A/N: Like many people, the ending of Mass Effect 3 has left me pretty conflicted and everything. So it led me to return to fanfiction and start up a new story. I hope you enjoy this take on the Mass Effect storyline. Naturally, there are spoilers for the trilogy. Hopefully, this is a great start to a great story.

Mass Effect: Legend

Chapter One – The Prologue

Earth was the final battlefield, the place where it would all come to an end. Win or lose, the species living in Council Space and beyond united with the single-minded purpose of defeating the enemy. Much like the Turian's own home planet of Palaven, Earth had been ravaged and it would take decades of rebuilding to repair the damage and extreme loss of life that the Reapers had inflicted.

But whatever had happened, the war had indeed come to an end. Towering Reapers that once dominated the skies toppled over like dead husks, perhaps causing millions of credits in damages across the planet. But the war had ended.

Admiral Hackett, the leading commander of the Human Systems Alliance and perhaps the only leader left amongst the ruin of the besieged planet, surveyed the damage left behind by the Sovereign-class Reaper, the one referred to as Harbinger. The massive Reaper was nowhere to be seen and there had been reports that it was in the process of exiting orbit when everything happened.

He wasn't even entirely sure what had happened. The last half hour of battle had been a confused mess, and it started with that damn Reaper firing on the group making a dash towards the Conduit.

Everything had gone straight to hell after that.

He glanced up at the smoky night skies from the bombed out command center. The shadowy outline of the Citadel could no longer be seen and the sights of faint explosions and weapons fire had all but died out in the empty space above the Earth.

"By the goddess…where is everyone?" the asari, Liara T'Soni, had murmured at his side.

"The Normandy had taken off a long while ago. Perhaps they were going to rescue Shepard once the Crucible was fired."

"Admiral, can we arrange a search party?"

Admiral Hackett turned back to the war table. "Right now, trying to figure out what has happened is the best thing we can do. Communications are still down and I don't want to risk losing any more lives than we have to. For now, the best thing we can do is sit tight and try to make sense of things."

"I think that is a fine thought, Admiral," the Prothean, Javik, said aloud.

It still unnerved Hackett to think that an actual live Prothean was standing here in his command center. The galaxy really could be surprising, even to an experience soldier as he. To receive a nod of support from the last remaining member of a species that had been wiped out 50,000 years ago, and a seasoned commander at that, bolstered Hackett's resolve. Everything in his heart told him to arrange a search party and figure out what the hell happened with Shepard and Anderson. But first thing was to reestablish communications.

The various races and groups on and around Earth had joined to fight for Shepard. Hackett knew that the commander was the glue that held them all together. He couldn't be sure of what would happen if they couldn't take control of the situation. The mercenaries that Aria T'Loak and the Batarian fleets were his biggest concerns. "Dr. T'Soni, is there anybody left behind from the Normandy's original crew?"

Her eyes went to the floor. "I didn't even know that the Normandy had taken off. With the exception of myself and Javik, I think the crew took off."

"We had better hope to take control of this situation soon, then."

Xxx

"Where the hell are we?" an agitated Ashley Williams looked to her crew mates for answers. Their expressions were just as confused as hers.

Thick vegetation was everywhere. The rocks she stood on. The vast endless forests ahead of her. Wherever they were, it sure as hell wasn't any planet she had visited in the past. She looked to Tali for answers.

The quarian was typing on her omni-tool. It was hard to discern her expression behind that thick blue mask covering her face, but Ashley could see her pale eyes scanning the device frantically.

After a long moment of silence, Tali shook her head.

"My omni-tool isn't working. But…I did find something weird."

"What? What is it?" Ashley asked her.

"Um…if what I picked up is right, Shepard is here on this planet."