401: Parallel Realities – Chapter Forty-TwoPosted: February 21, 2013
Title: Parallel Realities
Media: Video Game
Topic: Mass Effect
URL: Parallel Realities: Chapter 42
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck
*looks at yesterday’s post*
*takes a deep breath*
Holy fuck, there are TWO of these things!!!!!!
*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*
Let’s… let’s just continue with Parallel Realities. I don’t know what bizarre, overly unholy reasons could possibly exist for why someone would want to inflict a second version of this particular atrocity against literature on the human race, but… yeah, let’s not think about that.
We begin our chapter with this:
The hammerhead returned back to Urdnot where the krogan were celebrating their first true victory since the rebellions. Many of them were pounding their fists and head-butting each other to express their enthusiasm. The hammerhead came to a stop inside the garage. Shepard and his squad came out of the tank to hear the cheer of the warrior people. Wrex looked more than pleased from their victory.
“Brothers!” he called out to the camp. “For the first time in over a thousand years we have won a battle for not just our existence but for this galaxy. So I say to you all, prepare yourselves! So long as the reapers exist they will not cease to be a threat to our race. So let’s just show the reapers just what krogan can do. The krogan are going to war!”
The area cheered loudly again. All of the warriors waved their guns in the air.
Why is this there? Well, it’s to crush any hope you might have that the events of the last chapter were nothing more than a horrifying fever dream.
Wrex briskly move to the war table where they formulated their original strategy. Shepard and his crew followed behind.
“Getting them into this war won’t be enough,” Wrex said matter-of-factly to Shepard. “Many still hold grudges towards the other races. Though what you and Grunt did during the Rite of Passage has earned you two a lot of respect, but it’s not enough to trust the other races.”
It also doesn’t help that all the krogan that appeared in the last chapter seemed to completely forget about that little fact.
“So we need to offer the krogan to get past these grudges,” Shepard concluded.
Offer the krogan? What, are you planning on offering all of the krogan on Tuchanka to whatever gods you believe in via ritual sacrifice or something? ‘Cause that would be really bad for everyone in this galaxy.
“Yes. If we are to fight against the reapers it has to be as a unified front, not multiple forces working independent of themselves.”
“Like, you know, a unified front that can be created by curing the genophage or something.”
“I might have a solution to that…”
You mean Mordin. Well, I guess it’s a good thing that you prompted him to cure the genophage, then, ‘cause otherwise you’d have given me a hell of a lot more ammunition against you. And honestly, that makes me happy, ‘cause that means I don’t sound like a broken record all the time.
So, Stupard… what is Mordin’s progress on that anyway?
“Commander,” Joker chirped in over the comm. “We have just received communication from Mordin.”
“What a coincidence,” Shepard muttered. “What about?”
“He said that he managed to cure the genophage.
Oh hey, we finally have a scientific advancement made by the ME galaxy in this fic that the parallel galaxy decides not to steal! That’s a goddamn relief. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.
So, what is this cure, anyway?
He needs your help to evacuate the cure.”
“The cure isn’t a shot. The cure is a fertile female krogan who doesn’t have the genophage.”
“A fertile female who doesn’t have the genophage,” Wrex repeated in shock.
You know, guys? This is a revelation! Here we have something, and as you might’ve expected, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! In fact, it gives a giant middle finger to medicine!
Granted, the whole “this woman doesn’t have the genophage and she’ll cure it” angle would make sense if Mordin was planning on using said woman as an aid to engineer the actual cure for the genophage. But no, ladies and gentlemen, that’s not how this is played: it’s literally played “somehow, this woman will cure you of the genophage”, and it’s not actually explained how that works at first. That’s like saying that you’ve found the cure to Parkinson’s Disease and that cure is someone who doesn’t have Parkinson’s!
“Tell him that we just finished securing Tuchanka and we will head directly to his location now,” Shepard told Joker.
“Yes, sir,” Joker replied. “He transmitted his coordinates to our ship.”
“Then we better not waste any time.”
“I’m coming with you,” Wrex said. “This female is the key to not just my people’s future, but in ensuring cooperation between the krogan, turians and salarians. I have to be there.”
“I won’t deny your request, Wrex,” Shepard said.
Wait. So there’s a woman there, she’s important, Mordin is involved with her in some scientific way, and Wrex comes along for the ride.
In The Name Of Plot Regurgitation Count: 9
Hey, Bioware made that mission the subject of early trailers and the second half of the ME3 demo. And you know what?
There was much time for Shepard’s squad to rest from their travel between Tuchanka and Sur’Kesh. The coordinates that Mordin provided was a secret facility on the salarian homeworld.
That mission was also stated to take place on Sur’Kesh!
I did tell you guys he was going to try regurgitating the plot of ME3 even with all this AU crap he’s thrown in.
It was here, where using the research that his previous assistant gathered and the resources and technology of the Order, he was able to find a cure for the affliction of the krogan.
Which begs the question of how the hell the Order was able to get all their resources past the Dalatrass (you know, the head of the salarian government), but if you think InHarmsWay is going to think about questions like that this late in the game you’re even more blindly optimistic than you think you are.
The crew prepared their weapons in the CIC for the extraction mission on Sur’Kesh. Shepard stood in front of the galaxy map waiting for their ship to come out of FTL. The planet of Sur’Kesh was roughly fifty to sixty percent of the planet’s surface was cover by land. A great deal of the land was covered by lush green forests with intertwining rivers that criss-crossed all over. The planet’s climate is very humid.
This out-of-place description of the planet Sur’Kesh is brought to you by Helga’s Artistically Creative Kites.
“Commander, I’m detecting incoming vessels,” Joker said over the PA.
“Reapers?” Shepard asked.
“N-Negative,” he replied. “You… Might want to come up to the cockpit and see this.”
Shepard hurried to the front of the ship. “What’s wrong, Joker?”
“A lot.” Joker pulled up a screen on his console. “Look who’s come to join us.”
Shepard’s eyes widen when he looked at the screen. On the screen was a Cerberus frigate.
“Why would they be here?” Shepard asked out loud.
Normally, I would say that Cerberus was there because InHarmsWay can’t resist another opportunity to bash them. But in this case, Cerberus was actually the enemy of the mission InHarmsWay is regurgitating. And by the time ME3 came around, nobody on the staff of Bioware was making any secret of the fact that Cerberus was a villain faction in ME3. So in this case, I can marginally forgive it.
“This cure would bring peace between the krogan, salarians and turians, which would help in the war against the reapers. Unless… Shit.”
“It looks like we are just fighting one enemy in this war,” was all Shepard said before heading back to the CIC.
So you’re saying that Cerberus allied themselves with the Reapers then. Well, gee, I wonder what could’ve stopped Cerberus from doing that in the first place!
After this, Stupard goes to his crew and tells them that he’s going to talk to Miranda. After he goes off to do that, we linger with the crew a little longer so we can see this:
“This will make things more difficult,” Garrus noted.
“Two enemies into one,” Grunt said. “If anything that makes things easier.”
“I agree with Godzilla here,” Jack said.
“Thanks for the compliment,” Grunt chuckled.
And coming from the guy who is currently acting OOC, that says a lot.
“This is no laughing matter,” Tali chided the two. “Cerberus, without the reaper’s help, was able to cause the extinction of the articians and the near extinction of half a dozen hyper-advance races. With the reapers help they will be a force to be reckon with.”
The only thing Cerberus did was to take advantage of the fact that everybody in the parallel galaxy is dumber than a sack of bricks, so I think you’ll forgive me if I don’t exactly think that lightning will strike twice here.
Grunt pounded his fist into his right hand. “Let them come. Their lives will end at the end of my shotgun.”
Jack’s fists glowed. “And my powers. Now we have a chance to kill Cerberus soldiers left and right. I’m glad I stayed.”
Honestly, Jack? There’s a part of me that’s glad you stayed too: I would’ve hated to see you get stuck with a five-minute cameo and stuff.
We then cut to Stupard as he goes to speak with Miranda.
The conference table lowered when Shepard approached it. He walked on top of it and the QEC scanned him. Before him was Miranda who was hard at work with an exion at a terminal. Miranda heard the chime and looked up.
“Commander!” she said in surprise. “What do I owe the pleasure?”
“Cerberus is working for the reapers.”
“That is- Are you sure?”
“Cerberus is making attacks on the facility that Mordin is working at.
“And next, they may be making tea cozies to fund their operations! Think about that, Miranda! Cerberus tea cozies! The horror!”
The only reason why they would is that they are working for the reapers. Along with the husk invasion on Omega, just furthers this notion.”
“If that is true, then it would explain a lot.” Miranda nodded to the exion next to her who just handed her a file.
“Cerberus went silent after the events of Omega. Considering the losses Cerberus suffered from Anderson’s efforts and even the Omega situation, we expected them to be on the borderline of collapse and yet-”
“And yet we forgot to attack them when we felt they were at the brink of collapse. Sorry.”
“Not too long ago, after being in the dark for a while, they started a massive recruitment drive. So to speak. They somehow not only came from the brink of collapse, but have the resources to do massive recruitment. Even hiring many mercenaries.”
“Yes. They have hired mercenaries from many organizations. And here’s the crazy thing. These mercenaries will stay with them permanently and then money transfers to said organization stops immediately.”
“With this new information, it is the only thing that does make sense.”
And since they know about Stupard, I can imagine that things will only get hard for him from here.
God, everything about Cerberus being involved in this fic’s ME3 arc is just stupid. We haven’t even gotten to what passes for the Cerberus coup in this fic yet, and I’m already saying that. It’s just… really think about this, guys. Do you think that Cerberus would’ve had any involvement in this fic’s version of ME3 if the parallel galaxy had any intelligence at all and had any drive to actually, you know, end Cerberus like they continually say they will?
So then Stupard tells Miranda to keep looking into it, and then we see Stupard and the gang inside the shuttle on the way to Sur’Kesh.
“Time to hit the hornet nest,” Shepard muttered. He used the shuttle’s comm. system. “Joker, fire at will at the Cerberus frigate.”
“Aye, aye,” Joker replied.
“Alright team, Wrex and Vega will stay in the shuttle to give it protection while the rest of us will go in and secure Mordin and the cure. Wrex, have the shuttle find a secure landing zone and cover that LZ until we are able to get the female out of this facility.”
“Got it, Commander,” Vega said.
“I’ll guard that LZ, Shepard,” Wrex added.
“I’m ready to kick some Cerberus ass,” Jack said.
“Oh, and Wrex? Be prepared to say dialogue from the marketing and the leaked script when you’re called to do so, m’kay? Excellent.”
“Ah, crap,” Joker said over the comm.
“What happened, Joker?” Shepard asked.
“They have more ships. And they’re attacking.”
“We are taking evasive manoeuvres,” EDI added. “The two other frigates were hidden around the planet’s moon waiting for us to attack and reveal ourselves.”
Our “tactical genius” with “superior intelligence”, ladies and gentlemen: telling his ships to go in and attack one visible ship without even considering the possibility that it might be a trap.
Our Hero Ladies And Gentlemen Count: 31
“Try to shake them and prepare for our extraction,” Shepard ordered.
“Yes, Commander,” EDI said.
“Um, Commander, why don’t we just call in some reinforcements from the parallel galaxy?”
“Because I’m Stupard, god damn it! Now shut up and do as you’re told!”
The shuttle found a landing zone just inside the facility’s perimeter. A couple of salarians stood at the entrance of the facility. They held their SMGs ready to shoot. Shepard came out of the shuttle.
“I’m Commander Shepard. Mordin sent for me.”
“Ah, yes, Commander,” the guard on the right said. “Apologies for the greeting.”
“It’s understandable, but keep on alert. We detected Cerberus frigates entering the system. The Normandy is currently engaging them, but it’s one ship against who knows how many. We expect them to attack at any time. I need you two to put this facility at high alert.”
“Yes, Commander. Right away. Thank you for the warning.”
“I’ll enter you in the system allowing you full access to the facility, Commander,” the other salarian guard said. “There’s a scanner in front of top-level security doors. It will recognize you.”
“Thank you.” Shepard signalled to his team. “Move out.”
You know, these salarians are taking the fact that Stupard and the gang want to cure the genophage pretty well. They’re not very combative about it, they’re not suspicious of the fact that Wrex is there, and they’re acting rather friendly to Stupard.
This points to a huge problem with how this fic treats ME3, but I won’t talk about it here because there’s a much better place for me to discuss this.
They entered inside the facility. It was fairly empty. The walkways were straightforward as Shepard and his team were able to navigate through the hallways quickly towards Mordin’s lab on level one. The security device next to the door initiated its scanner and scanned Shepard’s bio-signature.
The doors opened and the squad moved inside. Upon entering, Shepard spotted Mordin walking towards the right side of the area onto the balcony. Mordin looked to his right and saw Shepard. “Shepard!” He turned to face him and Shepard approached. “Excellent timing. Good to have you here.”
“It’s good to see you again, Mordin,” Shepard said as he shook his hand.
“Indeed,” he replied while walking to his console. “We can exchange proper greetings later. We need to hurry now. Females have weak immune system. Most didn’t survive.”
“I’m sure you did all you could, Mordin.”
And I’m sure this line of dialogue would make more sense with the canon explanation that there was originally more than one female on Sur’kesh, and that they were the dying female survivors of Maelon’s genophage experiments.
“The resources the Order provided ensured that there was a success. I did everything I could to save who I could.”
And somehow, it didn’t come up with a really good way to cure the genophage. No, their resources did nothing but save one particular woman.
And you know, this is a bigger issue than you might think. I mean, really think about this, patrons: the parallel galaxy managed to cure Kepral’s Syndrome, and then they found a way to permanently boost the quarians’ immune systems. You’d think that such people would’ve cured the genophage on their own without having to regurgitate this much canon. But no, apparently they can’t cure the genophage unless they go through canon first. This galaxy can cure every other major affliction in this galaxy, but somehow the genophage stumps them so that they have to regurgitate canon to cure it.
Mordin walked to the location of the krogan female and Shepard followed behind. “One survivor left though. Need to get her off-world.”
“She still here?”
“Yes. Placed her in protective isolation.” Mordin stopped in front of a large glass tank with the krogan inside. “Recommend gentle approach. Krogan slow to trust.”
Shepard took a step towards the tank. “I’m Commander Shepard. I was called in to assist Mordin.”
Inside the tank he saw the female krogan dressed in protective wear that had formal qualities. She sat in a secured chair that restricted much movement.
“Are you here to kill me?” she asked.
“We’re here to take you home.”
“Why?” she asked. Her tone was filled with little hope and heavy scepticism. “What am I to you?”
Shepard took a few steps forward. “You’re the future of the krogan race. I’m fighting for that.”
Look, InHarmsWay: if you wanted to regurgitate Mass Effect 3, then you could’ve given us the courtesy of at least waiting for the actual game to come out first before gracing us with this. As it is now, you’re just throwing things at the wall and hoping they’ll stick while throwing canon dialogue into a situation where said pieces of dialogue don’t make any sense at all. Jesus, this is just taking canon, sucking out all the things that made it interesting, and giving us crap.
What follows after this scene is basically an extended action scene that isn’t poorly paced but still rather dialogue-heavy. I would show you video of the demo, but that would mean I’d have to go find the video, and it’s really not worth it anymore. And really, it won’t get across how cluttered with dialogue the action scenes are.
So let’s just go through as much of these action scenes as we can, shall we?
The shuttle landed at the landing zone that the STG point them to. Vega and Wrex stood outside of the shuttle, leaning against it, waiting for Shepard to retrieve the female.
“So what happens when you get the female back to Tuchanka?” Vega asked.
“It will change the political landscape,” Wrex answered. “Renegotiations will need to be done with the female clan. It will grant full power towards Urdnot. At the very least it will get my people to work with the turians and salarians to fight the reapers.”
I can see that with the salarians, but why bring up the turians? All the krogan will know is that a salarian cured the genophage and that’s about it! What, there’s nothing there about the fact that the Primarch of Palaven appealed to Wrex for help in canon? Nothing about how the Dalatrass permitted Shepard to get the cure? What, that’s it?
There’s a deep problem with that, but again, I’ll get to that later.
An explosion went off in the distance destroying a part of a building. Wrex and Vega jumped to their feet. They saw a frigate come into view over the facility. The alarm immediately went off after the attack.
“Cerberus,” Wrex growled.
Over a dozen shuttles and a gunship came from the Cerberus frigate. One of the gunships started heading towards their direction.
“Get in the shuttle and keep evading that gunships until pickup,” Wrex told Vega. “This area is too exposed to air strikes. I’ll keep the LZ secure until pickup.”
“Got it,” Vega said. He went into the shuttle. The shuttle took off with the gunship trailing behind. “Good luck, Wrex.”
Wrex heard rocket jet sounds behind him. He turned around while pulling out his shotgun. Several Cerberus troopers came up from the lower levels using jet boots.
“You chose the wrong krogan to fight,” Wrex announced to the troopers as he fired his shotgun.
And that’s the first of many dialogue-heavy action bits in this chapter.
We then cut back to Stupard, Mordin, and the krogan female. Mordin briefs Stupard on the fact that the krogan female is in a little lift contraption that needs to be led through various checkpoints. Some explosion goes off, and Mordin gets into the contraption with the krogan female.
“Are you okay, m’am?” Shepard asked the krogan.
“I’m fine, Commander,” she answered.
Mordin was working away at his console. “Females kept secret,” he said. “Possibly a mole in STG. Could be indoctrinated.
You’re already spouting out indoctrinated STG people as an explanation for how Cerberus knows, doctor? I think you need to stay with the female, Mordin: you’ve obviously been exposed to the Stu for too long.
If no krogan alliance with turians, reapers will be left unchallenged.”
And this is another one of those lines that was ripped from canon that makes no sense in this context. You know, because Palaven isn’t being attacked by the Reapers and the Primarch of Palaven thus had no need to attempt to form an alliance with the krogan to see if they can get the Reapers off of Palaven together.
But apparently, context is for people who can’t tell stories. I mean, heaven forbid that the dialogue make any sense with what’s actually going on here, am I right?
“We’ll do more than challenge them,” Shepard quipped as he activated the terminal in front of him, activating the lift of the tank and its corresponding chamber.
Oh, crap, the q-word has returned! Quick, patrons! Run for the hills!
After this, we get a really long action bit with Stupard and the gang absolutely owning Cerberus troopers. You know, despite the fact that Stupard repeatedly mentioned that Cerberus joining up with the Reapers would be a huge problem for everyone. I’m basically going to be skipping that whole action bit, ‘cause while it’s boring and all that stuff, there’s really nothing fundamentally wrong with it on a mechanics level.
And really, that’s most of this chapter in a nutshell—it’s really stupid, really non-sensical, and very boring. So for now, we’ll just jump to this:
“You need to shake it,” Vega told the pilot.
“I’m trying!” the pilot yelled back. “Bastard is right on my tail. This shuttle doesn’t have any weapons so there’s dick-all I can do about that gunship.”
Vega gripped his chair and then came up with an idea. “I’ll need you to open the side door when I tell you to.”
“Are you insane?”
“Just trust me.”
Vega ran to the passenger area of the shuttle. He took out his anti-material sniper rifle and then clipped on his helmet. Vega then attached a strap to his armour and the other end to a safety bar in the shuttle.
The door hissed as it opened and the entire cabin filled with wind. The strap went tense from Vega being partially sucked out. He leaned out of the shuttle and took aim with his sniper rifle. Vega narrowed his sights on the gunship pilot. He pulled the trigger. The round went right through the glass and into the pilot’s chest. The gunship spun out of control and crashed into the waterfall below.
“Close the side,” Vega ordered. “And head back to the landing zone.”
While that part is completely implausible, quite silly, and not doable for someone who uses shotguns more than he does sniper rifles, it’s impossible to deny that it’s awesome. Would it have been more characteristic of Garrus? Yes. Does it involve Schwarzenegger action movie levels of ridiculous? You bet. But I don’t care, ‘cause it’s awesome, and it’s a lot more badass than anything Stupard has done.
After that, we cut back to an action bit that basically consists of Stupard ordering his squad around and us watching as the squad does their thing without any problems whatsoever. It’s mostly boring, but there is one bit that breaks up the monotony quite successfully that I just have to post.
Shepard went to the ladder and started climbing up with his team behind him. Grunt was the last one. He eyed the ladder.
“Come on, Grunt,” Garrus yelled.
“I’m coming,” he said while placing his foot on the ladder. He tried going up but the ladder squealed until the bolts broke away causing the ladder and Grunt to fall to the ground. “The ladder is broken!”
“And you broke it.”
“The ladder is weak.”
“Quit your bitching,” Jack groaned. She stood at the edge of the top and surrounded Grunt in dark energy. Jack used her biotics to lift Grunt up to their level. “Wasn’t so hard, was it?”
I have no idea why the hell Grunt is more consistently funny than Stupard usually is. I also have no idea how Jack got such a great rapport with Grunt. But all I know is that this bit was actually pretty funny.
What I want to know is why Grunt isn’t at least one of the main players in this fic. Sure, he’s in the ME3 squad (which is a step up from the 5 minute cameo he got in the actual ME3), but he just hasn’t been featured enough, and he, Jack, and James have consistently been the best characters in Parallel Realities.
In fact, I’d bet you could make Parallel Realities a much better fic by just focusing on Grunt, Jack, and James! They’re more interesting, more relatable, funnier, more intelligent, and far more likable than the whiny, half-witted manchild that is Stupard. Hell, I’d just make the entire story about Grunt, Jack, and James going on adventures in parallel realities! That at least would be more fun than this!
“Stay focused,” Shepard scolded. “We just have one more checkpoint.”
Aw, man! And I was having such fun imagining such a scenario!
So after this, they go back to doing what they were doing earlier in this action scene. It all comes to a head when this happens:
“Shepard, you have incoming,” Vega warned.
Mordin leaned on the glass of his pod to look in the direction of the sound everyone heard. Shepard looked in the same direction as well. A large metal object fell from the sky. Flames came out from it as it descended. It landed on the ground just ahead of the team. Dirt flew up from the impact. It took a few moments for it to clear and allow everyone to see what it was.
The metal object in question was a fifteen foot tall mech. Its engine roared as it stood upright showing off it large height and massive bulk. Its right forearm was a cannon and its left forearm had a claw at the end. Just like the FREYR they faced on Omega, this mech was controlled by a soldier inside. Unlike that mech, this cockpit was not hidden within the mech. The cockpit was covered by orange glass allowing the Cerberus trooper inside see and target enemies. The cannon barrel adjusted as the mech aimed at Shepard.
“Oh shi-” he yelped as he jumped out of the way.
The ATLAS mech fired its cannon and blew apart the console Shepard was originally standing in front of.
Great, he even ripped off the introduction of the ATLAS mech as it appeared in the actual ME3. There isn’t a single thing he won’t do if it means he can rip off a canon scene, is there?
The rest of the squad took cover as well. The squad returned fire at the mech. The mech’s shielding protected it from the barrage.
“Its shielding is protecting itself from our weapon fire,” Liara said.
“I’ll try draining its shield,” Tali said as she pointed her omni-tool.
Electricity surged around the mech. The mech stopped moving forward briefly. The electricity died down and the mech continued forward in its slow robotic pace.
“That barely got its shield down an eighth,” Ash said.
The mech fired another round from its cannon.
“It has to have some weakness,” Garrus said. “Shepard, any ideas?”
Hey, I did tell you the action scenes in this chapter were very dialogue heavy, didn’t I? If they were any more dialogue heavy, I’d have to start writing sentences into the fic to pad out the action just a bit.
“Actually, yes,” he answered. “Unlike the FREYR mech we faced in Omega, this mech has a major weakness.”
“Can to show us?”
Shepard pulled out Asha and jumped over his cover. He held Asha like a spear and threw it with all his force. The swordstaff flew and went right through the glass of the mech’s cockpit. The sword impaled the trooper inside the cockpit. The mech immediately stopped in its tracks. The trooper looked at the swordstaff in his chest in shock. He held the blade and attempted to pull it out with the last of his strength.
Shepard stepped towards the mech with his right hand raised, aiming at the mech. The crystal at the end of the staff glowed. Shepard’s eyes glowed as brightly as the crystal.
Energy exploded from the staff blowing out the cockpit and ending the trooper’s agony.
Ah, Yes, “Badassery” Count: 15
Don’t believe me?
“Where the hell did you learn to do that explosion?” Jack asked in wonderment.
Shepard used his biotics to return his sword to himself. “I-I don’t know,” he replied in genuine shock. “After I threw the staff, the rest was just… instinct.”
See, ladies and gentlemen? That was so “badass” that even Stupard himself doesn’t know how he did it!
“We don’t have much time to wonder,” Ash said. “We need to get to the landing zone and make sure the krogan gets off this planet in the shuttle.”
The door to Mordin’s pod opened. “I’m coming along. Have to make sure she’s safe.”
Uh, Mordin? I think you forgot the fact that you’re in the same space that this krogan female is at! Good Christ, how do you get out first without this krogan female getting out?
After this, we cut to this brief scene:
The shuttle returned back to the landing zone where they agreed to meet. Vega could see Wrex behind some cover firing at an enemy that was out of sight. The shuttle landed and Vega jumped out and saw just how much damage he caused. Wrex killed the last Cerberus trooper in the area. Around him were over a couple dozen bodies of troopers and centurions splayed all over. Bloody holes filled each of their bodies.
Oh, come on! We cut out just before we could see how badass Wrex is, and we didn’t even get that? Now InHarmsWay is just being a tease in addition to being a talentless hack!
“It looks like you didn’t need my help,” Vega sighed, disappointed he didn’t get in on the action.
“Didn’t get in on the action”? Then what the hell was that whole stunt with tethering yourself to the inside of the shuttle and sniping the gunship driver while both vehicles were still moving!?
“To be a clan chieftain you have to be tough, whelp,” Wrex said. “Though I did see the stunt you pulled up there. You have a quad.”
At least Wrex is treating that as the awesome moment that it is.
So after that scene, we cut back to Stupard as he gets to the landing zone. Somehow, they spend about seven paragraphs cleaning out the remaining Cerberus troops (five paragraphs of which are devoted to dialogue) even though the ATLAS mech functioned as a kind of boss in this level! They meet up with Wrex, Vega, and the STG guys, and everyone is okay. The commander of the STG guys tells us that Cerberus has been cleaned out and that the frigate has left the planet. Before we can ask why the hell Joker didn’t just contact Stupard to tell him that, Mordin says he needs to apply a final immune boosting measure to the krogan female.
The pod was lowered close to the shuttle.
“I do have a name, Professor,” the krogan said plainly. “Anahit.”
“Apologies,” Mordin said sincerely. “Did not mean to offend.”
So her name is Anahit, rather than Bakara as it is in canon. I’d complain, but it’s actually fitting when you consider what the character is. I did a short little Google search on the name “Anahit” (not after I read this fic, mind you, but after hearing the work of the same name by Giancinto Scelsi), and found out that Anahit is an Armenian goddess of fertility and healing. Hence, the significance of her name actually makes sense with Anahit’s function in the plot of Parallel Realities. So again, InHarmsWay is better at coming up with names that are significant to the story than he is at, you know, telling the frakkin’ story!
But if that implies what I think it implies…
Mordin walked up to the pod and typed in a few commands. The pod hissed as the locks opened. The front side slid up. Wrex stood to the side to allow Mordin do his work, all the while watching Anahit. Mordin walked in with the syringe and injected the solution into her.
“There. You can now go to Tuchanka.”
“To dampen the genophage and give birth to many krogan,” she finished. “I know what I must do. I volunteered for this to save my people. I don’t intend to turn away now.
So basically, Anahit is supposed to cure the genophage by having sex with a ton of krogan and giving birth to as many krogan as possible.
I made a statement earlier about this whole thing with Anahit being the genophage cure. And after reading the above passage, I find I need to revise that statement. This isn’t like saying that you’ve found the cure to Parkinson’s Disease and that cure is someone who’s immune to Parkinson’s. This, ladies and gentlemen, is like saying that you can cure AIDS by having sex with a virgin!
Seriously, this “cure” for the genophage doesn’t even solve the problem of the genophage in the long term, and it in fact creates bigger problems down the road! Isn’t the idea behind a genophage cure that all krogan can reproduce with tons of children? And now this fic is implying that every single man in Tuchanka has to reproduce through one woman!? Dude, that’s a way more horrifying fate for Anahit than InHarmsWay probably thinks it is! And didn’t the genophage affect krogan men, too? How exactly is this lady going to cure the genophage by having sex with men that are still affected by the genophage? ‘Cause I’d be interested to know how that sort of thing works. How is it that Anahit doesn’t have the genophage, anyway? And how does Mordin know that she’s the cure to the genophage? It would stand to reason that Anahit would still be in a position to get the genophage since we’re told that she doesn’t have the genophage, which is not enough to go on! Is she also immune to the genophage? Did she have the genophage at one point only to have her body naturally adapt to it super quickly? Seriously, explain why she doesn’t have the fucking genophage, InHarmsWay! And even if this all somehow works out and the children produced from such a mating are cured of the genophage, does that mean that incest is going to become a krogan tradition now? ‘Cause you realize that these krogan children she’ll bear that will have to breed at a certain age are all going to be half-siblings, right? And if so, I guess that means that the krogan are going to have to get used to all the birth defects that such overly close inbreeding will likely cause, particularly for a species with the fertility of the non-genophage krogan!
Seriously, how does anything about this make any goddamn sense!?
*BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM*
InHarmsWay, if you were going to write your own cure for a case of infertility, the least you could have done was do a little research into how infertility works in the real world! Seriously, Children of Men dealt with all the trouble you would have to go through to cure species-wide infertility better than this fic does!
Now can you help me out of this chair?”
“Yes, yes.” Mordin pressed a button on the side of the chair which removed the protective restraints allowing Anahit to get on her feet.
Oh, brother. And right when I thought this chapter couldn’t possibly get any dumber, this happens:
Out of the corner of his eye Mordin saw one of the STG soldiers move forward quickly while reaching for his pistol. The soldiers aimed his pistol and fired at Anahit. “Look out!” he yelled while jumping forward. The round penetrated his stomach, but protected Anahit.
“Mordin!” Shepard screamed running towards him.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again! We need someone else to die now, because one overly contrived death wasn’t enough for InHarmsWay!
Wrex fired several rounds from his AR at the indoctrinated salarian. The salarian fell to the ground. Wrex pointed his AR at the other salarians. “Anyone else of you indoctrinated?”
The STG soldiers backed away with their hands raised in a casual surrender while shaking their heads.
Okay, how the hell did Wrex know that said salarian was indoctrinated? How is that even possible to know just from one look? That just… that came right the fuck out of nowhere! And besides, what makes him think that an indoctrinated soldier is going to come forward and admit to being indoctrinated? Wouldn’t that defeat the whole point of indoctrination?
And that’s not even the worst part of all that. The worst part? It’s just an indication of how simplified this whole thing is.
Like, do you people remember all the animosity between salarians and krogan? You remember how the scene played out in ME3? Wrex didn’t like the salarians. The salarians didn’t like Wrex. In that pre-mission thing, you got a good sense of the fact that the salarians and the krogan were in disagreement, and that the salarians really didn’t want to let Shepard have this krogan female. And after this arc resolves itself in canon? The salarian dalatrass doesn’t even give you her fleet if you cure the genophage, and the crazier part? During that whole arc in the game, the Dalatrass even specifically tells you about (and asks you to go along with) a sabotage of the cure! And don’t just think about ME3, either: think about ME2! Count the number of times that the krogan NPCs in ME2 call a salarian a “pyjack” as an insult. Think about how Mordin’s whole loyalty mission got started. Think about all the justifications Mordin pulled to try justifying the modified genophage to himself! Think about how many of those justifications involved “the krogan would be too violent”!
There is some real animosity between the krogan and the salarians here, and InHarmsWay has completely written it out!
Actually, when you really think about it, InHarmsWay wrote out a lot of the subtleties of ME canon out of Parallel Realities. Think about how Tali’s loyalty mission was brutally gutted! Think about how InHarmsWay trivialized the Arrival DLC by having a similar (yet somehow much more contrived) situation in Stupard’s backstory! Think about how Kasumi and Zaeed’s loyalty missions ended! Think about what happened to Garrus’ squad! And think about how all the villains seem to have turned into Saturday morning cartoon villains! Seriously, this fic isn’t Mass Effect! This is what Lost in Space would be if it had more plotholes, much dumber characters, and less Gary Oldman!
But no, that’s not even the worst part! The worst part has to be that even despite the fact that he’s butchering all of the subtleties in the canon, he still insists on regurgitating as much of the plot of the games as he can! And that’s just… why? If you’re going to completely ignore the things that make the ME series interesting, why bother trying to steal most of the series’ plot developments? That’s just… gah!
*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*
Anahit’s eyes were wide at the sight of Mordin on the ground. “He… He took that round for me.”
Shepard crouched next to Mordin. “Just hang in there, Professor. Just hang in there. I’ll just apply this medi-gel and we can get you some medical help and-” Shepard raised his omni-tool. Mordin just swatted it away.
“No…” he gasped. “I-It’s too late. Round penetrated vital organs. Death will be in minutes. Even with medi-gel.”
“You can’t just give up.”
“No. Not give up. I did something to improve the galaxy. I-I… I did all I can do with my life.”
Okay, so Mordin has a mortal wound. So why doesn’t Stupard just cure Mordin with his awesome healing abilities the way he cured Rael’Zorah?
Shepard cursed his own limitations. The previous time healed someone; it was out of love for his Eli’Demi. The very bond he shared with Tali’Zorah gave him strength in situations that caused her any amount of harm whether physical or emotional. The times he was able to heal himself were not because of his ability. It was because of the pain Tali felt from seeing him in pain and close to death. As good of a friend as Mordin was, he didn’t have the ability to save him without killing himself.
Yeah, that’s right ladies and gentlemen. Apparently, Stupard can’t heal Mordin, because Mordin’s connection to Tali isn’t strong enough for Stupard to be able to heal Mordin. I swear to God, I’m not making this up.
*headdesks onto buzzer*
Ass Pull From Hell Count: 13
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to stop him in time,” Shepard apologized with tears coming from his eyes. He held Mordin’s hand.
“D-Don’t be,” Mordin said. “Did all you could. M-Mission was a success. Anahit is safe. Th-That’s what matters. Y-You helped me find peace, Shepard.”
“Yes, you did.”
“Things becoming less clear. End is near. Don’t know if there is… life after death or some sort of supreme being. But if there is. If there is. I hope I found my atonement.”
“You did, Professor. I assure you, you did.”
Mordin’s hand went limp and his eyes closed as he released the last of his breath.
“G-Good bye, Professor.”
Shepard stood up and wiped the tears from his eyes.
Hey, guys. You remember that part in the actual ME3 where Mordin died? You know, on the top of the Shroud as it crumbled to pieces all around him while he was trying to use it to disperse the genophage cure? And you remember how Mordin went to the top of the Shroud even though he knew the building was crumbling around him because “it had to be me”? Yeah?
That’s what I thought. You want to know why I bring that up?
Because that version of Mordin’s death makes more sense and is more heroic than this incredibly contrived scene!
Seriously, if this is how InHarmsWay responded to Mordin’s death from the leaked script, I’m almost afraid of what he’s going to do to Legion when Legion’s turn to bite the dust comes around at Rannoch. Seriously, if Mordin’s death scene went from being something so poetic and awesome to being something that could never have happened if anybody had more than two brain cells around here, then I’m afraid for what’s gonna happen to Legion.
“Mordin will be remembered by my people, Shepard,” Wrex said while escorting Anahit to the shuttle. “I promise you that.”
“We have just lost a good friend,” Shepard said to his team. “Many of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for his efforts. We cannot allow sorrow to delay us. But we will not forget. We will not forget what Mordin has done for us. We will not forget just what is at stake in this war. The reapers and Cerberus is against us all and they will do whatever it takes to continue the cycle of extinction. Cerberus has struck a blow against us, but it will not make our resolve falter. For the sake of the memories of Mordin, for the sake of this galaxy, we must win this war. And we will win this war. And the reapers and Cerberus will learn that in trying to shatter our will, it has only made it stronger. We will make them regret ever starting a war with us.”
“And then my galaxy will come in and conquer your galaxy, you puny creatures! After all, you are all beneath me!”
After that, we cut to this:
Shepard inside the comm. room. He went to the side of the table. Five holograms appeared in place. Four of the holograms were of the Council while the remaining was Admiral Hackett.
“Is this report right?” Tevos asked. “Cerberus is working for the reapers?”
“The evidence adds up,” Shepard answered. “Cerberus, which was on the brink of destruction, suddenly gains a vast amount of resources and starts massive recruitment. And to be truthful it doesn’t surprise me they would stoop this low.”
And it doesn’t surprise me that you don’t see how you played a role in this, Stupard.
“This is quite disturbing news, Commander,” Hackett said. “The reapers are bad enough, but Cerberus is going to further complicate things. Our undercover agents were unable to figure out how Cerberus was able to amass so many resources in such a short time, but the reapers would explain all of that.”
I imagine Cerberus also got a bunch of really hefty donations from the PCC. The PCC did have a lot of money left over from all the things A Jedi’s Destiny bought from them, after all…
“It might be best that the operatives stay away from any and all labs or artifacts that Cerberus may have,” Shepard warned. “If they get indoctrinated, then Alliance secrets may be given to Cerberus.”
“Each of our operatives are not informed of anything that may harm the Alliance such as strategies, protocols or resources,” Hackett assured him. “But I will take your advisement.”
So in other words, keep all operatives away from any labs or artifacts that Cerberus may have. Because, you know, heaven forbid that the ME galaxy learn anything from Cerberus-owned labs/artifacts that can turn the tide of the war in their favor or anything like that.
“The others Councillors and I have been talking and came to the conclusion we need to unify our forces in order to fight the reaper and Cerberus threats across this galaxy,” Udina said.
I hope to God you didn’t take a week to come to that incredibly obvious solution. ‘Cause if you did, then there is officially no hope for anyone.
“Hackett was selected to organize our forces throughout the galaxy. With the krogans on board, we can really start fighting back.”
“We are heading back to Tuchanka to return Wrex and Anahit,” Shepard said.
Hm… I wonder why nobody is freaking out about the fact that the krogan are being cured of the genophage. You know, because of the rebellions?
“I still worry about the long term consequences about treating this krogan of the genophage,” Velarn said.
Thank you, turian Councillor! Jeez, I was wondering when that was gonna happen.
“Would you prefer they go extinct?” Shepard growled. “My people will help with long term relations with the krogan. Another rebellion will not happen.”
“Cause that’s what your people are good for: ‘helping’. Like telling us about their previous encounter with the reapers after the reapers attack.”
“Well we helped when you four did nothing. And frankly the Citadel was directly attack by a reaper and you still didn’t believe they were real, so what were the odds of an organization of races, which you never heard of, have the credibility to make you believe.”
“This antagonism isn’t helping anyone,” Tevos interrupted.
“I agree,” Katlyo said.
Oh, thank God I don’t have to put up with this for longer than a paragraph. That makes me very happy in ways you would not believe.
“What matters is that your mission was a success and you were able to repel Cerberus from Sur’Kesh which will allow my people some breathing room to prepare for an assault on earth. Where will you go from here, Commander?”
“Like I said, we will return the two krogans and from there we will decide our next move,” Shepard answered.
“Very well, Commander. Good luck on your mission.”
“I’ll let you know of any leads that may interest you, Commander,” Hackett said before all of the holograms blinked out.
And that’s where we end the chapter. Honestly, I’ve had my quota of stupid for the day, so I’ll end this here.
Well… I’m guessing next time we get more plot regurgitation. Right?
*peeks at the next chapter*
That chapter has actual original material!?
On the one hand, that’s really exciting and shows that InHarmsWay has finally realized that, “hey, he needs to come up with his own shit now”. On the other hand, I’m expecting that original material to be incredibly stupid like every other piece of original material in this fic.
Well… we’ll see next time, patrons, so stay tuned.