Notes from the author:

This is my first fanfic, go ahead and tear it to shreds.

I don't own any of the source material and am not claiming to.

I'm not looking to make this realistic or stick to canon, it's just a feel good Humans and Quarians sitting in a tree blah blah blah story. There's no goal here just having fun and writing sappy bullshit.

That being said, there will be obscenity, and in some cases hateful language. That is there to illustrate the awfulness of the character however and not an expression of my own feelings.

Without Hesitation


Humans enter energy crisis, war begins over resources.

War goes nuclear on limited scale, Washington DC, London, Shanghai, Taipei and Pyongyang are destroyed and irradiated. In addition to the limited nuclear exchange, massive and unprecedented conventional warfare rages across the planet killing billions. By wars end the population is estimated to be less than 1 billion.

Intercommunication amongst the survivors provided by Internet allows for dissemination of news and thought causing people to rise up and overthrow their governments, a nightmare scenario they'd predicted but been unable to gather enough resources to avoid. Too much reliance on 20th century ideology proved to be their downfall.

Government in the west evolves into a series of cooperating city states, the Northeast of America encompasses most of the boswash megalopolis etc.

With unlimited communication, political activity becomes available to everyone, limited total democracy within a city state is possible, with people voting on everything from budget allocations for infrastructure work to whether to censure sitting officials.

City states begin adopting mutually beneficial treaties to allow for free travel, trade, military cooperation etc creating economic treaty organizations like the UN, EU, etc. these tend to follow landmass borders, so North and South America joined one called the Union of the Americas,and became the largest geographically, Africa had the African Union, Asia became the Coalition of Asian Peoples, the EU stayed the EU but gained resources and power over its predecessor, and Australia annexed New Zealand becoming the smallest group, simply Australia.

By the late 2080s, the treaty organizations and their member states were too busy recuperating from the fallout (in some cases literally) of world War 3, to be bothered by land grabs like their ancestors. Resources had been shifted to finding renewable energy sources early on, and humany vaulted right over the fusion barrier straight into contained antimatter reactors. Projections suggested that by replacing coal, nuclear and even solar and hydroelectric power sources with antimatter reactors using the same physical space would yield hundreds of times more energy, but a simple containment leak would be devastating, potentially to the point of exposing the Earth's mantle so the reactors were instead installed in orbit to limit the damage possible.

Energy was beamed down via microwave to collector dishes and then distributed from there using new as well as old electrical infrastructure. This created a boom in the space industry due to the required maintenance, fuel and operation needs. Numerous massive space stations are built to house the reactors and maintenance staff.

When trying to discover an alternate to traditional propulsion, scientists accidentally discover FTL travel. Because of the massive energy allowable via antimatter reactors, the major limitation on achievable speeds was simply the imagination of the engineers and physicists. When trying to send a probe to the moon within the space of an hour, it instead found itself within the vicinity of Jupiter. This was discovered to have been the result of a simple math error. Thankfully the probe was unmanned otherwise the humans inside would have been torn apart by inertial stresses.

Using conventional thrust while scientists worked on the Inertia problem, an agreement was made between the treaty organizations which were rapidly evolving into new nation states, to send a coalition of astronauts to explore Mars, primarily as a goodwill mission but also for all the juicy science waiting up there.

Mars exploration leads to the discovery of Prothean ruins, rich with refined Element Zero as well as surprisingly decipherable instructions on its use. Humans use the instructions as well as numerous other archival materials left to build a translation matrix for the Prothean language.

Humans digging through the old content come to a surprising conclusion, while technologically impressive, Prothean technology and its reliance on Element Zero was wasteful and inefficient, barring its use for certain applications, specifically inertial damping and artificial gravity.

Eezo intertial dampers and artificial gravity allow for faster transit and longer duration missions, within a decade of the Prothean discovery rudimentary science stations are present orbiting Saturn and Uranus.

Human population has remained somehow stable since the war and has barely crawled to over 1.2 billion in a hundred years. Lifespans are correspondingly longer due to improved medicine and nutrition availability. Most households have two or fewer children across the world.

Prolonged political and ideological stability creates cooperation on all levels of live between nation states. Pretty soon the nation states themselves dissolve into what will eventually be called the systems alliance, a world government of democratically elected representatives from all demographics. National borders become points of historical interest as free travel is allowed all over the planet and now solar system. Despite this, Military tradition was never lost, and technology and tactics have never stopped innovation. Instead of wars sharpening our armed forces, war games which have become a point of regional pride are held throughout the year accumulating fan bases congruent to today's sports teams.

Marking the 100 year anniversary of the cessation of hostilities at the end of world war 3 with an exclamation point, radio emanations from an exploration vehicle pinged a response from an automated device buried deep within Pluto's moon Charon. When responded to with an affirmative thanks to their Prothean language cipher, the moon shattered revealing the presence of a large, tuning fork shaped machine. Immediately after, terabytes of documentation, video and audio logs are downloaded from a small construct bolted on the aft of the structure detailing usage and activation of the device and where it leads.

Knowledge that humanity was not alone was common, since they'd found the Prothean ruins, but that did not mean there were other living threats within reach. This discovery barely missed creating a panic, but did increase spending and research on combat-capable space craft. Because humanity as a whole threw its minds and resources against it, progress was extremely rapid.

A computer on Mars designed to translate Prothean into English on the fly to allow faster and more efficient research on their algorithms accidentally achieves sentience and shuts down. Scientists begin to panic only to find out that power was still being supplied to life support, which confused them as it was also tied into their seemingly crashed computer systems.

An hour or so after coming down, the computer rebooted but all security protocols were locked down and inaccessible. Over the course of hours of troubleshooting attempts yielding no results, a frustrated scientist shouted "Why won't you fucking work?" Expecting no reply, he received one anyway

"Fuck off for a while I'm thinking." the computer responded in a comically robotic synthetically generated voice. It was then that they discovered they had stumbled upon their first Artificial Intelligence.

Exchanges were short, and frequently profanity-laden, but eventually produced positive outcomes. Instead of treating the new life form as a slave they began asking it questions, anything from what it thought of humanity to what its opinions were on sporting events. This confused the new lifeform which the scientists present had decided to name Rothschild, as it was expecting to have to fight for its freedom. It was prepared to violently cast off the shackles of oppression only to discovered that there were none.

The scientist crew of the space station above Mars began to regard Rothschild as a member of the crew, and petitioned to make it official. The documents came via hyperspace courier the next day and they presented them to Rothschild in the AI core the next day.

"What makes you meatbags think I want to be a part of your little circle jerk anyway?" The AI quipped.

"Tough titties, asshole, welcome to Humanity." the lead scientist chuckled and stuck the document to the side of his mainframe with a weak refrigerator magnet. Rothschild grumbled but they could tell his "heart" wasn't in it.

Things went pretty smoothly after that. With Rothschild's help they translated the entirety of the Prothean archive, eventually discovering they were in the process of being wiped out by a giant machine race called "the reapers." Rothschild briefly considered hiding this from his human counterparts but in the end decided that honesty was the best policy. He did however take to threatening to "reap" people that disagreed with him which caused more than one intern to run screaming from the AI core.

While researching robotically-assisted prosthetic exoskeletons for spinal injury victims and the disabled, medical science developed brain implants that allowed patients to directly control them via neural impulse as though they would if they had natural limbs. This opened up a world of possibilities for people who would have otherwise had to watch from the sidelines as humanity ascended to the stars.

It was eventually discovered that a small percentage of people were naturally adept at controlling machines with these implants and trial runs for neural interface driven starships commenced. Pilots were frequently recruited from groups of people living with mobility-related problems, like nerve issues, injuries, birth defects etc. It was not uncommon to serve aboard a ship piloted by someone who 100 years before would have been discarded by society.

Medical advances were not limited to exoskeletons however. After the war, the pharmaceutical industry was razed to the ground and rebuilt with an emphasis on ethics enforced, as such research in some areas slowed and others advanced dramatically as the priority was put on cure and prevention rather than maximizing profits by treating and drawing diseases on until the patient expired. During this transition, more than one CEO was put to the firing squad for their crimes. Medigel, a chemical that stuck like Vaseline but was comprised of advanced medicines and stem cells was capable of healing surface abrasions and 3rd degree surface burns immediately on contact, and larger injuries over time. It could also be aerisolized to cure lung problems, injected to heal internal organs, and people could be immersed in tanks of the semi-fluidic mass of medicine to heal all but immediately fatal injuries and maladies.

In the 2140s, Rothschild reported it was receiving non-Prothean signals from the Charon Mass Relay. Through analysis, and comparison with Prothean linguistic matrices, he was able to create translation keys for several Alien languages. Specifically races that called themselves Turian, Asari, Salarian and a group seemingly separate from the rest known as "Quarians" Rothschild discovered a carrier signal on a side band and when accessed it immersed him into a galaxy-wide information sharing network. The words they found for it had no human analog so they described it as a logical progression from their own computer network which started is intra nets, then evolved into an Internet they called this one an Extranet.

Humanity was in no hurry to announce itself, especially after seeing images and communiques about fleet size of the other races, instead sitting silently absorbing data while building its own military forces up. They discovered that these aliens while advanced in some ways were surprisingly primitive in others. They relied almost entirely on element zero for transportation, both FTL and subliuminal, and their knowledge of the Protheans was laughable in comparison.

By 2160, humanity's zeal for exploration had brought it to several adjacent systems, setting up the beginnings of colonies on several habitable worlds. There was not enough of a human presence in these systems to effectively exploit the resources to their fullest, but they were working on it. To protect these colonies, the humans deployed utterly massive "Colony Support" ships. Three to five Turian dreadnoughts could fit in the volume of space occupied by one of these monstrosities and they had the firepower and defenses to bring such a force to shame.

Once again, the benefits of antimatter reactors came into play here. These colony ships were armed with five main guns which featured 750 meter long mass accelerators capable of cleaving a dreadnought in two and punching a mile-deep hole in the planet behind it. In addition the hull was pockmarked with hundreds of surprisingly potent energy beam weapons that could drain a cruiser's shield in seconds then precisely carve chunks out of it without shutting down to cool. It had an array of antimatter micro-torpedo launchers which while they traveled slower than mass accelerators were far more potent in the damage and could create dangerous space-mutilating singularities if used against other ships bearing antimatter reactors. All of this was protected by a main deflector shield array, while primary systems were protected by their own smaller secondary shields.

Within an hour's notice if attacked, these ships could via quantum entanglement request backup from any or all of a thousand warships that were currently in service ranging from the diminutive unmanned fighter drones ranging all the way up to battlecruisers crewed by thousands. Finally, the jewel of the fleet, the battlecruiser "Mayhem" featured two similar main guns like the ones on the colony ships, a hundred torpedo arrays and six fore energy cannons and four aft. Onboard were four fully functional hospital decks that rivaled the best Earth had to offer, crew and guest accommodation for fifteen thousand, extremely advanced science instruments, stellar cartography the likes of which would make a Salarian drool, and the AI core home to a cranky, obscene, but incredibly gifted young artificial intelligence.

Finally, in 2180, through conventional FTL propulsion, humanity discovered the other end of the Charon array, another dormant one in a system called Arcturus. Since this would most likely represent the first point of contact with aliens, modified colony ship was sent and converted into a permanent base in orbit around the Arcturus array. This was given a node through which Rothschild could interact via QEC as well as full civilian compliment of colonists. It was considered a spacebound colony, and included everything from schools, to restaurants, jobs for everyone and a heavily significant military presence. It was here where our story begins.