Fanfic: Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons
Loyalty, love... and secrets.
is a Recursive Fanfiction
for Fallout: Equestria
by Somber.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 do is 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...And Hoofington is pretty much the worst place in Equestria to live.
Due to the story's great length
, it has been split into five volumes which each encompass a primary story arc.
- Volume One - The Security Mare (Chapters 1-16)
- Volume Two - Blood and Stars (Chapters 17-33)
- Volume Three - Second Chances (Chapters 34-48)
- Volume Four - Homecoming (Chapters 49-62)
- Volume Five - Horizons (63-77+ Epilogue)
The story was completed on August 29th 2015, four years after it was started.
The Character sheet for is here
. Due to Loads and Loads of Characters
, it needs a lot of love.
It is also avaible in PDF format here.
Project Horizons contains the following tropes:
- 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.
- After the End
- Alas, Poor Villain: Just about every major or minor badguy has received this from Blackjack's point of view save Steel Rain and Blueblood.
- Deus pursues Blackjack for sixteen chapters, being a sexist destructive cyborg who refers to all mares as "cunts". Turns out he is a victim of science, the disgraced Marauder, Doof, who was in constant agony due to his imperfect cybernetics. Then they put his brain into a tank.
- Sanguine crosses the Moral Event Horizon very early on in the story, murdering supporting characters in his ever desperate attempt to obtain EC-1101, prompting Blackjack to make a vow to end him. Then in Chapter 39, it turns out he has a family who he preserved and wants to use Project Chimera to ensure they'll live. When they are killed, Sanguine just snaps and is later kept as a trophy by Cognitum.
- Goldenblood is more of an Anti-Villain, but still fits the trope considering his backstory, doomed relationship with Fluttershy, and well-intentioned agendas backfiring on him spectacularly.
- Other examples include but not limited too Sanguine's minions Brass and Fury, Gorgon, Psychoshy, the Stable #99 ponies infected with the raider plague, Princess Charm, Mr. Horse, and Glory's mother Dawn.
- 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.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Played straight with raiders, but typically averted otherwise.
- Ancestral Weapon: Vigilance, a 12.7 mm pistol handed down to each Stable 99 head of securitynote .
- And I Must Scream:
- 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.
- Overlaps with Fate Much, Much Worse Than Death for Rampage. As of Chapter 74, she's stranded on the moon, consigned to eternal life in hard vacuum.
- Anyone Can Die: Lacunae could be said to be the first of the 'core team' to truly and permanently die.
- Farther on, Glory's apparent death and P-21's death.
- The one member of the core team who actually seeks permanent death is left to wander blind and deaf for eternity, alone on the moon.
- Apocalyptic Log: All over the place, naturally.
- Arc Words: "Ante up"'. Also, to an extent, "Hoofington Rises".
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?:
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.
- Atomic F-Bomb Deus' Catchphrase. To be precise, Atomic C-Bomb.
- Back for the Finale: For the final battle of Hoofington, literally every surviving character returns or at least cameos. And we mean all of them. With easily 300 named participants, that's no small feat. It even manages to dwarf Tarmon Gai'don in sheer scope.
- Badass: A necessary trait for Reapers, such as Deus and Rampage.
- Badass Boast: Blackjack becomes increasingly fond of these.
Blackjack: But right now, I got my gun, my beer, a fire in my belly, and a grin on my face and there’s not a mother-fucking pony in the Wasteland who can stop me!
- Badass Crew: Macintosh's Marauders.
- Bad Dreams:
- Bad Future:
- Bad with the Bone:
- During the solo fight in the museum, Blackjack finds a dragon claw. It replaces the police baton as her go-to melee weapon until it gets destroyed.
- During the mansion adventure, she improvises with diamond dog claws glued to the end of a thighbone.
- In Chapter 42, Blackjack kills an Enclave pegasus by stabbing several bones into the socket of her severed wing.
- Battle Couple: As of Chapter 49, Stygius and Psychoshy.
- Battle in the Rain: Common, since it rains almost constantly in Hoofington. The battles at Flank, Yellow River and Blueblood Manor take place during thunderstorms.
- The Beastmaster: Brass, who commands a flock of manticores.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: As in the main story, the power armor of Enclave soldiers is equipped with a bladed tail for melee combat. Radscorpions and manticores, naturally, have poisoned variants.
- Deus has a pair of 120mmnote artillery cannons built into him. Steel Rain also has a pair, mounted on his Power Armor.
- Megamart is protected by an enormous Sentry Gun aptly named "Gun". Blackjack jokingly wonders if it fires I-beams, and the answer is uncomfortably close to "yes."
- Big "NO!": Blackjack is not happy when Lacunae spoils the sacrifice portion of her Heroic Sacrifice in Chapter 22.
- Big Red Button: Whenever Blackjack encounters one, she wants to push it. It rarely ends well.
- Bittersweet Ending: The story's epilogue ends with Most of the cast dead, both main and minor characters. The Eater of Souls defeated, but only after a depressing amount of Hoofington sacrificed in the final battle. But when all is said and done, the Gardens go off as in the main story, the surviving cast have children that will go on to form a warring, if mostly peaceful society that's regressed nearly to Equestrian levels of technology, and Littlepip and Blackjack forming a semi-stable pairing to cope with their immortality and loss of friends. And at the very end, Rampage is rescued from the moon and her talisman severed, bringing her back to life as a mortal, giving Blackjack one of her friends back.
- Blessed with Suck:
- Deus' cybernetic implants make him nigh-invulnerable and extremely powerful. They also cause him constant agony, forcing him to rely on custom-tailored painkillers.
- Rampage is practically impossible to kill. Pity that she's a Tortured Monster who wants to die.
- Blood from the Mouth: Occasionally. Blackjack literally vomits blood at one point due to Enervation exposure, and an unfortunate prospector in Tenpony Tower does this because she's about to violently explode from an anti-betrayal implant.
- Body Horror:
- 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.
- In chapter 30, Blackjack discovers a horrific tumor growing in her empty eye socket. It is never described.
- Horizon Labs. The cryogenics lab is a mass of taint-dribbling, pulsating flesh with many mouths 'singing' in a choir of screams. Blackjack's tainted insides respond to the sound by squirming inside her. Eventually, they join in the song. Meanwhile, Rampage is being monstrously mutated by the taint saturating the room.
- '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.
- Booby Trap: True to the source material, these are common.
- The Sand Dog Lair in Chapter 21 is packed with traps specifically designed to attract scavenging ponies.
- Boss Battle: Every major arc ends with BJ and co. participating in a climactic battle. First against Deus, Gemini and Taurus, then Steel Rain and his rogue Steel Rangers, then Warden Hobble.
- Break the Cutie: Happens to Morning Glory frequently, most notably when she is betrayed by the Enclave and branded a Dashite. Again later, when she loses a wing.
- Yet again when the killing joke turns her into Rainbow Dash—possibly even including a bit of her personality—the one thing the Enclave hates more than a Dashite.
- And again when her mother is revealed to be the leader of a violent cult and a monstrous cyborg besides, revealing this by brutally wounding Sky Striker.
- Breaking Speech: Rampage's 'Angel of Death' persona delivers one to Blackjack, along with an unhealthy dose of Not So Different.
- Breather Episode: Chapter 34 is where Blackjack finally gets a break. She gets restored and cleansed of taint, meets LittlePip, and goes to have fun adventures with her while happily drunk.
- The subsequent chapter continues the breather with some more serious introspection while the next plot arc gets set up.
- Chapter 40 is also relatively sedate, and ends with P-21 finally accepting Scotch Tape as his daughter.
- Chapter 63 gives the reader a glimpse of how various people and groups are getting along before the final sprint to the ending.
- Broken Tears:
- Glory, when she loses her wing.
- Blackjack, as she breaks down in front of P-21 following her rape.
- Bullying a Dragon: Blackjack often mocks, disobeys or otherwise disrespects the Goddess, 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.
- But You Screw One Goat!: Brass and her 'pets'.
- Cain and Abel: Blueblood is the Cain to Vanity's Abel.
- Call Back:
- Blackjack's response to losing her eye in Chapter 27 is exactly the same as her response to discovering that her eyes glow in Chapter 4. This response is also repeated when she discovers her new eyes glow in Chapter 73.
- When a cancerous growth takes over Blackjack's empty eye socket in Chapter 30, she jokes about finally growing an eye tentacle penis, in a call back to Chapter 15.
- In Chapter 33, Blackjack's line, “I’m not a monster. I’m not… even if I look like one,” calls back to Gorgon's goodbye note in Chapter 25.
- Call Forward:
- In Chapter 30, Watcher compliments Blackjack on her eyepatch. Yeah, about that...
- This exchange, as Glory and her father bid one another farewell:
Sky Striker: Sunshine and rainbows, Morning Glory.
Morning Glory: And clear skies ahead, Father.
- In Chapter 50, Blackjack's threat towards the Goddess:
Blackjack: I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But somepony is going to kill you very soon.
- The Cameo: Littlepip, Velvet Remedy, Calamity, Xenith and a number of minor characters from the main story appear in Chapters 34 and 35. As of chapter 65 and onwards, they've been incorporated into the two-year Time Skip at the end of the original story.
- And of all people, a ponyfied, ghoulified version of the Squirrel Nut Zippers show up in chapter 45, playing a very thematically appropriate song.
- Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: While in Flank, Blackjack takes a bath in full armor with her weapons in easy reach. She isn't attacked, but she mentions she's ready for it.
- 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.
- Catch Phrase: Blackjack has a few phrases she uses regularly.
"Security saves ponies."
"I'm not an executioner."
"I am not a clever pony."
- Sekashi: "That reminds me of a funny story..."
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Trottenheimer's Folly is a literal example.
- Blackjack's taint infection, introduced in Chapter 15, remains largely unimportant until the late twenties, where it takes a sharp turn for the worse.
- The slave collar that P-21 puts on Blackjack in Chapter 15 is used to cripple Deus a chapter later.
- In Chapter 23, Lacunae attempts to calm Blackjack down by linking minds and sharing her memories. Later, Blackjack does the same in reverse to break Lacunae out of her Empty Shell state.
- The hymn sung by the ponies of Chapel during Blackjack's first visit saves her from a horrific fate in Horizon Labs.
- Circling Birdies: Seems to take the form of Blackjack's most recent sexual partner.
- "Little Glories" circle Blackjack's head after Big Daddy throws her at a wall.
- "Little Stygiuses" fly round her head after a Steel Ranger bucks her into a bookcase.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Blackjack drops a few.
- Coitus Uninterruptus:
- In Chapter 22, when Blackjack enters the Overmare's Office to find the Overmare raping P-21.
- Again in Chapter 49 with Stygius and a bedridden Psycoshy. Blackjack gives pointers.
- Collapsing Lair:
- Complete Immortality: Rampage of the regenerative type. She does age, but only up to about the late 30s. And if her body is destroyed (for example, by disintegration) she reconstitutes herself as a small filly who then grows rapidly to adulthood if fed enough protein. Nopony knows why either age is special.
- Continuity Nod:
- 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: Blackjack's ultimate enemy is the Eater of Souls, a living, soul-absorbing star that sings a song of decay in defiance to the other life-giving stars.
- Could Have Been Messy: Constantly Averted.
- Country Matters: Deus' favorite word.
- Crapsack World: Rivals Westeros in the sheer scale of cruelty, character deaths on every side of the morality spectrum, and complexity of the setting.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The Wasteland likes handing these out. When she's really upset, so does Blackjack.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Rampage occasionally gets out of control, to the point where Blackjack responds by shooting her in the head until she calms down. Rampage even thanks her for it. Lampshaded:
Glory: Blackjack! You don’t do therapy with bullets!
Blackjack: You do when you’re dealing with a regenerating mare who thinks she’s a crazy zebra.
- Cult: The Harbingers towards whatever's inside Hoofington's Core.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Cyborg: Many, many characters. The purpose of Project Steelpony is to create these. And then there's the Brood...
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: 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.
- Raping others is apparently the only way Deus can feel alive anymore.
- A weird inversion of this trope occurs with Cognitum. When Cognitum was just a machine she was far from benevolent, but was entirely rational and did genuinely want to help the save the wasteland. When she transferred into a body with living tissue and a soul she became slowly unhinged and showed much more malice.
- Darker and Edgier: ...To put it lightly. Compared to Fallout: Equestria (which is, itself, darker than the original Fallout series of video games. Now that's saying something!). Project Horizons is a lot bleaker in tone, and tackles subjects that KKat only briefly touches on (ie. suicide, rape, and child mortality).
- Dark and Troubled Past: Almost everyone to some extent, but P-21 and Rampage in particular.
- 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.
- Deadly Hug: Rampage performs one on Thorn. Blackjack disapproves.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Blackjack impersonates Marmalade to infiltrate the Stable 99 raiders.
- 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.
- Death Trap:
- 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.
- Death Seeker: Rampage. And boy has she tried.
- 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.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Most of Blackjack's foes that survive their encounter with her ends up assisting the group later on. Lampshaded by Rampage.
- Done hilariously in Chapter 58, when Lancer reluctantly joins Blackjack's party.
Blackjack: What are you doing here?
Lancer: The Proditor
said it was the ‘Blackjack defeat effect’. Apparently I now have to follow you around until I find a new purpose in life or something.
- Despair Event Horizon:
- Blackjack is emotionally crushed by the events of Chapter 22. Only luck and timely intervention save her from committing 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.
- Psychoshy crosses this in chapter 76, after her husband dies within a minute of their proposal in battle.
- Deus Angst Machina: Virtually every named character suffers (or has suffered) life-changing trauma, often of a sexual nature. This extends to foals, with child rape alluded to as early as the second chapter. Each of the main characters have their lives and bodies ruined several times in the course of the narrative.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: At the end of Chapter 33, Blackjack dies while snuggling under Glory's wing.
- Doomed Hometown: Stable 99 gets infected with The Virus.
- Door Stopper: As of the epilogue, Project Horizons' has an estimated word count of 1.8 million words, having surpassed that of Fallout: Equestria almost three times over, In other words, it's longer than Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia combined.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Deconstructed. This is the status quo in Stable 99, due to males being viewed as little more than breeding equipment. Much of Blackjack and P-21's early Character Development stems from their attempts to get over it. Blackjack has a minor epiphany when she realises that she raped P-21 at least once, and they eventually reconcile after Blackjack is raped herself.
- Dressing as the Enemy:
- Blackjack, frequently.
- P-21 disguises himself as a maintenance mare and, to his intense embarassment, a (female) Flash Fillies gang member.
- Driven to Suicide:
- 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 in Chapter 50, where Blackjack tries to shoot herself in a desperate attempt to stop the Goddess pulling the knowledge of Gardens of Equestria from her mind. The Goddess simply squashes BJ's suicidal impulses and takes it anyway.
- P-21 attempts to hang himself in Chapter 25.
- Drowning My Sorrows:
- Blackjack with vodka, after Glory's branding.
- Rampage in Chapter 45. Her regeneration makes it hard for her to get drunk normally, so she alternates bottles of booze with mouthfuls of laundry detergent.
- Drugs Are Bad:
- 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.
- Drunken Master: Blackjack with whiskey. Hilarity Ensues.
- Due to the Dead:
- Typically averted, but Roses recieves a formal burial in Chapel and her daughter is later buried with her.
- Blackjack and P-21 bury Hoss with Granny Smith shortly after they stumble upon his farm.
- Following a battle, Lacunae cremates the corpses left behind by levitating them towards the Core's defense lasers.
- Priest in Chapter 36.
- Notably averted with Shujaa.
- Dwindling Party: It would actually be easier to count all of Blackjack's friends and allies who don't die.
- Dysfunction Junction: BJ and her band start out this way and get worse with each new member.
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.
- Eaten Alive: The Stable 99 Raiders temporarily manage to restrain and butcher Rampage. She regenerates as usual. Blackjack speculates that the raiders could use her as an endless food source.
"Her liver's back!"
- Elaborate Under Ground Base: Hoofington's underground is an enormous warren of pre-war train tunnels and underground facilities, including at least one partly-functional megaspell center.
- Eldritch Location: The 'well of souls' that Blackjack is drawn into after dying a second time.
- Enemies with Death: Blackjack argues with a hallucination of ponified Death.
- Enemy Mine: Lancer apparently considers his brief period of cooperation with Blackjack and co. to be an example of this.
- Engineered Public Confession: The Enclave does this to Glory. Emphasis on the "Engineered" part.
- 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.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: This is standard for the FO:E setting, but Hoofington takes it Up to Eleven. The Core's defenses will vaporise anypony who gets too close, and the ambient Enervation - unique to the Hoof - saps life, ruins healing potions and can outright liquefy injured flesh.
- Deus puts an enormous bounty on Blackjack's head early on, resulting in her being hounded by dozens of bounty hunters and desperate wastelanders.
- Explosive Leash: Slave collars.
- Eyes Always Shut: Dawn has a perpetual squint.
- Eye Scream: Often occurs in combat scenes.
- 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.
- Face-Heel Turn:
- P-21, briefly. Blackjack talks him down.
- As of Chapter 68, Silver Stripe.
- 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.
- Fantastic Drug: As in Fallout and Fallout: Equestria, there several varieties of these. Of particular note is Hydra, which shares its New Vegas counterpart's limb-restoring properties but infects its user with taint.
- Fire-Forged Friends: P-21 and Blackjack, although the strength of their friendship fluctuates.
- Footnote Fever: Following the trend set by Fallout: Equestria, each chapter ends with a footnote detailing Blackjack's perk and skill advancements.
- Played for Drama at the end of Chapter 32, where the footnote text is inexplicably corrupted.
- Played even more so at the end of Chapter 33, when she dies.
- Returns to normal in a triumphant fashion in Chapter 34. Blackjack is cured of taint and is Back from the Dead. The footnote? "Level Up: Maximum Level"
- Forbidden Zone: The Hoofington Core.
- Forced to Watch:
- 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 Bad to Worse: This trope is in play almost constantly.
- 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.
- Gallows Humor: Blackjack is quite capable of this, thanks to her low self-esteem and Stepford Smiler tendencies.
Blackjack: Hey, Scotch. What do you call a mare with no legs who's in security? Baton.
- Genuine Human Hide: The official uniform of low-ranking Reapers.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: P-21 successfully beats the mope out of Blackjack in Chapter 36. To be fair, he warned her.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: As Blackjack lies dying, Glory uses the Delta PipBuck to contact several of Hoofington's factions, who band together to save Blackjack's life.
- Gone Horribly Right:
- The Fluttershy Medical Center contains an experimental system for keeping terminally ill or injured foals in a state of medical stasis. It's still mostly operational - the occupants have been conscious and alone for over two hundred years.
- 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 People 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.
- Goomba Stomp: Rampage performs one on a pair of Mooks.
- Gorn: Invoked In-Universe by raiders, who take a perverse glee in mutilating their victims.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The conflicts between most Hoofington gangs, as Blackjack later learns.
- Most ponies who join the Burner Boys were horribly maimed by the Wasteland, and wouldn't survive on their own.
- The Flash Fillies take in victims of rape and other abuse to keep each other safe.
- Every member of the Halfhearts lost someone dear to them. They stay together to hold off suicidal depression.
- The stated goal of the Reapers is to unite the most dangerous fighters in the region, so they spend their time working together and fighting one another for sport instead of terrorizing Hoofington.
- Groin Attack:
- Blackjack delivers a few - mostly to mooks, but also a particularly nasty one to Deus.
- Psychoshy inflicts one on Blackjack during their cage fight in Chapter 25.
- Guns Akimbo:
- 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.
- Blackjack attempts to dual-wield on occasion, but her accuracy suffers as a result. She eventually gets hold of Vanity's revolvers.
- Taken to a ridiculous level by Lacunae in Chapter 31, where she wields a levitated grenade machinegun and a fully-armed and armored Steel Ranger.
- Half-Human Hybrid: A regular freakshow of these, thanks to Project Chimera.
- As the child of a pony and a zebra, Silver Stripe/Professor Zodiac is a mundane variant.
- Half the Man He Used to Be:
- Scoodle is torn in half by ghouls.
- Deus does this to Blackjack during one of her nightmares. [[Gorn From inside.]]
- Glory saves Blackjack from this fate in Chapter 29.
- Dusty Trails would have suffered this fate in Chapter 36 if Sanguine didn't have an even worse one in store.
- Rampage threatens Psychoshy with this, but Blackjack stops her.
- Happily Married: As of Chapter 76, Stygius and Psychoshy. Very happily. Also very briefly.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: In the revised version of Chapter 1, Blackjack does this when she walks into Midnight's room and comes across her being...busy.
- The Hero Dies: Then gets better.
- Heel-Face Turn: The Zodiac Family, Precious, Psychoshy and possibly Discord.
- 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.
- Heroic BSOD:
- Chapter 13 ends with Glory beginning a long series of these.
- Blackjack has several, usually triggered by My God, What Have I Done?.
- P-21, after he runs out of Med-X.
- Rampage drops into depression after Hightower, apparently convinced that despite being a Mind Hive Soul Jar, she has no soul of her own.
- Heroic RROD:
- 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.
- Also at the end of Chapter 77, Blackjack has expended so much power fighting the Eater that by the time the crisis is finally averted, her final moments are spent watching the number for her reserve power quickly go down due to her extensive injuries, and ends with her running out of power and dying.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- 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.
- As you might expect, Book 5 is just full of them.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Blackjack's greatest fear is being corrupted by the wasteland. Eventually Invoked, in a literal sense. Blackjack becomes a cyborg and finds herself having more in common with Deus than she'd like.
- Hidden Depths: Sekashi: a deaf zebra slave that turns out to be very well-versed in zebra lore and culture, and can handle herself in a fight armed with nothing but a staff.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Blackjack has a serious case of this after being heavily augmented with cybernetics. She spends two chapters re-learning how to walk, and ends up triggering various functions of her new body completely by accident. Fortunately it's mostly Played for Laughs, and she's fine after she gets some alcohol in her system.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Stable 99 ponies by nescessity. Raiders by compulsion. And then the two overlap.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate:
Mini: You're a good pony, Miss Blackjack.
- Averted in Chapter 33. Rampage's serial killer personality flatly refuses to put Blackjack out of her misery.
- The tainted ponies fused to the cryogenics room in Horizon Labs ask Blackjack and Rampage to burn them.
- Dusty Trails, fed halfway through the rock crusher that killed Gorgon. P-21 gives her a Med-X overdose.
- Idiot Ball:
- 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.
- Idiot Hero: Blackjack. Known for nebulous "plans" and battlefield drunkenness.
- Deconstructed - it takes BJ a long time to work out why P-21 doesn't trust himself with guns near her.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Almost literally, but due to the lack of kittens, Rampage's heart is substituted.
- I Have a Family:
- Roses begs Blackjack to spare her life for the sake of her daughter. It works. She later makes the same appeal to Prince Blueblood, who is somewhat less merciful.
- 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.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Played for Laughs as part of the 'everypony shoots Blackjack' Running Gag. Scotch Tape promptly shoots her in the chest after being given a pistol, and Xanthe goes a step further by using a shotgun.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Blackjack does this to Deus when she discovers he's been rebuilt as a tank.
- I Love the Dead: Psychoshy wants to be the lover of Sanguine, a Canterlot ghoul.
- I'm Having Soul Pains: After having her soul torn out by Snips' curse, then recovered by Snails, Blackjack spends most of a day in a state of inexplicable pain, punctuated by sudden crying fits.
- I'm Melting: Type A is the end result of enervation exposure. Partially invoked in Chapter 26 when Enervation rapidly worsens a deep wound on Glory's wing.
I stared as the skin holding the wing slowly stretched like taffy and then broke, the wing splashing softly into the water beside her.
- Immortal Assassin:
- Rampage, though she sides with the protagonists.
- The Legate overlaps with this as well.
- 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 detergent to help herself get drunk. And that's only listing "on-screen" examples.note
- Immune to Bullets:
- 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 Man: Rampage. To a lesser extent, Deus and Gorgon. Later, Blackjack.
- Infant Immortality: Utterly and repeatedly averted throughout.
- Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: Glory performs one on Priest after Sanguine breathes pink cloud in his face, melting his eyes and sealing his mouth and nose shut. It's not as helpful as most Hollywood trachs.
- Instrumentof Murder: Vanity uses Octavia's contrabass phylactery as both a bludgeon and a shield against an angry mob.
- Intangible Man: The Gemini sisters.
- Interrupted Suicide:
- Lacunae interrupts Blackjack in Chapter 22.
- Watcher interrupts Blackjack in Chapter 23.
- Blackjack interrupts P-21 in Chapter 25.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: The food in Stable 99 is mixed with the recycled remains of deceased (or "retired") ponies.
- One Steve Limit:
- In Chapter 9, there's a unicorn mare named Harbinger hanging out with a group of Pecos.
- The Enclave city Thunderhead is not the class of Enclave ship Thunderhead (they were probably not yet present in Fo E when the city was named). Keep that in mind when a Thunderhead is sent to attack Thunderhead.
- Only Known by Their Nickname:
- Blackjack is actually a nickname chosen to hide her Embarrassing First Name.
- Rampage took her name from the reaper she killed to earn her position. Her real name is unknown. The closest she has to one is "Arloste," which Scalpel gave her. Deus reveals in Chapter 69 that Rampage's real name is "Peppermint", given to her by Twist, her mother, and that he is the father.
- Operation Blank: Several. Specifically the various secret research and development projects undertaken by Goldenblood's OIA during the war.
- Project Steelpony: Development of military-grade cybernetics.
- 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, and magically hidden in the shadow dimension of the batponies. Goldenblood is imprisoned here.
- 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.
- Playing with Syringes: Project Chimera. Among other functions.
- Plot Armor:
- 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.
- Power Shoe/Armed Legs: Psychoshy's weapon of choice. Rampage uses a bladed variant.
- Powered By A Forsaken Draconequus: Project Chimera.
- Precision F-Strike: From time to time. Whenever Glory swears, it's this trope.
Glory: You... You... fucking cunt!
- Projectile Spell: Blackjack learns to fire bursts of energy from her horn. This ability develops over the course of the story, eventually gaining shotgun-grade power and extreme range.
- Properly Paranoid: Blackjack, especially after the assassination attempt in Chapter 16.
- Punch Clock Villain: Roses, a slaver who simply wants to provide for her daughter.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- Punctuated Pounding:
- When Blackjack kills her first cannibal.
"You! Sick! Fucker!" I yelled, bringing the batton down with each word.
- Played for Laughs in Chapter 19, when Blackjack spanks Aquarius Zodiac.
Blackjack: Do! Not! Shoot! The! Nice! Security! Pony!
- Rage Breaking Point:
- Blackjack is not happy when Rampage pushes the subject of rape on her.
- BJ completely loses it while learning of the various crimes committed at Yellow River. Discovering Shujaa's butchered remains drives her over the edge.
- Ragtag Band of Misfits: The protagonists.
- Rape As Back Story: Rampage, the males from Stable 99, and many of the Flash Fillies.
- Rape as Drama: A recurring theme.
- 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 Baron: Blackjack, AKA 'The Security Mare'.
- 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.
- Running Gag:
- Everypony shoots Blackjack. Carried over from Fallout: Equestria.
- Blackjack's horn is not small, it's compact.
- Dropping boats on ponies.
- "Then [...] exploded."
Of course it exploded! Everything spontaneously explodes around me! Pipes! Vertibucks! Mares!
- Scars Are Forever: Burner Boys.
- Shot in the Ass: Blackjack, by P-21.
- Deus reminds one of SCP-516, but with cyborg-ish attributes, not just a sentient tank
- The 'recycled' food in Stable 99 is typically green. Whaaaat? It's made from algae!
- A large steel cube with hearts painted on it is found in the Abandoned Hospital. It's a trap.
- A fight carries over into a dance club with two helmeted ponies who provide a soundtrack for the fight.
- After Blackjack uses Trottenheimer's Folly in Chapter 13, resulting in a massive blast of energy she says "bang" and then collapses.
- Among a collection of Stable-Tec plans is one for a 'Rapture Hydrostable'.
- Lacunae wields a minigun and has a noted affinity for sandwiches.
- 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.
- The Overmare temporarily enslaves P-21, who later strangles her to death with his chains.
- The blueprints for the Hoofington tunnels mention a samophlange housing.
- The party stumbles upon the remains of The Crop, the lingerie shop featured in the Ask Velvet tumblr.
- Velvet herself appears later as a ghoul; she takes the opportunity to dress Lacunae in lacy lingerie and a fancy gown.
- When Operative Lighthooves rescues Blackjack from the Flash Industries building, his dialogue is almost directly quoted from The Princess Bride.
- One of the ponies inside Rampage is apparently named Doctor Octopus.
- Project Chimera's core is essentially the Purifier from Fallout 3, built around Discord's statue instead of Thomas Jefferson's.
- Mr. Horse has a Sweetie Bot, and makes innuendos about his hammer.
- When another character expresses concern about her finding her way in the dark, Blackjack points out that her vision is augmented.
- Astromare Marigold failed a medical review because of her weak heart.
- Chapter 46 introduces a nightclub called Afterlife.
- During the assault on Hightower Prison in Chapter 47, Rampage belts out a ponified version of Sixteen Tons while rampaging.
- In Chapter 48, Blackjack and Rampage shout familiar insults into a toilet.
- In Chapter 52, Blackjack allows her zebra limbs to take over, allowing her to perform some impressive acrobatics, while battling an enormous twin-cannoned tank. At one point, she dodges a blast of fire, which travels up a wall-sized painting of a family tree. After this, she attempts to pry open the tank's hatch, only to overstrain and cripple her legs.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Blackjack shuts up The Goddess mid-rant by shoving her gun in Lacunae's mouth.
- Sickening Crunch: When Rampage crushes Thorn, the sound is described as a "crunchy pop".
- Spider-Sense: Blackjack's mane goes itchy at the strangest times.
- Spin-Off Babies: Yup. D'awwww.note
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Blackjack, more than once. In at least one case, Blackjack ''really'' needs surgery, but is too out of it to realise until afterwards.
- Stuff Blowing Up: P-21 specialises in explosives.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Applies to almost all of the villains to some degree.
- 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 can't help but feel pity for Brass following her Cruel and Unusual Death, and Sanguine after he hits the Despair Event Horizon.
- It's implied that Dawn, despite her extremism and murderous tendencies, has good intentions and may not be in full control of her actions.
- Take My Hand:
- 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.
- Rampage to Blackjack, at the end of Chapter 48.
- Taken for Granite: Gorgon's preferred method of dealing with his enemies.
- Taking You with Me:
- Gem to Deus, with a bomb at point blank range.
- In Chapter 32, Blackjack to the HMS Celestianote
- Talking to Themself:
- A Taste of the Lash: Not shown, but mentioned as an official form of punishment in Stable 99.
- Tears of Blood: A result of Enervation exposure.
- Tele-Frag: Mini Zodiac suffers this, and doesn't even get to die from it.
- Tempting Fate: Blackjack has an unfortunate habit of doing this.
- Theme Naming:
- Blackjack and a long line of her ancestors have names related to playing cards and card games. note
- Morning Glory's family.note
- The Zodiac bounty hunters are all named after the zodiac star signs, though these are assumed names.
- There Are No Therapists: Surprisingly subverted with Rampage being an almost literal version of Warrior Therapist. Apart from this, the trope is played straight due to the setting.
- They Know Too Much: Mr. and Mrs. Cake, who work for Pinkie as spies, discover Project Eternity and end up being murdered for their troubles.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Narrated word for word by Blackjack, just before she gets raped.
- 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.
- Title Drop: Almost. In chapter 5, we have a log from Dr. Trottenheimer writing about his extremely controversial project named "P.H.", which seems to make pretty clear what "Project Horizons" is about...
- 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 Dumb to Live: The Stable 99 ponies for not listening to Blackjack or Scotch Tape and thinking that the Stable's food processor could take out the virus. Guess what? They're wrong.
- 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.
- Tortured Monster: Deus, Discord and Rampage. Also, the screaming room.
- Training the Peaceful Villagers: Following a battle, Blackjack and co. decide to help the ponies of Flank by reinforcing the town's defenses. The locals see it as an attempt to take over the town.
- It pays off in Chapter 36.
- 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.
- Unstoppable Rage:
- Blackjack, when the Enclave brand Glory. She deliberately helps this trope along by injecting herself with a cocktail of chems.
- Other characters have been seen to use chems for the same purpose. Notably, the Burner Boys' suicide bomber raiders in Chapter 31 and Flank's militia in Chapter 36.
- In chapter 42 Blackjack falls into this against a squad of Thunderhead Enclave soldiers. Her brutality makes a member of the Highlanders visibly afraid.
- 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.
- The Virus: See Ascended To Carnivorism.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Watcher makes a number of appearances, but plays only a minor role. That is, until he invites Blackjack to meet him and see the Gardens of Equestria, rescuing her from the Despair Event Horizon.
- Was Once a Man:
- Deus, aka. Doof.
- 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.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 22. About a third of Stable 99's population have become raiders. Blackjack gets shot in the head. P-21 is raped. The surviving stable dwellers eventually retake the stable, but contaminate the food supply with the raider virus. Blackjack floods the stable with chlorine gas, attempting suicide in the process.
- Chapter 33. Dying, Blackjack has a nightmare of the future that giving EC-1101 to Sanguine would bring about, and begs Glory not to exchange EC-1101 for her life. Memory orbs reveal the circumstances of Vanity's death and conclusively unmask 'Maripony' as Twilight Sparkle. When Blackjack's friends leave to find a way of healing her, the Seahorse is attacked by bandits who brutally rape and mutilate her. After a long-overdue reconciliation with P-21, Blackjack is taken onto the deck and finally dies in Glory's embrace, under the stars.
- 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 Lined Lovecraftian Superpower and viciously attacks him. Also, that tank turns out to be Deus.
- Chapter 62. Thunderhead erupts into civil war, Glory turns back to her original form, Rainbow Dash turns out to be alive and a ghoul, Lighthooves turns out to have become a cyborg along with all of his subordinates through using data stolen from Blackjack and intends to infect all of Thunderhead with his modified version of the raider plague. Blackjack becomes a full cyborg to stop him, gaining wings in the process and losing much of herself. Lighthooves motives are finally revealed; he wishes to destroy the Enclave, having discovered the true nature of his ancestor Mephitis. At the end, Lighthooves dies, Shadowbolt Tower is destroyed by an implosion megaspell, much of Thunderhead is rubble and Blackjack falls into the Core.
- What Have I Become?:
- 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.
- Where I Was Born and Razed: Although she tries to make things better, Blackjack [[spoiler:is eventually forced to Mercy Kill the entire population. It would have been a Heroic Sacrifice (of sorts), but a prior Deal With The Goddess literally dragged her out.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
- Due to her Stable upbringing, Blackjack is terrified of air travel. When she has to do it, she prefers to spend the trip in a memory orb. Just looking up at the sky makes her nauseous.
- Various events make Scotch Tape afraid of machines.
- Won the War, Lost the Peace: The battle for Stable 99.
- World Building: Within the already deep world of ''Fallout: Equestria, Hoofington stands out for being extremely detailed, with a rich history, many cultures and factions with their own complex politics, a good two dozen fleshed out settlements, a very large cast of characters, and more research labs and weapons factories than you can shake a rocket launcher at.
- 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.
- You Monster!: Subverted when Blackjack decides to look into the memory orb Deus left for her.
"So…" I muttered as I stared at the orb, its light casting my features in its ghostly glow, "One monster to another… what's on your mind, Deus?"
- Your Cheating Heart: Blackjack cheats on Glory with Stygius. Unsurprisingly, Glory doesn't take it well.
- This example is an interesting variation. Thanks to her upbringing in Stable 99, Blackjack simply has no idea that this could hurt Glory.
- Your Head A Splode: Several slaves in Chapter 29, and many victims of Blackjack's magic bullet spell.
- You Shall Not Pass: Vanity, word for word, while protecting Harpica and some foals from an angry mob.