AN: (Short I promise) Hello, all! Three years and all it took was a crappy Star Wars vs Mass Effect Youtube video to get me back into it. Check out the bottom to see explanations.
I do not own, Star Wars, Harry Potter or Mass Effect. If I did, it'd be far better.
Agent Scarlet stared out at the nebula that expanded across space before her, the famed and infamous Perseus Veil or so the extended galaxy called it. Behind it lay an entire race of droids, AIs that had rebelled against their masters in a pitch and near genocidal war for freedom.
She shook her head as she turned to the various displays in her cockpit, this forbidden sector of space was where she was headed next. After the battle for the salver world and her participation in such, she had ensured that the newly freed slaves had made it back into Imperial space, safely.
However, instead of being put in charge as she had hoped, she had been sent right back out with new orders.
(( Agent, I have picked up a massive amount of Eezo Signatures approaching the system at FTL speeds.))
The main screen of her display rolled the text across and she frowned, she hadn't been here for very long and hadn't even crossed through the Veil to reach the Relay...
"Bring our shields up to combat strength but leave our weapons cold. If this is the Geth's welcoming committee I don't want to end up facing a fleet before we can even make contact." Scarlet's hands danced across her displays, a blue flash obscuring her cockpit's windows as her shields drew on more power.
"R-8, what's the ETA?" She could feel the rumble of her engines jumping to readiness as she and R-8 brought her Enforcer class fighter out of scout mode.
((Estimated time of arrival is at -))
Her fighter shook as a flash of light as bright as the sun lit up her cockpit, her HUD darkening in response. Scarlett's eyes left her display and widened as she looked up into the space above her ship.
A massive black, object took up her expansive view-port. She let out a gasp as a wave of undiluted Darkness washed over her and a bright red light filled her world.
General Victus stepped into the bridge of his flagship. Though he specialized in ground warfare, he was more then capable in space, in fact when this war began he had just been given his second naval command. However, thinking back on it, Victus thought that he might have preferred to be the military commander for one of the colonies. It would be far less stressful to be on solid land, waiting to give his surrender after the fleets above had been brushed aside by the alien threat.
Instead he was on his way to illegally contact an alien aggressor via a possibly treasonous superior. How his fortunes had changed.
"Captain, how long til we exit FTL?" His dark eyes slide along causally as they land upon the ship captain that had nominal control of the ship in regular duty. He, was unimportant and more importantly, knew nothing of his orders.
"Eta, fifteen minutes, General. We should be coming out with the patrol fleet right off the front..." Or what was left of it, Victus summarized. Reports had been bleak before he had left Palavin, he didn't want to know how things had progressed over the last two days.
"Good, I want you to connect to the local comm buoys, I wan an immediate report on the front and the alien fleet movements." His orders given he moved away from the CIC and moved towards the communications array, several of the ship's officers were currently over viewing the most recent reports from the last stop they made on the way to the front.
Stepping up to holopanel he turned to one of the fleet's tactics officers.
"What can you tell me?" While Victus was well read in the situation, it never hurt to hear another opinions, especially when it was their job.
One of the officers spoke up,
"General, we were just discussing the effects on the loss of the Third Preventive Fleet in the Traktish System." The officers eyes were hard, no doubt with no small measure of fear. That was mean to be one of their main stops gaps from allowing the aliens into the heart of Turian Space.
"Yes, our deployment is in direct response to that..." Victus pointed out dryly, making the officer flinch.
"Sir, what I mean to say is that it doesn't bode well for the over all war effort. The way we are reacting to it... I don't like the odds." The young officer certainly wasn't wrong in his doubts, it wasn't just access to the heart of Turian Space but the fact it broke their effective fighting force down to the wire of what the Higherarchy was capable of, at least not without moving the Fourth and Seventh Patrol fleets away from their positions on the Terminus borders. But that was unthinkable, since that left the core of Citadel space open to the pirates out beyond civilization.
"Never fear, its why we are flanking around the Actium Cluster, to provide relief..." Victus soon lost track of what he was saying, losing himself in the conversation while they waited to come out of FTL, if his estimates were correct. They would be coming out near the bulk of where the alien fleet was. And then, his gambit would ensue.
Imperial Excursion Zone, The Front Lines.
"Admiral, we have finished organizing the captured Turian fleets. All disabled ships have been moved into gyoscyned orbit with the nearby Gas Giant." The Officer glanced down at his data pad before continuing, Crassus merely fingered his wine glass in contemplation.
"Ships capable of movement have been boarded and are preparing for jump back to Forward Base Delta. All prisoners have been successfully transported to requestioned ships and are being handled by the attached Fleet marines until they are escorted back to Imperial space." Taking a sip, Crassus nodded his approval, his eyes moving from the reports that filtered across his own holoscreens.
"What of the Council ship, is it still holding at the given coordinates?" He finally asked.
"Yes Sir, they have been quite vocal with the comms Officer about speaking with you for the last couple of hours. A matter of essence, I believe, sir." Crassus merely chuckled beneath his breath. He had entertained the idea of speaking with the Council ship and its diplomats as soon as they hailed the fleet but realized that it would be too much of a distraction from handling the largest captured fleet in Imperial history. No, they would wait for when he was good and buzzed. He wanted to enjoy it, savor the moment if you would.
"Tell them that once I have finished getting this wonderful mess sorted, I'd be honored to speak with them." It would be, almost, word to word what he told them the day before. Crassus rotated the glass slowly in his left hand as he smiled in amusement, this Council races could be ever so amusing. He could see why the Emperor and his Consort were so enamored with them. They would make fine additions to the Empire, one day that is. For now they would settle as fine amusements for himself and his men. Truly this is what war was meant to be. A game, where one side crushed all before it. For if Crassus was to be honest with himself, he didn't wish to see this war go serious. Certainly not in the way the war with the Batarians was. Far too messy.
Council Diplomatic Corp
Matriarch Hihani tapped her fingers upon the armrest of her chair, Jaml paced in front of her as he muttered too quickly for her to understand.
They had made contact over a full day ago, watching as the alien fleet policed the devastated Turian defense fleet. If it wasn't a fleet that may very well be a threat to her people, Hiani would admit that it was a spectacular sight, to see so many ships moving an organizing in such a fashion. Thousands of ships filled their view port and their holodeck let up with their movements as their sensors updated.
"How much longer must they keep us waiting, Captain?" Their mission was of the essence, the further things went, the less likely peace could be achieved.
"They're stalling, negotiation tactic, make us impatient and off balance. Yes, with recent reports of Batarian conquest, keeps all eyes on them while unopposed." The Asari let out a poignant sigh, they had gotten that report flash messaged to them via the Salarian STG only a couple of hours before. To think that a race could be capable of holding two large scale, galactic conflicts and winning them at the same time.
Her fingers clinched the armrest as she closed her eyes. What were they to do, the Councils orders haven't changed, in fact they had become even more insistent. They had to make peace before this alien scourge washed across the known galaxy. So far it was obvious that the aliens were treating the Turians civilly but what about that was happening behind the enemy lines. Dozens of worlds have already fallen behind the monolithic alien fleets...
"Captain, Matriarch, we are getting a hail from the Alien fleet!" The Salarian comms Officer proclaimed, the CIC going silent as if the Goddess herself had spoken.
"Oh Goddess, bless us so we might see this through..." Hihani whispered before she stood and walked to where the main holodeck bathed the CIC in orange light.
"Put it up, let us face these aggressors. So that we may find peace!" She proclaimed as confidently as possible. The day of rest and awe had done much to unnerve her but the panic they had felt when they had first dropped into the system had long since been calmed. Even if a renewed sense of urgency had come upon them at the news of the Batarian incursion.
She put that from her mind though as the holodeck fluctuated and adjusted to the incoming communicae, finally it stabilized into a form eerily similar to that of an Asari.
"This is Admiral Crassus Malfoy of the Imperial Fifth Fleet, to whom do I have the honor of speaking too?" If his, he could only considered a male with his physic, accent wasn't so obviously synthetic, Hihani would have sworn he just spoke perfect Thessian. Getting her bearings, she straightened her back, pushing her chest out in a manner all Asari we're familiar with, and spoke.
"I am Matriarch Hihani of the Asari Republics and a Diplomat of the Citadel Council Diplomatic Corp. Here to make contact with the newest species to enter our fair galactic community." Her eyes remained serene, as did her smile as she watched the male creature before her smirk so similarly to an Asari that she was worried it wasn't even a smirk. How could two species that never interacted with each before have such similar nuances?
"Yes... fair. I represent the Infinite Empire and in the name of the Emperor I greet you." His voice came out in a obvious drawl, whoever designed their translator was truly a genius of show casing the original speech patterns of the one speaking. But she found herself unnerved by the superior tilt to his speech. Was his species so proud, was that why they were conquering them...
"Yes fair, so fair in fact that your galactic community had an entire government dedicated to slavery, that your military arm is nothing more then a collection of incompetent bullies and we are only just now receiving a diplomatic response." The silence that stretched from that seemed to last an eternity. What was she suppose to say to that, how was she suppose to react to such... an accurate portrayal of what has been allowed to occur.
"No, don't speak my dear Asari, it's obvious that even your lowest crew member is aware of the short comings of your "galactic community". This is what the Infinite Empire seeks to over come and repair." The admiral gestured dramatically,
"We seek to right the wrongs other sentients have visited upon each other. We wish to share the light of enlightenment with the galaxy, a galaxy free of slavery, of racism and most importantly." Here the alien bared his teeth in what could only be a poor imitation of a smile.
"We shall wipe incompetence from the galaxy so that all know the peace of a government that actually achieves its goals rather then stagnating for a thousand years." Shock boiled over the CIC of the Divine Waters, what in the Goddess's name was she suppose to respond to that with. This was not a civilization that could be reasoned with, they were not at war. They were on a crusade.
"Now my dear Asari, my people are known as Humans and as we have yet to offer to the Turians, join us and you shall be welcomed with open arms. Otherwise, stay clear of our path. The Turians have no more choice in the matter."
"Now w-wait, we are here to broker peace before things escalate any further. War is not at al-"
"Preferable? Is that why slavery runs rampant, why you have an entire race confined to their fleet to die, why you condemned a noble warrior race to extinction? You hardly have any ground to stand upon Matriarch. And if I understand your history, you no doubt have been alive for most of these horrendous crimes." The human stared at her intently, the glowing eyes of the hologram narrowing at her in what she could only perceive as anger. Her mother move but she couldn't seem to form the words, what was she suppose to do, she had never seen anything like this before, she never expected a race so new to the galactic scene to know so many of the council's... failures.
"Silence, so reassuring. Go little Asari, return to your vaulted Citadel, tell your honored Council that the Emperor shall meet with them there. That once we purge this galaxy of its taint, we shall gladly speak to your people more. But as you see, I have a war to win. Good day." And with that the holodeck flickered off, returning to its original display of the Divine Waters and its status. She couldn't take her eyes off the empty space where the human was but a second before and she couldn't help but wonder what they were suppose to do now that diplomacy has failed...
Crassus rolled his eyes as he waved for the comms Officer to cut the connection. That was far too easy, the little speech he just gave should buy them a few more weeks, possibly another month as his message returned to the alien council and they debated on how to best proceed with the wealth of information he had given.
"Oh to have a thousand years of experience but not even recognize aggressive negotiations." He merely shook his head before returning to the figurative pile of reports that began to gather upon his datapad. He had a long few days reorganizing his fleets for the next push into Turian Space.
"Admiral, the scout flotillas have picked up FTL signatures gathering in Turian System, designation 23. Analysis has confirmed it to be a possible staging point for the next preventive measure." Crassus looked up from the report he had just pulled up and raised an eyebrow.
"So soon... maybe there's hope for the poor birds yet. Send the report, priority to my station please." The Officer skittered off to do his bidding. Sometimes he wondered if this was what Dark Lords of the past felt like, having cute little minions running around at their command. Ah well, a fleet admirals life was never over.
As if to signify that thought, his datapad beeped with the updated report. Looked like they might have some action sooner then expected. He was certain that the next preventive line would be closer to the Galatana, a military world with powerful fixed defensive stations. That would be the best staging point for their push into the heartlands of the Turian Hierarchy, but this... No, they were going on the offensive. That system would be a perfect jumping point to hit... right at their forward base where he was currently sending their prisoners.
"Fools, why are they over extending like this..."
Turian Flanking Fleet
General Adrien Victus watching the holodeck feed update as the elements of the broken Turian Second and Third Fleets gathered in this little unimportant system on the edge of Turian Space. So far it was uncontested, largely due to its lack of strategic importance but it had a Mass relay that dropped right into where intelligence drones have discovered what appeared to be a very active forward base, which had hundred of disabled Turian ships impounded.
Not only could he complete his unofficial mission of making contact with the alien command during this battle, as the forward base would not doubt hold someone of importance in their command structure but he could quite possibly make off with hundreds of down ships that could be retrofitted to support the war effort.
"General, recon drone have spotted what appears to be several infantry transports landing on the moon below the star base. It's given good odds that these ships just came from the front but there aren't any major ground engagements currently." Victus let the report come up on his Omnitool as he listened to his Aide.
"Analysts believe that there's a good chance that these are the captured prisoners from the Last major engagement, possibly even holding Admiral Fedrarian." Nodding as he looked over the high res pictures and scans taken before the drones were dropped.
"Yes... this could be our chance to turn the war around. Recapture the ship and free the crews, possibly catch them unawares..." Yes, that could work, Victus thought. Catch their main forward base unprepared and undefended. Take back the fleet and its crews and they could halt the alien invasion piece meal, possibly even turn the tide while the remaining patrol fleets get reorganized for a offensive. For a moment, Victus felt a glimmer of hope for the Hierarchy.
"Get me a line to Generals Durian, Capit and Venus. We have a counter attack to plan!" He turned from his Aide and made his way to the conference room behind the CIC, he would do it, he would save his people. Find his daughter and drag the claws of Admiral Minerva out of his back side.
"Aye aye, sir!"
Light shifted as she shifted upon a cold and metallic bed, her eyes tried to open but the pain proved too much as Scarlet let out a low groan. Her arms moved to cover her face, but that nearly knocked her own from the pain.
"W-what..." Her throat was more then parched, it was practically dry, chasing her to shut her mouth until she could get some water.
Opening her eyes again, she shuttered at the bright light, before she adjusted. The room she was in was a light purple in color, small but not cramped, plenty of room for her to roll off the bed she was given and move about.
Not that she had plans on moving for a few minutes.
"Scarlet-Inquisitor. Please stay still, you're injuries were severe and you must recover." Scarlet, glanced around, searching for the source of the artificial voice.
"W-water..." She hadn't felt so pathetic since she went through Veela training in her early teens. Her thoughts were broken, however when a segment of the wall next to her opened up and a tray with a glass of water extended towards her.
"Please drink slowly, scans show that your organs are still recovering from the attack. Over drinking could cause nausea." Once again that voice but she heeded it and took a slow sip, working on the glass for the next few minutes in silence before she felt her throat stop aching.
"Where am I?" She Finally asked, deciding that since who ever it was went through all the trouble of keeping her alive, they must at least be neutral.
"Scarlet-Inquisitor is currently located on Geth Super structure 1002367-009007. We welcome you to the Geth Collective."
Codex Entry: The Centaur Nation
At the turn of the Century, the Centaur race was considered a Endangered Species. Only five major tribes still remained on Earth at the formation of the Empire under the Emperor. One located in the United Kingdoms, two in Northern Africa, one in North America and the final in Central Mongolia.
When the Emperor first approached the tribe in the UK he was heavily rebuffed but through continued efforts he was able to open a dialogue thanks to his connections with the Lycanian community as well as the Merfolk. Using his diplomatic experience with the tribe in the UK, he was able to open up talks with the remaining tribes around the globe.
Once the Empire extended into space the Centaurs were able to truly show their worth as more then just an independent entity that was willing, at least in name, to belong to the Empire. Centaurs were traditionally experts in Agriculture and land development, and thus they were tapped by the Empire to be the first settlers of any basket world settled.
This policy led to several garden worlds producing goods and foodstuffs for the Empire early in its expansion, allowing a massive spike in population and the sustainability of the early colonies.
As of now, there are over twenty worlds designated as Herd Worlds which feed the Empire to this day. And thus they are well protected not only by fleets in orbit but by the jealous guard of the Centaur nation.
Coded Entry: The Merfolk
The Mer nation, or Merfolk as they are called by Humans, are the only purely Aquatic race that exists within the Empire. Having held a large underwater society beneath of the seas of Earth, they were the easiest of the magical races to negotiate with. Traditionally they had many ties with mercantile nations around the globe for safe passages across the sea, thus were they given leeway to settle and develop oceanic worlds found by the Empire.
At first this was merely thought to be a concession by the Emperor to avoid a world spanning war with the magically gifted Merfolk but later turned out to be a massive boon as they turned otherwise hard to maintain and expensive Oceanic worlds into major trade hubs.
Able to use their magic to control the seas, the Mer were capable of mining and colonizing even the most violent of oceanic worlds. Their help in this endeavor also revealed the existence of Kolto, a unique substance that can only grow at the bottom of seas exceeding four miles in depth. This substance had amazing curative properties in organics and thus became the Merfolk's responsibility to grow and cultivate for the Infinite Empire.
As of now there are twelve oceanic worlds settled by the Mer, four of which are capable of growing Kolto.
Each is guarded by a full system fleet and the Kolto farms are protected directly by Mer cities and their theater shields.
AN: Well guys, welcome back. Three years and somehow still kicking. No real excuses really. Graduated College, went through three careers changes but finally stable and working for myself. Cool beans.
A crappy Galactic Empire vs the Reapers video made me mad so I started writing and the next thing I know, this and another twenty pages were written. Had to split this chapter and the next one, since what I set up ended up exploding into a pitched battle, which I should have written up in the next few days or weeks, depending on whats going on.
A little about what I want to accomplish here. I am a character driven writer, I make characters and unleash them into the world. And one of the things that really held me up was the fact I didn't have too many real deep characters to sink my teeth into and let run wild. That has been changed. Scarlet, Crassus, Victus and a couple others shall be the characters for a while. Harry will usually be in the background doing Emperor thingies and being a all around badass, so will Shepard.
But yeah, I'm moving forward with the Geth subplot and revealed an Ancient Evil while I was at it. Victus shows some hope for the Turians by being an adaptive commander and Crassus trolls the Council Diplomats. Fun times.
Tell me what you think, celebrate and hopefully I won't take three years to finish up the next chapter. Should't really since its mostly done.
Thank you all for sticking with me and holding out for my return.