Chapter Three: The Unknown, Part Two

There was no mistaking the terrifying call of the Reaper hovering over the thick greenery over their heads. Shepard recognized this particular machine almost immediately – it had been hounding him for over two years and it nearly killed him not too long ago. Harbinger was here.

The yahg had paused to stare up at the marvel of synthesis.

An opportunity presented itself. The medi-gel had done enough for Shepard to reel his fist back. "Hey," he said from his cradled position, letting his fist fly. It wasn't his best effort, but the yahg stumbled back, dropping the commander. Shepard landed on his back and stayed there just long enough to hear the growl in the yahg's voice. He moved to his feet and leapt away from an arching fist that shook the ground.


The yahg bounded towards his former prey.

Shepard took off to his right, ignoring the massive arm that came swinging in his direction. His body screamed in agony. The omni-gel didn't work as well as he'd initially thought. Thundering steps pounded behind him as Shepard plunged head first into the thick vegetation, caring little about which direction he was headed in. He could hear the yahg keeping chase behind him – fortunately, the alien didn't deem it necessary to unload any gunfire at him.

Harbinger's mechanical roar shook Shepard's bones.

Then came a succession of five energy blasts, all of them tearing through the forest trees next to him.


Shepard slowed only for a moment to see the yahg behind him being evaporated in a blast of Harbinger's energy. His heart pounded even louder as he tried willing his legs to move even faster. Harbinger might have been tracking him somehow. The thought pushed Shepard to move his hurt legs. He didn't think he would be able to survive another grazing shot.

"Damn!" he screamed out in frustration, going deeper into the forests.

The turian stood in the air lock, calmly sighting down the scope of his sniper rifle. The worry that filled him as Harbinger unloaded blast after repeated blast into the forests was making him restless, and he didn't like the odds of sitting here.

With their entire electronic systems still acting up, they couldn't tell where in the galaxy they were and the mood on the ship was growing tenser by the second. The humans were also restless, and the energy was slowly building into something that could be very dangerous if the acting commander couldn't find a way to displace their anger and fears in a hurry. She was doing very well, but he could tell that she was beginning to lose herself. A matter of minutes had turned Ashley into an angry wreck, and Harbinger's attack on Shepard's position wasn't helping with that.

He knew what was going through her head, because it was also running through his mind. Rescue Shepard. The crew had been split up to help with the repairs of the Normandy, but the soldiers who had fought on the ground at Shepard's side were aching to run this suicide mission. The problem with these suicide missions was the probability of death was exceptionally high. Tali came up with the theory that Harbinger was tracking Shepard's omni-tool, and if it tracked him to the Normandy, it wouldn't hesitate to kill them all.

Hopefully, Shepard wouldn't use his brain this one time and toss the omni-tool away. They'd really be screwed, then.

The sound of a boot caused him to turn around. Ashley was standing there. "Are you ready, Garrus?"

What could be described as a smirk crossed Garrus' features. "I was wondering if you would ever ask me. Are we ready for this?"

James Vega stepped next to Ashley. "Loco's brought our asses out of the fire enough times…time to bring him back."

Ashley nodded. "Let's go before that Reaper takes away our chance. I think we've been waiting long enough."