Ashley Williams

Mass Effect Challenge Community

Calibrating creativity since 2010!

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popehippo wrote in me_challenge
How is this different from the official challenges? These are drabbles only. Also, you will be posting your replies to this post instead of to the community.

So read the prompts, write a story, submit a prompt! But most of all, have fun!

1) Aim for about 100 words. Longer or shorter is okay, just try to keep it in one comment. (note: this is more to give you a guideline than anything. Your drabble can be as long as you want--but we're not looking for a multi-chapter fic here!)

2) Post your drabble as a reply to the comment the prompt is from.

3) Put the prompt you used as the subject. If you just want to comment on something, leave the subject line blank. This will make it easier to navigate once the threads start collapsing.

4) If posting an entry with NSFW content, please warn in subject line and at top of post.

5) After writing your drabble, write down three or so prompts of your own at the end of each reply.

6) Prompts should generally be short, no more than a sentence. Prompts may include characters and/or pairings. In that case, try to also include some word prompt (i.e. Kasumi/Thane, sporks), unless you feel your configuration of characters is exotic enough to be inspiring on its own.

7) The same prompts may be filled multiple times. By the same person, even, if inspiration strikes. No need to hold back!

SPOILER WARNING: Mass Effect 3 is HERE! Please remember to ALWAYS list any and all comments (whether fills or replies to fills) with very clear and bolded spoiler warnings if they contain information regarding the game. Thanks. :)

1) Writing
2) You hold me prisoner
3) Ache
4) Dreaming
5) Shut up
6) Salarian children
7) Paydirt
8) Drifting
9) I hope...
10) Without you

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Garrus did not have a human fetish.

He wasn't repulsed by them, he just wasn't attracted to them. Besides, in the increasingly unlikely event of him "setteling down", he always pictured himself with another Turian.

Then Shepard offered to test his reach and her flexibility, and he wasn't quite so sure how to react.

Logically, he should say no; he wasn't enitrely sure how cross-species intercourse would work and, with his luck, it would probably turn into an awkard mess.

But this was Shepard, one of the few friends he had left in the galaxy. Shepard, who he greately respected. Shepard, who had helped him with Sidonis. He could see this working.

He couldn't say no to this, to her.

Stay frosty
Shore Leave
Drinking game

Edited at 2012-08-01 04:35 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)

I Don't Need Your War Machines

Time to play 'totally misuse the song lyric', kids!

"We can't do it," the colonel cried. "Unless you've got a box of spare parts for a mako in your back pocket to bull through that crowd of husks. They husks have filled the bottleneck. Take one down, another takes its spot."

"I might be able to get it running again, actually," Garrus said. "With the mako we could press straight through the hostiles and take the high ground on the other side."

"Get to work, then. We'll never get out of this without armor and heavy artillery."

Shepard had been silently surveying the field through the scope of Vakarian's rifle. "The mako's a waste of time. Leave it." She handed the rifle back to him and un-holstered her shot-gun. "Take the perch right there and watch my back."

"Shepard, what --"

The blue glow was already gathering around her, a tight, exultant feeling in her chest herald of a surge of power like no other. It grew in her belly, across her shoulders, down her toes, and she laughed in anticipation.

She unleashed the gathering energy in a burst, hurling herself across the killing field in a heartbeat. Her first target flew back as her shoulder slammed into him, protected by a bow-wave of biotic force that transferred her unimaginable inertia into the husks around her. The rush of adrenaline fueled her secondary attack, an explosion of force that gained her the breathing space she needed to use her shotgun.

The captain was right; it was a fight that called for heavy artillery. Luckily, she counted.

prompts courtesy Al Stewart
- We're on our way to nowhere now, can't bring the helm about
- I always was the reckless kind
- She's got devious lies and chameleon eyes

I always love it when Shepard thinks she's a human tank =).

...she isn't?


Edited at 2012-08-02 06:33 am (UTC)

So Victus thought Shepard was a comedian. Wonderful.

That line made me giggle =). Shepard's teasing was great.

Curled against Kaidan's chest, Shepard can feel when his breathing quickens, when his shoulders shift. She lifts her head and watches as he struggles to cross the gulf between sleep and waking. When his eyelids flutter, he sighs her name.

"I hope..." he murmurs.

A crease burrows between her eyebrows, and she lifts her fingertips to rest against his lips, then sweep across his brow. He drifts away again. She lays her cheek against his shoulder, trying to soak in his warmth and the solid sense of reality contained in his muscle and bone and a heart that never stopped beating.

"I know you do," she breathes against his skin. He doesn't answer.

1. you must remember this
2. it's still the same old story
3. the world will always welcome lovers

It's still the same old story

Mass Effect/Hunger Games crossover ahoy! idek


Kaidan stood hands behind his back at the front of the typically huge crowd during the Reaping in District 2. His father - near the front - tried to catch his eye, but he avoided it. Isn't this what he wanted? He was a tribute - ready to prove his worth by killing everyone on his way to victory. His hands tightened behind his back, his jaw clenching, but he didn't move... until the girl's name was called.

"Wren Shepard!"


"You really chose the wrong career with those..." Shepard glanced at her stylist's talons and plate-covered jaw.

"Enhancements?" Garrus chuckled deep in his throat. She tried and failed to stare at the scale-like protrusions he'd had surgically implanted on his neck. "Don't worry. I'm more dexterous than I look. If I have anything to say about it, District 2 will be the talk of the Games this year."

"Only if I die a spectacular death."

Garrus's hand gripped her shoulder, hard enough to be a little painful. "You're not going to die. You're going to win. Now, sit still, and no more talking. I need to concentrate."

Shepard shrugged, but remained quiet as the tall, gray-skinned bird-man began to work.


Shepard was trapped. Her knife had broken at the hilt and the two tributes from District 1 were advancing - teeth bared and yellow eyes glinting. Kaidan formed the mnemonic without a conscioius thought and sent the two tributes flying with a sickening crunch against the rocky face of the canyon.

In an instant, Kaidan found himself struggling for breath as Shepard launched herself at him, broken knife at his throat. "Who told you to do that? Huh? TELL ME!"

"No one," he choked. "I thought... we... could be... allies."

This close to her for the first time since the opening of the games, he had time to notice the dark sweep of hair and the caramel skin that only made her sea-green eyes all the more vivid. Those eyes examinined him for a long moment, then she nodded and got off his chest.

"Alright. Allies." She paused. "Are you thirsty?"

"You have water?"
She smirked, the lift of her lips sending an unexpected flare of warmth through him. "Oh I have more than that. Come on... what did you say your name was?"


"What kind of name is that?"

Stung, he shot back, "What kind of name is 'Wren'?"

"It's a bird," she replied, rolling her eyes. She jabbed a finger at his chest. "Don't call me that. I'm 'Shepard,' got it, Caveman?"

"It's Kaidan

She shrugged. "I like Caveman better."


"I didn't plan on making allies, you know," Shepard said, staring into the night's fire.

Ash shrugged, watching with hungry eyes as Kaidan carved up their dinner - some kind of deer thing.

"I didn't plan on watching my partner die in that geth attack. Guess we're all doing things we didn't plan on."


Shepard and Kaidan ran away from the trap. Oh the Capitol was crafty... a promise of food, medicine, fresh clothing, a basin of hot water... it was too tempting.

"Run!" Ash's last shriek seemed to echo in her ears. They felt it a moment before the bomb went off - a rippling force that slammed them into the ground. Instinctively she and Kaidan curled into each other for protection as the explosion erupted behind them, sending a huge fireball into the air.

Hours later, they sat, silent, in one of the many caves dotting the arena. Five tributes' faces glowed in the sky tonight - Ash's face among them.

"She gave us a chance," Kaidan said, scrubbing at his eyes. "Why would she do that?"

Shepard was too tired to care what he thought any more and leaned up next to him, desparate for warmth, for human touch. "Because she was our friend."

Kaidan hesitated, then put his arms around her as she began to shiver. They passed the night watch together, neither of them offering to sleep.


+ Tomorrow will be better

+ Cookies?

+ Space olympics!

(Sorry for the multiple edits! I keep thinking of things I want to add. >.>)

Edited at 2012-08-01 08:41 pm (UTC)

This was really interesting =). I've never thought of crossing Hunger Games and Mass Effect. Nice job =).

Neither have I! I don't even read crossovers myself - but this just popped into my head and I had to write it. :D

They almost didn't happen that year, earth and its people still struggling out from under the wreckage the reapers had made. To some celebration at all seemed obscene; whether you agreed with that or not, it certainly seemed impossible.

But that's why it's important, they said. And the support gradually grew, a whisper of planning growing to a roar of expectation. Athletes put down the hammers and grav loaders of reconstruction and found time for training.

When they marched onto the field under the banners of their countries and colonies they knew they weren't the best; only the best that survived. Who knew how many ghosts marched in front of them, how many people should have been in their place, would have been in their place, if not for the reapers? It had been a cruel selection process than never considered such details as ability.

But there was one selection that seemed natural, that was right. When they all lined up in their proud colors and solemn faces to watch the flame lit, it wasn't a ghost that carried the torch the last few meters, moving proudly despite a limp, standing tall despite scars.

It was Shepard.

- Skilled in war
- I'd never win a medal
- biotic games

Re: Tomorrow will be better

(Mild)Spoilers for the ending of ME3 

Cool air on his face. The smell of antiseptic, harsh and metallic, coating each breath he takes. Breathing hurts; each in and out brings a new surge of agony as overtired lungs, battered muscles and broken bones are stretched to their limits and beyond.

He doesn't recall much of anything. Just a searing blast of heat, of fire, and then nothing. Dim memories swirl beyond his reach, of the blackness of space, and the heavy weight of a pistol in his hand. Did he take the shot? He can't remember. He must have. It was... important. Just as staying alive was - no - is important, because. Because of the hand holding his, anchoring him, keeping him grounded despite the fatigue coiling over him, threatening to drag him down. Shepard takes another shuddering breath, and opens his eyes.

"You're - Shepard, you're - I -", Kaidan's voice is rough - the days have been as hard on him as they have on the broken man lying in bed. The words stutter and die in his throat - there are none to address a man who has been to death's door and beyond, none to describe the (now slowly lessening) ache in his chest, the fierce surge of relieflovehappiness that's going through him. Hope unfurls leaden wings and rises triumphant within him. They're going to be okay. Shepard is going to be okay. There is a future for both of them now; a third chance to get things right. Today Shepard lives. Tomorrow - it will be long and hard and not perfect, but it will be better. And that's more than enough for both of them.

It wakes slowly, blurriness slowly coming into focus.

It is. And it is not it, it is him. He knows this now, remembers.

Things begin to flow back - a last bright light, an explosion of heat and pain; hands on his skin and a voice in his ear, telling him to wake up...

Shepard, he remembers. His name, he can feel its familiarity.

He coughs, the sound deep and rough, and tries his voice. "I..." It has the pain of a throat unused for a long time, but he succeeds.

There's another name in his head, one he knows nearly as well as his own, and it pulses in time with his heart in his mind. He connects it, slowly and haltingly, with the memory of the hands and the voice.

His, his mind tells him. And theirs. He is theirs.

And John Shepard rises, knowing his name, and the muscle memory comes back. He reaches for a gun, the motion automatic and excruciatingly painful, but looks up at a voice. "You won't find one."

It's familiar, and the name rises in his mind and to his lips. "M - ?"

"Hello, Shepard," she says, and he can hear the smile in her voice. "Been a while, hasn't it?"

His hand, still outstretched for the gun, falls on something flatter, and with years of practice, he raises the datapad to his eyes. X-rays. Scans. Something... else...

He touches a finger to the pad, and there's a small beep.

ID: Captain John Shepard. Subject identification complete.

Captain? he wonders, but his eyes are drawn to the next line of text.

Lazarus Project v2: status: complete.

As his shaking hands drop the datapad, he hears Miranda say, her voice still warm even in the sterility of the lab room, "Welcome back, John."


-Spin the bottle

Edited at 2012-08-01 09:06 pm (UTC)

Destroy ending.

It's been six days, three hours and seven minutes since that metal shell went cold and still.

He tries not to look at it too much. Hurts like hell otherwise.

He doesn't know whether there's any hope the ship can be repaired; even if it can, even if they make the slow crawl back to Alliance space, they won't let her...

Shit. What's the point, anyway? It all just stays the same. He heaves out a sigh, makes himself stop thinking about it.


Kaidan finds it first, when the whole crew start turning over the ship, looking for some clue they know they won't find - something on how to repair the ship maybe, or some last message of Shepard's telling them it's all going to be OK...

The beer's been left in the refrigerator in the mess hall, but the fridge doesn't even work now, so they might as well...

Maybe it was for a victory celebration. Maybe it was for one last drink if it all went to hell. He doesn't know. Doesn't think it matters.

They know perfectly well the beer'll keep. But they pretend, just for a night, when the two of them sit in the cockpit and drink, and talk shit like nothing's changed. Just like old times, except for the sound of the wind in the palm trees outside and the persistent aches in both their hearts.

Kaidan - good ol' always in control, bring-him-home-to-your-parents-and-they'll-compliment-you-on-finding-such-a-nice-boy Kaidan - gets ridiculously smashed, the first time he's ever seen him like that. He falls onto his shoulder, starts sobbing nearly silently, heaving, and Joker pretends not to notice. He just sits silently, listens to the palm trees.


He knows, if they ever make it back, that it'll be in a patched-together ship that will only just get them there; there's no way they can repair her completely. And he knows, somewhere, that the ship he nearly died for...

Is just a ship. And it's empty.

And she's gone.

He runs a hand over the console, light enough not to press anything, and listens, hard.

But all he hears is the hum of engines.end.


-After the fall

-True lies


Edited at 2012-08-01 09:04 pm (UTC)

Ugh, sad =(. Poor Joker! Nicely done.

Thanks! I got thinking about Joker/EDI and Destroy, and it just seems so sad when I put together allt he logic of it.

I hate Joker/EDI, and still enjoyed this. Well done!

I also very-much-like Joker/Kaidan friendships.

Thank you! I was a little sad about the lack of canon Jokermance, as well as the overt sexualisation of EDI, but I love the character of EDI so much I was actually OK with the path they went with in the end.

Thanks again. That is headcanon for me, Joker/Kaidan bromance; maybe it's because of ME1's first scene - they seem like such friends at the start that it always baffled me it wasn't mentioned.

I could read this as dear friendship if I wanted to, which made it much more palatable -- I really do love EDI as a character (in my slowly forming ME3 rewrite headcanon, she's actually the day-saving hero! Shepard just helps).

And I so agree on the bromance. We get so very few friendships between crew mates until ME3. I like stories that have the friend-and-team dynamic in them, and Kaidan and Joker seem a natural for it, given that great opening scene. I kept hoping it would come up in ME3 (when K was in the hospital, perhaps). Looks like we're left with writing it, instead.

Heck, part of the incentive to write during ME3 is just to write the snarky friendship parts. :P

Ouch. Poor Joker, but beautifully done. Headcanon refuses to accept that she'd dead, though. Just hiding. :(

My name is Shepard. I am recording this as I lie somewhere in the Citadel, dying. I have used the last of Dr. Mordin Solus' Collector counter-measures to mask this recorder from Keeper interference. I can only hope that someone from the next cycle finds this, and that they have the technology to interpret my words.

If you're hearing this, you've found the Citadel. I don't know how many years it's been. 5000? 50000? I only hope it hasn't been too long. Because you're our last hope.

If you're on the Citadel now, perhaps you have done what so many have done before you, and made it your home, the center of galactic civilization.

If you're on the Citadel now, perhaps you have found one of Liara's beacons and realized what it really is: A trap, meant to close around you and bring an end to all you hold dear.

If you found one of Liara's Beacons, it's told you about the Crucible. What it hasn't told you is what I've found out.

The Crucible is another trap. If you build it, you will be forced to make a horrible choice. They will make you destroy your soul, or the soul of every sentient being in the galaxy.

We have failed. I... have failed. We gambled, put our trust in the wrong place, and every living being, organic and synthetic, will pay the price.

But I have hope. I have one final hope that this will not be in vain. That hope is you.

Do not use the Crucible, even if everything else is lost. Stand together. Stand tall. And find a way. If you build the Crucible, the Reapers will win, in spirit and in truth. Any survivors will live in a world built on a falsehood. Find another way.

And if you do not, die well. Die free. And pass this message on to those who will come after you.

But no matter what path you take, have hope. Have hope that one day, if not you, if not me, that someone will live in this galaxy free of their grip. That someone, somewhere, will live in peace and harmony. That Organics, Synthetics, whatever you are... That we will not compromise the soul of our people to find peace.

I hope... I pray... that you will not make the same mistakes I did.

I am dying. If the Reapers do not find me first, my wounds will kill me within days, if not hours. There is no-one left to save me. Before I go, I will tell you everything I know about the Crucible, so that you'll understand why you must never build it. Why you must find another way.

To start, the Catalyst. It is an ancient, malevolent thing...


I. Them And Us
II. All I Want
III. Staring At The Sun

Awesome. I managed to make my peace with the ending after the EC was released, but you've hit at what always bothered me about the whole setup.

Seriously, fuck the GlitterChild and his stupid choices.

Haha, I still haven't really made my peace with the endings, and my personal headcannon leaves Glitterchild out of it completely, but... well. It happened. Writing about how my Shepard would have reacted to it kinda helps.

*slow clap*

That was awesome.

....well done, wdboldstar. Well done.

Edited at 2012-08-02 07:17 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Shut up (spoilers for ME3 BG character?)

Kaidan is miles away when the server returns with their food, so Garrus thanks her, loudly.

“No, no, no, that's not what I'm saying,” Kaidan snaps impatiently.

“Not you,” Garrus says to the server, who bows and hurries away.

“It's war, alright? Eventually the Union's going to have to get their feet wet.”

Garrus picks at his food, sighing, watching the thin crowd wandering past. Couples saunter past as unwieldy four-legged beasts, loaded down with packages and public affection.

“Yes, I know, I'm being metaphorical.”

There's no sense of urgency at the tables around them, either. People sit alone, browsing data-pads or watching the artificial clouds float past. A group of asari near the end of the balcony lean together, posing for a holo with sneers and laughter.

“Look, we're either negotiating, or we're—”

Kaidan glances down at his sandwich but doesn't touch it, focused entirely on the call.

“Cards on the table, Jondum, I'm saying—”

“I feel like we don't talk anymore,” Garrus says, giving another dramatic sigh and attempting an expression of profound sadness.

His brow furrows, frustration wrinkling the skin around his eyes.

“What? It's an idiom. A human thing.”

“I miss spending time with you, just us.”

Kaidan laughs and lifts his beer, but doesn't sip. Garrus swirls the brandy in his own glass, declining a refill as the server circles back around.

“Are we one of those couples now, bored after years of the same routine?”

He glances at Garrus, briefly, indicating his annoyance with a finger to his lips.

“Yes, sorry, I'm still here.”

Attention is something, though, so Garrus presses on.

“I just wish we could go back to how we used to be.”

Kaidan sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Wait, I'm sorry, just give me a moment.”

He mutes the call on his omnitool and snaps, “What?”

“I'm just saying,” Garrus replies, feigning offense. “We go to work, we come home, we go out to eat, and you're still working.”

“What is wrong with you?”

“We used to make time for each other. All those dinners, those long walks through the cargo hold.”

“Are you drunk?” Kaidan asks incredulously.

“A little,” Garrus says with a shrug. “But only because the brandy doesn't ignore me the way you have.”

His expressions are endlessly entertaining: now his eyes have narrowed, mouth half-open, nose wrinkled. He unmutes the call.

“Jondum, I'm going to have to call you back.”

Garrus takes a bite of his partially-wilted salad, hiding his amusement with the chewing. Kaidan glares, arms crossed.


“Just shut up.”


1)not that there's anything wrong with that
2)Garrus & Zaeed, rifle stocks
3)stop following me

Edited at 2012-08-02 04:23 am (UTC)

Hahahaha. Garrus, you cheeky bastard ;). Well done!

Re: Shut up (spoilers for ME3 BG character?)


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