This is my first try at writing anything for an audience, so bear with me (within reason of course: If I'm terrible, just tell me).

I'm sure many of us have dreamed of what it would be like to live in our favorite fictional world. Here, I speculate how I would react being transported into the "Mass Effect: universe.

Commander's Stats: Paragon Joseph Shepard with dark skin, black hair, green eyes. Romance=Ashley. Class="Vanguard". Armor color=Dark Blue and black. Will throw in a renegade interrupt or two in that I could never resist.

Personal Stats: Conner Donovan (pardon the alias), brown hair, light skin, brown eyes. Skills: Former Jazz trumpeter and media enthusiast, eventual hyper-Sentinel with a Stealth field generator and a modded M-96 Mattock. Romance:Tali?...

Frack. Kark. Hell. Crap. No friggin' way.

No combination of those words adequately describes what is going through my head right now. I mean, how exactly am I supposed to feel? I'm not a fighter. I'm the farthest thing from a soldier or warrior it's possible to be while still being human.

That's not to say I haven't fantasized about it, hell most of my free time is spent imagining how cool it would be if I was a great hero. Still… Until yesterday (or thereabouts; I haven't really been checking how much time has passed) I hadn't even thrown a punch in anger in my life (though I've been punched many times)…

And in the span of a few hours I've been shot at, shot down, been blown across creation (literally), had my perception of reality completely upended, and I'm supposed to: "suck it up, Marine?" I just survived a crash landing in a fighter I don't know how to fly, being ejected into a whole other plane of existence (forget planet), and almost had my ass shot off by Geth! GETH. G. E. T. H.

Man I don't even know where my head is at the moment. Well, maybe a better introduction is in order; I just had to get that off my chest.

To clarify: Yes, I am a bit of a Bioware junky… at least from Kotor onward. That's what I was listening to on my way home, coincidentally. The soundtrack from Mass Effect Three blared through the speakers of my 1999 Ford Taurus as I drove back home from my Sophomore year in college.

I was tapping the wheel, enjoying myself quite thoroughly with all my stuff in the backseat. Mass Effect 3's terrible ending still fresh in my mind (having played through most of my ME2 save transfers already), I glanced at the rear-view mirror and noticed the semi behind me swerving a mite too close for my level of ease.

I put my foot on the gas a little and eyed the big truck apprehensively. And because I was watching it, I wasn't watching the road.

Or rather, the lack of road in front of me.

The both of us careened into the detour sign with a screech of brakes and tortured metal. I threw up my hands and yelled as the semi smashed into my fender and sent us crashing into the washed-out ditch. Suddenly a bright flash of light blinded me for a split second…

When I could see again, the enormous bulk of Sovereign was looming large in the windshield. Or what I assumed was a windshield at the time.

"Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!"

I screamed again and yanked the steering wheel over. Except that it isn't a steering wheel. It's a pilot throttle. Of an F-61 Alliance Trident fighter. This doesn't occur to me at first of course, since I'm a bit preoccupied by the fact that I'm hanging in the air right next to a Reaper.

Luckily I manage to turn the fighter in the right direction: away from Sovereign. Unluckily, I have no idea how to pilot one of these.

So naturally I end up flying smack dab into a squadron of airborne Geth in fighters of their own.

Which does not improve my mood one jot. And neither does the beam of plasma arching above my head.

I yell many things I shan't write down (to avoid offending sensitive sensibilities) while I try to figure out what the heck is going on with the universe. My only consolation is that the fighter's controls are physically similar enough to an Xbox 360 flight-sim controller that I can still direct my course… at least generally.

This does not, unfortunately, give me any advantage when I'm surrounded by Geth Heretics and have a gudam Reaper on my tail.

Speaking of which…

The plasma beam hits its mark on the port side of my fighter and sends me into a tail-spin. Leaving aside the fact I somehow know what a tailspin is, I desperately look for any indicator of an eject button. And the system alarms blaring in my ears are not helping.

After what seems like years of being flung about-that makes the word vertigo look like the grossest understatement in existence-my fighter hits a cliffside and smashes into the ground. It skids for a second or two whilst I get quite a few bruises (mainly on the head: the seat belt doesn't seem to be doing much to prevent that), and finally comes to a stop in a blaze of smoke and rocks.

I take a second to try and get my bearings (emphasis on try), but eventually the heat and smoke pouring into the cockpit convinces me that staying where I am is not the best course of action. My grip on the controls is akin to death, but I eventually manage to pry my fingers off and reach down to unbuckle.

And bang my elbow on the previously mentioned eject button.

The seat shoots me up through the canopy of the fighter just as I undo the restraints. After tumbling several meters away from the fighter I end up flat on my face in the grass, the pilot's seat growing a late parachute behind me.


I don't think I've mentioned that I don't handle pain very well at this point. I feel very much like a human version of Wiley Coyote after another failed supper-grab. Barely able to move I color the air with a series of curses that would make a Hangover fan wince. This prompts one of the armored figures approaching me to whistle appreciatively and remark "Wow. Haven't heard a mouth like that since my days in BOT."

Somehow I raise my head a little to stare in shock at the man who spoke with Carth Onasi's voice. I leverage myself onto an elbow and promptly fall flat on my face again. Carth's voice-double interjects once more.

"Shepard, he's hurt bad."

"I can see that, Lieutenant."

Shepard? How…

I roll onto my back with a grunt of pain and stare, open mouthed at the three soldiers standing over me. Each wears the trademark Onyx black and red armor of Alliance marines. One still has his weapon out, the "Carth voice" appears to be scanning me with an omnitool, and the third…

The third reaches down, a concerned expression on his face.

"Easy there, soldier. You okay?"

"Who… what, how…" I manage to sputter when he helps me into a sitting position.

"We're Alliance Naval Marines. My name is Commander Shepard.

Commander Shepard. No Friggin' way…

There it is. Any thoughts at all would be most welcome. This (being the introductory) is a little disconnected with the pov, but I'll steady it out in the next chapter (if there is one)