Research is Dangerous

I submitted this one to a contest a little while ago. It didn’t win. Honestly, I never thought I’d put it up here, but I ran across it today, and figured, why not? It’s a little different than what you might be used to from me. It’s fan-fiction, so if that doesn’t float your boat, consider yourself warned. It’s also Mass Effect fan-fiction. If you’ve never heard of Mass Effect, you may not enjoy this story (you may not enjoy it anyway, but whatever). Well, that’s enough rambling from me, story after the break.

“Alright, kids. It’s simple, go in, sweep the area, get out. Don’t shoot anything or anybody unless you have to. Got it? If any of the Prothean stuff gets destroyed, Dr. T’soni’ll have our heads.”

The collection of mercenaries in front of Flaius nodded their heads, whether they actually understood he could only guess. This wasn’t the type of thing they were usually hired for. Most of their jobs consisted of drug lords hiring them out to take out other drug lords and other stuff like that, not famous scientists hiring them to poke around fragile archaeological sites. But there had been reports of Geth around this planet and, as Dr. T’soni had said she “wasn’t really supposed to be here”, so you couldn’t be too careful.

They pushed their way through the doors, into the cavernous area beyond. His men stopped dead and he could see why. The place was huge. His jaw fell open. He’d never actually seen Prothean tech before. Sure, he’d seen vids on it, who hadn’t? But seeing it in person was a different experience altogether. He found himself drawn to it.

Wait.

He shook his head. “Pick up your jaws kids,” he shouted to the mercenaries. “We have a job to do.”

They split into two groups and skirted the outer rim. Everything was dead still, no sign of Geth yet, but he thought he heard the occasional whir and click coming from some of the Prothean relics. It was just his imagination. At least he hoped it was his imagination. The Protheans had been gone for thousands of years, which meant that if there were sounds coming from the relics, it was probably something else. This was supposed to be easy money. He’d never fought a Geth before, they didn’t tend to run in mercenary circles, and he hoped he wouldn’t have to today. According some who had, they were practically impossible to kill.

There was a whir and a click behind him. He turned, gun ready. Nothing there. He let out his breath. This place freaked him out. The quicker they got out of here and got their money, the better. There was a pop behind him, then several more. He turned to see one of his men across the cavern shooting one of the relics.

“Die robot scum!”

Flaius took off in a run. “Stop that you idiot!” He screamed at him. That moron was losing them money! There was a rumbling sound and a plume of dust. He stopped shooting.

“There, got him!” He announced triumphantly as if he hadn’t just lost them a few thousand credits. Flaius smacked him in the back of the head.

There was another rumbling, this time from all around. The ground shook. From the bullet holes out, the relics all began crumbling. Within seconds, they were gone.

The doors swung open and Dr. T’soni stepped through, shields up.

“I’m here to help-” She stopped dead and looked at Flaius. “What happened here?”

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