The Price of Perfection

Posted: March 3, 2015 by writingsprint in Science fiction, We've Got Your Back
Tags: , , ,

Part 8 of “We’ve Got Your Back,” a Mass Effect fan fiction. This story has spoilers for the end of Mass Effect 3.
Shepard watched as capstones of mathematical symmetry melted under pools of alignment. He didn’t understand it, but the prothean side of his mind did. He was close. It was a good thing, too. He felt like he’d just run a marathon. It was too bad Tali and Liara weren’t here. Between the tech and the prothean history they’d eat this up.

He could see what the Crucible was now: a junction box, a device that synchronized and fired the power of the mass relays through the Citadel, which was the nerve center of the Reapers—which explained why it had never been destroyed, barely even damaged, across all of the cycles of extinction. Someone must have asked why. Firing the Crucible would be like using defibrillator paddles directly on someone’s brain.


“Synthesis is the final evolution of all life,” the boy explained. Shepard shook his head. Harbinger, he reminded himself. “The radiation released by the Crucible will destroy us. It can also alter the matrix of organic and synthetic life into a unified matrix.”

Shepard kept working. He also listened to what Harbinger had to say. He wasn’t a murderer. Even to this bastard, he would listen.

“Organics seek perfection through technology. Synthetics seek perfection through understanding. Organics will be perfected by integrating fully with synthetic technology. Synthetics will finally have full understanding of organics. We have tried a similar solution in the past, but it has always failed. It is not something that can be… forced.”

Harbinger’s pause caught Shepard’s attention. He remembered Ezno’s friend, Inali, and what Cerberus had done to her. “You tried to force organics to help you reach synthesis?”

“Yes. But the organics were not ready.”

He returned to the puzzle with renewed strength. “That’s putting it fucking mildly.”

The explosions outside were happening faster. Come on. Come on.

“The Reapers will cease their harvest, and the civilizations, preserved in their forms, will be connected to all of us. This will be lost if you continue.”

Lost. Knowledge would be lost. Shepard had heard enough.


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