I was looking at the rank structure in both Halo and Mass Effect noticed a massive difference… Mass Effect uses a dummied down structure while Halo seems to be based on the current ranking structure of the US Armed Forces [if that's wrong feel free to correct me and I'll change the statement]. The codex in Mass Effect lists the ranks in the Systems Alliance with three enlisted ranks, three NCO ranks and nine officer ranks. Compare that to Halo's nine enlisted ranks and ten officer ranks [with Air Force, Army and Navy all having an additional wartime rank]. Thankfully Lieutenant Commander is the fourth rank for officers in both universes so Shepard won't be affected much, well I'll have to change it from the naval Lieutenant Commander to the marine's Major but bar that he won't be affected by it.

This chapter will show some more of Shepard's military career, mostly during the Skyllian Conquest [humanity's reaction to the Skyllian Blitz], and the events that led to Shepard being chosen to serve on the Normandy. This will be the last chapter for this story unless interest is shown [I think I've written enough to give you guys an idea of how good you think it'd be].

Another chapter, another attempt to entertain you all. I honestly do not have anything else to add, so on with the show!

Halo belongs to Microsoft Studios

Mass Effect belongs to belongs to Bioware

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XX Arcturus Station - 2576 XX

"Shepard, didn't you say you were going home?" The Sergeant asked as John walked up to his desk and set down the release papers.

"I changed my mind." John explained. "I want to enlist."

"Eh, hold on a second." The Sergeant told him before typing something into a computer. "Dammit, your discharge went through… I can undo it and get you transferred, but it'll take a day or two to process."

"I was hoping I could train to become an officer." John explained. "The recruitment poster said there was a recruitment drive."

"Potential cadets tend to need degrees… The records say you didn't even finish school." The Sergeant told him as he continued to type away. Reading something that popped up, he smiled. "You… Normally you wouldn't even be considered… But we are pushing for new recruits and requirements are being relaxed to get them. That you served for four years, even if it was in a penal squad, looks good as well… Tell you what, I'll put your request through and we'll see what the higher ups say."

"Thank you sir." John said, surprised that this spur of the moment decision might work out.

"No problem Shepard." The Sergeant laughed before handing the release papers back. "You hang on to them until word comes back… If they say no, I'll get you transferred to a standard squad. Now, it that's all I have about a dozen other penal squad members to process."

"Thank you sir." Shepard saluted before leaving.

XX Torfan – 2578 XX

"What's the problem?" Shepard asked the Lance Corporal who'd called him over.

Sir, we unlocked this door and found several batarians." The Lance Corporal reported. "At least one is armed and claims he's rigged up explosive charges to prevent us getting in."

"Then return fire and kill him." Shepard ordered.

"We can't sir." The Lance Corporal admitted. "He's hidden behind crates full of fuel cells. If we fire they'll ignite and trigger the charges."

"Understood. Fall back and let me handle this." Shepard sighed before activating his comm. "Matsuki get over here."

"Understood Lieutenant." Came the reply. While he waited for Matsuki to arrive, Shepard approached the doorway and took up a position against the wall. Peeking around, he whipped his head back quickly as the armed batarian opened fire with a pistol. Inspecting the marks the rounds left on a nearby crate, Shepard noted how spread out they were.

"Give up now and I'll pretend you didn't just try and shot me." Shepard called out. Turning to look at the marines, Shepard gestured for them to back away.

"G-Go to hell, human." The batarian yelled back before firing off several more rounds.

"How many people you got in there?" Shepard asked casually, as he scanned the area for his demolitions expert. "Didn't spot anyone else, where you lying to the Lance Corporal?"

"They're civilians." The batarian replied. "I have them further back so you scum can't kill them."

"I see, so you want to kill them with the charges instead then." Shepard said. "Great plan… So tell me, what's stopping one of my guys just sniping you and being done with it? I mean one shot, right between the eyes, and you can't set off those charges."

"I-I have them rigged to a dead-man switch… Try it and the charges blow." The batarian shouted, worry clear in his voice. "Now back off… I was only firing warning shots before… I-I'll kill you next time."

"What's going on sir?" Matsuki asked as she came up behind Shepard.

"Sure you will." Shepard laughed at the batarian before turning to face the Sergeant. "Batarian's rigged the room with blasting charges, I want you to scope it and see how big a blast we're looking at."

"Understood." Matsuki gulped before crouching down and removing a length of fibre-optic cable from her pack. Pausing to sync the cable with her VISR, Matsuki eased the cable around the corner and began to appraise the situation.

"So why did you hideout here?" Shepard called out, trying to keep the batarian focused on him.

"Because you human's where detected." The batarian snorted.

"So you're afraid?" Shepard asked. "Well at least you're smart… Well, smarter than your friends out here anyway."

"What's that supposed to mean?" The batarian yelled out.

"Just that you were smart enough to hide when you saw us overhead but that you weren't smart enough to avoid provoking us." Shepard called in.

"What are you talking about? I've never done anything to you humans." The batarian claimed.

"Right." Shepard said, rolling his eyes. "So Mindoir never happened then? What's it feel like Mr Slaver, when you're not facing helpless farmers but trained marines and a detachment of ODSTs?"

"What the hell is Mindoir?" The batarian asked in confusion. "And I'm not a slaver or pirate or anything like that."

"Not a slaver or pirate you say?" Shepard laughed as Matsuki retracted the cable. "Then what are you doing here, in a slaver pirate base?"

"I-I'm here to fix the CO2 scrubbers with my father." The batarian yelled back. "If you're kind hadn't shown up we'd be gone by now."

Hahaha, good one… So what, you're just the maintenance guys?" Shepard laughed before looking to Matsuki. "Report."

"From what I can tell, those charges plus to fuel cells, could take out a chunk of this place sir." Matsuki reported. "But they won't."

"You sure?" Shepard asked.

"I'm sure, Lieutenant." Matsuki laughed as she stored the cable and stood up. "They aren't even armed."

"They aren't even… Urh." Shepard repeated before letting out a groan. Shaking his head, Shepard called out to the batarian again. "I knew batarians weren't the sharpest aliens in the galaxy, that'd be the Brutes, but to not even arm the charges? You sir have got to be the worst pirate I've ever heard of."

"I'm not a pirate!" The batarian snapped before beginning to sob. I-I a student… Here to help my father and earn a few extra credits… It was supposed to be simple job, just come up and fix the scrubbers. Quick job and easy money… I-I just want to get home."

"Alright, this is what's gonna happen." Shepard said with a sigh. "Put the safety on the pistol and then throw it out here. After that, you and any other batarian in there will walk out slowly in a single file. You all will be detained and questioned. Answer everything honestly and cause no trouble. Do all that and we'll arrange for your government to collect and transport you when this is all over… Is that clear?"

After a moment or two of tense silence, a pistol came sailing out of the door and handed with a thud. Soon after nine batarians emerged slowly with their hands on their heads.

"Who was I talking too?" Shepard asked once they had been restrained by the other marines.

"Me." Said the youngest of the group. Shepard noticed he was smaller and thinner than the others. In fact, looking at him Shepard would have guessed that he was in his late teens at best.

"You said you were a student." Shepard said, advancing on the kid. "Of what?"

"Mechanical engineering." The batarian admitted. "My uncle manages a company building engines for mining equipment… I planned to work for him when I'd graduated."

"Do what you're told and you'll get home fine." Shepard told him. "Speaking of which, where is home?"

"Camala. I live on Camala." The batarian told him before being led away.

"That seem weird to you?" Shepard asked Matsuki as they watched the marines secure and document all the equipment and supplies.

"Did what seem weird sir?" Matsuki asked as she removed her helmet and rolled her neck.

"Kid said he was from Camala." Shepard explained as he removed his own helmet. "That's a batarian colony in a different star system… Why go that far to find someone to fix the scrubbers?"

"You think he was lying?" Matsuki asked as she fished a pack of cigarettes out and offered one to Shepard.

"No, kid was telling the truth." Shepard said as he took as cigarette and pulled out a lighter, lighting his and Matsuki's smokes with it. "Why go so far? And why would a guy take his kid to a slaver camp? Batarians do it to their own as well, why risk it?"

"Maybe he didn't know?" Matsuki shrugged. "Besides they were pirates, not slavers."

"Same think really." Shepard pointed out before taking a long drag. "No, fifty creds says at least one prisoner confirms this place was being funded by the Hegemony."

"No deal." Matsuki snorted before finishing off her cigarette. "You never risk credits unless you know it's a sure thing… Now shouldn't you report in, Lieutenant?"

"Shit yeah." Shepard muttered before snuffing out his cigarette on a wall and opening a comm channel. "Fires of Sol come in, this is Lieutenant Shepard reporting."

"Patching you through to the Major." Came the voice of the ship's comms officer. "Go ahead Lieutenant, we're reading you loud and clear."

"Base secure. Hostiles dead or detained." Shepard reported over radio to his commanding officer, Major Kyle. "There were complications… Civilian tradesmen here to carry out repairs to the base."

"Understood." Was Kyle's simple reply, the man didn't sound too pleased. "Casualties?"

"Hostiles suffered near total casualties, including the civilians we're sending up less than two dozen batarians." Shepard answered. "Sir, I requested Pelican evac for my wounded, can I get an ETA on that?"

"All Pelicans have been diverted to other bases." Kyle replied.

"Sir, more than a third of my men are wounded." Shepard argued. "The batarians used barbed or serrated ammunition, my men won't last long without proper treatment."

"Our Pelicans are tied up supporting the assaults on the other batarians outposts, you'll get your Pelicans when we can spare them." Major Kyle sighed before ending transmissions.

"Understood sir." Shepard said through gritted teeth. Turning to some nearby marines, Shepard stated issuing orders. "You, take a dozen marines and find all the medical supplies you can… Evac ain't coming for a while."

"These men won't last long if they don't get treatment." Agu, unofficial medic for Shepard's squad, snapped.

"You don't say, Corporal." Shepard snapped dryly. "That's why I'm sending them to find as much medical gear as possible, so you can patch them up long enough for that evac."

"They won't make it sir, I'm not a goddamn miracle worker." Agu sighed before returning his attention to a wounded marine.

"Have we got any painkillers?" Shepard asked, crouching down next to the Corporal.

"A few, and that crate over there is filled with an asari painkiller." Agu answered as he tended to the marine. "But we can't use it."

"Why not, asari are the same DNA base as us." Shepard challenged.

"Because it's concentrated. And we have nothing to dilute it with." Agu pointed out. "At that concentration, it'll kill in minutes."

"Fuck." Shepard cursed. Looking from the dead and wounded, Shepard turned to stare at the crate of asari medicine. "What'd hurt more, the meds or their injuries?"

"Pain will numb and then they'll get sleepy. Once they fall asleep they won't be waking up." Agu shrugged before whipping around to look at Shepard. "You're not suggesting that I...?"

"Make them comfortable… And do whatever you can to ease their suffering." Shepard finished pointedly. "If it helps, consider it an order."

"It doesn't sir." Agu gulped. "But if I feel it's needed, I'll consider it."

XX Fires of Sol, Orbit Over Camala – 2579 XX

"This is Captain Shepard of the 7th Shock Battalion, we are green to go." Shepard reported over the radio to the ODSTs scattered throughout the human fleet over Camala. "Batarians knew we were coming and so they decided to lay out the red carpet. AA guns are preventing our drop ships from deploying and their location in civilian population centres means the top brass isn't willing to bomb them from orbit. So we're going in, not in those luxury drop ships with the wine and appetizers… We're going express."

"Yeah, express trip into hell." Matsuki muttered as she stored her shotgun in her pod.

"This may be the last time we drop… As you know the UNSC has suspended all invitations and applications to join the 105th. All soldiers showing the ability and drive required are being directed towards the new N-Sequence program." Shepard sighed. "I'd like to say, to all those I have served beside, it has been an honour to fight with you. To those I have never entered battle alongside, it has been my privilege to count myself amongst you… We cheat death of his rightful victory. No one can defeat us. We gladly plunge feet first into hell with the knowledge we will rise… Who are we?"

The silence that followed Shepard's speech was broken as hundreds cried out over their radios. "We are ODST!"

"Damn right." Shepard laughed. "Let's are green, drop when ready… You all have appointments with some AA guns."

"That was touching Captain, really was." Matsuki joked before tossing Shepard a sniper rifle.

"Shut up Sergeant." Shepard laughed before stowing his rifle and climbing into his pod. Once all his squad was prepped and ready, Shepard prepared to drop. "Ladies and gentlemen, the lights are green and we are very, very mean."

XX Camala, Colonial Capital XX

"Any time now." Shepard called out before sniping a batarian soldier. Letting his rifle cool slightly, Shepard lined up another shot and fired.

"I'd be finished if I didn't have to disconnect and secure the bloody Element-Zero core." Matsuki snapped. "Charges are set and can be done by timer or remote, why can't we just go?"

"Because we are not blasting Element-Zero into the air!" Agu stated bluntly. "I've seen what that shit does. No way, no how."

"Less talking, more securing." Shepard cut in as he dropped two batarians with a single shot.

"Damn Captain, talk about overkill." Agu chuckled before sending several batarians diving for cover with a burst of fire from his MA5-MA.

"Torfan was my first mission that didn't have Brutes or Hunters in the star system; I'm used to needing too punch through thick armour and flesh." Shepard defended. "Not my fault if their shields and armour can't cut it."

"Okay I'm done." Matsuki laughed. "What should I do with the core?"

"I don't care, just dump it somewhere the charges won't end up scattering it." Shepard snapped before switching to his SMG and laying down suppressing fire. "Let's go."

As his squad pushed forward and forced the now depleted batarian forces back, Shepard heard the charges detonate and render the AA gun worthless. Taking cover and looking skyward, Shepard watched as Pelicans and Albatrosses descended.

With the AA guns ruined, Camala felt the full force of the UNSC Marine Corps. Within a week the world had fallen and with it, batarian control of any world in the Skyllian Verge.

XX Widow System, UNSC New Mombasa - 2583 XX

"What about Shepard?" Ambassador Donnel Udina asked as he picked up the last of the files on his desk. "He's earthborn… Parents died when he was four?"

"Murder-suicide." Captain David Anderson explained. "He was sleeping in the next room, says he doesn't remember anything about them."

"I see." Udina said. "Military record is near perfect."

"He's spent most of his career aboard the Wrath of Reach." Admiral Steven Hackett cut in. "Hell the longest he's spent outside of 'Brute Space' was the Skyllian Conquest. Shepard has more confirmed kills than anyone else I can name off the top of my head."

When was he N-7 certified?" Udina asked.

"Hasn't been." Anderson laughed. "Somehow got himself three back to back tours on the Wrath of Reach starting the day before his assessment was meant to begin."

"He's one of fourteen people still wearing the Battle Dress Uniform." Hackett snorted. "Doesn't like hard suits."

"Why?" Udina asked, dumbfounded.

"Those scars are from when he was in a penal squad." Anderson answered, pointing to a profile shot of Shepard. "A Jiralhanae caught him off-guard after his team ambushed its pack and another. The mass effect shielding didn't stop the blades on its Spiker and it cut straight through the light armour of his helmet. Since he got it, Shepard has done everything he can to keep his heavily armoured BDU."

"Sensible… I guess." Udina shrugged. "Shepard has served for elevens years, all but seven months of which was spent on the front lines against the Jiralhanae Empire. This man is a soldier true and true… But this is not Jiralhanae Empire. And these will not be clear cut cases of 'go there, this this'. Can Shepard handle finesse? Can he handle diplomacy? Can he be trusted to not just solve everything with that System 99MA or his M8S?"

"John Shepard led the team that cleared out the most heavily guarded of the Torfan bases." Hackett stated. "His team lost the fewest men and are responsible for securing the civilians that confirmed the batarian Hegemony was using its colonies in the Verse to fund and supply those pirates. His squad was the only squad that ensured the Element-Zero in Camala's AA guns wasn't caught in the blast that destroyed the guns. He has proven that he can operate in 'Relay Space', that he can get the job done well and that he knows when to thing before acting."

"So, you really think he's the best choice?" Udina challenged. A lot was riding on this and he was not going to let there be any mistakes.

"I do." Hackett confirmed. "How's that old saying go…? If he was any better he'd be a Spartan."

"Anderson, what do you think?" Udina said after a moment's silence. "You'll be his superior officer for the foreseeable future, do you think he is the best?"

"… I do." Anderson admitted.

"Fine." Udina nodded. "I'll make the call."

XX Arcturus Station XX

As Shepard finished a workout routine in one of the Station's gyms, he noticed a naval captain approaching. Quickly whipping down the equipment he'd been using, Shepard saluted.

"Ah Major, I'm glad I caught you." Captain Anderson said in greeting.

"I think there's been a mistake sir, I'm only a captain." Shepard pointed out. "Now, what can I do for you sir?"

"Says here you're a Major." Anderson said, pointing to a datapad he was carrying. "Congratulations on the promotion… We need to talk."

"Eh, thank you sir." Shepard said, somewhat confused. "What's going on here?"

"What do you know about starships, Major?" Anderson asked, ignoring the question.

"Apart from support and fighters, I know the UNSC Navy fields three classifications." Shepard answered. "Corvettes, frigates and destroyers are classified as light capital warships. Next you have the cruisers, sub-classified as light, medium or heavy and finally you have the different sub-classes of carriers… Is it true our light cruisers are larger than the dreadnoughts the Citadel races field?"

"Our smallest cruisers are slightly larger than their biggest dreadnoughts, but the dreadnoughts have better shields and greater firepower." Anderson told him. "Have you ever heard of the Prowler class Corvette?"

"No sir, what is it?" Shepard admitted.

"It was a unique 'stealth ship' developed during the Human/Covenant War by the Office of Naval Intelligence." Anderson told him. "After ONI was shut down the designs where lost and the secret to stealth operations in the vacuum of space where lost… Until now."

"You found the designs?" Shepard asked.

"No, ONI took them. We have, however, designed a stealth capable ship." Anderson clarified. "I've been given command of the UNSC Normandy, the first stealth ship built since the end of the war. Her maiden voyage is tomorrow and I want you on board."

"With all due respect sir, why?" Shepard laughed uneasily. "I don't know a damn thing about how ships work; hell I barely passed the tests to qualify me for driving land based vehicles. What possible use could I be?"

"As part of her maiden voyage, the Normandy will be doing a few tests." Anderson explained. "Using the stealth systems, we'll be approaching the colony of Eden Prime. The first test is to get into orbit above the colony's capital. After that we'll be tracking several UNSC frigates and boarding one… That's where you come in. Like the ship, the crew is new. Our marine detachment is and I'm worried they'll blow the last part of the tests. I want you there to lead and inspire them."

"Okay, that makes a bit of sense sir." Shepard admitted after he thought it over. "But Command said I'm ground until they can access me for the N-Sequence program. Even if I wanted to serve on your ship sir, I can't."

"Command wants this test done and will put you on my ship, N Ranking or not, if it ensures this test goes well." Anderson told Shepard before handing him the datapad. "Report to docking bay seven at 1900 hours. I'll have your armour transferred over. Good day Major."

"Thank you Captain." Shepard saluted as Anderson walked away. Flicking though some of the information on the pad, Shepard rolled his shoulders and smiled. "I think it will be."

XXXXX

That thing about the ships is true. The Destiny Ascension is about 1 km in size, the smallest UNSC cruiser [the Halcyon-class cruisers according to the Halo wiki] is 1,170 metres or 1.1 km. Sovereign-class Reapers are about 1.5 km, which is about the same size as the largest human cruiser [the Valiant-class super heavy cruiser]. Covenant supercruisers are described as exceeding 3.6 km and all have plasma weapons… Think about that for a minute.

Well as that's me up to the beginning of Mass Effect 1, this is done. If you guys think it looks interesting and would like to see it expanded let me know via review or pm.

I'm dyslexic, so please point out any mistakes in spelling or grammar [I spell things the way they do in England and Ireland, so some things may look off to Americans]. Please leave your opinion via review or send them via PM, I'd like to know what you think. Well, I think that's everything I've gotta say so, hope you enjoyed the chapter.

This is Highvalour saying bye and thanks for reading.