Author's Note: Not a lot to say right now, Read, Review, Favourite and Enjoy!

Chapter 89: Adek Part 2

09M 25D 10H Until the Colossus Fires

Shepard was running through the brush of the forest, carrying with her an alien she had been fighting and was now using as a shield, a Salarian to be more precise, whom she eventually slammed into a tree after breaking all four of his arms. Taking out a new hacking knife Shepard pressed the tip into the glowing light beneath the Salarian's skin and began pulling data on the item in question.

"It's a spinal implant, a mood balancer that would normally only be found in patients of an insane asylum. This one has been heavily modified."

The Fab AI explained bluntly.

"I could tell that." Rather than calming down the mentally unwell this 'mood balancer' was driving people insane. "Is this what they tried to put into us?"

"Micro scratches in the device in question indicates the presence of Nanotechnology." So in other words yes.

"Lovely." Shepard looked down at the suitcase and opened a compartment, a view screen with an Unbidden folded up into an uncomfortable position appeared. "What do you think the glutton? The Chatter box? This doesn't seem like something the Whore or Fatzo would come up with." Shepard could tell that mentioning the four psychic tumours by name seemed to make Wander uncomfortable, so instead she settled for insulting them whenever she wanted to talk about them. In lieu of answering Wander made an attempt to point behind Shepard. Immediately Shepard swung the suitcase with Wander inside smacking away another invisible figure. Lovely. "Invisibility works a lot better when you're not standing on the grass."

Indeed it was as Shepard described, the alien that had been sneaking up on her had been thrown across the lawn and was now in the midst of leaving behind an outline in the grass. Part of the grass was abruptly cut. Shepard moved at the same time that her invisible assailant charged at her, stomping down on the blade and delivering a kick to where the head was in the outline, a few moments later the cloak on the now dead Tzynn was dropped, it's neck bent at a bad angle.

"Unfortunately we don't have any convenient radar mechanisms that will allow us to spot invisible enemies trying to sneak up on us. They were smashed with the dragon scale armour." Shepard stated looking up at the air. "I could try to turn my psionics into sound and create a radar like what the Sathyrelians do but I should probably get a supply of protein secured first." Psionics was a very calorie intensive activity, before Shepard considers having strong and complex technique active all the time she needs to get some food into her belly first.

09M 24D 23H Until the Colossus Fires

For the time being Shepard returned to her ship, she had already begun to enact repairs on the ship. Fab had made several gourdes and were strung up around the area on a wire, if anything touched them they would make plenty of noise, if someone cut the wire a notice is immediately sent by Fab into Shepard's Grey box. Several drones had already been fabricated to strip broken and damaged components from the ship in order to recycle them in the fabricator and fix as much of the ship as possible and modify it to suit Shepard's current needs. Shepard was able to sleep through the night, though she had some degree of awareness of what was going on, the exact method she used was something similar to a dolphin, only instead of switching between using the left and right sides of her brain she instead relied on the use of her Grey Box when she slept, plugged into the ship's sensor suite she watched her surroundings in a state like she was dreaming and would wake up automatically if the base camp was invaded.

"We have a progress report on the ship." Fab informed in lieu of an alarm clock for Shepard who was getting up. "The meat from the predator has been prepared for breakfast, and I've finished scavenging the remainder of the broken components from the ship."

"Good work." Shepard made a languid stretch as she prepared to start moving the base camp. "Where are we on dismantling that 'medical implant?'"

Since yesterday, the Salarian was being kept inside of a drawer on the ship, his entire body restrained to make sure that he didn't hurt himself.

"The implant is 40% nanowire, grafted into the subject's brain. It can be turned off and reprogrammed but not removed without ripping through the host's brain, which is unfortunate for them since there is no Grey Box to reinstall into a new body. I could attempt to surgically disable the unit in question, if I was a medical program with access to the correct training." Shepard was about to open her mouth. "No the medical unit in your body will not be of help here. You are a heavily augmented human, this is a baseline Salarian." Well there goes that plan.

"Thorian then?" Shepard asked sounding curious.

"That should work, but it won't because it isn't working now." Fab explained bluntly. "He already has the Thorian inside of him, everyone does. We even fed him some of yours yesterday and he still hasn't recovered yet."

"Lovely." Shepard shoved the patient back into the drawer and locked it just in case. "And our other prisoner?"

"No signs of having attempted an escape yet." Wander had since been moved back to his original containment cell, that was the first thing to get worked over.

"Alright. So the plan remains the same as we discussed." Shepard had already gotten to work on the rest of the ship's repairs. "Where do we start?"

Fab had witnessed the ships getting dumped out of the airlock, and more important than that it saw where all the ships that had crashed landed, or could calculate the best guess. So with this in mind Shepard could start scavenging the other wrecked ships in search of materials and parts, in that order.

"To begin with we need to raise the ship to begin working on it. Mass Effect Jack would be ideal for this purpose." Which was pretty standard issue in most Citadel issued ship repair kits, simply lifting the entire thing up into the air on a Mass Effect field to enable easy access to the under carriage so that they can begin repairs. "I also have no doubt that you're brute strength means that you'll be able to drag over whatever parts we need/may find and install them onto our ship under my guidance but for the sake of stamina and efficiency we'll also need a Mass Effect pallet as well." Essentially a block of Omni-gel the size and width of a table top floating on a mass effect field that makes it easier to move heavy objects.

"That's all well and good. So is it going to be faster to make them or find them?" Shepard hit the proverbial nail on the head of their problem quite nicely.

"Of course it would be faster to find them, having everything we need in one convenient package and waiting for us would be the best case scenario." Shepard sensed a but coming. "The issue here is are we lucky enough to find such a thing?" Ah yes. Shepard's dreaded nemesis is back again: Lady Luck.

"Alright then." Either way their course was set. "Let's start with finding the nearest Union ship and stripping it for mats and parts."

They would find a Union ship, and either find the specific items that they needed in usable or workable condition or they would find the materials needed to build and fix them, then with the convenience 'ME Jack' and 'ME Pallet' they could start tearing down other ships for parts and other supplies and then bring them back to their base of operations.

"Speaking of which let's look for a place that's a little more secure than this place while we're out." Currently, Shepard had next to nothing invested in this ship or this location aside from a crude trip wire and some basic repairs: if there was a ship that was in better shape than this one then she would just secure that instead.

"Then let us be off." Fab stated in simple terms. "If we're lucky we shouldn't be gone for long."

09M 24D 20H Until the Colossus Fires

After a few hours of travel, Shepard arrived at her destination, a relatively small Council Ship. Everything that wouldn't be useful was tossed into a pile outside of the ship, everything that could still be useful was organised into a second pile, which was significantly smaller.

"The bastards hit the ship with a EMP when they swallowed it up just like ours." Shepard let out a complaint like that as she held up the ME Jack. "This is useless too." Shepard tossed the device onto the pile of scrap.

"No matter. We'll simply begin breaking down this material and repair the devices as needed."

Shepard began shovelling the junk items into Fab, they still had their priority items that needed to be made: the ME Jack and ME Pallet.

"While you're working on that what's the state of this ship?" Shepard looked over the ship.

"Too small to be a ship for war, I doubt there'll be any weapons either. I'd like you to check if there's a shielded AI on board like myself. If it's medical there's a chance we can assist the Salarian and the others."

Shepard had no delusion that there was only one person released into these woods with one of those devices implanted into their bodies. To this end Shepard needs a medical ward, sufficient shelter for all the people that they are going to be rescuing, and food and water for them too.

"I'm going to look for something to eat too." Aside from the technical side if they were going to be here a while they needed food, and Shepard couldn't just keep butchering the lizards for that, especially if she was going to be looking after others too.

"I'm going to go onto the ship, if we're lucky we can find something that only takes a few days to grow." There were trees around, so obviously the soil was suitable for growing plants even with whatever weirdness the four tumours put into the planet, with a bit of Thorian fertiliser to help the process along they should have a decent base camp set up after a few days of work from which they can figure out their next move.

As Shepard was thinking about this, several trees were abruptly torn out of the ground and thrown to the side, accompanied by a loud roar. Looking off to the side Shepard was greeted by the sight a huge monster, a giant hulking gorilla like brute with it's head twisted up with horns.

"No way...!" Abruptly, a facial recognition program activated inside of Shepard's Grey box, one that compared the face of the one before her, a Krogan, to those of her memories. To Shepard's if not surprise then incredible fury she recognised her, one of her 'kids' that Okeer had spliced together and gotten Shepard's help with making sure that she could function in society. "Okay." Shepard rolled both of her shoulders and cracked her fingers. "Now it's personal! Fab you still awake!?"

"Indeed!" Already the AI was looking through weapons options. "Give me a ship saw, a big meaty one!"

The Fabricator whirled to life, the sound of grinding making itself known and soon a weapon was assembled as Shepard ran out of the ship and grabbed hold of it. Krogan are not beings that die easily, let alone whatever this one is now, but Shepard was confident about one thing: If you take off the head, it will die. The Creature tried to intercept Shepard with a fist slam, who back stepped out of the way and jumped forward after the hand had already hit the ground. Grinding the weapon's gears the blade already tore into the opponent's throat, continued through the thick neck muscles and memory wire be before carving through reinforced bone taking the head clean off in the process.

"What do yah know: you're still moving." Indeed that was the case, headless and thus blind as it was the body was still blindly swinging it's arms around trying to maintain balance while looking for Shepard, or just blindly smashing. "I don't remember the Krogan having a redundant brain." Shepard heard that some Dinosaurs have a secondary brain in their hips that helps them to control their body, it certainly fits with the 'extra' theme of Krogan Biology. Shrugging her shoulders Shepard raised up her weapon into the air and slashed it down stabbing into the headless corpse of the Krogan before revving the engine and tearing through the guts of the Krogan in question.

Shepard went to the head of the girl she mercy killed, and after a few minutes of knife work extracted the Grey Box from within. Putting the Grey Box away Shepard put another timer on to snap herself out of a telepathic link before she spread a probing shot through out the entire area, and soon connected to dozens of minds that were hiding away.

"Well this is unexpected." A giant grotesque mass of flesh, and a multi-armed red skinned warrior appeared before Shepard. The mind palace was a broken landscape combining together The Composer's swamps with the Eater's desert.

"I didn't expect to run into either of you again." The Composer used his usual thick and glutteral voice to greet the other two.

"Yah know. I was just trying to get back home, maybe bring back some Intel on you losers in the process." Shepard's eyes glowed with a murderous glint in her eyes and her teeth grinding in anger. "But now. I'm going to savage you bastards until your own followers can't recognise you anymore!"

And then Shepard snapped back to reality. Aside from taunting the tumours the other thing that Shepard did was pin point the locations of the various followers of the Eater and the Composer in the area, and more importantly they know knew where she was.

"Sonar chip." Shepard ordered and at once a tiny device was spat out by Fab and Shepard attached it to her helmet.

At once the screen's settings changed as Shepard entered the grey scale environment, and was soon met with a familiar sight of a group of lizard men with arm blades approaching her. With a stomp of her foot Shepard picked up a Council issued machine gun and aimed it at the invisible creatures, a short burst fire tearing through each of them. Shepard put the gun away while the big one made itself known, a giant resembling a mummified corpse wearing a suit of fossil wood. The Ship Sword was designed to chew through the hulls of full blown ships, a few inches of stone and wood would not be an obstacle for the high frequency chainsaw. Shepard blocked the first blow from the giant with the flat of her weapon, before running forward and with a swing tearing through the leg of the alien monster. With a groan the fossilised corpse fell over on its knee and hands. With an overhead swing Shepard ran underneath the undead monster chewing through the body and ripping the poor bastard cloaca to Chompers.

"Do you feel better now that you've had the chance to vent?" Fab asked as it watched the severed halves of the alien's body fall to the sides.

"No. Get the equipment we need built. Make it so that we can drag this whole pile of junk back with us." Shepard wasn't building a ship to get back to Union territory now. Not until every cultist of the four tumours on this rock were dead.

"That's going to take a while. We'll probably get attacked again before I'm done." Fab explained as it none the less began putting the pieces together.

"No we won't." Shepard stated as she strapped whatever was good as a weapon to her body and went into the woods.

"I see I'll need some assistants while she's gone." A loud explosion echoed out as Shepard found her first victim.

09M 20D 12H Until the Colossus Fires

Five ships had been gathered together as makeshift housing, lightened via a ME Jack and carried there with four ME Pallets working in sync. The makeshift fortress was resting on solid ground as repairs were on their way, a hydroponics bay was set up inside one of the ships, where a Thorian mass was being kept surrounded by psi-dampening technology, including directly inside the Thorian itself. Corpses and excrement would be tossed inside and broken down into raw organic material, then reconstituted into an edible form of various different foods. A second identical set up was put into place in another part of the ship, featuring Dextro based food for the Turians and Quarians.

In a second ship, a Salarian was hard at work. It might not have been possible to remove the mood Balancing devices but given the correct expertise, something that say a Quarian or Salarian might possess, they could be disabled. Not everyone brought to the planet were part of the cults or had the insanity inducing devices implanted into them. While the Predators attempted to establish hunting grounds the Hedonists attempted to bring in more victims for their deranged orgies, the Trees and Squids on the other hand were too lazy and paranoid respectively to do the leg work, even then some people made better prey without the insanity inducers, such as the Turian soldiers.

A security perimeter had been set up around the area, anything that the expert snipers were able to see such as movement in the tree line or something tripping a security alarm was immediately shot, they had a limited number of true telepaths to sort through the incoming individuals, fewer still that had experience inside of the inner worlds of the four tumours and came out unscathed. For now anyone that showed visible signs of mutation were killed and if possible their Grey Boxes extracted and isolated, individuals who passed the initial test but had yet to go through the sweep were isolated where they couldn't hurt any one and were working to help get their base up and running anyway they could, taking apart broken electronics, providing medical expertise and giving and organising the information about the four Tumours and their cults.

"If you don't mind me asking-" Fab remained in the form of a fabricator, seeing no reason to choose a different physical body, it might consider something different if the Fabricator became unusable but there was something to be said about being comfortable in your own skin. "-why are you trying to gather information about the 'Four Tumours' anyway?" Fab was in an awkward position. He worshipped an entity similar to their enemy but he didn't want to put them into the same category, thus he too adopted Shepard's insults. "Some of the people seem to be getting concerned."

"A hypothetical if you don't mind Fab." Shepard looked up from her Datapad in her make shift work area as she spoke to her new associate. In-between Breaking down cult installations, screening the refugees, and the occasional attack she was reviewing the scriptures of the Four Tumours. "You are an AI, a being made up of information, or rather data, correct?"

"I don't appreciate the direction of this conversation but you are correct." Fab replied in the affirmative.

"To destroy you I would either need to A: destroy every vessel containing this Data that makes up your being or attack you with data in a different form, In other words a virus correct?" Shepard continued to explain before she indicated the miniature consoles in her hand.

"I see." Fab stated in simple terms. "You see these scriptures as the Four Tumours coding, thus understanding them means that you'll be able to find ways of breaking into said coding and making changes you deem agreeable." It was a logical if flawed plan, but one that had gaps in it. "Turning that around, these scriptures are also their viruses, by reading them you put yourself at risk of succumbing to them and joining their cults do you not?"

"No risks no rewards." Shepard countered in simple terms. "I've already been exposed to all four of the bastards, I've been inside their worlds, seen their histories and listen to them chatter on and on about useless mot, if I was going to start showing symptoms I would've by now, which either means that I'm immune, or the four Tumours haven't triggered whatever sleeper agent programming they left inside of me."

"Indoctrination. You mean to suggest that they've adopted tactics from their old enemy then." Which made sense, hell considering the fact that these things used to be Reaper's by all appearances they were likely tactics they themselves used to great effect. "Are you okay?"

"...My mind is filled with several hundred separate compartments, even I don't know how many, isolating pieces of my mind from each other. I've also had my grey box backed up. Considering that little episode I went through a while back I might even have a chunk of my soul bonded to it if my family decides to carve it out of me." None of which answered Fab's question. "The Thorian and Medi-gel flows through my body in equal measure, if I get injured I will be healed, if my DNA is tampered with I will rebel against the changes." That still didn't answer the question. "I know two things, until the moment I'm 'activated' I'm going to devote every fibre of my being to taking these blights on reality down. And second, even after I'm 'activated' I will use every means available to me to stop myself from helping them."

"Sir." A Turian came in the middle of Shepard's speech. "We have the explosives ready."

"Then let's go Ruin someones day!" Shepard cracked her neck and then got up to get to work.

09M 20D 09H Until the Colossus Fires

In simple terms? Shepard asked herself 'How can I ruin the day of the Four Tumours as quickly and as effectively as possible?' The answer was pretty simple actually. The Union was making regular runs against the world, poking them across various places and attempting to breach their defences. So far they weren't successful though they were able to pin point the two main points of defence that of course being the anti air weapons of the Gorthikians and the wormhole generation of the Gaian people, supported by a Tree of Life. Now does that mean that the Gaian's were the original source of the Tree of Life or did they merely adopt it from the Gestalt? That was hard to say, the point was that there were two hard targets to break and one or both needed to be brought down. The thing about them being hard targets however is that both of them were heavily defended, you would need a army to break through and that army would need heavy weaponry: and Shepard knew exactly the one she was going to use.

"You think this is really going to work?" The Turians had approached where the Sathylians had made there base of operations, or at least one of them anyway.

"Let's find out." The Second Turian had a familiar weapon out, the biotic guided crossbow of the Tzynn, and took great pleasure in sniping the enemy forces.

Adek was a powder keg, the best way to do some damage is to light the fuse.

Review Section:

Monster King: So you've told me.

RonaldM40196867: I mostly game online.