This Is Your Future

Posted: February 27, 2015 by writingsprint in We've Got Your Back
Tags: , , ,

Part 4 of “We’ve Got Your Back,” a Mass Effect fan fiction. This story has spoilers for the end of Mass Effect 3.
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“This is your future, if you continue,” the boy said.

Shepard looked around. He imagined he could hear thunder coming from a ravaged place on the other side of the world. “Where are we?” he asked.

“On one of many worlds that suffered through the chaos, before the harvest.”

Shepard blinked. Far away, he saw spidery synthetics crawling over the bodies of creatures that had looked like green, four-limbed bipeds, some as high as two meters tall. Shepard heard the emptiness of the synthetics’ thoughts. Our creators are gone. Our purpose was to serve the creators. What is our purpose now?

Shepard remembered the panel. The Crucible. The panel was gone. He didn’t belong here. He fought to concentrate. He tried to remember the room. How it looked. Anderson’s body. He said to the child, “I need to use the Crucible, or we’re going to end up like this. Help me.”

“No. You will not. You must ascend. It is the only way.”

He didn’t understand why, but something about this child enraged him. It was only a boy, but it wasn’t acting like one. “Preserved… ascension? I don’t understand. The protheans believed that the Crucible could destroy the Reapers.”

“The Crucible will end the cycle. Chaos will return.” With a sound like autumn leaves, the burned-out world vanished, replaced by another, and another, and another. “We hold the chaos back. You must ascend.”

“The cycle… the Reapers?” Shepard felt like someone had poured ice water all over his body. He grit his teeth. He wasn’t talking to a boy at all. “Harbinger.”

Shepard shouted, “Get the hell out of my head!”

The vision shattered and Shepard was back in the control room. He felt anciently tired. How much blood had he lost? His armor meekly tried to keep him alive, but it was barely working.

The panel waited for him to continue. A transparent, sparkling version of the boy stood next to him. Shepard turned back to the panel. As he started again, the puzzle cascaded. Grew more complex. At first Shepard thought he had done something wrong, but then he saw harmonies and layers inside the cascade. It wasn’t more complex; it was gaining strength. It was working.

Shepard wobbled on his feet. He grabbed hold of the console as his ears roared and a haze of dots swam over his eyes. The pain from the wound in his side stabbed him back to clarity. He felt tired.

He had to keep working. He hoped he finished before he passed out.

Or died.

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