I'm back, and I'm bored.

Long premise short, I end up in the Mass Effect universe, with programming-esque reality-warping powers. It's inspired by some of the fics I've been reading recently, as well as my playthrough of Scribblenauts Unlimited and my current projects. Also, I was bored. It's not meant to be taken too seriously, and there will be lots of references to both other fiction and nerd culture. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that this: With great power comes great responsibility, and great potential for misuse.

I will warn you in advance that it is deliberately VERY heavy on technobabble, nerdy references, and fake code. The more normal members of this forum may have trouble understanding some of it.

XCVG Systems presents...
The Programmer

I wish I could say I have some badass origin story to go with the badass escapades that follow. Like some science experiment gone horribly wrong, or an elaborate setup involving multiple verses and a crossover in our home universe. Hell, even the classic "inexplicably magical video game exploded" or "random omnipotent being brought me here for no apparent reason" excuse would be better than what I've got. But no, the last thing I remember from Before (yes, I capitalized it, and yes, I'm gonna keep capitalizing it) is trying not to fall asleep in Matrix Algebra.

I wonder if I succeeded. With my record, probably not.

Anyway, my first memory of After (capitalizing that too) was waking up in a dark alley. That freaked me out pretty good. I could describe my reaction, but I would rather save my dignity if you please.

Okay, fine. There was much swearing. And some crying. I'm not going into any more detail.

After getting a hold of myself, I reached for my phone, hoping it hadn't killed its battery by itself. Fortunately, it hadn't, but it was reporting no signal. Shit. I try the GPS. It promptly locked up and crashed. I held the power button down for seven seconds to reboot.

Fucking Thebyani 4.3. Awesome ROM in a lot of ways, but glitchy and horribly outdated. Knew I should have flashed CM10.2.

I looked around a bit, and couldn't see shit. Too fucking dark. Damn it, where the fuck am I?

class Location(Coordinate coord, Object initialMarker)

(enum returnType, int detailLevel)

Those words came out of nowhere. And this is going to get very important later, so you better pay attention. Those words weren't in my field of vision, nor were they in my mind's eye, yet they didn't feel like thoughts either. They were just there, like a sense almost, like seeing or hearing or smelling, yet at the same time, distinct from senses.

It's a lot easier to explain to people who have used neural interfaces.

So I used one of the commands. By thought. I didn't have to move my eyes, or make motions with my arms, or anything like that. But it required deliberate action, it's not like just thinking about it makes it happen. It felt as natural as breathing or talking, even though I'd never done it before at that point. And it seemed like half of it was automatic, yet I didn't feel out of control.


current location is Citadel

Like I said, it's hard to explain to someone who hasn't used a neural interface. Now let's be clear on something- it's not a neural interface. But explaining it to someone who's used a neural interface is like explaining colour to creature with monochrome vision, as opposed to explaining it to a creature with no eyes at all.

I was actually halfway through muttering a paragraph very much like that when I realized holy shit the Citadel like Mass Effect Citadel or Half-Life 2 Citadel or La Citadelle and what the fuck I need to calm down some.

(int confidence)

(int excitability)

(Flag flag, bool state)

Why the hell not? Somehow I knew what values did what, mostly. Higher is more extreme, who would have thought?



( , true);

I was then magically much more calm and confident in my abilities. My next thought, was, of course, laughing at the fact that the universe was object oriented. If this was the universe. Maybe it's a simulation or something. I need more info. First, location.


Corridor 15-67, Tayseri Ward, Citadel, Milky Way, UniverseMassEffect

Ah, okay, so I was right the first time. Well this could be pretty cool. I just wish it got the date too. No, don't tell me how to do it! I want to do it myself!


Exception methodUndefinedForObjectException

Well shit. Huh, maybe if I- no, don't give me the answer! I want to figure this out myself, damn it!


Exception classesAreNotObjectsYouFuckingMoronException

At least the universe has a sense of humour. Fine, whatever you are, I concede. Give me the correct method.



That was a really fucking long time to get date and location. It occurred to me just after I had stepped through that long process that I could have just asked Avina. And I still don't know what that means in relation to anything else!

(Date date, Event event)

I'm filling this out myself this time.

( (),EdenPrime);

Exception objectTypeMismatch(expected Event, got Location)

At least the exceptions are helpful. I decided to try it a few more times.

( (),EdenPrimeAttack);

Exception ambiguousObjectReferenceException

( (),EdenPrimeAttack2183);

Exception nullPointerException

( (),getObjectFromDescription(Eden Prime Attack 2183));

Exception dataTypeMismatchException

( (),getObjectFromDescription("Eden Prime Attack 2183"));


It needed quotes! It needed goddamn quotes!

At that point I could quickly sum up what I knew in a few sentences. I have some kind of program related reality manipulation thing in my head. I am in Mass Effect. It is a week and change before the attack on Eden Prime.

That's... actually not very useful at all. Doesn't this thing have help?




Suddenly you've gone from Java or C# to cmd or bash? Forget it. Let's read the important message.


************WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD**********

I know you like to read long things so I will keep this short.

You are now a godlike being with programming-esque reality warping powers.

That system will pretty much explain itself.

You can die normally right now, but you can take steps to change that.

You can do whatever you want, basically, but beware of the consequences.

I'm not telling you why you're here. Figure it out yourself.

Same goes for getting back.

Oh, and if you decide to change Shepard's gender or something big like that, you should run reconcileChanges after to prevent things from going TOO horribly wrong.

-Rob MacGuffin

Huh, maybe I should check Shepard's gender. I relaxed a little and let the System (get used to that too) do most of the work.



Shepard is male? Fuck. That. Shit.



reconciling changes:


will change from male to female

associated changes (mandatory):

: defaultFemale

: defaultFemale

.commanderShepard : femaleShepard

...7 others

associated changes (optional):

: Character

...76 others

confirm changes?


changes reconciling... done!

Also, I am not typing in CommanderShepard every time I want to do anything to her. Er, that sounds wrong. But no, I decided right then and there that I was not going to type that, even mentally. Hey, I'd just got to the universe, cut me some slack!

set_alias shep CommanderShepard;

Alias shep set!

And now you're throwing some... I don't even know in there too. Nice. At this point I realized it was probably time to leave the alley. But a few things first...

import .UniverseHalogen.*;

( .P92,1);

( .P92Magazine,5);

( .HolsterP92GenericSoft,1);

( ,1);



Holy crap, it actually worked! The devices appeared on my person, already attached in logical places. Pistol in holster on my hip, magazines in belt pouches, omni-tool on wrist. Great. Now I was ready to go.

Is that even proper English?

Post-Upload A/N

Wow, FFn really butchered the commands. I guess it thinks that they're URLs. Look, I get that you're trying to fight spam, but this is definitely into Scunthorpe Syndrome here. I doubt it'll ever get fixed, so you can either read this story over at Spacebattles, or just ignore the missing bits. No, I'm not changing the syntax. The universe is object-oriented.