The original iteration of this crossover was written before the release of ME 2. This revision will include most of the old material, with the aim to expand on the story and and generally improve on the original iteration. A follow up set slightly after the events depicted in the ME 2 DLC 'Lair of the Shadow Broker' and a concluding crossover in line with ME 3 are on the cards.
Setting: Just after the events of Mass Effect.
My "interpretation" of Shepherd is a Male War Hero, Spacer, Soldier (Specialisation: Shock Trooper)
Note - All original characters are of my own creation. Seek my permission if you wish to use them in your works.
Copyrights for Warhammer 40,000 and related concepts, organizations, etc are the property of Games Workshop.
Copyrights for Mass Effect and related content are the property of BioWare.
This is a redux of my first fanfic. Rate and review as you see fit. Constructive criticism and story-related flaming appreciated.
War. Destruction. Death.
Three constant factors that have continued to haunt mankind ever since it arose into ascendance nearly 40 millenia ago, first from Earth, then within the Solar System and beyond. War was both a bane to mankind and the medium by which the emergent Imperium of Man has secured the vast expanses of the galaxy, establishing their dominion over the void over 10,000 years ago.
But now, the days of mankind's power are waning.
Aliens from every race and creed, from the barbaric and war-mongering green-skinned Orks, to the ancient Craftworlds of the Eldar, all bay and claw at the scattered remnants of humanity to fulfil their own agendas.
Mutants and uncontrolled psykers thrive in the underground of many worlds, their genetic and psychic abnormalities regarded as dangerous – nay, even sinful - by the eyes of man. Shunned, these blights on the Imperium impatiently await the time they will rise up and throw off the shackles of their oppressors.
In the end, these foes are but naught when compared to the nightmares that lurk beyond our mortal comprehension; beings who look upon the material realm with envy and tear through reality with one objective on their minds – the complete subjugation or death of all life.
And yet, while a single human breaths and the Imperium's leader, the Emperor of Mankind, still clings to life, humanity will not go quietly. Millions of Imperial Guardsmen are constantly being mobilised to thousands of war-zones across the galaxy, dying in droves to hold the line against the Imperium's multitude enemies. The might of the Adeptus Astartes, genetically altered soldiers descendant from the Emperor himself, answer the call to arms and take the fight to humanity's foes. The Inquisition and the so-called Adeptus Mechanicus, the watchmen and the forgers for humanity, also labour from behind the scenes to aid in humanity's struggle.
And yet, these men and women are barely able to hold the line against the darkness that draws ever closer to Earth – the home of our once erstwhile allies and the heart of the Imperium.
It is the 41st millennium and the galaxy knows no peace …
From the writings of an unknown xenos historian
Translated by Imperial Archivist K'yr Fromn
Imperial Navy Transport "Bearer of His Name"
In orbit above Illius IV
One month prior to current date …
The empty void above the hiveworld Illius IV was shattered as three vessels of the Imperial Navy roared out of a violet portal of the Warp. The gargantuan form of the cruiser 'Imperator Vult' and its smaller kindred, the frigates 'Cerberus' and 'Sword of Terra', as well as the transport 'Bearer of His Name', hung like spectres over the planet, portents of doom for the unsuspecting populace below.
Sergeant Richard Altern gazed out of one of the ship's observation windows as Imperial dropships and Valkyries began to swarm out from the 'Bearer's hanger bays, destined for the planet below his feet. His dark grey armour, grey and ochre patterned fatigues and the distinctive backpack, hell-pistol and power sabre typical of a sergeant in the renowned Imperial Shock-Troops cast him as a formidable figure – an ideal warrior to whom other Imperial Guardsman can aspire to – and, for other reasons, loathe.
The Sternberg-born sergeant sighed; how many insults have been hurled at him by his fellow Guardsmen? "Glory Boy"? "Big Toy Soldier"? He was no more human then the average Imperial Guard private - what would cause such derision over what station he held? He shook his head, running a gauntlet through close-cut blonde hair as he focused his mind on the upcoming assignment.
He did not know a lot about Illius IV initially, yet the briefing-sermon that had been delivered an hour ago revealed that this formerly loyal Imperial world was in the middle of an uprising by rebellious citizens, including isolated traitor elements within the local PDF. This certainly reeked of heresy and treachery; the High Lords of Terra had decreed that Illius IV was to be brought back into the fold of the Imperium by crushing the insurrectionists and scouring them from memory.
Though one thing still bothers me, the sergeant mused to himself. We do not know who is in command of this mission. Whoever he or she is, they prefer to work through intermediaries, such as our Storm-Trooper company captain, Magnus Aureus.
This mission was sanctioned from the High Lords of Terra, but -
His thoughts were interrupted as the hatch hissed open and a second figure stepped into the room. Armed and armoured in a similar fashion to the sergeant, though slightly slimmer of heft then her male brethren, Corporal Loran Gallentus strode onto the observation deck and halted several meters away from the brooding Altern.
The corporal's voice cut through the silence as she spoke. "Sir, the assault has begun and the captain's voxed for us. It's time."
Grabbing his helmet and securing it to his head, Altern turned to the corporal, a steely gaze in his blue eyes as he growled, "Assemble the squad."
10 minutes later …
Valkyrie Beta Nine-Three
Altern felt the hull of the Valkyrie rattle as turbulence buffeted the gunship. Staring out of the starboard door, he watched as several other Valkyries and Vendettas swooped past, diving towards the contested hive-city below.
He turned his eyes back to his squad, who were strapped in restraining harnesses that held them bolt upright in their seats, their various weapons either clutched in their gauntlets or stored in holding spaces in between their seats. He smiled to himself – each squad-member had a different background, doctrine, even accents in a couple of cases, but all were united through several common denominators – duty, honor and their undying loyalty to the Emperor.
Shifting in his seat, Altern heard the distinct crackle of his helmet vox as vox-chatter went back and forth between the gunships that were descending on the hive-city.
"Alright, squad, listen up!" he radioed through the squad's vox channel, trying to make himself heard over the roar of the Valkyrie's engines.
"Our objective is to assist local PDF elements in stamping out this rebellion. Imperial Analyticae has confirmed that the rebels have fallen back to the hive's primary manufactorum, where they suspect the leadership of this uprising is holed up. We are to assist the loyalists in any way possible, then storm the building, purging the last of the rebels once and for all. Imperial Guardsmen and armour from the Illius 22nd will provide additional support for this assault."
"30 seconds," the pilot radioed. The Valkyrie buckled as anti-aircraft fire began to spit from the area around the manufactorum below, the rounds hissing past or slamming into one or more of the other gunships that were involved in the aerial assault, resulting in those unfortunate to be hit to erupt into flaming wreckage, plummeting towards the hive-city below.
As the Valkyrie's pitch changed for final approach and the Valkyrie's door gunners began to open fire on the rebels below, Altern muttered to his troops, "Let us pray for our souls, that we may be purified as we go into combat."
As his comrades bowed their heads, he began to recall the Warrior's Catechism of Worship, a prayer that Guardsmen undertook in preparation for combat.
Making himself heard over the howl of the Valkyrie's descent, he began, "Look to your battle gear and it will protect you."
The storm-troopers solemnly responded, "We guard it with our lives."
"Your armour is your soul and your soul's dedication its armour."
"The soul of a warrior is the protector of humanity."
"15 seconds." The pilot reported, the Valkyrie's engines flaring as the craft prepared for touchdown.
"Honor the craft of death."
"Only the Emperor is higher in our devotion."
Opening his eyes and gripping the pommel of his power weapon, Altern concluded, "Honour the battle gear of the dead."
The squad met his gaze as they avowed, "We ask only to serve."
The Valkyrie's landing gear ca-chunked on the rubble and ruin of one of the hive's main thoroughfares, the ramp sharply clanging down as the squad rushed out of the passenger hold. Altern, clutching his hell-pistol in one gauntlet, followed his squad-mates outside, the roar and sights of battle filling his senses as they advanced towards the target building.
Deep within the bowls of the manufactorum, one of the rebels, a former member of the planet's PDF, ran through the corridors of the building, his lasgun slapping against his rear armour from its sling.
Eventually, the twisting and turning passages emerged into a wide, multi-levelled manufacturing area, the production lines running along its length having long since fallen silent. The lighting from the electro-candles was dim, casting little light across the near-twilight interior.
"They're here!" he yelled, fear edged into his voice as he sprinted towards the other side of the main floor. "The Imperial Guard has arrived!"
A chuckle echoed from the darkness, feminine, yet harsh. The traitor could see several silhouettes emerge from the darkness; one of them, effeminate in stature, gradually began to glow with a purplish-blue light.
The voice answered, "And we are ready for them."
Manufactorum Exterior- South Side
Altern winced as an autogun slug slashed mere inches past his head. He and his squad slammed into the nearest section of cover they could find amidst a ruined building as he assessed the situation.
Around 90 meters in front of him, framed against the imposing backdrop of the hive-city and surrounded by a wide clearing amidst rubble and ruins (now filled with both loyal Imperials and traitorous rebels), stood the formidable manufactorum – a mighty forge fortified through its multi-levelled construction, a formidable set of double doors (large enough to allow a Banebalade to pass through) and four towers on its corners, brisling with firing slits for infantry, Hydra flak batteries and several automated heavy bolters. Strewn in between the lines were the charred remains of traitor tanks, craters from explosives, as well as the nauseating sight of the dead and dying … all of this in where traitors and Imperial loyalists continued to trade blows with each other.
Peering for a few seconds over the top of the ruined wall, Altern was able to see a group of Guardsmen crouching behind the ruined carcass of a Lemun Russ. He glanced back to his squad and made a series of hand signals.
Allies, 25 meters to our front. Move up by sections.
Readying his pistol, he mouthed, "Three, two, one … go!"
The Storm-Troopers stormed towards the tank wreck, trying to get across before the automated defences could pinpoint them. Gunfire peppered the ground around them; one of the Storm-Troopers yelped as an autogun round slashed his exposed thigh, crippling him.
"Keep moving!" Altern yelled back to his men as he ran. The wounded would have to fend for themselves for now, lest the entire squad was killed.
After a further 30 seconds of sprinting (and another casualty), Altern finally reached the wreck. He glanced back, performing a quick headcount as his squad joined him, crouching to avoid enemy fire.
He turned to the nearest Guardsman and yelled over the gunfire, "Sergeant Richard Altern! 97th Storm-Trooper Company! Who's in charge?"
"Sergeant Wherner, Illius 22nd!" a young, grime-covered sergeant yelled back. He had one arm held limp by his side, trailing blood on his green-grey uniform, while the other arm clutched his las-pistol.
Altern flinched as auto-gun fire ricocheted off the wreck. "What's the situation?"
"You're looking at the rebel's HQ, Sergeant!" the Illian sergeant explained. "The rebels are holed up within those four defence towers and the defence perimeter, suppressing both us and the other Imperial elements on the other sides. We've tried to get armour forward to knock down that door, but they have krak missile launchers on hand. Until we can knock those defences out, we can't advance on this side!"
"What about heavy weapons? Did you have any with your squad?" Altern inquired as another wave of Guardsmen rushed past them, lasguns blazing.
The sergeant pointed to a number of craters in between the lines, one of which contained a missile launcher and two dead Guardsmen.
Altern snarled to himself in annoyance; this was clearly going to be tricky. Formulating a plan, he barked out, "Corporal Gallentus and Private Darius, you are with me. Sergeant Wherner and everyone else, provide suppressing fire on the closest defence tower."
"On my mark …" Altern growled, gripping his hell-pistol and waiting for a break in enemy fire. Sergeant Wherner nodded, indicating his squad was ready.
Manufactorum – North Side
On the other side of the manufactorum, Storm-Trooper Sergeant Corralor and his men were making progress. Although the rebels has put up fierce resistance, he was lucky to link up with a tank squadron from the Illius 22nd. The latter, a squadron consisting of a Lemun Russ Vanquisher and two Demolishers, was currently in the process of flattening the defences – large chunks of masonry and durasteel dissipated under the tanks' bombardment, the red mist of blood adding to the flotsam as some unfortunate or other was obliterated by a blast.
Turning back to his squad and several nearby battered PDF platoons who were suppressing the defenders behind the barricades, he roared, "In the Emperor's name, advance!"
Rising up, the PDF troopers and the storm-troopers charged towards the defence barricade as the traitors poured fire into the Imperials. Guardsmen were dropping left and right, yet still they came on, eager to get to grips with their foe.
Eventually, the tide of Guardsmen began to clamber over the barricade, meeting their foes with short range or point-blank lasfire or through the steel of their bayonets. While the PDF busied itself with the defenders, Corralor's squad seized the initiative and leapt through the breach in one of the defence bastions. Within a matter of seconds, the lower level was cleared out, allowing them to access the manufactorum proper through a side-passage.
After several further minutes of frantic close-quarters fighting within the dimly lit and claustrophobic hallways and bulkheads within the manufactorum, the reduced squad emerged within one of the massive forge halls, the production lines ominously silent and the glow-candles all but snuffed out. Helmet-mounted lights gleamed into the darkness as the (now six men strong) squad advanced further into the yawning room, their lights playing on gleaming, refined metal and the adamantium walls.
Sensing the worst, Corralor urgently signalled his squad to halt, then tapped his second in command on the shoulder.
"Auspex!" he hissed. The trooper quickly responded, shouldering his hellgun and retrieving the scanning device.
"Anything?" Corralor queried as he panned his hell-pistol across the room.
Behind the visor of his rebreather mask, the trooper's eyes widened as he glanced at the readouts.
"I'm counting twenty - no, wait, thirty - contacts on the gantry above us!" the trooper responded as the squad trained their weapons on the second level gantry. The squad's head-lights picked out the silhouettes of thirty or more traitors staring down at them … their scavenged weapons aimed on the squad
"Wait, eight more to our front!" another squad-member called out as several xenos emerged from the darkness – two of them surrounded by an unusual glow; their intent was clear.
Corralor's curse was drowned out by the cracking of las-fire.
Manufactorum Exterior – South Side
Altern and his two compatriots skidded at the bottom of one of the multiple craters dotted across the landscape.
The concave surface of the crater was deep enough for the trio to avoid gunfire, yet only provided full protection for them in their currently crouched position. This was proved by the autogun fire pattering along the crater's rim, showering them with dirt.
Finding the bodies of the Illius heavy weapons team, Altern pushed the bullet-ridden body of one of the Guardsmen aside, a slight expression of distaste on his face as he retrieved the missile launcher.
"Darius." he hissed, gesticulating towards the missile pack still strapped to the dead loader's back. The storm-trooper nodded, working to free the satchel as Corporal Gallentus hefted her plasma gun, the distinctive whine of the charging power cells almost lost in the cacophony of the battle around them.
"What are we targeting, Sergeant?" she questioned, trying to keep her head down.
Altern braced the missile launcher against his shoulder as he explained, "You see those automatic bolter emplacements fixed on the sides of the bastion? I want you to destroy them, while myself and Darius will use krak missiles to breach the tower directly! Once that is done, we'll move inside!"
Altern felt movement at the back of the missile launcher and a slap on his shoulder armour. "Loaded!" Darius shouted as he grasped a second missile.
"Alright … go!"
Aiming the missile launcher, Altern sent a krak missile screeching towards the bastion. At roughly the same time, Gallentus' plasma gun fired, a bolt of plasma tearing one of the automated heavy bolters apart.
"Sergeant Wherner, keep up the suppressing fire and keep the bastards' heads down!" Altern voxed as he felt Darius load another missile. "Squad, move forward by sections and advance to the bastion once the tower has been breached!"
His ears rang as he fired again, the second missile punching into the bastion. He could hear the distant screams of wounded rebels and smiled grimly to himself. They would be inside the rebel's lair soon and they could bring this rebellion crashing down.
Pausing in firing and glancing back, Gallentus grinned, "And that's another, Sergeant!"
"How many more of those fething bolters?"
"Two more, top level! Should allow us to advance without harassment once they're gone!"
Altern ducked as rebel gunfire spat overhead. "Tell that to the insurrectionists!"
The next few minutes seemed to be the most agonising thus far for the Sergeant. His senses were on autopilot. Load, fire, reload, fire again – this constant routine droned on through his mind, drowning out any other thought or emotion.
Eventually, he felt a gauntlet shaking his shoulder and Gallentus shouting in his helmet earplug. "You've done it, Sergeant! The defences are breached!"
Glancing over the edge of the crater, Richard saw smoke emitting from a breach in the defence tower. Several metal stumps marked the remains of the heavy bolters.
Nodding in thanks to Private Darius, Altern an unknown officer yell on the vox, "All units, advance! Make the heretics pay for their crimes!"
With battle cries on their lips and trampling over the dead and dying, the nearby Guardsmen charged towards the enemy lines as Altern's squad entered the breach, shooting at anything that moved. The last time Sergeant Wherner saw them, the storm-troopers were filing through a bulkhead door into the manufactorum proper.
Emerging within the primary manufactorum hall, Altern's squad fanned out, trying to cover as much of the area as possible. Helmet lights flickered on, the opressive darkness proving difficult to see with the naked eye.
"Looks quiet." One of the troopers piped up on the squad's vox-link.
"Too quiet. Keep your eyes open." Corporal Gallentus whispered back, tracking her plasma gun across her fore.
Something clacked against Richard's boot. Acting on instinct, Altern aimed downwards, his helmet light revealing the bloodied, helmeted visage of Sergeant Corralor.
"Movement!" one of the squad added. Footsteps echoed in the darkness as the squad aimed towards a group of silhouettes stepping out of the shadows.
"So, the mighty Imperium of Man has come to hunt down the last of the 'blasphemous' xenos?" one of the figures mocked, stepping further into the light pooling from the multiple head lamps now flashing in their direction. This alien, feminine of form and blue-skinned, wore what appeared to be a suit of ebony carapace armour, though this and the sidearm she had holstered on her hip were of a pattern that Altern couldn't recognise. Her demeanour, bordering on arrogance, unnerved the sergeant; he aimed his hell-pistol towards the alien as a faerie glow began to surround her.
"In the name of the Imperium and the God Emper -"
Altern found himself flung into the nearest wall, the impact stunning him and causing his vision to blur. He was dimly aware of gunfire erupting from both his squad and the now emergent rebels, who charged towards the storm-trooper's positions as they dived for what cover they could find. Groaning in pain, he tried to move his arms, yet he seemed to be pinned in place.
Where was his hell-pistol?
The female xeno chuckled. Stepping towards the pinned sergeant, she casually kicked the sidearm to one side, sending it skidding out of the storm-trooper's reach. All the while, she had been keeping an arm thrust towards the sergeant.
What power of the Warp is this? Altern inwardly panicked, trying in vain to struggle against the alien's psychic grip.
"Do you really believe that we would be found to be weak and helpless?" she taunted, ignoring the swirling melee that was taking place. "Our peoples have met before, human. We do not forget our history - or the transgressions of others - so easily."
"What … what the Throne are you talking about, xeno?" Altern spat in disbelief.
"Does it matter?" she snapped in reply. "The blood of my kin and that of my fellows are on your heads! You, the vaunted, crumbling empire of humanity who adhere to the worship of a dying man and the orders of leaders who send thousands to die so that the doomed Imperium might survive another day!"
A sudden crashing of rubble and flooding of sunlight emitted from the far end of the manufactorum. Through the breach, the sergeant could make out several hulking, armoured giants, led by a robed figure. As Guardsmen flooded in and gunfire lanced from the guns of the attackers, the robed man roared, "Suffer not the alien to live!"
"Pity you will never live to see another sunrise, Sergeant!" the alien seethed, ignoring the new arrivals as she withdrew her sidearm and levelled it at Altern's head.
Feeling a sudden increase in pressure on his skull, Altern could make out her face contort into rage as his world faded to black.
A/N: UPDATE: Thanks to a reviewer's suggestion, as of 06/06/2012, I have added a Dramatis Personae list here that lists all named personnel and the ships involved. This list will be added to as the story develops.
SHIPS AND PERSONNEL OF THE IMPERIUM OF MAN
Governor General A. Gerrad – senior commander of all Imperial forces of the detachment and commander of the Gorgian 497th Infantry Regiment
Lt General E. Jungter – commander of the 85th Sternberg Mechanised Regiment
Lord Admiral P. Diomedus – overall Imperial Navy commander of the fleet
"Bearer of His Name"(Imperial Navy Transport)
85th Sternberg Mechanised Regiment
Regimental Commissar Kliest
Captain Aetos – Aide and Regiment 2IC
497th Gorgian Infantry Regiment
(None named, as of yet)
97th Storm Trooper Company
Sergeant Richard Altern – Storm Trooper Sergeant
Captain Marcus Aureus – Former company commander. Deceased
Corporal L. Gallentus – Altern's 2IC and squad plasma gunner
Sergeant J. Verrik – Storm Trooper Sergeant
"Blade of Righteousness"(Retribution-class battleship) – Fleet Flagship
Captain W. Xavier – Ship's Commander
Executive Officer Brakket – Xavier's 2IC
Senior Navigator Aripides – Ship's Navigator
"Divinitus Imperium"(Emperor-class battleship)
Arch-Confessor Davidicus – Senior Naval Ecclesiarch
Sergeant Bartholomew – Ship's Company Sergeant at Arms
"Emperor's Wrath"(Apocalypse-class battleship)
"Ommnisiah Virtrix"(Adeptus Mechanicus support ship/transport)
Naval Tech-Magos Omnuris – Senior Mechanicus techpriest
"General Crassus" (Gothic-class heavy cruiser)
Crimson 17 (Frigate Escort Squadron)
Two, as of yet, unidentified frigates
A/N: And there we are! Feel free to rate and comment under the Review section.