Writing Sample: Mass Effect FanFic

This writing sample was an Ars Technica contest submission and a tribute to a game series I enjoy: Mass Effect. This text is a complete work of (fan) fiction, taking place during the two years between Mass Effect 1 and 2.

Mission Log: Conrad Verner, 2184 CE

I can’t believe how bad things have gotten since Commander Shepard died. It’s only been a year and I’ve taken on 8 cases. Man I wish I had the backing of the Citadel. These crate crawls for 50, 100 credits… 200 on a good day. I still haven’t paid off my official unofficial life-size N7 replica armor, with real varren leather interior I might add. Itches like a bastard though. Doesn’t even have a waste filtration unit. I got into a… messy situation on a long stakeout once. How did the commander wear this all the time?

Today was the absolute worst. I got a tip about an illegal weapons shipment supposedly passing through Illium on its way to Omega. It was being transported by a batarian named Jakan’Di sometime in the next week. I’d been watching for anything suspicious in the cargo transfer levels for days and just when I was about to move on, I noticed a batarian this afternoon. I followed him to the shipyard and watched him load a couple of crates onto a docking ship. I had seen enough.

“Freeze! Hands where I can see them!” He stopped and crossed his arms. “Who the hell are you?” “Alliance Inter-galactic peace officer, Spectre-in-training! I’m seizing those weapons you’re moving!” I advanced on the crates with my sidearm leveled at him and proceeded to hack the crates. “What weapons?! Stop! It wasn’t easy collecting those!” he shouted. “Tch, I’m sure it wasn’t,” I replied. “No! Don’t open the-” I’m suddenly on my back.

Turns out the so-called “weapons” were two packs of varren. It was total chaos in an instant. I didn’t know what was going on so I started shooting at anything that moved. One of those conveyor lifts exploded and dropped its cargo on the batarian. Alarms starting going off. I knew Illium security would come quickly and those guys don’t mess around. I had to get out.

Unfortunately, one of the varren had left a gift behind as it scrambled out of the crate. I slipped on something better left unspecified and was knocked out. I woke up in an interrogation room with an Asari staring at me. She probably poked around my mind while I was out. Wait, can they do that while you’re unconscious? “Care to explain why Asari commandos just spent the last 2 hours hunting varren?”

Of course I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that I smelled like… well something, and they wouldn’t let me clean myself! I finally got them to release me after an hour of arguing when one of the guards came back with a shipping manifest. It listed a known Blood Pack leader as the recipient. “Nice job ‘spectre-in-training’. You managed to release a group of wild Varren, cause thousands of credits in property damage, and anger a group of mercenaries. But don’t worry, you can work this off. Welcome to your new home.”


Writing Sample: LoL Announcements

These writing samples are tributes to a game series I enjoy: League of Legends. This text is a complete work of (fan) fiction.

The Prophet of The Void has heard the voice of Icathia once again. By its command, he delivers 3 champions to its dark secrecy. From the dark god within comes forth Icathian Ryse, Morgana, and Orianna!

Zilean’s search for a cure has created a fracture in time. Ekko and Aurelian Sol have disappeared from existence. Ao Shin has descended from the skies while Averdrian has crawled out from the ground below. These lost creatures wander The Twisted Treeline, as it is torn asunder by a Vilemaw and Ebonmaw struggle begun anew.

Dr. Mundo has caged 3 champions in order to subject them to his insane experiments. Weeks of pain, torture, and chemicals have given rise to beastly abominations seeking only the death that Dr. Mundo so enjoys. It is from his twisted mind that Limitless Warwick, Alistar, and Volibear spring forth!

Heimerdinger, Corki, Rumble and Ziggs have been commissioned to work together on a new secret military project for Piltover in their quest to eliminate Zaun. Their combined minds have given birth to a new type of wearable techmaturgy. Piltover has selected three campions to purge Valoran of Zaun. Pneumatic Caitlyn, Jayce, and Vi fly forward!

She felt the pain of tortured souls in the shining city walls. She knows that her people will soon join them. The rise of Azir has left Taliyah with no choice. Together with Ezreal, who is all too keen to travel with this cute girl, she must find Xerath. Only he knows the ascension ritual of millennia past. If only she knew Xerath’s true intentions…

Writing Sample: Preliminary Analysis (Vel’Koz)

This writing sample is a tribute to a game series I enjoy: League of Legends. This text is a complete work of (fan) fiction, based off of my favorite champion in the game, Vel’Koz.

The inhabitants of this strange place call it Runeterra. And for those who shall follow my path here, heed my warning: as a Voidborn, the prominence of photons on this plane constantly assaults my input and carapace. Initially, you will not find the environment conducive. However, examination reveals a wealth of information to assimilate, both inorganic and organic.

I encountered a strange species upon first contact with this plane, odd creatures of blood and flesh. It was much later that I learned that they call themselves human. Though their biological structure offers little defensive advantage, they possess enough intelligence to have fashioned themselves as the dominant species on the planet. They demonstrate intriguing reactions to pain and their melting point remains inconsistent.

One such human in particular appears to have developed an intriguing array of tools that can manipulate the complexities of time and space. I have not yet encountered the architect of these machinations; however, I require a closer look. What secrets are you hiding? I must know more.

During the interregnum of this destined encounter, I have integrated numerous species. There is much to learn about this world. Humans: simple, messy, yet… exceptional. My presence causes them distress. Flailing appears to be a universal response; yet tears appear to serve no function. Have they ceased to evolve? There are so many questions with so few answers. After all, none have survived preliminary testing.

Writing Sample: Youth Mystery

I wrote this as a submission in consideration for a position as a game writer for the game High School Story. My writing sample concerns the introduction of a new character to HSS. Arthur is a smart guy who wants to become a detective when he grows up. He fancies a good mystery in everything he does. His introduction follows below:


One afternoon, you, Payton, and Julian are sitting and chatting in the bleachers of the football field.

Payton: Chirp! Ooh, a new question for @AskPayton!

Player: Is it love troubles? Academic problems? Social woes?

Payton: No, this is more… a rumor I guess? The question is, “Have you heard the moaning that comes from classroom 1337? Someone did the Charlie challenge in there and now people have been hearing sounds.”

Julian: …g-g-ghost? Julian shivers.

Player: You look a bit pale Julian. What’s wrong? Ghost got your gullet?

Julian: My what? The ghost doesn’t have my anything!

Payton: Except your fear.

Julian: Whatever!

Player: Hahaha well anyway, we should go check it out to make sure it isn’t something serious, assuming there really is a moaning sound at all.

Julian: Yeah… You do that.


You and Payton make your way over to the classrooms and find the one from the tweet.

Payton: Well, we’re here, room 1-3-3-7.

Player: After you milady.

Payton: Why thank you good sir.

You and Payton sit down at desks next to each other.

Player: You really think there’s a ghost… named Charlie?

Payton: No, I don’t believe in that… Wait, shh!

A soft moaning can be heard faintly.

Player: What’s that?!

Payton: I don’t know. Maybe it’s a stray cat. Or maybe it’s a… why is that wall panel moving?!


Player: It can’t really be Charlie, can it?!

Payton: Of course not! But what if it’s a wild animal?!

The panel falls forward onto the floor. A cloaked figure emerges from the shadows.

Payton: O-M-G!!!

The figure begins to look up at you, covered in an ashy haze of dust and dirt. Its black hair barely peaks out of its hood. Suddenly it sees your faces and starts!

Ghost: Ah!

Payton: AHHHHHHHH!!!

Player: AHHHHHHHH!!!


Stranger: WAAHHHHH! Don’t do that!

Player: Wh-who are you?!

Stranger: I’m Arthur. Who are you?

Payton: We’re Payton and Virgil. What were you just doing?

Arthur: I was investigating the rumors of moaning Charlie. What were you two doing in here? Wait… Oh, sorry to intrude…

Payton: Oh no, no, nothing like that! We’re here for the same reason! Did you find the ghost?

Arthur: About that…

Arthur is a student who’s seriously into detective work. Check out the All Stars section in the store to admit Arthur to your school and unlock special quest lines discovering all of its mysteries!

Writing Sample: Mystery

I wrote this as a submission in consideration for a position as a writer/mission designer for the game Criminal Case. It is a Facebook and mobile game tasking players to investigate crime scenes in order to find clues as to the culprit(s) of various crimes.


Dispatch: 911 Dispatch, what is your emergency?

Unknown Caller: There’s a dead man down by the docks.

(click, line goes dead)

Dispatch: Can you give me more information? Hello? Hello…



Unknown Caller: You’re an easy person to find Deputy [Player].

Jones: And you’re a hard one to find. (whispers to player) We’re tracing the call now.

Unknown Caller: Don’t bother trying to trace this call… Jones is it? This signal is bouncing through more locations than a wanted criminal.

Jones: You hear that Deputy [Player]? This one has a flair for irony.

Unknown Caller: Funny you should say that Jones, IRONy. (hangs up)

Jones: Did you notice how the suspect emphasized the word irony? What am I saying, of course you did. Irony… irony… I got it! The old ironworks! You need to go investigate the factory. Oh and deputy, be careful. This may be the most dangerous perp we’ve ever faced…



Jones: I can’t believe this! We’ve got evidence that makes no sense and a description that no one fits!

Grace: Calm down Jones, the evidence must be the key; but we’re just not seeing the connection.

Alex: Yeah but no matter how you spin it, whoever did this was meticulous. Considering the conflicting evidence, the killer might have intentionally planted all of it. And that level of precision may be the most ominous quality of the murderer.



Unknown Caller: I’m almost impressed Deputy. You’ve come closer than any before you… well, perhaps that was because there have not been any before you. I’m just another ghost no one believes in. But like any ghost, I have unfinished business. I’ll be seeing you Deputy… (click, hangs up)

Writing Sample: Morrigan’s Mementos

I started this project as a writing exercise, as well as a tribute to a game series I have come to love: Dragon Age. This text is a complete work of (fan) fiction, based off of Bioware’s Dragon Age universe, and the character Morrigan as described in Dragon Age: Origins.

The idea is to recount Morrigan’s experiences [SPOILER ALERT] in the alternate dimension she entered at the conclusion of the Witch Hunt DLC. These accounts are based on my playthrough, i.e., The Warden (a Dalish warrior named Archon) fully romanced Morrigan, impregnated her, and entered the Eluvian portal with her. This project is ongoing.

Cairn One

“Then come, my love. We will face the future together.” These were my final words before turning to face the portal, a doorway to another realm beyond even the Fade. That the Hero of Ferelden would deign to join me in a step of faith, a choice for which even I did not have full understanding, was testament both to his foolish nature and his confounding love. The Hero of Ferelden raised his hand to gently caress the threshold for which I had gone to great lengths to activate. Ripples spread from his touch as my mind followed the crescents of their waves. Past, present, future… and the role our son will play in it… I must prepare our son for what lies ahead. With a slight smile in acknowledgement of my stubborn companion, I stepped into the Eluvian, into a new world that man shall never know.

Cairn Two

It was a few moments before my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit path stretched out before me. It was a few moments more before I realized just how quiet it was. As my eyes expanded to analyze the world around me, they failed to capture an image of my companion. So much of this world and its gateway remained a mystery to me. Could it be that it had not allowed passage to Archon, ending his existence as we made our transition? Or had it decided to deposit him in a different aspect of space and time in which we may never again meet? Such lugubrious questions present from his absence would do me no service now. I must go forward and rejoin my son.

Cairn Three

Existence was very different in this place. The air seemed so void of aether, and yet I continued to breathe. My body felt lighter than a babe’s, yet sensed a constant pressure from the environment. My feet glided across the ground with every step I took, continuously returning to the soft embrace of the ever-shifting haze that formed an ethereal film over the terrain. I had walked this path less than the count of a hand, yet I somehow always seemed to know where I was going. It was as though my connection to my son was strengthened almost to the point of tangibility in this realm. I experienced a fleeting wish of such a link with Archon, that I might find him and lead him to my son. Oh how I loathed the weakness of such wistfulness.

Cairn Four

Time passes differently here, in that one can never be certain if time passes at all. There is no sun looking down upon all of creation, no moon calming the terrene below it. I was only just beginning to appreciate the dandling light that such celestial beings shared with a world that gave nothing in return. Here the environment bandied its own effulgence about, a muted exchange of fluorescence… though I must admit the wonder at some of the colors I see here. Visions of chroma without names… phon, torque, and legato… were I to stop and think about it I would actually appreciate the allure.

Cairn Five

I arrived to a light cough as I reached my child. It seems some of the aether had drifted into something of a blanket around him. What was this odd sensation tingling in my chest as I cast my gaze upon this helpless creature? And could it be that an actual smile flitted quickly across my face before I could even recognize it? I knew the importance of this child to the future and yet in that moment all I cared about was the present. I slowly walked over and placed my hand atop his heart. I could feel the telltale rhythm of vitality coursing through his little veins, so calm and steady. Such was his power to steel my resolve; and so the process of his upbringing began.