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Salvation: Chapter 30

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By EspionageDB7
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Salvation: A Half-Life/Mass Effect Universe Fan Fiction


Disclaimer: This fan-fiction takes place after the events of both Half-Life 1 and 2 and its episodes, and jumps to the events after Mass Effect 1 and 2. If you have not played or beaten these games this fiction may not make much sense to you. Characters property of their respective companies, Half-Life created by Valve and Mass Effect created by Bioware.



Chapter 30: In Defense of the Citadel

There was an echoing silence on the top floor of the Citadel Tower. A sublime level of peace and tranquility filled the air, contrasting greatly to the pandemonium gripping the inhabitants outside. Just then, an elevator reached the top floor of the shaft, and the glass doors slid open. A tall, dark skinned man, with salt and pepper hair, wearing a cream white colored suit slowly stepped out and proceeded to walk down the long path towards the Council audience area. He held one hand locked firmly behind his back. His face was void of all emotion. His eyes were cold and hollow, staring blankly straight ahead, as he paced forward with a purpose.




"Citadel Control. This is the CSV Liberation, do you copy?" A voice came over Lanus' console, as he worked frantically at his controls, alongside about thirty others in the Citadel Control Room.

"Roger, Liberation. We read you!" Lanus replied to the voice on the radio.

"We have detected an unidentified craft approaching Citadel Airspace." The voice on the radio came through once more. "Please confirm and advise."

"Affirmative Liberation." Lanus confirmed, trying very hard to keep his composure, despite being wrought with tension and fear. "We have confirmed target. Repeat, we have confirmed target. Do you have a visual?"

"Negative on visual, control." The voice answered, as Lanus covered the bottom half of his mouth with one hand. "Target is approaching rapidly. ETA to visual confirmation – three minutes. Please advise."

"Liberation." The nervous turian replied again. "Target is NOT a Citadel vessel. Regard as hostile. I repeat, regard as hostile."

"Roger that, control." The gruff voice responded confidently over the radio. "Weapons hot. Will confirm threat, and repel. Liberation over and out."

"Alright, gentlemen." The gruff voice ordered, coming from a Turian Captain sitting on the bridge of the CSV Liberation; a large Turian Carrier at the head of a small congregation of ships amassed outside of the sealed Citadel.

"We have our orders." The Turian Captain continued, as members of his crew worked feverishly around him. "Notify the other ships. All weapons online. Phalanx formation. We are to confirm threat, and neutralize. No one is to engage until we have confirmed target as hostile."

"Captain Santerus, sir." A salarian situated at a station on the bridge, looking over his instruments, called out.

"What is it ensign?" The Captain queried, as he turned away from the forward windows, to face the salarian.

"Target is increasing velocity." The salarian ensign replied. "We should have a visual in as little as forty-five seconds."

"This is strange..." A turian shipmate, at a seperate station uttered out loud, catching the captain's attention, as he looked over his instruments. "Sir, this ship does not match the signature of any known vessel in Citadel Space or beyond... And it's huge..."

"How huge, crewman? I don't need generalizations, I need facts." The Captain asked, masking the concern in his voice with stern discipline.

"Well sir..." The turian responded nervously, working tirelessly at his controls hoping something was off with his readings. Sadly, they were accurate. "It's roughly the size of the Destiny Ascension... Perhaps bigger, sir."

"Captain Santerus." The salarian ensign interjected. "Sir, target is approximately two minutes out. But we have attained long range visual."

"Show me." The Captain ordered, turning to a small table-like platform beside the forward windows, situated directly in front of the Liberation's galaxy map.  

Just then, a bright beam of light shone up from the center of the platform, forming a small hologram of the oncoming ship, above it. The ship, if it could be called that, was long in design. It was black and metallic, possessing a number of tentacle-like appendages extending from its hull. Four beams of light gleamed brightly at it's helm, burning like the eyes of a demon, where most ships would have their forward windows. The mere image of it, chilled the Captain's blood in his veins, as a shiver ran down his back.

"By the Spirits, it's another one..." Captain Santerus uttered in shock, as the crew around him looked on at the hologram, frozen in the tracks of their duties. The expressions on their faces ranged with everything from confusion, to shock, to pure unadulterated terror.

"I want all ships locked on, and ready to fire!" The Captain turned and demanded, as his crew relayed the orders. "As soon as that thing's in range, I want it blown out of the sky! No matter what happens, it does not reach the Citadel!"




The Asari Councilor sat at the Council's meeting table, speaking as a holographic screen flickered before her. Councilor Anderson sat at the opposite end of the table, his chin resting upon his clasped fist, while both the Turian and Salarian Councilor's paced around the table beside them.

"Thank you, Admiral... End transmission." The Asari Councilor said, as the holographic screen before her dissipated, leaving her with a concerned and perplexed look on her face.

"Have you recalled the fleet?" The Turian Councilor inquired, when he noticed the communication had been closed.

"No..." The Asari Councilor answered, shaking her head with a baffled expression on her face. "They were already on the way back..."

"Already on the way back?" The Turian Councilor questioned with confusion, and a hint of anger in his voice. "Under whose orders?"

"Commander Shepard's..." The asari replied, still somewhat dumbfounded. As soon as she uttered his name; Anderson looked up, as his gaze widened while he came to a great realization.

"Shepard!?" The turian beckoned furiously. "By what authority does he dare issue orders to our fleet??"

"Does it really matter?" The Salarian Councilor added, shrugging his shoulders calmly. "It is advantageous that they get here as soon as possible, after all."

"Yes... Well, I suppose you're right..." The turian admitted, still brewing in spite, but regaining his composure. "Still..."

"Have we received word of who these would-be attackers are yet?" The salarian questioned, turning his attention towards the Asari Councilor.

"Not yet." The asari replied casually. "I suppose I should contact control again."

"It's the Reapers..." Councilor Anderson uttered in a hushed voice, causing the asari to pause as she brought forth a holographic screen once more.

"Councilor?" She questioned, with a bit of concern in her voice.

"It's the Reapers!" He shouted out this time, slamming his palms on the table and standing up. "Don't you see? Why else would Shepard have sent the fleet back. They're going to try to use the Citadel as a relay again. Just like they did two years ago!"

"Councilor Anderson..." The Turian Councilor replied with a condescending tone of voice. "You know as well as I do that the Reapers are just a myth, conveniently used by Saren in order to gain the allegiance of the geth..." He remarked, as Anderson shook his head with an enraged look in his eyes. "Saren is dead. And the Reaper myth died with him."

"But even if..." The turian continued, putting his hand up to silence Anderson before he even had a chance to speak. "It truly was the so-called 'Reapers' – The Citadel is sealed. Nothing can penetrate our defenses. I assure you, Councilor. We are perfectly safe." He affirmed, with a confident grin.

"Councilors!" An unexpected, yet familiar voice yelled out to them, startling the four, coming from audience area.

The Council looked back and forth at one another, each as surprised as the last to hear of anyone on the currently restricted floor. Without saying a word, they all proceeded to walk towards their podiums, overlooking a small metallic platform suspended above a glass floor. The glass floor below the platform was merely for show, possessing a beautifully fabricated grassy environment underneath.

This was where any diplomat, dignitary, or ambassador plead their cases, sought advice, or made demands of the Council. This was also the place where any member of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Branch of the Council was inducted into Spectrehood.

As the Councilors approached their respective podiums, they were surprised to see the familiar figure, wearing a cream colored suit, standing on the platform below them.

"Ambassador Udina!" The Turian Councilor began sternly, once he realized who had called on them. "What is the meaning of this? You know this area is off limits to anyone but the Council when we are convened. State your business here, before we strip you of your access!"

"Forgive me, Councilors..." Udina responded shamefully, as he took a humble bow before the Council, still holding one hand firmly behind his back. "I would never dare impose, however I come bearing news of a grave nature."

As the ambassador bowed, Anderson noticed something strange. There were dim streaks of light reflecting onto the floor behind Udina, that moved as he moved.

"Very well, Ambassador..." The Asari Councilor chimed in, serenely. "Please, proceed."

"As you wish... Councilor..." He stated in a deep tone of a voice, as a cold gaze came over his expression.

Suddenly and without warning, he pulled forth the hand which he been concealing behind him, with a gleaming silver pistol clenched tightly in his fist. With incredible speed, and surgical accuracy; he took aim, up at the Asari Councilor.

A thunderous crack echoed through vast room, as he pulled the trigger, placing a thermal round directly through the asari's forehead. Before the rest of the Council even had time to react, Udina turned his pistol towards the turian and fired again, as the asari's body dropped to the floor lifeless.

The turian's head reeled back, as the bullet shattered the bridge of his nose, and careened into his skull, leaving him dead on his feet before he could drop to the ground.

With the same lighting fast motion as before, he turned his gun onto the Salarian Councilor, who stood in shock, with his mouth agape.

"No!" The salarian shouted in terror, in the short fleeting moments before his death.

Within a window of no more than two seconds, three members of the Council were already dead. With a rapid jolt, Udina turned the pistol onto Anderson, using the same uncanny quickness as before. A hardened soldier however, is trained to move fast under fire. As Udina aimed for Anderson's head, and pulled the trigger, Anderson ducked - dropping down behind the podium, and narrowly evading a quick death.  

Udina clenched his teeth in anger, as he began firing wildly at the small podium, providing the Councilor cover. Anderson lunged forward, going into a prone position on his stomach, as bullets began to pierce the podium, which was not designed to withstand gunfire.

Still in the prone position, Anderson looked over at his three fellow Council Members, laying lifeless in pools of their own blood, before he slowly crawled away to seek more suitable shelter.

"Udina!" The gun wielding ambassador heard Anderson's voice shout out, as he loaded a second clip into his pistol. "What in god's name have you done?"

"I'm sorry, Anderson..." Udina shouted in response, aiming his gun upwards, hoping to spot a glimpse of the Human Councilor. "But I am doing what must be done, in order to ensure humanity's survival..."

Slowly, Ambassador Udina made his way off of the metallic platform, never once lowering his pistol. He began to make his way towards a small curving flight of stairs leading up to the Council's podiums and meeting area.

"You weak minded fool!" He heard Anderson exclaim, as he made his way up the stairs, with his weapon still primed. "You've been indoctrinated!"

"Indoctrinated?" Udina answered, as he reached the top of the stairs, looking around the artificial environment. "No Anderson. My thoughts have never been clearer. This is the only way, can't you see that?"

Directly before him, laid the bodies of the three fallen Council Members, behind their podiums. To his left, far past the podiums, was the table where the Council held their meetings. This entire area was lush, and beautifully maintained. Sounds of natural ambiance played from speakers hidden among the trees, and bushes, creating a scene of near perfect serenity.

Udina looked around, with his pistol brandished, for the loose end Councilor, but was unsuccessful in spotting him.

"The Reapers will come, Anderson. We can't change that!" Udina yelled out again, scanning the area with his eyes, hoping to spot movement or any sign of the Councilor. "Nothing can change it. But if humanity can prove useful to them, they will spare us!"

"Are you blind?" Anderson's voice echoed through the room. "The Reaper's are just using you, don't you see that?"

Udina looked around frantically, aiming his pistol in all directions, trying to pinpoint the source of the voice. Unfortunately for him, the acoustics of the large cavernous room worked perfectly in bouncing Anderson's voice off the walls, making it impossible trace.

"No. They need us Anderson, and they know it!" Udina declared, as he walked forward through the luxuriously adorned Council Meeting Area, swiveling his head back and forth with pistol in hand. "When they come through, they will harvest all other life in the galaxy. It is a sad, but necessary fact. However, my actions here will prove humanity's worth to them."

"Think about it, Anderson..." He continued, as he peeked his head around a small agglomeration of trees, however unsuccessful in finding the Councilor. "Once their harvest is complete, and the Reapers recede back into Dark Space - humanity alone will stand as the dominant species in the galaxy."

"It is pointless to resist, Anderson..." The ill intentioned ambassador continued. "Some lives must be lost, but I am assuring that our species will have a future. It is better to be at the right hand of gods, than in their path..."

"Not if I have anything to say about it!" Anderson abruptly yelled out, causing Udina to turn and face a small cluster of bushes opposite of him, where he was sure he heard the voice resonate from.

With his pistol aimed, and a grin on his face, he slowly began to pull back on the trigger. Before he could fire, suddenly from the top of one of the cherry trees behind him, Anderson jumped out onto Udina's back, slamming both of them down hard to the ground together.

The two men struggled and groaned, as the pistol slid out of Udina's hands, onto the sleek metallic pathway, between the artificial environments.

"Udina, stop this!" Anderson demanded, as the two men wrestled on the floor.

Anderson wrapped his arm around Udina's neck, using pressure to attempt to restrict the blood flow to his brain, in hopes of causing the struggling ambassador to black out. Udina grunted and scratched at the thick arm around his neck, as his vision became blurry. His finger nails dug deep into Anderson's arm, tearing away flesh in chunks, as he clawed in despair.

Suddenly, with a forceful twist of his body, Udina rolled himself over, rolling Anderson onto his back, and himself over on top of him, causing Anderson's grip to loosen slightly. Using both his elbows, on either side, Udina began to pummel Anderson's gut relentlessly, while still gagging. Seemingly, however, having no effect on the hardened soldier.

Just then, his jabs began to grow weaker, and slower, before his arms finally fell limp to his sides.




"Target is in range, sir!" The helmsman on the Liberation informed Captain Santerus, as Harbinger's visage appeared outside the forward windows.

"All ships fire!" The Captain ordered, while alarms wailed and red lights flashed in the background. "I want that thing obliterated!"

With the CSV Liberation at the head of the small barricade of ships between the encroaching Reaper, and the Citadel; every vessel in formation let forth a torrent of missile attacks, and plasma assault cannon fire.

Without showing even the slightest deviation, Harbinger powered forward, as the maelstrom of ordnance collided against his black, metallic hull. Within a matter of seconds, he was engulfed in smoke, and flame as a fusillade of missiles detonated on impact with him, with the shockwave of the intense explosions rattling the Citadel ship's violently.

Captain Arterian Santerus, one of the Citadel's most highly decorated officers, looked on at the apparent, and all too easy destruction of the colossal menace.

"Wooo!" "Yeah!" "Got 'em!" He heard his crew suddenly erupt into a plethora of howls, cheers and applause, over a job well done.

"Ensign..." The Captain called out sternly, with an uneasy feeling washing over him, as he observed the ensuing ball of flame outside of the window. "Do your readings confirm the vessel's destruction?"

The salarian ensign's grin was quickly replaced by a serious look, as he turned back to his controls, in order to answer the Captain's question.

"We're still detecting a mass sir." The ensign replied confidently. "But it's likely just the debris continuing to break apart. Nothing could've survived that." He assured.

Without saying a word, Captain Santerus simply took a step forward towards the windows, with his hands clasped behind his back.

"It can't be..." Santerus uttered, as a look of dread and disbelief overcame his face. Outside the windows, tearing through the clouds of smoke and flame, Harbinger's outline appeared once more as it continued to advance.

"All power to forward Thanix Cannons!" Santerus yelled out, leaning over a rail on the bridge, overlooking the forward windows. "Fire!"

Twin beams of intense blue light shot out from two massive cannons on the carrier's underbelly, marked for collision with Harbinger.

"All ships, close in and fire another volley!" Santerus ordered, as the powerful beams of pure energy collided with the Reaper, and bounced off without leaving so much as scorch mark. "I want a steady barrage. Take that thing down!"

Missile fire, mass accelerator slugs, plasma cannons all unloaded onto the oncoming Reaper, having seemingly no effect whatsoever.

"Spirits, we can't stop it..." Santerus said to himself.

Suddenly, a burning red beam shot out from one of the Reaper's tentacle-like appendages. Like a club smashing through glass, it swept across nine of the Liberation's neighboring ships. Immediately, they were engulfed in flame, as smoldering pieces of debris began erupting from all compartments, moments before the vessels exploded into nothing more than clouds of fire and smoke.

"Should I call for a retreat, sir?" The salarian ensign questioned in a panic.

"Retreat?" Captain Santerus questioned angrily. "Our job is to defend the Citadel, no matter the cost!"

"But sir..."

"How many warheads do we have on board?" The Captain questioned, cutting off the panic stricken ensign.

"Four sir, but I think..."

"Arm all of them!" Santerus ordered, as he turned his attention back to face the monster outside the window. "Have them detonate on impact. We're going to do our job, gentlemen."

"Aye, sir..." The ensign replied, a despondent tone of resignation in his voice, as he began to accept the fate that likely awaited them.




As the belligerent ambassador slipped into unconsciousness, Anderson released him from his grip. The two laid beside each other for a moment, as Anderson panted heavily, trying to catch his breath.

Just then, he remembered Udina's gun. Anderson tilted his head upward, noticing it still laying peacefully on the metallic walkway dividing the artificial environments. He rolled over onto his stomach, and pushed himself away from the ground.

Slowly getting to his feet, he stopped and looked over at the fallen council members. Anderson bowed and shook his head at the tragedy, but at least he had managed to avert a far greater one. Staggering forward, he made his way towards the pistol.

Standing over the weapon, Anderson bent over to pick it up. As he did so, a sharp pain suddenly shot into his lower spine. The next thing he knew, he was flat on his stomach, after landing face first on the cold, unforgiving floor, with a sharp pain at the small of his back. As he opened his eyes, they were greeted by the sight of the silver pistol directly in front of his face, with a cream white sleeved hand reaching down and picking it up. It would seem the ambassador hadn't slipped as far into unconsciousness as Anderson had initially thought.

"I can't let you stop me, Anderson..." Udina claimed, pointing the gun as he backed away towards the podiums, putting about fifteen feet between him, and the stirring Councilor. "This is too important... I have to ensure humanity's survival."

Anderson slowly stood up, and faced Udina. His face was a portrait of indignation, as he brewed in a sort of silent rage.

"I wish it didn't have to come to this." Udina claimed, with his pistol aimed directly at Anderson's head.

"Well? What are you wait... Guards! Arrest him!" Anderson intentionally interrupted himself, as he yelled out in an outburst.

Udina quickly swung himself around, to confront the aforementioned guards, finding none to speak of. It was only a momentary distraction, providing a window of no more than two seconds, but by the time Udina turned back, Anderson was charging at him with a fury.

Without actually having time to take aim, Udina pulled the trigger twice, letting forth two shots, unsuccessful in slowing Anderson in the least.

Suddenly, Anderson plowed his shoulder into Udina's abdomen. The force careened him backwards hard, as both men broke through two of the Council's podiums, and went over the edge, crashing brutally through the glass floor underneath.




Captain Arterian Santerus stood on the bridge, looking out of the Liberation's forward windows at the approaching evil. He closed his eyes for a moment as he thought back to the words of his former Captain, while he served as Lieutenant on board the CSV Azure Wing.

"You wanted to see me, Captain?"

"Yes Art. Please, come in."

"I wanted to let you know that I'm recommending you to the Council, as Captain of the their new carrier; the Liberation."

"Sir... I don't know what to say. This is such an honor. Thank you."

"Skippering a whole crew is a big responsibility, Lieutenant. Think you'll be able to handle it?"

"I know I can, sir. I would gladly give my life to save any one of them."

"Heh... I know you would, lad. But this isn't a question of chivalry. The question is would you be willing to give THEIR lives to do your job?"

"Sir?"

"As Captain, you have to be ready to make decisions that could send good men to their deaths. If you aren't ready to make those kinds of decisions... I'll have to withhold my recommendation. Are you prepared for that kind of responsibility?"

"..."

"Sir... I... Yes sir, I am. And I promise I won't let you down."

"I know you won't, Art. And I know you'll do the galaxy proud."


"Captain Santerus, sir." The voice of his ensign snapped him back to reality, as he opened his eyes to see the massive destructive force outside the window, still approaching rapidly. "All warheads have been armed. But if we launch them at this range, we'll be destroyed in the blast radius as well."

The decorated Turian Captain bowed his head, and sighed. "We're not going to launch them, ensign..." The Captain replied remorsefully. "Issue an order to all the other ships. Have them fall back to a safe distance. And put me through to the crew."

"...Aye, sir." The ensign affirmed despondently, as a shiver ran down his back – having a pretty good idea of what was to come. "Comm channel's open, Captain."

"This is Captain Arterian Santerus." The resolute Turian began, as his voice echoed throughout the Liberation. "The first thing I want to say, is what an honor it's been to serve beside each and every one of you. I'm proud to call myself your Captain... Now I know most of you have families and loved ones on-board this station. And I want you to think about them right now... Two years ago, we stood proudly in defense of the Citadel, and we lived to tell the tale. Sadly, that won't be the case this time... But make no mistake, our tales will be told. This son of a bitch has crawled out of hell itself to claim the Citadel, but we're not gonna let it. Today is the day we give our lives for those we care about, and for those we've sworn to defend. But we're not going alone. We're dragging this bastard back down into the fiery blazes of hell with us."

"Helmsman!" Santerus called out, turning his attention away from the comm channel. "All thrusters ahead full. Ram it..."

"Aye, sir." The Helmsman acknowledged, showing more fear than reluctance, as he worked his controls. "All thrusters ahead full, sir..."

"We're with you, Captain!" The voice of his ensign shouted out, bringing a lamented smile to the Captain's face.

"Aye sir, we're with you!" "To the end, sir!" A few more stray voices from his crew shouted out, as the creature outside the window raised one of it's appendages in preparations to fire at the oncoming ship.

"Let's see how this thing handles two-hundred megatons rammed down it's throat..." Santerus said, as a searing beam of red light shot through the forward windows. The instant it did, the CSV Liberation collided head on with the Reaper, resulting in an immense explosion. In the moments before impact, many of the crew on board had more than enough time to think about their families and loved ones housed within the Citadel. Images of those they were saving; their siblings, parents, spouses, and children, flashed before their eyes, as a beautiful, angelic, white light overtook them.

The blinding light from the powerful nuclear explosion rivaled that of a small sun, as its shockwave rattled the entire fortified Citadel.

Chunks of debris no larger than golf balls, and thread spools flew off into the abyss, as the blinding white light faded to a bright orange glow. Slowly, the gargantuan ball of flame began to dither into space. And in the midst of the flame... Four burning yellow eyes remained, as the beast continued forth undeterred, but not unscathed.

"Oh my Spirits..." Lanus uttered, as a huge wave swept over his radar in the Citadel Control Center. Once the wave dissipated, the distinct outline of the approaching Reaper persisted, and continued to advance.

"What is it?" One of his human co-workers questioned, drawing his attention away from his own station, which was monitoring conditions within the sealed Citadel.

"They just nuked that thing... And it's still coming." Lanus replied in a hushed voice, with a grimace on his face, a knot in his throat, and a chill running down his back. "The barricade is gone... That thing took out three-fourths of our ships, with one blow."

Before saying a word, Lanus' human co-worker simply gulped at a similar knot that had formed in his own throat.

"It can't break through the Citadel arms though, can it?" He eventually questioned, desperately seeking reassurance. Lanus simply turned and looked at him, a look of fear and uncertainty in his eyes.

"Can it?!" He questioned again, with a much deeper sense of urgency.

Lanus closed his eyes, and hung his head over his terminal. "...I don't know."




"Ugghhh..." Anderson groaned; his blurry vision starting to come into focus, as he shook his head, trying to get his bearings back.

As his vision cleared, he suddenly realized he was laying on top of the motionless Ambassador Udina. Pushing himself away, he saw Udina laying flat on his back, eyes wide open, starring blankly up towards the ceiling. A trickle of blood dripped off his cheek, from his mouth. And his head rested on a small crimson puddle.

"Udina!" Anderson exclaimed, as he quickly pushed down the Ambassador's suit collar, and checked for a pulse.

"Damn it, Udina..." Anderson uttered, bowing his head and shaking it, over the lifeless Ambassador, clearly unsuccessful in finding a pulse.

The two were laying in the synthetically created forest environment housed below the glass observation floor. Anderson's entire body ached, as he carefully rolled himself off of the dead Ambassador.

"Ow!" He cringed, as he brought his hand up to his face, finding a deep gash. As he rolled over, he had placed his hand on a large shard of the glass floor, which sliced through his palm.

As he sat, Councilor Anderson looked upwards, at the gaping hole in the glass floor, or ceiling from his perspective. He quickly realized since he was the one who had charged the Ambassador off of the ledge of the platform, and through the glass; Udina's body unwilling served as protection for Anderson in the fall, absorbing most of the shock. Although, the impact still left Anderson's body riddled with pain, and likely multiple fractures.

Just then, he felt something warm running down the side of his face, and noticed a slight throbbing in his head, and a ringing in his ears. Anderson slowly struggled to get to his feet, groaning as he planted one foot firmly on the ground, using it to push himself up against his knee.

He turned around, to look down at the deceased Ambassador one last time, shaking his head with his eyes closed.

"How did they get you, Udina...?" He questioned solemnly, panting under his breath. "It was Virmire wasn't it? That strange sculpture you brought back... How could I have been so blind?"

Anderson sighed heavily. "I'm sorry, Donnel..." He uttered, stricken with lament. "Rest in peace."  

Anderson took a long look around the artificially made environment, looking for a way out. All he could see around him, were bushes, and trees. In the corner, there was a small fabricated pond, surrounded by stones, with lily pads floating in it.

The ambient nature sounds, of birds singing melodiously, the wind gently wafting through the trees, and water trickling downstream, was usually quite relaxing. But it was starting to grate on the old soldier's nerves, as he scanned the area for a way out.

Just then he spotted a door hidden behind a small congregation of trees. It was a maintenance door utilized by the groundskeepers, when they tended to the once peaceful scenery.

As Anderson took a step towards the door, suddenly a sharp, agonizing pain shot into his shoulder. "Ugh!" He groaned painfully, as he placed a hand on his shoulder. That's when he realized he had been shot, as blood spilled through his fingers. One of Udina's panicked shots had managed to drill into his shoulder, moments before he was slammed to his death.

Clenching his arm tightly, trying to keep pressure on the wound, Anderson slowly began to stagger forward towards the door.

"Human, you will not interfere." A deep, chilling voice unexpectedly echoed through the room, seemingly coming from everywhere. "I am assuming control."

Anderson gasped, as he rapidly swung himself around. His eyes widened, in shock – unable to believe what he was witnessing.

There before him,  the dark silhouette of the surely deceased Ambassador Udina suddenly sat up, and turned to look at Anderson with a burning gaze. His eyes emitted a brilliant yellow glow, shinning brightly with the seething rage of some ancient, unholy creature.

Without the least bit of difficulty, the demon-eyed abomination stood up, never once taking a glance away from Anderson.

The weary Councilor stood with a look of stone resolve on his face. The shock in his eyes, was replaced with one of angry determination, as he clenched his right fist tightly.

As the possessed Ambassador stood looking at him, Anderson suddenly dashed in his direction. He pulled his right arm back, with his fist clenched, while holding his left arm over his abdomen, favoring his shoulder.

As Anderson closed the gap between them, he brought his fist forward, using his own momentum to thrust it as hard as he possibly could into the controlled Udina's face. The force behind his punch should have been enough to fracture a man's jaw, but the beast simply got turned away momentarily.

As the former Ambassador turned to face Anderson once more, eye's still aglow, Anderson wound his arm back again, and careened into his face hard, a second time.

"Umph!" Anderson grunted as his fist brutally plowed into Udina's face a second time. But once again, those glowing eyes simply turned back around to face him, undeterred.

Anderson shook his head, and clenched his lips. His look of determination unwavering, as he reeled his arm back yet a third time. Before Anderson could strike; with the back of his hand, the glowing eyed demon swung ferociously, striking Anderson and sending him hurdling backwards, with superhuman force.

Anderson writhed on the ground in pain, gritting his teeth as he clenched at his shoulder, with his clothing soaked in blood from his wounds.

"Damn it!" He uttered through clenched teeth, as he feared the worst. Just then, directly beside him, in a tall patch of grass he noticed something silvery shining through. As the beast approached him, Anderson used his good arm to sift through the grass, finding what he had suspected and hoped for.

As Udina's body came to stand over the wounded Anderson, like a hunter toying with it's prey, the Councilor quickly pointed his arm up at him, rapidly firing a multitude of rounds from Udina's pistol into his body. The shots struck Udina multiple times in the chest, and even one direct hit between his glowing eyes, but it was to no avail.

Unflinching, Harbinger's puppet bent over, clutched Councilor Anderson by the neck, and lifted him up with ease, as his feet dangled at least four feet off the ground.

"Prepare for ascension." Harbinger's chilling voice echoed, as Anderson struggled fruitlessly, gagging and coughing as he slammed his arm down on Udina's, trying desperately to break free.

"Argh... Burn in hell..." Anderson replied in a raspy voice, as his oxygen was restricted - a fiery rage burning in his eyes, where lesser men would have fear. As he felt darkness beginning to creep in around him, he spat an insulting globule of saliva and blood onto the face of Harbinger's embodiment, as a final act of defiance.  

Without the least bit of emotion; remorse, guilt, sorrow, or mercy, the creature closed his grip around Anderson's neck. Snapping it like it someone crushing a paper cup. As the cracking sound of the bones in the Councilor's neck breaking came, his eyes rolled back into his head, before they closed forever. His arms dropped to his sides, and his feet stopped kicking. Now, simply dangling lifelessly.

As if discarding trash, Harbinger's embodiment simply tossed the body of the lifeless Anderson aside like a giant rag doll. With the last major obstacle out of his way, Harbinger's puppet looked up, past the shattered glass ceiling, towards the Council's podiums; from where they could control every operation of the Citadel, with the mere push of a button. 



Udina - Harbinger's Puppet: [link]

This chapter is fairly unique, tho it may NOT be the last one like this. This is the first chapter that does not feature our heroes, or any of the main characters at all.

There is just too much going on at the Citadel right now. My original intention was to make this half of the chapter, and the other half to show what's going on on Xen, but as usual - what I intend, and what happens aren't exactly similar.

Either way I was fairly pleased with this chapter. Been waiting for quite a while to write this. Now the fun REALLY starts *evil grin*

Quick little note here, (And I'm more than certain that everyone can infer this just from reading it, but just making sure). These last few chapters, with the exception of the VERY last one, will all take place in rapid succession. In other words, there will be no time lapse between chapters, where one leaves off, the next will begin right away. My writing style has mostly been that, when I break between chapters, there's a general time lapse. So I just thought I'd clarify.

At any rate, please enjoy :D

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© 2011 - 2021 EspionageDB7
Comments25
anonymous's avatar
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NewRenegade's avatar
Me: WWHHHaAaAaAaATTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!

Dath Vader: NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
EspionageDB7's avatar
Heh, sorry vader :(

Just so you know - this story was conceived, written, and published long before too much was known about the Mass Effect 3 plot. So you'll see lots of big differences as you continue reading.

Really hope you're enjoying :)
GhoulMine1's avatar
:iconshepardsmirkplz::iconsaysplz:..............................:iconiwillkillyouplz:HARBINGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!
Pyri's avatar
omfg Udina just killed the council, that's crazy -_-
Kick ass chapter !
EspionageDB7's avatar
Thank you as always :D
malovence's avatar
....
time for Anti-Citizen One and Commandeer Shepard to KICK SOME ASS AGAIN!!!!
EspionageDB7's avatar
tuszek's avatar
Well aren't we fu'd? He he! :D
There is some things i like to point out:
- No such thing in ME as a "thermal round". "Thermal clips" or "thermal mags" are, this things absorbs the heat what the gun makes during operation, keeping the gun cool. The gun does not fire the contents of this device.
- Harbinger does not possesses corpses, Sovereign possesses the dead Saren's implants in ME1.

I like the pace of this chapter! :D
EspionageDB7's avatar
Hmm... Well in ME2 they replaced that with interchangeable clips that help keep the weapon cool I believe.

And as far as Harbinger possessing Udina, that is a mistake on my part. I actually didn't know he was only able to possess the dead Saren because of his implants. However, to justify myself I will say this: I am keeping the manner in which Udina became indoctrinated fairly shrouded in mystery. The only things I've alluded to in past chapters are that he came back from a vacation on a new resort on Virmire a changed man (indoctrinated). And he came back with some sort of Reaper artifact. Who's to say WHAT happened on Virmire. Maybe the agents of the Reapers DID in fact implant Udina ;P

But at any rate, yes it was a mistake on my part. The whole possessing a corpse thing will happen one more time in my story. However the next time it happens, the being that gets possessed will have in fact been changed/implanted by Reaper Tech :)

Thanks for the input :D
tuszek's avatar
Yeah they changed the way heat is expelled. In ME1 it was heat sinks that got overheated from use, and then we had to wait till the gun cooled down. In ME2 the heat sinks got obsolete and interchangeable heat absorbers are in use. The actual thing that a mass accelerator fires is the same though, a tiny metal grain which is sheared off of a block of metal before firing. If i remember correctly to the codex entry, that is... :D

Hehe, this is a bit of a spoiler, eh? :D

About the input: No problem dude! :ahoy:
Finjix's avatar
Harbinger sure is better,smarter and stronger than Sovereign was |D
EspionageDB7's avatar
Ah but is he better, smarter, or stronger than the Reaper I have planned to make an appearance very soon?
Finjix's avatar
Ah, yes when will that reaper come??

If that one is better, then they are screeeewed!
EspionageDB7's avatar
He should be making his appearance within the next chapter or two :)
Finjix's avatar
Interesting XD
Vader6509's avatar
Oh God.

They aren't coming. They've already here.

Guess the Council can't deny the Reaper's existence now, can they?

Shame about Anderson.
EspionageDB7's avatar
Yeah the Council always pissed me off when they denied the Reaper's existence despite having been f'ing attacked by one! So I had to make them reap what they sewed.

Poor Anderson was an unfortunate bystander. But for a bad ass tough old soldier like him, I had to make him go down fighting. Arm badly scratched, shoulder shot, probable concussion, and a gash on his hand. And he still came out swinging. Wasn't enough tho :(
kyle131996's avatar
no not the Gman just fucking Udina
kyle131996's avatar
oh my god is it the GMAN
Vadrigos's avatar
More awesome lines:


The Heavens burned,
the stars cried out,
and under the ashes of Infinity,
hope, scarred and bleeding...
breathed its last
as the darkness ascended
triumphant forever.

HEAR ME, MORTALS OF THIS UNIVERSE: YOUR LAST DAYS ARE OVER. PREPARE...FOR OBLIVION.

What did you hope to accomplish by coming here, MORTAL?

You have two choices: Obedience...or Oblivion.

You are too late. THE GATES OF HELL ARE OPEN...AND THEY ARE FREE!!!
lethe-gray's avatar
Oh fuck, fuck fuck. Seriously. These guys are fucked.


There are some things I'd like to mention to help you clean up the style a little.

You often repeat phrases (knot in throat, like a xxx) reasonably close to one another. I generally try to make sure that only one 'version' of that phrase is seen anywhere during a chapter or segment, to avoid it standing out AS a repetition.

The final paragraph has two "like a", conflicting - or at least, one right after another.

Just before that, when Anderson falls to the "floor", shouldn't that be the ground? If they're on grass and such? I didn't think he made it to the access door.

Explosion, rivaled - no comma is needed there.

"Its the reaper" sentence ends with a quotation mark, it shouldn't.

And, "all ships fire" I don't THINK there should be a 's there, he means plural ships, right? In one sense I can see that being accurate but I'm not certain that's how it was meant.


Anyway - JEEZ. MAN. FUCKED. O_____O
EspionageDB7's avatar
Thank you as always. It's very kind of you to point those out to me :)

I think I fixed all of em, except for one which I couldn't find what you meant.

"Its the reaper" sentence ends with a quotation mark, it shouldn't.

Other than that, I think I managed to fix most of the problems, at least hopefully.
lethe-gray's avatar
"It's the Reapers..." Councilor Anderson uttered in a hushed voice, causing the asari to pause as she brought forth a holographic screen once more." <--
anonymous's avatar
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