Sunday, 23 March 2014

Mass Effect Serialisation – Chapter 13

Mass Effect Serialisation – Chapter 13

Therum

Shepard returned to the Galaxy Map in the CIC of the Normandy, and decided to head to Knossos, it was the nearest system to Sparta and as good a place as any to continue the search for Dr T’Soni.

It took a while but after arriving in Knossos, they started scanning the planets immediately. It didn’t take long before the planet Therum light up like a Christmas tree for Commander Shepard. The planet was already settled by the Alliance and was a heavy industrial centre. It should have been the first planet they went to thinking back; a few months back some ancient ruins were discovered on the planet surface that as yet hadn’t been excavated and explored, it was a perfect fit for Dr T’Soni – the archaeologist.

Shepard went down to the planet with Wrex and Kaidan in the Mako, and shortly after being dropped off by the Normandy, Shepard was contact on the comm by Joker.

“Commander, I’m getting some strange readings – really strange, like off the damn charts. It looks like it’s coming from an underground complex a few clicks away from the drop zone.” Joker said, sending the co-ordinates through to the Mako’s navigation system.

Therum was a mineral rich and rocky world, it was an easy choice for the Alliance to exploit the natural resources available. There were only a couple of small settlements on the planet, but the plans were for it to become a major industrial centre like Bekenstein. After travelling in the Mako for a short while, they realised that they were facing a race against time to find Dr T’Soni, a geth dropship flew overhead and dropped two armatures in their path. Geth Armatures are large anti-vehicle and anti-personnel units that have heavy machine guns and a pulse cannon for taking out all manner of enemies. However, they are also quadruped walkers, and are easily knocked down by brute force. Fortunately for Shepard, the Mako is pure brute force.


The two armatures landed on the ground in front of the Mako, it would seem odd that only two were dropped, but it immediately indicated to Shepard that the bulk of their forces must be further ahead, and these armatures were sent just to slow them down. Shepard was determined not to let that happen. He couldn’t just pass them and risk them catching up to them later down the line, so he employed a similar tactic as he used previously against the Thresher Maw on Edolus. He drove the Mako at full speed against the first armature, using the vertical thrusters to “hop” over any incoming balls of plasma-like energy that would have seriously crippled the Mako’s shields. As they approached the first armature, Shepard increased their speed whilst alternating between the Mako’s own machine gun and cannon to wear down the geth walker. After dealing a large amount of damage upon it, they rammed it hard, barely scratching the Mako’s shields or heavy armour, the armature flew through the air and smashed into a nearby rock face, shutting down or dying or whatever it is geth do when they’re destroyed. Shepard decided to employ the same tactic against the second armature to devastating effect, but this time sending the armature into a nearby lava flow. After dealing with them, they drove on towards the strange readings signalled by Joker and the Normandy.

They continued to drive on for a while, and the path narrowed into a bottle-neck. They turned a small corner and suddenly came across 3 heavy-geth turrets. Immediately, the turrets trained their sights on the Mako and started to fire rockets. Wrex spotted an even narrower side gulley, and spoke up.

“Only a fool punches a nathak in the mouth. We should sneak around a pull its tail.” As Wrex spoke he pointed out the small side route that could be taken, and Shepard drove. After entering the small gulley, they had to drive slow to navigate it, and encountered a solitary turret in their path. It wasn’t a challenge, and the slow rate of fire of the rockets didn’t pose a problem, as Shepard could hop over them – again using the vertical thrusters. They destroyed the turret and drove into the compound, where there were more geth units within. The compound itself was an overrun refinery, no traces of humanity were left, as the geth patrolled it. There were a few bigger geth that were in the compound that would later be identified as a Geth Destroyer, Geth Shock Trooper and a Geth Juggernaut. The Destroyers were slightly larger than normal geth, and could utilise a plasma flame thrower to devastating effect. The Shock Troopers were able to throw up a hexagonal shield at will to take cover behind, and were able to quickly advance up the battlefield as a result. Geth Juggernauts on the other hand, were not in need of a shield. As their name suggests, they were enormous versions of standard geth units, but also fired rockets, and could just as freely advance up the battlefield due to their incredible robustness.


They used the Mako to clear out the compound, and then stormed the gate house to get past the secure gates. The path led on towards the dig site that Dr T’Soni could well be. The presence of the geth only served to confirm their thoughts that they would find Dr T’Soni soon. The only question they needed answered however, was whether or not she was working with her mother and Saren.

They drove away from the small compound, and figured that they would encounter more geth along the way and they did. They came across and destroyed another 4 armatures, before coming to a large clearing by a tunnel. There were several geth rocket troops dotted around who were easily disposed of, they werern’t the problem. The problem lied with the Geth Colossus standing in their way. The Colossus was about 4 times the size of the standard armatures, and their pulse cannons were guided, no amount of hopping the Mako or evasive manoeuvres would prevent them from striking their targets. Shepard decided to practice their previous tactic in order to take this giant out – ramming it.

Shepard drove as fast as the Mako could go, taking fire the whole time with the shields holding out well – just before reaching the Colossus, Shepard hit the vertical thrusters and the Mako flew into the body of it, hurling it to the ground. He knew they wouldn’t be able to maintain that kind of offense against the Colossus, so employed a playground bullies tactic – while the Colossus was floored, Shepard spun the Mako around and drove over the top of it, hitting the brakes so as to park their tank on top of the Colossus in the hopes of preventing it from getting back up. And it worked. It would take longer, but they needed to destroy the Colossus, so they go out and got in close to it, inserting their weapons through the cracks and joins in its armour and firing relentlessly until their weapons overheated. This worked as well, and the light on the Colossus’ head went out.


Shepard, Kaidan and Wrex got back into the Mako and drove into the tunnel to continue their search for Dr Liara T’Soni.


Toolbox 24

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I really hope you're still enjoying this. I'm not posting chapters up as much as I'd like, but this is going to keep on going right up to the end - so get used to it. :-)

Oh and when I find the time, I'll remind you that I'm not a one-trick pony and write about some other games. T'ra.