AN 1: Hello guys. I would like to take a moment to clarify a few things.
1) A reviewer named Britael mentioned that HP canon has set very few limits to magic and has inadvertently left a lot of leeway for writers to overpower magicals. So I have taken it upon myself to introduce limits to magic, the most noticeable of which is that space expansion charms will not be possible on space stations or spaceships.
I may introduce exceptions later on. Most probably the Normandy as it is a very high tech vessel. However, I think that this will allow reapers/council to even the odds somewhat during space battles.
Also, technology may find a way to negate or diminish the effects of magic given time. Magic is not going to be the constant Gary/Mary Sue force.
2) Humans have only recently mastered stealth technology in my story. So most of the data they have obtained through spying is general and sparse. No military is going to put up their secrets on the extranet.
3) Many readers have pointed out why he should be supervising the battle, not fighting. My question is - why not? Admiral Drescher and General Williams are competent enough. Why not let them order the troops while the very powerful immortal emperor leads them against the turians.
Also, HP is going to be a major character in my fic and I cannot stand politicians that are incapable of actually doing something.
4) Finally, why can't some idiots understand that I am building up to a humanity that actually fight the reapers rather than just relying on Shepard and the other races. Its that simple.
So stop bugging me about humanity being too powerful. If you do, then I am going to utilize my full vocabulary of swear words. Most of them will be in Hindi, Bengali or Nepali, so you won't know just how badly you have been insulted.
Thank you for your patience.
PS: This doesn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyway. The 56th Grammy Awards 2014 was just... just Majestic.
The Harbinger Of Change
Chapter 9: Aftermath
"How's the damage to the city?"
"Widespread, but manageable. The southern part near the bridge took the most hits from their ships. It will need to be completely repaired and rebuilt. Apart from that, everything else looks okay. A few weeks of repairs should do the trick."
"And the people?"
"What do you expect? They're scared. frightened. Tired. Some want to leave immediately and go somewhere safer. while a few are entertaining the bloodthirsty parts of themselves. Most of them are volunteering to help with the repairs though. It seems that Good Samaritans can still be found in the galaxy."
"What about your wife? And Ashley? Did they handle it alright?"
"I checked up on them as soon as I was able to. They're rattled but fine. Both of them were worried sick about me. They even thought that I would imitate you and charge off into the frontlines." Taking a moment to look at his father, Michael Williams Potter finally asked the dreaded question "You do know that mom will give you hell for that?"
"Ignorance is bliss they say. What Daphne doesn't know won't hurt her. Or cause her to hurt me."
"You know Athena will probably use this as blackmail material for her own devious plots. After all, there is a new exclusive AI upgrade that she's had her eye on."
"I know what you're talking about. I planned to give her that on her birthday. That might cause her to take some pity on me."
Father and son looked at each other out of the corner of their eyes before simultaneously saying "Nah."
Suddenly, Hadrian's omni tool started beeping, indicating that he had an urgent call he needed to take. Entering in a few commands so that the call was transmitted through the Quantum Entanglement Communicator of the Shanxi HQ, he was not surprised to see Admiral Drescher waiting to talk to him.
"Greetings Admiral. What is your report?"
"Sir, we have eliminated all the remaining stragglers and secured the system. The majority of the fleet has taken position near the relay while the rest have organized themselves into three ship groups and are patrolling the borders."
"We have also received a transmission from Arcturus Station. They are sending over the entire Fifth Fleet to defend the system. It was Grand Admiral Marcus that gave the order. He also told us to tell you, and i quote, "Kick their bony asses back to the stone age dad."
Grand Admiral Marcus Fenix Potter. His oldest son.
When Marcus had joined the navy, he had disguised himself and enlisted as Marcus Fenix. He had gone on to earn his way through the ranks, gaining respect from both his superiors and inferiors alike. When he was given the position of grand Admiral along with the mark of the Hallows, the Emperor had revealed his true parentage to everybody watching in the most dramatic manner at his request. That had earned the Emperor a sea of shocked faces and a week of sleeping on the couch, courtesy of his lovely wife.
"That is welcome news Admiral. I'm sure the arrival of the fleet will prove to be fortuitous. Is there anything else?"
She was cut off by Athena hijacking the call and appearing in her holo form right beside the admiral's image.
"Sorry to interrupt, but dad you've got a few calls you need to take immediately. General Williams and Admiral Drescher should also be there, but it seems like you've got that covered."
"Put them through my wonderful beloved daughter."
As if she had read his mind, Athena replied with a mischievous glint in her eyes "Thanks but no amount of flattery will convince me to cover your ass from mom's wrath. I do take bribes though."
"With these parting words, Athena vanished. In her place appeared the images of Dr Jamie Lannister, head of the Imperial Research & Intelligence Department, and Jack Harper aka The Illusive Man head of Cerberus.
Now most people in the empire believed that Cerberus was a private organization with powerful backers and questionable yet efficient methods. the truth is that Cerberus is actually a secret black ops organization started by the Emperor. It worked behind the scenes to ensure the safety and security of the empire and its citizens. It performs brutal research operations, intelligence & infiltration assignments, and even performed assassination missions. It is the only department in the empire that reports directly to the emperor himself.
Only high ranking military officials, heads of the more important departments and the members of the senate knew the truth about Cerberus. And even fewer people knew any solid details about the mysterious organization.
And nobody outside the organization (except him of course) knew that Fluffy was the group's mascot.
Slipping back into 'strong ruler/military commander' mode, he began the meeting "Dr Lannister, Illusive Man. I assume this is regarding the turians and their actions.
The last part came out in a low hiss, effectively conveying Hadrian's displeasure at the situation.
Dr Lannister cleared her throat and began her report "My Lord, we have begun updating our existing behavioral and psychological profiles of the turians. the combat data that we have received has proven to be extremely useful, especially the sections regarding the turian's actions under duress. we should have a complete profile ready for your inspection within the hour."
"We have begun analyzing their tactics and stratagems while highlighting any weaknesses we can find. With this first hand experience, our troops should be more effective and better informed against them. this should be a great help for your counterattack." This report came from The Illusive Man, or TIM as some liked to call him.
"Good. General Williams, how many prisoners do we have?"
"Over a thousand sir. Out of these, 20 are biotics while a dozen are senior officers. The best part is that we have managed to capture their General, Fedorian i believe his name is."
Briefly contemplating the situation, Hadrian gave his orders "Alright, divide up all the regular prisoners into three equal groups. Send two groups to Dr Lannister and Cerberus along with all the biotics. Send the third group to Arcturus station along with all the officers except for the General. I will interrogate him personally."
The admiral chose this moment to intervene "Sir, what should we do about the enemy dreadnought and its crew? Should we round them up as well?"
"Is the ship completely disabled?"
"Yes sir. The new Knock Out missiles worked perfectly."
"And the admiral responsible for the invasion? Is he onboard as well?"
"Alive and kicking sir, though a few of the ship captains under my command are itching to rectify that."
"Very well. Admiral Drescher, I want you to gather up the best tech experts and charm masters from the fleet and Shanxi. Modify the ship's records and the memories of the crew while extracting any useful data. Make them think that they escaped. Make sure they know enough about us to send a strong message but not enough accurate specifics to help them in combat. Manipulate their emotions enough for them to confess and tell everybody that this was their fault. I also want you to plant an AI undercover deep inside the ship's databases. Make sure whoever you choose is skilled enough to not be detected. That way we can quietly gather intel and take back at least partial control of the ship whenever we want to."
"General Williams, I need you to make sure that Shanxi is rebuilt. Shore up all defenses and fortifications. Gather all the bodies of our men and make sure they are given the respect they deserve. See what tech samples you can gather from the corpses of the turians. Also, make sure that the civilians are taken care of and that they don't panic."
"Dr Lannister, Illusive Man, you will continue your current assignments regarding the turians. You are also cleared to perform any and all invasive tests you deem necessary on the prisoners. Find out everything you can about them. I also need you to run a fine comb through any information we have on the turians. Locate and identify important places and people of interest. Your top priority is to find a good location for our counterattack. Somewhere that would send a strong message, a slap to the face and a kick to the groin, all rolled up into one.
Each one of them nodded gravely. They had their orders. They would execute them to the fullest.
It was Dr Lannister that broke the momentary silence with a slight grin on her face. "Sir, I also received some interesting news. The Fifth Fleet is also escorting a very special ship. The Untamed Beast to be specific.
The emperor smirked at that. The Untamed Beast was a carrier specifically designed to house the empire's War Beast Division.
A division full of deadly and lethal magical creatures. Each one tamed by special trainers or controlled by powerful and extensive rune clusters. Each one equipped with special armor and powerful tank level shield generators. Each one extremely dangerous and almost impossible to kill.
And leading the division was Isis, his massive now 80 foot long familiar to whom he had given the mark of the Hallows. Once the slumbering guardian of the Chamber Of Secrets, she was now the most well-known and feared magical animal in the empire.
Shaking his head to break his stupor, he succinctly replied "I'm sure that will be useful."
"We will leave as soon as the Fifth arrives. Now if there's nothing else, I have a general whose mind I need to break."
The room was pitch black. Not a single ray of light was present. It was impossible for him to see his own hands.
General Fedorian was prepared for an interrogation. He was prepared for a beating. He was even prepared for full on torture.
He was not prepared for the seemingly endless silence and darkness that had enveloped him since the moment he had regained consciousness. It surprised him. It unnerved him. It terrified him.
Suddenly, he heard a noise. A noise of a door opening and closing.
Someone had just entered the room. Someone was inside the room with him.
He quickly pounced in the direction of the noise, hoping to attack one of his jailors. However, his efforts were in vain as his talons met empty air.
He then found himself bound by thick metal chains that appeared out of nowhere. Unable to regain his balance after his quick lunge, he fell heavily onto the floor.
Despite his weak position, he defiantly lifted his head to try and stare at his attacker's face.
He was surprised to see two sources of light that were not there before. Not sources though, but eyes.
He stared at the luminescent emerald eyes. They were glowing, pulsating in a way that normal eyes should not. They seemed to be filled with an inner fire that was eerily similar to the magic that he had seen in the last few days.
The eyes seemed to radiate power so intense that he felt the urge to look away.
But he couldn't. The eyes held him captive. He was completely entranced by them.
And as he stared, he heard a word being spoken. A word that would remain in his mind and haunt his dreams for the rest of his life.