2011: Wronger, Weirder, Faster, Stronger — Chapter 9 and ReviewsPosted: April 17, 2018
Hello hello all you patrons, and welcome back to the ‘fic formerly known as Velocius et Fortius!
Last time we saw the end of the unnaturally-extended Feros arc, although considering how little time was dedicated to actually dealing with the Thorian it’d really be better to refer to it as the everybody-be-amazed-by-the-uncontrollable-’berzerking’-Shepard-on-Feros arc. Eventually the rest of the crew did manage to sedate her and subsequently calm her down, although this involved a pointless cameo from Legion that fortunately nobody had to actually directly acknowledge.
Meanwhile on the Citadel, it was revealed that the batarian Nikita Chruscov and her Cerberus pals “interrogated” was part of some sort of vague biological terrorist plot to infect an unknown number of people related to the Council with ‘batarian plague’, which is apparently completely treatable without ill effects. Oh yeah, and also some random gang members are trying to team up with Nyreen Kandros to push those stupid ‘Dark Stars’ guys off of Omega and hopefully also do something about The Daughter Of Dracula and her weird psychopath kid.
And all of that brings us to Chapter 9.
I hope you all enjoy this chapter.
“Don’t worry, we won’t.”
Reviews and criticism are welcome as always.
As they sat down in the War Room for the debriefing, Kaidan was the first to speak, “Ma’am now that you have the cipher, is the vision you received on Eden Prime any clearer?” Kaidan asked.
“Not at the moment, but Shiala said it would take time for it to fully take root,” Shepard looked around the room, “In the meantime the trail has gone cold. There has been no activity from Saren or his followers.”
Well that sounds like a call for Pointless Filler if I ever saw one…
“Does that mean we get a little time off Commander?” Joker asked over the comm.
Does Joker just… always listen in on senior-officer debriefings? Seems like a bit of a security risk to have your pilot doing that.
“While that would be welcome relief I have received orders from Hackett. A training base’s V.I. has gone rogue and we are needed to shut it down… the hard way.”
You were right about the pointless filler thing.”
Weird that the krogohumans still have a VI and didn’t just ship up a few dozen saber cats or whatever.
Shepard didn’t the dejected face of her crew.
She did, however, accidentally a word.
“The entire Normandy crew has a single face?”
“Sounds fun,” Wrex, the only one who seemed excited spoke up, “I’ve always wondered how you humans train your young.”
“*Adrian braces for incoming exposition.*”
Kaidan shook his head, “It won’t be that fun, and this facility is just where youths who have recently passed their initial training with their firearms hone their skills. Although the advanced courses may have rocket drones.”
“Like I said, it sounds fun.”
“That also sounds like a big facility if everyone is supposed to go through it right after Basic. Which makes me wonder why there’s an experimental VI in it, and why it’s on Earth’s moon.”
Shepard held up her hand to silence the room getting straight to business, “There are three facilities, I am dividing us into two teams. Each team will take a facility, clear it out and we’ll meet up at the last one to take out together. Any questions?”
“What’s so different about the third facility that you need double the manpower?”
No one voiced any so Shepard continued, “Alright then, Wrex, Ashley, Tali and myself will be team one.” She looked at Kaidan, “Kaidan, you, Liara, and Garrus, will make up the second team.”
“So we’ve got one fireteam of four guys and one of three, and the team of four guys has three hardened infantrymen in Williams, Shepard, and Urdnot set up around a single combat engineer while the three-man team has Garrus Vakarian- who specializes more in long-range marksmanship anyway- protecting two squishy biotic/tech specialists. In close quarters.
For the Spirits’ sake, I spent about two thirds of my mandatory tactics course in Basic tripping quads in the back corner, and even I can tell this is lopsided.”
Actually, just what is Liara supposed to bring to this fight? She’s an archaeologist, not a roboticist or AI researcher, so I don’t think she’s going to have many usable insights when it comes to the drones.
“Commander,” Joker said over the comm again, “We will reach Luna in Thirty Minutes.”
“And Mars in Thirty Seconds.”
“Thank you Joker,” she looked at her team, “Let’s get this show on the road.”
Liara felt nervous as she put on her combat suit.
It’s called armor.”
Or possibly amour.
The last time she went out, she had to help incapacitate a human berzerker. She noticed Ashley as she walked into view.
“Instead of noticing her while she was still out of sight.”
Despite being dressed in heavy armor, she wore it like a second skin. It had white armored plates with a dark pink under suit.
“But not red, of course.”
Private Donut would be so proud…
Her helm’s dark pink omni-plume displayed transversely instead of longitudinally like Shepard’s and Kaidan’s.
So I guess I was right about the ‘Roman-style’ armor mentioned previously having the fur plume on top.
Also, for someone who had to resort to the term ‘spiral-like effect’ to describe the functioning of a mass driver weapon, ChaosSpartan sure doesn’t seem to have any problem using ‘transversely’ and ‘longitudinally’ here when simply ‘side-to-side’ and ‘back-to-front’ would probably have been more comprehensible.
Also also, Ash’s helmet is like a plumed Roman helmet except the plume runs sideways? Was that ever actually a thing?
“And that still doesn’t explain what’s ‘omni’ about it.”
Liara didn’t understand why officer’s would announce themselves on the field in such a fashion.
“I know, pretty stupid, isn’t it?”
She had made a fool of herself earlier by assuming that humans processed short life spans
Why would she assume that? I mean, it’d be one thing if she assumed their life spans were close to the galactic average, but why would she think they were like salarians or vorcha?
Actually, for that matter, does a well-traveled doctor of archaeology really not know basic xenobiology?
only to learn that they in fact lived two and half times longer than the asari. It felt strange to know that she will be outlived.
“Considering how much dumb shit these humans get up to, I doubt it.”
Her armor fully on, she walked out ready to help however she could. Wrex turned to her, “T’soni, have the asari developed a way to breath in vacuum that we don’t know about?”
No, silly, that’s the sort of thing the humans would inexplicably do!
Liara didn’t quite understand until, she saw Ashley tap the side of her own helm. Liara blushed fiercely as she caught on and ran back to fetch her missing helmet. She was grateful that it hid her face and her embarrassment. Wrex nodded. The rest of the squad arrived with Garrus the last to stand and face the door cargo bay door.
Why does the Normandy have an entire cargo bay dedicated to doors? Have they secretly been running supplies to BatJamags?
He said something about how he had to make a last minute calibration to sniper rifle.
STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT
Joker maneuvered the Normandy directly above the training facility. The door of the bay opened and mass effect field turned in its place to keep the air from venting into space. Shepard and Ashley jumped down first securing the drop and followed by Garrus and Tali. Wrex and Kaidan jumped next both landing with relative ease leaving only her standing there. Shepard motioned for her to jump as well and made some military based hand gestures she didn’t understand. She waved uncertainly earning an eye roll from the Commander. She jumped and used her biotics to land gracefully. The teams parted ways to each training ground. Liara felt only apprehension as Kaidan jumped in first, followed by Garrus and herself.
Ok, I’ll admit, typos aside, this bit and the thing with the helmet up above are actually some nice characterization for Liara, seeing her kind of fumble around outside of her comfort zone and not be familiar with the sort of things the professional soldiers in the group take for granted. Although it’s a little weird that we don’t see the same sort of thing going on with Tali.
Wrex rolled out the way
Just as long as he can still sho us it.
as more machinegun rounds impacted in the floor next to him. Rolling was not an easy thing for a krogan, so he used his biotics to push himself on his feet and shot at the drone that fired at him. He laughed, “Damn, this is fun. I knew you humans were capable of it, even for species that can’t get drunk.” Wrex took a look around the room, at the least the humans didn’t worry about decorating their training grounds.
“Really! ‘Cause I thought they’d be big on the whole ‘skulls and hides’ thing.”
The slivery metal walls had pocket marks from the live ammunition being thrown at them made it seem rather bland
The term, Wrex, is underdescribed.
compared to a Salarian base that he had to break into one time to kill a rogue STG operative.
“Isn’t that the sort of thing the STG would handle themselves, instead of hiring a krogan mercenary?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ashley asked while firing on another drone with her assault rifle.
“Well for one, you’re all too serious. Even turians have fun every now and then. I have not seen once on the Normandy were you cut loose.” Wrex charged a drone and smacked sending it swirling back into another.
Just be glad it wasn’t DUMMENSHINAL WHIRLS.
And/or a spiral-like effect.
He then fired on the two of them.
“Friendly fire, Wrex! Friendly fire!”
Not that I’m complaining.
“You obviously never have been on a human shore leave. The unable to get drunk part is not threw a lack of effort. Maybe if ryncol was more potent?” Ashley jumped in the air unsheathing her greatsword and slicing down on two drones cutting both in half.
What I want to know is why two drones were flying around one directly on top of the other.
“Hah!” Wrex said conceding her point. He then threw a warp at another drone. Three more appeared
I’m on the edge of my seat.”
followed by a green biotic blur, revealing Shepard. Who then blasted two with her shotgun and kicked the third into the wall. It exploded on impact. “What the hell?” Wrex said staring at Shepard.
“Commander,” Ashley said uncertainly, “You feeling alright, because you’re looking a little… green?”
Shepard stopped and looked at her biotic aura surrounding her. It was in fact was green in color.
Oh god! The Tiberians (who have nothing to do with Command & Conquer)! They’ve returned!!!!
“Huh,” Shepard said not noticing a drone sneaking up behind her.
Which is totally a thing that drones do.
It was about to fire when it sizzled as an overload baked its circuitry.
Tali stepped out from behind cover, “As fascinating as Shepard’s biotics are right now, I don’t think we have the time to… What is it you humans say? Ooh and ah?”
And yet, ooing and aahing is the whole reason this chapter exists.
“Then let’s go, these drones aren’t going to explode by themselves.” Wrex said
No, because then where would we have our filler?!
stomping into the next part of the course with Ash and Tali. Shepard stared at her aura for a few seconds
“Is that even a thing you can do? I thought the lights pretty much went away when you weren’t using your biotics.”
“Huh?” she said again.
They had to keep their helmets on as they walked into the final training ground. The A.I. had decided vent the atmosphere in an attempt to deter them. Kaidan noticed that Liara was a decent fighter and her biotics were impressive back at the other training facility. With training, the young archeologist could be a force to be reckoned with. He had also read reports of her fighting off pirates who were looking for an easy relic to steal in the traverse while digging for prothean ruins.
Aaaaand we’ve just managed to completely undercut Liara’s aforementioned actually-neat characterization.
Garrus was a crack marksman, better than even Ashley although he would never say that to her face. He knew most turians went through basic training and served in the military for five years. Yes, only five.
Umm… no. Turian ‘military service’ (which I’d always assumed started out as basically a more disciplined live-in version of high school) begins at fifteen and ends at thirty. So either they remain in training until they are twenty-five, or that statement is absolute bullshit.
Garrus seemed to be way above the average rank and file of the standard turian soldier. The fact he managed to hold his own along with Tali on Feros said much.
“I’m not sure, but I feel like I should be pissed.”
As they walked into the first room of the course, they were almost immediately smarmed by a clutter of drones.
Well, at least they didn’t get smoozed by a clouder of cats…
More than half were firing missiles at the group forcing them to scatter. Shepard threw a green warp, killing one of drones… wait green?
He decided that could wait as he activated his Omni-shield and shielded himself and Tali from a barrage of missile and machinegun fire. The shield would not have held had he not supplemented it with his biotics.
“Kaiden decided he could wait for… what? For the drones to get bored?”
Tali leaned out and fired her shotgun at one of the rocket drones which was shredded as the powerful weapon’s shot breached it shields. What happened Kaidan would remember as long as he lived. The drone exploded knocking another out whack firing on another. The third one exploded and Kaidan had to hazard a guess that some sharp metal got caught in the barrel of a fourth causing it explode as well sending a fifth ricocheting off Wrex’s face were it fell to the floor and exploded and a machine gun drone that was caught in the blast twirled and fired into another, killing that one and damaging another. The damaged one fell to the ground and exploded sending more drones that just entered the room flying back and firing into one another. Everyone’s head moved with the destruction as the drones flew about the room as they kept on inadvertently killing each other off. It the end only smoking drones and parts littered the floor.
Once again, I feel compelled to mention that this is not a parody ‘fic.
Tali put a hand on her faceplate, “Oh keelah, was that me?”
Just then the last three drones to enter were taken out by a single shot by Garrus who was unaware of Tali’s domino shot. “Alright! Scoped and Dropped! Three in one shot! I would like to see anyone beat that.”
“I think Tali already did?” Kaidan said surveying the all the dead and destroyed drones on the training ground.
“Oh, yeah, ‘cause Spirits forbid a turian ever do anything worthwhile in one of these…”
What exactly differentiates a ‘destroyed’ drone from a ‘dead’ one?
Ashley stepped out from behind cover with Shepard and Liara, “I didn’t even get a chance to fire my gun,” her tone disbelieving. She looked down at Tali, “One shot?”
Tali shrugged, “Ahhh, yes… I guess that mod Shepard gave me packed quite a punch.” Her own tone held disbelief as well.
Well that’s what happens when you load your weapon with Contrivance Rounds.
Wrex started laughing very hard, “In over 700 years, I’ve never seen a shot like that and I doubt I ever will see such a thing again.” He continued laughing into the next room followed by the rest of the squad.
Shepard tapped Kaidan’s shoulder getting his attention, “Tell me you had your helmet cam on.”
“They are always…” he paused catching her meaning. He chuckled, “I see,” he said looking at Tali. “Extranet?”
“Extranet,” Shepard confirmed.
With everyone congratulating Tali, they failed to notice Garrus still standing were he made three in one shot with the equivalent of a turian frown on his face. He sighed as he walked to catch up with the group, “Great, I make one of the best shots of my life and I am out done by a Quarian with a shotgun.”
Well, that was…
I was going to go with ‘pointless’, but yours works too.
A/N: I am going to be fixing this story up a bit in places so it may be a while before I post on this particular story.
And while I kind of wanted to do this at the end of the story, the next chapter is long enough that it will probably take up an entire riff and not leave room, so… I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of Velocius et Fortius’s reviews. This isn’t all of them; there are 59 not counting my own and roughly two thirds of them are just ‘good story’ or ‘you need to work on your grammar’, which – smarming clutters of drones notwithstanding – was honestly not that bad; while maybe five or six mentioned points I have already brought up in the riff.
The rest, though…
Also note that I am not anonymizing or sanitizing these- I am linking to profiles. Because these people are as much guilty of Velocius et Fortius’s insanity as ChaosSpartan is, if not more so:
The point of ME canon is not that the other species are better than humans, it is that they BELIEVE they are and get pissy because humanity constantly out-matches them in their own specialties.
-“Axcel”, who reviewed anonymously and thus has no profile to link to. Which is a shame, because I bet there’d be a lot of good riff material on there.
The council is a useless form of government. I can’t wait for Humanity to smash the Batarians like I smash a hot chick. Long and hard.
–JimmyHall24, posting from within a pile of fetid, reeking Neon Genesis Evangelion dakimakura.
I love this story, hoping to see another like it from you someday without the canon characters in the ME universe. I reread it again, and the use of historical characters and OC’s was awesome.
I never understand why more people don’t use this. When you read about Shepard you already know them, it would have been great to read about more of the fictional kids of famous families.
With the exception of Dracula the historical characters were basically confined to that one big list that had zero relevance to anything, and more people don’t use that idea because it makes no sense.
Humans only seem to be semi-militaristic, they seem to be missing the crucial imperialistic tendencies of militarism. Which is a shame, as that would make the story much better. This humanity is far too predictable, and far too obedient to the Citadel. Shouldn’t the humans detest the Asari? They go against everything a human stands for.
– Lord Asmodeus, who isn’t satisfied with the krogohumans being merely proto-fascist.
I really like the story but I’m not seeing the warrior aspect here. I see ME characters doing what ME characters do. Very interesting. Just thought it would be more AU. Than another telling of the Reapers.
“How can he not see the ‘warrior aspect’? It’s literally all these fuckers ever talk about.”
To the exclusion of the Reapers, in fact!
Nice story but real warriors don’t compromise. There is really no reason for the humans to be there or part of the Council. That’s like asking the Klingon’s to power down.
–The Return Of The Revenge Of ShadowCub Episode 3: The Cubbening, this time making a very good point that would lead in completely the opposite direction likely intended.
No reason for the humans to be there indeed!
As long as there is no hooking up with aliens, I’m good.
– ShadowCub IV: Shadowier And Cubbier
“What’s so wrong with aliens??”
Please don’t take this the wring way.
I like where you’re going with the story, but please find someone to proofread for grammar and punctuation. Chapters two and three are riddled with grammatical errors and misused/missing punctuation. It makes it difficult to maintain immersion when I’m running across error after error of this type.
–McDouggal, who is operating on either like 80 consecutive levels of irony here or exactly –1.
Batarians *snort* you know I love Mass Effect but everybody is constantly whining over something. So the SIU Terrorist? Shepard Vanguard? I love playing a Vanguard
–Michae1ange1o (those are numeral ones, not ‘l’s), who loves playing a Vanguard and is otherwise alarmingly nonspecific about what exactly everybody is whining about, what he thinks of batarians, or what if anything he wants the SIU terrorist to be or do.
To start of with, I think you have written an excellent first chapter with only the bare minimum of gamma problems.
Secondly I think this will be an epic AU and I really do hope you’ll continue with this. I really liked how you balanced out humanity’s superior people with their inferior technology compared to the Turians and how each human clan has a unique quality.
Thirdly It will be an exiting time when humans have to deal with slavery, be it the Batarian Hegemony or maybe even the indentured service of Illium.
Lastly I do so hope that there will be peace between the Allied Clans and the Citadel Council, even if it is tenuous.
–Scorpio-666, who thinks the first chapter has seen minimal exposure to ionizing radiation, hopes for peace, and somehow picked up on the unique and interesting traits of all of the various Clans which I guess must have been written into the ‘fic in code because we sure as hell never found them.
Well this is an interesting story, I can’t wait to see what will happen with the negotiations and I totally agree with your view on the batarians, I can’t understand why you would allow their slave system to continue in cannon. It’s only one race… how strong can they be against the full might of the salarians, turians and asari fleets if you just want to destroy their slave rings and mercenary/pirate groups. Another thing I don’t understand is the situation with the quarians, to ban a whole race, generations later than the cause of the ban, to space and discrimination is maybe another point you can use to deny other adaptions to the negotiations as prove that they are not perfect, aren’t better or know better.
I really want to see what’s going to happen next, it’s something new, maybe a bit too much but still can’t wait to see more.
–Baracudaz, who doesn’t understand the scope of a Council invasion of the Terminus Systems, forgets that while the Council did nothing to help the quarians they did not directly force them off of Rannoch, and makes some sort of point about adapting negotiations and someone not being better that I honestly cannot follow.
Regardless, come back next time to witness squick, teenage angst, and PSYCHOKINETIC NAZIS.