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Gray Team was deployed behind enemy lines. As always, John thought. The Chief wished there could be more ships assigned to the task force, but things were already stretching thin for the Coalition as is.
The Arbiter did mention something about having Shadow of Intent on standby. A small hiss came as he popped the seals, revealing three swords. In built catalyst modules. Biomass will disintegrate when touched. Palmer was given two lengthened ninjato to suit her size for dual wielding, while Adrian received a long blade, with a minor gradual curve at the last third of the blade, the hilt was also curved too. It was reminiscent of a cross between an oriental blade and an Arabic weapon.
Palmer raised an eyebrow and moved the blade to her thigh holsters, the moment she let go, seams appeared on the blade and split apart, reforming into a harmless cylinder with a hilt. Shepard gazed out of the Alliance Kodiak's viewport, watching the beautiful mountainous green landscapes of Sur'Kesh stretch far out below the rays of the sun.
But by all means, if they start backtracking, use the angry krogan act when necessary. Wrex turned to face the turian. Shepard was slightly annoyed that she couldn't take the Osprey with her; Cortez seemed to share the same sentiment too. Jane looked at Javik.
Then again, look at you. Don't know what happened, but I'd think you'd give a krogan a run for his money in melee. Cortez weaved the shuttle through the tree covered cliff face, reminiscent of China's coastal regions. Rivers and waterfalls streamed through the valleys, surrounding the salarian base, and giving it an advantageous position. The Kodiak hovered over the landing pad, billowing up gusts of air. He walked up to the doors and opened the hatch.
The Krogan launched him through the air with a growl, and landed with a loud thud. With a swift movement of his arms, he encased himself in a mist of biotics, and hurled the two guards into the walls. The krogan didn't kill them, but he did knock them a bit.
STG operatives quickly took up defensive perimeters. Snipers activated their laser pointers and trained them onto the krogan, as a warning gesture.
Shepard quickly jumped onto the ground, using her biotics to dampen the fall. Unlike the rest of his colleagues who were wearing white armour, his was jet black, signifying superior rank. His tone was worried and stressed. Considerable since the following events could quite very well spark another war with the krogans. We only found out about this transfer a few moments ago. The salarian officer led Shepard and her team towards the wing's foyer.
For a species with an extremely high rate of emotional processing, they certainly had good taste. With war on everyone's mind, our people are on edge.
It was a yahg, a violent species with a bitter past with humanity. She could feel her skin crawl as she watched the being smash against the containment barriers.
The tips of Liara's tentacles flushed deep lavender, showing the increasing stress levels in her body. That explains everything, Jane thought, she had an intuitive mind, being able to draw conclusions like these were not much of a stretch for her. No wonder they don't want the UNSC down here… salarians might've learned of the Coalition's existence because of the yahg, definitely explains the lack of reaction from the salarians.
The research we do here has kept Sur'Kesh safe for millennia. Too busy writing poetry about waterfalls. I should be the one going in. Too bad I don't know him… or her.
Shepard ignored the comment. Tuchanka may be a pile of radioactive rubble, but it's our pile, and we'll fight to the last krogan to keep it that way. We're ready," Wrex said proudly. He had helped her in the fight against Saren on Virmire, and a few minutes of kind words was something she could do with. You saved my men that day. Maleon may have meant well, but his operation was crude," Kirrahe frowned.
He always seemed the more human one out of the salarians. Either way I have my orders. They'll be your problem soon enough. After a few more minutes of light conversation, and hastily introducing Javik, to which Kirrahe had initially believed to be an intricate cosmetic surgery for psychological warfare against the Reapers, the team bid the Major adieu, before heading to Wiks.
However, there were concerns about security leaks within the base, that were being voiced. Have our people on standby. In the future, the krogan may yet play some role we can't even imagine. We should let the revolutionary process decide who lives and dies. Threat condition two has been declared.
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The based exploded in a fury of motions as STG Operatives and Salarian soldiers scrambled to their stations. Wiks activated his Omni-tool to get readout of what was happening. There was unease in the air, and multiple factors played a part in it.
She wished the other Spartans were here, John in particular. But her friend couldn't come, unless they wanted to risk some diplomatic turmoil. The Dalatrass is one fucking bitch, Jane thought. Never makes anything easy. As the elevator doors parted open, Shepard and her team stepped into the dim blue lights of the underground chamber. It was a stark contrast to the sunshine, open air and running waters that lay above.
Over the intercom, a controller relayed contingency protocols to be carried out. Salarian scientists were running from console to console, checking the integrity of systems. Jane's lips curled into a small smile when she saw who was waiting for them. He had red pigmented skin, white lab coat with a central red strip, and a shortened horn that didn't look like a birth defect. Good to have you here," Professor Mordin Solus greeted. Hadn't expected to return to work. More or less surprised about your size.
Excellent," Mordin said, as if he was commenting on the weather. Fed information to Clan Urdnot. Encouraged political pressure to free females. Security warning not normal. Need to get off world for sake of krogan. Side effect of Maelon's cure. I thought we saved it," Shepard said. Lacks crucial details to reconstruct cure, but still useful from synthesising tissue… couldn't save them. Cannot delay now," Mordin's voice picked up in urgency, "one survivor.
Can synthesise tissue from her tissue. If she dies, genophage cure… problematic. Her voice was old, and her tone was weary, as if all the fight in her was gone. What am I to you? They died in a lot of pain. That makes me dangerous to a lot of people," the Krogan Female said. Why are you here? I'm fighting for that," Shepard answered. Alarms began to chatter, and sirens began to wail. Immediately, the salarians began enacting contingency protocols.
They moved their research data to offsite locations, while preparing to wipe current copies. Shepard overheard one of the salarians say that their communications had been severed. Some of the salarian's eyes widened in surprised as they witnessed the technological achievement.
Jane quickly activated the distress beacon, before unslinging her Sabre-H, it was time to get to work. The scientist looked at him, and nodded. John on the other hand, just simply walked into his armour. The plates split open, allowing him to enter, and resealed again, encasing him in the most powerful UNSC model to date. If Palmer felt uncomfortable about wearing armour that was more revealing, as in figure hugging, then she didn't show it. Satisfied that everyone's gear was in full working order.
John opened the hangar doors, the containment barriers kicked in to prevent a decompression. Shepard's mayday call had been relayed to Commander Miranda Keyes, who was also moved Divinus into a geosynchronous orbit. Your best bet is to attack from the south and east, and secure an LZ for Shepard.
I'll keep an eye out. Reaching the lower atmospheres, John could hear the air howling past. And in a silent agreement, the jumpers activated their thruster packs, slowing their descent. Divinus wasn't a frigate, hence it's on board compliments were more for defending the ship, rather than participate in incursions.
But exceptions had to be made, probably why Lasky and another General assigned a company of Airborne to the ship. The group touched down softly on a rocky outcrop, brushing past a few trees on the way in. The last of the UNSC forces landed groundside on the surrounding cliff edges, John began to issue orders. Ospreys flew in and dropped their chalks of Talons and light vehicles.
Helljumpers retrieved Grendel and Missile Launchers from their body, preparing to shoot down any Cerberus shuttle. We're at the northern end of the base. He could hear Shepard's heavy panting, and the sound of alarms. There was something wrong. He knew the Krogan Female would be the target, and would've expected a massive mayday call from Shepard, but she didn't send one. Just a warning message. He expected that the Illusive Man would've sent in the people that killed Crimson Two.
But now was not the time for those thoughts. If those guys weren't here, they'd probably have been shot down by the Claymores, or they never went to Sur'Kesh at all. Sprinting to the edge of the cliff, the Spartan dug his heels into the rock, and flung himself across the water before using his thruster pack to get him the rest of the way. Rook, Wizard and Keyes followed suit, and pretty soon, they reached the Salarian base.
Quickly, Cerberus troops opened fire on them, but the Spartans were faster. They were already behind cover before Cerberus had pulled the trigger. Boosters accelerated it away from the stricken ship, barely making it before more shots crashed into the Everest's flanks.
Reaper vessels fired incessantly, cruisers and frigates exploding around the pod as it made good its escape from the battle line. The network's going crazy, First Fleet is falling back through the relay, the Fourth's being annihilated over Earth! Other ships, those too wounded to make the faster than light jumps, remained, sacrificing their vessels to allow others to escape.
Yellow blasts tore through the inky blackness of space, signalling the death of more servicemen in a futile struggle against the vast hordes of Reapers. If we add our armour's supplies, we should have enough for three days, maybe four if we regulate our supply.
I don't have an armour supply, sir. Clarke, get Michaels' helmet on, but disconnect the breather plate for now. As soon as we reach critical levels of air, we get our helmets on and switch to our personal supplies. Clarke finished, before struggling with putting on Michaels' helmet without putting any pressure on the site of the head wound that he had taken.
The visor on Naylor's own helmet, a specialist design based off of Inferno-pattern Armour, was hinged upwards, disconnecting the inbuilt supply of air in the back of his hardsuit and letting him breathe the onboard oxygen supply in the escape pod.
They're tearing through our ships like butter. In the din of the combat, he could make out a few human bodies, the life sucked out of them as they were exposed to the cold void of space. Remember the big dreadnought those synthetics used to attack the Citadel three years ago?
- Diplomatic Ships
The ships that the four-eyed bastards use are triangular, like cheese wedges. I still think they're Geth. Captain Crockett stood defiant on the bridge, working rapidly at damaged terminals and consoles alongside the few volunteers that were staying with the ship until her death, and theirs.
The few weapons still operational on the vessel fired as fast as their automated reload cycles would allow. Hundreds of rounds blasted through the void, mostly impacting ineffectively against the kinetic barriers of the Reaper vessels tearing through the Alliance's First Fleet. A few were lucky shots, hitting the far weaker armour of the smaller destroyer-class vessels, and though they caused minimal damage, a very tiny number caused enough damage to disable the main weaponry on the destroyers, if only for a few minutes before another ship took the damaged one's place in the carnage.
Were the ship to take another hit, the vessel would soon be annihilated as the drive core fully destabilised underneath it. The Everest is going down, Captain. I am initiating General Order No. Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been a pleasure serving alongside you. Proceed to the last remaining escape pods on this deck. I will remain behind to enact the order. Crockett smiled slightly, a small tear being shed from her eye as she walked towards her terminal at the rear of the CIC.
Estimate time to destruction — thirty seconds. The crew members around her tensed up as the display ticked over to zero. From the porthole in his escape pod, Naylor watched as the Everest was annihilated in a ball of white fury, the explosion catching a trio of disabled cruisers around the ship, annihilating them and setting of a massive chain reaction, destabilising the cores of the cruisers caught by it and immolating a huge swathe of space around the corpse of the dreadnought.
Naylor's pod barely made it out of the radius of the explosion, buffeted by the shockwaves and barely managing to reach safety, while a number of other pods were caught, the occupants dying a mercifully swift death as the pods around them disintegrated under the heat of the explosion. The occupants of Naylor's pod all looked outside the single window, "The Everest's gone. Citadel space station, Serpent Nebula The Presidium ring on the Citadel was a haven of peace and quiet, the conversations taking place around the entrance to the embassy complex being kept to respectable levels of noise, no-one being forced to raise their voice over the conversations of anyone else.
A lack of urgency could be used to describe the diplomats there, calmly going around their ordinary day-to-day lives, ignorant of the situation that was slowly engulfing the vast swathe that was human-controlled space to the galactic east of the Citadel. From her office high above the curved floor of the Presidium. Councillor Celia Tevos watched the people below, casting a careful eye over the hundreds moving about their daily lives on board the immense space station.
How much would that scene change in the next few hours, she wondered, running a hand over her crests as she turned back to the proverbial mountain of reports she would have to go through, datapads piled high on her desk, taunting her for every moment that she delayed going through them. It was not her fault.
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Barely half a standard day earlier, ten short hours, and she had been in a meeting with a tired, worn-out man she had never thought to see again.
Aral Kharaz, the Batarian ambassador to the Citadel before his famous departure in the early years after the arrival of humanity into Citadel space, had requested a meeting to allow hundreds of Batarian refugees to seek a place of safety on the Citadel. He claimed that the Hegemony had been attacked, eradicated even, by a force orders of magnitude more powerful than the Batarians, despite their leaders' claims of militaries that rivalled the Turians and an economy in excess of that of the asari.
Kharaz' argument seemed so illogical — to Tevos, it had originally sounded like the ambassador was wanting the Council's permission to allow the Batarians a chance to smuggle soldiers onto the station, to try and seize power from the Council and wreak petty revenge for what had been done decades before in better times.
It was only when Tevos received the reports from the Alliance that Batarians were flooding from Hegemony space through Alliance checkpoints, all talking of fearsome tides of death and destruction enveloping their worlds.
It was so sudden the Alliance initially believed it to be an invasion of their space, before Fleet Admiral Hackett and Admiral Anderson, the former human Councillor, stepped in. The Alliance had declared that their entire military might was being placed on their highest alert levels. Coded transmissions were sent to the militaries of the salarians, turians and asari. All were initially ignored, but once the respective races' admirals paid attention, and the transmissions decoded, they all had the same message written in the open: The Reapers are here.
For the past three years, Tevos had been forced by the will of her own people to deny the entire idea of the existence of the Reapers since the attack on the Citadel in She had seen it there first hand, a single Reaper and the geth supposedly enslaved by it tearing ribbons through the turian, asari and salarian ships defending the heart of galactic space.
She couldn't deny something she knew to be true — it was to go against the principles on which she stepped up to the role of councillor a century and a half before as a young matron, inexperienced in the chaos that could erupt in galactic politics. But her own government, her colleagues on the Council, Sparatus and Valern, and the governments of all four Council races had denied the reports. Only Anderson, Hackett and herself tried to prepare for the arrival of the Reapers, culminating in the Alliance sending Shepard to annihilate the Alpha Relay, wiping out an entire system to give the galaxy six more months of peace.
So when the Alliance sent the message out, she knew them to be telling the truth. Reconvening the meeting with Kharaz just two hours after she had sent him away in disgrace, the councillor accepted his plea, allowing the first of hundreds of refugee ships to disgorge thousands of batarian families onto the station, women and children making the vast majority of those fleeing the carnage in their own space.
When she saw the news reporters questioning the arrival of so many batarians, she knew her decision would prove problematic. Already Donnel Udina, the hideous replacement for David Anderson, was questioning her decision relentlessly, displaying the typical bigotry that the Alliance extended to their equally-bigoted batarian counterparts.
Sparatus agreed with the human, asking why when the security services for the Citadel were already under strength across the entire station. Only Valern extended compassion to the batarians, but that was just on the surface - he stalwartly refused them access beyond the docks and into the areas of the station where they could be properly treated and housed. It took a monumental argument in the chambers to force her colleagues to allow doctors and charities the access to help the refugees.
Entire docks were turned over to use for refugee families, housing hundreds at a time in squalor and filth, but safety under the watchful eyes of C-Sec officers. The docks had been barely suitable for the first families to arrive at, poorly maintained by Citadel authorities at the best of times. Tevos had been forced to save time and give the role of organising reconstruction work for the facilities to Councillor Udina, but she had heard little from the human since.
It worried her that the councillor was always focussing on aspects of the galaxy he couldn't control rather than smaller things that were taking place barely any distance from where his lavishly appointed office standing high above the Presidium. And please, I would prefer to be addressed as Tevos, not by a title I do not feel entitled to right now. I have news, councillor. As the councillor relaxed, finding herself being embraced by the warm confines of the sofa's corner, Morila sat nervously, deliberately distancing herself from her employer, her posture rigid and upright.
Have the other councillors begun organising the emergency construction teams for the refugee docks yet? It is about Earth. Her heart began beating, faster and harder against her chest. A small shiver ran up her spine, sweat beginning to rise up amongst the folds on the back of her neck. Their emergency channels are not being answered, and transmissions from the Sol system have been dramatically cut.