Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 07

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20:41 Hours - September 10 - 2194

The medical bay was quiet, sterile, and still.  Captain Liao stood motionless, arms crossed, watching the still form of the quarian within the protective environmantal bubble the med-techs had erected around him.  The material was light blue, opaque, and she didn't have any more idea what a quarian looked like underneath their suits than she did yesterday.  Though not a terribly horrible thing of which to be unaware, Dai found herself frustrated.

Part of her hated that she was so concerned with what the quarian looked like; there were more important things about which to worry.  Security, for one, since it was clearly so simple for a stow-away to climb into a cargo container and make it on board without being discovered.  The launch of her ship, for another, with a great many departments to organize and less than a month in which to prepare them.  More importantly, the fact that the young man was clearly on the brink of death; his appearance should be the last thing Dai was thinking about.

Still, he was a quarian.  It was the same with both quarians and volus; Dai couldn't help but wonder what they looked like.  Everyone wants what they can't have, so the old saying went, and as far as Dai knew she had no way of knowing what a quarian looked like.  It would be so simple to open the protective bubble and take just a peek, but doing so risked allowing some type of airborne germs into the area.  Though not a problem for anyone else board the ship, and likely not even life-threatening for the quarian, an illness at a time like this might tip the balance out of his favor.

Behind her, the medical bay door opened, and Dai turned to see her executive officer.  They exchanged silent waves, and the big man moved to stand beside her.  Both watched the quarian for a few moments.

"Any change?"  Karl asked.

"Not since they stopped the bleeding," Dai replied.  "Doctor Peters says he should be safe to move by morning, but that we can't do much for him until then.  We're just not equipped to deal with quarian physiology."  The Captain held a hand to her head and gave a sigh.  "We haven't even launched yet, and already this command has drawn blood."

"Can't be all bad, can it?  He's alive."  Karl shrugged and gave a little smile.

"The human isn't.  He died about half an hour ago, in the operating room."

"Fuck."  Karl went silent again as the two officers watched the recovering quarian.  Both wondered about what had happened.  If the quarian was somehow to blame for the death of a human, this incident could have political ramifications.  Given recent galactic events, this was not the time for these kinds of problems.

"So what did the security report say?"  Dai finally asked.

"Oh, right.  That's why I came down, actually."  Karl pulled a datapad from his belt and handed it to the Captain, explaining the basics as she skimmed over it.  "Short version is they don't know.  Security cameras coincidentally malfunctioning in the area where shots were heard, no forthcoming witnesses, and the only security guard on duty was the kid we found with the quarian here."  He gave a heavy sigh.  "He was barely eighteen."

"Not anymore," Dai said, flipping the datapad off.  "Come on Karl, let's let this one sleep."  Dai turned and left the room, with Karl not far behind.  Neither said anything as they walked through the corridors and made their way to the command deck.

Other than a few last-minute stragglers making final touches in various areas of the ship, workers from the Olympus' construction had cleared out during the day.  Finalizing their reports and giving them the go-ahead to clear out had taken all of Dai's time, and left her with a pounding headache.  Yet with them gone, and the staggering majority of ship's crew yet to arrive, the Olympus was eerily silent and empty.  Their foot steps echoed through the corridors, which quietly hummed with the passive might of the dreadnaught's tremendous engines.  Where once had been a teeming mass of construction workers and robots, now was only two worried officers in a very lonely ship.

Nearing the command deck, Dai turned from the main corridor toward the communications room.  Attached to the comm room, wherein was contained holo-units that could be used to reach command personnel both on the Citadel and back on Earth, was one of many meeting rooms scattered about this level of the ship.  Waiting within one of the rooms, the turian Termidus sat in a chair.  He stood to attention when the two humans entered.

"Captain Liao, Commander Ostermann," he said respectfully.  Dai noted that he refrained from saluting.

"At ease, Lieutenant," Dai said with a smile.  She sat at the conference table, across from Termidus, and Karl sat a couple seats down from her.  "This is just an informal meeting.  I wanted to get to know you, seeing as you're going to be my security chief come tomorrow morning."

If Dai could read turian expressions at all, she would say the man was surprised.  "Captain?"  His voice made it obvious.

"I know, sensitive positions and all that, your orders said the same thing mine did.  Well I just came from the med bay, where a young turian is dying and a young human is dead."  Dai gave a small sigh, and her jaw set.  "Command has a point when they tell me not to put aliens in positions of security, but I think their point is wrong."

"Respectfully, Captain, just to play the advocate," Termidus said slowly, "some would say you have a right to keep human interests foremost."

"I think the war we just fought says otherwise," Karl interjected.  The turian looked between the two humans, and Dai nodded her affirmation.

"You're a trained officer, served in your own Navy for the past ten years and you've held this type of position before."  Dai looked down at her hands, then back up at the turian.  "I'll be perfectly honest, I only made this decision today.  Had a little talk with the volus on board--on whom I suggest you keep an eye, by the way--and he made me realize something."


"If I don't trust you good folk in sensitive posisions, I shouldn't even let you on my ship."

"The volus...he said that?"  Termidus sounded half shocked and half amused.

"No," Dai was thoughtful.  "I just think it's the way this ship seems to be going."


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This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Also!  This work is an effort by yours truly to force myself to write 1,000 words of fiction each and every single day.  Without exception.  It isn't planned, or plotted, or pre-thought, I literally pull this stuff from my ass.  The quality of writing may reflect that origin.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 06

16:30 Hours - September 9 - 2194

Dai was already through the elevator hatch before it had already slid open.  After a long trip through several corridors, many interruptions to deal with the significant number of complications involved with running a brand new ship (let alone a ship of such considerable size) she had finally made it to the hangar deck.  She was not too much delayed, the trip would have taken her a bit of time anyway given the length of the trip, but she was aggravated by this minor delay all the same.

Her conversation with Topri Von had been troubling.  Though he hadn't said much, what he did say had Dai wondering just who had assigned him to this ship and why.  If he was an analyst, of any kind, he was likely associated with sensitive topics of information, and she had been specifically informed that the high brass, and especially Intelligence leaders, didn't want the alien members of her crew attached to anything that might be considered sensitive.  Yet now there was a volus claiming to be an analyst, and being frustratingly vague about it to boot.

"What's the problem?"  Dai asked, as she entered the hangar.  Karl was already there, surrounded by the deck chief and a Lieutenant who looked as if he hadn't slept in three days.  Given the busy schedule lately, that seemed likely.

Karl looked relieved to see the Captain, and he immediately turned her direction.  "You should take a look at the supply crates we just got, Captain."

Dai gave him a questioning look, but the big man just raised his eyebrows with a "you'll see" expression, and motioned to her right.  Suppressing a frustrated growl, Dai turned and followed where he indicated, led by the tired Lieutenant and the nervous deck chief.

"We haven't touched 'em, ma'am," the deck chief was saying as they walked.  "They showed up like this, and I called the Lieutenant, and now here we are."

"Don't worry..." Dai looked back at him questioningly.

"Service Chief Felden, ma'am," he supplied.

"Chief Felden.  I'm sure everything is in order as far as you and your crew are concerned.  Now what happened?"

"Well they got shot up, ma'am," the chief said, and as they rounded a group of high-stacked cargo containers, Dai saw the chief meant exactly that.  A set of cargo containers, surrounded by curious deck personnel who quickly either snapped to attention or dispersed at the sight of their commanding officer, had clearly been riddled with small arms fire.  Heavy gouges were dug in from several angles, and many direct hits could be seen, there were even a few scorch marks from apparent explosions, either missiles or grenades she couldn't tell.

"Harbor security claims they don't know how it happened, Captain," the weary Lieutenant supplied, in an equally weary voice.  "They do have an incident report of gunfire in the temporary holding bay last night.  No arrests, no conclusion, but I'd guess whatever happened was right around our containers.  Harbor sent these up on the last shuttle, probably hoping we wouldn't notice in the rush.  Almost didn't."

"Whatever happened to these containers didn't happen around them, it involved them specifically," Dai added, walking around the most heavily damaged container.  "These aren't stray shots, whoever had the guns was shooting directly at the container."  She ran a hand across the bullet-ridden surface, wondering exactly what happened.  "What's in here?  Actually, I should probably ask, what's supposed to be in here?"  She exchanged a look with Karl, who appeared equally concerned.

"Generator parts, Captain," the Lieutenant replied.  "Nothing vital, just backup equipment."

"Open it," Dai stepped back, motioning to the container with her arms.  Karl stepped to her side.

"Shouldn't we have a security detail here?"  He asked quietly.

"Not if it's what I think it is," she replied.  "I think we have a stow-away, with trouble attached."

"That's exactly my point, Captain."

"We'll be fine," Dai said, holding a hand out.  She just hoped she was right about that part.

By then, the chief had organized three nearby gawking deck personnel into a work detail, and they had the side of the container unlocked.  With one last grind of metal and the sound of sliding support bars, the container slid open.  Boxes of parts were stacked high, large and small.  Nestled within them, tucked between to of the larger boxes near the side of the container, was a quarian male.  Just beyond him, the crumpled form of a human male.  Both men had been shot multiple times, and were laying in a pool equal parts human blood, quarian blood, and fluids from the quarian's environment suit.

Amid the exclamations of shock from the crew, the quarian raised his head almost imperceptibly.  Seeing a group of humans staring at him in mixed parts shock and horror, he raised one hand weakly in their direction.  It looked like he was trying to speak, judging from the faint flickering of light at the front of his helmet, but he never managed to get out any words.  Instead, his head slowly slumped back down, and his hand dropped to the floor of the container, resting in the puddle beneath the two mean.

"Med-bay.  Now."  Dai commanded, her voice heavy with authority and adrenaline.  The Lieutenant, weary as he was, had already left for the nearest comm unit.  Both Dai and Karl approached the canister.  Dai waved back several deck crew who had moved forward to help.  "No, don't touch them," she ordered.  "The quarian's suit is ruptured, we could kill him."

"Medical emergency, medical emergency!  Trauma team to forward hangar two!"  The Lieutenant's voice no longer sounded tired, as the shock of the sight in the container sent everyone's adrenaline skyrocketing.

Karl and the deck chief kept watch, and even ordered nearby personnel to cordon off the area.  Dai walked gingerly into the container, stepping carefully over a box and past the legs of the quarian, careful not to disturb anything.  Looking them over, it seemed that both men were still breathing.

"Welcome to the Olympus," she said with a sigh.  "Hang in there, boys."


This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Also!  This work is an effort by yours truly to force myself to write 1,000 words of fiction each and every single day.  Without exception.  It isn't planned, or plotted, or pre-thought, I literally pull this stuff from my ass.  The quality of writing may reflect that origin.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 05

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16:03 Hours - September 9 - 2194

Topri Von waddled down the passageway at a liesurely, unhurried pace.  The short, stocky alien looked curiously at the ship around him through the lenses of his mask, viewing this human environment from the safety of his pressurized environment suit.  Some of the crew personnel he passed would give him curious looks, and he would wave to them with his little three-clawed power glove.  Others would wave cheerfully at him, and he would wave back at them as well.  Overall, Topri was enjoying himself.

Of particular enjoyment to the industry-fascinated volus, many aspects of the ship's design seemed to be less than economically efficient.  Everything was all very sturdy, and looked quite capable, but to the young businessman's eyes he could already see seventeen different ways in which the construction cost more money than it should have; materials from known overpriced vendors being the primary issue.

A small commotion among the crew alerted him to the presence of a high-ranking officer behind him, and Topri halted his waddle.  With small shuffling movements, he turned around to greet Captain Liao, raising his little three-clawed power glove to wave at the human female; asian, likely Chinese, of an old family line.  Eighty-three possible families came immediately to mind, as Topri studied the Captain's posture, comparing it with her behavior during the recent meeting with the frightened turian, the angry salarian, and the dangerous asari.  Having narrowed the Captain's possible ancestry down to eight distinct family lines, Topri realized the woman was within socially comfortable speaking range.

"Uh, hello, Captain," he said.  Like most volus, he spoke slowly, somewhat haltingly, and sounded a bit congested.

"Hello again Topri," the officer smiled.  As a volus, Topri was probably the only person aboard the SSV Olympus who was shorter than its commanding officer.  She stopped in front of him, and though she took time to acknowledge and smile at passing crew, it was clear that Topri had her full attention.  It was a marvelous trick she did, dividing her attentions that way without sacrificing etiquette.  Topri noted this ability positively.

The Captain continued speaking.  "I did get a chance, back at the group meeting, to talk to you about your assignment here.  I have to admit, that unfortunately my superiors haven't told me exactly where aboard the Olympus they intended you to serve."  She was holding back many words, it was evident.  Likely it was the confusion brought about by the assignment of a volus, among the least physically capable species in the galaxy, assigned to a ship of war.  Captain Liao did a remarkable job of concealing her confusion however, and expressing her question in the least offensive way possible.

"Oh, nowhere special," Topri replied.  He gave a little shrug of his shoulders, which moved his entire sturdy environment suit.

"Well, what's your area of expertise?  Where were you trained?"  Topri saw a tick of concern in the Captain's eyes, and wondered about it for an instant.  Which was, for him, quite a bit of consideration.  He was forced to conclude that the Captain was having a trying day, and the presence of a volus about whom she had not been informed was irritating her.

"Nothing specific," the young volus replied with a sigh of effort.  Her irritation twitched in that right eye again, and so Topri continued.  "If you like, um, I can spend time on, the command deck.  You'll see what I'm good at, fairly quickly I'm sure."

"Are you a trained deck officer, then?  I wasn't really given much to go on."  Apparently Topri's comment had piqued the human's curiosity, and her irritation was pushed to the back.  She was now more intrigued than not, and she was genuinely curious as to exactly what skills the volus was referring.

"Well," Topri began, "I'm kind of an analyst."

"An analyst...what type?  Personnel, tactical, or intelligence, maybe?"

"Yes," Topri answered.  "For a start."

The human's brow furrowed a bit, partly in surprise but primarily in returned irritation.  Topri headed off any further discussion of the subject.  "Captain, there is a disturbance, uh, on the hangar deck," he spoke before the human could say anything.  Mere seconds after he spoke, the ship's intercom cracked to life.

"Captain Liao, to forward hangar two.  Captain Liao, forward hangar two," a voice spoke.

Dai looked at the volus with a dangerous mix of confusion, suspicion, surprise, and amazement.  In reply the volus pointed to the side of his helmet.  "Monitoring comms," was his only response.  The Captain didn't have time to question further, but she seemed hesitant to leave at just this moment.  "You should go," he prompted.

"Please do join me on the command deck," the Captain said, as she began to turn and leave, "I'll have a spot for you, and we'll see if we can't find a use for analyst, as you said."  She made an effort to be friendly, but it was clear she was slightly put off by Topri's responses and foreknowledge of events on her own ship.  The volus sighed to himself quietly in his suit, the good mood he'd been enjoying slightly dampened.  He hadn't intended to upset the Captain, he liked her.  She was friendly, cared about her crew, and well equipped for the job ahead.  Clearly, he would need to put time into undoing the potential damage he'd just done with any eventual friendship that might be possible.

For a few moments, the volus stood in the hallway and let crew personnel wander past him.  He did not respond to them as they looked or waved, but was lost in thought as he wondered about the possibilities of this upcoming venture.  Eventually he did begin to walk again, in his slow and waddling manner, shuffling to turn the other direction and head towards the nearest elevator.  He boarded quietly, giving a small wave to the crewman standing near the control panel.  "Deck eight, please," he said.

"Sure thing," the crewman said, and complied with a smile.  Topri conversed with the young man on the elevator ride down, but his mind was busy the entire time.  He was distracted.  There was much to consider.


This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 04

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14:00 Hours - September 9 - 2194

Captain Liao and Commander Ostermann made their way through passageways, hatches, compartments, and elevators as they traveled through the massive starship.  Most of their journey took place along what was informally referred to as The Line.  Technically it was the Firing Line Parallel Compartments, but that was simply a construction term that had very little relevance to the ship's future life.  Crew, however, tended to refer to the compartments and passageways along the ship's central main gun as The Line.  It ended up, more often than not, being a focal point for meetings and off-duty activity.
Even now, with the ship still uncommissioned and with only a tiny fraction of her full crew, the line was busy with activity.  Though there were scant few sleeping quarters along the line, many of the widest passageways stretched along or wrapped around the ship's central gun.  Newly arrived crew gravitated here; whether old hands familiar with the function of the line or new recruits unfamiliar with most onboard traditions, the line was simply a place where people ended up.  The Olympus' gun was quite simply her physical, tactical, and societal heart.
The two ranking officers aboard the ship found themselves greeted by excited crew personnel who were settling in and getting to know each other.  Karl replied to each greeting with a friendly, if formal smile and nod.  In contrast, Dai was practically a social butterfly.  She smiled brightly to her crew, answered questions swiftly enough that she didn't need to slow her pace, and made a point to ask the names of several personnel along the way.  Tradition referred to people like Dai as "the soldier's officer," and she was proud of that.
Within a reasonable amount of time, the two officers reached one of the berthing areas, designated for officers and visiting dignitaries.  Turning down a passageway marked with a dark blue deck, in contrast to the standard steel gray found throughout most of the ship, they passed a sign on the bulkhead that read "Officers Only."  Karl barely even noticed the sign, and was surprised to find that his Captain was no longer leading the way.  Looking back, he saw the small woman glaring up at the sign.  She looked over at him.
"I don't have anything with me to pry that off.  Can you get it?"
Karl blinked a few times, and looked at the sign.  He thought at first to question why, but the man was quick.  Without a word, he reached for the sign and yanked at it with his hand.  Though built of sturdy material, in a multi-alloy bulkhead designed to withstand the stresses of interstellar flight and tremendous kinetic impact, the adhesive bonding them was no match for the big man's powerful grip.  The sign came down with an audible ripping sound, drawing the attention of nearby personnel.  Captain Liao smiled cheerfully.
"Thank you, Commander," she said with genuine warmth.  Leading the way again, she headed into the berthing area to find her newest crew members.  The task was not overly difficult.  Some way down the corridor, the voice of a young woman could be heard chattering away happily.
"These rooms are much more spartan than I was expecting, but not as bad as I had heard about human vessels.  I like that they each have their own bathrooms, that makes everything so much less complicated.  Do you think the corridors in this part of the ship are less echoey than the rest of the ship?  I do, I hardly hear any echo at all in here."
Dai and Karl rounded a corner into a small, open rest area for officers.  Relatively comfortable couches were arranged in a near-full circle around a small holographic display, and a row of computers on the far bulkhead allowed for easy access to the extranet during off hours.  Along the couch were arranged four people.  The first, a turian male listening with amusement to the chatterbox next to him; a small blue asari woman fiddling with her head tails as she spoke.  Just a few spots down from the asari was a salarian who appeared to be reigning in the desire to forcibly silence the young woman.  Directly across the circle from the other three, a volus sat as best he could on a human-made couch, legs sticking out rather adorably.  He was the first to see the two humans round the corner.
"Um," he managed to say, in that slow way that volus tend to speak, raising a finger to point.  The others turned to look, and all three immediatly stood up.
"Captain, it is a pleasure," the turian said, instantly snapping to attention and giving a salute.
"You're the Captain!"  The asari exclaimed.  "It's wonderful to meet you, I'm Kimila, these two are Termidus and Kiran, and that's Topri," she waved her hand toward the volus, even turning to give him an excited smile.
"It's wonderful to meet you all," Dai said, returning Termidus' salute.  "On Alliance vessels we don't actually salute while indoors, but I appreciate the gesture, Mr. Metridus."
"Blast, and I remember reading that now that you mention it.  It won't happen again, Captain," the turian scowled.
"It's fine, don't worry about it.  Today is fairly informal, I just wanted to meet the four of you, and it's nice that you're all here in one spot."
"I was hoping we would meet you today as well, Captain," Kiran, the salarian, jumped in as the asari opened her mouth to say something.  "It seems our berthings have been mixed up, the document says I'm bunked with...with this young lady."  He nodded his head toward the asari, who smiled cheerfully, seemingly unbothered by the interruption.
"I apologize, Lieutenant, but we're going to be full up as soon as we leave port.  We will have individual berthings for both you and Ms. Danagi within a few months."
The salarian made a face, at least as far as Dai could tell, and she smiled sympathetically.  Opening her mouth to speak, she had to catch a laugh at the look Kimila gave her new bunkmate.
"Don't worry Kiran, I never snore, and I don't sleep much anyway."  She seemed genuinely concerned for the other's peace of mind, which apparently only irritated him.  He gave a curt nod to the Captain, and returned to standing at attention.  Already, Dai liked this bunch.


This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 03

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13:40 Hours - September 9 - 2194

The heels of her dress uniform clacked lightly against the deck plates as Dai hurried through the corridor.  Workers nodded and greeted her as she passed, crew personnel quickly slid to the side to let her pass.  The Captain returned workers' greetings, and made a point to acknowledge each member of the crew, few and far between though they currently were.   As she neared the bridge, there were more crew than workers, and by the time she passed through the archway onto her command deck, she was surrounded entirely by the fresh-faced young crew of her new dreadnaught.

Around her, activity was the watchword of the day as the command deck veritably buzzed with enlisted personnel busy with the task of getting a brand new dreadnaught up to launch status.  Men and women at their stations worked swiftly, communicating with each other and with personnel in other sections of the ship as they organized their activities.  Each station was taking the time and putting all their energy into finalizing preparations for launch in just a few short days.

"Captain on deck!"  Called a nearby young officer.

"As you were," Dai replied, letting everyone get back to what they were doing.  She took a moment to stand and gaze around the command deck, taking everything in.  Navigation personnel were downloading and updating the latest star charts, and coordinating with the helmsmen for calibrations.  Combat personnel were running diagnostics on each of the weapons systems, speaking busily with each individual weapons group around various sections of the ship; they were eager to test the ship's weapons, but to their regret that would have to wait until after they left port.  Personnel in Sensors, Security, Comms, and the many other departments necessary for running such a large vessel were equally busy at their assigned tasks.

Dai felt a rush of energy surge up her spine, and she desperately wanted to run full tilt around the command room, or jump into the air screaming for joy, or grab the nearest person and dance wildly about the room.  Her excitement was overwhelming, and she found herself almost hopping in place she was so desperate to express it,  but she managed to keep it contained to a bright smile and a brisk pace when she resumed her walk to the center of the command deck.  Surrounded by Navigation personnel, as well as her new executive officer, the galaxy map wasn't yet online but its position in the center of the room would eventually serve as the place form which she commanded the ship.  Standing at the map, with her personal computer in arm's reach, she looked around again at the entire command deck that surrounded her.

"My dreadnaught," she whispered to herself, letting out a steady breath to calm herself.

"Pardon, Captain?"  Commander Ostermann asked, walking up from the other side of the map.  She smiled at him.

"Status report, Commander."  She managed to keep her voice relatively controlled, though her excitement was likely noticeable.  Not a terrible crime, given how excited most of the crew seemed to be.

"Joy across the board so far, ma'am," Karl replied.  He held out a datapad containing the reports that had been completed so far, and she glanced over it.  Karl continued his report as she read.  "Mr. Deschamps says within the hour his workers will be finished with those aft compartments he mentioned yesterday.  All civilians should be off ship by the end of the night.  How did everything go with the Senator?"

Finished with the report Dai looked up at her XO, towering over her.  She gave a tiny roll of her eyes that only he could see, and smirked.  "It went well enough, but the honorable Senator Brezhnev likes to talk."

Behind her, a young Lieutenant arrived, and stood at attention.  Dai turned and acknowledged him with a smile.  "Captain, Navigation reporting, all star charts downloaded and updated," he said, nervousness evident in his voice.

"Thank you Lieutenant, good work," Dai replied.  "Stevens, is it?  You're quite young for a Staff Lieutenant, your service record says you finished schooling with high marks."

Lieutenant Stevens smiled and blushed, and his youth showed.  "Yes ma'am, I know I'm young, but you won't have any problems with me.  I've been playing with stellar navigation since I was fourteen."

"I believe you," Dai said warmly, and nodded to dismiss him.  "Thank your crew for me, as well."

Stevens nodded gratefully, and Dai turned around to her XO again.  "Do me a favor, see if you can find the aliens I'm told arrived today, I'd like to meet them before launch if possible."  Ostermann nodded and turned to relay her order, while Dai focused her attention on the galaxy map before her.

Software fully downloaded and updated, the Navigation crew was now bringing up the visual core of what would be the central hub of their job aboard the Olympus.  A gigantic holographic representation of the known galaxy, marked with colonized planets, political borders, trade ports, military bases, and the all-important mass relays.  Dai let her gaze sweep across the hologram, watchin countless stars drift slowly in their circular pattern.  Her previous command, the SSV Sydney, had carried a similar map, but she never got tired of looking at it.  Here before her, somewhere she could reach out and touch, were all the stars sentient beings had found or seen in the entire galaxy.  She wanted to visit them all.

After a few moments, Ostermann returned to her side.  "All aliens are reported on board, ma'am..  Turian Termidus Metridus, asari Kimila Danagi, salarian Kiran, and a last minute addition, a volus named Topri Von."  His voice carried the surprise Dai felt, and she gave a little laugh that Ostermann echoed.

"Someone playing a joke on us, or am I misisng something"

"I have no idea Captain," Ostermann replied.  "Maybe he's a bit more military-oriented than other volus?"

Dai chuckled and gave a helpless shrug.  "Well, alright then.  Let's go meet our new friends, and find out what a volus can do aboard an Alliance dreadnaught."


This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 02

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10:02 Hours - September 9 - 2194

With a small hiss of air, the hatch slid open and allowed entry.

"If you'll just step this way, sir," the young enlisted woman said, motioning to the corridor that opened up before them.  Busy with workmen cleaning up the last of their tools, and a handful of military personnel either overseeing the operation of going about their own business, it was a rather crowded affair.

Following behind the smaller human, Termidus looked around.  The tall, well-build turian was cool and collected, never said a word as the humans stopped what they were doing to look at him.  He met each of their curious gazes with a nod, and proceeded on his way down the corridor behind the young woman.  What was her name?  Inwardly Termidus cursed himself, but at least he could recognize her rank, having studied human military when he learned of this posting.

"Serviceman," he spoke up in a heavy voice, "is the Captain not on board yet?"

"She is," the young woman spoke as they walked.  "She was going to meet you when you arrived, but a Senatorial delegation wanted to view the ship, so she'll meet you later this afternoon."

Termidus nodded, and continued to follow silently.  It was disconcerting to arrive at a new post without meeting his commanding officer, but he supposed this was just the first of many new things he would have to get used to.  This wasn't a standard post, after all.

As they walked through the various corridors, the turian continued to exchange nods with crew and workers that they passed.  He struck an imposing figure; his turian height over them was the first impression, and his fierce countenance with bone-plated face and sleek head spikes another.  Still, he did his best to appear nonthreatening, even amicable.  It was in this mindset that he first encountered Kimila.

Rounding a corner at breakneck speed, the small blue asari nearly collided head-on with the massive turian.  Only Termidus' quick reflexes, and the asari's sudden roll to the side, prevented the two of them from ending up in a heap on the floor.  Several nearby workers and crew were forced to dive against bulkheads as well, and the Serviceman who was escorting Termidus turned with a wide-eyed stare.

"Sir, are you alright?"  The young woman asked, even as the asari stood from where she had landed with a roll.  With a nod and a scowl, the turian reached down to help up the blue alien.  When he did, he was dumbfounded by the brightest, bluest, shiniest eyes ever to grace the galactic stage.  She gave a dazzling smile, blushing.

"Sorry about that, I was in a hurry to explore the whole ship and I didn't look where I was going.  The corners on these ships are really block compared to what I'm used to, and normally on asari ships I can see where I'm going a lot better."  The asari, who appeared young, spoke at a pace that nearly had Termidus' translator at a loss, and he gave a grunt of amusement.  She held out her hands, one to him and one to the Serviceman.  "Kimila Danagi, just got here this morning and I'm happy to meet you both."  The asari gave a little laugh as she shook their hands.  "Sorry I'm talking way too much, I do that, just tell me to be quiet if I get annoying.  My mother--"

"Kimila, please," Termidus said, holding up one hand gently.  The Serviceman next to him blanched, but the asasri didn't seem the slightest bit offended.  She just smiled, and nodded cheerfully.  Termidus looked back up and down the corridor, chuckling quietly to himself.  "So you're part of this whole new program too, I assume?"

"I am!  I'm so excited, this is a tremendous honor, and I can't wait until we launch, it's going to be the best!"  She looked over at the Serviceman.  "Are you taking him to his room?  I'm learning the layout of the ship, I could take him if you have other things to do, or I could come with you and tell him about things that a human might overlook.  Not that you might not know to point things out, but you know some things would be automatic for you and you might not think about pointing them out to someone who hasn't--"

Termidus held out a hand silently, and Kimila shut her mouth with a delighted giggle.  Clearly young, as Termidus had originally surmised, and very excited.  He smiled however, and looked to the equally amused Serviceman.  "It's your call, Serviceman, I haven't offically reported for duty yet."

With a smile and a shrug, the human woman gave a small laugh.  "Well, I'm happy to have you along, Ms. Danagi.  There aren't many crew aboard the ship yet anyway, so it'll be nice to talk to people who aren't workers on their way out."

Kimila clapped happily, and the trio began walking down the corridor again.  As they did the young asari chirpped happily about many various things around the ship she had discovered.  She told him about the engine room and its sheer size, exploring the shapes of corridors around the vessel's central gun, the smell of the mess deck, and how far along she was in counting the different structural frames from one end of the ship to the other.

"So what's your name, anyway?"  She asked at the end of a lenghy description of the medical deck.

"I apologize Ms. Danagi, I hadn't realized that I forgot to introduce myself earlier," the turian replied, giving a small salute.  "I am Termidus Metridus, third--" he stopped when the asari snickered, and gave her a scowl.  "I'm sorry, is there something funny?"

The asari blushed again, and gave a little shrug.  "That' that really your name?"

"It is."  His voice indicated his annoyance, and to her credit Kimila didn't push the matter further.  She did, however, have to bite her lip to maintain such an advanced level of etiquette.  Termidus made a face.  "You're very young, aren't you Kimila?"

"Hundred and thirteen three months ago!"  The asari beemed cheerfully.  Termidus exchanged a look with the human escorting them, and both of them shook their heads.

Kimila began to cheerfully regale them with tales of the adventures she'd had in the cargo bay.


This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 01

22:15 Hours - September 8 - 2194

Shots peppered the ground around him, and the wall just across form him, as Tolan rounded the corner.  Running far too fast to round easily, he slammed into the wall and grunted with the impact, pushing off again in an effort to maintain some sort of forward momentum.  He worried for just an instant that his suit might be damaged from the impact, but he had no time to stop and check.  Desperately the young quarian sprinted as fast as he could, as the cries of his pursuers drew closer.

Ahead of him stretched a long alleyway, devoid of much cover aside from a few trash canisters, and his heart sank.  There didn't seem to be anywhere he could hide, and his pursuers would round the corner any second.  The heads-up display of his mask warned him yet again of his elevated heart rate, and yet again he ignored it.  One bit of shadow up ahead looked like it might contain a doorway, and Tolan forced himself to maintain his sprinting pace.

Just as he reached his target spot, the mercenaries rounded the corner he had just passed, and almost instantly the alley was filled assault rifle fire.  Tolan felt his arm jolt, saw warning lights flare up across his HUD, and knew that he had been hit.  There was no time to react, as he frantically pressed the panel of the door in his little sheltered alcove.  His ancestors were with him, as the door opened swiftly and Tolan fell through it amidst a hail of gunfire, and the sound of gunshots on metal as the doorway closed again.

Knowing he had only seconds, Tolan activated his omni-tool and frantically scanned for the door code.  His fingers veritably flew over holographic keys, and within just a few rapid heartbeats he heard pounding on the door's other side, even as his omni-tool and the door gave echoing security beeps.  Tolan fell back onto the floor, almost sobbing in relief, his entire body shaking.  This was not how today was supposed to go.

The sound of a pistol sliding open and powering up sent electricity up the exhausted young quarian's spine.  He moved to roll onto his side and leap up, but a voice stopped him cold.

"Freeze!"  The man, a human, carried a pistol and wore what looked to be the uniform of a soldier.  Tolan didn't know enough about human military to even guess what branch the man was, or even if he was enlisted or officer.  In the long run, he figured it didn't really matter.

"Please, I was just trying to get away from the Blue Suns," he said, between panting breaths.  His helmet was working overtime to scrub the air fast enough for him to breathe

"Who the hell are you?"  The man asked.  He seemed frightened, almost as much as Tolan, and the quarian was simultaneously comforted and made uneasy by that assumption.  Slowly, he raised his hands and looked up from his prone position, trying his level best to appear as nonthreatening as he knew he was.

"My name is Tolan'var nar Kelif," he replied.  "I'm being chased by mercenaries, thugs, and I just wanted to hide."

Those same mercenaries were still pounding on the door less than a meter away from Tolan.  Their muffled curses could just be heard through the barrier.

"You a thief or something?"  The human asked.  Tolan winced inside his helmet.

"  Well, they think I am."  He sighed.  "I bought a small ship from a volus, and I think he stole it from someone, because they came after me."

A particularly loud thud hit the door, causing both Tolan and the human to jump.  They both looked at the door, and could hear someone working at the access panel.  Apparently the mercenaries were being paid enough for persistence.  Tolan looked up at the human.

"Please, I'm not here to cause trouble, please just let me go," he begged.

The human looked at him for several moments, visibly frustrated.  He seemed at a complete loss for what to do, until another loud bang at the door made his mind up for him.

"Get up.  Slowly!"  The last word was emphasized, and he waggled the pistol.  Tolan complied wordlessly, rolling onto his side and standing up.  He groaned with pain as the wound in his arm surged across his nervous system, and he wondered how bad the hit was.  According to his HUD the environment suit had successfully sealed off the breach, but he figured he would still pay the price later.  Once he was on his feet, the human moved to the side.

"Walk to the other side of the warehouse," he said.  Now that he could see the human at a proper angle, Tolan judged that they were about the same age; maybe Tolan was even a bit older (not that he was an expert at judging human adges, the man just seemed young).  Looking around, it made sense.  On the flotilla only the youngest quarians were saddled with boring duty such as guarding warehouses, and it seemed logical that humans would follow a similar pattern.

"What are you going to do?"  Tolan asked, as he slowly walked to a passageway between large crates.  He kept his hands clearly up at shoulder level on either side.  The human fell into step behind him, pistol shaking but never wavering.

"I'm taking you to the Lieutenant," the human replied.

Eager to be done with this whole thing, and hopeful that the human military might help him out of this situation, Tolan gave a sigh of relief.  Surely things would go better now that he could appeal to some authority figures, and explain his situation rather than being shot at.

With alarming suddenness, the thudding behind them stopped.  Both Tolan and the human stopped, the quarian turned, and the two exchanged a look.  Just as the human turned around, the doorway exploded inward completely in a massive ball of fire.  Both quarian and human were knocked prone, which saved their lives as gunfire filled the air.

"Keelah!"  Tolan exclaimed, and he dragged himself behind a crate.  The human followed him, and the two young men found themselves pinned by a withering hail of gunfire.


This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Mass Effect: Olympus - 00

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19:43 Hours - September 8 - 2194

Stars burned in the endless black, light first shed centuries past now reaching her eyes.  Long after the light of those stars had first been shed, whole civilizations had risen.  They greatest ones had spread and made laws, conquered and ruled, supported their population and put down insurrection, fought off invaders and finally crumbled from within.  All before the light first shed by those stars had ever reached this spot.  Now after all that time, her eyes were here to bear witness to that light.  Dark brown eyes, the color of cinnamon, or so said one of the men who ever came close to stealing her away.

Quietly, Dai chuckled to herself.  It was inevitable; every time she stared at the expanse of space, she got overly philosophical.  Stealing was not an entirely inaccurate term to use though, she had to admit to herself.  She was as married to her career as most women were to their husbands.  It had cost her friends, loves, a portion of her psyche, and in return...

Well, in return she had earned the Olympus.  Turning around, Dai surveyed the office before her.  The Captain's Cabin (she even thought of it with capitalized letter C's for each word), just the thought of it sent another chill down her spine.  Actually that wasn't quite it.  The Olympus wasn't her first command, that had been the Sydney; a sleek and wonderful cruiser which she still missed quite dearly.  No, the chill down her spine, the excitement that made her blood rush at the mere thought of wher she was standing, was the sheer enormity of that to which her cabin was attached.  Literally.

She could almost see most of it even now, as she turned around and looked back out the heavily-armored viewport.  It stretched out for almost three quarters of a kilometer.  Sleek, shining in its berth, and in her imagination Dai was certain she saw it glittering in the light of all the little construction worker drones going about last minute oddities before tomorrow's ceremony.

"My dreadnaught," Dai whispered to herself.  The very words seemed to steal her breath away, they were so powerful.  They had given her a dreadnaught.  It was almost too much to believe, and certainly more than she ever expected.  'Work hard, be brave, and be there for your enlisted,' her father had said.  Well look where that had gotten her.  A dreadnaught.

The tone at her cabin door startled her, snapping the wonderstruck woman out of her reverie.  "As you will," she called absently, giving one last look out the viewport as she turned to cross the cabin.  She walked past her bed and dresser, built into the deck and bulkhead respectively, both still completely barren.  The cabin door opened just as Dai made it to the small three-step up to the office portion of her cabin, and within the open archway stood a young man in his dress uniform.  He saluted smartly and held out an active datapad, its screen glowing brightly with information.

"Captain Liao, Staff Commander Karl Ostermann reporting for duty," he said by way of intruduction.  The surprise was evident on his face, even though he hid it quickly; it was generally the same reaction.  Career military men were accustomed to meeting career military women, but tall physically capable men were never prepared to find themselves saluting small shapely women.  It often brought up inadequacy issues.

Dai let him hang for a few moments, his arm still held up uncomfortably in a salute, while she took the datapad and glanced over it.  "My brave young Executive Officer, yes?"  The question was rhetorical, and to Ostermann's credit he didn't reply.  Marking one in his favor, Dai graciously returned his salute so he could drop his arm.  With that she turned and walked to her desk, sitting down to look over the datapad more thoroughly.  Ostermann followed, the hatch closed behind him, and he waited patiently at the end of her desk.

After a short while, she looked back up at him.  He definitely cut a striking figure in his dress uniform, particularly since he stood nearly two meters tall and was built like a behemoth.

"You're certainly the largest line officer I've ever met," she said with a playful grin.

Ostermann was quiet for a moment, contemplating how he should respond.  "You're probably the smallest I've ever met," he finally said.  His expression seemed worried, but Dia liked that he had kept his response along the same lines.  It showed that he wanted to open things up, make this work.  They couldn't work together if they didn't develop some kind of a connection.  Dai liked that he got that.

Though she didn't have any other seat in the small office, her belongings were still packed and sitting nearby.  She motioned to them.  "Please, have a seat," she said, placing his datapad on the desk.  He complied, and Dai pursed her lips thoughtfully as she contemplated.  "So," she eventually asked, "how scared are you?"

The other officer seemed taken aback by the question, and he blinked a few times.  "Captain?"

"I'm absolutely terrified," Dai said with a grin.  "They built eleven hundred meters of cold, hard metal, around a gigantic gun, stuck some engines on the back, added more smaller guns, then plunked me down in the captain's chair and tossed you in right next to me."  She gave a small little chuckle.  "Worse, they tell me that by the time we launch next month there will be over six thousand people for whom you and I will be personally responsible.  If you're not scared, I need to know because that means you don't understand in the slightest what we're up against."

Ostermann blinked a few times, and then let out a small laugh that seemed more relief than amusement.  "I'm terrified too, Captain," he said quietly.  "I was shaking the whole ride up the elevator."

Dai's smile widened and she gave a laugh of her own.  "Please, call me Dai.  Or Di, or Li, or some combination thereof, when there's no crew around."

"Thank you, Dai," he replied, with a nod and a smile in that same soft voice.  "Call me Karl."

The two shared a smile, and Dai nodded her head slowly.  "I'm glad to meet you Karl."


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This is a work of fan fiction, intended for the amusement of myself and those reading it.  I am in no way affiliated with Bioware, Electronic Arts, or anyone else who has any official say over the Mass Effect franchise.

Like my words?  Buy my stuff!
More importantly; tell other people about my work!