Disclaimer: I own nothing from Mass Effect or Armored Core.

A/N: This is an idea I've had for some time, so I decided to go ahead and post it. It's basically what would be if the canon humans were replaced with the humans in Armored Core. Keep in mind, human characters from Mass Effect still exist, however. Anyway, I just thought I would post this and if enough people like it, continue it. Keep in mind this Armored Core is taken from the events and characters of Armored Core: For Answer. So please read if you are interested!

April 11th, 2172. One way or the other, this would be a day ingrained in history as either the day the 'terrorist' organization ORCA was defeated or mankind was finally freed of the shackles that kept them bound to the polluted, inhospitable planet that was Earth.

Otsdarva lurched to the side as an energy blade seared through the space his Next had been not a moment ago, the Next known as Reiterpallasch darting past him, the energy blade that had intended to end him deactivating whilst priming for another strike. The blue Next took aim with his assault rifle at the green adversary, bullets tearing through the air, forcing Reiterpallasch back.

"I will not let you do this, Thermidor!" The pilot of Reiterpallasch, Wynn D Fanchon yelled as her Next ceased moving safely out of range from Otsdarva.

"Is that so…?" Maximilian Thermidor spoke through the external speakers of his own slim Next, sparing a glance at his partner. The black and red Next was still fighting valiantly against the black Next known as My Bliss, the black Next launching volleys of missiles while the other slid between the impacts while attempting to close the distance. Multiple bullets pinged off of My Bliss's armor as the black and red mech's machine guns relentlessly continued their onslaught. "Wynne! Don't you see!? This is the only way for humankind to advance! Thrive!" Thermidor tried to convince the Interior Union Next to give up without losing any lives…at least, no more than what was planned to be sacrificed already. Thermidor cringed at that. It was necessary, he reminded himself. It may cost lives, but it was the only way to escape from this stagnant existence.

That didn't mean it wouldn't leave a bad aftertaste.

"No! I refuse to allow innocent lives to be lost, just for your so-called 'future'!" Wynne responded heatedly.

"Then I guess we can't avoid this. I'm sorry." Thermidor observed, switching to a plasma cannon on his mech's shoulder.

Just as both Nexts were about to reengage, a transmission made it to Thermidor. "Thermidor! Stop fighting!" The unmistakable voice of his right-hand man Malzel filled the cockpit of Thermidor's Next, giving the leader of ORCA pause.

Needles to say, Thermidor was rather shocked. "Malzel!? Is that you? I thought you were dead!" According to his intelligence, Malzel had been killed along with his apprentice Vaoh at Big Box.

A chuckle came through the comm, Malzel speaking up once more, "I guess I'm a little harder to kill than you thought…come on Thermidor, I thought you knew me better than that?" The strategist's voice suddenly turned serious again. "I can tell you all about it later. More importantly…the League has agreed to assist us in our plan. The anti-satellite batteries."

Thermidor was silent for a few moments. "They really…? What made them change their mind?" Thermidor questioned. By now Reiterpallasch had stopped moving, as well as both My Bliss and the black and red Next. "I can assume the others are being told as well?"

"This transmission is being sent to Mako as well. My Bliss and Reiterpallasch are being sent transmissions from the League detailing the same thing." Malzel explained. Thermidor considered this for a moment. It would have taken a lot to coax the League to agree with him, of all people. Malzel was able to explain just why. "Approximately several hours ago, the Cradle group 08 was destroyed."

Thermidor started at that, " Destroyed? How is that possible? With the power cores, nothing should be able-"

"Was it the Assault Cells?"

A new voice made itself known, originating from the Next now known as Mako. "Finally decide to speak up, huh? Well Malzel? Is it true?" If there was one thing Thermidor had learned working alongside the Mako, it was that the Next's pilots had a knack for always being right. He assumed it was no different this time.

"Yes. As you both know, Cradles rest at an extremely high altitude to avoid the planet's poisonous atmosphere. Apparently, the Cradles' altitude is now in range of the assault cells." Malzel explained.

"What!? That's impossible! The Assault Cells don't have enough range to-"

"I know they shouldn't have enough range, but for whatever reason they do. To the corporations, it doesn't matter how it's possible, only that they are stopped. The damage report is the group was completely destroyed, aside from some normals and fighters that managed to escape. The wreckage fell to the surface, destroying an Arms Fort factory under control of Omer Science. Apparently it was enough for them to listen to you. The assault cells aren't just an eyesore to them anymore…instead, they are now akin to an infected wound." Malzel specified, Thermidor processing the information. "It seems they finally realize that we are all stuck in a box…a shrinking one. The threat of assault cells one side, the growing pollution on the other. The Cradles are stuck in the middle. As each problem grows, the Cradles will be stuck in the middle until they are crushed between the two."

"Alright…seems that things are finally turning in our favor. I take it they want to have a meeting or something?" Thermidor inquired. He was rather startled when the voice of the CEO of Omer Science began speaking to him.

"We were hoping to have it right now, if at all possible. This problem needs to be dealt with quickly, it could become larger faster than we might think. We could all be dead in a day, or a few years."

"Hmph…I guess it took the blood of the very people you were trying to protect to get you into action." Thermidor couldn't resist making a jab.

"You were going to make it happen anyway!"

"I still am, Wynne, unless you all listen to me provide an alternate option. All of us at ORCA are willing to sacrifice lives, including our own, if it means we can secure the future of mankind." Thermidor threatened, moving his Next to take aim at Reiterpallasch.

"Please, Thermidor. Do not be so hasty!" Thermidor recognized the new voice, CEO of the corporation Algebra pleaded. "Can't we all just get along? You'll finally get what you want! We'll hear you out!" The man announced in an oddly cheery voice. He always gave Thermidor an unsettling feeling.

"I'm not about to turn down a good alternative that would spare lives, I assure you. However, it's difficult to remain calm when your elite pilot has me staring down the barrel of a gun." Thermidor stated, somewhat sarcastically at the end.

The CEO of Omer Science spoke up once more. "I understand your hesitance. But, allow us to propose this to you. In exchange for allowing us to pursue an alternate path, ORCA will be recognized as an official corporation, with all the rights such a title includes."

"Seems odd to give a group you all called a terrorist cell corporation rights." Thermidor observed.

The giddy voice of the head of Algebra spoke once more, "Ha! At this point, we don't have much choice. You see, after the assault cells proved to be major issues, the public opinion of you suddenly switched from terrorists to heroes. There are all sorts of vandalism supporting you, Thermidor, and your merry little band! Everyone now sees the only way to survive is to escape this poisoned world…myself included."

Thermidor was surprised. "Even though I'm threatening the lives of all those living on the cradles?"

A new, feminine voice spoke. Thermidor recognized it as the CEO of Rosenthal. "They were initially against you, obviously…but the recent events have forced us to tell the public the…hidden truths. They now agree with your goals, just not the methods. This is why we wish to offer an alternative."

Thermidor nodded his head, unseen by the people in the transmission. "Alright. Fine. Let's hear your plan, and I'll decide whether or not I like it."

"Instead of using the batteries powering the Cradles," The CEO of Omer Science began, "we have already begun building an entirely new generator, designed specifically to power the anti-satellite batteries indefinitely. We will then utilize the batteries to destroy the assault cells in orbit, allowing us to expand into space. Additionally, we can implement space technology unusable until now. The cradles are being retrofitted to allow for space travel, while a portion of the arms forts' factories have been redesigned to build massive constructs to be used as military, fully armed space vehicles. From there, we will colonize Mars using Eco-domes, enormous livable domes that are capable of housing over twenty-million humans." The CEO finished his explanation, leaving Thermidor stunned. He had half-expected them to introduce some half-assed alternative, but apparently they had gone full on with this plan.

"Thermidor, should we go along with the League's plan?" Malzel asked, sensing that Thermidor was a little overwhelmed.

"Yes…" Thermidor began, finding his voice. "But, as a corporation, will I receive space-faring arms forts of my own?" He had to make sure if they planned to stab him in the back, they would be ready.

"The arms forts will be split evenly with each of the corporations." The Rosenthal CEO confirmed.

Thermidor smiled, relaxing in his Next. "Malzel…send a crew to pick Otsdarva and Mako up. We're going to go along with the League's plan."

April 12th, 2172: The League and ORCA sign a peace treaty, recognizing ORCA as an official corporation. ORCA receives a complement of arms forts, and many humans shift to being in the citizenry of ORCA. Many sign up to work on board the arms forts. Thermidor is unanimously selected to be the leader of ORCA. Big Box is recognized as the headquarters for ORCA.

April 20th, 2172: A number of smaller corporations, calling themselves the Upper League, oppose the League and ORCA. Thermidor selects four Nexts to accompany him in destroying the new organization. Thermidor returns successful, along with many people who had been held unwillingly by the now-destroyed enemies. All those liberated decide to serve under ORCA's banner. The public opinion of Thermidor rises exponentially.

April 21th, 2172: Thermidor gives a speech to the world at large. The speech gives the beaten and broken people of the war-torn Earth hope, as even more people move to be under ORCA's leadership. Off the official records, many people begin to refer to Thermidor as a hero.

April 29th, 2172: The generator for the anti-satellite batteries is completed, the batteries consequently firing, destroying the assault cells that bound the humans to Earth. On the same day, the Cradles break Earth's atmosphere and begin migrating to Mars. The Cradles are accompanied by hundreds of space-faring arms forts, over half being built in only days. Additionally, thirty newly-developed construction ships head to Mars to begin building the Eco-domes. Thermidor is selected as leader for the operation. The mission is called The Expansion. This day goes down in history as the day Humanity was liberated from Earth.

May 22nd, 2172: The migration ships make it to Mars. Construction begins immediately, the project moving at an incredible pace. At the same time, approximately two-hundred military ships move on to inspect the other planets for the possibility of colonization. Plans for Mars to be fully terraformed begin surfacing.

May 29th, 2172: The Eco-domes are completed. Non-military citizens move into the domes immediately, the unpolluted air foreign to many of them, but a welcome change. Medical research is recognized as a necessity to cure the many ailments that plagued the former inhabitants of Earth, a few Next pilots even agreeing to help as they had a reputation of being regarded as geniuses for their incredibly high IQ. Advancements in the field would later prove to evolve at an impressive rate, people now filled with hope at the prosperous events that have occurred thus far.

August 2nd, 2172: A transmission is sent form the now-dubbed Frontier Fleet to send mining ships to Saturn. The asteroids are found to be filled with a plentiful amount of resources, useful for humanity's quick advancement rate. Unfortunately, none of the planets scouted thus far are found to be habitable, aside from possible locations for orbiting space stations which could be built in the future.

October 10th, 2172: Scouting of the solar system is completed. No planets are found to be possible for terraforming other than Mars, though moons are marked for possible Eco-dome locations. Military technology begins moving forward again, as mankind was still used to it, and it provided many jobs to fuel the economy, no one saw it necessary to stop. Additionally, Kojima technology begins to see a shift in study; scientists in the field begin researching ways to increase the speed space-faring ships move through space.

October 17th, 2172: All current, land-based models of arms forts are modified as either agricultural platforms or dedicated to the restoration of Earth as radiation recovery bases. Focus is shifted to the newly-built space-faring models, and technology in the area begins advancing. NEXT technology is researched to find ways to allow them to participate effectively in space combat.

November 1st, 2172: A breakthrough in space travel is made. Kojima technology in both the Sol Dios cannons and the anti satellite batteries are researched extensively. Utilizing the Sol Dios' cannons independent movement and combining the theory with the anti-satellite power output, initial tests showed extreme speed increase of a moving object. Seeing as space radiation is a non-issue, the theory is applied on space-faring ships. Taking into account a NEXT's quick boost, Kojima technology is applied to that region, the test ship they had been using suddenly vanishing during the test in a greenish-white burst of light. The scientists begin panicking until the ship returns some hours later. The scientists are shocked to learn the ship had arrived at Pluto in only two hours after activating the dubbed Kojima Boost Engine. Kojima Boost Engines are quickly distributed to all ships in service, making communication and long-distance travel effortless and old-fashioned thrusters obsolete.

November 28th, 2172: Shortly after the success of the Kojima Boost Engine, focus is shifted to primal armor. Seeing the protection such technology provides to NEXT's, scientists attempt to create Kojima particle shields for large scale Arms Forts. It doesn't take long, as the technology on the AF Answerer is expanded, yielding results on the completion of Kojima shields for the arms fort ships. The shields are distributed to all military ships.

November 29th, 2172: NEXT technology is now applicable in space. NEXT pilots are pleased to find that they are now not only an overwhelming force in ground engagements, but in space combat as well.

December 25th, 2172: An old tradition that once existed is experienced once more. Christmas Day, as most all of humanity opts to celebrate. Gifts are exchanged, and trees are bought. Sales in Next action figures see a large increase.

April 28th, 2173: Sales for various versions of toy ships rise considerably.

April 29th, 2173: Humanity begins the celebration of the first day of a new holiday, Liberation Week. It celebrates the beginning of the effort to go to space and save humanity, as well as the day humanity made it to Mars.

April 30th, 2173: Liberation Week, 2nd day. Bars see more customers.

May 1st, 2173: Liberation Week, 3rd day. Many people are found passed out from over-celebrating. This is noted, as future celebrations are deemed to have cautionary messages against over-indulging.

May 2nd, 2173: Liberation Week, 4th day. In the skies over Mars and Earth, a procession of ships fly overhead, including Nexts and various other smaller crafts ranging from fighters to transport vehicles. Fireworks and many other celebratory items accompany the procession.

May 3rd, 2173: Liberation Week, 5th day. Theaters and TV channels change their line-up to show real footage of the various wars that wracked Earth. Footage from wars such as the National Dismantlement War and the Lynx War are shown. One final battle before midnight is shown, the battle of Arteria Cranium, which ended with peace between the League and ORCA. This is seen as necessary to show humanity the mistakes of the past, though it is advised that parents should decide whether or not to allow their children to watch the footage.

May 4th, 2173: Liberation Week, 6th day. Each of the corporations give speeches to humanity, aside from ORCA whom, seen as the guide of the effort to expand into space, is scheduled to speak on the final day of Liberation Week. After the speeches, a moment of silence is had for all those who died in the many conflicts Earth had experienced.

May 5th, 2173: Liberation Week, 7th day. In the morning, humanity listens as each main member of ORCA gives a speech. Thermidor gives a speech on this day as well, reminding everyone of the hardships humanity had to go through to eventually be where they are today. The public's already high opinion of Thermidor and ORCA rises. The speeches are followed by spirited celebration, filling up the rest of the day.

July 9th, 2173: All the corporations coagulate into one system to govern humanity. The coagulation takes on the title ORCA, with Thermidor selected as the leader of Humanity. He is accompanied by a group of other leaders of course, nine in total. Thermidor still represents the individual with the most say, however. The former corporations devolve into companies, to oversee various factories and economics.

September 10th, 2173: ORCA begins construction of a massive ship, larger than that of any ship built thus far. The ship is to be called the Whale, and to be the center of operations for ORCA that will oversee all the actions of the military.

October 17th, 2173: A new company with an old namesake rises, Rayleonard. The company emerged from a shady background comparable to that of the 'mafia' in old Earth history. Despite this, ORCA allows them to exist as they do nothing greatly out of hand and they benefit from technology and advancements Rayleonard is responsible for. ORCA finds it irritating the man in charge refuses to show his face and go by only the 'Illusive Man' but does not press.

December 10th, 2173: Construction on the Whale is completed, and is put into service immediately.

December 11th, 2173 – April 4th, 2176: Humanity experiences a golden age for a few years, and advances are made, though no truly notable events occur. Most holidays resume during this time, and Humanity now has settled into a semblance of normalcy.

April 5th, 2176: A massive energy spike is detected by a ship orbiting Pluto. The ship moves toward the spike to find a massive asteroid, heading in-system. The ship sends a transmission detailing the circumstances.

April 9th, 2176: A fleet of ships intercepts the asteroid over Saturn, firing on the asteroid as it is on a collision course with a space station just out of the planet's gravity zone. To the shock of the fleet, a long, smooth metallic structure is left after the onslaught, clearly alien in make. Hasty efforts are made to keep the discovery under wraps for the time being, but a few snippets of information make it through, including a video with the object. Almost overnight, fear of alien attack becomes a major concern.

-In orbit over Saturn, onboard the scout ship Unveiled Truth-

"You didn't need to be here. We could've handled ourselves." Wynne spoke to Thermidor, tone sounding slightly annoyed.

"It's not because I don't think you couldn't handle it, Wynne." Thermidor informed her as the pair made their way to the bridge. "The Executives made me come here. Since I'm the leader of ORCA, apparently they thought it would look good to the public if I headed the investigation of…whatever this thing is."

"You meant to say 'their hero' didn't you?" Wynne questioned with a smirk.

Thermidor cringed. "I never said I was anything as silly as that…"

"You didn't have to. The citizenry makes it clear enough, you know?"

"So what do you think this thing is?" Thermidor changed the subject, Wynne turning serious.

"If I had to say? I think it's a lost spacecraft, as cliché as it sounds. We found it in an asteroid, Thermidor. It has to be pretty old to be covered in rock." Wynne explained her reasoning, Thermidor seeming to process this. "What do you think?"

"I don't know. Just that it must be old." Thermidor answered her. "Whatever it is, we have to figure it out. We've already allowed the press's ships to take a look at the thing. No doubt, people will want answers." Any further conversation between the two was cut off as the door to the bridge of the ship opened, allowing the two access. Wynn took a seat to the left behind the command chair, Malzel already seated in one to the right. Thermidor sat in the command chair itself. He immediately got down to business.

"Do we have any details on this thing? Where it came from? Anything?" Thermidor questioned from the command chair aboard the scout vessel Unveiled Truth.

"Nothing so far, sir." The information officer explained. "We were waiting for your orders. We have detected…something. But we need to be closer for our signals to pierce the armor on that thing."

Thermidor nodded. "Well, if it's my permission you need you have it. Let's bring this ship closer." On his word the kilometer long scout ship moved toward the construct, slowly coming to rest with its side facing what was assumed to be the side of the alien mass.

"Alright, sending a probing signal now, we'll see what-" Suddenly the ship shook, the construct in front of them seemingly beginning to activate.

"Sir! Massive energy spike originating from the construct! Sir, I think…I think it's activating!" An officer on the bridge announced the bridge crew suddenly morphing into a flurry of movement.

"Everyone, brace yourselves! I want weapon systems ready! We need-" Thermidor was cut off as the view in front of them changed, a pulling sensation felt by everyone as they gathered their bearings from the disorienting feeling. The bridge crew quickly recovered, hands flying over the interface as they tried to determine their status. It didn't take long.

"All systems green! No damage received." One of the bridge crew announced, Thermidor relaxing at this. If that was the case, then what had happened?

Another man answered his unspoken question. "Sir…you're not going to believe this, but we are in another solar system, next to another of those constructs. It transported us to another solar system!" Everyone was silent as the navigation officer's tapping on his keyboard was the only sort of movement, until that too, had stopped. "Sir, I'm reading…reading five planets capable of supporting life in this system. Five, sir."

There was silence for some time, until everyone on the bridge began cheering. Thermidor simply leaned back in his chair with a wide grin on his face. This was what the humans needed. Space constraints had been the core of humanity's problems in all their many years of conflict…but now, now that would be a thing of the past. Not with these planets available.

As the bridge crew calmed down, Thermidor began to speak. "Alright, everyone. Let's turn this ship around and head home with the good news. It's time to dust off those old construction ships." Thermidor ordered, the bridge crew eagerly moving to carry out the order. However, the navigation officer stopped them.

"Wait! Sir, I'm reading twenty self-propelled masses moving to our position. They appear to be alien ships!" The navigation officer announced, the view screen displaying the unknown ships to the entirety of the bridge crew.

It was plain to see these were not their own. They were streamlined, seeming to focus on appearance more than practicality, unlike ORCA ships. Additionally, their ships were…smaller than the Unveiled Truth. And their ship was but a scout ship. There were no detectable Kojima particles in or around their ship either, suggesting their method of space travel was fundamentally different. Regardless, Thermidor had protocol to follow.

"Prepare the first contact package! We don't want-" Thermidor was cut off.

"Sir! We're being hailed. Put it on screen?" The communications officer suddenly announced.

The aliens worked fast. "Go ahead. Let's see what these guys look like." Thermidor gave his permission. Immediately, a picture of a bipedal creature appeared on screen. The alien had four mandibles, and what appeared to be clawed fingers, noticeably only three fingers instead of five. It possessed a crest on its head, and vaguely reminded Thermidor of birds or raptors. The creature had what Thermidor assumed to be some form of oriental face paint.

Garbled speech suddenly filled the bridge, confusing all those on-board. It appeared to be the being talking, in an incomprehensible way of course. Apparently the being on screen caught wind of this, seeming to give orders to someone out of view.

"Sir, we're receiving a data packet. I'm assuming it's a translation program. It seems pretty simple. If I combine it with our language, a simple program will meld the two to an understandable dialogue. Though, I am detecting it has some form of dumb AI. Should I continue?" The communications officer inquired.

"Yes, go ahead." Thermidor said, getting annoyed with the inability to understand the alien he saw in front of him.

"Okay…there! We should be good to go." At the officer's words, the alien could now be understood.

"-llo? Can you understand me?" The alien asked, leaning forward slightly.

Thermidor nodded. "Yes, we read you loud and clear. I take it you understand me as well?"

"You're coming through clearly. What are you doing here?" The alien suddenly questioned.

"What are we…?" Thermidor was slightly thrown off by the seemingly, to him, less important issue. Nonetheless, he decided to go with it for now. No need to be on a new species' bad side. "We came through this…transportation device, with the intention of expanding. We are the race called humans, and know that we have come here with only peaceful intentions." Thermidor tried to play it friendly.

The alien seemed to do something of a smirk, speaking once more in a flanged voice. Whether or not that was an ailment or natural was anyone's guess. "Well, that's a little hard…you see, you are in violation of Citadel law, the activation of a dormant Mass Relay. As such, your ship is to be powered down and allowed for boarding, or you will be fired upon. We hope you understand." With that, the link was cut.

Everyone was silent for a few moments. Finally, someone spoke up.

"Thermidor…what should we do?"

Thermidor's face showed a hard expression betraying no emotion. However, his next sentence made their action clear.

"Prepare the Nexts."

Salir smirked as he stared out his viewport at the outnumbered ship after he cut the communication. Certainly, it was a daunting kilometer long, which did suggest it was a dreadnaught of some sort. He wasn't worried, though. According to his tech officer, the ship gave off no signs of element zero, nor seemed to have kinetic barriers of any kind. It was obvious that these 'humans' were simply some new upstarts that were blatantly disobeying the laws of the Citadel and fiddling with technology they did not understand. As such, they were to be taught a lesson. After this ship was…dealt with, a fleet would be sent through the relay these humans had come through to force the humans under the watchful eye of the Citadel Council. That way, they would not make any such foolish mistakes as they were clearly doing.

"Sir, I'm reading energy spikes all throughout the unknown vessel. It appears they are preparing weapons." Salir reported.

"Then it seems we must show these 'humans' the error of their ways. Order the fleet to prepare for combat." Salir ordered, receiving statements of affirmation in return.

Except for one.

"Sir!" Salir turned to the new voice. It belonged to that of a recently promoted turian, his new navigations officer. "Are you sure we should do this? This is an entirely new species! We're punishing them for a law they didn't even know existed!"

Salir frowned. "Are you questioning my orders?"

"But sir, they-"

"They, officer," Salir began, pointing at the ship outside the viewport, "are a new species that is foolishly playing with mass relays. We must show them such action will not be tolerated. Even if they were unaware, we must make it clear that we will not overlook such action regardless of the circumstance!" Salir narrowed his eyes. "Or…do you want to have another Rachni war?"

The officer looked down. "No, sir…"

Salir straightened back up in his command chair, eyes hard. His next decision would change the Citadel and all the species it governed forever. For better or for worse.


"Things didn't go so well?" Roy Saaland, pilot of My Bliss asked as Thermidor, Wynne and Malzel walked into the hangar which housed the NEXTs.

"I'm sure you can put two and two together, Roy." Thermidor answered, a stony expression still firmly upon his face.

"What a hassle. Alright…I guess it's time to go to work." Roy observed, walking over to the elevator that would allow him into his NEXT.

Wynne looked to Thermidor with an unreadable expression as Malzel made his way to his black NEXT, Opening. "Thermidor, are you sure about this? We could be getting ourselves into a conflict that could be far more destructive than that of the pre-space wars."

"We won't be firing first." Thermidor informed her as he stopped at the elevator that would take him to Otsdarva's cockpit. "But when they do, we'll be ready to return the favor. I won't allow humanity to be confined any longer." Thermidor turned away from Wynne, stepping onto the lift.

"When?" Wynn questioned, raising an eyebrow.

"They've made it clear, Wynne." Thermidor stated. "They're not looking for peace. After all the suffering humanity has been through, I won't let them go through it again. Even if I have to kill all of these bastards myself." The lift began to ascend.

"Never again…"

"Energy spikes detected all throughout the enemy fleet! Brace for impact!" An officer shouted as streaks of blue light flew toward the scout ship, impacting on the Kojima shields of the Unveiled Truth.

"Status?" Thermidor's temporary replacement asked.

"Kojima shields have been reduced to seventy-six percent! And that was with a full opening volley!" An officer shouted.

The temporary commander nodded. "Tell Thermidor and the other Next pilots they are cleared for launch. Prepare to fire on the enemy ships!"

Salir gaped at the enemy ship. Sure it was dreadnaught size, but how had it been able to withstand that sort of punishment!? Without shields, how could…

"Sir! It appears the enemy possesses some form of shield technology! Just before our shots made contact with the ship, a green wall of energy appeared and stopped the hits!" Salir grew slightly uneasy at that…in the end, it hardly mattered. They were still outnumbered, and would fall.

"I'm reading six massive energy spikes along the side of their ship along with multiple smaller spikes! They're returning fire, sir!" Another officer announced as, sure enough, six bright blasts of green energy separated from the ship accompanied by countless smaller beams of blue energy.

Space lit up.

Two of Salir's ships vanished in great balls of fire which were quickly snuffed out by the vacuum of space. Each of these ships had been hit by a trio of the six green lances of energy which, to Salir's horror, had simply ignored the kinetic shields, destroying the ships directly. Two more ships had been engulfed by the smaller blue beams that had simply bypassed the kinetic shielding just like their larger, more destructive counterparts and had been subsequently destroyed. Two more of Salir's fleet of ships had taken major damage from identical volleys of blue beams, and were now attempting to limp away from the combat zone.

A fifth of Salir's fleet had ceased to exist in only seconds. Salir suddenly began to feel the weight of his mistake.

That wasn't the end of the human's ship opening act, however.

"Sir! Four smaller vehicles have been launched from the enemy ship! They're headed for us!" An officer informed the fleet commander.

"All ships! Aim for the vehicles headed for our fleet!" Salir ordered. It didn't make sense to him why the enemy ship would send boarding craft this early in the engagement, as such vehicles could be easily picked off on approach.

How wrong he was. What was coming was far worse.

The Turian fleet fired upon the four moving objects.

None of the blasts hit their mark.

"What!? I thought I ordered you to destroy those-" Salir began before his ship shook as three more frigates in his fleet detonated, bringing their number to eleven ships, not including the two escaping the combat zone. Or rather, the two ships that had been escaping the combat zone.

While three of the four smaller vehicles had torn past the fleet, destroying one frigate each, the last of them had stopped, two massive cannons moving from its back to bear on the two escaping ships. The two weapons began to glow green for a moment before letting loose with twin beams of green energy. Smaller than those the human ship had fired but still possessing considerable size, one might wonder where the small craft was able to draw such power if one was not seeing the harbinger of their destruction.

The two fleeing ships were engulfed in bright balls of fire of their own.

NEXT: Opening – Pilot: Malzel.

The mechs did not stop there. A dull green mech dodged around the multiple blasts from the turian fleet as it closed in on another frigate. It stopped directly in front of the bridge of the ship, seemingly doing nothing. The only indication anything was happening was the absolutely massive energy spike originating from the smaller entity. Suddenly, a ball of green energy engulfed both the mech and the frigate. As the light receded, the mech was left untouched; the frigate, on the other hand…all that remained was dust and echoes.

NEXT: Reiterpallasch – Pilot: Wynne D. Fanchon.

The third mech, instead of bypassing the kinetic barriers like its brethren, silos on the back of the behemoth opened up, letting loose with countless missiles which proceeded to impact upon the kinetic shielding of the nearest turian ship. The kinetic shields were depleted in mere seconds, the vast majority of the missiles bound for the unfortunate ship rending it apart in ferocious explosions promising destruction. All that remained was mere scrap metal.

NEXT: My Bliss – Pilot: Roy Saaland.

The final mech made its move. A slim blue mech darted ahead of the others, firing a brilliant beam of green energy at one of the fleet's cruisers. The beam ignored the shields, causing a hole to be blown in the side of the ship. While not immediately crippling, what happened next would be.

The blue mech rammed the side of the cruiser as a lance of energy extended from the mech's wrist, vanishing almost as quickly as it appeared. The only difference was that the cruiser's kinetic shield had been completely drained. From there the mech went inside the cruiser through the hole it had created with that beam of green energy. Multiple explosions wracked the massive turian ship, until the blue mech suddenly exited the ship through the opposite side it had come in. As soon as the mech had left, the cruiser detonated from the intense damage.

NEXT: Otsdarva – Pilot: Maximilian Thermidor.

Salir gaped at the destruction of over half his fleet. Not even four minutes into the battle, most of his fleet had been decimated with no visible signs of damage done to the enemy. Not only that, but the enemy apparently had vehicles that were capable of destroying frigates all on their own.

"Sir! We've obtained a visual on the vehicles launched from the enemy ship!" What came on-screen daunted the turian commander. The four 'vehicles' could hardly be called that at all. Moreover, they represented mechanical bipedals of massive size, with fierce-looking weaponry held in their hands and mounted on their backs. It was also noticeable that each seemed personalized; possessing different parts and weaponry, even differing paint jobs.

Either way, they reminded Salir of Geth far too much for comfort.

"We have to warn the Hierarchy! I'm ordering a retreat! All ships fall back! I repeat all ships fall back!" Salir ordered which all under his command hastily attempted to escape. Fortunately for the Turians, the mechs didn't appear to be interested in pursuing them, and were darting back to the human ship. Two more of Salir's ships were lost, however, as the human ship let loose with an additional six blasts of green energy, tearing the turian ships apart.

What remained of the turian fleet escaped, through the nearest mass relay to warn the species of the Hierarchy of what they had experienced.

The Turians had angered a foe far greater than any they had seen before.

"Status!" Thermidor ordered as he walked back onto the bridge of the Unveiled Truth, flanked by both Wynne and Malzel.

"Systems are all reading green sir. No major damage, just some dents." An officer quickly responded, hands flying over a keyboard.

At those words Thermidor managed to relax, slumping into the command chair of the scout ship.

"It was a good thing you managed to draw their fire, sir. If you hadn't, we might all be dead right now. We ended the battle with only eight percent of the Kojima shield remaining." The officer finished his report, sounding relieved.

Thermidor smirked. "It's a good thing the enemy didn't know that. Take us home. I think humanity needs to know what happened here, today."

"Already on it, sir." The navigations officer responded, as the scout ship was enveloped in blue light by the mass relay before being shot across the galaxy.

"It's not too late to back out, you know." Malzel commented as both he and Thermidor walked down one of the many corridors of the massive behemoth of a battle station, the Whale.

"The public deserves to know. Everyone does." Thermidor responded.

Malzel shook his head. "There really is no arguing with you once you have your mind set on something, is there? Alright. Let's just hope, for all our sakes, we can handle it."

"The first contact battle already proved we can. What we need now, is humanity as a whole to band together to fight this threat." Thermidor stated, just before he walked onto a stage bathed in light, thousands of people immediately turning their heads to look at the leader of humanity. Thermidor had just walked into a massive amphitheater aboard the Whale, to deliver the message most all of humanity already knew. What he was going to announce, at this point, was simply a formality.

The room was filled with silence as Thermidor stepped up to the podium, flanked by the other eight Executives of ORCA, as well as other influential figures. It was here the much anticipated announcement would be made.

"Hello." Thermidor began, expression an unreadable mask. "I am here to tell you some shocking news. As of five o-clock yesterday, humanity made contact with an alien species." Murmurs broke out across the theater, before being silenced by an upraised hand from Thermidor. "The scout ship Unveiled Truth with me as acting captain attempted to initiate peaceful contact." Thermidor paused for a moment, as his eyes swept over the assembled humans.

"They were not friendly."

Shouts broke out and the theater was filled with noise. Thermidor allowed this to continue for a few moments, before silencing the crowd with his own voice. "The alien ships fired upon us, as we retaliated in kind." Thermidor suddenly smirked. "Aliens were always seen as something to be feared, something that we would struggle against. Something that could not be defeated. That mind set was still true, until our one scout ship, with the help of our Nexts, obliterated over half of the alien fleet with no casualties on our end."

The crowd was shocked silent as a video played on the massive screen above Thermidor, replaying the battle between the two forces from the point of view of a camera drone. The recording stopped with the fleet fleeing from the single human ship, the image suddenly replaced with the face of a turian.

The face of the enemy.

"Here is the enemy we face! But this time the enemy is not our own. No, this time the enemy is some trigger-happy group of aliens that has the gall to think they stand a chance of defeating us! After all we have been through, all we have accomplished; they think they can order us! As if we will simply roll over and allow ourselves to be stepped on! Well, the Assault Cells did that for decades. I, for one, am not willing to go through all that again!"

Thermidor paused for a moment, looking over the crowd once more. "This time, it is us who will come out on top. This time, it is us who will show our power. So I propose a question…who will join me?"

Instantly the amphitheatre was filled with cheers and cries of affirmation from the many humans that had gathered to listen to the leader of humanity. It took some time, but eventually the crowd calmed, as Thermidor made the order everyone had been waiting for.

"Well then…it's time to go to war."

April 11th, 2176: On this day, humanity declares war as a result of the hostile actions committed during first contact by the race of aliens called the Turians.

And the galaxy would never be the same.

A/N: The timeline in this story is actually paralleled with the timeline from the Mass Effect wikia, to an extent. I also put some stuff in here that hints at some Mass Effect characters. I'm curious if anyone noticed…anyway, if you liked this and would like me to continue it, please drop a review! If this gets popular enough, I have ideas for it all the way through Mass Effect 3.