Title: Universal Masses

Summary: When a freaky, strikingly realistic statue of Javik comes to life and burns an incoherent vision in my brain, the next thing I know my life is a hectic whirlwind of aliens, I'm sinking neck-deep in trouble and my hobby is now running away from angry krogans. Self-insert.


I'm excited.

The boy in front of me looks ready to faint. His wide, gleeful green eyes are staring at the entrance to the huge new shop, his slender fingers clenching tightly on his fancy N7 shoulder bag that I instantly wish I have. He's sweating and grinning so widely it looks like it actually hurts. Even though I'm a little bit creeped out by this I make no comment, hey, he can pull whatever face he likes, I'm not judging. I'm trying not to pull the same expression myself, to be honest...

I can hear the gossiping, happy shoppers in the background of the big mass of giddy, chatting people. They all look ready to run up the walls of the gigantic place, I might join them in their horde while doing an impression of the dragonborn in my eagerness. Granted, this is not the most important thing in the world but this is a great day since I have a ton of saved up money in my purse and I'm ready to throw it at people selling the cool shit.

I start bouncing on the balls of my feet as I fidget and play with the hem of my zipped up hoodie. Today, here in London, is a new opening for a huge shop. I'm in the line, waiting. The stuff is consisting of anything and everything to do with Mass Effect. Gun replicas, realistic size ship models with tours, incredibly awesome cosplay, weird holograms, you name it.

My heart is racing in my chest, I honestly can't wait. As soon as those doors open I'm going to zoom passed everyone else. That's if the geeky looking boy in front of me doesn't get there first, though he doesn't look like the fast runner type... he doesn't look like he exercises much. He looks more like he probably spends most of his spare time playing chess or a Dungeons and Dragons board game...

The air is suddenly thick with anticipation and suspense as the doors above the entrance on a balcony open with an echoing thud, silencing the people. The silhouette of a man is walking out when a spot light illuminates him. He stands there, gaze scanning over us. For a moment, my heart skips a beat when our eyes briefly lock. He has piercing, cold and red contacts, almost lighting up behind the thin material like they're really synthetic. He smiles charmingly, white teeth almost baring threateningly at me. A small shiver rips through me as a feeling of unease prickles the back of my neck and raises goosebumps. I shrug it off as the cold, it is winter after all.

"Ladies and gentleman!" He greets then takes a pause, arms open as if to hug us all. Unlikely, unless he's Mr. Fantastic. Well, he has the same intellectual kind of air as Dr. Reed except less superhero vibes and more a villain persona, but still... "Welcome... to Universal!" Cheers siren at his words. Despite myself, I try to be one of the loudest. "I hope you all enjoy yourselves, and have a lot of money because we all know you're going to want to buy everything."

There's chuckles in the crowd before he takes another step forward, opening his arms again but this time it's in syn with the doors as they also spread open. "Girls and boys! Madams and sirs! Stay in your line, go on in and buy your tickets!"

The massive group of fanboys and fangirls forms like a swarm of bees as they lunge inside, I'm swimming through the people. It's almost chaotic but eventually crowd control kicks in and security guards separate us into different cues. When I pay for my ticket, the nice lady dressed as an asari stamps my hand and I nearly skip happily to the main hall.

Glancing below my knuckles, I see a light blue logo of the new Universal store. The imprint of a picture with a mass relay, tiny letters crediting Bioware on the left, and the almost smudging, soft, blue trail of the Normandy ship going through the mass relay, behind it saying 'Universal'. It's cool and I want to savor this moment. I pop off the lens cap, placing it safely in my camera bag, from my Canon and snap a shot.

Excellent.

Grinning, I venture forth.

The expression of happiness is wiped from my face as someone roughly knocks their shoulder into me and I stumble forward to fall on the ground with a splutter of surprise. What an arseho-

Stopping mid-thought as I look up, I see that they dropped something while in such a rush (not apologising, may I add) and blink in befuddlement. It looks like something to do with Mass Effect and considering where I am, that's not a surprise. The object is metal and circular with a few glowing, purple and blue lights around the outer edge. In the middle, there's one weird green light. A weird prickling at the back of my neck urges me to pick it up. So I reach out and take the cool looking device thing.

Standing up, I conflict with if I should keep it or give it back to the person who apparently descends from elephants. With a sigh at my conscience and morals, I turn towards where the person ran too and saw a door, left open slightly. It says 'Staff only' and I purse my lips in doubt before slowly walking away. Maybe I should just keep it...

No, I'll go to the counter like any normal, good Samaritan. Not to believe I'm a saint, but shit I'm no devil in disguise either. I'm just an ordinary teenager with stupid morals that wants to get on with my life and buy all this amazing stuff in this awesome shop.

Taking the object, I march my way to the reception so I can leave this on the counter for the annoying dick to come pick it up from lost property. There's not a lot of people lining up so I stand there tapping my foot impatiently and eagerly wanting to leave. If I don't do this now, I won't want to do it later because by the time I'm done with this place it will be shut.

It feels like forever when I finally get to the desk. A satisfied smile slides onto my face as I open my mouth, only for the receptionist to put up a sign which makes my heart sink in disappointment. Closed. Back in Half an hour. It has a smiley face underneath it and I gently bash my knuckles on the glass with annoyance flaring inside of me. The man in a cool quarian suit looks up and shakes his head, pointing to the break sign.

"Can you at least take-"

"Kid, I haven't had anything to eat since last night, gimmie a break." He snaps at me as I look at him with an affronted look upon my features. Kid? Do I look like a child to him?

"I'm not a child." He's pissed me off a little now, just glancing at his face also does the trick to bubble some anger. He looks like some dog has just taken a dump on his shoe and with the way he's glaring at me, I'm the dog. "And I just want to-"

"Come back in half an hour." He sneers, rudely shutting the metal blinds of the reception. My cheeks heat up as I become flustered and frustration boils inside of me.

Clenching my hands, I inhale deeply and exhale before leaving with determination flaming in my chest. Fine. He doesn't want to help me. I'll do it myself. God knows where this is going to take me. I just hope I manage to buy something before they haul me out kicking and screaming... on the other hand maybe my 'escort' out will not be so dramatic and I'll go with dignity...

Shaking my head in disbelief as I start to walk towards where I know trouble will get me, I figure I can just explain myself truthfully. I'm not doing anything wrong anyway, I'm just a good person trying to return something to a douchebag that has no manners or issues about knocking down an innocent bystander to the floor with no regrets.

This is what I tell myself anyway.

Glancing around in paranoia as I open the door even more, I slip in unnoticed and hope I'm not on a security camera even though that concept seems unlikely. Oh god, I'm gonna be in so much trouble when I get spotted by the guards. Even kicked out for trespassing.Trespassing. Why am I trespassing for someone I don't even know?

Oh yeah, because I'm a damn naive idiot with morals... Okay, relax man. You have this. It'll be even easier than stealing candy from a baby... Not that I actually would do that. I'm a moron with morals, not an evil douchebag.

Like I've said, I'll just explain that I'm trying to return property to the rightful owner.

Even if they are a stampeding dick.

I turn right into another corridor, feeling a little lost as I look around. I also glance over my shoulder every now and then, anxious that someone will see me in an area that I don't belong in. I might as well have a god damn sign with flickering lights above my head that says, "Intruder".

I have to admit, I'm surprised that literally just waltzing in here doesn't trigger some kind of alarm. You'd think they would have a lot better security, being a new shop with a ton of cool stuff that's worth stealing- Ahem, you didn't hear that from me.

A whoosh of a shadow in the corner of my eye cuts off my inner conversation. I spin around. No one is there. But I cautiously make my way towards that direction, pressing my lips together nervously. My hair sways behind me as I start to jog down another corridor, getting edgy.

The same thing happens again and keeps happening, the endless cycle continues almost insistently. I feel like Alice as I keep chasing what seems to be the equivalent to the late rabbit, only I hope I don't get offered tea. I seem to be one of the only English person thatdoesn't really drink it. To think I've broken the classic, popular stereotype.

Panting for breath as I finally reach the end of one hallway, I stand up straight from doubling over and leaning my hands on my knees. My narrowing eyes examine the slightly open door suspiciously but I sigh once again, I'm too far deep now to stop, might as well open more doors apparently out of my access level. Here goes...

Lightly placing my palm on the metal surface, I push it open with a groan and step inside. The room is pitch black. Fear pierces my insides as I feel for a light switch on the left side of the wall before trying to find one of the other side but when the door opens a certain amount, then a sudden blinding light burns into my eyes.

Blinking as my vision adjusts through the bright shine of the light, I finally notice this whole room. It's circular, very tall, very spacious. The source of orange light being little glass orbs indented into the golden walls. But what catches my attention is what's in the center of the whole room.

A metal prothean statue.

Breath catching in my throat, I slowly approach it while staring in awe with wide, eyes. It stands a lot taller than my five four. The prothean looks to be in a defeated kind of position. His thick, layered carapace is bowing down with his head. It's coloured in a pale blue colour, splattered with tiny yellow spots. The two pairs of eyes he has are shut tightly, his three sets of nostrils almost flaring. His weird hands are clenching, I notice that he has the typical three fingers a prothean has. His feet have two-widely-spaced twos. It's certainly strange but beautiful.

It looks kind of like Javik in a way, but who am I to know? All protheans look the same to-

Interrupting my musing thoughts, the device in my hand glows brightly all of a sudden as I get close to the statue and my eyes grow even bigger, I'm genuinely surprised and nearly concerned that my eyeballs haven't fallen out of their sockets yet. It's a horrifying mental image, maybe I shouldn't think abo-

His head sharply snaps up, his two pairs of eyes beaming a glowing golden colour as they piercingly stare into my absolutely baffled gaze. I fall back with a startled cry of shock, fumbling onto the ground as I look back up at him with a gaping mouth. My face is probably the mixture of immense surprise, confusion and distress. It looks so eerie and real... terrifyingly so.

"What the fuck-?!" I finally shriek in disbelief, my voice reverberating off the golden walls in the empty, spacious room. Well, at least I know where to go when I want to build a bat cave, this place is fancy and humongous.

Getting back to the present and away from my random train of thought:

An alive non-fictional prothean is in front of me.

It apparently gets better.

The statue speaks.

Not in any language I understand. Shit, I'm human. Of course I can't fathom a word he's saying. I'm also evidently insane and have formed another reality inside of my mind where it can be lucid. Unless I'm dreaming, the shop itself seems to be from a dream that I'd have. That, if I'm honest, is the most likely...

Then it gets worse.

It moves.

Towards me.

Holy shit.

My hands are trembling, my body shaking in fear as I stay in the same spot. I'm petrified to the point where the blood in my veins is frozen, it's made me the statue instead. It's like we've swapped roles. The hairs on my arms raise, the back of my neck sharply prickles as apprehension crawls across like a hairy spider. A shudder rips through me, waking me from my shocked trance. Holy shit. He's still coming towards me. I need to run. I need to stand up. Move! God dammit!

I snap out of my reverie and start crawling backwards, all while dropping the forgotten object that has lead me here in the first place, as I try to fumble to my feet. Scrambling and tripping, I run to the door only to realize I'm locked in here. Horror tears into me. He stiffly walks forward, one step at a time his footsteps becoming more fluid.

My fist is thrown out in a last minute attempt to defend myself but he effortlessly blocks it, grabbing a hold of my wrist and violently yanking me forward so hard I fall to my knees with a yell of pain. His hand on me is like iron- fuck it is literally an iron grip. It burns the tighter he clenches his metal grasp. Ow. Ow. Ow. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Tears overflow in my eyes despite how much I don't want them there. He forces my arm behind my back in a strong hold and I swat pathetically at him with my other arm, only for that to be restrained too. My head is being unwillingly tilted up and a deep unnerving feeling of unease claws in the pit of my churning stomach. Holy. Shit.

His shining, harsh orange eyes are intense as they burn into mine. His maw opens widely, light gleaming out of his mouth. A flash of blurry images plays in my eyes but it's too difficult to concentrate on them right now. My brain is on fire and the electric blazes and rushes through my blood. My body begins to thrash. I realize that a high pitched pained shriek is dragging in the air, echoing like in a cave.

I fall face down on the cold, hard ground as my vision starts to cloud with black stars. More pain exploding in my head as a fog starts to flood through my mind and I then register where the scream coming from. My throat becomes hoarse and hot with pain.

It's me.

It's me who was screaming.

An unfamiliar language speaks to my mind coldly as my eyes droop heavily. The last thing I see is the device faintly glowing from across the room.


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