More Thoughts on the End of Mass Effect 3

Let’s play a little logic game with changing the ending to Mass Effect 3. The prevailing winds seem to be blowing the idea that Shepard was indoctrinated when Harbinger lazed him or her at the bottom of the beam to the Citadel and the rest of the game was merely the Commander’s internal struggle against it.

That’s fine as far as it goes though normally I despise the “it was just a dream” ploy as a cop-out of the highest order. Many have suggested that the best possible thing for BioWare to do would be to release an expansion pack that lets Shep “wake up” and then have an epic space and ground battle between the Reapers and the galactic fleet, not destroying the mass relays and most certainly, definitely not having the Normandy en route to god only knows where before the fight truly began.

While I’d love to see such a battle, it removes Shepard from the playing field and relegates our champion, savior of the galaxy, to the cheerleading squad. Considering how difficult it was for the ground team to take out one reaper on the way to the beam, I hold out little hope of such a war being won by humanity.

Double Monday: The Double, Chapter 42

All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go

On the way across the galaxy I had time to get into an argument with Miranda about removing the Cerberus logo from the shuttle. “Look,” I said for the fifth time, “we’re undercover. A badass pirate isn’t going to be flying around in a shuttle with that freaking logo on it.”

“This is Cerberus property, Shepard,” she said, crossing her arms and cocking her hip. “The logo stays.”

I cursed colorfully for a bit. “I’m in charge, damn it, and the logo goes.”

We stood in the cargo hold and the crew I’d detailed to paint over the thing all sat around watching the show. I gestured at the shuttle and they crawled to their feet, waiting to see if she would try to countermand my orders.

ME3 Fic: Kaidan Learns a New Trick

It’s time for another NSFW one-shot, dear readers, this one a Mass Effect 3 story. As ever, you young (or shy) folks out there ought not to click to finish the story. Here’s my retelling of the night Kaidan finally gets up the nerve to visit Shepard in her quarters. He knows her well enough to understand that she needs something to take her mind off the next day’s fight and the last few weeks’ horrific events. He’s decided he’s got just the thing.

I was keyed up, pacing my quarters in impatience. We had finally pinned down Cerberus headquarters and, in a matter of hours, would be knocking in TIM’s front door. I could hardly wait to get my hands on the bastard.

Until then I had nothing to do but brood. Fantasies of the hundred ways I could kill the twisted son of a bitch warred with the reasons I wanted to do it in the first place. I owed him more suffering than I could really dish out, not being a morally-bankrupt, sadistic puppet of the Reapers…like he was.

Mass Effect 3: The Ending

SPOILER ALERT! I have some questions about and some support for the ending. Naturally that requires me to write about things that those of you who have not finished the game do not know. If you’re anti-spoiler please don’t click and then yell at me for giving it all away, okay?

I can say, without spilling any details, that the finale was moving. It wasn’t what I wanted but what happened with Shepard made sense within the context of the story. My issues lie with the aftermath. I’d love to hear your thoughts so please do share any comments or quibbles with me.

Tidbit Tuesday: A Slow Resolution

A quick word of warning: this is a précis of the Kaidan-Shepard relationship in Mass Effect 3. It contains spoilers...kind of a lot of them. If you don't want to read spoilers, don't click "Read More" below. Naturally I've added rather a lot of conjecture and dialogue that you don't get in the game. I wrote this as a way to explain to myself how the relationship worked at the incredibly slow pace at which it progresses. Naturally, it's all Kaidan's fault.

Mass Effect 3: What a Ride

I’m violently opposed to spoilers. I’ve avoided watching or reading anything about Mass Effect 3 for months, as hard as it has been to resist looking. I wanted to be surprised by every plot twist and retcon in the game.

In part it’s because I wanted the intended effect of BioWare’s writers’ and actors’ efforts. I don’t want to know if someone is going to die or blow me off or betray me. Commander Shepard doesn’t cheat.

Imagine my shock at the Horizon scene with Kaidan in Mass Effect 2! Had I known what was coming it would have all but drained the impact from the confrontation. (I’m avoiding spoilers with this example. See how nice I am?)

Double Monday: The Double, Chapter 41

Fast Friends

We calmed down after a last, bumping little shuffle. Tali explained the Quarians had come to Haestrom to look for any evidence of solar instability from when the they’d briefly settled there—after being driven from their home world by the Geth and before being chased outside the Veil entirely.

It seemed that the system’s sun was deteriorating much faster than normal solar forces would account for, thus the excessive heat and radiation that were melting us in our armor. They wanted to compare any old data with new readings to verify their concerns.

“Why the hell do you care?” I asked. “It’s not like this is your home world. Did your people love it so much here that they just want to make sure the planet’s okay?”

Tali scoffed. “If the Geth can destabilize a star, we need to know. No matter where we settle, we cannot be safe if they can threaten the sun of our new home…assuming we can find one where we can live without these suits,” she added bitterly, gesturing at her mask and hood. Kal was nodding in agreement.