#1 There's a 99% chance that you're awesome. Act like it.
"Shepard, look ou-!"
There was an ear-splitting crash and the sound of rending metal tortured their eardrums as the Mako ploughed right into the geth squad with reckless abandon. The first one, having been hit with the full force of the Mako at full throttle, smashed into pieces from the impact. A second was sent careening hundreds of feet along the Feros skyway, one geth arm missing and several metal parts flying scattered through the air. The Mako ran over a bump on the path, sending it into the air for a few moments before crashing back down on a third geth and throwing its occupants to painfully crash the tops of their heads against the vehicle's ceiling. Wrex grunted unappreciatively.
"Couldn't have done it more gently, could you Shepard?" he rumbled at the human woman at the wheel who quirked her lips in a smile as she put the tank in reverse, running over the geth again.
"Sorry Wrex, the awesome way is the way to do things."
Tali, apparently satisfied that none of her suit's tubing or outer layers had been damaged, spoke. "With all due respect Shepard, I don't think this… method very conven-"
"It's all right Tali, the chances of us failing this mission are one in a hundred." Shepard assured the quarian, changing the gears on the Mako. "Now we just have to- ah, damn it!"
Tali turned to look at the commanding officer who was applying increasing pressure on the accelerator but failing to receive a response from the tank other than a high pitched whirring. "What's wrong?"
"The damned thing – I think the geth parts underneath must have stuck the wheels or some-"
A final stomp, a final push – and the Mako was free. It shot out of whatever had it stuck in the first place and was speeding towards-
"SHEPARD!" screeched Tali as they zoomed towards the edge of the skybridge – the wrong edge. The edge with an endless, cloudy drop below. "SHEPARD, THE BRAK-!"
Too late. There was moment of silence as the Mako hung weightlessly in the air.
"Whoops." Shepard actually sounded sheepish. "Guess this time makes up that one percent."
The tank began its descent.
The last thing that was heard on the salvaged audio banks of a surviving geth was a furious krogan roar. "I'LL KILL YOU DEAD, SHEPARD!"
#2 Contrary to popular belief, polo is not "gangster".
Kaidan sighed contentedly as he pulled on a deep green polo shirt. Normally, officers were required to wear the standard issue Alliance T-shirts. But a little accident involving the Normandy's mammoth dry-cleaning unit and one of Liara's experimental research mishaps with the Prothean discs had fried the unit beyond the repair of even Tali. The ship lacked the tools to do so (the asari had then personally visited every single person on the ship, pleading for forgiveness with such large, tearful eyes that it was quickly granted). Shepard had announced that they would dock at the Citadel as soon as the next mission was over to have the dry-cleaning unit fixed. Until then, everyone on board was to survive on any spare clothes they had with them. Kaidan did not think badly of this at all. He actually welcomed it. He loved his polos and thought it a shame that he could only wear them while on shore leaves.
Though it was also pretty odd and somewhat funny to see the entire crew of the Normandy dress in an array of clothing. Chief Engineer Adams had been seen in slacks and a male tank top. Doctor Chakwas had taken to wearing retro pencil skirts and three-quarter sleeved blouses. Kaidan had also found out, much to his secret enjoyment, that Shepard owned plenty of form-fitting T-shirts and cargoes. Joker gleefully took full advantage of this opportunity to outfit himself in bermudas and show off his seemingly infinite collection of Hawaiian shirts from Earth. He must have them in every colour, Kaidan decided, as he one day walked to the cockpit to deliver the Normandy pilot a message from the tunic-and-jeans clad Pressley and found Joker grinning sardonically up at him with a blindingly traffic-cone orange – you guessed it, Hawaiian shirt. Then again, he couldn't talk – he had his own stash of polos in his possession after all.
Yes, it was very interesting and all. But work was work and it wasn't going to get itself done if the people who should be working held fashion parades and counted the number of Joker's assorted rainbow tops every day. Kaidan stretched and cracked his knuckles as he descended the staircase, heading for his work console. When he reached the bottom, the elevator doors opened with a smooth swoosh to reveal an armoured turian with blue face markings.
Kaidan made to pass him and go to his console when a pointed stare stopped him. "Is something the matter, Vakarian?"
Garrus didn't answer immediately, choosing to instead stare at Kaidan's innocent green polo suspiciously as if it were a drug-smuggling merc. "Lieutenant, what is that you're wearing?" Kaidan's gaze also dropped to his shirt. "This? It's a kind of human shirt. We call it a polo."
Garrus frowned and cocked his head slightly. "Then why are you wearing it?"
'What?' The L2 biotic was taken aback by the question. What was so wrong about polos? "Because I find them comfortable. And I don't have anything else to wear anyway."
"But doesn't a polo mean you're a… what was that word you humans used? A… 'gangster'?"
'… What?!' "No! No, of course not! It's just a shirt! I mean – It's not- Where did you get that from?"
Garrus stared quizzically, looking thoroughly confused now but replied, "The Gunnery Chief Williams. She said that it was slang among your people to label 'gangsters' as 'polos'."
Ashley? But she of all people would know better-
Then he recalled the conversation he had with her the day before. Donning rugged jeans and a floral tube top (a gift from her sister, she had vehemently claimed), she had commented on him wearing yet another polo – yesterday's had been mustard yellow – and he had offhandedly told her he owned quite a number and that he only had polo shirts with him as spares. She immediately acquired a smirk on her face at that bit of information but he had thought nothing of it at the time. In retrospect…
The elevator doors glided open once more, and a hulking krogan slowly ambled out. Noticing the two, Wrex took in Kaidan's appearance; looking him up and down. Then met his gaze as he finally said, "I don't think your battlemaster would be very happy about you running with the rogue ones, human."
Kaidan raised a hand to massage his temples. Somewhere, the Gunnery Chief was cackling to herself as she cleaned out a sniper rifle's barrel.
#3 If you notice her inbox is always cleared, perhaps you should reconsider her honesty.
"Commander! Commander Shepard! Could I have a moment of your time?"
Shepard paused on her way to the medical clinic on the Citadel, turning around to see the journalist Emily Wong running after them. Or at least, trying to run in the restrictive, standard dress that she wore.
The commanding officer of the Normandy SR-1 quirked her lips into a bemused smile. "Easy there, Ms. Wong. I'm not going to run away from you. You're not Al-Jilani."
Emily paused to catch her breath. "No, no. Of course not. I mean, of course you aren't. I mean-" she took a final gulp of air and straightened up, appearing flustered. "Sorry about that, Commader."
"Sorry? Huh, if you can move that fast in a dress, I'm sure the Alliance Navy would be more than happy to have you in their ranks. I swear, some of the recruits move so slowly in agility training that even their grandmothers in wheelchairs would overtake them."
A series of strangled noises followed by choked coughs sounded from Kaidan, which suspiciously sounded like he was fighting back laughter at Ashley's jibe. Emily took it in stride, grinning at the gunnery chief. "Nah, I don't think I can ever match up to you guys. I fight with articles and write-ups, not guns."
"Better than those pussies you see at bootcamp."
Shepard felt her face break out into a complete smile. Her posture relaxed. "All right, that's enough Chief. Is there something you wanted to speak to me about, Ms. Wong?"
"Oh, right! Erm, I hope I don't sound rude Commander, but I haven't received any replies from the messages I sent you…"
Uh-oh. Shepard had forgotten about those. Schooling her face into a perfectly perplexed expression, she asked "What messages?"
Looks like she might be doing some running herself after all.
"I sent you a message a few weeks back and another last week when you didn't respond. It was a request to have an interview with you. Remember, you did offer me one…"
"Oh right, of course! Hm, I don't remember seeing anything like that but let me check…" Shepard trailed off as she brought up her omni-tool to access her inbox. She entered a few prompts, revealing her empty mailbox before shaking her head. "Strange, they're not here."
"Must be a message service malfunction of some sort. Rare, but they do happen every now and then," supplied Kaidan.
"Oh, that's fine then. I mean, it's not your fault anyway."
Ashley took one look at the slightly crestfallen reporter and felt sorry for her. "Hey skipper, we only have Dr. Michel's to go to before we're free for the rest of the day so why don't you have that interview after-"
"Actually, we do have something else to do after getting those med supplies for the Normandy." Shepard cut in abruptly with an apologetic tone.
Ashley and Kaidan stared. This was news to them. "We do?"
"Yeah. We have to… have to… er, go visit Udina."
A moment of silence followed. "But why? Is… er, something wrong?" asked Kaidan worriedly. Ashley was open about her scepticism, frown on her face. Sure, Udina always requested – demanded – that Shepard see him for briefings during every return to the Citadel. But nobody, including Shepard, had ever given a damn before. Why now?
"Hell if I know what that old crow wants. All I know is that it's urgent. So we really should go before he gets his speedos in a knot." Shepard turned to Emily. "I'm sorry Ms. Wong, maybe some other time?"
Emily quickly regained her senses enough to answer. "Oh! Oh of course, Commader! Any time you're free, just let me know!"
Shepard allowed herself a smile. "Sure thing. See you around, then. Come on Chief, Lieutenant. Best we get moving"
Later that night, back on her quarters aboard the Normandy, Commander Shepard collapsed into her workstation chair with an exhausted sigh. It had taken hours before Udina would let them go, berating them for 'causing an outrage!' at every turn of their mission. Predictably, the 'briefing' was just an opportunity for him to gripe about their incompetencies and the political problems they caused for the Alliance. In the end, they had only managed to get away when Anderson had stepped in and distracted Udina with some paperwork or other while Shepard and her team crept towards the door.
The Spectre groaned as she sunk lower into her chair. The ordeal was ear-bleedingly long and dry but it had been necessary to plausibly escape Emily Wong. With a sigh, she summoned her omni-tool and accessed her message box again, already knowing what she would find there.
There was an angry message from Udina, demanding another briefing session as he was 'not done with you yet!' and admonishing her for leaving his office without being dismissed. There was another from Conrad Verner (again); he knew she was in the Citadel (somehow) and asked if she was free to meet him for a drink. Finally, she reached a mail whose sender was marked as 'Emily Wong, Alliance News Network'.
Another resolute sigh escaped her lips before she opened it with a jab of her finger.
Since the previous mails didn't seem to reach you, I'm trying to send this to you again. I hope it makes it through the system this time.
Anyway, I was thinking about that interview with you that you offered me after you got me Fist's OSD. A common approach to the article would be to ask you about your deeds and doings as the first human Spectre and the space adventures you have everyday but people have already read that kind of story millions of times. Instead, I was thinking of a more personal approach.
What I mean to say is, there has to be something going for you in the love sector of your life. I mean look at you, you're attractive, powerful and walk every step with a confidence that says you mean business. Every male back on Earth goes crazy over you! And even some aliens too, actually. Like I overheard a group of asari talking about you the other day in the Upper Wards. You're popular! Practically a celebrity! People would love it if they heard about your love life. I know fraternisation is not encouraged but everyone knows it still happens. And it's especially dramatic!
But of course, if you don't want to talk about that. It's fine. I could just easily do the interview about something more generic. I know it's a lot lot ask, but at least give it some thought. Please?
Hope to see you soon,
Emily Wong, Alliance News Network.
Shepard pinched the bridge of her nose as she wiped the inbox clean with a swipe of her hand, leaving no traces of the messages. She powered down the omni-tool before getting up to go to the bathroom. She just hoped that by continuously avoiding her, the reporter would get the message. She felt bad denying her like this, when the request was so simple, but Shepard didn't think she could last through the whole interview without slipping up.
She sighed again for the hundredth time that day. Keeping their relationship a secret was proving harder than she thought. She entered her personal bathroom and closed the door. Turning around to face the only other occupant, she smiled, remembering why it was all worth it.
"So, where were we?"
#4 We get it, you like to drink. No one needs to hear you repeat it four times a day.
"So? So? Did you get it? Huh? Huh?"
Wrex growled irritably at Joker's incessant pestering as he awaited his turn for medical treatment in the Normandy's med bay. "Shut up, human. Or I just might break those puny legs of yours like the toothpicks they are. "
"Come on big guy, cut me some slack here. Unlike you, I at least know what the good stuff is and where to get it-"
"Yeah, sure." scoffed Shepard grumpily from her position on the infirmary bed. "Banned substances that can only be found in a corrupted shithole like Noveria. Who would have tho- OUCH!"
Dr. Chakwas frowned grimly as she straightened up from mending Shepard's torn leg – which had been caught in the pincers of a rachni soldier down at the hot labs. "I've patched up what I could and gotten rid of most of the toxins from your system. Nevertheless, I'd feel more comfortable if you stayed here for a few more days, Commander. Rachni venom looks like nasty stuff and since nobody has actually had a chance to study them before – or rather, most of those who have are already dead – I'm not taking any chances."
"Great, just great." mumbled Shepard as she roughly let her head fall back into the pillows. Wrex grunted his thanks as Dr. Chakwas began working on his wounds.
"Yeah, yeah I feel sorry for you and all, Commander. Get well soon and yada yada yada. Now can I have it?"
Liara, noticing Shepard's dangerous expression, cut in quietly, "Mr. Moreau, I don't think now is the time-"
"Oh hell yeah, it is the time! I've been waiting too long for this! Five years! The last time I drank that stuff was five freaking years ago! I can't live without it anymore! Come on Commander, have some pity on a dying man, will you?"
"Oh shut up before I actually make sure you're dead." Shepard snapped, wishing she had her pistol with her. Reaching under the bed for her store of loot from the mission, she grabbed something and threw it at Joker's head. "There, take it. Just… take it. And go."
The pilot caught it expertly in mid-air with one hand. "Aw, only one can? I expected more from the legendary Commander Shepard." Joker said in a half pretend disappointed voice.
"Joker, just leave before I let Wrex eat you."
"I guess I could do with a light snack." rumbled the krogan battlemaster in agreement as he turned his reptilian eyes on the pilot.
Joker's eyes twinkled in good humour as he stepped out of the med bay. "Not happening, big guy. I wouldn't taste good anyway – bones are too brittle. Too many bone chips, you know. Nasty stuff, gets caught in your throat." then he grinned at his commander lying prone on the bed. "Thanks, Commander! You're the best!"
The door slid closed behind him and Joker's crows of delight were heard as he made his way back to the cockpit upstairs.
Liara turned toward Shepard with that ever-curious look in her eye. "Commander, just what was that drink Mr. Moreau was so enthusiastic about?"
Shepard closed her eyes and exhaled as she finally had some peace. "It's a human beverage called 'Sprite'. A kind of soda. It used to be really common on Earth a long time ago."
"When humans first established diplomatic ties with the Citadel, several of the Citadel races took a liking to human soda and it became a big hit for a while. Particularly with asari." explained Dr. Chakwas as she finished stitching up the gash in Wrex's forearm and liberally applied medi-gel for good measure. "A little less than a century ago however, many health boards in various star systems outlawed the beverage as the sugar content was so high it was deemed to be of hazardous levels. Since then, soda or any similar kind of carbonated beverage is illegal in Citadel space." The grey-haired woman moved to Liara, examining the cut on her brow. "Despite its banned status, there have still been avenues of smuggling it into a number of systems. Noveria, as you know, is a popular place to find smuggled goods."
"Ah, I see." said Liara, now understanding. "So Mr. Moreau had asked you to get some for him."
Shepard grumbled on. "That ass could have been more grateful. Well, could have been worse. At least it wasn't drugs…"
#5 If you feel smugly superior because you've been on tumblr since before it was promoted, you should probably find a hobby.
Conrad Verner smiled to himself, grinning broadly, as he read the news report.
Commander Shepard, first human to be made Spectre by the Citadel Council.
Yes. Yes. YES! He rose from the table and punched the air in victory. He knew she could do it. He knew she had it in her. Ever since the day he first saw her featured in a documentary on the rumoured list of potential human Spectre candidates the Council were deliberating on. He read her public files, about how she had survived the attack on Akuze when everyone else had perished. How she fought her battles and made it out top in all of them. How she rose through the ranks in her determined, fiery manner. From then on, he had placed complete faith in her abilities and doggedly followed any bits of news about her that come out to the public feed.
He had proceeded to make a fansite on the extranet, proclaiming that she would become the first to represent their race on the Council's most elite force. Only a handful had joined his cause. An overwhelming majority had called him a moron with ridiculous hopes and wishful thinking. 'Do you see the Council even taking an interest in us humans for Spectre candidacy yet? 'Course not, they prioritise their own kind first. Besides, of all people, why do you think it's Shepard? This is too far-fetched. You're absurd.'
Hah, thought Conrad, this'll show them.
He jumped, almost flew, to the household extranet terminal, wanting to update his fansite with the momentous news. Logging in, he found something that made him leap to his feet again with a whoop and a clap. With the news of Shepard's promotion to Spectre, there were an additional two thousand new members – and the numbers were still rising by the minute!
Yes! He could see it now – Shepard, the galactic hero, saviour to all, the face of humankind, travelling across Citadel space and back in her duty of serving justice-
"Conrad, just what is all that noise?"
The ecstatic man turned to see his groggy wife in her pyjamas step into the room, rubbing her eyes in the glare of the terminal in the unlit room. "It's two in the morning, what are you-"
"Honey! You won't believe this, but Shepard is a Spectre!" crowed Conrad energetically, a behaviour that was a stark contrast to his wife. "Can you believe it? And look at my fansite on Shepard, honey! More than two thousand new members gained overnight! Two thousand! It's becoming a real hit on the extranet now! The publicity for Shepard is going to be great! Isn't this fan-"
"All right, that's it! I've had enough of this!"
Conrad's face fell. "H-Honey?"
"It's always 'Shepard this,' or 'Shepard that,' or 'Look at what happened on my fansite of Shepard today'! I've had enough, Conrad! And unless you agree to grow up and get a real hobby, I am not speaking to you!" And with that, the love of his life stomped out of the living room and back to their bedroom, slamming the door behind her. And locking it.
Looks like he would be sleeping on the couch for the remainder of the night tonight.
Conrad sighed, sinking into said couch, all exuberance gone from his posture. Had he said something wrong to upset her? He hadn't meant to. He supposed he had to make it up to her somehow to get her to talk to him again.
And then, as with the fansite, the idea hit him suddenly and unexpectedly but still sounded spectacular.
This was how later that day, Shepard found herself talking to an excitable blonde man as she made her way to the Lower Markets. "Hey, I know you're probably busy, but do you have time for a quick autograph?"
Man, she's going to love this when I show this to her!
A/N: Dafaq did I just write? :D
So, I started a new series. Actually, this is my first time writing a fanfiction for a non-anime/manga category. I hope it's up to mark.
I was browsing the fics for the Mass Effect Kink Meme on LJ when I came across some fills written based on a few 'brotips'. That's when I discovered the site (brotips dot com) and amused myself for half an hour. And then I thought, why doesn't somebody use ALL the tips?
Idea was born.
Alright, let me talk about the relevant stuff instead of my rambling. Like, maybe explaining what's going on here.
The fics written here are written with each brotip as a prompt. No tip can be skipped, every one must be filled. There will be five tips to a chapter (the initial plan was 50 or 25 but after seeing the length of each tip...). As there will undoubtedly be some tips I do not understand, I will be interpreting them in my own manner and writing them out as such (for example, I am very sure I got the polo thing wrong but eh, whatever).
As I have completed ME1 but yet to play ME2, the fills are written in the ME1 universe for now.
The fills are written with female Shepard in mind, I'm trying to avoid giving her any description whatsoever to allow room for everyone's own vision of Shepard. Do note however that I may sometimes insert male Shepard instead of FemShep, in which case I will put a note right after the prompt but before the fill. Also, I actually ship Garrus x FemShep and MaleShep x Tali but since neither are available in ME1, any fills with a relationship theme will remain as ambiguous as possible regarding Shepard's love interest to allow for any partner of the reader's imagination. This will likely change once I start ME2 though.
A little talk about the first fill for anyone who cares; I actually thought of using my MaleShep as the character for the first fill (my MaleShep is named German and my FemShep is Vanessa - no, not being racist but thumbs up if you get the joke). My MaleShep is somewhat of a derp since he was my first profile and ME is the first shooter game I ever played so I kept screwing up here and there (he does stuff like run around trees in the Citadel and put away his gun while he is under fire). Actually, the scene described in the fill was my first ME death ever. Yeah, instead of dying in battle, I died because I drove off a skybridge. Pretty epic death for a Spectre. Way to go, German. But in the end, I settled for FemShep because it will be her I will be using for the majoirty of fills anyway.
Hm, I think I've said all I've wanted to say for now. Actually, I'm pretty sure I forgot something. Ah, oh well. I'll address it later I suppose.
Hope to see you around, and happy N7 Day! :3
14/3/2013: Corrected some mainly grammatical errors. Thanks for pointing them out, Pie!