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** [[spoiler: BiggerBad: Chapter Eleven reveals the existence of something even the ''Ethereals'' fear. Go by their (cryptic as usual) description of them as "the living metal", this may means the Reapers are also out there.]]


* GenreSavvy: Most of the characters are actually quite clever at predicting just when something is about to go wrong, and then avert it.
** Armacham has a standardized response to containment breaches and facility disasters, because they know what they're dealing with.
** The XCOM reaction to weird hallucinations while psionics are in the area? Full psionic sweep and clear drills to make sure no one's screwing with them.
** Shepard ''immediately'' [[spoiler: shoots Fettel in the head]] when he starts his villainous monologue. [[spoiler: It doesn't kill him, because they're in a hallucination, but still.]]
** XCOM [=PsiCorps=] agents wear {{Badass Longcoat}}s. Said longcoats are designed to detach when someone grabs them, so none of that "cape got caught on something" nonsense happens.
** XCOM has automatic weapon lockdown protocols in case someone gets mind-controlled.


** China forms a [[Videogame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2 Strategic Defense Coalition]].

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** China forms a [[Videogame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2 [[Videogame/CallOfDutyBlackOpsII Strategic Defense Coalition]].

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* SlaveMooks: As with in canon, the various aliens serving the Ethereals are manufactured slaves. Included among them are [[spoiler: quarians]], who were turned into the Codices, [[spoiler: humans]], who were turned into the Corrupted, and [[spoiler: the Cabal]], who according to the author, were turned into Mutons.


** ''Videogame/{{XCOM2}}'': Some of the technology and aliens from ''XCOM 2'' are showing up as well, such as [[spoiler: replica, who look like ADVENT soldiers under their armor]], and [[spoiler: the Codex aliens]]

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** ''Videogame/{{XCOM2}}'': Some of the technology and aliens from ''XCOM 2'' are showing up as well, such as [[spoiler: replica, Replica, who look like ADVENT soldiers under their armor]], and [[spoiler: the Codex aliens]]aliens]]. In addition, in the rewritten version of the story, [[spoiler: Julian showed up in the initial timeline, albeit insane as he was in canon, and was destroyed by Raymond Shen]].


Unfortunately, because of [[RealLifeWritesThePlot real life issues]] and [[PlotTumor problems with how the story progressed]], the author put it on hiatus while he rewrites the entire thing, posting rewritten chapters on Spacebattles.



** When the author announced he was rewriting the story, he also revealed some of the plot elements that he was changing/dropping. One of them was that one of the {{Big Bad}}s of the story was going to be [[spoiler: Oryx, the Taken King from ''Destiny'']]. In addition, there's implications that [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination the Darkness]] itself might be one of the story's overarching antagonists.]]



** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal and Fallen are mentioned as Terminus races, with the former being incredibly paranoid and militaristic, the latter having been pirates apparently since before the Asari discovered the Citadel. Neither of which are known very well InUniverse, on account of their tendency to shoot first and not bother asking questions. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in the story as well, and he actually uses a version of [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141114094318/destinypedia/images/c/c6/The_Last_Word.jpg The Last Word]] exotic hand cannon, as well as [[spoiler: the Gunslinger's Golden Gun, meaning he's got access to Light]].

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** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal and Fallen are mentioned as Terminus races, with the former being incredibly paranoid and militaristic, the latter having been pirates apparently since before the Asari discovered the Citadel. Neither of which are known very well InUniverse, on account of their tendency to shoot first and not bother asking questions. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in the story as well, and he actually uses a version of [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141114094318/destinypedia/images/c/c6/The_Last_Word.jpg The Last Word]] exotic hand cannon, as well as [[spoiler: the Gunslinger's Golden Gun, meaning he's got access to Light]]. In addition, cut plot elements indicated that [[spoiler: Oryx and the Hive were going to be a major villain]], and that [[spoiler: the Ethereals are the same species as the Fallen.]]


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* PlotTumor: By the author's own admission, Cayde-6's story (as well as a lot more of the ''Destiny'' elements) took over and pushed the story in a direction that both he and the readers felt was unsatisfactory, and he moved to start a general rewrite.


Later on, the story shifts its perspective to a turian [[Videogame/{{Destiny}} Exo by the name of Cayde-6]], captain of a run-down old warship known as the ''Paxterae'', and its distinctly ''odd'' crew of psychic humans, neo-quarian gunslingers, krogan medics, and disturbingly-cheerful geth, who are running down rumors of a fabled alien sanctuary. There's also a news report serial known as "Corpus Daily News" that the author ([[ScheduleSlip tries]]) to publish weekly, detailing notable happenings across the galaxy.

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Later on, the story shifts its perspective to a turian [[Videogame/{{Destiny}} Exo by the name of Cayde-6]], captain of a run-down old warship known as the ''Paxterae'', and its distinctly ''odd'' crew of psychic humans, neo-quarian gunslingers, krogan medics, and disturbingly-cheerful geth, who are running down rumors of a fabled alien sanctuary. There's also a news report serial known as "Corpus Daily News" that the author ([[ScheduleSlip tries]]) to publish weekly, weekly on the Spacebattles story thread, detailing notable happenings across the galaxy.

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Later on, the story shifts its perspective to a turian [[Videogame/{{Destiny}} Exo by the name of Cayde-6]], captain of a run-down old warship known as the ''Paxterae'', and its distinctly ''odd'' crew of psychic humans, neo-quarian gunslingers, krogan medics, and disturbingly-cheerful geth, who are running down rumors of a fabled alien sanctuary. There's also a news report serial known as "Corpus Daily News" that the author ([[ScheduleSlip tries]]) to publish weekly, detailing notable happenings across the galaxy.


** ''Videogame/{{XCOM2}}'': Some of the technology and aliens from ''XCOM 2'' are showing up as well, such as [[spoiler: replica, who look like ADVENT soldiers under their armor]], and [[spoiler: the Codex aliens]]



** ''Videogame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'': Prokhor Zakharov is a major character, and Miriam Godwinson is mentioned. Corazon Santiago is also the leader of the Future War Cult.

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** ''Videogame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'': Prokhor Zakharov is a major character, and Miriam Godwinson is mentioned. Corazon Santiago is also the leader of the Future War Cult. Pravin Lal is a major political scientist.


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* FlatWhat: When Cayde-6 is retelling his story, and gets to the point where [[spoiler: a Codex appears, and it's a ''Quarian'']], Shepard's reaction is:
-->'''Shepard''': "What the fuck."


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** A Replica with an upload personality, armed with a sword, cloaking, named [[Videogame/DirtyBomb Phantom]]. He even uses Phantom's CatchPhrase "Trick or treat, motherfucker!" when he backstabs someone.


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** Chapter Three of the Grimore storyline: [[spoiler: The Quarians have been turned into Codices]].


** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal are mentioned as a Terminus power. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in the story as well, and he actually uses a version of [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141114094318/destinypedia/images/c/c6/The_Last_Word.jpg The Last Word]] exotic hand cannon, as well as [[spoiler: the Gunslinger's Golden Gun, meaning he's got access to Light]].

to:

** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal and Fallen are mentioned as a Terminus power.races, with the former being incredibly paranoid and militaristic, the latter having been pirates apparently since before the Asari discovered the Citadel. Neither of which are known very well InUniverse, on account of their tendency to shoot first and not bother asking questions. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in the story as well, and he actually uses a version of [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141114094318/destinypedia/images/c/c6/The_Last_Word.jpg The Last Word]] exotic hand cannon, as well as [[spoiler: the Gunslinger's Golden Gun, meaning he's got access to Light]].



** ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}'': The Corpus show up as volus-originated "profit-cults" who are powerful enough that they're considered a possible danger to the Citadel's economy if said economy becomes unstable. A gunslinger named Mesa also shows up.

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** ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}'': The Corpus show up as volus-originated "profit-cults" who are powerful enough that they're considered a possible danger to the Citadel's economy if said economy becomes unstable. A gunslinger named Mesa also shows up. There's also hints that something like [[EldritchLocation the Orokin Void]] may exist, but it's very vague so far.



* CripplingOverspecialization: Human weapons are geared toward using plasma and fusion lance missiles as their main armament. They are quite horrified at their weapons' total ineffectiveness against the geth, whose kinetic barriers and GARDIAN point defense render both of those weapons impotent, and who generallys eem to be specifically outfitted to fight human technology. Or rather, [[spoiler: they're outfitted to fight Ethereal technology, and humans use Ethereal tech almost exclusively.]]

to:

* CripplingOverspecialization: Human weapons are geared toward using plasma and fusion lance missiles as their main armament. They are quite horrified at their weapons' total ineffectiveness against the geth, whose kinetic barriers and GARDIAN point defense render both of those weapons impotent, and who generallys eem generally seem to be specifically outfitted to fight human technology. Or rather, [[spoiler: they're outfitted to fight Ethereal technology, and humans use Ethereal tech almost exclusively.]]



* EldritchLocation: It's implied that the Orokin Void exists and the Quarians thought it was safe. However, given the mention of beings that have been exposed to it becoming "changed," it probably isn't.



* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: Played with. XCOM discovers to their horror that plasma weapons are next to useless against kinetic barriers in space, because [[ShowntheirWork the barriers stop plasma, which has very little kinetic energy, and vacuum doesn't conduct heat very well]]. Kinetic weapons prove more effective against shields, but the real killers are actually ''laser'' weapons, which go right through shields. Less decisive on the surface, where plasma proves much more effective against the geth infantry due to atmosphere more effectively conducting the heat.

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* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: Played with. XCOM discovers to their horror that plasma weapons are next to useless against kinetic barriers in space, because [[ShowntheirWork the barriers stop plasma, which has very little kinetic energy, and vacuum doesn't conduct heat very well]]. Kinetic weapons prove more effective against shields, but the real killers are actually ''laser'' weapons, which go right through shields. Less decisive on the surface, where plasma proves much more effective against the geth infantry due to atmosphere more effectively conducting the heat. Of note is that [[ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge kinetic, comparatively primitive weaponry]] in the vein of Destiny's TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture human weaponry with the improvements of Mass Effect's future does exist, but in the author's words it's "Super expensive."


* TheyLookLikeUsNow: The latest generation of [[spoiler: Ethereal Thin Men]] are virtually indistinguishable from humans. WordofGod is that they're 100% genetically human.

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* TheyLookLikeUsNow: The latest generation of [[spoiler: Ethereal Thin Men]] are virtually indistinguishable from humans. WordofGod is that they're 100% genetically human. [[spoiler: Because they are human.]]


** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal are mentioned as a Terminus power. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in the story as well.

to:

** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal are mentioned as a Terminus power. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in the story as well.well, and he actually uses a version of [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141114094318/destinypedia/images/c/c6/The_Last_Word.jpg The Last Word]] exotic hand cannon, as well as [[spoiler: the Gunslinger's Golden Gun, meaning he's got access to Light]].


* BadassCrew: Cayde-6 has assembled one hell of a team on his ship, the ''Paxterae''. The crew includes Miranda Lawson, a sword-and-gun-toting Vanguard, Spencer, a psychic with SuperSpeed who [[BareFistedMonk doesn't need guns]], Mesa'Kolar, a gunslinging neo-quarian, Urdnot Bakara, a krogan shaman and doctor armed with heavy weapons, and Ellie, a collection of isolated geth in a Juggernaut platform with a delightful penchant for cheerful killing.



** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal are mentioned as a Terminus power. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. And in Chapter Twelve, [[Characters/{{Destiny}} Cayde-6]] is mentioned by the Shadow Broker.

to:

** ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'': The Cabal are mentioned as a Terminus power. In addition, the Dead Orbit and Future War Cult factions are prevalent. Exos are used by the turians, and XCOM Sentinels like Shepard dress like Warlocks. Fusion rifles also show up, apparently a turian attempt to mass produce human plasma weapons without elerium. In the same chapter, Alma uses what is essentially a Titan's Ward of Dawn to defend herself from a group of attackers. And Cayde-6 actually becomes a major character in Chapter Twelve, [[Characters/{{Destiny}} Cayde-6]] is mentioned by the Shadow Broker.story as well.



** ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}'': The Corpus show up as volus-originated "profit-cults" who are powerful enough that they're considered a possible danger to the Citadel's economy if said economy becomes unstable.

to:

** ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}'': The Corpus show up as volus-originated "profit-cults" who are powerful enough that they're considered a possible danger to the Citadel's economy if said economy becomes unstable. A gunslinger named Mesa also shows up.



* EstablishingCharacterMoment: All of the ''Paxterae's'' crew gets one as they're introduced in flashbacks:
** Mesa'Kolar is introduced as a mysterious but deadly gunslinger on Omega, who doesn't have a geth bodyguard like most of the neo-quarians.
** Miranda is introduced having just slaughtered a bunch of slavers that Cayde was about to ambush himself. She very nearly kills Cayde himself before he talks her down and uses the rest of the crew in waiting in ambush to make sure she listens.
** Spencer joins Cayde's crew after having singlehandedly turned what would have been a bloody and deadly bar brawl into a nonlethal beatdown by knocking out and disarming everyone in the room who was about to hurt or kill someone.
** Urdnot Bakara is introduced by calmly (but far from gently) patching up a wounded Lorik Qui'in while Cayde snipes at assassins trying to kill them just outside.
** Ellie joins the crew by simply walking up to Cayde and telling him she's his new engineer, and that the geth want to use him and the weirdness of his crew to gather non-standard data sets for analysis. He eventually just rolls with the weirdness.
** While each scene establishes bits of Cayde's own character, the end of the introductions also has one for Cayde: descending into a mysterious Prothean ruin on a job for the Shadow Broker, listening to what appears to be a psychic log left behind by Annette Durand, and [[spoiler: using the Traveler's Light to activate an ancient Prothean machine]].
* ExpendableClone: Replica are treated as such, to the point where it's not legally considered murder to kill them. [[WeHaveReserves The Replica keep throwing themselves at their objective regardless of losses]] until [[{{Determinator}} they're either successful or they're all dead.]]



* ImprobableAimingSkills: Mesa'Kolar is incredibly skilled with her pistols, to the point that she can score multiple headshots on a Replica in a moving vehicle from seventy meters away, in an aircraft of her own, while it's getting shot down.



* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The ''Paxterae's'' BadassCrew. Cayde-6, a turian Exo, Mesa'Kolar, a neo-quarian gunslinger, Miranda Lawson, cybernetic, biotic human, Mister Spencer, a psionic human with superspeed, and Urdnot Bakara, a krogan shaman and doctor. And the ship itself is apparently piloted by a geth.

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* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The ''Paxterae's'' BadassCrew. Cayde-6, a turian Exo, Mesa'Kolar, a neo-quarian gunslinger, Miranda Lawson, cybernetic, cybernetic and biotic human, Mister Spencer, a psionic human with superspeed, and Urdnot Bakara, a krogan shaman and doctor. And the ship itself is apparently piloted by a geth.geth named Ellie, who is equal parts cheerful, violent, and female, all of which deeply confuses Cayde. In fact, the entire reason why joined Cayde's crew is ''because'' they're a weird collection of oddities and the geth wanted to study them.


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* ThouShaltNotKill: Spencer is a TechnicalPacifist who refuses to use lethal force against his opponents, including ExpendableClone soldiers who are trying to kill him. Considering he's a psychic that has SuperSpeed, he can effectively go through an entire squad of armed assassins in the time it takes his sunglasses to hit the ground. Also, just because he doesn't ''kill'' people, it doesn't mean he won't shatter every bone in their body to make sure they stay down.


Notable for ''aggressively'' breaking from the canon storylines it draws from and creating a very unique setting blending concepts of {{Transhuman}}ism, exploration, politics, conspiracy, and war. The author deliberately creates a relatively positive setting, despite the fact that several of its source materials are based in horror genres. The author also has said that he wishes to reintegrate elements of his aborted ''Mass Effect[=/=]FEAR'' crossover ''Fanfic/{{Harbinger}}'' into the story. [[http://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/vigil-xcom-me-eclipse-phase-other-stuff.308549/ Spacebattles discussion and story thread]] here, and [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10665659/1/Vigil Fanfiction.net here]].

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Notable for ''aggressively'' breaking from the canon storylines it draws from and creating a very unique setting blending concepts of {{Transhuman}}ism, exploration, politics, conspiracy, and war. The author deliberately creates a relatively positive setting, despite the fact that several of its source materials are based in horror genres. The author also has said that he wishes to reintegrate elements of his aborted ''Mass Effect[=/=]FEAR'' crossover ''Fanfic/{{Harbinger}}'' into the story. And he did - Shepard's rampage from the first chapter of the latter fanfic has been integrated into the story. [[http://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/vigil-xcom-me-eclipse-phase-other-stuff.308549/ Spacebattles discussion and story thread]] here, and [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10665659/1/Vigil Fanfiction.net here]].

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* MythologyGag: The Prologue says "I think if we lost any other countries then XCOM might not have been able to survive". Seven countries are listed which left the Council. You get a GameOver at eight.

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