1511: X-Com: Mass Effect: Chapter 3 Part 2

Title: X-Com: Mass Effect
Author: Dragonsong2795
Media: Video Game
Topic: Mass Effect/XCOM
Genre: Sci-Fi
URL:  Chapter 3
Critiqued by Erttheking

Ert: So, time for more weird ass, tranhumanist, humanity takes over the galaxy, ubermensch power fantasy?

Nora: You know it!

Ert: Goodie. So when we last left off, Turians decided to go on vacation in uncharted territory, which as it turns out is a bit like having a picnic in Somalia and as equally as advisable. Liara also went on there because she had caught the stupid virus, and since Shepard was, out of nowhere and with the grace of a horny teenager, established as being biesexual, I can already tell where this is going. Oh, and the author started shoving insufferably specific numbers down our throat, ones that even Vulcans would call anal.

Goeth: Moving on!

“Sir, the alien vessels have noticed us and are heading towards us. Spirits they’re fast. 26 units per tick (5,486 Kilometers) and rising” Primus reports to Victus as he keeps track of the alien ships heading towards them.

Goeth: So, out of curiosity, we did some research (Something the author never did) and we can’t find anything on “units”. We found nothing. Closest was the astronomical unit, the distance between Earth and the Sun. And seeing as how that clocked in at 150 million kilometers, it’s safe to say that this unit is something that the author just made up.

Nora: We went the extra mile and checked the Mass Effect wik. Nothing. Not a huge surprise though, Bioware would’ve come up with a more original and descriptive name than unit. Seriously, that’s so generic that making it identify something specific is a waste of time.

Victus nods at the information “Helm, as soon as they get within 40 units (8,440 kilometers) bring us to a dead stop”

Ert: This is probably going to kill me, but…fuck it. Starting now. These numbers are so obtuse, annoying and pretentious, that they deserved to be cataloged. A ding every time an author shoves numbers down our throat in an attempt to show off how smart he is, despite it adding nothing to the story. Starting now.

(I HAS NUMBERS Counter: 2)

The helm officer nods in acknowledgement of the order “Aye sir”

Victus then turns to the Weapons officer “Weapons, power down everything but the GARDIAN Array. We don’t want them to think we are hostile”

Ert: Uh, then why are you leaving the GARDIAN array online?

Goeth: Because everyone in this story needs to be a little stupid.

Primus reports their current distance “126 units (26,586 Kilometers) and closing sir”

(I HAS NUMBERS Counter: 3)

Primus then frowns and exclaims “Spirits damn it. Sir the Batarian slavers have just dropped out of FTL, they are charging weapons”

Ert: Let me guess. Let me guess. Batarians are going to attack humanity’s uber powerful starships that they have no chance of beating because they’re that stupid, evil and eat babies.

Goeth: What gave it away?

Ert: The fact that these power fantasy stories are only comfortable in giving humanity underwhelming enemies that they can beat in three seconds.

X-C:ME

Heddah Mr’kan the leader of the Batarian slavers doesn’t even wait for his sensor officer to report the conditions of the system they had just jumped into

Ert: Well I was close, but my reasoning was very spot on. Is Heddah’s spit roasted two month old boy ready yet?

“Weapons, disable those two ships, we’re not letting those future slaves escape again”

Little did he know that that one order would lead to the deaths of billions of Batarians, but as they say hindsight is twenty-twenty.

Nora: Uh, billions? I’m pretty sure that means humanity is going to commit genocide on the Batarian race. Taking the fandom’s hatred of Batarians to unreasonable and creepy levels.

Ert: And this is from Batarian perspective and has a Human saying. I’m a little sick of that as well, so I think it’s time for another counter. Between assuming aliens find value in gold and this, this counter gets a ding anytime obviously human values or sayings are either given or projected onto aliens.

(Anthropocentric Bag of Dicks Counter: 2)

X-C:ME

Shepard frowns as twenty new contacts appear on sensors. Artemis immediately reports the contacts “Twenty ships, no twenty warships. Eight are larger with dimensions of 700 meters by 500 meters by 200 meters. Twelve smaller ships with dimensions of 400 meters by 230 meters by 110 meters. All are heavily armed, biological scanning shows each of the larger ships cargo bays are filled with beings of a different species from the rest of ship. We have positive matches with the occupants of the original two vessels”

Ert: Man, these counters are going to be getting one hell of a workout.

(I HAS NUMBERS Counter: 4)

Ert: Nothing else to say really. This paragraph adds very little.

Shepard’s quick mind honed by over a century of ruling joins the dots first “Slavers, Artemis is there any way of disabling the ships without harming the slaves?”

Nora: Uh, is that the only conclusion that you can draw up? I’d like to point out that you yourself have ships that are packed with a variety of different species. How can you even decide that the cargo ships are carrying slaves? The fact that they’re cargo ships? They could be passenger ships. Stop jumping to conclusions! Deduct and reason!

Goeth: It’s funny that the Batarians are being depicted as irrational morons when Shepard is doing the very same thing. The narrative is just on her side.

Artemis immediately calculates the odds “Yes, the cargo bays are all near the bow and keel of the ships away from the core and other important areas, in case of an escape I would imagine”

Ert: How do you calculate the odds when it comes to an alien culture that you have never had contact with? There are countless unknown variables!

Shepard immediately responds “Send targeting data to the rest of the fleet, codename the large ships as Gamma’s and the small ones as Deltas and recall the CSSV Las Vegas”

Shepard closes her eyes and Psionically orders “Silent Star, Europa Child and Warrior’s Sin form up on the Research vessels, you’ll be codenamed Lambda. Lost Serendipity, Cairo, Beijing, Madrid, Adelaide, Seattle, York and San Francisco targeting data is being uploaded to you,

Nora: Yeah, this is why militaries tend to organize their forces into easily identifiable formations. And don’t tell me that it doesn’t matter because of the hive mind. This story clearly doesn’t give a damn about exploring the possibilities of a hive mind, so why start now?

Ert: I guess saying “First battle group” wouldn’t be as nearly as epic as clunky exposition on what humanity’s ships are called. Regardless of how little sense they make. I mean seriously, Europa Child?

disable the enemy ships codenamedGammas, also prepare boarding parties, you will be codenamed Alpha. Tokyo form up with the ‘Beaches of Normandy’ then as we fire on the targets codenamed Deltas, you’ll be Beta. I want you to micro-jump and protect the two original alien vessels. ‘Beaches of Normandy’ will be codenamed Omicron. Confirm?”

Ert: Question, why is the Normandy codenamed Omicron? Why are we jumping ahead ten letters in the alphabet?

Nora: And why is she introducing things out of order? Wouldn’t it be easier to identify all friendlies before enemies? And not jumping back and forth? Oh, and question. How is she actually identifying enemy ships?

Goeth: Something something something, hive mind.

From all of the Queens (CCS-Battlecruisers) and Shipmasters/mistresses (CRS-Light Cruisers) come ‘Confirmed, Executing orders’

Ert: Unfucking believable. Not only is humanity putting its only capable breeders in harms way AGAIN, but they’re stealing the naming system from the Elites, ALSO AGAIN! Jesus fucking Christ author, I have a question for you. If you love the Elites so much that you want humanity to be like them in every way, why do you have so little respect for them that you make them humanity’s bitches?

X-C:ME

The three first named CCS-Battlecruisers execute a micro-jump to provide protection for the Research Ships. Six of the CRS-Light Cruisers and the other CCS-Battlecruiser execute their own micro-jumps to get into position for their disabling strike. The CCSV Tokyo jumps between the Turian and Asari ships to protect them from the Batarians.

Nora: Congratulations, you just interfered in a conflict where you know absolutely nothing about what’s going on. For all you know the Batarian homeworld was destroyed by the Turians and Asari, and that fleet is the very last of the Batarian species.

Goeth: This is why we made the ubermensch comment at the start of the rift.

The CSSV ‘Beaches of Normandy’ opens fire with a withering salvo of two plasma bolts for each Batarian frigate, the frigate’s kinetic barriers flare with the first shot and then the second shot slams into the weakened barriers, beneath the barriers the outer edges of the Batarian ships start to glow as the extreme heat from the deflected shots is channeled into the ships hulls by their own kinetic barriers.

Ert: For the record I’m getting serious mixed messages from this story. First it tells me that this ships have power outputs that are triple of what a dreadnought can do, yet they aren’t one shotting the Batarian ships. It doesn’t make them any less overpowered, but it does draw out the Batarian’s suffering.

Nora: And while plasma is matter, therefore it would be blocked by kinetic barriers, the kinetic barriers would not block the heat and radiation a plasma blast would cause. It would just go through the barrier, it wouldn’t be channeled in. Where did that even come from?

Goeth: I’ve seen some works where energy is dispersed through the shield. But that’s usually to keep the ship safe. Here it does the opposite.

The Normandy fires one of its Plasma Beams at the leading frigate, the beam is easily deflected by the barriers due to its lack of kinetic energy,

Ert: Uh, that’s not how kinetic barriers work. And I’m pretty sure it’s not how plasma beams work either. If they’re going from ship to ship at a reasonable speed, they have kinetic energy. If they don’t have any speed behind them, then they should just pass through the shields. I just, what? I am so confused.

but the extreme heat of the deflected plasma slams into the unprotected ship and roasts the ship’s crew alive. After ten seconds of bombardment the Plasma Beam cuts out, mere moments later the barriers of the frigate collapse as the Mass Effect core goes supercritical. The frigate then explodes in a wave of blue fire as its core breaks through containment, a wave of volatile Element Zero slams into the barriers of the closest frigates weakening them somewhat.

Nora: I’d like to know why they were in a formation that was so tight that this was possible. I mean what’s the point of having an extremely tight formation in SPACE!? You can afford to spread out of bit, there’s plenty of room.

Goeth: And for some reason, plasma bolts (Not a term used in Halo for the record, the story probably meant plasma torpedoes) are more effective than beams (Which I’m not even sure exist in Halo) even though you’d think it’d be the other way around.

The eight sniper ships then simultaneously lance the barriers above the Element Zero cores of the Batarian cruisers with their plasma beams. Within mere seconds the Batarian cruisers are disabled as the extreme heat causes the core connections to melt to slag and render the ships useless

Ert: And within seconds the story contradicts itself. The lead frigate takes ten seconds to lose its shields and then longer to explode. The cruisers, HEAVIER ships, get reduced to slag in “mere” seconds. Make up your mind on how you want to do this story.

In response to the destruction of the frigate, the remaining frigates open up in a salvo of mass accelerator rounds that slam into the Normandy’s shields.

Nora: Turns out calling it the Beaches of Normandy was pretty pointless, seeing as how the author is reverting back to the Normandy’s original, less awkward to say name.

Shepard is thrown forwards as the inertial dampener stutters under the weight of the ordinance slamming into the shields. Shepard shouts in anger “Fire the Plasma Beams”

Ert: No. You can’t do that. You can’t say that the lightest human ship has shields three times stronger than the heaviest Council ship, turn around, and then act like frigate shots are actually doing something. Shepard’s angry? She massacred nearly a dozen starships and they returned fire, boo-fucking-hoo

Artemis appears in a holographic haze and replies “We cannot, our weapons are overheated, we never thought that we would come up against shielding of this type,

Goeth: Shields that only block the solid mass of the plasma and not the rest of it? What kind of shielding were you expecting? No shielding?

Ert: This is what happens when you refuse to look at Prothean artifacts because you’re a stuck up bunch of pricks. You miss important shit.

they were never built to sustain fire for that long, because they are all so close together one going out of commission took the rest out as well”

Goeth: Who’s the amateur that designed a weapons system that overheats after a single volley and takes down the entire array with it?

Ert: Vahlen apparently, as if the real Vahlen would be caught dead with her name on something to shoddy.

Shepard growls in anger “Then what about the Plasma Bolts?”

Artemis nods “They are still able to fire but they won’t be able to sustain the rate of fire for long. Maybe a dozen or so shots each time before they overheat, then a ten second cool-down”

Nora: There’s so much tension in this fight you guys! Half of the Batarians are dead and humanity can only fire their plz nerf weapons a dozen times every ten seconds! They might lose! You know. If the Batarians had a thousand more ships.

Shepard turns to the Ordinance Officer Kristen Shepard “Ordinance, open fire. If the engagement threatens to go on for too long or they threaten the civilians or the first group then prepare the Mark IV Tactical Nukes and launch them” Kristen pales,

Ert: I like how they’re trying to make nukes some sort of dangerous line to cross, when in Halo the UNSC was chucking them at the Covenant left, right and center.

the Mark IV is a fifty megaton super-weapon,

Goeth: *Snort* So, the strongest nuke ever made? Back in the 1960s? Exactly that strong, and potentially twice as strong.

Ert: We normally wouldn’t make that comparison as even today most nations aren’t imitating the Tsar Bomba, but considering how masturbatory this fan fiction is, I’m rather underwhelmed by its nuclear capabilities.

worse however is the fact that it is actually fifty, one megaton miniature missiles arranged inside a HYDRA launching missile. The enemy would be swarmed by fifty nukes and their CIWS systems wouldn’t be able to compensate for the amount of missiles launched at them.

Ert: FOR THE LOVE OF FUCKING CHRIST CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SUE THIS GUY!? Because I used this exact same idea in From the Ashes! Except it was less stupid there, because it was on a ship purely dedicated to shooting misses!

Goeth: Yes, I’m not certain that fifty nuclear missiles clustered together is a good idea. One shot from a laser (Which moves at the speed of light, far faster than anything those missiles could manage) and they call go off from the resulting daisy chain.

Nora: Although the story gets props for a mythology reference that isn’t pretentious and makes sense.

The ‘Normandy’ opens up with another salvo of Plasma Bolts that slam once more into the kinetic barriers of the Batarians, the two frigate whose barriers were weakened from the destruction of their comrade only take a single bolt before their barriers fail and the follow up bolt guts their ship causing massive plumes of fire and atmosphere to shoot out from the doomed vessels carrying unfortunate crewmembers into the harsh vacuum of space.

Ert: PERIODS! USE THEM!

Nora: And grammar, use that too.

Then their Mass Effect cores go supercritical and the wave of supercritical Element Zero effectively disintegrate the spaced crewmembers.

The remaining nine Batarian frigates launch another salvo and the ‘Normandy’s shields begin to glow red as they are overloaded by the sheer kinetic energy of the shots.

Ert: The five kilometer long ship is about to lose its shields to frigates. If the smallest human ship was three times stronger than a dreadnought, I can only imagine how powerful this thing is. And the author is trying to tell us that it’s about to lose its shields. Yeah. No. I dub this false drama.

Nora: Spoiler alert. A much lighter ship than the Normandy gets into a battle with more Batarians later on. Let’s just say from the results of that battle, the idea of humanity struggling here is laughable at best and inconsistent and pathetic at worse.

Two of the shots were actually aimed for the Turian and Asari ship, but were caught by the Normandy’s shields.

Ert: *Sigh*

Nora: Guidelines that even slavers would live by. What is essentially a weapon of mass destruction is something aimed with precision.

Shepard immediately notices this “Ordinance, lock on and launch the Mark IV’s at the remaining Deltas”

Kristen nods and quickly types in the command that would launch four hundred and fifty megatons of nuclear fire at the frigates.

Goeth: There’s tension! Humanity could lose! Ok bored now, nuke em.

Ert: Basically.

X-C:ME

Aboard the Batarian frigate ‘Might of Harak’ the captain of the vessel one Volkor Dr’kas

Ert:…ONE! FUCKING! LETTER!

Nora: Huh?

Ert: One fucking letter away from one of my characters! Volker!

smiles as he watches the alien Dreadnought scramble, their weapons are powerful but he can clearly see that they are overheating rapidly. Just as he is about to order another salvo of mass accelerator rounds his sensor officer shouts out “Captain, the alien Dreadnought has launched nine missiles, they are on a intercept course for us and the other frigates”

Volkor laughs in amusement “These primitives think that one missile can get through our GARDIAN lasers? Show them how wrong they are-“

Nora: Ironically this just proves how stupid the concept of the HYDRA missile is. If the character with a first name suspiciously close to a friend of mine’s hadn’t stopped to gloat, a laser could’ve hit that missile before it separated.

Goeth: This is detached from reality anyway. Unless you’re me, you don’t gloat when half of your navy has been destroyed and you’ve yet to inflict a single loss upon the enemy. And I’m smart enough to never get in that situation.

The Sensor officer shouts over his captain “Sir each missile has split into fifty smaller missiles, I am getting a reading on them. SIR they have launched powerful fission missiles at us”

The Weapons officer shouts out “Sir the GARDIAN lasers cannot get a lock on the alien missiles, they are moving too erratically for our lasers to get a lock on them”

Ert: THEY’RE FUCKING LASERS! When you fire a laser, it hits its target instantaneously provided you aren’t shooting from the far end of a star system! They can’t target them? FUCK THAT! Lazy writing as its finest!

Volkor growls in rage “Open fire, try to blow those missiles out of the void”

Nora: So keep doing the thing we already told you wasn’t working?

Ert: Look, I didn’t write this story, just play along so we can go home.

X-C:ME

The ‘Might of Harak’ and its sister frigates open fire on the four hundred and fifty missiles screaming down on them at nearly a tenth of the speed of light, their GARDIAN laser arrays open fire… only for the massive wave of nuclear missiles to easily avoid getting locked on and over thirty missiles impact each ship.

Ert: They’re not even giving a good explanation as for why nearly three-hundred missiles were able to avoid getting hit. They just did. Because humanity has a large collective dick.

The void of space is filled with nine nuclear pyres burning the remains of the Batarian frigates to cosmic dust.

A dozen or so fighters manage to launch from the disabled cruisers and fly towards the Tokyo, perhaps hoping to get a least a single kill

Nora: Does the author not understand that when you’ve seen your entire force routed, most people drop what they’re doing and running away? Yes, yes we get, you hate Batarians, therefore they do everything possible to get themselves killed.

Goeth: This is what the young ones call literature.

At least three pilots die from the radiation left over from the nuclear strike.

Ert: That strike was such a cumshot I’m surprised it’s only that.

Shepard sends out the next order ‘Alpha, launch boarding parties towards the target you disabled, do not let them execute the slaves, they are probably preparing to do so’

Nora: You know, they still haven’t confirmed the existence of those slaves.

Goeth: Maybe Shepard has the power of clairvoyance on top of everything else.

mere seconds after the order is sent each ship in Alpha sends out two Skyrangers that go screaming towards the disabled Batarian cruisers at high speeds.

Ert: Skyrangers being well known for their SPACE FARING CAPABILITIES! Oh right, they came up with an entirely new design but kept the same name. Silly me, I was expecting something that made sense.

The Tokyo shifts away from the cruisers and joins the Normandy in picking off the fighters.

Ert: Random nitpick. In Mass Effect humanity was the one who came up with the idea of using ships to carry fighters. A slaver cruiser would not have fighters to launch.

Within seconds of the commando Skyrangers have clamped onto the hull and created an airtight seal (A/N: If anyone is interested this is actually a maneuver from Halo Canon, the only difference is that Pelicans are used instead)

Nora: Yeah, except during them it wasn’t being done by people we hate. Also don’t fracture the flow of your story for random trivia.

The highly trained Commandos and Sangheili burst forth onto the Batarian cruisers, taking captives or killing Batarians with quick ruthless efficiency. Less than ten minutes later they have reached the Cargo Bays and secured the slaves.

Ert: I don’t even know why you bothered writing a boarding scene. You might as well have said “And then they won.”

Twenty minutes from the start of the boarding every Batarian onboard the cruisers is dead or captive.

Ert: So am I going to have to be the one to point out the elephant in the room? Batarians might have taken other Batarians as slaves. I mean if a Batarian mercenary was taken as a slave, I doubt anyone would have that much of a problem with it.

Nora: No no Ert, you don’t understand. Every last Batarian deserves to die :D. Species don’t have massive and complex cultures, every last one of them thinks the same way. Except for humanity.

Ert: No…not even humanity.

The last fighter explodes in a hail of shrapnel as it attempts to ram the Tokyo and is torn to shreds by the Tokyo’s CIWS Plasma array.

Goeth: For being self serving, Batarians sure are suicidal when it comes to trying to do anything to hurt humanity. I don’t think the author knows what self serving is.

X-C:ME

Adrien Victus watches with a gaping mouth and flared mandibles at the incredible battle that the sensors reported. He shakes his head in disbelief at the speed with which the aliens attacked and completely overwhelmed the Batarians.

Nora: Well then, any and all pretense of this being a tense fight just went flying out of the window.

He prayed extra hard along with every member of his bridge crew that the aliens are friendly for what felt like the thousandth time in the last ten minutes.

He could say without any doubt in his mind that the wave of fission weapons the unknowns had launched had terrified him beyond anything else, if they had missiles like that for ships, what in the spirits name could was power their anti-planetary weapons could bring to bear?”

Goeth:  Well we better get used to this then.  Because I get the feeling we’re going to be seeing it a lot.

Ert:  Yeah, because for some reason people find aliens to be gawking at humanity’s bullshit to be endearing

X-C:ME

“By the Goddess” Liara mutters as she watches the powerful weapons of the alien ships fly by. Liara shakes her head slightly “What manner of technology do these being have, to launch something so… so powerful?” Liara asks unaware she is still open comm with the ‘Light of Menae’, although there is slight static from the radiation of the fission bomb detonations.

Goeth:  Well, I did call it.

Nora:  It’s kind of sad really.  Clearly the author only cares about humanity.  Humanity is the best and everything else needs to be like humanity.  I could’ve sworn that the Protheans were like that in Mass Effect, and that was pointed to as one of the main reasons they were wiped out by the Reapers, but now I’m just expecting logic from a Mass Effect fanfiction

She jumps in shock when the Turian Comm officer mutters “Whatever technology they have, I hope by the spirits they are friendly”

Liara just nods “You and me both”

Ert:  Aheh…I feel so sorry for you.

X-C:ME

Shepard sighs in relief as the reports of the prisoners of all eight ships are reported safe and sound if a little cramped. The entire bridge crew of the ‘Beaches of Normandy’ sigh with her, Shepard then shakes her head while she thinks of what to do. Then she has a bright idea

Nora:  First time for everything huh?

“Shepard to Boarding crews, prepare the ship for being towed. Group Alpha latch onto your target vessels and transport them to Shanxi, no FTL. Artemis send a simple video to the two originals indicating we’d like to meet on Shanxi” Shepard then shifts to Psionic ‘Las Vegas, return to Shanxi and locate a flat plain, we need a large amount of free space. Group Lambda, remain on alert. If anymore ships appear please inform me.

Goeth:  Not a first time for everything, as this doesn’t make much sense.   Why land when it’d be easier to remain on orbit?  And why communicate via video?

Tokyo please destroy the Delta’s debris. Confirm?’

The response is immediate ‘Confirm’ The Tokyo’s port plasma beam vaporizes a Batarian frigate remnant with a three second burst of sustained fire.

Ert:  And that added what?  Nothing?  Ok then,  I already consider every second I spend reading this to be time wasted, why make it matter now?

X-C:ME

“Lieutenant Victus, we have received a video message showing a image of us travelling to the Second Planet of this System” The Comm officer reports to Victus.

Ert:  Glad Shepard had a fucking graphic designer lying around for just such an occasion.

Nora:  Oh blah blah blah, “they’re artists” or something.

Victus nods his understanding “Helm, set course for the second planet, full sublight speed. Comm inform Mrs. T’Kani to follow us. Sergeant Kryik please inform the crew of what is happening”

Sergeant Nihlus Kryik salutes Victus and exits the bridge

X-C:ME

It takes several hours for all the ships to arrive in orbit over Shanxi, most disconcerting to the Asari and Turians is the giant ring of metal on the northern continent. However Shepard just snaps her fingers and shouts “That’s where it went” to the laugher of her bridge crew and consort.

Ert: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  I LOST AN INCREDABLY VALUABLE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT!  IT’S FUCKING FUNNY!

Shepard wearing her Royal armor

Nora:  Oh god, not that eyesore again.

departs on a Skyranger for a large grassy plain on the southern continent of Shanxi, a shuttle from the Turian ship and Liara’s whole ship descend down following the Skyranger. As all three land on the plain, the ‘Beaches of Normandy’ takes up a hovering position twenty kilometers straight above the landing site, a hundred meters from the landing site the eight disable Batarian cruisers are lowered to the ground.

Goeth:  Again, it would have been much easier for that to all remain in orbit.  Mass Effect cruisers actually can’t have active cores inside a planet with significant gravity, they get torn apart.

Ert:  Author loves his BS science but can’t read the in game codex.

As Liara disembarks from her ship she stops dead with awestruck wonder and her mouth hanging open at the sight of the massive ship hovering in the air above her without any sight of the customary blue glow of a Mass Effect field negating it’s mass.

Nora:  Awe awe awe awe, you’d think the author would get tired of typing that word out over and over again.  Apparently not.  Because why tell a story when you can talk about how great your one dimensional faction is.

Victus and his men are similarly awed, but their Turian discipline prevents them from following Liara’s example.

Goeth:  *Snort*

Ert:  The people who wainted earlier.  Right.

Shepard walks out into the empty space between the Skyranger with Mikhail on her right and Thel on her left, Turian shuttle and Liara’s Ship. Immediately all the Turians and Liara focus on her, Liara gasps ‘She looks like a Nephilim, but… more, she has something, something more than the visual differences, that the Nephilim do not possess, could she be a different form of Nephilim? Or perhaps she is something different yet similar’ and the obviously different alien standing next to her.

Nora:  Yeah no.  This is the only time in the story that the exile clan was mentioned.  Once again they add absolutely nothing, except to remind me of how creepy Shepard’s rule is.

Victus’ mandibles flare is slight shock ‘Two Alien races, working together! Perhaps I was a little to paranoid’ Victus frowns ‘But why does she look so similar to the Nephilim, are their species related in some manner?’

Ert:  DUUUUUUUR!  I stupid!  I not human!  I need hand held!

Nora:  It’s not enough that humanity needs to be better at everything, aliens aren’t allowed to have common sense.

Liara just gasps at the beautiful decorations present on Shepard’s armor, she wonders what Shepard’s culture is like to have produced such a ornate and elegant but practical armor.

Ert:  Practical?  PRACTICAL!?  Here’s a quick bit of advice.  Ornate and elegent don’t go together with practical.  Ornate and elegant are for showing off and practical is for getting shit done.  PICK ONE!

Taking the initiative Shepard strides over to Liara and before anyone can reach taps a finger to her forehead.

Shepard grins at the mind she discovers and the little deception Liara has perpetrated Shepard then says in perfect Thessian “You know, your mother is probably panicking right now young maiden. You should be ashamed of yourself, you let your own desires for adventure override your intellect. I hope you will apologize to your mother for the scare you have most likely put her through, Liara T’Soni”

Ert:  Yeah, I know that you want me to like this Shepard author, to make me think she’s kind, loving and funny.  Except I hate her and I want her to die because she’s a condescending bitch to everyone and treats them like naughty children which makes her come off as arrogant and self righteous and I wished the Ethereals had ripped her mind apart.

Victus’ mouth drops open in shock while Liara just nods numbly to what Shepard said. Shepard turns to Victus and taps his head as well and then is perfect Palavien says “Worry not Adrien Victus, I cannot read your races secrets from your mind.

Nora:  Due to the magical powers of the author trying really really hard to make me the good guy of this story.

Ert:  Trying and failing hard.  And Shepard violates the inner sanctity of someone’s mind.  Again.

Only that which you are currently thinking of. I hope your people are alright, those Sons of Bitches must have done a real number on them”

Victus gets over his shock when midway through her sentence Shepard quickly swaps from Palavien to another language and back. The language she spoke was somewhat musical, if rough, it was obvious she was cursing and most likely referring to the Batarians so he says “I don’t quite know what you said, but I am assuming you are referring to the Batarians that were chasing my ship and Mrs. T’Kani’s”

Shepard frowns and then revelation hits her “Oh you mean Liara, the name she gave you was just an alias she used to run away from her mother. So those four-eyed monsters are called Batarians” Her eyes harden and her honor guard stiffen with anger and righteous fury “They are slavers and I must punish them, the vow demands it”

Nora: Uh, Shepard? That’s out of your jurisdiction. At this point the Batarians are still a part of the Council and they were attacking Council citizens. You have ZERO authority here. You got involved with a matter that does not concern you. You have no right to administer any punishment. But you’re going to. Because no one dares oppose the almighty Shepard. If they did, they’d deserve to die.

Victus frowns in thought “The vow?”

Shepard nods absently “Yes, my people made a vow to prevent monsters like the Batarians from landing on our homeworld long ago, in order to fulfill this vow we must slay all monsters to prevent them from breeding and becoming numerous enough to attack us”

Ert:…THAT’S A FUCKING WARHAMMER 40K MINDSET! Are you serious. Are you FUCKING SERIOUS!? You try to make an enlightened humanity, and you have Shepard say something that fucking Ordos Xenos would say to justify exterminating a stone age alien race?

Victus is taken back by the matter of fact way Shepard states coldly murdering the Batarians, Shepard notices and sighs “You must think my race is very brutal,

Ert: I don’t think. I know.

but we do have laws to protect those who fight against us in the name of others and we do not kill all prisoners, simply those which cannot be redeemed”

Nora: The story flat out stated the humanity is going to kill billions of Batarians, so this attempt at maintaining the moral high ground is laughable.

Goeth: Even then, the idea that they’ll only kill those who are irredeemable is absurd. Who are they to say who is irredeemable?

Thel having walked up when Shepard ‘read’ Victus after receiving Thessian from Mikhail states “My people find great honor in the Humans,

Goeth: Only because the author tells you to.

they are kind and honest, if secretive. They are slow to trust,

Nora: How do you figure? They pretty much let anyone into their society right away. You know. Once they agree to be submissive vassals.

Ert: Certainly is a new take on being slow to trust. Not trusting someone to have freedom or independence.

but a greater ally you couldn’t have, they are quick to defend and prefer peace over war from what I have seen in my twenty-seven years I have spent with them”

Ert: I want to remind everyone. Billions of Batarians are going to die.

Nora: Writing tip. When writing, make sure what your characters do and what they say line up.

Victus looks at them both and asks “Who are you?”

Shepard shakes her head in exasperation “I apologize Lieutenant Victus, I am used to everyone knowing my name as a Clan Queen. I am Suzanne Shepard, a Queen of Clan Shepard. My race is known as the Novus, but we are also called Humans, The Benevolent Ones and the Star Walkers by the other two races we are allied with”

Goeth: Humble.

Nora: Shepard. Why would he care what other races call you? He wouldn’t. Because you’re showing off, not introducing yourself. This is the story building a monument to Shepard’s ego.

Shepard not quite trusting the Citadel races keeps her true rank hidden.

Ert: The Citadel is a space station. The Council, on the other hand, is a government body.

Thel quickly picks up on the deception and plays along “I am Thel’ Vadam, a Kaidon or Clan Lord of the Sangheili. I am one of the original Sangheili ambassadors to the Novus”

Nora: See Shepard? The got it out nice and quick. “I’m X, my position is Y, and I’m also an ambassador.” Not “I”m X My position is Y I am of Z and I am called A, B and C.”

Victus nods in acknowledgement of what he has been told “I am Adrien Victus, a Lieutenant of the Turians. But you appear to know that already”

Shepard shakes her head “I knew your name and the name of your race, I knew nothing of your culture or rank. You have told me of your rank, But I would like to learn more about your culture. As would Thel, he was quite interested when your ship design showed that your people must rarely retreat”

Goeth:  A conclusion that you had no evidence to reach but that’s nothing new and the author is just making things up as he goes along.

Victus nods in shock, they had discovered something fundamental to his race just from their ship design! “I am not the best to speak of such things”

Thel shakes his head “Nonsense, you are a soldier, in my experience the soldier above all knows the true nature of a culture as he is one who protects it”

Ert: Yeah that’s a load of horseshit. Particularly if your culture is politically divided with one side being anti-war and/or anti-military. Look at the American military for example, it’s heavily slanted towards Republican supporters

Victus slowly nods in agreement with a slight smile “I think that I like the way you think”

Thel laughs loudly “I am a soldier who must play a being a politician, it is no surprise that you are familiar with the way I think. Shepard is another, older and wiser then I though”

Nora: Pretty sure that Elites would identify as warriors, not soldiers.

Ert: They haven’t been acting like Elites at all since they got here, why have them start now?

Goeth: It’d throw us off if nothing else.

Liara interjects “What do you mean, I am no expert but she doesn’t appear to be that old”

Shepard laughs at Liara’s response “How old are you Liara?”

Liara blushes in embarrassment “I am only eighty years old”

Shepard shakes her head “I am one hundred and sixty-six years of age. Over double your age, I think Thel has the right to say I am older and wiser than him”

Ert: Why does it have to be a freaking dramatic reveal? And why is Liara even doubting Shepard’s true age? Her race lives to be a freaking millennia old, clearly she would’ve thought of that!

Nora: I know Liara asked nicely, but it still comes off as annoying.

Goeth: No mention to how long the Elites live, I can’t help but notice. They’re just a side show on the human power trip.

Liara steps back in shock “Goddess, I had no idea, I’m sorry”

Shepard shakes her head in amusement “Don’t be, I have long come to terms with my age, it stopped bothering me over eighty years ago. When I became a Queen, my age became useless knowledge amongst all the duties of a leader”

Ert: Ok first of all, the grammar in that sentence is a mess. Second of all, age is important. The longer you live, the longer you learn (Well the longer MOST people learn)

Liara stopped her frantic apologies and laughs slightly, Shepard cocks her head “What is so funny?”

Liara sobers up slightly “It’s just that my mother once said something similar to me”

Shepard nods in agreement “Once you have people depending on you Liara age becomes meaningless whether you are eighty or eight hundred,

Nora: No, she didn’t say that. You just made this up so that something the wise Matriarch Benezia said would validate something your insufferable Mary Sue said

Goeth: They do have a tendency to warp reality around them.

you are still responsible and must forget such trivial matters such as age and vanity. People care little for a pompous ruler who takes hours to get ready and moans about her age,

Nora: Uh, ok. This got weird with the old “Women take ages to get ready” stereotype. Something that’s utterly hypocritical considering we’ve seen Shepard’s over the top and pompous wardrobe.

but they’ll march into damnation for one who cares little for airs and vanity and age,

Ert: Says who? I want a little fucking more from my leader than that. Actual competence for starters.

Goeth: I have neither! Goeth for Galactic Emperor 2188!

one who will walk beside them as they walk into damnation, that is what people want”

Nora: I think most people prefer to not walk into damnation in the first place. Also, I know fiction love to romanticize front line leaders, but that’s actually a very impractical approach, considering it’s not much good if the leader is dead. We’ve used it before so I won’t harp on it too much, but this story manages to make it the stupidest thing this species could do.

Ert: Moments like this make me upset I missed Shepard’s wedding. I would’ve had the perfect song to play.

Victus nods in agreement “Yes, I am fairly unusual in that instead of sticking to set tactics I’ll go out of my way to protect my men’s lives and because of that they’ll follow me anywhere I lead. So I understand what you are talking about”

Ert: A hell of a lot less interesting way of putting Victus than the way the game did it. That’s the thing about a lot of fan fiction. When they do manage to include elements that were actually in the game, they tend to be lesser.

Shepard smiles at Victus “I would love to one day stand beside you and shed blood together in battle. You are one I would trust to watch my back in the horror that is war”

Nora: Hold on now! You’re describing a concept that’s actually interesting! Dare I say, you’re describing what this story SHOULD HAVE DONE!

Ert: Think about it! A First Contact War that has the Turians and humanity teaming up against the Ethereals! I’d much rather be reading that than this crap!

Victus straightens up at the praise “Thank you, I would like that as well. But I would like better to be telling stories together afterwards to the next generation”

Goeth: She never said anything about dying.

Shepard laughs with Thel and Mikhail “I think I would not do well as the old veteran, I will stand and fight until the end. Even if half crippled with age I would still go out fighting, but that is who I am. Few others among my people are like that”

Nora: Did Shepard forget that the author made her immortal or is she just being an asshole?

Ert: So instead of being the old veteran, she will be…the old veteran. Jesus Christ, nothing hurts more than a dumbass trying to sound profound.

Victus shakes his head in bemusement “Normally the races I am used to all have a certain persona that they stick to, a cultural ideal that they stick to.

Goeth: And the game then went out of its way to give your party members that directly contradicted those ideals. The strict Turian philosophy, the proud Asari leader, the reckless Krogan. We got the cowboy cop Garrus, the quiet and isolated Liara and the more thoughtful Wrex.

Ert: I recall Wrex sarcastically saying that all Krogan think the same and only humans have diverse views.  Apparently the author thought he was being serious.

But you, you move from have a Turian’s honor to a Krogan’s love of battle to a Asari’s diplomacy it is strange, but at the same time interesting”

Shepard nods while chuckling “That is simply what my people are like, we range from great warriors to scientists and even artists and writers,

Nora: Wow! I forgot that there are no such thing as Asari writers and artists! I thought that they could only be leaders

we do not fit a niche, but instead occupy them all. We shift from one extreme to another, simply out of curiosity as to what it is like to be different to what we already are. Perhaps we are not dedicated to one pursuit, one ideology, but instead to all of them” Shepard stops and thinks for a second and then says in a voice that sounds like billions or even trillions are speaking in chorus “We are Eternal, yet we are ephemeral. We are individuals all, but also simultaneously a Clan, an Empire and a Race, we are separated by light-years yet never alone. We are fast in thought and motion, but slow to anger. We are the scientist, but also the dreamer. The soldier and the pacifist. We are the light and the dark. We are everything and nothing. We have embraced eternity and yet act like we know not of it. We are contradiction given form but also unity given shape. We have no purpose and every purpose”

Ert: I just. Wow. This story really is running out of ways to talk about how awesome humanity is, but that isn’t stopping it from giving us more every three seconds! *Sigh* And who…are you…the proud lord said, that I must bow so low…only a cat of a different coat, that’s all the truth I know…

Goeth: Also none of this is actually true. Shepard is not a scientist, an artist or even a writer. I’ll even debate her being a great warrior. Anyone with a sniper rifle can kill a roman legionary from half a mile away, that doesn’t make them a great leader. That’s all we’ve seen from Shepard, fights like that. The hive mind is woefully underused, so no you are not simultaneously a clan. You are not fast in thought, and as will be shown in the future you are quick to anger. She is not a dreamer, and she most certainly isn’t a pacifist. And after that she isn’t actually saying anything, just a bunch of nonsense. What’s more, all of humanity was forced into castes, so them being multiple things is just laughable.

Nora: “We have no purpose and every purpose.” Yeah author, the fuck does that actually mean?

Victus, the Turians and Liara are staring at Shepard in awe while Thel is slowly beginning to comprehend the true nature of Humanity, a task that has taken him over two decades and is still not yet complete.

Nora: Sorry Thel. The bowels of Shepard’s pretentiousness has yet to be fully explored.

Shepard smiles brightly and finishes with “We are unprecedented, thus we have taken that as our name. We are the Novus”

Ert: Because you sure as fuck ain’t humanity.

Liara shakes her head in bewilderment “I cannot even comprehend what you are talking about.

Ert: THERE’S NOTHING TO FUCKING COMPREHEND!

I think I can understand it but the moment I try”

“Understanding slips away, like it wasn’t even there to begin with?” Shepard asks.

Liara nods in response and Shepard laughs “Do not worry Liara, it would be impossible for you to know what I am talking about, simply because you are one person with one view.

Nora: Yet I told you anyway even though I knew you wouldn’t understand. I’m an asshole like that.

Ert: A giant gaping throbbing one.

I am one person also, but I have a trillion different viewpoints with which to observe the universe. You do not have… a word encompassing enough to describe what I am saying”

Goeth: Oh, a trillion different viewpoints. Give me a couple. Oh yeah that’s right. You actually don’t. Because all of humanity has become carbon copies of each other with no individuality. And your population hasn’t reached a trillion yet

Shepard frowns “Speaking is so inefficient,

Goeth: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

you cannot grasp my ideas and emotions, you simply attempt to piece together the fragments that you are given, but without a picture to base them off they come out wrong”

Victus frowns in thought “What do you mean speaking is so inefficient, it is the only way to communicate face to face”

Ert: He says as there is an Asari in the room, a race that can communicate from mind to mind

Shepard shakes her head in exasperation, the brightens as if she has had an idea. She puts her finger to Victus’ head and suddenly.

Victus gasps as trillions of voices and sensations rush through him in an instant followed by a rush of pleasure and adrenaline.

Ert: WOULD YOU FUCKING STOP DOING THAT!? A mind is a sanctuary and not something you can barge into whenever you fucking feel like it you FUCKING C-WORD!

(Fuck Shepard Counter: 16)

Goeth: Trillions of voices and sensations? Yes, I have the feeling this would end tragically. Victus would most likely have his mind shattered by this

Shepard breaks the contact and Victus staggers back slightly. He looks at Shepard and his mind says subconsciously, but also consciously. ‘Shepard, Ancient, Original, Queen, Ruler, Warrior, Soldier, Guardian, Diplomat, Mother’ Then Victus shakes his head to clear it of the strange thoughts. He looks back at Shepard and asks “What was that?”

Nora: Buzz words that mean nothing and try and build Shepard up as being some sort of master of all, despite her not doing anything to earn it.

Ert: She isn’t ancient, sure as fuck isn’t original, is a shitty ruler, isn’t a warrior, isn’t a Guardian, is a shitty diplomat and brought her daughter into a war zone. Fuck this bitch.

Goeth: I expect him to start spewing nonsense and scribbling “Tekeli-li” on the walls over and over again.

Shepard smiles at Victus “That… is the Hive Mind, that is the force that links every Novus together”

Ert: I forced you head first into it instead of telling you about it beforehand because fuck you. I’m Empress of all reality and I do whatever the fuck I ant.

Liara frowns in thought “A Hive Mind, like the Rachni?”

Shepard frowns at the strange word “Rachni? What are they?”

Nora: She read the mind of a two year old before, why not do it again?

Ert: Oh right, despite the author spouting that Shepard finds talking impractical, he forgot to make her actions line up with her words.

Liara’s eyes widen then she stammers “S-sorry, I forgot you are not a member of the Citadel, you just seemed to integrate so well. The Rachni are an ancient race of insects that nearly wiped out the Citadel races two thousand years ago, they never communicated to us, never attempted diplomacy, so they were all killed”

Shepard shakes her head as tears of sadness for a race long dead stream down her cheeks

Ert: *Slaps Shepard* NO! FUCK YOU!

“It is a tragedy, what must have happened. The Rachni probably couldn’t understand your diplomats. They might have thought that you kind were leaderless and therefore feral, they were probably looking for a Hive Mind and couldn’t find one”

Ert: And this theory explains the countless worlds that the Rachni overran and the billions they slaughtered how? Or are you trying to rip off Ender’s Game along with everything else? No wait, I get it. The Council is always wrong and you’re always right. Even though all of the evidence points to the Rachni being mindless monsters who kill for the sake of killing.

Nora: Even though the Rachni devastated the Council for nearly a century. Even though they refused to surrender when the Krogan pushed them back to their homeworld. Even though the evidence heavily points to the Rachni being indoctrinated. You’re saying that the Rachni were innocent. Because they were like YOU! That’s the only thing you have in your defense. They have a hive mind, you have a hive mind, therefore they must be innocent.

(Anthropocentric Bag of Dicks Counter: 3)

(Fuck Shepard Counter: 17)

Goeth: *Snort* Thought that they were feral. Yes, feral creatures are very capable of fighting an organized war for three centuries. At least Ender’s Game had the excuse that the Buggers knew humanity had leaders, they just thought that they were killing a few million mindless drones to prove a territory point. They were deeply troubled when they learned that that wasn’t the case. Because that story knew how hive minds worked.

Liara pales as she thinks that over, a viewpoint she had never considered before, what if the Rachni had thought them non-sentient or feral “I-I believe y-you may b-be correct, Goddess d-di my ancestors kill an i-innocent race?”

Ert: Kinda. Although I do consider them to be justified in doing it, considering it was either kill the Rachni or let all space faring races at the time be exterminated. No one knew about indoctrination at the time, so there was no real way around it. And no one knows about it now, so turn the water works the fuck OFF!

Liara start to cry at the thought of her ancestors doing something so evil, of the pure ideal she had held onto for her entire life becoming stained with the nightmare of reality.

Ert: Um, what ideal? That’s a singular term you used there. So what was it? Rachni=bad? Because if it is, once again the author utterly screws the pooch. The fact that the Rachni weren’t fully responsible for the Rachni Wars is supposed to be a reveal in Mass Effect 1. But fuck that, we need humanity to be self righteous. In the same chapter that they execute citizens of a sovereign nation.

Shepard shakes her head and pulls Liara into a hug, to Victus it looks like the kind a mother would give to comfort her children

Nora: And since we’re half sure that this Shepard was going to bone Liara (Hard to tell, the story never got that far) this is kinda creepy.

“Hush little one, your ancestors fought for their lives, do not demean their sacrifices with hindsight.

Ert: This scene was already insulting and confusing and now you just even made it more so. You would’ve earned this scene if it had come after meeting the Rachni Queen and learned the truth about the Rachni Wars from the horse’s mouth. But you didn’t. So shut the fuck up.

It is easy to look back and judge, when you know all the facts. But it is very difficult to actually learn such things when fighting. Trust me, I have fought in a war that resulted in the extinction of a race. Was what my people did right? Was what I did right? Maybe not.

Nora: Uh, what race? The Ethereals? Because you keep acting like they may not actually be dead, considering how you keep an eye out for them.

Ert: And, again, considering the way you’re going to be executing people over a conflict you forced yourself into mid-way, no. What you did was no right.

But, it was the only way for my kind to survive. My people have a saying ‘When faced with Extinction. ANY alternative, no matter how terrible, is preferable’ Would we destroy an entire race to protect innocents? Yes, even if we are feared and reviled. We would destroy them, so that the innocents are still alive to fear us and hate us.

Goeth: Well, except for all of the innocents who are dead, seeing as you clearly are no longer talking about the Rachni and are talking about the Batarians.

Remember this Liara T’Soni, you are not a warrior, you are a scholar. You do not understand war or the fear that comes with the knowledge your people are on the brink of death, nor do you understand the guilt that comes from knowing you destroyed an entire race.

Ert: WHAT GUILT!? You’ve never shown guilt for anything! You just talk about how superior your race is, and how you’re so much better than the Ethereals. Now, apparently you feel guilty over what you did. Without telling me what that thing is. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND!

Nora: Whatever you have to say to earn our sympathy at that very moment huh? We are peaceful and protective. KILL THE MONSTERS! I’m sad that I killed the monsters :(.

(Fuck Shepard Counter: 18)

But considering the alternative? I prefer the guilt of killing an entire race, to that of leaving innocents to suffer just so I can say my hands are clean of blood”

Nora: Shepard seems to be a little ignorant here. Killing an entire race and the suffering of innocents tend to overlap. She’s running on Always Chaotic Evil logic here, something very few Mass Effect races are.

Liara nods slowly, but exhausted from her exertions and the revelations given to her from Shepard she collapses in Shepard’s arms. Shepard shakes her head “I just cannot help but find people to care for”

Goeth: Only if she’s in positions of overwhelming authority over them. I can’t help but notice.

Nora: And she collapses, because Shepard is everyone’s mother. In a Big Brother way.

She turns to Victus “We have been talking for quite a while, the slaves of the ‘Batarians’ have been loaded aboard my ship, your people are welcome to come aboard and have some relaxation from having to work a ship”

Nora: I think Ert is going to throw his computer out of the window if he sees apostrophes abused much more.

Ert: No fucking reason for them…

Victus smiles gratefully “Thank you, I humbly accept your offer, but I must ask that your people do not try to learn any secrets from my ship while it is vacant”

Thel walks forwards and places his right hand over his left heart “You have my word, a group of my finest and most trusted will guard your ship”

Ert: Uh, I’d rather you just stay the hell away from it, or let one of our own guard it instead. I mean after all-

Nora: A GROUP OF MY FINEST AND MOST TRUSTED WILL GUARD YOUR SHIP!

Victus nods “Thank you”

Shepard smiles at Victus “You are lucky, a Sangheili would rather die than break their word, it is everything to them.

Goeth: The real Sangheili perhaps. These cheap knock-offs leave much to be desired. A proud Sangheili would never serve humanity this eagerly and willingly.

Nora: But if they were to act like themselves, how would the author’s power fantasy work?

I wish I could help repair your ship, but our technology is fundamentally different so we have no idea as to how most of the systems on your ship work and it would take far too long for our scientists to learn how”

Ert: Oh what, you can’t read their minds and instantly learn how all of their systems work?

Nora: Ert, don’t give her ideas.

Victus nods again and then bows “If you excuse me I must return to my ship to inform the crew of our shore leave. My people have Dextro-amino acids, are you capable of supplying such foods”

Shepard shakes her head sadly “I’m afraid I’ve only heard the term discussed as a theory,

Goeth: HA! Anyone want to tell her that Dextero-amino acid lifeforms exist on Earth? Basic life forms, but very real! It’s fact, not theory.

but you will be pleased to know you’ve made a lot of scientists happy to know that Dextro-amino acid based life-forms exist”

Ert: Oh sweet Christ in heaven this hurts my soul.

Victus smiles at the comment “Well, at least someone is happy. I’ll have my men bring over food supplies, but ferrying it all by shuttle will be tedious”

Shepard shakes her head “Why use a shuttle? We can easily fit your ship in the main hanger bay of the ‘Beaches of Normandy’”

Nora: In reality the most obvious and least tedious method would be to dock airlock to airlock. But the author and Shepard aren’t interested in being practical. Their top concern is as showing off humanity’s superiority at every other second.

Ert: That’s the story in a nutshell.

Victus frowns “The ‘Beaches of Normandy’?”

Since Shepard’s hands are full Mikhail points up. Victus follows the finger and nods while gulping at the reminder of the great ship above him “Right, I forgot that was even there”

Ert: No he didn’t. The story forced him to say that so that we could get the umpteenth reminder that the ships of humanity are impractically huge.

Goeth: Perhaps Shepard’s reality warping an untraceable signal, similar to indoctrination.

Shepard smiles at him before nodding and walking back to the Skyranger with the sleeping Liara in her arms.

The Skyranger and Turian shuttle depart at the same time and head back to their respective ships.

Nora: I look forward to more of our time being wasted, because I seriously doubt anything interesting could happen from these two races interacting. You know that asshole that always tries to direct the conversation back onto themselves? That’s how I feel it would go. Every time something about the Council is brought up, not!humanity would talk about how they did it better.

Ert: Shepard would probably try to say her shit doesn’t stink.

X-C:ME

As the Skyranger lands in the main hanger bay the docking birth for the ‘Light of Menae’ that Shepard Psionically ordered be configured while flying back is almost finished. Above a magnetic crane has been rigged to move the former Cruiser to its temporary berth.

As Shepard gets to the bridge of the ‘Beaches of Normandy’, still holding the sleeping Liara. Artemis pops up “Mother, the Turian ship has hailed us”

Shepard smiles “That was fast, open a channel”

Goeth: Also find whoever is slacking off and letting a little child deliver messages.

Nora: So much for talking being impractical huh Shepard? You fell back on it rather quickly, and there’s no aliens there who can’t experience it.

Ert: There’s really no point to the rest of this scene, as it mainly just covers the Turians getting instructions on how to board the ship, so I’m skipping it.

X-C:ME

On her way back to the hanger Shepard passes through the recreation park that is present onboard the ‘Beaches of Normandy’, as soon as she steps into the park dozens of drones without anything to do flock to her. Shepard smiles at the drones who are all eager to work, she sighs as she feels the displeasure from them that they aren’t allowed to work. But they are still human and must be given all the rights as a human being, though she is considering allowing drones to sacrifice their free time if they wish and continue working.

Nora: This is freaking creepy. People act like if someone enjoys doing something that most people would consider horrible, it’s suddenly ok. It isn’t. Think of it this way. If someone was excited at the prospect of being murdered, would it make murdering them ok?

Ert: According to this author, yes.

X-C:ME

Council Codex Entry

Ert: NO!

Nora: There’s important information in here.

Ert: FUCK!

Data collected between 2157 and 2160

Speculation as to the purpose of the drones is varied, some say that they are specialists that are only required on the largest of human vessels, others have suggested that they are some form of nobility that isn’t allowed to interact with non-humans (Although the fact that drones have been seen in the presence of the human non-citadel race allies makes this idea suspect) A Batarian has even commented that the drones might be humanity’s version of slaves. Unfortunately he did not survive the fall of Khar’shan and other Batarians are too terrified of humanity to comment on the issue.

When asked the humans remain silent on the issue, they mention that it is a cultural issue that we are not yer trusted to know about.

Ert: What!? You think that they won’t swallow your hollow justification for how the drones totally aren’t slaves? As SFY pointed out, it’s because “They like their jobs, therefore they aren’t slaves.” Because apparently the author doesn’t know what the term “Brainwashing” means. Either that or he’s ok with it. Fucking Christ this humanity is pathetic.

In the meantime the full purpose and method of creation of the drones remains yet another mystery in the ever-growing riddle that is humanity.

Goeth: Again humanity tries to be mysterious, but just comes off as inconsistent and badly written. Shepard poured humanity’s thoughts into Victus, clearly glad to share information with him, and now she wants take backs?

Council Codex End

X-C:ME

Shepard walks into the hanger with the unconscious Liara in her arms as a small army of drones follows her. In the distance she can see the slaves rescued from the ‘Batarian’ ships being unloaded.

Nora: Now they can be OUR slaves! Of course they’re not really slaves because we’ll say no and have them join as member species, but they’ll do everything we say and it’s not slavery because I said so.

Ert: End of the chapter is almost here…

A pulsating purple light comes on warning crew members that the Turian ship is on final approach, over head a vast crane like apparatus moves into position ready to shift the Turian Cruiser to its berth.

Suddenly a low hum fills the hanger, waking the sleeping Liara, as the Turian Cruiser ‘Light of Menae’ enters the hanger.

Goeth: I see that Liara is being used more as a prop than anything else. Considering that she hasn’t said much, done much, and is being treated as an outlet to show how “motherly” and “wise” Shepard is.

Ert: Which comes off as emotional manipulation to be perfectly frank, seeing as all of the comforts directed towards Liara were wild guesses at best.

Nora: The ship landing is long and boring, so snippety snip.

X-C:ME

Adrien Victus is not a Turian who is surprised easily,

Ert: Ten words and I can already tell that whatever’s coming next serves to give humanity it’s five hundred and fourth sucking off this story. I don’t get it, why do people like this? The novelty wears off in five seconds!

Nora: Anyway blah blah blah, he sees a lot of cool stuff, sees the slaves, see that the Batarians were going full stupid in that they abducted people from five different races, and somehow managing to capture Elcor without a dozen people being smashed and multiple Quarians despite how little sense that makes.

Victus hears a chuckle and turns to see the Sangheili Thel standing on the other end of the airlock gangway “You must be surprised at how fast the Humans can learn and get organized aren’t you?

Ert: Nope

Nora: No

Goeth: If you’re going to waste our time talking about how humanity is perfect in every way, could you at cover more interesting subject material.

I was as well, they have a way of everyone doing a thousand different things and yet they all match up perfectly, this method is what makes them so powerful. They work as one with one purpose. However that is not important right now come there are some of your people amongst those who were rescued, they are asking for the captain of your ship”

Ert: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Nora: Oh come on it’s not that boring. It’s just the thing we’ve had half a dozen times this chapter said again. But it’s so much more interesting this time! Because of reasons!

Victus nods as his Turian discipline kicks in “Kryik, go get the doctor to check over the rescued Turians, good as they humans may be they might miss something thinking it isn’t dangerous to our kind.

Goeth: Something that you should’ve done from the very start.

Ert: BUT HUMANITY AWESOME!

The rest of you, form up on me, these men and women are most likely shocked, disorientated and could use the sight of a disciplined squad”

Nora: Yes, a show of military might will certainly calm down the recently escaped slaves. Just because it gets these weird people who want humanity to kill all aliens hard, doesn’t mean it works for aliens author

“Aye Sir” The Turian crew members shout in affirmative as Sergeant Kryik goes to get the ‘Light of Menae’s doctor.

Thel nods to Victus as they start walking towards the rescued slaves “You are a wise man, people like to see something they are used to in times of change, I would imagine that the discipline of your race is well known across all your allies so it will help rally them as well and give them something to anchor themselves with”

Ert: Thel, next time you open your mouth you actually have to say something of substances.

Victus nods in agreement with Thel’s assessment then he asks “If you don’t mind me asking, what did your people cling to when the Humans made contact?”

Nora: Aside from them being our rightful masters-I mean equal partners?

Thel laughs at the memory “Believe it or not, we used the ritual of a Kaidon being challenged to hold to. A foolish Kaidon by the name of Jul’ Mdama challenged Shepard to a duel of swords and lost,

Nora: Clearly he should have acknowledged his inferiority and pledged himself to be humanity’s slave for the rest of his life. Not that we’re slaves to them, we just do everything we’re told to and have no say in the matter. But we unrealistically are ok with that, so it’s ok.

as the winner Shepard took his lands and people as dictated by our customs, we then treated Shepard like any other Kaidon. To us she is a leader of our people, one that is so well liked that even though she offered, the former subjects of Jul’ Mdama refused to change their leadership and asked her to remain as their leader”

Ert: Author. PEOPLE! DO NOT! FUCKING! ACT LIKE THIS! YOUR SHEPARD IS A FUCKING C WORD AND WOULD INSPIRE BLOODY REBELLION FIVE WEEKS INTO HER RULE! SHE IS NOT WISE, SHE IS NOT ALL KNOWING, SHES AN ARROGANT LITTLE PRAT WHO THINKS THAT SHE’S BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE, AND YOU KEEP WARPING REALITY TO MAKE HER RIGHT! FUCK HER!

Victus laughs at the story “I must say that is probably the best diplomacy I’ve ever heard of.

Ert: Oh GO FUCK YOURSELF! FUCK YOURSELF! FUCK YOURSELF! *Inhales deeply* In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws. And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours. And so he spoke, and so he spoke. That lord of Castamere

So it seems that Shepard is able to speak as a soldier and politician”

Goeth: HA!

Thel snickers in amusement “Probably because among the humans everyone is a soldier, at the age of twenty every human undergoes military training and spends a decade in their service.

Nora: Still creepy.

Ert: And everyone is still creepily ok with it because they’re slaves and only what Shepard thinks matters.

Out of boredom I once shouted admiral on deck in a ship full of civilians and they all snapped to attention. I wondered if I was going to get in trouble when Shepard walled up beside me and said-“

Nora: Because Thel is the type of person who would do that right?

Ert: So the author has no respect for Halo, Mass Effect, or XCOM. Not sure why he wrote about any of them.

“Thank you for the introduction Thel” Shepard’s amused voice cuts in.

Victus and Thel turn to see Shepard with a awake and blushing Liara still being held in her arms standing there without a care in the universe.

Shepard nods to Victus “Come, let us reassure your people and allies that they are safe”

Goeth: For now.

Ert: Until we get bored or decided to take you over.

X-C:ME

Phew, that’s over. Ten thousand words, one of my rare 10K plus Chapters. Plus around or over a thousand words of Author Notes.

I’m exhausted, but other than that I’m quite fine. Now I’m sad to say that it’s going to be another month long gap between Chapters. You’ll see the next one somewhere from August Thirty (30th) to September First (1st)

dragonsong2795 Out

Ert: But now the rains weep ‘per his halls with no one there to hear. Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall, and not a soul to heear…fuck this story.

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81 Comments on “1511: X-Com: Mass Effect: Chapter 3 Part 2”

  1. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Not just Europa Child… Warrior’s Sin? Lost Serendipity? Who the fuck named these ships?

    Imagine if the US Navy gives their ships names like “USS Lament of Soldiers” or “USS Forgotten Eureka” or “USS Guilty Spark” or stuff like that.

  2. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Also, plasma beams are a thing in Halo apparently. It’s what the Covenants use to glass planets.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Also ‘bolts’ are occasionally used to describe the projectiles fired by handheld plasma rifles.

    • erttheking says:

      Huh…usually those are described as energy projectors…so even then the author earns no points in my books. The author should have said “Fire the energy projector” not “fire plasma bolts.” It’s the difference between saying “Fire the gun” and “Fire the bullet.”

  3. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    UGH! Yet ANOTHER story that confused ordinance and ordnance!

    Seriously though, why did whoever invent these two words make them so similar?

  4. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    That thing about the rachnis being innocent? Ugh, just, ugh.

    Yeah, what were the council thinking, fighting back against those bug monsters that declared war on them and refused to negotiate no matter what?

    Next you’ll be telling me that the Tyranids are just misunderstood, the Xenomorphs are actually really swell guys, and the Necromorphs only want hugs!

  5. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Oh dear god… Was the author really so blind that he didn’t see that humanity is turning into the freaking Imperium of Man, with the God Empress of Suekind at its center?

  6. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    *Headdesk*
    Humanity is responsible for the fall of Khar’shan… Something that was caused by the REAPERS in canon…

    Is this author irony-blind or something?

  7. Jon Arbuckle says:

    “However Shepard just snaps her fingers and shouts “That’s where it went” to the laugher of her bridge crew and consort.”

    I like to think Shepard’s using her mind control to make people laugh at her terrible jokes.

  8. BatJamags says:

    The author is completely missing the point of codenames here. If you loudly announce what each codename refers to over an open comm channel, then it won’t serve to disguise your strategy. It just makes you look like a pretentious piece of shit who has to throw pointless names at everything.

  9. BatJamags says:

    Ert: Uh, that’s not how kinetic barriers work. And I’m pretty sure it’s not how plasma beams work either. If they’re going from ship to ship at a reasonable speed, they have kinetic energy. If they don’t have any speed behind them, then they should just pass through the shields. I just, what? I am so confused.

    Well, you see, it’s because the author thinks “plasma” means “flashy sci-fi laser bolt.”

  10. BatJamags says:

    Nora: Although the story gets props for a mythology reference that isn’t pretentious and makes sense.

    I’m drawing a blank on which one, but I’m like 90% certain that there’s another sci-fi franchise where the big missile launchers are called HYDRAs. I keep wanting to say it’s Warhammer 40k, but that’s the artillery, not the missile launchers.

  11. BatJamags says:

    Ert: Skyrangers being well known for their SPACE FARING CAPABILITIES!

    Of course they are, that’s why they’re called spacerangers.

  12. BatJamags says:

    Group Alpha latch onto your target vessels and transport them to Shanxi, no FTL.

    Well, if I recall correctly, they’re in the Shanxi system, so let’s be generous and say that’ll take them a few days without FTL,

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Actually, if they got close to lightspeed the travel time wouldn’t be much more than a few hours.

      Although, to be fair, if they got close to lightspeed time itself would start tying itself into knots.

  13. BatJamags says:

    in order to fulfill this vow we must slay all monsters to prevent them from breeding and becoming numerous enough to attack us”

    So again, we’re supposed to root for the genocidal maniac?

  14. AdmiralSakai says:

    Nora: And while plasma is matter, therefore it would be blocked by kinetic barriers, the kinetic barriers would not block the heat and radiation a plasma blast would cause. It would just go through the barrier, it wouldn’t be channeled in. Where did that even come from?

    Well, that heat and radiation is emitted by the plasma payload, and doesn’t travel especially far beyond it. If the shields are a decent distance away from the ship the plasma will have no effect, and even if they are not damage would still be minimized as even a small separation will dramatically diminish heat transfer.

    Actually, given that a plasma projectile has relatively low mass and kinetic energy, but is still made of matter, assuming that they triggered at all Mass Effect shields would be highly effective at blocking them. I’m not sure it would prove to be a decisive advantage because Covenant ships are big and can put out a crapton of power without overheating like ME ships do, but it’d mean they wouldn’t be destroyed immediately.

    • erttheking says:

      I’m not certain that shields in Mass Effect are very far away from the ship. In fact, if Mass Effect 2 is anything to go by, the do the typical science fiction thing and hug the ship

      • Although personal shields are rather far from the user’s body, which is especially visible in ME1. If the shields on ships are anything like that, then plasma weaponry would be ineffective. However, I believe that Energy Projectors are DEWs, rather than being plasma based, and I am almost positive that Pulse Lasers are far more powerful than GARDIAN lasers, and thus would be able to work as an effective weapon against Mass Effect ships, even with their Ablative Plating.

  15. BatJamags says:

    Shepard not quite trusting the Citadel races keeps her true rank hidden.

    Ert: The Citadel is a space station. The Council, on the other hand, is a government body.

    Here’s another one I’m going to give the author. In ME, “council races” is specifically the species with a seat on the council, while the citadel’s name is used to refer to the broader alliance.

  16. AdmiralSakai says:

    The eight sniper ships then simultaneously lance the barriers above the Element Zero cores of the Batarian cruisers with their plasma beams. Within mere seconds the Batarian cruisers are disabled as the extreme heat causes the core connections to melt to slag and render the ships useless

    Ert: And within seconds the story contradicts itself. The lead frigate takes ten seconds to lose its shields and then longer to explode. The cruisers, HEAVIER ships, get reduced to slag in “mere” seconds. Make up your mind on how you want to do this story.

    Also, fucking up the core caused the first ship to blow up– now it’s only disabling them?

  17. AdmiralSakai says:

    Shepard turns to the Ordinance Officer Kristen Shepard

    And, of course, all of her top officers are her own spawn.

    The motherfucking Elites had a more sensible promotion system!

  18. BatJamags says:

    Artemis pops up “Mother, the Turian ship has hailed us”

    Wait, Artemis is the name of the AI. Why is she calling Shepard “Mother?”

  19. BatJamags says:

    Victus nods as his Turian discipline kicks in “Kryik, go get the doctor to check over the rescued Turians, good as they humans may be they might miss something thinking it isn’t dangerous to our kind.

    Kryik? As in Nihlus Kryik?

    *Headdesk* *Headdesk* *Headdesk*

  20. AdmiralSakai says:

    Two of the shots were actually aimed for the Turian and Asari ship, but were caught by the Normandy’s shields.

    Ert: *Sigh*

    Nora: Guidelines that even slavers would live by. What is essentially a weapon of mass destruction is something aimed with precision.

    Actually, that trainer is probably just being hyperbolic in order to scare his recruits, because space. Is. Big.

    Randall Munroe addresses firing hyperdestructive weapons into space and missing your target here. The vast majority of misaimed projectiles will exit the galaxy without hitting anything- hell, they will most likely pass through many, many galaxies without hitting anything. And, if the projectile is traveling at lightspeed (the fastest it can go without ME hijinks) or a small-integer multiple of lightspeed (the fastest it can reasonably go without being deliberately aimed through a mass relay), this will take not just thousands but millions of years. Then, what it hits will in all likelihood be a star, which will just absorb it harmlessly.

    Given that terrestrial militaries don’t seem seem at all bothered by leaving unexploded ordinance in populated areas where it will cause problems only a few years or decades later, I don’t see why anyone would actually care.

    In fact, even if it did somehow hit a planet, it wouldn’t be that different from a small meteor, and those burn up in our atmosphere all the time or hit far away from population centers.

  21. AdmiralSakai says:

    SIR they have launched powerful fission missiles at us”

    FISSION missiles?

    As in, the technology that went out of style with Little Boy and Fat Man?

    All modern nuclear weapons are fission-catalyzed fusion, including the Tsar Bomba which the author obviously ripped off.

    • SFY says:

      To be fair, Mass Effect does call nuclear weapons “fission weapons” in-universe. There are multiple mentions of fission weapons destroying Reapers in ME3.

  22. AdmiralSakai says:

    Shepard sighs in relief as the reports of the prisoners of all eight ships are reported safe and sound if a little cramped.

    Umm, isn’t this their first encounter with turians and asari?

    Surely some sort of report back to command about these two different species they just discovered is in order…

  23. AdmiralSakai says:

    Mass Effect cruisers actually can’t have active cores inside a planet with significant gravity, they get torn apart.

    SNERK

    I have a feeling that if you’re inside a planet, bad things are gonna happen regardless of the gravity.

  24. AdmiralSakai says:

    “It is a tragedy, what must have happened. The Rachni probably couldn’t understand your diplomats. They might have thought that you kind were leaderless and therefore feral,

    Because apparently all of that ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY the Council had didn’t tip them off that they were dealing with civilized sapients…

  25. AdmiralSakai says:

    When asked the humans remain silent on the issue, they mention that it is a cultural issue that we are not yer trusted to know about.

    Just like, you know, the batarians did.

  26. AdmiralSakai says:

    The rest of you, form up on me, these men and women are most likely shocked, disorientated and could use the sight of a disciplined squad”

    Nora: Yes, a show of military might will certainly calm down the recently escaped slaves.

    Umm, yeah, actually it probably would, since those soldiers would be other turians. Especially since the hostages have just gone from being held captive by a bunch of heavily-armed aliens… to being held captive by another bunch of heavily-armed aliens.

    • erttheking says:

      Actually the slaves are from all over, some Asari some Elcor and even some Quarians. So yeah, I still don’t think a bunch of armed soldiers are the best way to calm them down.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Actually, they seem to have morphed in between scenes- Shepard’s bridge-bunnies claim that they match the life forms on the unknown (turian and asari) ships, and say nothing about unknowns.

  27. AdmiralSakai says:

    I wondered if I was going to get in trouble when Shepard walledup beside me

    Oh, great, now it’s a crossover with The Cask of Amontillado, too…

  28. AdmiralSakai says:

    Ert: Think about it! A First Contact War that has the Turians and humanity teaming up against the Ethereals! I’d much rather be reading that than this crap!

    You know, a Halo-Mass Effect crossover with the humans and turians teaming up to fight the Covenant would be pretty awesome, too.

  29. DasBeefBorgir says:

    Who’s the amateur that designed a weapons system that overheats after a single volley and takes down the entire array with it?

  30. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    The bowels of Shepard’s pretentiousness has yet to be fully explored.

    http://cdn.cheatcc.com/news/large/big%20the%20cat.png?1439396279

  31. SFY says:

    You know what? I’m starting to think that the bit about the rachnis is another case of “the author knows, therefore the characters know”.

    Think about it, if the rachnis really did turn out to be mindless monsters in the game, would the author really have his precious little Sues speak for them? They’ll just “kill those monsters before they breed”.

    Would the fact that they both have hive minds stop them? Of course not! The batarians also use slaves and have a caste system, yet that didn’t stop the Sues from killing them off!

    • erttheking says:

      Yeah pretty much. I mean if they thought this and it turned out the Rachni were mindless monsters, then they would’ve been INTERESTING and we can’t have that. (That or they would never have their flaws pointed out and they would instead yell at everyone)

  32. Delta XIII says:

    My eyes completely glazed over trying to read that so-called “space battle”.
    All I saw was “blah blah multimodal reflection sorting blah blah blast processing blah blah reticulating splines”.

  33. "Lyle" says:

    *watches the drill sergeant clip* Ok, I have got to play those games.

  34. "Lyle" says:

    Goeth: Maybe Shepard has the power of clairvoyance on top of everything else.

    And a bullshit “science” report to go with it. *grumbles*

  35. "Lyle" says:

    Nora: Awe awe awe awe, you’d think the author would get tired of typing that word out over and over again. Apparently not.

    Of course not. Awe can be typed using only the left hand.

  36. "Lyle" says:

    She puts her finger to Victus’ head and suddenly

    A true telepath doesn’t need to touch someone every time they need to get into that person’s mind. What a poser.

  37. "Lyle" says:

    Shepard walks into the hanger with the unconscious Liara in her arms

    For fuck’s sake, put the poor girl down somewhere! You have thousands of slaves happy worker bees hanging around. Pass her off with instructions to take her to the med bay. Twatwaffle.

  38. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    So I was browsing Tvtropes, and it turns out that the author ripped off a line from Star Trek.
    Of all the species we’ve made contact with, yours is the only one we can’t define. You have the arrogance of Andorians, the stubborn pride of Tellarites. One moment you’re as driven by your emotions as Klingons, and the next, you confound us by suddenly embracing logic!
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlanetOfHats

    • erttheking says:

      And go freaking figure that he picked Enterprise, the most hated of all the Trek series, to rip off. Don’t we have a golden rule around here? If you’re going to rip something off, rip off something GOOD!

      • SuperFeatherYoshi says:

        And go figures he picked a quote that EXEMPLIFIES Planet of Hats, a trope that ME is consciously subverting, just so his precious little Stu race’s hat can be “perfect and flawless and great at everything ever”.


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