Mass Effect: Endgame
Bedford, Great Britain
Something was up.
No-one knew what, of course. The only 'intel' was the whispered rumours spread throughout the camp, and those whispers were never reliable. But in the past few days, convoys had arrived from elsewhere – from as near as Bletchley to Scotland and even mainland Europe. Obviously, command (or what passed for command these days) was up to something big.
Annoyingly, Major Coates was being very tight lipped about it.
"You know the rules, Bob," shrugged Corporal Graham Smith as he checked his battered M-96 Mattock rifle, "Keeps the comms quiet unless it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise we risk broadcasting the whole damn plan to the Reapers."
"Like that'd make a difference," sniffed Private Bob Andrews, "How much did we lose on the Mil Keynes raid? Thirty men? Forty? Not easily replaceable, Gray."
The two soldiers were perched on a destroyed wall that had once been the Goldington Middle School. Now it was empty and ruined, just like the majority of the Earth.
"I know," sighed Smith, "But if we're getting back-up from goddamn Cologne, then we're either making a decisive strike or we're desperate."
"Why Britain?" quizzed Andrews, "Why not New York or Beijing?"
"We'll find out, eventually," replied Smith, "Just make sure your gun is ready."
Andrews looked at his submachine gun and snorted.
"Yeah," he sneered, "Because the Reapers are going to be terrified of a Shuriken."
"Better that then a rock," reminded Smith, "Some of these resistance guys – their guns are older then my dad. Hell, I saw one bloke with a goddamn rifle from the last century!"
"Did you ask him where he got it?"
"No. Because he died."
"What're you two buggering on about?"
The two soldiers looked up as Sergeant-Major Benton strode up, his voice dripping with self-important air.
"Nothing, sir," replied Smith, "Just waiting for…"
"I don't give a shit, Corporal," barked Benton, "Major Coates has ordered all troops to gather up on the oval."
"Isn't that basically a sign for the Reapers to 'drop bomb here', sarge?" quizzed Andrews.
"The sky is clear, if you'd care to look up," snapped Benton, "In any case, Coates says it's important, so get your arses over there."
"Aye sir," nodded Smith, getting up.
The two soldiers walked over to the burnt flatland that was once the school oval. The rest of the troops gathered at Bedford Camp were standing there, watching as a shuttle descended from above. Major Coates was nearest the front, waiting to greet the new arrival.
"We still have shuttles?" whispered Andrews.
"Only a few, and only for the indispensable," replied Smith, "This guy must be pretty important."
The shuttle landed softly on the burnt grass, and the door began to lift open. A man stepped out, saluted Coates, and turned to the assembled troops.
"My name is Admiral David Anderson," he announced, "Get yourselves ready – we're headed for London."
Kai Leng was dead.
Not that the Illusive Man had received official word that he was dead, but he knew Shepard's capabilities – Headquarters had stopped transmitting after his last chat with the Commander. If Leng had lived, he would have made sure it was known.
Time was running out, and yet the Illusive Man was contented.
He sat in what had once been the office of Ambassador Udina, having a cigarette as he waited. A battalion-sized unit of Cerberus troops – perhaps the last vanguard of the once mighty organisation – had already secured the area as a buffer to delay Reaper forces, should Harbinger decide he had outlived his usefulness.
Of course, in the Illusive Man's mind, Harbinger had already lost.
With the acquisition of the Prothean VI, the Illusive Man had everything he needed. Nothing else mattered – Kai Leng, Henry Lawson, Donnel Udina, all of them were pawns who had played their parts and been taken. Setbacks like the destruction of the Collector Base, the death of Miranda Lawson and the defection of Jacob Taylor had meant nothing in the long run.
Now, he knew the power the Citadel – the Catalyst had. Before long, he would control the Reapers, and then nothing would stand in the way of the destiny of humanity.
He just had to wait for the Crucible, and that meant waiting for Shepard to do the work for him.
AN: Hello, and welcome to my first Mass Effect 3 fanfic. Kind of a jump from writing about Spongebob, but I'm hoping to be a writer one day, so it's probably a good idea to learn other genres.
This fic comes from my extreme dislike of the ending of Mass Effect 3. Despite Martin Sheen's pretty epic portrayal of the Illusive Man falling to pieces, it was stupid, it was needlessly meanspirited, and it just really didn't float my boat.
However, I decided to expand it from just a rewritten ending to full fic because I was interested in other points of view in the Battle of Earth. Therefore, while this story is Shepard's, I'll be adding other POVs from people like, say, Wrex, Major Kirrahe or Jacob, to give it scale and avoid simply adapting bits I liked.
One more thing: this is based on my game (and the embarrassingly named Rommel Shepard), so I'd better lay our my choices - Ashley died on Virmire. Jack, Samara and Miranda died on the Suicide Mission (before anyone calls me a chauvanist, it was more because I disliked their personalities - I do like Tali and EDI and Liara grew on me). The rachni and Wrex lived, the Council did not, but I blew up the Collector Base. Tali is my LI. Shepard sort of transformationed from Renagade to Paragon as I played. ME3 stuff will be covered in the next chapter.
This is new ground, so please bear with me. Concrit is welcomed. Let's do this thing.