Alright, here's chapter two.
A massive cruiser zipped through the aetherium, unnoticed by almost everyone, heading straight toward Eden Prime after receiving the distress call. She had been the closest Rapturian ship to respond on her patrol, and received orders to take out or stall the attacking forces.
It was a older design, the body was that of a old russian typhoon, but the conn tower was that of a japanese I-400, though the door on the front was not for a hanger.
The massive vessel easily dwarfed both the predecessor submarines, easily. It was little over a hundred years old, an early FTL drive vessel, but she worked, and that's all her crew wanted.
Inside the bridge, just under the 'conn tower', her bridge crew operated.
Delta stood near the forward consoles, checking the map ETA, and ship status.
He rumbled a question at Sinclair, who sat at the comms. station, a cable running to his helmet. "I hear you, ole' boy, and yes, they're still transmitting." He said, twisting around to face the older Daddy.
"Father, can you come here, please?" Ellie asked, her helmet resting next to her as she looked at the scanner readout.
"I'm seeing a massive Ezzo reading right about here, but everything else can't find a thing." she said pointing. Delta looked at the readout, and huffed something, a rumbling reply coming from Cecil as he walked in, hearing the question. Sammy nodded, her helmet looking at a readout copy.
"Stealth vessel. Likely the turian/human one." She rasped. Cecil gave a snort, and rumbled something, pointing at the readout. Sammys helm moves in a eyeroll manner, but nods. "I'm agreeing with you two on this one, Sam. These guys missed a critical part on the stealth bit." Said Ellie.
The rest of the bridge crew looked at the exchange, watching as the group interacted. Finally, Delta rumbled out a order to the crew, along the lines of 'Run out the guns as soon as they rose from the aetherium, arm the MAC, and ready surface crews.' The bridge crew scrambles, alarms going off as Delta rumbled at Ellie, telling her she had the Conn.
She nods and secures her helm, as Sammy, Cecil, and Delta head to the drop pod bay, which replaced the lower forward torpedo tubes. Each tube had a hopper with the spherical drop pods loaded and open, ready for deployment.
Splicers, mostly brutes and houdini's, quickly load up, while spider splicers scrambled to personnel carriers, ready to pick up survivors and drop troops.
Ellie took a deep breath as the vessel rose up, and pales a bit at the fleet of unknown ships between them and eden prime.
"Uh….. Cap'in, you see'in this?" Asked a helmsman, looking at the biotech ships.
"Yes I do. Doesn't matter. They attacked a civilian colony. Punch straight through." She said, the glow from her helm hardening, as the helms of the bridge crew nod.
Outside of the vessel, barrels extend from her sides, glowing as their capacitors charged, moving on a limited gimbal, as from the top rear and along the bottom of the vessel turrets extended and armed.
The hatch on the ship split in two, rotating and folding outwards as the barrel for the MAC extended and primed itself, aiming or the largest ship in its view point.
Inside, Ellie noded. "All stations, pick a target, and fire at will." She said.
In seconds, the area around the vessel was illuminated as the turrets went off, shredding several of the smaller ships, as the MAC tore holes in the larger ships.
And in the midst of it all, The Normandy ducked and weaved through the firefight, though she quickly found herself with a tail.
Joker growled as he hunkered down, scowling at the feed on a small monitor every so often as he steered the ship in and out of the surrounding ships.
"Commander, hope you kept the receipt, cause we got a problem." he said, as the Normandy shook.
The turian Specter looked surprised. "Impossible. They should not have seen us. Are you certain the stealth system is online?" He said, watching as the biotech ships scored a few hits.
"Of course! Thing is, it doesn't work on these guys." The smaller human growls back, throwing the ship around. The turian scowls. "hmm. Perhaps they have a system we have not encountered yet." he said.
During one of the passes, they rocket by the much larger Raptuiran vessel, which caused the turian to stiffen as an arc of energy flashed in front of the ship, striking one of their pursuers. "Impossible, an Aegis class, here?!" he said, looking at the vessel as it tore a path to Eden Prime.
"Joker, follow the Rapturian ship. Even with your flying, there's no way we can avoid all of these guys." Shepard said, looking at the vessel.
A feeling of deja vu formed in his stomach as he looked at it.
"Who ever they sent, they have one hell of a cruiser." muttered Joker as he followed in the ship's wake.
Inside the larger vessel, the torpedo crew armed the drop tubes, as the ship evened out into a firing position.
"Drop tubes, fire." Ellie said, as the Aegis class positioned itself. Seconds later, the tubes fire, not unlike a Railgun, launching the pod down to the surface.
Each one fell, and deployed. Once out of the reentry phase, they ejected the heat shielding, creating a chaff, skewing targeting computers. As they fell, airbrakes deployed, slowing them down farther.
Now here was the part as to why spider splicers were not allowed in most drop pods.
Still going at a rapid pace, the pods opened, releasing their occupants.
The brutes used thruster packs, slowing down and dropping the last ten feet. Houdini's just warped the last bit as their capsule opened. Delta, Sammy and Cecil? They just dropped.
All over the colony, Splicer forces rained down, securing areas as safe zones, and landing zones for relief crews.
Shepard grabbed the wall as the Normandy shook while it tried to land in the hot zone. "Hackett, Nilus, Shepard, Normandy's taking heavy AA fire, not as much as it could, but still more than you would think a stealth ship would attract." Grouched Joker. "Most of the AA fires taken by the Drop pods the Rapturian ships spittin' out. Looks like they're using the heat shield for chaff."
"Interesting tactics. They increased survival chances of the pods considerably by flooding targeting computers with targets." muttered Nilus.
Shepard smirked. "Still trying to get your drop pods working?"
Nilus scowled. "Not like your attempts are as successful."
"Cut the chatter Shepard. We're almost to the LZ now." Hackett said.
The group hopped off the Normandy, which immediately takes back off, AA fire streaking past her, glancing off as she rose up out of the atmosphere.
"Geez, they don't mess around, huh?" A rookie muttered as he looked up, watching as the heat shields finished burning up like a small meteor shower. Shepard nodded.
Nilus looked unnerved as he watched, remembering stories of how this had often been a bad omen for them during the Contact war.
The Turian shook his head, clearing it, and looked about. The group moved up, gaining ground rapidly. They moved through the forest, taking out the Drones as they went.
"Captain, look." the rookie said, pointing to two Geth, a spike, and a civie. They watched as the Geth dropped the man on it.
"... What the hell? Geth don't normally act like that, do they?"
The Geth move off, leaving behind the carcase, and turning for a woman bunkered down behind a rock.
Shepard clicked his rifle of his back, and a well placed shot takes out one, as the other docked behind a tree, pinned by the rookies fire.
Nilus takes aim, taking out the Geth when it popped back out.
They head down to the woman, who was getting up from the rock.
"Gunnery chief Ashley williams, 212th. You in command here, sir?" She asked, catching her breath.
Shepard nods. "Status report."
She shook her head. "Got caught out on patrol when the attack hit, comms. were jammed, and we couldn't get a signal out. I've been fighting for my life ever since."
"Where is the rest of your squad?" Asked Nilus.
"Ambushed when we tried to regroup at the beacon. I don't think any of the others survived." was her reply.
Nilus nods. "Understood."
Shepard shook his head, catching her look. "It wasn't your fault, remember that." she nodded sadly.
"So, what do we do with the body?" asked the rookie.
Shepard sighed as they walked up to it, intending to take it down, before noticing the odd outlines on the body. Just as the rookie gets to it, the body comes back to life, attacking him.
"Sh-!" The rest of what the rookie yelled was cut off, as the head snaps sideways, a bolt from a crossbow sticking out of it, before igniting and burning its solid rocket fuel, dragging it off.
The rookie wheezes, looking up as a brute splicer looked grimly at it, reloading the weapon. "Watch it, Green'orn. Mor' o' these things up ahead." The Rapturian says, walking off after his radio squawks to life, and a set of coordinates bark out.
Shepard helps the rookie up, as Ashley watched the bulky figure run through the research camp, now wielding a gun similar in appearance to a thompson machine gun. Nilus shakes his head. "You three search for survivors, I'm going ahead and securing the package." The specter says, before moving off.
Shepard rolls his eyes. "And of course, we end up with an idiot. Not you, kid. The specter." He says, annoyed, as the rookie blinks a few times. "Idiot went ahead alone."
They keep move through the burning camp, only the background noise of fighting letting them know a small war was going on. Shepard jumps back, just as several Husks, as they started calling them, were dropped from several spikes and attacked.
He rolls out of view, popping up behind a broken wall, firing a few rounds, scowling.
"What the hell did those thing do to these people?" He muttered, aiming for the heads, killing three.
Ashley ducked behind a turned over vehicle, aiming around, picking off the farther ones out.
The rookie ducks, and hunkers down behind a large chunk of debris, using it as cover, and lobbed a grenade, taking out a small group. He pops up a second later, aiming around, nervous.
In the background, a roar echoes through the colony.
Nilus snuck through the docks, around several containers, wondering how the human was faring. Probably well, if his record was any indication.
He turns a corner, bumping into another turian. "Saren? what are you doing here?" The specter asked his elder.
The taller Turian walked over, amused. "The council thought you could use a little help on the mission."
Saren walked paced behind Nilus, not aware they were being watched. A massive figure, with a oval shaped porthole seemed to scowl at Saren.
Delta hefted his drill, ready to drop down. He was ambivalent about Nilus, but Saren set alarms off.
The specters talked a bit more, before Saren drew a Pistol, and aimed it at the other. Deltas porthole shifted to a hellish red.
Moving with the speed only a Alpha series had, he jumped down, and shoved his drill through Sarens arm.
Nilus whirled around, hearing the snarl of a industrial drill, echoes of a story running through his head.
He saw an amused Saren aiming a gun at his head, only for a archaic looking drill to suddenly shred the arm holding it, as a red light bathed the two.
Snarling, Saren lept back, trying to stem the blood leaking through his hands as he covered the remains of his arm. He looked up to glare at the figure that stood in front of Nilus, only to be forced to dodge as Delta once more charged him.
Shoving himself up off the ground, Saren lets go of his bleeding stump, and snatces his gun up, and takes a quick shot at Nilus, who tries to snap out of the way, and though the round hits him, it misses most vital organs, but carves a deep gash on his head.
Delta responds by using a quick Incinerate! plasmid on the traitorous Turian, who snarls in pain. Thinking quickly, Saren shoots a water container, which opens, putting him out, as he takes shots at the charging Daddy.
The projectiles hit, but do nothing to slow the raging Alpha series down. Delta hits him like a freight train, sending him into the containers behind him.
He tries to get up, As Delta stands over him, red light washing over the Turian, who glares hatefully, then smirks.
"Tell me, monster, what's more important? Killing me…. Or keeping them alive?" He smirks, pointing. Delta glances over, spotting a small platoon of Geth and Husks approaching a pinned down Nilus, and a dock worker, who was cowering as Nilus took picked off several hostiles.
Delta snarls, right as the Turian decides to shove his pistol at the porthole, and fires.
The shot smashes into Deltas viewport, splashing off a material rated for the depths of Morpheus.
Delta seems to smirk, grabs the turian by his armor, and throws him at the approaching platoon, before letting off a roar.
Nilus growled as blood started getting into his eyes, affecting his aim, as the human next to him kept down.
Everytime he shot a Geth or a Husk, another took its place.
He glanced over to where Saren was, only to see a blur as the body was thrown into the middle of the platoon,
and a roar echoed, as the dive suit clad human itself smashed through the platoon, some turned into ribbons by the drill, some crushed by the weight of the monster now amongst them.
Nilus, lowered his rifle to watch the ensuing, one sided, fight.
Delta's hand started glowing once more, this time whirlwinds caught various geth and threw them into the air, as Delta swung his spinning drill, smashing through the kinetic barriers some of the Geth attempted to use.
Delta sidestepped several charging Husks, allowing them to smash into their comrades, before smashing a fist through an unlucky Geth, dropping it, and catching an arm holding a blade going toward him, using the Geth as a flail in one hand, before throwing the Geth into the others.
Despite the fact most of the Geth there towered over humans, Delta towered over them, making him a larger target for the Geth snipers, who started getting picked off by arriving forces as they tried to shoot him.
Saren took the time to pick himself back up and escape while his forces distracted the angry Daddy.
Holes appeared over his suit, as his odd yellow/red blood dropped, scabbing over quickly, and drying up on the ground.
While the platoon was decimated, Delta treated the injuries he sustained like a krogan, they were as life threatening as a paper cut to him.
Ramming his drill into the last Geth, Delta let out a groaning sigh, and turned to the two spectators he had.
He rumbled something, touching his comm. unit, as the arriving troops thumped into view.
Several Spider and Brute splicers fanned out, while the recently redesigned Rosies spread out, checking crates for hostiles.
A houdini splicer formed out of a red mist, with a white trenchcoat and a red cross on his arm, and quickly made his way over to Nilus, checking him over.
"Yer lucky, young'un." the ageing splicer said as he wiped the blood away to work on the injury. "If the angle had been different, you'ld be going home in a 'erse."
Nilus watched out of one eye as the Splicers quickly spoke with delta, whose injuries were healing rapidly.
The splicers broke off, as Delta stomped over, and booted up his wrist comp., using a Omnitool emulator. "Not too injured, I trust?"
Nilus, glanced at the message that showed up on his Omnitool. The medic grumbled a little, but moved to allow his arm to move.
"As far as I know. Thank you for the assist, however." He responded. "Your welcome. Next time, bring backup you trust."
Replied Delta, as the two looked up as Shepard, Sammy, and Cecil arrived.
A Geth slumped down, a rock through its chest, as Sammy wiped down her syringe after removing it from a husk. Cecil clicked a new rivet canister into place, before rumbling at Sammy, gesturing to a building the Geth had come from.
She nods, jumping up and entering through a upper level.
Cecil opened the front, and looked around, his porthole light illuminating the hall. He entered into a large opening, Sammy on the upper level.
Sammy ghosted around, like her brother, her light flashing around as she searched. She gazed out into the open space, spotting Cecil on the ground, checking for Geth. She frowns beneath her helmet, spotting a object tucked away under some debris.
Cecil looks up at the loud clang, like the butt of a dive knife striking a tank. He sees Sammy gesture at a pile of debris, and nods.
Carefully approaching the pile, he starts moving the junk, only to jump as Deltas roar echoes through the building and the colony. He catches the piece he had, sighing, as Sammy dropped down, amused.
The two move the stuff away, Cecil freezing as he turned back around, spotting a bomb hidden beneath. He grumbles to Sammy, catching her attention, and uses a armature to point.
Sammy crouches down, looking at the detonator, as Cecil examined the warhead itself. Digging in his drill arm, he tosses Sammy a remote hack dart, while he starts attaching cables to the detonator and the primer, planning on removing the warhead itself.
Sammy attaches the dart, slicing through the coding, disarming the bomb, and curses softly, glancing at Cecil as he looked up from his work.
She gestures to the detonator, holding two fingers up, signifying a second, non disarmable detonator system.
He nods, and removes the payload, while they leave the detonator there. Pocketing the warhead, Cecil gets up, radioing in their find.
Sammy, glances out as they reach the door. Husks now litter the street, followed closely by Geth drones. Sammy looks at Cecil, who nods, arm clicking as it formed his rivet gun.
The Husks shuffle around, before one runs into a newly placed whirlwind trap, throwing it up while freezing it. the drones snap to, only for red hot rivets to fly, forcing some down, while others shattered, struck by the rivets.
Sammy snuck to one side, as Cecil warped to the other, catching them in a pincer movement.
Sammy dashed in, syringe slicing through the husks, plasmids glowing around her other hand, flinging large stones into the Husks as Cecil slammed into the other side, drill spinning, and his smaller syringe out, either smashing their smaller, more numerous opponents.
Cecil ducked down, allowing Sammy to jump on his back and keep going as they switched sides, as the two cut down the Husks.
The two wound down as the last husk stopped moving, as relief crews arrived via shuttle, splicers scattering, searching for survivors or strangling hostiles.
Cecil spoke with a Bouncer, who was leading the defence detail, who told them Delta was over by the dockyards. The Big Brother and Sister nod, thanking the newer Daddy, who chuffs, amused, as the medics rushed past.
Sammy drew a large coil carbine, modified for one hand use, and rejoins Cecil after grabbing some extra ammunition.
They head through the streets, as crews worked around them, including the bomb crews, who were searching for the bombs, having received the details from Sammy after Cecil called it in.
The attacking fleet was something else.
The biotech ships had already disabled the Normandy, forcing her to order them to pick it up.
While most of the Normandy's crew survived, the ship herself was in bad shape, likely to be scuttled.
Joker, her pilot, was understandably upset.
Ellie shook her helm, clearing it.
"Ma'am, the cap'in o' th' Normandy wishes ta speak with ya." came from the Comms. "Thank you. Send him up, please." she said.
"'nderstood, Ma'am." was the reply.
Ellie tapped her Wrist Comp., opening a channel to Medical. "Grandmother, what do you make of these ships?" she asked.
"Fascinating. While I theorised that such a thing was possible, to see it actually in use….. wunderbar…." said Tenenbaum.
"Of course, it's not pleasant to see them against us." She sighed a second later.
"Is there a chance we can track where they came from?" Ellie asked, amused at her 'grandmother's' antics. "Ja, ja, The ships, they appear to be unique in the fact they seem to be transmitting a signal, not unlike Beta waves." Tenenbaum says, a alert popping up on Ellie's console from her. She opens it, revealing a chart/comparison of the signals to brainwave patterns of humans and other races.
"However, this is a cause for concern. This is the same kind of wavelength used for neural programming in the Big Daddy/Little Sister program back on earth." came Tenenbaum's grim tone. "It is likely there is a second function other than communication, likely indoctrination of hostile forces via prolonged exposure."
Ellie stiffens. "How long?" she asked.
"Depends on the will power of the subject, und their willingness. Our ships are shielded moreso the those of the Citadel races, due to our ships hulls. You, your siblings, Sinclair, und Delta are more resistant than most, due to the fact you already have experience throwing off and resisting such programming." Tenenbaum says.
"Can we block it?" Ellie asked, after telling the helmsman to hit another one of the larger ships.
"Possibly. I vill need to speak with Cecil und Sam, we might be able to rig something up. it may be possible to drown out the signal using a 'white noise' beta wave signal." she said, as Ellie tilted her helm towards the doors, as Hackett entered, grumbling about the ridiculous amount of stairs the ship had, followed closely by a tired Joker.
"I will let them know when we pick them back up. Sorry, I need to cut this short, the captain of the Normandy just showed up, and he doesn't look happy." Ellie sighed.
"I understand, fraulein. We vill continue later." Tenenbaum sighed, cutting the connection.
Ellie turned to Hackett, who slumped into a chair next to Joker, who had already sat down.
"Admiral hackett, I presume?" Ellie asked.
He nods. "And you are?" he asks.
"Eleanor Oberseite, first officer, currently in command of the Valkyrie." She said, as the ship shook.
"Cap'in, might wanna look at this!" Said a helmsman, pointing to the forward viewscreen.
Ellie looked forward, and stiffens. "What the hell…..?"
A large cuttlefish shaped ship rocketed by, undeterred by the MAC rounds hurtling at it.
They only dent it, and the ship repairs/heals in minutes.
"Tha' shouldn't be possible. Those rounds should a' torn 'er to shreds." said one of the bridge crew who watched.
"Sinclair, call….." Started Ellie.
"- To all ground units, I repeat, this is Valkyrie to all ground units, you have an unknown vessel headed planetside, target trajectory appears to be the colony, attempts to slow it have been unsuccessful."said Sinclair, seeming to scowl at the comms station.
A alarm goes off. "Ma'am, boardin' party detected. Seems a capsule attached itself to the Normandy, we have Geth up to the gills spillin' out o 'her!" Came the report.
Sinclair groans, and unplugs his helm from the station, and grabs his shotgun, before exiting. Ellie motions for a junior Comms. officer to take his position.
The ship rocked as a hit tore the Valkyrie's port side were struck by a shot from the massive cuttlefish ship.
"Damn it, how long until the fleet arrives?" Asked Ellie as the helm crew tried to keep distance from the larger ship.
"Ten seconds, Ma'am. They just arrived." Replied the Comms. station, as several submarine shaped warships rose up, and fired on the fleet.
More aimed for the surface, intent on rescuing the colonists.
Ellie sighed, before noticing a considerably larger, oddly shaped vessel. "Thats not… Great. Sammy and Cecil are going to be pissed." She sighed.
Shepard stood next to Nilus as the tram sped through to the location of the beacon, as the rest of their team looked at the Splicers nervously, especially the Daddies, the older Daddy, the Brother, and Sister.
"So, Nilus, what do you think of these guys so far?" asked Shepard quietly. "Dangerous. Maybe not to us, or the mission, but easily to anyone, or thing, that threatens them, or anyone they consider an ally." Said Nilus, glancing at the group. "I will admit, I have heard stories of encounters with them during the first contact war, though this is the first time I've actually met any of them."
"Well, they seem pretty vocal about their privacy." Pointed out Shepard.
The radios of some of the Spider splicers Squawked, making Shepard and Nilus wince, before a message barks out. "-To all ground units, you have an unknown vessel headed planetside-"
Shepard scowls, while Nilus checks his gun, as the tram slows down.
Saren gritted his mandibles, as the torquette was cinched around his arm stump. He snarled at the Geth doing the work. "Arm the charges, destroy the colony. I want no evidence we were here."
It stared blankly at him as he approached the beacon.
Cecil snaps his helm down as his Wrist Comp. goes off, Alerting him someone had sent the detonation codes, and at least five smaller charges remained. He gives a low grumble as the tram stopped, one standing right next to them.
He signals for Sammy to jump ahead, as he disassembled the first charge, before charging with the others as Sammy took care of the next one. The two leap frogged as the rest dealt with the strangely meager number of Geth.
It went just like this: Geth pops up, shoot it, wait for the next hostile, and so on.
Cecil and Sammy finished with the last charge, and looked about, spotting the Beacon, an odd tower shaped device.
Nilus started calling the Normandy, only to get the Valkyrie instead, who explained as best they could.
He sighed, and sent the Comm. off to Delta, who worked out the landing procedure. He walked over to Shepard to let him know what happened.
Cecil scowls, and holds out his hands, noting the odd arcing coming from the beacon.
"Hey, what gives?" grouched Ashley. Cecil sighed, and pointed at the arcs. "oookay….. that wasn't there before…. I'll give you that, but it never did anything before, so why would it do anything now?"
Cecil clapped his drill hand over his porthole, groaning. "Murphy's law." Rasped Sammy.
Ashley rolls her eyes, and walks ahead as everyone moved to secure the platform. "This is amazing, it's never done anything like this before….." She muttered. Hairs stand up on Shepard's neck, along with Delta, Sammy, and Cecils.
They whirl around, spotting the Beacon activating.
Thinking fast, both Delta and Shepard slam into Ashly, knocking her away, just as it grabbed them, and picked them up. Shepard felt like something was being shoved into his head, as Delta snarled, feeling unknown information put in his head, and through the Adam bond he still shared with Cecil and Ellie, them as well.
Cecil gave a pained groan, clutching his helm, and on the bridge of the Valkyrie, Ellie mirrored her brother.
The Beacon explodes, throwing Shepard and Delta away, as Ellie and Cecil crumple in unison, all four unconscious.
Sammy nearly went ballistic, hissing at anyone who got near, immediately calling for medical, unaware Sinclair, while not hissing, had bolted back to the bridge, and was doing something similar for Ellie, as a massive shadow covered the area…..