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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 25 (c.2)- Capitol


Tweet of the Day:  Bad Life Decisions: Make Me Read Theodore Beale


Seventh Floor Our Lady of Hope Hospital, New Bristol Chav, Landam System, Crescent  Nebula, February 15, 2197

I rounded the corner of the stairwell and collided with a Cerberus trooper. I parried his rifle barrel with my own then stabbed him deep in the belly with my omini-blade. The trooper crumbled. The one behind the first fired two shots into my shoulder. I slammed back into the wall. It felt like someone had driven a hot nail through my shoulder blade. Sargent Torque poked his rifle around the corner and fired two long burst. The second trooper slid down the stairs with a grunt. A pool of blood spread beneath the pile of dead troopers on the stairwell landing.

Torque knelt beside me, “Let me have a look.”

I waved him off, “Go, get to the roof.”

“It will only take a second, sir,” said Torque. The pain resided as the omini-gel took hold. “Better now?”

“I’m fine,” I said. It still ached but there was no crack in the armor or an entry wound.  I dusted my self up and bounded up the stairs to the roof.  More marines came behind us. Fire teams split off at every floor. Sounds of explosions and gunfire reverberated throughout the building accompanied by shouts for, “Grenade.”

On the roof I unpacked my Black Widow sniper rifle and took a firing position orientated to the capitol building in the center of the city. Torque did the same with his spotter scope and comm equipment. A large cupola divided the roof in the flat roof in to large sections. A flock of friendly drones exchanged fire with enemy automated turrets on the building’s windows.

I activated my comm, “Saber One is in position.”

“What took you so long, Saber One?” asked Colonel Puller the commander of the 65th regiment.

“Ran into a few puppies on the way up. Delta company is cleaning the kennels as we speak,” I said.

“Understood Saber One. What’s the target status?” asked the Colonel.

I examined the scene through the rifle’s scope. Aside from the turrets there were no other enemy activity, not even the shimmer of cloaked units, “Roof access clear.”

“Then light ’em up commander,” said the Colonel.

“Saber One to Saber units, verify targets,” I said over the comm net.

“Saber Two, targets verified and locked.”

“Saber Three, targets verified and locked.

Torque, eyes on the ranger finder, nodded.

“Saber One, targets verified and locked,” I said.

“All targets verified. Raptor Force you are green to engage,” said the Air Coordinator.

Five kilometers back, three Mantis gunship popped from cover and fired missile volleys at the capitol building. Each volley, guided by their respective forward observers, entered through the targeted windows and exploded in the rooms within. Clouds of debris erupted across the building.

“That’s a hit,” I said.

“Manatee One and Two, move in,” said the Air Coordinator.

Two shuttles flew below us and hovered a meter of the roof. Two dozen marines jumped from the shuttles to the roof below. They rappelled down the building. Thunder erupted in the streets as a platoon of Elcor, with heavy guns on their backs, opened fired on the capitol. Several APCs raced forward. One backed into the main entrance. More marines climbed through the ground floor windows. An occasional flash illuminated the interior. Two more shuttles dropped a second wave of marines. Within minutes the fight was over.  A pair marines raised the planetary flag, a red dragon and lion rampant holding a white star against a yellow background.

I stood up and looked around. New Bristol was secure but a month of fighting transformed the one vibrant colonial capital into a smoking hollowed out carcass.

Old Wellington was right. Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.


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TV Tropes Monday: Everything Is an iPod in the Future



Tweet of the Day: WeWriWa – Boys


This is a sci-fi world building trope, common in television, movies and video games due to their visual component but not entirely absent from books. It is proof positive that are visions of the future are merely projections of the present. The technology is minimalist, functional, unobtrusive, intuitive, and visually pleasing.It’s not even a new one. We seen images of primarily white or grey futuristic design, with blended edges and smooth surfaces before, it is just that this particular one conforms to a current aesthetic, which in turn comes to us because we expect that the present should conform with expectations presented in the past. It is merely clean lines of art deco and the jet age updated to currents standards which then gets projected into our views of the future.

Like those times in the past this particular ascetic is often associated with utopian projections rather than dystopian ones. The encapsulate a vision where technology helps rather than hinders, benefit us instead of harming us. Compare it to the Used Future aesthetic of a world at the edge of collapse common to grittier works.  It behooves the author to go beyond mere immitation and explore the hows and whys of this aesthetic and their meaning within their stories.


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Mass Effect/AEC- ANN News: Explosive Allegations Against W-Y


Tweet of the Day: Sega Satun: How one decision destroyed PlayStation’s greatest rival


ANN News Desk on The Citadel

February 19, 2197

Contact with Colony Lost

by By Iris Dunnigan

CITADEL, THE PRESIDIUM- The leader of a Czerka Arms rescue/security team sent to investigate the loss of the colony of WY-557 (Styx Theta Cluster) made a series of explosive allegations in a hearing of the Citadel Council Committee on Interstellar Corporate Affairs. Zaena’Malon vas Zadok alleged that her team discovered the corpses of over the 100+ Weyland-Yutani colonial exploration team in the main colony site (see Contact with Colony Lost) designated Area 001. The bodies showed extensive signs of burns, cuts, and blunt force trauma. The team discovered the nature of the assailants as they returned to their shuttle with the site’s VI data logs. Vas Zadok testified that:


A swarm of klixen converged on our location. We were cut off from our egress route and were forced to retreat back to 001. The klixen spewed globs of fire encased in biotic fields that exploded on contact. I lost three members of my team, Jicks, Romero, and Vertech before we could established a perimeter. When we decoded the (VI) logs, we discovered that the on-site science team had been experimenting on giving the klixen biotic abilities. According to the files they were meant to be ‘a disruptive agent’ designed to ‘tie down enemy forces’.

Vas Zadok managed to extricate the surviving members of her team by the clever used of drones and automated turrets. Video logs from the incident as well as testimony from other members of the Czerka team back vas Zadok’s account of the events in WY-557. If the committee finds against Weyland-Yutani, the interstellar corporation may face a combination of multi-million fines, asset seizures and jail time for key corporate executives.

Report filed by Iris Dunnigan for ANN News from the Citadel.


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TV Tropes Monday: Broken Base



Tweet of the Day: A Proposal at Sword Point


Something happened in the fandom, because something always happens in the fandom, and when that something happened, the fandom shattered into a million pieces and a billion repetitive arguments.

Welcome to the Broken Base.

But why should an author care about such things? After all, fandoms are notorious for doing what they want, when they want it. Yet the fans are the ones that buy the books, watch the movies and play the games. Feeding the fandom can become a obsession for the content creator. Give the people what they want keeps them coming back for more. Yet, in a broken base situation, where the fandom is split due to an action by the author, the author is left with a few choices:

  • Ignore the naysayers and continue to feed the staunch loyalist even if they are a tiny section of your audience
  • Desperately try to “fix” what went wrong and risk pleasing no one.
  • Ignore everyone and plough on, in the hopes that the silent majority among your fan will sustain your efforts.

It can get so bad that the audience may seek to kill the author (metaphorically, I hope) in order to get what they want, putting the author outside of their own creation.

Sadly, this is the kind of problem that lacks easy solutions. Each content creator(s) has to deal with this as best they can.



Weekend Writing Warriors/#8Sunday/05-17-2015/-Trust


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. The conversations between Duke de Havilland and Margaret continues in the battlements of Caer de Havilland:

It made sense. She always did. While I learned at my father’s knee how to be a ruler she learned her craft from hers. The question of my parent’s death remained. While it might have been an accident the list of those who would benefit from their deaths was too long to ignore. Trust was all I had left. But trust was earned, not given.

I looked Margaret in the eye, “What do you know of the Lady Andrea of House Kaiser?”

Looking forward to the answer? Whatever it might be, it certainly will be interesting. As always make sure to check out the rest of the blog chain for cool snippets from great authors.


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Weekend Roundup: May 10-16


Tweet of the Day: Blurry Eavesdroppers


Summer is here in full force. Yes we have a drought in a tropical island. It rains but the failures of decades old infrastructure means that if it drizzles instead of pouring, the tap goes dry. Water rationing started this week and will continue until the foreseeable future. It’s a bit grey outside but not enough to shake the feeling that this will be a long dry summer. In the meantime let’s see what stories emerged this week:

Well that is all for this week. Now it is time to pray for rain. Pray, pray that rain comes our way.


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Space for Rent: Skin Deep

“Race is not real, it is a social construct.”


“There is no such thing as race.”

True, from a purely scientific point of view. The differences between the “races” of humanity is literally skin deep, a mixture of melanin and dietary adaptations. You can not find any significant markers at the genetic level, except for these superficial adaptations. Nothing that would constitute a separate race of Homo Sapiens.


I feel a sense of erasure when people utter these words, specially when they dribble from the mouths of straight white Europeans. It is the same feeling I get when somebody says, “Ugh, it’s just a piece of land!” or “Nationalism is vile!” A sense that for the winners of the last 500 years that any reminder of any cultures or cultural forms outside the established Eurocentric world view are not important, not necessary. Implicit in these words is the idea that others not only don’t matter, but that they don’t exist.

Who the hell are you do decide that other people’s identities are no longer valid?

Do you apply the same standards to your own race, culture or identity?

Or is it that those things are so prevalent, so ingrained, so forcefully enforced/reinforced that you can not see them for what they are?

Why do you feel so uncomfortable when others express themselves, accept themselves in such ways?

Are you afraid that if other assert themselves that who/what you are will cease to be?

Or do you realize that those racial constructs exist to impose an artificial order on our societies, one that creates winners and losers from birth?

Think about that before you say that race/ethnicity/religion or nationality do not exist.


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