XCOM: Second Contact Thread the Third

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

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  1. Nai

    Nai SI Archivist (SV/QQ)

    Well. You see, the Thorian has these things called "Spores" that it uses to control people. They probably work like an interface. Or a USB cable to the individual's brain, which the Thorian uses to control them. In this fic, the Thorian is also a Psi who's been experimented on by Ethereals. It's also damn old, so it's good at what it can do.

    Simply put, it read their minds, bro. Either Kaiden's brain when it mindfucked him, or learned it from the people already on Feros. It's not hard to imagine one or a few of the Xeno's learning English.

    edit: Is the Thorian a fruit, or a vegetable?
  2. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    One thing that should be pointed out: the Thorian doesn't use spores. If it did, it couldn't take over the Normandy. It uses psionics for its mind-fuckery.

    Also, Iruel pretty much nailed it.

    And it's totally a vegetable. I have no idea what the official distinction is, but the Thorian is an evil, evil thing, so it gets the same classification as cauliflower.
  3. uju32

    uju32 Mad Doctor

    Not broccoli?
  4. Mandemon

    Mandemon Gentlemen, I love brawl.


    You (IIRC) said that Reapers are weak to psi attacks.

    Thorian is a fuck strong(as seen when it goes ASSUMING MADNESS on entire Normandy and such.) Psionic creatures (I use the term loosely here)

    So, explain again how Reapers are "immune"? Unless I misunderstood something from your explanation.
  5. Nai

    Nai SI Archivist (SV/QQ)

    Thorian's brown, so it would be rotten Cauliflower.
  6. wkz

    wkz Probably on the other side of the world from you

    Probably because Reapers are a mashed blender of hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands, of souls, connected to mechanical AI-like interfaces? Mindcontrolling one mind is easy. Mindcontrolling the whole mess AND making them move/think the same way AND connecting the entire bunch of co-ordinated bio signals correctly to the non-biological parts might be beyond it?
  7. Agayek

    Agayek Ravenous Gormandizer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    I never said anything about the Reapers being weak to psionics. That was speculation by some readers theorizing on how XCOM is going to fight them.

    The Reapers are machines, they're the next best thing to immune to the mental side of psionics.

    Also, I'll say it again so it's clear: people appear to be exaggerating the Thorian's raw power somewhat for whatever reason. It's not a psionic god.

    @uju: I actually like broccoli. Call me crazy, but there you go.
  8. Nai

    Nai SI Archivist (SV/QQ)

    Yes. Everyone knows it's that Volus, Niftu Cal.


    Oh wait. He's biotic.

    Or is he?
  9. LONE WOLF 666


    Why cant the biotic god save us all?. Does he need to die or something?.
  10. Ed130

    Ed130 Courage and Duty

    Those two vegetables are unfairly maligned because people don't know how to cook them properly.

    Boiling just destroys the flavour, for best results add to stews, soups or stir fry and you have to boil them, make sure they are just cooked with the stalks still firm and serve with a good gravy or cheese sauce...

    Damn, now I'm hungry.
    WarpObscura, Faralis and Uxion like this.
  11. Ooooh... Let's see. Let's go aganist Iruel's protip and still frame Thorian's abilities within the frame we have.

    ETHEREALS: Average Psi level of 8, all disciplines.
    Humans: usually one of four branches, varying effectiveness. Multiple branches of psi are rare.

    • Is it a D-Psi? Results inconclusive. No proof found of having such an ability. Proof found ability, if present, is limited. Reason - it didn't go RIFT on the Geth. I say if he is a D-Psi, its limited enough for it not to matter.
    • Is it a I-Psi? Most definitely. Seeing as I-8 is "mind control one person", and I-10 is "mind control half a dozen", and counting the entire number of controlled at at least a hundred, I give it the tentative rating of I-15. (I assumed that on average each rating point doubles the amount of controlled ones).
    • Is it a T-Psi? Not that we know of. It would have opened the wormholes himself instead of using the meatpuppets otherwise.
    • Is it a C-Psi? To quote the FAQ. "How many individuals can be read" C10 can read from thousands, C1 from a single individual. Human average is C5. Instant interstellar communications requires a C5. Well. C10 it is, let's not be stingy.
    I think I'm done with tentative analysis of branch abilities of Thorian. I-15 C-10. Mind you, it only measures rough branch proficiency, after all humans can't do the sectoid mind linking apparently. So it's specific abilities are still unknown.
  12. Night_stalker

    Night_stalker SB's resident Advocatus Diabolis Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Well shit.

    On a sidenote, who's up for steamed Thorian?
  13. No, brussel sprouts!
  14. Inverness

    Inverness Apostle

    Now that is total bullshit and applied handwavium to suddenly go "oh those rules only apply to humans" when convenient for the plot.
  15. Except it had already been pointed out that Humans didn't have Sectoid's Mind Merge. So it wasn't sudden at all.
  16. Nightblade

    Nightblade I will protect those who cannot protect themselves Banned

    Humanity also doesn't have that weird Mind network the Ethereals had ether.
  17. Inverness

    Inverness Apostle

    The mere existence of psionics only in humans is currently sustained by handwavium, there is only so much you can do with that before SoD is broken.
    If their minds are all similar or identical such an emergent ability would be unsurprising. Naturally that wouldn't apply to humans.
    Well yes, humans are obviously not a hive minded species.

    So my point here is what would allow another entity to read minds where humans are unable to.
  18. Iron Roby

    Iron Roby Solidarity

    Don't they know that, no matter the current political situation, an X-COM operator in a Titan Armor quickly jumping to cover outranks a calmly standing Council Spectre.
  19. Maxim 2: A sergeant in motion outranks a lieutenant who doesn't know what's going on.
    Maxim 3: Ordinance tech at a dead run outranks EVERYBODY.
  20. Ed130

    Ed130 Courage and Duty

    You're complaining that a giant plant which (in actual canon) took over peoples minds and prevented them from mentioning its existence with friggin spores is breaking SoD by able both control and scan a mind at the same time?

    The main body was the size of a house, being able to multi-task psi abilities isn't that unbelievable.
  21. Inverness

    Inverness Apostle

    If that plant used spores injected in your brain to read your memories and transmit them to it using psionics, then I could believe that. If it can read minds with psionics where humans can't just because the plot demands it, then I have an issue with that.
  22. dz1

    dz1 Lost in time and space...

    Nooo...that's acknowledging that the Thorian is an entirely different kind of life-form, and thus its psionic abilities are under absolutely zero obligation to function in the same manner as those seen in humans.

    ...the only reason that humans are the only species affiliated with the Citadel in ME canon that possess psionics in the fic is because they were the only one of those to be experimented on by the Ethereals with the explicit purpose of inducing a psionic population developing. It's well-established that the causal factors behind "the Gift", and therefore how to induce it, are completely unknown to XCOM.

    You're assuming things about what factors limit and shape psionic abilities. Not that your speculations are necessarily wrong, but doing so to facilitate your objections is a bit presumptuous.

    Anyway, Word of God says that the Thorian perceives the universe directly through psionics. Given that the very first one to be taken down is a C-psi, it's entirely plausible that the Thorian can read minds specifically because that's precisely how it perceives them. If it perceives other minds directly, as a mass of neurological activity, and the first mind it grabs is a C-psi (whom functions on the basis of sending and receiving information and thus might in itself act as a "cipher"--assuming the Thorian even needs one), it's not a stretch for it to then be able to read minds simply by interpreting the neurological activity on full display.

    Humans cannot read minds likely for the same reason that geneticists cannot just "read" genes and instead must perform mutagenesis for assays and comparative analyses between defective mutants and wild type organisms to understand the function of specific genes.
  23. Iron Roby

    Iron Roby Solidarity

    Humans probably could read minds too if they could just process all the input, which is impossible without either having the backing of a hivemind or having your brain be at least the size of a building and maybe even in roots over the whole planet.

    And if psionics is at least remotely theoretically grounded in reality, then it is going to have "biological" differences between the species. Complaining over such differences is like complaining that some birds can command their eyes to zoom in at a great distance and see millions of more colors and humans can't. Human eyes, while relatively good, are not the best and just can't do some things, why should our brains no be the same as far as the psionic abilities go? Especially since we have had it only so little time from the evolutionary perspective?

    If you want to complain that it makes the Thorian unbalanced as an enemy, then argue from that meta perspective, but its nonsense to complain that space brain magic not being arbitrarily the same to everybody is somehow more unrealistic that it being the same to everybody no matter the differences.

    Even in a setting where magic A is magic A, different species can often still do different things with it, because, although the fundamental power and the laws of magic are the same, their minds and bodies interact in different ways with that power.
    Hectonkhyres, dz1, Faraway-R and 2 others like this.
  24. hance1986

    hance1986 See Me. Feel Me. Touch Me. Fear Me.

    Thorian: Failed Ethereal experiment that still loves its masters?

    The fact that Reapers are not affected by mindjacking means that Thorian abilities mean fuck all beyond using meatpuppets to attack Reapers which is automatic fail.

    That humans took Ethereal tech and were able to integrate all psionic abilities was technically a win for the Ethereals. Their POV on species death may have been radically different from human or other alien viewpoints on death. Ethereal 'defeat' laid the groundwork for an eventual united front against the Great Enemy, so...win?

    For all it's power, it may have been seen that the Thorian is ultimately a plant. Beyond it's sphere of influence, it's close to powerless. Not ideal for proactive action against Reapers.
  25. condonzack

    condonzack I'm so sorry

    If this is the case, then I imagine that there is a limit to the Thorian's mind reading power. It can read any mind any time, but it can't read all the minds at once. I guess it would come down to limits.

    I am also convinced that the Thorian is going to get roots off planet if he hasn't already. Because C'thauliflower is kind of awesome.
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