The End (Mass Effect)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Short Story, based in the world of Mass Effect for a story contest. I hope its a sad enough piece.
I do not own this world or some of the story content here. Shell is 100% my own character.

Submitted: June 17, 2013

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Submitted: June 17, 2013



She limped, a broken woman with a purpose far greater than herself.Shell had grown as a person, she had reclaimed some of her lost past like none ever had before.  She was a soldier.  She was the final line of greatness.She also was a dead woman.

The pistol slid from her hand, slipping on her own blood before it hit the floor and bounced.  Each fall of metal on metal came in perfect harmony with her slowing heartbeats.  She couldn’t let go of that harmony, it was what she would have to create.  Her boots made a clunking noise with every limping step she took.  The pain through her explosion burnt body was excruciating.  Still, she pressed on.

She had to.  To save the galaxy from a threat believed impossible by so many until it had struck, she had to sacrifice herself.She had taken this role from Shepard, her friend and her hero.  She trembled in fear and pain, but her courage allowed her to take another step forwards.All she could think about was one woman.  That one woman who had somehow stolen her from Death’s hungry jaws and brought her back to life, after 20 years of living dead.Samantha had not done this alone.  Shell’s brother had also held her together, so had her first dead love Kaiden Alenko.Thane had been the pavement though to her final love, where her heart would rest forever.She couldn’t even remember if she had said goodbye.  Never did she think this role would fall to her.Had she even said goodbye?  Had she said those three words? I love you?

“Samantha.  I don’t know if you can hear this.  Knowing my luck you can’t and… and I’m just ranting to myself, but if you can…  I’m sorry.  I have done the one thing I never thought I could.  I have chosen to leave you.This was Shepard’s duty, and I shot him in the leg so he couldn’t complete it.I’m sorry Sammy, but I couldn’t let Tali live without him.  I couldn’t let his child grow up without a father.  I’m sorry we won’t have that white picket fence, and the Golden and Labrador retrievers.  Heh, and the kids.  I was thinking four or five, what a handful huh?  There’s just so much I want to say, but I have to go now.Be strong, Samantha Treynor.  I love you”

Shell stopped holding the signal for her comm and paused before two silver pillars that had a gap with electricity running through in a chaotic, yet somehow unified whole.  Shell paused, looking down to her blood stained hand with a look of utter sorrow.She bravely sniffed and turned her hand around before she took a deep breath.

“This is for you” she whispered before she reached in and grabbed the handle hidden within the electricity.The pain that shot through her body was ungodly.She had never experienced anything so paining in her years, and she had been tortured as a child for  almost 11 years.Those years of hell and experimentation on her could never have prepared her for this.

Samantha’s perfect chocolate eyes flashed into her mind.The way her eyes would sparkle when she smiled, how her smile could light up the room.The way she stuttered when she got confused or flustered.  The way she would say “wot” in her silky British accent.Her smile came back.God, Shell could have just let go and retreated.  She could have gone running back to Samantha’s tender embrace and never think of the pain again.  But the galaxy was more important than her.

She reached her second hand into the other pillar and grabbed blindly.Instantly electricity ran through her body and sparked around her so brightly one would think it was an exploding star instead of a woman trapped within electricity.Shell screamed loudly, unable to resist as she began to turn to ash and float away on the current.She watched her hands go red as bits flaked off, then fell to her knees, but still the electricity burned.Instantly faces flashed before her eyes.

Joker in his stupid hat.The way his eyes could sparkle and how he could turn everything into a joke.He had struggled through a disease that made his bones break, to become the best pilot in the galaxy.

Jack.  The tortured biotic who had endured a life of hell, only to find her brother waiting to save her.  Jack was a bitch to be reckoned with, but she had been saved by her Shaun just as Shaun had saved her.  Now, she was a great teacher that Shell couldn’t be more proud of.

Then her brother shone in her vision.Her true hero.  Her brother had endured her hardships and still protected her when everyone else walked away.Shell felt the tears trying to emerge, but her eyes had burned away.

She pushed through the pain and reached her hand up to grab again.  When she felt the cool metal beneath her hand she pulled, using her entire body to pull herself up to her feet as she placed her second hand back in its rightful, doomed place.

Thane.He had died and still he guided her with his wide words and aura.  He still loved her with those beautiful black eyes.She could still hear his raspy voice that was like a purr and a growl all at once.  Most importantly, he had guided her to Samantha.

Samantha.  The British comm specialist who had braved Shell in her fury to introduce herself.  The woman who had chased her relentlessly until Shell had given in.The woman Shell had used as a crutch when Thane had died.  A warm body to comfort her in the night.The woman who had endured it all with love in her heart, only to bring Shell back to life.

Shell could no longer see or feel anything, but her body began to flake and die away.In one final blaze of glorious blue she was no more.Only a lingering memory in the heart of a woman just receiving the death message.



The Reapers fell.The giant machines year beyond what the galaxy combined could imagine fell.Their horrifying shrieks of victory and destruction became frightened as a blue light burst acros the Sol System and embraced them in a cloak of death.They struggled and shriek before they turned on each other, killing themselves on the command of a woman who did the same for the ones she loved.

The soldiers on the ground who had been lost and hopeless cheered.  Assault rifles were lifted into the air as the chant filled them.  “Shepard. Shepard” over and over again they cheered the wrong man, among them were the people Shell loved.  Her brother was silent.  Tali was silent.  Samantha shrieked and cried in agony as she realised the horrible truth that her love had been torn away from her.

The charge spread through the system, embracing every planet the Reapers had landed on and turned them against themselves.  They were helpless under Shell’s fury.When every Reaper was embraced the blue touched the mass relay and sent forth a pulse of hope and electric light.The relay exploded from the pressure.

The light hounded the Normandy, chasing the ship where Shell’s heart lay with a fury.Joker had never worked so fast in his life.A finger or two broke from the pressure, but he never managed to avoid that energy storm.The ship however crashed relatively undamaged upon an uncharted and untouched world.None of the crew perished.



“Liara?” Shade’s voice croaked as he struggled to pull himself from the ships wreckage.  His first ship and it had crashed.  The Reapers had attacked, they had taken and taken  from Humanity.Now they had taken part of Shade’s heart.He called desperately for the rest of it, his Liara.  His beautiful Asari that owned him entirely. The thought of losing her made him pull himself harder and faster through the burning metal and sharp edges.  He screamed in pain as the white hot metal burned through his armor and abused his body, melting the plating on his leg as he continued over it.  Pain or Liara.  He chose to ignore the pain, dig his nails into the dirt, and pull with every ounce of strength his shaking muscles could summon.

The skies were dark and filled with blazes of fire; Shade knew they were ships falling to the Reapers devastating attacks.  The earth was black with ash, the ruins surrounding him were so painfully familiar.  Once Shade recognized the ruins, he groaned.

"Not Paris" he groaned desperately.  It was another huge blow for Humanity.  More that had to be rebuilt after the devastation was over, if it was ever over. Holding his side, he rolled and let his back sink into the cooling mud.  He lay there a few moments, regaining his full consciousness as the flashes from orbit raped the war scarred skies.He remembered how Liara took comfort in the stars, that they were something the Reapers couldn’t easily destroy.  That their light would always be there to guide the intelligent races of the Galaxy.  That thought gave him power.  He finally pushed himself and rose to his feet, again his hand closed around his side.  It was sticky and warm.  The metallic smell teasing his nose he knew too well.  His side was gashed open.  He winced as he felt mud flecks mix into his wound, but he tried his best to ignore the pain.Pain meant he was alive, and Liara could be too.

“Shit…  Liara” he winced as he spoke, feeling his throat croak with dryness.  He needed water.  Medical attention.  Liara.Blue eyes and a beautiful mind.  A soft, guiding voice.  A beautiful soul.  God he needed her to be alive.  His vision became fuzzier by the moment.  He was bleeding out.  All he could think about was Liara.

"Liara!  Don't play with me damn it!  Where are you?”  Shade cried desperately once more before he broke down coughing.  The smoke in the air was not helping at all.  His eyes stung, his wound wouldn't stop bleeding, and he could not find his bondmate.  He summoned more of his strength to try again.

"Liara!  Please!" he cried out, choking on his tears. He didn't know how far he had stumbled before he heard a cough.  Suddenly the pain in his side was nothing. He ran with a heavy limp to where the cough had come from.  His eyes fixed on Liara; she was curled in a ball but alive.  Her eyes were distant, as if she had suffered a blow to her head.  Dirt was smeared across her lovely blue skin, but he couldn’t see any cuts.  He felt relief for a moment, before the pain in his body blazed to life once again.

"Liara! Are you alright?”  Shade fell next to her, his back against the surprisingly cool ruin Liara had dragged herself too.  She straightened to a sitting position for a moment before she responded with an absent tone.

"Yes.  We're fine"

"Liara?" he questioned as he struggled to rise.  He had to protect her, even if she could protect herself. He failed and fell into her arms.  He rested his head resting on her shoulder as they both stared out into the ruins, witnessing firsthand the devastation war could cause.  Shade silently vowed to retire from the military once this was over, if they survived that was.

"Shade" she whispered, her tone was shaking.  He tried to move, to comfort his bond mate in any way possible.  Instead, she touched his cheek and applied a little pressure.  He took her message and stopped struggling.  He let her win and take care of him.

"Relax Shade. Embrace eternity" she spoke as her eyes turned to black. Instantly Shade was lost in her mind.  He pushed after a moment of shock.  He felt a purity he couldn't describe, the intense love mixed with it brought tears to his eyes. This wasn't all Liara. She had lost some of her purity over two years. Then he felt them.




It barely registered with him though as he felt the wave of exhaustion flowing over him. It was not the urge to sleep, but the urge for an end to his struggles. To close his eyes and float away. He acted upon this longing after fighting to keep himself grounded in Liara's arms. She was crying over him, holding the deep gash in his side. There were others, but that gash drew the most attention on his bloodstained armor. Voices came to his ears. Voices of the dead. With all he had left he resisted their urging and encouraging. He couldn't be over, not yet. He had more to do.

"Thr... Three... Three heartbeats"

Then the world went black.







He was scarred. Broken. A soldier to the core because he knew nothing else.  He stood against the Galaxy’s biggest threats for all species because no one else would. He shouldered his problems and the weight of being a hero because he was strong enough.Every soldier had their scars. That was the only person who could protect the Galaxy.  Shepard smiled.  The war was over.  The Reapers were gone, all he loved were safe.  Tali was safe.  Finally he could rest, he could stop being strong and become human once more.  The price was high.  He had to go.


“I’m sorry Tali…” Shepard grasped at the little strength remaining in his body to speak the words aloud.  He saw the stars above, the destruction of the reapers.  He had destroyed Harbinger and now lay crushed, his head free and his body bleeding.  He was impaled clean through in several points of his body, bones protruding from the gashes he had acquired.  In the dust he lay, tears threatening to pour from his face.

“I swore I would come back alive. That’s one promise I don’t think I can keep. No matter what, take care of our child.  I don’t… Girl or boy, take care of him.  Don’t let her end up like me.  I… I love you. I’m sorry” He let the tears pour from his eyes, stained with blood and grime.  He felt himself fading, his vision was threatening to vanish forever.  He would not go down without a fight.  It was not as if anyone could hear him, but he hoped that one day Tali would find her happiness, build her home and maybe even marry.  He hated the idea of her been with anyone but Kal came to his mind as acceptable.  He coughed.

“I love you Tali’Zorah Vas Normandy. You are the stars in my life, the brightest point in the darkness.  I’m sorry I failed you. Keelah Sa’Lai”

“After time a drift in open stars. Among  tides of light and shoals of dust…I…” Shepard coughed again.

“Will return to where” he thought he heard a voice, calling his name desperately.  He closed his eyes, the vision of a reaper in the skies above him exploding.  He didn’t know if it was a reaper, it was a brilliant flash of red after an amazing shot of blue expanded across the skies in a blaze of glorified deliverance.  The words felt cheesy, but he felt it was finally over.  But his war was not. He had to finish.  Get the job done, and go home.  But he would never be able to return home.  Tali was his home, wherever she was she had to survive alone, without him there to guard her.  He had guarded her body but she had guarded his heart.  Never, in his life had he ever felt so betrayed as he did this moment.  It was because of his betrayal. He had betrayed his promise to her, yet there was nothing he could do.  He was only human.

“I…I… ugh… I” he managed to struggle out.  Just one more word, he needed to say that final word that Tali had said so long ago.  It was when they had begun, truly admitted to each other and begun/ He remembered fighting for her, defeating a ship full of Geth and the Admiralty Board of the Quarians for her.  Now he lay in the rubble dying. His tears meant nothing, he had failed her.  He couldn’t choke down the pain he felt, or that he would never see his child. He had let her go into a war pregnant and sent her away from him begging.He had failed her.  He would not fail this speech, it was for her he spoke the final word before his body went limp.



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