Chapter 1

The Shadow Broker was not paying Nathan Holt nearly enough for this job.

"Go to Eden Prime, he said." Holt whispered in a low, bitter voice before putting a bullet in the lens of a geth he had in his sights. "Find out more about the prothean beacon, he said." Holt continued his rant as he switched focus to the other geth who looked down at its fallen comrade for a few moments before it registered that they were under attack. "I want it done quickly and quietly, he said." He mumbled as he shot the confused geth before it could even bring up its weapon properly. "How the fuck does he expect me to do this quickly with an army of geth crawling around?" The man said with a louder voice now that the threat was gone. He moved out from behind the containers and resumed walking towards the cargo trains.

The Shadow Broker had informed him that The Systems Alliance was sending some big names to check out what they had unearthed here on Eden Prime, so it was obviously important enough for Holt to be sent here as well. With the presence of the geth it looked like The Alliance needed to learn how to hide their secrets better. The prothean beacon had been moved from where intel told him it would be. A dead colonist had earlier 'given' him a datapad that contained the new location of the beacon, which was on the other fucking side of the colony. He had only arrived a few hours ago but the fighting had already died down. The colony didn't stand a chance against the geth horde that had taken them by surprise. Also, the giant ship in the distance probably wasn't helping their morale. Holt had already sent pictures of the ship to The Shadow Broker, hopefully it would earn him a bonus.

A sudden, lone gunshot was heard in the distance. "Not distant enough..." Holt whispered as he brought his rifle up, ready for any geth that he might run into, as he made his way towards where he had heard the shot. It was in the same direction as the cargo trains so it couldn't hurt to check out.

He came upon what seemed to be some sort of storage area, plenty of containers and boxes surrounded him. "Plenty of ambush places..." He reminded himself, listening for any sound that might escape from anyone trying to take him by surprise. Rounding a few larger containers, he came upon a body on the ground that was clearly anything but geth judging by the pool of blood forming under it. Getting closer he could see that it was a dead turian he had stumbled upon. 'A turian with enough firepower to wipe out a whole colony...' He thought to himself, trying to figure out why a turian so heavily armed would be here. There was no way anyone answering to any distress call would have arrived already. This turian must have been on Eden Prime for a reason other than the geth, like the beacon. "First the geth and now whoever this turian is with. The Alliance is leaking more than a quarian on spike mat." He chuckled to himself. By the rate this was going he wouldn't need to report anything to the Shadow Broker since everything about the beacon would be public by the end of the week.

A low sound suddenly caught his attention. It was a sound that wasn't meant to be made which meant that someone, or something considering there were geth in the area, was trying to sneak up on him. "You got three seconds to show yourself before I start shooting." He said loud enough for the other party to hear.

"Don't shoot! Please don't shoot!" A skinny young man jumped out from behind a couple of boxes. Holt now realised why he had not noticed the man until now. It was not that he was stealthy in any way, he was just insignificant. "I'm not with them!" Holt just rolled his eyes to that.

"Yeah, well. You having actual skin pretty much gave that away." He said while lowering the weapon he had aimed straight for the man. This one was of no threat and he probably had some valuable information on him. "So tell me, who killed this turian?" He nodded towards the lifeless body on the ground next to them.

"It was that other-" Was all he managed to get out before they were interrupted.

"Don't move!" A female voice suddenly called out to them. Holt drew his weapon towards the three soldiers that were doing the same towards him. Alliance soldiers by the look of them, one of them bearing the N7 emblem. The original plan had been to infiltrate the colony but that had gone out the window as the geth had invaded shortly after he set foot on the planet. His attire right now was not gonna help him convince them that he was with The Alliance and he was way too armed to pass for a colonist. "I'm Commander Jane Shepard of The Systems Alliance." She stated with a commanding voice, never once taking her aim off his head with that assault rifle of hers. "Who are you and who killed that turian?" Shepard was a name Holt recognized, she was the hero of the Skyllian Blitz a couple of years back. Her red hair was just as fiery as he remembered when he had seen her in the news. Those green, radiant eyes pierced him more here in person than they had ever done from a screen. Shadow Broker was not kidding when he said that The Alliance was sending some big names to handle this situation with the beacon.

"He's clearly not Alliance, Commander." The male soldier next to her said. "And Nihilus did not die from a geth weapon by the state of that wound." The name Nihilus rang several bells in his head but Holt couldn't quite place it.

"And that shot we heard was clearly coming from a big-ass weapon." The other female soldier added. "Like a sniper rifle, for example." She said while motioning towards the weapon in Holts' hands.

The situation was not in his favor. Shepard, a bloody war hero, backed up by two other soldiers had him in their sights. Running away would be easy if he activated his cloak but that would make him seem even more suspicious. Having to hide from the geth was impossible enough without having an Alliance hero looking for you as well. If he made these three into his enemies he would never get enough information about the beacon to please The Shadow Broker. "I'm just someone who's on Eden Prime for personal reasons." He calmly said, his weapon still aimed at Shepard, the biggest threat here.

"And Nihilus?" Shepard asked, clearly not happy about his first answer but more eager to find out the killer of the turian.

"Dead when I found him." Holt noticed that none of them were really keeping an eye on the man who had been hiding. "Ask this guy, he was here before me." He said while motioning towards the insignificant one, as he had nicknamed him.

"Is he telling the truth?" Shepard asked the man.

"Y-Yes ma'am! It was that other turian who did it!" The man nearly wet himself as Shepard's glare switched towards him. She narrowed her eyes and simply looked between Holt and this other man for a while. His answer did seem to make her relax a bit as she, without fear, put her weapon away. Her two colleagues didn't follow her though.

"Alenko, Williams, stand down!" She ordered, to which they obeyed. Holt lowered his weapon as well, no point in fighting where it wasn't needed. "There was another turian here...?" Shepard asked while hinting that she wanted the man's name.

"P-Powell." He said while making a floppy salute. It was clear this person had never been in an army. "And yes, another turian. I think they knew each other."

"Did you get the name of this other turian?"

"Salem or something like that." Holt couldn't help but chuckle lightly. Something like that is not an answer that someone like a commander wants.

"Something like that is not an acceptable answer, Powell." Shepard said as she clearly had no patience for this.

"S-Sarel or Sore- Saren!" He almost yelled out as his memory came back to him. Saren was a name that Holt knew about. One of the best Spectres around and not a name he had expected to hear on Eden Prime. And not one Shepard had expected to hear either, it would seem.

"Saren, are you sure?" She said as she looked back towards her companions. They seemed just as surprised as their Commander

"I'm sure! Can I run and hide again before more of those machines show up?" Powell looked more like he wanted to hide from Shepard though. She simply waved him off and turned her attention towards Holt as Powell ran off. He quickly made up a plan in his head. Since they were probably heading towards the beacon he might as well tag along and earn a few favors by helping them fight the geth.

"I'll ask again, who are you?" Before Holt could repeat his last answer, she continued. "And someone is not a name." He looked into her eyes for a while, mind working overdrive to figure out what to answer. His real name should work fine since he's not wanted in any systems under his birth name. Shepard would probably see through any obvious lies he would try and pull.

"Nathan Holt." Was the answer he decided to go with. Her emerald eyes scanned him and his brown eyes stared right back.

"And what are you doing on Eden Prime?" Seems like his real name was accepted. Now for a question he could not be truthful about. Telling Alliance soldiers that he was on their planet to steal information about their latest discovery for the Shadow Broker would not end well.

"Visiting friends who..." He trailed off for added effect. "Who's not with me right now for a reason." Maybe a sob story would make her hesitate to ask any further questions. The other two seemed to believe him but Shepard's eyes were not that bright without reason. After a few more moments of her simply staring at him she closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh.

"I'm guessing you know how to use those?" She asked as she motioned towards the sniper in his hands and his pistol on his hip.

"The geth I ran across didn't complain about how I used them." He started smirking without realising it. "Mostly because they never had the chance to." He swore he could see the Commander's lips curl up in a small smile as well.