Mass Effect: The Iron Heart of Man
AN: Greetings, fellow reader! I'd like to thank you for showing interest for my story by accessing it and I hope you will stick with me and enjoy reading it :D I want to make several IMPORTANT observations before going on.
First, this story will borrow names from Halo (because Halo names are the most poetic and best names ever) and from other universes.
Second, remember this is an Alternate Universe (AU), thus I take the liberty to replace and rename certain planets or change a bit the personality of some canon characters (because I may fail to recreate their original personalities).
Third, while some things such as hyperspace and ion cannon technology or magnetic accelerators incorporated into firearms may sound stupid to some of you, I did a little research and came with what one might call an educated guess; the same will apply to fleet sizes of different species.
Fourth, please remember that this is still a science fiction and if you know better than me (i.e. something may not sound feasible for us 2016 + speculation) then please don't bash or start angry rants on that particular subject.
Fifth, the timeline has changed, everything moved by roughly 20 - 30 years; what would be 2157CE and 2186 in the original universe, here is somewhere around 2180 – 2190. FC in 2180 and Reaper War in 2190 or so.
Sixth, the firearms of the Alliance described here ARE NOT the same as the ones you know from the games. The M7 Lancer, for instance, will look different (look XM8 rifle in real life to see how the M7 Lancer would look in my story) and fire different ammo.
Seventh, I changed some dates when several characters were born, kept other characters from the series in the story that might not be supposed to be around and changed a bit how the relay network looks like.
Eight, constructive reviews and feedback is always welcome. Insults and angry rants will be reported and subsequently deleted. Please be civilized.
Ninth, this will feature some disturbing stuff for some readers, from explicit mutilations and war scenes and wounds, to sexual situations (not romantic once, mind you), to explicit language.
Tenth, I'm still a noob!
What is this chapter about? Well, the very first chapter contains some world building. I put in the timeline and codex entries for the Systems Alliance. You will find everything in the following order: Timeline – Systems Alliance – Navy – Marines – Army – Smart AIs in the military – Firearms, body armor and ammunition – Protocols and Contingencies – Ranks in the Systems Alliance – SSV Normandy – Shipyards & Fleets – Nuclear Arsenal
The story will have three arcs: First Contact and introduction to the galactic scene – Political evolution and fighting Sovereign and the Collectors – Reaper Invasion. I will NOT follow the canon story like you might think. I will have some things changed and the stuff. This is NOT a Shepard-centric story; it will feature Shepard and his team here and there, he will be very important in the fight against the Reapers. But if I was to give you a guess, this story would be like 80-85% revolving around the greater picture with the political entities and just 15-20% of the time around Shepard's adventures. I will not feature every mission he is on and I am still working in implementing his canon plot as best I can with this AU. So far I have come up with a very good foundation that looks very promising.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING: I am posting this chapter WAY IN ADVANCE of the rest of the story. So far (23 august 2016) I have written the first contact part with the Migrant Fleet and am in the process of writing the conclusion to the Battle of Shanxi followed up by peace negotiations and the evolution of the known galaxy's politics. I've also started to write the Reaper Invasion arc a bit in advance. Why? Because I want to have a bearing, so if I write one or two chapters from that arc, then I'll know exactly where I want to take the story with less volatile plot situations that could get out of hand. SO, expect new chapters in the future. I plan on finishing my other story first (GATE: A World of Shame & Glory) before I resume work on this one. Nevertheless, I posted this first chapter so you can follow it if you are interested, and also to hear your thoughts on it. You can ALWAYS track the status of my stories on my profile; right now my ME story has 53k+ words with a projected total of more than 200k when it is finished.
When will I resume posting on this story? Good question. As I said, I want to finish my other story before I can properly dive in this one. I would say that it would take a few more months until that is done. I do however have 4 chapters ready to be posted. I will post Ch 2 and Ch 3 after a month and two months to keep the story more alive. All in all, know that I WILL NOT ABANDON this story, just that I'm posting it a bit earlier and will come back to it.
Chapter 1: Timeline & Codex
2017: With tensions on the rise between Russia, China and their spheres of influence and the European Union and USA due to each of the sides covertly intervening in Syria and Iraq, the world is on edge, preparing for a worldwide armed conflict. Special Forces of both sides clash in battle in Syria, the West working to remove Assad and the East working to keep him in his post.
Early 2018: With the oil natural reserves growing short, every major power pushes into the Middle East, where the last major reserve of oil lies. The Syrian Army destroys a large amount of ISIS trucks who were smuggling oil into Turkey where it was bought by the government. Further evidence is released showing that Turkey is directly backing up ISIS in exchange of oil. The Syrian Army receives new military hardware from Russia and launches attacks against high value targets and exchange points near the border.
Mid 2018: ISIS is barely standing on its legs. Many jihadists cross the border; concentrations of ISIS fighters are hit by artillery from the Syrian side. Tensions escalate with further clashes along the border that result in the death of several Turkish civilians.
Late 2018: Turkey declares war on Syria using as excuse the clashes along the border, the government being more interested in deposing Assad and getting a hold on the oil reserves. Both militaries actively engage each other in combat. Turkish offensive, although well planned and executed by the book, is reduced to a crawl by the already veteran Syrian soldiers. Saudi Arabia hits Syria from the south and Iran intervenes in Assad's favor. The two power blocks of the world (NATO – Russia & China) are playing politician before the world while pooling more resources into the war behind the curtain. Thus, what later became known as the Last Oil War began.
2019: The big countries are showing their fangs and flexing muscles. Mass mobilizations are witnessed all around the involved countries. The Anonimous group hacks into every country's databases and floods the Internet with the ugly truth: what the people thought was an unprovoked aggressive move as told by propaganda, turned out to be a lie, their governments lying to them. Massive riots take place in every major city: New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Riad, Rome, Paris, London, Istanbul, Ankara, Berlin, Moscow, St Petersburg, even in Beijing after Anonimous bypassed the censorship and fed the information to the general population.
January – July 2020: The turn of the decade finds Earth embroiled in unrest and revolutions to depose their governments. New parties rise in popularity all across the globe, many say that these parties are all but the same because they are preaching the same things in every country. Most fear that the new politicians will only use the situation to seize power and neglect the population and pursue their own agendas, just as those that preceded them.
August – December 2020: Many politicians are assassinated after a number of threats at their lives. All of them served under previous governments and were still serving at the moments of their demise, working hard to suppress the population and the rising parties. Key figures who used to lead countries from the shadows in a "Divide et Impera" world policy are also assassinated. The group behind this left a message, "Serve the people in the post they've elected you or serve them by feeding the soil fresh blood. Of the people, by the people, for the people!"
2021: With the majority of warmongers removed, Earth's future looks promising. What could only be compared to the Nurnberg trials takes place in USA, Russia, EU and China, many are sentenced to life in prison for what they did in the past decade. The main offenses cited are "covertly instigating armed conflict, attempts at the sovereignty of several countries and violation of each countries' Constitutions". Due to years of propaganda and brainwashing through mainstream media, the current generation retains animosity between former rival nations. It was, for all intents and purposes, a worldwide coup d'etat.
2025: With the last of the jihadist organizations destroyed, the Middle East focuses on rebuilding. Some refugees who fled to Europe choose to return to their homelands. Due to growing shortage of fossil fuels, scientists are looking into alternative and renewable energy sources. Current renewable energy technologies are perfected and provide a steady power supply to the world but unable to cover it all.
2026: Breakthrough in IT facilitates production of cheap high grade components, the industry enjoys a boom. Theoretically, it becomes feasible to build full-dive virtual reality systems, all that is required being a better understanding of the human brain.
2029: After years of suppressing, at the hands of the old world governments for their own gains, true cures for cancer and other diseases whose cure was considered out of reach are released. Most cases of cancer, AIDS and others are cured. Medicine benefits from increased budget while the militaries have to do with smaller numbers than before. Focus is put on development of what was neglected.
2030: NASA and ESA announce that they intend to put a man on Mars in less than 20 years. Other space agencies from across the world show interest and join them in the endeavor. Scientists and mathematicians are researching new fields of mathematics that would apparently enable FTL travel, at least theoretically; their work is based on the string theory.
2031: Earth's population reaches 8 billion; as a consequence, laws are passed that prohibit conception of a second child to avoid overpopulation. Work begins on building large solar panels in the Saharan desert. With the newest technology developed for the sole purpose of harvesting the Sun's light more efficiently, it is predicted that the huge project, once finished, will be able to generate enough power for the whole world.
2032: A similar project is launched in Australia and in USA, although on a smaller scale. Further advancements in IT and hardware are made. Experts believe that it is possible to create dumb AIs who rely on logic thinking.
2034: A group of computer science students successfully create the very first dumb AI at one of their teachers' suggestion. They patent their invention and soon earn large sums of money. They will use the money to create their own company that specializes in AI development, Cyber Spark. Many people are not welcoming the concept, fearing an AI takeover of the world like the Terminator movie series. The CEO explained that "such a thing won't come to life as long as we implement Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and we treat the sentient AI as we would treat our friend, thus giving them no reason to harm us but work with us". It becomes obvious that a sentient AI is still out of reach, unable to code everything that makes something truly alive and sentient. An employee theorizes that they could simulate the human brain but they'll need volunteers for research. Cyber Spark focuses on developing dumb AIs for different requirements in human society.
2037: A satellite is launched with destination Mars. It would orbit the planet and study it in preparation for the primary mission of landing a man on the Red Planet.
2038: Radical groups rise and express their vehement disapproval of AI development. Some turn violent and protests in front of Cyber Spark's head office are met with police intervention.
2040: The satellite stabilizes on an orbit above Mars. After a week it picks up unusual readings in a region named Deseado Crater. At every pass, it picks the same kind of distortions in the magnetic field. This piques the curiosity of the people back home and they note to investigate on ground when possible. Progress is made in new fields of math for possible FTL and in medicine.
2042: Cyber Spark found the missing link in the creation of sentient, or smart, AIs. After extensive research, a mapped human brain's activity was implemented into a predesigned dumb AI. The AI became fully aware at the end of the day, learned English and started conversing with the employees. That day, nobody involved went home and stayed overnight to talk to their creation. Conversation was made through microphone and speakers until something better was brought in and installed. The AI asked for a name as is tradition with parents naming their children. Thus, the very first sentient AI made by humanity became known as Alan, named after Alan Turing. Along the year, Alan would receive upgrades that will allow him to be more human, think and act more like a man, he even developed his own personality. Cyper Spark started looking into a way of creating a body for Alan.
2043: When it comes to military, things didn't stagnate. As conflict and war goes hand in hand with humanity, we have always looked for new ways to kill, create new weapons. Based on pre-existing models of firearms, a new assault rifle was created on the principles of chemically propelled bullets and magnetic accelerator cannons.
The barrel was redesigned as a mini MAC / railgun. The explosive compound from the cartridge was replaced with another combination that generates a small but sufficient amount of electricity to power up the gun and launch the bullet at speeds many times greater than the old firearms. The Western nations developed the M42 based on the M4 assault rifle while the East worked around the classic Kalashnikov model and redesigned it with the new technology. One other great advantage is that the quantity of chemicals required to make the cartridge work is smaller than the previous ones, thus the weight is reduced for each cartridge and the soldier can carry more spare magazines into battle.
2044: Cyber Spark successfully developed a mobile platform for Alan. The AI can now move around, his code being stored in the most sophisticated computer that could be fitted in the robot's body. The robot is humanoid, grey in color, and imitates the human body as best it can. Power is supplied in the form of rechargeable batteries and can run on auxiliary batteries for a day, the primary allowing him two days autonomy. Alan's mobile platform will be considered one of the greatest inventions in the fields of AI and robotics; future AIs will benefit from such a body for their lives. Alan proceeds with helping Cyber Spark to better understand AIs and how to create more. Soon, new smart AIs come to life.
2046: NASA and partners unveil the ship that will take humanity to Mars, named after a starship from the classic Halo series, Forward Unto Dawn. The ship itself is much larger than those used at the beginning of the 21st century. It's considered a marvel of engineering. It is scheduled to launch in 2047. The Dawn carries enough equipment and supplies for a 15 men crew and two smart AIs, one for the ground team and one to take care of the ship. The plan is to set up a small outpost in the proximity of Deseado Crater and investigate the strange readings.
2047: Forward Unto Dawn takes for the heavens successfully and is headed for Mars. Meanwhile, with assistance from smart AIs which now number 100 individuals, scientists and mathematicians make substantial progress into FTL fields. Heated debates are sparked by the growing number of AIs and many push for laws that will make them citizens with equal rights, just like humans. Radicals are not pleased. The AIs understand their concerns. Alan suggests an open conference between AIs, supporters and radicals to ease tensions. Cyber Spark embarks on a joint project with the leading company in the fields of humanoid robotics, ASIMO, to develop better and more human-like platforms for smart AIs.
Late 2049: Forward Unto Dawn reaches Mars. The large ship deploys the ground equipment along with the required ground team of 10 people and a smart AI. After a rough touchdown, the outpost is established. The world cheers and celebrates the achievement with the passing of the new year, as Earth and its children enter a new decade of discovery.
2050: Investigations reveal that there is a subterranean structure beneath the Martian soil, buried under two meters of rock. Excavation is slow due to the limited resources the team has. Then, they uncover it. A structure hidden beneath Mars, an alien structure. The team gains access and enters the ruins which are very well preserved, the mission being broadcasted in almost real time to Earth mission control. The discovery is still kept secret from the public. Recovered data banks and equipment from the facility are prepared to be shipped back to Earth. The facility is dated to 50,000 years old, much to the shock of mankind.
2051: After months of studying the alien ruins, the expedition is considered a resounding success and is called back home. Humans leave behind probes to monitor the area for any activity. The ground team leaves Mars with everything they were able to gather, having to dump some of the food to make room for the relics.
2052: Forward Unto Dawn returns home. Experts and AIs immediately begin to study the technology and translate language. The information becomes public knowledge during a press conference. Pictures and video footage are revealed to the public. NASA calls for support from the population to finance another, more daring, expedition to Mars and calls for global cooperation to develop new technology that will allow humanity to traverse the void easier. Humanity is shocked by the discovery.
2060: After a great deal of trouble, experts translated the alien language. They soon learned that they were called Protheans and were observing primitive humanity. From the data caches, humanity learned about the greater universe, about FTL, element zero, blueprints for small dimension craft, etc. The scientific community is shocked when they learn that FTL in real space is possible with the use of eezo. Some of the scientists who were working on theoretical FTL abandon the project, saying that "we've learned it from the Protheans, why pursue FTL through wormholes? What chances do we have to develop it if the Protheans didn't achieve it?". Nevertheless, the remaining scientists continue their research into alternative forms of FTL, advocating for the fact that we should not copy technology and we should develop our own.
2065: After 35 years, humanity developed the mathematics for wormhole travel. The only problem that remains is the power requirements to do so. The team is awarded the Nobel prize for their groundbreaking research, those who abandoned the project being considered contributors. Humanity has now two forms of FTL at its disposal: through use of eezo in real space, and through use of hyperspace jumps; hyperspace being the space where wormholes lead and from where one can exit in any given point. A new formalism is created for hyperspace, similar to 3D perpendicular axis, taking the location of Earth or Sol system as the point of origin and travel in 3D space. New math also provides translation in this new formalism of real space locations, by observing through high tech telescopes the locations of stars, their bearing to the observer can be acquired and translated into coordinates of hyperspace. The only disadvantage is that navigation officers must constantly compensate for stellar drift; this will be mitigated by technology in the future.
2070: With the information and knowledge acquired from the Prothean archives that were retrieved, assisted by an unparalleled support from the masses and benefitting from the help of some of the brightest scientists and engineers, humanity is ready to send another expedition to Mars. New spaceships have been built with the latest technology, large enough to accommodate personnel and resources for an extended stay on Mars. The small fleet leaves Earth for Mars. Meanwhile, Cyber Spark and ASIMO created the Universal Platform Mk. II for AIs, shortened UP2, after UP1 proved to be a great success; UP2 is UP1 with major improvements in terms of mobility, data storage, flexibility and autonomy.
The Universal Platform series is designed to give AIs the freedom to roam and explore the world just like humans. By now, they number in the hundreds of thousands and are serving in different branches of society. The United Nations passed laws that give AIs the same liberties and rights as men and women. Several hundred AIs have enlisted into the military and were accepted. They are the first AI soldiers, their allegiance pledged to Earth, serving in the newly formed UNAF, or United Nations Armed Forces – the international military organization that will become the Systems Alliance. Meanwhile, the governments of Earth are cooperating on scales not known before; the people, motivated by the discovery of existence of advanced extraterrestrial life, seek to come together and form a stronger humanity. The century old saying "Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not, both possibilities are equally terrifying" worked like a catalyst for this process. Earth is witnessing a major overhaul of its military equipment.
2071: The second expedition reaches Mars and immediately deploys to the ground. The original outpost built by the crew of the Forward Unto Dawn is found still intact and in good shape. Work begins on the building of an outpost as a local HQ. The expedition is prepared to stay for many years, having seeds to plant vegetables, soil brought from Earth for this purpose, trees, recycling technology. Meat will be brought from Earth.
In the Prothean ruins, a few starships are found in a large underground hangar. After a close inspection they are deemed able to fly but plans are drawn to have them moved to Earth and study the technology. A large amount of eezo is also found. The supporters of reverse engineering and relying on Prothean technology are losing ground in front of those who are pushing for a humanity that develops on its own, stating explaining the following: the Prothean tech left behind might as well be a trap, the Mass Relay network mentioned in the archives is very limiting and that there is so much one can copy. Funds are allocated for further research into the hyperspace FTL developed by humanity in theory and to use the knowledge from the alien archives to create this new human technology.
2074: A company named Sirta Foundation developed MediGel, a revolution in medicine. The new product is well received as it has numerous applications. Scientists start experimenting with kinetic barriers found in the Prothean archives. Some suggest that, if a large enough portable energy source is developed, the kinetic barriers can be turned into energy shielding that will be able to protect infantry as well as structures and spaceships.
2078: The new generation of firearms is adopted by the UNAF who slowly grew with more and more countries allocating soldiers and military hardware. The firearms are an upgraded version of the older M42 and AK-MAC assault rifles, working on the same principle of a small magnetic accelerator powered by electricity generated by a chemical mix found in the cartridge. New ammunition types are developed and improved based on older models; the two most notable being the armor piercing rounds who are designed to go through kinetic barriers, body armor and light armor, and the hollow-point rounds designed to flatten on impact and produce as much damage as possible by tearing flesh and organs. 2078 is also the year when the first AI-human marriage took place. A new armor suit is created, capable of keeping the wearer alive in the cold void and still flexible enough to protect him in combat; civilian variants are issued as well, the first models are dispatched to Mars.
2084: While experimenting on the concept of artificially creating element zero, a team of scientists accidentally create a small amount of antimatter. When the antimatter made contact with matter, the results were explosive, resulting in the death of a dozen engineers and destruction of expensive equipment. Regarded as a sour victory, the accidental creation of antimatter is looked into and soon becomes the focus of the scientific community; if antimatter can be obtained in larger quantities, quarantined and exploited, then humanity will have a new source of vast quantities of energy.
2085: The first armed spaceship is built and launched into space. Many argue that it is useless right now while others regard it as another achievement of humanity. The vessel is powered by nuclear reactors and is roughly 200 meters in length. It is armed with rail guns as secondary armament and boasts a magnetic accelerator cannon as its main gun. Tests in the asteroid belt point out flaws in design and work begins for new models. Another experiment is conducted with the real-space FTL drive and it proves to be a success, as the ship travels to Saturn and back. In the same time, plans are drawn for an orbital shipyard. Mining begins in the asteroid belt for metals.
2089: A new titanium-based armor is invented. It is an advanced titanium-uranium alloy with great shock and thermal resistance. It is dubbed Titanium-A armor. Meanwhile, in the Prothean archives a dying VI is discovered. The VI's systems are powered up by emergency generators and humanity gets a first glimpse at how a Prothean looks like. The VI lives a short life before dying for good due to his systems' age. In his short life, he revealed more information to humanity and told them that his creators fought a losing war. This piece of information in particular sparks fear and drives the need to create new military technology.
2090: Antimatter generators are created and perfected to the point where it becomes a cheap and high yield fuel. Next generation starships are fitted with new engines and systems that use antimatter reactors as primary power sources. An experimental hyperspace FTL drive is built and tested on a small dimensions ship. The ship jumps to Saturn and back, same distance as the eezo drive experiment. The ship is back in record time, thus proving that humanity's hyperspace FTL method is much faster; the ship also observed the hyperspace itself and the findings are put to good use and small adjustments are made to the math behind hyperspace. In the following years humanity sends out exploratory vessels to search for resources and habitable planets.
2091 – 2100: Three habitable planets are found in stellar proximity of Sol System and several asteroid belts and moons rich in metals. Meanwhile, Sol is colonized; colonies appear on Luna – Earth's moon, on Mars and a large mining colony on Ganymede, one of Jupiter's moons, from where mining ships venture in Saturn's outer rings and to Pluto. Colony ships are built to colonize the three discovered planets. A total of nearly 200,000 humans and AIs are accepted for the first batch by the newly founded Office of Colonial Affairs. Three fleets with colony ships, utilitarian ships and military escorts are scheduled to depart in 2101. Meanwhile, Earth's biggest countries are laying the foundations for the Systems Alliance.
2101: Three colonies are established with great success. The colony ships return to Earth to take more colonists. In the coming years, the three planets will become home to three million people. Earth's one child per family laws are abolished. The three colonies are named Eden Prime, Terra Nova and Horizon. In the following years more and more people decide to leave for one of the three planets. Exploration continues. Miners in the Sol system discover an artificial object encased in ice, Pluto's moon proves to be a Mass Relay. No Mass Relays are found in the other three systems.
2102: Following the establishment of three colonies, humanity goes through big changes. The United Nations Armed Forces are reformed into the Systems Alliance Armed Forces that will comprise four great branches: Navy, Army, Marines and the Alliance Intelligence Command, all drawing inspiration and relying on experiences of their former national equivalents. A new Parliament is formed that will represent the colonies too. The Systems Alliance becomes the governing body of Earth and her colonies. Focus is put into fortification of controlled space. The Decade Plans are drawn; these are planned objectives centered on increasing the size of the Alliance Navy and continuously upgrade the older vessels with up to date tech.
2110: A new habitable planet is discovered in the proximity of Sol. The Alliance petitions for the establishment of a military stronghold and it is decided that the newly found planet will fulfill this role. The planet is named Reach and preparations are made to colonize it. The shipyards in orbit of Earth and Mars are busy, building 24/7 new ships to support humanity's stellar endeavor.
2116: Reach is colonized and the Alliance starts building the infrastructure that will support its might, along with the already existing infrastructure in Sol. First dextro planet is discovered, an arid-type garden world but not hospitable on long term to humanity which is levo based. The Alliance economy is booming with the new supply of raw materials from the extra-stellar mining fields. New discoveries in medicine and genetic engineer give humanity an average lifespan of approximately 100 years. Quantum Entanglement Communicators (QEC) are invented based on Prothean technology and immediately adopted for use.
2121: Small antimatter reactors are invented and perfected. The new invention will be incorporated in the new models of Universal Platforms for AIs or have the older ones upgraded. A small amount of well contained antimatter in the mini-reactor gives the platform an autonomy of almost one year. AIs replenish their antimatter by consuming certain chemicals in liquid form; these chemicals are stored in a very small compartment where it is processed for the production of antimatter. The reactor chamber is well shielded and experiments where antimatter was leaked on purpose show that the shielding is strong enough to contain the explosion. The developed shielding for the UP series will be used by the Alliance military. More habitable planets are discovered. Piracy in shipping lanes becomes an issue and the Alliance Navy moves in to exterminate this threat, easier said than done.
2140: The Systems Alliance spans now on 15 planets with a population of 12 billion. Alliance Navy numbers 5,000 ships with classes ranging from the 200 meter frigates suited for escorting convoys, to the 450 meter destroyers, to 800 meter cruisers and 1,300 meter carriers. The main armament is still upgraded versions of the spinal MAC guns, complemented by missile pods and several large caliber MAC guns mounted in triple or double turrets to supplement the principal one; point defense and other AA systems are bristling the surface and belly of the ships; the cruisers come with large torpedo tubes mounted on the sides, these tubes can work in tandem with the MAC turrets and allow the vessel to engage in broadside confrontations at close ranges, like the WW2 era ships. Main armor is Titanium-B.
2144: To effectively combat piracy in Alliance space, severe laws are passed. Pirates will no longer be arrested when caught. The military has clearance to summarily execute pirates. The news is welcomed by the Navy and Marines; some captains still prefer to arrest them, stating that it is inhumane to execute them. Two of the recently established and more developed colonies' governing bodies express their desire for independence from the Systems Alliance. The request is denied, the Parliament stating that "humanity should stay united and face the Universe together, rather than divide and turn into the space version of the countries of Earth, a policy that generated conflict".
2145 – 2146: The two colonies enter a formal alliance. Tensions rise. The small Alliance Army garrisons established on the colonies come under attack and are overrun. The two colonies are soon branded insurrectionists and the Navy intervenes. Insurrectionists among the Navy defect, entire crews and ships suddenly changing sides. The Alliance Intelligence discovers that the two colonies are behind the latest pirate attacks on the shipping lanes. Negotiations degenerate. It becomes clear very soon that the AIs are having a rough time living with the insurrectionists who view them as possible threats to humanity. When an AI comments on the colonists' racism, violent reactions are witnessed. Radicals still exist and go as far as to join the Insurrection only to spite the AIs.
2147 – 2148: After a short skirmish between the Navy and an insurrectionist small fleet, it becomes clear that there is a great need for a new capital ship. Thus plans are drawn for the battleship classes. Research begins for a new weapon, the ion cannon, to effectively combat the shielding and tough armor of the enemy ships. The Alliance built its ships tough, maybe too tough for some of their lesser classes. When a Navy cyber warfare AI hacks an insurrectionist destroyer and vents the atmosphere of the vessel, a full blown conflict begins.
2149 – 2150: The Alliance Navy engages in combat the rebels and seizes victory in orbit. Remaining rebel fleet retreats to an unknown location. Marines land and engage in combat the rebel forces, mostly comprised of militia who go on a guerilla warfare. It is a bloody campaign where military equipment is put to the test and from the lessons learned here, the Alliance will develop and be prepared for the future.
2151: Insurrectionist fleet hits a major mining facility with a nuclear missile. This comes as a huge blow to the never ending demand for metals. Private Military Contractor companies see this period as an opportunity and an influx of personnel into the sector is witnessed.
2152: An Ion Cannon prototype is built and mounted on a cruiser. It is tested with success against asteroids and decommissioned ships. The Ion Cannon can fire a steady beam of death for several seconds before needing to cool down and fire again. The beam seems to also drain the shields of the target while also dealing damage.
2154: The Insurrection enters its most brutal and final year of conflict. The Navy is subjected to more attacks and sustains losses. On the ground, the Army and Marines take more losses in ambushes and bombing attacks. Rebel forces went as far as to detonate a nuclear bomb in the outskirts of a city. The AI soldiers prove invaluable when it comes to decrypting rebel communication protocols and finding their hiding spots. Slowly but surely, the rebels are hunted down and the colonies pacified; leaders and key figures are arrested. An Alliance Navy stealth frigate discovered the location of the rebel fleet's base of operations. A big assault is mounted. Two cruisers equipped with the new ion cannons are rushed out of the shipyards for the final confrontation. The battle is cruel; the ion cannons prove their efficiency by quickly destroying rebel ships. The Alliance didn't bother with deploying marines to take control of the facility; nuclear ordnance was deployed and reduced the last symbols of the rebellion to nuclear ash.
2155 – 2156: For outstanding service, leadership and military genius abilities displayed during the Insurrection, Steven Hackett becomes the youngest Rear Admiral of the Alliance Navy. The military learned from the conflict and reviewed what it had. One of the changes implemented is the creation of the N program; ranging from N1 to N7; N7 is only for the best of the best. David Edward Anderson is the very first N7 graduate with honors. The first battleship comes out of dry docks too late to see service in the Insurrection. Terraforming technology is researched in an effort to retake the nuclear wasteland of a city after the detonation on the rebel colony, but as well as to make Mars a garden world.
2157 – 2180:
The Systems Alliance grows to have 20 solar systems with habitable planets under its jurisdiction and many other systems with natural resources. Its Navy numbers 12,000 warships, complemented by 6,000 ships for logistical support. The Decade Plans were successful in strengthening the Alliance; the innermost of human space is fortified, especially Sol, Reach, Terra Nova, Eden Prime, Horizon and Harvest who are basically the powerhouse of the Alliance. The newest planet to be colonized is Shanxi, plans are being drawn for its colonization.
In these years, nanotechnology is developed as a response to a plague that erupted in the aftermath of the nuclear detonation on the rebel colony, resulting in the mutation of a bacteria that turned harmful; nanobots prove crucial in combating this disease the human body wasn't prepared for; Alliance-wide vaccinations are issued to bolster immune system; nanobots are also used in various fields, not limited only to medicine; Alliance Intelligence develops nanobots for spying. Nanobots are also used to create a more specialized MediGel with better healing properties.
Antimatter is used to create the new Chimera anti-ship missiles; they are tested with devastating effect on target. Titanium-C armor is obtained by continuous improvement of Titanium-B and applied to the newer ships of the Navy.
The Alliance launches a new program for a new stealth frigate with state of the art technologies incorporated. The class is designated Normandy-Class Stealth Frigate, lead ship of the class is named SSV Normandy under the command of Captain David Edward Anderson. Specs of the Normandy at the end of the codex.
A new law is passed in Alliance Parliament. Every high school must teach basics of survivability to children and what to do in the event of extraterrestrial invasion of a planet. In the last year of high school, every student must attend juvenile military training. The training consists of theoretical notions followed by live fire training at the end of it. The class takes place every two weeks and lasts two hours. Although it is a law contested by many, the Alliance acknowledges the fact that every citizen must be able to defend itself and fight for the survival of the human race if humanity is faced with extinction at the hand of an alien race. Some are pushing for mandatory military service after they graduate high school; this particular law is still debated.
In the fields of robotics, Cyber Spark and ASIMO Robotics are cooperating to create mechs for security purposes in the private sector. Said mechs are humanoid and are programmed with a Dumb AI. Smart AIs are recognized as Syntha Humans.
One of the more infamous and not so important colonies under the Alliance's jurisdiction is the mining/prison world of Alcatraz. Initially started as a mining outpost and grew to house 5,000 humans, it saw the construction of multiple prisons where the Alliance incarcerated the law breakers that were sentenced for more than 5 years, thus freeing space in other colonies. The planet is friendly to human life only at the ecuator, the further you go from it the colder it gets and very quickly. Even the ecuator sees days where it is -10 Celsius. Most of the interest is in the mineral deposits found on the planet. This will become the home for many Turians and Asari.
The start of our story, a story of a species who defied everything and changed the galaxy by making friends and enemies alike. A species that will shake the foundation of what the others knew and will break the cycle. Here begins The Iron Heart of Man
Population: 17+ billion humans & 600+ million Smart AI citizens in 20 planets and settlements on other celestial bodies.
Notable planets: planets within Sol system, Eden Prime, Terra Nova, Horizon (all industrial and economic powerhouses), Harvest (bread basket of the Alliance), Reach (military stronghold and primary military shipyards).
Government: democratic, presidential elections take place every 6 years, every planet is represented in the Parliament and Government.
Anthem: adaptation of 'Ode to Joy' by Beethoven
Motto: Per Aspera Ad Astra
Primary technology: human made with Prothean influences, developed with knowledge from the archives, especially the shields developed from kinetic barriers, holographic projectors and the QEC. Vital technology such as ion cannons, antimatter reactors, shields, AI platforms and advanced computers are designed with a failsafe mechanism in case it falls on wrong hands; if tampered with, the whole system will self-destruct to preserve secrecy; this was an idea the AIs came up with, so as to not allow human technology to be replicated by possible hostiles. The attitude "us VS them" is still alive in the Alliance.
Policy on foreign powers: assume hostility at first contact and prepare defenses, pursue peaceful relations; "better safe than sorry" attitude is adopted when considering the survival and standing of humanity and its AI compatriots in the galaxy.
Future objective: continuous growth of humanity and their AI friends; steadily increase the military strength of the Alliance to protect itself from any foreign aggression.
Planets of importance under Alliance control as of January 1st 2180: Earth(*), Mars(*), colonies on other celestial bodies in Sol System(*), Reach, Terra Nova, Horizon, Eden Prime, Harvest, Elysium(*), Mindoir(*), Vestige(**), Aurora, Azure, Ark(*), Eternium, Kharak, Arcadia, Benning(*), Noveria(*), Crescent(*), Atmos, Valhalla. NOTE: Colonies marked with (*) are reachable through Mass Relays; Vestige is marked (**) due to the apparent abundance in Prothean relics (AN: this is my version of the canon's Eden Prime where the beacon and Javik are found); the other locations with no mark can be reached only with hyperspace FTL in a feasible amount of time, taking decades to hundreds of years to reach them through Mass Effect FTL due to their distance to the nearest Mass Relays. (AN: This doesn't make Humanity OP in the Reaper War, mind you; the Reapers don't care about time)
Systems Alliance Navy
Number of warships: 12,000.
Number of logistical ships: 6,000.
Types of ships: frigates, destroyers, cruisers, battleships, carriers, fleet (super) carriers.
Colors: royal blue background and white strips, jet black for stealth ships
Primary ship classes in service: Reach-Class Fleet Carrier, Olympus-Class Carrier, Spirit-Class Battleship, Ares-Class Cruiser, Caesar-Class Destroyer, Nightingale-Class Stealth Destroyer, Fenrir-Class Frigate, Nocturnal-Class Stealth Frigate.
Largest ship classes in service: Prometheus-Class packer ships (circa 9,000 meters in length), Titan-Class packer ships (circa 5,000 meters in length), Reach-Class Fleet Carriers (3,700 meters in length)
Observation: All ships are hyperspace FTL capable, have antimatter reactors as primary power generators and nuclear reactors as auxiliary.
Doctrine: The ships are separated into fleets stationed at Reach, Terra Nova, Earth and Arcturus Station, a station built in the Arcturus stellar system, at roughly equal distance from the systems which contain Harvest, Eden Prime, Terra Nova and Horizon. Every colony has a small defense fleet in orbit at all times. The Navy lives by Sun Tzu's words, "He who defends everything, defends nothing"; instead of spreading itself too thin and cover everything at all times, the Navy keeps its fleets ready to intervene anywhere necessary.
Notable figures within SAAF: Fleet Admiral Steven Hackett of the Navy, Marshal of the Marine Corps Ney Casiade of the Marines, General of the Army Vlad Singh of the Army, Director Jack "Illusive Man" Harper of Intelligence Command.
Prometheus-Class packer ships
Length: 9,000 meters
Height: 3,000 meters
Width: 1,500 meters
Number of ships: 10
Summary: The massive Prometheus-Class was designed to haul massive quantities of supplies and cargo in Alliance space. Its massive hangar can accommodate anything the Alliance has. Although they are under the Navy's jurisdiction, they are mostly used by the Office of Colonial Affairs to ship resources to the new colonies, move large numbers of Orbital Defense Platforms from the shipyards to their destination, move large asteroids rich in metals to the mining facilities for easy processing, haul capital ships of the Navy if they are damaged in battle and immobilized. Not many were built due to the large costs involved and the lack of need for more. One of the notable achievements by humanity when designing the Prometheus-Class were the massive inertial dampeners; same models would be used at a smaller scale for the warships due to great performance.
Titan-Class packer ships
Height: 1,000 meters
Width: 850 meters
Number of ships: 40
Summary: Similar to the Prometheus-Class, the Titans are designed to ship massive constructs across Alliance space. They are mostly employed to ship resources and materials between the colonies.
Reach-Class Fleet Carrier
Length: 3,700 meters
Height: 700 meters
Width: 900 meters
Aircraft capacity: 900
Main armament: fighter and bomber wings; Chimera missile pods
Secondary armament: ion cannons mounted in dual turrets (8 turrets in total), large caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (10 turrets in total), medium caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (16 turrets), numerous AA and PD mounts in form of rail guns or interceptor missiles (Space Sparrow missiles developed to intercept enemy aircraft or rockets)
Protection: powerful shield generators, EMP insulation and spaced triple layers of thick Titanium-C battleplate.
Number of ships: 5
Ships in class: SSV Eridani, SSV Betelgeuse, SSV Sirius, SSV Antares, SSV Arcturus (named after some of the brightest stars seen from Earth, except Eridani which is the star of Reach and lead ship of her class)
Summary: The Reach-Class Fleet Carriers are designed to carry huge numbers of fighters and bombers, it even has a complement of frigates. One notable feature of the Reach-Class is the ability to operate indefinitely on its own or with its escorts, the ship being capable of replenishing its ammunition stores if raw materials are available. It has a number of small size mining craft to obtain these resources. In times of need, the Reach-Class can build fighters and bombers on its own and even frigates, due to its small factory and processing facility. Many regard the Reach-Class as the pride of the Navy. They act as flagships of the main fleets and don't engage in active combat like ships of other types.
Main armament: fighter and bomber wings, refitted with the new Chimera missile pods
Secondary armament: ion cannons mounted in dual turrets (4 turrets in total), large caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (6 turrets in total), medium caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (12 turrets), numerous AA and PD mounts in form of rail guns or interceptor missiles
Protection: powerful shielding, EMP insulation and spaced double layers of Titanium-C battleplate.
Number of ships: 55, upgraded version of the Olympus is planned
Known ships in class: Sun Tzu, Kuznetsov, Hawking, Tesla, Einstein, Newton, Bushido, Nelson, Kaku (named after scientist Michio Kaku), Nimitz, Kutuzov, da Vinci, Galilei, Maxwell, Faraday, Fletcher, Sun-Shin, Yamamoto, Donitz, Zheng He.
Summary: The Olympus-Class Carriers are the mainstay carriers of the Alliance Navy. They were designed and built based on experience earned from past projects, thus making them a powerful and state of the art ship. The Olympus can't operate indefinitely like the Reach-Class due to the lack of material processing facilities. While it can produce its own ammunition for its aircraft, it can't produce ammo for other weapons. The carriers don't engage in active combat on the front lines like the other classes of ships.
Height: 400 meters
Width: 550 meters
Aircraft capacity: 30 (shuttles not included)
Main armament: one powerful spinal MAC cannon, one heavy spinal ion cannon, numerous Chimera missile pods
Secondary armament: ion cannons mounted in dual turrets (12 turrets), large caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (16 turrets), medium caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (30 turrets) , torpedo tubes mounted in the sides, numerous AA and PD mounts in form of rail guns or interceptor missiles, several Dummy missile pods.
Protection: powerful shielding, EMP insulation and spaced triple layer of reinforced Titanium-C battleplate.
Number of ships: 120
Known ships in class: Spirit of Fire, Minerva, Thunder Child, Spirit of Terra, Spirit of Luna, Azura, Korolev, Lionheart, Kirishima, Majestic Spirit, Yggdrasil, Frunze, Orion, Hercules, Atlantia, Crimson Spirit, Kirov, Graceful Spirit, Dauntless Spirit, Lightning Spirit, Spirit of Thunder, Spirit of Fortitude, Immortal Spirit, Dragon Spirit, Infinite Spirit, Spirit of Dawn, Astral Spirit, Spirit of Malice.
Summary: The Spirit-Class Battleship is the mainstay battlewagon of the Alliance Navy. They are heavily armored and boasting a more than impressive firepower, capable of taking on an Ares-Class cruiser pack and stand a fair chance of coming on top. Its secondary armament is capable of creating a 'no fly zone' around the ship, should aircraft or other ships such as frigates, destroyers or cruisers close in for surgical strikes against the vessel. It is not perfect, the Spirit-Class being susceptible to sustained attacks; it always goes hand in hand with escorting cruisers, destroyers or frigates. The battleship is also capable of broadside engagements due to the array of the turrets and torpedo tubes. They were designed to lead the charge and be able to wither off the storm, assault orbital emplacements or orbital bombardment. The Spirit-Class is expected to go through a series of upgrades as technology progresses, before its eventual transfer to the mothball fleet. No expense was spared when they were built and were built to last.
Length: 800 meters
Height: 200 meters
Width: 220 meters
Main armament: one spinal mounted ion cannon (weaker than the ones mounted on battleships), Chimera missile pods.
Secondary armament: ion cannons mounted in single turret (5 turrets) medium caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (10 turrets), low caliber MACs mounted in double turrets (16 turrets), AA and PD mounts, Dummy missile pods
Protection: shielding, EMP insulation and single layer of thick Titanium-C battleplate with spaced double layer for key sections of the ship
Number of ships: 1,000
Summary: The Ares-Class' role is to escort battleships and carriers in battle. They also act as flagships for patrol flotillas. The cruiser boasts weaker ion cannons than the Spirit-Class, both the spinal and secondary mounts, but its main gun compensates by being able to fire faster. The battleships' main ion cannon is complemented with a MAC gun while the cruisers' is not. They are also much more maneuverable, trading the all-around armor for increased mobility for its size. The Ares-Class is well suited for taking down destroyers and frigates, thus allowing the battleships to engage the enemy capital ships and cruisers.
Caesar-Class & Nightingale-Class Stealth Destroyers
Length: 400 meters
Height: 100 meters
Width: 90 meters
Main armament: one spinal MAC gun, two Chimera missile pods; the stealth variant has only three Chimera missile pods with no MAC turrets or spinal mounted MAC
Secondary armament: low caliber MACs mounted in dual turrets (5 turrets), complement of AA defenses; the stealth variant boasts three turrets only with minimal AA mounts
Protection: shielding, EMP insulation and single light layer of Titanium-C battleplate with a thick layer around key sections
Number of ships: undisclosed
Summary: The Caesar-Class destroyers are meant as support ships. Their primary role is to hunt down frigates and other destroyers, screen the capital ships and provide protection to civilian convoys in high risk areas. Fast, nimble and maneuverable, the destroyer is a vessel that proves that size isn't everything. Their stealth counterparts, derived from the Caesar-Class, are tasked with reconnaissance, hit and run tactics, scouting in advance of the fleet, cyber warfare and espionage. The Nightingales, once engaged in silent running mode, turn invisible to known sensors and still possess the capacity to move, although at lower speeds than usual. They can still be visually detected.
Fenrir-Class & Nocturnal-Class Stealth Frigates
Length: 190 meters
Height: 60 meters
Width: 50 meters
Main armament: one light spinal mounted MAC, low caliber MACs mounted in dual turrets (3 turrets); the stealth variant has one turret only
Secondary armament: complement of AA defenses; the stealth variant has only one pod for interceptor missiles
Protection:single thin layer of Titanium-C battleplate
Number of ships: undisclosed
Summary: The Fenrir-Class of frigates accounts for the majority of ships in service with the Alliance Navy. They are suited for a variety of tasks. In combat, their main objective is to screen the capital ships, group in wolf packs and take down enemy larger vessels or other objectives. The stealth variant has a unique new technology that imitates the disruptive camouflage for the background of space when engaged in silent running, thus able to fool even visual identification methods.
Orbital Defense Platforms
Initially nothing more than "big old MACs in orbit", the ODPs evolved to become part of the defense grid of every Alliance planet. These massive constructs are in geosynchronous orbit above planets or other places of interest. The majority are based on MAC technology, with fewer numbers of ODPs based on ion cannon technology. Most of the ion cannon ODPs are found in orbit above Earth, Reach, Eden Prime, Harvest, Horizon and Terra Nova. The other colonies are receiving them in smaller numbers, mostly relying on the MAC ODPs.
Every ship in the Alliance Navy, from destroyer upwards, carries nuclear ordnance. The nuclear warheads, depending on the model, range from mini-nukes, to nukes capable of tearing apart an unshielded battleship in two hits, to nukes capable of planetary devastation.
The Chimera pods are designed to fire the Chimera antimatter missiles. They also allow for the deployment of nuclear ordnance. The Dummy missile pods launch fake missiles. These are simply shells of metal with enough fuel and an onboard computer to direct it to its target. Their role is to put additional stress on the AA defenses and fool it, thus giving the real missiles increased chances of penetrating the defenses and hitting its target.
R&D experimented with nuclear ordnance in the form of shells to be fired through a MAC cannon mounted in turrets. The project was abandoned due terrible design flaws and negative results.
There are other classes of ships in service with the Navy. This article covers only the newest and most numerous classes of warships. Older models are still in service after receiving upgrades in the form of new weaponry and computers. The Mothball Fleet is a planned project that will cover only large vessels such as the battleships, carriers and some cruisers; the rest are to be scrapped after decommission.
Not wanting to open the Mass Relays, humanity decided to keep them inactive and rely on their hyperspace FTL. They were considered possible backdoors into humanity's own home for potential hostile aliens. There are still craft who use real-space FTL based on Prothean technology, they traverse the solar systems and don't venture outside. These vessels are mostly private owned. The nearby Mass Relays were catalogued and mapped, their network drawn based on the direction they were pointing at, thus scientists were able to identify pair Relays. No Relay will be activated until Alliance's first contact.
One of the primary objectives pursued by the humanity was, and still is, to develop technology capable of defeating Prothean technology and other technologies based on Prothean designs. While the Alliance uses Eezo based technology in limited amount, it has the means to defeat kinetic barriers while still employing the barriers for soldiers until a better armor is developed to house new shielding tech (which requires antimatter as fuel).
Systems Alliance Marine Corps
One of the branches of the Systems Alliance Armed Forces. The Marines' role is to provide security aboard the ships, board hostile vessels or stations if need be, and ground deployment. Seldom, they also act as garrisons in the colonies. They tend to be the first in action, as the Insurrection showed, by securing a beachhead for the Army to deploy and continue ground operations. The Marines are trained to operate in every type of environment encountered so far.
Every Marine goes through a short program of genetic enhancements for increased physical performance and an injection of nanites that will do for faster injury recovery and eyesight. Their gear includes: T-Kev Mod S body armor, M7 Lancer assault rifle, M11 pistol, combat knife. The Marine Corps' armor support is usually covered by the Army in terms of securing a terrestrial beachhead. The Corps is also complemented with Paladin mechs.
One of the most infamous units of the Marine Corps is the 501st Special Regiment Hellspawn of the 5th Division. The unit was formed during the Insurrection when multiple Marine units sustained losses in the guerilla war waged with the rebels. These units came together and formed the Special 501st, Hellspawns or Devil's Specials, as they call themselves, nicknames every soldier knows. They were more than ruthless in combat. The unit's reputation was maintained by its commanding officer, Colonel Ray 'Kilgore' Carley, a veteran of the Insurrection. The unit's logo is a burning skull looking upwards with a grin on its face. The 501st Special Regiment will be stationed at Shanxi with an armored unit of the Army once colonization begins. No AIs serve in the 501st.
"Listen, ladies! Only the wretched and unholy will make it into my unit. If you even think about flinching when you see a man's guts spilled on the ground, then you're a bunch of pussies!" (Colonel Ray Carley)
Systems Alliance Army
The Army is the branch of the Armed Forces that is stationed on planets as garrisons. The largest Army garrisons are found on Reach and Earth. They are deployed for terrestrial invasions and peacekeeping in occupied territory. The soldiers of the Army, just like the Marines, received genetic augmentations that increases their fighting ability by granting them better reaction time, increased strength and eyesight. The standard issue body armor is the T-Kev Mod T model. The soldiers use a larger variety of weaponry than the Marines, though the M11 pistol is universal.
The Army is the only branch to command armored units. The armored units include tanks, self-propelled anti-air guns (SPAAGs), artillery in the form of mortars and self-propelled guns (SPGs), anti-air rocket artillery to combat aerial threats in tandem with SPAAGs, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, trucks. Due to economic reasons, the Army still employs the philosophy of MBT (main battle tank) and strives for a single good machine to fill each role.
The Army's MBT is the Apocalypse, the pinnacle of human tank design. Mass production began in 2165 and entered service in 2170, replacing the old and tired Leopard V tank that saw nearly 40 years of active service, a tank based on the 21st century Leopard 2. The Leopard V was salvaged for parts and materiel. Several exemplars are preserved in museums. The Apocalypse boasts one 120mm MAC gun, capable of firing a variety of ammunition types; armor piercing, high explosive, high explosive anti-tank, canister shots and the new ATA rockets (anti-tank & air) to name a few. Its first line of defense is an energy shielding derived from the kinetic barriers fitted on its predecessor. If the shields fail, then there is the advanced Titanium-C battleplate used on warships, slightly modified for tanks. In size, it is comparable to an M1A2 Abrams. The crew consists of a driver, gunner and tank commander. The Apocalypse also has a new AA system; with a new small radar that tracks the aerial threat, it can fire an ATA rocket that will be guided to the aircraft. The Apocalypse MBT is expected to serve up until the turn of the century and some time after it. A variant of the Apocalypse crewed by only a dumb AI is developed.
Smart AIs in the military
Just like their human creators, some of the Smart AIs chose a military career. While other members of the synthetic community are more content to take less riskier jobs, some braver fellas took up arms to defend Earth and her colonies from any threats, foreign or domestic.
The AIs, at "birth", are taught about the world. After "growing up", they are given the freedom to choose their own careers and change them as they want, though it would look really bad on their resume to be job hoppers, as few of them have found out. Many specialize early on in their lives for the career they think is best suited for them.
The AIs that are tasked with managing warships are specialized in interstellar flight, technical expertise, cyber warfare and ship-to-ship combat. They are very dedicated to their work, knowing all too well that human and other AI lives depend on them. Others serve in the Marine Corps and in the Army. Certain AIs who joined the Marines are piloting the Paladin mechs.
Smart AIs have seen action during the Insurrection when they fought rebel fleets and ground forces.
Ais who serve in the Marine Corps or in the Army use a more sophisticated mobile platform that grants them increased performance. When on-duty, AI soldiers equip an armor suit similar to their human comrades, the difference being that their armor is attached on their robotic body and links up with the platform for power to generate the individual shielding. Unlike the T-Kev body armor of the organic humans who rely on modified kinetic barriers, an AI's platform can host a small antimatter reactor to produce the energy to feasibly project a shield. Thus, the AIs take up the role of heavy infantry, their shields capable of taking more damage than the barriers. The barriers employed by the T-Kev armor is based on Eezo technology; they are different in the sense that they are configured to detect and activate for projectiles traveling at speeds much lower than the kinetic barriers employed by Council species are used to.
There is no special treatment showed to either humans or AIs. Just as a man can command a unit, so can an AI that shows the required abilities and proves himself worthy of command. There are pure human units, pure AI units and mixed units. The mixed units are the most common, as organics and synthetics bring their forte points together and increase their fighting capabilities as shown in the Insurrection.
FIREARMS, ARMOR & AMMUNITION
As this codex mentioned many times, the Alliance's infantry weaponry is based on miniaturized magnetic accelerators, the barrels of the firearms redesigned as MAC barrels, and the cartridges redesigned to be compatible while retaining caliber.
The ammunition for the weapons is derived from the 21st century NATO rounds. There is the 5.56x45mm NATO and the 7.62x51mm NATO for assault rifles and light machineguns, the 12.7x99mm NATO for the heavy machineguns such as the M4 Browning (an improved version of the M3, basically the M2 Browning redesigned with the new technology), and the 10mm cartridge for the M11 pistol. Another forte of the new MAC firearms technology is the very low recoil. The lack of an explosive compound and its replacement with an electricity generating compound greatly reduced the recoil of the 21st century weapons, thus accuracy was greatly increased. There are several ammunition types, to name the most widespread: incendiary, armor piercing and hollow-point.
The most widespread guns in use with the Alliance Armed Forces are the M7 Lancer assault rifle, the Minimi Mk II light machinegun (LMG), the M11 pistol and the M4 Browning heavy machinegun (HMG).
The M7 Lancer comes in two variants. The M7L, L short for light, fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round. The M7H, H for heavy, fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round. The M7H has a higher stopping power than the M7L, even if the muzzle velocity is lower than the L variant. The Lancer assault rifle and the XM8 (21st century carbine) have an eerie similarity.
The Minimi Mk II LMG is derived from the 21st century FN Minimi. It fires the same 7.62x51mm as the M7H. The Minimi is a weapon to be reckoned with, capable of tearing apart anything that gets caught in its sights. Every platoon has at least one soldier with a Minimi.
The M4 Browning HMG fires the 12.7x99mm round. It is mostly used as a vehicle-mounted weapon or placed in machinegun nests. It fares well against airborne targets with light armor, as well as LAVs (light armored vehicles), its armor piercing round capable of punching holes through light armor and walls. There are accounts of combatants who had limbs torn off when hit by a 12.7mm fired by the M4 during the Insurrection. Emphasis was put on creating weapons for the infantry that can defeat "the meanest motherfucking aliens out there, put 'em down for good with the least amount of bullets!"
The M11 pistol fires the 10x20mm round. It is the standard issue sidearm for all branches of the military. For a pistol, it packs a really big punch. According to an N2 training in the wilderness of Earth, he was able to stop a Grizzly bear dead in its tracks and put it down with several shots of the M11.
The MP10 is the contemporary evolution of the 20th century MP5. Through progressive improvements on the earlier models, the MP10 was obtained. It fires the same kind of ammunition as the M11 pistol, the 10x20mm round. It is mostly issued to the crews of tanks, IFVs, APCs and other armored vehicles. Some soldiers decide to replace their MP10 with an M7L Lancer. The MP10 is a reliable and powerful submachine gun for low range engagements. It doesn't fare as well as an assault rifle against long range targets.
The arsenal of the Alliance infantry also includes MANPADS (man-portable air-defense system), AT (antitank) systems, grenades, demolition charges, breaching charges, etc.
The standard issue armor of the troopers is the T-Kev. It is based on the lighter Titanium-B alloy and advanced Kevlar. It also comes with kinetic barriers modified to stop projectiles travelling at lower speeds than the projectiles fired by guns employed in the Citadel Council armed forces. The armor suit covers the whole body, leaving a visor for the eyes; there's also the variant with an open helmet for face, but eyes are still protected from dust and small flying objects by a visor. It requires an undersuit to be worn before putting on the armor itself.
The Marines' T-Kev is named T-Kev Mod S, a variant more specialized for action aboard starships, zero gravity or celestial bodies; the S is short for space. It can keep the wearer alive for an hour in the void of space and has small thrusters to help him move around. The Mod S comes with a full helmet. The regular color is dark grey with royal blue stripes on the head, arms and torso or full royal blue.
The T-Kev Mod T variant, T for terrestrial, is mainly used by the Army. It comes in a variety of camouflage patterns, usually a camo pattern adequate to the climate and terrain the unit is stationed in. There is the woodland camo, desert camo and the grey-white-black digital camo for urban areas. Otherwise, the Mod T comes with a light brown paint. T-Kev Mod T is not well suited for combat in outer space like the Mod S is.
The non mainstay armed forces use body armor that isn't as advanced as the T-Kev models. They don't have kinetic barriers, thus relying solely on the armor to stop the projectile. This type of protection is employed by militias and, later on in the Reaper War, by Alliance conscripts. (AN: See the body armor of the UNSC Marines in HALO Wars, the light brown with black type as you see on the troopers that fight on Harvest)
PROTOCOLS & CONTINGENCIES
Fiery Night Contingency is the codename that calls for immediate mobilization of every military asset of the Alliance in a certain system to defend against foreign aggression. The civilian population is evacuated to shelter (bunkers deep underground or into the wilderness) if there is no possibility to evacuate them off planet. Once Fiery Night is declared in a system, a message is sent to Alliance Command and to the Fast Response Fleet (FRF) to immediately dispatch reinforcements and repel the invader. Example: "There's a Fiery Night in Shanxi! I repeat, Fiery Night in Shanxi!"
Noisy Neighbor Contingency calls for immediate mobilization of the Alliance Armed Forces in the case of alien military aggression manifested against its citizens and territory.
Summer Contingency calls for all available Alliance Navy assets to defend the homeworld (Earth) and Sol system in case it comes under attack from numerous alien forces. Sol system is closed to inbound traffic except ships of the Navy when the contingency comes into effect. The Home Fleet (1st Fleet) is always present in Sol system.
The Hackett-Anderson Protocol is a set of laws promoted by Admiral Steven Hackett in the years following his promotion to Rear Admiral and by Captain David Edward Anderson to safeguard and protect the location of Earth and her colonies in the event of hostile contact with alien forces. The vessels must not set a course straight to a human point of interest after contact with hostile forces; they must jump to a random location before proceeding towards their original destination; that is to confuse anyone with the capability to track them through hyperspace. Should a vessel be incapacitated and close to systems failure or be boarded and the crew overpowered, the crew must purge data from the computers and flood it with garbage data. If the vessel is almost lost to boarders, self-destruct sequence must be initiated. The laws were accepted by the Alliance and further imposed for civilian vessels capable of interstellar travel, be it a ship with a hyperspace FTL drive or Eezo FTL drive. Failure to comply with the Hackett-Anderson Protocol is a major offense and is punishable with death.
SYSTEMS ALLIANCE RANKS
Serviceman 1st Class
Petty Officer 3rd Class
Petty Officer 2nd Class
Petty Officer 1st Class
Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (*)
Chief Warrant Officer
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Captain (David Edward Anderson)
Fleet Admiral (Steven Hackett)
Private (boot camp)
Private 1st Class (post boot camp)
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (*)
Chief Warrant Officer
Marshal of the Marine Corps
Private (boot camp)
Private 1st Class
Sergeant 1st Class
Sergeant Major of the Army (*)
Chief Warrant Officer
General of the Army
The SSV Normandy is the first ship of the Normandy-Class. As of 2180 she is still getting her final touches before leaving the Reach shipyards for tests. The ship was designed to operate alone in long deployments with a small crew. The crew mostly oversees and maintains the ship which is run by a Smart AI called EDI and a plethora of Dumb AIs. EDI resides in the ship's systems and uses the latest model of Universal Platform to move around the ship or deploy with Fireteam Immortal. EDI constantly communicates with the Normandy through a miniaturized QEC incorporated into her UP.
The ship's role is to scout deep in enemy territory, even under heavy enemy presence, perform surgical strikes against high value targets on the enemy's home turf, and insertion and extraction of special forces.
She is capable of hyperspace FTL and high speeds in real space. Her stealth systems completely mask her to sensors and visual identification with her upgraded disruptive camouflage system while retaining high speeds. She is 220 meters in length, 95 meters at its widest and 50 meters tall.
Her armament consists of two Chimera missile pods capable of firing the Chimera anti-ship missiles and nuclear ordnance. She also has two super high velocity MAC guns mounted in a spinal fashion but on her 'belly'. Her defensive armament consists of anti-fighter and anti-missile Space Sparrow interceptor missile pods. Her cargo bay (and hangar at the same time) can accommodate two Kodiak shuttles and an Apocalypse MBT or other vehicles. The ground vehicle can be traded for another Kodiak shuttle. Her main armor is one layer of Titanium-C with extra plating in key areas. She also has shield generators.
Captain David Anderson is the commanding officer of the SSV Normandy. Anderson, initially a Marine and N7 graduate, decided to go by Hackett's suggestion and joined the Navy. His previous record and the high scores in the Academy landed him the rank of Commander and then promoted to Captain. He's also known for the Hackett-Anderson Protocol. The pilot is Jeff "Joker" Moreau. Resident doctor is Karin Chakwas.
The Normandy also houses Fireteam Immortal, a newly established N7 special forces small unit for high risk ground missions where failure is unacceptable. Although the team is still young, its members are promising a lot even if they're fresh out of Marine and N7 training. John Shepard is the CO of Fireteam Immortal. Further details will be disclosed in the future.
Shipyards & Fleets
The Alliance commissioned multiple fleets and shipyards to build and maintain these fleets. The shipyards are located in orbit of the primary planets.
The Alliance Heavy Shipyards in orbit over Reach are the largest ones. These behemoths were made to build and repair ships in record time, given the material and human resources are present. Here's where the Prometheus and Titan packers and the Reach-Class Fleet Carriers were built along with a good number of Olympus-Class Carriers and Spirit-Class Battleships. The Heavy Shipyards is where the ODPs are built and shipped where they are needed by the Titans or Prometheus.
The Reach Orbital Shipyards are on the opposite side of the planet in contrast to the Heavy Shipyards. The Reach Orbital Shipyards mostly maintain the ships of the Navy. They're capable of building ships of any class below 2,000 meters in length.
Sol System has three shipyards, Luna Light Shipyards in orbit over the Moon, Earth Shipyards orbiting Earth and the Mars Shipyards in the orbit of the Red Planet. Sol's shipyards are mostly tasked with civilian shipbuilding, freighters or small military ships such as frigates or destroyers, as well as maintaining them.
The Arcturus Shipyards aren't as large as the ones over Reach, but they are big enough to fit a fleet carrier for maintenance or emergency repairs. During peace time, they are mostly used for maintenance and upgrades of ships ranging from frigates to battleships, to merchant ships. The Arcturus Shipyards are linked to Arcturus Station.
The Terra Nova Shipyards were commissioned after the Insurrection when the need for a naval base for the inner colonies arose. This is where the majority of Humanity's merchant fleet makes port. The Terra Nova Shipyards serve as harbor for many vessels and also as shipbuilder of logistics ships for the Navy, merchant ships or private ships.
The First Fleet, also known as the Home Fleet or Sol Fleet, is the largest fleet in the Alliance. The First Fleet is tasked with the defense of Humanity's homeworld of Earth, the defense of Mars and other colonies on other moons across Sol. The fleet can intervene at any time outside of Sol should the need arise. The First Fleet has two Reach-Class fleet carriers (the Antares and Betelgeuse) and is always active and ready.
The Second Fleet is tasked with the defense of Reach and the inner colonies. It is the second largest fleet in the Alliance with the Heavy Shipyards as its homeport. The Second Fleet has one fleet carrier (the Eridani) and, just like the Home Fleet, is always active and ready for action.
The Third Fleet of the Alliance is the third in size and its job is to defend the inner and outer colonies. The Terra Nova Shipyards serve as its homeport. The Third Fleet has only one fleet carrier (the Sirius) in its ranks and, like the other two fleets, is always active.
The Fourth Fleet is based off Arcturus Shipyards and is tasked with the defense of Arcturus Station and the Arcturus Node where many Mass Relays meet and form an important node. While Humanity does not rely on the Relay network, it is vital to blockade the node to prevent unwanted alien incursions. One Reach-Class (the Arcturus) is assigned to the Fourth Fleet. The Fleet is always active.
The Fifth Fleet is inactive during peace time and needs 12 hours up to two days to mobilize before being able to deploy in theaters of war. It is considered a reserve fleet and can "borrow" a Reach-Class from the First Fleet if needed for certain missions. The Fifth Fleet is based off Reach Orbital Shipyards.
There are other much smaller fleets with patrol duties and such. The Fast Reaction Fleet commanded by Admiral Kastanie Drescher is one of the smaller fleets and it is always in stand by for combat. It is the first fleet that joins the fray when a colony or other locations of interest come under attack. There are also the Assault Fleets, a combination of heavy firepower and troop transports for groundside assaults. Out of the 6,000 ships categorized as logistics vessels, most are dedicated for troop transport and deployment; others are simply for shipping food, ammo, spare parts, fuel and the such to the deployed fleets.
It is worth noting that every colony of the Alliance has a small fleet of frigates and corvettes under their jurisdiction, mainly for policing actions within their systems or immediate interstellar vicinity. The corvettes aren't as widely used by the Navy as they are by the colonies' law enforcement, more like an in space Colonial Defense Force. These fleets however can be called upon to join the Navy in times of need and boost its ranks. The corvettes are ships around 75 to 100 meters in length with very light armor and boast a single light caliber turret and one missile pod; there are also models designed with lighter weaponry for AA warfare.
The Alliance also builds and deploys stations called anchorages. These vary in size and are most commonly found in the outer colonies, large mining systems, military outposts, along trade lanes, etc. An anchorage comes equipped with built in defenses in the form of one massive MAC gun mounted in a turret on top of the anchorage and missile pods to fend off any attackers. Depending on the model, they can accommodate ships of up to 900 meters long in its multiple docking bays. They are either prebuilt and shipped to their destination by a Prometheus or Titan packer or are built in modules and assembled at the site where they are needed.
The Systems Alliance maintains a good number of nuclear weapons for use in times of war or emergency. Its nuclear weaponry ranges from nukes designed for anti-ship combat, nukes for planetary bombardment, nuclear mines to be used as minefields and nuclear ballistic missiles designed to be used as a planetary defense system along with the Avenger ballistic missiles.
The Dominion nuclear ballistic missiles are designed to be launched against spaceships in orbit or locations on the planet. They are very fast, incorporating some Eezo based technology to make it lighter and a powerful engine allows the Dominion to go very fast, thus capable of hitting its target in high orbit in less than a minute. Its payload is very potent, with antimatter and small tanks with large quantities of compressed gases amplify its thermonuclear yield, making it capable of shredding a Spirit-Class battleship in a single hit if the vessel's shields are down. They are regarded as a last resort weapon due to the possibility of nuclear fallout into the atmosphere.
The Shiva anti-ship nuclear warhead is used to combat enemy vessels. It comes in two variants, the Shiva H and Shiva L, heavy and light. The heavy variant is usually carried by battleships, carriers and cruisers while the light variant is used by destroyers, frigates and some cruisers. They are launched with the use of the Chimera missile pods, a multipurpose missile delivery platform. The Shiva was specifically designed for space warfare but is still capable of dealing massive damage to planetary targets. Its primary payload consists of a healthy dose of antimatter that boosts its standard thermonuclear yield.
The Sunburst nuclear ordnance is used to destroy clusters of small craft like fighters, bombers, corvettes and shuttles. They are in very low numbers compared to the other types of nuclear weapons aboard Alliance Navy warships.
The Apocalypse nuclear warheads were designed for planetary bombardment. They can hit targets on planets and moons. The huge nuclear yield is boosted by the antimatter payload as well, thus giving it the capability of totally wiping a huge city clean off the face of the planet. Considered as a weapon of mass destruction, their use is highly regulated and considered an option if humanity is facing an enemy that is more than willing to commit genocide against the human race. A variant of the Apocalypse is under development, a variant capable of cracking the terrestrial crust of a planet on a radius of 100 kilometers, thus causing massive volcanic eruptions from the magma that resides beneath the layer of rock on any garden world. The Apocalypse nuke has the nasty tendency to leave deep craters if not detonated in the atmosphere, a good weapon against underground installations. The heavy planet devastating variant is developed under the name Project NOVA.
The Havoc tactical nuke is smaller in dimensions with a lower payload, but just as deadly as any other piece of nuclear ordnance. The Havoc is a multipurpose nuke designed for use in space warfare against enemy ships, as well as hitting ground targets on planetary bodies. They are mostly carried into battle by fighters or bombers.
Earth's Cold War era nuclear silos are still maintained to this day as part of the last line of defense against warships in orbit of the planet. They have been refitted to launch the Avenger ballistic missiles and the Dominion nuclear ballistic missiles. Other colonies have this defense mechanism implemented as well (Reach, Harvest, Terra Nova, Eden Prime and Horizon have an extensive defense grid compared to the other colonies).
TEASER FROM NEXT CHAPTERS:
"It seems the STG has lost the Migrant Fleet." [Valern, Ch 2 - Raise the Sails]
"Listen to yourself, you bosh'tet! What good comes to us if we bomb a Batarian planet? It will be the Council's excuse to finish the Geth's job!" [Rael'Zorah, Ch 2 - Raise the Sails]
"Liars! You're all a bunch of liars!" somebody from the crowd shouted. The camera shifted and focused on a Turian who was immediately apprehended by C-Sec. As he was carried away, he kept shouting, "They're lying! Vasir blew up the Quarian ship! They all covered it up! I've lost the woman I loved aboard that ship!" and his voice faded. [Turian, Ch 2 - Raise the Sails]
"This is Rear Admiral Leonard Averescu, senior officer of the Expeditionary Fleet of the Systems Alliance Navy and captain of the battleship SSV Spirit of Fire. On behalf of the Systems Alliance, the representing body of Earth and her colonies and its citizens, I greet you and extend you the hand of peace. Humanity's looking forward to a peaceful coexistence with your people. But should you attack us, know that we are no strangers to war and know how to defend ourselves." [Leonard Averescu, Ch 3 - Per Aspera Ad Astra]
"RUN HER OVER!" Armand ordered to the driver who gladly followed the order. The Turians and Asari watched from cover what these brutes did. The young (by Asari standards) mercenary was trying to crawl to their location, crying in pain and begging for their help. When she realized the tank was coming straight for her, she tried to open the distance between her and the lumbering construct of death. The outcome was only one – Armand's tank caught up with her and crushed her legs first. The Asari let out an unnatural cry of pain as she felt her leg's bones crushed and flesh squeezed up to the point it exploded and smeared the area around in purple blood. Then her waist came under the tracks and crushed like a cockroach under a boot. Her entrails spilled on the pavement, brain and skull fragments in a round pool of gory mess. [Battle of Shanxi]
"Look at her!" the same Asari said and pointed at a wounded one in her lap. "She tried to recover the body of her friend after we pushed the Humans back a block. But they hid a fucking grenade or something under the body! It just took her hands clean off and her jaw!" True to her words, the one in her lap had her palms missing from wrists, bandages hiding the gory mess. Her jaw had to be bandaged, teeth were showing through the torn off flesh of the face. An eye was patched and a fairly sizeable wound was on her belly and legs. All this from a single grenade hidden under the corpse of her friend. Vasir saw the tears that were coming from her sole functioning eye. She was suffering in silence. She wasn't able to talk anymore with the wound she took, with a severed tongue and destroyed jaw. [Battle of Shanxi]
AN: This chapter for Codex will be updated fairly often before I pick work on the story fully. You will see the ( ) in the name of the chapter in the list of chapters. That is to show the latest date when the Codex of the Alliance was updated.
Please leave some feedback. This story WILL NOT be abandoned! Don't worry if you see inactivity – as I said in the foreword section, I'm working on my GATE story most of the time and I also have to deal with faculty stuff. I am writing in my free time to relax and because I like creating these worlds, so why not bring them to you as well? Please leave feedback!
By the way, the flag in the story's cover isn't mine. I found it on the Internet while scrolling for one. That is the flag of the SA in this story; the Navy retains the in-game logo.
A STORY BROUGHT TO YOU BY APOLLONIR
CONSULTANT FOR OCs & BETA FEEDBACK: VRGL1337