Saren glanced at his omni and noted the time. He had been waiting for one thing or another the entire day and by now the humming and creaking of the L4 station, mixed with the chatter and clamor of the traffic in the spaceport, was well beneath the threshold of his senses or interests. Even the smells, the dirty scents of machinery and the greasy scents of fast-food stalls, and the disturbing scents of aliens everywhere, could no longer distract him from utter boredom and burning impatience.

Continue reading Distraction

The Cure

Chapter 38 of Ghost in the Machine

One hour before the attack on Virmire.

The salarians on the beach looked tense. If they were to start shooting, Shepard would be the first to go. She turned and aimed a semi-alarmed glance at Nihlus, who trailed her by a few steps, but he shook his head: keep your weapons down and you’ll be fine.

They were wading through the shallows, stirring up the fine sand and leaving a murky trail in the turquoise water. The morning sun was burning bright and hot on her uncovered head. The ground team was out in force, now that the Normandy had landed, and advanced in a loose wedge formation behind her.

Continue reading The Cure

The Vault

Chapter 37 of Ghost in the Machine

Four hours before the attack on Virmire.

“How do you feel?”

Like a madman, about to run into an unsuspecting crowd with twenty kilos of explosives strapped to his chest.

He didn’t say that. He didn’t say anything for a long time, looking for the right words. It seemed inevitable that words would fail. Nobody has ever done anything like this; she’d said so herself. What good would his answer do if there was no point of comparison, no context to give it meaning?

Continue reading The Vault

Just Like Old Times

Just Like Old Times by silvermittt on deviantART is a depiction of a very important scene from my Mass Effect fanfic, Ghost in the Machine. But it’s more than that. It is, first and foremost, a beautiful piece of art that I will often come back to for inspiration. It is also a reminder: of promises to keep and chapters to write.

Thank you, Silver, for painting it so perfectly. And thank you, my dear Logsig, for dedicating it to me.

Signal to Noise

The priest intoned the First, and one by one, they were to join. It was just like during the rehearsals, only now it had to be perfect. Zero margin for error. The eleven voices, all wearing the ceremonial whites, stood around the priest in a wide circle under the gaping spire of Tricabili, a seventy-stories-high wind pipe that amplified their voices many times over until the entire city, and presumably, the Spirits above, could hear the Chant of Unification.

Continue reading Signal to Noise