1497: X-Com: Mass Effect: Chapter 2 Part 2Posted: August 9, 2016
Title: X-Com: Mass Effect
Media: Video Game
Topic: Mass Effect/XCOM
URL: Chapter 2
Critiqued by Erttheking
Nora: So, that week off was nice. Where are we standing on the SS Stupid?
Ert: Same old same old.
Goeth: He popped a blood vessel.
2115: The first CAS-Assault Carrier ‘Beaches of Normandy’ is built at the Arcadia Shipyards, Shepard immediately takes it as her flagship, when asked why she wasn’t waiting for the CSO-Supercarrier she simply shrugged and said “It’s less overwhelming, besides there is nothing preventing me having two flagships,
Ert: Aside from it completely defeating the point of what a flagship is supposed to be. Also, goodie, even more evidence that the current leader of humanity is an impulsive twat, on top of all of the other horrible things she has going for her
Nora: Leaders rarely benefit from being impulsive and from wanting two of everything. I mean for the love of god, that’s ORK behavior.
this one for when I want to be less conspicuous
Ert: Shepard, go jump off a cliff. You pick a 5 km ship for when you don’t want to be conspicuous? No, I take it back. Go into high orbit, open the air lock, jump out, and burn to death on reentry so humanity is cured of your stupidity.
Goeth: *Prepares camera.*
and the CSO-Supercarrier for when I want the universe to stand up and notice us”
Shepard authorizes the Relocation of the Arcturus Relay Fragments, it is a massive undertaking that is expected to take at least five years to complete.
Nora: So what exactly are they planning to do with this relocation? Do they want to actually study the relay or do they just want to sweep their fuck up under the rug? And them studying it is laughable, considering how snooty they were towards the relays at first.
Goeth: Someone wants humanity to defeat the Reapers without trying.
2117: Of the two dozen worlds tagged for Terraforming, seven are complete and in the process of being colonized, eight are being Terraformed and the rest haven’t been started yet.
Ert: Because these people are more concerned about being overly compensating starships than they are finding places to live.
Nora: Practicality takes a backseat to being badass.
2118: Smaller Hyperwave Gates nicknamed ‘Warpgates’ are created, they are only a thousand kilometers in diameter
Nora: This is reaching “Small loan of a million dollars” level of stupid.
and a few hundred meters wide. But they provide a travel radius of 50,000 light-years.
Ert: WHERE DO YOU NEED TO FUCKING GO!? And why do you need enough space to move thousands of ships at the same time?
Several dozen are seeded throughout human space and up to twenty thousand light-years beyond it.
Goeth: Officially referred to as “operation pointless.”
Nora: So how often do they just randomly go out into the middle of nowhere? And how big is human space? Give us some perspective so that we know what 20,000 light years away from it means.
Ert: Am I the only one who thinks spreading out this far is really stupid? I don’t care how “My humanity is SO FUCKING AWESOME” your FTL is. Humanity, after a massive alien invasion, would not spread out like that. They would colonize planets that are closely clustered together, so it would be easier to defend them.
On the planet codenamed Shanxi, in the Trialgra-Proxima System one of the ‘Warpgates’ (Number 27) crashes down unexpectedly due to a navigation software error,
Ert: You know, as much as this author is trying to hype the shit out of this new humanity, for some reason he keeps having them fuck up when dealing with FTL networks. And he’s not portraying it as a flaw. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.
Nora: I doubt there’s going to be a twist where it turns out that it was Oceania all along.
however it still reports functional and is left where it fell. The glitch in the navigational software is corrected and the next thirteen ‘Warpgates’ are sent to their destinations without problem. A replacement ‘Warpgate’ for Number 27 is sent to 27’s original destination three months later.
Nora: So was there a point to that? Can we sue the author for wasting our time?
Goeth: We’ve been trying. Not a lot of progress on that front.
2120: Twenty CAS-Assault Carriers are constructed, each one is controlled by a different clan. Had Mankind not been joined Psionically a war would most likely have resulted from the distribution of these warships.
Goeth: Something that never stopped that rebellion from happening. Still waiting on the reasons for that.
2121: The Arcturus Relay Relocation is completed, currently the Relay pieces remain in Interstellar space around a Light-year from the Sol System, research upon the Relay begins in earnest.
Nora: Something that should have been done a long time ago.’
Goeth: I look forward to them mastering the technology that Asari have not despite having it for three millennia. Even though they themselves dismissed it for decades.
Ert: Oh you know it’s going to happen
2125: Another Sentient race is discovered by Humanity, the Yanme’e a species of sentient insects bound by a Psionic hive mind.
Ert: NO! NO THEY’RE FUCKING NOT! They have a hive mind, but it isn’t psionic in the way that Ethereals are.
Upon hearing Mankind’s much more developed and overpowering hive mind they quickly beg to become servants of Mankind, Shepard personally goes to their homeworld of Palamok and accepts in person. The Queens of the Yanme’e are honored by Shepard’s arrival and what started as a requesting to be enslaved
Ert:…Author. Your fetish for “humanity fuck yeah” has gone from annoying to creepy. I don’t care that you don’t actually go through with enslaving the drones. The fact that you brought it up at all and had them be the ones to suggest it is fucking creepy. You cannot have someone want to be enslaved and have them function as an emotionally stable being. There is something wrong with them and you can’t just sweep it under the carpet. The way you’re treating your humanity (do not steal) as superior to fucking everything regardless of how reality should work…makes me think of this.
Nora: Then again, this Shepard seems to be enough of a dipshit to think that Hitler lived in the Middle Ages. And would take being compared to Hitler as a compliment. It works.
becomes a partnership with Yanme’e being treated as equals with humanity.
Goeth: We covered why the idea of this is laughable. If you emotionally abuse something into thinking they’re sub-human, then all of a sudden say “No, you’re equal to me” they’ll still treat you as superior. You want it both ways.
Star-system D-32, 5th May 2028. Aboard the CSSV ‘Beaches of Normandy’
Ert: D-32? Ok, no. If you’re going to be throwing metric tons of bullshit at us, the least that you owe us is how your classification of star systems works.
Goeth: Also, either that’s a typo or we got sucked into a temporal vortex that sent us back in time a hundred years.
Nora: The sad thing about this story is that both are equally plausible.
Shepard glances down at the data-pad in her hand and then back at her sensor officer
Ert: I always love when authors make me feel better about the typos I make.
“Is this reading correct?” even though she knows it is she has to ask as part of the procedure.
Nora: Why? Why does she “have” to? She’s the High Queen and they have the hive mind. Why is she deliberately doing things in a less effective way?
Goeth: Ah, that’s the thing about writers who cover transhumanism. They only go skin deep. They want to give people a few cool abilities that they use sometimes. They don’t want to go in depth about how it would change our very way of life. Our very way of thinking.
Ert: You know, aside from “There’s no crime or dissenting opinions but free will is TOTALLY still a thing.”
The sensor officer nods an affirmative “Yes milady, we have picked up the signal of a sentient race on the fourth planet of this system, they appear to be on the cusp of interstellar travel, as we have detected satellites and signs of moon landings on both their planet’s natural satellites”
Nora: Well lets see what race they drag into this bullshit now. We already had the Grunts and Drones from Halo, what’s next? The Klingons? Twi’leks?
Ert: Shepard makes an announcement about the new species and then she goes to get changed. It’s wonderful that I was able to summarize hundreds of works of nothing with that sentence.
Upon entering she notices that her ten handmaiden drones have already pulled her royal armor out and gotten it ready for her to change into.
Goeth: I’m not informed on fashion, but why does she need ten handmaidens?
Nora: Because she’s a dictator who needs her ego stroked.
(Fuck Shepard Counter: 9)
Created back at the turn of the century, Shepard’s royal armor looks very similar to the Titan power armor from the Ethereal war, however it is more streamlined without any unnecessary parts
Ert: Go fuck yourself you pretentious twat. Why am I saying that? This is why.
, over top of that however is what looks like a royal dress, starting from her waist a long skirt drapes over the sides of her legs, splitting in the centre of the dress up to half way up her thigh to prevent her movement being hindered. The ‘dress’ fabric looks like it would easily tear, but is in fact a composite of the Alien Alloy, micro-Elerium reactors and shield generators woven into a golden looking fabric.
(How Does I Science Counter: 17)
Ert: I fucking hate you. I didn’t think it was possible to out-stupid EP’s Adamantium Hoodie, but my God, YOU FUCKING DID IT! At least he only made it an impossible to get into a shirt metal, you had to fucking throw in micro-reactors! INTO A FUCKING DRESS! And Shepard combined a dress with her armor and is going for one of the most nonsensical and obnoxious forms of dress porn I’ve ever seen, because she thinks that she’s fucking Oscar Francois de Jarjayes!
Nora: News flash brat! She was a thousand times more fabulous and gorgeous that you’ll ever be, and she didn’t have to wear armor and a dress at the same time! Because she knew it would look stupid! And I think this would qualify as an “unnecessary part”
Goeth: Alien Alloy? Expect it to be as stiff as a board. And if it isn’t, what good is it?
The shield generated by the fabric is capable of stopping ship-level weaponry for a short period
Ert: OH MY FUCKING CHRIST! Author, clean the seamen off of your keyboard and FUCKING STOP! This is going beyond using XCOM to tear down Mass Effect. None of this has anything to do with XCOM. You started vaguely with XCOM and then created this cartoonish version of humanity that sounds like a thirteen year old wrote it. Capable of stopping ship-level weapons? Where the FUCK did they get that technology!? Don’t say the Ethereals, because if they had that kind of tech, humanity would all be DEAD! So stop jerking off humanity, sit down, and FUCKING THINK!
theoretically no hand-held weapon should have the power to penetrate this shield, however Shepard chooses not to rely on theory and her armor plating is made of the same material the ship hulls are made of.
Goeth: I find it amusing that the story doesn’t seem to have any names for these metals. They still call the alien alloy, alien alloy, and didn’t even bother with a name for the materials in the armor. Also, I doubt her armor is as thick as a starship hull, so I doubt this will help. Assuming the armor can actually be moved, I assume starship hulls weigh a lot
Nora: Goeth! You’re killing the childish power fantasy!
Her armor is golden with red highlights, on her shoulder pads are her personal and clan symbols, on her left shoulder pad is an empty X-Com pentagon, the symbol of her clan and on her left is an Ouroboros, a dragon eating its own tail, with the head on the side of her shoulder pad that faces her back.
Nora: And why is her personal symbol of an Ouroboros? No real reason. It makes her look more important than she really is
On her head is a crown that appears to be made of gold, but is the same material as the armor, within the crown is a mind shield (Couldn’t be too careful) and another Elerium reactor and shield generator.
Ert: Ugheh. Ugh. Everything about this woman’s outfit makes me want to punch her in the face. “And then she had another reactor, and a shield generator, and a crown that’s also a shield generator and a ring that’s a shield generator and a tongue piercing that’s also a shield generator.”
All in all the royal armor is the ultimate combination of the best of Humanity’s armor-making skills and technology and the paranoia of a species that has faced extreme odds and survived.
Nora: Faced extreme odds and survived. The heart and soul of XCOM. Have you noticed the complete and utter lack of it in this story?
On Shepard’s waist is her plasma sword, a curiously designed device created back in the 2090’s, it is a curved piece of metal with two half spheres on each end with a blue emitter running from a third from the back to a centimeter from the front. In the middle of the device is a tear drop shaped separator that divides the two bars where the fingers of the wielder go, it also contains the Elerium power cell and Psionic trigger mechanism, on one side of the tear drop is the clan symbol of the wielder on the other is their personal symbol. When the sword deploys it has two ‘curved’ sections where it meets the hilt and two 1.3 meter long prongs that are separated by a gap a palm’s width wide, when active energy constantly sparks between the gap due to the electromagnetic fields holding the plasma in place. The color of the hilts casing indicates the caste rank of the wield, Shepard’s is gold as is Mikhail’s, Queens, their consorts and the princesses and princes have silver casing and the Sentients have a bronze casing.
Ert: In other words, Shepard committed copyright infringement on the energy swords that the Elites used in Halo. Because when you enslave two Halo races, you might as well steal their weapons, have an unnecessarily complicated trigger device, give it tacky bling and overall just make it a lot less interesting than the original design.
Goeth: It doesn’t make sense either. The Elites were honor bound warriors. This is just a ten year old trying to play with his daddy’s gun.
CSSV ‘Beaches of Normandy’ Port Hanger 1
Shepard walks into ‘Beaches of Normandy’s first port hanger to see a classic Skyranger being loaded up. While they could easily have created a more advanced or futuristic looking aircraft, Shepard liked the classic Skyranger. However Shepard isn’t ignorant of the fact that it would rapidly become obsolete and has had every system on the Skyranger upgraded to the latest technology available to Humanity, it is also nearly twice as big so it can carry more soldiers, the current model can carry twelve MECs or twenty four soldiers.
Nora: In other words, despite the fact that the author wants humanity to have giant starships that are 27 km long, use utterly alien designs and an alloy that is purple, humanity still uses the same old Skyranger. Because consistency is not in the author’s dictionary. Design or philosophy wise.
Next to the Skyranger six Praetorian MECs are standing, the moment she walks out into the hanger they straighten up and salute. Next to the MECs are a group of X-Com Soldiers that survived the ‘Day of Death’, dressed in Alienite Guardian Armor (The grandchild of the Titan
Nora: Depicted above. Person who does not know how to organically inform the audience.
Lead by Lieutenant Leonard Church,
Squad ‘Freelancer’ was unique
Ert: AhahahahahahAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HA! HA! HA! HAAAAAAAAAA! YOU DON’T KNOW THE FUCKING DEFINITION OF THE WORD UNIQUE! You know why? You STOLE EVERY LAST FUCKING THING IN THIS STORY THAT ISN’T RELATED TO YOUR CREEPY ASS INSECT/REPTILE MASTER RACE!
in almost every way, instead of six members there are nine. They aren’t solidly MEC or G-Mod and they are the most flippant about the rules.
Goeth: Nine teenagers with attitude that are part MEC and part G-Mod.
Nora: Whatever, this is sadly one of the least stupid things in this story.
Goeth: Anyone up for Trouble in Terrorist Town?
Nora: Actually yes.
However the ninth Sheila Rodriguez the teams MEC warrior was being left behind due to space concerns,
Ert: This adds nothing, is vague, and will never be brought up again. NEXT!
and they were on their best behavior as part of Shepard’s Honor Guard. Mikhail is also waiting but he appears to be reading through a Data-pad. He looks up as Shepard gets close and smiles “It’s nice to see you dress up on occasion, I wonder why you hate it so much?”
Shepard frowns in annoyance “Because the moment I dress up in anything feminine I get some many ‘oh so helpful’ men offering to do whatever I want”
Nora: I hate wearing feminine outfits with a passion, and what she just said makes me want to kick her in the teeth. Because this is a damn clumsy attempt to make a feminist Shepard.
Goeth: Mainly due to how little sense it makes for the High Queen to be treated that way, when she has both a reputation as a warrior and the hive mind that people never seem to use. And even then, they as a species should have dropped this kind of behavior a hundred years ago, seeing as how their species is not a matriarchy with rigid caste systems and mandatory military service.
Nora: *Cracks knuckles* Go figure.
Ert: You know Cornelia was trying to get a rise out of you when she showed you that cocktail dress right?
Nora: Yeah, and she succeeded.
Mikhail snorts in amusement “So basically, your entire lifestyle now”
Shepard opens her mouth to reply and then cocks her head and closes it “Alright, you win that one”
Goeth: I got nothing. Unless she’s saying she has other people do all of her work for her.
Nora: I REALLY want to kick her teeth in.
(Fuck Shepard Counter: 10)
Mikhail chuckles at Shepard’s reply “Stop the presses, I won an argument against Shepard”
Nora: The sad thing is that in this society, someone winning an argument against the supreme overlord probably would be groundbreaking.
Shepard shakes her head in feigned disgust “Ha ha, laugh it up, I hear the couch is comfortable”
Mikhail just raises an eyebrow, when he gets a glare in response he pantomimes zipping his mouth shut. Shepard smirks at Mikhail’s Reaction “Get in the Ship, we’re leaving”
Ert: No one is allowed to feel like he or she is in a better position than Shepard. Having more self esteem than her is punishable by death. Personally I’d live on the couch.
Nora: High Queen has stereotypical and unfunny argument about sleeping on the couch. It’s comedy, I swear.
The Skyranger effortlessly disengages from the ‘Beaches of Normandy’ and flies down towards the planet below. While flying they lock onto a large fortification, their sensors pick up dozens of aircraft flying towards the fortification but none are armored, indicating that they must be planetary leaders heading towards their landing zone.
Goeth: Or they could be unarmored recon craft, weather satellites, civilian transports, automated delivery systems, you really do have no grounds to be jumping to conclusions when you know next to nothing about this species
Nora: But she smart!
In a stone courtyard before a bridge leading to the fort, the Skyranger sets down surrounding it are hundred of individuals all around seven feet in height.
Ert: See folks, this is why you use commas. If you don’t, you get messes like this.
Shepard walks out of the Skyranger and spots one of the groups of individuals with ornate golden armor, guessing that they are important she starts to walk towards them,
Goeth: More assumptions. You assume that an alien race puts the same value as you do on gold. Gold is actually a fairly worthless metal. Oh it can be used as a conductor, but most of the value it has comes from the fact that we say it has value because it looks pretty. It’s very heavy and soft, a bad combination for practical use such as armor or cutting tools. As far as you know, his golden armor could be an insult. He might have been forced to wear it in order to show that he isn’t good for anything except looking pretty.
Ert: I’m reminded of what Matriarch Aethyta said about humanity assuming alien races followed the same customs of them.
as she does so a commotion starts up on her left, she turns to see a smaller version of the individuals run out from between the adults and skid to a stop in front of her.
Nora: Ok, who brought kids to the alien landing? For all their parents know they want to wipe out the entire species or enslave them.
Goeth: Not unreasonable conclusions to make.
Shepard idly notes that the little one’s skin is leathery and instead of a lower jaw like humans and Unggoy it has four mandibles instead each with six teeth on them. Before any of the adults can reach she kneels down and taps her left index finger to it/her forehead. With a simple Psionic push she learns the child’s name, gender and language (and a smidgen of their culture) and she then says in perfect Sanghelilian,
Ert:…..Sangheili. The Elites from Halo…no. No. No! NO! FUCKING NO! I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS BULLSHIT! First of all, in the year 2552, the Elites had been space faring for THREE! FUCKING! THOUSAND! YEARS! Right now they’re at the point where they should have 2,500 years under their belt, possibly more! But you had to tear them down and make them only on the cusp of space travel. Because you know that the Elites would tear your little Gary Stu humanity a new asshole if they were depicted properly.
Nora: Second of all, you depict the Elites and flat out steal one of their most iconic weapons. Author, if all you can do is take ideas from more interesting places and come up with less interesting version of them, I’m hesitant to call you an author. You’re more like a plagiarist. We’re still half waiting for Gundams and Space Marines to start showing up in this story
Goeth: Third, why is this XCOM/Mass Effect crossover reading more like a XCOM/Halo crossover?
Ert: In short, this story is fucking pathetic and I hate it.
a curious language that resembles Japanese with some Greek influences “Children should be careful, sometimes monsters smile at you before they strike”
Ert: Wow, Shepard really is doing her best impression of a pedophile right now.
The young Sangheili nods in amazement as the surrounding adult Sangheili all exclaim in shock and amazement “Now you should return to your uncle Thara ‘Mdama”
Thara’s mandibles flutter in shock “How…”
Nora: Oh I invaded the inner sanctuary of her mind and read her deepest most personal thoughts without her permission. Just so that I could show off. I’m not like the Ethereals at all.
(Fuck Shepard Counter: 11)
Goeth: I remember that little speech I made way back when about how moral standards are laughable because people tread on them all the time. Back then I at least gave people the benefit of the doubt of being in denial about it. Shepard seems to be doing it gleefully.
Shepard smiles at the Thara “My species can see much with a simple touch, your tongue, your name and a measure of your spirit. You burn brightly to those that see, if you were of my blood you would be highly respected by my kin. But unfortunately you are not, it is a shame, but you are Sangheili and I am not”
Ert: Wow. Shepard the racist. At least that’s what I’m getting out of that. It’s worded so vaguely and pretentiously that I’m honestly having a hard time seeing how it could be anything else. And I get the feeling that if he was of your blood, he would be respected for having your blood and nothing else. Your new social structure feels like it has a heavy emphasis on nepotism.
Shepard then turns to the crowd around them and asks “Who among you is leader of this land upon which I have landed”
Goeth: Planet = land.
Nora: Getting real bad vibes of European explorers in the new world.
One of the golden armored ones walks forward “I am Thel ‘Vadam and I am Kaidon of Vadam Keep” Thel puts his right hand over his left heart and Shepard notices that the Sangheili have four fingers, no they have two fingers and two thumbs, it is just that they have one thumb on either side of their fingers.
Ert:….THEL! SAVE THIS STORY! You’re the freaking ARBITER! You were a playable character in Halo 2! You helped start the Great Schism, the Covenant Civil War, after your people were betrayed by the Prophets! You were an equal to Master Chief! Your actions brought about the end of a three-thousand year old empire! You stopped an unjust war of genocide! You fought against the horrors of the Flood and SURVIVED! Please. KILL THIS WOMAN!
Shepard nods to Thel and answers with “I am Suzanne Shepard and I am the High Queen of my kind, all who call themselves human are under my banner. I greet you Kaidon Thel ‘Vadam” Shepard places her left hand on the centre of her chest and extends her right “I do hold a weapon and wish for peace between our people”
Nora: Typo accidentally points out everything wrong with this story.
Ert: No kidding. She wants peace, but she wants a peace where only she holds a gun and can devastate all others in a war if she has to. I’m surprised the author isn’t American.
Thel extends his left hand which is empty and responds with “I also carry no weapon and wish for peace between our people” Thel finishes the saying with curiosity in his voice “As such I welcome you to my keep, may your blade be forever sharp” ending the old Sangheili peace talk greeting with the customary greeting ending.
Nora: Yes, we know that she read the mind of a little kid. Here’s the elephant in the room with that problem. Little kids are stupid, and alien little kids are probably no better. Is Shepard not concerned that she’s getting bad information because a kid can’t understand adult politics?
Shepard nods at Thel and then finishes the greeting “And may your mind remain keen, to see friend from foe”
Ert: Yes Thel! Your mind needs to remain keen! See the foe. SEE THE FOE THAT’S STANDING RIGHT THE FUCK IN FRONT OF YOU!
The talks proceed with simple dignity, the Sangheili are interested in learning more of the universe but wonder what the cost is, when told that they would get Hyperwave FTL and sensors for free they refuse, they consider it an insult to their honor to be given the technology for free. Shepard then proposes that they instead serve Humanity for a decade and at the end each Sangheili will be given the knowledge to build Hyperwave FTL drives and sensors as payment.
(Fuck Shepard Counter: 12)
Ert: Why you NEED a pre-space flight race to serve you? You already have hundreds of millions, if not billions of drones to act as slave labor? Does this serve ANY practical purpose? Outside of being a power trip for you Shepard?
Nora: Well it could be practical if she’s trying to build a Human Empire, with all aliens she encounters being her vassals. Think about it. They say that the aliens are equal in their society, but that’s a bold faced lie. We’ve never heard about humans serving on Grunt or Drone ships, Grunts and Drones serve on human ships. Grunts and Drones don’t even seem to have ships. Humanity holds all of the cards and everything the aliens do is for the benefit of humanity. Humans have become slavers, conquerors, and the very enemy the once hated so much.
This sparks an intense ‘discussion’
Goeth: At least the quotations marks make sense. I’d highly doubt that there’s an actual discussion going on about that. It’s more likely that the characterization of the Elites as being a proud species is going to be thrown away, with all of them being on board with indentured servitude. With the exception of a few “wrong” people, who would much rather maintain independence.
Grand Hall, Vadam Keep, State of Vadam, Sanghelios, Urs Trinary System.
Shepard smiles as the Sangheili all nod in acceptance of her proposal, almost all. Across the room one of the Sangheili stands up and shouts “NO, why should we serve these weaklings, we should just take the technology from their corpses,
Nora: *Slaps on helmet* WORT WORT WORT!
Ert:….I….I have no words. There is an alien race going to a planet who wants the servitude of the local people. The people do not want to serve the alien race, would rather fight, and wants to reverse engineer the alien technology. AND THESE PEOPLE ARE BEING TREATED AS IN THE WRONG! IN A FUCKING XCOM FANFIC! The author really does have no idea what the fuck he’s doing. Not only is he saying acting like the Ethereals is good, he’s saying acting like XCOM is bad.
if they are so weak as to send a female to negotiate, then they must be truly pathetic” Some of the Kaidons nod in agreement
Nora:…Were the Sangheli ever sexist?
Ert: Wasn’t ever really brought up. They never said women should or shouldn’t fight, but we never saw any female soldiers. Or females at all.. Of any alien race really. Although apparently there’s a female Shipmaster (Captain) in Halo 5. Looking around, apparently females receive the same training that the men do, but mainly fight defensive battles. That’s about it.
Nora: I’m going to call BS on the shallow, sexist straw man then.
Shepard snorts loudly in derision “Or in my species it is part of our culture for females to lead. Quit speaking fool, with every word from your mouth you simply prove your weakness,
Ert:….Not really. Is he proving that he’s a bigot? Yes, but A. the author forced that shitty characterization on him and B. bigotry does not equal a weak person. There are plenty of able bodied and strong willed bigots.
if you truly think I am weak, face me in combat” The rest of the Kaidons who didn’t nod jeer at the fool.
Thel chuckles in amusement “Jul’ Mdama, it appears this female has spoken true, will you face her or prove too cowardly”
Goeth: Oh hello Jul’ Mdama. I see this story is going to make you a villain like you were in Halo 4, despite the fact that you aren’t in conflict with Thel over a religious dispute because the religion of the Forerunners doesn’t exist in this watered down version of the Elites, and your wife wasn’t killed in the resulting civil war.
Ert: His wife who WAS A FIGHTER! Jesus fucking Christ author, you’re giving Jul even more of a shit show then he got in Halo 5. And he died in the first fucking mission there! AND YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH THAT BIASED NARRATION!
Nora: This author really is bad at changing things. He can make humanity utterly awesome. That’s it. The Grunts and Drones are still slaves, just with new masters, and Jul is still an antagonist even though he has no real reason to be.
The Sangheili, Jul stands and growls “I will face her, what is your forfeiture?”
Shepard stands slowly and smiles “If you wins I will give you the technology you seek” Jul laughs in the thought of an easy victory “BUT” Jul stops laughing “If I win, then your lands, people and goods will belong to me till the next generation is ready to face me in combat for them”
Nora: Uh, this man does not speak for the entire clan. I want out of this deal altogether.
Ert: *Sigh* I look forward to Shepard ruling over Jul’s clan for all eternity because she’s such a raging Sue that a thousand generations of Mdamas could try and regain the independence of their clan and never beat her, thanks to her GameShark.
Jul growls in anger at such a request, but before he can respond Thel speaks up “The challenge has been issued and the terms stated, let us now head out to the Combat Hall for the Duel”
Shepard stands with a smirk on her face as Jul walks towards her dressed in the golden armor of a Kaidon. In his hand is a metal sword that looks near identical to her deployed Plasma Sword if slightly longer. Jul growls at Shepard “Do you even have a sword, woman”
Nora: This is something that should have been taken care of before the fight even began. Here we have the ultimate staple of bad writing. People acting in ways that don’t reflect personality or mindsets, but only exist to set up tropes. In this case, the dramatic reveal. Jul would assume from the get go that Shepard doesn’t have a sword, so he would give her one. Because when an Elite challenges someone to a duel, he wants a fair fight. But no. He says this only so Shepard can dramatically reveal that she has a sword. Whose design utterly rips off the design of HIS sword.
Shepard just smiles sweetly before using her right hand to grab her sword and in one slick motion deploy it with the customary ‘swish’ of air being displaced by the superheated plasma within the sword’s electromagnetic energy field. Jul and the Sangheili are taken aback by how similar the sword is to their own,
Ert: I know. It’s like the author is REALLY FUCKING UNORIGINAL! And we, the readers, are supposed to be impressed by the Not!Type-1 Energy Weapon
Thel on the other hand watches with barely concealed amusement, he has no doubt that Jul will not be walking out of this Hall.
Jul gets over his shock and charges straight at Shepard, Shepard just shakes her head and with her left hand catches his sword when Jul’s mandibles flare in shock Shepard smiles and says “Did you really think this highly advanced armor couldn’t stop a simple sword?
Ert: SIMPLE FUCKING SWORD!? THEY SHOULD BE THE ONES WITH ENERGY SWORDS YOU BITCH! Those warships, leadership over the Grunts and the Drones, the energy swords, NONE OF THAT IS FUCKING YOURS! It all should’ve belonged to the Elites, but you wanted humanity to be strong so it’s all theirs now and the Elites are a bunch of weaklings. Your emotional maturity is around this level.
Fool” Shepard then slashes with her sword.
Ert: Anyone want to tell her that constantly belittling your opponents by smugly calling them fools is something mainly associated with VILLAINS!?
Jul’s mandibles go slack as purple blood spills from his mouth, then from the middle of his abdomen a split appears and his torso, head and arms fall backwards.
Goeth: So did she actually hit him or did she just wave her sword around and a wound just happened to appear on him?
Shepard looks down on the defeated Sangheili while unconsciously deactivating and sheathing her sword “Idiot, what lunacy made you charge a highly advanced alien with armor that would definitely stop your sword?
Ert: *Looks at XCOM 2, which had humans fighting advanced alien with swords, and wants to violently murder Shepard*
Nora: Does this have anything to do with the fact that the character you designed after yourself was a ranger?
Ert: KIND OF! That being said this really does convince me that the author wanted Humanity to be just like the Ethereals.
Fool, perhaps it is better that you are dead” Several snorts from some of the watching Sangheili indicate that they think the same way. Shepard then turns to Thel “Do you think there’ll be an more opposition to my idea?”
Nora: Actually author, hate to burst your bubble, I’m pretty sure the Elites would have a lot of problems with it. See, I understand you probably only cared about making Shepard looking “badass” but you seem to have forgotten something. The Elites are a very honor heavy species. In an honorable duel where a formal challenge had been made, shit like this would not fly. Shepard would be seen as dishonorable and cheating.
Ert: They would not cheer her. They would view her as the lowest form of scum. An unfair advantage in the duel? Everyone would want her dead. Think less cheering and more that scene from a Confederate Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Where the titular yankee shoots someone in a joust and tells anyone who has a problem with it to take it up with him. And then five seconds later has several hundred knights charging him.
Thel shakes his head as he holds down laughter “No, I think you have definitely made an impression”
Shepard smiles at that “Then I’ve done what I set out to accomplish”
Goeth: Conquer another species?
Nora: No, only part of it. That makes it ok. Everyone is ok with an alien warlord ruling over a good chunk of their planet.
Ert: If this was anything like Halo, Shepard would have to sleep with one eye open because she’s a legitimate target for assassination attempts now. Elites only consider assassination attempts dishonorable if they fail.
As Shepard departed for her ship she once again ran into Thara’ Mdama who is now one of her subjects. With the permission of the Sangheili Kaidon Council (Of which she is now a member) Shepard took Thara with her back to the CSSV ‘Beaches of Normandy’
Ert: Five days later she was democratically elected supreme dictator by the entire Sangheili people, who willingly wanted to be enslaved, and two days after that she was declared supreme ruler of the entire universe. Oh what? You know the author wanted to go there.
2129: The first of the Sangheili start their decade of service, Thel’ Vadam asks for and is given permission to serve on Shepard’s flagship. The Sangheili despite reservations quickly become accustomed to Human society as despite minor differences it is not that much different from their own.
Ert: Yeah, our society isn’t that different from Elite society! I remember how we promote soldiers based on how many kills they have, have duels, legalized assassination attempts, honor suicides, only allow blue bloods to wield swords, permit sword wielders to mate with any female in order to pass on their superior genes, and have a heavy emphasis on honor! Oh wait, we’re nothing like them, that’s what made them interesting. You made them boring
They also get along well with the Yanme’e and Unggoy that serve on the Human warships.
Nora: Aheh. Funny story. When they were in the Covenant, the Elites were…well…elitist. They we basically second only to the Prophets in the Covenant and held dominion over the other races, and thought that they were superior. They only marked a race as an equal when they showed impressive martial skill, like when the Grunts rebelled against the Covenant and fought well, even though it was put down. The Elites were impressed and helped form the SpecOps Grunts. And the main reason they like humans is that humans held out for two and a half decades against the military might of the entire Covenant.
Goeth: These Grunts and Drones have done nothing to earn the respect of the Elites. In fact, the Elites would most likely look down on the Drones for wanting to be enslaved.
2130: Mankind in a yearly ‘bonus’ for the Sangheili, mark over a dozen systems around their homeworld for Terraformation or colonization by the Sangheili. The Sangheili graciously accept the ‘bonus’ recognizing what it really was in a instant, a gift. But since Mankind made an effort to pretend it wasn’t then they could happily ignore that with their honor satisfied.
Ert: Elites are just like us. But we need to jump through a couple of hoops when dealing with them in order to make sure that their honor is intact. But they’re really just like htis!
Research upon the Arcturus Relay is finally completed.
Ert: A report that tells us how Mass Relays work. This really is nothing more than a time waster, as it isn’t anything new or original, it’s something that already exists in the Mass Effect universe. The author is probably just writing directly from the wiki for this, so I’m skipping it. Oh, but Vahlen is impressed with the Relay. Yeah, where was that enthusiasm when you found the Prothean tech all those years ago?
2135: Mankind has now expanded to over fifty different worlds and has holdings in over a hundred systems. The population of Mankind is now at the five hundred billion mark. There are now over forty CAS-Assault Carriers in existence.
Goeth: So how long before overpopulation becomes an issue and they need to start culling? Because ten billion people on each planet is something that would push the resources of humanity to the breaking point. Especially since no one can die and the population is just going to keep rising.
Nora: Yet another thing that would destroy the author’s wet dream, so it’s not going to ever be brought up.
The Unggoy have expanded to six different systems and are contemplating a seventh.
The Yanme’e have nearly a dozen worlds to their name already, but are checking their growth to ensure that they (and Humanity) have the resources to secure those worlds.
The Sangheili have three worlds to their name and have plans for another five already in the making.
Ert: Oh yeah, and they were doing…stuff. No information on their population, fleets or martial status, because they’re not humanity and therefore the author doesn’t care.
2139: Saren Arterius is born on the Turian homeworld of Palaven
Nora: No one cares.
2140: Mankind officially releases the Sangheili from their contract, however none of the Sangheili are unhappy with the current arrangement and query the possibility of remaining where they are.
Ert: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!? Oh who am I kidding, of course you’re not fucking kidding me. You think that the only problem with the Ethereals was that they weren’t human. If it had been humans invading planets, abducting aliens, performing experiments on them, and twisting them into cannon fodder, you would’ve been a-ok with it. And don’t you DARE fucking tell me that this is different! When you have a clearly non-democratic society and you have shown that the hive mind (Which really is a non-entity in this story now that I think about it) can influence other species into wanting to be slaves, and holds all of the power over other species, they are not equal! They are not free! They are servants of humanity! THEY’RE NO FUCKING BETTER THAN THE ALIENS THAT TRIED TO CONQUER EARTH!
Shepard quickly negotiates this with the Sangheili and they are now inducted into Mankind as full citizens, which means instead of being paid with technology they can now request whatever they need just as any human can.
Mankind doesn’t have an economy beyond the idea of ‘you want/need it, you got it’ as such any human being can requisition any human-made item as long as they hold a job of some sort, something that is ridiculously easy in the current society as all some people simply have to do is direct the drones as they work.
Ert: Something that you think would’ve come up before now, but it didn’t involve gigantic warships and/or bad science. Even then, it still manages to jerk humanity off as being utterly perfect.
2146: On the Hanar homeworld of Kahje, Thane Krios is born.
Nora: Again, no one cares
2150: Shepard having an instinctual ‘gut’ feeling that something is looming on the horizon, conceives a Royal heir. Her Daughter Anastasia Shepard is born on October 10th 2150. Thel’ Vadam and Thara’ Mdama are ‘conscripted’ into being babysitters for the precocious child.
Ert: Oh, so you can give birth to more High Queens. Question. Why the fuck has this taken so long? And how can you have an heir to something when you’re immortal?
2151: Thel’ Vadam requests a transfer of positions. Shepard gleefully declines.
Nora: Silly man! You don’t have any choice in the matter! I’m your all powerful ruler now!
Ert: Shepard is forcing a clan leader of the Elites into being a baby sitter when he has important shit to be doing. *Grinds teeth* A “funny” moment ends up proving my point about aliens not really being equal under human rule. Later chapters reveal that the Sectoids and Mutons are still under human rule, and are basically slaves. This, what’s happening to Thel, and the drones. And humanity has the GALL to pretend that they’re the good guys.
2152: Thane Krios begins his training under the Hanar as an Assassin.
2155: Saren Arterius begins his military service for the Turian Hierarchy.
Nora: Oh, there’s other stuff going on somewhere else in the galaxy with Mass Effect stuff…not important stuff as it doesn’t involve the author’s Gary Stu humanity.
2157: The presence of the first Halo Installation in orbit around the Sol System circularizes Pluto’s orbit
Ert: Hur, Hur that’s what the Mass Relay is supposed to do. Humanity is building structures on par with the Reapers.
A research flotilla is sent with armed escorts to the Trialgra-Proxima system to study the ‘Shanxi Relay’
Goeth: They were given an armed escort because the author told them that plot would be happening.
Liara T’Soni under the alias of Alara T’Kani illegally buys a civilian transports and heads off to the unexplored sector between the Inner Council Space and Batarian Space.
The Vakarian family after earning a vacation due to hard work is forced to flee from Batarian slavers, while fleeing they meet up with and are joined by Liara.
Both the runaway Asari and the Turian family end up in what they think is a dead end, only to discover a strange race by a Mass Relay in the system they had just entered
Ert: Well that’s a bunch of bullshit that’s just shoehorned in out of nowhere so that Mass Effect characters who weren’t involved in the First Contact War can be involved in the First Contact War.
2157: Mankind makes First Contact with the Citadel Council Races. After a hundred years the New Age of Exploration ends and the Age of the Citadel begins.
Goeth: Anyone want to tell the author that he put 2157 twice?
Ert: And Age of the Citadel doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Citadel is just a space station. How can it be the center of an age
Thank you for reading this chapter and I hope you enjoyed it,
Ert: *Psychotic laughter*
anyone who has ideas or just a certain scene they wish to see, please review or PM me and I’ll do my best to introduce those ideas and scenes into the story.
Ert: How about a scene where there’s a violent uprising and Shepard’s head is put on a pike?
There is a Easter Egg or two in this chapter, kudos to those who spot them.
Ert: Or twelve or twenty or thirty.
The Next Chapter will be out within a month, but it may be delayed depending on whether or not my inspiration for this story remains.
The chapter will be titled: The Shanxi Incident Part I
Nora: We look forward to it being stupid.
Ert: Yeah. I’ve looked ahead. It’s bad. Really, really bad.