"Your current host is superior." Agent Douglas said while chewing loudly.
"It would be a shame, but I see no other way." Fortuna tossed the red-stained towel onto Limply's disheveled couch. "I give you one last chance to tell us where the tape is and then something very bad is going to happen."
Limply mustered the strength to meet the CIA agent's strangely distant gaze.
"Are you…" He paused to spit blood down his chin. "Fucking retarded? I told you it's gone. The video has been on the Internet and the tape is gone."
Agent Fortuna reached for his holstered sidearm, unclipping the safety strap and drawing the weapon with measured slowness. Limply closed his swollen eyelids and waited for the sensation of death, whatever it might ultimately be. The sound of the gunshot was the first thing he felt, then a hot blast of air on his face. There was no pain.
This isn't so bad, I can handle this. Limply thought before realizing that he continued to think, implying that he had not in fact been shot. He opened his eyes.
Agent Fortuna stood swaying awkwardly, a flap of skin on the side of his head drooping over his cheek, a steady arc of blood pumping out of his temple. The other side of his face was scarred by powder burns and the pistol he had just used to shoot himself hung from his fingers. Limply couldn't make sense of the situation, couldn't make sense of the wisp of smoke curling up from the CIA agent's head, couldn't comprehend the horrified and then glassy look in the man's eyes. Then he lurched heavily forward, his head and upper body landing in Limply's lap and spraying blood across the bound man's face and chest.
Limply screamed. The CIA agent's corpse slid to the floor. Agent Douglas chewed loudly on a Snickers bar.
A ragged breath escaped the dead man's lungs, but the rushing air seemed to keep coming. A slightly phosphorescent purple mist began to seep from the wound in Agent Fortuna's skull, then his nose and mouth, his eyes, and finally it was rising from his pores like mist on a lake. Limply fought with his bindings, thumping the legs of his computer chair on the floor as he tried to back away. The purple mist streamed towards him, circling around his head. He held his breath as it played at his nostrils and lips. Finally, his lungs nearly bursting, he inhaled deeply and sucked in huge quantities of the violet gas.
"Wh-what is that shit?!" Limply shouted in horror.
"Just relax, human." Agent Douglas advised through a mouthful of chocolate.
The entity that had inhabited agent Fortuna slid its vaporous tendrils through Crutch Limply's terrorized brain. It wrapped its influence around his motor control centers, ending his struggling and curling down his spine to take control of still more of his nervous system. It ascended the tightly curled ladder to his higher brain functions and dipped a tenuous wisp into this short and long term memory. Images and sensations flooded through the ephemeral essence of the creature, disorienting volumes of the handsome humans coupling with one another in the enticing way that only they seemed capable of.
The creature shuddered, losing itself in the wash of stored sensory information. It pulled its influence back from Limply's motor functions, quickly losing interest in the boring man and his pitiful body, and focused all of its attention on his memories. Their pornographic quantity was undreamt of and enthralling to the creature. It curled up with them like a bored housewife with a Harlequin romance novel, shutting off the outside world and simply dwelling within the mind of Crutch Limply.
"There, now, that's better." Agent Douglas remarked as drool streamed down Limply's chin.
The controlled CIA agent stood and began to fumble with the cables binding the skinny human to the chair. The coaxial cables fell to the floor and Limply gradually lifted his face, shaking the clouds from his mind. He felt something, some strange pressure, within his skull, but it was easily attributed to the terrible beating he had received. Limply looked up into the emotionless face of agent Paul Douglas, flexed his hands, and smiled.
Crutch Limply was weak, he had been physically brutalized, and he was really in no position to exert himself. All the same the wiry man had a reserve of berserker rage that frequently threatened to boil to the surface in his day-to-day life.
Mass Effect: Andromeda turns its nose up at the original trilogy's rigid morality. It boasts a more nuanced and intellectually compelling shades-of-grey approach in which a heart icon pops up when it's time to tell an alien to take their clothes off.
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