*All characters are based on the same ones in the Mass Effect universe, only with an alternative reality twist. I hope each character acts within context, and that the readers aren't too annoyed when certain characters don't make an appearance. Please review and enjoy.



Looking out from the balcony of the executor suite, Councillor Quentius stared down at the sparkling blue river that flowed so peacefully down from the Presidium Commons, and for a second he momentarily forget the chaos of the galaxy and the recent disruption that had caused him to make such arrangements with Councillor Anderson.

Despite the best efforts of him and the rest of the Citadel Council, the state of the galaxy was anything but peaceful. With the uprising of the Cerberus Organization over eighteen years ago, things had slowly begun to fall into chaos within the farthest reaches of space, in the darkest corner, hiding where the Council was unable to find them.

Being Councillor was difficult enough without having to worry about some enigma organization, his main priority were potential wars, rebels, keeping the peace, his time could not be so easily divided to focus on one problem in particular.

It was time for action, time for him to do something about it. But the salarian Councilwoman was of no help, she was a shrewd woman whose top priority was her own kind, and though it was admirable, in the run of things it was rather selfish when her concern was the entire galaxy.

Then there was the asari Councilwoman, Quentius had nothing against her, but when he hinted at his plans she seemed unconcerned and even suggested that such a plan would fall through. The only one he could turn to was Councillor Anderson, and it was he himself who devised most of the strategies of the plan. Without Anderson, there probably wouldn't even be a plan.

Quentius was a dark skinned turian, his facial markings a creamy white that covered the entirety of his face, leaving very little room around the eyes and mandibles. He had been Councillor for some time, but it had been so long since he had seen Palaven. He dressed finely in royal blue and scarlet and white trim, and enjoyed a glass of wine as he waited patiently for Anderson to return.

He had gone down into the records of the Citadel, and had been down there for several hours. He had not given any indication of how long he was going to be, but Quentius didn't expect the human to be gone for so long. Maybe it would have been better if Quentius had gone down, he knew the archives much better and -

In the middle of his musing, the metallic doors opened with a silent hiss and the olive skinned Anderson entered, holding a tablet in his hand. Quentius finished his glass and set it down on the table, calmly taking the tablet from the human and quickly reading through what Anderson had uncovered.

"Three?" he said. "You've been down there for several hours and you picked three from nearly a hundred candidates?"

"The other candidates are either much older or too set in their ways," Anderson remarked. "We need young blood, young fighters who can still be moulded by opinion. We can't have soldiers who will turn on one another because of old grudges or bad blood."

"Oh? So is that why you chose a krogan?" Quentius asked. "Last I checked they're known for keeping grudges."

"This one is different," Anderson argued. "He's the 'First Krogan'."

"Ah, yes," Quentius said. "The first krogan born after the Genophage Cure. I can see why you chose him."

"My choices are as much political as they are tactical," Anderson said. "If necessary we can add other squad members later, for now three is small enough to slip beneath the radar and they probably won't bring up too much attention if they need to go undercover."

Quentius looked through the other candidates carefully, marking down factoring points. "A turian, a krogan and a human," he murmured. He looked up at Anderson, and spoke clearly, "If Valern and Tevos find out too soon this will go very badly. There are no salarian's or asari on this list."

"Not yet," Anderson said. "But once this unit is up and running and a separate entity we can introduce new squad members."

Quentius downloaded the contents of the tablet into his omni-tool, then deleted the original content and handed the tablet back to Anderson. They couldn't allow for this information to reach anyone else, especially when there could be a Cerberus spy in the very heart of the Citadel.

They had to move quietly, and quickly. They had a very small window of opportunity. These candidates were newly inducted Spectres, they were young, and if they weren't careful then they would be out on the battlefield before the Councillors had a chance to grab them.

"How soon before we can get in contact with them?" Quentius asked.

"EDI has begun preparations," Anderson replied. "We should expect them within the next 72 hours."

Quentius frowned, "EDI?" he repeated. "You trust our secrets to that AI you had developed?"

"There are fail-safe's in place to prevent EDI from mentioning or even divulging information on Operation Cobra," Anderson explained.

"Why call it Operation Cobra?" Quentius inquired. "Cobras have nothing to do with this task."

"Exactly," Anderson said. "It'll throw them off the trail, so in case we are ever discovered they'll never directly discover our plans."

Quentius sighed, all this cloak and dagger business was starting to give him a migraine. He rubbed the corner of his eyes and took a deep breath.

"As long as everything is prepared," he said. "Return to your duties, Councillor Anderson."

Anderson nodded, as he turned to the leave the room he said, "I'll inform you of any new developments."

Quentius waited for the door to close before refilling his glass and returned to his balcony. He looked out over the water and trees and the people, and he wondered if his minor contribution to the galaxy was going to be enough.

To Be Continued...