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Let's Read: Fallout Equestria
Pip and her companions are ridiculously competent in battle, but that's a given since it's based on a computer game.

As far as gore, chapter 3 is the worst. Anyway, I didn't think the swears were particularly creative.
Pretty much sums up a lot of my thoughts about it as well. My only issue is the competence thing; if you've lived your whole life in a Stable, you shouldn't be quite so good at survival, especially if you exist with zero preperation.

And yeah, chapter 3 is pretty graphic. I found it a bit gratuitous and unnecessary, but I'll see what you think.
Yeah, I honestly didn't like it much at this point. The early chapters seem to mainly be there to shock you. As for Littlepip, at the moment she's hoping to find Velvet. It gets better when she becomes more proactive and you meet more characters who are actually decent.
The suspension of disbelief is a little easier if you have played the recent Fallout games (3 and New Vegas). In 3 you crawl out of a vault and become the savior of the wasteland (although there's some explanation that you have practice with a gun shooting Radroaches) with little to no experience with the outside world.
yeah a lot of the more Fridge Logic-y things are a result of trying to adapt game mechanics to a story. And yes as before the next few chapters are VERY gory, but once she gets out of ponyville the story gets much much lighter on that stuff.
Oh, I'm fully aware of the videogame side of things, I just think that it doesn't quite carry over as well into something purely story-driven.
Actually Sweetie Belle was the overmare. Apple Bloom was sending her instructions.

Also, the Bag Of Holding gets abused far more later. As does mass telekinesis, though at least Pip trains first for that.
not at all, they are very very true to cannon, yes there is some deviation, but nothing that can't be explained by several years of constant warfare and stress from trying to save as many ponies as they can while ending the war.

Only watcher can actaully hack them and take control of one to communicate both ways, and Red Eye can doa blanket Hack now and then that just uses them to relay his broadcast....which was the original purpose of the sprite bots, serve as an Equestria wide means of rapidly sending important messages that every pony needs to know. Basicly the Equestrian emergency Broadcast system.

As to Breaburn, since this was before it became cannon that EP's had innate magic, FOE EP's don't instead they are the most tech savvy.

lil'macintosh, yeh she scored big with that, once she gets a decent ammo supply for it it becomes her go to weapon.
oh yeah forgot the overmare part. though the bag of holding's not completely ridiculous, they do occasionally end up with more vendor trash then they can carry and need a pit stop to sell some, but ti's way more then any pony should be able to carry.
Most of what I would say has already been mentioned, but yeah, most of this is explained later. As said, the earth ponies are almost all technolgical geniuses in FOE having invented pretty much everything. So despite your earlier concerns, we don't have unicorn master race syndrome here. Also, remember that a parrelal role doesn't indicate a parrelal attitude here. Pinkie has noble reasons for being Big Sister and similar situations will turn up later in the story.
Well, having all Earth Ponies be technologically savvy doesn't sit well with me either. Being good at engineering is a mental attribute, which their race should really have any effect on. It implies that a unicorn or a pegasus are naturally dumber than Earth Ponies, even when the story itself shows otherwise. I mean, Pip is incredibly good with tech, and was even a technician back in the Stable. Is Pip just special, or something?
Nah, finicky jobs like repair are better suited for unicorns so Littlepip is quite ordinary there (though you'll meet a character who has a special talent not typically associated with his race). Earth ponies are better at building new things. And even then, it's just a rough guideline. It's less to do with the earth ponies being smarter than it is to do with the races thinking slightly differently. Earth ponies are imaginitive and grasp how to make things.
There's actually a debate near the end about Earth pony superiority.
yeah the over all stance of the fic is that all three races have there own pros and cons, but that they are all equally important, that only when all three races are balanced and in harmony do things really work right.
Yeah, I'm with you on the addiction subplot thing, although I'm a few chapters ahead of you, and it hasn't come up again, so maybe it won't be an issue.
Bottlecap mines must function like Claymore mines.
ok fair warning, YES there is an addiction subplot, but it never really overtakes the main story until very close to the end of the subplot, and it ends fairly soon into the story, plus it really play into the backstory for the war. Glad your liking it overall.

and yeah the nightstalkers/chimeras were a major case of bad luck, though really almost all the stables that do fail did so due to bad luck/outside influence.

oh and the AJ statue was +1 STR, in gameplay terms at least.
if you have to know the addiction subplot gets wrapped up in chapter 20 so it doesn't last all that long.
ok and just learned spoiler tags do not work and you can't edit your posts in this thing...good to know.
You dont know how many times I got addicted to some form of alcohol or another in FO 3 and NV. Alcohol adds to your STR so you can carry more and I was always a bit of a packrat... I picked up everything. You never know when you might need a broom handle!
Yeah, the addiction subplot gives you a lot of insight into past events and I personally found the end of the subplot to be one of the most emotionally moving things in the fic. It really got me into Littlepip's head. Also, the new characters really improve the story. While I like Littlepip, I prefer her companions. Calamity is a lot of fun and Velvet flips between fun and serious.
Yeah, I have to admit that Velvet seems to border on Stupid Good a lot of the time.
yeah Velvet gets LOTS of development. She is kinda annoying at first, but she quickly realizes just how bad stuff can be. Right now she's a Stupid Good Wide Eyed Idealist. She ends up as more of a Nuetral Good Technical Pacifist

as to the Cutie Mark, keep in mind that songbird on it is a Nightingale, which is a bird very heavily related to nurses and other caregivers. I figure Velvet's special talent is to soothe and comfort other ponies, either physically through her medical ability, or spiritually and mentally with her singing.

The Alicorns are awesome, and just wait till you find out more about them. As to yeling at Watcher, that was half velvet being Velvet, and half right, Watcher would have eventually done it with a bit of convincing, and Pip really does need to learn to control herself a bit more.

Also yes it seems like a dick move, but Watcher has a VERY good reason for trying to keep as low a profile as possible.
@Seraphem A quick check on The Other Wiki shows that the Nightingale is symbolically associated with poetry and song, not caregivers, so if association with nurses was the intended metaphor, Kkat missed the mark.
huh...Well I always associated it with Florence Nightingale but...guess I was wrong.

Though still stand be what I think her special talent is.
I'd forgotten that Velvet started off as a bit annoying and Stupid Good. Don't worry. She becomes MUCH better. Also, while her talent is singing, te fact that she's good with medicine makes a lot more sense when you hear how she got her cutie mark.
I have to admit that the Pinkie Pie thing bugged me as well; although we never really see her directly, so it might not be quite as bad as it looks. But still, it's definitely jarring and I can't imagine Pinkie voluntarily pulling a Big Sister act. Yeah, she has personal space issues, but even she can see that something like this is a BAD IDEA. I really liked Pinkie Bell, though. She was a really well-written kind of creepy.
Oh, definitely agree on Pinkie Bell being well written. No arguments there. I just felt that the tragedy there was a bit overkill.
Gawd is female too.
Blech, I missed one "s", Story, and I got it right several times earlier. I know the character's genders. :p
Pinkie belle gets better though, it turns into one of the most heartwarming moments in the fic.

As to pinkie, Slippery Slope, she started out doing good, and it just kinda got worse..although it is rather heavily implied, though not flat out stated a lot of the harsher things the MOM did were due to ponies under her getting overzealous and going farther then she would have gone, and she just dind't really notice it. When first founded the MOM WAS just about throwing parties for soldiers, ponies, everyone.

And yes pinkie is the one that has the biggest change, but most of that is the Mint-al addiction. And she only took them at first becuase they super charged her Pinkie Sense nd made it easier for her find sabetours and traitors befre they hurt ponies. Also YES she does get called out on her behaviors BIG-TIME.

As to the ministries, they got out of hoof. When she formed them, Luna really didn't think about them controlling as much as they did, they were more publicity stunts then anything else, everypony new about the Mane 6, they were celebreties in there wn right, the ministries were a way to give ponies cofidence at help reassure them that Celestia stepping down wouldn't end Equestria. They just ended up running far more then intended.

and really the only ministry that really just had a BAD leader was RD's, she just ignored it and did almost nothing with it, the rest ended up finding a decent way of working there's. Pinkie ma have been excentric, but the MOM was effective.

Lil'pip is unique with being able to pick locks, well nearly, it's really is a very VERY rare ability for ponies.

Gawd is awesome and she does stick around for a bit, and she'll be back later as well.

Yes as a whole the ministries look like a WTF!? thing, but they each started from small, understndable ideas or mistakes, that just built and built, right now your seeing the end result, not the chain of steps that led to it.
@Seraphem I would appreciate it of you didn't post spoilers in your justifications to my gripes. It's rather annoying.

That said, the ministries were a bad idea from day one, and it paints Luna as incredibly incompetent if she was forced to put ponies clearly not cut out for the jobs they were doing in positions of extreme power with no control over them as a publicity stunt. Not to mention the fact that Twilight at the very least should have seen how terrible of an idea it was, too, and Fluttershy would never accept a position of authority like that. Luna ruled with Celestia as an equal, not some underling unfit for the job, so Celestia leaving should not have hacked half of her IQ points off.
Yeah, most of the things that led to the apocolypse were due to really stupid if well-meaning decisions. But a lot of what you're seeing gets better justified later.
and keep in mind this happens several years after the series, all the ponies have had time to grow and mature, there still early twenties-ish and yeah, kinda immature, they don't get asked to run the ministries till there closer to middle age, and have spent several years serving as Celestia's personal assistants and representatives. Mane 6 right from the show, yeah un-qualified, Mane 6 after years of growing and experience with Equestria's government, not as bad a stretch.
I wondered about the explosives trigger when I read it to. I think a combination of the options you mentioned makes the most sense. Deadeyes will detonate it if he sees anything amiss, and it's also triggered if he gets shot.
ok no long discussion that might be spoilers, your right DT's death is pretty much out of nowhere, serves no purpose, and is a bit mean spirited. but luckily her's is the ONLY one like that, the rest are either much happier ends, or at least are for direct plot related reasons.

Luckily your at the point where the story starts to pick up and actually go somewhere, it's most of the stuff that happens after this that really hooked people.

Topaz was awesome, as was the entire fight with him, and yeah the interplay between the villains is one of the highlights once they start plying a more active role.

as to all the stuff about video game stuff...yeah, kinda just filed rolled with it when I read it, but can see how it's kinda off putting.
Yeah, DT's death bugged me too. I have no clue why that's even in there. I really need to catch up. I'm still only up to chapter 11.
Agreed with Seraph. DT's death is the most pointlessly cruel in the fic. While some suffer more unpleasant fates, in such cases it's always for extremely plot relevant reasons. As you've probably picked up, Velvet serves as The Heart and The Chick, but she does an excellent job once she's more experienced. Now that Littlepip's team is more proactive and involved in the plot, it gets better.
well the part with Trixie could also just be her exaggerating in her own mind how "well acquainted" she was with a very important pony. As to the rest, can't really say anything without spoilers.
The past makes more sense as you go along. It's supposed to confuse you and make you draw incorrect conclusions at first because you and Littlepip have to make wrong assumptions. (I won't tell you which incorrect conclusions you're making and how close you are though.)
These are magically enhanced manticores though. Every monster is tougher in the wasteland.
Pegasi are jerks! Remember how mean they were in Hearth's Warming Eve? They just reverted to their original nature. you do find out a bit more why they left later on in the story.
Ah, Steel Hooves. Probably my favourite pony OC ever. The guy's mere existence is awesome. And yeah, you're really strating to get into the good stuff. As for Pinkie's addiction, Twilight knew, but Luna didn't. Twilight was hoping that Pinkie would realise that she needed help without having to report her.
What Sereg said, the mane 6 knew but they were covering for her for Luna. Right in the memory Twi threatens to stop doing so. Smart from an outsider perspective, hell no, understandable mistake many many friends make regarding people they care for with substance abuse issues all the time, yes.

Pip's addiction subplot does get kinda annoying, but luckily it also ends really soon.

The AI in hat stable was NOT crazy, it never went nuts, turned against it's makers, anything. It was doing the most logical thing it could do. The water supply would not keep as many ponies alive as the Stable held, so the AI choose those least likely to contribute to the whole to remove. just cold, calculated logic. Either way those ponies were all dead the instant the water talisman was damaged. (though way they didn't give them a backup or two for it.......)

as to the "wasting money" given just how much vendor trash they've been grabbing everywhere, they ain't really hurting for bits.

And finally Steel Hooves, pure, undiluted, bad-ass epicness.
Do note that the point I mentioned the AI going crazy was before the revelation of its true problem. I also believe that it's a very shoddily programmed AI that neglects to request repairs and immediately jumps to killing off those it is meant to protect, not to mention not giving special priorities to not kill the one pony that knew about it, as well as have no provisions to pass that information on in case of his/her death. It might as well have been crazy, considering the gaps in its logic.
oh it was poorly programmed no doubt. but as to killing the one pony that knew about it, pretty sure there was enough ambiguity there that it could have been the pony killed himself on accident while trying to disconnect it. But yeah, that experiment could have been better thought out. though i'm still more bugged on why the Stables didn't have a spare water talisman ready just in case.
The talisman was damaged beyond repair. It did try to request a replacement from Stable Tec, but obviously that was impossible due to the war. They should have included a backup water talisman, but hindsight's 20-20.
"But of course, in the grim darkness of the future, everypony does stupid things that kill them in the worst ways possible."

This is rather accurate. Kkat's explanation is that ponies don't know anything about war (admittedly season 2 debunks this) and therefore made every mistake it is possible to make out of lack of experience.
That's pretty much what causes all the major issues for the past ponies, they are just not physiologically capable of handling a long drawn out war. The MOM was spying on ALL ponies. And as admitted, the addiction subplot gets annoying, but your at the end of it. And the part that saves it is that it is feels just like a REAL addiction problem, not the Hollywood version of one.

as to the book burning, way I saw it Rarity went along with most of it just because it was part of her ministry's job, but made sure that anything that could be valuable or wasn't actually needing to be burned had at least a few copies saved and transferred to Twilight for safe keeping.
Which once again brings us to my original point of the ministries being bad ideas in the first place because the ponies in charge were absolutely not capable of performing the jobs required.

As for Rarity, I'm fairly sure that as head of the Ministry, she chooses what her ministry's job is. She doesn't have to "go along with" anything, especially something she knows is wrong. Not to mention that she bears the Element of Generosity, but her ministry is revolving around taking away "undesirable" information.

All in all, it's a bunch of nearly character-breaking bad decisions. You can say "war changed them" all you want, but it's been quite clear thanks to the memory orbs that the fundamental cores of their characters remained unchanged. It just paints their decisions as plot contrivances in order to create the worst, cruelest, most depressing ending possible to set up the Fallout setting.
well, i could tell you stuff to make you happy but that could spoil some of it, I will say this though you are 100% correct in your estimate of how Flutershy would act.

yeah the addiction thing is over, well the very occasional line or two here and there when Pip comes across a stash of Mint-al's but that's it.

on 20.5 yeah really wish Kkat would include the non-clop parts in with the main story on there own.

And yes Lil'pip pretty much IS exactly how everypony used to be, should be, and can be again. ok maybe not EXACTLY, but pretty damn close.

Also that statue is +1 intellect, not +1 was Twi right?
oh and no comments about pinkie's fate/last words?
That was in the previous chapters, and all it was was depressing.
yeah, by far the saddest fate. At least the one that made me the saddest to read. but you have to admit, she DID admit she had a problem, and was going to change, was going to go back to "twilight's pinkie Pie" , she saw all the changes that so angered you, and wanted to reverse them.

just to, so close...

well 1 mane 6 fate down 5 to go.
"•Wait, so only pegasi and unicorns had any problem with polution? Earth Ponies didn't have any problems with destroying the very thing that gave them strength? I really do not like this interpretation of the races, at all. "

I don't recall this. Maybe I should go back and check.

I missed your last update so I'll just say that Fluttershy was utterly furious when she realised how her research had been used.

Spike will eventually explain his comments about who the bearers can be but as you said, he really hates steel rangers, thinking of them as defiling Applejack's memory.

The war will eventualy be explained and the reasons for it are parrellel to real world conflicts at least.

Oh, and Velvet starts becoming much more intellegint as she learns from her experiences in the waste.

Of course, as you said, we finally have the plot to save the world now, so that at least helps and adds another dimension to the fic. Velvet's pretty good with magic, but there are others better than her.
and as I said already, both the singing and medical abilities make sense with only one talent if said talent is the ability to soothe other ponies. And again nopony is denying that the ministries were a bad idea overall, hindsight's always 20/20, after a decade or so of constant war, which it feels like your side is losing ATM, even bad ideas start seeming like something worth trying.

Is it smart, no. Is it realistic, yes.
On the WMD argument think about how Einstein was related to the nuke. Fluttershy did (and reacted just as poorly to) something similar.
The balloons never made much sense to me either. They had much better forms of transportation. Maybe they were just for intimidation purposes?
Also, when was Granny Smith ever mentioned?
Applejack mentioned the possibility of kicking her off the farm after she sold it. Apple Bloom assured her that she could stay.
It is possible to record a memory without using a recollector. Presumably that's what happened with Steel Hooves.

Fluttershy healed the zebras deliberately. It was her policy to heal all the injured, enemy or ally. She just didn't realise that that would just cause the battle to restart. And this is much closer to Fluttershy's original plans for the megaspells. (Though this is much smaller scale than what she was trying to acheive.)
That doesn't make her look any smarter. Fluttershy is kind, but she's not stupid. Not to mention the fact that she had a whole team of scientists and advisors working on the project with her, and five friends who she should have been talking with about it. How did no one see the incredibly obvious consequences of that plan of action?
This was actually the first case of megaspell use and also the first time anypony outside the Ministry of Peace knew anything about megaspells. As for healing enemy combatants while they're capable of restarting the fight, yeah, that was stupid but Fluttershy was really naive about how much the zebras wanted to carry on fighting. I'm guessing that her scientists and advisors didn't expect her to use the first megaspell in this way and those on the field were just following orders without question.
It's Fluttershy, of COURSE she will help ANYTHING that needs it, pony, zebra, animal, monster, anything. And yes this was what Fluttershy intended the megaspells to be, uber powerful healing and shielding spells.

As to the Steel Rangers, Most of them are Lawful Neutral, they are basically the West Coast Brotherhood of Steel, all they care about is finding any and all old world tech and keeping anyone not able to use it right from using it, and they think they are the only ones able to do so.

Steel Hooves is more East Coast BOS, Lawful Good, use the old world tec we alone really know how to use to help all ponies. That's why even though he is the first Steel Ranger he isn't in charge, and that's by his choice.

oh and as to and five friends who she should have been talking with about it that is exactly the single biggest reason the Ministries failed, instead of working as a group they were working as individuals.

And war can do more then just scare ponies, it's a proven fact that any sort of long term warfare can and will impact a society in very deep ways, even those not directly effected by the fighting. and ponies get hit by that far far far easier and more deeply then humans.
The thing about other ponies watching the orbs confused me too. I guess Pinkie's Plot Powers were able to see far enough into the future that she could tell noone else would ever watch the orb? Anyway, it gets a lot worse in a later orb.
I must admit that the start of Littlepip's relationship with Homage did seem a little odd. I prefer the way that the other major ship was handled.

Angel being Doombunny was great.

Remember that due to mint-als, Pinkie's Pinkie sense was MUCH more powerful. The fact that she knows when Littlepip is watching becomes important later.

As for the nuke, yes it's Silver Bell's. When I read the comments on the chapter I saw that some made the correct guess as to how he got hold of it. It's exlicitely stated later though.
Yeah, that orb was mostly a set up for a later orb. Yeah Pinkies ablity to tell when Lil'pip is watching stretches even my WSODB, but the one time it really gets brought up, there's a whole mess of other factors that could attenuate that somewhat. That's really the only part of the whole thing that felt like it was forced and nonsensical. but then again, it IS Pinkie so who knows.

Doombunny is best Killer Rabbit.

And yup it's the Sweetie Belle bomb, remember how Red Eye said he gave his vaults water talisman to a struggling little village that is now a major, successful town..guess what town it was.....

And yeah some of the Steel Rangers ARE that big of pricks, though it's made clear it's only a few chapters that do this, many more wouldn't think of it. And even then it's only a few of the higher up ponies and there flunkies that think it's a good idea.
You guys are putting spoilers in your comments again. It would really, really be nice if you stopped doing that.
When did they blow up ponies? I was under the impression that Zecora's extraction was arranged in order to cause as little harm as possible. If anypony died, it was an accident.
The zebras think that Luna was just using a cosmetic change and pretending to be on Celestia's side. They do't trust her for reasons relating to the history of their culture.

Not all of New Appleloosa is united in their opinions. Those in charge deal with Red Eye, but the common folk don't all agree with him.

Yeah, I didn't think any ponies were harmed by the attack.

I actually didn't see Applebloom's death as crueler than Diamond Tiara's, but okay.

Th school had automated defences because of the war, but nopony considered it likely that the school would be in particular danger before those events, so with the defences, they were thought to be safe.

I hope that you like future chapters more.
What Sereg said.

also, since when has war always started because of logical, sensible reasons? And yes as we've all said before most of the problem in the past are the result of ponies and zebras making decisions that ended up biting them in the ass, and yes with hindsight are easy to see why they were wrong. That's just life, it's easy to pick apart somepony's decision looking back with tons of information that they didn't and couldn't have at the time, but for me at least, I can understand why they made the decisions they did when they did, they feel like perfectly natural decisions...always the smartest ones? oh buck no! But perfectly reasonable mistakes that have been made time and time again throughout history? yes.
This story has yet to provide me with anything to make any of the stupid decisions appear to be reasonable at the time of them happening, and that's not even counting all of the plot contrivances that the story has to jump through to lead to those stupid decisions. The zebras were supposed to be a modern society. How the hell does a modern society break down into a holy war without the slightest bit of evidence to support it. The massacre at the school was inexcusable, considering that the entirety of the stated reason for it happening was that no one there spoke the Zebra language, even though it's an extremely prestigious school. Nearly everything responsible for escalating the war simply would not have happened in a moderately realistic scenario, and it looks to me that events played out the way they did because the author needed to come up with some way to apply the Fallout setting to Equestria.

The whole "New Appaloosa works for Red Eye" deal still smells of a retcon just to slam another mistake on Pip's conscious. If it wasn't, then they wouldn't have made the very heavy point of insisting that Red Eye wasn't the leader of the town, without the slightest shred of a clue suggesting anything otherwise.

As for "hindsight is 20/20", while that is true, common sense is also pretty damn good. None of that had anything to do with my problems this chapter, though.
On the conrary. ALL the evidence suggested that Luna was evil. The zebras were never there to see Luna's cleansing. They saw no reason to believe that the individual their culture feared above all others had redeemed. Some people complain about the zebras, but they're forgetting that Luna nearly wiped out all life on the planet once, that their culture is especially tied to circumstances which would result in fear and distrust of Luna (as you'll see) and which they had no evidence to believe otherwise.

As for the remarks about why the school didn't teach the zebra language, why would it? It's clearly not a part of standard Equestrian curriculum. Twilight doesn't speak zebra and she's Celestia's personal student. Schools don't usually alter their curriculum based on neighboring countries.
I'd say the fact that the sun is still rising in the morning is great evidence that Luna was Luna. Not to mention the fact that Celestia herself vouched for her sister, or did they think that she was evil too? They also could have simply voiced their concerns rather than jump straight to "destroy the world". And again, they weren't a backwater tribal society. They had advanced sciences and everything. Such religious fervor should not have been able to overcome rational thought and diplomacy.

As for the school, it's a prestigious academy. Students tend to get to choose their classes later on. I didn't learn much Spanish or French in high-school, but I sure as hell could have if I wanted to, and I went to a crappy public school. The zebras were their primary trading partners. You're telling me that teaching the language of their closest neighboring nation simply wasn't available to students at the most prestigious academic facilities in the world, and that none of the (presumably) talented faculty there were ever taught the language? Schools absolutely do take their neighboring countries into consideration when deciding on what languages to teach. Why do you think Spanish and French are the standard language classes to take in America? We're bordered to the north and south by French and Spanish speaking countries!
It was a magic academy, not a general eduction academy, everything taught there was about magic. Secondly this is all hearsay and fifth hand story telling, given how fast things degenerated during the incident it's entirely possible there WERE ponies there the spoke Zebra, there just weren't any of them ponying the walls when the caravan arrived, and things went to Tatarus before one of their translators could get there.

"Holy War" is just the best description we have for it, it had nothing to do with any actual religious beliefs, but a deep deep seated cultural mythos, (and yes there is a difference) to the Zebra anything even remotely related to the stars was seen as one step below C'thulhu, they saw NMM not as some Evil Overlord Omnicidal Maniac, but as a servant to an Eldritch Abomination, the fact that there was no night that never ends just meant she was being more subtle, waiting until she had them all ponies and zebra alike under her hoof. They saw extinction as better then being rules by something related to The Stars. Even those that could except she wasn't NMM anymore still saw her as having been corrupted by The Stars and at best there unwitting pawn instead of willing herald.

Such religious fervor should not have been able to overcome rational thought and diplomacy.

.......really? Ideally yeah, would be nice, but last oh...5000 years of history have proved that ain't true.
Pretty much what Seraph said. Plus, the zebras are aware that Nightmare Moon was defeated. They thought that she was lying to Celestia in order to bide her time for when she could take over and look, this is the best oppertunity she's had in years. I understood the zebra beliefs well enough to know that if I believed them, I'd be as desperate. To the zebras Luna was basically Hitler with superpowers.

As for schooling, I know that my country doesn't teach Shona for instance (of course my country ha eleven oficial languages, so it might not be the best example) but as Seraph said, it's a specialty school.
Well..can't say anything for some of your points without spoilers. but "Cutie marks Don't matter" makes perfect sense for the CMC to eventaully figure out and decide on as a password.

And you've essentially seen some hints already in the backstory, but it gets stronger of the pegasi feelings on the war near the end.

and lets face it, that Zebra had been about to slice her throat open wihtout warning, s/he doesn't really deserve sympahy.

as to Zecora, i never saw anything about her being a "super" spy, just your normal average type spy. (the Tom Clancy type, not the James Bond type)

and we did see only DT's was both cruel, and irrelevant to the plot (ok you got us on AB's possibly being one too if you look at it right..though could still have SOME relevance, i mean she only died because she waited to make the Stable Tech offices stable till last, after making sure all the other ones were built and there's that.)

Yeah, what Seraph said.

Twilight got a fate worse than death, but it's actually relevant to the plot.
Wow, good great description of chapters you made here. Unfortunately they also spoilerd me a lot but oh well XD....

As for Twilight you would like to know that, toward the end she will have her redeeming moment too, despite what happened to her.
Yeah, the Calamity/Velvet relationship felt sort for me. The idea of them becoming an item makes sense, but I feel there should've been more buildup to it. Admittedly, I have a similar gripe with Pip/Homage too (even though I love their relationship).
Memory Gambit is point where fic become really awesome.

And Zebras, more I learned about their believes more they are unsympathetic to me.
Okay. At this point it's REALLY obvious that you have a different view on show canon than kkat and I have.

But let's see:

Littlepip thinks she's corrupted kindness. Whether or not she's right is a matter of debate among the fans.

Okay. Kkat believes that spells can be learned. I've always believed the same thing. You believe that Twilight is the only one who can. But the show makes no sense unless kkat and I are right. There would be no magic schools if Twilight was the only one who could learn spells.

Okay. Zebras. First of all theay DO have historical evidence fo their beliefs. Even if it wasn't for that, they still had more evidence for their beliefs than the ponies do. Nightmare Moon tried to kill everyone TWICE. Then immediately joned the government. Do you have any idea how suspicious that is?! It was something that the first episode of the show confused me wih because that reaction is completely abnormal! The burden of proof lay on the ponies. NOT the zebras.

RD could not POSSIBLY have been the first to perform a sonic rainboom or it would have never become a legend in the first place.

"•Wait, so Alicorns can't interact with clouds? Even though they're part pegasus? " This i actually a good point that I didn't notice, but it actually makes sense later.

"It's not a magical ability! It's just normal intimidation! " Word Of God disagrees with you.

"What kind of awful disconnected government is this? " This is the point. They fell apart when they stopped working together.

Have to agree that this part of the plot really picks up.

As for Calamty/Velvet. At least that was popperly foreshadowed. Unlike Homage/Littlepip.

Yep, I too believe that every unicorn can learn spells, not just those with speciality in magic. I think that the latters makes the spells stronger whe using them (for example, every unicorn can use telekinesys but Twilight seems the only one who can levitate millions of objects or giant ones; or the spell that can search for gems in the ground: Rarity can see only the nearest ones, while Twilight can see them at long distances).

As for hystorical examples in zebras culture, I think we'll see them in later chapters.
Of course any unicorn can learn spells. The stipulation is that they can only learn spells directly related to their special talent. This is something that is spelled out quite clearly in canon and this fic.

As for the burden of proof laying on the ponies for Nightmare Moon, yes it did. Unfortunately, it has been made clear that before the war, all ponies were completely ignorant to said beliefs. Even Celestia, somehow. They can't exactly prove anything when the Zebras' don't even make it clear that Luna is a problem until ''after' they go to war.

I'm not against more ponies being able to perform a Sonic Rainboom. It's just that Calamity implied that the Enclave had multiple on hand at any one time, when RD had been the first to perform one in centuries.
Nah, if unicorns are only able to learn spells according to their cutie marks, than there would be no need of hundreds of books about different spells (plus there won't be any common spell, like telekynesis). I think it's more like some unicorns are better in certain spells than others.

Also, perhaps RD taught to more than one pegasus about how to perform a sonic rainboom, that's why it became something more common.
By the way, is chapter 30 the one with the (un)famous "Velvet's Shotgun Massacre"? Boy, I haven't thought it was so early.
Again, was not a retcon, New Appleloosa DOESN'T follow Redeye, at all, and only the leaders..possibly ONLY the sheriff..even know the town has ties to him, they weren't giving him the bomb because they support him, they were giving him the bomb because they were trying to stay on the good side of a pony that could wipe them off the map if he wanted.

Agreed, it's pretty much the consensus that The Goddess was just fucking with her head.

The reason behind the Zebra's fear of the stars IS reveled later, it involves something that happened at the dawn of Zebra society that nearly wiped them out.

just like the A-Bomb, with the SRB the hard part is proving it's possible.

WOW, you just twigged to a MAJOR plot point foreshadowing many people missed with the whole "Alicorn's can't manipulate clouds"

As to "the Stare" it's never tied into having anything to do with Flutershy, or even said to be the same thing, could just be something similar they developed on there own.

becuase what he convinced Redeye to do wasn't a trick or ploy, he just reasoned with him.

There does come some historical evidence, or at least a reason in there history why they fear anything from the sky.

And once again it is NOT a religion, at all, in any way.

It's not a whole lot, from what we've seen it's possible the number of SRB cabable pegasi is in the single digits

The Pegasi were pissed that they were the ones taking the highest losses and being the ones doing the heaviest fighting. they served as Equestria's shock troops until the Steel Rangers got going.

And there ARE limits to how much a unicorn can learn, but they aren't hard and fast, it varies on a personal basis, and there could be some spells that are uncategorized and free for any unicron with enough magic and skill to use them, all we have is a very very loose ideas, no firm rule book

And once again as to the "Corrupted kindness" yeah everyone agrees it's bull and is just the Godess fucking with Lil'pip and Lil'pip being a self flagellating idiot.
Well, let's not exaggerate here. Let's just say that, in this point of the story, Pip is very confused about if what she's doing is good or not.

Speaking of unicorn magic (again XD), here's the response Lauren Faust gave to me about this question:

"I went to art school. Everyone there was a talented artist, but we all had our "specialty." And even though I was better at life drawing, I still attended design classes. And though I was no good at painting, I still studied painters, and doing so helped me with the kind of art I wanted to focus on."
Okay, that respons makes more sense, but I still agree with Kimba here. It's less that unicorns can only learn spells related to their talents and more that that's all that most unicorns do because those are the easiest for them. Velvet has also had an EXCELLENT teacher as you'll learn later.

As for zebra beliefs, the members of the upper government DID know about them, but were unsure about what to do with the information.
It's really good to remember that when Kkat wrote most Fo E, only season one was out.

Plus, the characters in Pre-War world are much older than in the show. Equestria changed during that time a lot, hence the high tech and later war.

Basically while there was no official draft, there was a lot of unofficial pressure from a number of 'celebrity' pegasi like the Wonderbolts and RD to recruit as many pegasi into the war as possible, as well as pegasi being used as the front line or infiltration troops and tending to suffer the highest casualty numbers. And it wasn't ALL the pegasi that felt that way, not even clear if it was a majority of them, but it was a large portion of there leaders that felt that way.

And the radio thing is from the games, Canterlot is one giant expy of the Dead Money add-on to New Vegas, there you were forced to wear an explosive collar with a twitchy remote trigger that would go if you got to close to a radio for to long. She just adapted it for being deadly without the collar. It's not a radio frequency that is deadly, it's the sound the transmitters are emitting, it's basically a massive magical Brown Note. And even normal sound waves of the right frequency and power can mess a person up.

Cloudsdale got nuked, the pegasi closed up the sky to prevent the Zebras from being able to aim at them, they looked down saw a wasteland and the leaders that were scared into waiting, Enclave came to power and once it was safe to go back, they kept the common pegasi convinced it was still a hellish wasteland of instant death.

manual dexterity is not all the great when you got hooves

Arbu is prety much the point where Lil'pip realizes she HAS been "wishy-washy" as you put it, and really gets serious about doing shit right. yes it's a bit late in the story, but it's pretty much the major point of CD for her.
"And no, cosmetics is not tangentially related to music or medicine. You're all crazy. "

One of the skills I learned in University is the way to justify everything being related to everything else. XD

"•Why is it that 90% of scenes with Homage revolve around sex? "

Point, but at least it's funny.

The pegasi were taking the heaviest losses.

"•You know, Equestria is a big place. The Enclave can't have the whole sky covered with guards, can they? It probably wouldn't hurt to pop above the clouds and avoid the storm. "

It's more that they don't know where the guards are.

"•Non-ponies can't wield the Elements of Harmony? That's rather arbitrary. "

I agree, but Spike isn't sure anyway.

"The main bulk of things here is the exposition of just how deadly Canterlot is. I don't even want to know how deadly magic radio waves are supposed to work."

Canterlot is Everything Is Trying To Kill You, the city.

"Why isn't anyone calling her out on it? "

They will.

I was not happy with Littlepip here, but she gets her act together.
This live blog has been really entertaining for me to read. Keep it up! =D I'm looking forward to your opinion on the ending.