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Saga Yea, Though I Walk [Mass Effect 2/SW Crossover] (Complete)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Harpalyce, Feb 28, 2011.

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  1. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    A/N:

    This is one of those fanfics I'm just going to go ahead and apologize now for. I normally don't like crossovers, but every so often what ends up being a joke in my head (Shepard grumblingly calling Vader some 'freaky geth thing') turns into a plotbunny which I actually feel compelled to chase down. I can at least say this makes slightly more sense than the World of Warcraft/SW crossover that has been bubbling in the back of my head for awhile now. Slightly more sense. ...very slightly. Fewer dragons involved anyway.

    This story will admittedly be heavy on the Mass Effect and light on the Star Wars, so if moderators think it is best suited elsewhere, please just let me know. It's a bit more of an outside-in look at a character I like playing with in fanfiction (namely, Vader).

    Here's to hoping this odd combination is far more "chocolate covered bacon" and far less "nutella and sardine sandwich".



    "All right, EDI. Tell me what we've got."

    Shepard had definitely learned her lesson with Grunt. This new visitor was getting the full nine yards, and that meant no civvies, even if she was aboard her own ship. Instead the golden glow of her omni-tool made her well-polished armor gleam, and the AI's calm voice radiated from the small speakers inside it.

    "Human male, approximately 2 meters tall, age estimated at 45. Significant scarring indicative of extensive burns as well as cybernetic replacements. Cerberus has reverse-engineered and corrected the most egregious oversights in this system."

    "Hold on. Reverse-engineered?" She ran a hand through her short hair as the elevator doors closed.

    "Correct, Shepard. The technology was deemed to be of unique origin and was salvaged, then later largely deemed as inefficient and relatively crude. Many systems including breathing support have been replaced with technology originating from the Lazarus Project as part of an ongoing Cerberus initiative to expand the use of new developments, possibly for commercial use."

    The light flickered a moment as the elevator came to a stop. Instead of moving on immediately to the starboard cargo bay, Shepard walked only to lean on the railing of the deck, looking out the wide window at the hangar below. "Sounds like he's about as hard to keep down as I am." She had to respect that, at least. "So where's he from?"

    "Unknown."

    She blinked before looking sideways to the small Engineering console where EDI's representation flickered on. "You just said he was human, EDI."

    "That is correct. Genetic analysis shows that the subject is entirely [I]homo sapiens sapiens[/I]. Further microarray analysis shows many known genotypes, such as heterozygote advantage for the CFTR and triosephosphate isomerase proteins." Shepard blinked rapidly at this, enough for even the AI to deduce that she was losing interest. "Several new mutations were recorded. The most notable difference appears to be large amounts of an unknown organelle within the subject's cells."

    "So he's human, but he's infected with something. Great."

    "Although large quantities are present, at this time there appears to be no known vector for infection."

    "Good, I don't need the new kid sneezing on Tali and making her keel over."

    "In that event, the envirosuit would prevent -" Shepard gave another sideways glare at the AI's display, and EDI seemed to get the message. "Mordin requests blood and tissue samples for further analysis, with your permission."

    "Sounds fine to me. You still haven't gotten to the part where Cerberus got their paws on him, EDI."

    "The subject was acquired from a small fighter discovered adrift near Horizon. The ship is not equipped with a Mass Effect drive -"

    "Wait, [I]wait[/I] -"

    "Instead there appears to be technology of an alternative means of intergalactic transport. Cerberus scientists are currently investigating, although it appears to be substantially slower than the Mass Effect relay. Current hypothesis is that the small fighter was caught in the Collector ship's Mass Effect field."

    "So, he got stuck in the wake and was brought along for the ride?" [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Verdana]She crossed her arms over her chest, leaning back against the railing.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Verdana][/FONT][/COLOR]
    [SIZE=13px][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000][LEFT][FONT=Verdana]"Essentially correct, Shepard. However, evidence suggests that at that range, he intended to pursue the Collector craft instead of being accidentally swept up along with it."

    Shepard stood up, giving a low whistle of appreciation. "Man's got cojones, I'll give him that."

    "Primary reports on scarring indicate that approximately twenty-five years ago, coinciding with considerable burns, the subject was in fact effectively castrated -"

    "Don't! Just don't - don't finish that, EDI. I don't even [I]have[/I] them, but you're still making them hurt," Shepard groaned.

    To its credit, although the AI looked desperately confused (as much as it could, anyway), EDI only responded with a polite "Yes, Commander Shepard."

    She took a few more minutes to try and get her hair into some sort of order - paradoxically, the shorter she cut it, the more messy it seemed to become - before nodding at the starboard cargo bay door. "All right, EDI, open it up. Let's see what we've got."

    The door slid open, and Shepard frowned. Lights were flickering, and that made her nervous. If the Normandy was going to go into this mission, everything had to be working, down to the last lightbulb relay. Instead the back half of the cargo bay was bathed in darkness, centering around a boxy stasis pod that made Grunt's tank look downright friendly in comparison. Of course the angular Cerberus logo was stamped on its surface, on top of the tinted window that made it impossible for her to see what exactly was inside.

    "I apologize for the atmosphere, Commander Shepard. It appears the symbiotic organelles serve some purpose to enhance biotic capabilities. Conservative estimates place the subject's biotic power at approximately equal or greater to those of Subject Zero."

    Shepard paused a moment, reflexively scouting the room for any boxes she could dive behind to use as cover. But her assault rifle was with her. She at least had that advantage. ...however slim it might be.

    A small array of objects were laid out on a nearby table. As if to stall actually confronting the problem, she walked over to glance over them, finally picking up a small metal cylinder with an air of amusement. "Those are the personal effects recovered from the subject that Cerberus has forwarded to you. It appears his main weapon was in effect a plasma sword. The switch is the red button by your thumb."

    Curiously, she held it out and gingerly thumbed the switch. A vibrant red blade extended outwards, thrumming in the air - and almost immediately, Shepard gave a laugh that was half of a snort. "Goddamn, this looks like something that somebody would come up with in the society of creative anachronism or something." She paused. "Not - not that I ever did that in college. It's totally undignified for a Spectre, and, uh - no time to do stuff like that in a good military career."

    "I'm sure, Shepard."

    Very gingerly, she deactivated the sword and set it back down before looking over to the stasis pod once again. "Anything else I should know, EDI?"

    "There is significant neural activity in the limbic system, especially in the amygdala, as well as in the auditory processing centers, despite the measures of the stasis pod."

    "So..." She slowly thought over the last few words. "What you're telling me is that he's mad as hell, he can probably hear us, and that he's one tough bastard?"

    "That would be a correct colloquial summary."

    She sighed, pausing to look the stasis pod over again. Then she checked her assault rifle. Fully loaded, set to incendiary rounds. Not that she hoped to use them, but it was always better to be prepared. "You know, EDI, if the Illusive Man really wants to send me presents, I'd appreciate a box of chocolates or some flowers or something," she said wryly, checking her gun over. "Not some mystery man who's likely to tear my face off. Even if flowers are a little ineffective against Collectors."

    The lights flickered again.

    Shepard drew in a deep breath, standing up straighter, before letting it roll out of her in a long sigh. With easy, quiet confidence - the type that had served her well so far - she stared the stasis pod down. Although she could see nothing but shadow, she knew there must be a pair of eyes in there, somewhere, and she hoped she was meeting them.

    "All right, EDI. Let him out of there."[/FONT][/LEFT][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=13px][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000] [/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]>
     
  2. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    To her great relief, the first thing she heard after a gasp for breath wasn't a Jack-like torrent of invective. Neither was it a scream, either of rage or pain. It was coughing, which meant she got the first word in. Keeping a crew in line was similar to training dogs, though she knew many of her crew would resent that analogy. If you were calm, they would be calm. If you panic, they would panic. So, she was calm. But she also wasn't stupid - her rifle was already aimed towards the movement in the shadows.

    "I'm Commander Shepard. You're aboard the Normandy SR-2. I've been informed that Cerberus has made some changes to your cybernetics - if you need some medical assistance adjusting, we have a well-stocked medbay. And if it's a technical problem, I'm sure Tali can figure it out. I'm not with Cerberus. Not really. Believe me, I'm just as annoyed with their tendency to go in and make little adjustments. I used to be a B-cup, you know? Damned inconvenient," she said wryly, gesturing at her chest.

    The coughing finally became gasping silence, and from the darkness, she could feel the heat of a frustrated glare.

    "Okay, not the funny type. I get it." She took a breath in, about to say something, though it ended in a gag. Although it seemed as if she was being lifted up, a hand crushing her throat. To her credit, she didn't shoot. Instead she just gripped the rifle more tightly.

    "Engaging biotic countermeasures -"

    A voice finally came from the darkness, barely above a rasp, interrupting the AI's worried chatter. "My helm. Where is it?"

    "Can't - when - goddamn choking -" Her nostrils flared. Finally, her rifle spat out a burst of gunfire - too wide a shot, merely a warning instead of a threat. The message was apparently clear, and she gasped as her feet finally hit the ground. "It's over here with the rest of your belongings. If you need it, I'll toss it over." Although her rifle was leveled, she paused to glance at the helm. It was an impressive piece of work - black, menacing, skull-like. "Crap visibility, though. If you need one, we can outfit you from the Normandy's stock."

    Another rasp that turned into a fit of coughing. There was an odd cadence to the breaths coming from the darkness, as if the man was trying to remember even how to breathe. That had to be just her imagination, though - surely nobody forgot to breathe. It was natural instinct...

    "Listen. Whoever you are. I know you were after that same Collector ship. Right now the Normandy's the only ship that's going to be able to go chase them down. We've got our one-way ticket, and we're the only ones that do."

    More fumbling. The sound of cloth ripping. He was doing something in the shadows, she just couldn't tell what. It was likely better that Shepard not see his blind panic at suddenly being without a mask, after he had lived underneath one for so long. It was also better that she not see how he fumbled to touch his own face in amazement, or how he pursed his lips to enjoy the simple act of being able to control how air flowed between them.

    "I'll be straight with you. We probably won't be coming back. But if you're with us, we could use all the help we can get." She shrugged, her armor making small noises as it rubbed against itself like the carapace of a beetle. "I don't care where you've come from or your reasons for being here, just as long as you can follow orders and help fight."

    The figure in the shadows slowly stood, and she tensed. 'Approximately two meters' did not prepare her how the older man was built - broad-shouldered and imposing. What had once been a cape had now become a makeshift mask and hood, the torn edge wrapped around his shoulders. It blurred into the shadows too easily - except for a strip of white. He only let his eyes show, and they were as eerily pale as his skin.

    "I give orders," he said bluntly. "I don't follow them."

    "Then we might have a problem, since this is my ship."

    They locked eyes for a long moment. He was the first one to blink. Shepard flattered herself by thinking that meant she, in some sense, had won. It probably just meant he was distracted looking at her gun.

    "Listen. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that Cerberus has cut you some raw deal, and you've got a right to be angry with them. But we both know you're interested in going after the Collectors. I'll settle for not-about-to-shoot-me-in-the-back if you can't do outright loyal - on a few conditions. You give me some information about yourself. You don't go after my crew. You let Yeoman Chambers talk to you every once and awhile." She watched his eyes narrow. "In return, you'll get access to the dossiers of my crew and other information you need." Gingerly, she shifted the rifle in her hands, adjusting her aim. "If you say no, you get dumped at the nearest space-station. I'm not saying I'll hand you back over to Cerberus, but once you're off my ship, you're not my problem anymore. Understood?"

    A long moment as he paused to consider. "Understood. Those terms are... acceptable." There was a slight snarl to the last word, letting her know that he fully recognized the friendly threat she had used, and that he deeply resented it. As he stepped forward out of the shadows, she slowly let her gun drop until it hung limp by her thigh, her free hand extending outwards for a handshake.

    "Commander Delia Shepard." After another pause, he seemed to recognize the gesture, meeting her in the handshake. His grip was near-crushing, and she had to supply all the movement for the handshake. Up close, she finally appreciated how unnervingly large he was. "And you?"

    Shepard wasn't used to waiting for a response to that question. Usually even an incompetent spy gave a stutter. But he was well-composed, his deep voice echoing somewhat in the small cargo hold.

    "Vader."
     
  3. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Very unique. I don't know anything at all about Mass Effect 2, but I guess that means I'll just pretend they're OC's and have fun with it! I love the descriptions of Vader from a completely foreign group of characters. The little quips about castration was quite funny, too. Great stuff. I'll be keeping up!
     
  4. whateveritis12

    whateveritis12 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Love it so far. Definitely looking forward to Vader's different interactions with the rest of the crew.

    Though I have to ask, at what time did this Vader get pulled out of the Star Wars Galaxy. It said around 25 years ago his injuries had occurred, but Vader is obviously still a Dark Lord. So it's going to be before ROTJ, but just how close is it?
     
  5. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    EDI's estimates are likely off. I think the storyline I have set so far has the Collectors essentially crashing the Battle of Endor, harvesting the Death Star and a few Rebel ships before skipping on to Horizon. But that's a bit malleable. Vader isn't exactly the most talkative so it will likely come up in the story only in bits and pieces. :)

    Glad y'all like it so far! I have to admit (sadly) that if you haven't ever played Mass Effect 2, this will likely be like reading greek and will only get worse. But I hope it's fun for the people who have played it. ^^
     
  6. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Stupid real life, interfering with my time set aside for writing fanfiction.

    Anyway, this chapter may alternatively be titled/summarized as "In Which Harpalyce Emphasizes That Her Version of Shepard Is Very Silly".

    ---

    "Stop worrying, Miranda. You're still the prettiest," Shepard said, trying and failing to hide how she rolled her eyes. "I promise."

    "Shepard, that is not the issue," Miranda huffed. Officially, the two had not been on good terms since Pragia, but apparently they were both looking to make things a little worse - though it was unclear just who had a valid point and who was spoiling for a fight. Jacob wisely stood back as the two women circled each other around the communications room table.

    "Well then, what is the issue?"

    "You just released a - a powerful biotic who we know nothing about onto the ship! And granted him full access to our records on the crew! He's not even from any known human colony - there are hundreds of reasons to have kept him in stasis - hundreds looking at cross-contamination alone -"

    Shepard shrugged. "EDI says he's only a little fleabitten."

    Miranda spluttered at this as the AI helpfully spoke up. "It appears what was mis-identified as infection is actually a symbiotic relationship. The organelles appear to enhance biotic power. Mordin will have further analysis soon."

    "Besides," Shepard said quickly, cutting Miranda off, "I figured if I gave Jack and Grunt a chance, it's only fair that I do the same for him." She paused a moment as if realizing that this was perhaps not the wisest life strategy. "And anyway, it's like Grunt said, reach out with one hand, hold a gun in the other. He only uses some sort of laser-sword. There's no way that he could land a scratch on any of us without being gunned down first. So what's he going to do?" She laughed, gesturing as she mockingly changed the tone of her voice. "Oooh, better be careful, he might run with that thing and put someone's eye out. ...As long as we keep him away from the weapons locker, it'll be fine, I'm sure."

    "A person of skill will always find a way," Miranda said with a small sniff. "Just because he doesn't have a conventional weapon doesn't mean he's not dangerous. I once killed a man with a pair of chopsticks when I was undercover on a Cerberus operation."

    Shepard blinked slowly. "You what?"

    "A pair of chopsticks. Separate, then through the eyes. It's very easy, really."

    Jacob finally spoke up. "It's true, I was there."

    Shepard paused to run a hand through her short hair, blinking rapidly. "Well. Huh. Um. Keep him away from the weapons locker and kitchen implements, then. Otherwise, leave him alone. Kelly's going to talk to him a little, but he probably needs some time to adjust and figure out where the hell he is. His access to our records stays. You're to treat him with respect - but keep your distance, for now. Dismissed."

    --

    "...So it's really true?"

    "Hm?"

    Joker looked over his shoulder at Shepard half a second before going back to looking at the screen. "That new memo that was just sent out, about the new kid. It's full emergency lockdown if he goes for the weapons locker or if we see him with a spatula?"

    "Well, of course," Shepard said nonchalantly, leaning an elbow on Joker's chair while enjoying the view of space out before them. "It'd be a shame to be remembered as 'that woman Cerberus spent fifteen gazillion credits putting back together who died of a spork to the face'."

    They exchanged a quick glance - just enough for Joker to see how she was smiling - before they both lapsed into quiet laughter. She patted at the back of his chair as she looked up to see Kelly Chambers' dim reflection in the window. "I'll be back later, Joker."

    "Seeya, Commander."

    She turned to greet Kelly with a smile. "Walk with me a little," Shepard said, gesturing. "I'm going to guess from that look on your face things didn't go so great."

    "Not exactly," Kelly admitted nervously. "I don't want to make a judgment that's too hasty, Commander. I don't think I'm really fully qualified to deal with the, uh, entire situation. But..." As they walked across the bridge to the privacy of the communications room, Kelly relaxed slightly. "Do you know the old joke about heaven and hell, Shepard? About how in heaven, all the lovers are Asari, all the government is Turian..."

    "But in hell all the lovers are Volus and all the cooks are Vorcha and so on, yeah, I know that one."

    "Well." Kelly drew in a sharp breath through her teeth, clasping her hands in front of her. "Vader is... like hell in that joke. All the worst qualities of the crew that I've seen so far. As angry as Jack, as violent as Grunt... Though he is slightly easier to talk to than Grunt."

    "Slightly easier to talk to than a krogan."

    "Yes."

    "That's the best thing you can say about him."

    There was a long pause as Kelly looked up as if trying to see a better quality that she could pull out of the air. "...Yes," she finally answered.

    Shepard paused to pinch at the bridge of her nose, covering her face with her hands momentarily to quietly mouth several choice curses. Sighing, she brought her hands down to lean against the table. "Right. Okay. That's good to know. What else did you find out?"

    "Not much," Kelly admitted. "I don't think he's quite used to talking. I think it's a good sign that he was willing to talk with me, though, I got the impression that was somewhat novel for him, even if he was more interested in learning about my perspective on the crew and our mission. He seems very attached to the pieces of old armor that came with him, especially the mask. It's very Jungian, in a way..."

    "Jungian?" Shepard gave a half-wince. "I remember that name from some history course - maybe. You aren't going to start telling me all about how he wants to bang his mom and kill his dad, right?"

    "No, no, that's Freud. But now that you mention it..."

    "Nevermind," Shepard said quickly, waving a hand. "So, do you think he's going to be a problem?"

    Kelly's mouth barely opened, lips parted and tongue resting pressed against the back of her teeth, as she paused on the very cusp of saying something to think. "I... I'm not sure." She gave a small, flustered sigh. "I think he's following an internal code, and following it strictly - he reminds me of Samara, sometimes, in that way. But I have no idea what that code is. I don't think he even really knows what it is, most of the time - or at the very least, he's had some base assumptions recently shaken. And it's not just changing his world-view because of the change in setting, being here on the Normandy, either."

    Shepard's fingernails tapped gently against the table's flat top as she thought this over. "So what you're saying is that he can really go either way, and you just don't know yet?"

    "More or less, yes."

    Shepard let her head drop before she mumbled another curse underneath her breath.
     
  7. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Yes, Vader does have quite a symbiotic relationship with those organelles, and he has his own...code, I guess you could say. Great update showing the distrust they hvae for Vader and the interactions they have with each other.
     
  8. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Though I am not familiar at all with Mass Effect, I do like how you have incorporated Darth Vader into this particular fic. I also like how he is ... being very smart here. Aside from his lightsaber (and that was taken and examined from him as he was unconscious), revealed much about his own self. I think that is what a lot of people don't always realize about Vader: he does have a temper, but he is a lot more controlled and assessing than he appears to be. He wouldn't be a Sith Lord if it weren't for those qualities.

    But if the time is right and he does see his chance, they will see exactly how essential those organelles actually are: especially since they seem to have repaired a lot of the damage to him too. A "plague" will probably be the least of their concerns and even -- from my reading anyway -- Shepard only thought it was a viral thing affecting her (though again she might know a lot more, I am not familiar with this world, and Vader might have actually been lifting her with that first choke). I'm wondering though: I believe you wrote that this takes place from ROTJ? If so, did this event happen before or after the throne room meeting with his son, or is that yet to be revealed?
     
  9. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    I was going to do a boring OOC infodump, but I found a way to work it into the story, though clumsily. Tossing up another quick chapter. :)

    ---

    Shepard loved the smell of new boots. To be more precise, she loved the smell of sealant over the fresh paint that had just been put on to make the new boots match the rest of her armor. She was fairly certain that the sealant fell into the category of 'things in aerosol cans that should only be used in well-ventilated areas', but that was all part of the charm.

    "Shepard," EDI chimed in politely, "New data has been received from Cerberus that may be of interest."

    "Important enough that it's not stuck in a message?" She tilted her head, admiring the new boot on her foot even as she talked to the AI. "Sure, EDI, shoot."

    "Data has been recovered from the small fighter Vader was recovered from. A small on-board navicomputer was programmed with a continuous map of the battlefield to ease in targeting management; the scenario of the Collector attack has been reconstructed from this data."

    "Great," she said, dusting off her hands and bouncing up and down a few times. Ah, the glorious springiness of new boots. "Go ahead and display what they've got." The holographic representation of the AI itself winked out, and was replaced by a wide spread of a battlefield. "Wait - the hell? Is that some sort of space station? EDI, put the Normandy on there for scale, all right?" The pleasant green of the battlefield was joined by a small blue speck. "Goddamn. That thing's huge."

    "Recovered data says the battle station, though under construction, is approximately the size of a small moon. It was joined by a force of dreadnaughts and small fighters, against opposing forces of much weaker strength."

    Eyes narrowing, she reached out to paw at the small holographic, manipulating it to zoom in. "They look more varied than the Migrant Fleet. I'm guessing given the color that they were the people Vader were fighting against. Not much data on them, then."

    "No, Shepard. However, there is summarized data on the other fleet, apparently lead by the Executor -" A large triangle of a ship lit up in yellow for emphasis - "and the battlestation, apparently named the Death Star."

    "Wow," she snorted. "Somebody's got a flare for melodrama." Laughing quietly to herself, Shepard shook her head. "EDI, if I ever get started naming ships like that, stop me, okay? I'd end up calling the Normandy the, I don't know, Deathy McDeatherson Doom-machine or something." The AI was politely silent as she enjoyed her joke before going back to scrolling through the map. "I don't see the Collector ship in all this mess, EDI."

    "This data is approximately five minutes before the arrival of the Collector ship." The map sprung into action, ships zipping back and forth, the small darts of fighters swarming like gnats around the lumbering larger ships. The massive Collector ship appeared with all the subtlety of a slap in the face, sauntering into the battle. With only a moment's hesitation, it pounced on the moonlike battlestation like a predator on wounded prey. The rest of the battle seemed to be thrown into a panic. But the frantic activity didn't interest her - not as much as the Collector ship.

    "So they go in, scoop up humans from this battlestation, and zip out to Horizon. And Vader goes into this little fighter to give chase?"

    "That is essentially correct, Commander Shepard."

    "Makes sense," she mumbled to herself. "All right. Tell Legion and Garrus to get ready - we're heading out."

    ---

    All three of them looked rather surprised when Vader stepped into the elevator, heading down to Engineering from the floor above while they were going from the CIC to board the Hammerhead. At least, Shepard assumed that the fluttering of headflaps meant that Legion was surprised. It was hard to tell.

    "Afternoon, Vader," she said as cheerfully as possible, nodding politely.

    He said nothing, instead crossing his arms over his chest and staring him down coolly.

    She gave a small cough before trying to ease into conversation. "Getting to know everyone aboard the Normandy well?"

    "In a sense," he said icily. "Enough to question your judgment, Commander."

    The polite smile froze on her face. "Oh?" She said cheerfully, though her jaw was locked in place.

    "Your current team, for example." He pulled one black-gloved hand away to gesture at the others in the elevator. "Someone naiive enough to lose the lives of his entire squad while indulging a childish hero fantasy -"

    Garrus visibly bristled. Immediately, Shepard's hand snapped out to Garrus' wrist. "Don't do it," she hissed. "Don't do it, he's not worth it -"

    "...and a delusional 'droid." He gestured at Legion as if the geth was barely worth the effort of a flick of the wrist.

    Legion's head-flaps fluttered again. "We are inhabiting a mobile platform, not -"

    Vader pointedly talked over the geth, not addressing it, even as he stared it down. "I can take it apart and put it back together again with a restraining bolt. It is a pile of bolts and scrap. Take my advice, Commander: clankers are not allies. They are tools. Stop indulging its idiotic fantasies and give it a memory wipe."

    By now, Garrus was shaking with barely restrained rage, and Shepard's knuckles had gone white as she gripped at his wrist to hold him back. Legion merely looked vaguely distressed. The elevator doors opened, and before she could think of anything to say, Vader gave the group a small nod - again, as if they were barely worth the effort - before sweeping off to his makeshift room in the cargo bay.

    For a long moment, the three of them stood in silence. Before Garrus could, there was a small explosion of anger from Shepard herself. "Goddammit! He did that just to mess with me! I know he did!" Such explosions were far more rare than Shepard's red hair would lead one to expect, and the heat of her voice actually distracted Garrus from his own fury.

    "Shepard-Commander," Legion said somewhat nervously, "we would request to not be left alone with Vader, in case he decides to make proposed modifications."

    "Right. Yes. Fine." She took in a deep breath. "Garrus, let's go shoot things. To small itty-bitty pieces."

    "Can I get the missile launcher this time?"

    "As long as you promise to shoot things with it."

    "I don't think that'll be a problem at all, Shepard."
     
  10. Chaos_Clone

    Chaos_Clone Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Can i firstly say i have just logged onto this website for the first time since 2006 (after finding my username and password in an old email address) and i honestly don't know why i stopped coming here.

    Your writing so far is great, i love the idea of this cross over. You have got the dialogue of the characters from Mass Effect perfect, EDI's formal fact based speech, Legions "royal we". Even Jokers "seeeya commander" i almost clapped at that, its exactly like the game. Can't wait to see were this is all going, the idea of Imperial fleets going up against Reapers is awesome.

    Thankyou for pulling me back into this website, I'm now off to see how the other fan fiction stories i was reading 5 years ago ended.
     
  11. whateveritis12

    whateveritis12 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Was Luke taken by the Collectors? I think that would be the only reason Vader would go chasing after them like he did would be for that reason. If it was Palpatine that had been taken Vader would have just turned around and taken control of the Empire while pointing them at the Collectors.

    If he was taken he better not be dead.
     
  12. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    This review just completely made my day!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Those are some amazing compliments! :> Happy reading, and thank you for your very kind words!!
     
  13. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2006
    I love the description of the battle from these guys' viewpoints. Yes, a flare for the dramatic. Vader's sarcasm is classic, and I giggled when Legion didn't want to stick around him. I wouldn't either. Fun update! These characters are enjoyable.
     
  14. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Another short little chapter, though (in my eyes) heavy on the plot.

    A helpful link for those who haven't played ME2 - http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon's_teeth

    ---

    "A tour, Commander?" Joker didn't bother to turn around, but instead looked over his shoulder to throw Shepard a worried look.

    She sighed. "Yeah, yeah, I know. Chambers just sent word up. Apparently it was the best way she had to cool off the situation when Tali found him poking around in Engineering." They grimaced simultaneously in understanding. "So just smile and nod and try not to act like too much of an ass."

    "That's..."

    "It's a tough order, I know. But I'm trying to give this guy a fair shake."

    "You've gotta get a better hobby, Commander. Have you considered, I dunno, commemorative plates or something instead of crazy people?"

    "Fancy tea sets just don't have the thrill of wondering when they're going to kill you in the middle of the night," Shepard sighed wistfully before tossing Joker a grin. He did not seem as amused as she did. She settled for patting the back of his chair and turning back towards the larger expanse of the CIC.

    Kelly Chambers was already at her usual place, though she was standing too rigidly, failing at hiding how scared she was. "...And the Normandy is able to dispel heat into its core for several days at a time, so, ah -" She paused to gulp as Vader turned away from her, slowly walking down the CIC towards the cockpit. He certainly was an impressive-looking man, Shepard had to admit. Even though it seemed as if he had polished bits of his black armor, the pauldrons casting amber echoes of the displays around him, he still wore the ragged remains of his black cloak pulled up and around to cover his face and head.

    He walked ahead as if he owned the place - as if the Normandy was his ship - and Shepard quietly seethed, but kept a friendly smile plastered on her face.

    Like a toy poodle trying to catch up with its jogging owner, Kelly rushed to catch up with him. "So, essentially, sir, the Normandy is able to stealth, undetectable to most ships."

    "But no visual cloaking device?" He watched one of the crew paw at the haptic display, though with an air of disinterest.

    "Well, no, not exactly. But to long-range sensors -"

    He interrupted her with a quiet, derisive snort. Smile firmly fixed on her face, Shepard decided it was a good time to interrupt, and stepped forward. She was remarkably good at putting on an air of politeness. Not quite as good as some, but that mostly had to do with her aversion to wearing fancy dresses and high heels. In any case, she hoped that she could be pleasant enough to deal with Vader.

    "The Normandy's a fine ship, isn't she?" Shepard beamed like a proud parent. "So, Vader. What do you think?"

    He fixed her with a cold stare. Shepard hadn't quite realized how unnervingly pale his eyes were, but now it was quite clear as he stared her down.

    "It appears your stealth ship can be thwarted by any civilization who has discovered the advanced technology of windows. Piloted by a cripple -" he gestured at Joker - "and led by a captain so incompetent she has already died once..." It was a lazy flick of the wrist. Even the Commander of the ship was barely worth the effort. "Yes, I'm sure this mission will go splendidly."

    There was perfect silence, only interrupted by the clack of his boots on the deck as he turned to walk away, wanting to end the conversation when it was clear he was the victor. Shepard herself gaped slightly. Of course she had been insulted before. Of course she could deal with it. But to have her good intentions so violently thrown back into her face - well, that was one thing. But he hadn't mocked her, he had mocked the Normandy, and that was as good as pulling a baby carriage from a new mother and spitting in the infant's face.

    So when she spoke, her voice was rough with anger. "Yeah, and I'm sure you took a swim in lava just for laughs, right, Vader?"

    He had been expecting a comeback of some type, some sort of weak insult that would give him an excuse to retaliate as he wished. He hadn't been expecting that, and she knew it from how his back suddenly stiffened. As his fists clenched, the lights above him flickered.

    "How dare -"

    Shepard's voice raised to a dull roar, and she stepped forward. "Do you want to start this, Vader? Do you? Shut the hell up and listen to me!"

    The lights flickered again - a few screens shut down. EDI piped up, sounding as worried as she could - "Shepard, significant biotic fields are interfering -"

    Joker flailed at the AI. "Sshh, shh!" Fortunately, EDI seemed to get the idea. The entirety of the crew held their breaths, turning in their chairs to stare.

    As Shepard continued, her voice continued to raise. It was a rare and terrifying thing to see her so angry. "I don't care if you think I'm as dumb as a box of hair. I don't care what you think of the Normandy. But there's one reason I haven't made you take a long walk out a short airlock, and that's because I know every single person will help killing the goddamn Collectors. This is a one-way ticket, Vader. This is the only one-way ticket. You go on my ship, or you don't go. And I don't know who you're chasing. Your crew, your girlfriend, your favourite pet goldfish, I don't care! And I don't care even though I know that they're likely turned into by now. Have you ever seen a dragon's tooth, Vader? Of course you goddamn haven't, but I have, which is why I am Commander here, because I saw them with the Geth, turning humans into husks. So the more time - the more of my time, the more of this ship's time - you waste, the more likely it is whoever you're searching for is going to be on a pole becoming a zombie. And if you want to be that way, I'll just drop your ass off at the latest space station and send you back a postcard with a pile of dead husks I've shot so that maybe you can pick out a familiar face. You are either with me, with this ship, or you are off this ship."

    "Now," she yelled, voice sounding strained, "do you want to start this, Vader?"

    The silence was perfect. Nobody dared breathe as they stared, though Joker started a silent chant of profanities as he fully expected his beloved Normandy to be torn apart at any moment in fury. The lights flickered again. In a bold move, a crewmember reached out to tap at his haptic screen. The map of the galaxy disappeared, replaced with a vid from Eden Prime, showing husks strung up on Dragon's Teeth.

    Shepard's question hung in the air, and the silence seemed smothering.

    "No," he finally answered in a snarl. "Not yet."

    Shepard coughed, reaching up to pull at her collar as if there was something at her neck that had just been released. "Good. Dismissed, Vader."

    They stared each other down for a few more moments, but Shepard was the first to turn away. He quickly did the same, but it was only a few steps before he paused. "Shepard." There was a distinct snap to his voice, and he waited for her to turn back to face him before glaring over his shoulder. "I am only here for my.. my son." There was an odd huskiness in his voice, as if he was not used to admitting this fact, but it disappeared as he continued. "And if you mock him again, in any way, I will personally remove your head from your shoulders."

    "I said you're dismissed."

    When the elevator doors finally closed, everyone seemed to give a simultaneous sigh of relief as if they had been given permission to breathe again. Shepard lapsed into deep coughing, reaching up to put a hand to her throat as if checking that it hadn't actually been crushed. "Commander, are you okay?"

    Once she finished taking a few deep breaths, she leaned against the wall of the ship, nuzzling it as if the cold steel was a lover's chest. "Yeah. Yeah, Joker, I'm fine."
     
  15. whateveritis12

    whateveritis12 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Well that answers that question. But seriously Luke better not be dead or a husk or turned into goop, he has to stay alive so that he could hook up with Shepard.
     
  16. Chaos_Clone

    Chaos_Clone Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Personally i feel this story will never be complete without an R2 D2 / EDI love relationship blooming mid narrative...

    Most certainly feeling the tension on the Normandy, great little chapter. I like the thought of Vader trying his choke on Grunt; his neck is......"thicker" than most.
    Hope you keep writing, i'm loving this crossover.

     
  17. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    This...just makes me happy. It couldn't get much more awesome even if it was made of ice cream and had Chuck Norris in it.

    Seriously. Because who needs Chuck Norris when you've got fem!Shep and Darth Freaking Vader? I seriously think I'm in love.

    <3
     
  18. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    I have to say, this 'fic has definitely turned up the strangest ships I never would have thought of - LOL! FemShep/Luke Skywalker, R2D2/EDI... apparently one person elsewhere is really excited about Vader/Jack... I have to wonder if they're confusing 'relationship' with 'end of the world' there [face_laugh]

    Thanks so much for your reviews!! :) I'm so glad y'all are enjoying it!
     
  19. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Intense mind battle going on there! I like how Vader refused to admit defeat... not really in his nature, is it? I need to read that Wiki article before your next update so I know what these husks are. Great update!
     
  20. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    I'm afraid it likely will get really confusing by the end if you're not an ME2 fan. ^^; But I'm glad you're enjoying it!

    I promised myself I'd write this chapter before my shoulder goes back into its massive spasm... >< I hate the end of year rush.

    -----

    "Wake up, Shepard." A nudge to her shoulder, probably from a boot. "You're dreaming."

    "Those things don't go together," she whined in a mumble, trying to close her eyes harder and block out the strange voice.

    "I said wake up."

    This time the command was accompanied by a much stronger kick that was definitely from a boot. With a grunt, she scrambled to get up, eyes open - though all she saw was black. There was a floor, and so she stood, dusting herself off. At least in this dream she still had clothing, even if it was just a sleep shirt, and even if she would have preferred her armor...

    "Who the hell..."

    The young man across from her gave a knowing smirk. He was tall, dressed elegantly, black robes over a leather tunic that matched his gloves and boots. His messy hair was in a leonine mane - and Shepard had to admit that his face wasn't unattractive, even with the heavy scar by one of his eyes. No, he was quite handsome, really, even with his eyes - it wasn't that they weren't there, but the information seemed to be missing - white, a flat glow completely obscuring their color as if the man himself didn't want to reveal it...

    But it suddenly clicked who he was, as unfamiliar as he seemed, as if the information had been pressed upon her instead of naturally growing out of her own thoughts.

    "Goddammit, Vader!" She jumped back, flailing a bit, before peering at him again. "That's really what you look like under there? Dayum, that's not bad at all." His eyebrows knit in frustration, but she continued talking: "Some women really like scars, and hell, I'm pretty sure that we could go to Omega and you'd come out with at an asari for the night, if not three. Might make you more tolerable if you finally got - hhrk!"

    Abruptly, his hand was at her throat. In dream-logic, her body went limp, limbs moving slowly as if she were swimming through molasses. She suddenly appreciated how very large he was, and how very small she was in comparison.

    "Don't finish that sentence," he said flatly, looking disgusted with her.

    "Hhgnk."

    It was a relief to feel the floor underneath her bare feet, even if she couldn't see anything beyond black, dreamy void. Sullenly, she glared at him a moment, coughing. "If you were lonely, you could have just called me on the comm or something, damn. Unless I'm just... dreaming about you. In which case, don't get the wrong idea or anything."

    "I'm here because I intended to be here, Shepard." He said icily.

    "Then what the hell, Vader? You can't just waltz into somebody's head like you own the goddamn place, it's - it's as personal as a person ever gets -"

    "I am merely returning the favor," he said lazily. "It's just that your attempt to get into my head was a bit more polite, and named Kelly Chambers."

    Shepard grimaced. "All right, you've got me there. It still doesn't mean that I'm happy about it."

    "I'm looking forward to hearing exactly how insane she thinks I am," the young man said with an air of amusement. He had turned away from her, but now looked back over his shoulder - and now appeared to be all silhouette and fanged, predatory smile. "But if anyone approaches me with what may be a tranquilizer, I will not hesitate to dismember them."

    "Good to know. ...And I don't blame you much. I have the same thing with needles." She paused a moment before sighing, reaching up to run a hand through her red hair. "Okay. I know you're not here for a goddamn heart-to-heart. If we're going to play twenty questions, can we at least... be somewhere?"

    "Fine." The blank void was replaced in broad strokes - large, open windows surrounding a circular room, an intricate yellow-and-sepia pattern on the floor. Twelve chairs sat in a ring around the design. The sunset through the windows made a pattern like black lace out of the city, and long shadows lapped at her ankles. It was a pleasant enough place, and quite frankly, she was surprised by it - until Vader went to sit in one of the chairs with a smug expression on his face, leaning back as if gloating about being there. Shepard didn't recognize the place, but it was obviously important to him. She couldn't have known that the cityscape through the windows was Coruscant, and that the room was the chamber of the Jedi High Council. But she did see how he took his seat with a certain satisfaction, as if it had been denied to him and then reclaimed by blood.

    It was not a very comfortable room to be in the middle of.

    "So, Shepard," he said, grinning, tone mocking: "Tell me how you're feeling."

    "You know, you don't really have to mock Kelly. Or if you are, at least go for something funnier." She sighed, pulling down her nightshirt. The marble floor was awfully cold for bare feet. "What do you want me to say? That I'm scared, so you can feel like a bigger man?" He simply continued giving her a maddening smirk. "Fine, you bastard. I'm afraid of you. There, I said it. Now get to the part where you mock me and then I get to go back to sleep."

    "I'm not concerned about your fear, Shepard. I'm waiting to see what you do with it."

    "So is speaking like a goddamn fortune cookie your second hobby, after being a complete bastard?" She huffed. "Fine. Tell me what I should feel, then."

    "Privileged," Vader said, almost lazily. "I've had more extended conversations with you than I have had with my own son."

    "You're telling me that just to get a rise out of me," she spluttered.

    His smile became broader. "You're smarter than you look, Shepard."

    "Thanks," she grumbled, making sure her tone was properly sarcastic. She turned, starting to pace in back and forth while keeping an eye on him. "You still haven't gotten to the point of all this. Besides you wandering around my head for some giggles. And if that's really all this is, you need to, I don't know, take up knitting."

    "I'm here to see if you realize how similar we are," he said, grinning. "Nearly identical, even."

    "Identical? Go to hell, Vader," she snapped. "I do this because I care about people. I'm doing this for the entire goddamn Citadel, and for my crew." Her nostrils flared as she gave a snort. "I remember the size of those ships. I bet you don't even know the names of all your crew, much less a damn thing about them."

    That maddening smile was still on his face. "Third chair communications station, six to twelve shift. Megara Dalton. Born on Jutrand, accepted into the Imperial Academy after scoring third highest in her sector group. Raised by her aunt and uncle, and very close to her cousin, Bisson. If you'd like, I can continue..."

    "You're just making that up."

    He leaned forward, smiling. "But you can't be sure, can you, Shepard?"

    She turned to stare him down. His eyes were still flat white, softly glowing, perhaps. "No," she finally admitted. "I can't."

    And he gave a very soft laugh at this, standing. "We're far more similar than you know. We've both learned that sometimes being the hero isn't all it's promised to be."

    "That's not the point of being a hero," she hissed, trembling.

    "We've both been rebuilt..." The light faded behind him - shadows slipping up to envelop him. "And we both serve new masters out of debt, not out of gratitude."

    "I don't serve anyone but - but the council," she said quickly, though her voice was starting to shake.

    The sunset was fading. And so was the floor, and the city outside the broad windows as well. The black shadow was creeping up his handsome face at the same time the blood seemed to be leaving his cheeks. As if he was drowning in tar, the black moved closer and closer - his chin, up to his mouth - suddenly sprouting machinery. And an ungodly echo - breathing, labored, ringing through the room - was it coming from him? She couldn't quite tell...

    "I want to know," he murmured as the blackness slipped inside his lips before flaring out to form the skull-shaped helm Shepard remembered from his personal effects. "Why you cling to all of these weaknesses. To this delusion of mercy. Of justice. Why, when it will only handicap you, and you know it?"

    Her hands remained limp by her side. In dreamy logic, she couldn't move, even when he reached out a black-gloved hand to firmly grab her chin and tilt it up. And she couldn't see his eyes - only the mask, the black skull-like mask...

    "I do it because it keeps me from becoming like you."

    His fingers continued to dig into her face as he lifted her chin up a little more, inspecting her - not just superficially. Something deeper she couldn't understand, even if she felt like she was being examined like cattle at market.

    "Good answer," he murmured.

    And her eyes opened to stare at her own room again. With a loud string of curses, she sat up, punching at her pillow. Shepard knew that there was no way she could get back to sleep, not now. Even though it was five in the morning. Even though this was supposed to be her day to sleep in until eight.

    There was nothing for it but to get a cup of coffee and hope Garrus had started calibrations early so she would have someone to talk to.
     
  21. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    PBBFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

    That was the sound of me dying from sheer awesome.

    Okay, so, out of the many things I could point out, I'm going to jump upon and cling a bit to your characterization of Vader. Because, without coming right out and saying anything direct, you've captured a perfect snapshot of how he must have been in those months before his redemption in Return of the Jedi. I'm not sure which part is my favorite - Vader's rage when Shepard suggests that he might be able to pick up an asari or three (still carrying a torch, eh Ani?), the fact that you very subtlely highlighted Vader's single-minded focus on Luke (I've had more extended conversations with you than I have had with my own son.) or that Vader appeared physically as Anakin Skywalker, (On purpose, I wonder? Or not? Does he control that much of the vision, or does he appear as Anakin as he's relating to Shepard and then fade into Vader as he emphasizes the difference between them? Either way, kudos on the symbolism.), OR, that he appeared in the Jedi Council chambers and probably sat in Yoda's chair with that damn smirk on his face? (Vader, seriously, you have Anakin's face for half this vision AND you have his issues. No-longer-Anakin-Skywalker-my-ass.)

    I frickin' love this guy. And the way you write him is one of those things that puts me in my happy place.

    All in all, I'd have to say that this is actually my favorite part, though:

    "I do it because it keeps me from becoming like you."

    His fingers continued to dig into her face as he lifted her chin up a little more, inspecting her - not just superficially. Something deeper she couldn't understand, even if she felt like she was being examined like cattle at market.

    "Good answer," he murmured.
    .

    AHAH. There you are.

    I love this story. Can't wait!
     
  22. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2006
    :D

    Love that Vader does know the names and histories of the people on his crew. Awesome touch.

    Yes, he does seem a bit "softer" here, as if teetering on the edge of RotJ. I like it. Great--and creepy--update!
     
  23. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    I'm so glad y'all are enjoying it!! Thank you for that stunning review, Emilie! :3 (Also high-fives/fistbump for also being in Georgia! I got distracted looking at your fanfics and page in your sig, lol)
     
  24. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    It's easy to write awesome things about things that are awesome. :D

    Also -FIST BUMP FOR THE WIN-. I love finding out that awesome fandom people are nearby. What part of Georgia, if you don't mind me asking?

    Haha, thank you! Hope you found something you liked. Most of that stuff is really old - here's hoping that my next project will have even a tenth of the kind of complexity that is obviously your norm.
     
  25. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Okay, not a proper update, but I worked on a bit of comic for my own amusement illustrating a little bit from this last chapter...

    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v193/PlaidButterfly/yea-tho-i-walk-comic-1.jpg]
    :)
     
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