Okay, had some free time, decided to go through this one and jot down my reactions.
> Part V: Ockham's Razor
Right off the start my curiousity is piqued. Ockham? Gryph knows how to spell Occam correctly, says I, therefore this must be a subtle hint at something! At what? Ooh, conspiracy!
... or, as a quick visit to Wikipedia suggests, just me being ignorant. Doh.
> landmark. Though the company was no longer in operation, the building's
> owners, a real estate holding company with the whimsical name of
> Bolthole & Hideout, Ltd., maintained it in good condition, with the bold
Competitors of Safehouse, Inc., one assumes. *nod*
> Those various burglars and unlawful enterers who had passed on
> trying the Deneb Cold Storage Company's security would have been
> startled to learn that the building was -not- empty, and indeed that
> there were at least two pieces of very valuable equipment within. One
> of them, a VF-1FS Hyper Valkyrie starfighter, would have been unwieldy
> to abscond with and difficult to fence, but the other was specifically
> designed to be portable - and there were quite a few people who would
> pay a handsome premium to get hold of a genuine pre-Sonset Wedge Defense
> Force FTL processor, an authentic piece of Zetan overtechnology.
... okay, first thought is, dude, Gryphon stuck his Valk in the -fridge-?
And then the WDF FTL processor shows up, and... hmm. That's not EVE, Eve is still in the wreck of the Son at this point, isn't she? It's not CLULESS, that's kept in Gryph's skull... What, then, could it -- naaahh....
> The answer, Vision was slightly nonplussed to learn, was
> nothing. She replayed her sensor logs of her last conversation with
> Gryphon to make sure she hadn't misremembered what he'd said - not very
> likely, but ironically, with a cognitive structure as advanced as hers,
> just possible.
DUDE! You stuck -VISION- in the fridge -too-?! Harsh. :D
> "I'm just making a quick run to Omega and back for this
> auction," he said. "Shouldn't be more than three or four days."
*cue ominous music*
> "If I'd known he was going to do that I'd have asked him to sell me that
> quarian before he left. Shame to waste such promising young talent."
> "Okay, you've lost me. What quarian?"
> "He bought a quarian at the auction. Kind of an impulse buy,
I've noticed this in the other pieces in Star-Crossed so far, but as this is my first real post on the subject I'll mention it now:
I know the Mass Effect convention is that the race names are not capitalized. I'm not quite sure why this is, other than by developer fiat. But it strikes me as a bit off, somehow, in that the rest of the UF stories follow the normal convention when using race names as nouns. Just... not this one.
It's not a complaint, not even a quibble, just a minor twinge at best. It's just something I'm noticing and can't think of a good reason why.
> She pulled back from the Blue Suns system, erased any trace of
> her presence there, and turned her attention to the undernet bulletin
> boards that had gotten her creator into this mess in the first place.
> HELP WANTED...
"Calling all Blue Blaze Irregulars!"
Okay, well, probably not, given that this is set in the Exile. But still.
> Rando sighed deeply and replied in his heavy, monotone voice,
> "Not even bothering to disguise annoyance: The special supplies have not
> yet arrived from Carentan. They are en route as we speak. Sarcastic
> excitement: If you know a way of intercepting a hyperspace transport and
> getting its cargo here faster than it's already coming, please go
> partners with me in developing it so we can both become incredibly
*snooork* Elcor. Awesome.
> The man paused just inside the doorway and scanned the room with
> mismatched eyes, one dark, the other ghost-blue.
I was scratching my head trying to figure out who this could be. Then:
> "Zaeed Massani?" she asked.
... oh. Well. I don't have the DLC, so I guess I shouldn't blame myself for not recognizing him. :D
> "Lady, for what you're offering to pay, I wouldn't care if you
> were Patina, Queen of the Junkions," he said. "I'm in. Give me the
... I know that name, why do I know that name?
Yyeaaah, okay. I remember now. *wince*
> Gryphon and Tali were taking it easy in their garage, tinkering
> with assorted bits of Ranger and desultorily discussing various points
That, that right there? Broke me. Because my first mental image was of, y'know, an Army Ranger. Eeep.
> What she was looking at through her scope today was considerably
> less noble than that great beast, and considerably less valuable too. It
> was a man, tall and swarthy, dressed in the armor of a Blue Suns
> centurion and supervising at least three dozen men as they disembarked
> from a Dakota-class dropship. He clearly had no idea she was out there.
TAKE THE SHOT, TAKE THE SHOT!
> She clicked forward one mag level and recentered her crosshairs on his
> forehead. At 1300 yards, it was a tricky shot, but not impossible. Not
> nearly. Alice might not have had anything to hunt on Halo, but that
> didn't mean her rifle had spent the last ten years on the shelf. If she
> had to, she was confident she could take this guy out.
> That wasn't her job, though.
> "Say again?" Chen's voice said in her ear.
> "The infantry's forming up, but there are a couple of guys with
> SMGs hanging back by the dropship. Engineers, maybe. They're... ...
> aw, -crap.- Base, the Blue Suns have brought armor. I repeat, ARMOR.
> They're offloading a Saladin hovertank."
Hee! I have the manual (or one of them, at any rate) where the Sal is documented. Never -played- the game, mind you, but here was this whopping great book full of cool vehicles and armor (and a few mech designs in the back), just sitting there on the card table at a garage sale, waiting for a new home.
Best fifty cents I've ever spent. :D
> Brejik hadn't been entirely sure what to expect from the
> colonists, but one thing he -hadn't- been expecting was for his primary
> target to come out and -meet- him. He knew the guy had balls, but only
> a -maniac- would challenge a Saladin on a -motorcycle,- transforming or
> not. Brejik's Class-20 autocannon could reduce the crazy bastard to a
> pink mist with a single hit, and with the Saladin's maneuverability,
> he'd get one.
> "He's just -sitting- there," said the driver.
Yes. Taunting you.
> "Chase that motherfucker down!" he roared. "He can't run from
> us forever."
Hah! Gryph aggro'd the tank! :D
> The three seconds it took the SPARTAN Laser to charge up and
> fire after she pulled the trigger were the longest of Tali's life.
Having played the game a couple times, I've gotta say, that three seconds is MURDER. And a stupid, silly design for a weapon, in my opinion. Make it take three seconds to recharge between shots, fine! But when I pull the damn trigger I expects me some FREEEM!
Stupid SPARTAN laser.
> And then she couldn't see anything, because the laser vomited a
> beam of such intense red light that her visor automatically flicked to
> black for 750 milliseconds to keep her from being blinded. It returned
I'm sure there's a thought behind this sort of thing, some reason for it, but, the numbers distract me. I'd rather see "half a second" or "three-quarters of a second" or for that matter "a split second", because if I'm putting myself in Tali's place here, I can't for a second imagine that I'd notice until after the fact -- if then -- that it took exactly 750 milliseconds for vision to be restored.
> the town itself. As such, once assured by Mordin that the Suns had left
> the system entirely, they were fully prepared to party.
My cynical side points out that Mordin and Millandra both start with 'M', and has ever since that little bit about the merc sleeper agent earlier. But Millandra would be too obvious, and I can't see it being Mordin, and... and... doh.
> "Huh?" Gryphon replied. He wasn't sure he'd heard her right,
> what with the music, and most of his attention was taken up by the
> peculiar spectacle of Mordin Solus with cans on, deejaying.
*spews Diet Pepsi*
> But that was for some other time.
... I'm a bit at a loss as to what to say.
The dance, Tali's dress, all of that? Very touching, and I quite liked it.
At the same time, I'd somehow got the impression that Gryph thought of Tali as a Friend-slash-Little-Sister, not Friend-slash-Love-Interest. But the closing scene throws a lot of doubt on that.
I can see Tali being infatuated with him. But Exile!Gryph just always seemed so... driven, that I can't quite see him returning it to the same level.
I dunno. The title is making more sense now, I'll admit, but I can't decide if I agree with how their relationship looks right now or not.
(Not that that matters, particularly, but, y'know. Opinions.)