This is it the final chapter for Mass Effect 2: Beauty and the Beast. For all of you who followed me from the beginning thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And I hope to see you for miniseries Before the Storm and Part 3 of the B&TB saga. I'm taking commissions so if you have any requests or ideas I should use for the miniseries private message me.
And as always, Review and Comment.
Chapter 69: Arrival pt.3
The guards came at Shepherd with ferocity taking pot shots as the spectre took cover, he was close to the control room, although it took some work to get there. Kenson did a good job of keeping him away, with lock passages, taking control of elevators and leading him into squads of enemies. Shepherd used his singularity field to lift the guards and sent them flying with a warp field. Shepherd went forward to the main area, meanwhile as went to the project room, Kenson and her people were organizing the guards to get an advantage over the spectre. However, that was all moot went he was slaughtering the guards…
"Tomas…Maxwell… report!" one of the guards said on the radio. "No answer Dr. Kenson"
Kenson growled. "Shepherd's past them, all personnel stop him!" The radio broke through; sounds of chaos could be heard.
"Doctor, send back up, Shepherd is tearing us apart!" a guard said before the radio abruptly cut off. Kenson slammed her fist on the table.
"Idiots! It's just one man!" Kenson said. "Secure the project control room! Don't let him Shepherd in there!"
"Initiating maximum security protocols!"
Shepherd entered the mess hall and took cover for the heavy weapons. Shepherd used his dominate to take control of the heavy weapon user. The Heavy fired on his allies sending them flying. The spectre then used his incineration blast on a canister nearby, killing the heavy user. He went into the next room, where he faced two pyros, and three engineers. The engineers summoned their drones to flush him out of cover, Shepherd fired on the drones not paying attention to one of the pyros flanking him. The pyro pulled the trigger and Shepherd fell back as his shield went down. The two drones came at him; Shepherd drained the drone's energy, recharging his shields.
The pyro fired his flamethrower, and the spectre dodged behind cover he then overloaded his tank, making him explode. The other pyro flanked Shepherd from behind, but this time the spectre was ready. A large stream of flames headed for Shepherd and he rolled to the side then took out his omni-blade and slashed the tanks. He kicked him away and ignited the leaking tank, causing him to burn alive. The engineers fired at Shepherd, he took out his hydra and fired, the missiles impacted their locations killing them instantly. Shepherd went into the control room.
"Doctor he's in the control room!"
Kenson slammed her fists on the desk. "NO! Send in the last batch of guards! I'll deal with this" She got up from her seat only to be rocked hard. "What was that?!"
"All of the weapons are almost destroyed, it's the Normandy!"
"Activate the missile systems"
"It won't have any effect on their shields"
"I don't care! No one is stopping the arrival!" Kenson ran out of the room. In the next room, Shepherd met with some more pyros, three project elite guards and an engineer. The pyros blasted him with a stream of flames to drain his tech armor; the armor detonated pushing him back. One of the elite guard shot Shepherd in the arm, and his allies opened fired, forcing him into cover. Shepherd look around cover and saw the engineer summoning his drone to flush him out. Shepherd used his energy drain to replenish his shields and drone disappeared, he then shot the engineer in the head with his pistol. The pyros fired his flamethrower; Shepherd dodged and threw him to the elite guards. He then used his overload to take out the pyro and his allies. He got the project terminal and a bluish-green VI appeared.
"Welcome to Project Control"
"Activate the project" Shepherd said.
"Warning: Activating the Project will result in an estimated three thousand and five hundred casualties. Do you wish to continue?" Shepherd hesitated a moment, he didn't like the batarians, in fact he hated them for Mindoir, but he didn't want to wipe them out. On the hand, with hours to go until the reapers arrival, he couldn't hesitate. He took a deep breath.
"Do it" Shepherd was rocked lightly as the sirens sounded throughout the base, the project was a go. Shepherd opened a com, and sent it across the system to warn them. He didn't know if the batarian's would listen, but he had to try, he wasn't going to have the blood of three hundred thousand people on his hands. "Alert: all colonists in the Bahak system. This is…" The com was shut off. "No!"
Shepherd tried desperately to get the com back on, but he was locked out. The asteroid was on move and he couldn't warn them. The project screen was replaced with an image of Kenson. "You fool! Have you any idea what you have done?"
Shepherd frowned. "Do you? You just condemned 300,000 people to death!"
"You leave me no choice. If I can't stop this asteroid then I will destroy it!"
"Tell me where to find Kenson"
"Dr. Kenson is traveling to the reactor core module" the VI said.
"An eezo core meltdown will do it, because of you; everyone on this rock will die!"
"They won't if I get to you first" Shepherd went to confront Dr. Kenson. Meanwhile Shepherd went to stop Kenson, the Normandy crew had their own problem. The missile turrets fired at the ship and the Normandy dodged. EDI activated the main guns and destroyed two of the turrets. The ship shook as the Normandy took damage from the side.
"Damn these guys are annoying!" Joker said.
"Alert: missiles incoming!"
"EDI fire the big guns" The Normandy activated its main cannon and fires at the missiles and the beam went on to destroy the rest of the base's weapons. A beep could be heard.
"Holy…Kaiden!" Joker said.
"What is it? Did you find Wayne?" he asked.
"Yeah, his omni-tool signal came back on minutes ago" he said. "But we need to get him, like now!"
"What's wrong is he hurt?" Tali asked concerned.
"No he's safe, but not for long, the base is on an asteroid and we got readings it's moving" Joker said. "For a head collision with Bahak system mass relay"
"Oh Keelah…" she said in horror.
"Full speed ahead! Get Wayne out of there!" Kaiden said.
"Aye, aye!" The Normandy flew to the now moving asteroid. Back on the base, Shepherd walks through the reactor control room, where the Commander encounters Kenson. Kenson was at the terminal trying to trigger a meltdown; her eyes were manic as she accessing the systems. Luckily the eezo systems had failsafe after failsafe to make it hard tamper with, which made it easy for Shepherd to catch up to her. Shepherd drew his gun and fired at her, barely missing her head, a warning shot.
"It's over, Kenson!"
Kenson voice was unhinged, any remnant of Admiral Hackett's friend was now gone and was now replaced by a slave of the reapers. "You ruined everything! I can't hear the whispers anymore!"
"Step away the console and turn the fuck around, now!" Shepherd growled.
"You've taken them away from me; I will never see the Reaper's arrival!" She said franticly. She turned around to reveal the trigger to a bomb.
Shepherd's eyes went wide. "Shit, Kenson don't do it!"
"FOR THE GLORY OF THE REAPERS!" She presses the detonator, instantly dying in the explosion with the resulting force knocking Shepherd back. He hit the wall hard and blacked out, moments later the rumbling of the asteroid had woke him up. When he got up, Shepherd felt a sharp pain as his side; the force of the explosion did more damage than he thought.
"Shit, my ribs…" he said painfully. He injected himself with a syringe of medi-gel for the pain; his cybernetics would have to pick up the slack for healing until he got back to the Normandy.
"Warning: Collision imminent" Shepherd got up and went to the console.
"Joker, this is Shepherd I need transport now!" he said.
"Communication system damage" the VI said.
"Evacuation protocols in effect! All personnel to escape shuttles!" The VI said.
"Where's are the shuttles?"
"Take the lift from this room to the external access, from there proceeds to the communications tower" Shepherd ran to the access port to the outside of the asteroid where the guards ran to the shuttle, even when indoctrinated some things were just absolute like fear. The Alpha Relay provided a nice backdrop to a battle with eight Project Guards that decided to stay behind just to kill Shepherd, luckily it last long as the spectre just shot them into space with his throw field. The mass relay grew larger across Shepherd's field of view as the asteroid approaches it. After taking care of the guards, he ran towards the tower, only to find the last shuttle to fly away.
"Shit!" Shepherd said. He looked around for anything he could use, he saw a com tower to his right, with the right channel he could contact the Normandy and get out of the system before it goes. The spectre got to the communication tower. "I hope the Normandy's listening" Shepherd pressed some buttons.
"External comm channel open"
"Shepherd to Normandy, if you're there I could really use a ride, like now!" There was only static, Shepherd wasn't a religious man, but he praying the Normandy got the message. While he was waiting for a response, out of the corner of his eye, he could see a hologram in the shape of a reaper.
"SHEPHERD, YOU ARE BECOMING AN ANNOYANCE" it said.
Shepherd smirked, it sounded pissed, and somehow it made him feel good that he can get under the skin of something as ancient as a reaper. "Good, then I guess I'm doing my job"
"YOU FIGHT AGAINST INEVITABILITY. DUST STRUGGLING AGAINST COSMIC WINDS" Harbinger said. "YOU SEE THIS AS A VICTORY, A STAR SYSTEM SACRIFCED, BUT EVEN NOW, YOUR CIVILIZATION IS DOOMED TO FALL, YOUR LEADERS WILL BEG TO SERVE US"
"You think we're scared of you, but we're not, we will fight regardless"
"KNOW THIS AS YOU DIE IN VAIN; YOUR TIME WILL COME. YOUR SPECIES WILL FALL"
"You underestimate just how vicious and crazy my people can be when we're backed into a corner" Shepherd said. "So let me educate you, we poisoned our air and water to weed out the weak! We set off fission bombs in our only biosphere! We nailed our God to a stick! In layman's terms: don't fuck with the human race!"
"CONFIDNCE BORN OF IGNORANCE, PREPARE FOR THE ARRIVAL" Harbinger's image disappeared. A com broke through.
"Shepherd, we're inbound for pickup"
"Took you guys long enough, I was getting bored" Shepherd said running to the edge. The Normandy comes swinging in and Shepherd jumps into the airlock. Joker then pilots a course through the Relay just before the asteroid hits it, completely destroying the relay. As the relay is blown apart, Shepherd could only watch as the giant shockwave moved across the system destroying planets, moons until the screen went red. And it was done the invasion was delayed, but at the cost three hundred thousand lives, in that instant he became a mass murderer.
"Wayne! You bosh'tet I was so worried about you!" Tali said as she wrapped her arms around him.
He kissed her forehead. "I'm sorry, rookie" Shepherd then grew serious.
"I'm going to Chakwas for injuries, Joker, contact Hackett, he needs to hear this" Shepherd and Tali to the med bay, there he told Tali the whole story, as she was to get him back safely. She was very upset at what Hackett put her boyfriend through, and though Shepherd didn't show it destroying the system affected him deeply. It was the little things, like his body language. While he told the story, he barely looked at her, ashamed at was he done…Tali grasped his hand firmly.
She shook her head. "You shouldn't have gone through that!" she said angrily. "It's not fair…"
Shepherd sighed. "I know, but sometime life isn't fair" Hackett came in, as the old admiral approached Shepherd, Tali was staring daggers at him. Shepherd put his hand on her shoulder and calmed her down.
"Tali, Hackett and I are going to speak privately, I'll see you soon, okay"
"Okay" Tali looked at Hackett and brushed past him, leaving the med bay.
"I see someone is not happy with me…"
"That's an understatement, she did almost see her boyfriend die again" Shepherd said.
"I know and hopefully she will understand our life is not an easy one" Hackett said. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine, no more visions" Shepherd said. "I got lucky…"
"Good, now what the hell happen down there? I sent you break Amanda out of prison and now she's dead and a whole system was wiped out"
Shepherd got up and gave him a data pad. "Your friend was right the reapers were coming in two days, destroying the relay was only way to stop them" He said. "I'm sorry about your friend, she was indoctrinated"
"I started the engines with a little more than an hour left, I tried to warn the batarian colonists, but…time ran out"
"The batarian report said there were no survivors, at least you tried."
Shepherd lowered his head. "Not good enough…" the spectre said.
"And the threat was real?"
"We had only minutes to spare" Shepherd said. "So what now?"
"I won't lie, Commander, the batarians will want blood, and a war with them is the last thing we need"
"I know, not with the reapers breathing down our backs"
"I know you did what you had to do, but in the end 300,000 batarians are dead and this will make the Alliance look bad" the admiral said.
"What's your suggestion?" Shepherd asked. He was not going to like the answer.
"Evidence is shoddy at best, but at some point, you will have to go to Earth and face the music" Hackett said. "I can't stop it, but I can make them fight for it"
Shepherd sighed. "I'll do it, but just promise me that you get the Alliance and the council prepared, I don't care if you have to go dirty to do it"
"I will try, though it will be an up-hill battle" he said walking away. "Do what you have to do, but when Earth calls, you make sure with your dress blues on, ready to take the hit"
"I will…" Hackett threw the data pad back to Shepherd. "Admiral?"
"Keep it, I don't need it to tell me you did the right thing"
Shepherd gave a sharp salute. "Yes sir!"
"You did a hell of a thing, Commander" Hackett walked away, leaving Shepherd with his thoughts of an uncertain future.
Four Months Later
After the meeting with Hackett, the Normandy crew went about their business like nothing happened or at least tried to. Samara had left the ship, to continue on seeking out injustices in the galaxy, Thane was next, wishing to see his son on the Citadel, and finally Zaeed was the last to leave, possibly looking for his next job. Four months had passed, Shepherd received a summons from the Alliance committee…the top brass of the military and so honoring his promises the crew made their way to Earth. Kaiden sighed. "Looks like it's time for us to face the music" he said.
"No, it will be just me, no one will get involved with my crime" Shepherd said.
"It's not your fault, Wayne, you only did it to save us" Tali said softly.
"And I may have caused things to get worse" he said. Shepherd then looked at Tali. "You sure about this, rookie?"
"Yes" She said. "You've been there for us, it's only right we are there for you too." Shepherd looked back as the Normandy crew all saluted. His friends, his family would not abandon him; he would not face this alone.
Tears ran down his cheeks as Tali hugged him. "Thank you, everyone, thank you" Shepherd choked.
"Everyone we're here" Joker said. Kaiden, Shepherd, and Tali went up to the cockpit and looked out the window.
"Keelah, your homeworld is beautiful…" she said. The three could only look in awe as they saw the sapphire colored planet.
"Rookie, welcome to Earth"