Mass Mayhem
by Universitas

This is my latest attempt at the Ultimate Drabble Challenge on the Jedi Council Forums. My last one, Minute Mayhem, didn't turn out so well; I stopped just before the halfway point. For those of you who don't know what the hell the UDC entails, it goes like this: 20 sets of 5 drabbles (100 words each) in 20 weeks. Each and every drabble (save for 10 of them) has a set specific phrase or word used as the prompt.

For Mass Mayhem, each week will have a specific theme as well, chosen by me. This week introduces Victor Shepard, the Paragade (75/25), Earthborn, War Hero, and Infiltrator.

I do not own Mass Effect. BioWare and EA do.

Part 1: Victor Shepard – Earthborn
Every hero begins his story with the loss of family. Victor Shepard is no exception, though what he lost wasn't a family in the traditional sense.

1. Flash in the Pan

"I've almost got it."

"Got what?"

Victor, seated on a close trash can, stroked his chin, then entered a few more strings of code into the stolen omni-tool. "I'm trying to rewrite the security protocols on this thing so I can use it." He looked up at Jake with a small grin. "Then I'll be able to do some real hacking. This thing is our ticket to swimming in credits."

The omni-tool's security—firewalls or something like that—was easy to crack. Victor had to smile; he had learned from the best, after all.

Crack. The device sputtered and died.


2. Out on a Limb

A fresh wave of pain crashed through Victor's body. He weakly clutched the gunshot wound on his side and pressed his back against the alley's wall.

Damn the Fangs, damn the Fangs, damn the Fangs. And damn his own carelessness at getting shot, too. The Reds had left him to die.

Another surge, but no scream. Victor's voice had given out long before.

As his vision started to blur, he vaguely felt something lift his unresponsive body. And just as he succumbed to blackness, he heard a familiar voice from what seemed like miles away. "You think I'd leave you?"

3. Out of the Blue

Victor opened his eyes to a blurred gray world, half believing he was dead until he realized that he was at the Reds hideout.

Jake approached his bedside. "How're you feeling?"

The memory of the wound hit Victor like another bullet. He weakly raised his head; bandages—medi-gel was reserved for the leader—covered the spot. Victor turned his head to Jake. "Been better."

"That's all you have to say?" The sudden emotion in Jake's voice stunned Victor into full awareness. "Dammit, don't get shot again."

All of a sudden, Jake grabbed the sides of Victor's head and kissed him.

4. Wet behind the Ears

"If Finch ever gives a thumbs-up, that means the deal's off. That's your cue to shoot the fucker. As many times as you need to until he's dead," Jake had said.

So Victor just waited from his spot on the roof, eager for Finch to give the signal, not questioning a pistol's ability to nail a target from a distance. But when the thumb came up, when Victor's index lingered on the trigger…

He wasn't sure if it was fear of actually pulling it, knowing that someone would die, or fear of accidentally hitting Finch.

But he couldn't do it.

5. Heat of the Moment

Finch smirked. "When word gets out, everyone will know what kind of person the first human Spectre really—"

"Shut up."

Jake's voice echoed in Victor's mind. "We don't want pussies who piss themselves instead of pulling the damn trigger…"

It was a past he did not want to remember, and Finch had made the fatal error of showing up to remind him. With an almost animalistic growl, Victor slammed the man into the walls of Chora's Den, rammed his pistol between Finch's eyes, and pulled the trigger.

Nobody turned to look as the fresh corpse slid to the floor.

Next week: Ashley Williams - Possibilities.

Let me know what you think; please drop a review!