• Attention All Comstar Customers, Due to unexpected interference by suspected Word of Blake operatives, the HPG systems update was *not* successful. No data was lost due to our careful and extensive backups; however, we will need to try again next weekend. Sincerely, Comstar Precentor Dune

Beyond the Horizon

ATP

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So,we have victory.What now? They need to become as strong as possible before Reapers come.And made other stronger,too - otherwise Reapers would bury them under their bodies after finishing everybody else.
 
Chapter 48

Markwarrior

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Chapter 48

Imir System, Late February 2166

“So her keel has been nearly torn in half from one of the enemy eezo core detonations?” I asked as we circled the wreck of the Manassas.

“Yes,” Dr. Rogers said as she stood at the small craft’s viewport with me as we looked at it. “Just about the only things that are still functional are the thrusters and the bridge. If we wanted her functional again we would have to do a complete rebuild and overhaul.”

“Our yards above Veil will be up and running soon right?” I asked as I looked at my broken ship, my heart sinking as we looked at the damage caused by a sudden and intense gravity appearing within a half dozen klicks.

“In half a year or so,” Rogers said with a shrug. “But you’re not going to be able to move the Manassas. Its K-F drive was one of the few things that were completely ripped apart by the gravity, and it’s too big to tow via the method we worked out for getting to Torfan.”


“What do you recommend then?” I asked as I looked at the entirety of the damage reports while also looking at the broken cruiser before me.

“Use the Germanium that we’ve mined on Veil to manufacture a new K-F Drive while redesigning all of the NACs to utilize eezo tech, that’ll boost the range exponentially, and then we can also use it as a testbed for any new tech we come up with as it gets closer to completion.”

“How long do you think it’ll take?” I asked. “Because I want her rebuilt no matter what resources we have to put into her.”

“It’ll take us five or more years to build the proper facilities to manufacture K-F drives at Veil,” Rogers said as she reviewed her information. “That’ll give us time to build a separate yard specifically for repairs and equip some of our vessels specifically with K-F drives. But if you want one in Imir, then we’re going to have to go to great lengths to conceal it.”

“I have some ideas on that,” I said before turning and looking at the petite blonde. “I’ll have to get with Melissa and Kerlin’s advice on it though.”

“Then I’ll assign a couple of teams to work on the Manassas’ redesign,” the woman smiled at me. “Trust me, we all want to see the old girl back in action.”

“Thank you,” I pulled the woman in for a hug. “I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.”



Citadel, Widow system, Late March

“We have to intervene in this conflict,” Tevos said to her two fellow councilors. “I was willing to tolerate it beforehand, but it has gone too far now.”

“Why should we intervene?” Sparatus asked with crossed arms. “The Batarians have never done more than pay lip service to our laws, and the Terminus is becoming a haven for trade for the first time in decades if not centuries. On top of that, the Batarians have not requested our aid. They are in the middle of a civil war of their own making, and now they will pay the price for their arrogance.”

“The Terminus Commonwealth has captured one of the Batarian's dreadnaughts,” Tevos said with a sigh as she sent the data over. “I received this from one of our spies that’s within the Hegemony.”

“This doesn’t seem to be our problem,” Sparatus shrugged as he exchanged glances with Vedol. “I would say that the two of them can fight it out.”

“The Terminus Commonwealth now has two dreadnaughts,” Tevos said as the other two councilors looked over the data. “Does that not concern you?”

“Ahh yes,” Sparatus said with a smirk. “Two dreadnaughts, we have dismissed that claim within the Hierarchy.”

“Second large vessel does not have a spinal gun, and therefore does not qualify as a dreadnaught by any of our definitions,” Vedol spoke up. “In fact, would be unsure as to how to define a large ship in that vein properly.”

“Do you not see that galactic stability is falling?” Tevos asked the other two with shock in her voice.

“Numbers would point to opposite effects,” Vedol said as he sent over the latest in economic reports. “All signs point to an economic upturn, and with piracy taking a downturn, improvements are almost certain.”

“But the long-term ramifications could lead to issues later down the road,” Tevos protested. “We have no clue what the Commonwealth will end up being in the long run. At least with the Hegemony, we had something that was stable.”

“Clearly not,” Sparatus pointed out. “If all it took was a minor power for them to fall into a civil war. Besides, the Terminus Commonwealth seems a viable option to keep the pirates and other minor powers of the Terminus systems in check.”

“Would point out,” Vedol chimed in. “That we are not even certain of the species of the leaders of the Commonwealth. But all signs point to much lesser population growth than Krogan, thus factors for that kind of expansion are greatly diminished.”


“Tevos, it’s not that we aren’t concerned, it’s that we aren’t seeing this in the same way that you are,” Sparatus explained. “Maybe you’re seeing something that we’re not, but the Turian Hierarchy is only seeing benefits to this. In fact, we’ve been approached by several local manufacturers who would like some tax breaks for expanding into the Terminus Commonwealth. They’ll be hiring Turian Mercenaries, and expanding our interests into the Terminus Systems in a way that doesn’t make them react in a negative way. The Volus have also begun putting together a large trade expedition that will be departing for that area soon.”

“It is possible that I have not looked at all of the data,” Tevos said as she pinched her nose. “I apologize for my outburst, there are many Matriarchs in the Asari Republics that are trying my patience currently.”

“There is nothing to apologize for,” Sparatus said. “There are three of us for a reason. Pointing out blind spots is a part of our job, we would be remiss if we failed in that.”

Author’s Note: Sorry that this took a while. I took some time off for Thanksgiving and spent time with family. (Along with having to work on Black Friday and this weekend with all of the craziness that that entails.)
 

AmosTrask

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Along with having to work on Black Friday and this weekend with all of the craziness that that entails.
My condolences. I'm glad they don't have that holiday here. You Americans are insane subjecting yourselves to the insanity of a holiday for shopping. There's a pandemic for Heaven's sake.



Would it not be easier and faster to melt the Manassas down and build a new Texas or Soyuz with the mass?
 
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Markwarrior

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My condolences. I'm glad they don't have that holiday here. You Americans are insane subjecting yourselves to the insanity of a holiday for shopping. There's a pandemic for Heaven's sake.



Would it not be easier and faster to melt the Manassas down and build a new Texas or Soyuz with the mass?
It’s very much not about the practicality of building an entirely new vessel. And very much a sentimental value issue. The Manassas was Hull’s, it was Hull’s for over 50 years. It’s important to morale that it be repaired/rebuilt.
 
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ATP

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It’s very much not about the practicality of building an entirely new vessel. And very much a sentimental value issue. The Manassas was Hull’s, it was Hull’s for over 50 years. It’s important to morale that it be repaired/rebuilt.
Valid reason - but now it could become kind of Theseus ship,with all parts replaced by new ones.
About Asari - it is nice to see how Turians are trolling them,and Asari could do notching about that.
 
Beyond the Horizon ( Stargate (Atlantis) The Siege, part II

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Beyond the Horizon ( Stargate (Atlantis) The Siege, part II

“So,” Lieutenant Ford looked at the tall armored man who was showing him how to use some of the rifles they had brought down to Atlantis. “What do I have to do to get armor like that?”

“Ask,” Mathis shrugged. “We’re allies for now, but we’ll probably ask you to be the guinea pig for these Wraith ‘stunners’ as you call them.”

“As long as I can get one of these suits of Mithril then I’ll do whatever testing you want me to,” Ford said as he finally shot one of the rifles he had been given before grinning wildly. “I get to keep this, right?”

“That’s not up to me,” Mathis said as he grabbed a massive machine gun and took it outside to mount on the railing. “Besides, we’ve got to survive first.”




“We set and ready to go?” Mckay asked as they finished triple-checking everything.

“We tied extra targeting into the defenses,” Dr. Rogers said as she tapped on her slate to get the last readings from the fusion engine that was assisting the Naquadah reactor. “I don’t think any of us want to be here if things go wrong.”

“Agreed,” Dr. Grodin said as he climbed into the Puddlejumper that was docked to the defense satellite.

“Just let me adjust one last thing,” Mckay said as his hands flew across the controls. “We don’t want this to go poorly.”

“Mckay!” Grodin said as they saw the Wraith Hive’s come out of Hyperspace.

“I know, I know,” Mckay muttered as he finally detached his tablet from the Ancient computer and ran into the Puddlejumper. “Get us cloaked and out of here,” he said as he moved up to the copilot’s chair.

The scientists and the pilot moved far away from the defense satellite before watching as the Wraith passed by, seemingly unaware of their potential demise.

Then, the satellite fired, the beam weapon shining in the void of space and tearing one hive ship in twain before switching targets and hitting the next.

“Atlantis, we have two confirmed kills,” Mckay informed the expedition members then stopped smiling as the Ancient Satellite fired the third beam at the last of the Hive ships before stopping after causing some damage.

“Atlantis, the satellite is down,” Mckay reported as the Satellite seemingly ceased getting power altogether. “We do not have a confirmed kill on the third hiveship.”

“Come back to Atlantis, Rodney,” Dr. Weir instructed. “Our allies have some ideas on how to potentially take out the last hive ship.”




“We’ve got AA defenses set up all around the city,” I told Dr. Weir as I entered her office. “My wife Natasha and I have put some Rifleman around the city to help deal with the Darts as well as setting up several mounted guns and some Partisan AA platforms.”

“Have you tested your armor systems against the Wraith Stunners yet?” Dr. Weir asked. “I don’t want to have my people in the armor if it doesn’t work properly.”

“The Stunners take two to three shots to break through our Mithril,” I replied as I crossed my arms. “But if they’re looking to take the city then they won’t be able to breach any of our suits in time to feed on us or do anything else like that.”

“Do we have enough time to train with the suits though?” Weir asked. “Many of us are scientists, and we’re only trained in self-defense for the most part.”

“They’re your people Doc,” I shrugged. “I’m offering the suits to any of the people who might want one before the engagement though.”




“You have nukes and laser technology?!” Mckay asked in a high-pitched tone of voice. “Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner?!”

“Because you were busy fixing the Ancient Satellite, Rodney,” Zelenka said as he rolled his eyes. “They’ve got capable people here, and we are nearly finished with modifying several of the nuclear missiles as it is.”

“Bomb-pumped lasers?” Mckay asked as he saw some sort of small lasers being attacked to the tips of several missiles.

“Yes Rodney,” Zalenka said as he helped remove a casing from one of the massive missiles. “Go ask Doctor Weir for the plan, we’re busy here.”

“Fine,” Mckay replied. “But don’t bother asking me for help later on.”

“We won’t,” Zelenka smiled as Mckay left the room. “Now, time to finish this up.”
 
Chapter 49

Markwarrior

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Chapter 49

Imir System, Late May 2166

“So you and several other planets with colonies on them wish to join our Commonwealth?” I asked the Terminus Quarian sitting across the table from me. “I take it that you’ve reviewed the laws that you’ll be required to submit to?”


“My people have no issues with following the rules and laws that we will submit to,” the male Quarian sitting across from me stated. “Your tax rates are fair, and the establishment of a permanent fleet and militia force is something that we are more than willing to comply with as well.”

“Once everything is settled we’ll start shipping the equipment that the militia will be using, we’ll also be sending over some trainers to go with your specialists.”

“We’re good with scouting and weapons modifications,” Kaem'Veem replied. “But despite being better than our cursed cousins in many ways, we do not have access to their level of technology.”

“Well, you’ll start having access to technology on the same level or greater soon enough,” I replied. “We’ll need to establish a full trust and relationship before we end up handing over any of our secrets or extremely advanced tech, but we will be assisting in establishing a functional militia force and a recruiting station for the Terminus Commonwealth Armed Forces.”

“That sounds like it will go well,” Kaem stated as he stood up. “I will return and inform my people of the decision that we have reached.”

“I’ll station a small group of ships above each of your planets for both training and defensive purposes,” I replied. “We’ll have to see how many of your people need to be trained on the ships coming off of our yards. They’re not quite the same thing that you’ll find in most nation’s navies.”

“We’ll welcome whatever you can provide at the moment,” Kaem said with relief evident in his voice and on his face. “While pirate attacks have been low for the past couple of years, we were still incredibly vulnerable to them and have lost many people to slavers over the last few hundred years. If not for the Lystheni that dwell among us we would have technologically regressed centuries ago.”

“Well, we’re not quite done eradicating what pirates remain, but we will be pursuing any that cross our borders,” I replied.

“Should you manage to take out some more of the pirates towards the rim, then I may have more people willing to join in this Commonwealth,” Kaem smiled. “There are independent Batarian and Turian colonies that have been separated from their nations for centuries and may be looking to others for aid after many years of not having a large defense force capable of holding off many of the pirate and slaver attacks.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, Kaem,” I said as I shook his hand. “I’ll assign some escorts to go with you on your return along with having the shuttle you arrived in worked on and improved before you go.”

“You have been a most gracious host,” Kaem inclined his head, the trophies of his dead enemies rattling around on the necklace that he wore. “But before I depart, I would like to at least see what has become of the cousins of ours that decided to cross you.” The Quarian grabbed his helmet and sealed it as we left my office. “I’m curious to see if there has been any improvement in their attitudes over the last few decades.”




“You’re sure that this is what you want?” Melissa asked as we all sat around a simulated fireplace eating some of the food that I had cooked for Natasha’s birthday.

“Once this war with the Batarian Hegemony has been finished I will be taking a yearlong sabbatical,” I confirmed. “I’ve not had time to rest and fully process things in a couple of decades despite having retired five years ago. You’ll do well as a steward, and you’ll have plenty of assistance. Besides, if things take a turn for the catastrophic then I’ll come back and take the reins from you.”

“I understand that,” Melissa said as she leaned back, the seven-month-old cooing in her lap as she fed him. “I assume that part of this is spending time with Natasha and repairing some of the damage you did to your relationship?”

“Yes,” I nodded as I pulled Nat in close. “I’ve got some explaining and soul-searching to do for a little while.”

“He has also agreed to go on some adventures with me,” Natasha smirked. “It is a part of the payment that he owes me for keeping secrets.”

“Anyway,” I changed the subject. “I’ll make sure that everything is sorted and ready for you to take over once we’re ready for it. I don’t think the Batarians will be able to stomach much more of a war out here in the Terminus systems. Once we retake Omega for Aria then we’ll be in a position to block them out while their civil war lasts.”

“It looks worse than the Marik Civil War,” Melissa said as she moved Arthur to a playmat on the ground. “I’ve been looking into what little we know of the Hegemony’s society, and I’m predicting that they won’t survive for very long after the civil war is over. They’ve got slaves that now will have a chance to actually make a difference, and I’m sure that quite a few interest groups that will be funneling weapons and funds to said slaves once things begin to start falling apart for one side of the war or the other.”

“I tried to stay out of the Free Worlds League,” I replied with a shrug. “They’re probably one of the only states in the Inner Sphere and Periphery I didn’t directly interact with in one way or another. Colonel Stone, on the other hand. I think he had something of a personal vendetta against them given how many raiding contracts he took while they were killing each other.”

“I’m surprised he hasn’t retired yet,” Melissa shrugged as Arthur Steiner began to snore at our feet, having tired himself out while playing on his mat. “The man never seemed to love the mercenary life despite his success in it.”

“I think he was planning on taking Sheppard’s place as head of the academy once Sheppard finally steps down,” I replied. “But given how much Sheppard loves his job I’m not sure that it’ll happen.”

“I miss the Inner Sphere,” Melissa said after a few minutes of us just processing. “This is a new adventure, and it’s fun not having all of my old aches and pains, but it’s not home yet, and I’m not sure when it will start to feel like home.”

“I believe we all miss the Inner Sphere,” Natasha spoke up. “I desire to hold my children and grandchildren again, but we must make the best of our situation and push on through the difficulties. That is what makes us Human, the ability to struggle and make our own place in the universe regardless of where we may find ourselves. Perseverance in the face of disaster and strength that appears when needed are things that we have cultivated in both ourselves and our people for decades. And now we see how well we have done in a way that few will ever get to experience. In spite of the difficulties that have arisen from us being here in this new universe, I am grateful that we have the opportunity to make a difference, meet new people, and see things that would have been considered the wildest of science fiction back there. We are on the greatest adventure that life could have possibly thrown at us,” Natasha said joyfully. “How could we not push it to the limits?”


Author's Note: Natasha decided to get all introspective on me this chapter. Shrugs, I guess I'll just roll with it.
 

ATP

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Natasha : this is greatest adventures that life could throw at us
@Markwarrior : send Reapers at her
Natasha: thanks for sushi,boss!

Jokes aside - i bet,that they manage somehow find at least clues about Reapers during their adventures.
 
Chapter 50

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Chapter 50


Omega, Sahrabarik system June 2166


“General Balak!” An SIU Lieutenant saluted as he entered the fortress that the nightclub Afterlife had been turned into. “We’ve finally found where T’Loak was mining the eezo from.”


“I assume there was some sort of secret entrance into the core of the asteroid? Balak asked rhetorically. “We knew that she had to be shipping it off of the station somehow.”


“Yessir,” the junior officer replied. “Most of her operation seems to have been automated and capable of being run by a handful of trained individuals. But we did manage to seize some of the workers that were left behind.”


“Good,” Balak said as he stood up. “Take me to this location, and fetch me some of the more skilled of our civilians and slaves. With Torfan denied to us the Hegemony will need another supply to make up for the loss, and as minimal as such losses may be, we will still need eezo.”


“But what about the Civil War, General?” The Lieutenant asked.


“What civil war?“ Balak asked nonchalantly. “We are the SIU, we serve the Hegemony, not whoever is in charge of it at the present moment. Besides, I have plans for how we will deal with who is left after the fallout,” Balak continued walking with the junior officer. “Tell me, Lieutenant, what is your name?”


“Lieutenant Darok Kapkedah, sir!“


“You must be fresh from the academy Kapkedah,” the General said as he stopped walking. “While here in the SIU we welcome the hard questions, it only strengthens our faith in the Pillars and the Hegemony. Many of my fellow senior officers would prefer their men left in the dark. But we are the SIU, if you have made it into our ranks then you have earned the right to know what it is about the Hegemony and the poison that is contained within.”


“Poison sir?” Kapkedah asked worriedly.


“Yes,” Balak stated. “Poison. You see Lieutenant, the truth of our society is that without an influx of fresh slaves the Hegemony will collapse. This is well known to the SIU and given our latitude in operations we have conducted independent studies over the last few generations. This Civil War, Kapkedah will be the end of the Hegemony whether we like it or not, and all that will be left afterward is the SIU to pick up the pieces and rebuild. This is why it is required to learn a trade aside from your specialty in the SIU, we are to build a nation should the Hegemony come to ruin.”


“Is that why we didn’t make any of the people on Omega our slaves?” The Lieutenant asked.


“I see you are starting to catch on,” Balak said with a nod of approval. “The slaves that we brought with us are those with skills that are necessary for keeping the automated facilities running without dispatching groups of troops to do it instead.”


“Then why capture Omega at all?”


“Because it was the best opportunity I was given to remove all of the men under my command from the cesspool that is Khar’Shan, politics has no place in the SIU, we are a brotherhood, and we will fight and due to ensure that the Nation survives.”


“I see, General,” the Lieutenant said softly before pointing his rifle at the leader of the SIU. “I’m sorry to see that intelligence was right about you.”


“Right about me?” Balak scoffed. “You are a fool if you believe that I go anywhere without a personal guard.”


A shadowy figure appeared at the edge of Kapkedah’s vision, a traditional blade now held to the lieutenant’s neck.


“I wouldn’t recommend the suicide pill,” Balak smirked. “We’ll just bring you back if you do.”


“You are a traitor to the Hegemon,” the treacherous Lieutenant spat in Balak’s face. “And one day you will pay for your treason.”


“Take him away and lock him in the cells,” Balak ordered his protector. “You know what to do should he attempt to escape.”


“As you command,” a feminine voice replied as more figures appeared and injected the eared, injected the spy with some sort of drug cocktail, and carried his now unconscious body away to the cells set aside for interrogation purposes.


“Dagger, please accompany me to the eezo mining stores,” Balak instructed his faithful shadow. “We have much to discuss if we are to execute our plans properly.”







“Okay, if we’re going to retake Omega for you then we’re going to need to know some of your secrets,” Captain Jordak Bragus said as he looked at the holographic representation of Omega that was before him and other Commonwealth Armed Forces commanders. “For the Mechs and tanks we’ll need to know if they will be able to support the weight, or if they’ll collapse under the strain and cause catastrophic damages. We’ll also need some back doors, I’d rather not have to take on the entirety of the enemy troops in a frontal assault,” the Krogan shook his head. “That way lies madness.”


“I’m going to give you some of my secrets,” Aria T’Loak informed the various officers that were there for the debrief. “But I must retain some if I am to retake my throne.”


“We know that they have deployed AA batteries, and so we’ll be limited in being able to drop off any of our people if those batteries are manned by Batarian soldiers instead of VI,” Winson stated as she twisted the hologram to highlight the areas that most likely contained the batteries. “Likely locations are indicated here, but it is just as likely that there are some hidden as well,” Nadia cracked her knuckles. “We don’t know how the SIU operates, so we will be proceeding with the utmost caution at first, once we get some armor onto the ground though, that’s when things start to change.” Nadia grinned savagely. “Keep in mind, people, the armor is tough, and it is even tougher with the Kinetic Barriers. But that doesn’t make you a god of the battlefield. You can and still will die if you are not paying the proper attention to your surroundings and your fellow soldiers.” Nadia Winson depolarized her visor and met the eyes of each of the people surrounding the holotable. “You are not individual warriors anymore, we have forged you into soldiers, whether you be Krogan, Batarian, Asari, or Turian, you all have a place here and a group of people to put your trust in. Let your steel shine through and we will carry the day regardless of the difficulties that may lie before us.” Nadia turned to Aria with a grin on her face as the senior officers seemingly stood up taller. “Now, I believe you have some sort of secret entrance to your castle oh Queen.”


“There are three hidden entrances…”


Author's note: This may take a backseat for the rest of the month so that I can finish the novel that I'm writing currently. There may be updates as the muse hits, but I'm mainly going to be focusing on my original work for the rest of the month barring a Christmas episode. (Hint: it's going to go in the "Universes considered for insertion" Area)
 

ATP

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What Nadia told remind me of memories of german tankist from WW2 using Tigers- how they were teached by older crews,that even in Tiger sitting on the Hill is bad idea.

Christmas are more important for you then work,and your novel then this.There is nothing wrong in thinking about moneys.

P.S SIU seems logical,maybe some kind of agreement could be achieved?
 
Chapter 51

Markwarrior

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Chapter 51
Omega, Sahrabarik system Late June 2166

“Approaching Omega now,” the pilot of Brotherhood of Steel frigate Crest of Honor relayed to the mercenary ship’s captain.

“Good work Lieutenant,” Captain Manitus Adration replied as he stood and looked over the rest of the duty stations. “Our employers have issued us the task of assisting in the retaking of Omega, let us not disappoint them.”

“Aye sir,” the bridge crew replied as they moved about their various duties.

“Sir, I’m not detecting very many enemy power signatures on the station,” the sensors officer relayed. “I’m seeing some AAA guns, but they seem to be firing on predetermined arcs.”

“What have our employers said?” Captain Adration asked.

“That we’re to escort our designated troop carrier to drop off and then break off for a recon patrol,” the comms officer replied.

“Then we do that,” Captain Adration stated. “But keep an eye on the situation in case anything develops. I don’t know about you, but that bonus looks really good.”

“Agreed sir,” the comms officer replied. “I’ll monitor communications in case something goes wrong.”




“I want those AA guns down,” Nadia Winson ordered as the lower bomb bay of the Sting began to drop off the Krogan in their battle armor onto the station's surface.

“We’re not encountering any resistance,” Captain Bragus reported as he moved into the command and control center for the anti-aircraft gun that they were shutting down. “It seems they installed a VI and left.”

“Have the techs triple-check it,” Winson replied. “The last thing we need is to lose a bunch of troops to a large trap.”

“Copy that,” the massive Krogan replied. “Standing by for the technicians.”



“What have they done to Afterlife?!” Aria roared as she saw what had become of her nightclub.

“Exclamation: Aria, there is a note on the door, and it has your name on it,” Xalinos reported.

“Let me see that,” Aria snatched the note off the door and read it before crumpling it in rage. “Balak, I will have your head. Should we ever meet again then you are a dead Batarian.”

While Aria was ranting about the SIU general, Xalinos discreetly slid the note over to one of the Terminus Commonwealth members that had accompanied them as escorts.

“Let’s see what they’ve done to the inside of it,” Aria said after she had calmed down a bit. “If they destroyed my communications suite then I’m going to be truly pissed.” She flung open the doors with a flick of her biotics and walked into the building that had been rebuilt from a club into a fortress.

“Optimistic statement: At least the place is more defensible now.”

“I know, Xalinos,” Aria sighed as she replied to the Elcor bouncer and now her chief bodyguard. “But we’ll have to do some redecorating after we check on the secure eezo stores.”




“There is nothing in the systems of the AA guns that would make them explode or turn on us,” the Turian Technician who was looking at the systems left behind by the Batarians said as he closed a program on his Omnitool. “I’ll take a look at the rest of them just in case, but aside from the copious amounts of porn that were on them. I don’t know who this ‘Lawson’ fellow is, but he seems to be featured in just about everything since the humans joined the Citadel.”

“So we’re good to power the AA guns back on and put them to use for Aria?” One of the Batarians that worked directly for the Asari asked.

“You should be,” the Turian shrugged. “I’d have them wiped and reset completely though before I’d try powering them up and using them. You never know if something is hiding in the system, Sometimes things can hide from a cursory inspection like the one I just gave.”

“I’ll relay that to Aria,” the Batarian sighed. “Let me know when all of the AA guns have been inspected. We’ll hire some more people to take an in-depth look later on.”

“I’m just here to get paid,” The Turian shrugged. “I’ll send it up the chain and get someone more qualified to take an in-depth look soon.”

“Thanks,” the Batarian said as he closed his Omnitool’s messaging system. “The boss is upset, but she said that it’s better to just leave them off for now until we can get some people in to triple-check everything.”
“Sounds good,” the Turian said as he packed up his gear and moved to the next AA gun. “Just send me a message if you need me to come back for something.”

“Will do,” the Batarian replied. “Thanks for your help.”

----------------------

In a small system on the edge of the Batarian Hegemony at the same time…

“It looks like our gambit worked sir,” the shadowy female voice said from behind General Balak as he sat in his office. “The Hegemony believes that we were wiped out to the last man, and the Terminus Commonwealth is confused as to why Omega had no garrison to speak of.”

“They can be confused,” Balak said as he reviewed the footage that he still had a copy of. “We’ll be returning to the Hegemony in secret in small groups, if we want our plans to succeed then we must do this properly.”

“The Shadows are in position,” the feminine voice stated. “We simply are awaiting the signal.”

“The Shadows are our last resort,” Balak replied. “You know that,” He sighed. “Besides, we have to allow them to reach their lowest point before we move in, otherwise it won’t work.”

-------------------------------------

Conversation between Henry Lawson and Prime Minister Jack Harper, Estimated date 2164

“You’re certain that the spy software is undetectable?” Jack asked the Billionaire turned Pornstar.

“Absolutely,” Henry replied. “I based it off of something from the early twenty-first century.”

“What are you talking about?” Jack asked as he raised an eyebrow while puffing on a cigar.


“So, the terms and conditions of downloading Fornax onto an Omnitool, tablet, or any sort of computer says that we have access to the microphone, the video, and many other things that may be utilized with our virtual reality based porn systems. But, unless you’re looking very closely, you’re not going to realize that you’ve given us access to every single piece of data that you access on your omnitool. And when someone logs in, that data is sent to the Fornax servers and hubs here in the Systems Alliance. Which, given we have Intelligence agents on our payroll, they’ll sort through the data with VI assistance and pass it on to the proper agency to deal with said intelligence.”

“You’ve tested this?” Jack asked. “What if people actually read the terms and conditions?”

“Then all they see is the standard access for any other app made in the Systems Alliance by my company. After all, data mining to get more customers is an accepted practice in modern society.”

“Alright,” Jack replied with a sigh. “I’m going to hell for this, but I’ll set up a new branch for monitoring the data we get from Fornax, and we’ll have to start doing some research into advanced VI, that’ll be a lot of data to sort through.”
 
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Chapter 52

Markwarrior

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Beyond the Horizon Chapter 52

Omega, Sahrabarik System July 2166

“So, where do you want us to start with the hydroponics installation?” Melissa asked Aria as they stood in the fortress that was once a club known as Afterlife.

“We’re still reorganizing the layout of the station to make us self-sufficient,” Aria said as she made a holographic map of the station appear over a table that was in front of them. “I’m buying some of the surplus prefabs that you are selling from Korlus and am destroying the slums that used to exist in much of the station. A Queen must have a place of living that reflects her power.”

“Sure,” Melissa replied with a roll of her eyes behind her helmet. “We’ve got several places that would work decently according to this map,” She tapped a couple of the locations. “These would be the most central locations if you’re planning on making this work long-term, but if you want something a little more secure then you may want to have some backups hidden in an area outside of the usual locations.”


“I’ll take a look at your recommendations,” Aria sighed. “I appreciate that the Commonwealth has honored our alliance.”

“As long as you hold to your oaths then we will do the same,” Melissa replied. “We would much rather have allies than enemies in the universe.”

“Agreed,” Aria said as she looked down at the map again. “I’ll take your recommendations for the public hydroponics labs and sections. But I’ll be placing the hidden ones where only myself and some of my most trusted lieutenants are aware of. Now, was there anything else that needed to be communicated?”

“No,” Melissa shook her helmeted head. “That was everything. You know where to find us should you need to call for aid or anything else in the future.”

“Then get off of my station,” Aria said bluntly. “I tire of all these conversations.”

“We’ll be gone in an hour or so,” Melissa said after listening to some of the comms chatter. “So try to keep a civil tongue in your head until we’re gone, yeah?”


Imir System, August 2166

“How long do you think the alliance will last?” I asked Melissa as we sat in my office.

“She’ll try and find a way to twist things to her advantage and to make a move against us in the next few years,” Melissa replied. “She doesn’t like the fact that she’s in debt to us currently, so as soon as she’s able to pay us back and avoid any further dealings with us she’ll do so.”

“We’ll have to arrange things so that we can acquire more stores of eezo from another location then,” I said as I looked at the tall blond sitting in my office. “With the Turian Mercenaries that we’ve hired we have part of a backdoor into the Turian Hierarchy, and with that we can probably convince the Volus to begin trading with us if we can protect the routes they have to take.”

“Ooh,” Melissa grinned at me. “Gonna let me negotiate with the business oriented people of the universe?”

“Absolutely,” I replied with a matching smile. “I doubt they’ll know what hit them.”

“Given that the Batarian Hegemony seems to be collapsing, are you planning on taking that year yet?” Melissa asked as the thought occurred to her.

“I’ll wait until January to make sure that everything continues to check out,” I replied. “We still have to set up a centralized government, after all.”

“You going to be modeling it off of the Lyran Commonwealth?” Melissa asked.

“I’m leaning for a mixture of the Fedsuns and Commonwealth,” I replied as I leaned back into my chair and popped my neck and back. “We already know that both of those systems work, so finding a decent blend, while difficult; should be something that we can accomplish.”

“Sounds good,” Melissa yawned.

“Looks like you need to get some rest,” I said. “Arthur keeping you up?”

“He’s good for the most part,” Melissa replied as she stretched. “But there are some nights that he just doesn’t seem to want to sleep.”

“I take it last night was one of those nights,” I said.

“Uhuh,” Melissa popped the recliner part of my sofa out and closed her eyes. “Wake me up when Natasha drags you away from the paperwork for the day.”

“Will do,” I chuckled as the Steiner blond fell asleep.




“Melissa, we’re heading back to the main house to cook dinner,” I woke the younger woman up. “I’m making breakfast for dinner if you want something.”

“What are we having?” Melissa blinked herself awake.

“I’m making waffles, eggs, bacon and whatever else anyone wants me to,” I replied.

“Some French toast sounds good,” Melissa stood up. “Just let me grab Arthur and I’ll meet you there.”

“We’ll go ahead and get everything set up,” I replied as we all walked out of my office. “I can make some stuff that Arthur can eat too.”

.
 

ATP

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So,till Collectors come,we would have slices-of-bacon,i men - life.
Unless Asari decide to do something stupid.
Or,somebody else from their Universe come to say "Hi"
 
Chapter 53

Markwarrior

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Chapter 53


Imir System, November 2166


“The Volus have agreed to basic trade terms, but they want to meet us in person on the Citadel for more formal and standardized trade negotiations,” Melissa said over comms as I moved my Warhammer through its paces in the simulation.


“Alright,” I replied as I exchanged fire with Natasha’s Nightstar at long range, narrowly evading one of the rounds from the experimental eezo-boosted gauss rifle. “What’s your game plan here?”


“Well, while I have your authority to negotiate deals like this, I would rather you come with me to lend a bit of presence to our negotiations,” Melissa stopped talking as her Alacorn shattered armor off of Nat’s Nightstar, causing the woman to fall back and hide behind a simulated building.


“Trying to give off a ‘Don’t mess with me’ vibe?” I asked as I flurried my jump jets and tagged Melissa’s tank with a PPC while I let myself and my mech “float” down. “I can dig it.”


“That, and I haven’t negotiated a deal this big in years, I’d rather have you there to bail me out if I screw up somewhere,” Melissa replied as her tank’s turret shifted and aimed at me. One of her gauss slugs tore the armor off my Warhammer’s knee, the second savaged one of my PPCs, and the third went wide, missing me entirely.


“Well, if you can convince Natasha to run the ship while we’re gone then I’ll go with you,” I said as I knelt down, hiding my knee and damaged left side behind a boulder while I exchanged fire with the Alacorn that was keeping me at range.


“I already did,” I heard Melissa’s smug voice say over the comms in my simulator pod as my computer screeched a warning at me, the sensors telling me that there was an enemy mech right in my blind spot.


“Well, if I’m going down,” I said as I slowly turned around to face the Nightstar that was facing me. “I’m at least taking one of you with me!” I cackled over the open channel as I flared my jump jets in a DFA maneuver, my eighty-ton overpriced assault mech screaming with alarms as I fired all of my weapons at Melissa’s Alacorn while my mech overheated, my legs impacting the Nighstar while my mech fully shut down, the heat generated by the pod causing sweat to drip down my face as my Warhammer fell off down and crashed into the surface of the urban environment that had been simulated for us.


My pod shut down after my simulated Warhammer hit the ground, telling me that I had been eliminated by my last-ditch effort to win the scenario.


“Well?” I asked as the two women got out of their own simulator pods. “How do the new simulated weapons feel?”


“They wrecked you, didn’t they?” Melissa snarked as she and Natasha both high-fived each other.


“Bah,” I said with a smile and a shrug. “I still made you both pay for it, didn’t I?”


“You barely tied with us due to that stunt,” Natasha said as she crossed her arms at me.


“Yeah!” Melissa agreed. “If your mech wasn’t an overpriced assault mech that could jump and move like a medium mech then you would have never managed to pull that off.”


“Alright,” I chuckled. “I’ll go to the Citadel with you and help move these negotiations along.”


“Thank you,” Melissa smiled sweetly. “Thanks for watching Arthur while I borrow your husband,” She thanked Natasha who gave the younger woman a mock glare.


“You are lucky that I enjoy children,” Natasha grumbled. “Going on adventures without me will not be permitted in the future. No matter how many baby snuggles I am bribed with.”


“Noted,” Melissa laughed. “Now, I’ve got to figure out what ship we’re taking and get the security worked out with Mathis.”


“Yep,” I replied with a shrug. “Just let me know what the details are when we get closer to actually leaving. I’ve still got to oversee the local elections after all.”


------------------------------------



Citadel, Serpent Nebula December 2166


“This is Citadel control, you have permission to dock in bay 17-C, TCV Mother Goose,” the Citadel traffic control said to the pilot of the Glamdring class Destroyer that was carrying the delegates.


“Roger that, Citadel Control, Mother Goose is moving to bay 17-C now.”







“So, we’re supposed to be here for a week or so depending on how long the negotiations take,” Melissa said as we left the docking bay with Mathis and a handful of bodyguards. “Unfortunately, due to us not being recognized by the Council as of yet we won’t be allowed to carry more than our handguns on us. They're only letting Mathis keep his rifle because they think he’s some sort of Krogan underneath the armor.”



“As long as we have a secure location to bed down we should be fine,” I said as I let my hand drift over my holstered handgun. “I’ve got some recommendations from Aethyta, and we’ll bunk down in one of them for the rest of the week.”


“Copy that,” Mathis spoke up. “I’ll make sure that the location is secured before we bed down.”


“Looks like we have a plan together then,” I said as we continued walking, eventually stopping by some sort of holographic Asari Cortana lookalike to get directions to the hotel that Aethyta had recommended to us.



-------------------------


Two days later…


“Is everything set up?” A feminine voice asked.


“Yes,” a distorted voice replied. “We merely await your signal.”


“Good,” The female voice echoed. “Execute.”



Author's Note: Here we are at a place that I've been waiting to write for pretty much the entirety of the fic. Also, I'm going to have y'all decide what universe you want the Christmas Apocrypha special to be. Whether it's a continuation of the SGA/BT or if it's something else entirely is going to be up to y'all.
 

AmosTrask

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Two days later…


“Is everything set up?” A feminine voice asked.


“Yes,” a distorted voice replied. “We merely await your signal.”


“Good,” The female voice echoed. “Execute.”
Here come the Stupid. Someone's about to learn why it's suicidal to piss off a group of veteran, centenarian, genetically engineered, super soldiers. Ones who are bored and itching for a real fight, now that they are young again with all the experience and skills pent up.
 
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