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Fanfic / Escalation Is the Name of the Game

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The Razor Back, for all your Brutally-Efficient Self-Replicating Mechanism of War needs.

"I don't over-react, I merely escalate in a dramatic fashion."

The third Planetary Annihilation Multi-cross fanfic to crop up, this story chronicles the adventures of the Sufficient Velocity and user Battleship_Fusou. After being scooped up by ROB and stuffed into the chassis of a commander, she is turned loose to explore the multi-verse with the sole purpose of entertaining ROB. Exists in the same narrative multiverse as Commander and Faith in Superior Firepower

SufficientVelocity Story/Discussion Thread.

SpaceBattles Story/Discussion Thread.


Escalation is the Name of the Game provides examples of:

  • Absent Aliens: The Progenitors are this for Fusou, while the universes she visits no doubt have more. So far we have the Precursors and the Forerunners from Halo.
    • Subverted with the Forerunners as some of them are revealed to be alive and had been hiding outside the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Aliens Are Bastards:
    • The Covenant of Halo. However, not all are malicious and were misled by the Prophets to wage war against humanity.
    • The Forerunner had planned for waiting outside the Milky Way Galaxy while allowing the Halo Array to wipe out the Flood and all life in the galaxy before reestablishing their empire on the dead of 'lesser' species.
  • Ascended Extra: Mendicant Bias, who worked behind the scene in Halo 3, is given a more prominent role when he was inspired by Fusou and decided to help her.
  • Attack Drones: Pretty much the entirety of Commander Fusou's units qualify as this, and when she's feeling pushed, her ally's units can rapidly become such as well.
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  • Author Avatar: As an SI story, the Main character -Commander Fusou- is a self-explanatory example of this trope.
  • The Battlestar: Pretty much any ship created by Fusou will fit this trope, but special notice goes to the Enterprise-class warship she creates a few chapters into the Haloverse.
  • BFG: The Enterprise-class is an excellent example. The ten point seven kilometer long warship features of pair of orbital MAC guns whose designs were purloined from the UNSC. They fire shells fifty percent larger and three times the original muzzles velocity.
  • Blood Knight: In one Omake, Fusou is clearly enjoying herself while battling Behemoth. This is especially notable because ROB had prevented her from using most of her tech base and fabrication gear, forcing her to fight behemoth personally.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When Fusou ends up arguing with Faith, this trope is in full effect: Faith is absolutely correct that Fusou is taking things rather slowly and hasn't really done too much to make the galaxy a better place (except for mankind), while Fusou notes that she can't hold the natives hands and that they must advance on their own
  • Color-Coded Armies: Given that Fusou is playing as an RTS game commander, all of her units follow this trope, with the colors being primarily black with red for a secondary, and some white thrown in when she feels the unit in question would just be too menacing otherwise. Such was the case with the Enterprise-class.
  • Cool Starship: The Enterprise-class and the newly revealed (as of chapter 43) Cathedral.
    • The Mothership: The Cathedral, the greatest creation Fusou has so far created, is to serve as "a mobile, strategic command center, with the capability of coordinating theaters of war across one or more galaxies. To that end, this class of ship is fully equipped with production and recovery facilities along with everything needed to sustain an army upwards of two billion combat personnel and the necessary logistics to support such. Defensively, both the armor and shields of this vessel are strong enough that I could fly us through the heart of a star and we would never notice if we weren't aware of it happening in the first place."
    • The Existence-class bombardment vessel, Maw of Oblivion.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Pretty much by default. As a Planetary Annihilation Commander, the entirety of their forces are made by explicit order/instructions from said commander.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Inevitable for the Forerunner/Progenitor-augmented Fusou. Not even Ur-Didact and Warden Eternal stand a chance against her.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Exaggerated with Maw of Oblivion, which projects and manipulates a "destruction field" that causes all forms of matter and energy which enters its boundaries to just stop existing.
  • Dyson Sphere: Fusou takes full advantage of the Forerunners' Shield Worlds (particularly the Onyx Sphere) and used them to expedite her technological growth and learning, and even managed to fulfilled their original purpose: by building a super Dyson sphere to hold 9,818,501,733+ planets and shield them from the Halo Array.
  • Energy Weapons: Hardlight, lasers, plasma torpedoes, plasma cannons, and many, many more fill out this category, with more and more likely to join the armory as time goes on.
  • Fix Fic
  • Giving Radio to the Romans:
    • In the Halo universe, Fusou helped provide the knowledge and material to solving the issue of rampancy for A.I.s, and giving the UNSC and ex-Convenant Forerunner-designed Slip Space technology and advanced quantum entanglement communications to better manage their respective nations and empires.
    • In the Mass Effect universe, Fusou gave the pre-First Contact War System Alliance the Shaw-Fujikawa Slip Space Drive, Titanium-A, and Dumb AI's from the Halo universe. This gave humanity an unprecedented growth within a span of eight years than in Mass Effect canon, and freeing them from the path laid out by the Reapers.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Forerunners intended to have the Halo Array activated to wipe out the Flood while also wiping all life in the Milky Way Galaxy, thus leaving the Forerunners to return and rebuild their empire over the ashes. However, Fusou activate the Halo Array after placing every habitable planet in the galaxy in a safe place. By the time the Forerunners return, they meet a very pissed off Fusou.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Fusou's usual method of dealing with people who are unreasonable. The best example is forcing the Forerunners to drop their idea of invading the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Fusou publicly exposed the Prophets' lies to the Covenant, the Sangheili that remained loyal to the Covenant refused to believe the truth and they had to be eliminated by their Separatists counterparts in honor duels. This prevents civil war from breaking out among the Sangheili and preventing the rise of a charismatic leader, such as Jul 'Muldamee, from leading what is left of the Covenant. The Jiralahanae, however, not so much.
    • Oddly enough, the Sangheli prove both honorable and reasonable. The takeover from those who want to stop following the Prophets is, in the words of Fusou, "Surprisingly civil," with quick, quiet debates being all that are required for most of the Sangheli, most of which are very civil.
  • Hypocrite: Admiral Stanforth silently accused the Separatists being hypocrites during their shocked and distraught reactions to the high number of civilian losses on High Charity and Sanghelios whereas billions of human beings that they had previously slaughtered prior to the Battle of Reach.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Fusou faces one that becomes her Heroic BSoD when the Prophets declared the Sangheili traitors to the Covenant by attempting to glass Sanghelios after nearly wiping out its defense fleet (as the Sangheili of their homeworld were completely unaware of their species' Heel–Face Turn). Fusou was then forced to destroy High Charity, killing the Prophets but along with the ship's entire civilian population. Causalities on Sanghelios are still inflicted from the fallout of High Charity, but pales in comparison to the intended devastation if Fusou hadn't intervene in which Thel 'Vadam understands her action and regardless have earned his deepest gratitude for saving his people.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Captain Cutter's initial reactions to the state of things of the Halo universe under Fusou's presence.
  • I Think You Broke Him: Fusou's impression on anyone that reacts to her whenever she displays her unfathomable knowledge and very advanced tech that defies all logic.
  • Jerkass Gods: As is usual, ROB pulls the SI away from their home and everything they've ever known before dumping them into a whole new world without a choice in the matter.
  • Made of Indestructium: All of Fusou's ships, weapons, and drones are made of a hybrid of Progenitor and Forerunner alloy that is very close to being indestructable. Of her vessels, the Cathedral deserves special mention as it has been stated to be capable of flying through the heart of a star with no-one aboard being any the wiser.
  • Magic from Technology: Forerunner technology is like this. But combined with Progenitor technology, Fusou take it Up to Eleven. When Fusou tries to explain some of her technology to UNSC scientists such as Dr. Catherine Halsey they are left completely flabbergasted.
  • Naked People Are Funny: During the beach party in Chapter 104, Hope accidentally snags Fusou's bikini top while they are playing in the sea. Fusou is embarrassed for a moment, but then takes the opportunity to mortify Hope by suggesting that she grabbed her top deliberately.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Combining Progenitor bullshit tier technology and the ability to design new units as needed, Commander Fusou can generally handle whatever problem happens to crop up given if she has a few minutes to work. Problems that cannot be solved in a few minutes will inevitably be obliterated via Von Neumann shenanigans.
    • And if she doesn't have a few minutes in the real world, no problem! She picked up the tech to make dyson spheres from the Forerunners, and can dial up and down how fast time moves inside them. She has- and does- transfer her consciousness inside them at times to give her years to work on problems while only minutes or seconds pass in real time.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Preston Cole and his crew turns out to be alive and well, and living in a relatively peaceful coexistence with the Insurrectionists. However, they and the Insurrectionists would be viewed as criminals by the UNSC, and Fusou offered them refuge in her Hub World.
    • Turns out that not all the Forerunners are dead. But only a certain amount of survivors that fled outside the Milky Way Galaxy and waited there for thousands of years for the Flood to die out after the Halo Array are activated before returning to restore their empire.
  • Nuclear Option: Commander Fusou has a notable fondness for weapons capable of ridiculous levels of destruction and weapons of the nuclear kind are often one of her first and preferred choices.
  • Officially Shortened Title: Escalation is the Name of the Game is usually shortened to just 'Escalation'.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Fusou has to answer the Custodian's question to gain access to the Absolute Record. Although she knew the answer from the comics, she answered the question with a very well-thought out one that impressed the Custodian.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Commander Fusou. Not only does she has the advanced tech, she has in-depth knowledge of the various universes based on their stories and franchises from the real-world to know the people, organizations, technology, events, and etc.
    • Invoked by Fusou during the XCOM: Enemy Unknown arc: She chooses to appear to the council in an absolutely alien manner, mostly to keep them off guessing about her.
  • Peace Conference: The UNSC and the Separatists finally come to terms after the Battle of Reach when Fusou brings into light of the Prophets' lies and the revelations of the Forerunners and the Flood. Also, Fusou brings up her intentions to the gathered parties of evacuating the galaxy and subsequently activating the Halo Array to wipe out the Flood.
  • Phlebotinum Girl: Fusou can qualify as this, though some of the qualifiers are a bit iffy. Female lead? Done. Powerful abilities and skills? Got those in spades. Often in the center of the fighting? Yep. Physically or mentally frail? Eh, maybe. Fusou's physical abilities merely scale with whatever form she's using as a host, and she's been careful to take the time to sort through her mental issues when she can.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: As Fusou prepares to 'compose' Ur-Didact.
  • Pretext for War: Desolas Arterius used the Relay 314 Incident as an excuse to apprehend the System Alliance's advanced technology (which were provided by Fusou) for the Hierarchy before the asari and salarians found out and likewise do the same thing.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The inability to communicate instantaneously is what leads to the Prophets bringing their combined fleet into the middle of an unprescedented ambush by the UNSC, the Separatists, and Fusou.
  • Racial Remnant: The Forerunners have become this. They planned to rebuild their empire after the activation of the Halo Array.
  • Serial Escalation: It's in the name. Fusou's main response to facing an enemy that her current forces cannot defeat is to create weapons/machines that are even tougher and more powerful, so that she can turn the tables on her foes.
    • According to Fusou's notes when starting the XCOM: Enemy Unknown arc, this is actually a result of ROB messing with her programming: she's literally hardwired to solve problems by escalation. Drich would've figured this out and fixed it.
  • Spaceship Girl: Fusou fully qualifies as this, even if at the beginning she started out as a mecha girl.
  • Save the Villain: After killing the Prophets, Fusou gave the races of the former Covenant a chance to rebuild and return to their pre-war society. Justified because the Covenant races were misguided and lied to waging war on humanity. Furthermore, Fusou wanted to avoid putting the ex-Covenant races in a very disadvantageous position and thereby reverting back to their Covenant ideology.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Fusou's help in the swift end of the Human-Covenant War. She help establish the Separatists by releasing a complete recording of the Prophets' conspiracy. She does this again by having Mendicant Bias unraveling the entire lie before the entire Covenant armada and allowing some of the Loyalists to switching sides.
    • Fusou stopping ONI from shaking up the peace between humanity and the Separatists. This include sabotaging vehicles, altering orders, blocking important calls, and generally causing havoc on their financial resources and redistributing them to various charity organizations.
    • Fusou ruining the Forerunners' ancient plan of reestablishing their empire at the cost wiping out all life in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Spider Tank: The original Commander chassis that the SI started with, the Pot Belly 79, certainly qualifies. The subsequent Commander Chassis that Fusou creates, the Razor Back, also qualifies.
  • Stealth Expert: Fusou has been infiltrating plenty of human and alien systems and facilities with no one the wiser. Unless, of course, she decides to let you know about it.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Technology: Several aspects of the Progenitor tech base Fusou started with, notably the ability to ignore the laws thermodynamics when convenient.
    • The first major story arc takes place in the Halo universe; naturally Forerunner technology also qualifies.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fusou delivers a savage tear on Iso-Strategos and the surviving Forerunners.
    The current state of the galaxy is your fault and I will not have you interfering in what I have spent a decade fixing. You lost the right to interfere when you did not return. When you left your 'Reclaimers' to be slaughtered by those who were jealous of them, just like how you slaughtered them once before. You shunned your responsibility for the Mantle and are responsible for the near extinction of its true inheritors twice over. I know your history Forerunner, I have seen what you accomplished and I can only despair at how you abandoned your chosen successors to the perils of the galaxy instead of returning to teach them. I have listed your failings Warrior-Servant Iso-Strategos, now leave here and return to your Remnant. Do not attempt to enter the Milky Way with military forces without permission from the species there ever again. That galaxy is sovereign territory and should you enter uninvited, I shall visit upon you Annihilation. Come as diplomats. Come as traders. But for your transgressions, never come as warriors.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Fusou's sub commanders are named after giants: Goliath, Colossus, Behemoth, and Titan.
    • The Cathedral-class ships are named after existing cathedrals: Notre Dame (the first Cathedral), Basil, West Minster, Winchester, and Seville.
  • Terraform: Fusou is capable of this in which she helped in restoring planets and moons that were damaged in the Human-Covenant War.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Fusou falls into a bit of this when the Prohpets and High Charity manage to escape the ambush. She proceeds to destroy several thousand ships in mere seconds.
  • Viking Funeral: Fusou give one to the Spirit of Fire in order to clear it of any traces of Flood infestation. Out of respect, she has Captain Cutter to do the honor by pressing the firing button on the Maw of Oblivion to atomized the Spirit of Fire in dark matter.
  • V-Sign: Fusou gives one to Ur-Didact before composing him.
  • War Is Hell: This trope is certainly true though it hasn't been focused on too much. Much of the UNSC and indeed Humanity itself was already traumatized by the war and Fusou has joined them as even if she hasn't killed someone face to face, her impressive sensors allow her to see exactly how everyone in each battle she's present for dies.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The shrunken Annihilaser fitted to the Enterprise won't be cracking planets but it was more than enough to cut a CSO-class Supercarrier in half from bow to stern before slicing apart a good chunk of the accompanying fleet.

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