Mass Effect: Hearts of Many Through Time

Chapter 8: Hearts of Monsters Part Three

2170 Mindoir – Galactic Calendar 27 June 1131 – Alliance QRF Outpost (56 seconds 'til orbital bombardment)

"KEEP FIRING MEN! DON'T GIVE THEM ANOTHER INCH!" Gunnery Chief Toombs shouted over the radio to his remaining men. The past two hours had been long and brutal, not to mention bloody. Two hours ago, he had roughly sixty men remaining; but two hours is a long time for shit to turn sideways in more than one way. When they started fighting they were one hundred and sixty-two strong. Their position on the base gave them the advantage but after wave upon waves of enemies over the span of two hours had reduced the number of defenders to just under twenty. Thank god for their rifles that only need a cool down before being able to fire again. Conventional ammunition would've run out long ago.

A stray round deflected off his shields bringing him out of his thoughts. The metal plating on the mounted defense turret was doing an excellent job of…well protecting him. His men had taken up a position around the Headquarters building or what remained of it. Four turrets remained fixed at the points of a compass while four men spread themselves between each turret to form a circle around the base. A few rockets had impacted on the building, making sizeable wholes across the structure. Those on the inside who weren't injured were using the new 'windows' for cover as they fired their weapons. Some were fortunate enough to have assault rifles while others had to rely on their side arms.

(42 seconds)

Toombs kept his finger on the trigger of the massive gun, sending off round after armor piercing round towards his targets. As before some were fortunate enough to be in cover while others simply exploded into a gory red mist. "CHIEF! GUNSHIP, TEN O' CLOCK HIGH!" one of his troops called out. Looking slightly to his left he spotted said gunship looking to make a strafing run along their position. Swiveling his turret to aim at the gunship, Toombs pulled the trigger hoping to take out their new problem. "SOMEONE GET A LAUNCHER AND SHOOT THAT SON-OF-A-BITCH DOWN!" he called out. One of the men on the second floor of the building had just arrived with a missile launcher before taking aim and firing. The gunship's pilot was doing an excellent job of piloting as not many rounds were striking it's shields.

However, the pilot was not expecting the sudden impact of rockets. The shields immediately brought down it's shields, allowing Toombs to land successful shots on the gunship. The rounds had struck the engines and soon the ship was coming down in flames. The pilot knew he was done for; but instead of going down screaming, he steered the gunship as best as he could in the direction of his enemies. One final kamikaze run to ensure his death would be glorious. Toombs saw that the gunship was veering towards their position as he called out "COVER!"

The gunship fired off its remaining salvo of missiles towards the base defenders. There was no target locked, so each missile went off to some random target which dealt more damage than expected. Several struck the building killing some of the men inside. The rest fell across the circle of defenders killing several more. As the last missile struck, so did the gunship as it erupted in a ball of flames causing more men to be killed from the explosion.

Toombs was fortunate, or unfortunate depending on how you look at the situation. The blast of the final rocket had sent him flying; when he landed, he felt several cracks, almost knowing that he broke either an arm or a leg, or both considering the amount of pain he was in. Ironically, the blast that almost killed him had propelled him out of the way of the gunship's crash point.

(15 seconds)

Only a handful of the defenders were left. Only a handful remained after two hours of fighting. Those few remaining had already resigned themselves to their fate after observing the effects of the last attack. They had done more than what was expected from them against impossible odds. Most felt proud for making it 'til the end while others reflected on the 'I wish' moments of their lives.

Using his remaining unbroken limbs to drag himself to a sitting position against a piece of rubble, Toombs looked to his left and right to assess the damage caused by the kamikaze. Seeing so many of his men dead, he let out a tired sigh. Across the field, he could see the enemy walking towards his position. Walking, stalking even, the slavers saw that his men were spent after that last attack. Hell, he was feeling pretty spent as well. He used his last pack of medigel to stop the bleeding; it wouldn't fix his arm or leg but he wouldn't bleed out…he hoped. Although, it really didn't matter now, raising his right hand to his earpiece he spoke one last time with a haggard breath, "Gentlemen…it's been an honor…" His earpiece cracked to life as his men spoke up individually, "The honor was ours chief." "It was a good fight." "See you all in the next life." Toombs smiled as he radioed "Who's like us?!" He overheard the men on the radio and shouting out loud "DAMN FEW! AND THEY'RE ALL DEAD!"


Toombs grabbed his pistol which through some miracle stayed in its holster 'Good luck son, take care of your mother'.


The slavers stopped advancing seeing Toombs raise his pistol in one final act of defiance. Some of the Batarians nodded in appreciation of the act, deeming him a warrior 'til the end.


A low rumble started to make itself known. Some of the slavers started looking around trying to figure out what the noise was while Toombs himself gained a somewhat nostalgic look, as if he's heard it before.


'I'll be damned' he thought as he quickly radioed "Cover your ears boys!"


The rumble soon turned into a roar as high velocity rounds broke through the sky. The impact was deafening, as several rounds struck the surface were the slavers were scattered. The force of the blast was abrupt to the point the enemy didn't even scream, they simply perished under the tons of fire and iron raining down from the heavens.

Toombs had to cover his eyes as well as one of his ears from the flashes from the bombardment. Then just as quickly as it began, it stopped showing the area in front of him to be non-existent. Bodies, or pieces of bodies, lay scattered and charred from what could be called decimation. The ringing in his ears was constant for a few minutes; he was disoriented from the shock of what just happened. Being hopeful he raised his hand to his earpiece, "Get comfortable boys…I think backup will be showing up here soon." Toombs could almost swear he heard a collective sigh when someone spoke up, exhaustion clear in his voice "One hell of a morning, huh?".

2170 Mindoir – Galactic Calendar 27 June 1209 – Joseph

Joseph was praying to God that he wasn't being followed. Considering the rear-view mirror, his prayers were wasted as he saw several blocks down that he was being followed. Looking closely, the slavers without helmets were pissed.

While trying to procure a vehicle, Joseph had made his way to the park where a large concentration of slavers and their prizes were located. Knowing that leaving these people to their fate was cruel, he managed to sabotage the cages they were currently in housed in. However, that wasn't enough realizing that all of them had the neural collars placed on them, effectively preventing them from escaping.

Joseph made his way to what appeared to be a makeshift command post. There, he saw a few slavers monitoring the video feeds from other groups. They were laughing, as if everything was a sitcom. Feeds were showing different things from defending Alliance soldiers getting killed, buildings being destroyed, large groups of people being rounded up. Some feeds were of personnel cameras being displayed. Joseph found those to be the worst; displays of women being raped, people being tortured,…children being murdered.

He was angry. These twisted beings found amusement in the slaughter of a colony. Silently he made his way into the command post to exact justice for these people. The four men never knew what hit them. Using his omni-blades Joseph sliced through the men with little resistance. The last man had managed to raise his rifle, only for Joseph to knock the rifle up while bringing his blade into the man's stomach. Using as much strength as he could muster, Joseph brought his arm up towards the man's head effectively bisecting the man.

Going to a console Joseph typed in commands to disable the neural collars on the people located around the camp. The people heard a zap and smelt something burning as they realized that the collars weren't working anymore. Joseph was leaving but decided to toss a few incendiary grenades into the command post before running off to find a vehicle. Once the grenades erupted the people started running in all directions, hoping to get free from their captors. The slavers were shouting about how the people got loose.

Instead of rounding everyone they simply started shooting. Once more people were screaming before being gunned down. Some were caught once more while others were killed. In the uproar, Joseph had managed to grab a truck after killing the guard next to it.

Now Joseph was driving as fast as he could with a group of slavers behind him. The sky was darkened from the smoke in the air. Everything was in utter chaos as the fighting got worse. He could only hope the Alliances would get here soon, and pray that John and Miranda were safe.

As if to add to his burdens, the side view mirror erupted into shards bringing Joseph out of his thoughts. The group of slavers following him had managed to catch up to within firing range before letting loose their rifles. Swerving around the road to avoid as much of the rounds as he could the rear windshield shattered as the slavers continued to fire on him. Making a turn towards the base, he had to shield his eyes as a bright flash could be seen. During his career in the Alliance, Joseph knew few things could make that flash and it all involved ordnance. Praying that the Alliance had finally made it, he pressed to gas petal to the floor, pushing the truck as fast as it could go. Checking his rearview mirror, it looked like the driver had shielded his eyes to, only for him to drive into a destroyed MAKO.

Finally, with relief he made it to the edge of the colony getting on the road that would take him to his home. He checked his rearview to see if anyone else was following him. Not spotting any he looked towards the road. It would take half an hour for Joseph to get home. Letting out a heavy sigh he continued driving, not realizing that a gunship had spotted him.

2170 Mindoir – Galactic Calendar 27 June 1222 – John and Miranda

John was currently sitting in front of the terminal that controlled the base's security functions as well as maintaining the overall status of the Waterfall. Currently on screen was video feed from the cameras and movement sensors surrounding the base. It never ceased to amaze John on how fortified the Waterfall was; if his family was normal, nothing like this would be possible. "I wonder what dad did before we were born. He said he had a friend who had some of this stuff laying around, but who the hell just has a YMIR mech 'laying around'?"

"Probably someone with either a lot of money or someone of military background" John looked up from his pondering to see Miranda staring at him with a small smirk, "You have a habit of forgetting the Link John." He couldn't help but chuckle at that, "It's only been a couple of months since we actually started getting the hang of it Miri." John looked around at the civilians getting settled as best as they could. The children were playing with the board games and cards that were stored in one of the closest, or the equivalent in a cave.

The children seemed oblivious to the worries that plagued the many faces of the adults. Most of the them looked to be wondering what was going to happen or how long they would be able to stay. John could see Ms. Bethany in the kitchen with Abigail cleaning. Brunch was a big success, if he did say so himself, with the two ladies and Miranda helping him feed everyone. It seemed after having a full belly some of the immediate worries the group of people.

John still was having trouble figuring out why the colony was caught off guard. If the Alliance had sensors monitoring the planet then a warning should have been issued. However nothing came or was sent out; no form of warning was broadcast from the base. If there had been then things might be different. From what he gathered from the adults the first place to be attacked was the Hangout. Then it just spiraled down from there; the slavers were relentless in their pursuit taking the colony. The base was hit just as hard and if the that loud rumble, which he heard even from inside the cave, was any reference to go off then it was getting worse.

Now with nothing to do but think, John was wondering how his father was doing, if he was alive or dead or captured. Was he injured, alone or with another group of survivors? He knew his father would be helping where he could, which probably involved killing a few people...killing someone. That was something else on John's mind. He killed someone for the first time, and it was easier than he thought. It was frightening how easy it was to pull the trigger and end the lives of those idiots who were holding Ms. Bethany as a hostage. He thought he should feel something about killing them, guilt or some form of remorse yet he felt nothing. Did that make him a bad person?

Looking back on the event he could recall the man's face in almost perfect clarity. The way the muscles in jaw worked from looking surprised, then fearful, and finally how the life seemed to just leave his eyes. John's body was tensing to the point he was starting to shake from thinking about it. However, when a he felt a hand rest on his shoulder, he was brought out of his thoughts and looked up into eyes as blue as the sky.

Miranda could tell that something was eating her John up. If she had to take a guess, it was probably the same thing that was on her mind; the act of killing. John was a good person so she wasn't surprised that now that he was sitting down and things were settled that his thoughts would go back to herself and John killing the two gunmen. While keeping her gaze fixed on his Miranda lowered herself to sit in his lap. Placing a hand on the side of his face, she brought his head up to meet hers as she placed a kiss on his lips in as lovingly as possible. When she broke the contact, he was confused by the action, so she decided to explain herself, "It's okay John. You did nothing wrong. I know what you're doing and if you think that killing those two men was a bad thing then you need to stop that line of thinking. You saved Ms. Bethany from being taken by men who wouldn't have hesitated to do all kinds of despicable things to her, especially if they were willing to shoot Abigail in front of her. Remember I shot on of them as well, but the way I'm choosing to see it is if we did not intervene, a friend of ours would have been killed and we would've regretted it more. Killing those men saved the lives of these people. So please John, do not trouble yourself over this anymore than what is necessary."

John looked around him, at the children and adults currently finding peace and solace in the fact that they were safe. Nodding his head, he replied, "You're right Miri. Right now, wallowing won't help anyone. Not with everything going on. Thanks." Miranda simply kissed him once more before turning her attention to the screen. Her eyes narrowed on a particular screen that showed the road leading to the house. John caught the movement and looked at the same screen noticing a fast-moving cloud of dirt coming towards the house. It was still ten minutes out, but it would get there before they could reach the house themselves. The Waterfall was roughly eighteen minutes away from the house, and that is without trying to be sneaky and catch the attention of whoever is in the woods with not-so-friendly intentions.

Both John and Miranda continued to watch the dirt cloud approach until the shape of a truck became more visible. The camera feed soon detected a shuttle following the vehicle. From the looks of the shuttle, both teens guessed that whoever was on it, friendly wasn't a word to describe them. This was confirmed when one side of the shuttle bay doors lifted to see at least half a dozen men and batarians pointing their rifles to start shooting at the truck. John was wondering who was in the truck and what they did for them to be getting shot at. Miranda, although wondering why they were being shot, didn't have to wonder who was driving as the truck pulled up to a stop at the house, it's lone occupant stepping out of the driver's seat while taking cover behind the truck. Both Miranda and John's eyes went wide as they saw that it was Joseph who was shooting a pistol at the shuttle.

As the shuttle was touching down, they saw Joseph turn to make his way into the house. "Ms. Bethany! You're in charge!" Miranda looked down only to see John had already started making his way to the exit. She herself bolted after her boyfriend, praying that both would make it in time to help the man that she had come to call father.

2170 Mindoir – Galactic Calendar 27 June 1235 – Joseph

Joseph pulled the trigger on his shotgun he had pulled from the family armory, blasting a hole into the chest of another human slaver. The recoil sent pain to his left shoulder from where he was shot while driving the truck. He once more berated himself on his sloppy work of making sure no one was tailing him. Now he found himself pinned down in his own home with eight slavers hitting him from different angles. The only solace he had was that John and Miranda were not in the house with him. When he had retrieved the shotgun, he saw that a couple of pistols and assault rifles were missing. That gave him comfort knowing that they had a means to defend themselves, at least until they get to their homemade fortress in the woods. He just prayed he'd make it out of this to see them again, yet deep down he knew that wasn't happening.

It seemed that fate had to agree with him; as he was recollecting his thoughts, the slavers got smart or impatient as two of them grabbed a rocket launcher each from the shuttle and fired at the house. The blast had destroyed the front door along with part of the wall Joseph was using for cover. Luckily, he was moving away from his position when it hit, yet he was unable to escape the concussive force that sent him flying through one of the walls.

The impact had left his body bruised and probably broken, the air in his lungs escaped as he crashed through the wall and landed on the floor. His ribs felt like they were on fire; Joseph's ears were ringing as his vision was focusing on a portrait. In it was his favorite people in the galaxy; his wonderful wife was standing next to on his right. Hannah's arm was wrapped around their daughter while on his left side was their son with his arm wrapped around the newest addition to the family. Few of the slavers made their way into the room he was lying in, both seemed angry that he was alive but then it turned into amusement. They roughly grabbed him and started dragging him to the front. He sent one last look at the portrait, in his heart knowing he wouldn't see it again.

Out on the front lawn, the slavers were cheering their victory of him. One of the batarians came over to stand in front of him, "So human, you think you have the right to kill my men, steal our truck, and set our goods loose?" He hit Joseph across his jaw, the armored fist effectively knocking a tooth out of his mouth. "For simply breathing and not dying like you're supposed to, we're going to make sure you pay for being an asshole" the Batarian slaver finished saying, his words acting as a sign for the other slavers to start beating Joseph to near death. Each blow felt like a hammer as their armor was making them more effective. He tried not to voice his pain but that became more of a motivation for the slavers to work harder. They were successful when one pulled out a baton and brought his blow down over his kneecap. His cry was immediate as he felt them strike the blows once more, then twice, and finally thrice.

The slavers stopped their beating and laughed at the cries he produced. The Batarian slaver spoke up, "Tie him up and put him on his knees." Joseph gritted his teeth as they put him on his broken kneecap roughly as they strapped a pair of omni-cuffs on his wrist behind his back. He looked up to see what they were doing when he had to look away again as they started pouring water on top of him. Yet when he tried to inhale air, the fumes from the liquid overpowered his senses telling him that it wasn't water but fuel. The Batarian slaver tossed the can away before bringing out a cigar from one of his pouches on his chest, while bringing out a lighter from a separate pouch. Another batarian standing next to him looked on in disgust as he asked, "How the hell can you stand those disgusting things?" The first Batarian slaver, having already lit the cigar, took a deep inhale of his nicotine before exhaling his reply, "If you've ever had an authentic Cuban cigar, you'd understand. Despite humans being a blight on the galaxy, they sure know how to make a smoke."

For Joseph's part, he could see his life flash as each inhale brought the flame of the cigar further down. He looked over to the wood line and thought he saw John and Miranda take cover in a bush. Guessing that was what he saw he put a smile on his face knowing that they were alive, yet it turned into a frown as he sensed that they were going to do something stupid like rescue him. He shook his head sending them a signal that he hoped they got. It was one thing for him to die, but if he saw his son and probable future-daughter-in-law die as well, he would rather the slavers kill him now and have them stay put or go back to the Waterfall.

Looking up at the cigar the Batarian was smoking, he couldn't help but think on his life. As he thought on it, he could say without a doubt that he wouldn't change a thing. He got to spend most of his life with a beautiful strong woman who birthed two children who he knew would go on to do great things. 'Both are strong willed like their mother and as stubborn as me, or so Hannah says' Joseph thought as the Batarian took on last drag of his cigar before turning to him. Looking into the eyes of one that would kill him Joseph said, "I know you don't believe me and probably think that what I'm going to tell you is meaningless; but I pray that you and your friends find a better life than this. Because if I was you, I'd be haunted with the faces of those I've killed till the end of my days."

It looked like the Batarian slaver considered his words as a thoughtful expression crossed his face. Yet it quickly faded as the Batarian smiled and said, "You know…you really need to stop taking things so seriously and just…" The smile got bigger and more sadistic when he moved to his hand holding the cigar, "Lighten up."

The Batarian slaver flicked the cigar towards Joseph's head, and through his eyes, the cigar was falling in slow motion. He could feel the heat as it came closer to his face; most would have shown fear or made a last-ditch effort to live, but Joseph did none of those things. He just watched with a calm expression as the cigar finally hit his skin. The effect was instant; the fuel coating his skin and clothing ignited in a flash as the flames proceeded to eat away everything that made up his body. The pain was excruciating, as the smell of his flesh being cooked entered his nostrils. Joseph though wouldn't give them the satisfaction of hearing him cry out in pain. He gritted his teeth, his gaze still looking up at the Batarian slaver. Soon that to failed him as the flames burned his vision; more than likely it was his eyes that burned as he could no longer feel them anymore. Yet he heard what sounded like someone pulling out a weapon from its holster.

His sightless gaze never left the direction of the Batarian slaver whom he assumed held the gun. Joseph simply continued to look up at his killer, and did the only thing he knew to do when staring at death. He smiled.

2170 Mindoir – Galactic Calendar 27 June 1241 – John and Miranda


…John couldn't believe it…yet his eyes and the logical part of his brain were telling him that his father was just killed…he was burned alive and then shot in the head. The man that he looked up to, saw as what an honorable human being should look like, was now dead. John could just make out the blood from the exit wound exploding from the back of his father's skull…

For all that logic and rationality however, John simply couldn't believe his father was killed like some animal. He couldn't except it as his body felt like it was on autopilot moving towards the group with unfocused eyes, simply staring at the burning husk that was his father. He felt a tug from Miranda, but his brain did not register the pull; his thoughts were just frozen on the flames. The group finally noticed him though as he was coming up behind them. Some parted out of the way mostly out of curiosity and amusement that some kid would carelessly walk up to a group of slavers. John though didn't care about them. He didn't care about anything; his dad was just killed…and he did nothing to prevent it. All because his father shook his head telling him not to. So, he didn't do anything but watched. Now however, he wished he had disobeyed him, if only to prevent the pain in his chest from consuming him.

John was so focused on the flames that his peripheral view of the slavers was a simple blur. It could've been the tears falling from his eyes or the hate boiling up inside from deep within himself. It didn't matter to him. He distinctly felt one of the slavers grab his arm but didn't pay it any mind and simply shrugged it off. Yet to those around him, it was far more than a shrug.

Miranda stood by watching the scene, she herself felt ill and cold as she watched her father figure be murdered without any hint of remorse. When one of the slavers went to tie John up, she moved to protect him thinking he was in too much shock to register he was in danger. Yet she watched as the person she loved sent out a pulse of red biotic energy to push the man off him. The pulse shocked the slavers surrounding John as well as herself. She could hear the slavers complaining that they couldn't move and curse that John was a biotic.

John kept them still, his biotics were floating around him almost calmly yet she knew her love wasn't calm. She could feel his turmoil through the bond they shared; John's emotions were anything but calm. To her, it felt like an inferno of hate, anger, violence, and every emotion that she could associate it with. It frightened her more when he fell to his knees and the slavers fell with him. Some cried out in pain as the force in which they were brought to the ground broke a few limbs. Miranda walked out towards her damaged home, keeping her biotics up to shield herself from John's. As she walked up, Miranda could hear gritting his teeth in anger and grief as he folded over crying. She watched as he raised his hand to beat on the ground, the slavers rising as his fist went up. When it came down, every slaver cried out as their bodies hit the ground with tremendous force. However, it didn't stop there as John's grief took hold and he continued to beat on the ground again…and again…and again.

Each time John brought their bodies flying and crashing, they let out screams of pain and agony as their bones cracked and limbs bent at awkward angles. After the tenth blow, most if not all of them, were dead but her love continued. When he was done, Miranda had to steel her nerves to go and stand by his side to comfort him in any way she could. The slavers were not recognizable as people but just lumps of bloody meat with pieces of metal sticking out of them.

Yet as Miranda walked up to kneel at his side, she was surprised when he didn't register that she was there. At least not until she wrapped her arms around him. She gently brought his head to lay atop her breast hoping that her heart beat would calm him down. It tore her up that there wasn't anything else she could do but felt some small measure of relief when he wrapped his arms around her own frame bringing her closer to him. "Ssshh John, I'm here. I got you love." She whispered into his hear trying to get him to calm down. It seemed to work as his body ceased shaking.

It felt like they stayed for hours, John crying on Miranda's breast as she rested her chin atop his head silently weeping herself. When he looked up at her, his eyes were puffy from the crying and his grief was still very much on the surface. "Thank y-" John went to thank Miranda for helping him, he was cut short by the pain of something shocking him. He heard Miranda cry out in pain as well from what looked like electricity arcing off both of their bodies.

"Potential threat subdued. Acquiring target now." John looked up from his spasming to see three men dressed in full tactical gear that was painted black. It looked expensive and way more professional than the group of slavers he had just killed. To his confusion and horror, they moved to cuff Miranda's wrist in front of her before dragging her away from him.

His grief was once more turning to anger as he tried to stand up to protect the girl who had become his other half. As they loaded Miranda up to their vehicle, John struggled to stand due to the volts of electricity still affecting him. Finally, though as they started driving away, his strength started to return along with his biotics coming back full force.

His body was shining red from the biotic power he was emitting, and his face was nothing but set determination aimed at those that took Miranda. Quickly making his way to the truck his father had driven to get there, John reversed the truck into a complete 180 degree turn before punching his foot on the gas to give chase to the other vehicle.

With Miranda, she was getting over the literal shock of being captured as the driver radioed, "Target obtained. Prep the shuttle for evac." Groggily she asked, "Who are you and where are you taking me?" The man next to her turned to see that she was awake having not noticed, yet before he could reply, the front passenger yelled out, "Vehicle from the rear. Williams take it out." Both the front passenger, which she guessed to be the leader, and the operative next to her stuck their torsos out the windows and started firing at the vehicle they mentioned.

She looked out the rear window, and gasped at seeing John driving an already damaged truck. The gun fire from the operatives were doing more damage as rounds bounced off the metal of the hood and roof. A few rounds came close to the driver's side making Miranda struggle against her bonds. She had to help her other half and couldn't think of anything at the moment.

Looking out the front windshield, she saw that they were fast approaching the colony. Either she was disoriented longer than she thought or they were driving stupidly fast. It was perhaps the later, however with that thought in mind, she turned towards the operative closer to her as he once more stuck his torso out to firer at John. He was surprisingly accurate as the rounds were coming to close to where John's head was. So, bringing her biotics to bear, she brought her knees to her chest and kicked the operative in the back. The force of the kick, enhanced by her biotics, blew the man along with the door out of the vehicle.

Tracking his movement, Miranda watched as the man sailed through the air with his head striking the front of John's truck. She didn't have time to celebrate her victory as the leader brought his omni-tool, sparkling with electricity, to her stomach. The cried out in pain as the shock ran throughout her body. She spasmed uncontrollably from the voltage coursing its way through her muscles.

The vehicle continued making its way to the colony when it was forced to stop. The leader and the driver quickly got out to drag Miranda out of the back seat while she was still disoriented. Her vision was fading in and out, but she stayed conscious enough to see what was going on, including seeing John crash into a pair of slavers that started firing at him.

John didn't have time for a bunch of assholes getting in his way trying to shoot him. Getting out of the truck that had made a stain of the two men he had just hit, John raced his way in the direction he felt Miranda was being taken through. His anger was fueling his movements but his mind was still absorbing everything around him. From the few screams of people being taken, the laughter of slavers finding humor in their cruelty, and to the bodies and destruction that laid bare to all who walked the streets. However, that wasn't on his priority list right now; first and foremost was getting Miranda back. Nothing in this death consumed colony was going to stop him.

A trio of slavers found out the hard way as they spotted him. He must have struck a threatening picture as they brought their rifles up and started firing at him. John brought his arms to his face to shield him, however he need not have worried as his biotics were formed into a barrier. It seemed they were so strong that the rounds were deflecting off him harmlessly. Therefore, looking over to his side, he spotted a damaged car that he made to grab. The motion triggered a giant biotic hand to shoot out grabbing the front of the car. With a fury in his voice he cried out, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!" and threw the car towards the trio.

Two of the men cried out as the car smashed into them, killing them both instantly while the third miraculously jumped out of the way in time. His stroke of luck was cut short as John performed a Nova Charge on the man, his outstretched arms driving into the man's stomach. With ease that rivaled a krogan, John lifted the man overhead and ripped him in two at the waist. "John" he heard in his head, it was Miranda using their bond to call out to him, meaning she was still close. Turning towards the direction he felt her in, John took off sprinting at speeds he didn't know he was capable of.

Running down an alleyway he spotted the two men carrying a still disoriented Miranda while running off towards the direction of the Hangout. Sprinting down the alley way, he once more came across a group of slavers. Once more fueled by rage, he raised his hand up throwing a Singularity at the group. Most of the men and batarians weren't shield so where caught up in the gravity field to float helplessly around the mass effect field. John wasn't done yet as he picked up speed then disappeared into a Nova Charge hitting one of the floating men. One was enough however, as the two biotic forces collided causing the Singularity to collapse and explode outward sending the floating individuals flying to either be a stain on a wall or be impaled on the many pieces of debris laying around. Those who were lucky, or unlucky, had the misfortune of John picking up a nearby dumpster and slamming them into the ground with it. The men cried out but it was quickly cut off.

John spotted Miranda further down, just entering the Hangout. Yet between him and her, were a least a dozen slavers staring at him with weapons raised up. Crying out once more, he roared out "YOU WILL NOT TAKE HER FROM ME AS WELL!" The slavers opened fired but John didn't care as he went about killing the men in front of him. It didn't matter what race or gender they were as he simply killed those that opposed him. Individuals lost limbs from having them physically ripped off, others were crushed by thrown objects. Many were thrown about by Shockwaves ripping through their ranks. John didn't escape this unscathed however as few rounds managed to get through his barrier. Yet he would not be stopped from his goal; John absolutely refused to be stopped. Grabbing the last man by his face, he rushed towards a wall driving the man's head into the stone. Bone, blood, and brain matter went everywhere as his head exploded from the pressure.

Making his way through the Hangout, John spotted Miranda getting zapped once more by what he guessed was an Overload. He also saw that she was being loaded onto the shuttle that he assumed the men that had her came on. The leader spotted him as he cried out "Miranda!"

Miranda heard John's voice cut through the grogginess that she was feeling from getting multiple Overloads done on her. Her eyes focused on the person who called out to her. She could see the fear and panic on her love's face; reaching out to him she called out his name over their mental link and voice as well. In a flash John had charged towards her with using Nova, his being coming into full existence from the light speed he had just been flowing through. His hand was stretched out, hoping to grasp her own stretched out hand.


…Miranda watched on, as if time itself slowed down just so she could memorize every single detail. The brief moment John's barrier fell as he stepped out of the Nova, the smoke coming from the leader's gun barrel, the small hole that formed right were John's heart would be, the blood coming out of John's back as the bullet exited his body. The pained expression crossing his eyes as his fingertips grazed her own, the way his body flew backwards as his momentum was killed, and the soft whisper coming from the bond, "Miranda". She screamed, gods did she scream using her voice and her bond, "JJJOOOHHHNNN!"

She felt a sharp pain on her arm, it faded quickly as whatever it was, it was putting her to sleep. Miranda felt the ship start lifting into the air as her eyes were slowly closing. "…John…" she called out to him one more time over as the shuttle door closed, blocking her view of the man that she loved.

John couldn't do a thing. His body felt like it was hit by a truck, god he was in so much pain. The wounds he had taken during the skirmishes he had and the bullet that just pierced his chest were weighing him down. They felt like they were forcing his body to remain still. "…John…" he heard her call out to him once more over their bond as the shuttle lifted off into the air before it became nonexistent. John continued to stare at the spot where the shuttle had disappeared. He didn't notice it earlier but it looked like the storm he had saw earlier on the weather radar back at the Waterfall had just moved in.

He felt the first few drops land on his face, his body laid out on the grass of the Hangout. The sky cracked with lightning and thunder as the rain came in a heavy downpour, as if trying to rid the colony of everything wrong happening. John didn't care though. The woman he cherished was taken from him, and he couldn't protect her when it mattered the most. He failed her. He failed his father. He failed his mother and sister. He suddenly felt very tired from it all, and couldn't help but give in. Slowly his eye lids closed on his vision. He was done, so why not rest. Thinking of Miranda, he called out to her one last time over the Link before his consciousness left him and darkness closed in.

A/N: Woah it's been a minute since I last updated. Life, who knew could be a pain in the ass huh? Sorry about that folks but hey here's something right. Now a couple of things, I didn't include 1lt Zabaleta and Talitha because I was planning on making their side of the event a sort of flashback for later chapters. You know give the story some more stuff.

Yeah I killed Joseph I'm sorry if you guys like him but seeing how I didn't invest too much time on his character I don't really feel bad about.

Now since I'm always looking for feedback please review and let me know what I could've done better or if you simply like the chapter.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter.