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Mass Effect: Mess


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Tweet of the Day: SF OBSCURE: ANDROMEDA

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The patter of heavy rain pelted the camp. Rodan ducked inside the mess tent a second before lightning split open the sky.

“Boss, grab a tray before food gets cold,” yelled Kas, the chief cook from behind the service line. He pointed at a self serve section reserved for turians and quarians filled to the bream with steaming food.

“Will do, sarge,” said Rodan while he filled his tray.

Everything, except for the food, and he had no idea how Kas and his crew pulled it off, had gone sideways the moment the air wing landed on the tropical archipelago. First came the local monsoon that brought untold liters of acid rain down their heads. The combination of rain and mud got into everything. No piece of equipment was spared. The handful of techs pulled daily miracles to keep his fighters flying, but that could not last forever. Then came the increasing enemy probes of their defenses. The wing racked up the kills but the constant pressure kept everyone on edge.

And this was supposed to be a quite sector.

Blitz, the senior batarian flyer and leader of the wing’s gunship squadron motioned Rodan to join him at his table.

Rodan noticed the bags under Blitz’s four eyes, “Everything alright?”

“Nothing I can’t handle, boss. My maintenance people are doing a great job. But,” he dug into his plate, some kind of steaming local vegetables mix,”the QRAs are eating my people up. Too many scrambles and not enough rest.”

Rodan looked up from his plate, “You’re not the only one.”

The wing XO, call sign Ice Queen, headed their way, full food plate in one hand, datapad in the other.

She set down the plate,, “Sorry boss, thought I was going to finish this before lunch.”

“Queen, you can eat and complain like anyone else,” said Rodan.

Chuckles rumbled up and down the long dinner table.

“Right, just that we are down to,” she punched up some numbers on the pad, “eighteen birds. Bandit is still in the infirmary, Doc says she won’t be out until tomorrow at the earliest and we still have Ratchet’s body on ice.” The others looked away from Ice Queen.

Rodan ignored Queen’s talk about Ratchet corpse. They lost four fighters in an enemy raid the day before yesterday. The rescue crews managed to pull three of the pilots out of the sea but Ratchet did not survive the crash.

Rodan raised an eyebrow, “Wait, eighteen? Why eighteen?”

“Goldan had to cannibalize to birds to keep the others going. We are getting some spare parts, but we haven’t managed to set up a micro-manufacturing plant yet, not enough portable generators,” said Queen as she shoveled food into her mouth.

Rodan took the datapad and scrolled through the notes, “At least we are on schedule for reinforce- wait vorcha?”

Every head turned toward Rodan.

Queen looked up, “Yes sir. They call themselves the Void Devils. Apparently their parents fought well during the invasion and now they volunteered to help us. Forty-eight fighters in all, plus support crews.”

Blitz peaked over Rodan’s shoulder, “What about mud movers?”

Queen took the pad back, “We should be getting another group of gunships next week, eight in all.”

“We are down to five ships right now,” said Blitz.

“Yeah, but K-2 won’t be finished until then. With luck we can move your people over there, if the engineers can set up the defenses fast enough. Just another thing the rains keeps mucking up and,” she raised her voice, “before anyone asks, we are going to get hit with another weather front the day after tomorrow.”

The whole mess hall let out a collective low groan. Loud klaxons cut through the rain.

<ALERT CONDITION ONE-REPEAT ALERT CONDITION ONE-ALL UNITS SCRAMBLE-SCRAMBLE-SCRAMBLE-RAID INBOUND>

All the pilots dropped whatever they were doing and ran for the doors.

There goes my afternoon.

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Mass Effect/AEC- ANN News: Sheryl Stone Kicks Off Tour


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Tweet of the Day: Wondercon 2015: Clogged up with Nostalgia

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Alliance News Entertainment Desk

January 20, 2197

Sheryl Stone Kicks Off Tour

By Joan Calder

MILGROM, BEKENSTIEN –The new Syth-Pop sensation Sheryl Stone is kicking her new Citadel Space tour next month. The young singer-songwriter born in the Skyllian Verge colony of Arborea (Arvandor System/Hades Gamma Cluster) rocketed to the number one position in the the intergalactic pop charts with the hit single Rise which served as the theme of  first season of the hit extranet show Champions of the Terminus.

The tour, titled Reach for the Stars, will kick off with a series of concerts and media presentations on Milgrom on February 1, and will visit multiple worlds across Citadel space. Along side payed venues Stone has schedule several free concerts aboard key System Alliance military installations including one aboard the SSV Einstein.  Sheryl’s show on the Einstein will follow an exclusive live showing of the season finale of Champions of the Terminus for the crew twenty-four hours before the official broadcast on the extranet on May 3rd.

Joan Calder is a correspondent for ANN Entertainment Division.

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TV Tropes Monday: Mama Bear/Papa Wolf


 

 

Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 10.5: Worldbuiding Wilderness with Wes Chu

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We know these tropes by heart. Threaten a child and expect either their mother or father to come after you with the intention to destroy you and then spit on whatever little pieces are left. A reliable trope if you want to show that a) a character is a bad ass and b) that they care for more than themselves.

And there lies the problem.

When invoked by or for characters to allow for what otherwise would be out of character moments. A female character known to be defenseless or hopeless all of the sudden transforms into an amazon. A male character known to be selfish and uncaring becomes a heroic figure out to protect the meek.  Not only that, due to this trope they are expected to succeed where moments before they surely would have failed. Without any proper foreshadowing it has the tendency to fall flat.

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Weekend Writing Warriors/#8/04-19-2015: Old Flame


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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. We return to Caer de Havilland as the new Duke settles down to the day to day work of managing an entire galactic arm. To that end his Chief of Staff, Caratacus, has set up a series of interviews for a personal assistant to the duke.

 “He seems very competent, all of them seem very competent, but if I want someone to follow me around. I have these two,” I pointed at the wolf hounds snoozing at the foot of the desk, “to keep me company.”

“Yes your grace. I do not doubt their loyalty. However their record keeping leaves much to be desired,” said Cara.

“Fine, whose next?” I asked.

A young woman stepped through the threshold, with a smattering of dark freckles on her sun kissed cheeks. How could I forget the face of my first friend and my first love.

She bowed, “Margaret Seville at your service, your grace.”

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Weekend Roundup: April 12-18


 

Tweet of the Day: Tumblr Fandom Doesn’t Owe You Sales

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Haven’t done one of these in awhile but now that I put enough content down to justify this roundup, let us see what this week brought us as far as posting:

Yeo, lots of stories, and a few bits of commentary. I hope you had a great day and I’ll see you when I see you!

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Space for Rent: No Gurlz Allowed!


 

Tweet of the Day: The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They’re Only Political.

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You know, I was ready to dig into the whole Puppy Gate/Hugo Award mess. But here is the thing, I have written extensively about in the past, from other “gates” to sci-fi ghettos, and diversity in general. I could rehash all of that or simply point you in the right direction and let you, oh gentle reader, explore the topics at leisure.  Feel free to kick off the discussion below or in any of the pages I link to:

External Links:

The Ever Wonderful Natalie Luhrs: More Thoughts on the 2015 Hugo Awards

GRR Marin Jumps into the Fray: George RR Martin says rightwing lobby had ‘broken’ the Hugo Awards

A Victim of Racism in the Sci-Fi Community Tells it Like it is: Fantasy Writer N.K. Jemisin Explains the Rise of Racism in Fandom

Looking for Your Own Diverse Slate? Your Brief And Wondrous Guide To Contemporary Queer Comics

Links to My Stuff:

My Thoughts on GamerGate.

These Ladies Rock! Skin in the Game

Diversity Is Not a Zero Sum Game: Diversity vs. Tribalism

GamerGate Backfires on The Escapist

Get Out of The Ghetto or Stay Trapped Inside: Carpetbaggery or Manning the Ghetto’s Barricade

Girl Cooties! Time to Set Fire to the Wagons

Genre Fiction is All Kind is Message Driven: Genre as Argument

Oh and for those who want to keep their politics out of art, have yourself a couple of reality checks:

Politics in Video Games

Morality in Video Games

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Anyway, that is all I got for you tonight. Now, here is Wonderwall….

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Mass Effect/AEC- ANN News: D-Day on Chav


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Tweet of the Day: Freeping the Hugo Awards

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ANN News Desk

On location in Chav

January 16, 2197

D-Day on Chav

by Lionel Storm

NEW BRISTOL, CHAV– Fighting continues in the city of New Bristol as a combined force of Systems Alliance Marine and local militias loyal to President Lee battle revel forces aided by Cerberus. In a single attack, code named Operation Stainless Steel, Alliance Navy units removed the Cerberus fleet blockading the planet and moved to secure key targets in the capital. Colonel Diandra Puller, commander of the 65th Infantry Regiment (Special Forces) had this to say about the opposition encountered:

Resistance has been and continues to be stiff. Cerberus employs a great deal of snipers to slow down our advance and counter attacks with infantry squads supported by Atlas heavy mechs. Not only that, but cloaked units constantly attempt to infiltrate our rear areas, so far with few successes. We do have aerospace superiority over battle space which added to our momentum should win the day for us.

The Alliance has downplayed the role of booby traps and other hazards laid down by the defenders. At least one company headquarters was lost when the building they occupied detonated earlier today. The exact number of casualties are unknown but it was followed by a furious action that included the constant use of gunships and fighters to defend the Alliance positions around Hill 89, known locally as the Pelican’s Perch. Nor do official reports account for the extensive damage done to the city infrastructure in the first twenty-four hours of the invasion.

The Alliance has not released any estimates of when they expect their objectives to be secured.

Report filed on location by non embedded reporter.

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