Category Archives: Defuckery

A new Cerberus File : Opposing Forces and new art

I’ve held off several days because I’ve been waiting for two projects that complemented each other to complete. I’m happy to report both are done now — the debut of Dr. Tiffany Minsta, arrogant rich girl daughter of Dr. Galen Minsta and even more racist than her father.

She is the point of view of the latest Cerberus File, covering the volus’s special network. This piece was 99% written by Jacob and he should get all the credit for it. Along with this is the portrait of Tiffany done by Kerri Lynn. 

Tiffany Minsta, by Kerri Lynn

Thanks to both of them for expanding the Premiseverse.

Current Status (2017 State of the Premiseverse)

Hey folks.

So, here we are in 2017. When I started there was only Abyssal Shadows and AD Lewis and Sherry E cheering me on, and my writing was… not so hot.

I’m now at the 2.5 million words mark. So, given I did not achieve my 2016 goals, where do we go from here:

  1. Medical Crap: My mother is over both cancers (both in remission for more than six months). I still have back and knee issues, although I haven’t had a flare up in a while.
  2. Financial Crap: My job still seems secure, although we just underwent an internal reorg in IT and things are still shaking out. Unfortunately, my unit is entirely focused on the Verizon account — if something bad was to happen to that I am not sure how I would end up. The Patreon donations have given me the funds to start work on the original fiction story and to pay off the artists for work being commissioned now.
  3. Personal Crap: I am continuing to deal with some family issues but I am slowly moving past those by simple expedient of ignoring the ones who think I am a bag of money to be withdrawn from. I have had some minor altercations with friends of mine who think supporting Trump or hating Trump is somehow more important than friends you’ve known for fifteen+ years, but that is fine — I rarely if ever react to such things.
  4. Mental Crap: It’s been six years since Alysha died, on the 11th of April. I’ve continued to distract myself around that time as best as I can with writing. I’m glad the Andromeda game comes out in March, as I expect my mental stability will be shit from late March to early May as it is every year.

The plan for 2017:

That Which Cannot Die: currently being worked on. I doubt the new chapter will be ready this weekend, the earliest I would expect it, given writing difficulties I am having and the Chief Editor having hospital duty, would be January 28 — and that would be for the Editing Gang to begin their work, which will probably take at least a week.

ETA to completion? Very hard to say. You will notice that my writing speed has dropped — this is due to both my work being more demanding and the fact that now I have to carefully interweave things with what I’ve already written in a dozen documents. I would guess TWCD will be done by this year — probably towards the end, as none of us is going to be writing shit for a while when Andromeda comes out.

The Cerberus Files : Humanity is nearly completed. There are only two more pieces to go over — Corporations and independent colonies.  Also an OOC chapter, but that’s easily written. The biggest delay was in figuring out how to handle the AIS and with that out of the way the rest is much easier.

It should be finalized and marked complete by no later than mid year.

The Cerberus Files : Badass Nutjobs (i.e., Special Ops) is currently being worked on. One of the Editing Gang is doing the Volus section, while I am doing the finishing touches on quarians based on the idea of another team member. That only leaves the Salarians, Hanar and (the most complicated) the section on N7’s. I already have notes on the Salarians so that shouldn’t take long and I may end up using an idea that I discarded from my original fiction for the hanar.

Not sure when it will get done though — it’s one of my projects I work on when I get writer’s block or bored.

Ahern’s Guide to Shit You Shouldn’t Be Fighting will get updated very irregularly.

The Cerberus Files : Outcasts (Batarian/Quarian/Krogan) is up for being worked on. I have the research done on most of it, it’s just sitting down and writing it. I’d like to get it done and out of the way so I can play around with other concepts.

The other Cerberus File, Separtists (Hanar/Drell/Vorcha), will be done later in the year. I don’t have most of the drell research done yet.

The Fluff Stuff (Memories, No Single Raindrop, ANN Media Report) will get updated as I get around to having ideas. Sometimes, like with Dragunov, it just hits me.

The Tech Suite (Guide to Tech, Biotic Encyclopedia) is probably NOT getting updated this year. It takes too much research to get anything done in the Tech Guide, and I’m not sure what I want to add to the Encyclopedia yet.

The Analysis Pieces (The STG Report and STG Files) are always irregular. I’ve put off finishing the Benezia Report until I’m done with the OSABC overhaul and the STG Files will come out as needed.

The crackfic Of Serendipity and Balance WILL be getting a REGULAR (i.e., not Editing Gang) update later on this year, if possible.

If at all possible, I’d probably be writing up the entire text of the Message, Sarah William’s transmitted plea to the galaxy that got the asari (well, Uressa) to stop the turian decimation of Earth. I’ve always wanted to write a story about it, but it’s both very depressing and very emotional, the kind of shit you write while listening to sad remixes of the Imperial March and having spent the past four hours reading every TV Tropes entry under Heroic Sacrifice.

As for the Naruto stuff, it might get touched this year, but probably not.

Artwork  currently lined up includes:

  • The marriage scene
  • more OC portraits (Dragunov, Ahern, Rasa, Pel, probably some of Garrus’s team)
  • Mech and Battlesuit designs
  • The three battles (Benezia vs Aethtya, Shepard vs. Okeer and Shepard/Garrus against Tetrimus
  • Maybe more.


What can you do to make sure the Premiseverse continues?

  1. WRITE: The main thing that drives me to do more is knowing that people get into writing (anything, not just fan fic or ME stuff) due to reading what I wrote. I will happily showcase and mention your stuff on here or on if you let me know.
  2. LEARN: I will be expanding the Links of the Now Section a lot in the coming days, as well as a bunch of links on cultural anthropology, physics, biology, and more. The main thrust of what I write is hopefully to make people think — and if possible, think critically.
  3. JOIN IN: While I certainly did not expect the chat room to be of that much interest to anyone, I’m pleased with the results and amused at the strange cross-section of people who like my work. If you have questions, use the forum or the chat room to ask and I’ll do my best to answer — you can also email or PM on
  4. DONATE: no, not to the patreon. If you are good at art, or music, or have a specialty skill (medicine, math, and physics), or if you are a pilot or something else unusual, your opinions, experience or contributions are invaluable. I am a best a dilettante in many fields,  and true expertise is always useful. Likewise, if you are good at art and want to give your take on something, please do — the wonderful portrait of Matriarch Trellani was done by someone volunteering, as was the piece on Victor Manswell.


For now, assume things will continue to move forward. There are no new projects planned at this time and the only outstanding works remaining would be the Cerberus Files covering the Geth, Yahg and Collectors (which I probably won’t even do, TBH) and the possibility of the Fall of the Inusannon Empire piece which is still in vague outlines.

Maximum Trolling has now been reached.

If you really want to scare the shit out of yourself :

  • Re-read carefully all the Beacon Sequences in OSABC
  • Re-read the end of ATTWN, with Tetrimus
  • Read the Hanar Figures of Note Chapter

Then go read chapter five of Fear Unrelenting.

The answers are out there.


Double Update : STG File on Okeer and new chapter of TWCD

None can match my writing speed.

A few people have commented how sad it is that Okeer was not recruitable by Shepard, given how much more I have augmented the character. I gave this some long, hard thinking, but ultimately decided he had to die.

Okeer would have been more than happy to sell out the galaxy for even a chance to become a Reaper. Honestly, the idea would have appealed to him.  He would not care about the costs — to live eternally as a god, to be able to control the totally of the krogan race, to experiment with entire galactic societies, and ultimately to fight some unknown, all-powerful force to see who was the strongest?

Yeah, no.

Interested in thoughts on the chapter and the STG file.

On Victor Manswell — a gift from my friend

Victor Manswell n the Chapel at the Holdfast accompanied by his wife Margareta.
Victor Manswell n the Chapel at the Holdfast accompanied by his wife Margareta. Image by Tyler Kelting.

I’ve written a great deal of the Premiseverse, from the backstories and histories of the Thirty to figuring how eezo works. A great deal has been not invented from whole cloth, but rather co-opted by me from existing materials Bioware never used.

Once such element that I have altered is Victor Manswell.

The following are snippets about Victor. They are not by me or my hand, but by someone who read my works and presented their own take on Saint Victor. And yet, such is his iron will, vileness and determination — that I found myself only having to alter the concepts put here in the very smallest of manners.

It is the work of a friend named Julian, and I am interested in thoughts upon it.

From the Historical Annals, Post Reaper Views on Critical Points of History

“… the enigmatic individual usually known as “Victor Manswell” (March 28, 1998? – November 14, 2095). Also known as Markgraf Viktor Alchsneiss Schlossvogt von Hechingen, or as Sankt Viktor der Feuersbrünste. He claimed to be part Prussian, part Baltic German, and able to trace his line back to the House of Hohenzollern. He provided what seemed to be valid genetic proof of his claim, saying that he himself had only recently grown curious enough to run such genetic tests and that therefore he not not previously known of his ancestry. He spoke and moved and behaved every inch like a man telling the truth. But then, Franziska Schanzkowska (1896-1984) very likely believed herself to be truthful in saying that she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. If the Margrave’s statements were untrue, perhaps he believed them truthful….”

From the Salarian Discourse on Humanity, Volume XII:

“Apparently, “Manswell” had been a close associate of a group of human industrialists and millionaires known as the Bilderburgs. It is disputable if such association translated into influence. What is beyond dispute was that he had over a trillion dollars in gold and in commodities essential to human life — food, water, weapons, prefabricated structures, protective equipment, and other materiél. He controlled where the things he had went, and he controlled where they did not go. The man called Victor Manswell was the richest surviving human being anywhere, and bad things tended to happen to those who questioned him….

From the Systems Alliance Uplifting Infantryman’s Primer:

“… Remembering the enormous contributions of experienced professionals like Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben to the American Revolution, Manswell made use of his personal cadre of expert private military contractors, whom he had handpicked long ago. As he reached out to more and more military contractors on Earth, he recruited them with the food, gold, arms, and medical supplies that he had stockpiled in advance. In particular he recruited from among German, Austrian, French and American mercenaries and defectors to his cause. Then he passed these personnel to his training cadre and send the program’s graduates to train and recruit others, who in turn trained others, and so on. Safe in space, Manswell already had all the necessary specialized support facilities for his new troops, with lavish accommodations for supporting them and their families. This let him control whether those families stayed healthy. Manswell also used a carefully considered system of collective discipline and corporal punishment, one derived from the traditions of Prussia. He moderated his disciplinary system by allowing unit members to reduce   others’ punishments with a voting system, and also to volunteer to endure part of a punishment that another unit member would otherwise receive. …”

On Saint Viktor:  A collection of the Will of Iron:

“… He earned the gratitude of countless Alaskans when he annihilated the so-called “Coordinators.” This tenacious group of organized extortionists, formed from rogue emergency management units, had seized almost all of Alaska’s remaining power and fuel infrastructure. The thugs also had centers of power in other states, and were able to call on thousands of combatants from as far away as Cuba. They were led by the unstable “Chief Commissioner” of the “National Emergency Resource Coordination Commission,” William Cosgrove Hammond, who at times imposed barter prices so high that many people were left burning human waste just to survive the cold. Finally, the Iron Guard under the equally ruthless Mickey Rourke tracked Hammond down as he attempted to flee all the way to a bunker complex in Nevada. He failed to get that far — Manswell had him drawn and quartered.”


To the Archbishop of Germany, on the eve of the assault on France:
“You ask me whether I kill the innocent? Do you make a joke of this? The burning wave of all the works of the wicked is coming to the shore of mankind. It is taller than fifty buildings; it is wreathed in smoke and cinders.  If I do not act to turn that wave aside, then in short years everyone left alive on this planet will be begging me to help them die. And you ask me whether I kill the innocent? What would you do?”

To the refugees of the so-called “Central Authority” of Romania, who protested his heavy-handed rule:

“Until the faces of the debt collectors are reflected in the eyes of burning corpses, humans have a nasty habit of forgetting they’ve even visited the bank. Humanity’s debt now is in a broken planet, in dead populations, in a land that cannot produce food, in air we cannot breathe, water we cannot drink!

I am just the guy restructuring the debt to save your sorry asses. And you’re arguing.”

Excepts from the Journals of Jacen Manswell, on a call from the Family to set aside the SSA war against Earth:

“Neither I nor anyone in this family will stand by while all sinners and all innocents burn alike.  Neither I nor anyone in this family will put down this burden, will look away from the pain, or will disown the Motherland. Neither I nor anyone in this family will shrink from consequences. Neither I nor anyone in this family will suffer disobedience!

Iron does not bend, and it does not break. This meeting is adjourned.”

Excepts from the Journals of Darcen Maxwell, unpublished:
“By the leave of this family — and its many sacrifices —  you are numbered among those who give orders, or who will grow to give them. No one is born with the skill for such, you must learn how to give them.

Sooner or later, you will have to face the microscopic issue of what to do when you are disobeyed by your lessers. In such a case you may well be forced to eliminate the offender — even perhaps to slaughter his defenseless animals, kill everyone he ever knew, blast his homeland to cinders, exterminate his culture and people in their entirety.

Therefore, you had better be damn sure of what you say, what you don’t say, how you say it, and when you speak. You are both blessed and cursed. You have fewer chances to make mistakes than does the man in the street, and sometimes you have no chances to make mistakes at all. I won’t always be here to help you understand the situation.

God help me, sometimes I … don’t … I don’t even … ”

Deathbed conversations : the annals of Maxwell Manswell:

“Enough. Max, you will listen to me. In the cell at the end of that corridor there is an organically alive but societally dead creature, the kind called an enemy of the people. If ever we can no longer kill the few to save the many, then we ourselves must expect death. That is how it must be for me — how it must be in the time of your heirs, their heirs, and theirs, and theirs. You know what is required. Soon I will return here. Don’t make me summon the part of myself that will kill you if you fail.”

The Sermon on the Hill: Victor at the dedication of the Statue of Christ Tormented at Arlington National Memorial:

“God sent his Son to die for our sins. God took back from His Son’s experience a firsthand familiarity with the experience of death, and death holds for Him no fear.

But mark well that for his part, Satan fears death. When we ask why this is so, we must see that unlike God, Satan has no part of himself that has experienced death. What he does know is that his existence is finite. Someday, souls will escape him simply because he is no longer there to turn them to him. This is one reason why, like God, Satan trains humans to magnify his work.

Satan fears death, and knows in advance the shame he will feel for each soul ultimately escaping his grasp. He knows he will not live forever, and from his fear and shame at this, he yearns to guide us to hurt and destroy ourselves.

Satan strives to encourage our belief in disinformation about sin. Satan’s propaganda on this subject falls into four main categories. First is the lie that God does not exist. The second is the lie that there is no sin. The third is the lie that when God promises to forgive the sins of the repentant, God intends to go back on his word. The fourth is the lie that God is some sort of incompetent or charlatan, lacking the power to forgive sin at all.

I find the worst of those who have been convinced by such falsehoods as these. Then I kill them … before they can kill our race.”

Conversations in Yellow: Accumulated memoirs of Shi Kon Chu, First Gong of Family Chu

“I think the risk of one family going to Hell is an acceptable trade for the preservation of humankind. I think the risk of fifteen being cursed for all time by historians and the weak is of no moment.

Extinction threatens us. And it is not an option.”

Collectors and the Premiseverse

Horror is like a serpent: always shedding its skin, always changing. And it will always come back in the way you least expect it, catching you by surprise.


The funny thing about ME2 is how much sheer potential was allowed to fall by the wayside, and how easy it is to put it back where it belongs.

I’ve had more than one person ask me about why the Collectors wear robes in my story. That’s because they were originally designed that way. The image is from a picture I took from one of the ME Art books.

I have a hobby in collecting the ‘art books’ that come with games. The ones for ME, ME2 and ME3 were particularly fascinating as they showed a ton of content that had been sidelined, ignored, changed or re-shifted to fit the game we know today. Some of the most profound changes came in the ones made to the Collectors.

Sure, the Collectors of the games are creepy — giant insect flying things with glowing eyes, bug-like clouds and weird ships. But they simply don’t back up their smack. Unlike the geth of ME1 and the Reapers of ME3, even on insanity Collectors simply fail to truly cause terror. And in the end, it’s shown they are little more than tools, perhaps without even the ability to alter their fate.

I really have no damned clue what Bioware was intending for them, but it doesn’t matter much as I’ve changed up the nature of what they are. The Collectors will be the first ‘taste’ of the true power of the Reapers, and all the crazy big resources I’ve thrown at Shepard in the lead-up into TWCD will be used and probably not enough to take down the threat. But I also want to explore what it means that they survived, and give a hint of why Saren and Benezia felt the way they did.

I’ll do that in three ways.

First, the Collectors are actually going to demonstrate the crazy technology we keep hearing they have. I won’t spoil anything, but the goal is to make the technology of the Collectors as creepy, sickening and unnatural as the bug-men themselves. Given their tight resources, they are masters at recycling biomass and wreckage, and some of that will bleed over into their tech.

Second, I want to give them a rationale for both continuing to exist and a reason for their activities. We’re told in ME2 that they are twisted, indoctrinated Protheans. But the Codex later tells us that the Reapers left the indoctrinated Protheans to die, so someone is confused. In my version, the purpose of indoctrination remains to break minds and make them obey. But the Reapers are managing more than one galaxy and they need tools to monitor events, identify the best choices for ascension, and act as a back up in case things go wrong. That can’t be done with mindless remote controlled drones, dammit. So they have … something like a culture. Even in the state they are in.

Finally, and most importantly, the Collectors are there to introduce the idea that some of what the Reapers and Leviathans are doing is simply … beyond our comprehension. Some of the science the Shepard Team will find or have to do will uncover really disturbing things, and even the tiny amount of power the Collectors can draw upon to use will be terrifying to deal with. Nazara was an arrogant ass who was completely unaware until too late that he was being played — if he had known he could have wiped the entire Citadel Fleet by himself with a single use of the Godpower.

The Collectors have an identity as tools, but they are ‘smart’ tools. They are looking for their own answers, and have their own plans separate of that of the Reapers. The Collector General is the son of the Prothean who came up with the Beacon project, after all. They made a gamble when it was clear they would lose, and the destruction of Nazara is the first sign the gamble might pay off.

That being said they would never even think about allying with or working with the ‘natives’. They see the Citadel races as barely any more advanced than vorcha, but they don’t dismiss them as a threat, only as being of any real use.

Ultimately, as the heralds of the Reapers, the Collectors and their goals should be horrifying. If you put a few things together it isn’t hard to figure out just what they are planning to do. But the Collector Agenda adds one more layer of things Shepard has to figure out, and is a big part of the divergence in my AU from canon.

Various Things

I’m pretty much reduced to trying to write when my back is not forcing me to lay down at this point. I’ll have to go in and see a doctor Monday (assuming I can get in, maybe Tuesday), as this is now at a point where I’m having to stop and lay down every other hour to get the pain to decrease.

I’ve been working on two chapters at the same time, one for Liara/Telanya and one for Shepard. Based on the feedback, I think I’ll intermix the two approaches — one Sheppy chapter, then a cutaway chapter to someone else. That should satisfy everyone.

A reader is planning on starting up a ME themed role-playing session incorporating some of the stuff from my background. I think that’s a pretty neat idea, and I’ve been giving some thought to maybe trying to run a campaign online like that. There’s enough online tools (voice chat and cams, online tabletops and dice-sets and the like) that it could be done remotely, although I don’t know how many people would be interested in such a thing.

My goals for this year are as follows:

  1. Finish up the Encyclopedia Biotica
  2. Take a stab at putting together some kind of document to cover all the technological changes and additions I’ve made.
  3. Complete the Batarians and maybe the Quarians in the Cerberus Files
  4. Finish No Single Raindrop and maybe Lions.
  5. Probably copy the series over to AO3
  6. Have someone do edits on OSABC and ATTWN to clean up the grammar and work on more rewrites of OSABC’s earlier chapters.
  7. See the series get more attention on TVTropes

Time for more Vicodin.

Need some feedback : Encyclopedia Biotica and ME 2 Piece

I’ve been thinking it’s time to seriously overhaul and expand this thing. Break out each of the five ‘schools’ into more detailed explanations, create more information how biotic powers can be blended, how biotic explosions work, and more biotic and anti-biotic technology.

I’m interested in what YOU want to see in the Encyclopedia. After all if you bother to follow this place you are part of the team that helps OSABC grow.

Or should I focus on finishing ATTWN?

SECOND BIG QUESTION:  I’ve put a poll up on my profile at (which is not showing, but eventually will) about possible names for the ME2 piece.

The choices are :

That Which Cannot Die
Lost Innocence
The Sexual Adventures of Shepard With Naked Thane (only Progman should select this one)

Let me know which one you like.