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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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Isengim Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
koobismo Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015
Thanks! Glad you liked it. :) Hope you're enjoying some other episodes in the series as well!
debott Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015
UUUUUUUHHHHIIII... dat chill on my back...
koobismo Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015
Glad to hear the chill was present! :D
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.
Glorx Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Amazing work, I always thought they don't give enough props to the Normandy, good thing you're here.
lainiewench Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Yes. This.
fuenkysquirrel Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Nice, should have ended with "Hackett Out." though
SpartasMaximus Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013
I swear man you should be in intelligence services you could probably make terrorist cry into submissions for all I know....ahhhhhh
SpartasMaximus Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013
I'm crying.. i'm watery crying!!!.
SeaghanDragon Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Student Artist
We all owe that to them! all units engage the enemy for our people for eachorther for all of us! FIRE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
le haigh mo tír agus mo tenaga!
EluneEruanne Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
This is what it really should have been like, this is mass effect ... or was. Strength through unity/fellowship, etc. Let's work together and get the job done.
I could really see, that this episode meant a lot ot yo, as it does to me. It's sad, that the game failed to stick true to it's own basic line, so we have to do the work ;).

Keep up the great work


P.S.: I waited on part 2 on purpose, because I HATE Cliffhanger ;)
Cele-Cam Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012   Photographer
broguth tears to my eyes, this is what i wanted from ME3
Rain-tear Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
this episode gave me shivers, Admiral Koobs!! you are an incredible artist!! :heart:
jacenleonhart Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"This is my Mass Effect.
I hope it will be yours as well."

It already has, koobismo, it already has. Mass Effect has become one of the, if not THE most personal journey a gamer has ever gone through, and it deserves a great ending - an ending with hope for a brighter tomorrow, and a future to look forward to in order to do justice to the journey we took as Commander Shepard, not the ones provided in the Extended Cut DLC.
tarekshamas Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
don't cry don't cry....
PhilipMessina Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012   General Artist
What stunning artwork
StrawberryRainPop Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
This is my Mass Effect too!
AEigner Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
Awesomeness is imminent. I can feel it. :)
freedomphamtom Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
thats a battle i'd love to see :(
E350tb Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is my Mass Effect.
I hope it will be yours as well.

Damn straight it is. Truly excellent work! :salute:
Zarkovagis9 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
I swear, as I read his speech, I was hearing Lance Henriksen's voice the entire time
pukeboxswe Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
Beautiful! Goosebumps all the way...
die-yng Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
I think your/ Hackett's speech came from the heart of many of us.
Haupmann Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Mmmk, that was a great speech and again a tactically sound move(well if you have a weapon you can't use, not really useful).
I also like the fact someone finally acknowledges all the crap shepard and co goes through WITHOUT getting promoted and/or rewarded. Usually they just get more crap to deal with. I'm wondering if something similar is happening down on Earth with Shep and Shields. I'm still pissed that every single flank collapsed and i had to fight two dozen banshees and brutes.
Good choice of music too, fitted very well, although i read much too fast.
kato42 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
I approve of this comic.

And yes, I have to agree that this touched perfectly what ME meant to me as well, and especially the good parts of ME3.

Oh, and Harbinger? We may be going down, but you are coming with.

Never alone.
darthnick426 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Only criticism I have with this. Admiral Hackett's vessel he directly commands is an Alliance Dreadnought. The ship in this picture is an Alliance Cruiser.
Terrortheslayer Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
YA! Shoot him out of the sky!
Maya998 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
this is my Mass effect too.
Selphie6573 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
You, sir. You and your team have managed an incredible feat: Getting me to truly care about Mass Effect again after all of these months.

THIS is my Mass Effect. This is what brought me in for years and enthralled me. This is full of the hope, the awesomeness, the unity of all the different species that could be accomplished if everyone put their minds to it. For resurrecting that universe which I thought was gone forever, and showing that hope doesn't need to flow from just one source, I thank you.
gw2005 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
OMG OMG OMG OMG rachni ship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVING THIS
Drachenfan26 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
I wish Bioware would have hired you to write their scripts.
collision115 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I got chills
Fox-of-darkness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
InterpreterXIII Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Listened to the audiobook at the same time as I read the comic, I'm actually crying right now.
Thank you Koobs, for bringing back what Mass Effect made me feel. You've really outdone yourself, and I don't think anyone could have made a better job. :')
hypergateway Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
I got goosepump from this specific one, very well done!
Runicen Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Student Photographer
Great installment. You always keep the interest high for the next one. =)
Kentasko Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Much love.
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Submitted on
November 28, 2012
Image Size
2.0 MB


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