MASS EFFECT: CREED
Chapter Four: Angels and Demons Pt. 1
Citadel Assassin Bureau, 2185
The Assassins’ dossiers were neatly lined up on the bar counter. Alexander gave some additional and needless commentary as the Shepard Twins read on. “I like this Eleria T’Geya girl… she looks like she could hold her own, and knows what she is doing. Not a problem, right, Jane?” John thought aloud, to which Jane simply nodded and pointed to Eleria’s dossier. “I would like to take her along. Eleria T’Geya… would you please send for her?” Jane requested, handing the datapad to Alexander, who eagerly ran off with the pad, all the while celebrating as much as a running man could.
From a private Communications Room, John Shepard set up a holographic conversation with The Illusive Man. From his end of the line, he heard the familiar beeping of an incoming call. He spun his chair around and picked up the call. “Shepard, how wonderful… I suspect this is about Recruitment?” he asked, to which John Shepard’s holographic figure gave the thumbs up to. “I assigned you your dossiers; you should be going after these specific people, Shepard. We’re not running a carpooling service, here.” The Illusive Man quipped, covering his forehead with the palm of his hand. “With ‘all due respect’, I believe that these people can make a difference in this mission!” John spoke in defense of his new allies. The Illusive Man looked up and shook his head. “Al-Wait… what?” he said, looking at a small Holo-Screen floating before him. “This Channel… I can’t track your location… where the hell are you, and who are these people, exactly?” T.I.M. boomed in anger. As a rule, he didn’t like being on highly secured networks unless they were his own. Something fishy was going on here, and it wasn’t the Tuna Tartar he had for lunch. John straightened up and calmed his nerves, so that he would remain convincing. “These candidates are highly skilled mercenaries. I was at the Citadel, purchasing supplies, and talking to a few crewmembers, when they overheard me. They wanted glory, so they offered their services for free.” He lied. T.I.M. leans forward in his seat, obviously intrigued. “Tell me more…” he said in a persuasive manner. John cleared his throat and proceeded. “A small band of fighters, they are… two Humans, an Asari, a Turian, and a Volus. And, this is the huge thing: I ran into my sister, Jane Shepard, today. She wants to assist us in any way she can. I suggest you allow her to come aboard. She did save me more than a few times during The Battle of The Citadel!” he explains. The Illusive Man chuckled when John mentioned the Volus, but his eyes immediately widened and his mouth parted slightly when Jane Shepard was brought up. “I see… I’ll authorize this. Just this once, though. Stick to the plan, Shepard, or should I just call you ‘John’ now that there are two Shepards onboard The Normandy?” T.I.M. asked, tilting his head to the left. “John is fine.” John Shepard answered. The Illusive Man “hung up” and left Shepard to himself as he contemplated the next course of Action. The Illusive Man spun back around, facing the Star that his Station was orbiting. This time, it was somehow a bright blue in Color. He sipped his wine, and took a puff of his cigarette before shoving it into the ashtray with a grin. He played a recording of the Conversation back, and after running some scans on it, he discovered that the Call had come from a Network only The Assassin’s Brotherhood has access to. He couldn’t pinpoint the location exactly, but he did catch what John said about the Citadel. He saw through his lies like clear glass. He would remain a step ahead of these Assassins. Little did they know he would watch from afar, and use them for The Templar’s gain!
The Normandy SR2, 2185
John Shepard led the new team of seven to where the Normandy was docked, and instantly, Jane was in awe. “Oh my God, it looks just like the SR1!” she exclaimed, running ahead of John, laughing. The door slid open before Jane got there and there stood Joker, eyes bulging, a massive smile plastered his face. He, albeit cautiously, spread his arms out wide for Jane to hug him. Caught in the moment, Jane must have hugged Joker a bit too tightly, and a popping noise was heard. “Ah! I think you broke a rib!” Joker called, backing away from Jane and clutching his ribcage. “God, I’m so sorry!” Jane shouted, cupping her hands over her mouth. Joker immediately stood up with a classic “gotcha” grin as he replicated the popping noise with his mouth. Jane rolled her eyes and hugged him again, with more restraint this time around. “Jane? What are you doing here?” Joker asked, tilting his head and shrugging. “Ah, I was just visiting when John came by, to my shock, and showed me the Normandy… and you! Ha, how has life been going for you lately?” Jane chuckled. Joker looked about before responding, “As you can see… I’m with Cerberus now. Sorry about that, it was just… all of these regulations! The Alliance disbanded the crew, Jane, and flying the Normandy was practically my life! What was I supposed to do when The Illusive Man calls me up saying he can give me a new Normandy, and John Shepard to go with it?!” he growls defensively. Jane just smirks and nods, “Its fine, Jeff. I know that Cerberus is involved, but if I am working with my long lost brother, you, and for Humanity, count me in” she replied. The Assassins had caught up with her by now, and had stepped into the Normandy for the first time. “Nice Ship you have here. I assume this is your pilot?” Frederico Corado inquires, gesturing to Joker, whilst looking at John Shepard. He nods, and motions for The Assassins to follow him through the Ship.
“Shepard, you strayed from your established recruitment list. I do not recognize these people. Searching for files, now…” EDI called out over the intercom. “Jane, I’d like you to meet our new Ship-Cancer. ‘EDI: Enhanced Defense Intelligence’.” Joker sighed, rolling his eyes and walking off. Jane was left as equally puzzled as her Assassin Colleagues. “You got an AI, really?” Jane asked as she put a hand on her hip and looked at John with that smirk that always made him feel bad. “We got an AI, what of it?” John replied, throwing his hands up in surrender. “Hey, we won’t tell. It’s not like we Assassins are… strictly speaking: ‘legal’.” Kairee added. John just threw his hands back to his sides in a huff and walked off. This was going to be a long assignment…
(With The Assassin’s Brotherhood and Cerberus backing this operation, the real mission can begin. First order of business, fill in the Ranks. Among the Recruited were Doctor Mordin Solus, and the Tank-Bred Krogan “Grunt”, as well as "Subject Zero", a Human Biotic who goes by "Jack". She was freed from the prison ship "Purgatory". The Master Thief Kasumi Goto, and Mecernary Zaeed Massani were recruited as well. Last in this list of Dossiers, is the enigmatic “Archangel”, who is operating on the Criminal Space Station/Haven of “Omega”. So far, The Assassins have gotten along quite nicely with the Squad and Crewmen, though a rivalry brews between Frederico and Jacob, and Miranda believes it was a terrible decision to bring the Assassins along for the ride. For the Archangel recruitment, John Shepard has chosen Alexander Clarke and Kairee Antar to accompany him.)
The Normandy flies in, dodging Asteroids along the way. John, Alex, and Kairee stepped off the shuttle.
Alex was clad in his iconic Kestrel Armor, and Kairee had invested in some research to make her own armor more efficient with the times, and was now sporting reverse-engineered Blue Suns armor, colored in white and red instead of the normal blue and white. They proceeded down the hallways until a Salarian approached them. “Ah! Welcome to Omega! You’re new here, aren’t you? I can always tell. Allow me to…” he tried to say, until a Batarian walked up behind him. “Oh… hello Moklan, I was just…” he again tried to say before Moklan interrupted him. “Leave Fargut, now…” Moklan said in a menacing tone. “Of course Moklan, whatever she wants!” Fargut stutters as Moklan shooed him away. “Blasted Scavengers... Welcome to Omega… Shepard.” he said, eyeing John suspiciously. “You know who I am?” John asks, shrugging. “Of course… we had you tagged the moment you entered the Terminus Systems. You’re not as subtle as you think!” Moklan sighed. “Aria wants to know what brings a dead Spectre to Omega. I suggest you go to Afterlife now and present yourself.” He explains. “Cut the Attitude… I’m not here to cause problems for Omega!” John disclaims, chopping the air with his hand for emphasis. “Things explode around you, Shepard. You can’t blame Aria for keeping an eye on you. Afterlife, now...” Moklan said. “He has a point, Shepard. Only thing I can’t understand is how they tagged a Stealth Frigate from so far away. Our shuttles almost never get caught, and when they do, we just bribe the records clean.” Alexander added as the trio proceeded. EDI then opened communications. “The Plague has been completely eradicated, Shepard. Dr. Solus’ assistant has been helping any patients with complications.” She said. “Nice! Now I don’t have to worry about dropping dead on the job!” Kairee said with a slight fist pump. “That was your chief concern when a bunch of nuts release ‘The Black Death 2.0’?” Alexander asks, which Kairee responds to by looking at him strangely. “What’s the Black Death?!” she inquires in a shocked tone. “It’s an old disease that wiped out half the Human Race back on Earth. Bubonic Plague, really… we just didn’t have the medicine to treat it.” John answered, looking over his shoulder. Kairee stopped and tried to imagine that. She shuddered instantly and followed after Alexander.
The team made their way through and inside the Afterlife club, where they split up to look for Aria and any information on Archangel. Alexander found a group of Mercenaries, Kairee went to the bar, and John spoke with Aria herself.
“That’s close enough.” Aria said arrogantly, and three guards aimed their pistols at John’s unarmed head. “Stand still.” A young Batarian ordered as he opened his Omni-Tool and began a scan on Shepard. “If you’re looking for Weapons, you aren’t doing a good job.” He quipped, raising his pistol up for the Batarian to see. “Can’t be too careful with dead Spectres... That could be anyone wearing your face.” Aria explained. The Guards lowered their weapons when the Batarian announced that he were clean. “I was told you’re the person to talk to if I have questions.” John states as he walks past the Batarian. “Depends on the questions…” Aria responds. “You run Omega?” John inquired; Aria just laughs and turns back to the ad-screen. “I AM OMEGA!” she declares, a strange flanging was added to her voice, like a sort of echo. “That was unnecessary…” John thought as she turned back around to face Shepard. “But you need more, everyone needs more something, and they all come to me.” She explains vaguely. “I’m the boss, CEO, Queen if you’re feeling dramatic. It doesn’t matter. Omega has no titled ruler and only one rule…” she says, sitting down on the couch. “DON’T… **** …WITH ARIA.” She exclaims. John simply smiles and tilts his head. “I like it, easy to remember.” Aria sneers at Shepard. “If you forget, someone will remind you.” She adds, looking to the Batarian from earlier. “And then I toss your sorry ass out the nearest airlock.”
John sits down on the couch adjacent to Aria’s and begins his conversation. Meanwhile, Kairee was talking to the bartender about Archangel and the Mercenary mission. “Yeah, that Archangel riled up all three major Merc organizations, and they all teamed up to try to kill him. I hear they even brought out heavy mechs!” the bartender said, drying out a recently washed glass. Kairee decided that, while she was at a bar, she would stop for a second and buy a drink while the others were busy. “You have any Levo-Dextro substitutions?” she asks. As much as she liked her own species’ food, Alexander had once acquired and gifted Kairee with a Dextro Substitution for what Humans would call "Soju", and she was hooked. The Bartender gives her a strange look before crouching down to rummage through the drink selection. Suddenly, a tall, male Turian approaches the bar and gives Kairee a sly smile. “Hey baby.” He says, still retaining the grin and invading her personal space. ‘Ughk…” Kairee scoffs, turning her head away from the Turian. He slides closer and throws an arm around her waist. “How’s about you and I share a few drinks, maybe a few dances, eh?” he suggests, his face close to hers. "No thank you." Kairee replied, turning away once more. The Turian wouldn't let up, and he forced Kairee to look him in the eyes. "C'mon, you'll enjoy it." he said, dragging out his words. Alexander had just got done with the Mercenaries when he overheard the Turian talking to Kairee. For some reason, something inside him boiled as this imbecile harassed Kairee. It didn't take much of this guy to infuriate him, and even though Kairee was just a friend... something about the idea of Kairee being with someone else worried him. He didn't understand it quite yet, but for now, it was a time for action. He marched up to the bar and tapped the Turian’s shoulder. He turned around with a growl to see Alexander standing there, helmet off and glaring furiously back up at him. The Turian stood about two or three inches taller than Alex, but he did not falter. “You mind not treating her like that? She clearly doesn’t want to talk to you.” Alex suggests, putting anger aside to try and resolve this diplomatically. The Turian male laughs like an idiot. “And what are you, her lover?” he asks sarcastically before shoving him away. “Alexander… you don’t have to do this…” Kairee murmurs sympathetically from the bar. “Quiet, ‘woman’, this doesn’t concern you.” The Turian snaps. "I'll deal with the little Pyjak, and then you and I can head to my place." Alexander’s anger reaches a boiling point once more. He spreads his arms out wide to show vulnerability. “You wanted some dances, no? How about you dance with me?!!” he roars, gaining the attention of most of the club-goers. They stop and look around to find the source of the shout and all eyes are on Alexander. Even John and Aria stopped to watch. John excused himself and tried to leave to break up the fight, but Aria stopped him. "Just watch. Either your buddy gets himself killed, proving himself too weak for Omega, or he makes his skills known. The recruiters will want him. Let him have this." she reasoned, and John glared at her for a second before relenting.
"Because, I'm a great 'dancer'." Alex adds. "Pah! You couldn't punch the wide side of a dreadnought!" the Turian laughs, shoving Alex back to the railing. "I'll knock you flat on your mandibles..." Alex said in a calm voice, with a smile, to which the Turian male snarls and throws a swift punch towards Alexander’s jaw. Within seconds, [Slow Motion] Alexander had ducked and spun, whirling behind the Turian 180°, standing straight up and throwing his left hand behind his back. [Slow-Mo ends here] He flicked his wrist, activating his hookblade, and he yanked upwards, so that the hook would catch the Turian’s clothing, and raise him into the air. Alexander released the Turian, and elbowed him in the lower back. He cursed and landed on his face. The Turian picked himself up and only felt more enraged, he tried to tackle Alexander to the bar, but he clapped his hands into both sides of the Turian’s face, shocking him long enough to deliver a head-butt that would make a Krogan proud. Staggering backwards, the Turian checked his face, and sure enough, there was a bluish-purple blood on his fingertips.
“Are you a Man, or a Pyjak?” Alexander taunts, and he is met with a successful punch to the eye as he celebrates. “OW! How did he land *that*…?” Alexander thought as the vision in his left eye worsens. Another punch, but Alex is ready for it. He throws his arm around the Turian’s shoulders and rapidly strikes him in the chest three times, before sending his head into his knee, and upper-cutting as a finisher. The Turian slowly leans backwards, landing with a “thud”. The crowd that had gathered began cheering, and Alexander was getting pings on his Omni-Tool: He was just sent some credits for winning. Kairee rushes to his side as the Turian attempts to sit up, only to fail. Alex walks over to him and kneels, his face close to his. “I think it would be beneficial for you to stay away from my friends and I… don’t you agree?” he whispers as he backhands the Turian unconscious. As he stands and turns to Kairee, She jumps back and puts a hand over her mouth. “By the Spirits, your eye!” she calls out. Alexander puts a finger to his left eye and winces. The entire area around his left eye was a dark purplish-black, and my, was it swollen. John Shepard leaps off the balcony that he and Aria were on, and makes his way to the two. “My God… what was that about?” he asked. Alexander chuckles and looks up at Shepard. “Some jerk was harassing Kairee. I took care of him.” He said, gesturing over to the unconscious Turian. “I didn’t know you cared about her that much. I thought you two were just friends.” John states rather dryly, crossing his arms. Alexander and Kairee both look at each other and blush fiercely. “Umm, I-I-, we, uh…” they both stutter in unison. “We are just friends. I didn’t want to see her get hurt or worse.” Alexander calmly explains. John smiles politely and gestures for the two to follow them.
The Recruitment Process was quick enough, but suddenly a young man enters the room. “Is this where I sign up?” he asked eagerly. John looks back and worriedly asks for the man’s age. He was too young to take on Archangel as a freelancer. “I can handle it, and besides, I spent 50 credits for this pistol and…” he tries to explain, before Shepard jerks the pistol from his hands and breaks it. “Trust me, you’ll thank me for this later…” he says with apologizing eyes. The man looks heartbroken as he looks down at his broken gun. Shepard returns this pain and walks away, shaking it off. “Time to go find Archangel.” Shepard announces as the trio exit the club.