantial than just restoratives.”
It's not clear who's saying this. The focus of the paragraph is on Rampage, so at first I thought it was her, but then she replies. I doubt it's Blackjack, but if so, merge that paragraph and the previous one. If it's P-21 or Scotch, put the quote on another paragraph.

Whoa was all I could think as I watched[...]
I feel it'd flow better if there was a comma after 'whoa'.

And she fired another burst with renewed vinegar.
'Vigor'. 'Vigor'? Unless I'm missing something obvious... 'vigor'.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:15 pm

@Dekshuduph:
Ah, thank you.

Dekshuduph wrote:Thought ponies normally have four legs. I must be doing the math wrong.
...Um. Yes? They also normally have only one head and aren't described by the phrase "profanity of flesh".

Dekshuduph wrote:I feel it'd flow better if there was a comma after 'whoa'.
Hm... I don't think so, sorry.

Dekshuduph wrote:'Vigor'. 'Vigor'? Unless I'm missing something obvious... 'vigor'.
"vinegar" is correct.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by CD on Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:24 pm

O. Hinds wrote:
Dekshuduph wrote:'Vigor'. 'Vigor'? Unless I'm missing something obvious... 'vigor'.
"vinegar" is correct.

Are you certain? Because vinegar's meaning of a cooking acid does not gel as well as vigour, a state of intense action. Is vinegar supposed to indicate an acidic mood here? Because the sentence sounds like vigour would indeed be more appropriate.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:31 pm

It's an admittedly relatively uncommon phrasing, but it is a valid one. I'm not entirely sure why Somber picked it over something more usual, though. Then again, I wanted to name one of the Thunderheads "Indefatigable", so...
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:30 pm

Somber wrote:Could be worse...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3OXs_5AD2A
That was fun. Should have chosen a higher-contrast for the subtitles, though. Never did see the second or third of those, or all of them, at any rate.

CD wrote:
O. Hinds wrote:
Dekshuduph wrote:'Vigor'. 'Vigor'? Unless I'm missing something obvious... 'vigor'.
"vinegar" is correct.

Are you certain? Because vinegar's meaning of a cooking acid does not gel as well as vigour, a state of intense action. Is vinegar supposed to indicate an acidic mood here? Because the sentence sounds like vigour would indeed be more appropriate.
Yep. See here and here for related information, or here for an example of its use.

O. Hinds wrote:It's an admittedly relatively uncommon phrasing, but it is a valid one.  I'm not entirely sure why Somber picked it over something more usual, though.  Then again, I wanted to name one of the Thunderheads "Indefatigable", so...
Look, if my first instinct (correct, as it turns out) is that that has to have been the name of a British capital ship, it probably won't make a great pony name. But maybe that's just me.
Wait, you said Thunderheads, not Thunderbolts. Carry on. Though I maintain that Victorious doesn't really fit with Glorious Dawn and Overcast. But given it, Triumphant was certainly more restrained than Indefatigable.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by CD on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:24 am

O. Hinds wrote:It's an admittedly relatively uncommon phrasing, but it is a valid one.  I'm not entirely sure why Somber picked it over something more usual, though.  Then again, I wanted to name one of the Thunderheads "Indefatigable", so...
Inconceivable!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by JadedPony on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:08 am

eagle claws, lion paws, and snake tails.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Gotta love those long odds. Somber, I have new respect for you.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:38 pm

All right! Chapter 73! I know you've all been wondering where I'd gone...

*cricket* *cricket*

...jerks...

Well, anyway, on with the commentary! Pretty short this time because I spent so much of the chapter clinging to the edge of my seat.

Chapter 73 Commentary:

“Okay, now you’re just being ‘pop my head like a bloatspite’ stupid, 'cause that's not true,” her annoyance focusing into anger. “That’s impossible.”
At least BJ didn't tell her to search her feelings. Spike

“Which soul was it that betrayed me, Rampage?” I snapped in return.  “Was it the Angel?  Yeah, I’m sure she’d love to stop giving ‘peace’ to the Wasteland!  Or was Softheart a dirty cop all along?  Or Razorwire?  I’m sure she’s really into siding with authority!  Or was the Doc interested in stabbing me in the back?  How about Shujaa?  Was she really a traitor?  Or was Twist the one who sold out her friends?”  She shifted her whole body towards me, leaning forward, widening her stance, and flexing her powerful hindlegs like a four-hundred-pound steel cat.  “That’s right.  She was a worthless, no good moth–”
I really wish she'd taken that to the logical conclusion that Rampage is her own person...

Suddenly, Rampage stopped biting down as the crinkling deepened, a sound like cracking ice.  I looked up at her, my vision swimming with tears of pain, and spotted her staring past me with a look of trepidation… and awe.
Ah, crap. Well, it was inevitable, I guess. You've got about ten seconds of useful consciousness. Good luck.

A metal plate had dropped down, covering the ones we’d punched through.
Oh! Well, that's good. You've got somewhere to teleport to, assuming you can focus.

Where there is will, there is hope.
Where there is hope, there is action.
Where there is action, there is possibility.

Until I figure out who's talking, I'm going to think of this the Great Will of the Macrocosm. (Sorry to any non-anime-fans who don't get that.)

She ripped the banner in two and then looked straight into my eyes.  I leaned forward and jammed my moonstone-coated horn into her brow.  “No, this is Peppermint!” I hissed.  Without the recollector, there was no way she could experience the memory in the orb.
Oh, that moonstone is going to make this interesting... (Also, fuck yeah!)

And I looked straight into her eyes, vacant as the corpse of a dead star, and pressed my horn against her forehead and unloaded… something… straight into Rampage’s mind.  It wasn’t any kind of spell, per se.  It was to mind magic what a balefire egg was to precision.  As she started to crush me, I rammed a white-hot lance of rage, frustration, fear, and will straight into the pool of Rampage’s mind.  The Angel was like an oily blot smothering the flames I’d ignited.  With fiery rage and hate, I poured every bit of magic I could squeeze through my horn into her head.  There was no ‘mental spell matrix’ or ‘envisioning then actualizing’ like Twilight’s books taught.  This was me wanting nothing more right now than to rip, burn, gnash, tear, and obliterate that foul, bilious madness inside Rampage.  White light poured out of Rampage’s eyes as I pushed everything I could into her.
   The Angel recoiled.  I advanced.  The Angel hid.  I pursued.  The Angel threw images of Glory’s corpse at me.  I denied.  The Angel promised peace.  I mandated action.  Deeper and deeper, hotter and hotter, my will burned after her.  It would help me kill Cognitum.  I didn’t want it.  It would help me kill the Legate!  The Eater itself!  Just stop.  I refused.  It threw the sensation of serene peace at me like a choking blanket.  
   “You want peace?” I shouted into Rampage.  “Have it!”
   I dug down all the way to a hard little knot that I couldn’t push into, and seizing every bit of that slimy, acidic, poisonous thought, I pulled.  I ripped.  I consumed.  I eradicated.  With mental ferocity that outpaced the ruin of any balefire explosion, I tore every last bit to splinters.
Uh. That may be the most epic three paragraphs I've read in a while.

Then my horn burned out with a pop, and we both fell again.  The moonstone that had stuck to my horn had turned inky black.  It fell freely around my hooves, and I watched as it disintegrated, releasing a black shadow that was swept away with a tiny pathetic scream upon an ethereal wind.
Make that four paragraphs.

The door to the tram opened up into a foyer with a familiar immense rolling door in the far wall.
That's gotta be just for show. Why bother putting a Stable door inside an airtight lunar surface structure that should be well out of range of any ground-based missile?

But I wasn’t ready for the sight of fifty white ponies in party hats facing us with bright star-filled eyes, grinning happily and shouting in unison, “Welcome to the moon, Princess Luna!”
Wat.

Starry eyes? Have the blanks been here long enough for the moonstone to help them grow souls?

“It will work!  The wing was proof!  Science can do anything!” Morningstar bellowed in her face.  “What would Blackjack say if she knew how you were letting–”
Ahh, crap...

The glow was peaceful and calm, a blue-white illumination that drove the pain away bit by bit.  It felt familiar...  The same sensation I’d felt while lying on the dust outside the terminal.  Sympathetic in understanding.  Compassionate towards my suffering and the suffering I witnessed.
“Who are you?” I spoke at into the glow.
“A friend who has come a long way,” the illumination responded gently.
I'd almost wonder if this was Luna, but her soul seemed pretty unsympathetic back in the Shadowlands.

“I want to live,” I whimpered, daring to look more directly at the massive ghostly white pony shape holding me.
Uh. Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake today, but my guesses just got a lot more far fetched. Like "the Moon", or "the Avatar of Friendship", or "what's left of the star that gave rise to Luna"...

“...guys are the descendants of ponies who said ‘buck it’ in the last month after Goldenblood got the boot and snuck off Equestria and into this lunar stable?”
...huh.

Oddly, though, with enough time they stopped acting quite like mere blanks, even when the implants were off and they were supposed to be in a rest state.  They became almost like normal ponies.  You saw how they celebrated ‘Princess Luna’s’ arrival.
Ah, okay. 's what I thought.

“Shit,” I muttered as I realized she was right.  “Horizons was made to kill Nightmare Moon.  This whole place... the throne... the glowing pit... even the name... it was all one big lure to Nightmare Moon’s vanity.”
And the throne is positioned right on top of the barrel of the world's biggest cannon. Nice.

Er. Make that "worlds' biggest cannon".

While the screaming did nothing, my swinging hooves got caught in some black cabling strung horizontally across a gap.  The cable jerked and started sliding through the brackets that had been holding it, but the extra drag started gently slowing me.  Fortunately, something at both ends must have held, and the slowing ended in a stop instead of the cable joining me in my fall.
Did that look a lot like fate to anyone else?

That left one yellow bar thataway, on the other side of the great big… enormous… glowing…
Oh.  That must be Tom.
Oh... OH! That glowy spirit-pony must be the star spirit that's trapped in Tom! (See, told you I was slow on the uptake today.)

Only this time, the light that had swirled within had coalesced into a gargantuan glowing pony-shaped outline… an alicorn-shaped outline.  Well, that raised a couple theological questions I didn’t want to think about at all right now!  The pony’s eyes were ovals filled with bluish light.  CALL ME TOM.
To quote Mal Reynolds, "...huh."

Editing:

Suddenly, one side of the platform exploded, making the defenders lurch as a pink pony shape streaked through the foaming water.  A chartreuse pony lunged up, locked her hooves around the neck of one of the staggered shooters, and pulled it off the crumpling platform and into the churning flood water.
I may not understand what's going on here. The pink shape is Pisces, of course, but isn't Capri blue? Who's this green seapony?

“Who are you?” I spoke at into the glow.
Remove "at"

Most of it appeared to be huge crystal windows, the ones at the apex glowing brightly towards the planet the planet above.
Doubled "the planet".
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:00 pm

@SilentCarto:
Ah, thank you.

SilentCarto wrote:I may not understand what's going on here. The pink shape is Pisces, of course, but isn't Capri blue? Who's this green seapony?
Probably a mistake. Somber may say otherwise, of course, but I'm going to go ahead and change "chartreuse" to "blue". Oh, or "turquoise", since it looks like that's what Capri seems to have been originally described as.

SilentCarto wrote:Uh. That may be the most epic three paragraphs I've read in a while.
SilentCarto wrote:Make that four paragraphs.
Yes, Somber's writing certainly is still "horrible". :)
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:50 pm

@SilentCarto: You were quicker on the uptake than I was, at any rate. But the thing about Luna is still kind of sitting weird with me, since she seemed much more sympathetic when she contacted Blackjack under the Core than in the Shadowlands. Maybe it's the effect of being attached to Cognitum's mind.

O. Hinds wrote:
SilentCarto wrote:Uh. That may be the most epic three paragraphs I've read in a while.
SilentCarto wrote:Make that four paragraphs.
Yes, Somber's writing certainly is still "horrible".  :)
I may have done that more like this: "Yes, Somber's writing certainly is still """"horrible""""." But then, I'd guess there aren't enough scare-quotes in the world to do that sentence justice. Spike
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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