The Mass Effect writing bug is still biting me, so I've given into it again and put words to paper. This time, I've written one of my favourite scenes from Mass Effect 3; the moment where Mordin sacrifices his own life to cure the genophage. That has always been one of my favourites, and one of the best and most heart-wrenching moments in the entire trilogy and I've not seen many stories here that take the events from his point of view, so I'd thought I'd try my hand at it. May write more set in the Mass Effect universe if the mood takes me and time allows (with my ongoing Dragon Age saga and other projects and demands on my time, I'll probably never have the time to write a full recounting of my Shepard's exploits, but I could probably do short stories based on favourite moments/missions of Mass Effect).
This is just a drabble I want to get out of my head; I'm not writing for reviews (though they would be welcome), merely for fun and to satisfy my muse and to try something different. Hope you enjoy.
Explosions continued to rock the atrium of the Shroud facility as the professor's dextrous fingers swiftly moved over the keyboard, inputting the commands necessary to have the tower's systems ready to begin dispersal of the synthesised genophage counter-serum, fighting against severe power fluctuations in the facility's systems.
'Unsurprising. Reaper sabotage in attempt to poison Tuchanka atmosphere and severe structural damage from battle between Reaper and thresher maw likely compromised reactor. Meltdown imminent. Extremely problematic'.
"Mordin! Is the cure ready?" Commander Gabriel Shepard called out as he raced into the atrium. Mordin didn't look up from his work, unsurprised to hear Shepard's approach. 'Commander's propensity for survival and destruction extremely impressive. Reapers in for surprise'
"Cure loaded. Ready for dispersal in two minutes. Procedure traumatic for Eve but not lethal. Maelon's data invaluable" Mordin explained. It was quite true; 'Maelon's research allowed stabilisation of heart rate and blood pressure, prevented fatal heart failure. Seems Maelon could do something right. Will leave instructions for S.T.G teams to cease hunt for him'
"Headed for safety now" Mordin assured his former commanding officer. "Her survival fortunate. Will stabilise new government should Wrex get any ideas. Good match, promising future for krogan"
'Padok Wiks argued better to let evolution decide which species lives or dies, not galactic politics. Considering likes of Dalatrass Linron, see his point. No one should have power to play god with fate of whole species, certainly not her'
Another chunk of debris from the tower slammed into earth a few inches away from Commander Shepard's left foot. "DAMN!" the Commander cursed, merely emphasising the point that time was swiftly running out.
"Control room at top of Shroud tower. Must take elevator up"
"You're going up there? That's suicide!"
"Manual access required. Have to counter S.T.G sabotage, ensure cure disperses properly". It would have to be done by hand; the damage to the facility was too severe and had completely compromised the remote activation systems.
"Mordin, this whole thing is coming down" Shepard responded as more debris rained down all around them. "There's got to be another way"
Mordin took one look at the tower and sees the ever increasing explosions; the tower's destruction was clearly imminent. 'It will be suicide mission, but have faced many more before -assault on Collector Base, reconnaissance and infiltration missions on Tuchanka to spread modified genophage, countless others beside. Always knew I would get killed on one sooner or later'.
"Remote bypass impossible. S.T.G countermeasures in place. No time to adjust cure for temperature variance"
'Can't waste time. Need to hurry. Must disperse cure before tower systems fatally compromised. If cure not dispersed before Shroud's destruction, no krogan-turian alliance. Reapers on Palaven left unopposed'
"No other option. Not coming back. Suggest you get clear. Explosion likely to be... problematic" Mordin insisted as he made his way towards the elevator, but the Commander was insistent; as Mordin remembered it, Shepard had always done his best to try and get his people out alive, as he was trying now.
"Mordin, no!" Shepard pleaded as he raced after the professor, trying to seize Mordin's shoulder to halt him as the salarian stepped into the elevator, but Mordin turned round and raised a hand to stop Shepard, his expression regretful but firm.
"Shepard, please. Need to do this. My project, my work, my cure. My responsibility..." Mordin closed his eyes briefly, taking a deep breath, bracing himself for the task ahead.
"Would have liked to have run tests on the seashells"
'Plenty of good beaches for retirement years on Sur'Kesh, Thessia, or even Earth. Australia or American Pacific coast, maybe California, would have been preference'.
"I'm sorry, Mordin" Gabriel Shepard's expression made it clear that he deeply regretted that this was the only way to ensure the alliance between the turians and the krogan was forged...by sacrificing an old friend. 'Understandable; Cerberus psych report obtained during mission suggested Shepard still holds himself to blame for Lieutenant Alenko's death on Virmire during fight against Saren. Not his fault; sacrifice was their choice, as it is mine. No other choice and no regret'.
"I'm not. Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong" Mordin assured his Commander, one of the finest soldiers he'd ever seen and a friend it had been the salarian's privilege to know, before pressing the button that would take the elevator up to the Shroud's top floor.
Watching through the elevator's window as Gabriel Shepard gave him a respectful military salute and then retreated from the facility, fleeing to a safe distance, Mordin closed his eyes and breathed deep again, freeing his mind of all distractions. 'Just as it should be; nothing but one's mind and the problem to be solved'.
The elevator's doors opened at the Shroud's top floor, the control centre and Mordin stormed out, shielding his face from the heat and shrapnel flying through the air as computers and electrical systems all around the room exploded violently. Pressing forward to the central console, overlooking the vast desert plains, Mordin went to work, singing to distract himself from the heat and noise, the crackle of flames and the droning warnings of the facility's VI.
"Hmm, hmm, hmmm...I've studied species turian, asari and batarian..."
Long fingers quickly darted across the keyboard, swiftly aborting the S.T.G. firewall blocking dispersal, before inputting the relevant commands and rerouting power to the dispersal systems. After an interminable wait of a few minutes, the Shroud's VI announced "Temperature now within acceptable range. Dispersal commencing" and Mordin allowed himself a triumphant smile as the Shroud's vents unleashed a cloud of white vapour into Tuchanka's atmosphere, falling like snow all over the surrounding landscape, as ridiculous as the notion of snowfall on a desert planet sounded. Soon enough, the wind would spread the cure to all regions of Tuchanka; nowhere would be untouched. Everywhere would be healed.
'Genophage cured, krogan free. New beginning...for us all' Mordin conceded, allowing himself a moment to savour the triumph. For one moment, the professor stared at the open elevator doors, toying with the notion of running, trying to make it down to ground level before the facility collapsed, but dismissed it.
'Nearly at end of natural life, never wanted to die old and feeble in bed; would rather die as have lived, a man of action. No, this is my swan song, my final performance- will see it to its end'.
"My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian, I am the very model of a-"