Welcome to my new story in the Mass Effect universe. I always wanted to do one but always said maybe tomorrow. Well, with Corona out there and nothing else to do I sat myself down and started.
I hope you'll like what came from my mind onto 'paper'.
Well, on with the story!
Disclaimer: Mass Effect belongs to BioWare
My story began when I turned eighteen. The age when you become a fully responsible adult in the eyes of the government.
Well, theoretically my story began even earlier. To be precise it began more than a hundred years ago and in a different reality. A reality where a series of games existed called Mass Effect. A game that became my new reality.
I never found out how or even why. In the end, I didn't care much about it.
At first, I even thought that I was just reborn into the future. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Humanity was still confined to the Sol-System and had colonies on Luna and Mars. There was nothing that screamed Mass Effect at me, it just looked and felt like the future.
But that changed from one day to the next, when it was announced that alien ruins had been found on Mars. They called these aliens Protheans.
I swear my heart stopped for a moment when I heard the news.
At that moment I was already 23 years old and came to terms with the whole being reborn long ago. But hearing that I wasn't just reborn but flung into a different reality was something else.
The first thing I did after the news was that I checked the internet for BioWare and Mass Effect.
I got dozens of hits for BioWare but none for Mass Effect.
Not. A. Single. One!
It seemed like they never had the idea for that series.
But there was something I would call a ray of hope, BioWare made a KotoR 3 and it was great! Just some information by the side.
But back to the situation at hand.
I knew what would be coming, the first contact war with the Turians, the whole trope of humanity becoming part of the Citadel, Cerberus and of course the Reapers and the galactic war with them.
While I looked out of the window of my apartment onto the skyline of London and the Thames I pondered what options I had.
I could do nothing and live my life to the fullest and hope that Shepard would do the right thing and destroy the Reapers or I could try to meddle with the future and prepare humanity and the rest of the galaxy as best as I could.
The means to do something meaningful were available to me. When my father died he left me his mining-company and the beginnings of a company centered around starship construction. I was fifteen at the time and couldn't take control of the company just yet. My mother died three years before him and I suspected he never really recovered from it. He wasn't a bad father, far from it, he did try, but he was broken inside. For me it was hard too, losing your mother is never easy even for someone who had already lived another life. It probably helped that I wasn't born aware of my old life so that I truly could form a connection with my new parents. The first memories came slowly when I was 8 years old and would continue for the next to years before I would understand that those weren't vivid dreams but memories of a previous life. And when mom died the shock released probably them all and I remembered fully.
After dad died I would concentrate on learning everything I could about business, economy and starship engineering. In my old life I already had a degree in business and economy so I wasn't that hard to (re-)learn it but starship engineering and engineering, in general, was something else. Especially, since there were a hundred years more to it than I knew of. Concepts and theories I had never heard of and scientist of my old life would never have thought of, yet.
But I was determined to make my dad's dream true. He had always spoken of how he would have loved to explore the stars and to see different planets. That was why he was branching out into starship construction.
I still remembered when I was six or seven and dad took me out into the wild for camping. We looked up into the night sky, away from any city and could see the stars. He had this faraway look in his eyes when he spoke to me. "Son", to this day I remember what he said with an impossible clarity "we humans have always wondered what is out there in the galaxy and now we're on the verge of finding out. I feel it deep in my heart. That's why I want to fly up there one day and just explore. Seeing new things, sights no human ever set sights on before. That is my dream and I hope you will find a dream of your own one day." I could only nod at his words and thought how cool my dad was.
After his death, I swore I would make his dream come true in his stead.
Officially, I took control over the companies when I turned eighteen but practically that happened two years later when I got my degree in business and economy.
Hey, don't think that took to long for one who was already practiced in it. I studied engineering with a focus on starships by the side which took me one more year to get my degree in.
For the next two years, after I took over and had to fire one or two of the executive part for embezzling, helped consolidate my position in the company, not gonna lie, I focused on expanding on our mining operations first. Processed resources were always something needed and in an age of space exploration in was even more needed. Especially when I wanted to build my own starships one day. To produce the materials needed for construction would make production cheaper and in the end, I could make more money with them even if sold cheaper than those of my rivals.
To that goal, I hired some scientists and engineers to invent equipment that would make mining easier, cheaper and faster.
It took them six months but they constructed VI-controlled drones that helped the workers immensely with breaking up the minerals in the soil and refining them into useable materials. It worked like a charm and my company saw exponential growth for the next two years and it didn't stop there because the team that created the drones continued to make them even better or finding new areas where and how those drones could be used. Furthermore, my mining company grew to the point that it encompassed 41% of all extraterrestrial mining operations and was still growing.
All the while the starship company slowly grew as well and the cheap materials allowed for experimentation with design.
But that was the furthest thing from my mind at the moment because I was still pondering the question of what I should do.
I could let the events of the games play out and hope for the best or I could do something. I wasn't sure what I could do. Supporting Shepard? That was a given but how should I do it? I didn't have any special abilities, biotics weren't even a thing yet, nor did a have a technological superior combat suit, moreover I wasn't even a soldier or even had the potential to be one. My Sister, in my previous life, was one and told me that I would never survive military life. Proud as I was I disagreed and she dared me to spend one week with her doing standard exercises.
Waking up at dawn, training, doing chores and more training. I barely survived the first day and at the end of the third, I truly hated her.
After the week, she told me that that wasn't even the hardest that she experienced and I couldn't fathom how I could survive an even harder regime. Pride shattered, I agreed with her that military life wasn't for me.
Thinking about my sister, let me smile. She had been six years older than me and had always watched over me. Every time I needed help or needed advice, I just had to ask. In this life, I was an orphan with no sibling that I could turn to, so I looked in the past to find an answer.
For the next ten minutes, I just looked out the window, reminiscing, interrupted only by sipping on my glass of Irish whiskey.
Then suddenly something my sister once said flew through my mind and the thought let me stand up on reflex.
A grin came over my face when I remembered her words.
"You know, if you even had only a half the interest in politics that you have in business, you could probably become president in less than twelve years. After all, you have a way with words, you probably could sell sand in the desert and make a killing with it."
At the time I just laughed and asked her if she would like to invest in my business but now, now her words truly struck something in me. A path opened up before me. A path that would lead me to the center of the action while away from the battlefields. A way to truly move something, to prepare for the Reapers, to make things better in the galaxy even after the Reapers were dealt with.
I knew what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be.
Neither Anderson nor Udina would stand in my way.
I would become the human councilor!
"Well, it seemed like I made my decision of what to do and I even had a goal to boot! Becoming the human councilor would let me have a direct influence on galactic politics and events.
But that would be far off into the future. If I remembered the timeline it would take something between 32 to 36 years before the events of Mass Effect happened, hell it would take a decade before the first contact war with the Turians.
That thought let me stop. I knew that in a few years the Turians would attack Shanxi and my knowledge could help prevent it but the question was, should I?
My foreknowledge could be interpreted as a kind of time travel, where the traveler tries to change events in the past to create a better future. But by using his knowledge of what is to come he could make these events happen in the first place or he changes the events and instead of a positive effect on the future it is even worse than before.
Still pondering the question I poured myself another glass of whiskey. Was it my second or already my third? I didn't know, thinking of monumental and history-altering decisions lets you ignore such minor things.
Taking a small sip, I cherished the light burning in my throat, reminding me that this was real and no fabrication of my mind. Well, maybe it was but was reality truly something different than a fabrication of our mind? It takes the information of our surroundings and interprets them, the result is what we call reality. Who can say that my previous life on earth in the 21st century was real and not just a bad dream of some kind of animal?
For me, the reality was the here and now, my reality was the beginnings of the Mass Effect universe. No, it wasn't just the Mass Effect universe, it was my Mass Effect universe. Who could say what the future would bring? Maybe my being here had already changed things irredeemably from the original timeline. Did ME even have an original timeline? Take a look at Shepard for example, he or she could be born on earth, on Mindoir or in space. Different places and probably different parents. And do not forget that Shepard could become the survivor of Akuze, the Butcher of Torfan or the Hero of Elysium. And that are all variables before the game even begins, I don't wanna even discuss the different classes that Shepard could be because that would mean differences in his/her training.
Another question was if I could even influence the coming events. The answer to that was a resounding no. I had no pull in any government and even if I had it would be useless because the System Alliance didn't exist yet. They would be founded in the coming years in response to the discovery of the Prothean ruins or was it because of the Charon Relay? No matter, I would wait and then start to make myself vital to the Alliance. They would be the key player in galactic politics for humanity and being a part of them would give me the chance to become councilor later on. Furthermore, they would be the military arm of humanity as well and it would do well to support them if we wanted to have a better chance at repelling the Reapers.
In the end, my decision on what to do was as simple as it was complicated. I would let things play out and deal with them as they come. No more worrying about deviating events or possible futures, no human being was made to control the future and anyone who thought differently was a fool. You could influence the possibility of a specific future but never dictate all details.
With that decision, my mind began to formulate a 'battleplan' for the immediate future. I would need a strong support base to truly change anything and just expanding my mining business wouldn't do the trick. That didn't mean I wouldn't expand in that sector, oh I definitely would expand there, materials would become even more valuable but I had to branch out. My still small starship company "Ad Astra" would be a key in the coming years. I would try to become the major supplier of space vessels for the Alliance, which would give me an entry in the political arena of the Alliance that I could later use as a stepping stone to the Citadel.
Another thing was that I could try to support the invention and development of technology apart from Element-Zero and mass effect, remembering the revelation that the mass relays and the citadel were built by the Reapers to control the development of galactic civilizations and guide them down a specific path. And what about the end of Mass Effect 3? Did the crucible render the mass relays unusable or could they still be used? I didn't know but I would work on the assumption that they would not. Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. That was a good motto to hold onto.
What else could be done?
That question swirled through my mind and dozens of ideas came up, some dismissed but some held promise.
Weapons for example, not just small arms, no, weapons for ships, maybe even orbital defense like those in Halo. That was an interesting thought. Why try to think up everything from scratch when hundreds of fictional ideas could work? After all, something was just so long fiction until somebody brought it into reality. Mass Effect was something fictional before and now it was real, at least to me.
The rough outline of my plan for the next ten years was done. I would expand my mining business, "Ad Astra" and branch out into weapon development and other technological avenues.
Moreover, I would try to become a key player in the Alliance itself, it would be easier while it was still young and not recognized as the power it would become.
I smiled as my gaze wandered over the skyline of London at night.
My glass raised to a toast I remembered the old Chinese curse.
"May we live in interesting times."
I hope you liked the first chapter of 'Intersting Times'.
As you could read it is an SI/OC story but I hope somewhat different from the normal ones.
Most SI-stories that I read about where about how someone tries to change the galaxy as
a member of Shepards team, an SI that changes the canon as a soldier with a weapon in hand.
Don't get me wrong there are some pretty good ones but I wanted to do something uncommon.
I love those ME-fics that have a different humanity and the politics that happen in them, the interaction between
characters that have political power is something that I find interesting and I wanted to do something like that.
For example the interactions between the Council and the Wardens of the Mantle in evevee's Halo/ME-fic 'On the Illusion of Might' is something I truly enjoy.
Well, enough about that.
Please review, any critic that could help to make this story even better is wanted.
Even ideas about what would be nice is welcomed (but those please per PM)
Read you later