1499: Normandy High 2: Cryogenic Boogaloo – Chapter Two

Title: Subject 23: Cryonics
Author: The Eezoman
Media:  Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Subject 23: Cryonics: Chapter 2
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back for more Subject 23. You guys ready? No? Because I’m sure as hell not ready for more.

Especially after the shitty Mortal Kombat lemons that we got last week. Good God, the shitty Mortal Kombat lemons are just…

*headdesk*

Anyway, we’re not here for the lemons, so let’s just pick back up with this and see where we wind up.

The next chapter starts with this:

Yeah, I’m alive. Sorry to disappoint some of you.

The only reason you’re disappointing is because you didn’t leave this shitstain off sooner.

I’m sorry I haven’t uploaded in forever guys. This chapter was hell to write. Also, school started up again, and I got GIRLFRIEND!

I… what? Eezofuck somehow got a girlfriend? With the way he talks about women and uses them in his shitty fanfiction? Let’s just hope she never reads this fic!

(Bragging. I know I DON’T CARE) Her name is Ash, and I like her, and she reads my stories.

Well then. How the hell she didn’t break up with you immediately after seeing the way you tend to write women is beyond our ability to comprehend, so let’s just move on.

So chances are that some of the – scenes will be based off of our -. LOOK FOWARD TO NEW CHAPTERS ALL ACROSS MY STORIES!

Yeah, yeah, what the fuck ever.

Anyway, we open the chapter proper with this:

Preparations for the trip went smoothly, mainly because of Shepard’s determination for this to work. Kasumi had agreed without question when asked to accompany Tali and 23, while Zaeed required some persuasion. This “persuasion” came in the form of full access to the lounge bar inventory when they returned.

Okay, this just in, folks: apparently, the best way to convince Zaeed to roll with something is to come up to him and be like “HEY, GUESS WHAT, EVERY BIT OF ALCOHOL ON THE SHIP IS YOURS!” Which makes you wonder why exactly it wasn’t available to him before. There probably was an explanation in there, but I care so little to know that explanation that I’m just not going to look it up.

However, 23 figured that the old mercenary was just acting up. He displayed more care for Tali than most other people, probably from the simple innocence she displayed towards him occasionally.

*facepalm*

Well, it’s good to see Tali is back to being her usual blank-headed bimbo self that she is in this series. That’s always a good thing to see, innit?

After venturing through the Mass Relay and entering the Valhalla Threshold, the four specialists entered the Kodiak without trouble, preparing for the long flight to the Migrant Fleet. Thankfully the ship had been outfitted with two small space cots, which would allow them to sleep in shifts, except for 23, who didn’t require sleep.

Let me guess, is it because water?

He did request that he be allowed to bring a medium sized tank of water for recharge if necessary.

*hits buzzer*

Because Water Count: 20

And while we’re doing that… Lyle, would you care to explain to Eezofuck here why this is a completely fucking stupid idea and why water would never be able to fix this in a million years?

Finally, the shuttle departed, leaving the Normandy behind.

From the bridge, Shepard and Garrus watched the shuttle embark. After making sure it cleared the ship far enough, Alicia turned to Garrus, who was already looking strained. If they didn’t make it to the Citadel soon, he might lose Fade, and by default, Sidonis. Shepard wasn’t going to let that happen. The Normandy turned, shooting back through the relay, headed on a warpath for the Prothean superstructure.

Dude, why the fuck would you want to destroy a fucking mass relay? Aside from the fact that it’s impossible to do so with one measly little frigate, that’d just destroy everyone, and then nobody would be in good hands!

*headdesk*

Jesus, this prose sometimes…

Anyway, we then cut to the folks on the Kodiak:

Tali and Kasumi watched the frigate disappear from view, the flash of blue leaving the two of them impressed.

“Well, that’s it. We’re on our own. Lets get you to the fleet.”

Tali nodded, turning back to the controls. She had studied the mechanics of the craft before, which allowed her to navigate the shuttle easily. Kasumi remained quiet, a small smile playing on her lips. Tali was focused, and she wouldn’t shatter that calm. She had enough to worry about right now, and perhaps burying herself with piloting was the best course of action.

You sure you don’t want to bury your head in 23’s chest? That seems to be your default mode for dealing with your problems in this fic, don’t you know!

Meanwhile, the battle raging in Tali’s head was far from calm. A mixture of emotions battled for control, along with her mind trying to distract her from the panicked sensation that was slowly starting to creep on her. It didn’t matter that she had mentally checked her actions in regards to the fleet. She knew they wouldn’t put her up on trial if they weren’t absolutely sure. The frustration built, as her mind pushed even further to find some possible reason.

Maybe I did something wrong on Haestrom? But Shepard helped! We saved lives, along with the data

Yes, and that was all while you were sitting there whining about how you’d never get to love someone before 23 promptly saved your stupid ass. Don’t think we haven’t forgotten that Haestrom scene, Eezofuck; unlike you, we can actually retain information about continuity.

Her mind shifted back to Freedom’s Progress. Veetor had survived, and provided valuable information on the Collectors. Perhaps it was the loss of her squad? It was plausible.

Yes, but then why did they wait until after Haestrom to lay that on you, instead of charging you for treason straight off? Also, I’d hate to be the commanding officer of any military where losing your squadmates (which, sad and messed up as it is, is generally a thing that just happens in a wartime environment) is considered a reason to try you for treason. I think you’d find that nobody would want to join your military.

*headdesk*

God, why is it that Tali is turning into an idiot even when she isn’t going on about how she wants to bang 23? That’s just…

*headdesk*

The other Quarian squad assisting them did support her official statement though.

What other quarian squad? There was just the one on Haestrom that 23-Stu’s antics saved and that was it, what the fuck is this fic even saying!?

I don’t know what it is or could be…We need to get there fast

Setting her mind back to piloting, Tali felt a stronger sense of determination take hold. Whatever it was, she would deal with it when it arose.

That’s a damn lie and you know it. We all know how this will go: you get there, you find out what happened, and then 23 will be the only one who gets to do anything around here. You know, like practically everything else involving Tali in this stupid fanfic.

Anyway, we then cut back to the Normandy, and…

The Normandy glided into the Citadel dock with ease, creating a contrasting atmosphere between the outside and inside of the warship. Shepard was standing in the CIC, ready to move out when Garrus arrived. Her mind was wondering, as it usually did before missions. It helped her remain calm.

I haven’t seen him since we separated with Tali. Has he been locked in the forward batteries the entire time?

Well, knowing this fic, he probably just came up with excuses to keep doing his calibartions and all that jazz.

The reality of what Garrus was after had started to sink into Alicia’s mind. Sidonis had killed the Turian’s squad on Omega, which made any attempt at revenge understandable. Alicia still carried a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. From what she had seen, this wasn’t the usual song and dance.

*BAM*

*hits buzzer*

Shepard The Shitty Leader Count: 33

Hey bimbo, it’s revenge. Of course it’s not going to be the usual song and dance, and I think you would know this considering the whole Dr. Heart thing that went down in ME1. Or are we just forgetting that that whole quest line was a thing?

Garrus had appeared to be possessed about finding this man, similar to what 23 displayed when they had first met.

*snerk*

“Possessed” about finding Sidonis? Oh man, I think it would be hilarious if the ghosts of all of his squad members came back and took over Garrus’ body one at a time to take over Sidonis. Or maybe all at once.

Hm, that sounds like the premise of an operetta! Gimme one sec to start writing it!

While his reasons were justified, it didn’t really seem like a good thing for his mental health. The same could be said for Garrus, who had seen far less affairs in his life.

Hey, it’s not like his dad had an affair with that quarter-turian hybrid he met back in college or anything!

The sound of an elevator arriving caught her attention. Turning, she spotted the door opening, revealing that familiar blue armor, along with the comforting sight of seeing it.

Ah, yes, the comforting sight of blue armor that’s cracked in a place from having been shot with a rocket launcher. Yes, I remember that feeling well…

The look of determination, and what appeared to be unbridled rage, was new. Spotting Shepard, Garrus walked briskly to her, opening his mouth to speak.

“I’m ready to head out. Let’s move.”

Shepard held a hand up.

“Wait, you just want it to be you and me? We can take someone else if you want.”

And you probably should take someone else. Granted, you don’t know that Harken is gonna be there waiting to ambush you, but it doesn’t hurt to take a little extra help. Especially since Mordin and Jacob are both right there.

Garrus shook his head, an impatient look playing on his face.

“There’s no time. I can’t risk losing this lead. We’ll get the job done.”

He started to walk past her.

“Just like we always used to.”

Or you can just go in by yourselves. I guess that works too.

It was a simple, friendly comment, but in the current situation, it was electrified, as if he expected so much more than what his words implied.

So were they more fraught with danger than they would normally have been, or were they not? Make up your mind, pretty please!

Shepard sighed, walking next to him. They had to head out to meet Fade. Hopefully she could find someway to make Garrus calm enough to work things out peacefully. If only he was so willing…

And that’s why we’re going to cut straight to the trial, right?

The airlock to the Alarei opened.

W-BWAH!?!?

I… We don’t even get the trial itself!?

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

Okay, wow. This fic is so half-assed it couldn’t even give us the trial that comes right at the start of this mission? That trial was there to establish shit, and we didn’t get that!? Are you for real? And also, you’re seriously telling me that you don’t want to explore what would happen if 23 were the guy sitting in the first half of the trial and not Shepard? That’s a whole story on its own, and while I have no doubt I’d be complaining about how little agency Tali gets like practically every other thing I bump into with her in this story, at least it’d be there for me to complain about!

But no, we just jump to the Alarei. Because reasons.

*BAM*

Eezofuck, I think you may have no idea how to do the thing you’re currently doing.

Tali’s feet carried her past the dead Quarian in the hall.

Well God, I hope it didn’t sprout arms while it did so. I don’t need any nightmare fuel right now, thank you very much.

She fought a small burst of panic, but when her suit interface identified the body, she relaxed.

Wait, her suit can identify bodies now? And it’s not, you know, that whole thing of body suit recognition that you get with quarians? I’m sure that’s a thing too, you know!

23 was right behind her, water forming the two javelins on his arms already. Approaching the actual entrance to the ship, Tali glanced back at her three squad members, all of who gave a nod that they were ready. Unlocking the door, they went in with guns blazing.

Or javelins blazing. Because, you know, 23. And watch, it’s just gonna be 23 owning everything again like he always does, isn’t it?

The first Geth noticed Tali first, who walked forward, shotgun out. The blast ripped through it’s chest piece, causing a burst of electrical sparks to extinguish it’s power. The other two turned, opening fire on the squad. 23 leaped into action, launching a spear through the left shoulder of one. He followed up the sequence with a quick roll over the counter they were taking cover by, and grabbed the impaled weapon harshly. Pulling, he ripped the blade from the machine and whirled around, striking the Geth hard. The ice shattered, as well as did the armor surrounding his enemy’s head. Next, he turned, throwing a ball of water at the next target,

The liquid hit the Geth in the torso, freezing the motors surrounding it’s joints. Zaeed leveled his rifle at the disabled target, opening fire. The exoskeleton guarding the machine splintered under the heavy assault, and it eventually dropping to the ground motionless.

*sigh*

Well, at least he wasn’t the only one with a chance to shine. It was still a pretty shitty action scene, though…

The squad started to lower their weapons, while 23 walked around the table when the sound of a shotgun blast sounded.

The slug took 23 off his feet, sending him flying onto the table. Tali, sensing where the round had come from, fired her pistol in the general direction. Immediately the Hunter’s cloaking device shorted, allowing Zaeed and Kasumi to focus their fire. Under the sustained assault, the combatant folded over, the loud electrical screech silenced.

*headdesk*

Really? Really? Eezofuck, we’ve seen this guy jump from the fucking stratosphere of Haestrom without sustaining any physical damage to his person. What makes you think we’ll believe for a second that a slug from a Geth hunter would be able to kill him?

Cole pushed himself up from the table, his ice already flowing back into the craters of the bullet holes in his armor.

Damn thing chipped the ice off the block

Yeah, see? He walked away from it fine. How is that supposed to be tension!?

He turned to Tali, who was watching him with an air of worry.

“I’m alright. Now that I know what to expect, I’ll be more aware.”

She nodded, and they started to walk into the next room.

And let me guess, more boring scene?

“We have to be careful. They could be hiding anywhere.”

The assassin noticed a tone of urgency in Tali’s voice. It sounded as if she was trying to hide it.

“I don’t want to waste time though. I…There could still be survivors.”

“Tali.”

She turned to look at 23, who was staring at her from behind his black mask. He had decided to wear it on missions now, only opting to reveal his face on the Normandy.

And not, you know, because it keeps the fleet’s environments sterile? Though with Kasumi on board, I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work considering her face mask doesn’t actually cover any part of her face…

In his hands were dual machine pistols.

*headdesk*

Must I really ask Taco to give the double-wielding pistols rant again?

*headdesk*

Oh, fine. Taco, the double-wielding pistols rant, if you please!

He carefully loaded them, yet it appeared that his attention was more on his words.

“You search for evidence. I’ll go ahead and clear the rest of the ship. If you run into any issues, Kasumi and Zaeed can help.”

Ah, yes, the “let me take all the glory” ploy. Works every time, don’t ya know!

At this, Tali felt a strong burst of emotion break through. She didn’t need protection! It hurt that he thought she was so incompetent.

Well, considering the amount of times he’s had to save your ass throughout this series, I can at least see why he’d think that. Doesn’t make you any less right, but that’s not your fault, now, is it?

“No, 23. We work through together. My evidence is the second priority.”

Cole opened his mouth to object, but held his tongue. It was her mission, and right now, she was determined to find her father. 23 was sure that if he impeded her in any way, it would end with a shotgun blast to the face on his end.

Honey, you’ve got that shotgun blast to the face coming, and you’ve had it coming for a long time!

“Then let’s go.”

The squad continued on, much to the desire of Tali.

I’ll find you father. Just a little longer

And then you’ll find a corpse, of course. After that, we get a line break that just skips ahead in time, to another shitty action scene.

23 sliced through the air, his fist landing against the Geth’s chest-plate. As soon as his hand made contact, his blade ejected, spearing into the cold metal circuits. Jerking his weapon upwards, he sliced through the connective exoskeleton, essentially gutting the machine.

And how, pray tell, would that work against metal? Is his hidden blade made of adamantium now? Because I’m not sure there is any metal that strong.

*hits buzzer*

Gary Stu Count: 33

To his left, Kasumi planted a firm kick to the leg of another Geth, making it stumble towards the ground. Reaching her SMG under the head-plate, she jammed it pointing up, releasing a torrent of shots.

Wait, she jammed it? Hold on a second, why would you do that intentionally to your own weapon? And why would the weapon fire if it was jammed?

The Geth’s head, effectively decapitated, fell to the ground, a few wires as the only connective tissue.

“Effectively” decapitated? Bro, it’s a machine with a clearly recognizable head. It’s not “effectively” decapitated if he is decapitated! Jesus Christ, I swear Eezofuck’s narration is starting to sound like Koko in The Mikado

“Clear!”

23 moved down the stairs, making his way towards the locked door. Tali was still in the previous room, her eyes scanning for tapes of her father escaping. Lost deep in thought, her mind worked it’s way back to her fondest memory of her father.

Oh, are we going to have Tali think about something that isn’t the nude state of her painfully obvious love interest?

The small workroom was crowded with machinery, making the cramped space even more difficult for the two Quarians to work in. Tali’Zorah watched with deep fascination as her father placed the electronic circuit within the gravitational unit. Upon completing the nerve-inducing task, he turned to his daughter, and with a tone that gave away a smile, his accent gave a tired account.

Nerve-inducing? Hold on a second…

*turns to Uncle Google*

Wait, but Rael’Zorah was working on a machine at the time! How the fuck was he able to induce stimuli to the nervous system of that which has no nervous system!?

There. That wasn’t as bad as we thought now, was it?”

You better believe it was, you idiot! How could you hurt your own daughter like that!?

Tali nodded, eager eyes behind the purple visor. Rael’Zorah chuckled at the sight, standing from his seated position.

Now it’s your turn.”

The young girl stood up quickly, her apprehension to the difficult task apparent in her stance.

Are…Are you sure? I mean, what if I make a mistake? I don’t want to-“

Rael placed a hand on his daughters shoulder, guiding her to the chair.

You’ll do fine, Tali’Zorah. You’re good with tech. If I didn’t think you couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t make you.”

Oh dear. Could it be? A half-decent scene in a fucking Subject 23 sequel?

Staring at the seemingly impossible task, Tali immediately worried. Taking the tools in her hand, she carefully started the tedious task of beginning the rest of the repairs. The entire time, her father sat patiently, watching for any mistakes she could make. Upon finishing her job, she turned to him, looking for approval.

Standing, he walked over to the gravitational unit. His eyes quickly flitted over the machinery. After a short while, he raised his head, nodding slightly.

Well done. You’ve preformed exceptionally.”

She grinned behind the mask, leaping out of her chair and hugging her father as hard as she could. He patted her on the back, turning for them to leave the room.

Let’s get back to our room. I’m sure mother has food ready.”

They left the cramped workshop, the gravitational unit humming slightly.

Crunchy, get the brain bleach! I feel unclean!

*One Hour Later*

Oh, there we go, I feel much better. For a second, I thought that a scene in a sequel to Subject 23 was actually half-decent. How silly of me!

Let’s move on before, shall we?

Tali sighed, the painful spasm in her chest growing stronger.

It had been so much easier back then. Her father wasn’t so worried, and her mother was-

—not as horribly out of character as her husband? Because I’m pretty sure that, for as sweet as it was, Rael’Zorah was described as a pretty cold parent by Tali in-game, and therefore that rather sweet scene was out of character for folks.

Wait, shit!

*Two Hours Later*

Okay, there we go. Whatever did I do to get Crunchy to do that, I wonder…

The sound of a gunshot was heard, followed by 23’s yell.

“Tali! Get down here!”

Her heat nearly stopped as she ran out and around the corner. She sprinted down the stairs, spotting 23 leaning next to-

“Father!”

Oh hey, they found the corpse of Tali’s father. What a coincidence, right as they were running around. But wait, I thought you had to take care of a bunch of geth to get to him! Why are you still fighting Geth with—?

She fell to the ground next to him, her visor leaning over his. Cole rolled back on his heels, giving her the space she needed. The injured Quarian coughed violently as Tali gently lifted his head up, allowing him to breathe easier.

Tali’s father is alive.

*headdesk*

I swear to Christ, if 23 does some “because water” shit to Rael’Zorah to make sure he lives, I’m going to burn a witch on a stake somewhere!

23 was startled by her voice.

“Check his wounds. He must have….He might not make it if we don’t sterilize the…The…”

23 leaned over Rael, placing his hands onto the bloodied fabric. Looking up, he almost caught sight of Tali’s panicked face. He spoke in as relaxing a tone as he could achieve.

“Hey, he’ll be fine. He managed to shoot me, so he’s tougher than he looks.”

… Wait, 23 shot Rael?

*headdesk*

The son of a bitch! How could you!?

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

And this is for—

*offstage trombone*

… What do you mean that could’ve been 23?

*more offstage trombone*

Well, excuse me for not reading the author’s mind enough to recognize the pronoun confusion for what it was! Jesus Christ, do you literally expect me to be a fucking psychic here?

Tali nodded vigorously. Her father’s coughing fit hadn’t ended, but the sound of footsteps approaching from behind alerted Tali to the arrival of Zaeed and Kasumi. 23 took action here, figuring that Tali needed to focus on her father, instead of the remaining Geth.

“Kasumi, you and Zaeed go on. Take out the rest of them.”

The thief nodded, stepping past the injured man and walking up the stairs behind him. Zaeed quickly followed behind. Tali didn’t notice, as she was too busy preparing dressings for the gunshot. She was so focused in her work, she didn’t notice her shaking hands, which made the task slightly more time consuming. Attempting to compose herself, she moved slower so as not to make a mistake. She was almost ready to start wrapping him, when something grabbed her wrist.

23’s icicles?

Looking up at the bloody hang clutching hers, she brought her eyes further up. She found Rael staring back at her, his silver orbs just as familiar to her as ever. He coughed once more, attempting to speak. Finally, his lungs were clear, and he took a deep rasping breath before speaking.

“Tali’Zorah…Why are you here?”

Interns, roll the canon clip!

Yeah, okay. So Rael spoke about this like he knew Tali was going to come. And why wouldn’t he? He knew that what he did was illegal, and he had some idea they might try to pin the tail on Tali if anything went wrong—and it did!

So why the fuck is he surprised she’s there!?

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

Eezofuck, this might just be me, but I’m starting to think you have no idea what the fuck you’re doing with this canon.

She had to fight to keep her voice steady as she took his hand, squeezing it tightly. 23 took the bandages, applying them as best he could. The blood covered his armor, yet he worked past it like it didn’t exist.

And wait, why are you just doing bandages? Don’t you have a little thing called, oh, I dunno, medigel? Which would serve as a bandage and a disinfectant? You know, since a disinfectant is what you need more than anything else right now?

*BAM*

I guess it shouldn’t be so surprising that a fic that seems to hate medical science can’t get medical science right, but still! Come on!

“I came to find you, father….The admirals…they…The Geth took the ship, and they thought I had something to do with it. I hurried, so I could get to you before….before….”

Her voice cut softly, as she gazed at him. Behind her mask, a tear started to slide down her cheek. Rael waited, then started to speak, his strong Quarian accent enhancing the words.

“It was my fault. What happened on this ship was our own doing. We thought we could control the Geth networking system, yet…We were unsuccessful.”

Well no shit, old man! What else were you expecting, the geth to sit down and sing Kumbaya with you?

He coughed violently once again. Tali leaned him up just slightly, allowing Cole to continue dressing the gunshot.

“It’s a disaster…What we’ve done….Well, we knew the risks.”

He reached upwards with his other hand, activating his datapad.

“Here. You’ll need this to access the mainframe. Take the recordings. They’ll prove your innocence. I worried about this coming back to you. I’m so sorry, my child.”

Do you want me to play you a song on the world’s smallest violin? Because that’s what this is calling for right about now.

She started to protest, when he cut her off. Even in his weakened state, his voice sounded commanding and protective.

“I don’t want you to be punished for something you did not do. They won’t believe you without it.”

What she should say: “Cole, use your water, I’m sure there’s something you can do!”

What she actually says:

She found her voice, speaking against his logic.

“Father, please! We’ll get you back to the fleet, and you can explain. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.”

Because why use bandages when 23 is like fucking Poseidon over here?

At this statement, Rael’s eyes grew tired, and he leaned against the cold metal floor. His voice carried his sadness, and his grip grew tighter around Tali’s hand.

“Tali’Zorah….Tali…”

At this, she perked up. He never called her that.

YEP!

Hang on a second, and…

*Three Hours of Phone Calls Later…*

I swear, Mr. Crabs is more of a hassle to deal with than it’s really worth at the end of the day…

“Do you remember when your mother died, and how angry you were? How much you wanted a reason why it had to happen?”

Tali nodded mutely, every bit of her attention focused on her father.

“In this world…In this life, you cannot always have the answers. I could never answer your questions about mother’s death. Some things are unknowable, and will always be.

“Like your mother’s death. Even though you will understand in time that it was due to the filtration unit breaking down and your mother growing sick as a result. But that is unknowable, you know.”

But I do want you to know this.”

He leaned up to her. She didn’t want to hear the words. Involuntarily, she closed her eyes. The tears escaped regardless.

“I love you, Tali, more than you can imagine. You cannot comprehend how proud I am of you. I was not the father you deserved, and in my foolishness, I thought I could make that up with a home on our planet.”

Tali’s gave a small, quiet sob. It was now obvious that she was crying, and she felt a small release of anger at herself for seeming so pathetic.

“I only wish I could remedy the mistakes I made.”

Dear Christ, I thought it wasn’t supposed to get this sappy unless there are pancakes in the general vicinity. And yet, it’s getting stupidly sappy! What gives?

Ugh, I better go find where the pancakes are, anyway. And knowing Gumdrop, he probably made them out of asbestos and raptor droppings, too…

She opened her eyes again, staring at him with a strong gaze.

“Father…You’re going to be ok. Don’t sound so defeated.”

It was obvious in Rael’s eyes that he was smiling at her.

“Tali….”

“Please just let this tragic moment go!”

She turned to 23, hoping for evidence of her father’s survival.

“23! Tell him he’ll be fine. Tell him how we’ll get him back, and he’s just being…”

The words died as she looked at 23. His mask was off, and the red blood covered sections of his armor. His eyes gave it away. In the back of Tali’s mind, she wanted him to keep quiet, but she already knew what he was going to say.

“Tali…He…I’m sorry, but…I can’t tell him that.”

It hit her hard.

“What? No! Your…Your armor…On Adrun, you saved me! Why not him?”

Because we need some drama here, don’t you know. Never mind that you’re actually bringing up a totally valid point that 23 is being a massive fucking dick about, but hey.

He lowered his head, shaking it slowly.

“It’s not the infection. He has massive internal bleeding.

Oh, like that’s ever stopped you from coming up with bullshit uses for your powers. I’m sorry, but I’m having an exceedingly difficult time believing you can’t contrive something that’ll save Rael’Zorah after you fucking stopped time near the end of the last fic, so I think you’ll forgive me for your lack of interest in contriving a way to save Rael. Like, what, you couldn’t have something where the water replaces all the plasma in Rael’s body? Nothing about using your water to speed up the rate at which Rael’s bones produced blood? No trying to stem the flow of blood with an icicle or something?

Nothing?

At most, he’s got….well…”

Standing up, he stepped back a few feet, giving her room to grieve.

“Just say everything you want to. Everything.”

*headdesk*

Jeez, I bitch about how overpowered his powers are, and then I bitch about how little sense it makes that 23 isn’t helping him with those Stu powers. What the hell is it with this fic that it can get me to both hate and want an element of the story at the same time!?

No. No no no no no. Why? What did I do to have this…I can’t lose him! I can’t! He’s the only one I have. He’s all that…no….

“Tali…”

He gazed at her with a loving look. Her tears were flowing consistently now.

“Please….For me, do one thing. Only one thing.”

Let me guess: there’s going to be an Anakin Skywalker moment to top off this supposedly “sad” scene which isn’t sad because 23 is just faffing about not doing anything?

She nodded before he finished, ready to do whatever he wanted.

“Take off my mask.”

Oh for shit’s sake, I was kidding!

Immediately, 23 turned away, leaving the two alone. This was a family matter.

And you did that by… turning around. And, you know, not leaving the room. Because that makes sense. Hey, perhaps you’d want to help Kasumi and Zaeed take down the geth prime over in the next room? I’m sure they could use the help, you know!

Reaching for his mask, Tali realized this would be the last time she would have the opportunity to tell her father. As she unclasped the seals, the words slipped out.

“I love you, father.”

The mask depressurized, revealing her father’s face. The first time she saw it would also be the last.

” I love you, Tali. Thank you.”

His hand went limp.

And thus ends the world’s most annoying death scene. May it ever be ignored in the annals of shitty writing.

Oh wait. Fuck!

New chapter is going to be amaaaaaazing. AMAZING.

Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, Eezofuck. You keep telling yourself that.

Anyway, that’s about all I can stand for today. I’ve been Herr Wozzeck, and I’ll see you next week when we get back for more shitty Mortal Kombat lemons.

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51 Comments on “1499: Normandy High 2: Cryogenic Boogaloo – Chapter Two”

  1. BatJamags says:

    Garrus had appeared to be possessed about finding this man,

    Who you gonna call?

  2. BatJamags says:

    And see, this is why you find Rael’Zorah dead in ME2: because otherwise you get a scene like this.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    I… what? Eezofuck somehow got a girlfriend? With the way he talks about women and uses them in his shitty fanfiction? Let’s just hope she never reads this fic!

    (Bragging. I know I DON’T CARE) Her name is Ash, and I like her, and she reads my stories.

    Well then. How the hell she didn’t break up with you immediately after seeing the way you tend to write women is beyond our ability to comprehend, so let’s just move on.

    I bet she’s a Realdolll.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    –Damn thing chipped the ice off the block–

    What the hell is this? It’s like you chopped up fifty unrelated Bond one-liners and stitched them together Frankenstein-style.

  5. leobracer says:

    Ok, between this and Parallel Realities, which one gave even worse treatment to the scene on the Alerei?

    • BatJamags says:

      At least this had the common courtesy to let Rael’Zorah out of the fic.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Reading ahead, I’d still say Parallel Realities comes out worse. For all we can say about how it portrays Tali and Rael and gave us that sappy-ass scene, Subject 23 at least had the dignity not to pull the shit Parallel Realities did where suddenly Rael’Zorah’s whole geth thing was faked by the Collectors.

  6. Delta XIII says:

    Setting her mind back to piloting, Tali felt a stronger sense of determination take hold.

    *insert Undertale reference here*

  7. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    Oh man, I think it would be hilarious if the ghosts of all of his squad members came back and took over Garrus’ body one at a time to take over Sidonis

    Or it could be all Hamlet-like where he only appears possessed/insane

    …but could totally be both anyways in the end? And then Alicia drowns herself in a river

  8. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Oh man, I think it would be hilarious if the ghosts of all of his squad members came back and took over Garrus’ body one at a time to take over Sidonis.

    Garrus: ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL!

  9. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    The Normandy turned, shooting back through the relay, headed on a warpath for the Prothean superstructure.

    Okay, first of all, “Prothean superstructure”? Really, can you be more pretentious? Second of all, by this point, you should already KNOW that the relays were built by the Reapers!

  10. erttheking says:

    Nora: *Sees Herr’s comment about dual wielding*

    *Holds up a pistol in each hand*

    *Grins sheepishly*

  11. erttheking says:

    So the general layout of this chapter is, redo redo redo, 23 is a prick, melodrama and 23 does nothing when it doesn’t allow him to show off

    Glad to see that nothing has changed.

  12. TacoMagic says:

    Tali and Kasumi watched the frigate disappear from view, the flash of blue leaving the two of them impressed.

    For a moment, I was trying to figure out why Kasumi was coming with them on this, then I remembered that squads are a game mechanic. I need a drink.

    • BatJamags says:

      Well, I might be willing to grant the fic that three-person ground teams are standard for the Normandy, but they have no reason to assume that this mission will involve combat.

      Oh, and there’s another issue with this chapter: the reason Shepard goes with Tali is because the Quarian court needs her ship’s captain to be present. That means Shepard. For all intents and purposes, 23 and Kasumi are just kind of loitering on the Rayya waiting for the combat part of the mission that they shouldn’t know is going to happen.

      • TacoMagic says:

        That was sorta my point, though I kinda went minimalistic with it.

        My thought process was that all they know here is that Tali needs to stand trial. Why did they think need some third wheels for that? Then I realized that the author knows that there’s going to be a firefight and that game mechanics are that you have a squad when doing combat missions.

        Then the sadness and the need to drink started.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        More to the point, what were they thinking bringing a professional thief and infiltrator along? They may as well just hang a sign around Tali’s neck reading “GO AHEAD AND EXILE HER, SHE IS UP TO NO GOOD”.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      What about the BFF stuff?

  13. TacoMagic says:

    Must I really ask Taco to give the double-wielding pistols rant again?

    *headdesk*

    Oh, fine. Taco, the double-wielding pistols rant, if you please!

    At this point I think we’re all very well aware how stupid dual-wielding pistols is.

    As always, if you think dual wielding is a great idea, head down to the range and try hitting something while holding a pistol in each hand and firing both. Then switch to one pistol held in two hands and try the same thing. Provided, of course, that the owner of the range doesn’t ban you immediately for trying something as stupid as dual-wielding pistols.

    I mean, yeah, if you want to look like an idiot and die really quickly in a firefight, feel free to dual-wield. If you actually want to hit something, you probably want to leave the badassery behind and hold your weapon in a way that makes you effective.

    It’s amazing that with all the crazy-ass crap that went on in the Resident Evil series, the one thing they got right, at least in the first few games, was that if you want to use a firearm effectively, you have to take a stance and actually aim.

    I mean, holy shit, look at that! Held in two hands at arms length, aiming down the sight, wide leg stance. It’s like the game designers actually took the time to learn how professionals use weapons! And this is motherfucking CAPCOM in the 90s! Why the fuck did game designers forget this lesson!?

    • BatJamags says:

      But Taco, dual-wielding looks cool!

      In all seriousness, I can buy the dual pistols if the one using them has some degree of superhuman capabilities, but 1: water doesn’t improve your aim, reflexes, or arm stability, not that you could tell Eezoman that, and 2: in Mass Effect, even Shepard, who has holy-shit-awesome cybernetic stuff, still holds his pistol like a normal person.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Dual wielding with super-powers I can sorta buy since I’ve seen trickshot gunslingers who can shoot from the hip with ridiculous accuracy… at short range with a single pistol.

        Even then, I find it hard to swallow the kind of dual-wielding, comic-inspired shenanigans I see even from super-heroes. Making central head shots at fifty yards with a pistol wielded in each hand just isn’t even remotely believable unless you have a magical super-power like TrueShot.

        It’s one of the things that bugs me the most about the Punisher. Castle is supposed to be ex spec-ops, yet he wields pistols like an absolute moron.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Of course, the thing that’s really, really scary is that in the Resident Evil games even the badass/jerkass convict-

        holds the gun properly.

        Now that I think about it, the only character in Resident Evil who doesn’t hold guns correctly is Wesker.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        In tabletop games, I’ve found that superhuman abilities are better spent on just getting a bigger gun and shooting that accurately than dual-wielding smaller ones.

      • BatJamags says:

        Comic-wise, Deadshot and Bullseye can get away with it because being stupidly accurate when they’ve got no adequately-explained reason to be is kind of their Thing. It’s stupid, but compared to Kryptonians becoming god because they’re under a different-colored sun, I can let it slide.

        The Punisher, on the other hand, is just supposed to be a normal (if badass) guy. His Thing is being a deranged serial killer who we’re supposed to root for because his backstory is twajek and his victims are even bigger assholes (sort of like 23 here, actually). There’s no reason for him to be able to fire with any accuracy while holding his guns like an idiot.

        • Herr Wozzeck says:

          Bro, don’t compare Frank Castle to 23. Frank Castle is actually a relatably twajek character, thank you very much.

    • TacoMagic says:

      But, in all fairness, Dual-Wielding was the thing that was the hardest for me to get over as a young author. When I was in my teens, all my characters dual wielded everything. Swords, pistols, axes, whatever. If a weapon could be held in a single hand, two of them could obviously be used with two hands. It’s the reason I come down so hard on people I see doing it. It’s a hard lesson to learn and the sooner you learn it, the sooner you can leave it behind.

      It took a long time for me to come to grips with that two isn’t always better, and once I finally got to the point where I realized how stupid it was, I also realized that the reason I had all the dual wielding was to try to mask how shallow the characters were. And that was a pretty big problem with all my writing. When I stopped and actually looked, I saw a parade of shallow, uninteresting characters that I was trying to hide behind badass fighting techniques, weapons, and magical powers. They were all the same, boring character with unique weapons.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        Yeah. Rule of Cool can only take you so far, you know what I mean? It’s one reason why I rail against it so hard now, y’know?

  14. "Lyle" says:

    Lyle, would you care to explain to Eezofuck here why this is a completely fucking stupid idea and why water would never be able to fix this in a million years?

    I would, but if he’s dumb enough to think his right hand qualifies as a “girlfriend,” he won’t understand how utterly asinine this is. One can only hope that 23’s cells all suffer from the supersaturation that would occur from long term submersion in plain water. Tali had better like the bloated-corpse look because that’s what would happen. Squishy, clammy, over-full cells attempting to osmose all that water through their walls to the point that they would start lysing. What a dumbfuck.

  15. "Lyle" says:

    She was so focused in her work, she didn’t notice her shaking hands, which made the task slightly more time consuming. Attempting to compose herself, she moved slower so as not to make a mistake.

    If she was so focused on her work that she didn’t notice her shaking hands, why did need to compose herself and start moving slower to prevent her shaking hands from making a mistake?

    *smacks Eezofuck with a newspaper rolled around a dead fish*

  16. "Lyle" says:

    You know, I’m really, really bad at first person shooter type games, but the more clips I see of Mass Effect, the more I’m really tempted to try playing it. The dialogue and story telling seem really good – deep and well thought through. How difficult is the actual fighting portion of the game?

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      I can only speak for the lower difficulties, but I too am incredibly bad at first-person shooters and never had any problem with it.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      As Sakai mentioned, the combat isn’t so hard, and I suck at shooter games. The more difficult part of the game is actually managing the squad abilities, because there’s strategy involved with that.

      I will say, the combat does get better with each installment: ME1’s combat is generally not very good, as most times it becomes a game of “who can take the shields out first”. ME2 is when it starts to get really good gameplay wise.

      But yes, you will love the dialogue and the story, though be prepared for a slight dip when ME3 comes around.

  17. "Lyle" says:

    Well no shit, old man! What else were you expecting, the geth to sit down and sing Kumbaya with you?

    I hope not. If geth are prone to sing-a-longs, we might have one in the Library before we know it. Sounds like something Koori might try to make into a pet.


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