Saturday, December 3, 2011

ME1 - Against the Clock

Saran's on the move, and time is running out as Meriel races towards the Conduit.

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Meriel's Journal, Entry Thirty-Two

Location: Ilos
Active Companions: Garrus/Williams

Adrenaline running high, the Normandy arrived at Ilos only to find that there were no accessible landing areas for us to utilize.  Despite popular opinion, I insisted that Joker drop the Mako onto a twenty meter patch of land right next to where Pressley believed Saran and his geth to be.  The Williams and Garrus were more nervous about this decision than I, but Joker is the very best there is.  No matter what, my team absolutely had to reach Ilos' surface. If this was the only avenue open to us, this was the avenue we would take.  Turning around and leaving, at this point, was not an option.  The mission comes above all else.  Garrus cursed me on our way planet side, but at least this time it was not my driving skills that he was finding fault with ... just our high risk Mako drop.  (Come to think of it, the two might not be so different after all.  It is nice to know that even in the face of mortal danger, some things do not change.)  Accurate as ever, Joker dropped us into relative safety.  Had we been but a few feet off, the Mako would have landed in the middle of Saran's geth parade into Ilos' ruined archives.  Fortunately for him, or unfortunately for us as the case may be, Saran had a lead on us and had sealed an impenetrable door behind him.  In order to catch up, we needed to quickly locate a entrance to the ruins (which would hopefully have a way to open said door) and then plow our way through the legions of geth inside.  

Williams and Garrus really pulled their weight once an entrance was found.  Dependable and skillful as ever, my team made it possible to hold our enemies at bay, while I snuck through the undergrowth in search of machine overrides that I desperately hoped would be there.  Thankfully my instincts proved true.  Had we not been able to overload the numerous Armatures present, however, I'm not certain that my team would have made it out alive.  That ruin was a death trap.  In the past I have stated that fighting the geth has become routine.  While that remains true, nothing says that "routine" must be the same as "easy."  Williams, Garrus, and I literally fought for our lives as we progressed towards the security system which would give us access to Ilos' Archives.  On the way, in between waves of geth, we did run across what appears to have been some sort of Prothean hologram.  Unfortunately it was too far gone to be of much use.  Considering the unit was roughly 50,000 years old, however, I suppose I should not be surprised.

"... [static] act of desperation ... [static] ... the Conduit ... [static] ... all is lost. [static]"  Not what I needed to hear right now.  The Protheans might have lost to the Reapers, but I refuse to let that happen this time.  We will prevail.  Failure is unacceptable.

Meriel's Journal, Entry Thirty-Three

Location: Ilos
Active Companions: Garrus/Williams

The security system disengaged, my team rendezvoused at the Mako and sped in the direction we had seen Saran take upon arrival.  Our progression was surprisingly, relatively altercation free.  Well, that is until the Mako ran into a force field blocking our way ... a force field which quickly surrounded our vehicle and left no room for escape.  Fortunately, the field turned out to not be the trap that Williams feared.  Instead, it was an effort by a Prothean AI, named Vigil, to ensure that we would not bypass the Archives altogether in our pursuit.  In the Archives, or rather "The Watcher's Chamber," Vigil spent a great deal of time telling us about the Protheans who created him, the Citadel's role as a relay, and what we could do to help turn the tide of the Reaper's attack.  It seems that the Reapers have been hiding out beyond the veil all this time, just waiting for the Citadel (which may I remind you is a relay of their creation) to be activated.  When Saran activates the relay, however, Reapers will pour in from beyond the galaxy's edge and overwhelm us all ... that is if my team does not move fast enough.  The Protheans who managed to survive for a time on Ilos (thanks in part to Cryostasis), Vigil informed us, realized that their species would soon be obliterated due to the Reaper's brutal, systematic destruction of their now subjugated race.  In an attempt to prevent their enemies from succeeding the next time the Reapers returned, the Prothean scientists created the Conduit.  Not the weapon we had feared it would be, the Conduit acts as a mass relay connected directly to the Citadel.  They used the Conduit to forestall the Reapers' return.  Saran though, was about to use this miniature mass relay in order to manually override the Prothean's work and manually activate the Citadel's relay - thus bringing the Reapers down upon our heads and ensuring our destruction.

I am not sure I fully understand everything that Vigil imparted, largely because the longer we spoke with him the more time Saran had to contact the Reapers.  The clock was ticking, and I was more than aware that time was of the essence.  Saran had already activated the Conduit.  We needed to get out of here as quickly as possible so that we could make it though the mass relay before it closed. Thankfully though, Vigil had more to offer than just information.  Just before my team once again raced for the Mako, he passed code to me that could be used to temporarily override the Citadel's systems.  Talk about a ray of hope.  Saran may have the lead on us, but even with the Citadel in lock down this code will hopefully allow me to contact Joker and maybe turn the upcoming battle's tide.  I refuse to let the Reapers initiate the cycle of extinction again.  Not this time.

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