Bill here! It's been a while since my last release, and it feels good to add another addition to the story. Spring is finally here, in my town anyway, and not without its taxing trials. The weather has had an argument for the past couple of mouths, apparently. It would go warm and sunny for two days, then blow cold air and rain in to ruin the third if you were wearing shorts. I got caught in the hot weather in jeans too, which wasn't funny. Anyway, give me a review if you liked the chapter and as always, Enjoy!

Chapter 25

A young girl ran, ran for her life. Behind her charged a monstrous beast with a huge, gaping maw, teeth dripping with saliva as it chased her.

She kept her eyes forward, thrusting her legs as forcefully as she could.

Soon, the darkness spread, the beast grew bigger in power, swarming over her like a storm, a smog full of malice filling her vision with darkness. She stood, now lost, with no way of knowing where to go or which way to run from.

She began to despair, when suddenly a ray of light shot out, piercing the cloud of darkness. It was a man, a human man to her surprise. She gazed upon the figure that illuminated her dark nightmare as he floated down, bearing wings of silver, armor of gold, and an aura of glimmering light that surrounded him.

He reached out his hand to her, his gentle face smiling sweeter than anything she had ever imagined. She reached out as well, her hand trying to transverse the ever-growing distance that separated them.

As the girl reached toward the heavenly figure, her arm straining to grasp his fingers wrapped within a flaxen gauntlet, she noticed a dark shape rise over his right shoulder. As it reared its terrible head, the evil azure serpent bared its fangs, venom dripping from each long, pointed incisor.

The girl shouted, tried to warn the figure before it was too late, but her words fell on deaf ears. The snake struck, finding a space between the golden sheets of armor to softness of the figure's skin.

The figure fell to his knees, the light radiating from him dimming significantly. The girl watched in horror as the serpent continued its savage incision, pumping venom into the figure's body. She watched the figure as his light faded, his beauty fading as well, his skin wrinkling, losing its youthful splendor, his hair thinning into a grey mat of burlap, and his stern stature caving in to the hung over stance of an old man. The figure reached out once more to the girl, his eyes pained, pleading weakly.

Tali woke up with a start.

"Hey, you asleep?"

Tali shook her head vigorously.

"No, no, I was just thinking about something," Tali answered quickly.

"Daydreaming? Then why were your eyes closed?" Shepard asked.

Tali arched her eyebrow, an expression that was mostly obscured by the mask she wore.

"How would you know my eyes were closed? You can't even see them," she stated.

Shepard shrugged.

"Actually, you can kinda see them through the mask, so I can tell when your eyes are open. They give off a sort of purple shine," Shepard mentioned.

"Really? I didn't know that," Tali said slowly. She timidly looked over to one of the many monitors of the Normandy to avoid talking about the topic at hand.

Shepard sensed Tali's uncertainty, also steering away from the subject. He indicated to the row of terminals at both sides in the Normandy's main deck.

"Why do we have so many damn terminals here? What is so important that we need two rows of monitors to use?"

Joker ignored the statement.

"Commander, we're making the landing on Feros just as you requested. I've hailed the colonists stationed here, but there seems to be some interference with the Comm Link," he uncertainly.

"Is there any way you can focus on the source of the interference? Maybe lock down a location on it?" Shepard asked, leaning next to the Normandy's main desktop.

"It's hard to say what the cause is: the whole planet is full of unknown Prothean technology and dust storms. We may be just having technical difficulties with communications," Kaidan described, hands a flurry on the copilot's monitor.

"The planet has two thirds of the surface covered with the ancient megalopolis. It's quite possible that the Prothean ruins contain some sort of device that hampers communications," Liara added.

"Or it could just be the weather of a planet that humans won't admit is inhospitable," added Garrus.

"Either way, we're going in blind, Commander," Kaidan said.

Shepard thought for a moment.

"Find a dock to land in, preferably near the human settlement," he said finally.

"We're landing on that poor excuse for a planet?" Garrus asked.

"Yes Garrus, contrary to popular belief, humans have the ability to live in tough environments. I'm not ready to rule them out as extinct just yet," Shepard said, making his way to the elevator.

Garrus followed, conversation in tow.

"But what if we land and there's nobody there? What then?" Garrus asked.

"Then we pick up the pieces and try to find out what happened," Shepard said roughly, shrugging of the question.

"What if we're walking straight into a trap? Shepard, you're dropping us blind-"

Shepard spun around quickly.

"Well then, we'll just have to react accordingly! Not everything can be planned out Garrus!" he snapped.

"That doesn't mean we can't take precautions!" Garrus countered.

"What do you call taking seven operatives, armed to the teeth with an arsenal that could commit a war crime?"

"That's not the same thing," Garrus began.

"The bottom line is: are you willing to take a risk? Do you have the guts to step out into the unknown and find the strength to survive?" Shepard demanded.

Garrus stared for a moment before breaking eye contact. He turned away, pointing his back to Shepard.

"Fine, have it your way," Garrus replied, walking away.

Jeez, get crippled by an alien monster once and everyone starts to second guess you, Shepard thought.

"Perhaps there is some wisdom to what he said," stated Liara, who appeared at Shepard's right shoulder.

"Et tu, Liara?" Shepard sighed.

She was put off by that last statement, but nonetheless followed him as he made his to the armory.

The Normandy made its way to the planet's surface, floating down gently like a feather in a classic portrayal. The smooth sheen of the frigate's hull contrasted the metallic tiles of the docking bay, scuffed and worn from age.

The ship finally docked, the side hatch opening, allowing seven people to exit it.

"This place has seen better days," muttered Garrus, noting the scorch marks left on one area of the floor.

The place seemed deserted before a bright eyed soldier popped his head up from cover.

He jogged over to Shepard briskly, speaking before even stopping to catch his breath.

"Fai Dai wants to speak to you," he said simply.

"Who is Fai Dai?" Shepard inquired.

Before the man could answer, he exploded in a fiery flume. Shepard flinched, stepping back, a sinister silvery figure catching his eye at the edge of his sight.

"Geth!" he shouted, swinging his rifle out from atop his back. As soon as it unfolded, gun barrel corkscrewing out, scope flipping out from its compartment, he aimed it down field and fired.

It hit the silver hominid, downing it before another stepped up the ledge, taking its place.

Another fire ball was launched towards the team, the whirling sound very familiar to Shepard's ears. It exploded on the edge of wall of blue energy, the flames radiating off of it.

"It seems we were right to arrive when did," Liara said, grunting as she held the barrier against another rocket blast.

"No shit," muttered Kaidan, spraying a couple of rounds across the distance.

"Could it be the same the number of forces as Therum?" Tali asked, ducking behind cover as the rattle of gunfire sprayed overhead.

"What does that say about the colonists living here? Are they even alive?" Garrus asked, the sound of his rifle cracking out into the wide, expansive ceiling of the docking bay.

"It means they need our help," said Shepard, placing the rifle to its place on his back and removing his combat knife. His body disappeared, the battle hardened armor vanishing into thin air in plain sight like black magic.

"Suppressing fire!" shouted Ashley, taking the cue from Shepard as she stood up and began pumping rounds out of her assault rifle. The rest of the team followed in suit, peppering the enemy forces with gunfire.

A Geth soldier brandished its rocket launcher, swinging it out at the group. Suddenly a form appeared, seizing the weapon by the barrel, shoving it to the side. The black clad commander grimaced, his eyes burning with anger as he twisted the handle of the blade he had sunk into the torso of the machine. If it had fear, the Geth showed none, simply buckling under its body as its insides were torn asunder. Shepard held it, using the body as a shield from the other Geth began to focus their fire to him. He dove to cover before the broken machine crumbled from the impact, unhinging a grenade from his chest and tossing it over the obstruction he hid behind.

"Move up!" he called, motioning to the rest of the team as the area behind him filled with smoke.

The group advanced, jumping the large gap in cover between the end of the docking bay and the entrance to the main corridor. They waited for the smoke to clear with weapons held tightly.

Instead, there was only the passageway.

A little too close quarters for comfort, he thought, begrudgingly slinging the shotgun from his lower back into his hands. He nodded to the others before walking through the entrance way.

Past the opening was a series of walkways and stairs, painted with grey soot and ash. A lithe, silvery figure slid soundlessly on the stone tile of the ceiling as Shepard made his way into the corridor. He held the barrel of his shotgun firmly, keeping his peripherals open.

Suddenly, he caught shimmering object in the corner of his eye. He turned, spinning to his left and blasting at the target abruptly. The round hit nothing but hoary stone tile, the figure leaping deftly out of the way.

"What was that!?" Kaidan asked, coming quickly to Shepard's aid.

"A Geth of some sort, I suppose. It was quick, jumped off this wall like a frog before I could even hit it," answered Shepard, caressing the scorched patch of tile the figure had been on.

"I've never heard of a Geth like that before," replied Kaidan.

"Me neither," Shepard said grimly.

"That doesn't fit any description of known Geth platform design. If that was a Geth, it would mean that they came up with that entirely on their own. We may be looking at the start of a Geth mutation of some sort," Tali suggested.

"Where the hell did it go?" Kaidan asked.

"I don't know, but keep your eyes peeled," said Shepard.

"I'm just saying, we could've exercised a little bit of restraint back there, Commander," Tali complained.

"What are you mad at me for? Kaidan's the one that split it open with his mind," Shepard said, pointing over at the human biotic.

"All I did was grab the damn thing to keep it from jumping around so much. Ashley is the one that blew it apart," Kaidan reasoned.

The three looked over to the Gunnery Chief as she ran a finger through a singed part of her head. She looked up as she noticed the trio's gaze.

"It burnt my hair. It had to die," she replied simply.

"See? Not my fault," Shepard said, turning back to the young Quarian.

"The point I am trying to make is that these new Geth models are something we have never seen before, and I think it would benefit us and our mission if I had a chance to study one of them," Tali explained slowly.

"What ever gets you off…" Ashley muttered under her breath.

After finding the colonists and meeting their leader, Fai Dai, the team had charged into yet another set of narrow stone corridors after a group of Geth that had ambushed the colony. Shepard had decided to leave Liara, Garrus, and Wrex with the colony while he took the other three with him to hunt the Geth himself. He was beginning to regret his choice in lieu of recent chatter between the young Quarian and Gunnery Chief.

Before Tali could retort to the marine's comment, Shepard threw up a hand. The rest of the team froze in their places behind him, conditioned to trust the instincts of the Commander.

"What is it?" Kaidan hissed.

The mess of stairs and dull grey walls played on ones sense of sight, allowing certain shapes to elude even the most attentive sentry. Shepard stayed silent, eyes sliding slowly along the area as they surveyed the surrounding area.

A blast of red light flew overhead, making the team flinch into action.

"Geth," Shepard replied simply, drawing a rifle from his back and crouching behind the guard rail of the stair case. Kaidan gulped, following his lead with a pistol at hand. Tali and Ashley dove back to the wall, finding safety next to a solid corner of stone.

Shepard stuck out his shoulder, just enough to be exposed, and then quickly ducked back in. The heat of the incoming blast of fire scorched the ground next to Shepard, leaving a charred black imprint on the soft grey stone.

"Got him," Shepard muttered to himself, popping up from cover. He swung his rifle out, aligning it smoothly with his target and fired.

Geth sniper fell from the top of the steps, crashing at the bottom of the chasm at the bottom rung of stairs. The rest of the Geth continued their fire, hitting the wall of stone Shepard and Kaidan crouched against with a barrage so hard it began to crumble.

A line of fire was returned, coming from over Shepard's head as Ashley let loose her volley at the machines. The Geth reevaluated their assault, diverging fire from Shepard and Kaidan and splintering off to return fire to Ashley.

Suddenly, one of the Geth stopped its assault, jittering as arcs of electric current jumped laterally along its body, until it exploded, taking two or three other Geth with it.

"Take that, you metal bastards!" Tali called out.

Kaidan wasted no time, leaping out from cover and catapulting upward with his biotics. He bounced off a wall and continued on, pushing off the stone with his foot and powering through the air above the mess of gunfire. He looked down to assess the battlefield, watching a cloud of smoke build as Shepard made his way over to the cover of solid wall that Ashley and Tali used while keeping constant pressure with machine gun fire and periodical barks of shotgun blasts.

Before he could blink, Kaidan was hit, and he slammed into the side of the wall. The air was forced out of Kaidan's lungs; it felt like he was punched in the back by a hydraulic press. He shook off the wreckage and chunks of rock, climbing out of the crater the impact had made, looking across the space.

On the opposite side, crouched on the side of the wall, stoic and analytical in its gaze, was a Geth with long, flexible limbs, allowing it to grip the sides of the wall at any angles. Kaidan wiped the right side of his face, finding a small amount of blood coming from a gash along his hairline. He looked back at the Geth, his eyes wide and burning with anger.

"Let's go," Kaidan said with a grimace. He slammed his fists together at his chest, a cloud of electric blue energy swirled out from his hands up to his arms and to the rest of his body. He leapt off the wall, damaging the already shaken stone to a crumble.

The Geth leapt off as well, jumping to the side, dodging Kaidan's biotic fury. This only angered Kaidan more, as he crashed into the wall he jumped to, making an even larger hole than before. He stood up out of it, turning once more to the Geth with hatred in his eyes. The Geth seemed to respond in anger as well, Kaidan thought, until he realized the gathering redness at the Geth's singular eye was not rage.

A blast of energy flew at Kaidan. He jumped out of the instinctively, witnessing the effect the laser had on olden rock. The blast loosed large chunks of the stone, which fell down the chasm to where Kaidan remember the rest of team still fought.

"Heads up down there!" he called down, hoping that the trio would avoid them in time.

Kaidan looked back at the Geth, noticing the face of it once more gathering energy. As the machine let loose its blast once again, Kaidan lifted his hand, putting up a barrier as strong he could muster. The blast met it, and the resulting force pushed him against the wall he stood on, the excess heat turning the moisture in the air into steam.

Kaidan took in a haggard breath as the force of the beam lifted from him. His lungs were filled with hot, dry air, saturated with a chalky, burnt smell. He felt faint, the strength from anger starting to fade, he was no longer able to force his body to respond. It was then Kaidan realized he could not withstand another blast head on, barrier or not.

This is it, kid, Kaidan thought to himself, summoning as much strength as he could muster. He watched the Geth crouch rigidly in position, no doubt to use the wall as support as it launched another laser. Kaidan raised his head, forcing his shoulders to rise and allowing his chest and abdomen to expand as he took in a large breath, sucking in as much air as he could physically hold.

The Geth fired, and in a split second Kaidan dashed to the side, avoiding the path of the laser completely. He turned with a blast of his own, using his telekinetic powers and pushing the body of the Geth directly away from him. The sleek body resisted at first, its design built to withstand force, but Kaidan was relentless; one of the joints on the Geths arm buckled, snapping off like a twig. The torso was pushed against the stone wall until it was crushed along with the rest of the machine.

Kaidan lifted the force of his biotics off the mechanical heap, its cylindrical flash light head crumpled together, lens cracked and shattered. He looked down below, finding his companions still battling it out with more Geth forces. He let himself slide off the side of the rock, falling straight down towards the group of enemies.

The rest of the team took cover from the powerful blows of Geth firearms behind a quickly crumbling wall of stone. Ashley knelt against the wall, resting her rifle on the top of the ledge as she laid out a continuous barrage of fire, her right shoulder starting to go numb from the incessant kicking. Shepard chose his shots and took them out as fast as he could, rising from cover quickly and blasting a Geth to scrape, despite each time he took one out, another took its place his next shot.

Tali leaned against the wall in a squat, desperately taping away on her omnitool, doing her best to tip the scales back in the team's favor, when she heard a crashing sound, silencing the sound of fire from the enemy. She looked over cover to see the familiar figure of the human biotic, surrounded by a pile of broken Geth.

"Did I miss anything?" Kaidan asked.

"Oh shut up," Ashley replied, wiping the sweat off her brow. She made her way over to the biotic before meeting him in a warm embrace.

Shepard looked around the wreckage, rubble and scrap metal littering the open area. He knelt down to get a closer look at one of the Geth.

"Hey Tali," he called, sifting through the mess of parts and revealing a long, flexible, and metallic limb. "Here's something intact."

She took the limb with her three fingered hands, studying it intensely.

"It's a start I suppose," she muttered.

"So was this," Shepard indicated, kicking some of the scrap that were once Geth forces. "If they managed to swarm us this easily, there must be a lot more where that came from."

"Which means the colony is in grave danger," Ashley mentioned, looking back at the corridor that they came from.

"Of all the places to attack, why this colony? Why not a place that, say, has any strategic value whatsoever?" asked Kaidan.

"I'm sure Fai Dan could shed some light on that," Shepard smirked, making his way back to the corridor the entered from.

"Watch Out!"

The Mako smashed into another Geth Armature, its legs buckled from the impact and it was yanked underneath the vehicle.

"Get some, you tin can pyjaks!" shouted Wrex, firing the main cannon at anything that moved.

The Mako drove over the downed Armature, hopping over it like a speed bump as it continued its path down the sky road.

"Incoming Rocket Troopers!" yelled Tali, manning the tank's computer terminal.

A giant, prawn like ship flew across the plaza, dropping a handful of silver shapes that landed on the road.

"Take evasive maneuvers! Serpentine!" shouted Garrus, clutching the back of Shepard's seat with his sharp talons.

"I got it, I got it,…" mumbled Shepard, yanking the controls from side to side. The Mako shifted sharply to the left, then to the right, and back again, dodging fire as it traveled along the road.

Suddenly, the tank was hit from the side, lifting it up and tipping it over. It rolled, crashing into the guard rail at the side.

The truck was ruined, wires torn out and hanging, terminals broken and shattered. Garrus was the first one up, shaken up by the rolling, but still able to stand. He kicked open the door and was met face to face with a Geth. This Geth was larger than most of the Geth platforms, about twice as large, and was painted dark red.

Before Garrus could react, the Geth lunged at him, grabbing his armor and yanking him out of the vessel. Garrus flew, scrambling as he tried to flip back to his feet before he hit the ground. He failed, landing on his back and sliding across the metal road until he came to the incline at the median.

There was a scream, coming from the overturned vehicle, a female one.

Garrus' eyes shot open, he rolled over to his feet, his body coordinating smoothly. He activated his rifle, flipping out and meeting the butt of it familiarly with his shoulder.

The Geth had a purple figure in its hands, trying to pull it out as well, but a black armored figure slashed, cutting off one of its arms. The purple figure dropped, still clutched by the dismembered arm, but was caught by the black figure, which dashed away.

"Garrus, Now!" shouted Shepard.

Garrus fired, hitting the Geth straight in the back with a concussion round. The machine took the hit, slowed but still operational, turning to come after Shepard and Tali.


Garrus saw a stout red figure atop the side of the Mako jump on top of the large Geth, clutching its shoulders.

Wrex grabbed on tight, sinking his teeth into the dented armor of the Geth and ripping it off. The silver fluid that ran through the Geth's body oozed out, sparks flying from expose wires and shards of electronics breaking off, as Wrex shoved his oversized shotgun into the cavity of the monstrous machine. It took two shots to down the giant Geth, and one more to make it stop moving.

"Not so big now, huh?" Wrex sneered, kicking the lifeless corpse of the giant machine.

Shepard moved in, taking charge of the team. He looked at the end of the road, the next section of building, so close by vehicle standards, but so far without.

"Ok, we're on foot now! We need a forward formation, Wrex in front, Garrus on the right, me on the left, and Tali at the rear. Don't stop moving until we get to cover and stay together as best as you can. Let's move people!"

The team came into action, going into a run as they kept formation. The end of the road was in their sights but in between them were a score of Geth and three Armatures. Each Armature let out a blast, a swirling ball of blue energy that seemed to move in slow motion.

"To the right! Move!" Shepard shouted over the noise of battle.

The team shifted direction, sprinting to the right. They made it to another downed vehicle, possibly used to transport supplies and personnel, now serving as much needed cover.

"Tali, shields! Take them down!" shouted Shepard.

The quarian tapped away, and sure enough, the telltale blue shimmer of the Armatures faded away. The other three opened fire, ripping through the armor like tin foil and tearing down the mechanical beasts.

An explosion hit the broken vehicle they hid against, making the four flinch behind the cover. To their right and left, Geth Troopers moved in, trying to overwhelm the team in a pincher move.

Both Garrus and Shepard resisted the attack, firing back with their high powered rifles. Shepard hit one Geth in its head, splitting the robotic soldier apart, moving to the next and then the next with calm precision. Garrus fired round after round, ducking under rockets before continuing his reply, when he heard a crash behind him.

The team turned around to find yet another dark red giant Geth standing emotionless across from them, yet this time, it was not alone.

"Dammit!" Shepard grimaced, flipping out his shotgun.

The team moved over from their cover, backing up from the trio of titanic technologies.

"One was bad enough," said Wrex.

Shepard looked back at the purple clad engineer. "Take Tali and get to the gate. We'll meet up with you there," Shepard said to Garrus.

"You can't expect me to just abandon you like that," countered Garrus.

"You're not abandoning me; you're taking care of anything behind me. I can't fight these guys while worrying about getting hit in the back."

"I'm not leaving you," Tali stated firmly.

Shepard turned to look at her.

"Go. That's an order," he said firmly.

The purple slants of her eyes trembled behind her mask. Tali struggled to say more.

"Come on," said Garrus, taking the girl by the arm and heading for distant shelter. The remaining two stopped backing up and faced the three looming giants in front of them.

"I'll take the one on the left," Wrex smirked.

"What? And leave the other two for me?" Shepard jeered.

"And after I've taken care of those, I'll have to peel your flattened corpse off the ground," Wrex countered.

"You're a riot, Wrex," Shepard grinned.

The two soldiers took a stance, ready for battle. At first the Geth did nothing, but then, the leaned forward and charged.

The middle one, starting closer than the other two, got to them first. It lunged and slammed into the road with its hand, denting the metal ground.

Shepard and Wrex jumped out of the way, laterally in opposite directions.

So they mean to split us up? Fine by me.

Shepard turned to face the first Geth, but was fired upon from afar. The Geth on the right let loose a barrage, bouncing off Shepard's shields. He rolled to his right, running out in a circular path to avoid fire.

Shepard closed the gap between him and firing Geth, rolling and dodging fire to fight for distance. With one final roll, he avoided a heavy wave of fire, kicking back up to his feet for a dead on sprint straight at the Geth.

The Geth swiped with its non-firing arm, but Shepard dove, sliding under the machine in between its legs. The Geth turned, swinging out with its gun arm and nailing Shepard in the back.

He was sent across the road, but wasted no time, popping back up and firing off three rounds from his shotgun. The Geth returned fire, but Shepard vanished.

The Geth was confused, rotating quickly around itself to make sure it didn't miss anything. Suddenly, both of its legs exploded, collapsing the robot and sending crashing to the ground.

Shepard stood over its head, one boot firmly against its neck as he blasted open its head cavity and rendered it to scrap metal.

Meanwhile, Wrex struggled with the charging Geth, both of his hands gripped in its mechanical claws. The alien and machine were stuck in a wrestler's match; both using their strength to try to impose their will upon one another. The machine was the first to buckle, its right side weakening, Wrex capitalized on that, moving forward for the kill. The machine guarded, and instead of taking its legs, Wrex was moved clockwise.

By the time Wrex realized what had happened, he could already hear the rocket screaming at him from behind. He pushed against the Geth, using his biotics to propel him backwards, and fell down, lying flat on the ground as the rocket passed over in front of him.

He looked up to see the other Geth upside down, brandishing its rocket launcher with its eye fixed firmly on Wrex.

From below, the first Geth swung downward, trying to smash the Krogan into the pavement. He rolled, pushing off the ground back to his feet.

The machine swung across, throwing a hook that would've crushed a human. However, Wrex was no human, and he caught the robotic arm in a grip like a vice. Wrex took a step backward, yanking the Geth towards him. The joint at the Geth's shoulder began to break apart and become flimsy, as he jerked the giant Geth into position. Wrex kept one hand on the mechanical arm, while another gripped the mass of metal at the robot's torso and pulled.

The Geth was thrown over the shoulder of Wrex, crashing into the floor with the force of its own weight, shattering to pieces. Wrex still clutched its arm while he turned to look at the remaining giant.

It responded by opening fire, launching rocket after rocket in quick succession. Behind it, a black clad figure shined, the sunlight glinting off its armor.

"Wrex, now!" Shepard called out.

Wrex nodded back to Shepard in understanding, the two moving into action.

Wrex charged, attracting fire, the giant Geth already targeting the blood red Krogan. Shepard stayed carefully out of its peripheral view as he made his way directly underneath the Geth.

"This looks important," said Shepard as he ripped off a sheet of the Geth's plating to reveal a section of wires. He grabbed the bunch and yanked, ripping them out of their respective sockets.

The Geth's leg buckled, slamming it down to one knee abruptly. It turned, finding Shepard and lunged out with a robotic gauntlet, smashing sections of road as he dodged away.

Before it could continue lashing out, the Geth was hit from the side with a powerful blast. It tried to turn, trying to see where it came from, and was struck by another hit. The third dented in the side of its head, the fourth collapsing it to the ground, the Geth pushing up with one arm to keep from grinding on the floor.

Wrex shoved the end of his weapon into the exposed plating of the giant Geth's head piece.

"Don't mess with the best," Wrex muttered, blowing pieces of hot metal into the contents of the Geth's head. The two soldiers shared a short moment of accomplishment before a Geth ship flew over them, dropping even more Geth platforms.

"Shit," said Shepard.

"More I suppose? Fine by me," Wrex grunted, aiming his weapon at the nearest Geth.

"Forget it! We have to get to the gate!" Shepard shouted, pushing Wrex's gun down and pointing toward the large door at the end of the pathway. He turned and ran that way, Wrex reluctantly following.

"This feels a like running to me, Shepard. I don't do running," he grumbled.

"It's not running, it's a strategic withdrawal!" Shepard countered lightly as he hustled across the metal street.

They soon came upon where Garrus and Tali were using a collapsed section of roof as cover while they fought of incoming Geth.

"You two were supposed to be out of here!" Shepard said firmly.

"Tali, guess whose back. I don't know if you can tell, but we're in the middle of something here," Garrus mentioned without looking up from his scope. He fired, nailing another Geth unit that left itself open.

"Nice job with those big Geth, Commander," Tali complimented.

"Oh sure, he did a great job while I was being shot at," Wrex complained.

Shepard ignored it.

"It's time to make a break for those doors. You two should've already been on the other side of them," he stated.

"What about the Mako?" asked Tali.

"We'll come back for it. I don't think that there's more road behind that door anyway."

"But what if there is?" she asked.

"Then we'll have to go on foot the rest of the way," Shepard countered.

"Shepard, think about this for a second, is it really that smart to abandon the tank? Before the giant Geth attacked, it was a pretty smooth ride, even with all those Armatures. Are sure you want to just keep going?" Garrus asked him slowly.

Shepard chuckled slightly.

"Guys, trust me, I've done this before,…" Shepard began, trailing off slightly.

The smell of smoke and ash, the sound of explosions and gunfire, the screams, alien and human alike, all the memories came back as real as life itself in Shepard's mind.

Eyes, red eyes, bloodshot and crazy. Face, stained, covered in black ash. A necklace, a string tied around the neck, strung through a number of alien eyeballs. A smile, a cruel and inhuman smile, malicious and maniacal.


"Shepard, the Mako isn't that badly damaged, I can fix it up in a-," Tali plead with him.

"No!" Shepard shouted suddenly, standing up from cover. "There's no time."

He stepped forward and started running towards the gateway, shooting at nearby Geth without out even slowing down. The rest of the team had no choice but to follow him, Tali and Garrus taking the sides and Wrex bringing up the rear. They made it to the gate quite simply, slipping inside with ease.

The door shut, drowning out the noise of Geth firing away and sucking out the bright light that poured into the valley of darkness. The garaged area was a vast, empty space, dark and dank like an abandoned cave.

The team knelt down, using the new found isolation to catch a breath.

Only Shepard still stood, his eyes averted from Tali's worried gaze, instead focused on the walls painted with shadow.

"Status report. Anyone injured?" Shepard finally said, turning back to the group.

"Nominal," said Garrus.

"I'm ok, Shepard," Tali said checking her suit's systems.

"I'm fine too," Wrex added.

"Good. Tali, contact the rest of the team. We'll have the Mako get picked up by the Normandy."

"On it," Tali answered.

"Shepard, how the hell are we going to get back? I'm not walking that distance," Garrus asked.

"We're going to wipe them out," Wrex stated. "We meet them on their home turf and go for the neck. Isn't that right, Shepard?"

The Commander nodded.

"You see, Garrus. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge," Shepard smirked.

"Commander, I'm picking some chatter on the Comm. Can't get through to the colony though," Tali announced.

"What do you mean chatter?" Shepard asked.

"It sounds like,… patrol reports, they're talking about the noise coming from outside. They must mean us, " Tali reasoned.

"Whatever it is, it's not Geth," Wrex offered.

"Track it, where's it coming from?" Shepard asked.

"There. That way," Tali said, pointing down the large hallway.

"Let's go see what we can find."

"STOP! Stay where you are and throw down your weapons!"

A helmeted soldier shouted orders from behind a collection of military hardware on concrete. Shepard counted eight pairs of eyes, twitchy and scared, behind the makeshift shelter.

"Easy now," Shepard said softly, replacing his rifle to its spot on his back. He moved forward slowly with his hands held up. "We wouldn't want anyone getting hurt because of a simple miscommunication, now would we?"

"S-Stay where you are!" the soldier shouted frantically.

"It's ok, soldier. I'm a Spectre, see, come to investigate the reports of Geth in the area," Shepard tried to explain.

Murmurs came from behind the makeshift wall, but were quickly silenced by a harsh voice.

"I said, Stay where you are," the soldier reiterated. "There's never been a human Spectre, nor would they send one to some colony out here. And that doesn't explain your alien companions, either!"

Shepard looked down at the crudely built trench, finding a large, cylindrical machine welded to the side of a metal crate that he could only guess, from the trail of steam coming from the tip, spewed molten hot metal.

"Actually it does, you see, these friends of mine are expert Geth hunters. We made our way through the sky road from Zhu's Hope, trying to root out the Geth at their source," Shepard continued.

"Zhu's hope?! You told us they were dead!" came a separate voice from behind the wall.

"I said that they were 'probably dead'," the soldier explained. He quickly changed the subject, pointing and armored finger at Wrex. "That, that Krogan, he doesn't look like he's here to help anyone."

"Would you prefer a Geth? Maybe I should wear a giant flashlight over my head," Wrex chuckled.

"Let them through, Jeong!" called another voice.

A short haired woman stood up from the shelter. The soldier turned to obstruct her.

"Get back inside, Juliana! It's not safe!" he commanded.

"This man has come to save us, Jeong!" she retorted.

"We don't know that!" the soldier called Jeong shot back.

Shepard had had enough.

"Why else would I be here!? Do you think I want to be on this backwater planet, driving around on the surface of abandoned ruins, getting shot by one eyed robots!?" He asked angrily.

"I still don't trust you!" Jeong sneered.

"I still don't give a damn!" Shepard barked back, making his way into the shelter. The rest of the people made a way for him, but Jeong still stood firm.

"Stay back!" said Jeong, pointing his weapon at Shepard's chest.

The Commander grimaced, his patience already run thin. He stepped to the side, snatching the end of the rifle with his gauntlets and yanking it out of the hands of the soldier.

Jeong backed down meekly as Shepard walked by, eyes still lit with anger as he followed the lady.

The woman named Juliana led the team inward to the encampment, through further makeshift weapons and piled crates to the center of their base.

"And who do I have the pleasure of welcoming to our camp?" Juliana asked.

"Blake Shepard, Commander of the SSV Normandy, Spectre," Shepard stated.

Murmurs of the employees built up once more.

"Spectre? When did that happen?" she asked.

"You've been stranded here for a while, I reckon? A lot has been on the news recently," he spoke.

"Well I know a friendly face when I see it. So please tell me you're going to get us out of here."

"Better. I'm here to root out the Geth at their source. We'll bring you back to Zhu's Hope and shuttle you home with the other colonists."

"So they are still alive?" Juliana exclaimed.

"Yeah, but they're still under constant threat of the Geth here. Which is why I decided to fight them where they live," Shepard explained.

"That might be a little more taxing than you think,…" Juliana began. She brought up an image at a terminal, finding a video file in its memory and played it for Shepard to see.

It was a video of the incoming attack, from what Shepard could tell, shaky and unfocused like the state the employees must have been in. The video focused in on the object, forming into a black, and squid like vehicle surrounded by dozens of smaller Geth ships. Shepard's fists clenched as the video zoomed in on the metallic object in question.