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Vanguard

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Summary: Faith Lehane makes an ill-advised wish on her dying breath. Miranda Lawson makes an ill-advised wish in a moment of frustration. Now Commander Faith Shepard is back from the dead and ready to kick ass, take names, and seduce asari.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Sci-Fi > Mass Effect Trilogy(Moderator)JoeHundredaireFR1877,86913711,35020 Dec 1214 Jan 13No

Veetor'Nara

Joe's Note: This one takes most of its dialogue straight from the mission but… but! Don't let that fool you. There are two different plot twists in this, one significantly more noticeable than the other.



     "You don't know. You didn't see. But I see everything."

     With those foreboding words and a few taps, Veetor restores the orange-tinged video on the nine holographic displays and Faith steps forward, squinting as she tries to make out details in the grainy footage. Humanoid aliens of some sort are pushing strange, lumpy, floating pods through the streets of the colony as insects flit back and forth in front of the cameras. Behind her, Miranda shares the thought already running through Faith's head. "Looks like security footage. He must have pieced it together manually."

     Manipulating his omni-tool, Jacob isolates one of the feeds and freezes it before expanding it to occupy all nine display panels. "What the hell is that?"

     "My God." Putting aside her dislike for the moment, Miranda brushes against Faith as she leans in, fingers flying over her own omni-tool as she works to clean up the footage. "I think… is that a Collector?"

     Faith has taken advantage of the long flights from Lazarus Research Station to Minuteman Station and then from Minuteman Station onward to Freedom's Progress as best she can, using a meditation technique she learned from Giles after the fall of Sunnydale to integrate as many of Alexis Shepard's memories as possible. Considering she's actually got halfway decent control of her biotics now, she's relatively certain it's working. And yet for all the new things she's learned from Alexis, the name doesn't ring a bell to Faith. "The fuck is a Collector?"

     Six panels of moving footage return as the left three display a drawing of an insectoid alien remarkably similar to the figures on screen. Ugly fuckers, Faith muses. Thankfully, Jacob is willing to provide some commentary as well. "They're a species from somewhere beyond the Omega-4 relay. Only a few people have seen one before in person."

     "They usually work through intermediaries like slavers or hired mercenaries." Finally leaning back, Miranda crosses her arms over her chest as she stares at the screens. "If they're involved with the Reapers somehow, it could explain what happened to the other colonies."

     Restoring the full nine screens of footage, Jacob circles around Veetor on the right as he watches the colonists' abduction continue to play out. "The Collectors have advanced technology. They could have a weapon that disables an entire settlement at once."

     Veetor nods frantically at that. "The seeker swarms. No one can hide. The seekers find you. Freeze you. Then the monsters take you away."

     Seeker swarms? Faith eyes the security footage. The bugs, maybe? That would explain why they'd mysteriously disappeared between whenever the footage was shot and now. "So they showed up, unleashed the bugs on the colony, and then started stuffing people in those pods. Then what?"

     "The monsters took the people onto the ship. And then they left. The ship flew away." Veetor peters out, staring at the screens silently for a few seconds before turning back to Faith. "But they'll be back for me! No one escapes!"

     After a few seconds, Jacob sighs and shakes his head. "I think that's probably all we're getting out of him, Commander. He's pretty far gone. Not that I blame him. Doubt I'd be doing much better after going through something like this…"

     Faith nods absently, her eyes locked on the screens. There's something about the Collectors that bothers her on a level that goes beyond the abductions. What it is, she has no idea, but there's something about their physical appearance that nags at her. After a few seconds, she shrugs it off and turns her attention to their reluctant helper. "Yeah. I'm surprised we got this much out of him. I've seen people end up worse from a lot less."

     Suddenly, a three-fingered hand snaps out to wrap around her left wrist, tugging on it until Faith turns to face Veetor. "I studied them. The monsters. The swarms." He taps first at her omni-tool, then at his, and then at hers again, connecting the two and transferring a large quantity of information. "The monsters ignored the mechs. I downloaded their memory cores. Lots of readings: video, audio, thermal, electromagnetic, dark energy…"

     Evidently, it's suddenly Invade Faith's Personal Space day, because Miranda is sidling up next to her so she can peer at the smaller brunette's omni-tool. "We need to get this data to the Illusive Man. Grab the quarian and call the shuttle to come pick us up."

     "What?" Faith groans as the door slides open at exactly the wrong moment, allowing Tali to rush into the room. "Veetor is injured. He needs treatment, not an interrogation."

     "We're not barbarians, Miss Zorah. We're merely interested in finding out whether or not he knows anything else about the attack. He'll be returned unharmed." Miranda's hand drops to her pistol, spooking Tali into drawing an almost comically large shotgun from the hardpoint at the small of her own back. "Your people tried to betray us once already. If we give him to you, we'll never get the intel we need."

     Tali scoffs at that. "Prazza was an idiot, and he and his men paid for it. You're welcome to take Veetor's omni-tool data but please, just let me take him."

     Looking back and forth between the two women, Faith frowns for a moment before perking up as she realizes there's a very obvious solution to both women's problems. "The Illusive Man wants me to save the galaxy again or some shit. I'm sure that's going to involve a ship… that will have room for two more. Why don't you come with us, Tali? Miranda can question Veetor about the attack, you can supervise things, and when she's done… Miranda, I bet the Illusive Man would agree that a Kodiak is fair payment for the first real intel about an attack, yeah?" Miranda ponders that before nodding slowly. "See? Everyone wins. We get information, you don't have to worry about Veetor, and the Flotilla gets a new ship. How bout it?"

     "This was supposed to be a quick detour on our way to an important mission, but… if things couldn't wait, the Admiralty wouldn't have asked us to detour." Wandering over, Tali places a hand on Veetor's shoulder before glaring over at Miranda. "Fine. But I want to supervise his medical treatment too. I doubt Cerberus has anyone who knows how to properly treat a quarian."

     As Miranda and Tali began to bicker over the former's qualifications as a doctor and Jacob calls for a pickup, Faith tunes the entire room out and lets her eyes drift back over to rest on the looping footage of the attack. Aliens that are both familiar and not. Fan-fucking-tastic. Another mystery is just what she needs right now…
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