A/N: Mass Effect 3 crossover with final Fantasy 7: crisis core. Rated T for violence, some swearing. There may be some romance (we'll see) but no slash.
Disclaimer: I own neither Bioware nor SquareEnix.
The Crucible dumps Shepard on Gaia. The first human Spectre becomes the first female SOLDIER as well as their first elite Sniper. Her uncanny ability to bring reason to unreasonable situations will alter the fate of the entire planet, but especially that of her three First Class friends.
"You can pay a soldier to fire a gun. You can pay him to charge the enemy and take a hill. But you can't pay him to believe."
Shepard's head was pounding.
Noise was happening somewhere. She cracked her eyes open only for her vision to swim; all she could make out was a vague orange haze. She couldn't feel any of her limbs. What had happened?
"The created will always rebel against their creators… the result is conflict, destruction, chaos. It is inevitable… "
The memories flickered through her mind's haze. She would have cringed if she'd had the strength.
"You're taking away our future! Without a future, we have no hope. Without hope, we might as well be machines, programmed to do what we're told."
She had fought against the Reapers for so long. So much was at stake and she had given her all. The cause had consumed her; the need to save as many as possible, to stop the harvest, to end the cycle.
An end, once and for all.
We find a new solution
An entire galaxy united: a chance for survival bought by the sacrifice of billions. And it all ended with the placid speeches of a mad AI.
The paths are open
Was this victory?
You have to choose.
"Ma'am? This is a restricted area, you can't stay here. How did you even get up here?"
She must have passed out again. Where was she? She slowly opened her eyes and was greeted with a lovely orange sunset over a perfectly still ocean. How pretty.
But wasn't she on the citadel? There weren't any oceans on the citadel. Unless you counted the lakes on the presidium, but they couldn't be oceans, they didn't even have fish.
Shepard suspected she was slightly delirious. Her thoughts usually made a little more sense. It was probably shock and exhaustion then. Alongside a generous helping of blood loss and probably even organ rupture and implant failure. How was she still alive?
Were the Reapers still alive?
"Ma'am. I can't let you stay here."
Blinking, Shepard looked for whoever was speaking. She was sitting on a ledge and leaning against a girder. Beneath the ledge was some kind of tiered urban area, gradually descending into the ocean. How the hell did she get up here?
She was in the shade of a massive metal structure far above her and sticking out over the city and the ocean. It almost looked like some kind of cannon, but that was stupid, why would anybody waste time with artillery fixed at a horizontal angle?
Next to her was a human soldier wearing a uniform she didn't recognize. His eyes were hidden by a bulky helmet with three forward facing red lights on it. It looked a little like the ancient night vision goggles earth's militaries once used. He must have been the one who had spoken.
"How long have I been here?" she asked, twisting her neck, trying to find any angle that didn't hurt like a hit from a thresher maw.
"I don't know." He said "I'm on patrol in this area. You need to leave."
"Right. I'll get out of your way." She carefully started climbing to her feet, staggering at the explosion of agony that lit up every nerve ending. She gasped and almost fell to her knees but caught herself just in time. Gritting her teeth, she pulled herself up to her full height, refusing to be knocked over by the pain. She was pretty sure even death itself hadn't been this painful. She could almost feel her damaged cybernetic implants straining to fix all her injuries. The soldier held out a hand to steady her but drew back at her sharp look.
"I'm alright." She said, taking a deep breath and willing it to be true. "I just need you to point me to the nearest Alliance office."
"Uh, what alliance office, ma'am?"
"The Systems Alliance." She said, examining her omni-tool . Broken. Of course it was. And her suit was all out of medi-gel. At least her rifle was still on her back.
She looked up to see the soldier giving her a puzzled look.
"System's… Alliance?" he repeated dumbly.
What was wrong with this guy?
"Yes. The Systems Alliance." she said slowly. This was probably Earth; there was no way he didn't know what the Alliance was, especially after the war effort.
"Given the size of this place they must have an office, probably even a base somewhere. If you could direct me. Please." She finished tersely. She was not in the mood for this nonsense; she needed to find out if the crucible had worked correctly, where was the Normandy, was her crew all right? Were the Reapers dead? Was it truly over?
"Systems, systems… Hang on; are you with the tech guys? I think the server rooms are back through the other way." He scratched the back of his neck while obviously looking her over, "Heh, didn't know you needed armour to fix computers. Or have they started fighting back?" he laughed at his little joke.
Shepard punched him.
Nearly ten minutes later Shepard was sitting slouched in a little bar and trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
After punching the idiot infantryman the whole situation had only become more baffling.
Once off the ledge she'd realised that she was actually on the edge of a busy airfield. She was lucky no one had seen her or the infantryman currently passed out on the ground.
The Airfield was both familiar and completely foreign. Its military efficiency was a soothing comfort, and yet utterly surreal because the tarmac was filled with planes.
Actual planes. Not replicas, not ships with wings added for aerodynamic purposes when re-entering atmo, actual old school aeroplanes. With spinning rotors and rickety wings and everything.
And people were using them. It was as bustling as any military run way she'd seen and nearly 200 years out of date.
Her mind turned back to the giant canon pointing over the city. Fixed at a horizontal angle and pointed over the ocean, as though its designers had never even heard of orbital bombardment.
But then, no, they probably hadn't because… planes.
The exhaustion and mounting confusion had finally gotten to her and she'd taken refuge in the closest public place she could find. A slew of other infantrymen looked at her and the gun on her back suspiciously as she limped through what was clearly a restricted area.
And that was how she ended up here. It was a nearly empty little pub with tacky plastic seats and a grimy bar that reflected up a distorted picture of her. The whole place smelt of disinfectant and whatever foul mess it had failed to sterilize. The only other people there were a man and a woman sitting at the far end of the bar and wearing old blue suits, the sort that went with an old fashioned tie. They looked at Shepard curiously when she entered.
She collapsed onto one of the barstools, resting her head in her hands. Her absolutely filthy armour was dropping flakes of dried blood everywhere and leaving stains that would likely outlive an Asari.
Her state of semi delirium was getting worse. Her body was beyond dire straits and she knew it, but her mind wasn't quite operating well enough for her to know what to do. Her eyes skimmed a nearby newspaper (made of actual paper) and felt her confusion grow all the greater.
No mention of Reapers. Instead it was all about some big power company and growing unemployment levels. In fact, now it occurred to her that the wildly out of date airstrip hadn't shown any sign of the war effort either. What did it all mean? What was happening?
Where the hell was she?
Maybe she was dead. And the afterlife was set in the late 1900s. She had expected 'across the sea' to be a little more relaxing. A mixture of hope and dread filled her at the thought.
Then a bitter laugh welled up from inside of her. This wasn't death. She should know. Wherever Thane's spirit had gone, it wasn't here.
Perhaps she was actually in a coma in a hospital on earth, with Garrus and Tali weeping beside her bed.
Screaming from outside drew her attention from the crushing tail spin her thoughts had fallen into.
She spun around at the same time as the two suits in the bar, searching out the source. Outside the window civilians ran past yelling in terror. An inhuman screech broke through the air and threatened to break the windows. A woman ran by clutching her bleeding arm while a man staggered as best he could while covered in blistering burns.
Shepard leapt up, her instincts kicking in. Her body was sluggish and screaming in pain but her mind honed in on the sounds of carnage. The steady focus she felt in combat stilled her thoughts before she could wonder at the absolute folly of what she was doing.
She charged out of the bar, her rifle extending from its compact state on her back, she lifted it and swung the heavy Black Widow rifle around to a ready position.
Outside the bar she was met with a baffling sight. Some kind of bird was the centre of all the carnage and it was on fire. It didn't seem to be burning up though; it almost looked like it was made of fire. As she took in the situation the creature flicked a long stream of flames at those nearest it.
Snapping into action, she raised her rifle and lined up her shot. A deafening bang sounded and the familiar recoil slammed solidly against her shoulder.
The flaming creature only seemed to soak up the shot. It trilled loudly and focused in on Shepard, fire still raging in its wake.
The repeating clack of much smaller firearms sounded next to her. The man and woman from the bar were shooting from handguns that made no more difference then her own.
Behind the bird and all of its havoc there was a man screaming and waving around a small red ball of some kind. The creature didn't attack him; instead it moved wherever he pointed the ball.
He was yelling about 'Shinra taking everything', whatever that meant, and something about energy and the planet that didn't mean anything to Shepard either. What she did understand was that this man was attacking civilians.
The bird soared closer and Shepard rolled out of the way, taking cover behind a car (with actual wheels). The man and woman dove in the opposite direction.
The clack of ineffective pistols sounded again, drawing the creature's focus. Her biotics flared and she leapt up and threw a biotic warp at the creature, the sudden rush of gravitational fields tearing it apart at a molecular level. As the bird fell back with a deafening screech, flailing its wings in pain, Shepard spun with her rifle and found the man with the red orb in the cross hairs.
His arm exploded and he fell with a scream. The red orb bounced away from him.
The bird stilled; it's screeching halting instantly. The flames writhed wildly around it for a moment and then the whole thing disintegrated into ash.
Silence filled the street, the soft crackle of small fires the only sound. The air stank of burning rubber.
"The hell was that?" Shepard muttered, lowering her rifle. The man and woman from the bar were staring at her.
The rush of adrenaline she'd felt at the small fight was swiftly draining out of her again and she felt light headed. Her body took that moment to remind her that she was severely, catastrophically, injured and her gun was damn heavy. Unwilling to drop such an old friend she went to return the now collapsed gun to its place on her back.
Her vision started to swim and she was on the ground before she knew that her legs had given out. The last thing she saw before her consciousness fled was the man from the bar running towards her.
A/N: I hope you're all quite ready for another adventure. Thanks for reading, if you've time I'd love a review.
Next Time: Questions, Answers, and an Offer you can't refuse.