Well, after finishing the other chapter, I decided to quickly churn this one out as well. Because…well I got my juices going, and I just can't stop.
So here we go. I hope you all like this, and if you're wondering when the action of Mass Effect will begin, don't worry. I'm not going to spend too long here in the early years. I just want to set things up so you all understand the characters of Alicia and Naruto for later on.
On with the chapter!
Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect or Naruto. They are the property of Bioware and Masashi Kishimoto respectively. This is a nonprofit fanfic meant for entertainment purposes. Please support the official releases.
"What do you mean brother?" Malcolm Shepard asked, after the family was squared away in their new quarters in the research facility. Naruto was currently in his room, getting out the toys he had been given back on Therum, while Hannah talked to both Malcolm and Alicia, to help them understand the situation. Now that the boy wasn't in earshot, she could actually explain things without potentially upsetting him.
Hannah let out a sigh, rubbing her forehead. "It's a bit…complicated. The researchers aren't a hundred percent certain, but they think that…he imprinted on me when I saved him," she said. "When we opened his pod and I saved him, he looked at me, and in that moment, he imprinted on me, making him think I'm his mother, like most baby animals. Unfortunately, I only found out a couple days ago, when the translation software was finally completed and I understood he was calling me 'mommy'. I just thought he was clinging to me because I saved him, but apparently it's more than that."
Malcolm shook his head. "But wouldn't he have imprinted on his actual biological mother? Why would he think you're his mother?"
"It has to do with what the Protheans did. They apparently took him away from his family when he was pretty young, and it messed him up a bit. He didn't fully imprint on her, and so waking up from cyro, he imprinted on the first being he saw, which was me. So for now at least…we need to treat him like he's our son. Otherwise…well they said it could really traumatize him otherwise," she said softly.
Alicia just blinked at that. "But how could he think you're his mommy? You don't look like him," she said.
Hannah knelt down, gently placing a hand on her shoulder. "Well sweetie…in the wild, some baby animals, after they're born, they think that the first thing they see is their mommy. Usually it is their mommy, because she stays nearby to take care of them. But sometimes, if she's not there, if they see something else, like another animal, they might think it's their mommy instead, even if it doesn't look like them. And that's what happened with Naruto here. He thinks I'm his mommy. Which means he thinks you're his sister. Or he will," she said.
Alicia blinked again. "You mean…I get to be a big sister?" She asked, brightening up a bit. "That's so cool! I've always wanted to be a big sister!"
Hannah chuckled softly, seeing her daughter look happy. "Okay, but you need to be careful. He's still a bit shy and scared, so try and be gentle with him, until he settles in, okay?" She said.
Alicia nodded, grinning, until they heard soft footsteps approaching. Naruto shyly stood in the hallway leading to the bedrooms. "U-Umm…m-mommy? Who are they?" He asked shyly, fiddling with the small bracelet on his left arm that housed the translation program.
Hannah held out a hand, beckoning him over. "Naruto…I'd like you to meet your sister Alicia, and this is your dad," she said, indicating Alicia and Malcolm.
Naruto shyly walked over, looking at them, as Alicia smiled at him. She suddenly was there in front of him, making him yelp. "Hi! I'm Alicia, and I guess I'm your big sis now!" She said. "Ooooh, look at your ears! They're all fuzzy!" She said.
Naruto jumped a bit when she appeared in front of him, and glanced down at the floor, his ears twitching a bit. "I-Is that bad that they're fuzzy?" He asked her, only for her to giggle.
"No, it's so cool! And your eyes look cool to!" She said, hugging him. Naruto yelped at that, squirming at the sudden hug and looking at Hannah, who just smiled.
"Alicia, remember. Take it easy on him," she said, as Alicia let go of Naruto.
"Oh right, sorry," she said, giggling. "Hey, you wanna maybe go play?" She asked him.
"U-Uh, sure?" Naruto said, only to yelp as Alicia all but dragged him off to go play in one of their rooms, while Hannah shook her head.
"I wish I knew where she got that energy from. She's a fireball," she said with a chuckle.
Malcolm however was still frowning softly. "Hannah…this is rather…well crazy," he said quietly, leaning against the dinner table in their quarters. "I mean…that's a kid…from a race that died off probably fifty thousand years ago," he said. "And he thinks we're his family. That's…quite a bombshell to have dropped on us."
Hannah looked at him, her smile disappearing. "I know," she said softly. "But there's not a whole lot I can do. I was contacted by the Prime Minister himself," she said, making his eyes widen. "He told me that this is important for the Alliance, and humanity. Apparently this whole research project is making headway for the Alliance and humanity to have an embassy on the Citadel. They want me to do everything I can to help out, even if that means being Naruto's mother."
Malcolm just let out a soft whistle. Prime Minister Terrence Howards, head of the Parliament of the System's Alliance, probably one of, if not the most important and influential people in the Alliance. While on Earth, each nation or confederation still had their own sovereignty and power, the System's Alliance represented humanity's interest and defense in the galactic community. They governed the colonies and saw to their defense, and as such, had a parliamentary system in place with representatives from the various colonies as well as from Earth itself, all led by a Prime Minister. To be contacted by him personally showed how important this was to the Alliance.
Hannah gently grabbed his hand. "Look, I know this is one crazy shock. But it's nothing we can't handle. We just have to take care of him, that's all."
Malcolm took a deep sigh. "Alright. How hard can it be? We're already raising one adorable hell raiser, I'm sure we can handle two," he said with a chuckle.
"That's the spirit," Hannah said, before getting a sheepish grin. "Though…admittedly, there is one little complication. Turns out he's a…dextro," she said, referring to the fact that he was a life form with dextrorotatory amino acids in his DNA chain, or DNA chains that rotated in a clockwise direction, rather than a counterclockwise direction like levorotatory amino acids in human and asari DNA did. (1)
Malcolm winced a bit at that. "Ouchie. So he's going to have some special dietary needs then," he said, as Hannah nodded.
"Yeah. Don't worry though, the Council arranged to have shipments of dextro food shipped to us, so we could prepare meals for him. They're shipping some anyways for the turian marines here," she said. "There's actually some in the kitchen already. And with you here…" she trailed off, getting a bit of a devious grin. Between the two of them, Malcolm was a much better cook. Hannah joked sometimes that she could burn ice cream while it was still in the freezer.
Malcolm just chuckled, rolling his eyes. "Of course. Barely home and already you want to shove me into the kitchen," he said, giving her a mock pout.
"Awwww, but you know I reward you for all your hard work," she murmured, wrapping her arms around him as she pressed against him, feeling the shiver that went through his body at her touch and that sexy murmur she used against him. He gently placed his own hands on her hips, moving to capture her lips with his own.
The two shared a loving, deep kiss, before Hannah pulled away, panting softly and grinning. "Wow," she said softly. "I do love those kisses."
He just grinned at her. "Glad to deliver," he said, before turning to the kitchen. "Mmm, guess I should see what we've got to eat around here." He soon disappeared into the kitchen, and Hannah heard him shuffling through the cupboards. "Let's see…well we're plenty stocked, but…looks like a lot of freeze dried or paste stuff for the dextro food…oooh, are these noodles? I didn't know turians had noodles," he said, as Hannah chuckled, already hearing the gears turning in her husband's head. He always did enjoy cooking, and had even mentioned considering opening some small café or restaurant once they retired from the military. Something Hannah was looking forward to, spending her later years with him, doting on some grandchildren. Sighing, she settled into a chair, smiling to herself.
Meanwhile, in Naruto's bedroom, Alicia was giggling. "So are those whisker marks on your cheeks?" She asked, pointing.
Naruto blinked, rubbing the back of his head. "Uuuh…y-yes?" He said, as Alicia grinned.
"That is so cool! And your ears, can you hear really soft things? Like this?" She asked before whispering very quietly.
The young alien boy blinked again, before nodding. "Yeah, actually I can," she said, causing her gasp.
"Wow," she said. "I wish I could hear things like that," she said, before grinning. "So little brother, what do you want to do?" She asked.
Naruto shifted a bit. "Well ummmm…I-I don't know. What do…what do brothers and sisters do?" He asked. "I don't really know."
Alicia grinned at him. "I know! Do you have any toy soldiers, or ships?" She asked. When he nodded, she shot up. "Then you get yours out, and I'll go get mine!" She said, rushing over to her room. Naruto blinked, as he could hear her sifting through boxes, excitedly muttering to herself the whole time.
He slowly began to gather his own toys, getting them out and setting them up, when Alicia came back in with her own toys, grinning. "Great!" She said when she saw his toys. "Now we can have an adventure together!"
"An adventure?" Naruto asked, curious.
Alicia nodded. "That's right. I'll be the awesome Captain Alicia, and you are awesome Captain Naruto. And we go out and save the galaxy!" She said. "Now we just need an enemy!"
Hannah was quietly reading an article from the extranet, the galactic equivalent of the internet, on her omni-tool when she heard loud cheering and explosion noises coming from Naruto's room. Curious, she got up and headed down the hall to said room, and peeked in. She couldn't help but grin as she saw Alicia rushing around, making whooshing noises as she flew a toy spaceship around. "This is Captain Alicia to Captain Naruto! The enemy pirates are sighted!" She said, rushing to where some of the toy ships were set up as the 'pirates'.
Naruto, with his own ships, nodded. "O-Okay Captain Alicia! We're coming!" He said, moving his own ships over.
Hannah just smiled, watching the two 'captains' rout the pirates, obviously doing an amazing job and not losing a single ship or soldier. Afterwards, Alicia grinned. "We did it Captain Naruto! We're heroes!"
Naruto grinned a bit shyly. "Y-Yeah?" He asked only to blink as he sniffed the air. "H-Hey, do you smell something?" He asked.
"That would probably be your dad's cooking," Hannah said from the door, causing the two kids to look up at her. "He's making some dinner right now."
"It smells good," Naruto said, still sniffing the air, as Alicia blinked, sniffing the air as well.
"Aaaw, I can't smell anything," she said, pouting as she crossed her arms.
Naruto looked downcast at that. "S-Sorry," he said, shuffling a foot as he looked down. Hannah blinked as she gently lifted his head by gently pulling up on his chin.
"Hey, what's wrong there?" She asked, as Alicia blinked and looked at Naruto as well.
"Yeah, what's wrong Naruto?" She asked him.
Naruto shuffled one foot. "I-I didn't mean to make you feel bad," he said quietly to Alicia, as Hannah's eyes widened in understanding. Alicia just gasped.
"What?! No, you didn't!" she said, as she suddenly hugged Naruto, who gasped a bit at that, caught off guard. Hannah smiled and nodded.
"That's right, you didn't upset her Naruto. She wasn't really upset, she was just playing around," she said, as Naruto just nodded, standing there as Alicia kept hugging him.
Malcolm popped his head in, grinning. "Sorry to interrupt, but I thought you'd all like to know I've got some dinner here, if you're hungry," he said, disappearing back into the dining room/living room area.
Hannah smiled as she got up. "Alright you two. Go get washed up," she said, as Alicia quickly headed off to the bathroom, with Naruto in tow. Hannah just smiled, heading back to the dining portion of the main room, glad that Naruto and Alicia were getting along so far. She smiled as she saw Malcolm standing there, waiting with her seat pulled out.
"Madame, your table awaits," he said in a fake French accent, making Hannah giggle softly at his antics. He was always a goofball with the family, and she loved every minute of it. She pecked his cheek as she sat down in the chair, allowing him to push her into the table.
Naruto and Alicia soon joined them, clambering up into their seats. Malcolm smiled as he went to get the food, serving up Hannah and Alicia first, and then getting out a large pot that was steaming. "I hope you like this Naruto," he said. "I was experimenting with some of the food for you that we had, and I made this. It's called ramen," he said, as he ladled some broth with long noodles and bits of formerly dried dextro meats and vegetables added in. "I hope you like it," he said again.
Naruto blinked at it, then looked up as Malcolm got his own food, and sat down to eat. "Everyone dig in!" Malcolm said happily.
Naruto slowly picked up a fork, and slid it into the noodles, twirling some onto it. He slowly tasted it, before his eyes widened. He quickly began eating it, and digging into the ramen, happily slurping down the noodles.
Malcolm grinned, cutting into the meatloaf he had made for himself and the others. "Well that's the greatest compliment I could ask for," he said, watching Naruto tear into his ramen. Hannah just smiled and nodded, watching.
Naruto looked up, grinning. "This tastes really good! I love it!" He said, as he went back to eagerly eating his food. Alicia blinked, and then grinned.
"Can I try it?" she asked, only for Hannah to shake her head.
"Sorry sweetie. That's special food for Naruto. He has to eat stuff that we can't eat, okay? So don't try his food, or you'll probably get sick," she said.
Alicia nodded. "Okay mommy!" She said, then dipped a bit of meatloaf into some ketchup and scarfed it down. (2)
Malcolm chuckled softly. "Ketchup. My daughter eats meatloaf with ketchup," he said, as he ate his food. "Don't forget your vegetables," he said, as Alicia pouted, but ate her vegetables.
Naruto had soon finished his ramen, and glanced at the bowl, before looking at Malcolm. "Ummm…i-is there more dad?" He asked softly.
Malcolm smiled and nodded. "There is. Don't worry," he said, getting up, and soon Naruto was enjoying another bowl of ramen, smiling happily as he did so.
"So Naruto," Malcolm said, making Naruto look up, "may I ask what you think of everything you've seen so far?"
Naruto blinked, and scratched the back of his head. "Well, it's all…really weird," he said. "L-Like those really big guys with the strange things on their mouths, and the spiky things sticking out of the back of their heads? They're kind of weird," he said.
Malcolm blinked, and then snapped his fingers. "Oh right, the turians?" He asked, as Naruto nodded.
"Yeah. O-Or the other guys, with the big eyes, and two horn things?" Naruto added, as Hannah smiled at him.
"Salarians. Buy why are they weird?" She asked him.
Naruto sheepishly stirred his food. "Well…t-they look so different," he said, looking down. "I-Is that bad, that I think it's weird?"
"Not really sweetie," Hannah said. "But being different isn't bad though. Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same?" She asked.
Naruto blinked, and then nodded. "I guess so," he said, as he finished up his ramen.
The others were soon finished eating, and Hannah smiled at them. "Alright then. Time for baths and bed," she said, making Alicia groan.
"Awwww, but mommy! I don't wanna," she whined, as Malcolm chuckled, ruffling her hair.
"Now now sweetie, you need to sleep. Helps you grow up big and strong," Malcolm said with a smile, as his daughter just pouted.
Naruto however dutifully followed Hannah to the bathroom, taking a bath first with her help, and then Alicia had hers afterwards. Once they were both in pajamas, Alicia giggled as she followed Hannah and Naruto to his bedroom. "You gunna tell us a story, mommy?" She asked happily.
Hannah smiled. "Oh? Would you like a story Naruto?" She asked, as the vulzan boy blinked.
"Sure," he said, clambering into his bed and snuggling into it, clutching a stuffed fox toy that had been a gift from Corporal Richter. Alicia giggled as she hopped onto the bed, while Hannah smiled and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Now, let's see then. What story should I tell?" She asked with a smile. "How about the adventures of Captain Alicia?" She asked with a grin, as Alicia clapped her hands.
"Yay!" She said with a happy grin.
Hannah smiled as she started the story, about the brave Captain Alicia and her crew. Naruto and Alicia both sat there, listening, as Hannah told them about the evil pirate king who was attacking a poor colony.
"But then, just as things looked bad, who should arrive but...," Hannah said, grinning as Alicia shot up.
"Captain Alicia!" She said, excitedly hopping off the bed.
"That's right," Hannah confirmed with a smile. "She and her brave crew, including her brother Naruto, arrived in time to stop the pirate king from escaping."
Her daughter grinned happily at that. "Yeah! We shot down his ship!" She said excitedly, pretending to be her ship and shooting down the pirate king's ship. "And then we landed on the planet, and me and Naruto fought the pirate king!"
Naruto just stared, wide eyed, as Malcolm listened from the doorway while Hannah continued. "That's right. He was a big, mean, evil pirate king. And as the brave Captain and her brother approached, he laughed evilly. 'Muhahahaha! So I now face the heroic Captain Alicia, and her brother! Well you won't beat me! Muahahaha'."
Alicia tried to make a fierce face. "Oh yes we will, evil pirate king! Pow!" She said, making a gunshot noise.
Hannah let out a theatrical gasp. "The pirate king grabbed at his chest, and said 'Owww! You shot me! But it's only a wound!' So then the brave Naruto rushed at him, and tackled him to the ground, as Alicia stood on his hand to stop him from drawing a weapon. And together, they captured the evil pirate king, and saved the colony."
"Yay! We saved the day!" Alicia said, grinning at Naruto, who just gave a small smile as well. "When I grow up, I'm going to be a hero! Just like in our stories," she said happily.
Malcolm smiled as he came in and picked her up. "I'm sure you will sweetie," he said. "But don't grow up too fast, alright? Now, time for bed."
Alicia just smiled in her dad's arms, waving at Naruto. "Night little brother!" she said, as Malcolm carried her to bed.
Hannah smiled as she fixed Naruto's sheets, tucking him in. "There we go," she said. "You want me to leave a night light on?" She asked.
"No mommy. I'll be okay," he said softly. "Thank you."
She smiled as she gently ruffled his hair. "Good night Naruto," she said, as she turned to leave.
"Mommy?" Naruto asked, causing her to turn around. "…what are they going to do to me?" He asked softly.
Hannah blinked at him, before shaking her head. "Nothing bad Naruto. They just want to know more about you, and what you can do," she said.
"But…the other people…before I fell asleep and saw you mommy…they did stuff to me…it was scary…," he said, looking down.
Hannah felt her heart ache a bit at the look on that small boy's face, and she moved to him, gently touching his face. "Don't worry Naruto. I'll be there with you, okay?"
Naruto nodded softly. "Okay…thanks mommy," he said softly. "Good night."
She nodded, before gently leaning forward. "Good night Naruto," she said, slowly moving away. She looked back at him, hesitating, before leaving his room, the door closing, as Naruto closed his eyes and cuddled his stuffed fox.
Elsewhere, Dr. T'Nevra was settling into her own quarters, studying a medical report on Naruto while sipping from a glass of Thessia wine. She set the glass down as she focused on some new data regarding his biology that Dr. Kerrick had forwarded to her.
Apparently the boy's muscular and bone structure was denser than that of normal humanoids his age, leading Dr. Kerrick to theorize that his body was capable of withstanding greater force and damage than most other species general could, while simultaneously allowing him greater strength and speed. What was also interesting was that his cellular structure showed a higher regeneration rate then most species were capable of, though it wasn't nearly as capable as krogan regeneration was. Even still, wounds that would keep most people in hospitals for weeks or months would only take hours or days for Naruto to heal from it seemed.
She set the data pad down, sighing as she sat down on the bed in the bedroom of her quarters. More and more, she was becoming worried about the data they found on the boy. Natural biotics, enhanced senses, increased durability and regeneration? It was all sounding like everything those of a military mind would want in a soldier. That was what worried her, that when they finished their examinations and studies, some of those in power would see Naruto not as a young boy, but as a tool, a weapon to be molded towards their desire. And while she had tried to remain objective, she would admit she had a soft spot for the boy. He was so young, lost and alone with none of his race or biological family here to comfort him. All he had was Hannah Shepard, who he had latched onto.
Shaking her head, she got up, taking her glass of wine and finishing it. She would have to wait and see what data they found on Naruto, as well as finish translating from the Prothean databanks. And she would have to hope that when the time came to decide what would happen to Naruto, those in power would remember he was a living being, a young boy, and not only see his worth for their own goals. Changing into a sleeping gown, she murmured as she slipped into bed, blushing lightly as she remembered a few looks she had received from some of the male humans since her arrival here. What was it with human males and their fascination with her species? Shaking her head, she closed her eyes, drifting off to sleep.
"The Batarian Hegemony has lodged another complaint," Councilor Lieran said with a tired sigh. "They're now claiming that the Council is disregarding batarian claims to the Attican Traverse by allowing the Systems Alliance to colonize planets within the Traverse."
"What nonsense. They have no claims to the Traverse beyond what they've colonized so far," Bartimus said with disgust.
Councilor Tevos just nodded, weary as well. "Yes, but they feel that since they had colonies within the Traverse first, they thus have claim to it. They believe humanity's expansion into the Traverse is an infringement upon their so called 'claims'."
Since the Council's extraction of the research team on Therum, and their granting of the planet to the Alliance, the Batarian Hegemony had let their outrage be known. Already they had threatened to halt their exports, as well as registering claims that the Alliance was planning an invasion of batarian space, and their own warnings that they would take any and all measures to ensure the safety of their borders and interests.
Yet despite these threats, the Council was more weary than worried. The Hegemony was little more than a paper tiger, whose military power could not hope to match any one of the Council races own military, let alone all three. And while the Council was not interested in entering into a war with the batarians, they knew that largely, the batarians threats were nothing but posturing and hot air. The worst that could happen would be that the batarians withdrew their embassy and close their borders to the Council races and their affiliates. Hardly a loss when one considered their largest exports were pirates and terrorists, rather than actual goods or necessities.
Still, the constant complaints and threats, as well as the Council attempting to balance the situation to get the best result, was tiring on the three Councilors. Something that was most evident on Councilor Bartimus, whose patience was growing thin.
"While I do agree that we couldn't let the batarians occupy Therum, I still think we shouldn't have given it to the Alliance," he said yet again. "The Alliance and the Hegemony are at odds with each other, and giving Therum to the Alliance escalated the problem. If we had simply asked the Turian Hierachy, we could have established a base there without aggravating the batarians, and our problems would be solved."
"Therum is not in a strategic location to any of our races," Lieran said. "It's on the other side of Alliance space from any of our own territories. None of our three races have interests or colonies in the Traverse, whereas the Alliance does. Giving them the planet was the most logical and easiest way to keep it from the batarians. You know that even with the punishments for hiding Prothean technology from the Council, the batarians would have kept some of the knowledge and technology they found to themselves, and asked for ridiculous compensation for allowing our scientists onto the planet. The Alliance however is much more agreeable on allowing us access to the planet."
"I still don't like this," Bartimus said. "We're giving too much favor to this one race that has only been part of our community for a few years and has done little to earn said favor."
Tevos said quietly. "I understand Bartimus. But we are not going to show this treatment all the time. This is a show of good faith, to make humans more amiable towards us. Afterwards, we can start to work on helping them better fit into the galactic community."
Lieran eyed the Turian Councilor. "Besides, is it possible your mistrust is due more to your race's animosity towards the Alliance for The First Contact War?"
Bartmius's mandibles twitched as his eyes narrowed. "I am mistrustful of any race that could be a threat to the safety and peace of the Council and its allies. And the Systems Alliance is a possible threat."
"Enough…this discussion is not helpful," Tevos stated. "The Alliance is not a threat to anyone unless we cause them to become a threat. For now, we will continue to work with them, and hopefully build a bridge between them and us. Are we in agreement?"
The salarian Councilor nodded, and Bartimus scowled, but eventually the turian Councilor nodded as well. Tevos let out a sigh of tiredness. "Very well then. Let us adjourn for now and get some rest. This has been a tiring day for us all."
The other two agreed, and adjourned, going to rest and contemplate how to handle the problems of the batarians.
Terra Nova Research Facility
Hannah stood quietly in the observation room outside the lab, where Naruto was currently standing in the middle of a full body scanner. The young boy was nervously biting his lip, eyes constantly going to the window, where he could see his mother, and be reassured that she was there if anything should happen. Inside the lab, Drs. T'Nevra and Kerrick, along with several scientists and researchers from the Council and Alliance studied the data from the scanner, looking into better understanding Naruto's higher rate of healing and regeneration.
It had been almost two weeks since Hannah had first introduced Naruto to her family, and she was glad to say that Malcolm and Alicia were growing closer to Naruto. She had been worried that they wouldn't have reacted well to the young alien boy. Instead, both of them seemed to be handling the situation quite well.
Malcolm had been cheerful and polite, helping Hannah explain and teach basic things like reading and writing, along with some vids they had downloaded from the extranet to help Naruto learn. While he still was a bit cautious and wary of Naruto, still coming to terms with his alien 'son', he was taking it in strides.
Alicia however seemed quite happy with the whole situation. When she wasn't busy with her own tutoring programs, due to the fact that she couldn't currently attend any of the nearby public schools due to security reasons, she was constantly hanging around with Naruto, asking him questions, or asking him to play with her. She had been really excited when she saw him accidentally use his biotic powers when dropping a cup, his red biotics barely catching it in time, and had been constantly asking to see more of it, though Hannah put a stop to that, saying it was a bit dangerous for Naruto to do so without proper training.
Hannah was brought out of her thoughts as she heard the soft hum of the scanner die away, and the device slowly stopped. One of the technicians operating it helped Naruto out of the scanning area, and returned his translation bracelet to him, which had to be removed to prevent interference of the scanners. Dr. T'Nevra smiled as she escorted Naruto out of the lab, where he quickly ran to Hannah smiling.
"Was I a good boy mommy?" He asked as he reached her. Naruto was rather eager to make his family happy, going out of his way to try and help them, or make them proud of him. One of the psychologists who were analyzing Naruto's personality and psychological profile believed that this was due to him having a fear of being abandoned, and thus wanting to make his family as happy as possible to ensure they didn't leave him. Hannah just smiled as she gently hugged him.
"You were a very good boy. In fact, I think I'll talk to daddy about making you some more of his ramen," she said, making Naruto cheer. It had quickly become apparent to the Shepards that Naruto was incredibly fond of the ramen Malcolm had made for him, as Naruto often asked for it again and again. Malcolm however had told Naruto that he had to eat a variety of food, to grow big and strong and healthy.
Naruto grinned happily, as Dr. T'Nevra smiled at the sight of that, before remembering something. "Lieutenant, there's something I'd like to talk to you and Naruto about, if you have a moment?" She asked.
As the two of them looked at her, she continued. "I wanted to offer Naruto the chance to learn how to utilize his biotic skills properly," she said. "While none of the asari researchers are highly skilled with our biotics, every asari goes through training in school to at least be able to contain and control their biotic capabilities. If you like, we can do the same for Naruto, so he doesn't have an accident later on."
Hannah blinked at that, and looked down at Naruto, who glanced back up at her, not really understanding what was going on. The Shepard matriarch glanced back up at Dr. T'Nevra, before nodding. "I suppose that would be a good idea. There's not really anyone else who can teach him. When should we start?"
The asari scientist smiled at them. "Don't worry. I'll send you information once we've worked out a schedule. Thank you for hearing me out though, and I hope we can help young Naruto," she said, before turning and heading off.
Hannah just nodded, smiling at Naruto. "She wants to teach you how to better control your red energy," she explained to him, as he blinked, then nodded. Still smiling, Hannah started to lead him back to their quarters, even as Dr. Kerrick watched, and sniffed contemptuously again.
Inside the Shepard's quarters, Malcolm was watching the news on the vidscreen in the wall of the living room, as a human news reporter reported on current events. "In other news, Ambassador Hugh Michaels, Alliance Envoy to the Council, announced today that he would be stepping down from his position within the next few weeks. When asked why he was making such a move, he stated that due to health problems he was resigning as Ambassador, passing the reins on to his successor, Anita Goyle. Ambassador Michaels was influential in the recent cooperative research venture between Alliance Researchers and Council scientists, leading to the planned colonization of Therum for research purposes. Even now, his actions have opened up potential talks of humanity being given an embassy on the Citadel itself, which will make the System's Alliance the newest Council affiliate race within Council controlled space. Back to you Mary."
As the news switched over to another reporter, who began reading off a few summarized events as the hour drew to a close, Malcolm grinned as Alicia rushed in. "Is it on yet? Is it?" She asked excitedly.
"Not yet sweetie. It's almost on though," he said, hugging her as she climbed up onto the couch next to him. Alicia grinned at him.
"I hope mommy and Naruto get back soon. They'll miss it!" She said, just as the door opened.
"We're home," Hannah said with a smile as she and Naruto entered, the latter of whom looked at the TV eagerly. Seeing that it was on the news, he quickly took off his shoes and climbed onto the couch on the other side of Malcolm, who smiled at him.
"Well you two are just in time. Alicia's favorite show is about to start. And I'm assuming Naruto's now too," he said with a chuckle, as the news ended. And suddenly, explosions went off on the screen, as an announcer spoke in a loud, energetic voice.
"Ladies and gentleman, are you ready for action, excitement, and explosions?! Then get ready, because it's time for ARMAX ARSENAL ARENA!" The announcer shouted, as recorded cheers went off, while the screen showed a large square arena from a top view, looking down into it as the log of the Armax Arsenal appeared, with Armax Arsenal Arena superimposed over it. "This week, we've got the highlights of our best matches! Watch as both professionals and amateurs battle it out in competitor versus environment, and competitor versus competitor matches!"
The vid soon switched to show four competitors in the middle of what looked like a jungle. The team was made up of two turians, an asari, and a salarian. The two turians both carried assault rifles, while the salarian had a shotgun and the asari carried a pistol. The announcer spoke up, as the four of competitors readied their weapons. "Our first match saw four new competitors against some classic opponents, a group of pirates and raiders!" He said, as a timer started counting down, and several orbs appeared in another part of the environment. The four competitors quickly dashed to the nearest cover, as the timer ran down, and the orbs spawned several figures in fully sealed armored suits, wielding a variety of weapons. (3)
Alicia grinned as she watched the two turians open fire first, nailing two of the pirates and causing them to explode into light. "Yeah, look at that! Got them already!" She said happily, as the salarian pulled out a small orb from a packed attached to his hip, and tapped a few buttons on it. The orb floated, becoming encased in holographic energy that formed into a combat drone, before the salarian tapped some keys on his omni-tool. The drone quickly floated up, charging the spawn point for the holographic pirates, who were now taking cover as well and firing at the four competitors with what seemed like realistic weapons.
Malcolm smiled as he heard his daughter cheering the competitors on. This show, one of her favorites, was made by the Armax Arsenal Company, a turian controlled corporation that created weapons, armor, and omni-tools largely for the turian military, but had also begun adding new equipment that it sold to other races. They had also sponsored the creation of an arena onboard the Citadel, where competitors could choose to compete in holographic simulated environments, against simulated opponents, or against other competitors as well. Of course to avoid injury, all competitors were equipped with specialized weapons that were near perfect replicas of actual modern military and civilian weapons, down to the use of thermal clips to cool the weapons and prolong their ability to fire. The only difference was that instead of firing lethal projectiles, the weapons instead fired practice 'dummy' rounds that simulated the mass and weight of a normal round, but were easily dissipated by kinetic barriers and armor, rendering them harmless against armored opponents. They also couldn't penetrate flesh, but the impact against skin or unarmored people would still hurt quite badly.
The competitor's armor was also modified as well. While the kinetic barriers were similar to those used by soldiers and others, the armor had built in sensors that registered impacts, and used it to register if the hit was mitigated by the armor, or if the hit was a flesh wound, crippling wound, or a 'mortal' wound. Wounds would cause the armor to either slow down or lock up, thus leaving the player 'wounded' or 'dead' if they took too much damage.
Now, the asari popped up, glowing blue as she grunted and hurled a ball of biotic energy at one of the holographic pirates. The ball of blue energy arced around the tree they were hiding behind, slamming into the pirate and throwing them into another tree, where they exploded into light.
Alicia and Naruto cheered at that, before gasping as they saw the asari's kinetic barriers shimmer from another 'pirate' shooting at her and hitting them. Said asari ducked down, as one of the turians quickly shot the pirate, allowing the asari to move to new cover.
Soon enough, the team had cleared the first wave, with one of the turians collecting a bonus crystal that popped up and earning the team more points.
Alicia grinned as she looked at Naruto. "That was so cool! I wish I could do what the asari did!" she said, making a throwing gesture, as if to launch a ball of biotic energy.
"Oh, speaking of which," Hannah said, sitting on the edge of the couch, "Dr. T'Nevra has offered to teach Naruto how to control his biotics," she told Malcolm. "So he won't accidently break anything with them."
"Well that's good," he said, smiling at Naruto, who looked a bit sheepishly. Just yesterday Naruto had knocked over a couple of plates when he let loose an accidental burst of his biotics, accidentally breaking them.
Naruto looked down, as Malcolm hugged him. "Don't worry about it bud," he said, as the second round began.
The team of competitors was doing alright initially, holding their own, until one of the pirates spawned with a rocket launcher, and fired it. The salarian tried to dodge out of the way, but the explosion from it threw him out into the open. The two turians tried to lay down cover fire, but the pirates had them pinned down, as two of them started firing at the salarian.
"And it looks like Korden is in serious trouble, as two of the pirates start to open up on him while he's out in the open and stunned!" The announcer shouted. That is until the asari channeled her biotics, and seeming to disappear, leaving only wisps of biotic energy, before she appeared over the salarian, and released her biotic energy, creating a shield dome around the two of them that began to deflect the weapons fire.
Alicia cheered at that. "Yeah! Look at that! That's so cool!" She said, cheering excitedly as she jumped up, pumping her fist into the air. As she did so, there was a flicker of energy around her fist, a flicker that erupted upwards, creating a brief little flare of energy, and then faded. Alicia didn't notice, and neither did Naruto, too enraptured at watching the asari. But Malcolm and Hannah did, causing both of them to start, and glance at each other in surprise. Hannah's face soon had a small amount of worry, as she looked at Alicia again, praying that what she just saw wasn't what she thought it was. She looked at Malcolm, who gave her a little reassuring nod, as Alicia sat down again, cheering the asari on as said asari was straining to keep the barrier dome up around them, while the salarian got up, and the two quickly moved to cover after the asari dropped the barrier.
Alicia just grinned, watching the match continue. "It would be so cool to do that someday!" She said eagerly, as Malcolm hugged her.
"Maybe one day kiddo. Maybe one day," he said, smiling at her as the team cleared the second round. Yet as he glanced over at his wife, and saw the still slightly worried look on her face, they both knew they'd need to keep an eye on Alicia. Because if they saw what they had seen, it could only mean one thing: Alicia might get her wish of being able to do cool biotic things like her brother.
Three months later
The three Councilors stood in the observation room, watching as a couple of the asari researchers worked with Naruto inside, helping him learn to properly control his biotics, while the boy currently had a small plastic box jerking and floating in the air. Hannah was in the room with Naruto and the two asari, giving Naruto encouragement as he struggled to keep it in the air.
With the Councilors were Drs. Kerrick and T'Nevra, who were summarizing their latest finds and results.
"As you can see, Naruto has already begun grasping simple biotic control in only a matter of months. He's made incredible progress in learning to harness his biotics, which we attribute to this genetic memory of his people. He's able to instinctively utilize his biotics from memories of his parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, doing the same. All he needs to do is practice himself to gain full mastery of his abilities," T'Nevra said with a smile.
"Most impressive," Bartimus said, watching Naruto. "What would you rate his potential biotic power level at?"
"Well it is still quite early to try and rate his biotics, but we do predict he might become a rather powerful biotic. His power levels already are slightly higher than most others we've seen from subjects at his age," Dr. Kerrick said. "His stamina and endurance will also lend themselves to him being able to last longer with his biotics, and if he continues to train himself physically, he'll outlast any other biotic user save for perhaps a krogan. Add to that his rather high regeneration factor, his increased speed, strength, and his denser bone structure and musculature, it is very easy to say that Naruto is a truly incredible specimen. Given the right training, he'd probably be quite a soldier."
Bartimus nodded, watching Naruto. "So it would seem," he said quietly, only for Dr. T'Nevra to glare at Kerrick.
"Councilors, Naruto is a young, scared boy who was torn from his family, experimented on, stuffed into cyro, and only now is truly understanding what it means to have a family. He is the only member of his race that still lives. I do not think carting him off to become some pet soldier is the best answer for him," she said.
"No one is making the suggestion that we do so now. But your experiments and examinations are drawing to a close, aren't they?" Councilor Lieran said. "We will need to decide what to do with the boy once they're done."
"He should be allowed to live a normal life," Dr. T'Nevra said. "Allow him to grow up like a normal child would, and when he's old enough, he came make his own decisions."
"And how do we do that exactly?" Bartimus said. "He is a potentially powerful asset. Are you suggesting we simply leave him in the hands of the Alliance, where they can influence him to their views? It would be best if we had him trained by operatives of the Council. No one group would lay claim to him, and he could serve as a Council Spectre when he's ready. The first one ever to be trained from the ground up to serve and protect the Council and all who dwell in Council space."
Dr. T'Nevra turned to Bartimus. "Councilor Bartimus, the boy is mentally and emotionally fragile. He's like a baby animal. If he's taken from the Shepards, it will traumatize him, causing long term effects that could harm or kill him. Not to mention he is a sentient being. Will you really simply sacrifice his well-being and happiness so carelessly?"
Bartimus scowled at her. "Every turian knows that the good of the people and the Empire comes first. I'm thinking of what's best for the Council."
"No, you're just thinking of what hurts the Alliance the most," Dr. T'Nevra snapped, making Bartimus growl and take a step forward, until Tevos raised a hand.
"Enough! Enough Bartimus. You too Dr. T'Nevra," she said, as the two of them stood down. "I wish to speak to young Naruto first. In fact, I want all three of us," she said, looking at her colleagues, "to speak to him. Once we've done that…then we'll decide what is to be done with Naruto. Understood?"
As Lieran and Bartimus nodded, T'Nevra turned back to look into the room, her eyes worried as she watched the young boy, who was smiling as he set the block down, encouraged by his mother's words, unaware that his fate might soon be decided.
And done. Sorry for the long wait on an update people. I usually crank out a chapter a month, but I got caught up recently trying out the two week free beta test of Final Fantasy XIV Online. Was quite a fun game. If I could afford it, I'd buy it. Hopefully though, I'll be able to get more chapters out soon.
So, I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. If you're Mass Effect fans and are hoping we get to the action soon, well I'll try to get to it as soon as I can. But I want to help set up the relationship between Naruto and his family, as well as his place in the ME universe first. Just bear with me a few more chapters, and you'll get what you want.
For those of you still eager for Shinobi's Creed, don't worry. I've been working on the next chapter of that too, and will be putting all my focus on it with this chapter done. Hopefully I can get it done quickly. *Nods*
Also, I want to give thanks to Kyuubi123 for his work in betaing this fanfic, as well as thank a new beta, a7xfanatic1195. They've been instrumental in helping me smooth out a lot of ideas so far, because they've got a great grasp on ME lore, both game and other media wise. Thanks for the help, both of you!
And thanks go out again to my friend May-Princess of Hoenn, for getting me hooked on the games in the first place.
1. In the games, there's quite a huge fuss about how the Turians and Quarians are dextro amino acid based life forms, and pretty much all other forms of life are levo amino acid life forms. When you look it up though, dextro and levo amino acid life forms really comes down to levo life forms having DNA that rotates one way, and dextro's have it rotating the other way. In the games, there's this whole business of how dextro's can only eat food based on dextro amino acids, while levo's can only eat levo amino acid based food. In reality though, a lot of things we humans eat actually have some dextro amino acids in them, showing that they are not toxic. While I will roughly be sticking to what they do in the game, I thought it would be a good idea to clear things up on the realities of that.
2. Used to do that all the time. *Sheepishly grinned*
3. If you played the Citadel DLC, you'll know that the Armax Arsenal Arena gave you five choices for opponents: Cerberus, Geth, Reapers, Collectors, and Mirror Match (fighting teams made up of Shepards, whom each were one of the six different classes). Considering this is well before any of those entities become actual threats to galactic safety, I had to come up with some new ideas for possible enemies.