Author's note: Now that I'm almost done with Mass Effect: Inevitable, I thought it was time to get something new started! I've had this idea floating around in my mind for years, but couldn't really focus on it because of MEI. Hopefully now I can make it into something just as fun as that story has been to write.
This story is a crossover with the worlds of Mass Effect (ME2 to be precise) and KOTOR. If you haven't played either game, and accidentally clicked into this story, stop reading NOW because there will be many, many spoilers.
It's an absolute crime that there haven't been more Star Wars/Mass Effect crossovers, so this is my humble effort to try and fix that.
Also: I haven't been much of a fan of Disney Star Wars thanks to the mess that was TLJ, but one thing they did right was de-canonising Revan. For me, Revan has always been female. When they canonised her as male, Revan became just another video game action hero dudebro, which, to my mind, hurt the character and the fanbase (particularly the female fanbase) badly. So part of the reason I wrote this story was to showcase the new Revan – the one that is now one of the most awesome video game characters in history, partly because he or she is not canonised as one thing or another. Just like Shepard, who has one of the most loyal, diverse and enduring fanbases in history. I'm doing that by making my Revan female, to show the other side of the coin, and by adding to the sore lack of female Revan fanfics out there.
This story will have a female Revan and a female Shepard – but it won't be slash. There's a great slash story to be told there too, I'm sure, but I won't be the one to tell it. Instead, this will be the story of a great, strong female friendship – but it'll be a rocky one.
Don't worry, though, there will be romance in this story! I've got a few ideas for both Revan and Shepard, one in particular revolving around Carth and Kaidan having the same voice actor, but you'll have to read on to find out more.
If you're still reading, thank you! I hope you'll continue and I hope you'll enjoy it just as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
- Lara Jayd
She couldn't breathe. Couldn't speak. Couldn't move. It felt like the deck plates were shifting, collapsing beneath her, her legs were shaking so badly. She was so tired – they had just fought their way through what felt like an entire platoon of Sith soldiers and guard droids – but that wasn't all of it. She couldn't have heard him right. He had to be just trying to manipulate her, scare her into running away or – or something.
But behind her she could hear Bastila pleading for understanding and forgiveness. Carth was silent, frozen in one of the strongest stasis fields she had ever seen. And in front of her, Darth Malak was laughing.
The red emergency lighting deepened the shadows of his face, his metal jaw. He looked just as he did in her nightmares, the ones she would never admit to anyone but Bastila she had been having. Bastila, who she had trusted.
"I'm Darth Revan?" she whispered, forcing the words out though they were like knives in her side.
It couldn't be true, it couldn't. It didn't make any sense. Asha Ven had been a Republic soldier all her life. She grew up on Corellia, had a mother, a father, two uncles and an older brother who taught maths and history to ten-year-olds. She had enlisted at nineteen, and at thirty-one fought in the Mandalorian Wars. She had been good with a vibroblade, but she was just one among thousands of frontline grunts. She had been injured there. Her shoulder blades still ached occasionally, although it was nothing but a phantom pain now.
After her recovery she had chosen to transfer to the Republic boot-camp on Forthek as an instructor. She had been in the wrong place at the wrong time when her transport was attacked on its stopover at Taris – she hadn't even known Bastila Shan was on board. Asha had never shown a lick of Force-sensitivity until she met Bastila! But they had somehow formed a bond and she had gone to the Jedi Temple to train and she had been damn good with a lightsaber and – and—
She turned, swallowing her mental protests, and meeting those big, wide eyes. Guileless, she had thought. "Is it true?" she choked out.
The pity she saw in those eyes was almost as painful as the words were to hear. "I'm sorry."
Asha cringed back. She could feel it through their bond. It was the truth. "You… you wiped away my identity? My memories?"
"We had to," Bastila insisted, her earnestness so strong it was almost blinding. Asha slammed her barriers down on their bond, and the younger Jedi winced. "We couldn't take the chance you would remember who you were. That could have been… catastrophic."
Malak was still laughing, like needles in the back of her mind. "They were afraid of you, Revan. They knew that if you ever found out, you would kill every last one of them. Just like you want to right now."
So that was his plan. He wanted her to turn on them. "Shut up," she growled, unable to take her eyes off Bastila. Knowing his plan didn't help as much as it should have. Bastila was – had been – like the little sister she had never had. And yet… Bastila had betrayed her.
Asha had never felt so angry. It churned in her stomach and flowed through her veins like molten lava. "How could you not tell me?"
Bastila felt that anger too, Asha could tell. She was afraid of it. "I wanted to, but the Council refused to allow it. They said it wasn't worth the risk. I tried to tell them it would be okay," she insisted.
"Will it?" Asha snapped. "Will it be okay?" Her fury was energising. It felt like power. Strength to overcome him, and them, and anyone else who wanted to hurt her.
It felt familiar.
She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself, but calm was elusive, and her lightsabers were right there. She pulled them from her belt and ignited both with a satisfying thrum, the ridges cool and heavy in her hands.
"Yes, that's it," Malak encouraged her. "She took your mind, your memories, your very soul. She deserves to die."
Asha turned her gaze on him, the Sith Lord who had murdered billions on Taris and Telos. Who had turned on her, and tried to kill her too.
My former apprentice.
She shied away from the thought, and all it implied. I must have taught him everything he knows.
At that, everything within her rebelled. With a wordless cry she leaped at him, bringing her sabers crashing down against his hastily-raised one. She pressed the attack, her heart filled with fury. Anger and fear of what she had been, what she had created. Anger that she didn't remember any of it. She still wanted desperately to believe that it wasn't true, that Bastila was lying, but something within her knew.
She was Darth Revan, Dark Lord of the Sith.
She was winning. She slashed his shoulder, and his chest, and scored a deep gouge along a hip, but he roared in her face and she faltered for just a second, startled. That roar was deep, and primal, and full of something more than just Malak's own power. It chilled her to her bones.
That single second gave him the chance to freeze her in her tracks, entwining her in a prison of the Force, like Bastila and Carth behind her. She fought it, straining against invisible bonds, but the stasis effect was too strong. Malak ran through the nearest blast door, limping and clutching his side, and slammed it closed behind him. She had hurt him.
She screamed with rage. Power hummed deep within her bones, singing to her. She had to finish the job. If she killed him now, he could never hurt her – or anyone else – again. She didn't even think about what she was doing, just fed on her fear and anger to strengthen her connection to the Force. She drew on it mightily, fighting with all she had to free herself.
Bastila's presence in their bond was a dim, faint echo in the back of her mind, like a child screaming from across a vast chasm.
The stasis field broke with a snap, more felt than heard, and Asha charged after Malak. She slammed her hand up against the access panel of the door he had run through, only to find herself in a small square room facing another door. She ducked through door after door, certain she was going round in circles, and never caught a glimpse of him—
Until she opened the last one. There he stood, fully recovered and beckoning to her as the door slammed shut behind her. His wounds were knitted together in the brutal, ragged fashion of the dark side. All her work, undone.
But she couldn't stop and think right now. She was burning with hatred and her veins were singing with the sweet, heady power of the dark side. She threw one lightsaber at his face and darted in with the other, swinging low. He retaliated, flinging the first saber away with a gesture of his one hand while the other wielded his own saber to block her second attack. Lightsabers clashed again, and she called her other saber back to her hand, pressing the attack even harder this time.
But this time, it didn't go quite as smoothly. She had effectively already poured all her energy into beating him once. Now, despite the dark power she was drawing on, and the seemingly endless pain of betrayal she was feeding it with, exhaustion was catching up with her. He began to press his advantages – and he had many. Height, weight, strength, and sheer dark power. It was him scoring the hits this time – one nasty gash in particular along her right arm, shoulder to elbow, that immediately began to bleed. Her arm grew clumsy, and slow, and she had to divert a lot of her attention to supporting it with the Force because she couldn't spare the time to heal it. Her dodges and parries became closer and closer and Malak's eyes gleamed with foreseen victory.
He was going to beat her. Finally, he was going to finish what he had started when he fired on her ship. He was going to kill her.
If I'm really Darth Revan, would that be such a bad thing? The insidious whisper crept into her tired, addled brain.
Suddenly one of the side doors slid open and Bastila charged in, followed closely by Carth. "You haven't won, Malak!" she called, throwing a hand out and tossing him into the wall behind, then darting after him. She had caught him by surprise.
"Bastila, no!" Carth yelled, but before he or Asha could move, Bastila's hand twitched again and a door slammed down between them and the young Jedi.
It had all happened so fast. Bastila had startled him, but that wouldn't give her an advantage for long. Asha leaped forward, stumbling on shaky legs, and beat a hand uselessly against the door release. Suddenly, now she was faced with the possibility that the young Jedi who had become her closest friend might actually be killed, she couldn't stomach the idea. "Bastila!" she shouted. "Open the door!"
The shout reverberated through their bond, and Asha winced, shaking her head. "No!" she shouted back.
Carth didn't even look at her. He was crouching down, frantically pulling at the access panel and the wiring beneath. He slammed a palm into the wall beside it. "Dammit, I can't get it!"
"Try harder," Asha snapped, whirling on him. "We have to get through!"
"We can't," he snapped back, then sighed bitterly. He pressed a palm up against the door, more gently this time. "We have to go. She's sacrificing herself so that we can escape. So you can escape and destroy the Star Forge. We need to honour that."
"The hell we do! Malak will kill her!" But when she slammed a hand up against the door herself it was only half-heartedly. It was just like Bastila to pull something like this. Something noble and grand to prove her good intentions to the woman she had been lying to and manipulating these past few months. Damn her, but even with everything she had just found out, Asha couldn't hate her.
The hurt and anger that had fuelled her fight against Malak slowly drained away, leaving her… bereft. Bereft of any idea on what to do next, and bereft of her surrogate little sister.
"No, he won't," Carth said. "He'll want access to her battle meditation. He'll try and turn her."
She shivered. He was right. Bastila was strong with the light side of the Force, but she was also passionate, wilful and proud. Asha wanted to believe she would be strong enough to resist the pull of the dark side, but if she was honest with herself she wasn't sure how long the younger Jedi would be able to hold out.
"Come on." Carth turned away from the door and headed for the other one, the one that led toward the hangar bays and the waiting Ebon Hawk. "We have to go."
You cannot hide from what you once were, Revan.
Malak's words echoed through her mind, and Asha gripped her lightsabers tightly, as though they were talismans to ward off the truth. Her right arm bled slowly, forgotten.
"Shepard, get up."
"Come on Shepard, you have to get up now."
Shepard heard the voice dimly, echoing in the back of her mind. She grimaced, only half-aware. Something was beeping, and her arms and legs were freezing. She shifted, and gasped as pain rippled through her body. She was lying on something hard and cold, and the air smelled of medigel and antiseptics.
"Shepard, move! You need to get out of there!"
The urgency behind the voice registered this time and she forced her eyes open, blinking against bright white lights. Groaning, she pulled herself into a sitting position. The pain was all-encompassing but indistinct, seemingly coming from everywhere. With an effort she ignored it for the moment, taking in the hospital gown she was wearing, the surgical table she had been lying on and the medical bed next to it.
"What…?" she whispered, voice rough and scratchy. She coughed. Her throat was dry, and it felt like she hadn't spoken in a long time. Had she been injured? That would certainly explain the pain. She must have been, this was clearly a medbay. But it didn't look anything like the Normandy's medbay.
She sucked in a sharp breath, memories flooding back in all at once. The Normandy had been hit. They were evacuating, and Joker was stubbornly trying to save the ship. She had tried to save him, but fire and debris had been everywhere, and just as she was trying to get them both into an escape pod the enemy had struck again. A molten gold plasma beam had ripped through her ship right where they had been standing, and forced them apart. She had managed to seal the pod and fire its launch thrusters, knowing her hardsuit could support her for a couple of hours in deep space, but…
But what? What had happened next?
"Shepard, don't just sit there, we're under attack! Get up and get your weapons and armour on!"
She shook her head, feeling as though her brain was packed with cotton wool. "Who… who is this?" No response. Belatedly, she lifted one heavy arm and remembered to trigger the comm pickup behind her ear. "Who is this?" she asked again.
"It's not important!" The voice sounded frustrated. "I'm a friend. Get your weapons and armour. They're in the storage locker by the bed."
The sound of gunfire coming from outside the room was muted but obvious. She didn't have much of a choice. Gingerly she slid off the table, taking her weight on shaky legs. Her muscles felt tight, as though she hadn't used them in months; although the movement actually seemed to lessen her overall pain somewhat. She had to have been really badly injured. How long had she been in the medbay?
She limped over to the storage locker. As promised, there was a suit of heavy armour in nondescript grey, an under-suit in the same colour and a pistol. She pulled the under-suit and armour on as quickly as she could and cocked the pistol experimentally. It wasn't one she would have chosen to use but it seemed to be loaded with a thermal clip and in working order. What was going on—?
"Get in cover, I'm going to open the door. You'll need to shoot your way through the mechs outside."
Mechs? Confused and still a little dazed, Shepard staggered over to a low cabinet and crouched down behind it. She opened her mouth to ask about the mechs but at that moment the door slid up into the ceiling, revealing two of them advancing into the room.
Instinct took over. She aimed and fired, two neat head-shots, and their CPUs short-circuited. They both collapsed in piles of useless metal.
"Good." The voice sounded relieved. "There are more outside. Get out there and get in cover, you can't get trapped in the medbay."
Shepard got to her feet, only needing one hand to steady herself on the wall as she moved into the next room. Her strength was already coming back, which seemed strange for how badly she was hurting when she woke.
The room was large, some sort of waiting room maybe. It was empty, besides a few bodies in black and white uniforms sprawled haphazardly in different corners. A door slid open at the other end of the room, and she ducked behind a glass partition. A swift knock on its surface produced a dull thud. Good, it had been reinforced with something – platinum or titanium maybe – and should protect her from gunfire.
It didn't take her long to finish off the three mechs that walked out, and their shots pinged harmlessly off the reinforced glass as she had predicted.
"All right, get moving, Shepard," came the voice. "You need to reach—the… bay."
The transmission was breaking up as Shepard moved. She stopped and doubled back, tapping her ear. "What was that?"
"Get… zzzt—bay – save… zzzzt—don't… Shepard…"
Shepard swore to herself. Something had to be jamming the connection. She shook her head and turned back the way she had been going. Something was very wrong. If she had been badly injured, shouldn't she be in a hospital? This place looked nothing like one. There was just that single medbay; although to be fair it was very well-equipped. And why would a medical facility be under attack?
She took a few more steps, then broke into a jog. Her muscles were barely protesting now, and her balance seemed fully restored. What was going on? There was no way she should be able to run after just climbing off a medbay bed. What had the doctors given her?
She jogged into a corridor filled with offices, all empty and quiet. Terminals were still unlocked, coffee still steaming, as though they had been quickly deserted. She palmed the door to the biggest one open and stopped short. On the wall just ahead of her was a giant diagram of a human female body, showing muscles, nerves, joints, organs, everything – in minute detail. Right beside it was a lengthy list of vitals, including height, weight, blood type, eye and hair colour – all of which matched hers. It was labelled 'Lazarus Project'.
Lazarus – who had supposedly been resurrected by the messiah of an old Earth religion.
She swallowed drily. She must have been so close to death that saving her life had been like bringing her back from the dead. What had they needed to do? When the Normandy was destroyed, she had been tossed out into space, right into the wreckage. What if she had hit something and… and lost an arm or a leg? What if her heart or her lungs had stopped working and had to be replaced? She shuddered, grasping her right arm with her left hand. It felt totally normal. Would she be able to tell, though?
With an effort she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Letting herself come up with a thousand crazy ideas wasn't helping her get to safety and find out what really happened. She had to move on.
When she opened her eyes, though, they fell on a data terminal which had been hastily paused mid-vid. A dark-haired woman in white – a lab coat? She couldn't tell – stared out from the viewer. Hesitantly, Shepard reached out and hit 'play'.
"… Progress is slow, but subject shows signs of recovery. The major organs are again functional, and there are signs of rudimentary neurological activity. In an effort to accelerate the process, we've moved from simple organic reconstruction of the subject to bio-synthetic fusion. Initial results show promise."
It was the woman who had guided her out of the medbay, but that knowledge faded into the background.
Signs of rudimental neurological activity? Organic reconstruction? Bio-synthetic fusion?
Shepard shivered. She didn't understand what any of that really meant, but it all sounded pretty drastic. She must have been a mess.
With an effort she moved on, leaving the office behind her. She passed more offices, all empty, and was about to pass a viewport looking out into another section of the facility when it suddenly vibrated. She took an involuntary step back as someone in the same uniform as the bodies she had seen in that first room threw himself up against it again, banging on the reinforced glass-metal composite, mouth open as if he was yelling. The viewport only shuddered slightly, and all she could hear was a vague, muffled sound, despite the chaos behind him.
She watched in horror as uniformed people ran, screaming, from a huge, towering mech. She had never seen anything like it. It cut them down mercilessly, then turned on her. She flinched as it fired a missile at the viewport, but the reinforced glass-metal composite held. Stumbling a little and swearing to herself, she turned and kept going. There was nothing she could do for those people. What is going on here?
Finally she palmed a door open and exited onto some sort of viewing platform overlooking a small atrium. Mechs were attacking from walkways on the other side of that atrium, and they had a man in a black uniform pinned down on this side. He spotted her as soon as she entered. "Shepard, what the hell? You're not supposed to be—get down!"
The mechs had spotted her too, and were shifting aim. She darted across the open space between them and skidded to a halt in a crouch beside him. The movement was easy. "I'm not supposed to be what? Who are you? What's going on?" she demanded.
"We've got a bunch of mechs shooting at us, that's what's going on," he replied. "Shoot now, talk later."
Fair point. It only took a few minutes for the two of them to finish the mechs off. Once they were taken care of, Shepard stood. "It's later. Tell me what's going on."
The man sighed and got to his feet. "You really have no idea? I guess they had to wake you up early. No time for rehab or adjustment therapy or whatever else the docs were planning to do with you. Do you remember anything?"
"I woke up in a medbay with a voice in my ear telling me to get up and get out. Before that… I remember flashes of… something." Shepard shook her head as the vague memories floated back to the surface now she was talking about them. The black-haired woman and another man leaning over her, talking, but she couldn't hear what they were saying. A frail, almost skeletal hand – her hand? – raised, then taken by the woman as she ordered the man to sedate her again. "I don't know. I know I was hurt pretty bad. I must have been, to end up in a medbay as well-equipped as that one was."
The man snorted. "You weren't just hurt, Shepard. You were dead."
Shepard blinked. This guy had terrible comedic timing. "What?"
He was reloading his pistol and checking it for damage while he spoke, as if it was all just a battlefield report to a fellow soldier. "Dead. Deceased. I saw you when they brought you in. You were meat and tubes, Shepard. Meat and tubes."
What?! Shepard felt her stomach flip. He wasn't joking at all. Anger flared, mixed with a cold rush of fear. She grabbed the man's collar and shoved him backwards, hard up against the nearest wall, pressing her forearm to his throat. He wasn't particularly strong… or maybe she was just stronger? She didn't know or care right now. "What the hell? Do you think you're funny? Who are you?" she hissed.
He struggled, but got nowhere and she had the satisfaction of seeing a surprised flicker of fear in his eyes. He held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "Woah, Shepard, I'm sorry for being so blunt," he choked out. "My name is Jacob Taylor. I swear I'm not lying to you."
Fuck. He really wasn't joking. She took a breath, but didn't let him go. Blunt was an understatement. She felt sick. She was—had been—dead? This had to be some sort of a sick joke. But… if it was true… Who would… and why…? "What do you… dohere? What is this place?"
"This is Lazarus Station," he explained quickly. "I manage security here. I had nothing to do with whatever they did to bring you back, I just know that's what they did – bring you back. Everyone on the station does. That's why we're all here." He sighed. "Look, Shepard, I know this must all be a lot to take in. I really am sorry it's all coming down on you at once."
He sounded at least somewhat genuine. She relaxed her grip slightly. "Lazarus Station… What do you mean, everyone on the station knows about me, and that's why they're all here? This is a medical facility, isn't it? Am I the only patient here?" She sucked in a sharp breath. "Am I some sort of experiment?"
Jacob's expression was pity mixed with guilt, with a little fear thrown in. "I, uh… I don't know. Really. You'd have to talk to Miranda about that. That voice on your comm, was it female? I bet it was her. No way a bunch of mechs took her down. This isn't a hospital, Shepard, it's a purpose-built space station. They spent a lot of credits on it… on you."
"Who's they?" she demanded.
He paused for a moment, eyeing her cautiously. "Cerberus."
Shepard felt all her muscles go weak. She stepped back, letting Jacob go. Cerberus. She remembered what they had done to Admiral Kahoku, and all those other test subjects on Binthu. She was a Cerberus test subject? "How long have I been here?" she whispered.
Jacob was rubbing his throat. "Two years," he told her.
Her stomach rebelled. She rushed over to the balcony railing, leaned over and threw up.