AN: Mass Effect and its characters belong to Bioware. I'm just playing with them instead of buying action figures.

The sharp staccato in her ears slowed. The rapid beat of drums slowed and lowered in pitch, becoming a deep "thaw-DOOM!"


With each beat, the tempo crept slower.


Pausing longer and longer between beats.


Until the silence between them grew almost painfully empty.


And in that empty, barren gap between pounding drums, her finger moved.

"KraKOW!" roared her sniper rifle in the silence between heartbeats. The 12 kilogram rifle slammed back against her shoulder with enough force to break bones if she wasn't properly braced against it. Her eye stayed looking through the scope, watching as her target crumpled, a 40 gram piece of lead and copper moving several times the speed of sound ripped through it.

Shepard lay still, counting slowly to ten, watching the enemy. They were trying to find the sniper that had been haunting their assault of Elysium for days.