I finally got around to creating a ff.net account, and posted my ME3 stories over there:

www.fanfiction.net/s/8360478/1/Threnody

More chapters to come as they occur to me.
Like all too many other people, I found the ending of ME3 to be unsatisfying and badly written, and like no small number of other people, I felt compelled to rewrite it so that, in my own canon, this is how it really ended. But in case you don't yet know how it ends and want to stay that way, I've cut the post to allow you to do so.

Here Be Spoilers! )
It was a rainy Midnight in November, the kind that makes the romantically uncreative brood over lost love. A dead man lay in the gutter below me, his last breath heralding the departure of his soul to its final destination.

I felt a twinge of sadness as I watched this happen. Once upon a time, I'd have been the one guiding it onward.
It was what would otherwise have seemed a beautiful day. The sun graced the field of grass and stone with its glorious indifference, no clouds to be found, no matter how suitable they might have been to the day's observances.

Father McKenzie sighed as he walked from the grave, brushing dirt against his cassock. It wasn't the death that was hard - God knows he'd ordered so many of them in his time - but that the agent’s mission had failed so utterly.

"Perhaps if you'd saved the bride it'd have been different, Eleanor" he said as he walked away.
Yes, I know that "dok" isn't an actual word. When I started out, I called myself "Doctor Shock" - boy, what a mistake that was. Turns out my state has a law against people representing themselves as being a member of certain profesions that require specific degrees, and because I never got a PhD, they managed to convict me under that. When I asked if I could abbreviate it "Doc", the judge just said the number of the statute they'd prosecuted me for, and gave me the same kind of look I've gotten from all too many superheros. But I liked the sound of it, so if the authorities ever try to make a thing out of it, I'll just show them one of my business cards and laugh in their faces.

I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that I, like Capone, only got brought down by a backdoor technicality. Or that my lawyer was at least able to argue them down to time served and community service, but the fact that all my ill-gotten gains that hadn't already been blown on things I wanted wound up in hands other than mine kind of kills that for me.

Anyway.

They told me that if I tried explaining how I wound up being the kind of guy who could put "Supervillain" in the "Occupation" part of any paperwork I had to fill out, I might get a few hours shaved off, so here we are.

If you get powers, you only have two choices, if you stop and think about it: Make money off them, or don't. Everything else falls under one or the other. A hero with the right powers, look and agent makes more than most villains ever think about; merchandising is the route to stupid money, but most companies will either balk at even partially financing a reign of terror, or they'll try to screw you by using your likeness without paying you any royalties for it. I never saw a penny for any of the action figures they made of me, that's for damn sure.

Not that they were that good, anyway. Or that they sold all that many. But it's the principle of the thing, dammit. But I digress.

So anyway. Even if you choose to make money off your powers, that doesn't mean you actually will. There's any number of reasons for that (my recent extortionate legal fees spring to mind, for one thing), but one of the most common ones is spending more money on setting up the crimes you commit than you can ever hope to get out of it. I'm grateful that 'm not one of those lunatics that wound up with the power to design and build battlesuits, because (if what Armadaman told me is anything to judge by) the upkeep on power armor is just harsh, and if you're not ambitious enough to do more than rob convenience stores, all you can hope for is to have some tasty snacks to eat after your equipment's fallen to pieces from disrepair.

There's also people whose powers have really bad side-effects that wind up costing them, too. Like Eurethror. I would say "You'd think that with a power like nuclear pee, you'd be a force of terror", but come on now. Aside from the fact that he had to equip anyplace he wanted to use as a lair with lead toilets that were independant of the local sewage system, there's the matter of what he had to do in order to use those powers - which landed him on the sex offenders registry for indecent exposure. I know I'm a villain and all, but I had to feel sorry for the poor bastard cops that handled that arrest. (Also, while his chosen name was bad enough, just try to find a supers-related website where anybody calls him anything other than Weenie Wagger anymore. I mean, really.)

There's also a lot of people who gain powers that are just plain useless as anything other than interesting tirvia - like that girl in Kansas who has the power to tell you what the 33rd word of any book is, or the guy who can see the future, but no farther ahead than a tenth of a second.

Some people already have enough money that they don't have to worry about it anymore, or whatever.

Then there's people like me, who just don't want to have to hold down a day job, and figure that we have powers that are useful for doing so. We have to choose whether we're going to make money or just take it, and I chose B.

For starters, I don't exactly have the kind of powers that can carry their own comic book, and you pretty much have to if you want to make a living as a hero. I can run a little faster than a regular person, which while useful in escaping the scene of the crime and all, isn't anything somebody that made an effort could eventually manage on their own, and although my electrical powers are nothing to sneeze at, when was the last time anybody with electrical powers was the star of their own book?

Although really, the reason I decided to be a villain?

All superheros are TOTAL DICKS.
Somewhere, in the lands a bit beyond those most people wander while dreaming, is a house.

It does not lie within the borders of nightmare. Not exactly.

It looks absolutely normal.

At first glance.
I can't remember how long it's been.

The task is simple enough, but every time I think it's been completed at long, painstaking last, I find that I'm back at the beginning. Go to Square One. Do not pass Go, except of course to begin the whole process over again.

I wonder what god or gods I have offended. I wonder whether I will ever get the chance to tell them I am sorry, to throw myself weeping at their feet and beg for release.

Enough talk for now.

I saw another mountain, so what do you think I’ll do?
It was the final battle. The Gammilon forces had brought chaos to the universe, as had the Comet Empire, and the Black Nebula Empire each in their turn. But the Starforce had held true, and now all that remained between them and their goal of restoring order was the Black Nebulan command ship. The other ships had managed to render it vulnerable, but at the cost of their crews' lives - and it was only a matter of time before it would be operational again.

Wildstar looked up at the captain. "Your orders, sir?"

"Fire the Wave Motion Gun," Elric answered.
The timestamp on my last entry tells me that it's been twenty-seven minutes since the last attack on the building, and I think the last time I heard gunfire from any other part of the city was an hour ago. Oh, Jesus, that was the worst one yet. We killed all the fuckers in that wave, but I think I'm the only one who lived through it.

"Lived".

Ha fucking ha.

God, my hand itches.

Only a matter of time now. At least I managed to save one bullet.

I wish I had told Maddie I loved her.

Goodbye.
He pushes his burden up the hill. Every time, it rolls back down, and he must chase after it, all the interminable way to the bottom. His limbs grow heavy, his lungs and back ache horribly, but he rolls it up the hill.

It's not always the same hill - there are several of them, all there in their ring that has become the whole of his afterlife - so he can choose which one to push his burden up each time, from there, so very, very far below. And it grows so much larger, so heavier, with every trip up every hill. Sometimes even downward, when he's missed some of the things left on the hillside for him to pick up.

He keeps pushing it, because it is what he was condemned to do. But not, perhaps, for all eternity.

Some day, he hopes - he prays, with what little breath he can spare from the effort to keep pushing - some day, perhaps the King of All Cosmos will be there at the top of the hill. He'll take the Katamari from him, and place it in the sky to form the last of the new stars that are needed to replace the ones that no longer burn in the heavens.

It's a small hope, but it's been enough to keep him going all this time.

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snakebitcat

October 2016

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