Edited the chapter, as well as all the other ones, under a revised format. Enjoy the re-skinning, I hope.

Initializing Arc 1, Codename: Omega

MASS EFFECT 2: The Misadventures Of Subject Zero

a Series of Stories Involving Jack and John Shepard

Legend: "speech bubbles", 'thought bubbles', --- Load Screens...


Jack was nervous.

A week ago, that sentence would have been self-contradictory. Subject Zero was the strongest human biotic alive, and probably the strongest biotic, period. She lived her entire childhood life in a Cerberus training facility, and when she took the opportunity to escape, she tore down every single obstacle between her and freedom just by thinking it. She lived life on the run, doing whatever she wanted, and alone for the most part. Her isolation, together with the overwhelming hate she held onto from the past, motivated the heavily tatooed woman to hone her already exceptional telekinetic arsenal into the deadly weapon that it was today.

Her preference for going it alone wasn't always her own choice, but it was one that she learned to be the best way to live however you want. She very rarely decided to go to populated areas for reasons different than of the 'I'm going to fuckin' steal everything you own down to your underwear, asshole' type. Understandably, her social skills were not as society-friendly as many of her encounters would have liked. In fact, the biotic's favorite reply to any sort of greeting from someone else was a silent gesture representative of her general worldview: flipping the bird.

Taking to account this widely known fact - that if you see Subject Zero approaching, she's not going to ask about your day - visibly bothered said woman, especially considering her current course of action. For the longest time, she paced around her cramped little spot below the Engineering Deck. Half of the time she rehearsed for the sequence of actions she imagined should occur once she arrived at her destination; the other half of that time she questioned her very decision to push through with it at all. Her eyes wandered as she thought about what she was going to do in a little while, hands occasionally stroking through her bare scalp, and the toughest, meanest, biotic swear-mill this side of the known galaxy took a deep, shaky breath.

Jack was nervous.

--- Loading...
--- Trivia: Garrus Vakarian was not originally labeled Archangel by the community on Omega. However, the media begrudgingly
--- decided upon the name once they realized that the majority consensus of "Teh Badass Headshot Sniper Dat Pwns Your n00b A$$"
--- could not be condensed into a single word without losing something in translation.
--- ...

The female biotic brought a wary foot into the elevator, then the other, then with a less than confident motion pressed the button for the top level: the captain's quarters. Her mind was still in turmoil over whether this was worth all the trouble she was putting herself through. 'I mean, there's probably a damn better way to spend my time than this, isn't there?' she thought semi-defiantly. Right after she finished thinking that, though, Jack sighed. There wasn't any; in fact, this was actually the best thing the woman came up with to do today, or probably all week. Crossing her arms, she looked down thoughtfully as she recalled some of the events that occurred which led up to this sudden change in her disposition.

She approached him as soon as the door opened. As she called him out softly, he turned to face her in surprise. She could be no more subtler in her actions, as the dam could only hold for so much longer. As delicately as possible, she tried to communicate her feelings to him, cursing herself for her awkwardness. He silenced her, however, and with a look that spoke more than she could ever hope with words, she let everything go. That night, she completely surrendered her control, her power, her being. To him. Only him. She had no regrets.

None at all. That night, before facing the evil that threatened to erase humanity from the face of the galaxy like the Shepard VI threatened to erase innocent data on the way to real errors, the girl inside of her grew into a woman. She smirked at the recollection. 'Yeah, I definitely enjoyed how Shepard made friggin' sure I finally became a woman every goddamn night after the mission, too.' At the thought, Jack laughed out with genuine affection. She was simply awestruck by her recent lover's almost unlimited stamina in bed (and the couch, and the office desk, and the wall) and that he would be the one to call her up every time, as well. Not that she was complaining; 'Hell, the man's so fucking potent, I bet he could knock up the entire Krogan female camp if he wanted to.' Somewhere along her internal dialogue, she started to frown. 'In fact, if Shepard wanted to, he could probably get any woman in his sights. Dammit.'

That was another thing about the Commander that ticked the biotic off in maybe a good way: he made her feel. Specifically, being around him caused the confused woman to learn new emotions, some of which she never expected she'd get to experience firsthand, like sympathy. Or love. Or, in this case, insecurity. She began to pursue her previous train of thought. There were literally millions of females in the galaxy that would willingly go to him if he so much as hinted interest in their direction. There were probably hundreds of possible lovers that would be better for him than her. Jack would hate to admit it, but even Miranda would pose a much more appropriate catch: the ultimate leader and the genetically perfect human. She snorted unpleasantly, but shook her head as the normally confident woman acknowledged just how true a point she made. 'And I'm what? Like a second-hand Mako that's been banged up one failed vertical climb too many. Shepard's got some fucking weird tastes, is all I can say.'

Being so engrossed in her dark musings, Jack completely failed to notice the sound of the elevator opening and the tall, blue-armored figure entering it. Only when he spoke did her attention turn to the turian next to her.

"...ack, you with me?" The human biotic blinked in surprise and looked up to see the, well, what could best be described as the turian expression of worry etched in the gunnery chief's reptilian face.

"Huh? Oh, hey Garrus."

"..." The turian sniper reeled back in shock at her reply, his eyes looking the tatooed woman up and down. His right mandible, which had shown significant signs of improvement since it was first patched up, twitched in an agitated way. "A-are you sure you're alright, Jack?"

The woman looked back at him, this time with a raised eyebrow. "Why? Somethin' I said?"

"No. In fact, it's what you didn't say, or do, that startled me." Blinking, Garrus started playing with the edge of his armor that got blasted away by the gunship back when Shepard reared his ugly head back into his life. "I mean, normally you swear at me and aggressively express your disinterest in talking when I greet you. Either that or you do that... thing... with your hand, that is in human culture an expression of your severe dislike for courtesy."

At that long and vague description, Jack furrowed her brows in confusion before her eyes lit up, understanding what the turian meant. "Oh! You mean giving the finger, right?" She suspisciously crosses her arms, giving the uncomfortable sniper a questioning stare. "What's so weird about me just saying 'hi'?"

"Well," he started. "It's just that it's quite unlike you. I mean, I was with you and Shepard in that old Cerberus facility. I could understand why you would be so distrustful of people. Heck, if ever I was in your shoes, I'd likely be the one fingering you all the time."

"..." It was the biotic woman's turn as her jaw dropped.

"...? What? Something I said?"

Jack shook her head furiously, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose in the hope of getting rid of the mental image that was thrust int- 'Fuck!' -o her mind. Suddenly, she realized something very wrong. "Hold on, Vakarian. You're going to meet with the Commander, too?"

"Shepard? No." The turian took this opportunity to straighten up, his face returning its serious expression. "What made you say that?"

"Well, why else would you have come from the CIC level?"

The turian tilted his head at that. "...But that's where I'm going. Specifically, I have to return this manual to Doctor Solus." As he was speaking, Garrus showed her a few data pads he pulled out from his pack. "It's got a lot of interesting information, especially the section that explains how a male turian and a female krog-"

"Did you say you're not from that level?" Jack asked incredulously. "So, which floor did you come from?"

He blinked. "Where else? Mess hall." The tatooed biotic widened her eyes at the realization.

"You mean we've spent all this time talking and we haven't even reached the fucking next floor!?"

"In so many colorful words, ye-"

"God-fucking-damn this slow piece of hunk of bullcrap metal junk!"

"I would suggest that you not simultaneously kick and lay verbal waste to the Normandy's elevator, Jack," a disembodied feminine voice said, it's synthesized calm voice coming off as almost creepy. "Neither kicking nor cursing will shorten your travel time, and I assure you through both common logic and firsthand observation that combining the two actions yields the similar result of not helping."

"Stupid machine!"