View Full Version : [NSW-Fic] Mass Effect II: Reaping: Peak 13--What a Shock!

03-02-2009, 10:45 PM

Chapter VIII: Noveria: Peak 13--What a Shock!

"Is Binary Helix developing weapons for Saren?" --Captain John Shepard

"You have got to be kidding me." A perturbed Nina rolled her eyes.

"I didn't know you were superstitious, Medic Ospidel," retorted Peter McGann.

"I'm not," she snapped. "It's just--such a cliche. I mean, come on!"

"Somebody at Binary Helix definitely had a sense of humor when they went and built a research and development station up on Peak 13," laughed Lorik Qui'in, a turian set to be next in line on Noveria's Executive Board. "They also had a penchant for defying the odds, or so I'm told. Regardless, that's where Project Skadi's located, or so I have learned from hacking into some of BH's classified files. I did not do so illegally, however," replied Qui'in, catching Nina's glare. "I had Administrator Parasini's permission, and her access code."

"I should hope so," replied Nina. "I can't stand people who break the law."

"Can we just get on with the mission?" griped Peter, wondering if that was a direct attack upon him and his former profession at Synthetic Insights. "What else do you know about Project Skadi?" he asked his erudite Noverian contact. "Did you discover anything else from the files you decrypted?"

"Nothing more than what I've already told you," replied Qui'in. "That's all I could decode, anyway. If I'm lying, you have permission to shoot me right now." Nina Ospidel sneered, intending to take him up on the offer if he ever made a 'joke' like that again, but Peter McGann raised a cautious hand. "I recommend taking the MAKO vehicle stored in the garage up to Peak 13. It's mighty cold out there, as it always is, and there's a winter storm coming." Great, thought the engineer. There'd better be something on Peak 13. Otherwise, we'll be freezing to death for absolutely nothing. Thanks, Qui'in.

Without saying a word, Peter nodded curtly to the turian, and he and Nina climbed into the heaviest armored vehicle that any military could supply. The MAKO could protect against heat, cold, plasma, fire--anything and any type of damage, as long as its shields were up. If they were not, however, then the interior would be compromised, and then--! It was better not to think about it. Peter slid into the driver's seat, to Nina Ospidel's slight annoyance.

"I've been driving these things longer than you have, delivering medical supplies for a pharmaceutical company before I met Dr. Michel. Move over."

"No way," said Peter in return, and then, "I delivered sensitive electronics. They are far more fragile than gallons of medi-gel, I positively assure you."

Nina grunted her surrender, and the two were up to the top of Peak 13. As could be expected, there was blinding snow, twisting and winding roadways, and blinking lights marking the edge of the peak in the Skadi Mountains. However, there was also something rather unexpected on the way--shadows flitting to and fro, almost like geth, but not registering the "flashlight-head" glow. Nina tensed, clenching her hands into fists, and Peter white-knuckled the wheel of the MAKO. There was no telling what those shadows were.

"Keep calm," he whispered, and for once, Nina shut up and did what he said.

Suddenly, an electrical buzzing came from all sides of the MAKO as it stopped for a moment before entering one of the glass-walled tunnels. As it turned out, the vehicle was not far enough up the mountain to cause a deadly fall if the two decided to jump, but they would seriously injure themselves if they did not land in snow. The buzzing of--what, electroplasma?-- started to corrode the metal of the MAKO's hull, and a mass effect field to flip it over!

"Jump!" Peter cried, and Nina obeyed again. They opened the escape hatch on the top of the vehicle and leapt out, possibly to their deaths. The MAKO plunged hundreds of feet to the jagged rock below, exploding on impact. As for Nina and Peter, they both landed in a deep snowbank which broke their fall. They clung to each other for warmth and dear life as the snow cushioned their wet, heavy bodies. They would freeze if they did not find shelter soon. As it was, there were no outbuildings at all to be seen.

"We're screwed," Nina grumbled, spitting snow out of her mouth. "Totally fu--"

"For your information," said Peter, "we should try and climb out of the bank."

Slowly but surely, they did, and they held each other tight for the minimum of body heat they could muster from their military-issue coversuits. There lay a massive mountain above them, and a massive chasm all around them. What to do? There was only one thing to do--call either Qui'in or Joker for rescue.

"No way," said Nina. "We can handle this ourselves, Petey Boy." She stood up and brushed the snow off, hauling Peter to his feet as well. He doubted it...

03-02-2009, 11:51 PM
Well, the next chapter should certainly be ... interesting.

03-05-2009, 04:43 PM