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 nine 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!)
GALACTIC FLEET ALLIANCE
IGNOTUS SYSTEM ALLIANCE SPACE
Deep in the heart of an obscure cluster of stars lies a brown dwarf star system with no planets and only a scattering of comets and debris. It is here that the Alliance secondary fallback point has been established. The system is so remote that not even the batarians had discovered it despite the fact it bordered on their spaces with human territory. It was only through pure chance that an Alliance scientific mission to explore deep space came across the brown dwarf. It’s gravitational field had almost vanished against the radiation of the galactic background.
Now this quiet little hamlet amongst the stars was the only secure zone out of reaper eyesight. Batarian, human, asari, turian, salarian, Lon’vun, elcor, volus, quarian, geth, hanar, and twelve other species capable of space flight all have vessels awaiting to attack the reapers in the terran Sol system. All maintain ready status with scout ships patrolling the very edge of the Ignotus system looking for signs of reaper invasion.
At the center of the gathered vessels is the current flagship of the Alliance fleets, the SSV Orizaba. On board, Admiral Hackett stands on the bridge receiving status reports on all activity being coordinated among the various species. Some of the species already have a vast network of interaction via the Council protocols. Other species are newly joined to the galactic community. Forced into a conflict they never imagined when first setting foot into the greater galaxy.
“I hope they’re ready for this,” Hackett says softly to Captain Hannah Shepard who stands nearby with her hands folded behind her back. “Twenty three space faring species stand gathered together with all the vessels left to their names at the ready, prepared to jam a spear down the throat of the reapers. How many hundreds of thousands, millions even, of vessels full of dreadnoughts and cruisers, destroyers and scouts? I don’t even have an accurate count available. With this, the single greatest display of military might that perhaps the galaxy has ever known, perhaps even greater than the prothean empire itself, we can be sure of one thing: that it most certainly is not enough.”
Hannah shakes her head, “Way to think positively, admiral.”
“I’m being positive, Hannah,” he says and places his hands on the railing before him. “I stand in awe of the might we have at our command. And tremble at the prospect of facing the raw power that the reapers have at their command. A race of sentient machines that have razed the galaxy time and time again, destroying the greatest civilizations for countless cycles and always they remain victorious. Oh don’t get me wrong, we’ll give them one hell of a fight. They won’t soon forget this cycle. But I’m not foolish enough to believe that anything short of a miracle will see us through this day.”
Hannah purses her lips and raises her brows, “I hope this isn’t the speech that you plan to give the troops when the time comes to move?”
Hackett chuckles and moves to cross his arms across his chest, “Not at all. I’m just letting you know the same thing I’ve told your daughter, we can’t win this war conventionally. Not against creatures who thrive on this kind of conflict. This solar system is filled to near capacity with the throngs of defense and assault forces from all across the galaxy. We even have forces from former Cerberus agents as well as the mercenary forces gathered under Aria T’Loak. And when I think about it…it’s just ONE sytem full of ships. And the reapers have wiped this galaxy clean for as long as any species can remember. If you don’t respect that kind of ability, then one is too arrogant to effectively fight such an opponent. I refuse to make that mistake.”
Hannah swallows hard and stares at the hundreds of ships they can see out the viewport flying to and fro and the stationary vessels being repaired from conflicts they fled in their home systems. She looks down to the floor and sighs.
“Promise me that you won’t quit. That you’ll do everything in your power to make the reapers suffer for the pain they’ve brought to this galaxy.”
Hackett looks to her and lets loose a slight smile, “It will be my every pleasure to strike at their hearts and to keep striking even when the jaws of oblivion are clasping at my throat.”
“Then you will find us all fighting at your side to the last, admiral.”
Hackett nods and exhales slowly as he turns to watch out the viewport once more. After a moment, a yeoman comes up to Hackett.
“Admiral, the fleet commanders have arrived in your ready room for debriefing.”
“Good. Any word yet from Shepard?”
The man shakes his head, “No. I’m sorry, sir.”
“Thank you, yeoman.”
The man salutes and rushes off. Hackett sighs and turns to leave the bridge.
“Let’s get in there. We’re going to have to start this mission soon. Every day we delay is another day the reapers have to figure out where we snuck off to.”
Hannah follows close behind, “Maybe we’ll get lucky and they won’t bother.”
“One can hope.”
Admiral Hackett and Captain Hannah enter the ready room and find it nearly packed to capacity. Dozens of commanders from the gathered fleets stand speaking with one another nervous in anticipation of the coming conflict. They stop and look at the gathered peoples. Some are so tall they nearly reach the ceiling. Others disappear under a sea of flesh.
At the head of the table in the center of the room stand the members of the Council with the turian primarch and a male salarian.
“All right. I can see everyone is here,” Hackett begins as the room falls to a sudden hush. “Councilors, it’s good to see you again. What’s the status of the fleets?”
The councilors spread out so that Hackett can come to the end of the table and speak to the gathered commanders. The heads of the fleets make as much room for each other as possible so that all can participate in the meeting if questions come their way.
Telvos quietly pulls up the projection of the Ignotus system, “We’ve divided up into fifty strike units with one hundred assemblies in each unit. Every unit has dreadnought heavy artillery, frontal fighter squadrons, cruiser support, and waypoint scouts. Newer recruits from first contactees that barely escaped the reaper invasion strikes still have significant portions of their fleets with heavily damaged vessels. Repairs are coming along slowly, however, we have plenty of resources to work with thanks to the debris in system. Plenty of asteroids with metals and minerals.”
“How long will the repair work take?” Hackett asks.
Telvos gives a slight frown, “We’ve been working on those repairs for the last week. It may take another week or two to bring those ships completely up to battle ready status.”
Hackett frowns, “I don’t know that we’ll be able to stay off radar for another two weeks. Our scouts have reported back that the reapers are increasing the spectrum of their sweeps. After concentrating the majority of their strike forces on the homeworlds, they’re sending out small scouting parties looking for colony worlds. Several of our scout ships were destroyed. Also, several relays have been locked out to us. Looks like the reapers are using are own tactics against us.”
“Striking at the reapers too soon could be to our detriment, admiral,” Councilor Valern says. “My people have already been dealt a serious moral blow with the fall of Sur’Kesh and the loss of the dalatrass. If those ships are not at full readiness, it will leave an opening in our ranks.”
“I understand your reticence, councilor. But we’re living on borrowed time. The reapers are closing off our access to the relays. From what I understand, they’ve left the Sol Relay still open. If they finish their task on Earth, they may just lock it off too.”
“Unless they left it open on purpose,” Sparatus says. “A prudent maneuver would be to block all other access points across the galaxy leaving us just one narrow path to travel. They want us to come to them.”
“I figured as much myself. I can’t be worried about traps right now, though. None of us can. The reapers know we’re out here. Wherever we go, they’ll be waiting. The whole galaxy is one big trap. We push through, we take them down,” Hackett says looking around the room. “Now, there is other news that is…frustrating. Commander Shepard has yet to return from the core. She’s a week past due and still no communications. I’m not sure what this means. However, without that weapon, we’re going to have to go in traditionally. Fortunately, I’ve coordinated with our strategists across the various fleets and we’ve come up with a battle plan that will serve us well.”
Hackett brings up a display of the immediate star cluster, “We’re three systems beyond the Shadow Relay, to refresh memories. We will send each unit out and enter the relay in waves and strike at the Sol system,” the display shifts across the galaxy map to Sol. “There, the first wave will engage the reapers guarding the Sol Relay. The first wave will be composed of Alliance forces. We’ll engage the reapers guarding the relay and try to trigger the dispersal of dark energy. If we fail in this tactic, communications will be sent out to begin the sequential invasion of the proceeding waves. Every five minutes, a new wave will enter the relay and make their destination Earth. If the relay tactic won’t work our next target will be here.”
The map zooms in on the third planet and its orbit where all in the room can see the moon and a massive starship just outside Earth’s atmosphere. The view zooms in ever closer.
“This is the Citadel. I’ve been in constant communications with admiral Anderson who is staging resistance strike assaults on the surface. He has delivered information showing that the lead reaper, Harbinger, is guarding the Citadel in orbit. This ship is our primary target. We take him out and hopefully that will disorient the reapers. If that should fail…”
Hackett stands stoically looking at all the faces looking to him for answers, “Then the strike units will open fire on any and all reaper ships in the vicinity. Know that the reapers can take extraordinarily heavy damage and remain functional. You will need to essentially gang up on them five to one. When you are engaged do not let up on them. The reapers will sieze any advantage they can. I’m handing the floor over to captain Hannah who will walk you through other assessments of combat readiness. Any further questions can be directed towards her. I will send word when the time to strike has come. Captain.”
Hackett moves aside as Hannah steps up and begins speaking to the crowd. Hackett walks out of the room and back towards the bridge. Along the way he encounters Ashley Williams who walks beside him.
“Admiral, the troops are ready to move on your word. Are you sure you haven’t heard anything from Shepard?”
Hackett shakes his head, “Unfortunately, no. Hopefully she was just delayed. I hate going into battle without an ace up my sleeve.”
Ashley frowns, “Then it looks like we’re on our own on this.”
“Hardly on our own, lieutenant. We literally have the galaxy on our side and you can thank Shepard for that. Had she not forged these Alliances and convinced so many to cooperate, we wouldn’t be in as good of shape as we’re in.”
“This is true.”
Hackett stops and looks to Ashley, “I’ve also come to another decision. I’m promoting you to commander. You’ve proven yourself dependable over these last few months and I need someone I can trust overseeing command strikes.”
Ashley is speechless for a moment before saying, “I, I’m honored Admiral. I won’t let you down!”
Ashley salutes and Hackett returns the favor, “I know you won’t. I’ll have your insignia soon. It’s been hectic around here lately.”
“I understand, admiral.”
Hackett continues towards the bridge while Ashley stands there in shock. She is brought out of her stupor when alarms start sounding and she rushes towards the bridge to find out what’s going on. She arrives in time to find Hackett already there and getting an update.
“We’ve got incoming reapers, admiral!”
Hackett looks to the helmsman, “How many?”
“Looks like three dreadnoughts, and six scouts!”
“Open a channel to the fleets,” Hackett commands the comms officer. “All fleets, this is Admiral Hackett. Reapers are inbound attack formations!”
The readouts on the bridge confirm the fleets making their way towards the reapers that have already began attacking the outlying portion of the fleets. Two of the scout vessels peel away and head back the way they came.
“Those scouts are making a break for it! Take them out!”
“No ships close enough to respond in time, admiral!”
Hackett scowls as the first scout jumps to FTL. Before the second can, it explodes into fire. Hackett furrows his brow.
“Who got that one?”
The helmsman brings up a system display and sees a blip acknowledging the presence of a vessel inbound.
“It…it’s an Alliance ship, sir. Sir! It’s the Normandy!”
“The Normandy!?” Hackett sighs in relief. “Are we receiving any communications from them?”
Ashley stands to the side and seems visibly relieved as she listens to them trying to understand why the Normandy isn’t initiating comms.
“We’ll find out soon enough. Maybe they’re receiving comms. Inform the Normandy to dock on the Orizaba and have Shepard meet with me asap.”
“Message sent, sir.”
“Sorry about that, admiral,” Genevieve says as she enters the war room where Hackett evaluates the Sol system map. “The Keldas Nebula fried out our comms system while we were evading the reapers. Been trying to get it back on line for the last two weeks. EDI believes we need a whole new unit. We didn’t have any on board.”
“You’re here now, Shepard. That’s all that’s important. What did you find out?”
Genevieve quickly nods at him and tries to catch her breath from her hurrying to the meeting, “We found something you won’t believe.”
Genevieve motions back towards Liara who enters the room with Alianna. Hackett winces his eyes as he sees her.
“This is Alianna, admiral,” Genevieve says. “She’s of the prothean remnants that live on Ardix in the Reidax solar system. Where our mission took us.”
“She’s a prothean? They still live?”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, admiral Hackett,” Alianna gives a slight bow with her hand clenched and armed saluted across her chest. “It’s regrettable that it has to be under these circumstances.”
“The pleasure’s all mine. We could share so much if not for our dire predicament,” Hackett says. “Do the protheans have the weapon?”
“It’s not a weapon, admiral,” Genevieve replies. “It’s information. And it’s potent at that. The Citadel is the advantage we’ve been looking for. We found a data archive on Ardix with information related to a crystal node within its containment hold. It’s all in this report, sir.”
Genevieve hands him a datapad. Hackett scans over it quickly and looks at her.
“The Antara? Is this really suggesting we have a weakness we can exploit agains the reapers?”
“Yes, sir. But we better hurry.”
“I agree. You destroyed a scout ship on your way in, but the other one got a way and our fleets are engaged with the reaper scouting party as we speak.”
They hear cheering coming from the adjoining rooms. Hackett frowns and joins Genevieve and her group as they head to the bridge. Once there they receive the good news.
“The reapers have been destroyed!” the helmsman smiles broadly.
“I’ll be damned,” Hackett mumbles. “They did it. Took out three dreadnoughts. I’m impressed.”
Sparatus and Ashley walk up behind them.
“Shepard, good to see you made it back in one piece,” Sparatus says.
“Councilor. Looks like we’re almost ready for this assault. Lieutenant,” Genevieve nods towards Ashley.
“It’s commander now,” she grins back.
“Commander? That’s amazing, Ash! Congratulations!”
Hackett looks to Genevieve, “That’s not the only promotion I had in mind, Shepard.”
“I’m giving you an in field promotion to General. I want you on the front lines keeping everything organized. I’ll fill you in on the battle plan laid out with the commanders of the fleets but we’re going to alter it just a little bit.”
Genevieve shakes her head, “Whatever you need, Admiral.”
“Good. Then I need you to coordinate your efforts with commander Williams and come up with an insertion plan that will get us close enough to the Citadel to be able to use this master nodule of yours,” Hackett turns to leave. “We leave for Earth in five hours. Councilor, send word to the others to assume battle stations and prepare to receive revisements to the plan we’ve discussed.”
“I’ll make sure they know,” Sparatus hurries off the bridge.
Ashley stands near Genevieve with Alianna close by, “Looks like we’re about to finish this.”
“Yeah,” Genevieve says quietly. “One way or another.”
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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