A/N: Okay, with this story complete. I will be over 50,000 words. The longest story I have ever written period. With 21 favorites, it is one of my more successful stories. With the Dark Avatar and System Alliance beating it out. But that is on fanfiction. Combine with FIMfiction and it is up to 43 favorites. Making it the most successful story to date :). I like to thank Solrac III for allowing me to bounce ideas off his noggin and MrIhatezntnobleskillthem for making me think on the tech...whether I wanted to or not XD. And for Nightmare for beta reading the story. Anyways, if anyone knows any great artist for a cover for this story that can be commission that will be great. As you may have read, this story is on both FIMfiction and Fanfiction. So hopefully it will gain more recognition in the future.
Thanks for reading my story, and hopefully you will stick around for the next two and the true epic conclusion of my story.
On a side note. I just realized that I have been misspelling Lonar's last name incorrectly. Its Lonar Maerun not Maerum. Oh well, I got so used to calling her that, that I will just stick with it for now.
Tali bobbed her head to the music as she worked in the converted weapons/armor bay section of the hanger. The small piece of technology in her nimble hands was swiftly dismantled and examined by the Quarian. She hummed several notes before twisting her body, dancing her way to the other side of the the bay to gather some tools before making her way back. As she place the tools down, she finally took note of her audience.
“Oh!” She stumbled somewhat. “Commander! What can I do for you?” Shepard smiled at her, tilting his head to the side as he listen to the music being played.
“Scratching Harmony?” He asked as he leaned against the table. “A classic, a really old one.”
“Yes!” She answered. “Made in collaboration of Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Cello. The harmony of classical musical instruments with new age musical creations! It was heralded as the greatest creation of musical theme of its time. It actually paved the way for new music genre and inspired many Equestrians to take up music as a career....” She fell silent, blushing fiercely on her cheeks. “And you already know that....”
Shepard chuckled. “Of course. Do you know what inspired them to create such a moving piece of music?”
Tali thought back. “Surviving music from old Earth.” She answered. “The Piano Guys, Linkin Park, Skrillex, Blue Man Group, Daft Punk, and many other artists and their creations. They were astounded by the musical pieces they made. They wanted to make something similar, but were unable to re create several pieces due to them lacking several things. However, Vinyl Scratch had heard a unfinished piece of Octavia's, asked her if she need some help, and the creation of Scratching Harmony was born....It was one of many pieces that they worked together for many years.”
“Quite the music buff, eh Tali?” Shepard asked.
“Yes. Music is deeply rooted in our culture as Quarians. Sadly, we lost many things when we fled the home world. Music was one of them.” Tali answered. “In almost 3 centuries, we only had what the galaxy had to offer.” She said with distaste “It was dull....Nasty....No soul to speak of. Then you Equestrians appeared, and soon the music galaxy was filled with beautiful sounds of music, untarnished by the greed the galaxy had.” Shepard only nodded his head, then looked at the scatter pieces on the table.
“What is this?” As he held up a small piece of metal.
“A kinetic coil for a assault rifle piercing mod.” Tali answered, as she turn back to the table. “I am currently improving the the piercing mod for the assault rifles. I was able to improve penetration and damage increase by at least 10% percent. Its not much, but it is a start.” She told Shepard, quickly soldering in several pieces together.
“Any draw backs?” Shepard questioned.
“Only a 2% increase in overheating the gun quickly. I would love to work on that, but runes are outside my expertise. You have to talk to Armorer Aires about those.” Shepard nodded his head, he then turn around and began to leave.
“Oh, and Tali?” Tali looked to Shepard. “You have to dip your waist a little lower and move your feet slightly faster if you want to finish the final spin.” Tali squeaked in surprise and embarrassment, her face turning slightly red. Shepard gave a hearty laugh as he boarded the elevator, he gave happy sigh before looking up.
“Yes Commander?” Dash pipped up from the intercom.
“Where is Spectre Maerum?” Shepard asked.
“Hold on.” Dash said, “She is in the Conference Room. Want me to let her know you are coming up?”
“Go ahead.” Shepard said as he walked out of the elevator. “How far out are we from Therum?”
“About 10 hours. Want me to push it?” Dash asked eagerly. “This baby is only-”
Shepard laughed, nodding his head. “Fine, fine. No doubt you and Joker would bother me if I don't”
“Alright! We will be there in about 2 hours!” Shepard only shook his head in amusement. Shepard walked into the conference room, seeing both Garrus and Lonar standing inside. A hologram form of a Salarian was standing in the center of the room.
“Here is all the data on both Dr. Liara T'soni and Matriarch Benezia T'Soni we managed to dig up, Spectre Maerum.” A Salarian said. “Hopefully this data will help you in your mission.”
Lonar bowed to the Salarian “Thank you Spectre Bau. Hope your own mission in catching Goto goes well.” The Salarian frown.
“Yes, well, she is a human and I have been trying to catch her for the last 3 years. You know how slippery humans are.” The Salarian grumbled. “Good hunting, Spectre Maerum.” The hologram winked out.
Garrus turn and saw Shepard standing in the door. “Commander Shepard.” Garrus nod his head to him. Shepard only gave him a blank look before turning to Lonar.
“Kasumi Goto. Human Thief supreme.” Garrus answered, surprising Shepard. “She is wanted by the Council and Alliance for over 367 counts of theft.....that we know of.”
“What?” Shepard asked in confusion.
“Kasumi Goto has been a thorn in the side of many art collectors.” Garrus said. “I had run into her more than a few times myself. You think you have her corner, and poof! She is gone with no sign of her.” Garrus grumbled. Shepard only shook his head.
“What does she look like?” Shepard had to ask. Garrus brought up his omni-tool, bringing up an image. Shepard's jaw went slack, before anger appeared on his face.
“THATS HER!” Shepard shouted, startling Lonar and Garrus. “THATS THE LITTLE SQUIRT THAT STOLE MY PLAYGEAR!”
“Um....Playgear?” Lonar hazard a guess. “A gamestation?”
“One that I had payed for several months before it came out!” Shepard teeth gritted his teeth. “It was on New Canton when it happen!”
“So that is what happen on New Canton.” Garrus mumbled to himself. Shepard stared before shaking his head.
“Gah! I can worry about it later. What can you tell me about the Matriarch and her daughter?” Shepard asked, pushing his anger to the back of his mind. Lonar nodded before turning to the center of the room. A holographic form of two Asari appeared.
On one side, an elder asari appeared to wear an extravagant dress, showing her 'assets' with little shame on her face. The asari next to her was wearing a conservative dress, standing proper for the picture.
“Matriarch Benezia T'soni is powerful Asari, Commander.” Lonar started “She is about 954 years old, she is on the final leg of her life, this does not mean she is push over. Her biotics and skills improved as she grew older. No doubt she will give even someone of your skills some trouble.” Shepard nodded his head, biotics were the only group of people that could give Equestrians some trouble in a fight. “What I don't understand is why is she helping Saren.”
“Why is that?” Shepard looked at her with confusion.
“Because she is always preaching peace and equality. In fact, she was one of the leading voices in an attempt the have the Asari have a private trade with Equestrians. She is a teacher among the religious and philosophy, much like your Queen Celestia. She adores your people Commander.” Lonar looked utterly confused. “Why would she side with Saren.”
“Something to ask her when we find her.” Garrus said. He walked up and swipe the image aside to bring up Liara T'soni. “We need to focus on who we can get now.” Shepard nodded his head, agreeing with Garrus. Although the glare Shepard threw at him didn't earn him any favors. Garrus sighed before moving on. “Liara T'soni, she is a prothean expert and researcher. She has been on dozen of worlds with Prothean ruins and has pushed for several sites located outside Citadel Space. Even going as far as going to those sites alone.”
“Pretty dangerous of her.” Shepard said.
“Indeed.” Garrus agreed. “It means she can take of herself. So we may need to be careful if she on Saren's side.”
“Alright. Dash.” Shepard called out.
“Get everyone ready and suited up. We have scientist to secure.”
“You got it!”
-Therum Space/ 2 hours later-
“How bad Joker?” Shepard asked as he stood behind him.
“Got about 5 Geth ships. All Cruiser classification.” Joker answered.
“We can take them Commander!” Dash said. “The thing is though, once we drop you off, you will lose air support.”
“Don't worry Dash. The Mako can take a pounding.” Shepard said.
“Heh. Hope so, that thing reminds me of Big Mac. Big, but powerful and can take a licking and dish it back.” Dash said. Shepard nodded before turning around.
“I want them out of my sky, Joker. Think you and Dash can do that.”
“Alright! We can take one out in 10 seconds flat!” Dash cheered.
“What about the rest of them?” Joker teased.
“Maybe a bit longer for those.”
“Heh....good to see the designs are more impressive in reality.” Wrex said as he walked up to the Mako.
“Well, duh.” Tali chided him. “Father and Uncle Gerrel are really into firepower. No doubt the Equestrians are equally impressed by the design as well.”
Lonar stared at the large tank, nearly twice the size of a Mantis Gun ship. The Mako sported at least 6 different barrels. Two cannons and 4 machine guns. She only gave it a glance when they brought it on board, thinking it was some sort of cargo transport with a tarp on. Now that she got a good look at it with out the tarp covering it, she couldn't help be amazed by the size.
“Alright people. Get on board. We are moving in 5!” Shepard called out. The hatched opened and everyone piled in. Inside the tank was spacious, at least enough room and seats to hold up to 12 people. Shepard rushed up to the driver seat. Kaiden took control of the cannons while Ashley took control of the roof turret. “Everyone strapped in?”
“Good to go, Commander.”
“Lets kill some Geth!”
Shepard smirked, before turning on the comms. “Okay Joker, open the bay doors when ready.”
“Roger that Commander.” Joker relayed. “T-minus 10 seconds to drop.”
“Wait....drop?” Lonar said in surprise. “You mean drop off right?”
“You wish, Spectre.” Wrex laughed. “Hope you brought a throw up bag.” Lonar turn wide eye as she watch as the bay doors open and saw the planet Therum in all its glory.
“Kaiden. Activate the weight runes.”
“Here we go!” Shepard pushed the pedal and the monstrous tank jerked forward before leaving the ship. Lonar felt her body jerk as the tanked flipped end over end over the skies of Therum. She heard screaming, then realized it was coming from her. Garrus actually looked calm, as he was expecting this to happen.
The Mako flipped around, spinning uncontrollably before jets activated from all over the tank. The tank slowly stopped its spinning, leveling itself in the air. At 500 yards from the ground, powerful jets activated, slowing the heavy machine in its fall.
“450 ft from the ground.”
“100” Kaiden called, which was doing nothing to calm Lonar at all.
“Activating secondary jets.” Shepard called out. Lonar felt her ears ring when a large roar sounded from below her. The tank slowed its self before finally landing hard on the ground, powerful springs soften the blow. The tank rolled across the ground before coming to a stop.
“Landfall Commander.” Kaiden said. “A good jump.”
“No enemies in sight.” Ashley called out. “Area is clear.”
Lonar looked sick, all the spinning made her want to throw up. She looked at Garrus and saw that he was as calm as ever, checking his sniper rifle as it was an everyday kind of thing.
“You knew about this?” she exclaimed. Garrus only nodded at her question. “How come you didn't tell me!?”
“Cause no one told me.” He simply said. Lonar opened her mouth, only to close it when she saw the mischievous smile on his face.
“Oh you are so dead Vakarian!” She shouted at him, causing him to laugh out loud.
“Commander!” Joker called out on the comm.
“Go ahead, Joker.” Shepard said calmly as he pushed the gas pedal and began his trek down the path.
“Dash picked up on some strange readings, Commander.” Joker said, but was cut off by said Exion.
“Really really strange Commander. Like off the charts strange!” Dash exclaimed. Joker jumped back on.
“It looks like it is coming from an underground complex several clicks from your position.”
“Alright. Thank you Joker, Dash. Now clean up those ships.”
“You got it Commander. Joker out.”
The Mako made its trek through the dangerous path. Shepard knew that one wrong turn could cause the mission turn into a very short and hot one. The tank slowly bounce along, Shepard was glad the first design was tossed out. No doubt in his mind that the original design, while fast, was a death trap waiting to happen. It would have been near impossible to control if the Mass effect fields was place inside and they hit a bump the wrong way, it would of caused them to go flying off.
“Commander, one of the ships got by me!” Joker called out over the intercom.
“Yeah. Watch out Commander! We got our wings tied up right now with the other 3!” Dash called out. “Ah! Starboard side! Starboard side!”
“Got it!” Joker cut himself off. Shepard was about to call back before a shadow covered the Mako. Up above, a Geth cruiser flew by, dropping off two objects before flying off. Tali extracted herself from her seat and got up next to Shepard.
“Geth Armature!” Shepard jerk the wheel when two bright pulse flew by.
“What the hell is that?!” Shepard called out as Ashley let loose with the machine gun turrets.
“A siege pulse.” Tali exclaimed, before a dual shot from the Mako's cannon return fire at them. The Armature's shield broke apart and a piece of its neck exploded. The Armature jerked around as the machine gun turret laid down a wave of rounds. “Basically, a very large and highly energized phasic round. It can penetrate shields easily, but the draw back is that is does very poorly against heavy armor.”
Kaiden let loose another volley of cannon rounds, destroying one of the Armature, while Ashley drain the shields of the other. “Kaiden. Active the weight runes.”
“Uh...Roger Commander?” Kaiden said in confusion as he activated the runes. Shepard pushed the gas, sending the now lighten tank to top speeds. As the tank approached the single Armature, Ashley pierce the shields, riddling the Armature with armor piercing rounds. The Armature let loose another pulse round at the approaching tank.
“Shields down to 45%” Kaiden called out. Shepard lean over and flipped a switch for the jets.
“Kaiden, when I say when. Deactivate the weight runes.” Shepard shouted as he stared at the glowing eye of the Geth.
The Mako reached at least 65 miles per hour when Shepard activated the jet boost. The tank went airborne, just avoiding another pulse. The tank was about to fly over the Armature when Shepard deactivated the jets.
“Now, Kaiden!” Shepard called out. Kaiden deactivated the weight rune and all 80 tonnes of Mako landed onto the Armature. A loud and sharp squeal of metal and electronics echoed out as the lighter armored Armature was crushed under the heavier Mako.
“Oh that just sounds nasty.” Ashley said. Shepard wasn't taking a chance if it getting back up, as he ran over the the crushed Armature several times before moving on. The Mako rumbled along the path, its tires crushing rocks underneath its treads. They turn the corner and several rockets slammed into the tank.
“Geth turrets!” Ashley called out, the machine guns pounding away. Shepard turn to Tali, a small smirk on his face.
“Think we can take that choke point?” Shepard asked. Tali only smiled back, nodding to him.
“Definitively.” Kaiden unleashed several rounds of cannon fire, each cannon firing independently instead of at the same time. Seeing a single tank taking several rocket and machine guns rounds and shrugging off the damage was quite impressive to any viewer.
“Shields at 10%” Kaiden called out.
“One more turret.” Shepard said as the tank turn its cannon to the final turret. The turret let loose a rocket, bringing down their shields. The armor shrugged off the turret machine gun rounds as it shot a final volley at the turret, destroying it.
“All turrets down.” Ashley said.
“Commander, I am detecting a side passage we can take.” Kaiden said.
“What about inside the compound? Any friendlies?” Shepard asked, only to receive shake of Kaiden's head.
“Negative, Commander. No life signs.” Shepard only smiled.
“Tali....can you hack into Geth comm channels?”
-Inside the Industrial Outpost-
Geth were fortifying the open side passage. Various Geth were taking up position for maximum amount of firepower to be poured into the passage. Several Geth were near the entrance, including a juggernaut and destroyer. The Geth gave an equivalent of a jerking back in surprise when something hacked onto their channel.
“Hey Geth.” All the Geth were confused on what to do. Several of them were attempting to cut off the channel. “Knock Knock!” The front gate leading into the compound exploded, taking the Juggernaut and Destroyer along with it. The Geth were so stunned by the new development that they were unable to act as the Mako pushed itself through the hole. Ashley laughed manically as she brought the gun turret around and began to spray at the confused Geth. Kaiden help out by using the secondary machine guns located on the side of the cannons. The last Geth made a final, if pitiful, last stand in front of the exit gate before Kaiden let loose with a dual cannon blast, destroying both the Geth and the gate itself.
“Good work Kaiden.” Shepard said, that was before he received a hit over the head by Destiny in the form of a cup holder.
“Don't encourage him.” Destiny chided him, “Senseless destruction is not something to be proud of.”
“What? Senseless destruction is always good when there are no innocents in the cross fire. Besides, this place was abandon about 10 years ago.” Shepard defended himself. “Look at all the rust everywhere.”
“Fine...” Destiny said. The Mako pushed through the ruined gate and continue on its journey to the dig site. Lonar turn to Garrus, a frown on her face.
“Hey!” she whacked his arm, startling the Turian. “How did you know about the tank drop?”
“Uh... I read the codex on it?” he said in confusion. “I asked the Lieutenant about the tank and he gave me a codex on its purpose. So I was a little prepare for what was going to happen.” he said, giving a small chuckle at Lonar's pout.
A large expanse appeared before them, causing Shepard to grumbled.
“Joker couldn't drop us off here?” he muttered, causing Kaiden to snort in amusement.
“Commander. More Armatures up ahead!” Ashley called out, Kaiden response was the dual cannon shot that destroyed the shields and crippled the Armature. It was soon run over by the massive Mako and it didn't even slow it down. The Mako soon ran into several more, all at a distance. Shepard couldn't believe just how slow the siege pulse was. While somewhat slow, the Mako was still quite fast compared to its predecessor, the M29 Grizzly. By the time the Siege pulse reach where they 'were', they were already far ahead of it.
“So much for advance AIs.” Shepard said. “Can't even aim properly.”
“Geth are not true AIs Shepard.” Tali corrected him. “They are a collection of-”
“Save it for later, Hood Girl.” Ashley barked, interrupting Tali in her speech. “Needs to concentrate here.” Tali only huffed, crossed her arms and looked away.
“Fine!” Tali said. “And don't ask me to upgrade your assault rifle when you bring it in!”
Ashley jerked her head, looking in stun surprised at the Quarian. “What!? But I need that gun to be-”
“WILLIAMS! GETH! FIRING AT US! TAKE CARE OF IT!” Shepard shouted at her.
The Mako continued its destructive journey, blasting away at anything foolish enough to get in its way. It was when the reach the top of a small hill and looked down caused them to stop.
“What....the....FUUUU!” Shepard switched the jets on, forcing the heavy tank to practically jump off the ground. Kaiden fumbled for the weight runes, switching them on in his haste, while at the same time firing off a cannon, killing a pair Geth Rocket Troopers. Flying underneath the airborne tank, dozens of rockets including a large siege pulse flew by harmlessly. The Mako landed and Shepard put the Mako in reverse and getting them out of sight.
“What the hell is that thing?! An Armature?! Its huge!” Ashley cried out. Tali looked down at the screen, given a quiet intake of air.
“A what now!?” Shepard asked.
“A Colossus. A step up from the Armature. One of the heaviest and largest mobile walking unit the Geth have. The armor can take a beating, Commander. You need to be careful.” Tali said. Shepard nodded his head.
“Ashley. Focus on the Geth Rocket troopers. Kaiden, focus on the Colossus. Ashley, when you are done wiping those troopers out, help out Kaiden.”
“Roger, Commander.” Ashley and Kaiden answered
“Let me focus on the driving. Kaiden?”
“Yes, Commander?” Kaiden turn to look at Shepard.
“How much time do we have on the Weight Runes?” Shepard asked as he began to prepare the Mako for the fight.
“About 3 minutes in total Commander.” Kaiden answered. Tali mumbled, getting out of her seat and ripped open a panel next to Kaiden, startling him. “What the?”
“Hold on Commander....Almost got it....” Tali muttered under her breath.
“Cross the green wires with the blue one.” Wrex called from behind. “Then switch the crystal matrix 5 with matrix 10.”
“Thank you Uncle Wrex!” Tali called out. She then place the panel back into position. “There. I diverted non-critical functions to power the runes, giving you at least an extra 3 minutes and a small boost in shields. Thats all I can really do for now.”
“Thanks Tali, Wrex.” Shepard called back. Shepard turn back, his eyes narrow into slits. “And as the famous saying goes....hold on....Tali!”
It watched the hill with careful eye. Thousands of programs making the tinniest calculations into throwing the Siege pulse straight at the massive Alliance tank barrel. They seen schematics on the tank, there were very little weakness to the tank itself. If there was, only the loading time on the cannons and weight issues. The Colossus stared at the hill, waiting for next move. Its comm channel flared to life, but instead of the normal Geth stutters and whines....
“LEEEEEEEROOOOOY JENKINS!” roared out of the comms confusing the Geth The massive tank rolled over the hill at break neck speeds. The machine gun turret on top roared to life, ripping through Geth shields with ease and tearing troopers apart. The cannons fired independently from one another, straight at the Colossus itself. While the shields protected it, but they were draining fast under the powerful cannons. The Colossus ready a pulse and fired straight at the charging tank. The Mako swerved slightly to avoid the pulse and continued its suicidal charge.
-Inside the Mako-
“All Geth troopers are down!” Ashley turn the turret onto the Colossus. Inside, everyone was holding on tightly to their seats as the Mako bounced down the hill at over 80 MPH. Shepard saw the massive form of the Colossus filled his entire view of the area. He reached over and flipped the jets, sending the massive tank airborne. Shepard watched as they least got to eye level of the Colossus before shouting back at Kaiden.
While heavy at 30 tonnes with the Weight Runes activated, Shepard wanted to make sure that the Colossus stayed down. But without trying to kill themselves in the process. The tank was sturdy enough, and an insane plan form in his mind. While seeing the Armature crumpled underneath the full weight of the Mako, Shepard decided to add improvised bullet to the list of the Mako's accomplishment in taking down the Geth. The heavy Mako flew for a bit before coming down at an angle, gaining speed as it did. All the Colossus could do was watch helplessly as the massive tank came down on it. There was a large screech of metal as the neck of the Colossus snapped backwards, shearing the neck and eye off the Colossus's body. The Mako continued its journey down the back of the Colossus before finally landing on the ground behind the Colossus. With its head gone, the massive machine began to stumble around blindly, the guns located on it's body firing wildly. Kaiden trained the cannons on the Colossus before putting it out of its misery.
“Alright!” Ashley cheered. “Nothing can stop this bad boy!”
“I'm getting bored back here.” Wrex complained.
“You are always bored when you are not shooting something.” Tali said to him. Wrex only growled at her, grumbling about how even family doesn't respect him.
“Kaiden, how many more clicks are we from the energy signal?”
“Just a bit more Commander.”
The next few minutes was quite boring after facing the Colossus. All that was left was a scatter few Geth Rocket Troopers and regular Geth Troopers. Going down several tunnels and mopping up the last resistance on the road to the strange energy signal. The trip was going well until they came up to a rocky wall.
“Great....well...Everyone out.” Shepard said as he climbed out his seat.
“Can't we jump over it?” Lonar asked.
“Sorry. No can do.” Shepard said as he walked to the back of the tank. “Too many large boulders blocking the way, and even if we destroy them, there is too narrow of a gap to get this baby through. Let me just activate the tracking beacon and lock it down. We can pick it up after the mission is done.”
Everyone piled out of the tank. Destiny's horn glowed with magic, enhancing everyone's armor along with a cooling charm, to keep the heat off them. Garrus politely decline the spell, stating he worked better in heat. Shepard took the lead, Lonar close behind him, as he walked down the path.
“Geth footprints.” Wrex said, pointing at small imprint in the gravel. “Lots of them.”
“How can you tell?” Garrus asked him.
“When you are as old as me, Turian, you simply know.” Wrex simply said.
Shepard and Lonar took cover, Shepard looked ahead, trying to spot any Geth up the path. Shepard motion his hand an all clear. Tali came out of cover and sprinted past Shepard to cover ahead of him. A sniper round slammed into Tali's shield, piercing right through it, and hitting her in the chest, knocking her to the ground.
“Tali!” Shepard rushed up and grabbed her and pulled her and himself into cover. “Tali! Tali breath!” Tali wheezed, her breath taken away and her face in agony. “Hold still! I got you!” Shepard's hand glowed green and placed them on her chest. Dozens of Geth came out of hiding and began to lay down fire on the Shepard and Tali's position.
An angry roar echoed out, Urdnot Wrex in all of his angry glory rushed straight down the path, taking rounds and shrugging them off. “I'll make you pay!” he roared as he grabbed the nearest Geth and began to use it as a shield in one hand, and fired his shotgun with the other. Garrus sniped Geth as fast he could, but was unable to find the sniper that almost took Tali out. Then there was flash of red light, Garrus ducked his head, and the top of the boulder he was using as cover exploded. Garrus popped back out, but the sniper was gone again.
“Shit.” He growled. He turn to see Destiny floating three weapons around her, standing slightly in the open, weapons pouring covering fire for the group. Garrus's eyes widen when he saw what appeared to be a red laser centering on Destiny's chest. “Double shit!” He threw himself out of cover and tackled the small pony. He cried out in pain as he felt a bullet rip through his side. He groan, but pushed on, rolling onto his stomach. He peeked around the side of the boulder, and saw a strange looking Geth Pure white in color, on all 4, crawling across the cliff side as a bug would do. It was also aiming at him.
“Fuck me!” he rolled back, just avoiding the sniper round. He turn to see Destiny's horn glowing, and his side hurting a lot less. He smiled at her as he pulled out his sniper rifle back out. “Thanks.” Destiny nodded her head.
“Only returning the favor.” she said to him. Garrus rolled back, seeing the Geth was now on another part of the cliff wall, taking aim at Wrex. He leveled his rifle at it and and pulled the trigger, free aiming at best. The strange Geth's shoulder jerked back from the shot, it turn and looked at Garrus before crawling away. Garrus stood up, aiming his sniper rifle to take out more Geth. Through the scope, he saw Geth retreating, and close on their heels was Wrex. The angry Krogan was tearing them apart all by himself. Behind him was Ashley and Lonar, backing the Krogan up.
“Destiny! I need your help!” Shepard shouted from ahead.
“On my way!” Destiny called back, rushing forward, Garrus trailing behind her. Garrus came up on Shepard and Tali position, seeing Shepard's hand glowing and placed upon the Tali's chest. Kaiden stood by, his rifle out and scoping out the area for enemies.
“What happen?” Destiny asked as she trotted up.
“Sniper round. Her shields took the brunt of it, but her sternum was shattered when the round punched through the shields and hit her chest. I managed to keep her alive and somewhat pain free, but I can't fix this.” Shepard said as her used his free hand to aim his hand gun, while the other glowed green with healing magic.
“Okay. Keep her still.” Destiny said, her horn glowing brightly. Garrus watched as Tali's eyes grew wide and she gripped Shepard's arm. Shepard place his pistol on the ground and grab a hold of her hand.
“Its ok, we got you.” Shepard said softly. “Just hold on. Your 'Uncle' Wrex is taking care of the problem.”
“Almost done.” Destiny said, Tali's breathing becoming stronger with each second. “Tali, can you talk to me?”
“Y-yes!” She croaked out.
“Good girl.” Destiny said, her horn glowing brightly “Does anything else hurt? Anymore pains or anything feel funny?”
“N-no. Everything feels great.” Tali said as she slowly sat up. “Keelah...I need better armor plating.”
“Yeah....I think we all do.” Garrus said, grimacing at his armor, a hole on the lower left side. “This armor has shrugged off dozens of rounds. Spirits, I been shot at with sniper round before and it just shrugs it off. But whatever those Geth are using, they are definitively a cut above anything I ran into. If you have been using ME shields or armor, you would probably be dead.” Tali nodded her head at him. An explosion was seen far down the path.
“Lonar. How is everything going over there?” Shepard asked as he picked up his pistol.
“Everything is going great! We are just cleaning up the last of the Geth.”
“Alright, we are heading over there right now.”
“And Tali. What about her?” Wrex cold voice echoed over the comm. Garrus shivered, he could only imagine what would happen if Tali was killed.
“I'm fine Uncle Wrex.” Tali said. “Shepard and Destiny helped me out.”
“Thank the gods....Your mother would of killed me if you died.....” Wrex said quietly.
“Its fine....Mom wouldn't hold against you....she would want you to get the person who did.” Tali said, picking up her shotgun, pumping it once. “Or she really would haunt you if you didn't.”
“Hah!” Wrex said warmly. “No doubt in my mind that she would.”
“Alright Lonar, hold position until the rest of us get there.”
“You got it, Commander.”
The group jog ahead, wary for anymore surprise attacks. They soon saw Wrex, Ashley, and Lonar standing around, their weapons out and ready for anything. All around them, Geth lay dead on the ground. Wrex took one look at Tali, stomped right up to her and lifted her in a hug. Tali yelped in surprise by the hug, but return it the best she could.
“Thank the gods!” Wrex exclaimed. “How about we keep this a secret, eh kid?”
Tali nodded her head. “Yeah...at least...for now.”
“Okay people.” Shepard started. “The energy signal is coming from up ahead. Lets move.”
The group moved forward, their weapons out and ready for anything.
“Commander!” Dash called on comm
“Dash? What is it?” Shepard asked.
“Geth Cruiser is heading towards your position!”
“Damn it! Everyone get into-Shit!” Shepard was roughly shoved to the ground by Garrus, a second later a sniper round slammed into the wall behind him. The same white Geth that almost killed Tali was hanging off the bottom of the walkway, before leaping away at high speeds. Suddenly, the sky was turn dark, the Geth Cruiser flew over head. But it looked like it seen better days.
“Looks like Joker and Dash gave it a good beating.” Kaiden said. The Geth ship was emitting flames and fractured armor was barely hanging on to the frame. The Geth ship hovered over ahead, emitting troops along with a single Armature. It appeared that was going to drop off more, before the top part of the ship exploded.
“Take cover Commander! I'm coming in hot!” Joker called out over the intercom. The Geth ship receive several more blows before it veered off, trying to escape. The Normandy took its place in the sky, not a single scratch on the paint. It fired several more rounds before giving chase to the flailing Geth ship.
“Focus on the troopers!” Shepard shouted. “Leave the Armature for last!” Gunfire erupted between the two sides. The real pain was both the Armature and the strange Geth 'hopper'. Both of them forced the Normandy team to keep their heads down.
Shepard was getting pissed. He was hating the Armature and the hopper.
“Destiny. Cast a spell on it already!” Shepard yelled at her.
“I'm trying. But every time I try, that stupid hopping Geth takes a shot at me!” Destiny yelled back. She jerked her head back when something grazed her face. The hopper landed on the far side of the compound its eye trained on the pony, that was before the eye exploded into pieces. The hopper jumped, unfortunately the direction it jump to was that of a lava lake. It screech as it was melted in the lake.
“Finally!” Garrus exclaimed, before ducking back under cover, hiding from the barrage of gunfire coming from Armature. “Hopper down.” Tali was kneeling next to him, looked up at him in confusion.
“Yeah....you know...that stupid jumping Geth with the fetish to give itself away with.....you know what. Let just keep calling it a Hopper.” Garrus grumbled. Tali only shrugged her shoulder before leaning out and pelting the Armature with buckshot.
“Destiny.” Shepard sat next to Destiny, his face grim and holding on to his sword.
“What are you going to do with that?” Destiny said, point at the sword.
“Well...I am going to cripple it. Then you unleash the Lighting Cloud spell.” Shepard simply stated as he examined his sword before looking at her.
“And how are you going to cripple it? Cutting off its legs?” Destiny said sarcastically.
“How did you know?”
“*sigh* Why am I even surprised anymore.” Shepard only grin at her statement. Destiny's horn glowed while Shepard's body covered itself with lighting. His sword glowed, runes shining bright with magical power.
“3....2.....1...Go” Shepard leaped out of cover and rushed straight at the Armature. The Geth turn its head and let loose a pulse at Shepard. Shepard dove forward, rolling underneath the pulse before getting back on his feet. The Geth fired several heavy machine rounds at him, forcing Shepard to divert his path. He ran to the right, forcing the Geth to try and follow his new path. By the time it lined up a new shot, Shepard was already on top of it. Shepard brought his sword back, the sword glowing brightly with power. With a loud roar, Shepard swung his sword, cleaving the leg off the Armature with ease.
“Destiny now!” Shepard dove to the side. Destiny's eyes glowed with power, her form raising off the ground before she released the spell. Ominous, dark clouds appeared above the Armature, lighting racing across the surface. The Armature managed to look up just in time to see dozen of lighting bolts racing straight at it. The machine screech as the bolts of lighting tore through its body. Fuses blew out and wiring melted, unable to protect the internal components from the magical lighting. The 'eye' blew out, and several armor plating blew off from internal explosion. It gave a final screech before exploding into pieces.
Shepard gave a tired chuckle before sitting up. “Everyone good?” Shepard asked.
“Ready for some more.”
“I think I bruised my hump.”
Shepard gave them a small nod. “Joker, you there?”
“I'm here Commander.” Joker said.
“How is that Geth Ship doing?” Shepard asked.
“Currently sinking into a large lava lake. I think they wanted to enjoy the boiling lava, I heard it did wonders for the skin.” Joker quipped.
“Good. I need you to pick up the Mako.” Shepard said as he walked up the ramp. “We are heading towards energy signal. The Geth want us to stay away from here for a reason.”
“Commander.” Dash spoke up. “Scans indicate that there is something buried underground. Looks Prothean. So there is a good chance the Doctor T'Soni may be here as well.”
“Thanks Dash. Alright people. Update on the mission. The strange energy signal is coming from a Prothean ruin. So there is a good chance T'Soni is here as well.”
“What a shocker.” Ashley said deadpan. “I thought she was at another ruin. The one east of here.”
“We can ask her that once we extract her from here.” Shepard said.
-Prothean Dig site/Tunnel Entrance-
Shepard stared down long tunnel. He turn to Destiny to ask her to boost their armor when a light blue barrier sprang up. Lonar smiled at Shepard, a light chuckle escaping her lips.
“I got this Commander. Can't let your people show me up all the time.” Lonar walked forward, her barrier shielding them. No sooner than Lonar walked 5 feet into the tunnel, gunfire erupted from the end.
“I can't hold this forever! Run!” Lonar bolt forward, everyone soon followed after her. Biotic energies swirled around Lonar's form. She felt a pressure building up as she ran, forcing her to run even faster, she took another step before everything blur together. One moment she was 10 yards away from the Geth line. The next she was standing right behind the Geth line. Everything was moving so slow to her. She saw three Geth flying away from her, moving almost comically slow in the air before falling into the abyss. She slowly turn her head and saw the Geth behind her was turning around slowly, bringing their guns on her. Then the world sped up, as one Geth chest exploded and the other was frozen in place. Lonar pulled out her pistol and fire a round, shattering it. She stared as the pieces fell, confusion written all over her face. The rest of the group caught up to her.
“Impressive Spectre.” Wrex rumbled up to her. “I didn't know you knew the Biotic Charge.”
“I...I didn't.” She said numbly.
“Hah!” Wrex barked out in laughter, startling Lonar out of her stupor. “Even better then. Shows your potential you have locked away.”
“Stay sharp people.” Shepard ordered “If there is Geth in here, there may be more.” Shepard pushed forward, everyone gathered behind him. Only a lone single Geth remain on the level they were on, badly damaged one. Wrex guess it was one of the Geth that Lonar brutally throw off the catwalk and managed to land on the lower level. It didn't take long to put it down before they piled into an elevator to go down a level.
Shepard groan when he saw that he was going to take another elevator down. “I hate this place.”
Destiny stared at Shepard with deadpan look. “We just fought maybe over a hundred Geth, several Armatures, one on foot I may add, and a Colossus. And you are 'just' now hating this place.”
“I hate elevators with a passion.” Shepard said, causing Garrus to chuckle. “I can barely tolerate Vakarian as it is. This just makes it worse.” Garrus wilted under the scorn. Shepard received a hit at the back of his head for his comment. He turn to see Destiny glaring at him, but he only scoffed at this. Shepard pushed past Garrus, grumbling as he did so. Everyone walked by Garrus, except Destiny, who walked up next to Garrus.
“Why does he hate me?” Garrus grumbled.
“He doesn't hate 'you', Garrus.” Destiny said. “He hates what you represent.” Garrus blinked in surprise at the response he received.
“What I...represent?” He asked in confusion. Destiny nodded her head.
“Uncontrollable anger and chaos.” Destiny simply said. “Shepard's actions may act like chaos fuel WMD, but everything he does is under his control. The explosions, the gunfights, even when he speaks. He is in control, and if he is not, he tries to steer it away from complete chaos. Your actions in the Med-clinic brought up some....Bad memories for him.”
“CONTACT! DRONES!” Kaiden shouted from up ahead.
“Come on.” Destiny said rushing passed him. Garrus only nodded his head, bring his sniper rifle to bare. By the time Garrus and Destiny reached the others, the fight was over.
“Thank you for joining us!” Shepard said sarcastically out loud “Its fine, we had it under control.”
Destiny snap her tail at Shepard's hand as she passed, causing him to pull his hand back in surprise. “From the look of it. You did have it under control.”
Shepard pointed his finger at Destiny, his mouth opened, then closed, then opened it once more, then lowered his hand down and fumed at her. He then stomped over to her to as she waited patiently in the elevator and stood beside her, arms crossed. Destiny had a ghost of a grin on face as everyone else piled on. Ashley pushed the button to get the elevator going.
“Okay team.” Shepard said. “We go in, clear the Geth, get the Asari and then-” A large explosion ripped out from below them, causing the elevator to malfunction and fall. It didn't fall very far though, no sooner did everyone began to float off the elevator floor, did it violently screech to a stop. Everyone groan as they picked themselves off the ground. “For crying out loud. What now?” Shepard growled.
“Uh....Commander?” Garrus spoke out loud, leaning over the side. “We got Geth on the ground floor!” He pulled his sniper rifle and fired a single shot, killing a Rocket Trooper. Shepard lean over and saw a large Geth force currently making their way into a newly carved out tunnel. But it was what he heard that gained his attention.
“Someone! Anyone! Please help me!” Shepard's eyes widen in surprise when he heard a voice calling for help.
“Come on people. There is someone still alive!” Shepard jumped over the side, climbing down the rubble. Shepard landed on the catwalk, coming under fire from the advancing Geth. A single Geth trooper attempted to rush at Shepard, only to get sent tumbling in the air by Lonar's Lift. Shepard turn behind him and saw an Asari floating inside some sort of sphere. Behind her she saw several Geth working on some sort of terminal. The Asari inside the sphere looked terrified, her eyes glued on Shepard.
“Please help me!” she cried. “I'm trapped in here!”
“Hold on!” Shepard said, turning to Destiny. “Destiny, take Kaiden, Tali, and Wrex and teleport in there. The rest of us will go around.” The three stood next to Destiny before they vanished in a flash of light. The sound of gun fire erupted from the other side of the shield, Wrex stomped on a down Geth while Kaiden and Destiny flung the rest down to the other side of the room. Tali worked on the terminal to free the Asari from her prison. “Alright people, lets clear out these Geth.” He leaped over the railing and landed inside the massive hole that was carved out by the Geth. He pulled out his assault rifle and laid down fire on the Geth. A large Destroyer began to run at him, attempting to run him over. Shepard dove to the side, only to see to the Destroyer get sent flying backwards, taking several Geth with its flying body. Lonar stood where the Destroyer was, her assault rifle barking. She turn and smiled at him.
“I got your back Commander.” She said. A Geth attempted to rush her, but was blown back from a sniper round. Garrus walked next to Lonar, smirking at her.
“And I got yours.” Garrus said to her, Lonar only smirked at him before turning back to fight. The Geth found themselves unable to move forward due to the elevator being on another level. They gave it their all to stop the Normandy crew, but failed. The last Geth standing was the Destroyer itself, shrugging off rounds and dishing it back out. Any attempt to rush them was stopped by Lonar and her biotics. Shepard did attempt to use his Armor Fracture Spell, but the Destroyer focused on him when he began to charge the spell. A large rumbled echoed out and the elevator began to descend to their level. The Destroyer continued firing at Shepard and his group, only to screech in surprise when rounds began to slam into its back. A bolt of lighting slammed into it, causing it jerk around, screeching as it did. Shepard finally began to charge his Fracture Spell. The Destroyer tried to focus on Shepard, but the magical lighting was making a mess of its programs and internal components. The first to go was the targeting parameters. Normally, a Geth would be able to reconfigure itself after an electrical attack, namely overload attacks or phasic rounds. Magical Lighting on the other hand, was persistent and lasts longer than an overloads would. It was unable to stop or even avoid the spell aimed at it. The spell connected, and the Geth received dozens of Armor Integrity warnings. The Destroyer raised its heavy machine gun in an attempt to at least kill Shepard, but its chest burst open, leaving a massive hole. The Destroyer fell to its knees, before crumpling sideways. The last of its surviving program force the remaining power to its head, to see its destroyer and saw a familiar foot resting on its chest.
Tali place the her shotgun on its 'stomach' and pulled the trigger, destroying the power source.
'S-s-s-s-s-shut-t-t-t-ti-n-n-n-g d-d-down. D-d-d-d-d-dele-t-t-ein-g-g-g-g a-a-a-all d-d-d-a-t-t-ta.”
Shepard walked up to Tali. “That was quite brutal Tali.” Tali only shrugged, and pointed her thumb at Wrex.
“Blame him, he was the one who taught me how to shoot.” Tali said. Shepard only shakes his head, then looked at Kaiden.
“And the Asari?” Shepard asked him. Wrex gave a grunt and took a step to the side, revealing the Asari.
“Um...hello.” She said quietly. She then bowed to them “Thank you for saving me. All of you. Thank you. If you haven't shown up...” Shepard walked up to her and place his hand on her shoulder.
“Its fine, you're safe now.”
Lonar walked up to the Asari. “Doctor Liara T'soni?”
“Yes?” Liara asked.
“Spectre Maerum, I need you to come with us.” Lonar said. “We have questions that need answers and you are the only one that can provide them.”
“What? Answers to what?” Liara looked confused. “Of course I will answer any-” The entire room shook, causing everyone to look around in surprise.
“What the hell was that?!” Ashley yelped in surprise at the sounds of crumbling rock.
“These ruins are not stable.” Liara said as she walked to the terminal. “When the Geth used the mining laser to bore through the rock, it must of trigger a seismic event.”
“Seismic Event?” Garrus asked. Liara grimaced before turning back to the group.
“It caused this inactive volcano....um...to be active again.” Liara said hesitantly. Shepard groan before speaking.
“Great, like my quota for explosions hasn't been filled today.” Shepard growled. “Joker! Dash! Lock on my signal for hot evac.”
“Hot evac?!” Joker said in confusion.
“Exploding volcano hot.” Shepard simply stated.
“You have got to be shitting me.” Joker said in a stun tone. “Alright Commander. Secured and aweigh, ETA 8 minutes. Hurry your ass up, Dash picked up multiple fissures all around the area.....wait what?!”
“What is Joker?”
“We got movement at the site Commander. Geth!”
“Great.” Shepard growled. “Alright people, we got hard contact and a volcano ready to blow her top.” we need to move now!”
Liara manipulated the controls for the elevator, forcing the elevator move upwards despite the multiple warnings.
“Doctor T'Soni.” Lonar asked, bringing up her omni-tool and began to record. “I need to know about your mother and her recent activities with Saren.” Ashley looked at the Spectre in surprise.
“There is a volcano erupting all around us and you are asking questions!” she said in a stun tone.
“I need the data.” Lonar defended herself. “If we don't make, I can at least send the data back to the Citadel before I die in molten lava!” Ashley couldn't help but conceded to her point.
“What?! I haven't even spoken to my mother in almost a century.” Liara answered as she saw the 'roof' of the Prothean ruin rising up to them. “I have no idea why she is working with that bastard Saren.” Lonar only grimaced at the answer, not please with it at all.
“So you don't know anything?” Garrus pushed.
“I have been on this planet for almost 2 months.” Liara said. “I barely have contact with anyone outside the camp let alone news with the rest of galaxy. Oh no! The camp! All the scientists, archeologists and workers! What happen to them!” Shepard shook his head at her question.
“I'm sorry, but we didn't see anyone outside.” Shepard said.
“I...I see.” Liara looked down in shame. “I was so sure someone was following me when I ran into the ruins to escape the Geth...I thought they remain hidden when I didn't see them....” Shepard gave Liara a sympathetic look. Shepard looked up and saw they were nearing the end of the ride.
“Alright people top floor.” Shepard said, bringing up rifle. “Get ready.”
No sooner did the elevator stop, they were greeted with more Geth, and surprisingly a Krogan as well. The Krogan stomp forward, a grin on his face when he saw them. “Surrender. Or don't. That would....be....fun? What is this? Alliance Personnel?” Shepard was about to speak, but a claw hand gently landed on his shoulder. The Krogan took a step back, his eyes beginning to fill with fear.
“Who are you whelp?” Wrex asked calmly, the crumbling of the ruin around him just cemented more fear into the young Krogan. When the young Krogan remain silent, Wrex spoke up again. “I asked you a question.”
“I...I am Raik Graden, Clan Chief.” The Krogan answered. “I...I didn't know-”
“You didn't. But now you do.” Wrex said, walking up to the Krogan. “Now what says you. Do you stand with the Clans, or do you side with your payer.” The Graden took a step back, swallowing, before pulling out his shotgun and blasting the Rocket Trooper next to him.
“I stand with the Clans!” Graden roared. Wrex only laughed, blasting a Geth with his own shotgun.
“Good boy! You serve your clan well!” Wrex said, blasting away at another Geth. The rest of the group sat in stun surprise at seeing one of their enemies side with them so quickly. “Don't stand there like drunk Pyjaks! Fight!” Wrex yelled, bringing the others to their senses and their weapons up to fight the remain Geth. It was too one sided. The Krogan was the Geth's ticket in beating Shepard and his group, unfortunately the Krogan sided with them instead of his paycheck. The last of the Geth have fallen and Shepard rushed out the exit.
“Come on!” He shouted as he ran. The rest of the group rushed behind him, the ground was shaking and heat was beginning to rise in the chamber. A blue shield stop their progress momentarily, before flickering out of existence due to a failing power supply. Outside of the shield, boulder and dust fell from the ceiling destroying anything that got in its way. The Normandy group plus two ran out into the caverns, barely avoiding getting crushed in the process. Shepard was the first to reach the tunnel but stop to look behind him to see if there was anyone missing. A large groaning sound echoed out and Shepard looked up, his eyes widen as he saw a massive boulder take out the catwalks, and the rest began to falter and weaken.
“MOVE!MOVE! MOVE!” Shepard shouted at the group as they ran past him, but notice he was missing two people. He looked to see Tali and Destiny coming up from behind. “COME ON!” he shouted at them. Suddenly something massive blocked his view for a second before he heard a screech of metal tearing, he looked down and saw part of the catwalk missing. Tali and Destiny were still running towards him when the entire catwalk collapse from underneath them and they began to fall.
Destiny felt herself and Tali began to fall through the air. Destiny grimaced at the thought of dying either being crushed or being melted alive and deemed it unacceptable for her desires to live. She twisted herself in the air, latching onto Tali's back before looking at Shepard as she fell. Her horn glowed and the world twisted itself around her before landing roughly on her side in the tunnel.
“You two ok?” Shepard asked as he lift the two back to their feet.
“Keelah. I am now.” Tali said before hugging the pony who save her life. Then everything glowed orange and all three turn to see a fountain of lava spraying into the air in the collapsing cavern.
“And that’s our cue to leave.” Shepard stated. “Lets go!” Shepard, Tali, and Destiny ran out of the tunnel into open air. Overhead, the Normandy sat waiting for them.
-Normandy Conference Room-
Everyone sat or stood around the room, Shepard leaning against the rail as he watched everyone talk to one another. He was tired, but they manage to complete the mission.
“Too close, Commander. Ten more seconds and we would've been swimming in molten sulfur. The Normandy isn't equipped to land in exploding volcanoes.” Joker grouched at him
“Yeah, while we can brush off a solar flare, but only at a distance. Not a point blank range. Heated globs of rock tend melt through our hull and fry our sensors.” Dash said.
“Just for future reference.” Joker finished up. Shepard only shook his head in amusement.
“Noted Joker, Dash. I will try to keep the exploding volcanoes to a minimum.” Shepard said.
“Good.” Joker only said before cutting out.
“We almost died out there and your pilots are making jokes?” Liara asked incredulously.
“Pilots?” Garrus whispered in confusion
“Joker and Dash could of easily left us there if you wanted them to follow proper procedure, Doctor T'Soni.” Shepard said “I think they are allowed to make a joke or two if it means they save our ass from a literal frying pan.”
“I...see.” Liara said, rather put off by Shepard's blunt response. “It must be an Equestrian thing. I don't have a lot of experience when dealing with your people, Commander. But I am grateful to you... to all of you. You saved my life back there, and not just from the volcano either. Those Geth would of killed me or dragged me off to Saren.”
Graden took a step forward and took a knee in front of Shepard. “My apologize Commander. I did not know who I was going against. Had I known I was going against the Alliance I would of ended the contract then and there.” Wrex walked forward and place a hand on his hump. “I shame my clan.”
“No, you took a bad contract, nothing more.” Wrex said. “I find you innocent in this mess Raik Graden, may you bring glory to your clan. Head to the hanger bay and wait there. We will make our way to port soon enough.” Graden stood up and bowed to him.
“Thank you Clan leader.” Graden said before walking away.
“You don't think he knows anything?” Garrus asked, but Wrex shook his head.
“No. He told me he located the contract on Omega, from a turian mercenary. All it said that he would be picked up and sent to a location and be called up if things go bad. Nothing more.” Wrex said, and Garrus nodded his head at the explanation.
“What does Saren want with you? Do you know anything about the Conduit?” Kaiden asked. Liara nodded her head.
“Only that it is somehow connected to the Prothean extinction. That is my real area of expertise. I have spent the last 50 years trying to figure out what happen to them.” Liara clarified.
“How old are you exactly? The report on you was rather limited.” Shepard asked.
“I hate to say admit, but I am only 106.” Liara said. Lonar only nodded her head at this.
“A good age to know what you want to do with your life. I was 68 when I wanted to pursue work in being a cop.” Lonar mentally stated to herself.
“Damn.” Ashley said in surprise. “I hope I look that good when I reach that age.”
“Still a long way to go.” Destiny said, Ashley nodded her head at the statement.
“A century may seem like a long time to a short lived species such as yours. But amongst the Asari, I am barely considered more than a child.” Lonar nodded her head at that, she fell under the same scrutiny as Liara.
Ashley only snorted at Liara's response. “And to the Queen of Equestria, you Asari are barely reaching your teens. Your point being?” Liara frowned when she remember that the Queen Celestia was reaching 5000 years old, nearly five times the age of the Asari Matriarch, and still looked quite young. Thats not even counting Princess Luna and Lord Discord, both of them being several thousands years older than even the eldest Matriarch.
She grimaced when she ran her sentence in her head “I..apologize for my remark, it may have sounded like an insult, but that is not what I was seeking. My age is the main reason why my research has not gain the attention it deserves. Due to my youth, other Asari scholars tend to....'dismiss' my theories on what happen to the Protheans.”
Shepard didn't know why, but at the word 'dismiss' he felt a chill run down his back.... along with a lot of anger for some reason....and an image of the Turian Councilor. He shook his head a bit, trying to shake the feeling. “Did your research turn up anything interesting?” Shepard asked.
“What is interesting is what did 'not' turn up.” Liara said. “There remarkable little archeological evidence of the Protheans and even less on why they disappeared. It is almost as if someone did not want the mystery to be solved. It is like someone came along after the Protheans were gone, and cleansed the Galaxy of clues.” Shepard and Lonar both looked at one another. They both remembered the conversation they had with the Queen and Anderson, the evidence that pointed out there may be something lurking in the galaxy and was the source of the missing Protheans and humans. “But here is the incredible part. According to my findings, the Protheans were not the first Galactic civilization to mysteriously vanish. This cycle began long before them.”
Shepard froze in place, as well as Lonar, Destiny, Kaiden, and Garrus. The implication that was made by Liara only began to turn for the worse. “Where did you come up with this theory? I thought there wasn't any evidence?” Shepard said calmly, although the panic look in the eyes of those at the meeting was all too clear for the others.
“I have been working at this for over 50 years now.” Liara said slowly, the room felt stiff, cold even and it threw her off somewhat. “I've tracked down every scrap and shred of evidence. Eventually a subtle pattern began to emerge. Patterns that hinted at the truth. It is....difficult to explain to someone else. I cannot point at one specific thing to prove my case. It is more of a feeling derived from half a century of dedicated research. But I know I am right, and eventually I will be able to prove it. There were other civilizations before the Protheans. This cycle has repeated itself many times over.”
“What cycle?” Ashley asked, Shepard all but nearly punched Ashley out. He didn't want to know more, but it was too late. “What are you talking about.”
“The Galaxy is built upon a cycle of extinctions.” Liara clarified. “Each time a great civilization rises up, it is suddenly and violently cast down. Only ruins survive. The Protheans rose from a single world before they span the entire known galaxy. And yet they climb on top of the remains of those who came before. Their greatest achievements: The mass relays, the Citadel; are based off the technology those that came before them. And then, like all other forgotten civilization through out galactic history, the Protheans disappeared. I have dedicated my life into figuring out why.”
“Recent evidence has just appeared to support your statement.” Garrus said, “A race of machines called the Reapers.”
“Garrus!” Lonar shouted at him. “You don't just spout off classified info like that!” Shepard sighed and wiped his head with the back of hand.
“The...the Reapers?” Liara said in confusion. “But I never heard of....How do you know this?” Garrus only shrugged and pointed at Shepard.
“Ask him, their Queen knows more about it than me.” A face palm could be heard as Lonar covered her face in embarrassment. Shepard glared at Garrus before turning back to Liara.
“We have evidence back at Canterlot. As for how we knew about the Reapers, it was due to a damaged Prothean beacon on Eden Prime. It burn a vision into my mind, still trying to sort out what it means.”
“Visions....” Liara thought hard on the word, before a smile graced her face. “Yes that makes sense! The beacons were design to transmit directly into the mind of the user. Finding one that still works is extremely rare. No wonder the Geth attacked Eden Prime! The chance to acquire a beacon, even a badly damaged one, is almost worth any risk. But the beacons were only programmed to interact with Prothean physiology. Whatever information you received would be confusing, unclear. I am...amazed you were able to make sense of it at all!A lesser mind would have been utterly destroyed by the process. You must be remarkable strong will, Commander.” Shepard felt uneasy, the way Liara was staring at him, a hungry look in her eyes. It was the same look he received when women realize who he is and all but beg to sleep with them.
“Ok, this isn't helping us find Saren and his posse of Geth, or the Conduit.” Ashley growled at her.
“Of course. You are right.” Liara apologized “I'm sorry, my scientific curiosity got the better of me.” Shepard raised an eyebrow at her. 'That was scientific curiosity? It looked like she was about to dissect me or rip my clothes off.' Shepard thought. “Unfortunately, I do not have any information that can help you find the Conduit....or Saren.”
Shepard crossed his arms, thinking hard before speaking up. “I don't know why Saren made an effort to take you out of the picture. But I think you will be a lot better off if we bring you along.”
Liara bowed your head to Shepard. “Thank you Commander.” Liara said, then stood up. “Saren might come after me again. I cannot think of a safer place than your ship. And my knowledge of the Protheans might be useful later on.”
“And her biotics will be handy when the fighting starts.” Wrex said. “This is not the first time you defended yourself, is it girl?”
“No. It is not.” Liara said. “I can handle a pistol well enough as well.”
“Well, more the merrier.” Shepard said. “Just means more guns to be brought into the fight, more ways to put down an enemy.”
“Thank you Commander. I am very....grateful.” Liara trailed off, placing a hand on her head. “Oh...I'm afraid I am feeling a bit lightheaded.”
“When was the last time you ate or sleep?” Kaiden asked as he stood up and walked over to her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Doctor Chakwas should take a look at you.”
“It is probably just mental exhaustion. Couple with the shock of discovering the Protheans true fate. I need some time to process all this. Still it would not hurt to see by a medical professional. It would give me a chance to think things over.”
“Good. Kaiden, take her to see Chakwas. The rest of you, dismissed.” Shepard said.
“Mission reports are filed and sent Commander, Spectre.” Joker said on the intercom. “You two want me to patch you to the Council and Commander General?” Both Shepard and Lonar nodded their heads.
“Go ahead Joker.”
“Setting up the link now, Commander.”
The holograms blinked into view showing the Councilors and Commander General. The Councilors look somewhat upset....well, only the Turian Councilor did, the rest looked rather neutral. Commander General on the other hand was beaming at him.
“We received the reports Commander, Spectre Maerum.” The Councilor Tevos said. “I understand that you have Doctor T'Soni is on board your ship, Commander.”
“I assume you are taking the necessary security precautions.” Councilor Sparatus said. Commander General rolled his eyes at this statement.
“No Sparatus, he is going to let her play with the life support and let her drive the ship.” Commander General said sarcastically.
“We got her under a close eye, Councilors.” Lonar said.
“But the Geth were trying to capture her or kill her. She is on our side and her expertise will help us find what Saren wants.” Shepard added, Lonar nodding her head at his statement.
Tevos shook her head. “Benezia would never allow Saren to kill her daughter.”
“Maybe she doesn't know?” Valern said.
“Or we don't know her.” Sparatus said. “We never expected her to become a traitor.”
“Well, at least the mission was a success.” Valern stated.
“Apart from the destruction of a major Prothean ruin.” Sparatus spat. “Was that really necessary Shepard?”
Commander General laughed out loud. “Of course it was necessary! Shepard and quiet don't mix very well. If there isn't an explosion, there is something wrong.”
“No doubt from your training?” Sparatus growled.
“I wish.” Commander General said wistfully “Even Discord want to know how Shepard causes so much destruction and chaos.” Shepard felt his ears burn in embarrassment. “Said he wanted to harness his ability so he can make it into a weapon.” Shepard looked in horror as Commander General shown signs of going on in his tirade. He needed it to stop, now!
“I don't need this.” Shepard grumbled as he cut off the communication. Joker snorted and Lonar only shook her head in amusement.
“Communication cut, Commander.” Joker voice was filled with amusement.
“Huh, fancy that.” Dash added. “Almost as if someone really wanted the embarrassing moment to stop.”
“Shut up, both of you.” Shepard growled, his ear burning red.
End of The Prothean Expert
Start of Division
WELCOME TO THE CODEX PERSONEL FILES. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO LOOK UP?
CODEX SEARCH ENTRY: Tali'Zorah Vas Nevos Rannoch
Codex Personel File: Tali'Zorah Vas Nevos Rannoch
Birthplace: Nevos Rannoch
Affiliation: System Alliance/Quarian Conclave
Notes: Tali'Zorah is a second generation Equestrian Quarian. She was raised around a society were they were seen for who they are and their worth. Not as thieves or scammers. She is also the daughter of a High Admiral and is looked upon as a niece to the Krogan Clans Leader. Extremely smart, she actually has been sent to MageTech Advancement when she showed a design that improved a ship's energy consumption without loss of power at the age of 14. She has also trained in weapons at the age of 18 by Clan Leader Urdnot Wrex and Clan Shaman Urdnot Bakara.
Battle Tactics: Tali is great with a shotgun, like her Uncle Wrex. What she lacks in biotics, she more than makes up in technical know how. She can improve weapons and has a 'pet' drone called Chiktikka Vas Pauz. But is still working on improving the drone. She has dozens of programs geared against enemy weapons, armor, and shields. She is also extremely proficient on hacking, making her strong against Geth enemies
High proficiency with Shotguns
Weapon Boost (Able to permanently improve weapons outside of combat in Armor/weapons bay)
CODEX ENTRY UPDATE!
Codex Entry: M45 Mako
Atmospheric Drop Tank
Armaments: Dual Barrel 120 Mass accelerator cannons. 4 heavy machine guns(Side placements and swivel mount)
Armor: Heavy Tank plating (With support runes)
Treads: 8 82 inch wheels with heavy plating
Shields: Heavy Tank shields (Same as original Mako)
Seating placement: up to 12 personnel.
Weight: 80 tonnes
Jets: 20 minor, 8 advance, 2 major.
Top Speed: Weight Runes inactive-55 MPH; Weight Runes Active-80 MPH
The M45 Mako is both a tank and a APC (Armor Personnel Carrier), allowing the tank to drop off soldiers in battle. This monster was created from the conjoin minds of the System Alliance, Krogan Clans, and the Quarian Admiralty Board as a means to give the Alliance a punch while giving them a quick response heavy vehicle to get on the ground quickly
The M45 Mako went through many designs, even one design was considered to be the best. It had 6 wheels, and a single cannon and machine gun. However, it relied too much on ME technology and models shown that it bounced around too much, even going as far throwing the light tank flying if it hit a rock the wrong way. So it was scrapped.
With dozen's of runes on almost every inch on the tank, a majority of them being Weight runes. The Weight Runes lighten the heavy tank's 80 tonnes to just 30 tonnes. This allows the heavy springs to absorb just half of the total weight with out snapping. While in the air, there are over a 30 jets that stabilizes the tanks drop to the surface. 20 scattered around the surface of the tank, and 10 underneath it to slow its fall.
There is an independent machine gun turret, able to aim without compromising the main cannons. The cannons themselves can shoot either in unison or independently, it also has its own machine guns located on the side of the main cannon body. With the ability to both drop off soldiers on the ground and fight off heavy ground units, it is quickly becoming the leading tank of the Alliance.