The first in a series of serialised posts, Dealspwn's Felix Kemp steps into the shoes of Commander Shepard in the aftermath of the attack on the Citadel to bring us an eyewitness account of the opening act of one of the year's finest games so far: Mass Effect 2.
It’s only been a few weeks since Saren. Sometimes, I can hear that artificial shriek of his, when Sovereign assumed control of his body. Then I hear the rumble of a mass-effect jump, the crew chattering, instruments beeping, Joker hurling quips from the cockpit. We defeated the Geth, but we didn’t eliminate them. Their ships scattered and fled. I, Commander Shepard of the S.S. Normandy, have been ordered to seek out the Geth, and destroy them.
We followed a report to a remote planet. From a window, I see space return, mass-effect fields bubbling away. We appear to be alone. Pressly believes we’re wasting our time. But the Geth are cunning, and I can sense something, lurking in the darkness between the stars.
My fears are confirmed when an unknown cruiser is spotted. The vessel alters its course to an intercept trajectory. But no Geth ship can detect the Normandy. The crew begin to panic, as the ship fires a bolt of searing energy, clipping our wings. Hull breached, venting oxygen, I set a distress-beacon. I order Ashely to the escape-pods, set off into the burning ship for Joker.
The ship is doomed, drifting away into space. Inside, it is like a furnace, corridors of hellish fire and sparks. I enter a breached portion of the ship, gravity and sound disappearing as I plod towards the cockpit. Dismantled seats and chairs tumble in the vacuum.
I reach Joker. He’s not dead, having put on an oxygen mask. Smarter than he looks, maybe? Perhaps not, as the man is adamant he can rescue the ship from its death plunge. I help Joker to the last escape-pod, before another bolt from the unknown ship slices the Normandy in two.
I know I am beyond saving. I jettison the pod, hoping that Joker and the rest of the crew survive long enough for the Alliance to arrive. The Normandy is in pieces, burning lumps cooling in the ice-cold vacuum. An explosion rocks the cockpit, and I am hurled from the ship, into space. I drift through the wreckage, tugged towards the nearby planet’s gravity-well. Shrapnel from the explosions must have punctured my suit. I’m venting oxygen. I struggle to contain the leak. But it’s so cold. The stars disappear. All I see is darkness.