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 eleven 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!)
POLLUX LYKINS’ PERSONAL QUARTERS
“Have you retrieved what you were sent for?”
Admiral Lykins stares at the holographic display of the Illusive Man for a long moment and looks around his quarters at a quick glance before returning his focus to the display.
“I have retrieved everything I needed to.”
“Good. Bring the data files to the following coordinates and meet my agent—“
“Actually, I have another deal in mind,” Lykins watches the Illusive Man slowly lean back and take a drag on his cigarette. “I’m sending you coordinates. You personally will be there to receive these files from me or you won’t be getting them.”
“That’s not how this works, Lykins. Nobody meets me face to face. Too many enemies. You’ll deliver them to the rendezvous point or I’ll have you dealt with.”
“I’m an admiral in the Alliance Navy. Do you really think you can have me ‘dealt’ with?”
The Illusive Man takes another drag and takes his time in answering, “I don’t know what’s gotten into that thick skull of yours, but nobody is beyond my reach. I didn’t need you to handle the Shepard situation. I could have easily done away with her at any time. I just wanted her out of the way gently. I never needed you to go to Kar’shan to gain those data files, I know a few Spectres who owe me favors. These little assignments I give you test your loyalty and give me reason to keep you around. But it’s obvious you’ve outlasted your usefulness.”
Lykins laughs heartily, “Oh my! That ego of yours,” he leans back and crosses his arms. “Alright. Send me the coordinates of your ‘agent’ and prepare to receive the files. I think we can be beneficial to each other a little while longer.”
The Illusive Man sits for a long moment smoking and then hits a button on the armrest to his chair. Lykins sees the coordinates streaming across his monitor and then the Illusive Man disconnects. Lykins stares at the void where the image was and feels a wide grin forming across his visage.
What a tool. Always trying to maintain control. Always ensuring that matters are handled your way or no way. We’ll have to do something about that.
He pulls out a data pad with the coordinates and data information on it and holds it up above his left shoulder.
“Here. Take this to his ‘agent’. You know what to do from there.”
A hand takes the pad and a gravelly voice responds, “Of course, admiral. How do you wish this handled?”
“With all the panache you have in your repertoire. Report back to me when you’ve achieved your agenda.”
“As you command, admiral.”
The man leaves the room and seems to disappear into thin air leaving Lykins alone once more.
“What? No. It is all going according to plan,” Lykins speaks and slowly turns in his chair towards an artifact in the corner of the room. “He never worked with us. Soon enough he’ll be a figment of his own imagination and we’ll soon have another thorn in our side flying into our sights as well. So, relax. And enjoy the entertainment.”
Lykins laughs to himself. Not a laugh that is forced or expected. But a laugh coming from his gut in uncontrollable spasms. A laugh driven by a spasming eye and a terrible thought that he can barely contain.
And they thought they knew me! Thought that psych eval was spot on! They will all learn my very nature! I and I alone they will call GOD!!
The Normandy drops out of FTL drive at the heliopause to the batarian home system of Harsa. Gravimagnetic energy ripples across the Normandy’s hull as it breaches the barrier between intersolar space and extrasolar space where the solar winds of Harsa meet the extrasolar energies of deep space.
Onboard the Normandy’s bridge, Genevieve stands behind Joker, her hands braced on the back of his chair, staring intently at the space beyond and watching the safe transition of the Normandy from deep space into batarian space.
“Did the reapers detect us?”
Joker glances up at Genevieve, “Hell no they didn’t! That’s how badass a pilot I really am!”
“Honestly, Jeff, the reapers have mostly left Harsa and only a few remain near Kar’shan.”
“Shhhh shhh shhh, EDI! Stop giving away my trade secrets!”
Genevieve chuckles softly and pats the chair, “Your secret is safe with me, Joker. Take us to Verush. Activate all stealth systems. Hopefully we can stay under radar until our mission is accomplished.”
“Is Wrex absolutely positive there is pertinent information on Kar’shan about curing his people?” Joker asks. “I mean, this is awfully risky. I don’t like putting EDI in any more danger than she needs to be in.”
“I can handle it, Jeff. We’ve been in worse situations than this.”
“Yeah, but one reaper blast, and, BLAM, goodbye Normandy and crew! Yeah, that’s exactly how I pictured my retirement going. Seriously. Vaporized by a giant cuttlefish.”
Genevieve feels herself heaving under a silent laughter and tries to contain herself as she rubs her face with her palm, “Don’t worry, Joker. We’ll be in and out before you know it.”
“I’m not worried. EDI, do I look worried?”
“No, but your blood pressure is rising and your cheeks are flushed. If you’re not worried, you should probably go see Dr. Chakwas.”
“Pfft. Guess it’s a good thing she came aboard on the Citadel. If we’re all going to be reaper bait, she’s going to be busy.”
“Alright, you two. I’m heading down to the meeting room. Send word to the team to meet me there. Especially Wrex. I’m guessing he has a little more than a hunch on him about this information the batarians allegedly have.”
“Are you serious?” Joker spins to face Genevieve. “Since when does Wrex need proof of anything to go blow something up?”
“Come on, Joker,” Genevieve grins backing up to head down the hall. “Wrex has responsibilities now. He can’t risk it all on a gamble of a hunch.”
“You clearly aren’t hanging around the same krogan the rest of us are.”
“See you soon, Joker.”
Genevieve turns and heads down the main corridor towards the CIC that will take her to the newly retrofitted war room where the Illusive Man’s meeting room once stood.
Joker spins back around and starts punching in coordinates, “Just once I’d like us to have a mission to an asari world where there’s nothing but Azure hotels.”
“That’s it, Jeff. I’m deleting your art collection.”
“Don’t you dare, EDI! I will go around to all of your monitors and smear petroleum jelly everywhere!”
“Well, we can’t have you wasting your reserves, now can we?”
Joker shakes his head with puckered lips, “Oh you’re bad. There’s a dark side to you, EDI. And I like it.”
Genevieve stands before a holographic display of the Harsa system in the newly commissioned ‘war room’ and examines the information they have on reaper movements in system. Around the central display are Vickers, Liara, and Steve Cortez who has come to make sure he knows the shuttle route they’ll be taking.
“Okay, from what I’m seeing, then, we can enter low orbit around Verush and take the shuttle to Kar’shan,” Genevieve says pointing at the zoom in of the third world of Verush. “It looks like there are three reaper capital ships in orbit around Kar’shan and that the purging of the rest of Harsa is over.”
“There doesn’t seem to be any indications of a reaper presence on any of the other worlds,” Liara states, using her omnitool to pull up data points on the other two worlds in system. “So all reaper forces remaining are on Kar’shan eliminating any potential resistance movements.”
Cortez shakes his head, “These bastards are methodical. Wish we knew why they did this. Every fifty thousand years? What’s the point?”
“When we encountered Sovereign,” Genevieve replies. “It said that we couldn’t possibly understand their existence or even why they are compelled to eradicate all advanced civilizations in the galaxy. Guesses in the Alliance range from feeding to replenishing their forces via some sort of reproduction procedure. Harbinger said it was all about ‘perfection’ of the species. Clearly, the reapers view themselves as the apex predators in the galaxy and I’m inclined to agree. But all predators have a weakness.”
“But the batarians have a reaper corpse, right? Maybe they figured out a weakness and that’s why they were hit first?”
The group looks at Vickers and Genevieve shakes her head, “No, the reason they hit Harsa first is because I destroyed the Alpha Relay. The sad fact is, Harsa was the first easily accessible relay from dark space. Shit.”
Genevieve stands back and Liara looks at her, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s all my fault. Had I not destroyed that relay—“
“Nobody would be here to fight back against the reapers, Shepard.”
All eyes turn to Wrex who walks down a set of stairs to the sunken pit the war console sits within. He pulls out a datapad and waves it in the air.
“Let’s not kid ourselves here, Shepard,” he says. “The reapers were coming with our without that relay. Nearly a quarter of a million batarians died with its destruction. But compared to the reapers taking the Citadel and wiping out trillions in one fell swoop, I think even your pal Ghor’ant would agree it was worth one system.”
“That’s a horrible way of looking at this, Wrex.”
“Shepard, it’s the only way to look at this,” Wrex says and approaches her and hands her the datapad. “There is no way people weren’t going to die. What it boils down to now is if we’re going to lie down and take it or go and kick the reapers in their quad. Personally, I’m for neutering. This datapad I received from Mordin. He contacted me a while back, while you were still stewing in your comfy apartment on Earth. The STG team captured were trying to recover the data on Kar’shan when the reapers attacked.”
Genevieve furrows her brows and takes the pad, “So the salarians knew about the reaper invasion coming?”
“Mordin wasn’t sitting around scratching himself, y’know. He reached out to me and started talking about curing the genophage so that the krogan would be back up to force when the reapers arrived. He miscalculated one thing, though. He anticipated a reaper assault within five years not one. Thought they’d hit the geth first. Guess the reapers weren’t on that side of the galaxy when coming back to nail us hard.”
“What exactly do the batarians have as far as information goes? Can curing the genophage at this point really help in the war effort?”
Genevieve nods towards Cortez, “Finding the cure to the genophage will help rally the krogan. But there may be more on Kar’shan than just the cure. From what I’ve learned from Udina, the batarians also have starmaps showing us where to look for a weapon against the reapers.”
“If that weapon even exists,” Wrex shakes his head. “It may come down to brute force and getting every species we can into one massive armada to take the reapers head on.”
“Yeah. That might work,” Cortex nods. “If we can get the asari, the krogan, the turians, the salarians, and unite them with the Alliance remnant fleets, we should do some major damage to the reapers.”
Genevieve shakes her head, “No. Hackett has already made it clear we need a trump card or we’re just pissin’ in the wind. The reapers are too strong. They have countless cycles of experience and who knows how many ships at their command. It would just delay the inevitable.”
“Damnit, Shepard!” Wrex grunts and slams his hands together. “If we have to go down in a blaze of glory, then let’s show those bastards we won’t go gently without a fight!”
“Relax, Wrex. We’re not giving up,” Liara coos. “Shepard has a plan and we know there is a weakness to the reapers. We saw it at the Citadel.”
“What’s she talking about?”
Genevieve grins at Wrex slightly, “When we were trying to deactivate the Widow relay, it released some sort of dark energy wave. It killed the reaper forces in system.”
“You’re sure they’re dead?”
“As a doornail.”
“What the fuck is a ‘doornail’, T’soni?”
“Whatever it was,” Genevieve continues walking around the war console. “It has to be the weapon these relic messages have been speaking of or alluding to.”
“Someone going to clue me in here?”
“We’ve been encountering messages left behind by one of the species who encountered the reapers sometime in the past,” Genevieve answers Wrex. “We don’t know who they were or what happened to them in the end, but they’ve been leading us to different locations that contain bits and pieces of information that will help us figure out how to defeat the reapers once and for all.”
“Am I to guess that these people were wiped out by the reapers?” Wrex asks as Genevieve passes him. “Not real encouraging if they’re already dead.”
“I’m not so sure. They seemed to know more about the reapers than we’ve been able to discover. Udina seems to think the batarians found some of that information and may have known where the final location of the secret lies.”
“All due respect, commander,” Vickers says. “It sounds like a wild goose chase to me. That would be like a wild varren chase to any krogan in the room.”
“I know what a goose is, Vickers!” Wrex says slumping his shoulders. “Course, the expression leaves me scratching my head. Let’s just cut to the chase. We get this information and we find a cure for my people and you find the information you need. So then we go get our forces, find this weapon, and fuck up the reapers, right?”
“That’s the plan,” Genevieve says. “Cortez, get the shuttle prepped. We leave in fifteen. Use this data pad to set a course through reaper patrol routes. We hit groundside near the Jenton labs on the far side of Kar’shan.”
Cortez takes the pad and looks it over, “Holy shit, commander. Does this Leviathan even exist? And won’t the reapers be crawling all over it?”
“I doubt they’ll be wasting resources trying to take the corpse off world,” Genevieve responds. “But we’ll likely meet some resistance on world. We’ll be prepared.”
Cortez leaves the war room and Genevieve turns to the others, “Alright, team, let’s suit up and head out. You have fifteen.”
“Bout time. I’m ready to smash in some reaper skull.”
Wrex leaves and Genevieve follows with Liara close behind.
“Hopefully this won’t be a waste of time.”
“Can’t afford to have any doubts now, Liara. We’ll find what we need.”
“Don’t worry, Shepard. I’ll have your back.”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Garrus awakens in a panic, “Genevieve!”
He sits up and looks around the room he is in and a nurse rushes in to convince him to lie back down.
“Mr. Vakarian, you must rest! Commander Shepard is away right now but she’ll be back to see you when she can.”
“Where is she? Where did she go!”
The nurse shakes her head, “I don’t know. No one told me the specifics. She went to meet with the primarch from what I understand. All is well and you shouldn’t concern yourself with it. Now lie down and get some rest.”
Garrus does as he is instructed and lies back on the bed. The nurse checks several monitors on his bed and smiles the best turian smile she has.
“I’ll be back to check on you in a bit. Do you need anything? Maybe a light snack? You’ll need your energy to get back on your feet.”
“Sure. Why not.”
“I’ll go find some Haelin pudding for you, ok?”
The nurse leaves and Garrus waits for several moments before slinging the covers off and disconnecting the monitor wires from his skin. The machine starts to beep and he quickly shuts it off. He grabs a robe from the closet nearby and looks flustered.
“Where the hell is my gear? Damnit.”
He throws the robe on and peeks around the corner of the doorway. Satisfied no one is watching, he quickly rushes out of the room and sneaks down the hallway towards a stairwell and makes his way down to the main lobby of the hospital. He looks out into the waiting room beyond and sees it’s fairly busy that day.
Of course it is. Why not? I’ve got to get to my ship and get to Genevieve! He thinks for a moment. My father might be able to find out where she went. Clear!
He rushes towards the entrance while the staff is busy and heads down the street to flag down a transport. One stops and he jumps in.
“Vakarian residence. South side.”
The automated voice responds, “Affirmative.”
It lifts back off and makes its destination Garrus’s home while on Palaven. After a short trip, the transport arrives and Garrus jumps out to rush up the pathway and enters his father’s homestead. The house seems empty.
Where the hell is everyone? Fuck it! He rushes upstairs to his room to grab some clothes and then heads towards the den where his father generally does his work. With no one in there either, Garrus heads over to the intranet interface and logs on. After a moment, he finds the primacy servers and enters his security clearance.
“Nothing. Where the hell did she go?”
“Garrus?” he looks up to see his father in the doorway. “Why are you out of the hospital? Did they discharge you?”
“Nope. Checked myself out. Too much to do.”
“You really should be resting up. You look like hell.”
“Feel like hell. But, I need to get ahold of Shepard.”
His father walks across the room and stands with his arms crossed, “You truly are a Vakarian. I just came back from meeting with the primarch. Apparently your girlfriend ran off with a krogan to Kar’shan.”
“Shit. She’s there already then. Not good. Wait, a krogan? Oh no. Wrex.”
“Friend of yours?”
“An associate. We were crew together on the Normandy. Did he convince the primarch to let him take the Kason device?”
“No. The primarch isn’t willing to let that thing be used again. From what I understand, though, he had some other information for Shepard. Something crucial to the supposed war effort.”
“You still don’t believe me about the reapers, do you?”
His father uncrosses his arms and heads across the room and looks out the window and clears his throat, “With everything that is going on right now it’s becoming evident some force is pushing across the galaxy. We’ve had reports of nine worlds on the cusp of spaceflight being attacked in addition to the fall of Kar’shan and Earth.”
“Earth hasn’t fallen yet.”
“They may still be putting on a good fight, but…look, son, I don’t want you going off and getting entangled in the affairs of humans.”
“You don’t get it, we’re already entangled. The reapers won’t stop until we’re all in their collective. We faced a new type here on Palaven.”
“I heard,” his father stays silent for a long moment. “I can unsecure your vessel. And I’ll see what I can do about raising turian defenses. And not just periphery either. Something attacked us here. The fact that security forces didn’t pick them up entering turian space, and infiltrating Palaven is unacceptable. But if you’re going to go after Shepard, you’d better do it soon.”
Garrus gets up as he logs out of the intranet, “Thanks, dad. For what it’s worth, I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
“Garrus, you need to know something,” his father turns to him. “I’m proud of everything you’ve accomplished. Even if you gave up your CSec posting, I think you’ve done a lot for the galaxy at large. I don’t know what’s coming our way. Whether it is reapers or some other force, but knowing you’re out there fighting against them and protecting your people…well…a father couldn’t ask for more.”
Garrus goes over and hugs his father who seems uncertain what to do and ends up merely patting his son on the back. Garrus draws back and holds his father’s shoulders.
“And a son couldn’t ask for a better father. You watch yourself. The relay may be firmly under turian control for now, but the reapers are coming. Rally as many as you can to be ready for that eventuality.”
“The primarch mentioned that he was putting our forces on standby. To be ready to assist the humans when they call on us. Whatever is happening out there, I’m not so blind as to see it’s big. Stay safe, Garrus. And…give ‘em hell.”
Garrus nods at him and let’s go to turn to leave. His father watches him rush out of the room with a deep sense of foreboding creeping up his spine.
Thanks again and read to everyone again soon!
~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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