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Thread: Short Story - The Teacher

  1. #11
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Truth be told, I don't think that's Blizzard's fault in this case. The author's name is a new one on me on the site short stories (as in, for all the 'big three') and assuming "DocRoswell" is indeed the author, then I'm guessing the story was originally submitted for one of the old story contests and was re-purposed. Certainly it wouldn't be the first time it's happened.

    I dunno. It might be just me, but I got a 'fanficky' feeling when reading it. Not bad, but not particuarly memorable when compared to some of the other authors IMO.
    You might be right. The other two seemed less fanficky to me. In the Blood was probably my favorite. But it seems strange they would pick out story entries that only showcase units.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Well for once I didn't feel the Dominion was incompetent. They got duped all right, but in an understandable way: they took safeguards, had multiple demonstrations before getting the project live, and only brought their leaders to the field after they had seen that the tamed hydralisks were actually fighting the Zerg.
    1) They rushed it into field testing when it wasn't ready.
    Hidden Content:

    "You want my Tamed in the field in a day and a half? Against other zerg?"
    "Not want but will have. You will be directly observed by the most important members of the Xenobiology Department of Special Research Ops, as well as their military counterparts."
    Loew wanted to tell him that it was flatly impossible. She couldn't find the words. It would simply have to be done.
    He smiled as he regarded her lack of protest.

    2) They had planned to kill the colonists for no reason at all.
    3) They put a scientist in command of the battle and let her give orders.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Robear View Post
    By the way, what ever happened to Psi Emitters? Why couldn't the Dominion just use one of those against the traitors? Or is Kerrigan's swarm immune to them, and I've forgotten about it?
    Those don't work. In fact, they never worked against zerg, except when controlled.

    The terrans didn't initially know about the Overmind, so they probably thought the zerg (who really are naturally psi-sensitive) would go nuts and head toward sources of psionic power. In fact, the Overmind was trying to collect ghosts.

    We've never seen controlled zerg (either via the Overmind or Kerrigan) affected by psi emitters. To be fair, we've only seen a psi emitter once after StarCraft vanilla, and that was specifically used to control feral zerg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Was it so? Sounds a bit strange, I would expect the Overmind to understand it was a fake after Antiga Prime. Plus, there were several comments about how the emitters were attracting the Zerg that were within a certain range. If the Overmind was ordering them to get there, I would expect the Zerg to act somewhat methodically instead of rushing towards the emitter.
    Although this was not explicitely stated, I was under the impression that the emitter was more or less flooding Zerg communication with "come here at once".
    Even if the Overmind understood it was a fake, it was still telling him that a psychic terran was there, and that was something it wanted, badly. It did require an actual psychic, at least to start it off.

    Furthermore, the range of emitters is interplanetary. Only the Overmind had the ability to travel faster than light before the birth of Infested Kerrigan, so it must have deliberately opened those warp vortexes at Tarsonis. (In the novelization of Liberty's Crusade, zerg from away from Antiga Prime arrived too, presumably warped in by the Overmind.)

    I hate using Shadow of the Xel'Naga as an example, but early in that novel, when the xel'naga temple "woke up", Kerrigan's zerg temporarily went nuts. But only temporarily. I don't recall if Kerrigan had to specifically exert control to get them back. I rather doubt an emitter's effect would be long term against controlled zerg. At best, it could temporarily override zerg control.
    Last edited by Kimera757; 02-21-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    1) They rushed it into field testing when it wasn't ready.
    Hidden Content:

    "You want my Tamed in the field in a day and a half? Against other zerg?"
    "Not want but will have. You will be directly observed by the most important members of the Xenobiology Department of Special Research Ops, as well as their military counterparts."
    Loew wanted to tell him that it was flatly impossible. She couldn't find the words. It would simply have to be done.
    He smiled as he regarded her lack of protest.

    2) They had planned to kill the colonists for no reason at all.
    3) They put a scientist in command of the battle and let her give orders.
    I suppose they could have waited a few more months until some of their own soldiers were ready to command the Zerg themselves, but if they had a good reason to use the hydras earlier, that too made sense. They had a few weeks of testing where everything worked as planned, and even though the hydras may not have been as prepared as Loew would have liked, it turned out they were ready enough. It doesn't strike me as particularly odd to send some troops to battle before they are 100% prepared, and at the end of the day, it didn't make any difference. They shouldn't have trusted Loew all right, but they didn't have any real reason not to. It's not like she had tried to crush someone under a jukebox.

    It's true that the story doesn't explain why they turned against the colonist, but Loew doesn't know either. It may just be that the colonists were opposing the Dominion, and that a Zerg attack was a good pretext for sending troops in. The Dominion men failed all right, but they didn't do anything as stupid as attacking their own soldiers or kidnapping people that would have been happy to help.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    I don't know the author's exact relationship with Blizzard, but his name is Matt Maxwell. and is apparently working on multiple projects for Blizzard.

    I really enjoyed this story.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Yeah, VoK is right. He's a published author of novellas/novels. It seems that the story wasn't taken from one of the fanfic contests but rather contracted out.

    So, on one hand, any "Dominion incompetance" can probably be attributed to Blizzard themselves in this case. On the other, it'll be interesting to see how his WoW fic turns out. What with Blizzard having the same authors working in different universes, quite a few of them end up better in one universe than another IMO.

    Edit: Interesting that he mentions that said fics will be the "first" of his stories. So, might get some more beyond that. Maybe even for Diablo too. Go for the trifecta! The trifecta!
    Last edited by Hawki; 02-21-2013 at 05:26 PM.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    I suppose they could have waited a few more months until some of their own soldiers were ready to command the Zerg themselves, but if they had a good reason to use the hydras earlier, that too made sense. They had a few weeks of testing where everything worked as planned, and even though the hydras may not have been as prepared as Loew would have liked, it turned out they were ready enough. It doesn't strike me as particularly odd to send some troops to battle before they are 100% prepared, and at the end of the day, it didn't make any difference. They shouldn't have trusted Loew all right, but they didn't have any real reason not to. It's not like she had tried to crush someone under a jukebox.

    It's true that the story doesn't explain why they turned against the colonist, but Loew doesn't know either. It may just be that the colonists were opposing the Dominion, and that a Zerg attack was a good pretext for sending troops in. The Dominion men failed all right, but they didn't do anything as stupid as attacking their own soldiers or kidnapping people that would have been happy to help.
    Bah, excuses! Please don't be an apologist for the Dominion. They suck and you know it.
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  7. #17
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Hey, I'm not going to say the Dominion sucked this time just because they sucked all other times.

    I know what I would have done differently if I were the guy who had to hear the soldiers reports in Changeling: I would have waited until the survivors called and said "oh my god, that's terrible, tell us everything so that we learn how to counter these things!". I would not have said "I know, I was the one who put it in your barracks to see what happens. Thoughts?"

    If you were Garr, what would you have done differently? Things could only end one way. The Dominion was reasonably cautious in this story, they simply didn't expect Loew to make that suicidal stand (I wouldn't have either) and even if they did, they would have no way to know that Kerrigan could overrun their instructions at any time.
    Last edited by Telenil; 02-22-2013 at 03:43 AM.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Hey, I'm not going to say the Dominion sucked this time just because they sucked all other times.
    Why not? It's not as if we can we even really tell if the Dominion ever makes a smart move anymore because everything they're involved in always turns to crap eventually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    If you were Garr, what would you have done differently? Things could only end one way.
    Garr was just your typical, one-dimensional "yes man" to the "big boss man". With this type of person, is it any wonder why things can only end one way? If I was Garr, I'd be an idiot obviously.

    There's no point in discussing what I would do in his position, however, because I would be too genre savvy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    they simply didn't expect Loew to make that suicidal stand (I wouldn't have either)
    This is what makes them stupid. You seriously didn't expect Loew to resist in some form when she was allowed full reign(!) over monstrosities that have been known to kill men very easily but still continue to press her buttons and nonchalantly think everything will be fine and she'll "get over it"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    they would have no way to know that Kerrigan could overrun their instructions at any time.
    This has nothing to do with the Dominion being stupid throughout the story because by the time Loew realises she had no control, the effects of the Dominion's stupidity had already taken place earlier.

    Incidentally though, I actually foresaw this ending right from the first page. How's that for genre savvy?
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    You seriously didn't expect Loew to resist in some form when she was allowed full reign(!) over monstrosities that have been known to kill men very easily but still continue to press her buttons and nonchalantly think everything will be fine and she'll "get over it"?
    I did because the story was written from her point of view and I had access to her thoughts as the reader. But if I didn't know this was a story, no, I wouldn't expect the lead scientist of a top government project to turn crazy and slaughter her superiors because she didn't like how her work was to be used against humans. They didn't consider a wraith pilot could go rogue either, even though he too could have killed all the official before he could be stopped. Leow had some problems with her orders, but she had always accepted to carry them out. You don't fire people just because they once had doubts, especially when they are top scientists.

    Look, CIA employees brought a suicide bomber to several of their top agents in Middle East without searching him first. That violated at least two security procedures, in a country when suicide bombers are known to be a major threat, and the agents died. This happened four years ago in real life, and these people weren't stupid.
    Garr and his aids did not violate any procedure, what happened is that they didn't see that Loew would sacrifice herself and the work of her life to kill them all, rather than having her Zerg used against Terran. I don't blame people for not expecting that, she was not obviously crazy from the outside and didn't protest any more suspiciously than what would be expected from a naive scientist starting to work for a dictatorship (aka, she shut up and obeyed when told to).
    The only alternative is to get paranoid and treat every single of your employees as a potential enemy, no matter the loyalty he shows, which has enormous drawbacks (poor morale, among other things).

    ... wait. Now that I think of it, it could actually explain why so many excessive regulation were forced upon members of Project Blackstone. We know that Tamed was already over as of the last entry, and it would be a little weird to separate two major studies on the same topic. That would be a valid reason for Dominion security to get crazy about the slightest protest or violation of rule.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    But if I didn't know this was a story, no, I wouldn't expect the lead scientist of a top government project to turn crazy and slaughter her superiors because she didn't like how her work was to be used against humans.
    I still don't see how this would necessarily prevent you from not even remotely considering the possibility that Loew could rebel. Once again, you'd have to be delusional (which, in hindsight, is a passable explanation for anyone who's a part of the Dominion these days I suppose ), genre blind (which should be difficult given the climate in which the universe is set - everyone, the Dominion leadership especially, would be paranoid) or just plain stupid to not even think it, let alone "let it go" as an oversight. It lacks "common sense", if one could even call it that, for someone in the Dominion not to think of this possibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Look, CIA employees brought a suicide bomber to several of their top agents in Middle East without searching him first.
    I never knew the Dominion was like the CIA...

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    The only alternative is to get paranoid and treat every single of your employees as a potential enemy, no matter the loyalty he shows, which has enormous drawbacks (poor morale, among other things).
    This is a given for any dictatorship that wants to maintain in power. I'm pretty sure that this is a trait (plus a good dose of heavy-handedness in allaying such paranoia) the Dominion has displayed many times before.
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