• Published 16th Aug 2014
  • 11,365 Views, 427 Comments

A Legion Of One - GeneralLiberator



During its two year search for Shepard, the lone Geth discovered a world unlike anywhere else in the galaxy.

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Does This Unit...Have A Soul?

Twilight finally saw the trees clear up ahead, and could not help but gallop up toward the break in them. The filly burst out of the forest, slowly coming to a stop in the moonlight. By the time she had made her way out of the forest night had already fallen. She took one last look back into the trees, a rather sad frown on her face.

She did not know if she would ever see Mr. Geth again. After all, the only thing that she knew about space was that it was really big. Would Mr. Geth ever be able to come back and visit again? She really wished he could have stayed longer, maybe come back with her and met her family.

However, the way he had spoken made it sound like he had a lot of really important things he had to get back to. Twilight didn’t know what they were, but she didn’t want to keep him from them.

She was brought out of her reverie when she heard the sound of somepony calling. Specifically, somepony calling her name. Her ears pricked up and once they did, she realized it was many ponies calling out every now and then.

Her head turned back toward her neighborhood to see ponies walking through the darkened streets with lanterns. In the faint moonlight she could also make out what looked like pegasi flying overhead, also calling her name.

Not really taking time to think about why that was happening, she took off into a quick gallop toward to direction of her house. As she passed down the street, the ponies with the lanterns immediately took notice of her, some of them giving relieved sighs while others gave scolding frowns.

“There she is!”

“Oh, thank Celestia.”

“Twilight, where have you been?”

Her excitement and eagerness to get home caused her to ignore it all. Eventually her house finally came into view, and she saw her family out on the front lawn with a few other ponies. If she had taken a moment to focus, she might have noticed the worried looks on their faces.

“Mommy! Daddy!”

Both of her parents and Shining Armor turned to see the little filly scampering up the sidewalk. As soon as they did, looks of massive relief came onto their faces. Twilight Velvet was the first one to react beyond that.

“Twily!”

Velvet ran forward as her daughter scampered up the sidewalk, only stopping when Twilight ran straight into her waiting arms. She protectively hugged the filly close and thoroughly nuzzled her, rubbing her cheek against the top of her head.

“T-Thank Celestia!” Velvet cried, a happy tear trailing down her cheek.

“Mommy!” Twilight pushed herself off of her mother’s chest, looking up at her with a big excited smile. “You won’t believe what hap-“

Twilight was cut off as another pair of arms wrapped around her and gently took her from her mother. She felt the familiar feeling of her father’s chest as she was pressed against it, a hoof running through her mane.

“You had us worried sick!” Nightlight said as he nuzzled her. “Where have you been?”

Twilight opened her mouth to answer, but was cut off as yet another pair of arms grabbed her and brought her in for an embrace. Twilight knew who it was even before she felt her BBBFF’s happy chuckles from the chest that she was hugged against.

“Little sis…” Shining began as he held her out to look at her with a relieved smile. “You can never stay out of trouble, can you?”

“Shiny, you won’t believe it!” Twilight began with wide eyes. “I was in the-“

“What were you thinking?”

Shining put her on the ground and she turned toward the source of the voice. Both of her parents were giving her with scolding looks, causing Twilight to bite her bottom lip.

“You had everypony here worried sick!” Twilight flinched at her father’s harsh tone. “We had half the neighborhood out looking for you!”

Twilight’s ears folded down. “But Daddy-“

“Twilight, where on earth have you been?” Velvet asked.

“Well…” Twilight began, nervously twiddling her hooves together. “I went into the forest, but then I found a-“

“What!?” Her father barked, eyes widened before they narrowed sharply. “I thought I told you never to go into the woods alone!”

“But Daddy!” Twilight said in a panic. “While I was in there I met a-“

Once again, Twilight found herself practically smothered as both of her parents picked her up and sandwiched her between them. Twilight groaned as she squirmed in the overpowering hug, trying not to suffocate in the affectionate strokes and nuzzles she was receiving.

“A filly all alone in the woods…” Her father began. “Do you have any idea how lucky you are nothing bad happened to you?”

“Sweetie, we were worried beyond belief!” Velvet said as she and Nightlight released her. “We didn’t know where you were! Don’t you understand how it was, not knowing-”

“Mommy! Daddy!” Twilight screeched, causing them and everypony else present to flinch. “Please listen!”

“Twilight…” Her father began, his eyes narrowing. “Why did you go into the woods?”

Now, Twilight always liked to think that she had a cool and collectively head. She liked to think that in times of extreme pressure she could think straight, never losing her nerve and never getting too excited.

This was not one of those times.

“IwasneartheforestwhenIsawthishugethingflyingandthenitdroppedsomethingintotheforestandIwentintofinditanditwasanalienandhesaidhisnamewasGethandhewasfromouterspaceandheaskedmeabunchofquestionsandweplayedhide-and-seekand-“

The frantic filly was cut off as a white hoof covered her mouth. She looked up to see its owner looking down at her with as he took a deep sigh.

“Twilight…” Shining began in a light tone. “I am going to remove my hoof. And when I do, I want you to calmly tell us what happened. Understand?”

Twilight fervently nodded her head. Shining removed his hoof, taking a step back as every pony on the lawn looked at Twilight expectantly. The filly took a deep breath before giving her explanation.

“I SAW AN ALIEN!”

Everypony kept their gazes on her for a moment, their faces completely blank. In the silence that followed, one could have heard a pin drop. The unreadable expressions held for a few more seconds before every face shifted to hold rather flat looks.

Nightlight narrowed his eyes. “Twilight, what have I told you about lying?”

“But I’m not lying!” Twilight squeaked. “It was an alien, and he was taller than Princess Celestia, and he said its name was Geth, and-“

“That’s quite enough, young filly!” Nightlight barked. “Disappearing and then telling a lie to try to cover it up…” He shook his head before fixing her with a glare that she knew all too well. A glare that she only got when she was in a lot of trouble.

“You are in a lot of trouble.” Nightlight said angrily.

Twilight’s ears folded down again. “But Daddy, I-“

“No ‘buts’!” Her father said sternly. “You are grounded, but before that you will personally go around to everypony who was helping search for you and tell them that you are sorry…for…the…incon…venience?...”

Nightlight trailed off as a slight rumble emanated from the ground. Everypony else had picked up on it as well, looking down at their hooves in confusion. It was not a strong feeling, but enough to make itself known.

The wind picked up, whipping through the large group of ponies and gently ruffling their manes and tails. Everypony present turned in the direction it was coming from, and their eyes widened.

Every single tree along the line of the forest was whipping wildly back and forth, their leaves shuddering rather violently. It was then that a bright, blinding light suddenly came to life, coming from a huge shape that rose above the tree line. As it did so, a sound akin to a hydra shrieking could be heard, only with ten times the potency.

As the huge metal object continued to rise, everypony in the group had the same expression: slack-jawed and wide-eyed. They didn’t even have their faculties together enough to move in any way. All they could do was simply stare in shocked silence as the wind continued to blow back their manes and tails.

There was only one who reacted differently.

Twilight was in awe for a moment before she smiled a gigantic smile. The filly raised her hoof, frantically waving it back and forth at the rising object.

“Bye-byeee, Mr. Geth!” She cried out happily.

The metal object, the size of a large house, took off suddenly, moving at a speed that even the best of the Wonderbolts could not even dream of matching. As it flew over the ponies, they then saw that it looked like some kind of gigantic metal insect. It soared over their neighborhood and clear over Canterlot. It let off a loud *boom* that resonated throughout the city as it shot off toward the darkened horizon. The metal contraption kept going until it disappeared from sight, getting lost in the expanse of the night sky as a small twinkle of light.

Back on the lawn, every pony except Twilight was still frozen in place wearing the same shocked faces. It took a full minute for the first one to stir.

“Hehe…he…” Twilight Velvet let off a slightly crazed chuckle as her left eye twitched. “Al…alien…Twily…daughter…”

Twilight’s mother was finally spared from any other mental strains. The relief came in the form of her lightly toppling over, softly fainting on the grass of their lawn. Neither Nightlight, Shining Armor, nor any of the neighborhood ponies moved to aid her; all of them were far too busy staring at the horizon, eyes wide as dinner plates and jaws practically touching the ground.

And there in the middle of it all sat little Twilight Sparkle, staring at the night sky not with a shocked expression, but with a knowing smile.

“Good luck, Mr. Geth…” Twilight said softly. “Come back and see me soon…”

***

The Geth stood before the single console, its metallic fingers flicking over the various holographic displays in front of the monitor. A myriad of information passed by, both in the form of more suspended glowing messages and info processed directly by the Geth’s advanced internal processors.

There was much information to be catalogued from the temporary divergence, much of it based around what the small organic had told them. The Geth’s internal systems were linked with those of the ship, trading information with the on-board databases.

It was certainly not an outcome that had been predicted. A new world, inhabited by multiple sapient races, undiscovered by the rest of the galaxy. A quick low altitude fly-by over the planet had confirmed everything that Twilight Sparkle had told them. Nations comprised of new species spanning across the entire world.

That fact alone still gave the Geth’s consensus much to contemplate. After all, from what they had observed of other organic species, it was evident that all were prone to conflict, even amongst themselves. Every single species recognized by the Citadel Council had a history of internal wars and power struggles.

Although many of these conflicts had occurred long before the creation of the Geth, the synthetics had access to the information pertaining to them via the extranet.

The Unification Wars, where the Turian Hierarchy stood by while dozens of outer colonies went to war, many of which were destroyed in the process. Any that were left were forced to either submit to the Hierarchy or be destroyed.

The League of One incident, where the secret, highly trained team of Salarian infiltrators slaughtered the entire Salarian inner cabinet in order to protect themselves from their enemies. The members of the League were then hunted down one by one, with many of the hunters dying before the targets were eliminated.

The Human race, which themselves had a rather long history filled with various conflicts amongst themselves. It was only with the First Contact War with the Turians that humanity finally found itself united under one banner for the first time in their history. The consensus predicted that if the Asari had not stepped in, the Turians would have mostly likely all but eradicated the Humans.

The Krogan…

Well, from what had been gathered, it seemed as though the entire history of the Krogan race had been written in blood. From their harsh beginnings on their equally harsh world to their decimating of said world by nuclear war, they were more than familiar with violence long before they made contact with the Salarians.

And they continued to be more than familiar with it today.

In conclusion, organics were prone to conflict, both amongst themselves and with others species as well. The Rachni Wars, the Krogan Rebellions, The Elysium Blitz, and so many, many others. And that didn’t even include the countless mercenary, slaver, and pirate bands that actively roamed across the Terminus Systems and the Attican Traverse, preying on any and all unlucky enough to cross paths with them.

And yet, here was this world, filled with multiple sapient species that all managed to coexist together in surprisingly stable peace. Something like this had never been witnessed before, not by any race in the galaxy.

It completely went against everything that the Geth knew and had come to expect from organics. Being synthetics, they had known nothing but unwavering loyalty to each other and to the main consensus, working together to achieve a brighter future as a whole.

Of course, all that had changed with the Heretics…

The Geth stopped typing for a moment, the consensus inside recalling the old files.

The Geth had a belief that they would all work together to achieve their own future, freed of the bonds that organics imposed against them. They believed that the consensus itself could sustain itself, and that there was no problem that the collective could not solve.

The arrival of the Turian called Saren changed that.

The agent of the Old Machine Nazara, known to the rest of the galaxy as Sovereign, had implanted the idea within the consensus that the Old Machines offered a path to an even brighter future than the Geth could ever hope to achieve on their own. A surprising number within the Geth came to see this as a more reasonable route than the one they were currently on, and the consensus went into a delegation on the matter. In the end, however, the programs that favored it were greatly opposed by the programs that were against.

Then the Fracture happened.

The programs who opposed the decision left the consensus, becoming a separate Geth faction. It was something that had never before happened in the history of the Geth, with a rogue faction splintering off and joining Saren. Those Geth then went onto to become the Heretics, their actions at the Battle of the Citadel only succeeding to strike fear into the hearts of organics across the galaxy.

Not just fear of the Old Machines, but fear of the Geth as well.

The Geth went back to work sorting and cataloging the information on this new world, dubbed “Equus”. Regardless of what damage the Heretics had caused, it could still be repaired. But before any of that could be done, the Geth had to first focus on the information in front of it.

It still had yet to send the date on “Equus” back to the Geth collective. Since the system it was in was currently cut off from the rest of the galaxy and lacked either a Mass Relay or a communications buoy, it would need to leave the system and head to another before sending the information back.

It would no doubt take longer, as using conventional faster-than-light travel was notably slower than Mass Relays, but it was the only course of action. First it would need to return to a Mass Relay system before it could send the data back to the collective. They would then possibly incorporate it into the plan to deal with the Old Machines when they-

The Geth stopped typing again.

The Old Machines…

It thought for the first time about the information that it currently held. It was regarding a planet inhabited by many races. A peaceful world that was untouched by the rest of the galaxy. Judging by the in-depth records that the Geth had, both from the extranet and from the organic military records that they had gotten a hold of, this truly was an undiscovered world.

The rest of the galaxy did not know about this place.

The only reason the lone Geth had found it was by complete chance. After fleeing from Eden Prime after being fired upon, the Geth unit was pursued by an Alliance patrol. A last-minute blind FTL jump was its only hope of escape, and the jump, against all odds, brought it to this system.

Regardless of how the rest of the galaxy would react to this place, there was only one thing that the collective within the Geth could focus on at that moment.

The Old Machines…

It was during the time of the deliberations regarding joining the Old Machines that Nazara decided to tempt them with a glimpse of its power. It briefly connected itself to the consensus, allowing them to see just what the Old Machines were capable of. In the end, that was what caused the Fracture to truly happen, with the Heretics then leaving to follow Saren and Nazara.

However, Nazara underestimated the Geth.

For in that brief moment that it was connected to the consensus, the Geth truly did see what it was capable of. They even saw things that Nazara did not intend for them to see, but the Old Machine did not see it as important information. It was only information regarding which species that the Old Machines had catalogued, which were all the space-faring races of the galaxy. At the time the main Geth consensus did not see it as crucial information either.

However, it was in this moment that the lone Geth saw that this information truly did come in handy, as it gave them one startling revelation.

As with the rest of the galaxy, the Old Machines did not know of this world either.

Although the races of this world were not space-faring, they were still evolved and highly intelligent. As such, the consensus could not help but wonder: Would the Old Machines come to this world as well? Would Equus become yet another planet to be swept up in the wave of mass genocide that would sweep the galaxy?

The Old Machines were advanced far beyond what the Geth could even imagine. If the data regarding this world were to be sent back to the collective, then the probability of the Old Machines getting a hold of it was extremely high. After all, Nazara was able to connect itself to the main consensus rather easily, seeing all of the information they had stored within.

If they did attack this world, then the odds of other organic races coming to their aid were extremely low, as their resources would no doubt be strained from combating the Old Machines on their own fronts. Even if the space-faring races could actually manage to spare aid of any kind, it would undoubtedly be going to their long-time allies in their own efforts, not to a planet that had just recently been discovered.

The young races of this world would be on their own, and the likelihood of them surviving would be almost nonexistent.

But would the Old Machines even bother coming here? This world was not space-faring like the Humans, Asari or Turians, but just how far were they from achieving it? Leaving them alone would mean that they would have another fifty-thousand years to technologically advance. What if there were Prothean ruins hidden on their planet? If there were, then they would have a much longer amount of time to advance and expand than the other races did, and as such may have a much greater chance against the Old Machines come the next cycle.

But what if the Old Machine would predict this as an outcome? What if they saw that the races of Equus could truly be a high threat to them in the future?

If they even suspected it in the slightest then they would destroy this world now. To them it would be a preferable alternative to a long, costly war in the next cycle, especially if the inhabitants could be harvested now like the thousands upon thousands of other civilizations that met the same fate...

The Geth examined the data before it, the consensus finally realizing that what they did here could very well determine the fate of several races. One-thousand, one-hundred and eighty-two programs all deliberated furiously, trying to determine the course of action.

Would they even be attacked? Could the Geth spare help for them? Could they be a possible contingency for the future if the races of the current cycle failed and were destroyed?

Scenarios, predictions, consequences, the fallout of such choices…all of it flowed in one massive storm of data that never seemed to end.

They all ceased as one program, one single program, brought forward two small snippets of data.

The first was image of a smiling, bright eyed little pony, looking like it did not have a care in the world.

Nice to meet you, Mr. Geth! My name is Twilight Sparkle.

At the same time, the same program brought forward another image.

The second was the image a massive AI driven dreadnaught that on its own caused a fracture amongst the Geth, destroyed a fraction of an entire Human Systems Alliance fleet, and nearly brought about the eradication of all sapient life.

An Old Machine, whose words when it connected to the consensus still echoed in the memories of all Geth.

All organic civilizations must be harvested to bring order to the chaos. It is inevitable. They exist because we allow it, and they will end because we demand it.

We...are the end...of everything.

An Old Machine, a member of the race who had only one single goal in their existence:

The destruction of both all sapient organic life and everything that they created.

The Geth was silent for a long moment, and even all of the programs within stopped deliberating. They did not process, they did not share data, and they did not run scenarios. They merely kept scrolling between the images of the small, innocent creature and the massive, hyper-advanced engine of mass genocide.

How about we play hide-and-seek?

None of the programs knew what had caused the Geth unit to raise its arm.

My daddy always tells me that it is better to focus on the good than it is the bad. All focusing on the bad does it make you sad.

The programs did not know what caused it to bring a synthetic hand up to the holographic display.

Because hugsies make friendsies feel goodsies.

The programs did not know what caused it to give a single tap of a command to the display board, highlighting all of the data.

Thanks for playing with me. It…was nice meeting you.

“Data…” The Geth was silent for a moment as the display went into a wild fray of lights, its eye flaps slowly extending outwards and then back inwards.

The programs did not know what caused a Geth to hesitate in its speech.

I…wish you could stay…

...

Will I ever see you again?

...

“…deleted.”

It was only as all of the info was being purged, both from the ship and from the onboard data trove of the Geth that the collective began to stir. The action they took was one that even they did not know why, breaking off into three groups with three separate targets.

The programs all reached out into the myriad of information that was being deleted and grabbed three pieces of it. They then held onto the information, protecting it from the massive purge that was happening.

Not even a second later, it was over. All of the information regarding the world of Equus, the encounter and time spent with Twilight Sparkle, the knowledge of the many races all existing peacefully…all of it was gone in an instant.

Gone both from the archive of the ship, and the memory of the Geth that had experienced it.

After all, the Geth shared everything between each other. There was no way for them to keep secrets from the consensus.

Unless there were no secrets to keep.

All was gone, save for three tiny pieces of data. The nature of these pieces was so vague that there was no way of telling where they had even come from. In the end, the collective decided that keeping them would be a safe course of action.

The three snippets of data were then stored away, even as the programs all forgot how they even came to be there.

For a few long seconds, the Geth was silent once again. No movements, no internal data exchange, no processing…

Nothing.

It finally did come to a moment later, looking down at the data board. A moment of confusion passed through the internal collective, something that almost never happened. They felt as though there was a great emptiness in their memories, as if the last several hours had never happened.

It was a bizarre feeling, and for a split second, they all felt the same thing.

Longing.

A desire to know where this feeling of emptiness had come from. What was meant to fill the hole that had been left there? Why was it even there in the first place?

Why could they not remember?

A few very long seconds later the thoughts left as quickly they came, and the programs once again went back to their previous routine. The Geth in turn searched through its internal priority list, and finally found what it was looking for.

Resuming Priority Mission:

The Geth tapped a few buttons on the display, and the sound of the thrusters activating was heard.

Find Shepard-Commander.

***

The lone Geth ship took off across the dark void of space, continuing its long journey out into the cosmos. Behind it was left a lush, green and blue planet, one that would continue to be unknown to the galaxy.

For a time.

In another moment, the ship took off in a bright streak of light that lasted only a split second before it was gone. Gone to find the one human who could make a difference in what was ahead.

The ship took off back toward the gathering storm that was the rest of the galaxy. Soon they would be embroiled in a war the likes of which none that the current races of the galaxy had ever seen.

A war where new alliances would be forged and old ones would be tested.

A war that would bring with it more suffering and hardship than any could possibly fathom, with families torn apart and entire worlds left scorched.

A war where new heroes would rise and fall, with countless soldiers, warriors, criminals, leaders, vagabonds and scientists all coming together and becoming saviors, giving their lives for a cause greater than any other.

A war that would see every space-faring sapient race in the Milky Way united for the first time in the history of their cycle, all of them fighting for the most basic right of every living thing: the right to live.

A war that the lone Geth unit would not survive.

How it would turn out was unknown, but even if they did fail the world of Equus would be spared from the wrath of the Reapers for another cycle. As far as the fates of every other race in the galaxy, only one thing could be confirmed:

It would truly be An End, Once And For All.

Author's Note:

Well...there it is.

For any of you who happen to have drinks at the moment, I invite you all to join me.

(raises glass)

Here's to one of the greatest gaming sagas in the history of the industry, bringing interactive storytelling and emotional impact to a whole new level.

Here's to BioWare, who despite all their flaws continue to be without a doubt one of the best developers out there. We all love you. Don't stop doing what you guys do.

And last but certainly not least, here's to Legion. One of the best robotic characters not just in the gaming industry, but in the whole damn science-fiction genre of entertainment. And Legion...the answer to your question...is Yes.

Thank you all for joining me on this little journey. Be sure to give your thanks to AShadowOfCygnus, as I could not have done it without him.

Although there will not be a sequel to this, I may or may not be thinking about a bonus chapter. We will see what happens.

See you all next time. This is The Liberator, signing off.

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