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Weekend Writing Warriors/#8sunday/03-29-2015/Questions


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Welcome to another entry into the Weekend Writing Warriors blog chain. This snippet is taken from my WiP, Lessons of War. Three hundred years after the death of the last Emperor of the Third Dynasty, the Throne of Stars, the seat of the galactic empire sits empty. But the recent death of the Duke and Duchess de Havilland has altered the status quo. In this scene First Elector of House Kaiser, Lady Andrea and a ranking official from the Imperial Bureaucratic Corps, Dame Lynn-Parker are joined by Lady Galeena a Volpus (fox analog sentient species) from House Garou, also known as the Alien House. Lady Andrea provides the narration:

I recognized Lady Galeena from many an intelligence briefing on House Garou. She was a leading figure among the so called imperial faction who wished to keep their House tied to the imperial system even without an emperor on the Throne of Stars. Her conical ears turned inward as she took a seat at the table.

“I could not help but hear something about the new Duke de Havilland. I found him rather charming, for a human,” she said with a toothy grin.

I placed my teacup on its saucer, “I thought this were trade negotiations.  House Kaiser history with House Garou has nothing to do with that, my dear Dame Lynn-Parker.”

Dame Lynn-Parker put out her cigarette, “I took the liberty of arranging this meeting because some of us in the IBC believe there is a chance, a slim one perhaps, but a chance at Restoration.”

Well that is all for this week snippet. I hope you enjoyed it and as always, please visit the other blogs on the blog chain. If you liked this or any the content on my blog, please feel free to rate, comment or spread the word using the social media buttons below. And for those who celebrate it, may you have a Happy Easter.

 

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Mass Efect/AEC-ANN News: Troop Deployment Approved


 

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Tweet of the Day: Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage and Vilification

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ANN News Desk

From Alliance News Desk on the Citadel

January 8, 2197

Troop Deployment Approved

By Jill Scarlett

NEW ARCTURUS STATION- The Alliance Parliament authorized the deployment of forces to Chav by a a 3-2 margin in a vote earlier today. This signals an expansion of the Alliance’s military mission in the Terminus System colony. Prime Minister Hackett announced that the following forces would be deployed to the region:

  • The 26,000 strong 1st Alliance Marine Division, known as “The First”
  • The 2,200 strong 65th Infantry Regiment (Spec-Ops) from the 103rd Marine Division
  • Assorted personnel from Naval Construction and Logistics Force and other support units

The current force package stands around 50,000 personnel not including forces already deployed to the area or subsequent replacements.

In response to the vote Speaker for the Opposition and ranking member of the Alliance Parliament Sub-Committee on Intelligence Thu Van Theiu called for an investigation of Cerberus resurgence and the Alliance failure to detect it.

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Mass Effect: Foxtrot


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Tweet of the Day: Gaming Interlude: The Long Dark

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The water hummed with the soft whirl of a dozen propellers. A constellation of lights illuminated the crystal clear water. Some came from the divers helmets, others from their vehicles, two large underwater sleds and a slew of diver propulsion vehicles. A pair of drones orbited the group in search of explosives or other hazards. Anahida looked at the low ceiling. Escape, if any, was over three hundred meters behind them. A re-breather failure would kill any of them in a matter of minutes. Ahead of them a kinetic barrier blocked the way. All engines went idle. A cathedral like silence enveloped the commando team, punctuated only by the sound of breaths and heartbeats on each of their own ears. Anahida floated above an abandoned mine cart.

How many died on this mine? We talk about how the Hegemony instituted slavery but what about the millions of prisoners pressed into labor in places like this? Paying for one’s crimes through work seems noble but how many where falsely accused, how many where rounded up for minor offenses and what about those whose punishment did not fit the crime? We can not go back to this.

“Circuit bypassed. Barrier is down,” said the lead engineer.

The words snapped Anahida from her thoughts. The commandos dived deeper into the flooded corridors past rusty instruments of Khar’Shan’s industrial age. The group bypassed two more barriers and journeyed over a kilometer to reach their objective. Temperature readings on Anahida’s helmet spiked. They reached the a massive wall that separated the flooded mine from their target. There massive pumps recycled millions of gallons of water too cool the machinery on the other side of the wall.  Beyond was the largest planetary defense cannon built in this cycle. The Hegemony, with the technology extracted from the Leviathan of Dis, hoped it would protect them from any adversary. But the Reapers struck before its was finished. Now Reaper remnants used it to bombard resistance cells with explosive drop pods filled with husks. No force could land on the planet surface under the threat. Demolitions experts extracted three large cylinders from one of the sleds and put them in position around the pumps. One by one they check and double check the settings.

“All units dialed up, detonation in one hour, forty-five minutes,” said the lead of the demolition team.

The team turned to the surface as quickly as the motors of their dpvs allowed. Anahida kept track of to set of descending numbers, distance to the surface and time to detonation.

1.5 km

1:44

One of the dpvs faltered then died. A diver on one of the sleds grabbed the engineer by the belt and dragged him along. They reached the first decompression station where they had to wait several minutes for their bodies to shed built up nitrogen in their tissue. The group pressed on. Drones guided them through the maze of tunnels. One wrong turn could eat precious minutes or trap them in a dead end tunnel. After an hour and a half and two more decompression cycles the group breached the surface on the lake that fed the mines. A platoon of krogan waited on the shore near a parked shuttle.

“Glad to see you made it all back in one piece,” said Turtman, the leader of the krogan battlegroup.

Anahida removed her helmet, took several deep breaths and said, “Just in the nick of time.”

The ground shook beneath their feet. The explosive shock wave  rent the ground in two. Plumes of superheated mud mark the waves progress. A gigantic bubble broke the lake’s surface. The lake shore retreated as its contents drained into the wreckage of the cannon.

“Fifteen kilotons will ruin anyone’s day,” said Tutrman with a hearty laugh. He keyed his comm, “Security team to Redemption, phase one complete.”

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TV Tropes Monday: Intelligent Gerbil


 

Tweet of the Day: A Solution for Long-Term Living on Low-Gravity Planets

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In the sliding scale of “How Alien are your Aliens?” the Intelligent Gerbil falls next to Rubber-Forehead Aliens (you know the ones from Star Trek with extra ridges on their forehead or a few spots on their necks). The Intelligent Gerbil takes one or more terrestrial species (often mammals, reptilian or insect) and turns them into an intelligent and (often) bi-pedal race. They have the benefit of being alien, since animals are not humans, but still familiar. Want an aloof yet caring creature? Model your alien after after a domesticated cat. Need an unstoppable alien horde that knows no rhyme or reason and devours everything in its path? Insects will do nicely.

Of course there is a downside to this trope and can be found in the very familiarity that it uses to hook in the reader. After all, why must all forms of life in the galaxy, let alone the universe, conform to Earth’s standard? It seems bizarre that a universe filled with worlds with different gravity gradients, stars of different luminosity and planets with exotic atmosphere all or most alien life would invariably look like your neighbor’s dog walking on two legs. The one sure fix to this situation is to ruthlessly apply evolutionary science to entire planetary ecosystems involving millions if not billions of years adaption to their environment.

Or you can say that some ancient race meddled with the process of evolution in Sigma Alpha V and that is why the dominant species are a bunch of cute anime cat-girls.

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Weekend Writing Warriors/ #8sunday/3-22-2015: Familiarity


 

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This is another entry into the Weekend Writing Warriors blog chain. This snippet is taken from my WiP, Lessons of War. Three hundred years after the death of the last Emperor of the Third Dynasty, the Throne of Stars, the seat of the galactic empire sits empty. But recent events may change that.  In this scene Lady Elector Andrea of House Kaiser sits down to have tea with Dame Sarah Lynn-Parker. Andrea is curious as to see what rumor or rumors Dame Lynn-Parker is interested in:

“So which of the many rumors do you which to discuss, Dame Lynn-Parker?” I asked, eyes fixed on the surface of my tea.

“The ones involving my lady and the young Duke de Havilland?” she replied.

“More than one? Oh my, the gossip mongers really have little to do these days? But at least they work fast and their gossip travels even faster,” I said, eyes locked on Dame Lynn-Parker pale face.

We have a visitor, my lady.

Who is it, Athena?

But before Athena could mind-whisper a response the tall Volpus spoke, “I hope you do not mind if I join you?

Who is this newcomer and what is she doing here. We will see in next week snippet. Until then make sure to follow the link above for more interesting snippets.

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Weekend Roundup: March 15-21


 

Tweet of the Day: Episode 19 – Man in the Pod Castle

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Well what do you know, I managed to scrape enough content to justify another Weekend Roundup. Mostly shorts but hey, this is a writing blog after all. You may wonder why I list a post that went up on Saturday as a Sunday post, and that is because the way the deadline is set up, it is best to post it on Saturday and leave it over the weekend. So without further ado, let us see what this week brought us:

I would also like to welcome all the new followers. I may not answer back immediately but I know you are there, so welcome to my blog!

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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 22 (c.2)- Flags


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Tweet of the Day: Men Just Don’t Trust Women–And It’s A Huge Problem

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En route to the SSV Miguel Alcumbierre Moya, In Orbit Around Vale, Landam System, Crescent Nebula, January 11, 2197

My comm buzzed to life. I checked the read out. It was a call from one Lieutenant Commander Rissi Montoya, New Arcturus Station.

“So how is my favorite space lawyer doing these days?” I asked.

“Busy, always busy, but not as busy as my favorite space cowboy,” came the coy reply.

“So how are Sheila and the kids?” I asked.

“They are doing well in school. In fact, Joel is your number one fan. Can’t wait for the next episode of Champions of the Terminus,” she said.

“First, he is like, what, eleven and I’m sure he knows that is not exactly me, right?” I asked.

“He is thirteen. Beside, Theodore, Tadeusz, same difference,” she said with a laugh.

“Not if your Polish or a marine stuck in a real war zone,” I said.

“About that,” she said followed by a long awkward pause, “I seen a lot of request for Disciplinary Review/Review of Service Record cross my desk lately and all with your name on it.”

“Winthrop,” I muttered.

“Not just Winthrop and not because of that stunt you pulled on Chav,” she said.

“Stunt?”

“You know what I mean. A lot of people a looking into your service records and unless you’re up for a promotion it raises a lot of flags.”

“Like?”

“Listen, you have a handful of powerful friends here, but you…annoyed a lot of people as well. A lot of folks see you as an upstart running roughshod throughout the galaxy in an Alliance top of the line frigate. Do you know how many up and coming officers were lining up to command the Kursk?”

“I didn’t ask for this command. In fact, I thought it was a way to smooth me out of the service. Give me a cushy last command and then ‘ask’ me to retire. That is until Cerberus showed up.”

“Talking of which, the fact that Cerberus managed to rebuild while you ran T-RS has people wondering what exactly you where doing out there.”

Visions of Achilles torn apart by batarian terrorist fleet came to mind, “I was doing my job Rissi.”

“I know, I know, just saying that first your company-”

“The Alliance’s front company.”

“Yes, the Alliance’s front company, gets disbanded, then you get a promotion, Cerberus shows up, well things are a bit frantic back here and when things get frantic politicians in and out of uniform look for scapegoats. And don’t get me started on Anderson and Lawson.”

The back of my neck stiffened, “What about them?”

She sighed, “You where there when Cerberus took Anderson and considering miss Lawson former ties, well….”

“Cerberus killed Anderson and Miranda is out of bounds, understood?” I said.

“All I’m saying is that things are getting dicey here. Lots of politics, lots of nervous Nellies looking for escape routes. I’ll hold the fort here but you better watch your back, okay?” she said.

It was my turn to sigh, “I will, I always do. Thanks for the heads up Rissi.”

“No problem, Arcturus out.”

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