For millennia humanity has fought with itself, countless wars, countless deaths. Over things as important as freedom and prosperity to things as pointless and primal as psychotic tyranny. Unfortunately, we decided to take that with us when we reached the stars...

-Timeline-

1969- Apollo 11 lands on the Moon, Neil Armstrong makes his famous moonwalk by uttering the memorable words. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

1990- The Hubble Space Telescope named in honor of Edwin Hubble, is launched allowing astronomers to see and document space more clearly.

2001- The devastating Terror attacks on the World Trade Center are conducted by the terror group Al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden. This causes many western powers to conduct a 'war on terror' and security tightened the world over.

2011- US President Barack Hussein Obama announces to the world Osama Bin Laden is dead. Wars in the middle east continue and tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine.

2014- Russia invades Ukraine and North Korea launches its third nuclear-capable missile.

2018- Tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, Kim Jong-un continues to launch missiles and make threats towards South Korea and the United States.

2023- tensions reach a boiling point between North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un launches a missile five miles off the South Korean east coast. In retaliation, South Korea and the US fortify the Korean DMZ.

2025- The Third world war is started when Kim Jong-un and his generals launch a surprise attack on the DMZ as well as launch a missile of nerve gas over the capital. They pushed as far as Seoul before the US and South Korean forces repelled them back over sixty miles pasted the DMZ. When historians review this event as to why Kim Jong-un would want to start a war, it was revealed he suffered from mental schizophrenia, many suspect this was a leading reason.

2025-2030- WW3 is fought on almost every continent to the point where almost every country fell under one of two banners, the NATO coalition or the Red Star defense pact witch comprised Russia, China, North Korea four-fifths of the Middle East and a handfull of baltic states.

2031- Officially all hostilities end with the War coming to a truce, the result of the war is catastrophic leaving the Earth scarred and millions dead. The emergency governments are dissolved and most governments agree to push passed the atrocities of the war and look onwards.

2050- With the partnership of NASA and SpaceX, the first Human to land on Mars is astronaut Janet Crosby who makes history of being the first human and woman on Mars.

2069- Armstrong Outpost is founded on the moon making it the first human settlement away from Earth.

2103- Lowell City is founded making it the first human settlement on Mars.

2147- scientists and researchers discover what is believed to be a new element on Mars. It has the ability to raise and lower the mass of an object as well as produce power. Baffled they name it element zero or eezo for short.

2150- Humanity discovers the remnants of an ancient alien Society, they discover the uses of element Zero. Nonetheless other than that few scientific and technological gains are achieved. But Humanity is ever paranoid that they might not be the only ones in the galaxy.

2151- The United Earth coalition is formed, a charter is signed by 20 of the largest and most powerful nations on Earth, and the UEC soon becomes the military, scientific and exploratory spearhead of humanity.

2152- Pluto's Moon Charon is discovered not to be a moon but a dormant piece of alien technology encased in ice. Once activated, it was discovered to be a gateway of sorts leading to the Arcturus stream where another gateway was found. It was concluded that the gateways were apart of a mass interstellar transit.

2153-The UEC's fleet strength reaches just over 400 ships. It is celebrated how far the UEC has come in a short amount of time.

2157- The first artificial intelligence is created, It showed incredible ability to adapt to the world around it. It's creator, renowned Scientist Christian Harper and CEO of Cyberfall Systems. Made history when the AI asked, "I'm I alive?" He responded, "Yes, yes you are."

2163- Horton Armory one of the top weapon producers and vendors to the UEC creates the MAC cannon or magnetic accelerated Cannon, it performs much like the older counterparts of the 21st century.

2172- It was voted unanimously that the Arcturus stream be made fortified so if any foreign enemies are discovered; Earth and the Sol system will not be left unguarded. Arcturus station, the 7th fleet as well as the newly created magnetic accelerated Cannon defense platforms stood as the guard to Sol from any would-be aggressors.

2183- Scientist and Inventor Richard Crocker invents the Crocker Slipspace drive. Witch works by creating a rupture between realspace and slipspace and is ran on eezo. This technological achievement is celebrated the worlds over and soon is installed in UEC Ships.

2190- What is known as the Fairan incident where the UECS Fairan's Crocker drive malfunctioned over the planet of Titan one of the UEC's Fortress worlds. The result was the ship exploding in orbit and millions of eezo particles are distributed through the air. This caused females pregnant at the time to have children with unique gifts, one would even call them 'superpowers.'

2200- over 15 colonies are founded outside of sol, thanks to the Crocker Drive only seven are within reach of the Gateways These colonies will soon become part of the inner colonies.

2215- AIs are commonplace in military and civilian sectors. They are given free will and see most humans as their creators, as such have no situations with working alongside and serving their makers.

2237-The UEC creates a policy of expansionism this causes dozens of more colonies to be founded in and out of the gateways. At this point with so many planets discovered and no intelligent forms of life, many wounded if Humanity was really alone out in the void.

2250- With the UEC at the height of its power and with over forty colonies founded. Earth and the inner colonies prosper while at the same time the outer colonies are treated as second class worlds and are given less than adequate resources and security. This results in a small 'depression' in the outer colonies and continued pirate raids.

2255- The mining and discovery of eezo are at an all-time low, witch ensures the eezo shortage of 2255.

2256-2257- Civil unrest occurs in the outer colonies. With the shortage of eezo, the UEC continues to put the colonies on the back burner while still expecting the same amount of taxation and resources.

2259- The first terror attacks in over 60 years are committed in the inner and outer colonies. This group had called themselves the Confederation of Outer colonies.

2260- The Union is broken when 4/5 of the outer colonies secede and fall under the banner of the Confederation of outer colonies. This results in martial law in the colonies still held by the UEC as well as heavy sanctions.

2263- The first Skirmish was had between UEC Navy and COC militia forces fought over a massive asteroid containing large amounts of eezo. COC delegates stress that it was mere space pirates who engaged the UECN, not the Confederation.

2264- Tensions rise when COC forces urge and underhandedly threaten outer colonies still loyal to the UEC to merge with the Confederation.

2265- Confederation militia forces attack the colony planet of Stellar as well as launch several Terror attacks in the inner colonies, including on Luna Earth's moon. In retaliation, the UEC declares war on the COC. This results in a civil war in Humanity.

Humans are Evil creatures no one can deny that. But we always find a way to adapt and overcome our obstacles, that's what makes us the Apex predator as well as a threat to ourselves and the Galaxy...

-XXXXX-

October 22nd, 2269

Colony of Hexa, City of Hyro

Captain Emily Ramirez sat in the captain's chair of the UEC carrier 'UECS HAMMER', as well as being a carrier it doubled as a command center for the battle group she was in command of. Accompanying her were three frigates, two cruisers, six Corvettes and three heavy cruisers plus various medical and support ships. Her battle group was part of four others similar in size all hitting the major contested areas on Hexa held by the COC, at least for now. Leading this whole Operation was Rear Admiral Chris Rogers.

She looked out the Bridge's viewport to see the heavy cruisers prowling ever closer to Hexa. Hexa the name picked by the settlers for the planet only having six continents, it was a beautiful planet about three times the size of Earth, we'll it was beautiful till the COC started a war that is. A smirk came across her features, not to mention the heavy cruisers already standard firepower that they were making full use of, it carried literal cans of whoop-ass. In each Heavy cruiser, we're 12 MK-80 orbital insertion vehicles or drop pods. Each could carry 12 heavily-armed and vicious orbital insertion Troopers or OITs. With three Companys worth on board the heavy crusiers, the insurrectionists were looking at over 400 OITs getting ready to rain down on the occupied city of Hyro.

The plan of the attack was to bomb the shit out of them from orbit with low yield MAC rounds and fighter strafes from her carrier, then to send in the OITs as the first wave and shock attack, then bringing up the rear was the hundreds of Marines that were going to mop up and reinforce the 'red eyes' or as the OITs were commonly called by their armed forces counterparts.

"Ma'm Flight lieutenant Rooker reports all fighters away, " One of the officers informed turning back to his console.

Ramirez spoke up, "Excellent I want continued status updates on the attack."

As Ramirez took a sip from her mug a hologram from a disk on her right armrest took form. It was an AI, this particular AI took the form of a woman wearing the standard uniform of UECN servicemen.

"Ma'm Rear Admiral Rogers wishes to speak to you."

"Abby finally decided to join us?"

The AI smirked, "Yeah thought you could use the company, it's not like I'm right here with you all the time..." she said sarcastically.

Ramirez chuckled at Abby's try for humor. "Yeah, ok Abby patch him in..."

After a few seconds, a man took the form of the Bridge's viewport. He was dressed much like herself in the Uniform of a Coalition naval officer, many ribbons and medals adorned his uniform.

"Captain Ramirez." He nodded in greeting.

"Admiral Rogers, sir what can I help you with?"

"I would just like to know if you started your assault? Status report if you will..."

"Yes, my fighters are strafing and bombing the AO as we speak."

A sly smirk came across the Senior Admiral's face, "My OITs are already making planetfall in my sector."

Ramirez shook her head and smiled, "well sir looks like I gotta play catch up cause my red eyes are still in hell's waiting room."

"Good luck Ramirez, make these bastards pay for Luna, Rogers out." With that, he disappeared leaving the viewport with the view of Hexa, once being a lush green world with life now burning. The various skirmishes between the COC's ragtag naval forces could be seen all around.

"Abby bring the OITs in...Let's get this party started.

"Yes, ma'am, getting the 'red eyes' in their tubes..."

xxxxx

"Alright, people listen up, as always we're jumping into hell. Our mission objectives are as follows, once we touch down we gain a foothold in Hyro make way for the Marines and support forces. Watch your fire and be on the lookout for civies..." Second Lieutenant Shepard gazed over his company. "Ok red eyes time to get our hands dirty, hoorah!"

"Hoorah!" came the chorused reply.

"To your pods!" He shouted as his company jogged out of hell's waiting room and to their assigned pods in the launch bays. He walked inside the familiar metal deathtrap and strapped in one of the Pod's jump seats as the other eleven of his platoon piled in.

One trooper with his helmet off took a seat next to him, he looked to find it was First Sergeant Alenko. "Hey LT, " he greeted putting his helmet on.

The Pod's door closed shut pitching the interior black for a few seconds before a red light saturated the inside.

Shepherd spoke up, "ready for another one First Sergeant?"

He looked up red visor meeting red visor before he chuckled, as they felt the pod shift and move toward the deploy tube. "Say how many stars do you have on your drop wings anyway?" Alenko asked adjusting his harness.

"Seven," Shapard answered.

Alenko shifted his head to the side curiously. "Seven, you dropped seven times?"

"Yup."

An automated female voice came over the pod's speaker. "initiating launch sequence."

Alenko punched Shepard's armored shoulder, "Looks like I gotta catch up LT."

"Launching in 5...4...3...2...1...Launch."

The MK-80 insertion pod launched out of the heavy cruiser at a high rate of speed. The g force took hold of Shepard like it always did, like a Python.

"separation complete, sixty seconds till insertion point"

He did indeed hate that part, once the pod evened out he turned his helmeted head to look out on the stars. They were so beautiful, mysterious who knew what was out there? He chuckled to himself but here we are fighting ourselves.

He saw the wreckage of fallen space ships UEC and COC alike.

"Stand by, entering atmosphere, twenty-five seconds till insertion point."

He looked out again and saw fire surrounding the pod and itching at the viewport. He saw the massive craters in destruction the MAC rounds caused. buildings and structures falling apart, the sky had a red overcast of smoke and Fire.

Yeah, I'd say we're jumping into hell alright. Shepherd thought as the boosters fired decreasing the pods decent.

"Impact In 5...4...3...2...1...Impact."

The pod slammed down into the earth, the shock quickly wore off the troopers as a green light replaced the red and the pod's pressurized door shot outwards with an almost deafening Bang.

"Come on move!" Shepard shouted as the OITs filed out of the pod and spread out amongst the rubble and buildings.

Other Pods hit near and around them, Shepherd took a second to notice they landed in the middle of a shopping center in the city. The various shops once containing goods and services now on fire and most in shambles.

Rounds hit near and whizzed over their heads. The COC militia forces were putting up a hell of a fight. Shepherd looked around the corner of his cover and saw a group innies taking potshots at them on top of a building. He primed a frag grenade then tossed it.

The explosive hurtled through the air and landed feet from the insurrectionists. It exploded sending them screaming in agony.

He looked to the side of him where he saw one of his platoon blind firing over their cover. He slapped him on his armored shoulder, "come on trooper push up!" The OIT nodded and took off further down the hell torn street. Shepherd stood up from cover and continued firing, "Come on everybody, push! Don't get pinned!"

The troopers heeded their lieutenant's orders and pushed up. The platoon-sized group carved their way down the street until they reached a group of buildings. With now more OITs from the company pushing with them, they dug in among the destroyed shops, vehicles and various rubble to create a firing line.

Shepard stacked up with three others on what was left of a building's wall, one of them leaned his head out to take a look at where the innies were firing at them from. Not a second after the OIT peeked around a distinct shot ring out separating itself from the other gunfire going on around them. The high caliber sniper round pierced the helmet of the OIT, the trooper went stiff before dropping to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

"Sniper, we got a sniper!" someone yelled out.

One OIT looked down the street at a particular building, but before he could say anything, a round pierced his throat. The trooper out of reaction dropped his rifle and clutched his hands around his neck. He fell back gasping and choking on his own blood.

The volume of fire slowly died off on the UEC side of the line, except for the few potshots and blind firing, most OITs stuck to cover. Yet another shot rang from down the way this time impacting on a trooper's armored shoulder. "Ahh, son of a..." The OIT leaned back on his cover examining his wound.

"You good bro?" Asked one of his comrades.

"Yeah man, the round just embedded itself in my armor, god damn that stings." He said rolling his shoulder.

The trooper being a wiseass to break the tension joked. "Ha, you lucky son of a bitch, if it wasn't for your armor you would have to learn how to jack off with your other arm!"

Various chuckles and laughs sounded as more rounds from the COC sniper and soldiers continued to pound near and around their cover.

Half chuckling himself Shepard, adjusted his rifle sling. 'Heh, crazy bastards, even when a sniper has us pinned someone manages to crack a joke. Well, they say whoever joins the OITs either has a death wish or is completely insane. Still, don't know which I am yet.'

'CRACK!' Shepherd was pulled from his musings as another round from the bastard hit close by. "Ok people I want covering fire downrange, you're going to cover myself and two other lucky fuckheads as we make our way into some of these buildings." Shepard stood, "so who's coming with me?"

Before anyone could 'volunteer' their helmet radios buzzed to life. "Lieutenant Shepard this is prophet, that's a negative on you taking point. You're the highest-ranking officer we have on the ground in that sector, advising you send your company first sergeant, how copy?"

Shepard cursed under his breath, of course the brass were monitoring officers on the ground like himself. "Yes sir, I'll send Alenko to deal with our sniper." Shepherd made visor to visor contact then Alenko made a dead sprint to him. He slammed next to Shepherd then checked his ammo counter.

"I got this LT..." He looked over at a group of huddled troopers. "Walkens, Yong, upfront!"

The troopers one by one stacked up behind Shepard and Alenko. "Ok people, we're going in through that building across the way then flank that damn sniper and route him out, hoorah?"

"Hoorah..." they acknowledged.

Shepard nodded, "ok people standby...wait for my command." Shepard made ready and took one last look behind him to the other troopers. "Covering fire!"

He leaned out and fired a magazine's worth of rounds as the volume of fire picked up from the others. He leaned back behind the wall and began reloading, "GO GO GO!"

Alenko and the others sprinted toward the building, one jumped just as a round hit near his foot kicking up dust. Still, on a full sprint, Alenko kicked the door in with a swift motion, with that the three OITs filed in.

Shepard nodded to himself, 'good If I trust anyone with this it's Alenko...' he looked back to the other troopers they were still in cover ducking their heads ever so often as a round hit.

"Ahhh!" A trooper fell clutching his armored chest, "m-medic!"

"Damn..." Shepard cursed as he risked another glance. 'definitely using high caliber ammunition, most likely 14.5 caliber, damn nasty round...'

'CRACK!' another round went flying in their direction...

The medic got to the trooper who was going into shock, he unfastened the clips holding his chest armor then stuck a bio-foam canister in the man's wounds, he screamed in agony as the life-saving foam packed and filled his wound.

'Come on Alenko...'

-XXX-

The Innie soldier struggled In Alenko's hold, his pained and labored gasps growing weaker by the second. The COC soldier clawed and grabbed at his visor. Tired of battling Alenko turned his opponent's head up and sideways, a vicious crack sounded and he broke the man's neck.

"Uggh, " Alenko threw the corpse off him then stood.

He heard grunts from the other room, he picked up his rifle and held it tightly to his chest.

"oof..uh, you son of a bitch!" 'CRASH!'

He rounded the corner to find Yong fighting with an Innie.

Before he could raise his rifle Yong sidestepped the innie and took him to the floor. Yong drew his pistol and fired twice.

Alenko took a moment to survey his surroundings, "Yong you good?"

He breathed heavily, "I'm up sergeant, but Walkens is KIA sir... got killed in the other room..."

"Damn, fucking innies got the drop on us...nothing we can do now, come on we still gotta take out that sniper."

Yong nodded, "took his tags sir, poor bastard."

Alenko shook his head, "we'll mourn him later, we gotta move..."

The OIT pair moved down the hallway methodically checking each corner and doorway. Ever so often they could hear the distinctive sound of a sniper rifle discharging.

'CRACK!'

They were on the door now, "Yong when I open the door toss a banger in their copy?"

Yong nodded as he pulled the flashbang device off his utility belt jerking the pin.

Alenko counted off his fingers till zero and pushed open the door. Yong threw the flashbang in the sniper's nest.

'BANG!'

They busted in and pumped rounds in the Innie sniper.

"Left clear!" Alenko shouted clearing his sectors.

"Right clear..." Yong moved towards the dead sniper and kicked the high caliber rifle away. He radioed Shepard, "Lieutenant Shepherd enemy sniper is KIA."

A few seconds passed before he responded, "outstanding corporal, the rest of the company, as well as elements from others have formed up and we are now Oscar Mike, I want you to commandeer the enemy weapon provide overwatch on our approach to the city's square how copy?"

"Yes lieutenant we're on it, You heard him, Yong, let's move," Alenko instructed picking up the rifle and some ammunition to go with it.

The duo moved to the stairwell of the building and ascended three more floors before coming out on the rooftop.

UEC fighters screamed overhead as they stepped out.

"Hey, there they are..." Yong said pointing out a fierce firefight going on a couple of blocks away from them. Alenko propped the weapon on the edge of the roof and zoomed in while Yong chained the door shut and took a knee next to him, using his helmet's zoom function to act as Alenko's spotter.

Alenko saw his company of OITs, as well as others, pushing up the road to the square, an innie MG was raining hell on them. He zoomed in and placed the crosshairs on the helmeted MG gunner and fired.

The bullet rang out and traveled to its target, unfortunately for the innie, the helmet he was wearing wasn't designed to withstand a 14.5 caliber round. The round pierced the helmet and went through flesh, bone and brain matter before exiting out the other side. Now dead the COC Soldier slumped over the MG but before Alenko could notice he was zeroing in on another target.

While he was sniping Yong was looking for other combatants that were giving his comrades hell, that's when he saw an APC roll-up. "Aw shit, we got an APC 11 o'clock..." The vehicle's 20mm cannon opened lose and lit the OITs up as they scrambled for cover.

COC troops filed out of the APC and advanced.

'CRACK!' Alenko fired continuously trying to staunch the flow of enemy troops.

Yong radioed Shepard, "Lieutenant Shepherd be advised, we got an APC your direct front. It's tearing us up down there..."

'CRACK!'

"Copy corporal, do what you can for now... I'm gonna see what I can do, but we're currently pinned down."

Yong cursed as he saw more of his comrades get torn apart and mowed down by the 20mm.

Alenko stopped to reload, "I hope Shepherd has a plan for this..."

-XXX-

To say Abby was a multi-tasker would be an understatement. Being a UEC artificial intelligence was hard work. At any one time, she helped control the UECS Hammer, be captain Ramirez's personal Yeoman, be in charge of weapon and shield systems, and monitor radio chatter in the area of operations, those were but just a few things she did at one time.

Abby focused on the battlenet when she heard a transmission to the Hammer itself. Before one of the Hammer's officers could take it she patched it though, certainly a transmission straight to the carrier itself had significance.

"This is Lieutenant Shepard of the 122nd OITs Bravo Company, we are currently pinned down by a large enemy force and a hostile APC, requesting assistance from the UECS Hammer do you copy...?"

"We copy you, Lieutenant, I currently have two pods of humanoid combat mechs, HCMs on standby, deployment of a MAC round or any equivalent would be disastrous as you are in kill range, and all fighters and bombers in the sector are currently engaged. Where are you currently engaged in?"

"Sector 4, grid line 772..."

"Very well I just need the green light from the captain how copy?"

She heard the distinct sounds of rounds landing near the OIT before he responded. "Copy...uh, damn! Just get em deployed we're getting slaughtered down here, Shepherd out."

Not a second later Abby appeared on her disk near the Captain. "Ma'am we have a request to deploy our HCMs on an area with a high saturation of hostiles." Abby pulled up the HUD display of the OIT lieutenant. It showed him and his company fighting furiously against the COC forces.

Ramirez put a finger to her lip, "yeah looks like they need some reinforcements, it will be a while before the Marines can deploy...ok you have my authorization."

Abby nodded, "yes ma'am, I'll assume control of the units..."

Ramirez shook her head as she let out a small chuckle, "must be Shepard again, not the first time I pulled his ass from the fire..."

Not a minute later two pods of HCMs were launched and hurtling down to the surface of Hexa.

'Initializing'

'All_systems_normal'

'Weapon_systems_online'

'Health_100%'

'Status_green'

Abby's view screen came online overcast by a red tint, various information and code came across her screen. She was now in control of one of the HCMs with the rest of the HCM platoon being controlled by their individual VI systems. She looked to the side out the pod's viewport they were nearing the surface.

Her pod landed on a three-story building while the other landed just dozens of meters from the OIT's firing line. The pod's door shot off and the mechs stood from their platforms grabbed their weapons and walked out.

Abby climbed out of the pod and while the others jumped down and started to engage the COC forces, she took a moment to survey the battlefield.

She scanned around identifying multiple targets one of which stood out. The COC armored personnel carrier, it was now focusing on the HCMs that were running at it mowing some down in the process. It occurred to her that it was the prime target, and she intended to eliminate that target. With that, she jumped down into the Fray.

-Codex-

MK-80 orbital insertion pod (OIPs) - The concept to deploy troops to or behind the front lines hasn't changed very much from its conception during the 2nd World War. The mark 80 is a versatile way to rapidly deploy troops for reinforcement or shock and awe tactics. It is most common for pods to be deployed for orbital drops on planets, but they have been known to be capable to board enemy ships. They are commonly deployed from heavy Cruisers, each Cruiser can hold 12 pods making each Heavy Cruiser capable of holding a company of OITs, with the pod being capable of containing 12 occupants.

Orbital insertion Troopers (OITs) - These specialized Troopers are hand-picked from the UEC Marine Corps, UECMC. They undergo brutal and rigorous training that makes them basic to proficient in almost any situation. They are one of the most common of UEC Special Forces. The OITs have distinguishable armor and helmet that has given them the nickname of 'red eyes, ' on account of their helmet's visor. They are trained in counterterrorism, ship boarding, and rapid assault. There are specialized units in the OITs such as sniper teams, demolition and heavy weapons experts, Recon variants and spec op variants.

~AN~

Hello, this is my first Mass Effect fanfic, I want to clarify that some of the science in the story might be wrong. I would like to be corrected in the mass effect lore and science if it doesn't make sense, or it's too farfetched. Note however I'm not trying for 100% accuracy, please leave reviews and suggestions for future chapters. I want to become a better writer, thanks.

Dark Ranger