Hello folks! Coming back to you with a new chapter of Horde Effect. Really happy with the positive energy coming from my notifications filled with different readers. Also glad to see some reviews popping up, though I should start answering them.

To OMAC001: To be fair, I don't think they specified it was limited to life on Sera. If the Swarm can come up with the likes of the Hive Beast, Snatchers and Carriers, then I'm sure other species can become mutated. Though Turians and Quarians might be a little difficult (Dextro-Amino acids and all that Jazz).

Lord Razer: Thank you for the feedback, glad you enjoyed it. The Swarm kinda have their own rank system explained, though they still follow and respect the Noble Caste. And in game, every scion is actually a metamorphosed drone. Each standing at 9'8 feet tall

Abrams 1559: Not a bad idea, though maulers sound more ideal due to being shield units with a taste of their explosive maces. Maybe i'll give their maces a biotic field effect.

Now onto the Story! (I don't own any of the franchises)

Ch.2: Hostile Expansion

On board the Resolute Suffering, Prison Cell.

Tavrik groggily opened his eyes, his head still aching from the blunt concussion, courtesy from one of the unknown aliens. As he looked around his current surroundings, obviously a holding area for prisoners, worst case being an interrogation block. From the faintest vibrations, he could tell it was the inside of a ship. The interior of his cell was actually quite decent, the sterile, metal gray walls and floor were perfectly shined. At the entrance, stood a steel sliding door.

This is definitely not good, Tavrik thought, I'm captured and most of the others are probably dead. Or being interrogated.

Soon enough, the sliding door opened up. Revealing a 7 foot tall figure in full, dark metal armor with gold highlights, at its sides were two large pistols. It's visor glowing bright yellow, staring deeply at him, analyzing if he was a threat or not. At the side of the creature were two others, both helmetless, wearing a rusty, crimson set of armor, their reptilian faces in a perpetual snarl. Unlike the leading figure, they carried what can only be a bastardized combination of an assault rifle and a chainsaw. They too were giving an analyzing gaze.

The tall figure made a motion to follow, which he complied with, this had the effect of having one guard aim his rifle, while the other clamped his arms together with cuffs. But what the figure said next, shocked him.

"Follow!"

English, a language coming from the Human species that recently joined the galactic community. His Omni-tool was still fully functioning and translating each word, though it seems his captors has no knowledge of it. Either way, trying to escape will end in his death. So with a heavy sigh, Tavrik followed the armored figures out of the cell.

Hive Nest, Nocturne, Ssrak System…

It was warm, really warm, Matthew O'Hare was in a paralyzed state of comfort. No feelings, senses completely dull and unresponsive. 'What am I doing here' he thought, trying to find movement from his limbs.

'How long have I been trapped!? Hours? Days!?' He frantically questioned, trying not to let his mind drift off. 'I have this feeling, like I'm not alone here. Like there's others trapped here with me'

'Let go, embrace your ascension…'

'Who's there! What do you want with me?! Let me out damn it!' Matthew struggles out, feeling his consciousness slowly shutting down.

'It matters not, your time has come. Your glory shall come from the Swarm, for the Horde! Rejoice!' Spoke the disembodied voice in his head.

'For the ho...what the hell are you saying! What's happening to me!?'

'Your ascension shall be a stepping stone for the Horde. We will rise from the dark! And take our places as the apex species! Rest and know you will become greater than what you are… let the silence soothe your metamorphosis, for you shall awake anew!'

'For the Hor...no stop it! For the horde nnnggghh! For the...Horde'

Matthew O'Hare was no more.

(Transition)

Inside the Hive, snatchers were crawling around, placing their fleshy, occupant-filled pods in designated areas. Scions hustled about mining tunnel systems to spread the nest's growth, others were taking part as active patrol squads. Checkpoints now in place to ensure their hold remains absolute In case of an invasion from the newly discovered alien coalition.

Chrysalis pods have been sent from multiple Locust-controlled planets. These pods ranging from newly developing Drone-Scions, Boomers, even a couple of Brumaks. All are being kept in an isolated chamber, stored alongside racks of weapons and armor to equip them with.

The rise of the Swarm's population came from Drones suffering a state of comatose, shutting down and slowly overtime growing a crystallized shell. The crystal substances proving to have great durability and density to most forms of damage being dealt. The reason for this transformation, comes from a dormant trait that acts as a imulsion infection countermeasure. Locust Scientists have theorized this mutation has formed after years spent in the Hollows, being exposed to imulsion generation after generations.

The Swarm has been met with hesitation, fear that they were corrupted by imulsion. Though years after helping colonize worlds and acting as a biological operations force, they have been proven useful and trustworthy enough, even to the Hierarchs.

The greatest protection a Hive has against hostiles, is its overwhelmingly huge resident, the Hive beast. A guardian in times when the nest is most vulnerable or close to destruction. It offers incredible destructive capabilities due to its size, along with being able to fire cankers like an artillery unit.

Coming from an elevator, emerges the Warden. Ordering garrisons of Troops to be stationed across the planet. The Warden arrives at the main chamber, room dedicated to a Speaker. While Wardens act as a Vanguard for the Swarm, Speakers are the head of the nests. Able to communicate through telepathic means to Swarm units, providing field tactics and battle strategies from afar. They wield heavy cleavers that can cut most opponents in half, protected by portable barrier shield packs.

"You May enter Warden, we have much to discuss" telepathically communicated the Speaker.

Doing as instructed, the Warden entered instantly kneeling before the head of the nest. "Oh great Speaker, I have come seeking guidance for our future endeavors."

"Indeed, though that will wait. We must replenish our numbers through means of conversion, even now, I have tapped in feeling a number of our newly formed brothers and sisters" the Speaker spoke. "They bring great traits and knowledge to our collection. Hierarch Maverick is even here, assisting in upgrading our conversion process"

"A Hierarch!? Here? To think we would be honored of having one of the five visiting this Hive." Said the Warden.

Also in the Hive nest…

"Interesting this one is having a harder time converting, samples also came back from the lab saying it's part of a different amino acid group, intriguing. Turians, I believe they were called from info we gathered on the ship's database." Maverick recorded on a data pad. "Several other species have been catalogued in our database for future events along with a star chart, Hierarch Maverick signing off"

The Hierarch, quietly humming tunes, surrounded by other noble scientists soon went to work, dissecting alien and surprisingly human corpses.

Ssrak System, Alien artifact…

The 3rd Combat Fleet stayed in place, keeping a 200 kilometer separation distance for safety measures. The captured ship was crewed by a Locust AI carrying scientists for research.

Accompanying the ship was a frigate, ready to fend off any alien hostiles. Bringing along a group of 10 fighters.

"The scientists have messaged that they're beginning tests on this 'relay'. Frigate HSN Razorhail will accompany the researchers" relayed Admiral Uzil to all ship captains. The fleet of 50 stationary, but ready to take action at a moments notice.

Within minutes, both ships were struck with an arc of energy, causing them to disappear at high speeds. The relay still pulsating with energy, halted all functions.

"Now we wait…"

(Transition)

On the edge of a newly arrived system, the research group has discovered another relay, coming up with the theory that it leads to their system.

"Systems report Unity!" Commanded the head researcher, Anton Vizer.

"All systems are in the green lights, Sir!" Replied Unity, the AI controlling the ship. "The energy spikes when using element zero drives have been recorded for future use"

"Good, from the databases captured and translated. Our forces were only dealing with mercenary forces, highly equipped and trained, but still a small force from what we have gathered on the true military might of this so called 'Citadel Council'" spoke Anton.

"Yes, we'll have to proceed with caution. Though right now sir, I believe the neighboring species, these Batarians, might be a problem. They accept slavery into their culture, view themselves as the highest species, and see others with less than four eyes as inferior." Informed the Locust AI.

"Wonder if they'll view a corpser as their god, they definitely have an ungodly amount of eyes." Anton laughed out, staring out of the observation window. "I sources say this is the Vular system, one of four systems in the Kite's Nest Cluster."

The goal was to make first contact with a neighboring species. Though that might prove difficult with the social ineptitude of the Batarian species and their superiority complex. The Batarian Hegemony might send slaver parties if they find the Locust's colonies. If worst has to come, the Locust will stomp out this nuisance if necessary.

Anton turned his gaze upon the AI's console, "Send a message probe through the relay. Tell the rest of the fleet to send in a small portion as security detail, bring a couple extra ships, a cruiser or two. After that, the Admiral will want a first taste at the species in this new expansion, then maybe can colonize further out in this system."

"At once sir!"

With that, a command was sent to the bridge of the Locust frigate. Within moments, a pod was ejected to the relay, traveling through with the orders for the fleet.

On board the HSN Resolute Suffering…

For what felt like an eternity, the aliens led Tavrik into an empty room with a single table and two chairs. Paintings were scattered across the walls, some detailing underground caverns with strange creatures roaming, others detailed firefights and war depictions.

'There's no doubt about this, these aliens have been to war against the humans before. But how? The Human codex states nothing of having other first contacts' Tavrik thought, going over every detail on each artistic piece.

"So what will you do with me?"

"Quiet filth!" Growled out the full armored alien, pointing its clawed finger at a chair, "sit and keep that irritable mouth shut, before I break it!"

And with that Tavrik took his seat, and for what felt like an hour, the door opened revealing golden armored guards. Though, their weapons were what appeared to be a mix of a gun and bow. Following the guards, was what can only be described as a rather pale human male, sporting pale blond hair and a set of sulphur yellow eyes.

He made his way to the adjacent seat across, taking a seat and giving the Turian a cold stare.

"Welcome aboard the frigate, HSN Resolute Suffering, I am Brawn Talos. I hope your conscious experience on board has been good so far?" Spoke the newly introduced Human.

"Enough games, Human! What do you want? What's with these aliens!? Are you part of the Systems Alliance or what?" Roared Tavrik, slamming his fist against the table.

This action had the effect of getting a gold armored guard to slam it's fist into Tavrik's head. The force causing him to crash his head onto the table, with a deafening bang. Tavrik could feel his face start to bleed, dripping from his mandible and nose slit. The 'Human' still sitting, now sporting a grin.

"Human? No no no, you've got it all wrong. I'm not Human, I am apart of the Locust"

"Locust? Is that your species?"

"Yes, as well as the lovely soldiers here in this room. Though they are the drones of our species, we run on a fundamental caste system. But enough about us, what about you? Why were you and your fellow mercenaries on one of our colonies?" Brawn asked, pulling out a data pad.

"I am Tavrik Jorum. Captain of Omega squad of the Eclipse mercenary organization. We were conducting in illegal smuggling operations in the trade of Red Sand, a powerful biotic drug, we were tasked with guarding the shipments on the planet, unaware that it was already colonized." Tavrik recited.

"So no one really knows your here?"

"Besides the rest of the organization, no, no one knows about our little operation detail"

"I see, what about the systems beyond the relay" Brawn spoke, bringing up a holographic map of the galaxy, several key points dotting regions of space.

"The Kite's Nest Cluster? That's Batarian territory, it's linked by the Harsa relay. I don't really know much else beyond that" Tavrik said, a nervous edge in his tone.

"Very well *sigh* guess that will be all. You are free to go." Brawn said, motioning for the two guards in gold armor.

"Really? I can leave?" Tavrik said, hope welling up.

As soon as the guards walked up to Tavrik, they crossed the bow part of the gun from the back of his neck, to the front of his throat. Leaving no room for him to escape.

"Wait what's the meaning of this!? You said I was free to go!?" Tavrik howled.

"Oh your free alright… free from this dreadful existence you live, free from all future suffering. Guards, kill him." Brawn spoke, taking out a cigar.

"You basta…*Squelch*" was all Tavrik could make out, before the guards slashed his head off with their torque bows, blood spurting, leaving it to pool around the body.

"Well great *sigh*, guess I can always go for one more session. Guards! Bring me an Asari captive, oh and also call for a clean up crew, deliver the body to the lab with the others." Ordered Brawn, looking at a painting depicting the destruction of Halvo Bay

"Should've brought a bottle of Tyran Wine"

And there's chapter 2, thank you all for patiently waiting. I'm glad the first chapter got positive feedback and likes. I have plans to pop out a new story in the upcoming week, a Metro Exodus and Zero no Tsukaima crossover. Please review for any feedback, I appreciate all thoughts. (and yes, the Kantus Stalker is a multiplayer skin.)

-Highlord Wolnir, King of Carthus

(Codex)

Torque Bow: A more modernized crossbow, using pressurized force from torque mechanisms. It's ammunition consisting of imulsion-tipped bolts, that violently explode after impact. A magazine clip has been added for automatic reloading.

Kantus Stalker: Highly prestigious members who adorn themselves in a dark, metallic armor. They wield akimbo Snub Mk2 pistols or akimbo Gorgon submachine guns. These members are considered the black ops unit for any high level operations and missions. Stealth is their forte.

Swarm Speakers: High members of the Swarm who act as Hive leaders, one Speaker per nest. They have high aptitude in telepathy, able to broadcast commands to all Swarm units from afar, making them high issued targets. Though rarely, will you ever find a Speaker outside their own domains, finding comfort in the underground strongholds that is a nest.

Swarm Hive nests: Home to colonies of Swarm troops and monstrosities, they act as underground strongholds that can stretch miles below the surface, making them difficult to breach. It is here where the Swarm also host conversion to increase their population. Fleshy growth layer areas in the nests, almost like a nervous system, giving the distinction the entire place is alive.

Element Zero: Being a new discovery, the Locust have spent a considerable amount of time and resources learning about element zero. There have been talks about using it for transportational needs for Noble caste members. Though after extensive reviews of alien records and data, it is possible to weaponize element zero, or Eezo as nicknamed by the galactic community, through exposure to newborns. Nodules are used to control these powers, allowing incredible powers to lift objects, toss foes, and create barriers. The Locust are working around the clock to incorporate this to field troops.