Chapter 2

Unknown building


"Commander Farsight, I must recommend that we let them go." Said a machine that was of similar design to that of the one that had captured Shepard and his team, except for this one it had two guns on its arms instead of a sword and shield. It also had a gun on top of it's right shoulder. Speaking of the machine that forced Shepard to surrender, it was the one that was being talked to. "We've managed to hack into the copy Normandy's system and found some disturbing information in it." Hearing this, Farsight looked at the machine and spoke.

"What kind of disturbing information?" Asked Farsight as others like him and the other machine spoke. They had all been assembled by Farsight's command in order to discuss the emergence of a copy Normandy as well as the captured Quarians. It had been several hours since they captured them all and the data they got from them all disturbed a few of them. They were all assembled in a futuristic looking building that was of similar design to the alien armor that Shepard had encountered. Blocky, but also functional and utilitarian in design. They were all surrounding a table emitting a holographic image of Shepard and his team, locked in a makeshift cell that they had built quickly in order to keep them contained. The Quarians were in a separate cell some distance from them in the off chance either of them break out and try to work with each other to escape their clutches.

With the tall machines were a Geth unit and an of unknown make. The Geth was built similarly to a standard Geth trooper. A single bright photoreceptor for an eye and legs that bowed backwards. It also had the same design of all Geth for a head. An armored hood that surrounded the photoreceptor to provide protection as well as metal flabs that moved around. But this one was a bit different in that it had a jet black color scheme and had a large antenna on it's back. It also moved it's metal flabs in an attempt to mimic organic expressions.

The alien was humanoid in shape. He had hoofed feet and four-digit hands, three of which were human-like fingers and a thumb. The skin was grayish-blue in color, rough-looking, and leather-like. Lastly, the face was flat, wide around its eyes, with an "I"-shaped slit running from the center of the forehead to where a human's nose would be.

Staying silent, the two waited as the other machines spoke amongst each other, waiting for their turn.

"Apparently, the insectoid race known as the Collectors are abducting human colonies in the Terminus systems en masse." Said the first machine. "It seems the Geth intelligence was correct on who was abducting them all." That caused some grumbling from the other machines, wondering what this pertained to.

They knew of the Collectors. Or at least, what little is known about them. Every now and then, the Collectors make deals with slavers to acquire specimens baring rare genetic traits, whether or not they were actually beneficial or not, in exchange for their technology. They've tried to acquire more knowledge on them, but they couldn't. Not even the Geth, with all their listening devices and spying on all organic media, couldn't get much knowledge on them.

All they knew was that the Collectors ventured from a Mass Relay called the Omega Four relay, located in the same system as the station Omega, considered by many as the capital of the Terminus Systems, a lawless region of space that was haven to pirates and slavers.

"What would the Collectors want from humans?" Asked another machine that looked like Farsight. This one having two short length blasters attached to it's arms and nothing else. "From what we gathered, they've never done something like this before. And even then, never in such large quantities before." Farsight, wondering this too, looked at the Geth before them.

"Speaker." Said Farsight, looking at the Geth that looked at Farsight as he addressed the Geth. "Does the Geth have any theories regarding possible reasons for this." The Geth, flapping it's head flaps a bit, processed the request before speaking.

"Possibility that the Collectors are allied with the old machines: ninety-five percent. Evidence to support that claim:…Humanity responsible for destruction of Nazara during the Battle of the Citadel two years ago." Said the Geth. "It was also the human Spectre, commander Shepard, that had foiled the old machines attempt to return to the galaxy in the same battle." That caused some to quietly contemplate this.

They knew of the Old machines. When they made first contact with the Geth, they told them everything about the Old machines and the danger they posed to the galaxy. How they built everything that this galaxy used. From the Mass Relays that is used to travel to system to system to the Citadel, a capital of Citadel Space. All so organic species would progress in a certain tech line that would give them a significant advantage over them for they know it more than others. They were just like all the threats they faced in their former home. All the death and destruction. Recalling all the enemies they faced, they wondered if the Old machines were as dangerous as those they faced before. As they thought this, Farsight changed the subject.

"I see.' Said Farsight before changing the subject. "Commander Shepard was reported killed two years ago. Why is he here, alive?" He knew there were rumors of Shepard still alive. That he didn't die when the original Normandy was attacked two years ago. They only started sometime ago, a month at best, but Farsight wasn't too keen on relying on rumors.

"It's possible that it's simply a clone or someone that was surgically modified to look like Shepard." Suggested another machine like Farsight, this one shield on one arm, a gun at the other, and a giant gun on top of his left shoulder. "Given Shepard's reputation in Citadel space, it's certainly not in the realm of impossibility for someone to do such a thing."

"I'm afraid there's proof that the Shepard we captured is the same one that was reported dead two years ago." Said the first machine that spoke since the meeting began. "Intelligence gathered from the Normandy confirms the existence of a project that was intended to revive Shepard. We're still waiting for confirmation on it, but what we have suggests that they've succeeded. However, the people responsible for this miracle is the group called Cerberus." Upon mentioning of Cerberus, Speaker spoke.

"Probability of Cerberus being the culprit is ninety nine percent. Has motivation to revive a human icon like Commander Shepard. Also have the necessary funding and skills to keep resurrection secret. Even from the Geth." Said Speaker. That caused the others in the room to nod in agreement. Cerberus. Despite the best attempts by both them and the Geth in uncovering information on them, they obtained very little about the organization. All they knew was what everyone else knew about them. They care only for humanity's advancement and nothing else. It reminded them of a powerful entity within their former home that was of similar mind to them, just more…outspoken of it.

"If so, why is Shepard working with them?" Asked the 2nd machine that spoke. "Psychological reports made by both the Water Caste and the Geth of Shepard speak against him allying with Cerberus. Their goals and ideals do not match."

"There is a probability that the reason that Shepard is working for them is because of the Collectors abducting human colonies in the Terminus systems." Said another machine, this one a different design than those of the others one that have spoken. It was more heavily armored than the others, sporting so much armor that it would take multiple anti-tank rounds to take even stand a chance to break the armor of this machine. Instead of hands, like the others, this one had giant missile pods, loaded with giant missiles, with another missile pods on its right shoulder and a giant missile, larger than the others, on the left. "Their interests align with that, but for different reasons. Cerberus wants to protect humans along with, potentially, acquiring what technology the Collectors have. Shepard, while he would want to protect his species, does so because of his moral nature. There's also the fact that the Alliance blames the abductions on slavers, regardless of the improbability of slavers capturing that many colonists without much infrastructure damage. So, it's likely they were the only ones willing and capable of paying for an operation against the Collectors. It's simply an alliance of convenience. Nothing more." That caused a few to hum at that, appreciating the logic in the machine's reasoning.

"We will need to interrogate Shepard in order to confirm what his reasoning is with allying with Cerberus." Said Farsight. "Send him in once we've settled all other affairs." The others nodded at that, trusting in Farsight's wisdom. "On to the next topic, the Quarians. We have Tali Zorah in our custody and that will complicate matters. What says you all?"

"We have to return her back." Said the first machine commander that spoke. "The Quarians will no doubt send a team to investigate the sudden disappearance of their first team. Even if we stop them from sending information about the enclaves back to their people, they keep sending people back to Geth space to determine what is going on. Eventually, we'll slip and information about our people will be public knowledge. They may even use as a way to get the council on their side to conduct war on the Geth and the Farsight Enclaves. As a result, I believe it's prudent we both reveal ourselves to the wider galaxy as well as giving Tali Zorah back to the Quarian migrant fleet along with other Quarian prisoners."

"I have to 2nd this motion." Said the 3rd machine that spoke. "We cannot afford a war with the council at the moment. We're still rebuilding our forces from the Ork Waagh that had attacked our Septs while we were busy fighting the Imperium on Mu'Gulath Bay." The mention of Mu'Gulath Bay caused a few amongst the assembled machines to stay quiet, remembering the lives lost and the carnage at that battle. They also remembered a comrade that they had lost during the battle, saving Farsight from an assassin that was ordered to kill him.

"Agreed." Said the machine that was different from all the others. "While we can certainly hold off the council forces for a certain amount of time, we cannot hold them off indefinitely. A protracted war will devastate all parties involved. That is something we cannot afford at the moment. Not when the old machines are coming to this galaxy." Everyone nodded at that, knowing that he was right.

"So, we are agreed." Said Farsight. "We'll release the Quarians and send them back to their fleet. At the same time, we'll commence first contact procedures with the Citadel Council. Hopefully, they'll take our presence well." Others just shook their heads. The amount of citadel violations the enclave have would certainly not give them point with the council, most prominent of which was their alliance with the Geth. Most weren't optimistic of the meeting going well. Despite this, Farsight was fixated on doing it and they'll follow along. "We'll have Aun'shi be our diplomat and for the 2nd fleet to be his defense fleet." Everyone nodded at that, agreeing with Farsight on this. "Now, next we need to discuss terms. First we need to…"


Shepard

Unknown location


In an unknown location on Haestrom, Shepard was sitting in his jail cell, waiting patiently for the aliens to do whatever they want with him and his crew. True to a military fashion, the aliens and Geth had separated them into separate cells, preventing them from formulating plans of escape with one another.

Once they arrived in a large red building that was of same make to the aliens' armor, they were stripped of their weapons, except for Jack's Biotic abilities as it was impossible for one to remove biotic abilities from a person with them. They then were separated from one another and put in different cells on different levels of the building. Grunt and Jack, predictably, gave the aliens some stiff resistance, even slamming a few into the walls of the building, either killing them or knocking them unconscious, Shepard didn't know, with brute strength or biotic abilities. But they were soon forced to comply when the rest aimed their guns and were ready to fire on them. Only Shepard's insistence was enough for the two to stop and obey the aliens. After that mess, they were placed into cells with a single bed, toilet, and sink. The thing that kept them contained was a energy shield that couldn't break easily, even by a Krogan like Grunt.

It had been several hours since that he had been locked up in his cell and Shepard wondered what the aliens and Geth were up to. They obviously wanted them alive, but for what reasons? Two years ago, when the Geth invaded the galaxy with the help of a Turian by the name of Saren, they just shot anyone they saw. Yet here they were, working with unknown aliens and taking captives.

Did they want Shepard for something? It's possible. He killed hundreds of Geth during their invasion and was single handedly responsible for pushing them back from the Citadel Space, leaving only small holdouts remaining. But then, if that was the case, why did they spare the rest of his crew and not the Quarians? Was it because of the new aliens? Or was it something else? Shepard didn't know and he had a feeling he didn't want to know.

Speaking of the new aliens, they were a complete mystery. Where did they come from? Why didn't they help the Geth during their invasion two years ago? How many of them were there? And were they building up their forces with the Geth for a renewed invasion on the rest of the galaxy?

If they were, they had to escape and warn the council of it before they commenced the invasion. But how? The aliens had him completely cut off from his team, they impounded his vessel, and he had no idea of their full capabilities. And that left him frustrated to now end.

He was commander Shepard. Hero of Elysium. Hero of the Citadel. And slayer of the rogue Spectre Saren. And here he was. Stuck in a cell, guarded by both Geth and unknown aliens, the former of which he slayed effortlessly years ago.

As he was soaking in his frustration, an alien came and unlocked his cell. Deactivating the force field that contained him within the cell via a device on it's wrist, the alien looked at Shepard with it's two crimson optics.

"Commander Shepard." Said the alien with a heavily synthesized voice. "You have been summoned by commander Farsight for interrogation. Follow us to him. Follow without difficulty and you will not be harmed." Upon announcing that, several more aliens, armed with short-barreled guns, appeared. No doubt his guards.

Glaring at them behind his helmet, Shepard, nonetheless, was forced to obey them and so was escorted to this Farsight. As they walked out of the building and to another one some distance away, Shepard wondered what this Farsight wanted.


Farsight


"Commander Farsight." Said the alien that had freed Shepard. "We have brought the prisoner that you wished to speak to."

Farsight, nodding in appreciation, told the soldier to leave with the guards, saying they can leave now. Obeying his orders without questions, the soldiers that brought Shepard left the building, leaving him alone with Farsight and several other machines that looked like him, a Geth unit, another alien, and a ton of guards.

"Greetings, commander Shepard." Said Farsight as he looked at Shepard. To Shepard's surprise, Farsight was the same machine that had ordered him to surrender. If he was here and was the one that ordered him brought before him, then he must be the head honcho in Haestrom, along with everyone else here. "I apologize for our first meeting, but it had to be done in order to protect my people and the Geth from future death." Upon hearing that, Shepard raised an eyebrow at Farsight, wondering what his game was. Deciding to play along, Shepard spoke.

"Well, not to be rude, but your friends," he gestured towards the Geth in the room. "Didn't leave good impressions when they invaded the galaxy two years ago and killed thousands of civilians."

"Those Geth that you had fought were heretics." Said Speaker, it's flaps flaring out a bit. "They had abandoned the collective to serve the old machines. They are no longer a part of the collective."

Shocked to hear a Geth actually speak, Shepard looked at the Geth as it looked back, it's photoreceptor zooming in and out. Taking control, Farsight spoke.

"Yes, I will admit, allying with the Geth would have likely made us enemies with the rest of the galaxy, but they are the most tolerant with us in terms of our technology and beliefs." Said Farsight, causing Shepard to look at him.

"What do you mean by that?" Asked Shepard, curious. Farsight took a pause before speaking.

"There are many citadel laws that my people are violating at the moment. Many of which we cannot rectify without severely hindering our way of life as well as our military." Said Farsight before looking at a machine more heavily armored than the rest and was bristling with a ridiculously number of missiles attached to it. "My companion here, for example, is an AI engram of a former mentor of mine. That alone is in violation of your citadel law against AIs." Shocked to hear that, Shepard looked at the heavily armored machine, who spoke.

"Indeed. I am Ob'lotai 9-0." Said the machine. "I am an artificially created engram of one of Farsight's many mentors, specifically the one that had taught him how to use a battlesuit properly." Shepard, looking at Ob'lotai 9-0 with a mix of awe and shocked, shook it all off before looking at Farsight.

"Why would you make an artificial copy of your mentor?" Asked Shepard, stunned that Farsight would allow it.

"Because he was a valued friend and a formidably soldier." Explained Farsight. "Plus, circumstances forced us to do so. Circumstances that I won't tell you at the moment. When we have become trusted allies, perhaps I will tell you, but until then, you will not know them." Shepard, pursing his lips at that, spoke again.

"Moving on, what exactly do you want?" Asked Shepard, crossing his arms. "You and the Geth."

"The same as any other species." Said Farsight. "The continued survival and advancement of our species. We don't wish to extend harm to others unless they do so with our species and our survival. As stated before, the Geth that you faced were a renegade element that have broken off from the main faction. This split off was done before the Geth and my people were allied with each other, so, to put your mind at ease, we had no involvement in the Eden Prime War two years ago." Staying silent, Shepard continued to look at Farsight as he looked at Shepard, staring down at one another. Eventually, Shepard spoke again.

"If what you say is true, about everything, then you know about the Reapers." Said Shepard.

The reapers. An ancient race of machines that commit galactic genocide every fifty thousand years. No one knows how they came to be, who made them, and why they did what they did, but one thing was for sure, they are coming back to commit genocide on the galaxy once again. And Shepard was going to stop them.

It was a long shot, Shepard knew, but he wasn't going down fighting. He'll fight and bleed until he could give no more in order to stop the Reapers. To stop them from killing more innocents. To stop them from killing his species. And all others in the galaxy. That was why he was on a mission to stop their servants, the Collectors.

"We know of them." Said Farsight. "We know of their purpose and what their arrival will mean to the rest of the galaxy. That is why we remain in isolation from the rest of the galaxy. To build up our military strength without protest or fear from the council or Terminus systems." Upon hearing that, Shepard looked at them in surprise. They knew of the Reapers and they didn't think they were myths? Prior to his death, Shepard had tried to tell all the galactic governments, be it human or alien, about the Reapers and how they must prepare for them. All he got was a wave of hands from all, telling him that they were myths, nothing more. If it wasn't for his Spectre status, Shepard would have likely been taken down hard by the media, deeming him a lunatic at best. A warmonger at worst.

And now these aliens and the Geth, one of which was treated as the boogeyman of the galaxy, were preparing for war against the Reapers. That alone made Shepard want them to help the other members of the galaxy to prepare against the Reapers because only through working together can they hope to beat the Reapers back.

"if you know about the Reapers, then you should be helping the other species." Said Shepard, glaring at Farsight, causing some of the guards to ready themselves for a fight. "Only through cooperation can we hope to win against them."

"We know that." Said Farsight. "We know the dangers of fighting a superior foe without a united force, but the alliance you want us to do is not possible at the moment. The Citadel races would deem us pariahs and fools for our willing cooperation with the Geth and our usage of AIs. Then there is the fact that the Quarians would be enraged at our alliance with the Geth. They'll never work with us against the Reapers. To them, we're the monsters that helped the machines that drove them out from their worlds. Until the Reapers come, cooperation between us and the other races would be impossible." Clenching his fists, Shepard was about to speak again when Farsight spoke. "But, in the event I am wrong and we can cooperate, I'm preparing a first contact envoy in order to conduct negotiations with the Citadel Council. With luck, the cooperation you desire may happen, but I have my doubts it will succeed in the way you wish it to." Shutting up, Shepard glanced at everyone in the room, checking out their weapons, before speaking again.

"Okay, we got that done with. Now, what about the ship and crew? I need them in order to complete my mission against the Reapers." Said Shepard, telling the truth.

"Is that why you are here?" Asked a machine next to Farsight. "In Geth Space?"

"Yes.' Said Shepard. "I'm here to recruit Tali Zorah on a mission against the Collectors. As you no doubt are aware, the Collectors are abducting entire human colonies. Cerberus is funding my mission against them. To both save those colonists as well as stopping the Collectors from abducting anymore human colonies." He then took a step forward and glared at Farsight. "So, if you truly want to fight the Reapers like you say, you'll let me go and give me Tali Zorah. That is, if you hadn't killed her already." Though some bristled at Shepard's lack of respect for Farsight, Farsight himself was unfazed. Rather, he respected Shepard's straightforward way of doing things, reminding himself of his own way of doing things. Taking a moment to give Shepard a silent moment of respect, Farsight spoke.

"Since you have not done anything against my people." Said Farsight. "You will be allowed to go free with your crew. As a gesture of friendship, we'll be giving you the Quarian prisoners that we captured from our previous engagement with them. To ease your worry, Tali Zorah is safe and sound. We took great care in sparing her from danger. The rest of her companions, however, were not so fortunate. They fought hard and we had to kill many of them. Some of our prisoners even died from their wounds, either through infection or the wounds were too great." Shepard, though relieved to hear that Tali was safe, couldn't help but feel anger for the Quarian deaths. The Quarians suffered enough, they didn't need more death on their species.

"Thank you. That's very generous of you." Said Shepard, playing nice so he can quickly leave with his people before Farsight changed his mind. "But don't take my warning lightly, Farsight, the Reapers are coming and we all need to fight as one in order to win." Farsight simply nodded at that.

"We'll take your warnings into consideration, but for now, it's time for you to leave." Said Farsight before looking at a machine to his right. "Arra'kon, escort commander Shepard to his companions and the Quarians. Then bring them to their ship and see to it that they leave the system unharmed." The machine, now known as Arra'kon, got up and went over to Shepard.

"Follow me." Said Arra'kon. "I will take you to your Quarians and compatriots." With that, the two left the room, leaving the rest to ponder on what to do next.

"Do you think this Shepard will prevail against the Collectors?" Asked a machine with only two guns on it's hands, a female voice emitting from this one.

"Probability of him succeeding is in the ninety range, Commander Torchstar." Said Ob'lotai 9-0. "The human several known cases of succeeding against insurmountable odds. Case in point, the hunt for Saren Arterius and his involvement in taking down Nazara."

'Indeed." Said Farsight. "He'll succeed in taking down the Collectors, leaving us to only deal with our own problems as well as ensuring our relations with the other races in this galaxy do not deteriorate to the point that war will come. We can't afford such a thing. Not when the Reapers are approaching." He then turned to another machine like him, this one with two short barreled guns like Torchstar. "Brightsword, take your Cadres and reinforce the 2nd fleet. I must stay behind with the rest of the eight to investigate Haestrom and to reinforce the defenses of our worlds along with the Geths'."

"I will not fail." Said Brightsword before leaving to attend to his men. Once he was gone, Farsight spoke with the remaining advisors about what to do next and how to do it.


Few hours later

Arra'kon


Arra'kon was staying silent in the transport as Shepard was talking with his team and the Quarian prisoners about the aliens, their experience as prisoners, and what to do next. After releasing Shepard's team, Arra'kon led them to the Quarian building that they were using to keep the Quarians they captured in. Upon finding them, the team was shocked to see just how few Quarians there were left.

Out of the eighteen Quarians that had entered Haestrom's atmosphere, only three were left, including Tali. After a tearful embrace between Shepard and Tali, Arra'kon escorted them all to a nearby shuttle of his own people's design. Upon seeing the shuttle, everyone took a step back in shock.

They were expecting a shuttle like their own, small and compact. The alien's shuttle was large, almost the size of an Alliance corvette, both in width and length. It also was bristling with guns all around it's chassis. Missile launchers. Anti-personal guns. Anti-tank guns. You name it, it's got it. It looked more like a starship then a shuttle. After everyone rid themselves of their shock, they began entering the large shuttle.

Once everybody was onboard, the shuttle lifted off and sped towards the sky, where the Normandy was being held at gunpoint by the combined Geth and alien fleet.

As Arra'kon waited with the rest of the guards for the shuttle to land on the Normandy so they can release the prisoners, Shepard went up to him.

"Arra'kon right?" Asked Shepard. Indulging the man, Arra'kon nodded. "What are your people called?" Surprised a bit at this, Arra'kon responded.

"We are called the Tau." Said Arra'kon. "Is there anything else?"

"Yes." Said Shepard. "How did you make contact with the Geth? According to Tali, all relays behind the Perseus Veil were mapped, including nearby systems. How did you slip under their radar when they had that corner of the galaxy?" Staying silent for a minute, Arra'kon spoke.

"We uncovered a mass relay covered in ice, similar in way to how you humans found yours. Once we activated it, it sent our explorers to a system with a Geth presence. Fortunately, they did not shoot at us and we conducted negotiations, becoming tense, but friendly allies." Explained Arra'kon.

"Really?" Asked Shepard, a bit shocked at how the Tau found their Mass relay. "I'm surprised you made friends with the Geth so quickly in under two years."

"They're a pleasant people, despite being machines." Said Arra'kon. "They, like us, do not use violence unless absolutely required." Upon saying that, Arra'kon noticed he got some glares coming from the Quarians, but ignored it, knowing the bad blood between Quarians and Geth.

"I see." Said Shepard, looking at the Quarians, before changing the subject. "You know I was serious back there, in the meeting with Farsight, we need to work together or else we'll all die."

"Farsight and our other military leaders know this and understand it." Said Arra'kon. "We will try to work with the other races, but any cooperation will have to depend on them." Sighing at that, Shepard tried to make Arra'kon see just how important cooperation is when the shuttle pilot spoke.

"We are nearing the Normandy." Said the pilot. "They are not receiving any of our hails. Should we continue on?" Knowing what the problem was, Arra'kon looked at Shepard.

"Your crew is not cooperating." Said Arra'kon. "They will listen to you. Get them to allow our shuttle to land and we'll let you all go." Singing, Shepard contacted the Normandy and spoke via his helmet.

"Joker. It's me." Said Shepard. "I'm on the alien shuttle approaching you. Open the hanger bay doors." A few seconds later, the relieved voice of Joker spoke.

"Commander!? Thank god you're alive, but…what are you doing on that shuttle?" Asked Joker, a bit suspicious.

"It's a long story, Joker, but I managed to make negotiate with the alien commander to let us go." Said Shepard. A lie, of course, but it was the best way to placate Joker and get him to open the doors.

"Well, I guess you can do anything then, huh commander." Said Joker, calm now. "Now if you could just negotiate with the Reapers and make them stop their genocidal ways, then we'll make you a god." Barking a bit of laughter at that, Shepard ordered Joker to just open the doors. Soon, the pilots of the Tau shuttled saw the hanger bay doors of the Normandy open and they soon entered the Normandy.

It was a tight fit at first, the shuttle nearly hit the Normandy exterior a few times due to it's width, but it eventually managed to land in the shuttle bay. From here, Arra'kon escorted the Quarians and Shepard's team from his ship.

"Take care, human." Said Arra'kon. "May the Greater Good give your fortune on your battle against the Collectors." Before Shepard could ask Arra'kon on what he meant at that, the shuttle's door closed and the shuttle began moving away from the Normandy, scrapping against it's walls as it did so. As he watched the shuttle leave, Shepard had the feeling that things just got a whole lot more interesting for the galaxy.


Few days later

Tau 2nd fleet


"Commander Brightsword, we are exiting the Warp in several seconds." Said the admiral in charge of the Farsight Enclaves 2nd fleet, a Kor'O Ke'lshan, as they used the Warp to travel to the Citadel, where they would begin negotiations with the Citadel Council. It had been a day since they left the Perseus Veil and they were now at the end of their destination. Brightsword, under the command of Farsight himself, was under the command of a force of twenty thousand Tau Fire Warriors with all the necessary armor and air support for such a force. Overkill perhaps, but where they come from, there was no such thing as overkill.

The diplomat, Aun'shi, was peacefully mediating along with his routine of water caste diplomats. No doubt it was for the inevitable shouting matches that will occur when the Citadel Council realize the Tau's affiliation with the Geth and their use of AIs and for Aun'shi so he could control his warrior spirit from going up and just taking their heads off if they angered him too much.

Brightsword also had a secondary objective. Should the Citadel Council declare war on them for their allegiance with the Geth, they'll capture the Citadel and use it as a hostage, along with all the people inside, to coerce the individual governments of each species to leave the Tau and geth in peace. A necessary backup plan as the Tau, despite their technology, can't fight all the Citadel races at once. They simply didn't have the numbers, even with the Geth at their side.

Silently hoping a bit that won't happen, but preparing himself for it should it happen, Brightsword watched as the dark pink and purple of the warp went away as the Tau 2nd fleet ripped through the fabric of reality and into the Widow System, where the Citadel was.

Brightsword had to admit, the Citadel was a sight to behold. Five large fin-like blades attached to a center ring. In those blades lay millions of sentient citizens, living in a space station that was at the galactic heart of Citadel controlled space. It was glorious, but it was not for Brightsword. No, what was glorious to him was the heart of battle and the screams of his enemies as he killed them. But now wasn't the time for that. Now was the time of diplomacy. Though, if diplomacy failed, his skills would be needed for the fight to come.

As soon as the Tau fleet arrived in system, the Citadel defense fleet scrambled in panic.

One moment, they were just doing their usual business of patrolling the citadel and the next massive sources of unknown energy appeared in their scanners before large rifts of what one could only explain as the fabric of space and time being ripped apart as giant, red-painted ships came barreling out of them, with the largest being over eight kilometers in length and width. Counting over forty-five hostiles of varying sizes, but most well over the sizes of standard Citadel dreadnoughts, the Citadel fleet scrambled to respond to this unidentified fleet.

Counting the ships, Brightsword could see that the Citadel fleet was massive. Over twice their number at around a hundred ships. But where they had numbers, the Tau had technology and tonnage on their side. If a battle were to occur, Brightsword would imagine the winner would not get out of it unscathed.

Once the Citadel fleet had formed a defensive formation around the Citadel, Brightsword waited for a few more minutes, reveling in the uncertainty the Citadel Forces must feel as they wondered what the aliens were and what their intentions were, before conducting first contact.

"This is commander Brightsword of the Farsight Enclaves." Said Brightsword, speaking through a translation software in his battlesuit that allowed all those to understand him so long as they had a compatible translation software as well. Fortunately, the Geth provided them with such software so no one on the Citadel should have problems understanding him. "I am here to conduct First Contact with the Citadel Council. You have four hours to respond." Ending the transmission, Brightsword waited for the inevitable response from the Citadel Council.