Fanfic / Of Sheep And Battle Chicken

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Commander Shepard, The Butcher of Torfan

Of Sheep And Battle Chicken, written by Logical Premise, is a severely AU take on Mass Effect 1, set in a far darker variation of the galaxy. At its core, the story revolves around a badly damaged Shepard, who must overcome her own pains and problems in order to try and save the galaxy... even if there are times where the galaxy seems as if it isn't worth saving.

By and large, the story revolves around the Rule of Awesome, with generous side helpings of Grim Dark and Realpolitik. While Shepard and the main cast can, and usually do, mow through vanilla mooks, once in a while something surprising will happen. The Awesome comes when the boss fights begin, the fights themselves being both very well written and logical within the expansive boundaries of the AU.

In addition to the original, the first sequel focuses on the immediate aftermath of the Battle of the Citadel, OSABC And Then There Were None. Particular time is given to Bring Down the Sky, Pinnacle Station, followed by Redemption. As with the first story, those various aspects are greatly expanded. A third story, covering the events of Mass Effect 2, is currently in progress: OSABC II That Which Cannot Die.

Beyond those base stories, there is a massive wealth of side information and world building that has been done, delivered in the form of both STG Threat reports (generally reserved for single individuals) or Cerberus Intelligence reports (on governments or groups). All of these stories as a whole are referred to as the Premiseverse.


Of Sheep and Battle Chicken contains examples of...

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    A-L 
  • Abnormal Ammo: Most races have variations on the base technology. Asari, for example, rely heavily on plasma and utilize their natural biotics even with their basic weapons.
    • Shepard in particular loads her ODIN shotgun with polonium ammo blocks initially, but eventually switches to uranium hexafluoride.
    • Kai Leng's preferred method of eliminating krogan is throwing knives. With a small magnetic bottle in the hilt, containing astatine.
    • The Kyle-class torpedo, which employs a very small neutronium warhead.
  • Abusive Parents: Abusive barely describes Shepard's parents. Also Liara's to some extent.
  • Affably Evil: The Illusive Man and matriarch Trellani.
  • A God Am I: Leviathans.
  • Alternate Continuity: The core story remains, but is heavily expanded upon.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 2: Several species' homeworlds are devastated by war in their histories, including Earth.
    • Class 4: The intention of the Reapers as per canon, albeit in several galaxies instead of just the Milky Way.
    • Class X-2: The Collectors turn Horizon's sun into a mini-supernova, obliterating the whole planetary system .
    • Class X-3: The Darkness destroyed whole Galaxies during the war with the Leviathans, and later the Reapers.
    • Class X-4: The High Ascended inflicted horrific damage to Darkness's universe by draining the energy from it.
    • Class X-5: Whatever the hell the Outsider is preys on whole realities and can perceive all dimensions.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror
  • Asshole Victim: Delacor zig-zags in and out of this trope depending on how much character growth/regression he's showing at the time.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Turian Praetors.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Primarch Fedorian Kurthal and Admiral Tradius Ahern.
  • Autodoc: Medical VI's and their attached medical drones.
  • Ax-Crazy: P., He Who Is Not, - a famous turian crime boss.
  • Badass Normal: Garrus Vakarian. He doesn't have biotics, or extreme cybernetics... but he can still out-shoot nearly anyone else in the galaxy.
    • Tradius Ahern for humanity. Again, not a biotic, also more than fifty years old... can still deliver a asskicking to Shepard, Liara, and Tali at the same time without even really trying.
  • Band of Brothers: The crew of the SR-1.
    • Time will tell for the crew of the SR-2.
    • Angel Team from Omega.
  • Battle Couple: Shepard and Liara
    • Garrus and Telanya
  • Berserk Button: For Shepard, slavers of any kind.
    • Also, anyone who hurts Liara.
  • BFG: They are usually mounted on battlesuits, but some, like a turian electron accelerator gun "Lance" (also known as a lance cannon) can be carried by infantry in Power Armor.
    • Shepard's ODIN shotgun is a mini-BFG.
    • The particle gun, made by Vigil and given to Grunt.
    • All elcor infantry troops are armed with BFG.
    • Hanar Prism Lance laser weapon.
  • Big Bad: the Reapers.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Liara's. Between Liara, Benezia, Aethyta, and Tela there is always something going on.
  • Black Speech: Batarian bhen-hast'ka. It literally translates out to "black speech".
  • Blood Knight: Tazzik, Tetriumus, Matriarch Trellani, Shepard, Grunt to name a few.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Shepard tends towards being ashamed of her own preferences.
  • Brains and Bondage: While it's Shepard who gets her into it, Liara rapidly comes to enjoy this aspect of their relationship.
  • Broken Bird: Quite a few.
    • Matriarch Trellani was once as zealous as any other war priestess, before she discovered the truth about the Asari government.
    • According to snippets of backstory, Aria T'Loak was once a gentle, caring soul... and then her mother attempted to 'fix' that.
  • Brown Note: Some hanar melodies make listeners tremble in fear.
  • Bling of War: Asari royal parties and forces of the Thirty Houses.
  • Blueand Orange Morality: Many many examples of this. The Reapers are the most prominent non-spoiler example.
  • Cowboy Cop: Garrus, like in canon.
  • Character Development: Shepard undergoes this slowly, and not without suffering along the way.
    • Liara undergoes Character degradation after Shepard's death, a result of her own personality combining with the bond-shock of losing her partner.
    • There are hints that Shepard is going to regress badly in OSABC II
  • The Chessmaster: Plenty of them, which causes gambit pile-ups, and not once.
    • In the 24th chapter of ATTWN the POV of a particular Chessmaster - Maxwell Manswell - is shown.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Sparatus delivers it after learning about the betrayal of Saren. In ATTWN, Praetor Invectus Rathaxan swears for several minutes, describing what he is going to do with batarians.
  • The Corrupter: Aria towards Liara and Telanya.
    • The Dark Gods.
  • Cool Starship: The Kazan and the Normandy both qualify.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Exploited a lot in "Fear Unrelenting, Seen Darkly".
  • Crapsack World: The whole civilised Galaxy.
    • Earth stands out, being nearly uninhabitable outside of specific regions and arcology towers.
    • Many human mining worlds, to the point where Mordin idly wonders if humanity has some kind of suppressed urge to make every world like Earth.
    • Batarian homeworld Khar'Shan is that as well, because there are five Dark Gods dwelling in the Lake of Black.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Butcher and Archangel both deliver many of these to their victims in OSABC II.
    • What batarian Special Intervention Unit prefers to do with some of its prisoners and rebellious slaves.
    • Anyone sacrificed by batarians to the Dark Gods.
  • Co-Dragons: Tazzik and Tetrimus to the Shadow Broker.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Shepard receives several from Admiral Ahern during training on Pinnacle station.
    • Tetrimus delivers it during the Burning of Omega.
    • Ganar Okeer expected to deliver it to Wrex, but was beaten himself. However, the group of salarians who rescued Okeer, unleashed so much firepower at Wrex, that he was barely alive.
    • Another one with Okeer, except he killed the Krogan Emperor and all his sons by himself.
    • Tazzik to an unfortunate STG team, granted nobody besides Tazzik survives either but Tazzik does most of the work by himself
  • Cyanide Pill: Multiple organizations use either the classic pill, or more commonly, ocular nerve flashbangs. These organizations include the STG (as in canon), Systems Alliance Commissars, Cerberus, Hades, the Shadow Broker, and the Systems Alliance Penal Legions.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Inverted - they corrupt not the soul, but body. The mechanism is a realistic one, with cybernetics causing cancer and early death due to compromised biological integrity and mental stress from having an artificial body.
  • Darker and Edgier: In a nutshell, this entire fanfiction.
  • Dark Fic: The civilised Galaxy is not a nice place to live, the Reapers are capable of warping the reality and Sarah Shepard is, well, known as The Butcher.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Most rivalries between Asari, Aethyta vs Benezia in particular.
    • Shepard versus General Florez for a human example.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Happened with Preston Kyle when he found out that the Torfan assault was set up to fail.
  • Disney Death: Excepting Beatrice Shields, all of the named characters involved in recovering Shepard survive despite most of them seemingly dying.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Reaper Tech.
  • Dwindling Party: Team Neutron. Shepard's original crew, during her early N7 days. One died at Torfan, another was lost recovering Shepard's body, and now a third has died on Illium. Only one remains, currently living on Tuchanka with Wrex.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Reapers, full stop. Possibly the most Cthulhoid version of them ever written in fan fiction, capable of breaking the laws of physics through the usage of the Godpower as well as being immensely more powerful and controlling several galaxies.
    • Leviathans, who are even more sophisticated in reality warping abilities. Word of God says that a single Old One can destroy multiple Reapers (False Ascended) without assistance.
      • The author has also mentioned that the Reapers are not even at the top of the food chain. What could be more dangerous than beings that easily break the laws of physics? Two words: reality breakers. The fanfiction titled "Fear Unrelenting, Seen Darkly" goes in depth into this, though it will also provide some spoilers for what happens in his Mass Effect 3 - 4 stories.
  • Eldritch Location: The Inusannon ruin on the planet named Gryt-III (described in Encyclopedia Biotica).
    • The Lake of Black on Khar'Shan is this as well, because it is a home for the Dark Gods.
  • Energy Weapon: Used by different races/parties and much more often then in canon.
  • Evil Gloating: As a result of Turian melodrama, this is all too common.
  • Family of Choice: Shepard's crew.
  • Fantastic Racism: Common between all groups.
  • Four-Star Badass: Admiral of the Red Tradius Ahern, so much. And also Katha, once military leader of the High Ascended.
    • Any high-ranking Palavanus is that.
  • Gambit Pileup: Events on Illium in TWCD.
  • He Knows Too Much: Major Kyle was killed even though he understood only the basics of what was happening in the Alliance.
    • More than a few characters are killed or have attempts on their lives simply for knowing things they should not. Tali'zorah, Kelly Chambers, and Matriarch Trellani are a few examples.
    • There were believed to be plans to kill Liara after Shepard was killed in action, as elements in the Alliance thought she was this trope.
    • As of TWCD, everyone in the core Illusive Man-Shepard team will qualify once the High Lords of Sol realize just what they know.
  • Humongous Mecha: While there aren't any of the city-building sized variety, some of the heavy mechs are massive compared to most beings.
  • The Idealist: Uressa T'Shora. Though she might not be as she seems, possessed of a clearly unnatural but never explicit importance since her birth.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Beatrice Shields, a member of Team Neutron, carried a torch for Shepard for years and reacted... poorly to her relationship with Liara.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: No one on the SR-1 is unaware when Shepard and Liara are busy.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Asari warp swords.
  • Insult of Endearment: Members of Team Neutron refers to Shepard as 'She-Bitch'.
  • Interspecies Romance: It is Mass Effect. Notable examples include Shepard/Liara, Joker/Tali, Garrus/Telanya, and Jack Harper and Matriarch Trellani.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Illusive Man throughout the series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tradius Ahern.
  • Just a Machine: How the rest of the galaxy views the Geth.
    • Subverted with EDI, as Admiral Ahern has specific orders to treat her as a person.
  • Kill It with Fire: System Alliance's Commissars are fond of it.
  • Knife Nut: Kahlee Sanders and Kai Leng.
  • Knight Templar; Asari Justicars.
  • La Résistance: Archangel's team on Omega.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: A lot of the supplemental material (the one shots as well as the STG and Cerberus Reports) spoil the fates of several characters.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Shepard.
    • Taken up to eleven after her resurrection.
    • Tazzik, after being rebuilt by Broker's people.
    M-Z 
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Volus like to destroy enemy spacecrafts with valleys of missiles, and their space forces are armed with lots of missiles.
  • Mad Scientist: Plenty of them.
  • Mind Probe: Standard Asari interrogation involves just melding with and shuffling through the memories of the prisoner.
    • Backfires when an Asari Commissar tries to meld with a Glorious Batarian, she promptly begins convulsing in agony when she reaches the memory of the event that made him into a Glorious biotic.
  • Mini-Mecha: Salarian Shieldbreakers, battlesuits of Final Line Soldiers, Asari Paladins, Human Thermopylaes.
  • Minovsky Physics: The Godpower.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Shift, one of the few beings who might be able to fight a resurrected Shepard in a one-on-one match, a fight that is built up for most of a chapter... is killed by a massive eezo-fueled bomb when the good guys decide that discretion is the better part of valor.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Subverted with High Lords of Sol. They know a lot, but talk (almost) open between each other. Played straight with the Turian Council of Woe.
  • One-Hit Kill: Some of very powerful biotic attacks, like Tetrimus's Beam, can obliterate a human in a single strike.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Morinth disguising herself as her mother.
  • Private Military Contractors: Numerous, but Zaeed Massani's Firestorm in particular.
  • Punched Across the Room: Krogan tend to do this to each other, and smaller, less durable people, with the expected results.
  • Realpolitik: The driving force of many Council acts as well as the main theme of the story's take on government; anything is permissible to a group so long as it gets results.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: That Which Cannot Die's early plot. Although Shepard is largely unaware that she is putting her old band back together.
  • Reality Warper: Any sentient being with access to the Godpower. But Reapers, Leviathans, the Darkness and the Outsider really take the cake.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Shockingly, Udina.
  • Religion of Evil: The batarian worship of the Dark Gods.
  • Rescue Romance: While Shepard finds Liara immediately attractive, it's Liara who crushes extremely hard on her rescuer.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Trellani.
    • What Liara and Telanya descend into after the events of the second fic.
    • Shepard against Cerberus, when she thinks that Liara has been killed by a sniper.
  • Sex Slave: Part of Shepard's extensively awful backstory.
    • Batarian females are barely sentient and often treated like this.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: By the time of OSABC II, Liara and Telanya are barely holding themselves together.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Tradius Ahern and Theo Pellham.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Garrus holds himself back from becoming this, remembering the names of every innocent killed in the collateral damage of their fight on Omega.
    • In a contrast, Liara fails entirely, killing thousands of people in her desperate quest for revenge... and she no longer cares.
  • Storming the Castle: Shepard's assault on Cerberus' primary headquarters.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Inusannon, Reapers, Leviathans.
  • Super Mode: Shepard pushing her cybernetics to the extreme.
    • The Asari 'heart-rage' can grant them temporarily increased biotic power, but is devastating to them internally. Most don't survive using it more than once in their lives.
  • Super Soldier: Turian Final Line Soldiers-cyborgs, Tetrimus, Shepard post-ressurection and Tazzik after being rebuilt.
    • Subverted with Asari War Priestes. They aren't augmented cybernetically or biologically, but accumulate A LOT of E-0 inside their bodies and train for several tens of years. Because of that, their biotic abilities are extremly powerful and sophisticated.
  • Swiss Army Gun: The weapon that Shepard makes for Liara is both a shotgun and a pistol, depending on the firing mode chosen.
    • In a more straight example, the number of firing modes that Zaeed's Jessie contains is staggering.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Shepard and virtually every organization she's ever had to work with.
    • The Alliance gave her minimal support during the hunt for Saren, and all but planned for her to fail due to not understanding/believing the threat.
    • With Cerberus in the sequel, as while Shepard does not trust them, they are her only real option and she knows it. Unfortunately, Cerberus also knows it.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Hyperdimensional physics. Only those races which evolve the capacity to understand them naturally can do so without going insane, which none of the current cycle besides a small number of salarians are. Those who manage to understand it anyway lose all perspective on the universe and become homicidal nihilists.
  • Tripod Terror: Salarian war mechs.
  • Troll: Vigil, usually not malicious
    • The Innusannon. Always malicious.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Geth to the Quarians.
    • The Catalyst to the Leviathans.
    • The Reapers to the Catalyst.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Shepard if Liara is badly hurt. Or if there are any slavers around. Or if she's just in a shite mood that day.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Many young Asari of the Thirty fall victim to this trope, much to the disgust of Matriarchs like Aethyta.
    • A few members of Earth's High families also qualify.
  • Villainous Rescue: Aria saves Aethyta, Liara, and Telanya during the First Burning of Omega. She does it specifically so she can force Aethyta to watch as Liara descends into madness. That she gets some use out of her first is just additional icing on the cake.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Besides Nazara's cannon, re-engineered by turians, there is also a Heavy Hyperluminal Particle Accelerator, used by Final Line Soldiers (it was also re-engineered by the same turian engineers). It can be described as a hybrid of a plasma flamethrower and a mass relay, ignores kinetic shielding and projects a bright blue beam.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In the 26th chapter of ATTWN Shepard learns about the NOVENSILES project - High Lords' plan to upgrade the mankind.
    • The end of the 24th chapter of TWCD.
  • Wicked Cultured: Ganar Okeer.
  • World of Badass
  • You Shall Not Pass: Garrus and Telanya play rear-guard at the Battle of the Citadel, holding off an army of Geth to buy Shepard and the others time to attack Benezia. Councilor Sparatus is among the first on the scene afterwords, and is nearly moved to show emotion at the sight of them holding each other on the ground, surrounded by their fallen enemies.

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