Mass Effect Fan fiction

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Mass Effect Fan fiction

Post by quakernuts on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:16 pm

"All hands brace for impact! All hands brace for impact!"

"We fucking got it already Jenny" Lieutenant Jason Horn yelled at the communications officer over the comm. as he rushed through the halls of the SRC Juno. The ship itself was a heavily armed frigate meant more for hit and run tactics rather than scouting or recon. There was a little hidden fact about the ship however. The SRC Juno was a Cerberus vessel, commandeered after the original Alliance crew was boarded and killed by members of the Blood Pack mercenary group. A long, and intensely tiring battle after finding the Juno a few days later had released the ship from Alliance control over to Cerberus. With a little hacking, more information gathering, and a lot of bribing money, Jason Horn and the rest of the Juno crew were Alliance members.

It was only a few short months later, and the reports of Sheperd's exploits all over the universe got the Illusive man's attention. That, and the destruction of several Cerberus facilities. They were of no significance, and instead the crew of the SRC Juno were tasked with tracking Sheperd's movements. Sent to each planet the Normandy visited after they had already left, and investigating just what exactly Sheperd was looking into. It all led up to this moment, this exact position in time where everything was coming to a close, or more accurately, opening up into a larger part of the story.

Per orders from Illusive man, and through some hacking of the Alliance network, by some unknown admiral that no one would bother to double check, the SRC Juno had managed to place itself in the Turian fleet guarding the Citadel. If the Illusive Man's info turned out to be good, something big was about to happen. Something that Jason didn't know if he was prepared for.

TIM's information was always damn good.

Not long after they had joined up with the Turian fleet, Geth warships started pouring through the Mass Relay, led by one of the biggest starships anyone had ever seen. Reapers were the myth they were chasing, and Horn had seen it first hand that it was no longer a fabrication. In fact, they were fighting for their very lives against it. Horn ran down the hallways, helmet in one hand and Gorgon assault rifle in his other. The ship suffered another hit, and Horn stumbled. He slammed against the wall with his shoulder, his Colossus heavy armour protecting him from any damage. "I'mma take that as a sign that nothing is going well."

"Attention all marine teams! Report to the shuttle bay for immediate departure! Attention all marine teams! Report to the shuttle bay for immediate departure!" Jenny came over the speakers once again, and Horn strapped his helmet on and holstered his assault rifle in favour of speed. He needed to book it if he was going to make it. He had to make it, this was one fight he was not going to miss.

Almost as soon as he thought that, a shell ripped through the floor a few feet in front of him, and the vortex of air being sucked out through hole in the hull was all Horn could hear as he was tossed around the hallway, and barely managed to grasp a portion of the tear. He looked down, seeing the emptiness of space as his arms strained to keep him in place as the pressure equalized. Soon, nothing could be heard but his own breathing as the floors were void of air. Jason climbed back on board, knowing that the bulkheads had closed to prevent any further damage. He had happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time, and was trapped from going any further. He was at a loss of what to do, when he looked down to see the bulkhead had yet to seal on the lower level due to damage.

Jason floated through, and squeezed himself underneath the gap between the door and the next area. Once he finally righted himself, and turned around, he was met with crew members all floating around, dead. He shook his head at the death, but he had experienced it before and didn't have time to mourn. The shuttle bay was still another floor down, and if he hurried, he could make it. He floated through the halls, favouring speed over control as he constantly tossed himself into walls in order to stop. After a quick pressurizing moment near the bulk head, a safety feature built in case someone was trapped on the outside with their suits on, Jason made his way the next floor down, and was surprised to see only one Kodiak out of four still in the bay. Marines were loading up into the dropship, and Horn booked it from the elevator to the Kodiak.

"Hold the ship!" Horn yelled over the comm. as the last marine was loading up. The marine held the door, and Horn clambered up. He put a hand up against the wall, breathing hard from the exertion used to simply get to the ship. "Thanks man." Horn said in between gasps.

"Glad to have another hand." The marine replied with a feminine voice. Horn shook his head.

"Sorry, didn't get a good look at you. No offence meant."

"None taken." Horn then realized that she wasn't saying 'sir' after each statement, and looked over at her armour. She was in full gear, but the HUD in his helmet identified her as Operative Kelly Invaru. He immediately straightened.

"Of course ma'am. Thank you ma'am." She looked at him for a second, before pushing Horn to get seated.

"Cut he ma'am shit Lieutenant. We're about to go down there, and I don't want to feel like everything I say is golden when it's not, we clear?"

"Perfectly." Horn said as he strapped in. He looked around, and noticed that half the seats were empty. Never a good sign. Commander Kyle Landeir was standing near the cockpit, his helmet under the crutch of his arm, and talking in a hush tone to the pilot. Another bad sign. All Horn knew about the current operation was that they would either be boarding a ship, or possibly going to the Citadel itself. Horn hoped for the second, he was never one to back down from a fight. The Commander turned back around, and strapped on his helmet. His black and tan heavy Assassin armour absorbing what little light was left in the drop ship.

"Alright marines, listen up." The shuttle lifted off, and Horn could tell just by the way it was accelerating within the Juno itself that they weren't even sure if they were going to make it. "We're going down to the Citadel. Our main objective will be to secure the Presidium in Sheperd's absence, and hope that the Commander's team manages to pull some kind of miracle to stop this massacre. We will get there, and we will hold for as long as we are needed." He looked around the room at exactly the nine marines that he had, including himself, and sighed. "Whatever happens marines, we are soldiers. I expect you to fight, and if need be, die like soldiers. It's been an honour." He placed his helmet on his head, and turned his attention back to the pilot. Horn looked out the view port, watching the Juno get smaller as they rushed to their destination.

Suddenly a round punched through the ship's hull...then another, and another. Explosions rang out as the mass effect core went critical, and the entire ship went up in a giant blue explosion. Jason felt numb as his hand slid from the view port onto his lap, and he simply sat there. A hand placed itself on his shoulder, and he looked over at Kelly to see her looking into his visor. He instinctively set it to reflective to keep his face hidden. She didn't say anything, which was good, but he shrugged off the hand. He was used to facing impossible odds, but certain odds of death made even him start to feel the weight of everything on his shoulders. It started the feeling of no hope, and with it came fear.

The ship started to rattle, and before they knew it, became a miniature earthquake within the small dropship. "Hold on, we're going to skim the Citadel's arms!" Of course the Citadel was closing its arms, but if they were going to skim them, that meant that they were incredibly close to being crushed by them. He grasped the edges of his seat until it felt like he could rip the entire side from the Kodiak itself. There was a loud scraping, and the ship suddenly lurched forward, sending half of the marine's heads into the back of their seats. Horn was one of those unlucky marines as he felt the back of his head, and could sense a headache coming on. Suddenly red warning lights blared in the back of the drop ship, and all Horn managed to say was; "Well fuck."

The ship started careening out of control. The Commander was trying to say something, but it was lost in translation as everyone hung on for dear life as the Kodiak spun around in circles, and eventually everything went dark.

Horn didn't know how much time had passed, but he woke up on a portion of the Presidium. He shook his head, and immediately looked around him. There was no fire, and there was no atmosphere. All he could hear was his own breathing once again as he stood up to assess the damage. "Lieutenant! Good to see you made it! Get over here!" The Commander's voice rang through his head, but it still took him a moment to see him. He waved his arm once, and by the time that Jason got to him, could already tell things were not going their way.

Half of the marines were dead, leaving them with exactly five people to capture and hold the Presidium. There was Commander Landier, Operative Invaru, Lieutenant Horn, Private Nick Holster, and Private Lindsay Gray. The Commander was saying something to Invaru, but Jason was too busy looking at the giant starship attached to the top of the Presidium. It was ridiculously huge. Just the sight of it froze Jason on the spot, and made him deaf to the entire world. Suddenly someone grabbed his shoulder and yanked hard. "Lieutenant!" Jason gulped, and looked back at the Commander.

"We don't have time for fear Horn! We have to move! We have to get right underneath that thing, and hold it! If they manage to capture it..." He let the thought drift off, and released his grip. Horn nodded feverishly as he grabbed his assault rifle off of his back, and jogged forward with the rest of the team. He didn't know how far off they were, but if scale was anything to go by, they had a long walk ahead of them.

"Geth!" Kelly yelled over the comm. as she ducked behind some of the Presidium structure to avoid being hit by rifle fire. Everyone else did the same as they were all pocket marked with fire from several Geth troopers. Horn fired back, allowing his team to provide more accurate fire as one of the Geth went down.

"Two on the left!" Nick reported as more automatic fire broke out.

"Krogan battlemaster! Right side!" Lindsay yelled into the comm. as the sound of a shotgun broke through the air. Shit, Krogan? A giant warship and an army of robotic minions wasn't enough?! Horn thought to himself as he ran to Lindsay's side and opened up on the battlemaster. Rounds ricocheted off his armour as he continued his slow trek forward.

"We need something bigger!" Horn yelled as the surreal feel of the battle started taking hold. Bullets were flying with no sound, yells were being made with no background noises save that of their own breathing. It was a weird experience, but Horn didn't let it take hold as he continued forward. Suddenly a blue glow enveloped the Krogan as he was sent flying upwards into the space inside the Citadel arms. Horn looked back to see Operative Invaru, her hand glowing a soft blue before it returned to normal and she continued to fire her assault rifle at the remaining Geth.

To Jason, it felt like they fought for ten minutes to gain a couple inches of ground. Geth were pouring out of the woodwork, and his hands were actually going numb from the recoil of the weapon. He could tell it was wearing on everyone else as well, just by the way they were starting to falter in yelling their condition and enemy movements. Bodies of the synthetic warriors littered the area directly in front of them, with the odd Krogan mixed in. The only one who seemed to keep up his pace from start to present was the Commander. His voice cut through the stillness of the air like a hammer, bluntly forcing everybody back into an attentive state. Jason was thankful for it, and also thankful he wasn't in charge for a suicide mission.

Suddenly, the fighting stopped. Everyone still tensed, knowing there would be more where they came from. Instead, nothing happened. No one moved, afraid there would be snipers out on the ridges, or drones hiding around the corner for them to step out. Commander Landier was the first to move. "Move people! We've wasted too much time, and we don't have the luxury of gaining more! Everyone on your feet! Move your asses! Let's go!" Landier rushed forward, and everyone else followed suite.

As the team rushed on, Horn wondered how much time had passed since his blackout. It felt like an eternity, but Horn wasn't keeping track. Had backup arrived yet? Who was he kidding! There was no backup! They were all that stood between trillions of lives and utter annihilation. He didn't like the pressure! He wanted everything to be alright. He wanted everything to go back to slavers and mercenaries trying to kill each other. Instead, he placed one foot in front of the other, kept his weapon waving around to watch his sectors, and said nothing. These people were in it with him as well, and if they weren't going to complain, then neither would he.

Quite a ways later, after several sporadic firefights with more Geth troopers and nearly falling off the spire, the found the Embassies. They had managed to get within the atmosphere of the Citadel, so they could have taken off their helmets if they weren't too scared to. As they walked through the Presidium, and located one of the working elevators, they came across something much more interesting. They found a Mako anti-infantry fighting vehicle. A couple of Geth and a few Husks laid dead around and under it as they all stepped forward cautiously. "How the fuck did a Mako get up here? We didn't bring it in, and we were the first and last ones inside!" Nick stated over the comm. No one answered because they were all thinking the same thing. Landier and Invaru both stepped closer to the tank, and read their markings. Horn could swear he could hear their sighs of relief.

"It's the Normandy's." Kelly stated over the comm. Her voice was damn near ecstatic as they all nearly gave a sigh of relief. If Sheperd was here, so was their team. Which meant they must have found a way to stop whatever it was that was happening up in the council chambers. The Commander gave a nod, and looked to everyone else.

"Change of plans. We need to make sure that, if Sheperd's team reaches the council area, they have time to do whatever they need. We will hold off any reinforcements until either they succeed, or they fail. Either way, our mission will be over. Understood?"

"Yes sir." They answered in unison. Landier looked towards the elevator, and noticed that it wasn't working.

"Ideas people?" Landier asked, and Horn stepped forward.

"Everyone brace!" Jason shouted. He didn't know if this would work, but it would be a pain to go through it twice in one day. He shot several rounds into the covering for the elevator, and watched as he guessed right. The atmosphere had been sucked out of the elevator tube, and since no one had taken off their helmets, all held their ground as they lost their ever so precious air. Soon, everything was quiet again and the fires all snuffed out. Horn continued firing on the screen until there was a hole big enough for them to fit through. Jason stepped through first, and looked up, his magnetic boots keeping him place for the moment. "That...that is a long fucking way up sir. I can't even see where they stopped the elevator."

"Luckily we can still make time. Nothing to slow us down, everything to speed us up." Landier stepped through the hole, disengaged his magnetic locks, and launched himself up the tube. He pushed off of the surfaces, and since there was nothing to slow him down, continually built up speed until he was going so fast that Horn could barely keep track of him.

"Heh, when in Rome..." Horn stated as he prepped for his takeoff.

"Now there's a phrase I haven't heard in quite a while Lieutenant." Operative Invaru stated as she climbed through.

"I just hope we don't end up like the Romans...dead and forgotten." He simply looked up, not looking at the Operative for fear that his own feelings of despair would convey to her. Without another word, he launched himself up the elevator to catch up to the Commander.

It was actually only a few minutes later that they reached the end. Their speed increasing every time they pushed off of something until the point they couldn't reach out fast enough to gain speed. They were able to see the elevator from quite a ways though, and were able to stop and make their way out. Commander Landier was waiting for them, inspecting some of the dead bodies that still somehow clung to the side of the Presidium. "Oh Sheperd's been through here all right." Landier stated, before taking the body and throwing it into space. "I think it's time we start pulling our weight. Everyone! On me!" Lindsay was the last one up, and they quickly all fell behind the Commander. Everyone was refilled with hope, and the extra energy it provided was a definite asset.

It wasn't long before they ran into their first fight. Bodies floated around from Sheperd's bout through the area, but other Geth had appeared from the woodwork to either attack from the rear, or cover anyone that might be coming up behind Sheperd's team. Horn and the others didn't waste any time as they rushed into cover, being careful not to dive or jump. The silence of the firefight create that familiar sense of surreal reality, but it no longer bothered Horn. It was actually incredibly relaxing, making the firefight seem not as dangerous as it actually was. He could get used to that sort of thing.

Rounds whizzed past his head as he returned fire. The Geth were going down quickly, but more of them showed up every time they tried to push forward. Horn fired and downed three Geth in one quick move as he ducked behind some more cover and watched as rounds flew exactly where he had just been standing. He let his weapon cool, and looked over at Lindsay, who was firing back. Suddenly a round missed her head by mere inches...but it didn't miss by enough.

Cracks starting appearing as the round pierced her shields and hit her visor. Her panicked voice filled the comm. as she frantically forgot everything and started clawing at the ever growing crack. Before Jason could even move, she screamed, her helmet burst open, and Lindsay was suddenly silenced as her head exploded. Horn hung his head as her body fell, disengaging her magnetic seals and sending her body drifting into space. She was only one of many, but with the few numbers they had, it was a devastating blow. Jason gave a quick salute to her body as the rest fought on.

Before they knew it, the rest of the geth had been dispatched. A krogan lay here and there, but otherwise the area was littered with mechanical parts. "Status!" Horn heard Landier yell into the comm.

"We lost Private Lindsay sir." Jason said, his voice sombre as he walked to the rest of the group. Holster, Invaru, and Landier all looked up for a second, but immediately looked down. The Reaper was still hovering over top of them, and to look at it for too long was demoralizing in itself.

"Understood. Let's move!" Landier said, no hint of any emotion in his voice other than driven devotion to determination. Horn gripped his weapon once more, the ever present fear of death hidden as a whispering voice at the back of his mind. He would freeze, he would run, he would cry in terror as everything he knew was suddenly silenced. He took a deep breath, remembering his rank and what it entailed. He was used to fighting conventional wars, where the enemy had the same hopes and fears as you. The game changed when your enemy not only had the advantage, but no longer cared about self preservation. There was no suppression. There was no morale breaker. There was no emotional victory. Everything was broken into probabilities and success/failure columns. It made Horn shake as he let go of a breath he hadn't known he had been holding.

As they rounded a corner, a small bulb like thing came floating towards them. The Commander instantly turned around. "Grenade!" He yelled as the force blew all of them off their feet, and careening into space. Horn went into a free spin, his limbs flailing as he grabbed for anything that might help him to no avail. He could feel his heart rate and breathing increase as the deep instinctual fear of death hit him like a tidal wave. "Fire your gun! Use the recoil to blow you back onto the spire!" Landier ordered, pulling Jason back into a clear state of mind. Horn watched the Commander right himself with his weapon, firing until it overheated and sending him on a slow course back towards the Presidium. Everyone repeated the action, getting the same result. However, it was never that easy as a couple Krogan leading another batch of geth troopers popped up and started the turkey shoot. The Cerberus team couldn't fire, for it would send them flying back into space. They had to hope that the geth were horrible shots, and get onto the spire before they could fire back. Operative Invaru was the first on the ground, setting up a small biotic shield to protect those who had yet to get back onto a firm surface. Nick got pegged in the shoulder, but his shields held. He spun in a pirouette style and hit the ground a little harder than he would have liked. Commander Landier landed with a professional grace that made Horn wonder if he had done this before, and Jason swore up and down that he would have a jetpack of some sort with him at all times after this mission was over. Horn himself landed on his feet but stumbled forwards as his magnetic seals kicked in.

Rounds kept hitting Kelly's biotic shield, and Jason could see by the flicker in the blue dome shaped barrier, that Kelly was starting to falter. "Let it drop Operative!" Commander Landier shouted, and Kelly instantly did so, dropping behind cover and simply sitting there to recover. Horn, Holster, and Landier all returned fire. Several tense moments later, and all was quiet again.

"How many geth are on this station?!" Horn asked as he helped Kelly to her feet.

"Enough that we really don't need to know the number." Landier responded as he waved everyone forward. Horn nodded, knowing that he was right. If he was told the numbers and the odds of success, he would probably just sit down right now and give up. He checked his assault rifle once more, and jogged to catch up to the Commander and help lead the charge.

Smaller fights broke out between the Cerberus team and their destination, none that were over a couple squads and no causalities. The Reaper loomed in the distance, moving it's massive 'legs' from time to time and causing the entire spire to shake. They came across a destroyed geth dropship, which had to be Sheperd's handiwork, and eventually came across a used elevator that lead straight to the presidium. It was the only way, short of blowing through the outer layer of the Presidium, into the council chambers. Landier gave a look around, and nodded.

"Alright, so we hold here. Only way in, and we don't let Sheperd know that we're here." The Commander placed his weapon on his shoulder, and walked in front of them. "I know a motivational speech is not really needed here, especially when your sense of duty to humanity should be enough. We will not be remembered for what we did here. There will be no medals, no trophies, no glory. We do this for the sole reason that if we don't, all known life in the galaxy will die." Landier seemed to lock eyes with Horn for a moment. "From this moment on, you don't know fear. It is as alien as the Hanar...or Elcor. You will not just shove it to the back of your mind, you will kick it from its place of fortitude! It will fester and die, and you will be left with nothing but courage! But Bravery! But Hope! We will hold this ground..." Landier looked to the Reaper towering over all of them. "Or it won't matter to anyone anymore."

It was only minutes of tense stillness as all four of the Cerberus team waited for the geth and their Krogan mercenaries to arrive. They had the area set up into a frontline followed by two fallback points. At the last fallback, if they were breached, they were ordered to destroy the elevator and buy even a few more minutes for Sheperd's team. Horn looked to the Commander, who stood steadfast, and weapon never wavered. Nick Holster subconsciously wiped at his helmet, realized he had a helmet on, and shook it off. Despite the pep talk, he was scared and it showed. Kelly Invaru was much the same way as Commander Landier, although she was looking back at Horn. She gave a small nod, and returned to looking down the sights. Jason himself was breathing heavily, but not from exertion. He was scared, but he had his body tensed so that it wouldn't show. He didn't want to die, but he knew the risks. He was a Lieutenant because he was brave, he was a leader, and he knew how to command a situation. Those situations never included fighting to stop a giant mechanical race of genocidal starships bent on galaxy wide extermination. The silence that Jason found so soothing moments before was now making him edgy as he was constantly adjusting his grip on his weapon. He had to do what his Commander told him to do. Shove it to the back of his mind, force it to die within him. He would hold this position, regardless of the cost.

A round sliced through the air, and everyone ducked. Horn looked around, and noticed that Nick hadn't even moved. He slowly dropped his rifle, gripped his throat, and watched as a stream of blood flowed from a hole in his neck out into space. Kelly ran over to him. Everyone else was ducking, knowing the sniper could pick out another one of them. A minute later, and Invaru looked up and shook her head. Another one was dead, leaving three. Horn dared a peek upwards, and damn near dropped his jaw and gun.

A horde of geth and Krogan were charging at them. This had to be the rest that were within the Citadel when the arms closed. The sheer number of them made Jason wonder if his gun could handle the stress, and not whether or not he was going to live through it. "Open fire!" Commander Landier yelled, and Jason and Kelly did so without hesitation. The sheer number made it impossible to miss even one shot, and the clumped up groups of the enemy made their aim reckless and inaccurate. Row after row fell, and before long, it seemed like the horde was thinning. They were too close to the frontline though, and Landier gave the order to fall back. Horn and Invaru were already heading back when a geth destroyer came flying out of the group, and smashed itself into Commander Landier.

Jason turned his rifle towards Landier and the Destroyer, and was immediately faced with a difficult decision. If the Destroyer got past Landier, it was within charging range of both Horn and Invaru. Seeing as the construct was used to taking a heavy amount of fire, he doubted they would be able to kill it before it reached them and took them apart by its bare hands. Landier struggled with the construct, both of them trying to fire their weapons at each other in such close quarters. Operative Invaru was yelling something at Horn through their comm., but he didn't hear it. Suddenly the Destroyer batted Landier's weapon away, and gripped him by the throat. It lifted him in the air, the sounds of Landier gasping for breath being broadcasted through the comm. Horn made his choice.

He opened fire.

Jason was aiming for the Destroyer, but his angle was too steep to not hit the Commander. Rounds punctured both of them, and Landier went limp without a further word. The Destroyer cast the body aside, but was brought down quickly after as its critical systems failed and it effectively died. Horn returned to fighting the diminishing horde with Operative Invaru, who had actually paused to look at Jason. She said nothing, but without even seeing her face, he knew that she thought he had done something terrible. He had done something to protect their lives just a little longer. Done something that he would forever regret, but knew it was necessary. All he had to do was convince himself of that.

After a couple minutes of firing into the crowd, they were forced to retreat back to their last fallback point. The group of enemies was a noticeable amount less now, but still enough to swamp them if they weren't careful. They didn't need to pick their targets, nor did they really need to aim still. Every round brought them an inch closer, and Jason found himself looking back at the explosives attached to the elevator. It was enough to not only destroy it, but kill anyone and anything near it within a twenty foot radius. The Commander knew his explosives. Kelly saw him staring back at the explosives, and between firing off rounds, spoke to him.

"It will be a quick, clean death Lieutenant."

"I think you have me confused with someone who cares as to how they are going to die over the fact that they are going to die." Jason responded as he fired off a barrage of fire. Invaru repeated his process, answering only once she was back in cover and allowing her weapon to cool.

"That sentence makes me wonder how you got the rank of Lieutenant, Lieutenant." Her voice, it was cool and composed, but there was the definite hint of condescension in her voice.

"I got to this position by pushing myself and others to do extraordinary things. Difference between those and this, is that there is no hope of survival. We will die, and not only that, but we will die wondering if we bought enough time in order to save the rest of the galaxy. I don't want to pass on with that sort of doubt clouding my soul."

"Like the time you bought killing Commander Landier." Kelly replied, her voice ice cold as she returned fire once more. Jason was silent as he returned fire as well. This was really not the place for a prolonged conversation, but the silence of everything made it easier to hear each other in the middle of the fire fight.

"It was necessary." Jason replied.

"So is this explosive going off if we fail Lieutenant. You just sacrificed another man to buy more time for everyone else, but get cold feet when it's yourself your sacrificing." Jason ducked back behind the barrier, but this time it wasn't because his weapon was overheating, but due to an almost mental breakdown. The situation, the odds, and the fact that he had killed his own commanding officer to buy himself time finally put the last bit of strain on Jason's fragile state of mind as something inside gave a quick snap. Unnoticeable from even Horn himself.

"Lieutenant! I need you to keep firing!" Jason gripped his rifle, remembering in vivid details as his rounds punctured his Commander's body. Remembering how he felt not remorse, but lack of satisfaction. It hadn't bought them enough time. He popped up from behind cover again, recklessly standing up more than he did and firing at full auto into the horde. Many fell, and the sudden insane barrage from the man made them step back a bit. Operative Invaru was yelling something about getting down, but he ignored her.

In the middle of the group, a Destroyer came running through the crowd. If he got within arm's reach of them, they wouldn't have enough time to kill him, fend off the horde, or arm the bomb. Jason gritted his teeth as he prepared himself. Before he could do anything, the background started moving. He looked upwards to see the Citadel arms opening, and the Alliance fleet moving in to destroy the Reaper. "Alliance." Was all Kelly said before she returned to flying. The geth continued uninterested or uncaring about the sudden development. A few of the krogan stopped to look, but Jason didn't care about them.

"Arm the bomb Operative!" Jason yelled at Kelly as she looked at him. She almost said something, but Horn cut her off. "That is an order! Do it now!" He looked at the oncoming Destroyer, and whispered into the comm. "We don't have time for fear." Jason vaulted over as rounds flew past him and missed by mere inches. The horde had been reduced to manageable levels now, but still would easily reach the elevator since it was only the two of them. Horn was in the thick of it before any of them could readjust their aim.

Jason and the Destroyer clashed head on as the momentum of both forced each other into a tumble through space as Jason lost his magnetic seal on the Presidium Tower. His shields were reduced to half from the collision alone, and the Destroyer fought tooth and nail to get its shotgun into position. Horn continued to beat on the 'head' of the construct, hoping that it would somehow damage its neural processes or something like that. The rest of the geth seemed to ignore them and instead pushed on towards Operative Invaru, who was attempting to fight them off by herself now. He could hear her swearing at him over the comm. but he was too busy trying not to die.

Apparently the krogan didn't have the same qualms about not shooting Horn as the other Geth did, and fired on Horn and the Destroyer as they tumbled through the air. Jason saw this, and twisted to place the construct between him and the fire. Rounds tore into the Destroyer's back, and yet it persisted as they both fought for control. Soon though, as Jason's shields reached critical from the rounds peppering them, that the Destroyer's grip weakened. Horn took advantage, forced his rifle from the construct's grip, and fired full auto into it's head. It went limp, and Jason kicked off of it to fly back towards Kelly. Before he could even get halfway there, a round the size of a house impacted the tower and obliterated half of what was remaining of the attacking force. Jason dashed through the resulting debris and landed a few feet away from Kelly before vaulting over and joining her.

"What the hell was that?!" She yelled at him as she peered over the crater that was now separating them.

"That would be a mass accelerator cannon, most likely from a cruiser." Horn stated.

"I know that! I meant you, charging in like an idiot!" Jason looked over at her.

"It was our only chance! If that Destroyer got to us, we'd be too busy fighting it to worry about the rest of the crowd! Besides..." Jason flashed a grin. "It was fun."

"Suddenly you have no fear?" She asked, her voice almost completely mixed with confusion and mocking.

"Oh, I'm pretty sure I pissed my pants right back there...but I think the pro's outweighed the cons."

"What the hell were the pro's?!" Kelly asked.

"Obviously having a beautiful woman watching me prove just how much a man I am."

"If we get off this tower...I'm ordering a psych exam." Jason just about said something, then realized that she wasn't joking in the least. It made Horn think. He hadn't snapped had he? He hadn't had any mind bending revelations since this mission did he? He didn't seem to think so, in fact, he felt like he was taking this entire thing better the longer he did it. Maybe that was it, but if it was anything else, he couldn't see it.

Horn looked up to see Alliance ships falling as the Reaper effortlessly destroyed them. Pieces of them were falling all over, some flying away from the tower, some crushing some of the geth, and others damn near crushing Kelly and Jason. They stayed there as long as they could, the glowing button softly flickering off of the explosive package attached to the elevator. They didn't know how long this was going to last, but they both knew that had to stay there so long as there was a chance the geth could break through.

"Well...this is not how I imagined going out." Kelly said as another shot fired above them and impacted the tower.

"Hey babe, I would give ya a goodbye kiss if we could take off these helmets without our heads exploding due to change of pressure." Jason responded, which earned a strange look by Kelly through her visor.

"Are you sure you're okay? You seemed to be more...professional and cynical before this." Her tone was completely serious, and concerned. This fact made Horn question himself, but he didn't let it show.

"Pft, of course I'm okay!" I'm okay. Horn repeated in his mind as he looked up to suddenly see the Reaper detach from the tower, and start floating while sparks of red electricity flowed over it's body. Both Kelly and Horn stared as the Alliance fired all it had into the ship, and watched in utter excitement as the Normandy fired the killshot. They both gave a cheer, but it was short lived as secondary explosions sent giant pieces of ship flying towards them.

"We need to go!" Horn yelled as he grabbed Kelly and threw her up the tower. They both started bolting as fast as their legs could carry them, pieces of the machine falling mere feet behind them and crushing entire sections of the Presidium. There was no sound, but the shockwaves of the debris hitting the tower was making it hard for Jason to keep his balance. Kelly fell to her knees, and Horn grabbed her up again. "Don't stop...keep going!"

Suddenly a giant chunk of the Reaper landed in front of them, cutting them off. They looked around, but couldn't see a viable option out of it. They looked up to see another piece coming down on them. "Where!?" Kelly asked, looking for a way to run. Jason almost gave a laugh.

"Think universally my dear!" Horn released his magnetic seals, and shot himself up into space. The piece of debris loomed ahead of him, coming at a velocity that was short of crushing him, but fast enough that if he didn't do it right, would get him caught underneath it until it crashed into the Presidium. He looked back to see Kelly following him, and wondered if she knew what she was getting into here. Horn looked back up, saw that the Debris was slowly spinning clockwise from his view, and steeled himself.

He crashed into it, activated his magnetic seals, and started running across the surface of the debris. He had about ten seconds before the debris hit the Tower, and he gave a quick look to see Kelly following just a few short feet behind him. That was good, any further and she wouldn't make it. Jason ran as far as his internal countdown would allow him, and yelled into his comm. "Jump!" He released his seals, and shot himself from the debris into space once more. Literally a second later and the giant piece of Reaper tore into the Presidium. So, with no immediate danger, the silence once again started calming Jason down.

"So now what?" Kelly asked in the comm. as they floated freely through space with no solid surface in sight.

"I don't know...enjoy the view?" Horn replied as he glanced at all the ships floating through the area. He would show up as an Alliance marine to their sensors, but floating out in the middle of nowhere, they would assume him dead.

"Or we could hitch a ride." Kelly said, and he knew she was talking about calling the Alliance ships. Problem with that is that they would want a report, and an explanation as to how they survived floating in space. Along with this, he didn't want to chance anyone getting too deep into the records of the SRC Juno. He knew TIM was good at what he did, but he didn't want to have anything jeopardize Cerberus by doing so.

"They'll want reports, explanations, the works...How do we avoid that?"

"I was talking about the Kodiak coming towards us." Jason twisted to see an unmarked Kodiak flying through space. He knew it was Cerberus by the simple fact that it was coming straight for them. He looked towards Operative Invaru, who answered before the question was given. "You didn't think the SRC Juno was the only ship we had in place, did you?"

"Of course not..." Jason stated, even though it was false. He was just thankful that he wouldn't die of suffocation or getting hit by an Alliance frigate.

"As I understand it, you and Operative Kelly Invaru are responsible for not only saving Sheperd's team, but helping to save the entire galaxy." The Illusive man said as he took a drag on his cigarette. The gas giant in the background painting a beautiful mosaic on his window. Horn stood before him in standard issue Cerberus uniform, his arms folded behind his back at an 'at ease' posture.

"There were others sir. Without them, we would have lost." Horn replied, his voice completely sombre.

"Yes, I've read the reports. Private Lindsay Gray, Private Nathan Holster...and Commander Kyle Landier." Horn instinctively flinched at the mention of that name. TIM took another drag on his cig, a screen popping up beside him. "In your report, you said that were forced to fire on a Geth Destroyer while Commander Landier was in the direct firing path."

"Yes sir." Horn said, nearly choking on those words alone. TIM took another long pause before continuing.

"Others would tell you what you did was unforgivable. You shot another man in order to save your own life. You shot him when you had a chance to move and shoot around him." TIM closed the files, and connected his hands at the finger tips. "I understand though Horn. I understand that, had you tried to get a better angle, one of two things would have happened. You have been killed by the rest of the geth trying to get that better angle, and Commander Landier would have been killed. Or, your bullets wouldn't have saved Commander Landier in time, the Destroyer would have rushed your position, and you would all be dead." Jason said nothing, not sure if he believed that or not.

"Now, looking upon your rank. It seems a little low for someone who just managed to hold off a small army of robotic soldiers. How does Commander of a Cruiser class warship sound to you Jason Horn?" Horn would have dropped his jaw if he wasn't too busy forcing his eyes not to go wide.

"Sir? That's several positions above my current rank." TIM gave a slight smirk.

"I know that Commander. I also know the potential that you possess, and you didn't get to lieutenant by simply being a common foot soldier. No, Navy runs in your blood, and I believe that you will bring a wealth of talent to our organization."

"I..." Horn started, half contemplating turning down the offer, but stiffened himself up again. "Yes sir. Thank you sir." TIM gave a slight nod.

"The SIC Titan will rendezvous with the Carentan soon. I suggest in the meantime, you brush up on some of your Naval tactics." Horn nodded. "Dismissed Commander, please send Operative Invaru in your stead." Horn backed out, and a minute later, Kelly Invaru appeared before the Illusive man.

"Is he gone?" TIM asked casually.

"Yes sir, he didn't seem too overly excited about the news from the look of things."

"It is a shock. He fought a hard battle and is now the owner of a Cruiser class warship. Such things should never be taken with excitement, but with caution."

"Understood sir. What is it you wish to discuss?" Kelly said, placing her hands clasped together in front of her.

"Actually, I wanted to discuss the man that was just in here, and the nature as to which you will be serving under him."

"You wish me to be his conscience sir?" Kelly asked, nothing in her tone to indicate whether or not she was pleased.

"Among other things, yes. I would like you to be his guide, his advisor, and a rock to ground himself on." TIM pulled up another screen on the arm of his chair. "From the looks of these psych reports, he's somewhat of an oddity."

"I agree sir. He seemed to change on the battlefield."

"Indeed. You commented on him at the beginning of the battle as being 'A man who respected protocol and orders. A strict solder who was having trouble dealing with the magnitude of the mission. Fear, anxiety, and cynicism were evident in nearly all of his actions.'"

"Yes sir." Kelly responded. "It wasn't until after the act with Commander Landier that something seemed to change. He became almost carefree in his actions, and no longer held the hesitancy that is normally associated with fear."

"Which is a good reason to have done such an evaluation on our young Commander. Dr. Kuther has given me a detailed analysis, and he is suffering from a unique strain of post traumatic stress disorder." Kelly gave TIM a strange look.

"He doesn't seem to be exhibiting the symptoms of PTSD sir."

"Let me clarify for you Miss Invaru. When I said unique, I mean Dr. Kuther has never seen anything like it before." Kelly said nothing, but her look of confusion seemed to answer for her. "The human mind is a tricky instrument, and constantly surprises us. Commander Jason Horn has, in all ways possible, changed personalities while locking out certain areas of his mind and enhancing others. I won't get into technicalities, but Dr. Kuther believes that the area of Horn's brain that controls fear has been effectively cut off from the rest of his mind. Meanwhile, other areas controlling emotions, such as happiness, anger, or sadness have been increased."

"So is he like a child then? One that hasn't learned to fear anything yet and goes off on a whim whenever he feels like it?" Kelly asked, trying to get a point of reference for Horn.

"I wouldn't say a child, for that would signify that he no longer knows anything. No, it is something different. He remembers everything, and may feel regret or guilt in a magnified manner, but he quite literally can not feel fear anymore."

"Well this is a advantage towards him." Kelly stated, but TIM just shook his head.

"Not as much as we would like Miss Invaru. Without fear, he has no inhibitions. What's to stop him from taking on a small army by himself? Common sense would dictate that it's impossible, but he would feel no horror at what might happen to himself should he simply charge straight into him. It will leave him with a lessened sense of possibilities. To put it bluntly, I regret to think that he might see every situation as winnable."

"How is seeing every situation as winnable a bad thing sir?"

"Simple." TIM stated before taking a drag on his cigarette. "Because not everything is. There is a very clear line between sacrificing your life, and throwing it away. I didn't build this organization by throwing massive amounts of bodies at a single object. Every body had a purpose, and with that purpose, this organization grew."

"So if you fear that his lack of ability to feel fear will get him into situations he can't win...why promote him and give him a ship?" Kelly asked, confusion getting more and more evident on her face as she continued the talk.

"I gave him the ship because he will lead charges, and I am sending you with him to help him survive. He will do things no sane man would try, and you will make sure that the actions even have a remote chance of success. You will be, quite literally, his common sense."

"Now we're just making him sound like an Autistic." Kelly joked slightly.

"Be careful of your words Operative Invaru. That might just be the case here. Keep a close eye on him, and don't let him kill himself just because he thinks flying into the sun is exciting." TIM cut the connection, and Kelly Invaru was left standing in the communications room aboard the Frigate class ship Carentan. She started walking back towards the door, but she couldn't stop thinking about what she was about to get into. She was going to follow a man who, literally, had no fear. She didn't know if that was a good thing, or a bad thing.

As the doors opened up, Jason was standing there leaning against a wall picking his teeth with a combat knife. Oh, this is definitely going to get interesting. Kelly thought to herself as Horn stopped as soon as she stepped up and bounded up to her like a child going to a candy stand.

"Why hello there lovely. So how was your talk with the boss?"

"It was fine." She stated with a slight smile. If she was going to be serving underneath him, she would need to be tolerant of his behaviour.

"You sure? From what I gathered from my PDA, you've officially been signed to my crew as my second in command." Horn gave her a wicked smile. "I look forward to having you serve under me."

"Sexual jokes already Commander? Isn't it a little early to be pushing that strong?" Kelly asked, although she couldn't keep the smirk off her face. He was funny in that totally inappropriate way.

"Nothing's ever too early! C'mon. You got to help me brush up on my tactics and shit like that before I get to command a vessel!" Horn walked off, and Invaru couldn't help but shake her head.

If anything, it wasn't going to be boring working for Commander Jason Horn.

Last edited by quakernuts on Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mass Effect Fan fiction

Post by The Ghost Writer on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:37 am

[16:49:35 18/10/11] Guilty Carrion : Leave it to quaker to save the guy who saved the galaxy

Totally printing this story of epic epicness. Cool

Edit: *cough*
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