A/N: I was going to have Pel do the historical part, but it wasn't gelling correctly, so I had to scrap it and start over. Instead, Pel gives a small overview of his view of the Turians, or spikes as the slang goes.
Additionally, if interested, I've updated chapters two and three with new information about the Galaxy and the Citadel Council since the human history has moved to TCF: Humanity now.
It will be January before the turian history is ready, and longer for the physiology. Sorry, but Bioware sucks at designing aliens that are medically or historically plausable, and I have LOTS of fixes to make and holes to fill. (You have a culture where everyone is willing to help everyone else but also fights among itself? WTF? Fixing that is fun.)
The Cerberus Files: Historical Analysis of Citadel and Terminus Space
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Pel again, bossman.
First of all, thanks for nothing. Sticking me out here on this wild-ass goose chase into the Hierarchy is likely to end in tears if the turians tumble to what we're doing. Greys and squids prolly take information gatherin' as kind of a game, as long as you don't make off with anything important. Turians see it as an insult. Then again, they see lots of shit as an insult.
Damn, I don't wanna be here again. I hate turian space. Goddamned inspections every time you so much as change course.
Trelly is off buried in the library at the University of Magna, one of the nicer turian colonies. She's boning up on turian history, I guess, to write up the first part of the report you want. Which is cool and all, but I kinda worry she's gonna focus on the wrong shit.
So, she told me to give you a ground view, so to speak, of what you're looking at when you take a gander at the spikes. I'll be happy to oblige, as long as I ain't gotta speak in High Geekese or whatever the tone Minsta uses.
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Sorry, I don't have a fancy word for it. Calling it psychology is bullshit, since anyone who says they understand how a turian thinks is a lying asshat.
Turians are the most alien, fucked up bastards I've met. Greys are weird, fuckin' evil and crazier than telling a bar full of krogans you just killed one of their kids, but we can get them, sorta. Asari are crazy blue sex-addicted lying bisexual witches who can fuck you or kill you with their mind, but they make a badass drink and aren't that weird.
Turians? Boss, turians would rather die than admit they were wrong about something most times. A turian will happily, and I do mean happily, kill himself if he's fucked up his honor. I don't mean Japanese style fuckup, I mean insulting the wrong person or failing to figure out a subordinate isn't ready for a job.
Best I figure, turians believe they are judged for the afterlife by how upright their intentions and actions are when they live. They see their society – not the people, the GOVERNMENT – as the Big Thing, and everything they do has to rotate around that. If the government says go die, you die. If they say colonize this radioactive, germ-infested shithole, you colonize. Problems come when turians disagree on who should be calling the shots. The turians have a Primarch for each little section of their space, and the Unification Wars didn't really unify shit, so a lot of colonies don't feel the High Primarch is the rightful ruler.
It's a mess. Trelly can tell you about it.
Turians don't have morals in the same way we do. The act has no meaning, it's the reason you did it that is sinful or not. If you have to kill fifty people to save fifty-one , hell, you're a hero in their eyes. But if you don't kill fifty to save fifty-one, they look at you as if you killed those fifty-one people yourself.
Turians don't put up with lying, cheating, or theft. I ain't never, in all my life, heard of a turian cheating on his wife. Not once. You never see them arrested for theft, or graft, or corruption. They aren't wired that way. You can't fucking bribe them, even the poorest of them would try to claw you to death for insulting him that way.
The fuckers are completely fearless, too, when it comes to fighting and dying. They never, ever, break. I've had to put down turian KIDS who after we whacked their parents picked up their weapons and kept fighting. The only turians who ever broke was that group we hit with mind-control drugs, and even half of them killed themselves rather than retreat.
All of this is tied up in that thing about 'dying how you live' and being one with ancestors and shit. I don't get half of it, but I can understand the basic point: a turian can't be turned, corrupted, or made into a traitor. If they're doing something, they're convinced it's the best way to proceed, and nothing is gonna change their mind without damn good reasons.
As a thought, boss? This is why that Saren fuck scares the shit out of me. I don't give a shit what everyone else says, a guy like that turning his back on his own people is freaking unnatural. Whatever he thinks he's doing, he's convinced that it's either that or death. Watch him close.
Turian culture is like fucking ants. What's the word...ah. Yeah. Collectivist.
A spike will put everyone else above his own needs. I don't mean than in a petty way either, boss. Go to any turian city and there's a building called a charity. Down and out spikes go there and literally get adopted by a turian family, given a job, and gotten back on their feet. They don't HAVE homeless people.
They don't charge their own kind for medical services. A turian who can't make ends meet to pay for his apartment will be sent to another place with lower rent, one who has problems feeding his family will have his neighbors gang up and stuff his kitchen with food until he can make it on his own again. They won't back-stab one another in jobs, are brutally honest, and will always go out on a limb for a complete stranger as long as they're turian.
Their work ethic is fucking psychotic, as hundreds of thousands of them die a year from literally working themselves to death! I'm not shitting you, they miss the signs they're in bad health and keep working until they croak or fall out. And this shit is seen as a sign of maturity!
I ain't much for artsy fartsy shit, and neither are they. I do like that about the spikes. Their art is all scary shit designed to remind you that they will stomp a mudhole in your ass if you push them. Their music is boring military marches, their food is nothing you want to eat, and they make the best brandy in the goddamned galaxy. Armagnac can go straight to hell compared to turian kaless.
Other stuff? Turians take their religion super serious, worshiping their ancestors and nature spirits or some shit. I never paid much attention to that, but they always babble on about it if you ask 'em. They don't have many holidays – they see that shit as a reason to fuck off, and they hate fucking off.
They pump out kids at a crazy rate because the women are hornier than the men, which is just backasswards.
Turian counseling is beating the shit out of each other in open-air arenas, then getting drunk as fuck and banging the shit out of some chicks. I really can't find anything wrong with that.
Spikes don't really find the other races very impressive, boss. They think the asari are okay but don't like their sneaky nature, and the salarians are too dishonorable for them to get along with. They'd like to set the goddamned batarians on fire (can't disagree) and they ain't big fans of the lizards or gasbags. They see krogan as stupid ugly brutes who should have died a long time ago, and they are not big fans of humans.
The entire race is basically an army. Their hospitals are part of the medical branch, their public works are run by the army corps of engineering, their schools are run by their military recruiters. The roads are built by the transportation divisions, the fucking transportation services are military. Even the goddamned parks are run by the military!
Every single spike is in the military or has served in it. ALL of them, boss. Every civilian has at least eight years service in, and most of them more than that. Even the outcasts put their kids in merc bands while they grow up. It's fucking creepy.
Their navy is big but shitty, if you ask me. Way too many dreadnaughts and big ships, not remotely enough escorts. They have a big-gun fixation equal to Florez's. The navy is sloppy when it comes to logistic shit too, although they have good tactics. The fleet is split up and sent all over creation to defend half the damned galaxy, and it's not so hot in big engagements.
The army is gigantic. It's bigger than the asari, salarian and human ground forces combined, and that's just active duty. Their infantry is big on info-war shit, drones, snipers, and attrition warfare, with lots of flexibility and small-unit command. The smallest unit can call for airstrikes and orbital support, and the generals try to let their lower-rankers get the job done without micromanaging.
Biotics are rare, and treated like shit. Spikes don't see biotics as honorable combat and tend to use them for dishonorable tasks – infiltration, assassination, that sort of thing.
They have a fighter corps, although their fighters are dogshit compared to our flyboys. No carriers, instead they use them from bases and ground strips.
They have auxiliaries, mostly the volus, although the VDF is taking more and more of that duty on itself. Most volus aux units are, surprise, missile carriers, light armored missile units, and fucking GTS barrage batteries that spit out more torpedoes than a fucking dreadnaught. Goddamn volus.
The turian economy is crappy. So much of their infrastructure is government based and tax supported that the tax rates are even higher than the SA's, and merchants end up having to pay high import and export duties and all that shit. There's no smuggling (smugglers get shot) and no black market, so people pay higher prices for everything.
Turians don't get business the same way that a human does, or a volus. They rely on the volus for most of their economic muscle, but that's beginning to not work out as the volus are tired of being used.
The biggest problem, of course, is they have to pay for that big-ass army and navy, which eats up like 40% of their fucking GDP a year. Not that they'd ever cut that back, the asari and salarians have put them in a corner with loans and the only way they can pay them off is volunteering their fleets to serve the Citadel. Turians are too honorable and straightforward to care, because honor demands they go along with it.
Honor is everything, that and accountability. You make a decision, you own it. You stake out a position, you defend it.
A turian who won't back up his words is garbage. The spikes aren't hypocrites, at least – they will stand behind their fuckups and stubbornly state it was the only way to go. Their mindset is pretty inflexible on some things.
There are spikes who hate their spouses, who beat the shit out of each other every day, that would rather die than break up. There are spikes who hate their jobs and won't quit because the company needs them in that position, even if they could get a job making twice as much elsewhere.
An entire turian regiment killed itself because they followed orders that had been hacked to identify the wrong target and ended up killing a group of asari on some kinda pilgrimage. Every one of them, even the fucking cooks and medics. Their families said they were proud they took 'the right stand for the right reasons.'
Honor is their life, bossman. The whole FCW blew up because, really, they thought we tricked them at first contact and because we didn't just surrender when they blew up Shanxi.
They have tiers of citizenship,but not like the SA. More like military ranks. You do a good job, you get promoted. Get promoted high enough and you can start up a Family, turian nobility. Get promoted past that and you can run the entire shebang.
Fuck voting, they pick the best persons to do the job, period. There's no such animal as turian politics in the lower levels of society, which is very strange to deal with. Spikes follow orders, all the way up the chain.
The highest level of citizenship is being a Primarch. That's where the politics starts.
The Hierarchy is broken up into clusters. Each cluster has certain backgrounds, laws, beliefs, blah blah blah. Each one has it's own Primarch.
Every decade or so the Primarchs all get together on Palaven and end up deciding who runs the Hierarchy, which turns into a big mess. Some clusters hate each other – turian unity only goes so far, I guess. The spikes usually have outbreaks of colonial violence or even full-out rebellions after a new one gets chosen.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head, bossman. Trelly will have her usual shit on history, physical stuff, how they think, what kinda forks they use, and who is fucking who when she gets her parts done. I'll be doing the military stuff and talking about how they relate to other species.
Keep one last thing in mind. The spikes are smarter than they let on. Don't think for a minute that their fixation on honor and duty to the race blinds them. They didn't survive hundreds of years of salarian and asari fuckery by being stupid. They're honorable in their own way, which is NOT human. They'll blow up civilians by the million to get at a handful of soldiers or react to a riot with gunships and grenades because it's the most efficient method.
I know our view of them is mostly old FCW shit mixed with how they all have a stick up their ass, and God knows I ain't a fan of aliens, but they're cleaner to deal with than the blues or the greys. I have to go with Minsta's gut on this, no matter what Trelly says – the asari are out to fuck us, literally and figuratively. The salarians are bent as fuck and crazy. Turians are scary, weird and hard to understand, but they don't lie, and they don't ever go back on their word. They also aren't trying to make us like them or fuck up everything we do.
I'm off to have a drink. I got half a squad watching Trelly. I won't let your piece of ass get shot up if I can help it, so cut back on the 'ensure her safety' bullshit, bossman. Sides, we're safe enough for now. It's when we go to Palaven we need eyes open.