Back to Main List
Back to Book List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

order or virtue

fallout equestria: project horizons





'"you want both order and virtue," he replied as he drew two cards, one showing me at the head of an army and another of me hugging rampage. "but you can’t have them. not at the same time."

"why not?"i asked with a frown. "i thought good and evil cancelled each other out."
"because one has to have priority over the other. doing what’s right for an individual is different from doing what’s right for a group of people. order screws people. it has to..."

he gave a small smile. "virtue, on the other hoof... that’s harder. you know that. you’ve done so much trying to do the right thing and do better. i’ve never met a pony, except maybe big macintosh, who honestly and sincerely tried to do the right thing as much as you, blackjack. but part of virtue is letting others choose to be virtuous, and living with them when they choose not to be. that’s freedom. it’s a messy business at times. and it’s hard. damned hard. but at the end of the day, you can look yourself in the eye and know you’re the better pony."

"and i can’t have the best of both worlds? i can’t have order and virtue at once?" i asked with a frown.

"you can, but one’s got to take priority over the other. and once order is more important than virtue... oh, you can go all kinds of nasty places. usually under the premise of ‘protecting’ virtue. it was everywhere before the bombs fell. pinkie pie ordering spritebots to record conversations and conducting random arrests. rainbow dash carrying out sabotage missions in zebra lands that killed tens of thousands of noncombatants. twilight pursuing magic that she knew was going to be used in megaspells. even fluttershy, at the end, allowing modifying the memories of ponies who dissented. so much virtue sacrificed in the name of ‘protection’. till in the end, any virtue that was left was hollow. an empty claim long ago abandoned in reality." - fallout: equestria - project horizons