After Colony 203 – Humanity shocked the Galaxy by being the first species to reject joining the Citadel. But when they explained their reasons, they left the Galaxy in silence. Now, Humanity must set itself on a new path, one with an unclear end, and unknown dangers.
Gundam Wing: Shattered Dreams. Chapter 6 - Towards a new beginning
Relena stood in the observation Deck of Peacemillion once more. Looking at a slowly shrinking Citadel, Relena could only sigh softly to herself. Sensing her mood, Heero asked "What's wrong Relena?"
Relena glanced back at him before turning back towards the Citadel. "I'm not sure I made the right decision Heero." The Ambassador crosses her hands in front of her stomach. "Do you think we should have joined them? Should humanity have made a different choice? Do you believe we were too rash or unnecessarily harsh? Did we come off as having a 'holier than thou' attitude? I just can't help but feel worried for the future."
Heero moved forward and hugs Relena from behind. She leans back into the lithe but muscular frame, taking comfort in his warmth and strength. Heero spoke, "Humans have always been stubborn. All you did was present Humanity's will to the Galaxy. We have chosen our path. All that's left to do is see where it takes us, for good or ill."
The two stayed entwined together, looking at the Citadel until it became too small to see and Peacemillion left the system.
Though shocked by Humanity's rejection, the Citadel Species still had outstanding issues that needed to be resolved with the Systems Alliance.
The first call of business is the return of the Alien prisoners. This had been previously set up between Matriarch Lidanya and Noin while Relena met with the Citadel Ambassadors. So three days after the departure of Peacemillion through Relay 314, the prisoner transport ships left Shanxi.
Onboard one of the many ships, which are converted Mobile Suit transports, is Rickis Soltun, current acting commander of the Eclipse forces. The Salarian wasn't the 2nd in command. He wasn't the 3rd, 4th or even 5th in line. But command fell to him when everyone above him died and the others deferred to him or basically lost it.
Still, things could be worse. The humans had unknowingly done all the prisoners a favor by releasing them to the Citadel Governments. Had they been released to the Hegemony, the prisoners would have become Slaves as both a punishment and to offset the loss of credits incurred by their failed raid. The worst the Citadel would do is keep them locked up for the majority of their remaining years.
Feeling the tell-tale energy discharge that comes from using a Mass Relay, Rickis prepared himself to move. Indeed, it only took only about half an hour before a Turian voice came through the speakers. "Prisoners, this is Major Tarsis of the Turian Hierarchy. You will momentarily be transferred to Citadel prisoner transport ships which will take all of you to a holding facility until your trial. Do not resist, the Citadel has given my men and I clearance to use lethal force if we deem it necessary and I promise you: I deem it necessary. Follow the commands, do not resist and you will live."
Rickis snorted. Typical Turian, shoot first and ask questions later. Still, no use in making their bad situation worse. Rickis ordered the surviving Eclipse members to not do anything stupid, like start a fight or try to escape. Even though they had no need to follow his orders, they still did so with the professionalism that separates Eclipse from other mercenary bands.
Soon enough their cell doors opened, allowing the prisoners to leave. Looking the down the corridor the prisoners spotted two Human soldiers, flanked by two of their smaller Mechs, who ordered the prisoners to approach in two lines. The prisoners all followed the order and are shortly moved to the more familiar Citadel designed ships. For many of them, this would not be the first time they entered a Turian prison ship, so they knew where to go without being reminded by some of the overzealous Turian guards.
Settling down in his cell with the others, Rickis figured it would take three to four days to get to their destination. So it came as a surprise when one day later, one of the Turian guards approached his cell and said "Rickis Soltun. Come with me."
Though confused, Rickis didn't talk back or ask any questions simply approaching the door and stepping out when it is unlocked. The Turian cuffed him before roughly grabbing the Salarians arm and forcefully leading him through the ship. From memory, Rickis concluded that he is being lead to the interrogation room. He is proven correct about a minute later. The Merc figured that they would try to do some of the interrogation during the trip to save time processing everyone later on.
But he was proven wrong when the Guard simply opened the door and pushed him in, locking Rickis inside alone.
Or not, as it turned out.
"Rickis Soltun. Former STG and current acting commander of the Eclipse forces that illegally accessed Relay 314."
Turning towards the voice, Rickis sees a Salarian in STG armor with several data pads stacked neatly in front of him sitting at the only table in the room. Now Rickis understood the situation, and exactly what it entailed.
"From the tensing and relaxing of your muscles, as well as widening of the eyes and unclenching of your fists, may I assume correctly that you know why I am here?" the STG agent asked.
Rickis did indeed know, but needed confirmation before proceeding. "Perhaps."
The agent did the equivalent of a smirk, motioning for Rickis to sit across from him. Rickis did so, still on edge.
"As you have been, ahem, guests of the Galaxy's newest discovered citizens, you rightly assume that I am here to ask you questions regarding them. I will be interviewing many prisoners in the following months, but I thought it best to start with an ex-STG agent before moving on to the more… mentally deficient prisoners."
Rickis snorted in annoyance and amusement. "You know, and you know that I know you know, that I did not fight directly against the Humans, or interact with them that much. Why start with me?"
"Just because you did not fight them does not mean you did not learn anything from them. And your STG training would have allowed you to remember things that others would forget."
"True," the prisoner mused, "so what will I be getting out of this?"
The agent gave him an annoyed look. "We will bump you to the front of the sentencing que and make sure to note that you were cooperative. After that, I leave it up to whomever prosecutes your case."
Rickis frowned. Something's missing, he would need more data. "What kind of information do you want?"
"Just your observations on their technology, what kind of tactics you encountered, things like that."
Rickis's frown merely grew. "Why would you need that information? When the Humans joined the Citadel they would have shared that information whether they wanted to or not. The only reason you would need to ask me those questions would be if…. they….." Rickis became wide eyed, "they didn't join the Citadel?" he asks in shock.
The Agent didn't reply but that was all the answer Rickis needed. The prisoner broke out in laughter at that. Oh, the Agent made a mistake coming to him first. The other prisoners would have spilled their guts out without a second thought at the initial offer. Now though, Rickis knows the information he has is worth more than early sentencing and a reliance on the good will of a slaver hating civilian. And should he spread that knowledge to the rest of the prisoners, the Agent will have a much harder time and make more compromises than he would like. Now Rickis has leverage.
Finished laughing, Rickis once more addressed the Agent. "Now that I have all the data, I ask again; what's in it for me?"
The Agent pursed his lips and looked at Rickis with narrowed eyes before stating "The STG will have whatever sentence you have reduced."
"Not good enough. I want guarantees that my men and I will not get the death penalty."
The Citadel wasn't planning on killing them anyways. "Agreed."
"And I want any sentence for me and my men reduced by one half across the board."
"Not possible," the Agent dismissed, "We can reduce it by 10%."
"You're going to need to do better than that."
The Agent pursed his lips again. "We can reduce it by 15%, no more than that."
"Make it 20% and you have a deal."
"Only if you guarantee that this deal does not spread past your men and that they cooperate fully with us. If the STG hears even a rumor of this agreement all of your sentences automatically double. Triple, in your case. Do we have an agreement?"
"I want this in writing." The Agent nodded, causing Rickis to smirk. "Then I agree. What does the STG want to know about these newcomers?"
The Agent started the recording device. "Tell me about their Mobile Suits."
The day of the prisoner swap, another Human ship crossed Relay 314, making its way to the Citadel. A Systems Alliance Cruiser, it holds the Human Ambassador to the Citadel and a special negotiator.
Arriving at its destination, the Cruiser pulls up alongside the Citadel before a gold colored shuttle is deployed from one of the hanger bays.
Palin and Suri are once again awaiting the Human Ambassador, though the number of C-Sec personnel are kept to a minimum.
The Systems Alliance shuttle soon touches down. Instead of fully armored soldiers, four Preventers Agents are assigned to guard the Ambassador and Special negotiator.
The Negotiator leads the way over to Palin. Stopping before them, the blond Negotiator introduces herself. "Greetings. I am Dorothy Catalonia-Winner, Special Negotiator for the Systems Alliance. With me is Anita Goyle, who will be our Ambassador to the Citadel."
"I am Executor Palin, in charge of the security forces on the Citadel."
"I am Ambassador Suri, the Citadel Ambassador." This is a new position opened within the past two weeks. It was decided that a permanent Diplomatic Corps is needed, one that could act on behalf of the Citadel Council rather than the individual governments. They would also be in charge of first contact with any new species discovered, rather than relying on whomever the Citadel could scrounge up at the last moment. "I understand the reason Ambassador Goyle is here, but may I know the reason you have also arrived Madam Dorothy?"
"No problem Ambassador Suri," Dorothy smoothly replies, "While Ambassador Goyle here will stay on this station long term, I am here merely to discuss our initial relations. Travel, Military cooperation, trade with the individual species, so forth and so on. I will be here, at most, six months though I believe I should be done within 3."
"I understand. Please, follow me, I will show you to where the Council has set aside a building for your embassy. Will the rest of your staff be arriving today?" asks Suri as she leads them towards their destination.
"Yes. They will arrive today to begin planning for the embassy layout, and will start work tomorrow while Ambassador Goyle and I meet with the other Species Ambassadors."
Gathered in the Private Chambers, the Council looks at the Systems Alliance representative through the station security cameras.
Tevos turns to Eslein, ignoring the live stream for now. "So Eslein, when will the STG start interviewing the returned prisoners?"
Urrip responded for Eslein. "They already started the interview process yesterday. And before you ask Vorex, we kept the deal to a 20% reduction while letting them think they had the upper hand." Indeed, the Council was willing to reduce their time by half but the prisoners failed to understand how much the Citadel needed that information.
Vorex nodded. "Very well. Now, I trust you did not install any recording devices in areas that they would find objectionable in their embassy have you?"
Eslein shook her head. "The main lobby, the bathroom, what we hope will be their break room and a few other places. None in the individual offices at the moment, but it should be easy to do so if it becomes necessary." She pauses. "I'm surprised you and your government are not more aggressive against them, considering that they are an unknown power outside of our control."
Vorex snorted. "As much as the rest of the galaxy sees us as warmongers, the current Primarch and I do not wish to see our Sons and Daughters die for nothing. These newcomers have done nothing wrong and are free to do what they wish amongst themselves. Also…" he pauses, before hesitantly saying "what their first Ambassador said before she left resonated with a great many of our people."
This is something that none of them have talked about. The words spoken aloud by Ambassador Darlian shook many of them to their core. This in turn had many individuals questioning themselves and their actions. Many didn't like what they found. And though it is slow, for the first time in centuries the Citadel is changing. Small things. Quiet things. But they are happening.
"Regardless," says Tevos, changing the subject, "let's move on to our next item of business. Eslein, has the STG determined why the Batarians attacked the Human convoy?"
"Yes. According to our spies, the Hegemon had no intention of attacking the Humans again." She received questioning looks from the other two. "He hoped to either provoke a response from the Human forces or intimidate the Ambassador with their presence. It was a gamble, and not a very well thought out one."
"I figured it would be something like that" says Vorex. "If they truly had meant to attack the Humans here all of the ships would have fired in a coordinated strike. It was probably some upstart ship Captain disobeying orders. That's what happens when you promote people based on bribes rather than merit."
"I trust the STG is monitoring the situation?" Tevos states more than asks.
"Or Course." Replies Eslein.
"Very well. On to the next matter of business."
A week passed on the station, during which time the Systems Alliance finished setting up their embassy. Mobile Suits themselves are not allowed on the Citadel, though exceptions are made for the Mini Dolls. Two are stationed at the entrance, one behind the receptionist and several more are dispersed throughout the embassy at key locations.
Security is handled mainly by the Marines, though five Preventers agents are on hand.
As a gesture or welcome, and because it is more practical, the Citadel Governments meet with the Special Ambassador at the Human Embassy.
The Turians are first.
"Unfortunately Ambassador Tirdus, we will not be exporting our Mobile Suit technology in the near future."
"Are you sure Ambassador Catalonia? The Turian Hierarchy will pay very well for one of your base model Mobile Suits."
"Yes. Using Mobile Suits is a contentious matter for our own people. I'm afraid selling them for a profit would be something our Government would not allow, at least for the short term."
"Very well. What about the beam weaponry you use?"
Then the Asari.
"We will, of course, be welcome to the exchange of tourism and culture. As of right now, the Systems Alliance is in the design phase for a space station on our side of the Shanxi Relay to facilitate travel and trade with the Citadel Governments. Construction should be complete within four months."
Then the Salarians.
"As I told Ambassador Tirdus, we will not be selling Beam Weaponry or Mobile Suits in the foreseeable future."
"What about your power generation technology?"
"That is allowed, though within reason of course. What is the power output you are looking for?"
Then the Volus.
"Our main import would most likely be Element Zero, though our needs have been met for the next five years thanks to the Reparations. Of course, raw materials are never looked down upon."
"shhhhck… What do you expect to be your main exports?"
"That, my dear Ambassador, depends entirely on what you need."
Then the Elcor.
"If you are not interested in trading goods, what type of trade are you looking for?"
"With excitement: We are interested in cultural and entertainment products such as Movies and Books. With great anticipation: Do you have any literature that I may sample?"
"Well, I have a copy of Hamlet I could give you. It is a story written by one of the best playwrights in the history of humanity. Are you interested in it Ambassador?"
Finally, it's time for the Hanar.
"As I informed the Asari Ambassador, we will start accepting tourist within the next four months, once our main trading station is complete. Your um, priests, are of course welcome to visit."
"This one is thankful for your acceptance Ambassador."
"Not at all. Is there anything else?"
"This one has one more question. This one wonders, would your Space Colonies be for sale?"
Dorothy blinks at the question. This is the first time that someone has been interested in buying one of their Space Colonies. "…Yes Ambassador, I believe my Government would be willing to allow the sale of Space Colonies to the Citadel species."
The Hanar flashes several colors in excitement. "What is the average population that one of your Space Colonies can hold? What kind of weather patterns can be controlled inside the colony? What types of environments can be created?"
Dorothy observes the Hanar Ambassador before answering honestly. "Our Space Colony generally holds between Fifteen and Twenty Two Million humans, though it requires a minimum of Eight Million to generate enough taxes in order to pay for the upkeep of any given Colony. Weather patterns are limited to either sunny, light to medium rainfall or light to medium snowfall. We can recreate most climates, though I am unsure if we can make one that can be filled completely with water."
"This one does not wish to fill a Space Colony with water. This one wonders if you can create a Space Colony with a specific climate in mind."
"They want what?" asks Anita Goyle.
"A Space Colony modeled after a dry desert environment." Says Dorothy, sipping her tea. The two are meeting in Anita's official office. "Apparently, they have a Client Race living on their home world that originates from a desert planet. The Hanar home world is a very humid water planet. This causes the client race to get sick due to the vastly different nature of their evolutionary physiology."
"Why can't the client race go back to their own home world then?" Anita is drinking coffee, her eighth cup that day. Setting up a permanent office on short notice is taking its toll on her.
"Their home world is no longer habitable. It is only through the actions of the Hanar that there are any Drell left alive in the Galaxy. Simply put, there is no other place for them to go."
Anita sighs, rubbing her forehead. Another thing to take care of. "I'll contact Arcturus tomorrow. Do you have a report I can send along with the request?"
"I already sent it to your terminal."
"Thank you Lady Winner, I will go over it tonight." Anita refills her cup of coffee again.
October – AC 203, Arcturus Station
The Cabinet members of the Systems Alliance are currently meeting, discussing the request of the Hanar Ambassador.
"Ladies and Gentleman, what are your thoughts?" asks the President.
"As long as the Weapons are stripped, I do not see any danger in selling a Space Colony to the Citadel Government." States the Minister of Defense.
"But what about our technology? Once they get a hold of one of our Space Colonies they could reverse engineer it and build their own!" exclaims the Minister of Technology.
"Oh please," says the Trade Minister dismissively, "If you're afraid of them reverse engineering everything we make what purpose is there in trading with them at all. At most, they learn of our construction techniques or what type of materials we use, but they still lack the experience we have in actually building and maintaining the Space Colonies." The Minister looks up and down the table. "Think about it. We sell them the Colony then we sell them the service of upkeep and maintenance."
"We're not trying to gouge them" chastises the Culture Minister. "Still though, I am for this deal. It will help cement our standing with one of our neighbors and show the Galaxy that we are both compassionate and generous."
"And once we show how dependable and durable our Colonies are" says the Economic Minister, "more and more species would be interested in purchasing Space Colonies." The Minister looks up and down the table. "You all know that orders for new Space Colonies have drastically reduced since the Systems Alliance has started Planet Based Colonies. This can help revitalize the industry. Think about it: the Citadel Species will be running out of space on Garden Worlds within the next century at their current estimates. They will no doubt try to build their own Space Colonies eventually, but if we start now we can corner the market permanently."
Murmurs of agreement float above the gathered Ministers. The President asks another question. "Foreign Minister Relena. You are the only one here who has met with the Aliens personally. What are your thoughts on this matter?"
Relena folds her hand on the table in front of her. "I believe that we should go ahead and sell them a Colony. Doing so shows our compassion to the plight of others, as well as demonstrate our engineering capabilities."
"Very well" replies the President. "Are we all in agreement?"
"Good news Ambassador" says Dorothy. She is visiting the Hanar in their Embassy. "I have received word that Parliament has agreed to the export of Space Colonies to the Citadel Governments."
"This one is joyful at this news. This one wonders, how soon can we expect delivery on the Space Colony?"
"The timing of your request is actually quite fortuitous Ambassador. A new Space Colony has just been finished for delivery to the Shanxi system. The original Colonist have agreed to wait for another Colony to be built while this one is sold to the Hanar." Catherine pulls out a data pad, handing it to her Hanar counterpart. "This is a breakdown of what is on the Colony, as well as the price to purchase said Colony and the cost of moving it from Human Space to Hanar Space. The company in charge of building the Colony has agreed to sell it at cost. The company moving the Colony has agreed to move it at cost as well. If you agree to the purchase within the next four days we can have it in place next month."
The Hanar scrolls through before getting to the price. It shimmers in surprise when it sees the total. "Are you sure this number is correct?"
"Yes. We can work out a payment system. Terms are 20% down payment with annual payments to be made for the next twenty years."
The Hanar turns to Dorothy and looks (?) at her with surprise. "This one's Government can pay for this. It is no more than the startup cost of a new Planetary Colony. This one's government has already put aside funds for such a day that a suitable planet has been found for the Drell."
Dorothy smiles. "That's good to hear Ambassador. How soon would you like the Colony delivered?"
November AC 203, Council Side of Relay 314
It took quite a while to work out the details of transferring such a large object in Council Space. Today is the day that is agreed upon, a Turian fleet ready to help guard the Colony during the transfer through Citadel Space.
News agencies have ships in the system where Relay 314 is with plans to follow the transfer from beginning to end, which would take roughly 2-3 weeks.
One of those ships belong to the Citadel Reporters Network, the largest source of news for the Citadel Species. Inside their ship sits Lorissa Nassus, their head journalist. Sitting across from Lorissa is Dorothy Catalonia-Winner. This will be her final day in Citadel Space and had agreed to the interview before transferring all her duties to Anita Goyle.
The Salarian tech signals that they are about to go live. Lorissa looks into the camera, waiting until the light turns green. "Thank you Corvex. I am reporting live from the Citadel side of Relay 314. With me now is Ambassador Winner, who will be travelling back to Systems Alliance Space after the transfer of the Space Colony is complete. Ambassador Winner, thank you for taking time to sit down with us."
"No problem Lorissa." Dorothy smiles back.
Lorissa leans forward, "So tell me Ambassador, why has the Systems Alliance agreed to the sale of a Space Colony? The Human Government has barred the sale of most items to the Citadel Species."
Dorothy demurely responds. "First, let me clarify that the Systems Alliance has not barred many items for sale to the Citadel Species. Most items barred from sale are weapons used for war. As such, we viewed the sale of a Space Colony as a means to show we are not opposed to the sale of large scale civilian goods. We have only started relations with the Citadel after all. Once the trust between our people have increased, the sale of Mobile Suits and Beam weaponry may be permitted. Second, once our main trading outpost on the other side of the Relay is complete trade will start to flow more evenly between our people. The Systems Alliance will allow a Task Force of Citadel Ships and inspectors so that a redundant station does not need to exist on this side of the Relay."
"Your Government is going to secede control of the Relay to the Citadel?" asks Lorissa, shocked.
"Yes" Dorothy replies easily. "In exchange, all trade between our two Governments will go through our station in our space. This way, both Governments will be able to control the trade process on a somewhat even footing."
"I see" replies Lorissa, a thoughtful look upon her face. "Thank you for explaining that Ambassador. Are there any plans in the works to sell more Space Colonies?"
"As of right now, no other Governments or private entities have contacted us in regards to the purchase of a Colony. They are taking a 'wait and see' approach to determine the benefits of running a Space Colony themselves." Says Dorothy.
"Understandable. Now, how long do you estimate it will take before this trade process begins?" is the next question.
"Construction on the trade station is roughly half way done, though a few complications have popped up due to some resource shortages." Answers the Ambassador. "Still, the superstructure should be complete this month. The interior buildings and life support systems will be installed next with testing and systems check complete by the end of our calendar year. The new year is when we expect the Trade Station to be open."
The Omni-tool Lorissa uses lights up. She reads the notification before turning back to Dorothy. "I have just received an update that the Colony will be transitioning through the Relay soon. Would you mind staying with me while we witness this event?"
"I would be glad to." Replied Dorothy, smiling. They both turn behind them, the wall revealing itself to be a floor to ceiling video screen.
The Image, being broadcast live across the Galaxy, shows four Systems Alliance Frigates exiting the Relay, followed by two Cruisers. All six ships immediately make a 90 degree turn. Lorissa opens a notice on her Omni-tool again. "The Systems Alliance are warning all ships to move out of the Relay exit vector. The corridor of space they say to vacate spans half the system!" she says in surprise.
"Yes" replies Dorothy, "As you know, travel through a Relay is not exactly precise. Few are able to exit less than 2000 Km from the Relay itself. Moving an object the size of a Space Colony through a Relay, the drift sometimes ends up being several Astronomical Units in length."
Any more words are silenced as the Mass Relay gets brighter. The spinning increases, the light becoming more intense before the Space Colony appears, one half AU from the Relay.
Lorissa can feel her mouth opening at what she had witnessed. Goddess, it was like moving the Citadel! She understood that the Space Colony would be quite large in order to fit millions but the sheer scale of it is mind boggling!
The Human ships move to take their positions alongside the Colony, with the Turian ships moving moments after them. They slowly made their way to the edge of the system, towards the next adjoining Relay.
Lorissa simply watches, astounded, until her Omni-tool activates again. Breaking out of her shock she reads the message, which is from the producers, telling her to end the segment. Composing herself, the reporter turns to the camera. "The Space Colony purchased by the Hanar has just transitioned into Citadel Space. This is Lorissa Nassus, Citadel News, signing off. Back to you Corvex."
February AC 204, Approaching Relay 314
Today is the day the Citadel Species will enter formally enter Systems Alliance Space. Supporting a core team of around sixty members, about a thousand Aliens representing the Citadel Governments will call the new Trading station home, not including the Defense Fleet that will be permanently attached.
Vortus Trantus is the leader of the, for lack of a better word, expedition into Human Space. He, like everyone else, has been amazed at the Human's ability to move an object 20 Km in diameter at FTL speeds. He's amazed they were able to build it at all, the amount of resources is mind boggling.
Now he stands on the viewing deck of a passenger ship, waiting. "This is the Captain speaking, we have just received the go ahead from the Systems Alliance. All personnel, prepare for Relay Jump."
Everyone got up to get a better view through the wide windows of the viewing deck. Once through the Relay, all the ships made way towards the trading station, situated halfway between the systems star and the Relay.
As they neared their destination Vortus can see a Titan station nearby, there to protect the trading station from attacks. This is due to the trading station not having any weapons emplacements on it. Vortus marvels at the Space Fortress, hoping that one day the Hierarchy can get ahold of one though that is unlikely.
Turning his attention to the unarmed station, he is interrupted by a Salarian to the right screaming "THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE!" near his ear. Vortus clapped his talons to his head, turning to glare at the Salarian who is busy pushing buttons on his Omni-tool.
"Selorus," Vortus says. The Salarian keeps ignoring him however. So Vortus simply grabbed the being by the arm and turned him to face the Turian. "For what reason did you have to exclaim so loudly that you nearly deafened me."
"Apologies sir" says Selorus. Selorus is part of the security contingent, the part that reports back to the STG and Citadel Intelligence. Selorus looks back at his Omni-tool readouts. "I've tapped in to the ships sensors and used them to check the size of the space stations. The Titan station matches the reports we received, 4 Km long and 1 Km in diameter. However, the trading station is 40 Km long and 11 Km in diameter." The beings around him stop and stare at that statement. Vortus turns back towards the Trading Station, and he can see it getting larger and larger. Up close, it truly looks like the Citadel. Although the Citadel Ward Arms are open to space, the human station is completely enclosed and it is rotating noticeably faster than the Citadel does. A large door protected by a mass effect field opens up, allowing the passenger ship to enter.
Landing in the hanger, Vortus exits the ship at the head of the gathered beings. Walking down a set of stairs he meets a human with long brown hair coming down in two ringlets. The Human smiles at him as she speaks. "Greetings, and welcome to Trading Station Prometheus. My name is Sally Po, Chief of Security for this station."
"I am Vortus Trantus, leader of the Representatives of the Citadel Species on this station."
"On behalf of the Systems Alliance, I hope that your stay here will be fruitful and enjoyable. Please follow me, the dock workers will bring the luggage to your living areas." They started making their way inside the station. "Our own Representative should have come, but he became sick just before leaving for this system. He is currently on Shanxi receiving medical support and should be on the station within the week. Until then, you may contact me with any questions you may have."
He nodded and they made their way to a transit station in silence. The Train fit a little over half the beings present, with the 2nd half getting into another train just behind the first one. The Train exited the docks and Vortus is able to see the entirety of the station. The inner surface is divided into three 'wards', a strip of land used as a park separating each district from each other. A metal cylinder connects both ends of the station in the center, with arms jutting out every quarter length, with one arm each connecting to each ward.
The Sky Tram is around a quarter of the height towards the center column, their train moving at a brisk pace to the destination. Sally comes over the intercom "Greetings, my name is Sally Po, head of Security for Trading Station Prometheus. You are on one of the three main Sky Tram lines used to move people from the docks to one of the districts. The structure running the length of the Trading Station is called the Central Hub, or Central for short, where life support, power generation and police headquarters are located. We will arrive at our stop shortly, after which a short walk will bring us to your destination. From there, you will each be receiving a data packet with a map of the station, as well as housing and other general information. On behalf of the Systems Alliance, I hope you have a pleasant stay."
The rest of the ride is spent admiring the view outside their windows. It took less than ten minutes before the Tram arrived at their destination, a large Subway Station that is below surface level. They exited the Tram and followed Sally up a set of escalators to street level. The city feels like a ghost town as their district, the Citadel District, is completely devoid of life, being empty until their arrival. The building they would be working at is just across the street from the entrance of the subway station.
Crossing an elevated pedestrian crossing they entered the building, where Sally started distributing the maps and information. Vortus stayed with Sally, letting the others spread out and get to work preparing their offices. Less than five minutes after their arrival the second half of his staff arrived, led by a human with long black hair tied back in a braid. "Representative Vortus," says Sally, "Allow me to introduce you to my partner, Wufei Chang. He is in command of the Preventers forces here, though he ultimately still answers to me." Vortus and Wufei shook hands before Vortus got back to organizing his people.
Once his people dispersed throughout the building, the Turian turned to two human leaders who are talking to their own people about something. He approaches them as they finish their discussion, turning to him as he speaks. "I thank you for your assistance in getting my people settled. What can you tell me in regards to the security arrangements?" It is a complicated arrangement, and he needed some clarifications before making his own decisions.
"Certainly" says Sally, clearing her throat. "This district, the Citadel District, is under your jurisdiction. Your own police force will patrol this section, independent of the other two Districts. Of course, your own laws cannot be directly in conflict with our own and the Preventers can override any orders given to the police forces of any District, but for the most part you will be able to enforce your laws on your own terms. This Station also has no gun emplacements, relying on the surrounding Fleet and Titan Station to protect its inhabitants. Finally, while armed Agents and Police are here, no Mobile Suits are on the station itself." The last statement is a lie. Wufei has Nataku hidden on the side facing away from the Relay, just in case things go pear shaped.
Vortus nods, though internally is taken aback at how much freedom his forces are given. They might as well be their own independent nation. "What about the third District?"
Wufei answered this time. "The third District is the main Business District. It will be administered and policed by the Systems Alliance, though Citadel Forces are welcome to patrol alongside our officers. However, any Citadel Forces operating in the Business District will answer to the Systems Alliance, not the Citadel."
Vortus nods again. Their terms are just another reminder that he is no longer in Citadel Space. And though they are very generous with allowing the Citadel to police their own people, any time Humans are involved the Systems Alliance will definitely want to be in charge. Still, it's a limitation he can work around.
They spent another hour exploring the building before the Citadel Representatives decided to retire for the day. They trekked across the street to the Subway Station and took the trains to their assigned living quarters.
July AC 204, Attican Traverse
Captain Raalo'tal Vas Shenpa is currently cursing his luck while trying to escape Batarian Slavers. Once the Batarians had been evicted from Citadel Space, the Migrant Fleet had been taking advantage of Star Systems claimed by the Batarians but not actually settled to mine for resources. It had been good going so far, up until the four Frigate class Slaver ships came into the system and gave chase.
"Engineering, what's the ship status!" Being a resource exploration vessel his ship did not have any weapons, not even a mining laser that could be jury-rigged into a weapon. As such, evasion and escape is their only option, though something that may not be possible.
"Engines at 80% and dropping Captain!" Comes the reply, the female engineer clamping down another valve. The ship shook once more as another ME round glanced off their barriers. "Shields are down to below 20%. We are still FTL capable, though based on the readings from the Batarian ships they could easily catch up with us."
"Keep doing what you can." Raalo'tal turns to the Navigator. "What are our options here?"
"Not many." He replies, typing rapidly on his console. "As engineering said, any jump we make will be easily matched by the ships pursuing us. The only option we have at the moment is to go through the other Relay in this system."
Raalo'tal shook in his seat once more. "Doesn't that one lead towards Human Space?" Everyone in the Migrant Fleet had heard of the Humans, if for nothing else that they are the reason the Batarians are no longer part of the Citadel Species. There are already have over 5 million Citadel Species members on Prometheus Station, with more going each day to explore new opportunities. The few Quarians that went there on their Pilgrimage are met with the usual discrimination from the Citadel Species, though the Humans are more welcoming.
"No other choice Captain. Unless some kind of friendly patrol fleet comes by the only option we have is to go through that Relay."
Seeing as he had no choice, "Helm, go towards the new Relay, transition as soon as you can. Afterwards, immediately go FTL towards the nearest Star, the radiation will hopefully throw off any readings from our pursuers."
The Helmsman didn't acknowledge the order, busy as he was in making as difficult a target as possible for the Batarians. A tense ten minutes passed, the ship shuddering every now and then, before they reached the Relay and are able to transition to the other side. The helmsman oriented towards the system star and immediately went into FTL.
Raalo'tal allowed himself to relax, which is when a large tremor went through the ship before they dropped back into normal space as the lights from the control panels all went dark, red emergency lighting coming on. He felt gravity release its hold, the harness straps the only thing keeping him in the seat.
"Engineering, what happened!" No response from his console. Then his Omni-Tool lit up.
"Captain, this is Engineering. Our Core just shut did a hard shut down. I'm trying to bring it back up but it's not looking good. From the looks of it, we'll need a dock to make the necessary fixes. All we have at the moment is emergency life support."
"Do what you can, but make it quick. Those slavers are right behind us."
"No promises." She disconnected, Raalo'tal turns to the bridge crew. "Anything?"
"No captain," replies the Sensor officer, slapping his dead console. "Until we get power back I may as well be looking at the wall for all that it will tell me."
With nothing else to do they waited in silence. After what seemed like an eternity the consoles slowly flickered back to life, but barely. "Captain?" says the voice of the chief Engineer, coming through his console this time, "I am able to get the backup power to turn on but we have less than one day worth available. I'm working on the getting the core back up but it looks like it cracked. I may be able to patch it but it will take more than a day to fix for sure."
"Understood. Thanks for the update." He let her get back to work. "Sensors, where are we at and what is our situation."
The Sensor officer tapped on his controls, some not responding correctly. "We are roughly 3 AU from the System Star. We are on the edge of an asteroid field, slowly drifting towards it at several hundred kilometers an hour." The console started to dim. "I can't use too much power right now, but there are roughly four planets including one gas giant. That's all I can tell you at this moment."
The Captain sighs in his seat. "Alright, everyone not needed at their station go to Engineering and see if the chief engineer needs any help. Otherwise, we just need to wait."
A few Quarians moved out of the Bridge but most stayed as most roles do not have redundant personnel. About an hour passed, with each minute passing raising the hopes that they had truly lost the Batarians.
The Sensor station beeped. "Captain!" yells the tech, "I have an incoming ship about the size of a Dreadnaught, coming from the area of the asteroid field. It's roughly 2 million Kilometers away."
"What?" exclaimed the Captain, "How could a ship that size avoid detection until they got so close?"
"They were hidden behind one of the large asteroids. With our lack of power I couldn't push enough into the Sensors without draining the rest of the ship."
"Have they noticed us?" he asks worriedly. Dead in the water, they are at the mercy of whoever found them.
"Most definitely. The ship is approaching and will be at our location shortly at their current acceleration. I don't detect any energy buildup though."
"Keep monitoring them for now." Raalo'tal turns to the communication tech. "Can we send and receive?"
"Yes Captain" replies the female Quarian, "We're getting nothing from them right now. I'll be ready should they attempt to contact us."
It took about an hour for unknown ship to reach them. Raalo'tal turns on the main display, further stressing their remaining power. The ship is in the shape of a large block: four round fuel pods are attached to the rear engines, while blocky constructs are attached to the main body, ending with what has to be the a small control bridge at the very front.
At 100 Km distance, the unknown ship stops before opening a hanger door. It disgorges three large bipedal robots who approach the Quarian ship. Two are colored different shades of brown and dark grey while the lead robot is colored black and white with gold highlights.
As the comms officer notifies them of an incoming signal, Raalo'tal prepares to introduce himself to the humans.
"Unknown vessel, this is Sergeant Jaron of the Maganac Corps. You are encroaching on human territory, identify yourself or be fired upon."
Truthfully speaking, this system has yet to be claimed by the Systems Alliance. 'But then again that's what we are here for' thinks Quatre. He normally wouldn't be out on one of these Resource exploration trips but being cooped up in the office all the time grated on his nerves. With Dorothy back to take care of anything that comes up he decided to go with a small group of the Maganac Corps members to scout some systems in the Skyllian Verge. The ship they are using, named the Battuta, is the same one Quatre used to chase down the Natural Resource Satellite used to send the Gundams into the sun. Four of the eight large Hydrogen fuel pods were removed. In their place are hangers, a barracks, a kitchen, shower facilities, a science lab, storage depots and a small manufacturing/repair shop. Retrofitting the ship with a Mass Effect core is expensive, so for now this is the only ship of this model type they have that is FTL capable, though newer ships are built with an ME engine in mind. The ship is also much slower in FTL due to it being one of the few retrofit ships attempted.
The Battuta just finished the scans and was about to go back home when the unknown ship appeared, breaking down not too far from their position. Scans of the ship reveal it to be very old and un-armed, though visual inspections show it to have been damaged recently, most likely from pirates. After observing them for an hour, Quatre made the decision to approach them to try and discern their intentions.
They get a reply from the unknown ship in moments "Sergeant Jaron of the Maganac Corps, I am Captain Raalo'tal of the Starship Shenpa, member of the Migrant Fleet." This is a surprise for Quatre. Even though his company employs several Quarians on the Trade Station Prometheus, the Systems Alliance has not yet made formal contact with their government. "We were attacked by pirates while scouting a nearby system for possible resources and was forced to make a blind jump through a relay to this system. Our ship has been damaged and is currently inoperable. I apologize for trespassing into your system, but I also request assistance until our ship is fixed."
Jaron contacted Quatre on a private channel. "Master Quatre, what are your orders?"
Dorothy would call him soft hearted for this. "Reply back and state that we will assist them with their repairs. Take your two Mobile Suits and –" his console beeped, warning of more incoming ships. Seven Frigates came through the Relay, designed with Batarian aesthetics.
"Those bosh'tets" cursed Raalo'tal, "I was wondering why they didn't immediately come after us. They must have waited for reinforcements since they knew that relay led to Human Space. Please," Raalo'tal begged, "help us and I will repay you in any way that I possibly can."'
"Sergeant Jaron," orders Quatre, "have the Battuta launch the rest of the Mobile Suits onboard and rally to me. Inform Captain Raalo'tal that you and your partner will guard his ship. I will make sure the Batarians know they are not welcome here."
Quatre closed the communication window as the Batarians made their jump to the asteroid belt and the Battuta launched three more Maganac Suits. When the Batarians re-appeared, Quatre wasn't even able to open up a radio channel before they started opening fire.
The three Mobile Suits immediately dodged. Quatre drew his two swords and activated the newly installed Tech Armor, glowing plates covering the chest and arms while the two Maganac Suits stayed near the Quarian ship and provide covering fire. With his mass lightened and shields up thanks to the ME core, Sand Rock accelerated towards the nearest ship, dodging the incoming fire with ease.
Once right next to the ship, Sand Rock slashed at the underbelly, scoring a deep gash in the armor and venting atmosphere, the enemy shields not even registering the sword as a threat. Howard has plans to remove the swords entirely and turn them into Omni-blades, but building a large scale blade constructor is proving to be more difficult than integrating the tech armor into Sand Rock. Besides, Quatre prefers having physical blades rather than an energy blade. Otherwise, he would have replaced the swords with beam sabers long ago.
Still, having physical blades does not hinder him right now as the Batarian ship is helpless against Sand Rock. Several more gashes are added to the first one before internal explosions destroy the Frigate. Accelerating towards another Slaver Ship, Quatre slashes downwards with both blades, cutting halfway through the Batarian ship and completely through the bridge, causing it to lose power.
Kicking away from the dead ship Quatre holds out the left arm, pointing the shield at a third Frigate. Beneath the shield, the mechanisms that are used to hold the swords for a pincer attack were removed and in their place are two shortened automatic beam rifles, put in place so that Sand Rock has a ranged attack option. He opens fire, quickly bringing down the shields and destroying the vessel before incoming fire from the other four ships force him to evade.
The attacking ships come under fire themselves from three Maganac Suits. With space at a premium on the Resource ship, the designers couldn't justify having more than six suits on board at any one time. Most times, the hangers hold only two suits. But with Quatre being on board they took no chances.
The three suits are able to overwhelm two of the remaining ships, destroying them while Quatre cuts another ship in two, causing the Frigate to explode in a blue fireball. The last Batarian Frigate turned tail and ran, not wanting to stick around and be destroyed. Though he didn't want to, Quatre couldn't let the enemy escape with data on how one of the Gundams worked. Using the improved thrusters, Sand Rock quickly caught up to the fleeing Frigate before it could make an FTL jump and thrust one of the swords in to the ship, carving a gash from stern to bow. The ship then exploded, having their core destabilized from the damage.
With the battle done, Quatre quickly made his way over to the Battuta while Jaron and another Mobile Suit towed the damage Quarian vessel, as another two suits destroyed the crippled Batarian ship.
Once back in the hanger, Quatre quickly docked Sand Rock and got out, changing into his normal attire. Every member aboard the Battuta is a member of the Maganac Corp so hiding his identity from them is not an issue. But for Aliens he just met? Lady Une would skin him alive, and would hopefully do so before Dorothy got to him.
For his part, Raalo'tal is too terrified of the humans to do anything that could be perceived as a threat. The crew watched in real time as a single large Mech, or Mobile Suit as the Humans called it, took down five Frigates on its own in less than ten minutes. The only comparable weapon the Citadel Species has capable of such a thing is a Dreadnought, one commanded by a veteran Captain with a seasoned crew. Even a Cruiser would be surrounded and destroyed when outnumbered seven to one, even if they were up against Frigates from two generations ago.
As the two of the large Mechs moved his ship over to the human ship, Raalo'tal started going over everything he knew about the Humans in order to increase the chances of survival. Unfortunately, he didn't know much more than rumors and hearsay so he would be going in mostly blind. It didn't take long for his ship to be right next to the human ship. He soon received a message from Sergeant Jaron, asking him to come aboard the Human vessel to talk to their leader.
Seeing as he doesn't really have a choice in the matter, Raalo'tal decides to go alone to meet with their Captain. Everyone else is needed to help repair their ship and they don't have any marines on board. He cycles out of the airlock and is greeted with one of the large Mechs holding out its hand. The Quarian gingerly steps on, the fingers closing gently around him before he is taken inside the large ship. Passing through the blue field stopping the atmosphere from escaping, Raalo'tal is set down on the floor near a human with blonde hair, wearing a white button up shirt and black pants.
"Greetings" says the Human with a smile, "My name is Quatre Raberba Winner and I am the owner of this vessel."
"Greetings Captain Quatre, I am Captain Raalo'Tai Vas Shenpa of the Quarian Fleet. I thank you for getting rid of those Batarian Slavers."
"It is no issue, but I am not the Captain of this ship, merely the owner." The smile dropped as he became serious. "I was informed that your ship is in need of repairs. What kind of damage did you sustain getting away from those Batarians?"
Raalo'Tai sighs, "From what my chief engineer told me our Mass Effect Core is damaged." Quatre can't help but wince. "We are not sure of the true damage our ship has taken, but it is most likely extensive. Any assistance you can provide for us is greatly appreciated."
Quatre rubs his chin in thought before motioning one of the engineers over. "We have a small repair shop on our ship that can manufacture some of the items you need, but from the sounds of things you would require a dry dock." Quatre introduces the engineer. "This is Samil, the head of our machine shop. Please inform him of what you need, and we will see if we can either make it or put something together. For now, if you are agreeable, I would tether your ship to mine while we return home. The return trip is around one week, during which time you and your crew would be allowed to stay on my ship as my guests. Once at port, you will be able to use one of my dry docks for free, though you will of course have to pay for your own parts."
Raalo'Tai is shocked at the offer. It is far better than anything he has ever heard of Quarians getting since their exile, so he knows there must be a catch. Unfortunately, he is not in any position to negotiate at the moment. He needs that dry dock. "I… thank you for your generosity. The Quarian Fleet will remember your kindness and will pay back in kind should your people be in the same position."
Quatre merely waved him off "It is no bother. My people will start anchoring your ship to ours. In the meantime, please start bringing your crew over to the Battuta."
Raalo'Tai nodded before getting on the radio. They would need to make sure their ship is as stable as it can be to survive the trip.
It took two weeks to make their way to the Human home station. The ETA had to be extended due to almost losing the Quarian ship several times to a weak connection or slower traveling due to the added mass. The Quarians spent the time getting to know the Humans better, trading stories and helping out where they could.
Once back at the resource station, the Quarians immediately started working to repair their ship. The machine shop on the Battuta was able to make some of the smaller parts but anything intricate or larger than a suite case was not possible.
Four days after their arrival, the ship is about halfway repaired. The last major component still broken is the Mass Effect core, but that needed the other parts to be fixed first before they could even attempt to turn it on.
Raalo'Tai is on his break, sitting in one of the chairs on the observation deck looking out over the system they are in. The binary star system has a few rocky planets, two gas giants and a very large asteroid field that is currently being mined for resources. But none of that is what catches his attention. He is focusing on two large, rotating, human made object several kilometers away though still visible to the naked eye.
He has heard about the object these humans have made, even watched the footage of the delivery to the Hanar. But to see one in person, it beggars belief.
"I thought I would find you here." Says a familiar voice, interrupting his thoughts. Raalo'Tai turns to see Quatre entering the observation deck, wearing clothing similar to what he wore when they first met. Raalo'Tai stands up from his seat, greeting Quatre with a small bow.
"Mr. Winner, what can I assist you with?" Raalo'Tai had communicated with the Fleet at the first possible chance he had. When he informed them of who had come to their rescue, the Admirals had him confirm several times that THE Quatre Raberba Winner, owner of the Winner Corporation and one of the richest and most powerful humans alive had rescued his ship and crew from Batarians Slavers, they made sure he knew exactly what was at stake and to treat Winner and his people with the utmost respect. Especially as a number of Quarians are currently employed by the Winner Corporation on Trade Station Prometheus at a wage and standing far above what they could expect in Citadel Space.
"Nothing right now Captain." States Quatre, sitting down across from him and gesturing Raalo'Tai to sit with a smile. One of Quatre's servants/bodyguards/employees brings them both refreshments, and Raalo'Tai is surprised to find that they have Dextro drinks for him. They must have shipped those specifically for his crew. Not one to turn down such thoughtfulness, he waited until Quatre took a snack before taking a drink for himself. "Just seeing how you and your crew are doing and to ask if there is anything you need right now."
The Captain can only sit in wonder at the kindness of the human opposite him. No Alien has treated the Quarians with such thoughtfulness in living memory. "My people are good for now Mr. Winner. The repairs are going smoothly and we should be able to finish within the next week, as long as nothing goes wrong of course." And there is still plenty to go wrong. They haven't tested the Core yet, so they do not know if it even works anymore.
"I see." Quatre takes a sip of tea before turning to look out the window. Raalo'Tai takes this time to sip his own drink, a Turian favorite among those from Palaven, the fruity flavor delighting his taste buds. "If I may ask, what were you observing from here?"
The Quarian puts down the drink before answering. "I am just admiring your Space Colony. None of the Citadel Species are capable of building such a large, space based structure without using a ludicrous amount of Element Zero."
"Our species has been building Space Colonies for over two hundred years. For 197 of those years, we did not know that Element Zero existed. We've become very good engineers as a result." If that wasn't an understatement, Raalo'Tai didn't know what was. Quatre gestures to the Colony on their left, the one further away. "I purchased that Colony about seven years ago before completing its construction myself." With the knowledge of how much the human across from him is worth that statement is not a surprise. Quatre sighs, "Unfortunately, that specific Colony has a bad reputation among my species so I have not been able to get many people to settle it. As such, I moved it into this system to use as housing for my workers here."
"I can attest to the fact that your species are very good engineers. Before the Humans came along, the Quarians were agreed upon as the best engineers around, thus why the Citadel species tolerated us so much given our reputation." Raalo'Tai says bitterly.
Quatre hums in understanding. "Tell me Captain, your species as a whole travels in a vast collection of space ships correct?"
"Yes." He answers, not knowing where the conversation is going, "We travel the stars in a fleet of over 50,000 ships, though many are old and barely holding together."
Quatre nods, "How large is your population Captain?"
Raalo'Tai squirms a bit, feeling uncomfortable, but answers the question that most Quarians would answer willingly if asked. "17 million, population controlled. Even though we have the largest fleet in the galaxy, space is still at a premium." Quatre merely nods again, and the Quarian can tell he is thinking of something. "If I may ask, why are you so interested in our population and fleet size?"
"Just thinking of how I can help the Quarian people." Raalo'Tai is at a loss of words. He asks the question before he can stop himself.
Quatre stands up from his seat and answers. "I have the means and capability to help. It would behoove me to not help when I am able." Quatre nods to the Quarian captain before moving towards the door. "I need to contact a few people before I can do anything. Continue on repairing your ship Captain, I should have something for you by the time you are ready to leave."
Raalo'Tai can only sit in place, dumbfounded at what he has just heard. For once, he has a small measure of hope for the future of his people.
"Quatre wants to do what?" asks Relena, looking into the screen.
"I said, he wants to sell a Colony to the Quarians." Says Dorothy. Though she does not show it, she is quite annoyed at her husband for the moment. Leaving the running of their business empire to her and gallivanting off to the edges of human space for a month has not endeared him to her good graces. Of course, she relishes running the company on her own, crushing the competition and conquering any market she wishes, but it would have been nice for some alone time with him especially since she had just returned from Citadel Space.
"Why?" Relena asks, unknowingly parroting the Quarian Captain Quatre was speaking to.
"Because he is far too kind for his own good, you know this Relena." Dorothy sighs. He truly is too kind sometimes, but it was that kindness and forgiving nature that drew Dorothy to him in the first place. "He sees a group of people he can help and cannot stop himself from trying to help them."
Relena leans back into her office chair, rubbing her forehead. The video call is a welcome distraction from her workload, but now she realizes that Quatre and Dorothy are going to merely cause more complications than needed. "What Colony does he want to sell to them anyways? The one sold to the Hanar is the last one available, the next Colony isn't scheduled to be complete for another three months. Are we going to have to ask the Colonist to postpone their move in date again?"
"Of course not Relena." Dorothy responds. "The Colony is moving to Shanxi anyways, so the Systems Alliance would not allow the sale to the Quarians regardless, as it moves back their timescale with the Citadel Species. No, what Quatre is proposing is to give them a Colony he already owns."
"A Colony he already owns?" Relena thinks out loud, before her eyes widen.
"What do you mean Mr. Winner wants to sell X-18999 to the Quarians?" asks the President.
"He wishes to help them Mr. President." Relena explains, all eyes on her, "Their entire population can fit in X-18999 and it has already been moved to the fringe of Human space. Quatre simply wishes for them to move in and use an otherwise empty Space Colony."
There are murmurs around the table before the Defense Minister speaks up. "I am … uncomfortable with selling a Space Colony to the Quarians. Selling to the Hanar is one thing, they have good standing with the Citadel. The Quarians, not so much. Also, they would be within our territory. As vaunted as the Maganac corp is, their entire force could not stop a fleet of 50,000 ships." Since the end of the attempted Coup, the Maganac Corp had been expanded by Quatre. The surviving 30 members formed the core of the unit, which has expanded to 80 Suits, four Frigates, two Cruisers and around 2,000 ground troops. They are spread around Human space and are mainly guards for various Winner Corporation assets. Quatre is allowed such a large force as he and Dorothy own three of the five Mobile Suit factories in existence, thus needing a force large enough to guard the facilities in case of attack.
"I agree." States the Finance Minister. "Also, can the Quarians even afford to purchase one of the Colonies? Why have they not yet colonized a planet yet in 300 years?"
The table devolved from there, each Minister either for or against with no clear winner, until Relena stood up from her seat. The entire table fell silent, each person looking to her. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a decision to make. One of the reasons the Systems Alliance rejected joining the Citadel was the treatment of the Quarians. How in over 300 years, the Quarian people have not received support from the Citadel Governments. That in their most dire hour of need, they were turned away and shunned. We have a chance to prove to them that a better way exists. How can we reject joining the Citadel out of principle and then shun that same principle when the time comes?" Relena looks each of them in the eye. "Quatre sympathizes with their plight. They are a dying people, clinging onto life by a thread. We have a chance to help them at almost no cost to ourselves. What kind of people are we if we turn them away."
Relena sits back down as silence permeates the meeting room. The Culture Minister speaks up "I… agree with Minister Relena. We cannot state that we abhor the Citadel practices while engaging in them when it suits us. We have to show that there is a better way." The Minister looks around the table. "That said, I am still uncomfortable with selling them a Colony outright."
The last statement disheartened Relena, but it is progress nonetheless. "What do you suggest Minister?"
The Shenpa is finally repaired. The Core was indeed damaged, but not too badly. They were also able to repair a few outstanding items that had been neglected due to lack of resources and time, so the ship is functioning better than when it was purchased initially for the fleet. Having few things to trade with themselves, they paid for the parts by repairing and maintaining parts of the station they are on.
Now the ship is ready to leave the dry dock, the last of the provisions having just been loaded. Raalo'Tai is on the dock, making sure that all of his people are ready to go when he is approached by Quatre.
Raalo'Tai bows to the young human. "Mr. Winner, I thank you for your generosity in hosting my crew here and allowing us to repair our ship. The Quarian people will never forget your kindness."
"It is of no concern Captain. You are my guests, I would be a poor host if my guest left my care worse off than when they entered." Quatre easily replies, the usual smile adorning his face. He hands over a data pad to the Captain. "I came today to see you off and to provide a proposal to the Quarian Fleet. Please, give that data pad to your leaders as soon as you are capable, I believe they would be interested in what it contains."
Raalo'Tai nods, tucking the data pad away. He can peruse it later. Quatre holds out his hand, which the Quarian looks at in confusion before slowly holding out his own hand, which Quatre grabs hold of and shakes. "Be safe, Captain."
Raalo'Tai finishes shaking his hand and salutes Quatre, before turning around and entering the Shenpa. Once he is on the bridge, the ship detaches from the clamps and leaves the docking bay. Raalo'Tai has one last look at the Space Colony before ordering the ship back to the Migrant Fleet.
Once the ship is underway, he pulls out the data pad and starts looking through the contents, wondering what kind of proposal Quatre would have for the Quarian people. His eyes widen in astonishment at what is inside.
Migrant Fleet , September – AC 204
A heated debate is being held by the Admirals of the Quarian Fleet. Raalo'Tai had returned a week prior, bearing the data pad with the Human proposal. He was sworn to silence while the Admirals discussed what they should do next.
"Why are we even having this discussion?" asks Var'Tenel, Admiral of the Civilian Fleet. "This is the best proposal the Quarian people have received in over 300 years, and you want to reject it?"
"They're not giving us a planet!" Argues Ter'Talos, Admiral of the Heavy Fleet. "They're not even giving us one of their Space Colonies! They're merely 'allowing' us to 'lease' a Space Colony. We would be under their laws while not being one of their citizens. We would have restricted movement within Systems Alliance Space, and they would not even be providing us with Mobile Suits to defend ourselves with. This 'deal' is not as good as you think it is Var'Tenel."
"Be that as it may be, it is far better than any 'deal' we have received from the Citadel Governments or the Terminus system. Every one of us knows every moment the Fleet is out here is another moment we could be attacked by pirates, or slavers, or even the Citadel itself." Var'Tenel shouts back.
"Gentleman, Gentleman please!" interrupts Shala'Raan. Being the youngest Quarian on the Admiralty Board, her recommendations are not taken as seriously as the rest, but they still do listen. "Var'Tenel, though I believe this is a great opportunity it is not without its risks. One of the things, one of them, one of the things that keep the Fleet safe is that it is a Fleet, always moving from place to place. Settling down on a Space Colony will both increase the chances of attack while dropping the chances of a ship failure costing lives." She turns to the other Admiral. "And Ter'Talos, this truly is the best option we have at the moment. Yes, we would be more or less under their laws and limitations, but that is true every time the Fleet goes through a Colonized System. We simply do not have a choice in the matter." She looks at the other Admiral, the one who hasn't spoken yet. "Admiral Van'Tessel, what are your thoughts?"
The Special Projects Admiral stays seated, arms crossed in contemplation. He leans forward and says "The Humans are capable of engineering feats the Quarians were simply experimenting with at the height of our Golden Age. Even the Alerai and the Destiny Ascension are regarded as technical showpieces rather than projects that would be economically viable. But these Humans have figured out how to build massive space stations to house the majority of their population. From a purely scientific and engineering standpoint, I am for accepting the offer from the Systems Alliance."
Having said his piece, Van'Tessel crossed his arms once more and leaned back in the seat. Knowing he is outnumbered, Var'Tenel looks to the last member of the Admiralty Board, Maero'Shaello.
Maero'Shaello is the oldest active member of the Admiralty Board. Even though she is an Admiral, she does not control a portion of the Quarian Fleet. Instead, every five years the Conclave convenes and elects one of the Captains among them to the Board to be their representative. Maero'Shaello has been elected by the Conclave for the last 40 years.
Var'Tenel asks her "Maero'Shaello, what is the opinion of the Conclave on this matter? What are their feeling about the Humans?"
Maero'Shaello remains seated and poised. "In general, the Conclave sees the Humans as new, interesting, insane, confusing, and helpful." The questioning looks implore her to elaborate. "Being new does not need to be explained. They are interested in the Humans due to their capabilities. They consider the Humans insane for having a fighting force centered on corvette sized 'mobile suits'. The speed in which they can build large, artificial constructs on the ground and in space is baffling. And lastly, from the Quarians that were able to either smuggle, bribe or convince the Citadel Species to allow them onto Prometheus station, the Humans do not discriminate them anymore than they would discriminate against the other Citadel Species. In fact, several have been promoted to higher positions within the Winner Corporation in the time they have been there. In short, I believe the Conclave would be agreeable to this decision."
Though only the opinion of one Quarian, Maero'Shaello has been able to keep her position for so long by knowing exactly what the majority of the Conclave wants at any given time. If she says that they would accept the deal, they most likely would accept the deal and by a large enough majority that the vote would be undisputed.
Van'Tessel speaks again. "There is one more issue we are ignoring." The other four look at him in confusion. "We are ignoring the benefit of being able to control a large bio-sphere down to the wind, humidity, temperature and climate. From the reports of those on their Pilgrimage, the Hanar have been able to either halt or reverse Kepral Syndrome in most of the Drell. Only those in the late stages of the sickness are unable to be saved. This has led to the Humans and Hanar to working on other Medical projects. Currently, they are working on a Gel used for treatment of wounds."
Shala'Raan has an idea of what he is saying but has to make sure. "What are you getting at?"
"I am saying" he pauses, looking at the others nervously, "that if we accept this offer and they give us full control of the Colony, including control of the environmental variables … that with experimentation and some luck, the Quarian people as a whole can recover their immune systems to Pre-Exile levels in three generations or less."
Silence spread throughout the room. "Van" says Shala'Raan, "are you saying-"
"It will be difficult" the Admiral interrupts, speaking quickly, "it will take a long time and there will be failures along the way. The Colony we will be given already has dirt and plants from the Human home world on it. We would need to completely remove it and then scrub every surface of the Colony to ensure no bacteria survive. A strong enough radiation pulse should suffice, but the Colony is probably shielded from such things so it would need to go off from the inside. Afterwards, we would need to either import dirt from a dextro based world or sacrifice some of the soil we have on the Alerai. Using surviving plants from the live ships, we would then plant some of them into the soil and use their seeds to grow more plants and spread them throughout the Colony." Van'Tessel stops talking, catching his breath and looks at each person in the eye. "Let me be clear. This process of adapting our immune system will not be done within our lifetimes. If, and I mean IF, we are very lucky our children will be able to see the benefits. But more than likely it will be our grandchildren or great grandchildren who would truly be free from the suits we inhabit."
Silence once more dominated the room as the four Admirals digested the news. Short of reclaiming Rannoch itself, repairing the Quarian immune system and ridding them of their suits is the greatest wish of all Quarians. They would never be completely free of their suits, as even before the Geth Uprising Quarians still wore environmental suits when visiting non-Quarian held worlds or the Citadel. But to be in the same room as family? To be amongst their own people? To be able to enter their own bedrooms without fear of contamination, to have food that is not processed inside a tube?
"I.."Var'Tenel starts, "I… I withdraw my objections." Var lost his wife and child through a containment breach during childbirth.
Lost in his own thoughts, Var'Tenel didn't pay attention when Maero stood up. "We cannot decide this for ourselves. Though we can override the vote if necessary, this is something that needs to be addressed by the Conclave. Agreed?"
Every Admiral nodded, even Var'Tenel, though it seemed like he is just going along with them, still lost in his memories. "Very well then. I will provide the notes from this meeting to the ship Captains and call a meeting within the next month. We are adjourned."
The Migrant Fleet was in Chaos for the next three weeks. Those that could returned from their Pilgrimage early, eager to give their opinions on what could possibly be the most important decision the Fleet ever took.
Some made outlandish demands that would never be met or even considered, others wondered why the Humans were so giving.
The debate lasted the entire three weeks before the vote was held. Each ship Captain voted, the results being tallied in real time.
A few days later, a single Quarian ship approached Relay 314, transitioning through after providing the Turian patrol fleet the access codes that Quatre had given them.
Three days later, Anita Goyle is having a private meeting with the Citadel Council.
"The Humans have given the Quarians Asylum?" questions Vorex. He is asking Anita Goyle in the small conference room. The Systems Alliance decided that the Citadel Council deserved an in person briefing before the press release to the general public.
"Yes" answers the Human Ambassador, "One of our citizens owns a privately held Space Colony that is not being used at the moment. He interacted with a Quarian crew after their Scout Ship was rescued from a group of Batarian slavers by his employees. He then requested and received approval from the Systems Alliance to offer the entire Quarian people a lease for the unused Colony."
"And how long would this 'lease' be for Ambassador?" asks Urrip. She took over for Eslein the previous month.
"The lease is for 50 years, with the option to purchase the Colony after their lease has ended." Comes the easy answer. "I'll be honest, the lease is just a formality. The citizen who owns the Colony is charging them roughly 100 credits a year. Most likely, he will just give them the Colony when the term ends."
"If he is just going to give them the Colony for free why bother with the lease period at all?" is the next question Urrip has.
"Certain elements within the Systems Alliance are uncomfortable with having an entire alien race within our borders. As such, this lease is a test case for the Quarian people. There are several clauses that will void the agreement in its entirety and force them to move out within a week. Of course, those causes are merely extreme cases, such as starting a war or insurrection."
With the questions answered, the Council went back to their private chambers while Anita went back to get ready for the influx of Quarians to the Alliance Embassy.
Once in their secure chambers, they wasted no time in getting to the issue.
"Tevos," says Vorex, "you were quiet the entire time we met with Ambassador Goyle. What are your thoughts on this development?"
Tevos stays quiet for a few moments. "Honestly? I expected something like this to happen, though not so soon and not in such a way."
"What do you mean?" asks Urrip.
"Ambassador Relena spoke of how we ignored those in need." The other two slightly flinched at the reminder of the speech, as it hit closer to home then they would have liked. "Reading the briefing packet from the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Relena would most likely have enough influence to convince the Systems Alliance to sell a Space Colony to the Migrant Fleet. Of course, this was supposed to be a sale and not a donation, but I suppose this is more in line with the human way of thinking."
The other two digested her words and agreed with the conclusion. "Moving on" says Tevos, "what is the status of our trade with the Systems Alliance?"
"Trade is going smoothly so far." Says Vorex, "The Volus tell me that their manufactured goods are quite sturdy and in demand, while our main exports are Element Zero and other raw materials, with technology being a close third. There have also been a few inquiries for the purchase of Space Colonies by the individual Citadel Governments. Actually, I've been meaning to ask if the Citadel itself should buy a Colony." The other two look at him with surprise as he continues talking. "Space is at a premium here, and even the areas considered low class are outrageously expensive to live in. What I recommend is to purchase a Space Colony to help alleviate the congestion issue and help keep property prices down."
Urrip ponders the question. "It is a good plan. Will increase population of Citadel Space while lowering cost of living in general. However, there are many things to consider from transit to defense."
"I'm not saying we purchase one now," corrects Vorrex, "but it is something to consider for the future."
"Quite" answer Tevos, "We shall see how the Drell cope long term. Initial results look promising, but we shall see. In the meantime, how goes the implanting of our agents into Prometheus Station?"
"Several STG and Council Agents have been implanted successfully." Answers Urrip. "We have a good distribution across the board. Most are in the Citadel section of the station of course, though a few have taken residence in the Business section. The Human section is difficult to enter on the best of days, and only the highest ranking members of the Military or Diplomatic attachments have been allowed into their control center."
"So it's a work in progress," sighs Tevos. It would have been so much easier had the Humans simply joined the Citadel. "In any case, let us move on to other matters."
X-18999 – October AC 204
A day after Anita meets the Council, the Systems Alliance announces the acceptance of the entire Quarian race as Refugees. The Migrant Fleet sends out a message to all Quarians on their Pilgrimage to immediately book passage to Systems Alliance Space, where they will be taken to their new Home.
The Migrant Fleet itself has already moved into Human Space and is busy offloading their people into the Colony. The Quarian Colony has not moved from its original location at the fringe of human space.
Captain Rael'Zorah Vas Alerai finished unloading his ship and stepped into the interior of the Colony. He still can't believe that this Space Colony now belongs to the Quarian people. Sure they are technically only leasing it, but the Conclave met with the young Human owner of the Colony who assured them of their ownership and the legal reasons on why he had to lease it rather than gift it to them. Also, the Winner Corporation would be the main employer of the Quarians through purchasing any raw materials they gathered or employing them directly within the corporation. Several factories and a Human owned Space Colony are also located in the System, making the transfer of goods and services easier.
"Heloooooo?" comes a shout. Rael turns around to see a male Human with a long braided hair standing next to a female human with short hair, coming towards him. "Hi! My name's Duo Maxwell and this is my wife Hilde. We're members of the Sweeper Group, which is an organization that purchases and recycles manufactured goods. Can you *snrkt* take me to your leaders?"
Hilde elbowed Duo quite hard in the ribs while Rael remembered the announcement that the Migrant Fleet would start selling some of their more outdated items for money. This human must be their point of contact.
"Ah, of course please follow me." Duo is still doubled over from the elbow but Hilde grabs his arm and follows Rael. Gaining his breath back, Duo speaks to the Quarian.
"So" says Duo, "what do you think of the place?"
"It's amazing." Is the honest reply. "It is not a planet, but with this structure our species has long term stability for the first time in over 300 years. I'm still having trouble believing it is ours."
"Believe it buddy" says Duo, putting his arm round Rael's neck while Hilde face palms, "and don't worry, Quatre will take care of you. And hell, the Sweeper Group is always looking for more skilled engineers."
Rael is uncomfortable with how touchy the human is getting, something Hilde is able to pick up. "Duo, let the poor man go." She says while prying him off the alien. She make sure he doesn't try anything by keeping their arms entwined, something Duo has no problem with. "Sorry about that, Duo has problems with personal space sometimes."
Rael clears his throat, "Well, there will many Quarians who will take you up on your offer. We have many skilled engineers amongst our people."
Further conversation stopped as the group of three reached the building the Admirals had setup in temporarily. Hilde took over to explain what they are here for and negotiate their rates, as she has a much better sense for business than Duo does.
Arcturus Station, Preventers Headquarters
Lady Une and Noin are meeting in Une's private office.
"So" says Une, "How goes our relations with the new neighbors?"
"Well" replies Noin, "Duo has introduced himself to their leadership. The Quarians have agreed to sell some of the ships for 'salvage' to the Sweepers Group, who will be able to reverse engineer whatever they get their hands on and understand the Citadel Species design philosophy. Duo also has general access to the Quarian Colony and is free to come and go as he pleases. With his previous experience infiltrating X-18999 he should be able to handle anything that happens. Duo and Hilde are currently living in the Human Space Colony in the same system, so their response times would be optimal should the situation arise."
Noin flips to a different report. "Sally and Wufei have things under control on Prometheus Station, though they have complained to me personally about the Representative the Systems Alliance sent."
"Nothing we can do about that" replies Une, exhaling heavily "Udina may be personally grating but he has the best Interest of the Systems Alliance at heart. There's a reason Relena approved of him."
"True, but she doesn't have to work with Udina on a daily basis."
Une smiles at that. "What about the other forces in the Shanxi system."
"Two Titan Stations are in the System, the original and the one moved to protect Prometheus Station." Noin flips a few more pages. "The original fleet has been replaced with a dedicated patrol fleet. There is also a Preventers Cruiser on station near Shanxi should the need arise. That's not including having Trowa on the planet as well."
"I'm surprised Trowa agreed to stay permanently on Shanxi."
"Well" Noin leans in, even though the office is completely secure from eavesdropping, "From what Sally tells me, Trowa has become quite enamored with the daughter of one General Williams. The feeling appears to be quite mutual from what I have been able to gather."
"Really?" asks Une with a smile.
"Really." Noin leans back to sit upright again. "As such, he agreed to the posting without much of a fuss."
The two have a quiet laugh before Noin finishes up her reports and departs the office for another meeting.
Walking to her destination, she is unsurprised to find Heero already waiting for her. They nod to each other and enter the auditorium, where over 50 military members are waiting for them.
Lieutenant Anderson is sitting with his teammates, wondering what the meeting is all about. He was informed a week ago about a new posting possibility and that he would need to attend orientation where more information would be available. It was quite strange, but he went to Arcturus anyway with his squad mates and is now waiting to be informed of what's going on.
Looking around, Anderson sees a mixture of personnel from the different branches of the Systems Alliance. Marines, Navy, Preventers, Titan Station, there looks to be an even distribution of personnel, men and women.
The door near the lecturn opens and two people enter. He recognizes Lucrezia Noin, one of the top commanders of the Preventers. With her is the personal bodyguard of Relena Darlian. A Preventers agent shouts "ATTENTION!" causing every attendee to stand up straight.
"As you were" says Noin, standing behind the podium. She waits until everyone is seated again while Heero leans back against the wall. "All of you are probably wondering why you have been called here. I am going to answer those questions right now."
The lights dim as a projector turns on, displaying the known Galaxy. "Up until mid-last year, the Systems Alliance has always had a defensive mindset. For the most part this has not changed. But with the introduction of the Citadel and Terminus Systems, the higher ups acknowledges the fact that there are times where our Military will need to go on the offensive. Studying Citadel history shows us that a small group of highly trained individuals can keep the peace better than an outsized army stomping over everything in their path." The screen changes to what information the Systems Alliance has regarding the Spectres. "As such, the Systems Alliance has decided that it needs a New Type of soldier, one who is tasked with eliminating threats before they become reality. Everyone here has been chosen as you are the best of each branch."
A Marine raises his hand in question, which Noin acknowledges. "Ma'am, what's to prevent this small force from being another Specials?"
"I'm glad you ask that question" replies Noin, "This branch is composed only of the top 1% of the military and will be under the command of the Preventers. Though it will act as a separate unit in most cases, it has been designed to never grow so large as to pose a coup threat to the current administration, at least on its own. Those currently here are merely the first of many that will undergo this training."
A Titan Station member asks the next question "What kind of missions would this group undertake?"
"Espionage, sabotage, assassination, subterfuge and the like." Noin can see that the majority of the attendees are uncomfortable with what she says. "Those who do not wish to participate in this program are free to leave. Any who stay past this point are committed to completion or wash out." A few squirmed in their seat but no one left.
Noin nodded in satisfaction. "Good. In one week you are to report to the Preventers Mars Base to begin your training." Noin looks over to Heero and nods. "One last thing. The training you are about to undergo will test you not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically. But I encourage you to do your best as you have a rare opportunity before you. Heero?"
Heero moves to the podium and makes a simple announcement "We have a spare Gundam."
Anderson can't breath, not believing what was just implied. He doesn't even hear Noin dismissing the attendees.
Anderson looks down and clinches both his fist, determination blazing inside of him. He looks around and sees the same determination in the faces of those gathered. Anderson leaves to start making preparations.
Heero and Noin walk side by side through Arcturus. "Thank you for agreeing to this Heero."
'Hmmm' is the reply. Noin figures that would be the end of their 'conversation' but Heero says "What have you heard about this 'Illusive' man?"
Noin is surprised at the question. "I do not believe that he is anything dangerous. The open letter did not target the Systems Alliance nor was it outright hostile to the Citadel Species. I believe it was just someone venting about changes and how we should be careful."
"I don't know about that." Is the reply. "The wording reminded me of someone that supported OZ."
Noin is further caught off guard. "Are you saying they're a threat to us?"
"Maybe not right now, but I wouldn't disregard this 'Cerberus' if I were you. Make sure to bring it up with Une when you get the chance." Heero turns down a different hallway as Noin stops. "After all, we didn't get everyone behind the Mariemaia Coup attempt or the Romefeller Foundation."
Heero continued walking, leaving Noin to ponder his words of warning.
Those Fools. They should have gone to war with the Citadel, damn the costs. But no, those cowards decided to accept their humiliation like WEAKLINGS while his brother rots in a Citadel Prison waiting for his trial, as if those low lives could pass judgement on one that is far superior to them.
The Hegemony would not help him. All those he turned to turned him down, cast his family into doubt after untold GENERATIONS served faithfully.
No. This is the last straw. He will go alone, into the Galaxy and bring divine punishment on these humans who DARED to believe that they are better.
And he, Balak, would bring them to their rightful place, licking the dirt off the boot of their masters.
Edit: A reviewer pointed out to me that I somehow switched Dorothy with Catherine. Oops, fixed it.
And that's that. So ends Gundam Wing: Shattered Dreams.
Sorry it took so long for this chapter to get up, I just lost motivation for a long while. Do I have plans to continue this story? Um, let's just go with maybe? I have ideas, but currently no motivation to actually write it out. My writing style may have changed quite a bit since the last chapter, but it's too late to change all of that now. Also, I tried to keep the subheadings in the same format but I probably messed that up as well.
So anyone get that OG Gundam reference? Everyone has an idea of what the N in N7 stands for, this is what it means in this universe.
And yes, Dorothy is the reason we have a 13 hour long all Elcor cast of Hamlet.
Selling a Space Colony is a logical step, especially to a species such as the Drell, who are near extinction and wish to remain close to their benefactors. The entire population can survive in orbit around the Hanar home world on a Space Colony. The bit about Humans working with the Hanar on medical studies is to explain the creation of Medi-Gel.
So Prometheus is the Titan that stole fire from the Greek Gods and gave it to man. Other sources state that he also taught Humans the basis of civilization (reading, writing, agriculture, medicine, science, etc…). His punishment is that he is to be chained to a rock, where upon an eagle would come by every day and eat his liver which would regenerate every night due to his immortality. This occurred every day until Hercules freed him from his chains. Anyways, a trading station named Prometheus seemed to be the best fit for the narrative.
So the Systems Alliance gives up control of Relay 314 to the Citadel. Some of you may think this is stupid, and that's understandable. But they only control the corridor of space between the Relay itself and Prometheus Station. Any ships venturing outside that small corridor of Space is under the purview of the Systems Alliance. Also, any ship going to Shanxi HAS to stop at Prometheus Station, and they cannot go to Shanxi without authorization of both the Titan Station and Prometheus Station. So yes, they lose control of the Relay but still keep control of what goes in and out of the Shanxi system.
Battuta is the name of a medieval explorer from Morocco. He is known of having explored the majority of the Muslim world and even as far as Southeast Asia and China. The ship was originally named the Saladin, but I realized that would be like naming a US exploration ship the Eisenhower, it just wouldn't make sense.
Also, there are four 'Fleets' within the Migrant fleet: Heavy, Civilian, Scout and Special Projects. However, Tali and her father are both Admirals. But Admiral of what? So I created that the Conclave votes one of their own to Admiral (which is what happens to Tali in ME 3 if she is not exiled) to voice their opinion during Admiral sessions.
Yes, Ashley is the daughter of Trowa. She is the character who epitomizes the 'more dakka' persona if you don't choose the Soldier class so I thought it fitting.
Most of you forgot about 01 huh? This is to explain why Shepard gets to use it on his hunt for Balak, the antagonist of ME1. After all, there's no reason for Saren to hate humanity. Stories that don't have the Turian Hierarchy be the enemy in the 1st contact war and then still have Saren as the antagonist make me scratch my head.
Oh, and Shepard will of course be the child of Heero and Relena. Spoilers on that below.
That should be all. Onto the Reviews:
Thank you everyone that stated Relena's speech was good. I still feel like it could have been better but she got the point across.
Batarian Spectres exist in this AU as the Council is known for putting up with the BS of the Hegemony for far too long. Like I stated in previous chapters, the Hegemony would probably be a Council member if they got rid of Slavery and their support for Traverse Pirates, so Spectres were already approved.
The Citadel Council would of course get Mobile Suits. It wouldn't be a Gundam series if it was just Mobile Suit to Ship Combat most of the time. And the Geth would of course have their own versions as well. The Council would try to make their own version, but it wouldn't be until the end of the 1st game when Shepard convinces the Systems Alliance of the Reaper threat that Humanity provides the blueprints on how to build a MS, as well as provide some of their older and current suits to be examined by the Council species. This would convince the Council that Humanity considers the threat a real enough to share their trump card. Again, this is for a future story that may not be made.
Uh, that covers mostly everything. Onto the Omakes (these are Canon):
Origins of Cerberus. (Takes place between 1 and 2)
Cerberus Station, Unknown Nebula
The Illusive Man sits in his chair, viewing the star out the window. To his side are multiple displays, each showing a different aspect of one Commander Shepard. He has already memorized the reports, but seeing Shepard in action helps reinforce his decision.
The door opens, allowing one Miranda Lawson to enter. She strides up to leader of Cerberus. "Sir, are you sure we need Shepard? There must be others that could do just as well."
The Cerberus leader simply breathes in the cigarette smoke, not even bothering to take his eyes off the shifting star. "Yes Miranda, I am sure. If his parentage was not enough, then the actions Shepard took more than convinced me of the Commanders necessity in the coming fight."
Miranda watches the footage for a few moments, seeing 01 blast apart some Geth Mobile Suits in battle. "I sense that you do not approve." Continues the Illusive Man.
Miranda gathers her thoughts before replying. "I believe that the resources could be spent better elsewhere sir."
"Perhaps" he exhales a cloud of smoke, "and perhaps those other projects will work out. Perhaps I am putting too much faith in one person. But you have no experience with what that family is capable of."
"Sir?" Miranda asks, unsure of where the Illusive man is going with this.
For his part, the man simply keeps smoking. "Have I ever told you the origins of Cerberus?"
Miranda stays quiet for a moment. "It started after contact was established with the Citadel Species."
"True." He replies, "That is when I sent out my open letter calling for the defense of Humanity. But do you ever wonder what the roots of Cerberus are? Where Cerberus was before I published that letter?"
Of course she has. Miranda would never work for an organization before finding out everything she possibly could have. But the true origins are always a mystery. Only a few people in existence knew, and Miranda has a feeling she will soon be one of those people.
"Cerberus is an amalgamation of the organizations that came before it. Three different groups, three 'Heads' if you will, pooling what resources and influence they had left to do what is necessary." He takes a sip of 50 year old scotch before inhaling the cigarette smoke once more. "The first organization is one you should be most familiar with, as your father was a member." Miranda tensed subconsciously at the mention of her 'father' but The Illusive Man continues on. "Though he and I are not of 'noble' birth, the Romefellar Foundation is not one to ignore those committed to their cause, especially if they can be of use. Noble born I may not be, but with my knowledge and connections I rose through the ranks. It was my idea to use Relena as a figure head, and history shows us how well that plan faired. Duke Dermail kept me as a confidant and advisor, and when Treize took over I made sure to scrub any mention of myself from the Foundation records, attributing my ideas and advice to others who have already died.
"Second is the White Fang. Though we were on opposite sides of the war, the loss of Libra and the majority of their fighting force made them weak and in need of assistance. I used what connections I had left to hide the true leaders, sacrificing the middle ranks as needed. Quinze dying was actually a boon as his zealotry would have hindered their cooperation with me.
"And finally, we have the Barton Foundation." Having finished his cigarette, The Illusive Man pulls out another one and lights up. "Honestly, until the Mariemaia incident I had believed they were no longer players, their ability to keep secrets kept even me in the dark."
Throat dry, he takes another sip of fine Scotch. "And thus we have the Three Heads of Cerberus. The members of the Romefellar Foundation provides the majority of our funding. The White Fang supplies us with the majority of our soldiers. The Barton Foundation has the best infiltrators in Alliance Space. These three separate entities, becoming one under my leadership, flourishing in our roles as protectors, guiding Humanity from the shadows.
"That, is the true history of Cerberus."
Miranda stays quiet, absorbing the information. She is honored he trusts her with this information, however "I still don't understand why we need Shepard sir."
"Oh Miranda, I thought you would see the bigger picture." Miranda bristles but The Illusive Man keeps talking. "Do you know what brought down these three organizations?"
"Treize Kushrenada, The Organization of the Zodiac and the Earth Sphere Unified Nations."
"No." He states flatly. "They may have been the victors, but victory did not belong to them alone.
"The Romefellar Foundation fell to infighting after making Relena Peacecraft the Queen of the World and the Foundation leaders were killed, opening the doorway for Treize to take control. The Gundam Pilots, specifically Heero Yuy, defeated the White Fang by stopping Libra from destroying Earth and wining a one on one duel with Zechs, who never really wanted to destroy Earth anyways. And finally, Wing Zero destroyed the Presidential Mansion, allowing Relena Darlian to convince Mariemaia and her army to surrender.
"I have witnessed two individuals change the course of human history three times, and then watched their child fight a being of nightmare to save the Galaxy.
"Now do you understand why I have chosen Shepard?"
Miranda understands, even though she does not fully agree. Regardless, she will follow orders. The Illusive Man has never steered them wrong before.
"Good. Continue with your project. I will secure any funding and personnel you deem necessary. Make sure you file monthly reports."
Taking that as a dismissal Miranda exitss the room, leaving The Illusive Man to his own devices.
What do you think of that? Like how my Cerberus came together? It's amazing how much two completely different things match up if you try a little.
Onto the 2nd Omake.
There were two Systems (Takes place in the beginning of ME 2, just before getting the Normandy again)
"Alright. I'm in." Shepard told The Illusive man.
"Good to hear Shepard." He inhales some cigarette smoke before continuing. "As good as you are, you'll need a team with you in order to fight these Collectors effectively."
"I had a team, a good one. I want them back." Comes Shepard's reply. Even through the QEC the determination is undeniable.
"I figured you would." Pressing a button, a set of holographic files appear before Shepard. "I took the liberty of tracking down as many of your old team as possible and uploaded their dossiers to your Omni-tool. Included are some others I have determined would be of use to you. Recruit them, ignore them, the choice is yours."
Shepard skims the received files, nodding in satisfaction after seeing all the dossiers of the old ground team. "I'll also need equipment. A ship and some good Mobile Suits."
"The Ship we have covered, though the Mobile Suit presents us with a bit of a conundrum. A standard mass produced Mobile Suit would be unable to keep up with your reflexes. It would hold you back in the most critical of situations. 01 served you well, though detonating it to take down the Collector ship was quite a loss."
"I'll sacrifice whatever equipment necessary to ensure the safety of my crew." Shepard replies heatedly.
"And that's commendable Shepard, truly. However, that does not alleviate the problem of providing you with a proper MS."
"Can't you just rebuild 01 like you rebuilt me?"
"No." The Cerberus leader takes another sip of scotch. "When the Alliance retrieval teams came they took every scrap of 01 they could. What they didn't take could fit in my glass right here. And stealing a Gundam is out of the question. Not only do we not know where they are, the disappearance of one would bring the Systems Alliance down on us harder than you could imagine. It is simply not worth it."
"Surely you could build an equivalent machine with the resources you have." Knowing Cerberus, Shepard doesn't believe everything was spent on the Commander's revival.
"Of course we could. However, even with the smuggling of Gundanium Alloy, no easy feat I should tell you, building an equivalent Mobile Suit from scratch is a harrowing ordeal. Believe me when I say that reconstructing your body was simple in comparison. Those five scientist were truly geniuses."
"So we're stuck at square one again."
"I didn't say that Shepard." The Commander immediately wants to slap the smug off The Illusive Man's face. "We cannot get a hold of the six Gundams the Systems Alliance has, nor can we build a new Gundam from scratch.
"But we do not need to."
That takes Shepard off guard. "What do you mean?"
The Illusive Man exhales a cloud of smoke. "Treize truly was a Renaissance Man. I would have gladly followed him had he survived. Art, warfare, philosophy, even Mobile Suit design, Treize excelled at everything. So much so that His Excellency was able to create a Mobile Suit to rival and surpass the Gundams."
"What are you talking about?" The conversation is going somewhere, but Shepard can't tell where yet.
"Treize created a suit of power, one that reflected his sense of Chivalrous combat. It had no ranged weaponry, instead relying on a sword as its main offensive weapon like the knights of old. He was even able to fit a very particular system on board, one that only two living humans have ever mastered."
Shepard finally understands what The Illusive Man is talking about. But the Cerberus leader is not yet finished.
"After the Battle of Libra, Zechs hid the Suit very well. It took my people years to discover its location. The majority of the Gundanium my organization was able to smuggle out of the factory went into its repair, which was finished just in time for your arrival."
He takes another deep breath of cigarette smoke. "Take care Shepard. You have minimal exposure to the Zero system. Do not let the two headed dragon overtake you, or you will find yourself surrounded by enemies unable to distinguish friend from foe."
The Illusive Man pushes a button on his chair, ending the meeting.
Shepard meets up with Joker, who introduces the Commander to the Normand SR2 before taking the recently revived human to the Mobile Suit Hanger.
Standing there in a place of prominence like a menacing beast stands the maroon Mobile Suit, thought lost to history.
What'cha think of that? Epyon would at times compromise the critical thinking skills of Shepard and help explain some of the Renegade things Shepard would do in ME2. The combat characteristics of Epyon reward those who are aggressive and get in close, and that bleeds over to other things.
Finally, I want to say a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has followed me on this journey. My first FanFic. Over 87k word written in just over a year. That's longer than the first Harry Potter book for those uninformed.
It just feels so great to finally finish this, you know?
Anyways, that's all.