As if the Reapers, the Geth and a twisted web of intergalactic political intrigue weren't enough to deal with, Fan-Fiction.net author Master-of-Mythology has to throw one of Final Fantasy's most powerful villains at him. Some days it's just not worth getting out of bed with Tali.
Ah, the heady freedom of being a fan fiction author. To be able to toss aside the accepted facts, cross otherwise corporately-enforced borders and merge your favourite games into a single satisfying experience.
At least that's how it sometimes works. Master-of-Mythology prefaces the first chapter of his world-spanning epic, "Fantasy Effect", by informing readers that A: "Chronologically, this story takes place four months after Mass Effect 2 and six months after Final Fantasy VII" and B: "I don't own Mass Effect 2 or Final Fantasy VII."
Of course that doesn't mean he never played the games; maybe he's a renter, the trip to Blockbuster Video an important part of his creative process. He certainly demonstrates a working knowledge of the series as his tale opens.
Harbinger and Warmonger looked over the image of the man before them. Appearing out of nowhere through the Mass Relay Network, the silver-haired man had a feeling of malice and power coming off of him that impressed even the two ancient Reapers.
See? The Reapers, Mass Effect's most powerful evil, recruiting Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII's greatest evil. Only the Reapers could be powerful enough to yank Sephie through the Lifestream. Of course controlling him is another matter entirely.
Warmonger released the stasis field that had been placed on the man, and his green eyes shot open. With a fluid movement, the man flipped onto his feet, grasping the hilt of his enormous sword.
He brought it in front of him, poised as if to attack the two ancients. "Who are you, and where am I?"
"Be at ease stranger. We mean you no harm. In fact, we have a proposition, if you are willing to listen to it."
The man lowered his sword only slightly. "Then speak quickly."
The intended threat amused Harbinger. "What are you called, stranger?"
A single black feathered wing emerges from the man's right shoulder, fanning out to full length. "I am called Sephiroth. The One-Winged Angel."
No, you are called Sephiroth, and "One-Winged Angel" is your theme music, but it is a catchy name that would sound really menacing if it were to crop up repeatedly in distress calls.
It's also nice to see that Seph's great and mighty power amuses the Reapers so. Maybe they should take out Shepard instead, dicks.
This is all prologue, however; the opening scene to the brilliant film playing in the author's mind. Let's move on to scene one, in which I was pretty sure Shepard was going to launch into a gratuitous sex scene.
Commander John Shepard breathed deep and stretched as he woke up from a deep sleep. The quiet breathing next to him told him that Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, the Quarian he loved, was still asleep.
Easing slowly out of the bed, Shepard put on his robe and walked over to his sink. Filling up a glass, he drank the water in one swallow, and ran a hand through his hair.
While sitting at his computer, checking his e-mail, he felt a pair of arms encircling him, and a kiss on his cheek. "Morning, John."
Smiling, Shepard whirled in his chair and embraced Tali. "Good morning, lovely."
Tali sat on Shepard's lap, and their mouths met. But as Tali leaned in deeper, a voice interrupted them.
Dammit! *fans himself* I was getting into that! This had better be good, Admiral Hackett.
"We've received an emergency signal from Horizon. They say they're under attack by a mysterious enemy."
Shepard rubbed his face with his hands. It had only been four months since Horizon was attacked by the Collectors, and repopulation had been slow at first. But now the colony was almost to full capacity again.
"Did you get any information from the message? What's the nature of the attack?"
"One phrase was always repeated. One-Winged Angel. I need you to take the Normandy and fight this threat."
This is where the music would break into Latin chanting. Well, this is where the music would break into chanting, the camera would focus on Commander Shepard's steely expression, and the last sentence would be cut in half. Speaking of cut in half...
Shepard and his crew stepped off the shuttle, and surveyed the damage to the colony. Several buildings had enormous pieces missing, as if they had been cut through. Others had mysterious burns and other signs of battle.
But the worst was the bodies. They littered the ground, many of them cut in half or otherwise dismembered. Men, women, children, all of them were on the ground, the looks of fear still on their faces.
Shepard's grip tightened on his SMG, his anger boiling. This level of violence was senseless and unnecessary.
That really depends on the context, doesn't it? What if the men, women and children were affected by a crossover strain of the T-virus from Resident Evil? What if they all wouldn't stop singing "Somebody That I Used to Know" (SOMEBODY!)? Is there such a thing as necessary senseless violence?
. As they walked through, listening for any sounds, Shepard thought he felt something.
Shepard is so bad-ass. He thinks. He feels. He thinks he feels. He has hyper-awareness!
Through his years of training, and his hyper-awareness, Shepard felt the attack before he saw it. "Get down!" he shouted to Tali and Garrus, and ducked just as something sliced through the air above him.
Turning and raising his gun, Shepard looked for the attacker. What he saw stopped him cold.
Oh Jesus. After all that Shepard went through over the course of Mass Effect 1 & 2, what could possibly be so amazing that it would give his experienced mind pause?
Standing behind them was a man with long silver hair and glowing green eyes. He wore a long leather coat that left his chest exposed, and black pants.
Ah. Yeah, I'd stop cold for that, I suppose. You can't just causally start shooting at a guy like that. Especially when he's carrying a giant sword and sprouting a single wing from his back.
"One-Winged Angel," he whispered to himself.
Told you it was menacing.
Sephiroth informs Commander Shepard that he's there to kill him, and Tali, this particular Shepard's love interest, goes completely apeshit, nearly getting him killed in the process.
He raised his sword, but before he could do anything else, a shot rang out from Shepard's left.
"You will not touch him!" Tali shouted as she cocked her shotgun and prepared to fire again.
But the man simply turned, and slashed down, slicing Tali's shotgun in half. Then he raised the sword again, this time going for Tali herself.
"NO!" Shepard dove in front of Tali and opened fire with his Revenant, sending bullet after bullet into the enemy. He had the satisfaction of seeing his enemy back up from the impact.
But his clip ran dry, and as he ejected it and fumbled for another, the man recovered and slashed down, cutting right through Shepard's armour and slicing him from shoulder to hip.
This reminds me of the time Hot Rod jumped on Megatron who then used Hot Rod as a human shield as he killed Optimus Prime. If you didn't follow that you probably don't need to. All that matters is...
"Shepard!" Garrus screamed and opened fire on the target using his armour-piercing ammo, trying to get him away from Shepard.
Garrus screams. Not shouts, not gasps. He screams. Dear BioWare, please make this happen.
The battle continues, Shepard loses more blood, and the Normandy's crew retreats. The final shot of the scene is Sephiroth emerging from a massive explosion completely unscathed. Master-of-Mythology may have stolen this from every Final Fantasy VII fanfic ever, but I can't be sure.
Tali held tightly to Shepard's hand as he was wheeled on a stretcher from the elevator to the medical bay. Dr. Chakwas was already prepared, having been informed before they arrived.
Chakwas shooed out the rest of the crew, except for Tali, who refused to go, and prepared for surgery. As she and Tali removed his armour, Tali was aghast to see the wound he received, a long gash going from his right shoulder to his left hip.
Chakwas pushed her out of the way, and started the long process of repairing the damaged organs and muscles.
For hours, Tali sat in a chair, running her hand through Shepard's hair, waiting as the doctor went through the process of repairing him.
I've a feeling Tali and Shepard might be a thing. She sticks around until the Commander is stabilised, visiting him every day until he regains consciousness two weeks later.
When a whiskered Commander Shepard finally wakes up he demands to know who attacked him. Only former commanding officer David Anderson can deliver the information with the ominous weight it deserves.
"The entity you encountered was described to me by Tali, and while we don't know anything about him, some people who appeared here on the Citadel do know who and what he is." Anderson stuck his head out the door, and said, "You can come in now."
Man, Anderson reduced to setup man. Who could be so important that we'd waste Keith David's voice on a dramatic introduction?
Through the door came a man with spiky blonde hair, a blue uniform, and carrying an enormous sword on his back. But what drew Shepard's attention were his eyes. They were the same glowing green as the enemy's.
"The man you encountered, the one with the black coat and giant sword, is named Sephiroth, and he is far deadlier than anything you've ever encountered."
The man you encountered is far deadlier than anything you've encountered in all of your encounters. Except that last encounter, of course, because that's when you encountered him. Look, I've already spoken more than I did in the entirety of Advent Children, you figure it out.
How did Cloud Strife make his way to the Mass Effect universe? How does Yuffie react to Geth machine-man Legion? Why did Master-of-Mythology kill off Wrex (spoiler: Oh dammit, this should have gone first)? The answer to all this and more can be found via the link below.
Yep, everything but the conclusion. Master-of-Mythology hasn't updated the story since June of last year. Apparently he got bored with his own imagination. Hit up the link to see if you bore just as easily.
Fantasy Effect [FanFiction.net]