For those of you asking, no. I don't have the old story anymore. It's gone. Poof. It's in fanfiction heaven right now.

Flavius Vakarian paced back and forth across the control center, C-Sec officers running around, some running to terminals to help coordinate traffic, others running into the locker rooms to armor up, others still pouring out of the armory, mass accelerators stowed safely on their backs, but the old turian knew that each weapon had been checked and was ready for action.

C-Sec was the only military organization in Citadel space to consist of multiple species. As it was, the men and women lining up in front of him were predominately turian, though there were more and more humans every year. A few asari and salarians rounded out the group, but typically only provided specialty roles, techs and biotics when it came to force application.

A veteran of the turian military, Flavius couldn't deny a little, bias, when it came to the human officers in his command. Though he had long since served his mandatory term and taken his family to the Citadel by the time of the Relay 314 Incident, he still had plenty of friends that served. Savages with primitive technology, and cowards that couldn't stand a straight up fight with the Hierarchy. From what the eldest Vakarian had seen during his time as Executor of C-Sec, he was having a hard time finding truth in those words, but first impressions were hard to overcome.

Finally, the men and women assigned to this little… excursion, were all lined up, ready for his briefing.

"I'm sure none of you know why you are here," the old turian began, "I'm sorry but it was necessary."

His eyes raked across the forty C-Sec officers in front of him, meeting each of their eyes, lingering a second longer on one particular turian than all the others, "One hour ago, one of the defense fleet cruisers were running the perimeter on the opposite side of the Citadel from the relay when they picked up a massive radiation spike."

Flavius gestured to one of the techs working the vidscreen. The image changed from the status of the defense fleet to the pinkish purple expanse of the Serpent's Nebula, offset by the truly massive, and truly alien shape in the middle of the picture.

"They found this at the source."

Expectedly, the assembled officers shifted nervously. The image super imposed turian dreadnought over the image for scale, it was a laughable difference in size.

"This vessel is giving off massive amounts of energy, nearly twice the standard dreadnought mass effect drive would allow, but as far as we can tell it has no barriers, no mass accelerator cannons, and no mass effect drive," the Executor gestured to the tech again and the image changed to a close up taken by the cruiser's fighter escort.

"The vessel does show signs of damage, but not nearly enough to have been disabled. Attempts at communication have gone unanswered."

Another nod to the tech and the screen changed again, showing an image of the alien vessel's hangar bay, and the dozens of corpses lying inside, "All signs point to the death of the crew. Combat suspected but not confirmed."

The screen changed once more, this time showing a Citadel Defense Fleet frigate, turian design, turian crew, the diagram showed the small ship docking inside the massive vessels vacant hangar bay, "You will board at the middle of the ship, split into four teams of ten, you crew assignments will be handed out momentarily."

"Alpha team will head to the bow of the ship, conventional wisdom would put the bridge there, but this entire situation goes against conventional wisdom, so just keep your eyes peeled."

"Bravo team will push towards the stern, Our hope is that you'll run into the engine room, but again, we can't be sure there is an engineering deck."

"Charlie and Delta will remain in the hangar, ready to move to assist either Alpha or Bravo while simultaneously setting up a control center should we encounter hostile forces."

Flavious stopped and once more made eye contact with the forty C-Sec officers standing in front of him, "I'll be honest, this is a bad situation. You'll have no idea what to expect over there. Something killed the crew… It might still be there. Stay alert."

With that the forty men and women broke up and started for the docks, one turian lagged behind for a few brief moments. Flavius made eye contact with his son before giving the young man a curt nod and turning towards the vid screen.

It pained the old turian to be so distant with Garrus, but his son would come to appreciate it in time. Turian's believed in merit, it wouldn't do for the others in C-Sec to see even the slightest bit of favoritism. The Executor just hoped it wouldn't cost him his relationship with his eldest child.

Sergeant Vakarian took comfort in the weight of his Banshee assault rifle, even if it was a Spirit's forsaken standard issue. Not for the first time Garrus wished he had taken the SPECTRE training that he had been offered. Then he could be equipped with a gun of actual quality, instead of the lumps of plastic slapped together by the lowest bidder. Even becoming a merc would have given him the option of at least choosing his own weapon.

Still, looking at the scene before him, the former marksman couldn't help but take some comfort in the feel of the weapon.

"What could have done this to them?" a human officer, a smaller tan skinned female asked with disgust and fear clear in her voice.

Garrus shared her feelings. Aliens half again as big as krogan were lying in piles, surrounded by pools of multi-colored blood. One of the salarians had already classified the bigger reptiles as saurian. There were other species mixed in, the majority of which were short, but surprisingly large methane suckers. A quick glance and the turian could tell they were probably quite a bit more useful on the battlefield than any volus.

The wounds that had lead to the necrotic state of their hosts were… unsettling. It was clear the aliens used some sort of directed plasma as a weapon. An advancement that put their weapons miles ahead of any Citadel race, but none of the aliens had died from plasma burns. Forensic patterns were clear even to the naked eye. Whoever killed these creatures used ballistic weapons. Big ones.

"Interesting," the lone salarian on Alpha squad muttered as he inspected the gory mess that was likely once the head of an avian alien, "Pattern of fracturing suggests exploding rounds."

A turian huffed, "What's so interesting about that? Those mods aren't as rare as they used to be."

"Interesting because the round exploded after penetrating the head," the amphibian explained, "Very difficult to do with a common mass accelerator, would need individualized bullets, constructed carefully to penetrate armor, then explode inside the target."

"A little extreme…" the same turian mumbled as he looked around the hangar bay, looking for any signs of movement beyond the teams of C-Sec officers pouring out of the small frigate that managed to squeeze inside the massive ships fighter bay.

The salarian was poking the corpse of one of the giant reptiles with some sort of tool, "Perhaps necessary. Muscle tissue of saurian as dense as concrete. This alien could likely throw a krogan around like a toy while shrugging off hails of gunfire."

"They aren't that indestructible," an asari pointed out, gesturing to the piles of corpses, "Something killed all of these things."

A human looked around uneasily, "I wonder if it's still around…"

"Quiet," Sergeant Vakarian ordered, "Alpha team, we're moving, grab your gear and get in formation!"

The officers weren't total military, but they were the best the peacekeeping force could offer up. If the Council had been willing to sit on this discovery, they could have afforded to wait for a specialized turian military squad to board and secure the ship. Or STG could have sent some operatives, Spirits, Garrus would take some asari commandoes to come in here and screw everything up. He'd been on this ship for approximately twelve minutes and it was already getting to him.

Vaulted purple ceilings, strange, advanced looking fighters and gunships, and piles of monstrous corpses. The hangar deck was not a fun place, maybe the rest of the ship would be better.

"I'm gonna be sick," the asari on his team, Rhea, exclaimed at the sight before them.

The salarian, Desh, hissed a breath through his thin lips, "The attackers were thorough."

Garrus kneeled over the cadaver of a very decorated saurian, looking at the odd angles the gold plated limbs bent, the elaborate head dress twisted at a highly inadvisable angle, "Hand to hand combat. Whatever did this was strong."

Desh nodded rapidly, "Have to be, physical structure of alien provides few weak points. Wonder how many invaders?"


"… what?" David, one of the humans with his group, asked incredulously. His shock was not a lone aberration to Garrus' analysis.

"What could kill these things by itself?" A turian from the back of the group asked, sweeping her rifle around in the brightly lit corridor behind them.

A human female, Sarah, if Vakarian recalled correctly, was looking around the room. The turian could tell she focused closely on the positions of the body and the destroyed equipment that had once served a purpose that Garrus could only guess at. She then leaned over to inspect the warped chest plate on one of the bird like aliens.

Apparently having reached her conclusion, Sarah looked up to the Sergeant and stated her opinion, "Biotics."

Desh agreed, as did a shorter turian male, "The only thing that could have done it. Damage seems consistent with biotics as well."

"No, this was purely physical combat from one highly skilled and highly dangerous individual," Garrus began correcting them, "The firing patterns from the aliens are scattered, but after the initial burst at the doorway, they never focused there again, suggesting that only one attacker came through."

The detective pointed to the twisted joints of one of the little methane suckers, "Obviously, all of the aliens died from physical trauma not consistent with conventional weapons.

Then he indicated the warped chest plate, "But the damaged armor is not entirely consistent with biotics. Mass effect fields would have affected more than the target alone, but there's no identifiable damage consistent with biotics on anything else in the room. Not to mention the four knuckled fist print in the chest plate."

As expected, the revelation did little to calm the team down, "No survivors here, let's keep moving."

"Bravo team check in," Garrus spoke through the comm.

Alpha team was standing in front of a window showing an absolutely stunning view of the Serpent Nebula cast against the superstructure of the massive vessel. No bodies in this area of the ship, at least none of the aliens had been slaughtered in their sleep, though Garrus did admit, he was slightly jealous of the living quarters afforded what he could only assume were the higher ranking officers of this ship.

"Bravo team, do you read?"

Still no answer.

"Charlie, status."

"Charlie Lead here, Alpha Lead," a flanged voice said over the comm, "We're still holding position in the hangar deck."

"Copy, have you heard from Bravo Team?"

"Negative, Sergeant Vakarian," Charlie Lead replied, "Sergeant Sonora hasn't checked in for over an hour. I ordered Delta to go find them, but haven't heard any-"


Garrus blinked at the proclamation that had come over the comm, and listened carefully as Charlie Lead accidentally broadcast the ensuing situation…

"Get to cover, weapons hot! Do not fire first, could be Bravo or Delta."

"I don't think so, five contacts, coming from a different entry point."

"Spirits damn it, shift positions, target that-"

A roar cut the command off. Dead silence rang through the line for a few seconds before the staccato of mass accelerators lit up the line, followed by a series of rapid pulses.



Screams flooded the line as the people of Charlie team fought and died.

"Focus fire on the big on- AAAAAGH!"

"They won't go down! What's it take to kill these thi-"


The sound of gunfire cut off abruptly as the rapid footsteps took their place. The survivors were running, and not successfully from the sound of it.


Three distinct gunshots before a sickening crunch, and now there was only one set of footsteps and rapid breathing.


Alpha team could easily make out the sound of Charlie Lead hitting the floor, and the savage growl that filled the line before a guttural voice dominated the comm.

"Wushk'a? avak?"

"I… I don't…"


The comm went to static as Garrus looked up at his team. Half of them looked read to faint, the other half were no less terrified. The ex turian spec ops felt his plates itch and his mouth go dry, "Nobody panic."

"Panic?" a burly turian snapped, "We're a little past panic! We're dead! Fucking dead!"

"Shut up Tarius!" a human shot out, "We're in enough shit without you losing your fucking head."

"Squishy human has something to say to me?"

Jason, one of those large dark skinned humans squared up on the thick Tarius, "This squishy human's gonna knock you on your ass if you don't calm the fuck down."

The stout avian opened his mandibles to retort when a small blue orb appeared between the two men and pushed them apart.

"Quiet down, both of you," Sergeant Vakarian snapped as Rhea let her biotics die down, "The Council is watching everything we do live, so try not to embarrass the rest of us any further, particularly you, Tarius. I'd expect that sort of cowardice from a batarian, not a member of the Hierarchy and certainly not an officer of C-Sec."

"What's the plan, Sarge?" Sarah asked.

"Find a defensable room, and try to hold out. Like I said, Council's watching, hope is that they're marshalling a military force to come in and clear this place out."

Desh perked up, "I believe we passed a spot earlier."

David nodded, "Those gun stations."


Garrus nodded and shouldered his rifle, "Move out!"

"Contacts," Desh murmured from his place crouched behind alien machinery.


"Stern, too clustered to get a good count, but a lot."

Garrus nodded to his team, "Focus on the door to the stern, stay in cover. Those in the second two rows will cover the first row in the event we fall back. Once they're set behind the third row, we'll repeat the process."

Jason pointlessly checked the temperature on his rifle, "Slow retreat."

Rhea shifted nervously, "Seemed pretty clear from the transmission we aren't going to outrun these guys…"

"Five meters."

"This is it," Vakarian said lowly.

"Check our targets?"

"Check to make sure they're dead."

Sarah paused slightly before nodding quickly, "Understood."

Voices were audible outside the door, harsh and guttural, but they were discussing something important, and they clearly knew the team was in there. The voices got loud for a second, something was chirping back at the guttural voice, then a thud rang through the door and all was silent.


The door slammed open, revealing one of the massive saurian's in white armor, a glowing blue blade in one hand, a glowing blue circle in the other.

"Don't aim at the shield!" Garrus tried to tell his team. He was too late.

The glowing blue circle drew the eye and the fire of all nine of his teammates as the huge alien surged forward, faster than any creature that size had any right to be.

It was three meters between the alien and the first line of Alpha team. The hand held shield had popped by then, but it had done its job, the creature was among them now, all muscle and fury.

Tarius took the sword directly through his chest. A quick jerk of its four fingered hand slid the energy blade upwards, cutting the turian in two from the chest up, the two halves of his head mirror images of each other as they hit the ground in different places.

The rest of the team, to their credit, had not stopped firing at the huge saurian, the personal shields the alien came with did not last long under the combined assault, but again, the advantage came too late as David's head went flying from its perch on the slim human's shoulders.

Finally rounds were hitting their target. Unfortunately Desh had been correct on his initial assessment of the creatures. The could withstand a literal storm of bullets. Blue blood spurted from wounds, but it only seemed to enrage the creature. It wasn't a krogan blood rage that took hold of it though, no, the gargantuan reptile was uncomfortably deliberate.

One turian was cut diagonally across the chest while another stepped up close to try and get an easy headshot execution on the unshielded alien only to have her chest plate, both on her armor and her natural bone formation, crushed inwards by a single powerful backhand.

Desh popped out of cover to attempt a retreat from the rampaging juggernaut only to have his head encased by a long four fingered hand and impaled through the stomach by that glowing blue sword.

The alien then reached for Sarah, but overextended, missing the small human female and exposing its lightly armored flank.

Garrus' rifle chattered, as it had been since the door opened, and filled the saurian full of holes along its right side. The others quickly followed suit, and for the first time, the alien actually looked like it was injured. The creature reared up for one last roar, but was cut short by a burst from Vakarian's rifle, finally finding the alien's head and dropping it.

Half of the team gone. Superior positioning, superior numbers, and superior firepower considering all the alien had was a sword, and yet that beast had killed, no, butchered, half of Alpha team in a matter of seconds. And two more were standing in the doorway.

Two blue armored aliens raised long, elegant looking weapons, and unleashed a torrent of hellfire.

Garrus tackled Rhea to the ground as the others all fell behind cover. The asari scrambled out from underneath the tall turian and flared blue as she sat up behind a shot up console that was most likely, defunct.

The only other turian in the room still alive raised his rifle over his chosen cover, preparing to fire blindly, when one of the strange purple pulses hit him in the hand. The rifle clattered uselessly to the ground on the wrong side of the barricade as the C-Sec officer brought his hand down just in time to visually witness the truly awful sight of one's own hand literally melting away.


The pain was so overwhelming that the turian couldn't control himself as he spasmed his way to exposing just enough of himself so the back of his head could catch another energy bolt. The frill instantly burned away, the scales flashed and blood boiled as the sticky, nasty energy melted its way through the turian's skull and into his brain.

Finally a break in the two alien's firing, and Garrus barked the only order he could, "GO! Keep fire facing forward, but get your asses to through the back!"

The four remaining C-Sec officers started towards the back, all four firing their weapons towards the two saurians. The blue aliens apparently had weaker shields, as theirs popped after only a few short bursts. They're durability was certainly not less however, as they shrugged off long bursts to find cover as they dealt with their overheated weapons. Rhea had different ideas.

A bright blue pulse, and a black sphere shot out towards the two blue armored aliens. The sphere hit the ceiling above the saurians' cover and pulsed powerfully. The gravitational anomaly known amongst biotics as a singularity was powerful enough to lift multiple krogan and hold them suspended for up to ten seconds. Too bad the aliens weren't krogan.

The forces of the universe attempted to hurl the monsters from the ground, but the creatures stood their ground, wrenching themselves away from the singularity with powerful roars, but also forced to expose themselves as they did so.

The asari's arm shot back and thrust forward as another blue pulse flashed along her body. The biotic throw would have been enough to hurl a turian into the wall and possibly break his neck, as it was the alien on the receiving end of the blast was lifted off its feet, though it did nothing to protect her from the other one.

Energy pulses directly bypassed Rhea's biotic barriers and quickly melted through her light armor, burning the flesh beneath and killing the asari in the most agonizing of manners. Her screams were the last thing the three remaining survivors heard as the door slammed shut behind them.

"Keep moving, towards the lift," Garrus urged the two humans, "We might be able too-"

The Sergeant was cut off as a nimble, feathery form tackled Jason to the ground. Thinking quickly, Vakarian booted the creature off of the large human where Sarah riddled its body with holes. At least these ones died easily.

"Come on," the turian said, reaching down to help Jason up, "We have to keep…"

The dark skinned human held his throat with both hands, uselessly trying to keep his precious life blood inside of him… but it was too late. A quick glance to the avian alien lying in a pool of its own blood revealed the remains of Jason's throat hanging from limp jaws.

Heavy thudding of the pursuing saurian forced Garrus and Sarah to move on, though at this point there was no semblance of order or military procedure to their retreat. They just ran for their lives. Blue and purple pulses chased them, and every few cross sections they'd come across a couple of the little methane suckers, but fortunately they were as easy to kill as the birds, and even worse shots than a Volus. Unfortunately, the big ones were still in pursuit, though clearly taking their time, almost as if giving the turian and the human some space.

Garrus would have taken note and given the problem some concern, if it wasn't for the fact the door to the lift was just ahead of them. The door slid open and the platform stood waiting… as did something else.

Two arms, two legs, and a demonic skull.


Impossible speed turned the titan to a blur and the alien who, much to the turian's shock, had called it a demon to mush.

A quick turn from the armored giant sent a long, curved knife sailing into one the methane suckers' head. It grabbed a massive gun from its back and turned to a red armored saurian that had raised its weapon to fire.


Shields burst and flesh rent, leaving the alien with significantly less body than before. The figure pumped the slide and a shell flew from the chamber as it turned to face a blue armored alien. This one was more prepared than its fellow, and managed a few shots off with its strange weapon. Having seen the effects of the energy weapons first hand, Garrus almost turned away lest his eyes be treated to another gruesome spectacle, instead they were rewarded by the energy being harshly rejected by a strange golden barrier.


Purple flesh spilled over the purple floors as once again, the strange weapon in the strange figure's hands did what concentrated mass accelerator fire could not.

More blue flashes came in, shattering the golden barrier and splashing against the giant's armor. Unlike the hardsuits worn by C-Sec, clearly the heavy armor plating this thing was wearing was designed to handle the heat given off by the energy weapons as it only left scorch marks, rather than melted ceramics and burning flesh.

The warrior, for clearly that is what its purpose was, war, spun into cover while simultaneously sliding the large weapon onto its back. It then removed a smaller, more delicate looking weapon, and what Garrus could only guess was a grenade from the bandolier on its chest.


The rifle in its hand barked three times rapidly at one pull of the trigger, and the turian could see brass shells flying from the chamber. What he could also see, were the large holes each round opened up in the aliens, far larger than any mass accelerator round, which is probably why the creatures dropped after just a few bursts.

A few shots landed near Garrus, prompting the turian into action. The marksman shouldered his Banshee assault rifle and opened fire on the smaller aliens, deciding to leave the big ones to his much more competent savior.

The small methane suckers, well, they weren't actually very small, just compared to the big ones, died quickly to the staccato of his rifle. Sarah followed suit as the two moved to cover on opposite sides of the corridor so as to overlap their fields of fire.

The three made quick work of the aliens, and soon the small birdlike ones and the methane suckers were running before the last big one even hit the deck. As they fled, Vakarian finally took a deep breath, relaxing for the first time since they had first heard Charlie team get decimated over the comm.

That deep breath turned to a gasp as a huge five fingered gauntlet picked him up by the throat and shoved him against a bulkhead. Spirits this thing was strong, it was no wonder it had been able to kill one of those big aliens with its bare hands. No amount of struggling was going to wrench the turian free from its grip.

Suddenly the skull was in front of him, looming over him with a menacing aura. As the demonic face leaned in closer, Garrus could see his reflection in the mouth of the face, fear evident in his sharp blue eyes. The skull peered closer, its jagged teeth seeming to get closer to ripping into his flesh as the soulless eyes inspecting him closely.

The helmet, as that is what he realized it was, cocked in curiosity as it examined him closely, seeming to try and understand this thing it had never seen before. That was when Sarah did something Garrus found unbelievably stupid, she pressed the barrel of her Banshee against the helmet of the armored titan.

Surprisingly, they were not both immediately and painfully butchered like domestic shatha. Instead the giant simply curiously regarded the human, then the turian, back to the human, and once more at the turian before dropping Vakarian to the ground. It strode away from the pair, pulling its knife from the body of a methane sucker.

"Ten mikes till this place is dust," it spoke, a shockingly human sounding voice coming from it, "Y'all want a ride… I'm your ticket."

No matter how many times he had seen it already, in the brief five minutes of knowing this, what was apparently a human, Garrus couldn't get over just how fast he was. Sure he was strong, stronger than a krogan in a blood rage, but so were elcor. Nothing, absolutely no known species of anything even remotely organic was this fast. Not just straight line speed either, but the way his fists blurred in hand to hand with these aliens, or how he dodged energy projectiles with ease, and how he could go from a dead sprint in one direction, to a completely perpendicular course without ever slowing down.

One red armored reptile found out first hand how well the armored human could change direction as he zigzagged towards it, the alien failing to land a single shot before its wrists were twisted, arm broken, and neck slit by that wicked knife.

Sarah and Garrus were busy chewing through the little aliens. The birds and the methane suckers were no tougher than average citizens of the galaxy, and with no barriers they were ultimately easy pickings. Especially when they never bothered shooting at the two C-Sec officers and instead focused all of their efforts on the armored titan blurring his way through their big friends.

As with all the other encounters, once the last saurian fell, the little ones scattered, clearly losing heart, not that Garrus could blame them. It wasn't very long ago he had been doing the same thing.

The next door snapped open, revealing the hangar through which they had arrived. The bodies were still there, joined by some new ones in C-Sec blue.


Garrus watched as Sarah ran to one of the turians, his chest a smoldering crater. The slim human woman knelt by the body, though there was nothing she could do for him.

"You knew him?" Vakarian asked as he eyed the armored titan moving around, sweeping the hangar bay with his strange rifle.

"Yeah," Sarah responded, her voice cracking just a little, "We had a… thing."


"We fucked, Vakarian, okay?" she shot out somewhat bitterly.

Garrus reeled back a little, "Oh."

"Yeah, oh. Whatever, we weren't even in a real relationship, just sex. I mean I…"

Vakarian was watching the huge human stand over at one of the control screens, pushing some of those alien symbols. One of the alien gunships, at least he assumed it was a gunship based on the heavy design and large turrets extending from the nose and the sides, began moving, being lowered down to the deck by a large robotic arm.

He turned back to get Sarah up to find her still kneeling and red faced.

"Corporal, we need to get-"


A glowing blue blade appeared out of thin air and impaled itself through Sarah. A massive, gargantuan, positively monolithic alien in maroon and purple armor appeared, one hand wrapped around the human female's neck.

"You pathetic worms!" the beast rumbled, "What do you think you've accomplished?"

The hulking saurian threw the comparatively tiny human across the deck with a flick of its wrist, "Allied with humans, you've condemned your kind to burn!"

Its other hand lit on fire, a second sword materializing, "You and the demon will never leave this vessel."

It took a step forward, only to be tackled by the heavy frame of the giant human. The two titans separated when they hit the ground, but were quickly clashing again. The human dodging deadly sword strikes, and the bigger alien simply shrugging off cuts from that wicked knife.

"Sergeant Vakarian, your attention please."

The turian, who had been looking for an opportunity to open fire on the huge alien went still at the synthetic voice in his comm link, "What? Who is this?"

"You may call me DOT, I am a UNSC 'dumb' AI," the voice said emotionlessly, "You would call me a VI."

The turian set aside the massive info dump that just occurred in two sentences and focused on the more important situation, "What do you want?"

"Noble Four will handle the Field Marshall, Sergeant Vakarian, you must prep the phantom for flight."

"How? You seem to know quite a bit, you must know I have no idea what a Spirits' damned phantom is!"

"I am currently downloaded into the ship's main computer, and can walk you through the process," the AI, VI, whatever, assured him, "But you must hurry. It will take one minute to reach minimum safe distance, and the vessel will self destruct in two."

Garrus watched 'Noble Four' expertly twist out of the way of a sword strike and counter with a jab to open up a knee to the chest. The alien responded with a hoof to throw the heavy human off balance and strike again, Noble Four barely getting out of the way in time, but capitalizing on the saurian's overextension with an armbar takedown.

"Why should I trust you?"

"I downloaded the Codex from your personal digital interfaces and managed to convince Noble Four that you were not inherently hostile."


"I convinced him not to kill you."

An elbow from the large alien threw the human back and allowed it to regain its footing. A ground shaking roar and the two clashed again.

"We have one minute and thirty seconds to reach minimum safe distance."

"Right… No pressure to work quickly."

The former Hierarchy special forces jumped into the oblong gunship and rushed up to the front, where he desperately hoped the cockpit was, "What do I do?"

"Initiate the start up procedure here."

One of the holographic runes lit up and started blinking steadily, but flashed and disappeared when Garrus hit it. An entire slew of holographic symbols replaced the single rune on the console.

"Uh, need more help."

"Activate antigravity thrusters and set them to five percent, here."

Vakarian simply tapped whichever rune blinked at him, but apparently he was doing something right as the gunship shuddered beneath him.

"Now you must release the docking clamps, here."

Press button.

"I have plotted a course for autopilot to a nearby starship, simply initiate once Noble Four is aboard."

"How will I know when…"


Garrus looked back into the troop bay to see the armored giant holding an elaborate headdress, head included.

He pushed a talon into the blinking holographic rune and felt the shuttle shudder as the doors closed and the engines engaged. There were no windows, so the turian simply had to go off of faith that the course plotted was a good one.

"You may wish to hold on to something."

That was the only warning the two had before the gunship rocked and Garrus hit his head and the world went black…

Man I love the easy ending. Everything went black! Might be my favorite cliché…

I can already see the hate reviews. You made the elites too powerful! Mass effect weapons would pwn! Bullets are inferior! I for one don't think either are necessarily inferior, but each have their own distinct advantage. Mass accelerators have more kinetic energy, letting them break shields with fewer rounds, but have so little volume that even shredder rounds hardly leave anymore than tiny holes in their targets. That's why krogan can survive an entire thermal clip of a Revenant. Meanwhile bullets would have a hard time cutting through kinetic barriers, but the massive bullet size rip big holes that traumatize any organ they don't turn to shredded lettuce. I'd bet that half a clip of an assault rifle could drop a blood raging krogan simply through blood loss.

Then there's the elites. Yeah, I made them juggernauts, so what? You ever play Halo on Heroic or Legendary? You can dump just an obscene amount of firepower on them and all it does is make them slightly annoyed. Ouch, that grenade that went off at point blank range was slightly annoying, let me charge you with ridiculous speed and drop kick your head right off your shoulders.

I couldn't bring myself to force those poor, poor C-Sec officers to have to fight a hunter pair. I couldn't do it. That would have been cruel, and unusual. You imagine some biotic trying to manhandle one of those things only to realize they're super powers are made completely irrelevant by the towering colony of worms and starship grade armor plating? I think it would be slightly amusing.

What did you think of how I chose to introduce Emile to the ME universe and the ME universe to just a taste of the Covenant? Too much, not enough, I suck at writing?

So should I do next chapter on the Citadel? With the Councilors and everyone? Or go straight to the Alliance?