Mass Effect is the property of EA and BioWare.


Prologue

CHATTER

"Hammer squads, go, go, go!"

"Don't stop until you reach the beam!"

"Husks, two o'clock."

"Keep moving!"

"Enemies everywhere!"

"Don't stop to shoot, go!"

"Scatter, don't stay so close!"

"Contact left!"

"Suppressing fire! Watch the flanks, don't let them cut us off."

"Go! Get to the beam, the beam!"

"Somebody put some fire on that Reaper! It's tearing us apart!"

"Where's our air cover?"

"We're sitting ducks out here!"

"Watch out!"

"Damn it, was that—?"

"Commander!"

"SHEPARD!"

"Shepard's been hit!"

"DAMNIT!"

"Goddess! NO!"

"We can't stop here! Keep running!"

"I can't—"

"Move!"

"Spread out! It can't kill all of us, just keep moving!"

"No one's getting close, the Reaper—"

"Mother of God, what…?"

"It's heading straight for us!"

"Is that—?"

"It's not slowing down!"

"No shit, it's a dreadnought in atmo!"

"Get to the beam! Hammer squads, all units, advance!"

"Oh, no, they can't possibly…"

"Take cover!"

"Where?"

"Run!"

"Oh, God."

"Is anyone still alive?"

"Who's left? Ground teams, someone, anyone, report!"

"No hostile contacts. But the beam…"

"Did anyone make it?"

"I saw a few, I think, before …"

"Did they shut it down?"

"I think the explosion took it out."

"Does it matter?"

"No. It doesn't. This is Admiral Anderson to Hammer, all squads fall back."

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*A/N* - I disliked the ending of Mass Effect 3. I most definitely did not dislike the other 99.5% of the Mass Effect series, so I'm writing this.

Credit where it's due: this fic is inspired by the Indoctrination Theory, but knowing about it won't be required to understand the story. The IT is a good alternative interpretation of canon, but this is not a fictionalization of the IT. (You can find a link to ACAVYOS' YouTube video in my profile if you're interested.)

What is it, then? Catharsis? Tribute? Fix fic? Personal take on what the Extended Cut DLC should look like? Maybe a little "all of the above." Read on to find out.

Questions? Comments? Review!