Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined Chapter Seven 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 seven 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.)

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7

HADES GAMMA

PURGATORIO SYSTEM

Heavy solar winds pummel the SSV St. Helens as it enters the Purgatorio system. The ship shudders as it struggles towards the small world of Cangrande, one of three remaining planets in the system. Purgatorio was the first system discovered during early explorations of the Hades Gamma belt wherein the crab nebula reached across the entirety of the expanse. Of the three worlds in Purgatorio, only Cangrande was the most stable. Cato and Belacqua had become raging spheres of lava and boiling rock and could no longer be stood upon.

     On the bridge of the St. Helens, Admiral Lykins paces in irritation feeling the ship shudder violently under the solar storm raging incessantly in the system.

     “Why did he send me here? What could possibly be here of any use?” Lykins mumbles to himself with his index finger tapping his nose and thumb rubbing his lips. “It’s just a system devoid of life…a fiery wreck of a joke. Jiles!”

     XO Stephen Jiles looks over at the admiral and quickly turns towards him, “Yes, sir?”

     “Have we received any readings yet?”

     “All our scans of Cangrande have proven inconclusive. Looks like we’re going to have to take a shuttle to the coordinates.”

     Lykins growls a sigh and stares out the viewport on the bridge. The Illusive Man is a fuckin’ idiot if he thinks we’re going to find anything out here! There’s too much already to deal with and I’m losing time!

     “So be it,” Lykins drops his hand from his face and stares in annoyance at the tiny planet beyond. “Have Doen and Kretch drop down to the surface and see what they find. In the meantime, I’ll be in my quarters. And for god’s sake, find us a place in this damned system where the ship isn’t rocking nonstop!”

     “Er…Yes, sir.”

     Jiles turns back to his comm station and communicates the new orders while Lykins heads back to his quarters. It doesn’t take long to walk down the narrow corridor and past the barracks towards the lift that will take him up two flights to the officers’ deck. Once there, he turns right and heads straight down to his room at the back of the ship. From there he feels the vibrations of the engine steadily thrumming far below. The door to his quarters opens and he enters. At his desk he sits down and pours himself a scotch and leans back in his chair feeling somewhat deflated from all the nonsense, in his opinion, that he’s been dealing with since the invasion of the reapers.

     Goddamn, wish I had a luxury cabin like Shepard’s on the Normandy. Should have taken the fuckin’ ship with me when we got out of there… He sips his drink and turns in his seat towards the window where streams of solar radiation collide with the plasma shields of the dreadnought. This had better be worth it. All this time and effort that could be better spent on other endeavors. What the hell does he think he’s going to find down there?

     Lykins’ gaze falls on a statuette in the far corner of his quarters and he stares at it for a long moment. The steady vibration in the ship simmers across his body and he starts to feel entranced in the dark spaces, to let his stress go. It was as if all time ceases to exist. A shudder from the ship being tossed around renews his temper and he leans forward in his chair.

     “Goddamnit! I told him to find somewhere stable!”

     A low growl echoes through his quarters and he stands up to pace the floor.

     “No, the Illusive Man always has something up his sleeve. We just have to figure out what it is. Getting to the source of his interest may be more pressing than those other matters at this time.”

     He stops in front of the window and sees Cangrande slowly coming into view as the ship comes to a steady counter orbit on the dark side. A crescent forms along the edges of the world as the bright white star behind it beams.

     “Well, finally.”

     The intercom beeps and Lykins takes his time in answering it. After a long sip on his drink, he reaches over and triggers the unit on the wall.

     “Yes? What is it?”

     “Sir, the survey team has arrived at a structure on the surface of Cangrande.”

     “A structure? I want details, man!”

     A long pause and then, “It is not so much a structure anymore…It appears to have been a building once but is melted along a large portion of its side. Most of it is apparently heading into the side of a mountain and down into a mine-like shaft. The crew had to nearly crawl through the front of the building.”

     “Yes, yes. But did they find anything?”

     “Sir?”

     “I said did they find anything!? You just told me they arrived at a structure and now I want to know did they find anything!?”

     Another long silence follows before, “Yes, sir. I was just about to call you, sir. Over the last two hours the team did discover something…”

     Last two hours?

     “From what I’m understanding, they’ve discovered a data cache’ deep in a sunken quarters. Doen says he can’t figure out what the place was for but there’s a lot of old computer type equipment. Only the computers, for lack of a better term, are all made out of some sort of crystal.”

     “Uhm, can they mine it?”
     “The omnitools seem pretty capable of downloading the information. However, it’s in a language we’ve never encountered and our linguistics programs are having trouble decrypting it.”

     “No matter. I think I know someone who has just the software we need. Good work. Tell them to complete their task and see if they find anything more of use and report back to the ship asap.”

     “Yes, sir,” Lykins hears Jiles say and imagines him saluting as he cuts the comlink.

     “Idiot. Two hours. He just told me… Computer, what time did I arrive in my quarters?”

     A voice resonates from within the speakers settled in the walls, “You arrived at 02:15, admiral.”

     “And what time is it now?”

     “The current time is 09:41, admiral.”

     Shit…over seven hours. I couldn’t have zoned out that long, could I have?

     “That will be all, computer.”

     A buzz lets him know the computer has gone into energy conservation mode. He paces the room for a moment and then decides to ignore the issue.

     “Alright, let’s see what the Illusive Man thinks about all of this.”

     Lykins walks over to his desk and sets his drink on the top of it. He brings up his computer display and triggers in a passcode. Within moments, the face of a man with biomechanical eyes pops into existence. The man is somewhat shadowy but his features light up with the puff of a cigarette in his right hand.

     “Lykins. I’m assume you have some news for me?”

     Lykins grabs his drink and chugs it and then goes to refill it as he speaks, “Yeah, I think so.”

     “You think so?”

     “Don’t patronize me, Illusive Man. We recovered a data cache’. I assume that’s what you sent me out here for?”

     The Illusive Man takes another drag on his cigarette and sizes up Lykins, “As a matter of fact, it was. I’m glad you were successful in your endeavor. I trust now you have a little more faith in what I’m trying to accomplish?”

     “I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, honestly. But the files are encrypted. Well, rather they’re in a language our systems don’t recognize and can’t translate. However, I’m guessing you won’t have that issue, now will you?”

     “It’s true, I know the language. Once you transmit those files to me, we can go to work seeing what they store.”

     “You already know what’s there, don’t you? Let me guess, something that can stop the reapers?”

     The Illusive Man takes a whiff before responding, “Stop, yes. But I’d rather use them for our own advantage, if at all possible. Imagine how strong the alliance would be with former reapers on our side?”

     Lykins turns away and slowly takes a sip of his drink as he stares at his statuette in the corner, “You’re insane. You want to use the reapers as tools? Allies? How do you even think you’ll pull it off?”

     “I have my ways, Lykins. We’ve been studying indoctrination and how the reapers accomplish it. We are on the verge of developing a very powerful weapon in our arsenal. And it will pave the way for a stronger humanity.”

     Lykins turns to look at the Illusive Man, “You’re awfully candid with me. Were you this forthcoming with Shepard?”

     “Shepard had her own agenda. She was useful in dealing with the collectors. But as far as the tools of war are concerned, she didn’t need to know. You’re an admiral in the Alliance Navy, however. And I need your cooperation if we’re ever to achieve anything,” The Illusive Man smiles and exhales a cloud of smoke. “And you know more than anyone what’s at state. Not just with regards to the reapers, but with humanity’s interests among the cultural elites in the alien community.”

     “And what if Shepard tries to interfere with this plan of yours?”

     “It’s regrettable that you weren’t able to get Shepard permanently removed from Alliance affairs. However, we’ll deal with that reality should the need arise. You concentrate on your side of the deal and all should work out as intended.”

     “An end to the reapers then.”

     “One way,” The Illusive Man lifts a glass in semi-toast to Lykins who returns the favor. “Or another.”

     “I’ll drink to that,” Lykins takes a drink. “I’ll send you the data once it’s onboard.”

     “I look forward to reviewing it, Lykins,” the Illusive Man drags long and hard on his cigarette before continuing. “Oh, and Lykins, about that other matter we have to contend with…”

     “Relax, I’m dealing with that. He’ll have no choice but to cooperate.”

     “Good.”

     The Illusive Man cuts the feed and the computer on Lykins’ desk shuts off. He turns and stares at the floor. A low rumble fills the room and a shiver runs up Lykins’ back.

     “No, I think we’ll play along with the Illusive Man’s little game until we know what he’s up to. The data will be sent to him and, once it’s deciphered, we’ll see what was worth coming out here for,” Lykins turns to look out the window once more and finishes off his scotch. “And now for that other matter.”

     He turns and exits his room.

#

WIDOW SYSTEM

NORMANDY

CREW QUARTERS

Ashley Williams sits at a table in the middle of the room with her hands held up balled to her forehead. She sighs in exasperation feeling out of her element. The room is silent as all personnel are currently on duty and preparing the Normandy for its next mission in the Trebia system where they’ll be heading to Palaven for undisclosed reasons.

     I don’t belong here, Ashley lowers her hands and braces them on the table and stares at the far wall where a series of bunks sit side by side. Palaven? What the hell, Shepard? I thought we were just getting the Council’s aid? What about the Spectres?

     “Lieutenant Williams,” a man at the door interrupts her thoughts.

     Ashley looks over to him, a man by the name of Nelson if she recalled correctly. He wasn’t much to look at.

     “Yeah, what is it?”

     She berates herself inwardly for not having heard the door swish open and him step past the threshold.

     “You have an incoming transmission from the Citadel. I believe its councilor Udina.”

     “Udina? Alright, I’ll take it in here, thanks.”

     Nelson leaves and Ashley triggers the holo viewer built into the table. It swings upward and projects an image into the air. Within a split second the face of Donnel Udina materializes.

     “This is a surprise. What can I do for you, councilor?”

     “Let’s not stand on ceremony, Williams,” Udina says as Ashley drops her semi-salute. “I have an offer for you. One that will change your life for the better.”

     “What would that be?”

     “I want to induct you into the Spectres.”

     Ashley sits back in shock and stares at the man glaring at her with his intense, dark eyes. A Spectre? Are you fucking kidding me?

     “I, I don’t know what to say, sir. Why me?”

     Udina rubs his chin with his hand, “You’ve proven your leadership capabilities on more than one occasion. And we need more human spectres.”

     “You have Shepard…”

     “Shepard is good, there’s no doubt about that. But she’s also got her hands full dealing with a galactic crisis. I need you here on the citadel. This war could come here and you’d make an exceptional addition to the defense forces already here.”

     “I’ll…have to think about it.”

     “Don’t think about it too long, Williams,” Udina wags his finger at her. “The Normandy is docking with the Citadel in the next fifteen minutes and Shepard is coming to meet with me. I would prefer you be with her when she arrives. You are more than aware, I am sure, that the Normandy’s next destination is Palaven. This opportunity won’t last long at all.”

     “Yes, sir. I’ll accompany Shepard and give you my answer in person, sir.”

     “Good to hear. See you soon.”

     Udina disconnects the link and the holo viewer retracts back into the table. Ashley sits staring at the panel for a long moment. No thoughts can even enter her head as she taps her fingers on the table top.

Udina sits back in his chair looking at the commlink computer before him and then scoots his chair back to stand up.

     Don’t disappoint me, Williams. We’ve got too much to do here and I’m playing this too close to the chest. He goes before the window overlooking the inner parkway of the presidium ring and watches the traffic flowing through the space looping into the distance. A beep on the computer comm echoes out and Udina looks back at it in irritation.

     “Now what!?” He walks over to the computer and triggers the comm. “Yes?”

     “Councilor Udina, have you given any thought to our discussion earlier?”

     “Lykins. I don’t like it. Too much can go wrong and we need the help of the other species.”

     Lykins grumbles to himself for a moment and then looks back to Udina, “You and I both know how unreliable the Council is. They’re looking after their own backs! Meanwhile, Earth falls deeper into Rreaper hands by the day!”

     Udina rubs his face and looks off into the distance, withdrawn into his own mind for a moment, “Shepard is out here trying to unite the Council races as we speak. I believe in giving her that chance.”

     “Don’t wait too long, Udina. It may become too late.”

     Lykins cuts the feed and Udina stands there staring at the commlink for far too long.

     “I don’t know what your game is, but you don’t command me, you damned fool!”

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SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION STARTS!

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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.

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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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