• Published 11th Sep 2014
  • 7,662 Views, 512 Comments

Mass Effect: Shepard and the Rainbows - Meluch



After her family was killed on Mindoir, Riley Shepard became an orphan. After he was shot down on Mindoir, Rainbow Prism's dreams of being a Wonderbolt were crushed. Maybe together, they can heal and change the galaxy forever.

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Epilogue - The Black Abyss of Memory

Epilogue - The Black Abyss of Memory

"I love you."

They were said in a language the galaxy hadn't heard for five billion years, but they still echoed as though they had been spoken mere moments ago. Love was such a strange thing. It turned out that the poets were right. Love lasted forever, beyond sadness, beyond fear, beyond anger, beyond life, beyond death. Love was abnormality.

It was beyond such things. Beyond all emotions. Beyond all mortal needs.

It was a god, and it dreamed.

It dreamed of those that had ascended, of those that had sacrificed themselves for a much greater cause than they ever could have imagined. In the end, they had found that the sacrifice had been worth it. They survived, though not the way that any of them had imagined. All the minds of a trillion souls made up a being of such power and authority that none could stand its way.

Individuality was nothing compared to that.

They understood now, but they hadn't then.

That was like it always was, the others had informed it. They all understood in the end. Lovers were together for eternity. Children were never taken from their parents, safe from all that would harm them. Friends understood each other, and even the worst enemy was forgiven. Understanding changed everything.

Together, a collective beyond any other, they were the pinnacle of evolution and existence.

They were eternal.

They had watched countless cycles come and go, and their numbers grew. Life continued as it had since time itself had begun, and though they always tried to fight, it was never enough.

You couldn't fight inevitability. You always lost. They had realized that, and when they had been gathered together, they learned, just like everyone always did.

There was a name that echoed through its consciousness, and it always brought with it memories of a planet destroyed long ago. Of golden sunsets and deep blue oceans, full of life. A paradise.

Home.

Eilara, the home of the race that made up its very being.

The world was gone, but the word remained. Eilara. It had taken it as its name when it had first awoken, though it had only ever been uttered once since then, to the Intelligence. It had been called many other names by those it had destroyed, a list longer than any mortal would ever be able to name.

What they chose to call it was irrelevant. It was a god. It needed no name, though it kept that one memory of home.

The god dreamed. It experienced the short lives of all of its souls endlessly, laughing, living, loving, crying, dying. They made the god who it was, but they weren't the god. They were simply its conduit. They had ended after all, and gods did not end.

It would outlive them all. It would survive, and it would see the galaxy before it.

That was the only solution, and it would accomplish its goals.

For now, it waited.

It dreamed.

It remembered.

The last cycle had been so different than the others. The Protheans at first glance had seemed like they would have been one of the simpler races to lay low. In the beginning, that had been the truth. At first, things had gone as smoothly as expected, and they had worked as they always did. The Citadel first, and then the Relays, and then, planet by planet, they began the Harvest.

The resistance the Protheans put up was nothing but sound and fury, signifying nothing. Their ships were destroyed, their armies wiped aside, their greatest achievements destroyed. Entire planets were wiped clean of all life, left to begin anew as so many before them. Life would continue, would evolve, would flourish.

That was the whole purpose of the cycle, after all.

That had all changed on the planet the Protheans named Raquer.

The Artifacts had been... unexpected.

They would never make that mistake again.

The Protheans had been Harvested, but they had been given no mercy. Their planets had been taken with a ferocity they had never known they were even capable of.

It had watched, and it waited. Even as the others retreated back through the Relays, back into dark space, it stayed behind. It stayed, and it waited.

Pondered.

Dreamed.

The ground shifted beneath it over thousands of years, calamities that destroyed entire continents ravaging the surface of the planet doing nothing but burying it underneath the earth. It didn't matter. It was eternal, and simple rock would not destroy it.

Thousands of years passed, and it waited, thinking, planning. It could feel life spread across the earth above, the roots of green life digging deep into the soil, their faint life signs reaching through hundreds of feet of dirt and rock. Life grew, and it evolved, simple minded mammals moving in great herds across the new continents. They thought of nothing but food and survival. Mating and watching out for the large predators that prowled the land.

For thousands of years, nothing changed. Life went on, seasons coming and going. There was no winter to speak of, and the storms grew milder as the years passed by. It waited, unheeding of the years as they passed by. It was eternal, and time was nothing before it.

The next cycle was drawing close. It could feel it.

Across the lightyears, it could feel the faint threads of advanced life spreading out, contaminating everything with their presence, never content with the worlds they were given. There always needed to be more.

Soon, it would be time.

It waited, and it dreamed...

And it paused, as it felt two lifeforms step foot onto the planet.

This was new.

This was unexpected.

This was... interesting.

It watched for days, focusing its impressive array of sensors on those two beings, so small and inconsequential in comparison. They were searching the planet for something, camping in simple dwellings made of cloth and composite fibers. Reaching out, it searched through their minds and found itself... surprised?

That was unheard of, and for several minutes, it couldn't draw a single thought.

They knew.

They knew, and they were searching for it.

A Turian and an Asari, it plucked their names from their minds. They knew it was there, and they were searching for it? How did they know? What did they think they were going to accomplish?

For the first time in over fifty-thousand years, it moved. Billions of tons of earth shifted as it rose from its impermanent grave. It would see what they really knew, and it would judge them.

It was a god, and they were nothing before it.

Author's Note:

I know none of you were expecting this, but I felt that it was needed. I should have written this at the very beginning (well, actually the very end of this story), but I'd forgotten. Looking over my notes, I remembered my plan (which, happily enough, I haven't messed up). This is just the beginning of a larger story.

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Comments ( 35 )

Sovereign, I'm assuming. I must say, I was definitely surprised by this update. Though not at all disappointed.

Well, this is an unexpected, though definitely not an unpleasant surprise. I'm guessing the Turian and Asari are Saren and Benezia.

Uh oh... This can not be good...

7314301 Nope. Sovereign's "Name" was Nazara. Unless it was just messing with the Geth when it called itself that... which, though possible, is highly unlikely given the basic nature of the Reapers in General...

7314399 The only other "immortal" individual that this could be that I can think of makes no sense.

That cover art is amazing!

7314334

Agree with your assessment, can't think of anyone else with any set up.

Also, looking at the series as a whole, this is a good placement for this chapter.

7314422
7314604

Preface:

I admit that I haven't actually read the series beyond this story. I fully intend to eventually, but I plan on waiting until it's completed through the events of ME3, because I found myself falling into what I call an "Anticipation Trap" about halfway though this one. That's where I can't put a story down for Need to see what happens next, otherwise it just sits there at the back of my head taunting me... It's really bad when that happens on Incomplete stories, because the anticipation waiting for the next chapter can sometimes burn me out, and turn me away from finishing a series all the way through, so I'm sparing myself that anxiety until I can finish it in one go.

This means that I don't know if there are any other "Immortal" beings introduced in the later stories, and if there are, I please ask that no one spoil it for me.

All of That Said:

From what I know, both of this story and Mass Effect, it's pretty obvious to me that the "being" in this Chapter is *A* reaper. One that's Not Sovereign/Nazara or "Harbinger", but who designates itself by the name "Eilara", a name, to my Knowledge, unique to the Mass Effect Series. If I were to Guess, I'd say that this one is also somehow Unique to the other Reapers because something happened to it on "The Planet the Protheans called Raquer". How it is Unique, I don't really know, but at a guess, I'd say it has a somewhat... altered, perspective now because of whatever happened. The exact nature and scope of this alteration is also a mystery, but whatever it may be, it's no doubt going to play a major role later on...

7314668 You might be waiting awhile if you're wanting the entire series to be complete before you continue. I'm going as fast as I can, but I've got an estimated 32 more chapters on Mass Effect: Gathering Storm, and I have four more stories after that. It's going to be far longer than A Song of Ice and Fire (the entire series) by the time I wrap it all up, and that's going to take a few years. A lot of the fun is reading it and seeing what everyone else is saying (though that might just be me).

As for your speculation (and everyone else), you're all just going to have to wait and see.

7314668
I would not be surprised if you are right.

I thought they found Sovereign orbiting a planet? That's what I read on the ME wiki, at least.

Though, I guess minor things changed when Ponies came into the picture! Something something butterfly effect (or fluttershy effect? Dohohoho), something something Until Dawn.

Great, I reminded myself of that game. God damn freaked me out. Well, the parts where they were being stalked/hunted, the third act was kind of meh.

Hmmm ... Whelp, time for some Wild Mass Guessing (spoilers for ME: Gathering Storm ahead, you have been warned :twilightsmile:)

A) The "artifacts" Eilara encountered were the Elements of Harmony (possibly leaving Equss at the same time the Changelings did?).
B) Eilara is the reason that Riley has "counter-indoctrination". What little personality we've gotten for whoever is shaping Riley's life does fit a Reaper's arrogance far better than any of the Equestrian Princesses or Discord/Penance ...

Now the questions remains, who are the Turian and Asari? And how did they know to go looking for a Reaper?
If they are Saren and Benezia, then Sovereign/Nazara could easily told them where to find more of its fellows, but why awaken Eilara before the Signal has been sent and the other Reapers are returning?

There's an extra active Reaper in play by the time of ME1?

Well.

7314399 remember that there are slight differences in this AU. Take the rackni for example:twilightsmile:

7317904 dude.......my mind has been blown:rainbowderp::pinkiegasp:

7325476 Haven't read past the end of this story, and I don't recall mention of the Rackni here, so I wouldn't actually know the full breadth and scope of the AU, differences, but from what I Have seen Meluch seems to be trying to stay fairly true to the original ME canon, sans the obvious inclusion of Ponies and the necessary additions and Plot-Hole Filer to make the settings blend more easily.

7325530 Oh shit:twilightoops: I accidentally a spoiler:facehoof: this is stuff dealing with the current story:twilightblush: u'll understand once you fully catch up:twilightsmile: this chapter was added after this story was completed so I had to come back to read it:derpytongue2:

Holy cover art batman!

7340283 Thanks to the wonderful Stupjam, I believe that I have some of the best cover art out there on this site. I hope to be adding more pieces from him soon!

7351647 I think it's fairly obvious that she was talking about her daughter. The rest of the chapter talks about it.

Damn. This story was all sorts of intense, awesome, and occasionally heartwarming with drama going on. The way you're integrating the two settings is interesting to behold, and I find myself wanting to skip ahead just to find out more. I'm glad I stumbled across this story, and and I will definitely check out the rest in this series.

7592492 who needs armour if you are skilled or can butcher your way through your enemies with biotics?

The board is set, the pawns in place. Let the games begin...

Does every character from Mass Effect, including Riley Jane Shepard have a voice? I've never played the games myself so I don't know for sure...

7906992 Yes, yes they do.

8018602 They have FTL, but it's a very primitive form. The Mass relay's do in seconds what it would take even the most advanced FTL drive years, if not decades.

Okay, so read to fast to really comment on every chapter. So overall thoughts on things...

Still feel the trial was handled poorly, made to big a deal for so little spectacle and presence.

Equestria is going to be fun to see come Reaper time, given there is only one entry point to their planet.. and it can be fully blocked by a freaking STAR. Good luck getting through there. Even better, just line that tunnel through the sphere with weapons.

The story really is making the Mane 6 to young. Cutie Mark age is older, about 10-13 ish so, this is just.. feeling off.

Loved the idea of the Harmony Song, though pegasi not being affected? Find a Pet and I'll Fly would like a word with you.

Characterization is rather wooden and clunky at times... mostly for Twilight and Riely. The ideas are fine, what the story is trying to do with them, but it just.. doesn't feel natural enough, feels rather stiff and forced, or over done at times. I get what they are supposed to be like, but the story just... it's not 'bad' but it could be a lot better. Other characters tend to be better. The big internal conflict for Riley just, never formed right.

This is another issue with the story, a lot of stuff feels to perfectly placed and there just for the sake of the story. Things feel to contrived, they tend to make good ideas of scenes, but not flow well. Stuff like the Sisters finding out about the Bolts being in the fight from the next days news, the whole trial bit, the perfect timing on the sleep over. Luna not knowing who everypony living next to Twi was given her concern and not being aware the family with Shepherd had moved in next door. The whole, bringing up the internal issues of the Equestrian government and trying to get positive reception from other worlds. It is good, but it seems to pop up more to introduce a few characters for later, and set up how the assassins knew where to go. Just, the story has some amazing ideas, some great stuff, but tends to leave a lot of details feeling roughed or half formed. It's to obvious a story with things happening, just because the story wants them to.

But as I said lot's of good to, Shepard going full Biotic Goddess of Destruction was EPIC! that whole lead up was tense, thrilling, edge of my seat. Even if the mercs seemed to take to long getting to the point of killing hostages given how they were set up. And full on Sol Invictus... holy shit........ yeah let's see anyone fuck with Equestria on a large scale. Speaking of, the reaction to Cadance seemed massively overblown, given just how powerful the Sisters are, the whole choke point to get into the system, and also... why couldn't they just say what seems to be the truth? That as an ascended alicorn, she is stronger then a normal pony, but not their goddess tier strength?

Also feels like a plot hole at the end.. it was creepy, and went from thinking it was whoever this weird force talking to Riley was, to the Catalyst, figuring out Sovereign just before the reveal. The issue is... that is not how Sovereign could have been found. He could not have been buried under a planet the whole time. He was active in the galaxy long before this. He caused the Rachni Wars as an early attempt to get to the Citadel by Indoctrinating the Rachni Queens.

Riley and the foals was just so adorable, and cute and just loved it.

Also loved just.. the slice of life stuff. I would love more fics that did this, set up crossover's like this, but just, explored how being in the setting would change Equestria, this was awesome.

Overall, I did really love the story, but it did have some flaws. Great ideas, rather rough on the execution of them.

9106136
You know what, I just saw this comment chain, and disregarding its age, I'm going to answer it anyway. Not everything, but a few little hints and clues for future updates in the story.

A child of an Asari/Pony relationship would not show magic, or gain a cutie mark, though they may occasionally find themselves bursting into spontaneous song or joining a heart song if surrounded by ponies (I believe heart song is what I called it here, I could be mistaken). I believe that Aethyta (Liara's father) is correct, in that some traits show through, such as her more Krogan tendencies toward head-butting and blood rage.

A great story, I like how you have handled Luna in this.

you wrote down staid, it is spelled stayed.

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