Author's Note: So, I was watching the Princess Bride the other day over my lunch break, and my brain decided to proceed very quickly and give me images of every single character replaced by Mass Effect characters. When I shared this idea with the lovely folks of the Aria's Afterlife forum here on , they all proceeded to threaten me with bodily harm if I did not continue and write out the whole thing. So I started, anyway - one solid hour of writing barely got me through fifteen minutes of film. Another six hours or so should see me done with this project, so stay tuned. And before anyone asks in the reviews, no, I'm not doing a Rocky Horror Picture Show with ME characters, I'll leave that up to people who have that memorized like I have memorized Princess Bride and Clue.
15 Mar 2013: I am updating chapters to try and fix my many spelling and grammar mistakes.
Coughing and the sounds of a video game fill the room. Camera pans around, focusing first on the omni-tool generated hologram to the face of a young boy sitting in bed, obviously ill. His mother enters the room.
Miranda: Hi honey.
Catalyst: Hi mom.
Miranda: Feeling any better?
She runs an omni-tool above his head, reading his temperature and other vital signs.
Catalyst: A little bit.
Miranda: Guess what? Your grandfather's here.
Catalyst: Aw, mom, can't you tell him I'm sick?
Miranda: You're sick, that's why he's here.
Catalyst: But mom, he's going to pinch my cheek. I hate that.
Miranda: Maybe he won't.
The Illusive Man opens the door dressed in a suit and hat.
TIM: Hey, how is the sick kid?
He walks over and pinches the child's cheek. The child gives his mother an "I told you so" look.
Miranda: I'll leave you two alone for a bit.
She gets up and leaves the room, as the grandfather moves a chair over next to the bed.
TIM: I brought you a special present.
Catalyst: What is it?
TIM: Open it up!
The child takes the offered package, tearing open the wrapping paper to reveal a standard looking tablet. He then looks up unbelievingly at his grandfather.
Catalyst: A book?
TIM: That's right. When I was your age, holo-vision was called books. And this is a special book. It's the book Hackett used to read to me when I was sick and I used to read it to Kaidan! And today I'm going to read it to you.
Catalyst: Does it have anything exciting in it?
TIM: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, mad science, revenge, geth, krogan, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!
Catalyst: I suppose that sounds satisfactory. I'll try to stay awake.
TIM: Oh, thank you very much, that's very kind of you.
He sits down, turning on the tablet and loading the book.
TIM: Alright. The Quarian-Princess Bride, by Bioware, chapter one.
Camera cut to a rural farm in the highlands of Rannoch.
TIM, narrating: Tali'Zorah was raised on a small farm in the country of Rannoch. Her favorite pastimes were riding her armature and tormenting the farm boy who worked there, who was named Shepard. Isn't that a wonderful beginning?
Catalyst: Yeah … sure.
TIM: Nothing gave Tali as much pleasure as ordering Shepard around.
Tali: Farm boy, polish my armature. I want to see my helmet shining in it by morning.
Shepard: As you wish.
He takes an omni-tool from her and moves towards a horse-sized geth armature.
TIM: "As you wish" was all he ever said.
Camera cut to Shepard using an assault rifle to shred logs into fireplace-sized chunks. Tali approaches with two empty buckets.
Tali: Farm boy, fill these with water. … Please?
Shep: As you wish.
TIM: That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "As you wish," what he meant was, "I love you." And what was more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.
Camera cut to interior of a farm house, with Tali programming a kitchen unit with her omni-tool.
Tali: Farm boy.
He pauses, about to exit the house.
Tali: Hand me that paste synthesizer?
Shep: As you wish.
He reaches up and takes it off the rack with a smile, which she might return. It's kind of hard to see inside the environmental suit. Camera cut to outside at sunset, Tali and Shepard in each other's arms as he slowly brings his lips up to her face mask.
Catalyst: Hold it, hold it.
Camera cut back to the bedroom, with the child glaring at his grandfather.
Catalyst: Are you trying to trick me? Where's the death? Is this a kissing book?
TIM: Wait, just wait.
Catalyst: When does it get good?
TIM: Keep your holographic emitters on, and let me read. Shepard had no money for marriage, so he packed his armor and weapons and left the farm to seek his fortune in the Traverse. It was a very emotional time for Tali'Zorah.
Catalyst: I don't believe this.
Camera cut back to the farm house, where Tali is clinging to Shepard
Tali: I fear I'll never see you again.
Shep: Of course you will.
Tali: But what if something happens to you?
Shep: Hear this now. I will always come for you.
Tali: But how can you be sure?
Shep: This is true love. Death cannot stop true love. All it needs is two billion credits.
They smile at each other before Shepard puts more kisses all over Tali's face mask and finally departs.
TIM: Shepard didn't reach his destination. His ship was attacked by the Dread Spectre Arterius, who never left captives alive. When Tali got the news that Shepard was murdered by Spectres –
Catalyst: Murdered by Spectres is acceptable.
TIM: She went into her room and shut the door. For days she neither slept nor ate, and suffered a really nasty bacterial infection.
Tali: I will never love again.
Camera cut to a bridge over a village, where pyjaks are being corralled into the village. Cut to interior of the village, with numerous human, asari, and quarian children playing tag.
TIM: Five years later, the main square of Rannoch was filled as never before, as the people anxiously awaited the announcement of Prince Zaeed's bride to be.
Camera cut to the crowd, with rows of geth raising synthesizers to perform a trumpet call. Cut to balcony, where Prince Zaeed stands, flanked by Count Vakarian, King Javik, and Queen Liara.
Zaeed: Look at all these goddamn commoners. Anyway, a month from now is the hundredth anniversary of the goddamn resettlement of Rannoch. At sundown, I'm gonna marry an awesome broad who was once a mangy suit rat like the rest of you. Anyone wanna goddamn meet her?
Geth in the crowd conspicuously unfold assault rifles.
Zaeed: She's right behind you. The Princess … Tali'Zorah!
Geth perform another fanfare as Tali, wearing a high-quality environmental suit, walks out into the crowd, which bows down to her.
TIM: Tali's emptiness consumed her. The law of the land gave Zaeed the right to marry her, but she did not love him. Neither did anyone else, because he was a goddamn mercenary. Despite Zaeed's reassurance that she would be well compensated, the only joy she took was in her daily ride.
Camera cut to a forest, where Tali is riding her horse-sized armature.
Mordin: Pardon, we need a moment.
Camera pan to three people standing, in order: Mordin, Thane, Wrex.
Mordin: We are suffering from navigation malfunction. Require directions to nearest maintenance facility.
Tali: There is nothing around here, you bosh'tet, not for kilometers.
Mordin: Then there will be no one to hear you scream.
Wrex raises a fist and biotically pulls her off the armature. Tali faints as she lands on the ground. Camera cut to a small ship on the coast, as Mordin is tearing off a piece of cloth and attaching it to Tali's armature.
Thane: What is that you're ripping?
Mordin: It's uniform fabric from Eclipse. Also used heat sinks and yellow paint markings.
Wrex: Eclipse? Those pussies?
Mordin: Have attempted hostile takeover of quarian holdings before. With geth friendly, closest to ancestral enemies. Return to base.
He activates his omni-tool and the armature starts off.
Mordin: Armature returns, evidence points obviously to Eclipse. When Zaeed finds her corpse in former Eclipse base, suspicions confirmed. Blame shifted.
Wrex: I'm not getting paid enough for killing.
Mordin: Were hired to help start war. Prestigious work, glorious tradition. Also, enmity of STG if you quit now. Suck it up.
Wrex: I still think I need more money.
Mordin: Must be hallucinating – heard the word "think" from a krogan. Did not hire you for feeble brain, hired you for muscle and biotic ability.
Thane: I agree with Wrex. Kalahira frowns on senseless death.
Mordin: Be silent and return to your constant memories. Her fate out of your hands. Also remember: When recruited, were drifting aimlessly in rundown bar on Ilium. And you, friendless, contractless, good example of failure of old krogan society. Would prefer to return to Tuchanka lacking credits?
Thane walks over to a dejected looking Wrex.
Thane: Mordin, he can .. fuss.
Wrex: Fuss, fuss … I think he likes to scream – at us!
Thane: Probably he means no harm.
Wrex: He's painfully short on charm.
Thane: You have a gift for rhyme.
Wrex: Only some of the time.
Mordin: Enough of that.
Thane: Wrex, are there asteroids ahead?
Wrex: If there are, you weaklings'll be dead.
Mordin: No more rhymes. I mean it.
Wrex: Anybody want a peanut?
Mordin: Will kill you in your sleep.
Camera follows the ship as it sails away. Cut to identical ship pose in the dark.
Mordin: Will reach the cliffs at dawn.
Thane continuously checks the sensor panel.
Mordin: Why the concern?
Thane: Are you certain we were not followed?
Tali: Despite what you think, you will be caught. And when you do, Zaeed's bringing Jessie out of retirement.
Mordin: Should be worried about own neck, not ours.
Silence reigns for several moments before Thane pings the sensors again.
Mordin: Stop that!
Thane: Are you certain we were not followed?
Mordin: Said before. Inconceivable. Unthinkable. Implausible. No one on Rannoch could catch us, no one in Eclipse knows of plans. … Why?
Thane: Well, I just got a contact on the sensors.
Mordin ruses to the sensor panel. Camera cut to the other ship trailing behind them, barely visible in the distance.
Mordin: Must be local on pleasure cruise … through turbulent nebula …. Following our wake.
A sudden splash comes from the side of the ship, where Tali has jumped overboard.
Mordin: Quickly! After her!
Thane: Swimming aggravates my condition.
Wrex: Krogans can't swim. Biologically incapable of it. I can sink like a champ, though.
Mordin: GAH! Circle around, cut off her escape!
Wrex points out into the water. In the distance, drawing slowly louder and closer, is a BWOOOM sound.
Mordin: Know that sound, Tali? Those are the miniature Reapers. If doubtful, wait. Always louder given chance to harvest organics.
Camera shows a person-sized Reaper surface near Tali, firing a beam over her head.
Mordin: Swim back, have promise not to harm. No such offer from Reapers.
Tali starts to panic, thrashing around in the water as more Reapers bob up and down in the water around her. Right as one surfaces in front of her, legs spread and beam powering up, camera cut to the bedroom.
TIM: She doesn't get harvested by the Reapers at this time.
TIM: I'm explaining because you look a little nervous.
Catalyst: I wasn't nervous, I was expectant. There is a difference.
TIM: We can stop now if you want.
Catalyst: No! We can read more. If you want.
TIM: Know that sound, Tali? Those are the miniature Reapers. If doubtful, wait. Always louder given chance to harvest organics.
Catalyst: We're past that part, you read it already.
TIM: Oh, right. Sure. She was in the water, the Reapers were surrounding her, one started to charge a beam weapon, and then …
Wrex's fist comes out of nowhere, smashing aside the tiny Reaper before hauling Tali's suit out of the water by the hood.
Mordin: Put her down. Must check vitals.
Mordin checks her over with an omni-tool.
Thane: I think he is closer than before.
Mordin: Ignore. More important concerns. Full engine power ahead. Consider yourself brave?
Tali: Only compared to bosh'tets like you.
aaaaand Scene Break. Stay tuned for the mysterious Man In A Death Mask fighting Thane and Wrex! Mordin being insufferable as usual before drinking Iocane Powder! And more!