Chapter I: The Spark
Steel was unlike Giger in every way, though they were brother's they couldn't have been any more different. It felt almost natural, like they had been born normal krogan and that their parents had loved their unique differences and doted on them.
Except they weren't natural, just something concieved in a tube and grown in a tank until the day Okeer rejected them for their flaws and sent them out into the world. Giger had never before considered he would be squaring off against his brother in the land of dead memories.
Steel was tall by krogan standards and lean, yet still powerful, with beautiful crests that were almost silver. In the light they almost shined, it used to hurt his eyes. Giger was wide, not fat but heavy with muscle and with crests so black they seemed to suffocate all light. Then there were the scars, three across his crest and one across his eye, with several dozen over his body and there was one chip in his crest that always bugged him.
To the corner of the large room, beside an old throne, were a turian and a human girl with dark hair. He didn't recognize the human, she was new, but the turian he knew well - Captain Ryöstää. He had kidnapped her, or so he thought.
She had been so calm and now she had so easily escaped, like she had planned it all. Which, of course, she did. Ryö was a clever bitch, she probably knew what Giger was planning and purposefully fell into it, in order to bring Giger and Steel together and finally end this stupid feud.
That was fine with him. Once Steel was defeated he would have proven his point - and Steel would leave that damn turian and her crew and return to the Blood Pack.
"You sure you don't want the other sword?" Steel asked.
Giger had to grit his teeth, or else he would say something foul and he'd rather not sour the memory of the dead any more than he was now. Steel was so sure of himself, so fucking sure that he would win. And with a sword? It was insulting.
"There's a reason swords went out of fashion," Giger retorted. "In an age of guns I'll shoot you down before you even get close to me."
Steel laughed, not in a harsh way, but as if his brother had said the best joke in the universe.
"We'll see," he said. "There's no way to truly guarantee the outcome of a battle."
Giger trained his gun on his brother. "I can guarantee the outcome," he said. "Just give me the word - I'll kill you without hesitation."
Steel looked taken back and Giger knew why - this wasn't about death, but the longer it went on the more Giger wanted to kill his brother. Giger just wanted to shoot him right in his smug mouth, make him take back what he did, make him come back.
Steel glanced over at Ryö, a fleeting look, barely noticeably. It signalled the end. She gave him a sharp nod and Steel shifted his stance, ever so slightly, pushing his weight down onto his left leg. He was going to take off on that leg, aim for Giger's left side.
He knew how to counter, as soon as he charged all Giger had to do was shift and block. It was so easy; he would be the better krogan. Steel charged, Giger braced, shifting his stance at the last moment as he prepared to block from the left -
And Steel appeared to his right, having transferred his weight to his right at the last moment. Giger tried to block, but he knew he was too late; the moment Steel's face appeared so close to his he knew it was over. He felt the blade run across him.
Steel stepped back, just in time to avoid the spray of blood. Giger gasped and coughed, dropping his gun as he reached for his chest. He felt woozy as dark spots appeared in his vision. He collapsed to his knees, wanting to touch the wound but felt it ache like a sun boiled in his very flesh.
Steel looked down at his brother, as he always did, and there was nothing his face by pity. Giger hated that look. He hated the way Steel looked down on him like he was some beaten varren left on the side of the road, neglected and unwanted.
"What now?" he gasped. "Are you going to finish me off? Leave me to die?"
"Don't be so dramatic," Steel pressed the butt of the blade's handle to Giger's forehead and pushed him to the ground. "I'm going to leave you here to consider your future. If you survive, I don't want to ever see you again."
Giger didn't even try to get up, the dark patches surrounding his vision had begun to expand and soon he would be gone to the world. Steel hesitated to leave, wondering if leaving his brother here, defenceless, at the hands of the wild Tuchanka.
He looked up at Ryö, who was trying to calm the human, Eve, who insisted on checking for injuries. Ryö caught his eye and gave him a weak smile, not her usual confident self. Steel had just cut down his brother; there was nothing she could really say to make him feel better.
Steel turned and left, joining Ryö and Eve and leaving the ruins of Clan Tase'la and leaving his brother in the red sand.
Giger tried to fight the pain, tried to push past the dark spots, but it was far too late. He was going to die here, to face the Void either by bleeding out or be eaten alive by varren. Neither was a great choice, but perhaps bleeding out was better than feeling teeth scrape your bone as your flesh was torn and chewed.
For a long time as he waited for death there was nothing but regret and hate, as a person doesn't repent when faced with death. To think so is naive. Giger still hated Steel; he abandoned Giger to live with Ryö. He traded his Blood Pack armour for a crew man's uniform.
As the darkness around him grew thicker and the world colder Giger felt himself slipping away. This was it. This was goodbye. Just as he was dragged under he thought he saw something - someone? - that shone bright white and seemed to make everything a little warmer.
Krogan don't believe in angels, but Giger thought he saw one in a veil and a beautiful white uniform within that light. He had heard of a human speak of angels once, Giger had laughed at the image of a human with wings coming to answer prayers. He wasn't laughing much now.
It took Giger a moment to realize that if he was able to think such a clear thought he couldn't possibly be dead, unless this was the Void and he was unaware of how alive he felt in a land of the dead. No, that couldn't be right.
He felt the ground beneath him, found it to be soft but with the hard bumps that indicated he was set on a blanket on the rough ground. He was alive? He slowly awoke, taking in his surroundings. He was dizzy and an annoying tingling sensation ran across his chest from where he was struck.
He checked the wound, also finding his chest bare, and saw a bright pink scar running diagonally across his chest, going up from his right hip to the left side of his chest. He didn't have the same healing ability as other krogan, one of the reasons Okeer rejected him, but the wound had healed rather fast.
Which meant... Steel wasn't trying to kill him.
The wound wasn't that deep, it barely cut the muscle. No krogan would die from such a shallow wound, but the shock and the pain of a biotic blade had rendered him unconscious, which explained what Steel said. Steel couldn't die from the blade, but the varren and conditions would do the job.
Steel was testing Giger, testing his will to live. Steel wanted his brother alive, but why? Giger didn't want this; he didn't want to live as the shadow of his former self. He had wanted to kill Steel, but wasn't strong enough, and then he wanted to die, but Steel had denied him that.
No, not Steel, not exactly. Steel had left Giger in the dirt, so who had carried Giger into this chamber, laid him down and cleaned him up? Not Steel, that's for sure. He never wanted to see his brother again and if he was testing Giger he couldn't very well help him.
Someone appeared in the doorway of the chamber and Giger shot up, realizing too late his mistake as the cut reopened and blood poured down his chest. The figure stepped towards him, slowly, and picked up a sponge she had left in a bowl on the side.
She gently dabbed at the wound and he got a good look at her. Her hair was short, almost shaved, and spiked and a shade of white that didn't seem natural. Her eyes were hard, icy and blue. Her face was a little narrow, like she was underfed, but wasn't so gaunt she looked sick. And, much like Aria, she had a strip of dark purple running down her lips to her chin. He wasn't sure if it was a tattoo or not.
"Who the hell are you?" he demanded. "Why did you bring me here?"
"I merely assisted your brother in delivering you unto a new fate," she replied.
He stared at her, a little confused. She smirked at his expression.
"Sorry, a habit of mine," she said. "What I mean is, your brother wanted you to have a second chance, but if you were eaten first then you'd not be off to the best start."
"Was there really that good a chance of me being eaten?" he asked.
She shrugged, "I saw no varren," she said. "But who'd want to take that chance?"
Giger let her finish cleaning the wound, all the while considering where his life was headed. She applied a layer of Omni-gel, at this time it would do no good, but it would ease the pain and help the skin fix back together. She debated stitching it, but he hardly heard her.
"You've spent so long killing in order to earn your next paycheque you're probably tired of it," she observed. "The Blood Pack tell you to kill this guy, you do it without a second thought. Destroy that building, sure why not? Maybe it's time for something new."
"Who are you?" he asked again. "Why are you here, in Tase'la?"
"To tell you the truth," she said, "I can't tell you."
"Because I would be compromised. I shouldn't even be talking to you, but when I saw your brother had spared you I just had to help."
"Have you been following me?" for some reason the thought excited him, like he was involved in those conspiracies he used to read about.
"Not quite," she replied. "I was sent to watch the situation. Someone of interested picked up the transmissions and decided Ryö was too great an asset to lose. Who knew my involvement was unnecessary?"
"So what do you want with me?" he asked. "How do you propose to help?"
"I want you to work with me," she answered. "A new life. A new start. I can't lie and say the work will be different, because it's rather similar, but I can promise you that you will fighting for the people who need that caring hand."
"What are you, a vigilante?" he said.
"I wish," she laughed.
Giger considered it for a moment, and then decided against it. He wasn't going to trade one master for another, not when he had a new life ready to be explored. His life was like some blank paper, ready to be scribbled on. If he joined this woman, following her orders, then she would be deciding his fate and drawing the lines he must follow on his page.
"No," he said eventually. "I will not be treated like some beaten pyjack at your beck and call."
She frowned, which was actually a rather scary look. She was determined to lock him in, because really he had so much potential to help the people of Omega that to let it go to waste would be a crime. He could help so many, if he just gave her a chance.
She didn't have to resort to desperate measures, but he was making her very desperate. The people of Omega could use him, more importantly, so could she. An Executioner without a Familiar and he was the perfect candidate. If only he would concede.
"I didn't have to use this," she said, "but you're forcing me to invoke the life debt."
He stopped, as if he didn't hear what she said, then he slowly turned to glare at her.
"You would dare-"
"I would," she cut in, taking a brave step forwards. "You shall work for me until the life debt is paid - until you save my life as I saved yours."
Life debts were old, as ancient as the krogan, and to deny one would be dishonourable. Some of the greatest bonds were made through life debts. But he didn't have to follow through, not when his wound couldn't have killed him, but as she said - what about the prowling varren?
He would have to follow through. He had honour now and unspoiled life and reputation, why create a blotch on his tapestry when it was so new and unfinished? Besides, as she said, he would be serving the people - not some Blood Pack general who thought too highly of his position.
He sighed in submission. "I will honour the life debt," he promised, "but in return I want your word that as soon as it is repaid I am free to go?"
"On my honour," she made a cross over her heart.
"First thing's first," he said, raising his hand. "Who are you and what exactly am I going to be doing?"
She knew it was fair to tell him the truth, he was in the life debt so there was really no escaping. He just wondered how he would react to knowing who was actually in charge. Better get it out of the way, she supposed.
"I am the Executioner, Faust," she introduced. "And we are going to handle all external threats that face the Queen of Omega, Aria."
He paused, absorbing her words, remembering what she mentioned about helping the people and now how she happily declares they are going to be working for Aria. This is not what he wanted, not at all! This is just like his old life, but worse!
In that moment of rage only one word came out.
To Be Continued...
My first chapter and a prequel story, something new. I hope this story does well, as I'm rather fond of Faust and Giger and would hate to think no one liked them XD Please review.