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The Zeppo Effect: A BTVS/ Mass Effect Tale

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Zeppo Effect". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: A series of oneshots and vignettes about our favorite White Knight's quest to show the galaxy's newest hero how battling extinction level apocalypse is done with style ... well style and a little help from a few very, very powerful friends.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Sci-Fi > Mass Effect Trilogy(Recent Donor)BHRamsayFR153293,77130193117,58518 Sep 119 Jan 12Yes

UNC: Major Kyle

AN -- thanks for Reikson for helping to make this much easier and way more fun

As the door to her cubbyhole burst open, jack's biotics flared and she slammed her intruder up against the bulkhead. That she barely glanced up from the omni-tool she was tapping away at to do it was a lot of the reason why she was the most powerful biotic in the isolated commune. It was also a reminder to Pasha, the East Indian currently struggling for her next breath that there was a reason you didn't bother Jack in her personal space, or really bother her at all. It was already pretty obvious with her volatile temper and staggering level of biotic power that unless you had gotten tired of living, Jack was best left alone at all times. She'd made it abundantly clear she had no problem killing ANYONE who so much as glanced at her wrong.

"Jack, Jack - please ... it's me Pasha let me go." The girl gasped, "Father Kyle is in danger. There are more Alliance troops. they just arrived."

"Shit, How many of these assholes do I have to kill anyway?" The tattooed woman snarled. Pasha recognized a few of the tattoos Jack sported. The story they told of where she had been, what she had done and who she'd done it to, was a story Pasha was kind of scared of hearing.

"They say it was some soldier Kyle used to know. They call her the Butcher of Torfan, she's told him plain as day that if he doesn't give up, she'll kill every one of us and she sounded serious. I think she'd do it too."

"She could try it." Jack growled.

"Jack you didn't see her eyes, there was something dark in there ... if the stories about Torfan are true, I wouldn't mess with this chick or the crew she's brought with her. If she's really the Butcher - I think she'd kill anyone she had to."

"Pasha living is hard - death is simple ... easy ... fucking on-off switch. "

"Whatever Jack I'm scared for Father."

Jack looked at Pasha and shook her head, Pasha was a follower through and through. That was how she'd ended up on this god forsaken rock in the midst of a biotic cult compound in the first place. Pasha had followed another biotic here, another lost soul lured by Father Kyle's promises of safety and community. Hell that was why Jack was here.

Father liked to think they were all equal and special little snowflakes. Jack knew better, you get a group together and someone always needs to establish dominance, needs to show they have control over everyone else. That wasn't just her talking it was millions of years of human evolution talking.

That was Pasha's ...well boyfriend didn't really capture the disparity between them did it, call it what it was, Pasha's owner, the latest of several - Jack had little doubt. Some people thought their lives were better when someone else made the choices for them. They come off like bullies just like Pasha's little boytoy had. His name was Reno emphasis on the was ... He'd done what a lot of stupid people do. He looked at Jack's tattoos, her beestung lips, her bald head and slight but athletic figure and saw something he could control and intimidate. Reno has set out to fuck with her to prove he was the stronger of the two, there was only one problem with that scenario, he wasn't stronger - he had no idea how very weak he was or how much he looked like one of the men who had hurt her, abused her, and ironically turned her into the bad-ass biotic bitch she was now.

Jack had actually been looking forward to it , even enjoyed it a little when he came for her. It had felt so good to just let go, she'd made a show of it. Reno had a small group of followers, people like Reno always had followers , they couldn't function without an audience. Jack had started with them, she'd left them alive however. jack had wanted them to see what she did to Reno, see his humiliation, his fear and when she was finished toying with him, she made him grovel like a dog before she ended it.

No one fucked with her after that.

It hadn't taken long for Pasha to come around to Jack after that. That was what her kind did, find the strongest and hang on to them hoping for protection. Reno had been that protection but with Reno dead she needed someone new but Jack was no protector. What Jack was however, was someone with enough life experience to know that people like Pasha had their uses ... even if it was just as something to trade when creds weren't available or acceptable.

Jack put the finishing touches on a new haiku. She had no idea why she liked poetry, no idea why she liked reading it or writing it but sometimes reading about pain and loss expressed in lyrical form made it seem less real. She had a few pieces posted on the extranet under a screen name. Jacqueline Naught, had a small group of readers most were posers acting like they knew shit. she dismissed most of them except for one guy ... SunnyD-boi, whoever he was he had a taste for beat poetry. They traded barbed comments back and forth. Whoever he was he wasn't some kiss ass who thoughtlessly heaped false praise on crappy work or a poser who crapped all over people more talented then he was. He even had a few works posted. She was reading one now. another reprint of a dead poet he called William The Bloody, Jack liked the guy's stuff She had to respect anyone with the balls to use effulgent - not an easy word to find a rhyming scheme for.

"Jack, Father needs us." Pasha whined.

"Fine let's go deal with this shit so I can get back to doing something fun." Jack snarled, "Gimme a smoke!" Another nice thing about having a shadow was Pasha could score shit for her. It was sometimes nice getting things without having to steal them herself or kill someone else for them. Pasha never complained when Jack sent her on missions, her kind never did. Considering the kind of shit Reno had her doing, scamming smokes for Jack was a vacation. She pulled out a carefully hidden smoke, handing it to Jack who lit it up. Jack took huge satisfying drags as they walked toward the central meeting area. Pasha walked a little behind Jack , a bit of a swagger in her stride. Jack knew that Pasha hinted to some they'd been intimate, It wasn't true and Jack might have to put a stop to it by publicly slapping her down but the rumors served to intimidate some. Jack liked it when people were a little afraid of her, it made them less inclined to fuck with her.

Father was there alright looking serene and calm, of course he was calm. Jack was there, that meant he wouldn't have to get his hands dirty doing the actual killing. Jack had done the last two idiots as well.

Jack would have dismissed Father Kyle as just another user out for what he could grab but he'd avoided one big misstep, the most important as far as Jack was concerned. As far as Jack knew, Kyle didn't mess with the other girls. She'd watched Pasha and a few others try but Kyle had avoided their advances so far ... so far. Lets face it Kyle was a man and with a man it always came down to sex. Jack was sure he'd slip up one day. It didn't matter to Jack as long as he kept his hands off her, Jack had a special hate inside her for guys who didn't know how to keep their hands to themselves around her ...and a couple of special tricks she'd come up with over the years, skilfull application of a biotic field could do a lot of damge to a man. You did it wrong and they were dead, but if you did it right - they could still walk afterward, they just never wanted to ever again remove their clothes in someone else's presence.

"My children," Father Kyle said in that deep voice of his, "When this Shepard comes do not do anything to provoke her."

"What if she tries and hurts you Father" Pasha asked.

Father Kyle smiled oddly "I assure you Pasha, with Shepard there is no such thing as try. There's a legend of a great warrior back on Earth. It was said that so great was his fighting skill he could kill anyone he wanted. If he set out to kill God then God would die. I think that could be said of Shepard. In combat she is the most frightening warrior I have ever known, entirely without mercy or pity. That is why I tell you again, unless she attacks you first, do nothing to provoke her." Father Kyle looked at Jack then, his meaning clear.

"What the fuck-ever." Jack sneered.

The door to the room opened then and a small squad entered. a Turian and two human. The male looked around the room.

"Isolated location-check, mindless droogs with near religious devotion -check, loudspeaker for preaching to the socially mal-adjusted - check ... this idiot is running the Jonestown playbook step-by-step."

"A cultist leader from Earth's history I take it?" the Turian drawled.

The male nodded "That one did not end well." He caught sight of Jack and waved, "Hunny, could I get my poisoned koolaid in grape flavour please - twist of lime and some ice?"

Jack resolved right then to kill him first when the time came to stop screwing around. Then she saw HER. Jack found she could not look away from those eyes. her aura, Jack was a killer several times over but in that moment, when those eyes ran over her apprising her and then dismissing her, she felt very small. This woman was a Killer with a capital K, she'd killed and killed again and become something entirely different in the process.

"The Butcher Of Torfan," Father Kyle said with a slight smile, "... so they sent you - did they Joan?"

The chick startled at Father's words, "You knew someone would come especially after you killed those other alliance reps." Shepard said. her voice filled with cold menace.

Kyle nodded, the regret in his voice almost sounded sincere, "They spoke against me, against my children, they spoke blasphemy. I had to deal with them." the cult leader replied.

"Did you kill them?" Shepard asked, her gaze burned.

Kyle looked away from Jack as he answered Shepard, "I promise you Shepard they did not suffer, their end was quick and painless."

"I thought as much," Shepard folded her arms and looked with disgust at Father as if he were a small and pitiful thing, "You want to log a Section Eight discharge, you do it on your own time Kyle. I know you aren't crazy no matter what Hackett and the others say. You're no madman and you sure as hell never cared a damn for biotics when I knew you. What you are Kyle, is a coward - pure and simple. You were a coward five years ago on Torfan. You're a coward now; and the only thing that will likely change about you is you'll become an even bigger coward and eventually knock up one of these deluded idiots and she'll push out a few children who will be as cowardly as their father."

The silence in the room was almost tangible. Finally, it was broken by the mouthy male, who said, "Geez, boss, personal issues much? You might want to dial it back a little. I don't think these guys will like you talking that way about their leader."

"Harris if they were going to do anything they'd already be moving. I bet he's told them to stand back because he knows what will happen if anyone in this room raises a biotic field to so much as scratch their nose, I will raze this building and everyone in it down to the dust. How am I doing Major? Did you warn them not to move - not to breath unless I fire first?"

"They aren't to blame for what happened they are pure, innocent - please leave them be Shepard?"

"I don't care about them Kyle, I'm here to being you in. If they stay fine - if they go fine, but if they stand in my way - God help them. and God damn you if you're such a coward that you'd make them die for you."

"I'm sorry- Shepard." Kyle whispered.

"I'm five years past giving a crap about you and your sorry. You have one hour, if you aren't in front of this compound waiting for the Sixth Fleet detachment; then I will come back for you Kyle and I swear by all that is holy I will make you watch ... you will live to see the price others pay for your cowardice."

Shepard turned on her heel and walked out.

"I love it when she does that." The Turian sighed.

"You have a creepy shrine somewhere, don't you?" The male human asked wryly, and the Turian's body language screamed embarrassment.

"She's our leader I admire her." The Turian explained.

"Would you like a picture? You know that nobody will believe that you know the Beautiful Commander Shepard if you don't have a picture," he taunted gently.

The turian looked at him, "OK now's its starting to creep ME out how much like Verner you sound when you do that."

The male paused "Actually it's starting to creep me out a little too." he muttered as they left.

"What the fuck just happened?" Jack snapped.

"Pasha, if you could tell the others ... I'll be giving myself over to the Alliance. This has gone too far. I'll not see the rest of you hurt because of my mistakes."

Jack sneered, "You really bending over and taking it from that bitch, she doesn't scare me."

Kyle looked at her, "Jack I know you aren't stupid so I'll assume your lying to yourself about that. Don't do it, You've killed and you do it well but you aren't in Shepard's league. Maybe one day you will be but that day is not today."

"Fine I'm out of here."

Pasha trailed after her, "If your leaving maybe I could come with you, you know in case you need backup. You going to Omega?"

"That's the idea " Jack smiled, she knew the kind of ship captains who went to Omega liked their poorer female passengers to pay in installments for passage. Pasha would be useful cred for getting them there then she could be dumped as soon as Jack could get another ride.

Xander dropped a datpad in front of Shepard who was staring into a cup of coffee like it was the future. She was fingering another data pad

"Hackett just sent word, Kyle gave himself up. The Biotics are heading for the hills. you may officially consider yourself covered in glory."

"Yah me, " Shepard drawled, "Have Joker plot exit vectors for as many of them as we can. Might as well let Alliance High Command know a bunch of pissed-off biotics are running around with head full of Kyle's anti-social garbage."

"You were a little harsh down there don't you think."


"You practically threatened to kill every man woman and child down there if Kyle didn't give himself up."

"That's why I like bringing my own personal moral compass along on missions."

"Kaiden is the boyscout Boss, I get your whole Ends-Justify-the Means mentality but ... "

Shepard held up her hand to interrupt him, "One of those - pure and innocent - people killed two Alliance personnel who's only crime was not seeing Kyle for what he really is. Not all of us find it easy to let something like that go Xander."

"You were bluffing right, you wouldn't have really killed every one there just to punish Kyle for sticking you with the bag for everything that went down at Torfan."

Shepard looked at Harris, her cold gaze was all the answer Xander would ever need. Xander sometimes wondered if Torfan had created Shepard, or had it just given her a stage so the person she really was inside could finally come out to play. Suddenly Xander's omni-tool bleeped, about an incoming E-mail.

"More mail from your angsty poetess?" Shepard asked with an amused grin.

"Ah, Jacqueline is OK she's even kind of talented. I mean she sounds like a thirteen year old who dresses in black and cuts herself but she's still pretty good." He scanned the email and cursed, "How in hell could she possibly like Spike's poetry."

"Old friend?" Shepard asked,

"Very old and gone now like most of them. I used to hate him but if he showed up now I'd hug him, then I punch him out but the hug would be genuine and from the heart."

Such thoughts just depressed him so he changed the subject by sliding the datapad he'd brought closer to Shepard. "incidentally," Xander reported "Garrus and I did a little due diligence, He pressed some of his contacts at C-Sec and they confirm Kahoku's dropped out of sight. It's like the galaxy swallowed him whole."

"The Galaxy or Cerberus?" Shepard asked

"Either way no one has seen him or heard from him."

Shepard nodded and handed Xander the datapad in already in her hands.

"Run that up to Joker, its the co-ordinates for that research world Cerberus is using. I'm thinking its time to find out just how deep this particular rabbit hole goes."
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