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XCOM: Second Contact [XCOM/Mass Effect] - Thread 2

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Agayek, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. Hectonkhyres

    Hectonkhyres Seething with increasing levels of bitterness.

    Realpolitik. Very different from sitting around a table and singing kumbaya .

    "The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by its power ... Prussia must concentrate its strength and hold it for the favorable moment, which has already come and gone several times. Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been ill-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided - that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 - but by iron and blood."

    War is a tool of diplomacy, a tool like everything in the world is a tool. Sometimes it is the best tool for the job. Sometimes its posturing and intimidation, sometimes economic exploitation and hegemony, sometimes a gift of service to make another power dependent upon you, sometimes its looking like the hero and sometimes the villain.

    Germany? Germany was mostly content to win the peace because it was working for them for a certain time period after their unification. You use the tool that is best for the job. And then, one day, the tip of a sword... or at least the fear created by it... is the perfect tool. Today that may be the case.

    To instinctively throw out butchery as a potential tool on any occasion is as foolish as it would be to declare it is the only tool.
     
  2. Mandemon

    Mandemon However, I am trustworthy

    Then I hope you realize that simply ignoring neighbors in favor of "massive retaliation" is sure way to make even more enemies.

    Let me be frank: I find idea that humanity is still mentally scarred to point where it considers everything a threat and does not think beyond "NO ALIEN IN MY BACKYARD" to be stupid. Humans are not Ur-Quan. Humans are not Imperium of Man. When your neighbors are stronger than you are, yet show no interest in fighting with you, is not to piss them off by flipping a bird at them constantly.

    Now, on to other matters, what are the full consequences of Batarian Civil War? What are the sides? Is it several warlords fighting each others, or few powerful figures claiming succession? How much is the war affecting neighboring nations? Are Batarian refuges more common than ever? Does your average Batarian hold grudge against humans? Is Balak leading anti-human Batarian and how much more support he has than what he had in canon?

    I ask because collapse of a star empire is pretty big deal and should be more than just a footnote in setting like this.
     
  3. Hectonkhyres

    Hectonkhyres Seething with increasing levels of bitterness.

    You really do love your straw men, don't you?
     
  4. Iron Roby

    Iron Roby Solidarity

    That quote was about creating horrifying torturous abominations like the Floaters, not about retaliating with force. It's quite possible that Doctor Shen would never have supported a counter strike with Chryssalids, but he would not have any problems, in itself, with retaliating with full power, he would just want more "humane" methods of attack.

    And that was exactly what humanity was doing before the Batarian attack. X-COM just has no reason to believe that an alien power that abducts your citizens will suddenly stop doing it unless you fight it with all your strength.

    How would an average Coalition citizen, who knows the history of the Ethereal War, somehow feel safe when the aliens attacked, killed, abducted and the X-COM did seemingly nothing?
     
  5. DCG

    DCG

    "in space lasers are not long-range weapons. Diffraction is a bitch like that."

    Where do people keep getting this idea? >_< Must be all that space dust huh? Or maybe cause its cold? *dangs head on desk*
     
    ryuan and Matsci like this.
  6. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    The Civil War is currently still on-going, though it's starting to die down because, well, most of the people who really care are dead.

    After the Khar'shan raid, there formed three primary sides of the conflict. The Loyalists, essentially the remnants of the Batarian military whose goal is to recreate the Hegemony; the Abolitionists, basically a slave uprising that seized the opportunity to enact change (with some covert support from XCOM and the STG); and Jath'Amon, who wants to crown himself king of the batarians and have his own empire.

    There's also powerful warlords, Terminus powers, and other people with relatively substantial military might that are simply claiming pieces of batarian space, and no one who wants to has the ability to gainsay them.

    The fighting has left everyone exhausted and tried of fighting, but no one's really ready to quit. Civilians have been fleeing batarian space in droves since the fighting broke out. Most wound up somewhere in the Terminus, but a not-insubstantial amount fled to Citadel Space seeking asylum, which so far has been granted.

    The average batarian absolutely resents being forced to flee their homes by all the fighting. Where the blame falls for that, though, varies wildly. Some (typically the formerly wealthy/influential) hate humanity, some (typically the lower caste) hate the loyalists, and some just hate everyone involved.

    As for Balak, he's actually one of the leaders of the Loyalist faction. He despises humanity on a deep and personal level, and so does his entire faction. They've been launching raids on human worlds sporadically for the last few years. The problem is that they simply don't have the resources to fight both the humans and a civil war at the same time. If the Loyalists ever win though, you can bet your ass they'll be going total war on humanity.
     
  7. Mandemon

    Mandemon However, I am trustworthy

    Codex itself states so. It is the explanation why GARDIAN lasers are reserved for knife-fighting ranges, while main combat happens with kinetic weapons.

    EDIT

    Thanks for info Agayek. Make the current situation more clear. Though I am surprised that Citadel/XCOM is not supporting Abolitionist more, seeing how they would be closer to what they would want from Batarians.
     
  8. DCG

    DCG

    Oh is that who's fault it is? Thanks mandemon, Now i know where to focus my hate.

    Space magic and EA.
     
    ryuan likes this.
  9. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Lasers effectively lose energy over distance in space. Admittedly, I could be using the wrong word for it, but it is a fact that there's no such thing as a perfect laser. The photons are never perfectly aligned. As the beam travels, it gets wider and wider, making it less and less effective the farther one gets from the focal point.

    It's simply not possible to have an effective laser weapon at the thousands-of-kilometer-minimum distances most space combat operates at.
     
    Oni likes this.
  10. Yeah, everyone knows it's not the diffraction that's the problem, it's the diffusion of the beam-path.
    Edit: Ninjad
     
    ryuan and Faralis like this.
  11. DCG

    DCG

    That make's far more sense, But you're still talking a problem that won't show up for light years....(unless you're using a flashlight) ug. Don't want to derail the thread with tech talk. Just that kinda thing all ways irks me.
     
    ryuan and Faralis like this.
  12. hance1986

    hance1986 Bolo Commander

    And then Ballsack finds Nazara, who wants the 411 on these crazy psionic humans and a 4 eyed gopher on a revenge kick is a good investment.

    How successful are these raids on human worlds? i amagine XCOM and the Coalition is investing much more heavily in colony defenses and having the heavy iron on call. Has XCOM looked at quantum entanglement communicators as a alternative to having a psi on call all the time?
     
    Night_stalker likes this.
  13. Rathmun

    Rathmun Registered

    Without some excuse for lasers being short ranged, the same tech that goes into a comm buoy would turn a laser into an interstellar death-ray. Yes, their excuse is dumb, but I'm not sure there's a good one they could have used instead.
     
    J1459 and Fellgar like this.
  14. Yet!
     
    ShadowCub likes this.
  15. Hectonkhyres

    Hectonkhyres Seething with increasing levels of bitterness.

    Who won't necessarily end up the good guys any more than anyone else. You could easily have the birth of the Soviet Union, headed by Batarian Lenin and Trotsky at best and Stalin at worst, with starting conditions like that.

    It would be a rather compelling direction to tale things in my mind.
     
    Faralis, ryuan, Tabi and 4 others like this.
  16. Simple, lasers used by mass effect ships suffer additional distortions to their beams thanks to the ships primary ME field, the one that reduces mass and alters constant. Think lasers fired from underneath water.

    That's why the range is only 10km rather than the expected 300km that it'd be without them. Note, the lasers would still be short ranged relative to the main guns on any ship.
     
  17. Pyrion

    Pyrion Liquid Metal Nanomorph

    They're not ignoring them, though. If they were, the Human delegation would've been a no-show for responding to the Hegemony's allegations in front of the Council.

    Humanity in this setting is not the paranoid eccentric neighbor that responds to every slight with the flip of the bird, though. No, Humanity in this setting is the paranoid eccentric neighbor who has planted landmines on his lawn, has sandbagged his front porch, boarded up his windows, lined his walls with concrete, lead and/or tin foil (choose any two) and carries two loaded pistols as well as a shotgun (and knives strapped to his boots, wrists and wherever else he can safely hide them) while wearing full body armor all the time. Oh, and he seems to never leave his house either. He's obviously a hilarious danger to the community for anybody stupid enough to rile him up (and probably himself to boot), but he's otherwise harmless.

    At least compared to his neighbors, who are, in some ways, much worse. He's got fucking Best Korea (complete with no understanding of property ownership) as a next-door neighbor for crying out loud. It's justified paranoia. :p
     
  18. He's only a danger if you trip one of the land mines. That's when the shooting starts.
     
  19. Then why the hell dont you fire an linked battery of lasers then? 5 Diffused lasers must burn like 2 full in the same space like 1-1,5 if you manage to aim the damn thing right.
    Sure as hell would make GUARDIAN batteries hull wrecking at short range.
     
  20. Hectonkhyres

    Hectonkhyres Seething with increasing levels of bitterness.

    I'm picturing the Mass Effect universe being done Axis Powers Hetalia-style. As a single run down suburban neighborhood in the outskirts of Detroit.

    Yup. There is some mental scarring for you.
     
  21. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    The raids have had varying degrees of success. Most were stopped before they even reached the targeted world. Then the Batarians changed tactics. Instead of a classic raid, they opted more for suicide missions. They'd grab a few vessels and pack them full of radiation shielding, then fling them at human worlds at maximum speed, not even bothering trying to slow down. They'd near the target then just drop the ME field, instantly slowing down to around ~0.2c and sending lethal radiation flying all over everywhere. Some of the raiders would survive it, others would not, but such tactics proved capable of at least landing something on human worlds, where they'd proceed to do as much damage as they possibly could before XCOM inevitably killed them all.

    They've been able to kill a few humans, but after the first such raid, the civilian and military response was able to keep human casualties from any single raid under 4 figures.

    And then XCOM would dispatch troops for a reprisal, and that's where the rest of Shepard's reputation was built.
     
  22. Hectonkhyres

    Hectonkhyres Seething with increasing levels of bitterness.

    I think its safe to say that human building plans will be leaning more towards underground construction and covered streets in coming decades.
     
  23. Iron Roby

    Iron Roby Solidarity

    Maybe because overt help would make it easy to portray the Abolitionists as human collaborators and/or Citadel's puppets to the Batarian public? Or the Citadel/XCOM doubts how friendly the Abolitionists actually would be to the other species, should they won. Anti-slavery != peaceful and non-expansionist.

    That goes both ways. It could happen if the Abolitionists win and think that the humans and the Citadel have betrayed them by not having helped them enough and just wanted the civil war to continue as long as possible to keep the Batarians down.
     
    Faralis, Faraway-R, J1459 and 3 others like this.
  24. Mandemon

    Mandemon However, I am trustworthy

    So damned if they do, damned if they don't.
     
  25. Lord Sia

    Lord Sia Sorcerer-Lord

    Yup. The neighbourhood association is dominated by a Triumvirate consisting of an old hippy woman and her wild child daughters doing everything they can to keep the peace, a big momma and her sneaky, clever, naughty little boys, and the local gangster coalition complete with colour coding. Throw in the little man running the local supermarket paying protection taxes to the gangsters, the weird preacher who's taking care of a senile old man, the big friendly guy just doing his thing, the biker war veteran who's always looking for a fight, and the hobo who got thrown out of his own house when his smart appliances turned out to be smart enough to object to being treated as, well, objects...

    It's Axis Power Hetalia, Mass Effect Style.
     
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