Author has written 18 stories for Mass Effect, and Metroid.
Welcome... to my lair.
I'm Rob Sears. No, I don't hold up department stores in my spare time. It's an alias, plain and simple.
This is pretty much all to it. I write when I get an idea and I will continue to do that until the ideas stop flowing. I wouldn't expect the latter to occur anytime soon.
If it isn't at all obvious, a lot of my stories have a firm focus towards MShep/Tali romances. I like writing character pieces and have a strong affinity towards universes where you can get lost in the details. Mass Effect is pretty much my default wheelhouse, as it has proved to be a bottomless well for my inspiration.
If you want to contact me, I can be found putzing around on Xbox Live (Gamertag: SpyreTZ) either on Halo or Grand Theft Auto V. I need a reason to use my One anyway...
I don't bite. Promise.
Published Stories (and other candid thoughts):
For Her - Published: 3/21/2014
The start of my fanfic career was not exactly firing on all cylinders, let's be honest. Many times I've entertained the notion of deleting this fic from the face of the earth, only to relent because a lot of people, inexplicably, still read it. For Her is not a story that I look back on with fond memories as I find it too simplistic, too clunky, and filled with horrific dialogue that keeps me up at night. As it stands, For Her did prove to be the gateway for me to make many better stories, so no matter how much I may say I hate this fic, a part of me ultimately respects it.
For Her: Second Stage - Published: 3/30/2014
If it can be believed, the first For Her was published over the course of four days on a caffeine and piracetam binge. Second Stage took a bit longer... and is somehow worse? How does that work? Second Stage was where I started to experiment a bit with alternating timelines and it was not implemented all that well. Second Stage was also the first story in which I started using outlines to collate all my thoughts before I would even start writing. The end result may not have panned out the way that I would have initially hoped, but at least I learned a few good lessons from my experience.
For Her: Third Stage - Published: 4/19/2014
There are some items in Third Stage that predate their usage in future stories, like interlacing politics of current events with that of the story to create parallels, but as expected, I was still not skilled enough to implement it all that well here. My pacing in this story, like that of the ones before it, was atrocious and was part of the reason why Third Stage was so hampered to get its plot across. Honestly, I couldn't even give you a summary of this story right now, as it has been purged from my memory. Suffice to say that I would not touch another SI/OC story for a couple more years, when I felt that I had gotten some more experience under my belt.
Mass Effect: Peroration - Published: 5/5/2014
Like many people undoubtedly soured by Mass Effect 3's endings, I had a cocky belief that I could draft something that would be a worthy alternative. How arrogant of me to think that, for Peroration was a relatively unambitious affair and suffered from a distinct lack of connections to the characters on the page. Peroration did set up my tendency to implement vivid flashbacks in some of my other works, as well as a desire to write more stories pertaining to MShep and Tali, so there is that. Peroration, as a whole, is nothing spectacular, but not all that offensive, either.
For Her: The Quandary - Published: 6/2/2014
The only one-shot I've ever written. Quandary was supposed to be the first of several one-shots tying into the larger For Her series, but a tepid response coupled with my own growing animosity with the series pretty much killed that idea almost immediately. No one ever talks about this story and perhaps that's for the best.
The Rage Inherent Trilogy - Published: 6/4/2014
This is a really good example about an idea with potential being completely ruined by my own bad habits. The idea of turning Shepard into a cyborg was not a completely novel one, but it certainly inspired me to craft the series around this tidbit. However, whatever uniqueness the concept had was neutered over time as Rage Inherent became less of an AU-piece but more of a straight novelization. That, combined with the fact that my ability to pace a story was still terrible, really lessened the potential impact that Rage Inherent could have possessed. There is already a noticeable improvement in this story compared to something like For Her, but Rage Inherent taught me that I was not cut out to write a story that spanned any one of the Mass Effect games proper. In that sense, it was kind of a relief to get this out of the way.
A Postlude to Reconciliation - Published: 9/1/2014
Postlude would be the first of several post-war stories that I would eventually write, and as expected, it's by far the weakest. A lame villain, an unambitious plot, pacing that was still stunted, and unimaginative dialogue definitely did not do this story any favors. Postlude is probably the fluffiest piece I've written and it was somewhat cathartic to write at the time, but now seems like a cheap deviation. Many aspects of Postlude would later be recycled and refined into stories that were written much better, so at least I can appreciate Postlude for acting as the genesis for some of those ideas. If you want to kill an hour or two with a story that has basically no calories, this is a safe bet.
An Interval of Calamity - Published: 10/17/2014
This story marks a milestone in my writing career as it was around this time did I start devoting more time towards refining my story ideas and to take more time writing the chapters instead of rushing them through. I think the results speak for themselves. There is a huge difference in the quality between Interval and Postlude and it also was the first time that I started to sink into plots that were darker than I had written before. The enjoyment that I got from writing this in addition to all of the comments reacting to what was happening on the page in horror pretty much solidified my tonal journey into crafting stories that had a bit of an edge. This would prove beneficial for some stories. Others... not so much.
The Disengaged - Published: 12/22/2014
Continuing with the theme of delving into my darker side, The Disengaged was primarily meant as a vehicle for me to improve upon my skills writing villains. In a sense, I succeeded in my objective, and I did enjoy crafting an entirely new scenario for both Shepard and Tali to explore. It's not a particularly deep story but neither is it a trainwreck. I keep imagining what I would have done with this story if I had not rushed it or if I had bothered to flesh the context of The Disengaged out a little more. All things considered, this would have had better legacy to it... had I not bothered to write a sequel.
The Reengaged - Published: 2/2/2015
I loathe this story with every fiber of my being. The Reengaged is basically the personification of every single one of my bad habits out in full force. A thin plot, lame twists, a limp villain, crap pacing. The list goes on. I've literally forgotten what I wrote in this story, and I consider that to be a good thing. This story would have been better off not existing - the reception alone should tell you that. Incredibly, this would have been the third part to a trilogy (with The Disengaged being the first part) but I had nixed the idea of there being three parts and narrowed them down to two at the last minute. Could you imagine how even more awful this would have been as a trilogy? I shudder at the thought.
Soldier: Legacy - Published: 3/13/2015
Basically, The Reengaged was so bad that it scared me off the Mass Effect section for a little bit. That was a good thing, because I found a temporary home in the Metroid section, whereupon I got a bit of a mental breather with Soldier: Legacy. An adaptation of the e-manga, Soldier: Legacy was a welcome relief because I did not have to worry about creating a plot from scratch this time around. Now that I only had to translate a comic into words, I could get a feel for some more natural pacing this time around, leaving me with more room to refine my grammar skills at the same time. Soldier: Legacy was another milestone for me as it did more than provide me with a chance to improve all my bad habits, it gave me my motivation back. I would like to write a sequel for it sometime soon, but that is something I just won't commit to unless I have a good plot narrowed down.
Irreparable - Published: 4/7/2015
I consider Irreparable to be one of my definitive fics. Without spoiling anything, Irreparable, I feel, is the culmination of the dark direction that I had been turned in ever since Interval of Calamity. With there being a curious lack of Tali-centric fics out there, I wanted to make Irreparable an agonizing journey that would take the character down some unexpected paths. While being a little rough around the edges, I could not be more pleased at the reception that I had received. Let's just say that the story had manufactured the type of responses that I had been hoping for.
The Quantum Error - Published: 10/23/2015
After For Her, I'd thought I'd never write another SI/OC story, but like all infectious ideas, this one refused to leave my head. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be my most popular story to date. I wrote The Quantum Error from a very cynical perspective, as I had never really found an OC-centric story that I had particularly liked, so this was the result of me trying to compensate, or at least create the sort of story that I'd enjoy. Playing around with the first-person perspective was a little jarring at first but it soon because an absolute treat to write. I liked inhabiting the headspace of the character of Sam McLeod and explicitly writing him to be a jerk. I'm quite proud of this one because it has my most personal touch to it, and I don't think the grammar is half bad, either.
The Quantum Error: Progeny - Published: 12/28/2016
I had never really expected to create a sequel to The Quantum Error initially, which is why it took so long for Progeny to be released. I had tried to write it earlier, but my initial outline was so bad that I threw it away in disgust months prior. Progeny was written during a dark time in my life and while I'm grateful for it easing me along, I can't help but spot some parts where Progeny gets a little clunky plot-wise. It's almost like the story was mutilated by "studio interference" for how choppy it can get in certain areas, but I'm attributing that to where I was mentally at the time. It has a share of good scenes in it and I'm not at all grumpy at the final product, but I can't help but imagine what would have happened if I had been at 100% at the time.
The Quantum Error: Patriarch - Published 9/25/2017
If you thought Irreparable was dark, Patriarch certainly blew it out of the water within the first couple of chapters. I don't think I had ever had so much fun writing a story before. I wanted to tap into a no-holds-barred sense of despair for Patriarch, and I was rightfully bemoaned by the readers for emotionally torturing them (haha!) - I guess that means that I succeeded. I had been frustrated in myself in the past for failing to write something with genuine stakes, so Patriarch was written from the ground up to rectify that.
A Cenotaph for the Morrow - Published: 5/19/2018
With more writing experience under my belt, I figured that I should return to the MShep/Tali realm once more, but with some twists on the usual formula by adding an additional family member - Shepard's quarian daughter - to the mix. This would be my first time dealing with a child as a main character, and one member of the above pairing would be... out of commission for the entirety of the story. All of this is to say that I wanted to try something different with Cenotaph and that hopefully I would be able to finally nail the sort of tone that befits a postwar fic such as this. Considering the extremely positive reception that I had received while writing this story, I consider Cenotaph to be perhaps my definitive story as it takes all the lessons that I've learned as a writer and condenses them all into a narrative that I am very proud with.