Disclaimer: Mass Effect is owned by Bioware and EA Games. I just play their games.

Summary: AU. The Citadel Council celebrated the end of the Rachni Wars with the induction of the newly discovered turian race as a member of the Council, while the krogan, uplifted by the salarians, were celebrated as galactic heroes. 1200 years later, the Council races were embroiled in a bitter war against the krogan and it seemed that the krogan were beginning to win. A new space-faring race was revealed; a race that had been in a short, but brutal war, against the batarians. A race that the batarians called the 'Sleeping Giant'…humanity. The Systems Alliance, humanity's military and extra-solar parliamentary government, was approached by the Council to help them against the krogan. 26 years after first contact between the Alliance and the Citadel Council, Spectre Agent Nihlus Kriyik, and his protégée, C-Sec Officer Garrus Vakarian, are sent to evaluate Captain Willow 'Wisp' Shepard, commander of the new prototype frigate, SSV Normandy SR-1. They are to convince her to join the Spectres to fight in the Krogan Rebellion…a task easier said than done. Shepard is a powerful biotic, blunt and to the point. Her crew respects her but she is known as the 'Ice Bitch' for her cold demeanor to her enemies...and to those she does not know or trust. And for some reason, she really does not trust turians.

Rating: M – for language, sexual innuendoes and situations, possible violence

Pairing: Eventual FemShep/Garrus, with a bit of Nihlus thrown in

AN: I've been having problems in keeping my crossover Mass Effect/Firefly story, Edge of Heaven, going due to lack of inspiration. So, I decided on starting my Mass Effect AU story that I have had in the back of my mind for a few months now. I will say that I will most likely be a little erratic in my updates, since I've been replaying both ME and ME2 several times, plus Dragon Age: Origins. Yes, I am a Bioware fan…I recently got a PC copy of Neverwinter Nights from a garage sale… .:chuckles:. Anyway, this story IS definitely an AU.


Destination Unknown

Prologue


Year – 2157 CE

The asari councilor glanced at the datapad before handing it over to her salarian counterpart. She watched his various facial expressions as he read through the report. She could tell that he was mildly disturbed at the report. She knew that she was.

"Is this information correct?" the salarian asked as he handed the datapad to the turian councilor. "It almost seems…inconceivable that this could have happened."

The turian sighed and nodded as he took back the datapad and placed it on his desk. "For years, the batarians had given us nothing but trouble with their demands that the Skyllian Verge be declared a zone of batarian interests. They knew that we could not grant them that and had refused to help us against this war with the krogan."

He took in a deep breath and glanced at his fellow councilors. "We don't hear anything from the batarians for the past ten years and suddenly, about six months ago, I received a report from the captain of the turian ship, Varakan, with news that the batarian Hegemony was requesting aid from the Citadel. I had sent Spectre Tela Vasir to investigate what has been happening with the batarians."

The asari councilor nodded. "Ah yes. Agent Vasir is one of our best operatives and a powerful biotic. She would be a wise choice to send into the Terminus Systems."

The turian tilted his head in agreement and brought up a holographic display for the asari and salarian to see. On it was a small piece of information pertaining to the decline in batarian military activity and some more disturbing news came out. On it was an image of an unknown sentient species, similar in build to an asari but the armor and helmet covered up the alien's appearance.

"Agent Vasir found out that the batarians had been in a war with this new species for the past decade," the turian managed to say after a few minutes of silence. "From what she had gathered, these new aliens were activating a dormant relay, Relay 314 I believe, and a batarian patrol attacked them, thinking that they were going to try and steal their so-called territory in the Verge."

A chime rang throughout the councilor's office and a tall asari in armor entered the room. She bowed her head at the councilors. "Councilor Valern, you asked to see me?" she asked in a dignified voice.

Valern nodded and pointed to a seat, indicating that the asari should sit down. He ran his gloved talons in exasperation over his face when she refused, wanting to stay standing. "Agent Tela Vasir, I asked you to come today to verbally give your report to the other councilors and your opinion on this new sentient species."

Vasir narrowed her eyes for a moment at the turian councilor before turning her attention to the others in the room. "For the past few months, I had been infiltrating the batarian government to gather intel on why the Council had not received any news on why they left Council space. The Hegemony is close to becoming bankrupt due to their war with these new aliens and that is why they had been requesting aid."

"And what is your opinion on this, Agent Vasir?" the salarian councilor asked, genuine curiosity burning in his eyes.

"Personally, I say let the batarians rot," Vasir stated, her dislike of the four eyed aliens apparent on her face. "They brought this upon themselves when they attacked those aliens. These aliens call themselves humans when referring to themselves individually and call themselves humanity when referring to their species as a whole.

"With what little intelligence that I gathered on the batarian homeworld about these humans, I made my way to one of their colonies in the Exodus Cluster to learn more about them. They…are a fascinating species, I must say. On the colony they call Eden Prime, I learned that their homeworld, Earth, is currently in the middle of environmental cleanups due to their industrialization about two hundred years ago and early bootstrap space exploration. They have a very strong military fleet and an extra-solar government called the Systems Alliance. That is why the batarians are losing the war against the humans. The batarians call them the 'Sleeping Giant' and I agree with that assessment."

There was a curious look on Valern's face when he heard that. He leaned back in his chair for a moment before looking at his fellow councilors. When Vasir called these new aliens the 'Sleeping Giant', it sent a chill down his spine. "Why do the batarians, and you, call the new aliens that?"

"Because usually less than two percent of their population voluntarily joins their military," Agent Vasir answered, secretly enjoying the looks of shock that permeated the faces of the council members. "And from what I was able to gather, their population on their colonies number in the millions already…and on their homeworld, their population is well over eleven billion. But in this war against the batarians, 3 percent of the human population is now in the military and it is still growing. The batarians have indeed wakened a giant; a giant that will decimate and destroy them entirely if they do not surrender."

The asari councilor appeared to think for a moment before standing to face the Spectre and the other two councilors. "I have a proposal, one that would stop the war between the humans and batarians and help us with the problem with the krogan. I suggest that we make first contact with this Systems Alliance and negotiate terms that would end their war. If we manage to get the humans on our side, we can request their aid to stop the krogan rebellions."

"Now, wait a minute, Councilor," Valern began to protest. "Aside from Agent Vasir's report, we know next to nothing about these humans! What if they are as savage as the krogan? They would overrun everything this Council has built! We have traditions that got back for more than a millennia and you want to jeopardize that with an introduction of a species we know nothing about?"

With disgust, Tela Vasir slammed her hands on the turian's desk, stopping his rant and getting the others to stare at her. "I have had enough of your crap! I spent a month with a human family on Eden Prime! They knew I was an alien and yet they sheltered me. The father, a retired captain from the Alliance military, is an honorable and decent man. He took an oath not to tell any one of my existence and his wife and children made me feel at home. I know that not all humans are like them, but from what I had seen, and experienced, most humans are honorable, compassionate, and resolute in their beliefs! In my not so humble opinion, humanity would be a great asset to the Citadel and to the council!"

"You're out of line, Spectre!" Valern nearly roared, his mandibles flaring in anger and agitation. But before he could continue, the salarian councilor held up a hand.

"Agent Vasir has a unique perspective because she has actually spent time with the humans, and she is one of our best operatives," the salarian stated calmly. "She would know the best course of action that we should take."

"Agreed," the asari councilor conceded. "Spectre Agent Tela Vasir, due to your rather singular situation, what would you suggest our actions with the humans should be?"

Glancing around the room, Vasir glared slightly at the turian and straightened as she faced all three councilors. "I say that we contact this Systems Alliance and convince them to recognize Citadel authority, and have them help us against the krogan."


AN: I know, a little short, but I am not big on details or length when it comes to prologues. But hey, I needed to get this out of the way. Anyway, Chapter One will begin 26 years later in year 2183 CE. For a little info, in this AU, The First Contact War was with the batarians, not the turians and began in the year 2147 CE and has lasted for a decade. As for the names of the councilors, I really don't know them so if anyone can tell me, that would be great. Also, Spectre Agent Tela Vasir is a real character and is from the DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker. I was going to use Saren at first, but there are some things from the original timeline that I wanted to keep the same. Saren becomes the youngest turian Spectre in 2159 CE when he is 20 years old. I saw that in the timeline that's on the Mass Effect Wiki. The female Shepard in this story is one that I'm currently playing on ME and trying to get her to level 60 before I import the game into ME2. I'll have more info on her at the end of the first chapter.

Anyway, I hope people will like this AU… .:smiles:.