XCOM: Second Contact Thread the Third

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Agayek, Feb 19, 2013.

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  1. Tragedy? It's going to be an XCOM story. I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing what their 'Avenger', 'Nova Bomb' or 'Volunteer' winds up being.
    Except this latest snippet suggests that that is Udina's purpose on the Citadel.
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  2. Vlad III

    Vlad III Indeed, Mr. Watson.

    I agree. Role reversals are not funny. Canon Udina was the diplomat that couldn't hold his temper.
  3. Iron Roby

    Iron Roby Solidarity

    Its the Asari and Turian Councilor who's roles have been reversed, so the Council side is still balanced and Udina has not exactly been as emotionlessly polite as expected of modern real life human diplomats.

    Plus, I don't think that Tevos has ever truly "lost it" outside the jokes in this thread, she simply seems to think that "harsh voice parenting" is the only thing that really gets through to humans after she lost her Asari cultural assimilation patience with them after that "little incident" with the Chryssalids.
  4. Mizuki_Stone

    Mizuki_Stone Gnd. Admiral Amicus

    I dono, the Salarians, and Turians seem to be doing pretty good in adapting. It's pure poor Tevos who keeps getting brain nuked by all this. If anything I think the two shown Turian diplomats seem to be more reasonable, respectable, and overall competent then what we see in cannon. And given the Asari tendency to focus mostly on the long view, and them not yet having a chance to really hammer down how humans work, it's somewhat understandable how Miss Blue is always being rubbed raw by all of this.

    It might also have something to do with their lifespan. Asari tend to adapt fast to new scenarios, but that’s explicitly a response of experience. Having lived a few hundred years; your typical magical blue space lady has seen/done so much random stuff, that (even if it doesn’t quite match up perfectly), there is normally something similar enough in their past experience that they can draw off of to figure out how to deal with something.

    Humanity in general kind of spits in the face of that though. X-COM humanity is just too big of an OCP for that trick to kick in. We don’t maneuver/spread like anyone else, we don’t behave like anyone else, and even our economics work in entirely different methods.

    It’s like encountering a brand new sapient species of radish that will make anyone who tries to build or place anything in a position that would block out to much of their precious sunlight explode in messy ways that you don’t really understand. You can talk with it, reason with it, even live side by side with it relatively easily. It’s wants/needs while inconvenient at times, are relatively simple, and overall not that difficult to work around, but it’s just so incredibly alien, and disruptively dangerous if provoked that trying to interact with it is very difficult. You can understand the doom radish’s logic, but the very nature of it’s existence is so different from your own, that empathy and true understanding can be difficult on a personal scale. To say nothing of the instinctive fear that comes from dealing with something that can, and very much is willing to kill you if you should provoke it.

    Given a few decades they’ll be better at understanding us, but that doesn’t change the fact that regardless of how similar we appear, we are still very different peoples. We can be friends, we can be allies, we can even be family, but we cannot be them. And the wants and needs each of our people have will always be strange to the other.

    Mind you, that exact set up is the very basis of how symbosis works: One supplying the needs for the other, from something that is useless, or of lesser value to themselves.
  5. Iron Roby

    Iron Roby Solidarity

    It's the metaphor that really made your argument.
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  6. Mandemon

    Mandemon Gentlemen, I love brawl.

    Tevos is actually adapting just well, it's just that XCOM keeps constantly breaking well established rules. Alliance with the Geth? Nobody saw that one coming. XCOM tech and all, well, XCOM keeps doing stuff that nobody expect them to do. Moment you think you got them figured, they change the rules again.

    But I agree, having Council constantly as the "Oh look how these guys are two steps behind!" is getting old...
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  7. First we were cats, and now we're radishes?
    What's next, we get to be rocks?
  8. BadHabits

    BadHabits Full of rage.

    Rocks Fall Everybody Dies?
  9. Kellcat

    Kellcat Occasional Ex-Lurker

    Maybe, but the council do work fairly well as a quick snapshot of Citadel space's reaction to XCOM's latest WTF-ery...
  10. Mandemon

    Mandemon Gentlemen, I love brawl.

    Pretty much only saving grace for them at the moment. However, since they have decide to plan for the worst, hope for the best, instead of "Wait and see" I hope we see Council asserting itself more and being less something that XCOM can rub its achievements at.
  11. Sithking Zero

    Sithking Zero Hellbore Technician

    Have to agree with some arguments, Udina is largely having his way... I'd kind of like a few more obstacles. I grant that part of this is the Council not knowing how to handle X-COM humanity, and the Asari's "Take the Long View" not dealing well to this sort of thing. But if anything, the ripples from these butterfly thingies should be interesting to see.
  12. I was always reading that as an example where 2 was supposed to actually represent a variable. ( 1 < x ) and ( x < 3 ) return same values while x is within a certain range. When x leaves that range, the return values of both comparisons diverge.
  13. templar627

    templar627 Capitalism, ho!

    Let's not start this argument again.
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  14. Two things. One Sparatus seems to be handling X-Com a bit better. He seems more able to wrap his mind around humanity's Wulfenbach style diplomacy, ("Don't make me come over there.") and while messy can understand the impulse that if you have to 'go over there' making sure no one wants you to come back.

    Two, Udina doesn't just have a different hand from canon, he's playing with a whole different deck. SA humanity IIRC had a fairly trashed homeworld and saw Council membership as the key to recovery, prosperity, and spreading out. So they really wanted Council approval, which meant jumping through Council hoops. This was the normal order of things, something the asari have worked hard to set up and play very well.

    The Coalition isn't just a different animal, it's different order. Earth seems to not have gotten as trashed, and thus the pressure to get off it is lessened. Even with that, with T-psis and gateways the Coalition has it's own ways to get to other stars. Stars that are often 'off grid' from the Relay network. Either shutdown, or too far from one. Thus they neither need Council approval for settlement, nor require their protection from 'space vikings'. Though most have some local forces anyway. Simply put humanity doesn't need to climb the Citadel heirarchy, and thus Udina and his political masters don't have to play as nice. The human worlds in Citadel space are tradeports and experiments in contact with non-xenocidal Xrays. While packing them up might be a hardship on the populace of the worlds in question, the Coalition as a whole might not be that hard hit if they had to close up shop.

    TLDR, the Coalition has different goals and politics than the Systems Alliance. Ones that leave them much less tied to Citadel policies and approval than the Alliance was. Thus Udina can have the room to tweak the Council's noses when the Coalition wants him to.
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  15. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Billions, possibly even trillions of people are going to end up dead by the end of this.

    That doesn't necessarily mean it will be a tragedy. The Protheans were more advanced with eezo tech true, but they weren't an OCP like the humans are.

    Besides, it wouldn't be an XCOM story if the fight didn't seem completely impossible.
  16. Faralis

    Faralis Ancient onsen master

    Awesome, your Udina is still a great Troll, but this time is OUR Troll

    Udina wants, hell Udina NEEDS a Council military build up. Everything they have discovered ( Ethereals fearing, Protheans disappearing, geth worshiping ) points an enemy that humanity alone CANNOT win.

    I´m quite sure that XCOM has being more assholish than really necessary provoking the council especially for that reason. Hell I´m quite sure that the Turians know of it and approve it ( being up front is quite the Turian style ) and the Salarians suspect it. The only ones that really do not understand humanity modus operandi are the Asari, and thats because its completely anathema to them.

    Agayek, are the geth going to war with the heretics? I ask because in ME they have real problems with the heretic division ... for them it literally was as if one of my arms decided that does not like me and want to go away ... but they are not stupid, and they must understand that they wanted a XCOM/Geth war.

    Also, reading Chris post, I REALLY hope this time they record or transmit Ilos VI conversation ...
  17. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    The geth are willing to assist XCOM's efforts and fight to stop the heretics, but they're not willing to go total war against them, if that makes sense. They'll help if asked, or if the heretics attack when they're nearby, but they won't go looking for a fight with them.

    And yea, Shepard has a helmet cam that records everything. It only makes sense.
  18. Dakkan Sall

    Dakkan Sall Random Encounter

    Just to note, there's also the fact that the Protheans had the whole thing with the Citadel trap knocking out their Relay travel and communications, whereas in this cycle since that has been disabled (barring Saren activating it via sneaking in by the Conduit) the Citadel races will still have overall mobility.
  19. Faralis

    Faralis Ancient onsen master

    You have to give proper credit to the Protheans ... they resisted for almost 300 hundred years, with the Relay travel lost and their command removed from the start. Javik´s brethren ( and Javik himself ) were a bunch of assholes. But they were a race of incredibly sturdy assholes.
  20. Nah, it will seem to be mostly impossible instead.

    XCOM's favorite.
  21. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    You assume the Citadel races will be able to keep the Citadel

  22. Mandemon

    Mandemon Gentlemen, I love brawl.

    Citadel is surprisingly difficult to take if you don't have backdoor. Without insider, once closed Citadel is pretty much impenetrable fortress. All they would then need to do is to outlast attacking Reapers and wait for reinforcements.

    One of the biggest things Protheans did was remove Reaper remote control over the Keepers, making Citadel independent entity from them.
  23. CKirk

    CKirk Augur of the Core

    But XCOM has T-psis that have seen the inside of the Citadel. Closed doors means nothing to wormholes.
  24. The Reapers still have Admin privileges, disabling the Keepers just got rid of the remote access. Now they need the direct connection.
  25. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    You can't outlast the attacking Reapers. It's not a conventional siege, they can keep you bottled up until everyone inside dies. Or they can just blow one of the arms off and pour in that way. Or start indoctrinating people inside the Citadel from outside it until one of them snaps and opens the arms. Etcetera, etcetera.

    And as soon as the Reapers get inside, it's game over man.
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