Mass Effect: Defiance

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  1. Nevos, Teyolia System, Selian Nebula

    One month before the Battle Earth...


    Deep within Outer Council Space in the Teyolia System rests the vibrant garden world of Nevos, a centuries old old colony of 677 million that has long acted as a tropical escape for asari and aliens alike, as well as being a secluded corporate world that would make even the most secretive Noverian feel at home.

    Untouched by the war for months, the asari worlds have at last been assaulted by the horrific might of the Reaper fleets, and Nevos was not the exception. For nearly two months, the asari and their allies have tried to liberate the world with little success. The rumours that it isn't high on the Reapers' priority list does little to comfort the largely civilian population struggling to survive the horrors that seem to multiply by the day.

    In the streets of Astella, the capital of Nevos, fighting has been particularly intense. The coastal city of over 3.5 million has been particularly contested due to the heavy corporate and political presence in the city, and its designation as one of the cities with a large enough spaceport to handle the heaviest amount of traffic. Allied forces have struggled to gain a foothold for the past month, and every victory seems to be offset with a staggering loss as whole units are decimated in the streets with scattered groups of survivors attempting to regroup, as very few survive alone in the destructive urban war.

    Under the watch of the towering coastal cliffs that watch over the cities, several survivors are destined for a chance encounter that may lead to a turning point in the Battle for Nevos...


    “You should have moved faster.”

    The prone figure on the floor did not respond, a gaping hole in his chest giving an all-too clear reason as to the lack of response. Only minutes before, the figure had been alive and moving under fire, a fearless warrior if there ever was one. His grey armour had taken a penetrating high explosive Ravager rocket to the chest, piercing easily through the armour and the nearly diminished shields of the krogan and detonating with enough force to take out a light armoured vehicle, pulping and vaporizing several vital organs, including the redundant ones that usually gave a krogan a second chance at survival. With no heart or lungs to feed oxygen to the rest of the body, including the brain, death came swiftly, although the figure crouching over the fallen warrior’s body had not known the extent of the damage until he reoriented himself after surviving a salvo of Ravager rockets that had caused a collapse of a storefront, the cascade of heavy concrete rubble smashing through the already weakened tarmac of the storied parking lot, the collapse taking the two krogan down to the lower subterranean level, where only one had risen up to remove the rubble from around himself. It was only moments later he had discovered his partner had perished, leaving him the last of a six-man team that had been sent to scout an evac site for the wounded.

    What had resulted from the fated operation was a two day long running battle that had left the two surviving members of the squad far behind enemy lines and well away from friendly units. They had been too busy fighting and dodging hostile forces they had lost their orientation, and the intermittent map checks on their omni-tools only served to make things more confusing than they had to be, due to the sporadic connection issues that seemed to plague the navigation systems and maps. It was the sight of what appeared to be allied forces holed up in some condo complex that had prompted the sprint across the parking lot, and ultimately into an ambush. Given the amount of heavy debris the surviving krogan had been struck with, he considered himself fortunate to have had the foresight to wear a full protective helmet. As hard as a crest was, it didn’t do too much for you when you took a jagged piece of rebar to the eye.

    Three weeks into Kruban company’s Nevos campaign and deployment in the capital of Astella, Forsan Jaakbal decided he preferred fighting on Bostra with the turians. At least they didn’t whine incessantly about their planet being destroyed like the asari did. Up until the Reapers decided to hit the garden world, the biggest threat most people on Nevos faced was sunburn and getting robbed of credits at overpriced tourist traps, and then they wouldn’t shut up about it. Asari were good soldiers, for the most part, but their civilians were just insufferable. The deathly silent neighbourhoods were a blessing; better to be surrounded by piles of corpses rather than listening to some idiot cry about how the world was going to end or other shrill pyjak shit. If the Reapers were good at anything, it was giving other aliens an idea of what the day to day was like on Tuchanka. Granted, towering, near impervious world harvesting synthetic monstrosities weren’t native to the krogan homeworld, but at least they had to send their much more manageable ground forces after you if you went into shelter, unlike a thresher maw, which wasn’t discouraged by much. Everything on Tuchanka wanted to kill you; the Reapers weren’t any different, they were just late to the party.

    Jaakbal opened up the pouches on his comrade’s still corpse and retrieved the unused thermal clips and ration packs, deftly shoving them into his own utility compartments on his hulking Mantis armour. The weapons he left; he had his own, and there was the odd chance that some civilian or under armed soldier would come across the dead krogan and accept his final gift. Besides, most of it was cheap shit. Jaakbal preferred weapons he could bash against something until it died without knocking the sight out of alignment or breaking something important. He looked at the prone figure, his lifeless brown eyes staring aimlessly towards the hole above, almost expectantly before pulling a small data drive from a small arm compartment that most members of Kruban company’s scouts kept in case they died; a final message for the living, and sometimes even requests they wanted to have addressed since they could no longer do it. Jaakbal had one final task to complete. Removing a grenade from his dead comrade’s belt, he deactivated the safety and rocked the body over enough so he could stick the corpse on top of it, the bulk of the armour and the krogan himself keeping the pressure switched engaged. When the Reapers came to collect the corpse for harvesting, they’d be getting a bit of a final surprise from the fallen warrior. He would have wanted it that way.

    “Korbal.” Jaakbal said to the body, rising to his full height and giving the body one last look before turning away, walking between rows of parked vehicles in pursuit of an exit, and perhaps something to kill on behalf of his fallen comrade.
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  2. A salarian tourist sprinted madly down the street, gunfire splitting the air behind him as bullets the size of grains of sand were propelled at supersonic velocity out of the rifle held by the mess of cybernetics that used to be a turian soldier. The salarian ducked into an alley, his bulbous eyes widening as he realized it was a dead end. He began frantically climbing a ladder up the side of the building, but suddenly heard more sudden gunfire, this time the sharp staccato of a pistol. The marauder that had harried him flew past the mouth of the alley, encased in a shimmering blue mass effect field, the telltale sign of a biotic attack. Deciding it wisest not to turn back, he continued up the ladder.

    A dark haired woman in a Systems Alliance combat suit, carrying a pistol and surrounded by the glow of a biotic Barrier, carefully stepped through the rubble and debris littering the street, making her way toward the squad of reaper forces she had just eliminated. Several husks, dropped with her M-5, and a marauder, whose back had been broken by the force of a biotic wave that had plucked it off the ground and launched it through the air. Warily, the Adept walked near the synthetic-organic abomination, watching it slowly begin moving again as the cybernetics that made up most of its body mended the broken spine with millions of nanites dispersed throughout the body. She slowly took aim at the marauder's head and double-tapped the trigger of her Phalanx. The bullets turned the side of its head into a mess of broken metal and scraps of what little organic flesh remained. It stopped moving. Stepping decisively to the corpse and holstering her pistol, she knelt and unwrapped its fingers from the rifle it carried. A Phaeston. Good, solid, Turian weapon. Ejecting its thermal clip, she loaded a new one and stood. Her head snapped around as an explosion rang out through the air.

    Esther's vision burst with red and orange as a grenade detonated somewhere nearby, disorienting her momentarily. She was the last survivor of the squad she had been leading in ground battle on Nevos. The others had fallen to a swarm of husks and cannibals that Esther had only narrowly survived herself. Gritting her teeth, she clutched her rifle and crept toward the ruins she had come from, knowing she shouldn't have been out in the open this long. Vaulting easily over the window, little spots of white and blue danced across her sight as a shard of glass broke beneath her booted feet. Looking up to see the whole in the ceiling above her providing roof access, she tightened her will, flexing her arm, and, after several seconds, releasing a burst of biotic energy that propelled her upward. Rolling as she hit the roof of the building, she stood up, dust falling from her Barrier-shrouded form. It was a dangerous stunt, but Esther was an experienced soldier and practiced biotic. She stepped behind a tube, presumably part of the building's ventilation, and crouched, surveying the streets visible. There were smoking craters everywhere, of course, but one caught her eye. It hadn't been there when last she'd looked that way. A few reaper troops stood around it, lingering about the area and searching, presumably for anyone living that they might remedy that state. Mostly cannibals, supported by one marauder and backed by a ravager. Esther always felt sad when she saw one of the mobile reaper artillery platforms. The rachni had once been beautiful creatures. Not that she'd ever seen one, but she'd read and heard about them. The reaper's entire method didn't sit well with the Adept; repurposing the dead and dying of other races. Sighing, she smoothly jumped off the roof, bracing her legs and letting her Barrier take the brunt of the impact. She slipped through an abandoned building and peeked out from its broken window at the reaper squad across the street. The ravager was wounded, already half dead, its sacs burst and swarmers laying dead around it. Otherwise, Esther would have never attempted her attack. Taking a deep breath, she gazed at the marauder, standing in the middle of cannibals, and clenched her fist. The action triggered the nervous instinct her training had instilled in her, and an explosive field of dark energy materialized around the group of foes, slinging them every which way and obliterating the turian-abomination that had been at the epicenter of it. Breathing heavily from her show of biotic strength, she stood and let her rifle's auto-aim systems take over, locking onto the ravager and spraying a stream of bullets that tore through its battered armor. The corrupted rachni shrieked and toppled backward, dead.

    Feeling her Barrier absorb several rounds, Esther realized that one of the cannibals must have survived the Flare. She ducked down again, too tired to mentally reinforce her shield, and took her Omni-Tool in hand, running a pulse of the surrounding area and locating the batarian monster. Just on the other side of her, behind a fallen chunk of stone. The adept crept from her own cover, sprinting around the corner to her foe's side. The cannibal turned and had time to fire three shots, all deflected by the Biotic barrier, before a storm of bullets ripped its chest and head apart. A few down, several more billion and counting to go. Esther thought to herself, reloading her Phaeston and striking off again.
    #2 Valentyne, Dec 17, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
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  3. "Mommy! Are we going to die...?" A young child cried, clutching to the legs of his mother. The Father was already dead, but she had to stay strong for her son. Thanik watched from a distance, standing a few feet away, in the doorway of a ruined Asari building. A few civilians sat quietly in the building, realizing that the war has reached Nevos. The war has reached across the entire galaxy, and so far nothing could stop the Reapers. The fight everyone was putting up seemed futile, but to Thanik he believed there was a chance. One that was slim, but possible. He watched the civilians give hope to one another, a hope that was rare in these dark times to strive forward and live. Act like the world- Galaxy isn't falling apart. However, he couldn't understand that they could be so optimistic when they wouldn't pick up a gun to make the change, to stand up to the enemy. They sit and wait for others to do the work and it boggles his mind.

    Screeching interrupted his thoughts and the tranquility of the moment he was sharing with the people in the room. Asari, Humans, Turians, any race you can think of was on Nevos as a tourist. Asari worlds were always considered beautiful, but Thanik's reason for being on Nevos was because this is where he was dropped off. When the Cobalt Stars mercenary band took too many casualties, they split the profits they made from the war and set out. The ticket Thanik obtained was to this planet, and he was hoping to board a ship to head to the Citadel, but it was a little too late for that.

    Thanik reached towards his leg, grabbing the M-6 Carfinex pistol at his side. His breathing slowed down as his training kicked in, but he was so limited in this fight. The husks that swarmed inside the building were...different. CQC wasn't the most effective fighting style against the Reaper army, only large guns and lots of thermal clips. "Everyone, get away from-" His voice was cut off by the horrific screech of the Husks that came barreling around the corner.

    The child behind him screamed out in terror and Thanik's reflexes kicked in. His arm snapping forward and pulling the trigger in quick succession. The husks were dropped quickly, but he spent one of his vital thermal clips that was running low. He didn't expect the Reapers to attack Nevos, so he wasn't stocked for war. Ejecting the thermal clip, he slapped in a new one and planned on defending himself and these people until he died or found another way out of this mess.

    "We can't just sit around and wait for our death! We have a better chance looking for The Alliance! I saw one of their ships, they came to help!" A man, human, bellowed behind Thanik. He has been bellowing and commanding all day, something that was actually getting on Thanik's nerves. Which is surprising because Thanik is trained to stay calm in all situations that he is presented in. He took a slow breath, calming himself down before letting his blood boil and turning on the man. This was one of the darkest hours of the Galaxy, and he couldn't turn on allies now.

    He can't just leave the group of people unarmed to go scout ahead. Hell, the building was probably surrounded at the moment with no one coming to rescue them. Those ideas were dark, dangerous, they wouldn't bring Thanik down. He would survive, he will get off this planet and find a way to combat the Reapers. He had to make the choice of leaving with the group, or holding his position and hope of the off-chances someone will come save them.

    "Wait..." he muttered to himself, looking down at the omni-tool that he possessed. Maybe if he went onto one of the open frequencies, he could hope to find someone that is armed and willing to help. It is what he just did, fiddling around on the omni-tool, he held it closer to his mouth so the other end had the hopes of understanding him. "Is anyone out there? This is Thanik Suin....I'm with a group of civilians inside the clothing store of the Tourist Mall.." It was a Mall for tourists, and Thanik didn't even know the name of the place. But hey, some information is better than none right?
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  4. Six hours prior:

    "Once this ship hits ground, we hit them. They will show us no mercy, we shall show them even less. These things want to destroy you, your way of life and your family. They think they can just march into our galaxy, invade our worlds, and our allies' worlds. They think that we won't fight back, that we'll drop to our knees and surrender. That is not how marines operate. We operate with strength, power and above all else, unity. This battle will be for ever single on of us that raised a rifle, every one that is now, and finally for the ones that one day dream to," The sergeant said, his voice full of enthusiasm and confidence. His eyes scanning every single soldier inside the ship, all others silent, their weapons at the ready, their nerves at a high point. "Let's push these bastards back to Hell, if they want to take us there, I say we drag them down with us! OORAH marines!" He practically yelled.

    "Oorah!" Ever other man on the ship replied in unison, as they began to tap their boots against the metal floor, some of them doing it with the butt's of their weapons as well.

    "Is anyone better than us in this whole damn galaxy?" The sergeant asked, raising one eyebrow.

    "Hell no sir!"

    "God damn right, marines. Go, go, go!" The sergeant said back, his voice brimming with pride, a smile on his face as the ship touched ground, the back doors opening wide to reveal the chaos they would be diving right into, boots first of course. Already the city was a wreck, fires lit, windows shattered, bodies scattered. They were the backup, there was no turning back now. The Alliance Navy 103rd marine division charged out of the ship, right into the heart of combat.

    "These bastards keep coming, we're gonna run out of ammo."

    "Then we pick up anything we can find and use it. We're flexible like that. Whatever works, Gerrard. Besides, you don't even need a gun, you can make them fly with your mind."

    "Yes I can, sir. Just like this." Corey exclaimed, popping from behind cover, raising an arm before motioning it to cause the ground in front of him to shake as he sent a biotic shockwave forward, flinging the Reaper troops that were bearing down on the Stevens and him. He always loved the satisfying sound of his biotics, especially the shockwave, the audible booms that emitted as it worked its magic.

    "That's the stuff, Gerrard. Now lend me a damn thermal clip." Sergeant Stevens ordered, his body ducked behind cover as shots rang out around, flying over the two marines, as they were trying desperately to push back the enemy forces. They already had to retreat back once, actually twice, the ground around and in front of them littered with the corpses of their fellow marines.

    "You got it, sir." Corey replied as he picked up a spare thermal clip off the ground, tossing it to Stevens who caught it, then loaded it into his Avenger assault rifle before popping out from cover, firing several shots at a group of cannibals coming from the right side, trying to flank the two survivors. The bullets hit their mark, spraying blood of the things all over the place.

    Corey meanwhile was focused on four other cannibals coming from the opposite direction, the vanguard darting up to fire at them, a grenade ready to be flung. He leaned forward and tossed, the explosive hitting its mark to the right of the foes, then it went off, taking them out with a satisfying bang. He spoke once more to Stevens who just barely avoided taking a shot to the face, his helmet turned towards Corey. Out of the corner of his vision, Corey noticed more Reaper forces bounding in. More cannibals backed by two ravagers. They needed to fall back again, possibly even make a run for it, connect with allied forces.

    "We're going to need to fall back, sir. There's too many of them."

    "You're right," Stevens replied, scanning the area around and behind them for retreat points. "Right there, down that alley! It's the best chance we got!" He exclaimed, pointing towards an empty alley between two buildings.

    "Yes, sir." Corey said, as he quickly picked up any ammunition around him. Three more clips, but vital ones. Then he popped up once more, using his biotics to buy them some time. One of the cannibals lifted off the ground, then back down with power, its body smacking into the ground hard. The move enough to cause a pause in several of the Reaper forces. The second needed for the marines to retreat, which they did, Corey sprinting away, the sergeant not far behind. They were quickly met with resistance as shots rang out from the Reaper forces, one hitting Corey in the leg, not enough to injure him, but enough to cause his shield to fizzle.

    Sergeant Stevens was not so lucky as he took the brunt of the fire, one of the ravagers hitting him in the back, a cannibal assisting. Stevens sprawled forward with a scream of pain, Corey beginning to slow down.

    "No! G-go! Lea-ave me!" Stevens shouted to Corey as blood began to sip from his body as Corey ran, sprinting down the alley as fast as his feet could carry him. A shot causing him to almost stumble over, it hitting him in the back. But he continued running, the sight of his sergeant dying in his mind as he moved.
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  5. While the broken streets drank the blood of the fallen, hungrily awaiting the next body to fall as battle raged still, the rooftops seemed another world. Calm spires amidst the savagery, these buildings had never tasted more than a drop of blood at a time. Never seen violence beyond an office worker's spite or a politicians conspiring. What rooftops might serve as a place to sneak a drink or mid day pounce now proved ideal for grimmer business. A dozen office windows no longer blessed busy denizens with nature's wonders. Instead, Drell Assassins propped their weapons through the broken glass and took aim. Took a breath. And fired.

    Egon watched as a squad of Alliance soldiers scrambled below. Large insect-like creatures with fleshy sacks on their bellies and cannons atop their shoulders staggered behind the humans' retreat. Worse still, bulbous figures with glowing mouths moved far greater agility with arms that seemed to double as rifles. The troop had lost several already. This most recent death seemed a step closer to their defeat, which caused Egon to puff his chest. Quietly, the drell summoned his ancestors, his uncle chief among them, and chose a soldier at random. As fate would have it, a biotic too. He tracked this soldier and the monstrosities nipping at his heels, but as the vulgar creatures tensed to pounce, the drell gave his stern reply. The sturdy Saber fired once, leaving a gaping hole in the creature's leg. At once the horrid thing fell onto itself, tripping another behind it, before Egon aim once more to cripple its comrade. He took great pleasure in every shot and soon wore a small smile.

    Emboldened, the drell sniper peaked from out the window in search of the Alliance soldier. He felt a tingling at the base of his skull, and shivering, began to pull his head back inside. Just then, there was a flash below. Egon's eyes jumped back onto the field of battle only to spot a line of the insect-like creatures poised and ready. The young drell grabbed his pack and his rifle, turned on a heel and dashed for the door. On his second step he felt the whole of his body shift. There was a loud pop as a dark line appeared in the floor. Egon leapt forward across the line as half of the office collapsed into the floor below. He anchored himself to the still stable doorway with his rifle and looked back onto the destruction. A hunk of his old perch rolled out from the mess and fell onto the streets far below. He thought of the sniper positioned a floor below him and of the soldiers fighting block by block.

    Rising to his feet, Egon fastened his pack and rifle to his back. He made his way into the hall, two offices down where another assassin had taken position.

    "Karic," Egon called out, as much a request not to fire as to get his comrade's attention. "We should move. Our positions are compromised."

    Egon turned into the office to find the older, thicker drell rising from his position. "You're right, young one. Besides, I don't care to learn just how resilient this building can be," Karic replied as he grabbed his rifle.

    The drell walked casually down the hall. Several stories high, neither would be visible to the enemies below unless they pressed their bodies against the windows. They enjoyed relative safety as they collected their allies to find a new position. Karic led the impromptu squadron of drell assassins toward the east end of the building and the last drell to find. Past that final position, there would be a sky-bridge passed over the streets to a shopping center of some sort. A short walk and a simple plan.

    Karic and the squad continued to the sky-bridge, leaving Egon to gather their ally. As the young drell turned into the doorway of the office, his allies far ahead now, the floor shook. He dropped to crouch and grabbed onto the frame of the door. His ally, propped atop of a desk with two bookshelves positioned for cover, attempted to stand, but only fell. A great light flashed just at the window before fire rained into the office. The last drell ally flinched as the bookshelves slid, bits of the wood caught aflame, and crushed the sniper below. Egon grimaced at the sight before falling backward into the hall. Strangely, the ground only continued to rumble. He heard a thick crunch to his right and, awe-struck, watched as the entrance of the sky-bridge burped a grey-red plume of debris and fire. Egon felt his body drawn toward the bridge before realizing the ground had taken a slant. Before he could resist, however, a hunk of fragmented concrete met his helmet. With a hearty pop Egon was asleep.
  6. Esther emerged from a side street in time to see a sky bridge collapse, causing one of the buildings near it to crack and the floor to break and fall apart. She flinched away from the bright reds and sullen grays of stone and metal clashing as the structure hit the ground. The adept looked carefully at the wreckage, spotting the fallen figures laying among it. Drell. She noted. I didn't realize there were any here. It looks like everyone has a stock in this planet. She began to make her way there to look for survivors, but stepped back as several bullets abruptly sheared the empty space in front of her. The shots were accompanied by a sharp yellow running across her vision. She turned and dived behind a metal bench, several more shots missing her. It was only about half-cover, but it was better than nothing. She took stock of her assailants. Three cannibals, the twisted and synthesized batarians. A marauder stood behind them, enveloping them in the red-hued, ribbon-like armor that was characteristic of the corrupted turians. The marauder was easily the most threatening of the group. Mentally, she poured more energy into her Barrier, reinforcing the kinetic field. Then she stood and held out her hand, her fingers dancing in a practiced motion.

    A bright blue mass effect field coalesced around her hand, stretching out into a biotic lash, guided by her hand. Esther flicked her wrist, whipping it out toward the marauder. It smoothly wrapped around it, squeezing her opponent and slowly crushing its sides. Then she swung her arm to the side. The lash was slung to the right, carrying the turian abomination with it. The marauder smashed bodily into the side of a metal building, its rifle dropping from its hands on the way there. Even the cybernetics couldn't save it from the intense kinetic energy its form had just experienced, and it crumpled into a pile of broken metal as Esther's biotic lash faded. All this had happened in roughly a second, but that was enough time for the cannibals to fire several rounds from their organic cannons into her barrier. Feeling it weaken, she ducked down again, drawing her Phaeston. Carefully eyeing a line of debris near her, she rolled toward it, the light yellow of gunfire piercing her sight as her enemies fired again.

    The adept was breathing heavily from her biotic attack. She padded across the broken street, carefully watching her opponents' position on her now activated Omni-tool, until she reached the other side. Then she dashed out onto the sidewalk, turning her rifle on the cannibals as she flanked them. She fired the weapon in three quick bursts, the bullets accompanied by lines of yellow. The supersonic rounds split the air between them and cleft through the sides of her foes, but only one fell. The marauder's armor plating had absorbed the other bullets. Thinking quickly, she sprinted toward in a zig-zag pattern, finally hitting the ground and rolling as she reached them. She came up in between the two batarians, holding her left hand above her, fingers spread. The remainder of her Barrier catastrophically discharged, all of the force holding it together blasting outward, Esther's body the epicenter of a powerful biotic burst that tore the weakened cannibals apart, dashing their broken bodies against the rocks. The explosion dotted her own vision with dark blues and blacks, dancing around her eyes until her ears stopped ringing. Then she sprinted back into cover, toward the damaged building, knowing she was vulnerable as long as her barrier was down. She had made sure there was nothing else on the radar with her omni-tool, but the open was stiill a bad place to be.
  7. Second Lieutenant Kirraiah Theyn of the salarian Special Tasks Group reporting. Calling all operatives of task force Sennoq to organise rendezvous. If any member of task force Sennoq receives this message, please respond.

    Kirraiah Theyn sat on the edge of a small pile of concrete rubble, the remnants of ceiling of the building he stood in, and stretched out his legs and arms. He had been walking for almost an hour through this half of the city and it had been uncomfortably absent of life. The sound of battle occasionally reared its ugly head but it never met with Kirraiah. Gunfire off on the horizon was all he heard, and it lasted only seconds before leaving him in silence once more. The salarian did his best to follow it in hopes that he might find someone but he always tread slowly and cautiously, lest he find himself biting off more from the battle than he could chew, as the human saying went. He was alone and he was low on thermal clips, and was starting to lack faith in his usually steady aim. He never found anyone though, but discovered scenes of battle by the dozen. The path he stood on or the building he hid in was always still and silent, however, and it made him feel more uncomfortable with every passing minute.

    He hoped to find refuge in this building, what he assumed to have once been a shop, but had since been almost completely destroyed. Something had dropped in through the roof, either a missile or the leg of an entire Reaper, and had punctured a massive hole through it. Kirraiah could see the sky above and, despite all of the destruction that rained down outside, the sky looked clear. He wondered if it were mocking him.

    Repeat, this is Second Lieutenant Kirraiah Theyn of the salarian Special Tasks Group reporting. Calling all operatives of task force Sennoq to organise rendezvous. If any member of task force Sennoq receives this message, please respond.

    Once again there was nothing.

    At every opportunity Kirraiah opened communication channels and tried to contact the rest of his squad, a group of salarian biotics and engineers operating planetside. They had been separated on a mission to retrieve a lost cache of thermal clips and weapon parts that had survived a shuttle crash so it could be returned to turian soldiers, split by two brutes which had cut between them, and now that Kirraiah had finally slipped away from the monster he was doing everything he could to find out where his friends had gone. There had been no response so far but the salarian was determined to keep trying. As he rested he repeated the message, although he kept his voice low. Kirraiah could not hear any Reaper soldiers nearby but that did not mean that they were not there.

    Despite his attempts he received no reply from his company, and instead rested his head in his hands, defeated. What if they were dead? He had faith that they were strong enough to survive here but the thought still lingered. After all, Jarla was the best shot that Kirraiah knew and Vir had taken on asari in biotics matches and won. Still, his inability to communicate with them meant that doubt had quickly welled up at the bottom of his stomach, and the idea of losing them made him feel positively sick.

    He stood and paced back and forth, boots clapping against the tile floor, and wondered what his next course of action should be. He could carry on to the mission objective but he would be doing it with no assistance, no men to watch his back and no data from central to plot his path. Furthermore, Kirraiah did not know if the site was even safe. It could be swarming with Reaper forces by now and Kirraiah might walk unwittingly into them. A salarian without the information he needed was a blind one, and the STG had taught him better than that.

    He tried communicating with headquarters to request further orders.


    Had he hit a complete deadzone? Why were his communication attempts not getting through?

    If his own squad and his superiors would not, or could not respond respond to his pleading, then perhaps someone else would. He was starting to grow desperate. Kirraiah reactived his omnitool and switched to the channels once more. He changed the frequencies of his communicator, listening for a few brief moments before decided the channel was silent. He opened his mouth to speak, ready to transmit another message, until he stumbled on one that spoke to him instead.

    “Is anyone out there? This is Thanik Suin... I'm with a group of civilians inside the clothing store of the Tourist Mall.”

    Kirraiah’s eyes widened at the sound of the voice, although it took him a moment to process the message. He had found someone, and remarkably quickly. The voice was difficult to make out, masked by static, but it was clear enough for Kirraiah’s keen ears to understand. He pressed a few of his omni-tool buttons and tried to reply. He might not be the evacuating squad that this Thanik was expecting but it would have to do for now. Maybe from there Kirraiah could get a better signal and then either contact his squad or central for further orders and assistance.

    Second Lieutenant Kirraiah Theyn of the salarian Special Tasks Group here,” he said. Karraiah’s voice was surprisingly steady despite his anxiousness, and he quickly pressed a few more buttons on his omni-tool. A tiny blip shot up on his virtual map, pinpointing the location of the radio signal. “I’ve lost contact with my squad and other than your signal radio chatter is silent. I am tracking your radio broadcast as we speak and you’re approximately one and a half klicks from my position. I shall head in your direction, estimated arrival time fifteen minutes. Tell the civilians to sit tight and once I arrive I shall reattempt contact with STG to organise evacuation. See you soon.

    He stood up with new purpose, both hands moving to grip his Scorpion pistol tightly. Crystalised light appeared around him, forming plates of armour over his chest, limbs, and face. His tech armour, while not subtle, would protect him. Kirraiah headed towards the door of the shop, his eyes set on the tiny blip that had appeared on his HUD.
  8. Getting to the surface was trickier than anticipated. While underground in the parking garage, communications were scattered and patchy, and Jaakbal considered his transmitter might have been damaged in the fall. The only ramp up was likewise caved in, leaving the krogan to try to locate a stairwell in the pitch-black labyrinth with only a helmet-mounted flashlight to navigate the way. It took crossing the entire garage to find a stairwell that wasn’t filled with rubble. As Jaakbal scaled the stairs, rifle pointed upwards as he went, his other hand was tapping his comms unit to see if he could pick up anything on authorized, and some unauthorized, frequencies. Mostly dead air filled Jaakbal’s helmet as the first signs of light filled the stairs and he found his way to a landing that was more or less intact. The krogan sprinted across the street and entered one of the shops that looked like one of those tourist junk traps with cheap merchandise. Taking a seat between a row of swimsuits that were probably too small for asari children to wear yet marketed to adults and a row of seashells, the krogan pulled up a map on his omni-tool to reorient himself. The problem with operating in unfamiliar territory, let alone on an alien world where everything just seemed wrong was that you couldn’t rely on memory or word of mouth to get you around, and signs didn’t help if you couldn’t read the damn language. He quickly located himself on the map and it took a few moments longer before he found the tower that happened to be his objective. Twenty minutes, and he’d be at the base, and then he had to conquer what was probably going to be at least 30 flights of stairs.

    “Damn.” Jaakbal muttered, not looking forward to an adversary that was made less beatable the more you abused it. He was not a fan of stairs, and decided if there was one good thing about his homeworld being a radioactive pile of rubble it was that stairs were seldom ever something you encountered. Maybe he’d break a few just for posterity.


    A flash of orange caught Jaakbal’s eye through his eye lens and the krogan reflexively had his weapon on point and trained on the windows. It was passed and gone before he could get a look at it, but something told him it wasn’t the Reapers. Mostly because they tended not to glow bright orange, because for as unsubtle as Reapers were, they didn’t exactly advertise their individual locations like a billboard sign. No, orange glow bits were the telltale trace of Sentinels, tech experts who were the exact opposite of Infiltrators in the sense Infiltrators knew the best way to not get shot is to not make it impossible for people to ignore you.

    The krogan stepped outside and looked the way the potential ally went and immediately groaned. The tall, lanky, and likely annoying salarian was in a rush to be somewhere. His grey and yellow armour immediately assaulted Jaakbal’s eyes, shining brightly under the tech armour plates that accounted for his iridescent visual beacon. The krogan pondered how many dropships tried to land on the salarian before, mistaking him for a landing beacon. It was against his better judgement, but he couldn’t be picky right now; nobody lasted long alone behind enemy lines.

    “Salarian!” Jaakbal called out. “You trying to get shot?”
  9. Shilaya Park, Nevos, Teyolia System, Selian Nebula

    One month before the Battle Earth...

    "Daniels! Daniels, talk to me! Come on, now. Come one! Don't give up on me... don't give up. DON'T GIVE UP! GOD DAMN IT!" A sky filled with the descending mechanical monstrosities known as the Reapers only solidified the gravity of the situation that Blake had found himself in. How could a mission go so wrong? What was meant to be a simple snatch and grab had ended 4 days later with the last of his men dying in his arms. A mission meant to be so simple leaving him kneeling in the dirt begging the last of his men not to die, as if begging would do anything. Deactivating his breathing apparatus, the front of his helmet collapsed away revealing his muddied face. There were distinct lines in the dirt where the tears had cut a path down to his jaw from his sore, bloodshot eyes. He stumbled through rapid breaths, looking down at the corpse of the man he had served through countless battles with, cursing every god ever worshipped for the cruel hand that fate had dealt. "Daniels," he said lowly in a pleading-like tone, "Daniels, come on. Not now. Why now?"


    Nevos, Teyolia System, Selian Nebula

    4 days earlier

    A symphony of guns being armed rang aloud over the ambient thrumming of the shuttle's engines. Blake sat in the seat by the door, his chin resting on his thumbs as he looked deeply into the metal of the floor, contemplating the battle ahead.

    "Chief!" a voice called, snapping him from his meditation. He looked over to the source of the call to see one of his men looking directly at him

    "What is it, Velasquez?" Blake asked in reply.

    "What's the mission window for the op?" the man asked, placing his helmet over his head, his breathing apparatus still deactivated. Blake sighed slightly, realising a briefing was in order. With his hands pressed to his knees he pulled himself to a standing position, grabbing onto one of the handles on the roof for support.

    "Listen up," Blake commanded, "Today, we have an offbeat task ahead of us. A diplomat is in need of evacuation before the Reapers arrive in force, callsign 'Vector'. It's our job to locate and extract him back to the cruiser in orbit so that he can be returned to the main fleet. Mission window is four hours. We are to get on the ground, locate the target and report back to command with confirmation. There is no support for this op. All of our resources are being diverted to strengthening the ground defences in the rest of the city. If we're lucky, we won't see no fighting. Word has it that two destroyer class Reapers are already on the planet ahead of the main force so be ready to encounter husks, cannibals and whatever else they decide to send into the city. Any questions?" There was a moment of eerie silence as the men sat dormant, mulling over the information they had just been provided with. However, before long there a booming chorus rang out. A chorus of men chanting,

    "No, Chief!"

    "Good, let's get it done," Blake said resoundingly. Muffled explosions could be heard outside of the shuttle and gunfire began to also fade into audio. It seemed there were ground forces in the city after all.

    "30 seconds! Cold LZ!" the shuttle pilot cried.

    "Solid! 30 seconds!" Blake echoed. The marines prepared themselves. Not long now.

    It felt as though they had been descending for hours when they finally got the go from the pilot and the doors of the shuttle flew open. They had been landed in an open square, several blocks away from the target building. Piling out of the doors, the marines formed a defensive perimeter with flawless perfection - no sector was left uncovered. Blake squinted his eyes as he scanned the windows above and the alleyway in front of him. There was no movement. The only sounds were the ambient noises of combat in far-off districts. The silence was broken as a series of 'clear' calls came out from each marine in the formation. It was time to make the call. Blake patched himself into the VIP's frequency and tried to raise him.

    "Vector, this is 2-3, do you read, over?" There was no response. "Vector, this is 2-3, do you copy me on this frequency, over?" No response again.

    "The guy not responding, Chief?" Daniels, one of the squad members, asked, looking over his shoulder at Blake.

    "Does it sound like it?" Winters, another marine, butted in. Winters was the squad's designated marksman. What she couldn't hit with a rife wasn't worth chasing. People respected and feared her for it so when she spoke in such a tone a retort rarely followed. Blake bit into his bottom lip as he thought the situation through. There was supposed to be a return call from the VIP upon insertion. However, that seemed to not be the case anymore. Coming to a resolution, he raised from his crouching position and rested his gun over his shoulder, looking back to the circular shape of marines behind him.

    "He's probably forgotten how to tune himself to our frequency. On me, we're moving out," he commanded as he slammed the grip of his rifle into his hands and began to head out down the alley, towards the street. The squad formed up in a file and stacked at corner. Blake was at the front of the stack, peeking his head around the corner. There didn't seem to be anything, on the street level, at least. The road was barren, deserted even. The whole area had an eerie ambience to it. The scattered litter and discarded belongings that were strewn across the ground were to be expected as refugees fled to the countryside, however, the lack of anything living was not. Blake's eyes drew thin to slits as he cautiously eyed the area. Using a hand signal he brought Daniels up to his back and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Daniels, I need you to bound across the road. Get to the skycar over there. Take Velasquez and Rosfeld with you," he instructed before looking to Winters, "Winters you're low, I'm high. We're on cover. Everyone clear?" The marines all nodded with perfect synchronicity before they all moved into position.

    "Bounding!" Daniels called, before he and his two comrades began sprinting across the open ground. Still, the area remained stagnant, dead even. "SET!" Daniels shouted. The rest of the team bounded to the new position, setting up in position.

    "Let's move," Blake ordered in a decisive tone. Following the path ahead for a few hundred metres, they found that it looped around to their target building. Convenient enough. The dead Asari guards at the front of the building were not, however. Barricades that had been set up were destroyed and those that had manned them were in no better state. Scorch marks could be visibly seen on the front of the building and the doors were breached through by what appeared to have been explosive force.

    "We're going in there?" Winters asked, worry laden in her voice.

    "Unless you thought we were here to sunbathe..." Daniels answered with a chuckle, enjoying getting his own back on his squadmate. Blake remained silent, analysing the situation. He didn't like it. Something wasn't right.


    Shilaya Park, Nevos, Teyolia System, Selian Nebula

    Present Day

    Leaving the park, Blake had wiped the tears from his face and filled his belt full of thermal clips scavenged from the dead. The city was going to hell. He needed a way out. The sound of combat was the best noise to follow. With luck, he hoped to find a friendly Alliance unit he could secure an extraction with... if the Alliance was still around, that was.
    #9 VengefulPeanut, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  10. Thanik listened to the dead, silent omni-tool radio for a moment. He was hopeful that someone, anyone could of heard his message on an open channel but maybe he was grabbing at a dying wish and he should be looking after himself and not these pathetic weaklings behind him. The thoughts, as wrong as they were, inched into his head like a dam ready to burst at any moment. Water leaking through tiny cracks, breaking the foundation that was worked upon for so long, so much training to just be thrown away for his own survival. None of the civilians could stop him if he left, they could try and grab him but he would free himself with force or they would just accept his choice of leaving. He wasn't indebted to them, why should he-

    His thoughts were cut off as a voice cracked through the Omni-Tool. It wasn't the easiest thing to make out, but he made out the key points of the message. "The STG....why are they here? It doesn't matter, they are coming to help." He didn't make out the part that he would be arriving alone, hoping to contact his squad when he arrived at his position.

    What a dire situation everyone was in. If only he could band together with others that could hold a weapon, and maybe find a ship that could outrun a Reaper. He would be free, and safe for however long it took for the Reapers to follow and tear apart the galaxy in a sea of flames.

    Clicking his Omni-Tool, he raised it up to speak but stopped for a moment. His head swiveling to look back at the civilians, the children that were terrified it almost looked like their eyes would bug out of their head at any moment now. "Will do...I will hold my position and await for your arrival."

    This would be the longest fifteen minutes of his life...


    Each agonizing minute that passed by, checking the omni-tools clock to check, making sure only a minute passed and not a decade. The pistol in his hand, growing heavier by the second as the realization of death lurked back into his mind, then the dark thoughts of abandoning the Civilians to their own fate.

    "They should be here any moment...hopefully..." Fifteen minutes as long as the STG didn't encounter any obstacles that involved too many Reapers and they were either pushed back or killed. Maybe he could get another signal out, hoping more than the STG would catch it this time.

    Going to his omni-tool, he changed the frequency and left the same message he did earlier. "This is Thanik Suin. I'm trapped with a group of civilians and need extraction..." Maybe this time someone else would hear.
  11. “You trying to get shot?”

    Kirraiah stopped and contemplated it for a moment as he looked over the krogan soldier from a distance. His hand immediately went for his Scorpion pistol, but he stopped himself moments before he gripped the weapon. Despite the terrible events that they were both being forced through, his gut instinct told him that he should be wary of the krogan, if only because they had a particular dislike for the salarians. The genophage took place long ago but the animosity between the two people was still as clear as daylight, and even though a bigger threat loomed ahead of them he had still heard the horror stories. The sarcasm in the krogan’s voice that was so thick you would need an omni-blade to cut through it did not ease Kirraiah’s nerves much, but even he seemed tame enough, and the idea of wandering through these empty streets alone made Kirraiah sick to his stomach. He raised both of his arms as a sign that he meant no harm and took a few steps towards the krogan, the side of his lips curling into an uneasy smirk. Maybe he could enrol this krogan and his company into his impromptu rescue team?

    Not at all. If I wanted to get shot I’d turn off my tech-armour, throw my armour in the river, and run around naked yelling ‘Wouldn’t it be terribly unfortunate if I were to be attacked by a dozen cannibals, two brutes, and a banshee?’.” He mimicked the action by raising his arms half-heartedly into the air.

    The salarian chuckled awkwardly before looking down at his feet, letting his arms relax and fall back by his sides. “I’m Kirraiah. Second Lieutenant Kirraiah Theyn of the STG,” he continued, looking back up to the grey-crested krogan and held out his hand in a way that was not unlike an invitation to a handshake.

    It was a salarian greeting gesture, similar but not identical to the human handshake, but after realising the krogan might not catch on he pulled his hand back and simply nodded in respect. “Sorry. I’m a little shaken up right now. It’s a little hard to process things at the moment,” Kirraiah continued, scratching the back of his head and feeling thoroughly embarrassed.

    As if to stop Kirraiah from making a fool of himself any longer, a sharp ping emanated from his omni-tool. He checked it quickly, and within moments a fractured message came through. The salarian recognised the voice as Thanik Suin, the man who had been transmitting over the frequency Kirraiah had intercepted, and in between the static he managed to piece together the fragments of the message. The man was staying put and making sure that the civilians under his watch were kept safe until Kirraiah could arrive. That was good, but Kirraiah would have to move quickly to make sure that they all stayed safe. He hoped that he could convince the krogan warrior to join him in his new adventure. The muscle would certainly be appreciated, and by the look of his armour and weaponry the soldier carried some serious firepower. Just one look at him was all Kirraiah needed to realise why krogan reinforcements were so valuable.

    I was separated from my squad earlier today and I haven’t been able to contact them or central, so I’ve been isolated from command. I intercepted a message from a man trying to protect a group of civilians ten minutes north-east from here and I’ve been heading up to rendezvous with them. Is there any chance you and your squad could accompany me? One man does not a civilian escort make.

    Kirraiah looked around expectantly, hoping to see other krogan appearing from the buildings or out from cover, but he saw and heard nothing. “…do you still have a squad?” he asked, his expression sinking.
  12. Seeing the salarian reach for his sidearm, Jaakbal decided that a hulking suit of heavy armour with no face associated with it tended to make people uneasy, as if he himself were as much a machine as the Reapers. For whatever reason, aliens felt the need to see someone’s face as a sign of trust, which was something he particularly noticed from humans, and to some extent, turians. It seemed to have worked to the extent that they weren’t pointing weapons at each other, which was enough for Jakbaal. As the salarian put his hands up in mock surrender and stepped forward, what passed as a smirk or indigestion crossed his stupid flat face. The krogan could never quite figure out which was which.

    Jaakbal simply stared at the salarian as he made his sarcastic remark. The only thing worse than a salarian was one who thought it had a sense of humour. If you don’t keep your voice down, you might as well unbuckle your armour now, pyjak. he thought bitterly. Regret for approaching this enemy turned reluctant ally was beginning to manifest, which was only compounded when the salarian decided to change tact and introduced himself as Kirraiah and extended his hand, perhaps for shaking. Resisting the urge to crush it in his own to make a point, Jaakbal simply kept his hand on his rifle and his helmet, remaining impassive. He might have been intending to offer cooperation with the salarian, but it didn’t mean he had to like it. Wars like this made people do stupid, intolerable things out of necessity.

    Before he could reply, Kirraiah reacted to what had to have been a radio transmission, much like what Jakbaal had been trying to pick up. He blinked slowly. There were other survivors who were just as scattered and lost as they were; it was worth looking into if any of them wanted to complete their objectives. The call completed, Jakbaal’s new potential squadmate relayed his situation, finally getting down to something resembling professionalism. It was a start. The mention of his squad did little more than give Jakbaal a moment’s pause to reflect on them. He’d already made peace with their departures; death here was just as common as it was back home. You don’t get too attached to people when any given day usually meant somebody, somewhere, was meeting a violent end.

    “Forsan Jaakbal, scout of Kruban Company. My squad and I were on a mission to locate a communications team who were supposed to establish a relay or something in one of the towers around here so we wouldn’t be dealing with this crappy communications issue. I’m all that’s left, I lost the rest of my squad over the past couple days to Reaper forces.” A brief hesitation as he shifted his grip on his Striker. “There were two of us about twenty minutes ago. Collapsed parking garage across the street there.” Jakbaal said, looking at the garage for a moment before turning back to the salarian.
    “Our missions might be complimentary. We reinforce whoever was on the radio, secure the non-combatants, and we set up that communications relay. That way, our forces can actually talk to each other and the turians or whoever can pick up anyone who doesn’t know how to hold a gun so we can focus on more enjoyable things, like figuring out how to kill that Reaper Destroyer that’s stomping around the downtown core.”

    Jakaal slipped on his helmet and secured it, a brief suction sound indicating the pressure seals were intact. “Come on. No more stalling. Let’s go help your friend, or he’ll be dead before we get there.”
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  13. Pain does not pump through your veins, but is the feeling of lying helpless a pool of your own lost life.
    A low and deep crack shook Egon. He felt stiff, weighed down, and in a way which denied explanation, he felt entirely alone. Despite his ringing headache, the chalky, stale air took the whole of his attention. Thin, weak beams of light glimmered in the darkness of this impromptu prison. When the drell lifted his arms, he found only a few inches of space around them. Clutching his right hand, Egon found his rifle, loyally held in his grasp. He smiled at the small win. He smiled once more as he easily lifted his head and saw the open space above his chest and legs. In fact, were it not for the rubble pinning down his arms, he could probably manage to roll onto his belly. Perhaps prison was too strong a word. Chance brought good and bad, and though he may be buried, he could still breathe. He could move to some extent. And he could already see a path to freedom.

    Taking a deep breath, the drell activated the Omni-Blade on his left wrist. Light flashed over Egon as a burning orange sword fabricated around his hand. Immediately, the heat of the thing began to sear the loose stone around his arm, and with all the strength he could muster, continued until his hand extended skyward. A sharp rain shot through the thin, lean muscle of Egon's left arm. He pushed on with a slow slice toward his right arm until the pressure on it began to dissipate. Like that, the light died. Egon forced his arms toward one another and slowly rubbed them against the loose earth. Bit by bit, the pebbles and dirt gave, shifting aside, but the work was proved painfully dull.

    Repetition numbed Egon to time. The drell found himself lost in a memory. Younger, smaller, and weaker, he found himself standing with raised fists. He watched, as if possessed, as his pudgy hands, balled up and tense, flung themselves against the unyielding bulk of his uncle. Punch after punch, yet little changed. He saw as time brought wisdom and strength to him with seemingly no effect on his mentor. Each punch rattled Uncle Kira until time had given so much that one special punch produced an expression on the seasoned assassin -- that of pain.

    Pain and nausea pulled the drell into the present. Egon found himself beneath the haemorrhaging earth as pathetic attempt to dig started to pay off. He heard a deep crack and rumbling. A thin beam of fresh air blew down onto his face. In a confusing blur, Egon emerged from the rubble and overturned earth.

    As natural light hit his face, so too did a foul smelling mess of gore and cybernetics. Half his body stuck out from the ground, but the flash of a weapon and deathly cries triggered something deep. Egon forced his rifle out from below, and still shaking, scanned his surroundings. He might look a fool, but better to seem a halfling than die so miserably.

    Scattered around Egon lay black-blooded hunks of flesh and metal. He recognized the sight as the Reaper's corruption from stories. Some might wish to understand the blending of technologic and organic life, but Egon felt more curious about the victors of this particular battle. Turning as much as he could from his hole, Egon looked about behind his rifle until he spotted a figure. The contour looked as if a human -- or perhaps an Asari -- in blue and white armour. When the soldier looked to him it became evident she was Allliance. Naturally, faced with a halfling pointed in her direction, she also looked positively threatened.​
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  14. Seeing the upper body of a drell emerge from the rubble, a hole clawed away through diligence and repetition, Esther surmised that he was a survivor of the unit she had seen. She pointed her rifle upward in a gesture of friendliness and stepped toward him. The biotic offered him a hand. "Second Lieutenant Esther Émile of the Systems Alliance Military." She recited her name and rank as she hoisted him out of the debris. The sound of rock jarring loose and pebbles rolling down into the hole peppered her vision with dark colors. She knew very little about the drell, so he didn't know if he was a mercenary, if the hanar had sent him here for some objective, or what. But he was holding a gun and he wasn't a reaper, and that made him an ally in the biotic's eyes. "Are you injured?" She asked clinically, unsure of just how badly he was hurt. "I have medi-gel, but not very much."

    Slowly, her strength returned, recovering from her use of biotics in the previous battle. Concentrating, she tapped her foot twice against the ground, causing a barrier to spring up around her, once again cloaking her in the glittering blue radiance of a mass effect field. Esther felt much more comfortable now that she was protected. She didn't think that there was any hostile presence in the immediate area, but you could never be entirely sure, and ambushes were deadly. "I lost the rest of my unit in a series of skirmishes on the way here." She said so they were clear that she didn't have reinforcements on the way. While she was sad at the loss of life, she was also a soldier, and she carefully controlled her relationships so that her grief could never break her. It was easy enough, right now, to push the images of their bodies out of her mind. It would hit her when the battle was over, she knew. But she'd keep going. She'd keep fighting until she was dead or there wasn't anything left to shoot at.
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  15. Wandering through broken street after broken street, Blake began to slowly lose hope in finding any friendly units within the city-turned-graveyard. Bodies scattered the ground alongside the piles of refuse that the Reapers churned out to fight their wars. In his travels, one thing Blake noted was the variety of the dead: Drell, Alliance marines, Salarians... the pallet of warriors was endless. Coming out onto an open carriageway, a metallic thrumming was heard ahead. Blake slid into cover, poking his head above the flowerpot he had hidden behind. His view was hazy but he could make out movement. Friendlies? he thought to himself with hope in his heart. He needed a break. "SOL!" he screamed, ducking back into cover fully so that his whole body was concealed. "Come on," he muttered, shakily, to himself, "Give me the countersign... just give me the bloody countersign..." There was no response. Only more mechanical churning and loud thumping footsteps. "Countersign. Come on. Countersign, god damn it!" Blake took three deep breaths before slowly poking his head up once more. The street was clear... for only but a moment. With a loud crash, rubble erupted from a nearby alleyway like ash spewing from a volcano. Emerging from the cloud was one of the hulking monstrosities known as 'Brutes'. "Shit," Blake gasped, his breath catching in his throat as he ducked down once more. Grasping his rifle closely to his chest, he mumbled through incoherent words as he tried to psych himself up for the fight ahead.

    Suddenly, as if from nowhere, one of the buildings hit by the rubble began to fall apart, striking the ground around the brute with rubble and warranting a bone-chilling cry from the beast. With the adrenaline focusing Blakes thoughts, he realised it was a now or never scenario. Bursting from his cover, he dashed across the road, armour-piercing rounds loaded, and let off a volley of 10 rounds in the direction of the brute. The crack of projectiles whizzing overhead alerted him to the contact's reaction. Smashing through the window of the building adjacent to him, he caught a glimpse of several cannibals and marauders filtering out onto the street behind the brute. Before he could process the information, however, he crashed into the marble floor of the building he had breached. He grunted from the pain of the collision with the floor before he looked around, getting his bearings. It appeared to be an old burnt-out cafe. The charred tables still bore smashed holo devices with which the customers would have ordered their food and drinks. Sighting a door leading to the back room it seemed an escape route had presented itself. "Time to go," Blake said resolutely to himself. The winding corridors leading to the back door were rife with the stench of death and burnt flesh. A trail of blood led towards what resembled a meat locker, though Blake dare not investigate. Now was the time to stay on track.

    Barging out into the back alley was a refreshing feeling. Even though the air was still filled with ash and smoke, it was fresher than that which mustered inside the cafe. Sprinting off ahead in the hope of losing the pursuing enemy forces, Blake darted through the alleys before coming out onto another carriageway. Whether it was the buildings clearing, the generally dismal state of the hardware or just pure luck, Blake's receiver began to emit a broadcast.

    “Is anyone out there? This is Thanik Suin... I'm with a group of civilians inside the clothing store of the Tourist Mall.”

    Blake's eyes widened with a mixture of surprise and relief. So there are survivors. He hastily drew has hands to his radio piece. "Thanik! This Service Chief Greenfield of the Alliance Marines! Do you copy, over?" No response. Blake sent out the message again only seconds after the last, repeatedly trying to no avail. "Fucking broken pile of shit!" he screamed. His heart fluttered slightly as he realised how loud he'd been. Shit, I need to keep moving, he cursed to himself, the clothing store in the tourist mall? I can make that!

    Setting off, Blake had a direction as he followed his omni-tool to the location of the tourist mall. Maybe he would find allies there. Or maybe he would just find corpses. At the end of the day. There was only one way to find out.
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  16. The first sensation was pain. At first, it was all-consuming; seemingly a pervasive part of her being, without source or cause, radiating throughout her and leaving a burning so intense it was sickening in its wake. As the fog shrouding her mind in confusion began to dissipate, the pain became something comprehensible, though no less agonising, existing within the world of reason rather than being some supernatural force wracking her body. She could deal with it. It was coming from her left arm, she thought. And the type of pain... something felt broken.

    Panic flooded her. If her suit had torn, the consequences could be dire. The pain faded as adrenaline took its place, dulling to an ache. She tried to move her head to look, but nausea struck her instantaneously, turning her stomach. She kept her eyes shut, trying to calm herself and damp down the mad rushing of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through her brain. This was the time for neither fight nor flight, and though her memory of the events before her unconsciousness remained unclear she suspected that she had been running off of adrenaline for a while now.

    The sick feeling in her stomach stayed even as the pain returned. Her closed eyes burned hot as tears came close to welling up, generated as much by the sense of panicked helplessness now creeping over her as the pain itself. Her lungs stuttered as she tried to breathe, her inhalations stifled by the juddering. She whispered to herself, if only to break out of the suffocating interior of her own mind and into the real world:

    "Oh, keelah..."

    It took another couple of minutes before Kali felt able to move her head and check her surroundings. Opening her eyes millimetre-by-millimetre, the first place she looked was her arm - and breathed a sigh of relief, feeling some of the knot of tension in her core unwind. She wouldn't know for sure until she could move properly, but it seemed there were no breaches in her environmental suit - or at least none major enough to be seen from such a brief inspection. The most vital issue seen to, Kali began to look about her surroundings, stirring a little, though she kept her arm absolutely still.

    It was a grim sight. Hunks of flesh and shattered cybernetic material lay scattered around, though whether belonging to ally or foe she could not tell. Near as she could figure, she was lying in a small alcove to the side of a broad alley, sheltered from view from most directions by an overturned and burnt-out civilian vehicle. Surveying the scene, vague memories came back to her - Saator had dragged her over here, hiding her from the view of the Reaper forces slowly-but-surely advancing toward their position. The alley had been a dead end, the nail in the coffin for their desperate retreat out of enemy territory. But what had been the objective..?

    The memories disintegrated as Kali accidentally twitched her arm, sending another wave of violent illness and pain through her. Her mind was brought to the present. Keelah, it hurt, but she needed to sit up and figure out where she was - and, as she realised her equipment was missing, see if any supplies were handy. With a monumental effort, she shunted herself back up against the blackened side of the vehicle.

    The two-foot movement left her quivering and gasping for a full minute.

    Kali grunted, low in her throat, a snarl twisting her face beneath her visor, squeezing her eyes shut, and used her good arm to prop herself up as her legs scrambled to find good purchase on the smooth ground, glassy as a result of melting under some incredible heat - biotic or plasma caused, perhaps. The result was a half-slouched position against the side of the vehicle, at which point she gave up for fear of passing out again. She wanted to puke, and the wider view of the scene did not help.

    Most of her squad lay dead before her, torn apart by sprays of bullets and the unrelenting metallic hands of the husks. She didn't care for checking whose bodies were scattered about - she didn't want to know who had died how. She had made that mistake on Rannoch, checking the bodies for her friends, seeing them bloodied and brutalised. The thought of finding Saator's body broken in some horrific way shuddered her soul, and so she didn't give herself a chance to consider or find it. Kali couldn't face it, and she knew it. She wasn't made of stern enough stuff, and the naivety that had stayed with her to some extent or another throughout her time on Omega was now fully eradicated.

    She tried hard to think. It was becoming quickly apparent that survival depended on her thinking and acting fast. It was clear that none of her squad would be anywhere near. If any had survived, they would have had to flee somehow, judging by the devastation before her. Likely injured, too, meaning they would have headed straight for the nearest safe zone. The flight would have been urgent and desperate, a last-ditch attempt at survival. Even if they had known Kali was alive, there was no way to have taken her unconscious form. And would not have had time to leave a message for her. It would explain her missing equipment, too - they would have been low on everything, needing hers to see them through. Even her omni-tool was gone.

    Of course, Kali knew she was making assumptions - but they were assumptions she needed to make. She needed to get on the move - alive only through luck, presumably either unseen or assumed dead by the enemy, she was incredibly vulnerable alone and injured out here. But first, she needed medi-gel.

    And she had none.

    For a brief moment, Kali contemplated attempting to stand and move with her bad arm untreated and the pain as sharp as ever. She even made an effort to do so, though barely having moved she collapsed back against the metal, heaving with exhaustion. She tried again, refusing to face the alternative, stubborn and resolute, though she made it even less far this time. She was preparing to try once more when the sounds of combat floated to her on the wind, from several streets away. She was rapidly running out of time; enemy forces could sweep through at any moment.

    She gave off a sigh of anger and frustration, her hand clenching into a fist on her good side. Swallowing hard, she forced herself to look at her dead comrades. And sat there, still, for long moments, despite her sense of urgency.

    Kali bit her lip. Hard. And, bracing herself for the pain, forced herself to crawl over to the corpses. Swallowing back her horror and dismay and not once looking for any distinguishing features, she began to search the bodies, scrupulously and from head to toe, of her broken, mauled allies and friends.
    #16 Halo, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
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  17. Thanik listened to the crackling pop the Omni-Tool made as no response came in. Time and time again it crackled, but he faintly heard the words of a man on the last one. He couldn't make out what the person was saying, and if he didn't have an Omni-Tool and an actually relay-system, he could probably figure out what the person said and amplify the signal and make it stronger and other things. Well, he wished he could do all that but he wasn't an Engineer so he had no idea how he would do that. However, it would be more helpful than the Omni-Tool. He decided to reply anyways. "Your transmission was not clear, I'm-" His words were cut off as the sounds of a Cannibal screech reached his ears.

    Thanik didn't look up or take a second to move, he dropped to the floor as the window in front of him erupted in shards of glass and rubble from the frame. "Shit!" a man in the back yelled, the civilians all ducking for cover behind counters and walls that were away from the doorway and windows that displayed clothing.

    As the rain of bullets slowly dribbled to a stop, Thanik slowly began to crawl towards one of the destroyed display windows. Pushing onto his knees, he reached for his Carfinex pistol, and was ready to stand up and unload a few shots in the general direction of the Cannibals; however, he was stopped as a husk jumped through the window. Taken back by this, Thanik fell onto his back, his hands shooting up and grabbing the husks arms and held the faintly glowing creature away from his face. The Husk snapped at him, almost like a zombie from the old Human movies, its dead, electronic groans intensified as it was so close. A small child screaming in the background as he struggled with the husk before remembering his training.

    Thanik jammed his knee into the husk's chest, pushing up into its chest and using the weight and momentum of the husk to flip the creature off of Thanik and onto its back. Rolling over onto his stomach, Thanik grabbed his Carfinex pistol and pulled it forward quickly, dropping a shot into the husk's head. The husk's eyes and body began to dim, fade out and die.

    His breathing had began to increase, the life or death situation donning upon him but he didn't have time to think about that. He couldn't think about it, it would only get him killed. "Remember your training...if you die...then you don't deserve any afterlife. If any of them exist...." He muttered to himself quickly as he stood on the balls of his feet and pushed backwards, feeling the hard stone hit his back. Letting him know he was behind cover, his hands slowly shaking but he was calming down. Turning his head, he slowly peaked out the window to see seven Cannibals outside the window, almost like they were waiting for someone to emerge only to be shot down. Were they showing intelligence? was a simple tactic.

    A Cannibal must of spotted him or they were just releasing frustration, the weapon attached to the Cannibals arm erupted, spraying bullets into the now ruined clothing store. "Those.....human like creatures seem to rush in for grappling and close encounters...while these gluttonous monstrosities stay at a distance and rely on their suppressing fire." He muttered to himself, examining how the enemy acts and attacks. It was possible he could use this to his advantage in the near future.

    As long as they didn't move forward, he and the civilians would be safe for the time being until more Cannibals or Husks appeared and overran the store and killed them all. Where was the STG already? It was well past fifteen minutes, the lying Salarian piece of- though the Salarian and the STG might be dead. It never occurred to him to think of that possibility.
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  18. "Do we have contact from the boots on the ground?"

    "Communications are virtually nonexistent, Ma'am." The co-pilot looked back into the drop area, only to be met with an armored torso. A similarly clothed arm leaned against the seat as its owner stared at the feed data. The soldier grunted in slight irritation.

    "Try again. Even if it is static, it's something. Keep trying." The soldier said before he made his way towards the back of the transport. The co-pilot sighed, but did as he was told.

    "This is Specialist Harkov, of Alliance Navy. Are there any survivors on these channels? I repeat, are there any Alliance Marine survivors or non-combatant survivors?"


    The pilot sighed deeply and shook his head. "We've got nothin'." the dropship rocked hard as a Ravanger volley shot at the transport. "And we ain't gonna last long enough to get boots on the ground if we don't drop you now!" His neck and face broke out into a sweat as he tried to steady his hands. His co-
    pilot began to say something when the radio came alive.

    "-nik! This Service--eif Greenf-eld of the Alli-ce Marines! Do y-- c--p, -ER?" The co-pilot patched into the radio.

    "Greenfield? This is First Lieutenant DeCroix of the 103rd. What are your coordinates? We will rendezvous within 2 minutes."


    Two Days Before

    "Congratulations, Lieutenant." The young woman shook the hand of her instructor and gave a little smile. She worked almost four long years for the N7 commendation. Now, she awaited her new marching orders. Following the disaster that was Tyr, she was hungering to kill some Reapers.

    "Thank you, Sir." she saluted after she shook the man's hand. "Where do you need me?"

    "Nevos, Lieutenant." he said then handed her a dossier. She took it and made a comment about not needing a vacation. The man gave a chuckle, "Sorry, Lieutenant. A large portion of the 103rd has gone there to evacuate Nevos. However, reports are spars, but we believe the Reapers have attacked en force." She scanned over the few reports they could get in silence then frowned.


    "Contain the Reapers and evacute the non-combatants. Rendezvous with the remnants of the 103rd and establish a FOB." Alexandria snickered. "Lieutenant?"

    "Sounds like a party, Sir."
  19. #1
    Kaboom. Druslius and his companions turned towards the windows of their contractor’s room as soon as they heard the sound. They saw the lazeras it fainted before another lazer came from the sky. Druslius shouted, "Get out of the room!" as another came close to the building that it caused the windows to break and every flying towards the other side of the room. The contractor flipped onto the bed then on the ground as Druslius's companions flew towards the wall. Druslius flew towards the door and opened it by force as his head hit onto the ground, causing him to blackout. A second later, he heard the reactions towards the explosion and the lazers, which were caused by the Reapers. A mix of crying, shock, and screaming were the first things that Druslius heard.

    All of a sudden, shouting from one of the companions was heard: "Get over here! We need to help out!". Then the companions, there were only two of them came towards Druslius as the contractor was horrified by the events that unfold in the matter of seconds. "Let's pick him up!" said one of the companions as he began to lift Druslius and with the help of the other, they manged to get him up. "We need to go! Now!" one of the companions said towards the contractor and then she kept on saying, "Oh Athame... Oh Athame...". The, the group began to walk as fast as they could to the elevator before a flood of people ran towards it and got on and the doors were starting to shut. "Wait from us!" "My child is out there still!" "Stop the doors!" there words were heard by Druslius as the elevator began to go towards the first floor and with that came a sudden mix of reactions.

    The group had stopped running as the elevator was long gone and then saw the stairwell. The stairs were long, 10 floors long, but they need to get out of here alive. They then began to run slowly towards the stair well and then one of the companions said, "I need to keep look out. Helovair, could you take over while I go ahead?". She kept on say Athame's name over and over as they kept going down the flight of stairs. Realizing that it was impossible to keep on going like this, they set Druslius down and then tried to get him up. "Druslius... Druslius!" was the last words that he heard before he blackout again due to the pain..

    A couple of hours later...

    Druslius opened his eyes as he looked around as he realized that he wasn't in the room any longer. He tried to get back up but, stopped due to the pain as he groaned and grabbed onto his chest. He didn't see any blood or felt something inside of him but, that didn't matter as he tried to call out towards his companions and Helovair. Of course, it didn't work as there wasn't sound within the stairwell. Yet, there were fainting sounds of gunshots with the mixture of explosions and Druslius needed to know what was going on. He then saw the doors open as he saw the stair rail nearest to him and grabbed onto it and lifted up towards it. He all of sudden felt the pain coming out and started to curse under his breath.

    Druslius then realized that he had his Omni-tool and then pull it out of his room. It did work as he lift up his arm and he smiled as he went towards the med-gel section and pushed the button. He all of sudden felt a rush of relived, which caused him to climb up the remaining stairs. Druslius then stopped to look at the hallway, which were covered in broken pieces of glass, all of the doors were open (some were broken), and the sound of the unknown creatures were near. He didn't want see the creatures and then saw his room and rushed towards it. He heard sounds of broken glass being stepped on as he got to the door and then got in it.

    One of the buildings collapsing was the first thing he saw since he had been up. The outside looked like a bomb when off and caused all of this but, that wasn't the case as he learned shorty by the screech of something and then he rushed out of the room. He saw a Cannibal and finally realized that the Reapers had found Nevos. He then saw the creature running towards him and then Druslius ran towards the flight of stairs.

    He kept on running from the creature from what seem to be from hours as the creature was running towards him. He walked down the steps and saw that he was near the first floor and out of this hell hole. The creature then tipped on his own foot and fell onto the stairs, making such that Druslius lived another day. But, he didn't know or matter about the creature as he had no means of protection against the Reapers. Questions then began to flow in his train of thoughts, why were his companions leave him behind? What happened to them and the contractor? Are they dead?

    The first level looked like a war zone was nearby, which really was the whole city. The dust from the dirt and buildings were on the floors of the lobby, Druslius then stopped and took time to get his breathing back. He needed to make a plan about finding the contractor and the companions, then a plan of getting the fuck out of Nevos. He went behind the counter and searched the area from something useful, he found nothing useful other than the hotel packets with coffee in them. Druslius then took out his Omni-tool and tried to pick up one of his companions until he saw a message from one of them. The message gave the location of where they were. A bar, called Lucky's, a couple blocks away from the hotel.

    Druslius started to run again towards the location, sooner he could get to them sooner they could get out.
    #19 Rare, Jan 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2015
  20. "Greenfield? This is First Lieutenant DeCroix of the 103rd. What are your coordinates? We will rendezvous within 2 minutes."

    Blake stopped dead in his tracks. Was that call-out real? Did he really just receive a message from the Alliance? Then they haven't left, he thought to himself, smiling deeply. In one fluid movement, he sidestepped off of the footpath into the dark cover of an alleyway's shadowy embrace. Pressing his hand to his communication device, he attempted to transmit a response. "Lieutenant, this is Greenfield. I don't know if you'll receive this - my comms hardware is going haywire - but I'm heading to the tourist mall. We have confirmed civilian survivors there that will need an extract. RV with me there. I'll be waiting. Greenfield, out."

    Breathing a deep sigh of relief, Blake allowed himself to slide down the wall, collapsing into a sitting position for a short respite. Two minutes? he pondered, They must be close. If the fleet's not left yet and the 103rd are in the fight then we might still be in with a chance for this planet. I wonder if anyone in command knows or cares about the outcome of our mission? Suddenly, a volley of machine-gun fire rang aloud from a couple of blocks away and tracers could be seen heading off into a place in the sky with low visibility. "Here comes the cavalry," Blake cited in a low but pleased tone. He did a quick once-over of his rifle before pushing himself from the wall to his feet. The mall was only five minutes away from his position. Hopefully, the survivors there could hold out that long.
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