Hello all! Mass effect echoes has been in the works on this site for over a year now, but since it was my first shot at Fanfiction at the time of it's birth, I didn't really manage to do justice to the idea that I had running through my head.
So here I am, a year of dabbling in Fanfiction under my belt, and I've decided to restart the tale, Rehash, Re-do, Ret-conn and generally improve the story.
Updates will be very, VERY frequent thanks to the fact that I have the entire story backed up on my hard drive.
To all those fantastic people who added the original to their favs/ alerts I thank you for your support, and apologise that I am being such a pain. But I honestly believe the end result will be worth it.
Mass Effect Echoes is an original story which begins just before the events of Mass Effect 1, and will run side by side with the events of that story, with mostly original characters (a few familiar faces WILL make contributions to the story as we go on)
Receiving reviews is the highlight of my day, so any feedback will be absolutely fantastic!
Thanks for reading!
-Sector Four: Sarian Military Facility-
It was a long forgotten world.
Floating in a slowly degenerating orbit on the very edge, the very precipice of Citadel space. The lonely planet resembled little more than a small speck of insignificant dirt floating aimlessly between the ebbing and waxing stars. From the sandstorm swept surface of this tired world, the nearest sun, a fading red giant, was visible only as a pale blue glow on the dusty horizon.
Never dark, Never light, Sarian existed in perpetual twilight; the site of a constant battle between deep bottomless shadows and always weakening light, a battle that would always end in the favour of the remorseless darkness.
Once, long…long ago, Sarian had been inhabited by the Turians; the planet had been a useful staging post between the Citadel and Krogan territory during the bloody Krogan Rebellions.
The debris of war and a species desperate for a quick victory littered the surface: empty stone buildings, brittle with neglect and battle damage. The outdated and exhausted VI interfaces lay dormant. Their purpose long forgotten.
But there are those who believe that it is a duty to remember the past.
Even if it is to simply earn enough credits to pay for another meagre meal and fuel for their craft.
Slow, cautious footsteps.
The kind of footsteps that have not been heard on Sarian for many centuries.
Armoured, spindly and scabbed little insects; sixteen legged and murky grey like the planet they lived on, shivered and withdrew into cracks in the facilities walls; a hundred silver eyes peeking out at this completely new threat to their little world.
A Quarian emerged from the shadows as if she was one herself. She was cautious, her gun in hand as she picked her way slowly and with meticulous care through the military ruins. She was holding her pistol, a somewhat outdated Raikou class piece of weaponry, but it was still completely deadly in well trained hands. She held it in a practiced two handed pose, sweeping it back and forth, tracking shadows and mist for any potential threat.
After all, Sarian was the home of many a ghost story…
Even in her environment suit, which was a stylish murky red with small streaks of black, she gave a little shiver – if this was due to the freezing temperature or the simply the very nature of this planet; even she wasn't sure.. She walked on, cautious and careful; as if expecting a nightmare to burst from the shadows behind her and swallow her whole. She paused briefly to consult her Omni-tool, and orange light spilled out, lighting the once gleaming corridor with a faint warm glow.
She was getting close... she was sure of that at least. A few moments of following her carefully plotted course, and she finally reached one of the long abandoned control sections.
She instantly spotted and advanced on a ancient steel podium, blazoned with the proud Turian military insignia now pitted with corrosion and supporting a dilapidated monitor screen.
She gave a small business like "Tsk" despite herself at the with the state of the system. She pressed a few unlighted buttons, seemingly at random and she suddenly jumped back in surprise as a cool purple light flashed into life and took its pre-programmed form; the form of a distinctly fuzzy looking Turian composed of violet light.
"This VI is programmed to respond to the name: "Racksen." Welcome to sector four of the Sarian military facility."
"Thank you, Racksen. It's a lovely place you have here! The insect life is quite… unique, isn't it?" replied Mia'Traalas Vas Drina.
She smiled at herself. She was talking to a V.I about insect life. This was clear evidence that she was spending far too much time by herself these days. But then again, who else was there?
She bent slightly, scrolling though the data which had appeared on the screen. She spoke to the VI, glad despite herself for (even virtual) company.
"According to what little data I could scrounge together, Sarian has been deserted for centuries. I guess there isn't much call for a military outpost in this sector of the galaxy…"
The VI gave a slight flicker then replied in its emotionless monotone.
"This V.I has been offline for exactly Five hundred and forty years, Two hundred and twenty seven days, four hours and seventeen seconds"
"So here you are… all alone and forgotten in the dark."
She paused, her well trained hands no longer moving over the interface.
"I'm looking for… stuff. You know, data caches, codex entries… that kind of thing."
"Apologies, level three access is required for information concerning all military resources."
She sighed. It had been worth a shot, at least. No matter.
With an invisible Quarian smirk, Mia ripped through the Consoles archaic security programming with a dab of Omni-Gel and a few minutes of vicious typing.
A wave of data started to wash over the hologram display.
"Got you," she said, looking up at the display. According to the readouts, a small cache of black box data had been left behind in the V.I core, probably as a emergency back up. Or maybe the Turians had intended to return at some point.
Suddenly, the data she was scrolling through gave a shudder and several shrill protesting bleeps.
Mia looked up at the confused read outs with a hand on her hip.
"Your sub routines are all wrong" she muttered. "Really, really wrong. It's like you've been wired back to front."
"He is watching."
Mia looked up at the V.I. "Excuse me?"
The Turian V.I gave several violent shudders. The poor thing was probably glitching it's audio files.
Typical Turian technology.
She stepped away from the podium, and the V.I faded away; back into its offline sleep.
"Keelah se'lai, Racksen." she said quietly.
Mia made her way towards the VI core, walking slowly; her Omni Tool displaying a small holo of a map of the complex.
She needed that data.
It didn't take long to reach the V.I core, she rushed down several flights of metal stairwell, putting all her concentration into not looking down or imagining how much longer the old stairwell would hold before it collapsed.
She came to a huge metal door, locked and corroding with brown rust; she made short work of bypassing the system and the door gave a protesting growl as it opened.
"Shh." She hissed to the door.
The door revealed little. No lights flickered on, all she could see was a wall of black.
She sighed and stepped inside, flicking on her Omni-Tool light as she advanced. Her suits air purifiers failed to block the stagnant stench of metal and oil, carefully making her way down yet another ancient metal stairway - her Omni tool now lighting the way. It was getting colder. Darker.
The beam of light passed over several defunct systems, their purpose long since forgotten; Her white torchlight stumbled across a sign:
-VI DATA CORE: NO UNAUTHORISED ACCESS-
The access door was locked, but like the one before; didn't take long to hack.
"That's… odd." She said to herself, her voice – delicate but with a hint of steel and sarcasm that sounded flat in the confined space.
There were no terminals in here. This was the V.I core. It should be crammed with equipment- precious equipment she could strip bare for her own use…but there was nothing here…and certainly no VI core.
A lumpy something lying on the floor caught her attention. It was grey but smooth, half hidden in shadow.
Her torchlight gleamed on… bone. Was this a Turian corpse? It was curled up on the opposite wall, a complete skeleton just like the diagrams mother had shown during her childhood-
"You can't just leave Mia!"
"Yes I can, Mother! You have made it perfectly clear who you believe! I will not-"
Mia gave a sharp head shake. Eager to forget an old and bitter memory. She moved closer to the body.
It was wearing the remains of a one piece overall- definitely Turian.
Mia knelt down carefully and inspected the body. No identification.
"What happened here?" she whispered.
A shrill alarm like an animal raw barked int life, causing mia to start.
Suddenly the door behind her slammed shut with a groan and clang. She jumped up from the body and ran to the door. It was locked. Sealed from the outside. It must have been on some sort of automatic system.
"Oh… Bosh' tat." she mumbled, feeling a burning knot of panic starting to tighten in her chest. She was a dozen light years from the nearest know civilisation, she was about half a mile under the ground on a planet even the mercenary bands avoided.
She was completely trapped.
With only a Turian corpse to keep her company.
Thanks for reading!
Anyone up for being my beta?
Please take a few moments to write off a quick review. It would mean a lot to me :)