LAST EDITED ON Apr-12-13 AT 05:37 PM (EDT)
[Annotations by Gryphon]
[Annotations by Phil]
 I've never noticed whether this is actually a tradition in the real world - I tend not to think so - but it is in the 25th century.
 In fairness, Zargh and Nanclus require very little in the way of excuses to come to blows.
 MST3K thing. Standard reference in the GweepCo Elder Days.
 Shepard would have been less annoyed if they'd had duckpins in Valhalla. Those at least bounce right.
 Sadly, Commander Ivanova's not there to observe, "It's so worth it to see you taken down a peg."
 As in Mass Effect's Systems Alliance forces, N7 was an occupational code in the old WDF. In the WDF's case, N indicates someone who has received irregular-operations training (i.e., a commando) and 7 denotes the highest proficiency level. N7s were the old WDF's spec-ops apex predators. Shadow Squad, the Special Æther Service (AKA "the Hammers"), and the like were almost all N7s; the exceptions had a different primary specialty, such as MechWarriors and Veritech pilots, who customarily used their own specialty prefixes instead.
Though the letter-number occupational codes aren't officially used any longer, some of the better-known ones, like N7, are still in informal use in the new WDF and, by cultural extension, the IPO. In the 25th century it's basically shorthand for "epic badass". Those who held the designation in the old days are traditionally allowed to wear the insignia if they so choose. (Gryphon, for instance, is wearing N7-flagged armor in Holiday in the Sun, though in retrospect it's more likely that his opcode in the old WDF was actually V7, since he was spec-ops rated but primarily a Veritech Fighter pilot by trade.)
By extension, Max, Miria, and Komilia Sterling were all V7's as well. Maia and Miranda Sterling were N7's as part of the Nazgûl.
 All beats are locked, all roads are blocked, it's back to business. By a strange coincidence (considering their prominent role in Operation Archangel), one of the composers on Mass Effect 3 was none other than Clint Mansell, a former member of PWEI (though he's not on New Noise).
 In fairness, the original IES patents had expired back in the middle of the 2300's. The Salusians have an improved version that's still military classified, but the original tech is effectively open source now, and has certain legitimate uses in the spacewhaling industry.
 "Centurion" was not actually a rank in the Gamilon Guards until Amanda, inspired by her Romulan Guardsmen after Pavane for a Dead Princess, specifically added it for Rina.
 And here, after nearly an aeon from her last appearance in UF, Amanda Dessler! Let's give her a hand!
 We were somewhere around Ilos, on the edge of the Expanse, when the drugs began to take hold.
 One of my favorite line contributions to Act I.
 The "heat sink" ammunition mechanic BioWare introduced in Mass Effect 2 doesn't work thermodynamically for me, so I replaced it with a system that already has form in the UF universe - the expendable capacitor, as seen in the Mars-Gallant H90 laser weapon (particularly in Star-Crossed). The Mattock, being a mass accelerator, presumably also needs to have its physical ammunition restocked from time to time, but on a long enough timescale that we don't need to be concerned with it tactically (sort of like the way blasters are supposed to work in the old West End Star Wars game, where you only had to reload between lightfights).
 Here we see that the order in which Shepard met Kaidan Alenko and Ashley Williams was reversed in UF. Wiliams, being a Salusian marine, would've been with the WDF already, while Alenko, as a member of the UEDF, would've had to be met under more irregular circumstances.
 As to why Zeta Cygni might otherwise be interested in the place? That's a good question, isn't it...
 Actually, by Einherjar standards, the Mk 98 Widow is many things, depending on who's holding it. Originally developed as a vehicle-mounted weapon, the central mechanism has gone on to many implementations, not unlike the WWII-vintage German FLaK-88 cannon. The version Shepard has here, with shoulder stock, telesight, and bipod, is indeed a sniper rifle. For giants.
Considering that it was originally a quarian/geth weapon, the Widow probably arrived in Valhalla sometime after the Morning War back in the 1800s.
 One wonders whether Arna knows what building Shepard is referring to, and possibly why Shepard, who isn't from Earth, automatically thought of it, but there it is. The Collector ship is actually quite a lot bigger than the Chrysler Building.
 You know the scene in Iron Man where Shellhead gets shot down by a tank and then hauls himself out of the crater? Had that kind of imagery in mind, just without the electric motor sound effects.
 Though a Morgan Arms (for which read "Kei on her day off") design, the Mattock, like all the MA-branded weapons of the Golden Age, was actually built by the WDF Armory. (This is as opposed to the products of the "Morgan Custom Shop", which Kei actually made herself, usually by modifying existing equipment.)
 Shepard has a large collection of these, referencing the fact that she was originally an engineer by trade.
 Kaidan wasn't, which means, if he were to think about it for a second, that his original bones are still buried someplace on Earth. Returnists often find this fact awkward and prefer not to consider it much.
 There was a minor amount of debate in the development process as to whether or not the "Obligatory PPG Charge-Up Sound" should have played at this point.
 Kaidan and his unspecified early-24th-century wife had four children: Jeff (named after Normandy helmsman Jeff Moreau), Arna (whose namesake was Arna'Havath vas Balado), Virginia (this one ought to be obvious), and Wrex (who took a lot of kidding about that 'W' as a child and responded to most of it with his forehead). It is undetermined at this time what became of them.
 This is also a drink. Invented by Wrex and Liara after several rounds of the classic Old Janx Spirit telekinetic drinking game, it replaces the Santraginean seawater in the standard Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster recipe with ryncol (a krogan liquor), and it will fuck you up.
 Contrary to popular belief, pudu is the Jawa word for bantha fodder, not bantha shit, but bantha fodder isn't really something you want to be up to your neck in either, so the Anglo-Standard common usage is still appropriate.
 Levi's 501 jeans, for instance, which have those copper rivets. WDF Chief Medical Officer Jenna Steen's writeup in the Journal of the Salusian Medical Association remains a minor classic.
 What's cool is that blue-and-black are Garrus's standard armor colors. You don't have to change a thing to picture him in the IPO (except maybe the logo on his right arm, if you want to be really particular about it)!
 "... and your hips are... very supportive."
 "There's no Shepard without Vakarian."
 In fairness, this was only peripherally connected with her return to Midgard.
 Another of my favorite contributions.
 Admittedly getting help from Gorilla Grodd would be like getting help from Mojo Jojo -- it'd be effective, but would you really want it?
 As seen in Blades.
 By the early 2400s, Knight Industries is a long-forgotten corporation, but certain of its inventions remain part of the everyday fabric of galactic life.
 In the 25th century versions of vehicle navigation systems, the "Archangel" voice is very popular, for some reason...
[1338 ] "Pre-Epochal" studies are those that cover the time periods before Atlantis, Santovasku, Minbar, etc -- what some scholars consider "Deep History", and whose historical records and artifacts are spotty, at best. The only other courses of study that cover anything like the same depth of history are those involving galactic and universe formation in the Astrophysics department (where "deep time" is really deep, as in billions of years), and the ones involving early Cybertronian history.
 Players of Mass Effect 2 will recognize this sequence; I'm rather pleased with the way it adapted into its UF context.
 I considered giving her glasses for this scene, but since asari don't have external ears, they'd have had to be pince-nez and that wouldn't quite have had the same effect.
 I actually wasn't sure until I got to this scene whether Shepard and Liara had been A Thing back in the day. (The reference to same in the preceding flashback was added after it became plain here that they had.)
Sorry, Shakarian supporters, you win some, you lose some.
 This is in fact Fuu Hououji's elder sister, Kuu.
 Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevskiy (1792-1856). N.B. He didn't actually say that.
 Valhalla is not strictly just for soldiers, but that's a hair Kaidan doesn't feel any particular need to split right now.
 I'm not sure which early-'90s stand-up comedian's show this bit comes from. It played often on Comedy Central back in the day. Brian Regan, maybe? Maybe not; Derek Bacon liked to quote it, and he wasn't a Brian Regan fan. ISTR the routine was about, as the youngest of several children, deliberately losing childhood competitions in order to create a spurious feeling of control.
[ 1698] Otherwise known as "WOW that's black kind of black." Blacker than space itself. A color you could actually hear if you listened closely enough. (From UF1!)
 The capital of Euphrates is of course New Goodyear, but Harrisburg is the colony's principal port.
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