This is a one-shot about a crossover fanfiction I'm working on, it will start in Mass Effect 1, and it'll take time to develop to these kinds of interactions, but I hope I can keep at it. For now, here's a taste of things to come, enjoy the one-shot.

The gala Jane Shepard had requested Soter attend was already proving to be aggravating. He stood, his trans-human physique on display like some statue in a museum for women to fawn over, discomfort was written across his large, but handsome face. The suit was too tight, it hadn't been tailored, and was the largest size they could possibly get on such short notice. The suit's ill fit showed, stretching itself across Soter's titanic Astartes proportioned torso and arms. Women would occasionally approach him, giggling and asking him all sorts of questions, daintily holding thin-necked glasses of colourful liqueurs and spirits. Soter remained stone-faced and dour, these mortals did not entertain him, but he would suffer their presence, because Jane had asked him to, and because she did not do so on a whim.

When Jane finally deigned to approach him, in her long flowing, and form-fitting black dress, Soter could only feel relief, though he did not show it. She made it look casual, sliding to his side, not looking at him as she spoke, her mouth hidden by her glass.

"Enjoying yourself?"

Soter huffed, "no, if it weren't for the impending assassination attempt, I would not be here."

Jane frowned, glancing at him and lowering her wine glass, she'd hardly taken a sip, he approved; she needed to keep herself sharp now.

"Just know I would've invited you to come anyway, regardless of any attempts on my life, you are my friend Soter."

The Space Marine's lips pressed into a thin line, his violet eyes unreadable as he turned to look at her, meeting her own vibrant green gaze.
"You're a fool." His words were blunt and cruel.

Something akin to hurt flickered in her face, she cleared her throat, turning away. "Am I?" Her tone was light, she took a sip of wine, deeper this time.

Most men might have tread carefully now, then again, most men would not insult such a beautiful and dangerous woman. Soter also turned away, back to watching the crowd of fanciful guests.

"You are a mortal, I am-" he paused, picking, thinking, a butcher, an enslaver, a destroyer of mortals like you, then discarding whatever he meant to say, "-not."

He took a deep breath, his titanic barrel chest of sculpted muscle and bone seemingly heaving forever, breathing in far more air than should be possible beneath the tight suit, even for a human male his size.

"I did not lie, not once, I only ever omitted the truth, everything I told you about myself, about my legion, about the world I came from, it was true."

Soter turned to Jane again, she resolutely kept staring into the crowd, his eyes tracked the passage of her throat as she swallowed nothing. "Think on that."

There was a period of uncomfortable silence. As far as Soter was concerned the conversation was over, and he spent the silence considering the various attack vectors a potential assassin might have on Jane, from where she was standing. Eventually it seemed Jane agreed to put the talk behind them, as she barely whetted her lips on her wine, while her other hand began to fiddle anxiously with the metal, square cross necklace Soter had given her.

"Have you spotted anything?"

"No." He replied curtly, bluntly, "I do not like that we were forced to relinquish our weapons."

Jane rolled her eyes "I told you not to try and sneak a folded up Tempest SMG into the gala."

Soter did not bother to argue further, he felt no shame for his attempt, if she wanted him to protect her, and catch the would-be assassin, having a weapon would be preferable. Instead, he continued the conversation in another direction. "I fail to see why an assassin would target you here, it would be amateurish and unwise, there is too much security, and too many high profile targets."

Jane Shepard sighed, "normally I'd agree with you, but the intel Kasumi acquired confirmed it, whoever wants me dead will make an attempt tonight."

Soter grunted, the sound deep and gravelly, like the engine of a car, and not one of those nice hovering ones either. "Perhaps her intel is flawed."

Jane only glanced at him, a smirk curling at her lip, "perhaps... perhaps I brought you out here solely to torment you for my amusement."

Soter turned his head slowly to deliver a withering glare.

Jane parted her red lips and let out a quiet, but high laugh. Secretly, he was fascinated by the sound. "I was joking Soter! Relax."

His face softened, marginally. "I cannot do so, there may be assassins about."

Jane's eyes widened as she gave Soter a look-over, "did you just tell a joke?"

Soter's face hardened abruptly, his gene-forged eyes staring away into empty space, were it not for the glassy eyed look, Jane might have thought he was staring across the hall at all the mingling suits and dresses. "No."

He suddenly surged forward before Jane could comment, just as there was a sharp crack, and the air in front of Jane flashed with light, a halo appearing around her head. The looted Rosarius Soter gifted her saving her life again, it's conversion field instantly transforming the nearly invisible shaved projectile into harmless light. She reacted quickly, before the guests even began to process what had happened, throwing herself over the table behind and hastily flipping it over for cover, but another crack rang out, punching a fist-sized hole into the table, only to cease existence in another flash of light about a foot away from Jane's skin.

Soter had already soared across half of the vast room when the sniper's shots rang out, rushing for a suspicious security guard who'd drawn her Carnifex side-arm prematurely, her blue Asari eyes narrowed in a trained reaction as she immediately fired at Soter. The guests had already began to scream and run in panic and fear, as much by the noise of the gunshots, as by the trans-human dread that manifested in them when Soter began his obscenely fast sprint.

Jane Shepard scrambled away from the table immediately, rushing for a nearby column's superior cover instead, and trusting in Soter's Rosarius to protect her on the way.

The Asari security guard turned assassin had missed her first shot, having fired in reflex, but a her second shot struck the side of Soter's torso before he could close the distance. Soter's sprint did not stop, his body jerked slightly to the side as the Carnifex's powerful munition struck the interlocked plates that formed his ribs, he felt a plate crack on impact, but the round did not penetrate, nor did it halt Soter's momentum. The Asari's eyes barely had time to widen in shock, before Soter's heavy footsteps crossed the remaining distance, and he reached out with a large calloused hand. Long, thick fingers grabbed the front of the Asari's face before she could react, long enough to reach her head-fringe, then, Soter gave a deceptively gentle clench, there was a wet pop as the woman's skull broke, and his fingers were spattered with blood and cerebral fluid as they met amidst the Asari's mushy grey matter.

Soter's other hand had not been idle either, wrenching the fake guard's Carnifex pistol from her grip, and palming it, he rotated his body, his right hand slackening and letting the once disguised assassin drop, and his left hand raising the pistol's barrel to the second floor of the ballroom and firing immediately in one smooth motion, targeting the sniper assassin's head. Unfortunately, Soter was not experienced with the Carnifex handgun, combined with his reflexive shot, and the lack of his helmet's auto-sensor, the shot landed instead on the hidden assassin's left shoulder, shattering the bone and sending the sniper, a Turian, spinning like a top.

Having torn her dress at the knees to facilitate easier movement, Jane heard the third shot that day. She chanced a peak around the column, catching Soter, his right hand drenched in red, his left holding a handgun, as he took a sprinting leap and caught the edge of the partially overlooking second floor with one hand, his other hand placing the Carnifex sidearm between his teeth, before he used both hands to pull himself up. Jane saw the second assassin had either moved, or was down, and though there may be a third one, she took the chance to turn and sprint to the stairs leading to the second floor. Another security guard, a fresh-faced human man, a boy who looked just barely out of his teens was huddled in the half-shadow, clutching his sidearm as his eyes darted to and fro, searching for an unknown shooter. The young man might have accidentally shot the sprinting Jane Shepard, had she not reached him in time, her hand latching over his wrists in an iron grip, before her thumb pressed into a pressure-point, making him yelp in pain and drop the handgun into her other, waiting hand. Jane glanced upward briefly as she heard a ripping burst of fire reminiscent of a sub-machine gun, not unlike the Tempest Soter had attempted to bring hours earlier, followed by a scream of agony. The security guard whimpered, and her eyes shot back down to his face.

She narrowed her eyes at him, giving the man an intimidating glare, "Jane Shepard, human spectre, I'm borrowing this, and you will comply."

She left, leaping up the stairs three at a time before the man could finish nodding.

When Jane reached the second floor, she found Soter, standing still and calm, pinning a third assassin against the wall by his throat with one hand, the second hand was aiming a gun at the human man's genitals. The man's left leg was also noticeably bloodied, his knee was mostly gone, and the leg hung by a quarter that remained. On the floor was a bent and deformed M-4 Shuriken, its handgun-like form sporting finger-shaped dents, the polymers that form it cracked and broken. The sniper's corpse laid there also, pooling blood.

She approached from the side without saying anything, hearing the tail end of Soter's interrogation.

"It seems the loss of your knee is not enough to break you, unsurprising. I understand that the genitals are a particularly valuable and sensitive part of the body however..."

Jane was about to intervene, knowing the man would completely bleed out if Soter made good on his threat, and the intel about who was hiring these people would be lost, but she saw the man's mouth begin to froth with white foam.

Soter grunted with frustration, dropping the man and letting him slump to the floor as he choked. He knew what suicide poison looked like, though he did not recognize the particular substance.

"He's dead," Jane remarked rhetorically, before sighing with disappointment and anger, "cyanide, God fucking damn it!"

Soter shrugged, filling away this 'cyanide' substance in his thoughts, and still staring at the man's dying face while Jane shuffled behind him, looking over the body of the sniping Turian and picking up his Batarian State Arms Lightning Strike rifle. "I am not so good at interrogations or telepathy. I'm made to kill not... talk."

"The Turian bled out." She remarked, ignoring him and examining the sniper's corpse, the Carnifex had obliterated his shoulder, leaving his left arm hanging only by a few strands of blood-drenched muscle and sinew. However, as she flipped his body over with her foot, the true extent of his injuries became apparent. Peppering his torso where a dozen or so holes, tearing chunks of cracked and mangled flesh from the man's natural exo-skeleton. Evidently, the injuries came from the other man's SMG.

"Did you have to kill fucking all of them!?" Jane nearly shouted in irritation as she kicked the Turian's limp body.

"I didn't kill the third one, and the sniper was needed as a shield." Soter corrected obstinately, still seemingly deep in thought while staring at the suicidal, third assassin's corpse.

"I don't fucking care! Newsflash Soter!" She marched up to the Astartes, her deep red hair flailing as she gesticulated while he turned around, cocking a single eyebrow in that unfazed and infuriating way that irritated the hell out of her, for reasons she couldn't quite identify.

"They're trying to KILL me! We might not get another chance like this, we WON'T get another chance like this! What if-" Her tirade was interrupted as he placed a heavy hand on her shoulder abruptly.

"Calm down." Her red hair messily framed her flushed face as she stared at Soter in astonishment, a far cry from the done up style she'd been sporting before the attack. Jane gaped openly at Soter, "-you... you're smiling, fucking smiling-" she let out a breathy disbelieving laugh as Soter tried his approximation of a 'comforting' smile "-you never... and it looks awful!"

Soter shrugged, before involuntarily giving Jane's shoulder a bracing squeeze, he quickly removed his hand. "The adrenaline was affecting you."

Jane scoffed, "yeah, because our only intel just gargled his own spit and died, forgive me for being somewhat irritated" she replied sarcastically.

"I may still be able to extract information from him," Soter paused, staring at Jane, an intense, searching look had entered his gaze as he stared at her. Jane glanced back at him, doing a double-take, and then glaring. "Bullshit." She crossed her arms, "and stop staring at me like that, it's making me uncomfortable."

Soter did not look away, seemingly deep in thought, but he seemed to come to a resolute conclusion before she could begin to shuffle in discomfort, he glanced away, back to the cyanide-poisoned would-be killer. "I can extract information from him. You may not like it however."

Jane stared at him, confusion crawling into her expression, but she thought back to how many times Soter astonished her, she thought about Astartes and psychic power and the cruellest regime imaginable, and she thought about the even crueller trans-human madmen that sieged it. She thought about Soter the Space Marine, Soter the Iron Warrior.

"Okay. Do it."

At once the atmosphere changed as Soter nodded and briskly crouched about the corpse beside him, roughly rifling through the man's armour. He jerked his head to the cooling Turian "search him. I will need a knife."

Jane cocked an eyebrow, but complied, kneeling and putting her newly acquired sniper rifle within easy grabbing distance, in case they were attacked again. She began to pick her way through the Turian's clothing. "Here, found one."

Jane tossed a small, Turian-made switchblade to Soter, who caught it and briefly examined the weapon, grabbing the blade and testing its sharpness and feasibility. "It's serviceable."

Then, before Jane could remark on Soter's comment, he turned around and moved the human's corpse face down, exposing the back of his neck. His free hand formed a tight fist, while he dropped the switchblade to the floor and held the cyanide victim's head steady with his other hand, before his fist shot forward in a blur and there was a surprisingly loud impact, like a wet meaty thud, with the sound of something popping gruesomely in the background. Then, Soter grabbed the switch blade again, and abruptly plunged it into the assassin's neck, rapidly sawing the blade back and forth through thick tendon and muscle.

Jane gaped in surprise and slight disgust, "what the fuck are you doing?"

Soter grunted as the switchblade began to slip from his grip, lubricated by arterial blood.

"Extracting information, trust me." Then he stopped, pulling the switchblade out, before grabbing the man's head with his free hand, his knee pressed against the man torso. Without a single noise of exertion, Soter tore the man's head from the remains of his neck in a spray of coagulating blood, chunks of flesh tore free from his previously haphazard sawing, bending limply by bits of skin.

"Jesus Christ!" Jane reacted harshly, barely managing to keep her volume level, her teeth gritted and her eyes wide in shock, "at least fucking warn me next time."

Soter inclined his head in apology. "I needed his head, but I cannot extract the information here, I don't want any security or guests to stumble on us while I do so. I will wrap the head in his clothes, let's find somewhere out of the way."

Jane nodded, her face pale but carved from stone for all of its expressiveness, "I'll use the Incineration program on my omni-tool to burn his body, and the head too after you're done with it. I'd rather not have it become common knowledge that you're some kind of head-hunting psychopath."

Soter simply nodded as he finished tearing off the human assassin's suit jacket, and wrapping it around the decapitated head.

Soon, they circumvented the remaining security in the building, escaping through a side entrance before C-SEC could accost them for questioning, and managing to get into Jane Shepard's X3M air-car. After a short detour, they arrived at the Lower Wards, parking near a closed fast-food joint, before slipping into a series of alleys.

Jane Shepard leaned against the alley wall, watching Soter unwrap the head like a dark reflection of a present. He pulled out the switchblade, long since cleaned off with rags torn from the assassin's suit jacket, and with a visibly tight grip, jabbed it into the man's skull. There was quiet crack, and the knife popped through. Soter spent the next couple minutes opening the man's skull further, exposing his brain.

Jane watched carefully, her face hiding any feelings of disgust now that she knew what to expect.

"So, how are you going to extract intel from a dead guy?"

Soter finished his gruesome work, and met Jane's eyes with his own. "One of the many additional organs provided to me during my gene-forging is called the 'Omophagea', the Remembrancer, it is implanted into my spinal cord, and connects to both my brain..." Soter paused for a moment, a conflicted look crossing his face.

"Both your brain and?" Jane Shepard prompted, her gaze dark and searching, a dawning horror of understanding lurking in their green depths.

"... and my stomach."

Jane swallowed thickly, she felt something welling in her belly, and clenched her jaw to stave off any urges to gag, the smell wafting from the decapitated head did not help matters. Mind racing at the implications, she sought to divert her attention to alternative details.

"But-how, I mean-how does eating someone's uh..." Her gaze drew itself like a magnet to the ruined, bloody hole Soter had made in the man's skull, to the exposed grey matter within. Jane swallowed again.

"... Someone's brain give you their memories?"

Soter sighed, "I do not understand the full science behind it myself, I'm not apothecary, but the Omophagea is able to extract memory from genetic material, flesh and blood will work, but the brain provides the clearest information, the longest memories."

Jane horror did not dissipate, anger began to fill in, replacing instinctive fear as it always did for her. "Are you sure you want to do this? This is beyond fucking awful."

Soter gave her a hard look. "Would you not do the same? If you needed to?"

"Of course not!" Jane spat, immediate and enraged.

Something like disappointment entered Soter's gaze, something approaching disdain, something almost like regret. "Perhaps I misjudged you." The words were nonchalant, but to Jane Shepard, they felt like ice settling in her heart.

Her rage peaked, a tumultuous tidal-wave crashing through her as it always did, the same kind of anger that led from one decision to the next, that earned her the title 'the Butcher of Torfan'. Her spine stiffened, arms unfolding and fists clenching.

"I am not weak." Her voice was low, quiet, her eyes narrowed. "It was an emotional reflex. If such a thing was necessary, I would do anything, commit any act to defeat the Reapers, to save my species, to save this galaxy and everything in it. Do not underestimate my will."

Soter looked away, staring down the alley to the empty street beyond. "My apologies..."

"I'll watch the entrance, get eating." She ordered curtly, stalking off to the entrance of the alley. As Jane Shepard walked, refusing to look back, she ignored Soter's murmur. "... I never truly doubted you."

How was that? Please review of course, I'm eager to hear your opinions, and it gives me additional motivation to continue the fanfic this one-shot will takes place in!

There are a lot of things left unsaid in this one-shot, things meant to tease context and information about femshep and Soter's relationship, some things will make more sense in the full fanfiction.

Soter has some of his genefather, Perturabo's traits, namely, he is kind of a natural born cunt lol, and that's on top of being a post-heresy Iron Warrior (thankfully before Honsou's uh, space marine birthing "experiment"). The man's done some fucked up shit, though he never truly "fell" to chaos, like most Iron Warriors, he rejects the corruption of his mind, and any mutation of his body. Chaos serves IRON NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND REEEEEE!

All that being said, I'm thinking Soter is slightly chimeric, some of the geneseed zygotes used to grow his organs are actually Blood Angel, there's a whole story there, but suffice to say, while he isn't totally half-and-half, like Honsou's 50 IW/50 Imperial Fist split, Soter does have like a quarter of his geneseed being Blood Angel. This serves to make him a little bit more... nice? Less sociopathic is maybe a better phrase. He doesn't have the red thirst or black rage or anything.

Femshep isn't exactly renegade or paragon, she is a good person at heart, and can be perfectly merciful, but she is also a woman of extreme will, she isn't interested in pursuing Liara or Kaiden or some romance, she has a galaxy to save, and an ancient genocidal lovecraftian AI army to destroy! And she will do anything to succeed, because this is the most important mission of all time. She NEEDS Soter, needs his power, his brutality, his cold pragmatism and technological, psychic, and strategic abilities. In the process, Soter instills some of that Iron Warrior "cruel calculus of war" into her, and in return, she instills some of that "humanity" into him.