All for One

Posted: March 9, 2015 by writingsprint in Science fiction, We've Got Your Back
Tags: , , ,

Part 13 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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Shepard cried out to the sound of thunder. He saw fire everywhere. He tried to scream but he barely had the strength to move.

“He’s awake.”

Vega?

“We’re here, John. Hang on.”

Miranda?

“Shouldn’t… shouldn’t have come…,” Shepard mumbled.

“Shut up, Shepard,” Grunt said.

Shepard looked up. Grunt grinned down at him. He was on a medical stretcher. That was why he couldn’t move. Shepard recognized the numb feeling of battlefield painkillers and the gooey relief of medigel on his wound. They were running through the power chamber that he’d crossed on the way into the control room. The chamber looked like an inferno. Another crash of red lightning and thunder shocked him again.

Shepard dimly remembered arming the Crucible. Wait… then he sent a message. As the puzzle came together, he had seen how the Crucible was tied to the Citadel, and the Citadel was tied to the Reapers. And how to communicate the way Reapers did. Using it had taken all the strength he had left. It had sure pissed off Harbinger too. It had shown his true colors, bloody and crystalline, just as Shepard passed out.

They ran back through the corridor where he’d seen the bodies. Suddenly they were inside a Kodiak. Where the hell did it come from? Vega and Grunt practically threw him down to the deck, bolting the stretcher to the floor.

Shepard watched them pile in behind him. Ash. Jack. Tali. Miranda. Garrus slammed the hatch. Everyone held on as Cortez–only Cortez could fly a Kodiak like that–shot them away.

The cabin pressurized. Miranda took off the duraplas while Ashley and Garrus checked his vitals. Miranda took his hand. “Look at me. Breathe.”

“Thirty seconds,” Tali said.

“I could really do without the countdown,” Jack said.

Shepard could barely speak. He formed the word, “Miri.” Her chin trembled. She nodded and gently touched his face. Shepard managed a smile. He squeezed her hand.

He heard Cortez say, “Normandy, extraction team is inbound. Where the hell are you?”

Joker replied, “Keep your shirt on. It’s a little crowded up here. Hold your course and keep going!”

Shepard caught a glimpse of Cortez’s view screens. It was the most incredible thing he’d ever seen. Hundreds of ships. Thousands. The human ships formed a channel of fire and steel around the shuttle. Asari protected the humans. Turians protected the asari. Side by side, the geth and quarians clawed at the Reapers. The salarians and other races darted everywhere in between.

They did this…for me?

“SHIT!” Cortez yelled as he pitched the shuttle over. Momentum threw people back against the hull. The red, sizzling beam of a Reaper weapon filled the cockpit screen. Shepard almost heard the beam scraping the Kodiak’s hull. “Where the hell did that come from?”

Cortez corkscrewed their flight path and sent them back the way they came. The beam followed them. “Damn it!” Cortez hissed. He pitched the Kodiak straight to the left. The Reaper flew past them. Cortez flew back the other way, dancing a tango with thrusters and beam fire.

“That Reaper doesn’t just want to kill. It’s after Shepard,” Garrus said.

Miranda looked at Shepard. Like she always did, she read his mind. It had to be Harbinger.

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