Fanfic: Mass Effect Interregnum
"I've spent all my life in service to one law or another. Academy law. Hierarchy law. Citadel law. And I always thought it held me back. But when you're out here in the wilds, when you don't have a law to turn to, what makes you better than them when you put them down?"Mass Effect: Interregnum
is a fanfic written by The Naked Pen and set in the period between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. It follows Garrus Vakarian, who is now on Omega trying make a difference. He has come in possession of codes for a devastating weapon and is being held by Blood Pack mercenaries when two mysterious individuals rescue him. From there on the story follows him as he builds his team and fights Omega's underworld.
Without a doubt one of the best Mass Effect fanfics, with some readers even saying that it's better then the official novels and comics. A must for any fan of Mass Effect and especially of Garrus. The story is now complete with 55 chapters, stretching from when Garrus meets the first members of his team to shortly before his first appearance in Mass Effect 2.
Also features a one-shot in the same universe called Omega Noire
, narrated by Garrus as he investigates a murder, and a two-shot called The Madness of Angels
, also narrated by Garrus as he has a psychological battle against an insane quarian serial killer.
This Fanfic provides examples of the following tropes:
- A Day in the Limelight: Erash becomes the POV character for the entire Leviathan arc.
- Anti-Villain: Thralog Mirki'it: red sand dealer, gang leader and newly-minted orphan.
- Arc Words: Nothing's ever easy...
- "It's a start." Especially prominent in Alpha and Omega, though it continues to pop up in later story arcs.
- Badass Beard: Weaver, the team's Big Guy, who had once been described as "having half a dog on his face".
- Badass Crew: Garrus and his team, of course. They've got...
- A Squad Nickname: Archangel (although it's also used to refer specifically to Garrus)
- A Friendly Sniper: Garrus, for the most part (unless he's in Archangel mode, in which case he becomes a very Cold Sniper)
- The Smart Guy: Sensat and Butler are locked in a never-ending struggle to see which of them deserves this title more. Sensat is also The Engineer.
- The Big Guy: Weaver punched out a krogan on two separate occasions. Also Melenis, despite being a Volus.
- Mad Bomber: Erash's love for all things kablooie mean he veers close to this on occasion.
- Squishy Wizard: Monteague. Their first biotic and definitely their most squishy one.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Ripper has shades of this.
- Barrier Warrior: Mierin tends to use his biotics this way.
- Bounty Hunter: Krul and Mierin. At the end of Leviathan, they ask Erash to join them. He has a counteroffer.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Gus Williams, the arms dealer villain of “An Eye for an Eye”.
- Blood Knight: Garrus veers into this every now and again.
Garrus's internal monologue: Outnumbered ten to one by people trying to kill you, in the most corrupt, evil hellhole in the galaxy, knowing you'll be lucky if you make it through the night... it doesn't get any better than this.
- Captain Obvious: Sidonis doesn't appreciate this.
Sidonis: Your grasp of the obvious is a fucking inspiration to our children.
- Chase Scene: With flying cars, both on Omega and Deinech. Both include a lot of shooting and explosions. Better yet, they were both written before Lair of the Shadow Broker's chase scene!
- City Noir: Omega in the one-shot story Omega Noire is this, only being a giant space station instead of a city.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Pretty much every time Sidonis opens his mouth, but exemplified by this:
The whine in Garrus's ears began to fade a little, and he realised Sidonis was still saying something.
"-ck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK!" he was shouting.
- The Comically Serious: Ripper
- Continuity Nod: Obviously, seeing as it's set in the Mass Effect universe with a major character from the games. But there are some more subtle references to certain aspects of the games. One example is when Erash tells his story about cheating in a casino being found out by a Spectre:
"You'd be surprised how much time they spend in casinos."
"...no, I don't think I would," Garrus said.
- There are also mentions of a fast-talking salarian doctor working somewhere on Omega. He appears in person in the Leviathan arc, where he is confirmed to be Mordin Solus. This appearance also states that Erash worked with Mordin on the genophage modification project mentioned extensively in Mass Effect 2.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Melenis. Nobody EVER expects the Volus.
- Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: Deinech is a planet with futuristic cities under almost constant rain.
- Cyborg: Melenis is a cyborg volus.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Mostly Ripper and Monteague. On a less extreme level, Weaver was a criminal on Earth, Sidonis was part of an amoral black-ops merc squad and Butler murdered his wife's stalker in cold blood to protect her and has been haunted by it ever since. There's also Erash's hang-ups about being a part of Firebreak, the genophage modification project.
- Deadpan Snarker: Just about everyone, though Garrus and Erash are probably the frontrunners.
- Don't Call Me Sir: Ripper starts calling Garrus “sir” as soon as he joins up. Garrus would really rather he didn't.
- Doomed by Canon: Everyone except for Garrus and Sidonis, as a playthrough of Mass Effect 2 will tell you.
- Downer Ending: It was always going to end that way.
- Flat "What.": Sidonis' reaction to Melenis' first transformation.
- Happily Married: Mike and Nalah Butler.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
- Specifically uses Biblical references and allusions for the names of its story arcs. Leviathan takes the cake, though, clocking in at a quadruple allusion: 1) the archdemon Leviathan of the Bible; 2) Moby-Dick, which the arc is a loose Whole Plot Reference to; 3) the famous book by the philosopher Hobbes (as evidenced by Krul indirectly quoting the most famous passage), and 4) the album Leviathan by Mastodon (which itself references Moby-Dick), the opening line of which is also the first line of the arc. Whew. And that's just the ones this troper recognized.
- Last Stand: How all the squad members except for Garrus and Sidonis end up dying. Most realize they have no chance to survive, but they take as many of the enemy with them as they can.
- Living on Borrowed Time: Melenis has a degenerative disease that is slowly killing him, despite Sensat's best efforts.
- Local Hangout: The crew tends to spend a lot of time in the Spider Bar, a human-run establishment with cross-species appeal (and, much to everyone's dismay, elcor karaoke), despite the fact that none of them seem to actually like the place. Well, maybe Erash does. And Sensat apparently doesn't mind the elcor karaoke.
- The McCoy: Butler.
- More Criminals Than Targets: Garrus often jokes about Omega being this... until Golf runs the numbers and deduces that it's probably true. And decides to kill everyone on Omega because of it.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Sensat, a batarian scientific genius who believes that his species' bad reputation is entirely their fault; and to a much greater extent Grundan Krul, who doesn't even consider himself krogan.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The music that plays in the Afterlife club is described as "prog-dancecore" in a brief aside in chapter 5.
- Our Doors Are Different: In contrast to the game, regular hinged doors are mentioned several times. Being set mostly in run down and poor areas, this is justified.
- Precision F-Strike: Garrus, in Endgame Part Two.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: One of Garrus' favorite pastimes.
Deus: I can't die! Not now! You don't have the right! I'm Deus! I am a god-
Garrus: Yeah, well, I'm an atheist.
- The Quiet One: Mierin seems set to be this for the team, although there was already Melenis in more or less the same role.
- Ramming Always Works: Puts in an appearance early on, when Chirin takes out a spaceship by ramming a shuttle into it.
- Recycled In Space: Fanon usually depicts Garrus as Space Batman, but in this he's more like Space Punisher. Except when he's being Space Philip Marlowe.
- Re Tool: Undergoes one about halfway through. The first two arcs make up a long story about Garrus gathering the beginnings of his team and fighting an insane Hitler-esque turian, while the next three are him and his team fighting crime on Omega.
- Character names in early chapters were retroactively changed as well, after Lair of the Shadow Broker came out and revealed the full list of names on Garrus' team. This also (possibly) changed the makeup of the team, as the Lair of the Shadow Broker names more or less confirmed no asari or quarians were involved or any women (aside from Butler's wife). At the very least, it's possible the asari Vunas was going to join up before Lot SB came out.
- Sadistic Choice: Jaroth forces Sidonis to choose between betraying Archangel or being made to watch as Jaroth has thousands of Omega inhabitants who are not profitable for the syndicates slaughtered and murders teenage girls in front of him.
- Single-Biome Planet: Deinech is completely covered by an ocean. Its inhabitants live on artificial islands.
- Shout-Out: Oh god. Where to begin?
- Erash quotes Blade Runner at one point.
- One piece of flavor-text about a salarian terrorist called Laeton is a shoutout to Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn.
- In Omega Noire, Sidonis repeats Randall's 'Bunch of savages in this town' line.
- When Garrus gets his hands on a minigun, his dialogue is lifted straight out of Meet The Heavy. Erash gets a few Demoman references ("Oh, they're going to have to glue you back together."), and Melanis has a rocket launcher, although in his case, the Soldier is never directly referenced.
- Golf's last few moments are very 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Weaver's "Pain don't hurt." Lampshaded by Erash, saying that, by definition, it does.
- In-universe, Weaver thinks Butler is referencing Star Wars, only for Butler to reveal he's never seen any of them. Not even the sequel trilogy or the bad remakes.
- And another exchange that isn't acknowledged in-universe:
Sensat: Luc, you've switched off your computer. What's wrong?
Monteague: Nothing. I'm alright.
- Standard Snippet: The elcor who frequent the Spider Bar really like music from the 1970s and 80s, despite it being 200 years in the future.
- So does Weaver. Judging by the four songs quoted in the last few chapters, this is definite Author Appeal.
- Sympathetic P.O.V.: Thralog Mirki'it gains his Anti-Villain status entirely from the sections in his POV.
- Take My Hand: Erash to Achav, word for word.
- Techno Babble: A memorable example while Butler is establishing his tech credentials:
Butler: Have you tried splitting the Mu-Sigma frequency interference through a low-wave triple filter and then threading it through the Kappa bands, reversing the signal at each cube of a prime number?
Erash: Were those actual words he used there? Or did I just hallucinate for a second?
- Underestimating Badassery: Just about everyone underestimates Melenis.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: The ship Garrus possesses codes for is capable of eradicating all life on a planet in a relatively short time. Which is why everyone wants to get their hands on it.
- Wham Episode: Outlived. "Ninety-two" indeed.
- Also, Endgame Part Two, which ends with a succession of several Wham Lines.
- Omega and Alpha, the final chapter, could be seen as one of these... except anyone who's played Mass Effect 2 already knew what was coming.