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 twenty two 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!)
Liara arrives on the bridge and stands beside Genevieve who is watching the energy waves of the mass effect field enveloping the Normandy.
“I’ve triangulated all the data we have to date, Shepard. Looks like the Illusive Man was ahead of us. The system he’s in is exactly at the point where all the automaton files were pointing to.”
“Yeah, he’s good for that. Okay. It won’t be long before we’re in system. Are there any records of it?”
“None. The system is coreward and doesn’t register in the database of known solar systems. It’s a binary star with six planets. Two of which are inhabitable. Your Jack Harper is located just in orbit of the fourth world. It is the second of the two inhabitable worlds with an ocean spreading across three quarters of it. No signs of sentient life. Though it’s difficult to surmise whether that was always the case.”
“Okay, Joker, the second we exit the mass effect field put us straight into stealth mode and head straight for that planet.”
“That’s going to take us longer without FTL, commander.”
“That’s the point. It’ll give us an advantage in figuring out if we’re being followed and give us the extra benefit of not taking any combatants towards The Illusive Man.”
“Right. Okay. We’ll be exiting in five seconds. Three, two, one…”
The Normandy drops out of the relay and goes into stealth mode as it makes its way towards the planet.
“Stealth activated. EDI,” Joker says. “Any signs of pursuers?”
“Nothing so far, Jeff. I’ll keep an eye out. If someone does drop out, we’ll know within seconds.”
“Awesome. I love you, EDI. Where have you been all my life?”
“I can’t imagine you’d ‘love’ me, Jeff. Afterall, I am a computer program.”
“I don’t mean like ‘I want to jump your circuits’ love. Just, you know…”
“He’d be lost without you, EDI,” Genevieve chuckles.
“Ahhhh…I see. Well, I will endeavor not to disappoint you, Jeff.”
Joker quirks his lips and turns to Genevieve to give a silent thumbs up. She shakes her head and smiles.
The Normandy enters orbit around a small blue green planet eight percent the size of Earth. It flies around the edge towards the twilight side while EDI continues monitoring the relay. Joker examines some data and furrows his brow.
“These are the coordinates, commander. But I’m not picking up any ship.”
“That’s odd,” Genevieve says. “Patch me into open frequencies.”
“Are you sure you wish to do that, Shepard? We could be monitored by passing traffic.”
“Are you picking up any other ships, EDI?”
“We have to risk it. And hope Lykins hasn’t found him first. Open it up.”
“Jack Harper, this is Shepard. You asked us here and now you’re MIA. Do you still wish to talk?”
They wait for several minutes until a vessel appears from behind the nearby moon. It is a small ship that approaches the Normandy quickly.
“Getting a comm signal, commander.”
“Put it through, Joker.”
“Shepard, glad you could make it. We don’t have much time.”
“I see you made enemies with Lykins. What do you have for me that warrants this cloak and dagger charade?”
“I’m transmitting the data now. Take it and get out of the system asap. I was hiding because bounty hunters are perusing the outskirts of the system. I think once you see what I uncovered, you’ll be able to put a stop to the reapers.”
“Why do you suddenly want to stop the reapers? And why are you not communicating through the QEC?”
“The reapers put a hit out on me. And we don’t have time for a face to face, sorry to say. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things, Shepard. But I think you’ll be glad you got what I just sent you. Sorry we don’t have any more time. But we are out. Get going.”
“I need answers, Harper!”
“We all need answers, Shepard. You’ll get them soon. Trust me.”
“Shepard, the Illusive Man’s ship is pulling away and behind us,” EDI says. “There’s two stealth enabled vessels approaching!”
“What!?” Genevieve leans forward. “How? Weren’t you monitoring the relay!?”
“I was! Nothing dropped out!”
“Which means they were already here! Joker, get us out of here!” Genevieve yells out as Joker hits the accelerator.
“Seventh Fleet dropping out of the relay and jumping into FTL!” EDI exclaims. “Shepard! We’re being surrounded!”
“How the fuck did they pull that off!?” Genevieve watches three ships coming from the far side of the planet’s orbit while the seventh pops in from behind them.
“Looks like they split up their FTL destinations, Commander! We don’t have an out!” Joker shouts hitting several switches.
On board the tiny vessel, the Illusive Man initiates his QEC and gets Hackett almost immediately.
“I’m taking them on head on, Hackett. You’ll want to show up asap. Shepard’s surrounded but she has the data.”
“You’ve done good work, Harper. It’s good to have you playing for us again rather than against us.”
“I was never against you, Hackett. I did my part. Now it’s your turn. I’ll distract Lykins as long as I can.”
Harper disengages the QEC and turns his chair towards the viewport and engages his comm system.
“Lykins, you son of a bitch. You reading me?”
Within moments an image of Lykins pops into existence across the canopy window, “Harper. Calling to plead for your life?”
“No. I just wanted to make sure you were onboard. You and your reaper masters won’t be able to ensure victory this time.”
“You have no bargaining chips. Soon the Normandy will be mine and you will be gone. You’re done, Illusive Man. And I am the herald of your destruction.”
Harper lights up a cigarette and takes a deep breath. He exhales slowly before responding.
“Maybe. But we both know how this is going to end. With your demise.”
Lykins laughs, “Hoping for reinforcements? No. I think I have enough time to have my way with Shepard and the Normandy crew. And you…you’re a faded memory.”
The Illusive Man stares at him with furrowed brows and before he can respond sees Lykins smile and wave his fingers in the air. Jack Harper, the Illusive Man, sees several bright flashes of light erupt from the SSV St Helens and he has enough time to take a drag off his cigarette and sigh.
“Holy shit! They just destroyed the Illusive Man’s ship!” Joker yells out.
“Dive towards the surface, Joker! We’ll try to outrun them low!”
Joker forces the Normandy to nose towards the atmosphere straight down and the ship’s hull glows a bright red as the warships of the Seventh Fleet open fire on the Normandy’s position. She barely avoids the major blasts as she plummets into the stratosphere and below the cloud tops. Two blasts graze the shielding of the Normandy causing the ship to shudder.
Joker struggles to maintain control forcing EDI to help right the vessel.
“We’re too steep, EDI!”
“Hold on, Jeff!” EDI cries out as the Normandy pulls up sharply causing Jeff to collapse deeper into his seat and Genevieve and Liara to fall to their knees.
The vessel rights itself and heads between several tall mountains and follows a river towards the ocean far beyond. Heavy fire from the dreadnoughts above pound down on the environment around them and the Normandy just barely avoids the narrow beams slicing beside them and renting the river in half at several locations.
“Shit, shit, shit!” Joker yells. “My hips are broken! I’m broken! I can’t control the ship!”
“I’ve got control, Jeff!” EDI says maneuvering into a splinter canyon and looking for another way to hide and evade the cannon fire.
“We can’t stay out in the open! They’ve got eyes on, EDI!” Genevieve yells. “Deep six us!”
“Affirmative!” EDI replies and finds an open lake near the ocean edge where she forces the Normandy below the water.
The Normandy zooms underneath the surface until EDI discovers a cave and flies inside. After several sudden twists and turns to avoid cavern walls, EDI finds a place to set down. The Normandy slows down and settles to the lake cavern floor.
Genevieve lets loose a breath she’d been holding and leans against Joker’s seat.
“God…damn. Okay. We need a plan. It’s only a matter of time before Lykins finds us.”
Liara pulls herself to her feet, “We have to get a hold of Hackett. With the Seventh Fleet out there, we have no way of getting off the planet!”
“Forget Lykins!” Joker screams in pain as Genevieve rushes to his side. “I can’t fucking move!”
“Hold on, Joker! Dr Chakwas! You’re needed on the bridge immediately!”
“On my way, commander!” the doctor responds as Genevieve rests her hand softly on Joker’s shoulder.
“She’s on her way up. Hang on, Joker.”
“I’m…not…going anywhere, commander! Gaaaghh….!!”
Genevieve shakes her head and looks to Liara who kneels down beside her, “This has gone from bad to fubar…Lykins killed the Illusive Man.”
“Whatever is in that file is extremely important.”
Genevieve puckers her lips, “It isn’t just the file. Lykins was already in system waiting for us. This was a setup. That file may be important but it’s us that Lykins wants.”
Liara grits her teeth, “That’s just great! I think we need to evaluate that file! Maybe it’ll help us figure a way out of here and to where we’re supposed to go.”
“After the doctor gets here to take care of Joker. It’ll give us time to figure out an escape plan.”
A minute passes and they see doctor Chakwas and two assistants rushing up to the bridge. Chakwas sees Joker and gasps.
“Jeff! What happened!?”
“We’ll get you fixed up! Hand me my satchel!” Chakwas says to an assistant and pulls out a syringe and injects Joker with it.
He grimaces in pain for a moment before getting a euphoric look.
“Now that…that is good…” he mumbles.
“Shepard, now would be a good time to evaluate our options,” EDI says as Genevieve stands behind Joker’s chair watching the doctor.
After a moment, she turns with Liara and hurries towards the war room. Once there, Liara and Genevieve open up the holodisplay and initiate the datafile. A stream of information flows through the air including coordinates to a system almost in the core of the galaxy itself. The data points allude to gathered information from the automatons, dark energy, and prothean technology.
“This suggests that there was a prothean world near the heart of the galaxy!” Liara points to a portion of the stream. “Did the protheans actually figure out how to stop the reapers!?”
“Hard to say. But there is a recording here from another automaton from a world we haven’t been to. It isn’t very distinguishable. But the coordinates seem to line up with what we found,” Genevieve says. “There’s a dark energy weapon on a prothean world the rest of the galaxy hasn’t seen. How did they figure out it was prothean?”
“Looks like by cross-referencing ancient prothean digs and data caches. Maybe it’ll be like another Feros. One big prothean ruin that holds the secret to beating the reapers.”
Genevieve stands up and frowns, “Or it could just be a wild goose chase. Maybe our only chance is to stand our ground against the reapers.”
“No, we can’t give up now, Shepard! We’re too close!”
“And what if nothing’s there, Liara!? It’s an over two week journey to the core completely out of contact with the fleets! There are no relays between here and there! That means we have to go in completely by FTL! By the time we got back there might not be any civilizations left!”
Liara reaches for Genevieve’s shoulder and smiles, “Genevieve, we have to try. You’ve heard Hackett. You’ve seen all the data. We can’t beat the reapers traditionally. If we go back now, it’s the same as accepting defeat. We have to. For everything we’ve accomplished…for…for Thessia…for all those still fighting to survive!”
Tears roll down Liara’s face and Genevieve exhales sharply.
“I, I know. It’s just, every new datafile we find, every new place we go…It just keeps saying we should look somewhere else. If we don’t find anything after this…I don’t know what we can do.”
“We keep our hopes up. Because, elsewise, what will we have? I refuse to think about…no…”
Liara turns away and walks around the table before leaning against it. Genevieve sighs.
“You’re right,” Genevieve says. “We have to keep pushing forward. We’re going to get past Lykins. And then we’re going to this system. I don’t know how. But we’ll find a way.”
On board the St Helens, Lykins watches his ships bombarding the surface of the planet looking for the Normandy.
“She can’t have just disappeared!” he shouts. “Look, this was the Normandy’s last known position.”
Lykins pulls up a map display using his console and holds a holographic pointer to point out the lake that the Normandy had flown over.
“Either she’s under water on purpose or she’s been destroyed! Either way, I want that ship found!”
Bryant sighs quietly and looks to XO Jiles. Jiles frowns and walks over to Lykins, “Sir, how long before we can expect company?”
“The relay is locked. We have Shepard to thank for that little trick. Nobody is coming through that way. Period. We have all the time we need. Now find me the Normandy!”
Lykins leans back and rubs his hand down his face while Jiles walks away and looks to Bryant who nods his head.
“What do you mean it’s locked?” Hackett questions and furrows his brows. “Shepard got through to that system. Now you’re saying we can’t?”
Hannah Shepard sighs and walks over to Hackett, “It looks like it was locked from in system just after Genevieve arrived.”
“That means this was a trap! Goddamn Illusive Man!”
“I don’t think it was a trap by the Illusive Man,” Hannah says. “You did say that Lykins was after him, didn’t you?”
“So you’re suggesting Lykins was already in system? How would he have even known?”
“The man is resourceful. And that’s all I’m willing to give him. If he was after the Illusive Man and Genevieve…”
Hackett looks to the viewscreen showing a holographic overlay of the system they’re trying to enter, “It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Both Shepard and Harper in the same system together. And I thought the reapers were evil. Alright, new plan. Find me a relay as close to that system as possible! I don’t care where! I don’t care how! It needs to have been found as of three weeks ago!”
A series of ‘yes, sirs’ and a flurry of activity overtakes the bridge as Hackett sighs slowly.
“If we don’t get into that system soon, we’ll have lost our advantage. And the war.”
Hannah frowns and puckers her lips as she walks across the bridge towards a monitor where there isn’t many people and sits in the chair looking like the weight of the galaxy is on her shoulders.
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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