Mass Effect – Retribution
By Drew Karpyshyn
To my wife, Jennifer.
Thank you for always being there for me.
Because of you, I can follow my dreams…
And have someone to share them with.
Once again I want to express my gratitude to the entire Mass Effect team at BioWare for all their hard
Work. Without your tireless effort and limitless dedication, Mass Effect would not exist.
I also want to thank all the fans who’ve shown such passion for what we’ve created. Without your
Support, none of this would be possible.
The Illusive Man sat in his chair, staring out the viewing window that formed the entire outer wall of his
The unnamed space station he used as his base was orbiting a red giant-class M star. The
Semispherical edge of the burning sun filled the entire lower half of the viewing window, its brightness
Dominating but not completely obscuring the field of stars behind it.
The star was in the last stages of its six-billion-year life span. As the grand final act culminating its
Existence, it would collapse in upon itself, creating a black hole to swallow the entire system. The planets
And moons it had spawned in its birth would be devoured in the inescapable gravitational pull of the dark,
Gaping maw left behind by its death.
The scene encapsulated everything the Illusive Man believed about the galaxy: it was beautiful, glorious
And deadly. Life could spring up in the least likely of places in the most unimaginable of forms, only to be
Snuffed out in a blink of the cosmic eye.
He wasn’t about to let that happen to humanity.
“Viewing window off,” he said, and the wall became opaque, leaving him alone in a large, dimly lit
“Lights on,” he said, and illumination spilled from the ceiling.
He spun his chair
around so it was facing away from the viewing window, looking out over the circular
Holographic pad in the center of the room he used to receive incoming calls. When activated, it would
Project a three-dimensional representation of whomever he was speaking to, almost making it seem as if
They were standing in the room with him.
They could also see him, of course, which was why the holo-pad was located so that it looked out
Over the chair by the viewing window. When the window was active, the Illusive Man would be framed
By whatever astronomical wonder the station happened to be orbiting at the time: a bold and powerful
Visual to reinforce the image he had carefully fostered over the years.
He needed a drink. Not the synthetic, alien-produced swill that bartenders across the galaxy hawked
To unsuspecting humans. He wanted something real; something pure.
“Bourbon,” the Illusive Man said out loud. “Neat.”
A few seconds later a door on the far end of the room slid open and one of his assistants – a tall,
Gorgeous brunette – appeared, an empty glass in one hand and a bottle in the other. Her heels clacked
Sharply as she crossed the room’s marble floor, her long legs making short work of the distance between
Them despite her tight black skirt.
She didn’t smile or speak as she handed him the glass, her demeanor strictly professional. Then she
Held the bottle out for his approval.
Jim Beam Black, the label proclaimed, Distilled to Perfection in Kentucky.
“Three fingers,” the Illusive Man told her by way of approval.
The assistant filled the glass to just past the halfway point, then waited expectantly.
As it always did, the first taste brought him back to the simpler time of his youth.