Rename Retcon

One of my shortest and probably least well-known stories, Directed, features an original asari character named Olte, in the role of young Saren’s biotics instructor. She also appears in Sound of Silence, where, after the blowout in Unnerved and Unnerving and before the catharsis in The Candidate, Saren, now adult and already in service of Sovereign, seeks her company and council. Lastly, she is mentioned a couple times in my latest & greatest work, Thinker Traitor Soldier Spectre. It’s not much screentime, relative to the volume of my Saren/Nihlus verse, but she steps in the spotlight in a couple of important stories I’ve been nurturing in my mind for years, just haven’t written yet.

Well, one of those stories is getting written now, and in it, Olte will go by a new name: Elethea. I’ve already retconned all her past appearances to reflect the change.

Why do I want to rename her, you ask? Because, last year, my good friend Gladius, who is not a fan of asari, pointed out that Olte sounds a lot like the German word Alte, which means old. While Elethea is, in fact, quite old, at least by the standards of the humans, turians, and other short-lived sentients of the Mass Effect setting (well within the matron phase, which is upwards of 350 years of age), old is not the association I have for her, and I don’t want my readers, German or not, to have it either.

So I looked for something similar, but with a different sound, and different connotations, and found the word Elete (Greek: Ηλετη, meaning either “Grinding” (aletos), or “Prayer” (litê)). As most asari names end with an “a” (and because it’s easier to pronounce), this evolved into Elethea. I can still imagine a contraction that might sound like her old name—and that’s good enough for me.

What’s the new story about, you want to know? Shockingly—it’s about love and betrayal. Working title: The Precedent; current word-count: circa 8000; ETA: unknown.

The Suicide Mission

I always wanted to know what the other fire team was doing during the attack on the Collector Base at the end of Mass Effect 2. This is a nine-chapter retelling of the suicide mission, from Garrus’s point of view.

It was written so long ago that I remember almost nothing about the process or the circumstances. I know I wrote it quickly, with minimal fussing, and I was pleasantly surprised by how solid it is when I read it recently. Apart from one other story, which has only ever been posted on the Mass Effect Kink Meme, this is the last of my creations that has not been published here till now.

Read it here and enjoy!

Image: Scars by Shade-of-Stars


Chapter 9 of The Suicide Mission

The elevator hasn’t been this slow before, has it? She waves a hand in front of the control panel to see if there’s a damage report pertaining to the elevator functions but when the status stream updates to more than ten pages of tiny, tiny letters, she just stares at it, helpless. The elevator is probably running just fine. She’s high on stims and time doesn’t flow the way it’s supposed to. That must be it. She nods, and the reflection in the big mirror moves in response.

Continue reading Promise

The End Run

Chapter 8 of The Suicide Mission

Garrus had to invest all his restraint into allowing the Illusive Man to keep talking from his omni. Shepard was listening. Why was Shepard listening? She was pacing around and Legion was following her movement there and back again, his visual unit beaming in the smoky air like a beacon of a lighthouse. A cluster of wires above his hip was cut and spilling sparks, but he showed no signs of discomfort. Garrus had minor injuries, and a vague nausea kept reminding him of the pending symptoms of the radiation sickness, but for the moment he was all right. Shepard wasn’t, though. Her left arm was dangling from her shoulder like a dead thing. The medigel had stopped the bleeding, but from the contorted expression on her face, smeared with blood and dirt, it was clear it didn’t stop the pain.

Continue reading The End Run

Taking a Stand

Chapter 7 of The Suicide Mission

Things became chaotic the way they sometimes do in combat and Garrus was grateful for having such worthy people under his command because, by the Spirits, any other squad would have fallen apart in the confusion. The enemies were everywhere. Shepard and her men were shooting a curtain of fire over his team, bullets wheezing and grenades booming and biotics flaring. He glanced left and right one more time to make sure everybody was accounted for before stepping backwards and taking a stand by her side again.

“Keep them busy!”

“Get that door closed!”

“Fall back! Fall back!”

“Shepard! They’re coming!”

Continue reading Taking a Stand