Saturday, 28 December 2013

Mass Effect Serialisation Chapter 5

Good Evening MonkeyBoxers!

Just a quick hello before I begin, I just wanted to say I hope you and anyone reading this had a great Christmas! And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoyed the extra films and end-of-year specials of your favourite soaps like Eastenders and Coronation Street.

If you've enjoyed these little (sometimes not little) serialisations of Commander Alex Shepard, then please feel free to grab the games on PC, Xbox 360 or PS3 - yes they're dialogue heavy for those of you more used to running and gunning on games like CoD, or having your dialogue chosen for you as you proceed through your games, but therein lies the beauty of Mass Effect. The story that I'll be trying to unravel (at this rate I might have Mass Effect 1 finished by next Christmas!) is just one of many, many, many different stories that you could also unravel - yes the overall story arc is the same but as has been said before during the Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco of 2012, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. And even though it pissed a lot of people off, it's so true.

Just as an extra side note, due to the massive amount of side missions, I will not be touching on them all - otherwise this serialisation will be too damn enormous.

Oh and as an extra, extra side note - these serialisations will be chocker block full of spoilers. But considering that these games are quite old now, even the newest game being almost 2 years old, I think I can carry on quite nicely.

Enjoy Chapter 5.

Walking the Citadel

Shepard and the others left the Citadel Tower and decided to try and find the C-Sec Officer, Garrus. As they walked through the Presidium to head to Chora's Den in the Wards they couldn't help but be taken in by the marvel that is the Citadel.

The Citadel is an enormous space station, capable of housing millions of people from all races in all of it's massive arms, called wards. The Presidium is a large ring at the base of the Citadel with a massive tower protruding from the centre of it. It is the capital of the galactic community, and the seat of power for the Citadel Council. Massive fleets of ships constantly patrol the Citadel, formed from the 3 Council Races - the asari, salarians and turians.

The Citadel was found by the Asari, thousands of years ago as they took their first steps in the stars, like the mass relays and the ability to use element zero or "eezo", it is believed to be a relic of the prothean race, who inexplicably disappeared around 50,000 years ago.

As they walked through the Citadel towards Chora's Den, they passed many other races, including the hanar - floating jellyfish like beings, fanatical about the Enkindlers, their name for the protheans, who enlightened them and gave them the ability to be what they are now. The volus - small, fat people, who have to live in enviro-suits in order to interact with other races as they don't breathe the same air as most other species. Finally they passed a few elcor - enormous creatures, very slow in movement and speech thanks to their home planet having extremely high gravity. Due to their slow and monotone speech, they elaborate how they are expressing themselves before talking, Shepard nodded a quick hello to one, who replied,

"Delighted greeting...pleased to meet you human."

As they reached the wards, they found themselves at a viewing platform. They took a short break from their travels to take in the gargantuan scope of the entire Citadel as it stretched out in front of them.

"Big place!" Kadian exclaimed as he leaned against the rail looking out the windows at the Citadel.

"That your...professional opinion sir?" Ashley asked with a smile,

"How can they keep tabs on all of this? The Presidium may as well be on another planet." Shepard said,

"There is definitely a gap between their presentation and what's here. Tracking arrivals must be a nightmare." Kaidan replied,

"This makes Jump Zero look like a porta john. And it's the biggest deep space station the Alliance has." Ashley commented,

"Jump Zero was big. But this is a whole 'nother scale. Look at the ward arms. How do they keep all that mass from just flying apart?" Kaidan said, taking more of an engineerial look at it all.

"It's no wonder the Council treats us like outsiders. We'd be just another drop in a bucket they already can't carry." Shepard said,

"Yeah, they probably just take us for another gang of FNG's looking for a handout." Ashley added,

"I doubt it's personal." Kaidan said, trying to insert some practical logic into the discussion, "It's probably just a balancing act like every other government."

"But what's not to like about us," Shepard said, trying to lighten the mood slightly, "We've got oceans, sunsets...this emotion called love. If the old vids are anything to go by."

"If you want to get me in a tin-foil mini-skirt, you'll have to buy me dinner first...Sir!" Ashley said, suddenly remembering who she was talking to.

"That'll be enough Chief," Kaidan added trying to diffuse any awkardness before it started.

"All right," Shepard said, not totally disliking the idea of Ashley in a tin-foil mini-skirt, "Let's move out people."

"Aye-aye, Commander." Ashley said, clearly relieved that her comments had had no repercussions. 

They walked on through markets and past clubs, the hum of activity was a lively din that showed that the Citadel was alive with activity, much like the old Earth saying about New York being "the city that never sleeps" the citadel never seemed to sleep either.

As they neared Chora's Den, a blonde man with matching blonde goatee saw Shepard and started acting up. Slightly weary, considering that they were preparing to take down a powerful Spectre, they started to walk past him, when he called out.

"It is you!" he said, "Commander Shepard: the hero of Eden Prime!"

Wanting to get to Chora's Den, after their diversion viewing the Citadel wards, Shepard was not in the mood to talk.

"Do I know you?" he said sternly,

" I'm Conrad Verner! They say you killed more than a hundred geth on Eden Prime! It's so nice to meet you in person!" he said like a giddy school girl meeting their favourite pop star.

"I don't have time for this Conrad. I'm not here to be a role model." Shepard said, folding his arms and scowling.

"Oh I see how it is." Conrad replied, clearly upset, "Commander Shepard doesn't have time for the little people. You go be a hero." Conrad waved his hand in dismissal and walked away.

"That was weird..." Kaidan added as they walked away.

They walked on through some more markets and found themselves at the entrance pathway to Chora's Den. As they approached, they saw 2 turians waiting outside, one of them said loudly "That's him!!" and they drew assault rifles on them. 

The turians opened fire on Shepard, Ashley and Kadian as they jumped to cover behind a small wall. They drew their weapons and spread along the wall to draw fire. Ashley broke cover and opened fire on one of the turians with her pistol, her perfectly honed marksmanship dropped the shields of one of the turians and Kaidan seeing this used his biotics to throw him against a wall, snapping his neck instantly. The other turian ran along another low wall and Shepard drew his assault rifle, he quickly left cover and in one fluid movement put the turian in his sights opening fire with a heavy volley of bullets - specially modified with chemicals to induce a chemical burn that would cut straight through shields and start to melt the armour and anything else to cause damage and death. The turian, clearly stunned at the ferocity of the attack, paused slightly, and that pause was enough for Shepard to shoot again, connecting with a perfect headshot killing him instantly.

Kaidan commented that they must have been Saren's men. And that the coast seemed clear. They holstered their weapons and entered Chora's Den.

Chora's Den was like a stereotypical bar that could be seen anywhere in the galaxy; asari dancers on platforms and performing private dances for patrons, all races enjoying drinks and laughs - even krogan were present in the bar, one as a bouncer for the back rooms. Krogan are huge reptilian bipeds from the sun scorched planet of Tuchanka, known for it's unforgiving environments, scant resources and over-abundance of vicious predators. The korgan rose to the top of their world being being even more vicious and adaptable than anything else on their world. As they advanced to a similar level to 20th Century humans, instead of showing any restraint with nuclear warheads, they showed an over-willingness to use them, destroying their planet and reducing their species to a post-apocalyptic primitive state. 

Despite their natural aggression, they were "uplifted" by the salarians about 2000 years ago to aid in the galactic war against the ancient arachnid race called the rachni. After driving the rachni to extinction, they were celebrated heros and saviours of the galaxy. That all changed when they started to focus their aggression on the other races, culminating in the Krogan Rebellions, a second galaxy wide war which ended with the genophage, a genetic modification developed by the salarians and utilised by the turians to reduce the fertility rate of the krogans who bred like insects, to 1 viable pregnancy in 1,000.

This action led to the krogans slowly dying out over the course of the next 2,000 years, scattering across the galaxy as hired guns, mercs, bodygaurds and bouncers - anything that required muscle and guns.

As Shepard and the others walked through Chora's Den looking for Harkin, Ashley commented that despite being millions of lightyears from Earth, they still managed to end up in a sleazy bar with dancers for the men. They walked through the bar and saw Harkin, sat alone, drinking glass after glass of booze.


I hope you enjoyed.