Woe to Tyrants
1 Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
2 to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be their spoil,
and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
3 What will you do on the day of punishment,
in the storm which will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth?
4 Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain.
For all this his anger is not turned away
and his hand is stretched out still.
Arrogant Assyria Also Judged
5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger,
the staff of my fury!
6 Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 But he does not so intend,
and his mind does not so think;
but it is in his mind to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;
8 for he says:
“Are not my commanders all kings?
9 Is not Calno like Car′chemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samar′ia like Damascus?
10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols
whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samar′ia,
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
as I have done to Samar′ia and her images?”
12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride. 13 For he says:
“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I have removed the boundaries of peoples,
and have plundered their treasures;
like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones.
14 My hand has found like a nest
the wealth of the peoples;
and as men gather eggs that have been forsaken
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing,
or opened the mouth, or chirped.”
15 Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who hews with it,
or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts,
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame;
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.
18 The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down.
The Repentant Remnant of Israel
20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord, the Lord of hosts, will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord, the Lord of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they smite with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 And the Lord of hosts will wield against them a scourge, as when he smote Mid′ian at the rock of Oreb; and his rod will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck.”
He has gone up from Rimmon,
28 he has come to Ai′ath;
he has passed through Migron,
at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29 they have crossed over the pass,
at Geba they lodge for the night;
Gib′e-ah of Saul has fled.
30 Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim!
Hearken, O La′ishah!
Answer her, O An′athoth!
31 Madme′nah is in flight,
the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32 This very day he will halt at Nob,
he will shake his fist
at the mount of the daughter of Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the great in height will be hewn down,
and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
and Lebanon with its majestic trees will fall.
— Isaiah 10 | Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
Cross References: Genesis 10:10; Exodus 5:14; Exodus 14:16; Numbers 11:1; Joshua 18:24-25; Joshua 21:18; Judges 18:21; 1 Samuel 21:1; 2 Kings 18:33; 2 Kings 19:22-23; 2 Kings 19:25; 2 Kings 19:31; 2 Chronicles 14:11; Psalm 58:2; Psalm 78:31; Psalm 81:6; Psalm 94:6; Isaiah 2:8; Isaiah 5:4; Isaiah 5:15; Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 10:30; Isaiah 14:6; Isaiah 21:17; Isaiah 28:22; Isaiah 32:19; Jeremiah 9:23; Jeremiah 22:7; Luke 19:44; Acts 2:23-24; Romans 9:20; Romans 9:27-28
Transformers: Robots in Disguise Season 2- Rise of the Headmasters
Optimus Prime has taken Galvatron, the Decepticons, and the Predacons back for trial and prison back on Cybertron.
Upon being found guilty, their heads were removed, converted to minicons, and their bodies permanently disposed of.
Cryotek has other plans though. After time, he and his band break Megatron and his crew out of prison, and escape in a transwarp slipstream to Quintessa.
There, using technology stolen from Fortress Maximus, they construct new transtector bodies for Megatron and Scourge, and from there they plot their return to earth, and revenge on the Autobots.
As a reward for their loyalty in the previous conflict, Megatron decides to keep the predacon and combatrons around, but declares they must earn their worth to earn a new body.
Meanwhile on Earth, the Autobots have set up an embassy, and have also reverse engineered Fortress Maximus’ headmaster technology, finding that humans are more open to interacting with the autobots when the two races are the same size.
Fiercely unhappy with his new diplomatic mission, Ultra Magnus and his new Maximals would rather patrol the city, and find adventure.
Megatron- Sixshot, new TM face and helmet
Cryotek- Twinferno, Galvatron’s TM
Jhiaxus- Triggerhappy, new face
Scourge- Laser Optimus
Titanmasters (new faces where needed):
Gas Skunk- Fangry
Dark Scream- Ptero
Ultra Magnus- PMOP Cab mashed with CW Ultra Magnus trailer, new helmet and TM faceplate
Emirate Xaaron- Perceptor (earth’s ambassador)
Storm Jet- Topspin
T-AI 2.0- Windblade, new face
Leo Primal- Alpha Trion, Universe Leo Prime colors, new face
Soundwave- Mindwipe, in mutant Soundwave colors
Wolfang- Wolfwire, in Robot Masters Volfang colors
Albitron- Skullsmasher in white.
Sideburn- Hotrod, new face
Prowl- Chromedome, new face, new chest
X-Brawn- Kup, new face, new arms
There is no Ryder without Jaal Ama Darav: Part 4
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,
“Approximant Remnant ship dynamics, SAM?” Kallo asked the ever helpful AI.
We did it. Sara thought, heart beating rapidly against her chest. They found enough points in the surge to find Meridian.
“Building predictive mode.” SAM answered. She felt a surge through their connection, he was as excited for this as she was
“Between the Remnant city, Meridian, and however the Scourge fits in...pardon my Martian, but it's all weird as shit.”
Sara gave Suvi a tired laugh. “Weird doesn't even cover it, but do we have everything we need?”
“You certainly got us enough, all right: the key to it all. In here.” Suvi’s voice held its own excitement.
“The mother of all navigational aids.” Kallo added.
“Take that back to the Remnant city, find the override, and their ships will fly the same vector as Meridian.” Suvi.
“With correction for the Scourge, you’ll have its exact location.” SAM corrected but his robotic voice was full of confidence.
Sara clenched her fist, “The heart of the vault network. We can do this.” Though that last part was more for herself then Kallo or Suvi.
“Already ahead of you pathfinder.” He said as he began plotting a course to the Remnant city.”
Sara didn’t move from her spot as they speed toward the Civki system. SAM informed the crew to prepare to leave, to make any last messages they needed just incase they didn't make it back.
“It feels different coming back here now.” Kallo words were uncertain as he spoke.
“It is different.” Sara replied.
Her heart pounded faster as the Remnant city came into view. This was really happening. After the fighting and the loses, they were finally going to be able to fix the worlds, to bring the Kett to there knees.
Suvi interrupted Sara's thoughts. “SAM’s marked a potential override for the Remnant ship control. A tower with its own energy grid.”
“It may be one of the controls hat deployed Meridian. And the means to find it again.”
“Keep her steady.” Sara ordered Kallo before turning to the airlock to grab her gear. She normally wore her Initiative armor but she looked over at the locker where a gift from Kandros laid.
Opening the locker she pulled out the heavy box giving it a hug before opening it up.
Shiney, black, N7 armor along with a handwritten card stared up at her.
Kandros, that secretly thoughtful Turian, had taken her father's armour that the Hyperion had thrown in storage and changed it to fit her.
She picked up the card.
I hope I haven't crossed a line by doing this but it seemed a waste to leave your father's armor in storage collecting dust. At least now he will be with you, protecting you and his grandchild, even if he can't be here in body.
He will be here in spirit.
If you ever need to talk, remember i'm here pathfinder.
Sara wiped a tear away, before setting the card down and grabbing the helmet grabbing the helmet and pressing it to her forehead.
“I miss you, dad.” Taking a deep breath, Sara gave a shake of her head before putting the armour on.
Kallo dropped Sara, Jaal, and Drack off at the entres of the Remnant city.
“Everything looks right Pathfinder. Find the override, apply the hardware, and the Remnant will fly the same vector as Meridian.”
Jaal turned to her as they stepped onto the Remnant ship. “And all our work together will pay off.” He looked down at her stomach. The armour hid the small bump. “Ready, dearest?”
“Born ready, love.” Sara tried to sound confident but her stomach was turning.
Drack pulled out his weapon. “Then let’s do this.”
Taking a deep breath, Sara pulled out her sniper rifle and began walking forward. “Tempest, we're going in.”
The trio was cautious as they enter the ship. They had expected the Kett to be crawling around the ship but they were nowhere to be seen. Even the remnant seem to have all but disappeared. It was much to quiet.
“Quiet so far, but something is off.”
“Orbital scan identified a separate energy grid within the tower. ” SAM announced to the group.
“So that means?” Drack asked taking his potions at Sara’s left while Jaal began looking around.
“Defences here may not be on our side anylonger.” Using her omnitool, Sara called out her own white Remnant bot, Tiger she had named it after her old cat from earth, that she and Peebee had been working on. It squealed when it saw her and began hovering above the group, ready to strike.
They made their way forward. Jaal staying as close as he could without getting in the way of Sara’s gun.
“155 meters to over ride controls.”
Sara motioned to the door ahead of them. “Through that door and stay alert.”
They got 20 feet in before Remnant descended upon them.
“Tiger, cover Drack!” Sara commanded the bot as she jumped to the highest ledge taking out the Observers that were flying trying to shoot at Jaal.
A loud whoop drew her attention directly below her as she saw Drack smash one Assembler into another one. “Take that you stupid remnant.”
She scoffed as she watched Tiger shoot down a Breacher before it could shoot in on the old Krogan. “Don’t get excited you almost went to an early grave old man!”
Jaal jumped to the ledge opposite of her, taking out another Breacher, this one however was out for her. “Both of you! Pay more attention!”
Before she could respond, She was forced back into cover as two Nullifiers pinned her down. “Drack get the attention of the one on the left, Jaal right! Tiger and I will take them out.”
As they moved into position, Sara pulled out her one clip, destroy everything in its path, sniper aiming at the Nullifiers head. Once they had the remnants attention Sara fired, her bullet going right through its head, the Nullifier dropping the the ground with a loud thunk, sparks flying out of the whole in its head.
Seeing that Tiger hadn't yet finished off the other one, she quickly reload her gun and shot it through its glowing red ‘eye’. It dropped with a hard thunk as well.
“Everyone alive?” She yell jumping down beside the boys.
Tiger gave her a happy squeaked, as the boys nodded reloading their guns.
“Good, we must be close to the controls we need to move.”
They made their way up the ramp and into a gigantic room that held a single control module right in the center.
“Controls are a head. Projections suggested multiple lunch bays and possible links to Meridians deployment.” SAM’s voice was filled with more excitement then she knew the AI could muster.
Jaal was excited as well. “We are so close, after so much fighting.”
Heart threatening to beat out of her chest, Sara put away her gun as she placed her free hand over stomach. “Here it is boys, and girl. If we find the override then the remnant will show us the way.”
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Sara asked her AI. “SAM, everything ready?”
“All relevant data is queued for uplink.”
“Thank you. I couldn’t do it without you SAM.”
There was a pause. “Nor I you, Sara.”
She smiled, turning to her comrades, who were close to her, protective, always there. “Alright guys, lets get this shit a going.”
Sara placed her hand on the console, closing her eyes as she began to feel the ever-so-strange pull of the remnant on her mind.
“Remnant ships have lifted off. They are following the override vector.”
She opened her eyes to see the map in front of her, places began to glow as ships began to go toward one location that looked to be on the edge of Andromeda. “The surge is moving, but their going through it so easily. Could the Jardan have made the Surge as some safety measure that only allows Remnant to go through incase they ever were to return.”
“Unknown Pathfinder, but they seem to be going to Meridian. If we follow it may lead to some insite into the matter.”
Sara nodded, pushing her curiosity aside. Questions can be asked later for now getting to Meridian was priority.
“That's Meridian?” Drack asked sounding less than impressed by the old looking black sperh. “Look’s strange.”
Jaal, on the other hand sounded sceptical. “Can this be correct? The data says It’s hollow.”
“A self contained seed world.” SAM explained to them. “It is the heart of the vault network, and when reactivated, every connected planet will be affected. It is the means to making Helaus home, Pathfinder.”
Sara felt the tears pool as she turned to her friends. “This is the day that everyone has hoped and worked so hard for.”
Sara eyes widened at the sound of that voice.
No. No. NO!
THe Archon had found them.
She felt a jolt of pain in her neck where SAM was located, sending her to her knees.
“A great day for us all.”
“Sara!” Jaal grabbed her before she hit the ground, pulling her close to him. “What's happening Sara?”
“SAM? Tempest, What's happening?” She gasped pain blowing up everywhere on her body. Holding tightly onto Jaal, Sara tried making her way to the open door while the Archon spoke in her head.
“I believed you a fitting rival, but you are a false thing. A lie.”
Sara let out a whimper as a sudden, and painful, shock come from her stomach traveling through her body.
“Sara.” Jaal voice filled with worry as he pressed a gentle hand to her stomach. Drake came around letting Sara lean all her weight on the both of them her feet barely lifting off the floor.
“Tempest. Now.” She gasped through a clenched jaw as another bolt fired around her insides.
“Once I saw what made you special,” The Archon continued. “Your connection. I know how and when to take it from you. I let you find Meridian. And now i'll take your SAM to weaponize it. All Haleus will be exalted, or, one by one your worlds will die - starting with Eos.”
They were so close to the door now. Only 7 more feet.
“All I need to start is an implant like yous.”
“And thanks to you memories.”
“I know who else has one.”
“Another reason to take the Hyperion.” As he finished there only way out closed before them.
“No, no, no.” Sara cried as Drack carefully released her before running over to bet on the door
Jaal laid her against the wall, chanting over and over again, you're going to be okay.
But the last thing Sara head before she fell into darkness was the Archon.
“Fall into darkness, Pathfinder. You were almost worthy.”
-Lady The Monster
Avitus Rix and Macen Barro deserved better. Enter Fix-it fic! With a side of Rydaal and hurt/comfort.
WARNING FOR SPOILERS
Note: I have not finished the game, please refrain from spoilers when commenting please!
Climbing aboard the Turian ark had left Erika feeling one way.
Yep, that was it. That was the emotion. The emotion of shit. It wasn’t just the loss of Macen Barro, Pathfinder, but the loss of Macen himself was just...him and Avitus really loved each other. Like really loved each other. Avitus was still reeling enough to be in disbelief about his new Pathfinder status and the loss of his love and she really couldn’t blame him.
After Avitus left to go process on his own, Erika instructed SAM to replay some of the happier memories from childhood. Her own memories, enhanced by the AI her father made...even though her father was often conspicuously absent in these memories. But there was Scott, and there was Mom. She had him keep running the memories well into sleep so that she could dream of Earth and when not everything depended on her and a few other select individuals.
She woke feeling nostalgic but better and for the most part, things returned to normal. They returned to Elaaden to help with a dispute between Nakmor and Nexus and continued to be a pathfinder. It wasn’t until they were cruising by a system adjacent to the one where they had found the Turian ark that SAM pinged in her head.
“I am picking up readings from a Kett ship.”
“Oh great, just what we needed - more Kett.”
“Ryder, I am sensing that this vessel is adrift. Its power is malfunctioning.”
“Well, shit, probably should check that out. Suvi, tell Vetra and Liam to suit up, we have a ship to investigate.” She stepped down from the bridge and headed back into the loadout room.
An hour later and they jumping out of the Tempest and onto the top of the Kett ship. SAM immediately set to investigating the processes of the ship, telling her to use the hatch on the left to infiltrate the ship. Alright, alright, here they go.
No alarms. Huh. Weiiiird.
“This appears to be a mainly scientific vessel, dedicated to scientific transport,” SAM said and Erika nodded.
“Alright, then where is everyone?”
“It appears you have entered during the sleep cycle.”
“Wait, are you telling me we lucked out for once?”
“It appears so, Pathfinder.”
The good news had to come eventually! They continued through the ship, only finding stray wraiths that were dispatched easily enough. The tougher bit came when the security woke up - but it wasn’t even that bad either. A couple of Anointed, lots of Chosen but...that was it. They moved through what felt like an abandoned ship until they came to the main chamber - full of turians.
Vetra stiffened but remained quiet, but Erika knew. This was bad, very bad.
They were all in their stasis pods though...which...what?
The Turian Ark was hurt by the Scourge which means...oh.
“It appears that several of the Turians on the Ark were able to launch their escape pods out after being hit by the Scourge. Scanning the pods could reveal who they are.” More good news? Potentially?
“SAM, alert the Tempest that we have about...twelve stasis pods that will need to transported back to the Nexus.”
“Now let’s see who’s in here…” while she set to scanning the pods, Vetra and Liam circled the room investigating various datapads and audiologs. This was not exactly a research vessel, but a research transport vessel, meant for scientific reconnaissance on the newly arrived Milky Way species. Freaky. And amazing that they happened to stumble upon it, she would hate to fight exalted Turians. Talk about things that suck.
When she came to the last pod, she frowned.
“This...looks different from the others.”
“Scanning…Pathfinder, that is Macen Barro.”
“But this pod belongs to Ettius Cax who was determined to be deceased on the Turian Ark.”
“So was Macen! What is -
“It appears that someone put him in the pod before he could fully succumb to his injuries.”
“Wait, you’re not saying -
“He is alive, Pathfinder.”
“Alert Avitus immediately, SAM, he needs to know.” What kind of luck is this? Good? Miraculous, really.
After securing the ship, they set to transporting the pods as carefully as possible onto the Tempest, taking special care with Macen’s. Someone in the other pods was likely a hero, saving their Pathfinder….
Oh man, Avitus was gonna flip.
They brought Macen’s pod into the med-bay where Lexi immediately began to scan and run protocols through the pods to try and repair as much as damage as she could while he was in emergency cryo stasis. His bleeding had stopped, but he needed a transfusion, which was a very odd process to do through a pod. Medi-gel was the best thing they could do for his wounds, instructing the pod to inject as much of it as was advised.
By the time Avitus’s shuttle made it to the Tempest, Macen’s vitals had improved greatly.
She stood on the bridge, unable to keep the smile off her face as a clearly excited Avitus strode onto her ship.
“Ryder, they are saying you found him, how -
“Honestly, no idea! But he’s here and alive somehow.”
Avitus’s eyes widened, mandibles twitched just before he bolted for the med-bay.
“Downstairs, make a left!” Erika called, following him quickly.
Avitus stood over Macen’s pod in disbelief. His hand rested on the fogged glass, the orange of his omni-tool flaring as it scanned the pod over and over again, confirming exactly who it was.
“How...dammit Macen,” he said but there was relief and love in his voice. He leaned forward, pressing his brow plates to the glass of the pod.
“Live, you hear me? I lost you once, I am not doing that again.”
“We need to get him to the Nexus so we can be more prepared to address the seriousness of his injuries, but I would say his prognosis is optimistic,” Lexi said softly. She began to show Avitus everything they had discovered about Macen’s condition, going over all of the possible routes they could take to revive him.
“He won’t be able to be the Pathfinder, but he will be able to live.”
“That is enough, of course,” Avitus quickly assured her.
Arrangements had to be made for Avitus to stay on the Tempest with Macen while his shuttle was brought with them to the Nexus. Vetra took it up and they all jumped to FTL to make it back to the Nexus.
With Avitus semi-reunited with a somehow alive Macen and the flight path indicating several more hours before they would reach the Nexus, Erika retired to her room. Her large, empty room.
She pinged Jaal and moments later he was in her room, lounging on the sofa with her. She pulled her legs up under her and leaned against him. They weren’t so sure of what they were yet, but this...this was nice.
“I can’t believe we found Macen, it’s amazing.”
“Yes, it’s good to see something hopeful after everything. I’m glad to see Avitus reunited with his lover, that must be…”
“Emotional?” She supplied and he smiled.
“Yes. And how are you feeling? You took the state of the turian ark very hard.”
“Ryder,” he coaxed.
“Fine, okay, I’m happy that they’re together. Amazed. Relieved. Also, I want to be there at the wedding. I hear turian weddings are the bomb.”
“Uh no, they’re fun. Turian culture is based on hierarchy and they are often very structured, but weddings...weddings are one of the few occasions where they break loose of that and have fun. They call it madness, I call it a party.”
“Angaran weddings are large and emotional. There is dancing, food, singing, crying - it lasts for days. It is good to hear that turians are able to experience something like that.”
“Yeah, it is.”
They talked for a long time before she found herself falling asleep….against him. Because that’s not weird for their ‘whatever the heck this is’ relationship. At least she knew he wouldn’t mind her snoring.
When she woke to SAM prodding her awake (a built in alarm clock, both a blessing and a curse), Jaal was also asleep, snoring and soft and so handsome it made her want to kiss him awake. Because that was appropriate. They flirted, they hugged, they apparently slept on each other, did they kiss?
Relationships, what even?
She removed herself from Jaal as gently as possible as to not wake him. She had Macen and Avitus to check up on and to clear docking for the Tempest. Avitus was slumped over Macen’s pod, snoozing in what looked to be an impossibly uncomfortable position. But hey, she wasn’t a turian man who was just reunited with the love of his life - she supposed that this discomfort was minor compared to what he felt before.
He woke suddenly, probably because of his own SAM and immediately scanned Macen for vtials. All normal and good.
The Tempest docked at the Nexus and then the real action began. Twelve medical teams met them at the dock, one for each pod. The one for Macen immediately whisked him off to the turian medical center, Avitus following them closely, explaining as much as he could. Lexi also accompanied them to explain what she knew as well. Erika followed for Avitus, she figured that with Macen’s surely upcoming surgery, the man was going to need a shoulder to lean on.
And as predicted, Macen was whisked into immediate surgery, pod and all. They didn’t want to waste time by taking him out of the pod and then transporting him, so...straight to the OR.
“Sir, you have to wait out here so the doctors can do their jobs.”
“He’s more than my former Pathfinder, please, you have to -
“Avitus, they understand, they’re going to do everything in their power to save Macen. The best thing you can do now is let them do that without distractions,” Erika said softly, resting a comforting hand on Avitus’s shoulder. His mandible flared in agitation but he nodded and sat down.
“You’re right. This...I’m not usually like this.”
“Makes sense, not every day the love of your life is brought back from the dead.”
Avitus gave a short chuckle, “Thank you for...everything. Even if...just this...you gave him a chance.”
“Hey, we’re Pathfinders, kinda what we do, give chances.”
For the next ten hours, Erika stayed by Avitus’s side as the team worked to save Macen’s life. It was a long, looooong ten hours, but they managed to get through it. Even with the long pauses. Various Tempest crew members and turians made their way to them over those ten hours, giving words of encouragement, thanking them for being Pathfinders, thanking her for finding Macen. Even Kandros stopped by, happy to hear the good news.
At the end of the ten hours, an exhausted turian woman walked out into the waiting room. She pulled off her scrub cap and sighed.
“Oh no, he can’t! I just -
“He’s alive! Sorry, sorry, I’m exhausted, he tried to die three times. But he’s alive, stable, good vitals.”
All of the tension in Avitus’s body lifted, shoulders and plates relaxing and Erika is pretty sure that his sub-vocals were doing something because the turian woman nodded.
“You can see him now.”
He practically ran to Macen’s side. The anesthesia was still in effect, but he was breathing without the use of a tube and the steady beeping of the monitor let them all know he was alive and he was going to get better.
“Macen,” Avitus sighed, pressing his forehead plates to Macen’s.
It was another hour before Macen began to rouse from the anesthesia. He grunted and moaned, making Avitus’s mandibles twitch and brow plates move in what Erika suspected was turian affection mixed with disbelief and concern. And then Macen turned towards Avitus and opened his eyes.
Erika had no idea turians could cry, but there Avitus went, crying softly as he rested his forehead against Macen’s.
“I thought I lost you.”
And that was her cue to leave. This was their private moment, besides she was feeling a bit...emotional herself. She sniffled as longing, nostalgia, and plain old missing filled her. She made her way to the Hyperin cryobay and took seat next to Scott.
“Hey, baby bro,” she started, “I just wanted to let you know that if you don’t make it, I’ll kill you. Dad’s gone, he can’t come back, we know that, but you? You can, so do it. This is your older sister talking, okay? There are people you need to meet, an entire galaxy to see. So...get better already.” The sniffles grew until she had to blow her nose and then the real crying began. She cried over her little brother while telling him all about the things she and her crew had been up to.
She told him about Avitus and Macen. About Jaal.
He didn’t wake up but by the end of it, she felt...a bit better. Clearer. Maybe...that’s what Jaal always meant about staying clear. Let yourself feel so you can be clear headed.
“SAM, remind me to thank Jaal later,” she said, her voice hoarse from all her gross sobbing.
“How are Avitus and Macen?”
“Macen Barro is predicted to recover, though he will likely need a double hip replacement soon so he can walk.”
“But he’s alive, and with Avitus.”
And sometimes, the details weren’t what mattered, but the bigger picture. Avitus and Macen were reunited and it gave her hope that maybe Scott would wake up too. That she wouldn’t feel so alone in this new galaxy.
Seattle Street News 50, Mind Control
Clone Crisis Connected to Dragon Prince
Reporting and tips have led to some new revelations in the ongoing clone crisis. There seems to be an organization called the “Hand of Dusk” which is behind not only the proliferation and infiltration of clones, but also the summoning of the purple dragon we are calling Prince a few months ago. Sources say this “Hand of Dusk” is some sort of dangerous and deranged dragon cult. What are they up to?
Tipsters! All you tipsters in meat space or in the Matrix, send more tips on the Hand of Dusk. Send in any information you have no matter how small or innocuous. Only by working together can we stop this scourge, and since our corporate overlords don’t seem to be interested in working together, we have to do it ourselves outside of normal channels.
Corps! Get your members tested for clones and let the SSN know your results. But it isn’t just clones you need to look out for. Sources have indicated that Hand of Dusk cultists have infiltrated multiple Seattle megacorps. This conspiracy is extensive and it threatens not just the corps, but also the citizens and SINless. Don’t let your corp arrogance blind you to the dangers affecting us all.
More importantly, Citizens!, there is a conspiracy growing like a poison that is threatening us all, in the form of a dragon cult, a dragon, and the attempted undermining of our democracy. This conspiracy has only been able to thrive because it has used the megacorps, with their extraterritoriality and lack of accountability, and with their secrecy and lack of transparency, to grow, to gain resources, and to threaten us all.
This is the fault of cultists. But Megacorp negligence and unchecked power is what enabled it. Tir Tairngire has more oversight of megacorps, maybe it is time for UCAS to take more of an oversight role in corporate doings. For all our safety.
Crime Up at the Docks After Barghest Attacks
Two weeks ago, the Knight Errant precint near the docks, was attacked by a pack of Barghests. An HTR response team went into the precinct to help, but in the subsequent battle to destroy the barghests, the entire precinct was burned down. Later investigations noted that before the destruction, the precinct had had all of its equipment stolen. Knight Errant’s incompetence in being able to a) stop the barghest attack, needing to rely on HTR and b) having their precinct completely destroyed is an embarrassment. And the result? All my tipsters tell me that crime and smuggling is up in the docks area in the absence of the Knight Errant precinct.
This leads SSN to suspect that the barghest attack was probably a deliberate attack, but was it orchestrated by corps or by gangs? We’ll continue on with our investigations on the matter—tipsters send in information. Dock workers? Are you still safe?
Event Horizon: An Exploration Into The Morally Bankrupt And Culturally Genocidal Monoculture Of The Horizon Media Empire—(by demmalition1)
The Horizon Group is one of the most depraved and homicidal groups of mad men to ever walk upon God’s Green Earth. They take all that is good in life and the artistic pursuit of creativity and distill it into a microcosm of what they want you to see and hear. You will see the pictures of the valiant executive and the scary technomancer. You will hear the screams of a goody-two-shoes corp employee before she is rescued by the noble officers of Knight Errant. You will get some variations on this from time to time, but all in all they are the monotheistic monoculture that you all put in place for better or worse. Yes, I’m putting the blame of their meteoric ascendancy to godhood firmly on your shoulders, dear readers. You choose to watch their crap, to soak in their controlled and sterile messages of corp dominance each and every day of your routine lives. Their toothless criticisms of any misdeeds on their parts are swept under the rug. Even the slightest scent of criticism will send the beast into a blinding bloodthirsty fury as it hunts down the ne’er-do-well and rips them asunder in order to keep the public on their side.
They take all that is good and chew it up, only to regurgitate it back into your mouths as revolting and vile trash that you happily lap up since you know no better. You’ve only tasted the creative vomit that’s got a flavor of bleach, worried that anything that might form even the slightest agitation to your diet would overwhelm your delicate digestive tract. You’ll then regurgitate the same thing to your friends and family, spreading the corporate line just as they planned, removing any thought of questioning their lordship over the domain of your supposedly-critically-thinking-mind.
Anything taken as unique like the hit show “Hammer and the Fang” is eventually diluted to its basest elements and repackaged for the widest audience out there. Nope, we clearly don’t want an engaging story about the overreach of power by the police and the (previously) inherent thought of basic rights for all beings, not just those with SINs. You want them to hunk off another formless blob of aggressively indistinguishable gray blocks as “Hammer defeats Nails in this thrilling Season 1 midseason finale!” Nope, anything else would be too hard hitting for you.
Horizon is one of the few corps that knows what they’re doing. Starting small in 2061 as a high-level think tank to help earthquake and gang stricken Los Angeles, they hit it big in 2063 after scoring several extremely lucrative PR contracts. Their successful fending off of Aztechnology with the help of the PCC secured their spot to solidify themselves as “The Horizon Group” soon after while restoring LA and UCLA along with their two big spin-offs: Singularity (Matrix) and Charisma Associates (PR). When the Crash 2.0 hit, they were mercifully spared as the rest of the world was ravaged by the fallout, emerging soon after to help rebuild much of the California Free State. After seizing CATco’s Corporate Court seat in 2065, they became the unstoppable AAA that we all know and hate. There’s been a push as of late by the corp to go into my hometown of Chicago (aka Cee Zee, the Noose, Hell on Earth) and replicate LA. All I can say is... you can’t do worse than Ares, those pigfucking whoremongers deserve whatever’s coming to them.
Despite CEO and President Gary Cline’s repeated talks of cleanliness, all is not well in the land of the never-setting-sun. His use as a puppet to dance and wave in front of the public with his larger-than-life lifestyle to razzle-dazzle and distract them from the whisper of a shade’s shadow is truly troubling. They’re the corp so concerned about their public image that there is something hiding behind the smiler’s false face of deceit. A smile and a handshake to distract you from the pickpocket of your mind, wallet, and whatever else he may purvey to your bounty of information. For each awakened team-building exercise in “cross relational synergy workshops” we get a Bogota defeat. For each meta and AI friendly act, we get a Las Vegas Massacre. Even their well-touted P2.0 Social Network and LMG(U56) programs had and still have horrible consequences for everyone involved (remember Christy Daee?). Don’t even get me started on their Cal-Hot sim systems addictiveness and dubious legality or their amazingly absurd abuse of skilljacks.
Their internal voting system is known as “Consensus 2.0”, a way for all employees to provide individual input and vote on the direction that they think the corporation should head. Though this may seem like a good idea, a direct democracy can have disastrous consequences as is showcased by the Las Vegas Massacre of a group of protestors (mostly Technomancers) who were fighting for equal rights. Safeguards were put in place after this allowing “The Board” to reject any proposal that they think would undermine their public image. And God forbid their public image should be hurt. They do perform a lot of charity work, I’ll give them that, but the nefarious duplicity behind their motives of control is not something to be shirked off the minds of the people so easily. Rumors of involuntary kidnappings and medical experimentation on possibility hundreds of Technomancers should not be taken lightly. Nor should self-generated war crimes in order to build public support for manufactured wars be forgotten lest we revert to pliable semi-sentient slime for them to mold. An attractive succubus is still a demon no matter how eloquently it speaks or how beautiful it looks.
“We Know What You Think” is not just a phrase that they toss around lightly. They say it with confidence because they tell you what to think, no independent thought required. Another, unofficial motto of theirs I see mentioned around in the Matrix is “Better Living Through Copyright”. Can’t really blame them, they got laws in place that make the old Fifth World “Mickey Mouse Laws” look like a joke (that they will then patent, trademark, and copyright before suing to death you or anyone else who dares repeat it for a fraction of a nuyen). They’re the guys who’s Spec Ops teams don’t go in guns blazing. Good ol’ Richard (an unofficial internal name for the Dawkins Group) will instead infiltrate the offending corp and through power memetics and industrial-scale cultural engineering persuade them to stop. They’ll then buy only Horizon branded goods and services. Freedom of Thought be damned.
I’m going to propose something, dear reader. Let’s all go down to the same Stuffer Shack and buy the same burger and gush over the same show with the same revelations as everyone else. Let’s also pass by the SINless beggar on the street who was born and will die alone all because she had the misfortune of having a SINless mommy and daddy. Let’s keep filling our minds with mush and our bellies with chemically altered food designed to placate us and keep all the cattle in line as we go to the slaughterhouse of mainstream media. We’ll wear our little ear-tags of “Team Jorge” or “Team Kelly” and argue over the banal nothingness of the modern media zombie empire we’ve allowed to be constructed in front of our very eyes. We could turn the channel, but Horizon owns damn near 70% of all media in the greater Seattle Metroplex. Good luck finding anything of value anyways, it’s all corp owned (except us at the SSN). It’s amazing what ¥225 billion will buy you. Don’t complain, remember, you made this.
Now tune in, zone out, and pray to the altar of your media overlords. You better hurry up, I hear this episode’s the one where Hammer gets his trick knees fixed.
I wonder where all of this will lead us. Hope the ending is a good one, this story sucks so far.
(Angelyne Billboard sighting in the Barrens)
Angelyne Sighting in Downtown!
Last week, a tipster in the Barrens noted an Angelyne billboard sighting. It showed up out of nowhere, as they normally do, a portent and an omen of an impending possible sighting. And sure enough, last night, Angelyne The Undying was seen driving her pink convertible downtown! This has been the first Seattle sighting of The Undying in ten years. What is she up to? Why did she show up in the Metroplex this week after such an absence? Might she be releasing a new album sometime soon? Who was she visiting? What was she doing here? Any tipsters with information on Angelyne the Undying, send in tips!
Once More 10--(by Breach)
Although Renraku had claimed to have SCIRE under control by mid-2061, in 2063 the UCAS military seizes control of the arcology and declares it “officially” liberated of the AI’s influence. But while the arcology was cleared, the world was not.
Official history will never tell you the story I am about to.
Deus survived Renraku’s assault and even the UCAS “cleansing”; somehow, in its experimentation on the arcology’s residents, the AI had discovered a way to write its source code into the minds of people, and engineered its escape through a thousand of these meat-drones, who would be numbered among the “otaku” who could connect to the Matrix without need for cyberdecks to process the sensory input.
Unfortunately for Deus, and fortunately for the rest of us, a second AI named Megaera, which Renraku had employed to combat Deus, was uploaded into the Network as well. The two factions of the Network fought a years-long shadow war among each other, each side recruiting more otaku into its ranks to replace losses.
Pax, one of the leading figures in Deus’s faction, made an alliance with the terrorist group Winternight, and plots were hatched. Winternight, with the aid of Deus’s Network, secured weapons of mass destruction both biological and nuclear; Sioux military forces foiled what appeared to be a nuclear attack, but it takes many months for a Corporate Court-sponsored team of counter-intelligence and shadowrunners to fully bring Winternight to heel.
And it was all too late.
Early in 2064, Novatech - Villiers’ megacorp du jure - announced an IPO of 20% of their stock for public sale to commence on November 2. The UCAS stock exchange undertook a massive upgrade project to prepare for the IPO - and this all played into Deus’s plans, which was to upload himself across the entire Matrix, taking over every connected device on the planet. And he very nearly succeeded.
Fortunately, Megaera had known of this plot and together with the Matrix’s first AI, the program Mirage (part of the Echo Mirage team from the first Crash, if you remember) they managed to stop Deus and thwart his plans - but the fallout of their struggle would ruin the entirety of the Matrix, bringing down the entire world network in what would come to be called Crash 2.0.
This time, it was not just networks, however - because Winternight was part of the plot as well. The Winter of ‘64, which started in August, was later proven to be the result of Winternight rituals, meant to cripple the world. As the three AIs battled in the IPO launch, Winternight launched its own attacks, unleashing a Crash-like virus named Jormungand that trapped many in the Matrix (some of whom would go on to become e-Ghosts), and killing many more.
The second prong of the Winternight strike is in the physical realm, as EMPs were set off to further cripple the worldwide network, and nuclear warheads detonated at fault-lines around the world in an attempt to tear the very land itself apart. The warheads, however, fail to detonate with the force science would expect, and the damage and fallout is largely contained locally.
Someone is responsible for saving the world that day - it could have been much worse. I hope they know our gratitude.
Ancient JuL33T Murdered!
Shocking news out of Puyallup gangland! Ancient Street Sam JuL33T was found poisoned in her quarters the morning of her wedding of mobster Enzo Gianelli. Belial is on the warpath and expect there to be a lot of gang violence over the next few days. Also expect runner teams to be dispatched to find out her murdered the Street Sam.
Seattle Street News is an independent activist news source released weekly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays
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Mass Effect is a science fiction action role-playing third-person shooter video game series developed by the Canadian company BioWare and released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows, with the third installment also released on the Wii U. The fourth game was released on Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in March 2017.
The original trilogy largely revolves around a soldier named Commander Shepard, whose mission is to save the galaxyfrom a race of powerful mechanical beings known as the Reapers and their agents, including the first game's antagonist Saren Arterius. The first game, released in 2007, sees Shepard investigating Saren, whom Shepard slowly comes to understand is operating under the guidance of Sovereign, a Reaper left behind in the Milky Way tens of thousands of years before, when the Reapers exterminated virtually all sentient organic life in the galaxy as part of a recurrent cycle of genocide for an unknown purpose. Sovereign's purpose is to trigger the imminent return of the Reaper fleet hibernating in extra-galactic dark space, restarting the process of extermination. The second game takes place two years later, and sees Shepard battling the Collectors, an alien race abducting entire human colonies in a plan to help the Reapers return to the Milky Way. The final game of Shepard's trilogy centers on the war being waged against the Reapers.
The fourth installment takes place in the Andromeda Galaxy and features a new cast of characters.
All of the first three major installments of the Mass Effect series have been met with commercial success as well as universal acclaim. The series is highly regarded for its narrative, character development, voice acting, universe, and emphasis on player choice affecting the experience.
The Mass Effect original trilogy takes place in a fictional version of the Milky Way towards the end of the 22nd century.
The Milky Way is inhabited by a variety of unique characters from many different sapient species, most of whom base their technological achievements on that of an ancient civilization called the Protheans. The advanced technology left by the Protheans includes quantities of a substance called "Element Zero," which can be used to alter the mass of anything near it. By utilizing this "mass effect," the galaxy's many races are able to develop technologies such as faster-than-light travel, force fields and artificial gravity. Roughly three-thousand years before the start of the series, a galactic community was formed from the remnants of the Prothean civilization. This community is headed by the Citadel Council, a bureaucratic association led by three unique species: the Asari, a race of monogendered beings closely resembling blue-skinned human women; the Salarians, an amphibious species with considerable technological prowess; and the Turians, a heavily militaristic race of raptor-like humanoids. Over the centuries, the Council has encountered many other species that have become close political associates, while others remain independent.
In 2148, explorers on Mars discover ruins of a Prothean outpost. Additionally, Charon is discovered to be an artifact called a "mass relay," which enables near-instantaneous travel to Arcturus; it is one of many mass relays littered about the galaxy. Their use allows humanity to come in contact with the Citadel Council and its associate species. As of the year 2183 (the time in which the first game is set), mankind is the newest species to join the galactic community and is still working to make a name for itself.
The Citadel Council partitioned the Milky Way into five different sectors, known as the Terminus Systems, the Attican Traverse, Inner and Outer Council Space, and Alliance Space. Earth is a significant setting, particularly in the third installment. A space station known as the "Citadel," which was discovered by the current inhabitants of the Milky Way, serves as the capitol for the galaxy; most species have an embassy there, and the Council meets there to deliberate matters of galactic import.
The fourth game takes place in the Heleus Cluster of the Andromeda galaxy, 634 years after the events of its predecessor. When the Milky Way races arrive there, Heleus is embroiled in a brutal conflict between two native races: the Kett, a barbaric race obsessed with assimilating the traits of other sentient species through a process known as "exaltation"; and the Angara, a humanoid species whose civilization has recently been targeted and nearly decimated by the Kett. The Heleus Cluster is also the location of a series of ruins predating an advanced, spacefaring race known as the Jardaan.
The Jardaan made use of powerful terraforming technologies to colonize worlds in the Heleus Cluster, which were otherwise extremely hazardous and naturally unsustainable for life. They later fled from the Heleus Cluster three centuries before the arrival of the Milky Way races, when a protracted battle against an unknown enemy faction resulted in the usage of a weapon of mass destruction aboard a Jardaan space station. The weapon's activation unleashed a cataclysmic energy phenomenon known as the Scourge, which spread across the cluster and greatly damaged the Jardaan's terraforming systems. After the Jardaan left, the Angara, genetically engineered creations of the elder race, began to develop their own civilization before falling under attack by the encroaching Kett.
A trilogy of games has been released, each continuing the previous game's story in chronological order. The Mass Effect series combines action role-playing game elements, with the main series games being in third-person perspective. The protagonist can use two AI-controlled squad members in battle, which usually consist of members he or she has recruited from various places and for various reasons, and taken onto the SSV Normandy, Shepard's stealth-recon starship. The player could make prospective decisions depending upon the situation. At these times, the player has multiple sets of dialogue choices with which to respond to NPCs, separated by tone. Starting from Mass Effect 2, the player can interrupt cut-scenes calmly or aggressively. The games often have various mini-games in them as well, such as drinking, dancing and romancing characters.
Main series, Mass Effect, Main article: Mass Effect (video game)
Mass Effect (2007), the first game in the series, was originally created as an exclusive title for the Xbox 360 but was later ported to Microsoft Windows by Demiurge Studios, and to the PlayStation 3 by Edge of Reality. The game focuses on the protagonist, Commander Shepard, and their quest to stop the rogue Spectre Saren Arterius from leading an army of sentient machines, called the Geth, to conquer the galaxy. During pursuit of Saren, Shepard develops key relationships with other characters, primarily their best friend Garrus Vakarian, all while learning of a far greater threat in the form of the Reapers. Saren has been mentally enslaved by the Reaper vanguard Sovereign, and sent into Citadel Space to initiate the purge of all advanced organic life in the galaxy, a cycle repeated by the Reapers every 50,000 years.
Mass Effect 2, Main article: Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2, the second main game in the series, was released on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29 in Europe. A great deal of secrecy surrounded the game prior to launch, with few details emerging other than Casey Hudson, Project Director for BioWare, stating that "players should keep their save files, because decisions made by the player in the first game will continue to have influences on their character in the sequel." The game takes place two years after the events of Mass Effect. Human colonies are being attacked, their colonists disappearing without a trace. The game's protagonist, Commander Shepard, is forced into an uneasy alliance with the pro-Human paramilitary organization, Cerberus, in an effort to discover the cause. Evidence emerges pointing to the 'Collectors', an advanced, enigmatic race of insect-like humanoids. Adding to the threat is the revelation that the Collectors are working for the Reapers. Shepard sets out on a "suicide mission" to stop the Collectors, accompanied by a hand-picked team of soldiers, assassins, mercenaries, and specialists. Mass Effect 2 has received overwhelming critical and public praise since its release, for its characters, storyline, voice acting, and refined combat and gameplay with many critics calling it a major improvement over the original and an easy Game of the Year contender despite its January release. At Gamescom 2010, it was announced that a PlayStation 3 version would become available, which was released on January 18, 2011.
Mass Effect 3, Main article: Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3, the third installment in the Mass Effect trilogy, was released on March 6, 2012. Casey Hudson commented that Mass Effect 3 "will be easier [to develop] because we don't have to worry about continuity into the next one." However, decisions are routinely imported from the two previous titles to Mass Effect 3 in order to maintain continuity within the series. In the final chapter of the trilogy, the Reapers have returned in force, and have begun their purge of the galaxy, attacking Earth. During this attack Commander Shepard is on Earth and forced to flee. After fleeing Earth, Commander Shepard must hurry and rally the advanced races of the galaxy to make one final stand, not only to save Earth, but also to break a cycle that has continued for millions of years (hence providing the answer to Fermi's Paradox). The first official trailer was unveiled on December 11, 2010 during the Spike TV Video Game Awards.
Mass Effect: Andromeda, Main article: Mass Effect: Andromeda
Mass Effect: Andromeda, the first game in a new series, and the fourth major installment overall in the franchise, was revealed at E3 2015. It was released on March 21, 2017. The title utilizes EA DICE's Frostbite 3 engine and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Andromeda is the first game in the series to feature an open world environment and began during the time in which Mass Effect 2 takes place, then jumps 634 years in future. The player character is either Sara or Scott Ryder, designated as a Pathfinder – an operative tasked with discovering new planets in Andromeda Galaxy.