Rating: T for language
Disclaimer: I don't own them. As if anyone thought I did.
Summary: The key to defeating the reapers is... not quite what Shepard expected. A crack!fix-it ending
A/N: Spoilers for the end... eh not really... well maybe sort of. :-P This is a CRACK!FIC! It is SILLY! You have been warned lol.
The Pink Ending
Shepard leapt over the edge and made a dash for the beam. She didn't look back. Garrus and Liara stood there and stared after her.
"Did she just?" Garrus snapped in surprise. Was Shepard ever going to get tired of suicide missions?
Liara let out a sigh of resignation, "Yes, she did."
"And she just expects us to...!" He gesticulated wildly.
"Apparently she does."
"So uh..." Garrus backed away slowly, "Ladies first." He nodded towards the reaper.
Liara swallowed the lump in her throat. "Contrary to popular assumptions, asari are not really female. We are mono-gendered."
"So... man ladies first?"
"I don't see you running, Vakarian!" She snapped in annoyance.
"Turians aren't fast runners. We're great in a marathon, but at a short sprint... Nah."
They continued to look after Shepard's retreating form right up to the point where she was hit by the reaper's beam.
The expletives came in unison."Oh f%k!" "Holy st!"
"You're running pretty good now!" Liara said nervously as she jogged beside Garrus, albeit in the opposite direction of the objective.
"That's because I'm heading to the evac shuttle."
He spoke into his communicator, "Joker, send the second shuttle for an immediate evac."
"What about the commander?"
Garrus tried to sound nonchalant, "She's working."
Shepard pushed her broken body into an upright position. The first thing she did was glance behind her. No signs of her team, no bodies either.
"That's real nice guys." She mumbled under her breath. Despite the horror of the situation, she chuckled to herself. "One suicide mission was enough for ya, eh Garrus."
Shepard dispatched several husks as she limped towards the objective. When she neared the beam, a turian marauder husk popped out from behind some rubble and clipped her with his rifle.
Shepard aimed her shaky arm in his direction, but it was extremely difficult to focus her aim.
"I am assuming direct control!"
A familiar voice spoke through the marauder, "Shepard, this is not the conclusion."
Shepard bit her bottom lip and squeezed her left eye shut as she aimed at its head. "Oh yes, it is."
"This hurts you."
She squeezed the trigger, blowing his head off with a well placed shot. "Who's hurting now, bitch?" She would have made Jack proud.
Shepard glanced at Anderson's unconscious form as he lay face down not far from the central console. She turned towards the sound of footsteps.
"Ah, Shepard, we meet again."
"What the hell are you doing here?"
"Isn't it obvious? I'm sure I must have told you that I purchased a penthouse on the Presidium so that I would be here in order to save humanity from the reapers."
Shepard let out an exasperated sigh. "Nope, I'm pretty sure you didn't."
"Oh, well I was sure I had mentioned-"
Shepard put her hand up, "Stop right there! I'm really not in the mood to hear any of your bullshit today."
He said in a fatherly chastising tone, "Shepard, what happened to your manners?"
"What the hell happened to your face?"
He was about to speak again when Shepard interrupted him. "No, I'm sorry I asked," Disgust was evident in her tone, "I don't want to hear about how you made oral love to a husk or something equally fucked. You're so indoctrinated you don't know what to do with yourself!"
He was utterly frustrated. "You've always been so short sighted. Why can't you see that the answer is to control the reapers! I've seen how this ends, Shepard. And do you know how I know?"
Talking to him was like talking to a wall. She rolled her eyes and huffed sarcastically, "You used a crystal ball?"
He had a smug look on his face, "I constructed a machine that allowed me to travel through time back to the year 2011. I then had Cerberus troopers infiltrate and commandeer control of a small company called Electronic Arts. Then I dressed several husks in casual business attire and secretly implanted them on Bioware's writing team, thereby ensuring human dominance and a godawful ending to this long wonderful series!"
"Wait. You put clothes on a husk?"
"You will die, Shepard. I've seen it. And then there will be a stock photo with an old man and a boy. This!" He gestured with his hands for dramatic effect. "This is the key to defeating the reapers."
"An old man?"
"No, you fool! Have you been listening to anything I've been saying? Cerberus is Bioware!"
"Riiiiight." Shepard moved past him and proceeded to access the terminal. Maybe it was just her, but she could swear that the Illusive Man seemed a bit more insane than usual. His logic was usually flawed, but this was pretty exceptional.
"I can't let you do that." He said threateningly.
"Pfft, what're you gonna do? Throw your wingtips at me?"
"I warned you. Control is the means to survival. Control of the reapers and control of you!"
The Illusive Man moved the tips of his fingers to his temples and made a poopy face. Shepard raised an eyebrow. He strained harder.
Shepard could see black spots form in her vision then they quickly receded. She said patronizingly as though she were speaking to a child. "Uh oh, you might bend a spoon if you aren't careful.."
He glared at her.
She let out a bark of laughter and turned back to the console, "You can't even control yourself, let alone me."
"No! I'm in control. No one is telling me what to do!"
The Illusive Man pulled out a pistol, but Shepard had already anticipated it. She shot it right out of his hand.
He cradled his hand in outrage.
"I made you and I can break you-"
"I won't stand here and be insulted by someone with reaper herpes."
The second bullet entered his head. After a few taps at the console, the wings of the citadel opened up.
She had just sat down for a moment to catch her breath when she heard Hackett complaining about the catalyst not doing anything. Hell, she wasn't the one who BUILT the Crucible. Couldn't he ask a scientist? But no, she had to do everything herself. It was hard to get up and she stumbled over. Then she felt some sort of elevator sensation.
Shepard was tired and she felt like crap. She didn't have time for pleasantries. "Who the hell are you?"
"I am the catalyst."
"Well. Shit. On. Me."
The strange VI child-thing continued to talk, but the whole thing was so ludicrous that Shepard had mentally checked out several minutes ago, but she did manage to catch a few snippets.
"They are my solution."
She ran her fingers through her hair irritably, "The solution to what?"
Shepard gestured with her gun impatiently, "And that means?"
"We are bringing order to chaos."
"How original." Shepard muttered under her breath. The words 'Shivering Isles' whispered in the back of Shepard's mind, but she wasn't quite sure what it referred too.
"The created will always rebel against their creators. But we found a way to stop it. To restore order for the next cycle. We created the cycle so that never happens."
Shepard was officially pissed. She cut the child-thing off angrily, "So is this the part where I bring Jyggalag and Sheogorath back together and they shake hands and get married or whatever?"
"We do not understand what you refer too."
"Well ya know what? Now I don't feel so guilty for leaving your ass behind in the beginning!"
Shepard wondered if she should have just surrendered her form to Harbinger and saved herself the trouble of all this.
He, well 'it', was still talking.
"These are your choices..."
Shepard mentally checked out yet again. She cut him off halfway into his explanation about control... or maybe it was synthesis, she was too upset about these so-called 'choices' to think straight.
"You're wrong. There's a fourth choice." She snapped.
"We detect three." It had the nerve to argue.
Shepard took her pistol and aimed it at the catalyst's face and fired. "Wrong again, motherfucker." She had picked up so many wonderful phrases from Jack.
The strange VI dissipated at her sudden aggression and not far from where she was standing, a small dais rose up from the middle of the floor. A console flickered to life and in the center of it was a huge, red, shiny button. And hovering just above said button on the holographc interface were the large letters that spelled 'Perfect Ending!'. The words were sparkling with bright rainbow colors, taunting Shepard with their promise. It vaguely reminded her of a casino slot machine.
She staggered over to the console, letting out a startled 'oh' as a cushioned stool popped up underneath her. She sat down and considered her options. The fact that she had been provided with seating and was not going to die horribly made this choice an obvious one. The 'perfect ending' suggestion was an added bonus.
She lifted her hand and before she could press down on the deliciously red button, she heard a familiar voice behind her. It was the catalyst. Again.
"Wait! Don't push the button!"
Without getting up, Shepard swiveled around on her stool and fired at the catalyst-thing until it dissipated again. Now that she had even been told not to push it... Well, she had to do just that. Without preamble she covered the button with her palm and pressed down until she heard a satisfying click.
*Ding Ding Ding!*
The 'Perfect Ending' letters began spinning and soon morphed into the words 'WE HAVE A WINNER!'.
Suddenly the white beam of light in the center of the room morphed into a whimsical pink color before blasting out across the fans of the Citadel. The pink force launched itself out across the galaxy in a pink explosion. Then the Crucible sent that same energy towards the mass relay. As soon as it struck the relay, the energy fanned out across all systems before bouncing to the nearest mass relay. This pattern would continue until all relays and all systems had been hit by this pink energy beam. While the Crucible remained active all of the mass relays energy fields glowed a bright pink.
The force of the power surge had knocked Shepard off of the stool. She had just managed to pull herself back onto her seat when she heard Hackett's voice coming from the console. "This is Admiral Hackett, Shepard are you hearing this?"
"Shepard here. What's happening out there?"
"The reapers were hit by the Crucible's energy and they've ceased all attacks. All of the husks seem to no longer be functional."
Shepard put her head in her hands and shed several tears of relief. "That's... great."
"We're still not entirely clear on what its doing to them other than some method of control-" There was a pause as Hackett seemed to be talking to someone else. "Shepard, we have a problem."
"Don't we always."
"There is increased activity at the Charon Relay. Reapers from other star systems are pouring through it. All reapers are converging on the Crucible including the ones in the Sol system."
"I'm sending a shuttle to extract you!"
"No! This thing is working we can't let the reapers get it now!"
"We don't know what it does, it might explode when they all get there. We just don't know."
EDI's voice interrupted the feed. "Shepard!"
"I'm sorry to interrupt, Shepard, but I have important information. The Geth and the Quarians have been analyzing the Crucible's energy transmission. They were unable to completely decode the signal's results so they gave their information to me so that I could attempt to extrapolate it."
"Do you know what it does?" Shepard said anxiously.
"It seems to be functioning as a reverse form of indoctrination, but tailored specifically for use against reapers. I was able to make the transmission understandable to your ears."
Joker piped up, "Like a taste of their own medicine!"
A few seconds later a hissing electrical noise was broadcast throughout the room. "Clearing transmission now." EDI's voice explained calmly. Suddenly the hissing morphed into a recognizable tune.
"Hackett, are you hearing this?" Shepard said in disbelief.
"Is that what I think it is?" Hackett was baffled.
"Seriously?" She was shocked.
"Jeff thoroughly enjoys it." EDI had a smile in her voice.
Hackett began, "Its..."
Shepard was incredulous, "The reapers are hearing an ice cream truck jingle?"
"That was not a joke." EDI felt it necessary to explain herself.
"You mean the Crucible is just a giant reaper ice cream truck!"
EDI sounded concerned. "Not exactly. The Crucible schematics suggest that there is no feasible way of producing dairy products on that scale." She added with a pout in her voice. "Shepard, there won't be enough for everyone..."
"What am I supposed to do when Harbinger shows up? Ask him if he wants a cherry on top?"
"That was a joke."
Shepard held her head in her hands until she felt her finger nails digging into her scalp. What. The. Hell...
"All this time and all we needed to defeat the reapers was ice cream? So this thing is just a giant reaper magnet?" That's when it occurred to Shepard. "Oh god! I get it! I understand what it does!"
Linking her omni-tool to the console, Shepard brought up the schematics of the Crucible. "EDI, is that mass effect energy pulsing on the sides of this thing?" Shepard referred to the spherical part of the Crucible that was pulsing with arcs of pink energy.
"Yes, that is where its the most concentrated; however, this energy coats the entire Crucible."
"Enough to kill a reaper?"
"Perhaps. The energy emitted by the Crucible is unique so it is difficult to predict."
"It must. Hackett, tell the fleets to move as far away from this thing as possible."
"Our fleets can't stop them, Shepard, you'll be torn to pieces!"
Shepard was practically cackling with glee. "How do you defeat a bunch of giant bugs? With a giant bug zapper!"
She did it. That human actually did it. Harbinger knew that Shepard was special, but he hadn't realized the true danger, not until it was too late. Now they were all under the dazzling pink spell of that thing and there was nothing any of his kind could do about it. Even as he fought the signal, he couldn't resist the compulsions. He had to go to it. He had to taste it. As soon as the Harbinger broke Earth's orbit, he could see it- the giant pink sundae! And the sprinkles- oh how they glistened. It was hypnotic. Harbinger floated towards it like a moth to a flame.
So Harbinger was more than a little annoyed to discover that there was a very long line leading up to that ice cream. He felt his large form brush up against the mass effect fields of another reaper.
The nameless reaper responded immediately in a threatening tone, "We are the beginning, you are the end!"
Harbinger muttered bitterly,"You have merely delayed the inevitable." He trembled with fury, but the reaper's need for some semblance of order made him acquiesce and so he politely moved to the back of the line. There were at least several dozen in front of him and his need for the ice cream became greater with every moment. What was taking so damn long? To make things even more frustrating, he wasn't able to see around the reaper in front of him. Stupid big ass reapers with itty bitty eyes in weird places. Reapers were not designed to wait in long lines, but he dared not step out of it for fear that he'd lose his place.
It was difficult for Harbinger. Being the most intelligent of the reapers, he had the hardest time deciding on a flavor. Strawberry or French vanilla? Commander Shepard Crunch? A scoop of each perhaps? There were only three reapers in front of him now. What happened to the first ones, he didn't care. One thing was abundantly clear: the line had to move faster.
Harbinger took his front legs and shoved the reaper in front of him. The sovereign class reaper was caught off guard by the shove and bumped into the destroyer in front of him, creating a domino effect. The others spun around and a full blown shoving match in-sued while Harbinger twiddled his legs and stood back.
"You know you feel this."
"Your attacks are primitive!"
The way they were buzzing around, Harbinger became concerned that those fools would damage the sundae! Harbinger whipped his laser eyeball out. "Direct intervention is necessary." His laser cut through the others like a hot knife through butter, utterly destroying them all.
Finally! Now it was his turn.
It had been dumb luck that Captain Bailey had found the elevator to Shepard's location. Once the Citadel wings had reopened, the barriers had unlocked and travel between the wards was again possible. When they went to the control center for answers he had found an unconscious Anderson whom he had already sent to the hospital.
Bailey had tried to talk commander Shepard into allowing a medical team to take her to Huerta Memorial, but she had refused saying that she, 'had a date with an old friend'. So he had a medical team administer medi-gel from where she was sitting. But she was getting weaker. Her armor was so melted it would have to be cut off of her.
"Shepard, the Crucible can function without you at the wheel. This things' running on full auto." He said in his strange accent.
"Wait, just one more!"
She heard a familiar voice through her comm terminal.
"Relinquish your cones to us!" He demanded in his typical arrogant way as he floated closer. He continued with his ominous spiel, "Your worlds will be our ice cream parlor."
Once he got close enough to the Crucible he was struck by a pink energy surge. The audacity. He was momentarily startled by the force of it. "Your attack is an insult."
"Yea, yea, step right up." She couldn't keep the grin off her face. He wasn't so advanced now...
"I want the nuts and sprinkles- if I have to destroy you, Shepard, I will."
He moved closer and was electrocuted by the pink energy again. "This hurts you, asshole!" Shepard applauded loudly as she watched the video feed on her console. What a glorious glorious day.
"Pain is just an illusion..." Harbinger mumbled this mantra over and over becoming less and less confident as he endured repeated zaps. Then he surged forward with his legs outstretched desperately in one final attempt.
"This body's pain is irrele- FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU- oh! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" His body was consumed by the Crucible's energy and he was vaporized culminating in a satisfying popping sound.
Once harbinger was destroyed, the line of reapers that had formed completely devolved and hundreds of them surged forward in anticipation. They swarmed around the Crucible creating pink explosions as they came too near.
Reaper fireworks. It was the most beautiful thing Shepard had ever seen. She had happy thoughts as she was taken away on the stretcher.
"And that, children, is why we celebrate Commander Shepard Day by eating ice cream."
"Yay!" The krogan toddlers exclaimed.
They said in unison, "Tell it again! Tell it again!"
"I am Urdnot Shepard and this is my most favoritess holiday!" A very tiny female exclaimed as she enjoyed her cone.
"Mom!" A frustrated little male tugged on Bakara's robes.
"Shepard stole my ice cream and ate it!"
"Shepard, get in here, NOW!"
At least a dozen small krogan hesitantly crowded into the kitchen. "Which one?" A female asked as she kneaded her hands nervously.
"The Shepard that took your brother's ice cream." Most of the Shepards visibly relaxed.
"You snitch!" A slightly larger male came forward and crossed his arms defiantly. "He was just playing with it. He wasn't eating it!" He explained to Bakara.
The incensed little krogan stormed over and head butted the insolent Shepard. "Ow, you..." His eyes teared up.
Here we go again. Bakara rolled her eyes. If she had hair she'd be pulling it out. She raised her voice so that it could be heard over Shepard's wailing. "You apologize for hitting your brother right now!" She snapped.
The little male threw a tantrum. "No! No! No! Not an option. Not an option!"
My goal was just to make people smile. I hope I succeeded =)
Shivering Isles is an expansion pack from The Elder Scrolls Oblivion. Sheogorath and Jyggalag are part of that questline.
Also, I did not smoke crack before I wrote this. :-P