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Thread: Short Story - The Teacher

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I still don't see how this would necessarily prevent you from not even remotely considering the possibility that Loew could rebel.
    We don't know exactly if they considered it or not, so more to the point, what would you have done if you were them? Put one of your own soldiers in her stead to command the hydralisks?
    I never knew the Dominion was like the CIA...
    The CIA is a competent organization by today's standards and its their agents' job to be paranoid, yet even they make mistakes that seem stupid in retrospect, such as trusting a guy because they thought he had crucial information. So why wouldn't the Dominion make the same mistake while Loew had already proven her worth? To me, the idea that the Dominion shouldn't have trusted her because they are a dictatorship sounds like a case of Reality is unrealistic.
    Last edited by Telenil; 02-25-2013 at 01:11 PM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    This would've actually been a decent story if it wasn't so darn formulaic & predictable. Maybe it's just me but it seems that the common thread in these short stories is always some hapless protagonist finally realizing just how much of a monstrous, immoral beast the Dominion they've worked for all their lives really is and 'going mad from the revelation.'

    It's like Blizzards really going out of it's way to hammer the point across. OK fine, we get it; Dominion=BAD.

    Sheesh.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    True, but that particular story was more of a deconstruction of that plot: Loew's rebellion was meaningless in the end, because Garr and everyone else would have died anyway. The Dominion actually saved the colonists, then they would have used their Zerg to take the refinery, and kill "anyone who prevents it". All right, bad enough. But the Zerg killed everyone, period.
    While the story does say that the Dominion is bad, the final message is not "it is right to rebel against the Dominion", but "the Zerg are a lot worse". That's not something you saw in Broken Wide or changeling.
    Last edited by Telenil; 02-25-2013 at 01:26 PM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Wow. If In the Blood was about an individual, and one who doesn't understand the scale of what's happening around him (like most of us), this one is about the races themselves. Terrans are ambitious, technological, emotinal, militaristic, and Zerg are, in a way, submissive, physically mighty, and treacherous predators. I liked how the author didn't fall for the clichè that the Zerg are a force of nature that can't be controlled... they can be controlled, and it was Kerrigan, not "nature", who defeated the Dominion this time.

    Yeah, the Dominion is super-evil... we got it already, but getting it won't stop Blizzard from repeating it to us again and again. I got used to it, though, in the sense that I don't get disapointed when it happens anymore. What I see here is that Garr is a classical Terran authoritary asshole - just like the Confederates we loved to hate. But while the Confeds where morally rotten and inhuman, the Dominion officers are patriotic... and inhuman. Personally, I think the Confedarete immorality was more flavourful, but it is good to see the Dominion villainess portrayed with a consistent personality. So I like the Dominion, as villain, a little more after this story.

    We finally get a slight sci-fi feeling from one a short story. I know some didn't like the narrative but I did - it is cold and protocollar, as the characters. Doesn't have the focus on personal feelings the last ones did.

    About Kerrigan and Arcturus: you guys are right, it is the kind of thing Kerrigan would do in BW. About Arcturus, his arrogance beat him again. It is no surprise the guy can't trust anyone...

    About plot holes: a psi disruptor is still efficient against Zerg. Why wouldn't the Dominion bring a psi disruptor "just in case"? It was an obvious precaution for a first test. But then again, why don't the Dominion use small scale disruptors (like Raynor's) all the time anyway...?

    I like how this short store ressonates with the latest Project Blackstone entry. Are Zerg anarchic swarmers or a highly hierarchical species? The answer seems a little obvious after reading The Teacher, but I think maybe Ayers (and his late daughter) have a point here. Maybe the zerg can be both chaotic and disciplined. This is the kind of depth in lore I always wanted Starcraft to have

    All in all, I'm loving the stories. I was always hyped for HotS, but now I'm hopeful.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by TcheQuevara View Post
    Wow. If In the Blood was about an individual, and one who doesn't understand the scale of what's happening around him (like most of us), this one is about the races themselves. Terrans are ambitious, technological, emotinal, militaristic, and Zerg are, in a way, submissive, physically mighty, and treacherous predators.
    And the protoss?

    I guess that's something that can be raised about SC EU fiction in general, how of the 'big three,' the protoss have easily got the least amount of 'page time.' I understand, it's easy to write from a human perspective and have zerg as enemies, but I'm hoping that at least one of the HotS short stories involves the protoss in some capacity or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by TcheQuevara
    What I see here is that Garr is a classical Terran authoritary asshole - just like the Confederates we loved to hate. But while the Confeds where morally rotten and inhuman, the Dominion officers are patriotic... and inhuman. Personally, I think the Confedarete immorality was more flavourful, but it is good to see the Dominion villainess portrayed with a consistent personality. So I like the Dominion, as villain, a little more after this story.
    I guess "evil comes in many flavours."

    Yeah, I doubt that's actually a trope, but I do know what you mean. The Confederates were 'apathic evil.' Bad things could and did happen because as long as they kept themselves on top of the ladder, they didn't care what happened to anyone under it. The Dominion, I've noticed, are more 'active evil.' While they've been far more reactive to the zerg threat than the Confederates were, they're just as likely to use that same technology against their own people. Can't really say I really prefer either type though. Enjoy both when both are done right, written for both, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by TcheQuevara
    About plot holes: a psi disruptor is still efficient against Zerg. Why wouldn't the Dominion bring a psi disruptor "just in case"? It was an obvious precaution for a first test. But then again, why don't the Dominion use small scale disruptors (like Raynor's) all the time anyway...?
    I don't think the Dominion can even build psi disruptors. The original one was destroyed in BW, and the only other psi disruptor we've seen is the one created by Stettman in HotS, and even then, that psi disruptor not only had a far shorter range, but worked on different principles (sigma radiation instead of 'psi stuff') Psi emitters could lure zerg in, but I saw it more as a case of fooling the Overmind (wanted Kerrigan, Kerrigan used the Antiga Prime psi emitter) rather than a compulsion. Kerrigan won't fall for it anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by TcheQuevara
    All in all, I'm loving the stories. I was always hyped for HotS, but now I'm hopeful.
    Isn't hype higher up the happiness scale than hope? I don't know how one can be hyped in a non-positive sense.

    Anyway, feelings about HotS haven't changed myself, but meh, guess we've only got a few weeks to go anyway.
    Last edited by Hawki; 02-25-2013 at 04:28 PM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    We don't know exactly if they considered it or not, so more to the point, what would you have done if you were them?
    This is partly where the impression that the "Dominion seem stupid" in the story comes off. There's never an exploration of why Garr can't think he can assume direct control of this technology himself (where is that controller?) which would then justify Loew's ultimate control of powerful weapons in the actual story. Even with the justification that Loew has ultimate control, why would Garr just nonchalantly accept that, then proceed to treat her like shit and think that she'll be fine with this? All I'm asking for is simple acknowledgement of those issues or that he had fail-safes in place instead of assuming it's taken for granted that he's not stupid (which is hard considering past media involving the Dominion is very one-sided in displaying their incompetence). On the otherhand, we haven't exactly ruled out that Garr may very well be stupid in actuality either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    The CIA is a competent organization by today's standards and its their agents' job to be paranoid, yet even they make mistakes that seem stupid in retrospect, such as trusting a guy because they thought he had crucial information. So why wouldn't the Dominion make the same mistake while Loew had already proven her worth? To me, the idea that the Dominion shouldn't have trusted her because they are a dictatorship sounds like a case of Reality is unrealistic.
    And the Dominion is as competent as well by today's standard? Hah! I guess we can chalk that one up to reality is unrealistic as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    The Dominion actually saved the colonists...
    Only to try and kill them later for no other reason beyond "For the evulz!"
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    All I'm asking for is simple acknowledgement of those issues or that he had fail-safes in place instead of assuming it's taken for granted that he's not stupid
    Fair enough.
    And the Dominion is as competent as well by today's standard?
    Not nearly as much as the CIA, which is the point. There is a competent organisation that made a mistake, and is not considered particularly stupid after this failure. So why would you consider the same mistake as a proof of stupidity when the people who do it are less skilled? I may be wrong, but I feel you consider the Dominion stupid in this story because it was stupid in other stories. It is true that appear as unfathomably idiot in a lot of places, but their mistakes in this particular story feel like something that could happen in real life.
    Only to try and kill them later for no other reason beyond "For the evulz!"
    Not quite. Garr's orders were to "take the refinery" and kill anyone who opposes them, but not to kill everyone. As far as we can see, a colonist stepping aside wouldn't have been hurt. The Zerg, on the other hand, did kill everyone, no questions asked.
    In my opinion, the Dominion makes for a much more convincing dictatorship with this attitude, as opposed to the baneling story where that was "we abandon these people to the Zerg and see what happens, then we torture the survivors to death because, er, because."

  8. #28

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by TcheQuevara View Post
    About plot holes: a psi disruptor is still efficient against Zerg. Why wouldn't the Dominion bring a psi disruptor "just in case"? It was an obvious precaution for a first test. But then again, why don't the Dominion use small scale disruptors (like Raynor's) all the time anyway...?
    It took Raynor's brilliant scientist lots of samples to make a poor copy in a small radius. That's nothing like the old one. It's lost technology.
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  9. #29

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    So why would you consider the same mistake as a proof of stupidity when the people who do it are less skilled?
    Well that's simple; stupid is as stupid does. Stupidity is a trademark for all people who "are less skilled".

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    I may be wrong, but I feel you consider the Dominion stupid in this story because it was stupid in other stories. It is true that appear as unfathomably idiot in a lot of places, but their mistakes in this particular story feel like something that could happen in real life.
    I'll concede the first point but not the second. Regardless of the Dominion at large being stupid generally, Garr is still an isolated case of stupidity. No military man in their right mind would ever allow a civilian full reign and command over incredibly dangerous military assets in what is essentially a military operation and this is exactly what happens in this story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Not quite. Garr's orders were to "take the refinery" and kill anyone who opposes them, but not to kill everyone. As far as we can see, a colonist stepping aside wouldn't have been hurt.
    Please note that Garr then aggressively orders Loew to "attack". His intent to spill the innocent blood of the colonists regardless is quite apparent. Garr would've most likely made an example of them to prove his point of being a ruthless jackass. Besides, Garr is not supposed to be taken at his word since he already lied to Loew (via omission or straight to her face).

    A military takeover of the facility shouldn't need an "attack" at all, they'd just have to walk in because the threat of attack should be enough to cow the colonists already. Indeed, killing any of the colonists would be detrimental since aren't they are supposedly there to run the refinery in the first place? Why are they depleting the available workforce in such a wasteful manner? Sure they may kill enough of them for them to stop resisting, but who's gonna run the refinery then?
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Well that's simple; stupid is as stupid does. Stupidity is a trademark for all people who "are less skilled".
    There is a world of difference between not being the best and being stupid. Whatever your job, someone would do it better than you and would have seen your mistakes a mile away. Does that make an idiot of you?
    I'll concede the first point but not the second. Regardless of the Dominion at large being stupid generally, Garr is still an isolated case of stupidity. No military man in their right mind would ever allow a civilian full reign and command over incredibly dangerous military assets in what is essentially a military operation and this is exactly what happens in this story.
    Saying Loew is a civilian is arguable. She had worked with Dominion soldiers for the last few weeks and she was the leader of a top Dominion military project. All right, she would have been to valuable to be ever put in a battle zone if that was real life. But you make it sound worse than it is: they didn't take a random scientist and put the command card in her hands without any evaluation. Loew created the thing herself, tried everything she could to get the Dominion's attention, and looked quite cooperative even as Garr informed her they might be fighting humans (the text explicitly said that she didn't show any of her resent).
    I would agree with you if any of the above was different, but a loyal Dominion scientist that simply didn't expect her Zerg to be used against Terran would have behaved in pretty much the same way.

    Please note that Garr then aggressively orders Loew to "attack". His intent to spill the innocent blood of the colonists regardless is quite apparent. Garr would've most likely made an example of them to prove his point of being a ruthless jackass. Besides, Garr is not supposed to be taken at his word since he already lied to Loew (via omission or straight to her face).

    A military takeover of the facility shouldn't need an "attack" at all, they'd just have to walk in because the threat of attack should be enough to cow the colonists already. Indeed, killing any of the colonists would be detrimental since aren't they are supposedly there to run the refinery in the first place? Why are they depleting the available workforce in such a wasteful manner? Sure they may kill enough of them for them to stop resisting, but who's gonna run the refinery then?
    That he would have killed people no matter what is speculation. So is the fact that he wouldn't, but his command did not imply an order to slaughter for the sake of it, and he was not making promises at this point, he was giving orders for immediate actions. We can't know if he would have changed his mind afterwards, but as far as I can see, I have no particular reason to believe it.
    As for why they would kill anyone at all, they are soldiers in war time: if someone resists, they shoot. It is brutal by Western standards (unless of course the people in the refinery would resist by shooting them) but we are talking about an oppressive dictatorship here. It is not stupid to decide that the important thing is to take the building and that the number of people killed is secondary. It's ruthless, arguably unnecessary, and can have negative side effects in the future, but it's a tactical decision and it's nowhere near as staggeringly stupid as allowing Kate Lockwell to work at UNN was.

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