The Arrival

Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#1
First, some background information. This is ME AU Fanfic at it's core, but is also serving to introduce the new crew that I'm bringing in (with Siphon's okay, of course.) I'll have more specific dossiers at the end of the story, breaking down character personalities and abilities. This post here is just to set up the parameters of the AU so I don't have to devote a lot of time to backstory in my actual story. Spoilered both for probable length and, well, spoilers, despite game age.

Spoiler


I may be adding to this as the story progresses, so watch this space. Was going to bang it out this afternoon but I have been distracted by anime sales and the cuddlebuddy. Should have it available tonight, though.
 
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Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#2
Re: The Arrival

…peat, do you read? Anybody?

“Joker, give me some good news.”

Mordin and the crew made it back, Commander. All present and accounted for.

Lilith breathed a sigh of relief. She’d already lost her crew once to the Collectors. Having it happen a second time would be too much. Feeling a hand on her shoulder, she turned to face Garrus.

“What do you think? Can we do this?”

“I think they already killed you once and all that did was piss you off. Time to show them it was a mistake.”

He always did know how to make her smile. Hopping onto one of the pieces of debris, she caught the attention of her squad, those who had followed her, perhaps literally, into Hell. Not just before this, either. The group with her had faced not just battles but challenges that proved they were on the cusp of something bigger. Something that threatened the entire galaxy. And though they’d had help in the past, they were now facing it all on their own.

“The Collectors have made a mistake.” Garrus’ joke peppered her initial words. “They don’t see us as a threat. They see us as nothing more than things to be harvested. Wheat waiting for the sweep of the scythe. Hell, even the one who bankrolled this mission didn’t think we were going to make it. Or at least not make it back. He sent me after cast-offs. Brilliant, badass cast-offs, but let’s face it, to him, we’re all expendable.”

Her gaze swept those still with her: A mercenary. A criminal. An exile. A renegade. A lab rat. A glitch. An assassin. A discharged soldier. A throwback. All people the Illusive Man likely figured wouldn’t be missed in the long run. Even with all his talk about how much it cost to bring her back, he’d done it to use her as a tool. A figurehead. Something to rally the people to his cause. And once she’d started questioning him, she became a loose end, too. Their mission, while it had started at his behest, had become hers. Become personal.

“But he made a mistake, too. He brought you all to me. And it’s because of all of you that we’re here. We’re going to stop these bastards. Here. Now.” Her lips curled up. “We hold the line. Because if we don’t, that’s the end. Not just for us. Not just for humanity. Everyone. You’re my crew. I know you can do this.”

The silence after her words was broken by James’ enthusiastic “Hoo-yah!” The sound made her bark out a laugh.

“Hoo-yah!” she echoed, mimicking his salute of throwing his fist in the air as well. “Jack, Garrus, with me. I’m counting on the rest of you. Keep those bastards off of us and when I give the order, run like hell. We’ll be right behind you.”

The three of them climbed onto the platform EDI had indicated, wobbling a little as it detached and began cruising through the base, heading for the central chamber. They met resistance from Collectors on other platforms but between her and Garrus’ sniping and Jack’s biotics, they were able to clear the way. Cresting the entrance to the chamber, she linked up with the Normandy again.

“Talk to me, EDI. What am I seeing?”

If my calculations are correct, the super-structure you are about to approach is…a Reaper, Commander.

And yet one that looked nothing like Sovereign or Harbinger. This one looked disturbingly like a skeleton. Head. Torso. Arms. Spine. A half-finished body. The sight of it made her sick. Not because of what it actually was but what it represented. The kidnapped colonists. Everyone the Reapers and Collectors had taken. This had been the purpose. To create another of those monsters.

And it wasn’t finished.

“Bastards.” Jack’s quiet mutter echoed her thoughts.

“What’s the plan, Lil?” Trust Garrus to keep her in focus.

Destroying it went without saying. By EDI’s speculation, if this thing were seen to completion, the death toll would be beyond staggering. The question then became ‘How?’ A secondary analysis of the chamber drew attention to the ‘feeder’ tubes, which could be destroyed, robbing the construct of support. It would take proper timing, but it would work.
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#3
Re: The Arrival

Trust the Collectors to not make it easy, however. They had to hold off assaults from the creatures on top of trying to disable the connection points from a distance. No easy feat. Especially not once the Reaper came online in the middle of it, grasping at the support platforms before it could tumble into the abyss below.

One firefight later, the chamber fell silent. It wouldn’t be for long, though, since the Collectors knew the three of them were here. As she approached the reactor to set the overload, she tried radioing the others on the comm.

Thane here. Haste would be most welcome. Their numbers do not seem to be diminishing.

“I’m prepping the charge now. Haul ass back to the Normandy.”

They weren’t going to have a lot of time. Too short and they wouldn’t make it out. Too long and the device could be defused. It was going to be a matter of arming the thing, running, and praying. Add in that they still had to avoid the swarms of Seekers that filled the tunnels and the Collectors themselves, they were going to be cutting it pretty close.

“Joker, tell me they’re there!”

Jack tossed a biotic barrier over the tunnel they’d just vacated, causing the Seekers to slam into it, holding the worst of the swarm at bay while they ran. That she could sprint after Lil and Garrus and still maintain it said something for her ability.

Just waiting on you, Commander. Engines are hot and ready to go!

As the explosion started to rock the ship, she could hear Harbinger’s voice. It had to be coming from a comm of some sort but it sounded like it was in her head.

You think that you have won? You have changed NOTHING. You have accomplished NOTHING. All you have done is gained the attention of something infinitely greater. The Reapers are your salvation, not destruction.

Somehow, she wasn’t inclined to believe it. Not with everything they’d done. Not with their slaves chasing after her, shooting at her. Besides, it was too late now. In less than a minute, the core would detonate, taking this God-awful place with it.

The Normandy’s engines drowned out the sound of the gunfire, Joker bringing the ship to bear in line with the cliff they struggled to clamber up. The airlock door opened to James and Zaeed shooting past the incoming trio at the Collectors behind them. Lilith watched Jack and Garrus leap on board, following suit as parts of the ship began crashing down around them. Tumbling into the bay, she heard the door hiss shut as the Normandy banked away, fleeing back toward the relay. Over the heartbeat in her ears, she could hear EDI counting down. They were going to be cutting this close.

Brace for jump! Joker ordered over the comm and the five of them scrambled for the safety of the interior of the ship. Behind them, she knew the horrorshow they’d left was being reduced to little more than pebbles and ash but that didn’t mean they were in the clear. They still had to make it back through the relay before the blast caught up with them.

When they stopped to breathe inside the cockpit was when she could see the scope of the explosion on their heels. The Normandy rocked and before she could stumble, she found herself caught by Garrus’ arm, pulled close to steady herself.

“We’ll make it,” dusted softly against her ear.

Looking up at him, she felt she could believe that.

“Hold on!” Joker engaged the drive just as the shine of the blast seemed to engulf the ship.
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#4
Re: The Arrival

Dropping out of the jump, she looked out at the emptiness around them. No debris. No massive ships going supernova. Just the blissful quiet of space.

“EDI? Status report?”

The Normandy is operating at eighty percent efficiency. There is still damage in the hangar and despite Jeff’s piloting, we did not lose the Mako while evading the blast.

“Hey, c’mon. Have a little faith here. Still, we’re gonna want to get that patched up as soon as possible.” Joker continued to grumble under his breath about ‘damn Collectors’ and their mistreatment of “his” ship.

“And the crew?”

I am pleased to report that the abducted crewmembers have all returned. Not to mention those who accompanied you into the base.

Now she could breathe. Her ship was safe. Her people were safe. For now, humanity was safe. Patting Garrus’ chest, she extracted herself from his embrace.

“Remember this if you ever forget our anniversary.”

He chuckled and was about to respond when Joker cut him off.

“Uh, Commander? I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more.”

“Come again?”

“I’ve been trying to raise, well, anybody on the comm. I haven’t been having much luck. I mean, I know we’re technically on a ship belonging to a notorious organization that may or may not have some pretty shady dealings but that’s no reason to snub us.”

“Keep trying. We did just come out of the Omega-4. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of buoys around here. I’ll try the QEC, for all the good it might do.”

“Aye, aye, Commander.”

Cutting through the ship, she was relieved to see her people back at their posts. When they’d arrived after the attack, the ship had been unnervingly silent. There was a sense of life again.

“Commander?” Samantha Traynor, the communications specialist, stopped her before she could reach the elevator. “Joker’s probably informed you, but --”

“Can’t hail anyone?” The other woman nodded. “Keep trying. If anyone can do it, I know it’s you.”

That caused her to smile a little and turn her attention back to the computer. When Lilith reached the QEC room, she stopped, arching a brow.

“Legion?”

She could hear the geth ‘talking,’ though what it was addressing she couldn’t tell. Hearing her hail it, it turned.

“Commander. We…seem to be malfunctioning.”

Not something she wanted to hear. “What makes you think so?”

“We cannot access the collective. Though we have been designed to operate independently, we have also been able to reconnect to upload data. We are currently unable to do so. We thought proximity to the QEC might assist in this endeavor. It has not.”

“Looks like there’s a lot of that going around. We can’t reach anyone, either, so it may not be a malfunction.” She wasn’t exactly sure how reassuring the words would be to the machine but something about them unsettled her. For Legion to be disconnected from the rest of the geth, something obviously had to have happened to the ship. And obviously the QEC wasn’t going to get her anywhere, either.

“We will defer to your consensus, Commander.”

After Legion exited the room, Lilth walked over to the table and planted her hands on the surface. It gave her something to focus on while trying to puzzle through what happened to the ship. If communications were simply out, that she could understand, but for Legion to be cut off, there had to be something else going on. Was it a failsafe Cerberus had put in place on the chance that they actually did return from beyond the relay? No. That wouldn’t explain Legion. And the geth weren’t connected to the Collectors, so destroying the base wouldn’t have impacted them. Just what was going on?

Hey, Commander? Remember what I said about Oz? I think you need to come see this.

Responding to Joker’s hail, Lilith returned to the cockpit. “What have you got for me?”

“Wondergirl picked up on some communication frequencies and we traced them to that. Didn’t notice it before because we were working off Alliance channels. What do you think?”

Joker had indicated a structure in the distance. It definitely wasn’t the Citadel. Nor was it crafted in any design she recognized. But it was, most assuredly, a space station. Anything big enough for them to see from space had to be.

“I think it’s our only option right about now. Take us in. Let’s see if they’re friendly.”
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#5
Re: The Arrival

Character Dossiers
(Contains links to character profiles for more indepth information on abilities, personality, and the like. Outside of the link are personal tweaks/preferences/shorthand descriptions.)

Spoiler


Lilith's crew consists of an eclectic group of individuals, brought together by both her and her former employer to stop the Collectors. They are, as follows:
Spoiler


The crew spends most of its time aboard the the Normandy SR-2, a frigate class starship that is, thus far, equipped with the Alliance's only stealth system. While it doesn't actually cloak the Normandy, it makes them virtually undetectable to scanners so only actual visual confirmation will spot the ship. In Joker's capable hands, the Normandy is a force to be reckoned with, especially with combat assistance from EDI.
The Normandy used in the game has the ME3 layout and all of the upgrades necessary from the end of ME2. It is also equipped with a shuttle for getting the away team to the surface of planets and the Mako, an ATV that handles horribly but is capable of rolling over all but the most extreme of surfaces, not to mention it's capability of scaling cliffs.
 
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SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#6
Re: The Arrival

((Picking up where you left off, cuz why not haha)).


As the Normandy approached the massive station, they could see a number of ships docked on the exterior, and it was well lit, as if it were heavily populated. A handful of ships actually seemed to vanish as they got closer to the station, and it wasn't until they got a bit closer they realized it had a massive port capable of allowing ships INSIDE the station. They wouldn't get much closer unnoticed though, a fact that became known to them moments later.

With little warning, a ship suddenly appeared from empty space, seeming to shimmer into existence, having apparently been cloaked. Sensor scans would show it had raised shields, but weapons were, for the moment, not activated. Or maybe they were, and they just couldn't detect it.

Regardless, after a moment, they would get a hail on open frequencies.

"This is Commander Vartani Jacobs of the Alveran ship Nina, hailing the unidentified vessel before me. Please identify yourself, and your purpose here."

The ship in question appeared to be a cross between a warship, and a carrier class ship, measuring almost 600 Meters in length. She had pulled alongside the Normandy, and for the moment, did not appear interested in shooting at her ship. Of course, she got the distinct impression if she came across as hostile, or they thought she were some form of enemy, that might change, but this Jacobs character seemed peaceful enough.
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#7
Re: The Arrival

((That was the intention.))

Joker was the first to respond with a startled "Whoa!" He turned to the woman standing behind him. "Did you see that? That ship actually decloaked. Like, literally." Lilith shook her head, given that yes, she had. "I really don't know where we are, Commander, since, well, no vessels I know can do that. Unless the Alliance has been busy." He paused. "What if we somehow wound up in the future? Is that even possible? EDI? Is that possible?"

The probability that--

"EDI, open the comm channel," Lilith interrupted. "They did just hail us, Joker."

He cleared his throat. "Right. Sorry, Commander." He touched a few of the controls. "And we're good."

Which might be what Vartani picks up on before she hears a woman speaking. "This is Commander Lilith Shepard of the SR-2 Normandy." She paused, debating. "Alliance Navy. Our ship just dropped out of a mass relay into your location. Our intention is repairs and," another pause, "figuring out where the hell we are."

That was another thing that bothered Lil and she hadn't noticed it until she'd brought up the massive structures. There was no mass relay here. Yes, the station was impressive, but where were the ships going and where were they coming from? Oz, indeed.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#8
Re: The Arrival

There was a brief pause before she got a reply.

"We may be able to assist with both if you'd like. We can have you dock with Peltas Five, the big station here, and go about seeing what repairs you need. As for where you are, perhaps a visual starmap in front of you would be best, I'm sure we can have that arranged. Stand by for docking coordinates."

There was a pause again, and while she was waiting, two things occurred that might make her even more bothered.


Off to their right, there was an explosion of multi-colored light, and another ship, identical to then one that had hailed them seemed to suddenly emerge from some kind of tunnel, slowing down as it entered space. It appeared to have just exited from something like a relay tunnel, but without the need for a station, given how far out they were.


The other was to their left, as a different ship, one of unknown origins began moving away from the station, and as it came into visual range, something odd happened. The ship seemed to have it's backside glow for a moment, accelerating forward, and then what appeared to be a purplish cloud formed. The ship surged forward, touching the cloud ... And seemed to almost leap forth at incredible speed, vanishing into said cloud. As fast as it was there, it vanished, ship, cloud and all. It might dawn on her that whoever these Alverans were, their FTL technology was not only radically different, but might be superior.
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#9
Re: The Arrival

A star map would definitely come in handy. Probably going to have to wait until they were docked with the station, though.

"Roger that." Joker actually answered the other pilot, given he'd be the one bringing the Normandy in to dock. He'll wait for them to be transmitted and then begin bringing the Normandy up to bear.

Behind him, Lilith watched the arrival of the ships with interest and to some degree, concern. There was no reaction to her affiliation, not to mention her name. Not that she was tooting her own horn, but it seemed as though even the most remote outposts had heard about the Battle of the Citadel. Even if her name didn't ring any bells, the ship surely would have.

"Joker, are you seeing this?"

"Little busy steering here, Commander."

"EDI?"

"I have been attempting to process the visual data. Unfortunately, I do not have enough relevant data about the incoming and outgoing ships to provide an explanation for their unusual behavior. I can hypothesize that these ships possess modified drive cores that enable some form of self-contained relay ability."

"What?" Joker turned to look at the VI's interface then just as quickly put his attention back on his task.

"More analysis will be needed, preferably schematics. Also, the phenomenon were not present long enough for me to obtain any extensive scans. Had I been expecting it, I could have prepared. I shall do so." There was a pause. "I also cannot find any reference to 'Alverans' in my database. My apologies, Commander."

"It's all right, EDI. Thank you. Take us in, Joker." Opening the ship's comm, she called James and Kaiden to the bridge. "Head's up, people. We're coming up on what appears to be a friendly, if unfamiliar, station. Until we know more about who and what we're dealing with, I want you alert but low-profile. I don't think we're in Alliance space or even Council space, so be careful. I've got the feeling we're playing by an entirely different set of rules here."

Hence why she called the two Alliance officers to join her. Without knowing who they were dealing with, she didn't want to risk any incidents by making the non-humans visible. Arrogant, maybe, but there were other factors involved, like not risking Tali's suit being damaged, for example. Recon first. Diplomacy later.

After they arrived, James passed her a replacement clip for her rifle and then another for her pistol. She settled those in, taking comfort in the weight of the weapons at her back and hip.

"Ho-ly cow," Kaiden breathed, taking in the enormity of the station as they approached. "I'm trying to decide which is bigger. This or the Citadel."

Lilith clapped him on the shoulder. "I'll see if I can get you some blueprints and you can find out. Get ready to move out."

And provided the way, and the directions, were clear, Joker would have no trouble bringing the ship in. It could either be set down in the hangar or there was enough open hull for a suspended docking, whichever the station was better suited for.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#10
Re: The Arrival

When they got a transmission back, it was for docking inside the station. It would make it easier for repairs, especially if it turned out anything was needed outside the hull.

By the time they had docked, and were met at the airlock, they were in for a surprise.

Jacobs it turned out, was a man, and didn't appear all that different from a human. In fact, if not for the decidedly different 'armor' he wore, Lilith might not have been able to tell he wasn't from her own culture by appearance only. With him was a tall, slender woman who seemed a bit on the younger side for her title of base commander, although it was possible they were very long lived too. She was introduced as Julia Nevros, the commander of Peltas Five. They didn't seem concerned with the display of weaponry, although that might have to do with the fact there were a handful of guards present, each with a strange looking pistol of some sorts clipped to their sides.

The biggest shock though was when they saw out into the corridor beyond the airlock. There were numerous species about, many of them non human looking. So many in fact, Lilith had the distinct impression there might literally be hundreds of different species sharing one station. Clearly then, they didn't discriminate.

Julia spoke after Jacobs introduced them all, returning Lilith's attention to the more pressing matters at hand.

"Welcome to Peltas Five on behalf of our people and alliance. I understand you may be lost and in need of both repairs, and a map to show you where you are, and, with any luck, where your home might be? With any luck, we can help you, our starcharts encompass almost thirty galaxies so far."
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#11
Re: The Arrival

Once the Normandy was in the docking bay, it would become clear to anyone with eyes that the ship had been through one hell of a fight. There were scores across the hull and sides of the ship and the hangar looked like something large and angry had punched through it and bounced around on the inside of the ship for a while. Despite this, she was still flying and Joker was able to set her down with care inside of the station.

The airlock hissed open, allowing Lilith, James, and Kaidan to hop down onto the floor of the base. While the Commander's attention was on the welcoming party, that of the two soldiers were focused on the immediate vicinity. Though they'd been met graciously, it was fairly clear the shore party was still a bit on edge.

Seeing the different races wasn't exactly a shock, given the amount of time the group spent on the Citadel and other Council worlds. The lack of Council races, however, would be what garnered notice. Still, knowing there were 'aliens' aboard was comforting.

Lilith returned the introductions with, again, her name and rank, as well as "Major Kaidan Alenko and Lieutenant James Vega" which would illicit a respectful "Ma'am" from both men in greeting. The other woman perked up for a brief second at the word 'alliance' though it was quickly clear Julia was using the term as the collective here, not Lilith's military faction.

"I'll have your people speak with my crew in the matter of the repairs." There's a glance toward the gaping hole in the ship. "We're going to need a lot," comes out with a chuckle. What comes next might surprise Julia some and key her in on the fact that the group before her is a lot further from home than previously thought. "Well, why don't we start with the two that will probably be the biggest help: the Milky Way and the Serpent Nebula."

((Given the Serpent nebula was likely made up for the game, I'll make it your call if it exists in your reality or not. I'm leaning toward not, but that just goes with my headcanon.))
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
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#12
Re: The Arrival

Julia nodded in reply about the crews, though there was a definite eye blink when Lilith mentioned the Milky Way. In fact, she appeared to start replying, and stopped several times before she finally did in fact reply.

"I'm not entirely certain of how to word this to you, so I'm going to be completely to the point. The native races to this galaxy, the Nox, Humans, Gou'ald and Tokra ... they refer to this as the Milky Way. However, I can't say that I've ever heard of anything referred to as the Serpent Nebula before."

There was another pause, followed by a question of her own.

"Vartani said you called your ship the Normandy? I wonder ... You wouldn't happen to have heard, or know someone by the name of Daina Eil'Mori would you? She was a ... damn, what was that species name again Vartani?"

Only now did Jacobs speak, turning to Lilith as he finished the question.

"She was an Asari Commando. I think I may know why you're so lost now, I had actually forgotten about that until Julia mentioned it. Siphon will definitely want to speak with her, especially if she knows Daina, or knew her."
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#13
Re: The Arrival

It was Lilith's turn to blink, followed by the furrow of her brow. "There isn't a structure like this in the Milky Way. At least not when we left it." She had to resist rubbing her brow. If Joker was actually right... Nor did any of the races sound familiar, aside from humans. This was going to take some serious processing.

At the mention of the Asari, Lilith looks to think a moment. "Sorry. Doesn't ring a bell. At least not to me." Despite proximity to the ship, she contacted EDI through her omni-tool, it looking as though a bracer seemed to pop up around her forearm to the others present. "EDI, can you reference a commando by the name of Daina Eil'Mori? See if you can dig anything up on her for me and the folks here?"

"Certainly, Commander. One moment." The responding voice was just shy of chirpy though bore a professional air about it as well.

((I'll let you reply as EDI if you'd like to draw a parallel or if they don't find anything.))
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#14
Re: The Arrival

((Alright))

The reply came through a few moments later that there was a single entry regarding an Asari by that name, but it had been quite some years ago. The Asari in question had evidently vanished from existence, never to be seen again. In fact, almost the entire race had vanished seemingly over night, without a trace of them, or their technology.

With that done, Julia shook her head, beginning to suspect the reason.

"I'm going to pose something to you as a possible explanation, which you may not like. We have a means of detecting any ship that's jumped through time, and your ship doesn't seem to have any of the usual particles that would accompany something like that. I only bring this up because we ourselves have actually done it, though the technology required for it was lost in our evacuation, and we haven't been able to reproduce it since ... It's possible you may have jumped dimensions, or even into a different universe and been pulled into this one somehow. Perhaps we should head to the holo-room and call up some actual charts, see how much stellar difference there is, get an idea as to what you recognize and what you don't?"

It seemed that while she might have a solution, Julia wasn't entirely certain. It could also be this wasn't her area of expertise, and someone who was an 'expert' there would be brought in at some point. Perhaps this Siphon person she spoke of?
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#15
Re: The Arrival

"That's impossible. The Asari aren't gone," Kaidan interjected. "Unless we all hallucinated Thessia."

Lilith hushed him, especially as Julia began her explanation. "Well, I'm not sure about 'liking' it or not, but it's definitely not something we've ever dealt with before. Examining the star charts might definitely shed some light on the situation. James, get Tali and Legion. I want the two of them with me when I look into this."

"You're gonna make me babysit the ship? C'mon, Lola..."

"They'll need you in the hangar for the heavy lifting, Vega." Lilith patted him on the chest. "Get a chance to show off those muscles of yours."

"Yeah, yeah." The marine retreated back onto the ship. Shortly after that, a young woman in what might be described as a body suit and breather mask and a robot appeared at the door. What might be interesting is their designs almost mimicked each other, though whether that was intentional or not was uncertain.

"My experts in the field," Lilith explains to Julia. "So to speak."

"Commander, this station is amazing." The mouthpiece of Tali's suit flickered with each word and though her voice seemed slightly artificial, it definitely emitted exuberance.

"Tali, all you've seen is the docking bay."

"Which we could probably fit a good chunk of the Flotilla inside!"

Lilith's expression bore one of a parent who'd just mistakenly brought their child into a toy store, though she didn't seem upset about it. "I'll need your help with the star maps, Tali. If I can keep you focused."

"Yes. Of course. Sorry."

Legion, presumably the robot, had remained quiet, standing at the ready behind Lilith's left shoulder. It seemed to 'see' with the light that was the central focus of it's 'head,' though it wasn't doing as much gawking as Tali was. The only movement was the occasional shift of the panels around the central eye.

"With your permission, we'll get started on our research, Commander." Lilith addressed Julia, using the title she'd been given.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#16
Re: The Arrival

Julia nodded, leading the way. As they walked, she added in, "while unlikely, it is POSSIBLE if you did cross dimensions that your computer might have had a glitch in it's files. It may be picking up on changes to reality around it, or have been partially altered. I've seen it happen before actually, and it's ... interesting sometimes."

There was a sound that might have been a snort from Jacobs, but he kept quiet otherwise.

Walking through the station proved to be every bit as massive as 'Tali' had thought. In fact, once they reached a certain point, they actually had to enter what was referred to as a 'fast transport system', finding themselves moved to a different part of the station, clearly away from the outer ring. Moving towards one particular room, they entered, at which point the doors automatically closed, and the lights began to dim.

"Once I step on this, the lights will almost exclusively be out, save for the projection. When I say that's all you'll need to see ... well, you'll see for yourself in a moment."

Waiting for them all to be ready, she stepped onto the console platform, and as she had said, the lights went out, only to be replaced with a massive star chart that took up the entire room above their heads. A literal holographic display.

"Right now, what you are seeing is a representation of the Milky Way, the galaxy we're in right now. Planets are labeled by the native species names for them. If need be, simply tell me and I can pan outward and overlay other galaxies around us. Triangulum, Pegasus, and quite a few others including the Ori home Galaxy."

Of note would be the following names:

Nox Homeworld, Earth, Tollana, Velokia, Vorla (Vorian Homeworld for those not knowing), Kihala (Kih'Andari Homeworld, not yet mentioned by name amongst PC's), Peltas 5 Station (You are here!) & many other names they almost certainly wouldn't know. (Might be some they do by name, so feel free to insert here.)
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#17
Re: The Arrival

"EDI's more than just a computer, so I'm not sure how accurate that is. However, if she can access data from your own records, that might actually be helpful."

"At Commander Nevros' suggestion, I began a diagnostic check and do not detect anything out of sorts, Commander. However, with her permission, I would like to access the station's databases to upload relevant information."

"You also didn't detect anything in the IFF, either, EDI, though for now, it seems a benign glitch. And slightly useful. Keep an eye out, though."

"Yes, Commander."

It would be up to Julia if she allowed the AI access, though it seems EDI is most interested in basic information: history, information regarding the various races, permitted schematics, protocols, etc. She doesn't seem interested in ferreting out the station's secrets but more picking up information she can feed to Lilith should there be a 'cultural gap,' as it were.

"From the look of things," Julia could see Lilith studying the map, "this is actually all that's necessary right now." ((Did some research...ME sticks to the Milky Way exclusively.))

"I can definitely see similarities, Commander." What was interesting was watching Tali's mask flicker in and out while they were in the darkness. "Though I don't really recognize a lot of the homeworlds mentioned here."

"My thoughts as well. Hence why I brought Legion. He can cross-reference faster than we can."

"I take it you consider me, as you say, chopped liver, Commander?"

"I need you taking care of my ship, EDI."

"We will endeavor to assist, Commander." Unsurprisingly, Legion's voice sounded simulated but lacked the stilt that most electronically generated voices tended to have. The eye on the unit fluctuated and went through several dilatations while it was obviously processing the data.

((As noted, ME takes place strictly in the Milky Way. Found a map of the nebulas/clusters that they use by the end of 3. Figure you can compare it with the SGU and be like "Vox homeworld here, Vorian here, etc. "Local cluster" is the Sol system.))
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#18
Re: The Arrival

Julia nodded.

"When we're finished here I'll arrange for a direct link into the archives on anything we have that might be useful for you. If you did dimension jump, or anything similar, it's likely the stars and celestial bodies such as nebula are in almost the same places you remember, but with different races existing in place of those you knew. As I said, we ourselves aren't native to this dimension."

She paused, seeming to suddenly consider something, then decided she might as well bring it up.

"This is a long shot at best but ... I don't suppose where you came from there was an object known as a Stargate was there? Might have been named something else, let's see ... the Ancients called them Astria Porta, the Gou'ald and Tokra refer to them as Chap'pai, some of the wraith refer to it as the portal ... you get the idea I guess. Looks like a large stone ring with glyphs on it."


((OK so using the map you gave me I've begun plotting out things. More will come later as we add planets in, but the list currently is as follows:

Nimbus Cluster (Nox Homeworld). Silean Nebula (Tollana). Local Cluster (Earth). Shadow Sea (Vorla). Nimbus Cluster (Kihala). Nubian Expanse (Peltas 5). Hourglass Nebula (Velokia).
 
Nov 10, 2008
8,963
#19
Re: The Arrival

"That would be most appreciated."

Legion continued to study the map, taking in the relevant data, letting out clicks and buzzes as it did so, almost like a modem connecting but not quite as high pitched.

Lilith considered the question. "Nothing like that rings a bell. We have the mass relays, but they're not...at least we don't think...they're stone. They're also massive. And none of the Prothean ruins we've come across have had anything like that. Damn, I wish Liara were here. She might know better than I would."

"Analysis complete. Cross-referencing has determined some species in systems currently inhabited by Council races, however no reference to Council races could be located within archives associated with current star chart with the exception of humans." Legion, it seemed, was a little less polite about accessing the station's systems. Either that, or it concluded that they were finished and pre-empted establishing the link.

"So, overall, we're the same, but different. I think we've already figured that one out." The last part came out in a bit of a mutter. "It also looks like we might be stuck here. At least for the duration."
 

SiphonTalvesh

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Nov 10, 2008
8,832
#20
Re: The Arrival

Julia nodded her head.

"I'm afraid that may be accurate. We've been unable to duplicate the technology that brought us to this dimension, and even if we could, we'd have no way of knowing where your own actually lay in relation to others. Before we do anything else though, I'd like you to follow me. I'd like to show you the Stargate, see if anything about it seems familiar, or piques interest."

Assuming they did follow, and agree, she'd lead them out the door, and eventually to a large room with what appeared to be a stone ring, with glyphs carved into an inner 'ring'. No doubt this was the Stargate, since they'd stopped here.

((Will wait on a reply before I rattle her even more with activating it :p))