This is going to be a quick one, since this chapter is largely just set up for some future events. Although not distant future in any sense, but still there. Mostly this just gives everyone a breather to reflect on their current positions in the narrative. That and it has some fun elements I wanted to introduce.
So Boz, I'll cover him more detail much later. However for the moment, my conception was I wanted to create something a little different. Given that the Fallen Serpent isn't exactly a military ship, the Jackals aboard don't really follow ordinary regulations. So they created a radio station for the soul purpose of listening to music every waking moment of the day. Specifically the music they discovered when Retz stole that multimedia file. The Jackals have all quickly gravitated to human rock music and now they have a means to share their newfound love with everyone in close proximity. It creates a new dynamic and offers something of a soundtrack to the storyline. I try my best to make sure the songs are clearly identified, that way if anyone wants to listen along they're free to do so. Some might see this as an excuse to just have some of my favorites songs referenced in this story. You would be right, but there is a bit more too it than that. It's establishing a tone for the Jackals, how they feel, act. what their relation to the humans is. They are rather loud, chaotic neighbors and the UNSC has to deal with that. It's another way of exploring how these two cultures merge, interact and play off one another.
The Shakespeare stuff came from a twist on an idea. Everyone seems to feel that aliens would be totally into Shakespeare for some reason. They had the Klingons all seem to adore it for one. I wanted to turn that on it's head. Have a group of aliens... who hate it and think it's the worst type of drivel they've ever seen or heard. I wondered why someone would hate Shakespeare, deliberately avoiding the usual traps of "it's hard to understand" and stuff like that. No, Zek understands it, that's why he hates it. Shakespeare lived in a time period that held very different values from us today. Zek is from an Ochlocracy on another planet where freedom of the individual is law. He's going to find things he despises about these plays. Especially ones where rogues like Falstaff get a raw deals and we're expected to think he deserves it. Zek's morality is completely opposed to Shakespeare, where there seems to be no moral grey and everyone who doesn't abide by the rules of the system or honor is quickly dealt with in due time. I felt if any play would get Zek's ire the most though, it would be "Merchant of Venice." While Zek probably doesn't understand what anti-semitism is, he would have no sympathy for a person who weaseled his way out of a contract through the use of a court system they've rigged and who then force the poor businessman to convert to their religion. Considering Zek himself is an atheist, as far as it comes to the Forerunners being Gods, that's a no-no.
Merchant isn't exactly one of my favorite plays either, by the by. I know some people offer defenses for it, Shakespeare never met any Jews so therefore he was just playing off people's stereotypes, there is the "if you prick us, do we not bleed?" But really, you're meant to see the Jew as a greedy selfish monster who must be defeated, and that forced conversion is a mercy. It's really not. I do like the Bard's work, but I do not like that play. Same thing with the Shrew, that is redpill garbage before it ever existed. Shakespeare, the Hipster MRA.
I honestly prefer his works like Midnight Summer and Comedy of Errors. The former of which you might have noted I had Zek also trash. So just to ease your minds, this was not me ripping Shakespeare, it as Zek purely from his perspective. Although I do share some of the sentiments concerning the plays I'm not a fan of. While it might have ran long, I honestly really just wanted to write the scene because it felt so fun to have such an alien perspective on human culture. That, and after having Zek praise the humanity's taste in vids... I kinda wanted to switch it up a little to show that Zek doesn't just like everything.
I added the scene of McKay testing out that newly minted Mass Effect-based pistol, because I felt like that was a long time coming. I've kept hinting at how Garrus has been trying to make one of those and I figured it was time he got it done. You can expect to see more of those kinds of guns in due time. I also wanted to show McKay's state of mind. She's an important character in all this, facing some tough decisions after the Mutiny. She'll be forced to grow considerably before this is over. She was a leader before, but now the responsibility has doubled and become slightly more problematic.
I think that's all I'm at the moment willing to share. I will say that meeting Shepard and Chief had will become relevant in a big way soon. I think some of you know how. So, I'll see you next time.