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. 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 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 ten 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!)
NIROT HEALTH HOSPITAL
Genevieve stares out the window nearby where Garrus rests in his bed. He’s already had several surgeries and the medical personnel still consider him in critical condition. This fact resonates deeply within Genevieve who finds herself restless and unable to focus since the reaper incursion.
What the hell are they up to? I thought they just wanted to wipe out all organic life in the galaxy? And now they’re sweeping into sentient territories on stealth operations? To accomplish what?
Several vessels fly by beyond the window and head deeper into the cityscape beyond. Hundreds of metallic like buildings rise up from their foundations to scrape the sky like claws of some predator on its back fighting the inevitable. The deep orange sky casts an unsettling pall over the city and does nothing to improve Genevieve’s mood.
She looks over to Garrus who is breathing steadily yet exhales a raspy noise that echoes lightly across the nearly silent room. She frowns and looks back to the window where she gently leans her forehead against the pane.
Every day I spend out here, is another day that Earth is under siege. I need to gain allies. Need to take back Earth. But if we can’t figure out how to defeat the reapers…she closes her eyes tightly and lightly bangs her balled up fist on the window. It won’t matter how many ships we bring to bear against them.
“Hittin’ the window won’t change anything,” Genevieve opens her eyes and turns to see Wrex standing in the doorway looking at her. He puts on his predatory smile and then looks over at Garrus. “He’s seen better days.”
She bites the corner of her lip, “He’s seen a lot since meeting me. Leaving CSec, facing down Sovereign, getting shot up as archangel, and now being blasted to shit by some damned reaper.”
“Goes with the territory. You go to war, you gotta figure on a few bruises.”
Genevieve scowls, “You’re really not making me feel any better, Wrex.”
“Feel better? You shouldn’t. But it isn’t your fault he’s here. Besides, he’ll pull through. Garrus is one tough bastard. For a turian,” Wrex walks across the room to where Genevieve stands with her arms crossed. “You should feel on edge, though. You have a tough battle ahead of you. Garrus knows that. The reapers aren’t going to stop their march just because the boyfriend got a booboo. And now they know about your little relay trick. You know that’s stuck up their craw like a varren in heat.”
Genevieve shakes her head with a sigh, “Yeah. The reapers are out there and I have to figure out a way to stop them. And gain allies to take back Earth in the process.”
“Taking back Earth may end up being off the table. You have to accept that. Or don’t. I wouldn’t. But I’m not a galaxy saving hero either.”
“I believe you helped us stop Sovereign and save the Citadel with its Council.”
“I may have served in an auxiliary capacity on that one, but that wasn’t galaxy saving. Now the collectors, man, that was a good one. And everyone is talkin’ about how you gave the Illusive Man one big finger.”
Wrex gives a hearty laugh forcing Genevieve to smile in spite of herself, “I only did what needed to be done.”
“Yeah, by doing what you always do. Finding a way to solve the crisis. And this one, this one’s big. You won’t be able to do it alone. I can offer you krogan support, though, if that means anything.”
“The krogan?” Genevieve quirks her eyebrows. “That means a lot. And how would you manage that?”
“I’m with you through thick and thin regardless, Shepard. You rush headlong into a glorious reaper pile, you can bet I’ll be there right beside you. However, convincing the other krogan might be tricky. Fortunately, I’m the clan leader of Urdnot and Urdnot has managed to pull together most of the clans under one camp.”
“So you were successful in your alliances?”
“Heh, and then some. I’ve got more pull than any krogan in more than a millennia. Of course, they’re going to want some good news now that I’m in charge. Which is why I’m here. Take a look at this.”
Genevieve takes the tablet Wrex holds out to her and looks it over. Several moments pass and she jerks her head in surprise.
“Are you sure about this?”
“Yeah. I’ve got fingers all over the galaxy and my scouts dug this one up. With a little help from a friend of ours. But it won’t be easy.”
“No, but it does coincide with a suggestion from Udina. To think the batarians were sitting on this information all along. And that they have Maelan’s research and Saren’s data from his clones,” Genevieve scrolls down the displayed page. “Wait, this here says a salarian STG team was captured? Did this come from—“
“Our ‘friend’ prefers to remain anonymous right now. Too many feelers out there from the dalatrass who isn’t in any mood to do the krogan any favors. She thinks it’s a bad idea.”
“I would imagine the dalatrass would look down on the idea of curing the genophage. But Wrex, even if we get this data, it will take years to develop the cure and then we’d have diplomatic channels to get through and approval from the Council…”
Genevieve sighs and leans against the window once more looking out towards the massive metal city and its inhabitants going about their business ignoring the looming threat far beyond.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. But we need that data first…and I would imagine rescuing a STG team would go a long way towards garnering favors.”
“If they’re still alive.”
“It’s a long shot, Shepard. But these guys are the best of the best. Well, of their people anyhow. Even being squishy salarians I doubt the STGs are going to go down easy.”
“Yeah, but they’ve been on Kar’shan this entire time…”
“So…you’re not going to do it?”
“I’ll do it, Wrex. Unfortunately, there’s a little matter I need to attend to first. The primarch still hasn’t arrived from Tauntest and I need to know if he’ll be on board with us when the time comes to strike the reapers.”
“I’m sure they will. But let’s get over there and put a hair up his ass to get a move on.”
Genevieve turns and lowers her arm from where it was braced on the window above her head, “I just can’t imagine what’s taking so long. I can’t get the primarch addressant to tell me anything of use. So I take it you want to join me in this little journey?”
“Yup. Then we hit Kar’shan, grab the STG and the data, and shoot on over to the Dranek system in the DMZ.”
“I thought that world had been quarantined?”
“It was, but we got special permissions. I’ve been there. Radiation is still pretty high but we found the old facility there used to make whatever weapon it was that did the world in so well. Not the testing facility of course. That’s gone and been obliterated forever, but this facility has equipment there we haven’t seen before,” Wrex smiles darkly. “Got some scientists there now figuring out how it can be put to good use in countering genophage effects. But we need that data to continue the work.”
“It’s because the STG team had been captured that you are aware of any of this, isn’t it? And what happened to needing that device the turians have? Does that no longer play a role?”
Wrex chuckles, “We’d better get going. Say goodbye to your boyfriend. I’ll wait out in the hall.”
Genevieve waits until he’s left the room and rubs her hand on her temple. After a moment, she goes to sit on Garrus’s bedside and gently rubs her hand down the side of his face. There are injuries all across his visage and torso.
“I won’t be gone long. I promise.”
She kisses his forehead and he moans lightly. She smiles and stands back up. With one final glance at Garrus, Genevieve turns and leaves the room.
FOURTH WORLD OF TAUNTEST
The Normandy zooms out of the blackness of deep space and towards the brownish green world of Tauntest. In orbit are half a dozen turian warships that are being attacked by a dozen unknown vessels. The turian warships fire but seem to be trying to disable the vessels not destroy them.
On the bridge, Joker is confused, “What the fuck?! Shepard! You might want to get to the bridge!”
“I’m right behind you, Joker. What’s the problem?”
Joker looks back and sees Genevieve walking up to him.
“You have GOT to stop sneaking up on me! I might have a heart attack or break my neck whipping around to see who is standing behind me!”
“Right. Right. The turians are under attack.”
“What? By who?”
“Shepard, scans fail to identify the entities. It would seem the primarch is planetside and under assault by ground forces as well.”
“And you can’t identify who or what they are? Are they working with the reapers?”
EDI’s displays blink rapidly, “There are no reapers in the vicinity. The entity is a previously unknown sentient species. Backtracing shows that their ships entered from the far side of Poin and are likely from a planet in a nearby star system.”
“Don’t the turians have records of these systems? I would’ve thought those would have been the first mapped.”
“Searching turian databases. Found something. There is an inhabited planet in a star system six light years away. When the turians first started exploring their systems, they discovered a species just beginning to build stone structures but were predominantly hunters and gatherers.”
“How come they didn’t share this information with the Citadel Council?”
“It’s on file, apparently. It’s just so old no one would think to look for it. This is several millennia old. It looks like in that time this species has become spacefaring. They were considered as a potential outpost for a colonial effort but then the unification war began and the turians pretty much just forgot about these people.”
“Guess they came back to bite them in the collective ass. Alright, have Vickers and Liara meet me in the shuttle bay. We need to get the primarch.”
Primarch Vanguar is led into a camp by his captors. These captors are an amphibious race with a way of communicating that sounds like gurgling. The primarch sees two of his agents also being escorted into the camp, more like dragged, and dumped unceremoniously upon the ground at the feet of a tall individual of their species who gurgles something at the prostrate before him.
“Does anyone understand them!?” the primarch calls out and is rewarded with a slam to the back of his head by a blunt instrument. “That’s not helping anyone any! Damnit!”
The creatures continue gurgling and the large one motions for the group to be taken into a freshly erected structure made of a material that none of them had seen before. After being forced inside, the three men are left to their own devices as the structure is fastened behind the creature leaving.
“Okay,” the primarch says quickly. “What have you learned about them?”
“Nothing much, primarch. Our translators won’t pick up their vocalizations. It’s almost as if they’re not speaking with a voice box but some sort of neck thrumming.”
“Like a frog?” the primarch queries.
“A what, sir?”
“Have you two never been to Earth?” the two men shake their heads no and the primarch sighs. “Nevermind then. I’m going out on a limb and assume they developed along the lines of the salarians. They’re amphibious…and their starships seem to have short range which puts them within ten light years of Poin. Damn.”
“What is it, primarch? You have an idea on the matter?”
“You two are such yes men,” the primarch shakes his head as his two associates look appalled. “It must be the dolitek. Nearby star system of Hoaks. Seven worlds. Second inhabited. When we first began space exploration they were a prime target for colonization since they were still fairly primitive. Still building mud huts and learning to construct stone towns in the mountains. We never came back, though. They sort of just fell out of public thought once the clans got at one another’s throats. Obvious this species has advanced considerably since then. Wonder why they continued to evolve their tails? Most species lose them after a period of time.”
“There was a scout party out that way some years ago. They never reported any spacefaring activity.”
The primarch considers this for a moment, “Hmmm…I wonder if they began building underwater? Might not have picked up any ships if they were hidden. Regardless, we have to get them off our world, have to get back to the fleet!”
“How? They took out our defensive parameters with little effort. And their armor is nearly impenetrable!”
“Stop being so negative! We’ll figure it out! For the time being, look for any opportunity to escape. Did either of you bring a blade?”
The two associates look at the primarch in puzzlement and he just glares at them in annoyance.
“Of course you didn’t.”
Genevieve, Vickers, Liara, and Wrex push through thick jungle from their landing site and maintain as much silence as possible. Genevieve’s omnitool indicates the primarch’s coordinates are nearly two clicks away and enemy vessels landing on the far side of the jungle environment. She motions for her team to push onward and no one makes a sound as they comply.
After some ten minutes they come close to the primarch’s location and crouch down behind a dense section of foliage.
“All right,” Genevieve says quietly. “Looks like five sentients have the primarch pinned down in that structure there.”
“What the hell are they?” Wrex mumbles. “Never seen anything so squishy since the salarians.”
“They’re somewhat taller than your average sentient,” Liara says evaluating her omnitool. “They are definitely amphibious but their armor makes them almost reptilian. They must be especially sensitive in the cranial cavity given the thick ridge of protection running from forehead to lower neck.”
They watch the smooth faced creatures with dark eyes cautiously walking the parameter of the structure scanning the surrounding jungle intensely.
“Stay low,” Genevieve says even quieter. “We have no idea of the depth of their hearing or eyesight. Maybe we can communicate with them.”
The group hears gurgling sounds coming from all around. They keep their eyes glued to every ounce of the junglescape around them. Wrex shudders in anticipation.
“Wrex, no killing.”
He looks at Genevieve with an annoyed expression, “Something tells me they don’t share your reserve, Shepard.”
“I mean it. This is a first contact situation and obviously the turians didn’t expect them here or they wouldn’t have only brought three warships.”
“True enough,” Wrex nods. “It’s like they came out here on a luncheon and found too many pyjaks.”
Genevieve nods her head, “Switch over to stun rounds and neutralize the targets as quickly as possible and acquire the primarch. Also, let’s see if we can determine the sentients’ commander. Maybe we can capture him and put an end to this all at once.”
“Lofty ambition, Shepard,” Liara says with a smirk.
“Anything worth doing, Liara. Move out.”
The group fans out and begins to get different angles on the creatures. They raise their weapons to fire but find themselves waylaid by thirteen warriors rushing from behind them they didn’t see. At the same time, the five they’d been tracking raise their weapons and single in on their positions.
“Shepard! Do we still use stun rounds!?” Liara calls over the comm link.
“That’s affirmative! Take them down gently!”
They fire at their aggressors taking down several as Wrex charges two targets and knocks one down while firing at the other. He then wraps his arm around the one getting up and gets a grip on his neck. After a moment the creature goes unconscious. Wrex fires at two more coming through the brush.
Nearby, Liara uses her warp field to knock down three combatants and renders them unconscious with her weapon. Four more charge her position laying down suppressing fire. She erects a biotic barrier and resonates the frequency to allow her to fire her weapon through the shield at the rushing forces.
After several moments, the team easily subdues the dozen or more troops surrounding them and head towards the mudhut like structure in the center of the nearby clearing. As they approach, they see three turians stumbling out of the shack with their arms bound behind their backs. Just as the turians are about to speak, six creatures come rushing out of the brush beyond. At the center of the new group is a large, hulking creature of the species. Genevieve and Wrex quickly down four of the creatures but the large one grabs the primarch and pulls him toward it. The thing raises its own weapon and points it at them with a violent gurgling sound coming from its gullet.
“What the hell is it saying?” Wrex shakes his head not lowering his own weapon.
The team approaches halfway across the clearing keeping their weapons trained on the two remaining creatures. Liara examines her omnitool readouts while continuing to hold her weapon forward.
“Our translators are not picking up its intonations. Whatever we do, Shepard, we need to do it fast because three more enemy shuttles are dropping down.”
“Where the hell are turian reinforcements?” Genevieve asks.
“What we had were taken out groundside,” the primarch grumbles at them with a huff as the creature tightens its hold. “The rest weren’t able to drop down due to the encroaching vessels! Any ideas would be great, Shepard!”
“I’m thinking!” Genevieve shakes her head and blinks tightly. “You, sentient! Let’s talk this over!”
The creature gurgles and shakes its head in protest and doesn’t seem to understand while the other creature grabs the two associates and hides behind them using them as shields.
“Liara, contact EDI. Maybe she can figure out how to reach them!”
Liara nods at Genevieve and enters a frequency into her omnitool and connects it to her commlink, “EDI, the sentients here are using a language our translators are unable to pick up. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.”
“Affirmative. Analysing samples. I will need more samples. Can you get them speaking again?”
Genevieve lowers her weapon and slowly approaches the seven foot tall creature and stops halfway across the clearing as it grows more agitated and continues its gurgling at them.
“We are not your enemies. I get the feeling this is a massive misunderstanding and we can come to an agreement on this,” Genevieve glances at Liara who motions for her to continue as the creature gurgles even more frequently. “Is there something that you need? Talk to us, we are more than willing to help you out with your needs. We’re not unreasonable. Not everyone out here is going to be your adversary.”
“Almost there, Shepard. The syntax is not verbal. It seems to be coming from audible organs in its neck but not a larynx that we’re familiar with. Its mouth is used for breathing and consumption but not communication.”
“Might explain why it’s speaking and not moving any lips,” Liara muses.
“Great. The galaxy’s greatest ventriloquists,” Wrex chuckles.
The creature gurgles with wide eyes, “…ssse peeeeoplllless…shgrpp…way we leave herrrr in living…”
“EDI! It’s working!” Genevieve shouts. “Keep it up!”
In the background, the gurgling grunts of reinforcements is heard quickly approaching.
“Shepard! We’ve got company coming!”
“I hear them, Liara! We can still get through to them!”
The creature stands more erect in surprise, its gun lowering a bit, “Yousss talk our way?”
“Finally!” Genevieve takes a small step and raises her hands in placation. “We don’t speak your language. Our translators were unable to pick up your dialect and syntax. It took us a bit to get that worked out! Your people are alright. We only rendered them unconscious.”
“You did not kill our warriors?” the creature asks in shock. “What enemy does not fight for victory?”
“That’s my question!”? Wrex says keeping his weapon trained as the reinforcements burst through the brush yelling in unison.
The lead creature raises its hands and motions for them to stop. The newly arrived group stares in surprise and stands ready, their weapons only marginally lowered.
“Can we discuss this?” Genevieve inquires.
“What are your terms?” the creature asks. “Your force is smaller yet obviously superior in fighting stature.”
“We just have different training,” Genevieve starts and lowers her hands. “Let’s start with names. I’m Genevieve Shepard. I’m a commander in the Systems Alliance Navy in a star system known as Sol. I’m from Earth. And my people are called human. And you?”
The creature stands for a long moment taking everything Genevieve said in, “…I am Chaksun of the V’o Ruon Dominion. Our world we call J’per. My people are the Lon’vun.”
“It’s good to meet you, Chaksun,” Genevieve says and reaches her hand out towards the Lon’vun. “I hope this is the first step in a long friendship.”
Chaksun looks at her and down to the primarch in her arm, “What of this one?”
“He is the one we’ve come for, Chaksun. The primarch of Palaven and the turian empire. Primarch Inlo Vanguar. He’s a good man only here on a survey mission. And I’m sure unaware that this world has been claimed by your people.”
She looks to the primarch who nods hesitantly, “Yes, while the turian empire views this region under our dominion, we were unaware that your people had gained space flight capabilities. We’d tried communicating with you before, but our translators wouldn’t pick up your language.”
“These people achieved it!” Chaksun replies.
“We have a unique member of our crew,” Genevieve says. “An artificial sentient called EDI who is able to perform advanced calculations many other species are unable to achieve. Though I’m sure that will change in time.”
Chaksun looks at Genevieve for a moment and back to Vanguar and then releases him. Chaksun reaches forward to take Genevieve’s hand. They shake uncertainly and Genevieve smiles as Chaksun speaks.
“Then us females must stick together.”
“Wait! That’s supposed to be a woman?!” Wrex shouts out in shock and lowers his weapon. “What’s becoming of this galaxy?”
Liara, Genevieve, and Chaksun all stare at him. Wrex just shakes his head and mumbles as he walks away.
“Don’t mind him,” Genevieve says. “Krogan are like that.”
“There is much we must learn about the galaxy it would seem.”
Some time later, primarch Vanguar meets Genevieve by her shuttle as her crew is preparing to return to the Normandy. Both walk together for a moment to discuss the specifics of why she is there.
“Do you think you’ll be able to coordinate with the Lon’vun?”
Primarch Vanguar shakes his head, “I don’t think there will be any further problems there. Turns out her people had detected this world almost ten of their years ago and had thought it met their needs for colonization. They hadn’t detected our colony’s presence here and thought we were an aggressor when our ships attacked.
“You fired first?”
“Regrettably, before I got here, the captain of the defense force tried to communicate with the incoming ships but, as we’re well aware of now, couldn’t get an understandable response. They were just defending our colony,” Vanguar sighs. “We’re going to work with the Lon’vun to establish a colonial presence here as well and to communicate with the Citadel Council to see about officially welcoming them as a spacefaring species. If there’s a Citadel left after all this.”
“So will you be joining us in retaking Earth?”
“Commander, we will do what we can when the time comes to fight the reapers. Hopefully, you will find some way to destroy these beasts and make this a moot question.”
“We’ll stay in communication. Once we figure this out, we’ll let you know when the assault will begin.”
“I’ll stay posted. Good luck, commander.”
Genevieve nods and heads towards the shuttle. After a moment, the shuttle lifts off and heads into orbit.
Thanks again and read to everyone again soon!
~Timothy S Purvis
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