Trope A Day-Bad Being Bar

Bad Being Bar-There’s plenty of examples of this sort of place, but the ur-example is Overload on Melvin’s Reach.  Six floors of mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, assassins, spies, counter-spies, pirates, changelings, and the other assorted sort of beings that you wouldn’t bring home to Mother and Father.  Great music, good booze, and it’s a slow night if there isn’t a murder somewhere.  Sort of like Omega’s Afterlife Club, but with fewer blue-skinned sexy beings.

(Actually, it’s very safe.  The criminal organization that runs Overload makes it very clear that they want a safe place to have business.  Usually with sarcasm and grav guns.)

Trope A Day-Wave Motion Gun

Wave Motion Gun-It’s called a Stellar Converter, and it’s a spinal weapon on battleships and larger warships.  It’s called a Stellar Converter because anything smaller than a battleship is going to look like a small star when it gets hit.

Using a stellar converter against planetary targets is easily a case of overkill and will leave an impressive crater that will definitely get you talked about in all the wrong ways.  Even during the Horizon War, only three planets were hit by deliberate stellar converter fire.  Prior to that, any planetary hits were “overshots” from targeting starships.

Trope A Day-Precursors

Precursors-Whomever created the five races, created Equestria, and then left them at least ten thousand years ago…were complete about cleaning up, to say the very least.  What little is known about them is-

  1. They didn’t think small.  The smallest known Precursor artifact is the so-called Silent Cube (a perfectly formed cube exactly 1.1 meters on each side that perfectly absorbs all energy except for visible light, which it perfectly reflects).  The largest is the massive Splint, a huge disk surrounding a M-class star, fifteen kilometers thick and 10 AUs wide, spinning in a retrograde orbit around the star itself.  The disk has a hole in it barely larger than the safe entry distance for heavy cruiser-weight starships coming out of Tunnel Drive.
  2. They make the artifacts that the five races can analyze out of computronium, and whatever is being processed inside the computronium is still going on.
  3. They liked base 10 mathematics.
  4. They considered Ragnarok Proofing to be the minimum standard.  Active nanomachine repair systems have been found on some Precursor artifacts, some just can’t be damaged by any tools ponies have.
  5. They seemed to think that 10,000 years was a “short period of time”.
  6. Artifacts seem to come in two categories-working perfectly or gone horribly wrong.  It’s the second that keeps the Ministry of Ghosts, the Special Working Group, Unit 999, and the Silent Ones busy.  Especially the Ministry of Ghosts and the Special Working Group.

Hunting for working Precursor artifacts and securing them safely is something that all of the major powers do.  Some are safe enough for anybody else to look at them-and some have to be stored away because they’re too dangerous.

Trope A Day-Drink Order

Drink Order-Like all things that involve averages, there’s always exceptions to the rule.  But, when you boil it down to the details, most of the races tend to drink like this-

  • Ponies are big into cider, mead, and any sweeter alcohols.  Oh, and coffee.  Lots, and lots, and lots of coffee.
    If you want to break it down by pony type, Earth ponies are the big cider drinkers.  Pegasus love mead and cider, and occasionally wine.  Unicorns love their wine and their coffee.  And, alicorns will drink whatever they want and nobody will criticize them for it.
  • Griffins will take very well to the microbrewery movement.  They love beer, whiskey, and rum.  Especially beer and whiskey, with a definite preference towards ales and lagers.  Won’t be a fan of IPAs or stouts, but some of the cask-aged beers that are coming out will make them very happy.
    Note, it has to be good beer.  Love-in-a-canoe beer is going to get the bartender in the sort of trouble that might end in violence.
  • Minotaurs are heavy into stouts, IPAs, and wine.  They are probably the only species out there that will actually drink retsina, without irony or hesitation.  There’s also an odd love of sake.
  • Zebras are big into tequila, vodka, and whiskey.  They also have a national love of sake in all it’s forms.
  • Changelings will drink whatever it takes to mix into the local population.

Sixteen Tons

The Skyskimmer-class freighter settled onto it’s landing pads and the hull groaned as it took up the weight after the anti-gravity was cut out.  Apple Fritter sighed, and waited outside the safety zone as the ship settled and groaned.  A few moments later, the hatches opened, and a pegasus trotted out of the ship, a data slate held in his vector controller.  “Apple Fritter,” the pegasus yelled over the sounds of settling starship.

“That’s me,” Apple Fritter replied, and trotted past the safety line.  “Do you have my cargo?”

“Got a lot of cargo,” the pegasus replied, and waved the data slate.  “Which one is it?”

Apple Fritter queued his implants and beeped the data slate.  “That’s my cargo.”

The pegasus looked at it and sighed.  “So, you’re the one with the sixteen tons of shit on my ship.”

“Sixteen tons of high-nitrogen fertilizer,” Apple Fritter corrected.  “Perfect to start out a new field.”

“Whatever,” the pegasus replied and shook his head, the short mane bobbing to his head shakes.  “Soon as it clears customs, it’s your smelly  mess to deal with.”

Apple Fritter looked skyward, and nodded.  “Got a hauler here for it.  Standard cargo boxes?”

“Two boxes worth,” the pegasus agreed.  “Anything else?”

“Nope, just new fertilizer for the fields,” Apple Fritter replied, and looked at the setting sun in the purple sky.

One Warning…

“If you’re going to any Equestrian world, there’s one thing I have to warn you about right off the bat.  It’ll save you a lot of time, trouble, and hassle.

“For all intents and purposes, eat in a good griffin restaurant or you’ll never have a good beer any time you’re in Equestria.”

-Overheard in way too many spaceports.

Trope A Day-2D Space

2D Space-Highly, hideously, completely adverted.  Space has three dimensions, and they try to use all of them.  Warships are built to have weapons pointing in the major directions (or at least have armor in those directions), and there have been space battles where two ships have been rotating in three dimensions and moving in another dimension.

A great game to simulate this effect is Squadron Strike, which has 3D combat in all three dimensions.

(For those curious, just about everybody’s ships use Mode Two (aka Asteroids) movement, while Griffins use Mode One (ships fly like airplanes) movement.  There may be ship sheets posted at some point.)

Trope A Day-Cyborg

Cyborg-Well, just about everybody that isn’t a stick-in-the-mud pony.  Not obvious modifications for the most part, but augmentations are standard in a lot of ways.  Between the brain-interface system, nano-machines that keep you from being diseased and speed up your healing, and general improvements that make you much more capable than a baseline pony.  A lot of these basic augmentations are the start for more extensive modifications that soldiers and explorers get.

And many of these augmentations are available to the public.

Trope A Day-Hover Tank

Hover Tank-Almost a requirement for a practical armored vehicle these days, a good example is the Equestrian AGV-33 grav tank.  Two hundred and fifty tons of armor, shields, ECM, point defense, and a gravity generator that can push the vehicle to 300 kph in a straight line.  And, if it gets hit by it’s own buster launcher at any angle more than sixty degrees, it can mission-kill the tank.

Of course, it faces enemies like the Imperial Griffin Army Raptor grav tank, which is faster and carries a larger (6cm bore vs. 4cm bore) buster launcher in a limited rotation turret.  Or the Senate and Minotaur Republic Mindos-class grav tank, which mounts the same 4cm buster launcher, but carries many more hypersmart missiles in a slightly more fragile hull.  Or the Imperial Zebra Impi grav tank, which carries a 5cm buster launcher in a fixed hull mount, relying more upon manuverability and sheer speed (500 kph in sprint mode) to avoid being hit in the first place.  Or avoiding any guided munitions from orbit, artillery, hypersmart missiles, mines, heavy weapons carried by infantry or drones…

Just about all “first line” military vehicles are grav vehicles, because the speed and agility needed to avoid being hit in the first place requires it.

Trope A Day-Orbital Bombardment

Orbital Bombardment-Regardless of if it’s with k-rods (kinetic energy weapons) or directed energy weapons, orbital bombardment is a threat to any planet that doesn’t have city shields.  Since a shield that can protect a city isn’t something that can be moved easily, the rest of the planet is vulnerable.  However, area bombardments are not used by any of the major races until the Horizon War.  There is a moral component (there hasn’t been a war that has involved reducing a planet to glass before then), a logistical component (if Changelings killed off their food source, they’d starve), and a political component (for the most part, the usual result of somebody taking over the high orbitals was a quick surrender, followed by political negotiations).

During and after the Horizon War, mass bombardment of planets became a valid strategy, especially with Changeling-held worlds.  The capability of such bombardments made grav-armor more important, as such vehicles were hard to target with orbital bombardments short of a saturation strike.