1485: Normandy High 2: Cryogenic Boogaloo – Chapter One

Title: Subject 23: Cryonics
Author: The Eezoman
Media:  Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Subject 23: Cryonics: Chapter 1
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello patrons, and welcome back to the Library. And today…

*sigh*

Okay, I think it’s time I gave a disclaimer: technically, I was the one who convinced Ert to snark Subject 23 way back when. I’ve had a thing about Subject 23 basically since I found it, and found it to be as god-awful as everyone (rightfully) thinks it is. So some of you guys might ask “why didn’t you snark it yourself”.

Well, the reason for that is that I actually technically already snarked it. I don’t believe in snarking the same thing twice: I made Subject 23 the subject of a PPC installment, after all. So by the time I came here, there was no point trying to snark it again. So that’s why I didn’t snark Subject 23, as much of a mistake as that was considering that I purposefully stopped around Chapter 8 for plot-related reasons within the PPC snarking.

So that’s why I didn’t snark Subject 23.

HOWEVER.

That says nothing for the sequel. And Subject 23 did get a sequel… which is fortunately both shorter than the original Subject 23, and deadfic. So guess what I’m here to do folks?

If you guessed the sequel, congratulations: you get brownie points!

So let’s not delay any further. Here’s the next installment of Subject 23!

So we open with an author’s note. And given that this is Subject 23 and half the fun is in the author’s notes, let’s snark ‘em, shall we?

STOP. What are you doing here? Don’t you know how infamous this story is? Out of all the reviews the last part of it got, I’m pretty sure at least 1/3rd of them were strongly negative. What’s that? You don’t care? Well then, go ahead.

Thank you: I appreciate it when authors give us permission to make fun of your shitty writing.

This is the continued story of Subject 23. If you haven’t read the first part, GO DO IT NOW. I can assure you, things will make NO sense at all.

Honey, we actually suffered through the original Subject 23, and I can assure you that things will make no sense at all regardless.

Also, don’t get mad at my writing in that one. I’ve gone back and fixed it as best I could,

*snerk*

Hah, he thinks he fixed it as best he could, when about 9/10ths of the issues with the original Subject 23 were all centered around the fact that the plot was stupid as fuck. And since this sequel was posted well before Ert actually snarked the original, I think we all know what those edits did, so don’t even lie to us.

(that’s a lie. I’m just too busy to make it EVEN better)

Oh.

*shrug*

If nothing else, I appreciate the honesty.

but the first few chapters (9) are not as good as the rest.

If anything, the first few chapters were the good part. I don’t know what you’re going on about, but it’s not good storytelling sense, I’ll tell you that much.

Anyways. Cryonics. This series has a history of dark settings, horrific deaths, and most importantly, the chapter 12 or last story which still makes me blanch.

And still makes those of us who aren’t interested in making a story needlessly dark because it’s kewl prone to headdesking. Speaking of which…

*headdesk*

Things are going to be bad, but at least they’ll be better at the same time. Don’t understand what I’m talking about? Well, then read the story. Hope you enjoy.

*puts on helmet*

Okay, folks, here we go!

Assistance

The silver shadow of the Normandy drifted amongst the blue and white nebulas as Joker gracefully caused the ship to float with seemingly no issue.

AGH CHRIST, MY EYES! MY EYES!

*slams purple prose glasses on his face*

Good Lord, I swear I’ll never have these glasses on when I actually need them…

The pilot breathed in, closing his eyes. The silence of the ship gave him respite, while the gentle hum of the metal beneath his fingers calmed his worries of a mechanical failure. This was why he was a pilot. The desire to make a beautiful ship dance, allowing it to gracefully move forward. A beacon of will and testament.

And pretension. Let’s not forget that part.

Until it spoke to him.

“Jeff, it is not standard procedure to fly the ship while your eyes are closed. Open them please.”

Inwardly, Joker groaned. He had thought that with Shepard unshackling EDI, these little disputes between them would end.

Apparently not

And how, exactly, were you expecting them to end after EDI got unshackled? People don’t change that fast, you know!

Without opening his eyes, he spoke back to the blue hologram.

“We are currently at vector 5-7-9 angled at a 382% dip with thrusters at 40% cruising speed with the navigational flaps down. Not to mention that our fabulous engineers have increased thrust output by 30% in the last hour thanks to the technology we picked up on Adrun. Currently, we’re sitting on enough energy to fly to five different star systems.”

He was met with silence at his expression of data. Smiling, he turned, opening his eyes.

“You were made because other pilots can’t do what I just did. On this ship, you’re a backup. A pretty annoying one at that.”

EDI remained quiet, then spoke. A tone of annoyance slipped into her voice.

“Very well, Jeff. I’ll remember to explain that to Shepard while we hit the asteroid approximately 900 kilometers in front of us.”

Well, I’ll give Eezoman this: he’s finally writing someone decently in character. It’s pretty sad when the fucking robot is the only character he’s managed to actually get right.

Minus points for Joker being a tit, though. I know he’s kind of arrogant, but this is a bit much, isn’t it? Especially since he wasn’t one to ramble on about technical shit, anyway.

Joker turned, eyes wide. Slamming his hands over the controls, he almost broke his fingers as the Normandy brushed past the large rock. He decided to remain quiet for the rest of his shift, hoping to prevent further embarrassment.

Honey, you’re in this fic. It’s practically guaranteed that you’ll be embarrassed further just by appearing in this shit.

Thankfully, a distraction made itself present.

“Joker.”

The pilot turned his chair around.

“23?”

The pilot stopped, met with something unexpected. 23 wasn’t wearing his mask.

Oh hey, so the whiny little edgelord finally decided to stop hiding behind his mysterious mask. Isn’t that a relief? And isn’t it also a relief that our Gary Stu saw it fit to not get described in flowery detail for once?

Coughing subconsciously, Joker’s eyes bulged slightly. Cole raised an eyebrow at the stunned man.

“Something caught you off guard?”

Taking a second to answer, Joker switched back to his previous, snarky tone.

“I was expecting 23. Not some pretty-boy. Or maybe Shepard’s brother? There is a lot of similarity there.”

Joker, you shut up! Knowing this fic, the very next plot twist is likely going to be that Shepard is 23’s great-great-granddaughter or something. Don’t fucking jinx it and make it real!

Cole’s eyes drifted down to the side, and a frown line appeared on his forehead.

Wow, Jigglypuff isn’t even waiting for 23 to fall asleep. That’s a special level of fail right there!

“Huh. Hadn’t thought about that.”

Or much of anything, really. Not thinking is your specialty, after all.

“So. Why the change in appearance?”

23’s eyes rose to meet Joker’s, and a playful smile took over.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jeff. I’ve always looked like this.”

“Hilarious. You know what I mean, Frosty. Where’s your mask?”

23 leaned back, bringing his arms across his torso.

“My quarters. The outfit was getting hot.

How it wasn’t getting hot before is really anybody’s guess.

Now, how’s the ship running?”

It was apparent that 23 didn’t want to talk about it. Joker didn’t understand. What was with recruits and personal secrets? It didn’t make sense to him.

*headdesk*

And why the fuck do you care, Joker? I know that 23 likes to hide things about himself for idiotic reasons, but that’s no reason to think like a gossipy bitch about it. Good Lord!

Hoping to move on, Jeff answered him.

“Why don’t you go ask your lady friend down in engineering? I’m sure she’d love a visit.”

A puzzled expression passed over 23’s face.

“What are you insinuating, exactly?”

Oh, I don’t know, the thing that literally everyone who read the last story was saying every three seconds?

Joker smirked.

“C’mon. You have to have noticed. I mean unless that mask of yours has been making it hard to see, reading Tali should be pretty obvious.”

Silence.

“She’s insane about you!”

Thank you, someone finally decided to pipe up about that.

23’s eyebrows furrowed.

“She’s interested, obviously, but I wouldn’t say—”

“I would. I get it though. She’s in a bucket, and you’re a…. popsicle. Chances of it working are slim.”

“Especially once you find out she was having naked fantasies about you when she didn’t know you that well. That would be cause to—”

“I’M SO TORTURED! LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT ALL THE GENES I HAVE THAT VANISHED OFF THE GENE POOL!”

“… Never mind.”

Cole’s mouth tightened, and his eyes narrowed. Stepping forward, he placed his hands on the leather armrests of Jokers chair, causing the pilot to lean as far back as possible. Had he made a fatal mistake? Jeff wondered if this was his undoing. 23’s voice came through clearly, and the subtle anger was a smack in the face.

“She wears a MASK. So do I. You ever refer to it as anything else, I’ll shove a rifle up your ass and unload like you were a thresher maw.”

Good to see that Subject 23 is still a needlessly violent prick, and that he learned absolutely jack fucking squat from his previous adventures! I was almost afraid we woudn’t be snarking the same fic!

He let go of the chair, turning to walk away. Joker swallowed loudly.

“And besides. If you knew what they looked like under their helmets, you’d do everything you could to make it work.”

With that, 23 briskly stepped away, leaving Jeff to contemplate his words.

And then we mercifully get a line break to…

The door opened with a quiet hiss, allowing 23 entrance into the science lab. Mordin was standing along the wall, stacking crates. He appeared to be deep in personal thought.

“Brutes. All of them. No respect for fragile medical equipment.”

He checked the side of a box, reading the list of what it contained.

“Ah. Not medical equipment. Old bio-weapon design. Should be more careful with this.”

Which is why you’re handling it like a Rubik’s cube, right?

“Uh, Mordin?”

The Salarian turned, eyes wide at the site of 23.

“Ah! Glad you’re here. Reviewed message. You wanted to check in?”

23 nodded. They slowly made their way over to the worktable, where Mordin rapidly pushed bacteria cultures and test results, hoping to clear it.

And he did it by pushing the results to the side. I hope he likes the idea of fucking up his experiments, because that’s exactly what he’s gonna get!

“So. Don’t completely comprehend what you desire. As you know, Quarian physiology is difficult to-”

“I know. Mordin, I’m not here asking for a cure.”

The scientist breathed in, meeting 23’s eyes with his own.

“Good. Such ideas, while good for morale, can be dangerous. Quarian race has always had immunosuppressant physiology. Hope that we could cure them of needing suit is improbable, bordering on the impossible. You know this, though, do you not?”

Wow, really? You decided not to have your self-centered character who wants to love Tali ask for a cure for Mordin? Really?

Excuse me while I bang my head against a wall.

[Scene Redacted for Extreme Violence]

… Holy shit, it actually happened. The one thing that Talimancers usually go out of their way to do, and Eezoman actually intentionally avoided it. What has this world come to that the fucking epitome of shitty Talimancer writing actually avoided the one pitfall that these things get into!?

I just… how!?

23 nodded. In the back of his mind, it occurred to him that unless Tali’s planet was retaken, she would never be able to live permanently outside the suit. He did hope that his suggestion would be possible to accomplish though.

“Again, I’m not here for a cure. But I do know that Quarians can leave their suit for extended periods of time with help from stronger antibiotics and experimental drugs, correct?”

Mordin started talking as soon as 23 ended. The Salarian was always moving. At first it had made Cole wary of the doctor, but with time, he had learned to accept it.

“Correct. However, drugs lose effect with multiple uses. Why? What are you suggesting?”

23 leaned in close, motioning Mordin to do the same. The scientist moved closer, and they huddled over the desk.

And then they fucked, and Mordin bore eight beautiful hybrid children to 23, because it turned out some of those genes that vanished off the gene pool allowed him to have babies with literally everything!

*BAM*

Okay, that’s not what actually happens, but given this series, would you really be surprised?

“On Adrun, Tali was hurt. However, after Chakwas patched her up, she wasn’t sick. The doctor thinks it had something to do with her close proximity to me. To the cold. I don’t know if it’s possible, but maybe I can use this…my ice to…”

He paused. What did he say here? Why did he want to help? She didn’t NEED to leave her suit. In fact, the only reason he could think she would need to would be-

Oh.

Why hadn’t that occurred to him earlier? Panicked, Cole looked up, hoping the doctor didn’t come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately, it was all too obvious on Mordin’s features.

“Ah. Desire to mate with crewmate Tali’Zorah? Unexpected, but not a problem. Glad to see two young people happy. Good that you’re taking the effort to keep her safe. That is the reason, correct?”

23 stood there, eyes wide. The old Salarian stared at him, patiently waiting for an answer. For the first time since he had taken it off, he missed his mask. He couldn’t answer Mordin. Was it true? Is that what he wanted?

Dude, you’re in a shitty Talimance fic. It’s practically a given! Are you really asking yourself that?

He liked her, sure, but…

Oh, you just like her? What was that scene in your room earlier? She didn’t need to know your name

Another voice combated his current one.

She deserved to know. Besides. It wouldn’t work. You don’t deserve her

Everyone, say it with me:

at that conclusion, Cole agreed. Despite ridding himself Miranda, he still had many issues to deal with. It wouldn’t be fair to put that on her. Looking back up at Mordin, who stood, eyes wide, he answered.

“No, sorry. I owe her a big favor, and this way, if she ever wants to …do that…then she’ll be safer.”

Something did bother him though. At the thought of another person in Tali’s life, a significant other; he felt a spasm of anger in his chest. Like a needle popping a balloon.

See? It’s practically predestined! Sadly…

Mordin accepted his answer without question.

“Ah. Correction. Shame though. Tali’Zorah seemed interested in you as more than just acquaintances.”

23 fought the urge to sigh.

Isn’t this supposed to be a military ship?

It’s supposed to be, but that’s not what we’ve been getting. Why do you think we’ve been calling it Normandy High for so long?

The doctor continued.

“Interesting conclusion however. Possible gene therapy might have created sterile….”

Mordin petered out, obviously deep in thought. Without warning, he looked up, eyes wide with excitement.

“23! Need to perform some tests. If calculations correct, huge breakthrough on verge!”

*facepalm*

Well, it was nice knowing you, Dr. Solus, but—

Cole glared at the doctor. It wasn’t a secret that he wasn’t a fan of medical experiments. Thankfully, Mordin realized this.

“All I ask is that you hold out your arm. No pain necessary. Just performing scans.”

Shrugging slowly, 23 raised his arm, placing it over the device. After a few seconds of silence, Mordin’s eyes drifted to the computer, where the results were starting to appear. From what Cole could tell, the scientist was in shock. Looking up, he motioned for 23 to look with him. What the assassin saw was confusing, to say the least. The data consisted of various numbers and a small graph in the corner.

Well, I’ll give this: at least this prose isn’t needlessly vague anymore. I think Taco would appreciate that.

“Uh, Mordin? I’m a killer, not a scientist. What does this mean?”

The doctor’s voice, which had lost some of the volume due to excitement, was hard to hear.

“Just as I thought. Genetic structure is changed, which is molecularly fused with water vapor. Not the important part, I apologize. As you know, bacteria cannot survive at cold temperatures. Normally suggests that only your cold armor would be sterile. Not so. Human body designed to rid itself of harmful bacteria. Because you control the water in the air, that effect is spread out much further than a normal human.”

What.

23 grasped at what the doctor was trying to explain.

“So you’re saying that my body is using the water around itself to repel bacteria?”

Mordin frowned.

“Part of it. Not making connections, 23. Your body has a mutualistic condition with water molecules. You control it, and, in this case, it carries some of your cellular makeup with it.”

“Wait…That means I’m just made of water? That doesn’t—”

“No. Your body creates cells that attach themselves to the water AROUND you. This condition makes area your body sterile. However, this only works for the close vicinity. Human skin cells die off fairly quickly. They must continue to shed themselves.”

It dawned on 23.

Starting to make some sense now

“Does that mean…Can we use this?”

Mordin turned away from him, lost in his thought process once more. After a few seconds, he looked back at 23.

“Yes.”

23 stood straighter, a look of determination on his face.

“Let’s get to work then.”

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

And somewhere, an actual microbiologist is crying at what can only be described as pseudosciency poppycock. Which is remarkable, considering we’re going off of X-Men style genetics here.

I mean, cold kills bacteria? That does not explain why people have found bacteria in fucking Antarctica, of all places. Like, seriously, would someone like to give Mordin a little reminder about how microbiology and cold climates actually work, please? Because even for this fucking story, this is ludicrous.

And wait, hang on… So the water is suddenly able to carry 23’s genetic material because… because… I can’t tell if it’s because his old skin cells go into the water or his body specifically creates cells that allow him to have some telepathic communication with the water, or whatever the fuck it’s supposed to be. Point is, the water is suddenly able to hold his genetic material, and that is somehow supposed to do [DATA NOT AVAILABLE] to cure Tali.

*headdesk*

You know what? It’s time to revive the old counters, ladies and gentlemen!

*hits buzzer*

Because Water Count: 19

Yep, we’re even picking up from where we left off last time! Hope you don’t mind, Ert!

After that, we get a line break, and…

The elevator was taking far too long. Tali wondered if her time would be best served in speeding up the process. She knew that distracting herself was the best course of action. It allowed her to cope with the growing panic that threatened to explode if she focused on it too much.

Treason. Why? What have I ever done to threaten the fleet? Oh Keelah, I can’t even…

Oh dear Lord, we get to play host to this fic’s version of Tali’s loyalty mission, don’t we? Well, on the plus side, it’ll distract us from this series’ massive fucking hateboner for Cerberus for a few chapters…

How could this be? She had always worked for the good of the fleet. The mere idea that she could have damaged her people sent chills down her spine.

I’ll tell Shepard. She might be able to….No. I can’t. She has to prepare for the mission. Not fly off into the galaxy to help her friend. I need to take care of this myself

Then again, could she? The mere thought of facing the Admiralty board, least of all her father, almost knocked the breath out of her. What if they were right? What if, because of some careless reason, she had endangered the fleet? Tears came to her eyes. If she was convicted, she could never go back. She could never see her friends again, or spend time with her family, what little remained.

Father. What is he thinking right now? I can’t even imagine…

She felt trapped. There was no one who she could…

… And she’s going to tell 23 all about it, isn’t she?

The elevator reached the second floor, opening with a hiss. 23 stood there, eyes bored. It was obvious that the speed of the elevator was starting to get on his nerve, just as it had like everyone else. At the sight of Tali, his eyes perked up slightly, and a pleasant smile crossed his lips. He stepped into the elevator, turning his head to make conversation.

“Tali. How are you?”

Inwardly, Cole sighed. He didn’t know why he always sounded so formal.

He waited for an answer, but none came. She was looking at 23, her body leaned towards him. He felt a warm feeling cross his face. Was something wrong? Tali seemed to be making her mind up on something.

“23…”

He answered.

“What’s wrong?”

Tali turned away, either from embarrassment or sadness, he didn’t know. Her tone suggested the latter, and he felt the air in the elevator turn dull.

“I…I need your help.”

He took a step forward, placing a hand on her turned shoulder.

“What is it? I’ll help.”

Her body jolted at his touch, and she felt a burst of joy at the sensation. It was almost a reminder that he was real. That she had someone there to assist her.

Who would then shove his throbbing man carrot into her pussy, where it would promptly get eaten by a coochipede and then we’d forget this whole fic ever happened.

“I’ve just gotten a message from the Admiralty board. 23…”

She turned to look at him, her silver eyes carrying sadness, while his held slight compassion.

“I’m…being charged with treason. I don’t know why, or how, but…They…I have to return soon.”

“Have you told Shepard yet?”

Tali lowered her head, thinking over his words.

“No…But I can’t. The mission’s too important. I can’t ask her to drop everything and fly me to the Flotilla.”

Huh, isn’t this funny? She’s all freaking out about how she can’t distract from Shepard’s mission. You know, versus the version of Tali that immediately told Shepard “hey, this is what’s going on, here’s what happens if I don’t show up, please take me there”. Gee, if I didn’t know any better, I’d almost say this is stripping Tali of any agency she’s ever had as a character!

23 raised an eyebrow. Before she could react, he had jammed his thumb onto the deck 1 button. She stared at the lit icon for a moment, her mind registering what had happened. Realizing where they were headed, she turned, eyes glaring at 23, hoping for an explanation.

The side of his mouth jerked upwards, creating a smooth half-smile.

“If you don’t tell her, I will. I’m not letting you go off and stand there while they pin bogus charges on you.”

*headdesk*

Of course. It’s a goddamn Subject 23 sequel. What the fuck else was I expecting?

Tali’s tone turned, sounding annoyed.

“I can handle myself just fine, 23.”

Cole’s smile went full, and he turned to face the door.

What Cole should say: “bitch, I’m the Gary Stu! You can’t do anything without me to help you!

What he actually says:

“Against enemies, sure. Geth, Cerberus, Reapers…But against your family…I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t at least try to help you.”

Can someone please get Vixen Sharp-Ears in here? I’d love to hear her give him this speech:

Tali stared at him a while longer. When she heard his final sentence, her heart dropped again. She kept forgetting that it WOULD be against her family. The people that raised her were the ones posting the charges. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, 23 was right. She couldn’t just go back to face them. It would be impossible for her to succeed alone. Instantly, Tali felt weak. How could she compare to 23, who had taken on his living nightmare, and come out strong, while she couldn’t even handle charges from her family?

Because he’s a Gary Stu, dear. Speaking of which…

*hits buzzer*

Gary Stu Count: 31

Not to mention, don’t you think it’s hilarious how this ploy to rob Tali of any agency and make 23 the only one who does anything around here negates his whole “I write women, what’s your problem” bitching in the last fic? Because he’s certainly doing a good job of robbing Tali of the things that made her strong just to make the man look strong!

“You must think I’m pathetic.”

Tali’s voice echoed quietly in the elevator. 23 turned, his face displaying his confusion.

“Pathetic? What makes you say that?”

Don’t you even start, Stu!

She breathed in, lowering her head defeatedly.

“I can’t even handle a meeting with the people who raised me alone. Tell me that isn’t pathetic.”

23 turned to face her again, this time bringing his left hand up, placing it reassuringly on her shoulder.

“Tali, I’ve seen you fight. You aren’t pathetic at all. What you did on Horizon alone merits you credit. It’s hard to go against the people we love, especially in a situation like this. I don’t know what they’re talking about, but I promise that I’ll do what I can to help.”

She brought her head up, while at the same time, placing her hand on his arm, holding it in place.

“I…Thank you, 23. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but…Thank you.”

He smiled again, causing her breath to catch in her throat.

“Hey. You did the same for me.”

Oh dear, and here we go. Lemme just go get the corny music…

Proceed.

Tali felt something draw her towards him. Slowly, she took a step forward, placing her left hand on his armored chest. Her body felt warm in his presence, and it was hard to pull away from it. 23 noticed the movement. It was evident from the surprise on his face.

“I did it because, well….You know I care.”

Under the mask, she bit her lip subconsciously.

“Right?”

Cole couldn’t say anything. For some reason, he couldn’t operate his brain. All he knew was that it had something to do with the close proximity to her. To answer her question, he simply nodded. Tali pushed further again, ignoring the voice yelling in her head to stop. It had been itching inside her skull for so long, she needed to test her boundaries with him.

“And….you care…the same amount….right?”

His mouth opened as he tried to speak, but he found it impossible. He was caught by something, and he wondered if it was her eyes. They were less than two feet apart, yet it felt like she was inches away from his lips. Cole knew what she was asking. His problem was difficult however. Did he tell her how he felt, or simply keep her a friend?

-Safer. Better. Easier? THINK

*disinterestedly eats popcorn*

Can we just get to the obvious thing that will stop the obvious sexual tension build-up and will delay the inevitable confession until later, please?

The air in the elevator was tense, almost to the point it could snap. Thankfully, 23 was spared a break.

DING!

They both turned as the door opened, eyes reading the words Deck 1. They had arrived at their destination.

Thank you.

23 coughed briefly, then turned back to Tali, whose eyes turned back to his, patiently waiting for the answer to her question. Giving a nervous smile, Cole answered.

“I…uh. Yeah. Of course I care Tali. You’re a friend. I always take care of my friends.”

Cole turned, stepping out of the elevator quickly. He could feel her gaze piercing his back, and he inwardly groaned.

What the hell was that? Apparently you learned NOTHING in Italy about being smooth

Why is that so shocking to you? You didn’t learn anything else from your incredibly moronic journey into other video games despite the fact that that was the entire narrative point of that whole thing anyway; why do you think that would stick?

Tali meanwhile, hadn’t even noticed. She was too busy mulling over his words.

Specifically, one.

Friends? Keelah…He doesn’t…I’m not…I’m just a friend to him?

She blushed profusely upon this realization, lowering her head again.

Damn it! I’ve ruined any possibility of…and that….what was I thinking? How could I just go and make a move like that? I thought he LIKED being forward…

Ah, but you are a woman, good madam! You’re not allowed to do anything!

Cole turned to face her, fighting to keep his face from turning red while he spoke.

“Ready? The sooner we tell Shepard, the sooner we solve this problem.”

“…Right…”

The door opened, revealing Shepard sitting at her desk, focused intently on her screen.

“Shepard?”

Alicia jumped. Turning, she glanced at both Tali and 23. Standing up, she turned her station off, walking over to meet them.

“23…Did anyone ever tell you not to sneak up on the captain is busy?”

But ma’am, your grammar is fucked right now!

His eyebrow rose.

“Busy with what?”

Alicia shook her head convincingly.

“Mission reports. Nothing important.

Then why the fuck did you open the conversation by berating him for sneaking up on the captain? I swear, the way people talk in this fucking series…

Anyways, what can I do for the two of you?”

23 pointed towards Tali nonchalantly.

Tali took a step forward, her fingers playing with each other silently. Her voice started out shaky, but held strong with conviction.

“Shepard, I…I don’t mean to delay from the mission, but I need your help.”

Alicia frowned, motioning for them to come in. The door shut behind them with a quiet hiss.

And of course that means we’re going to get that infodump offscreen, right?

Eh, I’m just glad we already got it once.

Anyway, we get a line break and we cut to…

The elevator was slow. This wasn’t new to Garrus, but it stuck in his mind heavily. Why was it slow? Why did it have to be? Every elevator he’d ever been on was like this. He didn’t need this right now. Right now, Garrus needed to get to Shepard. He needed her help.

What is it with shitty Mass Effect fanfiction and their incessant need to comment on the series’ elevators? It was funny as a running gag in a good fic, but in fics like these it’s just like “why do they bother bringing it up”.

Also, oh shit, I forgot about this fic’s Shakarian romance. God, this is going to be a weird read after When You’re Strange

He brought his arm up, checking his omni-tool. The message was still open, and he scanned the words again, for the thousandth time.

The Citadel: Fade: Lower Docks

It was a short message from his contacts, and there were a small set of minute details along with the information, yet he didn’t care. With that information alone, Garrus could find Sidonis. All he needed was transportation, and some assistance. He figured it wouldn’t be too hard convincing Shepard. He knew she was trustworthy. Finally, the lift reached the captains deck, and the was at the door before it opened.

Oh, so now it’s time for Garrus’ loyalty mission too, eh? Well, this ought to be interesting…

Something was wrong though. Instead of silence, Garrus picked up on voices inside the cabin. When the door opened, he could clearly hear 23 and Tali’s voice alongside Alicia’s.

They were walking up the steps, Tali walking in front of 23, who was the first to notice Garrus. He smiled pleasantly, about to say hello. The Turian cut him off mid-word.

“Shepard. Are you busy?”

Oh wow, he just ignored 23. I think that’s the first sensible approach to a greeting from him in the entire series that we’ve gotten!

He almost blurted it out. Garrus didn’t care. The sooner he told her, the sooner they could get to the Citadel. Alicia looked at him curiously, a slight blush building. Could he be here for that specific reason?

*headdesk*

Oh my God, she looks at him, and blushes when she asks about that?

*headdesk*

Good God, Shepard, your crewmates have other reasons to come to you aside from confessing their undying love to you, you know!

“Yes, Garrus?”

“I’ve found Sidonis.”

Like that, for instance.

*BAM*

The cabin went silent, as Tali and 23 stood on the side, not sure if they should leave. Upon realization that Garrus was blocking the entrance though, they decided to remain quiet. Alicia sighed inwardly, yet nodded.

*frown*

Why does sighing inwardly become exclusive from a nodding motion? I just… what?

“That’s good. Where is he?”

“The Citadel. We have to go.”

Alicia started to speak, but stopped briefly.

“Well, we’ll head there as soon as we get back from the Migrant Fleet.”

Okay, that’s fair, I guess. It could be taken as a sign that things are about to go—

Garrus froze. Before, he had been running at maximum speed, talking very fast. Now, he had to process her words. When he did, he resumed his previous velocity.

Dude, Eezofuck, stop trying so hard to make your prose sound all pretty and shit. It’s really not working out!

“Wait? No! We can’t wait, Shepard. By the time we get there, he’ll be gone.”

Tali jumped in at this point.

“I’m sorry Garrus, but I need to get to the Flotilla. There’s an urgent—”

“I can’t fly across the galaxy and leave my target, just because you’re homesick!”

Immediately, Tali’s eyes narrowed, and her stance became more aggressive.

“Excuse me? I am not some teary-eyed child, looking to see my family! There’s something that’s happened at the fleet, and I need to go back to find out what!”

Oh hey, there’s the fiery Tali’Zorah we all knew! Can we all have that Tali in this fic instead of the submissive, lovesick pretender we’ve had throughout the whole series, pretty please?

“Contrary to popular belief Tali, I think your people can handle it on your own. There’s over a million engineers in the Flotilla, but only one Sidonis. You have no idea what I’ve given up to find him!”

Well, just be thankful you didn’t have to give up a quarter-turian hybrid to do so.

“Why you…You….”

At this point, Both Tali and Garrus turned to Shepard, who took a step back defensively. Garrus was the one to point out the dilemma.

“Who are you going to help, Shepard? Me or Tali?”

Wow, Garrus, when did you turn into a fucking dick? I know you get obsessed with revenge on Sidonis to the point where you nearly torture him when you find Harken in your loyalty mission, but shouting Tali down without even asking her why she needs to go back to the Fleet? For that alone, I’d just tell Garrus to go back to the corner and think about what he did, before just speeding straight off to the Fleet.

Alicia felt trapped. What could she do? She had already promised Tali, but she couldn’t just leave Garrus on his own.

“I…Don’t know. I’ll think of something, just give me some time.”

Or you could be Alicia Shepard, who is thinking “do I help a good friend, or do I help the guy I want to bone”. At least this time, she’s actually trying to de-escalate a tense situation, but it’s not enough because why the fuck is she not calling him out for talking down to her?

“What time? Shepard, there is no more time. I’ve got to move now to catch him.”

“Don’t talk down to me Vakarian, I am your commanding officer, and don’t think I won’t use my authority to shut you down.”

Wow, the ladies are finding their independence now. Where the hell was this in the last fic?

“Please Shepard. I thought we were past that. What happened to friends helping friends?”

That shit stopped when you thought it was a good idea to talk down to said friends because “waaaaah, they won’t help me on my quest for vengeance”. You don’t get to tell them they’re being shitty friends and then complain that they’re not being friendly to you back, Garrus. The world doesn’t work like that.

“STOP.”

Everyone turned, their eyes finding 23. He was confident in his step, walking past Tali and standing next to Shepard.

“Look. I have an idea, and it might help everyone out.”

*headdesk*

Oh for fuck’s sake, of course 23 is the only one who is able to do anything around here. Like, seriously, Shepard and Garrus and Tali get into an argument about whose loyalty mission to do first, and 23 ends up needing to solve their problems, instead of their actual fucking commanding officer!

*hits buzzer*

Gary Stu Count: 32

Alicia turned to him, her eyes attempting to pierce his.

“What do you have in mind?”

23 took a step back, leaning on her desk.

“We’re close to the Mass Relay for the Valhalla system, right? Why don’t we just fly through, and we can deploy the Kodiak to the Flotilla. It’s another system away, but it’s got an FTL drive, so it’ll take…what, 19 hours?”

Yes, and by that time, what the fuck can you do, anyway? 19 hours is a long-ass time, and by that time Garrus will probably just have finished with Sidonis.

In fact, why the hell doesn’t he tell Tali to just tell the admirals to wait a few days? After all, the games didn’t exactly mention how much time would need to pass before the admirals tried her in absentia: maybe it’s possible for the admirals to wait a little bit longer before Tali’s trial passes? And I know that the geth are overrunning the Alarei, but Tali doesn’t know that yet!

*headdesk*

Jesus, not only is 23 the only one who can do anything around here, he’s doing something about a conflict that doesn’t even have a good reason to exist!

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

Alicia listened intently, then started to think. It was possible.

“I’m not sending Tali alone.”

23’s eyes met Shepard’s.

“I’ll go.”

Oh, and of course 23 goes on Tali’s loyalty mission. This wouldn’t be Normandy High if he didn’t find some way to spend time with his lady love to be, now would it?

Alicia gave a small smirk. Raising an eyebrow, she met his proposal with another.

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

*GONG*

… Goddammit, Cerbersheep, that wasn’t even the right deck of the Normandy!

“I’m not sending the two of you on an unknown mission. I’ll get Zaeed and Kasumi to help you out. If that’s alright with you, Tali.”

The Quarian in question was busy staring at 23. He might have just allowed her to keep the trial date.

*BAM*

Well, on the plus side, it’s good to know Eezofuck still thinks his audience is full of stupid children that just bash his fic because it’s cool.

Turning to Shepard, she gave a quick nod.

Alicia turned to Garrus.

“What about you, Vakarian. Does that fit your wishes?”

Garrus dropped his eyes to the ground, muttering a quiet yes. He hadn’t meant to be so pushy, and being called out on it by his love interest was a smack to the ego.

Wow, not even the fic is denying that Alicia Shepard is little more than a prettied-up Shepard meant to fuck Garrus at some point. You gotta give Eezoman credit, at least he finally admitted why he wrote this thing the way he did.

Alicia then clapped her hands, waking everyone from the quiet atmosphere.

“Alright. Tali, 23, you leave as soon as we reach the Valhalla system. Be prepared, I’m plugging in the order now. Gather what you need. It’ll be about three days before we can pick you up.”

Everyone started to exit the cabin, while 23 and Tali walked behind Garrus and Shepard. 23 turned to the Quarian, and muttered into her earpiece.

“Well, things are looking up, right?”

She merely smiled under her mask. Breathing a quick sigh of relief, she turned to him.

“Yes.”

Yes, but they’re still looking just as stupid as you’d expect from this fic.

Anyway, we get a line break, and we cut to…

The smell of liquid rock filled the landscape, as the sound of magma capsules popping added a surreal effect.

The volcanic crater on Adrun was large, and the walls were near impossible to climb. For Cerberus operative Miranda Lawson, it was a living nightmare.

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

Oh for fuck’s sake, really? You got the chance to kill Miranda off after you made it perfectly clear that you have the hardest hateboner ever developed for a character in the history of fanfiction, and you went with it, and you didn’t even actually finish the job!?

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

Jesus fuck, man: can this fic be anything but a half-assed mess of contradictory ideas and Awesome McEvils for ten seconds? Good God, what is wrong with this series!?

The air was slowly killing her, and she knew it. Only by creating brief pockets of breathable oxygen with her biotics kept her alive so far.

Really? Oxygen is the biggest problem with being trapped in a volcano? I just… I…

*headdesk*

Taco, would you be so kind?

Currently, Miranda was dragging herself to the crater wall. It was miles high, but she would not give up. Her legs were broken, as multiple bones were sticking from the skin. She had long lost feeling in her lower body, and her mind was bordering on the insane.

And somehow, those bones sticking out from the skin didn’t result in extreme infections that should’ve killed her. I’m tempted to give this fic a free pass on this since being that close to lava might exclude microbes from being an issue, but I doubt it’s that hot if she’s able to crawl around without cooking to death.

Kill. 23. Kill. 23. Get shuttle. Heal. Tali’Zorah. Burn-

Somehow, she had survived. Despite the impossible task in front of her, she was determined to succeed.

Unfortunately, so was 47.

Oh, and she’s also with you. That’s also an issue.

Lawson. How convenient.

Miranda turned, her red eyes focusing on the source of the sound. For a second, she thought it was lava. Instead, the blood-red skin of Subject 47 caught her attention.

I can use you. We both want 23 dead.

So does that mean Subject 47 is the new person we get to root for? God, I wish I could just forget that she’s the Subject 23 universe’s equivalent of this:

You know, so we can root for her.

Approaching the half-dead human, 47 crouched beside Miranda, stroking the scorched hair from her heat-burned face.

Sadly, you are too weak to survive. I just needed some more blood to make it out of this hellhole. I’m sorry, Lawson, but it’s just business.

No, it’s just your ladyboner for your man getting in the way of your rational processes. You know, like the hormonal bimbo that this series seems to think every woman is.

Miranda knew what was coming. Her mind couldn’t focus around it, but the words “Just business” stuck, and she started to scream, the sound building in her strained vocal chords. 47 giggled madly, reaching for Miranda’s face. Upon touching it, blood leaked from her eyes, mouth, and nose, causing her to scream even more shrilly. As the operative’s voice started to short out, 47’s took off.

Soon, all that echoed over the blackened landscape was 47’s dry, high-pitched shriek of joy.

Well, at least she’s finally dead. God, I can’t believe I just said that about a character I actually kinda like in the games, but in this fic, this bashing of her just got insufferable.

Anyway, that finally ends the chapter. So of course, we go to an author’s note, in which…

People who read the last story are freaking out right now.

No, we’re just sitting here wondering how this could possibly get any dumber.

People who didn’t, are scratching their heads, wondering what the hell is going on. Hope you guys are looking forward to the next chapter. Leave a review. That’s the only reason I do this. For you guys.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Tell me, why was it you bitched at us very same folks you supposedly wrote this for when we said what you didn’t want to hear?

Exactly. So don’t give me none of that “I do this for you” bullshit.

Also, be sure to ask questions if things don’t make sense. I’ll answer them in the A/N’s.

Good luck with that: no amount of answers in the world will cover the fact that your fic is ultimately an incredibly stupid, poorly plotted piece of shit.

Hope Cryonics started out well for you!

If by that you mean “it was business as usual with this stupid franchise”, then yes, it started out about as well as I could expect it to.

And that’s about where I’m going to end it for this week, folks. And yeah, we’re pretty much getting more of the same bullshit that we saw in the original Subject 23 here. Aren’t you guys just so excited?

At least this time, we’re breaking up the stupid with different shipfic stupid. That oughta lessen the blow, right?

Right?

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78 Comments on “1485: Normandy High 2: Cryogenic Boogaloo – Chapter One”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    1485: Normandy High 2: Cryogenic Boogaloo – Chapter One

    OH GOD

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    “My quarters. The outfit was getting hot.

    How it wasn’t getting hot before is really anybody’s guess.

    His outfit is made of ice. If it got hot, it would melt.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    And then they fucked, and Mordin bore eight beautiful hybrid children to 23, because it turned out some of those genes that vanished off the gene pool allowed him to have babies with literally everything!

    *BAM*

    Okay, that’s not what actually happens, but given this series, would you really be surprised?

    Well, it makes more sense than When You’re Strange

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    Cole couldn’t say anything. For some reason, he couldn’t operate his brain.

    And this is different from his usual condition… how, exactly?

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    Only by creating brief pockets of breathable oxygen with her biotics kept her alive so far.

    Ok, how?

    Seriously, how?

    I don’t think there’s a biotic in the galaxy with enough control over their abilities to cause chemical reactions.

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    Currently, Miranda was dragging herself to the crater wall. It was miles high, but she would not give up. Her legs were broken, as multiple bones were sticking from the skin. She had long lost feeling in her lower body, and her mind was bordering on the insane.

    And somehow, those bones sticking out from the skin didn’t result in extreme infections that should’ve killed her. I’m tempted to give this fic a free pass on this since being that close to lava might exclude microbes from being an issue, but I doubt it’s that hot if she’s able to crawl around without cooking to death.

    I’m actually willing to give this a pass since we really have no idea how long this has been since she was injured and infections take time to develop.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      It’s most likely been a while, though: Shepard and the gang have had time to fly off and maybe do other shit, so that’s several hours at the very least.

    • DasCheesenBorgir says:

      Well, on the plus side, it’ll distract us from this series’ massive fucking hateboner for Cerberus for a few chapters…

      The Illusive Man killed the real Admiral Zaal’Koris and then impersonated him by just wearing his suit

      the ultimate goal was to upset the political stalemate throughout the Flotilla regarding a war with the Geth to drive the two into mutual obliteration

      the rogue ‘Geth’ that Rael accidentally activated were in fact highly trained Cerberus operatives implanted with anti-sterility water powers extracted from the water present in the liquid magma of their volcano base which was fused with 23’s DNA who managed to squeeze themselves into Geth husks using the water present inside the white synthetic fluid that Geth have inside them, explaining why they still ‘die’ after being shot to pieces because the water leaves their bodies

      and also just for shits and giggles Illusive Man also spun up a tale about the ‘Qwib Qwib’ to posthumously mock the deceased Admiral

  7. *Sees title and is confused*

    *Sees actual title and realized what’s happening*

    *Screams in pain*

  8. BatJamags says:

    –Isn’t this supposed to be a military ship?–

    For the 1,275,627th time, pointing out why your story is stupid doesn’t make it not stupid.

  9. BatJamags says:

    So…

    Eezoman didn’t wait long to bring in another bullshit water power, did he? “I control water, so therefore nothing near me can have bacteria, viruses, or allergens.” The fuck?!

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      I get the feeling he was going for something else, but it’s so poorly explained I have no idea what to make of it.

  10. BatJamags says:

    “Tali. How are you?”

    Inwardly, Cole sighed. He didn’t know why he always sounded so formal.

    Formal? All Asshole 23 said was her name, and then “How are you?” I mean, I personally might’ve gone for a “Hi” or a “Hello,” but it’s still a fairly normal greeting.

  11. BatJamags says:

    Who would then shove his throbbing man carrot into her pussy, where it would promptly get eaten by a coochipede and then we’d forget this whole fic ever happened.

    You forgot the part where he releases the feeling of his penis.

  12. BatJamags says:

    Can we just get to the obvious thing that will stop the obvious sexual tension build-up and will delay the inevitable confession until later, please?

    I think it’s telling that I couldn’t even remember whether or not they already shacked up in the last fic without this one explicitly spelling it out for me. Can they stop dancing around it please?

    Pretty please?

    No?

    OK, then.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Yeah. Like, seriously, it’s just a shit romance. I want it to just get there, but I know when it gets there I’ll be annoyed because sap.

      And speaking of sap… Oh God, next chapter of this…

  13. BatJamags says:

    Miranda knew what was coming. Her mind couldn’t focus around it, but the words “Just business” stuck, and she started to scream, the sound building in her strained vocal chords. 47 giggled madly, reaching for Miranda’s face. Upon touching it, blood leaked from her eyes, mouth, and nose, causing her to scream even more shrilly. As the operative’s voice started to short out, 47’s took off.

    Soon, all that echoed over the blackened landscape was 47’s dry, high-pitched shriek of joy.

    Well, that was unnecessarily brutal. Guess we’re picking up right back where we left off.

  14. BatJamags says:

    Well, it seems like the stupid concentration here is just as high as it ever was.

    In fact, I don’t see why this needed to be a separate fic. Why not just continue Normandy High Part the First?

    Oh, right, because then it wouldn’t have 23 chapters. Cute.

  15. Delta XIII says:

    Title: Subject 23: Cryonics

    Fucking WHAT?!

  16. TacoMagic says:

    We are currently at vector 5-7-9 angled at a 382% dip

    Which doesn’t tell EDI anything because three integers are insufficient to define a vector in 3-dimensional space and a “dip” requires a frame of reference that wasn’t provided. Not to mention that only an idiot would design a spatial orientation system based on percentages.

    Amazing on how trying to sound smart without doing any research often makes you sound immensely stupid instead.

  17. TacoMagic says:

    Genetic structure is changed, which is molecularly fused with water vapor

  18. TacoMagic says:

    No. Your body creates cells that attach themselves to the water AROUND you.

    Don’t stand too close to 23 or his cellular water aura will make you pregnant.

  19. erttheking says:

    …..NO! NO! I CAN’T GO BACK! I CAN’T GO BACK! I DID MY TIME!

  20. erttheking says:

    (that’s a lie. I’m just too busy to make it EVEN better)

    Oh.

    *shrug*

    If nothing else, I appreciate the honesty.

    I can’t say I feel the same way…

  21. erttheking says:

    The silver shadow of the Normandy drifted amongst the blue and white nebulas as Joker gracefully caused the ship to float with seemingly no issue.

    After My Little Unicorn I’ve really grown to hate the word “seemingly.” So everything only SEEMED all right, huh?

    • TacoMagic says:

      The only thing I find worse than “seem” in writing (aside from rampant smirking, of course) is “slightly.”

      There are a lot of fics where if you were to take a shot for every time a character made an expression “slightly,” you’d be dead of alcohol poisoning before the end of the first scene.

      • erttheking says:

        I’m a lot easier on slightly, usually because it actually freaking means something. I use it, though I do tend to ask myself “Is it being ‘slightly’ the right word?” and “Have I used this word too much.”

    • SuperFeatherYoshi says:

      Yeah… That seemingly makes it feel like the Normandy is going to blow up in 5 seconds.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Hey, the last fic had that problem too!

  22. erttheking says:

    Joker, you shut up! Knowing this fic, the very next plot twist is likely going to be that Shepard is 23’s great-great-granddaughter or something. Don’t fucking jinx it and make it real!

    And there was semi-flirting in the first one. Ew ew ew ew ew ew

  23. erttheking says:

    He took off his ice outfit. Because it was hot. So is 23 stupid or is he fucking reality over a desk?

  24. erttheking says:

    Joker smirked.

    GONG GONG GONG GONG GONG GONG!

  25. erttheking says:

    23 threatens to shove a rifle up Joker’s ass.

    Narration claims his anger is subtle.

    Narration doesn’t know what subtle means.

  26. erttheking says:

    Have fun with those old counters! Try not to break them because you hit them when you were in the blinding rage. That happened to me a couple of times!

  27. erttheking says:

    Miranda’s alive! Wait…no she isn’t.

    Well…that was pointless.

  28. TacoMagic says:

    Really? Oxygen is the biggest problem with being trapped in a volcano? I just… I…

    *headdesk*

    Taco, would you be so kind?

    Yeah, I go this.

    • BatJamags says:

      Yeah, I go this.

      Don’t go there, go somewhere safer, like a beach or a forest or a non-volcanic mountain.

      • BatJamags says:

        Wow, I completely misinterpreted what that was a picture of. You’d think the burning-mound-of-flesh-that-used-to-be-Anakin-Skywalker would’ve tipped me off, but for some reason I thought that was a real volcano and the lava was a sky with a setting sun. Derp.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Thank you, Star Wars…

  29. "Lyle" says:

    And somewhere, an actual microbiologist is crying at what can only be described as pseudosciency poppycock.

    *muffle sobbing can be heard under Lyle’s desk*


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