Mass Effect: Earthborn

Based on the popular Mass Effect universe, this story begins 2169 where it follows the series protagonist, Commander Shepard, during her years in the ghetto of New York City, before she joined the Alliance. It details how a 15 year old Shepard navigates her difficult life, dealing with school, love, her friends and her affiliation with the 10th Street Reds gang.

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7. The Mick

 

Chapter #07

The Mick

 

 

 

 

 

10.11 p.m., March 17th, 2170

Outside the Black Hole Nightclub, New York City.

 

March was unusually cold this year, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying St. Patrick’s Day. It seemed like people were actually pouring more booze down their throats than usual, maybe just to give some heat to their bones.

It had been almost three months since Cross said he would take a look at the email, but so far, he hadn’t found anything. On Christmas Eve, he told me that it was probably just some friend of Stings who wanted to scare me, but I was still concerned with how the sender of the ominous email knew that I was the one who had killed Stings.

Either way, it seemed like finding out was becoming more and more of a longshot, so I let it go.

“There you are Shep!”

I was brought out of my thoughts and looked up at the entrance. There, in a skin-tight green dress, stood Tina. I took a last look at all the people in the huge line that would have to wait to get into the club. Instead of waiting, I walked up to Tina.

“Hey girl!” she said and hugged me. “Damn, you look fine tonight!” she said and giggled. I looked down at myself and admired my attire: high heels, skin-tight jeans and a green V-neck t-shirt and a black waistcoat with only one button buttoned. On top of it all I of course had a dark brown leather jacket to shield myself from the cold.

“Not as good as you, Tina” I said and we started to walk towards the entrance.

The doorman knew we were with the Reds, so he let us through with no fuss.

On the inside, you could really see that it was St. Patrick’s Day since most of the Black Hole’s color schemes were changed to the green spectrum, with a green bar, green drinks and green lights. Even the screens that were usually blue or purple and showed patterns that changed with the music were changed to be green.

The techno music was booming, and the club was almost full, at least the dance floors were full. The more open area we had entered from the entrance, had some couches and chairs for those who needed to relax for a while, and opposite the entrance was the bar.

We quickly made our way over there and ordered four shots, which all looked poisonous because of the venom green color.

“Happy Saint Patties Day!” Tina yelled through the booming beats of the music.

“Bottom’s up!” I yelled back.

We both downed our first shot and then a second after jamming the glasses into the bar; we downed the second set of drinks.

The green stuff tasted sweet, but still with the bitter edge of alcohol. It reminded me of a much stronger version of apple cider.

Tina was moving to the beats while I ordered a glass of whiskey. “Wanna go dancing?” she asked.

I chuckled while I took a sip of the whiskey to wash the bittersweet taste of the shots away. “You know I can’t dance.”

“Nonsense! That is only a matter of how much alcohol you got in you!” she said while still moving around like she was just about to burst into dance.

“Well, I am nowhere near that drunk yet!” I said and realized my mistake right that moment.

“Barkeep! Four more shots of that green stuff!” Tina told the bartender who laughed and refilled our glasses with the venom-like substance.

On Tina’s orders, I downed the two shots that were mine and thought I was done, right until she looked confused at me and the two remaining shots.

“Why are you stopping?”

I was dumbstruck as I looked down at the two glasses I thought was for her. “You can’t be serious?”

“Drink up girl!” she said while smiling like she was having a grand time.

“Bitch” I said right before I let the two drinks slip down my throat. The bittersweet taste was so strong that I reached for my whiskey and drank a big gulp to wash the taste away.

Just as soon as I had emptied my glass, Tina gripped my arm and pulled me towards one of the elevated platforms that made up one of five different dance floors.

Like all the others, that one was very crowded, so once we were in the middle, there was nothing to do but follow the rhythm with all the other young well-dressed party people.

As the alcohol took its effects, I felt free and able to dance uninhibited in the midst of the crowd. That feeling lasted for at least an hour, but then I needed a break.

I caught a sight of Tina’s green dress, and she was enjoying herself too much for me to want to pull her out, so while smiling, I left the platform and walked in a somewhat straight line towards the bar.

“Scotch on the rocks” I said to the bartender as I leaned in over the bar.

“You sure you can handle a drink like that?” I heard someone say.

I turned to my left and saw a guy in his early 20s, wearing a grey t-shirt with a black blazer and jeans, sitting on a white barstool. His hair was brown, his eyes were blue, and his face looked trustworthy but dangerous at the same time.

“My friend says I have the tolerance of marine on shore leave” I said as I received my drink. I raised it towards the stranger and took a sip.

He laughed, and then raised his glass too.

“What’s your poison?” I asked.

“Rum and coke” he said, and it was first now that I noticed his Irish accent.

“Really?” I asked in disbelief. “An Irishman drinking rum and coke? And on Saint Patties Day no less?”

“What’s wrong with that?” he asked with a dramatic outburst.

“Oh, nothing. I guess.” I held a small pause while looking down at the amber liquid in my glass. “It just doesn’t seem very Irish. Besides, they make better drinks here than a simple rum and coke.”

“Well, why don’t you enlighten me, sweetheart?”

I lifted an eyebrow while walking over to the Irishman and sitting down on the stool next to him. “Hey, Chris, can you make my new friend here a screwdriver?” I asked the bartender who I knew made a killer screwdriver.

“Coming right up.”

“Screwdriver?” the Irish asked.

“Orange juice and vodka” I said, faking disappointment in him for not knowing the ingredients for a screwdriver.

30 seconds later, the Irish was sitting with a glass with a yellow liquid in it. He took one sip, licked his lips, and then he took another sip. “Now, that’s not half-bad sweetheart.”

“All credit goes to Chris; the guy is a savant when it comes to mixing drinks.”

He raised his glass for me to toast. Our glasses clinked and I quickly said “Bottom’s up!”

We both finished our drinks and slammed the glasses into the table.

“So why scotch and soda?” he asked.

I swirled the ice cubes around a little before answering. “I like scotch” I ended up saying.

“Most American girls I’ve met prefer something with fruit.”

“You see that girl over there?” I asked and pointed over at a bleach blonde girl standing next to a heavily muscled guy in a tight black t-shirt.

The Irish nodded.

“She has ordered piña coladas all night, only because she can’t handle a whiskey.” I looked up at the Irish. “She is scared of what’s gonna happen if she gets really drunk and loses control.”

He laughed again, showing his teeth. “I take it you’re not scared?”

I shook my head. “Me? Fuck no! I embrace that shit!” I said and laughed with him.

He looked up at the bartender. “Chris is it? Bring this young lady another scotch on the rocks.”

“Well, thank you Mr…?”

“Duffy. But my friends call me Shane” he said and extended his hand.

“Well, Shane, I’m Kate” I said and shook it.

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