Passage 411

And never forget that help may come

From the most unlikely of quarters
And success rest upon the shoulders
Of those kept shadowed until the time of need.

- The Remembrance, Passage 222, Verse 6, Lines 11-14

General Williams scanned the faces in his command bunker. All around him he saw despair. The Alien invasion of Shanxi had crushed the meager orbital assets the Human Systems Alliance had in place for defense. All that remained to defend the colony was his under-strength brigade that had been gutted by orbital bombardment. Most of their armor had been destroyed along with above ground military infrastructure. The men and women under his command had fought bravely and as well as they possibly could against an aggressor with superior numbers and equipment, but the time to fight was over. The aliens had taken the population centers of the planet and were threatening to execute civilians if they did not surrender. His job was to protect the colonists, and as painful as it was to admit, the best way to do that was to lay down his arms. He was about to make a final speech to his troops and prepare for the surrender when one of the comm. techs made a report.

"Sir, we're picking up a transmission approaching orbit. It's broadcasting on our frequencies and many of those we've observed the aliens using."

"Are they friendlies? Is the Second Fleet here?"

"Unknown Sir. They are speaking English but I don't recognize the unit they claim to be from."

"Put it on speaker."

"Yes sir."

"I am Khan Phelan Kell of Clan Wolf in Exile. I bid Alpha Galaxy and the WarShips Werewolf and Ulric Kerensky in defense of Shanxi. What is your bid Turian force?"

And so the Khans met in kurultai

To discusse the carving of Tukayyid.

As if it was some feast dish cooked
And tender, begging for the server's knife.

- The Remembrance, Passage 327, Verse 3, Lines 5-8

General Septimus Crassi looked at the men around him in the CIC of Palaven's Spear, the flagship of the enforcement fleet in orbit over this colony of primitive humans. There was pride on each of those faces. They had swept all resistance before them and were about to claim victory on the planet surface as well. He and those under his command knew that the fight was not over but for now they could relax. Their pickets were watching the mass relay and there would be plentiful warning before any enemy ships could arrive to challenge their position in orbit.

"Contact! 8 ships in inner system. 2 super dreadnought, 4 dreadnought, 2 cruiser analogues. They are hailing us."

"On speaker."

"I am Khan Phelan Kell of Clan Wolf in Exile. I bid Alpha Galaxy and the WarShips Werewolf and Ulric Kerensky in defense of Shanxi. What is your bid Turian force?"

"Sir we have no information on these new ships. Many terms in the broadcast have not been used in human communications before. We cannot completely translate it."

"That doesn't matter now, how did they get here without passing our pickets at the relay."

"They didn't use the relay, we can't detect any eezo on the new contacts."

"They must be primitive ships that they hid from us."

"Yes sir, that is possible."

"Fire on the new contacts."

All praise the art of batchall and bidding

For it proves our love of peace and tradition.

- The Remembrance, Passage 118, Verse 3, Lines 11-12

"Turian force, you have broken zellbringen. I find you Dezgra. You shall face the full force of the clan Touman."

"Sir, multiple smaller contacts ranging from fighter to frigate size detaching from larger contacts. "

"Energy Spikes from primary contacts!"

"Minimum Damage on targets!"

"Incoming Fire!"

"Sir, Frigate screen reports enemy using log range directed energy weapons!"

"Frigate screen down to 50% effectiveness!"

"Parasite contacts entering atmosphere, we are unable to intercept!"

"Sir, enemy superdread is targeting us!"

"Evasive maneuvers!"

The port battery of Heavy Naval PPCs on the werewolf fired as one. Of 12 particle beams, 10 hit the Palaven's Spear. The ship was not designed to withstand such a bombardment. Induced currents in the hull of the ship dramatically changed the charge of the eezo core that drove the massive dreadnought. The apparent mass of the ship increased for an instant to 1,000,000 times normal and the structure was unable to withstand the massive load. The hull cracked like an eggshell, exposing the entire internal structure to vacuum instantly and warping the ship. Palaven's Spear was no more.

Sons and daughters of the blood legacy

Inspire me as I sing,
Of the deaths dealt out on Tukayyid
And of what our warriors faced and bravely fought:
Help me paint a portrait of an apocalypse.

- The Remembrance, Passage 328, Verse 1, Lines 1-5

The DropShips of Alpha Galaxy fell towards the surface of Shanxi on columns of nuclear fire. 4 combat clusters and a command trinary on their way to the surface to uphold their legacy. To fight with honor against those who would see the people of Terra destroyed. Theirs was a solemn duty. To fight against the dishonored Turians who would target civilians rather than fight the warriors of the Systems Alliance, who would use orbital bombardment as a weapon, who would fire upon ships not part of the batchall. The 'Mechs and Elementals of Alpha Galaxy would teach the Turians the error of their ways at the barrel of a gun and lens of a laser.

One Broadsword dropped its star of 3 Timber Wolves, 1 Stormcrow, and 1 Summoner near a battalion sized concentration of Turian troops. The Turians were stunned by the rapid deployment of 5 massive OmniMechs that dwarfed any equipment they had available. The shock was short lived as lances of blue and yellow light streaked from the arms of the war machines, burning through the Turian tanks nearest the drop point. The Turians attempted to counter attack, but they had never experienced an attack from units similar to these. They had no idea how to effectively combat the new threat. Given enough time they could have developed an effective anti- 'Mech response, but the star did not give them the opportunity to plan. They moved rapidly through the formation, destroying vehicles and armor with lasers and missiles and hosing down infantry with their machine guns. 10 minutes later, the battalion was destroyed, at the cost of 2 Timber Wolf missile pods damaged and an arm blown off the Stormcrow.

Across Shanxi dozens of similar engagements occurred quickly reducing the Turian ground forces to a leaderless, uncoordinated remnant. The battle that just an hour before had seemed a guaranteed victory for the Turians was now for the Humans to lose.

Then the order came, "Furl the sails.

Ready for jump, mighty warriors.
We journey back, we journey home

- The Remembrance, Passage 272, Verse 8, Lines 11-13

After their crushing defeat of the Turian invasion force, the Clan Wolf forces re-embarked on their DropShips and returned to the Warships in orbit. Before jumping out of the system they made one more broadcast to the garrison on Shanxi.

"And the ilKhan give us his final words,

Charging us to protect those
With whom we found refuge in our time of need.
In this, our final duty, we shall not fail."

When the Second Fleet of the Human Systems Alliance arrived at Shanxi 3 days later, they found a cloud of debris caught in orbit around the world which was all that was left of the Turian fleet and those DropShips unlucky enough to have been hit with ordnance meant for one of the larger WarShips.

On the planet, the reinforcements found the surviving Turian soldiers under Human guard in the camps meant for the civilian population. They told stories of 20 meter tall metal demons spraying hellfire and death on the battlefield. Inspection of battlefields saw destruction on a massive scale, but the battles were mostly fought far from colonial infrastructure, and where there was a risk of damage, interrogations revealed that only light Wolf forces were deployed.

Salvage and recovery operations also recovered a few working examples of Clan Wolf DEWs. With the destruction of Turian forces at Shanxi, Humanity joined the Citadel with a much stronger position than they otherwise might have. They were able to arm their ships and vehicles with effective laser weaponry within 10 years, a feat thought impossible for many hundreds of years by the conventional wisdom of Citadel space.

Clan Wolf in Exile became a space Sasquatch. Every deep space trader had a story about how their friend's brother knew a guy who had seen the Clan Wolf home world, or had seen a strange ship that disappeared in a flash of light far from any relay. They were a mystery. No expedition sent to find them had succeeded, and yet threats to humanity seemed to disappear in frighteningly similar ways.

Commander Shepard, the first human Spectre, chased the rogue Saren Arterius across the terminus systems, only to find him dead and his base destroyed at Virmire, with laser scoring on the buildings and massive foot prints in the sand. Then two years later when he went to destroy the collector base he found the facility gutted by particle weaponry.

Now though the greatest threat to humanity had reared its head. The reapers were invading Earth. Despite warnings from the Intelligence and Special Operations communities of the Human Systems Alliance, the politicians had failed to prepare and now there seemed to be no hope for Earth.

For the day will come and our kin will stand

On Terra's firm soil, ready to rebuild
The Star League with their hearts and hands.

- The Remembrance, Passage 72, Verse 22, Lines 14-16

"I am Khan PatrikFetladral of Clan Wolf in Exile. I bid the entire Clan Touman in defense of Terra."