Ugh, sorry for the wait but i've had school and other thing pop up.

any way: here is the long awaited update, part of a set of omakes that give some back story and some recent events, there last up to the end of Earth, and into Fire which will go over Shepards early life, followed for ME by Gravity.


How can you do that?!

Plumes of flame filled the air.

Arching bolts of lighting were projected sky ward.

In the center of the maelstrom of heat and flame was a single human, and not only was he in the center, he was the cause.

Punches, arm swings, leg kicks the each movement of his form created, and launched another burst of energy upward.

"ENOUGH!" a voice cryed over the intercom in dismay." the human stopped, a light sheen of sweat across his brow.

"Can I take this shit off now?" he said he squirmed slightly. "I feel like I'm cooking alive in here." the suit in question was a black body suit with white, ping pong balls on it to track his motion.

Behind a pain of one way mirror the Salarian science team could only hold there head's in there hands.

It had been a month and they still had no clue how bending worked, why it could be done, why only humans could do it, and if it could be replicated.

Salzar groaned resting his elbows on the computers in front of him. He pushed a button for the speaker. "Yes, fine, just,, just go." he said mournfully to the person who had destroyed his view of a orderly universe, where every rule could be known.

",,, ok." the human said walking off the filming stage to get the tracking suit off him self.

In the control room silence screamed louder then a cannon, then Salzar groaned again. "The longer we do this, the more I think were just going to have to accept that human explanation."

"What?" a Grendl, a second member of the team in the control booth said pulling his hands away from his face to glare at Salzar. "That they draw energy from the 'Spirit world'?"

"Or some kind of world." a third member named Jenl said with a sigh. "It's clear there getting the energy form somewhere, why not a different plane of reality? I'll accept that."

"Would you have accepted that three months ago!" Grendle said with a angry snarl.

"NO sentient race back then could levitate a rock with out using magnetic fields, gravity modulation, dark matter, anti matter, wires, plasma or any other of the countless hypothesis we made." Grendle said back

"So, what do we have." Jenl asked.

"Well," Salzar said activating a data tablet. "We know that all humans have a much higher EM field around them then is normal for any living creature."

"Even the Hannar." Grendle cut in.

"Yes, even the Hannar. We also know that Benders have a even higher EM field around them then baseline humans." The field was so strong in fact that some complex technology failed around benders. (Giveing a nasty surprise to the first person to take a bender in a areo car, lucky he was a air bender) explaining why there own tech was primitive, but rugged.

The effect was less pronounced with normal humans, but more sensitive electronics tended to have a higher failure rate with them.

Suddenly military grade anti EMP technology was becoming, much, much more popular.

"So, we can tell a bender from a non bender, C-Sec will be over joyed to here that." Jenl cut in.

"Useful, but not what we want here. We also know that brain wave patterns activate wildly when a human is bending, there is likely a pattern there, but we need to do this longer to find it."

"I'm over joyed." Gendle growled.

"Do they also light up when a humans doing KI? Or some of there marital arts? There does seem to be a connection between the movement and the bending." Jenl asked.

"Possible, we will have to look at that one."Gendle replyed thinking about it carefully."What else do we know about bending?"

"It's definitely genetic in origin." the fourth member of there team, the botanist Rolen Solis, "The gene for bending is present in all benders, but not ever one with the gene is a bender."

"Is there gene linked to the EM field around humans?" Jenl asked.

"Not that we know, you have the field if your a bender, but not if you have the Bender Gene." Rolen replayed.

"Humm, if you need to have the bender gene, and the EM Field to bend, then is there a EM gene?"

"For that, we would need to find some one with a strong EM field, and unable to bend, and we would need to find a large group of them to confirm our result." Rolen said back.

"Humans tend to equate this EM field with spirituality correct?" Salzar asked.

"Yes, they say bending has a physical part: the gene and movement, and a spiritual part, which we can equate to the EM field." many people pointed to a persons EM field as there 'aura',that it was a reflection of there soul.

"So, we look among there guru's and there spiritualists?"

"Logical." Rolen said.

"So, our new plan is to look for the EM gene and see what we can learn from that?" Jenl asked.

"And then study the interaction between the EM gene, and Bender Gene." Salzar finished.

"So, have we made any progress?" Gendle asked looking at a tablet. "Does not seem we've gotten very far."

"No, we haven't." Salzar groaned. "All we know for sure, is bending is genetic, and all benders have a strong EM field. That's about it."

"What if we got the Avatar in here." Jenl asked. "He can bend all four elements, unique among humans maybe we can make a break though with him."

"Fool." Rolen said. "There are two types of problems, ones where you can get a breakthrough that changes everything, and others where you have to spend generations grinding forward, each generation building on the last. This is the second type of problems. We will never see the answer to bending in our life, we know that so lets move on and do what we can so the next generation can stand on our shoulders taller then were we our selves stood."

silence echoed after his speech. Salzar broke it. "I still think getting the Avatar in here would help."

"O yes to be sure." Rolen said a at calm look on his face. "I just don't think we will ever get a magic solu,," his relaxed poster froze up.

The room burst into laughter, "You know the rule Rolen!" Salzar said between spasm of laughter.

Growling Rolen took a credit chip and tossed into the 'magic box' behind him every time you said the word magic, you had to throw a 30 credit chip in there.

So far: it had 50,000 credits in it, (at least six from a specter who had visited them once, and a few from councilor Tevos.) it had been Rolen's idea and this was the first time he had to have thrown a chip in there.

"What are we going to do with all that money?" Salzar asked as he spun his chair to face it.

"Charity for sure." Rolen answered. "Just,, don't know which one."

"A question we can answer, but for another day." Gendle sighed. "Never thought I would miss quantum mechanics."

"hay," Rolen said offended. "Beats look at Krogan testicles all day."


One sentence is important

Codex: Bending.

A unique trait/art/skill/ability/ to humans, bending is the manipulation of one of four meta physical elements, Fire, Water, Earth or Air, and the sub divisions of each.

Though modern science does not understand bending (See Codex science of bending)what is known is the physical act of bending.

Part Martial art, part spiritual connection, bending consists of using movements of the body to perform physical changes in the world.

Bending also has sub-discipline to it that our a off shoot of the bending style, such as fire benders being able to control lighting and Earth benders metal.

The four types of bending are;

Fire bending: which consists of rapid sharp movements that allow the creation of flame. Fire bending is called the element of power and is all about over whelming your enemy in a short intense barrage of blow.

Fire bending sub discipline is lighting bending, allowing the formation and manipulation of electrical fields such as lighting.

Air bending is done with long flowing movements, and also quick ones. Air bending also allows the control of gases in a atmosphere, air bending aboard a ship or other inclosed space is harder. Air bending avoids combat, striking only when it needs to, and then with clinical force to end a fight, if you can not brake though a wall, then don't, go around it is a common air bender philosophy.

Air bending has no true sub-discipline, but by using air bending in creative ways air benders have a wider range of ability then a earth, fire or water bender. This range includes, pressure manipulation, sound formation and manipulation, flight and (if enough air benders our present.) weather control.

Water bending: is performed with smooth graceful movements. Water: called the element of change is about redirection, adapting to you enemy and using his strength against him. Water benders can freely control water in all three forms, liquid, ice, and steam, and shift between the forms at will.

Water bending has only one sub-discipline: Blood bending, which is the manipulation of water within a living body. Blood bending allows benders to heal, control, diagnose and kill any water based living being. High levels of blood bending our hard for normal benders and only expert benders can perform it.

Earth bending is performed with short violent, forceful movements. Earth is the element of substance, and earth bending allows one to control stones and minerals, with two exceptions. One can not bend any thing radioactive, and one can not bend pure forms of earth metals, rare earth metals, metaloids or gasses. Earth bending is a direct style the focuses on powerful blows, and withstanding your enemy's counter attacks.

The sub-discipline of earth bending is metal bending, allowing one to bend metal, as long as it's not any of the above restrictions.

"well, what do you think." Eldia said passing the tablet over to her partner.

"Give me a moment." the ancient Krogan put on a pair of reading glasses, after all the two of them had been working for the galactic codex for almost 300 years, and he had been alive at least three times that.

During that time they had been all over the galaxy chronicling everything, from Omega's Afterlife, to tales about Turian mythology.

And every time a new race was uncovered thousands of new entry's had to be put in place.

That meant, and this was her favorite part of the job, she and Gr'ind were set to the planet to learn everything about it that needed a entry, and what to put in the entry's.

First thing: a reenactment of the Earth kingdom rebellions, the war that had seen swords and spears turn into bolt action rifles and machine guns.

A hell of a technological leap.

"Seems good, bit rushed, needs some polishing." the train rumbled under them as they moved forward toward Ba-sing-sa.

"They always do." Eldia said with a shrug.

"You've been doing for some 300 years and you always need some one to spell check for you."

"In my defense, what is bending? An ability? A Martial art? Or a skill?"

"Humans would call it a martial art, but also a spiritual one."

"Humm," Eldia said moving over to look over Gr'ind shoulder. "Think were find a bending master to give us some pointers?"

"This trip or in general?"

"This trip."

"Likely," Gr'ind gruffly said "Benders are every where."

"But bending masters?" Eldia clarified.

"Even odds." he replied again.

Just then the trains other passengers awoke form the little naps they had been takeing.

The crew was the first batch of tourists into the alliance, and all had been desecrate examined by the specters to make sure that no,, trouble makers made it though and colored the Alliances view on other life forms.

They must have had some intelligent people doing the screening for Gr'ind and this group to get though.

Two of them were Quarians, maybe a couple? They way they leaned there heads against each other napping.

Three were Truians, most were napping, the third one was reading a pamphlet, Bending and you! Defending your self against violent street crime!

A Salarian, Asari couple were in the back of the car talking to each other softly, and lastly a Hannar/Drell,, calling them a couple would suggest intimacy but they stayed near each other like a couple.

At the head of the train car was the only human present, he looked like a military man wearing one of the odd helmets with the wide neck and shoulder guard. He bounced a small round rock off his wrist like it was made of rubber.

Finally he bounced it a fair bit higher then before, and then snatched it out of the air crushing it to dust.

He tapped his foot against the floor, jarring the passengers to attentiveness with a violent vibration though the seating.

"Ok lady's gentlemen and,," he looked at the Hannar confused.

"It would be the most proper response human." the Hannar intoned.

"OK." he said slowly confused. "Anyway. "Welcome to Ba-sing-sa. We should be in sight of the outer wall soon, but I have a few things that need to be made clear first."

He gestured to the Turian who had been reading the packet. "I'm glad to see your reading the educational packet we handed out, street crime will be your number one threat. Though you should be safe as long as you follow normal procedure, stay in lit areas, don't go alone, the fact is you are especially vulnerable to bending since you have only a rough idea about it, instead of having grown up knowing what it can and can not do."

He gathered his breath, "In short the only benders you really need to worry about are water benders, Earth and Fire are just like muggers with guns, only they use there bending to threaten. Water Bending Yakuza members are infamous for taking people hostage with blood bending and have occasional taken people into slavery." that drew attention.

"Slavery? And your people tolerate this!" one of the Turians said.

"We don't." the solider said with a angry glare. "We fight it with every fiber of are being, problem is, as organized crime like the Yakuza are good at what they do. In some parts it's like a war keeping them down, you can't honestly say you've never had problems with that?"

"Turian culture is more homogenous, so criminals are rarer, but yes, we have had to deal with that."

"OK then." the troop said calming down. "Were letting your roam on your own, despite are wishes to make sure your each got a trooper to look over you, the council convinced us other wise, so please don't make a diplomatic incident that we have to resolve with S.W.A.T. Teams."

"Lastly: please keep in mind that your the first aliens most people will have seen face to face, so expect a lot of gawking. We've politely asked people to keep that to a minimum, but,," he rubbed the back of his head.

"Expect a lot of it any way and be pleasantly surprised when it does not?" Eldia said.

"Bout the long and short of it." the human said nodding in thanks.

"we only have one scheduled event and that's for the you guys from the galactic codex, that will be soon after we arrive."

"Who's from the codex?" one of the Quarian's asked.

"That would be us." Gr'ind said raising his hand.

"If I may have your attention again." the trooper said coughing. "After the event your free to go where you chose, it's been recommended you stick together."

At this point his face took on a oddly penisc, nervous look to it, " Lastly and I hope you listen to it,, we would really, really, really appreciate it if you were off the planet in about,, two weeks."

"Two weeks? What happens in two weeks?" one of the Quarian's asked, the male this time.

"Lady, you would not believe me if I told you, trust me on this we tried telling the councilors, just do it." silence streaked after that comment.

Coughing again the human started on a more comfortable line of talk, "If you have any questions please feel free to ask, Enjoy you stay at Ba-sing-sa." he chuckled in relief at the well warn rhyme.

"I have one, when will we see the mountains?" the female Quarian asked.

"Mountains?" the human said confused. "What mountains?"

"The mountains," at this she activated her omni tool sending a map Ba-sing-sa up. "see, these three broad rings around the city." the human oggled her in shock, like he could not imagine what she was saying.

"Just look at the front windows, I think the 'mountains' are coming into view."

As the two Quarians crowded the front of the train car the rest of the occupants chatted to each other.

"What does happen in two weeks?"

"Lot of stuff." Gr'ind rumbled. "The only question is, what human stuff happens in two weeks? Any one have a calender?" he asked.

"I think this one has possession of such a article." the Hannar said, the Drell nodded and started to go though a back pack before pulling out a calender made of reeds. He handed it over to Gr'ind.

"Thanks." the krogan rumbled as he opened it up and started to look though it.

"well, what happens?"

"Don't know." Gr'ind said confused. "Assuming I'm reading this right, then the only thing that happens is the Summer equinox, but what happens then?"

"For Kyoshi's sake, please don't mention that time." the human said getting nervous. "Bad things happen on the solstice."

before any one could ask why it was bad the Quarian couple shouted in shock. "Keela! it's not mountains! there walls!"

"Walls?" the drell said "Walls big enough to be listed on a topographic map?" he shifted to look out the window. "Woh." he said stunned. Eldia pivoted to lean out the window, sticking her face into the oncoming air steam, she blearily looked forward, unlike the drell she did not have a nicttateing membrane, but even she saw it.

A rapidly growing sheer cliff face grew larger and larger. A solid wall of brown stone, a impossible edifice of sheer stone that would have taken life times to build, brick by brick.

And there were three more rings of walls.

"Goddess! How do you build something like that!" Eldia shouted as she pulled her head back into the car. The human shrugged.

"If your look closely your find the wall's are all made of brick and mortar. So we think the wall was made before the coming of bending into the world. When a section gets damaged the walls relayed by hand. Pound per pound, the wall of Ba-sing-sa is stronger then equivalent weight in steel."

Eldia whistled in sunrise. "What makes it so strong if it's made of bricks?"

"Size for one, there are a lot of bricks. But also by now that wall is fused to the landscape on a spiritual level, so we think earth spirits are in the wall strengthening it."
"how do you get into space again." Edlia thought to her self at such a primitive notions.

The human though,, his face did not hold the look of a believer, but of some one who KNEW his how his planet worked better then some off worlder.

She had seen it in the face of some sub iron age sentient beings on some nameless moon when describing there 'floating mountains.' That there turned out to be a hell of a lot of element zero in those mountains was beside the point, on the face of it was impossible, yet, they said it the same way.

Absolute belief, and your a fool for your lack of it.

The wall grew larger and larger as the train steamed, (literally, it was a steam engine) pushed forward.

For a few hours it looked almost like they were going to crash into the wall splattering the train like a bug across the wall.

It was not until they were almost three miles away from the wall, and closing fast that the solid stone in front of the train slide open like a blind let the speeding train rush though.

"Ok, you have two options at this point." the alien tourist turned to face the human tour guide, though body guard may also work. "You can get out at the station for a brief lay over, or stay on the train till you get to the reenactment ground, then an actual tour guide will take over for me."

"Don't like the job?" Gr'ind said with wiry chuckle.

"No offense." the human said as he left the train. "but the only reason I'm here is I got caught with the son of a General and he really does not like me."

the door slid shut behind him.

A very, very awkward silence filled the train car after that remark.


Landing.*

Kyoto was currently a frozen world.

Kyoto had a wild orbit. At one extrema it was actually too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface for a few weeks, save at the equator, on the other end it got too hot for liquid water to exist save at the poles. In either case there was never enough time for all the water to either freeze off or boil off, and in between the two extremes the planet was perfect, if very wet from all the water falling out of the atmosphere, or melting off the ice caps.

This did insane things to the sea level. A house placed against a mountain in winter, would be beach front property in summer, until the oceans began to boil away.

Right now a clear, snow and salt covered rolling slope, that was once a sea bed, rapidly climbed upward into a forest sitting on the sea shore.

And embraced in the wood land was a AA 12 Spider fly, a radio dish spinning silently though the night, icicles hanging off the four barrels of the tank's 20mm cannons.

Hand glimmering red captain Malk gently melted the ice off the gun barrels. Each breath was like steam escaping from a boiler as it filled the air around him.

Since first contact Malk had been promoted, from an infantry Sargent, to a Captain of a five gun AA battery, a sure fire first step to either a Airship captain or a tank position.

But first: first he had to take these boring nights guarding base and places he was not allowed to enter, and take them with a smile and a cup of fry's to give to his superior.

Especially when your superior was general Williams. Odd name aside he was competent, and good at his job, but a hard ass who often made unrealistic assumptions of what his men could do, because he based it on what he could do.

Coughing a burst of flame that lit up the surroundings for a moment Malk growled aloud "How the hell can a planet like this, be so cold and yet have green plants?"

"It's only this cold about a quarter of the year sir." the gunner of the AA 12 Spider-Fly said. "Half the year it's perfect, if a bit wet, last quarter of the year it's hotter then a fire benders ass hole,, SIR!" he said in a panic as he realized he was talking to a fire bender.

"No problem Zao, just don't do it again, or I will melt your quilts."

"No! There my own source of warmth this spirit forsaken planet!"he said in dismay as he curled tighter into his ball of home made quilts.

The rest of the gun's crew and escorts shared a laugh at his expense. "How's are attache doing sir?" the Sargent for the platoon attached to the battery asked.

Linked to the battery was a Turian special forces operative who's job was to get a feel for humanity weapons, equipments and tactics, and from that see if they need help.

The growing Human, Turian Alliance was something the council of nations was working hard to create, and create strong, something they would need since there nearest neighbor turned out to be a criminal nest.

The Turians seemed to think Humanity could do something about that, if only by acting as a barrier. Something the pirates and Batarian would be bled and slowed by, only to crash into a well prepared, drilled and forewarned Turian army.

Which meant, the entire human army could be considered a speed bump, and a speed bump worked best if you made it a big one. So the Turians may end up trying to help humanity by selling them weapons (at a profit) and have them use them on there enemys.

A cowardly view to a lot of humans, but then again they did not have a history of a cold war between two or more great powers behind them for a precedent.

Beside, no one, not even the Turians knew if they would do that. The Attache was part of that, trying to figure that out.

His name was Relmin, and his rank altered depending on who asked him so he would never out rank who he spoke too, a Turian practice he explained.

"Not sure, I think I'll ask him."

"That won't be necessary." Malk turned to face the Turian who had walked up behind him,, at least he thought it was a Turian. It was a bit hard to tell under the hard suit he wore all the time.

"You expect a space walk soon?" Malk quipped. Inside the suit Relmin mandibles flared, discipline always felt lax with humans.

"Turians evolved on a much, hotter planet then humans. This cold could almost kill me if I was not careful, how you humans stand it is beyond me."

Malk face felt froze so he coughed another bolt a flame, the heat gently warming his mouth, throat, lungs everything really.

"We mange." he said feeling less cold snapped.
And that was another reason why he was here. Relmin considered.

Bending.

No one had any idea what a bender could do on a battle field. They were at least as dangerous as Biotics, but there were a great deal more of them then biotics, baring the Asair.

Take this AA battery: it was something no other race would consider attaching biotic, yet it had 20 benders, two to each of the guns attached to it.

Most other races only had biotic's as special operations, how it functioned as squad level unit was unknown.

He him self was biotic and had challenged Malk to a friendly sparing session, biotic VS fire bending.

That had not gone well at all.

"Yes well, Turians can't fire bend." he said after a moment.

Malk face curled up a little. His expression was typical of most humans. When they explored the stars they expected to meet other forms of bending.

They were disappointed that they were unique.

Before either Relmin or Malk could comment further Zao spoke up from his gunnery position. "Captain: just a head's up: I'm picking up Batarian Baffler gunships 15,000 feet moving across us."

"Baffler gunships?" Relmin said, that designation was unknown to him.

"Ya, those things that can disrupt radio targeting, communication, the works." Malk answered. Alcross Gunships.Relmin said recognizance the description. "And, your not shooting, why?"

"Aside from that being a act of war?" Malk said with a shrug. "we can only engage at about half that. There free to fly as much as they want about 10,000 feet out, and only 25,000 feet out if they turn there Baffler on.

"At that range telling if there this is a gunship out there is the problem."

"Actually: it's not." Relmin should Malk a look. He shrugged. "With Radar or M.E signature, then yes, it is imposable for us. But with sound detection, then it quite easy."

"Sound detection?" Relmin said confused.

"Ya, sound." he pointed at the radar dish on the tank. "That's a radar dish: a sound detection system requires a much larger system: You've seen the Webs?" Webs were tracked transports carrying what he thought were massive, oddly shaped, radar dishes.

"I think, though I may have misreported them to my superiors."

"Ya, that massive cone on them is a sound detector, ambient noise can be a pain to filter out, but machines make distinctive noise's and a trained ear can pick them up from almost 17,000 feet out."

"Not that good compared to radar." Relmin replied.

"But we are talking about stealth aircraft here."

"Fair enough." Relmin admitted. "Do the Batarins know about that?"

"Sort of." Malk admitted. "We did not tell them are exact capacity, in fact we downplayed it a great deal, that way if they do try something, we can get them."

"I see." Relmin said." The Web I saw was behind us, does that mean the detection range relative to us is very limited?"

"No, we have a few forward us, only during winter mind you, and during summer we can run naval scouts at the range to check for them."

"Humm." Relmin said as he thought it over. What could sound detection do with a VI system? He knew of gunshot detectors, but gunship detectors?

"Sir!" Zao said this time honestly worried. "Forward web just picked up a trio of Baffler gunships 17,000 feet out."

"Spirits damn it." Malk said with a growl. "Any sign of them turning around?"

"Just picked them up: but Web says no trace of them altering course."

"Load guns, set weapons to live, send a message back to command requesting permission to fire if they get in range." then softer to Relmin. "Seems your about to see are guns go live."

"Indeed." a crucial moment. Some Turian generals predicted that cartridge weapons would have all the effect on a modern battle field as rock throwing. It would never be that bad, the bullet was still moving transonic, but how good would it be?

"Now we wait. See if they get closer." tense silence stretched as the gun crew waited, no one wanting to be the first to start a incident. The only brake in the tenseness was a call from general Williams over the fiber optic.

It gave permission to engage if they got in range, but only with one gun. To quote: "Test the effectiveness of are weapons in a live fire situation. But if one gun proves insufficient then engage with all available fire power."

"Mother fucker." Malk growled as he read the message over the computer screen. "Right then: order other battery to hold fire, were take this one."

"A bold move." Relmin said as the message was sent to the other guns.

"I may as well be the one to take the fall for this if this goes south, and if the fall comes in bullet form, well that how it goes. I assure you though: we will give better then we get." he growled. He did not like Batarins much. Though recent events had tried to change his mind, his first memory of Batarin slavers had not left a good impression on him of the species or government.

He was not found of the fact that they were sharing seven planets with them.

The short version: was that humanity had colonized Elysium, a world the Batarins had legally battled the turians for ownership for 20 years. It had been some part of some on going cold war between the two that the Alliance had stumbled into.

The Turians had blinked: backing down from there claim to the world to stave off a armed conflict.

Just when the Batarian were going to start colonizing, they find out the world had been already taken!

A good three years before first contact the Alliance had colonized Elysium, and it took three more years for that fact to be known by the Batarains since first contact had delayed there plans. The Batarins had been ready to fight for it this time, hell come what it may, until the Alliance had offered a deal.

Unlike the Turians, humanity had been willing to break a few galactic laws, namely economic zoning laws, to keep the peace and there existing colony's.

As part of a larger deal involving both land and a one time payment, Elysium was split between the Batarins and Alliance, thus sharing the critically placed world of Elysium. More thankfully, both races got a break from the Council Standard Banking (C.S.B.) and were not cut off from financial support for breaking the treaty's regarding planetary ownership and anti smuggling laws, all covered under the header, 'economic zoning laws'.

Additionally: seven other planets were thrown into the deal so the Batarins had a net game on territory and bending support during colonizing Elysium. Kyto was one of the shared worlds.

The whole thing made the Turians very uneasy. They knew the Batarins were up to something, and given how humans had a bad tendency to naivety they were watching this closely.

It seems the humans were about to figure out just how bad batarins could be.

"Sir: there be in range in 45 seconds."

"Ready the guns, in 40 seconds have the other guns flip the UV lights on."

"UV lights?" the Relmin asked.

"We can't see UV lights, but we have equipment that does. We paint a target with a UV spot light they may not know it, but we will." Relmin nodded. "any other tricks?" he asked

"We've tried for years to hook a pair of Sound-cones, like on the Web's to a AA gun so we can get auto targeting by triangulation, but we keep having issues traversing the analog gap."

"The what?" Relmin asked confused.

"How to translate what the human knows by listening, into the computer and that to the gun battery. The gap is between the computer and the user."

"Sir! Gun in range in 15 seconds."

Malk took a breath human, enough nervous talking, time to make a choice, he made it early.

"Fire at will in 20 seconds." he ordered. "Come what may."

Tension grew thicker and thicker. It grew denser then the snow that coated the ground in a crust.

"5.4.3," Malk said counting the seconds under his breath. "2.1. now." he muttered.

Hydraulic whined as the tank's turret spun barrels facing a target that no unaided human eye could see.

Then, it fired.

Four cannons did not bang, they rattled. 20 mm cannons spraying massive muzzle flashes casting the ground in a strobe light glare. The bullets a stuttering blare of tracers and regular bullets.

You could see the gunships now, lean angular things of gray and black metals. The first gunship almost instantly exploded, the tracers marched down the line, chewing into the second and third gunship scattering the formation.

The fourth and last gunship had only seconds before the bullets scattered into it's armor, so it fired once.

From two wing mounted rocket pods a pair of anit tank missiles were fired, just before the bullets blew into the million dollar aircraft.

Relmin threw him self to the ground as bright glare of the missiles grew brighter, brighter, brighter! Till a bright glow and roar filled his eyes and ears.

But, it was not a rocket roar. He rolled on his back,and his jaw fell.

A solid pillar of flame! 8 feet wide and twice as tall had sprung to roaring life carving into the ice sending rivulet of water that quickly refroze back to ice running down the slope toward what would become the summer sea. And just behind it: creating, forming and maintaining the flame, was Captain Malk.

The missiles roared into the flame, guided by there V.I that told them where the tank was, they knew that it was just on the other side of the heat signature, they would not be lured off with flares.

That they were charging into a inferno did not accrue to there little V.I brains.

A pair of explosions cracked as they hit the flames, melted, and there rocket fuel detonated. The remains of the missiles flew off course to either side smashing into, and though trees before what was left of there war head exploded throwing shards of ice and rock though the air.

The silence was deafening, only the crackle of flames could be heard. Quickly Malk let the flames die, falling to his hands and knees panting. It was not fire bending season on this planet, and he felt it.

Panting he stood up, knees shaking. "Tell General Williams we got them all."

"Yes sir." a subdued crew man said before messaging, command.

"That's, that." Relmin stood up, shaken. "how, I mean," bending! He answer his own question. He altered his thoughts on bending right there.

It was more powerful then biotics, more dangerous and more common.

"Ha." Malk said as he took a drink of warm water from his belt. "I'm not a master, but I'm close." he said between slurps. "Placed second in most regional endurance tournaments."

"Captain: General just got back to us." communications from the tank said. He was not happy. "They want us to move forward and pin who ever still alive in place while he gets a cavalry unit in place to really get them. He also want them alive."

"What kind of cavalry? Air or Mechanized?" Relmin asked.

"Just, cavalry." the radio man (even if the tank was hooked up to a fiber optic) said back.

Relmin fought the urge face palm, and failed.

"Calvary? As in on critter back? Any one see thing wrong with that?" silence before one of the privets protecting the gun spoke. "nope."

"Right, enough talk." Malk said sighing "Get that AA tank moven! It's the only bit of armor we have and I don't want to be in the open without it."

a chorus of yes sirs met him.

"Before we break fiber optics: I want a communication with the other gun crew, tell guns 2-4 to converge on the wrecks and look for survivors, take as many of them alive as you can. Gun five is to roll out of the woods and provide long rang covering fire. Keep them from running."

"Is that such a good idea?" Relmin asked.

"I think so, on the subject." Malk said turning to Relmin he spoke up. "Somebody toss me a spare rifle!"

Seconds latter, a spare rifle appeared in his hands as he snatched it out of the air.

Twice as long as a council equivalent, this was a REAL rifle as compared to an assault rifle, which the Alliance still did not use citing the larger stopping power of a full rifle over the rate of fire of the smaller weapon.

Smoother, sleeker then first contact version, this rifle had a more powerful semi auto action. It wooden frame holding four, five round stripper clips with ease.

Lastly, tipping the rifle was a folding bayonet. "I assume your coming with us?" Malk

It hit Relmin just then. "The rifle's for me? I'm a observer: I don't use weapons."

"Yet, you will be following us?"
Relmin nodded. "I have to. Especially since your will be deploying cavalry, I,, have doubts as to there effectiveness." to it put mildly. Turians did not have a history of mounted warfare due to a lack of animals that could easily be used for such a purpose. There wars had always been fought and won on foot.

The Asari, Salarian and Batarins all had such a history, and the notion had always struck a Turian as,, silly. The idea of riding into battle was a fool's notion. It took years to learn how to ride, and it took a spear man days to know how to unseat him.

The idea was even dumber in an age of machine guns and mass effect.

"Who knows? The 77th Arctic mounted may surprise you, nether the less, if your going into combat, Your taking a rifle, that is my condition." he handed the weapon over.

Relmin took it, along with eight stripper clips.

"Thanks." Malk said before turning to the tank." That thing ready yet?"

"Engine trouble, the cold playing havoc with it." the driver commented, just before the engine took with a rumble and a hint of black smoke. "There we go!" seconds latter a rattle of gun fire split the woods. Battery five had already opened fire pinning them in place.

"Seems five is starting the party, lets meet up with them."

SHIFT

Spec ops in Eclipse had no name. Just code phase. At the moment the leader of this F.U.B.A.R. was History.

Yes, the pun was not lost on him at the moment.

Bullets were cracking around his position as one of the damn AA guns swept the wreckage, forcing them to cover in the leeward side.

Pinned in place, ground troops advance, so much for this 'test' of human defenses. Not to mention they might the secret of the 'bafflers', as humans called them, out.

So for: defenses strong. Very strong.

The wreckage of the five gunships were tightly spread, and the crews had manged to group together under the metal hulk of gunship number four.

"What now History?" a agent asked.

"First thing's first, a head count." he scanned the survivors, every one who was not dead or too wounded to have to take cyanide pills, was there and of that number, there were only 45 of them.

Not good, a sudden snapping of metal drew there attention. Like fire-mantis*, the icy slope lit up in flashes as the human ground troops barraged bullets into invaders position.

Most combat took usually took place over a range of less then 200 yards, a range that made the assault rifle king.

The key word in that sentence was usually.

In this wide open battle field though, at much long ranges, the rifle was the better weapon.

The fire was keeping holding the spec ops low as the squads advanced, the tanks moving up with them rolling though snow drifts with ease as they cruise forward, pausing only to lay a burst of fire down.

Not good at all. The main guns of the AA tank buzzed there position again, the guns firing in five second bursts to conserve ammo.

"This is not going well." History muttered. Air support was about a minute away, they had to hold till then, but even if air support got here, the AA tanks would likely just shoot them down again.

No, that was impossible. The Bafflers had been on the first time, they would be off the second. They would not find the gunships so easy a target again.

Still, the human infantry were not in range yet, they had to wait.

SHIFT

so far, the battle seemed to be going the humans way, at least if the weight in bullets was to be taken. Relmin though felt they were wasting a lot of bullets.

Kentic energy may have been more but bullets were harder to come by for the Alliance then the small flake of metal that a Mass effect weapon used.

The range was closing and the gun fire from the en battered and trapped Batarins, check that. Relmin growled.

There was little evidence theses were Batarin nationals. They sold Baffler gunships all over terminus, even if every-time the Turians had tried to get there hands on one, it always lacked the baffler.

They could be fighting any one, Batarain nationals, pirates, or any one of a dozen of Terminus nations.

A sudden explosion signaled the launching of a shoulder mounted anti tank rocket.

A swirling pile of snow twisted upward meet the rocket when it was a yard from the target.

The ice enclosed and encased the rocket, before exploding sending shards of snow flying in every direction.

Benders. Relmin growled. Suddenly rockets need whole new tactics. If a bender could see a rocket, they could stop it with ease.

If only he had not gotten separated from Malk. The humans should no sign of slowing there advance even as they got closer and closer to the commandos.

The exchange of fire grew more furious, and still he had yet to chamber his first bullet.

The AA tanks suddenly opened up in a thundering barrage of gun fire that deafened the ears, but not enough to miss the single command that was absolutely insane. "Fix bayonets!" some sergeant yelled.

What.

The.

Fucking.

Hell.

Bayonets! That,, was,, insanity!

On more levels then he could think!

But, a thought hit him.

Biotics were more dangerous the closer you were. If benders were the same, then one could think of a human platoon as a bender 'deliver system' to get the benders close enough to the enemy to inflict damage.

And with an oversupply of benders: they may have had enough force to do it.

Still, insanity! He thought even as he followed the bad order and extended his bayonet, some deep primal part of him rejoiced at the idea of man to man combat. That part was just not nearly as loud as the part going, 'I am going to get shot and die.'

The closer the Alliance worked toward the invaders the higher the rate of fire rose, as human rifles cracked against the rattle of assault rifle, and the sounds of bending grew louder as well.

Ice and salt were propelled like guided munitions though the frozen air, impacting in sprays of crystal or frost.

Of course, this was not to say everything was going well, even as the Alliance advanced forward.

A soft whistle grew louder, and louder, but still unheard under the bang of gun fire, then with a sharp explosion of pure metal rending force, an out of AT missile plunged into the top of a tank and detonated.

That tank, ceased to be.

Chunks of hot steaming metal and ammunition flew like chunks from a over side frag grenade scything into the snow, ice and warm body's around it.

In quick secession more missiles roared downward and the night was punctuate by the four explosions as tanks had armor penetrating warhead slam though there top hatches and detonate, decimating the tanks.

All but one, just in time a shield of ice rose around it absorbing the impact and protecting a single vehicle.

Twisting, the turret pivoted to face onrush gunships as they moved into range, and the last AA tank opened fire. The guns chattered rapidly sending streams of tracers skyward and a brass rain to fall steaming to the ground.

Unlike before, the rounds did not dig into the armor, but ricochet off the shield. The blue mass effect violently lit up in the night in with each bullet impact stopping the rounds with ease.

Within the gunship the results were not as well as one of the infantry might have thought it was for them.

The pilot of the gunship six watched his shield rapidly crawled downward, in less than 50 seconds it would be gone, and so would he.

Grunting he turned his own chain gun onto the tank, and angrily he watched them spark and pell of the armor of the tank.

The things VI did not even registered the anti-infantry slugs as enough of a threat to active a shield. Gunship seven fired another anti-tank missile to try and crush the thing.

A swirling cone of ice and snow rose up to meet it catching the round in midair, seconds before it exploded in response to be surrounded by ice.

If its VI could talk it would have said. "What the hell is with this shit?"

Growling this time with fear gunship six fired flares to try and lure the trail of tracers away, to no avail.

The rounds cut though the shields, then the armor, shattering engines, lift thrusters and mass effect core sending the gunship spiraling to the ground.

Like a hunting cat the guns pivoted onto a second of the three supporting gunships and the tank roared into another ship,, for three seconds.

It gave a heart rending snicket, as the pin struck a bullet that was not there.

The tank had run out of ammo for its main guns, and all it had left was the hull and pintal mounted .557 machine gun, neither of which could target air craft.

The tank, was not a waste of space.

SHIFT
"Seems the bastard ran out of ammo." The pilot to gunship seven said over the radio to eight.

"Confirm that, focus on the infantry." The reply came back. Herdin, the aforementioned pilot number seven, nodded his silent agreement and turn his chain gun on the ground troops.

"Hay check you thermal." His copilot said. "Something odd." Herdin nodded and the screen flipped over to a mosaic of red on blue showing heat and the lack of it.

"You mean those big warm thing come up on are east?"

"Well, yes but no. Look at the big heat sig on that guy," the outline of a person filled the screen pointing him out. "It's like's the guy's holding a lightning bolt or somthen,,"

The guy in question did seem to be completely enveloped in massive wave of heat that covered him like a halo.

"Well, ya but," the wave of heat released itself.

Everyone was blinded in a sudden flash of light that cut though the dark and cold slice into the side of gunship eight like what could only be called as a bolt of lightning.

And it was just that! A bolt of lightning, from the blue.

Small bolts of electric flared across the gunship sparking amid and across the ship, covering it in a writhing net of thunder.

The gunship held it self-aloft for and slowly, as it thrusters tried to hold it up, molten armor dripping off it flanks from the bolt of energy.

Then the thrusters died, and the gunship fell, slowly but then more rapidly from the skies like some kind bird that had been hit with a load of buck shot, but was still trying to fly.

With a smashing clash it landed amid the human formation, who in seconds were crawling over the ship like ants, there guns gleaming.

",,,O crap." The pilot muttered, he throttled his thrusters to escape, if that happened again then he was clearly the next,, that thought never completed itself.

A bolt of energy shorted his ship, and then his brains out.

SHIFT

Panting Malk lowered his hands, energy still dancing across his fingers. This was NOT the time of season for fire bending, much less lighting.

For the first time since he had been deployed to this misbegotten planet he was over heating he stretched his collar out.

"Keep moving!" he shouted. "Forward!" after all, the old fire nation tactic was called shock and awe for a reason.

After you 'shocked them' you moved fast while they flash still blinded em and grabbed the by the preverbal belt buckle.

In this case, you took them at bayonet point. Malk rested his hands on his knees as he panted; this really was not his weather he reflected, it was very, very tireing to be a fire bender on this planet.

Even as he recovered his breath a out of breath Turian grabbed his shoulder.

"What the hell! Did you just do that?" he was shocked, face hidden behind the face plate but you could see in his body language the look of someone who had just had his world shaken.

Bending was hard enough to take, but those gunships would have killed them all in seconds had they not been destroyed fast enough, and he had only one person to thank for that.

Malk rest a hand on Relmin shoulder as he caught his breath. "Ya. Why do you think we don't use air power for close support?" he said flippantly.

"Does that mean we get a good report?" he chuckled, but his hands were shaking. For the most part the Alliance had been peaceful before first contact. There 'army' official (if rarely used) name was the Expeditionary colonial force. Up to first contact there only job was assisting in the colonizing planets and building up there infrastructure. (and some times fighting off wild life, Thersher maw hunting was now a semi popular earth bending extreme sport after there frist encounter with one)

Turians had the army core of engineers, the Alliance had the United Benders League, for benders, and the Road, Excavation, and Demolition teams for non-benders and they were much larger pecent of the army then any other nation.

Now the Alliance army had to fight and kill, and they may have been an army and a half decent one at that, but there psych support system left a lot to be desired for. Much less for the trama a fire bender inflicted.

"Sir." Malk looked up to face a sergeant, an earth bender if the salt incrusted on face was anything to go by. "Worked like a charm sir, we got up close and managed to get some of them. Most died sir, poisoned themselves I think."

"Damn it, thank you sargent," Malk sighed "Any one alive?"

"A few pilots sir, mostly the ones you lighting bent." he smiled showing grimly. "One of them decryed he was going to 'Charge the sick bastard who fryed my co pilot like a deep friyed pod crab with a war crime."

Malk snorted. "As if he could do that, they invaded are planet for what ever reason and put the batarian in hot water. Even odds there going to pay for this some how."


Landing, landing, landing, i hate this chapter. it likely has errors i missed it so feel free to tell me.

this whole Human Batarian time share thing is what made the chapter take so long, first i had it explained by polticans with more emthisise on the treatys involved but that turned into a confuseing sprawl of text blocks explain concepts that i barly understood so i went a diffrent approach.