A dark, steampunky Brave-New-World/1984 -esqe Equestrian AU? Count me IN!
Really fabulous piece. The armor design is wonderful and the effect of mild confusion ('what has become of our princess' etc) + mostly awe and fear is really present here. A rather subtle but interesting collission of styles going on here which I think works out quite well, from the irl-horsey chest you rendered to the high-fantasy sortof armor to the grundgey expression and backdrop to the childrens'-book sortof mane. It's awesome that you got it all working together.
Good and evil is a point of view. I don't see any of them as evil. Heck I don't even know that much about this whole Empire vs Republic thing. I just enjoy drawing pictures with a darker undertone from time to time. So I wouldn't say that I go too far with it. I hope that answered your question. Because I'm not completely sure I understood it.
Now this is amazing work, i love concepts like these. So graceful, but a internal fire burns very fiercely inside the chained empire. This would defiantly be used to bring in new recruits into the empire. But i am NLR all the way.