ALEX IN ANDROMEDA

A/N. Hi guys. This story is a spin off from my Shepard's Saga series. It's a clone Shepard story with a twist. In case you've never met my Alex Shepard this is a brief history. Alex was born on Mindoir, where she met her best friend Ashley Williams, who would become her girlfriend, lover and future wife. No the Williams family were not there when the colony was attacked. Alex's military career led her into special forces while Ash was a Marine NCO. Alex ended up being in command at Torfan, which resulted in her becoming an N7. From Eden Prime onward I did tweak a lot to make it make sense to me plus by that point the story was more or less writing itself. (Yes, I will update and finish my other stories as well) I like Mass Effect Andromeda, and it totally sucks that they wont finish off the story properly. Except maybe in book form but its not the same reading about Scott Ryder if you played as Sara or vice versa. Anyway so I suddenly had bits of this story rolling around in my brain for the last week so I thought I'd better write it down :p Of course being me I can't just simply put everyone's favorite human Spectre into a cryopod to wake up in Andromeda. This is what I came up with…..

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CHAPTER 1

A blaring siren made the pounding in her head even worse and she already thought a Krogan was using the inside of her skull as a punching bag. The room's lighting was too bright. She tried to lift her arm to shield her eyes to find she couldn't move. She was strapped to a cold metal table.

Spectre Alex Shepard had no idea where she was or how she'd got there, the last concrete memory she had was of the newly appointed Councilor Anderson ordering her and her crew to mop up the remaining Geth while hunting down more leads on the Reapers. Sovereign the ship that the rogue Spectre Saren had used was only a single reaper and it had taken every ship they had to take it down. Only the Asari and some humans believed her about the visions she had received from the Prothean beacon on Eden Prime.

Alex pulled at her restraints again as she heard muffled gunfire. It didn't matter how hard she struggled she couldn't get free, she couldn't use her biotics either.

The weapons fire was much closer now and Alex could distinguish different weapons mingled with biotics. Small squad, very well trained.

Alex turned her head and opened her eyes slowly to see if she could locate the door, not that she could defend herself. She didn't find the door what she did see made her blood run cold. There was an orange and black symbol on the wall.

Cerberus!

But that also meant the firefight outside could be an Alliance squad raiding the facility. Or C-Sec.

The possibility of getting out so she could find out what happened to her wife and the rest of her crew increased dramatically.

Alex tried desperately to remember how she'd ended up here but she drew a complete blank. So long as Ash, Abby and Cassidy were okay.

The gunfire stopped and in the sudden silence she heard a muffled turian voice in the hall. "Fire in the hole."

A moment later the door blew off it's hinges. The deafening sound made Alex's ears ring.

"We got a live one here."

That voice. Alex recognized that voice. She opened her eyes to see her old friend and former CO.

"RILEY!"

All Alex's relief vanished a split second later as the N7 Officer pointed her gun right at her face.

"How do you know me?"

"What?" The Spectre was beyond confused, how could her friend not know her? Alex could see Cayla watching from the doorway, the asari commando should know her too. "Cayla?"

The asari narrowed her eyes as she studied her.

"What the hell did Cerberus do to me?" muttered Alex, "It's me."

"Me who?" demanded Riley then ordered Cayla to check the computer.

"It's me Alex…." Still nothing. "Alex Shepard, N7. First human Spectre….Your friend." As she spoke she could see Riley's eyes widen with shock. Alex was getting a REALLY bad feeling.

"Not possible," replied Riley, "Because last time I checked Alex Shepard was human. And dead."

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Sara Ryder had managed to drink herself tipsy, no mean feat for a biotic adept. She was waiting for an old friend of her dad's to meet her. At the last minute she'd been instructed to go to Grissom Academy where she'd gone to school. Though only some of the older students would remember her. She hadn't joined the military like her twin brother Scott had, she loved history too much and ended up with a small archaeological team that were looking for Prothean artifacts. Her father was an ex N7 so she knew how to fight and one of their guards was an ex asari commando who'd taught her some biotic tricks that you wouldn't find in any manual. Then her father's research into AI's had been made public and he was thrown out of the military in disgrace.

Sara's career was over she had tried going solo as a free lancer. So long as the people buying from her didn't know who she was anyway.

Scott had joined their dad. Alec Ryder had been approached about his AI research for a very ambitious project known as the Andromeda Initiative. Basically a one way trip to another galaxy. Alec had asked her to join but she was so angry with him for destroying her life and her mom dying from from cancer caused by eezo exposure, the same exposure that gave Sara her biotics. That she wanted as much distance as she could between them. Her brother could just about levitate a coffee cup when he tried really hard, he was much better at fixing things and had become a decent combat engineer.

Of course Alec had asked her to go but it was for Scott that she was going but until they were ready to leave she was going to carry on doing her own thing.

After the Geth attacked the Citadel the Andromeda Initiative got a huge financial boost and could suddenly get anything they needed. Sara heard all this from her brother and never really paid much mind to it till a few days ago when she got a message saying they were leaving in 6 weeks.

So Sara had sold her shuttle and all her stuff then headed to her old school. Her father had got her assigned to his Pathfinder team for her knowledge of archaeology, which meant she needed a SAM implant. Simulated Adaptive Matrix was what the AI was called, she wasn't entirely sure how she felt about having another person, if that was even the right term, in her head but she knew her mom had talked to it and also had the implant to see if SAM could slow down her disease. It had worked for a while. Sara wasn't mad at SAM for failing but she was furious with her dad for not telling her that they were using the AI in the first place.

Sara sighed and ordered another drink, Andromeda couldn't be any worse than what her life here had become. Silently she toasted her new life as she downed her drink before going to find her bed in the school's guest wing.

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Dr Lexi T'Perro looked over the data from the Cerberus lab then over at the sedated asari on the bio bed. It was totally unbelievable but all the data was backing up the fact that the asari was indeed Alex Shepard. Well, more like her mind was.

As soon as Riley spoke and Alex had looked down and seen blue hands. Asari blue hand she had panicked and Cayla had given her a shot as Riley had held her down.

"Hey doc, any change?" asked Riley entering with 2 cups, coffee for her and tea for the doctor. She felt awful at how she had broke the news to Alex, she sighed as she sipped her drink.

"She'll sleep for another hour at least. What?" asked Lexi raising an eyebrow curiously, the human looked even more agitated than she had when they'd brought Alex in.

"Does the data say anything about Alex's body?"

"Why?" Lexi began running through what she'd read so far.

"I called Anderson and a few days ago Alex walked into his office. Alive and well."

Lexi almost choked on her tea.

"Cerberus rebuilt her and gave her a ship."

"Why?"

"To find and stop whoever is taking our colonists," replied Riley, "The Council reinstated her Spectre status."

"The data refers to a Project Lazarus, that must have been the human Alex," said the doc thoughtfully.

"Here," said Riley activating her omnitool. "This is a med file of what they did to bring her back. Your eyes only."

Lexi nodded as she started reading.

"Any idea what they were trying here?" Riley waved in the sleeping asari's direction.

"As far as I can tell they were attempting to duplicate her biotics," replied Lexi, pausing to sip her tea before it went cold.

"But why use an asari teenager?" The asari body that Alex was in was only 94 the equivalent of a 17 year old human.

"She's had a twin like Alex who had no biotic ability at all."

"Okay, so she's probably above average biotically," mused Riley.

"Cerberus has also implanted her with the exact same type of implants as Alex."

"What! Asari don't need anywhere near the same number." She had heard about the damage Alex had done to herself biotically flipping a shuttle to save her life.

"They also replicated the damage, the girl was declared brain dead but they kept her alive to see if Prothean nanites extracted from Alex would fused her implants and nervous system together." Lexi was absolutely disgusted with the people who had done this to a young innocent girl.

"Did it work?" asked Riley, "And how did they put Alex in there?"

"Yes it worked but simulation were inconclusive as to whether she would be able to produce the hybrid biotics that Alex could...can. The nanites seem to have Alex's memories and as the host body was…..."

"Empty?" suggested Riley helpfully.

"Essentially yes, so as the nanites repaired the damage Alex's memories were …..."

"Installed?"

Lexi nodded, it was as good as a term as any.

"I bet they weren't happy about that."

"There plans for a control chip," agreed Lexi. "Does Alex's wife know about her? I mean the other one?"

Riley nodded, "He called her to the Citadel so Alex could tell her in person."

"No force in this universe will keep those two apart for long," said Lexi with a sigh as she glanced at her patient.

"True, they need each other so this Alex will have no one because I know no matter how much it breaks her heart she won't interfere." Riley scrubbed her face, "Damn I wish I hadn't said anything until I knew for sure."

"Don't blame yourself," said Lexi gently rubbing the woman's shoulder, "As soon as she saw herself she'd have panicked. N7 training or no, no one is prepared to wake up in a different body." The doc watched as Riley assimilated that though, "What's the plan?"

"We go to the Citadel Anderson wants to talk to her, he's going to suggest that she goes with you to Andromeda. Her skills and experience will be invaluable and she'll never have to worry about bumping into anyone she knows."

"Then why aren't we going straight to Grissom?" asked Lexi, "I'm doing Sara's implant, I assume Alex will need one too." Suddenly Riley looked extremely uncomfortable.

"She also needs to learn how to be an asari. Learn how to meld."

For the life of her Lexi couldn't figure out why that would make the N7 squirm, "Alex has experienced meld's before."

"Yes, knowledge melds….she needs to to know how to do it herself and all the other kinds of melds as well."

Lexi blushed as she realized what Riley was implying, "You mean a mating meld."

"I do," said Riley slurping the last of her now cold coffee, "And Tevos has someone in mind to teach her."

They both knew how devastated Alex was going to be when she was brought up to speed with everything that had happened in the 2 years since the Normandy was destroyed. Lexi's other job was as ship's therapist and a complete break from the past could help the ex human make a new start.

"You know asari can have sex without melding, right?"

"I figured," admitted Riley, "But I'm not sure Alex can. The only person she's ever had is Ash and I'm pretty sure they were already in love the first time they did it."

Lexi agreed with that statement, she saw the N7 suddenly look very serious.

"Promise me you'll look after her."

"I will."

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The Valiant docked at the Citadel a few hours after Alex had woken up, during that time Riley told her as much as she knew about her old crew and about the preparations that the Alliance and asari were making in secret to fight the reapers. The hardest part was knowing that the other her would have a chance at getting Ash back. She also had her first Asari lesson from Lexi about how human and asari taste buds were different. To an asari coffee was very bitter, even lots of sugar didn't help much. Alex as a human had tolerated asari tea but found it tasted totally different now. Riley gave her a sip of her coffee and Alex had almost gagged.

"Do you know who's body this used to be?" asked Alex as they got ready to disembark. "I mean what are the chances of someone recognizing me…..her."

"It looks like Cerberus wiped everything," replied Riley, "C-Sec can run your DNA but what if Cerberus finds out and try to get you back?"

Alex could guess, they wouldn't care how many people they hurt or killed. "I'd need a back story just in case."

"I'm sure they'll sort all that out," replied Riley leading Alex through the docks towards the Council offices, she hadn't mentioned anything about the meld training, right now her friend felt like she'd just lost her wife and the rest of her family as well.

Riley gave Alex the biggest hug ever when they reached the offices knowing she'd most likely never see her again. Finally she let go. "Good luck Alex. Keep an eye on Lexi. Make sure she has some fun."

Alex grinned, "I'll try. Just remember to act surprised if you ever run into me out there."

"I'll play dumb." Riley saluted the shorter asari before leaving. Alone Alex clenched her fists. Lexi was getting her everything she needed to take with her and she had no personal belongs at all. She'd never heard of the Andromeda Initiative before but she wouldn't have gone, not without her family and the reapers were coming.

The door opened and she was ushered inside straight into the arms of David Anderson she didn't know she'd started crying until she felt his arms tighten around her. Much later Anderson explained the Andromeda Initiative. How Jien Garsen had started it with the idea to travel to another galaxy and that they had gotten a good look at it thanks to the Geth converting a mass relay into a FTL telescope.

When the Geth attacked Eden Prime and they'd learned about the Reapers and their cycle of destruction every 50 000 years they had turned Garsen's dream into Plan B. Ensure the survival of the Milky Way species. To that end they'd built additional Arks. The Human, Asari, Turian and Salarian Arks were complete. The Quarian Ark was more complicated as it was going to house multiple species, but would be launched as soon as it was ready.

Alex was stunned though having a back up plan was a good idea.

"Until you get to Andromeda the less people who know your true identity the better, Riley and her team have been sworn to secrecy. Alec Ryder will know as does Dr T'Perro. SAM will obviously too. Any others will be at your discretion."

"Who will everybody think I am?"

"I think a name that keeps you grounded and reminds you of who you are will be best."

Alex spun round at the new voice, Councilor Tevos had entered the room. The ex human didn't quite know what to do in way of greeting until Tevos swept her into a quick embrace.

"Goddess be with you Alex."

"Hi. You have an idea for a name?"

Tevos pulled out an identity chit and held it out.

Alex stared at it as soon as it was loaded into the omnitool that Riley had given her Alexandra Samantha Shepard would cease to exist. "It's not super hard to say is it?"

The asari councilor chuckled, "No."

Alex took a deep breath and activated the chit. Then opened the info.

ALEX T'SONI.

"Really?"

Tevos smiled, "It is not uncommon for younglings to change their names to those of famous athletes, actors or heroes."

Alex blushed at that last one.

"You will never be confused and I'm sure T'Soni will remind you of your adopted family. Liara once said family is why you fight so fiercely in battle, you protect those you love."

"I….did," said Alex softly.

"You will find another family."

"How do you know?"

"Because you have a great capacity for love, Commander."

"I'm not a Spectre anymore."

"True, you will be whatever you wish to be. Follow me."

"Where?"

"A trusted friend. There are things you need to learn."

"Like what?"

"How to meld. Another asari could guide you in a knowledge meld but you would have to know how to meld with a human."

"You…." Alex swallowed, not liking where this was going, "You said melds. Plural?"

"I did."

"I don't think I can….do that…."

Tevos rested her hands on the smaller asari's shoulders, "Alex, Ashley want you to be happy, you know this. You are both soldiers, surely you have spoken about what would happen if one of you fell in battle?"

Alex nodded, "We have and you're right." Ash would want her to move on and find happiness again.

Their destination was a private appartment in one of the most expensive areas to live. Tevos unlocked the door and led the now very nervous asari inside.

A figure rose from the couch and Alex's lower jaw hit the floor, standing in front of her was the asari Consort Sha'ira.

"I'll leave you to your lessons. Goddess guide you both."

"When I heard of your death I thought my gift of words was wrong but now I see they were not only for you but for myself as well." Sha'ira led Alex to a small table with a teapot on it. "I will confess that this is a relaxing brew as is the scent from the flowers on the table over there."

Alex hadn't even noticed the vase of bright purple blossoms.

"Also your age is an advantage."

"What? Why?"

The Consort grinned, "Because you are as you humans say...a horny teenager."

Alex hid her flushed face in her hands as Sha'ira laughed.

"We will start with the easy meld. I will meld with you and show you how then you will meld with me. Once you have got it right then we will move on to the more advanced lessons. Which I guarantee you will enjoy immensely."

The older asari's voice had become very seductive and Alex could feel her heartbeat increase. The ex human huffed out a breath. She knew she had no choice, if she didn't do this now she'd have to find an asari in Andromeda that she trusted to show her how and the only asari she knew and trusted enough was Lexi and that would just make things super awkward between them. Right now Alex could count her friends on one hand so she wasn't going to risk losing her. Besides she was never going to see Ash again and her new body had never touched her. She had to accept that.

"Okay lets do this."

TBC….

A/N. Thanks for reading. I know this was more focused on Alex :) Thanks for reading. And if you'd be so kind as to take a moment to review, I'd appreciate it. For everyone following my other stories. Fear not, my creative juices are flowing again I will be updating the others soon. Stay tuned. Have fun T-Rex :)