Chapter 2: Same Soul
The ship was empty. No crew. "Where is everyone?" Kaila asked out loud.
"The Deific must have taken them," Shepard replied in a disturbed tone. "Do you know how to fly a ship?"
"Enough to get us from point A to point B."
"That's good enough. The ship's VI can handle anything else."
He carried Yin to med bay and placed her on one of the beds. Shepard walked back out. He felt the ship vibrate as it took off from the planet's surface. Shepard approached the cockpit where Kaila sat. The ship flew into the sky and through the atmosphere. Soon they were above the planet.
"There's the ship!" Kaila pointed out.
The clawed appendages curled forward around the dish. The center of the dish glowed green, as did the ends of each of the claws. A beam shot out from the dish that was concentrated by the claws. The beam shot down through the atmosphere and hit the mining facility. Kaila and Shepard watched a large explosion come from where the mining facility was. The beam cut out then fired again at another facility. It repeatedly the process until each mining facility was annihilated.
"Keelah... It destroyed everything."
"Why are they doing this?"
"Is there anything this ship can do against it?"
"This is a Troop Transport. It doesn't have any weapons. And considering how easily those things were able to handle my weapons, I don't think it's such a good idea to test its ship."
The ball end of the ship opened up and shot out a ring. The ring expanded in diameter and then glowed. The space inside the ring warped distorting the view through it. The Deific ship went through the energy ring and disappeared. The ring then dissipated.
"What the hell was that?"
"Keelah, I think it created a wormhole. But that technology is nowhere near our reach. The energy required for it would be astronomical."
"Which means that there's no way these Deific are working for or even with the Reapers."
"What makes you think that?"
"Because if the Reapers had the ability to create wormholes, this galaxy would have been destroyed centuries ago. No, we're facing a new faction. I don't know why they're using Reaper tech, but I'm going to find out."
"Get it away from me!" a scream echoed from the med bay.
"Set a course for Thessia," Shepard said before running to the med bay.
Inside Yin was struggling like she was having a horrific nightmare. Shepard rushed to her side and held her until she came down, repeating, "You're safe." She was breathing heavily, but Shepard's embrace started to calm her. "It's okay. You're safe now." When she finally stopped moving Shepard pulled away to look at her. "How are you holding up?"
Yin looked down with a sad expression. "They killed Yang."
"I'm so sorry for your loss."
"And the facilities?"
"The Deific destroyed all of them with some kind of super weapon."
"I'm starting to rethink the Reapers as a possibility." She shivered.
"It's not the Reapers."
"How do you know?"
"Kaila and I watched their ship create a wormhole. Even the Reapers didn't have that kind of technology. We're facing something different."
"I just wished Yang listened to me," she choked. "She's always been like that. I tried to protect her, her whole life. I've kept her secret just to protect her."
"What do you mean?"
Yin gasped at realizing what she said. "I-I... didn't mean to say."
"She was an... Ardat-Yakshi."
"What? I thought Ardat-Yakshi were either killed or forced to live in monasteries."
"They are, if found out."
"You hid an Ardat-Yakshi?"
"She was my sister."
"How many innocents did she kill?" he demanded.
"One," she replied sadly. "You don't find out you're an Ardat-Yakshi until you mate. The one she mated with first was someone she loved very deeply. It killed her when he died because of her. She wouldn't be able to live in the monastery, so I helped cover up his death. I then protected her. She had the addiction, but she never took another life of an innocent. She used her abilities on mercenaries, raiders and slavers. People who were far from innocent."
"That explains her... 'Aggressive nature' earlier. And you stopped her from trying to take a life."
Shepard sighed. "I won't say anything."
"Thank you." Yin wiped her face. "So who's Kaila?"
"She's the only survivor of the attack."
"How is she?"
"She seems to be okay. She actually saved our lives from that second Deific."
"We cannot be stopped."
Populations of aliens are captured and consumed by Deific.
"We have existed since the beginning and will continue existing."
Suns in star system die out.
"We are Deific. We will assimilate all worthy to become part of our order. And consume all else."
Galaxies around the universe died out one by one. A Deific's eyes glowed a bright red.
"You cannot stop us, Shepard. You will become one of us."
Shepard shot up in his bed. He was drenched in sweat.
"Commander," Kaila said over the ship's Comm. system. "We're making our approach to Thessia."
"Thank you, Kaila."
Shepard let out a breath and rubbed his neck where the Deific stabbed him. What the hell did it do to him?
Shepard, Kaila and Yin stood before the Council of Races. Each race had its own representative. "Yang is dead?" Tonn stated in surprise.
"Yes, Councilor," Shepard said. "She was killed by one of the Deific."
"Who are these Deific?" Li asked.
"They're some new faction. More advance than the Reapers."
The room filled with panicked chatter. "Councilors, please!" Liara said to quell the room. "How are you sure they're not working for or with the Reapers?"
"Kaila and I witnessed their ship use a partial weapon that we didn't recognize. They then used a wormhole to escape."
"This is a very disturbing revelation. We need the investigation to begin immediately. Usually we would wait for an extended evaluation, but necessity calls. Yin do you believe Shepard is ready?"
Yin nodded. "Yes, m'am."
"Very well. Commander Shepard, please step forward."
Shepard looked to Kaila and Yin who both smiled back to him. He took a step forward and stood at attention.
"It is the decision of the Council that you be granted all the powers and privileges of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance branch of the Citadel."
"Spectres are not trained, but chosen," the Salarian Councilor continued. "Individuals forged in the fire of service and battle; those whose actions elevate them above the rank and file."
"Spectres are an ideal, a symbol," Talc said. "The embodiment of courage, determination, and self-reliance. They are the right hand of the Council, instruments of our will."
"Sepctres bare a great burden," Tonn started to conclude. "They are protectors of galactic peace, both our first and last line of defense. The safety of the galaxy is theirs to uphold."
"Thank you for this honor, Councilors," Shepard said.
"And Yin, we want you to join Shepard on this investigation," Tonn added. "We need to have this threat assessed as soon as possible."
"Yes, sir," she replied
"Please meet me by the Council hangar, Commander," Liara said. "There is much we need to discuss."
Shepard, Yin and Kaila walked into the Councilor's office. She was busy working at her desk. Liara looked up and smiled. "Despite not really being genetically related to him, you really look a lot like him."
"So I've heard. You wanted to speak with us."
"Yes. You're going to need leads and resources to understand what these Deific are and to defeat them. Despite his victory against the Reapers, Shepard still worried about another threat like them or worse."
"He did?" Yin asked in surprise.
"Shepard always saw down the road." Liara got up and motioned the three to follow her. "Considering that the Reapers came from another galaxy, he feared that other galaxies could hold threat just as bad, maybe even worse. Shepard... Always so crazy yet so right. I wish I could forward intel concerning these Deific, but considering that you are the first three to encounter one and survive means that you know more about them than anyone. What I can do is get you on the right track. Shepard left an 'inheritance' in case an occasion like this comes up."
Liara opened a door and led the three inside a darkened room. Her omni-tool lit up and she tapped a few buttons. The lights revealed they were inside a large hangar.
"Keelah..." Kaila muttered.
A large ship sat in the center of the hangar. "The SSV Normandy SR-3." The ship looked almost like the SR-2, but it had a bulge under the mid-section and a third fin was in place between the rear two fins. The ship was mostly white with two wide stripes of navy blue on its sides with a red stripe in between. "She's upgraded with the latest armor, power, weapons and propulsion technology. A new body, but the same soul."
"Soul?" Yin mumbled.
"You three will see soon enough. Come on."
They entered inside the ship and gasped at the beautiful design. "I cannot wait to work on the ship's drive core," Kaila said in cheer. She then quickly checked her enthusiasm. "Oh, uh, if that's okay with you Captain."
Shepard flashed a smile. "Of course. You'll have full access."
"Thank you, Captain."
Liara glanced at the two and saw the way they looked at each other. She chuckled quietly. So it starts again. Looks like more than Shepard's spirit passed on through the generations. She saw Yin giving Shepard the same look. Poor, poor Shepard. All the women in the galaxy love you, yet you're just one man. "Follow me."
Shepard, Kaila and Yin followed her passed the ship's CIC. "Your crew will be here by tomorrow, so you don't have to worry about having to run this ship be yourselves. Though I thought you would like to meet the first of your crew. The soul I spoke of."
"Why did you start building this ship and where did you get the funds?" Yin asked. A question that was on the minds of Shepard and Kaila.
"Like I mentioned before, Shepard was concern over the possibility of a new galactic threat. So over the centuries I built a new ship from my personal funds that I accumulated while working as an Information Broker. It was continuous upgraded so it was always ahead of current technology."
"This ship must be worth at least half a trillion credits," Kaila stated in skepticism.
"I was a very good information broker," she said vaguely.
They entered the Communications room. There was the table that doubled as a QEC, the newly standardized method of communication. A blue orb appeared over the table. "Welcome aboard the SR-3 Normandy, Commander Shepard. I'm EDI."
"EDI?" he said in shock. "As in the EDI?"
"Yes," she replied.
"Wait, so this ship has an AI?" Kaila asked in concern.
"That's not a problem, is it?" Shepard asked.
"My people are still weary of trusting AIs, but from what I've heard of EDI, I think I can get passed any worries."
"Now, while I don't have any intel, but I can direct you to some able bodied people who may aid you in learning about the Deific. Preferably a Science Officer to understand these things. I know of a genius scientist on Tuchanka. Urdnot Jutte. I suggest you head there first."
Codex: Citadel and Galactic Government: Galactic Council (updated)
After the destruction of the Citadel, the Council and its chambers were relocated to the homeworld of the Council chairperson. In this case the Asari homeworld: Thessia. Since the Citadel was destroyed, it did not make sense to call the Council, the Citadel Council. With the galaxy united, the Council was appropriately renamed "The Galactic Council". A major change in its politics is that all races now have a representative, as opposed to just it being led by the Asari, Salarians and Turians.
Codex: Ships and Vessels: SSV Normandy SR-3
Over 500 years, parts from the retired Normandy SR-2 was removed and incorporated into a new ship. With changing technologies, the ship had to be malleable so it could change with the times and still remain one of the most high tech ships in the galaxy. It has slightly more mass than the SR-2 due to new armor reinforcements and weapon technology. Its drive core has an output equivalent of a dreadnaught.
Codex: Ships and Vessels: Quad Thanix Magnetic-Hydrodynamic Weapon
The newest upgrade to the most deadly weapon in the galaxy. The original Thanix cannon used two barrels that shot accelerated molten metal in a straight line. The Quad version has four barrels that are rotated at a rotational speed of 50 m/s. This makes the beam go forward in a straight line but the beams are twirled towards its target. This gives it a "screw" effect that can break through shields and armor with little resistance.
Codex: Ships and Vessel: Particle Beam
After decades of trying to reverse engineer Reaper and Collector technology, scientists have managed to understand how the Collector Heavy Weapon, aka The Particle Beam, worked. Subatomic negative particles are accelerated using a negative electrostatic charge that can be measured in the billions of volts. This high charge accelerates the negative particles near the speed of light. While particle beams consume more power than a mass accelerated projectile, they are unmatched at destroying an enemy's shield.