Chapter 63
Chapter 63

“Breach!” Major MacIntosh ordered as the Ducal Guard members blew open the door on the roof of the skyscraper that they were about to be searching through “We’ve got around forty or so floors to clear out, so let’s get moving!”

The fireteams began filing in and splitting into their teams of six, with MacIntosh leading the remaining members of his BlackWatch platoon as his personal fireteam.

“Status report,” came over the comms systems as the Ducal Guard finished clearing the top floor.

“Lots of floors to make our way through,” MacIntosh said as he ducked back into cover, before exchanging fire with a group of Asari. “I’ll let you know when the building is clear.”

“Copy that Major, we shall hold here until we’re given further information,” Kerensky’s voice responded. “We only have minimal resistance left out here.”

“It could take us several hours,” MacIntosh said as he looked down the massive flight of stairs. “You may want to have some extra infantry start breaching from the bottom because this is a massive building, and we’re going to be taking a lot of time just clearing out the floors as we go.”

“I’ll divert some of our forces as they become available,” Colonel Carter chimed in. “It might be a while though.”

“Get back! Keep running!” The squad of Asari tried to move away from the giant robot faster than they were before. “You saw what happened to the other squad that faced that thing!”

“I’m not getting squished or shot today!” One of the Asari glowed purple as she tried to lower her mass so as to move faster, only to end up vaporized by a stray beam of light.

“Don’t use your Biotics!” One of the Asari hidden behind cover screamed. “The glow gives away your position!”

“What happened to our artillery support?” Al'ko Edaos the commander of the corporate security guards that were currently fighting against the invaders. “I thought we had those things pre-sighted for our position.”

“Artillery was taken down by enemy air support about an hour ago,” the ground shook as the robot ran past them, its focus being taken by a gunship that had started harassing it. “We were never supposed to actually resist an invading force like this, we’re only really supposed to handle pirates and the merc groups that ran contrary to the corporate interests.”

“I don’t care that we weren’t supposed to resist an invasion!” Edaos grabbed the younger Asari by the shoulders and made sure she could see her eyes. “This is my home, and it’s yours too, we’re going to ensure that our home remains intact, and I’ll be damned by the goddess before I allow some Terminus trash to take over.”

With a flare of biotics, the younger Asari broke the hold and then while the older one was stunned knocked her unconscious. “You are an idiot who’s going to get us all killed,” She spat. “Someone get me a comms device to the enemy, we’re surrendering.”

A Salarian ran up and handed her a handheld comms device designed to broadcast on all frequencies whether they were jammed or not.

“This is Commander Staisley M'toris of Illium Corsec, we surrender, we’re laying down our arms and will be broadcasting this to all forces on the planet.”

“That’s my people!” I said as I heard the steady walk of an assault mech in the distance. “Samara, we’ve got to get to some sort of checkpoint.”

“I would caution patience,” Samara said as she sat on the lone bed. “It seems that there is an open war going on out there and our chances of survival will not be high should we make our presence known now.”

I paused and considered this for a moment as I leaned against the wall. “You have a point,” I nodded in agreement. “But I’m fairly certain that all of the comms frequencies will be monitored by the Sect so we can’t make contact until after my people have already established a solid foothold here.”

“That does seem to be the wisest course of action,” Samara agreed. “I too wish to speak to my daughters, but I know that if they are to remain safe for even a little while that they will need to wait for the right time.”

“I’m just not used to being sidelined,” I said with a frown on my face. “Being in on the action has been a big part of my life over the last fifty or so years, and that’s no small amount of time for someone with our lifespan.”

“Sometimes action is punctuated by periods of waiting,” Samara replied, a hint of smugness in her smirk. “As I did for nearly a century.”

“Get Athame to the escape tunnels!” Veia Iesus ordered as she arrange Asari Huntress squads in positions to delay the enemy movement. “We’re not going to be able to hold them off forever.”

“Ensure that we begin getting rid of our data files,” Athame ordered before being escorted out. “It would be disastrous for our Sect should it be leaked.”

“Consider it done,” Iesus responded before turning to the squad surrounding the ancient Matriarch. “Get her out of here, along with whatever she gives priority to. I’m staying to manage our defenses.”

“On it,” the maiden in charge of the squad replied as they began moving Athame and the stretcher beside her to the elevator. “We’re heading for the sub-basements right?”

“Yes,” Athame replied as she seemed to project calm to the Asari surrounding her. “Once we are in the tunnels we will detonate the charges, sealing the exit behind us and allowing us to make our getaway.”

The elevator then began to descend, the floors dropping off rapidly until a mass effect field slowed it down at the end and allowed it to coast gently to the bottom of the shaft.

“Follow,” Athame commanded as she entered what looked like a subway car. “We must ensure that we are all on board and moving before I give the authorization codes for the charges.”

“We’re all here,” the lead Asari did a quick head count.

“Good, now we leave,” Athame pressed a button and the small shuttle shot forward, a series of explosives beginning to detonate on a timer as the shuttle moved through the tunnel before coming out of an exit hatch embedded into the side of a nearby mountain.

“Take over piloting,” Athame ordered. “We must go to FTL as soon as we are capable if we wish to escape.”

“Clearing the atmosphere,” the Asari who took over piloting reported. “We’ve got several corvette, and frigate-sized craft diverting to follow.”

“Going to FTL,” the one who had taken over as copilot reported. “We’re in the clear for now.”
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Simonbob, Markwarrior Never trusted Asari from the start. They sounded like blue skinned, human seeming Aswang, Succubus, Strigoi, or Illithid (for those more familiar with D&D). Never trusted the idea, and when they introduced Ardat Yakshi I wasn't surprised. I was expecting it from the moment they introduced the Asari ability to snare other species who should in no gods damn way be biologically wired to find them attractive. The entire biology and mating habits were a massive red flag. It reminded me of the myriad of Gods, spirits and monsters from our oral traditions.
Chapter 64
Chapter 64

“Coming out of FTL now, the pilot reported. “What is your command?”

“I have coordinates that we must go to, but it will push the limits of this craft, “ Athame considered the shuttle that they were in. “Advanced as this craft is, it still has limits on what it is capable of.”

“Whatever your command is, we need to get moving quickly, we don’t have the luxury of sitting around and waiting, the Commonwealth will have ships moving to follow on our last vector. And I don’t believe we will be able to outrun them.”

“I am inputting the coordinates now,” Athame said as she brought her omnitool out and forwarded the data. “Even should they follow us they will find us well-defended against any enemies that cross our paths.”

“Coordinates received, we’re going to FTL now,” the pilot said as she pushed the right controls.

“Enemy just entered the system!” the copilot reported as she scanned their surroundings. “Looks like it’s a group of three older model Turian Frigates.”

“Good,” Athame said with a smug smile. “They shall follow us to their deaths then.”

“Moving to FTL!” the Pilot said. “The enemy frigates will be all over us once we come out of FTL though, we’re going to have a fairly large static trail left behind.”

“That is acceptable,” Athame said. “Our defenses are sufficient enough to deal with intruders of this level.”

“I certainly hope so,” the pilot said worriedly. “Because I’m not certain that we’ll survive anything should they be able to get to us when we reach our destination.”

“We must make it to our destination, for the equipment I require to ensure that Al’Sha survives is at our destination,” Athame said. “Now, I will need to take over piloting, otherwise we may be eradicated upon entering the system.”

“I believe you, sir, I just have to verify everything,” the Mithril-clad soldier said as he examined me and my companion.

“That’s fine,” I said with a heavy sigh. “Could I at least bum some clothes off of you? I’m kinda stuck here in this,” I gestured to the rough kit I had put together. “And I”d rather be in something comfortable.”

“I’ll see what I can scrounge up,” the soldier replied. “Just give me an hour or so and I’ll have some word on what is to be done with you.”

“Thanks,” I said as I took a seat outside of the small building that the local law enforcement officers and Commonwealth soldiers were using to maintain law and order until things had calmed down. “We’ll be here.”

“I had thought that you would be recognized immediately,” Samara stated as she took a seat next to me. “Why is it that they seem to be unfamiliar with you?”

“Because for the last fifty years, they’ve seen me with a beard and a variation of a uniform,” I replied. “Take that away and my facial structure looks unfamiliar, and that’s before you even get into the fact that my face looks like it did when I was twenty-five, which throws off many more people than you might think.”

“Here you are,” a soldier tossed a pair of gym shorts and a shirt to me. “There’s a bathroom just down the hall to the right you can use.”

“That’s not an issue,” I said as I pulled on the gym shorts underneath my toga-like clothes before pulling the shirt on. “Thank you,” I nodded at the soldier.

“We’re to take you and your companion over to HQ,” another soldier said as he walked outside. “Follow me, please.”

We followed the soldier and climbed into a modified Maxim, the hover-APC sealing shut behind us as our escort fireteam kept rifles carefully at the ready, but politely pointed away from us.

“I take it Illium is now owned by the Commonwealth?” I asked as a conversation starter while we sat in the APC.

“Yessir, they had a lot less equipment than even the pirates on Torfan had, seems like they didn’t expect to be attacked at all,” the fireteam corporal answered. “They rolled over and surrendered once we had taken out most of their heavier equipment.”

“Good thing too,” one trooper said. “We were pinned down by a group of biotics and were about to get smashed before they surrendered.”

“I can’t wait until we’ve got more biotics in our forces,” one soldier, remarked. “The utility is great for us infantry, and it’s comparable to our armor if we encounter a decently skilled one.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” I said as they began to discuss how biotics could be used to assist the Commonwealth's forces.

“Transmitting correct codes now,” Athame said from the pilot’s seat. “Copilot, please begin evasive maneuvers, I believe that our guests are about to join us.”

The trio of frigates came out of FTL shortly after the shuttle did, their bigger engines allowing them to begin gaining on the escape craft.

“This is the Brotherhood of Steel Frigate, Forged in Fire, stand down and prepare to be boarded,” transmitted over an open channel. “We believe that you may be a party to a kidnapping.”

There was nothing but silence that filled the comms as the frigates continued moving, the shuttle not slowing down in the slightest.

Then, what appeared to be stray asteroids turned and began targeting the frigates, lashing out with large Mass Accelerated canons that tore massive gaping holes through them.

“This is Athame, have some of our defenses comb through the wreckage, we cannot allow any of them to escape with the location of this place,” the leader of the Sect of Athame ordered. “I am beginning my approach on Bastion. Have a medical team on standby along with a mind healer, we have an interrogator that may have important data for extract.”

“Understood, Goddess,” the ground control responded. “Your will be done.”

“I regret that you came with me,” Athame said to the group of Asari Commandos that had escorted her here. “You are now restricted from leaving this system, should you attempt to leave you will be killed. There are few that have earned the right to leave this system, and you are not among them.”

“But my family is on Illium,” one of the Commandos stated. “You cannot expect them to just forget about me.”

“No, but you will not be allowed communication with them, this place is a secret only because we have been extremely vigilant. I do not wish to kill you, but I shall if necessary.”
So,Athame is planning to wait till they stop seeking her? it could work,if not for Reapers.
Commonwealth would not seek her after,let say,500 years.
Chapter 65
Chapter 65

“You’re not allowed out of my sight for the rest of our lives,” Natasha said as she nuzzled into the side of my neck. “And what happened to your beard?”

“The savages shaved it off,” I said as I squeezed my wife tighter to my chest. “I’ll grow it back out, but it’ll take a while.”

“At least you are back,” Natasha said as she finally let me go. “We assaulted and took the compound that we believe you were held in but it seems that you had already escaped.”

“Was there any data we were able to salvage?” I asked as I made my way to a nearby chair and sat in it, Natasha moving to sit on my lap. “It seemed to be their regional headquarters for their operations.”

“Aerdin managed to get capture some of the data as it was being deleted, but he informs me and the other experts that it will take many months before he is able to crack the entirety of the encryption that they were using.”

“Of course,” I sighed. “Just because they got cocky this time doesn’t mean that they’re always going to act like complete idiots. For all we know, we just ended up with junk data, and not anything useful.”

“I miss the days of being able to just go out and crush our enemies in my mech,” Natasha said as she curled up into me. “It was cathartic on many levels.”

“Being a Merc was nice,” I agreed. “There are definitely days where I miss it even, nothing to worry about beyond making sure that our employer was happy and that we got good salvage rights.”

“Unfortunately, those days are dead and gone,” Carter said as she entered the room. “Ma’am, we’ve finally gotten the corporations to cede control over to us officially and in compliance with their own laws as well as the Commonwealth’s.”

“Good,” Natasha said as she stood up. “Contact Melissa, she’ll need to be here so we can make this work.”

“Anything you need me to do?” I asked as I stood up after Natasha had.

“Sit and recover,” Natasha said. “There’ll be plenty for you to do once we’re done here.”

“Alright then,” I said as I sat back down. “I’ll introduce you to my cellmate and fellow jailbreaker when you get back from taking care of what you need to.”

“It is a great honor and privilege to be a part of this new nation that has risen from the lawlessness of Terminus Space,” an Asari spokesperson said as she made a speech. “While there are still many details to be worked on, we do believe that Illium will remain a beacon and haven for safe trade and a center for business for many centuries to come.”

“And we the Commonwealth are glad to add the jewel that is Illium to the worlds that we will protect and ensure the rights of the citizens of,” Melissa Steiner said as she took the podium, her blond hair flowing free as the Lyran business suit fit snugly and professionally over her tall form. “While there are still many things that are left to iron out, we believe that we are not only capable of seeing to the needs of Illium’s citizens, but ensuring that they thrive under the new local government that will be taking over in place of the corporate rule that there was before.”

The screen paused as Sparatus hit a stop button on the recording that was playing in front of both him and the Council of Primarchs.

“It is obvious that the Humans have been less than honest with us,” Sparatus stated as he enhanced the photo onto the human’s face. “But given our interception of their communications they appear to be just as surprised as we are, so we cannot hold the Systems Alliance responsible for this. Their Ambassador, Miss Anita Goyle has said that the Systems Alliance has no part in any of the Commonwealth’s actions and they are also going to be diving into their records to see if there are any lost colonists that they might have been missing in their recent past.”

“Their development would indicate that they separated from mainstream humans long before they discovered Mass Effect or Element Zero,” a Primarch with a background in history spoke up.

“Either way, it is clear that we must continue to rely on the Brotherhood of Steel for more intelligence regardless of where their beliefs may lie,” Brieus Mercatus, the oldest member of the Council stated. “Otherwise we may have to rely on the Salarians or the Asari for intelligence that they may make use of before passing onto us.”

“The Republics have yet to release a statement,” Sparatus said as he glanced over to the newsfeeds that were up on a second screen on his terminal. “But I expect that all of the varied announcements will amount to much the same.”

“And what might that be?” Primarch Turuns Helion asked with his head tilted.

“I’m not sure yet,” Sparatus said with a confused expression. “Normally I would gauge Tevos to see what that reaction might be, but she has been unavailable since Illium was invaded.”

“Well, I’m certain that we will find out soon,” Mercatus said with a heavy sigh as he eased his old bones back into his chair. “The Volus are currently launching hostile takeovers of many Asari industries that were based out of Illium, so I would expect to see the coffers of the Hierarchy increase fairly soon.”

“We’ll have to relegate more funds to Research and development,” Helion said as he pulled up a picture of a giant robot. “We need some way to counter this, or we need to develop some of our own.”

“We’ll reconvene in two weeks' time,” Mercatus interrupted. “I believe that will give us enough time to gather enough information to make an informed decision as to the path that we will follow.”

“Agreed,” Another Primarch said. “We’ll also be able to gauge the Asari’s response and move on from there.”
Unfortunately, I may have torn my bicep at work today and am unable to type currently. If there are any updates be aware that they’re likely written on my phone.
I hope,that you would have no problems in work.
And,i could wait for good chapter.

That aside - now,we have Commonwealth as normal nation ruling Terminus.Normal Batarians and asari when?
Chapter 66
Chapter 66

“Matriarch Tevos, we, the representatives of the Asari Republics are calling on you to give an accounting of yourself,” Irissa, the current representative from Thessia spoke up, scorn evident in her voice.

“This should be interesting,” Beneziah commented offhand to her assistant Matron Shiala. “Irissa was in the running for councilor originally but was beaten out by Tevos, and she represents the largest faction of Matriarchs who were directly affected by the mess that happened on Illium.”

“And we are not affected?” Shiala asked as she watched the arguments taking place in front of her.

“We typically stayed out of any business on Illium,” Beneziah stated. “And we are headquartered on many varying worlds so as to prevent total disaster from striking the vast fortunes of the T’Soni family low. In fact, we are a primary investor of many Turian small arms companies, and they are currently making money off of licenses to our own outer colonies as well as licenses to several prominent mercenary groups that are operating in that sector.”

“We’re supporting the ones who the outer colonies are pushing towards?” Shiala asked. “Why would we do that? It seems counterproductive to support some of our colonies separating from us.”

“I am not all that concerned with the entirety of the Republics,” Beneziah stated firmly. “While there are some benefits to seeing the Republics succeed overall, there are a great many Matriarchs who are unable or unwilling to see the opportunities for what they are. Why, Saneez Janniara, the Matron who is in charge of the T’Soni finances has been ecstatic since Illium was overtaken, she said, ‘This is the greatest opportunity for growing wealth in centuries. I finally get to loosen the purse strings and grow rapidly instead of over many years.’”

“Fools, the lot of you,” one of the few Matriarchs who represented an outer colony of the Asari Republics stood up and said. “My colony has been under attack from pirates and slavers for over five hundred years, and you have done nothing. We have toiled and driven off bands of them for so long that we are able to predict their attacks and still are only able to push them back occasionally. We petitioned this very group for aid and there was none to be found. Yet, Illium, one of the colonies that is nearly a criminal venture in and of itself finds itself in trouble and this council wishes to finally do something. Well, the rest of the Outer Colonies and I have had enough! You will assist us or we will depart from the Republics.”

“There were efforts made to curtail the pirates,” Tevos spoke up, anxious to fix the problems before more cracks in the facade that was the Republics began to appear.

“What efforts?” Irissa smirked, eager to seize the opportunity to attempt to overshadow the current Councilor. “The Turians found themselves in a war while you seemed to be spending your time politicking and getting your family set up for the future by negotiating with criminals like Aria T’Loak.”

“The Relay 314 incident was not my fault nor was it my responsibility,” Tevos composed herself. “In fact, we remedied that situation in quick succession and are now preparing for an economic boom that will result from our successful peace negotiations between the Turians and the Humans. And you yourself voted for me to begin negotiating with T’Loak in the hopes of persuading her to help us bend the price of Element Zero in our favor. Negotiations, that worked for many decades I might add.”

Irissa simply backed off, realizing that this was a point that would make her look bad.

“Also, with the death of Vedol, the last thing we want is to change our Councilor right now,” a Matriarch stated. “It would make it seem like the Republics are not the bastion of peace and wisdom that we claim to be to the other species.”

“Agreed,” Beneziah stood up. “I believe that now is a time for the Republics to show unity, with the galaxy upset by two newcomers showing themselves.”

“I might as well speak, given the way the sails are blowing,” the normally silent adjudicator of the Republics spoke up. “We have been so concerned with ourselves and those who might be our enemies here that we have not looked at some of the obvious showings and news of the species outside of ourselves,” A picture of a blond human giving a speech on Illium displayed itself in the auditorium. “There seem to be two groups of Humans that have made themselves known, one of which seems to have evolved technologically away from utilizing mass effect technology. And while our intelligence apparatus is not as good with signal interception as our Salarian counterparts are, we have been able to get some recordings of conversations between Aethyta and the current leaders of the Commonwealth.”

A small audio and video recording from what appeared to be a dockworker began to play on all of the Matriarch’s screens.

"Now that is an interesting ship," Aethyta remarked as she looked at the Serenity, the Sting class gunship that was being used as a testbed for how effective the mating of our technology would be with the technology-based off on Element Zero.

"I like it," I smiled underneath my armor. "This one has been in service for over three hundred years," I patted the side of it. "I bought her and hired her crew of ex-smugglers around fifty years ago. The crew has since retired, but we kept some of the internal modifications that they made before doing a complete refit of the ship."

"She looks like she's done a lot in her years," Aethyta said as she touched the side of the gunship before walking around and looking at the weapons emplacements that were plainly visible. "How much to buy one of these?" She asked as her eyes widened at the sheer amount of guns that were on the Serenity.

"There are some things to work out before we start production on new versions," I told the Matriarch. "But once those kinks are worked out we can discuss things further."

"Don't trust me enough to give anything away huh?" Aethyta asked. "That's alright, I wouldn't trust another Matriarch either." She spat on the ground. "As far as I'm concerned, most of the other girls my age are too set in their own ways, expecting the galaxy to bend to our will because we are the 'elder' species."
“Now, we must devote time, energy, and resources to figuring out the primary motivations of this new power bloc that is forming in the Terminus. For far too long have we been content to allow the Terminus to remain out of our influence.”

“We must first deal with the fallout from Illium,” Irissa spoke up, cutting off the Adjudicator. “I motion that we begin with sanctions against the Terminus Commonwealth until Illium is allowed to become a corporate entity again.”

“And now we see as it falls apart,” Beneziah sighed. “We should be focusing on trying to figure out why there seem to be two separate branches of humanity, but instead we have a bunch of old Asari arguing over what funding and issues there are to be had,” Beneziah stood up and made her way out of the room, Shiala following closely behind.

“Ahh, Beneziah,” Saneez Janniara greeted the other Matriarch. Have you come to persuade me and my compatriots to stay?”

“No, I understand you and your stance, even if I do not agree with it,” Beneziah smiled softly. “I merely came to invite you out for dinner one last time on Thessia before you depart for the colonies.”

“I’ve got negotiations with some mercenaries,” Janniara said with a small smile. “But I’m certain I can find an opening in my busy schedule for an old friend such as yourself.”

Author's Note: So, the good news is that I don't have a tear in my bicep. The bad news is that I strained it very badly. So I can continue writing, but may have to either take light duty off of work, or might not even be able to work for a little bit.

Which leads me to my next subject. I am going to be posting a Patreon link here in a little bit for commissions. Whether it's a side story piece or a point of view shift that you think I might have missed. I'm even willing to cover the lives of characters that I might only barely touch on in this story and expand on them in the sidestory sections... This also extends to the Apocrypha stuff if you want me to continue that. None of my regular content will be ever be locked behind a paywall or anything else. This is merely a way to help me make ends meet as this goes along.
I wish you well,but i am unable to help.Sorry.
Back to chapter - Asari being Asari is nice.They do not even start seeking Athame.She risked their life,after all.
I wish you well,but i am unable to help.Sorry.
Back to chapter - Asari being Asari is nice.They do not even start seeking Athame.She risked their life,after all.
Honestly they try to show how united they are when honestly they are probably more like the the Free Worlds League in politics. Only with shadow wars instead of overt civil wars.
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