Fan Fic / Frontier
is the final entry in SovereignGFC
's Massive Multiplayer Crossover
series (that was never planned to be this big). This page assumes you have read (or are okay with spoilers from) Fractured
; you have been warned and no attempt will be made to hide any of the big reveals
that are made in those works.
The Reapers have been utterly annihilated
. Extradimensional invaders that consume everything they can get their claws on are on their last legs, thanks to a Herculean combination of technology from four different civilizations. However, the main source of all this advanced weaponry turns out to be a galaxy that itself is highly politically unstable...
Can Samantha Shepard shout her way out of this one?
Tropes in Frontier
- 2D Space: Averted during Grayson's "calvalry charge" through RISE/CENF fleets—they strike from above and send ships around the enemy fleet to strike behind their lines.
- Almighty Janitor: Samantha Shepard finally receives a promotion to Captain after years of technically holding "only" the rank of Commander despite vast responsibilities being repeatedly placed on her shoulders. She lampshades how weird this is.
- Badass Army: Subverted by Athena's clones—they're supposed to be this but in the Lensman Arms Race between the heroes and the CENF/RISE they get stomped hard (mainly due to lacking the Force).
- Bigger Is Better: Enforced In-Universe, because of a school of thought in the Star Wars universe that, if not using a Zerg Rush of starfighters, one bigger ship is preferable to a swarm of small ships for taking on another big shipnote
- Brick Joke: Sarah's stench. Any time she uses the Dark Side not only does her appearance change for the worse, but she also lets off a foul smell. Also, Sarah destroying furniture—she even alludes to how Flanders would be amused at destroying her own table to ward off attackers.
- Call-Back: Sarah can supercharge a hyperdrive, no matter the ship (previously done to a TIE Punisher). Shepard finds scientists on Capek in cryostasis, and begins thawing them out in the hopes that they might have discovered something useful against the Flood.
- Cannon Fodder: What happens when you pit troopships against battlestar-type vessels.
- Character Death: Not so much this work (yet...), but the death count from Fractured and Origins before mean that dozens of named personalities (such as Lilith, Tina, Liara, the Illusive Man, and more) won't be showing up here as the First Law of Resurrection is not in effect!
- Chekhov's Gun: Allison Nimitz sent Sarah to retrieve some Eridium gas from Pandora. It turns up later as the only way to stop Flood superships. Arguably, the "dissolve-everything" nature of it was actually foreshadowed halfway through Origins when the Republic Intelligence Service tried and failed to kill Sarah with it but virtually dissolved the ship she was on and its crew.
- Consummate Professional: Scarlett DeWinter's crew seems to fit this more than the typical Psycho for Hire that works with the rest of the Band, as over 70% of them opt to stick with her despite lack of pay.
- Easily Forgiven: Discussed by Grayson—he knows some people in the future will think this trope is in play and justifiably so, but he invokes the Godzilla Threshold. Samantha Shepard's attitude makes clear she's not proud of what she did, and actually wants to quit the military, though not before one final fight against the Flood.
- Emotionless Girl: Unintentionally exploited by Sarah as whoever attempts to overwhelm her during her investigation of a Paradise World cannot use her emotional state against her since she doesn't have enough of one to be bothered.
- False Utopia: Grayson hypothesizes this might be the "dirty secret" of CENF, but so far no proof exists. That said, an investigation of a "Paradise World" is being launched. Turns out this trope was played straight—the "Paradise" worlds were actually Lotus Eater Machines fueling the Dark Side powers of distant beings.
- Fantastic Racism: Played straight and averted, providing an unintended lesson in de-jure (in law) and de-facto (in fact)—policies toward non-Humans are harsh on paper but past the Mid Rim nobody really bothers enforcing them...and to its infinitesimally minor credit, CENF doesn't seem to care. Comes up again when the three galaxies are looking at rebuilding—as usual the old Council accuses the humans of this only to be reminded that they engaged in it, and furthermore holding old grudges won't help anyone.
- Go Out with a Smile: Certainly Sarah's intention, however it ultimately ends up subverted as refusing to contest her own life is in fact what allows her to defeat the darksiders due to letting go of hatred and anger.
- Government Procedural: The plot thread involving drama inside the Trans-Galactic Republic has finally resolved itself...with a coup. Admiral Adam Grayson finds out about this when he phones home to other Trans-Galactic Republic members.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Hinted at repeatedly with the Nami but otherwise deliberately left up to the reader's imagination as to what, exactly, such aliens look like.
- Heel–Face Turn: Sarah. A Flood Mind Rape combined with messy neural imprinting tends to do that. She did get nudged along by Flanders, Shepard, and Co. as well. She also gives more than a "So what?" reaction upon realizing she's going to have to kill more innocents on her side in order to achieve her goal of hunting down the Omniscient Council of Vagueness.
- Heroic Sacrifice: On a species-wide scale, the "old" (Consensus) geth kept the Flood busy for so long that the monstrosities were not able to properly focus on the heroes. Imagine what would have happened if it had zeroed in on them given the horrific losses inflicted...
- Hiding Behind Religion: Tevos gets this thrown in her face since the asari made it illegal for anyone to not share prothean artifacts...while hiding a prothean artifact of their own inside a temple on Thessia.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: The Star Wars characters, as usual, along with doses of Pardon My Klingon.
- "...like a klatooine paddy frog , you will not know your doom until the slimy hand of a Hutt reaches for you."
- Hypocrite: Grayson believes Nimitz guilty of this, since she made a lot of noise about "war crimes" by the Maliwans, Torgue, etc. because they used nuclear weapons against civilians who were aligned with their enemy, yet kept Shepard and Sarah around because of the stakes. Somehow the former wasn't justified, but the latter was. He thinks this is silly.
- It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Utterly destroying the Citadel and local space with a huge detonation by a missile that blows up entire planets is deemed the only way to get rid of the Flood.
- Jedi Mind Trick: The RISE Council doesn't like Dirctor Vance's insistence that there isn't a problem with someone taking over their digistruction facilities. They "persuade" him of the error of his thinking.
- Master of Illusion: The darksiders Sarah fights show her quite a bit that she suspects isn't real. It turns out she's right.
- Mercy Kill: The few remaining quarians living on Rannoch, having been infested by Flood, are vaporized.
- Mood Dissonance: When a Soul Reaper missile is fired toward the Citadel to end the war, a computer counts down from ten like old-school rocket launches. Then it says "Have a nice day!" upon detonation.
- Never Mess with Granny: Scarlett DeWinter is significantly older than the rest of the Band's leadership. She essentially lets the rest self-destruct, keeps her fleet intact, and sticks her finger in CENF/RISE's eye when the opportunity presents itself.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Eighteen Star Dreadnaughts are sent to destroy a Flood infestation on one planet. Perhaps it was partially a Catharsis Factor for Samantha Shepard...
- Nuclear Option: Once it's determined where the Flood is coming from, a huge Gravemind on the Citadel, it's decided to fling a really big missile at said space station.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Whoever is trying to lure Sarah in through the Force.
- One-Word Title: Sort of a Running Gag/Rule of Three by now, since Fractured and Origins both are also one word.
- Orbital Bombardment: When you have a whole fleet of huge starships that were sort of built for this, why not? When dealing with Flood, It's the Only Way to Be Sure!
- Pardon My Klingon: A kriffing Sith magocracy! Vape-headed rodder who only blows ion trails!
- Power Limiter: Battle Meditation is normally far more effective, however, as noted by Armando Bailey and Sarah, something is damping their powers in this galaxy.
- Pet the Dog: When Urdnot Wrex finds out that Tuchanka still exists as opposed to being subjected to an Earth-Shattering Kaboom like he thought it was, he immediately apologizes to Athena for snapping her legs as he believed her responsible for the destruction of his homeworld.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Admiral Grayson is considered such both by the heroes and the Anti-Villain Scarlett DeWinter.
- Redemption Quest: A possible motivation for Sarah's desire to seek out the Omniscient Council of Vagueness daring her to try to kill them.
- Red Shirt Army: Athena's clones become this against Force-sensitive troopers created by CENF/RISE. The only way they can win is by attrition.
- Reformed, but Rejected: Sarah. Less "evil to good" and more "following insane orders" to "not actively destroying everything," though for obvious reasons people don't trust her.
- Repressive but Efficient: The Council on the Establishment of the New Future is actually quite competent, much more so than the Trans-Galactic Republic at the cost of de-jure racism against aliens. (Gee, heard this one before?) It helps that "a speeder in every garage, a HoloNet transceiver in every town, and a job for every willing worker" is actually working out under CENF. Later subverted when it turns out the Paradise Worlds were actually Dark-Side-powered Lotus-Eater Machines.
- Science Marches On/Technology Marches On: In-Universe, Athena and her clones are (partially) surpassed by newer soldiers designed from a captured RISE operative using Athena as the base, a sort of All Your Powers Combined, clone edition.
- Spirit Advisor: Like Angel to Maya before, Lilith shows up to Sarah during her final battle.
- Shout-Out: The massive Flood form on the Citadel is repeatedly called an "overmind." The new Clone Army, an improvement on Athena, is called Valla-class and use "DS-PLNE" to tamp down their Unstoppable Rage.
- Starship Luxurious: Played straight and averted at the same time. The fact that Star Dreadnaughts have swimming pools is somewhat ridiculous (though the Trans-Galactic Republic justifies it In-Universe), however a lack of water means said luxury cannot be enjoyed.
- Stealth in Space: Ultimatum has a "scattering field" installed (so less effective than a traditional Star Wars cloaking device), however any sort of high-energy discharges such as simply turning on Deflector Shields or even active sensors will reveal the vessel.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Whoever taunts Sarah is trying this—they want her to seek them out to fight them. She knows it's probably Schmuck Bait, but also thinks she can handle whatever it turns out to be.
- Subspace Ansible: The HoloNet, par for the course in a work featuring the technology of Star Wars. Mass Effect has its quantum entanglement devices, and Borderlands has a "relay" network.
- Take That!: In-Universe, the now-former Citadel Council gets a huge one from Samantha Shepard for their Head-in-the-Sand Management and being Genre Blind. They try to pull a What the Hell, Hero? but get bowled over as their accusations of racism fall flat. Adrian Victus does get a point in—the Trans-Galactic Republic has shown itself almost as incapable of action as the Citadel Council, only for Shepard to shoot back that if the Council had a moral leg to stand on in this regard (hint: they don't), they would have done something besides stick their heads in the sand. Luke's ghost in the Great Holocron disses Imperial tech from his era, saying "you could probably do twice as well with half the size" referring to ever-larger dreadnaughts being considered by Admiral Grayson.
- The Power of Hate: Par for the course with the Dark Side from Star Wars, whoever is taunting Sarah urges her to use this, but she ultimately subverts the trope as she recognizes (with some help) that this won't win her the fight.
- Token Evil Teammate: Sarah. Notably, she doesn't want to be the "evil" one anymore, but everyone else (not without justification given the universes they're from) doesn't trust her.
- Ungovernable Galaxy: That's what seems to be going on across two of three (as ineffective as it was, the Trans-Galactic Republic qualified as an intergalactic government). This "reboot" will make yet another attempt to subvert the trope in two galaxies known for it.
- Velvet Revolution: When the Trans-Galactic Republic falls, the only casualties are a few Senators. The new State Sec government leaves everyone else alone, though their contracted help spans the gamut from Consummate Professional to Psycho for Hire.
- Villain Ball: Downplayed and lampshaded. The Council on the Establishment of the New Future (RISE) is well-aware that hidden installations can be found, however, they were counting on 2-D Space/Space Is an Ocean being in play for the heroes and anyone else who might look. When their Director makes them aware that this gambit has failed which results in someone having massive amounts of ships and soldiers courtesy their own facilities, they are displeased. However, they openly admit that such eventualities were in fact possible (averting This Cannot Be!), just more likely than anyone wanted to think.
- Why Won't You Die?: Dark-side apparitions to Sarah when she arrives in their enclave but ends up shrugging off their attacks.