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Project Horizons is a Recursive Fanfiction for Fallout: Equestria by Somber, and is currently a work in progress.Stable 99 is an okay place to live. Sure, the place has seen better days, but the poor mares down in maintenance can't be blamed for the lack of upkeep. After all, the stable's been running on recycled parts for two hundred years, and a lot of important stuff got broken in the Incident. And the bucks might complain about the lack of freedom compared to the mares, but why bother? All they have to dois get laid all day. Until they get retired, that is, but don't think about that. And yeah, the mares might not have much freedom either, but you can't take any chances, especially after what happened last time...Okay, maybe it's not the best place to live, but at least it's better than being outside. After all, with the door broken, there's no chance that somepony might get in and cause problems. It would take somepony with knowledge of how the stable works to get that thing open. Even then, how would they know it's safe? There was a war, remember? Better to just wait for the Overmare to say it's okay than take chances, even if she does have an ego problem. Just don't think about it, okay?It goes without saying that things get worse. The door gets opened and a band of murderous, cannibalistic raiders immediately swarms in. Before the death count can get too high though, Blackjack, worst security mare in the stable, lures them out with a mysterious data file stashed on her PipBuck. With a cybernetic monster on her heels and a reluctant companion at her side, she sets out into the Equestrian Wasteland, determined to discover exactly what those raiders wanted so badly. After some hard lessons, it isn't long before the troubled mare finds herself delving through the dark secrets of wartime Equestria, and engulfed in a plot that threatens far more than just Stable 99...Due to the story's great length, it has been split into five volumes which each encompass a primary story arc.
Abandoned Hospital: The Fluttershy Medical Center in chapter 6 - location of one of the most iconic scenes in the story.
Subverted with Happyhorn Gardens in Chapter 43, which was not only really completely abandoned, but also had automated systems that helped Blackjack through her recent traumatic experience.
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Played With when Blackjack and Glory jump into a sewer to escape from Brass and her manticores. The sewers are barely spacious enough to accomodate two ponies, and they're dragged through pipes and dangerous machinery, almost drown, and suffer friction burns.
Acup Angst: Parodied with Blackjack's "compact" horn and her clear envy of Lacunae's far longer horn. Of course, "horns" stands in for "breasts".
Action Bomb: Fury, who can even regenerate from it thanks to being part phoenix. Blackjack becomes one temporarily thanks to the Killing Joke.
Actually, I Am Him: A variation: Watcher bursts out laughing when Blackjack refers to "Littlepip" and "The Stable Dweller" as separate ponies. She doesn't catch on.
This gag gets carried to extreme lengths, including Blackjack having a quick, drunk adventure with Littlepip herself. Several characters have tried to spell it out for her, but every time they're either interrupted, or she writes it off as ridiculous.
A Form You Are Comfortable With: Zigzagged by the therapy simulation in Chapter 43. Its attempts to recreate Blackjack's homes, family and friends end in disaster. The simulation where Blackjack is an actual mental patient with characters she's known taking the place of the asylum staff fares better, but she manages to crack it anyway. The program eventually takes the form of BJ's friends once again and helps her tackle her own subconscious, but in the end she's forced to kill 'Scotch Tape' to leave the simulation.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There are friendly A.I., but the CRUSHKILLDESTROY type are more common. Guess which type BJ meets more often?
Averted by Applebot, who is genuinely helpful, and Ol' Hank, who is friendly and talkative. At first.
The AIs running the virtual Happyhorn Gardens that Blackjack is trapped in really do want to help. They just can't stop until she's 'better'.
Alternate Continuity: While PH is largely compliant, or at least non-contradictory, with the original FO:E there are a growing number of things that are outright changed. Such as Twilight having to hide books from Rarity, where in FO:E Rarity was sending uncensored books to Twilight for safe keeping.
Played with. The source of the life-sapping Enervation seems to be the souls of the ponies that died in Hoofington when the bombs hit its shield. They are constantly screaming, but unless you're close to the source, only the telepathic alicorns can actually hear it.
Played straight in the case of the foals in the medical center.
Played straight once again with the ponies fused to Horizon Labs' cryo room. They literally feel compelled to scream, and are incapable of doing much else. Blackjack narrowly avoids joining them.
How Blackjack describes viewing Deus' memory orb.
Apparently Discord's fate, trapped at the heart of Project Chimera.
P-21: Hey, Scotch. Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Scotch: I think so, P-21, but where are we going to find a dozen rockets out here?
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: According to Lacunae, Blackjack doesn't qualify for Unity because she's unpredictable, unstable, irrational, self-destructive, and whiny.
Artistic License – Linguistics: The author refers to male ponies as bucks. 'Buck' is the term for a male deer or goat, but serves as a neater 'man' analogue than 'stallion'.
Ascended To Carnivorism: Played differently from the main story: Among Hoofington's many dangers is a virus that induces this in anypony infected with it. The compulsion is strong enough that, if there's nothing else to eat, the victims will eat themselves. Pegasi are immune, but Lighthooves is attempting to change that. Chapter 42 reveals that he's succeeded.
Ass Shove: P-21 occasionally conceals items 'under his tail'. First a screwdriver, then later a grenade. There are indications he may just be hiding it in his exceptionally bushy tail, though.
Turns out when you're exposed to too much Enervation, you vomit blood and your appendages drop off; eventually, you melt. Harshly illustrated at the end of Chapter 26. Blackjack and co. are forced to pass through a field of concentrated enervation. Everyone gets a solid dose of internal bleeding and/or Mind Rape, Blackjack's leg bones are reduced to the consistency of rubber, Glory's injured wing melts off and Lacunae is reduced to an Empty Shell.
Blackjack experiences Stonewing's transformation into Gorgon 'first-hand' through a memory orb.
Professor Zodiac, heavily injured by Enervation, is kept alive by machines in a state much like Mr. House. The sight of her 'true form' is enough to traumatise Scotch Tape.
'Future' Glory, as seen in one of Blackjack's nightmares, is described as a 'hulk of flesh and feathers', with eyes down the side of her neck and at least five wings.
The reveal of Dawn's Cyborg form. Her flesh splits open along her old battle scars and sloughs apart, while mechanical blades and claws burst out of her limbs.
The congealed biomass in Hoofington's Core can take on forms of truly Lovecraftian proportions, with each small blob being able to spout razor-toothed maws and tendrils to rip its victims to shreds. When inhabited by errant soul fragments, it can take on the vague form and purpose of that souls former body - pony, griffin or otherwise - only to return to sludge even from just falling over. These creatures can incorporate strings of starmetal to increase their lethality further.
Blackjack, as she breaks down in front of P-21 following her rape.
Bullying a Dragon: Blackjack often mocks, disobeys or otherwise disrespects theGoddess, with little fear of retribution since her alicorns(save Lacunae) can't operate in Hoofington thanks to Enervation. Then she mutates a telepathic connection to Unity. Cue Mind Rape.
Cast Calculus: The cast undergoes a series of transformations as new members are added.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: When they first leave Stable 99, Blackjack acts as Red Oni against P-21's Blue.
Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The addition of Glory shifts the group to a Freudian Trio. With Glory providing an emotional center to the group, P-21 is free to increasingly hint at his suppressed aggression while Blackjack is cooled by reminders that her actions have consequences. She finds herself as the Ego that must balance P-21's vengeful, self-serving Id and Glory's naively over-civilized (for the Wasteland) Superego. Lancer briefly features as a Sixth Ranger Traitor, and the party is scattered after Brimstone's Fall.
Five-Man Band: Blackjack quickly finds Glory at Miramare, then picks up Rampage as a Sixth Ranger shortly before recovering P-21. The Power Trio defeats Deus without Rampage's direct assistance, but the adventures between Flank and Chapel serve to show off Rampage's capabilities and personality, and help cement her to the group. On return to Chapel, they finally pick up the fifth team member: Lacunae. The Power Trio is augmented not by a Red Oni, Blue Oni pair, but by two color-coded individuals who embody the monstrous extremes of savagery and transcendence.
Project Horizons takes place at the same time as Fallout: Equestria, so there are frequent references to events in the main story, and many minor characters such as Watcher, Ditzy Doo and Homage make appearances. Borders on Continuity Porn when Blackjack meets LittlePip.
During a memory orb sequence, the Marauders are playing a tabletop RPG. Applesnack rolls two critical failures in a row, and grumbles about the possibility of his character Steelhooves becoming undead and trapped in his armor.
Cool Big Sis: Blackjack and Rampage to Scotch Tape. When Rampage leaves the party for a while, Lacunae takes on this role as well.
Cosmic Horror Story: Appears to be heading this way, if Blackjack's out-of-body experience in Chapter 34 is any indication.
Cyborg: Several characters. The purpose of Project Steelpony is to create these.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Seems to be a common side-effect of cybernetic augmentation and Blackjack's prime fear following hers. Even if the augmentation doesn't cause acute pain, the lack of familiar bodily reactions and general "feeling less like a pony" is a tremendous stress. BJ manages to stave off the worst of it thanks to her friends and love being there for her. Lighthooves and his followers, whose transformation is much more abrupt, suffer it in full extent.
Deadly Gas: Blackjack floods Stable 99 with chlorine gas. Later, Killing Joke causes Scotch Tape's lungs to fill with chlorine. Pink cloud also makes an appearance in the lower levels of Hippocratic Research, and as Sanguine's Breath Weapon.
Much earlier in the story, when Stable 99 was being invaded, Blackjack dressed up as one of the first raiders she killed (who was apparently named Two Bit) so she could briefly infiltrate Deus's gang and get past them. May serve as a bit of a Call Back in that case; she impersonated a dead pony to get out of the Stable full of raiders, and then she did it to get in to the Stable full of raiders.
Hoofington itself was designed as one for the zebra army, and apparently served its purpose right up until the megaspell exchange. Apparently, it's still working. The promise of salvage and wartime technology attracts scavengers and small communities, which are gradually whittled away by Enervation and other dangers of the Hoof.
Silverstar Sporting Supplies.
The tainted forest surrounding Hippocratic Research.
Decapitation Presentation: The head of Gin Rummy, Blackjack's mother, is impaled on a spike in the atrium of Stable 99, making it the first thing BJ sees upon returning home.
Blackjack is emotionally crushed by the events of Chapter 22. Only luck and timely intervention save her from comitting suicide as a result. Blackjack's suicide attempts, in turn, push P-21 over the horizon.
Glory briefly crosses this when she loses her wing, to the point of sitting down in an Enervation field and begging for death.
Sanguine crosses the horizon when his family is killed.
Rampage is mentioned to have attempted suicide multiple times.
Blackjack attempts to gas herself in Chapter 22, but Lacunae intervenes. The only reason that Blackjack is still alive at the end of Chapter 23 is because she forgot to turn her gun's safety off. Even after she gets better, Blackjack remains borderline suicidal for much of the story.
Played with. Chems help Blackjack survive horrific injuries and perform incredible feats, and she seems to lack Littlepip's weakness to addiction, but overdoses and side effects wreak havoc on her long-term health.
P-21 is a lifelong Med-X addict. Running out contributes to his suicide attempt in Chapter 25, and almost kills Scotch Tape in Chapter 40.
P-21: Blackjack, are you trying to turn us into the deadliest band of angsty whiny ponies to wander the Wasteland?
Easily Forgiven: In Chapter 33, Blackjack saves the ponies that injured Oilcan, killed Tarboots, nailed her to the floor, raped her and cut off her horn, from her friends, because she wanted to save somepony before she died. She admits to have hurt them in the past and believes that killing them would not give them the chance to Do Better.
Her forgiveness pays off in Chapter 43, but she doesn't realise it at the time.
Epic Fail: Blackjack's "attack" against four Zodiacs at the beginning of Chapter 28.
Ethical Slut: Due to her upbringing in Stable 99, Blackjack considers most sex (not including rape) to be casual recreation and not something to get hung up on. She can't quite grasp why Glory gets so upset about her bedding Stygius - it's not like she loved him! Glory is rather stunned when she finds out how things were done in 99, particularly when she learns that Scotch Tape - a young filly who hasn't even gotten her cutiemark yet - has had multiple sexual encounters with both genders.
As of chapter 57, Blackjack seems to be bringing Glory around a bit, since Glory willingly slept with a stallion without asking Blackjack first, and decided to allow Blackjack to have sex with one stallion as a matter of fairness. Not to mention the chapter ended after a threesome between Glory, Blackjack, and P-21.
Blackjack takes down a mutated dragon by blasting its eye out with a grenade, climbing into the socket and unloading poisoned shotgun rounds into its optic nerve.
Glory has a mine go off in her face in Chapter 21.
Blackjack herself loses an eye at some point between Chapters 26 and 27. In Chapter 30, the empty socket develops a malignant tumor, thanks to radiation and taint, and in Chapter 32, her remaining eye is blown out by Steel Rain. Then she gets soaked in taint and falls in salt water.
P-21 ends one of Rampage's 'Angel of Death' moments by stabbing her through the eye with Blackjack's sword and twisting it until she calms down.
Blackjack puts her cybernetic fingers to brutal use in her final fight against Brass.
Snips gets a jet of flame to the face in Chapter 48.
Eyes Do Not Belong There: During one of Blackjack's nightmares, the monstrous 'future' version of Glory has a fully expressive row of eyes down the side of her neck.
Fake in the Hole: Sadistically played with. A booby-trapped jack-in-the-box in the Fluttershy Medical Center drops several dud grenades. The real explosion, on a delayed fuse, comes from the jack-in-the-box itself.
The revised Chapter 1 is laced with foreshadowing, particularly of Chapter 22.
Just before his death, it's revealed that Deus' brain is enclosed in armor, foreshadowing his eventual return in a new form.
During her Journey to the Center of the Mind, Blackjack encounters a mirror that shows her various reflections of herself. The final reflection is monstrously mutated, prompting Blackjack to exclaim that she'd rather die than become something like that. She also notes that her reflected self is incapable of looking back at her. Then, at the climax of Chapter 32, she loses her sight and exposes herself to a dose of taint...
Blackjack frequently notes that her heart beats irregularly.
The Goddess promises to punish Blackjack for her insolence on several occasions.
Framing Device: Project Horizons is written in Blackjack's first-person perspective. The first chapter of Volume Five, however, is in third person, and uses the perspectives of several different characters, giving an image of the Hoof after a three-month Time Skip. At the end of the chapter, it turns out that the different perspectives are due to Blackjack using the Perceptitron.
Frickin' Laser Beams: Standard for robots, turret defenses and Enclave pegasi. The Flash Fillies gang specialises in these.
Friend or Foe: The E.F.S system on the PipBuck somehow determines the status of all living beings and marks them as either hostile or friendly. Blackjack keeps wondering how it knows, and somewhat distrusts the system, especially after nearly killing a frightened scavenger who got marked as 'hostile' for using the basic Crapsack World survival rule of 'shoot first, ask questions later'.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Doof. When he first got sent to Hightower, they had to repeatedly throw him in Solitary to give his injuries time to heal due to him not being able to stand other prisoners getting picked on, causing him to get beaten up. After a visit from Vanity (who told him that Twist didn't want his apology and never wanted to see him ever again), they had to throw him in there to stop him from killing everyone else.
Sanguine's family suffered the same fate, and are extremely traumatized by the time he revives them.
Psycoshy suffered this and believes that Sanguine rescued her, when in reality he was responsible for her imprisonment in the first place, planning to use her to unlock Project Chimera once he had EC-1101.
Gone Horribly Wrong: Stable 99 was designed for high social stability, with an oversized security wing and a strong emphasis on recycling and birth control. It eventually degenerated into a matriarchal tyranny.
Good Is Not Nice: Played dead straight for most of the protagonists. Glory is a possible exception, but even she has her moments.
Good Ponies Have Good Sex: Blackjack is traumatised by being raped on the boat, but later has consensual sex with Stygius to reaffirm that sex can be good and enjoyable.
Taken Up to Eleven by Vanity of the Marauders; he simultaneously wields dual assault rifles on a battle saddle and a pair of levitated revolvers. On one occasion, he levitates enough weapons to single-handedly hold a hallway against an attacking mob.
Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Played With. Blackjack frequently goes without any headgear whatesoever but occasionally either someone's suggestion or her remembering a recent incident where head protection would've helped can get her to wear one. More than once, wearing a helmet explicitly saves her life.
Upon first arriving in Flank, Blackjack is suffering from heavy injuries and the side effects of several chems. She's forced to take Dash and gallop through an enervation field to reach the town, and ends up having a heart attack. Fortunately, help is at hand.
At the end of Chapter 42, Blackjack runs her cybernetics out of power, to the point where her legs and eyes completely shut down.
Subverted and then Averted when Blackjack gasses Stable 99. While Blackjack's actions are heroic, it's less a sacrifice and more a suicide attempt, so when Lacunae teleports to the rescue, BJ is dismayed.
Blackjack, unable to fight back at the time, taunts a group of bandits into having their way with her so that Scotch Tape can hide from them.
Played straight when Silver Stripe sacrifices her synthetic organs to save Blackjack, reducing herself to a Brain in a Jar.
Also played straight in Chapter 58. With the Goddess and her Unity destroyed, Lacunae returns her vast collection of shunned memories and emotions - the very substance of her identity - to the now-independent alicorns, allowing them to live on as mentally whole beings.
YMMV since it is consistent with previous and later behavior and part of her "Mask". Idiot Ball implies acting out of character.
The supporting cast gets one in chapter 23. Blackjack, who has been an emotional wreck throughout most of the story even before gassing Stable 99 and has displayed suicidal tendencies more than once, is stuck in a rapidly worsening Heroic BSOD. The cast discusses her emotional state, and it's obvious that they realize she's at risk of suicide. Yet they take no preventive measures and frequently leave her alone, unwatched, and fully armed. When she tells Glory, Lacunae and Scotch Tape to go Megamart, they agree, based on nothing more than her unreliable promise that she's okay, and that she'll see them again in a few hours. Keep in mind, this is Morning Glory, the most intelligent pony in the group and the only trained medical expert between them all, who has a vested interest in keeping Blackjack, her lover, alive...and she takes Blackjack at her word that she's perfectly fine and will see her later. They do meet again, but not before Blackjack's tried to eat her gun.
And then, at the MASEBS tower, Blackjack suggests that she, P-21 and Rampage split up, leaving her completely alone and with the means to carry out her own death. They agree without question. It's almost as if they wanted her to kill herself.
Also YMMV. Glory is well-established as the most naive and trusting of the main cast (which has bitten her in the ass more than once before), and P-21 and Rampage were only a room or two away from BJ in the tower. She had to use a StealthBuck to get away from them, and there's no indication that they knew she had one. Not to mention that Rampage is suicidal full-time and P-21 is going through a near-terminal BSOD of his own.
Eventually revealed to be Sanguine's core motivation. He wants to reactivate Project Chimera to save his sick family, who have been in stasis since the bombs fell. This, and the possibility that Chimera could also be used to save Scotch Tape, is enough to convince Blackjack to call a tentative truce.
Immortality Hurts: Rampage has suffered horrifically in her long life, and apparently feels pain despite her Healing Factor. For Deus, this trope is quite literal. His augmentations leave him in a constant state of agonising pain.
Immortal Life Is Cheap: Rampage has been beheaded, chewed on and then thrown out of a window by a hydra, shot to pieces, blown up, vaporized, poisoned, carved up and eaten, shot in the head repeatedly, burned alive, stabbed through the eye with a sword, blasted into giblets by artillery, has had her throat crushed, and has eaten a box of detergentto help herself get drunk. And that's only listing "on-screen" examples.note List of 'off-screen' incidents: Repeated drowning, repeated disintegration, dismemberment, eating a balefire egg, shooting herself in the head to make a point, and being fed into a wood chipper on a dare.
Bullets pass straight through Gem and Mini when they turn intangible.
Immune to Drugs: Rampage, thanks to her healing factor, is blasé about addictions and side effects. She eats Mint-als like candy, and in one memorable incident encounters a drug selling robot and orders a dose of "everything". Barpony's Hideous Hangover Cure, however, promptly causes her to throw up.
Implacable Mare: Rampage. To a lesser extent, Deus and Gorgon. Later, Blackjack.
In Chapter 43, Blackjack faces down her own self-destructive subconscious.
Karma Houdini: Invoked with Director Mephitis, the pony in charge of the Yellow River Internment Camp. He overloaded the camp with zebra POWs in order to request additional supplies from the Ministry of Peace, fenced said supplies for his own profit, and refused to set the prisoners free when the bombs fell, backstabbing a subordinate in the process. He then took his ill-gotten profits with him and fled to Thunderhead, and apparently never answered for his crimes.
It is in fact played totally straight : In chapter 62 part 2, Blackjack find evidences that he became a well known, rich Doctor in Thunderhead and played a part in undermining Rainbow Dash authority and credibility in the Enclave.
Blackjack: You mother fucker! You got away with it! You actually fucking got away with it!
Kick the Dog: The pony working at Miramare that tells Doof that Twist likes sex. Doof not being the smartest pony, he doesn't get it when she says that she loves Applebloom and rapes her instead. Said pony then tells the newspaper "I always knew there was something bad about him."
The Burner Boys gang specialises in flamethrowers and incendiary bombs.
The 'burning ones' that BJ and co. encounter in Hightower; supercharged glowing ones capable of breathing fire.
Snips is burnt alive in Chapter 48.
Klingon Promotion: The fastest way to become a reaper is to kill a reaper and take their place. Rampage earned her position and armor this way, and after killing Gorgon and Deus, Blackjack is offered a position as well.
You Kill It, You Bought It: Zigzagged. Initally downplayed when Blackjack earns the right to become a Reaper. She's annoyed at her newly-increased notoriety but offically taking the role, while encouraged, is voluntary. Her refusal causes her to once again become a target for gangs, which were being held off by the presence of a Reaper in her group and the protection of Big Daddy Reaper. After destroying the HMS Celestia, BJ is granted an honorary place in the Reapers whether she wants it or not.
Large Ham: THE GODDESS WISHES TO REMIND YOU THAT THIS TROPE IS IN FULL EFFECT.
Blackjack has a number of traumatic memories removed from Scotch Tape's mind, much to Rampage's dismay. This ends up backfiring, as Scotch's trauma remains despite the memories of its cause being gone.
Literal Cliff Hanger: Chapter 29 ends with one of these, where Morning Glory (apparently) falls to her death.
Mystical Plague: Enervation. It's everywhere, it reduces the effectiveness of healing potionsnote With enough exposure, they can become InvertedHealing Shivs., and it does all kinds of unhealthy things to ponies.
Mysterious Backer: The Dealer. He'll appear time and time again to help point Blackjack in the right direction, even as he emotionally beats her down just as often (much to Blackjack's confusion). Thought to be a figment of her imagination for a majority of the story, but it turns out he's the spirit of Goldenblood's assistant, tied to EC-1101 as a sort of guide to make sure it gets to its destination. Even after learning this, we know next to nothing else about who he is or what his own goals are, but it's clear he does have some ulterior motives.
Myth Arc: Since being broken down into volumes, the overarching plot is this.
Project Chimera: Harvesting and application of Discord's essence as a powerful magical reagent.
Project Starfall: Weaponisation of megaspell techology.
Project Partypooper: A set of directives to assassinate the Ministry Mares in case of a coup against Luna.
Project Eternity: Rarity's experiments into necromancy, which created the talisman making Rampage immortal and eventually gave rise to the Ministry Mare statuettes.
Project Redoubt: A mega-Stable built by the aristocrats and nobility of Equestria to continue their own way of life. Stolen from them by the Office of Interministry Affairs.
Project Horizons: Kept a mystery for much of the story. Revealed in Chapter 65 to be a superweapon connected to the space program, essentially a giant space projectile made from moon stone built by Goldenblood to destroy the Starmetal-based Tokomore.
Pass the Popcorn: Glory and a group of Crusaders when P-21 first calls Blackjack his friend. Complete with actual (200 year old stale) popcorn!
Pet the Dog: When Blackjack realizes that Discord has spent two centuries in an active torture machine, she immediately turns it off. He is very relieved. A short while later, she sets him free, despite the potential consequences. Pays off later when a powerful Harbinger tank attacks the place and he saves her by bringing the place down on it, even though it means he'll be buried too.
Phlebotinum Rebel: Gorgon's first action upon being given the powers of a cockatrice by a shady OIA (Office of Interministry Affairs) lab is to petrify and shatter a nurse.
As of Chapter 48, Blackjack has been shot, stabbed, beaten to a bloody pulp, bitten, burned, irradiated, poisoned, blown up, raped, cursed, and killed... twice. Yet she always seems to find a way to get back up and keep fighting.
While BJ's survival is usually justified ( and she's been rebuilt so often and so thoroughly that her original body is now little more than a husk), Glory survives grievous injuries such as a landmine to the face and a wing literally melting off at the shoulder with few long-term complications.
P-21 gets his front hooves blown off completely once. Fortunately, Hydra is powerful enough to regrow them completely.
After Blackjack sets off an implosion magaspell, at the end of chapter 62, she survives it only to reappear in the Core of Hoofington.
Potty Failure: Taken seriously. Blackjack suffered this as a result of radiation poisoning, and again in Horizon Labs. Scotch Tape and various other characters occasionally wet themselves out of fear.
Read the Freaking Manual: Blackjack aquires the Wasteland Survival Guide early on, but despite considering it a good idea she rarely consults it. Scotch Tape however does, and occasionally points out chapters relevant to the current matter on hand.
Recursive Fanfiction: Is one for the original Fallout: Equestria, but also has its own fanfictions too!
Red Herring: Up until Chapter 32, all evidence seems to point to repeated used of Hydra as the main source of Blackjack's worsening taint problems. During the encounter in Horizon Labs, she learns that it's actually Trottenheimer's Folly.
Rule of Symbolism: Some readers have drawn parallels between the crucifixion of Jesus and the scene where Blackjack is raped. Blackjack already has several of the standard messianic character traits. Both are nailed down by all four limbs and stabbed in the side, the horn amputation can be seen as a variant on the crown of thorns, and the scene itself carries strong overtones of self-sacrifice, forgiveness and redemption. Following her subsequent death, Blackjack is revived three days later.
The scene in Chapter 22 where the Raider ponies inside Stable 99 strap Rampage down and eat her is basically an image of the Prometheus legend. Prometheus was strapped to a mountain by Zeus as punishment for bringing fire to mankind and had his liver picked out each day by an eagle, only for it to regrow overnight. One Raider pony even shouts that her liver has regrown.
Just before his death, Deus leaves a memory orb for Blackjack. The contents make her feel for him, just a little bit. Following her own augmentation, BJ mentions that, in a sense, she is beginning to understand him, and fears that she is at risk of becoming similarly monstrous.
This empathy comes in handy later, when Blackjack uses her experience to reason and empathise with the newly rebuilt Deus and appeal to his better nature.
Blackjack also finds a 'Thank you for killing me' letter in Gorgon's room, prompting tears.
Blackjack to Glory, as a building collapses beneath them. Despite BJ's best efforts, Glory falls, but is saved by Operative Lighthooves and his entourage. The roles are reversed in the next chapter, where Blackjack grabs hold of Glory's wing to avoid being sucked into a sewer pump.
Blackjack and a long line of her ancestors have names related to playing cards and card games. note Card Trick. Tarot. Little Poker. Full House. 52 Pick-up. Straight Flush. Aces. Royal Flush. Bridge. Hearts. Gin Rummy. Go Fish/Blackjack.
Time Skip: Between Volumes Four and Five, three months have passed. Blackjack, who fell into the Core, is presumed dead. The events of the original Fallout: Equestria have almost drawn to a close, with Red Eye's forces defeated and the Enclave more or less disbanded.
Although Chapter 39 mentions that weaponized megaspells were handled by "Project Starfall." Apparently, "Project Horizons" was something much worse. Even Blackjack finds that a little hard to believe.
And in Chapter 45, Blackjack finds a terminal of Goldenblood's which simply says, "Activate Project Horizons: Y/N?" Fortunately, she opts not to.
Too Kinky to Torture: Blackjack is the submissive partner during her BDSM sessions with Glory. When one of her foes - Lancer - ties her up and blindfolds her, she has a hard time concentrating on the matter at hoof because she's so turned on.
Tranquil Fury: Blackjack drops into one upon finding Stable 99 turned into a raider nest. It takes a bullet to the head to snap her out of it.
Also in Chapter 42, sort of. After being hit by an explosion (not a spoiler with how often that happens), her PipBuck gets temporarily messed up, so all she can hear is Octavia's contrabass.
Trauma Conga Line: Blackjack suffers an excessive number of injuries, ailments and psychological traumas over the course of the story, many of which come very close to killing her. Glory suffers awfully as well.
Ponibooru comment: ALL ABOARD THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERIORATION TRAIN, NOW DEPARTING BLACKJACK STATION. AGAIN.
Truth in Television: That virus that ravages the wasteland through cannibalism is more or less a pony version of vCJD.
Unskilled, but Strong: The Harbingers. They possess pristine top grade weaponry, but nary a pony knows how to use it effectively.
This appears to be the whole point of the chem appropriately named Rage and its derivative, Stampede.
Values Dissonance: In-Universe. Since Stable 99 was basically a Free-Love Future, Blackjack, P-21, and Scotch Tape are all confused by the idea of a monogamous relationship. Glory is similarly confused when this is explained to her.
Rampage is strongly implied to be a conglomeration of the souls of (at least) Twist, Officer Softheart, the 'Angel of Death', a nameless foal, a drug dealer named Razorwire, Shujaa, and Doctor Octopus (No, not that one).
Lacunae is implied to have originally been Psalm.
All the monsterponies created by Project Chimera, including...
Gorgon, a.k.a. Stonewing, fused with a cockatrice.
Cora, the manticore pony, who was once Brass, the mare that goaded Doof into raping Twist.
Fury, who was fused with a phoenix.
Precious, a foal fused with a baby dragon.
Blackjack herself, following her mutations and cybernetic augmentation.
Chapter 36. Sanguine, desperate to get EC-1101, uses Red Eye's forces to completely wipe out several towns where Blackjack has been, including Brimstone's Fall. In the end, he gets the file, having also killed Priest. We also learn that Blackjack's firing of Folly has awakened something terrible within the Core, and meet a group of ponies who hum the disturbing tune from Blackjack's Bad Future nightmare.
Chapter 52. Glory's mother, Dawn, reveals herself to be the leader of the Harbingers. She asks Blackjack to hand over EC-1101, threatening to destroy Chapel with a tank if she doesn't. During the ensuing fight, a squad of Enclave soldiers appears, led by Glory's father, Sky Striker. Sky attempts to convince Dawn to come back to the sky, but she refuses. She then reveals a Tron LinedLovecraftian Superpower and viciously attacks him. Also, that tank turns out to be Deus.
Blackjack shows elements of this following her augmentation. She finds her automated breathing, lack of heartbeat, and optical interface deeply disturbing, to the point of sympathising with Deus.
Sanguine admits to these thoughts, though it's not enough to stop him from doing the unspeakable.
What the Hell, Hero?: Blackjack receives these frequently, though more often out of concern than outrage. However, her various abuses of P-21 in Stable 99 and suicide attempts are genuine examples. Rampage calls her out on going ahead with Scotch Tape's memory wipe, and leaves the party as a consequence.
In Chapter 40 Blackjack delivers one of these to Twilight Sparkle's consciousness via Lacunae, after witnessing firsthoof all crimes against equinity she committed to create the Impelled Metamorphosis Potion.
Blackjack gets this from just about everyone after she cheats on Glory with Stygius.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Rampage doesn't. Apparently, several other Reapers (and many of the former Marauders) have this problem.
Wretched Hive: Flank is a town built on prostitution and drug abuse.
You Know Too Much: Goldenblood invokes this, dropping an unfortunate eavesdropper down an elevator shaft.
Goldenblood: Do you know what the three most precious things in Equestria are, Dewdrop? Dewdrop: Family, sir? Friends? Um… money? Goldenblood: Family is a dime a dozen. Friends are articles of convenience. And money is trash. No, the three most precious things are loyalty, love... and secrets.