Chapter 6

lazyguy90- I'm not sure if people are going to like this or not, but the forces of Chaos are not here to do their usual stuff of killing things and corrupting all forms of order and the like. They're also going to be handicapped a bit, but all within reason. I think.

Oh and no Orks. Sorry.

Nexus Gundam- No Necrons. Even if I like their lore the most in Warhammer 40k, they're not going to be here in any significant presence. Only three races/factions are going to be here. The first two being Chaos and Tau. The third being hidden for now.

Yellow-serf- Eh, doubt it. One of the reasons I suspect that we rarely get any alien centric stories in this site is because…well we're human. Much easier to write about humans than other races simply because of that.

ATP- All would be explained in time. But, in case that is unsatisfactory, the Chaos forces don't want to attract more attention than necessary. Not saying they'll lose, no, but it's kind of hard to do what they're here to do if they get constantly attacked over and over again by stupid System Alliance soldiers, Tau, pirates, thugs, and a bunch of other things all the time. Think of it akin to having flies around you all the time while you're working. You can get rid of them easily, but having them around constantly, no matter how many you kill, gets annoying.

S0UL SURVIVOR- What? I didn't give any indication that Trazyn is here? What made you say that?

Random Anon- Eventually yeah. Have a bunch of Farsight Enclave troops, both Tau and auxiliaries join Shepard's crew as a form of cooperation and trust. Lead to the eventual truth, but that's the beauty of it. See if they can be trusted enough to tell them the whole truth of the Tau, where they came from, and how thankful they are that they aren't there anymore. Cause let's be honest, if any of the sane factions, even the less sane ones, in fact, had the opportunity to leave that crazy universe, they would take it and go conquer whatever poor universe that gets stuck with them. Well, maybe not the majority of the Orks cause they love all the constant war in 40k and that's all they care about.

8/28- Changed the mistake of using personal instead of personnel in several instances.


Collector ship


"Get those samples onboard the next wave of transports." Said Torchstar as she ordered several Fire and Earth caste personnel involved in stripping the Collector ship with whatever goods they could find in it, which was basically everything on the ship as they wanted to know every bit of information about the Collectors as they possibly can. Aside from the information that Shepard wanted from the Collector ship, which was done the moment they cleared the ship of Collector forces, everything on this ship was the property of the Farsight Enclave. This included the remains of the Collectors, their technology, and what other things the Tau wanted with it, though they assured Shepard that they'll help identify the remains of any humans they find as well as giving the remains to the Systems Alliance if they find any more on the ship, to which Shepard gave them his thanks.

Right now, the human and his crew were on their ship, talking with their supporters Cerberus over the trick the Illusive man pulled over them, something that Shepard and most of the team didn't like, although with some of them that were putting it lightly.

Seeing one shuttle taking off and flying towards the Tau fleet, Torchstar walked away to find Farsight. Traveling around the interior of the Collector ship, Torchstar found Farsight, still in his battlesuit, overlooking the massive open space on the ship that held so many pods on the ceiling, staring at the vast number of pods.

"Is there something amiss, commander?" Asked Torchstar as she walked up to him, staring at what he was also staring at.

"So many pods." Said Farsight as he continued to look at the pods on the ceiling, trying to see what he can learn from the sheer amount of pods on the ceiling. "The Collectors must be planning to invade the human homeworld if they have so many."

"Indeed." Said Torchstar as she looked at the number of pods, perplexed with the sheer amount of them. Why did the Collectors need so many pods? And also why are they collecting so many humans? What's the motivation? She asked these questions to Farsight, who also voiced his own concern on the matter.

He knew they were working for the Reapers and that humanity was the cause for the destruction of a Reaper, but why abduct human colonists on mass? Why not focus on purely military targets.

Sure, some human colonies attacked provided some benefits to humanity as a whole, but the vast majority weren't and were relatively independent of the human System Alliance. Weapons testing was out of the question, due to how many colonies were hit. And no human colonists were returned back to human society so the Collectors weren't indoctrinating them and having them as forced saboteurs or informants. There must be something else the Collectors want with them. Something terrible. And he needed to figure what it was before the Collector's turned their eyes to his own people.

Looking around at his surroundings, one can learn much of his opponent with how their ships were designed, Farsight saw the organic material around him, reminding him of the Tyranids, a ravenous race of monsters from his old home. Remembering those monsters, made Farsight make up a theory.

The Tyranids were a bio-organic species that swarmed planets and rid them of all organic life. Stripping planets clean of all organic material to both feed it's endless hordes and to create new terrifying creatures from whatever races they come across, whether they be sentient or otherwise. He had seen such things happen before. And each time, Farsight slaughtered many Tyranids for attacking his home and causing so many deaths of his people.

Could the Collectors be doing something similar with their captive humans like what the Tyranids did to all organic life they come across? Where they use the collected humans to create something dangerous? The pile of liquefied humans before supported that theory, but not enough to make it conclusive. But if that was the case, they needed to find the Collector homeworld and fast. Before they could complete their terrible work. That is if they haven't already.

"Has the data from the Collector ship been decrypted and translated completely yet?" Asked Farsight, looking at Torchstar.

"Almost done, commander." Said Torchstar. "We just need a few more minutes and we'll have it all for ourselves and the humans. Speaking of them, what are you planning to offer them?"

"Support in the form of limited co-development and personnel." Said Farsight. "I already have a select few in mind."


Meanwhile

Shepard


Shepard scowled as he finally ended the call with his partner, though he didn't know if he should be calling him that after all the shit he pulled with him, the Illusive Man. He told him of what had occurred with the Collector ship, how the Tau helped them, as well as the fact that the Illusive man led them purposefully into a Collector trap.

After telling him all that, Shepard immediately got into a verbal fight with the Illusive man, accusing him of trying to get him and his team killed. The Illusive man, ever the stoic human he was, stayed calm and politely informed Shepard that he took a calculated risk in not telling Shepard of the trap of the Collectors and that he was fully confident that he can handle whatever the Collectors threw at him. Shepard, however, didn't see it as a calculated risk and called him out on it, telling him there was a difference between a calculated risk and not putting faith in one's allies and that there was no need to keep the fact that the Collector's attempted to ambush him. If he told him about the attempted trap, Shepard would have prepared his team for it and acted they were none the wiser instead of being caught with their pants down and having their trust on the Illusive Man hurt, if not outright broken.

Despite that though, the Illusive Man was sure that he was in the right and that it was all necessary to get what they needed to defeat the Collectors and he wasn't budging of that opinion. So, Shepard reluctantly dropped the subject. Moving on, the Illusive Man expressed his disappointment that the Tau get the Collector ship for themselves, rather than the technology be for humanity, but also expressed interest of the Tau forces and if Shepard has any information related to them. His interest peaked when Shepard had video feeds of Tau infantry weaponry as well as some of their battlesuits, how they performed, and how deadly they were. His interest peaked considerably when Shepard informed him of having combat feeds of Farsight fighting and how he took down a handful of Collector Praetorians by himself with a sword. Those feeds were now with the Illusive Man, who Shepard was sure would use them to figure out ways to combat the Tau should conflict arise between them and humanity.

Moving on from the Tau, the Illusive Man informed Shepard that the Collector ship was a gold mine in terms of how they can traverse the Omega-4 relay safely and take the fight to the Collectors. He told him that the Omega-4 relay used a form of advanced IFF system that enabled only safe passage for Collectors and their Reaper masters. As a result, in order to use that system, they needed a Collector or Reaper IFF, which they now had in the form of the Collector ship. He then instructed Shepard to convince the Tau commander to give them the IFF so they can take out the Collectors, robbing the Reapers of one of their assets, something the Tau would also want. When asked what they would do if they refused, the Illusive Man said they'll have to take it by force and if that isn't an option, there was an alternative. And judging by the look of the Illusive Man's face, it wasn't a good alternative.

Sighing, Shepard asked Joker, via the intercom, to set up a communication link with the Tau forces. A few minutes later, EDI's avatar came before him.

"Shepard the Tau commander is able to speak to you directly. He's informing me that he wishes to speak to you privately though." Said EDI. Shepard pursed his lips at that before informing EDI that he's taking the talk to his private quarters and that he is not to be disturbed until the talks are over.


Few minutes later

Shepard's private quarters


After a short elevator ride to his private quarters, Shepard accessed his private terminal, put in the transmission frequency EDI specified the Tau commander will speak to him on, and soon the image of Farsight's battlesuit appeared before him.

"Commander Shepard. I heard you wished to speak with me." Said Farsight, looking at the human in a Cerberus uniform.

"That's correct, Farsight." Said Shepard, crossing his arms. "As much as I like to talk about your offer to help, there's something that I need to ask of you. It's concerning my mission and it involve something from the Collector ship, something we agreed on would be yours." Shepard was about to tell Farsight what it was exactly when the Tau spoke.

"I assume you want the Collector ship's IFF in order to use it to traverse through the Omega 4 Relay in order to take the fight to the Collector's homeworld." Said Farsight. Shepard gave a grunt of acknowledgment, figuring that he should have known the Tau would have decrypted the intel on the Collector ship just as fast, if not faster than they did. "You wish to take the fight to them now? Without preparation?" Shepard shook his head at that.

"No." Said Shepard. "Going straight ahead with no game plan or preparation will only lead to unnecessary casualties, maybe even a complete failure of the mission. Plus, some of my crew aren't at a hundred percent. There's a good chance that this mission will end in their deaths and they want to do some last-minute things to help them focus, some skeletons in their closets that will impair their ability to fight. And I don't want to fight with an unfocused team." Farsight nodded at that, approving of it. "There's also my ship and it needs a few more upgrades to help us fight the Collectors. Plus, even if I did get the IFF, we need time to fully integrate it into our systems without any sort of problem happening to our ship. So, I have time."

"Good." Said Farsight. "I would have hated to give you this IFF, only for you to waste it by being a fool." Shepard nodded at that, also having the same sentiment if their roles were reversed. "Because you wish to deal with the Collector yourself and it won't matter in the long run who actually takes down the Collectors, I will give you the IFF on one condition." Raising an eyebrow at that, Shepard asked what the condition was. "Well, more like an offer that I doubt you'll want to refuse. Do you recall my offer of assistance to you prior to us leaving for the Collector ship." Shepard nodded at that, recalling that offer. "Unfortunately, I couldn't speak with you much about it as we were fighting Collectors, but now we do have the time, and I wish to offer you aid in your quest. Like you, I believe the Collectors are working with the Reapers and from what I gathered from their ship, it seems they are indeed working with them. Between those husks that are clearly of Reaper origins and the location of the Collector homeworld along with other things, I have no doubt in my mind they're working with the Reapers. And since the Reapers will no doubt desire my people and the destruction of all advanced civilization when they arrive, I'm willing to provide you whatever aid you need in order to deprive the Reapers of one of their assets. Taking out the Collectors will prove a great boon for us when the Reapers arrive." Shepard nodded at that, though he wondered why the location of the Collector homeworld would indicate the collaboration of the Collectors and Reapers, but choose to refrain from asking.

"So, what are you offering?" Asked Shepard, delighted to get some help from an actual government and one that had such advanced technology on its side.

"I very much doubt you're Illusive Man will be happy to hear my people are taking over an operation they started. And one that must have cost them a significant amount of resources to do." Said Farsight, causing Shepard to nod, knowing the cost of bringing him back was astronomical. And that wasn't considering the upgraded Normandy and its costs. "At the same time, I doubt their methods will help us in the long run against the Reapers. While I have no qualms with fighting dirty, I see Cerberus doing things that will ensure that humanity, if we all survive this war, will be the top dog in the galaxy once we eliminate the Reapers. Assassinating key individuals of other races. Sabotaging their efforts. Using whatever tech they find, no matter the risk. I don't think we need an ally such as that in the fight against the Reapers. If they don't do such things prior to or during the Reapers invasion, then we'll let them go, but if they do, you know what must be done." Shepard nodded at that.

"To be honest, I don't trust the Illusive man or Cerberus." Said Shepard. "They did a lot of bad things even before the Reapers were a thing and they'll just continue to do so once they're gone. I even doubt the Illusive man wants to help the people kidnaped by the Collectors."

"I very much doubt it as well." Said Farsight. "He seems, from what I gathered of him, to be one that does not care about the individual of a race. Rather he cares about the race as a whole. He sees humanity as a sort of massive beast that can endure any loss of any part of its body, rather than an assortment of individuals. I understand his mentality, even respect it, but that mentality can easily allow one to become a monster or a self-righteous fool." Shepard nodded at that.

"Getting back to the track, what are you saying about Cerberus on this mission?" Asked Shepard.

"While I have no doubt it won't matter, considering the amount of funding this organization seems to get, let them keep funding this operation and full reins of this operation." Said Farsight. "More money spent by this organization is fewer resources either my people or your System Alliance has to spend dealing with the Collectors or Cerberus if they become a problem." Shepard pursed his lips before nodding. Forcing Cerberus to spend more money, huh, so they can have some money troubles later on, no matter how minuscule it was? He didn't take Farsight to be that type of individual that took in finances in his ability to wage war. "For my people's part, we'll provide you with a few personnel and some weaponry from the Geth. Not only will they help you in the fight against the Collectors, but they'll also gauge you in how much we can entrust you with our most advanced weaponry. As much as I want to give you our weapons now, it would be foolish of me to do so without more proof that I can trust you." Shepard gave a grunt at that, slightly disappointed at what he was offered, but choose to accept it.

"When will I get these troops and equipment?" Asked Shepard.

"Come with my fleet to Haestrom." Said Farsight. "We need to remove the IFF from the Collector ship and that will take some time. We can use that time to help you get familiar with some of the Geth weaponry as well as some of the people I'll be sending over to your ship. Is this satisfactory?" Shepard nodded his head.

"I'm fine with it." Said Shepard. "Just give me time to tell my crew of this and I'll get back to you and tell you when we're ready to leave." Farsight nodded at that.

"Before I leave Shepard, I must commend you." Said Farsight. "You are a brave and honorable soldier. One that I can say will have been hailed as a great hero for my kind had you've been born a Tau. You make your species proud." Shepard couldn't help but smile at that.

"Thanks. I can say the same to you." Said Shepard. "Just wish your way of governing isn't some military dictatorship with you in charge." Farsight couldn't help but chuckle humorlessly at that.

"Trust me, Shepard." Thought Farsight. "If you only knew the full extent of my people's story. You would understand. Be appalled, but understand." With that, he ended the transmission.


Meanwhile

Quarian Migrant Fleet


"Those damn bosh'tets." Said a Quarian in a white and red enviro-suit as he slammed a console in frustration. "Those damn bosh'tet Tau. They ruined everything." Taking a deep breath, the Quarian thought about his daughter's failed mission on Haestrom. His daughter Tali. Yes, this was Rael Zorah, her father, and an admiral in the Quarian's admiralty board. And he was furious at the new species that made his job even more of a nightmare than it already was. That job is to help his race reclaim their homeworld from the Geth.

Some time ago, he had ordered his daughter to take whatever Geth technology she can get her hands on and sent them to him for study. With restrictions, of course, like not sending over Geth technology that is at risk of reactivating by itself and causing havoc for the Migrant fleet. Rael was stubborn, but even he knew the dangers of having a Geth reactivate in the Migrant Fleet. For some time, whether it be through the black market or by going through wreckages of battle sites between Geth and System Alliance soldiers, scavenging whatever tech the humans left behind from their battles, and sending them to him. He hoped that, with all that tech, he could develop a weapon that can give the Quarians an edge against their creations and give them a fighting chance to destroy them for good. He felt he was so close to getting that edge when the revelation that the Geth had an ally now and was arguably the most powerful faction in the galaxy came to light.

Upon hearing of the Tau, their advanced technology, and their allegiance with the Geth, their hated enemy, it was a terrible thing for the majority of the Quarians to hear. Many on their pilgrimage became bitter towards the Tau. Others felt they were now more abandoned than ever, all hope of gaining their homeworld was now lost. Even if they figured out a good way to combat the Geth, the sheer amount of advanced Tau technology and warship sizes made many fear they'll never defeat them both. So, with their hatred and enmity of the Geth extended towards the Tau now, the admiralty board agreed that it would be best for all Quarians to avoid any interactions with the Tau in order to avoid a political incident with them. That being said, the admiralty board was discussing what to do with them.

Rael and his friend, Han'Gerrel, wanted to avoid all contact with those bosh'tet bastards and to threaten violence towards them if any of their ships get close to them and advocating that they should be considered an enemy along with the Geth. Admiral Koris, that damn whiner and Geth apologist, saw the Tau as proof that the Geth aren't the monsters that the Quarians made them out to be. If they managed to form an alliance with a race such as the Tau, an organic race, then it was possible for the Quarians to negotiate with them for their homeworld back. He advocated for them to commence talks with the Tau and Geth for that, to the opposition of both Han'Gerrel and Rael. He would have failed for it had the other two admirals, Shala'Raan, an old friend of his, and Daro'Xen, a rather eccentric individual, hadn't advocated to just leave the Tau and Geth alone.

Shala'Raan, as much as she wanted for the Quarians to have their homeworld back, feared that they'll just be dooming their race to extinction now if they fight the Geth with their new allies. Plus, she was somewhat with Koris. Though she also held some resentment for the Tau for their alliance with the Geth, she also saw that their presence opened the possibility for negotiations for their homeworld. Still, she was ever cautious and advocated for minimal contact with the Tau and Geth. If things go well, she'll advocate for peace and negotiations. If not, she'll advocate to avoid them at all costs and to establish a new colony world for the Quarians to settle on.

The last one, Daro'Xen, sided with Koris, surprisingly, but looking back to it, it was clear that she only did so because she saw Han'Gerrel and Rael's want to fight the Tau and Geth to be idiotic and foolhardy. That she wanted a chance to get her hands on both Tau and Geth technology, especially Tau. How the Tau managed to build such massive warships and mechs and for them to be still feasible for war. How their weapons work. How anything of their works. It all intrigued her and it was all her new obsession along with the Geth. A war with them would just end with them all dying, that Xen was certain of, and rid her a chance to get an opportunity to study their technology, obtained legally or otherwise.

So, with a tie between war and peace, the admiralty board was forced to abstain from their decision regarding the Tau and Geth. They decided to let some people to cool their heads and to ponder more on what to do with the mysterious Tau race and the Geth, hoping that some of them would change their minds so they can actually make a decision.

Rael, however, knew that it wouldn't be. All the admirals were stubborn and convinced of their decision. Maybe Shala could be excluded from that, but she needed considerable proof to sway her vote in what to do. Of which neither Rael nor Han had at the moment. So, knowing the outcome, Rael placed himself into his work, which was making weapons against the Geth, if only to take his mind off of some things.

Sighing, Rael wondered what to do. What he should do. He wanted so badly for the Quarians to have their homeworld back, so they can stop flying system to system with no world to call their own and to build a home for his daughter on the homeworld. But at the same time, he wanted revenge against the Geth for killing so many of their kind so long ago and at the Tau for causing despair amongst his people for their alliance with the Geth. What was he to do?

As he thought of what to do, a subtle wave of shadows began to form in a dark corner of the room he was in. Within the shadows, whispers so inaudible that even if one was close to them, they could only decipher a few words from them, began to emit from them. After a minute of this, the shadows quickly dissipated, their task fulfilled.


Meanwhile


Ahriman watched as his shadows quickly left the room of that Xeno, laying the seeds of his plans to spread a bit of chaos to form against the Tau should the need arise. If all goes to plan, however, it would have made this act unnecessary, but then again, having contingencies was a necessary thing to have in case things go awry, which they almost do all the time. Plus, any plan involving the death of Xenos was good in his eyes.

A part of him was disgusted with the idea of working with Xenos, a relic of a bygone age, but he squashed it down. If all goes well, then this little conspiracy with Xenos will be nothing compared to his ultimate goal.

Just then, he felt the presence of someone in his mind. Knowing who it was, Ahriman exited the room he was in and began walking through the dark corridors of wherever he was in order to attend the meeting he was summoned to attend.

It was time to begin the process of selecting who will join which legion once again.