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Fanfic / Interstitium

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Interstitium takes the world of Mass Effect 2 and expands upon it by exploring the PoVs of various characters. Everyone gets their time in the spotlight, from John Shepard himself to some surprising choices.

Interstitium also makes some tiny tweaks which have larger overall effects on the course of the story. The potential side-effects of being brought Back from the Dead are looked at more closely, and the conflict between Cerberus and Shepard becomes a running theme.


The story is now complete with thirty two chapters and an epilogue.

This Mass Effect Fan Fic contains examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: Minor details are changed. For instance, TIM does not give Shepard a dossier on Archangel; Shepard overhears rumors about him while on Omega and decides he'd make as good a recruit as anyone Cerberus chose. Similarly, there is no dossier on Tali, and Shepard goes after her because she's Tali.
    • Fridge Brilliance: We see in canon ME2 that TIM allowed rumors of Shepard working for Cerberus to spread, which isolated him from the Alliance and from former crew members (like the Virmire Survivor). Presumably, this was done to keep Shepard off balance and to make him feel more inclined to trust Cerberus. By not including allies from the Saren adventure, it would have allowed TIM to exert more control over Shepard.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Mordin notes that despite the fact that prolonged exposure over time of cohexisol gas can be lethal, can exacerbate problems to those with breathing difficulties, and that it managed to knock out Samara in seconds, the main problem he has is an ethical one. Not the ethics of using it, but that the company that makes it is manipulating the patent office so it has a monopoly on the production. He chides Garrus mentally for supporting a company with such poor standards.
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  • Ascended Meme: One of the things that Mass Effect 2 players will note is that Garrus spends a lot of time Calibrating the main guns. The Doyalist reason for this is that this is just what he says when he has no new information for the player, and that it takes a while for his missions to come up in the game. In this story, though, there's an actual reason for it- as long as the guns are in Calibration Mode, they generate an EM field that blank out the Cerberus recording devices in the room.
  • Asshole Victim: TIM tries to invoke this by letting Shepard in on part of the reason they've been hounding Kasumi.
    • Thane is also concerned about this, as during his assassination of Nassana, he found himself racing to kill her before Shepard could potentially claim her life first. He didn't just want her dead because of a contract, he wanted to be the one who killed her, and is profoundly disturbed to reflect back upon this after the fact.
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    • Averted with Wilson, whose POV chapter shows them to be morally ambiguious, but not someone who deserved their fate, either. (That fate being murdered so that Cerberus can keep his work on the Lazarus Project under TIM's thumb.)
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Joker casually mentions to Kennith and Gabby that he has absolutely no problem with liquifying half the crew by jumping without inertial dampeners if it means protecting Shepard or saving the Normandy. While they are in Zero-G and said inertial dampeners are offline, and said engineers are not in an area protected by backups.
  • Big Eater: Grunt, to the point that Mordin is able to get to him Through His Stomach.
  • Biggus Dickus: At one point, Archangel's team recovers a statue of a volus fertility god. Despite it never being seen (it is a fanfiction, after all), the reactions of the team indicate that this trope is in play.
  • Break the Haughty: Miranda's allegience to Cerberus is more of a sticking point here.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: A random asari asks a drell waiter to make her a Suraboz a massive gunfight breaks out around them at the casino they're in. "...When you get a chance." The waiter, of course, is Thane.
  • Death Is Cheap: Averted; in addition to the monetary cost of bringing Shepard back, the physical consequences are explored, along with the mental repercussions of waking up a 'zombie'.
  • Divided We Fall: Just because Shepard was revived by Cerberus to save the galaxy doesn't mean he's willing to trust them. The subtle power struggle becomes more overt over time, until TIM points them right into a trap and Shepard decides enough is enough.
    • The crew is also far more divided than is usually portrayed. Zaeed's rude mannerisms drive people away, Miranda... is Miranda, with all that set of baggage implies, Grunt has nearly killed several crew members because... well, krogan, and Jack has threatened to kill other members of the crew and is outright insubbordinate to anyone except Shepard.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: When Kasumi cracks a joke and her audience doesn't laugh, she asks if they even got it. Thane immediately details why it was meant to be funny, earning himself a head pat.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Grunt tries to intimidate Garrus into handing over his rations during a mission. The fact it's dextro-formulated and not really fit for krogan consumption doesn't matter to him. It later causes him to throw up.
  • Ensign Newbie: In Chapter 20, it's revealed that Shepard was thrown into this role in the Blitz. Being a lieutenant, he technically outranked a squadron of turian soldiers; thus, they expected him to lead them into battle.
  • Eureka Moment: Tali gives one to Mordin in Chapter 17. He responds with a hug.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "When the evil computer thought that the surveillance device location was distasteful, you had problems."
  • Eye Scream: Barely avoided when Zaeed shoots Grunt to keep him from killing Jacob.
    • Tali also expresses her concern about this when Shepard wants her to disable the cameras Cerberus installed in his eyes.
  • False Innocence Trick: Exploited by TIM to make Kasumi seem much less innocent than first appearances would suggest.
  • Flashbacks: Are used extensively in most chapters to explore everyone's history.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Mordin turns out to be one.
  • Funny Background Event: In many of Mordin's scenes, including end-chapter codices, we find he's been using Donnelly as a guinea pig for his Seeker Swarm counteragent experiments. Doubles as a Chekhov's Gun when Donnelly proves to be immune to Seeker Swarms and the side effects of the Collecter pods during the events of the kidnapping and suicide run.
  • Hidden Depths
  • Hero of Another Story: Allele, one of the rejected tank-bred Krogan who is unceremoniously mowed down by Shepard on Korlus. Turns out that he had been going on a merc-killing rampage that made Shepard's job easier, and protected Grunt's tank from a merc with a rocket launcher that Shepard and his crew never noticed.
  • Humiliation Conga: Downplayed; Shepard doesn't hesitate to stick Miranda with some pretty degrading or embarrassing assignments, such as pretending to be Mordin's beloved.
  • I Call It "Vera": Zaeed Massani's rifle Jessie. Interestingly, it turns out that he named the rife after a mandolin he used to have before it broke. Vido Santiago bought the gun for him.
  • I Have Your Mate: Played for Laughs when Shepard and his crew have to create this scenario to appease the krogan. By offering them a chance to hold Mordin's 'mate' during his loyalty mission.
  • Large Ham: Mordin really hams it up when pretending Miranda is his mate.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: EDI doesn't even remember her original name, or those of her creators. Cerebus made sure of that.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Thane is so determined not to be a bother or 'presume' anything that for the first week he's on board the Normandy, he doesn't eat or drink anything. Shepard is understandably annoyed when he finds out.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Shepard TRIES to pull this off when he mentions that none of the crew are criminals except Jack. Then Kasumi (galactic super-thief) speaks up, then Shepard remembers that Zaeed is a bounty hunter, Garrus is Archangel, and most of the crew is Cerberus... it turns into less of "My Friends And Zoidberg," and "All Of My Friends Are Zoidberg."
  • Noodle Incident: The 'ergoline incident' that led to Mordin not being allowed to store any more samples in the medical bay.
  • Not So Different:
    • Jacob regards the assassin Thane and the mercenary Zaeed as being cut from the same cloth. Thane points out their own similarities.
    • The Illusive Man has the opinion of himself and Shepard. Shepard disagrees strongly.
    • Samara feels this about Jack and Morinth.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ken and Gabby share this with Joker in Chapter 19 when he announces EDI shut down their dampeners, rendering them unable to jump away from the trapped Collector ship without casualties in the lower decks. Becomes a bigger one when he adds that won't stop him from jumping without them, even knowing it would kill most of the Cerberus crew.
  • One-Man Army: Shepard already had a reputation as this due to his heroics during the Blitz. Except he hadn't acted alone.
  • Propaganda Machine: Put quite the spin on Shepard's actions during the Blitz, ignoring little details like how he had help from a squad of turians.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Played up by Shepard. Because military training is mandatory for all turians, and those who used to be in the military still have access to guns, ammo, and shooting ranges, he takes his squad of five turian soldiers during the Blitz and recruits almost a hundred ex-soldiers from the turian section of town, which ultimately saved the colony.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: The fact that the waking world is entirely new to Grunt is played up for all it's worth, both good and bad.
  • Sense Freak: Grunt. The tank didn't contain concepts like flavor, leading to him demolishing the kitchen shortly after waking up and bugging Garrus for his rations.
    • This has also been shown to have negative sides for him- Garrus' rations are not compatible with krogan physiology, causing him to throw up, and Mordin once laces some food with elcor tranquilizer in order to perform a medical examination on Grunt.
  • Show Within a Show: Garr the Battlemaster, an animated series stated to have "poor production values but a surprisingly complicated story". Grunt is a huge fan and collects the action figures.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Thane pulls this on Aethyta during their conversation.
  • Strawman News Media: Zizi Tic's Celeb-Watch is a Type 4 that puts a comically wrong spin on the events opening Chapter 16.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Every member of the team and a few side characters get ample time in this, often showing more of them than Shepard himself.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.
  • Timed Mission: Chapter 19. Gabby and Ken racing to get the dampeners back online before the away team returns and Joker makes the jump without them.
  • To the Pain: Thane gives a speech of this nature to the man who ordered his wife's murder.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Suffered by Miranda. Played for both laughs and drama due to what causes it (her nearly being killed) and how they're well aware how shallow and appearance-obsessed they're coming off as.
  • The Vamp: Played with; while her perfect appearance makes this a viable tactic, Miranda is self-aware enough to realize she's not a master manipulator and lacks the social graces required to charm her targets with more than looks.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Shepard gives Grunt a huge dressing-down after his trigger-happiness with a flamethrower kills half the colonists his team managed to save, and him (Grunt) nearly killing Jacob for calling him on it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reason for Wilson's execution.

Example of: