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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: Civil War Engulfs Libertas



Tweet of the Day: The Making of Planet X2 for the Commodore 64


ANN News Desk

From Alliance News HQ in Vancouver

September 15, 2197

Civil War Engulfs Libertas

By Iris Dunnigan

CAPITOL CITY OF PROGRESS, THEOCRACY OF LIBERTAS- Violence erupted across the colony after an attempt against Lord Darcy, Lord Magistrate of the human colony world of Libertas, injured him and killed a dozen members of the colonies ruling elite. Johan Damacy, Darcy’s twin brother and former leader of the colony (see Cartoonist Tried in Absentia), survived the attack and has taken temporary control of the government. Meanwhile a hitherto unknown group calling itself the Sons of Liberty claimed responsibility for the attack. Another group, the Martyr’s of Megiddo, launched a pogrom in the city of Korhal against those deemed, “impure” in their eyes, according to a strict interpretation of Abrahamic law. ANN does not have an estimate of casualties at the moment but the images from Korhal are graphic and include summary executions, torture of prisoners, demolition of homes, and other atrocities.

Other, as of yet unconfirmed, reports show that multiple mercenary companies have rushed to the colony in order to take advantage of the fighting. Among these corporations are Dawn Star Ltd, an amalgamation of survivors from Eclipse and Blue Suns operatives, Red Nova Security Consultants, a relative newcomer to the scene made up mostly of Alliance veterans, and  Tiburón Rojo  PMC out of Mexico City, Earth. The appearance of these and other mercenary units are sure to make a confusing situation even more chaotic.


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TV Tropes Monday: The Theocracy


Tweet of the Day: Crash Curse Literature: George Orwell’s 1984 Part #2

The Theocracy, a government for and by God. Men rule and are ruled in the name of a higher power and under strict religious principles. The word of the religious authorities is absolute. After all how can you argue against the word of God (or the Gods). The worse crimes attempt against the glory of the Heavens and offend the sensibilities of its most faithful servants. In a theocracy, morality is law.

Theocracies make for great villains, or at least they spawn them in the form of self-righteous fanatics. It rarely matters if the rulers intent is good or that they are mere charlatans exploiting belief to attain/retain power. For this reason it is also rare for a writer to portray theocratic rule as positive, lest they be seen as endorsing said form of rule. Add the possibility of religious fueled warfare and this trope has all the negative a tyrannical government needs to be opposed by the settings protagonist.

So praise the lord and past the ammunition for God’s rule has begun.


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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 11 (c.3)-Soiree



Tweet of the Day: Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Human Test Subject


“Sir, our contacts on planet dismissed the intel we provided them.”

“Do we still have eyes on target?”

“We do.”

“Then it is time to activate other assets.”



Estancia House, Arcadian Fields, Libertas, Sphinx System, Argos Rho Cluster, Attican Traverse, September 10, 2197

Vega and I followed Miri at a respectable distance, close enough to be seen but far enough to giver her space to mingle. The elite of Libertas exchanged polite conversation over champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The gentlemen wore their Sunday best, while the wives competed with each other with a wide array of glittering jewelry.

So much for religious humility.

Miranda was not the only one who had bodyguards nearby. Four burly guards flanked Lord Darcy as he made his way through the assembled guests. Four plains clothes militia tried to blend with the crowd but their eyes were always on Darcy. Our target, Alana Petrova, trailed Darcy. She matched Darcy’s artful glad handling of the men in the room with light smooches to their wives.

“Looks like she is more than a member of his entourage,” whispered Vega.

“Maybe she is angling to become the next Missus Darcy,” I said.

Johnson voice came through the comms, “Sir, we are detecting a—interfe—-do you—py.”

<Broadband interference detected. Area-wide communications jamming in progress>

I responded to my VI warning by pulling my gun from my jacket. Before I could shout a warning, the world exploded around us.  A wall of shattered glass cut through the crowed. Thunder punctuated by dozens of screams filled the air.  The lights went out. The only illumination came from the headlights the truck that crashed through the mansion’s eastern wall. Figures armed with submachine guns sprayed the air in wide arcs. I took cover behind a table, put the Phalanx’s laser sight between the eyes of my target and double tapped the trigger. The man’s head snapped back on the first impact. The second round blew through his barrier and exploded the back of his head. Vega landed several shots on another attacker. She went down in a heap. Darcy’s guards exchanged fire with another group of assailants.

“Let me go!” screamed a woman followed by a stream of curses in Russian. Miranda dragged Petrova toward the kitchens.

“Vega take point, I’ll cover you.”

“Will do jefe!”

I took a few more potshots at the enemy before I booked it. Deep black puddles marred the mirror finish of the Italian marble floor.
The wait staff cowered in every nook available to them. We sped past the kitchen into the loading dock only to find the caterer’s truck in flames.

“So much for our exit,” I said.

Gunfire reverberated in the kitchen.

“Help me,” cried Petrova at the top of her lungs.

I pointed past the burning wreck. “This way.”

The grounds were littered with craters and body parts. More wrecked cars filled the parking area alongside the torn bodies of the valets. I picked the closest one that looked intact. My VI worked the security lock.

<Systems override in progress>

“Less talking and more hacking.”

Seconds ticked by as the gunfire intensified inside the mansion.

<Vehicle unlocked>

We piled in. I took the driving seat. The air car zoomed away from the carnage. Several flashes of light appeared  below us.

“Hold on.”

I banked and zigzagged my way through a volley of rocket fire.

Bud’ty proklyat,” screamed our guest of honor.

“At least they are not gunships,” I said.

“The rapid response team can’t be far behind, jefe,” said Vega.

A minute later the VI chimed in.

<Jamming cleared. Incoming transmission>

“Sir, do you read me?”

“Loud and clear, Johnson,” I said.

“Shuttle is on its way to your location,” said Johnson.

“Good work.”

We landed in a snow covered field. The Kodiak came in a minute later. A squad of marines jumped out and secured the perimeter. At the sight of the marines Petrova deflated. We boarded the shuttle and made a hasty retreat from the colony.







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TV Tropes Monday: You All Meet in an Inn

Tweet of the Day: Hacking the 5th 

“Start and the beginning and keep on writing,” is a common piece of writing advice. But where do you start, exactly? What if you need a convenient location where it would make sense for the protagonist to meet, discuss the adventure to be had, and perhaps get waylaid by the bad guys all in one scene? Well, then how about, “You All Meet in an Inn“?

Inns, bars, clubs, and taverns are ideal places for both total strangers to meet as well as old acquaintances. Yes, it is a cliche as old as Chaucer, if not older. Even to this day, the local pub is the social focal point of many a English village. And as the tropes points out many a historical event got started at or near such a place. Plus writers love their their drinks, be it coffee, tea, or beer. So if you are a writer nose deep into your notebook, or laptop and you need ideas, you might decide to populate your story with the people around you.

Of course, this is such a prevailing trope (specially in tabletop roleplaying games) that some rule books tell you to NOT start your adventure this way. Others suggest that if you must do so, find a way to subvert the trope as thoroughly as possible. Up to you how you proceed, but just in case, a pint of ale, friendly service, and adventure waits when You All Meet in an Inn.


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TV Tropes Monday: Standard Sci-Fi History


Tweet of the Day: A Many Patterned Strangeness 

You heard about the Standard Sci-Fi Army.

You loved the Standard Sci-Fi Fleet.

Now comes the Standard Sci-Fi History!

And one stop shop for all things sci-fi history. It has wars, rumors of wars, great discoveries, and an easy explanation on How We Got Here. It is shorthand that a lot of readers (and not a few writers) expect in their works. In fact, any deviation from it would raise some eyebrows. The history given is concise, covers most of the bases of socioeconomic and technological advance, and answers many a question that would otherwise derail a story if the writer has to stop and explain the details every five pages or so. At the same time, since it is a general view of history, the author can fill in the blanks or modify any part of it as they see fit. I tend to skip WWIII myself, it just seems so Cold War to me. And what I really like about it is that it has all that nice coherency and consistency that I love.

So, deploy your standard historical analogies, this is the Standard Sci-Fi History.


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Post Hurricane Maria Post: Still Alive

It’s been awhile….

It’s been quite awhile, hasn’t it?

Well I just got my internet, although it and the power are still shaky.

So…I’m back….

Still alive!


Hurricane Season Post

As you might have heard another hurricane is barreling down toward my beloved island. This one will make landfall, it is juts a matter of seeing if it hits with a Category 3 or Category 4 force winds. The last time we were hit was with Hugo, and it was a Cat 3. The problem is that the island infrastructure is so degraded that it barely withstood a brush by Irma (a Cat 5 storm, but we got hit by the edge, the equivalent of a Cat 1).

So while expect a miracle at any moment, that is unlikely to happen.

We are hunkering down and will continue to post as long as the power holds.

Take care and stay safe.

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