Some would say Humanity has reached its peak, most diseases have been cured, with only the very rare, or very new not being remedied, world hunger has been long solved with mass farming on once barren landscapes and artificial growth of meat products in labs. Worldwide enforced education programs mean there is now a 100% literacy rate, pollution is at an all-time low, and the economy has been entirely reformatted to now run off energy, instead of easily mined gold.
Humanity could be said to be in her golden age after the 3 world wars that scarred the 20th and 21st century, and the War of Sol that rocked the solar system in the 29th century. Despite claims of being in a golden age, there is a single problem that seems to be beyond Human reach. Faster Than Light, FTL, has so far escaped Human grasp, no matter the funding, resources or time thrown at the problem, the solution for affordable and safe FTL has been ever elusive.
One known method of FTL, using an element dubbed as 'Element Zero', has long been proven to be unfeasible. The element has not been found in nature, preventing its mining, and making enough of the element is out of the question due to the extreme resources required to produce the necessary quantities. The truth is, people would rather make their own small part of the galaxy a more comfortable home then spend so many resources on something which will probably provide little back. The problems with Element Zero are so significant that no one has even tried to use it for FTL.
But, this has not constricted Humanity to Earth, merely to Sol, the solar system they live in. People are living on Mars, Venus and Mercury, then some have taken to calling gigantic ringworlds above the Earth, Mars and Venus their home. In the far depths of the solar system past Jupiter lives another set of people who call themselves the Belters, these people live in large habitats n orbit of various worlds, but their populations are relatively low.
Being restricted to Sol has forced Humanity to learn how to terraform planets instead of merely casting them aside to find another, most notably Mars, and being confined to Sol has had other unintended yet positive consequences. Some technologies have flourished, with the economy not trying to support an expansion outside of Sol it has left more time and supplies to look at other things that could improve the ever-smaller worlds they live on. Examples being AI and computing developed on Earth are some of the most advanced in the galaxy, and food production technologies are far beyond any other species capabilities. Further, because Humanity has so few words, planetary defences have been developed that unleash hells fury like no other.
By most standards, Earth is considered an impenetrable fortress, the War of Sol almost cost the world, so all efforts were made to ensure its defences are without question. In truth, humans wanted her safe, and so they spared no effort to make it so; no other planet can claim to be their place of origin, and it provides most of Humanities food. If Earth fell, despite all their advances, Humanity would still struggle. Would they perish? Not at all, but most would miss the blue orb.
While Earth is heavily defended, the truth is Humanity as a whole lacks an arsenal of war vessels. Each planet in Sol can only claim to have a small armoury of high tech stealth vessels and a few old but by no means unsophisticated Planetary Assault Craft, commonly known as PAC's. With Sol being at peace for over 700 years, and planetary defences that could eliminate any fleet of old, most do not really see the need for a flotilla of war machines.
Ultimately, while Humanity may be restricted to Sol, it could be strongly argued it has done the civilisation a great good, allowing them to advance to a suitable stage prior to any FTL discovery.
Unknown space - Citadel Vessel Avian
Councilor Tevos paces back and forth on the bridge of the Avian, she had previously been advised by the Asari republics not to embark on this mission, for fears of her safety, but she ignored them. She remembers telling the Republic Council that the discovery was just too great to pass up, but now, she regrets ever leaving the safety of the Citadel. "Corvinus," She says to the Turian Captain of her vessel, "How long till the Turian reinforcements arrive?"
The Turian watches her pace back and forth with his small black eyes that are a signature of his race before saying, "18 hours 15, no sooner." It is almost the same answer as the last time she asked, minus 5 minutes, but the Turian captain does not voice this frustration. Tevos is one of his ultimate bosses, so it is not his place to vent with her.
The Asari blinks as she continues to pace, "And how long till the pirates catch us?"
"At best, 16 hours 30." Corvinus replies respectfully before adding, "And that is assuming our damaged engines continue to operate with the same efficiency as per. We will not survive another encounter."
Tevos blinks, not knowing how the Turian can sound so calm with the situation. Eventually, she asks, "How long will it take to arrive at the Relay?"
Corvinus flares his mandibles a little, "We can arrive at the uncharted Relay in 14 hours. I must advise you that we will need to activate it."
"I know of the implications." Tevos snaps, knowing it will be the first Relay opened in a thousand years or so which will result in a full-blown investigation that could lead many to lose their jobs, or heads even in the case of the Turians. "But we can not let the pirates get their hands on our cargo, the results of which will have devastating consequences throughout the galaxy. Corvinus, activate the Relay and proceed through."
There is a silence in the room as the various officers silently question the decision, and eventually, Corvinus says, "As you wish. Helmsman, take us to the uncharted Relay, maximum sustainable velocity. Science, find the protocols for Relay activation."
"As you command," The Turian helmsman says, repeating the famous mantra of a Turian soldier as he turns the ship towards the uncharted Relay.
Arriving at the Relay, Tevos gives it a hard look, the Relay looks just like any other powered down Relay, it is frosted over and carries an intimidating appearance, quietly informing all who see it of the power it holds within. Nodding to the science officer, she says, "Initiate it."
Corvinus quickly speaks up to add, "And release a probe to inform the Turian peacekeeping fleet inbound where we have gone." If the Turians come across the newly powered Relay, they are unlikely to just storm through like headless varren, unless they have reasonable cause to enter uncharted space. By the time the Relay is powered up and ready for use, the Pirates are just a mere half-hour behind the citadel vessel and are closing in fast.
United Nations Space Command (UNSC)- Sol
A man in a dark navy blue uniform walks briskly into a room, people he passes pay respect to him, but he is not interested in returning their salutes, he has bigger fish to fry at the moment. Arriving at a table in the centre of the room, he says, "What is the situation?"
A slim man with greying hair begins to speak, "Half an hour ago, Charon was a moon around Pluto, now..." The man brings an image up on a screen at the bottom of the table, "This is an image from a mapping satellite we had in orbit of Charon." Instead of barren rock, there is a vast construct surrounded by some broken rocks. Just before the military man can ask a question the older man goes on to say, "Thankfully, with Charon being so far away from the sun resulting in little to no natural light arriving at the moon, there aren't any settlements we need to worry about."
"Good," The decorated man replies before pointing to the unknown object, "Next question, where did it come from?"
The scientist quickly plays a video, showing the moon break apart as the unknown object begins to power up. The General clenches his jaw at the sight, hating what this potentially means. "Is our satellite still orbiting what was left of Charon?"
The scientist yet again nods, "The satellite has QEC installed, allowing for live transmission. Amazingly we have also discovered this device has an unusual mass allowing our satellite to maintain an orbit, despite Charon having mostly drifted..." As the man speaks the rings on the construct, begin to spin so fast that they become a blur, and a second or so later a second much smaller construct appears next to the first construct. This second construct seems to be damaged and is venting something.
The General has seen enough and raises a hand to his ear, "Lucias, get me the Chief of General Staff," He says with a stern voice that only years of being in the military have allowed him to perfect, after a moment a voice greets him and he says, "I must advise we activate condition Alpha 1 as of this second."
The moment the vessel drops out of the relay corridor Corvinus says, "Sensors, report!"
The sensor subject matter expert takes a moment to collect information his various sensors have made before stating, "System has 9 Planets, no life signs... wait, cancel last, we have a satellite around the Relay."
Corvinus turns to his sensors expert, "On screen!" This is what he feared would happen.
The satellite that is projected onto the screen is small and white, it has no visible satellite antenna or FTL drive, meaning whoever created this device will probably have to come back to retrieve the information from it. Corvinus takes a second before saying, "Leave it, we can collect it for study later."
The Avian spends a further few minutes collecting information on the new and uncharted solar system before the sensor expert says "I don't like this," The Salarian taps a few keys in frustration before saying, "This space is quiet, real quiet, too quiet."
Tevos turns to the expert, "How do you mean?" She can feel her skin become ever so slightly statically charged, a natural Asari response akin to human hairs standing on end. This response allows Asari to power their biotics ever so slightly quicker than without.
"Well," The sensor expert begins to explain. "99% of planets emit or reflect a natural signal that we can detect, yet none of the inner planets here are emitting a signal, and their gravity wells are for the better part dubious as if they were being masked. I would dare say, if we were not in the system and with the most modern sensors, these planets would be undetectable."
"Which planet is most masked?" Asks Tevos with a raised brow.
"3rd one in." The sensor expert says, "Almost entirely undetectable, even its light emissions are distorted."
Tevos thinks heavily before saying, "Take us to the third planet."
Corvinus flares his mandibles again; he does not like this at all, "If there is a new civilisation there, which is likely due to the fact we just found their satellite, then is this the wisest decision Councillor? We still have a hostile tail."
Tevos swallows before blinking, "Yes, the Hanar have infamously bad sensors, and if whoever lives on that planet has something that can hide a world, it sure as Athame it can hide a ship." She takes a moment before adding, "And if they do find us, then with any hope a new civilisation will make our tail question their decision to attack us, and if all else fails, we can beg for help or land."
Corvinus does not agree with the Asari's logic, but who is he to argue with the upper echelons?
Unfortunately for Tevos, the Hanar appear quicker than expected and are now only 10 minutes behind them, and with the Avians damaged engines, the aquatic beings are more than likely to catch up soon. Fortunately, the alien world is no more than 13 minutes from their current location.
After 8 minutes of pushing the Avians engines to their limits, the 3rd planet is now a small blue orb, and sensors can detect some landmass, but still nothing much else, which means this world must have cloaking technology around it of some sort, and any civilisation that can cloak a world is powerful in Tevos's mind.
"Captain, detecting an energy surge, Hanar are firing."
"Are they mad?" Queries Tevos as the helmsman moves the Avian to the side and the Hanar's superheated tungsten round passes them without causing any damage. This pattern repeats until they are well within the visual range of the alien world, and at this distance, the enormous ringworld above the planet can be seen, and the megacities on Earth are visible.
"Another shot incoming," Someone says.
So far it has taken around 20 seconds for the shots to catch the Avian, which is more than ample time to manoeuvre out of the way, but someone quickly adds, "Projectile trajectory calculated, shot will hit into an ocean within 10km of a city on the planet."
The Captain gives Tevos a quick sorry glance before turning to his helmsman, "Put us in the way of that shot."
"As you command," The Turian helmsman says quietly before doing as asked, knowing that this action will ultimately kill many of his fellow crewmen.
When the shot impacts on the Avian its effects are felt immediately, generators onboard the vessel blow, engines splutter out of life, artificial gravity fails, primary lights fail and atmosphere vents from various locations where the hull has warped, torn and fractured. The worst damage is to the left aft section, which has mostly been removed and cavitated. The bridge, being at the ships forward section, remains unscathed, other than the issues as mentioned earlier regarding lighting and gravity. The Avian, however, still has some of its batteries and supercapacitors, which means some systems are still working, such as sensors and emergency lighting, it is not much, but still something.
The General blows out a sigh of relief as he witnesses the first alien vessel move into the way of the shot, preventing it from reaching Earth and testing her mostly untested planetary shielding.
"General," A voice belonging to the President fills the air, "You have my and our people's blessing." The President audibly breathes out, before going on, "Had that hit and our shields fell I have no doubt Bejing would be in serious trouble right now, unleash our wrath how you best see fit."
Till this point, the President had been happy to watch in order to learn everything he could. The General nods, he too feels relieved, not only for the lives saved but for the more selfish reason being that he has good friends in Beijing. Looking to the roof, the General speaks aloud, "Ultron, eliminate hostile ships. Authorisation code Papa, Guinea, Lema, six, nine, Bravo, Zulu two."
An automated sounding voice confirms the authorisation code, and shortly the General is watching as six stealth defence platforms power their weapons and an artificial intelligence calculates weapon trajectories.
"Captain," The sensor expert speaks as he looks at his console. "Detecting six power surges from the planets orbit." Before the expert could add any more information six beams of burning hot white light pass the Avian and obliterate the Hanar vessels. "It was a weapon, all Hanar vessels destroyed!"
"Just like that?" Asks the Captain who is sitting in the Captain's chair, a seatbelt holding him down, "Do we have a recording?" Most onboard are trained to operate their vessels with a loss of gravity, so the Avians crew are not too affected by its loss.
"Putting it on screen now." A second later and the main view screen is displaying six vessels being consumed by what can only be described as a beam of either white-hot plasma, or dare Corvinus to say it, energy.
"Goddess," Tevos says as she tries to keep herself grounded, but the task is proving to be harder than she would like, it has been too long since she experienced zero gravity in a spinning ship. "What was that?"
The Turian flares his mandibles a little and then says, "Not good news. Do we have comms?"
"No." A communications officer says. "Primary and secondary transmitters were torn off by debris from the earlier impact."
The Turian captain releases a low growl, making a sound only Turians can make, showing his frustration at their current situation, "Then once we have collected survivors make that our top priority. I also want a message passed through any shipwide terminals that are still working, inform our crew we are being watched and will potentially have unknown visitors; we are to adopt a non-hostile stance towards them. They are to operate under section commanders until further notice."
"As you command."
UNSC - 1 hour later
"The ship is spinning in an uncontrolled manner, it is dead in the water." A high ranking figure says with a slam of his hand, "We should take it into our possession now before it can provide resistance." The whole topic of what to do with the damaged alien vessel has caused some heated arguments.
"And risk angering a second species or group?" The President says with some concern, "I think not, and that is not to mention that this ship deliberately moved into the path of the projectile that was heading for our home. I will not have our people, our species, be hostile to people that will put their neck on the line for a civilisation they do not know or have relations with."
There is a quiet in the room until the President speaks again, "I want a rescue mission sent in ASAP. Marines of the highest calibre only, soft posture. Cerberus, prepare our people for any hostilities, I will make sure you have whatever resources you deem fit."
A general nods her head before leaving the room to make the necessary arrangements.
Avian - 2 hours 30 later.
Captain Corvinus looks around the battered medical bay; there are more bodies covered in thin black sheets than those receiving medical aid. The annoying thing is that because his crew have been working now for over 36 hours straight with little to no rest in order to keep the ship moving, there is a fair share of people here with injuries caused by mistakes through tiredness. With a frustrated growl, he turns to leave the room, but before he can, a voice stops him, "Captain, we have a situation. We have an unidentified ship outside."
"On my way," The Captain says. "Where did it come from?" He didn't really need to ask this question, he already knew the answer. There is a moment of silence till the man on the other side of the radio says, "It just appeared next to us."
Shepard stifles a laugh as she watches her cohort play a prank on a comrade that has fallen asleep, that being to see how much they can draw on his face. "Alright, jarheads and foreheads." A voice crackles over the ship's intercom, taking a light jab at the marines, "As expected our docks are incompatible, so you're going to be doing some good old EVA'ing..."
The marine that was asleep awakens with the voice and immediately begins to spit paper from his mouth that was wide open catching flies, earning a chuckle all around, no one tells him of the drawings. "... So suit up and be ready to move in 5."
As the marine that was asleep grumbles, Shepard begins to do the final checks of her armour and weapons. "Hey, Shepard," One of the marines says as he does his own checks, "Is your brother always so miserable?" This question gains the attention of most in the room.
Shepard doesn't look up as she replies, "He's Space Force and actually has to do something that isn't a woman for a change, so of course he will be miserable." Those in the Space Force are well known for their fancy lifestyles, and they often clash with the 3 other forces because of it.
"Aww yeah," One of the marines says, "How could I forget? Bloody Spacey."
Soon the small contingency of 15 marines are at the airlock and are exposed to the vast emptiness that is space, "Alrighty," Shepard says to her men through comms as the point man unlocks his mag boots and enters the harsh love of space, "Remember, the president is watching and..."
Leonid Shepard interrupts, speaking from the bridge of the Hawkings, "To keep it in your pants. We know what you marines are like if it has a pulse and is warm..."
Lidochka Shepard rolls her eyes before saying, "Shouldn't you spacey's be more interested in aliens, and wasn't it someone in the Space Force who was recently caught..."
"...Yeah yeah, just get your job done."
"Was it a goat or a sheep?" Someone laughs, "Now what were you saying, boss?"
"A goat. Now, in essence, we're here to make friends, as much as we can make friends with aliens, so no shooting blind or on sight like usual... Vega."
"Hey," The hulking man replies as he looks up from his own checks, "My room clearance is top-notch. Even says so in my AAR." AAR is his annual appraisal report.
Shepard lands on the alien vessel through an exposed tear in the ship's hull before responding, "Then how come you've been shot three times doing that very job? 1 Section, all-around defence."
As 1 sec secure the 'landing' site, Vega replies, "When you have this much muscle, something is bound to hit every now and then. And if you're not happy with my means, why did you write the opposite in my AAR?"
Another voice pipes in, "James, fat isn't a muscle, and she will have written so because we aren't typically used for soft cuddly missions like this. Pirates are rarely shown any love."
"Hey Ash, that's just downright mean."
Shepard rolls her eyes yet again as she catches a box that is passed to her, the box is filled with supplies and equipment for rescuing stranded personnel in space. With the landing zone secured and all supplies onboard the marines make their way towards a door that has been sealed against the vacuum of space, "Alright, you know the drill."
First, a sensor is placed on the door, and since an atmosphere is detected in the next room an atmosphere shield is then placed in front of the door, which will allow solid bodies to pass through but contain gasses such as those found in an atmosphere. Next, a plasma torch that can operate in zero atmospheric conditions cuts through the door, and finally, James uses his hulking mass and exoskeleton to force the door open.
Getting inside of the room a marine takes an atmosphere reading, "Hey boss, these readings are either wrong, or this is breathable, I mean its a little heavy on the oxygen, but it's well within safety limits. Pressure is good too, 1015.25 mbar."
Shepard looks around her guys before nodding, "Then orders from the top is soft posture guys." After saying this, each marines armour reacts, and their helmets collapse down their necks. It is a hazardous move considering they do not know who these aliens are or can possibly predict how they will react to their presence as they do not know their temperament.
"You know," Someone says as the Marines move through the room to the next door, "I was thinking, what we are doing right now, like on this ship, it's incredibly stupid. Something only a politician would think is a good idea stupid."
"Oh yeah?" Asks Shepard, looking for more information.
"Yeah, like when we run into ET, what are we going to say..." The marine clears his throat for the next word, "...'WAZZAA?' and wave our arms like a tit? We know none of their language, customs, ways, hell, we don't even know what they look like. Us shaking hands to them could be us waving our dong in one hand while flipping the bird with the other, so this plan from up top, it's stupid."
"We are marines," Shepard shrugs as she observes the room around her, "The Jarheads and the foreheads, we excel at the stupid, so we will make something up when it comes to it; besides, I think the egg heads have given us something, so we don't need to speak."
"Rooooogger that." The man replies, naturally sceptical of the egg heads plan.
There is a crackle over the radio before a General speaks in their earpieces, sounding rather irate. "Get a grip. The President is listening to everything you are saying."
There is a moment of silence till one of the marines says, "Well, there goes my skiing trip." This causes a chuckle among the marines, with everyone knowing it means their request for leave is likely to be denied because of this and duties assigned instead, not that any of them expect to have leave approved with everything going on.
In the next room over, Corvinus looks at a monitor that displays the aliens in the adjacent room, the aliens are heavily armoured and heavily armed, and from his time as a foot soldier, he can tell that they know what they are doing, and are well versed in it. They also look like they are ready to deliver punishment, but the Captain can also tell they are here for a different purpose just from their stance and demeanour, but he does not kid himself that they wouldn't fight with ferocity if needed to.
With a deep breath, he turns to a sailor who is guarding the nearby door that will open to reveal the aliens, the door needs hand-cranked open due to the lack of power. "Open it," He commands. This task proves to be harder than anticipated due to the lack of gravity and the ship's spin.
As the doors slowly open the Captain can see the aliens react and move into more appropriate cover, but he does not react, he uses his spine that the Turian army blessed him with to suppress any reactions. After a moment for the aliens to accept their new position the Captain walks through the door and looks around, so far so good, he thinks, having not been shot.
After a few seconds, one of the aliens moves out of cover and stands in the middle of the corridor, it looks him up and down before moving back slowly to a box the aliens dragged in and opening it. The alien then takes a small device out and places it against a wall, creating a blue barrier against the wall. The alien then opens the door it used to enter the room, showing a similar barrier and its capability to hold an atmosphere in.
The alien then picks up an identical object and slowly approaches Corvinus, holding the item out towards him while pointing to a small button. Corvinus slowly accepts the item before handing it to an aide behind him with the instruction to take it and test it.
Next, the alien takes a display pad out of the box and plays a video which shows the Avian being tugged to the ringworld above the nearby planet, followed by a second video showing the Avians crew moving onto the UNSC Hawkings, and a third video showing the Avian left alone with the box of goodies the marines brought onboard. The alien then holds the pad out, the three options displayed on it, in wait.
Corvinus quickly realises what the alien is offering and does some quick thinking, the first option would be preferable, but the Avian is severely damaged, so he does not know if the ship will survive the trip. The second option is a possibility, the aliens seem to want to help and haven't shot him or his people thus far. The third option is an almost no go; the ship won't survive too long on its own, its core could rupture at any moment killing all on board, and who knows if the Turian peacekeeping mission will arrive promptly, never mind go through the newly opened Relay. Indeed, Corvinus realises that he is at this species mercy.
Corvinus thinks through his options a few times, in order to make sure that he is about to pick the right one before pressing the second option on the screen.
As the aliens prepare a method to transport his people onto their vessel Corvinus takes his executive officer aside, "Are all computers wiped?" He had given this tasking the moment he found out that the aliens were boarding his vessel.
Rigina, the executive officer blinks, "The computer core is scrambled. I've also ensured any documents are shredded." At this very moment in time, if no help from the council arrives and they somehow managed to repair their ship, the Turians would never be able to find their way back home.
"Good work," Corvinus says before adding. "What about the device?"
"It's hidden, and unless these aliens know what they are looking for, they will miss it."
30 mins later
Corvinus looks among his 27 crewmen that are now sitting on an alien vessel in what looks like a small cargo bay. Some of his Turians have brought weapons with them, but the aliens didn't stop them, either for lack of care, or because they didn't know what they were, but Corvinus doubts the latter. The aliens are heavily armed and are bound to know what a firearm looks like, so that means either the aliens have allowed them to keep their weapons out of respect, to prevent any issues, or because they pose no threat to their rescuers, and he hopes it is the former of the three options. Sitting down next to a sailor a small distance away from the Councillor he says, "Tevos, my crew know not to address you as a superior, meaning, unless you give yourself away, these aliens will not discover your true identity."
Tevos looks away as she sees two of their rescuers grab each other by the shoulders, make some sort of comment to one another and then both laugh, or so Tevos presumes. "What do you think of them, Captain?"
Corvinus clicks his talons a little before saying, "We detected no element zero on their vessels or a method of FTL, yet they have weapons that can obliterate ships and cloaking technology that can hide worlds and vessels. They are dangerous and are no strangers to war by any means. But I know what you are asking yourself, are they hostile and Krogan like? I don't think so, Krogan wouldn't have rescued us, instead, they would have killed all seven ships, and they wouldn't use such a structured hierarchy like these seem to do."
"Then it is of my opinion we should establish proper relations, we need to warn them of the peacekeeping fleet inbound, or I fear we may be one peacekeeping fleet down after today."
Corvinus flares his mandibles in agreement, "Yes, but doing so will be tricky, these people do not speak a known language." Because First Contact is so rare, captains in the Turian Navy will only ever receive one lesson on how to proceed with first contact, and it usually follows a night of heavy drinking, meaning it is a lesson most forget.
"You have your omni-tool, yes?" Tevos asks, being more rehearsed in how to deal with first contact situations, having studies all previous first contacts in-depth to assume her current role.
"Then we can attempt writing in the Prothean language and see if we can use that as a basis. With any hope, these aliens will have encountered Prothean tech and have a baseline understanding of their language."
"Then we will try it," Corvinus says, "But I do not speak Prothean, nor any of my crew. Will any of the experts?"
Tevos glances over a few of the experts before picking one out, "Matriarch T'soni was our lead Prothean expert on the expedition, she will be your best bet."
Corvinus gives it a few minutes before standing from his seat and approaching the ancient Asari, "Matriarch," He says, "I need you to come with me."
The T'soni accepts the order after pacifying her own guard and approaches the lead alien marine with a greenish mane, and when stood in front of it, Corvinus says to Benezzia, "Write on your omni-tool something in Prothean, anything simple to establish if it understands the language."
Benezzia takes a few moments before tapping out 'The sky blue.' Corvinus then hands the omni-tool to Shepard.
Shepard frowns as she accepts the alien's computer, and then she looks to what is typed and her stomach drops, recognising the symbols on the datapad. After swallowing slowly, she raises a hand to her ear and says, "Zero, you reading this?" She fears these Aliens are Protheans.
"We can confirm, but this is good news One Zero Alpha, wait out for a data package."
After around 30 seconds Shepard receives a data-package, downloaded straight into the nano-bot AI in her brain, and just like that, she can read and speak Prothean, the technology that allows her to do this is only in the military domain and is very new. Clearing her throat, she looks to the blue alien, "Yes, the sky is blue, so are the oceans. Do you understand?"
Corvinus turns to Benezzia immediately after the alien speaks, but Benezzia is a little lost, "She said something about blue, sky and ocean, I do not recognise the other words." Despite knowing how to write in Prothean, very few audio samples have ever been found, meaning the Citadel species do not know what Prothean sounded like. "But they are obviously acquainted with the language."
"Could they have found some advanced Prothean Stash?" Asks Corvinus since every other known galactic species have discovered Prothean cash's in their home solar system, and this species is advanced.
"Must have," Benezzia concludes, "But if they can speak Prothean so proficiently, why isn't more of their tech-based on Prothean design?" Meaning element zero tech.
Corvinus gives the Turian equivalent of a shrug before telling her, "We can worry about that sometime later. Right now I need you to tell her we need to speak, urgently."
Benezzia nods before beginning to write again on her datapad. Her sentences are not too well-formed, because despite knowing the language, they rarely come across anything that is not a schematic or engineering paper, meaning getting a full grasp of the language and how it is structured is difficult. Most of the technology developed from the beacons have entirely been off the schematics found on them.
Shepard looks down to the datapad again and speaks the words, "Need speak, time important." The commander nods before holding a hand out for the aliens writing device as she is not sure the alien can speak the language, only write in it.
After some hesitation from the alien Shepard gets the device and begins to type, "Then speak." She also corrects the previous sentence so it reads, 'Need to speak, time is of the utmost importance.' Then she hands the device back.
Benezzia quickly takes the omni-tool and reads what is written before saying, "Goddess, she has corrected my previous sentence using what I assume to be conjunctions and prepositions. This species knows the language well. She also says 'then speak'."
Corvinus suppresses a concerned growl before telling her, "Tell her a friendly fleet is inbound. Time unknown but soon."
Benezzia takes a moment to consider what she will say before blinking and typing, 'Friendship find here, tall number, day, tomorrow.'
Shepard considers the text before taking the device back and typing, 'Your friends or your enemies?'
Benezzia squints at her device before realising what is being said, she speaks to Corvinus as she types, 'I friends.' and says, "She wants clarification as to if the fleet is ours or the Hanar's."
After getting the omni-tool back Shepard reads it, types 'Acknowledged' and then raises a hand to her ear, and says in her native tongue, "Zero, the aliens seem to be trying to tell me they have friendlies inbound. Maybe in a day or two. For further details, wait out."
There is a moment till a voice tells her, "Roger that One Zero Alpha. Out."
Shepard then looks to the alien and gestures for the omni-tool, and upon receiving it she writes, 'How many friends?'
Benezzia reads it aloud, prompting Corvinus to say, "Tell her 30 ships, one dreadnought."
Typically the Turian would not reveal this information to keep operation security, but considering these people have very likely saved his peoples lives, and have some sort of directed energy weapon in orbit of their planet, he will spare some information. He is also willing to share as it can help make positive relations between his own and this new species.
Getting the datapad back, Shepard reads, "30. 1 ship tall, tall guns, much armour."
Shepard nods in partial understanding, knowing it to mean that there will be 30 normal ships and one larger full-blown warship, or 29 normal ships and one full-blown warship. Before she can reply a voice comes over the ship's intercom, "Guests and foreheads, we are about to dock with SB1. Shepard, some bigwigs are waiting for you at the dock." SB1 stands for Star Base 1 and is what the International Space Station was before the military consumed it and developed it into a zero-gravity training wing and then a military space dock. Today it has very little left of the original ISS other than a small compartment that acts as a memorial for all those who served and died on missions to the ISS.
Getting the omni-tool back, Shepard quickly writes, 'Prepare to move.' Before pulling herself onto her feet and making her way to the airlock. At the airlock, she finds her brother awaiting her, "So, thoughts?" She asks him.
"Trust you to find the green space babes of the galaxy."
"Really?" Lidochka states, "We find aliens, and the first thing you think of is getting laid? Your such a spacey its not even funny anymore."
As the airlock hisses open the Leonid Shepard asks her, "So your not even a little bit interested?"
With a shake of her head Lidochka Shepard moves down the dock to stop in front of a general. After whacking up a crisp salute and receiving a one back, the General asks her, "You have established comms?"
Shepard nods, "Text only, they can write Prothean, but their speech is questionable."
"It will do, good job. How many ET's have you rescued?"
"26." Shepard tells him, "I've let a few keep their weapons to keep things calm and to make them feel somewhat secure. I know in a role reversal I would want a little something in case shit hits the fan."
The general nods in understanding, "I would have done the same. Now, because the aliens know you and your team, you guys are going to be providing a security detail for the aliens, this is very much a roll as it comes type of assignment. Understood?"
Ladochka Shepard nods, this means that for as long as the aliens are around, then so is her team, and who knows how long this will be, or what things will be required of her team over this period. "Crystal clear."
"Excellent. So, who is the alien leader?"
"Spikey alien 1." Shepard says as she gestures for Corvinus and Benezzia to join her, "He uses the blue woman to talk in Prothean."
"So no species name established yet then."
The General takes a moment before nodding, "Anything else I should know?"
Shepard nods, "Yeah. If these aliens are anything like Humans, I would say they are exhausted and have probably been run ragged for a good while. Half of them passed out almost the moment they got on our ship, which is impressive considering their situation, and the rest just scream exhausted from their demeanour. I would suggest getting them somewhere to sleep safely would be a good start to relations."
The General nods, "I appreciate your analysis of the situation. We are currently looking to establish good relations with these ET's so little snippets of information like this will help a long way."
Corvinus watches the green mane marine and gets the hint when the woman beckons for himself to join her, and knowing he needs Benezzia to talk with these new aliens, he brings the Asari with him.
Getting in front of the general Corvinus does something unexpected, as he witnessed the exchange of salutes between the one with the green mane and the new man he figures that his own species and this new one is much alike. So, he shows the General a Turian salute, that being a fist to his heart.
The General looks caught off guard before saying something in Prothean. He does not recognise what is said, but Benezzia does.
"He says, welcome to Sol." Sol could be many things, from the starbase they are currently on to the solar system they are in, to even the planet below. What sol is, however, is unimportant, the welcoming is the crucial bit.
After a few more words are exchanged, it comes apparent the General is inviting them to a more comfortable room to speak in, and so the Captain accepts the offer. Eventually, the aliens are led to a comfortable room that has been set aside for them, inside there is a collection of fresh fruit, water and a few comfortable sofa's. The rooms main purpose is that of a holding pen or a communal area, and it was set up in haste when it was realised the aliens would be coming back onto SB1.
As the many aliens begin to find a chair to rest in the General pulls Shepard aside, "Keep the aliens here Shepard; hopefully, this next bit won't take too long." After speaking with Shepard, the General then leaves with the room with the lead alien, the second blue alien and two guards.
Finding a food synthesiser in the room Shepard approaches it and says, "Large Latte," and almost instantly the machine creates the drink from seemingly thin air, the only part the machine did not make is the ceramic cup. Taking her drink, she approaches a seat with a good view of both entrances and exits of the room and plonks herself down.
Looking around the aliens, she makes a few observations, of the 26 aliens there are 6 blue ones, and these aliens are almost all passed out or passing out, with only one blue alien actually being in a conscious state. It really did surprise her when she came across these all too human-looking aliens, but she isn't complaining, they are easy on the eyes compared to somethings science fiction has imagined in the past.
The spikey aliens are the most numerous of all the aliens, with there being 18 of them, and these are more like what she imagined aliens would look like. They have different eye structures, unusual hard looking skin, strange spikes coming from their heads and weird legs. These aliens are also what Shepard imagines are the fighters, they seem slightly more alert, more organised and are respecting some sort of hierarchy more than the other aliens. The third species, nicknamed 'Horns' is almost too sci-fi looking with their big black eyes, pale skin, and short complexion, it is like they are playing to some sort of stereotype alien from the early 21st century. She also notices what looks like a guarded show of respect to one of the blue aliens, but at this moment, Shepard is not too sure why.
It is not long until the General returns, and Shepard has her next task.
Cheers for reading.
EDIT: From Ch21.
This story is a first contact story. Ch21 is still dealing with first contact, but with the added ingredients of Reapers and the Geth to the mix. If you are after an all out war story, or fast paced action, this story is not for you. (I've been forced to write this after numerous people have started to complain this is focussing on first contact... I mean the story is called Contact and all.) It is also increasingly looking like this will be a FShepxTevos arc.