Chapter 1 Eden Prime
Ever wondered what it would have been like if Commander Shepard from the Mass Effect Video Game Series had been affected negatively after the Skyllian Blitz attack?
What if she had gone rogue and became a Renegade in an AU? What if Liara had been captured by Saren?
Shepard lost the battle of Skyllian Blitz on Elysium in 2176. It was a fierce and bloody battle in which many marines and civilians lost their lives. The attack came from the Elanos Haliat trying to secure himself as leader of the Verge. His private war was backed by Batarian financers who held a grudge against humanities expansion in the Verge. He ordered the attack using every pirate, mercenary and Batarian slaver under his control.
Although Shepard received the Alliance’s most advanced N-7 training, she was horribly out numbered. To save the lives of many others, she was forced to surrender to the Batarians. Shepard was taken as a prisoner and tortured for nearly a year before she finally broke. In fact, she once broke free from her restraints and killed several Batarian guards before being brought down.
The Batarian financiers were so impressed with her thirst for blood, they funded an increase in brain washing and torture techniques specifically for her. She became a pirate, completing heinously dangerous missions on their behalf until she too had become an outlaw and wanted by the System’s Alliance.
Standing on the star port platform of Eden Prime was a former Alliance Systems soldier. Her brilliant green eyes glistened in the warm sun and upon her head was a shaggy mat of copper red hair. The skin that clung to her high cheek bones was pale and creamy; possibly deprived of vitamin D due to her lack of sunlight exposure. Her posture emitted a great deal of self-confidence. Surrounding her taller than average frame was her gray armor with a wide dull green stripe running down the length of her right arm.
The feared soldier had picked the color as her own personal calling card. Red was associated with Alliance Soldiers, yellow was famous to the Eclipse Sisters, and blue was taken by the Blue Suns. It was rumored that ‘If you saw gray armor with such markings; you’d better start running in the other direction.’ The armor fit the combat soldier like a glove. It was battle scarred and stretching diagonally across her chest were distinctive claw marks of a battle krogan long since dead. The crimson haired woman proudly displayed her scarred armor with pride. Her name; Katherine Shepard and she was a force to be reckoned with.
Shepard was carrying on a conversation with the Spectre Nihlus. He spoke, “You know, they were once considering you to be a Spectre.”
Shepard mocked, “Spectre smetcher, too many rules!”
He laughed, “We don’t follow the rules, Spectre’s are exempt. We basically work outside the law.”
Shepard smirked at him, “I already have that!”
Staring at the emptiness in her eyes, he said, “Maybe that is why they didn’t choose you after all.”
She quipped, “I know of one rule that ALL Spectres are supposed to follow.”
Amused, he turned to face Shepard but instead saw the barrel of a pistol.
“Council Spectres are supposed to stay alive!” With that, she pulled the trigger and Nihlus’ limp body fell to the ground. Studying the lifeless body on the ground, Shepard heard someone stirring behind a stack of crates.
Suddenly, Saren Arterius stepped out from behind the crates and starred at Nihlus’ dead body. “What did you do? He was a fellow Spectre and friend!” He said sarcastically.
Shepard gripped her weapon tighter as Saren moved towards her.
Nonchalantly, the other spectre stepped over Nihlus’ motionless body and barely muttered, “He will be missed.”
Shepard examined the body for a minute before holstering her side arm.
Saren barked at her, “Quit admiring your handy work! Let’s go! I learned that the beacon is located on the other side of the train station.”
Shepard hurried down the catwalk and caught up to Saren who was already on the train. Lightly panting from the brisk run, Shepard inquired, “How did you find out where they moved it?”
Not taking his focus off the train controls Saren replied, “Let’s just say there are few less bothersome scientists in the galaxy now.” He chuckled at the thought of it. Saren enjoyed killing to get what he wanted and finding the Prothean Beacon is all that mattered. It made Shepard extremely edgy and down right paranoid most of the time.
Saren barked his orders loudly at the Geth, “Set the charges! Destroy the entire colony! Leave no evidence that we were here!” As the Geth began to set the timers for the bombs, Saren glanced at Shepard. “Come with me.”
Saren and Shepard walked along another long catwalk until they were standing in front of a large obelisk looking relic. Saren sighed deeply. “I’ve been waiting a long time to find you. As pleased as his voice was at the proclamation, it turned cold with the next statement. “Damn hard to find a working Prothean Beacon. Ugh! I hate that worthless race.”
The enormous turian cautiously walked up to the beacon not sure what to expect. As he moved, it began to hum and glow a pale green. The beacon’s vibrations increased dramatically and the glow transformed to a brilliant green as Saren reached out to touch it. Without warning Saren was lifted off the platform enveloped in a green glowing matter. The electronic pulses coming from the beacon were so intense, Shepard felt her armor vibrate. Saren’s arms and legs were outstretched as he hung limp in the air. As a lazy smirk breached across Shepard’s face, she pondered that she actually enjoyed seeing the powerful spectre in such a helpless state.
After a few moments, the buzzing unexpectedly stopped and the green field disappeared. The limp avian fell hard to the ground and Shepard ran to his aid. Helping the dazed spectre to his feet, Shepard heard the loud humming began again from behind her. Without any time to react, the beacon started pulling the redhead towards it.
When turian leader regained clarity, he was able to see the former Alliance soldier sprawled out in mid air completely engulfed in green matter. Mystified, Saren reached his hand to touch the glowing light. The field was solid and gave him a quick shock; knocking him back a few steps. The defiant spectre began to realize that rogue officer was in the beacon’s grasp a lot longer than he had been. Frowning his brow the man spat, “This wasn’t supposed to happen” Yelling at anyone who could hear him, the mission leader hollered, “This wasn’t supposed to happen!”
Tearing the avian from his rant, was the abrupt stoppage of the pulsating noise from the beacon right before it exploded and the rogue soldier was flung hard to the ground; completely unconscious. Saren growled at several geth who had finished setting up their charges huddled around them, “Take her back to the ship.” As they carried Shepard’s limp body past him, he snarled, “Humans, too weak for a probable transfer. She’s probably won’t remember a thing, if she wakes up at all.”
It was 15 hours later before the gray cladded soldier regained conscious. Her body had been thrown aside in the ice cold cargo bay of the ship like a piece of scrap metal. Her head ached, but none of the chaotic images that clouded her mind seemed to make any sense. Wiping away some crusty dry blood from her nose, she looked around and blasted, Thanks for the first class attention while I was out. Leaning back against the cold bulkhead, she sarcastically spat to an empty can strown on the floor next to her, “I’m fine now, thanks for asking!”
Saren Artemis and Matriarch Benezia were on the bridge of the reaper ship, Sovereign, in deep conversation. Standing off in the shadows was Shepard listening to their banter. The rogue spectre instantly became enraged and began throwing everything about the bridge after the mind meld with Matriarch Benezia did not produce enough information to find the conduit. The matriarch remained eerily calm and barely budged as objects violently flew about; moving only enough to avoid a sudden impact of an object Saren had thrown.
Tensing up Shepard continued to listen to the outburst as she discreetly moved her finger to the trigger of her weapon. Rushing up to the unwavering matriarch Saren gripped the bottom of the dark blue woman’s face. Staring deep into her apathetic eyes he realized his anger was pointless and released her. It disturbed the human officer immensely that the matriarch remained so calm during the turian’s display of madness. However it was her restraint that made Shepard realize why Saren had chosen her to be second in command. The scruffy looking redhead silently reflected, Note to self; don’t ever piss her off!
From the dark shadows of the room, the veteran soldier slowly released the hilt of her weapon as she watched the matriarch turned and speak placidly to her ungrateful boss, “Even if it were all there Saren, I am not sure I would be able to translate it.”
Saren forced out a gust of air as he slowly began to pace. Pondering his situation for a moment, the Palavan native suddenly came to an abrupt stop and hissed, “What we need is someone who understands those damn Protheans!”
An evil smirk smeared its way across Matriarch Benezia’s face. “I know someone who just might be able to help us with that.”