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Submitted on
November 28, 2012
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Marauder Shields 39: The Debt, Part 1 by koobismo Marauder Shields 39: The Debt, Part 1 by koobismo
The 39th Episode of the "Marauder Shields" Mass Effect Comic.

In this one... A decision that promises to change everything is made, as the allied fleet musters to engage the enemy without doubt or remorse.


"Atlas" by Two Steps From Hell: [link]


The audiobook version of this episode is already up and available here: [link]


Repaying the Debt

This is a pretty special episode for me. It was one of the first ones I've written completely back in April (even though some rewrites were had in the last couple of days). Hell, I had the background music chosen for it before we even arrived at episode 12 (same goes for the upcoming "The Debt, Part 2").

The reason for all of this is that... This is what Mass Effect meant for me, in a nutshell, or at least a big part of it did. This is how I felt about the story way before I started analyzing it, way before Mass Effect 3, all its ups and downs, way before its ending. This is the tribute to my Mass Effect experience. This is my Mass Effect.

The whole episode is meant to work on two levels - the first one, emotional, is as straightforward as it can be. It's my own little cauldron of feels and hopes, boiling down to a speech that puts certain things in a certain perspective. That makes an emotional story point out of the usual way how our games and sci-fi experiences are handled and organized.

The second level, intellectual, analytical, isn't as direct as it was in many of our previous comics. It actually depends a lot on previous developments, slowly building an actual strategic decision out of something that might look as just an outburst of emotions... Allow me to say it out loud: this episode is constructed upon a narrow thread of little setups I've been planting for months now. It calls back to Anderson's lines from the last episode. It calls back to what Rodriquez said to Jack, back in episodes 29 ("This Ain't Oz") and 12 ("Breaking Point"). It ties into what Nihlus told us in "The Protégé". It touches upon both the title and the meaning of episode 8 ("The Beacon of Hope"). It is a "little act of defiance" against the Crucible. It delivers a desperate "plan b" that relies heavily on "the fire within".

Finally, it touches upon what this whole story represents and always did, what "Marauder Shields" has been telling you from the very beginning, more or less clumsily. That we're not alone in this. Never alone. That when the hero falls, others will raise to protect him (or her). That there will always be someone to pick up the shield. To hold the line. To hope, even if foolishly at times.

And when the push comes to shove, everyone - even someone who never really surpassed the term "NPC" or "background character" - has to unite, stand arm in arm and fight for things that are just worth fighting for. And we're all the closest to Spectres they've got...

This is my Mass Effect.
I hope it will be yours as well.


This is an ongoing story providing an alternative fan-made ending to the Mass Effect trilogy, with our own game-changing maverick transforming the course of history: Marauder Shields. Be sure to start reading at episode 6. Special thanks to MichelKobayashi and my awesome team, especially our editor - AdoreeLyssa!

Hope is Alive!

[The Mass Effect universe, its design and characters are owned by BioWare/EA Productions. This is a work of parody and fan-fiction, created under the terms of fair use. Special thanks to BioWare for creating the world we all love and care for!]

P.S. If you haven't checked out our awesome interview with Obsidian's Chris Avellone, do it now! An epic hour of epic epicness: [link]

P.S.2. The audiobook version has already been uploaded! Check it out here: [link] - and, in case you've missed it, here's our previous audio chapter publication (35): [link]

P.S.3. Help me spread this series around - retweet, send out links, share this with your friends and post it on your facebook wall!
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burqa168 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014
I almost cried when I saw the rachni
neogoki Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014
the last panel would make an amazing wallpaper
nickshepard Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
THIS part right here, should have been in the game too.
AssassinSquid Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Student General Artist
There are tears in my eye. This is absolutely beautiful 
Uncertatron Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
Hey, there's my faith in humanity. I've been looking for that ever since the ME3 ending.
Zoro-Omega Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist I'm even able to hold back the sweat welling up in my eyes. 
Galaxyneir Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I... just don't have any word to say...

I finished ME3 for the first time yesterday, and I'm reading this comic today... and I arrive to this Episode 5 minutes ago... while I was reading it, my skin get cool... an by the time Hackett says "Repay the Debt", I just have to hold down the tears!! I swear it! This Episode almost made me cry!

This is just too epic!!!
Lynneth-L-d Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013
Hacket, you magnificent bastard.
(Only discovered this project today, and I'm tearing up, goddamn. I haven't even played ME3 and I love this more than any possible 'canon' in the games. God-damn-. I love your work, man.)
mivpus Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
For some reason, when the Batarians are bad guys, they are just weak shit-stains, but... when they are fighting the Reapers, you won't find more badass Cuttlefish-killers anywhere else in the galaxy!
Admiral-Hackett Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
I am fucking amazing.
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