1576: Normandy High 2: Cryogenic Boogaloo – Chapter SevenPosted: October 27, 2016
Title: Subject 23: Cryonics
Author: The Eezoman
Media: Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect
URL: Subject 23: Cryonics: Chapter 7
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the finale of this stupid series. It’s been a long time coming, and now, here we are, ready to end this pile of fuck. And man, what a dumb pile of fuck it was. It almost makes me glad that this right here is deadfic, you know?
Anyway, let’s not waste any more time. We’ve got a shitty series to finish, and not a moment too soon!
We start our last chapter off with this:
25 hours later
The skyline of Nos Astra was truly something to behold.
Let me guess, [Please Insert Vague Description Here]?
The shimmering city gleamed in the late afternoon sun, and the reflective surfaces of the skyscrapers that dominated the financial district turned bright shades of gold and red.
Oh hey, look at that. The descriptions aren’t vague anymore!
23 stared out from his perch, eyes unwavering from behind the familiar comfort of his black, form-fitted mask. His mind drifted pleasantly to the day before, right after he and Tali’Zorah had confessed their mutual interest. There hadn’t been much speaking since then. Only slight glances, and a quiet, overbearing sense of joy from her, and an increase in atmospheric anomalies on the ship, which ranged from a simple snow flurry, to a full on blizzard in the armory.
At which point, Jacob Taylor moved to have 23 kicked from the ship for fucking up all the weapons.
And good to see Edward Scissorhands here is still doing his stupid weather bullshit and all that. That isn’t cloyingly manipulative at all when someone else does it, nope!
Cole smiled. Shepard was fully aware of the situation. Thankfully, the Commander hadn’t said anything to dissuade them. In fact, she hadn’t said anything at all. The only indication that she knew was the smile she gave the two of them during meals. Of course, Cole assumed Shepard’s smile was also due in part to the fact that the ships XO was spending far more time in her cabin explaining calibrations than necessary.
Good God, this really has turned into a high school AU without the high school, hasn’t it?
God, I hate it when—
The com chatter picked up again, and 23 turned to pick up his viper. He had been tracking the assassin for five hours. To his knowledge, the Drell didn’t know of the shadow tailing him. It was only when he reached Dantius Towers that Shepard had radioed in the location.
Well, I’m sure glad I didn’t make the sequel the subject of a PPC snark. That would be very awkward, considering that I made Thane a major character in the PPC snark…
+I know Shepard. I’m already here+
+23, how did you know where he was going to be?+
Oh, it was simple, really. He just used that stupid coded language that was originally used way back in Parallel Realities. You know, the one with no quotation marks?
Because dialogue attribution is for pussies!
+Picked up a tip. Spent the day following the assassin. He’s a Drell by the way. Very fast. I’m covering the west tower from under the bridge. Good position for a rifle+
+I don’t need to tell you not to engage him. We’re here to recruit the assassin, not kill him+
+Copy commander. I’m here to provide cover for you as you move up. I’ll keep an eye out+
And now we’re going to pretend that 23 is as good at stealth as Thane is. You know, because who the hell would be able to trail Thane for five fucking hours without being noticed? And especially when he’s still doing that Edward Scissorhands shit all the time.
Gary Stu Count: 35
It was a simple plan. Cole should have known it was never that easy. Twenty minutes later the sound of gunfire was audible. Shepard was moving up the tower, the chattering of her assault rifle mixed with the screams of the mercenaries. Leveling the rifle against his shoulder, 23 scanned the windows and floors for an easy target, finger resting lightly on the side of the trigger.
Why the fuck is he aiming a goddamn sniper rifle at Thane? If 23 is just observing, I’m pretty sure there are ways of doing that which don’t involve the use of weapons. Or is the Mass Effect universe really so non-tech-savvy that there are absolutely no ways to zoom in without a weapon? Also, why the fuck is his finger on the side of the trigger? Isn’t that usually what you do when you’re ready to fire? You know, when you want to shoot?
Either way, this is a stupid idea, and I’m expecting it to backfire immediately.
–Wait. That’s him–
five stories up, he saw the assassin. He moved like lighting, and struck like thunder. Clearing a room in under a minute, the Drell moved onwards, preparing to continue onto the next room. Cole regarded his calm, focused demeanor, until the assassin stopped.
The lens glare. The light had bounced off the lens when Cole had turned his gaze to follow the assassin.
Oh. Well, it’s refreshing to see the fic acknowledge this Stu’s fuck-up. I don’t think it makes much sense because how the fuck would Thane have been able to see the damn lens flare, but there it is.
The Drell quickly dropped, grabbing a body and pushed it up over himself. It was clear what he was doing.
Pulling a pistol from the dead mercenary’s armor, the assassin fired five shots at Cole, each missing him by inches.
Wait, what? Hang on a minute, let me see if I have this right: Thane is at five stories above 23 at this juncture. I’m also going to be generous and assume that they’re on opposite towers within the Dantius towers.
Here’s my question: what the fuck does Thane expect to hit with that pistol? If Cole has to see through a fucking sniper scope to be able to see what Thane’s doing, what the fuck makes this guy think that he’ll be able to shoot Cole from that distance with a goddamn pistol!?
Thane, you’re smarter than this! What the fuck is going on in your head!?
Lowering the rifle, 23 attempted to contact Shepard, until the sound of something moving behind him took his attention.
Turning, Cole saw the crate of welding fuel he had been leaning against. There were five holes where fuel rushed from onto the small ledge 23 was occupying. The assassin had known he couldn’t hit the sniper. Instead, he chose to blow him up. Or at the very least, smoke him out.
That’s still stupid! How the fuck would Thane have known to look behind him for the explosive—
You know what, why the fuck am I analyzing this? It’s a shitty action scene in a Subject 23 fic triggered by 23 being an absolute fucking moron who doesn’t realize that sniper rifles are not the only thing you can scout with!
*BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM*
23 acted without hesitation. He shouldered the viper and jumped to a support strut running parallel below the bridge in one rapid move. He ran along the thin metal pipe until he heard the explosion behind him. He had seconds before the support gave, and pushing forth, Cole let his hand fly forward, finding a pipe. The momentum carried him, and he soon monkey-barred his way towards the assassin.
Which places you… where, exactly? Where in relation to Thane were you? Where did you go, how did you get there?
God, I take back what I said about the descriptions before: it’s gone right back to being vague as hell again!
Landing on the solid ground, Cole had no time for ceremony. Calling up his full armor, he just had time to open his eyes before they shifted black.
The explanation already on his lips, Cole had less than a word out before the assassin charged. Firing two shots, each round landed dead center of 23’s head. The force jolted him, and he almost fell backwards. 23 barely had time to catch his breath before he felt the punch. Harder than he ever anticipated, it stunned him in a way he hadn’t felt since before Italy.
Hang on a minute, I’ll be right back.
*steps out of the riffing chamber, comes back in with popcorn*
Blow after blow, the assassin’s strikes landed with deadly efficiency. The final fist landed on Cole’s armored face. The sound of ice cracking barely registered, but for a moment, Cole wondered if this assassin could actually get through his armor. Spinning with the blow, Cole fell to his knees, only to feel the assassin’s hands gripping his neck, ready for the kill.
Yes! Thane! You go! Kick this Stu’s ass!
Grabbing the Drell by the arms, Cole pulled him against his back, and slowly released a few shards from his back. He couldn’t kill the assassin outright, but it wouldn’t be his fault if the Drell hadn’t headed his warning.
The Drell’s instincts got the better of him, and he released 23. Taking no chances, Cole froze the ground below them, and he heard the assassin slip. Turning, Cole was surprised to see him on his feet so quickly. There was a brief moment of surprise on the assassin’s face which allowed 23 a small sense of assurance.
–Not just some mercenary trash, huh-
No, you’re much worse than that. Also, how does Thane have no reaction right now? I know he’s generally very stoic, but I’m pretty sure that a dude who can control ice would at least make him act all “huh… Interesting”.
The assassin held no expression. Running forward, he charged 23 once more. Reaching the ice, the Drell dropped to his knees, and slid towards Cole. As the distanced closed, their fight began. Blocking and striking, Cole had never faced such a challenge before. The battle lasted two minutes, an eternity it seemed.
Ah, yes, he had never faced such a challenge. Which is why we’ll be skipping over all that shit and not even bothering to describe Thane’s fighting style, am I right?
Giving up any hope for a peaceful conclusion,
And this, my good sir, is why it was a terrible idea for you to observe him with a fucking sniper rifle.
Cole ejected his hidden blade, swinging it towards the assassin’s face. It was to Cole’s shock that the Drell caught it. Gripping the exposed blade, the Drell snapped the metal from the gauntlet.
Sliding his body under Cole’s arm, the assassin threw him across the floor, causing 23 to land amongst a pile of fuel containers. Cole had barely enough time to look up before the assassin collected his gun and fired into the containers.
Finally, someone beat this kid’s stupid ass into the floor! Hooray!
Anyway, Cole wakes up from the explosion a bit later and finds Thane is nowhere in sight. Of course, as he’s collecting himself…
Facing the elevator, he approached the doors, only to hear a subtle click as they opened. A Red cloud blossomed from the small compartment, knocking 23 against the wall opposite the elevator. It took Cole less than a minute to realize what happened.
–Bastard rigged the lift. I’m going to gut that lizard–
The rest of us, meanwhile, will just be here watching in glee.
Anyway, he sees some catwalks and decides “yeah, let’s use those”. We then get a line break, and we cut to…
8 hours earlier
The dim sound of a knock reverberated through the room as 23 sat at his desk, pieces of his submachine gun littered around him. He didn’t even look up as the door opened silently, courtesy the water guard. He was greeted with a very familiar and welcome tone.
“23. May I come in?”
Cole glanced up, smiling. There was a cute Quarian engineer outside his door with a box of tools. . How could be refuse her?
“You don’t have to ask to come in, Tali.”
“…Actually, I do.”
Oh great, now we’re going to be treated to sappiness, aren’t we?
I’m sorry I asked for the ship tease to just end already, and the scene hasn’t even started yet.
He looked up quickly, only to find her eyeing the wall of water over the doorway with nervousness. It faded in seconds, and she stepped through quickly.
“I’m sorry Tali. I’ll figure something out so it recognizes you.”
Oh, so your bodies of wall-water have facial recognition?
God, I just literally can’t be assed right now…
Because Water Count: 22
She walked over to a panel next to the desk, and dropped her tools there. Next, she turned to Cole, walking past the desk she lowered her gaze to the collection of gun parts adorning his work space.
“Cole, what are you doing to your gun?”
He was attempting to fit a strange looking mod into the barrel of the gun.
“Garrus gave me this mod earlier. Said it could double the cooling capacity. Don’t know how it’s supposed to fit, though. Stupid thing is impossible to get into the barrel.”
Taco, I’m not even going to touch this with a ten foot pole. You deconstruct this, please.
Tali picked the mod up, and turned away from Cole. Standing up, he moved behind her, placing his arms around her waist. She froze for a moment, then slowly relaxed.
Oh hey, that is a thing, innit? I guess it’s good they’re getting used to expressing their affection on more intimate terms, because—
She was still getting used to how open he was now. After that sunset, it was as if everything had changed. No longer did he move away from her under the assumption he was crowding her. Instead, he seemed to want to be near her every chance he got. Tali wasn’t going to complain. She loved the feeling of him against her. While the topic of “other things” hadn’t come up yet, she tried to just enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling him. However, it was getting harder to ignore those more primal urges. They were always there for her. Just suppressed. Ignored and marked for a later date. With the suicide mission coming up though, she realized this may be the last time she could indulge in such wild desires. Currently though, one step at a time was enough for her. What assisted her in this was Cole’s understanding of her needs. Or believe of such understanding. He didn’t’ talk about those things.
Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize you were trying to develop Tali’s sudden spike in libido. I was wondering when that would come back up, given her fantasies of naked 23 and all that.
Anyway, 23 asks Tali what he’s there for, and—
She turned to face him, eyes wide through the mask. Tali hadn’t asked him yet, but she considered it. What did he think she looked like? Cole had seen a Quarian without a mask. He knew the basic structure. Did he find them attractive?
Yes, thank you fic, we’re certain this is relevant to the conversation. Yes, now can you please let me summarize what comes out next? Trust me, it’s much more interesting than the actual fic.
Anyway, Tali tells him that the heating unit is shorting out and it’s affecting other power sources, and she’s like “it’s probably the water”.
Cole came close to blushing slightly. He had sort of flooded the compartment when he set up the room. Things might have gotten shorted.
“I don’t know, Tali. All the water in here is solid.”
I mean, to be fair, ice is a pretty poor conductor all things told, but it did have to be liquid at one point when you were collecting it, right?
She simply pointed her three fingered hand towards the door, a gesture easily saying
“…You’ve got a point.
Thank you, Tali, for exposing that bullshit excuse for what it is.
Also, 23 knows he did it and still tried to lie his way out of it. Why are we supposed to like this dingbat, again?
[quote]What do you need help with?”
She turned back to the wall, placing Cole’s gun mod on the table. Her voice was kidding, but with a tone of truth.
“Don’t worry Cole. I’ve seen your repair work. I’ll handle it on my own.”
Wow, Tali’s really laying it on with the salt there. Keep it up, please!
He opened his mouth to protest, when she cut him off.
“Also, that gun mod Garrus gave you is a joke. It’s not even functional.”
A look of confusion, followed by annoyance flowed onto Cole’s face.
“What? Why would he do that? I spent an hour on this stupid thing.”
Tali merely shrugged, her tools buzzing to life as she waited for the water to clear away from the wall.
“I mean It’s like he was trying to….Oh.”
Cole sat down in his chair, a slight smile on his face as he spoke.
“He gave it to me after I told him I needed to go over possible sparring lesson pitches with the commander. He seemed irritated by how long it was going to take.”
*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*
Tali turned, head tilted in a puzzled manner.
“Extra sparring lessons? Why?”
“Seemed like a good idea.
No, stupid, they are having sex. They are fucking. They are bumping the nasty. They are doing the deed. Whatever you think it is they’re doing, THEY ARE ACTUALLY HAVING SEX!
Come on, you idiots! Figure it out!
I don’t know, I’m just thinking of possibilities. We have to be more prepared now that Cerberus is after us.”
Tali fought the chill that the word Cerberus nearly brought her. Cole seemed far less perturbed by them, and she hoped it was partially because of her, but the uneasiness over the organization hadn’t settled as soon as she hoped.
Hey, you managed to get seven chapters without Cerberus being brought up, so I think you’ll be okay.
Anyway, Shepard is called out of the Normandy, and 23 asks about Liara’s name. Tali’s like “don’t call her that, she doesn’t know you”, and then he says “don’t worry, you can just leave whenever you want”. Which is a terrible fucking idea since this is Tali’Zorah vas Hornball we’re talking about here, but hey.
Anyway, Tali then asks 23 something as he’s leaving, and then…
She loved that tone he used with her. Sweet, comforting. But not childish. It made her feel secure in her choice of telling him how she had felt.
Oh my God, we get it, she wants to fuck 23. Now can you please—
“You’re looking for a cooling stabilizer for your gun. Did you forget you control ice?”
Cole stared at her, and then dropped his gaze.
“I can’t believe I didn’t think about that. Thanks so much Tali.”
“No problem. Bye!”
Well, I guess the fic had to give Taco something to tear apart after the whole mods thing turned out to be a bust. Ah well.
Take it away, Taco.
Anyway, we get a summary of Tali doing her work, and then she ends up spending the remaining time (the fic says she takes two hours to do it) running around Cole’s room and seeing a bed.
Moving towards the bed, Tali was curious how comfortable it was. A bed like this was beyond a luxury for a Quarian.
Oh, so sunsets and love are just all over the place on the fleet, but a bed like that is a luxury now? Good to know the Fleet’s priorities are in order!
She tested the firmness of it, and found it to her liking. Soft, but with enough support she could still sit on it.
She was in no hurry, and she doubted Cole would be bothered if she just lay down for a few minutes. Placing her head against the pillow, Tali tried to imagine how warm and soft the sheets under her actually were. She would love to have a bed like this one day. A bed to wake up in, or snuggle deep under the covers when it got cold. Or a bed to… do other things.
It came to her with a quiet realization that if her and Cole were to become more…intimate… this is most likely where it would be. On this bed. She moved her arm up and down the fabric, imagining the feel of it on her skin. Imagining the feel of him, his lips on hers.
She could see it happening. Imagine the feel of it, or what it would feel like. Then, after they had exhausted themselves, they would fall asleep in each others arms, all in this wonderful bed. She focused more on that aspect, and soon failed to notice her eyes slowly shutting, and the soft warmth of sleep taking over.
Great, so Tali falls asleep, but not before letting her libido override her better thought processes.
Seriously, Eezofuck, we get it. Tali wants to fuck 23. She’s been wanting to do it since this piece of shit fanfiction started. Now can you stop fucking spamming that when—
Oh, right, I forgot: that was the end of the fic.
Right, we’ve just got one more author’s note to breeze through.
This chapter and the next were supposed to be two chapters, but I felt you guys deserved it as soon as possible. Yes, I’m back. In reality, I never left. Updates will be occasional, but they will come. This trilogy will be finished, I promise you guys. Might take a while, but don’t worry.
Oh, trust me, the only people who really want to see this shit finished are the poor unfortunate sops who will come after Ert and I who will want to take this shitfest on directly.
Also, the updates will come. I guess that’s why the last time this fic updated was two and a half years ago, is that it?
It’ll be original, and the style has improved and will continue to do so. Same with my other stories. Also might go back and fix previous chapters, but it’s so much work…
Which means you’ll never do it because you thought it was at least passable, right?
Please, leave a review. Let me know how much of a fan base I have left.
And with that, the saga of Subject 23 has finally ended.
*flops on the couch*
Thank fuck for minor mercies.
Anyway, I’ve been Herr Wozzeck, and…
Well, actually? I might not be around next week. Or for a bit.
See, I’ve been feeling a little burned out on snarking as of late, believe it or not: it’s hit that point where getting an installment of snark out every week for the past four and a half years has taken its toll. So honestly, I don’t find fanfic snarkings as fun as I used to. And the snarkings I have done since then? Well… I don’t exactly intend to publish those at this date, because I actually do stand to lose stuff if I do.
It also doesn’t help that I’m now being distracted by about twenty billion different things. On fanfiction, I’m still writing up my deconstruction of Parallel Realities’ premise, and that takes a while. But more than that, I have other things, too: I have my FBA writing to keep up with, and I also now am planning on taking some commissions for money just because I feel like I can. (That’s going pretty well, by the way: I already have a small clientele, so…)
So at the end of that… yeah, snarking isn’t doing much for me right now.
So until I find my mojo for snarking fanfiction again, I’ll be taking a little break from the Library. Hopefully this won’t mean I’ll be gone for good, and indeed, I can probably use the time not spent trying to write up one installment per week to finally catch up and see what everyone else is snarking. But I won’t be producing any new snark material for a while.
If y’all want to fill the Thursday slot at the Library with guest riffs, be my guest. But until then, I’ve been Herr Wozzeck. Hopefully, I’ll see you all around!