Who is the Shadow Broker?
It’s complicated. By the time the Reapers attacked Earth, Liara’s title of Shadow Broker was largely nominal.
Shortly after the yahg Shadow Broker was overthrown, it became clear that he had taken a personal role in the business that was untenable for most organics. Yahg only need 2-3 hours of sleep per 40-hour cycle (the length of the day on Parnack) and the Broker was in constant contact with his operatives during the remainder of the time. Liara required more sleep and also, not unreasonably, wanted occasional time off to go have dinner with Shepard or just do something that wasn’t Shadow Brokering.
Fortunately, the Broker’s voice disguise software made it easy for Feron to fill in as “Broker” during Liara’s breaks. Both were capable in the role, but different strengths emerged. Liara excelled at analyzing reports, identifying falsehoods, noticing points of commonality or difference, making leaps from the gathered data. Feron handled more of the actual interaction: dealing with contacts, concluding deals, making threats. (Liara was certainly capable of all these things, but found doing them for too long wearying.)
After the Shadow Broker’s ship was destroyed and Liara was called to investigate the archives on Mars, it became nearly impossible for Liara to continue as Shadow Broker. She had neither the time nor the privacy and security to carry out dealings with the Shadow Broker’s web of informants. She and Feron agreed that Feron would select one or more of the Shadow Broker’s best agents to bring into the “Shadow Broker by committee.” Liara would continue to review and analyze reports over a secure commlink with Feron, but, for security reasons, would not be aware of the identity of his “co-Brokers.”
The Shadow Broker stands to be very useful to the Alliance in the ongoing war, which makes them a natural target for Cerberus. Given Cerberus’s access to reports from the Normandy’s earlier mission, the Illusive Man probably knows or can deduce that Liara took the Shadow Broker’s place. So, when Liara boards the Normandy, she contacts Feron and suggests a plan. She will make minimal efforts to conceal her Shadow Broker-related activities and allow rumors of her identity to spread. By doing so, she will distract enemies away from Feron and his colleagues, and it seems unlikely that this will make the Normandy a higher-priority target than it is already.
This explains why Liara is not particularly secret about her activities as Shadow Broker, as well as how she’s available for extended ground missions and dates with Shepard.
Why I’m ok with not romancing Aveline
Aveline is one of my favorite characters from any video game ever. As many flaws as Dragon Age II has, it will always have a special place in my heart because of Aveline. Is she perfect? No. Is she awesome? Yes.
For a long time I hated the fact that you couldn’t romance Aveline in DAII. Recently, though, I started thinking about that in terms of this post I read some time ago about the romance between Wonder Woman and Superman that’s currently going down in the monthly comics. Specifically this part:
We live in a culture that treats a woman’s sexuality as something that men own and control. Wonder Woman existed to be one of the FEW things that was out of men’s reach. You didn’t own her. She wasn’t here for you or your pleasure.
And it struck me - Aveline’s so great because she’s so strong, in pretty much every way you can be: emotionally, mentally, physically. And while she may be hopeless at flirting, she is someone who makes up her own mind about what - or who - she wants. And Aveline makes the choice that what she wants is Donnic, a fellow guard.
And there’s nothing the player can do to alter that. The player can help her get what she wants or not, but Aveline isn’t like a tough fight that you can “win” if you use all the right tactics. She’s a person who makes choices that you can’t control. And I think there’s value in that, artistically speaking, and integrity, and even though I would have enjoyed romancing Aveline in the game, I’ve come to think that it’s kind of neat that you can’t.
That’s not to say that there would NOT be value or integrity in making it so you can romance Aveline, either (and I’m thinking here especially of any fan creators who might read this who like Aveline)! There are all sorts of reasons it would have been awesome - for one thing, it would have been a really great opportunity to showcase a romance with a female character who doesn’t perform femininity. But I also think it’s good that there are people that the player character meets who are cool and attractive but just aren’t that into you.
Announcing the Superdames Comics Contest - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Do you want to create comics but have no idea where to start? Are you an aspiring comics writer or artist who’s looking for a chance to collaborate with others on a fun and uplifting project? Do you want to celebrate awesome female characters?
Announcing the first-ever Superdames Comics Contest — starring Jill Trent, Science Sleuth! We will select four writers and five artists to produce five stories, five pages each, to be published in an anthology-style comic focusing on this public-domain character!
Writers are invited to submit a full script for a five-page comic. Artists are invited to submit at least two pages of sequential art. The winning creators will work together to make a comic book starring Jill Trent, Science Sleuth!
Everything you need to know is here:
- Superdames.org/contest — download the full rules & guidelines (including reference links for Jill Trent), submission agreement, sample script, and info forum for questions and all that jazz!!
- Submissions will be accepted through August 1, 2014!
About Jill Trent: Jill Trent, Science Sleuth, is an inventor and freelance detective who solves crimes and beats up gangsters with the help of her scientific knowledge and her faithful life partner, Daisy Smythe! She first appeared in The Fighting Yank #6 (1943), published by Standard Comics/Nedor; after that, she appeared in The Fighting Yank #9 (1944) and Wonder Comics #8-20 (1946-48).
Super-cool thing one of my favorite blogs is doing! I know there are some great writers and artists among my followers. If any of you have ever wanted to do some comics work this might be cool :D