My kids were keen on Mass Effect when it first appeared (circa 2007/8). As a result I read the first few paperbacks set in the universe, as they were Sci-Fi and the kids were loving the game. I also liked—and still do—the artwork and animation from the game. Given that there were story spin-offs from the game, I explored the idea of writing a novel based in the universe, just as Drew Karpyshyn and later others have.
So this post and the ones to follow are about that, unwritten, novel.
The story I planned to write is based on the premise that a small earth spaceship—carrying a rich couple on their honeymoon together with their servant—stumbles on an abandoned Prothean artefact circling a large planet in a largely unexplored solar system. The pilot recognises the huge object for what it is—a manufacturing device for the “mass relays” that allow galactic travel. (This is a key feature of the Mass Effect universe, by the way.) It so happens, the pilot is a member of a terrorist group that proclaims the superiority of humans to all aliens and called Earth First. He maroons his passengers on the object, condemning them to death, and heads back to earth.
The action switches to six months later. A prominent scientist, an expert in Prothean technology, is kidnapped in broad daylight by a snatch squad of First Earthers in Delhi. The scientist, having being drugged and seemingly having some kind of a fit, is abducted by a fake medical team. He’s taken to a nearby spaceport and a First Earther ship whisks him away. The rationale behind the kidnap is they need his expertise to make use of the device discovered at the start of the story.
As a result of the kidnap, an Alliance agent is tasked with tracking down and rescuing the scientist. He does this by infiltrating the First Earth organisation on Earth and learning of the whereabouts of their victim. He discovers destination of the spaceship and some of the motivation—but not all—for Earth First’s interest in the scientist.
[More on the plot in a subsequent post]