Chapter 86
Chapter 86
February 2180, Arcturus

"Lieutenant Commander Shepard, are you able to give a statement about your actions on Elysium?" a reporter asked as her drone hovered over the two of them recording everything.

"Go to NAVCOM if you want a statement," Shepard replied. "I'm not at liberty to discuss anything at the moment."

The N7 continued walking until she entered the building where she was to meet with the Alliance Naval Command.

"Lieutenant Commander Shepard," the current Admiral of the Navy, Admiral Keplar, greeted her as she entered the meeting room after going through a series of comprehensive scans and other assorted identification measures. "This meeting is about your future, and how we move forward from here."

"Take a seat, Shepard," Vice Admiral Hackett ordered. "We have a lot to go over."

"Having done a complete overhaul of our safety protocols in the wake of the attack on Elysium,"

"Reports are just now coming out with how high the damage toll is, and how many people will not be returning to their loved ones."

"The new assorted Batarian and Pirate states are being referred to as the new Barbary states by the Systems Alliance, with them stating that they would never negotiate with a nation of pirates."

"The Batarian Hegemony has withdrawn from the Citadel once again as they move to a war footing with the varied pirate states."

"Tensions between the Citadel and the Terminus Commonwealth are at an all-time high as the Salarian and Asari Councilors override the Turian Councilor in a vote to restrict Medigel from being sold to the Commonwealth."

"It has been my greatest privilege to serve as the representative for the Hierarchy for the years in which I have," Sparatus announced. "And with my move to a new position I hope to continue my service in a new capacity. I will be training my replacement and will remain available as an advisor to those who need it."

"And in a surprising turn of events, Systems Alliance Ambassador Anita Goyle has been admitted to the hospital. When asked for a statement, the Alliance refused to comment."

"Once again, the Hero of Elysium has made the news cycle with a stunning victory in space over one of the Batarian Pirate states, the now Captain was able to defeat a much larger group of pirate vessels with creative tactics and strategy."

"Ambassador Anita Goyle has been released from the hospital but is now being recalled to Arcturus as she has spoken of her wish to retire from her office. The Alliance Parliament is voting now on who will be replacing her."

"The Turian Hierarchy has begun supporting increases in naval development, with the Volus assisting in both funding Research and development as well as assisting the Elcor and Hanar in the development of larger navies."

"Matriarch Tevos reportedly stormed out of a meeting between other Matriarchs on Thessia, she has departed from Asari space with many of her followers, and we have been reliably informed that the Council has dispatched a Spectre to ensure that she has no ill intentions."

"And in recent news, the Terminus Commonwealth announced a series of military exercises."

"Omega recently separated from other Terminus states and has become a member of the Asari Republics. When contacted for a comment, Matriarch Aria T'Loak simply said to 'fuck off and go bother someone else.'"

The Quarian Enclave in the Systems Alliance has finished some of the largest shipyards in the galaxy, and has begun taking customers on a contract basis."

January 2185

"So, can anyone tell me what all of this means?" General MacIntosh, the current CO of the Terminus Commonwealth's SPECWAR division asked.

"That tensions are at a boiling point and the galaxy is on the edge of war," Captain Arthur Steiner stated.

"That's what the Media would tell you," Ian said as he changed to a different set of slides on the PowerPoint. "Relations are currently at an all-time high with both the Systems Alliance and the Turian Hierarchy. Despite the Council's sanctions and attempts to prevent us from acquiring technology like Medigel, we have been able to purchase the license in secret and begin enough production for at least limited purposes."

"Why are we here, sir?" First Lieutenant Elizabeth MacIntosh asked her father.

"Because you two are going to be commanding a special forces squad that's going to join in on a joint antipiracy expedition," the general stated. "We're trying to improve relations with the Salarians and the Asari, and you two are the tip of the spear on this."

"You sure this is a good idea?" Arthur asked. "We're not exactly the diplomatic type."

"You're what's needed at the moment," MacIntosh stated. "SPECWAR Command will be picking the members of the squad that will be joining you while also taking any suggestions that you might have."

"Who's going to be in charge of this expedition?" Arthur asked.

"A rear Admiral Anderson," Ian replied. "Most of the ships are going to be Alliance and Turian, so be on your best behavior."

"Rules of engagement?" Elizabeth asked.

"We'll have a list of approved technology that you can use," MacIntosh said. "And you'll be using Powered armor instead of Battle Armor, with the Kinetic Barriers it should be sufficient for what will be needed."

"Understood," Arthur said as the meeting came to an end.

"Any further questions?" MacIntosh asked.

"I'm sure I'll think of something," Arthur responded. "But I can't think of anything I need to be answered at the moment."

"Then you're dismissed," General MacIntosh said. "I'll be sending over more details as we move forward."

"So, you think that this is going to kickstart a war?" Elizabeth asked as they sat at a crowded bar.

"No clue," Arthur shrugged. "But I think we should stay on our toes anyway. Never know what kind of shit'll get thrown our way."

"Agreed," the woman said as she raised her drink. "Think this will end up like that mission on Horizon?"

"God I hope not," Arthur replied as he took a swig of the dark ale. "That was a clusterfuck of a mission."

"One that we will never speak of again," another voice said as a big Krogan walked up. "Excepting present company, of course."

"Kordak!" Elizabeth stood up and gave the Krogan a hug. "I didn't know you were back from your op."

"Got recalled," the other operator shrugged as he sat down. "They said they needed someone who already had experience working with you two, and here I am."

"It's good to see you again," Arthur grinned. "Can I get you a drink?"

"Nah, been trying to cut down on the excess alcohol," the Krogan said with a sigh. "I get redundant organs, but that's not an excuse to waste them."

"So, what are you able to tell us about the op you were on?" Elizabeth asked as she sat back down.

"Well, I'm not allowed to give a lot of details," Kordak replied. "It's very much need to know on that one."

"Fair enough," Arthur said. "Either way, it'll be good to have a competent Noncom around."
117 Cont.
This is the continuation of the Master Chief's adventures in the AU of BOTH posted a little while ago.

Sian, Capellan Confederations June 27, 3026

"Come on," The Chief said to Zhang Li. "We're getting you fixed up," the green giant began walking out of the bunker.

"What's the point?" the Capellan asked. "I'm a dead man walking."

"There's always a way to win," the Chief grunted as he walked back up the stairs. "We just have to find it."

"This is my ship," The Chief said as he climbed into the cockpit and began navigating the various systems and subsystems. "How much does your Urbanmech weigh?"

"Thirty tons, why?" Zhang asked.

"Because the maximum lift capacity of this dropship is seventy tons, and I do not want to leave your primary vehicle and means of transportation behind."

"Just leave it here man, we can come back for it if we need to," the Capellan replied.

"I have a vacuum-rated suit in the locker above your head," the Chief stated. "You'll want to put it on."

"Why?" Zhang asked only to receive no answer, the Chief seemingly ignoring him in order to pilot the Pelican, closing the drop bay as the ship began moving upwards through the atmosphere. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see," the Chief replied. "Get some rest, we'll be waiting for a while."

After pushing the Pelican to its limits, they arrived at the Forward Unto Dawn's wreck scarcely five days later.

"You sure we can find a cure?" Zhang coughed into his hand, small flecks of blood showing as he wiped it off on the armor that the Green Giant had given him.

The Chief just looked at him, the reflective visor giving nothing away as the Pelican docked with the Forward Unto Dawn.

"Wait here," the Chief ordered as he sealed the cockpit and opened up the bay doors to the void of the bay in the Aft end of the frigate. Pushing off, he moved to one of the few terminals that were intact enough to interact with, he needed to know how much power remained and if the reactors were still viable enough to open up a route to the medbay.

Seeing that there was enough power to pressurize some areas of the ship and to keep the medbay running for a day or so, the Chief input a series of commands, the exterior bulkheads slamming down and sealing, allowing the ship to repressurize the hallways and areas that were in between the Pelican bay and the medical bay.

"Come on," The chief ordered as he opened the Pelican's hatch. "We're going to the medbay."

"What is this?" Zhang asked as he looked around the cluttered bay, the weapons, and other equipment having been thrown loose when the portal had cut the Dawn in half.

"Dust and echos," the Chief replied, a frown appearing under his helmet as he recalled the words of Cortana years before.

Moving weightlessly through the low gravity environment, the two of them eventually reached the Medbay, which seemed more intact than most of the ship given that it was one of the most centrally located rooms.

Grabbing a Medical Scanner, the Chief began examining the Capellan soldier, eventually stopping to remove a couple of sections of armor to collect a blood sample.

Placing the blood sample in the medical scanner, he began running everything through the equipment, the advanced technology speeding through the analysis before identifying exactly what the pathogen was and providing a list of possible solutions.

Walking over to the sterile prep area that was kept separate from the rest of the medbay, the Chief began running the program to synthesize the cure that Zhang needed, the time eventually being sent to his Mjolnir with the projected time showing up underneath his motion sensors.

"Get some rest," the Chief said as he reentered the medbay. "The cure will be ready in five hours."

Aft end of the Forward Unto Dawn, July 4, 3026

"So, you want to fix this pile of scrap up?" Zhang asked as they began moving supplies out into the dropship bay.

"Yes, we'll make trips to the surface as needed to get the proper materials," The Green Giant replied. "The BDU you're wearing is sealed against foreign contaminants."

"Right," Zhang muttered. "Because of course, it is. Anything else we need to get done?"

"I need your information on any major industrial centers and possible power plants," the Chief replied as he fueled up the Pelican. "The Dawn's main reactor needs to be refueled, and until we have the right amounts of fuel we'll need to power the tools we're working with."

"But why this piece of shit?" Zhang asked as he kicked a bulkhead. "There might be a Jumpship at the zenith point we can use."

"Follow me," the Chief said as he turned and walked towards an area that Zhang hadn't seen before, a sign painted over the door saying 'Cryobay'.

"This is why," The Chief said as he brushed the ice off of a few of the cryo pods, the people frozen within being too critically wounded to bring out of stasis until they could be operated on.

"Damn," Zhang whispered as he saw the half a dozen people frozen. "Aren't you worried about them dying in there?"

"The risk is there," The Chief said as he left the room, expecting the Capellan to follow. "But it is better than no chance at all."

"Alright," Zhang said after he swore a bit in Mandarin. "So we fix this ship up. Then what?"

"We go to Earth," the Chief said. "The UNSC will be able to fix these people."
Chapter 87
Chapter 87

Serpent Nebula, Widow System, March 1st, 2185

“This is where we’re supposed to assemble,” Arthur said to both Kordak and Elizabeth. “The rest of our team should be here shortly.”

“We’ve got the right berth number?” Kordak asked.

“Yeah, it’s B17,” the 2nd Lieutenant replied as she checked her slate.

“Here comes the rest of the group now,” Arthur nodded his head toward the group of nine that was walking toward them.

“Wiso,” Arthur brought the Quarian for a bear hug before setting her down. “How’s the husband and kids?”

“They are good,” the woman replied as she touched some of the trophies dangling from her armor. “They wish to see you again sometime soon.”

“I’ll drop by for a visit after this op,” Arthur smiled. “I’ve been busy, after all.”

“I’ve heard about some of those ops you’ve been on,” Dhom Pockastar, the resident spook and disguise expert chimed in. “Wish I had been in on some of that action.”

“Trust me, you don’t want any part of the action that this guy is a part of,” Malcolm Hatfield spoke up, the technician smirking as he patted his old friend on the back. “Something always goes crazy wrong.”

“That’s not normally my fault though,” Arthur pointed out with a grin. “Murphy just loves me sometimes.”

“I’m Captain Shepard, welcome aboard the Normandy,” the redhead greeted the Terminus Commonwealth’s contribution to the joint antipiracy force. “This is the ship that will be your home for the next few months, so get comfortable. A list of areas that are off limits has been sent to each and every one of you,” Shepard met the eyes of the Commonwealth Special Operations soldiers. “Should you be found in one of those areas you will be thrown into the brig for the rest of the expedition.”

“Understood, Captain,” Arthur said as his people began setting up their kit in the cargo bay. “Anything else we need to know?”

“Not at the moment,” Shepard said. “When you and your team are done unpacking I’ll bring the ground troops commander over for an introduction. You’ll be working closely with him, after all.”

“I don’t have all that much,” Arthur gestured towards the pack in his hand and the cases of weapons and armor that the Terminus Commonwealth had stacked into a corner of the cargo bay.

“Alright then,” Shepard said as she turned and gestured for Arthur to walk with her. “He should still be on the bridge.”

The two humans began walking toward the central elevator when the doors opened revealing a Turian.

“Garrus Vakarian,” Arthur said as his eyes lit up in recognition. “You son of a bitch, I thought you were done with this sort of life after you left the Brotherhood of Steel.”

“Hierarchy paid well enough for me to become a trainer and officer for this expedition,” Garrus replied with a grin. “I didn’t figure that you’d be the one in charge of the Commonwealth’s forces though.”

“Luck of the draw,” Arthur shrugged as he gripped Garrus’ forearm and pat his friend on the back. “Anything touchy around here I should know about?”
“We’ve got some advisors that you’ll want to know about,” Shepard said from behind Arthur, a chuckle escaping her lips as she realized the introduction was unnecessary. “And there have been rumors of some unusual activity popping up in a handful of Systems Alliance colonies.”

“Most people here are straightforward enough that there shouldn’t be any problems,” Garrus agreed. “We’re really just waiting for Admiral Anderson to finish the plan before we move the battlegroup out.”

“Am I allowed to know anything about the ship, ma’am?” Arthur asked. “This one doesn’t match the specs on the usual Alliance frigate.”

“This’ll be her shakedown cruise,” Shepard stated as she looked at the man. “The Normandy is the first of her class, and we’ll be putting her through her paces. I’ll reveal more as it becomes necessary,” Shepard shrugged. “That said, you’re now a part of my crew, and I take care of my crew. So let me know if you need anything and I’ll do my best to make sure you get it.”

“Wilco,” Arthur said as he glanced at the Commonwealth soldiers that were unpacking their kit. “I’ll let you know if we need anything.”

“So Eden Prime first?” Anderson asked Sparatus as the advisor looked at the galaxy map in front of them.

“Yes, better to get the Beacon to allied hands before some pirate decides that they’d rather sell it to a private collector,” Sparatus replied. “I would hate for one of the Pirate states to get more advanced technology. That could lead to the kind of war we don’t want to fight right now.”

“Then we start with Eden Prime, and make our way to the borders next,” Anderson said as he charted the route they would be taking.

“We’ll need to try and find areas of resupply outside of the Citadel,” Sparatus said as he looked at the route. “We may want to establish our own supply chains while we’re out there. Our respective governments will send what they can, but that new Salarian Councilor Valern and Councilor Benezia are in lockstep with regards to trying to push the Terminus Commonwealth out of our political sphere entirely.”

“It’s that bad?” Anderson asked softly.

“Barring some sort of galaxy-wide emergency, I would expect war to break out in the next decade,” Sparatus summed up his thoughts on the subject. “We are on the brink of destruction, Admiral, let us weigh the scales in the other direction.”

Anderson looked up at the Turian as he sighed. The exhaustion was evident on the avian face.

“I have done all that I could to stave off the war,” Sparatus muttered. “The Hierarchy recognized that I needed a change of perspective, something to give me that was tangible. I may be your political advisor on this expedition, Admiral, but at some point, I expect to be put into the field. I have bandied words for far too long. The time for action has come.”
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There are a few sidestories that I've let sit on my backlog that I've got to get to fleshing out the backend of some of the politics that are going on.

The fact that the former top poli of the Turians is now going out to pick a fight as a way to get his head together, and this is completely reasonable to the locals?

Man. What a bunch.
Backchannel Politics Part One
Backchannel Politics Part One
(Same time as Pope Urban meets with Archbishop Jones)

As the papal security detail continued to move through the domed city a figure broke off and disappeared into an alleyway, reappearing a short while later dressed in clothing that looked like it had come out of an eighties apparel shop.

"Alright," Agent Walker said as she shook her blond hair out. "Chuck, you hear me?"

"Loud and clear," her partner replied. "Remember that this op isn't intended to do anything more than gather basic data on where the human part of the Terminus Commonwealth are from. We're not looking to start a war here."

"I know, Bartowski," Agent Walker replied as she made her way to a cafe, hoping to start by picking up some local gossip. "I'll be careful."

"If you need an exit, we do have an embedded agent in a small tech shop in this city," Chuck informed her. "You'll be asking for John Casey. He's in deep cover though and we'd prefer not to burn him if we don't need to."

"I understand!" Sarah said a bit frustratedly.

"Everything alright?" A pretty Batarian waitress asked.

"Boyfriend," Walker smiled awkwardly. "He means well, but I don't always need him looking out for me."

"Well, let me know if you need anything," the waitress walked away to another table.

"I'll have a coffee, please," a male voice said beside Walker as a middle aged man settled into a seat at the counter beside the SAI agent. "Black, and whatever the pretty lady beside me wants as well."

Walker didn't shift position too much, not wanting to give anything away.

"You're good," the man said lowly, nearly imperceptible to everyone but Walker. "If we hadn't been paying close attention to the papal visit we wouldn't have seen you at all."

"What made me?" The blond asked as she turned and looked at the salt and peppered man.

"The hair and accent," the man shrugged. "It's something you need a little work on. Now, you can come quietly and we'll just have a small chat. Or you can cause a ruckus and we'll have to grab your partner too," the man took a sip of coffee. "Choice's yours."

"I'll come quietly?" Walker asked, searching for a name.

"You can call me agent Chimera," the man said as he drained the cup before throwing down a chit with enough money on it to cover the drink and a tip with extra.

"So, where's the interrogation and cuffs?" Walker asked as she sat in a room with Agent Chimera.

"There ain't gonna be an interrogation," Chimera grunted. "We're here to establish a relationship. An… understanding as it were. We're trying to figure some things out. And we're willing to trade intel for intel."

"I'm listening," Walker said as she leaned forward.

"This is a one time use pad," Chimera slid a slate across to the blond. "It's got the beginnings of a deal on it. Take it to your superiors and come back with a response. We'll keep an eye out for you and your partner."

"It may take a little while before I'm able to return with a response though," Walker stated.

"That's fine." Chimera shrugged. "We'll be here waiting."

"Sarah!" Chuck exclaimed as he pulled the woman into his arms and laid a kiss on her forehead. "I was about to come in guns blazing. Are you okay?"

"I'm good," Sarah replied as she wrapped her arms around her lover. "I just had to go comms silent for a bit."

"What happened?" Chuck asked as he sat down.

"A series of unusual events," Sarah Walker replied. "I'll tell you all about it as we make our way back to the Systems Alliance. I've got something the brass are going to be very interested in."

Author's note: This is part one of the side stories that should flesh some details out.
Unless the Cult has agents mind controlling the SA government. The humans in ME are disturbingly attracted to the blue hags.
True enough - but Cult tend to act slowly,so their agents probably are still making connections in right places.
If you live 1000 years,you could wait 50 or 100 to make sure that control is perfect.
True enough - but Cult tend to act slowly,so their agents probably are still making connections in right places.
If you live 1000 years,you could wait 50 or 100 to make sure that control is perfect.
True. The Uncanny Valley effect they gave off when they were first introduced made my skin crawl. Their attitudes and life cycles as shown just rang the cultural alarm bells in my head. They reminded me too much of the human-like monsters, spirits and gods that hunted humans in our tribal cosmology.
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True. The Uncanny Valley effect they gave off when they were first introduced made my skin crawl. Their attitudes and life cycles as shown just rang the cultural alarm bells in my head. They reminded me too much of the human-like monsters, spirits and gods that hunted humans in our tribal cosmology.
Yup.Fucking Fae.
Batarian Madness: Part one
Batarian Madness: Part one

“General Balak, the Hegemon’s palace is ours,” a shadowy figure reported as she knelt, the cloaking on her armor distorting her image.

“Good,” Balak said as he continued to survey Khar’Shan through his terminal and give orders to his various senior officers. “And the Hegemon?”

“Committed suicide rather than allow us to capture him,” the shadow reported.

“Fine,” Balak sighed. “Looks like I’m going to have to do it myself.”

“Sir!” a young Batarian officer entered the room at a run. “The entirety of the military and slaves that were revolting have surrendered.”

“Separate them,” Balak ordered. “We’re going to have to comb through the records of both sides before a decision is made on what to do with them.”

“Yes sir!” the Batarian saluted and then turned to leave the room.

“What is your will?” the shadow asked once the officer had left.

“Start gathering up the Commissars,” Balak ordered. “We must determine who was falsely imprisoned and work to see if they are still valuable.”

“You are aware that they will be trying to purge their records?”

“Yes, that’s why you’re going to be seizing their records before they are able to dispose of them,” Balak smirked. “There is much to be done before we begin rebuilding the Hegemony into what it once was.”

“It will be done as you wish, Hegemon,” the Shadow inclined her head before standing up and vanishing.

“Always dramatic, that one,” Balak mused as he turned to survey the holographic representation of Khar’Shan once again. “Now, to begin planning for the future.”

“I see that the Warlords have broken off,” Balak stated as he looked at the advisory council that he had formed once he had taken the position of Hegemon. “Unfortunately, we lack the forces to subjugate those worlds and will have to oust them as pirate states.”

“Our economy is just beginning to recover from the civil war,” the economics advisor stated as he sent over some of his reports. “Opening back up to the Citadel and Council races was a boon that we desperately needed.”

“We must find ways to demonstrate that we are not party to whatever it is the new pirate nations will do,” Balak stated. “The days of the Hegemony funding pirate and slave raids are over.”

“Cut off all trade with them,” an Admiral stated. “We need to dedicate most of our resources to building up our navy and army back up to pre-war levels anyway. Cut them off from trade and treat them as the other nations will.”

“Find me legal ways to declare it properly,” Balak nodded toward the Keeper of the Laws. “I would rather have precedent but will establish new precedents if necessary.”

“I will comb through the ancient laws,” the Ancient looking Batarian inclined his head. “We were not always slavers and did indeed have pirate problems of our own.”

“Good,” Balak stated. “Is there anything else we need to discuss before we move on to other matters?”

“What are we to do with the slaves that were unskilled?” One of the chief magistrates asked. “While we freed and have started paying the skilled and talented slaves above fair wages, the unskilled ones are not as valuable.”

“We will start programs giving them the skills that we need as a society,” Balak stated firmly. “It will take some time to phase out slavery and begin automating the factories and other jobs. If we desire to rise above the other interstellar nations then we must adapt to the modern world. There is much that we have fallen behind on in our corrupted state.”

“There is still much rebuilding to be done,” one officer said with a sigh. “Some of the slaves are mind broken, and it is impossible to assist them in any way.”

“I will approach the Council about returning that group of people to the nations that they were taken from,” Balak said as he looked around at the advisors. “But we cannot do the same with the skilled laborers until they have taught their skills to enough people for us to not be reliant on them. At this point, there are many in our nation that do not understand how their basic technology works or how to repair it. We need to reeducate and reevaluate once we have achieved our basic goals of stabilizing what is left of our society,” Balak noted that all of the advisors looked like they were in need of rest.

“This meeting is over,” Balak said as he stood up. “Go, get some rest, you will do the Hegemony no good if you are dead on your feet. This work can wait until the morning.”

“With all due respect,” Abramak Krefseth, the new head of the SIU replied. “But I’ll rest when you do sir.”

“We will all get some rest,” Balak said with a small glare at the General that was sitting smugly. “Go home to your families, there is much work to be done in the next few years, and that work begins tomorrow.”

Author's Note: Sorry for the late update, My roof took a bit longer than expected, and due to working my regular job and then re roofing my house, I've just not had a lot of time to write. Normal schedule should resume next Monday.
Take your time,real roof is more important then fiction,even as good as yours.
So,Batarians are on road to being normal state How Asari try fuck it?

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