Stalker Effect

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StabbyKobold
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Stalker Effect

Post by StabbyKobold » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:37 pm

When you find a bad fanfic, it is seldom the only piece of writing, in which the author exhibits their lacking talent. As such, I tend to look up previously encountered authors for more mocking material, which brings us to this little piece of crude self-indulgence. This is Stalker Effect, a Mass Effect fanfic by the author Knife Hand. I have previously mocked a story by this author, Trailbreaking, in which Harry Potter achieved superior magical powers through a tantric sex ritual. As you might expect, I don’t have high hopes for this fanfic’s quality. As Knife Hand has decided to preclude his chapters with the story summary, let’s just go right on ahead and find out what we’re dealing with. Enjoy.

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Chapter 1

Title: Stalker Effect

Author: Knife Hand

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: Nothing Specific, general for first few books.

Books?! Oh no. This has obviously been copied from a previous work and wasn’t fully revised. Was any effort put into this at all?

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect.

Summary: When he boards the Normandy for the first time Shepard is more than just an N7, he is part of one of the best military teams in the Galaxy. One that is more deadly than anyone knows, mostly because very few people even know it exists let alone what it is capable of. Not a crossover with anything else.

That sure sounds like something that should completely derail the starting plot of the game. But I bet it won’t.

"You coming with us Nihlus?" Lieutenant Alenko asked.

"I move faster on my own." The Turian Spectre replied.

Shepard resisted the urge to shake his head at the arrogance of the Citadel Operative.

Wow, already we have blatant mischaracterization of established characters for the purpose of uplifting the protagonist. Nihlus is supposed to be scouting ahead anyway. On top of this, a single operative is harder for enemies to detect, and he and Captain Anderson are confident in his abilities as a Spectre. But I guess that’s arrogance now. How soon is the pot going to meet the kettle, I wonder.

The Captain and the Spectre had come clean to Shepard about the Beacon found on Eden Prime but it felt like there was something else the Spectre wanted to say but the Captain had interrupted him.

After Nihlus was dropped off, Shepard shrugged in his Armour. He was not used to merely using Alliance Tech anymore. He was used to better.

Better than military grade? What, does it chafe or something? Does it limit your mobility? Is it not Phoenix pink? What?

Joker announced they had reached the second drop point and Shepard walked to the edge of the loading ramp and jumped onto the ground. Jenkins and Alenko followed him onto the ground. Shepard flashed a series of hand signals and could tell from their postures that both the other soldiers were confused, so he used much simpler Alliance gestures. The others finally figured it out and silently moved forward.

Image

Simpler gestures? What the fuck is this idiot blathering about? What level of incompetence does it take, for the leader of a military squad to attempt non-verbal communication that his unit isn’t trained in?! You don’t get cool points for using “advanced” hand signals - this is like an American officer giving out orders in Russian! I’m going to hate this version of Shepard, aren’t I?

Rookies, both of them. Jenkins had never seen combat and even Lieutenant Alenko had only seen one or two small actions. That was the problem with the Alliance. Unless something completely unexpected happened, like the Eden Prime Incident, ninety percent of Alliance Combat was done by about two percent of units, both Marine and Navy. This resulted in a very few ships and ground units that are some of the most veteran and elite in the galaxy but the vast majority had very little or no combat experience.

Wouldn’t it then fall to you, as the much more experienced team leader, to make sure these greenhorns don’t get killed? Or is everyone and everything on this mission just beneath you, your highness?

Shepard, and to a much lesser extent, Alenko kept to cover but Jenkins did not seem to even know what cover was. Shepard was used to a much better team than this.

"Jenkins, keep to cover." Shepard ordered.

Jenkins did not seem to hear so he moved ahead and was gunned down by a pair of drones that came over the ridge ahead of them.

Oh, I see how it’s going to be. Everyone not the protagonist and his selectively chosen posse are going to be incompetent dumbasses, who couldn’t wipe themselves unless they had him give directions. What fun.

Shepard and Alenko immediately gunned down the two drones. After taking a moment to close Jenkins' eyes, and for Shepard to retrieve what ammunition and other equipment he could reasonably carry, they moved on towards the mission objective of the dig site. The next few groups of drones were taken down with little problem, thanks to Alenko taking much more interest in using cover and the fact they now had confirmation that there were hostiles in the area.

I guess the fact that the colony is under attack wasn’t confirmation enough.

The pair reached a rise and took cover behind a rock outcropping as they heard gunfire. An Alliance Marine rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill in front of them, running a zig-zag course and firing one handed behind her, and it was obviously a her, thanks to the anatomically appropriate chest plate of her armour.

A woman appears and focus is instantly on her chest. Classy.

From her movements it was clear that the Marine was both tired and had seen a lot of combat recently. A few moments after the Marine showed up, three synthetics appeared and were shooting at her.

"Take them." Shepard ordered.

Alenko took down one with his biotics and Shepard took down the other two quickly.

How? With an assault rifle? Biotics? Bare hands? All I know about Shepard is that he has disdain for everything around him. A little description could at least clue me in to his skill set.

Standing from behind cover, the pair made their way to the female Marine.

"Chief Ashely Williams, two-twelve." She said.

"Commander Shepard, from the Normandy. This is Lieutenant Alenko." Shepard said. "What's the intel?"

"The colony was attacked during chow. We responded but all of my unit was wiped out." Williams replied. "I think it's the Geth."

Or the Pixar desk lamp became a Terminator.

"The Geth have not been seen outside the Perseus Veil in three centuries." Alenko said.

"Not true, but close enough." Shepard interrupted.

Oh? Care to elaborate on that, or do I file this under ‘shit that is made up to make you more important’?

"But those are Geth. Williams, you did well. Can you lead us to the Beacon?"

"Yes Sir. I want some payback." Williams replied.

"Mission first, Williams." Shepard said.

Williams simply nodded and fell into formation. The Beacon was not where it was supposed to be, because of course it was not.

What’s with all this passive aggressive and dismissive narration? Securing the Beacon is their main priority, yet Shepard treats the Geth stealing it like an inconvenience. In fact, that’s how he treats everything. Even the death of a soldier under his command. Who is this asshole?!

Williams did well as they moved through the Colony. She dealt with the colonists who were turned into mindless Husks better than Alenko did. At the Spaceport they found Nihlus dead, shot in the back of the head. A dock worker, who was also running a smuggling ring, which made Williams pissed off, said that a second Turian, called Saren, had shot Nihlus. Once passed the spaceport, they found the Geth had set demolition charges, which Shepard allocated Alenko to disarm while he and Williams covered the Biotic and took down the attacking Geth.

Rushing things a little, aren’t we? I get that some parts of the game are less interesting than others, but this just jumps the entire reveal of Nihlus having been murdered. Then again, at least we didn’t have Shepard being needlessly smug towards a corpse.

They found the Beacon and Shepard ordered Williams to inspect it while he contacted the Normandy, but when Williams got close, it began dragging her towards it. Acting on command instinct, Shepard tackled Williams out of the way and was himself caught up by the Beacon. Nightmare images went through his mind. War, destruction, death. Familiar things but in a larger scale and more brutal.

The Eden Prime mission has already been grossly oversimplified; why not the Prothean message as well?

Shepard stood in front of the Citadel Council with Williams and Alenko flanking him. Captain Anderson and Ambassador Udina were also on the small podium across from the Council's plinth.

Time and space has only just managed to catch up, as the author decided to skip all buildup to this plot point.

Udina was not so quietly fuming while the four Military Personnel were much calmer, on the outside at least. The Human Ambassador was a real asshole, the kind who made arm-chair General criticisms of Military Operations with no understanding of the realities of combat, or anything outside his little political circle.

And I suppose you’ll make a much better politician than him, because anyone who isn’t you is just inferior in every way. This is getting old. Fast.

"The C-Sec investigation found nothing." The Asari Councillor said.

"Of course they didn't because there…." Saren began before the large hologram of the Spectre flickered and disappeared.

"Oh, it seems there is a transmission error." An Asari said sarcastically as she walked out of the crowed and stood just behind the railing around the gap that separated the rest of the chamber from the Council Plinth. "Though why an accused Terrorist and Traitor was even included on this meeting, I will never know."

Maybe, and now just follow me for a second here, maybe it’s because this meeting is specifically about these accusations, you vapid moron. Also, who the fuck are you?

"T'Soul" The Turian Councillor almost hissed.

A grin crossed the Asari's face. She was dressed unlike anyone else present. Her uniform was clearly military and a formal uniform but even so it was in a dappled camouflage pattern and she was armed with a submachinegun at each hip. Shepard had to struggle to keep a grin of his face at this particular Asari's appearance in the chamber.

I don’t think I would be able to keep a straight face either. She’s wearing army camouflage in the age of personal energy shields and light refraction technology. She’s a military hipster.

"That is General Lerros T'Soul, Commander of the Stalkers, if you please Councillor." The Asari replied. "And the reason C-Sec couldn't find anything was they have neither the capability or authority to investigate a Spectre. As you well know, Councillors, that is part of the Stalkers mandate."

"What are Stalkers?" Williams whispered, earning a shrug from Alenko.

Aside from the descriptor of obsessive and near criminal behavior in pursuing others, to the point where using the term for anything else would cause confusion in matters of law, I have no idea. But I bet big brain Shepard will passive aggressively inform us about it.

"Spectres are solo Operatives; Stalkers are small Combat Teams operating at the same level." Shepard replied just a quietly. "Part of the Stalkers mandate is to hunt down and kill rogue Spectres."

"That happen often?" Alenko asked.

"To lone wolf operatives with almost unlimited power? What do you think?" Shepard replied, rolling his eyes at the Lieutenant's naivetテゥ.

Fuck you, author, you pretentious asshole. And fuck your super-secret black ops group as well. First of all, the Stalkers are redundant. If a Spectre goes rogue, then another Spectre is sent to deal with them. It’s one of the major reasons Shepard was made a Spectre in the game. Secondly, the Stalkers obviously aren’t operating at the same level, because Spectres act on behalf of the Council, while Stalkers apparently take orders from a single person - who is somehow not held in contempt for basically mouthing off to the ruling body of the galaxy. Thirdly, Spectres receive a lot of power, but the people who are made Spectres are specifically vetted from candidates that prove they can handle the responsibility. The very reason the accusations against Saren aren’t being considered by the Council is because Spectres don’t often go rogue - but once they do, it becomes galaxy-wide news, as it did in the game, you pompously projecting Neanderthal!

Shepard did not bother to mention that the only Stalker whose identity was known, even to the Council that they officially served, was the current Commanding Officer, which for the last two hundred years was General Lerros T'Soul. It was a bone of contention between T'Soul and the Council that the Council had no say over the membership of the Stalkers, or even the size of the organisation.

My god, in how many ways can I express the stupidity of this secret military bullshit? The Council has all the say, because they are the highest authority in Citadel space! If they couldn’t control a branch of their military, they would abolish it! Keeping the Stalkers around - lead by this mouthy Asari, who has full decision over everything her paramilitary lackeys do - is asking for a fucking coup!

"As there is no evidence of a Rogue Spectre, the Stalkers need not get involved." The Asari Councillor announced.

"That is circular logic." General T'Soul replied.

How?! The logic is straighter than a Christian marriage! The accusations of Saren’s misdeeds are unsupported, so there isn’t a need for an internal affairs kill order. Circular logic is when a premise is based on its own conclusion. Don’t use term you don’t understand, author!

"Enough!" The Salarian Councillor said. "If there is evidence, I say let the Humans find it as they made the accusation. If they come up with anything, then we will see where it leads."

The meeting was adjourned and the humans gathered to talk away from the podium. No one else noticed T'Soul's slight nod to Shepard as she passed.

Despite the fact that EVERYONE should be looking at her. She barged in on a council meeting like she owned the fucking place and disrupted their communications. Do you really think no one would take an interest in her, author?!

Anderson and Udina were arguing over the next move. Udina wanted to use the Embassy's contact in C-Sec, some guy who had been the first Human C-Sec Officer but was now a drunk who had been suspended from duty. Anderson wanted to try Barla Von, a Volus Financial Advisor who supposedly also worked for The Shadow Broker, a secretive information broker. Neither option really appealed to Shepard, but he had his own contacts that he could use.

Because having multiple leads to follow becomes superfluous, when the author is whispering in your ear.

Anderson ordered them to get settled in the quarters the Captain had obtained for them and get some sack time before they made their next move.

Or whichever point in the plot the author lazily skips to.

TBC…

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Guess what everyone; Spectres are no longer the top of the military pecking order. The Stalkers are. And while Spectres are widely known as the Citadel’s top agents, no one are allowed to know who the Stalkers are. Which, if you think about it for more than five seconds, renders them incapable of acting as law enforcement. On multiple occasions over the course of the Mass Effect games, Shepard received cooperation from civilians and police, however reluctant it may have been, by name-dropping his Spectre status. People knew him as a Citadel operative, meaning he had full legal discretion to complete his mission. The Stalkers, on the other hand, would sooner be mistaken for mercenaries and risk police interference. How they can function in any capacity is a mystery to me. Let’s hope it is explained, if not at least excused, in the next chapter.

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Re: Stalker Effect

Post by StabbyKobold » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:42 pm

Welcome back to smug superiority the fanfic. With the attack on Eden Prime quickly skimmed through and the Council talked down to in their own court, let’s see how Shepard will continue to be better than everyone else within a lightyear radius. Enjoy.

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Chapter 2

Title: Stalker Effect

Author: Knife Hand

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Maybe if you fireproofed your story, you wouldn’t feel the burn.

Spoilers: Nothing Specific, general for first few books.

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect.

Summary: When he boards the Normandy for the first time Shepard is more than just an N7, he is part of one of the best military teams in the Galaxy. One that is more deadly than anyone knows, mostly because very few people even know it exists let alone what it is capable of.

And I’m sure the author is the best writer on the internet, he just purposefully keeps it a secret so no one knows about it.

Not a crossover with anything else.

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Shepard stood naked by the window, staring out at the view of the Widow Nebula that was only interrupted by two other Highrise buildings at the periphery of the view. The apartment was in the Wards, but at the edge of one of the Ward Arms, but thanks to the view it was more expensive than most of the places on the Presidium.

Because space is such a rare sight on a space station, right? Call me skeptical, but if an oil rig had a park in the middle, I think it would be more attractive than the ocean view.

A female hand reached over Shepard's shoulder and ran down his chest.

"Come back to bed, John." A sultry voice whispered in his ear.

"Sorry, Em. I didn't mean to wake you." Shepard replied.

Emily Wong stepped around to look him in the face. This was her apartment. Being a star reporter on the Citadel had benefits, but there was more to it than that.

Information which I’m sure will make no sense and violate ‘show, don’t tell’.

"What's the matter?" Emily asked.

"I saw The General yesterday in the Council Chambers. Made me miss the team." Shepard replied. "I hate undercover work."

Shepard was actually a Stalker Team Leader who was working undercover to try and bring down Saren, something the Stalkers had been trying to do for almost a year ever since the first hints of the Spectre operating erratically and against the Council.

And what, pray tell, did the Stalkers think to gain on the Turian Spectre by having Shepard go undercover in the Alliance military?! Please, connect the continent-sized leap of logic you’ve just tried to wedge into the end of Shepard’s decade long military service and success in the N7 program!

Emily Wong was Shepard's contact, both a source of information and a communications link back to the Stalkers.

A high profile reporter doesn’t sound like the best choice for your clandestine military operations, but that presupposes anything makes sense to begin with.

"They miss you too." Emily replied. "They say it is not the same without their Wolf."

Of course this pack leader, this alpha male with stated by never shown superiority to everyone around him, has an edgy, furry baiting call sign to go with the author’s power fantasy. Bitch, please. No doubt the rest of his team have names drawn from the same creatively shallow hat.

Taking Shepard's hand, Emily led him back to the bed and curled her naked form against his side.

Emily Wong had agreed to help the Stalkers because it was right, and the Stalkers did a lot of good in the Galaxy, but she agreed to be Shepard's contact because she had known him for years and cared for him greatly.

They do a lot of good, but who gets the credit?! Even when kittens get rescued from trees, you have someone to point to; are we supposed to believe that cause has no effect here?

"I got the last report from Angel, which I have a copy you can take, shows she is almost ready for the final phase." Emily continued "Blade and Sparks are working on Saren's finances. Lots of connections to Binary Helix, but that does not narrow it down much."

"Right, Binary Helix has some interest in half the systems in the Galaxy." Shepard replied.

Half the systems? Author, how big do you think a galaxy is, and why would a genetic engineering company be interested in half of that?

"Makes sense for a Spectre to use that to cover his actions. Other than that, Hawk and Patch are basically just sitting around waiting for action." Emily concluded.

For Stalkers, 'sitting around waiting for action' was a misnomer. On downtime they were training, studying or teaching. The six members of Stalker Squad Six, Shepard's squad, had nine University Bachelors Degrees, or the equivalent; four Masters Degrees; two PHD's, both held by Blade, and they collectively spoke fifteen languages, not including Stalker Battle Code.

Image

Well, aren’t they just super awesome? And while the Stalkers were “sitting around and getting an education”, plus learning languages made superfluous by language translator implants, the N7 program would have provided training in jetpack flight, zero-g combat, front-line trauma care, and various other things useful in line with their actual - and I repeat - their actual profession as military special forces. I’m not one to disparage people for getting an education, but let’s crunch some numbers on these black-ops nerds to show why this is dumb. On average it takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree, which usually gives a student the foundation for a two-year Master’s degree. A PhD takes eight years. That’s a collective sixty years worth of academic achievements that these fuckers have not spent on becoming better soldiers. This also implies that they already had extensive military careers before studying for them to even be considered as candidates for an above Spectre status. Who or what are these big-brained übermench?!

Thanks to the anonymity of the Stalkers, no one outside the squad, and the General, knew who was a Stalker. Shepard and his team did not know who were in any of the other Stalker Squads. This allowed so Stalkers the opportunity to pursue other Careers or hobbies so long as it did not interfere with their Stalker Missions.

Sounds more like it would allow for two Stalker squads to inadvertently kill each other without knowing, should they mistake each other for the paramilitary terrorists anyone would suspect them of being.

As a result, most of the other 'Careers' were on a part time basis. For example, Sparks, Squad Six's demolition expert, also ran a civil construction and demolitions company.

Because you can totally run a company on part-time. Having to leave on mission on a moment’s notice would also not be suspicious at all. Double lives are just twice the convenience!

"Hang in there, John. The undercover part of the mission will be over soon." Emily reassured, running her hand over his chest. "My contacts say the C-Sec Officer that was assigned to investigating Saren was getting close, despite active Spectre Interference. He was so good that the Council moved up the hearing by a week to prevent any further progress.

Wow, way to turn the Council into outright criminals, author. What is this logic even? They are holding a hearing; Garrus could keep investigating even after that. Isn’t it in humanity’s best interest to get this apparent threat to their colonies dealt with fast, too? What is you angle here?

He's a Turian by the name of Garrus Vakarian. A good cop but frustrated with the bureaucracy and politics inherent in C-Sec. There's also a Krogan you might want to look in on, name of Urdnot Wrex. Bounty Hunter who is going after a local lowlife named Fist on behalf of the Shadow Broker. Apparently Fist betrayed the Shadow Broker for some Spectre."

Golly gee, this contact she has sure is efficient, since they know personal intel about the foremost information broker in the galaxy.

"Got to be Saren. He is arrogant enough." Shepard replied.

If arrogance was a measure of likely betrayal, you’d be a quintuple agent, Shepard.

"And unlike some other Spectres, Saren never took side jobs from the Broker."

Emily kissed her way up Shepard's chest.

"John, enough shop talk. Let's have some more fun." Emily said with a mischievous smile.

That was the last coherent thought by either occupant in the apartment for several hours.

Because thinking straight is totally impossible during sex. Both of them will be sputtering like Taz the Tasmanian Devil the entire time.

————————————————————————————————

Shepard looked around at the team he had to assault Chora's Den, Fist's base of operations. Ashley Williams was a solid Soldier, learning from her experience on Eden Prime rather than letting it break her. Kaiden Alenko was still green but was good at playing to his biotic strengths. Garrus Vakarian was solid, like most Turians, and a good Sniper, though Chora's Den was to tight and enclosed for those skills to come into play in this assault. Urdnot Wrex was… well he was a Krogan. Enough said.

No, author. That’s not enough said. Lazy stereotyping aside, I don’t know Shepard’s opinion about Krogans. I could very well interpret this line as a dismissal of Wrex as a savage thug, and it would only take me as much effort as you put into your writing.

Shepard had assigned the others in teams of two, while he would go solo and be where he was needed the most.

Which could be two places at once, but I guess he’s just awesome enough to pull it off. Good grief, author.

Wrex and Ash would be the strike team, going in first and engaging the opponents directly. Garrus and Kaiden were the support team, with Kaiden to use his Biotics to maximum effect and Garrus to make sure no one got the jump on Kaiden.

So, you’re saying that while Wrex and Ash will be assaulting Chora’s Den, Garrus and Kaiden will not be doing that? And Shepard will, what, pendulum back and forth between them? I’m no expert on leading a strike team, but something tells me that playing scout leader for four people across two teams seems inefficient.

Fist had not only betrayed the Shadow Broker, he was setting up a source that apparently had solid evidence against Saren. Wrex was paid to kill Fist, which Shepard had no problem with, but they needed information first.

Shepard is going renegade, then? Can’t say I wasn’t expecting it. Can’t say I’m expecting it to remain consistent either.

Holding up three fingers, Shepard counted down. When he hit zero, Wrex kicked in the door to Chora's Den and practically charged in, Ashley right behind him. While Wrex and Ashley went right, Shepard circled left around the central island bar. The thugs Fist had on his payroll were bunkered down in the booths around the outer walls of the bar, but the crossfire created by Wrex and Ashely on one side and Shepard on the other, with Kaiden using his Biotics to force the most entrenched enemies into the open.

The only casualty of this assault is the English language, as I am entirely in doubt if anyone is even getting shot.

"This is a nice place." Shepard shouted over the gunfire.

"Used to be nicer." Wrex replied. "Gone down hill in the last few years."

Were the dancers wearing less clothes back then, or should I infer something else about this?

"Can we discuss this later?" Garrus asked. "Like when people aren't shooting at us."

"Oh fine." Shepard said.

"Boys." Ashely mumbled. "I am surrounded by boys."

The team finished clearing out the Guards in an efficient manner, and scared off the dock workers who had been conscripted as a final line of defence.

Dock workers? In the lower wards? Right. Author, I get the feeling that there are certain words you don’t know the meaning of. Entire concepts, even. It would explain a lot of the misgivings I’ve seen thus far, but then again, so would stupidity.

Fist himself was no trouble, once the two turrets he had in office were taken out. A simple round to the knee and he was begging them to let him tell what he knew.

"Please don't kill me." Fist begged.

"Tell me about this meeting. The one supposedly with the Shadow Broker." Shepard ordered.

The one you supposedly know about from Garrus’ recruitment side quest, but which we never got to see.

"It's some Quarian girl. She said she had evidence against Saren. She won't be meeting with the Broker, she will be meeting with Saren's assassins." Fist replied. "The meeting is scheduled for ten minutes from now, in the back alley not far from here."

"Garrus, Kaiden, go scout the location, keep in contact. Don't engage unless the Quarian is in direct danger." Shepard ordered.

The Biotic and the Turian left.

"Ashley, check for useful data, but be quick. Wrex, finish your job." Shepard continued.

Wrex is barely on your payroll and already you’re calling his shots, Shepard? I’d be surprised if he didn’t break Fist’s neck to just to spite you for giving him an order.

Ashley moved over to the desk but jumped when Wrex put a bullet through Fist's head. She glared but continued her quick search while Shepard went to the safe and broken into it.

"Got some records." Ashley announced.

Which were meant for Emily Wong’s side quest, but with her C-Sec sources, I wonder what would be the point.

Shepard found a few things in the safe that he took. They were all finished in the office and were out the door in well under a minute headed for the alleyway. They caught up with Garrus and Kaiden down the alleyway from the meeting location. The Quarian was there waiting for the meeting but the assassins had not arrived yet, so the team got into position to ambush them.

In other words, five soldiers armed to the teeth stood at the end of the alley and hoped no one would look their way.

The assassins arrived, consisting of two Turians and three Salarians. One of the Turains approached the Quarian and tried to run his hand down the Quarian's faceplate, but the Quarian slapped the hand away.

"Move in." Shepard ordered.

The five of them stepped out of cover and began firing on the outer Assassins, the Salarians and the second Turian, but the Quarian did three quick strikes to the closest Turian, arm; groin and chest, to force him back a few steps to give her enough room to draw her Shotgun and unload three rapid shots into the Turian's chest.

I’m all for breaking from the canon railroad, but what was so wrong about her tossing a grenade? Wait a minute. Oh no. Don’t tell me this is what I’m suspecting.

"We good Angel?" Shepard asked, confusing his team for a moment.

"We're good, Wolf." The Quarian said, as she put away her shotgun. "And I got the data."

Image

Tali is a Stalker?! The twenty-two year old Quarian out on her Pilgrimage is a top secret Citadel agent?! And she was shouting the success of her undercover mission from the fucking rooftops?! Are you absolutely insane, author?!

Once her weapon was secured, she walked up to Shepard, where he embraced her in a hug, which she leaned into.

"Welcome home, Tali." Shepard whispered.

Motherfucker, the word ‘home’ is just about the most significant thing to Tali’s entire storyline. She should have shoved her shotgun up your ass faster than you could say “keelah se’lai” for uttering that.

TBC…

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That reveal was like finding half a worm in the core of a particularly sour apple. With Tali on the Stalker roster, who couldn’t be? And what’s with the call sign; Angel? At least it wasn’t Sparks. I would have fallen out of my chair, if the author employed the same wit as James Vega. I hope - I fucking pray - that next chapter will even attempt to legitimize the logic, which would see a Quarian on her first journey away from the Migrant Fleet as an agent of the Citadel’s most clandestine military branch. And yet I only expect less sense to be made.

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Re: Stalker Effect

Post by StabbyKobold » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:32 pm

With the current re-treading and besmirching of the opening plot of the first game, I have to wonder what the point of this story is. All the author has done is make Shepard a smug prick, who seems more concerned by the fact he can’t hang out with his Stalker homies, rather than his species having been attacked by the Geth. It’s like the author forgets, that although he has put the plot on cruise control, his characters should not act like this is a fact. At least we’re getting closer to the point of the game, where the player, and thereby this author by extension, has to exert some agency. Enjoy.

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Chapter 3

Title: Stalker Effect

Brilliant title, ain’t it? Replace part of the words that name-drops a technology permeating the entire series, and then pretend it makes sense.

Author: Knife Hand

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: Nothing Specific, general for first few books.

Rating: R

For ridiculous.

Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect.

Summary: When he boards the Normandy for the first time Shepard is more than just an N7, he is part of one of the best military teams in the Galaxy. One that is more deadly than anyone knows, mostly because very few people even know it exists let alone what it is capable of. Not a crossover with anything else.

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John, Tali and Emily were sitting in the living room of Emily's apartment. Shepard had sent Ashley and Kaiden to the Human Embassy to deliver Tali's recording of Saren and Matriarch Benezia's discussion that proved Saren had been at Eden Prime.

And I’m sure Udina will be absolutely thrilled by Shepard’s lack of investment in the situation. Just as thrilled as Ashley and Kaidan are at being denigrated to errand running lackeys.

Garrus wanted to check on Doctor Michelle, who Garrus had been protecting when Shepard had found the C-Sec Officer, so Shepard had sent Wrex along with him, partly to provide backup but mostly to get them out of Shepard's hair.

Out of his hair?! These aren’t needy children, you petulant smartass! These are soldiers with their own individual beef with Saren and the Geth - they are not groupies eager to dance to the tune of a smug prick, who thinks he’s hot shit because he got inducted into a militia masquerading as an intelligence and security group!

"Welcome back in from the cold, Tali." Emily said to the young Quarian.

"I was not cold. My suit has temperature control." Tali replied confused.

"It's just an expression, little one." John clarified. "It means you are not alone anymore, you're back with the group."

Ha-ha, alien doesn’t get human idioms. Isn’t it adorable, how it continues to elevate our protagonist as a big-brained badass, who has to be the smartest person in the room at all times? This story is like a cavalcade of the narcissist version of micro-aggressions.

"Oh." Tali mused. "It is good to be back, though I do want to get out of this Pilgrimage Suit and back into my regular Suit."

"A little while longer, Angel." John reassured. "We just need to get those idiots in the Council to do their jobs."

Tali was the youngest member of Stalker Team Six, having been recruited almost as soon as she had left the Flotilla on Pilgrimage. A former Stalker Quarian who had returned to the Flotilla had marked Tali as a possible Stalker at a young age. It was not just Tali's technical skills, as all Quarians were technically adept, but she had shown guts, determination and a willingness to risk herself to achieve a task that put her above the average community focused and selfless Quarian.

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And that is all that’s needed to become a Stalker?! Let’s just ignore all the issues of Tali somehow having finished her pilgrimage already, you’re still telling us that a Quarian with nothing but gumption and another person’s say-so made it into the Stalkers. Author, let me try to clue you in on just how absolutely batshit this is. Shepard was N7 before the start of the game. Graduates of the program are those that last the longest of battle-hardened N6 soldiers when scattered and stranded on an asteroid without navigation data. They have to do this in “admirable and effective fashion” in order to receive the rank of N7. This, along with Shepard’s military accomplishments, was what made him be considered for a Spectre position. Considered; not guaranteed one. But one member of the Stalkers, the supposed badasses beyond Spectres, can apparently greenlight a fresh out of pilgrimage Quarian. This logic is more alien than half of the cast!

Tali was settled on the couch next to John, her head nestled into his shoulder, while he had his arm around her shoulder. Emily was sitting in the armchair that faced the couch, not feeling the least bit jealous.

Because love triangles contain conflicts, and we can’t have those.

Tali and Emily were the only two who were able to call him John, everyone else called him Shepard. Emily was a long term, on again off again, casual girlfriend, but Tali was like his little sister. John had been the first to contact Tali after she had left the Flotilla, tipped off when her former Stalker mentor had given the General a heads up. Tali and Emily got on well, but in a more casual kind of way. Not best friends but Emily still provided some advice and guidance to Tali that the Quarian was not comfortable getting from the female members of Stalker Team Six.

How nice. Not as nice as if we had seen them interact with each other, but I guess that would cut out precious cuddling time for our protagonist.</span><span style='font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman",serif'>

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Shepard stood once again on the podium across from the Council plinth. Tali, Ashley and Kaiden stood on the podium with him, as did Anderson and Udina. Garrus and Wrex were further back, hiding in the gathered crowd.

The recording Tali had obtained was playing from Shepard's Omnitool. A murmur ran through the assembled crowd.

"There is your proof." Udina interjected, annoying Shepard no end.

He’s basically giving the Council an “I told you so” that is just short of a metaphorical middle finger. How can you not like this? Are you just annoyed that you didn’t get to do it?</span><span style='font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman",serif'>

"Told you." General T'Soul said. "Saren is corrupt to the core."

"That could be a misunderstanding, or taken out of context." The Turian Councillor demanded.

Shepard then played two more recordings, one of Fist telling them about Saren's Assassins going after a Quarian and one from Tali's suit of the Turian Assassin calling her a Suit Rat and saying she should never have crossed Saren.

"The Stalkers should now take over the case to hunt down the Rogue Spectre Saren." General T'Soul stated.

Because two unrelated recordings, which the author doesn’t even bother write out, totally gives more legitimacy to the case.

"There is another way." The Salarian Councillor pointed out.

"No, it's too soon." The Turian Councillor whispered.

"Would you prefer Stalker intervention." The Asari Councillor countered.

I would prefer it if you cleaned fucking house! What kind of political pull does the Stalkers have?! What blackmail materiel do they have on you that makes you cower at their demands?!

The three Councillors exchanged glances before the Turian Councillor sighed and nodded.

"Commander Shepard, you have proven yourself to be a capable warrior." The Asari Councillor began.

"Wait, what?" Shepard said, realising what was happening. "Oh no."

"Spectres are not made, they are chosen." The Salarian Councillor continued.

"Nope. No way." Shepard reiterated.

What are you doing? I’m talking to you, author. In canon, Shepard’s candidacy for the Spectres was a through-line across the entire case before the council. Here you’re having the Council smear off the responsibility of hunting down a galactic criminal on Shepard, by granting him a coveted and highly respected rank within their military, just because they don’t want risking another part of their military taking the job. And Shepard is appalled by this? What the fuck is your problem?!

Beside him, Shepard saw Tali's shoulders shaking in supressed laughter. She would find this funny.

"This is a great honour for you and your species." The Asari Councillor finished.

"Is there any way I can refuse this?" Shepard pleaded.

"No." The Turian Councillor replied, a satisfied tone in his voice.

How does the author think this works?! Shepard can absolutely refuse, but because the author wants to make it all a joke, suddenly the Council can just draft Spectres on a whim.

"Your task will be to hunt down Saren and bring him to justice. Good Luck."

"I will get you back for this." Shepard threatened.

He turned and walked away from the Council, followed by the others.

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Shepard stood in the cockpit of the Normandy, having been given the ship by Anderson for his 'Spectre Duties'.

"What's the plan, Boss?" Joker asked.

"Firstly, set a course for these co-ordinates." Shepard ordered. "And then put full heat distribution into sink six till it is about to melt down, then flush it. Fill it with the waste from Hydrogen Cell two once it is cooled."

Okay, yeah, sure, let’s just risk a meltdown of a heatsink and fill it with waste material - what the fuck are you on about?!

"You know that won't take us to Stealth." Joker confirmed.

"That's not what it's for." Shepard replied.

Then what is it for, you pompous bastard? It literally sounds like you’re telling your pilot to ruin the ship’s hardware and land them in a repair dock. It feels like the author is asking me to read his protagonist’s mind rather than his story.</span><span style='font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman",serif'>

Four hour later the Normandy was approaching rendezvous co-ordinates, when Shepard and Tali walked up to the cockpit. Tali was no longer in her Pilgrimage Environmental Suit and Shepard was not wearing either his N7 Armour or an Alliance Uniform. Shepard was in a uniform and Tali was in a Quarian Environmental Suit, but both were in the same dappled pattern as General T'Soul.

Are you guys even trying to keep this a secret? Is the author even trying to write a good fanfic? The answer might surprise even me.

A slight thump indicated that the other ship had docked to the airlock. The airlock cycled and the inner bulkhead opened. Four figures, all dressed in the same dappled pattern as Shepard and Tali, emerged carrying a duffle bag in each hand. The first two out of the airlock were an Asari, who was into her Matron Stage, and a male Drell. They were followed by a Salarian male and a female Turian.

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Oh look, it’s Shepard’s Stalker team, all geared up for a picnic. And all of them are differing alien species. Holy diversity, Batman! I hope none of these people happen to be already established characters, or carbon copies of every alien crew member you can get in Mass Effect 2.

"Wolf, Angel. Good to see you again." The Asari said. "We got the green light?"

"Kind of." Shepard said, embarrassed.

"The Council made Wolf a Spectre to keep us out of the hunt and tasked him with the mission." Tali added.

But why? Why wouldn’t the council want to send a Stalker, if they are the de facto rogue Spectre hunters? Why can’t anything make sense?

The newcomers all laughed at that. None of the Stalkers had a high opinion of Spectres.

"Commander, care to fill in a confused pilot?" Joker asked.

"Joke, meet Stalker Team Six." Shepard replied. "I am Wolf, Team Commander."

And depending on how your whole secrecy rules works, that might be ex-Stalker pretty soon. Maybe if we had established this new and mysterious military branch more instead of establishing how big it has made Shepard’s ego, this story could amount to more than a headache.

"Angel, Combat Engineer." Tali added.

"Blade. Team Executive Officer and Weapons Specialist." The Asari, obviously Commando trained, introduced.

"Hawk. Sniper." Said the Drell.

"Sparks. Explosives and Demolitions." The Salarian bowed.

"Patch. Combat Medic." The Turian female concluded.

"Joker. Best Pilot in the Galaxy." Joker said with a smirk.

"And humble too." Shepard added with a roll of his eyes.

More than you, Captain Superior.

"Let's get you all situated. I have a few ground specialists who have already joined up. You'll meet them tomorrow."

Blade began organising the team effortlessly and they walked off leaving Joker, Shepard and Tali behind.

"Oh, John, thanks for the ultra-clean room to change in." Tali said before walking away.

Because the Normandy totally has room for that, and for four other unplanned crewmembers.

Joker stared at Tali for a moment, before turning to Shepard.

"What?" Shepard asked.

"She called you by your first name." Joker said in amazement.

"Yes, she did." Shepard confirmed. "And she is allowed to. You are not."

It’s not that they aren’t allowed to; it’s that they follow fucking protocol, you self-aggrandizing prick.

"Got it, Commander." Joker replied.

Shepard nodded and made his way back towards the Galaxy Map.

TBC….

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And thus begins the journey of John “Too Cool For Spectre School” Shepard. It’s not going to be a long one, though. The author only put out four chapters before abandoning the story. I wonder how many atrocities against the canon he will manage to infuriate me with next.

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