This week BioWare was forced to make all sorts of grovelling noises, following the revelation that Mass Effect: Deception – a tie-in novel written by William C. Dietz – was littered with continuity errors. It was a thorough embarrassment for all concerned; in keeping with that spirit, I've decided to have a go myself...
Mess Affect: Reception by Neon Kelly
It was April 2084, and Colonel Shepherd was a worried man (or woman). At 22 he was the youngest space-officer in the galaxy. He had a hard-earned reputation, a loyal crew, and a high-tech ship - the USS Normany. This was a great privilege, because the Normany was equipped with a Mess Affect Drive, which allowed it to fly through all kinds of space - and even go back in time.
But Lieutenant Shapard was indeed a worried man. He knew The Reepers were coming, and no-one except his team would believe him.
Suddenly the space-door opened, and in walked Jack, swishing her long chestnut hair. "Admiral! I have an important space-message for you!"
"What is it?" replied Shaperd, slyly taking a peek at Jack's chest (+5 Renegade Points).
"You better hear it for yourself!" she cried, levitating a space-phone through the air using her Psychotic powers.
He immediately noticed that it was a call from Tiara, who was a Sari. Tiara and her brother had been investigating a Reeper base on the Batarian home planet of Tuchanka – and it was clear they had found something big.
"Scheppard!" she wailed, a look of terror etched across her bright purple face. "The Reepers are on their way, right now! They're going to destroy The Sitadel!"
There was no time to waste, but luckily the Normany had one big advantage over The Reepers: Garris the Terrine, who was one of the fastest pilots in the universe.
"GET US TO THE SITADEL, NOW!" shouted Shepppird.
"Aye Aye, Captain!" replied Garris – his orange tentacles eagerly reaching for the Mess Affect button. Seconds later the drive engaged, and the giant X-shaped Normany disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Twenty space-minutes later, Sappard was standing on the bridge of the Normany. Through the space-window, he could see the huge triangular bulk of the Sitadel, home to the United Nations of Space Governments. The Sitadel was a dangerous place at the best of times – thousands of people died here on a daily basis. Today, Shupperd just hoped it wouldn't be millions.
He looked across at the squad he had assembled for the mission. Tali's hands were shaking as she strapped on the many buckles and straps of her complicated leather armour. Lesion was making all sort of anxious bleeping noises, though it was hard to tell what he was really feeling – because he was a robot, and robots don't talk.
But the most concerned of all was Wexz, the giant feathery Krogan: his 12 children were living on the Sitadel, and his wife had another youngling on the way.
Everyone had something to lose, but Chuppard knew that they all had to rise to the challenge. They had to protect the Sitadel, and save the life of Queen Amidala.
"Come on Spectres!" he boomed. "We've got work to do!"
Then they all stepped into the circular teleporter, and Scotty beamed them up to the planet.
* * *
What they found when they arrived made their hearts sink – and that was particularly bad for Wexz, because Krogan have five of them.
The Sitadel was already under attack: Photon Torpedos were raining from the sky like rain, half the city was on fire, and the air was filled with the anguished screams of dying Minbari. It was all too much for Mr Spock, who immediately broke down in tears.
But the team soon spotted the most serious problem of all: a platoon of Cybermen with space-axes, running towards the James Cameron Memorial Gardens in the centre of town.
"Quickly!" yelled Tali, raising her rocket launcher. "They're going to cut down the Great Avatar Tree!"
The team sprang into action, but before they could take two steps, the floor began to shake. With a great roar, the concrete in front of them ripped open into a gaping chasm. It was an Emergence Hole!
Wave after wave of grunts poured out of the ground, and behind them, dragging a giant Plasma Sword, strode their leader – a fearsome Covenant Elite.
Lance-Corporal Chepupepard tightly gripped his lightsaber. It was time to finish the fight!
That was Chapter 1 of Mess Affect: Reception. Click here to pre-order your copy of the full novel.