So far I have been focusing pretty heavily on the storyline missions and that meant I had an ever growing pile of side missions that needed taking care of. The completionist in me could no longer abide how full my journal was and so this last Mass Effect 3 session was spent cleaning it out. And talking to crew members, of course, ’cause that’s just how I roll on the Normandy.
*Avert thine eyes, there be spoilers here*
First up I did the few N7 missions I had which were pretty straightforward “go kill x things and bring back y things” type missions. Almost no story to them, other than to deepen the mystery of just what the hell is Cerberus up to? Hint: it can’t possibly be anything good. Like seriously, as this point it is rather difficult to tell anything about their plans other than the fact that it is at extreme contradiction with my plans. We’ve been told by the Illusive Man that he wants to harness the power of the Reapers and use it to advance humanity, but that can’t even be the half of it. Firstly because, well, he’s the Illusive Man, everything he says and does is an illusion meant to distract you from his real goals. So then what are they? Some of what they’re up to matches up with his stated goal (such as the lab with Reaper tech), but the rest just seems like he’s trying to get in my way (the bomb on Tuchanka) or build an army to fight… something (like the fight base on Noveria or kidnapping civilians).
Anyways, I have to put the enigma that is Cerberus to the side, because we’ve received reports of a Krogan scout ship dissapearing near the Rachni relay. They had been sent to check out rumors of Rachni sightings, which was freaking people out as most of the galaxy thinks the Rachni have been extinct for a thousand years. After the scout ship failed to check back in, my team was sent in by Wrex to meet up with the Krogan special forces squad called Aralakh Company and figure out what was going on. When my team and I arrive, we are quite pleasntly surprised to find that the leader of Aralakh Company is everyone’s favorite tank-bred Krogan, Grunt. He informs us that his squad has found a tunnel system that possibly leads down to a large nest which is most likely where the Rachni are hiding and where the scouts went missing. We all set off to find an entrance to the tunnels, but are quite scarily (seriously, there may have been some startled swearing going on in RL at this point) seperated when the building I’m walking in collapses and falls down into a deep ravine. Happily enough, though, everyone survives and my team and I discover we’ve been deposited right at one of the tunnel enterances. Grunt and his squad weren’t quite as lucky and now have to find another entrance to meet up with us.
As we walk throuhg the tunnels filled with Rachni egg sacs and tubes and wires, it soon becomes apparent that the Reapers are breeding a mutated Rachni army to do their bidding. We finally reach the central nest and find the last Rachni queen (think queen as in queen bee, or most closely the Formics, not as in royalty), the very same one I set free a couple years ago back on Noveria. She’s been shackled and bred against her will (yay more forced breeding storylines! fun times! /snark). She tells me that if I free her again, she’ll help me take down the Reapers. She is, quite understandably, upset about the Reapers forcing her to breed an army of her people against her will, effectively enslaving her race entirely (since she’s the last queen and all). I decide to save her, even though it means Grunt’s Aralakh Company will have to put their lives on the line for her. She’d be a powerful ally, but even despite that, I feel that I should do my best to save a species from extinction, even if the rest of the galaxy would be nonplussed by the idea. I did it for the Krogan despite Salarian potestations, and now I’m doing the same for the Rachni. I do get really sad though when my decision leads to Grunt having to throw himself into the fray to protect us and ends up tackling a Reaper controlled Rachni over a cliff. Goodbye my dear Grunty friend, how I shall miss thee….wait! He’s alive! Damn, he’s such a badass!
He stumbles out, covered in Rachni blood, and his first words are basically, "Sup y'all! I'm hungry, let's go get some space tacos!"
Next up on my side mission’s list is saving Grissom Academy. Specialist Traynor intercepted a distress call from the school that had been answered by a suspicious Turian signal, which is a technique Cerberus has used on me before. So we jet off to the academy to check things out, and find that Cerberus is attacking the school, trying to kidnap the students, who happen to be powerful biotics. It appears they wants the biotic kids to indoctrinate them and use them as weapons in their fight against… something (again, still can’t quite figure out what they’re up to, but them using Reaper indoctrination is definitely not a good sign). It turns out Jack, everyone’s favorite psychopathic biotic wunderkind, is the biotic instructor at the academy and has been training the student to be artillery in the fight against the Reapers. However, she doesn’t think they have enough field experience yet, and even after Cerberus’ attempted hostile takeover, they probably should be support instead. After we safely rescue the kids, I decide to agree with Jack and put their safety ahead of our desperate military needs and tell them to be support, much to their chagrin. I know, I know, I am such a goody two shoes, which is probably the reason that Jack greeted me as the Queen of All Girl Scouts. Turns out, though, that this works out fairly well as now some of the less powerful, but more tech minded students go to work on the Crucible, which is where we definitely should be concentrating our resources.
With that mission done (and a few go scan and fetch quests), my journal is completely cleaned out, so I take a break and chat with my crew some. Or rather, I try to chat with my crew, but none of them are really interested in convos. I did get one interesting bit of convo from James Vega: “Hmm, my Dad’s last name is Sanders. No relation, though.” It appears that someone at some point didn’t take the usual route of the husband’s last name automatically becomes the wife’s and children’s last names. And I absolutely love that this assumption is challenged in such a nonchalant, off handed way.
Anyhoo, it’s time to head on up to the Citadel. Woah! Cerberus is attacking the Citadel?! It’s okay cause Captain Tigh…err Bailey’s on the case. Appears to be another case of imbeded spies launching a surprise attack, like it was on Mars waaay back at the beginning of the game. Wonder if we’ll get another sexy spy bot. Ooh maybe this time it’ll be a guy and he’ll have a metal bulge. Yeah, who am I kidding. Wait, hey there is an assassin guy, and he looks pretty handsome. Wonder if he’s a robot. Oh, yeah, sorry got distracted, apparently Udina is trying to stage a coup and he’s the one who let Cerberus in, and the assassin dude killed the Salarian Councilor and now I’ve gotta go find the rest of the Councilors and save their hides…..again.
Ok, whats with the ninja ladies who have space heels on? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad not all of the goons I mow down are men (cause seriously that’s some effed up gender shit right there), but why are the female goons the ones leaping around everywhere, wearing very form fitting armor and space heels? Did Mass Effect 3 seriously just come down with a case of the Sexy Space Ninja Babes? Oh dear, that’s such a shame, SSNB is such a terrible ailment.
They're not sky-high heels (although, those do make an appearance on some characters), but you do have to ask yourself: why do one of the very few female mobs have high heels on, especially when their attack types are to run around super fast and jump all over the place?
Anyways I chase Kai Lang (the assassin dude) up into the elevator shafts, we play tag with him and his SSNB’s for a bit and I make it out ahead just in time to save the Councilors. BUT there’s one big problem: Udina’s with them and has convinced Kaidan (who is guarding them and obviously no longer in a coma) that I am working with Cerberus to overthrow the Council. Awesome. Stupid idiot Kaidan fell for it hook line and sinker and I did not have the time to put up with it. He was standing in the way of me stopping Udina from unleahshing a deadly assassin onto the Asari and Turian Councilors.The Renegade interrupt popped up and I took it and… I shot Kaidan :S Crap. Shot Udina, too. Pretty sure Kaidan’s dead-dead, I doubt he’ll be making a Grunt-like return, he’s not nearly badass enough for it. I disliked the guy a lot but I really didn’t want him dead, and definitely not by my hands. Gah! No good, terrible, very bad decision right there, Zee. *sadfacepalm*
After saving the Councilor’s asses, who are now ever so grateful to me (let’s see if it sticks this time), I’m free to wander about the Citadel. I find my way to Purgatory, the new bar/strip club, and get treated to a bunch of human and asari women pole dancing. No men though, so guess the future’s not too terribly progressive (color me surprised). I meet up with Jack who’s showing quite a bit of nipple. You can actually see the nipples on quite a few of the women’s outfits (and yet not men’s… I wonder why…), but in this scene they’re out like whoa. Probably because this is M!Shep’s chance to do a lil romance catching up if he went after Jack in ME2. I also meet up with EDI who is standing on the edge of the dance floor like a wall flower. Apparently she came preprogrammed with a sexy walk, but dancing is just beyond her. She also happens to mention that her hair is hardened like it is because she wants it that way for protection, for infilitaration purposes she can relax it into indivudal strands. Wonder if her boobs work the same way. In another part of the bar, I find Joker, also being a wallflower, and he wants some advice about dating EDI (wow! who on earth could have seen that coming?). At first I tell him it’s a stupid plan, but upon second thought, I tell him to hell with it, the galaxy might well be ending soon so who cares about what’s stupid or not, as long as they’re both happy.
Speaking of Jack's new outfit, does Bioware have a skin quota to fill with her? They gave her a jacket,but then cut away giant swaths of her pants. I think I preferred the old look, nipple belt and all, because there was way less emphasis on 'sexy'.
While at the bar I meet with Aria T’Loak, the old overlord of Omega before she got run off by Cerberus. She wants me to unite the mercenary gangs as a fighting force against the Rearpers, she’s laid the ground work, I just have to seal the deal. She’s got the Asari Councilor at her beck and call, she’s very powerful.
I continue about the Citadel gathering up a metric ton of go fetch quests and running errands. I finally make it back on board the Normandy and have a confernce call with Admirals Hackett and Anderson about Kai Lang and the Crucible. Turns out, after the coup, both the Asari and Salarian governments are throwing their forces in with ours. Apparently the coup stressed just how at war we really are. Hackett also suggest I look to the Quarians next for some more support, but warned me about some strange Geth activity. After the conference call, Liara pulled me aside with news of an Asari distress call and that she wanted to have a private discussion about recent events. So, I guess next time we’ll pick up with that convo (and checking in with the crew now that we’ve lost a ‘near and dear’ friend in Kaidan) and head out to take care of those quests.
P.S. I was informed by my husband that this part of his game went completely different. Apparently if I had gone back to the Citadel earlier (I guess before curing the geneophage) I would have met with Kaidan and discovered that he had been promoted to Spectre (only the second human to do so) and even met back up with everyone’s favorite Rememberall assassin, Thane, who would have helped in the attack on the Citadel. According to my husband Thane’s help would have saved the Salarian Councilor which would have made Udina’s lies less convincing which might have saved Kaidan’s life. Ah, well. It is amazing, though, how different things turned out because I decided to dilly dally in getting back to the Citadel. Let this be a lesson to all y’all out there that have yet to make it this far in the game!