|Mass Effect: Human Revolution
Author: IgnusDei PM
Adam Jensen finds himself in a time only dreamed of in vids, humanity is now part of a great galactic community that fears synthetics, and he struggles to find his place within it. Note: Primarily a DX/ME crossover, with elements borrowed and integrated from other Square Enix franchises.Rated: Fiction M - English - Sci-Fi/Supernatural - Chapters: 30 - Words: 254,981 - Reviews: 851 - Favs: 739 - Follows: 809 - Updated: 05-07-13 - Published: 03-12-12 - id: 7920322
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Deus Ex Human Revolution is the property of Eidos and Square Enix
Mass Effect is the property of Bioware and Electronic Arts
Mass Effect: Human Revolution
Chapter 11: The selection process
Early author's note: Hein is voiced by James Woods.
Something was wrong about this place.
It was a cold autumn in this forest filled with dead trees of blackened bark, black branches veining a foggy gray sky. Fallen dead leaves cracked under the pressure of Adam's footfalls, adding an echoing texture to the faint howl of the wind...and the whispers of unseen strangers that stalked a lonely, lost quarry.
"Hello?" Adam's voice echoed. "Is anyone out there?"
The distant laughter of children answered his call, but Adam simply couldn't find its source. He called out again, louder this time, and the laughter quieted. Off the corner of his eye, Jensen spotted something moving. He turned to get a better look, and he saw a young boy of eight, dressed in black pants and a blue hooded sweatshirt running behind a tree. When Adam approached the tree to speak to the hiding boy, however, he could find no trace of the child anywhere.
More movement in the corner of his vision. The same boy, running deeper in the forest. Adam gave chase, hoping that the child could lead him out of the forest, only for him to vanish behind another tree. The boy reappeared elsewhere, and elsewhere again, and it took a moment for Adam to realize that he was chasing twins. Twins, running towards a woman in a white coat and light brown hair.
"Megan..." Adam's stopped his pursuit at the sight of her.
The two boys happily came up to Megan, who welcomed them with a warm smile. She knelt to embrace them both, hugging them tightly as if they were her own children. One of them pulled away from her embrace. He had something to show her, something amazing! A glowing orb, a drop of the sun the size of an orange. Megan was fascinated, and as she reached out to touch the ball of sunlight Adam braced himself for what was to come. He had been here before, he had suffered through this before, and try as he might to stop her, try as he might to wake from this nightmare he knew it was futile: He would suffer the sunfire again, watch as Megan and the two boys turn to ash in an instant again, and would endure as a wave of fire cooked off his flesh down to the very bones again.
But bathing in a sea of flames was never the worst part.
The worst part was, as always, the screaming of a hundred children.
"I'm sorry." Adam told them, sobbing, but the tears evaporated in the flames, along with everything else.
Jensen opened his eyes and gasped as he suddenly half-rose his couch, sweat beading on his body. He looked at his arms, and he sighed in relief as he confirmed they hadn't melted off in the heat.
That dream again, Jensen thought. It had haunted his nights too frequently, disturbing his rest to the point where Jensen dreaded going to sleep sometimes. The pills helped get enough REM phase sleep, but they pretty much guaranteed the nightmares.
Jensen cradled his face for a moment, took a deep breath, exhaled, and made his way to the balcony for some fresh air (at least, what passed for fresh air on an ancient space station). The day globes hovering above Bachjret Ward were casting a dim orange light over the city. It was the beginning of a brand new day.
He began his usual routine (which had been disrupted yesterday by that emergency call) by taking a long shower, then brushing his teeth, then maintaining his facial hair (a post-it on the mirror said: see a barber, head's getting a bit shaggy). Once the trimming was done and the shaving gel residue was washed off, Jensen took a moment staring at the mirror and finally realized something he had forgotten after all these years.
"Jesus Christ, I'm forty-six," Adam said to himself out loud. If he included the time in he spent on ice, the number went all the way up to one hundred and ninety. And yet, looking into that mirror, he saw the man he had looked like all the way back in 2027. Try as he might, Adam simply couldn't find any extra wrinkles, any sagging bit of skin, or even one gray hair. He wondered if decelerated aging was a side effect of the meds Sarif had injected him before putting him in the freezer, or the Sentinel RX-2 system's, or whatever the hell White Helix Labs had done to him when he was a boy. Or maybe, just maybe, he was just one of the lucky folks that wouldn't look a day over forty until his sixtieth birthday.
Deciding that dwelling on his apparent youth would not be time well spent, Jensen stopped staring at the mirror, dried himself, and put on a plain t-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts. His stomach growled: the adventure from the day before had taxed his energy reserves, and his metabolism had been fiercely burning calories to replenish his batteries. Jensen cursed Sarif's upgrades: Sure, he no longer needed to eat a candy bar every time he punched someone, but the tradeoff were some mighty hungers that really put a strain on a food budget. Oh well, it was time for breakfast in any case.
Room 451 was a loft, one hundred and seventy cubic meters of space Jensen had filled with various bits of junk and detritus (along with the basic necessities and a few luxuries). In contrast to the mess that surrounded his long leather couch and coffee table, the kitchen area was incredibly clean and tidy: Adam didn't mess around when it came to cooking food.
"TV, on. News." Jensen said aloud, and the VI controlling the various electronics around the loft responded to his voice and activated the electronic wallpaper that covered the walls. It created a several 16:9 video windows where Jensen would be able to see the news as he prepared his food. The video went through the usual: the planned fake weather, events around the Citadel, and so on. As Jensen opened his fridge to take out the ingredients needed for an omelette , he heard the familiar sound of one of the Powers that Be, Salarian Councilor Valern, over the omni-directional speakers.
"The evidence has been thoroughly analyzed, and it has found to be irrefutable: Saren Arterius is responsible for the Eden Prime massacre and has become a threat to the peace of the the galaxy by allying himself with the Geth."
Bacon, leftover potatoes, twelve eggs, Thessian frying peppers (red AND green). Adam put the ingredients on the counter and an oiled frying pan on the stove at high heat. Sparatus, the Turian spoke up:
"Since Saren has not answered our summons to personally face his accuser and defend himself in light of this evidence, we have decided to strip him of his Spectre Status, effective immediately, and the Council will do what is necessary to bring him to justice."
Jensen chopped the peppers up with the speed and precision of a machine. He had gone through every pepper in ten seconds; they were ready to be fried, but the pan wasn't quite hot yet. While it heated up on the stove, Adam started breaking the twelve eggs into a metal bowl and beat them with a whisk.
"Ambassador Udina?" asked Tevos, the Asari Councillor. "Do you have anything else to add?"
"Err...Yes. The Systems Alliance would like to thank..."
"We would like to thank pilgrim Tali'Zorah nar Rayya and C-sec Detectives Garrus Vakarian and...Adam Jensen..." Adam looked up at one of the screens: Udina was wincing like he was passing a kidney stone. "...for their efforts in bringing this evidence to light. Were it not for their efforts, the thousands of innocents dead on Eden Prime would have received no justice."
Adam smirked as the three councilors looked at each other, confirming each other's incredulity: Udina was not known to show any kind of gratitude to anyone and quick to take any and all credit for humanity whenever he could grab it. It must have taken every ounce of willpower for the good ambassador to say every word that just left his mouth.
"Of course," he continued. "I must ask how soon justice will be served! Has the fleet been sent into the Traverse?"
"Sending in the fleet in is unnecessary," answered Sparatus. "Saren is a man on the run for his life and his resources as a Spectre have been stripped away from him"
"And a fleet is not an appropriate, or effective, response to a fugitive," said Valern.
Udina was indignant, and started pointing his finger at the council."It is an appropriate response to a fugitive in command of a dreadnought and an army of Geth! Send your fleet in! Keep our colonies secure!"
"Ah, Udina..." said Adam as he fried his peppers. "You were doing so well." As much as he hated to admit it, though, Udina had a point.
"And a peacekeeping fleet in the Traverse would start a war with the Terminus systems! We will not start a war and potentially sacrifice billions of lives for the sake of a handful of human colonies!"
Then again, Sparatus had one too. Adam added the bacon into the frying pan.
As always, Tevos had to be the voice of reason. "Gentlemen, there is an appropriate response that involves neither fleet nor army."
Sparatus was shocked, but no more than Udina. "Do you mean...?"
"Humanity is about to get one of its wishes fulfilled, Ambassador. However, since your prime candidate has...regrettably been lost to us, we must ask you to reevaluate and resend us your list of candidates. Until you do, this meeting is adjourned."
The footage cut to Emily Wong's face, live from the Citadel tower. "With the implication that a human Spectre will soon be selected, the Citadel is abuzz with rumors as from where this champion will come from. With the reported arrival of the infamous USSV Durendal, a likely candidate is Captain Edward Grey, survivor of the Akuze incident."
A picture appeared next to Emily: it was a snapshot of a man who vaguely reminded Adam of a younger Ben Affleck.
"Has the UNAS decided to take a more active role in galactic affairs beyond its colonies? Will the Coalition, the EU and the OCU will follow suit? Only time will tell. This has been Emily Wong, for Citadel News."
Adam continued his cooking, barely paying attention to the rest of the news. Eventually the peppers and bacon had been cooked and seasoned to his satisfaction, so he lowered the stove top's heat and added in the left over potatoes, allowing them to warm up. Once done, he added the eggs and began mixing the contents of the pan until the mixture looked like runny scrambled eggs. He turned off the heat of the stove-top and set the oven to broil. Adam spread some feta cheese on top of the semi-cooked omelette, waited for the oven to be hot enough, and put the pan into it. Minutes later, Jensen had himself a nice Potato and Pepper Frittata, just like grandma used to make.
He cut the Frittata into four, and served himself up a slice along with some cherry tomatoes. He was just about to take a bite before a hologram popped up in front of his face. The Citadel News site was done with its live stream, and the VI thought Jensen would be interested in knowing more about current events by showing it the C-News extranet site. He was about to dismiss the browser and finally enjoy his food when he noticed that he had a voice-mail in his inbox. He commanded the VI to play it, and the message played as Adam finally took a bite out of his food.
"Hey Jensen, it's Nayak. One of my boys brought in your car, it was right where your friend Vakarian left it. Well, the inside's more or less okay- one of the forward stabilizer rings is out of alignment- but the outside's seriously fucked. There's dents everywhere and cracks all over the glass canopy. Also there's something in some Terran language scratched on the paint job that says – Oh, that's not very nice. Anyways, I've got a few more cars in need of love and care and I won't be able to start fabricating a new hull and canopy for at least a week. I've attached an estimate of the repair costs. I hope we can work something out, I'd hate to put a classic like that in a recycler. Talk to you soon, Jensen."
"And here I am suspended without pay for a week. Fantastic." Adam chewed the last piece of his serving of omelette and went for seconds. The holographic browser window followed him around and, with little else to do besides eat some more, decided to press on the thumbnail of a large humanoid robot standing over a battlefield. "Audio only," Adam commanded the VI.
"Today, The Philippines Secessionist Forces on Earth suffered a major defeat. The OCU's 13th Armoured Wanzer Company, with support from the 501st Infantry battalion, destroyed the defenders of the PSF's primary hidden base in the Cagayan Valley, thus capturing the facility. Judging by the amount of war materiel found there, the OCU military claims that the PSF is effectively defeated. A cessation to hostilities in the region is expected within-"
Adam closed the browser and quietly finished eating his omelette. This was why he hated hearing any news about Earth: even after all these years, Earth was still divided by invisible lines drawn on maps and political and religious ideologies, the kinds of things men just loved to kill each other over. The other member races of the Citadel had achieved some measure of unity, why couldn't humans?
His belly full, Jensen sat on his couch and took comfort in the fact that despite being around three jumps away from the Citadel, Earth and its troubles were far, far away...
In the Citadel's human embassy (which amounted to pretty much a very large and spacious office), Ambassador Udina felt a migraine coming on. Sitting across from to him was a man who had brought the troubles of Earth right to his doorstep. He was a white European human who looked to be in his mid to late forties, with slicked back jet black hair graying at the temples. He was dressed in an all-black USMC officer's uniform which included a long black leather storm coat with silver trim.
"Hein," said Udina, his self-control fraying at the edges, "what are you even doing here? You're not a member of the Alliance and your commission with the United North American States Marine Corps is virtually over. You have absolutely no say in these proceeding.
Hein smirked. "Well, seeing as I'm the chief of DARPA and responsible for providing the Alliance Navy its best toys, including the Normandy-"
"-The Normandy was developed strictly by the Alliance!"
"-On the remains of MY concepts, which the Turians stripped down into a recon frigate. But I wasn't finished: I'm also responsible overseeing the Zeus Project, our entry into the dick-waving competition Hackett – Hi Steve!" he waved at Hackett, who was sitting just a couple of meters away. "- has going with the Turian Hierarchy's Space Force, and it's been a fun decade just watching that monster getting built while dozens of far more interesting and promising projects wither on the vine because of budget cuts, let me tell you. But hey, if helping the Alliance keep its military edge and making sure the Zeus project doesn't explode when we fire up its drives gives me absolutely no pull whatsoever with you (except, you know, it does), then I'll gladly piss off. But I have to ask: if I'm not welcome here..." Hein pointed at Anderson, "what's a frigate captain doing here?"
Anderson raised an eyebrow, wondering why that USMC burnout was paying him any attention. Before he could reply, Hackett came to Anderson's defense. "Anderson was Shepard's commanding officer and is more qualified than anyone here in figuring out a new Spectre candidate."
Hein looked up, as if trying to remember something. "Oh!...right! N7 graduate, first human Spectre candidate ever. I see that's worked out so very well for you, seeing as you're playing with the big boys now. Politically, I mean. Of course, since your candidate has come down with an unfortunate case of death, I'm still scratching my head as to why your opinion still counts..."
Anderson rose from his chair, ready to strangle Hein. Nobody would make light of Shepard's death. Nobody. "Shepard was murdered! And if you think I'm going to let some self important, glorified accountant crack jokes about it, you've got another thing coming, Hein!"
"Anderson," ordered Hackett. "Sit down." When Anderson didn't immediately comply, he insisted. "Sit. Down. That's an order." An order which Anderson reluctantly obeyed. But Hackett wasn't done. "Edgar, if you want to have a say in these proceedings..." he gave Hein the kind of glare that could scare off a Varren. "...you will keep your tongue civil. You show that kind of disrespect to the honored dead again, I will have you shot, have your corpse spaced, and the three of us will go on as if nothing happened. Got it?"
Hein just smiled. "Got it. Of course, It's not going to be a long meeting: I've already brought you the best possible candidate." He activated his Omni-Tool and threw orange holographic rings at each of the three other men sitting at the cardinal directions of a round coffee table. Their omni-tools 'caught' the disks, and alerted their respective users of an incoming data transfer. They all accepted, and the holographic image of Captain Edward Grey sprang up on their hands, along with a detailed biography and combat statistics. Udina just laughed.
"Ha! If I ever needed more evidence that you were full of shit, this is it, Hein!" Udina conjured up his email Inbox for all to see on his Omni-Tool. "Do you see these?"
Hein squinted and read one of the email subject lines aloud "Dear...Donnal. R...U...2...Small...4.."
"Not that one!" Udina quickly deleted the offending piece of spam.
Hein snickered. "Problem with your spam filters, Udina?"
Udina ignored him. "I'm talking about THESE! I have emails from the Ambassadors of every major power on Earth! Owens, Chen, Kwanten and De Sable! All of them demand that I submit their lists of candidates to the Council under a veiled threat of ruining the Alliance's economy! And guess what? Owens' list doesn't have an Edward Grey on it!"
Hein waved his hand dismissively. "Pft! Owens wouldn't know a good soldier if one bit him on the ass. I'm certain most of the people on his list are the sons of his friends in the military..."
"Nathan Frost is on the top of that list! Are you saying he's not a good soldier?"
"oh, no no no, he's a magnificent soldier. A legendary soldier...but he's an Army grunt. Never left Earth's orbit and his only insight into what's out there is an Asari porn mag. That, and he's not exactly a leader of men. Edward Grey knows what's out there and he has led men into battle on Mars and beyond. I guarantee you, nobody on these lists of yours have got the experience necessary to be a Spectre. Not only that, he's a certified Wanzer pilot and a Zero-G certified CQC expert. Put Frost in zero-g, and watch and laugh as he loses his lunch."
"As I recall," said Hackett, somewhat unimpressed. "His last sortie was on Akuze. We all know how that worm hunt turned out, don't we? Nine out of twelve of his men gone, 3 Wanzers slagged, and an entire mining station destroyed along with fifty dead civilians. It was Shepard that pulled his ass out of the fire."
"And it was Grey that formulated a strategy that allowed Shepard to kill the remaining two Thresher Maws with, um...relative ease." He sent Anderson a challenging smile. "Call me a liar, I dare ya."
Hackett gave Anderson a curious look. "Anderson? Something to share?"
The Normandy's captain sighed. "Shepard confided in me exactly that. I don't know how the story got twisted around into making Grey look incompetent..." He threw a dirty, meaningful look at Udina. "...but she said that if it weren't for him, she might have died in her APC and would have had to learn how to kill the Maws the hard way. And if she hadn't done that..."
Hein completed Anderson's sentence. "...then the other eight mining installations, plus one refinery, would have perished under a rain of thresher maw acid. Edward's right outside, if you'd like to thank him."
"That won't be necessary," said Hackett, and after some time thinking about it, he made a decision. "Alright, Edward's on the list. Udina?"
The Ambassador harrumphed. "...Fine! But Edward is going to have to run against Frost. I can't very well deny Owens and the UNAS government!"
Hein simply nodded, having just gotten more than he had hoped for. Udina continued: "Now, what am I going to do with the candidate lists from the Coalition, the EU and the OCU? I've got a few hundred names here, quite hastily put together in no particular order along with extensive dossiers for every name – I think they want me to submit the whole thing to the Council!"
Hein smirked. "Leave it to the Coalition to swarm a Spectre selection process... Well, the Council certainly won't be lacking options, won't they?"
"Laugh it up, Hein! This is all your fault! If you hadn't let slip to the rest of the world that a Spectre position was open and that you were going to put Grey in it I wouldn't be in this mess! We need to keep this list short! Every minute the Council spends pondering who the first human Spectre will be is another minute Saren spends working towards the doom of all-"
Hackett put his hand up, stopping Udina from launching himself into a tirade. "Spare us the melodrama, Ambassador. We know what's at stake."
"Let's quickly evaluate the names on the list and pick the two best of each nation to submit," suggested Anderson. "That way we appear fair and we'll save time for the Council."
Udina agreed, but wasn't exactly happy at the idea of combing through dossiers. He sighed wearily. "And if the Council doesn't pick their candidate they won't be able to complain to me about it. I'll make sure the Council gives them honorable mentions. Alright then, we might as well deal with the Coalition dossiers first..."
"Shouldn't be too hard," said Hein. "The dossiers are likely heavily redacted."
Udina distributed the files, splitting the work between the four men. To Anderson's and Udina's surprise, Hein worked faster than any of them, picking up their slack. After 30 minutes of reading through personnel dossiers (which were indeed heavily redacted), they had three candidates for the Coalition, their holograms floating above the coffee table. Udina sounded off their names, as if trying to decide if they were good enough to go with 'Humanity's first Spectre'.
"Fei Fong Wong, Helena Zaitsev, and Yang Wenli."
Hackett rose an eyebrow. "Wanzer pilot, Wanzer pilot, armchair Commander. I don't think that's what the Council is looking for."
Hein rose his hand, getting the Admiral's attention. "Yang's called the 'Miracle' and 'Yan Lo's successor' for a reason, Hackett: he could dance circles around you in a fleet battle with just two carrier groups and no dreadnought.
"Not arguing that. As he ever fired a gun at someone, though?"
"He has Marines to do that for him! Look, not all Spectres are the action hero type. Some are just very smooth operators and schemers who use their Spectre authority to coordinate resources and assets against galactic threats. As for the pilots, Fei's a CQC expert and Zaitsev is a crackerjack sniper, skills that serve them well both in AND out of the cockpit."
Udina eyed Hein suspiciously: "You're awfully helpful, considering two of these will be competition for Grey..."
"Not really," said Anderson. "Turians hate Wanzers and those that pilot them. Sparatus will fight tooth and claw to keep them out of the Spectres. Stacking the deck in Grey's favour, Hein?"
Hein laughed: "Are they still sore about Shanxi? Never mind. Stupid question. Of course they are. As for tweaking the odds, well...can you blame me? Besides, any of you want to see the Space Commies have a say galactic affairs? I certainly don't."
"...Be that as it may," said Hackett. "We have to make it look like they got a fair shot at it. Put Yang's name forward, and Zaitsev's. That way we don't look like complete barbarians to the Salarians and we score points with the Asari."
Udina typed on his Omni-Tool's holographic keyboard. "Done. Now, as for the EU, we've got Elsa Devereaux, Ace Wanzer Pilot-"
"And an accomplished Aerospace pilot to boot," interrupted Hein.
"-and an up and coming commodore in the European Union's Space Force called Kircheis Von Lohengramm (also a pilot). I'm detecting a pattern here, Hein."
"What? Oh, you think this is my fault? Gentlemen, right now ALL of the major skirmishes in Sol are being won by Wanzers and Carriers, not Marines and Dreadnoughts. Check the dossiers again – the ones that you skipped? You'll find nothing but pilots, pilots and more pilots. Meanwhile you Alliance jar heads keep trying to spread the myth that your cruisers' bellies are filled with supermen that can destroy a battleship by the power of their cold, hard stares."
He looked at Hackett and Anderson, who were both giving a cold hard stare. Hein wasn't fazed: he believed that they needed to hear this, even if they didn't like it.
"Yeah, see? Like that. In any case, those two are the best the Union has to offer, and the EU is not going to want one of their grunts as a Spectre anyways. Put them on the list."
Udina looked to Hackett for confirmation, who simply nodded. Of course, Udina wasn't quite done arguing
"What about Ashley Riot? He'd be a much better choice for a Spectre: he's has the skills of a biotic soldier AND and those of an agent!"
"He's a Union agent." answered Anderson. You know how they are: He's more likely to go after Coalition targets with Council-backed impunity than Saren. No, Riot's out."
"Agreed," said Hackett.
Udina simply shrugged and "And now we come to the OCU," said Udina, somewhat content that this meeting would soon be coming to a close. "Kim Tae-Yeon and Edward Kelly?"
"I know these two," said Hackett. "Their units have been favourably evaluated for entry into the Alliance forces once the supra-nations start signing the second Ares Accord. They're in."
"Anderson? Hein? Any objections? No? Good!" Udina typed their names in and completed a list of eight candidates for Spectrehood. Udina would have preferred four, but...
"What about us?" asked Anderson. "Who is going to be our candidate?"
Udina began rubbing his eyes. "As much as I loathed her sense of humor, Anderson, I have to admit: Shepard was the best the Alliance has ever produced...and I'm not sure if she can be replaced."
"That's not quite the case," said Hackett. "Gentlemen, I've been in contact with the AIA. They've been developing this black op and wetworks asset for some time now, a spacer Adept with a Newton rating of sixteen hundred. A bit lower than Shepard's but still considerable. They've given me his dossier to submit to the Council." He mimicked Hein's earlier Augmented Reality disc throw, and the three other men accepted the file and displayed it on their Omni-Tools.
On each of their palms shone the image of Johan Liebert Ramsus.
Both Anderson and Udina shot up from their seats and shouted: "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?!"
Hackett was not moved by the sudden onslaught, and Hein was utterly confused.
"What the hell are you thinking?!" shouted Anderson. "Johan's a goddamned MONSTER! He was ready to send his men into a meat grinder on Torfan just to gain a little ground! If Shepard hadn't stopped him Torfan would have been a disaster! We do NOT want him for a Spectre!"
And Udina, of all people, had Anderson's back. "Agreed! One look at him and the Council will know what he is – A human Saren!"
Hein played the devil's advocate. "Well, on paper he sounds exactly like what you'd want in a Spectre. I mean, besides his considerable martial and biotics ratings he has scored extremely high on Charm courses. A diplomat and soldier both, you should be glad!"
"Do you see a psychological evaluation in there, Hein? No? Well that's because the AIA went through several psychoanalysts to try and figure him out, and once one of them was stopped babbling long enough, he told us this: Ramsus is a manipulative psychopath! That's where his charm comes from! He cares nothing for the lives of others, and he will carve a bloody swath throughout the galaxy trying to get to Saren! Forget political shitstorms, this would lead to an outright war with EVERYONE against EVERYONE ELSE!"
Hackett rose from his seat. It was time to make his case. "Saren's out there, with a fleet of synthetics who apparently believe he's their messiah who built him a three kilometer long dreadnought for a flagship! He wants something, and whatever it is he's willing to kill thousands – no, millions! – of innocents to get it! He's a monster and we have to send an even bigger one after him! Ramsus IS that monster. He's cold, calculating, uncompromising, determined, incredibly powerful, and will not stop until Saren is dead. And as for Torfan, keep something in mind: those men were WILLING to walk into that crossfire. Ramsus' charisma is undeniable: if he can use it to marshal a force that can rival Saren's and aim it that cuttle boned bastard, then all the better."
"So that's your solution?" Anderson was outraged. "We swap one villain for another?!"
"He'll be our villain. The AIA has upgraded his obedience conditioning. Now, unless either of you have a better candidate in mind to take on a rogue Spectre turned warlord, I think we've got our candidate. Udina?"
"...No, I have no one."
The captain said nothing.
"Hein put Grey forward already, so that's that. Now-"
Anderson interrupted. "Wait. We do have someone better. Stronger, faster, smarter, and most importantly of all, more human."
"Who?" asked Hackett.
"I think it's time we made up for Elysium. I think it's time we made up for destroying a man's life. I think it's time we made up to the true hero of Elysium."
"No!" exclaimed Udina. "Out of the question!"
Hein couldn't help but smile. "Well, don't keep me in such suspense, Captain. Who?"
"Gentlemen. I say we put Adam Jensen's name forward for Spectre status."
CODEX ENTRY: VEHICLES: MILITARY: EARTH: WANZER
The Wanzer (short for Wanderpanzer, or Walking Armor in human german) is a type of mechanized armoured fighting vehicle designed to imitate the humanoid form. Typically, a Wanzer is between four and six meters tall, with some heavier designs reaching as high as eight. It is composed of four modular parts: the chest, the left and right arms, and a pair of legs. All parts are constructed of a lightweight endo-structure covered by composite armor. Each component is plugged in the chest through a standardized plug system, allowing the machine to have its parts quickly and easily replaced. The salvaging of Wanzer parts on the battlefield is a common practice to relieve logistical strain.
The concept for this AFV had been in development for quite some time, but no military had openly embraced it until the OCU deployed the first functional ones in 2076, during the Huffman conflict. This gave them an initial advantage in conquering UNAS-aligned cities on Huffman Island, allowing the OCU forces to redeploy their tank battalions in more crucial areas. The UNAS eventually deployed their own Wanzers, and the Huffman conflict ended in a stalemate in 2078.
The debate of the pros versus the cons of Wanzers still continues after a century after the inception of the war machines. Proponents of Wanzer technology note their considerably higher mobility vis-a-vis tanks, their combat effectiveness in an urban environment and their ease of loadout modifications. Opponents to Wanzers note their relative lack of armour compared to tanks, their larger target profiles and their higher maintenance costs. The introduction of Mass Effect technology has allowed a Wanzer to be outfitted with thicker and heavier armor without its feet sinking into the ground, and has increased the performance and survivability of light and medium wanzers considerably.
The Turian Hierarchy's military remains unconvinced of the strategic advantages of Wanzers despite their role in the First contact war. Mercenary Ace Wanzer pilot Jack Harper acquired a disproportionately high kill count using guerrilla tactics against Turian tank battalions before his Zenith medium Wanzer was taken down by light artillery fire. During the Alliance's joint counterattack with Earth's combined space forces, the OCU's Wanzer squadron known as the Carrion Crows, along with the UNAS' Black Hounds, delivered crippling strikes on the occupying turian ground forces and allowed the Alliance's marines to mop up the rest with ease. The Turian military maintains that, had Admiral Yan Lo not managed to deploy the Snowblind bombs, The Turian fleet could have easily and accurately bombarded the "over-designed wastes of money".
Rumors of the Turian Hierarchy funding research and development into Wanzer technology persist to this day.
CODEX ENTRY: HISTORY: MARS: OPERATION ORCRIST
Shortly after the events of the Blitz and three months before Akuze, the UNAS and the EU began a joint operation to destroy a large group of raiders known as the Tribe infesting the Cydonia region on Mars, a moderately resource-rich area developed by the Redwater Mining Corporation. The raiders were initially composed of one hundred and seventy-six war amputees Redwater had hired in order to cut costs on mining equipment in 2107. When the corporation mishandled its supplies of Neuropozyne, food, and the salary funds, the workers rioted and took over the mines and refineries across Cydonia. Still in need of food and medicine and having no faith in the Martian government (which had, up to that point, ignored their grievances with Redwater), the workers took to banditry to survive. This situation continued for decades until confirmed reports of the raiders jury-rigging their prostheses into full augmentations had reached earth, at which point the UNAS and the EU, two Earth nations with a stake in the area, felt intense political pressure to resolve the situation. A joint EU/UNAS task force was put together, spearheaded by the USMC's Elite Deep Eyes squad.
The two-month campaign, dubbed Operation Orcrist, effectively and completely removed the Tribal threat from the area with nearly no prisoners taken. The operation became the center of media attention, however, when it was discovered that the Raiders had created their own, small tribal society, with each raider having a wife and child. While it should be noted that many of these 'wives' were kidnapped, suffering from severe Stockholm's Syndrome and were part of a patriarchal survivalist culture built around grafting cybernetic parts made out of junk, Operation Orcrist had effectively gone from an extreme police action to an ethnic cleansing. Edward Grey, the commanding officer of the Deep Eyes, stopped the operation just short of eradicating the Tribe's 'civilian' population. He reasoned that with the adult men gone, the Raider's military strength was effectively neutralized. When the EU forces wanted to continue with the operation, they came at odds with the Deep Eyes, sparking a diplomatic incident. Sparing the remaining Tribal population, however, resulted in both the EU and the UNAS avoiding a major political scandal.
Despite being spared, the remaining Tribals were put in an internment camp, their implants forcibly removed, They remain there to this day, unable to become productive members of society.
Alternate title: Wasn't the beginning of Heavy Rain totally fun? I certainly thought so!
You may notice quite a few references to other Square Enix works in this fic. Don't worry, I'm only developing the ones that will fit in a cyberpunk military sci-fi world. The rest are just nods, and I think I've gotten them out of my system.
Next chapter: less talk, moar investigations. After that, moar shooting.