A/N: Greetings to all! I realize that while I do still have some fics that are out there unfinished, they have all been essentially dead for almost, if not over a year. Each of those fics were written straight off the top of my head, and quickly written straight into the ground.

Thus my decision to oversee a real fic with actual planning and a cool story arc to boot. I figured since I was reading so much ME fanfiction lately that I make my first entry into the fandom. Several times before I had actually tried to do a couple oneshots here and there, but nothing really stuck. It was when I was making my OC submission to ConvictionSC that I realized: Wow, there's an idea.

This is really long, so I'll end it here. Please, enjoy my first ever ME fic, and my first planned fic ever!

Disclaimer: Bioware owns Mass Effect. OCs owned by me.


Operations Chief Soren Titus was very angry at the Alliance and Black Ops intel. His team was haplessly cornered into a highly undesirable situation while the mission objective slowly slipped through their fingers. The mission was a complete bust, and it seemed like things were about to take a turn for the worse.

It all started out with a simple mission. A "milk run", as many called it. He and his team were assigned with a no-frills undercover protection job. Like most missions on the SSV Oceania, a classified NavSpecWar vessel even smaller than the Normandy-Class, there were copious amounts of black tape to navigate. Mission parameters indicated that the target was of utmost importance to the Alliance, survival at all cost, and the usual mumbo-jumbo about your typical black ops mission. The briefing listed only one contact to get them started.

Basically, the Alliance wanted the team to wing it. Might as well have told us to shove it completely.

Soren was not surprised at the Alliance's tenacity to blot out what would normally be important details for their most experienced operatives. What was definitely fishy about this mission, however, was that the HVI was not a retired Alliance Admiral, nor a person of great societal value, and not even an adult. The HVI was a teenaged boy, son of one of the Alliance's most generous benefactors, and he was spending his days out in clubs, drinking his life away on the Citadel.

A fully trained N7 squad was going undercover to protect a spoiled brat on the Citadel. Soren now snorted at the irony in that.

For weeks Alliance HighCom had been giving the Oceania bullshit black ops missions, ones where even Black Ops infantry squads would be sufficient. As a result, the N7s onboard often felt left out of engagements, sometimes landing ashore to wrap up loose ends, but most of the time not even leaving the ship. It was no wonder that the rest of them were completely agitated and restless for action.

His CO, 1st LT Chris Perry, was a man with a colorful CSV, having participated in large scale engagements and leading his soldiers to a dashing success in each one, with one of the highest all-time survival rates currently in the Alliance military. The man was a military hero, even if he was modest about it, and had seen his share of battles everywhere, including the First Contact War. It was a shame that he hadn't made Admiral, or even Captain yet.

CPL David Brooke and PFC Garrett Anderson were your typical, battered and solid dependable riflemen. Strong in most situations, and definitely able to stand their own against most other adversaries, they went to boot camp together and have been inseparable since. Add in some biotics to the mix and you have a powerful duo capable of handling most of the heavy hitting.

Specialist Alex Yang was definitely not your typical, cool, sniper. This man's weapons of choice, a Carnifex and a Widow reflected that explosive personality. A lethal weapon anywhere on the field, Alex was definitely one of the most energetic people Soren had met.

A heavy weapons specialist – Soren – and the party had a little extra oomph to get going. The N7 team, codenamed Arrowhead, was one of many that operated on the edges of Alliance jurisdiction. Barely recognized, but taking the toughest jobs, the teams were often compared to the Council's SpecTRes (within the Alliance, of course).

Ratatatatatat!

Another sizable volley of rifle fire smashed against the table Soren and David had knocked over. The LT and Garrett were holding their own on another side of the bar, while Alex was crouched in the middle holding down the HVI.

"Running low on ammo!" called Garrett, just as Soren cycled his last heat sink out of his Eagle.

David threw out another massive shockwave, toppling some of the mercs and downing one's shields. Soren pegged several rounds through the man's visor, dropping him dead instantly. As he dropped back down to survey the situation, he could see the biotic was getting very tired, with sweat dripping down his brow and blood flowing from his nose. Sharing a glance at the LT, he knew the same was happening to Garrett.

There were still so many of them left, and nothing the N7s did could stop them. Soren was losing hope.

Déjà vu, eh, Russell?

As he kept fighting, Soren's mind began surging through memories, recounting his life from step one.