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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:45 pm

Anyone speak japanese... or know someone who knows japanese?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:22 pm

I... may know someone.

Well, it's been a while since I've talked to him, but I could maybe convince him to get out of retirement.

One last job. For old time's sake.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:26 pm

Regarding the 57 Matter:
Somber has said that the current version does not feel right to him, but he is also no longer sure what he wants to do with this issue and has frozen work on it.  It is possible that we will even be going back to the original version (or some reconstruction of it).  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope to have the issue resolved as soon as possible.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:58 am

okay.  A friend helped me out with the neighponese.  Thanks.
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I speak Japanese (well, a little)

Post by ILM126 on Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:17 am

Somber wrote:Anyone speak japanese... or know someone who knows japanese?

I do speak Japanese, been learning it at school since last year. Not very fluent, I do know the basics and grammar...
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:17 am

Also, for my rockets. I've found only 2 nuclear engine mods out there and I've tried one but it didn't give me enough thrust and TWR.

But the second one, which is what I'm testing now, might have enough thrust and TWR. Specificwise, what would the TWR be around? For eg, the Falcon v9.1 from SpaceX is said to have around 23(?) TWR, but if we divided that by 3 (which is what I think happens between Earth and Kerbin) it will have around 7.666 TWR. Would that be the target here?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:19 pm

I'm not sure what the exact TWRs are, sorry. The core ship of the older rockets has a Kerbin TWR<1 when not running in LAMTRpg mode, though, remember. You might want to research the R-7 family and the N1 for real-world semi-similar examples, but I've just been looking around a bit without finding the TWRs or the masses I'd need to calculate them.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:40 am

Good luck deciding what to do with the 57 changes. I hope you find something you're all happy with.

And it's good to hear that you got the Japanese help worked out.


So, Somber. You know how everything turns out longer than you mean it to? I think I'm starting to empathize.

Chapter Sixty Seven Running Thoughts:
The shadow world played with my senses of distance and time.  A dozen steps took me halfway to Chapel.  A hundred more got me to the village itself.

This is less disorienting than I had originally found it after reading 66 when it first came out, when I had missed, somehow, that the building they were outside of was Star House rather than something near BPM.


At this point, I could have come across Rarity's brain in a levitating robot, a Pinkie Pie spritebot, or the ghost of Applejack and not been terribly surprised.

I remember at least the Rarity comic, but not what the others are references to, unless they were the same thing just less memorable parts of it.


The shadow world had water of a sort; it trickled out of the rocks cold and clear and sterile.  It didn’t have life, though.  Just shadowy parodies.  Ghostly trees shifted and flickered around me as I walked, disappearing when I stopped.  Translucent ponies trotted by, froze at a crawl, and then suddenly blurred away in long streaks.  Then some zoomed backwards like a rewinding recording.  The silence was absolute; there were no echoes, and it didn’t matter how loudly I yelled.  This strange place seemed to render every noise I made a whisper.

This just seems like a neat, surreal setting. Even absent the instant-kill places. I wonder if The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits or something ever had someone trapped in a state like this. I kind of have to assume so.


“Frustrated?  My whole life has been people telling me what to do,” I said as I started pacing.  “And you know what?  I was cool with that.  I was!  Mom.  The Overmare.  Didn’t matter.  So long as somepony had a modicum of virtue or a little bit of authority and a direction for me to go in, I went.  I did.”

See, this is part of the reason that although in some lower-level aspects Blackjack is chaotic, I tend to view her as on the Lawful side of things, or at least Neutral tending towards Lawful.


And then, because no utterly foalish tantrum is complete without it, I clenched my eyes and screamed as loudly as I could.  I put as much of my rage, frustration, and self-disgust as I could into it… and this damnable place bled my outrage down to an anemic cry.

I like the symbolism here.


“Ghosts?  You’re telling me there are actually ghosts here?” I said, both skeptical and freaked out.

Come on, BJ. Leaving aside how you just said you wouldn't be surprised to meet Applejack's ghost, what about all the soul motes? Even if you don't classify them as ghosts, they should pretty heavily weaken your skepticism.

I talked to the soul of Princess Luna, so my credulity limit was set pretty high.

Yeah, that too.


“Garnet.  You shut the door on her,” I said with a small smile, remembering her dying slowly of radiation poisoning.  Normally I wouldn’t wish that on anypony, but Garnet had been abnormally vile.

Ah, but would she have managed to do the same if she'd been there?


“There is supposedly an enchantment upon them.  If you do not know the password, your heart will stop and you will never wake again.”
. . .
“I don’t suppose I could just chat with him without going through all this, could I?” I asked lamely, hoping the answer would be a surprise ‘yes’.
   Persephone smiled and shook her head sadly.  “That is not the way these things are done, Blackjack.  Good luck,” she said simply as she leaned in and hugged me.

The melodrama will not be denied!


That sounded like my kind of zebra!  Make lunch, not war.  I wondered how Glory’s cooking would stack up against theirs.

If anyone else were the judge? Probably not well. If it were a duel for making actual food that the other was able to eat the least of? Maybe.


Man Bitterbrew is an asshole.


“Why didn’t they just kill them if they were so bad?” she asked.
   “Because they’re still zebras.  They’re hated, but tolerated.  That’s part of their punishment.  They know serious dark magic though.  Powerful zebra curses, and the calling of malevolent spirits to harm their enemies.”
   “Ugh.  Why does everypony make that mistake?  They’re not curses!  They’re--”

You know, sometimes I really think that people need to recognize that common speech and academic/technical jargon don't always coincide, and use critical thinking to determine which is in effect at a given time. It's not all that hard.


The corpse reached up and grabbed Bitterbrew’s head, yanking him down towards the nightmarish ruin of his face.  “Yur firsh!” he cried out, and then he flicked the talisman with the tip of his tail.  From the end of the device, a twenty-foot-high plume of pink vapor blasted out.  Bitterbrew’s head disappeared in the spray, and when his spasming body fell back, a dripping stub was all that remained.  The jet of vapor started to die, but then a white mote was pulled into a silver ring around the pink talisman, and it surged and vomited forth an even more intense stream.

Don't like the guy (girl?), but wouldn't wish that death and fate-of-the-soul on anyone.


“No…” Goldenblood murmured as things started going dim, his chest feeling as if it were full of molten rock.  “Sta…aaaaah….”
“Don’t worry, Goldenblood.  We’ll get you help.  Just hold on,” the stallion said as the pain abated with another healing potion.  “We’re going to survive.  We’re going to make damned sure everypony knows what happened here tonight!”

The end to this memory is just distressingly ironic and tragic. Worse yet is that Goldenblood then goes on to help run the escalation of the war his failed attempt to explain what happened and the others' (willful?) misinterpretation led to.


“But why couldn’t he tell them after he recovered?” I asked myself as I stared at the screen.

A good question, but I'd figure it relates to things taking on an inertia of their own before he had the chance, especially if the escalations came before then (I don't remember what if anything the ponies did immediately after, but the zebras I believe burned Hoofington pretty soon). At that point, he might have figured it wouldn't make a difference in terms of de-escalation, but it could sow dissension on the pony side.


‘Zebra officials deny Littlehorn Massacre,’ read the tagline.  ‘Denounce Equestria for the murder of ‘refugees’.  Suggest Littlehorn School front for chemical weapons lab.  Hoofington burns.  Follow-up terrorist attack?’

Yeah, that'd do it.

Finally, an image of Celestia with Luna standing beside her.  I’d never seen her look so… old.  Even with the grainy picture, I could see the prominent shadows around her eyes and the heartbroken stare.  “…national period of mourning.  I regret to inform you all that I am stepping down for an extended leave of absence effective immediately.  The events of this war have become… more than I ever imagined.  Not since ancient times has Equestria suffered as it does now, and I fear there is no way for harmony to be restored.  Fear not, though.  I am passing control of the kingdom to my dearest sister.  As she has sheltered us all through the night, so shall she protect us all through these dark times.  She has my absolute confidence.”

Interesting that it was framed as an LOA. Must have changed it sometime soon, because even if it's "extended," you don't go around gutting and replacing the infrastructure of a bureaucracy built around someone who is going to be returning at some point. And, of course, if she never upgraded it to an abdication, then she'd be entirely within her rights to take back her place at the top whenever she wanted, and a ton of what happened later in the war wouldn't make any sense.


>WHO DID IT?
   I typed in ‘AMADI’, then stopped.  That was the right answer, but was it the right answer for him?  No one could blame him for the rage that was unleashed after Littlehorn.  Amadi was the killer.  Goldenblood had been near death.  If he’d died, the two up in the tower could have come to the exact same conclusion, regardless of what Goldenblood had said.  Everypony could have died, and nothing might have changed.  
But I imaged how Goldenblood must have felt… watching the world die… his Equestria die… I knew what it was like to survive things like that.  How I blamed myself for things that hadn’t been entirely my fault.  How it’d torn me up inside. Slowly, I typed the answer.
   >GOLDENBLOOD.

It's not like he hasn't been set up as something of her foil from the start, but now it's really building on this particular aspect as key. And that will remain the case.


‘My only friend’ came the rasp.  Friend?  Goldenblood didn’t have friends, he had accomplices.  He had minions.  He had…

Well, let's remember that he had said that Luna was his friend (or at least that he was hers) during her interrogation of him, but of course it's entirely possible that he would have considered that ended before making this.


Rainbow Dash?  Applejack?  Pinkie Pie?  Rarity?

Seriously? I'd really have put Pinkie Pie at the very end of the ministry mares, or fifth along with Rainbow Dash, given how he ended things with Pinkie.


Horse… no… not Horse.

SO not Horse.


Having fire erupt with every shallow breath sure was distracting.

Well, can't say that Blackjack never does understatement.


I wondered what sort of horrible things he would be meeting in a place like this.  Zebra infiltrators?  Equestria death squads?  Mad scientists?

Well, given the last answer was "Trottenheimer," the last guess is pretty fair. And it pretty much turns out to be right, anyway.


One started to give a drunken protest, but the stronger stallion incapacitated him, wrapping leathery wings around the inebriate’s head and then hauling him across his back.
   “Thanks, Lionheart,” the mare said with a little nod as the stallions trotted out.  “All yours, Goldenblood.”

Used to have kind of mixed feelings about bringing Lionheart in like this without any real connection to the Wasteland-present, at least so far, but having looked back and seen how little Lionheart had going on in the present, it's harder not to feel that, hey, if he's there, why not use him?


Twilight stared into the jukebox’s glowing, shining talismans as they whirred and played the record.  “I’m leaving the ministry.”
. . .
“Is that all you’re going to say?” she snapped waspishly.
“No,” he answered.  “I’ll start processing the paperwork this afternoon.  Speak to Princess Luna.  We’ll frame it as ‘extended leave’ and next week work in the retirement.

I like this. Seems to be using Celestia's announcement after the end of the last orb as a template, though of course Goldenblood presumably only heard about it rather than being involved. Could have seen it in the news as it happened, I guess.


“I don’t know!” Twilight cried out, flinging the mug away from her, the dark contents splashing across the floor.  “I just feel… I hurt!  And I don’t know why!  I see pictures of Big Macintosh and think that he was my friend’s brother and he’s gone and that’s bad… but I don’t feel that way.  And every time I try and figure out why it… it hurts even more!”

Ah, so when she'd seen Fluttershy, she did more than just prescribe medicine. So, was there anyone that memory removal actually helped? Or is it maybe the kind of thing where it did at least help some people when used in small amounts but not as much for large removals? Or maybe it's more effective when combined with therapy, but most of the cases we've seen didn't have any due to the circumstances around them? Because you'd think that there'd be some tracking of that kind of thing before rolling it out as a standard treatment on a large scale.


“You’re not going to quit, Twilight.  You don’t know how.”
Twilight frowned at him.  “You don’t know that.  I can too quit,” she said, almost petulantly.
“No.  You can’t.  You’ll stick it out, because that’s what you do.  Your whole family is incredibly tenacious,” he said calmly as he folded his hooves on the table before his face.  “You’ll get over this, Twilight.  People are counting on you.  You won’t let them down.  We have to win this war.”

This segment is wonderful in how closely Twilight mirrors her descendent, and how Goldenblood's last line could apply almost perfectly (with a different spin on "get over this") to Blackjack's situation, now.
I kind of wonder if effort was specifically put into making it so you could pretty much switch in the name Blackjack for Twilight and have it work.
However, there's the downside on further reflection that everything about Twilight's family is pretty much informed only by what Goldenblood is saying depending on how much you're willing to import the characterization and actions of Shining Armor. Even then, you're left with respect to Twilight's parents.
Now, if you're looking at it from a more meta-level, and incorporating knowledge Goldenblood doesn't have, and folding in Big Macintosh, Blackjack, and Marigold, to start, it's better supported. But again, that leaves it as more of something coming from the perspective of a reader than a character.


“That’s what I’m asking you.  What are we fighting this war for?  You know better than anypony.  You’ve been in the government since before the ministries.  So what is all this for?” Twilight asked.

Well yeah, maybe a little before the ministries, but not very much.


“And by then it’ll be too late, Goldenblood.  You don’t seem to get how much stuff is sitting around.  There’s tens of millions of gallons of it all across Equestria.  And if you talk about it, a pony in a uniform says ‘war effort’, and the debate gets shut down.  And bad as magical waste is, this ‘Flux’ seems to go out of its way to mess things up,” Twilight said with a scowl, then sighed.

You know, with this it's actually sounding like Gardens wasn't in any way about confidence in the outcome of the war. Could have been done entirely in the open apart from the massive expenditure it required, and maybe the Elements issue. Upon completion, could have tried using it right away, then announcing what it was and what happened. Maybe some people get fired, but it seems like a long shot they'd be imprisoned or killed, especially if Goldenblood were able to cover up just how much effort went into it.


Goldenblood actually blushed as he went on, “Yes, well, I always had stories of Equestria.  I dreamed of this place.  When Mother died and I came here, it was the first time I felt like I was home.  Certainly, Father didn’t make things easy for me, but I woke up each morning glad to be here.  I hiked all over it, collecting rocks, minerals, and gems.  I’ve always been in love with Equestria.”  He spoke like… I didn’t know what.  As if he was looking at some distant dream.

This is one of the reasons I think more of Goldenblood than Horse. He's always seemed like he believed in something, once we got a bit below the surface level. Horse had his belief in a technology-improved future, but even that was wrapped up in racial resentment and perhaps most brought out in Sweetie Bot, which would have been relatively fine if it weren't for the creep factor of using it partially as revenge for the real Sweetie rejecting him.


“It’s something I thought up this morning.  Megaspells… they operate like the Elements of Harmony.  What if we combine the two?  A megaspell array powered by the magic of the Elements to cleanse and restore Equestria if the worst should happen?”

Okay, so maybe not. But the thing is, you could still sell it as an easy fix for the industrial waste problem.

“The Elements?”  He frowned at the tiara.  “I thought you couldn’t get them to work.”

Okay, so that would be a sticking point with regards to using it as a waste management solution. Also, I'd long pretty much figured that the Elements wouldn't work for them by late in the war, so this feels pretty natural to me, but does raise the question of what they were trying to do with them.


Do you love Equestria or Princess Luna, Goldenblood?”
   His mouth worked a moment as he stared up at her.  “I don’t understand… I love both…”
   “No.” she contradicted.  “You can’t.  Either you love the Equestria you used to dream about, or you love the ruler who’s changing it to suit her own vision.  I respect Princess Luna too, but this is wrong.  So which is it?  Equestria or Luna?”

Harsh, but it's hard to really go against that without appealing at least a bit to cognitive dissonance.

He didn’t answer.  He just closed his eyes for the longest time.  “I love Luna, Twilight.  I do.”  He opened his eyes and looked at the unicorn as she slumped and seemed to age before his eyes.  “But I love Equestria even more.  And you’re right.  If we lose this war, we’re going to need something like what you’re proposing.  And if we win…”  He trailed off.  “If we win…” he repeated, and once again went quiet.

And there, I think, is the emotional indication of how this is after his own attempt to quit, in addition to the basic assumption that that would have come relatively soon after the dream that sparked his split with Fluttershy, and that was before or right after megaspells first became public. Of course, that adds some to Goldenblood's relationship with Luna, since even after that, and his growing fears about her, he found it hard to choose between her and Equestria.


“That’s treason,” Scruffy said as he pulled open a trap door behind the bar.  “Yer talking treason.”
   “No.  Not treason.  Responsibility.  I created a government where she has absolute power with almost no accountability.  Even Celestia could be held responsible for her actions.  Luna will rule as an apparent figurehead, shielded by layer upon layer of bureaucracy and obfuscation.

Well, as long as the war's on, anyway. Wasn't the plan for her to rule in the open after the war was over? Granted, if she likes the current situation, she could always continue it with new bureaucracy to replace the old that would have been taken out as cover.


A minute later came a curiously muffled ‘fwoosh’, and fire billowed out the kitchen door.  Smoke rose into the sky as he calmly walked back the way he came, fire in his wake.

And so we have confirmation that Goldenblood is a cool pony.



Goldenblood hadn’t been perfect.  For all his ability to structure, manipulate, and arrange, he hadn’t been perfect.  Getting caught?  Betraying Luna?  Helping Luna in the first place?

All good points, but I think that the second and the third are in a different category of errors than the first.


What did Goldenblood think he’d done wrong?  Trusted Luna?  Maybe, but he hadn’t made it sound like he’d been terribly wronged by her.  More the opposite.

Again, if that's the case, I think that it's reflective of his being able to soldier on in the face of being wronged by her, keeping up the belief in his own mind. Or maybe I was wrong about the sequence of events.


I swallowed hard, typed >LOVE, and clenched my eyes closed again as I hit the key.
   Five seconds later, I opened them again.  “It worked,” I muttered as I read the third prompt.

Makes me think of a description of the seven deadly sins (or was it just a subset?) as different forms of wrong love.


Then the phrase rasped like a rusty file across my brain: ‘Who did I betray?’  And then I felt a very familiar stillness in my chest as my heart stopped.  Instantly the edges of my vision darkened and I felt myself start to collapse.  One second.  ‘Luna!’  Two seconds.  ‘Fluttershy!’  Three seconds.  ‘Twilight’.  My face hit the terminal keys.  Four seconds.  ‘Yourself!’  Everything went black as my brain gave one last feeble  thought: ‘Everypony!’  Then it all went to black.

And of course we're kind of bringing it around to the inflated sense of self-importance that says that your failings all matter more than everyone else's: it's always about you. Blackjack's been getting better with that, at least mentally. I get the impression that she's not really there yet emotionally, that she still has a strong tendency to take her failures very hard and see her mistakes and wrongs as bigger than others, and of course is more ready to forgive others than herself. But she at least is aware of it and trying to change.


Goldenblood sat behind a garish pink desk, the starmetal tuning fork beside his head as he stared out the window at a rainy Manehattan day.

Yeah, that tuning fork is never a good sign.


A mirror half-covered by a cloth, sitting in the corner with the tag ‘Move to fun house ASAP!’

Right, they were separate and that one came first.


Arrest Princess Luna.

Yeah, I don't see that one happening in any case. Though, with Horse at OIA, who knows?


She didn’t seem to realize he was there as she trotted over to a filing cabinet and pulled out a file marked ‘Badpony List F’.  When she turned back to the desk, the pink mare jumped and dropped the file on the floor.
“Goldenblood?  What... how... who... huh?”  She shook her head hard and glowered at him.  “What do you think you’re doing here?  You’re not director of the O.I.A. anymore!”

Nice depiction of the PTM low/long-term effects when you aren't high.


“Goldie here was so nice to come here to save us some time!  Take him down to Room Fun oh One.”

Nice one.


“We’ll be outside when you’re done, sir,” the green stallion said, trotting from the room.
   The gray mare trotted from the room after him, touching an earbloom.  “Stand down.  It’s just Pinkie being Pinkie again,” she mumbled as she left.

And another one. And both in context, too.


Goldenblood started at her for a moment, and then there was a click as the doors to the office locked.  “Achy butt, is it?” he said as he levitated out a dozen mint tins, emptying them out so that a cloud of pills hovered beside him.  “Tell me...” he said as he advanced, and Pinkie’s smile slowly evaporated as her eyes went even wider.  “What’s itching now, Pinkie?” he yelled as he jumped upon the older mare.  “Have a mint-al Pinkie!  Have all the fucking Mint-als!”

After the long build of the Have a Mint-al, Pinkies, and the tuning fork, and the rest, this is some of the most threatening he's ever seemed. Does help that it's against a main character, of course. Sure, it's also that it's in the open. He's not sweet-talking, not manipulating, he's just here with an ironic means of attacking her.

She opened her mouth to scream, and he shoved a dozen tablets into her mouth.  “Chew them up!  Swallow!  What’s itching now?  What’s twitching?  What’s your Pinkie Sense saying!  What!”

And now he's completely out of control. And seeing that, even as he's in the middle of assaulting her, does make me a little sympathetic for him, since that control was so much of him.


   >HE WAS A PUPPET.  Hoping it wasn’t some other word like peon or slave, I hit the button.
   For several seconds, nothing happened.  Then two lines popped up.
   >ANSWERS ACCEPTABLE.
   >ACCESS GRANTED.  WELCOME, EXECUTIONER.

I'm kind of amazed by the jump from "He was a puppet" to "Welcome, Executioner"; it seems to me like that would be the kind of mitigating circumstance that might stay an execution. Of course, this is Goldenblood, and for him, not being in control of himself was probably the greatest crime, especially as it meant he served a master he hadn't meant to. And again, parallel to Blackjack with Cognitum.
Also, after last chapter, I think it would take quite a bit to get her to take up the mantle of an executioner. Surely she'd have been more ready to play that part for Steel Rain than Goldenblood.


One monitor changed to a list of crimes, starting with Conspiring against the Throne: 2 counts and First Degree Murder: 1 count and ending with Jaywalking: 12 counts.

I'm surprised that the murder count is so low, given we saw at least one. And I doubt that he was giving himself any kind of service to the throne exception. Also the jaywalking. Seems like the kind of thing most people do more than that.


“What do you believe would be a fitting death for Goldenblood?  Thanks to accelerated neural perception, even slow, lingering deaths are possible.  Colon cancer?  Certainly possible.  Venereal disease.  Easily done.”

Still like the head-canon from Hinds that VD is a thing, just exceptionally rare and difficult to transmit among ponies so that it's more likely somepony would get one from a partner of another species than another pony. With, of course, the vast majority of ponies never having a partner outside their species.


“Now hear this.  This is going to happen.  If any of you have moral or professional objections, so be it.  They will be noted in your record.  But we do not decide for Her Majesty.  We execute Her Majesty’s decisions.  This will be done.  Is that understood?”
He stared around the room, meeting the eyes of each pony.  Some dropped their gazes, shamed, and trotted out.  Others stared back defiantly, then left as well.  In a minute, only three guards remained, all of them batponies.

Interesting point, but pretty well supported by their greater history with Luna/Nightmare Moon and having been culturally isolated during her imprisonment, such that they might have different views passed down reflecting a possibly harsher time a millenium ago. In comparison, a few decades might not have had so great an effect.


A platform stretched along one end of the plaza.  At its center sat the ruler of Equestria, looking tall and cool, beautiful and terrible.  To her left sat a number of dignitaries and officials, among them Trueblood and Prince Blueblood.  On her right, however, sat six seats adorned with the ministry icons.  Only one was occupied; Rarity sat stiff as a board, her eyes fixed on her hooves.  The seat for princess Celestia was also vacant.
“Mistake…” Goldenblood murmured.
“Yes, you made a mistake.  But it’s too late to–”
“No.  Princess Luna,” Goldenblood muttered.  “She shouldn’t have empty seats.  Makes her look weak.”  The batpony stared at him incredulously, and the corner of the scarred unicorn’s mouth curled.  “Should have filled them with representatives.”

A good follow-up to the last scene, where he now seems, though drugged to the gills and unable to walk or speak clearly, and in custody being taken to his execution, more himself and more in control, and thus less pitiable than when he was attacking Pinkie in her office. This is him (fake) dying as he lived, where that was him torn of what he was.


Luna gazed down, cold and impartial, then said in a thunderous voice, “People of Equestria!  It is Our solemn duty to present to you the greatest traitor in our land’s history.

That's kind of rich coming from her. And I'm not even talking about her involvement in the current war.


The same mist covered Goldenblood, but at most all it caused was the faintest irritation.  

And so he becomes, in all likelihood, the first Canterlot ghoul, excepting Mouse herself.


Her coat seemed to be running like a beautiful painting splashed with turpentine.  Her magnificent mane had a plastic appearance, the individual strands glued together in a purple mass that had fused with her hide.  Her hoof pressed to the glass panes on the window, the end smeared like a blob of glue to the cracked class.  Her eyes streaked her cheeks like running make up.

Much as I especially hate bad things happening to Rarity, I like that description.

The mare made a soft choking noise, her body shaking, and a whimper escaped her lips.  “Tell me.  Do I look dreadful?” she said with a sniff.
   “You’re always beautiful, Rarity,” Goldenblood said.  “Nothing could ever change that.”
   She sniffed again, the corner of her mouth curling.  “Liar.  You always were such a liar.  But thank you...”
   “Thank you, Rarity,” Goldenblood murmured.  “For saving her, and for telling me.”
   Rarity quivered again, then took a deeper breath.  “I always was... too generous... for my own good...” Rarity murmured.  Then the breath left her, and she sagged.  Her body started to fall, but Goldenblood’s magic caught her and steadied her so that when he released it, Rarity almost appeared to still stare out at the city with her hoof pressed to the window.

Such a beautiful end. I'm in tears. And it's fitting, I think, that she's the one he sees; I do think that out of all the ministry mares, she was the one he had most in common with.


The Pink Cloud was dissolving the elaborate tapestries, making them drip in clumps of reeking fibrous matter.  Even the marble seemed to pit and hiss at the pink vapors.

So I figure it's just Blackjack's ignorance, but marble "pit[ting] and hiss[ing]" isn't really an "even" event.


“You must flee this place, your Majesty.”
   “Flee?  To where?  Manehattan is lost.  Cloudsdale is gone.  Fillydelphia is annihilated.  Hoofington is dead.”
   “To the Redoubt.  Equestria must have a ruler,” Goldenblood said.  A horrid choking noise, half sob and half laughter, ripped from her throat.  “You can drop the shield.  The city is lost.”

Ah, that he should, in the end, have decided that she was fit to continue after all. But then, perhaps that's in part from coming to understand that he'd become a pawn of a greater evil than she ever was.

“But the countryside is not.  I may at least grant my subjects a few hours more to flee,” she gasped.
   “Equestria needs its ruler, your Majesty,” he said.  “There must be emergency plans enacted.  Orders given.  Evacuations organized.”
   “Another pony shall do so,” she said, swaying.  “I have released EC-1101.”
   Goldenblood slumped.  “Your Majesty.”
   “It is only fitting.  May it find somepony more worthy.”  She closed her eyes, tears running down her cheeks.  “I wished to rule for a thousand years.  To prove to my people that I was kind and loving, that I would care for them and protect them from the things they feared.  That I was not Nightmare Moon.  My reign was a mere hundredth of that, and I protected them from naught!”  She spasmed in pain.  “At the very least, I can do this.  Protect the people of my land for a while longer.”

Of course this was always a known quantity from FoE. However, the way it gets filled out, the sentiments expressed, and especially preemptively releasing EC-1101 all strike me as indications above and beyond the mere fact of Luna's loyalty and sacrifice that she and Cognitum are, by this point, at least, very different. Luna's soul's protestations notwithstanding, and in some respects placing her in a light similar to Blackjack and Goldenblood in exaggerated, if not gratuitous, self-recrimination.


“I’m glad it’s you.  I knew that only you or Cognitum would have any chance of finding me.  And I knew only you would be able to appreciate what I’ve done.”
“What you’ve done?” I said with a small frown.
“The crimes I’ve committed,” he amended.  “You’ve finally come to judge me for all that I’ve done.”
I rolled my eyes a little.  “Yeah... no.  Actually, I’m here to ask you some questions, and then I’ll be on my way.  You can go on experiencing horribleness as long as you want.”
Goldenblood’s mouth opened and closed a few times as he seemed to struggle with what I’d just said.  “Blackjack, you know what I’ve done.  You know who I am better than probably any pony who has ever lived.  Between sessions, I’ve used this machine’s connection with Hoofington’s system to keep tabs on you.  Watched what you’ve done.  How could you not do anything about my crimes?”

Translation: I AM IMPORTANT! SO IMPORTANT I CAN'T BEAR TO DIE UNLESS SOMEBODY KNOWS AND ACKNOLEDGES HOW IMPORTANT I AM!
I'm not sure he's aware that that's what he's saying, but there you go.


“Goldenblood, I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t about you.  I agree, you fucked up big time.  I have to admit, I’m pretty good at doing that myself, but you beat me hooves down.  Congratulations.”

Blueballing level: maximum.
But more seriously, she does have some perspective, and getting him to accept it is pretty important, especially since she has real work to get to.


But you know things, Goldenblood.  You could help me, if you just pulled your head out of your masochistic, egotistical, self-loathing ass long enough to!”

In the words of the wonderful Huey Freeman: "What the people need is the truth, and not the pretty truth. The horrible, awful, terrible truth that hurts people’s feelings. The truth that makes people get angry, and get up and do something." And this was a good start.


“There’re plenty of other mistakes, too.  Over twenty thousand various things I did wrong.  I haven’t even hit all the highlights.”
   “Pretty impressive.  I can do it too,” I replied, then launched into the list, punctuating each item with a jab of a forehoof in his direction.  “Scoodle.  Fluttershy Medical Center. . . . I hesitated, tilting my head.  “Stygius... eh...”  Then I glared at him again and resumed jabbing.  “Tulip.  Hightower.  Lying to Silver Spoon. . . . Dealer.  Rampage.  Cognitum!”

I like the reaction to Stygius, and think it's probably about right, maybe even a little stronger than it need be. Also, lying to Silver Spoon being there (and that it's one of relatively few that got a verb) is very gratifying to me since it's been one of my hobby-horses for years, and it never really had much in terms of direct consequences because Silver Spoon ended up being so understanding and forgiving, and there wasn't time (and there was too large of a cast) to give it the emotional weight I thought it deserved. Granted, as far as I know, I'm distinctly in the minority in thinking that, so I'm probably off on the attention it warranted.


He just sat there in horrified silence for a long while.  Then he closed his eyes.  “How can I go on after what I’ve done, Blackjack?  To Equestria?  To Luna?  To Fluttershy?  How do you move on after you’ve hurt so many?”

You know, Snips asked the same question last chapter, and came up with not being able to, at least at first. But he and Charm knew, at least, that even if they couldn't forgive themselves, Blackjack would. And in each case (with different degrees of success) they laid down their lives for her, for a purpose. I don't know if Snips could have been persuaded to desire to live on (that he was effectively paralyzed probably wouldn't have helped), but I don't think Charm was planning on dying if it wasn't necessary. But then, she had the benefit of not merely knowing Blackjack, but of having her memories.

I sighed.  “You try and do better.  You make each day count.  You don’t punish yourself eternally for your mistakes; you try and learn from them.  And you never, ever, give up,” I said as I put a leg around his shoulder.

You know, I think this might be relevant, especially the rap towards the end. Though of course "never falling back down" isn't so much a characteristic of Blackjack or her outlook on life as never staying down. Also, I don't really know if some of the last few lines actually mean anything even in the context of the song. "Expressed to impress like a dang contest": huh? And "Bang bang, I just rapped a couple'a audibles" seems like filler, which as the next to last line of fresh content is unfortunate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTg5G9xLuGs


“Project Horizons was my reset button.  If the Caesar won, or Luna won and became a tyrant, the potential for atrocity was unimaginable.  There were plans in the Zebra Empire on those last days.  Factions that wanted complete genocide of the pony race.  The hatred in those twenty years was absolute at the end.  But the zebras knew that they were losing.  Eventually, Equestria would have enough megaspells that, with a word, the Empire would be annihilated with no chance of striking back.  And Luna had so much power that she would have been unstoppable.  A figurehead controlling her own puppet government.  Mind magic.  Drugs.  Power-armored soldiers.  Alicorn troopers.  Cybernetic mind control.  She could have been invincible.  If my worst fears came to pass, the world would need to be reset.”

Yeah, kind of seems like the time for a negotiated peace had passed. And that's some pretty formidable stuff on Luna's side. Still, ancient, soul-collecting abomination from beyond the stars is probably worse.


If EC-1101 was ever deleted, say by a tyrant who had had an interest in there being no way to transfer her power, or if it could not find a successor, say because the zebras killed us all, then Horizons would be activated.”
   “And an alert would go out for everypony to get to the stable,” I said as he brought up a window with a list of hundreds of names.
   “Of course not,” he replied quietly.  “Nopony would come at all.  How could they, if Equestria were under martial law or occupied, or if they were all dead?”  He looked quietly at me.  “You forget, I had Projects Chimera, Steelpony, and Eternity as well.”
   I stared at him.  “You weren’t going to save ponies.  You were going to make them,” I muttered.
   “Flux for the raw material.  Thousands of blood samples.  Thousands of memory engrams.  And the soul binding rituals, courtesy of Rarity.”  He said it all matter-of-factly.  “The first generation would act as incubators for the embryos in storage.  And so the world would be saved.”  He glanced at me.  “You know the flaw in the plan, don’t you?”
   Where to begin?  “Cognitum said that Flux clones can’t carry fetuses to term,” I answered.
   “Correct.  I don’t understand the biology, but apparently blanks lack the ability to form the placental support system.  Regardless, a critical flaw.  One of many,” he muttered as he looked at the diagrams.  “And not the worst.”

A completely fatal flaw that at minimum would require almost an entire leg of the plan to be reworked wasn't the worst flaw? That's impressive.


“I knew that, even with the Redoubt, it would take decades, even centuries for life to be restored to Equestria.  That perhaps the Redoubt would fail.  But I had an... epiphany,” he said as he looked sorrowfully into my eyes.  “The first star impact was terrible, but the spiritual life energy released was immense.  I theorized that if Tom was infused with that same amount of spiritual energy, the world might recover far faster.  Perhaps in as little as a generation...”
   I stared at him.  “Are you saying...”
   “Yes,” he answered solemnly.  “There’s a star spirit bound within the moonstone.”

On the plus side: if Cognitum is right, eh. No big deal, probably. So she gets extra energy, so what?
On the negative: she isn't right, and that means that the Eater would get far more benefit than would have otherwise been the case. Not so much worse for Equus, but for the rest of the galaxy (and beyond?), seems pretty bad.
Granted, Tom's opinion may mitigate this a bit, but that assumes that Tom isn't on the Eater's side an making a sacrifice for it (this seems very unlikely given the conversation on the moon's surface with Blackjack) or misinformed (this seems more likely, what with the very late revelation to Trottenheimer/Goldenblood of the way to use the F.A.D.E. shields to convert moonstone to starmetal, almost certainly after the binding had been done).
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Icy Shake
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:41 am

Chapter Sixty Seven Overall Thoughts:
So we pick up with Blackjack in the Shadowlands, trying to find a way back to the Redoubt but unable to teleport and not actually knowing where it is. The atmosphere is nice, but there isn't too much of vital importance that happens. Tenebra shows up, and Blackjack ends up saving her from the "echo" of a sea/river serpent (likely Steven Magnet based on the focus on hair and the line "What a world!), which made her relive its death of radiation poisoning. One point there, though, is how it illustrated a little bit of the impact of the war and the new government on Equestria's non-pony, non-zebra population, and if it was Magnet, how even some of the people who had helped the mane six out in the show were being ground underhoof. Anyway, the need for the save was prompted by Tenebra's inability to fly at the time, caused by her stress-induced seizures, which have played a large role in her life, leaving her the weaker and less respected and trusted of the siblings because of the kingdom's martial orientation, despite (her own opinion) that she was always far smarter than him. Now, it was this chapter especially that originally made me think that there may have been more ambivalence in her feelings towards Stygius than was apparent on the surface. (One point in particular is where she says, regarding how he tried to use oral sex to ease her into the idea of how they would one day be expected to be each other's mates, that it was something "every biology textbook said . . . was wrong. Never mind morals." The biology is on point, but where was the morality of it coming from, given that they were raised in a society where that was normal and expected?) In any case, although I'm leaning more towards the explanation that her resentment of Stygius and especially Whisper is related to her loss of status and spotlight, that that would have been an interesting thing to delve into, and a series of vignettes set pre-Blackjack/Whisper or (frankly, especially) with an alternate set of events where Stygius never brings anyone back from the outside world, exploring their relationship and place in their world and them eventually inheriting the throne and presiding over their dying kingdom, could be pretty interesting. Okay, getting back on point, Persephone shows up and offers to help Blackjack get to Goldenblood's cell, in thanks for saving her daughter (if from a threat she wouldn't have faced in the first place if Blackjack hadn't bamfed off), and just because she's a much more flexible and understanding character than her half-brother/husband. They get to the cell, which has a whole security setup meant more to keep people from reaching him than keeping Goldenblood inside, and we come to find that Tenebra would like a relationship (or just sex) with Blackjack, but it's all cut off quickly as Blackjack gets down to business.

She needs to get through the security system, built around a number of questions she needs to answer, of two types. The first is prompts at a computer terminal, the second is getting the password to each of three trapped memory orbs, each of which is meant to inform one of the three prompts.

The first memory is the most straightforward: it's at Luna's academy on the night of the Littlehorn Massacre. Goldenblood has been found and told to report to a place where the dean, Bitterbrew, is dealing with a hysterical zebra whom he thinks was stealing from the school. There's some background on a few of the zebra tribes, notably the Tappahani and the Carnilia, but the key point is that the zebra is terrified because she saw a Starkatteri here. Goldenblood is convinced she's is being truthful on the basis of her tribe, which is known for its honesty, and because she actually said "Starkatteri" instead of one of the euphamisms they normally use, as the name itself is said to bring a curse upon those who utter it. He convinces the others that this is a big deal, so they split up and search. They find the Starkatteri, who has a hoofball-shaped talisman with some starmetal incorporated, a chase ensues momentarily, and the talisman ends up being activated. It starts out weak, but each one it kills (at least in the immediate vicinity) releases a soul which is caught and fuels more pink cloud production. Goldenblood is greviously injured, and it's revealed that the Starkatteri was Amadi, making this not a suicide mission. There aren't many survivors, but Goldenblood, in bad shape, rides the elevator he was on to the top of an observation tower where there were two others, and he tries to explain what happened and who was responsible, but they only get that it was a zebra before he could no longer continue and the memory ended. This orb was supplemented by footage of the press conference where Celestia announced her "extended leave of absence" in favor of Luna, and Luna seemed entirely out of her depth in answering the reporters' questions. Celestia had to bail her out, and where the press had run roughshod over Luna, barely giving her a chance to respond, they fell silent the moment Celestia cleared her throat. I could easily see this looming large in Luna's mind as she set up her new system. Now, one thing here is that it doesn't seem to reflect too well the Luna we'd seen earlier, with, say, the meeting before the war started. She seemed more confident there, better able to handle things, more comfortable with dealing with ponies. But the situation was sufficiently different that it's not too hard to understand; after all, it has Celestia all but abdicating, and that's something I have a hard time swallowing altogether.

Next up is one of a conversation between Goldenblood and Twilight at a bar soon after Big Macintosh's death at the Battle of Shattered Hoof Ridge. She wants to quit the Ministry, and though he's willing to play ball, setting up a proposal about how it could be handled, nicely echoing how the Celestia/Luna handoff was done, with it at first presented as an LOA, then a while later a full retirement and passing of authority to Mosaic and Gestalt. It's also a contrast to when Goldenblood tried to leave the O.I.A. and Luna extorted him into staying by saying he'd need a blanket memory erasure for the last five years and making threats against Fluttershy after the war ended. I'm pretty sure that that had already happened by the point this conversation took place, but not completely confident since it depends on how much of a gap there was between the dream-conversation which prompted his troubles with Fluttershy and his wanting to quit. In any case, he turns the conversation to Twilight seeing Fluttershy, and she says that she was prescribed medication that she doesn't want to take, because look what the drugs were doing to Pinkie. Now, it's clear that that's not all that was done, because either she's a much better actress than she's ever really seemed, or she actually didn't know why it felt like she'd lost more than just "someone she knew." She doesn't know how to make the hurt stop, and Goldenblood tells her it never does, but it becomes bearable in time and reminds of the ones we lost. Then comes one of my favorite sections of the chapter:

“You’re not going to quit, Twilight.  You don’t know how.”
Twilight frowned at him.  “You don’t know that.  I can too quit,” she said, almost petulantly.
“No.  You can’t.  You’ll stick it out, because that’s what you do.  Your whole family is incredibly tenacious,” he said calmly as he folded his hooves on the table before his face.  “You’ll get over this, Twilight.  People are counting on you.  You won’t let them down.  We have to win this war.”

This segment is wonderful in how closely Twilight mirrors her descendent, and how Goldenblood's last line could apply almost perfectly (with a different spin on "get over this") to Blackjack's situation, now. I kind of wonder if effort was specifically put into making it so you could pretty much switch in the name Blackjack for Twilight and have it work. However, there's the downside on further reflection that everything about Twilight's family is pretty much informed only by what Goldenblood is saying, depending on how much you're willing to import the characterization and actions of Shining Armor from canon materials or other stories. Even then, you're left with little with respect to Twilight's parents. Now, if you're looking at it from a more meta-level, and incorporating knowledge Goldenblood doesn't have, and folding in Big Macintosh, Blackjack, and Marigold, to start, it's better supported. But again, that leaves it as more of something coming from the perspective of a reader than a character.

Okay, so leaving that aside, they talk a bit about the war, how it's affected everyone like it has Twilight (especially since neither of them knows she lost a fiance, not a mostly second-degree acquaintance), and that that makes it harder to just stop when everyone wants revenge/justice. Twilight calls that sunk cost fallacy, and adds that each side would be safer if both stayed home (on which note I'll point out that she seems to be missing the prisoner's dilemma aspect—maybe she didn't get that far in her intro micro studies; I snark, but really, she's the one who brought econ in in the first place with the sunk costs fallacy), and further points out that neither side is as reliant on the foreign resources that sparked the war as they were at the time. Equestria has hydro and magic power sources, and is working on solar; the zebras have adjusted to more heavily use other options for their magic than gems. She even expresses incredulity that the zebras would privilege their religious fear of Nightmare Moon over the chance for peace. Goldenblood basically gives in, saying that there's no good reason to keep fighting, but that there's just no way to actually stop, and that in the meantime, Equestria needs her, at least for a few years before another round of peace talks will have a chance.

It's here where things go from interesting on a character level to informing the plot. Twilight says that she's not even sure there will be an Equestria worth fighting over before long, mentioning the waste, the Flux, and so forth, to say nothing of the societal changes. The environmental damage can't wait until after the war to be dealt with, and Luna won't spare the effort to deal with it now or change processes for preventive purposes. Along the way, Goldenblood talks about how much he loves Equestria, and how after growing up traveling abroad, it was nevertheless where he felt like he belonged, despite Blueblood making it hard on him. This segues into how the zebras have megaspells, and how, if weaponized megaspells are used on Equestria, what would be left? Goldenblood says there's not much they can do about it, but Twilight brings up the idea of using the Elements to power a megaspell to "cleanse and restore Equestria if the worst should happen." Goldenblood counters that Luna won't allow it; she fears them using the Elements against her, and in any case would see such a device as a vote of no-confidence. (Not that Luna would need to worry about the ministry mares using the Elements on her: they tried to activate them—I have no idea what for—and failed. No great surprise, really, given both the ways that the various members had kind of betrayed who they were to varying extents and the rifts that had grown between them.) At this point Twilight explodes on him, asking whether he loves Equestria or Luna; he can't love both the Equestria he knew and the Princess turning it into something awful. He does, but loves Equestria more, and will help her make her plan happen. He also considers what to do if Equestria should win rather than lose: it's the genesis of both Gardens and Horizons.

One thing that's sticking in my mind is the question of how much Goldenblood brought Twilight around to staying, as opposed to giving her what she needed to do what she was going to end up doing anyway. I could kind of see it going either way; she was sincere, true, but despite the pain and the doubts, just leaving isn't really consistent with who she is, especially upon the news of the zebras getting megaspells. She was already, after all, thinking of the Gardens, and it sounded like something she'd hoped to pursue openly. I think that an important aspect of the scene was breaking her out of her funk and giving her a chance to cool down. The rest helped, sure, but at any rate I don't think Goldenblood was doing all of the work.

The last orb is Goldenblood at Pinkie's office, after she'd had her Mirror experience and he'd been dismissed from the O.I.A. He's using a starmetal tuning fork; she's in Pinkamena mode. She tries to have him arrested, but nobody is willing to, since it would be contrary to Luna's orders. Goldenblood says that nobody respects her: who in law enforcement would respect someone constantly high as a kite and trampling over the laws she's supposed to enforce? He goes further, adding that Pumpkin and Pound don't either; they love her, but it's not the same. He covers how much of a thorn she's been in his side, always trying to arrest people he needed to keep things moving. Yes, at the start she was a good cudgel to use to extort money from the aristocracy, but since? A nuisance. And now, she's going to stop. Throughout, he's been offering her a Mint-al, but it escalates after Pinkie asks if he's murdered for Princess Luna in addition to everything else. He has a nice speech, which starts out simple, even wistful, but gets more intense, and details both why he was a good fit for the job and how the Mane Six made it hard for him: he needed to keep them apart, but also distracted, especially Pinkie, because any of them leaving (and Pinkie was a particular danger there) could have the others following. At that point, she turns it on him, offering him a Mint-al, saying that her Pinkie Sense says he could use one. Then he snaps, emptying a dozen tins and jumping on her, forcing a dozen tablets into her mouth when she tries to scream, and following it up with more. She ODs rapidly, and says he serves the Eater of Souls, then tells him to look in the mirror after he protests. When he does, touching it in the process of moving aside the cloth covering it, this is what he sees:
The single cold pane shimmered, framing a reflection perfectly.  That reflection, though, didn’t appear to be him at all.  It was an unscarred stallion covered in blood.  He stood on a field of salt and ashes, the air above him black and rolling.  And in the background, something horrible was breaking out of the barren land, clawing from the earth like a colossal ghoul.  Its head broke the surface, and it let out a scream, and the blood-drenched stallion let out a small smile.  A star fell into its wide jaws and world split in two as something horrible was reborn.
He denies it, but Pinkie just states that of course it's true:  “In trying to save Princess Luna, you have slain her.  In trying to preserve Equestria, you have ushered in its annihilation.  You destroy all you hold most dear.” It's at that point that Pumpkin, Pound, and some others break into the locked office, and try to get medical attention for Pinkie. As this happens, he asks what he can do to prevent what he saw, but she can't really get anything coherent out. The scene ends with him wondering if it all could really be true as he notices the starmetal tuning fork, which he hadn't realized he'd been levitating by his side for a while.

Going out of order just a little, we come to the last memory, coming from Goldenblood via the interrogation computer he's hooked into instead of a memory orb. It begins with him in a cell, drugged and weak as he's about to be taken to his "execution." A bit of world-building is done as one of the guards leaves, having been dismissed from the duty of taking part in a public execution; the same offer, for any who had "moral or professional" objections, was made to the rest, and only batponies remained. So he's taken into the plaza where it will take place, and upon seeing five seats to the left of Luna empty (only Rarity out of the ministry mares was there, and she didn't look comfortable), Goldenblood remarks that Luna had made a mistake. She shouldn't have let there be those vacancies, filling them with representatives if need be, as they make her look weak. This comment is why I actually had more pity for him in the last scene, when he was attacking Pinkie, than here when he's drugged, unable to walk on his own, and believes he's about to die. Then, his composure, his self-control, pretty much everything that had made him who he was had been subsumed in an impotent rage after he'd lost his position to really affect anything directly. Here, though, he's back to himself, sharp, perceptive, biting, and yet still thinking about what should be done to best preserve Luna's reign. He's dying as he lived, rather than being reduced to something that wasn't even a contemptible shadow of himself.

Luna lists some of the charges brought against him (which come off as grossly hypocritical, even ignoring her own role in them, but focusing solely on how she had been Nightmare Moon), and "offers" him the chance to make a last statement, which is a (presumably doctored) recording of him railing against her and Equestria, played while he just stood at the microphone, motionless. I figure that she was counting on distance and a lack of Jumbotrons for that to work. In any case, she uses his treachery and clear lack of repentance to justify the unprecedented (at least in the modern era) step of executing him, and the dragon arrives and lets loose.

He, in great pain, finds himself in a cage in the royal treasury, at Princess Celestia's feet. They mean to interrogate him more fully in time. In time, the dragoness returns to her hoard, and eats the pink cloud megaspell talisman. It takes a while, hours, for it to activate and start escaping, but when it does a stream hits Goldenblood, completing his transformation into a Canterlot ghoul before the thrashing of the dragon's tail knocks away and opens his cage. He leaves the treasury, seeing the shield up over Canterlot and the missiles impacting above and howitzers below; they had started already, and the impacts were what had originally woken him. Soon the cloud starts coming up from the sewers and the like, and he makes his way to the Ministry of Peace, hoping to find Fluttershy. He instead comes across Rarity, who had already sent Fluttershy to Zecora's cottage. Their conversation is one of the most touching things in the chapter, as Rarity comes across beautifully even as she's deforming and dying. After she dies and he steadies her body as it started falling so that it could remain standing there for Littlepip two centuries hence, Goldenblood goes to the throne room. There he encounters Luna, injured from the fog, who is holding up the shield. After everything, Goldenblood wants Luna to flee, to make sure that Equestria has a ruler in this time of need, and besides, the city is lost anyway. But Luna refuses, wishing to give the citizens of the countryside more time to run, and someone else can handle what comes next: she has released EC-1101. After all, she'd wished to set up a thousand year rule, to be Equestria's kind and loving protector, and she'd failed on every count. This is the least she can do, at long last.

It's at this point that Goldenblood confesses about Horizons, that he'd built in a failsafe in EC-1101 so that if it were destroyed or abused it would destroy those who ruled Equestria. He was manipulated, but doesn't expect that to carry much weight and offers to complete his execution himself. But Luna doesn't care, saying he may do as he wishes. For his part, though he betrayed her, this isn't what he wanted; he doesn't want her to die, especially not there, alone. Celestia arrives, saying that Luna will not die alone and taking up the shield. Goldenblood still tries to convince them to leave, to live, to think of their people, but Luna stops him with “Were you not the one who worried I was a tyrant, Goldenblood?” before adding that she was happy that he put Equestria before her, even if more moderate means would have been preferable, then releases him from his service, forgiving him. Goldenblood makes one request, that he be sent to Ponyville, which Luna and Celestia together do.

Once there, he travels to Zecora's cottage, where he finds a catatonic Fluttershy, watching Equestria burn and guarded by Angel, who beats him terribly when he tries to talk to her. O.I.A. batponies arrive to take him for interrogation, but who relent in the end and ask if Fluttershy would be willing to talk to him first. She responds in the negative, and he's taken away, screaming for his love.

Okay, so now to deal with the present side of things. The questions Blackjack had to answer mostly revolved around Goldenblood's mistakes, betrayals, guilt. It's very much built up that he has a lot of the same problems as Blackjack, from an emotional standpoint, and particularly that he sees everything as all about him. When she gets through the security measures, Blackjack finds that the computer is monomaniacally fixated on her executing Goldenblood (or at any rate choosing an appropriate execution for him), and won't let her leave until she does. Blackjack convinces the computer to let her speak to him between rounds of interrogation so that she might better make the decision, after having tried to talk her way out of doing it at all. The last memory was the end of the last "interrogation," which seems to have been Goldenblood reliving his entire life, or at least a large part of it, massively accelerated thanks to the computer. When it's over, Blackjack finally gets to talk with him. He blithely assumes she's here to kill him, and not too interested in taking no for an answer. Blackjack just wants her answers, though, and is happy to let him stay there once she gets them if he doesn't want to leave, but delivering an immensely satisfying put-down to try to break through to him: “I’ll do what I have to do.  But you know things, Goldenblood.  You could help me, if you just pulled your head out of your masochistic, egotistical, self-loathing ass long enough to!” (On which note, I should point out that it seems likely, based on some of the things that he was able to do with respect to the computer while inside it, including watching what was going on in the Wasteland outside between sessions and running interference against Cognitum, he could have left any time he wanted.) Anyway, she hammers the points that it's not all about him, everyone makes mistakes, and nobody knows how things would have turned out if he'd done things differently. In the end, he realizes he didn't know her as well as he thought (which was obvious from the start, given he figured she was going to execute him), gets the "do better" treatment, and finally delivers some exposition about Horizons. For one thing, because of the positioning of Horizons, the projectile will have to take a very circuitous route on its way to Hoofington, passing the planet twice and the sun and moon once each before finally making impact, giving more time than would have otherwise been supposed for Blackjack and company's return trip. In addition to the moon-based part, built by mechasprites and blanks made from Flux sent to the moon, there was the Redoubt, meant to allow the repopulation of Equestria following the impact. But the repopulation was not to be from ponies saved from the destruction; rather, clones were to be made from the Chimera technology (meaning there may be a Tree of Life under Black Pony Mountain) and stored DNA from a bunch of different species, and imprinted with memories likewise kept for the purpose. However, that ran into a problem: blanks/clones couldn't reproduce. Instead, Goldenblood went with a different idea:
[quote\ “The first star impact was terrible, but the spiritual life energy released was immense.  I theorized that if Tom was infused with that same amount of spiritual energy, the world might recover far faster.  Perhaps in as little as a generation...”
   I stared at him.  “Are you saying...”
   “Yes,” he answered solemnly.  “There’s a star spirit bound within the moonstone.”[/quote]
And that goes to show just how badly he'd been taken in by the Eater of Souls, and made for a chilling end to the chapter.

On the whole, I think that the strongest point was the second memory, with Twilight. It pulled its weight in terms of plot, as did they all, but the character interaction was strongest there, benefiting from the way it tied Goldenblood, Twilight, and Blackjack all together, and just maintaining tight focus for a long time. The Pinkie memory had a real intensity to it, and the Canterlot one real peaks with Rarity and the Sisters, plus the lead-up to the execution, but the end wasn't as strong (even if there did kind of need to be closure on the Fluttershy front by that point), and some of the transitional material, while atmospheric and interesting in its portrayal of how ponies were responding to the attack, just wasn't at the same level. Similarly, there were things I really liked about the start of the chapter, but if something needed to be cut for space, you could do much worse than trimming that section down. I liked getting to see more of what makes Tenebra tick, and on its own both the general setting and the "echo" of the serpent were good, but I'll confess to some fatigue by the end of the 30k chapter. (Yes, influenced by my reading habits, but there you go.) Out of the memories, the Littlehorn memory did the least for me on the whole, but that's likely in part because a good part of what it delivers is the reveal that Amadi was behind the attack, and that sort of thing loses some of its impact on rereading. That said, that one had probably the best ending of them all, with Goldenblood's true failure coming right at the end and understandably being a major source of guilt for him.
Chapter Sixty Seven Editing:
especially so soon after–” I saw her ear twitch

should have second space after quotation


Thirty second later, her jerking slowed,

"seconds"


“I…” she swallowed, then looked at the Citadel behind her.

should have second space after quotation and capitalize "she"


Our breath turning to mist in the frigid air.

"turning" to "turned"


Four stories below us were a cluster of a half dozen wagons.

"was a cluster"


Ch 44: Dean Bitterbrew is a mare (probably a lot easier to change here):
The school dean, a sour-looking yellow mare with a gray curly mane, poked her head out the front door of the building in terror.  Her horn glowed a moment, then her voice boomed across the central yard.
. . .
“I tried telling them that!” Pound Cake shouted, waving at the dean in frustration.  “She heard the word ‘zebra’ and went stupid!”
. . .
Then I became aware of the dean standing over me.  Pumpkin Cake and Pound Cake stood behind her, both looking positively grimy.
. . .
“Yes, now!  This instant!” she shrieked.  “I’ll make it clear that this fiasco was your fault.  I’ll leave you to explain to the Princess what madness drove you to be so… so ridiculously reckless!”  She snorted and stomped, then turned to some of the other faculty.  “No!  Don’t let them inside!  Uggh!  Keep them out here!  Honestly!” she said as she trotted out where the faculty was trying the help the injured survivors.  “Oh, Luna is going to be absolutely furious when she returns tonight!”

Ch 67: A stallion:
As he approached an office door, it flung wide, and a sallow yellow unicorn emerged.  “There you are!  What’s taken you so long?  She’s been screaming and babbling for an hour in her savage tongue.  I nearly cast a sedation spell on her.”  His angry scowl instantly made me want to buck him upside the head. (stallion)
. . .
“Okay?”  The yellow unicorn sneered.  “She’s a sneak thief.  We caught her away from the others, skulking about.  Soon as we caught her, she started babbling and jabbering.”  He looked back over his shoulder. (stallion)
. . .
“She was likely looking for a bathroom, sir.  If things have gone missing, we can take it up with the arcane sciences club.  They’re likely working on a project.” “How do you know she didn’t take it?” Bitterbrew asked, narrowing his eyes.
Goldenblood replied coolly, “She’s Tappahani, sir.  If she wanted to hide from us, we wouldn’t have spotted her.  And she wouldn’t have hidden a belonging.  The Tappahani are communal.  They share everything.” (stallion)
. . .
“What did she say?” one of the unicorns asked.
“I said hello.  Made some standard greetings for her tribe.  Joked about my horrible pronunciation,” Goldenblood said, trying to smile, but it died on his face.  “She didn’t laugh.  They always laugh at jokes.  Even my jokes.”  He glanced over at the yellow stallion.  “Something’s very wrong.”
“No, really?” he said sourly.  “Get her to shut up and tell her to give back what she stole!” Bitterbrew demanded.  “Damned zebras probably have it in those wagons.”
“They have their mares and foals in the wagons, sir. (stallion) (also, in the bolded paragraphs, if the "one of the unicorns" is Bitterbrew, he/she should probably be identified as such instead. If not, in the second bolded paragraph, the "he" and "Bitterbrew" should switch places so it's clear that Bitterbrew and not "one of the unicorns" is speaking.)
. . .
“Well, of course she has it!  Who else could have taken it?” the sallow stallion snapped crossly. (stallion)
. . .
“Get back!  Get back!” Bitterbrew shouted as he approached, then stopped short of the corpse. (stallion)
. . .
“Ah good,” Bitterbrew said before the unicorn levitated out a pair of wire cutters, reached down and held it to the wire.  Goldenblood took several steps back.  “Now, is it the red wire or the blue wire?” he mused. (stallion) (Oxford comma after "down", or "reaching down and holding it" or "as he reached down and held it")
. . .
The corpse reached up and grabbed Bitterbrew’s head, yanking him down towards the nightmarish ruin of his face.  “Yur firsh!” he cried out, and then he flicked the talisman with the tip of his tail.  From the end of the device, a twenty-foot-high plume of pink vapor blasted out.  Bitterbrew’s head disappeared in the spray, and when his spasming body fell back, a dripping stub was all that remained. (stallion)







"Roadapples!" Bitterbrew growled.  "She's lying!"
"Tappahani do not lie.  Propoli lie.  Zencori lie.  Roamani lie if ordered to.  Tappahani do not."
"Me diktom tam lendi-le!" the mare blurted out, trembling.
"What was that?" Goldenblood asked, then repeated himself in Zebra, "Who?"
She shook her head.  "Me ne kur pen!" she said, near tears.  "Kako nashti zhas vorta po drom o bango!"
"She did take it, didn't she?" Bitterbrew said with a triumphant smirk.

non-directional quotation marks



"No." Goldenblood said.  "She doesn't want to tell me who."

quotation should end with comma, not period, non-directional quotation marks


The mare closed her eyes, trembling.  "Kako…"

non-directional quotation marks


really curses but instead–“

inverted quotation mark


Normally they’re called the Fallen One, or just, the One.”

drop the last comma?


the orange mare said, and together we went out into the quiet school

"and together they" or "and together she and Goldenblood"


“Ugh.  Why does everypony make that mistake?  They’re not curses!  They’re--” she began to lecture again when he silenced her with a hoof over her mouth.  !!!Very softly, he heard the click of a door closing.  !!!“Everypony is either asleep, patrolling the other wing, or watching the zebras, right?”  Her eyes wide, she nodded, and he trotted down the hall, checking doors.  The one to stairwell wasn’t locked.

This paragraph needs to be split at one of the !!! markers, so that only one character is speaking in each paragraph.


Haja nanka–“ Goldenblood began to

inverted quotation mark


attaching wires and cables to an hoofball-sized slab of pink quartz

"a hoofball-sized"


The zebra tried to spin out of the way, but Goldenblood powered both of them towards the edge of the rotunda, looking down at the ground floor forty feet below. . . .
Goldenblood tumbled through the air and landed with a crash in one of the hovering elevator cages ten feet down, making it sway and bob wildly in the air. . . . Goldenblood hit the control talisman with his magic, and the lift lowered itself quickly to the floor.
The achy white unicorn approached the prone zebra.  The fall was at least forty feet onto hard black marble.

These distances seem inconsistent: ten and "at least forty" don't add up to forty. If the elevator was rising at the time and that's why they ended up at least as high as they started, maybe change to "making it sway and bob wildly (as it rose/as it rose in the air/in the air as it rose).


He heaved once again, his Pink-Cloud-softened hide tearing, but this time

"pink-cloud-softened" (the Pink Cloud-related count is about a couple dozen capitalized (of which 5 from a single paragraph in ch 11) to 40-ish not, if it's something you want to deal with)


Silverspire screamed, levitating up a foal as the lift continued upwards toward the observation tower.

is the observation tower part of/at the top of the rotunda, or perhaps immediately adjacent to it?


“Poison?” the mare asked.  Both of them stared in horror, and then one said, “Hold still, Gold.  I got you.”  She shot a bolt of magic up at the roof.

suggest changing "one" to "she", maybe also "said" to "continued" or "added"


The pain abated a little.  One mare saw to him, casting healing spells that mended his hide, but they did little for his chest.  The stallion fussed over the radio.

Sugget changing "One" to "The"


They used their own refugees to get in to the school and then killed us all after we helped them!”

"get into"


The image changed to an picture of a bandaged-covered Goldenblood

"a picture"


‘Zebra officials deny Littlehorn Massacre,’ read the tagline.

comma to outside of quotation marks


How it’d torn me up inside. Slowly, I typed the

only one space after period


> Who did it? (first one, earlier)

Shouldn't have space after chevron, should be in block-caps


> WHAT DID HE DO WRONG?

shouldn't have space after chevron


“You’ve never lost someone close to you before, have you Twilight?”

comma before "Twilight"


dabbed at her tears. “It’s like a scar that

only one space after period


“No.” she contradicted

period should be comma


“M… master Goldenblood!  I’ve known you since you were a colt!

"master" should be capitalized


She'll be fine.” Goldenblood said, calm and

period should be comma


for thinking the wrong thoughts. Erasing ponies' memories

only one space after period


brain gave one last feeble  thought:

extra space between "feeble" and "thought"


“Have a mint-al Pinkie!  Have all the fucking Mint-als!”

first "mint-al" should be capitalized


She struggled, flopped, gasped and choked as he climbed off her.

comma after "gasped"


The seat for princess Celestia was also vacant.

"princess" should be capitalized


and then Pink Cloud rolled down the hallway and through the guard station.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


after some stripes smuggled mortars into the woods around Zebratown.  Then he froze as

should have closing quotation mark after "Zebratown."


The Cloud swirled in banks and eddies,

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


The tiny pink droplets seemed to take some longer to kill some than others.

delete first "some"


Goldenblood, however, barely felt the burn of the Cloud.

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


keeping the missiles out kept the Cloud in.

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


All the while, the Cloud thickened and the quiet grew.

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


“I’m afraid she’s not here, darling.  
“I’m sorry, Darling.  This mist has gotten so accursedly dark,”

(second) Darling shouldn't be capitalized


I need to find her.” Goldenblood begged

period should be comma


The Pink Cloud was dissolving the elaborate tapestries,

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


“I don’t know, your Majesty.

"your" should be capitalized


“You must flee this place, your Majesty.”

"your" should be capitalized


“Equestria needs its ruler, your Majesty,” he said

"your" should be capitalized


Her horn flared, and a second beam, thicker and golden yellow lanced up towards the heavens.

comma after "yellow"


“Goodbye, your Majesties.”

"your" should be capitalized


Then the pod let out a hiss of noxious, acrid gasses, not the flesh-melting vapors of Pink Cloud but still unpleasant.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized
Other Editing:
11: (all in this chapter are in the context of an exerpt from the Wasteland Survival Guide)
the zebras detonated a megaspell inside the city that sent out a Pink Cloud laced with some really nasty magic.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


around the city to trap the Cloud inside, probably

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


The ruins of the city are still filled with the Cloud to this day

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


that was drenched by Cloud-infused water when the bubble

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


haven't learned this yet, the Pink Cloud trapped and still building insid

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


24:
Canterlot was consumed by the Pink Cloud.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


39:
“Ah… yes.  That can happen on exposure to Pink Cloud,”

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:00 am

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

Um... Hm. You say that "Pink Cloud" ought to not be capitalized? Why? I'm pretty sure that it ought to be. Though, looking at Nallar, we appear to have missed it more often than we got it right. If that is right, that is.
Oh, though opening the main editing spoiler and conducting a somewhat irregular search, I see that you may have made your decision based on the ratio. Hm. Bother. Well, I don't like leaving this unfinished, but I think I'd better hear your reply before taking action one way or another on this. Maybe Somber will happen to be in to comment on it, too.
Notes to Self: Saved Cloud Decapitalization Corrections:

67:

He heaved once again, his Pink-Cloud-softened hide tearing, but this time

"pink-cloud-softened" (the Pink Cloud-related count is about a couple dozen capitalized (of which 5 from a single paragraph in ch 11) to 40-ish not, if it's something you want to deal with)


and then Pink Cloud rolled down the hallway and through the guard station.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


The Cloud swirled in banks and eddies,

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


Goldenblood, however, barely felt the burn of the Cloud.

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


keeping the missiles out kept the Cloud in.

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


All the while, the Cloud thickened and the quiet grew.

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


The Pink Cloud was dissolving the elaborate tapestries,

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized


Then the pod let out a hiss of noxious, acrid gasses, not the flesh-melting vapors of Pink Cloud but still unpleasant.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized
11:

(all in this chapter are in the context of an exerpt from the Wasteland Survival Guide)
the zebras detonated a megaspell inside the city that sent out a Pink Cloud laced with some really nasty magic.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


around the city to trap the Cloud inside, probably

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


The ruins of the city are still filled with the Cloud to this day

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


that was drenched by Cloud-infused water when the bubble

"Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)


haven't learned this yet, the Pink Cloud trapped and still building insid

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized (maybe; this is in context)
24:

Canterlot was consumed by the Pink Cloud.

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized
39:

“Ah… yes. That can happen on exposure to Pink Cloud,”

"Pink Cloud" shouldn't be capitalized

I went with your suggestion to make Dean Bitterbrew male; thanks.

Icy Shake wrote:is the observation tower part of/at the top of the rotunda, or perhaps immediately adjacent to it?
...This is what I thought? I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean by asking the question.

Icy Shake wrote:See, this is part of the reason that although in some lower-level aspects Blackjack is chaotic, I tend to view her as on the Lawful side of things, or at least Neutral tending towards Lawful.
I'd go with NG with some lawful tendencies too.

...You know, I wouldn't have expect you to be the one proposing an AU incest arranged marriage shipfic. :)
(Yes, of course, there'd be more to it than that, but... yeah.)
...I find myself wondering if it might actually be written.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Blue Heron on Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:20 am

So please don't kick me off the board...but I found something confusing. And maybe it's already been cleared up? If so, please tell me to stuff and Apple in it.


Chapter 17
“I should have, Luna. I’ve ruled for a thousand years. His father was flexible. And his grandfather. He’s more in his great great grandfather’s demeanor.” Celestia sighed, shaking her head. “Sometimes it’s so hard keeping them all straight over the centuries. I thought the rescue a simple, elegant solution. I feared delay would kill the hostages. And now… having lost the Wonderbolts…”

Celestias comment about the grandfathers ruling in succession seems to conflict with what lancer says here

Chapter 59
The question seemed to shock him. “You want to know?” he asked, looking from one to the next, as if he’d never seen ponies interested in it before. “Our people were not ruled by immortal royalty. We elect a Caesar from the tribes. All thirteen tribe elders get a vote, and no tribe could have consecutive Caesars.”

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:22 am

No need to be so worried. :)

Anyway, yes, this has been brought up before. Also mentioned in 59 is that tribal affiliation is matrilineal.
“He claims he is Achu! Who are you to deny that, Proditori?” Lancer snapped.
“Does that mean you are Achu as well?” P-21 asked. All this talk made me want to say ‘bless you’.
Again, the question made him grimace. “No… blood passes from mother to child, not father to child. I am Zencori.”
So, if a male Caesar is of Tribe A has a son by a mare from Tribe B, the son will be Tribe B, not A, and will thus be eligible for election as the next Caesar.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Blue Heron on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:37 am

Ah! Thank you. That's what I get for jumping about :)

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:15 am

O. Hinds wrote:I'm not sure what the exact TWRs are, sorry.  The core ship of the older rockets has a Kerbin TWR<1 when not running in LAMTRpg mode, though, remember.  You might want to research the R-7 family and the N1 for real-world semi-similar examples, but I've just been looking around a bit without finding the TWRs or the masses I'd need to calculate them.

Hmm, more researching to do!

I have a school assignment due next week, so I wouldn't be able to work on this as often as I would liked to. But full work on the rocket will resume in a week or two's time, which might involve me trying to make a rocket engine that resembles the R-7 and N1 rockets. Or even make a complete new pack with the models of the entire rocket made from scratch, whih will be fun to do  Sweetie Belle

But it might take a few months Applebloom of coding and texture mapping.... But it will be worth it ^^


Also, I just check the story Index Page and found this as a description for Volume 5

All across the Wasteland, sunshine and rainbows burst across the sky, and the Book of LittlePip, of the Lightbringer, gives hope to many who had thought it lost forever.  Troubles still beset the peoples of what was once Equestria, but now the future, like the light from above, is bright.
Except in the Hoof.  There no rainbow rings were seen; there the clouds are as thick as ever, and the rain falls upon Enervated soil.  In the Hoof, the Security Mare, for one brief moment, parted the clouds and let the city see the sky... and then she fell into the Core.  After three months of silence, she is dead.  She must be.  But...  Even if she is...  There are Things stirring in that towering necropolis, and the world should hope that she is one of them.  For if she is not... the Hoof may be only the beginning.

This is sounding great and mysterious!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:18 am

Wait, you're thinking of writing your own MTRpg engine mod? :D

ILM126 wrote:This is sounding great and mysterious!
Ah, thanks (particularly about the "mysterious" bit; I was worried about spoilers); I got some inspiration to write that a few days ago, and Somber liked it. It's also nice to not have a placeholder there anymore.
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Eeyup! I'm going to try and mod KSP! With magic! XP

Post by ILM126 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:27 am

O. Hinds wrote:Wait, you're thinking of writing your own MTRpg engine mod?  :D

ILM126 wrote:This is sounding great and mysterious!
Ah, thanks (particularly about the "mysterious" bit; I was worried about spoilers); I got some inspiration to write that a few days ago, and Somber liked it.  It's also nice to not have a placeholder there anymore.

Yeah, I'm going to learn how to do it normally first then work out the physical or something convertion of that to what the Magic propulsion system might be released by the engine... Still learning about how KSP works, like Specific Impulse and ... well. I think that's it. Just those two words... Specific Impulse :\

Yeah, the description didn't give anything away at all! It is nice to see that word gone, to be replaced by something a lot more interesting to read! Pinkie Pie
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:52 pm

What about ISP, in particular?

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

Post by Icy Shake on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:12 pm

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

Um...  Hm.  You say that "Pink Cloud" ought to not be capitalized?  Why?  I'm pretty sure that it ought to be.  Though, looking at Nallar, we appear to have missed it more often than we got it right.  If that is right, that is.
Oh, though opening the main editing spoiler and conducting a somewhat irregular search, I see that you may have made your decision based on the ratio.  Hm.  Bother.  Well, I don't like leaving this unfinished, but I think I'd better hear your reply before taking action one way or another on this.  Maybe Somber will happen to be in to comment on it, too.
[/spoiler]
Yes, that one was a case of practicality rather than principle, like "travelled" and "travelling" were. Looking now, it's generally capitalized in FoE, so there's that. I can do the reverse search if that's the way you want to go.

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:is the observation tower part of/at the top of the rotunda, or perhaps immediately adjacent to it?
...This is what I thought?  I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean by asking the question.
I was just thinking that it was an architectural oddity, since my first association with "rotunda" is domed and decorative, generally with the dome separated from other prominently rising features. But on further reflection and a bit of research, that's not entirely the case. And, I guess, the magical floating elevators make having the tower as part of the rotunda, say in place of a spire, more practical than would otherwise be the case.

O. Hinds wrote:...You know, I wouldn't have expect you to be the one proposing an AU incest arranged marriage shipfic.  :)
(Yes, of course, there'd be more to it than that, but... yeah.)
...I find myself wondering if it might actually be written.
Why wouldn't you expect that of me?
As for it ever being written, I'd guess against it. It's a very specific setup focusing on relatively obscure characters. That said, depending on how things go I might look into the possibility of commissioning it or something like it at some point. That said, however miniscule the increment, I figure it's got to be more likely to happen now than before I wrote that.

So I got to thinking a bit today about the uncomfortable (but all too realistic) little dynamic Stable 99 had going on where they really, really cared about pregnancy and reproduction (at least if the fetus is female, though possibly if male as well), to the extent of strongly discouraging any risk-taking by pregnant mares, yet weren't exactly taking pains to make decent investigations into allegations of child abuse. I guess it's just one of those instances of cultural cognitive dissonance, exacerbated by the countervailing need to limit conflict.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:57 pm

Icy Shake wrote:Yes, that one was a case of practicality rather than principle, like "travelled" and "travelling" were. Looking now, it's generally capitalized in FoE, so there's that. I can do the reverse search if that's the way you want to go.
Yes, please. Sorry about the bother. Thanks.

Icy Shake wrote:I was just thinking that it was an architectural oddity, since my first association with "rotunda" is domed and decorative, generally with the dome separated from other prominently rising features. But on further reflection and a bit of research, that's not entirely the case. And, I guess, the magical floating elevators make having the tower as part of the rotunda, say in place of a spire, more practical than would otherwise be the case.
Ah, thanks.

Icy Shake wrote:Why wouldn't you expect that of me?
Oh, I suppose it's a side of you I've just not seen, or perhaps remembered, much. Sorry.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:08 pm

O. Hinds wrote:
ILM126 wrote:This is sounding great and mysterious!
Ah, thanks (particularly about the "mysterious" bit; I was worried about spoilers); I got some inspiration to write that a few days ago, and Somber liked it.  It's also nice to not have a placeholder there anymore.
Holy crap, yeah. It's way better than that thing I wrote months back, if only for making it.
I had long-since given up on removing that placeholder, to be honest. Relieved to see it finally done...

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:47 pm

Oh, thank you too, swicked.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Icy Shake on Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:05 am

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:Yes, that one was a case of practicality rather than principle, like "travelled" and "travelling" were. Looking now, it's generally capitalized in FoE, so there's that. I can do the reverse search if that's the way you want to go.
Yes, please.  Sorry about the bother.  Thanks.
Here you go. Weird, I could've sworn there were more.
Pink Cloud:
20:
Suddenly, a pink cloud began to collect around the egg, forming worms of crimson that spread and curled into fresh veins and arteries.

Possible case, but most likely not.


29:
This year they used the pink cloud in Littlehorn.


38:
It wasn’t full power, but it was enough to knock him back and halt a second dose of the pink cloud.


He hissed, the pink cloud spraying out between his rotten teeth


39:
Sanguine shouted, pink cloud spurting out his nostrils.  


Persuasion thumped, and suddenly a section of the pink cloud geysered.


Sanguine reached some stairs dropping down into the pink cloud.


“You keep your stuff down in that pink cloud?”


down the shaft and escape this…
Pink cloud.


I looked down into the swirling pink cloud but couldn’t see any kind of shaft.


I replied rhetorically, trotting quickly back to the stairs down into the pink cloud.


There were sprinklers washing the pink cloud out of the air,


Already the sprinklers had washed enough of the pink cloud out that I could see the far side of the production floor.


The cloud geysered again, and the robot went silent.


My E.F.S. could make out dozens of bars, and occasionally I could see the flash of lights from their domes or eyes as they moved through the toxic cloud beneath us.


I looked at the cloud, and then looked over at the signs again.


Get ready; soon as the cloud washes away, those robots will be able to see us,”


This water burned; maybe not as much as the cloud had,


44:
I remembered how Glory had cut away the environmental suit that had fused to my hide from the pink cloud;


45:
Canterlot got soaked in toxic pink cloud and it eventually


58:
I’d sucked up pink cloud, had my legs chopped off and my body


66:
pink cloud boiling up his throat.  


Knight and the ghoul at all through the pink cloud.


he spat mindlessly, pink cloud oozing out of the holes in his hide.


This pink cloud is killing me,” Goldenblood said weakly.


67:
The cloud spread like a rising tide, the zebra whirling this way and that.


Tiny white flashes could be seen in the depths as the cloud spread more and more.


Even with the bubble gone and the gas dispersing, a hazy cloud clung to the spires, as if it would always linger.

(this one, though referring to the Pink Cloud, probably isn't one that needs to be capitalized)


The lift jerked up into the air as the pink cloud spread, billowing in every direction and rising higher and higher.


I’d been in pink cloud before, so the terrible burning sensation felt familiar.


edge of the balcony as pink cloud began to curl up over the edge and


The pink cloud blasted past them, and their screams reached the tower before being cut short.


Once again I was reminded why pink cloud wasn’t your friend.


Liquid pink cloud dripped from her mouth as she fought to contain it.


The fountain sprayed a jet of pink cloud, the ever-expanding gas swirling into the sky.


71:
“You brought the pink cloud talisman.

O. Hinds wrote:
Icy Shake wrote:Why wouldn't you expect that of me?
Oh, I suppose it's a side of you I've just not seen, or perhaps remembered, much.  Sorry.
No problem. I guess that's not the kind of thing I really bring up much. In truth, it's not the sort of idea I actually think of that often, either. But I like to imagine I'm not that stuck in the ordinary, regardless of the evidence.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:08 am

@Icy Shake:
Ah, thank you very much.

Icy Shake wrote:Possible case, but most likely not.
Yeah, not this one, I think.
Some of the others are a bit iffy ("Are they referring to the Pink Cloud or using the definite article for other reasons to refer to a cloud that is pink and also is the Pink Cloud?"), but it'll be fine to just convert them all, I think.

Right, I think that that's all of them. In some places I used a guided find and replace, admittedly, which, while faster, is less accurate, but I'm pretty sure it worked.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:38 am

O. Hinds wrote:What about ISP, in particular?

Thanks.  :)

Ohhh, ISP or lsp in KSP... Yeah, I'm just wondering what does it actually mean? Like why does rockets measure their efficiency with this unit. And what makes it so special? Plus, NASA is turning 100 Fluttershy

I also added a new forum thread called "Videos I've Sen Lately", it's a bit like the "PH fan art thread" but with videos. What do you think of it? Is it a good idea?
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by ILM126 on Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:47 am

swicked wrote:
O. Hinds wrote:
ILM126 wrote:This is sounding great and mysterious!
Ah, thanks (particularly about the "mysterious" bit; I was worried about spoilers); I got some inspiration to write that a few days ago, and Somber liked it.  It's also nice to not have a placeholder there anymore.
Holy crap, yeah. It's way better than that thing I wrote months back, if only for making it.
I had long-since given up on removing that placeholder, to be honest. Relieved to see it finally done...

Everything eventually get's finished, in one way or another =D
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:16 pm

ILM126 wrote:Ohhh, ISP or lsp in KSP... Yeah, I'm just wondering what does it actually mean? Like why does rockets measure their efficiency with this unit. And what makes it so special?
An engine's specific impulse is its exhaust velocity divided by the acceleration of gravity at Earth's surface (approximately 9.81 meters per second per second) and is often used instead of exhaust velocity because it's easier to get directly from measurements (ISP is the thrust divided by the mass flow). Exhaust velocity is important because it feeds into the Konstantin Rocket Equation (usually called the Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation, but I have difficulty remembering how to spell that) to determine available DV. Of course, that doesn't matter so much for us here when the ships are running in MTRpg mode, since the mass ratio goes to infinity, but in LAMTRpg mode it's important.

As an aside, the calculations for that are unfortunately a bit tricky. You can't just use the mass of water formed instead of the mass of LOX available (or the infinite mass of hydrogen available), because although that is the mass of propellant available, it's not the change in mass of the ship. Hm... Well, you might not even need the DV of the LAMTRpg mode; required burn time and thrust might be enough. The LOX doesn't need to support the entire deorbit maneuver, just slow the ship in place of aerobraking. You could perhaps use MTRpg mode to bring the ship to rest relative to the planet's surface above the landing site, turning this into an approximately 1D problem. It's an approximation, but I think it ought to be workable. I'd go more deeply into this, but my RPG group is meeting in a few hours and I still have some things to do before that. Um, consider this an educational experience for yourself. :)

Oh, and don't forget that you have Atomic Rockets as a potential resource.

ILM126 wrote:Plus, NASA is turning 100
Eh? NASA was not founded in 1915. Oh, though it looks like NACA was; I'd not count NACA and NASA as having the same origin, but is that what you meant?

ILM126 wrote:What do you think of it? Is it a good idea?
No opinion, sorry.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:32 pm

Sigh.  I made a royal ass of myself today.  I had a great day.  Then when I was walking to my car there were a trio of religious numbskulls with megaphones and signs saying how eleven and twelve year olds needed to repent or burn for eternity in hell.  Oh, and being gay was an abomination.  I had a very unprofessional moment in which I got in megaphone guy's face... hey it's not my fault the microphone was so close to his mouth, and and screamed how dare he do this to kids.  To take his sphiel to a college, or some place with adults.  I was led away by the assistant principle, but I was so mad I was shaking.

Dunno if it's going to come back on me or not.  I wished I was more cool about it, but I had a moral imperative to respond, and I did.  Maybe not well, but I had to.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by MiniGaunt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:41 pm

Don't let it get to you Somber, I would have done the same. Here is hoping it doesn't bite you in the ass later.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:16 pm

I'd like to say that you've nothing to worry about, but... sigh.
Because how dare our educators actually try to protect children, right?
Anyway, though, I do hope that it turns out okay. Good luck.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Exodus Hero on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:49 pm

Sounds like it would be a slap on the wrist at worst, so long as you didn't curse while children were in ear shot and didn't become physical with them
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