I have to sit and think this crazy thing out. It was a scenario that had been written more times than I could count. I was smack dab in the middle of Mass Effect. The difference being that it was now happening to me. While it was interesting to read about when it happened to someone else, it was pure nightmare in reality. I was only just keeping myself from panicking. And for obvious reasons, I was no longer convinced I was fully sane.
The glowing Omni-tool on my arm still bathed the ground in faint light, and I willed it away. It faded, and I lowered my arm. I slid the gun I was still holding onto my right thigh unconsciously, still trying to process this.
This is insane! Was my only thought for several minutes. My next thought was "How?"
How? How the hell am I in Mass Effect? I tried to stay calm, which was a struggle. Ok, think this out.
The most obvious explanation was that I was dreaming. But if I was, then as soon as I died or something, I'd wake up. But since I was fairly sure I was awake, it didn't seem the smartest thing to try it out.
Ok, so is this another universe, or is this the future and it just seems to be just like- I cut that line of thought. It didn't really matter.
I walked over to the crashed ship, putting my hand against it. I jerked it away quickly; the surface was hot enough that I could feel it even through my armor. That's when I saw my reflection in the polished metal, and what I saw made me jerk back, and I fell flat on my ass. I stayed like that a moment, mind reeling, in full denial. But I forced myself to go back and take a longer look. It wasn't my face that was looking back, not exactly.
It was like someone had taken my features and changed them, like in Photoshop. My face was a bit tanner, and I was actually clean shaven, lacking the usual stubble that seemed to grow no matter what I did.
But those minor details weren't at the forefront of my mind. Before, my hair had been a deep black, but now it was light brown. And it was cut almost to the scalp; if the color were lighter, it might not be visible at all.
Before, my eyes had been a dark almost-black brown, but the eyes staring back from that reflection were a vibrant blue that seemed to glow faintly. I wondered if they had been cybernetically enhanced or something. I had been a bit near sighted before, but now I seemed to be seeing perfectly, and I could tell I didn't have contacts in.
As I looked at myself again, it wasn't my face that appeared in my mind, but another's. Iron Shepard, the evil vanguard that had been unleashed upon the universe not so long ago. As I looked at my face closer, I could see why. Other than the differences in hair and eyes, in his case red and crimson respectively, I had made his face as similar to mine as I could get. My face had the same hardened look he'd had. Yet it was also somehow different.
It looked almost as though we had been fused. I shook my head. This is interesting and all, but I have bigger problems than my appearance. If I'm really worried about it, I can buy some hair dye and colored contacts.
Assuming I live that long.
I eventually gathered enough composure to stand up and look around again, seeing if there was anything I could use. A pistol wasn't exactly a heavy hitting gun, and this was a dangerous place. All I could see was the remnants of Space Ship everywhere. I need something to scan through all this.
My Omni-Tool popped back up, and I saw it had opened some sort of scanning program. I spun in a slow circle, letting the thing do its job.
A red circle on the glowing screen got my attention, and I walked towards it. Under a small piece of metal, I found three identical knives. I groaned, having been hoping for guns. Better than nothing though. I picked one up, letting the scanning program fade. They looked like what I imagined were standard combat knives, about 9 inches long, including the hilt. The 5 inch blades were razor sharp on both sides.
I slid them into sheathes on my left shoulder, the right side of my belt and left boot. I had them stored before I even thought about it.
I stopped cold, knowing something was wrong. Even more so than just being here. How do I know how to handle a gun? How did I know sheathes would be there?
Another question came to me: What was my name?
The thought that immediately followed loosely translated to "F*** my life."
Ok, so my memory loss extended farther than I thought. On top of everything else. What was next? Would an arm turn out to be robotic? Would I really be a Quarian modified to look Human? Would I turn out to actually be this universe's Shepard? Hell, I already looked like one version of Shepard! Or he looked like me… either way. I shook my head, trying to sort out the possible from what wasn't.
So, to summarize, I'm in Mass Effect. And my memory was apparently damaged by that crash. Oh, and I have some sort of combat training, plus knowing how to use the Omni-tool. I'm pretty sure I didn't know that stuff before.
God, I hope I'm not on some mission for Shepard and I've forgotten about it now. That seemed to be the standard procedure in this scenario. Meet up with Shepard, stop Saren/Reapers, help save galaxy. God, it was done so often it was practically going to be the plot of a fourth game.
God, saving the Galaxy. I couldn't even save one world, let alone all of them.
Speaking of which, I realized it might help to figure out where, and possible when, I actually was. I brought up my Omni-tool, something I was adjusting quickly to. It was basically just a fancy IPhone.
An IPhone that was implanted into my arm, had a holographic interface, and might possibly have a diamond hard blade somewhere in it. Which would admittedly be cool, but not really helpful for my sanity. Or lack thereof maybe.
I shook my head, and looked at what it said. "Eden Prime, 2183." I muttered aloud, trying to place the date. That's when… Saren first attacked with his Geth!
Then the twig I had heard earlier was echoed. "Crap."
I started running.
And now here I was, holding a gun I somehow knew how to use, aiming at something that shouldn't have existed, and somehow not panicking. Whatever training I must have had and forgotten, I was grateful to it, though I really wished it had been unnecessary.
I fired, a near miss. The Geth raised its Sniper Rifle, and I dove to the side, turning it into a combat roll. I slid behind a nearby boulder, letting my heart rate even out.
I listened, hearing a very faint rustling of grass. I spun around the corner, gun up and aimed. I took its head off, and pumped several rounds into its chest.
I stood over the fallen synthetic, panting, and trying to swallow back my bile. I looked at my gun, turning it from side to side, but it didn't look like it took heat sinks, which fit in with the date. Good. I get the feeling I'm not going to be all that accurate, so having unlimited ammo might help.
It was too much to hope for that I wasn't where I thought I was. Right in the middle of the first attack by Saren's Geth. An entire freaking Army of them. And that's assuming they didn't also bring Krogan.
The thought made my knees shake. A Geth was bad enough, but a Krogan? I almost lost my lunch then at there at the thought of what one of those could and would do to me.
And I had just fired a gun right in the middle of them. Which meant that there were almost certainly others closing in on my position.
I had to move, but I forced myself not to panic. That would only get me killed. I brought up my Omni-tool, and looked at a map of the area.
It seemed like my best, and only, course of action was to find Shepard, whoever they were in this version of reality.
My map showed the direction to the Space Port, and I started heading that way. Hopefully I wouldn't be too late. I didn't really know what I'd do if I didn't meet up with Shepard.
Hell, I don't know what I'd do if I did!
After about an hour, I heard the sound of gunfire. The smart thing to do would have been to go the other way, so I of course ran towards it, despite only having the faintest idea what I was doing.
...Hindsight really is 20-20.
I nearly ran face first into a Geth. The only reason I didn't die was because I surprised it. I didn't have time to grab my gun or a knife, so I did the only thing I could. I punched it in the face.
Which, as my fist was already in motion, I realized was maybe not the best move. I flinched, but instead of breaking my hand, the Geth went flying. I watched it crash into a wall, brain moving slowly. Ok… what just happened?
Before I could figure it out, its friends started shooting at me. I ran to the side, jumping down into the ravine, and rolling behind a large boulder, drawing my gun.
If I hadn't been scared stiff, I might have almost been impressed with myself. I probably looked badass.
"Who the hell are you?"
At least, I would have looked badass if I hadn't jumped at the unexpected voice. I turned, finally seeing another human, and grateful for it. The white and pink armor was familiar, but I didn't have time to focus on it as bullets went flying by.
"I could ask you the same thing." I snapped. A bullet shaved off a piece of the boulder we were hiding behind. "But under the circumstances, I think we have bigger issues. Unless you really want to get into it."
"Good point." She said, readying her rifle.
"Any idea how many there are?"
I darted my head around the corner, yanking it back almost instantly, bullets only barely missing. I took a deep breath, trying to figure out how many I had seen. "I think there's about a half dozen, give or take. We might be able take them out if we're smart." I motioned with my hand. "Go left, I'll take the right."
She nodded, sliding to the edge of the rock. I spun around on my side, shooting at the first target I saw. Despite my low expectations, most of my shots hit the mark.
Ok, so I'm an expert shot now. Well universe, any other surprises waiting for me? I ducked back behind the rock, letting my gun cool.
The Universe answered my question by placing a Geth right in front of me, and having it hit me in the chest with a gun. I fell on my back, my gun going flying.
It towered over me, and my hands went up instinctively. It pointed its gun at my head.
No, not like this! I felt a surge of power flow through me, focusing into my hands. As the Geth aimed its shotgun, I pushed. That was the only word for the sensation. It went flying, like the other one had, and this time I saw the traces of blue energy covering me.
For a moment, I thought it was fire, and hoped it would somehow disappear. It did, and I sat up. I narrowed my eye, focusing on a nearby rock, imagining it rising in the air. It did so, covered in the same blue energy that had surrounded me before, and was now surrounding me again.
Of course. Biotics. Why do I keep asking that and jinxing myself? I forced myself back to my feet, turning to face the Geth. Well, maybe that explains why I look like a certain psychopathic Biotic.
I raised my hand towards them, really hoping I wasn't imagining things. I focused on sending the rock flying, and it tore through one of them. Which still left three.
I would have cursed my stupidity if I hadn't been about to crap my pants.
Then the closest Geth went flying into the other two. What the hell? I wasn't even trying that time.
Then two loud shots rang out, and they both died. The last Geth looked in the direction of the shots, and then it too fell to a single bullet.
I looked over my shoulder at my new partner. "Uh, was that you that did that?"
The question went unanswered; apparently she was focused elsewhere. "Yo! Sargent Pink, I'm talking to you!"
She just turned and glared at me.
"Am I missing something here?" I asked, turning my gaze the way she'd been looking.
Two figures in black armor were walking towards us, thankfully human this time.
I could clearly make out their features despite the distance.
The guy on the right still had his helmet on, but the glowing blue energy around him answered my question about the Geth, and I could make out enough of his face to realize it was Kaidan.
It was the woman next to him that really had my attention anyway. She held a sniper rifle like a pro, and was moving in slowly, apparently ready to score another expert shot like the one that had been my attackers' undoing.
Her eyes were what really got made me take notice. They were purple, and glowing faintly. They were both kindly, and piercing. They took in my armor, and turned to my companion.
The rest of the face I knew almost without looking at it. This was Commander Raptor Shepard. The last Shepard I had created. And it looked like it would be the last version I'd ever meet.
Ok, I found Shepard. Check. Done. So what's next?