1426: When You’re Strange – Chapters Eleven and Twelve

Title: When You’re Strange
Author: Actually-Fen-Harel
Media:  Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect
Genre: Romance/Sci-fi
URL: When You’re Strange: Chapter 11
URL: When You’re Strange: Chapter 12
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello once again, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to When You’re Strange. Last time, Shepard and Garrus essentially bonded as mates, and a lot faster than we expected them to. So given this fic’s propensity for skipping over all that “boring” plot of the actual games, what do you think will happen next?

Well, let’s see, shall we? This is the next installment!

We start our next chapter of When You’re Strange with this:

A/N: Hello all! So yeah, holy crap. Over 7,000 views now, and this story just keeps growing in popularity.

Lady, this is fanfiction.net, not YouTube. Views don’t mean shit on this site. Also, I don’t know why you’re fixating on how popular your story is getting, considering that popularity is not a good litmus test for quality. Unless you also think Twilight is a good love story, and I sincerely doubt that since you haven’t Cullen-ized Garrus yet.

I’m so honored you guys like this story so much! I’ve tried to keep the quality up for you guys, I hope I’ve succeeded.

You have not, but don’t count on rabid Shakarian fangirls to tell you the truth. They don’t care about the actual plot of this thing as long as the sex is hot, or something.

Also, as a bit of a side note: I’m not gonna beg for reviews, as I personally don’t really care to see authors begging for reviews,

And that’s exactly why you’re about to do just that, right?

but, I will request that IF you fave or follow this story, please do leave a review letting me know why you liked it. Input helps me write what you want, so don’t skimp out if you’re going to fave/follow anyway. If you’ve just read it, and don’t plan on faving/following, that’s cool too! No need to leave a review if that’s the case, and I hope you find something else you like. :) Just makes sense to me: I don’t fave/follow anything without leaving a review and letting the author know WHY I appreciate their work. A fave/follow doesn’t tell me anything, other than a reader liked some aspect or another of the story.

And that you’re getting popular. Whatever you think that’s supposed to do for you.

I’d like to know what it is. And wall of text. I’ll stop now. XD

Please do. Your immaturity has been grating for a while.

*Kaidan lovers beware, I am NOT nice to him in this chapter. Nor am I ever likely to be. Jus’ sayin’.*

Oh fuck me, there’s going to be Kaidan bashing in this fic, too?

Well, that’s not a good sign. I mean, this fic goes out of its way to demonstrate the nonsensical hate boner pretty much everyone seems to have for her, and she hasn’t even had a single line of dialogue since her first appearance several chapters ago. God, I’m almost afraid of what it’s going to do to a guy who has gotten shit to do.

Sorry for the super long A/N, now on to the story! Read already. :P

If you command me to “read already” one more fucking time, I’m going to punch your face in so hard your grandchildren will be getting cuts from it. Seriously, what the fuck else are we supposed to do?

Also, honey, “super long A/N”? Girl, please, that wasn’t even a medium-size A/N. You want a super long A/N, go read Twin Humanities.

Anyway, we finally open the chapter with:

Talking to Liara hadn’t been nearly as much of a harrowing experience as Shepard had thought it would be. As much as it was obvious that the asari felt the loss keenly, she understood it was unavoidable, and was glad to receive her mother’s final message to her.

Oh good, Liara is mentioned in the narration, and it doesn’t try to make her into a punching bag for once. It’s still annoying that you told us about that rather than showed it, but hey, I’ll take it!

After a short talk with Chakwas about Liara’s emotional state, Shepard headed for her quarters, flicking her wrist to activate her omni-tool chip, and pinging Wrex. She owed him a long conversation. When his reply of “About time, I’m bored. Heading up.” reached her, she barely suppressed a chuckle at the krogan Battlemaster’s impatience.

And that’s all fair and good, but I wish we could’ve –

She waited just outside the door to her quarters, and she noticed Kaidan leveling her with a glare that looked a little more than accusatory. She arched an eyebrow at him, wondering exactly what the fuck his problem was.

Yeah, what is his problem, anyway?

Then it dawned on her. He ALWAYS stands there, right outside the walls to her cabin, and her and Garrus weren’t exactly… quiet lovers. Her eyes widened sharply at the realization, but she maintained his gaze, locking eyes with him impetuously, daring him to make something of it. Who was he, of ALL people, to have something negative to say about who she chose to mate with? He was nothing to her, and she should have been nothing to him, besides his commanding officer. Beyond that, she was a Spectre, gods damn him; she didn’t have to follow alliance regs anymore, so why the fuck was he STILL trying to match her in a stare-down?

*facepalm*

Oh for fuck’s sake, really? He’s now the token jealous rival?

And no, patrons, I think we are expected to take this as Kaidan being jealous of Shepard. Nothing about how inappropriate this relationship is, because why would Kaidan be glaring at her like that? Nope. He’s just jealous. That’s it. Never mind that he only gets bitchy and jealous if you make the moves on him first, he’s jealous of Garrus. Because reasons.

And no, Taren; despite the fact that you are a Spectre, you still answer to Admiral Hackett. On top of that, you still maintain an Alliance title on the chain of command. And lest you forget, you are in control of an Alliance ship. Therefore, Taren, contrary to what you believe, you are bound to Alliance regs, though I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought you were above that given your behavior on Noveria.

Also… Yes, how mature of you, Taren. Just keep staring Alenko down like a little baby instead of walking up to him and sorting this out before it’s a problem. That will definitely solve this issue before it gets any worse.

*BAM*

*hits buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 15

She heard the elevator to the cargo bay groaning with Wrex’s weight behind her, but she kept her eyes on Alenko. She was NOT going to lose this, he WOULD back down, if she had to pin him with her talons on his throat to the fucking wall!

And she’s now thinking violence towards Kaidan in her thoughts. Because a simple glare brought on by jealousy totally warrants being choked against the wall.

*hits buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 16

She heard the elevator doors swish open behind her, and Wrex’s heavy footsteps exiting, followed by an unexpected second set of lighter, though still hefty footsteps.

Both sets of feet stilled behind her, and she could smell the fear beginning to roll off of Alenko as he saw Wrex and Garrus standing behind her, though she had to give him credit, he did not break her vicious gaze.

Or the run-on sentence that started that bit.

Garrus finally spoke up, his anger obvious in is sub-harmonics as he spoke, “What did he do, Vima?” She could feel the barely controlled rage rising from him in a blazing heatwave, and knew if she didn’t do something fast, Garrus or Wrex would be sitting over a pulpy mass of flesh, with a skull and spine freshly ripped out of Alenko’s twitching body.

Dude, he just looked at her angrily. If this is how you get about people just looking at Shepard…

She raised her fist in the air, a signal to hold, as she took a few steps to close the distance between herself and the prissy human biotic she’d barely bothered to learn the name of, only as a courtesy to Anderson. She came to a halt, mere inches away from his face, and sneered at him, giving him an up-close and personal tour of her razor-sharp rows of very non-human teeth, which he didn’t seem to notice.

Ah, yes, let’s hide my hybridism. That’s exactly why I’m going to march up to him and expose my teeth to him. That’ll show them how good I am at hiding my identity as a quarter-turian woman!

Venom dripped from her voice as she spoke quietly enough that only Kaidan would be able to hear, “Alenko, if you have something to say, say it, otherwise back the fuck down before something… unpleasant happens.” Her sneer turned into an evil, malicious grin as she added: “To you.”

And now she’s threatening her crew member. Ah well, at least she’s actually addressing it. Not that doing it with a threat is any better, though, so fuck it, that count is still valid.

Kaidan froze, uncertainty clear on his face as a conflict boiled within his mind. He’d been wanting her to himself ever since he laid eyes on her, even though he could never get her to give him the time of day. On the one hand, he desperately wanted to confront his… Commander… About the noises he’d heard in her quarters, and the fact that the ONLY male seen exiting at any point afterwards was a turian, of all things.

Ahem, Actually-Fen-Harel, I’d like to point out that Kaidan only becomes a racist twat after your Shepard bitches about aliens enough and rebuts him when he makes points that actually attempt to understand where they’re coming from.

You know, like this:

*BAM*

Maybe you should actually, I dunno, play the game instead of throwing out “this is an AU” and expecting that crappy excuse to not do your homework to tide you over? Because I can tell you, it’s not doing that.

On the other hand, the two aliens standing a few feet behind her looked as though they wanted to reach down his throat, rip his heart out, and eat it. Shepard wasn’t looking like she was too far from a similar action herself; and was he losing it, or was she… growling?

He decided, rather than risk bodily harm to himself, to comply with Shepard’s wishes… for now. He huffed out a clearly annoyed and reluctant sigh, and lowered his eyes. He knew it was only a temporary retreat; he WOULD find out what was going on with Shepard, and why she had completely ignored him – despite his best efforts – for a fucking turian.

And now he’s going into all out “scheming supervillain,” all because the piece of pussy he wants isn’t going for him.

He crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall, not meeting anyone’s eyes as he stood and fumed over his defeat. If only the krogan and turian hadn’t shown up…

And now you’re sitting in the corner and pouting. What are you, twelve?

Anyway, Shepard then gestures Wrex and Garrus into the captain’s quarters, and of course, they get going telling Wrex what Shepard’s little secret is. And of course, they keep this shit up:

Garrus calmed visibly at her words, though now he was trilling a bit of nervousness at her. She flexed her throat and chimed reassurance back at him; she knew Wrex would understand. Or at least, she hoped he did.

Wrex swatted at the air around his head in annoyance. “Would you two stop that? I can hear that, you know, even if I can’t translate it. It’s making my plates itch.”

And apparently, krogan can also hear turian subharmonics. Not that it’s outside the realm of possibility in this fic’s increasingly shitty science, but …

Something must’ve occurred to him then, as his eyes widened in surprise, then he cocked his head at Shepard in confusion. “Wait, I know turians can do that, how are YOU doing that, Shepard?” He pointed at her for emphasis, his two red eyes staring at her in challenge.

Which then begs the question of how the hell Shepard managed to get past any krogan at all without them noticing the fact that she’s a turian hybrid.

Seriously, Actually-Fen-Harel, did you really think this whole “turian hybrid” business through before you rolled it out? Because given the increasing amount of things that keep happening that should’ve revealed this dirty secret way earlier, I really don’t think you did.

Anyway, she then brings Wrex up to speed on what happened there. And yes, that does entail retelling the whole story of her hybridism (though I’m not going to dock that too hard because it thankfully only takes a paragraph), and then “hey, Garrus is my husband now.” Wrex, of course, is pretty shocked, and while he doesn’t really express shock like this:

She’d never witnessed a krogan looking completely dumbfounded until that moment. She bit her lip, hard, as she tried to keep from laughing. She hadn’t even realized they were capable of that expression, even as Wrex fought to gain control of it once again.

I’ll let Actually-Fen-Harel off the hook since this would be something Wrex would be shocked about. So then we get more dialogue about that, Wrex asked how long they’ve known each other, and then Wrex gets all old man and shit about how Taren-Sue and Garrus got into it.

And then …

Shepard coughed. “You know, Wrex, you are in our quarters, so if you don’t want to see it, it’s not my fault you’re in here.” She smirked as she watched the realization settle in his head,

“BAAAAAAAAAAA!”

*GONG*

Whoah, careful there! You might’ve opened a hull breach!

then continued, “Anyway, as far as Alenko is concerned, I have an idea of what happened. I believe he has an interest in me, and he may have heard Garrus and I… blowing off steam.” She flushed for the second time in the past five minutes. “However, it doesn’t matter what he may or may not feel for me, he has no rights to me, nor will he ever. If he continues to make an issue of this, I will deal with him personally, and most likely violently.”

You know, violently. Instead of transferring him from the Normandy to another ship where he won’t be so out of place. But hey, don’t take my word for it: you’re a Spectre now, so all that military protocol bullshit is completely beneath you!

*BAM*

*hits buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 17

Wrex chuckled at that. “Is there any other way?”

Shepard and Garrus both laughed. “Yes, but the other ways aren’t nearly as fun!” She said, grinning at Wrex.

No, but they’ll get you an Alliance court martial faster than you can pilot the Normandy to the nearest mass relay.

*headdesk*

Why did Actually-Fen-Harel think this character was anywhere near well-written? She’s not a well-written female character, she’s just a complete bitch. And no, don’t give me any bullshit about “oh, you’re saying that because she’s a woman”: she’s been nothing but rude to any character who isn’t in the author’s circle of personal favorite characters, she’s petty enough to make overtures at a squadmate to spite a fucking shopkeeper, constantly makes violent decisions because “it’s less fun to do it the proper way,” the narration goes out of its way to avoid showing how some people deal with her in an attempt to avoid confirming that in certain confrontations … The only thing compelling about her is how she deals with her relationship issues, and that’s nowhere near enough to redeem the character because she’s so fundamentally unlikable otherwise that we find it difficult to care.

Taren Shepard is a horrible Renegade, and I want to punch her stupid turian hybrid teeth in every time she opens her mouth.

*headdesk*

Fuck’s sake!

Suddenly, Joker’s voice on the intercom broke into their joviality. [“Shepard, the Council is requesting a conference.”]

 

I just … what? After all that bullshit about “Garrus and Shepard speak in turian to each other” you made a fuss about in the author’s notes, you then pull that shit in the story? What the hell?

In fact, wait a minute: what the fuck is up with the random bolding and italicizing when it comes to that whole stupid subordinate/superior dialect bullshit? (Which totally disregards why languages formed, but whatever.) You didn’t do fancy formatting with the whole “speak in turian” to each other and you expect us to remember that tidbit, but then you do that? And now you’re adding that bracket shit on top of that?

*BAM*

Actually-Fen-Harel, I’m beginning to suspect that you may just not know what the fuck it is you’re doing here.

Shepard groaned. “Got it, Joker, I’ll be up there in a minute. Don’t stress yourself patching them through, wouldn’t want you to break a hip.” She teased him.

[“Wouldn’t dream of it, Shepard; if I broke a hip, Chakwas have to use that stick up your ass to splint it, and I’m not too sure I want to know what’s been up there with that stick. Speaking of which, did Garrus ever get that planet removed?”]

Shepard doubled over laughing and Wrex joined her. “Joker you asshole! You’re so full of shit, I doubt even Garrus’ small planet could hold it all!”

A chuckle could be heard over the line as Joker quipped, [“I think the inhabitants of said planet might have something to say about that, if they weren’t complaining about still being shoved up Garrus’ backside.”]

And now they go on a session of trading quips. You know, putting the Council on hold. Because they totally won’t get pissed about that.

There was a pause, a console beeping, then Joker spoke again, [“Uhh, Shepard, the Council is getting a little bit impatient. Might wanna get up to the comm room.”]

Oh. Thank you, fic.

Anyway, Shepard goes up there, and nothing much happens until the last line, when …

The asari councilor spoke first. “Shepard. We need you to investigate a situation on Virmire.”

Oh wonderful. On top of that whole Kaidan bashing bullshit, watch: Taren’s going to dump Kaidan’s ass on Virmire, and it’s going to be great according to the Shakarian fangirls, and they’re all going to rejoice and gloss over the fact that the Kaidan is a jealous bitch part really didn’t add anything to the story.

Wonderful.

Yep, it’s a short one. There’s more coming, don’t worry! I’m just reeeeaaaallllyyyy sleeeepppyyyyy. Love!

No, I’m not feeling loved. Stop talking to me like I am.

*le groan*

Well, whatever the case, that ends that chapter. And we brought in Kaidan bashing. Because no Mass Effect shipfic is complete unless we bash one of the other love interests!

Chapter 12 opens up on this note:

A/N:

/rant

Sooo there’s going to be gratuitous (not kidding) violence, described (severe) gore, (really) sensitive material, and (seriously) crazy shit happening in this chapter.

Oh God. If that entails a description of Kaidan’s fucked up post-nuke body, don’t bother. I’m probably going to—

Also tossing a warning in here for triggers (intro to rape, not actual rape, but still)… IF YOU HAVE A WEAK CONSTITUTION, DO. NOT. READ. THIS. CHAPTER! SERIOUSLY. If you are underage, or just frail of mind, have high blood pressure, low blood pressure, are prone to heart issues, or shock easily, DO NOT READ THIS CHAPTER!

Whoah, calm down, woman!

Have I covered my ass enough yet? Seriously, if you read this and want to bitch about it, or try to sue me for being damaged or otherwise offended by the contents of this chapter after I’ve told you not to read it because there’s some seriously fucked up shit in here, you’re an idiot.

Ex-fucking-scuse me, AFH?

First of all, shut the fuck up with the overblown “YOU WILL BE TRIGGERED” bullshit. We got the picture the second you said “do not read this chapter if you’re sensitive to rape.” That would do it pretty well. So stop with the overblown “YOU WILL HAVE HEART ATTACKS” bullshit. That is not what a disclaimer does.

Second of all, why the fuck would we sue you for that? We don’t even know who you are, how the fuck do you expect us to do all the work to sue you when that’s true? And really, woman, have you seen most people who get uppity about stuff? They just bitch on Twitter!

But really? We’re supposed to be an idiot if we read it, don’t like it, and want to bitch about it? You know what? No. If we see a problem here, you can’t stop us from bitching. Shit, threats like that didn’t stop me from doing this snarking, so what the fuck makes you think it’ll stop us from bitching about it?

Besides, have you ever heard of a little thing called, I dunno, curiosity? It’s the whole reason I have my bile fascination, you know. We just have to know if it’s that bad, so we’ll read it anyway. And frankly, if you treat this subject the way I fear you will, then we have every right to bitch about it, because you’ll likely trivialize the subject and turn it into cheap villainy points.

Like, what’s next, are you going to cave to the fans and be like “hey, he deserves this shit”?

Kaidan Alenko fans BEWARE: He is getting the SHIT beaten out of him in this chapter. Also, he may or may not be blown up on Virmire. I haven’t decided yet, and that’s next chapter. My fingers will do the deciding there. But my fans have requested- no, DEMANDED a Kaidan beatdown, and I am going to deliver, come hell or high water. But mostly I just can’t stand the fucker, so it was inevitable, you guys just made it happen even more violently.

*headdesk*

Oh for fuck’s sake.

:D

*BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM*

And for the love of all that is holy, QUIT IT WITH THE FUCKING SMILEYS!

A few even suggested airlocking him. As much as I would love to do that, no. It’s too good of a death.

That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I’ve got issues. -.- Most of them are named Kaidan. The rest are named Udina and Kai Leng.

Funny. I’ve got issues too right now, and most of them are named When You’re Strange. The rest are named Coby Carson, James Dynn, Micah Davenport, and Charles Burgh. Have fun figuring out who those folks are, and we’ll be—

OH AND JUST TO BE CRYSTAL FUCKING CLEAR HERE PEOPLE: I do NOT hate Kaidan in the game.

Oh really? Forgive me if I don’t buy that after you told your audience that airlocking him is “too good a death” for him.

I don’t like him much, but I don’t hate him.

Right, and that’s why you’re going to have Kaidan do whatever it is that made you write that disclaimer, right?

THIS Kaidan is the one I hate. MY Kaidan. For THIS story alone. So don’t come bitching to me about Kaidan not being like this in the game. I know he isn’t. I don’t think that AT ALL.

Then WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU WRITING HIM THAT WAY!?

The characters in this story are not your beloved characters from the game. This is a rewrite, and they are different. Some have similarities. Some don’t. Kaidan is one that doesn’t.

Oh, so that’s the real AU of this fic. It’s a lame excuse so you’ll have a shield to defend yourself from people who point out that you’re just using this “AU” to bash your least favorite characters, isn’t it? Because that’s about all I can see from how you keep writing this fic.

Also, this is a ret-con of this chapter. Never thought I’d do it, but I did. I wanted to make it clearer why he deserved the treatment he got. It was more than a bit fuzzy before.

Wait, so you did a retcon of this chapter? Then why is the disclaimer around?

You don’t actually know what “retcon” means, do you?

Now it should be obvious even to CERTAIN PEOPLE who shall not be named. _

/end rant

Certain people? Oh, lovely, we’ve got Eezowoman, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got the fucking Eezowoman in the house!

TIME TO WRITE CHAPTER NAO KTHXBAI :D

*facepalm*

For fuck’s sake, AFH.

*sigh*

Okay, how does this start?

Shepard’s plates were itching. Scratch that, they were BURNING. She was in the mess hall after a long talk with the Council about some idiot salarians that apparently got lost on Virmire, and she was trying to find something in the cabinets that didn’t either smell repulsive, or make her blow up like a balloon from allergies.

Wow. I did not think she’d go so far as to bash characters that nobody would think to bash, but you know what? There it is. Why not just throw in some Mordin hate while you’re at it?

This was her curse when she went into heat. NOTHING but alcohol and pickles smelled edible during it, and neither of those were something she could actually live on as a biotic. And everything she was only mildly allergic to normally, she was deathly allergic to while in heat.

And how does that work? I was under the impression that being more sexually active had no effect on histamine production. I just…

Lyle! We need your zoology expertise again! And in the meantime …

*hits buzzer*

Fuck You, Science! Count: 8

And to top it all off with a nice, lovely little rotten cherry, Kaidan was standing less than four feet away, staring at her like a love-sick idiot.

How the hell he went from glaring at her when she was alone to staring at her like a love-sick idiot is beyond me. But hey, I guess leaps of emotional response to seeing someone over shorter periods of time are that thing other people can understand.

She’d wished, prayed, and begged to any spirits that would listen that he would move his ass away from the only source of nutrients on the ship, but no, of course not. She couldn’t possibly be that lucky. She heard Garrus trilling death threats that Kaidan couldn’t hear. Garrus had settled down at the table behind her, and she had to smirk a little at the sound.

Then why doesn’t Garrus just stand up and pull Kaidan aside and say “look, you don’t touch my girl”? That would be better than trilling death threats at Kaidan.

Not that you could ever trill a death threat. How in the world would you even do that, anyway?

She looked over her shoulder at him and grinned, winking at him. She flexed her throat and trilled the equivalent of ‘watch this shit’ at him. She flexed her throat once more, straightened, faced Kaidan, and closed the distance between them until she was less than a foot away.

*facepalm*

And now she’s going to challenge him head-on, bragging to Garrus about how awesome it’s going to be.

*headdesk*

God, it’s almost like writing sadistic protagonists is hard or something!

She made sure her ‘Commander mask’ was in place before she spoke. “So Kaidan, want to tell me why you challenged me to a staring contest earlier? Seemed a bit of an inappropriate thing to initiate towards your commanding officer.”

Kaidan squared his shoulders off, glancing quickly at Garrus before returning her gaze evenly. “I think you have an idea, Commander; considering you threatened bodily harm to me after I did it.”

Hey, he’s got a point: it is pretty inappropriate to threaten your subordinate with bodily harm.

She held up a taloned finger, waving it in front of him and ‘tsking’ at him, “Oh my, no, Kaidan. I didn’t threaten bodily harm from myself at all. I simply meant that if you didn’t back down, one of the two very large aliens behind me – one of them being my bond-mate – might have taken exception to you challenging their commanding officer, whom they are both quite loyal to.”

Which, knowing how the krogan are, would most likely have involved physical harm in some way. Don’t take the “exact words” excuse with us, bitch: unlike the Shakarian fangirls who flocked to this fic to see some hot turian/human action, we know better.

She smirked as she saw the surprise register on Kaidan’s face. “As you know, neither turians nor krogan are lacking in violent tendencies, so continuing to challenge me in front of them would be a bad idea for anyone.

Oh.

Nevermind!

*nervous chuckle*

Now, I believe I asked you a question, soldier. I expect an answer.” She folded her arms across her chest, cocking back on her right hip as she waited for him to answer. She heard Garrus trilling mild humor from the table. He knew what was coming, even if Kaidan didn’t have a clue.

His widened eyes shifted to Garrus, then back to hers as he lowered his voice in an attempt to keep Garrus from hearing him. “You’re bonded to Garrus? Shepard, he’s a turian! And you just met! You’ve got to be joking.”

You know, Taren, Kaidan does actually bring up a good point. I mean, according to the timeline established by this fic, it has only been a week. I think most people would have a hard time accepting that he’s the one when you’ve only known each other a week.

Shepard sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose tiredly. She lowered her voice to match his, maintaining the pretense for his sake that Garrus couldn’t hear them if they lowered their voices. “Kaidan, don’t ask me to explain it, it just happened. Does this look like I’m joking?” She pulled the collar of her shirt down, revealing the still very angry red bite wound from Garrus.

Kaidan’s eyes widened almost impossibly further as he stared at the fresh marking, his jaw slackening in shock. “Holy… that’s… wow, turians really are serious about marking their territory, aren’t they?”

Shepard barked out a laugh. “Yeah, you might say that. You should see the mark I left on him.”

Kaidan ripped his eyes from the scabbing teeth marks on the crook of her neck to her eyes instantly. “You bit him?” When she nodded her affirmation, his mouth gaped a bit more. “Wow, you weren’t kidding then.”

Hm … Okay, so Kaidan is starting to talk normally now.

Where the hell is the Kaidan bashing you promised us, AFH?

Shepard shook her head minutely, then leveled her serene eyes at him. “So, as I asked earlier, why did you decide it was such a wonderful idea to stare down your commanding officer?”

His stance deflated slightly, but he kept his eyes on hers as he responded. “Fine. If you really want to know could we talk about it in private? I’m not interested in the whole ship hearing about it through scuttlebutt.” He jerked his chin ever so slightly at Garrus, and Shepard couldn’t hold back her smirk.

“BAAAAAAAAAAA!”

*GONG*

Well, the Normandy will need a new refrigerator. Thanks, Cerbersheep.

She spoke in a perfectly level volume. “Very well, come to my office, and we’ll talk privately.” She flexed her throat as she about faced, trilling an invitation to Garrus, then flexing again as she entered her and Garrus’ room.

Garrus waited until Kaidan was nearly in the cabin before he got up to follow. As he quietly entered, he saw Shepard facing him and Kaidan, who had his back foolishly turned to the door. The door closed behind him, and he waited for the inevitable scene to unfold.

Wait, Kaidan wanted this to be a private chat. So why the fuck did she invite Garrus against his will? Further, how did Kaidan not notice that fact? I just …

*headdesks onto buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 18

Because nothing says your commander is trustworthy quite like her inviting her lover into the room to spy on a conversation that he frankly has no business listening to.

Kaidan began as soon as he heard the door shut. “Commander, may I speak freely?”

She nodded. “This isn’t a military ship, Kaidan; of course you can.” Her face betrayed absolutely no emotion, the mask she had in place flawlessly neutral.

And they keep talking about facial expressions like masks. Um, you’re aware that “masks” on faces are frequent ways to describe how sociopathy works, right? Unless I’m wrong about that. Possibly.

I’d ask Fraug, but these days asking Fraug questions is an exercise in waiting for him to answer back when we all know he won’t. Which actually makes me really sad …

Kaidan sighed. “I want you, Shepard. I’ve wanted you since I first saw you, but I didn’t want to say anything because you were Alliance back then, and I didn’t want to break regs. But you’re a Spectre now, the same rules don’t apply.”

He narrowed his eyes at her, scrutinizing her as he continued. “I also think this whole bonding thing is a farce. You’ve known the guy what, a week? Two? There’s no way a life-long bond can form that quickly, and you know it. When I heard what I heard yesterday, and saw that fucking turian exit your quarters hours later I couldn’t help but be jealous. I was mad. I still am. That’s why I was staring. That’s why I didn’t back down until you pretty much ordered me to.”

Well, at least Kaidan admits he’s jealous. I suppose that’s a good start to doing stuff. From here, I’m sure he can hang back and reason with her, and they can get this all –

He took a step forward, grasped her face in both hands, leaned in, and kissed her. She stood stock still, not moving any part of her anatomy, and waited for him to back off. The problem was, he didn’t.

He kept at it, involving his hands now, as they traveled slowly up her arms to her breasts, cupping them harshly. He moved his head to the side, burying his face in the unmarked side of her neck, teasing the skin there with his lips at first, then his teeth. He bit just hard enough for her to feel it, and snaked his tongue up to her ear, where he paused to utter a few breathy words.

“So, you like it rough, Shepard? I can be rough. I can be rougher than that damn turian ever dreamed of being. Just tell me how you like it.” He lifted his head, leaning back to look at her face, a sneering grin plastered on his face as he gloated in triumph.

What.

She tried to lift her hands up to punch him, push him, do something to get him away from her, but she found her limbs immobilized. Glancing down, she realized that her feelings of disgust and anger towards him had overridden her other senses, numbing her to the tell-tale tingle of biotic energy that now held her captive. As dread settled in her gut, her eyes traced the current of energy to Kaidan’s hands, which softly glowed with a faint blue hue of electricity.

She felt the paralysis slowly creep up her spine, recognizing the feeling of a slow stasis too late to act against it, as her eyes widened. She tried to flex her throat to trill a note of desperation to Garrus, but found her brain’s commands to her muscles futile against the paralyzing biotic onslaught.

Kaidan chuckled darkly, seeming to enjoy the moment as he tilted his head to the side, his features taking on a look of superiority as he finally spoke. “How does it feel, Shepard? How does it feel to have all that control you’ve worked for so many years to achieve be ripped away, bit by bit? Is it freeing?”

*readies Alma*

Who are you, and what the fuck have you done to Kaidan Alenko?

He lifted a hand to trace along her jawline, admiring his prize. “You don’t have to worry about what to do, what to say; only about what you feel. That control you lord over every one of us, reduced to nothing but a whisper by a single thought. My thought. My will. The great Commander Shepard, reduced to my plaything. Never thought I’d live to see the day.” He grinned maliciously in his victory.

A single tear escaped her eye as her mind spasmed with anxiety and fear, willing every possible force in the universe to come down on the human before her and crush him into nothingness.

Okay, so let me get this right. Kaidan Alenko goes in, talks to Shepard, and then corners her and traps her with his biotics so he can be all “I’m going to have my way with you.”

You know what? Suddenly, the author’s note at the start of this chapter makes a lot more sense. Kaidan Alenko can be a touch entitled when it comes to his Shepard romance, but he would not go so far as to use his biotics on Shepard to fucking rape her. He may be entitled, but he knows how to respect personal space. He can back off.

And no, Actually-Fen-Harel, your hateboner for the character will not tell you differently. And don’t tell me you don’t hate Kaidan: if you didn’t hate him, you wouldn’t have stretched his character into this.

Oh, and speaking of which … where the fuck is Garrus in all this? I could’ve sworn he was in the same room: what I want to know is why he didn’t intervene the second Kaidan touched her boobs.

That force presented itself loudly, with a dangerously feral roar.

Oh, right: Garrus apparently likes to wait. Because all protective boyfriends wait until it’s most dramatic to save their girlfriends. Pfft, yeah, saving them the instant they know something’s wrong? What caring boyfriend does that?

Her eyes flicked to a spot behind the human, as Kaidan’s eyes widened with fear, and he whipped around to find the source of the threatening cacophony. When he saw Garrus towering over him, and saw the bloodlust in his eyes, he froze to the spot. He managed an “Oh SHI-” before his airway was cut off by Garrus’ hand, which grabbed him tightly by his neck, talons gouging into Kaidan’s skin, and slung him hard into the now locked door, pinning him there with adrenaline-fueled turian strength.

Garrus’ maw opened wide as he roared his rage at the human, his fringe flaring up in a threatening display of pure rage. “YOU! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE WORTHY OF TOUCHING HER? YOU ARE NO ONE! YOU ARE NOTHING! YOU ARE AN INSECT AND I WILL SQUASH YOU LIKE THE INSIGNIFICANT BUG THAT YOU ARE!”

Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that badass speech sounded nice in your head. I just don’t know if I can take it seriously considering you waited to stop Kaidan’s attempted rape of Shepard.

And, you know, the all-caps. That too.

He tightened his hold on Kaidan’s neck, and reared back, his fist coming forth with the fury of a thousand storms in a left hook that made Shepard wonder how the human’s cheekbone didn’t shatter.

Probably because Kaidan was shielded by the insane amounts of purple emitted. I mean… “fist coming forth with the fury of a thousand storms in a left hook”? Man, talk about trying too hard, am I right?

He lifted the same arm upwards, about to come down on Kaidan’s face with his claws, when Shepard finally managed to trill a command to stop.

Garrus’ distraction had proved to be enough for Kaidan to lose his concentration on the stasis field he’d held her in, and it faded far more quickly than it had begun. As she gained the full use of her body again, she walked over to the two males locked in a heated standoff against her door.

And obviously, being the superior officer, you’re going to stop this before someone gets hurt, right? I mean, you are the superior officer, and you are responsible for the well-being of your –

She’d never been so turned on in her life as she watched her bondmate deal with this despicable human,

Oh, right, I forgot: this is the same Shepard who doesn’t like using military protocol for any reason.

but she’d seen the blue biotic haze come over the human after the first punch, and Garrus had no defense against biotics. She did, if she was prepared to do so.

She spoke in her most seductive, rasping voice as she curled her hands gently around the arm that was holding Kaidan to the door, “Let me, Vima.” She nipped his left mandible sharply, and felt it begin to rattle with his mating call. She grinned at him and looked back at his talons, which were still lodged firmly in the sides of the human’s neck, then back to Garrus, and nodded. “I will teach him to mind his place. Go and wait for me, I won’t be long.” She said, nodding towards their bed.

Wait, she’s not seriously going to beat him up herself, is she?

Garrus kept his hold on the human long enough to lean down and nip at his Vima’s bond mark smartly, causing her to moan and growl a promise of things to come at him, before he let go, and the human fell to the floor, coughing weakly and gasping for air. Shepard snapped her teeth at her mate as he backed away towards the bed, then she spun about to the pitiful human propped up against the door.

Wait, so out of nowhere, they get off on torturing people? I … what? What the fuck is going on? Why are they so turned on by the torture of Shepard’s direct subordinate? What about a situation where Shepard was almost raped and someone is being beat up is sexy?

She raised a biotic barrier, not something that was normally a part of her arsenal, but she’d been well trained in her abilities, and had more than a few tricks up her sleeve. She reached through her barrier and grasped Kaidan’s neck, slipping her shorter talons into the same holes that Garrus had made, though not quite as deeply, and made some new holes with her two extra taloned fingers.

And why, pray tell, are you doing that? You’d think that would –

She grinned devilishly at him, letting her voice drip with venom as she spoke, “Ohhh dear Kaidan. You are in grave danger now. Not from me, mind you; but from every turian that ever sees your face from this day forth. The scars I am about to put on you will mark you as an interloper, a traitor, a betrayer of trusts. You have come between a bonded, mated pair, something that any person of any species should have enough common sense to never attempt, and yet you did. You knew, and you ignored it, saw the marks, and you pursued me still, even going so far as to threaten me, and call me your plaything. ME? Your plaything? I think not.”

Oh my – Oh my god, are you seriously going to –

She leaned closely into his face, baring her sharp teeth at him before she spoke again. “If we were on Palaven, you would be marked, then strung up by your genitals as an example to all, and only let down once you fell down from your dick rotting off. Then the stump would be sterilized, cauterized, and you would be a eunuch for the rest of your days, subject to anyone’s whims, whether they be violent or… otherwise. Even the most idiotic people I’ve ever met know not to FUCK with a MATED, BONDED, TURIAN PAIR!” Spit flew from her lips onto his face as she screamed at him, the fire of hate and disgust beginning to rage in her eyes.

She reared her hand up as Garrus had, and this was the moment he’d been waiting for. He threw a heavy push at her, knocking down her barrier and managing to shove her back a foot. Her talons raked deeply from the holes she’d dug them into to the front of his throat as she was pushed backwards, and he clutched his neck as he abruptly began to bleed out.

She roared in fury and blindly charged him, slashing down his face and leaving five thin, vertical slashes from his forehead to his chin. Only then, once turian traditional justice had been served, did she notice that the amount of blood leaving his neck was far more than it should have been.

*hits buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 19

Well, there it is, ladies and gentlemen: this Shepard has officially crossed the threshold from “possible badass tryhard” to “sadist.” I mean, she fucking clawed out Kaidan Alenko’s neck! I don’t care if it was an accident: I mean, she was like “here’s what we would’ve done to you on Palaven.”

Not to mention it would’ve revealed her turian hybrid nature. Because how the fuck would Shepard know that, and why would she care?

“FUCK! Vima, help me get him to the medbay, he made me slice his jugular open, the stupid prick!”

He made you slice it open? Well, gee, it’s almost like he wouldn’t have had it sliced open if you hadn’t put the fingers there in the first place, you stupid bitch!

*hits buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 20

She looked back at her mate, her subharmonics trilling demand. “I didn’t want to kill him Vima, just mark him for his shameful crime, COME ON!”

Well, too bad. He’ll probably bleed the fuck out, and then you’ll face a court-martial for all sorts of things. Like, you know, sleeping with a subordinate, unprofessional behavior on a mission, killing another subordinate, and doing it for an incredibly moronic reason. Oh, and when they find out you’re a hybrid turian? I hope you like the idea of spending the entire rest of your life in a laboratory. Because that’s what is going to happen here if anybody in this universe still has any sense!

Garrus finally snapped to, waking from the lustful, hate-fueled rage just enough to comply with his mate’s wishes. He got up and rushed to her side, taking one side of the bleeding human while she took the other, and flung a command to his omni-tool to unlock the door, palming the interface and rushing through it quickly. Kaidan was out cold before they got to the medbay.

And any crew members there were probably just like “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, WHY IS OUR SUPERIOR BLEEDING OUT!?”

Chakwas looked up in shock at the scene rushing into her medbay, and sprang into action. “What the hell happened to him? Get him up here.” She pointed to one of the beds, “Keep pressure on his jugular! My God, Taren, what happened? These look like… talon marks. My god. What have you done?” She looked between the two people in the room with turian blood in their veins, before beginning to methodically tend to her patient. “You two have a LOT of explaining to do.”

She grabbed several medical instruments and various supplies, quickly placing them on a tray and laying the tray on the stand next to the bed. She began tending to the worst side of Kaidan’s neck, stemming the blood flow; patching, stitching, and injecting medi-gel as she went.

And if this fic even had a shred of scientific accuracy, Kaidan would likely have bled out by this time since it never occurred to either Taren or Garrus to, I dunno, APPLY ANY KIND OF PRESSURE to that cut to Kaidan’s jugular and the nine other cuts he sustained.

As soon as she was done there, she moved to the side that Shepard was still applying pressure to. She patched him up again, then ran to the blood storage, grabbing the appropriate bags and starting the flow into his arteries before she whirled around to Garrus and Shepard.

Especially since, you know, this line implies both jugular veins were cut. From what I read up on Google, you can actually stem the flow of blood if one jugular is cut since the other jugular vein will get the blood to the heart, but if both are cut, good luck. But since both were cut here, Kaidan should’ve bled out, especially given what I mentioned above.

But hey, we all know scientific accuracy is that thing other authors do, so…

*hits buzzer*

Fuck You, Science! Count: 9

“I have a few moments now for you to explain to me why the HELL I just had to save Lieutenant Alenko’s life from talon-shaped wounds to his neck! Were you TRYING to kill him?”

Yes, actually. Because they’re both sadists!

They both cowed a bit as if it were their mother screaming at them, and they shook their heads to the negative in unison.

Shepard was the first to speak up. “No, it’s his own damn fault that he got hurt that badly. If he hadn’t used a heavy biotic push on me and shoved me back, we would’ve been able to heal him easily with medi-gel alone. It started off with simple puncture marks, nowhere near his fucking jugular.” She ended with a snarl in her voice.

Chakwas’ face exclaimed her shock almost as well as her voice, which raised a few octaves, “YOU did this, Taren? Are you insane? Have you completely lost it?”

You’re asking her this, as if she were ever sane in the first place.

Shepard held her bloodied hand up, “No, doc, please listen. He got in between me and Garrus. Tried to push his… ‘intentions’ on me, while paralyzing me with a fucking stasis field. You KNOW what that kind of act means to turians. We’re a BONDED pair. He had no right. You know what turian practices on that sort of situation are. I was going easy on him.”

No you fucking weren’t. You could’ve chosen not to give him the turian punishment, and you could’ve chosen not to harm him physically. But you decided to do it anyway. It doesn’t matter if his attempt to defend himself from that backfired: the fact of the matter is that you told Kaidan you were going to physically harm him. As far as I’m concerned, that’s enough for a court martial right there, that you thought to punish your subordinate’s attempt to initiate violence on you with what the Geneva Convention would classify as torture.

Stop blaming your childish little revenge tantrum on him, Taren. Repeating “he tried to get between us” is not going to get you any brownie points. And I’m pretty sure Dr. Chakwas isn’t going to take it.

Chakwas’ face went from pure shock to horrified revulsion as Shepard spoke. “Oh. OH. Oh my. I suppose that explains his face.” She went silent, contemplating the implications of this discovery.

Garrus interrupted the short silence, “He’s lucky Taren was there. I was going to kill him. She stopped me. And she managed to get me to help carry his traitorous ass in here to keep him from bleeding out in our quarters.”

Chakwas nodded, not even looking at him. Instead, she looked at Shepard and sighed heavily. “Well, if he pushed you while you had a grip on his neck, then I am forced to agree, it was his fault. You were well within your rights as a member of a bonded pair to mark him for his crime, according to turian law. Being that this is no longer an alliance vessel, there’s not a lot they can do in this case. The council would side with you as being within your legal rights, even if you weren’t a Spectre, thus being above the law in the first place.”

She turned and looked at Kaidan with a grimace. “If Kaidan wasn’t court-martialed for not only trying to rape a commanding officer, but assaulting her with biotics, he would be forced to serve where there are only humans present, due to his marks; which I know I’m not allowed to stitch up, thanks to their nature. With your permission, I would like to apply medi-gel to at least heal it so it’s no longer bleeding. The scar will remain quite visible, of course.”

*headdesk*

And in typical Suefic fashion, our main Mary Sue gets away with nearly killing a man!

*headdesk*

Look, I don’t think I need to tell you that rape is a horrifying crime, especially after I’ve snarked If You Don’t Have Something Nice to say. So Kaidan did deserve some amount of punishment. But you know what they say, right? You know, “two wrongs don’t make a right”? Whatever Kaidan did, that does not justify the fact that you clawed his fucking jugular out, Taren!Sue, you stupid bitch! You nearly fucking killed his stupid ass! I don’t care what he did to you, that’s going to be a court martial. And instead, you’re getting off scot free.

Shepard and Garrus both growled for a moment at the thought of any assistance being rendered that wasn’t necessary to prevent his death, but Shepard nodded curtly, once, and both growls were silenced. “Just don’t let him get his face back properly, doc. Only give him enough to let it look like it’s been healed for a few minutes, no more. He deserves to look like the bastard traitor he is.”

Wha- and you’re letting him live with the scars from your assault on him!?

*BAM*

WHAT THE FUCK AM I READING!?!?

This is … Like, I’m not the only one who sees that this goes way beyond self-defense, right? I can’t be the only one who feels like this!

*checks the reviews*

Fanfiction.net Reviews Against Kaidan

Okay, thank fuck. I thought I was losing my mind here amidst all the Shakarian fangirls saying “DEATH TO THE TRAITOR!”

Chakwas nodded and turned to her patient, applying a thin smearing of medi-gel to the five long slits on his face. She paused her ministrations, and looked back at Shepard. “Taren, there are five lacerations. I hate to state the obvious, but turians only have three fingers.”

Shepard smacked her plates with her hand. “Shit. FUCK. Fine, seal up the ones from my middle and pinky fingers as cleanly as you can, I want to make sure there’s no confusion. Fuck my luck. You know, most of the time I really HATE being a fucking hybrid.”

Oh funny, I was just about to say the same about the fact that Dr. Chakwas would willingly go along with this. What … I just …

*headdesk*

She paused, as she seemed to remember something. “Oh, doc, speaking of which, I need my allergy treatment so I can eat. I’m fucking starving after all this shit, and nothing that won’t kill me smells like anything but puke.” She retched a little at the thought, and shook her head to try to make the feeling go away.

Wow, and the only thing you can think of is “OH MY GOD I’M HUNGRY” afterwards.

*hits buzzer*

“Strong, Independent” Woman Count: 21

HOW IS THIS BITCH SUPPOSED TO BE LIKABLE!?

Anyway, Chakwas decides to go with it for reasons that are entirely beyond my comprehension. Taren!Sue then shows Garrus the whole process of how to administer the allergy treatment. He injects her with odd orange fluid, and then she’s all “I’ll be able to eat.” She then turns to the doc and says:

She glanced over at Chakwas and spoke in her direction, “Thanks doc. And please do make sure that the three marks he’s supposed to have look as rough as possible. Wouldn’t want him waking up as a pretty boy human again, that would be a complete tragedy. Seeya later doc. Don’t wake him up until those scars set in nice and pretty.”

Chakwas nodded, “Bye for now, Taren. Come by later if you feel like drinking, I have a feeling I’ll need it by the end of the day.”

Can I swing by and steal the alcohol? I have the feeling I’ll need it after the hell that was reading this chapter!

Shepard grinned. “I might take you up on that, doc.” She walked towards the medbay doors with Garrus hot on her heels. As she raised her hand to palm the interface panel, she held her hand up for both of them to see. “I think maybe we need a shower to wash all of the traitor’s blood off of us. What do you think, Vima?” She grinned at him and winked, biting her lip before snapping at his jaw teasingly. The pleased rumble that poured out of his chest was all the reply she needed as she palmed the interface and they both headed towards the showers. They had two hours before they hit Virmire, and they weren’t going to waste it.

And that finally ends this stupid fucking chapter. I just…

A/N: So, did you survive the chapter?

I survived it about as well as anyone could be expected to survive the world’s most mean-spirited shark jump, yes…

I hope so, because there’s more coming! Not sure exactly when, but SOON!

Oh fuck you! At this point, I’d rather eat garbage disposal meat than read another word of this shitty AU!

I spewed out two chapters today, one for my requested femshep/Kolyat AU, and this one, so I’ve been pretty fucking productive! Yay for me! Hope at least SOME of you enjoyed the chapter. I know it was a little dark in some places, but I needed to get some frustrations out. So, sorry if you didn’t like it, but I DID WARN YOU. Can’t say I didn’t. :D

Actually, I can. Because you didn’t warn us the depth of stupidity that this fic goes to. At this point, this fic has jumped the shark, and Taren!Shepard is one genocide away from needlessly killing people. So no, you didn’t warn me adequately enough.

Good fucking Christ.

Until next time, PEACE!

*BAM*

Shut the fuck up, AFW. Nobody cares about your perky attitude given what we just witnessed. So you can take that and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

*headdesk*

Well, patrons, I’ve been Herr Wozzeck. No doubt, you’ll see what else is wrong with this fic next time, because holy fuck, what the fuck did we just witness?

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120 Comments on “1426: When You’re Strange – Chapters Eleven and Twelve”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    Then it dawned on her. He ALWAYS stands there, right outside the walls to her cabin, and her and Garrus weren’t exactly… quiet lovers.

    Because apparently the built-in office space of a military commander who handles a great deal of classified information has no soundproofing whatsoever.

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    Beyond that, she was a Spectre, gods damn him; she didn’t have to follow alliance regs anymore,

    I am having a very difficult time figuring out this lady’s religious views. Previously she was invoking the Spirits (despite having no real reason to commit to the turian religion or for that matter any more exposure to it than the average human resident of the Wards), and now she’s invoking ‘gods’??

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    why she had completely ignored him – despite his best efforts – for a fucking turian.

    Yes, exactly: a fucking turian is basically all Garrus is in this story any more.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    why she had completely ignored him – despite his best efforts – for a fucking turian.

    Wait, aren’t her teeth still freakishly sharp??

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    Oh God. If that entails a description of Kaidan’s fucked up post-nuke body, don’t bother. I’m probably going to—

    What body? He’s right next to the thing when it goes off, he’d be lucky to have his carbon atoms stay carbon!

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Knowing this fic’s track record with scientific accuracy, would you be surprised if she forgot that nukes tend to vaporize bodies right next to the blast?

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Just as long as he doesn’t survive by being in the eye of the nuke.

        • Herr Wozzeck says:

          Actually, the way Virmire is treated in this fic is very different from what you might expect someone to do. It’s still kind of stupid, but let’s face it: it’s not as dumb as From Another World‘s take on the subject.

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    The characters in this story are not your beloved characters from the game.

    Boy, have you got that right…

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    This was her curse when she went into heat. NOTHING but alcohol and pickles smelled edible during it, and neither of those were something she could actually live on as a biotic. And everything she was only mildly allergic to normally, she was deathly allergic to while in heat.

    Wow, she really does have to live on nothing but glycine, doesn’t she?

    No wonder she’s such a prick all the time.

  8. AdmiralSakai says:

    revealing the still very angry red bite wound from Garrus.

    Oh, so now her blood is red…

  9. AdmiralSakai says:

    Kaidan sighed. “I want you, Shepard. I’ve wanted you since I first saw you, but I didn’t want to say anything because you were Alliance back then, and I didn’t want to break regs. But you’re a Spectre now, the same rules don’t apply.”

    … for some reason.

  10. AdmiralSakai says:

    She felt the paralysis slowly creep up her spine, recognizing the feeling of a slow stasis too late to act against it, as her eyes widened. She tried to flex her throat to trill a note of desperation to Garrus, but found her brain’s commands to her muscles futile against the paralyzing biotic onslaught.

    He’s right there and can see this happening.

  11. AdmiralSakai says:

    “YOU! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE WORTHY OF TOUCHING HER? YOU ARE NO ONE! YOU ARE NOTHING! YOU ARE AN INSECT AND I WILL SQUASH YOU LIKE THE INSIGNIFICANT BUG THAT YOU ARE!”

    Why is Garrus suddenly channeling Sir Raleigh The Frog?

  12. Addicted Reader says:

    ::wanders into the Library::

    Oh, hey, another installment of this one. It’s weird, but it’s not as bad as a lot of what we see here.

    ::sits down with a mug of hot cocoa::

    ::reads::

    ::hot cocoa gets cold::

    ::sits and stares::

    I … I’ve gotta go.

    ::gets up and leaves hurriedly::

  13. AdmiralSakai says:

    She spoke in her most seductive, rasping voice as she curled her hands gently around the arm that was holding Kaidan to the door, “Let me, Vima.” She nipped his left mandible sharply, and felt it begin to rattle with his mating call. She grinned at him and looked back at his talons, which were still lodged firmly in the sides of the human’s neck, then back to Garrus, and nodded. “I will teach him to mind his place. Go and wait for me, I won’t be long.” She said, nodding towards their bed.

    Wait, she’s not seriously going to beat him up herself, is she?

    Sadly, I don’t think that’s the only “beating” that’s going to occur…

  14. AdmiralSakai says:

    She looked between the two people in the room with turian blood in their veins, before beginning to methodically tend to her patient. “You two have a LOT of explaining to do.”

    Don’t bother. It’s not like it’s going to make any sense

  15. AdmiralSakai says:

    he would be forced to serve where there are only humans present, due to his marks;

    Because apparently asari, batarians, drell, elcor, hanar, quarians, salarians, vorcha, and volus all have this same retarded marking system too.

  16. AdmiralSakai says:

    “If we were on Palaven, you would be marked, then strung up by your genitals as an example to all, and only let down once you fell down from your dick rotting off.

    God only knows what happens if they need to punish a female like this?

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Of course they wouldn’t punish a woman like this! Because who cares about shit like that?

    • GhostCat says:

      There are other tie-points besides the genitals; a woman would probably last longer since the penis isn’t a load-bearing structure and would likely pop off pretty quickly and kill the man via massive blood loss rather than leaving him dangling there until it just rotted away.

  17. BatJamags says:

    *Kaidan lovers beware, I am NOT nice to him in this chapter. Nor am I ever likely to be. Jus’ sayin’.*

    *SLAM!*

    What did Kaidan ever do to you? The guy’s so boring (in ME1, at least), I’m not sure it’s possible for him to bother anyone.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Shakarian fangirls have this weird complex where they hate on Kaidan because “he stole her from her one true love”. Or something.

      Thane!mancers (like myself, admittedly) also have it out for him for–guess what–the Horizon scene.

  18. BatJamags says:

    Sorry for the super long A/N, now on to the story! Read already. :P

    I, as a normal, sane, typical human being, only read the opening author’s notes to each chapter of a fanfiction, but not the chapters themselves, given that doing so is not a waste of time. As such, it was entirely necessary for you to tell me to read, as I would not have done so otherwise.

    *Headdesk*

  19. BatJamags says:

    Also, honey, “super long A/N”? Girl, please, that wasn’t even a medium-size A/N. You want a super long A/N, go read Twin Humanities.

    And even TH I’m pretty sure has nothing on My Inner Life.

  20. BatJamags says:

    She heard the elevator to the cargo bay groaning with Wrex’s weight behind her, but she kept her eyes on Alenko. She was NOT going to lose this, he WOULD back down, if she had to pin him with her talons on his throat to the fucking wall!

    Seriously, Taren? It’s a fucking staring contest, not a battle against, say, the RACE OF SENTIENT ROBOTS OUT TO DESTROY THE GALAXY WHO YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT STOPPING RIGHT NOW INSTEAD OF A BULLSHIT OUT-OF-NOWHERE LOVE TRIANGLE YOU FUCKING MORON!

    *PISTOL-WHIP!*

    Why is it that in fanfics, EVERYTHING absolutely HAS to be put on hold for the GODDAMN ROMANCE?!

  21. BatJamags says:

    Garrus finally spoke up, his anger obvious in is sub-harmonics as he spoke, “What did he do, Vima?” She could feel the barely controlled rage rising from him in a blazing heatwave, and knew if she didn’t do something fast, Garrus or Wrex would be sitting over a pulpy mass of flesh, with a skull and spine freshly ripped out of Alenko’s twitching body.

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHATS?!

    • BatJamags says:

      Venom dripped from her voice as she spoke quietly enough that only Kaidan would be able to hear, “Alenko, if you have something to say, say it, otherwise back the fuck down before something… unpleasant happens.” Her sneer turned into an evil, malicious grin as she added: “To you.”

      GAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

      SLAM!

      THAT IS NOT OK!

  22. BatJamags says:

    He decided, rather than risk bodily harm to himself, to comply with Shepard’s wishes… for now. He huffed out a clearly annoyed and reluctant sigh, and lowered his eyes. He knew it was only a temporary retreat; he WOULD find out what was going on with Shepard, and why she had completely ignored him – despite his best efforts – for a fucking turian.

    Great. Now she’s intimidated a subordinate into compliance rather than just leveling with him. What the actual fuck does Garrus see in her? Then again, this Garrus was completely compliant with this course of action, so clearly he couldn’t have the canon one’s personality.

    • BatJamags says:

      If he continues to make an issue of this, I will deal with him personally, and most likely violently.”

      This bitch belongs in a padded cell, not in command of a starship.

      • BatJamags says:

        Shepard and Garrus both laughed. “Yes, but the other ways aren’t nearly as fun!” She said, grinning at Wrex.

        She’s psychotic. She’s absolutely psychotic. She plans on committing vaguely-defined “violence” against her own subordinate… for being jealous.

        I’m really worried about the author’s mental health that she thinks this makes for a likable protagonist.

        • Herr Wozzeck says:

          I would normally tell you she probably doesn’t know what she’s writing, but given the author’s note I snark next week…

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        Or in a science lab. Because, you know, impossible genetics and all that.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      No, he’s just there for the great sex.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      What the actual fuck does Garrus see in her?

      I think the actual fuck is exactly what Garrus sees in her.

  23. AdmiralSakai says:

    That force presented itself loudly, with a dangerously feral roar.

    She spoke in her most seductive, rasping voice as she curled her hands gently around the arm that was holding Kaidan to the door, “Let me, Vima.” She nipped his left mandible sharply, and felt it begin to rattle with his mating call.

    She leaned closely into his face, baring her sharp teeth at him before she spoke again. “If we were on Palaven, you would be marked, then strung up by your genitals as an example to all, and only let down once you fell down from your dick rotting off. Then the stump would be sterilized, cauterized, and you would be a eunuch for the rest of your days, subject to anyone’s whims, whether they be violent or… otherwise. Even the most idiotic people I’ve ever met know not to FUCK with a MATED, BONDED, TURIAN PAIR!” Spit flew from her lips onto his face as she screamed at him, the fire of hate and disgust beginning to rage in her eyes.

    Kaidan’s eyes widened almost impossibly further as he stared at the fresh marking, his jaw slackening in shock. “Holy… that’s… wow, turians really are serious about marking their territory, aren’t they?”

    Shepard barked out a laugh. “Yeah, you might say that. You should see the mark I left on him.”

    This happens so many times in fanfiction, and I am so fucking sick of it.

    I don’t know why, but it seems like every time fanthors try to add expanded background to the Turian Hierarchy, they always make turians extremely animalistic.
    Sometimes it’s subtle details, like making their talons unreasonably sharp;
    sometimes it’s little turns of phrase, like calling Garrus “feral” when every bit of character he displays in the games suggests a man who keeps his emotions under extremely tight control; sometimes it’s big conceptual things, like giving turians a heat cycle that somehow overrides their emotional and rational decisions regarding relationships, or making them experience what appears to be a physiological process when they choose a mate*.

    At best they’re lucky to get inspiration from very early human civilizations, with nothing done to translate those influences into a forms that would “fit” with a society that has, and has had for centuries, space travel, mass communication, sophisticated medicine, etc. There are some comparisons to the Roman Empire in the pseudo-Latin naming schemes, but that really doesn’t reach their culture in a lot of other ways**.

    We can see all of this in the extracts above.

    I don’t know why this is.

    The games certainly don’t give any indication of it, especially compared to the Krogan and the Vorcha who are more animalistic in their behavior.
    There’s a nasty tradition of racists portraying ethnicities they don’t like (typically Africans) as more animal-like, but very few of these ‘fics seem to use any of the other tactics from the racist’s playbook against the turians, and (like this one) many of the authors seem to think that by doing this they are portraying the species positively.
    I know that there’s a general trend to do the same sort of thing to humans in psychology and neuroscience right now***, but I really rather doubt that most fanthors are plugged into the scientific community enough to get caught up in its failings.

    I don’t know why this is, but it’s wrong.

    Turians aren’t animals****.
    They’re a sophisticated, technologic civilization with art, literature, culture, and mythology. They produced engineers and scientists who developed faster-than-light travel all on their own*****, along with all of the other technologies from electronic computers to nuclear fusion required to build up to that point.
    They developed a unique and highly complex system of government based on meritocracy and the rule of law, and I dare say it does a much better job at keeping its people safe, fed, and educated than the Systems Alliance.
    They helped create C-SEC and built arguably the galaxy’s single most effective military force, and all of this was based on their extreme discipline and tactical insight.

    Every single one of them is an intelligent being with will and reason, complex desires and complex fears, and they deserve to be fucking treated as such.

    *Shades of Number One here, too, with the physiological process being initiated by biting. I’ve seen that exact thing show up three or four times now. Is it really that hard to believe that the species just has a strong cultural emphasis on monogamy?

    **The Turian Hierarchy always gave me more of a Soviet vibe, actually. Not so much how the Soviet Union actually ended up, but more of the original Marxist-Leninist concept.

    ***As a scientist pretty heavily involved in the study of artificial intelligence myself, I can tell you right here that this sort of hyperreductionism is stupidly wrong. Which might explain why seeing it done to my favorite ME species pisses me off so much.

    ****I mean, yes, technically they are in the sense that they aren’t plants of fungi, but you know what I meant.

    *****Which is more than can be said for several of the more “civilized” species in ME.

    (I have half a mind to post this in the reviews section of this story…)

  24. BatJamags says:

    Whoah, careful there! You might’ve opened a hull breach!

    What, on the Normandy? I want to see these dickweeds spaced. Give ’em the Javik treatment!

  25. BatJamags says:

    Shepard groaned. “Got it, Joker, I’ll be up there in a minute. Don’t stress yourself patching them through, wouldn’t want you to break a hip.” She teased him.

    [“Wouldn’t dream of it, Shepard; if I broke a hip, Chakwas have to use that stick up your ass to splint it, and I’m not too sure I want to know what’s been up there with that stick. Speaking of which, did Garrus ever get that planet removed?”]

    Shepard doubled over laughing and Wrex joined her. “Joker you asshole! You’re so full of shit, I doubt even Garrus’ small planet could hold it all!”

    A chuckle could be heard over the line as Joker quipped, [“I think the inhabitants of said planet might have something to say about that, if they weren’t complaining about still being shoved up Garrus’ backside.”]

    Those quips are stupid and you’re stupid. And the fic is stupid. And the author’s stupid AND IT’S ALL SO STUPID AND I HATE THIS FIC SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE-

    *Tranquilized*

    GoodJamags:

    GoodJamags: Yeah, I’m pretty mad too.

  26. BatJamags says:

    (intro to rape, not actual rape, but still)

    Oh…

    Oh, god…

    This isn’t going where I think it is, is it?

    Because if it is, there’s going to be hell to pay.

  27. AdmiralSakai says:

    intro to rape, not actual rape

    So, RAPE 131 as opposed to RAPE 223?

    Can I just see the graduation requirements?

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      It has to go beyond “fondling the boobs before my boyfriend finally wises up and stops him”.

  28. BatJamags says:

    A few even suggested airlocking him. As much as I would love to do that, no. It’s too good of a death.

    That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I’ve got issues. -.- Most of them are named Kaidan. The rest are named Udina and Kai Leng.

    “Too good of a death?”

    Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, asshole. And yay, Udina bashing. Because that’s always

    SO.

    FUCKING.

    FUN.

    You can have at Kai Leng, though. Fuck that guy.

  29. BatJamags says:

    some idiot salarians that apparently got lost on Virmire,

    *SLAM!*

    Don’t even start talking smack about Captain Kirrahe.

  30. BatJamags says:

    She smirked as she saw the surprise register on Kaidan’s face. “As you know, neither turians nor krogan are lacking in violent tendencies, so continuing to challenge me in front of them would be a bad idea for anyone.

    Yeah, maybe my friends don’t like you so much, see? Maybe they make sure you have a little “accident,” see?

    Maybe this “protagonist” has finally looped around into basically being a moustache-twirling Awesome McEvil, see?

  31. BatJamags says:

    Oh, god…

    Just…

    What the fuck did I just read? That was insane, it was disgusting, and worst of all, the author thought we were supposed to enjoy reading it.

    I’d go into a long-ass rant right now, but I just don’t know what more to say.

  32. BatJamags says:

    You know what else is stupid? That the story acts like Kaidan’s big offense is “coming between” a bonded pair, not, y’know, THE ATTEMPTED RAPE!

    Unfortunate Implications ahoy!

    • Addicted Reader says:

      And somehow, you made it worse.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      You know, I think this ‘fic might have been saved from complete horror by the fact that I don’t think it’s at all clear what “coming between a bonded pair” actually means.

      When I first read this, I thought that they were actually referring to the attempted rape, in which case, 1) that’s still an insane punishment and 2) why does it matter if the victim was bonded or not? Is rape not a crime on Palaven if the victim isn’t already “claimed” by someone else?

      There’s also the possibility that it’s meant in the sense of “coming between a mother bear and her cub”, i.e. that this is what you get for imperiling a bonded turian in any general sense. I don’t think that’s likely given that Kaiden displayed no obvious lethal intent, but it has some truly hilarious implications so I’ll run with it here regardless (also because the better angels of my nature still want to believe that they are focusing away from the attempted rape for a crime that is actually worse than rape…).
      Anyway… well, again, why does it matter whether the victim was bonded or not? What separates this from just regular murder? Even if this was one of those ‘fics where killing a bonded turian causes her mate to die as well (yes, this is a thing), I could see the killer being guilty of two murders, but I can’t imagine why those murders would be qualitatively any different. Is this the regular punishment for double murder on Palaven? Is this really the regular punishment for aggravated assault??

      Finally, there’s the only other thing that Kaiden really did, which was be jealous of Shepard in the first place. If that’s the charge here… wow. Keeping in mind that jealousy is guaranteed to be an extremely common reaction in any species with a mostly monogamous relationship structure, it’s an absolute miracle that the turian species has not completely died out by now.

      • BatJamags says:

        The phrase “come between” implies two things (in this case, people) were together in some sense, and the one doing the coming between split them apart, or attempted to do so, by inserting themselves. This is supported by chapter 14’s (I think – might’ve been 13) author’s note. As such, I’m inclined to believe that any attempt on Kaidan’s part to initiate any kind of romantic/sexual relationship with Taren would’ve been just as bad.

        AFH mentions in the author’s note I was talking about that Kaidan should’ve recognized the bond marks on Taren and Garrus, and left Taren alone. This once again implies that it’s not that he tried to rape her, just that he tried to keep her away from Garrus.

        So, I would interpret it as partially being jealous, and partially the attempt to act on that jealousy, regardless of the actual nature of the act.

        UGH.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Actually, for that matter, why is this only a thing on Palaven itself and not any of the turian colonies? What about on the Citadel?

  33. AdmiralSakai says:

    He moved his head to the side, burying his face in the unmarked side of her neck, teasing the skin there with his lips at first, then his teeth. He bit just hard enough for her to feel it, and snaked his tongue up to her ear,

    Kaiden’s tongue can reach from her neck up to her ear?

    GodDAMMIT, I just finished patching the place up from the last time the SCP Foundation showed up…

  34. AdmiralSakai says:

    Taren!Sue then shows Garrus the whole process of how to administer the allergy treatment. He injects her with odd orange fluid, and then she’s all “I’ll be able to eat.”

    You know, most people who need routine injections to treat this that or the other are perfectly capable of doing so by themselves. I started when I was ten, it’s not that elaborate of a process.

  35. TacoMagic says:

    How the fuck did the fic get this much worse in only two chapters!?

  36. CrunchyRaptor says:

    Hey, he’s got a point: it is pretty inappropriate to threaten your subordinate with bodily harm.

    LIES!

  37. […] I’d point out exactly why this is stupid, non-canon, and actually implicitly racist, but Admiral Sakai already did that last week so I’ll just point you at that and go on to point number […]

  38. "Lyle" says:

    And how does that work? I was under the impression that being more sexually active had no effect on histamine production. I just…

    Lyle! We need your zoology expertise again! And in the meantime …

    There is so much stupid in this, I can’t even… *takes a breath*

    Food allergies are a response from your immune system to an enzyme that it – for reasons unknown – thinks will kill you. It could be severe (many peanut allergies) or it could be mild (my weird-ass non-anaphalactic allergy to horseradish). Your own immune system is attacking you with histamine because it thinks that you – inundated with the protein enzymes from, say, shellfish – are the allergen and it needs to kill it. Fun times.

    The only way her allergy would suddenly become worse would be if her immune system decided to overreact further to the presence of the allergen. It has no tie-in with other bodily functions. The sudden release of estrogen will not cause overactive histamine release; it will cause overactive libido, and her boobs will probably be sore.

    As an aside, allergies to things like dander and grass make your immune system respond with upper respiratory symptoms because you’re breathing in “DANGER!DANGER!DANGER!” and the only way your body knows how to deal with nose-source bad-bads is to flush it out with snot.

    So, basically, she’s saying “fuck science sideways with a pineapple.”

    • You’re just allergic to horseradish? Hey, you want to trade allergies? -agig, the author)

      • GhostCat says:

        I’ll trade for horseradish, I’m allergic to chamomile and penicillin.

      • "Lyle" says:

        Yeah, I have the diet-coke of food allergies. I don’t like horseradish anyway so it isn’t hard to avoid. Ghostie’s would suck as I drink a lot of tea, and I would die without gluten. I’ll keep my horseradish aversion, thanks.

        • GhostCat says:

          Chamomile is also in a lot of shampoos and what-not, which means I have to be really careful about what I use or I break out in a very attractive oozing rash. The penicillin thing’s more bothersome, but is only an issue if I’m sick and some idiot at the Urgent Care doesn’t listen when I tell them I’m allergic.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      To be fair, I never thought that chirality issues in ME were actually allergies, but a distinct condition.

      I didn’t know where to even begin researching the topic myself (apparently nobody in the history of science has thought to give rats food laced with dextro amino acids and write down whether they lived or died…), but according to my coauthor there was a pretty bad incident in the late 80s where some people got severely sick after taking supplements contaminated with dextro-tryptophan, so apparently chirality poisoning is dangerous.

      Of course, I don’t know what if any role sex hormones would normally have in this scenario (probably none), but considering that Taren is already chemically incompatible with herself I very much doubt that she’s even get that far.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      You say that like she hasn’t been saying that the entire goddamn fic.

  39. "Lyle" says:

    Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that badass speech sounded nice in your head. I just don’t know if I can take it seriously considering you waited to stop Kaidan’s attempted rape of Shepard.

    And, you know, the all-caps. That too.

    Oh, I figured the all caps was just another language being used. Like Swahili.

  40. AdmiralSakai says:

    Hey everyone! Since this is where the entire animalization crusade started, just letting everyone know that I’ve turned my original “rant” into a five-kiloword essay and writers guide that I am planning to post to ff.net some time this week or early the next.


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