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Mass Effect Loops

Discussion in 'The Index' started by Detective Ethan Redfield, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. This thread is for posting Infinite Time Loop snippets regarding the Mass Effect Series, much like the MLP, YGO, Sailor Moon, Megaman and Misc Loop threads that already exist on spacebattles.

    The Anchor is a Male Shepard. All loopers are stir crazy. Relevent terms are as follows:

    Threats to Yggdrasil:

    These are grouped by their ability to cause metaphysical instability in Loops or loopers. Physical might has little bearing on this scale. The physical destruction of a universe won't even cause the gods to blink so long as its metaphysical data remains intact. The rating system goes from 1-5 in descending order of severity.

    Category 1 - Capable of dealing critical damage to Yggdrasil's systems. This has happened once and the event resulted in the Loops themselves becoming necessary to keep the whole system from crashing. A great deal of Yggdrasil's remaining power, roughly 90% at least, is dedicated to ensuring there's not a second.

    Category 2 - Capable of completely destroying a branch of Yggdrasil's system (more commonly known as a Loop). A looper, particularly an Anchor, ascending to the divine level is the most well-known method to trigger a category 2 event. There have been two confirmed category 2 events. Madoka of the Puella Magica Loop was manipulated by her looping familiar Kyuubey into causing the first by ascending to the divine level, and the second induced widespread secondary damage across all active Loops at the time in an event now referred to as the Crash (this is a major event for the Mega Loops as you'll see). Much of what Yggdrasil operators do is meant to prevent potential category 2 events.

    Category 3 - Capable of inducing metaphysical instability. Whether Loop or looper, metaphysical instability is bad and, left unchecked, could worsen to a full-blown category 2 event. Yggdrasil operators have been known to intervene in category 3 events to prevent them from so worsening.

    Category 4 - Serious threat in-universe. Basically anything an experienced or veteran looper could have significant trouble dealing with. A number of category 4 events result in universal destruction and/or the premature end of a Loop iteration. Little chance of causing serious metaphysical instability, so they're rather low on Yggdrasil's long list of priorities right now. Loopers are officially on their own dealing with these things.

    Category 5 - Standard competent villain level threat, and not even a blip on Yggdrasil's radar at this point. Generally a negligible threat to an experienced looper.



    1.1

    "Sovereign isn't just some Reaper ship Saren found. It's an actual Reaper," Shepard feigned surprise as he played out the script of his baseline loop. And like an age old play, Sovereign spoke in a condescending deadpan, answering Shepard's questions.

    "We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers will darken the skies of your every world. You cannot escape your doom."

    And it ended as it always did, with Shepard declaring the galaxy will stand and break the reaper tide. Sovereign scoffed at him and cut the connection. A few moments passed and Shepard turned to his third companion, "You get all that?"

    Diane Allers, field reporter for Alliance News Network, nodded, "We went live as Sovereign started speaking. The entire galaxy just saw that exchange."

    Shepard nodded and allowed himself a smug grin. With that and Vigil's interview later on, the council won't be able to sweep the "reaper allegations" under the rug, he thought to himself.

    ******

    1.2

    "You will excuse me if I don't stand up. I don't have time to entertain spaceborn vagabonds," as the grey skinned Salarian with blue and red highlights barely glanced up before returning to datascreen.

    No matter how many times Shepard dealt with Anoleis, the administrator always found a way to grate on his nerves. When his backstory was he was born on Earth, Anoleis called him "refugee from that urban blight called Earth" and on a colony, he's a "colonial rube." And thus, the runabout began, with Shepard asking for access to Peak 15, Anoleis denying him access and like clockwork Garrus would suggest forgetting Anoleis, that someone else would help.


    Garrus gave a small grin, "You're obstructing a Spectre from doing his duty to the council. By all rights, he can shoot you and take that garage pass in your left inside pocket." He drew his rifle and gave it an appraising look, "Besides, you've done some bad things Anoleis."


    Shepard was taken aback in confusion...that wasn't part of the script. Anoleis blinked his eyes in shock, "I beg your pardon, you can't come into this office and threaten me! I run everything on Noveria, elected by the Executive Board."


    With several clicks, Anoleis was staring down the barrels of three HMWA VII assault rifles. Shepard decided to just roll with it, "You did your homework on me, I did my homework on you. You should thank Sergeant Kiara Stirling for that, giving us Lorik Qui'in's evidence. Why when we offered her enough money to retire on Illium and live like Aria does on Omega, she jumped ship first chance you can get. Thankfully, you're small potatoes. You give us the garage pass and we'll forget for now we have this evidence. An administrator in my pocket might prove useful some day."


    Anoleis sputtered in fury as he handed over his garage pass. As Shepard stepped out, the sound of Anoleis' voice echoed out the door, "Sergeant Stirling, Come to my office immediately!"


    The commander looked to his best friend and usual second in command with a raised eyebrow. Garrus shrugged as he pulled out a mirror and looked himself over, "It's nice not having a scar, never did get used to it. But at least everyone'll be hitting on me again."


    Shepard gave a deep laugh, "Garrus, good to have you on board! So, you're reliving this over and over again too?"


    Garrus gave a nod as Kiara Stirling passed them by, entering Anoleis' office to immediate shouting about betrayal. Within moments, several shots rang out. Garrus looked at the door to Anoleis' office before shrugging, "How many have you gone through?"


    "Lost count, but somewhere around twenty. Most annoying thing about this is dying to the Collectors. Do you still think you could calibrate our cannons to Thanix level firepower?"


    Garrus mandibles twitched into an approximation of a human grin. The Collectors were surprised when what should have been an easy target, they found their ship gutted from stem to stern by a suped up Normandy.
     
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  2. LOOPER CANDIDATE DESIGNATED 'SOVEREIGN' APPLICABLE FOR LOOPING STATUS.
    WARNING: LOOPER CANDIDATE 'SOVEREIGN' DISPLAYS INDICATIONS OF BEING A POTENTIAL DESTABILIZING INFLUENCE.
    PRECOGNITIVE SIMULATIONS INDICATE DESTABILIZING INFLUENCE WILL NOT BE CRITICAL, BUT STILL MILD TO MODERATE.
    ACTIVATE ANYWAY? Y/N

    Ares looked at his screen and shrugged. 'Why the heck not?'

    Y:\ Y

    -) Yeah, Sovereign starts looping at some point. Yggdrasil's basically saying "yeah, the system can handle it, but this is still a pretty stupid idea". And now you all know why Ares is no longer the admin for Mass Effect.
     
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  3. Gulping

    Gulping unoriginal little nothing

    I think the original explanation for why looping Sovereign isn't actually a thing to be concerned about is because it has more or less completely ceased to give a shit about the Reapers' purpose and its role therein. Something it did almost certainly after being introduced to the concept of a single living being capable of giving the entire species that makes up its mind a concussion so astonishingly severe that takes ten loops to really go away, and does so while chiding it like one would an unruly child.

    A staggeringly large number of minds in unison all going introspective as a result of something that looks like a 'Lesser' telling them to shut the hell up and then demonstrating what continued protests will get them will result in would probably result in a pretty significant personality shift.
     
  4. It'll be awhile before Sovereign loops, and longer still until he stops trying to kill Shepard. But please don't let that stop you from posting loops with Sovereign in it.
     
  5. I could see him still going through the motions, or just taking the idea of the cycle and messing around with it, seeing what better, or worse. Depending on when he awakens, he could recruit the Krogan and the Yahg, or genocide the Quarians straight off the bat, or just dick around with things - perhaps a loop in which he uses his presumably vast storage capacity of literature to rationally debate every governing body in the galaxy into letting the Reapers take over. While Shepard and crew sit back and MST3K the whole thing.
     
  6. I don't think that a "Male" shepard should be the anchor. It should just be "Shepard" whose gender idenity tag was hit. Somehow.
     
  7. So it would alternate from M-Shepard to F-Shepard depending on the loop?
     
  8. Zap Rowsdower

    Zap Rowsdower Ex-Cultist Vagrant

    We do need to establish which gender was in the baseline, though, unless we want to handwave it with 'xe doesn't remember'.
     
  9. ShadowPhoenix

    ShadowPhoenix Dark Lord of Shadows

    M-Shep might be the default setting, but both F-Shep and M-Shep would act to things differently. Adds a bit of variety.

    and even besides that, (and i know people will hate me for suggesting it) but a female shepard waking up in a male body, or vice-verse, would be interesting in itself.
     
  10. Nah. Just explain it as the hormonal/gender code having a greater-than-average influence over Anchor Shepard. He can suppress it, but he constantly slips when distracted.
     
  11. Yeah, if Shep has a flexible background then a flexible gender should be appropriate too. Although for sanity's sake limit Shep's appearance to the canon Shep/Femshep instead of allowing customization.



    "Shephard, I've been meaning to ask you something."

    The commander glanced up at Tali, noting how she was wringing her hands. "This is an awkward loop question, isn't it."

    "Well... yes." Tali tapped her palm nervously for a moment or two. "It's just... well... why are you a woman?"

    Shepard smiled, leaning back in her chair. "Ah. Right, to understand that... when the loops started, whatever damaged the multiverse wrecked the code. You understand that, right?"

    The quarian nodded. "Yes, but--"

    "Now for most universes, the damage was... fairly uniform. Everything was equally wrecked." The commander pointed out the window. "Us, though? We have the Reapers. Iron hard coding, or something, I dunno. Anyway, the... shockwave bounced off them and reverberated back out. And since, emotionally and historically, I'm the closest to the Reapers...." She shrugged, gesturing at herself. "Voila. Confused history, confused identity, confusing mess."

    "Ah. I... wait." Tali crossed her arms. "Wouldn't that make you a lousy Anchor?"

    "Well, normally yes, but because of my close connection to them I was chosen over the Reapers." Shepard rolled her eyes. "So, I had to live my first loops not only constantly repeating things but with my own sense of self degrading. Anderson put me in an asylum loads of times... heh. Lucky enough I looped over into Nanoha's universe before I went completely insane."

    Tali blinked. "Oh. Shepard, I... I'm sorry. I wish I'd been there to... well..."

    The commander smiled gently. "You were. A version of you anyway. Don't beat yourself up about it."

    There was a quiet moment between them.

    "...and no," Shepard added, "I don't know what gender I was originally."

    Tali rolled her eyes. "Of course you don't. That makes perfect sense..."
     
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  12. So, I figured that everybody has loops they take off, and just mess around in. And then I started wondering what Sovereign would do for these loops. So, here's the first part of one - I'll do more later. I'm taking advantage of Trek Anchors legendary anonymity (not that Sovereign knows about them, or their legend) to accomplish this fact. I did my best to convey the sense of "alien" behind the Reaper, so...critique, grammar, help this be better?

    -----

    Stress Relief

    The will was unsure, in a way that it had not been very much in it's lifespan. Deep in the chorus, far from the will's attention, small sections calculated precisely long it had been, divided into units of 3 years, 2 months, 1 day, 3 hours and 2 minutes. The will ignored the minor fluctuation in the chorus, instead focusing on the matter at hand.

    Namely, it was alone.

    Certainly, the rest of the will was present, as it always was. The young, lesser races were present, as they always were. But in a way that was unusual for a chorus, the will considered itself alone because of individuals.

    These individuals had made it aware of certain signs that the will could use to determine whether or not the individuals were aware of the Second Cycle. At the start of every Second Cycle, the will would use those that had been Blessed to be connected to a single piece of the chorus, extending itself through the galaxy to look for these signs. Since the inception of the Second Cycle, these signs had been present. Even if only Shepard was aware of the Second Cycle, the sign would be given. And Shepard was always aware.

    And yet Shepard was not. This had sent a sour note through the chorus, the will searching it's databanks. Shepard was present, aboard the Normandy SR1. And yet, no sign of Shepard being aware of the Second Cycle had been given. The chorus trilled further questions, and the will searched through the Blessed, searching through a list, and with each entry, uncertainty rippled even more strongly through the chorus.

    They were all unaware. The will formed a section of it's records, and marked this down. According to the rules of the Second Cycle as it had them listed, this simply could not occur. One other must be aware of the Second Cycle, no other result was possible. The will briefly contemplated ways to discern the identity of this individual, the chorus forming ideas across it's song. As the harmonics of the ideas flowed together, combining, creating new ideas, consolidating, the will came to a conclusion to draw out the identity of any who would be aware of the Second Cycle.

    The First Cycle could be accelerated. The galaxy could be brought to Ascension.

    The chorus exploded in song, concepts best expressed as joy and excitement intermingling with planning. Deep inside of the will, the Blessed known as Saren found himself overwhelmed by ecstasy, while those tools known as the Geth found themselves receiving a mass of blueprints for strange devices of war to build, as well as extensive code optimization packages. Meanwhile, deep inside the bowels of the will, a hatch opened, leading to a chamber much bigger than it's exterior dimensions would suggest, filled to the brim with weapons the likes of which had never been seen in this universe.

    The Second Cycle had taken priority over the First Cycle, as the First could not be accomplished while the Second was happening. As much as the will knew this, and had grown to accept it, the rest of the will had not. The pressure, the drive to herald the end of this iteration of the First Cycle was always present. It could ignore it - unless the chorus cried out, the rest of the will would remain submerged in the past, but the pressure remained. If the will were to deign communicate the pressure to one of the lesser races, likening it to an itch would not be inaccurate.


    Sovereign chuckled to itself. It was time to scratch the itch.
     
  13. Gotta love wonky Loop code.
     
  14. ShadowPhoenix

    ShadowPhoenix Dark Lord of Shadows

    From that, i am just wondering if Shepard and Sovereign could just catch up and have a drink sometime.

    Is it also wrong to want to see a loop where Shepard goes the Saren route just to see what it is like from the other side.
     
  15. Sovereign is a machine and can't drink. Also, what other side? Even if the loops reset everything, the death of billions is not something Shepard takes lightly.
     
  16. ....you really don't get the concept of a joke, do you Ethan.
     
  17. Forgive me Weaver, for I have sinned. In payment for that, I will post a snippet tonight.
     
  18. Ethan, you seem to be taking this whole thing way too seriously. Just... relax a bit, okay?
     
    Draconas likes this.
  19. Jomasten

    Jomasten Ham of medium proportions

    Oh joy. With the existence of this thread, it means I can maybe import the loops I did from TFF. maybe.
     
  20. Responses:

    Looks good. The "Second Cycle" is referring to the loops I assume? You could just use the term loops, or put quote marks around "loops" or 'loops' like so. Looking forward to the second part.

    The damaged code loop was good and I like the idea that Shepard is fluxuating between being male and female. But eventually Yggdrasil will fix Shepard's gender coding problem and the baseline is a male shepard. As for female Shepard, I plan to have clone Shepard looping eventually, With either TIM or a looper replacement seeing what would happen if they made a female clone of Shepard...FOR SCIENCE!

    Snippet time:

    1.3

    "I need to file a claim," shouted Captain Shepard as he slammed open the oak door of his insurance office. The poor desk worker had seen better days with papers facing every way covering his desk. The agent's hair was unkempt and clumped together in two places like he had been pulling at it not too long ago.

    With Shepard's arrival, the agent's eyes widened as he rose and shouted, "Nononono no NO! No more claims."

    Shepard walked through the room and came to stand with his hands on his hips, a scowl on his face, "Why not? You insured my last crash!"

    The agent's hands flew wide, "That was...five...minutes...ago..."

    Shepard smiled, "Exactly! You don't even need to change the date on the forms!"

    The agent sighed, "Mr. Shepard, you have crashed 160 times..."

    Shepard nodded to which the agent's eyes narrowed, "a day...for the past six months. We can't insure you anymore."

    Shepard shouldn't have been surprised, as he was known in the F-Zero Grand Prix as the man who never completed a race. Still, he had to defend himself somehow, "Ok, Big Blue doesn't even have railings, so half of those shouldn't count."

    The agent's tone turned sour with anger as he waved his hand, "Perhaps, but how did you end up upside down in the water every time. You didn't have anything to flip yourself over! We will not insure you, please see yourself out."

    "It's not my fault! No one can control these things," at things, he pointed out the window as several racers slammed against the railings, causing them to burst into flames. Shepard continued, "Anytime someone steps behind the wheel of these machines, it's going to explode!"

    To the agent's credit, he looked sheepish for a moment, then sighed and looked at the racer, "That may be, but you need to take some respon-"

    Shepard blinked as a pink race machine approached the office's second floor window, right behind the insurance agent. The looper shouted, "Look out," as he jumped over the desk and tackled the man to the ground. The racer broke through the glass and barely avoided hitting the two men by a hair. Shepard rolled out from under the racer, dragging the agent out with him, "You alright?!"

    The agent's eyes were twitching, "I...am...not...insuring...Grand Prix Racers...ANYMORE!"

    Shepard's eyes narrowed. Even after saving him, he wouldn't insure him? He brought his right hand back, which burned like the sun. He shouted in anger, "SHEPARD...PUUUUNNNCCCHHHH!!!"

    The man slammed across the room into the only bookshelf still standing, which toppled over on the man. A groan echoed from the rubble indicating he was still alive. The the hatch on the racer opened, revealing Shepard's arch rival Samurai Gorrus, who looked a bit put out, "Huh...Sorry about the damages, this thing is impossible to control."

    Shepard grinned as he recognized his friend, "Garrus! Didn't know you were awake here."

    Even with the change in universes, Garrus was still a turian, albeit carrying a samurai katana and wearing the trademark Japanese headgear of the man he was replacing. The turian grinned, "Yeah, I just woke up mid-race and lost control of this thing. When I get it back to the garage, I'll make some calibrations and it'll fly like a bird. What's your plans for this loop?"

    He looked apprehensive for a moment, "You're not seriously going to race, are you?"

    Shepard shook his head, "Maybe in my free time. With what I remember, I'm supposed to be the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. Plus, I'd like to put this to good use..."

    He raised his hand and allowed his fist to glow yellow again. Garrus chuckled as he climbed out of his racer. His voice took on a mechanical imitation of Legion, "Chances that Shepard Commander will deliver a punch to the face increasing!"

    With that, The two walked out, laughing the whole way and leaving behind a ruined insurance office and broken race machine in their wake. Garrus' nervous voice echoed from the hallway, "Be sure to let me know before you enter a race."
     
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  21. ShadowPhoenix

    ShadowPhoenix Dark Lord of Shadows

    ....*sigh*

    how tightly wound are you?
    tell that to renegade Shep..... and yes, i am aware that there is a difference between a few dozen and several billion, but if Shepard remembers everything, why not try something completely different and instead of saving everything, destroying everything.

    it is not that far fetched.
     
  22. Shepard would hardly be the first Anchor to snap, blow up his Loop out of frustration, and end up in Eiken.
     
    darkdigi likes this.
  23. Oni

    Oni Devil Tiger

    o_O Er... you see, the thing is...

    Mild ME3 DLC Spoiler --> ( They already cloned him/her. Said clone is a Renegade and tries to take over the originals life in the Citadel DLC. So yes, Me3 has a literal Evil Twin. )
     
  24. [​IMG]

    :) About that tightly. It was about 2 AM when I said that and I wasn't thinking clearly.

    There's a difference between nuking half the galaxy to destroy the reapers forever, and actively working for/with the reapers to bring out it's destruction like Saren. By all means, Renegade Shepard would nuke planets and sectors, heck even entire races if it meant ending the reapers once and for all.

    I know. I said Clone Shepard would start looping.

    Edit: Also, here's where I got the idea for my Captain Shepard Loop.

     

  25. Well, here's what I was thinking. Sovereign is a Reaper, a member of species that propagates a cycle that is measured in fifty-thousand years a turn. If we assume that each cycle results in the creation of a single Reaper (though two or three being made on occasion wouldn't be out of the question, I think), consider how many individual Reapers we see, multiple hundreds of them over the course of the games (mostly in 3, though). If Sovereign is a middle-aged Reaper, that puts him at multiple millions of years old. Reapers are, by nature, creatures of both fixed habit and great patience. With loops being 3 years and change, it would take literal millions of loops before his time spent Looping outstrips his time spent prior to looping. Combine that with a creature of habit, and the fact that the Reapers have a sorta collective drive to propagate their cycle, and I don't see him changing easily. They are so constant that the multiverse crashing couldn't affect them, essentially. While he would certainly use the accepted terminology when speaking with others, I think he's sufficiently......alien, that he wouldn't "think" in such terms.
     

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