Feros: Geth Attack
Continued thanks for Reikson's help and bata skills & thanks for the many kind wordsExoGeni's Zhu's Hope Colony on Feros was a typical corporate colonial setup, meaning the colonists were on Feros ultimately to improve ExoGeni's bottom line. They were always under pressure to find something, anything, that would justify the incredible expense of setting up and maintaining a colony in a hostile intergalactic area. We arrived to find the colony under threat from Geth and Krogan thugs. The colonists were determined to fight for their homes and families, especially their leader Fai-Dan. I'd grown up in a colony just like this one and I'd watched it die, There was nothing I could do to save Mindoir so I was determined to do whatever it took to save Zhu's Hope.
Xander took in the destroyed room strewn with debris and the occasional body of an Exo-Geni employee not lucky enough to escape the Geth forces besieging the tower, dominating the containment room, a huge metallic claw sticking out a large bay door left open to the air. That claw anchored a Geth dropship to the side of the miles high tower. ExoGeni used the tower as their headquarters on Feros, whatever use the protheans had for the tower was a long forgotten memory. That dropship was the reason Shepard, Xander, Liara and Tali had penetrated this far into the Geth's heavily fortified position. The ship's internal systems powered a force shield that blocked off all access to Zhu's Hope and the Normandy. If they wanted to defeat the Geth or ever see their beloved ship again; the dropship would have to be destroyed and the forcefield disrupted.
"Wow Exo-Geni really spared no expense to make it look like they don't give a crap."Xander noted. his comment, sarcasm aside, had a certain honest truth to it. Somehow Xander could not make himself believe all this ruined interior had taken place in the few days the Geth had been running wild
"Colonies like this don't exist to look good Xander," Shepard responded. "... they exist to make money for the sponsoring company. Colonial Development is a huge tax dodge and everybody knows it. You slam a few billion credits into a colonial start-up, submit your expenses to the government revenue office, then you sit back and wait for your big tax refund payday."
"Surely ExoGeni must be interested in scientific discovery?" Tali asked.
Shepard snorted,"Of course they are, since Exo-Geni owns the colony anything discovered or invented because of research done here becomes ExoGeni property. If the colonists try and cash in the company sics their corporate lawyers on them. Corp Lawyers can be as bad as varren."
"You mean they're vicious or that they taste gross." Xander snorted.
"You've eaten varren meat." Liara looked at him with disgust.
"On Akuze," Xander shrugged, "and it was either eat the varren or try eating a thresher maw and varren are easier to catch."
Shepard had noted that for all the lightheartedness of Xander's tone, the man seemed to take an almost sadistic glee in killing the dog-like creatures who had the temperament of sewer rats and the size and mass of pit bull terriers.
Shepard marched ahead to collect Liara who had a habit of wandering into danger. She'd already come face to face with several Krogan mercenaries because she had been too busy cooing over every piece of Prothean architecture and design. Xander noticed Tali looking at one of several terminals he'd seen scattered around the building.
The young Quarian answered his questioning gaze. "Geth Data Nodes," She said, "they help the Geth process thousands of petabytes of information." She ran her fingers delicately over the node.
"Should I leave the two of you alone." Xander quietly mocked.
For someone who wore a full body enviro-suit, Tali Zorah's body language conveyed embarrassment surprisingly well,
"I was raised to hate these creatures." the Quarian explained, "The Geth, near-mythical figures of dread from my childhood, but the first one I'd ever been up close to was the one I disabled to get that data on Saren." She tapped at the node's holographic display. "I should see if I can access this. If the Geth had any orders from Saren some of them might still be logged in the system."
Tali looked hesitant Xander watched the young Quarian engineer, she seemed almost apprehensive .
"You OK over there Tali?" Xander asked.
"Shepard wants to get back to the Normandy." Tali answered, "Hacking this terminal might take awhile." The Quarian was a little in awe of the Commander as most of the Normandy's crew was. Something about being near Shepard brought out the need to do and be your best. even Xander occasionally felt it.
Xander wordlessly stepped up to the node and tapped at his omni-tool. "Give me a second, I'll run a decryption algorithm "
Tali snorted, "Xander, this is a Geth node you aren't slicing a public extranet terminal. Their most basic encryption will consist of character strings of 120 to 240 it would take you ..." Tali was interrupted by beeping from the terminal
"About five seconds ...and that's being generous." Xander said with a triumphant smirk.
Tali looked at the assistant tech in shock, "Keelah ... how did you do that?" she asked.
"My omni-tool has a few off market apps, I got them from a Doctor I know, he gave me a few upgrades including to the decryption and hacking protocols."
Tali looked through the data streams sighing contentedly,"This is interesting."
"Anything about Saren or why the Geth are here?" Xander asked.
"Nothing we don't already know; the Geth refer to the objective as Species 37 just like ExoGeni does. No the interesting thing is a notation on file. There is a return message to Saren advising him to avoid the Armstrong cluster. They're warning Saren to avoid contact with the listening posts in that area "
"Who's Listening Posts?"
"Geth ... there are Geth Listening Posts in the Armstrong Cluster. This makes no sense, the Geth here on Feros often refer to the ones in the Armstrong cluster as ... the closest translation I can think of would be... The Blasphemous or the Faithless. The Geth have evolved religious factional thinking? Oh this is not good."
"The Geth have religion," Xander grimaced. "...And here I thought they were intelligent."
"You don't think highly of religious faith?" Tali asked, Quarians had a deep sense of spirituality. One of the few things that remained of their culture despite the many centuries they'd been wandering though space.
"I have no problem with Faith Tali," Xander soothed, "its religion I'm not fond of. I've seen some pretty screwed up things done in the name of religion."
They were interrupted by Shepard's shout, "Would either of you gear-heads know what the under-over is for a standard Stellar-Dynamics Hydraulic Pressure System?"
Xander bellowed back, "Depends! Usually it's fine at 30 pounds per square inch! Anything over 35 and the system resets when it isn't maintained properly! Why?"
Shepard made an adjustment to technical systems in front of her, "You guys might want to back up." she pressed a switch and a metal door dropped down, its mass amplified by the faulty pressure settings allowed the partition to slice into the claw anchoring the Geth Ship to the room. The room , hell the entire building, shook as the dropship's weight shifted dangerously. The squad watched with mixed emotions as the ship dropped down the side of the miles high building to crash in a fiery heap.
"That was seriously cool Boss," Xander was impressed, "How the hell did you know that would work?" he asked.
"Maintenance work order," Shepard gestured behind her, "looks like they never got around to fixing the pressure equalization, good thing too."
"I hope that ship was filled with those Geth bastards." Tali spat.
Xander shook his head, "Don't feel you gotta hold back Tali, tell us how you REALLY feel." he muttered.