Mass Effect – A Hero Rises Ch. 49 – Celebrities & Fan Fiction – Free Sex Story

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Book 2, Chapter 30 — Arrested Development

*****

A/N — I won’t be covering the Arrival DLC in any great length as I want to move onto ME3 as quickly as feasible.

*****

In the end, I had maybe a month of peace before I was given my next assignment.

During that month, I rented out an massive apartment, with various bedrooms, at least two living rooms, an massive dining room, at least half a dozen bathrooms, and a spectacular view of Nos Astra. I had more money than I could count, as I’d spent none of the credits I’d been given during my time with Cerberus, while Liara had helped me gain access to my old accounts, and wasn’t surprised she’d helped me earn plenty of credits even when dead.

I was joined by plenty of lovers in my apartment. Kelly, Kasumi and Gianna moved in immediately. Shiala probably spent more time on Illium than Feros once I’d settled down. Emily visited every weekend. Chakwas hesitated before she seemed to just think ‘Oh, to hell with it’ and moved in too. But they were not the only women to join me. Miranda, having practically pledged her allegiance to me personally, was a regular visitor. Jack had all the time wanted to be one of ‘Shepard’s girls’ and they made her feel as loved and welcomed as anyone else. Samara visited, never for intimacy, but enjoyed dinner and drinks with us often that I’m sure a few wondered she would eventually join in. Liara couldn’t help but fly in and see me.

It was a great month, filled with plenty of joy, laughter and Sex. A lot of Sex. All of my girls were now incredibly open-minded. If they didn’t spend the night with me, they happily spent it either alone, which wasn’t unusual, or with another woman, sometimes just for business, sometimes because they wanted Sex.

The first week I spent most of my time only with Gianna, at the near insistence of Kelly. Little wonder that, in the end, Gianna happily agreed to a threesome with Kelly, and perhaps one of the most erotic sights of my life to that point was watching Gianna and Kelly pleasure each other. Once Gianna got over that little hump in her mind, she readily agreed to inviting other women into our bed, Kasumi and Emily becoming regulars in addition to Kelly. After a couple of weeks, I usually went to sleep with two women. In some methods, it was all rather liberating for everyone. We all knew where each other stood. Those who stayed with me permanently were more than accepting of those who just visited.

Of course, it wasn’t gonna last. Situations like that never do. Real life gets in the way eventually. I would never have grown bored of it, though I was a man of action, so when Admiral Hackett contacted me about a mission he wondered I was best suited to, I couldn’t stop myself from agreeing.

It was a fatal mistake.

*****

I’m fairly sure I’d go down in history as the first person to ever destroy an entire star system. Whether the Protheans or any other species that came before had done it, no-one could be sure, but there was a good reason why I’d done it.

To prevent the arrival of the Reapers.

The mission Admiral Hackett gave me was a debacle almost from the get-go. Doctor Kenson was insane, though it didn’t help she was also indoctrinated. Everyone who worked for her was also suffering from the effects. It had been a long time since I’d worked alone, so it was no surprise that I was eventually taken prisoner. Having to fight my way out was a race against time. The Reapers were on the verge of arriving, and we were simply not ready for their appearance. I knew I had to do something drastic to stop them, give us just enough time to perhaps prepare.

So I had to send an asteroid into a mass relay. I was fairly sure it had never been done before. I was warned about the catastrophic damage that would be done. What didn’t help is that all this was taking place in a region of space called the Bahak System, which was deep in batarian space. They had known about Kenson. I’d rescued her from their clutches. But they would put two and two together quite easily once I sent the asteroid into the relay.

Was I gonna cry about a few batarians dying? No. But I’m also not psychotic and certainly didn’t want to commit mass murder. So as I sent the asteroid towards the relay, I contacted the nearest point of civilisation, which was on the planet of Aratoht. I was told there was nothing they could do. There was no chance they could evacuate an entire planet in the time the asteroid would collide with the relay.

Just before I managed to escape, I had my first conversation with a Reaper since Virmire. It was Harbinger again, the same Reaper voice I had heard at the Collector base. It seemed the Reapers were now taking a personal interest in me. I didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. But it’s warning was clear. No matter what I did, the Reapers would eventually arrive. I was only delaying the inevitable.

I could have retorted with a grandiose speech, or perhaps a dose of sarcasm. But I went with truth. I wouldn’t be the only one ready for the fight.

I couldn’t return to Illium after what I’d done. I knew the news of what happened would have spread quickly. The Normandy collected me with everyone on board and I had to explain to them first what had gone wrong. Thankfully, because the mission had been solo, I’d recorded everything, so made sure to show them the main points. If I hadn’t, I think Samara would have felt compelled to try and kill me. To be honest, I wouldn’t have blamed her.

“So what will you do?” Miranda asked.

“I’ll contact Admiral Hackett first and see my options. What have the batarians been saying?”

“They released the conversation you had with the batarian you spoke to on Aratoht. Surprisingly, it’s not doctored in any way, but it obviously confirms your guilt in their eyes. Only we believe the Reaper theory.”

“Hackett does too. He’ll believe everything I tell him. It would explain what happened with Kenson.”

“What do you think he’ll ask you to do?” Kelly thought.

“Hand myself in. I can’t go to the Citadel. The Council will want me arrested. I can’t go back to Illium. It’s still an asari world. They’ll arrest me and hand me over. Even if I went somewhere like Omega, Aria won’t want me there, drawing attention. And I can’t just float around on this ship, as no doubt the batarians won’t be the only people looking for me.” I ran a hand through my hair and sighed. “EDI, send a message to Admiral Hackett. Send him our current co-ordinates. Have him meet us on the edge of Alliance space and the Terminus Systems. I’ll see what he has to say.”

The mood on the ship was sombre as we waited for the meeting. I couldn’t help feel a little guilt about everything that happened. I’m glad I did feel something, because if I didn’t, I would have questioned my state of mind. But I justified it by continually telling myself that it was a necessary move. Sacrifice now to give us time. We needed every second to prepare for the Reapers. Would I have done the same with a human system? Honestly, no. Probably not even an asari or turian system. It helped that it was a batarian system. But I still didn’t like that many lives on my conscience. Thousands of innocents died alongside the bastards in charge.

Hackett arrived within two days, and it was no surprise that my old mentor, Captain Anderson, joined him. All Cerberus emblems had been taken off the ship, inside and out, which they seemed to approve, escorting them to the conference room so I could show them some of the video and answer any questions.

I kept it simple. Doctor Kenson had been taken prisoner by the batarians. She had recovered a Reaper artefact. Said artefact then indoctrinated Kenson and everyone on the asteroid. I had to kill nearly everyone who worked for Kenson. I also had to kill Kenson, who did everything she could to prevent me achieving the objective. I spoke with Harbinger, making sure I showed them footage of that conversation. They could no longer deny reality.

To my relief, both men agreed I’d done the right thing. Hackett stated I should receive a few more medals for everything I’d done since waking up. But that was only his personal comment.

“What do you think, sir?” I asked, looking at Anderson.

“Udina wants your head on a chopping block, Shepard. He wants his revenge for everything that’s happened between you two over the years.”

“The others?”

“They don’t believe the Reaper theory, Shepard. They… They think you’ve lost your mind. Spectre status rescinded. Your name has the same value as Saren right now. Admiral Hackett invited me along for a reason, to warn you that unless you hand yourself in, Council Spectres will be sent to hunt you down. And it will not to see you arrested. Your Cerberus links are being used against you.”

“They’ve stooped to that level, have they?” I asked rather sarcastically.

“Unfortunately, what’s happened makes you an easy target, Shepard.”

I looked at Hackett. “Once we leave here, Shepard, you have seventy-two hours to make your way to Arcturus to hand yourself in. You will be arrested upon arrival. Your ship impounded. Any crew on board will also be arrested. Those who don’t wish to find themselves in Alliance custody must leave the ship.”

“Thanks for the warning.”

“To be honest, the people on this ship helped you, Shepard. So we’re willing to overlook who they were working for until the moment you hand yourself in.”

“A rather empty vessel will be arriving then, sir.”

“The only thing that matters is that you are on the ship, Shepard. I can’t emphasise that point enough. If you’re not on Arcturus in seventy-two hours, an entire fleet will be sent to hunt you down. The Alliance has to be seen responding to what happened, even if some of us understand, even agree with what you did.”

Escorting the two men to the airlock so they could return to their ship, I shook both their hands and assured them I would meet the conditions. Once they had departed, I gathered everyone in the mess to explain the conversation. There was no surprise that most would choose to leave the ship. The only safe place to do that would be Omega. Council Space was simply out of the question.

Those staying would be Joker, Chakwas and Kelly, who flatly refused my suggestion she should travel with someone else to escape. She would stay by my side, no matter what. The general crew would also remain on board, believing they would be safer handing themselves into the Alliance than go on the run. All of them would receive glowing recommendations from myself, hoping it would help them not see a jail cell for too long.

Miranda wondered long and hard about what to do next. Eventually we sat down together and she told me that she’d stay with me. I couldn’t help be surprised at the wondered but she believed the Illusive Man would now have his best operatives hunting her down. He’d have sent people after me, of course, but she knew some of his most guarded secrets. There was no way he would allow her to live in safety.

Garrus, Samara, Thane, Mordin, Jacob, Zaeed, Jack and Kasumi all decided to leave. The latter didn’t particularly want to, but didn’t particularly want to discover herself in Alliance custody. Garrus would return to the Citadel to begin with, as he would likely collect Chloe, then return to Palaven, to speak with his father about the imminent return of the Reapers. He’d do what he could to help me while I was out of play. Samara would return to asari space with a warning about the imminent arrival of the Reapers. She wasn’t confident anyone would listen, but she would try. Thane would return to the Citadel and spend time with his son. Mordin would return to STG, again hoping to spread the word about the Reapers. Jacob would simply disappear, going on the run, not wanting to join Miranda in handing herself over. Zaeed would head to the Citadel and find out what to do with his life, if anything.

As for Jack, we had a long conversation over what she wanted to do next. To my surprise, she admitted that she’d had a lot of time to think about what she’d been through as a kid, so she wanted to help kids just like herself, those who struggled with their gifts. She remembered Grissom Academy and thought if she could possibly head there. I couldn’t help grin, made a few phone calls, and while they were surprised, they remembered who she was. Sanders let me know within a day that Jack would be collected from wherever she was dropped off.

Docking on Omega, I didn’t get off the ship, just in case a group of people were waiting for me. I had no doubt any batarian I saw would want to take a shot at me. The farewell I shared with each member of my team was touching, exchanging wishes of luck for the future and promises they would prepare as best as they could for what loomed on the horizon. I think Kasumi was on the verge of changing her mind during our last hug but she managed to tear herself away, suggesting she would also head to the Citadel.

With the ship now almost empty of crew, I had Joker take us towards Arcturus. I hadn’t been near the space station in years. During the journey, I made my last calls to Gianna, Shiala, Emily and Liara in the conference room. All were aware of what happened but they believed everything I told them after I’d had a chance to explain what happened. I told them I was heading to Arcturus where I was to be arrested, no doubt interrogated and then incarcerated, though I had no idea where and for how long. All I could do was wait and see. Liara insisted she would help out however she could, but I warned her not to do anything that would draw attention to herself.

The Normandy was clocked as soon as it entered Arcturus space, receiving hails that we were to follow our escort to the docks. It was only now that Miranda became rather nervous, wondering what kind of reaction she would receive. Kelly remained a diamond, though I could see with each passing day she was ever more upset, as it would be the first time we would be aside since… well, my first day aboard the ship. But she knew I was doing the right thing.

Our ship docked easily. I gave one last speech to the remaining crew, thanking them for all their hard work, for believing in me, and also assuring them I would do all I could to ensure they would not face any penalties for the fact they were simply assisting me. There were no symbols on any of their clothing by now, so that might help their cause. Most were ex-Alliance anyway, so like Chakwas, they could claim they were simply helping me in our fight against the Collectors. That was my hope anyway.

“Okay, EDI, open the airlock and let’s get this over with.”

Once it was open, I casually stepped off onto the dock to be greeted by Admiral Hackett, with Captain Anderson to one side, and a half dozen armed marines in front of him. “Thank you for coming, Commander Shepard,” Hackett stated.

“I’m no longer a Commander, sir.”

“I’ve taken the liberty of inducting you back into the Alliance to help smooth some of the process, Shepard. Plus, it will prevent you being processed by the civilian courts. This is a matter for the military.”

“Very well, sir. I’ll follow your guidance.”

Hackett shared a glance with the officer in charge, and he stepped forward. “Commander, I’m Colonel Majors. I hereby place you under arrest. Do I need to explain the charges?”

“No, sir,” I replied, turning around and placing my hands behind my back. I felt the click of the handcuffs before I was turned around.

Hackett and Anderson stepped forward. “Colonel Majors will escort you to a holding cell. Tomorrow morning, you will be taken before an Alliance Military Court where a list of charges will be presented. You will be represented by the Alliance, Commander.”

“Who?”

“Myself and Captain Anderson.”

That wasn’t a surprise. “And then?”

“You will face interrogation over everything that has transpired since your return, Commander. I’m sure you understand.” I nodded. “For your own safety, it has been agreed that you will eventually be transferred to Earth. The politicians don’t particularly want your presence here for too long.”

“What about my crew?”

“That can be discussed later. For now, all will detained and interrogated in regards to any links of Cerberus.”

“Can I make two requests, sir?”

“Name them and I’ll see what I can do.”

“One. I’d like Kelly to remain by my side after I’ve been transferred to Earth.”

“Done. Second thing?”

“Miranda Lawson. Detain her if you wish but understand who you have in your hands. Someone who can tell you all you need to know about Cerberus. She’s come with me willingly. Keep that in mind. But everyone aboard cut links with myself, sir. All of them joined to help me, not because they were card carrying lunatic devoted to the Cerberus cause. The likes of Chakwas never joined the organisation, they simply helped me. I hope that will be remembered.”

“I’ll ensure all your crew are looked after, Shepard.”

I glanced at the Colonel. “Okay, Colonel, let’s get this show on the road. Will I be made a spectacle or…?”

He shrugged off his jacket and covered my shoulders. “No, Commander, those of us who serve know what you’ve done.” There was an obvious glance towards Hackett before I was led away.

I was led to a holding cell, the handcuffs taken off as I took a seat. It was the first time I’d been truly alone in a long time. I went over in my mind about what was gonna happen just the next day, let alone what might happen over the next few months.

What I knew is that the entire galaxy must now prepare for the arrival of the Reapers. I had a bad feeling we would likely be as unprepared for it as we were three years earlier.

*****

Garrus Vakarian

He wished he had his trusty rifle with him. Not because he was getting ready to go into battle. He wouldn’t require a rifle for what was to come next. But he all the time felt better with a rifle in his hands. It was type of security blanket. If not a rifle, then he wished Shepard was with him. His friend was all the time better with words than he was. Shepard could talk his way out of a building choc-full of the enemy. He had a real gift of the gab, as he’d say himself. Garrus was a confident man. But he preferred action over words.

And he knew Shepard would be far more convincing in what was to come next. Garrus was a believer, just as much as anyone else who had served alongside the man. But he knew Shepard would make a far more convincing argument. He knew the Alliance were convinced, at least to a point where they were building the fleets, ready for whenever they arrived. But the most essential factor were his friends. Everyone who had served with Shepard, from his ground team to the crew of the Normandy, all were believers in Shepard. In what he had seen.

The Reapers were coming.

The door to his left opened, rising to his feet. “The Primarch is ready for you now,” stated the Primarch’s assistant.

With a nod, Garrus walked into a large office. Like all turian buildings, offices and even homes, it was sparsely furnished. Functional more than anything. He all the time thought why such grand rooms were built and then filled with few furnishings. A large desk was in front of him. On the wall behind, one or two certificates and mementoes, but little of the man he was about to meet. Sat behind the desk was the Primarch. Opposite him was his father, who turned as he entered the room, returning his glance with a brief nod. Garrus tried to read his face, but his father was giving nothing away.

“Take a seat, Garrus,” the Primarch ordered. The tone was friendly, but an order was an order.

“Thank you for agreeing to see me, Primarch.”

“Your father asked if I could speak to you. He’s an old friend, and I must admit I was intrigued. I have heard of this Reaper threat, and while I was not prepared to take it seriously, your father has convinced me to listen to your case.”

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