Did you know?
About the tale of a Shepard?
I Wish for Power! Power to change my Fate and the Fate of the people around me. – Jane Shepard, holding cell of a Batarian Slave ship
=At the Beginning=
Chapter 01: The Moment
"Lieutenant Jane Shepard?" Kyouko asked as the files appeared in a hologram to her side. She would have had allowed the information dumped into her cortex but she rather liked staring at dossiers when the opportunity presented itself, much like right now, here at this virtual conference held for the three of them. She reached to her side and placed a pocky in her mouth as the one before it disappeared.
Touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight all replicated in this virtual world. This was what Mami liked about in technology but at the same time hated it as it was still a pale imitation of a real meeting. "Yes Sakura-san, I believe she will be the logical choice for the task at hand."
"Hm…" Yuma muttered as she looked over the profile.
Occupation: Magical Girl, Active Service. Stationed at the First Reconnaissance Group near the borders of Batarian space.
Special Comments: Only known survivor of Project Rogue and the last contracted Magical Girl of an Incubator. Sole Survivor of the first contact with a Thresher Maw on Akuze.
"Are you sure about this?" Yuma asked, her right hand pressed to her mouth in thinking. "Her Psyche profile says that she's clear but it might surface again. Another would be the fact that a small part of her soul gem is in a constant state of darkness."
"A direct opposite to Homura's soul back that day." Kyouko commented. Mami and Yuma wisely ignored it.
"That was believed to be the result of Project Rogue as a side effect due to her Biotic Powers." Mami explained. "She was the only one lucky enough to have formed the soul gem in the first place."
"That's why I'm placing my bets on her. She's the only Magical Girl qualified and resistant enough to be in command of an eezo driven ship." Kyouko reasoned and the two others couldn't deny that fact. Element Zero was known to be lethal to everyone but it had a peculiar chemistry with a magical girl in that it actively suppresses the girl's powers leaving only the enhanced strength, reflexes, and regeneration in a slowly deteriorating body. Trying to contract a potential Puella Magi is invariably fatal to any biotic girl as their Mass Effect fields disrupts the process of making a Soul Gem since it erodes the outer wall commonly known as 'Aura' of the Soul Gem allowing the matter, 'Spirit', within to disperse.
"All right, she will be the one." Yuma finally relented. "But I hope that you guys know what you are doing."
"Don't worry, Yuma-chan." Kyouko grinned. "If something goes wrong you can blame me for it."
"So true." Said Mami, mouth twitched in a slight smile.
=At the Beginning=
Did you know? Puella Magis never really die…
'How long should my mind bask in that Lying Truth?' She asked herself as she returned to the land of the living after an hour long nap. All members of humanity no longer needed to sleep unlike the other races thanks to their cybernetic enhancements but doing so was still a relaxing experience.
'Jane?' Someone asked deep inside of her in a voice indistinguishable from her own.
'Nothing Lyko, I just had a fit of nostalgia.' Replied Jane Shepard as she sat up and rubbed her eyes though technically they both already knew about that. She looked around, her room was small but not cramped with the usual everyday items like clothes and accessories as those are stored within hammer space while the tables and chairs are packed neatly in the floors and walls of her room and would appear only if she needed them. No reasons to keep a holographic computer around like most of the other sentient species as humanity themselves have managed to circumvent that problem with the implantation of A.I.s to regulate the flow of information and communication.
'You should get up. Your break will be over soon,' Said Lyko as she changed Jane's status from inactive to active before returning back to other miscellanies tasks.
She didn't reply and instead she stood for a change of uniform supplied eagerly by a wall cabinet that appeared from her subconscious command. Self-cleaning clothes and fabric could only do so much it didn't remove the nagging feeling of your skin that it hadn't been washed yet.
It took nearly fifteen minutes to freshen up. Leaving her room, she looked up at the time, a habit that she had practiced with since she was young despite the fact that it was no longer necessary and she could ask Lyko for a small digital icon at the side of her sight for the clock or have it just dump right into her cortex.
Turning around a corner, she nearly bumped into another Puella Magi talking animatedly at a young soldier at the side of the Normandy's Combat Information Center, placed directly behind the bridge and the operations corridor. She glanced for half a second at the girl but it was enough to see her basic profile.
Doctor Karin Chakwas
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Classification: Medical Officer, Healer
Occupation: Magical Girl, Active Service. Stationed at the Normandy GSS-1
Special Comments: Have the ability to stabilize patients with her energy fields enabling her to save troops even with fatal injuries like decapitations as long as it happened in less than 10 minutes.
She had asked Lyko to remind her about asking this unusual but very gifted ability but now wouldn't be a good time. Heading straight for the bridge, she spotted a lone turian standing at ease and noted how odd it was seeing one in a ship full of humans before dismissing the curiosity away.
Governance ships had changed much over the centuries from inelegant but effective blocky vessels to ships that looked elegant in its predatory beauty while remaining effectual in most manners of combat. An example of it could be seen with the deployment of the Normandy SR-1 with its beautiful dagger like shape making it unusually aerodynamic despite its role as a space ship. The insides have changed too from technological holographic displays and keys to magitech displays and thought processed devices and inputs lessening the needed energy required and making the ship nearly perpetually powered due to the higher energy output than what were placed in it. If not for the necessary eezo fuel that the ship required which unfortunately clashes with magic forcing engineers to make a separate circuitry for it that receives its energy from the drive core itself then this ship could run for centuries nonstop like most of the non-eezo ships despite their inability to use the Mass Relays.
"The Relay is in range. Preparing transmission sequence." Said a feminine voice all over the intercom. The young woman's eyes were unfocused on anything in particular and instead her attention was focused on the feeling of the ship and calculating in fine detail. "Connection confirmed. Calculating transit mass and destination." She said again but the girl's lips weren't moving.
Shepard noted the young woman's terse, business like tone and smiled a bit to herself for a moment. 'Guess Joker can be serious sometimes.' Gazing at the holographic display of the Mass Relay, she slowly felt it coming closer and closer, attracted to it due to the mixture of her Mass Effect field and Magic. It was quite an odd feeling as the two powers danced within her.
She nodded at Pressly as she passed by who nodded in return while his hands moved animatedly in thin air seemingly touching nothing but she knew that his implants were providing him with the visual interface. Pressly's an odd type of fellow, preferring to do things manually instead of relying on his own A.I. to do things for him.
"Relay is hot. Acquiring approach vector." She could feel everyone tense at those words even the turian as her eyes picked up the subtle signs as he looked up at the display while the rest looked it up through their implants. "All stations, secure for transit."
The crew corridor had changed much over the centuries, instead of the usual dropped seats with displays and interfaces of the ancient air fighter pilot it had now changed into a darkly lit cubicle seats with bright holographic interfaces and displays but only if the technicians were bothered to use them and as such those are usually set aside in favor of implanted interfaces but one would occasionally see a technician tinkering with it. As such she saw one of them lightly tapping on the console as he regulated the flow of, what was it? Drive Core Discharge? She couldn't tell. The crew corridors were like the lower part of the brain, managing the automatic but necessary parts of the ship such as the magical stealth system, core coolant, magi patterns, power, damage, weapons and others that she couldn't identify. When not in use the seats would collapse onto themselves and will appear as part of the floor and walls.
The personnel manning these stations were all seated and alert with their eyes in unfocused movement or closed altogether as they dulled their senses and focused on their tasks alone. They weren't just on a ship on its maiden voyage, but they are also testing the two pieces of cutting-edge technology that usually worked against each other in a natural environment which meant that something could go bad and if it did they were all in deep trouble.
"The board is green, approach run has begun." Joker said over the intercom as a faint rumble was felt before it disappeared just as quickly while the pilot squeezed the four engines together for the maximum acceleration as they got closer and closer to the Shianxi Prime Relay. The first Mass Effect Relay that humanity had ever encountered barely fifty years ago. "Hitting the relay in three …"
Knowing Shepard's instinctive wish, Lyko opened up a channel on one of the outside cameras and gave her a view of the beautiful, concentrated, azure glowing element zero in the center of the alien construct before panning it out.
It was massive, double-pronged dagger like construction hanging in the middle of nothingness as it orbited Shianxi's sun in a chaotic pattern. The whole thing looked like a massive space station with its randomly blinking lights going on in its entire length.
Lyko toned down the glare and brightness as they got closer to it and Shepard saw the arc of energy moving away from its core like an energetic tentacle before engulfing the vessel and exciting its shielding as it drew closer to the ancient artifact.
There was a surge of energy and she felt her magic and mass effect shift suddenly like the two were like in a giant mixer. It wasn't exactly unpleasant just disconcerting and it was unfortunately unique to her as other Puella Magis would only briefly lose their powers while in transit while the biotics would not feel a thing.
Now that the lightshow is over Shepard looks around to make sure that everyone is still intact before asking Lyko for the roster. A second later Lyko confirmed the crew's well being and Shepard released the breath that she had been holding.
"Thrusters checked," Said the pilot as she visibly relaxed, "Navigation, checked," She reported, now reading from a list that she only could see. "Internal Emissions sink engaged. All Tech Systems Online. All Magi Systems Online. Drift …" Here she paused as she waited for her A.I. to calculate, "Just under fifteen hundred K." As she said that her eyes returned focus.
"Hm… Impressive." Said a sharp, metallic voice much like a tone of two or more individuals mixed together.
Joker closed her eyes and she could feel the turian looming near her. The tall, slender form of the turian made her skin crawl unpleasantly while her A.I. gave her a visual from one of the cameras scattered throughout the ship. The Deep coloration of blood adorned his armor and his bony face was painted in Crimson coloration of blood with white patterns that resembled the turian skull. Vivid, green pupils moved about in the center of his black sclera. It was traditional for the turian race to paint their faces to show their allegiances and it was well known that a turian without tribal lines are considered untrustworthy.
"Your colonel will be pleased." Nihlus Kryik said and turned to leave while giving Shepard a nod in acknowledgement. The turian's footsteps were the only thing to be heard in the bridge before it finally disappeared and replaced with Joker's voice.
"Ugh." She said, clearly displeased.
"Something wrong, Joker?" The co-pilot asked, raising an eyebrow.
Shepard looked at the two of them and called up her nomenclator.
Occupation: Military Biotic, Active Service. Stationed at the Normandy GSS-1
Special Comments: None
Jenny 'Joker' Moreau
Rank: Flight Officer
Occupation: Governance Military Pilot, Active Service. Stationed at the Normandy GSS-1
Special Comments: Had Brittle bone disease, cured when bones are reinforced by nanite implants
Shepard raised an eyebrow at that.
"I hate that guy." She murmured, throwing any kind of professionalism out into space.
Kaidan frowned at that, "Nihlus gave you a high praise," And disbelieving what he just heard, he added, "And … You hated him?"
Joker looked at him quickly, annoyance clearly on his face, "Look, if you can toss a truck with just your mind then that's good. A Puella Magi that can destroy a whole city block is incredible. I just shot us halfway across the entire galaxy and hit a target smaller than a grain of sand. That's not just incredible, it's awesome!" She flailed her arms to the sides for a moment, quite thankful that no higher up was seeing her like this and her all seeing cameras could see the tiny amused smirk on the girl behind her. Lowering her arms, she added, "Besides, turian specters are trouble. Or rather trouble always tends to follow them. I don't like him inside me. Call me paranoid."
"You're paranoid," Kaidan replied, "And squeamish. The council gave us the drive schematics so they have the right to send someone over and keep an eye on their investment."
Joker scoffed at his words, "Pfft! Yeah right, if you're going to ask me I'd say that the Black Heart acquired it and only sent this turian spectre to hide their embarrassment, and besides a turian Spectre on a Governance ship? I wouldn't mind if they send an Asari or a Salarian, heck I would even settle for a Krogan. But instead they sent in a Turian spectre." She wasn't a bigot; she merely hated them since she was there when they tried to invade Shanxi and failed.
Shepard looked over at the two of them and noticed how much of an opposite they are of each other, almost like a couple. She stifled the giggle that threatened to leave her throat. Joker is a slender, lithe woman who wore her flight officer's cap like it was a fashionable accessory with her long brown, hair tied in a pony tail, and having the personality of that of an irritated cat while Kaidan is a lightly built man with groomed black hair with the character traits of a loyal guard dog.
Specks of light clustered themselves infront of Joker and a girl who looked like a miniature version of herself about a head high and wearing a tight jumpsuit appeared sitting at one of the consoles. Opening her eyes she said, "There are no Krogan specters you know."
Joker groaned and refused the urge to bang her head on the dashboard. "Don't you think I know that, Eddy?"
The girl looked straight at Joker for a moment and mirrored her words, "Don't you think that I know that, Jenny?" She spoke like she was a bit mad. "And don't call me Eddy. It's EDI!"
EDI nodded then disappeared again, "We're nearing our destination Joker."
Since the council 'helped' in making this ship they had made a single request to Governance not to install an A.I. fearing that it might went rogue. After a long debate, Governance agreed and installed a Virtual Pocket instead allowing the sentient, personal A.I.s of the crews onboard to take control of it when necessary.
"Wonder what's with you and you're A.L?" Shepard asked but before Joker could answer her the intercom buzzed and a commanding female voice barked out.
"Joker!" Colonel Asami Nakihara barked, causing Shepard to straighten instinctively. The Colonel had personally tutored her when she was just a trainee back then and she held a lot of respect to the veteran of the Survival War. "Status report!"
"Just went past the Mass Relay, Colonel," Joker replied professionally though a few traces of his dry humor was present as well, "M.E.S.S. engaged. M.T. Stealth Systems on standby. Everything feels solid, sir."
M.E.S.S. stands for Mass Effect Stealth Systems and it is one of the two pieces of technology that the Council had installed on the Normandy, the other was Drive Core itself which humanity had drastically improved and miniaturized, something that the council had thought of to be impossible. The M.E.S.S. would make the ship invisible on the scanners but not on the visual spectrum by circumventing the heat of the ship to remove the trail with a reasonable duration of a few days before needing to cool off otherwise the crew would be cooked from the intense accumulated heat.
M.T. (Short for MagiTech which was itself a short hand for Magical Technology) Stealth Systems on the other hand are tried and true cloaking systems that render the entire ship invisible for a short duration of time, removing them not only from the visible spectrum but also from any kinds of scanners but its duration can be counted from a few hours to a day at most depending on the grief cubes available.
"All right. Find us a telepathy server and link us in. I want the mission reports relayed to the Governance's military brass before we reach Eden Prime."
"Aye, aye Colonel." Replied Joker as her A.I. began looking for a connection. "Better brace yourself sir, I think Nihlus is heading your way."
"He's already here, Lieutenant!" The Colonel half growled, half barked, no doubt that she's a bit annoyed. Joker visibly flinched and Kaidan's lips twitched a bit in amusement. "Tell Shepard to meet me in the comm. Room for a debriefing."
'I'm on my way sir.' Replied Shepard using telepathy as she turned around back to the crew corridor.
"Is it just me or does the Colonel always sound a little pissed off."
"Only when she's talking to you."
Their discussion continued on but she could no longer hear the rest of the conversation as she hurried down the corridor. Now that she had thought about it something does seem strange concerning as to why a foreign military agent was onboard a secret warship's first run. Not to mention the operations briefings which usually called the higher-ups but it was just her, the colonel, and the turian.
The Normandy was a joint Council and Governance ship founded with the thoughts of having a Magical Girl in command and using the Galaxy's normal means of transportation via the Mass Relays. However, when not using the Relays it would be able to switch to the Governance's method of FTL travel which was considerably faster than what the Mass Effect engines could offer without the relays. It will be the first of its kind if the joint venture had proven to be fruitful.
There was another reason as to why the Governance had to reverse engineer the Mass Effect Drive despite the fact that the technology was obsolete in the eyes of humanity. It was because the magical scans had revealed that the Eezo was actively hastening entropy. The exact process as to how was unknown at their current level of technology but the connection was there when they performed a combat test with a biotic and a Puella Magi with both powers trying to cancel each other out but the sheer output of magic by a Puella Magi would overwhelm even an asari commando. Thus this joint venture was an effort to understand the cause and find a way to stop it.
Despite humanity's repeated attempts to persuade the council about the hazards of Eezo on the universe, the Governance was repeatedly denied allowance to perform tests on a mass relay, fearing that a collapse would trigger a chain reaction that would lead to the catastrophic failure of the entire network.
"Commander, may I talk to you for a second?" She heard a voice to her left as she passed. It was Lt. Pressley. He saluted and added, "We had a smooth run and everything's running efficiently."
There was a slight lilt to his posture that Shepard noticed immediately, "You may speak freely, Pressly. You seemed troubled."
"Well ma'am, now that you mentioned it." He began, looking up to avoid meeting her gaze since the girl was a lot shorter than him due to her perpetually fourteen year old body. "This doesn't add up. Why would the council send in a spectre on a shakedown run? I mean, I understand if the council would want to have someone watch over this joint project but why a spectre? It's as if they were telling us something and it makes me wonder if those rumors were true."
"About the Black Heart. It was said that they took the schematics and when the council found out they sent Nihlus here to prevent us from misusing it."
The Black Heart. The Intelligence branch of the Union, formerly known as MSY, known for its absolute secrecy was feared by the entire galaxy as some sort of boogeyman or a force of nature for their ability to strike seemingly from out of nowhere and leaving ruin in their wake.
"If it were the Black Heart the council wouldn't even know about it." Which was true since it is impossible to track their agents with the council's three dimensional approach to investigations. A Puella Magi constantly breaks the Laws of Physics thus an approach governed by those laws will just break apart.
"True ma'am, and we're also supposed to test the M.E.S.S. and Tantalus drives so why is a Colonel in charge? More so since its Colonel Asami Nakihara, she's too high profile to be here on a simple shakedown run."
"I agree that there must be something but I believe that those required higher clearance than what we have. I'll talk to the colonel about it, carry on."
Pressly saluted as Shepard moved on, "Aye-aye, ma'am."
At the side, near the large hologram of the Milky Way was the Normandy's petit Medical officer Doctor Karin Chakwas chatting idly with an A.I. one could tell due to the inverted triangle on his forehead and the disconcerting I/O eyeball. Shepard looked at him and her nomenclator called up his basic profile.
Richard L. Jenkins
Classification: A.I. Soldier
Occupation: Soldier, Active Service. Stationed at the Normandy GSS-1
Special Comments: None
'What would an A.I. need from a Medical Oficer?' Blinking, Shepard listened for a bit.
"Calm down, Corporal." Chakwas grinned, unknowingly infected by the cheerfulness of the young A.I. "I know you're excited to return back to the place where you worked for twenty years as a construction A.I. but you should calm down, you might injure someone."
"Y-Yes. Of course ma'am."
Shepard now understood why and decided to continue down the command center.
=At the Beginning=
"I have heard of Eden Prime over the years and is it true about what they say about it?" Doctor Chakwas asked. "They say that that place is a paradise."
"It's true ma'am." He answered and continued, "Lush green fields, Serene weather, very Earth like ma'am. Sometimes while I'm on break I would pan the cameras and take pictures of the scenery or remotely control one of the drones to explore what's out there."
"By way of your explanation you should have become a photographer instead of a soldier. So why the change of heart?"
"I'm not entirely sure ma'am, I think it's just too peaceful for me. I always wanted to get out there, you know. To do some good and help out and get some excitement while I'm at it."
"Just don't get too excited Corporal. You've got a career ahead of you."
"By the way Jenkins, what do you think about Nihlus?"
"The turian spectre? I heard that they are deployed much like the Internal Security Agents. I also heard that he was captured when they tried and failed to capture and occupy Shanxi."
"Yes, he was there and it was because of him that we'd managed to contact the Council about the attack and demand a cease fire and explanation about the invasion. It almost turned into a genocidal war much like the early parts of the Survival war."
"But Ma'am, aren't Spectres tight-lipped about their jobs and contacts?"
At this, Doctor Chakwas grinned, "They never heard about a true empath back then."
=At the Beginning=
The door parted before her, revealing the large, cavernous, communications room behind it, reserved for briefing the senior staff which for a frigate consisted of the executive officer, head engineer, pilot, and Medical officer. Unlike the original design, this place was heavily modified to also serve as the recreation room since their implants would usually render this whole place controversial waste of space but right now all of those are hidden inside the hammer spaces installed due to its current occupant.
At the center of the room, with his back facing her, Nihlus was fiddling with a small holographic blue and green sphere about the size of a ball, twisting and turning it while occasionally zooming in and out, revealing trees or sometimes the tall skyscrapers of the city.
"How beautiful." He said as he toyed with it some more.
"This, the resolution of this hologram." He explained as his mandibles twitched a sign that he's pleased or exited. "Our holograms are all mono colored with slight differences in shades and at times it tended to be blurry. But your species had made holograms with resolutions that are far more detailed right down to the shapes of leaves." After a few more strokes he let it go and the hologram dispersed into nothing. "Anyway, I was hoping that you'd get here first, Commander. I wanted a chance to have a word with you."
"Yes?" She was intrigued but she kept her suspicion out of her voice.
"This world we're going to, Eden Prime, I've heard many stories about it including the church's claim to own it and turn it into a Safe Haven."
"That's true, they said that it had very little chance for demon incursion due to its natural magical barrier."
"I've heard little of these extra-dimensional beings. Mind explaining them to me?"
Shepard wondered why the turian seemed to be fascinated by these beings that all Puella Magi had sworn to destroy with their lives. "They are like inter-dimensional parasites sucking out the emotions of sentient beings little by little, sending them into a corrupt lifestyle before finally sucking out their souls. Basically, the demons will control the minds of their victims."
"Hm … I see. You are just like us it seems. Sacrificing yourselves for the greater good but despite the similarities, a lot of turians resented humanity due to our failed attempt at subjugating your colonists at Shanxi but unlike them I like your species and what it stood for."
"We are warriors by nature, Nihlus, despite our standards as technical pacifists. When someone decides to attack us we do not hold ourselves back until justice is served."
Nihlus moved his head diagonally downward and her nomenclator registered it as the turian equivalent of a nod. "Allow me to be blunt with this. I do not want anything in between us, Commander." Nihlus said. "My species had lost a lot of blood on Shanxi and the Council doesn't trust your government due to the way that your species had interrogated me even if it was surprisingly painless." Thinking for a moment, he extended a hand. "I know that you do not want to be my enemy, Commander Shepard and neither am I to you. So let's stop pointing proverbial guns at each other."
'He's quite friendly isn't he?' Lyko thought making Shepard wonder if it was genuine or her A.I. was just being sarcastic.
Shepard looked at him for a moment. It is true that it is generally hard to read a Turian due to their facial structure but her instincts told her that he was truly honest with her. "All right." She said as she reached out and shook his hand. Neither of them gave more pressure than necessary and Shepard had to be more careful as she could accidentally crush his hand.
The door open behind her almost without a sound, and the pair looked at the source. At the door casually floating toward them in her non-transformed state was Colonel Asami Nakihara in her Navy uniform. She snapped a quick salute which the Colonel waved away, since it was customary for MGs to ignore most of the standard military gestures but Shepard was adamant about it.
"Good, we're all here." She said, smiling a bit. Her irritation toward Joker seemed to be gone. "I think we can now tell the Commander what was really going on."
A quiver of a smile appeared at the side of Shepard's lips; finally, she'll know the true reason for this mission.
As the Colonel walked towards them holographic pictures lit up around them and bathing the room with their glow. Some were pictures, still shots of an old ruin while others seemed to move on their own and some are three dimensional holograms rotating on some unspecified axis.
"Prothean ruins." Shepard breathed, her tactical AI providing her with information on what it was, dumping information straight into her cerebral cortex. "But Governance weren't all that interested in the Protheans before, so why now?"
A reasonable question. Their level of technology far surpassed that of the Protheans especially after humanity had integrated the Cephalopod technology and wormhole creation. In all sense of the word, humanity did not need the Prothean's obsolete technology except for archeological reasons.
"Normally, we would just allow the council to examine the ruins as they please but what the archeological team found there was a working prothean beacon that gives off a large amount of Mass Effect field that our scanners couldn't get a good read from it which intrigued us to wonder what that beacon contained. We could use the heavy duty Magi Scans but the Beacon was in a critical state that we're worried that it might break down during the scans."
A good answer. Magi scans don't work well with Mass Effect fields as the two are direct opposites of each other mostly due to the way that Eezo attracts Entropy making such scans blurry or otherwise useless while the object being scanned damaged or destroyed depending on the amount of contained Eezo.
"Is that why you're here? To secure the Prothean Beacon?" She winced at her words, it sounded like she was accusing him.
NIhlus nodded, it seemed like he didn't notice or maybe he had gotten used to it. "Yes, a discovery like this could affect everyone on Council Space."
"We are sharing the beacon with the Citadel Races." Colonel Asami said. "And in turn they gave us the schematics for the drive core and M.E.S.S."
"An exchange?" Shepard asked.
"No, more like a joint research. We're also interested at what it contained and since most of our equipment had a very detrimental effect on most Mass Effect devices we're going to need their expertise. We may not be a council race but sharing this beacon would prove to them that we're friendly at least."
It makes sense. Humanity doesn't need another war despite having the raw firepower, tactical advantage, and technological superiority that it didn't have during the last war.
"It doesn't help that most of the Council Races are afraid of Humanity." Nihlus countered, "Especially on what you did to one of the former member of the council after they attacked one of your colonies in the verge."
"We're not proud of it but the Batarians had it coming for them." Colonel Asami replied. "Their government is disgusting and their ideology pathetic. We had spent centuries with our freedom and then they had the gall to provoke us and ask for your help on a war they started."
"So why the Secrecy?" Shepard asked, trying to return the conversation back on track.
"Despite our strength, Eden Prime is a relatively new colony world. It doesn't have the power to defend itself yet and its wormhole generator was still in development stages so we can't send in reinforcements directly."
"Another thing to point out was that the terminus systems might notice it and send in a raiding party." Nihlus added.
"So, we're going to extract and leave. Where are we going to drop it off?"
"New Athens." Replied Colonel Asami. "One of our Core Worlds and the place where we first appeared and turned the tide of the Survival War."
A flash appeared to the side and EDI's avatar showed herself. "Colonel," She said, voice in clear monotone, "We've got an incoming distress call from Eden Prime."
EDI disappeared and replaced by a holographic image showing a rust colored sky, Shepard deduced that it was late afternoon; at the side they could see smoke rising out of the air and a shielded building bouncing a heavy round off with its shields. In the distance they could hear the sounds of rapid, mass accelerator rounds which were a bit unusual since humanity relied on invisible lasers due to their uncanny proficiency to bypass kinetic barriers that the galactic races seemed to be fond of giving them an unexpected advantage. A heavy-duty laser rifle appeared on the bottom right along with a pair of hands before firing at something in the distance. An I.D. tag appeared on the side identifying the person who was calling for them as well as whose eyes they were all seeing from.
Rank: Gunnery Chief
Classification: A.I. Soldier
Occupation: Soldier, Active Service. Stationed at Eden Prime
Special Comments: None
"Under fire! Repeat, we are under fire!" The Gunnery Chief said, "Multiple heavy casualties on the Williams series. In danger of being overrun!"
Shepard looked to the side for a moment watching Nihlus' reaction about the usage of A.I. on the battlefield.
"Gunnery Chief, what's the status of your unit? Where's your commander?" The Colonel asked.
"She's dead, sir! We were taken by surprise and she was hit by a heavy round and destroyed her upper body. Luckily, we were able to retrieve her soul gem." The image flickered for a bit as she dodged to the side, they could tell due to the way that the screen seemed to turn over. "We are down to three operational units, sir, the others had gone off-line or disabled within a two hundred meter range."
"What about the dig site? Is it secure?"
"Its been compromised, sir. We do not have suffi-"
A sudden, deafening roar was heard over the speakers causing the screen to flicker as the A.I. was distracted by it, making her look straight at the bloodied sky along with her two sisters. The roar was metallic that was certain, and it rumbled like the rapid beatings of a war drum, thundering its voice like a calamity that came down from the sky.
Shepard would have twitched from the noise itself if it weren't for Lyko filtering most of it out.
An armored hand appeared from the sky itself enclosed in a fist before opening itself up to deliver punishment from its fingertips. No, it isn't a hand, it's a ship with robotic appendages descending from the sky.
And then … Nothing …
"EDI!" Screamed Asami, calling forth the A.I.
"What is that?" Nihlus asked, still staring analytically to the empty space where the hologram was.
"The communications were jammed, Sir." The A.I. responded appearing before them in a life sized body. "I scanned that part of the planet and I noticed that they have scattered a couple of eezo canisters in the upper ionosphere. It will disperse after a short time but during those twenty five minutes the colonists wouldn't be able to contact anyone outside the planet."
Shepard gritted her teeth. Dispersing Eezo on the atmosphere was crude and very costly but it was effective in jamming their communications. She could tell since Mindor was the first planet it had been used on.
"Rewind it." The Colonel ordered. "Hold it at thirty eight point five."
As ordered, the holoprojection rewound and held at that specific time showing the large unknown ship at the sky. The three of them stared at it and Nihlus' mandibles twitched in wonderment and concentration, mentally comparing the ship with the ships that he had seen in alliance space and the terminus systems.
"Suit up Shepard." Colonel Nakihara ordered, her eyes narrowing. "We have some fools to take care of."
This is a continuation fic of To the Stars and thus non canon unless Hieronym says otherwise
My prophecy of To The Stars (Which doesn't contain spoilers since it already happened)
Ryoko will be the Sword to repel Humanity's foes.
Homura was the broken Shield that protected Humanity from harm.
Oriko and Kirika were the wings that carried the Mitakihara Four into battle.
Though I wonder who will be the Lightning that will smash Humanity's foes into dust.