Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined Chapter Twelve: 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 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 twelve 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!)

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12

HARSA SYSTEM

KAR’SHAN PLANETARY SPACE

#

The UT-47 Kodiak drop shuttle exits FTL drive on the far side of Kar’shan undetected by Reaper forces patrolling orbit. It makes its destination a laboratory planetside on the lower continent of Kar’shan. On board, Genevieve and her crew wait in anticipation.

     “Any sign of pursuers?”

     “Negative, commander,” Cortez replies.

     “Get us in as close as you can to the lab without drawing any unnecessary attention.”

     “Yes, ma’am.”

     Genevieve turns back to the tiny crew bay at the rear of the shuttle and stands in the doorway looking at Wrex, Vickers, and Liara.

     “Sure you want to come along on this mission, Wrex?”

     “Didn’t come out here to knit baby krogan clothes. I want that cure.”

     “Hopefully it actually exists. Nobody knows what the batarians were really up to,” Genevieve replies. “Spectre reports do show that there was an operation here, though. So keep your fingers crossed.”

     “If I did that I wouldn’t be able to shoot anything.”

     “Let’s try not to engage Reaper forces if we don’t have to, okay?” Liara says.

     “They charge me, I charge them.”

     Genevieve shakes her head, “Okay, ready yourselves. We’ll be on the surface in minutes.”

     No one says anything else and perform a final check on their equipment as the Kodiak shuttle enters the atmosphere and heads towards a series of mountain chains devoid of any vegetation and capped by ice and debris. Genevieve views the monitor and sees several wrecked batarian battle cruisers scattered along the mountain tops.

     She frowns with a sigh, “I wonder how much of Earth looks like this now?”

     “Try not to think about it, Shepard,” Liara soothes. “Let’s just concentrate on finding this data file and freeing any STG troops that survived.”

     “Yeah.”

     The shuttle drops down into a ravine and follows it to the coordinates given by Udina and Wrex’s datapad. Cortez lands the vessel several clicks away from the lab though their instruments have no readings on a structure anywhere near there.

     “There has to be something,” Genevieve says to Cortez.

     “If it’s there, it’s hidden extremely well from sensors.”

     “Well then, I guess we’ll have to go take a look for ourselves,” Genevieve frowns. “Alright, crew, let’s get out there and find this Leviathan.”

     They put on their helmets as Cortez seals off the cockpit and open the side door to jump out to the ground. The shuttle goes into low power mode as they hurry along the remainder of the ravine towards the research facility that they all hope is at the location indicated. Ten minutes of meandering through foggy, desolate landscape with tattered stone and debris rising up towards the dark, cloud ridden sky above finds them nearing the end of the ravine.

     “Goddamn…” Genevieve says nearly to herself. “It’s like being on Korlus.”

     “Nah, still a bit more maneuvering room,” Wrex says quietly in response. “Still, a bit unsettling.”

     Liara looks back at him in surprise, “You find it unsettling? Never thought I’d hear that from you. I thought all krogans enjoyed such carnage.”

     “Tuchanka and Korlus, great places to mix it up. Never said I wanted to see other worlds take a cue from us, though,” Wrex sighs. “I’m trying to rebuild my world, T’soni. Not get off on the destruction of other civilizations. I won’t shy from a good fight, don’t get me wrong. Just this kind of wanton destruction…hmmm…never sits well with me. The batarian government are the pricks, not the people livin’ here.”

     “Well said, Wrex,” Vickers nods at him as the  group pushes forward.

     “I see something,” Genevieve says.

     The group exits the ravine and sees another massive mountain rising up before them. Built into the mountain is a series of sleek buildings almost seeming to form mushroom like protrusions from the side of the worn stone, rock, and sediment.

     “By the goddess…”

     “I was thinking the same thing, Liara,” Genevieve says staring up at the structures still twinkling in sheen despite the heavy overcast of storm clouds, soot, and fog.

     “Y’know, was always curious what buildings on Kar’shan looked like.”

     Vickers doesn’t look at Wrex but replies, “I don’t think every building shares this design. This is some heavy government security style out in the middle of nowhere development.”

     “That your official statement, lieutenant?”

     Vickers shakes his head at Genevieve, “Ma’am, I am at a loss for words.”

     Genevieve scans with her omnitool, “I’m not picking up any readings from this compound. It must be shielded somehow. Let’s see if this place has a front door.”

     “Duck!” Liara shouts.

     The team immediately dodges into cover behind a myriad of fallen boulders and debris and bring their weapons to bear.

     “What is it, Liara?” Genevieve asks.

     “At the base of the compound. Cannibals.”

     The group risks a glance and barely sees movement near the shadowy recesses of the compound’s base. They make out several figures ranging from six to ten figures.

     “Damn, T’soni,” Wrex chuckles. “Your eyesight is better than mine.”

     “I just barely caught a glance.”

     “Your glance means trouble for us,” Genevieve says and taps her helmet to bring in a zoom display. “I’m not sure, but I think there may be around ten cannibals or so. They look listless.”

     “Overlords ran out on ‘em.”

     “Wrex is right, I think,” Liara says. “The Reapers must be out of direct contact with them. If we take them on, do you think it will attract their attention?”

     “We have to get through them,” Genevieve replies. “Hopefully, the Reapers won’t notice. But it looks like there’s some sort of entry point near their position because I can see several of them moving in and out of the shadows as if they’re going inside.”

     “You hope, commander.”

     “Gotta maintain hope, Vickers. Elsewise, we might as well just roll over and become Reaper fodder.”

     “Yes, ma’am.”

     “Alright, team. Let’s stick to cover and divide that group up. I’ll take the four o’clock and take out those two wandering by the east end. Liara, hit the west and see if you can wipe out those three. Vickers, those two closest I want you to hit fast. Wrex…”

     “I’ve got the rest. No need to worry about me.”

     “How come you two get two each and Wrex and I get three or more?”

     Genevieve quirks the corner of her lip at Liara as Wrex replies, “What’s wrong, T’soni? Not confident in your abilities? They’re human. Too soft. We’re the power hitters.”

     “Oh right! I forgot! Don’t worry, commander. We’ll make sure they don’t come your way.”

     “Are you two done?”

     “For comedians,” Vickers says with a slight grin. “They’re not very funny.”

     “Who said anything about being funny?” Wrex says and Vickers can tell he’s grinning under his helmet.

     Genevieve shakes her head and raises her weapon, “All right. Time’s wasting. Let’s get in there.”

     The group affirms and they split up keeping to cover. Within moments they are all in position and taking out their targets. Once the sides and forward positions have fallen, four cannibals rush out of the shadows looking for their attackers. Wrex charges and takes out two as Liara and Genevieve drop the other two with well placed shots.

     The team regroups and head into the shadows at the base of the compound looking for the entrance.

     “Well, that was easy,” Wrex comments.

     “Sorry to disappoint,” Genevieve replies.

     They slowly make their way down a paved decline towards a level area paved over with an unusual metal. Their boots make a slight clunking sound as they proceed and see an entryway at the far end of the garage like interior. They come closer and see that the doors have been blasted open and the interior of the compound is dark. The group initiates their helmet lamps and keep their weapons at the ready as they enter.

     Several silent minutes pass as they explore deeper into the compound and find an unusual matrix of hallways crossing each other in a manner akin to a deformed beehive.

     “This is strange,” Genevieve says as they look for any sort of office that may hold the information they are seeking.

     The crossing paths of the hallways form office areas that are triangular and occasionally hexagonal. 

     “Wrex, did your information say where exactly in the compound we would find the data files?”

     Wrex looks at Liara, “No. I just assumed that it would be obvious. Nothing this…disorienting.”

     “I’m picking up energy residues from down the hall,” Genevieve says looking over her omnitool. “I’d hazard a guess it’s some sort of control room. It may have schematics on the compound in its computers if we can coax the displays back to life.”

     “Yes, that might work,” Liara says and the group heads down several zigzagging halls towards the room where the energy readings emanate from.

     Once within the room, Liara heads over to a dark console with energy sputtering out of its base and uses her omnitool to try and reroute power through its operational systems.

     “How does it look?”

     “It’s taken some significant damage, Shepard,” Liara says adjusting some displays on the omnitool and fiddling with an instrument on the console top. “I think we can pull up some information though. I’ll have to use the omnitool to display it, however.”

     After several moments, Liara raises her omnitool and hits a button on the console which causes a glowing aura to surround her and her omnitool. A wave of information pulses out and the omnitool projects an holographic display in the air before them. They see batarian writing and links to subdiretories.

     “Are there any maps in that thing?” Wrex asks with a rasp.

     Liara twists a knob and hmms to herself, “Maybe. Seeing a lot of day to day operations, military maneuvers, and the results of different research teams posted here. Wait, some highly encrypted files are locked deep within the database. Let me see what I can do.”

     “Hopefully there’s no failsafe that will lock us out,” Genevieve says.

     “I don’t think they were that clever. Or, at least, what they have here isn’t all that challenging. Here we go. Mention of the Leviathan of Dis and a location display. No details on the project through this server. However, this display shows where we need to go to get to the project archives. Which is…” she scans in with her omnitool and a map is displayed showing several floors to the facility. “Here. Seventeen levels below us.”

     “Holy shit…” Vickers shakes his head. “With the power out, we’ll have to walk won’t we? That’s a lot of turf to cover, commander.”

     “And we don’t even know if they have stairwells. Any possibility of opening up the lifts for operation, Liara?”

     Liara smiles at Genevieve, “I think we can reroute power nodes to this lift here. Just down the hall. It will take us to the level we need to go. I won’t know what security measures we’ll face until we get there, though. Hopefully, the power will hold until we find what we came for.”

     “Hopefully? Are we expecting the power to crash?”

     “Shepard, you know by now that we should always expect the unexpected.”

     “Except, the unexpected isn’t all that unexpected,” Wrex says. “That’s the norm for this team. So, just another day at it.”

     “Hmmm,” Genevieve frowns. “He has a point. Well. Let’s get moving then.”

     The group follows Liara who has downloaded the facility schematics from the mainframe and head towards the lift that will take them down the seventeen levels. Once on the lift, it sputters intermittently threatening to power down causing more than one instance of ‘oh crap’ yet managing to continue onward. The lift finally arrives and the group moves out down a long dark corridor. Their lights pace every nook and cranny looking for anything that might be a threat and follow the map coordinates towards a massive room at the far end of the complex.

     “If they have a Reaper corpse,” Wrex starts. “How did they get it so far down here?”

     “That’s a good question. I’m more concerned with how are we going to retrieve the datafile without being indoctrinated,” Genevieve replies. “We know how pesky these Reaper corpses are with regards to matters like that.”

     “With luck, the data files will be locked away outside the corpse and not in it.”

     “Wishful thinking,” Vickers replies to Liara. “Were we lucky, we wouldn’t be deep inside a secret batarian research facility with an ancient Reaper corpse.”

     “Come now, Vickers,” Genevieve chides. “We’ve gotten this far. What could go wrong?”

     “Famous last words.”

     “And by saying them out loud, the plan is to avoid the inevitable fallout by them.”

     “Good luck with that.”

     “Okay, we’re nearing the coordinates,” Liara interrupts Vickers and Genevieve and motions towards a massive door before them. “It’s on the other side. Massive room. Looks like a hangar.”

     “Alright, let’s get this door open,” Genevieve says approaching it. “Can you trigger its locks?”

     “Huh…”

     “What?”

     “It’s already unlocked,” Liara says pressing a switch on the wall panel beside the massive blastdoor.

     The door slides open and within they see floodlights brightly lit highlighting the massive object within. It takes up nearly three quarters of the room and rises high to the ceiling far above.

     “It’s a capital ship.”

     Liara nods at Genevieve, “Which makes this room over two kilometers in length. That Reaper has seen better days. It looks like it took a massive blast to the gut.”

     The group enters the hanger and walks around the massive front legs of the Reaper and towards a console at the back of the room. Probes and machinery are attached all across the Reaper corpse.

     “Nice to see they took such wonderful precautions by leaving it out in the open like this.”

     Genevieve shakes her head at Liara, “They obviously didn’t understand the full implications of what they had in their possession.”

     “Are we at risk at indoctrination here?” Wrex asks. “I don’t want to become one of its drones.”

     “Only prolonged exposure to Reaper tech leads to indoctrination,” Genvieve replies. “We’re not going to be here long enough for that to be an issue.”

     They continue on to the console and just before reaching it receive fire power from the shadowy recesses of the hangar.

     “Into cover!” Genevieve shouts as they all duck down behind heavy machinery and Reaper body parts.

     The team tries to get a look at their assailants and hear shouting and shooting. Several figures run by in the background as one figure rises up from the computer console to blast it with his plasma rifle.

     “Batarians!” Genevieve yells out and starts firing at them.

     The computer console explodes as the batarian there shoves a datadisk into his uniform and rushes to the back of the room where his cohorts await.

     “Shit! They blasted the console and took the info! After them!”

     Genevieve and Vickers lay down suppressing fire as Liara and Wrex move forward from cover to cover taking shots at the fleeing batarians. The batarians are faster, however, and are already leaving the room before the team can reach them. The doors to a connecting hall are shut tightly and locked.

     “Damnit!” Genevieve pounds on the door with the butt of her weapon.

     Liara steps forward and affixes something on the door panel, “We don’t have time for this! We’ll blast it open!”

     “Why’d you bring that?”

     “You never know when it’ll come in handy.”

     Genevieve nods in approval with a huhn noise and they stand back behind nearby cover. The gel explodes and the door swishes open. Before the smoke has even cleared, the team is rushing through the doorway after the batarians. It doesn’t take long for them to catch up to the fleeing batarians and fire shots at them hoping to stun them. They evade and duck behind the corners of a nearby hallway.

     The fire fight continues until they reach another room where Genevieve and her crew push through and suddenly find themselves surrounded by batarian assault teams.

     “Drop your weapons!” the lead batarian commands.

     Genevieve clenches her jaw and spits out, “Shit! You weren’t supposed to be here!”

     “I don’t recall this being your homeworld, human!” another batarian steps forward and raises his rifle to hit her but a voice calls out stopping him.

     “No! Do not do that!”

     The voice is quivering and hesitant but loud and commanding. Genevieve furrows her brows. She knows that she recognizes its intonations. The batarian turns to the voice and sighs.

     “They are human! They have invaded!”

     “I suspect they have come for the same thing we have,” the voice says as a figure steps forward through the gathered batarian fighters. Genevieve recognizes the form immediately.

     “It’s you! The asari on Illium! The one who gave me the rachni queen’s message. What are you doing here?”

     “Strange to find an asari on the batarian homeworld. Even post reaper invastion,” Liara laments.

     “I must have missed something. Who is this woman?” Vickers asks.

     “We were alone in the deep spaces when the one called Balak came and waged war against us. It was his intent to enslave us. Turn us to his cause against the human societies and to fight the reapers. He was slain and we came to this system to discover what had happened to drive so many batarians towards us. How they had discovered us. Why they felt we could be controlled. We found those friendly to the rachni, to the asari. Who feared the reaper overlords. Who wished to fight back. They accepted us and we vowed to help.”

     The batarian about to hit Genevieve steps towards the asari woman, “Do you know this human, Antiga?”

     “Yes. This is commander Shepard of the Alliance Navy. Savior of my people.”

     Genevieve cocks her head and blinks several times, “Antiga?”

     “Shepard!” the batarian scolds. “She led the Reapers here! She destroyed the Alpha Relay! She is enemy to the batarian peoples!”

     “Enough of your prattling!” another batarian steps forward and motions to the others in the room. “Lower your weapons. It was Shepard adjutant Ghor’ant was sent to find. Sent to gain an alliance and drive back the Reapers. He was obviously successful. Where is the adjutant now, commander?”

     “He arrived on Earth, this is true. But Alliance command wouldn’t hear him out. So, when the Reapers hit Earth, Ghor’ant came with us to the Citadel. He chose to stay there when refugees from Kar’shan arrived.”

     “Then our people survived?”

     “There were maybe four or five ships, I think.”

     The batarians sigh in sorrow and several have to lean against walls or sit down on the floor. The one who seems in command shakes his head.

     “This is a sad day. But, that means a few thousand escaped. The Reapers did their jobs well. And you say they’ve hit Earth too?”

     “Yes. We went to the Council for help.”

     The leader closes his eyes, “And what did the Council say?”

     Genevieve is silent for a long moment, “That they couldn’t help. But councilor Sparatus petitioned me to assist the turians and they would be willing to help if I locked down the Trebian relay against the Reapers.”

     “Damnit! Wait…you know how to shutter the relays against the Reapers?”

     “It was an accidental discovery when fleeing Earth. But yes.”

     The leader looks to Antiga, “We now have two weapons against the Reapers.”

     “Yes,” Antiga replies. “And we must leave the Harsa system soon. Perhaps we can shut the relay behind us, locking the Reapers here who are in system.”

     “Why do they call you Antiga?” Genevieve asks.

     “In batarian myth, a massive insectoid goddess gave them war. She was Antiga. Now I am Antiga.”

     “Are you bringing them war? When I released you, you promised not to terrorize the rest of the galaxy.”

     “Our promise is kept, Shepard. We came seeking knowledge in defeating the Reapers. We heard their sour yellow note. The children panicked and knew not what to do. But the memory of them is in me and so I knew how to calm them. Calm my children. Bring them peace of mind and tune out the sour yellow note. To ignore the shadowy, oily beings in the dark who spoke to us all, sought for us, yet could not find us.

     “It was here we discovered the dim note of one long gone. It still sings into the dark. We knew it held the secret. We will share the secret with you, too, commander. But first, we must flee. Our ships await departure. Where is your ferry, shepard?”

     “In orbit around Verush. We took the shuttle here to avoid detection by the Reapers in orbit.”

     “Your shuttle is groundside then?”

     “Hidden in the valley leading to this compound.”

     “Then we will escort you and your shuttle back to the Normandy. There, you will follow us to safety and we will share our findings with you.”

     “You can’t be serious!” the angry batarian from earlier shouts. “We won’t help Shepard!”

     “That’s enough, Krill!” the leader slaps him on the cheek. “I command here! Antiga will guide us back out of the system and we will discover how to destroy these Reapers! If we have to work with the humans to accomplish this, then we will do so!”

     Krill steps back in admonishment and says nothing more. The leader looks to Genevieve.

     “I am called Fera. These dozen soldiers are my troop. We once guarded this facility until the Reapers came. We will join you if you so desire.”

     “Our mission requires high maneuverability and extensive use of stealth. However, if Antiga and her rachni and you and yours are willing, the Alliance is reforming to counter the Reaper threat. Once I find the weapon to destroy the Reapers, we will assault the Reapers at Earth and take back the systems star by star locking the Reapers out until they can no longer threaten us.”

     “It’s as good a plan as we’ve heard so far.”

     “We will serve the Alliance of worlds to defeat the oily shadows wherever they may be. This we have already promised. Now, we must go.”

     “Lead the way, Antiga.”

     Antiga turns with the batarians and they rush down the corridor towards a destination at the far side of the compound. Genevieve and her team follow quickly.

     “So the giant bug is on our side now?” Wrex queries as they hurry along. “Is there anyone you can’t convince to join you on your mad quests, Shepard?”

“The more the merrier, right, Wrex?” Liara chuckles as Genevieve only shakes her head.

Thanks again and read to everyone again soon!

~Timothy S Purvis

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