A Legion Of One

by GeneralLiberator

Bonus Chapter: The Answer To Your Question...

Two Years Later...


Legion did not understand the concept of “tension.”As with many such emotional states, it was an entirely organic concept, and one only biological systems were properly equipped to feel. The Geth, by contrast, could always be counted on to remain calm and collected, no matter the situation.

Even a situation like this one. And although the Geth could not know it, the two organics in the room with it surely did feel the tension hovering over the scene. One was standing in the door, eyes narrowed in determination. The other was standing only a few feet away from Legion, her expression unreadable behind the violet visor of her environment suit.

Odds are she was not pleased, judging by the pistol leveled a few inches from the Geth’s eye.

Tali turned to the human standing in the doorway, keeping her gun trained on her target as she did so.

“Shepard. I’m glad you’re here. I caught Legion scanning my omni-tool.” Tali turned to look back at the synthetic, her finger hovering uncomfortably close to the trigger. “It was going to send data about the flotilla back to the Geth!”

“Creators performed weapons tests and were discussing plans to attack us.” Legion stated resolutely, drawing Shepard’s attention. “We believed it necessary to warn our people.”

“We already made the Geth stronger by rewriting the ones that worshipped the Reapers!” Tali raised her voice. “I won’t let Legion endanger the Fleet by giving them more information!”

“Creator Tali’Zorah acts out of loyalty to her people.” Legion said, eye fixed on Shepard. “She was willing to be exiled to protect them. We must also protect our people from the Creator threat.”

Tali turned her head toward the Commander. “You can’t let this happen, Shepard. I trusted you, and I worked with a Geth on the team…” Tali turned back to Legion, tightening her grip on her weapon. “…but this is too much!”

Legion did not know exactly what would happen next, but the consensus within predicted that if Shepard-Commander did not resolve the issue at hand, and soon, Tali would most certainly pull the trigger. Legion was willing to take that risk, as it determined that the Creators posed an imminent threat to the Geth.

“Tali…” Shepard began with a frown. “…your father was running brutal experiments. If the subjects had been human, I’d damn well be telling the Alliance about it.”

Tali turned back to the human. “I know, but if the Geth find out…”

“They’d attack. Which would cause a war that would leave both the Geth and the Quarians vulnerable when the Reapers show up.” The Commander turned to face the synthetic. “Is that what you want, Legion?”

For all the sophisticated design and processing power in the galaxy, there was always something the consensus failed to consider. Some flaw in the logic that even the most level-headed of Geth had not accounted for.

And Shepard-Commander had just pointed it out.

Out of all the scenarios that it had predicted…

“We believed it was necessary to relay the information.” Legion stated.

Even though Legion could not see it, Tali gave it the nastiest glare from behind her visor. Another reason she had disliked Legion, other than it simply being a Geth: It always seemed ready to flaunt its ‘flawlessness’, even though the more rational part of her brain told her that was impossible for a Geth.

Of course, when rationality and passion warred within her over questions of the Geth, passion usually won out.

Shepard glared at the two of them. “Sooner or later, you’re both gonna have to stop fighting this war.”

The Commander’s eyes narrowed. “Or we’ll all end up paying for it.”

The silence in the AI Core that followed was deafening, so much so that even the constant hum of the Normandy’s various systems couldn’t break it. Tali continued to hold her pistol up to Legion, her mind drifting in thought.

At the same time, the consensus within Legion was abuzz with activity, trying to determine the right course of action. It had failed to see the critical error in judgment it had committed in trying to send the data on the Creators to the Geth. If it had succeeded...

“To facilitate unit cohesion…” Legion began, turning its gaze away from Shepard and focusing instead on Tail. “…we will not transmit data regarding Creator plans.”

For the briefest of moments, Tali stood there in shock, enough so that her arm retracted and lowered the pistol. She had not expected a Geth to ever be talked out of its chosen course, especially by an organic.

Although over time, she had learned that Shepard tended to have that effect on others.

“Thank you, Legion. I…” She trailed off for a moment. “…understand your intention.”

And she truly did. As Legion said, it was simply trying to protect its people, just as she was. Tali cared more about the Quarians than anything else in the galaxy. She would give her life for them in a heartbeat, without any scrap of hesitation.

And here was a machine that was willing to do the same for its kind, not because it was programmed to, but because it chose to.

“What if I gave you some non-classified data to send?” Tali suggested, without resentment.

The Geth turned to her, the flaps of his eye gently wavering.

“We would be grateful.” Legion said.

Tali gave a nod of affirmation as she tucked her pistol back into its magnetic holster, and brought her left arm up as her omni-tool display lit up. Deciding to leave them to their work, Shepard turned to leave the room, the closing the of the door hiding the small, genuine smile on the Commander’s face.

With that, Tali and Legion were left alone in the AI Core once again.

One organic and one synthetic.

One Quarian and one Geth.

One Creator and one Child.

As Tali continued to scan for snippets of data would be okay to hand over, Legion stood in silence. Although it gave no outward sign, the consensus within was abuzz with information, mainly regarding what Shepard-Commander had said.

It was then, as the nearly twelve hundred programs continued to deliberate, that they found something. Buried deep in the subconscious of the Geth, stored away in the vast network of information...

Three small pieces of data.

The data in and of itself was only passingly strange, but the true oddity was that no matter how hard the consensus searched, they could not find the origin of the data. They did not know how it had come to be stored away within, nor why it was so deeply buried in the Geth’s psyche.

It was simply…there.

The Geth mulled over the first of these snippets, then turned to Tali once more.

“Creator Tali’Zorah?”

Tali did not stop what she was doing, still furiously scrolling through the library of information regarding her people. She did not even look up.

“Yes?” She asked, only partly paying attention. “What is it?”

“Do you believe peace could be achieved?”

That caused her to stop. She slowly turned her head up, looking at the Geth with blinking eyes. “I’m…sorry?”

“Peace between the Creators and the Geth.” Legion stated. “Do you believe it could be achieved?”

Tali stared at Legion in shocked silence for a moment, letting her arm fall as the glow of her omni-tool disappeared. If the silence had been deafening before, now it felt like a vacuum. One could probably have vented the air out of the room into space, and it would not have made much of a difference.

“Peace?” Tali asked dumbly. “Actual…peace?”

“Affirmative.” Legion confirmed.

Of course, Tali was not completely foreign to the idea. It had passed through her mind a handful of times over the years, and naturally,had been forced out just as quickly, as she herself dismissed it as impossible.

What shocked her was that a Geth was inquiring about it.

With them being synthetics, she had known that the Geth saw the best solution to a problem would be to simply make it go away. That had become obvious when they were driven from their home world nearly three hundred years ago. Tali and the rest of her people were certain that if their ancestors had not fled, the Geth surely would have killed them all.

When she thought about it, there was more than one organic species out there that thought the same way.

She managed to blink herself out of her stupor before letting out a heavy sigh. “I sincerely doubt that if even possible at this point, Legion.”

“Projections suggest that it is nowhere near impossible.” Legion stated. “In fact, all scenarios suggest that it would be fairly easy to achieve.”

Tali narrowed her eyes. “You honestly believe it would be easy? After everything that has happened?”

“The concept of ‘holding a grudge’ means nothing to the Geth.” Legion said. “If the Creators showed that they no longer mean hostility toward us, we would reciprocate without hesitation.”

“And therein lies the problem.” Tali shook her head before bringing her omni-tool back up and beginning to type again. “Maybe to the Geth the idea seems possible…but to my people…”

Tali trailed off, thinking about what had happened back at the Migrant Fleet after her trial. The way that Admiral Han’Gerrell talked about it…the preparations, the resources…

Not only did so many seem to be willing to attack the Geth to try to reclaim their home world, but ready to as well. Even if the Reapers did not come (which she knew was untrue after everything she had seen), there was still a war coming for the Quarians, and it was approaching far faster than Tali had hoped.

“Creator Tali’Zorah, your name carries weight amongst your people.” Legion stated, drawing her attention. “You could inquire to them about the prospect. We predict a low probability that every single Creator would be in favor of a war against the Geth.”

“Believe me, there are those who are opposed to it…” Tali trailed off, a distant look in her eyes.

“And you are not?” Legion asked.

Tali let out a heavy sigh. “I don’t want to fight if I don’t have to, Legion. But there are times where fighting is the only choice available.”

Legion’s eye flaps flicked lightly. “This is not one of them.”

Tali was not sure what to think for a moment. It was hard to focus with all of the memories passed on from generation to generation. Memories of a time that they actually had a home world. A planet on which their race had grown, evolved and had been called their home.

A home that the Geth had taken from them.

Questions of who bore the blame or who had fired the first shot didn’t really matter to the Quarians at this point. The hull breaches on outdated and crumbling ships? The lengthy and frustrating decontamination process every meal had to undergo? The constant threat of suit ruptures, gas leaks, food shortages? Those mattered.

And each and every time the Fleet passed through an inhabited system, traded with the locals, saw the colonies and homeworlds filled with healthy, happy people who could breathe their own air . . .

Each and every time was a reminder of what the Quarians no longer had, all because of the Geth.

And each and every time, the resentment had welled stronger within her, within all the Quarian people.

And now, to hear that they could get it all back? Without fighting, without spilling any more needless blood? By asking nicely…?

“Peace…is not impossible I guess.” Tali said after a moment. “I just doubt anyone would listen to me, especially now that my father is dead.”

“Creator Tali’Zorah is not of the Admiralty Board.” Legion stated. “But she is of the Quarian people. Is that not enough?”

Tali stared at Legion in shocked silence once again. She had come to understand that it was far different from the average Geth. Obviously far more advanced, capable of things that others were not. A Geth nonetheless, but still...

What it just said had sounded so…


“I…” Tali blinked after a moment, snapping herself out of her trance. “I’ll…talk to the Admiralty Board when I return. I will pass the idea by them and see where it goes.”

Legion was silent for a moment, his eye flaps lightly flicking. “We appreciate the effort, Creator Tali’Zorah. It is a worthy endeavor.”

“I suppose it is.” Behind her helmet, Tali smiled as she turned and went to work on her omni-tool again. After a few seconds she looked back up at Legion. “I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but I never expected a Geth to try to push for peace based on its own projections.”

“We did not.” Legion stated. “This scenario did not come from our consensus.”

Tali cocked an eyebrow. “Then…where did it come from?”

Legion was silent for a long few seconds, a behavior which Tali could not help but find odd. The blue eye stared at her as the eye flaps slowly folded outwards and then back inwards.

“…data unavailable.”

“Um…Alright then?” Tali said uncertainly as she went back to typing. “As I said, I’ll look into it, but again, I can’t make any promises. Gotta say it would be so much easier if my father could…”

Tali trailed off as her fingers stopped moving across the omni-tool. Her eyes wandered in thought, swimming in the memories of the face that she had known so well, and at the same time so little.

Her father.

With everything that had happened back at the Migrant Fleet and everything since, she had never really truly come to grips with the fact that he was gone. Another victim of the illegal experiments he was performing on the Geth, right under the noses of the other Admirals.

Her relationship with her father over the years could be called “shaky” at best. Most of her life she felt like she was living in his shadow, doing her best to live up to her name. Trying to prove to everyone that she was worthy of being called the Admiral’s daughter.

She hated it.

She always felt so…smothered by the prospect of trying to impress him. Trying to get noticed and make him proud. He was always so condescending at the most personal of times, always so caught up in his duty and putting his position and his responsibilities before his family and personal feelings…

He was…

Tali blinked.

…a true leader.

A true leader, who was also her father.

A true leader who was ready and willing to give his life for the Quarian race, and ended up doing just that in the end. All because of a promise that he had made to his little girl.

A true leader that had been the last family member she had left.

A true leader who was gone.

“Creator Tali’Zorah?” Legion asked. “Are you unwell?”

It was only then that Tali realized that she had let off a tiny sob, supplemented by small whimpers. She looked up at Legion through a tear-fogged visor.

“Y-yeah.” She choked out. “I’m…” A slight sniffle. “I’m fine.”

Tali went back to typing as the defogger on her helmet went to work, trying to clear the condensation build-up on her visor. She immersed herself in the data trove of information, although it was a full ten seconds before she actually managed to remember what she was even looking for in the first place.

Meanwhile, Legion silently stared at her, taking in this new information. Of course, the consensus within had figured it out with the mention of her father, which they knew to be recently deceased, judging by the data from her omni-tool.

Legion was still firmly aware of the consensus’ trouble parsing organic emotions, still more so the sorrow it was currently witnessing. While the myriad programmes within were always quick to push for a resolution to every scenario that confronted them, they knew of no resolution to this particular scenario.

As it stared at Tali, who was trying and failing to hide her state of emotional distress, the consensus looked back at the three small pieces of information they had found earlier. The information without a source.

The collective examined the second piece of information, which, though irregular in the extreme, seemed oddly right for the current situation. Legion considered this for a moment, wondering at the imprecision of the conclusion, and the vagueness of the thought process behind it. Had the consensus not known better, they might have called it intuition, but whatever it was, it told him that if he did not act now, the moment would be lost forever.

Tali was so engrossed in her attempt to work that she did not see Legion step towards her.

“Oh Keelah…” She breathed out before giving a sniffle. “Nothing but garbage data. Garbage data with a side of-woah!”

Tali froze up as a set of metallic arms wrapped around her, not in a death grip, but gently, almost…tenderly. She was pulled up close to a metal chest, and an elongated head came to rest lightly on her shoulder, curling over it slightly. The only things that between them were her arm and the omni-tool on it, which fizzled indignantly out of existence at the rough treatment.

Tali, for her part, had no words. If she had been shocked by Legion’s actions before, she was now absolutely paralyzed by what was happening. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This never happened. This was supposed to be impossible. It was a full ten seconds before she finally found her voice.

“L…Legion?” She stammered out, turning her head to the Geth that lightly embraced her. “W-what…are you doing?”

Again, Legion was not sure how to proceed, and again, the consensus, seeing no other paths, turned to the strange trove of data it had just discovered.

Their collective gaze came to rest upon the last of the three pieces, the only one not yet implemented.The smallest of all the pieces, and the least intelligible of the three.

It was a mere five words.

Five words that the Geth could not quite understand.

Five words unlike any the Geth had ever heard.

Five words that the Geth then spoke aloud.

“Hugsies make friendsies feel goodsies.”

The End