This Self Insert started as a response to someone else's. I was reading it, and I wanted to facepalm when they failed to use information they would have had from playing the games. I don't even remember what it was called or who wrote it, or even when I read it. But that forgotten story is what caused all this.
What started out as a rough response to that story, what would happen if I was put in that spot, has turned into a story longer than anything I ever thought I'd write.
And I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that it'd have over nearly 300 favorites, and over 500 reviews. What I really want to say is- thanks guys.
But that was only a first attempt.
So, without further ado, I present the final version of:
Stuck in a World of Fiction
I was almost positive I was dreaming. Or going insane.
First of all, my head was ringing, and it was hard to think straight. Even the simplest thoughts were draining.
Secondly, I had no idea how I had gotten here. I was in a lush field of grain, maybe corn or wheat. Something about it was off though. Of course, I couldn't be sure, because of the other reason I thought I was dreaming.
I was running for my life.
How could this have happened? Some part of me dared to ask as bullets flew inches past my head. It was a miracle I hadn't yet been hit. Thankfully the field of grain was as hard for my pursuers to see through as it was for me to run through.
I had no sense of direction, I was just running blindly, constantly praying that my next step would not be my last. I almost fooled myself into believing it.
About an hour earlier, or so far as I could guess, I'd just been down in my game room, starting a new play through of Mass Effect. It was old, outdated, and the gameplay was nowhere near as good as the sequels.
But I had played through the third game a dozen times. And while the ending no longer sucked thanks to the new DLC, there were only so many times you could play through.
But I still thought Mass Effect was the best series that had ever been put into code. I was a borderline fanatic. I had read more fan-fiction than I could remember, devoted so much time to the games I was almost embarrassed, and raged at the original ending for a full fifteen minutes straight. I had then proceeded to start another run to see how different it was. Yes, I know: Nerd.
Ten playthroughs later… and here I'd moved back to the first installment, starting yet another game. Or rather, a second new game. I wanted two new versions to import, renegade and paragon. I tended to play good, then evil immediately after (or vice versa).
I had just played through the first two games with possibly my most evil version ever. Iron Shepard, a vanguard bent on killing as many people as he could. He made my other renegades look like Boy Scouts. Or Girl scouts, but you get the point. I basically made it his goal to kill as many people as possible.
To contrast, I wanted someone a little different than normal. Paragon, but still with a little bite in her.
I thought for a second, going through possible names. I never liked using normal names. Why name a character something like Megan, or Michael, when you could find names like that on the street? Iron, Shade, Snake, Venom, Matrix, Blade, all names I'd used. I'd even named a paragon adept Hero; she'd been my last play through before starting with Iron.
But I wanted something a little farther out. Let's see, what would the soldiers under her command nickname her?
The first name that came to mind was "Raptor." It signified speed and lethality, yet also sounding vaguely heroic. Just what I wanted.
My reminiscing was cut short by another near miss.
I came to edge of the wheat field, and froze, my advantage gone. In what I was wearing, I would stick out like a sore thumb.
I had two options. I could continue running, and hope they didn't catch up. Or I could make a stand. Both of them sounded insane.
But if I was going to die, I wanted to be looking them in the eye, not get hit in the back and see the ground rising up to meet me as my vision passed into the light of the afterlife.
It took a lot of strength to turn, but I did. I felt my blood race, my adrenaline surging. I felt ready for anyone.
But whatever it was that parted the grass and raised a rifle at me, it definitely wasn't human. No suit could create those three fingered hands. No human head would fit in that angled head, holding a single glowing light.
Great, just when I thought I had reached the limit of my craziness, I get a Geth here. And it's not even a nice friendly one.
I reached for the gun I had salvaged.
Raptor Shepard. A name that suggested a mysterious past, one filled with pain, no less. A tragic hero.
If only the face was easy to decide on as the name. It never was. I didn't want her to be ugly, but with a name like that, she definitely couldn't look like some weakling. I had seen some versions of Femshep that made me want to hurl, even before they got renegade scarring.
Ok, start simple. Like with the hair. Black and Shoulder length. Her skin was slightly tanned, looking like it had lightened over time.
She had a scar near her left eye, and a matching one on her well pointed chin. I preferred such to makeup. Shame it'll vanish in the second game though.
And the piece de resistance: Glowing purple eyes, looking almost cybernetic. I tended to have weird colored eyes in my characters as well. Despite the seemingly unnaturalness, they fit in well.
It was a soldier's face, but still a woman's face. It radiated kindness and compassion, while at the same time possessing a certain hardness warning you that she wasn't someone to be crossed. If you did, she'd put a bullet in your head.
Add the colonist back ground and sole survivor service history and it added up to someone with a mysterious past, someone that wouldn't reveal it easily.
I now had a mostly paragon soldier that wasn't afraid to go Renegade when someone really got on her nerves. By which I meant that I planned on going Renegade on the really annoying people. Udina, the Council, etc. It was something I tended to do quite often.
Something about the person Raptor represented got me actually eager to play the game for more than just a unique import. I figured this would probably be my last time through the first game. For a long time, if not forever.
I looked her over one more time, and was ready to go.
That's when the thunder started. Or at least I thought it was thunder at the time. Looking back, I'm not so sure.
But my immediate response was to curse out the storm. Crap. Guess I better cut this short. Last thing I want is a 200 dollar X-box getting fried because I couldn't wait. I don't have the funds to spring for a new one.
I reached forward to turn it off, and the ground seemed to shake. I looked around, wondering how close the storm could be, for I assumed it to be merely lightning hitting the ground.
I reached for the X-box again, and the strike seemed closer. It seemed more prudent than ever to turn it off to preserve it.
Suddenly, the quaking was closer to me than ever, and I was frozen in place. A red flash filled my vision, and pain shot through me, like I was being skinned alive. I felt both stretched, and compressed at the same time. My very bones ached, snapping again and again.
I must have screamed, but I didn't hear it. All I heard was a loud whistling, wind rushing around me. I heard a banshee's scream.
Then, there was only blackness.
The first sensation that told me I was alive was pain. Everywhere. Even my face seemed to throb.
Still groggy, the first thing I said was "How much did I drink last night?" I just stayed where I was, face planted on the ground.
My limbs felt heavy, and my head was throbbing. Everything seemed brighter. My first thought was that I'd had too much to drink and blacked out, though it had never happened to me before. Then again, there's a first for everything. Of course, I think I'd still at least remember a party beginning, but I didn't. I couldn't. Slowly I raised my head, looking around. What I saw only added to what I now realized was a mystery.
I was in some sort of valley, with farmland on all sides. And something about the whole scene seemed… off. I couldn't place why, but this didn't seem like where I was from. It didn't even seem like it was even in the USA. Ok, did I drink, or did I trip out and get dropped off in Canada?
I got to my feet slowly, and stumbled. One look was all it took to figure out why my limbs had felt heavy.
What the hell? I was not wearing this yesterday. I was covered in some sort of... I have no idea what the hell this is. It was black and white, in a camouflage pattern. And it was made of some sort of metal. It covered all of me except my head, but it was segmented so I could still move. It looked some Armor straight out of a Sci-fi Movie.
Oh, I get it. Very funny guys, faking some sort of alien abduction thing or something. Real original.
There was a Red Symbol on the right side of my chest, the greek letter Omega. It was spotless, almost looking polished.
I reached to touch it, and realized the glove for my right hand was missing.
I looked at the palm of my hand, seeing a familiar sight. It was covered in a spider web of scars, from when I was too young to remember. In my blurry-minded state, that was about as much as I could process.
I reached over to my left arm, trying to see what it felt like from the outside. My hand was stopped a hair's width away, by no apparent means. I frowned, trying to find a way past it, but the strange barrier held firm.
The only term that came to mind was force field. I shook my head at my own stupidity. Or maybe they plastic wrapped it to make me think that. Have to give them credit for detail though. Wonder how I'll get them back?
I wondered why my right hand was uncovered, and cast my eyes around on the ground to look for a matching glove as on my left.
I turned, and my mouth fell open, seeing what had been behind me this whole time. It was amazing I hadn't realized its presence before.
It was a twisted heap of metal, easily twice the size of any car. It was also on fire. I could see a faint outline of fins, which some part of mind saw as wings.
But this was no plane I had ever seen. Ok, if they really went to the trouble to build a spaceship, they really need to get a hobby. Or girlfriends. I frowned, trying to think of who could even have done this, but nobody came to mind. I attributed this to the drinking, or whatever I'd been doing before. But part of me was starting to doubt this was a mere prank.
I looked again for my other glove, trying not to come to the obvious conclusion. I found it after a moment and pulled it on, noting how certain sections hardened as soon as it was on, whereas the whole thing had been pretty limp and flexible before. I could still move my fingers and had my full range of movement, but I was still ignoring what was becoming more obvious with each passing second.
I scanned the area for anything else that might tell me what was going on. I took an experimental step, expecting the suit to make it hard to move, but my body adjusted to the extra weight like it had been trained for it.
I shook my head. Ok, get your act together. You have no idea how you got here, no idea where here is, and you're wearing some sort of armor.
I realized suddenly that it might actually act as armor, considering that it was made of some sort of metal. And the barriers would probably hold up against a lot.
My eyes widened at the thought, but seemed to aggravate my throbbing head. It seemed focused near the back, and when I felt back there, I could sense a definite bump.
Ok, so I must have hit my head or something. That explains the memory loss, but not much else. Well, unless someone knocked me out to do this. But that seemed a bit unlikely.
When I do find out who did this, they're getting sued. I kicked at the ground in frustration, and my foot hit a small metal box, maybe the size of a small novel.
I bent down to pick it up, turning it over in my hand. It seemed familiar, but I couldn't place it. A twig snapped nearby, and I turned to the sound, my left hand snapping up to cup my right as the box unfolded. My nerves were stretched as thin as paper.
For a moment, I was too focused on the possible threat to realize I was now holding a gun like I was born with it in my hand. The second I did, I dropped the thing like it was a live snake. I hit the ground a second later, half expecting the thing to go off when it hit the ground. I covered my head and waited for the sound.
After a moment I realized nothing had happened. Uncovering my head, I hesitantly touched it again, holding it gingerly, and making sure to keep the business end pointed away from me. I stood back up, warily keeping an eye in the direction I'd heard the sound.
I half wondered if it even was a gun; the thing was closer to the size of a Nerf gun or something. I'd had the chance to fire a few guns, but I'd never seen or heard of any gun like this one.
Figures. This is the one clue I find! The last thing I need right now is a gun! The second I thought it, the gun re-compacted into a small box. I looked at, sitting in the palm of my hand. Ok, I've also never seen a gun do that. Except in…No, couldn't be. Could it?
I my gaze turned back to the… I gulped, and forced myself to say it aloud. "Space ship."
It was crazy. Scratch that, it's completely utterly insane. Visions of strait jackets and padded rooms flashed through my head.
I took another look at the armor, comparing it my head to what I'd seen in Science fiction. More advanced than Gears of War, but much less so than The Master Chief's.
John 117, John Shepard, Mass Effect. The puzzle pieced itself together as the connections ran through my brain. I shook my head, trying to get my thoughts back in order.
But of all the insane scenarios, nothing else made sense. No amount of Military secrecy could hide something like this.
And given that my other idea was aliens, this fit in perfectly.
Now all I need is an Omni-Tool . I thought sarcastically.
I almost was unsurprised when the orange device popped up on my arm. Actually no, I was surprised, but I didn't have the energy to react anymore.
I sat down on the ground, still not believing what everything was telling me. I was trapped in Mass Effect.
I was stuck in a world of fiction.