Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect nor Honorverse. I am merely throwing the two worlds together. Any original characters, however, are mine.
Oh dear. I realized I made quite a number of mistakes in my last two chapters and will ensure not to repeat them in future ones, but I won't be stopping to go back and correct. If I do that I'll start editing and you might never get to see a new chapter.
Sorry for the long wait, just moved and got a job and life has been hectic.
Chapter 13: Reports Given
Primarch Vindex Fedorian was getting old. He was going to step down from the Primarcy and enter retirement soon, probably hand it over to one of the other generals, probably one more experienced in civil works, but until then he still had to deal with this shit storm. Though that person would probably only rule for twenty years before another Fedorian took his place, Fedorians rarely left the top tiers of the Hierarchy so it was likely that one of his many nephews would take this position in time.
He rested his head on his talons as his new Councilor's hologram appeared. "Councilor Tuitio, please give me a report on the talks so far. I've heard word of an incident that was most troubling."
"You must be talking about the assassination attempt," Tuitio said. The woman looked exhausted, probably pushing herself to make sure everything went well, which was good. The Hierarchy desperately needed these talks to go well and she was only a Fifth Tier doing a job that was usually taken by a Third or Second.
"There was an assassination attempt? According the vids the Grand Alliance Ambassador freaked out and killed the Batarian Ambassador's chauffer." It was truly a messy end, the chauffer's eyes had been clawed out and the man's throat slit. Then the little furry ambassador managed to do the same to two Krogan who had attempted to intervene.
"Ambassador Babel is a telempath Primarch. He knew that the batarian approaching meant ill will towards him and immediately sought to nullify the threat. C-sec discovered that the chauffer was in fact armed and that the two Krogan were contracted to kill the ambassador as well. Councilor Tevos was also able to meld with the ambassador to ascertain the truth of his claims."
Troubling, he'd have to increase patrols near batarian space for a while and keep a closer eye on the situation. If the batarians were trying to muck up the peace talks, than they were planning for the two powers to fight it out and pick up whatever scraps they could find. "Very well and what of the talks?"
"The ambassador and I have spoken several times, and the Alliance has agreed to a prisoner exchange. Once all prisoners have been exchanged we can buy back any additional prisoners left behind with a base cost of five thousand credits per prisoner, to be increased by an additional five hundred for every rank above a noncommissioned post."
"Very well, prioritize the noncoms," Fedorian said immediately. He wasn't worried about additional intelligence going to the aliens, since not only did they have telepaths on hand, but that he was already greatly displeased with most of the leadership responsible for the fiasco. "Am I still expected to draft a formal apology?"
"It would be best if you deliver one sir. This Queen Berry seems the type to hold grudges, but if you were to speak to her, she may be more willing to let certain matters slide," Tuitio said. "Then again, I've never met her personally, all I have is what information Ambassador Babel and some of his aides have been willing to part with."
"Alright then, tell me about their technology. Is there anything they have that they're willing to part with that would prove useful?" He already knew that some basic concepts were already changing just by making contact with these humans. Who would have ever thought of dreadnought sized support craft? But what was more important, was that there were no limitations for these so called Carriers. He could boost his military effectiveness without allowing the others to increase theirs by merely refusing to build more dreadnoughts.
"While their military technology is leaps and bounds above our own, it's their medical technologies that would prove more useful to the Hierarchy in the long run."
"Explain," Fedorian said to his Councilor. What sort of technologies were more important to acquire than the military tech these aliens had? Their building technology alone would probably reduce the costs of ship production, greatly allowing the Hierarchy to shift its focus from their ground forces to their space forces.
"Their cybernetics is advanced enough to simulate sensation, while also greatly enhancing the user's capabilities. Their basic medical technology allows them to heal fractured bones in mere hours. According to my bodyguard Adrian Victus, their Medigel would increase combat survivability by nearly three hundred percent. But that's not the most important thing, the technology we want to get Primarch is Regen and Prolong.
Regen is an amazing piece of technology that would allow the regrowth of entire limbs, though that appears to be dependent on a person's genetics. According to Ambassador Babel not every human can Regen, which is why their cybernetic technology is as advanced as it is. But Prolong…it's a serious of treatments that is supposed to slow down the aging process. The first generation alone would be able to double the life expectancy of the recipient. Imagine sir, being able to live hundreds of years."
"That would certainly change the very fabric of society," the Primarch said as he watched the Councilor. Being able to live almost three hundred years would definitely be a boon. They would be able to keep their veterans around longer, have more experienced leaders. No wonder these humans had been so technologically capable. And yet, the Asari should have surpassed them because of how long lived they were, it begged the question as to why the Asari were the only race on par with these aliens when both the Asari and the Salarians had both been in space at least two centuries longer. "And what of the Suit Rats?" He had heard some reports of Quarians fighting alongside the Humans. What would losing the Migrant Fleet do to the balance of power.
"From what I've been able to gleam, the Quarians have been granted Asylum by the Kingdom of Torch and are being given a star system in which to replenish and upgrade their ships."
"And with them examples of technology and ship plans from almost every race," the Primarch said distastefully. If it hadn't been for the fallout of Shanxi, he would have sent a fleet to deal with the Quarians quickly in order to keep working examples of Citadel technology and Quarian technical experts from falling into the hands of the Grand Alliance. As it was, there was little he could do that wouldn't spark a full blown revolution and utter anarchy. They had a chance for peace now, a time to build up their fleets, learn new technology and hopefully prepare for a confrontation should the Asari's diplomatic ability fail.
"Are these reports accurate?" Dalatrass Mordin asked as she perused the datapad given to her by one of her clan members. True, Mordin Lokir was the current Director of STG, but Dalatrass Mordin was the true power behind the throne. The Mordin clan had been a dominant power in the Salarian Union's intelligence divisions for many generations after all.
"Yes ma'am," the male said.
"And Dalatrass Narra?"
"Retired after relaying the information ma'am."
That caused Mordin to pause for a moment as she looked at her screen blankly, blinking only once before nodding. "As to be expected." Dalatrass Narra had been of good use to the Union, but the information she gained implicated her as being contaminated, a threat to the Union, and as such needed to be purged. It was good thinking on Dalatrass Narra's part to do Mordin's job for her.
Still, these reports were very bleak. A mind control device had been found in the Citadel tower, something that had been wired in and left behind. Perhaps it had been a Prothean artifact, but she was not one to allow even a race such as the Protheans to direct her people's futures. As such, thirteen of the twenty leading clans had to be purged, their leaders contaminated by the device over the millennia and the risk of it still influencing them was much too great. In fact, she suspected that Dalatrass Linron's failed attempt at having the Grand Alliance Ambassador killed, and expertly pinning the blame on the Batarians, was the work of said device.
It would weaken them significantly, that was true, but their current position was rather precarious. According to Narra's reports the humans were probably not going to be willing to do trade with the Union, and by extension the Asari republics as well. That was a rather astonishing discovery, that the humans were extremely reactive to genocide, and because of the Council's decisions, that had placed both the Asari and the Salarians at the bottom of the heap. Her race was seen as only being a step above the Batarians, and that was not something she enjoyed being.
Of the Citadel Races, the Volus, Elcor, and Hanar were the most likely to profit from trade with humans, while the big three would have to profit from technology gained by their lesser affiliates. That was of course, if the current Ambassador decided to share his knowledge of the Council's past doings. Something that was inevitable, since the Quarians also had access to that information and would probably be far more likely to share it regardless of whatever sweetheart deal the politicians could make. Her species was screwed over, and all because of the Rachni! Although, admittedly the Turians were not in any better shape because of their part in sterilizing the Krogan, but again that fell back to the Salarians for having developed the Genophage in the first place.
She pressed her communicator to bring up the image of her son. "Contact Dalatrass Kirahe and Dalatrass Jondam. We have some house cleaning to do."
"Right away ma'am," Mordin Lokir responded before he was replaced with the images of two of the other Dalatrasses that preferred to work in the shadows. It was time for a revolution, and those were always bloody messes.
"Are you sure it's safe trusting that brute with the life of your partner?" Councilor Tevos asked as she sat on the beautiful Asari lawn while she watched the ambassador's charge play some kind of throwing game with the most dangerous mercenary in the entire galaxy. She did not know when it happened, but apparently shortly after the assassination fiasco the Shadow Broker had hired Urdnot Wrex to serve as the child's bodyguard. And wasn't that a statement. That the Shadow Broker himself had a vested interest in forwarding the peace process.
Ambassador Babel, merely bleaked in amusement as he went back to teaching Tevos an intriguing game called chess. "Wrex is very straightforward in his intentions. He desires to protect my partner and he will with all of his being," that wasn't to say that the boy's armsmen were taking a break however, Grayson armsmen were always very thorough and who they let near their charges. If it hadn't been for Babel personally vouching for Wrex, the Krogan would have never gotten within arm's reach of the boy.
"I've always wondered ever since we bonded. Memory Singers are female aren't they? How are you one considering your," she gestured toward the male who only shot her a grin.
"I was not born a memory singer," he freely admitted to the alien. "When I was a kitten there was an accident and I lost my ability to sing," and it was a truly devastating loss. He had almost committed suicide over his inability to speak to his clan. "Luckily an elderly memory singer saw fit to gift me her voice. It took many years to get used to my more powerful voice, but I am now of great use to the People," meaning as a male memory singer he was more expendable as opposed to the females. He didn't mind that he was sent on the more dangerous missions as their diplomat, he was serving his people after all.
"I..I see," Tevos said as she looked over at the young human boy as he laughed and tackled the large Krogan, who merely roared with laughter and wrestled with the youngling. She was rather surprised with how gentle the gruff Krogan could be with the young exuberant child. "So about my request."
The treecat grinned as he managed to checkmate the Asari Councilor. "I've sent the request back, it will take up to four weeks to get an answer from the Grand Alliance, but I don't think we'll have much of a problem. Setting up cultural exchange programs is something that several of our members would enjoy," not to mention it would give the intelligence organizations easy ways to insert their spies. Learning more about the Council Races would better help the Grand Alliance in the long run and it was a given that they'd be doing the same. At least this way it was slightly more honest. Two-leggers and their silly need for deception.
"That is good to hear," Tevos said as she looked around the small park they were relaxing in. "Have you met with Sha'ira yet?"
"We have had an excellent lunch together," the treecat responded. The Consort had proven to be great with children, and also far wiser than the Councilor. The Consort had not requested to meld with him, which was a good thing in many aspects. Furthermore, Bernie liked her and that was very important to the treecat. If his person didn't like anyone than he in turn would be cautions around them. The boy was proving to be an excellent judge of character. A good trait to have in someone that was in line for the Protectorate.
Shala'Raan was finally back aboard a Quarian ship, in fact she was on the Neema heading to yet another Conclave meeting. This one was surprisingly called by a human. In the weeks since the incident on Shanxi, the Migrant Fleet had moved into the frontiers of human space. They had settled into the star system that the Kingdom of Torch had granted them use of, and ever since then it had been meetings after meetings.
Although she had been delighted to learn of the Butre Clan, a group of humans who had been trapped on Parmley Station for almost five generations. They knew the hardship of space-bound life, and worse they had to deal with slavers partially seizing their station. Her people and the Butre clan got along surprisingly well, especially once the Quarians discovered the Butre clan's astonishing engineering expertise. Queen Berry had yet to send the Kheela Selai over, since it was still undergoing construction, but many of her other promises had been kept. Indeed, many of the more crowded Quarian ships were now only crewed by skeleton crews, with so many having moved to the new freighters and other vessels. There was talk of a large population boom coming about, and many a Quarian family was being allowed to have multiple children, a feat unheard of in many years.
"Admiral Xen, do you know who this Regina Hauptman is?" Shala'Raan asked as she caught up with her….acquaintance. She couldn't call Daro'Xen a friend, but after the experiences they had, the eccentric woman was pretty close to one.
"A representative of the Hauptman-Dempsey cartel," Daro'Xen stated as they started to walk towards the Conclave. "An extremely powerful merchant guild from what I hear. They've got their hands in everything from ship building to restaurants and have proven themselves to be allies with some of the more powerful families in the Star Empire of Manticore. I've even heard they have a business partnership with Grayson Sky Domes."
And wasn't that a name that was quickly becoming a ship-hold one. Grayson Sky Domes had offered to build them colonies on several of the moons orbiting the nearby gas giant. The company's experience in filtering technology was leaps and bounds ahead of anything the Quarians had ever come up with, and there was general excitement in the air. This system would truly become the home of the Quarian people. It might not be Rannoch, but it would be a good place to raise their children in peace. "Do you have any idea of what the Hauptman cartel might want?"
"Of course, I was the one to call the meeting," Daro'Xen stated. "They want access to our ships, and in return we will be able to purchase brand new ships from their ship yards. Access to new technologies, and more importantly," and this statement made Shala'Raan nervous because of the somewhat manic tone the younger quarian was using "we will gain access to some of their jamming technology. With this, I believe we could develop something that would allow us to gain a significant advantage over the geth and perhaps return us to our rightful place as their rulers."
And there was the reason why Daro'Xen could not be considered a friend. Her rather fanatic desire to enslave the Geth. It was almost as bad as Han'Gerrel and Rael'Zorah's desire to exterminate them. Honestly, was she and Zaal'Koris the only ones with a word of caution for their people? She knew that with these new ships they were more powerful than they ever had been before, but she honestly did not think that they were yet in a position where they could fight the geth and win. Certainly not for at least another twenty years or so. "I see, well then. We mustn't keep the Conclave waiting," she just hoped that with this chance to take a breath her people were not about to decide to jump off the deep end. They needed more time, and they needed to build up alliances. Perhaps the geth might even talk to them if given the chance.
Runs Quickly was quite nervous. Hell he was almost as much of a nervous wreck as his partner, who was currently piloting their small courier ship. They were heading back to Alliance space with information that was both benign and possibly dangerous. Well his partner's information was benign. He himself was carrying information that he was sure would get him assassinated by the Asari. After all, Tevos was not the only participant in the mind meld, and she was not the only one who learned something.
Runs Quickly was taking every bit of information the Asari Councilor had access to, and he was taking it directly back to Sphinx, where the People would decide on how best to capitalize on it. He knew every dirty little secret Councilor Tevos was privy to, and he knew just how important it was that it get to where he was going. Because when it did, everything was going to change.
Butre Clan: The Descendants of Michael Parmley, founder of the Parmley Station, the Butre Clan have become wildly known as the best engineers in the Maya Sector. Electing to continue living on Parmley Station after it was handed over to the Anti-Slavery League, the Burte Clan generally assists the Anti-Slavery League and Beowulfan special forces by providing their top notch engineering skills.
Courier Ship: One of the smallest FTL capable vessels known to man, Courier ships have a crew of about ten people, no armaments, and very poor sensors. What they do have in abundance however is speed. Courier ships are among the fastest vessels humanity has, and are generally used to deliver information to and from combat areas or areas without access to a hyperspace communications relay.
Hauptman-Dempsey Cartel: One of the most powerful commercial enterprises in the Star Empire of Manticore, the Hauptman-Dempsey cartel are avid allies of the Audubon Ballroom, and are generally in close collaboration with powerful families like the Harringtons.
So what do you guys think? Do I still have it or did the months away from the story make me lose it?