So I figured it was time for a new story. I've been plugging away at FTSA for like 5 years on and off. I recently had a spurt of inspiration to rewrite 7 chapters but it's left me again. So now I'm doing something fun on what I'm obsessed with lately; Mass Effect. I've been in love with this game since I first played it 2007. Since then, I've beaten ME1 like 20 times, ME2 about 8 or 9 and ME3 at least 5 so far. I recently got over the ending hatred (took me a year) and bought all the DLC including Omega and Citadel. Well worth it for any fan of the series. There were always some things I wanted to tweak about the story though and adding Naruto into the ME universe could be fun. There are a few good ones out there right now like EroSlackerMicha's "Leaf Amongst the Stars" and NeonZangetsu has a couple good ones started. However, none that I saw have done it the way I wanted to. So here we are.
Disclaimer: I'm only doing once... every chapter. I don't own Naruto or Mass Effect (God damned EA bastards).
In the Garden of Eden
Eden Prime was home to over three million beings looking to make a simple life out in the traverse. The planet is primarily a farming community. Its ideal atmospheric conditions are conducive to strong crop growth for human and human-like beings throughout Alliance space. The citizens of Eden Prime preferred the calm and peaceful planet as a respite from the hectic, space-faring lifestyle some crave.
There are notable archaeological sites on Eden Prime as well. Since humanity only gained the notice of Citadel Space in 2157, many had been left untouched for decades before gaining the attention of the galactic community. To this day, archaeologists and scientists from many different species have visited Eden Prime in the hopes of finding some great discovery that can change the universe and of course make them famous.
In the most recent of these digs sits a blonde haired man that looks no older than 25 years of age. The unkempt mesh of yellow strands wafts back and forth in the wind as he oversees the dozen or so workers that agreed to accompany him on this project. Sighing not for the first time, he runs his hand through the golden locks contemplating his situation.
'What am I doing here again? Oh right, because some half wit at Conatix thinks they might have info on an ancient artifact that could improve business.' The blonde thought to himself.
'I swear I'd burn that corporation to the ground if it didn't bring too much heat down on me. Still, even an evil company can provide a chance at a huge find.'
He walked back up to the ground level of the dig site to go over their findings. So far nothing promising but something was here.
'I can definitely feel its presence. It feels like the other artifacts I've found so far. There's something big down there.'
The blonde took a drink from his canteen and rubbed his forehead of any sweat that had formed. His tank top had all but soaked through in the summer heat but his slacks kept him cool. A custom made job he had a friend acquire for him.
'Kasumi does enjoy a challenge. Why not steal the pants from a sultan? Best bet I ever lost.'
While enjoying his brief break, the Alliance soldier assigned to his dig walked up to greet him.
"Gunny, what a pleasant surprise. You're looking pretty in pink today." He greeted the female soldier.
Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams of the 2nd Frontier Division stood before him in her white and pink armor. The standard issue Avenger assault rifle was strapped to her back along with an M-92 Mantis Sniper Rifle. She had a pretty face even for a civilian let alone a soldier. Her body was distinctly feminine despite her tomboy-ish demeanor. At the moment though she didn't seem too pleased.
"Uzumaki, you're as charming as ever. How soon until you're gone again?" She responded.
"My dear Ashley, is that anyway to greet a friend?"
"Since I've only known you a week and that entire week has been spent babysitting you while you play in your sandbox all while putting up with your cheesy one liners, I don't think we're at the friends stage yet."
"How about we work on that over breakfast? Meet me at my place around seven tonight."
"Ha! I'll give it to you Naruto, you are a persistent bastard." Williams replied with a smirk.
"It keeps people on their toes." Naruto responded with a grin of his own.
With their banter finished, Chief Williams got down to business.
"So find any dinosaur bones out here or something?"
"Dinosaurs were indigenous to Earth as I'm sure you're already aware my breathtakingly, beautiful bodyguard. No I have my sights set on something a bit bigger in the grand scale of the cosmos."
"Uh huh. So far all I've seen you pull out of here is dirt and rocks. Even all the past digs this year have at least uncovered some bones even if they have no idea what species they were."
Naruto ushered her closer with his finger. "Can you keep a secret?"
"Sure." Ashley responded knowing full well that she would report anything to her superiors as was her duty to the Alliance.
"Of course you can't but I'll tell you anyway. See the company I was hired by seems to think there is an artifact here that could give them a boost to their net profit. They don't mention how they gained this information or have any clue on how it would benefit them but they were willing to pay my exorbitant sum to come out here and look." He began.
"Wait, why are you so expensive? You don't seem all that impressive so far and aren't you a little young to be demanding large fees?" Ashley cut him off.
"Appearances can be deceiving my dear Ash. Now as I was saying, these fat cats saw a carrot dangled in front of them and then paid me to do what I was going to do anyway. I basically just got them to fund my own personal dig. But that is beside the point. The real point is I believe that there is a major find lying beneath this hallowed ground."
"Why do you feel this is hallowed ground?" She cut in again.
"It is because I feel that I know this is hallowed ground. The air is saturated with the echoes of the past. The plants and trees whisper of the beings that once inhabited this planet before us. The very soil screams at me that something cataclysmic happened here a very long time ago." Naruto passionately spoke.
"Come on. You can't speak with nature any more than I can speak to my gun."
'If only you knew, Ash. If only you knew.' He thought to himself. "Call it archaeologist's intuition then. I've got a sixth sense for these things. I can feel something big down here."
"Ok, so how big?"
"Try Prothean big."
Ashley was astounded at what she just heard. "D-did you just say Prothean? As in Mars Ruins, the reason we found the Mass Relays, Prothean?"
"The one in the same. I'm sure you'll have to inform your Alliance command which was bound to happen eventually but I just wanted to be the one to give that shocked look on your face. You're stunning when out of your comfort zone."
Williams regained her composure immediately and responded heatedly. "How the hell would you even know that? Like I said, we've known each other for a week."
"You'd be surprised what you can find out about a person in such a short amount of time." Naruto clapped his hands dismissively before she could retort. "Anyway, about that artifact. I definitely know its Prothean. All my research leading up to choosing this site has led me to believe it is so. Prothean artifacts are kind of my specialty. I'm the leading archaeological mind on the subject amongst humans. One of the top people in the galaxy in fact. I'm surprised you haven't heard of my greatness by now." He then added quietly, "Need to work on the publicity angle."
Ashley mumbled "And the humility angle."
"Humility is overrated and doesn't get you paid. How else would I get these digs continuously funded?"
An explosion suddenly burst up from the site in a large plume of dirt and dust.
"Alright!" Naruto exclaimed. "Now we're getting somewhere."
He made his way back down to his workers. In a chamber below, they were crowded around a large, black object. Naruto quickly made his way over to it. He walked up and touched his hand on the surface. He was waiting for something to happen but nothing did.
'Damn, must be dormant. Oh well, still worth the months of research.'
"This, people, is what we came for. A real Prothean Artifact. This is the kind of discovery that will get your names in the history books. Be proud of the work you've done here."
All the workers cheered and began to celebrate.
Naruto made his way back over to Ashley. "Nice speech. Tears are welling in my eyes. Of course maybe that's just your smell."
"So feisty. I likes it." Naruto winked at her. "Anyway, they'll probably all be cursing me later when they realize they have to drag it out of here. Unless of course you can get some of your meathead friends to do some lifting for me."
"Fat chance, blondie. Though I do have to report this for sure now. The Alliance will be salivating for this find."
"That's just as well. I didn't feel like handing it over to those bastards at Conatix anyway. Have them make up some law to seize it before Conatix sics their lawyers on you." He nonchalantly replied.
"Wait, you're selling your employer out?"
"Like I said, I used them for the initial info and to fund my dig. I found what I wanted and it's better off with the Alliance than Conatix. Keeps my hands clean too if the Alliance just swoops in and takes it. Besides, they'd just try to find a way to do something completely unethical to advance their bottom line with it. At least with the Alliance there's a chance it will go towards the betterment of humanity. Slim chance but some is better than none."
"Fine, I'll call it in. Don't do anything stupid till I get back." She head off towards the communications array to report the find.
Naruto watched her walk away admiring the way her armor hugged every curve. "Stupid is my middle name, Ash."
Orbiting high above Earth is the SSV Normandy SR-1, a highly classified and experimental stealth space craft jointly constructed by both the Alliance and Turian Hierarchy with permission from the Citadel Council. While Normandy has had a few dry runs, she has yet to see any real action that could test her abilities. Today was the day she would get her first official shakedown.
Staring down at Earth from one of the viewports is John Shepard, one of the Alliance's most decorated veterans. He's spent most of his life in space with both his parents being part of the Alliance Navy. Shepard has had many highlights in his decorated career but his victory at Torfan against Batarian raiders solidified him as the go to man in the Alliance to get the job done.
Many labeled him ruthless for pushing his unit that hard but those people have never met the man. If they had, they'd realize that his men would gladly die for him if he gave the order. His charisma and charming nature are grounded by his steadfast loyalty to his teammates and crew. He would never ask anyone of his subordinates to do something he would not. He fights on the front lines with his soldiers following in his steps. Every decision he makes he doesn't choose lightly. He knows the consequences of making mistakes but he doesn't let it bother him either.
'What's done is done. You have to live in the here and now or the past will crush you.'
Shepard turned to head towards the cockpit once he recognized they were under way. The Normandy swiftly moved through the Sol System and was ready to make the jump to the Exodus Cluster. The pilot, Joker, could be heard over the comm providing status updates.
"The Arcturus Prime Relay is in range, initiating transmission sequence."
Shepard continued his walk passing by many of the helmsman and crew who nodded as he passed. They understood that their commander wasn't a hardass for saluting as long as the respect was there.
"Board is green. Approach run has begun."
Shepard arrived at his destination to see Joker and Kaiden beginning the mass jump. Standing behind them was the Citadel Spectre Nihlus. Shepard had read up on the career files for the turian. It was an impressive resume similar to his own. Nihlus also did whatever it took to get the job done. Shepard hadn't gotten the chance to have any conversations with him yet but he felt Nihlus would be alright in his book based on what he knew.
With a bright flash of light, the jump was made successfully and the Normandy arrived without incident in the Exodus Cluster. Their destination was Eden Prime. He still hadn't received the official orders of this mission but there was no way this was just a test run with a Citadel Spectre on board.
Shepard tuned back in as Joker completed his systems check.
"...drift just under 1500km."
"Good, your captain will be pleased." Nihlus commented before heading off towards the ready room.
Once he was out of earshot, Joker chimed in. "I hate that guy."
"He complimented you sooo... you hate him?" Kaiden offered.
"You remember to zip up your jumpsuit on the way out of the bathroom, THAT'S good. I just jumped us halfway across the galaxy and hit a target the size of a pinhead. So THAT'S incredible."
"Exodus is technically right down the road in relation to the galaxy you know, Joker." Shepard chose to deflate his pilot's ego good naturedly.
"Right let's get all technical about it and pretend I didn't just do something incredibly awesome. Besides, Spectres are bad news. Just got a bad feeling having him on board. Call me paranoid."
"They don't send Spectres on shakedown runs, that's for sure." Shepard agreed.
"I knew it! What's the word then, Commander? What kind of shit are we in?" Joker excitedly replied.
"Calm down, Joker. I know as much as you at this point but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough."
Just then, Captain Anderson chimed in over the comm. "Joker. Status Report."
"Just cleared the Mass Relay, Captain. Stealth systems engaged. Everything looks solid."
"Good. Patch us into the nearest comm buoy. I want Alliance brass fully updated before we reach Eden Prime."
"Aye, aye, Captain. Better brace yourself, sir. I think Nihlus is on his way."
"He's already here, Lieutenant. Tell Commander Shepard to meet me in the comm room for a debriefing."
Kaiden gave him a knowing stare.
Shepard chuckled. "Smooth, Joker. Real smooth."
"Is it me or does the captain always sound a little pissed off?"
"Only when he's talking to you, Joker." Kaiden answered.
Naruto observed the now confirmed Prothean Beacon as it was placed at the top of the dig site. Other Prothean artifacts he's found have emitted some kind of mental information transfer to those that come in contact with it or if it deems that being important enough. So far this one didn't even appear to be turned on for lack of a better term.
'Not like there's a manual around here either.'
"Alliance brass is making a huge deal about this." Ashley said excitedly from her spot next to Naruto. "They're sending one of their best squads to come and pick it up."
Naruto chuckled. "I figured they might. It's a shame that it doesn't seem to be working though."
Ashley seemed confused. "Working? It's what, 50,000 years old? I'm amazed it's intact."
"Prothean artifacts have held up incredibly well. Almost all the ones I've found have been more than intact. They usually are able to provide information though. That's why they are so valued. A technologically advanced race such as the Protheans were able to build the mass relays and the Citadel. Imagine what else they could have hidden in their history."
"You really love this history stuff, don't you?"
"You could say I am a product of history, a living artifact myself." Naruto laughed to himself.
"Ok, you missed me with that one. What do you mean?" Ashley was understandably baffled.
"A story for another time. Preferably with drinks and some mood lighting, maybe a little soft jazz."
"Never mind. Forget I asked." Ashley immediately recoiled from his overt advances.
Unperturbed, Naruto shrugged his shoulders. "Your loss then. So when will this hot shot team arrive?"
"They should be here in a couple hours. We'll need to get the beacon loaded up and ready to..."
An explosion rocked the main complex in the distance. The soldiers and workers alike were alarmed. They could see gunfire and some units dropping near their position. Naruto pushed out his senses to see what was going on. He tried to find out who was attacking them.
'Come on, something, something, anything. Nothing? Shit! Geth!'
"Everyone get to shelter now!" Naruto yelled with authority.
Ashley recovered from her initial shock. "You heard the man. Get your asses moving. Jones, get on that ridge and see where the enemy is. Davis, Rockwell, cover the workers back to the shelters."
"Ash, we need to get out of here. It's Geth." Naruto exclaimed.
"Geth! How the hell can you tell that?"
"I've seen them before. They won't hold back or take prisoners. If they want the beacon, we can't defend it with this small a unit. We'll have to regroup and wait for this Alliance team to come in."
"Regroup? You're going to the shelter with the rest of the civvies. Get out of here, Uzumaki. There's nothing you can do here."
"I've been around my share of firefights." Naruto stated as he pulled out an M-11 Suppressor pistol.
"Do you even know how to use that thing?" She asked incredulously.
Just then, a dozen Geth troopers stormed over the ridge and took out several members of Ashley's squad as well as a few of the workers. Ashley and Naruto returned fire taking down the entire enemy unit. Naruto tagged six himself.
"See. Right between the... umm... light bulb."
Ashley was impressed. "Alright. Cover your workers then and get any civilians to safety that you can see."
"How about a kiss for good luck?"
"How bout I kick you in the nuts?"
Despite the situation, Naruto smiled. "Don't get dead, Ash. You still owe me a date." He turned and took off towards his remaining workers.
Ashley sharply turned and yelled after him. "I never agreed to anything!"
While running away, Naruto yelled back. "Pick you up at 7!"
'Idiot. He's going to get himself killed.'
Before he was out of range though, a horrible sound blasted over the landscape. An enormous ship descended from the heavens. Naruto stopped dead in his tracks. All playful demeanor had left his face. He could feel the presence of something... evil. He looked up at the ship and could feel something he hadn't felt in centuries. Fear.
Shepard headed back towards the Comm room for the debriefing. When he arrived, he found only Nihlus there.
"Ah Shepard, I was hoping you'd arrive first. Gives us a chance to talk." Nihlus began.
"Me too. I've read up on your background. You have an impressive resume." Shepard offered.
"As do you. I was surprised to see some of your mission results. I see why you are so highly regarded amongst your peers."
"Well now that we're done jerking each other off, how bout we get down to business."
If Nihlus was offended, he didn't show it. "How very blunt, but also true. This planet we're going to, Eden Prime, I'm interested in what you think of it."
"Wouldn't know. I've never been. I've heard it's a paradise though."
"Yes, serene and safe. A symbol for humanity's ability to explore and maintain colonies in the traverse. I wonder, how safe do you think it is though?"
Shepard didn't understand where Nihlus was going with this. "Not my place to speculate. They send me in when they need something done. If that's doing gardening or killing a few hundred Batarians, so be it."
"Any dirty job that comes along eh?" Nihlus added.
"Some might say that. So where's the Captain? I figured he'd be here already."
Just then, Captain Anderson entered the briefing room. "Sorry for the delay. I think it's about time we got you up to speed on what we're doing here."
"I figured we weren't on a routine fly by." Shepard answered.
"No, this mission is far more than a simple test run." Nihlus responded.
"We're making a covert pickup on Eden Prime. That's why we needed the stealth systems." Anderson began.
"So what's the mission? I'm sure it's all need to know. Just tell me what I have to do."
"Quite right. This one comes down from the top. A research team on Eden Prime dug up some kind of beacon. It was Prothean. I don't need to tell you how important this is."
Shepard was impressed. He knew it was something big but this was extraordinary. "No kidding. All our current space tech is based off of Prothean technology. This is huge. I get why Nihlus is here now."
"Exactly. We need to get this back to the Citadel for research and Nihlus being a Spectre is here to oversee that." Anderson continued.
"The beacon represents all interests in Citadel Space and is a major find for the galactic community. However, that's not the only reason I'm here."
Shepard seemed a little skeptical. "So what's up then?"
"Nihlus is here to evaluate you in action. He wants to see if you have what it takes to become part of the Spectres."
That caught Shepard off guard. He had never even considered service outside of the Alliance military. His whole life was spent serving on Alliance vessels and fighting for Alliance causes. If he accepted this offer, he would be free to choose his own missions but would answer to the Citadel Council instead of the Alliance. It was a lot to consider.
Captain Anderson could see Shepard's hesitance. "This is big, Commander. Spectres represent the best of the best when it comes to enforcing the Citadel's authority. For a human to be accepted would show just how far we've come."
"I'm honored but why me? There's got to be others that are more qualified. Hell, your resume alone, Captain, makes me look like a seaman on his first tour."
"My time has passed, Shepard. You're the best humanity has to offer and there would be no one better to represent us as the first human Spectre."
Nihlus then chimed in. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. This will be the first of many missions together. I'll be evaluating your skills and reporting back my findings to the council. I'm looking forward to working with you."
"I can't stress enough how important this is for humanity, Shepard. Make sure you secure the beacon and get it on board as soon as possible." Anderson finished.
"Just give the word, Captain."
"We should be getting close to the..."
Just then, Joker cut in with an urgent message. "Captain! We got a problem."
"Let's hear it, Joker."
"Transmission from Eden Prime sir. You better see this."
The vid showed a tremendous fire fight on the surface of Eden Prime. A squad of Alliance troops were pinned down with an unseen enemy pouring shots down on their position. A young woman in pink and white armor grabbed the radio man and threw him into cover where he began his report.
"We're under attack taking heavy casualties, I repeat heavy casualties!"
The view then pans over to a massive dreadnought. Its shape is terrifying. It appears to be an enormous, mechanical squid reaching its tentacles out towards the ground. The psychological effect something like that would have on an enemy could be substantial. There was a persistent tone coming from the vid as well. It seemed to pierce your skull with its dreadful sound. Whether it was coming from the ship or something else was unknown but the soldiers in the vid were frozen in fear. The transmission just ends abruptly in static.
"Everything just cuts out after that, no comm traffic at all. There's nothing." Joker declared.
"Reverse and hold at 38.5." Anderson commands.
The vid rewinds back to the shot of the dreadnought descending on the colony. Nihlus, Shepard and Anderson are too deep in thought to comment for a few moments. Finally, Anderson speaks up.
"Seventeen minutes out, Captain. No other ships in the area." Joker responded.
"Take us in, Joker, fast and quiet. This mission just got a lot more complicated."
Nihlus spoke up. "A small strike team can get in unnoticed."
"Grab your gear and meet us in the cargo hold." Anderson ordered as Nihlus walked off. He then turned to Shepard. "Tell Alenko and Jenkins to suit up. You're going down there to get that beacon."
Shepard nodded and head out towards the elevator. "Jenkins. Kaiden. We're going down to the surface. Suit up, I'll brief you in the cargo hold."
"Alright, some action!" Jenkins shout.
Kaiden simply nodded and head down with him. Once they were all ready, Captain Anderson went over the parameters again.
"Your team's the muscle in this mission, Commander. Go in heavy and head straight for the dig site."
Corporal Jenkins spoke up. "What about survivors, sir?"
Jenkins was born on Eden Prime and grew up there. No doubt he was concerned about the residents. Captain Anderson made the mission clear though.
"Survivors are a secondary objective, Corporal. The Beacon is a top priority. Make sure your head is on straight or you'll get it blown off down there."
Jenkins bristled at the reprimand. "Yes sir."
Joker chimed in over the comm. "Approaching drop point one."
Nihlus was geared up and ready to head out.
"Nihlus, you coming with us?" Jenkins asked.
"I move faster on my own. I'll scout the area ahead." With that he jumped out of the ship several meters above ground level.
Captain Anderson offered a last bit of advice. "The mission's up to you now, Commander. We're counting on you to get it done."
"You got it, Captain."
The three man squad hopped off the Normandy and made their way towards the dig site. The colony in the distance looked devastated from explosions and gunfire.
"My god, what could have done this?" Jenkins spoke up.
"We're going to find out, Jenkins. Stay sharp."
They moved along the cliff side to a rock formation. Shepard couldn't see ahead. He signaled Jenkins to move up and scout the position. Jenkins ran up to some cover. He noticed two Geth drones at the top of the hill.
"Enemy contacts, commander!" Jenkins opened fire taking out the first two drones he saw. He moved out of cover to see. "Yea take that you bastards!"
Just then, five more drones appeared and opened fire. They shredded Jenkins' shields and tore holes through his armor. He was dead before he hit the ground. Shepard and Kaiden took cover and proceeded to take down the drones. Once they scanned the area for any more enemies, they walked over to Jenkins' body.
"Ripped right through his shields. He never stood a chance." Kaiden announced after checking for a pulse.
Shepard sighed. Just another death in the long line of casualties under his command. "Come on, we'll mourn him later. We got a job to do."
They made their way up the hill making sure to alternate between cover in case any more enemies surprised them.
Nihlus suddenly spoke up over the comm. "There's some burned out buildings here Shepard. A lot of bodies. I'm going to check it out. I'll try to catch up with you at the dig site."
"Keep us posted."
Shepard and Kaiden cleared out a few more drones and made their way closer to the dig site. Up ahead they saw the female soldier from the vid. She was evading two more drones.
Ashley dove down and fired off a couple shots taking out the drones before they could further weaken her shields. When she was clear, she saw a couple more Geth troopers doing something to a colonist. Suddenly a spike burst up through his torso impaling him several feet off the ground.
'What the fuck!?' Ashley thought as she scrambled back further for cover.
The troopers advanced on her position. Shepard and Kaiden moved quickly to assist her and took out the troopers with precision shots.
Ashley managed to catch her breath. "Thanks, Commander. Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams of the 212, you the one in charge here, sir?"
Shepard noticed her frantic state. "Are you wounded, Williams?"
"A few scrapes and burns. Nothing serious. The rest of my squad wasn't so lucky. We were packing the beacon up when the attack hit. Oh man, if it wasn't for Uzumaki, we'd all be dead."
"The lead archaeologist on the dig, Naruto Uzumaki. A cocky young bastard but he's full of surprises. I thought he was just some bookworm type but when the attack hit, it was like he had some military training. He took out a lot of Geth before we could sustain any more casualties. He probably saved a good number of civilians and some of my men because of it."
"Still can't believe the Geth are here? Why leave the Perseus Veil after centuries?" Kaiden asked.
"It's gotta be the beacon."
Shepard seemed impressed by this Naruto guy. "Where is Uzumaki now? Seems like we could use all the help we can get here and he probably knows something about the beacon."
Ashley seemed genuinely concerned. "I don't know. He escorted a number of civilians to safety before we got cut off. I hope he's down by the docks but I just don't know."
"Alright, we'll keep an eye out for him but our priority is the beacon."
"Right, the dig site is just up ahead."
"Ok, fall in Chief. We're down a man and could use the fire power."
"Aye, aye sir. It's time for payback."
They moved out and headed straight for the dig site.
"The beacon is at the far end of this trench." Ashley declared
Geth Troopers were waiting in ambush for them though.
"Alenko move right. Williams, left." Shepard barked out orders.
A firefight ensued. Shepard took out two rocket drones before they could get off any shots. The three man team was able to take down the small squad of Geth quickly. Shepard slowly moved out of cover keeping his eyes peeled. When it seemed that there were no more enemies, they moved up to the dig site. The beacon was missing though.
"The beacon was right here! It must've been moved by the Geth." Ashley shouted.
"How do you know it wasn't our guys?" Kaiden asked.
"I was here. We were pinned down before we had a chance to load it up. We were just focused on surviving. If someone moved it, it had to be the Geth."
"We have to hurry then. Where do you think they could move it?" Shepard asked.
"There's a camp up ahead that leads to the docks down by the Space port. If they have a ship, it's gotta be down there."
"Alright let's move, double time." Shepard ordered.
They headed up the trail that led to the camp. Just then, Nihlus broke in with a report.
"Change of plans, Shepard. There's a space port up ahead. I'm going to check it out. I'll wait for you there."
"Will do. We think the Geth might have taken the beacon there. Keep a look out for it."
"Understood. Nihlus out."
Shepard and his team made their way up the hill. There was a choke point up ahead though.
"This is a good place for an ambush. Keep your guard up." Kaiden warned.
As they slowly crept through the camp, they saw more of the spikes with human bodies on them. These bodies looked different though. They had all sorts of electronic implants and the skin seemed to glow blue.
"What the hell did the Geth do to them?" Ashley exclaimed.
Just then, the spikes descended and the bodies sprung to life. They let out a terrifying scream and began charging the team.
"Oh god! They're still alive!" Kaiden screamed.
"Not for long. Take em down!" Shepard ordered.
The husks were relentless. They charged their position and emitted some kind of electronic pulse that disrupted the team's shields. Kaiden managed to push them back with his biotics long enough for Ashley and Shepard to blow them away.
The team took a moment to catch their breath. It was quiet. They couldn't hear anymore gunfire in the distance.
"Come on. It's too quiet. They might be moving out soon. We gotta hurry." Shepard announced.
As they continued on towards the space port, a single shot rang out and echoed over the canyon corridor.
"That wasn't a pulse rifle. Let's get down there. There might be survivors." Ashley declared.
They came to the top of the ridge and Shepard saw the ship from the vid.
"What is that, off in the distance?" Kaiden shouted.
"It's that ship. That thing is awful looking." Ashley decried.
The ship slowly began its ascent into the clouds.
"I hope we're not too late if they're already taking off. Let's move people." Shepard declared.
They arrived at the docks and found a terrible sight.
Shepard ran to his body. He was already dead.
"The Geth didn't do this. There's a slug to the back of the head." Shepard said as he analyzed the body.
"They didn't do it." A panicked voice announced from behind the crates.
Williams and Alenko immediately trained their guns on the noise.
"Show yourself, now!" Ashley demanded.
"Don't shoot! I'm human!" The dock worker shouted. "I saw what happened. That turian was shot in the back by that other one."
"What other one? Another turian was here or was it a human?" Shepard asked.
"No no. It was a turian. The one there, your friend, he must've knew him because he let his guard down and turned his back to him. I think he called him Saren or something. They were talking and then bam right in the skull. He never saw it coming."
"Shit. Who could be helping the Geth?" Kaiden pondered.
"We'll find out but we have to keep moving. Did you see where they took the beacon?" Shepard demanded.
"I think they took it to the other platform a couple kilometers from here. You'll have to take the cargo train to get there. That's where that Saren guy went off to. Oh god, they killed everyone. And that mothership, the sound it makes is awful. It digs into your brain. The pain is excruciating."
Shepard wasn't sure what to make of the last part but didn't have time to dwell on it. "Alright, stay put. Let's go team. We have to find that beacon."
Before they left, Ashley spoke up. "Wait, one more question. Did you happen to see a blonde man running around? He was wielding a pistol and was wearing a tank top and khaki pants."
The dock worker thought for a moment. "Yea, I think I did. He was heading in that direction as well. I saw him get a number of people locked into the houses a little ways back to keep them safe. He took off after those robots after the beacon had passed. He has to be out of his mind. He didn't have armor or shields and he's going after those things? He's probably dead."
"Somehow, I doubt it." Ashley uttered.
"Alright, Williams. Let's move." Shepard commanded.
They boarded the cargo train and made their way to the other dock. Shepard checked his gun to make sure it wasn't overheating.
'Hopefully the beacon is still there or else this is going to be a really messy debriefing.'
Saren Arterius was one of the most decorated and reviled Spectres to ever bear the name. His methods and results were questionable beyond the moral spectrum but he always got the job done as quickly as possible. Despite this tenuous moral background though, he has always been staunchly loyal to the Citadel Council. He has never disobeyed their orders and has carried out their will for almost a quarter of a century. So for him to be leading a group of Geth into stealing a priceless Prothean artifact was very out of character.
Saren turned to one of the Geth troopers. "Set the charges. Destroy the entire colony. Leave no evidence that we were here."
He then walked over to the edge of the dock. Before him was a fully activated Prothean Beacon. He moved closer and the beacon suddenly seized his body and mind. Saren embraced the vision and allowed it to wash over him. When he was finished, he felt exhausted but clearly he was pleased as he got what he came for.
Over in a corner out of view sat a blonde haired archaeologist that watched the whole thing take place.
'Saren's here? This just keeps getting better and better. I wonder how they activated the beacon? Maybe I should go ask him.'
Naruto crept over and pounced on the two Geth Shock Troopers that were guarding Saren. He blew the head off of the one while slicing the other in two with his High Frequency blade. Several others attempted to stop him but Naruto moved way too fast for the Geth to keep up. After only a few seconds, a dozen or so Geth units lay in pieces along the dock. Saren decided to acknowledge his presence then.
"Uzumaki. Still toting that primitive weapon I see."
"Saren. Still hogging all the ugly I see."
"You haven't aged a bit since we last met. What was that five years? Ten?"
"12 years, 4 months, 16 days since I last tried to stop you from slaughtering innocents in your quest for vengeance."
"Is this the Artemis Tau thing again? Please. Those people were living a bleak existence anyway. I did them a favor."
Naruto calmed down because he could feel his anger growing. He had many years of practice on not letting people get under his skin but there was always a few bastards that were an exception.
"So what's your move now? You got the beacon working somehow which is impressive in its own right. Do you think I'm going to let you leave again?"
Saren chuckled. "So predictable Uzumaki. Always eager to jump in but never with a plan."
"Meh plans are overrated. Winging it has worked well for me as far back as I can remember."
"So what then will you do with the explosives I set up? There's enough to vaporize this entire colony."
"I figured the Alliance team that's on its way here will take care of that. You're not worming your way out of this fight."
Saren thought for sure Naruto would dart off to stop the bomb. "Learning from past mistakes are we?"
"More like making the bigger threat a priority. Stopping you now will stop a whole lot of people from dying later."
"Hmmm. Ruthless calculus. Perhaps you are learning."
"I've forgotten more things than you could learn in ten lifetimes. I just underestimated your character last time. It won't happen again."
Saren quirked an eyebrow at that comment. "I always wondered, how old are you really? You certainly are not a normal human. You don't look like you've aged a day since I first met you all those years ago."
"For that answer, you'd have to get me really drunk and you are definitely not my type. So are we doing this or are you going to talk me to death?"
"I'm afraid I'll have to postpone this for another time."
As soon as he said those words, four Geth Prime units dropped from the Geth ship above.
'Son of a bitch! Damn, undetectable Geth!'
The four Primes opened fire and forced Naruto to quickly evade. In the chaos, Saren managed to hop on to a hover platform and fly up to the ship.
"Til next time I'm afraid, Uzumaki."
'Smug bastard hiding behind his walking monstrosities of death. Why do the bad guys always have the best toys?'
Naruto continued to evade the Primes' overpowering fire as they turned the dock into a charred shooting gallery. With a burst of speed, he fired a shot with his pistol off of one of the shield generators located on its back. He then moved in and took out its legs with the HF blade. The Prime was disabled but still able to fire. Naruto erected a barrier to protect him momentarily from the other Primes' blasts as he dissected the head of the one he downed.
Dodging quickly to the left before his barrier fell, Naruto maneuvered behind two of the Primes. He planted a rasengan in the back of the one bursting straight through, knocking it out of commission. The other had his sword impaling it until Naruto swiped it straight up through the torso and head of the unit.
The last Prime launched a plasma blast that disintegrated the area where Naruto just stood. Luckily he was no longer there. Falling from above, he brought the sword down on the unsuspecting Prime's head and sliced it clean in two.
All four units were dispatched in less than a minute or two but that was enough for Saren to get away.
He sealed his sword away and holstered his gun just as Shepard, Kaiden and Ashley arrived.
"Naruto! You're okay. Thank god." Ashley came running up to him.
"Glad you were worried about me, Gunny." He said with a small smile.
"Just didn't want to have another death on my conscience you idiot."
The squad looked around at the carnage. Piles of Geth units were sliced into pieces.
Shepard spoke up. "So want to tell me what happened here?"
"Are those Geth Primes? Jesus. I've only read about them but those are supposed to be walking tanks! How many were there, two?" Kaiden exclaimed.
"Actually four but that doesn't matter."
"What? You took out four Geth Primes and a dozen or so shock troopers on your own and it doesn't matter?!" Ashley shouted.
"Nope. What matters is Saren got away."
"I'm sure this is an interesting story. Hopefully you won't mind coming with us to explain it on the Normandy."
"Normandy? Hmm ironic name for a ship. Appropriate even given the circumstances." Naruto said mostly to himself. "I trust you took care of those explosives back there or this will be a really short conversation."
"All defused. At least we still got the beacon."
They all stared over at it. Shepard turned to report in. Kaiden and Ashley moved closer while Naruto still pondered Saren's escape.
"This is amazing. Real working Prothean technology." Kaiden said.
"It wasn't doing anything like this back at the dig site, right Naruto?"
"Hmm? Oh, no it wasn't. I wouldn't get too close though it might have a... Ash!"
The beacon seized Ashley and was pulling her in. Shepard acted first and threw her out of its way. In the process though, it seized Shepard's body. A burst of information invaded his brain. It was alien and intense. Images of death, destruction, shadowy enemies. It burned out his senses.
"Shepard!" Ashley made to get him out of there but Kaiden held her back.
"No it's too dangerous."
"He's right. You have to wait till the information transfer is done or it could injure both of you permanently." Naruto explained.
Suddenly the beacon exploded and Shepard collapsed to the ground unconscious.
Naruto sighed as he walked over to pick him up. "He's going to be out of it for awhile. The first time you experience a Prothean info dump, you'll be lucky you don't fry your brain."
Kaiden was busy getting the Normandy on the line. "Normandy, come in. We got a man down. The beacon has been destroyed. Possible sabotage. Shepard is down. We need evac."
Joker chimed in. "Copy that ground team. We'll be there in two minutes for pick up."
"I shouldn't have gotten close. I was so stupid. God I could have gotten everyone killed." Ashley berated herself.
"Ash, there was no way for you to know what was going to happen. If anything this is my fault for letting you walk over there. I should have warned you." Naruto offered as he rubbed her back.
"This whole mission is one big clusterfuck for sure but we're alive and hopefully the commander pulls through." Kaiden stated. "Let's just get him back to the Normandy. You're coming too, Uzumaki. We'll need to hear what went on down here."
Naruto nodded and stared up at the sky.
'You're not going to win this time, Saren. Whatever you're up to, I'll be there to stop it.'
In the void of space, Saren's massive flagship, Sovereign, is zooming away from the Exodus Cluster. Inside, Saren sits in his captain's chair awaiting word that the colony was destroyed. An asari gracefully walks up behind him to report. Matriarch Benezia, a well respected member of the Asari high council. Her presence aboard Saren's ship is a mystery.
"We identified the vessel that landed on Eden Prime. It was the Normandy, a Human Alliance ship under the command of Captain Anderson. They managed to save the colony." Benezia stated.
Saren wasn't as concerned about that though. "And the beacon?"
"One of the humans may have used it."
Saren seethed but did not show any other out bursts of emotion. "It's to be expected. I didn't anticipate Uzumaki being there. We must be prepared for his continued interference in our plans. He must be eliminated."
Benezia continued. "It was not Uzumaki that used the beacon. It was the Alliance Commander, John Shepard."
Saren contemplated this information. "Either way, we cannot have them ruining our plans. Make all arrangements to have them removed."
He sat down in his chair again and pondered their next move.
'Nothing will stand in the way of my ambition, my dream.'
Alrighty then. Hopefully this is as entertaining as it sounds in my head. For those that know me, I use a lot of pop culture references hidden within my stuff. So if anyone can tell me where the chapter title is from, I'll be impressed. Anyway, review please. No fuck that. I'm not asking, I'm telling. REVIEW, Damn it!