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Chapter 10

Jack once again found himself in the forest as the cold breeze continued to blow through it like a draft in old house. Jack looked up and the sky was the same as last time, all cloudy and bleak looking. But then something light caught his attention via the corner of his eye and he looked immediately in it's direction, he saw a small figure in a white hoodie running in between the trees and bushes. The Prime's eyes widened as he recognised the figure, it was the little boy.

The one that he saw get killed and turned into a husk, how could he be alive? The boy stopped in his tracks and looked directly at Jack, his expression was completely blank. It was as if he didn't really see Jack there, but then an eerily familiar scream echoed through he forest and startled he boy. He then started to run again as the screams grew louder, Jack began to follow him.

'I failed you before but not again.' he thought to himself as he chased after the child who looked like he was running for his life. The Prime followed the kid as the screams grew even louder, Jack knew that the husks were very close now and he put everything he had into his legs.

He hoped that he would reach the boy before creatures did, the Prime couldn't bear the thought that he would fail to protect an innocent from the Reapers. After a few seconds of running through the forest, Jack found him coming to the forest's edge and was welcomed by the sight of the ruins a town, a town that looked a lot like Jasper.

The boy had disappeared again so Jack decided to keep moving and carried on walking between the burnt or half demolished buildings. It did not take long for the Prime to reach the main street of the town's centre, which used to be a busy and thriving... well it wasn't either actually but it was more lively that it is now. But then Jack heard his name being whispered behind him and spun around to see nothing.

"Jack!" a voice called out, the Commander looked in the direction it came from but found nothing.

"Jack!" it called again, he looked around but once again there was nothing. The Prime was starting to get angry as he chose to ignore the voice and carry on walking.

As he walked down the empty street, the cold breeze blew some charred leaves across the road into his path which brought the Prime's attention to one building in particular.

It was what remained of the KO Burger drive through, the building looked like a bomb had hit it. Jack walked over to the door, which looked like it had been blown off it's hinges. It was pitch black beyond the doorway and he could not see what lay in the darkness.

"Jack!" the voice called out from in the dark doorway, it's voice sounding eerie and soulless. The Prime walked closer and saw the outline of a figure standing in the shadows, it stretched out it's arm at the Commander who did the same in return.

But just as his hand was about to cross the threshold of the darkness, the stranger's hand came out and went instantly through the Prime's startling him as he stepped back immediately. Jack looked on in horror as the figure stepped out into the light, it looked like an oily shadow of a man as it began walking towards him.

"Jack, you left us to die." it said in a tone just above a whisper.

"Jack, you should have stopped me." another oily shadow said from the building next to the Commander as it too began walking towards him. The Prime then back stepped further, trying to keep his distance from these shadows which filled him with dread and guilt as he looked upon them.

But then he suddenly looked around and saw that the whole street was now populated by them and that they were walking towards the center of the road behind him. And that was when Jack saw him, the boy who was sitting on the concrete surface with his legs pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped around them.

The oily shadows started to circle the child as Jack turned round and ran toward the boy, who looked up at him. His face was wet from all the crying he had done and he continued to sob as the Prime reached out with his hand to him. But then the shadows engulfed the boy, creating a dark mist like cloud as the sound of flesh being ripped from bone could be heard from within.

Jack tried to reach in but some unseen force kept pushing him back. Then as if it was never actually there, the black mist dissipated and all that was left was small pile of bones and bits of flesh in a puddle of blood. Jack looked down at the remains in complete defeat as his mouth was slightly a gape and his eyes wide, but then he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

It was like he was being watched, so he turned around and saw just in the distance a giant Reaper staring back at him. It's bright yellow eyes could be clearly seen even at this distance, it then roared, the inhuman noise deafening the Prime. But as then the roar quietened as everything went black and then Jack opened his eyes.

He was lying in his quarters aboard the Defiant, the room was lowly lit by the star field that Jack could see through the sky light above him. He tried to think about the dream he just had, it felt similar to a dream he had just a few weeks ago.

He could remember only flashes, small details that lingered in his mind while the bigger ones would be instantly forgotten. But the only constant that stayed with him, that was burned into his memory was the face of the little boy. The boy that he saw die on the day the Reapers blackened the sky of Earth, it was also the day that for the first time in his life that he had fled.

He was ordered to by Optimus so that he could gain allies in the future attempt to retake the planet, but still the thought that he had left his friend and mentor as well as his home planet to the Reapers did not sit well with the Prime.

He had never ran from a fight in his life…..well okay he did the first time he saw a transformer attacking him, but that was understandable at the time. But since then he had given his all (even his life on one occasion) in each and every fight that appeared before him, so the very feeling of guilt and pain he felt for the thousands…. no, millions that were dying each and every day on Earth while the Reapers were purging it of all human life sickened him to his core, because here he was safely tucked up in bed, more than a thousand light years away when he should have been back on his home world fighting along side the rest of his species. So why was he constantly being reminded of this one child, why was he seeing the boy being killed by the Reapers in his dreams most nights?

He got up and went over to the bathroom and splashed some water on his face before looking at his reflection in the mirror in front of him. He felt that he should at least tell Arcee about this, about the thoughts of guilt that were plaguing his mind.

But he would not because though Jack knew that she would be there for him, his lover like the others looked to him for strength and for him to lead them against their enemies. So he would bear this burden himself and spare them any added pressure that they did not need, not with the war that was raging around them.

Jack then walked out of the bathroom and sat down on his bed before leaning over to the side table and picking up a pad that was there. Teletraan had downloaded the newest casualty reports to it and it was worse than the last report, in the weeks since the events on Rannoch, the Alliance had now lost over seventy five percent of their territory to the Reapers who had begun harvesting the human colonies now under their control.

The Defiant had gone back to providing support to those that could be evacuated and sent to Sanctuary, but even with the support of the Turians, the Krogan, the Quarians and the Geth. The Reapers were only being slowed down, not stopped completely. It now felt that time itself was against them too, since even with the added support of those races had sped up the construction of the Crucible which was nearly finished, the weapon was still missing a key component…..the Kranix matrix and yet no one knew what is was or where to look for it.

Things were certainly starting to look dire indeed, suddenly Jack shook his head in frustration as he attempted to rid his mind of these bleak thoughts and looked over to his holo-clock that was located on the side table. It read seven forty five AM, his eyes widened in surprise.

'My alarm should have gone off a six o'clock, why didn't it?' he thought as he activated the interface and looked at the settings. He then sighed when he saw that the alarm was turned off, he knew who was to thank for this but he could not feel angry towards her. But it was time for him to make his presence known so he got up and got dressed.

The elevator doors opened to reveal the CIC as Jack walked in, two crewmen saluted him and he acknowledged them as he made his way to the galaxy map where Arcee was standing, commanding the ship in his absence.

"You know I could have sworn that I set my alarm for six this morning." he said making the femme turn round, a smile gracing her lips when she saw him.

"Morning, Jack. I figured you could use the extra hour considering…."

Jack gave her a curious look.


His XO's smile then lessened as a concerned expression appeared on her face.

"I share a bed with you, Jack. Did you think I wouldn't notice that you haven't been sleeping well lately." she said in a caring tone.

"You know you can talk to me if there is something on your mind."

Jack smiled back.

"I know, Arcee. But I am okay… really. It is just this war is starting to get to me." he said in a half lie, half truthful way. The femme looked at him for a moment before sighing and turning back to the galaxy map.

"Alright, I guess you will tell me when you feel ready too." she replied with an ever so slightly hurt feeling in her voice. Jack felt a tinge of guilt building up inside him for keeping her out again, he did not like lying to her just like did not like it when she kept her thoughts/feelings for Chromia from him.

'I don't have to tell her everything, but she deserves to know some of it at least' he thought as sighed and shrugged his shoulders in defeat.

"Arcee, if you want to talk. How about over waffles?" he said gaining the femme's attention, the smile he loved seeing now back on her face.

"Waffles sound good." she replied before offering the Prime her hand, which he took in his own. She then squeezed his hand gently as the two partners headed toward the elevator.

"Jackson Prime, I have Admiral Bryce for you in the com room." Teletraan suddenly said from the intercom, Jack's relaxed expression changed to that of frustration as he took a deep breath.

"Damn it, doesn't he ever sleep?" the Prime said with agitation evident in his voice. Arcee gave him a sympathetic look.

"You going to meet me down there, Jack." she asked, gaining a nod from the Commander before she stepped into the now open elevator. Jack then watched the doors close before heading off to the com room.

Once there the Prime walked over to the control interface and pressed in a command, then in a blink of an eye the hologram of the Admiral was standing before him.


Bryce then noticed the annoyed look Jack was trying to hide by remaining professional.

"Is everything alright, Darby?"

"Of course, Sir. Why do you ask?" the Prime replied gaining a knowing look from his superior.

"I wanted an update on the evacuation of the Proxima system, but I can see there are more important issues at hand."

Jack looked at Bryce with a confused expression.

"And what would they be, Sir?"

"Well as of this moment, the Defiant is being called off active duty and it's crew are to take shore leave. And that means you too, Commander." the Admiral said, the last part with a smile.

"But, Sir? We are in the middle of a war, I don't think that would be a good time.." Jack replied, a little shock evident in his voice before Bryce interrupted him.

"Commander, your crew needs a rest just like everyone else in this war. I gave the crew of the Hiroshima a few days shore leave only last week. And considering what you and your crew have achieved for our cause over the last month or so, I think that warrants a rest."

"Achieved, Sir?" the Prime asked back. Bryce gave him a knowing look.

"Do I really need to spell it out for you, Prime. You not only recruited the Turians and the Krogan to our cause, curing the later of the Genophage. But you also peacefully ended a three hundred year long war between the Quarians and the Geth. And if that is not enough, you also allied us with the rogue Reaper named Lucifer who just happens to be the first of it's kind. Need I go on?" he said as he crossed his arms.

"No, Sir,…I think you made your point." Jack replied in defeat, gaining another smile from Bryce.

"Good, I will let you inform your crew then. I expect you to take this as seriously as you have taken your duties during this war, Bryce out." the Admiral said before his hologram faded away, leaving the Prime alone.


As the Defiant approached the Citadel, Jack was in the cockpit with Hotrod who was hailing the station.

"Citadel Control, this is Alliance Frigate 'Defiant', requesting landing clearance."

The Prime's attention was elsewhere though as he thought back to earlier when he told his team mates and crew about their shore leave, the crew looked happy but kept up a professional demeanour about it. His team mates though we're a different story, Smokescreen and Jazz almost instantly started planning a trip to see the Asari Consort. Jack had heard about her, she was some sort of oracle but others had said she was just some high class hooker. Arcee, Airachnid and Tali immediately grouped up and said they were going shopping, though Airachnid did joke that they wouldn't keep Arcee from the Commander for too long.

Raf wanted to go and visit the Salarian Science labs and of course that meant that Bumblebee was accompanying him, Ratchet was going to stay on the ship saying that the peace and quiet would allow him to continue his work without interruptions. Garrus just walked up to Jack and told him that he had something special planned for them both on the Station. Jack was then pulled out of his thoughts by Hotrod.

"Citadel Control, can read me…?" the young Autobot repeated, his voice starting to show signs of frustration. When the com signal just repeated back with static again, the pilot looked up at the Prime.

"This isn't right, we should have had a reply by now."

Jack then worked on the interface next to him and it brought up a list of other radio frequencies, all but one were offline.

"Try this one, Hotrod." he said as he transferred the frequency to the pilot's station. Hotrod then activated it and spoke.

"This is the Defiant to anyone onboard the Citadel, please respond."

The two just waited as the channel remained full of static for a while before a familiar voice answered.

"Hotrod, is that you out there?"

Jack and the Autobot both gasped at the same time.

"Captain Anderson, yes I am here with Jackson Prime." Hotrod answered.

"Anderson, what is the situation over there?" Jack asked as he looked out to the Citadel just in front of them.

"MECH are attacking the Citadel, more precisely the Presidium. They started with C-Sec and then locked down the other wards so that the rest of the security forces could not help defend the station." the captain replied.

"Anderson, where are you right now?" Jack asked.

"I am with Councillors Tevos and Perceptor. I will protect them against whoever is hunting them."

"What do you mean? Who is after them?" the Prime asked.

"I do not know, but Tevos is certain that MECH are trying to take out them out and gain control of the Council" Anderson said.

"Wait, if Tevos and Perecptor are with you, then where is Valern?" Jack replied.

"The Salarian Councillor was at C-Sec for his daily meeting with the Executor just before the attack, we haven't been able to get in contact with him, I have sent Prowl to go back for him."

The Commander looked over to Arcee who had just arrived behind him and Hotrod and nodded to her, she returned he gesture and activated her com link. He then turned back to the pilot.

"Well, sit tight Anderson, I will take a team and help retake C-Sec. Then we can meet up and protect the Councillors from MECH." the Prime said over the com.

"Roger that, Darby, and keep a look out for Valern and Prowl while you are there. Good luck." Anderson replied.

"Will do, Anderson, stay safe." Jack said before the channel closed, he then looked at Hotrod.

"Keep the ship in position, we will take a shuttle to the C-Sec landing bay."

"Aye aye." the pilot replied as Jack turned and walked towards his XO, who has just deactivated her com link.

"Jack, Smokescreen, Jazz and Garrus will be waiting for you in the shuttle bay."

"Thanks, Arcee. You are in command until we return."

The femme nodded before the Prime entered the elevator and placed the octagonal disc on his chest, the Prime armour growing around him as the elevator doors closed.

After leaving the Defiant, the shuttle entered the Citadel's presidium ring via one of the maintenance access tunnels. The vessel just about fitted in the tunnels that were designed for maintenance drones and observation pods, the shuttle pilot navigated the tunnels were expert precision before coming up to the energy field at the far end. Garrus was sitting in the co-pilot's seat next to him.

"That force field is designed to keep the atmosphere in the station, it will allow vessels to enter and exit." the Turian said before the shuttle pilot flew the little ship through the field and into the station's interior.

The battle inside C-Sec landing bay was fierce as the security forces were fighting to take back their facility from the MECH soldiers. An older looking Caucasian soldier took the lead as he ran from their shuttle, taking cover behind one of the many sky cars that were parked in bay. He then gestured to his men to follow while the MECH troopers continued to rain bullets down on them from their position at the HQ's entrance.

"Come on, this place isn't going to liberate itself. Get your asses up here now!" he called back to his men, three then charged out of the shuttle's hatch and ran up to his position while firing at the enemy, taking cover behind the same sky car as their superior. Then the last of the group readied themselves to make the run, but as they did the leader looked over from his cover to see the MECH soldier's readying a rocket launcher and aiming it at their shuttle. He then looked back at his men and screamed at them.


But the enemy trooper fired the weapon and the missile flew through the air and over the C-Sec leader and hit the shuttle, itself exploding from the impact and killing everyone left inside. The older man looked down to the ground and mourned his lost men as the others continued to fire at the troopers who started to advance on their position, seeing that the opposition had been thinned down. The leader and his remaining men then heard the large blast doors that were currently shut behind the enemy line open up, so they looked over the cover to see that a giant mech walking out. They could see the pilot sitting in the small cockpit in the middle of the robotic figure.

"ATLAS!" one of the soldier's shouted at the others as MECH began their assault on their location. But before the enemy could attack, an Alliance shuttle flew into the bay and with two large cannons that were on either side of it fired at the Atlas, destroying it with one hit and sending the troops around it flying. The C-Sec group then finished off the remaining MECH soldiers while the shuttle landed and Jack and his team exited it via it's hatch, the Prime walked directly over to the older man among the C-sec soldiers.

"Is everyone alright?" he asked as Garrus stood beside him.

"Jackson Prime, thanks for the assist. I lost more than half of my squad, but we…." he said before seeing the Turian.

"Garrus, its been a while." he said with a smile which Garrus returned.

"Bailey, it's good to see you."

Jack looked between the two of them.

"Garrus, you two know each other?"

"Yes, Jack. I served under the Captain when I was part of C-Sec before we met three years ago." the Turian replied.

"Well, Garrus, a lot has happened since then, I was recently promoted to Commander." the older man said as Jazz and Smokescreen joined the three of them.

"Jack, this area is secured but I am reading more soldiers inside the facility." Jazz stated while looking at his holo-tool, gaining a nod from the Prime.

"You're right, Commander. We're here to help you retake C-sec HQ."

"Well that is much appreciated, Prime. With our forces scattered around the station, we have not been able to mount a strong enough offensive against the MECH soldiers. But with your help we stand a better chance." the Commander said as his men all nodded in agreement, he then gestured to Jack as he and the other C-Sec soldiers started to walk toward the HQ entrance.

"Shall we?"

Jack smiled as he equipped his assault rifle and his team doing the same, they then all entered the HQ lobby which was filled with MECH troopers who were firing from behind cover. Garrus took cover behind a pillar before taking a quick shot with his sniper rifle which blew a hole through one enemy's face, while Jazz and Smokescreen vaulted over the large table in front of them while firing their weapons and taking down two more MECH soldiers. Jack activated his sky boom shield and blocked the incoming fire from the MECH commando who was attacking with what looked like a minigun, this allowed Bailey and his men to gain better cover near the Prime and fired back at the enemies protecting the commando, riddling them with bullets.

The commando then ran out of ammo and fumbled with his new ammo pack as Jack shut off his shield and charged forward with his star saber and ran it clean through the enemy. The commando who was wearing a helmet that covered his entire face coughed up blood that Jack could hear as he twisted the blade in guy's chest before pulling it back out, the commando then fell to the ground as blood poured out of the large wound in his chest.

"All clear." one the C-sec soldiers called out as Jack and his team looked back at Bailey.

"Well that was too easy." Smokescreen stated with the usual over confidence that he had, Garrus looked over to him.

"Hey, Kid, no need to be cocky." he said before giving Jack a concerned look.

"He is right though, I would have thought that MECH would have had more men here."

Jack nodded in agreement before looking over to Jazz.

"What do you see, anymore threats beyond this point?"

The Autobot looked down at the screen of his holo-tool, but could not see any enemy signatures in the immediate area.

"It's clear, Jack. I guess they have pulled everyone back."

"That doesn't make any sense?" one of the soldiers said, before getting a silent gesture to shut up from Bailey.

"Well, I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth, we should be able to properly secure the HQ now and then let all the other C-sec squads around the station back into the Presidium, and then kick MECH off of the Citadel by their asses."

Jack smiled back at the Commander before looking to the elevator behind the group.

"Will that elevator take us up to the Executor's office, we were told the Councillor Valern was there. We need to find him before we can get to Anderson and the other Councillors."

"It sure will, Prime. From here we can also unlock all doors and deactivate any force fields that maybe in your way." Bailey replied.

"Thanks, we will take any help you can provide." Jack said before he and the others entered the elevator.

"Good luck, Prime. And, Garrus, watch yourself out there." the older Commander said, gaining a smile from the Turian.

"I will, Bailey. Same to you."

The elevator doors then closed around the Prime and his team before it took them up to the higher levels of the Presidium.


The journey through the Presidium corridors to the Executor's offices were quiet, only a hand full of MECH soldiers were run into and taken out just as easily. Jack had pondered to the others that maybe MECH were just using the C-sec HQ as misdirection, making them focus on that problem instead of heading directly to the Councillors. But all talk of that stopped the moment they made it to the office. Garrus opened the door and the team entered the room to find two Salarian bodyguards dead on the floor and the body of Executor lying face down on his desk with blood trickling down his head from a bullet hole at it's back.

"Damn it, they already got to him." Jazz observed while Jack and Garrus looked out of the large window into the neighbouring office, the Turian then squinted before pointing out with his hand.

"Jack, do you see that shimmer over there, I could have sworn that I saw a silhouette of a person then."

Jack looked in the direction that his friend was gesturing to and saw the shimmer too.

"Yeah, looks like someone is using a personal cloak."

Then the shimmer changed and suddenly a Salarian was seen standing there in the room.

"There is he." Garrus said before Jack noticed a shadowy figure jump down from the rafters and land perfectly behind the Councillor. He was wearing black and purple armour with gold neon lighting, and he was equipped with a familiar looking sword as he sneaked up behind the unsuspecting Salarian. Jack then fired at the window shattering it and alerting the Councillor who turned around to see his would be attacker and Jack and the others behind him as they vaulted over the windowsill into the office that both of them were in. The assassin then somersaulted over Valern and landed behind him, so that he had some distance between himself and the new arrivals. Jack looked at the enemy and saw that he had a MECH insignia on his chest plate.

"Hold it right there." Jack said as the enemy took an readying pose with his sword lifted just above his head and pointed directly at the Councillor.

"Prime, he is going to kill us." Valern said, the fear in his voice evident.

Jack and his team all aimed their weapons at the assassin.

"I don't think so Councillor, it's three against one." the Prime replied, before hearing a chuckle from the enemy.

"No, this is where it gets fun, Darby." he said, his voice being disguised by the helmet with had a large black visor covering his face, Jack's eyes widened as he heard the assassin speak his name.

"Do I know you?"

"Still slow on the uptake aren't you, Darby." the enemy replied before his helmet retracted and instantly Jack and Garrus both stared daggers at him.

"Sideways!" both said in unison angrily, the former Con just smirked at them.

"You remember, I am touched." he retorted before taking a step toward Valern.

"I said don't move." Jack warned as he mimicked Sideways by closing the distance between himself and the Salarian.

"Then stop me, Darby,...if you can." the former Con replied, he was then about to launch himself at the Councillor when he was suddenly grabbed and thrown back across the room. Jack and the others watched in shock while Valern retreated behind them, as a Caucasian man in black and white armour that hard red neon lights took a fighting stance between Sideways and the group.

"Glad to see you, Jazz. You too, Prime." he said as the Autobot members of Jack's team smiled back.

"Prowl." Jazz said happily as Sideways flew at the Autobot standing between them, who blocked the assassin's sword with his red armguards and then side kicked the former Con in the stomach before upper cutting him in the face. Sideways fell on to his back before quickly recovering and attacking again. This time he performed a flurry of attacks, both with his sword and his kicks, but again Prowl countered each one before knocking him back again with a palm to the face. Sideways growled in frustration as Jack and the others joined the Autobot's side.

"You're not getting Valern." Prowl said in a stoic tone.

"Well, the other Councillors are not so well protected, are they?" Sideways replied before he dropped a grenade on the ground which filled the room with a bright light, making everyone look way so not to be blinded. When the light died down, Jack looked back to see the former con running out towards the skycar park just down the connected corridor. Jack looked back at Prowl who just gave him a stoic look.

"Go, Prime, I have the Councillor well in hand."

The Prime nodded before he and the others ran after the assassin.

When they got to the bay, it was filled with rows of parked sky cars and they just caught a glimpse of Sideways who was standing on one that was being piloted by a MECH trooper, as it pulled out of the bay and flew down the Presidium ring.

"Prime, what happened?" Bailey said over the com link.

"Sideways is leading the MECH troops here, Prowl and my team have stopped him from assassinating Valern, but he is now heading for the other Councillors." Jack replied as he climbed into the driver's seat of an unlocked sky car, the others joined him before he piloted the vehicle out of the bay and in pursuit.

"We have now unlocked the wards and the other C-sec teams are engaging the MECH forces in the Presidium, I will have a team ready to support you in several minutes." the Commander said as Jack piloted the sky car, under him was the river that ran around the whole Presidium ring and above was the fake blue sky.

"Can you tell me where the Councillors are right now?"

"They are on a landing pad about a click from your current location, I am sending you the coordinates." Bailey replied.

"Thanks, Bailey. See if you can get a team up to them while I stop Sideways." Jack said when suddenly the former Con landed on the hood of their sky car and looked back at the Prime and smirked. Jack instantly pulled out his pistol and fired through the windshield at the assassin who ran over it and onto the top of the car.

"Take the wheel." Jack told Garrus as he opened the side door and climbed out of the sky car while in mid flight and joined Sideways who equipped his blade, which took on the familiar purple glow of dark energon.

"Careful, Darby. I doubt you have the dexterity that I now possess."

Jack activated his star saber and pointed it at the former Con.

"So, now you are working with MECH, I highly doubt that Silas would trust you considering that you allied yourself with the Reapers." he said before Sideways swung his blade at the Prime who blocked the attack with his saber before pushing the enemy back.

"Well, I gave him what you denied him, Darby,….Reaper tech."

Sideways then attacked again, but Jack anticipated the attack and ducked under dark energon blade before sweeping the former con off of his feet.

"And what did you ask for in return?" Jack asked as he lunged his saber, but missed due to Sideways rolling out of the way and getting to his feet at the edge of the sky car's roof.

"He gave me upgrades that would allow me to finally end your life."

Jack then attacked by swinging his saber at the assassin who deflected the attack, but then Jack performed a roundhouse kick that connected with the Con's face and knocked him flying off of the car.

"You should ask for a refund." Jack retorted back, but then another skycar pulled up behind his and Sideways was standing on top of it.

"Thanks for the advice, I would stay and chat but I have some Councillors to kill." he shouted back, just as the passenger door on his car opened and a MECH trooper leaned out and fired his weapon at the engine of the Prime's sky car, making it explode.

"See you at the finish line." the former con saluted as he and the MECH agents pulled away from the Prime's car which had slowed down due to the engine being hit, Jack was clinging to the roof as they descended to one of the streets below.


Meanwhile just ahead of them, Anderson and the other Councillors were just approaching a shuttle on the landing bay they were at, when suddenly the vessel exploded as Sideway's sky car neared, a MECH soldier holding a RPG could be seen leaning out of the opened side door.

"Well, if you can just stay right there, this will be over very soon." Sideways stated as Anderson stood in front of Tevos and Perceptor.

"Take them out!" the former Con said as the soldier aimed the RPG at the group. Both Councillors let fear show on their faces while Anderson remained stoic. But just as the trooper was about to fire, a gunshot rang out and his head exploded before his body went limp and fell out of the sky car. Sideways looked in the direction that the shot came from and saw Garrus aiming his sniper rifle directly at him, Jack and Smokescreen and Jazz all rushing towards the Councillors. They began firing at the sky car, but Sideways deflected their bullets with his sword casually.

But then he looked on behind his targets and saw the door connected to the landing bay open and a team of C-sec soldiers rush out towards them. The former Con then performed an act of perfect acrobatics as he dived backwards off the skycar while grabbing hold of the edge of the roof and swinging into the open passenger seat.

"Get us out of here." he ordered the MECH soldier in the drivers seat as he closed his door and the sky car flew away from the landing bay at top speed.

Jack and his team then joined Anderson and the Councillors as Bailey and his men arrived.

"Anderson, Councillors are you alright?" he asked.

"Yes we fine, Darby. Thank you for the save." Anderson replied with a smile as Tevos and Perceptor gave the Prime a relieved look.

"Prime, I was worried for a moment. My readouts said that your sky car had taken a hit." Bailey said.

"It did, but thanks to some great flying by Garrus here. We managed to crash land without any trouble. I jumped off just before impact and landed in some bushes in the garden." the Prime replied.

"Yes and we crashed into the fountain, that is why the three of us are soaking wet." Garrus stated while gesturing to his wet armour. Smokescreen and Jazz both chuckled in return.

"Don't sweat it, Garrus. Jack was right. That was some great flying back there." Jazz jumped in gaining a smile from the Turian.

"Yes, well how does the saying go, any landing you can walk away from is a good one."

Tevos then turned to Jack as his friends carried on.

"Prime, we thank you for your actions today, but do you know why MECH attacked us?"

Jack shook his head in response.

"Sorry, Madam Councillor, I do not know but I intend to find out."

"Okay, Everyone. The Councillors are safe. But we still have MECH soldiers around the station so lets get to it." Bailey stated as he gestured everyone back to the door that he and his men had come from.

Meanwhile Sideways was sitting in the passenger seat of the sky car that was being piloted by a MECH soldier beside him when Silas's face appeared on the monitor in front of him.

"Sideways, I have to say that I am disappointed that you let Darby beat you. Especially after all the upgrades that I allowed you to have."

Sideways glared down at the face of the Director, the yellow optics of his not phasing the former Con at the least.

"Silas, that pathetic excuse of a Prime was lucky, when next we meet I will defeat him."

The Director though did not look impressed as he just took a sip from his half full glass before continuing.

"Were you successful in your main objective though?"

"Yes, while I kept Darby and the C-Sec forces busy. Beta team acquired the information that you needed from the Asari Councillor's computer in her office." Sideways replied gaining a slight smile from Silas.

"Excellent, then I want you to return to base so that we can analyse the data before our next move."

"Understood, Sideways out." the former Con said before the monitor switched off, he then looked over to the trooper.

"Get us back to our ship before C-Sec seals the station."

"Yes, Sir." the soldier replied as the sky car accelerated as it flew out of sight as it entered one of the maintenance shafts.

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Chapter 11

It had been over an hour since MECH's failed attack on the Citadel and Jack's team were waiting outside of Perceptor's office while Jack consulted with the Councillors and Via the holo-communicator, Admiral Bryce also. 

Tali was talking with Garrus, Airachnid and Arcee were leaning against again wall and talking. Bumblebee was conversing with Raf via com link and Smokescreen was pacing back and forth as Jazz just chilled while shaking his head at his younger friend.

"Hey, will you stop and wait like the rest of us, Smoke? You're giving motion sickness just by watching you."

The Autobot stopped and looked over to his shades wearing friend.

"I am just stoked for our shore leave, Jazz. I mean isn't everyone else?" he said before looking at everyone. Arcee looked over to him as she cut short her and Airachnid's conversation and gave the young bot a knowing and slightly annoyed look.

"Smokescreen, considering that MECH has just attacked the Citadel, I am guessing that leave will be cancelled."

"Arcee may have a point, I mean it's not like there isn't a war on." Airachnid said in support of the femme who gave her a slight smile as Garrus decided to give his view.

"In fact this incident might very well be the kick in the behind that the Council needed, they may very well join the fight now. They have kept their hands clean of the Reapers for too long as it is."

"It seems the Council agrees with you, Garrus." a familiar voice said behind the group making them turn to see Jack and Perceptor standing in the doorway.

"Jack, so the Council is ready to fight?" Arcee asked before the Prime gave her a slight smile.

"Yes, they have agreed to join our coalition….that's what we are calling it now right?" Jack asked the Councillor who nodded with a stoic like smile.

"Indeed, Prime. The Salarians will be supplying us with their best scientists to work on the Crucible, while the Asari will be making their fleet available to us as well as the Destiny Ascension."

"Well, it has been a long time coming." Jack added while crossing his arms and looking at the Councillor with an annoyed expression.

"Jackson Prime, for the whole time that this war has been going on, I have been trying to get the rest of the Council to change their minds about staying out of it. I would not have wished for what happened with MECH to have occurred but as of right now, I am glad that it did. As Vakarian himself has said, the Council has stood by and watched for too long as the rest of the galaxy stood alongside the Alliance in their fight with the Reapers. But now it will be a truly united front against this adversary."

Perceptor looked around the room to see everyone's eyes were on him. But when he saw the Prime he noticed that Jack was still looking annoyed while just staring at the floor.

"But….. I have duties that I must attend to, so if you will excuse me."

The Councillor then turned to re enter his office as Jack looked up to see Arcee and Airachnid starring daggers at him. Now the Commander could ignore the former Con if he wanted, but Arcee though was a different story. Every time that the femme would stare at him like that, it would make him feel very small all of a sudden and now was no different. Jack sighed before looking over to Perceptor.

"Perceptor,….I'm sorry. I know you are doing everything you can, I was out of line."

The Councillor stopped and looked back at the Prime, his expression was one of understanding.

"Jackson, I know that from the battlefield it looks like we politicians do not do much, I remember having the same conversation with Optimus during the war for Cybertron. He had the same reservations about the High Council and their inaction during that dark time and unfortunately he was right about them. But I promised myself when I was appointed to this Council as of representative of the Cybertronian race that I would not be the same as them."

Jack continued to look at the Autobot Councillor with a look of shame.

"I understand and again, I am sorry."

Perceptor never took his eyes off of the Prime.

"Your apology is not needed, Jackson Prime, for I know that you have a great deal of responsibility on your shoulders, but remember that you do not need to carry this burden alone."

The Commander nodded in return before looking back to his friends and seeing them smiling back at him.

"I have duties to perform, so I will bid you farewell." Perceptor said before turning round and entering his office, once the doors had closed Arcee walked over to Jack with a concerned expression on her face.

"I know what I said to Smokescreen a few moments ago, but now I do hope that shore leave is still on?" she said as Jack felt not only her gaze but Airachnid's too.

"Yes, Perceptor did not deserve that, Jack." the femme added as she and His XO kept up with the judgmental staring. Jack just nodded in return a little sheepishly.

"I know I was in the wrong... I am sorry.."

"Oooh, someone's in the dog house now." Jazz retorted, but Jack kept his composure and continued.

"...and yes, Bryce confirmed that shore leave is still on."

Smokescreen punched the air with delight.

"YES! Come on, Jazz. The Asari Consort awaits." he exclaimed excitedly while beckoning Jazz to follow, but the Autobot rolled his eyes from behind his shades and sighed.

"Alight, lead the way, Smoke." he replied before the two or them left. Bumblebee was the next to leave as he started for the door.

"I'm going to catch up with Raf, he will already be at the labs. See you guys later."

Arcee smiled at Jack as she took his hands in hers and looked into his eyes.

"I was thinking since this is our first real vacation that we could stay at that luxury Hotel that is on the Presidium, I can help you relax." she said in a soft and loving tone. The Prime felt a big grin appear on his face as he looked back at her.

"That sounds perfect, let's go now." he replied happily before seeing a but.. Expression appear on her face.

"But…." the femme started before Airachnid and Tali appeared at her side.

"..but we have to borrow your girlfriend for some girls only time, Jack. We promise to bring her back." Airachnid added while Tali chuckled as they started to lead Arcee away from the Commander, Garrus then stood by Jack.

"And I promise to keep your boyfriend out of trouble in the meantime, Arcee." the Turian said gaining a thumbs up from the femme as she was escorted away.

"See you later, Garrus." Tali said a moment before the females were out of view, then Jack looked over to his friend.

"So what's the plan?"

"Something that has nothing to do with fighting Reapers or MECH." the Turian replied.

"Well, I don't think MECH shot up the bar." the Prime said with a lop sided grin.

"I already checked it out, but then I had a better idea. But first we are going to need a few things." Garrus said as he gestured Jack to follow him as they both walked out of the room and into the elevator.


Meanwhile Smokescreen and Jazz were walking into a building on the other side of the river across from the Councillor offices, the younger of the two bots was excited to say the least.

"This is going to be great."

He then looked back and saw his friend looking back at him concerned.

"What?" he asked giving his friend a confused look.

"How do you expect to get any kind of female attention when you are acting like a sparkling who's about to get some Energon goodie cake." Jazz responded flatly while crossing his arms.

"I'm just happy that we are finally getting to go here, I heard a lot of great things about this place." Smokescreen replied enthusiastically.

"Yeah well, you may want to tone it down a bit or you're gonna come off as a little desperate, Smoke." Jazz said back.

"Hey, I know how to act around women." the young bot replied.

"Is that why Airachnid shot you down with a look and that was before you even spoke a word. And you also get on Arcee's nerves all day long." Jazz stated as Smokescreen's over confident expression lessened.

"Hey…. where did you hear that?"

"From everyone, Smoke. You really need to be a little less eager around people, you kinda rub them up the wrong way if you know what I mean."

The young Autobot looked down at the ground for a moment before looking back at his friend.

"Really…. well what should I do then?" he asked in an uncharacteristically unsure way. Jazz though smiled as he patted Smokescreen's shoulder.

"Well, like I said just now, tone it down. Remember, I am your wing man here, so let me do the talking. Back on Cybertron, I was one the smoothest talkers around, so just follow my lead. Okay?"

The younger bot nodded before following him into the building's entrance. Once inside they walked up to an Asari who greeted them with a smile.

"Welcome, my name is Nelyna. Do you have an appointment to see the Consort?""

"Wait, we need an appointment?" Jazz asked in surprise as Smokescreen watched, his expression the same as his friend's.

"I am afraid so, you see the Consort is very popular due to her 'many talents' and has many clients ranging from political leaders to famous artists." the Asari explained. Both Autobots looked at each other.

"Hey, what do you think, Smoke? Wanna make an appointment?" Jazz asked, gaining a nod from his young friend.

"Sure, we are here for a few days. If she is as good as I have heard, then it will be worth the wait."

The older bot turned back to the Receptionist and smiled at her.

"Alright then, an appointment it is."

"Excellent, just let me find you an opening." she smiled as she activated her holo-tool and browsed through the list.

"There's one, we have a free session just four months from now."

Both bots faces went into shock as their eyes widened and mouths went slightly agape.

"Four months, you've got to be kidding me." Smokescreen replied, before Jazz turned to him.

"Smoke, I don't care how good she is, no one is worth that wait."

"But..." the younger man replied in a mortified tone as Jazz turned back to the Asari.

"Sorry we won't be able to make that appointment."

the two bots then turned and were about to leave (though Smokescreen was moving very slowly) when the Receptionist stopped them.

"Excuse me, but the Consort may be the main attraction here but there are many disciples here who could take care of our clients needs. The two Autobots stopped as Jazz looked back at her from over his shades.

"Would you be one of them?" he asked gaining a smile from Nelyna.

"Yes I would be, Mr…."

"The name's Jazz." he answered with a smile.

"Well, you should know that though the Consort is an expert in all practices of relaxation and pleasure, we disciples are each skilled in a particular area." Nelyna replied.

"And what is your's?" Jazz asked as her smile grew bigger.

"My area of expertise is touch. I can make you feel pleasure in areas you never knew you could." she answered.

"Would you like me to show you?"

The Autobot forgot about Smokescreen as he nodded back to her, the grin on his face was in fear of becoming a permanent feature, but then he felt his shoulder getting tapped. He turned and saw the annoyed expression on his friend's face and was pulled back to reality before looking back to the Asari.

"My friend, Smokescreen…he…" he started to say before Nelyna cut him off.

"Of course, no one is left behind here." she answered as she gestured to the right and then another Asari walked out from behind the corner and stood beside her.

"This is Mira and she is a student of 'touch', I have been mentoring her myself. Just as the Consort did for me."

Mira then smiled at Smokescreen as he suddenly found himself tongue tied.

"….h…Hi." was all he could manage to say as he smiled like an idiot back at her.

"Come with us." Both Asari said as they both held out a hand to the bots who took them in their own and were led further into the interior.


Meanwhile, Jack and Garrus arrived at the Presidum Commons and entered one of the shops which was being run by a Salarian who was busy serving a customer.

"So, what are we doing here, Garrus?" Jack asked as he looked around.

"Just here to pick up a little something." the Turian replied as he saw his package on the table behind the Salarian. Once the customer ahead of them was done and had left, the shop keeper saw Garrus and smiled.

"Mr Vakarian, welcome back. I have your order right here." he said as he picked up the package and placed it on the counter in front of them, he then opened it up and revealed a black bottle nestled in a silvery grey cloth.

"This is Hanar black Ice Whiskey, circa 1982 by the human calendar. It is one of the best alcoholic drinks in the galaxy, but also very expensive. Considering how old this one is, are you sure you have enough for it?"

Garrus activated his holo-tool and started the purchase.

"I think I have enough, thank you. And also those two glasses."

The Salarian then picked up the glassware and placed it next to the bottle when he suddenly caught sight of Jack, his eyes widened in surprise.

"You're Jackson Prime, aren't you?" he asked in shock as the Prime looked over to him.

"Yes, I am."

"Wow, to have the first Human Prime in my store….just wow. Are you here with Mr Vakarian?"

Both Garrus and Jack looked at each before turning back to the shop keeper.

"We are just here for that item." the Commander replied as he pointed at the bottle.

"Well, this is an expensive item, but if I could get an endorsement from the man who defeated Saren, then I could give you a discount." the Salarian said in a hopeful tone while looking at Garrus and Jack. The two then looked at each other again.

"Well go on, Jack, if this will get me the bottle a little cheaper." the Turian said honestly which made the human chuckle as he shrugged his shoulders.

"Why not?"

The shop keeper smiled ecstatically as he worked the console in front of him.

"Excellent, just speak into my console here please." he said, barely hiding his excitement. Jack took a step in front of Garrus and leaned on the counter over the console.

"My name is Jackson Prime and this is my favorite store on the Citadel."

"Brilliant. I will work that into my advertising right away." the Salarian said as he continued to work on the console.

"And here is your purchase, Mr Vakarian. Enjoy."

Garrus picked up the bottle and the glasses and nodded back in return. Both men then turned and left as the shopkeeper waved back to them happily. Once outside Garrus chuckled gaining his friend's attention.

"What is it?" Jack asked with a confused smile, the Turian just shook his head as he continued to laugh.

"…I was just thinking, Arcee, Tali and Airachnid are going to wish that they had taken you along with them after I tell them what just happened."

The Prime started laughing in return.

"Yeah, I can't see myself giving endorsements to every store on the station and hearing…."

As he spoke a Volus walked past them and into the store.

"My name is Jackson Prime and this is my favorite store on the Citadel." then played out over the store's speakers making the two friends laugh again.

"I see what you mean, Jack, and just think of the rivalry among the stores owners over which really is your favorite."

When both of them stopped chuckling, Jack looked around.

"So where to now, Garrus?"

The Turian then pointed over to a sky car that was parked just ahead of them.

"Get in, Jack." he said as he activated the vehicle with his holo-tool, they then both entered the sky car which then lifted off the ground and flew out into the afternoon traffic.

"So, where are we going?" Jack asked as the Turian piloted the vessel as it fly past the other sky cars and shuttles that were flying down the length of the Presidium ring.

"A place that we are not supposed to." Garrus replied cryptically, gaining a chuckle from the Prime.

"So just like old times."

"Quite. So, Jack, tell me is there anything you wanted to do before you die?" the Turian asked, Jack looked back with a lopsided grin and Garrus knew exactly what Jack was about to say.

"Okay, don't tell me. I already know. Is there any time you are not thinking about 'her'?"

Jack continued to smile while shaking his head in return, the Turian just sighed in response.

"I get it, you two are in love. But this is supposed to be 'friends only' time, Jack."

"This coming from the Turian who just happens to fancy my Chief Engineer." Jack replied flatly, gaining a wide eyed look from Garrus.

"Come now, Garrus, it's not hard to see that you two like each other. When are you going to make a move?"

Garrus started to look uncomfortable as he tried to focus on piloting their sky car.

"It's not that easy, Jack. Besides, I heard that it was years before you and Arcee became an item."

Jack nodded in return.

"Yeah, it really was a long time. But when we did finally admit about how we felt about it each other, everything else just fell into place perfectly."

The Prime then looked over to his friend.

"And with the way this war is playing out, if everything ended tomorrow, what would you regret most?"

Garrus looked over to Jack for a second before returning his eyes to the sky in front of them.

"I would regret not telling Tali how I felt. I will tell her Jack, just…. when I am ready to."

"Well, don't wait too long, that's all I'm saying." the Prime replied with a smile. Then there was a comfortable silence between the two as their sky car continued through the air.

"So, what were you saying before, Garrus?"

"Well, when I was working for C-Sec I would always look up at the top of the Presidium and say to myself 'I want to go up there', but I never did because there were over a hundred rules and regulations that said it was too dangerous." the Turian replied.

"So have you gotten them changed?" the Prime asked.

"No, now I just don't give a damn." Garrus replied honestly as he landed the sky car on top of one of the structures bridging over the river and connecting both sides of the Presidium. They then got out of the car and looked out at the view as the traffic flew over them, the Turian opened the bottle and poured some of it's contents into both glasses before handing one to Jack.

"Thanks." the Prime replied before taking a drink of it, his face then went red and he coughed.

"Strong, isn't it." Garrus chuckled before taking sip of his. Jack nodded as he regained his composure.

"Wow….*cough*, that's good stuff."

Garrus then poured the Prime another before they looked out at the view.

"Its more busier than I thought it would be." Garrus observed as he took another drink while Jack looked over the edge to the river below.

"Then why not take a swim?"

"You obviously haven't been there when a Turian tries too, Jack. It usually involves flailing and splashing and ends with them drowning." the Turian replied as he looked down at the water. Jack though just gave him smile.

"I guess I would just have to save your ass again."

"That would make up for all the times I have saved yours, Jack. The Conestoga, Virmire, The Quintesson home-world, we have had a hell of a run haven't we." he smiled at his friend.

"We sure have, Garrus. You have been a true friend to me. You have stood by me through all of it, even when I was working with MECH. Thank you."

"You're welcome, Jack, and you have been there for me too. That's what friends do, right?" the Turian replied.

"Right." Jack replied back before they both finished off the drink in their glasses.

"So, you're not going to propose to me now are you? Because I don't think Arcee would take it very well." Garrus joked gaining a chuckle from Jack.

"Arcee! What about Tali? Remember, she has a shotgun." Jack replied making Garrus laugh as he took Jack's glass and put it down next to the sky car, he then picked up two items from the back seat.

"And now, before we head back there is one thing that we are going to settle. Once and for all."

He handed Jack a sniper rifle and grinned.

"I am not saying you're an amateur when it comes to handling a gun, but there are those of us that can make it dance. So let's find out who really is the best shot."

The Prime looked down at the weapon before giving the Turian a lopsided grin.

"You know there have been a few people in the galaxy that have seen me in action Garrus, they seemed impressed."

"Yes, Jack, but Miko once told me how you danced….no comment." Garrus chuckled, gaining a determined look from the Prime as he loaded the rifle.

"You're going down, Vakarian."

The Turian then revealed what was in his other hand.

"Wait, that's a Scraplet." Jack replied in surprise.

"Yes, when the Cybertronians rejoined the Council, the Salarians were allowed to experiment on Cybertron's Scraplet infestation. They managed to hack the little bots and reprogram them for training exercises."

He then gave Jack a good look of the one in his hands.

"This one is nicknamed 'Wheelie'."

"Wheelie, that sounds annoying." the Prime replied.

"Yes, Wheelie is very annoying to snipers who are training, since it is very good at evading their shots. But when you get a direct hit on it, there is no better feeling."

He then activated it with his holo-tool and it flew up and into the sky as Jack took aim.

"Oh, and don't worry, I have loaded the gun with practice rounds…for when you miss." The Prime then aimed at the little bot as it flew through the air before taking a shot, which hit it directly in it's center. Jack then smiled back at Garrus who looked back stoically.

"That was an easy shot, I had it set at level three so that it could build up your confidence."

The Commander then handed the rifle to Garrus before activating his holo-tool.

"Set it to level seven for me, because when it comes to long range, I wrote the book. Nobody alive can make this shot, not even 'Jackson Prime'." the Turian said as he readied the rifle, Jack nodded as he activated Wheelie again and watched it fly off into the distance. Garrus then went dead serious as he watched the drone through the rifle's scope, keeping up with it's every move. He then pulled the trigger and hit the Scraplet right between it's eyes as a cocky grin appeared on his face.

"Step aside." Jack replied as he was given back the rifle.

"I'll keep Wheelie set to the same level, Jack. Let's see if you can hit it." Garrus replied as he used his holo-tool. The Scraplet then flew out again as Jack took aim and kept up with it as it zipped left and right. The Prime then grinned before taking a shot that narrowly missed the drone. Garrus's eyes widened as he stretched his arms out in celebration.

"My name is Garrus Vakarian and this is now my favorite spot on the Citadel." he exclaims, gaining a chuckle from Jack.

"It's windy up here, and I know what you did there." the Prime lied before looking back with a knowing expression as he handed the rifle back to his friend.

"Yeah. Well, I think I will erect a statue right here and bronze this gun so that everyone knows." Garrus said, acting like he didn't hear the Commander's excuse.

"That you're King of the Scraplet shooters. Glad you're around, Garrus, never know when the Scraplets might revolt." Jack replied gaining a laugh from the Turian, they stood there and looked out again at the busy sight of the traffic flying over their heads.


The Apollo Café was crowded with people of all species as they either stood at the bar or sat down at the many tables, admiring the view that the Presidium gave them. Arcee, Airachnid and Tali all sat down at a table and placed the bags of purchases down at their feet.

"Well, I think we have hit every shop on the Presidium." Airachnid said as a Turian waiter walked toward their table.

"And to think there are many more stores in the wards too." Arcee added. The Turian stood at their table with a pad in his right hand.

"Welcome to the Apollo Cafe, Ladies. May I take your order?"

Arcee looked up at the waiter.

"Three glasses of wine please?" she replied as the others nodded in return.

"Will you require a straw with your glass, Miss?" the Turian asked Tali who looked up in surprise.

Uh….yes, thank you. Will it be sterilized?" she asked gaining a nod from the waiter.

"Of course, Miss. We have had quite a few Quarians visit in recent weeks. It our policy to be able to make all of our customers feel comfortable, no matter their species."

"Thank you." the Quarian replied in return before the waiter turned around and headed back towards the bar as the three females started to talk while sky cars flew past.

"So, Tali, why didn't you buy anything at the lingerie store?" Airachnid asked causing the Quarian's eyes to widen.

"Well,….it's not like anyone is going to see them outside of my enviro-suit now is it, so it would just be a waste of money." she replied with a saddened tone. Arcee looked over to her friend with a knowing smile.

"But what about a certain Turian we know, I mean after what you told us earlier about the Geth helping your people adapt to Rannoch again, surely that means that you will be able to live without the enviro-suits sooner rather than later."

"Yeah, didn't you say that the Geth were uploading their programs into your suits and building up your people's immune systems." Airachnid added as the waiter returned with their drinks and placed them down on the table before walking away again. Tali sighed before taking the glass in one hand while messing with the straw with the other.

"Yes, that is true. But how many more signals do I have to give Garrus?" she replied with a frustrated tone.

"Well, he is a man. They aren't among the sharpest tools in the shed. That is the right human term I believe." Airachnid said gaining a chuckle from Arcee.

"Not every man is like that, Airachnid."

The former Con and Quarian both rolled their eyes at the femme who just looked at them.


"Yes, we know…,Jack." Tali replied with a chuckle, Airachnid chuckled too as Arcee took a sip of her drink. The Quarian as she was drinking her wine through the straw she had in her glass then saw something behind the Autobot femme who looked around in response.

"What is it, Tali?" Arcee asked.

"I just saw someone I know." the Quarian replied as she watched a male Quarian in yellow/red armoured enviro-suit.

"That's Kal'Reegar, he is a friend of my family."

Airachnid looked over at what had both Arcee and Tali's attention.

"How do you know when you can not see their face?"

"Because of the colour and designs on the enviro-suits. I would like to speak to him, if it is alright with you two?" Tali said gaining a nod and smile from both femmes.

"Go ahead, we will still be here." Arcee replied before the Quarian stood up and walked over to Reegar who welcomed her with a hug. The two Autobots watched for a second before turning back to their drinks, Airachnid smirked as she took a sip of her wine. This did not go unnoticed by Arcee.

"What is it, Airachnid?"

"I was just thinking that Jack will like that particular piece you bought from the Lingerie store, you know…..the blue fishnets." the former Con said with a knowing smile. Arcee' eyes widened as she looked at her friend.

"I thought you were at the other end of the store when I picked them out."

"I was originally, but I came back when I wanted to take another look at a certain piece. You though were too engrossed in looking at those. So you have something planned for Jack tonight then?" Airachnid asked with a curious tone.

"Well, I have booked a suite at the Citadel Hotel for the next two nights."

"That is the most luxurious hotel on the Citadel. You certainly know how to treat Jack, don't you, Arcee." Airachnid replied with a smile.

"Hey, this is the first real vacation that we have had, so I wanted to make it special." Arcee said before taking a sip of her wine.

" Jack will love it, Arcee, believe me." the femme replied.

"I do, Airachnid." the blue bot said with a smile. Airachnid's smile then lessened as she looked down at her glass.

"What's wrong?" Arcee asked as she noticed the change in the femme's expression.

"I still can't get used to your behaviour towards me, I mean after what Jack and I did last year."

The blue femme sighed.

"Airachnid, I already said before why it doesn't bother me anymore, but I also saw when you retrieved Jack's body from the planet where the Normandy was destroyed by the Quintessons."

Airachnid looked up at the femme.

"I see, you saw that too?"

"Yes, I saw that you were shadowing the Normandy up to it's destruction at the hands of the Quintessons. I also saw you then head down to the planet when you noticed that they were doing the same thing." the Blue femme added.

"At first I detected a faint life sign in the debris, it faded fast but not before I noticed that it was caught in the planet's gravity field. I also saw that the Quintessons were following it, I figured that they wouldn't have done that for just anybody." Airachnid replied.

"And when you were on the surface, you found that it was Jack."

Airachnid nodded in return to Arcee.

"Yes, I found his body. His Prime Armour had protected him to an extent, but he was still badly burnt from entering the atmosphere. You would not have wanted to see his condition."

Arcee gave her with a look of understanding.

"But I did anyway, after seeing what happened to Tailgate and then what Starscream and Megatron did to Cliffjumper. I never wanted to see anything happen to Jack."

Airachnid sighed and looked down at her drink.

"I'm sorry, Arcee."

The blue femme shook her head slightly as she looked at her friend.

"I told you I don't blame you for what happened to Tailgate, it wasn't your fault."

She then had slight smile grow on her lips.

"Besides, I also saw what you did next. After you got to his body, the Quintessons attacked in full force so that they could retrieve Jack. But you fought them off all by yourself, that was impressive."

Airachnid returned the smile as she looked back up to Arcee.

"I knew what was at stake, so I did what needed to be done."

The blue femme's smile grew bigger in response.

"And for that I am eternally grateful, Airachnid. Because of you, Jack was brought back and the two of us got a second chance. We may not have seized it right away, but our bond is stronger now than it ever was, and I know that is in part because of you. Thank you." Arcee said as she placed her hand on to the former con's hand that was resting on the table next to her drink.

"You're very welcome, Arcee." Airachnid replied with a smile. Then as the two femmes took another drink of their wine, a comfortable silence followed for a moment before Tali walked back up to them.

"Well, did I miss anything?"

They both watched the Quarian as she took her seat at their table and smiled.

"No, we were just talking. So how is Kal'Reegar?" Arcee asked.

"He is fine, his squad is waiting for their next assignment…" Tali replied before noticing someone else walking toward their table from behind the blue femme, which did not go unnoticed by her.

"Who do you see now?"

"Oh, just someone I like and he is with a guy you like very much too." the Quarian replied somewhat cryptically forcing Arcee to look behind her, a big smile gracing her lips at who she saw. Jack and Garrus walked up to their table.

"Hey, Jack." the blue femme said as he placed his hand affectionately on her shoulder.

"Hey, you having a good time?" he asked back with a smile.

"Yes, we have been shopping." Tali answered as she picked up her bags and showed them.

"I have a funny story to tell you about that." Garrus replied gaining an eye roll in response from Jack.

So, what did you two do?" Airachnid asked.

"Oh, it's a long story." Jack replied, but then Garrus jumped in happily.

"I am better with a rifle than Jack."

Jack gave his friend an annoyed look as the females chuckle in return. But then Arcee gave Jack a knowing look.

"So…..Jack, I know that the others wouldn't mind if you wanted to get out of here. Because I have something I want to show you." she said coyly. Jack found himself intrigued by his girlfriend and nodded in return.

"Sure, I mean if you guys don't mind?" he asked looking around the group who shook their heads.

"No, you two go ahead." Airachnid replied with a knowing smile. Arcee returned the look as she got up from her seat and picked up her bags in one hand, and took her lover's hand in her other and led him away.

"See you tomorrow." she said before she and Jack left the area. Garrus then sat down on the empty chair and looked at both femmes, Tali was smiling back at him.

"So…." he started before his com link went off, he held his hand to the side of his head as he answered.


"Garrus, Commander Bailey here. Thought you would like to know we just received a message for you from the Terminus systems, it is a rather weak signal." the voice said on the other end.

"Thank you, Bailey, put it through." the Turian replied as the two females watched him as he listened to the message, his expression gradually changed from relaxed to one that was a mixture of anger and shock. When the message finished, Tali and Airachnid gave him a concerned look.

"Garrus what's wrong?" the Quarian asked.


Jack and Arcee entered the suite and the Prime looked in surprise at the extravagance of the room, from the miniature fountain that was on the balcony at the right side of the room, to the large four poster bed that was at the far left. The room looked like it was made for royalty.

"Wow, how did you afford this, Arcee?"

She smiled in response to his expression.

"I just told them that Jackson Prime would be staying at this hotel, so they gave us their best suite."

"Good thinking, so what is it that you wanted to show me?" he asked inquisitively, gaining a larger smile from the femme.

"Well, wait here and you will see." she replied before walking to the bathroom with her bags as Jack watched her. Once she was gone he then walked over to the balcony. The view was similar to that offered by the Apollo Café, but was much higher up. The holographic sky had changed from bright blue to a vanilla like colour as day was changing to night on the Citadel.

Jack watched for a few minutes as sky cars continued to fly past until he noticed the lights in the room behind him dim somewhat. He turned around to see Arcee lying on the bed in a seductive pose, wearing some very sexy lingerie. His eyes widened fully and if his jaw could have, it would have hit the floor. Arcee gave him a very beautiful smile in return.

"So, Jack, what are you doing?" she asked coyly.

"Just admiring the view, Arcee, and it is very beautiful." he replied just as coy as he walked over to the bed, that was when he noticed the fish nets that she was wearing.

"So, that was what you bought and in blue too. That is my favorite colour."

The femme chuckled in return as she sat up to meet him.

"I thought you would like this." she replied as he stood directly in front of her.

"Oh, I do. Very much so." he said in return, never taking his eyes off of her.

"So, come here." she said as she grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him on to the bed on top of her. Jack immediately responded by kissing her passionately on the lips, the femme moaned into the kiss in return as she affectionately brushed a hand through his raven colored hair. She then started to unbutton his jeans with her free hand as they kissed again, this time for longer before being cut off by their com links going off. The two of them broke the kiss and looked at each other disappointedly.

"We could just ignore it." Jack said in a suggestive tone.

"But it could be important. Might as well find out what they want." she replied.

Jack just continued to look down at his lover as he tapped his com link.

"Prime, here." he said, not trying to hide his feelings.

"Jack, it's Tali. You and Arcee need to get down here." the Quarian replied.

"Why, what's wrong?" Jack said in response, Arcee noting the change in his expression.

"It's Garrus. He has had some troubling news." Tali replied as the two partners just looked at each other in shock.

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter 12

Jack and Arcee entered the room and and saw Garrus looking over some information on the screen, Tali nodded to them as they walked over to the Turian.

"Garrus, what's wrong?" Jack asked as he joined his friend's side.

"Jack, I know everyone is on shore leave. But I need to ask for a leave of absence."

The Prime gave him a confused look.

"Why, Garrus? Tali said you received some troubling news."

Garrus looked over at the Quarian with an angry expression, but when he saw the worries concern on her face. He could just about see it behind her visor, and he found his anger bleeding away. He knew she was only concerned for him and couldn't be angry at her or at Jack and the others, so he sighed.

"Jack, you remember I was operating as a mercenary during the two years that you were being rebuilt by MECH."

"You called yourself 'Archangel', if I remember correctly."

The Turian felt a slight grin on his face as the mention of that name embarrassed him a little.

"Yes, I spent my time taking out any mercs or slavers that were hurting the innocent. Well, my travels took me to Omega where you would eventually find me." he said as the memories of those days came back to him.

It had been Eighteen months since the Normandy was destroyed and Garrus lost his best friend. In the months that had followed he found himself at a crossroads, not knowing what he had to do. But when the Council put a stop to the Alliance's investigation into the Reapers, and disassembled the team that Jack had put together. It was then that Garrus knew he could no longer let himself be tied down by the hypocrisy and politics of the Council, he had to take matters into his own hands. That was something Jack had shown him and so he felt that this would be the best way to honour the Prime. So he set out by himself to find what information he could on the Reapers. But this search did not last long when he came across a colony being attacked by slavers, so he took a stand and defended the people there and helped drive the slavers away, gaining the name 'Archangel' from the colonists. Before they were defeated, Garrus discovered that the slavers had connections to the merc group that had worked for Sideways. And since the former Con had not died at the hands of Arcee back on Ilos, this group may know how to find him. The mercs that tried to kill Tali on the Citadel made out that they didn't know, But Garrus was not about to take their word for it.

So he set out after them, hunting down the group from one colony to another. He even had a partner, a Turian called Sardonis. He came into the fight because slavers took and killed his family, but rather than let the need for revenge cloud his every thought. All he saw was the need to bring those responsible to justice. He also kept Garrus from going to far in his own mission to find Sideways. Between the two of them, they fought long and hard against the mercs, and having a partner made missing his friends a lot easier to handle for Garrus. Though there were still times when he found himself missing the others, Arcee, Wrex, Hotrod and Tali. The Quarian was certainly an interesting female, she had caught his eye during their time on board the Normandy and even though he did not know what she looked like under that enviro-suit, it was her personality and presence that he had become drawn to. But unlike how open Jack and Arcee were with their feelings towards each other, he kept his to himself. This was due to a female Turian he had once loved, but that was all he was going to say on that matter.

So Garrus and Sardonis had travelled around the galaxy searching for leads on where Sideways was and after nearly eighteen months, finally they had what seemed like viable Intel that the former con was once again looking for hired guns on the planet Camala, once there they soon found out that Sideways was nowhere to be found and in fact the whole thing was a setup to lead the two into a trap. Garrus and Sardonis were surrounded by a small army of mercs led by Elanos Haliat. He told the Turians that the mercs were sick of them hunting and killing them for information on some former Con and that it was time for some payback. The fight then was brutal as the two partners took down nearly all of the mercs, but not before Elanos killed Sardonis. He then fled while Garrus was busy finishing off the rest, but when he saw his friend lying dead on the floor, the Turian swore revenge on the human bastard.

So fast forward a few weeks and Garrus was now on the station of Omega, he had heard that Elanos was here to find work. So the Turian waited under a shadowed archway in a back alley of one of the underprivileged areas of Omega. The station was certainly a cesspool of criminals and murderers, if he wasn't focused on Elanos, Garrus could easily do a lot of good here. He had been waiting at this spot for the past few hours for his contact to appear and was growing impatient, when suddenly a volus walked down towards his spot. Garrus pulled out his pistol and aimed at the arrival who put his hands up in response.

"Are you, Archangel?"

"Maybe, that would depend on whether you are, Han Po'mar?" the Turian replied stoically.

"Yes. Yes, I am and I have the information you requested." the Volus answered, Garrus lowered his weapon and allowed Han to walk closer, before handing him a pad which the Turian then examined.

"So I can find Elanos here?"

The Volus nodded nervously before looking down both ends of the alleyway.

"What is he going to be doing at this location, because the layout looks like one of the apartments in the middle class part of the station?"

The contact shook his head.

"I do not know the details, Archangel, but I believe that Elanos has been hired to make a hit."

The Turian's eyes widened in response.

"When is this taking place?" Garrus asked with an urgent like tone.

"Anytime in the next thirty minutes." the Volus replied before Garrus rushed past him down.

"If this information turns out to be false then I will see you again Han." He said back to the Volus without even looking, making Han slip into the shadowed archway instinctively. But he was of no concern to Garrus right now as he stepped out onto the street, the view of the asteroid that the station was connected to right above him as he hailed a sky-cab.

"Take me here." he said as he showed the location on his holo-tool.

The Batarian driver looked at it and then at Garrus.

"That's on the other side of Omega, it will take at least thirty minutes."

The Turian gave him a stoic expression, trying hard to keep his anger in check.

"So get a move on then."

The driver nodded hesitantly back at his angry charge and took control of the vehicle as it lifted off the ground and flew up and joined the traffic that flowed around the station.

Garrus felt like shooting that cab driver after getting out of the vehicle when he arrived at his destination, due to the fact that the trip had been a minute and a half longer than it should have been. But he hadn't the time so he he quickly paid the fee using his holo-tool and got out and entered the building where Elanos was supposed to be. Once inside he equipped his pistol and made his way up to twelfth floor via the staircase, couldn't risk using the elevator because Elanos may have known that he was coming and laid a trap for him.

The Turian made short work of the stairs and entered the corridor, checking both directions before making his way to the apartment. Just as he got close he heard a gun shot and then a scream come from the room and he rushed over to the door and stood with his back to the wall next to it as he checked his gun. He then heard voices from within the room.

"No!, no, Alex!" a woman screamed in anguish.

"Stay right there, Lady, or I will kill your son next." came a familiar voice that made Garrus's blood boil. It was Elanos and by the sound of it, the Turian was to late to save his target but that didn't mean he couldn't save the man's family.

"You, Monster!" she screamed back before suddenly going quiet.

"Now you shut the fuck up, I can't have any witnesses to this so….." the merc said before, BANG! Garrus's eyes went wide as he heard what sounded like a body hit the ground in there, and he realised that he had failed. But then he heard Elanos speak again

"Well, Kid, that leaves only you I guess. No hard feelings but I have to kill all of you."

'A kid, there is still one more!' Garrus thought to himself as he took a breath before turning round and kicking the door open and bursting into the room with his gun pointed directly at his quarry, who at this moment had his own gun pointed directly at a small Asian boy who was standing between the bodies of his mother and father, tears running down his face, he could not be any older than ten years old.

"Drop the gun, Elanos! I mean it!" the Turian stated angrily while the merc just looked over to him casually.

"Archangel! you, motherfucker. I was wondering when you would show up. Just give me a second to finish off this little shit and I will be right with you."

Garrus though did not relent as he stepped closer.

"Drop the gun, I will not tell you again."

Elanos saw the look in the Turian's eyes and sighed before he released his grip on the gun and let it fall to the ground, he then held his hands up and smiled at Garrus.

"Well I guess you have me right where you want me, don't you, Archangel. So aren't you going to finish me off, especially after what I did to your piss poor friend Sardonis."

"I will, but this isn't something a child should see." the Turian replied before looking over to the boy.

"Hey, Kid. What's your name?"

The boy looked at Garrus, his had stopped crying as his eyes looked very sore and red after all the tears he had shed.


"Come here, Shen, you're safe now." the Turian replied while extending a hand to the child. Shen looked over nervously toward Elanos before walking over to Garrus who looked down at him with a slight smile, hoping that would lessen the boy's fear in him. But as soon as the child was near the Turian, he ran round behind his leg and hid there from the merc who just smiled back.

"I'll see you again 'real soon', Shen."

Garrus just looked at the human as he gritted his teeth and tightened his grip around the trigger.

"Shen, I want you to turn around and don't look back. Can you do that for me?"

The ten year old nodded and turned around, leaving Garrus with Elanos who was still smiling, seemingly fine with what was about to happen.

"So you finally going to do it, Archangel. Well go ahead, because if you don't, I promise that I will kill you and that little shit hiding behind you."

"You seem to be rather confident of that despite the position that you are in, Elanos." Garrus replied.

"Well did you really think that I would be here alone, or was Han's acting really that convincing?" the Human said as his grin grew. Suddenly Shen stepped into the back of the Turian's leg, making him spin round only to see the but of a rifle hit him square in the face, knocking Garrus to the floor face first. Shen shrieked before the person that knocked the Turian to the floor grabbed him by the arm and dragged him back into the room, Elanos picked up his gun from the ground and pointed it at Garrus who lay there as he tried to get his bearings.

"Thanks, Antak." he said to person, but when the Turian finally managed to look up, his eyes widened when he recognised who had just blindsided him. It was the Batarian from the sky-cab, Antak smiled down at him.

"Do you realise how hard it was for me not just to kill him while he sat behind me, Elanos."

"Well be glad that you didn't because I have a lot planned for this Turian bastard. After what he and his dead friend did to our colleagues, it's about time we finally ended him." Elanos replied as Antak pushed the kid into the corner of the room.

"Stay there, you little shit." he said as the ten year old brought his legs up to his chest and sat their quivering, never taking his eyes off the Turian who had come to his rescue.

Garrus felt his mouth well up with blood as he spat some on the floor and looked up to Shen.

"It's...going...to be...alright, Shen." he managed to say to the boy, gaining dumbfounded looks from the mercs.

"Really? You still playing the hero, Archangel?" Elanos replied before grabbing the Turian and using him up onto his feet.

"Hold him." he said Antak who grabbed Garrus by both arms.

"Now I am going to make you fucking feel for every one of my friends that you killed, Archangel." the human replied score pulling a large combat knife out from hi utility belt. He then readied himself to strike as the Turian sims looked over to the ten year old and winked at him, Shen looked at him in confusion but then as Elanos went to stab Garrus. He then grabbed the merc's attacking arm while clicking his head back and stabbing one of the horns in his crest into the Batarian's eye, blinding him. The merc screamed in pain as he let go of Garrus who instantly disarmed Elanos, before kneeing him in the stomach and upper cutting the human in the face, knocking him flat on his back.

As Shen looked on in amazement at the sight before him, his eyes wide with wonder. Garrus then turned his attention on to The Batarian who had blood gushing out of the eye that had been punctured, unfortunately he still had three more and was now full of rage as he charged at the Turian. But Garrus was ready as ducked down and evaded the enemy's attack before picking up the combat knife and ramming it into his neck, under the jaw. So much blood gushed out of the wound as the Batarian tried to resist, but the Turian continued to push the knife deeper in until he heard the crack of bone. Antak then went limp and fell to the ground, blood flowing freely as it formed a puddle around his body. Garrus then turned and readied the pistol at Elanos who had picked up Shen and was using him as a human shield while holding his pistol to the kid's head.

"Stay the fuck back, Archangel, or else you will picking bits of this little shit's brains off yourself."

Garrus's expression remained calm and collected as he looked at Shen and then his enemy.

"So this is what the deadly mercenary Elanos Haliat has become, a cowardly piece of scum that uses a kid as a shield to cower behind and whimper, how are you ever going to avenge those that I killed. They would be ashamed of you."

Elanos's face was a mixture of emotions as he gritted his teeth at what the Turian had just said, but then he exploded.

"I'll show you, you Turian bastard." he yelled as he threw the kid to the side and fired at Garrus, who rolled out of the way as the gun shots hit the wall behind him. The Turian ended up in a kneeling position with the human dead to rights, so he fired a shot into Elanos's knee caps. The merc cried out in pain as he fell to his knees, the pain doubling as his wounds hit the floor hard, making he grimace. But he still fought through the immense pain to raise his weapon to Garrus, btu the Turian then fired a bullet clean through the Human's hand, making him drop the pistol into the small puddle of blood that was forming from the wounds in his knees. The extra pressure of his weight on the them making the bleeding worse. Elanos grabbed his wounded hand in his other and cradled it as Garrus stood over him with his weapon pointed at the merc's head.

"Go on then, Archangel, do it. Because this isn't over, there are many more of us out there and only one of you. One of us will kill you eventually."

The Turian just looked at Elanos with a stoic look as blood trickled down his chin.

"Maybe, but it won't happen today. This is for Shen's parents and for Sardonis." he replied before pulling the trigger and watching as the gun shot went straight through Elanos's head and out the other side, splattering blood across the wall behind him as the merc's eyes glazed over and his body fell to be ground dead. Garrus then looked down at the body and took a deep breath before sighing, he had finally avenged his friend and yet he felt no different than he had before. The Turian was so caught up in his own thoughts that he had not noticed Shen standing beside him, the ten year old knocked on the armour on the Turian's leg gaining his attention as Garrus looked down at the child.

"Mr… Archangel, t-t-t- thank you." he said with a nervous stammer gaining a slight smile from Garrus who bent down on one knee to look at the child at eye level. But as he looked at the boy's face, which had blood splattered over it, his smile faded.

"Don't thank me, Shen. I wish I got here sooner. I am sorry about your parents."

Shen looked over to the corpses of his parents and started to cry, so the Turian took the kid in his arms and hugged him as the boy mourned. Several minutes past before Shen calmed down then Garrus let him go and the kid looked at him.

"What happens now?"

"Do you have any family on Omega, anyone that can take you in?" the Turian asked. Shen looked down to the ground as he thought.

"Mum and Dad are the only family I have…" he answered as another tear ran down his cheek.

"But my Dad always told me to go to his friend from work who lives on level twenty six."

"What did your Dad do for a living, Shen?" Garrus asked.

"Dad protected people who came to the station, he told me." the boy answered back honestly.

"He worked at space port as Security then." the Turian replied before a horrible realisation came upon him.

'This boy's father was only a security guard, Elanos only picked him and his family to get to me.' he thought to himself before his attention was brought back to Shen who was wiping his face with his top.

"Okay, let's get you out of here." Garrus replied as he and Shen left the house and left the horror that the boy had witnessed behind them.

A short time later, down in one of the busy markets on the Omega station. Walking among the heaving crowd of different aliens who were looking at the different stalls and stores was a Volus, who was minding his own business. Suddenly his com link engaged and a familiar voice spoke which made the Volus stop in his tracks and become very stiff.

"You know, you are a hard person to find, Han."

Han's heart started to beat very quickly as fear took control as he looked around him, but the crowds were to packed up with people for him to see.

"I wouldn't bother trying to spot me Han because you won't find me, but I can see you clear as day through my sniper rifle's scope." Garrus replied.

The Volus was about to move when the voice stopped him.

"Don't move! Not unless you want a bullet through that cowardly head of yours."

"Archangel, it was not my fault, they made me help them and set a trap for you. They got to my family you see and…" Han said in a panic as he tried to reason, but was cut off.

"Don't give me that crap, I already checked your background, Han. You have no family, so how about you start telling me the truth or I will end this conversation with the aforementioned bullet."

The Volus then nodded somewhat aggressively.

"Yes, yes! Okay, that was a mistake on my part. But please, let us talk about this?

"Very well, I want to know if what Elanos told me was true. Are there anymore of his men on this station?" Garrus asked.

"Yes, and they are also contacting more merc groups for help. You have pissed off more than a few of them Archangel." Han replied as he looked up to the higher levels, trying to spot the Turian up there in the shadowed sections.

"Well, thanks for the heads up, Han."

"So you are letting me go then?"

"No, but not only because you betrayed me to Elanos, and not because you are not only a contact for the highest bidder, but you also sell 'red sand' and that is just going too far. You're a criminal, Han. And you know how much I despise criminals." Garrus answered, making the Volus panic completely as he tried to move, but was suddenly silenced by a gunshot that blew out the back of his head. Han fell to the ground as everyone around him scattered in all directions. Meanwhile high up on one of the balconies that overlooked the area, the Turian stood up and placed the sniper rifle onto the connector on the back of his armour and looked out at Omega.

"Looks like I have a lot of work to do."

Garrus looked at his friends who had listened to his story intently, Tali was the first to speak.

"What happened to Shen?"

"I left him with his father's friend who promised to take care of him, he seemed like a good choice. While I stayed on Omega, I visited Shen frequently to see how he was doing. He was always happy to see me." the Turian replied.

"Sounds like he has gotten attached to you." Arcee observed with a slight smile.

"Because you avenged his parents deaths." Jack added while leaning against the wall.

"Yes, well he didn't know that it was because of me that his parents had died, so I kept that from him. Thanks to my…activities, friends were few and far between. So to have any at all was a privilege. An plus I want to make sure he was safe, it was the least I could do." Garrus said before looking to the floor with a sorrowful expression. Tali who had sat next to him placed a hand on his leg and gave him a sympathetic look.

"It wasn't your fault what happened to his parents Garrus, sometimes bad things just happen."

Garrus looked up at the Quarian and then to Jack and Arcee who were giving him supportive smiles, he nodded in return.

"I guess you're right, but doesn't make me feel any better."

"So I take it this message you received was from Shen's guardian?" the Prime asked.

"No, it was from Shen himself. You see the last time I saw him which was a week before you found me, I had given him communicator with long range capabilities. It is the same device I hand to all of my contacts. I told him that if he ever needed my help, he was to call me. This was the message I received." the Turian replied before activating his holo-tool.

"Archangel, please get this message. They have taken Marcus and are looking for me, evil men have taken over my home and are changing everyone who lives here. I am scared and alone, please Archangel…help me….." then the voice became lost in the static before Garrus deactivated the holo-tool.

"What do we know about Omega's situation these days, I mean it is not exactly near the front lines?" Arcee asked.

"Well, I have been looking over the network feeds and all that is mentioned is that Omega went dark several months ago. The Council did not really take any notice of it, because of it's rather dirty reputation." the Turian replied while looking at a pad that was on the table next to him.

"Also I did a quick analysis of the message and it is several months old, if I was to guess. I would say that Shen had set the message to be sent out continuously in Omega's communication system, in the hopes that it would get through the jammers."

Jack gave the Turian a sceptical look.

"Isn't that a bit much for an eleven year old to do?"

He then looked over to Arcee who's expression was one of slight annoyance.

"Jack, it's not like we don't know 'someone' who could do something similar at that age." she said with a knowing look, gaining a nod from her lover.

"Okay, fair point." he replied before looking over to Garrus.

"Let me speak to Admiral Bryce, see what Alliance Intelligence has on Omega's current status. Because if you need to go back there, I won't have you going alone and with no idea on what you will face there."

Garrus smiled and nodded in return to his friend who then acknowledged the others before leaving the room.

Not thirty minutes had past before Jack re-entered the room and he saw that Airachnid had joined the group as they awaited his return. Garrus stood up and looked over to the Prime.

"So, Jack. What's the news?"

Jack gave them all a stoic expression before taking a breath.

"It seems that over the last several months, that the Omega station has been under MECH occupation. They managed to kick out the station's previous leader and set up shop there, according to Alliance Intel MECH have launched several offensives from that area. One being the recent attempt to take over the Citadel. Intel also says that they have amassed a large fleet to defend the planetary system from an ships that enters it via the space bridge."

Arcee's expression became one of confusion.

"But why would MECH want Omega?"

Airachnid crossed her arms and looked over to Jack.

"For the Omega four subspace rift."

The blue femme looked over to her and still looked confused.

"Wait, isn't that the portal that lead to the Quintesson home world? I read in your mission report that the rift collapsed after you had returned from the galactic core."

Garrus nodded in return.

"That's correct, but it would make sense why MECH would take control of the station. Since it would give them free reign of the system and allow them to try and reopen the rift."

"But the rift was created by Reaper tech right, so how would they even begin to try?" Arcee asked, gaining a knowing look from Jack.

"Sideways. He did tell me that part of his deal with Silas was to give the Director Reaper tech. I bet he also told them how to reopen the rift as well."

"Well, Jack, what's our next move, because I doubt the Alliance would want MECH to gain access to what is at the galactic core, even if the planet was destroyed. I bet that there is still some salvageable tech there." Garrus asked.

"Admiral Bryce agrees, but unfortunately with the amount of ships that MECH has defending the station, we would require a fleet and the Alliance can't spare any due to the war."

Garrus looked down for a moment before his eyes met the Prime's again.

"Jack, if there is the slightest chance that Shen is still alive, I have to know. If you can't help me, then I will go alone."

Tali's eyes widened at what her friend just said, but then Jack placed a hand on the Turian's shoulder.

"Garrus, I told you that you wouldn't be alone in this. Bryce gave me the go ahead with the mission and a location of someone who would have the resources we would need to make it a success."

Everyone looked at him curiously.

"Who would that be, Jack?" Arcee asked before anyone else could.

"Omega's previous leader…Aria T'Loak, she is on the Citadel, in 'Purgatory' of all places and Intel says that she has been planning the retake of Omega and has a fleet standing by."

The Turian felt a slight smile grow on his face.

"So, we are to offer our assistance to her then, and in return…."

"…we get another ally in the Reaper war." Airachnid finished gaining a nod from Jack.

"I don't see why not, I mean the Reapers are a threat to everyone."

Jack then looked over to Arcee.

"Arcee, would you make sure that everyone is back on the Defiant. I want the ship ready to go by the time Garrus and I return."

"Of course, Jack." she replied with a smile before the femme and Airachnid started for the door. The Prime then turned to the Turian.

"Let's go, Garrus. Aria awaits."


When the pair entered Purgatory, Garrus immediately had a feeling of deja'vu, the last time he had been in a club was three years ago. It was when he had first met Jack and they went to the 'End of Days' club to meet Wrex and Tali. That particular club was no different to this one with the heaving crowds, low neon lighting and deafening music blaring out of speakers that seemed to be all over the place. Though one difference between both clubs was evident to the Turian, the dancers were not exotic and kept to hovering platforms in the corner of the large area.

Even Jack was uncomfortable with where they were, he never liked these type of places and usually trying to find a particular person in this mass would be a nightmare. But lucky for Jack and Garrus it didn't take long for them to spot Aria who had of course taken up he VIP area and the Asari was just sitting back on the large red couch looking disinterested and not bothered with the C-Sec Officer who was berating her at that moment.

"Did you think that you could stay on the Citadel illegally without us being aware of it." he officer said with some discontent in her voice. Aria though did not even bother to acknowledge the officer with a look.

"Yes, but it did take C-Sec several months to even notice my presence." she said with a slight smile, taking pleasure in the other woman's irritation.

"I don't care who you think you are. You will go through processing, like all the other refugees."

The Asari then gave the officer a iced cold stare.

"I don't think so."

She then looked over to her Asari assistant who was looking rather nervous.

"Sha'ra, get me the Asari Councillor "

The assistant nodded and activated her holo-to and before a second had past, a hologram of Tevos appeared before them.

"Greetings, Aria. Is there a problem?"

"I am being told that I have to go through immigration." Aria spoke with what sound like a hint of respect. Tevos looked down, most likely at her console.

"Yes I can see that and…it is done, is there anything else I can do for you?" she asked looking down at Aria.

"Nothing, thank you."

Then the hologram faded to nothing as Aira looked back at the C-Sec officer.

"I think we are done here." she said in an almost teasing tone, gaining a look of thunder from the woman who shook her head and walked away in a huff. The Asari then looked over to see Jack and Garrus approaching her couch, two Turian bodyguards walked in front of the two and stopped them.

"Let them through, this should be interesting."

The Prime and Turian then walked past the two guards and Aira gestured for the Human to sit beside her on the couch, he took his seat and looked over to her.

"Jackson Prime, this is an occasion. So what can I do for the first Human Prime?" she asked in a half seductive, half uninterested tone.

"Well I have heard about your exodus from Omega and wanted to offer my assistance."

Aria looked at him in an unbelieving tone.

"I have been stuck in this bureaucratic nightmare for several months and only now you have heard about it?"

"Well, I have been rather busy dealing with a much larger problem in the galaxy, maybe you have heard about it." the Prime replied.

"Ah, yes. The 'Reapers'. They do seem to have everyone on their toes right now. But either way the only thing I am focused on right now is taking back Omega from MECH. The Director has gone to the top of my shit list." the Asari said with a angry tone.

"What happened?" Jack asked gaining a look from her.

"Not long after you defeated the Quintessons and closed that pesky rift in my system…..yes I did hear about that, I was contacted by Director Silas who told me that MECH wanted to be sure that rift would never open again. He asked for my permission to send ships to the area and investigate the now dormant anomaly. I agreed, thinking that I would be gaining a favour from MECH in exchange. But a few weeks later we received a distress call from the science vessels that were in the area of the rift's location, they were under attack by a husk-like creatures called 'Adjutants'. These creatures were apparently MECH soldiers who were contaminated by some strange radiation that was covering the area of the rift. Silas then sent a fleet commandeered by General Oleg Petrovsky, he is a rather merciless bastard if I do say so myself."

"Sounds like you two would get along just fine then." Garrus jumped in sarcastically gaining an annoyed look from Aria.

"Garrus Vakarian, or should I call you 'Archangel'. Did you think that I did not know who you really were when you were on 'my' station."

"If you knew who I was, why didn't you tell the mercenary groups?" the Turian replied.

"Because even though you were a pain in the asses of these mercs, you did keep them from causing any trouble to my agendas. You also hadn't caused me any personal problems, so I left you alone."

Garrus gave her a knowing look.

"Well, I guess a thank you is on the cards then, but then again your not exactly helping the situation on Omega are you."

"You know Garrus, you remind me of 'another Turian' that was on the station before MECH came along. She had the same morals and code of conduct as you, wanting to help the good people of Omega and put an end to the slavers and mercs that were and I quote 'turning the station into a cess pool of chaos and degradation'. But I will tell you what I told her, you can't change Omega's nature no matter how many murderers and slavers you kill. The station is a beacon for all the lawless of the galaxy, but at least under my watch the inhabitants were free to do what they wanted. But with MECH in control of Omega, then all the freedoms my people had are gone and I will make MECH pay for that." she said in with a strong determination in her voice. Garrus was about to reply back when Jack jumped in.

"I think we are going of topic here." he said giving the Turian a look of annoyance, he knew Garrus did not like mercs and slavers. But now was not the time for him to express his feelings.

"Aria, you were saying about Petrovsky?" the Prime then said to the Asari.

"Yes, thank you, Prime. As I was saying the General arrived with a fleet and also asked for my forces to help in the matter of containing and destroying this new Reaper-creature. But it was a distraction to get me off of Omega. While my attention was on these husks who I found out were actually created by MECH using Reaper technology, Petrovsky took over Omega and locked me out. I tried to fight my way back into my station, but in the end my forces were severally weakened and I was forced to retreat. And so I ended up here and I have hated every moment of it."

"I guess you have been planning your retake of Omega since that moment then? Jack asked gaining a nod from the Asari.

"Yes, I have amassed a fleet of ships from the Blood Pack, Eclipse and Blue Suns and intend to fight my way back onto Omega and flay the skin off of that bastard General."

Garrus shook his head gaining the Aria's attention.

"Well, your ships won't get very far since MECH have parked their own fleet on the door step of the space bridge there."

"I see, so what should I do then?" she asked with a look towards the Prime.

"Well the Alliance cannot spare any ships due to the Reaper war, but with our help I believe we can liberate Omega from MECH. From the position the station has in the galaxy, they have managed to undermine the Alliance's fight with the Reapers and needs to be stopped."

Aria gave Jack a slight smile.

"Glad to see we are on the same page, Prime. Okay, I will accept your help. But only you."

Both Jack and Garrus's eyes widened at her answer.

"Why?" the Turian asked.

"I don't like the company you keep on that ship of yours, so you will accompany me on my flagship. I only accept the best of course and that is you."

Jack crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at her.

"No deal, Aria. You say you only accept the best. Well my team and crew are the best and will not be sitting this out, we are a package deal. you can either accept that or this conversation is over."

The Asari's slight smile grew larger as she looked at the Prime.

"Well, that's the first time I have ever been told 'no' before. Usually I would kill anyone who attempts to even say so, but you intrigue me, Prime. I accept your terms, but I do wish to have my flag on your ship."

Jack nodded in return at Aria's reply.

"So do we need to discuss what the Alliance will get in return for helping me?" she continued.

"Save that for after we liberate Omega." Jack replied as he got to his feet.

"Right now, I think we should get back to the Defiant and meet up with this fleet of yours."

Both the Asari and Garrus followed the Prime's action.

"Very Prime, lead the way." she said before the three of them left Purgatory for the Defiant.

The Defiant held position outside the massive space bridge not far from the Citadel as the Mercenary fleet of Aria's moved around it. In the cockpit Jack and Hotrod were talking as Arcee and Aria were walking up to join them.

"So you understand what to do if that happens?" the Prime asked gaining a nod from the Autobot.

"Yes, Sir, I do. You can count on us." he replied with gesturing to Teletraan too as the AI's holo-form was being emitted next the to the pilot's controls.

Jack smiled and nodded back before turning around to see both his partner and the Asari behind him.

"This is quite a ship, Prime. I am glad you convinced me to let you use it." she said while eyeing the Commander up and down, this did not go unnoticed by Arcee who stepped forward with an annoyed expression on her face.

"Jack, we have received word from the rest of the fleet, they have acknowledged your plan of attack and will await our signal." she said gaining a smile from Jack.

"Good, then lets get this show on the road." he replied as he turned back to Hotrod.

"Take us to Omega."

"Aye aye, Prime." the pilot replied as he worked the controls.

Outside the ship, the space bridge came to life as the giant green vortex opened up and the Defiant then flew directly into it's center as it left the Citadel and the merc fleet behind. It then reappeared on the other side of the wormhole as the Omega Station could be seen in the distance with it's red hue making the station appear to glow. But before the Defiant could head to the station, a large number of MECH cruisers suddenly appeared and took positions around the Alliance frigate, all their cannons turning and targeting the new arrival. Hotrod looked down at the sensor readings on his HUD before giving Jack a worried look.

"The MECH vessels have targeted us and are charging their weapons." he stated as Aria and Arcee stood beside the Prime and looked out to the view around them before the Asari spoke.

"Well, Prime, I hope this plan of yours works."

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter 13

The MECH star ships had the Defiant completely surrounded with their cannons aimed directly at the Alliance Frigate. Jack, Arcee and Aria were watching from the cockpit as Hotrod worked the controls in front of him.

"Why haven't they fired yet? It's been several seconds since we entered their weapons range?" Arcee asked a little worriedly while looking over to Jack who had a stoic expression.

"Perhaps they want to rattle us first." Aria replied, but then Teletraan spoke up.

"Prime, we are being hailed."

"Put it up on the galaxy map." Jack replied as he and the females walked back into the CIC, the hologram of the galaxy then shifted into the form of a Caucasian man in his late forties, sporting a finely cut beard. He was wearing a General's uniform in MECH's style and colourings, he crossed his arms as he looked at the Commander.

"Jackson Prime, when I saw that it was the Defiant that had come through the bridge, I knew it had to be you. You have earned the respect of many in MECH." he said in a confident but respectful manner.

"I seriously doubt that, especially from your boss." Jack replied.

"On the contrary, the Director admires what you have become, the very pinnacle of humanity. Why do you think he spent billions on rebuilding you, it's just a shame you didn't feel the need to repay that debt by staying with MECH." Petrovsky said in return as he looked at the Prime.

"I was willing to help you to stop the Quintessons and then the Reapers, but your boss had other ideas. And to be frank, that didn't sit well with me, so I left." Jack said back.

"A pity, you could have become so much more with us. Maybe you just feared success, we all sabotage ourselves in some way or another, but anyway turn back because you do not stand a chance against my forces. You are after all only one ship." the General replied gaining a lop sided grin from Jack.

"Well, who said we were alone."

The Prime then gestured a signal with his hand as outside the ship, the vortex was still open due to the close proximity of the Defiant and the MECH ships. Suddenly Aira's fleet flew out and immediately began firing on the enemy vessels as torpedoes and laser fire tore through the MECH vessels defences. The small Alliance frigate then veered out of the way and started for the station as the battle continued around the space bridge. The Defiant flew toward Omega with a few of the merc cruisers, the rest of the MECH fleet was otherwise engaged with the majority of Aria's forces.

"Interesting, I see that they are not Alliance ships though. May I ask if Aria is with you by any chance?" Petrovsky asked before the Asari stepped beside Jack and gave the MECH commander a cold stare.

"She is and she doesn't have anything to say about you."

"That is because she is not used to being defeated, Aria is quick to anger and that clouds her judgement." the General replied while stroking his beard.

"And she obviously thought that having you along for this suicide run would unsettle me."

Petrovsky then smiled back devilishly.

"Now it's my turn, you see I have upgraded Omega's defences. My cannons will tear your ships apart, even the Defiant. If you don't believe me, scan the station and see for yourself."

Jack looked away for a second.


"The General is correct, Prime. The cannons appear to be scaled down versions of a Reaper's beam weapon. MECH must have gained the Alliance/Council scans of Sovereign's remains. If the beams from those weapon emplacements were to hit us directly, the ship would not survive." the AI replied grimly, gaining a nod from the General's hologram.

"So I will say this only once, turn back now!"

"Well, if you know anything about me General, you know I don't scare easily. So give us your best shot. End transmission." Jack replied before the hologram disappeared.

"Hotrod, get us as close to the station as you can, then we will leave in shuttle one and board the station."

He then looked over to Arcee.

"Is everyone ready?"

"Yes, the others are already waiting for us in the shuttle bay." the femme replied with a slight smile.

"Okay then. Aria, you are with us…. and, Hotrod. The Defiant's yours and Jazz's now, take care of her." he said into his com link.

"We will, Prime, and we will head off to the other end of the system as soon as you leave, good luck." the pilot replied as the three entered the elevator. Aria gave Jack a confused look.

"Why is the Defiant not taking part in the battle?" she asked.

"We are here for two objectives Aria, first we are to liberate Omega and second. Make sure MECH does not reopen the rift, not only would it be in our best interests not to let MECH get their hands on any surviving Reaper tech in the galactic core. But also to make sure we don't let anything else come back."

Aria looked even more confused at the last comment Jack made.

"'Anything else'? You don't mean the Quintessons, do you? I heard they were wiped out when you destroyed their home world."

"That's what we all hope, but I am not prepared to take the risk that we might be wrong." he answered in a stoic tone as the elevator doors opened to reveal that Airachnid, Smokescreen, Jazz, Bumblebee, Garrus and Tali were all there (with full gear) waiting for them. Jack placed the Prime octagon on his chest and Aria watched in amazement as the prime armour appeared around his body while Arcee quickly got changed into her own gear.

"Oh, you should have seen her, Bee. Mira was gorgeous and very good with her hands." Smokescreen said gaining a wide eyed look from the young bot, Jazz noticed this and patted Bumblebee on the shoulder.

"Ya know the way 'Hotshot' here talks, you would think he was an expert with women."

The yellow/black armoured Autobot burst out laughing as Smokescreen suddenly went quiet.

Jazz then turned back to the previously enthusiastic bot.

"I know you had fun, Smoke. Hell, so did I. But I don't think everyone wants to know the details, Pal." he carried on before Jack, Arcee and Aria joined the group, the Prime gaining their attention.

"Alright, Arcee, Garrus and Tali will be joining myself and Aria for this mission, the rest of you will stay on board the Defiant."

Smokescreen then looked disappointingly at the Commander.

"Prime, I thought you needed us all for this one."

Jack looked over to the bot with a stoic expression.

"Smokescreen, the rest of you are to remain on board to help defend the Defiant, because as soon as our shuttle is away, you will be heading to the far side of the system to make sure that MECH does not reopen the rift. Jazz, you and Hotrod are in command in mine and Arcee's absence."

"Will do, Jack. I better get back up to the CIC. Okay guys lets go." he said as Bumblebee and Smokescreen followed him to the elevator, Airachnid gave Arcee an encouraging smile before joining the others. Jack then turned back to his team.

"Alright, here's the plan. The Defiant will get us as close to the station as possible so that we won't be stopped by the outer defences, then we launch in shuttle one and land in the secret landing bay that Aria has kept hidden."

He then looked over to the Asari.

"You are sure that MECH won't have found it yet?

Aria simply smiled at Jack, which angered Arcee, but the femme kept a tight lid on it.

"Prime, the landing bay was hidden for this exact purpose. Once we are in range, I will transmit the activation code and we will be granted access."

The Commander then looked back to his team.

"Once we are aboard, we are to then gain control of the main landing bay so that the rest of Aria's forces can board the station. Any questions?"

Garrus was about to speak up when Hotrod's voice echoed throughout he room via the intercom.

"Prime, we will be in range of Omega's defences in the next two minutes."

"Okay, you heard the man. Everybody on board, now!" Jack shouted as his team (Aria first) got on board shuttle one via the opened hatch. Once inside and the hatch sealed, Arcee turned to the Commander.

"I swore I saw a MAKO ground-assault vehicle in place of the old battered shuttle that we stole from the Tidal-Wave just now."

Jack smiled at her.

"That's because you did, Anderson let me swap that piece of junk for one of the MAKO's that was on the Citadel. You never know when one may come in handy."

The femme smiled back as Aria watched the two curiously, meanwhile Tali was looking over to Garrus who was uncharacteristically quiet.

"Garrus, don't worry. We will find Shen." she said in caring and encouraging tone, he looked over to her and for a second that he could almost see the beautiful smile she had through her visor and smiled slightly back.

"I hope so, Tali. Thank you."

The shuttle pilot then looked back at his passengers.

"Okay, Sir. We are ready to go."

Alright, everyone buckle up." the Prime replied as they all fastened themselves into their seats.


The Defiant and the Merc cruisers flew toward the Omega station at top speed as the cannons on Omega's exterior powered up, a bright red light glowing in the firing chamber before it let out a powerful energy blast that shot by the Alliance frigate, narrowly missing the hull as Hotrod turned the ship on it's side.

The weapons fired again as the Defiant performed a barrel roll, again missing the attacks by mere metres. The merc cruisers though weren't so lucky as one of the shots hit and sliced through the portside cruiser, splitting it in two. While the starboard side cruiser's engine was hit, making the vessel lose it's ability to control it's direction and it spun out of control. As it erratically headed toward the station, the two cruisers following the Defiant from behind veered off and stayed out of range as the Alliance frigate carried on.

"Defiant, we can't go any further. The station's defences will cut us to shreds if we do."

"Roger that, we will take care of the defences." Hotrod replied over the com. The Defiant drew closer, still narrowly evading contact with the enemy fire, it then fired a spread of torpedoes which impacted with several of the weapon emplacements perfectly.

"Nice shooting, Teletraan." the Autobot exclaimed.

"Thank you." the AI replied.

"Okay, launching shuttle in four, three, two..."

The Defiant's shuttle bay doors opened up and shuttle-one flew out and toward the lower section of the station as the the Alliance frigate pulled away and headed in the opposite direction, the remaining Merc cruisers also flew past the Defiant and toward the station, now that the defences were taken offline.

"Thanks for the lift, Defiant." Jack said over the com.

"Yeah, you're welcome, Ground-team. Good luck" Hotrod replied before looking at his console s screen.

"Setting course for the rift's coordinates." Teletraan stated, the Defiant then continued toward the other side of the system as the rest of Aria's fleet began moving toward Omega, now that they had taken out the rest of MECHs forces at the space bridge. Meanwhile the shuttle now that it was inside the station's defence grid moved down to the lower levels as it neared the secret hanger.

"We are almost at the given coordinates." the pilot stated as the passengers unhooked them selves from their seats and prepared, Jack and Aria stepped next to the pilot, the Asari pointed out towards a side of the outer hull.

"There it is, now keep the ship steady while I activate it." Aria told the pilot while activating her holo-tool, but after a moment nothing happened. Jack looked out at the spot and shook his head.

"Are you sure we have the right spot?" he asked, gaining a glare from the Asari. But it soon turned into a smile as part of the wall retracted, revealing the landing bay.

"You see, Omega welcomes me back with open arms."

The shuttle then started to move towards the bay, but suddenly an energy shield projected itself across the opening blocking their entrance.

Aria stare opened mouthed in disbelief at what happened in front of her.

"Impossible, there is no way he would have figured it out."

Jack looked over to her with a stoic expression.

"Is there another way in?" he asked gaining a head shake from Aria.

"No, this was the only way in that I thought they would not pick up on."

Arcee looked into the cockpit.

"Then why don't we just destroy the field's power source?" she said, gaining a smile from the Prime, who took a seat next to the pilot and began a scan of the area. A holo-screen appeared in front of him and tapped what looked like a energy signal next to the door and passed it through to the Pilot's interface.

"Alright, arm the missile launcher and destroy that section." he said. The pilot nodded and worked his controls, Aria though gave Jack an angry look.

"Wait I think I can hack the….." she started to say before looking back outside. One of the cannon's that were situated on either side of the shuttle activated and aimed toward the spot the Prime designated before firing a missile which hit the spot directly, causing a small explosion. The field then faded to nothing and the shuttle moved in and landed. Aira looked at Jack angrily.

"Well we may be in, but I will be sending you the bill for that, Prime." she said calmly, though really she must have been fuming.

"You're welcome. Now, Everyone, put your breather helmets on and be ready to move." he replied back before his breather helmet grew out of the back of his armour and formed around his head.

Once everyone was inside the station and out of the vacuum filled landing bay, Tali locked the door and stabilised life support. Everyone else then removed their helmets and took a deep breath. Aria then looked over to Jack.

"Prime, I apologise, if I had stopped you from blowing the door's power supply and hacked the door like I wanted. Then we would have had to fight our way in here."

Garrus and Tali looked out to the shuttle through the observation window and saw several MECH soldiers, their lifeless bodies floating around aimlessly.

"You would think they would have had their helmets locked down, ready for any possible depressurising of the atmosphere." the Turian stated, gaining a chuckle from the Quarian. Jack nodded at Aria while Arcee looked at a screen being emitted from her holo-tool.

"Okay, we are only a short distance from a security station, from there Tali can hack into the system and open up the main landing bays for the rest of the mercs to land."

"Without the reinforcements, the five of us don't stand a chance of retaking the station." Jack said as Aria took a step forward and opened the door nearest to them and walked into the adjourning corridor.

"Well, let's get moving then." she said as the others joined her.

As they moved through the dimly lit and cargo filled corridor, Jack was reminded how dirty Omega was. Not just in how the station looked, but in how it was run. Aria ran the place like a dictatorship, that was obvious. The only people that mattered to her were the rich and the powerful, but they were out numbered by the poor and mistreated. This sort of divide in society was in the process of being eliminated in the Alliance, and that was mainly down to the Cybertronians.

Having seen what happens to a society that had been split down the middle, those that were privileged and those not so. This knowledge came to them via the great war which was started when members of their species were no longer happy with the caste system that the high council had enforced on the population. Over the time that he was on Earth, Optimus Prime had seen that humanity were on a similar course and once the war had ended, had pursued an end to such a path.

Pressing forward with an ideal that everyone was free to make their own choices and not be held down by rules and regulations that were unjust. As of the time when the Reaper war had started, this initiative was well under way. But here there was no such hope for the people living under the weight of the corruption and villainy of those in power. Jack was brought out of his thoughts by three MECH soldiers who walked around the corner and spotted the group before opening fire.

The ground team took cover behind various cargo containers, Arcee fired back with her SMG as Garrus shot on through the head with his sniper rifle, Tali was taking cover next to him. Then one of the enemies dropped off a package on the floor before activating his holo-tool. Jack fired back and killed another soldier before recognising what he was doing.

"Turret, everyone stay down!" he yelled back as the package mass shifted into a weapon emplacement which began firing on the group without sign of stopping.

"What now? That turret has us pinned down." Arcee asked Jack who looked over to Aria who was smirking back at the couple.

"What, you have something you want to tell us?" the Prime shouted over the gunfire.

"Watch and learn." she answered back cryptically as her hands started to pulse with blue energy, she then peeked over her cover and saw the turret and the engineer (the soldier) who was controlling it with his holo-tool. She then gestured towards the device and it suddenly started to rise off the floor before she punched her fist toward the engineer, sending the turret slamming into him and exploding, sending the engineer flying to the ground. Everyone then got up from cover as Aria then lifted the soldier off of the ground with this blue energy and then slammed him hard into the ceiling, bones could be heard cracking before she released the enemy, his dead body falling to the ground with a thud.

"Biotics, very impressive." Garrus said as Arcee and Jack looked at him confused.

"You two never seen an Asari use biotics before?" the Turian replied.

"Never had the chance before." Jack answered with Arcee nodding in agreement. Aria turned and smirked at the two.

"How you ever fought without biotics is beyond me." she said. Tali and Garrus took either side of the group and kept watch down both sides of the corrider for any more of MECH patrols.

"How do you use biotics?" the Arcee asked curiously, which gained a sigh from the Asari.

"Well as far as I am aware, my people are the only species in the galaxy that can. It is the ability to create and control gravity fields. Don't ask me how we can, I don't know. We just can."

The femme nodded as Jack looked down the corridor from where the enemy soldiers came from.

"It's impressive I give you that, but let's keep moving." The Prime said gaining a nod from everyone in the group, they then carried on up the corridor as the battle carried on outside the station.

The remaining ships of Aria's fleet kept to the side of Omega which was still damaged from the Defiant taking out that side's defences, but were now in battle with the remaining MECH cruisers that had caught up with them from the space bridge. Meanwhile Jack's team had made it to the security station and were preparing to attack, Tali was looking at the map on her holo-tool before gesturing how many soldiers were in the room with her hands to the Prime who nodded back. He then turned to the others.

"Right there are five enemies in the Security station behind me. So, Aria, if you can go in first and draw their attention with that 'magic' of yours."

"Yes I can and it is not magic Prime. I will go in and erect a barrier, that will allow the rest of you to enter and then I will drop it so you can finish them off."

Arcee looked at the Asari with a slight confused look.

"You can do that?" she asked gaining a annoyed sigh from Aria who readied herself at the door.

"Yes, now let's get on with it." she said, not hiding her annoyance of the Autobot as she pressed the door control panel, Garrus and Tali waited on the left of the door and Arcee and Jack on the other as the door slid open and Aria walked in. The moment she entered the room she saw three of the troops near the main control console, with the other two just in front of her. They all raised their weapons at her.

"Stop right there, this area is off limits." the leader spoke, but the Asari merely laughed it off.

"You can't tell me what to do on my own station." she responded before her fists started to glow. The lead soldier then realised who she was.

"Aria T'Loak! Kill her now!" he shouted as the other troopers began firing at her, but the bullets stopped in mid air just in front of her (barrier) as they caused a ripple to pass over the air in front of her. She then immediately punched in front of her which took the leader off of his feet as if he had been hit in the face. Jack and the others then charged in as Aria shortened the barrier to cover just her as the others fired and took out each and every soldier in the room that was still standing. She then walked over to the MECH lead soldier who was just recovering, she then lifted him into the air with her biotics and looked at his helmet. Jack and Garrus stood beside her and noticed it too.

"He is wearing a vid-cam in his helmet." Garrus observed as Tali went over to the security console and hacked it with her holo-tool. Aria stared into the cam and smiled darkly.

"Can you see this, Oleg? We are coming for you. I will have Omega back." she then flung the soldier across the room, his face smashed when his body hit the wall. Suddenly the console came to life and an orange screen appeared, Tali smiled before looking over to the others.

"That's it, I am in and the main landing bays are now open for the reinforcements." she said as the others stood around her and watched on the monitors as the merc cruisers began docking with the station and Aria's forces started fighting with the MECH soldiers. Meanwhile inside his office, Olega Petrovsky was watching on his monitors as the ground war had started on the station, he then turned toward a chess set. It had real chess pieces on one side and holographic pieces on the other. He then picked up a pawn and knocked over it's holographic equivalent.

"So it begins." he said with a slight smile before activating his com link.

"Double check our defensive lines and prepare to release the Adjutants. Hold fast and true against those that now invade our station and we will prevail."

While fighting continued in the docking areas of Omega, down in the lower sections, Jack's team were moving up to the secret base that Aria's troops were going to meet them at. Jack had Garrus and Tali watching the rear, making sure that they were not being followed.

"So you are absolutely sure about this place Aria?" the Prime asked while he, Arcee and the Asari walked through the dimly lit tunnel.

"I am entirely sure of this, Prime. Remember, this is my station." she replied with a smile, obviously attempting to flirt with Jack. Arcee though just rolled her eyes and crossed her arms and looked unimpressed with Aria.

"Just like you said that MECH would never find your 'secret' landing bay, and we all know how that turned out."

The Asari was about to speak when a familiar voice was heard from the shadows.

"Well, Aria always likes to exaggerate things."

Everyone turned and pointed their weapons at the shadowed area where the voice had come from as a hooded figure walked out slowly.

"Who goes there?" Arcee warned before the new arrival walked into the light and revealed that she was a female Turian, Aria immediately lowered her weapon and smirked.

"Nyreen? What the hell are you doing here?"

"My men and I are mainly playing cat and mouse with the MECH soldiers, thanks to these tunnels." the Turian replied.

"'My tunnels', I am sure glad that I showed them too you." the Asari said with a hint of affection in her voice.

"If you hadn't, then the resistance would have died months ago." Nyreen said as Jack and Arcee stood either side of Aria and lowered their weapons.

"From what I have heard and seen recently, Aria doesn't trust easily. You two must be close." Jack said gaining a knowingly look from Nyreen before she looked back to Aria.

"I don't know, are we close, Aria?" she said with a somewhat coy like tone.

"Jackson Prime, this is Nyreen Kandros, former Turian Military. We go way back." she said with a smile aimed at the Turian female.

"You said you and your men, where are they?" Jack asked.

"We had heard that the station was under attack from outside forces, so I brought a squad up here. Figured that if anyone boarded the station then here would be a good place to find out who it was. Should have known that it would be you, Aria."

"Yes well, I don't like people messing with my stuff. Look, Nyreen, I have questions like a ton of them. But we need to get to my bunker first and regroup with my forces who are also heading there."

"Yes, the others should be back any moment and then we move." Jack added as Arcee looked down at the pistol that Nyreen was carrying.

"Nice gun, you ready to put it to good use?" she asked as Nyreen smirked at her and equipped it.

"You have no idea how ready." she replied gaining a smile from the femme. Then Garrus and Tali returned and were walking up to Jack when Nyreen saw Garrus and her eyes widened.

"Jack, we are in the clear, no MECH forces at our rear." the Turian replied.

"Garrus, is that you?" Nyreen said softly, gaining the male Turian's attention. He looked at her for a moment before realisation kicked in.

"Nyreen?" he said in a shocked manner. Tali just looked between the two as both Turians began getting closer.

"Garrus, it's been a long time." she said as she noticed the scars on the right side of his face and reached out with a hand to touch them.

"What happened here?" she asked.

"Occupational hazard, you know the usual." he replied as he let her gently stroke that side of his face.

"You haven't lost your good looks though, or your sense of humour I see." she chuckled as Tali just kept quiet and watched the two in shocked silence. Arcee noticed and walked to the Quarian's side as Jack stepped forward.

"Garrus, care to explain?"

The Turian turned to his friend. Nyreen doing the same.

"Jack, I will tell you later, once we are out of harms way." he replied, the Prime nodded in return before looking at Nyreen.

"About your men, do you know where they are?"

The female Turian then looked at her holo-tool and saw three blips on the map.

"They are in a room just a little ahead of us that way." she pointed.

"Okay, then let's move." jack said as the group started moving, only Tali was still standing with Arcee next to her.

"You alright?" she asked the Quarian.

"I…don't know, I just…." she managed to say before walking to catch up with the others, Arcee just stood and watched her friend before shaking her head and heading after her.

After running down a few hundred feet down the tunnels, the group came to an opening that overlooked shown a large view of the Omega station, the metallic pillars dangling from the giant asteroid of which the station was built on. Nyreen look around before her eyes came across a sight that made them narrow in anger. The others noticed too as they saw the two Turian and one Batarian lying dead on the ground just ahead of them. As the group moved around the bodies, Garrus, Nyreen and Arcee bent down and examined the bodies. The female Turian bowed her head and shook it slightly, Garrus placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"It's not your fault, Nyreen, don't blame yourself." she looked up to him and gave him a slight smile.

"Thank you, Garrus, but I should have been with them."

Arcee noticed some wounds on the necks of the corpses, her eyes widened in response.

"What the hell is that?" she said as she saw a blue like mucus seeping out of the wounds. Jack then caught a glimpse of Aria's face, it was one of shock and horror.

"Aria, what is it?" he asked as everyone looked at her.

"Get back now." she warned as she stepped away from the corpses which as if on command started to flinch erratically, the group then followed the Asari's lead as the three corpses started to mutate and change, their skin turned dark blue with a synthetic look. Their eyes opened to reveal a husk like blue optics, giant neon light blue pus sacs grew out of their backs.

The right arms of the once-were corpses then shifted and grew into what looked like bio-cannons with the same light blue energy flowing into them via tubing that was connected to the same pus sacs. They then opened their mouths and started to vomit, a bleak like substance splattering on the floor as a large amount of tendrils then flopped out and hung from the inside of their now agape mouths. Everyone just watched in shock at what had transpired in front of them.

"Adjutants!" both Aria and Nyreen said at once, making the creatures look directly at the group. The Adjutants just stared at them for a moment before one made a deafening roar and the three leapt at Jack and the others, Jack rolled out of the way as one landed where he was standing, he then turned and fired his rifle at the creature, unloading the entire clip into it before it fell to the ground.

The second one leapt towards Aria and Arcee, but the Asari stopped it in it's tracks and held it in the air with her biotics, before throwing it off the large balcony and down into the depths below. It's cries could still be heard as the third attacked Garrus, Tali and Nyreen. The Turian male pushed the Quarian out of the way as the Adjutant landed in front of him and swiped him to the side. Nyreen then gasped before firing her pistol into it's face as it turned and attacked her. Tali recovered and fired her shotgun into it's back, exploding the large blue sac's that lined it's back, bright blue goo splattering it's surroundings.

"Don't let that blue substance touch you." Nyreen warned Tali, who nodded and kept firing into the creature's back until it finally fell to the ground dead. Tali then started to walk towards Garrus, but was surprised to see Nyreen had beat her there and was helping Garrus to his feet.

"You okay?" she asked.

"Yeah, no real damage. Tali, you alright?" he asked and the Quarian nodded in return as Jack and Arcee looked over the creature's bodies, the latter was scanning them with her holo-tool.

"Jack, these things have Reaper tech in them. And their cells are not dead either, they are still replicating." Arcee said while the Prime looked down at them with a stoic look.

"Garrus, do you think this is what Shen was on about in his message to you. Could these be what MECH are changing people into?"

Garrus looked down at the creatures.

"It would make sense, but they are almost like Husks. But those bodies were changed from what…..bite wounds."

"That's how they make more of themselves." Arcee said as she looked over the results on her holo-tool.

"From what I can tell, the Adjutants infect their prey with a virus that then mutates their bodies and turns them into an Adjutant."

"Like the Borg?" Garrus replied, gaining a look from Jack while Tali chuckled.

"Garrus, you really need to stop watching Star Trek."

"Well, Jack, the vids were from your own personal collection." he said back, gaining a chuckle from Arcee who looked up at the Prime and smiled.

"He's got you there, Jack."

"Okay, let's get back to the mission now, okay." he said suddenly feeling embarrassed. His team just continued to laugh while Aria and Nyreen looked on in bemusement.

"How far before we reach your bunker, Aria?" Jack asked, then Aria held her left hand up to the Prime while reaching to her ear with her right.

"Hold on, Prime, I am receiving a call. Bray, report."

"Aria, we have reached the bunker. But the Talons are refusing us entry." the Batarian said over the com making the Asari look at Nyreen with daggers.

"Do you know anything about this, because to my understanding the Talons are just a small merc group."

"They were before I took them over and gave them purpose. And when MECH began their occupation, we moved down to the bunker and launched a guerrilla war. Hoping to help the people of Omega, the ones you failed." Nyreen replied.

"You will let my people in there now." she said angrily.

"Of course, once we are there ourselves. So let's move." Nyreen said, gaining a smile from Arcee as Jack and the others followed the female Turian, Aria just stood and seethed at her before following them.


The journey to the bunker was uneventful as Jack's team made it to the heavily fortified entrance to Aria's bunker, which as of this moment was under the command of the Talons. As Aria walked over and spoke to Bray and her forces who were waiting as well, Nyreen activated her holo-tool and the reinforced doors opened, allowing them all to enter.

They then entered a large room with balconies risen high above them. Jack looked around and saw that Nyreen had quite the operation going on, he couldn't help but be impressed. Aria though looked disinterested as she headed over to the command station and began looking through the data files.

"Aria, that is restricted information. For Talons eyes only." she said as she stepped in the Asari's way, but she was pushed aside.

"Nyreen, I am very impressed with what you have done here, but your men are now under my control. You of all people know what happens to those who argue with me." Aria said in a matter of fact tone.

"And if I say no….. what, you'll kill me? My men will not stand for that." the female Turian said, as a number of her troops started to look over at the two as they argued. Jack then stepped forward between the two.

"Hey, remember the enemy is out there, not in here."

Both females turned an cursed under their breath before Garrus stepped forward and looked at the security footage. It was showing all the civilians in lockdown in their homes and public places, held back by force fields.

"So what is the plan here?"

"I want to free the people and let them help us take back Omega."

Nyreen looked back at the Asari in shock.

"That's your plan, you want to throw civilians at the MECH forces. I knew you didn't give a damn about them."

"On the contrary, I care a great deal for 'my people'. I just want to give them the opportunity to fight for their homes." Aria replied coyly as she stepped into the center of the room and activated her holo-tool. Suddenly all the monitors in the room focused on the Asari.

"What's she doing?" Nyreen said looking over to one of her men.

"She is over-ruling our commands and has taken control of the intercom." he said as he frantically typed at his control station.

Aria smiled back at the female Turian.

"Like I said, Omega is mine to control. Now watch and learn." she said before pressing a button on her holo-tool. Suddenly every monitor and screen on the station showed her face, gaining the attention of whoever was around to notice. Be that MECH soldiers or civilians. Even the screens in Pretovsky's office showed her as he watched.

"People of Omega, I have returned. MECH believes that they have defeated you, that they have you under their 'control'… they are gravely mistaken. Because you are the lawless of this galaxy, you can never be defeated, never be controlled. Be ready, for the chance to strike back at your oppressors is coming. Together we will take Omega back!" she exclaimed loudly with her arms outstretched. In the room and all over the station, people began cheering, punching the air as the MECH soldiers watched from their side of the force fields. The screens and monitors then shut off as Aria walked back to the group. Nyreen shook her head in disgust.

"I know what you are doing, Aria, and I don't like it." she said before she saw some civilians being helped by some of her men.

"I have civilians that need evacuating, we will discuss this later." she said to the Asari before walking over to her men. Jack walked over to Aria.

"What are you doing, Aria?" he said as Arcee stood beside him and Tali went over to Garrus.

" Prime, the people of Omega. My people are always up for a good fight and when it breaks out, they will be ready. And Nyreen cares to much for them to just sit by and watch them be slaughtered, so she will make sure her forces are out there too."

"Well, I am with Nyreen on this one, Aria. We don't put civilians in the firing line." the Prime protested, this did not go unnoticed by the female Turian who looked over to see him berate the Asari.

"Maybe that is how you deal with things in the Alliance, but this is Omega. So you better get used to it." the Asari said back with a stoic look. Jack shook his head before looking over to Arcee who was in the middle of call. Once done she looked back at the Prime.

"Just got a message from Hotrod, they are nearly in range of the MECH ships at the rift's location."

As Jack and Arcee spoke, Tali was standing beside Garrus and watching him work as he looked through the database.

"What are you looking for, Garrus?"

"Anything that will tell me where Shen is, but the MECH sections of the database are encrypted."

The Quarian placed a hand on the Turian's in support.

"Let me." she said softly as Garrus then stepped aside and let her activate her holo-tool and connect it to the console.

"Right, my decryption program is now running. This should take a few minutes." she added as Garrus smiled back at her.

"Thanks, Tali."

The Quarian then looked out toward Nyreen, this gained Garrus's attention as he wondered what she was looking at.

"So, you and Nyreen go back a while huh?" she asked.

"Yes, we served in the Turian military many years ago." he replied.

"And you two were close?"

"We 'were', but that is in the past." Garrus answered sheepishly which caught the Quarian's attention even more.

"What do you mean, Garrus?"

"I mean, Tali, that I am focusing on the here and now." he replied before looking down to the ground and sighing.

"And also, there is nothing between us anyway." he said.

"Are you sure, she certainly hasn't forgotten you." Tali replied.

"Well, even if she hasn't, that doesn't mean I feel the same."

Garrus..." the Quarian said making the Turian turn to face her and speak before she finished what she was saying.

"Tali, I don't know exactly how to say this so I will just go ahead and say it, there is someone else I am interested in now and she is standing right..."

Garrus was cut off by the console which was beeping loudly and information was flowing down the screen unencrypted.

"It worked, we have access to MECH's database." the Turian said as Jack and Arcee joined them. Tali though was still looking a little anxious in her posture.

"Have you found Shen?" the Prime asked as Aria walked over.

"Just a second...(beep), got it." Garrus replied. before his expression dropped.

"What is it?" Tali asked.

"The MECH soldiers found him and took him to the Adjutant labs for processing." Garrus said.

"Where are those labs?" Jack asked as the Turian typed into the console and brought up a map of a level of the station.

"The labs are near the auxiliary power distribution hub that is connected to the power core." Tali said while Garrus had gone quiet. The Prime then looked at screen himself.

"Please tell me that hub controls all the force fields on the station?" Jack asked.

"Not completely, but if I can access this power sub-station on the other side of Omega, then I can divert the power lines and make that hub the primary source for those force fields." the Quarian replied, gaining a smile from the Prime before he looked back to the others, Nyreen had joined them at this point.

"Alright, here's what we do. Garrus, Nyreen, Aria and myself will head to the labs and liberate anyone who is being held there." he then looked at Garrus who gave Jack a nod in return.

"We will then head on through to hub and sabotage it. Tali in the meantime will head on over to sub-station and divert the power lines. You should get there before we make it to the hub, so just get straight on it." the Prime said to the Quarian who nodded.

"Wait, Jack. Who goes with Tali then. You aren't going to send her alone are you?" Garrus asked, gaining a smile from Tali and an awkward look from Nyreen who was surprised to see such concern from the Turian male.

"Of course not, Garrus,…..Nyreen…" the Prime replied.

"Yes, Prime, I will send a squad of my men with her..." she then looked over to Garrus.

"...they will make sure she completes her mission and returns safely." she added with a caring tone to Garrus who nodded in gratitude as did Tali, Arcee then placed her hand in the air, gaining Jack's attention.

"Jack, what about me?"

"Arcee, I want you to remain here and coordinate the uprising with Aria's forces and the Talons. But you are not to launch the attack until the force fields are down. Aria's forces will lead the assault and the Talons will support the civilians who want to fight."

Nyreen smiled at Jack.

"Thank you, Prime. I am glad that I am not the only one here who is worried about the civilians." she said before glaring at Aria.

"Well, they are to support those that want to fight, or help those who do not to safety." Jack added. Aria just looked at Prime with what appeared to be an expression of half lust and half loathing, it was quite the combination.

"Prime, I hope you remember who's operation this is. I will not be dictated on my own station." she said with a hint of anger, but Jack stood his ground.

"It is not 'your station' yet and you accepted my help. So because of that, I will not accept civilian casualties, not if they don't want to be involved in the fighting.

Aria gritted her teeth as her anger started to show in her face as she stared daggers at Jack, but he still kept his stoic appearance as he walked closer to her.

"In the end, Aria, what is it that you want. Is it to free Omega and it's people, or are you just after revenge? If it is the latter then you can stay here, because I will not allow a loose cannon to ruin our chances of success." The Prime added, causing Aria to nearly lose it in front of everyone as they watched.

"You will not allow…." she spat back before looking Jack up and down, she then let a half smile grace her lips as her look of lust showed on her face again.

"Very well, Prime. We'll play it your way…..for now." she finished before turning her back on him and walking away. As she walked past Bray, he looked over to Jack and smiled before following her. Nyreen and Arcee were watching too, the female Turian had a look of utter shock on her face.

"He said 'no' to Aria and she accepted." she said, surprise evident in her voice. Arcee smiled while keeping her eyes on Jack.

"Not the first time either. Garrus told me that Jack said no to her earlier, back on board the Citadel."

"Unbelievable, the more I hear and see of this Prime. The more I like him..." she said before looking over to the femme.

"...is he single?" she then asked, making Arcee's smile disappear as her face became serious. The femme then crossed her arms.

"No…. he is not." she stated in a matter of fact way before walking off.

"Pity." Nyreen said before looking over to Garrus, who was with Tali. The Quarian noticed this and suddenly became uncomfortable.

"I better get ready for my mission." she said in slight hurt way before walking off.

"Tali, wait.." was all Garrus could say before she walked off, not noticing that Jack had walked beside him.

"Is everything alright?" he asked gaining the Turian's attention.

"Jack, sorry… I was." was all he could say before taking a deep breath.

"It's okaym Garrus, Arcee told me that things were awkward between the three of you." Jack said.

"Three of us?" Garrus said in return, slightly confused.

"Yes…, you, Tali and Nyreen. And since the mission won't be starting for another few minutes, I thought you could fill me in on the details between you and Nyreen. Like you said you would earlier." the Commander replied. Garrus sighed and looked over to Tali who was talking with some of the Talons before looking back to his friend.

"Well, I met Nyreen when I was a young soldier in the Turian Military, this was years before C-Sec. We were both stationed on the Menae, it is one of two moons that orbits Palaven. After working together a few times we.. what is the Human term…. we hit it off. We found that we liked the same things and quickly fell for each other big time."

"I see, so what changed?" Jack asked curiously.

"After two years together, we were given an assignment to take down a pair of mercs who were raiding Turian shipping lanes. When we boarded their ship, we split up to take them down. But she got herself captured, and they said they would kill her if I didn't let them go."

"What happened?" the Prime asked.

"She told me not to let them go, but I loved her, so I chose her and let them go. She then immediately told our superiors what had happened and I was discharged from the military for not doing my duty. We Turians take our duty and honour very seriously."

Jack looked at him in shock.

"She got you fired? I mean how could she?"

"She told me that she appreciated what I did, but could not condone it and had to report my behaviour. Before I left she told me she loved me."

"Well, she has a funny way of showing it." Jack replied, Garrus shook his head in response.

"Jack, Turians aren't like Humans. We can't let ourselves be guided by our feelings all the time. The military is in our blood, we are born into it. So to not follow your orders to the latter can be seen as almost treasonous, depending on what your orders were to begin with. I understood why she did it, but I too saw that she would always put her duty before her personal feelings, So I cut ties with her."

So how did you end up at C-Sec, I guess your family wasn't happy." the Prime said in return.

"You would be right, my father is a very 'by the book' person. He had a saying, ' do things right or don't do them at all'. He was disappointed, but since I had a flawless record before Nyreen. He instead got me a job with C-Sec (he was working there himself), though he did give me some advice." the Turian replied.

"What was that then?"

"Relationships and work do not mix, don't make that mistake again." Garrus said as he tried to impersonate his father.

"So is that why you have held back from Tali all this time?" Jack asked inquisitively.

"Partly, I guess a part of me didn't want to get hurt again. And that is why I give you and Arcee a hard time about it whenever you two start flirting with each other in front of the others."

Jack gave his friend a slight smile.

"Garrus, I am not going to stop my crew or my team-mates from fraternising. If I did that, then you have to ask yourself. What are we fighting for in this war."

Garrus gave Jack a look of understanding as he nodded.

"I see what you mean."

"So, have you told her yet?" the Prime asked.

"I was about to, but…" the Turian said, then Jack gently motioned him towards the Quarian.

"Then I suggest you go over there and tell now before she goes, Arcee also told me that Tali was concerned with Nyreen and yourself. It's probably best to dispel any lingering doubt. Want me to make it an order?"

Garrus smiled back at Jack.

"That won't be necessary, Jack." he said before walking over to Tali who was just going through her gear. He tapped her on the shoulder, and she turned around and he could almost see a sad smile form under the purple visor she wore.

"Garrus I wasn't expecting…"

"Tali, what's wrong?" he asked sensing the discomfort in her voice.

"I just thought you would be heading off with Nyreen now." she replied.

"No, Jack's still setting things up. Look that is the reason I wanted to speak to you." he said, but then Tali cut him off.

"Garrus, you don't need to say anything." she replied, gaining a confused look from the Turian.

"What you mean I don't have to.." he asked back.

"I mean you and Nyreen right, she seems really nice. I am happy for you." Tali said, trying to sound as sincere as possible, yet her tone betrayed the hurt she felt. The Turian's eyes widened as he realised what she was saying.

"No, Tali it isn't.."

"Let me finish please, I like you Garrus…. I like you a lot. And I was hoping that maybe you…." she said as she looked away for a moment.

"..but I know that this couldn't be, I mean I am stuck in this suit and I, you deserve to be with someone who can be with you fully. In every way that I can not."

She then started to move away but Garrus stopped her and got in her way.

"Tali, I don't want Nyreen."

The Quarian looked up at the Turian.


"I want you." he said back, he could see through her visor that her white eyes had widened as what he just said sunk in.

"Really, I uh, I mean…sorry, I…..Oh!" she replied back in shock, as they stood there looking at each other, Garrus saw a full beaming smile appear on her face through her visor.

"Thank you." she replied happily, but then she pulled back slightly.

"...you tell me this now!"

Garrus shot her a confused look.

"Wait, what?"

The Quarian then crossed her arms, her posture looked a little confrontational.

"You wait until I am about to go on a mission and then tell me. I have been waiting for ages.."

"I have been wondering when the best… , I mean I tried to tell you back…" the Turian replied back, but then was went silent as Tali pulled him into an embrace. For several long seconds they remained silent as they enjoyed the moment, unbeknownst to the two, Nyreen was watching from the other side of the room. Tali then looked up into the Turian's eyes.

"Can we even make this work? I mean, I am stuck in this enviro-suit."

"But not for long through right, I mean the Geth are helping your people right now." he said back, earning a nod from the Quarian.

"That is true, but I don't think I can wait that long, give me some time. Maybe I can find some way for us to be together sooner, some kind of medication or bio stabilizer."

Garrus then looked down into her eyes.

"Take as much time as you need, Tali, I can wait. I'll never give up on you…. Ever, I promise." he replied in a soft tone and she responded by hugging him more.

"I know, thank you, Garrus. So…. I guess we have some things to discuss after this mission is over."

"Looking forward to it." he replied as he held her close. Then one of the Talon soldiers called over to the Quarian.

"Oh, I have to go. I will see you later then." she said happily as she started to walk away, Garrus smiled as he watched her walk off, but then she turned to him.

"I nearly forgot, I made an upgrade for your holo-tool, it is uploaded onto that console. I think you will find it useful." she said before waving to him and then leaving with the Talon group that was assigned to her. Garrus waved back before walking over to the console that she had pointed out to him. He then activated his holo-tool and downloaded the file named 'Garrus1'. Soon as it was finished he activated the program which changed the holo-tool into a holo-blade. The Turian smiled down at the new melee weapon his 'girlfriend' had made for him.

"Thanks, Tali." he said to himself.

"Garrus, it's time." Jack called over, he was standing with Aira and Nyreen as Arcee and Bray were talking. Garrus nodded and deactivated his holo-tool before walking over and joining them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 14

Her heart beat quickened as Tali ran up the corridor, the group of Talon soldiers following while firing back down toward the far end as several Adjutants were gaining on the group. They had only made it halfway to the sub-station before coming under attack, first by MECH soldiers and now by these abominations. Tali reached the door at her end of the corridor and started to hack the controls with her holo-tool, one of the Talons joined her while the rest kept firing at the gaining enemies.

"How long?" he asked, fear evident in his voice as he spoke.

"Just a moment, I almost have it" she replied while franticly working her holo-tool. The soldier then looked back at the other three who were still further down the corridor, holding the Adjutants back with continuous weapons fire.

"Fall back to our position." he shouted while waving them over. The three saw this and started to move towards the rest of the group, but never taking their aim off of the enemy. Once they were back with Tali and the leader, he and the group made a defensive wall and fired back to the Adjutants, their bullets pummelling the husk like creatures. But they kept coming, making their way slowly toward the group and screaming out that in human roar.

"We aren't going to make it." one said as shot clean through the knee of one Adjutant, but not even slowing it down.

"Just focus on keeping them back, Tali is nearly through the door." the leader said back. But just as they got nearly within arms reach, Tali's holo-tool beeped.

"Yes, it's done!" the Quarian exclaimed as the door opened.

"Alright, Tali. You, in first while we cover you. Move!" the squad leader said gaining a nod from the Tech expert who then entered the next room. Having seen that their objective had gotten to safety, the leader then equipped an incendiary grenade and threw it in to the horde of Adjutants.

"Okay, now go!" he shouted as the others stood up and ran for the door. The creatures ignored the grenade and kept heading for the group, but suddenly it exploded and engulfed the Adjutants in flames. The squad leader then followed his men through the door which Tali then closed behind him. The Talons then looked on in surprise as the door was suddenly covered by a force field.

"You did that?" one of the soldiers asked, gaining a nod from the Quarian.

"That was easy, believe me. We are not to far from the sub station and that door and force field should keep those things at bay for the time being." she replied before she opened the door at the other end and they followed her through.

Meanwhile at the opposite side of Omega, Jack, Garrus, Aria and Nyreen were making their way to the research labs that MECH had set up, while their main goal was to reach the power hub and deactivate all the force fields that were holding the citizens of Omega. Jack also wanted to help his friend find the boy he had helped over a year ago. They turned a corner and ran into a group of MECH soldiers who fired at them on sight, Aria instantly set up a barrier which held back the weapons fire.

Garrus immediately blew a hole through on soldier's face with a shot from his sniper rifle, Jack shot another in the legs, this made the enemy fall to his knees and Nyreen finished him off with three perfectly aimed shots to his heart. The last guy was about to turn and run, but Aria then created a singularity in the air next to the trooper. It pulled him off the ground and spun him in the air, she then equipped her pistol and shot him through the head.

"Well, what was that now? like the seventh patrol we have come across in the last hour?". Garrus asked gaining a look from the Prime.

"It's almost like they know where we are." Jack replied by knowingly. Aria shook her head in disagreement.

"They do not have a clue, I have control of all the cameras on Omega (due to her stunt earlier). Petrovsky doesn't have any..."

In his office the MECH General was watching the group on one of his monitors.

"..idea what we have planned." Aria said, gaining a smile from the Human.

"Yes, keep thinking that, my dear." he replied as a hologram of Silas appeared next to him.

"Petrovsky, report." The Director said coldly before taking a sip out of the glass in his hand. The General turned to him and smiled.

"Everything is under control, Director, we know exactly what they are up to and already have counter measures in place."

The Director stared at him, his yellow optics glowing brightly.

"Don't underestimate Darby." he answered.

Director, I promise that the Prime will be dead by the end of the day." Petrovsky replied confidently.

"No, I don't want Darby harmed, understand?" the Director replied harshly. This gained a confused look from the General.

"I do not understand, did you not tell Sideways that Darby would be killed?"

Silas took another drink from his glass before answering.

"Of course, I told Sideways that we would help him neutralise The Prime, but only if the former Con himself is there. Since he is not though, I would rather keep Darby alive. Because I believe that he can still play a part for MECH. Do you understand?"

"Well, what do you suggest, Director?" Petrovsky asked.

"Darby's weakness is his friends and loved ones. You received the data files on his team mates, yes?"

The General nodded before looking over to two monitors, one showed Arcee with the rest of the enemy forces. And the other had a image of Tali on it, while an evil grin appeared on his face as he looked back to Silas.

"I believe I can think of something." he answered confidently, gaining a nod and a slight smile from his boss.

"Good, inform me when you have Darby. Silas out." he replied before his hologram disappeared.


In the cockpit of the Defiant, Hotrod was Piloting the Alliance vessel as Jazz was seated in the co-pilot's seat and working the holo-controls in front of him.

"How long before we are in range of their weapons?" the Autobot asked as he saw the sensor readings on his screen, it showed three MECH cruisers and a science frigate near an anomaly that the Defiant's sensor array had a hard time recognising.

"We will be in range in several minutes, Jazz." the pilot replied. Airachnid then walked up to the two of them.

"Need a hand with anything?" she asked.

"I feel Like a spare wheel back there." she added as she pointed back over her shoulder.

"If you want to help, take the weapon station behind you, I am transferring control to it now." Hotrod replied before the holo-screen and controls came to life. Airachnid then sat down and began typing at the interface.

"Cannons online and charged, torpedo launchers loaded and ready." she stated before looking to her left and seeing out of the window that cover the front and part of the ceiling of the cockpit. From their location they could now see the MECH cruisers and the anomaly they were orbiting, which looked similar to a lightning storm. The science cruiser was firing what looked like a pulse into it and the anomaly was growing stronger.

"They have seen us, the three cruisers are breaking orbit and are heading our way." Jazz said as Hotrod began plotting a course directly at them.

"I'll start by heading for the lead cruiser first, Airachnid target their weapons and engines." the pilot said, gaining a nod from the femme. Teletraan then spoke up.

"I am detecting a strong power signature coming from the three cruisers, something is powering up." The three Autobots all looked out to see a red light brightening at the very front of each MECH ship.

"There is no way... They couldn't have fitted it to their ships, they couldn't have the power requirements." Hotrod stated in disbelief.

"Scans confirm it, those cruisers are armed with the same beam weapon technology that has been fitted to Omega." the AI replied.

"Well, they are taking their time to charge up." Airachnid observed.

"Let's use that to our advantage." Jazz said before an alarm went off.

"The lead ship is about to fire." Teletraan stated.

"Taking evasive manoeuvres." Hotrod replied as he made the Defiant veer up and out of the way as the MECH cruiser fired its beam weapon which shot out a bright red energy beam which barely missed the Alliance frigate before the little ship turned back round and tired to get in closer.

Onboard Omega, Jack and Garrus entered what looked like a cargo room and looked around, all that was in the large room were cargo containers.

"Room's clear." the Turian said and a second later both women entered the room too.

"Are you sure about this?" Aria said to Nyreen while looking around the inconspicuous room.

"Yes, Aria. MECH built their labs here in secret and disguised its entrance as just and cargo room." the female Turian replied.

"And you know this how?" the Asari replied as The Talon leader walked up the far wall and began taking scans with her holo-tool.

"When people started going missing, I started an investigation. After watching from the shadows and waiting for what felt like ages, we got a lucky break."

The female Turian then looked over to Garrus.

"It's here. Garrus, do you have any explosives on you?"

"Nothing strong enough to do any damage to that wall." he replied.

"But Jack's Star saber might." he added as everyone's eyes fell on the Prime. The Commander just sighed before he activated the blade and His holo-tool morphed into the legendary blade.

"You better be ready to cover me once I do this." he said in a matter of fact tone.

"Why?" Aria asked.

"Because every time he uses the Star saber's full potential, it weakens him and leaves the Prime open to attack. The two women then nodded in full agreement before Jack spun the blade around him, it glowing bright and brighter with each swing. Once it was charged, Jack then released an energy wave that smashed into the wall, obliterating it and as the dust settled, a reinforced door could be clearly seen behind the damaged wall.

"Nice." Aria said as Jack fell to his knees, breathing heavily.

"You alright?" Nyreen asked as she went to help him to his feet.

"Yeah, just give me a moment." he replied as his breathing became steady again and he got to his feet. The Prime then walked over to the door and activated his holo-tool.

"This has some security features fitted in, but I doubt that they will be able to handle Tali's hacking program." he said as he began to hack the door. Garrus joined him and watched him work as Nyreen had turned her attention back to the door they had entered the room via. Aria just stood there, just letting everyone else do the work. After a few moments, Jack's holo-tool blipped and the door opened.

"Open Sesame?" the Turian said with a half-smile, gaining a look from Jack that was half embarrassed and half annoyed.

"Really, Garrus? First the Borg comparison and now a quote."

The Turian just shrugged his shoulders.

"What? I liked that movie." he replied innocently, the Prime just shook his head before looking beyond the large door that had opened. The corridor behind the door was pitch black and the team activated the for us on the ends of their guns which immediately cut the darkness and revealed the path ahead.

"Let's go." the Prime said before the four of them entered the entrance to the MECH laboratory.

Apart from the Adjutants attack earlier, the mission had gone smoothly for Tali and her team as they were now at the substation and she was starting to hack into the system as she typed into the holo-tool's keyboard while looking at the interface of the main computer, the Talon soldiers had taken up positions around the room, weapons ready for any threat that might show itself.

The Quarian watched as coding scrolled down the screen, her typing matching certain glyphs and numbers. It was a good job that she was good at multitasking because while she was concentrating on hacking the power line transfer system, she was also thinking about a certain Turian who just very recently had confessed his feelings for her. She had known him for three years and really liked him for three-quarters of that time.

And it seemed he had liked her for just as long, why then did it take him that long to admit it. She would have to ask him when they have they met up after the mission, she was really looking forward to that. It was then that she noticed something in the information that was appearing on the screen.

"Keelah, that's not possible." she said in surprise, which gained the Talon squad leader's attention.

"Tali, what is wrong?"

"Nothing, in fact it is something good. I won't be able to clarify it until I have hacked the system, but it looks like I can deactivate the force fields from here." she answered, a little excitement in her voice. The leader nodded back to her.

"That's great." he replied. Tali then turned back and carried on with the hack, the squad leader meanwhile activated his com link.

"Report status."

Outside of the substation, a lone member of the Talons was kneeling down behind a cargo container with his sniper rifle equipped. He was looking down the scope and watching the door that the Quarian had reinforced with a force field, and even from his distance he could see that the Adjutants would get through soon. He tapped the side of his helmet and activated his own com link.

"They are still trapped behind that door sir, but they will be through soon." he answered in a professional manner.

"Very well, keep me updated." the squad leader replied before turning to Tali.

"Any idea how much longer it will take?" he asked. She then looked back to him. I am nearly through, just give me another few minutes."

Meanwhile back outside, the sniper was watching the other door as it vibrated from another strike from the creatures on its other side. He knew that the moment they would be through the door, the. The force field would not last that long. But then a shadow was cast over him and he heard the most inhuman like breathing from behind him, a sense of dread suddenly came over the soldier as he realised that this was his end.

But that wouldn't mean that he was about to just lay down and die, so he slowly freed one hand from his rifle and grabbed the combat knife from his utility belt and took a deep breath before spinning around to face the creature. But he was suddenly flung straight on to his back by a powerful strike which knocked the wind out of him. He looked up in a daze to see the monstrous form of an Adjutant standing over him, it's lifeless blue glowing optics staring down. The soldier then saw that behind the monster, one of the floor panels was removed and the banging on the door had just stopped too.

'Shit, these things were distracting me while finding another way in.' he thought as he gripped the knife that was still in his hand as he then tried to get back up. But before he could do anything, the Adjutant just grabbed at the arm and pinned him down to the floor. It's open mouth started to salivate and drool on the soldier as it's tendrils began moving, it then started to bear down on the Talon who then tried to scream but another Adjutant appeared and covered his mouth with its slimy hand.

The creature who pinned him down then bitten down hard on the man's shoulder and he grimaced in pain as he felt the tendrils enter through the wound. He tried to get free, but felt his strength desert him as he saw something passing through the tendrils into his body. He then passed out before the Adjutant finished and stood back up to see that the rest of the horde were entering the corridor through the open floor panel, it then looked toward the door that led to the sub station.

As the group walked through the pitch black corridor, with nothing but the beams of light from their torches to guide them. They had walked down the long corridor for the last fifteen minutes when something caught Jack's eye as he shone the torch ahead of him.

"Looks like we have reached the lab." he said back to the others before walking out of the corridor and into a large room. As the group looked around, they found the room was filled with many consoles and lab equipment. But the room was very messy with smashed vials and papers all over the floor.

"Looks like they left in a hurry." Garrus stated as he looked down to the scattering of pads and paper on the floor in front of him.

"Why would they do that, the lab was well hidden enough." Aria asked in return before looking over to Nyreen, shining the torch and bathing the female Turian in its light. Though she held her free hand up and covered her eyes.

"Did the Talons ever attempt to attack one of the labs?" he Asari continued but the Turian shook her head.

"No, we didn't have the man power or the tech to launch an offensive, or else we already would have." she answered.

"Well, something got them spooked." Jack said as he approached a terminal, he then used his holo-tool and the terminal came to life. The orange interface activated and illuminating the room, revealing a door on both the north and so sides of the room.

"Okay, so we have power." he said as the others joined him at the terminal and watched.

"What have you found, Jack?." Garrus asked as Jack looked through the data that was appearing on the holo-screen.

"They were definitely creating Adjutants here, producing these abominations with a virus of Reaper design.

"A virus, so there is another way to become infected other than being bitten by one?" Garrus asked.

"I doubt that they found one buried somewhere and then had a volunteer let themselves be infected." Aria said while not noticing the knowing looks Jack and Garrus gave each other after her last comment.

"What else does it say about the virus?" Garrus then asked.

"It seems that the virus rewrites the DNA of the host to that of a species that is not recognisable among any of the galaxies current inhabitants." the Commander read aloud.

"You know, I have lived for nearly a thousand years and I have never seen a species like them." Aria replied. Jack ignored the Asari and carried on reading.

"MECH scientists suspect that the Reapers created the virus several cycles before the Lithone extinction and that what they call Adjutants are just a shadow of yet another species that fell victim to the Reapers."

"So how did they go about testing this virus?" the Turian asked as they all looked at the screen.

"They first brought in the homeless and experimented on them by exposing them to the virus. The first batch of Adjutants were uncontrollable." the Prime replied as he continued to read the details off of the screen.

"That is putting it mildly." Nyreen replied.

"MECH scientists then decided to take people from their homes (the most underprivileged first) and place a neural implant in their bodies before infecting them with the virus, that way they can hopefully control the Adjutants." Jack said as he carried on reading, but he then looked over to Garrus saw that his face was a mixture of emotions.

"Garrus, you're thinking about Shen, aren't you?"

"Yes, I thought we would find him here. But having seen what this place is like, I really hope he isn't here. Because I doubt…." he suddenly stopped and looked down to the floor. Jack put his hand on his friend's shoulder.

"We will find him, Garrus. I will just download the database to my holo-tool." the Prime replied before doing exactly that. He then brought up the map.

"Alright, the next room is the main testing area, it also is where the holding cells are located."

"Prime, why did they close this lab, does it say in the database?" Nyreen asked as they started for the door to the next room. Jack brought up a screen on his holo-tool.

"The data is heavily fragmented, but it I can make out some words. Warning...containment...imminent." he said as they stopped just inside the new room and three looked at him with concern.

"Now that sounds ominous." Nyreen said.

"Yeah, all we need to top that off is to hear some eerie sounds." Aria joked, but then like on cue, inhuman grunts and clicks could be heard in the darkness around them. The four went back to back as they readied weapons and shone torches around the new room they were in. They only had a little light to help them, but they could see that the room was quite large with cells in the far right, while the left (where they entered from) were mainly computers and lab equipment. As they walked past a grouping of tables, there was suddenly a loud clang that echoed through the lab startling everyone.

"Sorry." Nyreen said as the others shone their torches at her. The female Turian looked down at the metal equipment that she had accidentally knocked off the table as she had walked past it. Aria sighed as Jack and Garrus turned back round and walked deeper into large room. In the center of the room were a number of what looked like glass pods, they were all connected to a large tank via pipes. Three of the six pods were smashed open, as the group moved further into the room, constantly watching their surroundings for any surprises that come their way. Nyreen took a closer look at one of the broken pods.

"Looks like this was where it started, one of the test subjects must have gotten out."

"then the reason they deactivated everything and sealed the lab was to keep the things in here." Aria added.

"Well, nothing has passed us while we have been in here." Jack replied.

"That isn't a very comforting thought, Prime. But what about since we entered the lab, they could have..." the Talon leader said but then The Commander interrupted her.

"No, they are still here, because we are being watched."

Nyreen gripped her weapon tighter as Aria's fists started to glow with biotic energy.

"I just hope Shen is som.." Garrus said with hope in his voice.

"..Arch...ang...el.." a voice called out from the darkness around them, everyone stopped where they were and looked around.

"Arch...angel." the voice said again, this time it was slightly more clear, yet it had a synthesized tone to it. Jack looked over to the Turian and noticed that he was frantically trying to find the source of the voice with his torch.

"Archangel." the voice spoke again, Garrus noticed in the corner of his eye a bright single blue light shining dimly in the darkness to his left, so he turned his torch and illuminated it. Everyone gasped in the sight, the Turian's eyes widened in horror as an eleven year old boy slowly walked toward them, though he hardly looked human anymore.

His body was a messy mixture of human and Adjutant, his skin was grey colored and bio/synthetic tubing was sticking out a large blue pus sack on his back and connected to his arm which was covered in blood and looked like it was between a human arm and the bio canon that the Adjutants carry. His face too was equally half-finished with only one blue optic, while the other eye was clearly human. And his mouth was partly full of tendrils as they hung there, covered in blood.

"Archangel." the boy said as he choked back on the tendrils, his eye started to cry as tears ran down the blood soaked skin of his face. Garrus though just fell to his knees and stared back in complete shock.

"Shen,...I am so sorry." he answered barely above a whisper as the mutated boy continued to walk towards him.

"You...came, like...you promised." the creature that was Shen said.

"Yes, I did. I came as soon as I got your message." the Turian replied as he slowly put his weapon on the ground. The creature was still walking slowly toward him, tears running down on side of his face.

It...hurts, can you make it hurt...no more?" It said, it's voice though synthetic and alien sounding still had the innocent tone that the Turian remembered.

"Yes, I can make the pain stop. Come here, Shen." he said softly as he held out his arms to the boy.

"Garrus, what are you doing?" Jack asked with concern in his voice.

"Jack, we can get him back to the Defiant, surely Ratchet can do something for him, reverse the transformation maybe." Garrus said back without taking his eyes off of the eleven year old boy. Jack knew Garrus wanted to help the child,like he was making up for some mistake years back that was not even his fault.

"I don't know, I mean he is still a carrier of the virus. I don't know if we can just let him out of this lab, let alone on the ship." Jack answered sympathetically. Garrus then looked back angrily at the Prime.

"Damn it, Jack. It was my fault that his parents died, I won't lose him either."

Suddenly Shen stopped and looked at Garrus, the soft and innocent face that could just be seen under the Adjutant features now gone, it was now just staring at him with a blank expression. Aria and Nyreen both raised their weapons at the mutant, but Jack instead focused on his friend.

"Garrus." he said cautiously, but the Turian remained where he was. Suddenly Shen screamed out an unholy sound before launching himself at Garrus, who managed to jump out of the way. The others readied their weapons as the creature landed where the Turian was and looked at them with pure hostility.

"Wait, don't shoot." Garrus shouted back to the others.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me." Aria replied, but Jack put her in her place.

"Do as he says."

The Prime then looked over to Nyreen who nodded back and lowered her weapon, The Asari following suit, though she wasn't happy about it.

"Shen." Garrus called to the creature who on hearing the name looked back at the Turian, before turning around and charging at him. But this time he stood his ground as Shen jumped at Garrus who this time activated his holo-blade and stabbed the creature through the chest. It cried out in pain, it's scream echoing through out the lab as it shook and tried to free itself of the blade. But Garrus held on until it finally died down and then looked at the him.

"Help…..me….please?" it said as the Turian stared at him, the anguish was written all over his face.

"Alright, Shen, I will….help you." he replied as pulled creature into an embrace, he then took a deep breath.

"I am sorry." he whispered into the creature's ear before thrusting the blade right through the mutated Adjutant's chest, it's sharp tip broke through it's back and ripped open one of the pus sac's on it's back. It's blue liquid splashed on to the floor as Shen grimaced and shook in response to the immense pain that action brought. But then it stopped and turned to Garrus, the Turian recognized the expression on the creature's face as he saw Shen, the little boy that he knew with what almost looked like a peaceful smile.

"Thank….you…Arch…ang…el." he said as he took his final breath before his eye closed and the blue optic's light faded to black, his body then went like a rag doll in Garrus's arms as he felt tears run down his face. As he quietly sobbed with the dead body of the child he had come to save in his arms, Aria remained uncharacteristically quiet as Jack and Nyreen both walked up to their mourning friend. The Prime knelt beside his friend and placed his hand on the Turian's shoulder, while the Talon leader knelt in front of him and looked at her former lover.

"Garrus, we are really, very sorry for what has happened. But we can't stay here, we have a mission to complete...remember?"

Garrus nodded slowly.

"Yes, I remember." he replied softly as he sniffed.

"Everyone is counting on us, Mate, even you. We can't do it without you." Jack added in a caring tone. The Turian then slowly placed the body down on the floor and placed its arms on its chest before getting to his feet (and picking up his weapon), his two friends joining him. Garrus's expression then turned serious as he looked at the Prime.

"Alright, but when we come to face the General. You don't stop me…..understood?" he asked, his voice underlined with a quiet anger. Both his friends nodded in agreement.

"Just wait a damn minute, Petrovsky is mine." Aria then said aloud, making the Turian turn to her and stare daggers at her.

"Have you lost anyone you cared about to someone before?" he asked, but the Asari suddenly went quiet as she saw just the rage that was building through his eyes. He then narrowed them at her.

"Didn't think so. Petrovsky will pay for what he has done, and I will be the one to do it."

He then started to leave, the others following suit before a hollowing flood of inhuman screams echoed from further down the corridor.

"What the hell!" Aria shouted back.

"We have to move now!" Jack shouted to them as the sounds of footfalls could be heard as a horde of Adjutants closed in on the group.

"But, Jack, we can't let any of them escape this lab." Garrus said as the sounds got closer. Jack then looked around the room until his flash light came onto a large set of coolant tanks, he then looked back to his friend.

"Do you have any timed grenades on you Garrus?"

"Here, my last one." the Turian said as he picked one-off his utility belt and tossed it to the Prime.

"Thanks." Jack replied as he caught it, and then adjusted the timer to three minutes before arming it and throwing it toward the tanks, it then rolled under one and came to a stop while it's red LED flashed on and off.

"Everyone, out now." he said before they ran for the exit, just as the horde of Adjutants burst out of the a door at the far end of the room and flooded in. The team just kept running toward the small dot of light at the end of the tunnel of darkness as the roars of the creatures behind them kept getting louder, both Garrus and Jack slowed slightly and turned and fired back into the black, their joint weapon's fire lighting the area behind them for flashes at a time.

Though each and every one showed the Adjutants getting closer, for now in the darkness they could see scores of pairs of blue optics looking back at them. Aria and Nyreen were the first to exit the secret lab as they turned around and fired back into the corridor, giving covering fire as Jack and Garrus then emerged from the pitch black and joined them in firing back at the approaching Adjutants. The Prime looked at his holo-tool and saw the time remaining.

" One minute twenty seconds left." he said back.

"We can't hold them here, not for that long. They will overrun us well before then." Nyreen shouted over the gunfire.

"Then what do you suggest." Aria shouted back while looking toward the Turian curiously. Nyreen then stopped and looked directly into the Asari's eyes with a determination that Aria had not see for a long time. She would never admit it to anyone, but it was beautiful and reminded her of feelings that she had thought were long gone.

"Bait." the Talon leader replied stoically before heading back into the lab entrance and firing her weapon at the rampaging horde of Adjutants. For what felt like a long moment Aria just watched as time seemed to slowdown around her, she could hear Garrus and Jack both shouting back to Nyreen. But the Turian female ignored them as she continued to attack the Adjutants who were nearly on top of her.

"No." Aria said barely above a whisper, her hands starting to glow with biotic energy as three Adjutants leapt towards the Talon leader, who turned just in time to see them. But had none left to raise her weapon to them, she knew this was it.

"NO!" the Asari cried out as she thrust her hand out towards the three Adjutants and sent them flying back into the rest of the horde, slowing them down for a few seconds. Nyreen turned round to see Aria join her side in the entrance before taking up a defensive stance as the creatures regrouped and charged again.

Jack and Garrus just stared at the two females who started fighting off the horde with a combination of biotics and gunfire. Nyreen shot four of the Adjutants in the face causing them to stumble around, as blood gushed down from the wounds and over their optics, Aria meanwhile channelled all of her biotic power into her hands and then launched a blue energy orb at the horde which then exploded and sent many enemies into the air and sent they flying in the walls around them. Nyreen looked back over to Aria for a second as the creatures regrouped again.

"Was that a 'flare'?"

"Yes, did you like it?" the Asari said back with a smile.

"It was impressive." the Talon leader replied, Aria then looked back at the Prime.

"How much longer?"

Jack looked down at his holo-tool.

"Ten seconds, you two better get back here." he shouted back to them.

Aria and Nyreen both looked back into the corridor and saw the Adjutants charging at them again.

"No can do, Prime. You better take cover." she said back.

"What about you two?" he asked back, which gained an angry look from the Asari.

"Just for once do as I…."

She was suddenly cut off by the ground shaking as a bright light could be seen from deep within the lab. Even the Adjutants stopped to look back as the light got brighter and closer, they then screamed before charging back towards the two women who too saw that the light was in fact a ferocious fireball that was speeding towards them. It then hit the horde, burning them up in an instant as it continued to expand up the corridor and towards the Asari and Turian.

"Stay close, Nyreen." Aria said with a calm tone, gaining a knowing nod from the Talon Leader. The Asari then pulled her into an embrace a second before the fireball engulfed the two of them. Jack and Garrus dived to the side as the fireball expanded out of the entrance in high into the sky above. They could feel the intense heat being emanated from it before finally it stopped and retracted back into the corridor. After a moment Garrus got up and ran over to his friend, helping him to his feet.

"Jack, you okay?" he asked as Jack caught his breath and looked back into the Lab entrance which now looked like a lit furnace as the fire carried on burning inside.

"Are they…?" the Prime asked as the two looked into the hell that was once a dark tunnel, his Turian friend looked down to the ground.

"They gave their lives to stop the Adjutants from escaping, I knew Nyreen was capable of such a feat, but Aria…"

"But what…,Vakarian." a familiar voice called back from within the fire, making both men's eyes widen as they suddenly saw a blue energy bubble appear out of the inferno and stop in front of them. It then dispersed to reveal both Aria and Nyreen, completely unharmed.

"How did you?" the Turian managed to ask despite the surprise that was written on his face. The Asari chuckled as she placed her hands on hips.

"I am a biotic remember, all I did was erect a barrier around myself and Nyreen. I am strong enough to hold back a blast like that."

Nyreen looked over to the Omega leader with a look of gratitude.

"Thank you, Aria. I did not think that you would…"

But before she could finish her sentence, the Asari grabbed the Turian and pulled her into a passionate kiss. Nyreen's eyes widened in surprise before she gave in, closed them and returned the kiss. Both Jack and Garrus looked on, completely dumbstruck at what they were seeing. After what felt like an eternity, the women pulled away both looking very content.

"Aria, I did not know you still felt that way about me. I mean the way we ended it." the Talon leader said with a hint of regret in her voice, but the Asari just smiled back at her.

"That was in the past, Nyreen. I would rather look to the future, one that would include you in it. Because when I saw you about to give your life up, I realized that I didn't want to lose you again."

Nyreen smiled back and was about to reply when Garrus faked a cough to gain their attention, both women stared daggers at him which would have made any man uncomfortable. But thanks to the fact that he was already in shock at what he had just saw, this had left the Turian unfazed.

"Nyreen,….when exactly did you 'date' Aria?" he asked awkwardly.

"I met Aria not long after we separated, Garrus. When you were discharged from the military, I left not long after. I guess I felt guilty for my part in your dismissal, so I instead decided to see what 'living by my own rules' was like. It wasn't long before I found trouble and followed it to Omega, that's where I met Aria and we just clicked." she said as she looked back at the Asari.

"But for all the differences that attracted us to each other, there were some similarities that kept getting in the way and we eventually ended it." she said.

"Wait guys I am receiving a call from Tali." Jack said, interrupting the conversation. At the mention of the Quarian, Garrus's attention was back to the Prime as Nyreen and Aria looked to each other and smiled. The Turian stood beside the Commander as he activated his com link and joined the chat.

"Jack, I have found a way to turn off the power for the force fields over here. And I have already contacted Arcee and they will attack the moment the force fields come down." the Quarian said.

"That's great news, Tali. Good work." the Prime replied.

"How are things on your end, did Garrus find Shen?" she asked before a silence fell over the com, then Garrus was spoke up.

"Tali, we found Shen but…..it was too late." he said, his voice full of sorrow.

"Garrus, I am so sorry. I wish I could help." she said in return and he suddenly felt a calmness come over him, as if her voice lessened the pain somewhat.

"Thank you, Tali. But hearing your voice is enough for me." he replied.

"You're welcome, Garrus." she said before the sound of her typing could be heard.

"There, I have deactivated the force fields." she said.

All over the station, the orange force fields blocking the civilians from the MECH troopers all deactivated. And the angry population rushed the soldiers and knocked them to the floor before they had time to react. Both Arcee and Bray and the mercs were watching from the alleyway that opened into the main public square that locations such as the Omega market and the club Eternity were at.

"Alright, show time." Bray said back to his men before they charged out into the street and attacked the MECH soldiers who had started to fight back against the angry mob of civilians as the area became a war zone. Arcee then activated her com link.

"Talons, protect the civilians. Go!" she ordered as Nryeen's troops started their attack, with snipers on the balconies firing on any enemy soldier who looked to be close to harming a civilian. Also more Talons appeared from the alleyway on the other side of the square and began funneling the people who didn't want to fight to safety. Arcee then rushed out and joined Bray's side as he fired on two soldiers with his shotgun as she equipped her arm blades and sliced down another enemy soldier before roundhouse kicking another in the face.

"Aria and the others should be showing up any time now." Bray said over his shoulder as the two of them then concentrated on the enemy.

At the substation, Tali stepped back from the console and tapped the side of her helmet.

"It's done, Jack. We will meet you back at the rendezvous." she said happily.

"Good job, Tali…"

But suddenly she stopped listening when the a bang could be heard from behind the door that led out of the room they were in. The Talon soldiers suddenly aimed their guns towards the entrance as the squad leader tried to contact their lookout.

"Soldier, what is going on out there. Do you read me?" he said but heard nothing but static.

"Tali! Tali, what's going on?" Jack said from the other side of the com as the Quarian nervously equipped her shotgun.

"Jack I think we have trouble here." she said hesitantly.

"Roger that, we are on our way." the Prime replied as the door banged again. Tali looked over to the squad leader who was still trying to contact his missing soldier.

"I don't think he is on the other side of that door anymore." she said gaining a nod from another Talon.

"I think she is right, Sir." he said back as the Squad leader then thought for a moment.

"Okay, we can use that door as a choke point. We should be able to keep them at bay long enough for reinforcements to arrive." he said as he started to direct the rest of his men to positions around the room.

"If you can give me enough time, then I should be able to get a force field in place. That should hold them at bay even longer." Tali said as the squad leader nodded back.

"Okay, get started. Alright Talons, we know what we have to do." he said as they all got down behind cover and kept their aim on the door as it was banged again, making it buckle under the force that it was being hit with. The Quarian then activated her holo-tool and began working on the force field option. Suddenly the door was smashed open and an Adjutant began moving into the open door way.

"OPEN FIRE!" the squad leader shouted before their fired their weapons at the creature, riddling it with bullets. Blood spilled out of multiple holes in it's body before it fell to the ground dead and then another Adjutant appeared and they fired again.


Meanwhile next to the anomaly the battle with the MECH cruisers was not going well as the Defiant found itself kept at a distance from the Science frigate which was being left unhindered as it continued to stabilize the entrance to the rift. The three cruisers were positioned at points around the frigate and all fired one at a time at the Alliance vessel as it tried to attack. In the cockpit Hotrod was focusing on dodging the powerful energy beams as one was fired again and he rolled the ship to evade it. Jazz was beginning to get annoyed.

"This is ridiculous, we have tried to get close four times now and yet they have swatted us away each and every time." he said as Airachnid kept her attention to her screen, when she suddenly smiled. The Autobot looked back and noticed the femme and felt the need to mention it.

"What you smiling about?" he asked, not even trying to hide the annoyance in his voice. She looked over to him.

"Well I have spotted a weakness in their attack strategy, haven't you been wondering why the three ships don't just fire at us all at once?"

"Uh, well….where are you going with this?" Jazz asked with a confused expression behind his shades. Airachnid sighed as Hotrod once again pulled the ship into a dive to dodge another attack.

"Well, I ran a scan of one of the cruisers. The energy beam weapon is too powerful for them, so charging and firing it takes all of their power."

"And so it leaves them helpless before power is restored fully to them." Hotrod answered back, showing that he was listening to them despite looking like he wasn't.

"Exactly, so one ship fires while the other two wait and cover it while it is venerable." the femme replied before the ship shook as one of the energy beams cut pretty close to the hull.

"That one was too close, Hotrod." Jazz said as he glared at the pilot, he then looked back to Airachnid.

"So what do we do then?"

Teletraan's holo-form then appeared next to the femme's station.

"I would believe that we should target and destroy the beam weapon's before they can fire, the power that is being channelled into the weapon will then back fire and destroy the ship."

Airachnid smiled at the holo-form.

"My thoughts exactly." she said before looking over to Hotrod who glanced back and gave her nod.

"Sounds like a plan, but first I think I know a way to slow them down." he said before bringing the ship about and flew it toward one of the cruisers. As it closed the distance, the enemy ship just a few thousand feet away started to target the Defiant which then appeared to slow down as it approached the closest cruiser.

"Hotrod, what are you doing?" Jazz asked a little concerned, but the pilot just smiled.

"Trust me this will work."

Suddenly the enemy cruiser powered up it's beam weapon as a bright red light began pulsing at the front of it, before it unleashed the energy beam which shot towards the Defiant.

"Teletraan, fire thrusters now!" Hotrod said as the ship's engines fired up brightly and pushed the ship out of the way as it beam passed it and hit the other MECH cruiser head on and cut it in half, explosions occurring all across the damaged sections while the Defiant flew back round and toward the third cruiser which was powering up its weapon.

"Airachnid, fire torpedoes!" Hotrod said as the femme hit firing button on her holo-controls, the Defiant then fired a full spread of torpedoes which hit the energy weapon directly causing the red energy build up to explode in a bright red flash as the MECH ship began to lose control and move erratically. But as the Alliance frigate flew along the hull of the large cruiser, the damaged weapon then exploded and the explosion then traveled up the length of the ship. Hotrod pulled the ship up and out of the way as the cruiser blew up and brought the Defiant back round to the last cruiser which had started to turn and flee. In the cockpit Jazz smiled as he watched the MECH cruiser flee the battle.

"Ha ha, looks like they realised that they have an Achilles heel and don't want to end up like their friends."

"Well we better just finish off the Science vessel now before they…" Hotrod said before Airachnid looked out of the Cockpit's canopy and her eyes widened in disbelief.

"Guys, you need to see this." she said gaining everyone's attention to what she was looking at. As the Defiant came back around toward the anomaly's location, the rift suddenly came back to life and it reopened in magnificent fashion. It would look awe-inspiring had the Autobots not know what it led too.

"So what do we do?" Jazz asked again, making Airachnid look at him with an annoyed expression.

"Didn't Jack leave you in command?"

The Autobot pointed over to the pilot.

"Joint command with Hotrod here." he said but the young bot suddenly pointed at the Science vessel.

"Guys, what are they doing?" he said as the MECH ship began to enter the rift's event horizon.

"I believe that the vessel has to stabilise the rift at both exit/entrance points to make the rift safe for travel, so it has to pass through it first." Teletraan said.

"Well we can't let them succeed, take us in after them, Hotrod." Airachnid said gaining a nod from the pilot as he turned the Defiant towards the rift and followed the MECH cruiser inside.


Jack, Garrus, Aria and Nyreen bolted down the corridor towards the substation that was under attack from MECH, what was attacking was unknown to them. But considering what they had faced so far on the station, the possibilities were limited to MECH soldiers or Adjutants. But whatever was waiting for them at the end of the current dimly lit corridor, they would be ready for it. As they turned the last corner they saw three Adjutants banging against a force field that was covering a doorway.

One turned round and saw the four new arrivals and roared at them before firing it's bio-cannon. The energy projectile it created shot at the team who narrowly managed to evade it by diving to ground as it passed over them and hit the bulkhead behind them. Nyreen looked back to see that had left an acidic compound on the wall which was starting to eat through the metal.

"Don't' let that weapon hit you." she said turning her attention back to the enemies in front.

"Noted." Jack said before getting to his feet and firing an entire clip into the creature before it had a chance to fire again, killing it as it was pummeled under the force of the bullets hitting it. Garrus then loaded a special round into his sniper rifle and then fired it at the next Adjutant, the bullet burying itself in its chest.

"I think you need something stronger than that." Aria snapped at him, but the Turian just ignored her and pointed at it.

"Just wait a sec." he said calmly before the Adjutant then exploded from within.

"Explosive rounds my dear." he smiled before the last creature aimed it's bio-cannon at the group.

"Allow me." Aria then said as she glowed with blue energy before swiping the air in front of her and clenching her fist. The creature's arm then was caught in a blue energy field as it started to bend towards its own face. Aria just smiled darkly as she moved her fist and motioned the arm before it was fully aimed at the enemy's head, she then opened her hand fully and the cannon fired. Covering the creature in its own acidic compound as it melted into the deck. Jack smiled back at the Asari.

"Nice." he said as Garrus then ran passed them towards the force field and looked inside.

"Tali? Tali, you okay in there?" he said as he tried to look through the orange energy field covering the doorway. As the others joined him the field then collapsed, revealing a Quarian and a group of Talon soldiers inside. Garrus instantly ran to her and scooped her up in his arms, Tali eagerly wrapping her own around him.

"Thank god, you are alright. I was worried." he said with a caring tone, the Quarian sighed as she enjoyed the embrace.

"I can tell." she chuckled before squeezing him a little more.

"If anything had happened to you, I don't know what I would have done." he replied as touched his forehead to her visor.

"Lets not find out then, there is still so much I want to experience with you Garrus." she said back.

"Okay guys. Tali, I am happy to see you and the Talon squad are safe. But we have to move, this isn't over yet." Jack said, snapping his friends out of their embrace.

"You're right, Jack." Garrus replied.

"You can count on us." Tali replied as she equipped her shotgun. Jack then looked at Nyreen.

"Are your men alright?" he asked.

"Yes, let's finish this." she replied, gaining a nod from Aria.

"Alright, let's roll." Jack said before he headed back out of the substation room, the others following him.


The Defiant flew through the chaotic space of the rift as it neared the MECH science vessel, it shook with each hit that it's hull took from the bolts of energy being emitted from the glowing nebula like substance that it was passing through.

"Shields down to sixty-seven percent." Airachnid stated as Jazz kept his eyes on the sensor data on his holo-screen.

"We are closing on the MECH ship, but my readings say that it is nearly to the other side of the rift."

"Teletraan, I am going to need all the power you can give me to catch us up to them before they make it to the galactic core." Hotrod said as he glanced over to the holo-form now appearing next to his station.

"I would not recommend using it all now, Hotrod. We are going to need it for the return trip back to our part of the galaxy."

"How's that now, Teletraan?" Airachnid asked as she looked over from her station.

"The MECH vessel is still emitting its stabilizing pulse as it travels through the rift, once destroyed the anomaly will start to collapse again. If we use up our reserves now, we will not have enough power to escape." the AI replied.

"Any suggestions then?" Jazz asked.

"Take out it's engines now, and then we can disable it's pulse generator."

"In this soup, the gravimetric forces being generated around us now are eating away at out shields, not to mention…" the Autobot said before being cut off by the ship shaking due to another hit from the energy outside of the ship.

"I can take the shot, just keep the ship steady, Hotrod." Airachnid said confidently as she brought up the targeting program on her holo-controls.

"I'll do my best." the pilot replied. The femme then went silent as she brought the enemy ship into the cross hairs on her screen, but just as she pressed the firing button, the ship was rocked by another hit from anomaly's energy bolts. The Torpedoes fired and flew towards the MECH ship but harmlessly passed as it neared the exit to the rift, the event horizon opening up and revealing the heart of the galaxy to them.

"They are almost there." Jazz stated as Airachnid narrowed her eyes at the screen and held a steady hand over the firing button.

"Keep the ship steady!" she ordered as she brought the enemy ship into the cross hairs again.

"steady, steady and firing." she said as the Defiant fired a spread of torpedoes again, but this time they hit the MECH ship's engines head on, the explosion pushed the ship into a spiral as it lost control and drifted off course.

"Great shot, Airachnid." Jazz said back with a grin, as the femme began targeting the pulse generator on the science vessel's hull.

"Sensors are detecting ships on the other side of the rift." Teletraan stated with a hint of concern.

"What kind of ships?" Hotrod asked while keeping his eyes on his console.

"They are Quintesson, and appear to be nearing the entrance on their side of the rift." the AI replied.

"Okay, Airachnid. We have to make this shot count. Teletraan, be ready to transfer all power you can spare to the engines." Hotrod said in return. The femme then brought the target into her cross hairs.

"Firing torpedoes…now."

The Alliance frigate fired the torpedoes which then hit the MECH vessel and destroyed the satellite dish looking pulse generator. The rift's interior then shook violently making the Defiant spin uncontrollably as it got closer to the Quintesson's side of the anomaly. Hotrod pulled a one hundred and eighty degree turn as it's back faced the MECH vessel which was now helplessly drifting through the event horizon and into the galactic core.

"Teletraan, now!" Hotrod said firmly before the Defiant's engines began pushing the ship forward ever so slightly before it started to move backwards.

"Why aren't we moving forwards?" Jazz asked with fear evident in his voice.

"We don't have enough power spare to break free of the gravitational forces that are trying to expel us out of the anomaly." the AI stated.

"Teletraan listen to me, I need you to give me all the power you can. Transfer it from the hyperspace engines and life support." the pilot said in slightly panicky tone.

"But, Hotrod, you will be unable to survive if life support is shut down." the AI replied with concern.

"I think we are okay with that right now..." he said, gaining a nod from Airachnid and Jazz.

"...so do it." Hotrod finished saying.

"Very well, transferring power…..now."

Suddenly the ship was pushed forward by the extra power that the engines were giving out, a white trail of plasma fire was emitted from them as the Defiant roared through the collapsing rift.

"We are almost out, everybody hold on to your dinner." Hotrod stated as the ship shook again from the gravitational forces it was passing through. Jazz looked out of the canopy towards the opening on Omega's side of the rift and noticed that it was shrinking.

"Better punch it, Hotrod. Because our exit is closing on us."

"Almost there." the Pilot replied as the Defiant closed in on the way out which continued to shrink. Everyone in the cockpit then went silent and bit their lips as they saw the event horizon collapse around them.

But outside the rift, two of Aria's cruisers had come into range and saw the anomaly shrinking to near nothing. But just as it began to close completely, the Defiant burst out in the nick of time and flew towards the two cruisers. Hotrod and his two co-pilots took a deep breath and sighed in relief as the subspace rift closed for the final time, leaving only empty space in it's wake.

"That was too close." Jazz said as Airachnid got out of her chair and walked over to Hotrod before kissing his cheek and smiling down at him.

"Great flying, Hotrod." she said happily, the young bot suddenly blushed and smiled back a little embarrassed.

"This is the merc cruiser ' DarkStar' , do you require assistance." a voice said as they hailed the Alliance vessel.

"This is the Defiant, thank you but mission accomplished. Lets head back to Omega." he replied.

"Very well, Defiant. Great job." the merc ship replied as both ships turned around and joined the Defiant as it flew back towards the Omega station in the distance.


Back on the station, the whole market square had become a battlefield as mercs and civilians fought against the MECH forces attempting to quell the chaos that was happening around them. In the centre of the carnage Arcee and Bray were fighting back to back, the femme elbowed one soldier in the face before firing her SMG at another who was attacking from her side. Bray meanwhile head butted one enemy before launching another into the air with his shotgun.

"Prime is taking his time, isn't he?" the Batarian said making the femme look over her shoulder to him.

"He will be here, I don't think he is taking the scenic route back to this point." she said before looking over to the entrance to the Eternity club, it's doors opened and another squad of MECH troops came out and took up defensive positions in front of it before opening fire on those fighting before them. Bray was then hit and knocked to the ground by one enemy who then went for Arcee who replied with a spin kick to the chest, but as her attention was taken up by him, she was suddenly grabbed from behind as another MECH trooper wrestled his arms around her own and held them in place. But before the enemy could do anything else, a shot rang out and the femme felt herself become free.

She turned round and looked down at the dead MECH trooper and then back up to see Jack standing just away from her, his gun in hand. He smiled to her and gained a bigger one back from the femme who nodded in return. She then turned round and helped Bray to his feet as Jack, who saw that his lover was alright turned his attention to the troopers running at him. He then activated his star saber and cut down one soldier after another. Garrus stayed back with Tali and took out any enemies with his sniper rifle, the Quarian used her holo-tool and created drones which went down into the mobs and took out more enemy soldiers.

Nyreen entered the battle and joined her fellow Talons as they continued to protect those that did not want to fight, but then suddenly a blue flash flew through the battle knocking over numerous MECH soldiers as it made its way to Eternity's entrance. Jack realised who this was and fought his way through the crowds as Aria appeared in front of the soldiers that blocked her path to Eternity. She then threw and biotic energy ball that launched all the troops guarding the entrance out of the way and she ran in, the Prime close behind. Garrus, having noticed that both Aria and Jack had cleared a path through the battling crowds turned to Tali.

"I am going in, there is someone who I have to see."

"Alright, Garrus, do what you have to do. I will go help Arcee." she replied before leaving the Turian and heading over to the femme who was kicking the crap out of several MECH soldiers at this point. The Turian then looked back toward the night club entrance, he took a deep breath and then headed over there.

Meanwhile Jack ran into a corridor that had fire illuminated on to its walls and found that the Asari had taken out the Adjutants that were guarding the door, she was at this moment attempting to pry the doors open with her biotics.

"Here let me." the Prime said as he charged his star saber and unleashed an energy wave which cut through the door. Aria then fired a biotic ball of energy which burst the door off it's hinges and revealed Eternity's interior to them.

From his office on the balcony that over looked the dance floor and bar that made up Eternity, Pretovsky saw the Aria and Jack enter and head his way. He turned around and walked over to a console and activated it.

"Cease and assist all aggression….its over." he said calmly into the intercom, before deactivating the chess board, it's holographic pieces disappearing. Jack then entered the office and looked at the General.

"Jackson Prime, I surrender myself into your custody." he said as Aria walked in behind the Prime and stared daggers at him.

"That is the most pathetic thing I have ever heard." she said before hitting him with her biotics and knocking him on his ass.

"Prime, I am unharmed and I can give you Intel on Silas and his operations." the general replied as Aria grabbed him by the throat and pulled him on to the table.

"You will say anything to save your slimy ass." she said as she gripped her hands around his neck and began to choke him.

"…But…I let…you let….you escape….Omega, I ….deserve mercy." he said between the gasps for air that the Asari was stopping him from taking. Jack looked over to Aria with a concerned look.

"Is this true, Aria?"

The Asari didn't even look back at the Prime as she continued to choke the MECH commander.

"Yes, MECH had successfully taken control of Omega and he let me go….his mistake."

"Aria, give him over to me. If you kill him then we lose whatever advantages of MECH he can give us. And you prove to everybody….even Nyreen that you were in this just for revenge." Jack reasoned as he kept his eyes on Aria. She then lowered her face close to Petrovsky.

"Can you feel that, Oleg? It's death and it is only moments away. You deserve nothing less for what you did to my people and station. If you don't tell them everything that you know, I will flay the skin from your bones." she said before throwing him to the ground, making the General coughed hard as he took in deep breaths. She then turned around to Jack.

"He is all yours, Prime. Get him the hell off my station." she said as she walked past Jack toward the balcony's edge.

"You're making the right choice, Aria." the Prime said in return.

"I wish I felt the same." a voice said making Jack turn to see Garrus in the doorway with his pistol aimed at the recovering General.

"Garrus, stand down." the Prime said firmly.

"Jack, you agreed not to stand in my way." the Turian said angrily, but Jack held his ground.

"A lot has changed since then, Garrus. We need the Intel Pretovsky has to stop Silas."

"So you are willing to let him live despite what he turned Shen and all those people into." he shouted back.

"He makes a good point, Prime." Aria added, as Petrovsky got to his feet.

"I did not run those labs…. The Adjutant project was not under my jurisdiction." he said, making Garrus fired a shot just past his head.

"Liar! I had to end the life a child that I cared for because you let him and countless others get turned into monsters. You make me sick." the Turian replied. Jack though kept a clear head and stepped toward the General.

"If you want to live, you will tell us who was in charge of the labs." he said before looking over to Garrus with a knowing look. The MECH Commander then wiped his forehead of sweat as he looked over to the Turian who tightened his grip on the trigger.

"Saleon, it was Doctor Saleon. He is in charge of the Adjutant project, he left just before you arrived with the subjects that were completely under our control."

Garrus's eyes widened at mention of that name.

"Garrus, do you know who that is?" Jack asked gaining a nod from his friend.

"Saleon is a Salarian Geneticist that has been on C-Sec's wanted list for a long time, he has numerous charges to his name like... illegal experiments on other species and what not. But I doubt he would work for MECH." he replied.

"Silas made him an offer he could not refuse, also the Reaper tech that he had to work with spiked his curiosity." the General added. Garrus looked at Petrovsky and his hand began to shake slightly as he kept his aim on the MECH commander.

"Okay, Jack. I will let him live. But if this doesn't pan out, then you better let me kill this son of bitch." he said as he holstered his pistol.

"Thank you, you will not regret this." Pretovsky grovelled.

"Don't thank me yet, because if you don't give us everything you have. Then I will leave it up to Garrus and Aria what happens to you." Jack said with a serious look before looking over to Arcee who had just entered the room with Bray.

"Arcee, can you escort our prisoner out of here please."

"Sure thing, Jack." the femme replied as she grabbed the General's arm and escorted him out of the room.

"You going to be alright, Garrus?" the Prime then asked.

"I don't know Jack, I thought for a second back there that we were heading for a confrontation. That isn't something I wanted." the Turian replied.

"Me neither, Garrus, you're my friend. But if Pretovsky doesn't come through, then you can do what you want to him." Jack replied, gaining a nod from Garrus who then walked out of the office leaving Jack with Aria.

"I thought for a moment then that I would get to see that man die still. But you once again managed to save him, I hope it was worth it." she said as she looked out at the nightclub floor below.

"So what's the plan now?" the Prime asked.

"There is a lot to rebuild, starting with this 'command center'. It will take a while to get rid of the stench that MECH has left on my station."

"Well, don't forget about the people of Omega. They deserve to be helped first." Jack replied.

"How can I forget with so many reminders around me." Aria said back.

"Don't worry, Jack. I will see that everyone is helped." Nyreen said as she walked into the room and stood beside the Asari.

"And I bet you will at that, Nyreen. It was good working with you." the Commander said back with a smile.

"Likewise, Prime. Thank you for your help." the female Turian replied.

"Jackson Prime, we never discussed what you would get in return for helping 'us' free Omega." Aria then said.

"I will give you all the troops, ships and supplies I can to help you with your war against the Reapers." she added as Jack nodded in return.

"Thank you, but I am also thankful for the bloody nose that we gave MECH."

The Prime's com link then activated.

"Jack, the Defiant has just docked and Hotrod reports mission accomplished with the rift." Arcee said.

"Thanks Arcee, I will be down shortly." Jack replied before looking back to the couple.

"Well, I will be off then. See you round." the Prime said before walking out of the office, Aria then turned back to the console and activated the intercom as Nyreen watched.

"Citizens of Omega, I, Aria T'Loak, have given you back your freedom. My rule has been reignited and my hands on the controls once again. You all are to find what is left of the MECH forces that plague this station and we will… cast them from our home, and then bury and mourn our dead."

Jack could hear the entire speech as he walked out of Eternity on to the streets as the merc soldiers rounded up surviving MECH soldiers, while Talons continued to help the others.

"I know my methods have not been popular in the past, but with the Talons and everyone on this station helping, we will make Omega strong again. And we will never be slaves to anyone ever again." Aria finished as the Prime walked away toward the docking bays.

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  • 1 month later...


The rain fell fast and heavy as each and every drop splashed against his silver and gold armour, the six-foot nine-inch tall Grimlock looked down to the ground as he hung his head. The Dinobot Commander was on his knees and surrounded by Adjutants, the same creatures that had killed the rest of his team and all of Autobots around the colony of Eden Prime.

He looked ahead slightly when he heard footfalls approaching him from the horde that surrounded the bot, they then stopped directly in front of him. Grimlock looked up to see an Adjutant standing over him. Its blue optics staring down at him completely devoid of emotion, the Dinobot's eyes then noticed the red and silver armour that was still partly hanging from the creature. It's Autobot symbol barely recognizable from the gash going through it.

"Slug, it's me Grimlock." he said, hoping he could reawaken his old friend and comrade. But the Adjutant just stared at him.

"Slug! Please, Brother? You have to remember."

The creature then raised its bio-cannon in the air and screamed out, the others following suit. Grimlock then felt the fluid coursing through his veins boil as his anger started to build up within him. It was this same anger that made him one of the most fiercest warriors of Cybertron, the same anger that when at boiling point would enable him to transform into a mechanised T-Rex in his original body. It was an ancient earth creature that would make most Decepticons turn and flee (except for Megatron of course).

He kept his eyes on the enemy as he slowly reached to his orange blade that was lying in the mud next to him, taking hold of it's hilt tightly. The creature then stepped closer until it opened its mouth and let its tendrils shake and hiss as it prepared to bite him. The Dinobot leader's eyes narrowed as his rising anger came close to exploding. He then gritted his teeth before swinging the blade up and slicing the Adjutant in half, it's blood spilling out as both parts of the Creature fell to the sides and landed in the mud, splashing muddy water into he air.

"You will not take me this day, I Grimlock will avenge my fallen comrades." he shouted as the rest of the Adjutants readied themselves to strike.

"Come on then you pieces of scrap, I will send you all to the pit." he added as he raised his sword and took a defensive stance, the Adjutants then launched themselves at him as he swung his blade at them.

Several hours earlier, only a few hundred light years away. The Defiant was flying through a binary star system towards the nearby space bridge. Jack walked into the science lab with Ravage following behind, he looked around to see Raf working closely with Tali at console with encrypted data scrolling down the large holo-screen in front of them.

"So any news?" the Prime asked as he joined the two, Tali looked back to him as Raf kept typing.

"Jack, we are still attempting to decrypt some of the data from the MECH database we were given."

"Why is it encrypted, didn't Petrovsky decrypt it before downloading it into our computers?" the Commander replied.

"There are small parts that are protected, the rest was already transmitted to Admiral Bryce an hour ago." Raf said without looking away from the screen.

"Anything of interest?" Jack asked.

"Fleet movements, field reports and supply convoys. With this data, the Alliance can hurt MECH operations around the galaxy. But what ever is encrypted must be of real value, so we are focusing on that." Tali said as she turned back to the screen.

"Is it slow going?" Jack asked as he looked at the screen.

"It would have been if we didn't have the algorithms that Soundwave left in our system." Raf replied.

"So where have you been Jack?" Tali asked curiously.

"I just finished speaking with Admiral Bryce about the Omega situation, he is happy we have more allies against the Reapers, as well as possible Intel on MECH via General Petrovsky. He wants us to rendezvous with the 'Yorktown' and hand the General over, he will then be transported to the Admiral for interrogation." the Prime answered.

"Sounds unpleasant." the scientist said back.

"Not really because he will be treated as a prisoner of war and given comfortable living quarters until the end of the war, then he will be tried."

Tali shook her head in disbelief.

"I know Garrus wouldn't be happy to hear that, I mean I understand why we have taken the MECH General alive. He has offered us everything he knows and has to help us take down his employer, but I really for Garrus and can understand his need for vengeance."

"You mean because of your father, Tali." Jack said back, gaining a nod from the Quarian.

"Yes, that hate for the Geth that killed him kept me going. I prayed everyday that I would finally catch up with it and end it's life."

"I am sorry, Tali. But that Geth was Legion, right?" Raf asked as he looked over to them.

"Yes, and even when I met 'him' that didn't change anything." she replied.

"I remember." Jack added as Tali looked over to him.

"But then I got to know Legion and found out what really happened, not just with my father. But what exactly happened between the Geth and my people, and then I realised that my need to get justice for my father was pointed toward the wrong person." she said as she looked over to Raf who was still listening intently, having stopped working and focused on the conversation.

"So you understand why I stopped Garrus from killing Petrovsky?" Jack asked, Tali nodded in return.

"Yes, he was not completely responsible, But, Jack, if we can't get this Saleon. You will have to let Garrus take his life, since he is second most responsible for what happened."

The Prime nodded as a serious expression appeared on his face.

" I know and Admiral Bryce agrees. So if Petrovsky's intel doesn't help us or we don't find Saleon. Then the Admiral will let Garrus execute him."

"Wow, that will keep Petrovsky sweating for the time being then." Raf replied with a smile.

"Exactly." the Prime replied before beginning to turn away.

"Well you two are busy so I will let you carry on." he said before he started for the door.

"Jack." Tali called to the Commander who stopped and let her catch up.

"Can you do me a favor?"

"Sure, name it." Jack replied.

"Can you go and speak to Garrus, he has locked himself in the weapons battery and claims that he wants to be left alone to 'calibrate' the weapons systems." the Quarian said with a worried tone. Jack gave her a concerned look.

"Wait, he won't even let you in?" the Prime asked disbelievingly.

"Yes, I think he doesn't want me to see him in this state. but I know first hand what closing yourself from your friends and loved ones can do to a person. But since he won't speak to me..." she said back.

"I'll go talk to him"." Jack reassured her.

"Thanks, Jack." Tali replied.

"Anytime." he said back before leaving the lab.

The Prime walked past Arcee's quarters on his way to the weapons battery, he knew she would be in there now. But he had to help his friend first, so he carried on towards the large door at the end of corridor and hit the door chime.

"Tali, I swear I am okay. I just want to work please." the Turian's voice replied over the intercom.

"Garrus, it's me." Jack said back.

"Jack, sorry I thought you were Tali. Is there anything you need?" Garrus asked.

"yeah, I am here to talk. Open the door." the Prime said.

"Can we do this later? I am in The middle of some 'calibrations' right now." the Turian replied.

"Garrus, I am not leaving until you let me. Or do you want me to ask Teletraan to override the lock?"

"Okay, Okay. I am opening the door." came the reply. Then just as he said, the door opened and Jack walked in. He saw Garrus standing next to a console and he didn't look happy as he sighed in defeat.

He saw Garrus standing next to a console and he didn't look happy as he signed in defeat.

"I know what you are going to say Jack but I am alright." the Turian said.

"Really? Then why are you locking yourself in here and not talking to anyone, especially Tali?" the Prime replied as the door closed behind him.

"She's worried about you."

Garrus looked away for a moment as his expression changed to a look of guilt and remorse.

"I don't want her to see me like this, I just want to wait here until we get news on Saleon."

"Garrus, you should talk to Tali. She knows what it is like to live with the guilt of losing someone close, and the need to hunt down the one responsible."

The Turian then looked at Jack.

"You're one to talk, Jack." Garrus replied surprising the Prime.

"What do you mean?" the Commander asked, a look of confusion written on his face.

"I overheard Arcee having a conversation with Airachnid not long back, and she was talking about how she was worried about you." the Turian replied as Jack remained quiet.

"She said you looked like you were going to open up just before the Citadel attack by MECH, but since then you have gone quiet again. I mean it isn't just Arcee that's noticed the change in you Jack, we all have. How can I take advice from someone who won't even take their own." Garrus added making the Prime feel uncomfortable.

"And here I was trying to get you to talk to Tali." Jack replied sheepishly.

"Well, I'll tell you what, if you promise me that you will let Arcee help you. Then I will go and speak with Tali." the Turian said as he held out his hand.

"Okay I promise I will talk with Arcee when we get a free moment, which with this war is not often." Jack replied as he shook his friend's hand.

"Now go up to the Science lab, your girlfriend's worried sick." the Prime continued with a slight smile.

"Oh you know I will get up back for that, Jack." Garrus replied as they both walked out of the room and back to the science lab.

Tali and Raf were still neck-deep in hacking the MECH database when Jack and Garrus entered the room, the Quarian was bent over a worktop as she looked into a microscope like device, except this allowed her to look at the intricate details of the encryption. Garrus looked at Tali's rear and smiled.

"Nice." he said quietly, but he was not aware that Jack had heard him.

"What?" the Prime said in return, snapping the Turian out of his gaze.

"Uh... what?" he said aloud, gaining Tali's attention as she stood up And turned to them.

"Garrus, it's good to see you out and about." she said before the two embraced for a moment, the Turian then looked down at her.

"Want to join me for a drink in the common room."

"Sure, I need a break actually. We can talk." she answered back before kooky over to Raf who was still engrossed in his work.

"Just going for a break, want me to bring you anything back?"

"I'm okay, thanks." the scientist replied, gaining a nod from the Quarian before she and Garrus headed for the door, passing Ravage on way as he was lying on his front watching everything from side. The screen in front of Raf then flashed before a part of the encrypted data revealed itself.

"Uh, Tali, could you wait a sec." he said back, stopping he couple just short of the door. Jack looked at the screen.

"You've decrypted the database?"

"Well, a small part of it." Raf replied as he read what was on the screen, then his eyes widened at what he saw.

"My god..." he said aloud.

"What is it?" Tali asked as she and Garrus turned around and headed back to the console. Raf then looked over to Jack with a serious look on his face.

"MECH are going to attack Eden Prime."


One of the Autobot archaeologist's looked up at the sky and saw the cloud build up approaching the colony.

"Looks like we might get rain today." a voice called over to her, making the bot look to the left. She saw a Caucasian woman (mid twenties) wearing purple armour with light blue neon lights approaching him.

"Chromia, didn't realise that predicting the weather was one of your skill sets" she replied, gaining a chuckle from the femme as she stopped next to her.

"You would be surprised, Glyph." she replied with a smile.

"Well, if you wan help with anything then it will have to be quick, because we are about to bring the stasis pod from the catacombs." Glyph asked.

"Just wondering where Flareup is, that's all." Chromia replied.

"Flareup? She is with Tap-Out and Trailbreaker. They are part of the team who are bringing the stasis pod out." the blue bot replied, earning a sigh from the femme.

"She is hanging around Trailbreaker again, and I bet he hasn't realised why she is hanging round him either."

Glyph chuckled and nodded in return.

"Yeah, he may be getting good at deciphering Lithone writings. But reading the behaviour of a femme is completely alien to him."

The two femmes were to busy laughing to notice another bot walk up behind them.

"What are you two laughing about?" a deep voice asked.

They both turned and looked up to see Grimlock standing over them.

"Oh it's nothing, Grimlock. Just young love blossoming here on Eden Prime. Even though one of them hasn't realised it yet." glyph replied cheerfully.

"You mean Flareup and Trailbreaker?" the Dinobot leader answered.

"Wait, you know too." Chromia said on surprise.

"Everybody knows... except Trailbreaker." Grimlock chuckled as another Caucasian man in red and silver armour approached him, carrying two swords on his back.

"Grimlock, Sludge and Snarl report everything is fine at the communication hub." he said, gaining the Dinobot's attention.

"Thank you, Slug." the Dinobot leader replied, Chromia then looked at the three of them.

"I am going to go ahead and get a front seat to the Flareup/Trailbreaker show." she said before heading down into the excavation site. Grimlock then activated his com link.

"Swoop, can you hear me?"

A few miles outside the colony, a Mantis gunship flew low over the green terrain. An Autobot symbol was stuck on the side and in the pilot seat was Swoop, a Caucasian man with blond hair and wearing red and gold armour. He was just enjoying the flight when his com link activated.

"Swoop, can you hear me?" came a voice that he knew only too well.

"Sorry, you're breaking up." he said back with a chuckle, gaining a grunt as the caller got angry.

"I said can you hear me?" his voice sounding annoyed.

"I'm kidding around with you, Grimlock. Of course I can hear you." Swoop replied, gaining a sigh from the Dinobot Commander.

"Status report."

The Dinobot pilot looked over his cockpit controls that were made up of many holo-controls and screens.

"My second patrol of the day and no new readings, still looks like we're the only ones here."

"Alright then, see you when you get back." Grimlock replied as Swoop noticed something peculiar on the horizon.

"Wait a sec, I just spotted something that wasn't there before."

"What is it?" Grimlock asked over the com. But before the Dinobot pilot could answer, alarms went off in the cockpit.

"Damn it, missile lock" he said before he pulled the gunship into a hard turn as a ground to air missile narrowly missed it.

Swoop, what's happening?" Grimlock said back.

The Dinobot fought to keep the ship in the air, as his sudden actions brought the gunship extremely close to the ground. He pulled the stick back and brought the ship to a safe distance from ground level. He then was about to head back found to see who had fired on him when alarms went off again, looking down at the sensors he could see a blip closing on his position again.

'Heat seeker, scrap!' he thought before the missile hit and exploded against the art of the gunship. The whole vessel shook from the impact as Swoop found the controls to me suddenly unresponsive. He just frantically pulled the stick back hard as he watched the ground rush up to meet him through the cockpit's canopy.

Having witnessed the gunship crashing in the distance, a group of MECH troopers returned to carrying equipment out of their shuttle as they nearly finished construction of what looked like an array of some kind. One trooper stood beside he ground to air missile emplacement as it returned to its shut down mode, he then put his hand to the side of his helmet.

"Beachhead secure, signal will be ready to broadcast in five minutes." he said into his com link before looking over to group building it, one looked back and nodded.

"I repeat, five minutes. Begin phase two." the soldier then turned off the com link and walked over to the group.

Grimlock had a worried expression on his face.

"What's wrong, Boss?" Slug asked as he and Glyph looked up to Dinobot Leader.

"Swoop's signal just stopped, I thought he said more but couldn't make it out.".

Grimlock then started walking away from the group as he looked at his holo-tool.

"I am heading out to Swoop's last known coordinates, you're in charge until I return, Slug."

The other Dinobot nodded in return.

"Alright, Grimlock, though I am sure Swoop's okay. He can survive anything"

"I agree, but this... doesn't feel right." the big bot replied before walking away.

At the entrance to the catacombs, two Caucasian looking Autobots were pushing out a large black cylinder like object. One had green hair with silver highlights and armour of matching colour scheme. The other Autobot had silver hair with black armour and red plating around his joints. They were both bickering as a femme with fire-red hair and orange and red armour watched.

"Put your back into it, Tap-Out. You're not going to let me do all the work here are you, especially with a femme watching us." the black armoured one asked as he pushed the object toward the entrance.

"Well, if someone who will go unnamed (Trailbreaker) had remembered to bring the gravity loader instead of talking to said femme, then we wouldn't have had to push this fragging thing all the way from the catacombs to here... would we?" Tap-Out said with anger in his voice, between deep breaths as he slumped over the object. Flareup chuckled at the sight before her.

"Tap-Out, looks like Trailbreaker doesn't need a rest." she said playfully before nudging the black armoured bot, making him blush slightly.

"Uh... no, I am a fine. Thanks, Flareup." he replied a little unsure, making the green bot roll his eyes in response. He couldn't believe how blind Trailbreaker could be, here was a femme who was showing all the signs that she liked him, and yet he couldn't see them.

"So once we're done here, do you want to get a bite to eat with us at the cafeteria, Flareup?" Trailbreaker asked.

The femme's smile grew bigger as her blue eyes looked back to the bot.

"Sure, that would be great." she replied enthusiastically, but Tap-Out waved them on.

"You two can go on ahead, I want to stay and take some scans of this thing, make sure that all the pushing didn't damage anything." he said earning a bemused look from his colleague.

"You sure, Tap-Out?" he asked.

"Yes, besides one of us shout remain and keep an eye on it. Go on, enjoy yourselves." the green bot replied, earning a silent thank you from the femme, before she and Trailbreaker started to leave. They didn't get far when Chromia appeared ahead of them with a knowing look on her face.

"Though I would find you here." she said with a slight smile that bemused the mech more, yet earned a scowl from Flareup.

"We were just heading off for something to eat...want to join us?" Trailbreaker asked, surprising both femmes.

"You know I would love to, but..." Chromia replied as The other femme looked at her pleadingly.

".. but I just came here to check if Flareup had finished her daily inventory report." she said before looking over to her friend, who activated her holo-tool.

"Yes I did, just transferring it to you now." the younger bot replied as Chromia's holo-tool signalled her to the file transfer.

"Okay then, carry on." the purple femme replied before motioning the to pass. But then as they moved away, a sound of thunder in the sky gained they attention as well as everyone else in the colony, even Grimlock who was at this moment was nearly a mile outside the colony's limits driving away in a medium sized four by four.

"What was that?" Flareup asked as she and the others looked up to see something in the sky. Chromia pulled a pair of binoculars from one of he pouches on her utility belt and looked at the object.

"It looks like a meteor, and..." she said before stopping abruptly.

"What's wrong?" Flareup asked nervously.

"It's heading for the colony." she said before the object crashed into the center of the complex, damaging the colony's market place. Cybertronians were flung in all directions along with debris and mud from the force of the impact as a dust cloud surrounded the area.

"Chromia to to anyone near the impact site, do you read?" the femme said into her com link as she looked over to the rising smoke from the crash site. After several seconds someone answered.

"Chromia, this is Skids. The smoke and dust is starting to settle and we have a many injured, but I can see the meteor….what the?" the Autobot on the other end said before going silent.

"Skids, what is it?" she asked back hesitantly when he gave no answer.

"Sorry, Chromia. But this isn't a meteor. It looks like a pod of some kind, I am going in for a closer look."

Trailbreaker and Flareup stood next to her as they tried to overhear the conversation, Tap-Out ran up to them from the Catacombs entrance.

"What the hell was that I just heard?" he said.

"Some object just crash landed in the middle of the colony." Trailbreaker said.

"Skids, sorry. I didn't quite get that?" Chromia said aloud while giving the two Mechs an angry stare, one mirrored by Flareup.

"Keep it down, I am trying to listen." she said as the purple femme continued her conversation.

"Say that again, Skids."

"I said it looks like a transport pod, but I do not recognise the configuration." the bot said. Suddenly a loud hiss could be heard like pressure was being released.

"Wait, something is happening. The pod is opening up." Skids added, as the sound of moving metal could be heard over the com link.

"Skids?" Chromia said again.

"Chromia, the pod is open. But it is too dark to see in there." the Autobot replied over the com.

"Wait….. I can see something, two blue lights. They look like opti…" Skids added before being cut off by the most inhuman scream any of them had ever heard, that was soon followed by the sound of people screaming and panicking.

"By Primus, everyone run. Chromia, it….. Scrap, its seen me. Stay where you are Chromia, I repeat…AGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!"

Then all that could be heard was the sounds of biting and a body being flung around like a rag doll. Chromia could not help but listen to the sounds as the screaming and panic could now be heard around the colony, along with more of the inhuman screams. The four bots looked at each other, and remained quiet for a long moment before one of them broke the silence in the group.

"What the hell is happening out there?" Tap-Out asked with fear in his voice.

"I don't know, but Skids said that we shouldn't move from where we are." Chromia replied, earning an angry look from Flareup.

"What do you mean, something is attacking our friends and colleagues up there. We should fight it." she said defiantly, only then to feel a hand on her shoulder. She looked to see that it was Trailbreaker.

"Skids is senior officer here, Flareup. If he says we stay, then we stay. Besides I can erect a force field in the entrance to the catacombs. Whatever is out there will not get through."

"That's the plan, we wait here and hide?" the younger femme answered back.

"Look, Flareup. We don't know what is attacking us or what their motives are. All we do know is that Skids ordered us not leave this site. Obviously he thinks it has something to do with what we have found here. So that is what we are going to do." Chromia replied earning a angry but accepting look from the younger femme.

"Trailbreaker, get that force field set up quickly." Chromia said to the bot, gaining a nod from him as he activated his holo-tool.

"What about the Dinobots, where are they? Tap-Out asked a little hesitantly.

"I don't know, Tap-Out. But knowing them... I guess they will be in the thick of it."

The monsters kept coming as Slug sliced up another with his twin blades, he was trying to protect Glyph and two other bots as these creatures kept attacking while they found themselves backed into an alleyway. The blue femme fired her pistol at another as the other two cowered behind them.

"What in the matrix are these things?" Glyph asked as she shot another in the face, Slug sliced one in two before glancing over his shoulder to her.

"I have never anything like them before, but they do resemble husks somewhat."

The blue bot shot another in the legs, making it fall to the ground as more toppled over it.

"Husks, you think it's the Reapers who are attacking. I thought that they do not attack colonies that are Cybertronians only?"

"I am just guessing, Glyph" the Dinobot replied.

"Well, what I want to know is that if only one of those things was in the pod that crash landed. Then how is there more of them now." she asked as she kicked punched another creature in the face when it got too close.

"Glyph just concentrate on fighting right now, we need to protect the civilians." Slug said back as us decapitated another.

"We are pretty much trapped in here, Slug." she said back as the only exit they had was now blocked off by more creatures.

"That may be so, but it also has a choke point that makes it easier for us to defend against." the Dinobot replied. He then sliced through two more enemies as Glyph shot another two of them.

"My pistol can only slow them down." she said again as the Mech sliced up the two that she had shot at.

"Not a problem, you slow them down. And I finish them." he said as he tore up another.

"We need help here, Slug. We can't hold out too long on our own." the femme said before shooting the legs of another before the Dinobot impaled it with one sword before decapitating it with his other. He then threw one weapon to Glygh.

"Here, use this too." he said before activating his com link.

"Snarl, Sludge. This is Slug, I am with Glyph and two civilians. We need help, can you hear me?" he said as the two of them kept the monsters at bay.

"We read you loud and clear, Slug." a voice came through the other end of the com.

"Sludge, what's your situation. Any chance you can help us out?" Slug asked.

"We have tried to send a distress signal out, but those damn 'things' have destroyed the dish." Sludge replied as another voice joined in.

"Also, no word from Swoop or Grimlock."

"You know better than to worry about the big guy, Snarl." Slug said back as he witnessed Glyph slice off the arms of a creature before kicking it back into another.

"And Swoop will be fine too, you'll see." Sludge added.

"Anyway, just hold tight. We are on our way."

The com link then deactivated as the two bots continued to fight, meanwhile the two civilians hurdled close together and watched. At the back of the alleyway, a ventilation shaft grill suddenly came undone and it fell to the ground revealing another creature as it slowly climbed out.

"Did you hear something?" the female said to the male before looking back.


The scream made both the bots fighting stop and look back, Glyph gasped at the sight before her. The civilian femme took a step back in fear as the mech was held up by the creature, it's tendrils burrowing deep into his neck as his body flinched constantly.

"Help them, I'll stay and keep the others at bay." Slug said before Glyph ran back and grabbed the civilian femme.

"Get back here now." she said while looking back to the blue femme.

"Help my spark-mate please?" she begged Glyph who looked back at the civilian mech who was now starting to change as blue fluid passed through the creatures tendrils and into his body.

"I'll try." Glyph replied before she fired her pistol at the abomination, which continued to ignore the impacts the bullets made into it's body as it held the civilian and concentrated on it. Glyph then got in close and readied Slug's sword. The monster then dropped him to the ground and turned to the blue femme as she started to swing the blade at it, it raised it's bio-cannon to block the attack which then sliced through it, spilling the blue fluid all over the floor.

But before Glyph could attack again, the creature grabbed her with its other arm and slammed the femme into the wall. The force of the impact made her drop her weapons as it left her dazed. And then it looked at her for a second before opening it's mouth and biting down into her neck with it's tendrils. Glyph screamed out in pain as she felt the pressure of it's jaws around her neck and the fluid being pumped into her system.

The civilian femme while in complete shock, looked down to see her spark mate getting up and looking at her while completely transformed into an abomination.

"Clocker… by Primus." she said before it leapt at her and bit down into the femme. Slug heard another scream as he killed another creature and turned to see Glyph up against the wall, her body flinching erratically as the enemy continued to hold onto her, and the newest creature changing the civilian as it clung to the femme's neck on the floor. He felt his anger rage as he gritted his teeth and raise his sword up to attack, but before he could move he felt something grasp at his arm and yank him back.

Another grabbed at his free arm and restrained him before the sharpest pain the Bot had ever felt erupted from his neck, making him grimace in response. He then felt the worm-like tendrils of the creature slither into his body and pump out a fluid, a fluid that suddenly made him resist less as he stood there in the grip of one of the creatures, dropping his sword to the ground as it began to change him. The alleyway then went quiet for a long time before nothing but Adjutants walked out of it.

Grimlock had turned his vehicle around and was on his way back as he pushed the throttle down hard and sped back toward the colony. It didn't take long for him to enter the city-limits as he started to hear the monstrous screams echoing around him as he brought the vehicle to a halt, climbed out and readied his sword. He didn't like turning around and leaving Swoop out there, but the colony comes first, that was his orders... his team's orders. He knew Swoop would understand, so he stood there and activated his com link.

"Grimlock to Dinobots, come in. Anyone?" he said as he looked around at the buildings that surrounded him, noting that it had gone deathly quiet. So he moved toward an archway and hid there for a second, as he was to visible to whatever was attacking the colony from where he stood.

"Grimlock, it's Snarl." a voice came back through the com.

"Snarl, what's the situation?" the Dinobot leader asked back.

"The object that landed in the colony let loose some creature and it began infecting the other Cybertronians." Snarl replied.

"Infecting…..what do you mean?"

"I don't know, but it changed them into more of it's kind. I mean…I." Snarl replied with sadness and regret in his voice which Grimlock recognised.

"What is it, what has happened?"

"Sludge, we were on our way to help Snarl and some civvies when we were jumped by a number of those monsters. They got Sludge and…(winces).., almost got me." Snarl replied.

"I…. see, what do you mean almost got you?" Grimlock asked as he looked down to the ground and remembered his fallen friend.

"One of them bit me, but I managed to free myself before it could do anything else… I think." the other bot answered.

"Okay then, what about Snarl? Have you heard from him since?"

"No, I was on my way to his last coördinates." the voice replied. Grimlock activated his holo-tool.

"Alright, I have turned on my locator beacon, do the same and I will meet up with you." the leader replied.

"Done, I'll meet up with you then. If you come across any of the creatures, just don't let them touch you."

"Will do." Grimlock replied before heading out into the streets while tracking his friend on his holo-tool.

The Dinobot leader had quietly moved through the colony for some time as he closed the distance between himself and Snarl, but had not come across any of the creatures that the citizens of Eden Prime had been turned into. Sure he heard some noises coming from the distance, but he had not yet seen one.

This confused the bot as he kept his grip on his sword tight before coming across the alleyway that Snarl had mentioned. He looked down the alley, but saw nothing but a broken vent grill and some fluid on the floor. There was signs of a fight, but no clues to where Slug or the others with him had gone. Grimlock then felt eyes upon him from behind and swung round with his blade ready.

"Boss, its me!" Snarl replied with his hands in the air, the Dinobot leader looked down at his friend and pulled back.

"It's good to see you, Snarl." he said before seeing the wound on the other Dinobot's neck.

"That looks painful."

Snarl reached up to the wound and scratched at it, making him wince in return.

"It is, and it itches too. But I am okay." he said before looking down the alleyway.

"So since this place is a burst what next?"

Grimlock then looked up at the sky as his audio receptors picked up a faint noise.

"Can you hear that?" he asked as Snarl mirrored him by looking up too.

"Yeah, sounds like a…." he replied before a shuttle flew over them both.

"….a shuttle, did you see any insignia on it?"

"No, but it is heading for the catacombs entrance. Come on." the Dinobot leader said as he started to run in that direction. Snarl started to follow but did not notice the shadow of something looming over him. Grimlock had moved several meters before….

"Arrrrggh, get the frag off me!" Snarl cried out, making Grimlock look back to see a creature on top of the Dinobot. Snarl was holding it's head back as it's tendrils whipped around in a frenzy, trying to get at the open wound on the Cybertronian's neck.

"Snarl!" Grimlock called back as he stormed over to his friend, but the creature saw him and instead hit the bot in the face, putting him in a daze before grabbing his foot and dragging him in the opposite direction. Grimlock chased after his friend as he was dragged down the street and round a corner, but when the big bot ran round the same corner, he saw that his friend and the beast were gone.

He looked around frantically before hearing a familiar voice scream out in pain before suddenly going silent. Grimlock closed his eyes as he felt his rage building up at the thought that at this moment, his entire team could well be dead. Sludge and Snarl were both gone, Slug was nowhere to be found and as for Swoop. He shook his head as he tried to fight away those thoughts.

'No, until I see a body, Swoop and Slug could still be alive' he thought, but then he heard the sound of movement around him and he opened his eyes to see several creatures in front of him, he then heard more noises from behind and guessed that he was surrounded. His anger was at boiling point as one of the monsters rushed at him and jumped, but then in the blink of an eye it was sliced in two by the orange blade of the Dinobot leader as he swung his weapon at it. He then took a stance and looked at the creatures.


The Defiant jumped out of hyperspace and flew toward the planet of Eden Prime, Hotrod was in the pilot seat with Airachnid to his left, controlling the weapon systems. He looked at the sensor screen before activating his com link.

"Prime, we are approaching the planet. I am reading just one ship in orbit, it's IFF says MECH cruiser. It has spotted us and is heading out to intercept us."

"Roger that Hotrod, disable the MECH vessel and then head down to the planet's surface. More Alliance vessels are on their way and can take care of the cruiser. But we will be using the MAKO so need to be at least a hundred feet above the ground before launching, clear?" Jack's voice said over the com.

"Aye, aye." the pilot replied as they neared the enemy ship. The enemy cruiser charged up it's main beam weapon as the smaller frigate got closer, but before it could fire, Airachnid launched two torpedoes which impacted against the MECH vessel, the explosion knocked the vessel off course as it lost power and started to drift. The Defiant then flew past and down into the planet's atmosphere.

The Alliance vessel flew down to the green landscape as the rain fell from the clouds above before levelling off at the distance that the Prime had said, it then opened it's shuttle bay doors and the MAKO drove off the landing ramp and fell from the Defiant, which began it's ascent back into orbit. The ground vehicle began plummeting towards the surface, but then thrusters fired from under the MAKO, slowing it's decent before it gently landed with a bump on the grassy hill overlooking the colony.

Jack was sitting in the driver's seat in the cramped interior as he controlled the vehicle, Arcee and Smokescreen sat in the rear and were watching him. They could hear the rain as it landed on the roof of the vehicle, making a continuous tapping sound.

"Okay, we are less than a mile from the colony. Should reach it in twenty minutes." the Prime said before looking back to see the worried expression on his partner's face.

"Arcee, I am sure Chromia is alright." he said with an encouraging tone, gaining a nod from the femme.

"I know, Jack, but I guess I wont feel better until I see her." she replied. Jack nodded before turning back and putting his foot down on the throttle as the MAKO began making it's way to the colony.

It wasn't long before the MAKO was traversing the streets as it made it's way between the buildings.

"It's too quiet, where is everyone?" Arcee asked as she looked out the small porthole on her side of the vehicle.

"We haven't seen or heard anything since we entered the colony." Smokescreen added as Jack noticed something on the holo-sreen to his right.

"Wait a second, sensors are picking up a large amount of movement from the west of our location, changing course."

The Prime then turned the MAKO in that direction and moved down the street until it came to a stop in front or a large horde of the creatures, which Jack recognised immediately.

"Adjutants…. Damn it."

Both Autobots stood behind Jack and looked out of the glass canopy at the monsters, who had not noticed the MAKO yet.

"Those things are Adjutants…. Nasty." Smokescreen said as he observed the creatures.

"And that is what Shen was…." Arcee asked gaining a nod from the Prime, she then looked down at the ground.

"… I see, poor Garrus."

The femme then looked up when a realization came over her.

"That means that out there, that horde may have been Cybertronians once. But I thought that Reaper tech has no effect on us."

"Well, maybe MECH managed to alter the coding of the Adjutant virus, I mean they have had enough experience with Cybertronian physiology over the years." Jack replied.

"But that means one of them could be…" Arcee said back as her mind became overwhelmed with thoughts of her sister. Jack though looked back at her, his blue eyes meeting her own.

"Don't think like that, Arcee. That line of thinking won't help anyone, especially yourself."

The femme nodded back and sighed.

"You're right, Jack."

Smokescreen though leaned more forward as he watched the Adjutants.

"Why haven't they attacked us yet, I mean we are in a tank of all things and yet they don't seem bothered."

"It looks like they have their attention elsewhere." Jack replied, as Arcee focused her eyes and noticed the hint of an orange blade being swung in the distance. She then pointed in the direction.

"There, someone is fighting them."

The Prime then changed gears and revved the engine, which finally made a number of the creatures turn and look at them.

"Smokescreen, get on the turret. I want suppression fire." the Commander said, earning a nod from the young bot as he opened the top hatch and climbed up to the turret that was positioned on top of the main cannon.

"Arcee, be ready to open the aft hatch, the moment Smokescreen has given us enough room."

She nodded before heading to the back of the MAKO.

"What are you going to do?" she asked looking back at her partner. But Jack just smirked as he glanced back at her.

"I'm going to see what this thing can do." he replied before looking forward at the approaching Adjutants and hit the accelerator hard, making the MAKO move forward and gain momentum as it started to speed toward the monsters. One of the Adjutants jumped for the roof of the MAKO, but was knocked down by Smokescreen who fired a burst of rounds into the creature.

"How do you like that?" he shouted over the weapons fire as the MAKO then rammed into the outer edges of the horde, sending some of the creatures into the air while others got caught under the large wheels of the vehicle, splattering their blue fluids everywhere.

Meanwhile, Grimlock swung his blade through one Adjutant before grabbing the torso of it and then swinging that into another creature, knocking it to the ground. He then dropped the body part and grabbed the hilt of his sword with both hands and then sliced through two more enemies as he created a small amount of space between himself and the horde. He then heard weapons fire and the sound of a vehicle approaching, so he looked up to see the MAKO mowing down more of the Adjutants as it approached him. But as he then turned and focused on an enemy that had gotten to close to his person by impaling it with his sword and then swinging it into three more enemies, he failed to see one pounce at his back. But before it got within an inch of him, it was shot down by Smokescreen as the MAKO hit the breaks and slid into a large number of Adjutants, leaving a blue liquid like mess in it's wake. Smokescreen while firing continuously into the horde looked down at the Dinobot leader.

"Get round the back." he shouted, earning a nod back as Grimlock then ran to the aft of MAKO. One of the creatures was there to greet him, but instead received a beheading before the hatch opened and revealed Arcee to him. She held her hand out to the Dinobot.

"Grimlock, come on." she said before he took her hand and climbed into hatch, the femme sealing it behind them right after.

"We got him, go!" she called back to Jack who then hit the accelerator again and flipped a switch next to him.

"Dropping the package." he stated, gaining a confused look from his partner.

"What?" she replied. But as the MAKO then drove off and through the rest of the Adjutants in front of it. Back where it once stood was an explosive device which after a few seconds exploded, engulfing the horde of Adjutants in fire. The force of the blast then hit the back of the MAKO, shaking it around slightly as the vehicle made it's escape. Smokescreen then looked back to see the Adjutants running around on fire as their bodies burned, he smiled before he deactivated the turret and climbed back down into the MAKO's interior. He then nodded to Grimlock, who smiled back at him.

"Nice shooting, Kid." he said before looking at Arcee.

"It's been a while, Arcee."

"It sure has, Grimlock." she replied with a pat to his shoulder, he then looked toward the driver's seat.

"So I guess that's Jack up front then?" he asked before walking over (hunched, due to limited height of MAKO) to the Prime.

"Good to see your in one piece, Grimlock." Jack said back a slight smile.

"Thanks for the rescue, didn't think that our distress call got through." the Dinobot replied.

"We didn't receive a distress call, we got Intel that MECH were about to attack and headed straight here." the Prime said, earning a shocked look from the big bot.

"MECH? But those creatures look like Reaper forces."

"Silas has been using Reaper tech for his own purposes, but I don't know why they would attack Eden Prime."

"I heard that the expedition here has uncovered a stasis pod down in the Lithone catacombs." Grimlock said before his eyes widened as something dawned on him.

"That shuttle that I and Snarl saw earlier, that must have been a MECH force heading for the catacombs."

"Okay, I taking us there now." Jack replied as he turned the MAKO sharply around a corner and down another street as it headed for that location.

"You mentioned Snarl, where is the rest of the Dinobots?" the Prime asked, making Grimlock look to the ground with a sullen face.

"They are dead, Jack. Those creatures turned them into more of themselves." he said as Jack just kept his eyes on the road and sighed, both Arcee and Smokescreen looked to the ground as they mourned the deaths of their comrades.

"I am sorry, Grimlock." Arcee said before looking up to him, the femme was about to say something else but the Dinobot leader cut her off, as he knew what she was about to ask.

"Chromia wasn't among any of them, Arcee, that I know of. She was heading for the catacombs the last time I saw her." he replied. The femme just hung her head and sighed.

"I just hope she is alright, I don't want to lose another sister." she said before she felt a hand on her shoulder, she looked up to see Grimlock looking down to her.

"Chromia is strong, she will make it." he replied with an encouraging tone.

"I hope you're right." Arcee said back as the MAKO drove closer to the catacombs site.

Meanwhile a number of MECH soldiers were firing their rifles at the force field that Trailbreaker was projecting from his holo-tool, all while an engineer was trying to deactivate it with his own tool from behind his troops.

"These MECH guys really want to get in here." the bot said while looking across to Flareup who was waiting with her SMG ready.

"Maybe you should just lower it then and let us fight already." she replied eagerly. But Chromia gave her protege a harsh look as she stood behind the stasis pod that the femme and Tap-Out were using as cover.

"No, Flareup. We hold out as long as we can. We will only engage them the moment that field comes down. Help is on the way, I know it is. So we just need to hold on."

The younger femme shrugged and then looked back at the enemy troops as the engineer suddenly pointed toward them, which made the Autobots look back with concern.

"I think we will need to fight soon." Trailbreaker stated as he readied his pistol, his holo-tool started to bleep continuously as the field started to fluctuate.

"Finally." Flareup said with relief. But just as the force field began to fail, the MECH soldiers all turned around when they heard something approaching them. The engineer ignored it as he concentrated on the catacombs defence, while the rest looked down the street. Suddenly a MAKO turned around the corner fast and sped up towards the MECH soldiers who started firing on the vehicle.

"Everyone, get ready." Chromia said as they watched the action on the other side of the force field. The enemy fire did nothing against the vehicle's heavy armour as it ran through the soldiers, killing them all instantly. Only the engineer was left and he turned to see the MAKO break hard and swing it's aft around, which collided with the MECH trooper. Sending him flying into the wall nearby, the sound of his bones shattering on impact before he fell to the ground in heap. Chromia looked at the MAKO and saw the Alliance symbol on it's side.

"Deactivate the force field." she said to Trail breaker, who nodded and did as he was ordered. The orange field came down just before Chromia reached it and she walked up to the back of the vehicle as the hatch opened and Arcee and Grimlock stepped out. Chromia's eyes widened and a large smile graced her lips as she looked over to her older sister.

"Sis, thank Primus." she said aloud as she ran over to the blue femme and the two hugged each other tightly.

"I was so worried." Arcee said before the two pulled back and smiled at each other.

"I knew you would come, Arcee." the purple femme replied as Jack and Smokescreen showed themselves, the Prime looked over to the black object.

"Is that the stasis pod?" he asked, gaining Chromia's attention.

"Yes it is, Jack. We need to get this out of here before MECH come back."

Smokescreen looked back towards the driver's controls and saw a large amount of movement heading their way.

"We have company." he replied as Jack looked over to Grimlock.

"Think you can lift that?" he asked.

"No problem, Jack." the Dinobot leader replied as he walked over and picked up the pod with ease.

"Okay, everyone, get on board now." the Prime said before Chromia, Arcee, Tap-Out, Flareup and Trailbreaker all boarded the MAKO. Jack then helped Grimlock load the pod into the vehicle before closing the hatch behind them and taking the driver's seat again. He then hit then changed gears and hit the accelerator as the MAKO started to head away from the catacombs.

"Jackson Prime to Defiant, do you read?" he asked as he drove up the empty streets of the colony.

"Hotrod here, you ready for pickup?" the pilot replied over the com.

"Yes, meet us at the EZ coordinates." the Prime replied, but then suddenly the MAKO started to slow down, earning a worried look from him.

"Why are we slowing?" Grimlock asked as Jack began to look at the diagnostic screen next to him, the wheels of the MAKO were flashing red.

"It says the wheels are damaged, but I don't see…." the Commander replied before he saw and Adjutant on the monitor showing the aft of the vehicle. It had fired it's bio-cannon at the wheels and it's acid had eaten through them. Then on the monitor for each side of the Alliance vehicle, more creatures appeared as they started to surround and climb on top of it.

"We have to get out and fight." the Dinobot stated, earning a nod from Flareup who agreed with him.

"No, that acid they are using won't breach the MAKO and there are too many out there to fight." Jack replied.

"Then what do you suggest?" Chromia asked, giving the Prime a concerned look as did everyone else. Jack though activated his com link.

"Raf, how is it coming with the database, found anything on the Adjutants yet?"

In the science lab, Raf and Tali were still working on the database as Garrus watched them.

"Jack, we are still trying to decrypt the rest of it." the scientist said as he adjusted his glasses.

"How long, because we are running short on time here." the Prime answered back, gaining a worried look from Tali as she looked over to Raf. He shook his head in return.

"We are working as fast as we can, but…"

Garrus then sighed before activating his com link.

"Jack, I have an idea, if you will let me?" he said.

"Do it." came the response, and the Turian then left the room leaving both Tali and Raf confused.


In the darkened quarters, with nothing but the dim light from outside of the room's window to illuminate it. Petrovsky was sitting on his bed, holding his head in his hands as he contemplated what he was going to do. But then the door opened and flooded the room with light, nearly blinding him as he looked over to see the silhouette of a Turian standing in the doorway.

"What? But my information is correct, yes?" he asked as he recognised Garrus.

"That all depends on what you tell me right now." the Turian replied as he stepped into the room and stopped in front of the MECH prisoner.

"I don't understand."

"How do we stop the Adjutants?" Garrus asked back, anger tinged his voice.

"I told you, I don't know." Petrovsky answered, before being knocked down on to the bed by the Turian's fist.

"Wrong answer."

The former General cowered in fear of the Turian who stood over him.

"But...I don't know."

Garrus then grabbed the prisoner's collar and yanked him up, their faces only inches apart.

"I know you are holding something back, now tell me or I will kill you now."

Petrovsky's eyes widened as his face started to sweat.

"Okay, okay. I know the code to deactivate the encryption on the database."

Garrus gritted his teeth before throwing the prisoner out of his room.

"Move it!" he growled as he left the room and pushed Petrovsky.

A moment later, both Tali and Raf watched in shock as the Turian pushed the MECH general down on seat facing the main console.

"Get on with it." he said with force as Petrovsky started to type on the holo-keyboard in front of him, stopping a few moments later.

"Garrus, how is the plan of yours? Because I don't know how much more of this we can take down here?" Jack's voice said over the com, Garrus looked down at the General.

"Why have you stopped?"

"This will take some time…" Petrovksy started to say before the Turian equipped his pistol and fired it into the wall (it is reinforced, so no hull breach), making the former general jump, then he pressed the hot barrel of the pistol against the prisoner's head. The heat burning the skin as it touched.

"Stop delaying, or the next bullet goes through your head." Garrus snapped at him. Tali then heard what sounded like running water and looked down to the bottom the seat that Petrovsky was sitting and gasped in disgust.

"Oh Keelah." she said as they all looked down at the small puddle of urine that formed around the chair and realised that the prisoner had pissed him self.

"Alright." he said back, his voice full of cold dread as he turned around and typed a series of commands into the console. Several seconds later and the encryption disappeared to reveal the database.

"Jack, we got it." Raf answered as he stepped around the prisoner (making sure not to step in the urine) and began searching for the information. Garrus pushed Petrovsky out of his seat and onto the floor before pointing his pistol at him.

"If my friends die down there, then so will you."

Raf and Tali then both smiled.

"We have found the data on the Adjutants, they are controlled from a mobile array that would have to be in close proximity to wherever the Adjutants are being deployed."

Tali then activated her com link.

"Hotrod, run a sensor sweep of the area around the colony. Are there any anomalies present?"

After a moment.

"Yes, Teletraan is picking up a transmission from about a kilometre and a half outside of the colony, to its west." the pilot answered.

"Set a course and arm weapons." the Quarian replied.

"Aye, aye." Hotrod replied.

The MECH soldiers just stood and watched the horizon as they guarded the transmitter array, all while an engineer maintained it with his holo-tool.

"We should have heard from the recovery team by now." one soldier said.

"Quiet, just focus on your duty." the engineer replied as one of the other soldiers looked up to the sky.

"Err, can any of you see that?" he said while pointing up to the speck that was quickly getting larger as it closed in on them. The engineer then pulled out a pair of binoculars and looked up to the sky before freezing in place at what he could see.

"What is it?" the soldier nearest to him asked. But suddenly the Defiant fired four torpedoes at the site, destroying the shuttle and the transmission array in one go as the whole area became a smoldering crater. The Alliance frigate then leveled out and flew past before turning around. Just as it did, a survivor climbed up from behind some charred debris from the shuttle and looked up at the enemy ship before tapping his com link.

"This unit zero four. We need help, I repeat we need…." he said before several bullets shot through his chest spilling out blood as he fell to his knees and then face down on the ground. Standing behind him was the beaten and bruised form of Swoop who had his assault rifle in hand, he smiled and took a deep breath.

"That's for shooting me down, you fragging piece of scrap."

The Dinobot then looked up to the Defiant which was hovering above and waved at them before activating his com link.

"Any chance of a lift for a fellow bot?" he asked cheekily.

Meanwhile, the MAKO was now completely covered by the Adjutants which were beating down on it's hull as they tried to get through to it's occupants. Inside everyone was just waiting for the signal that Raf said was coming, a signal that they wouldn't miss. Jack himself was wondering what Garrus had done, he knew that it would involve Petrovsky but he hoped that his friend would have kept his cool still.

He looked around the small interior of the MAKO, he saw his love Arcee sitting close with Chromia while Flareup was holding on to a very confused but also… kinda happy Trailbreaker. Smokescreen was sitting next to Tap-Out, both bots looking rather nervous. But then the Prime's gaze fell on Grimlock and the big bot looked almost ready to explode as he looked up at the ceiling, obviously wanting to go outside and smash up some Adjutants. The Dinobot leader then gritted his teeth as the sounds of the monsters beating the hull from the outside was now to much for him to bear.

"Right that's it, I am going out there." he said angrily as Jack got up to meet him.

"Stay where you are, that is an order." the Prime said firmly as he stared at the bot who was much taller and stronger than himself.

"You may be a Prime, Jack, but as of this moment you remind me more of Optimus. That is not a smart thing to do around me." the Dinobot replied coldly.

"I know you and Optimus have had your disagreements over the eons, Grimlock, but I will be damned if I will defied by one who's rank is below mine." Jack replied.

Grimlock clenched his fists as he gritted his teeth, the Prime could see the anger almost exploding out of the Dinobot's eyes, but knew that he had to stand his ground. Meanwhile Arcee had slipped her hand down to her SMG and took it's safety off before slowly equipping it, she did not like the idea of attacking a comrade.

But Grimlock's anger issues were always not just a threat to the Decepticons during the war, but to the Autobots as well. Jack noticed this and subtly gestured with his lowered hand for her to stand down, she gave him a concerned look but then slowly nodded and holstered her weapon. But then suddenly the banging on the hull stopped and everyone looked around.

"What happened?" Smokescreen asked before Jack looked at the monitors and saw that the Adjutants were lying on the ground, not moving at all. He then looked back to Arcee.

"Open the hatch." he said and the femme nodded back before walking over to the back of the vehicle and activating the control panel there. Outside the hatch opened and Grimlock jumped down to the ground with his sword ready, but was met by the sight of the entire horde lying dead on the ground.

"What in Primus?" he said as everyone else climbed out of the MAKO and looked around. Jack then tapped his com link.

"Raf, what happened?" he asked while Arcee looked at him.

"Jack, we have destroyed a MECH mobile base just outside of the colony. There signal array was 'controlling' the Adjutants. Take away the control and they don't move." the scientist replied.

"Good work up there. Alright pick us up and send a signal to the Alliance ships that will arrive soon." the Prime said just as the Defiant appeared over the colony.

Thirty minutes later the Defiant was back in orbit of Eden Prime, as the disabled MECH cruiser was still drifting just away from them. In the shuttle bay everyone was disembarking from the MAKO as Alliance engineers started work on repairing the damage it sustained on the planet's surface. Smokescreen offered to show Flareup, Trailbreaker and Tap-Out the rest of the ship, but Chromia decided to star with her sister as Arcee and Jack looked over the stasis pod. Meanwhile Grimlock looked around, like he had no idea what to do with himself.

"Am I glad to see you." a familiar voice called from behind him, making the big bot look to see Swoop exiting the elevator.

"Swoop!" Grimlock exclaimed as he walked over to his team mate, a big smile on his face.

"I thought you were dead." he said gaining a smile from the smaller dinobot.

"Hey, you should know that I have become an expert at crash landings over the years, so this latest one was no problem." he replied, Swoop then looked around.

"So where are the others?"

Grimlock's face then saddened as he looked away for a second, this was all the other Dinobot needed to see to know that something bad had happened.

"Wait, but not all of them... right?"

"Slug, Snarl and Sludge all died with honour Swoop. They are with the Allspark now." Grimlock replied.

As the two bots talked Jack was looking over the black stasis pod. Arcee watched as her partner suddenly placed his hand on a section of the object, revealing a hidden control panel.

"Jack, you know what you are doing right?" she asked, earning a nod from the Prime.

"Remember when I told you that I was hit by energy that was released from the beacon down on Eden Prime three years ago." he said while tapping the control interface which was made up of green and blue glyphs, the femme nodded in return.

"Yes, I remember."

"Well, it must have done more than just show me a vision of the reapers. Because I also know how to use certain technology of their's too. I just looked at this stasis pod and knew immediately how to operate it." he continued as he tapped the final code sequence into the pod which came to life with a deep humming noise. He and Arcee then stood back for a second as the pod released nitrogen gas out and opened up to reveal someone lying inside still asleep.

The Prime and his XO then got closer once the gas had evaporated and looked inside at it's occupant. He looked like the Cybertronians in their original bodies except for the fact that he was a similar height to their pretender forms. He was of a red and light brown colour scheme and had a metallic beard on his face plate. The Lithone then opened it's optics revealing them to be green as he looked up at the two partners. His optics then narrowed and his body glowed bright green before knocking them both off their feet. The Lithone then stood up and looked around angrily at his surroundings.

"Was that biotics?" Arcee asked as she recovered.

"I guess, but how do the Lithone possess that ability?" Jack asked as he got back to his feet, meanwhile a number of the Defiant's security officers arrived and aimed their weapons at the Lithone, who just stared at them with narrowed optics as he started to charge the biotic power in his fist.

"Wait, hold your fire." Jack called back as he again approached the Lithone, who then looked back at the Prime. He then held out his glowing fist, but before he could unleash the energy he suddenly fell out of the pod to the floor. Jack then went over to him and put his hand around the Lithone's arm to help him up, but suddenly felt a bolt of electricity pass between them, pushing him back.

"Jack, are you alright?" Arcee asked with a concerned tone as Jack shook it off.

"Yeah, I am okay." he replied as he looked back down to the Lithone.

"Has it been that long?" it asked, which made everyone in the room look back in surprise.

"Wait, that was English. How did it...?" one of the security officers asked out loud, before Jack gestured for them to leave.

"You understand us?" the Prime asked, gaining a nod from the Lithone.

"Yes, when you touched me, I read your biology and your memories. Has it really been one hundred thousand years?"

"Yes and as far as we can tell, you are the last surviving member of your species...they were destroyed by the Reapers." the Prime replied before the Lithone got to his feet.

"And now they have returned, tell me what is your name?"

"My name is Commander Jack Darby of the Human/Autobot Alliance, but I am also called Jackson Prime."

The Lithone's optics widened at the mention of that name.

"A Prime, my people had heard legends of the Primes. Tell me, is that great war still being fought by the Cybertronians?"

Arcee stepped forward toward him.

"No, the war ended some time ago. We now live in peace with our former Decepticon foes." the femme answered, making the Lithone look her up and down.

"When I last saw one of your kind, they were taller than this room."

"We had to give up our old forms when our energon supply ran out." Arcee replied.

"I see." he said back before looking back to Jack.

"Allow me to introduce myself, I am Kranix. I am one of the Lithone Science Academy."

Both Jack and Arcee's eyes widened in surprise at the mention of his name.

"Wait, you are Kranix. Creater of the 'Kranix matrix'?" Jack asked back, earning a nod from the Lithone.

"Yes, I was part of the team that was building a super weapon that would destroy the Reapers, my VI program was to be the last addition that would have made it operational. Unfortunately indoctrinated members of my people sabotaged it and the last hope of the Lithone died with it."

"Is it on your person or down on the planet where we found your stasis pod?" Jack asked eagerly, but Kranix shook his head.

"I am afraid not, you see the Reapers attacked this planet in the last days of my cycle. So I entered stasis in our underground bunker, but not before transmitting my matrix program to a colleague on one of our colony worlds."

"Which colony, do you have the coordinates?" the Prime replied, earning a nod from Kranix. The Commander then gestured the Lithone to a wall terminal where he typed the coordinates into it's holo-screen. The Teletraan appeared in its holo-form.

"Jackson Prime, I have analysed the data and it matches a planet in our database."

Both Arcee and Jack looked at the AI.

"Well, which planet is it?" Arcee asked, before the Prime had a chance to.

"The planet is Thessia." the AI replied as the entire room went quiet, as the realisation of where they had to go dawned on them.

"Teletraan, get me Admiral Bryce right away. We need to speak with Councillor Tevos immediately." Jack said before the intercom activated.

"Prime, we have just received a n urgent broadcast from Alliance intelligence." Hotrod said.

"What is it?" the Prime asked back as the pilot took a breath before answering.

"The Reapers are starting to attack the other races and they have begun with the Asari home world, 'Thessia'."

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  • 4 weeks later...


Stars continued to streak past the hull of the Defiant as it soared through hyperspace on it's course toward Thessia. On board everyone was rushing around as they prepared for the ship for combat, Arcee was in the CIC in command, Raf, Bumblebee and Airachnid were in the science lab going over all the data they had on the Reapers. Garrus was (unsurprisingly) running final calibration checks on the weapons, Tali was back in engineering, Smokescreen was keeping Tap-Out, Flareup and Trailbreaker company in the common room. Grimlock though had just exited the elevator and entered the shuttle bay, he saw Swoop near Shuttle one and walked over to him. The Dinobot pilot was working on an exposed panel of the shuttle when his friend called him.

"Swoop, I was told you were down here." Grimlock said as he stopped beside his friend, who looked over to him.

"Grimlock, just give me a second to finish this." he said as he had his hands in the inner workings of the shuttle, but within a moment he had pulled his hands out re-covered the panel.

"There all done." he said smugly while wiping his hands with a rag. The Dinobot leader looked at him with a confused expression.

"What are you doing?"

"I have just finished installing a device into shuttle one here, once activated it should imitate the reaper IFF that the Defiant has, and allow me to pilot Jack and his team down to Thessia without incident." Swoop replied.

"You're going to pilot them?" the big bot asked in surprise.

"The Defiant is running low on shuttle pilots, so Jack asked me to join the crew and I said yes. After hearing he stories of everything that this ship has accomplished, how could I say no. What about you Grimlock, aren't you going to join up?"

The Dinobot leader looked ahead for a second before looking back down to his friend.

"I don't know, Jack asked too. But I told him I would think about it."

"I see, hey if this is anything to do with what happened to the others, then you shouldn't blame yourself. It was MECH that attacked the colony remember, focus your anger at them." Swoop replied.

"I know and all I want to do is rip that Silas and his group apart for what they did." Grimlock said back as he clenched his fist so tight that it started to shake.

"Then say yes, because with this ship's record I bet we will be facing MECH again before long."

The big bot then nodded in return before turning around.

"Okay, thanks for chat, Swoop." he replied before walking away.

"Any time, Grimlock." the pilot replied before tuning back to the shuttle and running a diagnostic from his Holo-tool.

Meanwhile Jack was standing in the com room with the hologram of Councillor Tevos.

"I received the Admiral's message, but there is not a lot that we can do Prime, as we are currently trying to protect and evacuate our people from areas that the Reapers are currently purging." the Councillor said stoically.

"I am already on route to Thessia, we just need access to these coordinates." the Prime replied as he transmitted the data to Tevos who then looked it over on her side, her eyes widened a moment later.

"Really, I know this location, Prime. It is a temple that is located in our capital city, how did you come about this data?"

"We received the data from a Lithone Scientist that awaken from stasis at Eden Prime, he is part of the team that built the Crucible. He said that the part we need to finish it would be at those coordinates." Jack replied.

"I see, well I know what I just said earlier. But if what you say is true, then I will make sure you have some help. I will arrange to have a group of scientists meet you when you land at this location." the Councillor said.

"Thank you, I appreciate you doing this." the Prime replied.

"I hope you find what you are looking for, because we are all in this together now. Good luck, Prime." Tevos then said before her hologram disappeared.

Jack entered the corridor to find Chromia waiting for him outside the com room.

"Hey, Jack." she said with a smile.

"Hey, Chromia, were you waiting for me?" he asked as the door closed behind him.

"Yes, we never really got the chance to catch up after getting back from Eden Prime." the femme answered.

"That is true, so how are you, Chromia?" the Prime asked as they began walking down the corridor.

"Well, considering how things were back at the planet, I am happy to be alive." she answered but Jack could see that something was bothering her.

"What's wrong, Chromia?" he asked, earning a surprised look from the femme before she sighed.

"I would like to ask for a transfer to the Defiant."

"Really, why is that? I mean I heard that Flareup was being transferred with Trailbreaker and Tap-Out to the Crucible, why aren't you going with them?" he asked as they turned a corner.

"Well for one, Flareup wasn't transferred, she volunteered after hearing that Trailbreaker was being moved there."

Jack the looked at her confused.

"Is there something going o between those two?"

The femme rolled her eyes and lightly chuckled.

"Well, one of them believes so. But anyway, with everything that happened recently. I want to be close to Sis." she said back honestly.

"I see, well I know it would do Arcee the world to good to have you on board." Jack relied with a slight smile, gaining a hopeful look from the young femme.

"Do you have a positions available?"

"The Defiant did have a security chief once, but I have yet to fill that post. Would you be interested?" the Prime asked.

"Yes, yes I would." she answered eagerly. Jack then held out his hand to her, which she accepted.

"Then welcome aboard the Defiant." he replied with a smile.

"Thank you, Sir." she replied with a salute which Jack waved down.

"Jack will do, we are practically family, Chromia."

"Yeah, I heard that the two of you were back together, I am happy for you both." she replied as Jack noticed Arcee and Airachnid walking towards them, gaining a smile from him. Chromia having noticed this looked to where his attention was and saw the raven haired femme. But as soon as she saw the purple eyes of said femme, she narrowed her eyes and gritted her teeth before launching herself at the former Con in anger.

"Airachnid!" she cried out.

"Chromia, wait!" Jack called back, but Chromia had already tackled Airachnid to the floor. Arcee took a second to register what was going on as her younger sister started trying to strangle the former Con. Airachnid though narrowed her eyes at the femme before jabbing Chromia in the face, disorientating the femme as her grip weakened. Airachnid then clamped her legs around the young bot and rolled them both over, so that she was now on top and she raised her fist to strike. But then a hand grabbed hold making the femme look up to see Arcee staring back worriedly.

"Airachnid, stop!" she said, as her friend's angry expression softened and she climbed off of the beaten Autobot. Chromia then got up, while never taking her eyes off of the former Con. She then went to strike at the black armoured femme again, only for Arcee to stand in the way.

"That's enough."

Chromia just gave her sister a confused expression.

"But that's Airachnid, after everything that she did. Killing Tailgate, the numerous times she tried to kill you and Jack. Not to mention all everything else. Airachnid deserves nothing but…." she said in an angry tone before stopping and just looking at her sister.

"…. Why are you defending her all of a sudden, in fact what is she doing onboard."

Arcee looked over to Airachnid and then to Jack, though the former Con just stayed quiet as the young femme's words .

"Chromia, Airachnid was not responsible for any of the deeds that she did during the war." Jack said, only confusing the blue femme more.

"Really, what was she under some kind of mind control?"

Arcee looked at her in a matter of fact way.

"That's exactly what happened, you remember all the bots who fell to Shockwave's experiments during the war. Well Airachnid was a victim of that as well, but at a very personal cost."

Chromia just stayed quiet and listened to her sister while Jack looked over to Airachnid and saw the look on her face, it was one of sadness and regret. He was going to say something when the inter com activated. "Jackson Prime, we be at the space bridge to Thessia in twenty minutes." Teletraan said gaining a nod from the Prime before he looked back at the femmes.

"Arcee, Airachnid, you're both with me for this mission."

They nodded in return, before Arcee looked at Chromia.

"We'll talk about this when we get back." she said gesturing to her sister and the femme. The younger bot nodding sheepishly.

"Chromia, take your station." Jack then said in a stoic manner.

"Yes, Jack."

And then she walked off to the elevator quietly, Airachnid then looked at Arcee.

"I am sorry." she said in a regretful tone.

"You don't have to apologise, Airachnid." the blue femme replied.

"I guess that there are still bots out there that don't know what happened to me." the former Con said back, Arcee placed a hand on her shoulder in support.

"Airachnid, you are my friend and team mate, if anyone who doesn't know the truth tries anything against you, then I will put them straight."

The former Con looked at her with a slight smile before Jack also spoke.

"That makes both of us." he said with a smile, Airachnid finally relaxed somewhat.

"Thank you." she said to them before Jack gestured to the elevator.

"Come on, we've got a mission to prepare for." he said before the three of them walked over and entered it. The Prime then pulled out the octagonal dis from his pocket and activated his armour.


In the cockpit Hotrod was in his usual position piloting the ship, while to his right was Jazz who was running a last minute diagnostic of the sensors, Chromia then entered the cockpit and took her seat at the weapons/security station.

"So you joined the crew then, Chromia. Arcee thought you would. I bet you she is really happy right now." Jazz said while looking back to the femme. But she looked down at the holo-controls in front of her, her expression becoming sheepish.

"I doubt that, not after what I just did." she replied, voice filled with regret. Jazz kept his attention on her as Hotrod looked over.

"What happened?" he asked, making Chromia look over to him.

"I attacked Airachnid just now, and just got put down by Jack and Sis."

Both Mechs gave each other knowing looks before looking back at Chromia.

"You didn't know The truth about her, did you?" The pilot replied, earning a nod from her.

"Hey, I have to admit, when I first saw her last year. I wanted to shoot her too, but she had been placed on our team so I had to deal with it. But I noticed that she was acting differently to what we knew of her during the war. Then after she and Jack returned from Cybertron, Airachnid with Jack's support told me and the others the truth." Hotrod added.

"They told me that she was originally an Autobot that had been brainwashed by Shockwave and at a very personal cost, what did they mean?" Chromia then asked.

"Well, having fully reprogrammed Airachnid into a Decepticon, Shockwave needed proof that the conversion was successful, so he ordered her to kill her sparkmate - Esmeral and so she ripped her apart. But the real Airachnid was still aware of what she was doing and not only had to watch as her body murdered her love, but also had to endure all the horrors and atrocities that it did during the war."

Chromia just listened in complete shock at what Hotrod was telling her as she raised her hand to cover her mouth.

"Oh Primus, all the things she had to live through, I had no idea."

"No one did, Airachnid was just another victim of Shockwave and his inhuman science." the pilot replied as Chromia had a look of regret and understanding on her face.

"I will have to apologise to her, Arcee and Jack when they get back from Thessia."

Hotrod then looked forward and saw the space bridge a head of them.

"Activating this bridge's link to the one in the Parnitha system." he stated as he typed on the holo-keyboard that was part of his interface.

The space bridge in the Parnitha system came to life with a massive green vortex appearing at it's center, then the Defiant flew out of it's event horizon and entered the system. Jazz looked at the sudden influx of IFF signals appearing on the ships's sensor screen.

"Holy scrap, the Asari are getting annihilated out there."

"Yeah, I can see that." Hotrod said as he looked out of the cockpit's canopy, he saw masses of Reaper vessels attacking various Asari ships in front of them. But most of the Reapers were situated around the blue planet of Thessia. The Defiant made its way through the battle as a passing Asari cruiser fired its cannons at the nearest Reaper, it's attack didn't even leaving a dent on ships's black hull. The Reaper then turned to face the cruiser and fired it's energy beam, which sliced through the Asari ship in one shot.

A group of Asari fighters then attacked another Reaper, flying so close to its hull that the behemoth could not get a target lock. But suddenly they found themselves under attack from a squadron of drones that had disengaged themselves from it's hull. Each and every fighter fell to the drones before they flew back round and reattached themselves to the Reaper which then carried on attacking any nearby Asari cruisers.

The Defiant reached Thessia and amongst the chaos that was happening around it, the shuttle flew out of its shuttle bay the moment it's door had opened, and began its descent down to the planet's surface.

Jack, Arcee and Airachnid were sitting down patiently in the shuttle as it was shaken by turbulence, Jack stood up and grabbed a hand hold on the ceiling to keep his balance before looking out of the window, he could see the capital of the Asari home world below him. The Asari had built one of the most beautiful architecture the Prime had ever seen, their whole planet was known as 'the jewel of the galaxy'.

And yet here and now he saw nothing but detestation as multiple Reapers walked amongst the once beautiful buildings, still reflecting the sunset that had been cast over the landscape. Jack could also see multiple large scale fires scattered around the city, the black smoke being emitted from them rising high into the sky. Arcee got up and looked out of the window next to Jack.

"By Primus, the Reapers are hitting the Asari just as hard as they did Earth." she said with a shocked expression.

"Intel says that Surkesh (Salarian home world) and Palaven (Turian home world) are being hit by Reaper forces that don't even approach the same size as the fleet decimating the Asari right now." Jack replied.

"Maybe the Reapers consider the Asari to be the next biggest threat after Humanity." Airachnid added from her seat, gaining both her friends attention.

"Well, the best way we can help is to find the Kranix Matrix as fast as possible because with out that. We will not complete the Crucible, the last real hope we have against the Reapers." Jack replied stoically, gaining an understanding nod from the femmes.

"We are coming up on the landing coordinates that were gwen to us." Swoop replied from he pilot's seat, as Jack walked in next to him.

"Then take us down."

The shuttle flew between two buildings as it approached a group of Asari commandos who were fighting off a horde of Husks that were encroaching on their position, the Alliance transport circled the area before landing on the ground and allowing Jack and his team to disembark. The Prime immediately walked over to one Asari who was barking orders at the rest.

"Keep an eye on our left flank, make sure our barriers are holding steady and will someone tell me when our air support will get here." she shouted around the group as Jack approached.

"What's the situation?" he asked, gaining her attention.

"The situation, Jackson Prime, is that we are getting hammered over here, My unit was ordered to hold this location and make a path for you to the temple, but I have lost enough people already. So we will be pulling out now."

Arcee and Airachnid stood beside the Prime.

"You have to hold the line and help us get through." the blue femme said back, earning an angry stare from the commando.

"Why, what is so important about the temple that my people have to die for?"

"We are here to pickup something from there." Jack answered.

"Are you fucking kidding me, your here to get an artefact. That is what my unit is fighting for. Well I am sorry, but I am not willing to sacrifice my people for that.". The commando answered back before walking over to her soldiers, who were using their Biotics to seal up one of their fortifications with a barrier, Jack though followed her.

"I can see what your team is going through, I have been through it myself countless times. But what we are here for can help us defeat the Reapers, isn't that worth it?"

The Asari looked back at him, her expression softening slightly.

"Is that true? Can this 'thing' you are looking for really do that?"

"Let me put it this way, we find this and the Reapers are history." he added as the commando leader looked around for a moment at her troops, before looking at him. She could see the determination in his eyes and hear the confidence in his voice. This was Jackson Prime after all, and if he said that it was possible then who was she to not believe him.

"... Alright then, Prime. We will hold back the Reaper forces back as long as we can."

She then gesture the Prime and the two femmes to follow her.

"Sent a team of my men to escort the scientists to the temple before you arrived, but I have not heard back from them. I don't think they got through." she said.

"We all keep an eye out for them." Jack replied before the sound of an explosion caught their attention to a gunship that had just been attacked by a reaper harvester in the air. The ship was spiraling out of control as it fell towards their location.

"Take cover!" the commando shouted as everyone but the soldiers erecting the barrier jumped behind whatever they could find, the gunship then crashed into the ground outside of the area, sending flaming debris up into the air as the force of the impact as well as the explosion shattered the barrier and knocked over the troops there. The commando leader then saw the large gap in their defences and gained her team's attention by pointing at the area.

"We have a breach, get of their and help them out." she shouted to three other Asari who immediately ran over and help the ones locked down by the crashed gunship up and away to safety.

"Now you four, erect another force field." she ordered another group who were about to start when the team's lookout sniper then spotted something just a ways from them with her rifle scope.

"We have incoming." she called to the leader who then looked in he direction of the temple and saw a horde of Husks charging at them.

"Damn it, they will be here before we have the barriers up." she said a little hesitantly.

Let us through there and we will hold them off until you have the defences up again." Jack replied.

"Alright, give us what time you can, Prime. We will do the rest." she said back as Jack and the two Autobots then left the compound in the direction of the temple. The four Asari behind then began to channel their energies into another barrier.

"Take positions." the Prime said as they took cover behind some debris and aimed their weapons at the horde that was at charging towards them.

"Use rifles until the Husks are close, then switch to your melee weapons." he said as the two Autobots readied their weapons before nodding back to him. Then just as the Husks drew nearer, Jack slipped his finger around the trigger of his avenger assault rifle.

"Open fire!" she shouted as he pulled he trigger and offloaded a burst of bullets into the horde, knocking down three creatures at once. Arcee and Airachnid did the same and more Husks fell to the ground dead. While they fired into the Reaper ground forces, behind them the Asari commando unit was busy repairing their fortifications. Using their Biotics to move large thick metallic panels into a make shift wall, while others were reinforcing it with barriers. The Commando leader looked over the makeshift wall at the Prime and his team.

"Just a few more minutes." she shouted over, Jack barely hearing her over the Husks screams and gunfire. But the horde was almost on top of them now.

"Switch now!"

He then sung his free arm at a husk as it launched itself through the air at him, only for the star saber to appear and with the force that he swung it with, he sliced the creature in two. Arcee deployed her arm blades and began taking apart Husks that were near her, Airachnid equipped her escrima sticks and mocked one Husk to he ground with one hit before pummelling another into submission.

For nearly two minutes the three of them fought against the husks as they kept charging into the group while trying to get to the commando's position. The Prime impaled a husk that was trying to claw at him and then turned his attention to another that had vaulted over some debris, with his free hand he equipped his pistol and shot it cleanly through the head.

"Get down!" a familiar voice shouted out as loud as it could, forcing the three to stop and dive to the ground before the sound of a Gatling gun rang out into the air. The three soldiers then stayed there until the sound stopped, Jack then opened his eyes to see a Husk lying next to him dead.

"You can get up now." the voice called out again. The three soldiers then stood up and looked back to see the commando leader standing on the rebuilt fortification while holding onto a Gatling gun turret. She smiled at Jack and his friends.

"Thanks for the help, now let us return the favour and cover your asses." she said.

"You're welcome. Anything else we can assist you with?" the Prime asked back.

"Just find that thing quickly." she replied before turning to her troops.

"Because when this war is over, we want the galaxy to know that it was won on Thessia." she exclaimed proudly as her troops cheered in return. Jack smiled and nodded back before looking back to his friends.

"Alright, let's go."

They hen headed away from the commandos position and in the direction that the temple was located.


The Prime and his team moved through the war zone with purpose and determination, they knew how close they were now to the goal, the one thing that they had been searching for the last three years….. The end of the Reapers. Jack took point as they moved through what now was a derelict building, though as Jack and his team looked around they saw that this used to be a school.

They walked slowly down the corridor and looked into each room as they passed them, they were all the same. Desks scattered about the room, blood stains all over the place. Suddenly the team stopped and kept very quiet as they heard movement and grunting coming from the room just ahead of them.

Jack sneaked up to the doorway and leaned over slightly, what he saw was a half destroyed class room with the outer wall completely demolished as the sunset bathed the rest of the devastation in light. The Prime then saw that the noises were coming from four Husks that were squatting in the middle of the room, they were circling something that he could not see clearly. He then looked back to Arcee and Airachnid and gestured with hand signals the number of enemies and their location.

The two femmes nodded as they clutched their weapons, Airachnid slowly and quietly moved to the other side of the doorway, doing her best not to alert the enemies nearby. But once she was in position, Jack signaled her and the two of them leaned in and fired a burst of bullets into the four creatures, killing them instantly.

The team then entered what was left of the room and Jack walked up to see what the Husks were squatting around, what he found was a little blue cuddly toy. He picked it up and showed it to the others, both femmes shook their heads at the thought that the Husks attacked defenceless children in such a manner.

The Prime placed the toy on one of the desks that had not been knocked over and looked through the large opening that used to be a wall, from here he could see that more Reapers had landed and were walking around the vast city and destroying anyone that came into their view. He then spotted the temple just in the distance.

"Okay, not far to go now." he said back before the three of them left the ruins of the school behind them.

They made it down to another street when their attention was caught by the sight of a Husk flying through the air past them, before smacking into the concrete wall behind them.

"That looks like biotics, we should check it out. See if they need help." Arcee said to Jack.

"It might even be the scientists that the commandos told us about." Airachnid added.

"Alright, but be ready." the Prime replied as they walked down the alleyway that the Husk was hurled from.

"Don't... come any closer, I... I mean it" a female voice called out in fear."

They then saw a silhouette of person stand up from behind some containers in the shadowed area of the alley, her right fist glowing with blue energy.

Jack and the two femmes stopped, but kept their weapons equipped.

"It's alright, we are here to help." he said back as the figure lowered her fist and stared at them for a moment, like she didn't really believe they were there.

"By the goddess, you're Jackson Prime." she replied before walking out of the shadows to reveal a beautiful blue skinned Asari dressed in black light combat armour.

"Yes, we were on our way to the temple just a ways from here when we heard you in trouble, thought you could use some help."

"Yes thank you, I too was on my way to the temple with the rest of my team." the Asari replied.

"Well, what's your name?" Arcee asked as she stood beside Jack. The blue woman then looked somewhat guilty suddenly.

"My apologies, I should have introduced myself first. My name is Dr. Liara T'Soni."

"Doctor T'Soni, what happened to your team?" Jack asked.

"We were on our way to the temple as per the orders we had received, and left with a group of commandos. But the route to the temple was crawling with Husks, and I was surprised we made it this far." Liara said as she recalled what happened.

"When we reached this area... that's when we... started to lose people."

"Why, what attacked you?" the Prime asked.

"At first it was Husks, we held them off without any trouble using our Biotics. But then something else turned up, it tore through our group with ease." the Asari continued.

"it could use Biotics and our attacks were ineffective against the creature."

"Your whole team is dead?" Airachnid said while Arcee turned around and watched the end of the alleyway they had entered. Liara just nodded sombrely.

"Yes, that... creature killed them all, I didn't get a good look at it. But it's scream will be something that I will never forget."

"How did you survive then?" Arcee asked while glancing back to them.

"I don't know, the last thing I remember was being knocked into a wall and fell behind those containers. I must have been knocked unconscious because when I woke up, the bodies of my friends were gone." Liara answered while pointing to the areas where her friends bodies were.

"There's no sign of the bodies being moved, it's like they just got up and walked away." Airachnid stated as she knelt by one area where a body had laid. Then the sound of a Reaper's roar sounded out just ways of their location, as they felt the tremors of it landing nearby.

"Okay, are you alright to move, Liara? Because we can't stay here." Jack asked, the Asari nodded in return.

"Yes, we need to get to the temple. My code will gain us access." she said as she picked up her SMG.

"Right, we have to move now." Arcee suggested after noticing Husks approaching their location from across the street. So Jack again took point with Liara behind him, Arcee and Airachnid watching the rear as they left the alley and carried on towards the temple.

They had not gotten far before Jack stopped the group at the side of a building when he head an explosion just around the corner. He peeked around the corner and saw a squad of Asari Commandos engaging a horde of Husks on the balcony of the building across from them. Liara poked her head around the corner, her eyes widening at the sight.

"We have to help them."

Jack turned back to her with a stoic expression.

"We can't, our mission is too important for us to deviate from it. Surely you were told this before being deployed."

The Asari looked back at the commandos.

"Yes, but I can't just do nothing while my people are dying. There must be…"

"Look out!" Airachnid called back as a dragon like husk flew over them toward the commandos.

"That's a Harvester." Jack replied as the dragon fired on the commandos, overwhelming them with a white hot beam that burned the Asari right through. The Harvester then flapped its wings as it moved on, leaving the charred remains of the commandos there on the balcony.

"No, damn them." Liara cursed as Jack looked again down the street.

"We are clear, let's move." he said to the others before looking back at the Asari.

"Liara, I am sorry… I really am. But if we find what we are looking for at the temple, then this war is over. Do you understand?"

She sighed in response before looking at the Prime.

"Yes, yes I do."

The group then carried on toward the temple as the battle raged around the city, numerous Reapers were now positioned all over the capital as Husks swarmed through every street, attacking any Asari on sight. Gun ships carpet bombed entire areas where there was nothing but the creatures roaming them now, the explosions running up almost a quarter of a mile. The destruction was immense, but all this did was gain the attention of the giant behemoths who then fired on the bombers, either blowing them out of the sky or sending them spiralling out of control into the streets below.

Jack saw this and couldn't help but remember that day on Earth over two months ago, he tried to push that memory into the back of his mind but that wasn't going to work. When he had picked up that stuffed toy earlier, he thought of the child that had died while he managed to escape. That child had since plagued his dreams nearly each and every night, but if they were successful today then, maybe they could stop any more children suffering the same fate. Jack was then pulled back from his thoughts by a hand on his shoulder. He looked back to see Liara looking at him.

"I am sorry, but you seemed to be elsewhere for a moment."

The Prime then looked back out at the devastation around him.

"This is all bringing back bad memories for me."

"You mean the attack on Earth, I am sorry. I didn't think earlier when I spoke about my people. I should have known better." she replied sheepishly. The group then came up to the entrance of the pyramid-shaped temple.

"The Temple of Athame." Liara stated as they walked up the steps to the large doors, which had pictographs depicting ancient Asari.

"Wow, this is amazing." Airachnid said as she looked up at the structure.

"This temple is the oldest on our planet." the Asari replied before activating her holo-tool.

"Let me just access the security override with my code."

Suddenly an ungodly scream pierced the air and made Liara's blood run cold as she froze on the spot. Jack saw this and placed a hand on her shoulders while Arcee and Airachnid looked around for the source of the noise.

Over there." Airachnid said as she pointed over to a twisted looking Husk coming towards them slowly. The way it moved made it look like it was in tremendous pain as it stepped ever closer. The group then stared wide eyed as they recognised what this Husk used to be.

"That looks like an Asari." Arcee said.

"That was what attacked my colleagues." Liara replied, before the creature started to glow with a bright blue light.

"Biotics!" Airachnid warned them before the Husk launched an energy attack at the group, knocking them on their backs. While both femmes managed to recover, both Jack and Liara fell down the stairs to the ground only a few feet from the creature.

"Jack!" Arcee cried out as she fired her SMG, but the bullets bounced harmlessly off the biotic barrier that was being emitted from the Husk. It then looked down at the Prime and Asari and screamed into their faces, the high pitched sound nearly deafening them as their clutched at their ears.

It then raised an arm and was about to strike down on the pair, but Jack recovered quickly enough to activate the sky boom shield which then deflected the attack, protecting both Liara and himself. The Prime then activated the star saber and swung it at the monster, slicing it's mid section open. Black blood spilled out of the wound and ran down the dark grey skin as the Husk cowered in reaction to the hit, it's barrier now heavy damaged from the saber's attack.

"Kill it." Jack then called back to the Autobots on the stairs as they both fired their weapons at the transformed Asari, riddling it with bullets. But this just seemed to make it madder as the blue energy returned and began spiralling around the Husk before being shot of it in all directions, sending the group flying back even more. Jack landed on his back and grimaced in response before he recovered himself and saw his friends lying against the stairs and Liara on her back just a few feet from him.

A familiar scream regained his attention back to the Husk as it's biotic field was now at it's strongest, it then took a stance with one foot in front of the other like it was about to launch itself at him. So Jack re-equipped the Star saber and began to swing it as the Husk moved at almost light speed at him with a 'biotic charge', his blade sliced right through the middle of the energy that passed beside him, before it changed back into the form of the Asari Husk which then split into two parts and fell to the ground dead. Jack then ran over to Liara and helped her to her feet.

"You alright?" he asked, gaining a smile from the Asari.

"Yes, thank you for saving me. For a moment I thought that I was going to join my colleagues."

The Prime smiled back before looking up to see Arcee and Airachnid standing on the stairs, and fully recovered.

"You two okay?"

"We are fine, Jack." Arcee stated with a smile before she then gestured for the two to join the femmes at the top of the stairs.

"Come on, we need to get inside." she said as Liara climbed the stairs and activated her holo-tool again.

"This will just take a moment." she replied as she transferred her code into the control panel beside the large doors. A few seconds later and the sounds of a large locking device coming undone could be heard before the large doors began to open and reveal the temple's interior to the group. There was a long walkway with a number of benches on either side, but just beyond that was a massive chamber that held a giant statue of an Asari.

"Hello, is anyone there?" Liara called out, her voice echoing slightly within the walls of the temple.

"I don't like this, Jack." Airachnid added as she scanned the room with her gun ready.

"Everyone spread out and search, we need to find the Kranix matrix before the Reapers decide to return this way." the Prime said as he walked down the center with his holo-tool activated. Arcee and Airachnid headed down the left side, while Liara down the right, their holo-tools too were being used to scan the artefacts. Jack looked at the statue.

"Who's that supposed to be?"

Liara looked up from her scanning.

"That is the Goddess Athame, we Asari believed that she gave our species life and so worshipped her as a god. But the religion slowly died out after we started to explore the galaxy."

"Jack, do we have any idea what we are supposed to be looking for?" Airachnid called back with a slightly irritated voice.

"Kranix didn't give us particular details." Arcee replied to the femme while scanning an artefact.

"Wait, who is Kranix?" Liara asked with a curious tone.

"He is a Lithone that we found in stasis on Eden Prime, he is also part of the team who were building the Crucible in his own cycle." Jack answered.

The Asari's eyes widened at what the Prime had said.

"You met a living Lithone. y the goddess. What is he like, did he tell you anything about his people, what did he?…" she started to ask, gaining an annoyed look from the femmes.

"Liara, focus on the task at hand." Jack stopped the Asari in her tracks, earning an embarrassed look from her.

"I apologise, it's just that I have studied the Lithone for most of my life so far and I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would find a real Lithone, alive and well."

"Well once we find our target, then you can interview him yourself." the Prime replied with a smile.

"I would be very grateful Prime." she said back. But suddenly Jack's attention was drawn away from the Asari as he started to look at the statue, he walked over to it and held his hand out to the air in front of him. He closed his eyes and stood there, earning strange looks from the rest of his group.

"Jack, what is it?" Arcee asked somewhat concerned.

"There is a Lithone beacon here." he replied stoically.

"Wait, are you sure?" the femme replied.

"Yes, I can sense it. The beacon is inside the statue."

"Interesting, I had heard that you had come into contact with two beacons before Prime. One on Eden Prime and the other on Virmire." Liara said, before Jack looked at her.

"Liara, use your biotics to shatter the statue and free the beacon."

"I don't condone vandalism, but with the moment being so dire. I see no alternative." she replied before she began to glow as the Asari channeled her biotic energy, she then threw her arms forward and the statue began to shake where it stood as cracks appeared over it'surface. Then one piece fell to the ground revealing part of the beacon underneath.

"Nearly, Liara, just a little more." Jack said encouragingly. Liara then gritted her teeth and pushed even more as the statue then crumbled to the ground, leaving the Lithone beacon standing in its place.

"By the goddess, I don't understand why they hid it?" the Asari asked.

"Are you that naive?" Airachnid asked giving Liara a knowing look.

"So that they could hoard the knowledge of an advanced race for themselves, to give them power and influence." the femme added.

Liara shook her head as she looked back to the artifact.

"I don't believe that, why would my people keep this secret?" she replied, her voice tinged with denial.

"A beacon like this would explain why the Asari are at level with the Cybertronians as an advanced civilization." Jack added while Airachnid took a scan with her holo-tool.

"This temple is several thousand years old, your people would have made serious progress in that t ime with this beacon in their hands. I mean just a small amount of data would have given you an advantage. And with us in the middle of a civil war, you would have been able to place yourselves above the rest of the galaxy."

Arcee kept quiet as both Jack and Airachnid kept their attention on Liara.

"Well if it is true, then the Asari should have shared this knowledge. We may have been able to stop the Reapers before they even had a chance to attack." Jack said in a stoic manner.

"You don't know that, Prime. We don't really know what is going on here." Liara replied calmly.

"I do know that we don't have much time to find out." the Commander replied before turning back round to the beacon and walking closer to it. He then felt a familiar tingling sensation coursing through his body, he felt this before. The last time was when he was in front of the beacon on Eden Prime. Jack then reached out and placed his hand on the beacon's surface, which then began to power up as the glyphs carved into it's surface started to glow with a green light.

"Jack, I think you got it." Arcee said as she stood beside Airachnid and Liara. Then as Jack began to step back, a green glowing holo-orb appeared and floated down to the ground between him and his friends.

"It's another Lithone VI." the blue femme observed.

"Obtaining chronological marker…. Timescale established, post-Lithone cycle confirmed." a synthetic voice suddenly called out from the orb. It then floated just above the group as it saw the silhouette of a Reaper on the horizon through the open door of the temple.

"Reaper presence detected, this galactic cycle is already at it's extinction terminus. Preparing to shut down." it continued as it floated back down to the ground.

"Wait a minute, we want some answers." Jack said to it.

"Warning, indoctrinated presence detected… hold ….. error." it then replied, gaining a puzzled look from the Prime and the others.

"What? We are the only ones here."

"Error, restarting scan…. Negative presence of indoctrinated persons. To what question would you want an answer?" the VI asked.

"Are you the Kranix matrix?" Jack asked.

"Yes, my name is Bagu and I was created by Kranix approximately one hundred thousand years ago."

"So you are all we need to complete the Crucible then." the Prime replied.

"Negative, my program is simply a support mechanism. To connect the Crucible to the 'Catalyst'."

"The Catalyst, what is that?" Airachnid asked in confusion. The orb then shifted into a lifelike hologram of Kranix.

"The Catalyst is what the Crucible requires to complete its purpose. I will bridge them both and unify them to that end."

"Why doesn't it just tell us what this Catalyst is?" Arcee asked with an annoyed tone, but Bagu just ignored her.

"What happened to the Crucible in your time, why didn't the Lithone deploy it?" Jack asked.

"We were sabotaged from within our own ranks, a group that believed that we should control the Reapers rather than destroy them broke away and fractured our order of battle. We later found out that the splinter group were indoctrinated." Bagu replied.

"And now we are facing the same problem with MECH." the Prime said, before the VI shifted it's form again. This time into a reconstruction of the galaxy.

"Our studies of the past led us to believe that time is cyclical. Many patterns repeat themselves..."

"You mean the Reaper attacks." Jack said as the galaxy began to glow red from its outer edges through to its core.

"...And beyond, the same peaks in evolution, the same valleys of dissolution. These same conflicts are expressed in every cycle but in a different order. The repetition is too prevalent to be merely chance." the VI explained.

"We thought that the Reapers were responsible for the pattern." Airachnid replied.

"Maybe, but I believe that the Reapers are only servants of the pattern, they are not it's 'master'."

"Then who is the master?" Jack asked.

"Unknown, it's presence is only inferred rather than observed. The only certainty is it's intention." Bagu replied as it shifted back into the form of Kranix.

"And that is?" Arcee asked.

"Galactic annihilation, you now stand at its precipice."

"This cycle is not done with yet, you say that this Catalyst is required. So tell us what it is and where we can find it, trillions of lives depend on it." the Prime said stoically.

"Trillions of lives are always at risk, but if the Reapers have arrived to end your cycle. Then this discussion is too late." the VI replied as it shifted into a representation of the planet and the Reaper forces surrounding it.

"We can end the Reaper threat, we found your plans for the Crucible. It's construction is almost complete." Jack said back.

"The Crucible is not of Lithone design, it is the work of countless galactic cycles stretching back millions of years." Bagu replied as the holo-form changed to a reconstruction of the Crucible, as more parts were being added to it.

"Each cycle adds to it and improves it, but thus far no cycle has successfully defeated the Reapers with it." the VI continued.

"Then we will be the first, tell us what the Catalyst is." Jack said, his voice sounded agitated with the VI.

"We also have found Kranix himself. He is helping us as we speak." Airachnid added.

"Very well. If you have followed the plans for the Crucible, then I will interface with it's systems to assist the Catalyst with…." Bagu replied before turning around and looking to the temple's entrance.

"Indoctrinated presence detected, activating security protocol." it said before shifting back into it's orb form and floating back to the beacon. Jack and the others attention was caught by the sound of a gunship's engines outside the temple as a figure approached them from the entrance. Jack's eyes narrowed as he recognized the man.

"Sideways, what do you want?" he replied as he and the others equipped their weapons and pointed them at the former Con.

"For you to shut up and listen, Prime, there is someone who wants to talk with you." he replied with anger lacing his words. He then activated his holo-tool just before a holo-form appeared before him, walking towards the group. It then took on the image of a man with yellow optics.

"Darby." he said in an uninterested tone.


"Silas, how did you find this place?" Jack asked back.

"The archives on Mars, or did Soundwave miss that one. Pity he died to save the Krogan, a worthwhile endeavour to be sure, but not one that is going to help you." the Director replied.

"Soundwave had more courage and honor than you and MECH combined." the Prime replied as he remembered his fallen friend, but Silas just walked past Jack towards the Kranix matrix.

"None of that matters, because he helped us uncover the means to dominating the Reapers." he added as he reached up with a holographic hand and touched the orb.

"Or destroying them." Jack interjected.

"Damn it, Darby." Silas replied angrily as he turned to the Prime.

"Destroying them gains us nothing." he added.

"How about peace?" Jack said back.

"They are just trying to control the life of the galaxy, think about it. If they really wanted to destroy all life, they could do it. There would be nothing left, I mean why haven't they wiped out the Cybertronians?" Silas said with a slightly agitated tone.

"What are you going on about?" Jack asked with a confused look.

"I have studied them up close, Darby. I know how they think."

"I think you have gotten a little to close to the Reapers." the Prime said coldly.

"No, the Reapers have got it right. Why destroy when you can control." Silas replied.

"You have been spending too much time with the enemy. Your being dragged over to their side, to their way of thinking." Jack said as he tried to get through to him.

"No, that is not true. I just….. see things differently." Silas replied hesitantly.

"If you really cared about Humanity, then you will stop fighting me. You will join me against our real enemy." Jack said back with a stoic expression.

"Don't you ever question my intentions again, Darby, I have sacrificed more for the benefit of Humanity than you will ever know. And don't assume that you know me." Silas said back with an aggressive tone underlining his words.

"My methods for handling the Reapers are far more refined than yours." he added, Jack then felt his self-control start to break as he felt that he was talking to a brick wall.

"You have forgotten everything that you stood for. MECH were meant to protect Humanity from outside threats, not hand us over on silver platter."

"Interesting words, Prime. But the world is grey, not black and white." the Director replied as Sideways paced back and forth with an agitated swagger as Arcee and Airachnid kept their weapons on him.

"With the data from this beacon. I can end this war, once and for all. Your either with me or against me, that looks like black and white to me." Jack said back.

"Well you have a point there, Darby." Silas replied before turning around and walking towards the exit.

"Sideways, the Prime has something I need. Take it from him." he said before his hologram faded away, the former con then unsheathed his blade which glowed the purple colour of dark energon.

"Well, it's about time." he replied eagerly as he took up a defensive stance. He then immediately launched himself into the air with a battle cry before slicing his blade down on the Prime, who blocked it with the star saber. The two blades creating an energy field around them as they clashed.

"I have looked forward to this." Sideways said with a chuckle before pulling back and then swinging his blade at Jack again who deflected it.

"You have been looking forward to getting beaten again." Jack said back sarcastically as Arcee and Airachnid took up positions around the two. The former con then spun the blade in his hand before spinning around and back kicking the Prime in the face, knocking Jack onto his back.

"Well, I didn't really get to show off my upgrades the last time." he replied before both femmes opened fire on him with their guns, but he just back flipped out of the way before landing gracefully and smiling at them.

"You will have to try better than that." he retorted.

"How about this." Liara said as she glowed with biotic energy before picking up Sideways off the ground and hurling him back several feet. But he then suddenly stopped himself midway and landing on the ground like nothing had happened.

"Biotics, how interesting." he replied before he too began to glow.

"What do you think of mine?" he said as he punched the air in front of him, and knocked the Asari from where she stood into the wall behind her. Airachnid then took this chance to fire on him again, but Sideways just raised his hand to it and deflected the bullets with a barrier. He kept smiling as he then clicked his fingers with the same hand, which froze the femme to the spot.

"I really love these upgrades."

Suddenly Arcee screamed at him as she flew through the air with her arm blades deployed, but he dodged the attack. She then landed next to him and through a punch and then a kick at the former Con. And he dodged both of them. She then made a flurry of attacks at him, but with his increased speed and dexterity. Sideways blocked and dodged each and every one before he caught her fist in his free hand.

"Arcee, you never did learn did you?" he said to her before spinning the blade in his hand and jabbing her in the stomach with its hilt.

"You can not beat me without your boyfriend's help." he added as he elbowed her in the back, sending her onto the ground face first and then kicking her in the side, the strength of it making her roll across the ground.

"Is this the best you can do?" he then gloated before a bright blue light caught his attention from behind, he saw that it was a wave of energy that was closing on him and he somersaulted over it and landed near Jack who had become weak from using the star saber.

"Really, Darby. This day just keeps getting better and better."

Sideways then grabbed the Prime by the throat and tossed him into the benches nearby, Jack felt a rib crack as he fell over one bench and landed on his front in the aisle between. Sideways then looked to see Jack and his friends all defeated and smiled as he felt quite satisfied with himself before sheathing his blade, the former Con then walked over to the beacon where the Kranix matrix was hovering. He activated his holo-tool but before he could download the VI, Airachnid tackled him to the ground, ma.

"Where do you think you're going?" she spat at him as the femme began to punch the enemy repeatedly in the face. But this only made him more angry as his hand glowed.

"Get the frag off me, you filthy wretch." he growled at her before punching the Autobot in the stomach, the force of the biotic punch sending her flying. He then got back to his feet as she hit the floor hard, wincing in pain. The Former Con then started back to the VI, but was stopped by a gun shot that narrowly missed him and hit the beacon. Sideways sighed before looking back to see the femme getting to her feet with her pistol aimed at him.

"Are you that eager to die today?" he asked her, Airachnid gave a quick glance to the others and saw that they were still on the floor before looking back to the enemy.

"I am not letting you leave with that." she answered with a determined tone between heavy breaths.

"Very well…." he replied as he unsheathed his blade and began to run at her. The femme threw her now empty gun to the ground and equipped her escrima sticks before rushing back at Sideways.

"…then die, Autobot!" he finished say as he swung the blade at her, but Airachnid blocked the attack with one escrima stick before hitting him in the face with the other. She then put together a combination of hits with her sticks and a few kicks, each one connecting with a part of Sideways body as he failed to defend against them. But just as it looked like she was getting the upper hand, the former Con glowed with biotic energy.

"ENOUGH!" he cried out as he launched her up into the air, freezing her several metres above him. She tried to move but felt an invisible force holding her in place. She then looked down to see Sideways smiling darkly at her before pulling his glowing fist down making her plummet to the ground, only for him to raise his blade up over him and let it impale the femme through the chest. Fluid spilled out of the wound as Airachnid screamed in agony, the former Con then swung the blade down. The Autobot sliding off the blade and hitting the ground.

"And stay down this time." he retorted before swinging his blade again, rinsing it of the femme's blood before sheathing it again. Sideways then began to walk back to the VI, when he noticed the others getting to their feet.

"That means you too!" he added as he clicked his fingers, causing a biotic slam to hit the Prime and the two women, knocking them back to the ground. He then used his holo-tool and downloaded the Kranix matrix and then turned to leave, taking a look at Jack who was trying to get to his feet again.

"Next time we meet, I will kill you, Darby." he gloated before walking back to the gun ship at the entrance. Jack, pushing his aching body to its limit got to his feet and picked up his pistol, before running after the former con. Arcee then came too and looked over to see Airachnid lying just a ways from her as her partner ran after their enemy. Sideways had just started to enter the gun ship's rear ramp as Jack fired a few rounds at him, but the enemy just waved his hand back and deflected the shots with a barrier. He then smiled at Jack before the ramp lifted up and closed. The Prime watched hopelessly as the MECH vessel then took off into the distance with their last hope. But before he had time to lose himself to defeat, the Commander was snapped back to reality.

"Jack!" Arcee called back with fear overwhelming her voice. Jack turned round to see the femme and Liara kneeling next to Airachnid's still body, his eyes widened before he started to run back to them.

"She has been stabbed through the chest and is losing a lot of fluid, the medi-gel is not stabilizing her." Arcee said panicky while she tried to deal with her friend's wounds. Jack tapped his com link.

"Swoop, bring in the shuttle. We need an evac."

"Prime, that area is getting too hot." the Dinobot replied.

"We have a medical emergency, get here now!" the Prime said back angrily.

"Okay, on my way. ETA sixty seconds."

Jack then picked up Airachnid in his arms and headed for the temple's entrance as Arcee and Liara followed. The moment they got outside they could see Shuttle one closing in on their location, but then a deafening roar echoed from behind them. They turned to see a Reaper standing right behind the temple, it's beam weapon charging up. Swoop though landed the shuttle next to them and opened the hatch.

"Get in!" he called to them as the group climbed onboard, lifting off the moment the last person in and pulled away just as the Reaper fired it's beam which hit the ground just milliseconds after they left. As the vessel flew over the war zone, Jack and Arcee frantically tried to stop the bleeding as Airachnid grimaced at the pain from her chest wound.

"It's no use, we are losing her" the femme replied as her fluid soaked hands applied pressure to the wound. Airachnid then looked at both of them with her purple eyes.

"It's….. okay, I am… ready." she said before looking at Arcee.

"I do.. have one wish."

"What is it, Airachnid?" the blue femme replied as she felt grief beginning to surface from within her spark.

"I want you…. to kiss me Jack." Airachnid said as her eyes lined up with the Prime's. Jack then looked up at Arcee, the femme had a look of sadness and understanding on her face before she closed her eyes and nodded. The Prime then looked at his former lover and leaned down until their lips met, allowing the femme to taste him one last time. After a moment Jack pulled back just far enough to look into Airachnid's eyes.

"I don't….. want you… to blame yourself…. Jack." she said as the Prime took a deep breath.

"I welcome this….. because I will get to….. see Esmeral again." the dying femme added with a slight smile.

"Then go to her, Airachnid, and thank you for everything." Jack replied as he returned the smile, but the femme shook her head slightly while continuing to smile at him.

"No Jack…., thank you for… giving me the…. chance to..ato…."

Airachnid then took her last breath before her eyes glazed over, her body then going limp. Liara looked down to her holo-tool and saw the beats from the femme's spark go into one long tone.

"She's gone." the Asari stated with regret. Silence fell inside of the shuttle as Arcee didn't know where to look as a single tear ran down her cheek. Jack then got up and turned to look out of the window at the carnage that the Reapers were continuing to unleash on the planet, his mind being overrun with thoughts of his friend. The shuttle's com system then came to life as the voice of the commando Leader could be heard.

"… is there anyone on this frequency, my unit is trapped!"

But Jack and the others remained quiet as they let sorrow overcome them.

"I repeat is there anyone on this frequency."

A gun shot was then heard before another Asari spoke.

"The Lieutenant is down! Our whole zone is collapsing. What happened to the Prime, did his team make it to the temple." the voice said.

"We saw them… Wait, we have a Reaper inbound, AAAARRRGGGHHH!"

Jack saw a Reaper land on the area they had started from earlier and fire it's beam weapon down, making the radio chatter turn to static. The Prime then closed his eyes and hung his head in shame as their shuttle took off for high orbit, leaving the Asari in the hands of the Reapers.

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  • 4 weeks later...


Jack was standing alone in the Com room as he leaned back against the wall with his arms crossed, the incoming transmission LED on the control console in front of him was blinking back at the Prime. He knew who it was on the other end, but had no idea how he was going to explain what happened, how he came so close to acquiring the means to end the Reapers. But then not only coming away empty-handed, but also losing a friend and teammate. He closed his eyes and sighed as brushed his and through his hair before standing up straight and walking over to the control console. He then tapped the button next to the blinking LED and a fragmented hologram of Councillor Tevos appeared.

"Jackson Prime, do you read?" Jack could hear her say barely through the static before her image cleared up.

"Prime, are you there?" she asked again, her voice sounding anxious. Jack looked down and took a deep breath before answering.

"Councillor, I am here."

"Prime, we have lost all contact with our forces on Thessia, the entire system has gone dark. How long until the Crucible will be ready to deploy?" Tevos asked.

Jack looked up and met the Asari's gaze.

"Councillor… I wish I…."

He just couldn't say it, say that he lost the data and also watched as the Reapers lay waste to her planet. But then he was snapped out of his self loathing by the Councillor's voice.

"What is it, Prime, what happened?"

"We found the Kranix matrix, but MECH arrived and took the information. We were… we were defeated. We can not finish the Crucible." he said as he forced the words out of his mouth, leaving a bad taste. Tevos looked down to the ground and placed her hand on her brow.

"I… I don't know what to say." she said before looking back at the Prime.

"What was the situation on Thessia?"

Jack looked back down to the console, unable to even look the Councillor in the eye.

"The Reapers are there in force, your people are being…"

Tevos's expression changed to one of worry and despair as she failed to keep her emotions in check and looked back to the Commander.

"You will have to excuse me, Prime. There are…. preparations to make. I never thought this day would come."

"None of is did. Councillor. I am….." Jack said as he looked up at her, only for Tevos to end the transmission and her image to faded to nothing. Jack felt his heart sink as he looked into the empty space where the Asari's hologram once stood.

"… I'm sorry." he said before taking a step back from the console. Everything that they had planned was unravelling fast, the Reapers were now attacking every major power in the galaxy and the one thing that could help was no in the hands of Silas and MECH.

'How did it come to this?' he thought before turning around and leaving the room.

Arcee was waiting for Jack as he exited the room, she took one look at Jack and saw that he was hurting. Not only for losing to MECH, but also for losing Airachnid. The femme knew that they had been close, that they shared just a brief moment of what she and the Prime had. When Airachnid had asked to kiss Jack one last time, Arcee could not feel angry about it. Because over time the former Con had become a good friend and if it hadn't been for Airachnid, then she and Jack would never had gotten back together. And for that Arcee would be forever grateful.

"Jack, Teletraan has reported that Liara T'Soni has made it safely to the Asari cruiser 'Aurora'. She sends us her thanks and says that she will be helping the evacuation of her people."

"That's good to hear." the Prime replied with a blank expression.

"Teletraan also said that the remaining Asari forces are pulling out of the system, they are leaving it to the Reapers." Arcee added as she looked at Jack with concern.

"Okay, I will tell Hotrod to get us out of here." the Prime replied before starting to leave, only for the femme to speak again.

"What are your orders once we are on our way?"

Jack stopped and looked back to her.

"I don't know, Arcee."

It was killing the femme to see her lover like this, her spark ached at the sight of Jack looking so lost and defeated.

"Jack, if you want I will cover your duties so that you can get some rest."

Jack sighed and look down for a moment before looking back to her.

"And if you want to talk, you know I am only a spark beat away." she added, gaining a slight smile from the Prime.

"I know Arcee, thank you." he said before he turned away and walked toward the elevator, leaving the femme to watch him go.

Jack entered the CIC, ignoring the worried looks from the crewmen as he walked up to the cockpit where Hotrod was.

"Hotrod, report."

The Autobot pilot typed into the holo-keyboard in front of him and brought up the map of the system, it showed a number of white dots leaving Thessia as a mass of red dots surrounded the planet.

"Prime, we better get out of here, the Reapers are setting up shop in this system."

Jack's face remained blank as he looked at the screen.

"Very well, get us out of here."

"What's our destination?" Hotrod asked back with a somewhat confused tone. Jack just looked at the ground as he turned away and began to walk back towards the elevator.

"Pick one, I don't care where." he mumbled under his breath. The Autobot knew that something wasn't right, so he spun his chair around to face the Commander.


Jack stopped and looked back to his pilot.

"Yes, Hotrod?"

"Sorry to see Thessia that way, I'm guessing the Asari wish they trained more commandos instead of dancers now huh.." the pilot joked, earning a bemused look from the Prime which quickly changed to one of anger as he walked back towards the cockpit.

"If you hadn't noticed we just lost a few million people down there with even more to follow, this isn't the time." he snapped at Hotrod. The pilot looked up at him with wide eyes before his expression mirrored the Prime's as he activated his hook-tool, bringing up a holo image of a planet.

"See this planet, it's called Temptoria, it's a human/Cybertronian colony near the edges of Alliance space. My brother Rodimus is stationed there."

Then the image showed Red dots arriving at the planet.

"Two weeks ago Reapers flew in." Hotrod continued as he deactivated his holo-tool and looked up at Jack with a serious expression.

"So you can assume that I am fully aware that there is war going on."

"Then why the joke?" Jack asked back in an angry tone.

"Because according to Teletraan and Ratchet's scans, you are under more pressure now than on New Terra, where it was just you and a handful of rookies versus an army of slavers. Or better yet the battle of the Citadel or the attack on the Quintesson home world.".Hotrod replied.

Jack was about to say something but the pilot continued.

"Also not long back Bryce sent a message from Optimus, who asked me to look out for you. The leader of the Autobots, who is back on Earth coordinating the resistance is more worried about you." the Autobot added.

"I didn't know that, and I do appreciate the concern... but I am fine." Jack replied, but Hotrod saw otherwise.

"No you're not, Jack..." the Autobot replied which stunned the Prime, as this was the first time that Hotrod has called him by his name.

"... you're like a terminator right now, and it is my fault. Nearly three years ago when the Quintessons destroyed the Normandy, you died after coming back for me, because I wouldn't leave, That's on me." Hotrod replied with a guilty tone in his voice.

"Well, I couldn't leave the best pilot in the galaxy behind now... Could I?" the Prime replied with a slight smile, hoping it would calm his pilot down.

"I guess that would look bad on your record." the pilot replied as he saw that Jack had made a joke.

"But I still owe you for saving my life Jack and I will repay you."

"You don't owe me anything, Hotrod. You're my friend, thank you."

The young bot nodded in return before Jack looked out of the cockpit's canopy into space.

"Set course for the seventh fleet, we will see if Admiral Bryce has any Intel for us. In the meantime I will be in my quarters, Arcee will be covering for me."

"Aye aye." Hotrod replied as he turned his chair back round to the controls, and Jack turned to leave, walking back into the CIC. The pilot then leaned round and watched him leave.

"I will pay you back Jack." he said under his breath.

"Did you say something, Hotrod?" Teletraan asked as its holo-form appeared next to the pilot.

"Nah, I didn't. Setting course for the Seventh fleet." the pilot replied as he looked back towards the canopy and took control of the ship, which then flew through the active space bridge vortex.


It had been a few hours since the Defiant had left Thessia to the Reapers and morale on board was low to say the least, Jack had not been out of his quarters since the ship had retreated along with the Asari forces. Arcee was at this moment in engineering with Garrus and Tali. The Quarian was performing a diagnostic on the engine core from a console over looking the Core's containment shield, Garrus was standing behind her with his arms wrapped round her waist. Though you could not see her face behind the visor of her helmet, she was content and had a big smile on her face. Garrus looked over to Arcee who was leaning back against the rail that half surrounded the core, she was looking ahead with a pensive expression.

"Arcee. everything okay? You haven't spoken in a while." he asked. The femme sighed before looking back to her friends.

"Sorry, Guys, I was just thinking." she said in a sombre tone.

"About Jack?" Tali asked as she looked up from her work to the Autobot, Arcee nodded in return.

"He has taken Airachnid's death very hard, I can't help but wonder how he would be if anything..." she said before cutting herself short, not wanting to say the words.

"You mean if anything had happened to you?" Garrus finished, making the femme look at him and then back down to the ground.

"... yes."

"I know how Jack feels for youm Arcee, because it is exactly the same as how I feel for Tali." the Turian said as he gently tightened his arms around his lover's waist, the Quarian took a deep breath as she tried to stop her self getting too excited by Garrus's open act of affection towards her. She then stopped what she was doing and turned around and looked him in the eyes.

"If anything had happened to you on Omega, then there would have been nothing Jack or anyone could have done to stop me from killing Petrovsky and every member of MECH on that station." he said as she placed a hand on the chest plate of his armour and smiled back, the Turian then looked back to Arcee when he remembered they weren't alone.

"So, Arcee, believe me when I say that I know what his reaction would be if it was you."

The Autobot nodded back with a slight smile gracing her face.

"Yeah, I guess I have always known that about Jack. Thanks, Garrus." she replied.

"Hey, you should go corner him and get him to talk. I did that with Garrus here and he felt better once it was off his chest." Tali then said getting the femme's attention as she stood back up.

"I think I will, see you guys later."

As Arcee left, the Quarian then wrapped both arms around the her lover's neck gaining a puzzle smile from him.

"I thought you had work to do?"

"Well I did, but someone keeps distracting me." she answered coyly.

"Well….. Damn, what are you going to do to this person?" he replied just a coy, making Tali rise up on her tip toes and whisper into his ear. Garrus's eyes then almost popped out of their sockets before he looked back to her in surprise.

"… really, I didn't know that. I mean if you feel ready.. but." he said before she cut him by placing a finger on his lips.

"Follow me." she said in a low seductive tone before taking him by the hand and leading him out of Engineering, only stopping to look over to another engineer who was trying to act like he had not seen anything.

"Adams, I am taking a break. Please keep an eye on things until I get back." Tali said in a professional manner.

"Yes Tali sir.. I mean miss." he replied awkwardly as the two lovers left. Meanwhile Arcee exited the elevator on deck one which led to her and Jack's quarters. She stood outside the door and took a breath before taking a step forward and the door opened, revealing the interior to her. But she stopped when she saw that the room was empty.

"Teletraan where is Jack, I thought that he was up here?" she asked into her com link.

"I am sorry, Arcee, but Jackson Prime has asked for privacy." the AI replied, earning a slight scowl from the femme.

"Teletraan, this is me you are talking too. Tell me where Jack is?"

There was silence for several seconds before the AI spoke again.

"Very well, Prime is in the gym."

Meanwhile Jack was alone in what the crew called 'the gym, it wasn't particularly large room but it was filled with some weight machines, treadmills and mats. The Prime at this moment was unloading into a punching bag. He was throwing a flurry of punches and kicks into the bag, as if he was picturing it as someone else. Every time a fist or foot connected, he would try to see flashes of Sideways in pain. But instead he saw the friends that he had lost since becoming a Prime, friends that he believed should still be here.

He hit the bag as hard as he could and saw a flash of Miko, another punch connected and then it was Kaidan. Then a roundhouse kick and he saw Wheeljack. He then performed a combination and he saw Jacob and Zaeed, Soundwave and Legion. Then the last punch made him see Airachnid and that stopped him in his tracks, he stood there with his fist still embedded in the punching bag. He was covered in sweat and breathing heavily. he had been so preoccupied with the apparatus that he had not noticed Arcee standing in the doorway watching him, her face was one of worry and concern. True if she had seen him doing this at any other time, then his current appearance would have gotten quite a different reaction from her, with his toned and sweaty physique. But this was different, she watched for a moment longer as he pulled his fist from the bag and looked down at the floor.

"Jack, I thought I would find you in our room." She said gaining the Prime's attention as he looked back to her, his expression one of annoyance.

"I told Teletraan I didn't want to be disturbed." he replied as he took a stance and readied himself for another round.

"Like that was going to work with me, Jack. You know me better than that." the femme said back as she stepped into the room towards him, the Commander then began punching the bag multiple times in the process.

"I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts, Arcee." he said with heavy breaths as he concentrated on the apparatus, which had begun to swing due to the amount of force being used against it. Arcee saw this and took hold of the bag from the other side and steadied it, never taking her eyes off her partner in the process.

"So you wanted to be alone to torture yourself mentally and physically." she said as she looked at him.

"Well, you have picked a hell of at time to let yourself go."

Jack stopped and glared at her, but all he saw from Arcee's face was love and worry and tah causd his own expression to soften.

"Arcee..." he replied before he stopped his assault on the apparatus.

"Talk to me, Jack. What's wrong? Why are you down here?" the femme asked. The Prime then moved away from the punching bag and sat down on the bench that ran the length of the wall, the Autobot doing the same while keeping her eyes on her lover. Jack bent forward and hung his head as he sighed.

"It's my fault."

"What is, Jack? What's your fault?" Arcee replied with a confused look.

"What happened on Thessia with MECH." he answered sombrely.

"Jack, you couldn't have known what was going to happen down there." the femme said back with a supportive tone.

"I should have. As a Prime, I have to be ready for anything that may happen. But I was just so fixated on getting the Kranix matrix, that I lost sight of everything else." he said.

"Jack, you had to be though because we needed that to end the war. And no one thinks less of you, because they would have been exactly the same." Arcee replied as she placed a comforting hand on his knee. Jack though didn't acknowledge her as he just kept looking down at the floor. The femme could see that he wanted to be alone and stew in his own juices... If that was the correct human term, but she wasn't about to give up on him. So she instead sat closer to him, showing him that she wasn't going anywhere.

"I know there is more to this than just what happened on Thessia, Jack. This goes back further than that. Like the fact that you sleep erratically, or that you close yourself off from the others." Arcee said with a tone that Jack could not help but notice, so he glanced up to her.

"You never give up, do you? He replied somberly. The femme then gently placed a hand on his cheek and turned his face towards her, bringing his eyes to meet hers.

"I'll never give up on you, Jack... not ever." she replied softly. Jack then sighed as he remembered what he had promised Garrus only days before, he knew he could not hold it off any longer and that Arcee deserved better than to be kept in the dark. Hell maybe getting it off his chest would actually relieve him of the guilt and pain that he had felt over the last few months.

"I am truly sorry for worrying you, but I thought that this burden was mine to bear alone."

The Autobot then gave him a knowing look.

"You really just said that, after what you said to me not long back about keeping things to yourself when I was worried about Chromia, you did the opposite of that and now it is effecting you. Trust me as I trust you, let me in…let me help you." she asked in an almost pleading like tone. It was funny that both Garrus and Arcee had said similar things to the Prime in just a matter of days, those closest to him knew him better than he knew him self it would seem. So Jack sat up with his back to the wall and took a breath as he looked directly in front of him.

"Back on Earth, while I was incarnated. There was this boy who was playing with other kids in a playground just away from the complex I was held at. He couldn't of been any older than six or seven years, but nearly every day I saw him there enjoying his childhood without a care in world. Well when the Reapers attacked and you, Optimus and I were trying to get down to street level, I found him hiding in an open vent. I tried to convince him to come with us, so that we could get him to safety. But he was too scared to trust anyone and when Optimus called back to me, I looked back to find that he had gone retreated further into the vents."

"I am sorry Jack, but when a child is scared. Usually the only ones who they will trust are their own family." Arcee replied sympathetically.

"That wasn't the only time I saw him, there was 'one more time'." Jack said back.

"One more time?"

"Yes, it was when we were standing on the Defiant's shuttle bay ramp and looking out at the devastation that the Reapers were inflicting. I saw him at one of the evacuation zones, he was about to board a shuttle when he looked directly at me. So I smiled back, knowing that he would be alright. But then just as his shuttle was leaving, it was blown out of the sky by a nearby Reaper." the Prime said with his eyes wide as if he could see the whole moment happen in front of him.

"And from that moment I have felt that those who have died during this conflict, not just our friends who have fallen. But everyone…. is on me, because I didn't fight hard enough." he said simply before looking down to the floor. Arcee immediately moved and knelt down in front of him.

"Look at me, Jack." she said with a gentle but firm tone, gaining Jack's attention as he looked at her.

"You have been fighting the Reapers since the beginning. And you have warned people about them for years now, so the blame must rest solely on the shoulders of those who would not act, not on the one who did." she said firmly while looking into his eyes.

"And as for our friends who are no longer with us, they knew the risks and dangers that came with fighting beside you and yet they followed you anyway. Because they believed in your cause and knew that it was the right thing to do, as does everyone else on this ship. And so do I."

Jack then gave the femme a sad smile as his eyes began to well up.

"Thank you, Arcee. I have held this in for so long now, I know that I should have known better but…" he said before the Autobot cut him off.

"Sssshhh." she said as she got up and pulled him into an embrace, the Prime resting his head on her shoulder as a solitary tear ran down his cheek.

"You're putting too much on your shoulders, Jack. You maybe a Prime, but you are still just a man...but you are 'my man'." she said affectionately before the two parted slightly to look at each other. The femme then leaned in and kissed him on the lips lovingly, with Jack returning it in kind. Once they separated Arcee smiled at her lover.

"Now go and get yourself cleaned up and meet me in the CIC, the crew needs it's Commander more now than ever."

"Yes, Sir." he answered with a surprised smile, before walking past her and out of the gym, Arcee watched with a smile as he left.


Twenty minutes later and Jack exited the elevator and entered the CIC as Arcee was looking over some data on the galaxy map.

"Teletraan, are you sure these bases are no longer used by MECH?" the femme asked as she stared at three yellow dots blinking on the map.

"Positive Arcee, these bases have been searched by the Alliance since I uploaded their whereabouts to our mainframe." the AI replied. Jack then stood beside his partner, earning a smile from her. But before he could say anything, one of the crew approached him.

"Commander, I have this week's duty roster for you to check." she said as she handed him a pad which he looked at.

"It looks good, Ensign. Carry on." he replied stoically. The ensign nodded and was about to leave when he turned back to the Prime.

"It's good to see you, Sir." he said a little nervously, but Jack smiled back at him.

"Thank you."

The crewmen smiled and then headed back to his station, Jack then turned back to see Arcee still smiling at him.

"Told you." she simply replied, as the Prime turned his attention to the galaxy map.

"So where are we at right now?"

"Well, as of right now. We are nowhere, none of our leads (which is nearly none) have anything we can work with." the femme replied.

"We'll figure something, we always do." he said in return.

"Prime." a voice then spoke from behind the partners. They both turned to see Chromia standing in front of them looking rather sheepish.

"Here is my security report, I hope you find everything satisfactory." she said as she handed her pad to Jack who looked it over.

"Yes, that will do, Chromia." he said before handing it back to the femme. Chromia then looked at her sister and then back to the Prime.

"I am sorry to hear about Airachnid and how I treated her when her earlier. I didn't know about her past."

"But you do now?" Arcee asked gaining a nod from her younger sister.

"Yes, Hotrod told me. I wish I could take back what I said and did, but now she is gone and I won't have that opportunity." Chromia replied sombrely.

"How do you feel about Airachnid now, knowing the truth about her? Jack asked.

" I wish I got to know her better, she was another victim of Shockwave. I lost some friends to his cruelty during war, Hotrod also told me that you helped her kill him. I just hope that she finally finds some peace now with the Allspark.

"As do we." Arcee replied before looking to Jack who smiled back, the femme and Prime then looked back to be younger bot.

"I know Airachnid would appreciate what you just said, Chromia, thank you."

The purple femme nodded before turning to leave, then looked over to her sister.

"Want to talk over a coffee later, Sis?"

"Sure, I'll see you at lunch." she replied with a smile. Chromia returned the smile before leaving the two at the galaxy map and walking up to the cockpit, leaving the partners alone again.

"Jackson Prime, I am receiving a transmission along the Defiant's secondary com array."

"I thought we don't use that particular array, unless the primary has been disabled?" The Prime replied.

"That is correct, but it is left active invade of emergencies. Also while the primaries are active, all messages received on the secondaries are never recorded." Teletraan stated.

"So whoever sent this message knew this and wanted it left off our records." Jack replied.

"Someone really wants to contact us." Arcee said in return.

Jack looked over to the holo-form of the AI.

"Is there any way to locate the source of the transmission?" the Prime asked.

"Negative, as the strength of the transmission is very weak and so it's trail degrades quickly, blocking my attempts to localize it." Teletraan replied.

"Very well, reroute it to the com room." Jack said before looking over to Arcee.

"Someone is going to get lengths to contact us and her keep themselves hidden, so let's see who it is shall we." the Prime said as he gestured to the femme to follow and the two entered the elevator.

Once in the Com room, Jack activated the central console and an image started to appear in front of them. But it was distorted and barely recognizable.

"Ja...ck, can...read." it's voice managed to say through the static. Jack then typed a series of commands into the console's holo-keyboard.

"I am going to try to boost the signal with power from our own con array, hopefully that will clean it up."

After a moment the image vegan to clear and take the form of a familiar human woman who made Jack's eyes widen in surprise.


"Jack, it's been a while." she replies as she stood before the two partners.

"Yes it has, what's going on?" the Prime asked but the former MECH agent just stared back with a look of urgency on her face.

"Sorry, Jack. I can't tell you much. I don't know how long it will take before they notice what I am doing and block the signal."

"What do you mean, who do you mean by they?" Jack asked with a confused expression.

"I mean MECH, they are here at 'Sanctuary'. The station is not what people think it is." Miranda replied, Jack was about to speak again but the Agent cut him off.

"Shit, they have found me. Look just come here to Sanctuary and see for yourself, I will try to stay alive long enough for us..."

Her image then fizzled out as the transmission was cut off at the source. Jack looked over to Arcee.

"Tell Hotrod to set course for the Sanctuary station and then meet me down in the shuttle bay with Garrus and Grimlock."

"Sure, Jack." the femme replied before the two of them left the room and headed off in different directions.

Meanwhile on Sanctuary, Miranda slammed her fist down on the console as the screen changed to a locked out warning. The former agent then tried to regain control of it before the power in the room shut down, blanketing her in darkness.

'Damn it, wont be long before…' she thought before hearing a lot of footfalls rapidly approaching the room she was in. So she grabbed her SMG from the side of the console and took cover behind a table, just in time for a group of MECH soldiers to enter the room with their weapons ready and shining their torch light around the room, one of the beams narrowly missed Miranda as she kept low as it passed over her.

"This was where the security hack occurred, search the room." the lead soldier said, before the group started to spread out around the computer lab. The former agent noticed one of the enemies closing on her position, so staying low she crawled slowly round the table. Just narrowly missing being spotted by another soldier as she turned the corner and crept up behind her target. She then got back to her feet (in a squatting position) and activated her holo-knife and stabbed it into the soldiers back, making him cry out in pain before she hid again as the others turned and shone their torches on their comrade who was flinching and grimacing while blood flowed freely down the back of his Armour from the wound.

"Echo three!" the leader shouted as the wounded soldier fell to the floor. The others were about to move toward their fallen, but the leader stopped them.

"No, don't stop searching. That was what our target was hoping for, so that we would open up an avenue of escape for them." he said as he stood next to the door. Miranda looked up from her hiding spot behind another table and saw that the other five enemies were evenly spread out around the room. So she activated her silencer mode on her SMG and stood up and fired three bullets directly into the back of the head of the soldier nearest to her, causing him to fall to the floor dead with a thud. The former agent got back behind cover as the remaining soldiers turned and looked where the sound came from.

"Echo-Two?" the leader called out.

"He's dead." one of the others stated as he shone his torch down at the body, the beam of light just missing Miranda as she had took cover around the corner.

"For fuck's sake, everyone watch yourselves." the Leader said with a tone that had fear and nerves underlining his words. The others nodded, while Miranda had quietly made her way round to the soldier that was standing in the west side of the room. She got up behind him and grabbed at his throat and snapped it in one clean move. The last two remaining soldiers (including the leader) suddenly looked round to see another comrade dead and lying face down over a table top, Miranda peeked up from behind her cover and could see that the enemy was now losing their nerve and was letting fear.

'Good, they should be scared. I wasn't Silas's best agent because of my looks.' she thought as the squad leader tapped his com link while the only other soldier covered him next to the door.

"Doctor Saleon. Come in, Dr. Saleon?"

Elsewhere on Sanctuary, the hologram of Silas could be seen talking with a Salarian.

"Doctor Saleon, report." the yellow optic eyed man said. The scientist turned and typed away at his console's holo-keyboard until a large screen in front of the two activated, then large amounts of data started scrolling down the screen.

"Well, as you can see, the tests continue to be running at one hundred percent success rate. Every one of our test subjects has succumbed to our own signal and will no longer listen to the Reapers, so long as they remain in the radius of ours."

The Director smiled as he looked at the screen.

"Excellent, Saleon. You have just given humanity a way to control Reaper forces. This will turn the tide of this war and allow MECH to take the offensive."

He then looked at a scan of a Reaper that appeared next to the data.

"So how long before we can use this technology on the Reapers themselves?"

"Now there is the problem, you see it's one thing to control the ground forces, but another to do the same to one of the Reapers themselves, let alone the entire race. I am afraid I have hit a wall in my research into that particular area." the Salarian replied with a slightly nervous tone.

"Relax, Doctor. I have acquired the information you need to solve that particular puzzle and will be sending it momentarily, but first..." Silas said back before being interrupted by the sound of Saleon's com link activating.

"Doctor Saleon, come in." the soldier said.

"I am in the middle of a meeting, what is it?" he replied with a slight venom like tone.

"Echo squad reporting. Sir, my squad were checking out an illegal activation of the com system in lab two-seven-four. We cut power to the room and swarmed in but who ever it is has killed most of my men, I need reinforcements." he said before the sound of gun fire could be heard.

"Aaaggggrrrhhh!..." the solder cried out before the link went quiet for a moment. Silas just watched as Saleon frantically tried to regain communications with the squad.

"Come in, Echo squad?"

Suddenly movement could be heard as if someone was picking up the com link.

"So you're, Doctor Saleon. Where are my parents?" a woman's voice spoke back angrily.

"Miranda." Silas said with an impressed tone in his voice as he stood there watching the doctor.

"Ah, Miss Lawson, the former rising star of MECH. I am afraid that I have no idea where your adoptive parents are. But I know your 'real' father wants to see you." Saleon replied.

"I always knew Salarians were terrible liars, my parents are there. And 'Silas' is no father to me, he has proven that fact time and again over the last year."

"Well, I know that what you just said would burn the Director right to his heart." the Salarian said as he looked back to Silas who just stared back with a disinterested expression.

"MECH kidnapped my parents and I will make you all suffer." Miranda replied with anger underlining her words, then the transmission cut off. Saleon then looked over to another screen, this one showed another squad of soldiers.

"Have you locked in her location?"

"Yes, Sir. We are ready to terminate on your order." the lead soldier replied. Silas though faked a cough to gain the Salarian's attention.

"Saleon, I want Miranda taken alive so I can deal with her myself."

"yes, I see. A 'Father's right' of course. What about the transmission she managed to send out?" the scientist asked.

"I know who she would have contacted and 'he' will be here soon enough, so I want you to send all data on our project to me at once, purge our computer banks and prepare to scuttle the station. We can not afford to allow our enemies to know what we are about to achieve. Understood?" Silas said in return, earning a nod from the Salarian.

"Yes, Director. But what about the hostages? Should we not kill them?"

"No, let Miranda see that they are alive. And then force the issue that if she wants them to stay that way, then she will have to surrender. Inform me when it is all done, Silas out."

The Director's hologram then faded away as Saleon looked back to the soldiers.

"The Director wishes for our guest to be taken alive, so switch to stun rounds."

"Roger that." the trooper replied before the transmission cut.

Miranda was running down a corridor towards the elevator when suddenly another group of soldiers turned the corner up a head and immediately fired on her, her personal shield taking several direct hits before she managed to take cover behind part of an archway that spanned the width of the corridor. She then fired off her SMG and took out one of the enemies as the rest of them took cover and fired back.

'I don't have time for this.' she thought as she took cover again as the gun fire hit the wall next to her. Suddenly the station's alarm blared throughout the corridors and the lighting system changed from white to flash red.

"Alert, Alert, proximity Alert!" a VI voice spoke on the intercom. Miranda peek around the corner of the archway to see the soldiers backing off, the leader was motioning them away while holding a hand to his helmet.

'Why are they being called away?' the former agent thought before her attention was taken up by the window closet to her. Miranda's eyes widened as she saw a Reaper approaching the station.

'Great, this is where the fun begins.'


Jack was sitting in the shuttle with Arcee to his left and Garrus to his right, and sitting on the other side was Grimlock who was checking his sword.

"Teletraan, what are the details on Sanctuary?" Jack asked.

"Sanctuary is a station that the Council offered to the Alliance at the start of the war, it is slightly smaller than the Citadel and can hold around two and half million people. The Council have devoted it and it's facilities to aiding refugees from Alliance space that have lost their homes to the Reapers. The station went dark only a short while ago and no further communication have come or gone since. It is unclear why MECH would be interested in Sanctuary." the AI answered.

"Well, Miranda said they were here, so lets meet up with her and figure it out." Jack replied, earning a nod from his team mates.

"Jack, we have just entered the system… oh scrap, we have two Reaper signatures in proximity to the station." Hotrod stated over the com link.

"There is a Sovereign class Reaper which at the moment is engaged in combat against three MECH cruisers and another Reaper, I have never seen this one before." the pilot added.

"What does it look like?" Arcee asked.

"It looks similar to the larger vessels we have seen, but is smaller with a wider frame. Right now it is clinging to the side of the station." Hotrod replied over the com.

"Alliance Intel has classified this as 'troop transports', I am reading that it is offloading a couple hundred husks onto the station as we speak." Teletraan interjected as an image appeared on a monitor for Jack and the others to see.

"Alright we launch now. Swoop, be ready." the Prime said over to the Dinobot in the pilot's seat.

"Roger that." he replied as he activated his holo-controls. The Defiant's shuttle bay ramp opened up and once clear, shuttle one flew out and headed towards the station.

"Hotrod, keep the ship clear for time being." Jack said over the com link.

"Will do, Jack. Good luck." the pilot replied.

The shuttle then closed the distance to the station as Jack walked into the cockpit and stood beside Swoop and looked out of the canopy to Sanctuary. It looked very much like the Destiny Ascension, only on a far larger scale. And the Reaper troop transport was hooked into the side of it.

"There is the main landing bay, drop us off there and then find a place to hold up until we call." Jack said as he pointed over to the entry point.

"You're the boss, Prime." Swoop replied as he piloted the shuttle inside, Jack moved back to his team as they readied themselves and stood beside the hatch.

"Okay. you're clear." Swoop called back and the Prime hit the control panel and the hatch swung open to reveal a group of Husks standing over a pile corpses.

"Take them down!" Jack shouted as Garrus, Arcee and himself fired on the creatures, ripping them apart in storm of bullets. Once they were dead, the Turian climbed out of the shuttle and scanned the area with his weapon.

"Clear." he said, before the others joined him on the ground. The shuttle then closed it's hatch automatically before turning around and flying back out into space through the force field that held back the empty void.

"Well, I understand the Reapers being here, what with their forces now attacking everyone but why MECH? What could they be after?" Arcee asked as they began to head for a door at the far end of the landing bay.

"No idea, maybe Miranda might know." Garrus replied as Jack took point and Grimlock watched the rear. Once they made it to the door, the Prime activated the door's control panel and a VI voice spoke as the doors opened.

"Welcome to Sanctuary. For yours and others safety, please follow the orders of the station's security officers."

The group walked into what looked like a battlefield, but it was in fact the station's reception/lobby.

"Looks like they had one hell of a fight in here." Garrus said as he looked over at the large scorch marks left on the walls.

"Well, why aren't there any bodies?" Grimlock asked as he looked round the empty room.

"The Husks probably took them all for processing." Jack said as he approached one of the desks and activated the computer there.

"Look at this." he said as the others stood beside him and watched as a vid log played. It showed lines of people queuing to enter the station.

"They probably thought that they were safe here from the Reapers." Arcee said as she saw children among the refugees.

"What happens here though, I mean this place doesn't house all the refugees does it?" Garrus asked.

"No, originally it was meant for that. But as soon as their numbers went to high, this place became a hub, where any new arrivals were checked up and then sent to other colonies in Council space." the Prime replied before deactivating the computer.

"I wonder how things are going outside?" Grimlock said.

"Jack to Defiant. Come in, Hotrod." Jack said as he attempted to use his com link, but was answered by a hissing noise on the other end.

"This is Jackson Prime, can you hear me?"

The others watched as the Prime tried to contact their ship with no success, Arcee then tried her com link before shaking her head.

"Our com links don't work, this place must have a dampening field in effect."

The group looked at each other before a voice caught Jack's attention from another room just behind them.

"Can you hear that?" he asked before walking over to the door way and looking inside. There was an active terminal with another vid log playing.

"This is Miranda Lawson, if you have managed to come this far, you are must be desperate or stupid. Listen to me, this is not a refugee camp but instead is a MECH facility run by Doctor Saleon."

Garrus's eyes widened at the mention of that name, which did not go unnoticed by Jack but he then looked back to the terminal screen which showed more images of the station's interior as Miranda continued.

"Turn back now, there is no help to be found here. All communication within the station is being blocked from the CIC, situated in the station's tower. Sanctuary is a lie, stay away."

Then the message ended and Jack turned back to the others.

"So we have Reapers, MECH and the Doctor who created the Adjutants. Seems like the pieces of the puzzle are coming together."

"Yeah, with the work that Saleon did on Omega. It would seem that MECH are doing similar experiments here, I wonder if this is where it all started." Arcee added before an uncertain expression appeared on her face.

"Jack, how could this have been going on, I mean right under the Council's noses?"

Jack activated his holo-tool and connected it to the terminal remotely.

"Let's find out." he replied as he looked at the data scrolling down the tool's screen.

"Well, it seems that this station is being run by a Doctor Mordin Solus. Must be a fake ID being used by the Doctor."

Grimlock started to fidget as if he didn't like to be standing in one place to long while Garrus just remained quiet and watched the two partners.

"Makes sense, MECH gave him a new identity and then he gains the Council's favour and is allowed to use this station, supposedly as a haven for refugees." Arcee said in return.

"I've heard enough, lets just go." the Turian said coldly as he turned for the door.

"Garrus, wait. I know you want Saleon and I will help you get him. But I need to know that you're not going to let your need for revenge make you go all terminator on us." Jack said back in a worried tone. But the Turian looked back at him and smiled slightly.

"I'm fine, Jack. But I was thinking more about that." he said as he pointed up to another monitor above them. The Prime and his XO looked up and sighed.

"Oh crap, we better move." he said as the image on the screen showed scores of Husks running down a corridor (probably leading directly to them).

"Finally something to kill." Grimlock happily exclaimed as he equipped his blade before the team moved out of the room.

After searching all the rooms connected to the main reception/lobby, Jack and his friends stopped to assess their findings.

"Well with a station this big, I'd think that there would be more rooms than what we have found?" Garrus said with an annoyed tone.

"This is a secret MECH base, my guess is that there would a hidden entrance somewhere." Jack replied, which made Arcee look at him a certain way.

"What is it, Arcee?" the Prime asked, having noticed this.

"Follow me." she said as she walked back towards the main corridor. Once they were all back there, she pointed over to the dead end at the other side.

"I know we have already searched here, but it wasn't until you said 'a hidden entrance', I mean this just feels wrong to me." she said with a unnerved tone. Jack then walked toward the far end and felt a tingling sensation the closer he got to it.

"Arcee's right, there is something not right about this." he said back to the others before reaching out with his free hand until his finger touched something, which made a ripple effect span out and showed that the far end of the corridor was not what it seemed.

"A hologram, shielding the entrance to the facility." Garrus stated as Jack looked back to them.

"Looks like, let's move." he said before he started to walk into the hologram, but suddenly a Husk dived through and sent the Prime tumbling to the floor.

"JACK!" Arcee shouted as the Husk bared down on her partner who was trying to fight it off.

"A little help?" he said back as the drool dripped onto his chest plate from the Husk's rotten looking mouth. But before the others could do anything, more Husks ran through the field at them.

"Take them down." Garrus said as he and the femme fired back against the horde as it rushed towards them, Grimlock merely smiled as he began swinging his large blade at the creatures. Slicing them in two as he did. Jack's face was now only an inch away from the Husk as it tried to bite him.

"Not…..today." he said through gritted teeth before he punched the creature in the face and as it was disoriented, he activated his star saber and in one swing had decapitated the Husk. It's head roll onto the floor as it's body began to slump on the Prime, but he pushed it off as it's blood leaked over him.

'Perfect.' he thought as he then got up and ran through the hologram.

"Jack?" Garrus said just after shooting down the final Husk, Arcee had finished off her last enemy with her arm blades and Grimlock had impaled one to the ground with his sword. He then looked around at the bodies of the creatures and sighed.

"Too bad."

"I'm sure there will be more that that, Grimlock." the Turian said as Arcee started looking around with an almost frantic expression.

"Where's Jack?"

"He killed that Husk and went through the field."

Arcee immediately bolted through the field herself, leaving both her team mates behind. Garrus sighed before both he and the Dinobot followed. Once through they saw that they were in a massive room filled with machinery, and a lot of it did not look like Human nor Cybertronian tech. Arcee was kneeling next to Jack who was on his knees, panting heavily.

"You used the wave again, didn't you?" the femme asked with concern in her voice.

"Took care of the Husks, didn't I." he said back to her between breaths. Grimlock then saw what was left of the horde as their body parts scattered around the place.

"Impressive." the Dinobot said to himself. Arcee helped Jack to his feet as they looked around the room.

"This is mainly Reaper tech." Garrus observed as he looked over to a jet black device with blue energy glowing from the outing as it formed the base for a large machine that was connected to cables that linked it to other similar machines.

"MECH working with Reaper technology, this isn't going to good." the femme replied as they walked through the large room to a door at the other end.

Behind that door they found what looked like a control room, with a massive window that overlooked something, but it was too dark to see what it was.

"Let's see if we can shed light on what's going on here." Jack said as he walked up to the main control station.

"Really, Jack. How long did it take you to think of that?" Garrus asked.

"Longer than I care to admit." the Prime answered as he tapped the console's keyboard, suddenly the screens around the console activated and started playing back vids.

"What is this?" Arcee asked as they watched people being placed inside glass pods that had Reaper tech built into them. The pods then filled with gas as it's occupants started hammering on the glass with their fists as the fear shown on their faces.

"They are just rounding them up and killing them?" Grimlock asked, but then Jack's eyes widened when the gas cleared.

"No, its worse. They are being turned into Husks." he replied as the footage showed the pods now contained the Reaper turned creatures. Arcee looked away when she couldn't watch anymore, until she saw another console in front of the large window. So she walked over to it and tapped on it's interface. Suddenly the lights came on and revealed another massive room beyond the window as Husks panicked and moved the moment the lights above them activated.

"By Primus." she said as the others stood beside her and looked out to the hordes below them.

"Come on." Jack said as he then walked over to the next door and opened it. They all readied their weapons and followed him.

"Why create Husks, aren't they just more troops for the Reapers. It seems like such a stupid risk considering if they escaped, they could destroy this place." the femme said as they moved through another lab.

"I think the Reapers have attacked this place because it is a threat, which means we need to find out why." Jack replied as they neared a large reinforced door.

"You do realise that door leads into that large room we just saw." Garrus said.

"Yeah, but it's the only way forward. Be ready." the Prime said back as he opened the door for a Husk on the other side to look directly at him. Jack fired his weapon and blew a hole in it's head as the group moved into the room and started taking out all the husks there. One of the creatures pounced at Grimlock, only to be met with the sharp end of his blade.

Arcee took out two more with her SMGs, before spin kicking another who got too close. Garrus switched to his sniper rifle and took out those that were crawling up the walls on the other side of the room, and Jack sliced down one husk while pummelling another with a burst of bullets from his assault rifle. Within a few minutes the room was clear and the Husks lied dead at their feet.

"Well, that was bracing." the Turian said as he reloaded his weapon.

"I can hear Miranda's voice." Arcee said as they walked through the door at the other side and saw another console playing a vid on a loop.

"Reapers wanted this place shut down, this might give us a clue as to why." Garrus said as Jack activated the log.

"I am heading to the CIC to disable the communications black out, I have to get word out. Some of the refugees are turned into Husks, some are just being indoctrinated and shipped to Silas. Whoever is left is used in experiments. The data show that MECH are trying to figure out how Reaper indoctrination works." Miranda said before the vid closed. Jack shook his head in response.

"Tricking refugees with food and shelter, only then to use them in experiments. And for what?"

"Draw them in and throw them in the meat grinder." Garrus replied.

"Wait a second, Miranda said that test subjects were being sent to Silas. Maybe we can find him that way." Arcee added.

"Good catch, lets see if we can catch up to her. She said she was heading for the tower." the Prime replied before walking through to the next room.

After moving through more labs and killing a few more Husks, Jack and the others came to what looked like an office. Arcee sat down at the main computer and activated it.

"Find anything?" the Prime asked as she looked at the screen.

"Someone is making copies of the files and deleting the originals, but they haven't finished yet. Here is a file that has yet to be deleted." the femme replied as she played a vid for the others to see. The image showed Saleon, who Garrus immediately narrowed his eyes at. The Salarian was standing next to a hologram of the MECH Director.

"Doctor Saleon, report." the yellow optic eyed man said. The scientist turned and typed away at his console's holo-keyboard until a large screen in front of the two activated, then large amounts of data started scrolling down the screen.

"Well as you can see, the tests continue to be running at one hundred percent success rate. Every one of our test subjects has succumbed to our own signal and will no longer listen to the Reapers, so long as they remain in the radius of ours."

The Director smiled as he looked at the screen.

"Excellent, Saleon. You have just given humanity a way to control Reaper forces. This will turn the tide of this war and allow MECH to take the offensive."

He then looked at a scan of a Reaper that appeared next to the data.

"So how long before we can use this technology on the Reapers themselves?"

"Now there is the problem, you see it's one thing to control the ground forces, but another to do the same to one of the Reapers themselves, let alone the entire race. I am afraid I have hit a wall in my research into that particular area." the Salarian replied with a slightly nervous tone.

"Relax, Doctor. I have acquired the information you need to solve that…"

The video then stopped abruptly and the window it played in disappeared.

"Damn, that footage was just deleted." Arcee said as she typed on the computer's keyboard. Garrus looked over to Jack with a confused look.

"Controlling Reaper forces? Is that even possible?"

"I don't know, but we do know why the Reapers have attacked Sanctuary." the Prime replied.

"They must have discovered what MECH were up to, that Silas is in for a world of pain now." Grimlock said from behind them.

"Yeah, can't say I feel bad about that." Jack said before looking over to the doors at the other end of the room.

"There's the elevator, come on."


Once they were inside, Arcee pressed the button for the top floor and the elevator took them straight up. It didn't take long for them to reach the top as the doors opened to reveal another reception like area. Suddenly gun fire could be heard from behind the next door.

"Get ready." Jack said as the door opened up to reveal the CIC, and the group moved in with weapons ready.

"Jack." Miranda called from behind a console that she was using as cover. The Prime then saw the Salarian standing next to a set of controls connected to two pods that had occupants inside them, he also had a pistol in his free hand and was pointing it in their direction.

"That is close enough, Prime. I told Miss Lawson that I would kill her 'fake' parents if she didn't surrender. She didn't listen." Saleon said angrily.

"Put the gun down." Jack said firmly.

"I think not, but if you think that you can shoot me then you should know that I have already activated stage one of the conversion process. If I press this button…." the Scientist said as his finger hovered over a green flashing button.

"…then they will be turned in to Husks in a matter of moments."

Miranda stood up from behind her cover with her SMG in one hand, but covering a wound on her stomach with the other.

"Jack, don't let him harm my parents."

Arcee and Grimlock both looked over to see the older humans standing in the sealed pods, looking out at the situation unfolding in front of them. The femme then glanced to her side and could not see Garrus.

"Where's….?" she whispered to the Dinobot as Jack kept his attention on Saleon.

"I have seen what you have done here with MECH, you can't possibly think that it will work?"

"Why not, we can control the Reaper's ground forces now." the Salarian replied.

"But you're sacrificing people to gain that ability, men, women…..and children. What you are doing is beyond…." Jack started to say before he was cut off.

"Don't judge me, Prime. What I do, I do for the greater good. If a few people, even children have to die to see it through. Then so be it, my conscious is clea…."


A gun shot rang out from behind Jack and the Salarian cried out in pain after a bullet passed through his shoulder, he dropped the gun and fell to the ground. Miranda immediately moved to the controls of the pods as Arcee and Grimlock looked around for the shooter. But then a shimmer moved in front of them and picked up Saleon by the throat and pinned him against the glass wall behind him. The shimmer then stopped to reveal that it was Garrus, and he looked the Salarian in the eyes, his own narrowed as he gritted his teeth.

"Saleon, nice to finally meet you."

"Do I ..(gasp), know you?" the Salarian asked in confusion.

"No, I am just someone who wants to avenge a friend whose life you ruined. But that was before I saw this place, now I really want to kill you." the Turian replied coldly.

"(gasp) I see, so you are not a fan of my..(gasp) work. So get it over with then." the Scientist taunted him. Jack was helping Miranda to deactivate the pods but looked over to Garrus and Saleon. The Salarian really did not care about what he had done.

'The ends justify the means." he thought to himself before shaking his head and then looking back to what he was doing. Leaving his friend to do what he had promised he would do. For a long moment there was silence between Garrus and Saleon, but then the Turian finally spoke.

"No, killing you now would be quick and that's too easy for you."

He then noticed that the glass wall was actually a one way mirror into a room connected to cages holding Husks. Garrus then holstered his weapon and with his now free hand activated the door controls and prepared to throw the Salarian into the room. Saleon, knowing where he was about to be put tried to resist but Garrus then punched him hard in the stomach, making the Salarian wince in pain before he was thrown through the open door and into the room. The Turian then shut the door and walked over to the console.

"Garrus, what are you doing?" Arcee asked with concern in her voice.

"Giving him a taste of his own medicine." the Turian replied as he started to use the console's keyboard. Saleon got up and looked around the room, behind him was three doors which at the moment were sealed. It he knew very well that would change in a moment or so. He then looked in front of him and saw a large mirror reflecting his image back at him, it was a one way observation screen. And he knew that Garrus and the others were watching.

"If you think you will get me to beg for my life, then you are mistaken. I regret none of my decisions." he said at the screen, his words sounding defiant and firm yet they were betrayed by the frightened tone that accompanied them. The Turian then activated the intercom and his voice boomed into the room.

"Well, I hope you can live with that... for the last moment you have left. Goodbye, Saleon. This is for Shen." Garrus said before pressing a button on the control console which turned off the lights, bringing total darkness into the room as the Salarian tried to look around. Garrus then pressed another button l labelled 'release'.

Saleon being unable to see anything stayed very still and relied on his hearing as he heard the doors behind him open up with a metallic creaking noise. He turned round to face where the sound had come from and saw a pair of blue optics looking back at him in from the far side of the room, then another pair, and another. In just a few moments he was surrounded by them as he heard grunting and other inhuman noises, despite his words Saleon's heart was beating fast as he knew his time was up.

And then the horde rushed at him, bringing him to the floor before biting and clawing into his skin. His screams echoed through the room as the Husks ripped him apart, while Garrus watched on a screen showing the inside of the cell through night vision. He then turned it off once the Husks were done, meanwhile Jack deactivated and opened the pods allowing Miranda to help her parents out.

"Miranda." her mother called out as she embraced her daughter, before her father hugged her too.

"Are you alright? He didn't hurt you two, did he?" Miranda asked.

"We are fine, Miranda. I would just like to get your mother out of here." her father replied.

"We can help you there, our ship will get you someplace safe." Jack said gaining their attention, the former agent gave Jack a smile.

"Thank you, Jack."

"You know, you didn't have to do this all by yourself. If I had known that MECH had taken your parents hostage…" the Prime replied.

"I know you would, Jack. But you had enough on your plate dealing with the Reapers. But I am very grateful for your help." she said back.

"Well, you'll have all the time now to be with your family." Jack said back gaining smiles from her parents, but Miranda shook her head in return.

"No, once I know that they are safe and if you'll have me. I want to join your crew."

Her father then gave her a concerned expression.

"Miranda, wait. I thought…." he started to say before she cut him off.

"Dad, Mom, I need to do this. Because while Silas is still out there, then none of us will be safe." she said with a stoic expression before placing a hand on their shoulders.

"And I promise I will tell you everything after this is over."

Both her parents looked like they were having a hard time accepting this but they then both nodded in return, before her father then looked at the Prime.

"She called you, Jack. That would make you, Jackson Prime, yes?"

Jack nodded as her father stepped forward.

"If you will promise me that you'll ensure our daughter comes back to us unharmed, then I will let her go with you. Do I have your word as a Prime?"

Jack looked over to Miranda while Arcee and the others simply watched, he knew that he would rather she stay with her parents, but since Miranda had such inside knowledge on MECH. He had to say yes.

"You have my word." he replied stoically, before the two men then shook hands.

"I will hold you to that." the father replied before turning back to his wife and daughter, Jack then looked back to his team. Garrus handed him an object back that Arcee recognized.

"That's the personal cloaking generator."

"Yeah, Jack lent it to me before the mission. Thought it would come in handy, thanks, Jack." Garrus replied as the Prime fitted it back into his Prime armour. Jack then looked at his friend.

"What about you, you alright?"

Garrus looked back at the observation screen and took a breath.

"Yeah, I am. It's comforting to know that because of us, he wont be able to harm anyone else."

Arcee placed a hand on the Turian's shoulder.

"You had me worried back there, Garrus. I thought you were just going to shoot him originally."

"I was, but when I heard him gloating about how far he was willing to go….. I knew that just shooting him would be to much of an easy way to go." he said looking back at the femme. Jack was going to say something but his com link activated.

"Prime, that Reaper has finished off the rest of the MECH ships and is now heading back to Sanctuary." Swoop stated.

"Alright, we already cleared a path from the landing bay to here. We should be able to meet you there again." Jack replied.

"You don't have time, but I am detecting an auxiliary shuttle dock on the floor you are now on. Meet me there for extraction." the Dinobot replied, Jack then looked at everyone.

"Alright, it's time to go."

The Prime then took point with Miranda and her parents at the center of the group, and Arcee and Grimlock covering the rear as the group left the lab and made their way to the rendezvous point.

About a few minutes later they were all on board the shuttle as it flew away from the station at top speed, just as the Reaper returned and charged up it's beam weapon. The troop transport Reaper undocked and joined it's Sovereign class counterpart's side as it fired three shots with it's red beam which cut right through the station, causing Sanctuary to explode and send it's debris in all directions. The Reapers seemed completely unaware of the shuttle as it rejoined the Defiant and entered it's shuttle bay just a short distance from the enemy vessels. The Alliance frigate then turned around and jumped into hyperspace.

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