Chapter 1: Open the Gate

Authors Note: Well let's see where to begin. I know I'll start with the reason for attempting this story; I like Kasumi and was very pissed at the fact that you couldn't have a romance option with her or even start a real conversation with her onboard the ship. So I thought 'what the hell, I'll give it a shot.' This is my first Mass Effect Fanfic so please; drop some constructive criticism, and/or a review. Oh and enjoy.

P.S. My Shepard is a Colonist, War Hero, and sort of renegade renegade. More details will be given in the story.

"Nothing you want can easily be attained," –unknown

The tranquil music of the party filled the air, just barely audible over the idle conversations of the other guests. Commander Danny Shepard stood with her back to the man of the hour, one Donovan Hock; the source of this whole mission.

"There he is," whispered a soft voice in Shepard's ear. "All you need to do is get him talking long enough for me to get a voice print. Pull out the charm on this one Shep."

Shepard gave a slight nod, indicating that she was ready. As she turned to face Mr. Hock she imagined Kasumi standing right next to Hock, without him being any the wiser.

"Remember to keep him talking until I get a good sample," Kasumi chimed.

Shepard's dark blue eyes came upon the man, the murderer, the problem. He looked to be in his late thirties with black hair and a small mustache, which were probably groomed by a personal hair stylist every day. Mr. Hock appeared to notice, since he stepped out of the small crowd that he had been talking to only moments ago.

"Ms. Gunn," he proffered a hand. Shepard took it, cautiously and slowly shook.

'Now you want to be polite ass hole.' She thought as she recalled him refusing to shake hands at the door.

"That scene at the door hasn't soured your evening I hope," Hock continued.

Kasumi's advise of using charm echoed in Shepard's head. 'Charm'

"I understand the security, but who would dare break into Donovan Hock's home?"

Her voice was neutral, devoid of any emotion.

Hock smiled a little at the small compliment. "Gunn, in our line of work we attract a certain element," he began.

'That accent is annoying.' She thought as Hock turned to face the crowd of partygoers. He began what was probably a well rehearsed speech. Shepard tuned him out immediately, like she usually did with Udina. As she day dreamed the visions of her home being attacked by slavers filled her vision every time her eyelids closed, the screams of friends and family filled her mind. Only Kasumi's voiced snapped her back to reality.

"I said get him talking, and you got him talking," her voice full of sarcasm. "I definitely have a voice print now. You can let him go."

Shepard didn't have to. The man was already gone, once again talking to the group of people from before. She quickly weaved her way through the throngs of what were probably mass murderers, gun runners, drug dealers, and everything else she despised with a fiery passion. She glanced over her shoulder as she approached the stairs to the vault, to make sure no one was looking. The other guests were far too busy conversing about their recent conquests to notice one woman standing alone, next to an area that was off limits. Satisfied that the coast was clear she quietly darted down the stairs and into the vault. The welcome sight of the hooded Kasumi greeted her. The thief looked deep in thought, pondering the next move of the mission.

"You sure took your sweet time," Kasumi said without turning to face the Commander. "Did Hock ask for a dance or something?"

Shepard shivered at the thought. "Hell no," no attempt was made to hide the disgust from her voice. "Just making sure no one was looking. How did you get down here so fast?"

Kasumi turned, her face lit up with a smile, "Because I'm a ninja."

Shepard grinned about to say a smart counter, but decided against it.

'She has stolen several dozen pieces of priceless art.' She thought as her eyes followed Kasumi.

The thief input the DNA that they had procured from Hock's personal quarters, before using the fake voice of Hock to fool the password encrypted locks. The display on the door beeped before turning green, indicating that it could be opened. It opened with a hiss. Kasumi stood by the door, looking into the empty elevator.

"I'll check for security cams," she whispered. "Go ahead and get dressed."

While she went into the elevator, Shepard stepped over to the gold statue of her former enemy. Saren seemed to stare at her, eyes full of malice. Memories flashed through her mind; his hands around her neck on Virmire, the final battle on the Citadel, and then killing himself as he realized that Sovereign was using him as a pawn, controlling him without him fully knowing. Shepard shook the memories from her head.

'Focus on the mission.' She willed her mind to stay on track. She activated her Omni-tool and a few button presses later and the pedestal of the statue unlocked, revealing all their weapons and her armor. She quickly stripped out of the dress she was wearing and began slipping into her armors under layer.

A whistle from behind her caused the Commander to jump slightly.

"Not bad Shep," Kasumi quipped as she walked up to the weapons cash and the half dressed Shepard. She picked up an SMG and several flash bang grenades to refresh her diminished supply.

Shepard felt her face begin to warm and quickly looked away to hide the blush that was creeping onto her face. "Thanks I guess," was all she could say.

"Relax a little Shep," Kasumi punched her shoulder lightly. "This is the easy part of my plan."

A silence fell upon them of as Shepard finished getting into her armor and grabbed all of her weapons. Both of them stepped into the elevator. Its door closed with a hiss and it slowly descended into the depths of a planet. Silence filled the elevator as neither wanted to speak. Shepard couldn't take it anymore.

"What happens if we find the grey box, and it has something you don't want on it?"

Kasumi paused for a second, contemplating her thoughts.

"Then I destroy it and do the galaxy a favor," she answered. "But I have to find out. It's all that Keiji left behind."

"Some people are better left to the memories we have of them in our mind Kasumi," Shepard whispered. "Or we lose the real person we're trying to remember."

The elevator slowed to a stop, indicating the destination had been reached.

Kasumi quickly stepped out and into the vault proper.

"Wow," her voice seemed to disappear in the massive space. "Impressive collection Mr. Hock."

They passed priceless pieces of art from several different races, and a few creepy statues that to Shepard couldn't possibly be worth anything else but target practice. Her head swiveled around taking it all in, when she bumped into something. Thinking it was a vase or something breakable, she lashed out to grab it with her hands. The hands grabbed something warm.

"Whoa Shep," It was Kasumi. "I'm not gonna break if I get bumped. You can let go."

Shepard quickly let go of the thief's slender arms. "Why did you stop?" she asked in an attempt to change the subject.

Kasumi pointed to the thing in front of her. "I was wondering how Hock stole Lady Liberty's head."

Shepard blinked several times, confusion played across her face. "How in the hell did he do it?" she asked in disbelief.

"Damn you Hock!" Kasumi said in a sly manner.

Shepard smirked at the cheesy movie reference. Something behind the green head caught her attention.

"That's impossible," she stammered. "How in the hell did he pull that off?"

"What?" Kasumi asked standing on tiptoes to try and see what the slightly taller Shepard could.

"He has the Conduit from Illos," she pointed at the small Mass Relay near the wall facing them. "Either that or a really good looking copy of it."

"Well if he can steal Keji's grey box then he can probably steal anything," Kasumi said. "Speaking of the grey box we should probably get back to looking, before more guards show up."

Shepard agreed and they returned to searching. The search didn't last long, since the grey box was only a few feet away, right next to a pair of sub-machine guns.

"The gun that killed two presidents," Kasumi regarded the weapon as Shepard handed it to her. "It even has a perfect copy of the original."

Shepard placed it on her thighs magnetic strip. 'I'll give it to one of the crewmembers. Why use it when I have a perfectly good rifle?'

Kasumi brought her Omni-tool up and began transferring the data from the box to it.

"Don't bother Ms. Goto," an all too familiar voice echoed through the vault. Hocks head filled the room, projected from somewhere. "Its code locked."

'That accent is starting to get on my nerves again.' Shepard thought as the madman rambled on about how he was going to kill them and use Kasumi's grey box to open Keiji's and finally get the secrets.

Shepard eyed a vase to her right. 'Looks expensive.'

She drew her pistol and shot it. Hock glared at her, eyes full of malice.

"Now, have I got your attention?"

"Hah! That shut him up," Kasumi said cheerfully.

Kasumi's Omni-tool beeped, indicating that the download was done.

"Kill them!" Hock yelled as the hologram promptly faded from view.

A door on the other side of the vault opened. Several Eclipse guards, all heavily armed, rushed into the vault. Shepard dove for cover and Kasumi disappeared.

The battle finally started and Shepard welcomed the adrenaline starting to slip into her veins.

Author's Note: What do you think so far? I know I skipped a lot of good sneaking around, but hey I do what I want. Drop a review, maybe a little constructive criticism. Oh and I figured since Shepard was N7 aka spec ops she would know how to use an assault rifle vs an SMG. So she will be using one in my story. The next chapter should be up soon.