So anyway, I will freely confess to being messed up. I have a therapist who says that I have a Disassociative Personality Disorder. Basically that means I don't connect well with 'real life'. I don't do well socially, I don't understand the rules of mixing with other people, and if I could be bothered to be honest about it I would have to say I don't really care about much of anything. That comes as a result of hating my body, basically everything about it because my body is male and I am not. Great huh? What a way to spend your life, which I guess is why I am so into sci fi and fantasy, they're an escape that let's me get away from a 'real life' which hurts far too much. I have been murderously angry, or suicidally depressed and despairing for pretty much forever.
Why am I telling you all this? Well it might help you to understand why I love fan fiction, and why I read a ridiculous amount of fan fiction about the Mass Effect universe. Self inserts, what a great way to while away a few hours, being able to picture yourself elsewhere and elsewhen, a different reality. Such a nice dream. One I always thought would be wonderful, but I can honestly say I wasn't expecting this. I'm willing to bet you understand the concept of multiple realities, and the idea that every possible action spawns its own reality. Effectively it means that everything that can happen, does happen somewhere in an endless mass of realities. It's all very quantum, and if you understand the maths then you are way more intelligent than me.
This isn't very relevant in general life where you get up and go and earn a crust doing a shitty job, but then really that's not a surprise is it? What is more surprising is the idea of almost godlike beings manipulating these realities, tweaking here and there, encouraging the possibility of certain events, discouraging others. Perhaps a little depressing is the idea of these godlike beings, squabbling, arguing, fighting or having full blown wars over the manipulation of reality for their own ends, still I tend to think that a sign of intelligence is a sense of self interest and survival, so once it was explained to me I have to admit I wasn't overly surprised. Who explained it to me?
That would be one of those nigh god like beings who decided to take an interest. Not necessarily in me, don't be stupid that was just coincidence. As near as I can work out it was random chance that I was one of the carbon based life forms near the weak spot in the fabric of reality the godlike one was watching. The last thing I remember was utter agony then complete darkness.
The blackness changed and suddenly I was aware again. I had the sensation of floating in the dark, perhaps I was suspended? Or perhaps it was that gravity had no effect anymore? I couldn't see or hear anything but there was a sensation of movement, and of time passing. I have no idea how long the sensation lasted and there was nothing to get a frame of reference. The strain on my usually doubtful sanity grew steadily and I wondered if I would actually finally crack when suddenly an impossible distance in front of me there was a spark of light and as I flew forwards through the emptiness, in a split second the spark turned into blinding light around me.
I found myself in a vast hall, huge beyond my comprehension, its roof soaring away overhead in fabulous crazed arches, formed from stars, dust and shards of ice. Light bloomed all around me, blazing from a galaxy hanging in the space above me, near enough to touch but impossibly far away as well. It was both awesome and terrifying. What is this place? There was a peal of sound, cacophonous but overwhelmingly beautiful as well, and suddenly there was a Being there as well.
This is my home, or at least a portion of it that your mind can begin to comprehend. Welcome.
It was stupendous. The Being's form shifted as it moved gracefully, energies crackling across the morphing shape, explosions, stars, whole galaxies, were held in its body. It changed constantly from human to something other, male, female, animal, moving crystal, music hanging in space. The figure stopped in front of me, giving a sense of being humanoid at least, but also far far more.
"Where am I? Why am I here? Are you God?" I was a little worried about that last question. I haven't believed for a long time.
I have temporarily moved your spirit to my plane of reality, and you are here because you are dying. I am not God as you understand it.
I was reliving my day in fast forward. Getting up, heading to work, dealing with the assholes in the office, I detest office politics. I was trying to focus on the analysis project the office manager had allocated me, when there was a deep crump of noise, a bass rumble that reverberated through the air, vibrated through the buildings structure and that shattered the triple glazed windows at the end of the office into a million pieces. There was screaming, cries of pain and shock from the wounded lacerated by flying glass. I had a sensation of pain in my cheek and was shocked when I touched it to see blood on my fingers from a shard that missed my eye by an inch. It hurt but wasn't important compared to what I saw when I stood up. There was glass and blood everywhere, the injured, dying and dead in the aisle between the workstations, at their desks, one of the supervisors...shredded almost by the the glass where he had been walking past the windows. In a daze I stumbled towards the shattered window frames. I don't know why I didn't react more, maybe that disconnect I mentioned earlier, but I needed to see what had happened.
Looking out, I could see black smoke curling up from the ruined entrance from the research block that housed AcTek's most important projects. The entrance was armoured, and the research block was an underground bunker. Was seemed to be the right word, as smoke poured from the ruins. A rumble began, and the floor seemed to sway for a moment. I heard the shrieks from the wounded but blocked them out. The rumble intensified and then the ground bucked and in a fraction of a second I watched a wave flow through the ground, spreading out from the bunker, concrete buckling like sand, and then...then the world exploded in my face.
"There was an explosion...in the research block. I'm dying?"
Your employer was conducting very dangerous research at the facility. The project escaped their control and the catastrophic overload resulted in the explosion. You are dying, but only in the sense that you are not yet dead. The explosion utterly destroyed everything within 500m of the experiment. You are caught in a frozen moment of time and I brought you here because I could do so. I was observing the experiment and as it failed I registered your presence.
"Why me? I'm fucked up, why not save one of the scientists, or some poor bugger outside AcTek. 500 metres? There must be hundreds, thousands dead."
You are different from them.
"Different? I know I'm fucking different! My life is a disaster."
No human, your ...essence is different. In time your species will unlock the secrets of dark matter, and join the species beyond your solar system, but they will face a reaping that is near unstoppable.
In some realities that will be the end, in others life in this galaxy will continue. I and others like me fight the darkness that threatens this and untold other galaxies. You are here now because I sensed the potential to improve the odds for this reality and acted. It takes great power and is difficult because I cannot interfere directly on this plane. But to move your essence, your spirit, at the moment of death this is possible so I offer you a new life.
"You can make me live again?"
In a manner of speaking. There is immense power latent in your essence, in the mutation it holds within you. I can transfer your essence, divert the timestream in this reality and insert you into your future. That is nothing in itself, you are merely energy after all. Once there I can force your latent mutation to activate, release that power. That is the hard part, the mutation will change you and I cannot predict the form it will take, but you will have a chance of a new life. If you survive then you start again. All I ask is that if you survive and prosper then if you get the chance fight the darkness that comes. Do you accept, or will your existence end now?
"I'll be in the future?"
Approximately 170 years.
It didn't take me long to decide. I may have hated my life but the chance of a do over in the future?
Good. Sleep now.
With a casual wave the being cast its senses forwards looking for a donor, a body that the spirit's essence could take over. While not above overwhelming an existing spirit if it felt it necessary, it tried to maintain some standards. It soon found a body, near physical death, its spirit fleeing at the exact same moment as the being searched. It was not ideal, but there were only so many choices and the others were worse. The being could only offer the mutating human essence a chance, to do anything to change the odds further risked discovery, and that would be...bad. With an effort of will the energy was cast forward, in time and space, to a dangerous world, to Omega.
The unconscious dying body bounced as it landed on the slope of refuse at the back of the drug house. The turian gave a grunt as the human female slid away into the shadows, then glanced around and up at the canyon of towering structures leading his eyes to the radiation shielding overhead through which Omega's perpetual night was visible over the dim glow of more than 30 levels of alleys, and buildings of plascrete and alloy. This far down in the depths of Omega the stars overhead were only a narrow strip. He turned away and palmed the door scanner, heading back to the party, and wishing that human drug addicts weren't so damn breakable. They had such weak systems compared to Turians.
Half buried in the trash the addict's mind died and her soul fled, in perfect timing for a new unconscious occupant to take up residence in the matrix of neurons and electrical connections. Even as the new essence settled in, an esoteric energy reached within and twisted in a manner both simple and impossible. Deep within the body a latent mutation awoke guided by a strange mix of unconscious desire, karma and a ravening instinct to survive. The dying body was racked by shudders, flesh and bone warping slowly as a wave of mutation spread from within.
Eyes that glowed like smouldering coals flicked open, as it sat up sharply, something that had been covering it falling away. It was laying on a slope, almost buried under...the odours of dirt and desperation. Hunger. So Hungry. There was no rational thought, only the instinct to survive running loud through its mind like a charging rhino, it bulldozed all else out of its way. It hurt and it was starving. Instinct told it that it needed to feed to heal, and to assuage that terrible hunger. It did not know this place, but the darkness no match for its acute vision, a glance around told it that it was alone here, but its acutely sensitive hearing told it there was prey nearby. Many prey, it could smell them, the life in them called to it from the buildings high overhead. A fresh sound caught its attention, voices and the sound of steps nearing from beyond a corner in the alleyway. Head swivelling it focussed on the sound of its prey moving off to its right. An ambush predator by nature it lay back waiting for its prey to come to it, eyes closed, the sound and smell so strong it had no need of its sight. Three voices argued, one cold and confident, the others weaker, more desperate. The language was unknown to it but that was irrelevant. The prey were close now, it could here them scrambling through the edges of the refuse pile, and now it was time to feed.
Jainethia growled in irritation at the two sand heads who swore blind they had seen a body thrown from the back entrance to Knixter's. They were so desperate for their next bags of red sand that these two stupid humans were willing to give her total claim at any salvage in exchange for a quarter bag each, barely enough for them to get high. It wasn't like anyone getting thrown from Knixter's would be loaded, or even likely to have any creds, but Knixter's was heaving and she was betting their crew hadn't risked pissing off their boss by taking the time to search the human thoroughly. If she was lucky she might recover an omnitool implant or translator, something she could sell at the Mart to get enough coin to cover rent.
Goddess, if her matriarch could see her now she would weep in shame that Jainethia had fallen so low, but Omega was a hard vicious place and she was willing to do what it took to survive. Dealing red sand was reprehensible but after ending up on Omega everything had gone wrong. Dancing and whoring her pretty Asari ass didn't pay enough to make ends meet. Finding a safe place to stay in Omega was hard and she had joined a gang for safety in numbers. She didn't have the creds for passage away from Omega so now she was dealing packets of sand and trading tips to junkies like these two humans.
The male was more strung out than his half naked girlfriend, and steamed ahead, clambering up the rubbish pile.
"I'm telling you Jainethia, it's here, come on hurry, I need my bag. Fuck where is it?" The man rifled through the trash, trying to find the body in the darkness with only the crap illumination from the canyon overhead. Jainethia wondered what hallucinations the man was seeing, humans had such crap senses and their minds were so easily fucked up, Goddess knew what red sand withdrawal made them see. She might be poor at the moment but at least her mind was straight. The amount of shit that went into cutting her red sand supply, there was no way she was going to use it herself. You needed a clear head to stay alive on Omega especially as she didn't have much equipment. Her tight revealing bodysuit was only light armour at best but at least she had a visor to see in the darkness and a cheap pistol she had stolen.
"Micky! Micky I found the bitch. Over here. Quick." Jainethia grunted as Micky's on off bedmate called him over. Amazing, these two junkies actually hadn't been seeing things. She glanced around to confirm their was no one around, she still had some pride and didn't want anyone witnessing her climbing a refuse pile to pull a body out and search it. Her basic amplification visor showed no one else around, and the body was cooling, it was already well below human's weird 37 degrees. Looking down the alleyway, she snapped back around as the female screamed, just in time to see her flung down the pile with enough force to knock her out.
Gaping Jainethia looked up the slope and saw a skeletal shape holding the big male up in the air as it jerked out of the rubbish. Her first thought was somehow there was a reaper husk in the alley, and the terror froze her to the spot. That thought lasted the vanishingly quick time it took the white pallid thing to wrench the larger male around effortlessly, and sink long lethal fangs deep into his neck its face contorted in rage. Micky screamed like the damned and Jainethia, a hardened cynical maiden that had survived Omega for four years, felt urine trickling down the leg of her bodysuit. It was drinking his blood! In front of her eyes the emaciated form was changing, growing, filling out. Why couldn't she move? The thing's black eyes were locked with hers, its gaze was burning into her mind as it fed ravenously.
Micky's large frame was shrinking into itself as the creature drank him dry. He'd stopped screaming, just small whimpers of pain now, but Jainethia could see his mind had snapped as he watched her frozen in place as the creature turned from a skeletal wraith to what looked like an adolescent female human, pale and terribly slender with no real shape yet but with firm lean limbs, a tiny waist, and a bald head. Micky's eyes rolled up into his head as his conscious mind fled from loss of blood. The creature held him to its mouth for a few more seconds before discarding his body with careless ease as it watched Jainethia.
The monster looked away from her for a split second to check the unconscious female, and the paralysis fogging her mind broke. Instinctively Jainethia snapped the Predator pistol up and opened fire, as she began backing away. The creature hissed in pain as the accelerated slivers punched through its torso in gouts of gore, but it didn't fall. Terror gripped her again as the holes punched in its torso filled with black blood and then healed before her eyes. It was regenerating faster than a Krogan.
Snarling in anger it leapt towards her down the rubbish mound and Jainethia span and fled for her life. For seconds she ran, panic spurring her on, hearing the nightmare gaining on her. There was a moment of silence then a heavy weight crashed into her back knocking her to the ground. A powerful shove smacked her head into the ground and piercing pain erupted in her neck. Jainethia shrieked and scrabbled for the pistol she had dropped, but she couldn't reach it and her strength was failing...Her last thoughts were of Thessia and her mother.
Finally it fed well, the human prey before had been weak and ill, there was not enough life to heal it in the male prey, but this new prey was vital, abundant with life energy, and still pathetically easy to catch. It's wounds healed from the weapon the prey had used, and its healing continued, new energy and strength flooding into its body, its bones and organs completing their transformation, its body filling out to maturity, designed to trap its human prey. The prey with the strange colour skin finally lost its struggle for life as it held it down and finished feeding, senses alert for any interruption. It was mature and healed but still hungry, with almost no reserves to fall back on. Dragging the second prey animal behind it the short distance back to the rubbish pile, it discarded the body with the first and moved to the unconscious prey it had thrown as it attacked. Her heartbeat was weak and it sensed the injuries the prey had suffered as it hit the alley wall. Quickly it moved to finish feeding before the precious energy was lost, delicately taking the energy where the first and second prey animals had been devoured. Sucking up every last morsel of food it finally felt replete, sitting back on its haunches it looked around this strange place trying to locate a place to hide. The need to feed, to heal and survive sated, instinct faded as consciousness and comprehension resurfaced. Gaping fangs receded back into her mouth, jawline morphing to a human norm as the burning black orbs changing in the blink of her eyes to a piercing cobalt.
I knew what had happened, my conscious mind was watching from the moment I was bounced across time and space into another body. Then the entity activated the latent mutation it said I had, and I was trapped in this new body as a new instinctive drive took over, wracking me in pain as I felt bones shifting, organs moving and changing. For a while I blacked out, coming to again as my body surged out of the rubbish pile driven by vampiric hunger. The monster inside me threw the woman with terrifying ease then devoured the man.
Right then I cursed my fucked up subconscious, it had to be to blame for this. I had developed a fascination with vampires in my teenage years and it had never gone away. I think it was because I don't connect well, and well...can you think of anything more intimate than a vampire? The whole idea intrigued me. Now it had come back to haunt me, as this new body changed around me, growing stronger, healthier, faster as new life flooded into me with each gulp of the man's blood.
The knowledge that I was now a vampire, and would need to drink blood again wasn't the worst thing. The worst was that my new body had different taste buds, the taste and smell of the blood was overwhelming...and absolutely delicious. Having to immediately admit to myself that I wouldn't be able to resist feeding again was one thing. Recognising that I wouldn't even try and would look forward to my next meal? Well you could say that was yet another nail in the coffin of my humanity. Not that I really cared. Emotional disconnect remember. Physically I felt fucking wonderful, strong and powerful. Mentally I started trying to take back control of this form from its instincts but the monster was still not sated and its drives were too strong.
Next I became aware of the monster's confusion as it studied the new prey frozen in terror at the bottom of the slope. It didn't know what to make of the blue skin, and the weirdly beautiful shape of her head. I did, it took me a second to recognise the woman as Asari. My body glanced away for a split second and the next thing I felt was a sharp pain from being shot. That didn't work out so well for her. The monster chased her down and we fed again, and OMG her blood was so good, so full of life it made human blood taste like dishwater. Energy roared through me, I felt my wounds healing in seconds and then my new body finished maturing and filling out powered by that rush of life. The creature wasn't interested in inspecting my new form, but I could feel the differences the absence down below and the generous weight of my new breasts as I filled out. I was conflicted, this was heaven and hell combined, for the first time I felt right, but I would be a predator for the rest of this life. I still had no control of this magnificent new body but I will admit I felt more in tune with myself then than in the previous 30 years. I'm predator, they're prey. Straight forward. I accepted it and myself, and tried again to wrest control. Still no joy.
The human female was a complete anticlimax after the feast I had just had, but finally my body's hunger was sated and the hellishly strong ravenous drive to feed and survive was overwhelmed. I came to, and finally I was in control. Now I just had to work out what to do next. I hunkered down in the alley and looked around. 3 dead bodies, an Asari...I don't believe it she's really an Asari. Where the fuck am I? The canyon of buildings overhead looked almost never ending, I couldn't guess how many levels down I was. The faint glimmer of some sort of shielding far overhead, tickled at the back of my mind.
Shit I'm on Omega. I didn't want to believe it for a moment but another glance at the dead Asari was a reality check. I'm here, female yay, and a vampire groan. I'm in really deep shit. Looking down I could see that the clothes worn by my body before its changes were utterly ruined, covered in blood and with a trio of bullet holes. With the changes I had gone through they didn't fit either. Okay I need clothes, money, and a place to hole up, and think. What date is it? Fuck knows.
A glance at the dead humans confirmed their clothing wouldn't fit. He was way too big, damn I must be strong now to lift him with one arm. She was too small and I really didn't want to wear a skirt that...tiny. Especially as I was a foot taller than she had been. That left the Asari, who was actually about my size. At least she wasn't wearing a dancer's costume. Still I was going to feel naked in that tight fitting bodysuit. I would look awesome though. Picture Miranda Lawson's body suit in purple and black. I've no idea what I look like yet but you get the idea?
With a mental apology to her spirit I stripped her, pulling what I decided must be an omnitool off her arm first, and then struggled into the suit. She had been a slightly lither build and I felt a little squeezed but at least I was clothed and armoured...well a bit. It was a lightweight armour fabric of some type but also served as a bra, supporting my new bust tightly but comfortably. I was delighted to discover her combat boots also fit and I pulled them on. I slipped the omni tool on my forearm so I didn't lose it and located the pistol she had dropped. Examining it I found a button which I pressed gently, grinning like a loon as the pistol retracted and I slipped it onto the suits magnetic holder. Awesome.
So Mass Effect is my reality's future? That could be brilliant or I could die horribly as Reapers pour through the relays. Actually I guess everyone could die horribly. Shaking my head at my thoughts I apologised again to the dead and quickly searched the humans. I didn't find much, and earpiece that I thought might be a translator, plus a small switchblade. I debated taking the woman's jacket to wear over the bodysuit but decided it was too blood stained to risk it. Luckily the Asari's bodysuit wasn't too bad, just a few drops that I managed to wipe off. I guessed my face was still covered in blood and tore a clean piece from his shirt. I did the best I could to wipe my face, and the rag came a way very red. Finally I hid their bodies deep in the rubbish. God it stank, but at least when the bodies began decomposing they would stay hidden longer. I wished I could get rid of the evidence more thoroughly but on Omega I doubted that anyone would care. Nothing else I could do with them now anyway. Turning away I started moving quietly through the alleyways wondering exactly where I was on Omega, and what I should do next.