Reviews for Of Sheep and Battle Chicken
guest chapter 1 . 3/30
"Your so called PM." (which I can't read because you blocked me)
Ase Of SpADeZ chapter 123 . 3/30
Yo zekses you ok? I’m concerned.
zekses chapter 1 . 3/29
When hundreds of thousands of people die in US because of your attitude towards inconveniencing infected people coming from Europe by forcing them into a quarantine to prevent the spread of the COVID infection, know that YOU and your ilk in particular are the ones to blame. You write good fics, but your attitude towards freedoms in times of crisis is criminal! You can ban me from discord for expressing concern over wellbeing of people endangered by your kind, but you cannot silence me.

New York is happening in part because people like you wanted your freedoms and refused to enforce stricter measures over international travels, these lives are on your conscience.
Ravenant chapter 123 . 2/25
I've read this story several times over now, along with the sequels and some of your documentation. I've fallen in love with this universe you've built from the pieces left by bioware. You've taught me a lot of stuff through your story that i can feel comes from real experience from what you've endured. Know that you have people that, like me, love your work, both from the soul it has developed on it's own thanks to you and from the staggering amount of detail you and the Editing Gang have put into this world, that even though you keep saying it's grimdark and stuff, has helped me find some hope to keep going when i had none. I'm in a better place mentally, and it's in no small part thanks to you.
Oklina chapter 35 . 2/14
So I have made it to Chapter 35. I have heard a lot of amazing things about this story, but this is about as far as I can go.

You have done an incredible amount of world building. That, and the politics, have been my favorite aspects of this story thus far. I loved the retake on major character introductions, especially Tali's, and I am even enjoying some of the OCs, like Cole.

However, there are a few inconsistencies that make me feel like I'm running smack-dab into a wall. Namely, Shepard and the contradictions between her personality and behaviors. Throughout this story, Shepard is described as "a monster" who has trouble connecting and communicating with people. So far, I haven't seen any hint of that. Your Shepard is extremely verbal, overly open with her emotions, and cognizant of her perceived flaws (which is strange to find in even high-functioning individuals). She comforts Ashley, Tali, and Liara (within moments of meeting two of them), socially bonds with Cole and Joker, chummies around with Garrus and Wrex, and remains unerringly polite with the Council. Her self-deprecation comes across as seeking attention, especially with Chakwas, and not tugging-at-the-heartstrings. She has had no panic attacks, social blunders, anger management problems, or suicidal behaviors. Oh, they have mentioned and talked about and analyzed verbally by the characters, but behaviorally, Shepard hasn't demonstrated any of that. If anything, she comes across as slightly autistic. Which would be fine, expect that clearly isn't your goal here.

Then there are the battle scenes. Some are good. Tali's debacle at the Citadel easily comes to mind. The struggle felt real! Even though I knew the ultimate outcome, I was still biting my nails at the tension. But others make me want to pull out the rule of "Equal Opportunity Awesomeness," in which each character has a moment of being awesome or brings something important to the fight. A good example of this is early this chapter, when the hoppers tackle Shepard, dog pile Wrex, and trap Garrus in the elevator. A bad example of this, again in this chapter, is Shepard, Wrex, and Garrus all being taken out in one hit and Liara going biotic badass. I know your thought process was to turn Liara's damsel-in-distress trope on its head, but in the process Shepard became the damsel-in-distress (and Garrus and Wrex faded into the background as unimportant).

There is also a lack of consistency in power or fighting prowess. At Eden Prime, Shepard takes on 70 geth (this battle is also another bad example of EOA, because Kaiden and Ashley just stand around with their mouths hanging open, contributing nothing). Yet here, she gets one shotted by a krogan biotic. Why? It feels too contrived, like a set up to make Liara look good (speaking of which, after two days without food or water and suspended in that stress position, Liara wouldn't have been able to walk at all. That particular stress position the game puts her in is actually used to torture and break prisoners. She REALLY wouldn't be mobile, and it's doubtful that she'd be able to talk even at that level of dehydration).

Anyway, you are a great writer. I hope some of these recommendations can help you become an even better one.
deadliestfan chapter 2 . 2/7
We are already in the second chapter and, right from the gate, you make your Shepard distinct from both canon and other fanon (or at least those that I have read) from her introduction- by showcasing her willingness to kill a child. And to do so in a manner to cause one last emotional distress to the mother.

Granted, I am aware she later felt guilty about it. Granted, it is a almost certain mercy kill, given the context. Granted, it makes sense that she would do so in a manner to cause emotional turmoil to her mother given her past. Granted you pretty clearly do kill, or cause the death of, children in canon (the Arrival dlc, depending on how you resolve Krogan/Quarian crises in 3)...though, as a counterargument to that, you do not do so on screen and its mostly implied collateral to a difficult decision, rather than a deliberate act.

However, it is still incredibly distinct from all other portrayals that I have seen thus far, and a good opening salvo to your premise- that this is far more bloodthirsty and grimdark version of even the fanfic Renegade Reinterpretations, which itself was far more grimdark and bloodthirsty than canon.
Other than that reading up on the boarding action, infantry tactics and deployment of the nano-agent (which is curiously ill-represented in canon) was fun. Overall another enjoyable chapter.

However, your chapter actually made me ponder a philosophical question that applies to both corruption and AU based storylines and that is how to potray core characteristics across different timelines? What are 'core characteristics'? How many 'core characteristics' does a given AU Character have to have to remain a clear alteration of the Original character rather than 'just some dude that happens to look like the Original character"?

Since that sounds confusing I will give an example and explain- Batman.

I think Batman is a man who most would define with the following characteristics -Rich aloof billionaire-Mastery of gadgets/technology-No superpowers-Extreme training and discipline-Believer in Justice-Master planner-Though shall not kill!

Yet, in a recent storyline, Batman did encounter alternate versions of himself that subverted several of those characteristics. There were Doomsday/Aquaman/GL/Cyborg/Flash variants that all had powers and, with the obvious exception of the cyborg variant, did not use much technology. The GL variant came across as petulant and undisciplined. And of course all were perfectly willing to kill.
Really, the only characteristic universal among all was planning/scheming personality, though even there the Doomsday variant did not seem to use it much. The one who was most akin to the OG Batman was probably Batman-Who-Laughs and the Grim Knight, both of whom pretty only do away with the 'Thou-Shall-Not-Kill" motif ...and heavily so. (well...the BWL also does not care about even a perverted version of justice)

Would you consider these to be 'legitimate' alternate interpretations of the original Batman, or have several of them deviated enough to where they are unrecognizable as even alt-evil corrupt versions of Batman. How many deviations from these core characteristics would have to occur to where you would not consider a given Batman (or insert given character here) a recognizable alteration to the canon character(CC), and instead of an entirely distinct OC who just happens to have some similar backgrounds/looks to the CC?

On a humorous extreme, would consider a hypothetical Salarian culture that looked and acted like 40k Orks with all their warmongering and scrappy tech to still be Salarians or just 'Skinny-Grey Orks"?

I emphasize this isn't a criticism of you or your Shepard, especially since the latter benefits from a wide variety of potential alterations even in canon, but rather an ask about your philosophy since, from your website, you like to detail out said philosophy!
deadliestfan chapter 1 . 1/30
For over a decade I have lurked, read and occasionally written on this site, peering into a couple of dozen fictions to see the imaginings of those fandoms. In all that time, I must say I have never met anyone who has crafted as much material and done as much research as yourself to craft an excellently written peice such as this and its sequels. In my research and reading of reactions to your fic, even what detractors exist generally praise the sheer amount of worldbuilding that can be found in such accompanying pieces as the Cerebus Files.

As an aside, I have read through most of the auxiliary pieces and skimmed through this and 2 before deciding to review. So I come into my in-depth reading already somewhat knowledgeable to the themes behind your verse.

Review Chapter 1

And we are off to a fun little start of backroom dealing and discussions. Of the gathered suggestions we have a walking paragon of Bad Luck(Jason), a showboat propaganda piece (Branson) and of course, our hero, the Butcher(Sara) along with several forgettables. Though the choice is made with reluctance, you do establish right here and now that THIS Alliance does not see brutality and intimidation as something to be shied away from but, rather, embraced. Something the implications in word and manner of Kyle hint at, that this is a far darker SA than in canon.

Hmm, while I like the scene and your take of the different backgrounds, if I had a constructive criticism it would be to make those not of potential Shephard backgrounds (Hero, Survivor, Butcher) less forgettable.

Random questions (which I don't expect you to answer, just musing)

1. Having read through Jason's STG File (which I know contains spoilers- but I couldn't help myself) I have to concur with the Salarian Analyst -clearly, something is going on with his bad luck. Has he been cursed by one of those wierd Arcann reality breaking devices or perhaps pissed off the Darkness?

2. Actually, from reading his profile, why was Kyle never suggested for Spectre position? I get he is on shaky ground at this time, but during the first potential Spectre round that Anderson took part in.
Dragondeathdrop chapter 123 . 1/27
Wow, okay where do I begin? This is my second time reading the OSABC and this time I took my time and read it slower than I did before and I completely adore this story and this canon.

Mass effect is one of the series that I would go back to time to time too replay and enjoy(though that was mostly Mass Effect 2). But this story and this canon has completely replaced it in my head.

As far as I’m concerned this is what actually happened and I love it. A very dark, very realistic(at least the non Alliance parts which I’ll get too in a moment.)

The Alliance in the games always felt... too proper now that I think about it. Too right and proper, too “we’re the good guys.”

Cerberus feels like an actual nuanced and deeply flawed organization.

The Illusive Man was written a some of the same way(distrusting aliens in general) but also very different since he was merely one part of it and he was in an odd way also admiring of certain alien species. Cerberus Files.)

I haven’t yet started on the second part covering Mass Effect 2 but Hades Group seems like it’ll be what Cerberus was in Mass Effect 3. Probably gonna be wrong though.

The characters are incredibly fleshed out and each of them is flawed in their own way which is interesting to see their own issues and how they process it and work through it progress.

Salarians are still the oddities they were but Tazzik is terrifying as hell. Asari are even more arrogant than they were and the fact they have warp swords is awesome. Krogan are still battle addicted crazies while Turians are even more militaristic and crazy. Tali was badass as were the Quarians and Volus.

I could go on and on but the point is that I absolutely adore this story and canon.

Dragondeathdrop.
ronmose chapter 60 . 9/20/2019
Cmon, Tetrimus' ability to survive all that is just bullshit and shouldn't be possible.

Great story overall though.
Truffalot chapter 91 . 9/18/2019
We'll crack through your tough mandibles yet, Sparatus you fluffy teddy bear you
Elvenlord2001 chapter 123 . 9/11/2019
I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite fic on the net.
Guest chapter 81 . 8/2/2019
When I saw "A/N Cliffhanger" I thought "Nice to know"... And then I reached the end of those chapter...
Bei chapter 42 . 8/1/2019
A fantastic space's battle !
Quintyss chapter 118 . 8/3/2019
SMH. Be smarter, Shepard, you should have disabled, or sabotaged, the bloody Conduit relay after passing through it ahead of Benezia. It would have trapped her somewhere in between nebulae and forced her to use ftl to the nearest relay. That would have bought you a lot of time to bring forces in to engage her as she hit the Widow.

Sovereign's response to the Destiny Ascension was funny. Thank you for that.

Oh yeah... since you mention the Destiny Ascension's origins, obviously the Inusannan's tech has already been exposed. So why not let Shep and allies grab some of those ships sitting on Ilos instead of blowing them up, hmmm? Shep needs a new ship that isn't Alliance (I won't mention that Liara's family has one Shep could have used...)!

Still, this story has been a page turner and I am thoroughly enjoying it :D.
Bei chapter 21 . 7/31/2019
That ! Is what Mass Effect should be !
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