Saturday, 11 January 2014

Mass Effect Serialisation - Chapter 6

This Story Is Just Beginning

As Shepard and the others walked through Chora's Den towards Harkin, they passed 2 krogan in a slight stand-off, one was clearly a bouncer to the back rooms as was smaller than the other krogan; the other krogan looked as though he'd seen little but battle in his life.

"Fist told us to take you down if you showed up." the bouncer said pointing his finger in the others face.

"What are you waiting for?" the bigger krogan said, clearly un-fazed by the threat, "I'm standing right here. This is Fist's only chance, if he's smart he'll take it." 

"He's not coming out Wrex." the bouncer said to the bigger krogan, now known as Wrex, "End of story."

Wrex leaned forward towards the bouncer, before saying, 

"This story is just beginning."

Wrex then turned and walked away past Shepard, Ash and Kaidan who had witnessed the whole thing and had to step aside to let the brute through.

"Out of my way human, I have no quarrel with you." Wrex said as he headed for the exit.

"What was that about?" Kaidan asked, bemused at the whole thing,

"Who knows," Ash replied, "Let's just try not to get caught up in the middle."

Shepard and the others finally approached Harkin after the side-show of the 2 krogan standing off against each other. Harkin saw the trio walking towards him from above the rim of his latest finished drink.

"Alliance Military! *hmph* I coulda been a marine you know?" Harkin said slightly slurred, "Instead I chose to join goddamn Citadel Security...biggest mistake of my life." Shepard decided to cut to the chase,

"I'm looking for a C-Sec investigator called Garrus, do you know where I can find him?" Shepard asked,

"Looking for Garrus huh?" Harkin replied with a wry grin, "You must be one of Anderson's crew, poor bastard still trying to bring Saren down... Yeah I know where Garrus is, but you gotta tell me something first. Did the Captain let you in on his big secret?"

"Just tell me where Garrus is before this gets ugly." Shepard said sternly,

"But it's all related don't you see? The captain used to be a Spectre." Harkin said with his wry grin unchanged, "Didn't know that did you? It was all very hush-hush. The first human ever given that honour. And then he blew it. Screwed up his mission so bad they kicked him out. Of course, he blames Saren - says the turian set him up." "

"Why should I believe a drunk like you?" Shepard asked scowling,

"Fine, whatever. Ask Anderson, I bet he tells you. Too proud and stupid to lie to your face." Harkin grumbled back,

"Just tell me where Garrus went." Shepard said sighing,

"Garrus was sniffing round Dr Michel's office. She runs the med clinic on the other side of the wards. Last I heard, he was going back there."

"I'm outta here." Shepard said as he performed a slight hand signal for the others to head for the exit.

They left Chora's Den and walked back through the markets that led them to the bar. Walking past the large viewing platforms that showed some of the massive vessels that patrolled and where coming in and out of dock, including the Destiny Ascension that they passed on their way into the Citadel. Ash and Kaidan talked between each other about Harkin's comments, culminating in Kaidan's view that Harkin's "an ass."

They quickly found Dr Michel's clinic, and entered to find several thugs intimidating her, but also Garrus sneaking up behind a small wall. One of the thugs shoved his gun in her face and said,

"Now, if Garrus comes around, you stay smart. Keep your mouth shut or we'll..." he stopped talking as he saw Shepard enter the clinic, Dr Michel turned to face Shepard and was grabbed from behind around her neck by the thug who shouted "Who are you!?" at Shepard raising his gun. Shepard drew his assault rifle and demanded the thug let the doctor go. As he did, Garrus broke cover turning to face the thugs and raising his gun in one swift movement, shooting his pistol hitting the thug holding Dr Michel through his right eye, killing him instantly and letting the doctor run for cover behind Garrus.

Shepard, Ash and Kaidan took the initiative in the slight pause in action due to the shocked thugs seeing their bosses brains on the wall in the blink of an eye, and they opened fire on the 4 remaining thugs killing 2 of them in the initial surge of gunfire. The last 2 hid at the back of the clinic, but kept shooting from behind a storage cabinet. Shepard, Ash and Kaidan felt secure enough to stand out of cover, the thugs shooting was wildly inaccurate and even if any of their shots hit their intended targets, they would barely scratch their shields or barriers. Garrus kept behind cover, ensuring the safety of Dr Michel, occasionally taking shots that would skim past his target.

Shepard saw his chance, the 2 thugs were standing either side of a fire containment system. With one shot from his assault rifle, the containment system exploded killing the 2 criminals behind their cover. Garrus stood with Dr Michel, the doctor brushing down her jacket and wiping her eyes of the involuntary tears that were building up from the ordeal. Garrus holstered his weapon and excitedly remarked,

"Perfect timing Shepard, gave me a clear shot at that bastard."

"You took him down clean." Shepard said, clearly impressed with the turian's skill with a gun. Garrus looked slightly coy, used to being slapped on the wrist for taking a risk like that.

"Sometimes you get lucky." he said, "Dr Michel, are you hurt?"

"No, I'm fine thank you. Thank all of you." she said in her sultry French accent.

"Who were they? Do you know who they were working for?" Shepard asked,

"They were Fist's goons, he sent them to stop me from talking about the quarian." she replied, now composed. The quarians were the race who created the geth that Shepard encountered on Eden Prime, though initially created as a kind of slave race, the geth rebelled and drove the quarians from their homeworld of Rannoch and their other settlements over 200 years ago. Since then, the quarians have existed living within their Flotilla, the largest single fleet of ships in the known galaxy - housing their entire race. Due to the quarians extremely weak immune systems, finding new worlds to colonise is next to impossible hence why they have remained in the Flotilla for generations - seeing quarians outside the Flotilla is rare enough to raise eyebrows, but common enough for people to have prejudices against them, seeing them as vagrants and petty criminals when in places like the Citadel.

"Does this have anything to do with the investigation into Saren?" Shepard asked,

"I think it might: Dr Michel." Garrus replied, and cued the doctor to continue.

"A few days ago, a quarian came into my office. She'd been shot, puncturing her envrio-suit. She wouldn't tell me who did it, but she was obviously scared and I could tell she was on the run." Dr Michel explained, "She asked me about the Shadow Broker. She wanted to trade information in exchange for a safe place to hide."

"Where is she now?" Shepard probed,

"I put her in contact with Fist. He's an agent for the Shadow Broker." Dr Michel said,

"Not anymore." Garrus added, "Now he works for Saren, and the Shadow Broker isn't too happy about it."

"Fist betrayed the Shadow Broker? That's stupid even for him, Saren must have made him some offer." Dr Michel said,

"That quarian must have something Saren wants. Something worth crossing the Shadow Broker for." Garrus concluded,

"She must have some kind of evidence that proves Saren is a traitor!" Shepard added, "Did the quarian mention anything about Saren or the geth?" he asked Dr Michel.

"She did! The information she was going to trade. She said it had something to do with the geth." Dr Michel exclaimed,

"She must be able to link Saren to the geth." Garrus said before getting more animated, "There's no way the Council can ignore this!"

"Looks like it's time we paid Fist a visit." Shepard said with a smile,

"This is your show, Shepard. But I want to bring Saren down as much as you do. I'm coming with you!" Garrus demanded,

"Why do you want to bring him down? He's a turian like you." Shepard said,

"I couldn't find the evidence I needed in my investigation, but I knew what was really going on. Saren is a traitor of the Council and a disgrace to my people!" Garrus said with candour.

"Welcome aboard Garrus." Shepard said, seeing the obvious use of the turian stood in front of him.

"You know, we're not the only ones after Fist. The Shadow Broker hired a krogan bounty hunter named Wrex to take him out." Garrus said,

"Yeah. We saw him in the bar." Ash said,

"A krogan mercenary could come in handy," Shepard said, "Any idea where we can find him now?"

"Fist accused him of making threats so we brought him into the C-Sec Academy for a little talk, if we hurry we can get him before he leaves." Garrus said,

"Let's move out people. Ash, head back to the embassy, update the Captain and the Ambassador on our progress. Garrus, we'll need your help at the C-Sec Academy with Wrex. Come with us." Shepard said,

"Of course Shepard. I don't want to miss this." Garrus said as they all left Dr Michel's clinic.


Slight delay because of the Christmas and New Year leave from work, and then going back to work. And now there is going to be another hiatus while I leave for a course for the next 2 weeks.

Just so you know, Shepard is a constantly evolving character in these serialisations - although the initial premise is to make him an alien hating renegade, he's a more complex fellow than that. In my eyes, yes he is a brutal soldier who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, but also he appreciates and forms good friendships with those around him (the people like Ash and Kadian for example, and now even Garrus). Professionally he might be a hard-ass, willing to commit borderline murder to get the job done, who has a dislike for the other races - but on a personal basis, and individually, he's alright. He treats his subordinates fairly, but will crack the whip when he needs to.

Shepard has a good eye for people and if you have talent and skills that he can make use of or if you genuinely seem a decent person he'll treat you well, but if you're someone who could annoy or get under his feet - you wont see the warmer, Paragon side of Shepard. But the man is now going to be less full on Renegade (prefer doing that when I'm not stopping and starting the game for this labour of love), but more of a Renegon...or Paragade. Whatever. 

This serialisation might take a while to complete, as you can see it's taken 6 chapters (6 evenings) to only get this far into the game/story - to be fair though I'll be skipping the absolute majority of side-missions in these and concentrating on the main plot, which is why you wont see Shepards involvment in the hanar/C-Sec officer dispute on the Presidium in these serialisations for example.

Anyway, happy hunting mother funkies.