Shanxi Capital: Auttobenid Interior
Relief Fleet: Promised Aid
High Lord Commander Ofærr Stjarnagram
Ofærr looked out through the glass and into space behind even as the old man stuck his arms behind his back. Things had started to grow simpler as the relief forces had started coming into the system following the combat officially ending. Though much of the planet had been devastated from the month-long siege, including orbital bombardment, something that was still an untested practice and relatively unheard of happening in their wars.
Ofærr breathed in the Shanxi air early in the morning as he walked through the established internment camp that prisoners and forced combatants had established. Most aliens with four eyes that had possessed some form of armor or been in a command position had been placed in one such camp on the northern side of the city. Prefabricated housing brought in from orbit to house them.
Though considering that they were originally intended for refugees given their former experience in war, it came as a surprise to the commanders that the population of Shanxi had been reduced by nearly seventy percent in the month. Nearly two million humans, new types, and coordinators taken in the span of a month.
The forced combatants that they had taken were placed into a separate internment camp following their surrender, such a camp that Ofærr was wandering. Thankfully only mobile doll soldiers had been placed in command for defense of both camps from any potential appraisals from the locals or the soldiers under the various commanders that had been deployed by various sub empires within the United Earth Alliance.
Currently he wandered towards one of the few remaining buildings in Auttobenid, knowing the headache that awaited him. After the fighting had finally subsided, there was a matter of great importance brought to him by the agents of TERMINAL still alive and active on this planet. Likely other information agencies knew about this situation already as well, the willing surrender of an alien saying they represent more than the ones that attacked but wouldn't say more.
Already the local Nobility had tried to get him to talk but he refused to speak with anyone below a certain rank of government. Though the news that they still supported some kind of nobility had caused some kind of a reaction.
So here he was. Wandering towards an unremarkable building holding what could be a major step for humanity as a whole.
With a heavy breath, he nods to the two Royal Guards stationed at the doorway leading into the building, both helmeted individuals, genders unknown, as it was meant to be. Those who take the vow do so knowingly sacrificing all that they were. To become instruments to protect their lords' abs humanity. The nameless weapons as some had come to call them.
The former hotel had been remade into a large-scale operations' center abs containment facility for this alien. They would take no chances with them after the attack they had just suffered. The hallway ahead led down and into a basement, refurbished into a cell itself. There, as a pair of soldiers held open the door leading to the lower sections.
Two of them, Privates Jessica and Private Clare fell in behind him as he moved into the room beyond. Despite the fact that the alien had offered something in regard to information towards the aliens, they didn't trust him worth a damn. So, to that end they had placed two neo doll modeled soldiers in the same room, cloaked of course, and watched the alien.
Beyond the door, the alien watched from his bed. They were still nowhere near the beginning of setting up something resembling a database of aliens, so testing wasn't a priority. With a deep breath, the High Lord turned his attention to the Royal Guards at attention to either side of the doorway and merely nodded his head. Turning as one, gene locked "keys" are inserted into corresponding nodes which lock into place and turn. With a deep hiss, the two sided door would slide back, revealing on the other side a simple room with but a single chair.
On said chair sat the only other alien besides the ELS to know how to speak English. Which had become a sort of second hand language used by all countries abs affiliates of Earth and its colonies. Even Neo-Rome was known for making use of it by its diplomats. The alien bore no armor as it had when it had been collected and brought before him. Now merely in prisoners' garb.
White tattoos covered the carapace looking exo-skeleton along the jawline and over both eyes. Yet the creature seemed to watch with barely anything resembling fear. Given its readiness to offer itself up and the way it had been conducting itself since brought in, showed how confident it was. With a breath, Ofærr would approach the table as he sat across from the alien. Even as both stared into one another.
"So. Yah are the alien that can speak our tongue."
The alien nodded, still keeping his silence but eyeing the larger human. He stepped towards the chair as the door behind him closed shut. Leaving him in with this alien.
Alien System - Alien Capital
Citadel Alliance: SPECTER
Saren watched the older human walk into the room. Upon close inspection, he was much older than any serving member of a military would allow. If you didn't count Klingons that is. The Federation likely would have retired or forced him into a position as their equivalent of a Rear Admiral based on their collection of old documents from before the formation of the Human's Federation. Yet it seemed these humans were allowing their elderly to still be of importance. This one bore an archaic dress uniform of some kind, though a primitive melee weapon at his hip and some kind of chemically propelled firearm on the other.
Not to mention he was unshaven, head covered in lessening blond hair which ran down to his waist, tied into what a human called a "Ponytail" while his chin sported three long braids, though the colors were starting to turn white with age. Face and exposed skin marred with scars, likely from whatever conflict these humans had experienced. All in all, he struck the image of an old man, if not for the well built Physique. Despite his current predicament, he found himself smiling even as his action caused the old human to go on guard.
"Now now. I'm here out of good faith. My name is Saren Arterius and I do indeed come as a representative of the Council Alliance. A collection of species, which sadly the Batarians, the species you just faced, are a part of. Though not without reason."
That got the old man's attention as he actually had a crack form in that passive, weather and age beaten face. Anger. These humans certainly appear more easily angered than that of their own reality. Then again based on their military they may be a more martial based civilization.
"Aye that'll be ah problem when it comes time for me to meet this Citadel which I plan to do sooner rather than later. So, what can ya tell me? Since ya seem so inclined, tell us. How sure are ya that we won't go tah war with this "Citadel"? Considerin they apparently collaborate with filthy slavers!"
The old man smashed a fist into the top of the table between them, actually denting it. Which was unexpected to Saren, he was unaccustomed to humans possessing such strength at this advanced age. The hidden creature would blink before nodding his head.
"A sad set of events but with their importance to the maintaining of the lawless reaches of the galaxy, we have to continue working with them even if we find their actions tasteless. The galaxy is much wider than you might imagine, and with the clearly hostile actions they have taken against you, likely out of confusion or their own false sense of superiority."
Not that he cared, he was a Founder after all, something these primitives had no knowledge of. Though he was more radical than others, having spent time here in this universe and outside of the Great Link the longest, barring of course those sent out into the wider galaxy.
"We can discuss reparations with yer council when we get there. I will need coordinates for this place."
That caused Saren to stop and eye the human with some confusion.
"Could you not just pull that information from the Batarian vessels? Using the Relays even you should be able to move towards the Citadel. It is usually in the data banks of most vessels."
The old man seemed to grumble and slide back into his chair as his one good working eye studied the alien before he spoke.
"Classified. Fer now, we'll need access to coordinates as our vessels utilize another form of FTL that doesn't make use of yer God Gates."
Ah they didn't make use of the Relays as the Citadel and the rest of the galaxy did. That was an interesting bit of information.
"Fine fine, I will see about giving you the coordinates, though my next question is to what end?"
War would mean a destabilization of the Citadel which could work in the Dominion's favor when the invasion begins.
"Compensation as stated from em as ah start. Their stance on the Batarians will affect what we do goin forward. I will be meetin with these leaders personally to discuss terms and then our own delegations will properly come."
The humans were playing it smart and paranoid, it seems they already were ahead in his opinion compared to the Federation. Much to trusting and open. Though a single form is a single form no matter the reality. Saren crossed his arms before motioning towards a nearby data slate, one which the human nodded and shifted over towards him.
A few seconds later and the direct coordinates are typed into the machine. The older male taking it back before beginning the process of sifting through the mathematical numbers. A few seconds later he would snort, press a button, and turn as another human, this one dressed in a standard military garb for these people walked in.
"Take this, hook it into our computers, then get ah FTL capable ship ready. Alert the … Winds of the North that we'll be takin 'er to these coordinates. I want a full roster of Mobile Suits, all with anti-ship capabilities loaded into her decks and prepared for combat effective immediately."
The soldier, for that was the only thing that the woman could be, saluted and then marched out the door, closing it behind her. Mobile Suits? Is that what they were calling their strange humanoid machines? Though the fact they were expecting to be going in prepared for combat made Saren chuckle, causing the old man to turn and watch.
"Got somethin tah say Saren?"
Oh he had much to say, but a simple grin, or as close as one that could be made, was directed at him.
"Only that one ship and a few of your machines won't do anything to the Citadel or its fleet. I however won't give you anything else besides the coordinates. Take what you want and leave. However if you want a peaceful reception when you arrive, it would be best that I am there."
The Old man would grumble but didn't seem to disregard that. He would however sit back down and interlock his fingers while looking at Saren.
"What can ya tell me about this Citadel?"
Shanxi Capital: Auttobenid Interior
Relief Fleet: Promised Aid
High Lord Commander Ofærr Stjarnagram
Ofærr was greeted by several armed guards the moment he stepped from the building, his eye shifted between them before he spoke.
"Bring that thing back tah his cage and keep him there till I am ready to depart."
Two soldiers saluted and walked past him, heading back into the building. Ofærr himself fixed his eye on another soldier.
"Got new assignment orders for Shinn Asuka and Lunamaria Hawke. They are tah report to the Winds of the North effective immediately."
The soldier saluted and moved away from the building, likely to inform the two.
"Need one of ya to let that hyperactive mess of ah Heiress from Bathory to head there as well. As much as I can rely on tah rank and file, this mission requires more of a punch."
One left, as the others had already departed to deliver either orders or return the captive to their cell. With an inhale, he would address the final soldier present.
"Prepare ah joint message to both tha Queens as well as Duke Isenho von Endrota that I will be adressin them both after I return from my check up on the Combat Mobile Doll that Jesse Dolton had serving on his bridge. Las put up ah hell of a fight."
He simply nodded as his head lifted up towards the sky, the visual silhouette of the "Winds of the North" was still visible given how low in orbit it was hovering. Two Kilometers of Lunar Titanium, or Moon Titanium given the new terminology. The Flagship of the First Fleet. Sadly it wasn't the fastest vessel, else he had arrived here in it. It had taken a day to reach the system behind the assault fleet.
Ofærr grunted as he turned, starting to walk back towards the main city. In the distance, he watched as mobile suits worked to pick through the wreckage of the various alien ships that had crashed during the final day of the fighting. A quick and bloody affair. Even now, survivors were being dragged from the various wrecks and rounded up, taken to holding facilities which in turn were being constructed.
Reports had been reaching him of the negative reaction the aliens had towards the Mobile Dolls, those who were more obviously cybernetic. They had actually gotten the information on this "Citadel" from the various still intact alien systems, but Ofærr wanted a proper source from one who worked for these supposed galactic leaders.
What he had been told had left him disquieted on the fact that much of current humanity would come to odds with them. AI and Genetic, or cybernetic alteration, both of which were not only prevalent, but were the requirements for at the very least creation of three entire sections of humanity. Bans would not go over well with the Council of Humanity, or the respective satellite empires.
"Elizabeth ain't gunna wanna part with her Mobile Dolls, then again she be too arrogant.."
Ofaerr stepped off the shuttle and into the "Damian's Delight" a five hundred meter repair and processing vessel that had accompanied the fleet. Walking past the waiting crew, he had sent word ahead of his rival and to present no waiting party. He was here for a short amount of time and then he would be on his way.
A few turns this way or that, brought him to where he wanted to be. A repair station. A series of fold out beds upon which lay nearly twenty Neo-Dolls. Civilian and Military Models. Their bodies are currently offline to allow the machines surrounding them the time to fold back bent outer "skin" or replace circuit and wiring which had been damaged.
It was the small blond head of hair which drew his eye. Sitting up, one arm removed, her chest opened, and hair partially peeled back, young Abigail Williams sat beside Ensign Luvinia, as the two chatted and whispered with one another.
"Hope I ain't interruptin nothin."
The old man's voice caught the two and caused both of their cheeks to erupt in a blushing mess as Abigail worked to close her open chassis while Luvinia rushed to her feet. Ah to be young and in love. They both snapped out salutes as the Mobile Doll tried to cover herself. Seems the programming had given her more human based mannerisms then the last batch of models.
"At ease ensigns. Abigail and Luvinia."
Luvinia dropped into a parade rest while the young machine fidgeted. If what the Council would ask of humanity was true, this young woman and many others like her would need to be more than likely terminated. A thought that left him with no amount of irritation and anger.
"I heard about what you did down in the tunnels las, ya let that nasty little bit out. I don't blame ya, but I will have to caution its release again."
Luvinia seemed ready to say something, but a glance from Abigail kept her quiet, the machine of a young woman breathing in before she looked up.
"Thank you sir, but it wasn't by accident or by conscious will. It was the death of my Brother Unit Sozoge at the hands of a strange alien. Following that, the arrival of Blue Cosmos, the deaths of the Royal Soldiers, two of which had been killed by them. Seemed to trigger its activation."
He remained silent with a nod, even as she began to recount more of that event, before he turned an eye on Luvinia and nodded as well. The young pale engineer wouldn't take long to have taken a grasp of Abigail's hand as she showed signs of breaking down, emotionally. They truly did wonders, those engineers.
"For yer aid in this dark day of Human History, fer your courage above and beyond what our nation could ask of ya, and for bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, I hereby promote you to Lieutenant Comm's Officer, a Leutnant zur See. I expect the rest to hear from ya. In addition, you both should be hearin from yer Captain, if they fish him out of that Morphine Coma in the next month for reassignment tah the "Winds of the North", both of ya will be."
Oh the Admiralty and board of affairs were going to throw a tantrum over this, but what did he care about? If things went south he would be dead on this. Then again he was old, nearing retirement, and it was about time he settled down, made roots somewhere. He didn't wait for their reactions, turning and moving to leave the ward as to let the two women converse and talk.
"I hate you…"
Ah there was the reaction he was expecting. Ofærr had set up a conference call following his departure from the Wards and moved to the "Winds of the North", having included the Admiralty and the twin Queens of Humanity. Even now, the twelve Admirals had differing reactions to his decision. Relena and Lacus both had expressions that differed between one another.
Relena was just holding her face in her hands at this point, a completely exacerbated look on her face and a few graying hairs already in that flowing golden locks. Years of dealing with those that piloted Gundams had otherwise numbed her to their antics and mannerisms. After all, to pilot a Gundam and Mobile Armors were said to invite insanity in one form or another. Heero standing next to her, hand on her shoulder.
Poor Lacus though, the soft spoken Queen, formerly of ZAFT, smiled stiffly, eyes closed though. She was handling it a bit better then her fellow Queen but otherwise still had a strained expression. Thankfully, Kira stood beside her, hand gripping one of her own with an expression of exacerbation towards the older man. Though given the one he was clearly upsetting, it was no wonder.
The one who had spoken was one, Admiral Jon Velber, a young man, one of the newest elected to the position through hard work and dedication, replacing the old guard. In some ways, Ofærr may have been the oldest still actively serving member in the military compared to those before him and likely elsewhere in the empire. Though this little decision of his would likely see that come to an end.
"Aye aye I know what ya all are thinkin, but I'm the highest rankin member of our Military close to this situation and as well can speak fer tha Empire and that of the other minor Empires that have sprung up. Unless ya want tah wait for the nobles to decide on which of their houses will send a diplomat, which could take years given how many there are."
His arms crossed over his chest, he shifted his one eye around the various men and women on the screen before it fell on a raised hand as Relena caught the attention of those present.
"I understand the train of thought, but I can't ask you to do this. For all we know this could be a trap, or you will be received with hostilities. The Empire can ill afford to lose its High Lord at such a critical time. Especially if we are to go to war with this alliance of aliens."
Good points towards why he shouldn't go, a nod is sent towards the Queen and a fist collides with his breast.
"All good points las, but we don't have tha time of luxury if we are to try and actually open negotiations. From what I've been told, the aliens that attacked us, these Batarians, will attempt to poison this Citadel Council's impression of us, making it harder for us to even attempt a diplomatic approach with em. Best bet is tah get to em before the aliens can do to much damage to our reputation."
A few hesitant nods are sent his way, the logic, while somewhat flawed, had merit. Though many still sent hesitant looks towards the Queens. After all, this was a very delicate matter. Though there were others in the room with Ofærr, given that he had invited the two to this discussion. Both the Duke and Dutchess of the Endrota House, there to represent Shanxi Interests. Azatastan and Isenho.
It was Isenho who spoke, drawing the attention of the High Queens and the Admirals.
"If I may my Queens, my family has several negotiators in its ranks here on the planet, if it will set your minds at ease, I will send for one of them to accompany the High Lord on his journey and to act as an intermediary between our powers and those of this alliance. It is after all a matter of time before the smaller human nations that have either broken or remain as vassal states heard word of this power and send their own representatives."
There was wisdom in those words, a few of the Admirals nodding their heads, even as Ofærr grinned towards the young man, thankful for the offering he was providing. It was Lacus who spoke up, having straightened up following the proclamation from the good Duke.
"That will be acceptable. While I am hesitant to allow this to continue, I understand that we do not have the pleasure of time on our hands. As High Queen of the United Earth Alliance, I, Lacus Clyne, do hereby approve of this Mission into the Unknown, this will likely be your last act for the Alliance, many will call for your resignation following this High Lord. I hope you are aware of that."
Relena would speak next, having regained her wits, those hawk-like eyes of hers burrowing into his only one.
"I, Relena Peacecraft, High Queen of the United Earth Alliance, agree with my fellow High Queen. High Lord Ofærr Stjarnagram. This will be your final act of aid for the Alliance as the High Lord of its Navy, to seek peace with these Aliens by any means necessary. You have both of our blessings. Thank you for your years of service to this Nation, and I do hope you will enjoy your Retirement following this insanity."
With that, the video conference cut as the Admiralty started to raise objections or questions towards the two High Queens, though one last look towards the twin High Queens of Humanity, looks of sympathy and kindness before the screen cut off. Ofærr smiling sadly before he turned towards the Duke, the much larger man staring down at him.
"Well lad, looks like you best fulfill that promise you just made. Didn't expect ya to have any Diplomats in yer family so this should prove an interesting last assignment."
Quantum Space - On Route to the Citadel
Diplomatic Mission - Alien Vessel "Winds of the North"
To say he was actually impressed when he was led onto the vessel from the cargo ship that had brought him into space two days ago was a slight understatement. This humanity may have otherwise lacked certain technologies that would have made them that much more formidable back home, but they made up for it in others. Getting a first hand experience looking at a Mass Driver was truly something else, the massive construct of metal that propelled objects into space apparently.
According to the engineers that he had asked, it worked on a system similar to a Rail Gun or sorts, propelling an object at realistic speeds through a charged current along its length, speeding it up before launching it into space. Though it seemed their older vessels weren't able to yet leave the planet's atmosphere without the aid of such a construct. The firing had nearly caused him to destabilize and reveal himself to his captives, overall it was a wholly unpleasant experience.
Then getting into space and seeing the fleet of actual warships was a little disconcerting, though nothing a few Jem'Hadar Battlecruisers or Battleships couldn't humble. Though the number was quite off putting, nearly two hundred at the moment and, as he watched, another fifty assorted vessels entered into the solar system and moved towards designated locations more then likely.
Then he had his eyes fall upon what amounted to a massive ball of silver material, floating in space. At first, he had thought it was a moon, till a section on its side actually opened and allowed silver variants of the various ships in the system to exit and join up with the fleet. He had immediately turned towards a nearby guard and asked what in the Their Name that thing was. The answer still chilled him to his non-existent bones.
"That is an ELS or Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shape-shifter. One of our allies. And yes, that is just ONE."
No other questions had been answered following that, but by the time that he had reached the nearly two kilometer long vessel they were heading towards, the fleet size in the system had nearly tripled. Even variants of Batarian and outdated Turian, Salarian, and Asari vessels were joining the fleet, courtesy of the small moon sized orb of living metal. They had an alliance with a species that resembled themselves but in a metallic form. Whos abilities actually seemed to go beyond simple shape shifting and allowed themselves to form complex machinery of some kind. This would need to be sent as soon as possible to the Dominion to speed up preparations.
Then they had reached the vessel, its outer hull a stark white, with a sloping forward section which tapered into a point. It was a curious design, but not one that he had the ability to spend time on studying before they entered into a hanger.
Now, two days later, they had entered into what they called "Quantum Space" of sorts. A tunneling doorway that existed below this plane of existence, not unlike what they knew of the Borg's own means of FTL. Still an oddity that was. For every example of primitive technology this humanity represented, they surprised him with others that boggles the mind in their complexity and advanced nature.
Outside, that is what he watched, through one of the many windows on this ship.
"It truly is something…to see this."
His statement was met with silence from his guard though.
He was use to this, or he had been before coming to this reality. For years, he had spent earning his way into a high enough position to start funneling information back to the Dominion, one of which was their strengths and weaknesses.
Their near instantaneous travel from one location to another was a massive boon, but the use of ancient machines, something he still couldn't get much in the way of actual information on, proved to be quite detrimental and a weakness to exploit.
Now though, he was traveling in a manner much like what he had before. Through a method that required time to reach a specific location with travel time. It was almost nostalgic to him.
The swirling colors outside the window brought fond memories of his travels aboard Dominion vessels, before the discovery of the wormhole, the Alpha Quadrant, and those chaotic solids.
Though as Saren watched the outside world pass him by, he couldn't help but frown, feeling the rumble of the engine beneath him. Currently, he was underguard, watched over by one of the humans, though given the smooth lines and clear indentations in the body, painted this as a synthetic being.
He was still trying to get the sight of those ELS out of his mind, the idea of a synthetic version of themselves was horrifying. Unnatural in a way if he had to put a word to their existence.
His internal musings were cut off by the thump of military issued boots, a sound he was depressingly becoming accustomed to as the days passed aboard this behemoth of a vessel. His head turned to regard that of a pair of swabbies, their term for naval personnel if his understanding was correct. He caught the glare sent his way, and he returned it before the two stopped.
"My Lord has summoned you to the bridge. We will be dropping out of Quantum space in an hour."
Well that was good to hear, a nod meeting the request as he turned, chains clinking and echoing as they dragged across the floor. A formality he had been told, seeing as he was technically a prisoner or war. At least they treated him somewhat better than he expected.
"Well we certainly don't wish to leave your Lord waiting. Fine, lead the way."
Hallways turned and passed as they walked, or more accurately he shuffled along, earning glares from passing crew or simple looks from those with clear robotic nature. This humanity was truly full of surprises it would seem. Their machines almost mimicked them, what joy it will be to see the reaction of the Council.
"I will say, your species has truly mastered the art of slow and cumbersome. These chains certainly slow me down, and your ship seems quite slow. Though I suppose we can't all be advanced enough to utilize the Relays."
That actually got a rise from one of the marines as a hand was placed on his shoulder and he felt himself be pushed forward.
"Not another word alien, keep your tongue in your mouth."
The threat was there, but Saren was having too much fun. He saw a few other crew members bristle at the statement but it was a passing synthetic that spoke up rather than the soldier.
"Correct, but logically superior to your relays. They create predictable routes and approach vecto-"
A hand grabbed the shoulder of the synthetic and turned the woman about, her fellow sailor quickly pushing the black haired woman down the hall, the two falling into a hushed and whispered conversation.
The silence of the continued trek would last for nearly thirty minutes before the three entered into an elevator and began their descent. Nearly three dozen decks are passed before they reach their destination in the form of the bridge.
Wide, that was the first thing that jumped to Saren's mind when he saw it. Unlike the cramped confines of the species that utilized Mass Effect technology, their bridge seemed to have spared room for the crew's comforts so it would not feel claustrophobic, it reminded him again of his voyages on the vessels of the Dominion, and there he stood. Their Lord, a term that was still strange to hear from human mouths.
"My Lord, we have brought the alien as you have requested."
He stood there next to the captain's chair, clad in strange clothing. A dark blue coatee with white collar and cuffs, and dark blue trousers covered his body, while epaulets and braiding with gold ran to the right shoulder and ran beneath a large pauldron which in turn jutted over the right shoulder.
Upon which tassels sporting mixtures of rare gems, ranging from jade to sapphire swung to and fro from it. Covering the right shoulder. However upon his back and covering the left shoulder was the thick hide of a creature, something likely native to one of their worlds.
"Aye lad, thank ya kindly. Saren, welcome tah the Bridge of the "Winds of tah North". We'll be arrivin in thirty minutes to your citadel. Yah best be ready to dissuade any ships from attemptin to attack us."
At his right hip dangled a gem encrusted sheath containing a blade of some kind, which clattered as the gems collided with the gold lining the sides of his trousers from just above the boots to the waist and beneath the coatee. His beard and hair were smoothed and quaffed while several rings were braided into the beard itself.
It was what was upon his chest that drew Sarens eyes.
The numerous awards and metals that clinked as he turned echoed in the otherwise silent bridge. They looked as though they'd count as armor themselves with how little of his actual uniform was visible beneath them.
"Well of course, I would not wish to die on this ship in the event they decide to open fire."
Serpent Nebula - Citadel
There were many things that put Sparatus at ease in this life. The rumble of main guns firing on a ship, the steady thump of soldier's boots during a military parade, a stiff drink after a long day. What didn't put him at ease is nothing but radio silence from the Chentari System after the start of a war between the Batarians and an unnamed Alien Race.
Word had already begun to circulate by less than reputable sources of new alien slaves starting to appear throughout the Terminus. The fleet that had fled from the system connected to the Chentari System having bull rushed through several Council Systems before reaching the Terminus.
Yet the aliens had not made attempts to push into the Chentari System and track down their missing and captured yet. No grand effort to push into the wider galaxy by them. The Salarians had been keeping a tight watch over the System and the Terminus in the event that the aliens made a play or truly brought war to the Terminus.
So here he was, in a council session with the other two members of the Council, Tevos and Valern. Though rather than the Batarians directly asking for the seat on the council, this time it was thankfully something important.
"...and as you can see here, there has been substantial increase in Batarian Military expenditure in brand new classes of ships. What we aren't sure of is the brand new series of space stations, shipyard, and even what we believe to be a Batarian Dreadnought, which will bring them to a total of eight. Far exceeding what is allowed for them and other species."
That certainly brought him out of his stupor. The Batarians were not only preparing for something, but it was quite obvious that they had some new means of production. For the longest time, the Previous Councils had been letting them build up their ships to help police the Terminus, but it would seem that they had gotten cocky.
"We will be having to put a stop to at least their fleet strength. The others can be allowed to continue, given their recent actions in the last few months, they obviously believe they are at war with that Alien species they invaded."
That brought a groan from Valern, the fact that the STG had been the primary ones watching things. Their last drone in the alien system had been destroyed a month ago after it was detected by the aliens. Which had been the deciding decision to pull any forces from the alien system.
"Given that the aliens utilize a form of FTL not reliant on the Relays, and only the Batarians have managed to get examples of their technology, we have no proper way to police against their incursions into Council Space."
They knew that the aliens could pass into their space without a means for them to detect. So it was when Tevos decided to speak up that he turned his attention to her.
"If that is the case then it would stand to reason we push for new means. With a vote, I would propose that all species connected to the Council begin investing into brand new means of long range detection and defensive structures within their spheres of influence."
Oh and that was an idea that he could get behind. With a nod from both himself and his Salarian counterpart, Tarvos would continue.
"We are in agreement then, to help facilitate this, we will call upon the leaders of each member to convene here in no less than one week to discuss plans and a budget."
Yet as the conversation continued, Sparatus caught out of the corner of his eye Valern tuning out the conversation to check something on his Omni-tool before all color drained from his face. Suddenly standing up, kicking over his chair as he brought up his arm. The sudden action caused all conversation to cease as both the guards in the room and the Salarian speaker grew agitated and looked at him.
"Vessel appeared at edge of the Citadel Fleet's range suddenly. Fleet moving to intercept. Meets no known models on record, Matriarch Lidanya of the Destiny believes it to be an Alien vessel. Appears to be two kilometers."
Well that exceeded all but the Destiny in size. A few swipes of his fingers brought a screen before them all, showcasing the stark white vessel. It's bow slightly sloped forward. However as it began to move into the system and approach the Council, the council would see small lights moving away from the vessel and taking up position in the form of a square formation between the ship and the fleet moving to intercept.
Using his Omni-Tool, Valern would zoom in, showing the Asaranoid looking machines that these aliens seemed to prioritize usage of in space.
"Taking up defensive positions between the fleet and their flag ship. Why is there only one vessel though… See if you can get a better image of those Asaranoids."
With a nod, the Salarian would zoom out, bringing the total of Asaranoids to numbering some one hundred of various sizes, shapes, and designs. The outermost lines of Asaranoids seemed to be the most resembling Asari, something that he noticed Tervos was taking special interest in. With colors of greens and displayed a flag of Reds and Blacks.
"They appear to recognize similar colors as ourselves so that might help, though the fact I am seeing some of their machines bearing what appear to be actual cloth flags in space sets a very strange precedent."
Indeed, Valern had focused on a large green Asaranoid which held in its hand an actual standard of some kind with what appeared to be writing at the top of the actual cloth with their flag below. The most prominent feature of the Asaranoid would have to be the strip of glass on the head, its right shoulder sported a series of spikes of some kind, and a blade at its hip.
It was covered in sharp edges, though it stood out as the only green one. The rests were bright orange in coloration.
As if it knew it was being watched, the Asaranoid would activate its thrusters and move out of formation, along with two others. The second to move forward was much less intimidating. It resembled even more of an Asaranoid than the first one that had moved forward. Two arms, two legs, flat armor with only the shoulders and calves jutting off the body.
Its flag being a bright blue with a purple star overlaid a planet, which in itself was set upon a shield of purple. More strange writing running down the sides of the flag. It took up a position directly opposite the first by about half a light minute, before the third and final Asaranoid would move forward below the two, forming a triangle.
This one was much like the second, though with sweeping wings off the hips, and the head resembled more of an Asari with something akin to a mouth. Its forehead topped with a large V of light blue. The Banner would depict first a set of wings with a sun in its center.
"Matriarch Lidanya sending a message from the incoming force. Patching through."
For a few seconds the council chambers heard only static before a voice, one that they all recognized, and one they didn't expect, came over the speakers.
"This is Saren Arterius of the Galactic Citadel Specters, sending greetings as a first contact with the United Earth Alliance. Please do not open fire on the vessel, I'd rather not die thank you."
That caused the Council Room to go quiet before shouting started. Though Sparatus was still paying close attention to the image as the other two council members began to yell and demand answers. Then another voice would come over the audio message to the Citadel. This one had a very strange accent to it, though spoke with quite a bit of authority to it. As well as spoken in perfect Turian.
More than likely a translation Program of some kind.
"This is High Lord Commander Ofærr Stjarnagram of the United Earth Alliance, here tah represent the interest of the Queen Twins of Humanity. We come in peace."
An actual smile would blossom across Tarvos'es face as she stood up as well, motioning for Valern to sit down as she moved to obviously address the speaker.
"My Name is Tarvos of the Galactic Citadel Council, one of the Primary Council Members, on behalf of the entire galaxy, we welcome you to our Citadel. If you are indeed a diplomatic party, then we ask you to shut your weapons down and allow for an inspection team to enter into your ship and begin inspection. Your vessels are…quite interesting. We will be sending you coordinates to one of the landing pads for your diplomatic team to land so that we may meet this "Humanity" properly.
We also thank you for the return of our Operative, though it does beg the question of how you came to have him upon your vessel."
Sparatus was on one hand enraged at her audacity and overjoyed that she had managed to not allow too much Asari Smug Superiority to seep into her usual grandstanding when dealing with diplomatic situations.
"Can't let ya but we will be keepin our ship at the edge of this nebula, ain't trustin ya, but we will allow ya to escort our team to the Dock."
Like that they were tense again. This one was quite defensive, then again they had been attacked and sieged by an alien species so it was no surprise that they were cagey. Tarvos'es expression was strained at the fact she had been rebuffed and their first request was rejected by these new arrivals to the galactic stage.
Sparatus and Valern however were internally laughing. However, ever the diplomat, Tarvos would nod her head, more to herself than to the speaker.
"Yes, I suppose that is understandable, we accept these terms, prepare your team and begin moving towards the docks. We will see you there."
Both sides seemed to cut off communication, though given that the three Asaranoids were moving forward, causing the three Council Members to suspect that their diplomatic team was in fact in the Asaranoids.
"Well they seem impatient, we had best move towards the Docks."
Nearly twenty minutes later, having to take an air car to the docks, with C-Sec working overtime to keep any crowds from going near the docks, and the Fleet suspending all approaches to the Citadel. The three would step out of the air conditioned vehicle and start walking down the stairwell towards the dock that had been designated for the Diplomatic Team's landing.
As they watched, six frigates of the fleet followed along beside the three Asaranoids, while weapon systems were untrained, they were prepared for an eventuality that the Diplomats may be actually a trap and the group here planned to enact revenge against the Council for the Batarnian attack.
"This is a highly unusual approach. Usually one has to wait months before they can get a meeting with us. I fear others may see this and pull a similar action."
This drew nods from the other two, clear worry etched on their faces. Though before more could be said, the three Asaranoids began to approach. They could properly see them all, thrusters seemed to cut off from the feet and back as their feet came into contact with the docks.
In a few places, the metal buckled under the weight while electricity would surge from the sides of the feet, his Omni-tool detecting high magnetism along the undersides of the feet. Then they smashed their Standards into the deck plating of the Dock, imbedding got a reaction from Tarvos.
"That…was rather unnecessary to do.."
A snort came from Sparatus as the three machines would merely stand there, even as the space between them began to ripple. Surprise passed over the various members of the Council as a Dropship would appear from thin air, beginning to buffet C-Sec and the Council Members as thrusters ignited and slowed its descent towards the deck as well.
It was something akin to a box with a front facing cockpit with four thrusters on the sides at different elevations and two engines on the back. Legs would emerge from beneath which connected with the deck and magnetized itself.
"And here we go…"
Sparatus would narrow his eyes as the tinted black cockpit refused to reveal anything inside. His attention is shifted towards the back of the drop ship as a ramp lowered and collided with the decking.
A few moments later, six asaranoids would emerge in tactical gear. Strange helmets with tubes connected to the front and back around to their backs. Weapons swep through the area before locking onto C-Sec and the Councilors. They would stand at attention a few moments later, their armor slimming but still possessing markings of blast plates here and there.
It was the sound of heavy thuds that drew his attention away from the six and a pair of giants.. Ebony colored armor, bulky in appearance, the echoing of servos in his ears and steam rising from several joints gave the appearance of smaller versions of the Asaranoid Machines. Their weapons were a pair of swords and shields, which crackled with electricity as they came to stand behind the other soldiers.
Then finally came the last of those aboard. One was instantly recognizable, being Saren himself, who nodded towards his fellow Turian while the other Asaranoid standing beside him was clearly in military clothing. The medals, which he could spot anywhere, were as plain as day to him.
Which made their appearance on a space faring species all the stranger to him, given that the practice of metal medals had otherwise fallen out of favor amongst the Turians. Broad of shoulder, almost like a Krogan in some ways. A head of vibrant golden hair, and a face that could have passed for a male Asari if he didn't have the hair. The last two would stop before the Councilors, eyes meeting as the Non-Asari held out his hand.
"It be ah pleasure to put faces to voices, I am High Lord Commander Ofærr Stjarnagram of the United Earth Alliance, and in tah name of Humanity, I would ask your help in regaining those taken from us by tah Batarian Hedgemony."
There was no sound as the two sides looked at each other. C-Sec watching those large weapons that the Humans had brought with them. A slow breath from Tarvos before she nodded, motioning for the two to follow.
"Then will you kindly follow behind as we lead you to the Council Chambers? We are not accustomed to such abrupt requests, for both joining a conflict we knew nothing about and being forced to become diplomatic with a species we weren't aware existed."
With a turn, she would begin making her way back towards the Chambers, the Human Soldiers remaining where they were as the old man and Saren started forward. The first meeting of Humanity and the Council, many held their breath.
Information Added since the Last Chapter.
Troop, Mobile Suit, and Vehicle Transports:
Heavy Vehicle/Land Ships:
Zeon Banner Bearer (AMX-107 Bawoo)
Federation Flag Bearer (RGE-G1500 Adele Mk-II)
United Earth Alliance Standard Bearer(MVF-M12A Ootsukigata)
Space Ships of the Line: