A/N: This crossover is based from XCOM2 by Firaxis Games, Mass Effect by Bioware, Terror From The Deep (Probably Firaxis Games) with a touch of The Martian by Andy Weir. I also do not own any of the listed works. This is a planned trilogy. This contains spoilers for Mass Effect and XCOM 2. If you haven't played them yet, why not?
No ownership of their work is assumed or implied. This work is strictly for entertainment purposes and is not part of the official story line. All associated with this work are not profiting from the creation and or publication of this work. Any issues or questions regarding the publication of this work should be directed to the author or his specified representative.
Big thanks to my editors and friends, Justarandom1 FFN: 3054606, Rellikrats1, CloudZen FFN: 894440, and Daisy Duck.
Chapter 1: There is always someone better than you
Earth, June 2036
It seemed like the aliens were a horde, a relentless one. ADVENT and alien forces led by a creature, frail-look but strong in the mind. This being was known as an Elder. It stood over two meters, wore a grey helmet of some sorts. There was a hole in the middle, a long oval shape. The Elders wore thick armored red robes, allowing them to hide their four arms with in.
These creatures were psionically able to project themselves into this realm and had taken control of incomplete avatar bodies. The combined forces had flooded the hall. Not far from where portals brought in forces was a group of humans. They were protecting their own white-haired creature. This creature was grown from the DNA of the body they had stolen from the Elders.
This body was grown by Doctor Tygen, Head of the Research department. While the good doctor was able to grow the body, they could not figure out why the Elders needed to melt humans down to make their own versions. The current theory was that they were desperate and had gotten stupidly sloppy.
The thing about this body was that it was the key to get into this underwater city. To unlock the key, it needed to be done psionically and have the right DNA. Thus, this body was grown from a stolen, partly-finished sample. This allowed the body to be remotely controlled by the person only known as The Commander. The Commander's physical body was back on on the Avenger, XCOM Headquarters. The Commander looked up and swallowed hard. They were running out of options.
His eyes tracked farther up, seeing the clear glass, plastic, transparent aluminum or whatever the hell it was, he saw Humpback whales. It brought a smile to his face as he remembered a time before the war, pleased that they were not extinct and requiring time travel to save them like Kirk had to. He leaned on the pillar, made of an unfamiliar alloy, carved in a language that was just on the edge of his brain. He felt certain he should know it but for the life of himself he could not remember it. He placed it a moment later, this was the Elders own language.
These Elders had forced other species into slavery, altering them for their own needs. The Commander sighed at the loss of life, slaves forced upon the gladiator's spear. Are they really a race still if their free will was stolen? Yes, these Elders had uplifted humanity but in return, they had wanted to melt everyone down. The reason? To create a body like the Commander was remotely controlling via the Elders' own Psionic Network.
He let out a soft sigh as he remembered being trapped in his mind, running simulations for the Elders like a video game. They had used what he had won and lost as a guide to wipe out all resistance to their plan. The plan? To melt all humankind into a goo to create more of these Avatar bodies. They already had taken millions with the order to rapidly liquify the rest of the Human race.
The strangeness of that order had caught the leadership of XCOM off guard. Regardless of what the Elders wanted, today is when it ended. This underwater building is where XCOM fought back and stopped this threat once and for all.
With a snap of his rifle that focused his psionic energies, he snapped a shot off and killed a muton that was rushing his Sniper, call sign Lexxreal. With a dart of his body, he dove behind the half-wall next to Hambilus. "Give me a count!"
"The hopes we had for your race. We gave your race peace. This is the repayment you give us."
The Avatar of the Commander shook his head. "Will the help-desk please shut up?! Stop with the automated woe is me message!" He looked at his General "Now, what's the count?"
Hambilus grunted "Four Elder Avatars down. I think each of us must have at least a hundred kills. If we didn't use the same power packs as the aliens, we would have run out of ammo a long fucking time ago. We are out of consumables." He paused as he snapped his left hand out. Half a second later, a sectoid fell, plasma burns on its temple. "Correction, we have one more fission missile left in the Wub Wub gun, but Carlo has it. Chadraln is providing cover with his LMG."
The Commander looked over at the positions of the XCOM's forces. This was their stand, their Alamo. Fail here and humankind ground his teeth as he felt another Psi Rift form. He saw that one of his Psi Ops, codename Hephzibah Kitty, was already leading an Archon and an Andy over to deal with it. That's when he saw his chance. The portals were the weakness.
"Kitty FALL BACK!" The Commander yelled. "Knotai! Fall back to my position with Kitty. Lexxreal, I need overwatch coverage. Nothing comes within 10 meters of us. General, please bring me the Wub Wub,"
With a grim nod, Lexxreal activated his jump boots and brought himself to the high ground. Several plasma bolts lanced from his rifle. "Clear for the next two minutes, Commander! Better make it fast as a pair of zerkers're coming!"
At the same time, Hamblius let out a howl of rage as he tore from his cover. They all were thankful that the armor that they wore could stand up to Plasma and provided a longer endurance. The Commander looked at his two Psi Ops.
"I need the two of you to help me when the General gets back here. We need to know where the next portal will be. The timing needs to be exact. We will direct the missile through the portal." The Commander said.
"That's not possible!" Cried out Kitty.
Knotai's voice sounding like Yoda for a moment "And that is why you fail." He simply reached out with his hand and shot a lance of psionic energy. It caught a viper that had started its lunge. His voice changing to sound like an instructor for a moment. "No harder than knowing exactly where to lance."
Scant seconds later, Hamblius slid in, letting his feet touch the half-wall. He lifted the blaster launcher to his Commander. The Commander took it and closed his eyes. "Place your hand on my shoulder. Open yourself up to me and push your power into me." He ordered his Psi Ops.
He slowly took a breath as he felt the power starting to flow into this body. If this body had been fully human, it would have melted from the energy. His hand snapped up and launched the missile. What could have been a problem, it was not directed at anything. That did not matter as the Commander grabbed the missile with his will. As he reached out, he saw it, more like felt the tear between places. The fission missile made a wub wub sound as the Commander guided it.
The missile had arrived the next moment before it had stabilized where matter could travel between worlds via the one-way portal that spawned. The lance detonated, turning matter into energy. It tore through the portal like it was paper, the fission of the missile consuming the energy of the portal. This caused the portal to destabilize.
The three psionics were still connected to the missile as it went off. They felt the psionic backlash as they felt themselves connect with the Elders and an unknown being of greater power. He felt almost like he was being judged by this unknown entity. The Elders did not seem to notice this power.
"LEARN" The voice pierced through the shielding that they had placed over their own minds.
Kitty and Knotai both went to their knees as they broke the connection with the Commander. "By Hera and Zeus, what was that?" Gasped the female operative. "Not even the Elders felt like that."
The Commander felt the voice hit him like a bullet train. He had closed his eyes to help block the presence when he felt something lance though his brain. If he had not been remote controlling the Avatar body which weakened the impact, he did not think he would have lived though that spike. Information was shunted aside as he had to focus upon the here and now.
"Time to leave." He whispered. He had finally noted the drain on his will. Thanks to the pulsing purple psi energy that had given even more energy to the missile, the portal was now sucking everything back through it, almost like an implosion. He had to drop the drain of keeping the portal open. This caused a rather large explosion, cracking the overhead. The cracks started to drip water as they grew.
Helping Kitty to her feet, "Time to go. We have to get the hell out of here." he said quickly, worry in his voice.
"NO! It will not end like this. We only wished to save your race from what is coming!" A new voice lanced though their minds. It seemed to be softer but had no dominance over them, unlike the previous voice. The Commander suddenly had an image of a cartoon Red Man, hair black as night, a curled tuft of hair on his chin, pointed ears, a frilly collar, lace around his waist, his suit reminding someone of Santa, followed by a lovely pair of thigh high boots. He had lobster claw hands for some reason. They called this creature only 'HIM'.
"Just what we need, the Powerpuff girls showing up." He said, turning to see the floating creature behind them. "Where is Bubbles?" He yelled back in response "Maybe Buttercup or Blossom should be here fighting you!"
"We could have saved your race. Made your race the saviors of the galaxy" the sultry voice said once more.
"Yeah, right, we saw right through your sorry ass and kicked it. We'll kick these new guys, too." The Commander shot back as the team ran. One thing the Commander noted, they were not being chased. The Connection felt strong to the body, but was there something wrong with the psionic network? Nevertheless, this was not a fighting withdrawal, this was an all-out dash.
"You are our greatest weapon. In anyone else's hands, you will be a threat but in our own hands, you will be a savior. Choose us and all will be forgiven." The sultry voice once again responded.
The Commander snorted "Great, just stuck talking to the automated line. Can I press zero for the operator now?" He laughed "Hello, Operator? No, thanks! I'll skip the buffet again! It didn't sit well with my stomach, you see. I'll just have to leave a one-star yelp review. See yah!" he said with a wave of his hand to finish the good-bye.
He turned to leave when he saw the Specter of the Ethereal reach out with a powerful psi-lance.
"Oh, you just didn't fling that DBZ crap at me!" With a snap of his arm, he felt the psi energy from the Ethereal reach out to him. He snarled as he projected his own.
"Kaaaaaaaammmmmeeeeeeehhhhhhhhaaaaaammmmmeeeeeeeehhhhhhaaaaa!" He screamed.
"You have chosen poorly. Too bad, we will clear this stain from this planet. If you will not join us, then you will die."
"I hope you enjoy Hell because that is where you are going." The Commander yelled back as he saw the last of his team dive through the portal. At the same time, the Commander started to modulate the psi energy. This caused an explosion that rocked the room. The Commander's avatar flew back through the portal. The last thing he saw was the tidal wave that was taking the base.
With the connection cut to the Avatar body, he had a moment to review what happened when that creature that was not an Elder had dumped all that data into his mind. The only words that came to mind was oh, shit.
The Commander focused his eyes above him as his connection to the Avatar body was cut as the underwater base exploded. "Did…?" the Commander's voice rasped out in his status suit.
"You did it, Commander. Everyone came home safely. All over the world, ADVENT is crumbling as everyone is rising up and taking back their lives." Central Officer Bradford said. (1)
The Commander started to sit up. His hands were shaking slightly "No. We need Advent or something like it. We need a united government. We need the shock troopers that Advent has."
The three resistance fighters that were hovering over their beloved Commander looked shocked. "Shen! Did something else come back into the Commander?" Bradford asked. Lily Shen darted over to her console and started typing.
"No, John. I am myself." He looked at the grizzled war veteran. "Something is coming for us. I know why the Elders came to us now. This is way beyond wanting to save their race." The Commander stood up and ran a hand though his thinning hair and looked right into John Bradford's eyes. "The Elders wanted to save themselves but beyond that, they wanted to avenge their race. They have been running for over a hundred thousand years. They were known as Inusannon. Their empire spanned the Galaxy when they were attacked by a race that was overwhelmingly more powerful than they were. They reaped the galaxy and then removed all works of the Inusannon. The few Elders we have here were in deep space when their race was attacked. They were exploring areas beyond…" The Commander paused as he tried to think how to explain it
"...Mass lightening devices connected system after system. The element that they used is very useful but the problem is they never looked beyond it. Much of their tech was based around it. It made them easy pickings. They managed to stay in deep space while their race fell and to finish their development into Plasma but by then it was too late." He looked at his two top researchers "Do not only use this element when we can find it."
The Commander sighed as he poured himself a glass of water. "I wonder if Ramex has some of that rotgut made yet." He said mostly to himself.
"The Elders spent the next few years perfecting their cloning to extend their lives. They figured out how to clone their bodies and transfer their consciousnesses. Much like the Asgard did in that old show SG-1. They are having clone degradation, too." Bradford smiled slightly at that. "They then went and found races that had potential. The Sectoids came willingly as did the Mutons because they were fed lies. The Vipers were on the edge of death due to their sun dying so, of course, they were willing. The Floaters were a mash up of Sectiods and Cydonians, a race of naturally evolving silicon-based lifeforms that we think of as of AI and the Outsiders were an attempt to create a method to project themselves like the Avatar project was."
"I cannot impress upon each of you enough that the race that culled them had a fleet of warships that numbered in the millions. As far and as long as the Elders searched, they never found a race that they felt could face them. When the Elders found the Protheans, they already were space faring and had a small empire. When the Reapers arrived, they had an empire that spanned the galaxy. All became Prothean, culturally, regardless of their race. One way of thinking meant that they fell even faster than the Inusannon did."
After taking a calming breath, the Commander spoke again "Then about twenty thousand years ago, they found a race known as the Rachni. These became the Chryssalids we faced. However, in the process of sampling the DNA from them, a beacon was found and corrupted a few of the Rachni. These somehow slipped out. From what the Elders had found, the Rachni were found by a group of races that led to Galactic war. The Elders rejected these new races because they had fallen into the False Gods' path."
The Commander looked at Shen, Tygan and then Bradford. "What the Elders found in humans is the piece of the puzzle they were missing. In our DNA is a latent psionic power that rivals their own. Every race that they enslaved had some sort of Psionic ability."
The Commander took a drink of water. "It is this psionic ability that the Elders wanted. With our DNA providing the structure of their new bodies, leading those that they did not take, the Elders felt that our race could face these reapers of races and end the threat. Sometime in the next two hundred to five hundred years, we are due for another reaping. Knowing humanity's luck, it will be closer to two hundred."
The Commander placed his hands on the table. "If we can find a way to make ADVENT shock troopers without stealing Human life to make them, hell, if we could turn all of the invaders into shock troops, that would be ideal." He shook his head slightly. "And on top of that, I am sure that the Elders will return. We must have a plan for them and the Reapers. We also must get this information out to the public quickly. This will help push the anger from ADVENT to the reapers and maybe, just MAYBE, give us a united front to face them."
"Bradford, get me all the local resistance commanders on the line. We must meet in two hours. Tygan and Shen, see if the data we need on the Reapers is in that thing" He pointed to the gate. "Find it so we can release it to the public. We have to prepare for the next invasions."
The Commander took a breath. "There is something else, there is a reason that the Elders base was under Earth's own oceans. The Elders were looking for something, something that crashed here 65 million years ago." He snorted. "Ironic that we owe our very existence to an alien race that crashed. We must be on guard for anything. Being almost melted down into goo tends to make any race rather pissed off, so I don't think there will be much trouble staying alert from Humanity."
There was an alert on a panel next to the young engineer, the young girl who knew her craft inside and out. "Commander, you better take a look at this." Shen said, urgency in her voice.
The Commander turned to see what she was showing. More than The Skirmishers had rebelled. The image showed a city block, several cars parked on the side of the road. On the far side of the image, ADVENT troopers were forcing humans into a van by the river. There was a lance of green and then the officer dropped. The other troopers started to look around for a threat.
With a cry of shock, one trooper screamed. Around his waist was a tongue and a moment later he was yanked into the darkness. From the other side of the van, next to a building, burst out three Mutons. Everyone was so sure that that they would help the ADVENT Troopers that everyone missed the moment they slid their blades into the troopers' backs.
The Mutons raised their hands up then and turned to the humans. Slowly, the lead Muton bent down to the dead officer and picked up a cuff. He pressed a button, causing the cuffs to drop. He motioned for them to come on before turning and walking away. Behind him, the two Mutons and two vipers followed.
"Well, I'll be damned." Said Bradford
"The possibilities of this are intriguing." Mumbled Tygan
"Ok, that's something we need to sort out. We will have to train our own Psionics then to scan their minds." The Commander said with a nod. "After we finish the debrief and the meeting with the Rebel Leaders, I am ordering XCOM to stand down for forty eight hours. Keep guard rotation up, but everyone can let their hair down for a bit. Remember, we are watching." The Commander finished with a straight face.
Bradford rolled his eyes as he left the room. "Aye, Commander."
(1) From XCOM 2