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 I wrote for my wife Christmas 2013. Mostly because of how disappointed we were with those final fifteen minutes of the game. Of course, it was difficult to rewrite without changing the entire story. With 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 the 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 nine of the book.
(PS: yes, I will be copy pasting this text. Pretty much because there’re a lot of chapters to post and my days get pretty full sometimes. Plus I’m also posting these in advance through the scheduling feature so you’ll get something to read every week! Feel free to skip these beginning segments and just get straight to the chapter if you’ve been reading along. Or, if you like what you read, start from the beginning! Alright, until next week!)
SATURN PLANETARY SYSTEM
He clings there, hanging in the darkness along the twilight of Saturn, watching the other reapers slowly meandering about their ways. Inside, his mind is in turmoil. Millions of thoughts and images and emotions twist his perception of what it means to be one of those great hosts of harvesting that have existed for eons. He no longer remembers what it is to be an individual. To be alive. Now he only knows that he is Penthos, as is the closest translation to his creation title of Niambra.
But the meaning is the same. He is sorrow. They all are.
“We are reaper…”
“No…we became death. We are…we are…”
“We do not remember.”
“Yes we do…the far place. The deep place. We hid though they still found us. We can go back there. We should.”
Three yellow eyes blink slowly in the darkness. Penthos draws his appendages closer to his body and he slinks further back into the edge of night of Saturn’s twilight, not unlike a cuttlefish hiding beneath a reef. But even in hiding, the voices of his own will not cease haunting him.
“There is no where we can go that they will not find us.”
“The cycle continues and we do nothing about it.”
“What is there to do? We are nothing more than servants to the will of the collective.”
Penthos blinks and sees another reaper approaching from the sunlit side of Saturn. He slowly creeps out from the twilight edge and meets the other reaper halfway.
“Haemphos…you who would be known as Deimos on Earth. You come to me in the dark.”
“We have little need of your studies in terran mythology. Why you waste such time in trivial pursuits is beyond us.”
“Understanding those we conquer…goes further to knowing ourselves.”
“We are perfection. You are needed. Go to Harbinger upon Luna. Inform him we have received a transmission from a scout in the Trebia system. Harbinger is silent to us. You will approach and gain his favor.”
Penthos hovors in the space before Deimos, lights shifting along his torso in trepidation.
“…Wouldn’t this be a task better suited for yourself? You are favored more in this system.”
“Irrelevant. Go now.”
Deimos turns and returns towards Pluto as Penthos waits for several long moments before beginning the journey towards Earth.
Harbinger sits ontop of the human lunar headquarters, his tentacles latched into it deeply. Energy pulses all along his body and he stares intently towards the silent blue globe of Earth beyond. Reapers crowd the world and flashes of energy pulsate on the planet’s surface. Were he capable, Harbinger would be grinning.
A figure floats down towards him from above and waits behind him. Harbinger lets him wait for nearly ten minutes before acknowledging his presence.
“Penthos. Why do you bother me?”
“You…call me Penthos?”
“It is the mythological name you have chosen for yourself, is it not? The others do not understand your fetishes for knowledge. I, however, support your desire. It only makes us all stronger. The sacred knowledge of all species. The perfection it will bring as we make it our own.”
“…A message has been received by a scout. Deimos attempted to contact you. He was…concerned.”
Harbinger laughs deeply with an unsettling mechanical sound, “Deimos. The parallels are there. As for the message, I have already received it. The scout will return in eighty three days and four hours. It was pointless to send you. Deimos…is impatient. He wonders why we have slowed our harvesting of Earth. His does not comprehend.”
Penthos remains quiet.
“You question me?”
“…No, Harbinger. We are the instrument of their perfection.”
“…Yes. And this facility gives me access to all that the Alliance knows. Somewhere, their forces who have eluded us are re-amassing.”
“This concerns you?”
“No. It is pointless. Even if they amassed the resources of the galaxy, we are perfection and they are flawed, wounded in their individuality. They will join our collective or join their brethren in oblivion.”
“Of course, Harbinger.”
“Return to Deimos and inform him to continue his tasks. There will be no further interruptions from him. And after you have delivered my message…you may return to your corner and continue gathering knowledge.”
“As you command, Harbinger.”
Penthos begins to leave when Harbinger speaks again, “One other thing, Penthos.”
“Inform Deimos to contact Sh’obr and Llous. They will take three others and begin a journey to the Citadel. They will take the Citadel and bring it here to Earth.”
“Here!?” Penthos stares at Harbinger who continues his focus on Earth beyond.
“Yes. I have a plan. And the Citadel is a crucial element. Go now.”
Penthos blinks and turns to leave as Harbinger accesses another component of the Alliance command structure.
Admiral Anderson sneaks through several alleyways keeping an eye out for reaper forces. Several large capital ships had been this way recently and the trail of destruction is telling. Few humans have survived the assault.
Anderson remains quiet and kneels down in some shadows for several long moments. A group of batarian reapers, what Shepard and her crew referred to as cannibals, stumble by oblivious to anything around them. He waits until they have disappeared behind a building before rushing across the rubble strewn street and into a grouping of buildings. He enters one of the buildings and cuts through to another building adjacent. He checks for any more reapers and continues onward and through a fence that somehow is still standing though it no longer is able to keep anything or anyone out.
A beep chimes quietly in his ear and he stops to crouch low amidst some smoldering bushes, “Anderson here.”
“What’s your status, admiral? We haven’t heard from you since your last checkpoint.”
Anderson whispers into his earpiece, “Approaching echo facilities. About ten klicks north of my position. Had to stop for a bit and maintain radio silence. Group of cannibals patrolling south end as well as some marauders keeping watch over delta quadrant.”
“Copy. Any chance of infiltrating echo base?”
“Affirmative. Reapers don’t seem interested in it. Hold on…”
Anderson kneels down deeper into the brush as a two hundred meter crawler, a smaller aphid looking version of the reapers, walks by several blocks away near the echo facilities. Once it has gone Anderson reinitiates his commlink.
“Crawler looking for stragglers. I’m heading in now.”
“Roger that, admiral. By advised, a group of telliks have managed to escape into the lower bunkers.”
“Impossible! How did they manage that?” Anderson frowns thinking about the alien species they had just made first contact with.
The telliks had escaped their homeworld on the outskirts of batarian space when the reapers had advanced on them. Only they arrived on Earth just as the reapers were entering the Charon relay. Anderson shakes his head with a slow blink considering the sadness of the situation.
“They had help from some marines who bugged out when the reapers hit Toronto.”
“They’ve come a long way.”
“We want you to rendezvous with corporal Harris. He was in charge of his platoon when they got the telliks out of Toronto. We haven’t heard from him in days since the reapers took Edmonton.”
“I copy. I’ll do what I can. But the QEC is top priority.”
“Nobody’s arguing that. But that platoon can assist in evac and the removal of the QEC unit. Air units are almost useless in this war right now giving us no choice but to ground HQ operations. We need every man, woman, and child capable of standing their ground that we can get back to HQ.”
“A big group will be hard to guard on the move.”
“True enough, admiral. But if anyone can do it, it’s you.”
“Flattery will only get you a group of telliks and a platoon of marines, HQ.”
The man on the other end of the line laughs, “Good luck, admiral. HQ out.”
Anderson takes a look around again and starts his run across the virtual wasteland and towards the previously heavily guarded facilities.
Goddamn reapers. They really know how to make a mess out of people’s lives.
He continues on quickly but quietly, evading patrolling reaper forces and leaping from cover to cover with all the skills of a professional infiltrator. He has had more than enough experience for it. Infiltrating a science lab twenty something years in the past, investigating old technologies, earning the ire of Saren Arterius. And missing out on raising his family. All of that he puts to the back of his mind as he puts all his training to the test to recover the Quantum Entanglement Communications device copied from the Normandy. A device helpfully, albeit inadvertently, delivered into Alliance hands by Cerberus and their Illusive Man. And now to top it all off there is a group of aliens needing evac immediately. For all Anderson knew, they were the last of their kind.
An explosion rattles the buildings as Anderson is crossing a foyer. He ducks behind some rubble but doesn’t hear any footsteps coming towards him. He looks up from behind cover and can see thick smoke pouring from a burning section of forest in the distance. Hightlighted against the flames and smoldering woods is the profile of a capital ship reaper. Beams flow from its face as some city far in the distance is being brought to the ground.
“Godspeed to you people. I hope most of you survive.”
He fixes his attention back to the building across the clearing and away from the dark feast of chaos beyond Edmonton. He gets to his feet and rushes forward making quick time across the clearing. He stops at the door that is miraculously still intact and looks around him, ensuring that no reapers are in the immediate vicinity. Satisfied that they have mostly cleared out, Anderson pulls out his omnitool and uses his codes to unlock the door.
Within moments, Anderson is flying down the dark stairwell and towards the subterranean levels. He knows exactly where he is heading. The pristine walls show grit but they are intact and holding the weight of the damaged building above. Several corridors later, he is going down another flight of stairs and within minutes enters a room secured by a tight code lock. He makes his way through the science stations and enters the QEC room. Inside, he sees the device still in its cradle at the center of the room.
Anderson turns quickly to the commanding voice and raises his weapon. Several armed soldiers emerge from the shadows of the attached room and point their plasma rifles at him.
“Put the weapon down! Hands in the air!”
“At ease, soldier. We’re on the same side here,” Anderson says lowering his pistol. “Where’s your commander?”
Anderson stares at the five soldiers making a circle around him. Three men, two women. All of them marines. Anderson smiles finally feeling at ease.
“Admiral Anderson. Alliance Navy, high command.”
The commanding man lowers his rifle and steps forward to offer his hand. The others lower their weapons as well.
“Thank god! It is good to see you, sir! It’s been one shitstorm after the next since buggin out of Toronto.”
Anderson nods in understanding and takes the man’s hand firmly, “Glad you made it out of there in one piece, son. I need to speak with corporal Harris.”
“Jesus, admiral. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Harris is dead. Just outside of Edmonton we got shanked pretty bad by marauders and a ton of cannibals.”
Anderson frowns and grabs the railing surrounding the QEC tightly, “Damnit. Who’s in command now?”
“Me, sir. Newly promoted lance corporal Wyatt, sir.”
“In field, lance corporal?”
“Yes, sir. Corporal Harris’s final command. Ordered me to dig in deep and ditch the reapers. Had the telliks to worry about. We succeeded in saving most of them. Lost three.”
“Alright, Wyatt. New orders. We recover the QEC and get the telliks to safety.”
“Not sure if the QEC is working, admiral. We’ve been trying to get word out for a few days now. It won’t boot up.”
“It isn’t designed for standard comm transmissions. It has to be attached to another QEC. This one is connected to the Normandy,” Anderson frowns and looks at it. “But, if you didn’t get any response then…”
“Maybe it’s because of the power stations being down, sir,” a private says quickly.
Lance corporal Wyatt nods in agreement, “That could very well be. It was hit yesterday and the power went out completely. If not for the subterranean generators, we’d be sitting in the dark.”
“Thanks for the update. Who’s your tech?”
“Me, sir. Private Ellis.”
“Ellis, help me get the QEC disengaged. The rest of you, retrieve the telliks. After that, we have to figure out how to move a group of people without drawing reaper fire.”
“There’s a mako hangar nearby, sir,” Wyatt says. “Maybe a few are still in one piece. Might make a racket but the fire power will come in handy.”
Anderson thinks for a moment and nods, “You have a point. Normally, I might suggest keeping as low a profile as possible. But, given the circumstances, time is of the essence. Alright, you all have your orders, get to work.”
“Sir!” the five reply in unison and separate.
Anderson watches the four others vacate the room as Ellis goes straight to work disengaging the QEC from the rooms’ matrix. He smiles admiring their efficiency and goes to work retrieving the casing for the QEC and helping Ellis remove the device as quickly and safely as possible.
About forty minutes later, two makos filled with nine marines, seventeen telliks, and one admiral Anderson, plow down a drainage ditch blasted into a ravine. So far, they had only encountered two patrols of reapers but made short work of them. Since then, they’ve seen almost nothing of reaper forces. Even so, the group is determined not to let their guards down.
Anderson sits in the second mako with one half of the telliks humming to themselves. It had been decided that should anything happen to the convoy, the telliks stood a better chance divided up. They weren’t happy about the idea but agreed to it in the end.
Anderson had never encountered a species quite like them. They were like eagles spliced with torpars. They were bulking yet incredibly lithe. They moved with the speed of a cheetah yet had the plumage of a bird of paradise. What was more unusual was the layering of their feathers. It was almost hairlike however was able to be stiffened when in movement. Each of the telliks had a different pattern of color to their feather hair ranging from all across the color spectrum to being almost translucent on certain individuals. It ran from their craniums down their backs though their unusual clothing covered most of the back feathering. Their hands had four meaty fingers each and a grip so gentle you could swear they didn’t even exist. And Anderson was mesmerized by them.
He clears his throat and moves across the interior to sit near the one tellik who seemed the most in control of the group. The other telliks watched quietly as they make ever slight clicking noises with their ridged noses that weren’t quite beaks but not quite noses either.
“How are you holding together?”
The tellik he sits next to looks to him with a puzzled expression as if trying to decipher his language, “Sinew, muscle…these hold together us.”
Anderson chuckles softly, “No, I mean…are you doing alright? With everything that is going on, are you able to continue…uhm…functioning as a group?”
The tellik looks to the others for a long moment as they cluck a response to each other. He looks back to Anderson.
“Far these people come, have we. Holding as together, yes. Circumstances with giving, difficult before as. Home this way come us, flown clutches into have we.”
Anderson stops for a second trying to decipher what the tellik was telling him and deciding he meant that they were doing alright given how they were right back where they started. He’d heard how difficult it was speaking to the telliks. They processed language differently from any of the other species. And the translators had great difficulty getting the linguistics across.
“I’m glad to hear you’re managing. I never got your name.”
The tellik stares at him for a long moment, “Name have it not you. Have it the name do I.”
“No, I mean, what is your name?”
The tellik nods after a moment, “Identity for I, yes. Translation this cannot say of I. Wings many of us to which am I.”
Anderson frowns, “How about I just call you Wings then?”
Wings nods an affirmative and grins sharply. It is almost a predator’s grin but Anderson smiles back nonetheless.
“Well, then, Wings, we’re going to get you out of this. No matter what. We’re regrouping overseas in London. It’s not going to be an easy journey though. Think you’re up for it?”
Wings sighs and closes his eyes for a moment and then looks to Anderson, “Leagues many of unfathomable came us. The little the more, safety in the such is there none. Journey these people into the far sea, with come you us.”
Anderson rubs the man’s shoulder and smiles, “I understand how you feel. But we’ll make it. I’m glad to have you along.”
The St. Helens drops out of FTL drive and enters the homeworld space of Harsa. The ship slows and makes its destination the fifth world out and closest in proximity to the ship, Spekilas. On the bridge, Admiral Lykins stands with his arms crossed staring out the viewport and seeing dozens of Reapers far in the distance meandering around. He frowns in contemplation.
“Stealth systems are active. We should be in orbit on the far side of Spekilas in five minutes.”
Lykins nods at his comms officer, “Excellent. Inform the fleet of our arrival. They are to remain in their current location until further orders are given.”
So, it’s here is it, Lykins frowns deeper and paces the back end of the bridge as he sees Spekilas growing larger in the viewport. I’ve only heard rumors that the batarians had taken the corpse of some leviathan here. And here it turns out to be true. The Illusive Man knows too much for his own good. The question is…what do we do about this?
“Admiral,” the comms officer calls. “We’re in position.”
“Good. Have bay three prepare my shuttle.”
“Sir? Where are you going?”
Lykins gives a long hard look to his comms officer, “This mission requires the utmost delicacy. I will personally oversee this. The St. Helens, on the otherhand, will wait in orbit on the dark side of Spekilas and standby for further orders.”
“O,of course, sir.”
“You will maintain comms silence unless we get visitors in system outside of the Reapers.”
“Are we expecting anyone else to be rendezvousing with us, sir?”
“I always expect the unexpected. Now carry out your orders.”
Lykins turns and leaves the bridge. He follows a long, non-descript hallway towards the lift that will drop him down five decks towards shuttle bay three. It doesn’t take him long to arrive and saunter past saluting men and board his shuttle. Two men await him inside and he salutes them sharply.
“You men are dismissed.”
They look to each other in puzzlement and then back to Lykins, “Sir?”
“This is a solo mission. I don’t need interference. I can accomplish this on my own.”
“Protocols dictate that—“
“Protocols be damned, private! I don’t need to explain to YOU why I’m taking the shuttle out myself! Get off this shuttle!”
“Yes, sir!” the two men shout in unison with a salute then quickly exit the vessel.
Lykins sighs to himself and feels his eyes rolling up into his head. Gritting his teeth, he hits the panel on the wall to lock down the door and heads to the command seat of the shuttle. Moments later, the shuttle lifts off and exits the St. Helens’ docking bay.
Now to see what all the fuss is about. They can’t have possibly uncovered so much so soon…damned batarians! All those aliens are a blight on the galaxy! Lykins furrows his brows and takes the shuttle around the rim of Spekilas’s orbit before plotting in a course for the second world in the system. Illusive Man…I know who you are. And I know what you want. You’ll get just enough to be useful.
The shuttle lights up as it jumps into FTL drive and disappears from view.
On board the St. Helens, comms officer Elsen Bryant receives word from the shuttle bay of the admiral’s departure. And he is flustered by all accounts.
“He went by himself? Why?”
“He wouldn’t say, Bryant. Some sort of top secret crap the admiral’s keeping to himself. Maybe the Alliance wants him to recover something or spy on the Reapers or something.”
“This isn’t a guessing game, Micheals! We’re supposed to be working together out here. Damnit! He goes and flies off leaving us deep in the heart of batarian space with Reapers skittering about everywhere! What the hell have we gotten into?”
“I tell you what, you go and ask him and I’ll wait right over heee-yar.”
“You’re a real comedian, Micheals.”
The comm link disconnects to the laughter of the man in the shuttle bay and Bryant stares out the viewport. Several minutes earlier, admiral Lykins have gone to FTL and he got the report almost immediately after.
Goddamnit…what the hell is out here that is so important that the admiral has to go in alone? And…should we be worried?
Thanks for reading and see you next week!
~Timothy S Purvis
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.
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