Rigidity/Rebellion [Mass Effect]

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Cat~, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Cat~ Transformation

    May 1, 2009
    Since I've been trying to finish Mass Effect 3 for well over a month now, I figured I'd be productive in my sleepless night and write up a short piece set at the end of my most replayed game: Mass Effect 2. It's set at the end, and though I've tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible, I'd still suggest that you DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU PLAN TO PLAY AND FINISH MASS EFFECT 2 WITHOUT PRIOR SPOILERS.

    Please, enjoy.

    Shepard. Female. Loyal.

    She looked up, the Collectors' twisted abomination towering over them: the three who'd jumped head first into hell's deepest pit. They never complained, none of them did. They were a loyal squad through and through. She felt a pang of guilt as they fired at its weak points, the bullets and biotics were hardly enough to silence the self-doubt. They were her crew, her friends... her family. At least, they were as close to family as she'd ever get. The remnants of Harbinger's once mighty army fired at them when the unnatural beast was unable. They fought hard, using pack after pack of medi-gel as they pushed the enemy back. Once they'd discovered their weak points, the trio exploited them. The Commander ordered a biotic blast to her left and a combat drone on her right, all the while firing into the heart of the hulking beast. It took all of their strength and most of their precious resources, but they did it. They heard the crash as it fell, mile after mile down the once invincible base. Suddenly the platform shook beneath them. Their luck seemed to run out, but she never once thought of saving herself. She grabbed the hand that sought help, reassuring them that it would be alright. They both needed courage to rely on, and the Commander was there to supply it. She'd always had a way with words, with actions; allies trusted her, enemies feared her and she never once compromised her morals along the way. Refuge was impossible to find as the floor beneath them crumbled and in an instant the world around them went dark.
    When she came to, rocks were piled up around her. She got herself up and remembered: her comrades. Where were they? She looked around and saw an arm come through the cracks in the stones. She rushed over, tossing as many to the side as she could. Before she knew it, they were both coming to, one from behind and one right beneath her. They looked alright and before she could offer them aid they refused it, insisting that their shields had held up. They had the occasional scrape here or there but everyone was alive and walking. They said it was because she'd helped them, but she didn't believe it. Still, what might've happened otherwise? She entertained the thought for a second before the tremors began. They were distant, but it wouldn't be long before the ship was gone. They had to leave before the base was destroyed. They all ran as fast as they could until husks began to block their path. They took as many headshots and concussive shots as they could but Joker was adamant. "We've gotta go, Commander. Get your ass over here!" She couldn't respond, the sprinting left her out of breath. If anything, Joker could've at least shot a few down on his end. Finally they reached it, their ticket back home. "Everyone else is in, come on!" They'd all made it. The end was in sight. The suicide mission had gone off without a hitch. Joker used his rifle to keep a few leftovers off their backs and she gave him a hand. Moreau had never been good with guns that weren't on a ship, and she wasn't taking any chances. They passed her, conveying their gratitude with a nod. She grinned, reassuring them silently. They would make it. They'd all make it. "C'mon, let's go!" He screamed and she heard the shuttle backing away. Rocks began to fall down on the husks and she took her chance: it was now or never. She mounted her gun to her back, sprinting to the edge of the cliff. She heard them approaching and jumped, going farther and higher than she ever had before. Time almost slowed to a crawl as she came to the realization: she might not make it. She might die. Her arm instinctively reached out, searching desperately for a lifeline, and she felt it. Her squadmates grabbed her by the wrists, not daring to abandon their friend. She was the glue that kept their dysfunctional team together. As she rolled over onto her back, she sighed in relief. The door closed beside her and it was certain. She kept her eyes closed just a moment longer, letting the safety sink in. She'd be going back to the Normandy, all in one piece and with all of her crew. The reapers still had to be dealt with, but she'd end up on Earth. She'd promised Hackett. She was a woman of her word, and nothing would ever change that.

    Shepard. Male. Rogue.

    He looked up, the Collectors' creation towering over them: the trio who'd been dragged down into hell's depths. Sure they nagged every now and then, but they were the best of the best. He didn't care about loyalty -- it never mattered in the end; all he needed were results. He felt no remorse as he fired at its weak points. They hadn't died in vain. They'd served their purpose in the end. His two lackeys stood behind him, covering each side as he broke it all down with his highly developed skill-set. He reserved the medi-gel for dire moments: whenever he was injured. Eventually they brought Harbinger's "reckoning" to a geinding halt. The thing toppled, crashing down into the pit beneath them. They'd fulfilled their purpose, but just before he could picture the nightlife of Afterlife, the ground started to shake under their feet. He hadn't come this far to trip, though. He ran from platform to platform as they fell, focused only on survival: his survival. He hopped over each new obstacle, but it wasn't enough. The metal plating under him gave in, and he plunged into the darkness both physically and mentally.
    He came to slowly, but soon realized that there wasn't much time. He rose to his feet, using a pile of rocks beside him as support. He examined his surroundings briefly before seeing an outstretched arm under the rubble that had aided him moments earlier. He saw no signs of life and merely grabbed the shotgun sticking out on the opposite side. Most people would've wasted the time and effort, but he couldn't afford that now. He'd come too far to let emotions stop him. He'd raised himself from an early age, and the streets prepped you for the outside worlds better than any parents ever could. He sprinted through the caves, pushing on towards the end. Unfortunately, he was met with Husks on his wat out. The further on he got, the more Joker pestered him. "We've gotta go, Commander. Get your ass over here." He shot down the swarms while his biotics recharged, the pull and warp taking care of most without expending too much effort. "If you want me over there so bad, why not shoot the bastards yourself?" He ran, gunning his way past the hordes and elbowing the occasional stray he met on the way. He was alone, but he wasn't weak. He'd make it. He was THE Commander Shepard: the universe's hero, ths Citadel's savior, and every soldier's idol. He enjoyed the perks of glory, the exclusive access to places most guys only dreamt about. He'd come a long way, and he'd done it all alone. He's always been a survivor, and today wouldn't be an exception. Not if he could help it. He spotted the shuttle, Joker mowing down as many lackeys as his crap aim could manage. He holstered the rifle, hauling ass over to them. His pilot seemed more upset than usual, possibly because nobody else had survived. He blamed the abduction of the Normandy's crew on himself. He hadn't been fast enough, smart enough, strong enough, and yet he was one of the two survivors in this whole ordeal. And the Commander knew, just as he had always known: he had to do things himself, or he would've died long ago. Joker dropped the gun and as the shuttle pulled back, he jumped.
    Time almost slowed to a crawl and he came to the realization: he might not make it. He might actually die. His arm instinctively reached out, searching desperately for a lifeline, and he felt it. He clung desperately to the edge of the shuttle, unable to muster the strength to pull himself up; like it or not, he was physically exhausted from fighting off the hordes. Joker grabbed an arm, but try as he might he just wasn't strong enough. He looked up at his pilot, the fear present in his eyes, and he did it. He let go. As he fell, every noise went silent, save for the ringing in his ears. Again, the world slowed around him, and he saw Joker's face: disappointed. He knew what this would do to him, but he figured Moreau would have to toughen up like he had. The suicide mission had lived up to its reputation after all. He closed his eyes, and saw faces. Everyone he'd met, insulted, recruited: they were all there, seeing him off to his end. They stared him down, almost upset, and all pushed him away. They turned theor backs and walked, leaving the living legend to die. He loved being adored. He loved being a hero. But maybe, just maybe, he'd been a sham. "Living legend?" He heard her voice, clear as day in the dark of his mind. "More like 'lying legend.'" He almost grinned, recognizing that she might almost be right. Though he'd left her to die on Virmire, though he'd never felt anything more than lust for her, he knew that he'd failed. He'd failed everyone, letting desire and anger cloud his better judgement. Nobody would remember him, the man. They'd only acknowledge the lie, the "legend." He opened his mouth one last time. "I'm sorry... everyo-"