Chapter 7

The next chapter is now up. I've also slightly modified chapter two so it makes more sense.

Enjoy and as always rate and review.


Codex: Darkspawn inter-species relations

Asari: The relationship between the Darkspawn and the Asari is luke-warm at the best of times. While the Asari are widely considered beautiful, wise and cultured the Darkspawn are viewed as brash, savage and ugly. These differences are compounded by the fact that Darkspawn are also the only sapient organic race that Asari cannot reproduce with, mainly because Darkspawn don't reproduce sexually and thus have no desire to mate. Despite all this, both races have found some common ground in their shared love for archaeology and lost cultures.

Turians : Although there is still simmering resentment on both sides after the Relay 314 incident many Turians have come to grudgingly respect the Darkspawn's military strength and sense of honour.

Geth: The Darkspawn have yet to encounter the Geth but they are considered to be hostile. Other information on the Geth is classified.

...Detecting Military authorisation...please wait...

The Darkspawn and the Geth have been in a secret alliance since the Relay 314 incident. A technological exchange has lead to many new advances in weaponry and construction. The Geth seem particularly interested in Lyrium and have even been given a very small amount to run tests on.

Quarians: The Migrant fleet has yet to pass through Darkspawn space, so only some young Quarians on their pilgrimages have encountered the Darkspawn. While they were treated fairly the Quarians did notice that the Darkspawn acted a little coldly towards them, however most of them put this down to the same bigotry that other races have for them.

Volus: Darkspawn are very protective of their colonies and they always have small fleets in orbit around each of their worlds. This increased safety has encouraged Volus merchants to set up trade routes with several colonies. Darkspawn may not be natural business men but the presence of Blood mages at all negotiations ensures that all deals go in their favour.

Criminals: The Darkspawn have an interesting relationship with the galaxies criminal underworld. While they have become the bane of pirates and slavers they are frequent customers of smugglers. The taint inside them makes Darkspawn immune to the negative effects of drugs (including addiction) but still lets them feel the positive effects. As a result many narcotics that are illegal in Citadel space are perfectly legal in Darkspawn space. Though initially displeased, the Council ceased complaining about this when they realised that drug trafficking in their own space had dropped significantly.

Batarians : Hateful doesn't even begin to describe it. Darkspawn despise slavery because they were all once slaves to the Old Gods and the cycle of blights yet for Batarians slavery is an inextricable part of their culture.

The Batarians don't take kindly to the Darkspawn's attitude and view them as highly arrogant primitives. Things only got worse when the Darkspawn started setting up colonies on the edges of the Skyllian Verge, an area that the Batarians were already colonising. The Batarians petitioned the Council to declare the verge an 'area of Batarian interest' but they were refused. Shriek Intelligence believes that the Batarian government has increased its funding of slaver raids in retaliation.

In space, close to relay 212 (fifteen years after first contact)

Captain Vessa'Duros Vas Korith was almost thrown out of his chair as another round struck his ship. The lights flickered and several circuits on the bridge shorted out, temporarily illuminating the room.

"Direct hit to aft plating Captain!" yelled one of the crew.

"Kinetic barriers are at twelve percent!" said another "Any more hits like that and we'll have a hull breach!"

Vessa took a moment to weigh up his options "Helm! Plot a course to that asteroid field! Maybe we can lose them there."

Less than half an hour ago Vessa's ship, the Korith, and five other frigates had arrived in this system to mine resources from a nearby asteroid field. Everything had gone according to plan until a Batarian cruiser backed up by two frigates had appeared. They'd started shooting instantly. Knowing that he was outgunned Vessa had ordered his ships to run.

Another explosion rocked the ship.

"Sir! We just lost the Armus! It looks like their engines went critical. I'm...I'm not detecting any survivors."

Vessa tightened his grip on his chair. He'd know the captain of the Armus for close to five years. "We can't do anything for them now. Continue current course!"

The bridge of the Batarian cruiser.

"YOU IDIOTS!" yelled captain Marvock into his ships communicator. "This is a slave grab! NOT an extermination! If one more Quarian ship goes down then I will personally skin you alive!"

"Sir. It looks like the suit rats are heading for the asteroids." said First Officer Gart.

Marvock seemed to calm down from his rage slightly "Continue pursuit. We've come too far to go back empty handed."

"If I may ask sir, why Quarians? Their health is expensive to maintain so they don't fetch a good price."

Marvock sighed "The Hegemony is going to increase its ship building budget next month. Which means that there will be a demand for slaves with engineering experience. If you're going to get anywhere in this business Gart then you have to learn to read trends."

Back on the Korith

"Keep the ship steady." said Vessa in a even voice "Even one of those rocks could crush us if we hit it. Are the Batarians still there?"

"Yes sir." replied one of the ensigns "The metals in the asteroids are interfering with sensors but they are defiantly still following us."

Vessa hadn't expected the Batarians would bring a cruiser size ship into the field. Before he could give any further orders his ship came to a complete stop.

"Helm!" he yelled.

"Sir, there is a ship directly in front of us. If we keep going we'll run straight into it."

"Why didn't we detect it sooner?"

"It seems to have powered down most of its systems, I can't tell if...wait. Its powering up!"

Vessa could see the ship out the main window now. It was small and arrow shaped, defiantly a frigate. It stopped just short of the Quarian flotilla. 'Great' thought Vessa 'Batarians behind us and now who knows what in front of us.'

By now the Batarian ships had caught up with the Quarians. The only thing keeping them from firing was that they were also interested in the new ship.

"Sir, they're hailing us and the Batarians!" announced the ships comm officer.

"Put it through" ordered Vessa 'Not like we have much choice' he thought.

A projected screen appeared over the ships front window. The image on it was a creature with green skin and a large mouth full of pointy teeth. Vessa recognised it as a Darkspawn.

"Attention intruders" it said "This is Commander Starfall of the Garahel . You are both in Darkspawn space. Leave now or die!"

"Captain. The Batarians are hailing the Darkspawn."

The screen suddenly divided itself in half. The right side showed the Darkspawn while the left now held the image of a very angry Batarian.

"This is Captain Marvock of the Hammer of Aratoht. You have no claim on this region of space and those Quarians are the property of the Hegemony. You will not interfere in our business!"

Starfall let out a low snarl. "You are a slaver ship? That does change things. The Quarians are free to leave. But you will never leave."

Marvock burst out laughing "You have one frigate! What are you going to do!?"

Vessa heard an alarm sound from one of the bridge consoles. "Captain, I'm detecting more ships! They're all around us."

Outside five more frigates had moved out of their hiding places behind various asteroids, encircling the assembled ships. Two large Destroyer class ships rose up on either side of the Batarians, their barriers and warding runes repelling any rocks in their way. Destroyers were a completely new class of Darkspawn ship that had large crescent shaped front section which tapered off into the rear section. Most of their hulls were covered in runes of warding and fire.

Marvock's expression quickly turned from smug arrogance to very worried. He was about to say something but the destroyers opened fire before he could. The first shot from their spinal mounted cannons destroyed one of the Batarian frigates, ripping it in half. The cruiser shot back but against eight other ships it didn't last long. It's barriers quickly failed, then its hull was shredded until finally the ships engines exploded, leaving it as nothing more than a burning wreck.

There was now only one Batarian frigate left but its captain had more sense than he did pride. As soon as the destroyers had appeared he'd know exactly how the battle would end and had ordered his ship to make straight for the systems mass relay. Buy the time the cruiser had gone down he'd already left the asteroid field and was already too far away for the Darkspawn to catch up.

Which just left the Quarians, and after seeing a cruiser blown apart, Captain Vessa was feeling more than a little nervous.

"The Batarians are dead." stated Starfall "Leave this area now!"

Vessa took a deep breath before answering. "We can't."

"Your ships are not badly damaged, you can-"

"The Migrant fleet needs the resources in this asteroid field. If we leave now then all this would have been for nothing!"

Starfall said nothing for a while. "I may have...stretched the truth when I said this was Darkspawn territory. A mining fleet will be arriving in five hours. If you are still here when they arrive, we will treat you as a threat."

The comm channel closed. Vessa breathed a sigh of relief, then set about issuing orders. "Tell the other ships to find the richest mineral deposits they can and start mining. We have four and a half hours to grab as much as we can!"

Codex : Darkspawn Ships

Battlecruisers : First introduced after the Relay 314 incident, battlecruisers are a variant of the standard cruiser design. While outwardly that are almost identical to their cruiser cousins they have thicker armour, especially at the front, fewer weapons and more advance shields. They also sacrifice their hanger bay for an extra power plant to supply their extra shield generators. Battlecruiers may have less overall firepower but they can soak up almost as much damage as a dreadnaught.

Destroyers: Destroyers were designed after the relay 314 incident to bridge the gap between a cruiser and a dreadnaught. Built in collaboration with the Geth, Destroyers have an incredible amount of firepower as their main gun is based on the technology use in Geth dreadnaughts.

Citadel News network Broadcasting room

It was getting close to mid day on the Citadel and Selana Nephtys was having her face powdered for the fifth time. Normally she didn't used this much makeup but this was a special interview and she wanted to look her best.

Sitting in the chair opposite her was a Shriek named Melava. Like the rest of his kind he had green skin, large pointed ears, many sharp teeth and a set of mandibles. This was going to be the first ever interview with a Darkspawn live on a citadel space news channel. This could make or break Selana's career.

"Ok people. Ten seconds!" announced the Salarion director.

Selana gave her notes one final skim-read and put on her best warm smile. "Welcome to CNN. Citadel News Network. I'm your host Selana Nephtys. Tonight we have a very special guest. Melava, a Shriek from the Darkspawn world of Thedas."

The camera panned over to Melava then back to Selana. "When the Darkspawn first entered the galactic stage they surprised everyone by beating back a Turian invasion, and again when they became the first race to refuse admittance to the council. Melava, would you care to shed some light on this curious decision?"

The Shriek shrugged his shoulders "Joining the council did not suit our interests. We found your laws too...restrictive."

"Those laws are in place for a good reason." argued Selana.

"So you claim. We could argue reasons back and forth all day but the real reason is that the drawback outweighed the advantages."

"But there are many benefits to joining the council. Increased trade, access to several reputable academic institutes and protection from the citadel fleet."

"We have our own 'institutes' that serve us perfectly well and the citadel fleets protection only goes so far. Does anyone know how many slaver raids there were this month?" No one said anything "Twenty two. Most of those colonies were hit multiple times."

"Lets..erm, change the subject" said Selana, nervously "According to your codex your world was once home to four different sapient races, not including your own. What can you tell us about them?"

Melava cocked his head "Is the subject going to change every time you become uncomfortable?" Selana adjusted her colour slightly. She'd been told that Darkspawn were direct but she hadn't been expecting this. "I can tell you little of the lost races. I was not alive in their time. But from what I gather they all had their truths and...flaws. Humans were industrious, sometimes brilliant but they could be monumentally stupid and if their religious leaders, the Chantry, told them to jump off a cliff or burn someone's home and take their land, they'd do it. I'm sure the council would have liked them though."

"And why is that?"

"They were easily moulded. I'm sure they would have joined your council and done whatever they were told. The Dwarves were master crafters. Their weapons, armour and great stone halls were the envy of all Thedas, but they never changed. Ever. That's one of the reasons why our ancestors destroyed them. The other being numbers. Qunari, well they valued order and discipline to the point of almost erasing choice and individuality. I suppose you could say they lacked heart. The elves were actually much like the Asari. Highly advanced, beautiful, wise. "

Selana gave a flattered smile.

"Whiney, arrogant, far too proud for their own good."

The smile vanished.

"The Dalish were the worst. If they spent as much energy building a future as they did whining about their lost glory they would have rebuilt their empire twice over!"

"And what about your own race?" asked Selana, trying to shift the subject again. "According to your own lore you waged frequent wars against your worlds other races."

"While under the influence of the Old Gods." added Melava.

"Yes, but your races history only seems to start with the 'First Blight'. What about before then? Where did the Darkspawn come from?"

"We don't know. Own ancestors didn't keep records of any kind. The human Chantry believed that when the Magisters of Tevinter tried to enter the Golden City they tainted it and were then tainted themselves. They became the first Darkspawn."

"And is that story true?" asked Selana.

Melava shrugged "Maybe, maybe not. The Chantry is not the most reliable source of information but we do know that one of those magisters survived the ages. Some of what he said matched the story."

Selana looked incredulous "A magister...survived for over a thousand years?"

"He was a Darkspawn. Sort of. So he had our longevity. His name was Corypheus, he turned up in a new body shortly after the apocalypse and demanded that we worship him as a god."

"I take it that didn't go down well?"

"We shot him in the face and dumped his body down a mine shaft. The end of a twisted mad man."

"That seems a little..." Selana tried desperately to think of something not too offensive "extreme."

"I'm not here to 'paint a pretty picture' of my race. We all evolved from monsters and we can still be quite savage when we need to."

"That's a...strong choice of words Melava." Selana turned to face the camera "We'll be right back after these commercial messages."

'Goddess help me' she thought.

Batarian home world of Khar'shan, senate building.

"I take it you know why you're all here?" asked Supreme Chancellor Harvock. The various heads of state around him nodded. Of course they all knew why they were there, it had been written on the summons they'd all received. No one was going to tell Harvock that though.

The Batarian government was at best fractious. Their world wasn't exactly united as it still consisted of various nation-states that constantly vie with each other for power, which could lead to some very interesting moments in the senate. The Batarian Senate was where all the heads of state would meet to discuss matters that affected them all such as large slave raids and how the Citadel council was limiting their cultural rights (slave trade) again. The one in charge was the Supreme Chancellor and while none of them owed him their loyalty he did have their respect.

The large meeting chamber they were gathered in was arranged in a series of rings. The closer you were to the centre, the more important you were. The Supreme Chancellor and the Heads of State were, obviously, all seated in the centre ring. In the next ring were members of the various noble families, all of whom had powerful voices and deep pockets. In the third and final ring were the lesser dignitaries and their aides and just behind them were the armed guards. Slaves and servants had to wait outside unless specifically called in.

"Less than ten hours ago" continued Harvock "A team of our slavers were attacked and killed for no reason than simply going about their business." There were several murmurs of anger around the room. "Their attackers were the Darkspawn! These upstarts need to be taught a lesson in respect! We need to show them, and the Galaxy that the Batarian Hegemony is a force to be reckoned with!"

People started clapping. "Ah, but we can't declare war, no. The council would interfere as they always do. So I-agh!"

While Harvock had been making his speech a Salarion slave had walked in carrying his tea. As part of his speech Harvock had flung his arms out and hit the slave by accident. The tea had landed in Harvocks lap. "YOU IDIOT!" he roared.

The poor Salarion looked terrified "I'm sorry, I-"

Too late. Harvock drew his pistol and shot the slave in the head. Several Batarians winced at the sight. Executing slaves like that was frowned on in their culture as it was viewed as a terrible waste. But Harvock was one of the most powerful men in the Hegemony. The same rules didn't apply to him.

Once he'd calmed down and the slaves body had been dragged away he continued his speech. "So I propose we fund a raid into Darkspawn space. But not just any raid, oh no. This will be the largest raid in a generation!" There was more applause and shouts of approval. "The world of New Seheron is a perfect target. A strike there will show these upstarts and the entire galaxy that the Hegemony is a force to be reckoned with!"

The applause and cheering reached a rapturous level. Over the next half an hour Harvock laid out his plan in detail. There was more cheering and then the meeting ended.

Harvock was on his way out of the chamber, along with his entourage, when he bumped into Gatrin Sal'inss. Gatrin was a powerful noble from an especially wealthy family that owned nearly a third of all ezzo mines in Batarian space.

"A rousing speech Supreme Chancellor." said Gatrin.

Harvock nodded politely "Thank you Lord Gatrin. I take it that business is going well?"

"Very. I'm just wondering...are you sure that antagonising the Darkspawn like this is good business?"

Harvock gave him a curious look "You've never been opposed to slave raids before. Not becoming a reformist are you?"

"Part of my families fortune is in slaves, but that's not the point. The Darkspawn are not a Citadel race. They won't buy the 'unaffiliated pirates' line. And they don't seem the type for...restraint."

"Gatrin. The Darkspawn will do the same thing the Council has done for hundreds of years. Nothing. These newcomer scum have been strutting about like they own the galaxy and we are going to teach them some humility."

With that he walked away, already relaying orders to his subordinates.

Gatrin watched him leave. Then he brought up his onmi-tool and began the process of booking tickets for an extended vacation to Illium. He had a horrible feeling that things would go wrong and he wanted his family off Khar'shan.

New Seheron. One week later.

"No. Boring. Seen it. Seen it twice. There's never anything good on."

It was close to noon on the Darkspawn colony of New Seheron and in a small room in a prefabricated building The Shepard was sitting and watching TV.

The only thing on of any interest was a new horror film 'The Children IV : The Mothers Return', the latest in a series of films about the Mothers children returning to attack the Darkspawn. Unlike the previous instalments this film added aliens to the cast. Right now an Asari maiden was just going down into a dimly lit cellar where she would no doubt be eaten by a waiting childer. Horror films are nothing if not predictable.

Shepard himself was a Hurlock and at twelve years old he was already fully grown and considered an adult. His main goal now was to find a career, the only problem was he had no idea what he wanted to do.

Being born with magic he'd spent the first six years of his life studying at the College in Arlathan. When he'd shown more skill with guns and swords then spells he'd been trained as an arcane warrior. That would guarantee him a place in the military but he wasn't sure that life was for him. Of course there were hundreds of opportunities in this developing colony but Darkspawn stayed in their chosen profession for centuries, even millennia and Shepard wasn't sure that excavating tunnels for decades on end was right for him.

There was a loud bang from somewhere off in the distance that interrupted his train of thought. "Bloody fireworks" he muttered to himself.

Then there was another loud bang, much closer this time. 'Wait' he thought 'Those aren't fireworks'. He raced over to the rooms only window. The next explosion happened right outside, the force of the blast shattering the glass and knocking Shepard to the ground. He sprang back to his feet and saw alien ships descending towards the colony. Some of them were firing off shots at the buildings.

"Oh, Andraste's pants!" Shepard ran over to his wardrobe and took out a small pistol and sword he'd stashed away in the event of an emergency. He gave the sword a few experimental swings then ran outside...then he ran straight back in. An alien ship rocketed overhead. It fired a few shots at the buildings below, one of which demolished half of Shepard's room.

Once he was sure that the ship was gone Shepard tired again to leave. The street outside was a mess. Large crates dotted the ground along with bits of collapsed building and the occasional dead body. Shepard could already feel the emotions of the dying through the shared taint. It was almost like he was dying himself. For a long while he just stood there until he felt another surge of emotion from further away.

He ran down the street in what he hoped was the right direction. The street finished in a dead end so he took a left down an 'alleyway' which was just a gap between two pre-fabs. The exit was blocked by some rubble that Shepard had to climb over.

"Why is nothing ever-crap!" he ducked back down behind the rubble. Just beyond his hiding place was a large clear area of grass that acted as a sort of garden and play area for children. Most of it was now taken up by the ugly rectangular ship that had landed there. He couldn't be sure but Shepard swore it was the same one that demolished his home.

Slowly he poked his head above the rubble. Now that he had a better view Shepard could see armed alien figures moving about. A few of them had taken off their helmets revealing cruel faces with four eyes. Batarians. Several of them were dragging unconscious Darkspawn onto their ship.

"Keep it moving" commanded one of them "Use tranqs only. Lets grab as many as we can and get the hell out boys."

"OVER HERE!"

Shepard looked over to the left and saw a Genlock on the opposite side of the plaza. "Hay!" he yelled "This way you four eyed freaks! I heard that Batarians were ugly but by the Old Gods they weren't kidding!"

"Get that little shit!" said one of the Batarians. Most of the others dropped what they were doing and started running towards the Genlock.

"Wait you idiots!" warned their leader "He's baiting-" he never got the chance to finish. A large explosion rocked the plaza forcing Shepard to duck down. Once he was sure it was safe he jumped out from his hiding place. There was now a very large crater in the plaza surrounded by what was left of the Batarians. The force of the blast had even knocked their ship onto its side.

"Hahahah! Didn't see that coming did you!" The Genlock had miraculously survived. Seeing Shepard he ran over to his fellow Darkspawn. "Greetings!"

Shepard looked around at the ruined area then back down at the grinning Genlock. "Erm. Hello. I'm The Shepard...arcane warrior."

"And I'm Skyfall. Mad bomber. Come on. Let's see if we can fish some people out of that ship!" the Genlock ran off and started clambering into the overturned Batarian ship.

"Wait...what in the name of Andraste is going on!?" asked Shepard

"Isn't it obvious? We're under attack!"

Shepard ran after him. "Owww" he looked down at the noise and saw that the Batarian leader wasn't dead, just stunned. He groggily got to his feet.

"Did we win?" he sounded dazed.

"No." Shepard answered, then he punched the Batarian in the face.

Defensive station two. In orbit around New Seheron.

"Get this dam firing mechanism working! I don't care what the problem is, just fix it! And someone turn off the bloody alarm! I already know we're under attack!" bellowed Forgemaster Steelrain.

"It is unlikely that the main cannon will be operation in the next ten minutes" replied one of the Geth engineers.

"You have three!"

The defence stations around New Saheron were the first of their kind, created using a blend of Darkspawn and Geth technology. They'd been in the process of being built when the Batarian fleet had arrived and driven off the defence fleet. Station two was the closest to completion which made it the only real hope for the colony. The Batarian fleet was close by. Most of the smaller ships had already descended to the planet below while the bigger ones waited in orbit, occasionally firing shots at the surface.

So far the station hadn't been attacked. The Batarians probably thought it was just a civilian station, and no threat to them.

A loud metallic clang echoed through the station and another alarm sounded. "A Batarian ship has docked. We are being boarded" announced another Geth.

"Well don't just stand there! Evict them!"

Station airlock.

When the boarding team burned their way through they had expected to run into a security team or some kind of resistance. Instead they found an empty room full of creates and spare parts.

"Spread out!" ordered their leader "There has to be someone in here. I want them found and-"

BLAM!

As it turned out the room was not empty. The Geth had been hiding behind every crate and were now tearing through the invading Batarians. Their leader was already dead having taken a shotgun blast to the chest and without anyone to give the orders the rest of the squad fell apart.

It wasn't long before they were all killed.

One of the Geth activated its onmi-tool and set a transmission back to the command centre. "Objective complete. All Batarians neutralised."

A few seconds later Steelrain sent a reply "Copy that. Now get your mechanical backsides back here! It takes three people to work this thing!"

While the Geth had been busy Steelrain had finally got the stations main cannon online. He was soon joined by the Geth who took their places at various consoles around the room.

"I've taken all the safety programs offline. Let's see how many rounds we can lose before our heat sink explodes! Lock on to the big cruiser in the middle of the fleet. Aim...FIRE!"

The stations mass accelerator cannon launched a two tone round at just under the speed of light. It went straight through the cruisers barriers and tore right trough the ship itself. Three more shots followed the first ripping large holes in the ships mid section.

The other ships returned fire but the stations shields and hull were strong and one of their most powerful ships was crippled.

Bridge of Pirate Cruiser The Mangler.

"How in hell did no one see this coming!?" demanded Captain Mal'vis. His ship shook as another round passed close by, destroying a frigate. Mal'vis had a reputation for being a little crazy, that's why he'd signed on for this raid, but he wasn't stupid. If they didn't get out of there soon then that damb cannon would rip them apart.

"This is Captain Mal'vis to all craft! This raid is over, everyone back to the relay!"

"But our holds aren't full yet!" insisted some other captain via the comm.

"We have a few hundred, and we can spread out the shares of everyone we've lost. This trip is still profitable, now let's get the hell out of here!"

Back on the surface.

There was a defining crash as a Batarian frigate smashed into the ground, smoke billowing out of its ruined engines.

"I got them! I got them!" yelled a Hurlock clutching a rocket launcher. Somehow he'd managed a one in a million hit and sent a rocket right into the ships engines.

"Nice shot!" agreed Shepard "Now let's go kill some Batarians! Charge!"

After his meeting with Skyfall, Shepard had been joined by other Darkspawn and they had formed a makeshift militia. There were some Shrieks with sniper rifles, both new and antique, eight Hurlocks and Genlocks and a Shriek Broodmother who was currently twisting the head off a Batarian with her tentacles.

By the time the group reached the crash site the Batarian crew had already crawled out and were trying to entrench themselves. One of them gave a cry of alarm at the sight of the Darkspawn charging towards them and two slavers carrying heavy looking machine guns ran forwards. They didn't get a chance to shot, two sniper rounds made sure of that.

Shepard threw a fireball at the assembled Batarians, knocking them over. By the time they got up the Darkspawn were upon them. Shepard buried his sword into the nearest Batarians chest and shot another in the face. Another Batarian nearby screamed as a Genlock leapt onto his back and sank his teeth into the slavers neck. He saw the Broodmother tearing out a slavers throat while simultaneously using her tentacles to strangle the life from two others.

The fighting was over very quickly. Shepard noticed that one of the Hurlocks in his squad was dead, killed by a Batarian rifle shot. He was the same one who'd just brought done this ship. Shepard gave a low snarl "Get everyone out of that ship! And kill every Batarian you find!"

As the others moved into the ship Shepard looked up at the sky. Batarian ships were taking off. He could feel the Darkspawn trapped on board and he felt utterly helpless. Then one of the slaver ships took a hit to its engines and crashed. A Darkspawn frigate flew past a began firing on the other Batarian ships.

Shepard saw more frigates following the first one, then drop ships started to appear. One of them landed close by and a squad of solders ran out heading straight towards him. Most past him by and went inside the ship but one stopped and spoke to Shepard.

"Are you alright? What's your name?"

"Shepard...I...I'm The Shepard."

"I'm The Hunter. I don't suppose you took any alive by chance? We could use some prisoners to interrogate."

Shepard nodded "That fact was not lost on me." Shepard started walking back the way his squad had come, with Hunter and Skyfall following close behind. "After Skyfall here blew up half a block" the Genlock took a bow "I notice one of them was just stunned." Eventually they reached one of the many pre-fab buildings. Shepard made his way round the side to a large garbage container. He opened the lid and lifted out a tied up Batarian and dropped him on the floor.

"So I detained him!"

A couple of hours later. Undisclosed location.

Edran Mevis was not a happy Batarin right now. After being knocked out by that stupid Darkspawn he'd woken up to find he'd been both tied up and dumped in a garbage container. Things hadn't improved. When he was finally pulled out of the garbage bin he'd been dragged off by the Darkspawn military and was now tied to a metal chair in a bare, dimly lit room.

Eventually the door opened and a Shriek walked in. "Alright Batarian. We know the Hegemony hired you."

"Prove it." muttered Edran.

"We will have proof once you give us your access codes for your ships computer."

"Go screw yourself!"

"Well, I tried asking nicely." The door opened again. This time a Hurlock stepped in carrying a long cylinder with a rod jutting out of one end. He offered it to the Shriek who pulled the rod out revealing it to be a brand of some kind.

"Have you ever heard of the right of tranquillity?" asked the Shriek.

Edran didn't answer, he just stared at the brands glowing blue tip.

"It works like this. I brand your forehead with this and you lose everything you are. Your love, your hate. Every emotion, every feeling is gone. It's like your dead but still walking. Can you imagine it, your whole life feeling nothing. Just empty-"

"ALRIGHT!" yelled Edran. "The code is 0006734, just keep that away from me."

The Shriek smiled, then he looked over at the Hurlock "Hold him still." The Hurlock walked up behind Edran and grabbed hold of his head, holding him in place. The Shreik advanced on him with the lyrium brand.

"Wait! Wait! I told you!"

"And?"

"I told you so you wouldn't make me tranquil!"

"I don't recall making that arrangement."

"No, no you can't do this. It's not right! No! NO! N-AAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!"


Aren't the Darkspawn just lovely people? The next chapter will be a long one so it might take me a while, but I already have some of it planed out. There will be daemons, there will be blood, there will be necromancy and there will be a very nasty end for Supreme Chancellor Harvock.