|First to the Finish
Author: ANARCHY RULES PM
A novelisation of the first game following the story of Commander Shepard and her struggle against the Reapers. Expect regular updates.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Shepard (F) - Chapters: 6 - Words: 12,183 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 04-16-13 - Published: 10-28-12 - id: 8649858
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello everyone. This, as you have probably guessed, is going to be another Mass Effect novelisation. The Commander Shepard for this story will be a FemShep/Soldier-class/Earthborn/Sole-Survivor. She will also have some minor biotic talent.
I will also be writing this under the assumption that people have not played the games. I know that most of you have, obviously, but there will be descriptions of the various races and characters for the two of you that haven't played the games.
Also, while it is obvious why the characters never call Shepard by his/her first name, since this is a novel; some characters (e.g. love interest, close friends, not everyone) will use a first name. Since I want all of the readers of this story to have an investment in this character, I will let you, the readers, choose a name. When reviewing this chapter please nominate one of the following names:
Obviously, once decided, no new votes will be considered.
As the story continues, there will be further opportunity for reader participation.
I will be describing Shepard throughout the story but if you want a photo of the person I have based her on, lick on the link on my profile. BBC fans will recognise her.
Finally, reviews are welcome and if they are plentiful, I swear to attempt a chapter every week.
Now that that's over with, enjoy.
Chapter One – Hot Bunking
Shit! As Commander Shepard strode the deck of the SSV Normandy a sudden thought struck her with all of the subtlety of an adolescent's pick up line. It was the third day of the Normandy's first voyage that was to be, by all accounts, a simple shakedown mission when it occurred to her that there were too many people. She mentally backhanded herself for not realising it earlier when she was informed that she would be "hot bunking" with her sleeping pod.
To hot bunk means to share the use of a bed/pod with another member of the crew. For example; Smith would go to bed at 0100 hours. He would be then woken at 0700 hours by John. While Smith attends to his duties, John replaces him in the pod and sleeps until 1300 hours. Then the cycle continues until it gets back to Smith. Hot bunking only occurs on ships that have a large crew. Ships that have crews so large that hot bunking is required do not go on simple shakedown missions.
Seriously! She thought. I'm in the N7 program, how did I miss that?
Also, the fact that there was a Council Spectre on board should have been a dead give-away.
Shepard felt the deck shake slightly as the Normandy left the Mass Relay. Okay, she imagined the deck shaking. According to the "experts" there should be no physical sensation when a ship enters or clears a Mass Relay; however one in three passengers would still experience some mental impression of movement. It was just one of those things. Clearing her head of her idle thoughts, Shepard took note of the three occupants of the bridge. The first, sitting in the pilot's chair was Flight Lieutenant Jeff "Joker" Moreau. A small, pale man who seemed to live in the bridge. Had he actually did so, it might have explained the eight week old beard that was not, strictly speaking, regulation. He also perpetually wore a navy blue cap which covered his shaggy brown head of hair. Shepard had never discovered the reason for the nickname "Joker". While the pilot had a somewhat sarcastic sense of humour, he was far too cynical to ever be considered a comedian. To his right was the co-pilot's chair in which, for some unknown reason, sat Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko. Alenko was a softly spoken man of obvious Asian ancestry but his accent clearly implied a Canadian home. Shepard had worked with him and Corporal Jenkins in several combat exercises and had grown to like the quiet young man. He would always say what he thought of something but always in the same polite, controlled manner. While his weapon accuracy could use improvement, his biotic powers made up for any shortcomings in other areas. Shepard privately wished that she could display the same ability. While she did possess some minor talent, it was never going to be anything impressive. The third figure would have easily towered over the other two had they been standing due to his height of six and a half feet. Turians were typically taller than humans. While bipedal, Turians were vastly different to humans in terms of aesthetics. With dark, scaly skin, twin mandibles on the jaw and a carapace crowning the top of the head, Turians, easily resembled some of the alien invaders in the old sci-fi vids. The elaborate facial tattoos were also reminiscent of ancient human tribes. Nihlus was a perfect Turian specimen. He was also a Council Spectre and had, for some reason been assigned to the Normandy for her maiden voyage. Shepard was sure there was a reason and would be informed of it in due course, as being executive officer usually meant she was privy to all details of a mission. Normally she would patiently wait but this was different. She wanted to know now. This was mainly due to the fact that this Turian seemed to be wherever she went. If writing reports, he would sit down for hours at a time, observing her, refusing all offers of conversation. If sparring, he would observe. If walking down bloody hall, he would observe. It was driving her insane.
As she approached them, she could hear Joker verbally checking the ship's status after clearing the Relay. "Thrusters... check. Navigation... check. Internal emissions sink engaged. All systems online. Drift... just under 1500 K."
"1500 is good," Nihlus declared. "Your captain will be pleased." He then promptly turned around left, not even acknowledging the presence of Shepard. Following me, now avoiding me, make up your mind! Shepard thought wryly. As soon as the Spectre was out of earshot, Joker muttered, "I hate that guy." Alenko turned to him curiously. "Nihlus gave you a compliment. So... you hate him." Joker laughed harshly. "You remember to zip up your jumpsuit on the way out of the bathroom, that's good. I just jumped us halfway across the galaxy and hit a target the size of a pinhead! So that's incredible!" The irate helmsman retorted. "Besides, Spectres are trouble. I don't like having him aboard. Call me paranoid."
"You're paranoid," the Lieutenant replied smoothly, "The Council helped fund this project. They have a right to send someone to keep an eye on this investment."
"Yeah, that's the 'official story'" said Joker, making quotation marks with his hands, "And only an idiot would believe the official story."
"They don't send Spectres on shakedown runs either," said Shepard, entering the conversation. Joker nodded animatedly, "Which means there is more going on than the Captain is letting on-"
"Joker. Status report," interrupted Captain Anderson's voice over the intercom.
"Just cleared the Mass Relay, Captain," replied Joker, his former sardonic tone replaced with a professional one. "Stealth systems are engaged. Everything looks solid."
"Good," said Anderson. "Find the nearest comm buoy and link us into the network. I want mission reports relayed back to Alliance brass before we reach Eden Prime."
"Aye, aye, captain. Better brace yourself, sir," Joker warned. "I think Nihlus is headed your way."
"He's already here," came the curt reply. Alenko chuckled softly. "Tell the Commander to meet me in the comm room for a debriefing." The captain then switched of the intercom. Joker turned to Shepard and asked, "You get that Commander?"
"Yeah, I got that," Shepard replied sarcastically, her grin taking off most of the sting, "You pissed the Captain off and now I'm going to pay for it." As she turned to leave, Joker spun around and said, "Hey, don't blame me! The captain's always in a bad mood."
"Only when talking to you, Jeff," retorted Alenko. Shepard paused for a moment.
"Sorry Alenko, but I have to ask" she said, "Why are you taking shotgun?" Joker and Alenko laughed.
"Crosby slipped in the shower and broke his hand," answered Joker with more mirth than was strictly necessary.
"So I offered to step in," Alenko added.
"Alright," said Shepard, "As you were."
As Shepard considered the possible ramifications of Joker's blunder, she couldn't help but overhear Navigator Pressly engaging in a heated debate over the intercom. "I'm telling you, Adams! I just saw him!" Pressly exclaimed (it appeared he was talking to Engineer Adams), "He just marched by like he was on a mission."
"He's a Spectre," replied the more mellow voiced engineer, "They're always on missions."
"And we're getting dragged right along with him." Pressly fretted.
"Seriously, relax," said Adams, as Shepard passed by, "You'll get an ulcer." Shepard liked Adams. A consummate professional. Pressly, on the other hand, was harder to like. Older, balding and set in his ways, the navigator had a temper to match a Krogan. Not that he would have liked the comparison, bearing a strong anti-alien prejudice.
As Shepard continued to move towards the comm room, she heard a familiar voice. "I grew up on Eden Prime, Doc," Corporal Richard L. Jenkins said earnestly, "It's not the kind of place Spectres visit. There's something Nihlus isn't telling us about this mission."
"That's crazy," Dr. Chakwas replied half irritated/half amused, "The captain's in charge here. He wouldn't take orders from a Spectre." The pair were standing outside the comm station, unintentionally blocking the Commander's way.
"Not his choice, Doc. Spectres don't answer to anyone. They can do whatever they want. Kill anyone who gets in their way." The young man tried to deepen his voice dramatically and failed miserably. Everybody liked Jenkins. While he was by no means the brightest bulb out there, he was an extremely friendly young man who positively gushed with enthusiasm and dreams of grandeur.
"You watch too many spy vids Corporal," Shepard said grinning. Jenkins, noticing her presence, turned to her and asked, "What do you think, Commander? We won't be staying on Eden Prime too long, will we? I'm itching for some real action."
"I sincerely hope you're kidding, Corporal," Dr. Chakwas scolded. "Your 'real action' usually ends with me patching up crew members in the infirmary." Chakwas was, without a doubt in Shepard's opinion, the scariest women in all of creation. She seemed to view every battlefield injury as a personal insult and had been known to reduce trained soldiers to weeping school children over some minor plasma burns. She was also a very good doctor. Shepard decided to head off the young man before he did something "heroic" on the battlefield and got everyone killed. "You need to calm down, Corporal," she said firmly, "A good soldier stays cool, even under fire."
"Sorry Commander," replied the Corporal, "But this waiting's killing me. I've never been on a mission like this before. Not one with a Spectre on board!" His youthful eyes widened. Shepard decided that now would be a good time to change the topic to one less likely to get her killed in the future. "You're from Eden Prime, aren't you, Jenkins?" She asked, "What's it like?"
"It's very peaceful, Commander," he answered, "Gorgeous, too. They've been very careful with development, so you don't have any city noise or pollution. A little too calm and quiet for me, though. That's why I joined the Alliance. Even paradise gets boring after a while."
"So is there any reason a prototype military vessel and a Spectre would go there?" she asked curiously.
"Not really sure, Commander," Jenkins confessed. "Eden Prime's one of our most stable colonies. Good place to take the Normandy on a shakedown run, I guess. No real danger there." To Shepard's alarm, he, once again, grew more excited. "But there's got to be something else going on!" he exclaimed, "We've got a Spectre on board! That's why I'm so wound up. I can't wait for the real mission to start!"
"Just treat this like any other assignment and you'll do fine," she said quickly.
"Easy for you to say, Commander," Jenkins said enviously, "You proved yourself on Akuze. Everyone knows what you can do." Chakwas noticed a slight twitch in the Commander's face. Jenkins, of course, failed to notice it.
"I try not to think about Akuze," Shepard said softly. Shaking her head slightly, she then said, "You're young, Corporal. You have a long career ahead of you. Don't do something to mess this up." To her relief, Jenkins nodded. "Don't worry ma'am. I'm not going to screw this up."
I hope so kid, she added silently as she left and entered the comm room.
The first thing the Commander noticed when she entered the room was that the Captain was nowhere to be seen. Instead stood the Spectre Nihlus. He then turned to face her and quietly said, "Ah, Shepard. I'm glad you're here. I was hoping for a chance to talk."
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this. Feel free to review and remember to vote.