|Reviews for Early Discovery|
| RedShirt047 chapter 22 . 3/24
Why do you keep referring to Lt. Commander Anderson as Lt. Anderson? Lt. Commanders are referred to as Commanders when the full rank is not used.
Or was he supposed to only be a lieutenant at this point in the timeline and the Lt. Commander references were an error?
| A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 10 . 3/22
Evil irredeemable batarians ... check.
Unusually helpful and friendly quarian first contact ... check.
The further we get into this, the more familiar the story gets. I imagine that will reverse once we get to proper contact with the Council.
You use a lot of commas before speech that should have a period instead. There are also about three places where a space is missing ... hang on.
"An admirals' work is never sel'ai."
"AllianceActing Admiral Hackett."
"In all likelihood,survive."
There we go.
Not much to say during this chapter, other than that this follows fanon quarian first contact pretty closely. I will say that I approve that you included "getting a look at new technology" as a quarian motivation for helping out. It's understated, but in ME3 they actually have produced a stealth ship similar to the Normandy (it's the ship the admiralty hail the Normandy from) making Ashley's worries about Tali making her home in the OG Normandy's engine core quite justified. They're sneaky, and they've got good memories.
How are quarians closer to resembling humans than batarians? They have digitigrade legs and much more pronounced body shapes (flared out hips in the women, shoulders in the men) than humans. Batarians have additional eyes and weird skin colorations, but they have a much more similar body shape to humanity than the quarians. I thought that was a little odd.
Why more untranslated foreign language? It just annoys me to see it included, because as far as I can tell it serves no purpose beyond author appeal. I am hoping this does not pop up again. I also have difficulty believing that humanity's fleets would have significant elements within itself that cannot communicate with each other because the translators have not caught up yet. Maybe leave those guys home until the technology is there?
Well, I'm looking forward to what is coming next. Sorry if this seems a bit negative, it's just that we are 1/3 on original first contacts so far, and I'm becoming a bit worried about the turians. They've always been my favorite.
Oh, and good work on Hackett's characterization. He's a good leader, but it's clear he's really taken aback at the casualties they've taken and his need to quickly step up. I thought it was a nice touch.
| Vaanarash chapter 16 . 1/14
So the first time I read this story a few months back, I held off on reviewing on the whole Shanxi conflict to see if you addressed the things that stood out to me in later chapters. Then I got side tracked reading the sequel and kind of forgot about the conflict until I started rereading this a couple days ago. Before I go any further, I want to assure you that I do enjoy the story overall, I really do. There are just some things that really stand out to me as listed below.
First issue, is the Turians actually trusting the Batarians. Even setting aside the Batarians reputation (and that fact that none of the council races should really trust them without actual proof of whatever they're claiming) the Turians definitely should have questioned the claim that the humans came through a Turian controlled relay, traveled through who knows how much Turian controlled space to reach the Batarian homeworld, then returned back through the same way, with the Batarians somehow tracking them, all without the Turians being aware of it. Especially if they're going to assume the humans are a primitive species. Even if they accepted all of the above, they still should have questioned the supposed "unprovoked attack" even more so with the Batarian's general attitude to the rest of the galaxy. Seriously, not a single Turian asked the Batarians "and you did nothing to provoke this in any way?". We're talking about a race of slavers here, well known for raiding colonies.
Second, handwaving all of the above aside, it makes no sense for the Turian admiral to leave so much of his fleet behind to "keep things quiet". Supposedly, they're legally following a treaty requiring them to attack the human colony with the Batarians. So why would they need to "keep it quiet"? Because they want to acquire what's in that one cave without anyone being the wiser? How would they even know it was there prior to entering the system? And if they did know beforehand, why hadn't they already gone to collect it black ops style prior to the Batarians demanding they go?
Third, whatever wiped out the Batarian ships coming through the relay. It read like the general was trying to blitz through the needed paperwork to activate some defensive measure, and when he looked up from that everyone was already dead. And it's never explained what the hell happened.
Fourth, the whole "we don't have to follow the rules of war" speech from that one Turian general. What the hell? You say in an authors note that you're trying to not make the Turians look like weak bullies, so instead you make them strong bullies? On the one hand, it makes the Turians come across as blood thirsty as Batarians, on the other hand, you have most of the Turians soldiers looking shocked to be told something like that.
Fifth, the duration of the battle for Shanxi. You did both good and bad here. Without having space/air dominance, it makes perfect sense for the ground war to last that long, and for the actual assault on the main city to come so late in the battle. Great job on that, as it was very realistic for such a fight. The bad comes from it taking a month for an Alliance fleet to arrive. With the relays to speed up travel time, it probably should have only taken a week or two for an Alliance fleet to gather and arrive at Shanxi. Plus, after a month of fighting, the Turian Hierarchy at least has to know that something is up and that they've been misled since no "primitive" species should be able to hold out that long. And just to tie it all together, the Turian numbers are all over the place. First over 50000, then 80000 since they outnumber the alliance by 20000, then after a month of fighting and the orbital bombardment it's still somehow over 80000, then at the start of chapter 17 it's 40000. Now granted, the alliance shouldn't really have a firm grasp on the Turian numbers. The same can't be said for the Turians themselves.
Sixth, that one Asari on the planet. What the hell was she even doing there? She couldn't have come with the Turians or Batarians because the former preferred to do everything themselves, and the latter would probably have enslaved her. Is she a spectre? If so, how would she have even known about Shanxi's existence? And if she knew about it, how did the Council not know about it? The Salarians that observed the battle between the humans and the Batarians as well. How does the Council not already know about the humans and at least some of their capabilities? And if they do know about the battle, then they know the Batarians started that fight since the STG guys saw them bring in a human space station, followed by a human fleet showing up to retrieve said space station. Add to that, there are apparently human mercenaries all over the Terminus systems. How does no one outside the Batarians and Quarians not already know about them?
Just to reiterate, since I know I just dropped a lot of criticism on you here, overall I enjoyed the story immensely. I'm enjoying the sequel almost as much so far. But the above points really, really bug me.
| A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 9 . 12/5/2016
There is a tendency for commas to be used in place of where periods should be when concluding many lines of dialogue. Ellipses are also implemented incorrectly; there should be spaces before and after them.
I honestly would not worry too much about correcting the above issues. This chapter was written a long time ago, and it might be helpful to look back at it and see what changes you have made.
I really dislike your interpretation of the batarians, but at least you did not go out of your way to start attacking their civilians. Some fanfic authors do not draw the line there, and it reflects well on both you and the characters you have written to refrain from engaging in that kind of atrocity. That being said, they really are written as mustache twirling psychopaths, what with the casual abuse of slaves and referring to slaves only as "slave." I was irritated by the slaves' references to their batarian masters as "master," but that was probably only all too accurate to human slavery so ... it's fine.
I must commend you on stopping short of a human stomp, even if the opening few lines made me roll my eyes a little. They understood they could not defeat all of the ships in the system and eventually made a rather desperate retreat. At the same time, they made the batarians bleed quite a bit. I also like that the singularity occurred totally on accident. It actually made me laugh a little.
Anyway, I liked this chapter a good bit more than the previous chapter, with my favorite scene probably being Hackett speaking to the CO of the Toyota and their last conversation together.
And with that, I'm glad to be out of the First Contact War. Let's see what's next!
| CMVreud chapter 19 . 10/29/2016
A Krogan-starred musical with tap-dancing Vorcha, directed by a Hanar-Elcor duo.
What? The blue Lady wanted to know what happens next.
| CMVreud chapter 9 . 10/29/2016
They should feel honored, these pyjaks are possibly the first species which planet and ships get destroyed by an artificial created black hole.
| CMVreud chapter 8 . 10/29/2016
Sven is definitive getting a HFY award.
| CMVreud chapter 2 . 10/29/2016
"Truth by Kid".
| ArturiusRex8 chapter 18 . 9/2/2016
Previous chapter had doctor pavenmeyer meet an asari captive (illusive man chooses his name after).
This chapter he has never met one.
| EzeikelShepard chapter 2 . 8/11/2016
Nice use of the true writen word over the modern basterdized use. It is nice that people still look to the whole from the beginning to the end.
| Brother Sergeant Aeron chapter 11 . 7/20/2016
Everyone always seems to have such a hard-on for Quarians, I've never really understood it.
| A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 8 . 7/6/2016
Mechanical errors: check all your dialogue. If you are preceding or following dialogue with an action, end the preceding sentence with a period. "One of the mechanics snorted," should be "One of the mechanics snorted." Then the dialogue. I saw most of these issues in the first Troy station scene.
I didn't like this chapter. A lot of it was telling, we spent a solid chunk of it with characters I could not be bothered to be invested in, batarians being complete bastards is being played to the hilt, and you tell us that "after the Battle of Kar'shan..." Oh, so these newcomers kick the asses of the batarians and take the fight to their homeworld? How original.
Sven is annoying. He should have just spoken English with a verbal tic or possessed some unusual mannerisms rather than forcing the readers (who the majority of likely do not speak his language) to either guess what he means through context or wait for another throwaway character to translate. I was disappointed that he did not die.
The entire station scene comes out of nowhere, the characters are flat, and the situation itself does not make much sense. I thought they had one hour - yet a month later, they are still aboard the station. And Sven somehow kills the batarians, because humans and especially human engineers are awesome.
An earlier problem was that we were told about the batarian attack rather than having it shown. We don't even get to hear the salarians' explanation or reaction to hearing about the first contact. It would have been interesting to see them go, "Oh shit, these guys will make us all look bad," or something like that. Instead we are told of the numerous attacks, how humanity has 40 colonies (seriously?) and that the batarians blew up a Kindergarten. I had no reaction to any of this beyond frustration that an excellent author such as yourself decided to succumb to some of the more base and unimaginative aspects of the Mass Effect fandom.
To make clear why I am so displeased, allow me to compare the batarian contact to the salarian contact and why I find this chapter so lacking. Salarians are rarely used as first contact. Their own perspectives were portrayed early on, their characters were established, and all of this was shown through the interactions the salarians had with each other, and later the humans. We see both sides of the contact, and both sides were distinct. Also notably, both sides were impressed with each other's technological advancements, with humanity quickly realizing where it lacked in a few areas.
Here, we don't get the batarian perspective, even an unsympathetic one. We don't get to see the initial wave of confusion as these ships make contact. We don't get to see the action. What we do see is humanity triumphing over the laughably evil batarians, and then there's a cliffhanger that isn't really a cliffhanger because you tell us that the two fleets will like each other after the Battle of Kar'shan.
Too much of this chapter relies on presupposing the audience's disposition towards the batarians, as well as relying on their presupposed knowledge of the species. The salarians were properly introduced in a fashion that even someone who did not know much about Mass Effect would quickly grasp that they are intelligent, somewhat unscrupulous, but also non-malicious. Here, we get that the batarians are evil. We are not even given much to work with beyond that. If someone new were to read this story, they would wonder what the batarians look like, why they're bastards, what their views are, and even what the hell Kar'shan is.
Color me disappointed. On the plus side, the writing remains evocative and you've clearly done you research on the elements you've included in the story, so my enthusiasm remains far from diminished. I just think that this chapter was a serious misstep, especially since you've already proven that you can handle first contact in a unique, entertaining, and fair-minded manner. Now we're dealing with baby-eating batarians.
| A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 7 . 6/27/2016
Only error I saw was "A question, for a question." Don't need the comma, sentence flows better without it. Also - at one point Pavenmeyer calls out "Tien." But Tien's dead, Salcha and Ramke are in the room. I'm confused. Maybe clarify? (In a PM if need be, I may just be missing something.)
So, we see the formation of Cerberus. I personally loathe Cerberus and feel it played a large role in ruining Mass Effect, so if you can find a way to make them work, you would have my immense respect.
Again, I like the salarian thought processes.
I do have a problem with this chapter, however, in regards to the relative military sizes of the humans and turians. Simply put, the number of warships the humans have at their disposal is, in my mind, rather unbelievable. They have not been at this too long and frankly had little realistic need to make and maintain a sizable space fleet, so forgive me for calling bullshit on 20,000 spacefaring war vessels, even if their hardware is relatively primitive compared to the alien races.
Other than that, massive kudos for not only doing a salarian first contact, but also introducing them to human culture that goes beyond, "We have massive guns and don't like aliens."
| A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 6 . 6/5/2016
"It's" in one of the first few paragraphs should be "its." "Scientists" should be "scientist's."
"True...but" Put spaces between the ellipses and words.
"Relay...dead" Spaces again, please. Comes up a few more times as well.
Rosewell or Roswell? If you are referring to the Roswell incident in the early 1900's, then it should be Roswell. Seeing as some of the first reports of grays came from there...
First time I've seen a salarian first contact, for which I salute you. I always felt the salarians were underused in both fanfiction and the games proper. The most well-known salarians were always Kirrahe and Mordin, both of whom are very definitely not representative of the species as a whole so it often feels like people don't have a good grasp on how to write them. This portrayal does not have this issue, so props.
Looks like a First Contact War has been averted with the Council at least. Now we're seeing some deviation; this should be exciting.
| A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 5 . 4/15/2016
"Show me," Colburn ordered." I would cut the Colburn ordered. I know who is speaking, and I know it is an order from context.
"Great God almighty" Missing punctuation after almighty. Ellipses or comma would be fine.
"position, perhaps a janitor back on Earth?" That comma should be a period.
"Could've be worse" *been*
Think that's it for SpaG. In comparison to previous chapters, this one doesn't have nearly as much draw for me. I think it's because I am already so familiar with the ME universe and have seen so many (usually terrible) First Contact scenarios in ME fiction that I consider this chapter rather perfunctory. Colburn's milquetoast personality certainly does not help.
Sorry if I seem down on this chapter. It just pales slightly but noticeably compared to what has come before. The PoV brought nothing I had not seen before, there were a surprising number of errors, and now we have to go through the First Contact song and dance. The main issue I have with that is that I really want to see humanity grow and develop outside ME's influence for a few more chapters so I can really get an idea of how they are developing as a species and how they will present themselves to the galaxy at large. Here, I don't really know how humanity is doing as a whole, aside from steadily expanding within the Solar and Arcturus System (which they did in canon) but they still encounter aliens...? So, aside from things being earlier, has anything really changed?
I suspect I'll learn more in further chapters, which is why I'm going to suggest that this chapter might have been better off attached to the next chapter, because it really doesn't stand on its own for me at least. I'm not sure to whom the ship belongs to (and it may be a derelict) so perhaps you have some surprises planned? Just please, for the love of God don't make it a quarian ship.