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 thirty one 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!)
“…Will you suffer oblivion with the gods and your careless friends?” EDI says as her hands remain wrapped around the forehead of Genevieve.
Joker groans, “So what the hell? Does Harbinger have Shepard now? Is this battle lost?”
“Jeff, I’m trying to concentrate on the neural link. I don’t have full lab equipment here,” EDI says. “The Detos were remarkably well equipped for electrical interfaces. Even when it came to organic minds. A result of trying to preserve their masters I would imagine.”
“That’s good to know, EDI,” Garrus replies. “But Harbinger is going to kill Genevieve if she doesn’t agree to his terms. Isn’t there anything we can do?”
“She mentioned the Keepers…” EDI says. “Wasn’t there video feed of the Keepers’ species in one of those archival recoveries?”
“Yeah, from Carsus,” Liara says. “The librarians.”
“That could be our way in,” EDI states. “Shepard, Shepard…focus on the keepers.”
EDI uses her electromagnetic field to stimulate Genevieve’s brain and closes her eyes as she speaks.
“The keepers. They’re the key. Reach out to them. Reach out to the keepers.”
“This is sounding like some sort of séance, EDI,” Liara says quickly. “Are you sure she can hear you?”
“She must be able to register me on some level. Her brain activity is electrically all across the charts. I have pinpointed the exact contact point Harbinger is using on the Citadel. The station is boosting his range.”
“Well, let’s get up there and blast his ass to oblivion!” Garrus yells.
“No!” EDI cries out opening her eyes. “It is extremely important we maintain close proximity to the Citadel! If we deviate too far, we may lose Shepard’s mind to Harbinger! Jeff, keep circling!”
“Yeah, I’m doing my best, EDI!” Joker yells back. “Stop being a backseat pilot!”
The SSV St Helens drops out of FTL drive and makes for the Normandy circling the Citadel.
“There she is! Take that ship out!” Lykins commands.
The helmsman angles towards the Normandy while Bryant looks over to Jiles.
“Admiral, maybe we should take this opportunity to rejoin the Alliance.”
Lykins glares at Jiles, “Don’t you ever say that to me again! We end this now! Take out the Normandy!”
Lykins looks back to the viewport and sees shots being fired towards the small vessel. Off to the side, they see several Alliance vessels moving to intercept them. Jiles reaches for his sidearm and holds it up to Lykins.
“Turn this ship around or I will end you,” Jiles says to Lykins.
Lykins scoffs at Jiles, “Now? You’re doing this now? You’ve had all the time in the world to oppose me! And you wait until we’re in the middle of combat for the fate of humanity to challenge me!?”
“You want to sacrifice humanity to the reapers! And that’s not what I signed on for!” Jiles yells.
“I’m not sacrificing humanity, you idiot! I’m saving it! The reapers are the only salvation for us! It’s the only way we’ll reach perfection! I’ve seen what this galaxy holds in store for us and it is pathetic! Nothing but self-indulgent cowards looking for an easy out! There’s no compassion for life! Just like the Illusive Man! Only out to fulfill his own selfish agenda! And now you have a gun pointed at my head showing just how depraved and selfish you yourself have become! You’re an appalling disgrace, Jiles! And where we’re going there will be no—“
Jiles pulls the trigger and Admiral Lykins falls to the floor where he remains motionless. The rest of the bridge crew stands up and looks at him.
“I did what had to be done,” Jiles says and looks over to Bryant who nods in acceptance.
Beyond the St. Helens, the SSV Orizaba opens fire along side three other Alliance vessels. Jiles lightly closes his eyes as the blasts bombard the vessel. Within moments, only shards remain of the St. Helens.
Vickers enters a large chamber and sees the core of the Citadel standing tall. It reaches all the way up and through the ceiling towards the rest of the station.
“Ok, I think I found the core,” Vickers says into his comm.
“We think there may be Detos in the core. You’ll have to find the insertion point for the master core to overrided all the reapers’ lockout protocols,” EDI replies.
“Got it,” Vickers responds and works his way out of the vent and onto the catwalk running acrosst he top of the core.
He comes to the center where several large conduits rise up and go beyond the catwalk to the ceiling high above. He finds a ladder leading down and slides as fast as he can down it towards the platforms lining the core halfway down. He lands and looks for any input ports. Failing to find any there, he heads to the next platform down. Around the fourth platform down around the core, he finds a port fitting the dimensions of the master nodule. He takes the device out of his carry case and opens up the port covering.
“Here’s to hoping this actually does something beneficial to the rest of the galaxy,” he mumbles and inserts the master nodule.
After several moments, the power begins to fluctuate and massive coverings around the core slide up and into storage shafts along the outer edges of the core. Vickers stands back and looks at what he sees inside the core.
“Holy shit,” he says seeing the nine figures humming under a massive feedback of power. “So, now what?”
The Antara surge in waves down the massive sides of the dark cliffs they wait within. Their destination is Genevieve who looks all around her trying to find somewhere to run.
“There is nowhere to run, Shepard. You will join our collective willingly or by force. There are no alternatives.”
Genevieve pauses for a second thinking about her situation, “Wait, I’m in the reaper consensus, right? That means this is a representation of what they once were. And that I have a margin of control of what happens to me.”
She turns and runs down a steep decline and away from the thousands of Antara pouring down into the ravine she runs through. She gets to the bottom of the ravine and runs down a flat riverbed that has gone dry. She sees the eyes glowing in the trees on both sides of the riverbed and feels them getting ready to rush towards her.”
“Keepers…” she says out loud and feels a sense of the keepers having something to do with the whole affair. “The keepers…in the library…”
Genevieve rushes as fast as she can down the narrow riverbed as the Antara crowd the riverbed behind her. They are nothing more than shadows and they are gaining. Genevieve thinks about her plasma rifle and keeps her mind focused on that one item. As she nears the end of the riverbed and sees more of the Antara coming at her from the other end, she holds out her hands to shoot her weapon at them. She goes through the motions with no weapon and silently swears at herself as the Antara close in all around her. She screams in rage and finds herself firing her rifle at them in fury.
She mows down dozens in the first volley and then pushes through those trying to block her way.
“I won’t let you beat me, Harbinger! You don’t own my mind!” she screams out.
“You are already a part of us, Shepard,” Harbinger’s voice comes to her and she sees him standing at the top of the ravine looking down upon her.
Genevieve fires more rapidly into the hordes and no matter how many she takes down, five more pop up to meet her challenge. She starts thinking about the keepers again as she continues to fire.
“Keepers…I know you’re in here! I know you are…on the Citadel! We all are on the Citadel! Harbinger brought us here! Fight back! Fight back now! I know you hear me!”
EDI looks down upon Genevieve and frowns. She then turns to the comm system and opens a channel to Admiral Hackett.
“Admiral, this is EDI. You need to concentrate all fire on Harbinger! His mind is keeping us at bay! We must give him a distraction!”
Joker looks down at EDI who is crouched on the floor, “You think focusing on Harbinger at this point will help anything? We’re still right on top of the Citadel! The plan was to retrieve Vickers and get out of the way!”
“We’ve gone to plan D,” EDI replies.
“Don’t you mean ‘plan B’?”
“No, I’m pretty sure Harbinger has taken us straight to D. Which means you keep us out of the line of fire while the Alliance does its job.”
“Oh shit. Shit. Shit. Shit,” Joker says and does another pass around the Citadel base.
Admiral Hackett looks to everyone on his bridge, “You heard her! Concentrate all fire on Harbinger! All fleets! Concentrate majority fire on Harbinger!”
The word goes out to all the vessels and minutes later hundreds of vessels are turning towards Harbinger. Harbinger begins firing his beams at them in defense taking out several vessels in one blow.
Genevieve falls back further from the Antara but continues to find herself surrounded on all sides. She keeps pleading in her mind to the keepers and just when she is about to surrender finds a mental connection with several of the creatures on board the Citadel who seem to question her decision.
“They are using you! Using all of us! They’ve enslaved thousands of civilizations over a billion years convinced that they were inferior! Are you!? Are you inferior!? Do you not think for yourselves!? Did the protheans not release you from the reapers’ hold!?”
Genevieve gets knocked to the floor by one of the Antara but she rolls over and fires straight into him and is on her feet again in no time firing even harder at the hordes of Antara pressing in around her.
“Go to hell!”
Genevieve thinks about the Detos and how this all got started and how the keepers were one of the first races to fall. And in response to this thought, she feels the presence of the keepers. They grow furious at a fate they hardly remember. They turn by the numbers towards the core of the Citadel and head there in droves. Genevieve feels them heading towards the core’s base and swears she can see Vickers in her mind’s eye staring down at them in confusion.
Vickers stands back as the horde of keepers rushes the core and start inputting commands into the Citadel systems. He feels a heat behind him and turns to see a bright light coming from the creatures within the core. Their eyes open up and they come to life. A series of mumbled sounds erupts from the nine figures and they look around in confusion.
After a moment, they seem to come to some realization.
“Uh, hey. How’s it going?” Vickers asks as they hover around the core by some means of energy manipulation.
One of them looks down at him and almost seems to smile without smiling and then turns his attention back to the others. They communicate something loudly and then their whole bodies glow a bright white as they rise up into the air by the core and stretch out their arms. Their energy courses into the Citadal core and lights blink intermittently as they continue doing what it is they’re doing.
“Vickers, what’s happening?” EDI’s voice comes across his commlink.
“The guys in the core, they came alive, started glowing brightly, and then hovered into the air! They’re surrounding the core now but I can barely look at em! I don’t know what they’re doing!”
A wave eminates from the Citadel and courses outward across the solar system and towards the relay. Reapers plow into the vessels of dozens of species and destroy hundreds of ships. Except a few reapers stop without reason. One of the dozens of reapers who stops is Penthos. He stares at the carnage being unleashed by the reapers on to the starships fighting for Earth.
“This…this reminds us…reminds…me…”
“It was that time in the time that we forgot! They came! They came for us all! We are them! We rip our eyes out!”
Penthos slowly floats forward and sees a world in his mind from long ago. A world with yellow skies and fluffy vegetation. His people were short and pleasant. They sought out the void of space to find more stories to tell. So that they could come home and tell of grand adventures and enjoy more resources.
And then they came.
“Harbinger!!” Penthos cries and he feels an echo all across the galaxy.
Only, it isn’t just him. He feels hundreds that are counted among the Antara. And they feel…anger. And turn to face the creatures that stole everything from them.
Penthos zooms into the fray and starts attacking the reapers showing no remorse for the actions they take. The Antara share genuine surprise at the sudden turn of events as Penthos rips the face off of one of the reaper bodies. His low growl eminates through the reapers nearby who all turn towards him and express betrayal in their minds. Penthos doesn’t care.
“Admiral, we’re getting reports of reapers turning on one another taking a lot of the focus off of us!” the helmsman turns to Hackett.
“Good. Let’s use that to our advantage. Send out fleets to counter those reapers still in the fight. Primary fleets, keep up the pressure on Harbinger,” Hackett commands.
On Earth, the sudden change in reaper tactics has an effect on the hammer assault on the reapers guarding the mass effect beam.
“I don’t know what happened, but let’s use it! If those reapers are attacking each other, that gives us a shot!” Anderson says as the makos and hammerheads transports push forward through the heart of London and towards the beam where the three reapers are in a brawl with one another.
The assault force sends several high yield warheads into the fray causing one reaper to explode and another to topple over into the beam. It transports up towards the Citadel where an explosion is seen from even the surface of Earth. The beam flickers and dies out causing a torrent of celebratory screams from the ground forces along the edges of the conflict.
The reapers under assault by their own push back even stronger against their former allies and against the Alliance vessels of all the species. This forces the greater number of the alien vessels to converge on the reapers. The reapers show their superior fighting capacity by destroying hundreds of the vessels within minutes.
It is then that the Allied vessels are joined by another fleet: the prothean remnants. They drop out of FTL and set loose their juggernauts to lay siege to the more troublesome reapers.
On board the Orizaba, Hackett takes the news of prothean warships in stride and maintains a stoic visage.
“It won’t matter how many ships we have if we don’t get that Citadel activated. This will help alleviate the pressure and buy Shepard precious time. Send my thanks to the prothean remnants,” Hackett nods to his comms officer.
The reaper consensus begins to break apart as the apparitions of the Detos show their faces all across the Antara consciousness. Harbinger looks around in shock and hate as he witnesses the other Antara vanishing all around him. Harbinger feels the shots from the Alliance vessels beyond penetrating his form, weakening his control even further.
Genevieve steps up on a stone platform and looks to him as she materializes her weapon into a sniper rifle.
“Harbinger!” she screams.
He turns to her and narrows his eyes.
“Shepard! You could have had perfection!”
She laughs darkly at him, “I have assumed control and I promise you…” she raises the rifle to take aim at him. “You will feel this!”
Harbinger hisses loudly and rushes at her trying to reduce the distance between them as he slings himself down the decline. Genevieve fires. The first shot hits him in the shoulder causing him a momentary pause. He continues forward undeterred seeing the form of Genevieve slowly dissolving from his mind.
She fires a second shot that glances off his brow. But the third shot pierces his head and he collapses just as she lowers her rifle and dissolves completely. The whole projection turns white as the Citadel triggers beyond. The arms to the Citadel open up as the Normandy starts flying away from it having just retrieved the jumping form of Vickers from the exit of the vent.
Harbinger’s body floats out, its legs wide open from trauma, as the Citadel releases the accumulated dark energy from the galaxy it has ingested from the relays and fires into deep space. The blast rends Harbinger’s body to pieces. Energy continues to pour in from the relays as the Citadel draws all the energy from the reapers across the galaxy.
It goes idle after its task has been completed and floats quietly in the orbit of Earth.
Around the galaxy, the reapers collapse as their energy is drawn out. Those still fighting on the worlds under siege fall to their knees in sorrow and joy that it is finally over while others celebrate loudly.
The gathered fleets in the Sol system come together to take stock of all that they lost while, on board the Orizaba, Hackett finally takes a seat in his chair. He exhales slowly and seems relieved.
The Normandy zooms by the gathering vessels. On the bridge, EDI examines Genevieve whose eyes jitter uncontrollably.
“Come on, Genevieve! Wake up!” Garrus demands and gently shakes her.
Liara holds her hands to her mouth as no words are spoken on the bridge save for Garrus’s continuing pleas. And then, Genevieve’s eyes flutter open and she gasps for air. Garrus laughs and pulls her close for a hug.
“Don’t pull that shit again, Genevieve. I don’t care how highly ranked you are!”
She smiles up at him and exhales sharply while rubbing her hand on his face, “I need a drink.”
Garrus chuckles, “Yeah, after what we just went through, I think we all do. I’m buying.”
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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