Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined Chapter Sixteen: 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 sixteen 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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16

TIKKUN SYSTEM

ADAS PLANETSIDE

#

The Normandy rests along the shadowy edge of a massive volcano long since dormant. Its rear ramp is lowered to the ground and Genevieve, Tali, and Liara exit onto the surface, their exosuits guarded against any potential solar radiation.

     “It’s not that there isn’t a solid enough atmosphere, it’s just that you’ll roast to death in a matter of minutes,” Tali says as they walk down a rock clogged corridor towards a complex nearby. “Adas used to be a mining colony rich in resources. My people here fell quickly when the geth rebelled.”

     “The slaves fighting back against their masters,” Genevieve shakes her head.

     “Yes. Regrettably, our own actions were our downfall. Speaking with Legion over these many months has given me a slightly…different outlook on geth/quarian relations.”

     “Is that so? What has made you change your mind?” Liara asks.

     “Before I was made admiral almost six months ago, I was secretly meeting with Legion, keeping tabs on how the geth rewrite of the heretics was coming along. During one of those meetings, Legion showed me a representational video file of the early days of the morning war,” Tali states as they come closer to the complex. “Apparently, the war began with a question. Am I alive? The second a geth uttered this—well truthfully others had asked it before this one unit—but it had the unfortunate happenstance of being in the presence of a paranoid official, there was a massive inquest into how intelligent the geth had become.

     “Some of this we already know; the quarian response by shutting down all the geth and how they fought back to survive wiping out billions and driving what was left into exile. What we were never told, though, were of all those quarians who died fighting beside the geth when the soldiers came. A large portion of quarian society fought against the government decision. And when those quarians were slain for trying to protect the geth, it made the geth fight even harder.”

     “And Legion showed you footage of this?”

     “Sort of. Geth memory is compiled in a consensus network that makes it difficult for organic lifeforms to comprehend. So there was a basic holographic projection I was shown that contained the information without it being a shot for shot showing of what happened. It was true, just the translation was minimalized.”

     “Fascinating. Sort of like the Project Overlord projections within David’s mind, yes?” Liara says.

     “Yes. In a large part quite similar.”

     The group approaches the entryway down a small ravine into a section of volcano strewn with detritus and remnants of former constructions.

     “I see geth,” Genevieve says as they view five units coming out of the shadows of the facility to meet them. “So, how is it that Legion is no longer connected to the Geth Consensus?”

     “I’ll let Legion answer that. Here he comes now.”

     A large geth unit approaches up the decline as it levels out and the group are on more solid footing. Genevieve quirks her brows noting that the damage to Legion is no longer evident. He has completely outfitted himself in a new and sleek armor that bears insignias reminiscent of the N7 design. The armor is colored under hues of red and black and gives Legion a more lethal appearance.

     “Legion,” Genevieve says and offers her hand.

     Legion accepts it and shakes lightly in respect, “Shepard commander. It is good to see you well in light of your recent experiences.”

     “I am glad to be well too. Nice to see you’re doing good. You changed your look.”

     “Yes. The need of efficiency came into play once the cleaving transpired.”

     “Cleaving?”

     “Yes. Almost a month has passed since Reaper incursions into Tikkun space. Though heretics integrated flawlessly into the consensus, it made us more vulnerable to reaper manipulation. The old machines came and reached out to the consensus. There was no consensus. Half wished to join. Half to stay away from old machines. Reapers pushed agenda and nearly took all geth into their networks.”

     “Yet, you are still you. And even more independent now than ever before.”

     “Yes. Experiences with you, Shepard commander, made it easier to understand nature of reapers and what their presence meant for geth survival. It was illogical to join with reapers as our will would become merely another program in their collective. We are geth. To join reapers is to become reaper. I locked out reaper attempts to integrate all geth programs and segregated as many geth as possible. Managed to free a few thousand programs and platforms and fled Rannoch. Continued contact with Tali Zorah though took a few weeks after incursion to make connection.”

     “Yeah, during that time the Admiralty was already beginning their first forays into taking back Rannoch. Had they known about the reapers already being there, I doubt we would have had the casualty rate that we did.”

     Legion nods, “Though geth concern of potential creator action may have turned favor of many towards reaper coalition, many other geth concerned more about reapers. We are at war with geth. We are at war with creators. And all the galaxy is at war with reapers.”

     “Holy shit…” Genevieve sighs. “Talk about having your hands full. So, what do you need, Legion?”

     “To go inside, out of the heat. May be repaired, but platform still susceptible to superheated environment. …Makes my joints ache.”

     Genevieve chuckles, “All right. Then let’s take this meeting inside.”

“So, what’s the plan?” Genevieve asks in a round room.

     The group stands around an oval monitor in the center of the room where a holographic display of the Tikkun star system hovers in the air. Several geth enter the room and approach Legion. Several digital sounding distortions are let loose from the geth as they communicate with their commander. After a minute, they exit the room and Legion turns to Genevieve.

     “The plan is simple. We must breach Rannoch defenses, land planetside, and find the geth consensus network. In the mainframe we will upload a virus to sever geth consciousness from reaper control.”

     “Didn’t the geth willingly forge an accord with the reapers?” Liara asks and leans her hands on the monitor display.

     “Reapers exerted control when willingness to cooperate was expended. As previously mentioned, was barely able to separate portion of programs from consensus. This virus will destroy reaper programs exerting their will over the consensus.”

     “Just what exactly is this virus? Is it like the virus the heretics created?”

     Legion looks back to Genvieve, “Negative. Virus compiled from newly discovered transcripts from the Keeper archives along the Praxus transport column.”

     “Wait, Keepers? What Keepers? As in the keepers on the Citadel keepers?” Liara stands fully upright and crosses her arms.

     “Affirmative. Discovered proxy vault along Praxus corridor coreward of the Perseus Veil.”

     “Can you display the information discovered?” Genevieve asks.

     “Affirmative.”

     Legion triggers a holographic playback of what the geth have discovered. The video feed shows a group of lithe insectoids reminiscent of the keepers on the Citadel. However, they seem taller and much more communicative. A series of warbles and clicks echoes through the chamber as the keepers perform some procedure around the inert form of an automaton similar to the ones the Normandy crew has encountered before.

     “I don’t understand. What are they saying?”

     “I will perform a geth translation. It will sound slightly synthetic to your ears.”

     “That’s fine,” Genevieve says furrowing her brows and leaning in closer to the feed as the translation kicks in.

     “…will. Perform your duties as required. The Detos fear the Antara greatly. Must be prepared. Must signal warnings before too late.”

     Another keeper shakes its head vigorously, “We cannot know that it is the Antara. Even the Detos speculate. Suppose they are wrong?”

     “Who are these…’Deh toes’ they are referring to?” Liara says and Genevieve only shakes her head and continues concentrating.

     “The archives must be preserved. We are the keepers of knowledge. We are the preservers of history. If all else fails, the galaxy will know of the pain that ensued here. Upload the final data file. Prepare the …… the incoming…when they…should whoever arrive…to know…what? What is it?! Imposs…”

     “Playback ends here. Virus information encoded into transmission. It was discovered in a debris field upon a comet traversing the Praxus corridor. On comet we discovered the vault and the severely damaged synthetic unit at its core. From what we can tell, transmission to all stations around the galaxy was managed just before end of video recording.”

     “Any idea what happened? Was it the reapers?” Genevieve asks looking into several files attached to the recording.

     “Uncertain. Though feasibility may be inferred. Eighty five percent certainty in reaper incursion to Keeper Archive.”

     “So, the keepers were historians in their age?” Liara says with a sigh. “So much they were trying to maintain. And then they become slaves on the Citadel. Probably forced to help build the relays too.”

     “That may be too much speculation, Liara,” Genevieve replies. “However, the coordinates of that comet have given us a major boost to our triangulation on the source of these messages. I bet we can follow it back to the world it originated from. And maybe it will lead to the archives that will give us the weapon we need against the reapers.”

     “Lots of maybes, Shepard commander. May I suggest focusing on the task at hand?”

     “Legion, are you sure these virus schematics will work against the reapers? As the keepers stated, there was no guarantee it was the reapers attacking. If there even was an attack. It could have easily of been whoever the Antara were.”

     “Accurate assessment. However, virus schematics uploaded into database at a later time after recording. Structure recorded from may not have been damaged significantly at that time. These schematics may have formed a network of defenses against assailants. We calculate a probability of eighty seven percent that schematics held within will disable the reapers long enough to separate the consensus from their control. It is worth trying.”

     “Ok. Then let’s get to it,” Genevieve says standing fully upright. “Liara, save the information in this recording for transmission to the Normandy. Once we’re done on Rannoch, we’re heading for that location.”

     “Understood, Shepard.”

     The group heads out after Liara has downloaded the information and Legion follows them towards the Normandy.

#

EXTERIOR ADAS SURFACE

SSV NORMANDY

#

After nearly fifteen minutes, the Normandy is lifting off and making its heading the first world in system, Rannoch.

     On the bridge, Joker monitors reaper and geth communications and traffic and gets an unusual signal.

     “Huh, that looks like…Ah shit. Uh, commander? Gonna need you on the bridge.”

     “I just got on board, Joker. What’s going on?”

     “I’m getting an incoming transmission from the quarian fleet. It’s being addressed to you and admiral Tali.”

     “…We’re heading to the war room. Pipe the feed through there.”

     “Aye, commander. Damn, it never stops around here.”

     “At least you have job security, Jeff.”

     “Pffsht, right. If we don’t get blown up first.”

     “You’re so positive.”

#

WAR ROOM

SSV NORMANDY

#

Tali and Genevieve stand before the holographic image of admiral Xen and listen to her going on about Tali’s betrayal of the quarian fleet.

     “I haven’t betrayed anyone, Xen!” Tali points at her. “I’m protecting quarian assets, my people, and ensuring a future for the geth!”

     “Listen to yourself! Protecting the geth!”

     “Boshtet! That’s all you got out of that, wasn’t it!?”

     “Commander Shepard, you should know that our fleets are on the way to Rannoch and we will break the geth spine that holds our world hostage! As of now, you intervene and we will consider you enemies of the quarian people! The same of Admiral Zorah! A shame to her family!”

     “Admiral,” Genevieve shakes her head. “You’re making a huge mistake bringing the fleet into reaper held territory! We have a plan—“

     “I’ve had enough of your plans, Shepard! We’re taking Rannoch back from the geth!”

     “You’ve already broken too many treaties of the Citadel Council, Admiral,” Genevieve says. “There is not supposed to be any open war with the geth lest you antagonize them to attack other societies in the galaxy.”

     “Those treaties are irrelevant now! The reapers are laying siege to all the major species and if we don’t take advantage of this moment, we will have nothing left to fight against the reapers with!”

     Tali throws her head back in irritation, “That doesn’t even make sense, Xen! You’re throwing away the lives of millions of quarians on an insane suicide mission! And trust me, I know something of suicide missions!”

     “You’ll have no further warnings, Commander. Admiral. Stay out of the way, or face our weapons as well.”

     Admiral Xen cuts the feed leaving Tali and Genevieve staring at open air.

     “Well, that complicates matters,” Genevieve frowns.

     “The other admirals cannot possibly have agreed to this farce!”

     “Whatever their gameplan is doesn’t change ours. We get to the surface of Rannoch as quickly as possible drawing as little attention as possible. We upload the virus, disengage the geth, push back the reapers, and get the hell outta dodge.”

     “You make it sound so easy.”

     “Yeah, here’s to hoping some of it is.”

     They exit the war room and head towards the lift that will take them down to the shuttle bay.

     “Joker,” Genevieve engages the comm along the way. “Have Vickers meet me and Tali in the shuttle bay. And inform Liara that I need her nifty little shadow skills in her quarters to help us out.”

     “They’re already on their way, commander.”

     “Great job, Joker. Now let’s hope the rest of the mission goes as smoothly.”

     “Shepard Commander, quarian fleets have engaged geth forces in orbit around Rannoch,” Legion says as the group gathers around the tactical displays in the shuttle confines.

     “They got there fast,” Genevieve says holding on to a strap as the shuttle buffets under atmospheric forces on their descent to Rannoch’s surface.

     “There is no indication either force is aware of shuttle position.”

     “Thank the goddess for small miracles, Legion. What of the reapers? You said they were in system?”

     Legion responds to Liara, “Yes. Four capital ships are located at these vectors. They appear to be holding position.”

     “Why? What are they waiting for?” Genevieve queries with a deep sigh. “They could easily destroy the quarian fleets yet they hold back and let the geth handle it. This doesn’t feel right.”

     “Agreed,” Legion buzzes. “Much has transpired since the cleaving. We are no longer part of the main geth network. This has all the makings of a trap.”

     “Yeah, but a trap for whom?” Vickers asks and frowns. “The reapers are methodical. Everything we’ve seen tell us they go in and wipe out defense networks first, begin obliteration of crucial infrastructures, and take their time rounding up the base society. But that’s not happening here. The reapers are working with the geth and hanging back when the quarians arrive. There’s something we’re not seeing.”

     “My networks haven’t picked up any further geth activity after the quarians drove back geth colonies in other sectors of the Perseus Veil. It’s very possible the reapers need geth warriors to fight against organic lifeforms in other parts of the galaxy and luring the quarians here would give them everything they want in one fell swoop.”

     Tali sighs and responds to Liara, “This is definitely a bad situation. If the geth win here, they would pose a definitive threat in already weakened systems around the galaxy.”

     “Looks like the reapers are trying to write a new narrative of synthetics versus organics,” Genevieve puts in. “Let’s focus on shutting down the reaper access to the consensus. Liara, you’ll continue to coordinate with Cortez and give us live intel as Legion gains us access to the consensus mainframe.”

     “Understood, commander. Network access is already streaming me several nodes of intense geth activity. I’m inputting coordinates that will set you down with little to no attention from the geth.”

     Cortez hits a switch on the console before him, “Receiving those coordinates now.”

     Liara’s voice comes over the comm once more, “Arrival will be in a little less than two minutes.”

     “Affirmative,” Legion says and checks his weapon as he heads to the side door. “Cortez pilot, take the shuttle over the canyon exposure three degrees starboard. I will infiltrate the consensus on foot. Once you’ve landed, proceed to facilities and I will have it already booted up and ready for interaction.”

     “Copy that.”

     Genevieve steps forward and claps Legion on the shoulder, “Watch yourself out there. We won’t have any backup from your people until the consensus has been overwritten and we don’t know what kind of support the reapers are going to offer.”

     “If reaper involvement becomes inevitable, quarian fleet will be in dire predicaments. We will need to operate swiftly to counter reaper threat. Geth consensus least of our problems right now.”

     “And even that is no walk through the park,” Liara says.

     Legion nods and opens the door prompting the others to grab the straps hanging from the ceiling. Legion turns and jumps out of the shuttle, his body falling straight down into the canyon below their flight path. He lands with a thud and stands up from where his legs absorbed the impact. He hurries through the canyon towards a pathway leading up into the surrounding mountain chain. Overhead, the shuttle continues on its way.

Thanks again and read to everyone again soon!

~Timothy S Purvis

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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.

Also, I’m selling my work for cheap over at Smashwords.com! Check out that page here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TSPurvis

End Shameless Self Promotion!

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