Some interestingly heavy textual analysis going on at DLP and next steps

There has been a perpetual thread that pulls no punches about my series going on at the Dark Lord Potter forums for some time now. Unlike Spacebattles, where if your fic is not about Shepard killing Reapers with his dick while doing his best Kirk impression, the DLP folks are actually GOOD at textual analysis and reviews.

They raked OSABC over the coals quite a bit, but every last criticism was very fair (and are things I’ve tried very hard to address in the next two books). And lo and behold, as I’ve gotten better they have continued to go over things.

More recently they had several text-walls discussing the nature vs nurture argument of Premiseverse Badasses, which tend to run in familial lines. One poster put forth the idea that perhaps outside forces augmented such things to create ‘heroes’.

It is a curious viewpoint, one that I had certainly not considered. I would say that genetics plays a role. So do connections and who you know. There is often a  subtle chain of events.

The ancient dalatrass of salarians, Shego, would have never amounted to anything if she’d not been somewhat rebellious in her youth and made lots of friends outside her clan. While I’m not ready to drop the big reveal on the Thirty and what Trellani found out, the only reason Trellani was accepted into the ranks of the normally Thirty-only Church of the Sun’s senior clergy was her relationship with Benezia.

If not for Anderson growing up near Kahlee Sanders and being friends with Pel’s father, Pel and Leng would have never joined, and Anderson would never have met Michael Shepard. And without that meeting, Shepard herself would have just ended up on the streets, dead, or in a Commissariat labor camp, and the entire focus of the series would be lost.

Fate, or destiny, may be something the Leviathans can control with their subtle manipulations. It may well be that they can’t see specifics but altered the timelines to ensure the most powerful ‘heroes’ were all available at the time when the Reapers would arrive.

Or maybe it’s sheer dumb luck.

Anyway, you should head on over to the massive megathread on DLP if you’re interested in that kind of thing. They have a HUGE range of other stories they review, and some of the reviews of the more sizable Harry Potter fics — and the depth of analysis — is as good as any New York Times review.

As for the story itself…

I’m in the process of the following:

  • Getting back to work on several pieces that I mentioned last month, like the Encyclopedia BIotic and Lions. I’ve made progress on both, just not enough to republish.
  • The next chapter of TWCD is at about a thousand words. Memes are hard to create without simply reusing existing ones that don’t really fit.
  • About a third of the way through the hanar military section. The drell and vorcha are outlined, although the vorcha file will be … short indeed.
  • Halfway through the next Engineering Guide file, but still figuring out where to go with the story. The math and science (and bullshit asspulls) on FTL sensor and FTL communications is fun indeed, and I just know one of my readers with a good background in physics is going to call me out as a hack 😀

I’m interested (as always) in what you think should be worked on next, although I’m pretty much tasked to capacity in terms of starting NEW projects. The only one I haven’t started is SevenSeven’s guide to the Citadel forces.

16 thoughts on “Some interestingly heavy textual analysis going on at DLP and next steps”

  1. The canon codex strongly implies that FTL/galactic communications involves the use of the ‘mass free’ corridors between mass relays to transmit information between communications buoys. So that would imply the Mass Relays don’t just create mass-free tunnels. The near instant travel of ships down these relays also implies there’s some measure of spatial distortion between relays, as even accelerating something to a substantial fraction of light-speed would not allow the kind of travel we see.

      1. Come to think of it, there’s two possibilities that come to mind. One is something like a ‘mass effect searchlight’. Sweep the sky with a cone. Assuming that the ‘mass effect’ also accelerates light (relatively speaking), then it would be possible to ‘see’ things at the base of the cone that the light would not normally have reached at that time.

        Though the more I think about it, the more likely it seems that it will need an ‘outside’ viewpoint. Something beyond three spatial dimensions and one linear direction of time. >.>

        1. The other thing is, there may actually not be faster than light sensors that are available at the common galactic civilization level. I can’t think of any situation in the games where there was an FTL sensor detection that didn’t involve either the Collectors or the Reapers, and I’m not even sure about the Collectors.

          It might all be regular light speed detection plus advanced prediction algorithms. This would also make the overheard advice of the Gunnery Sergeant in ME 2 much more pertinent. Eyeballing a targeting solution without aid would make it incredibly unlikely to hit when your targeting information is seconds old.

      2. I apologize for the string of comments, but I keep coming up with ideas after I’ve said something.

        For a home system or a colony system, you could fake FTL sensors easily enough. It makes sense to have a string or mesh of comm buoys in a major system. They’re already going to be priority targets for an invading force, so there’s nothing to lose by also putting sensors on them. Something comes through the relay, there’s eyes on it immediately and the information gets transmitted down the chain to the base station / inhabited planet within seconds.

        Isolated colonies are more likely to be crap out of luck, though. They won’t have the funds to set up a mesh of comm buoys.

  2. Still keen on that “Ahern’s Field Guide to Galactic Badasses and How to Kill Them” thing that we discussed briefly about a year ago.

    Other than that, you can’t go wrong by writing more of your main story. But if that’s not an option then I’m a bit of a sucker for the Cerberus files, as well – I’ve been wanting to hear the premise verse take on the quarians for years.

  3. Labor Camps? Really? That’s so North Korea.

    I’d really like a new chapter for the Lions and maybe OSABC Addenda : The Memories we Forget to Remember if I’m to be completely honest.

    So far we had Rachel and Rael, I’d really like to see Shepard’s take on Tevos, maybe attending her funeral or some such and reminiscing.

  4. Personally I would not mind more updates of the main story, though I also would like to see another chapter of “No Single Raindrop”. Assuming Liara will allow you too of course. She was the main one writing that fic after all…

    Still, whatever you decide in the end is fine with me.

  5. Agree with the above that the Asari constructing their own relays is not far-fetched if the comm buoy network already functions on micro sized relays. Wonder what made the Conduit that much more advanced.

    I am happy to read that Vigil’s first actions after being freed were to seed copies of himself. Your statement that he had invested work in the Yahg seemed in this direction. I have this vision of Vigil, quietly working on some cold, rogue planet (estimates of hundreds of billions in our galaxy), creating full scale Inusannon warships. Especially if he had mobility during or after the Inusannon or Prothean empire collapses.

    As far as the big reveal on the Thirty, I would guess it has to do with them being altered to resemble humans. The alteration is not long term stable, and the information left in the Prothean archives tells them that they will die out as a species if they do not merge with the humans. Perhaps ardat-yakshi is a manifestation of this.

    The merging has to require more than just a copy of the human genome, or a few humans to submit. It requires billions, with some element of love/free choice or it doesn’t work. The Thirty attempting to subsume the independence of the human race has blown Trellani’s mind, because it clearly will doom the asari race to extinction, all because they cannot face that they cannot control everything.

    As far as how this is going to be accomplished, the datapad in the turret control room on Mars in ME3 always intrigued me. Secondary base deeper underground you say? Wonder what’s in there?

    1. He’s already hinted at the ‘big reveal’ in another work, actually. At least that’s what I assume it is. It has to do with the origins of the Thirty and the fate of Athame, not any genetic meddling by the Protheans.

      Another important thing I really, really need to point out is that evolution *does not work that fast*. For the Asari and Humans to be so close together in appearance, the genetic work would have had to have started *millions* of years ago and been an ongoing process. It’s much simpler (Occam’s Razor) to presume this is more a case of similar development. Humans evolved to this body shape because we’re endurance hunters over land. Therefore, the Asari having a similar body shape strongly implies that they, too, were endurance hunters over land. Genetic tweaks to reduce the appearance of webbing between the fingers and to shape the features to be more human-like, and for humans to be more asari-like, is possible, but again, needs a much longer time frame particularly for the asari, than a mere fifty thousand years.

      Fifty thousand years is approximately two hundred generations for the asari. It’s two thousand five hundred generations for humans.

      1. This is less ‘evolution’ and more outright gene modification inserted into batches of thousands of subjects at a time to induce changes, done in five to ten year periods for about five hundred to seven hundred years. Complete genomic redesign.

        Still infeasible? If it is, that’s a plot point ™

      2. I’ll need to do some more flipping through to see the hints of the Reveal to be about Athame’s fate and the origin of the Thirty. Above all else, it’s LPs story and I look forward to his reveal in time.

        If it is Athame’s fate, I would suggest Athame is a Collector, and it left after a twist to the Protheans plans and manipulations of the asari-human link. I would also think the hanar Prothean tech is also tied to the Collectors, as an explanation for intact Prothean structures. This ties neatly to a shocking reveal even for us players and lore scholars, and fits LPs rewriting the Collectors as having a culture of sorts, and a plan independent of the Reapers .

        The idea of the asari being bound to the humans, and needing them to save them also has a thematic justice to their arrogance and efforts to subvert everyone’s independence.

  6. I don’t doubt that some things could be altered with genetic modification of, basically, the entire asari population. What I object to, particularly in canon, is the idea that the Protheans somehow “gave” the asari biotic ability. On that, I call bullshit. Asari evolved to deal with and utilize the eezo present in the Thessian environment. They *had* biotics before the Protheans started meddling. Hell, *varren* born on Thessia have biotics.

    Prothean meddling, at best, gave asari a greater capacity to use biotics, and very likely also is the source of the ardat-yakshi syndrome. At least in canon.

    Similarly, the basic body plan of the asari must have evolved naturally well before Prothean meddling. They had two arms, two legs, one head, two eyes, one mouth, fingers and toes well before Prothean meddling happened.

    Not that humans and asari couldn’t be extremely distantly related, or at least designed to be similar early in their evolution. It just couldn’t have been the Protheans who were responsible.

    1. I seem to recall speculation that ezzo on Thresa come from an asteroid which, someone may have deliberately, crashed into the ocean. Perhaps the Protheans, or an older race, decided biotics were important for their slave races and crashed several ezzo rocks into a couple of planets then came back in a few centuries to see if they could make anything of the surviving species.

      Considering more then one faction of Levithians were messing with things, I don’t see why that isn’t possible.

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