Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined Chapter Four Part One: Story Time With Tim

Hello again, faithful followers of this blog! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and this is the next installment of my fan story Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined written for my wife Christmas 2013. Mostly because of how disappointed we both were with those final fifteen minutes of the game. Of course, it was difficult to rewrite without changing the entire story. Which might be why the developers went with the asinine ending they went with. Even so, I think I came up with something amusing and special. So I’m sharing it here.

No, I didn’t edit it any. Mostly because it IS a fan story and I have other things to do. So, you’ll just have to be content with the unedited insanity that is my rewrite of the game. There are grammatical errors. There are inconsistencies with plot. There are moments that will make you go, ‘What?’ But, in my defense, it’s no worse than what Bioware gave us back in 2012. So take that Triple A developers!

Anyhow, here is chapter four part one of ME3RI.

(PS: Yes, I am copy pasting a lot of these lead ins. Pretty much because there are a lot of chapters to post and I’m doing this waaaayyy ahead of time when they will pop up through scheduling. If you’d like to skip ahead to where the chapter begins, by all means, knock yourself out. But, I would be happy if you checked out my shameless self-promotion!)

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All right! chapter four part one of Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined!

4

ALLIANCE HQ

VANCOUVER CANADA

Dozens of shuttlecars and capital ships dot the skies around Alliance HQ as Shepard and Vickers arrive at the docking area. The activity groundside is one of chaos and urgent necessity. Shepard looks out the shuttlecar window and sees the Normandy sitting on its docking pad on the far side of the docking bay compound on the far side of the complex. There is a myriad of activity outside of her berth as well.

     Hope they didn’t dismantle EDI. Shit hits the fan, we’re going to need her fast, Shepard shifts her view forward and rubs her face with her right hand and leans into her elbow feeling the weight of a thousand worlds suddenly on her shoulders. I shouldn’t feel this way. I’m still technically under house arrest.

     The shuttlecar drops down into an underground facility and Vickers lands it upon an awaiting landing pad. Without waiting for Shepard to say anything, he exits the craft and motions for her to follow him. Genevieve lets the shuttlecar door close behind her and she quickly chases after him.

     Damn, he’s in a hurry. So’s the whole goddamn Alliance. What the fuck happened? She’s on the lift and the doors closing in front of her before Genevieve has any time to even consider all the ramifications associated with the activity on the base. The lift shoots up and there is a deathly silence in the lift. Vickers looks for all the world like someone just murdered his dog and burned down his house. She purses her lips and says nothing as the lift brings them to the council chambers floor and, as the doors slide back open, loud shouting and harried conversations buffet their ears.

     They exit the lift and hurry down the hallway pushing through the throngs of Alliance personnel rushing towards wherever they’re needed most. Holo displays lining the hallway walls display important emergency data and a voice over the intercom is rattling off procedures and calling for certain people to report to this station and that. Shepard clenches her jaw in apprehension.

     Shit, it’s bad. Oh god…are they here? Already? They round a bend and immediately Vickers is stopping and saluting. Genevieve smiles and reaches out her hand to a familiar face. The man she sees smiles back and shakes her hand in return.

     “Shepard, damn good to see you after all these months,” Admiral Anderson says and turns back down the hall with Genevieve in tow. Vickers releases his salute and follows closely behind.

     “What’s going on, Anderson? All hell is breaking loose from what I can see.”

     Anderson doesn’t slow up as he speaks, “In a manner of speaking, it has. The council needs to speak with you urgently. Hell, Shepard, I don’t know what’s going on but I do know we’ve lost contact with Charon Station and several fleets have stopped reporting in.”

     “Damn it! You think it too, don’t you? The reapers?”

     Anderson stops as they start walking up a stairwell then and looks back at her, “I don’t know what to think. Honestly, I don’t know what else it could be. They have been unusually tight lipped about it with me. Could be batarians, but—“

     “But they don’t have that kind of ability. To push this far into Alliance space would require a fleet they just don’t have. And we would have heard about that already.”

     “Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Maybe someone’s septic system stopped working and you’re being promoted to plumber?”

     Genevieve bites her tongue as she smiles at Anderson’s wide grin, “Better than doing nothing I suppose. Guess we should see what’s clogging the drain.”

     “I’m guessing a piece of shit a kilometer long,” he chuckles as they continue on their way.

     “That’s a big shit,” Genevieve replies as Vickers just shakes his head slowly and follows after.

     The group is almost to the council chamber when they see two people talking. Those two stop upon their approach and the woman turns towards them prompting a smile from Genevieve.

     “Ashley! Long time no see.”

     Ashley Williams smiles back and approaches them and stops to salute, “Admiral Anderson, Shepard. The council is ready to speak with you at your convenience.”

     “Good to hear, lieutenant. We’ll be heading in momentarily. Is Admiral Lykins in there?” Anderson asks coming to a stop before her. Genevieve and Vickers stop nearby.

     “No, sir. He got called away back to the seventh. Whatever’s happening is big, sir,” Ashley says.

     “Lovely. Shepard, I’m heading in. Join me when you’re ready.”

     “Of course, Admiral,” Genevieve nods as Anderson walks past Ashley. “So, lieutenant now. Congratulations.”

     “Thank you, Shepard. Guess you hadn’t heard.”

     “Been a little locked up,” Genevieve says.

     “Yeah. That’s a raw deal,” Ashley says looking slightly down. Genevieve gets the impression that maybe she agreed with the punishment. “But hey, they need you in there. Maybe when we get a chance we can get some drinks.”

     “Sounds like a good plan, Ash. Take it easy and I’ll speak with you later.”

     “Shepard.”

     Ashley salutes as Genevieve continues on towards the council chambers. Vickers comes up beside the lieutenant.

     “You served on the Normandy, didn’t you lieutenant?”

     Ashley looks to Vickers, “Yeah, I used to. Back before it was destroyed and Cerberus built its little replica. Not even the same ship anymore.”

     Vickers looks at her with a frown, “Seems a little harsh, Williams. You and the commander worked together and now you act like you don’t really even know her.”

     Ashley shoots him a look, “I don’t know her. She was a pawn in Cerberus’s games. They rebuilt her, made her their toy. For all I know she’s just a clone or still a tool of Cerberus and I don’t trust her. And, just for the record, lieutenant, you don’t know me either. So keep your opinions to yourself.”

     She scowls at him and walks off down the hallway leaving Vickers standing there in shock at her outburst. After a full moment, Vickers proceeds towards the council chambers.

#

Genevieve Shepard enters the council chambers and sees the five members of the council chatting amongst each other in hushed and urgent tones. At the center of the room is Admiral Anderson who waves her towards him. The tables for the court martial have been taken out and numerous personnel hurry along the edges of the room heading towards some important task or another.

     She walks towards Anderson and finds her view drawn towards the massive window behind the council. Outside, tall buildings of Alliance command rise towards a blue sky full of bloated white clouds with just a hint of grey. There is an ominous feeling to the atmosphere.

     I don’t like this. I wish Ashley wasn’t acting so hostile. Maybe we could have put the past behind us. But…maybe too much has happened, a shiver of trepidation courses over Genevieve’s body as she approaches Anderson and comes up beside him. A man rushes up to her and hands her a data tablet. Genevieve frowns at him and looks it over as he rushes off.

     “What’s this?” she asks as Anderson sighs.

     “Bad news, Shepard.”

     Genevieve looks to Anderson but it is not he who speaks next but rather the chief consular, “That is a report on our conflict with the batarians since your court martial and a report on how we recently lost contact with Charon Station.”

     “So, what do you want me to do with it?” Genevieve asks trying to keep the disdain out of her voice. “Wait, what’s this about batarian refugees?”

     The chief shakes her head mournfully, “We’ve been seeing an influx of batarians for weeks now. Word has it they’re fleeing their system. We thought that maybe there was a revolt in the batarian hegemony, but there are those survivors who speak of a bombardment of their capitol on Kar’shan—“

     “What!? When did you hear about this?!”

     Anderson steps forward and supports Genevieve, “This is information we should have been alerted to!”

     “Look, we don’t know what we’re looking at. Around a month ago, the batarians stopped raiding our outposts along their borders. Three weeks ago, all batarian communications went silent. Two weeks ago, we started receiving refugees seeking asylum. We don’t know what happened on Kar’shan, but it’s serious enough to halt the brewing conflict that has been until recently—“

     “Damnit!” Genevieve shouts and points her finger at them, “You’ve been sitting on this for a month!? When did we lose contact with Charon Station!?”

     “Calm down, Shepard,” a male councilor speaks, “Batarian politics are a sensitive matter. A lot can go horribly wrong when rival consortiums compete for dominance on their homeworld.”

     “Fuck the consortiums,” a voice calls from behind them. Genevieve and Anderson turn to see a batarian under guard approaching quickly. “She was right. Bahak was a warning and we ignored it!”

     “Who are you?” Genevieve asks, her tone softening for him.

     “Adjutant Ghor’ant. I was on Kar’shan, in our capital, Bhak’ra, when the sky grew dark and massive ships descended. We didn’t know what they were. They bombarded everything! Millions died in the first assault! But now we know, the reapers came and destroyed Kar’shan! Regent Dias Chrollan sent me here, to get the human Alliance to help! But you won’t help! You won’t believe us!”

     “Hell…” Genevieve starts as Anderson lets loose a groan, “How long ago was this, adjutant?”

     “Just over a month ago,” Ghor’ant replies with disgust.

     Genevieve looks to the council, “When did we lose contact with Charon Station!?”

     “Charon Station isn’t the complete issue—“ the chief begins.

     “Goddamnit!” Anderson shouts. “When did we lose contact!?”

     The councilors look to one another before the chief responds, “Around oh five hundred hours this morning. There was a solar storm around then, so we weren’t concerned that this was much more than a disruption in communications.”

     “Fuck!” Genevieve looks to Anderson as Ghor’ant places his hands on his waist in annoyance. “They’re already here!”

     “Shepard, we understand your propensity for exaggeration when it comes to the myth of the reapers. But we assure you, this is nothing to be concerned with. Our concern is with the Batarian Hegemony. Adjutant Ghor’ant’s presence here is merely a formality for potentially opening up relations with their reclusive government.”

     “Has everyone in this goddamn galaxy lost their minds?!” Ghor’ant hisses.

     “You’re assuming they had them to begin with,” Anderson retorts with a serious expression.

     Genevieve gasps in disbelief, “We have to get all Alliance personnel together! The reapers are on their way now!”

     The council converses with each other for several moments in hushed exasperated tones with several saying they should scramble every ship they have while others say not to be hasty. It is then that a woman rushes into the room and shouts out to be heard over the rolling din.

     “Councilors! You have to see this!”

     She uses her omnitool to activate the nearby viewscreen and all are transfixed by a news broadcast from the UK showing several large ships descending upon London. The view shifts to other networks covering descending craft from other parts of the world. After several moments, the broadcasts stop and static fills the room.

     The chief leans forward, concern etched upon her brow, “Shepard, what do we do?”

     Genevieve shakes her head in irritation, “What can we do? They’re here! If we don’t fight back and fight back hard, there won’t be any ‘we’ left to worry about!”

     The lights start flickering and a deep thrumming, mechanical sound rings out across the entirety of Alliance command. Everyone looks around them to the next person nearby. Genevieve and Anderson look to Ghor’ant with sorrowful looks of apologies prompting the batarian to say calmly, “Oh shit.”

     Outside the massive window, several ships descend with the sound of mechanical anger beating savagely against the reinforced glass causing it to buckle and vibrate fiercely against the sound waves.

     “Get down!” Genevieve screams as Ghor’ant jumps on top of his two guards just as the glass erupts in an explosion under the force of a lethal blast.

     The councilors have only seconds to look back as they see a beam of energy cutting through their headquarters’ building. Debris and waves of energy course through the compound deafening all within. The building shakes as Genevieve, Anderson, Ghor’ant, and the Alliance soldiers are tossed across the room towards the far wall. Vickers has enough time to throw his arms up only to find a piece of the council podium flying into him.

     A silence filled with a buzzing is all Genevieve can hear as she struggles to regain consciousness. She barely hears Anderson calling out for her, and within moments finds his arms pulling her to her feet.

     “Shepard! Get back to it! No time for lounging!”

     Genevieve struggles to maintain balance and the bright white of the flash she saw starts to dim. She quickly orientates herself and assists Anderson in helping up as many people that survive the reaper blast as possible.

     “Your…council…” Ghor’ant says as he is helped up by Genevieve. He groggily looks towards where the council once sat and sees only destruction and blood.

     “Anderson…” Genevieve says hesitantly. Anderson approaches the podium area and looks down into the debris. He looks back to her and shakes his head with a frown. “Fuck…”

     “Shepard,” Anderson calls as he approaches her and Ghor’ant who is using her for support. “We, we have to get out of here! Get to the Normandy!”

     They stumble forward towards the blown out window when the debris behind them is blown towards them. They kneel down and shield their faces. When they look back they see an asari standing where the entrance used to be.

     “Shepard! Anderson!” Liara calls out and sees them. She starts to rush forward when she hears a groan. She backtracks several steps and pulls up on a jagged piece of wood. A man reaches his hand up and she assists.

     “Vickers!” Genevieve yells and rushes towards them to help leaving Anderson to steady Ghor’ant.

     “Get Vickers and let’s get out of here!” Anderson calls after her.

     The two guards Ghor’ant threw himself on stand up hesitantly and go to assist Genevieve and Liara. The group heads back to Anderson and Ghor’ant.

     “How do we get to the Normandy from here? The whole place is trashed!” Genevieve queries.

     Anderson shakes his head, “We may be able to get out through the stairwell…maybe the broken window.”

     “The stairwell is a bad idea. The support structure has already been weakened too much,” Liara says pulling up her omnitool. “We may be able to use the bridgeway crossing over to the rec complex the next building over. It’s connected by the same floor.”

     “Alright, people. Let’s see if we can cross over and—“ Genevieve begins just as another blast rocks the building and the floor they are on gives way.

     The group slides down into the floor below and scramble to get out of the way of falling debris from the council chamber above.

     “Look out!” Vickers screams as he throws himself towards Genevieve and pushes her out of the way of incoming furniture.

     Liara throws up a force field and protects Anderson and the guards who are still struggling to their feet. The furniture smashes against the shield and break apart. Ghor’ant rises nearby from the rubble and stumbles over to help out the guards and Anderson.

     “This building will be coming down very soon,” Ghor’ant states as he helps the second guard to his feet. The first guard goes over to Anderson who waves him away emphatically and stands up.

     “He’s right. The court yard is three levels down and to the east. We can use the gardens to get to it,” Anderson says.

     “Then we’d better hurry,” Genevieve nods and the group forces itself to keep moving as another blast shakes the foundation of the building.

     Liara catches herself on Genevieve’s shoulder and they both stabilize each other. Genevieve looks questionably to Liara who only nods that she’s alright. The continue down a decimated hallway that is lined with the bodies of those unlucky enough to have not escaped the last blast.

     “This is a goddamn nightmare!” Anderson shouts as he takes point and pulls out his gun.

     Ghor’ant looks around him seeming nervous and anxious. The guards are nearby having pulled their own weapons. Genevieve examines the environment as they walk hoping to find something of use she can utilize.

     “It’s only going to get worse,” Genevieve says.

     “They should have listened to you when this was first brought to their attention! Now look! Earth is under assault and we’re just trying not to get smashed by Alliance command itself!” Anderson growls as he pushes aside a part of the fallen ceiling down the hall. Liara unleashes a biotic push that forces a good portion of the still standing hallway clear. Anderson nods his thanks.

     “They should have listened to you first, sir. You were pushing for action. But, it’s only natural,” Genevieve replies picking up two small handguns and tossing one to Ghor’ant who catches it hesitantly and looks at her with apprehension.

     “You’re giving the batarian a sidearm!?” one of the guards protests.

     “He’s in the fight too. We can trust him.”

     Ghor’ant shakes his head at Genevieve and acts like he’s about to toss it back, “No, I’ve had enough fighting. You take it—“

     “Look around you! The only way out is together!” Genevieve motions to the rubble strewn about the corridor.

     “Every man a soldier, Ghor’ant,” Vickers puts in with a frown, his own assault rifle trained on the shadows all around them.

     Ghor’ant pauses and looks down, “I…yes. You’re right. Let’s…let’s get to your ship and get off this planet!”

     “We can’t go anywhere until we secure—“ one guard starts.

     “The adjutant is right. We need to get to the Normandy,” Anderson starts and looks to Genevieve. “And you need to get to the council. Get their help.”

     “The council isn’t going to help us! We have to stop the reapers somehow—“ Genevieve replies narrowing her brows.

     “Earth is lost if we don’t have help! We can’t win this alone, Shepard! Besides, you’re still a Spectre. That’s got to count for something.”

     Anderson continues on as they follow behind him. Liara scowls and lets loose a guffawing laugh, “You put too much faith in them, Admiral. I don’t trust the council to be of any help here.”

     “But they can be,” Anderson responds as they reach the corridor end and check for any enemy combatants. “You’ve deciphered that codex. You can present it to the councilors.”

     “You figured out what that message was?” Genevieve asks Liara.

     “To a degree. The message is still incomplete but I’ve managed to decode a bit more of it. With Mordin’s help,” Liara speaks as another blast rocks the compound and an unearthly groan from one of the reapers fills the building. “We discovered a map and a reference. Seems whoever settled Thersander was doing research into dark energy manipulation. They mentioned something about ambient waves but…I have to admit I got a little lost on the concepts it was talking about. Even Mordin didn’t understand completely and suggested we follow the map to source coordinates referenced. I was coming to plead with the council for an end to your imprisonment, as it were, so that we could follow up on those leads. But…we may be too late.”

     The building shakes and they all brace themselves against the wall with Anderson nearly falling over and one of the guards dropping to his knee. They wait until the reaper blast has ended and move on. They hear a series of cracking and the squelching of metal tearing away from itself.

     “We have to hurry,” Anderson commands and they pick up the pace down the second hallway until it connects to the atrium surrounding the garden center where once green hanging plants and tall trees reached up towards the center of the Alliance command HQ ceiling. Now, all the plant life is mangled and burning though they can still see the exit to the garden leading off to the courtyard beyond the destruction. Unfortunately, the ornate staircase leading down into the garden atrium has become just as mangled.

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SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION STARTS!

I would appreciate if you have Kindle or even if you want some paperback goodies if you’d head on over to my page and maybe show me some love there. I mean, if you’ve been reading a while and see something you like, wouldn’t you like to have it in your personal library? I have some cool short stories available for cheap. Also Tales From A Strange Mind that collects my short stories (there’s also a Kindle edition but, for some reason, Amazon wouldn’t let me link them together) , Tales From A Strange Mind II which collects my old novellas, Red Star Sheriff (Which also has a Kindle edition but Amazon, am I right?) my first novel ever released, though, yes, it does have some grammatical errors and drags on for way too long, sigh. But I still love it and I will be writing a follow up sometime within the next few years. I have a collection of my poems called MisAligned: The Heart Waxes Poetic which collects my old poems but not some of my newer ones included those flash fictions! I’ll probably do that in the future as well. And if you love the perfectly inane, why not check out my Star Cloud scripts presented in book form? Star Cloud The Original Scripts. Another one where Amazon was being difficult with me in connecting the Kindle and PB versions. Still, the paperback they let me sale for cheap and it’s well worth a look if I say so myself. Or, if you don’t want to click on individual links (all of which will take you to my author’s page anyway), just click on my author’s page directly by tapping my name: Timothy S Purvis See for yourself what all I’ve published since I began this venture in 2016.

I mean, if you like my work, of course. No pressure. Just trying to find my way in this world without working menial tasks and suffering physical and mental issues as a result. If only I could merely stay home and write. That would be my most epic fantasy brought to life. Well, if you don’t want to do that, you could also donate to my cause down below after all is said and done. It would help. You know, if you liked what you saw and all. Up to you. I don’t have a lot of reviews on my materials because of low sales. I mean, very, very low sales. In the single digits. Right now, I have to rely on Pubby for reviews and those people only read your synopsis and recap it for a five star review. I want honest opinions. Not mean ones, but honest. So, if you ever find yourself buying some of my work, I’d certainly appreciate some feedback. Again, up to you.

Also, I’m selling my work for cheap over at Smashwords.com! Check out that page here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TSPurvis

End Shameless Self Promotion!

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So brings to an end another week of Story Time With Tim! Hope you’re enjoying the work so far and hope you’ll be back for more next week. Until then, read to you soon.

~Timothy S Purvis

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