Macross Effect

For those waiting for the updates to my other stories, it will happen. I'm working on the Battle of Tellus and I already have an idea for the Cylons so please don't waste your review box on "AORC" by asking what of the Cylons. I do plan on updating "Fold Out of the Universe", I'm still working out how to proceed with the next chapter, I do have ideas I'm just figuring out how to piece it together to a decent flow. "Mobile Suit Star Trek" is gonna be updated soon and it will be very interesting and it will have an unexpected turn of event. I think I will update "Wing Being" but as a series of logs of the Prothean scientist that were salvaged.

To Amir-015: I thank you for the intel on the VF-19 Excalibur variants.

I don't own Mass Effect or the Macross franchise, nor am I associated them in anyway other than being a huge fan (especially Macross).


Prologue

2059

Fold Space, Exodus Cluster enroute

SMS Northampton Class Stealth Frigate Shenlong

It has been six weeks since the end of the Vajra War or as it is now being called the Cybernetic Conspiracy. When communication was restored with the Frontier Fleet the truth about the Vajra and especially the plans of the Galaxy Fleet directors shocked N.U.N.S to its core. A full investigation was launched on all those who were involved. Richard Birla, CEO of the private military company SMS, was arrested for his involvement in the conspiracy. Because of the evidence obtain by the crew of the SMS Macross Quarter and their help ending hostilities with the Vajra peacefully no charges were brought to any SMS employees and are considered unknowing victims thus innocent.

Which means they still had work to do.

The crew of the Shenlong are currently on route to an uncharted star system hoping to find a suitable planet capable to support a thriving human civilization. They were hired by the president of the Macross Voyager Fleet to aid in discovering a suitable world for colonization and the pay was good.

"Heard they haven't found the Galaxy Fleet yet" said the sensor operator Lilian Hood at her post, the feeling of dread and sorrow clear in the tone of her voice, afraid of whatever fate befell those in the missing fleet.

"One thing you got to give those corporate megalomaniac cyborgs they know how to hide something big and keep it hidden" replied the weapons and communications operator Cassandra Roa, her voice and expression obvious indication of the hostilities he feels for those responsible for so much pointless death.

"No sense in worrying about it" said the helmsmen Jeff "Joker" Moreau in his usually calm attitude. "Their plans are completely down the waste now that all their secrets are out in the open and no way they would kill off all those people in their fleet, "The first of the ascended" and all that crap." He finished with a shake of the head and the "Oh give me a break" tone.

With a sigh operator Hood asked, "You really think those people are still alive?"

With a confident smile the helmsman replied "Bet every paycheck I make for a whole year."

"Which in the end is not that much compared to the rest of us" said the navigator and XO Keller Taggart earning the muffled chuckles of the bridge crew at Jokers' expense. "Why not bet your entire career as a starship helmsman" Taggart continued to agitate him further not even trying to hide the big, smug, smile all over his face.

"Now THAT is crazy" Joker answered with a hostile tone at such a remark. "My 'career'" he said doing quotation marks with his fingers, "just happens to be my whole life, my Raison d'ĂȘtre if you want to be poetic, and there's no way in hell I'd bet that. Not for that or anything else."

Right when he finished, the bridge doors opened up vertically and everyone went back to work like nothing happen.

"Colonel Shepard!" called Taggart with the usual military salute to his commanding officer.

As the CO walked onto the bridge, he couldn't help but crack a small smile at the sight of his crew. He could hear their little conversation on his way up to the door, the fact that they were trying to hide it was amusing to him. It helped him cope on the trip.

Then his sights went to his XO. How many times he told him about the needlessness of formalities he lost count.

"At ease Tag" he said with a raised hand, "I've told you countless times that there is no need for formalities like that here."

"34 times, Sir" Taggart said, "You've told me that 34 time now, Colonel."

'Apparently he was keeping count' thought the commander. He could hear his crew members trying to suppress their laughter.

"How were the final checks on your Valkyrie fighter commander? Those new VF-25 are said to be some pretty powerful machines if those engineer rumors are true." Taggart asked curious if what he heard about the new fighter's performance was all it was hype up to be.

The VF-25 Messiah is destined to replace the VF-171 Nightmare Plus as the new main force fighter. It was based on the YF-24 Evolution prototype made by Shinsei Industry. When the L.A.I. Corp., HQ on the Macross Frontier fleet, bought the plans for the Evolution they made their own variant of the fighter and S.M.S. was authorize to use these fighters to evaluate its combat performance. One would think that the designers were feeling really nostalgic when they made the VF-25. The new Messiah fighters look more like throw-backs to the original VF-0 and VF-1 fighter. Those who knew the history of the variable fighters also pointed out that the transformation design of the YF-24 was a direct copy of the Anti-UN's old SV-51.

But when you look under the hood, it tells an entirely different story.

"She is a fine piece of machinery" said the commander, "The simulations all say the same thing: the 25's performance rivals to even exceed the 19 or the 22 and is a lot easier to control thanks to the new EX-Gear."

The EX-Gear is an exoskeleton and g-suit used in the newest lines of Valkyries and gives the pilot improved mobility and endurance. It works as a jet pack complete with wings all mounted on the back, it can integrate into the cockpit and has an interface that helps pilots familiarize with their fighters. Its most advanced features is the Brain Direct interface System (BDS) which monitors the pilots muscle impulses and enables them to control the fighter with their thoughts (system is an improved and refined version of a similar system used on an old generation prototype Valkyrie), and its second feature, though built in the VF-25, is the Inertia Store Converter (ISC), humanities first attempt at inertia dampening technology, is a two-part system that links with the Gear allowing the pilot improved mobility and combat capabilities. However the ISC doesn't negate the inertia, at least not completely, the system actually helps the pilot resist the g-forces experienced during acceleration making it possible to push the fighters beyond the human limit and accomplish maneuvers that would otherwise knock the pilot out. As such it is better known as an inertia "buffer" than a dampener.

"I'll believe that when I see them in a fight" said Taggart, "All our patrols have been completely clean. I almost wish some Anti-UN forces come by so I can see how good those fighters are."

"Hey Keller don't jinx us", came the alerted voice of Joker, "It's been a quiet trip all the way so far and the last thing I need is a bunch of uncultured Zentradi at the defold point."

Ignoring the comment, "You've seen the footage from the Frontier Fleet. The Messiah performances made the higher ups drool with their jaws on the floor. N.U.N.S. HQ already began mass producing them; they plan to make them the standard machines on at least 27 colonization fleets in one year." said the commander.

The XO knew exactly how to counter that, "That's what they planned for the 19 Excalibur and look what happen to that. General Galaxy came with a subpar version of their 17 Nightmare and the rest is history. Nightmare Plus, more like Nightmare Minus. Bad joke I know." Moving to the point he continued, "Anyway I don't trust a video recording especially if it came from the military, too easy to edit. I know I sound like some conspiracy theorist but after the government finally released the details of the Bird Human incident after 5 decades of being locked in a file cabinet I'm more than a little skeptical of anything they spout out. I'll believe their claims when I see those planes in action right in front of me." He finished.

With a smile the colonel lowered is head in defeat. He could not convince his stubborn XO anymore so he turned and walk to Ariel Show's post, the ships internal status manager. "What's the status of the ship" asked the colonel in a calm and kind voice.

Ship operator turns her head to face the commander and replied "The engines are giving the mechanics a bit of trouble; they're only working at 89% efficiency, nothing big. Power is shorting out in deck 4 and port side gun battery won't turn past a 108 angle. Reports also say that the gravity generator is in need of repairs so there will be no gravity in a few minutes until mechanics solve the problem. In other words the ship is working in the usual parameters" she finished giving out a small sigh of exasperation.

"Hey Colonel when will the new Quarter be ready, I'm tired of having to fly this hand-me-down" Joker had a right to complain, the Shenlong was only 6 years old but it suffered from several technical problems that for some reason seem to refuse any form of repair no matter what they did or replace.

"The yard says that it's complete but their making some adjustments, something about upgrading the Fold Drive" Shepard answered, "Don't worry Joker, the yard dogs assured me that it will be ready by the time we get back."

As he made his way to the captains chair, operator Lilian called out "Defold to designated coordinates in 3..2..1" In the dark vacuum of space a large pink and purple portal appeared and from it emerged a small, arrow headed shaped vessel. As the defold opening sealed, the Shenlong began scanning the area for any nearby systems. "Captain, detecting the star system 100,000 kilometers of the port side" sensor operator Hood finished.

Nodding to the female operator, the commander directed his attention to his helmsmen, "Plot a course Joker" he said.

"Hey maybe if we're lucky and find a colonizable world we'll get a bonus in our next paycheck" Joker said with a smug look.


Newly Discovered System

Twenty minutes later, they arrived just outside the new system and to say they were disappointed was an understatement. The system was small, very small with only two planetary bodies and a sun that was a few million years younger than Sol. The first planet they passed was a gas giant the size of Saturn minus the ring and moons. As they headed to the next planet they could already see the three moons in orbit around it. If the planet proved to be unable to support life, the possibility of mining the resources from its satellites would at least make the trip worthwhile.

"So what's the verdict, do we have a winner good enough to bring the Voyager Fleet" said Shepard hoping that this planet would end the fleets 21 year search for a new colony.

"Preliminary scans look promising" reported Lilian with a small smile caressing her lips. "Planet has an atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen in other words air. There are no signs of harmful pathogens or toxins, at least none that can be a health problem. Once we get in obit I'll scan the surface."

Five minutes later, the Shenlong sat in orbit above the northern hemisphere of the planet.

"Looks like we got a winner" said Lilian an excited cheer in her voice as the sensor operator turned to face the bridge crew. "The planet is made of 65% water with three continents and few land masses on the surface. Two of the continents are tropical filled with dense forests while the other one is temperate with lush plains and fields that look perfect for farming. I think we got a winner, sir" she ended on a high note.

"I got two words: Bonus Checks." said Joker with a grin on his face.

Shepard didn't want to burst his bubble but someone had to act as a realist, "I wouldn't be too sure about that, Joker."

Joker turns to his CO, "Come on boss, we found a planet that can support life-" he was cut off.

"In a very small system with very little resources. The planet may be habitable but the location doesn't make it a prime candidate for colonization, an outpost or a farming colony most likely but I doubt the fleet will settle here. Roa, tag this location and report it back to the fleet."

"Yes sir, relaying messa..." she stopped mid sentence at the sound BEEP, BEEP coming from Lilian's post.

Confused, the sensor operator focus on the display in front of her, "What in the" she mumbles to herself. As she reads through the reports on the display her eyes go wide.

"Is something the matter" asked Shepard, not knowing what cause his operator was looking at.

"Sir, sensors are detecting an unnatural formation on the continent over a circumference of 18 miles composed of large quantities of refined metal. The only explanation is that its a city." That last part cause everyone eyes to go wide.

"Joker, set a course right to that area" ordered Shepard as he regained his composure.

Joker directed the ship right to the location of this city. "Looks like we will be getting those bonus checks after all."

The Colonel said nothing as he sat down at his chair, 'For once Joker I completely agree with you' he thought.

It took only a few minutes for the Shenlong to arrive at the city's border, or what was once its borders. From its position high above the damage was apparent and the orange-red tint of the sky somehow added to its decaying look.

"Man the years haven't been kind, have they" Joker had a point, at one point this city might have been a marvel of an advance alien culture teaming with life and prosperity. Now it was a decaying ruin slowly being eaten away by time and the elements.

"Multiple close ups on different sections" ordered the commander.

Close up images appeared on screen displaying the many damage parts of the ruins.

"Could it be Protoculture" asked Cassandra.

"The architecture doesn't resemble any known Protoculture design" said Ariel.

"Its not Protoculture" stated Lilian. "Sensors analysis says that the city is only 50,000 years old, much too new to be of Protoculture origin."

Over at the captains chair, Lt Col. Shepard and XO Taggart were focus on the damage on the ruins. Some of them stuck out more than others.

"Sir, some of the damages..."

"I know Tag. Some of it ain't natural."

They were far and few in between but there are obvious signs of explosions and craters like something attacked this place. Whatever happen to these people happened a long time ago.

"Zentardi attack or Supervision Army" theorize Taggart.

"The damage isn't severe enough to even come close to beam cannon bombardment" said Sheapard. "Hood, contact the hanger bay and tell them to prepare Saber and Griffin squad for a recon run."

"Going to ground as well, sir"asked the XO.

"It will be good to get some fresh air. Inform the fleet of this. You have the bridge." Shepard said with a smile as he made his way to the hanger.


Meanwhile at the men locker room.

"So what exactly did we find?" asked the inquisitive pilot Conner Beckett.

"Haven't you looked outside the window. There is an ancient city ruins right in front of us." replied second lieutenant Kaidan Alenko. "What have you been doing? Sleeping?"

"How did you know." he answered innocently only to have his helmet almost hit him in the face before catching it. Lowering the helmet he saw the serious and agitated look on his squad mate.

"Put that on and straighten up" said Kaiden as he fasten his helmet, "I'll see you at the hanger". He left the room leaving the carefree pilot to himself.

"Yes sir, Mr. Up-tight" he countered loud enough for his team member to hear, "It's not like we are in a battle or anything" he commented out loud while attaching his helmet and making his way to the hanger.


The hanger was calm when Kaiden entered. Since this is just a recon sortie to investigate some ancient ruins there was no need to rush things. Making his way to his RVF-25 he consulted with the mechanics to confirm his fighter was ready when he heard a familiar voice coming up behind him, "So the Colonel is going to the air with us."

He turned to see his squad mate and team sniper Catherine "Kat" Villeta in her EX-Gear holding her helmet under her arm. Her crimson red hair tied into a pony tail revealing her pointed ears; a clear distinction of her Zentradi heritage.

"Well you know the Colonel; he loves to multitask. Besides he hasn't been outside of the bridge in a month. Probably was begging for a reason to fly his VF."

As if on cue, the Colonel arrived in the hanger in his EX-Gear pilot suit.

As soon as the pilots noticed his entrance they all marched and formed up into four single file lines by order of each squad callsign.

'Just like the old days in the military' thought Shepard as he let out a small smile at how much their reaction to his arrival was similar to his career as a Spacy pilot. After the feeling subsided he noticed that there was one pilot missing from his own squad.

At the sound of running footsteps did he turn to see his missing pilot speeding to his place in line.

"Nice of you to join us Warrant Officer Beckett" said the Colonel, a sarcastic teasing tone in his voice.

Conner tightened his shoulders and tried to hide his head as far into his body like a turtle. He could actually feel the hostility emanating from his two teammates in front of him.

"Now that everyone is here" said Shepard going to Colonel mode "If any of you haven't looked out of a window 15 minutes ago, there is a large alien city ruin right in front us. I don't have to tell you how big this just got. The mission is simple: Griffin team will maintain aerial recon above the city and report anything they detect to the ground team, Saber Squad. Rhino and Sagittarius Squad will remain on stand-by, just in case. Any question" he asked and got a respond.

"Is it a Protoculture city, sir"

'How did I know' he was expecting someone to ask that, "No its not. The architecture doesn't match any documented finds and sensor estimate the city to be 50,000 years old only" he used to last word to clearly state the facts.

"No more question. Then lets move."

At that everyone scattered to their assigned birds. Saber and Griffin team prepared to launch while Rhino and Sagittarius remained prep for the worst contingency.

Colonel Shepard stood still for a few minutes, admiring the pilots professionalism and mechanics dedication to the fighters. Snapping out of his trance, he fasten his helmet on and ran to his awaiting VF-25S.

After the usual procedures were done both squads were out heading towards the city. Griffin Squad kept to the sky in standard recon formation flying low enough to get detailed scans. While Saber Squad, commanded by Shepard, decided to enter the city by first landing in an area were the remains of small, ruined houses laid crumbling, obviously once a residential neighborhood, by switching their Valkyries from Fighter to Battroid mode.

When they reached an intersection after walking for about 6 minutes inside the city, Griffin Squad called in with a find.

"Saber-1, this is Griffin-3" Shepard preferred being called by his call-sign when in his fighter, "Sensors picked up something very...perplexing", he couldn't have been any more vague.

The Valkyries of Saber Squad all turned to look at each other in confusing as reacted by their pilots. Saber-4's Valkyrie shrugged its 'shoulders' up in ignorance.

"Griffin-3, could you please verify on what is so 'perplexing'. A little to vague for my taste" Shepard finally responded worried and slightly annoyed with the pilots choice of words.

Griffin-3's voice came in stuttering, not do to fear but by the fact that he was having trouble understanding his own equipments readings, "Well sir ahh... according to my scans there is a large amount of an unknown element northeast of your position. The computer reads it as having an atomic number of... well ZERO. As in zero protons but still has neutrons and electrons."

Shepard to a second or two to absorb the meaning behind what he just said, "Chemistry was never my forte, but shouldn't all element have protons and an equal number neutrons and all that stuff?" this confused him as it went against may of the things he learned in science class as a teen.

"I guess we discovered the exception to that fact, sir" replied Griffin-3.

Shepard was waiting for Joker to cut in and claim about getting checks with many zeros behind a number or two. He could already picture the scientists back in the fleet having a field day with this; like kids going to a candy factory.

"Alright then, Saber two and three you are to head to the coordinates provided by Griffin squad and see what that area is all about, go in GERWALK if you can just don't damage the already devastated city. Saber-4, you stay with me" Shepard issued his squad.

"Roger" the three replied in unison as Saber two and three switched to GERWALK mode and speed to the designated location.

"So were do we go from here, Colonel" asked Saber-4.

"There" he said indicating past the decaying building to a tall skyscraper, the tallest, most intact building in the entire city. "That was most likely the home of this cities government officials. Good place to check out and see if there is anything historical inside."

They started making their way to the tower slow and steady, taking in the sights of the ruins . It was impressing that though over 50,000 years of neglect and harsh attacks by the planets environment that the city was in surprisingly good shape despite everything. Occasionally they would come across weird, grotesque statues that Conner said could be what the inhabitants may have looked like. Shepard hope that they were exaggerations of what they looked like.

They finally arrived at the outside the front entrance of the tower. The wide street were far enough apart to allow them to switch to GERWALK mode without knocking the old building or each other. Before he got out of the pilot seat, Villeta voice came through the comms.

"Saber-2 here. We arrived at the designated coordinates: its a spaceport, sir. I count four of what were once ships still in and around the docking bays. A large portion of these "element zero" reading are emanating from the remains. Kaiden is looking through the remains of a garage; getting some readings from inside."

'Element Zero. Sounds like a fitting name to me' thought Shepard, "How big do you believe those ships were. Any of them standout as a warship" he was curious about the ships, or rather the fact that there were ships still on this planet after whatever sort of catastrophe happened. It could only mean that whatever terrible event happened, the residents couldn't evacuate fast enough.

"Small sir, very small. As an educated guess I would say they range from 25 to 50 or so meters long, maybe two or three decks tall, and about 7 to 15 meters wide. Three of them look like they could be civilian ships and they're still in docks. The forth one is destroyed beyond recognition. But sir, there is a noticeable impact crater around the craft; it was shot down a good 87 yard away from the dock by the looks of it" Shepard didn't question he claim, if she says it was shoot down it was shoot down, still it doesn't hurt to see it with your own eyes.

"Record everything and stay put. We'll meet up with you when we finish our recon" with that he opened the fighter canopy, unlocked the EX-Gear from the pilot seat, retrieve his machine gun and jumped out.

Conner followed suit and approached the commander, "So were do we go from here" he asked.

Shepard gestured to the main entry way, "I go through the primary entrance and scout around for anything thats interesting."

"What about me."

With one finger Shepard pointed upward and said, "I know how much you love heights."

Realizing what he meant, he smiled, activated his gear's jets and flew off to the top of the tower leaving the Colonel down below.

When Conner was far from sight, Shepard turned back to the entrance of the tower.

He looked at the blown out doorway which lead to the run-down, discolored, dark and creepy looking hallway of the towers lobby. He was almost expecting a zombie to jump out and try to bite his arm off like in the old movies, but there is the likely threat of a wild animal that called the place home which could come to see him as a nice meal.

He turns on his helmet camera feed and slowly makes his way inside, falling back to his little copping mechanisms to deal with situations like this one.

"Dynamite, Dynamite, Dynamite Explosion once again..." he whispered in a soft, low tone as he made his way inside.


Conner entered through the blown out wall and landed at the top of the tower with his machine gun at the ready as he scans the room with the headgear mount. A habit drilled into him during his training.

Slowly, he started walking further in taking in the details. It could have been an office or a lounge, he'll let the archeologist figure it out.

He walk to what obviously looked like a door and noticed a panel on the wall next to it.

'The doorknob?' he thought.

He moved his hand over it and it started to glow green, then suddenly the door opened horizontally.

"Automatic" he blurted out, "This place still has power?"

Then something happen that made him up two feet in the air.

"SABER-4! Please activate your helmet cam feed" came the sharp but oh so lovely voice of Miss Operator Hood.

"That depends" replied Conner with his most appealing tone, "Will I still get to hear you lovely voice?"


An annoyed and rather flustered Lilian Hood glared at the monitor, now showing Saber-4's video feed, "Please refrain from such comments while in the middle of an operation" she finally countered with a soft yet sharp voice.

The little scene caused the rest of the bridge crew to repress their laughter. Taggart just rubbed his eyes and brow, and let out a small smile.

"Why not just give in to his passes and go out with him" said Ariel looking at Lilian from over her shoulder.

"You can finally wear that cute dress you've been saving for" interjected Cassandra with a wide smile and looking all innocent but not looking back to her blue haired friend, "You just might enjoy his company, all alone and...hahaha" she trailed of into one of her romantic fantasies.

"Plus, you never know" Joker decided to join in on the fun, "You two just might be a match made in heaven."

Suddenly Joker felt an intense chill down his spine as his heart started to beat faster and yet feel just a cold as the rest of him. Hood was glaring daggers at the poor helmsmen and turned to her two other friends as they instantly returned to their respected duty and avoid as much of the fury directed at them.

"Do you have anything to report, Saber-4" asked Hood, her voice like a sharp sword cutting through soft tissue.

"Actually I do." said Becket as a matter of factly, "This place still has power. The door controls still function and some of the lights are still on. Did you get that Colonel?"


"I figured that out myself" replied Shepard as he walked about the hallway, staring at the soft yet bright luminescence coming from the building still working light fixtures though he kept his helmet lights active.

"Makes traveling through this place alo..." he didn't get a chance to finish as he suddenly felt the rush of falling followed by the pain of landing from an unexpected decent.

"Ahh! Okay, that hurt a bit" said Shepard as he picked himself out of the rubble. The power suit taking the toll of his little tumble but still feeling the shock of the fall.

"COLONEL! Are you ok? What happen?" in came in the panic voice of Saber-4.

"I'm alright. The floor caved in from under me" he replied, hearing the sighs of relief coming from the other end, he looked up and saw how far he fell, "Looks like I just fell into a basement level. Its pitch black down..." before he could finish and right when he was gonna reactivate the Gears flashlights something caught his attention that kicked his soldier instincts on as he pointed his machine guns at the source.

There was a soft green light illuminating the near pitch black room displaying what was once technology native to the denizens of this world long since decayed and inoperative. The only exception being the source of the light.

In the far end of the room was a purple colored device that was producing the green light; almost shifting it like its made of mist. The device looked like it was two components: a slope pedestal and an antenna -from the look of it- placed in the center pointed upward.

After a few seconds of mindless gazing, he surveyed the room he was in and found nothing of a door in front, left or right which meant it was behind him, sealed by the rubble that fell when the floor collapse. Regardless it just meant he had one clear path out of here.

Turning back to the device, weapon ready just in case, he checked if his camera was still broadcasting to the Shenlong.

"Saber-1 here. Everyone is seeing this right" he hoped he wasn't seeing things cause of some concussion he got due to the fall even if he still had his helmet on.

"This is Taggart, sir. Your not hallucinated, we're seeing the feed from your helmet" came his XO over the comms.

"We're seeing it as well, Colonel. Looks like some sort of antennae" hypothesis Saber-2 LT Villeta, tuning her helmet systems to receive the video feed.

"That glows green. Last I heard green normally means radioactive, for all we know it could be emitting dangerous radiation or something" injected Conner with a tone of worry, the green always represented toxic from his many sources.

"I think you've been watching way to many cartoons. Still he has a point sir, it could be dangerous" said Saber-3 Second LT Kaiden.

"Thank for the precaution you two. Don't worry, if something happens I'll just jet away as fast, and as safe, as possible" he assured his team as he slowly made his way to the glowing device. No waring or danger alerts were going of on his suits sensors so he had no need to worry. For now.

As he approached the alien device he took notice of the green projection emanating in front of it, reaching just mid to his abdomen and stretching out just beyond arms length. Above that hologram where are two circular projection much sharper than the rest of the projection space 15 inches apart from within arms reach. The circles layout made them look like...

"Holographic controls" deduced the confused and slightly impressed Shepard.

Holographic technology is common place all over N.U.N.S territory, with the exception of a few worlds who choose a more rural, hands-on path as opposed to advance tech. The technology is used on a multitude of tasks in both military and civilian. And although their tech was obviously better in terms of resolution judging by the device's projection, the technology to replace hardware input devices with holographic counterparts remains unlikely.

Apparently these people managed to achieve that feat.

Slowly, Shepard walked up to the device lowering his weapon as he approach. The curiosity growing within him overcoming his guard. He finally decided to strap his gun on the armor and started to reach out for the controls.

"Sir, I don't think that a good idea" said his XO as the source of common sense and caution.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained" was his response.

As soon as his 'hands' made 'contact' with the hologram...

"What the.."

Nothing happened. His hand went right through the so called controls not doing a thing, as far as he could tell, to the device.

He tried again and again with the same result. Nothing.

"Well that was underwhelming" he heard Conner comment, obviously disappointed by the outcome.

"Could be that it doesn't register the Ex-Gear's hands? Or could be broken? It is several millenniums old. Its amazing it has any power left at all" Kaiden said with a logical analysis.

"Probably so. We'll leave this to the Voyager science team to fin..." he was interrupted when the sound of metal bending under pressure came overhead and some rather larger debris fell down from the ceiling. Though non landed on him a sizable piece of stone hit the alien device. The holographic controls seized to be and the universally known sound of something charging up could be heard coming from the device.

"This can't be good" was all Shepard manage to say.

Before Shepard could react further, the front of the antennae glowed a strong yellowish-green and a powerful force grab a hold of him and soon he was floating in the air a few feet off the ground unable to move. He attempted to activate his jetpacks via the Gear's BDS (Brain Direct interface System), but his efforts were derailed when his mind was bombarded with multiple images.

It was as if someone has taken various scenes from a recording, pieced them all together and played them in his head super fastforward.

After a few seconds he was released onto the floor exhausted and unable to stay upright.

All he heard as he started to lose conscious were the cries for response from the bridge crew and his squad mates.


Authors Notes:

Well here is the first chapter. It turned out longer than I thought. You all can guess who built that city. Remember that the system is made up and not part of the ME universe that is known to us at the posting of this story. It is in the Exodus Cluster and there will be a trip to other known locations.

For those of you that might complain as to why there is a Prothean city standing, keep in mind that the Reapers did not destroy all traces of the Protheans; they had to leave something for people to find and copy; not just the relays or the Citadel. Look at the worlds like Feros or Ilos (I know why Ilos was left alone), even the Hanar homeworld of Kajhe is mentioned to have many Prothean ruins. So its not implausible to find a planet with a Prothean city still standing (barely).

Before people start asking questions as to why Shepard couldn't use the Holographic controls, I suggest you all turn on your copy of Mass Effect or go to the wiki, look at the Secondary Codex, category Technology and read the file of "Haptic Adaptive Interface", it will answer your question.

I probably won't update this story until after I play Mass Effect 3 cause to be honest I don't know how to fit the two universes backgrounds together well enough. Also I will have to wait until the final Macross Frontier movie to come out to update this, I want to learn about the new stuff going to appear in the movie; example, the YF-29. I might also make this story and "AORC" be happening at the same time but they will just get mentions.