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PRIME EFFECT 3 CHAPTER 1 Jack looked at himself in the mirror as he waited for the guards to arrive so they could escort him to his trial. He had been incarcerated for the last several months while Admiral Bryce and Optimus Prime were attempting to stall the trial so that they could find a way to free him, but the Council or more so Councillor Sparatus had been countering every move the two had made. The reason for his incarceration was that he not only worked with MECH but was also held responsible for the deaths of forty thousand Alliance personnel on board the Paladin station, when it was caught in the explosion from Sparta star that had gone super nova. Jack felt his heart sink a little as he thought about those lives. Yes they had been indoctrinated by the Reaper called Harbinger at the time, and yes there was no known cure the Reaper's control. But Jack hadn't made the choice lightly. He had to weigh their lives against the trillions of lives that the galaxy held. Because if he hadn't then the Reapers would already be here, destroying everything he was trying to protect. He looked away and walked over to the window, he was finding it hard to look himself in the mirror for any given length of time. It was like he could see the faces of the friends and the people he had failed to protect like Kaidan, Miko, Wheeljack, Zaeed, Jacob, the colonists from Horizon and numerous others who had died during the Prime's mission to stop the Reapers. He had originally been plagued by nightmares and feelings of guilt and remorse after he had been brought back by MECH, but after becoming close to Airachnid and seeing what she had gone through in her life. He felt that he was starting to come to terms with it. But after what happened in Sparta and then having nothing better to do but think about it for several months while locked away in this prison, he had suddenly felt like he had relapsed. He looked out of the window, trying to find anything that could take his mind off the thoughts that had been plaguing him. His attention was taken by the sight of the play area that was full of children today. But one child in particular caught his attention, it was the same child he had seen playing there numerous times in the last several months. The kid had his toy ship in his hands as he interacted with the other children. Jack found himself smiling at the sight, if there was one reason for the choices he had made during his time as a Prime, then this was it. He was fighting not only to stop the Reapers, but also to safeguard the future for the next generation and every generation that followed. As he was looking out of the window, the door to his room opened. Making the Prime turn around to see two soldiers walk in and point their weapons at him. Then a third person entered the room, he was a Caucasian male with brown hair and wore white/blue and red armour. He smiled at Jack as he saluted him. "Prime." he greeted him with a smile. Jack though shook his head as he walked toward them, ignoring the soldiers as they kept the weapons on him. "You're not supposed to call me that, Smokescreen." he replied with an un-amused tone. "Not supposed to salute you either, but you know me..." the Autobot said back, shrugging his shoulders in the process. "...Anyway, they are waiting for you." Jack nodded in return before walking out of the room with Smokescreen and heading down the corridor with the two soldiers behind them. As they made they way down the corridor, Jack saw a familiar face waiting just up ahead. An aged man in red and blue armour who looked back and smiled before offering his hand to the Prime. "Optimus" Jack said before shaking the Autobot Leader's hand as Smokescreen saluted back. "Prime." the young Autobot said as Optimus joined the two. "You're looking well, Jackson, considering that you have been incarcerated for the last several months." Optimus stated as he observed Jack's build. "Well, when you have little to keep yourself busy with, working out was one of the few luxuries I had to stop myself from going insane from boredom." Jack replied. Optimus looked back at him, a tinge of guilt on his face. "Don't worry, Jackson, we will sort it out. And then you can get back to what you should have been doing." The three continued through the corridor until they entered a room connected to the courtroom that was just beyond. "Good luck in there, Jack." Smokescreen said before they shook hands. Optimus meanwhile walked up to a blue haired woman who was waiting for him just outside the courtroom. "Optimus." she said before her eyes wandered behind the Autobot leader and she recognised the man talking to Smokescreen. Her heart skipped a beat as she almost froze on the spot. "….Jack?" she said, gaining the Prime's attention as he turned and looked over to her. His eyes widened as he looked at the femme, it had been so long since he last saw her. He felt his tongue almost tie up in his mouth as he tried to speak. "Arcee." he managed as he noticed a slight smile grace her lips, walking up to her and the Autobot leader with Smokescreen at his side. "Arcee, why are you here? I wasn't informed of this." Optimus asked gaining a shamed look from the femme. "I was ordered to give evidence against you, Jack" she began to reply sheepishly while looking directly at the Human Prime. "...I'm sorry. I wouldn't have come, but Sparatus insisted." Jack gave her a sympathetic smile. "Its alright, Arcee. I know why he made you do it. It's not like we parted on the best of terms." he replied. The femme looked at him. "Yeah…." she answered before her smile returned. "…still it's good to see you, Jack." Jack returned the smile as another officer walked up to them. "They are ready for you now." she answered. Jack and Optimus then followed her, leaving Smokescreen and Arcee behind them. Jack and Optimus entered a large circular room with a large bench in front of them, the Admirals and Councillor Sparatus made up the committee were seated there, while at both sides of the room there was chairs for the audience who were starting to take their seats. Jack saw a large glass window behind the committee that showed off a spectacular view of Manhattan. As both Primes stood in the center, Jack noticed the witnesses chairs lined up just in front of the audience on the right and saw Arcee take her seat and beside her, he recognised the other person as one of the colonists from Horizon, not looking happy with the situation either. "Jack Darby,..." Sparatus called down from the bench, making Jack look at him. "...you are here because you have committed crimes against the Alliance and the Council, these crimes are the treasonous actions in working with MECH and the murders of forty thousand people aboard the Paladin station. Do you have anything to say that might possibly help in your defence." the Turian councillor almost gloatingly said. Jack looked at Optimus who nodded back in support before stepping forward. "I didn't ask to work with MECH, but they were the only ones who were doing anything about the threat that the Quintessons posed to our colonies in the Terminus systems. The moment that mission was complete, I broke all contact with them." He then sighed and looked down at the ground for a moment. Arcee saw this and could feel her spark break for him. Yes, she didn't trust him when she found out that MECH had rebuilt him...if that was what it should be called. But seeing him here and listening to him, made the femme realise that she never really gave him the chance to explain back on Horizon and that made her feel guilty as she continued to watch the Prime and the Committee. "...As for what happened in the Sparta system. I regret the lives lost on that day, not a moment goes by where I don't replay that mission in my mind and see if there wasn't another way. But the Reapers were on the verge…." Sparatus then raised his arms in frustration. "Here we go again. Don't you ever get tired of that excuse..." he spat while glaring at the Prime. "...I am sick and tired of hearing you bring up the same lies." Everyone just remained quiet, unsure about how the Councillor was acting. "...I believe what really happened was that you let the power of being a Prime go to your head, so you used the lies that Saren made up with the myths of the Reaper, so you could put yourself in a position of power." Jack could not believe what he was hearing, Sparatus was so delusional that the Turian thought that he was trying to make himself look better then the Council, or was it just Sparatus. Well Jack could feel the anger inside himself come close to exploding as he gritted his teeth and narrowed his eyes at the Councillor. "I cannot believe this, I thought that the Council were just in denial, but the truth is...it is you and your ego. You think that I am trying to usurp you, well I hate to disappoint you, Sparatus, but I am Prime and it is my duty to protect this galaxy from any threat. And that threat is the Reapers who as we speak are closer to our galaxy, hell they would already be here if I hadn't made the Sparta star go nova." he shouted back at the Councillor as everyone watched. Optimus himself seemed quite impressed with Jack. The Human male had every right to be angry of course, but he didn't let if over ride his senses unlike the Turian. "...We should be standing together as a united galaxy against the Reapers. But thanks to you, we are currently wasting our time with this show trial." Sparatus grabbed the edges of the desk in front of him and leaned over as he stared daggers at Jack, baring his teeth as he gritted them. "There are no such things as REAPERS!" he shouted back in angry desperation. Suddenly the doors at the back opened and an female officer rushed in. "What's the meaning of this?" Sparatus spat in rage as the officer stopped in front of the bench. "Excuse me, Sir. But we have lost contact with our Moon-base." she said, the worry in her voice was evident to the admirals, as they looked at each other in shock. The officer then placed her hand up to her com link. "Sirs, we are getting a visual from UK head quarters." she said as she pointed to one of the screens overhead that activated and showed a soldier shouting into the camera when suddenly an explosion took him out and the image went dead. Everyone stood up in response, the female officer then used her holo-tool and brought up security camera footage from atop one of the buildings and the sight it showed made everyone in the room gasp in fear. The image showed London being attacked by numerous Reapers that were landing in the heart of the city and destroying everything in their path with powerful red energy beams. Sparatus just looked at the images, his eyes wide and his mouth a gap. The Admirals looked at him before looking at Jack, who was just as shocked as they were. 'How did the Reapers get here so fast?' he thought as he looked at Optimus and the for the first time in nearly twenty years, Jack could swear that he saw fear in the elder Prime's face. "Jack Darby..." one of the Admirals said, gaining his attention as he looked back at them. And then he saw it. The fear and uncertainty in their faces, but what the Prime saw mostly was the shame that they had not heeded his, Optimus or Bryce's warnings of the Reapers. "...what do we do?" he asked in an almost pleading voice. With everyone's eyes on Jack, he stepped forward to the bench. "There is only one thing we can do and that is to 'fight'." he answered stoically. The Admirals looked at each other before nodding in agreement. Optimus stepped beside Jack. "We should get to the Defiant." he said as Sparatus continued to stare at the images on the screen overhead, the way he looked was like that of someone who couldn't come to terms with the truth that was staring him in the face. "Where is Admiral Bryce?" Jack asked looking at the committee. The female Admiral looked down at the Prime. "He is currently in command of the seventh fleet that is stationed in orbit but…" she found her self looking down at her table as the realisation sank in. "….if the Reapers are attacking now, then they must have made short work of our defences." Optimus looked at the committee. "Admirals, the first thing we should be concerned about is evacuating as many of the general population as we can out of harms way..." he said in a calm manner. "Yes, while also keeping the Reapers busy with an immediate counter attack. We wont be able to hold out for long, but it should be enough to get the civilians out." Jack finished. The Admirals nodded in agreement before ushering the officer away. As the female officer left, Arcee could not help but feel a smile grace her lips as she watched Jack and Optimus take charge, both of them Prime's to the core. But then her attention as well as everyone else's was caught by what sounded like thunder echoing from outside. The Admirals and Sparatus turned around and looked out of the window as red lightning flashed above the city as thick storm clouds appeared over Manhattan like a shadow looming over the city of New York. Everyone looked on as the Admirals, and also Sparatus's eyes widened at the sight that was appearing before them. "Oh my god!" the female Admiral said in shock as they watched the colossal black form of a Reaper attack the landscape below it. Jack though got to his senses and looked at everyone. "MOVE!" he shouted at them as the audience started to rush for the door, but not before one of the Reaper's attacks hit directly outside the window, shattering the glass in a massive explosion which threw the committee members into the air and launched the bench at Jack and Optimus who dived out of the way. The large wooden structure missing them both by inches as it flew past and smashed against the wall behind them and blocked off the doors. Jack landed into a forward roll before finishing in a kneeling position. He turned to look back when another explosion occurred and he was flung by it's force into a nearby wall. He then hit the ground hard, disorienting him as he lied there on his back. "Jack..." he heard a female voice call out. He then saw a familiar face looking down at him with concern. "Jack!" Arcee said as she knelt down over him. His head was throbbing so he placed his hand to it and nodded back to her, the relief on her face evident as she sighed in return. She then stood up as Jack himself sat up and offered him her hand, which he accepted as the femme helped him to his feet. "Jackson, Arcee." Optimus called to them from across the room, gaining their attention. They saw him standing over two bodies that they recognised as two of the admirals. "Are there any survivors?" Jack asked while looking around the room. Optimus shook his head, his face saddened. "I'm afraid not, Jackson, the admirals were right next to the beam when it hit outside the building." he replied before walking over to the doors that were now blocked off by what remained of the bench. "So was Sparatus." Arcee interjected as she pointed down at the body in front of her. Jack looked down to see the limp body of the Turian Councillor, it was hard for the Prime to feel anything toward Sparatus after all that he had done to stop Jack. And for what, the Turian had believed all along that the Human Prime was just trying to undermine him. Jack had naively thought that maybe politics might have been more honest between these advanced species, but in reality they were exactly the same as humanity. Still distrustful of each other and when someone was just trying to help, they would think that the ones helping were really trying to replace them. Jack was then interrupted from his thoughts by Arcee placing a hand on his shoulder. "Jack…." she asked. Jack nodded in return while looking down at Sparatus. "Yeah, let's go." he said as he looked at her. The femme then offered him a pistol. "You're going to need this." she said as he took it and smiled at her. "Thanks." he replied, gaining a smile back. Optimus meanwhile walked back to them from the entrance. "There is no way we are getting out that way, there is too much rubble blocking the door, we will have to go out this way." he said motioning them to the smashed window. The three climbed onto the ledge and looked out at the horrifying scene playing out in front of them. As they looked out at Manhattan, several giant Reapers had landed and were attacking the city while the sky was filled with hundreds more that were descending to the planet from orbit. "We can get down to the ground by crossing to the building next to this one. From there we will need to cross a few blocks to the spaceport where the Defiant is docked." Optimus stated, making both Jack and Arcee look over to him. "Okay, we better move then." Jack replied as they then followed the elder Prime across the ledge to the far side of the Prison complex. "This is Optimus Prime to any Alliance person, please come in." Optimus said into his com link as they walked. He then put his hand to his ear. "Smokescreen, you and Jazz are where?…..We are on our way to the Defiant now, we will meet you there." Optimus finished as they turned a corner to see that the next building was only a short jump away. Optimus holstered his weapon and leaped across the alleyway that was between the two buildings, landing on the other side without any problems. Jack looked out to see the play area in the park was on fire and then a small figure was seen entering the building that they were just attempting to cross too, he then looked back to Arcee. "Okay, Arcee, you're next." Jack said as the femme was preparing to jump when suddenly an Alliance star fighter flew low above the with a dragon-like husk on it's tail firing at it. Arcee suddenly lost her balance do to the shock and fell of the ledge, only for Jack to grab her hand before she fell any further. "I've got you." he said to her reassuringly as he pulled her back up and onto the ledge. The two embraced for a long moment as she panted slightly, still shaken from what had happened. "It's alright." he said softly as she looked up at him. "Thanks." she said with a slight smile gracing her lips. "Don't mention it." he replied back to her. They both then looked out to see the Dragon shoot down the fighter which crashed into a building, making it collapse instantly. The two then jumped over to Optimus who looked relieved to see his former SIC. "I thought we almost lost you back there Arcee." he said back to her, gaining a smile before she looked to Jack. "Yeah, me too. If it weren't for Jack." she replied. Jack though pointed up to the sky, gaining their attention as more of the dragon creatures were approaching. "We should get inside now." he said stoically, causing the three of them to enter the building via the roof entrance. PRIME EFFECT 3 Once inside they equipped their pistols, they made their way down the stairs to a large room that had looked like it had been recently abandoned. Jack walked over to a closed door only for it open as a Husk attempted to claw at him, but the Prime casually shot the creature in the face and got between the gap and pushed the doors apart. "Through here." he said as Arcee and Optimus each slipped through the gap and into the next room. Jack was about to follow when a noise caught his attention and he walked back into the middle of the room. He looked around and saw the little boy from the play area hiding inside an open vent. "Hey." Jack said in a soft voice as he walked over to the vent and bent down to see the boy retreat further inside it in fear. "It's alright, I won't hurt you." Jack replied in a calm and reassuring manner. The kid though looked at him and Jack could see the tear stains on the boy's face. "Everyone is dying.." he said in between whimpers. Jack though offered the child his hand. "Come on, I can get you to safety….. take my hand." he said. The child then started to crawl forward toward the Prime and took his hand. Jack smiled back at the boy, but then the room shook as the roar of a Reaper could be heard as it walked past the building. The boy looked terrified as he let go of Jack's hand and retreated back into the vent. "Kid, I can save you if you let me." Jack answered but the boy suddenly looked at the Prime calmly. "No, you can't help me." he replied, leaving Jack completely confused as he stared at the child. "Jackson!" Optimus called out from the other room, making the Prime look over. "In here." the Autobot Leader finished as Jack looked back to the vent to suddenly find it completely empty, another Reaper roar could be heard echoing out of the vent. Jack looked down for a moment in confusion. 'I hope that kid will be alright.' he thought as he stood back up and rejoined Optimus and Arcee. The three of them then found another staircase and started to head down to the ground floor. "I can't believe that this is happening." Arcee said with fear in her voice. "I know what you mean, the Reapers hit us so hard and fast…I thought we would have had more time to prepare." Optimus replied. "We knew they were coming, but most wanted to believe that it was just a fairy tale and not the threat that we knew they really were." Jack responded. The group reached the ground floor and entered the lobby, again it was completely empty. "That is why we need to go to the Citadel and convince the Council about the threat that the Reapers present, once and fall all." the Autobot Leader replied stoically. "But the fight is here!" Jack argued back, Arcee nodded in agreement. But the elder Prime looked back at them both. "It will be everywhere soon enough, the Reapers will wipe out every race in the galaxy if we don't unite against them. And I will not allow the home that we share with our friends and allies to share the same fate as Cybertron." he said as they left the building and entered the street. As they looked around, everything looked even worse at ground level. It looked almost post apocalyptic, with the damaged buildings, the streets filled with rubble and fires. "This way." Optimus said, motioning the others to follow when they suddenly heard a woman scream coming from an alleyway just ahead of them. The group ran into the alley to find two people surrounded by husks, the woman saw them and screamed for their help. "Help us, please!" The three then raised their pistols and fired at the creatures, taking two out with head shots. Blood splattering against the alley walls as the other takes several shots to the chest before falling to the ground. The man and woman survivors then got up and ran over to the group. "Thank you for saving us, those things….I can't believe how close…" the woman panicked as the man placed his arms on her shoulders in an attempt to calm her. "Easy, Loraine..." he said before looking to Jack and the others. "...Thank you, we were on our way to the evacuation points when those things chased us into this alley way." Jack gave them a reassuring smile. "It's alright we are heading in that general direction and will escort you until we come across another Alliance unit who will take you from there." The couple nodded in return and Optimus lead the group out of the alley and across another street towards the docks. After taking out some more husks as they went, the group stopped in another alley way to catch their breath. Loraine looked up at the sky and saw more Reapers coming down like fire rain. "My god, Harold, this is the end. Isn't it?" she asked fearfully. The man looked at her with nothing but affection. "Loraine dear, this is not the end. We are with some fine soldiers, you saw how well they have taken down those things that have been attacking us. We will get out of this I swear." he replied, pulling her into an embrace as he looked at Jack for reassurance. The Prime nodded back as Optimus and Arcee looked at each other. "Freeze!" a voice suddenly called out as the group looked at a group of Alliance soldiers approaching them from the other side of the alley. Optimus stood in front of the group. "Easy, we are friendlies." The lead soldier who wore red and silver armour looked at the elder Prime before smiling and lowering his weapon, his unit copying his action. "Optimus sir, glad to see you are alright." he then looked at Arcee and Jack. "Jackson Prime, I guess there are a lot of people that owe you an apology about now." he said as he gestured to what was happening around them. "Yeah I guess, not that it matters right now." he replied. "Sideswipe, we have two humans that need to be escorted to the evac zone. Can you and your team see that this is done?" Optimus asked. The Autobot looked at the couple and nodded back at the elder Prime. "Of course sir, we were actually out here looking for any more survivors, but we haven't found any." he replied in a sombre tone. "You have now." Arcee said with a slight smile, which Sideswipe nodded in return. He then walked over to the couple. "If you will follow us, we will keep you safe until we reach the EZ." The couple looked at Jack and he nodded in kind. Sideswipe and his team walked past Jack and the others with the couple before the Autobot looked back at Optimus. "Be careful if you go that way, the space port is crawling with Reaper forces. Good luck, guys." The others nodded as they watched Sideswipe's team leave the alley with the couple, they then left the alley the way the Alliance soldiers had entered and came to the docks. "It's not far to the space port now." Optimus said before a red laser beam destroyed a large boat at the docks as another colossal Reaper landed next to them and started laying waste to the area. Jack usher Arcee and Optimus behind some cover as they watched the Reaper turn away and start walking towards the edge of the docks. PRIME EFFECT 3 "Optimus to Smokescreen, what is your status?" the Autobot leader said as he activated his com link. "We are at the Defiant now, but the area is being over run…Hotrod….. launch now, before…oh Primus…..look out for that dreadnought." Smokescreen said over the com, as the three looked out at the ocean to see an Alliance star ship being shot out of the sky by two Reapers who were descending to the ground. The dreadnaught hit the ocean, sending water high into the air as it then exploded. The two Reapers then turned and walked over to Manhattan, their roars echoing. Jack then saw a gunship being attacked by one of the dragon-husk things and saw it crash just away from them. "This way, I have an idea." he stated to the others as they followed him to the crashed ship as the two pilots climbed out of it's cockpit. "Are you two alright?" Jack asked while Arcee and Optimus kept watch. "Do you have a distress beacon on-board, we can use it contact our ship." Optimus said looking over his shoulder to the pilots. "Yes, Sir" one pilot said activating his holo-tool. " There the gunship's beacon is online, you can use it now." Optimus activated his own holo-tool and opened up a com channel. "Defiant, this is Optimus, do you read?" he said, gaining only static for a moment. "Jazz here, what is your location, Prime?" the Autobot answered. Jack and Arcee kept look out on the horizon as the Reaper ships continued to rain destruction on the city around them. "We are at a downed gunship between the space port and the docks. We have activated its distress beacon, we need support and evac now." Optimus replied, but then there was only static again as no answer came. "The channel has gone dead." he stated. "Well let's hope that beacon does it's job." Jack said as Arcee pointed up at the sky as what looked like a flaming meteor crashed landed only a hundred feet away, it breaking up to reveal Husks that looked directly at them and charged. "Take cover and use head shots to conserve ammo." Jack said as the five of them ducked behind some rubble and started killing the Husks before they got too close. Jack shot one in the head, making it spasm before falling to the ground while the others each killed a enemy too. The fight went on for a while, but no matter how many they killed another meteor would crash land and reveal more Husks that would start attacking instantly. "I'm running low on ammo." Arcee stated. "We are too." the pilots said as Jack looked down at his own pistol and saw only one bullet left. He looked at Optimus who nodded in return, the young Prime looked around at the people with him. "Then we have to fight hand to hand, and don't let them touch you." he said as they all took combat positions and waited for the Husks to be upon them. Jack took a breath as the mindless hordes came ever closer until a voice could be heard on the com link. "Cavalry's here, guys!" Hotrod's voice said as the Defiant flew in low and fired two torpedoes that destroyed the approaching horde as the group watched in awe. Jack felt a smile appear on his face as he admired his ship's new paint job, blue/white and black, The colours of the Alliance. "Its about time!" Arcee exclaimed as the Defiant circled them and stopped over broken bridge that was raised somewhat. "Let's go." Jack shouted back as the three of them ran and vaulted over a broken beam in front of them and ran up the raised bridge while the two soldiers covered them by shooting the odd husks that had survived. The Defiant then opened the shuttle bay door/ramp and Jack and Arcee jumped over and landed on it, where they were met by Jazz and Smokescreen. "Welcome aboard, Jack." Jazz said, as Smokescreen helped Arcee. "Thanks." Jack replied before turning back to Optimus who was standing at the top of the raised bridge. "Jackson." Optimus called back. The young Prime looked at him confused. "Come on." he replied, waving him over. "Optimus though looked back at the two pilots and then at a shuttle of soldiers that flew past. He then looked back at Jack with a stoic face. "I'm' not going..." he replied as Jack listened to him. "...You've seen what's happening here, these men and women are fighting for their lives and their home and they need a leader." Jack shook his head in disagreement. "We are in this together, Optimus!" he replied. "This isn't a fight we can win, not alone. We need every species and all of their fleets if were are to stand a chance against the Reapers." the Autobot leader said. Jack looked down in defeat, he knew Optimus was right. "Talk to the Council, convince them to help us." Optimus carried on. "And what if they don't want to listen?" Jack asked. "Then make them listen..." Optimus replied in a stern voice. "...now go, that's an order, Jackson Prime!" Jack shrugged his shoulders. "I don't work for the Alliance anymore, remember?" the younger Prime answered. Optimus looked at Jack and then at Arcee. "Bryce and I figured you would say that…..,Arcee." Jack looked at the femme who placed an object in his right hand. He looked down and saw his old dog tags. "You're going to need these." she said with a slight smile. Jack returned the smile before looking back at Optimus. "You know what you have to do!" The elder Prime said as Jack nodded reluctantly. "I'll come back for you and I will bring every fleet I can…good luck." he said gaining a nod from Optimus. "You too, Jackson." Jack then stood beside Arcee, Jazz and Smokescreen as the Defiant started to rise, Optimus himself rejoined the pilots and headed back towards the city as evac shuttles flew towards the EZ at the far end of the docks. Jack looked over there and saw that the couple they had saved earlier were there and boarding a shuttle that had just landed, when someone else caught his attention. In amongst the people being evacuated was the little boy, who looked around nervously before staring directly at Jack. The Prime smiled back at him, knowing that he was now safe, before a roar screamed out as a Reaper appeared next to the EZ and powered up its main weapon. Jack's expression turned to one of shock and fear as he watched helplessly. The boy looked up at the colossal behemoth for a moment before running over to the last shuttle and climbing inside with some help from the soldier standing there, once inside the lad looked back up at Jack and smiled before the hatch closed and the two shuttles flew up and into the sky. But the Reaper fired it's weapon, the beam clipping the ship's side and brought it down, causing it to explode. The Reaper then fired again completely destroying the boy's shuttle before it could get away. The explosion reflected in Jack's eyes as he watched in complete shock before looking at the ground and closing his eyes and standing there completely silent. When he reopened them he looked back at the Reaper with a hatred, before turning around and walking into the shuttle bay with the others as the bay door closed behind them. The Defiant then flew up and away before the Reaper could get a target lock on it while even more landed in the city of New York. The sky looked like it was raining fire as hundreds of thousands of Reapers continued to descend to the ground below as the remaining population tried to survive the nightmare that was happening around them. Once out of the Earth's atmosphere the Defiant flew past the debris field that was once the planet's defence fleet and fled as fast as it could. The sun started setting behind the planet, as the Reapers claimed it as their own.
A/N: Well here is the sequel, I hope you enjoy it. PRIME EFFECT 2 CHAPTER I In a large dark room, the only illumination coming from a grouping of orange holographic screens in its center. A Caucasian man in his late fifties stood there and was monitoring each screen intently. On the screens were numerous videos and images of the star ship Normandy, Commander Darby and his team mates. Other images included Sovereign and Saren. He stared at the screens for what seemed forever until his attention was caught by the sounds of footsteps behind him. "You're late, Agent Lawson." he said in a calm stoic manner. "My apologies, Director, but it would appear that the target was harder to track than we originally thought." a young woman replied as she stood beside him. He did not even acknowledge her as he continued to watch the footage playing on the screens. "Well, it would seem that you still accomplished the task." he replied pointing at screen showing the target's current position. "Yes, we have a vessel shadowing them as we speak, here is the latest Intel we have acquired." she replied as she held out a data pad. The old man just waved his hand over it and the data then transferred to one of the screens. He then looked at it intently before smiling. "Interesting, tell our vessel to keep transmitting data back to me for as long as they are able." The young woman nodded before she turned away and looked around the barren room, it looked like it was made of mirrors as the walls, floor and ceiling all reflected their image back with the orange hue of the screens behind them. The man looked over to her, noticing her tense posture. "What's the matter, Miranda?" he asked, his tone shifting to an almost caring one. She then crossed her arms and looked over her shoulder to him. "It's just that Jack Darby did everything right. He saved the galaxy from Sovereign and the Geth and now humanity's place among the galactic community is stronger than ever." The Director looked back at a screen with the young Prime's image on it. "Yes, he certainly proved his worth when it counted didn't he." he replied while enlarging one screen showing footage of the Prime hacking down Saren from the Citadel security feed. "And yet it is still not enough..." she sighed. "...While he is out there searching, the Council is busy sweeping the entire affair under the rug. They are even secretly clogging up the Alliance with red tape, stopping them from helping in the search." the Agent continued, as her voice showed signs of annoyance. The Director picked up a glass from a stand on his right and took a sip of the liquid inside. "I know, the council would rather blame the whole ordeal on Saren and the Geth. Not wanting to believe in myths and legends, but we know what the real threat is." The young woman then turned around and looked at the older man. "Yes, the Reapers are still out there." she replied as the Director then waved his free hand over one of the screen's, making it swap places with another. "And now it is up to us to stop them." he said as he looked over an image of Sovereign. Miranda shook her head. "Unfortunately no one will trust MECH, even after all these years. They still believe we are the terrorist organisation that we were during the war." She then looked away from the Director, as a slight smile graced her lips. "But they will listen to Darby. He is a hero, the first Human Prime." she said with admiration that did not go unnoticed by the older man who coughed into his hand, gaining her attention. This snapped her out of it, her posture and face becoming serious again. "But he is only a man. If anything happens to him, I believe that we will all lose." she said honestly as the Director turned and looked directly at her. She could not see his face as the light from holo-screens shone behind him, but she could see that his yellow optics narrowed at her. "Then see to it that we don't lose him." he answered before taking another sip from his glass. Miranda then nodded before turning around and leaving the room. Once again leaving the Director alone as he studied the screens in quiet. PRIME EFFECT 2 Meanwhile across the other side of the galaxy, the Normandy dropped out of hyperspace as it's hull shimmered softly while passing a barren rocky planet. In the CIC the crew were going about their duties as Commander Jack Darby and his pilot, the Autobot Hotrod were talking in the cockpit. "We have entered the Amada system and the stealth mode is engaged." the pilot said before turning to Jack. "So we have been searching the Omega Nebula for a means to defeat the Reapers for the last two weeks, hoping to find a super weapon or something to use against them, but have found nothing. A big fat zero." he continued irritably. Jack looked down at the screen in front of him, reading the information that was appearing on it. "Never said it was going to be easy, Hotrod. Besides we still have the rest of the galaxy to search. We check out any lead, any trail that might lead us to something that we can use." Hotrod shrugged and then looked back at his console. "Well the sooner we find something the better. I hear the new Blasto movie is showing at theaters now, and I don't want to miss it." Jack, knowing where this conversation would lead decided to leave before being dragged into another movie talk, so he patted Hotrod on the shoulder before turning around and walking away. "I'll be in my quarters if anything should happen." he said as Hotrod lean out looking back at him smirking. "Is Arcee there too?" he jokingly asked. But Jack being the man he was chose to ignore it. "As you were, Hotrod." he answered stoically, to which the pilot chuckled before turning back round to his controls. "Aye Aye, Sir." As Jack entered their quarters, funny it used to be his quarters. But since he and Arcee had begun a relationship only a few weeks previously, she had spent more time in his quarters so he asked her to move in. He looked around the room to find that she was already claiming it by having more of her belongings on show than his own. The Commander didn't mind though, he would do anything for her. As he sat down at the desk and activated the console, he heard the shower running and smiled. 'She really does love that shower.'' he thought as he looked through the numerous daily reports and messages that had filled up his inbox. One was from Tali who had just gotten Engineering just the way she wanted it. The other was from Garrus and he was complaining that the crew's constant messing with the weapon systems was interfering with his calibrations. There was a message was from Wrex asking him to join the Krogan for a drink in the common room which made the Prime chuckle. Jack then turned off the console when he heard the shower turn off, and turned to see Arcee stepping out of the bathroom with a blue towel wrapped around her figure. "Nice." he said with a big grin. The femme smiled back at him with slightly red cheeks. "Thanks." she replied, a little taken back. He then stood up and walked over to her. "So I guess your shift is over now?" she asked as he put an arm around her back and pulled her close. "I am all yours for the next few hours." he replied as he started to kiss her neck. A sweet moan escaped her as she closed her eyes, enjoying his lips on her skin. "Whatever am I going to do with you?" she said before Jack looked back to her and then pressed his lips against hers. They tasted just as sweet and succulent now as they did the first time he kissed her. She suddenly surprised him by pushing him onto the bed and climbed on top of him as her towel fell off, exposing her athletic figure. Then for one moment they just looked into each others eyes as they smiled at each other lovingly. "Lights off." Arcee said as she bent down and kissed her lover passionately while the room went dark around them. PRIME EFFECT 2 It was late when Jack woke up lying on their bed with the sheets half covering him. He looked to his side to see Arcee lying next to him, smiling back. "Do you realise that you snore in your sleep." she said gently. Jack looked back horrified. "Why did you have to tell me that." he replied as he placed his hands on his face in shame. The femme chuckled as she got on to her side facing him. "It wasn't bad, it was soft and faint. I thought it was cute." she teased as she gently pulled his hands away. He looked back at her and saw nothing but love in her eyes and found himself relaxing as she then moved in close and rested her head on his chest as he started stroking her blue hair. "Jack, do you ever think about the future?" she asked softly. "What do you mean?" he replied curious to why she had just brought it up. The femme then looked up at him. "I mean us, our future." The Prime looked back at the femme and saw that something had been weighing on her mind. "Yes I do, I mean I know that we have the Reapers to deal with first but I have found myself thinking more about what we would do after." he replied which made her spark warm. She then took a breath before speaking again. "Well there was something I wanted to ask you" she said, her voice sounding nervous. Jack looked at her. "Well ask, you know you can talk to me about anything." he replied gently. Arcee sighed as she recognized the caring tone in his voice. "Well first, what do you know of sparkm…" but she was cut off mid sentence by the intercom activating. "Commander, you and Arcee are needed in the CIC." Hotrod's voice echoed throughout the room. Jack looked back at his love as she looked at him disappointed. "I tell you what, we take care of whatever it is that they need. And then we come back up here and you tell me what is on you mind." he said with a warm smile as she closed the distance and relaxed into a deep kiss with him, holding it for several seconds before separating. "Okay, let's get this done quickly then." she replied. As they entered the bridge, everyone was hurrying about as the atmosphere felt tense. The two walked up to Hotrod. "What's the situation." Jack asked. The pilot looked over to them. "Commander, we have an unidentified ship approaching us on a intercept trajectory." he replied, worry was evident in his voice. "But I thought stealth mode was active." Arcee observed while looking over the readouts on a screen next to her. "Yeah it is, so whatever this ship is, it has sensors that are strong enough to detect us." he said as Jack looked over at Arcee's screen. "Can you show us it?" he asked as Hotrod then transferred a picture of it to their console. "Here you go, it's the first scan I took of it." They both looked at the image on screen. The alien ship at a cylinder like shape with numerous sections sticking out while it spun on its axis. If Jack were to describe it, he would say that it looked somewhat like a corkscrew. He looked over to Hotrod as the young bot's face went white. "By Primus, they are targeting us and powering weapons." he said, fear taking over. "Evasive action and raise shields." The Commander ordered as Hotrod too control and veered the ship to the right as the massive cruiser fired an yellow energy beam that narrowly missed them. "Hail them." the Prime ordered as Arcee worked the console in front of her. "No response." she replied as the enemy ship fired again scraping the Alliance ship, causing numerous explosions on all decks. "We have a hull breach on deck four. And we are leaking atmosphere." Arcee stated as Hotrod managed to turn the ship just in time before the yellow energy beam hit again. "Tell everyone to switch to breather helmets, and get damage control teams down there to seal the breach." Jack replied before turning back to Hotrod who had just put on his own breather helmet. "Okay, enough with playing nice, arm weapons and take us at them." The Autobot nodded and swung the ship around and flew directly at the cruiser as it's beam hit the Normandy again, causing the ship to shake against the impact. "Fire!" Jack shouted as the Normandy fired everything from torpedoes, to its cannons at the unknown ship. "No effect." Hotrod replied just as the bridge was rocked by the enemy firing on the Alliance ship and slicing off the port-side wing, making it spin uncontrollably. "We have lost our starboard engine, I am trying to stabilise her with thrusters." The pilot said as he franticly worked at the controls. Jack looked at Arcee who too was now wearing her breather helmet as she looked back at him, it was as if they were both thinking the same thing. "What's the damage report?" he asked hesitantly. The femme flipped through the screens. "We have hull breaches on decks four, five and one. Main power is off across most of the ship." she replied. Jack then turned back to Hotrod and activated the intercom. "This is the Commander, all hands abandon ship. I repeat, all hands abandon ship." Arcee and Hotrod looked at each other worriedly before looking back to the Prime. Then the intercom activated again. "This is Tali, we have crew trapped down here in Engineering and cannot make it to the escape pods. We need assistance." she called as both Jack and his XO started to head to the elevator. Jack turned to Hotrod. "Try to keep that ship from getting a target lock on us, we will go down to deck four and help Tali." he said as they then walked off. "Will do, Commander." he pilot replied as he kept his attention on evading the unknown adversary. Once they got out from the elevator they were met with flames and smoke as the corridors were lit in the red emergency lighting. "I think you should suit up, Jack." Arcee said. The Prime nodded and removed a dark grey octagonal disc that had the silver Autobot symbol on it's topside. He then placed it on his chest and it activated, unfolding and spreading out along the Commander's body before taking the shape of the Prime armour, the Autobot symbol on his right chest plate shining for a second before fading. "Lets go" Jack said as they both headed down towards engineering. PRIME EFFECT 2 Once they arrived at the entrance to Engineering, both of them saw the problem. "Tali, it's Jack, we are outside now. It seems that part of the ceiling has fallen down and blocked off the door." he said into his com link. "Just stay calm as I cut through it." he then activated his energy blade and swung at the debris, slicing it in two. They then cleared out the pieces and entered the room. Jack went over to Tali who was sitting against a control station while his partner helped up the other crewmen. "Are you okay, Tali?" he asked as the Quarian held her arm. "I had a suit puncture that I have just repaired but I am now running a fever from exposure to something in the air." she said as the ship was rocked by another impact from the enemy's weapon. Jack helped his friend up and motioned the femme over to them. "Arcee, I need you to get Tali and these crewmen into the nearest escape pod." he said as he then saw the surprise in her face. "But what about you?" she replied. "I am going back up to the cockpit to get Hotrod, I'll be right behind you." he replied confidently. But Arcee was not having any of it. "We can do this together, I am not leaving your side." she said adamantly. Jack then placed his hands on both of her shoulders and looked into her eyes. I need you to help Tali and these crewmen. I will activate the distress beacon from here and will get into the nearest escape pod with Hotrod. We will be right behind you." he said, his voice remaining calm despite the worsening situation around them. The femme just looked at him for a moment, before accepting defeat. "You better be right behind us." she replied as she turned away only to have Jack stop her and hold his hand to her face to stroke her cheek. "Don't worry, you are not going to lose me that easily." He then placed something in her hand. She looked down to see his dog tags. She looked back up to him to see him smiling at her. "And I will want those back." he replied gently before being cut off by another hit to the ship making the room shake. "Now go." he said as Arcee helped Tali and the others out of Engineering. Jack then turned to the control console and activated the distress beacon, which dropped out of the underbelly of the ship as it drifted near a blue planet with the unknown enemy closing in. Arcee and the group made it to the escape pod as she hit the activation pad, making the pod open up in front of them. "Okay, Everyone, in." she said as Tali and the crewmen climbed in and sat down in the empty seats. The femme then activated her com link. "Arcee to Garrus and Wrex, come in." she called out, hoping to get an answer. "Garrus here, Wrex and myself are just directing crewmen into the escape pods." the Turian replied. "Me too, also I have Tali here." she said as the corridor filled with more smoke from the growing fires. "Is she alright? What about Jack, is he with you?" he asked. "Yes she is fine, but Jack is heading back to the cockpit for Hotrod." she said while looking down at her lover's dog tags in her hand. "Hey, Jack will be fine. He will get Hotrod off the ship before anything happens. We should go now though." he answered over the com link. "Okay, launching escape pods now" she answered as she entered the pod, the hatch closing behind her. Then as the Normandy continued to drift, it's thrusters barely keeping it stable. Parts of the hull folded out to reveal the escape pods which then launched out into space. Jack climbed up through the service ducts to reach the CIC, not even attempting to use the elevator considering how badly damaged the Normandy would be by now. He reached the top when the ship shook severally from another attack. It felt like an earthquake as he barely managed to hold on to the ladder. 'That one felt too close.' he thought as he reached up to the hatch and attempted to open it, but it would not budge. He activated his holo-tool and brought up a scan of the ship, looking at the area he was about to enter. It was flashing red as Jack realised the only reason that it would be doing that. 'There's a hull breach in CIC.' he thought. He then concentrated and his armour responded with his breather helmet unfolding around his head from out from within itself. He then heard his own breathing as he then activated the manual release and opened the hatch, the oxygen in the service duct being pulled out into the vacuum of space. He then climbed out to see that the CIC had a hull breach that covered what used to be the ceiling. He looked up to see a blue planet and the stars overhead as well as the attacking ship closing. He then walked slowly towards the cockpit, as he pushed floating chairs and dead crewman out of the way as he got closer to Hotrod who was still at his station, trying to keep the ship moving. "Hotrod, we have to abandon ship." he said while the Autobot kept trying to control the ship. "No I won't leave, I can still get the ship to safety." he defiantly replied as he tried to retain control of the Normandy. Jack leaned over Hotrod trying to press the issue. "The Normandy is going to be destroyed, going down with her won't change that." Hotrod's face suddenly looked lost as he realised the futile nature of what he was trying to achieve. "….Yeah okay." he replied sadly. The pilot then got out of the chair before noticing some information appear on his screen that caused his spark's beat to quicken. "They are coming around for another attack" he warned Jack as the enemy ship fired on the defenceless and heavily damaged Normandy again, rocking the ship even harder. The Prime then grabbed the bot by the arm and pulled him away from the cockpit. "Okay, I'm moving." he replied as Jack opened the escape pod's hatch and the young Autobot got inside and fastened himself into one of the chairs there. Jack was about to climb in himself when suddenly the hull behind him disintegrated revealing open space. Another explosion knocked the Commander away from the pod and back into the quickly disintegrating cockpit. The energy beam broke through and blocked him off from the escape pod as Hotrod watched helplessly from his seat. "Commander!" he shouted to Jack who grabbed onto the railing on the wall near the pod. Knowing that there was no other way, he took one last look at his pilot and then hit the pod's activation panel next to him. "PRIME!" Hotrod screamed as the escape pod sealed itself and launched into space, away from the ship. Jack then let go of the railing and let himself float in the middle of the room. Another shot from the cruiser hit a power cable near him, causing it to explode and send him flying out of the wreck and into open space. He watched his ship break up as the enemy fired again, cutting through the ship like a knife through butter, making the Normandy explode. The shock-wave from the blast knocked the Prime further away. Then over the sounds of his own heavy breathing, he heard a hissing noise coming from inside his own suit and realised that his oxygen supply had been damaged from the shock-wave. He frantically reached behind his neck to the breach in his helmet, trying desperately to stop all his oxygen from flowing out into space. But the oxygen supply emptied quickly, as he felt his lungs collapse. The air that had inhabited them being forcibly sucked out by the vacuum. He was consumed by a white hot pain across hi entire body as his organs turned to mush and he lost consciousness just as his heart stopped beating. His lifeless body then drifted into the planet's atmosphere. From where she was sitting in the escape pod, Arcee watched helplessly as the Normandy was no more but debris drifting in space. A million thoughts ran through her mind as she fumbled for her com link. "Jack, Hotrod. Are either of you there?" she called out, her voice nearly breaking. Then there was silence for a long moment before Hotrod's voice came through. "Arcee…" he answered hesitantly gaining her attention, as she got off her seat and stood at the window looking out at the destroyed ship. "Hotrod, is Jack with you? Is he alright?" she replied as she tried to keep a grip of her emotions. "Arcee,….I am sorry" he answered shakily. Her eyes widened and her mouth parted as his words sunk in. "Jack got me into the escape pod, but...he didn't make it. He was still on board when the Normandy exploded." The young Autobot answered, his voice filled with guilt and regret. The femme then collapsed to her knees, tears streamed down her face as the control she had over her emotions broke down. She let herself fall into grief as her eyes stung from the tears welling up in them. She looked out into space and placed a hand on the window. 'No, Jack, you wouldn't leave me…Jack!' she thought as she gripped his dog tags tightly. Tali looked away from the grieving femme and muttered a prayer for her fallen friend as their escape pod and the others drifted away to safety.