Jen' Jari Iv Tave Sith
Ok... I've decided to post the first part of my Mass Effect fanfic here, in a attempt to restart my imagination and get back into writing it as I've planned out a considerable amount of this story and I feel I owe it to the characters etc to continue with it. Any criticism is welcome... just not destructive.
The prologue chapters lay down the groundwork for the actual story (which as I'm writing this, I'm about to actually start... but stuck at and yes, there will be quite a few original characters appearing in this story, but only ONE who'll be with Shepard and the rest. No, it's NOT a self insert fic either and no OC/Tali relationships either, as quite frankly I'm sick of all the Talimancers >.<
Anywayz, here's the first prologue. Hope you like what is here so far, and if there's enough interest, I'll post the next chapter soon.
MASS EFFECT : THE LONG NIGHT
On a uncharted research space station, a scientist watched the screen in front of him with interest, as his other compatriots were huddled over the five long, frosted tubes. There contents, worth a small fortune... IF... the augments worked. He didn't know where The Illusive Man had found them, nor did he care. All he cared about, was the five cold sleep tubes and entertained the possibility of 'What may come...'.
The console behind him flashed, trying in vain to attract his attention. The other scientist in the room with him, looked at the screen and swallowed. She turned her head to the side and spoke to him.
"Dr. Winston, The Illusive Man wishes for a update on Project Long Night."
With a sigh of annoyance, Dr. Theodore Eleanor Winston turned and faced the speaker.
"Guess I better not keep him waiting... Keep an eye on the readings, Tubes Two and Five have some minor abnormalities in the spectral scan. Make sure they stay within the optimal levels until I return."
His assistant nodded, as he left the room and walked down the hall. The sterile white of the space station spoke of cleanliness... of pure humanity. It also spoke of the values of Human purity and the salvation of the Human race, issues of value to the organization known as Cerberus.
As he approached the communications room, he paused. He knew his superior demanded results, but with the case of Project Long Night, a sly smile appeared on his face. He knew The Illusive Man had plans for any of the subjects of his project, but he was damned if he'd let Cerberus take his work. A former Alliance scientist, he left after seeing all the kowtowing the Alliance was making towards the Council and all the alien races.
He looked down at his omni-tool and made some quick adjustments, and he knew his assistant would make the necessary arrangements. Standing straight and smoothing his coat, he palmed the access panel and walked through the door and stepped onto the communications ring. A few seconds later, he was staring at a holographical recreation of the leader of Cerberus, The Illusive Man.
Sitting in front of a large red star, The Illusive Man's silhouette seemed to stare directly into Winston's soul, searching... searching for any information. Winston knew that The Illusive Man has bugs and agents everywhere, even in his own projects to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Winston waited calmly for the leader of Cerberus to speak.
He didn't have to wait long...
"Dr. Winston. I trust everything is proceeding at the appropriate pace?"
Winston frowned inwardly. He knew his superior would know how the project was going, yet he asks?
"Everything is proceeding according to schedule. Ice One and Ice Three should be ready in a matter of a few days. Ice Two and Five, are slightly behind schedule but the delay is negligible."
With a slow drag on his cigarette, the end glowing brightly and illuminating softly the face of The Illusive Man, he was silent as he pondered the information Dr. Winston had just told him. With a quick glance off to his right, and out of range of the holographic projection, he scanned the data on a screen. He then focused his sole attention on Winston.
"What about Ice Four?"
Winston paled slightly. Ice Four. The one he had worked diligently on, the one... he had plans for himself. With a slight nervous tremor in his voice, he spoke.
"Ice Four... unfortunately we are experiencing some... delays in the information feed into the subject's mind. There is... conflict, for lack of a better word, in that it appears Ice Four may be experiencing cerebral decay." Or the subject may be fighting the feed he added silently.
Silence washed over Winston, thick and palpable, as he waited patiently for a response. After what seemed like forever, The Illusive Man spoke, his voice tight.
"That... is unfortunate indeed. Ice Four was to be the prototype and test type for future operations. Repair the damage immediately..." slowly, he stubbed his cigarette out in the small holder on the arm of his chair. The Illusive Man stood up, and slowly walked over and stopped directly in front of Winston's hologram "You have exactly twenty-four hours to rectify this situation, otherwise Ice Four will be destroyed. Ice Five will then be chosen for the experiments which Ice Four has undergone. Also..." his eyes narrowed, so only a slim blue line could be seen through narrowed eyelids "You shall be... replaced. Have I made myself clear?"
Winston nodded slowly, understanding racing through his mind. When he spoke, only a slight strain was in his voice.
"I will not fail you sir. Rest assured, Ice Four shall be fully operational in twenty-four hours. I give you my word."
After staring into the scientist's eyes, The Illusive Man nodded.
"See that you do succeed. Otherwise the consequences... well, let's just say, you wouldn't like them." He paused then added "Did I say twenty-four hours? I meant twelve."
And with that, the conversation was ended. Winston stepped off the communication ring, his hand drawing a cloth from his pocket which he wiped across his face. Slowly, his mask of professionalism returned. He turned and left the room, walking swiftly back to his lab. He had a lot of work to do, and not enough time to do so.
Eleven Hours later:
Winston looked at the chronometer. His time was running out, but he had managed to complete the transfer. Ice Four's knowledge was completely upgraded to the current century. He knew that The Illusive Man had found these five cold sleep tubes hidden away in a bunker on Earth, and from how archaic the technology was, he guessed that the inhabitants were put in cold sleep in the early twenty-first century.
He looked at Ice Four... a grim smile spreading on his face. He had already identified the cold sleeper, and had decided to do what he could to save that person. Flying over the console, his hands made the appropriate selections, with a sad look on his face. The floor under the cold sleep tube of Ice Four, opened from underneath and slowly the tube was lowered onto a narrow track, under the lab. Once it was locked in place, the floor sealed above it, and the tube was rocketed along the track heading towards the outskirts of the space station.
Winston pressed a few buttons, as the station's mainframe was downloaded into a single OSD. With little time, he entered commands which locked the remaining four cold sleep tubes in place, and disabled their safety protocols. The lights in the room flashed red, and deftly he disabled the alarms before their shrill sound could be sounded.
He also disabled the station's alarm systems, and stared at the screen in front of him for a few seconds, before tying in his omni-tool to the station's mainframe. He stood quickly and made his way out of the lab, heading with purpose towards the launch bay. Preoccupied with his thoughts, he was caught unawares as one of the burly security officers called out to him.
"Dr. Winston? Dr. Winston! Sir!"
The security officer reached out and grabbed the doctor by his shoulder, startling him. With a gasp of surprise, he whirled and was staring into the face of Security Chief Calloway. Standing just over seven feet tall, he was pure muscle but also completely professional in his duties. He was also a hundred percent loyal to The Illusive Man and Cerberus.
Swallowing, Winston nodded to the security chief.
"Oh... I'm sorry Chief. Just rather preoccupied with my own thoughts at the moment."
The Chief nodded slowly, studying the scientist. When he spoke, his voice was measured but with a edge.
"Sir, I appreciate that you're under a lot of stress, but is it really wise for you to be wandering the halls? Shouldn't you be in your lab, working away on the project?"
Winston smiled slightly, a dry chuckle escaping his lips. He looked into the chief's face.
"Everything is going according to plan. The Illusive Man, I think, will be... surprised with how well the project has come along. Yes... very surprised."
Chief Calloway kept a neutral look on his face. There was something wrong with Dr. Winston. Something he couldn't put his finger on, but was determined to find out. He stepped aside, letting the scientist continue on his way unhindered. It was well known that Dr. Winston, when he was pondering his thoughts on the project, he would wander the station's halls and end up in the hanger bay, staring out into the vacuum of space. Calloway turned and headed back down the halls, towards the lab allocated to Project Long Night.
At the hanger, Winston looked over and nodded at his assistant who had already prepared a shuttle for launch. Inside, was the cold sleep chamber of Ice Four, safely secured and tied into the shuttle's life support system. He looked at his omni-tool, and pressed a button.
Just as Chief Calloway put his hand on the activation panel of the lab's door, the glowing panel changed from a glowing green, to a angry red. Calloway entered the all access code and waited for the panel to change to green. When it didn't, he immediately slapped his communication headset.
"This is Chief Calloway! I'm ordering a General Quarters Alert, and for all security officers to make their way to hanger bay five! Dr. Winston is to be arrested immediately! Lethal force only, and I repeat ONLY, if needed!"
With his long stride, the security chief raced down the halls, towards the hanger deck and bay five. Inside bay five, Dr. Winston had activated a magnetic shield over the entrance to deck five. He stepped into the shuttle, as his assitant activated the launch cycle, sending the shuttle flying out of the station.
"Patch me through to Calloway, and set a course for Mindoir." he told his assistant, as the screen next to him flared, showing the angry visage of Chief Calloway "Ahh, chief... found something amiss, did we?"
"Dr Winston, return to this station immediately and surrender yourself and your assistant immediately. Return the Cerberus property, and The Illusive Man may be merciful."
A laugh left Winston's lips.
"Nonsense! I know for a fact that there is no bone of mercy IN The Illusive Man's body!" he looked at his omni-tool, the countdown clock reaching the ten second mark "If I were you Calloway, I'd make peace with whatever Gods you believe in, as you'll be dining with them very soon."
Calloway's eyes went wide, as all the screens on the station showed the countdown clock, slowly counting down to zero. He only managed to say two words...
The station's core ruptured, sending tremors throughout the station, as the destructive energy raced out of the reactor, killing all the crew in the engineering deck. The shuttle rocked violently as the shockwave of the space station's death, hit them. Stabilizing the shuttle, his assistant looked at him, slight worry in her eyes.
"Sir? Are you sure Mindoir is a wise choice?"
Winston nodded, still staring at the screen which showed where the space station had been.
"It's a safe colony, non Alliance and no Cerberus at all." he smiled as he leaned back in the seat "Nice safe place to lose ourselves..." and for Ice Four to live again he added silently.
Satisfied with the answer, his assistant double checked the course, as she prepared for the jump. Winston sighed and closed his eyes. Located in the Attican Traverse, it was a safe location. Safe from Cerberus... safe from the Alliance. His ancestor has a place safe to live. After all... what could possibly go wrong?
The term, Long Night, has been used in countless other sci-fi novels, etc as another term for Cryo Sleep, Cold Sleep, etc etc. This is the first fanfic, I've written in about 3 years or so, and I apologize for being rusty etc...