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 five 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!)
Earth burns under the constant presence of fire and destruction waged upon it by the reapers. Several massive reaper capital ships slowly walk through the ruins of the city of London blasting at holdouts and power supplies. It continues its lengthy strides of wanton destruction while receiving only the barest of counter attacks by humans hiding out in the wreckage.
On the far end of London along the edge of the Thames River, David Anderson views the reapers through a view finder and grimaces.
“They’re really invested in harvested all of London,” he says and lowers the binocular device.
Next to him, lieutenant Wyatt nods grimly, “They’ve been focused on the major hubs of communications and commerce since getting here. Hardly any attention has been paid to those in the countryside gathering forces and prepping a counter offensive. This could be to our advantage.”
Anderson hmphs, “The reapers don’t give advantages. We’re always scrambling to catch up with em. My concern is the focus on London itself. Not even Vancouver got this kind of attention. Nor New York. Or Boston. No, they’re planning something and I don’t like it.”
“Planning what? They’ve already leveled a good portion of our civilization? To hear you speak, they’ve already won and we’re just buying time.”
“We are just buying time. For Shepard to find a solution to the reaper threat,” Anderson sighs. “But the reapers know she’s out there. I smell a trap.”
“What the fuck are they going to do to us that they already haven’t been doing?” Wyatt calmly asks.
A rumbling in the sky draws their attention. Several capital ships fly overhead as a massive vessel enters the upper atmosphere and settles into high orbit. It’s massive and can be seen from the ground. It looks like a giant obelisk hanging just above the Earth.
“My god…” Anderson mumbles.
“What the hell is it?”
A beam of light fires down from the obelisk straight into the heart of London. The reapers flying around set down near the end point of the beam and go to work with some ominous task.
“Impossible…it’s the Citadel.”
“The Citadel? Here? Why would the reapers bring it here?”
“That’s a damn good question, son. We need to get back to HQ. Things just got a whole lot more complicated. We’re going to need more than the skill of the telliks on this one,” Anderson lets loose a low grumble in his throat. “I need to contact admiral Hackett.”
“No time to waste then,” Wyatt says turning from the scene and dropping down the side of the fallen building they’re perched upon.
Anderson follows him a moment later and they head off into the shadows.
Harbinger flies past the lunar orbit and towards the Citadel now closed and hovering above the atmosphere of Earth. A mass effect beam cleaves straight down towards the surface and it is attended to by other reapers on the surface below. He slows as he approaches the Citadel and growls slowly to himself. The lights along his torso pulse rhythmically in satisfaction.
Penthos hovers nearby having been summoned by Harbinger earlier. He looks even less eager to be there than before which fills Harbinger with a strange sense of satisfaction.
Ours is coming to fruition. The perfection that the humans have earned is upon them. Billions have taken their rightful place and billions more have that sanctity to look forward to!
“Yes. We are Harbinger. You are the master of Harbinger. You are the reapers.”
Reapers. What frail terminology by weak minded lifeforms fearful of their own mortality. In the end all join the will of the Ch’nok. All merge with the Antara. In our embrace, they come to perfection.
“And always they fight, these simple lifeforms. Always struggling against the inevitable. They are stronger for us. Yet this one gives our mind pause.”
Shepard will join our consciousness. Shepard’s will shall strengthen our collective. She will embrace perfection. And she will come to know the truth her mind cannot comprehend.
We are Harbinger.
“Harbinger…” the smaller Penthos musters to say as Harbinger approaches. “You requested my presence? What is it that we can do?”
Harbinger floats past him towards the Citadel and stops part way, “Penthos. Your form is tiny yet your will is strong. Yours is the sixth and at the forefront of the will. Ten of us stood strongest in the early times. Now we number fewer. Every cycle brings losses yet our will is strengthened. Our resolve is tested time and time again. However, the Ch’nok perservere.”
“We stand before you. Ready to serve the collective.”
“Penthos. Steadfast Penthos. Reserved and knowledgeable. Yours sunk deeper within with the loss of Nolosk at the battle of Jipsin when the Kruin used the weapon of their relay against him. Clever Kruin. To figure out one of the uses for the conductors. They made a fine addition to our collective. Yet you still sunk. Then there were Parsa and Vintus. And deeper still you sunk.”
Penthos remains quiet as Harbinger slowly rotates towards him. Harbinger stares into Penthos’s shallow portals and remains quiet for far too long. And when he finally speaks, it is a resonance into Penthos’s very being.
“When we lost Sovereign, we knew matters would have to change. Never before has a being like Shepard challenged us. These humans are powerful and resilient. Which is why we have made a determination for increasing their perfection,” Harbinger chuckles deeply. “No other species in this cycle is worthy of this honor. Not the asari, who are too few for our purposes. Not the turians, who while skilled are weak of will. Not the salarians, who are weak and ill suited to our collective. And certainly not the batarians, who desecrated poor Nolosk’s corpse and made him their ‘leviathan’. No, for the humans, there will be perfection given in spades.”
Harbinger flies quietly beside Penthos and turns as he summons silently a reaper waiting beyond the Citadel. It flows smoothly towards them and yields the unsettling face of the creatures they’ve come to know all too well.
“When…how?” Penthos stammers.
“We returned to the collectors’ base and recovered the unfinished corpse. We gave him new life. Gave him the shell of the collective. Gave him the honor of his forebearers.”
The reaper comes before them and stops. The lights in its face form the eyes of a human face. The face merges seamlessly into the hull of a reaper body with almost human arms reaching out from its thorax ending in finger like prehensile appendages.
Penthos stares at it for a long moment and doesn’t say anything.
“Meet the Ch’nok, Zeus. Named for one of the humans’ gods. Now they have become him. The Citadel shall make harvesting easier of the humans as we give birth to two more just like Zeus. They grow now as we speak within the belly of our great conduit.”
“Three new Ch’nok? This is unheard of, Harbinger. We only ever grow one per cycle.”
“Our numbers have fallen too drastically over the last several cycles. We will grow our ranks back. Strengthen our will. With these new Ch’nok, future cycles will see the truth of our perfection even clearer. Everything is moving as it should. The Citadel is in our possession, the worlds fighting against the inevitable are being brought under our yoke, and Shepard frivolously seeks out the forbearers. Even now, she leads us to what was lost. It will be annihilated this time.”
“Is this Lykins no longer serving his purposes?”
“Oh he has served admirably. And his place we will give him when the time comes,” Harbinger growls lowly. “Go to Deimos. Instruct him to prepare for the arrival.”
“The humans think we haven’t noticed their attempts to amass an assault on our ranks. They intend to take the relay and force their way here to reacquire Earth. A noble gesture and wholeheartedly foolish. They always come, the lesser races. You’ve seen it more than once. This time, we’ll be waiting for them.”
“You will not pursue them first?”
“No. It is a waste of our resources. All the weapons in the galaxy will avail them little. Let them come. Give them ‘hope’ to aspire to. Then give them perfection. Go now.”
The human reaper turns and heads towards Earth to join his brethren in cleansing the planet while harbinger watches the Ch’nok in orbit prepping for imminent invasion.
Anderson’s image wavers as he speaks over the QEC they managed to install in their base in London. The man waves his hands as he speaks as if every motion enunciates the meaning more forcefully. This gesticulating always amused Hackett.
“And with the Citadel parked right over London, the reapers could be up to almost anything. We’ve sent scouts out into the vicinity and have determined that they’re using the beam to transport people captured up to the Citadel. We have no idea why.”
“It’s all just speculation at this point, Anderson. It does seem, though, that the reapers are slowing down the pace of harvesting for some reason. Your guess about it being a trap is likely correct. But a trap for whom? The Alliance? The civilian populace? Shepard? A case could be made for all of the above.”
“They know we’re communicating with Shepard. They are probably trying to lure her back and cease her efforts on forging the necessary alliances to take back Earth! They want her out of the way because she’s a threat to them!”
Hackett cracks a slight grin and shakes his head, “As idealistic as that theory is, it doesn’t fit the facts. I’m afraid the reapers know we’re no threat to them traditionally. Shepard may be their primary target, but it isn’t because they’re threatened by her. Maybe she would be a moral victory? Or maybe they want a taste of what is going on in that mind of hers. It’s all just speculation. Regardless, I’m sure they’re well aware of her efforts to acquire the weapon to use against them. That might have gotten their attention but then if that was the sum of it they would already be chasing her halfway across the galaxy not sending someone like Lykins to deal with her.”
“You may be right. How’s the situation with the rest of the galaxy?”
Hackett sighs, “Not good. Thessia has fallen,” Anderson sighs deeply and looks to the ground. “ Palaven is still under siege though the krogans are lending a hand on ground assaults which has resulted in a kind of stalemate, bizarrely enough. Sur’kesh went quiet a few weeks back but we’ve received several squadrons of warships full of salarian soldiers and volunteers that fled from the reaper invasion. From what we understand, Sur’kesh is lost as well.”
“Damn. This is taking too long!”
“I agree. But we’re forced to hold out for at least three more weeks. Do what we can to hold the reapers at bay until we get word from Shepard. The only good news we’ve received is that the quarians and geth have put aside their animosity and have relocated the quarian civilian populace to Rannoch. They recently sent us several squadrons from both fleets with the promise of future aid when the assault begins. For now, the reapers haven’t returned to Rannoch. It’s surprising but fortunate for the time being.”
“That is good news. Let’s hope it stays that way.”
“Indeed. Get back to it, Anderson. Find a way to distract the reapers from harvesting our people. If you can even find a way to disrupt that beam, that would be even better. But don’t get yourself killed. We need you to rally the troops on Earth and make the resistance a menace the reapers can’t find.”
“Don’t worry, admiral. Spirits are still high that we’re going to win this. We’ll do everything in our power to hold the line until that weapon is in our arsenal!”
“Godspeed to you, Anderson. Hackett out.”
The QEC goes silent as Anderson’s image fades away. Hackett sighs and picks up a cup off a nearby table. He sips on the coffee within and walks slowly to his quarter’s window. He looks out at the fleets gathered beyond and closes his eyes.
How long before the reapers come for us? And am I being cynical to think Anderson is overly optimistic? he sighs and takes another sip. Please, Shepard. Find something we can use. It’s the final quarter and we’re getting our asses handed to us. Just a little longer.
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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