• Member Since 1st Apr, 2013
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Heartshine


Smol green pega that writes lots of words about ponies.

Comments ( 939 )

I thought PH already had a sequel...

Anywho, if this is indeed a canon sequel to PH, why is there an alternate universe tag?

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The AU tag is because it is AU to normal baseline ponies.

7863052 But Fallout: Equestria doesn't have an AU tag, which contradicts your point.

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Tag guidelines on this are vague, and while could apply to original, could also not, some authors count FoE inspired fanfics as AU, some not, either way the tag guidelines specify AU as being AU from cannon.
Either way this is all pure speculation, only the author can say why they added that tag for sure . :pinkiehappy: Anyway I hope you have a nice day!

When I was submitting some of my other stories, I was requested to add the AU tag to those stories. I assumed that was a good idea for this one.

>> SK1Tz See my comment because I'm bad at figuring out how this tagging thing works. >.<

When I first saw the story, with its 12/14 rating, I assumed it was just the usual crowd burning the book before reading. As it turns out, the story has interesting ideas, but comes off as bolted on from an outside source. And not gonna lie, it was kinda boring. The casual racist overtones the MC has really put me off the character as well. There are some other issues as well, but most of them stem from me not remembering stuff from Horizons, so it might not matter. All in all, not a great start for the direct continuation of the Horizon series.

aaahhh!!! i really love how this looks so far!!! Project Horizons has a special place in my heart, and -oh man, i hope this story continues. i wasn't so sure we'd see anything else from Blackjack's story, and i wasn't sure if i wanted to since i liked where it ended. but i'm already in love with this small pegasus.. the characterization is great. everything about this has me interested. like, i already want to see more of the heartmenders' empath abilities

Okay... interesting premis... didn't expect to get a story link in the midle of the new chapter of Homelands, but I guess I will have to jump in and read this as it has Sombers blessing.

Okay, with this chapter you have gotten my full interest. Threnody sure has her work cut out for her.

Mmm... well this is an interesting start to this, I find myself intrigued. I wasn't expect a link in the middle of Homelands, but eh... I figured why not? So here I am.

Not much else to say, other then our MC has her work cut out for her.
Nice job

More please. Good characterization. Pony therapy is a great idea. Blackjack is going to be a difficult patient. She started off bad and got a whole lot worse. The thing is she was terrible to begin with and didn't know it. She had the banality of evil, some neurosis and a twisted sense of humour. Her self rightousness and desire to do the right thing damn the costs and lack of wisdom in knowing what the right thing is made her a great character.

Self hatred and self destructiveness is her fundamental character trait. I hope you can pull this off. She has terrifying power and skills and her boundaries are only what is physiclly possible.

Just her life in 99 was bad enough to require a lifetime of therapy.

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I think you are being unduly critical. I think Blackjack's characterization was spot on. The tribalism is just part of the world of fallout equestria. And unicorns are neurotic. Pegassai and unicorns can both be snobby. I thought Grace and was also well characterized. We'll have to see what happens with Charm. It sounds like she has gotten put back together a bit, and grown or at least been traumatized into change.

And as i said... Blackjack was Blackjack. Security saves ponies. But can Security save herself?

Your story is amaising!
It's so cool to see BJ from another person's point of view. As well as contrast between Threnody's and BJ's tempers.
Looking forward to the next chapter!

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>///< I'm hoping that BJ's characterization is spot on, given that I have Somber help me write her! But I'm really glad that you're enjoying it, and that overall, it's peaked your interest!

7873035

Actually, thank you for those comments. Um, would you mind PM-ing me more? I always would rather have criticism to look at what I'm doing wrong so I can make it better in future chapters.

'The Patient' will need all help they can get with what was traded away in that deal. I have fate in that Threnody will succeed, but the progress there will be interesting.

I enjoyed this. To be blunt, perhaps not as much as its predecessor, but I still enjoyed it. Will be eagerly awaiting the next chapter. At the very least, I love Blackjack and am interested to see where her story goes. Good luck!

More Blackjack can't be bad in my book :yay:. I really like your story so far and hope to see more chapters in the future. You really nailed Blackjack's character in my opinion.

Loved the original, very interested to see how this goes! :ajsmug:

:trollestia:

Well, finally got to reading this. Looks interesting, and it's nice to see you writing. :)

This is excellent! I'm proud to give you a thumbs up and I eagerly await the next bit!

Foalish little empath! Not even a computerized super psychiatric-AI was able to mend her and back then her psyche used to only be broken an not completely minced into dust!

Minus my insane rambling I have to admit that I've enjoyed the first chapter and am looking forward to the rest of the story ;3

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Empaths do tend to be silly. But she's also a stubborn teenager, so...

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Yay! Well, you won't have to wait long. I should have it up tomorrow!

More Horizons is RARELY a bad thing, especially if you throw some extra psychoanalysis into the mix. I am pleased. XD

Wait, Littlepip's pipbuck? Did Threnody meet Littlepip when she was younger?
And does Cinnamon Twist have history with Blackjack before this story?
Also, another great chapter! I'm curious as to how many ponies are into the secret that Blackjack is still alive.

Hahahahaha, wow this is going quite well, I approve, so nice job!

...unless they wanted virgins…

That won't last long here methinks.

And man! I am loving Blackjack in this, as well as Threnody, she's so cute.
Nice job!

7903121

Threnody was a 5 year old filly when Littlepip was in Junction R-7. She didn't meet, Littlepip, per se, but Pip was an important enough pony that she made an impression on the shy little filly that watched her from her boxcar home. That, and a mare with a pipbuck would stand out in a merc town. She tends to refer to it as 'Junction City' because it was called Junction Town briefly after the the Day of Sunshine and Rainbows, and now it's grown in the 9 years since Pip and BJ did their things.

As far as Cinnamon goes... :scootangel: you'll have to keep reading to find out.

Why am I not surprised, that Blackjack can bond better with a, kinda innocent teenager with a "Helper/Mender" mentality, than with stuck up adults, who think they know everything about the world? :coolphoto:

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Interestingly enough, it's largely due to the fact that when someone experiences a traumatic event that pushes them over the line from 'that sucked' to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the brain tends to developmentally lock itself into a temporal space in time where it was last 'safe.' So... considering that Blackjack was in her mid teens when she left Stable 99, that's her last reference point for safety.

So lets see, she watched most of her friends die, she faced an eldritch horror, she was raped, she was killed, some multiple times and even then I feel like I'm forgetting something. A single one of these would drive anyone to madness alone.

Littlepip’s pipbuck was the first one I’d ever seen, but I was a 5 year old filly when I saw it.

Wait, my brain's struggling to connect the timeline. Did she meet Littlepip before? My first thought was that there was some kinda Lightbringer museum with it on display, but that's impossible seeing as the pipbuck melted into her leg.

7904847

See my reply to Double R Forrest to answer your question.

So awesome, love this story!

I find Blackjack as a character fascinating. I mean, I like her a lot, but I always tend to interpret her personality in some rather uncharitable ways.

She's a quintessential Byronic Hero, right down to the tragic flaws and the penchant for seduction, but - and this is very rare for this particular archetype - female. She is, fundamentally, without any context, a serial killer and a rapist, but somehow still reads as sympathetic. She has crippling levels of depression and PTSD. She is a masochist, egotist, and narcissist. Very tomboyish. She also is as blunt as a brick, has no understanding of boundaries, and has about a 90 IQ.

But what I find most fascinating about her is that she's technically evil. Her actions sometimes serve the common good, but she, herself, is evil. Not the cackling evil of a mad scientist who wants to inject everyone with super-smallpox, but the casual, neglectful evil of a concentration camp guard who tries to erase their crimes with sophistry and desperately tries to avoid the pain that self-awareness brings. She thinks her actions are altruistic, but they serve only to feed her ego (a fact that she at least recognizes, when she equates killing with therapy).

That's not to say she lacked self-awareness. She knew that what she was doing was wrong, most of the time. Throughout PH, she vacillates between being convinced of the righteousness of her cause, and despair over the imperfection of her deeds. Her friends - whom she idolized - were actually horrible, horrible people who helped perpetuate her self-destructive messiah complex by convincing her that she could do no wrong, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Every time she tried to take responsibility for her own actions in Project Horizons, they redirected the blame upon someone else. They made her get over her self-loathing, when they should've slapped her upside the head and told her to stop fucking up so much.

She repeated "do better", like a mantra, and many of her once-enemies did, in fact, reform themselves, but Blackjack? She never actually changed one bit. That was the essence of her tragedy; her inability to reconcile her actions with her feelings. She was so afraid of becoming a monster, of one day finding herself not caring about her own wrongdoing, she never once considered that maybe the best thing to do would be to just call it quits. To stop seeking adventure when it wasn't necessary. To regroup and approach the problem from another angle. To stop burning bridges and rebelliously sallying out on her own, and to actually bother to organize her affairs. The thing is, she was quite literally too stupid to do that. When fear, self-loathing and the diabolical nature of your foes are all that redeem you, well, clearly you aren't "doing better". The fact that her actions often had good results seems a mere coincidence when you examine her intent; she lacks a will of her own, simply dragged along by circumstance. A more strong-willed individual would've had a plan, and they would've stuck to it. She had no plan A or plan B. She was just winging it the entire time. Many of her enemies were strong-willed. They were in control, of themselves and others. They had a program; plans they followed to the letter. She threw a monkey wrench in those plans simply by existing. Wherever she went, chaos followed.

From their own perspective, Blackjack and the rest of the gang were all heroes, cleaning up the wasteland. From everyone else's perspective, if you crossed paths with Blackjack and her band of highly-skilled murderers and sycophants, you were as good as dead, like a combine harvester rolled over your ass. It was a dynamic that was rife with drama.

And now that her merry band of sycophants is gone, and she has no one left to prod her towards her shit, blood and cum-smeared shambles of a destiny, she has - quite predictably - imploded.

Note that I'm a big Blackjack fan. I may sound hyper-critical of her, but I think her character is open to a lot of alternate interpretations from what PH presents. She's an unreliable narrator. She embellishes on her deeds and adds just enough melodrama or heroism or guilt to try and make it sound like she was on the side of good, in spite of her misdeeds. But I think this story right here? This story has an opportunity to show what it's like to look at her from the outside in. And it's terrifying. She's a terrifying individual to be in the presence of.

PH only barely dropped hints of her intimidating nature; it's hard to tell how frightening she is when you're inside her head. But when the perspective shifts away from her, and you actually see her head-on, it's like how Boris Pasternak described meeting Josef Stalin, how one of his arms was shorter than the other and it was like some manner of fiddler crab had waddled out of the darkness. That's how I pictured Blackjack while reading PH. A very uncanny, unsettling person who gives off waves of wrongness. A pariah. To some extent, it turns out I wasn't wrong.

TL;DR - Blackjack's friends basically abused her for their own gratification. They needed her to keep soldiering on, to make it so that it wasn't for naught that they all suffered, and she needed their moral support and encouragement. Textbook case of co-dependency. If her therapist were to point this out, Blackjack would probably come close to knocking her head off, though.

Ah, I have missed reading interactions with Blackjack, they always crack me up.

7905963
That... is quite interesting.

This was excellent. I choked on the ice I was chewing when I read Blackjack's last line. :pinkiegasp:

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She um... has a tendency to do that to people. XD

7905963 What you just said is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing analyses I have ever read on Blackjack, ever. I do agree with you on what the tragedy of her character is. She never learned how to cope with her actions. While "do better" was her spoken mantra as you put it, I think that "don't think about it" is one she followed just as much even though she didn't say it as often. Some ponies may have thought she was able to get past a lot of bad things, but really she was just unusually good at repressing it all (although some would argue that repression isn't a real psychological phenomenon).
I was going to say how I disagreed with the sentiment that her friends were horrible and just used her, but then I thought about it for a bit and remembered. P-21 told her at first that he stayed with her so that he had a chance to live, and then because she was (at least in his eyes) everything that he wasn't. Glory wanted to feel safe and not feel useless (as well as curb her scientific curiosity). Rampage wanted Blackjack to kill her. And Lacunae tried to dump some of the Goddess's emotional baggage in her. So it turns out you seem to be correct in that regard too, and that's on top of all of their own mental problems (geez).
Still, there's a part of me that keeps trying to come up with moments to prove to myself that Blackjack wasn't just a villain or antihero, and that her friends weren't just horrible. I guess it just depends on how much sympathy one wants to give. Some would want to help them, others would want dead or as far away as possible, just like all the other characters when the story reached its end. When I type it all out, it really makes the mixed opinions of her actions within the universe feel more appropriate.
I do have some things I'm not so sure about your analysis. 1. When you say "everyone else's perspective", that didn't feel right. Yes, there were plenty who saw her and her gang as a bringer of chaos, but there were some that saw them as heroes (perhaps feeding them their ideals). I'm curious as to what you think about those who did see them as forces of good. 2. When you call Blackjack an egotist and a narcissist, wouldn't her self-loathing counter either of those characteristics, or is my definition of those words too narrow? 3. While her friends getting over her self-loathing may be questionable in the long run, I don't think that "slapping her upside the head and telling her to stop fucking up so much" would have produced better results, especially in the time span that they had. 4. Can you say anything good about Blackjack (just checking)?
Regardless, like you, I really enjoyed PH. In fact, I think I liked it more than the original FO:E, and I find myself agreeing with a lot of other opinions on the characters.
P.S.

A more strong-willed individual would've had a plan, and they would've stuck to it.

That's totally where Littlepip comes in.

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7905963

The discussion you two are having is sort of why I wanted to write this story. Blackjack is... kind of a mess, psychologically speaking. I wrote a thing that I posted on Reddit at the end of PH about all of her lovely brokenness, but what's been the most fun is trying to put her back together. Looking at what strengths she does have, and how to use those to shore up her weaknesses.

I agree that she was influenced strongly by her friends. However, her friends needed her just as badly as she needed them. Her relationships tend to be rather intense and unhealthy. If it weren't for the fact that a LOT of her issues are related to trauma, I'd probably be looking at giving her a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. But the fact of the matter is, Blackjack went from an institutionalised setting where abuses of basic rights were normal, to the greater wasteland, where stuff wasn't so black and white. Like her mane, the world has more colours and shades to it.

Ethically, Blackjack is... odd. She's more than willing to sleep with anypony that catches her fancy simply because they catch her fancy. At the same time, she paradoxically makes sure that respects their right to say no. In some ways, there is a huge amount of risk that she would be a chronic offender, a point that I believe Train Dodger brought up. Yet, at the same time, she does actually want things to be better. What helps others hurts her, and what would hurt others heals her. And then in other situations, the same old same old routine works just fine. Other times, thinking outside the box is necessary.

Blackjack really needs friends. She needs that support. But right now, she's afraid, and still fighting. I've always found her to be a delightful character, even if she has a lot of traits of a high functioning sociopath. But again, I say traits, because Blackjack is also capable of being extremely empathetic towards others, something an individual with Antisocial Personality Disorder would never be able to do. She often reminds me of a scene from the first series of the new Doctor Who, when the Doctor is talking to Margaret Blain, about sparing someone's life. That once in a while, on a whim- you decide to be kind. Margaret's response of noting that only a killer would know that, and that the Doctor is always running from the devastation that he leaves in his wake sounds very, very much like our lovely Blackjack.

Will this story be as dark as Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons? I love dark fics, but I do have my limits and while I've never actually read that story from what I've heard it totally pushes them. Also, why isn't there a dark tag?

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I'm intending it to be a lot more... light than PH was. Somber loved writing his grimdark scenes and Lovecraftian-esque horrors. This story is being told by the eyes of a (relatively) sheltered 14 year old. As a result, it's... going to be lighter. Psychology is... weird. But hopefully it's been enjoyable so far!

Alirght! Another great chapter! I'm still wondering what other conflicts will arise in this story, although I have a sneaking suspicion that the politics the adults are dealing with are going to rear its ugly head very soon (with the knowledge of the PH epilogue, I know that any plans to make Blackjack's survival public knowledge will fail, but still). I'm still a little confused as to why the LC are so adamant about not wanting to be a part of the NCR. Also, how the hell did Boing become a minister anyway because she can't be that much older than Threnody? And since Boing is such a nihilist, why would she even become a minister to begin with?
With that, I see that Cinnamon worked with Boing. In regards to my curiosity in the last chapter, my theory at this point is that since Cinnamon was exposed to those negative feelings towards Blackjack, she now has a bias towards her. [sigh] And of course there's always a not-so-good person in a group designated for good people.
Anyway, I waited with bated breath for the next chapter!:twilightsmile:

7923240 This'll probably come up later, but the LC is based on a different philosophy than the NCR. The LC is based on the ideal of being a good, stable region and that will encourage and support more uncivilized regions elsewhese. The 'Shining city on a hill' if you will. The NCR is based on the ideal of interventionism and collectivism: everyone needs to be a part of the NCR, and the NCR needs to act to prevent bad things from happening. Both are flawed in that they assume their position to be the more virtuous. The commonwealth thinks the NCR should focus on improving Junction City. The NCR thinks the Commonwealth needs to share its resources and join up. Remember than the Commonwealth had Thunderhead, which were non-conformists within the Enclave, and Applejack's rangers, which were non-conformists within the Rangers, and you have a large population that is inclined to non-conformity. That can be directed inward (which was the case for the last 200 years) or outwards, unifying the Commonwealth against outsiders that want to use or consume it.

Boiled down: the NCR wants to conquer the wasteland directly, the Commonwealth hegemonicly.

Awwahahahaw, this had some cute moments in it, and is going quite nicely! :yay: Nice work on this chapter, hehe
And it seems wee Therny might have some... issues with mother perhaps... hmm...

Nice job

This is excellent. I eagerly await the next chapter! :pinkiehappy:

This is Gona be a good story!!!!

7971982

Glad you like it so far! I'm hoping to have chapter 4 released this weekend (25-26/2/17) , if all else fails!

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