A lot has been said of the long load times disguised as elevator rides in various Mass Effect forums. These are some random elevator related scenes I put together.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a call to your travel agent.

1. English or Englanders?

"Sometimes, I think of weird stuff," Alison Shepard said as she, Lieutenant Alenko and Gunnery Chief Williams stood in the elevator car, enduring the abysmally long trip from the Presidium up to the Council Chambers. The long ride wasn't improved by the quality, or lack of, the elevator 'music.' Williams had heard from somewhere that the music had been composed especially for the elevators by a world famous four-piece salarian group. Famous on which world, she didn't know. Possibly Elysium, they had...strange tastes over there.

"What kind of 'stuff,' Ma'am?" Williams asked, taking the bait dangled tantalisingly by Shepard. The three soldiers had served together only a short time but already, Alenko and Williams were coming to realise that their Commander, the first human Spectre, mind you, had quite a lot of going on behind her cornflower blue eyes. And some of that was, frankly, odd.

"If a non-smoker started wearing nicotine patches, would they then become addicted to nicotine and have to take up smoking?" Shepard asked. From out of the corner of her eye she could see Alenko and Williams trading glances. She smiled slightly.
"I honestly don't know what would happen, Ma'am," Alenko finally replied. Alison shrugged, maybe she'd buy herself a pack of nicotine patches and try it herself. It wasn't like she could expect to live a particularly long life, what with people constantly shooting at her and trying to take over the galaxy. Ashley shifted her weight from one foot to the other, and for want of anything else to do, cracked her knuckles.

"You're going to give yourself arthritis if you keep that up," Kaidan said.
"Old wives' tale," Ashley replied, then to Shepard, "Why would a non smoker start wearing nicotine patches to begin with?"
"Perverse curiosity? I can't be the first person to have thought about it," Alison replied.
Then another idea hit her as the elevator crawled along.
"Alright, if people from America are called Americans, why aren't people from Canada called Canadans?" Alison said.
Alenko looked sidelong at Shepard's face, trying to determine whether she was making some obscure joke. She looked quite serious, however.
"Um, well, I guess 'Canadans' just doesn't sound quite right, Ma'am," he finally answered.

Shepard blinked then turned to face him, idly brushing a few strands of raven hair from her smooth forehead as she did. "No, seriously, think about it. America, American. Canada, Canadian. Tell me that sounds right?"

Williams and Alenko traded glances and Williams shot a glance at the display of numbers inside the lift car, as the elevator rose up oh so slowly. "A person could literally die of old age before this thing got to where it's supposed to," she muttered.

"OK, how about this then?" Shepard went on, completely oblivious to the looks her subordinates were giving each other. The looks, loosely translated said, Why does it have to us trapped in a slow moving elevator with a deranged gun-toting woman? For the love of God, why?

"Why aren't people from England called 'Englanders?' Explain that one."

This time it was Williams who decided to meet the challenge implicit in the Commander's voice.

"Because, Ma'am, English makes more sense than Englander." She nodded to herself. She may only have a high-school education but Ashley Williams' parents didn't raise any fools.

"Oh, really?" Shepard replied, shifting her weight from one hip to another, causing Alenko to glance at her backside for a moment. "Ever been to New England, Chief?"
"I think I flew over it in a dropship once, Ma'am."
"Yeah well, guess what they call people from New England? New Englanders. They aren't called the New English. So by extension, shouldn't people from England be called Englanders?"

Williams opened her mouth to reply but Shepard steamrolled right over anything she might have said. "What about New Zealand? People from there aren't called New Zealandish, are they?"
Williams had to concede that, no, New Zealanders weren't called New Zealandish. She rolled her eyes in Alenko's direction. The Lieutenant smiled slightly.
"And, on the subject of New Zealand," Shepard went on, "If there's a New Zealand, shouldn't there by an Old Zealand, somewhere? I'm gonna have to check out the maps back on the ship, but I don't think there is."

"OK. Ma'am what about Scotland?" Alenko put in. Williams placed a hand over her eyes. She began to wish she was back on Eden Prime, shooting it out with the geth. At least them she could understand.

"What about Scotland?" Shepard asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Well, people there aren't called Scotlanders. They're called Scots. Because calling them Scotlanders is just strange."
"Uh, huh. Unless they're from the Highlands. In which case they're called Highlanders. Hmm, makes you think, doesn't it?" Alison said to herself.

"Think about what, Ma'am?" Alenko replied. Williams resisted the urge to ram his head into the wall. Stop feeding her elevator-induced lunacy, man!
"You know, about why people call things by the names they call them by. Too many people are content to accept conventional wisdom about stuff like that. Not me, though. Who's to say that just because something's 'conventional,'" Alison used her fingers to make quotation marks, "That it isn't wrong all the same?"

"OK, Ma'am, whatever you say," Williams replied, as finally, the elevator doors hissed open.