MASS EFFECT: VINDICATION
The year is 2186 CE, mere months before the Reapers invade Earth. One year has passed since the assault on the Collector Base, the destruction of the Alpha Relay, and the "replacement" of the Shadow Broker - all of which were the actions of Commander Shepard. Shepard has since then been arrested by the Alliance and unofficially discharged.
Unnamed Space Station, Styx Theta Cluster, Acheron System
The Illusive Man, leader of the pro-human black ops survivalist group Cerberus, has gained control of the purged Collector Base due to the actions of Commander Shepard. Utilizing his other research facilities as well, he has been conducting immoral experiments on numerous test subjects in order to combat the Reapers. One of which was Paul Grayson, who was eventually indoctrinated by the Reapers due to his implants, and he was hunted down and killed by Cerberus assassin Kai Leng.
The Illusive Man is slowly losing his sanity - due to his encounter of a Reaper artifact during the First Contact War, decades earlier. He has used cloning techniques to breed an army, and has nearly rebuilt his organization since the events of Mass Effect: Retribution. He has even delusioned himself into believing that everything he is doing will stop the Reapers.
What could be done to combat the Reapers? And what of Cerberus? Only time will tell.
The Illusive Man sat in his chair, looking through the viewing window at the star Acheron. The viewing window formed the entire outer wall of his inner sanctum. Acheron shone brightly - merely in the middle stages of its life. In its final stages, its gravity would collapse upon itself - creating a black hole to swallow up the entire system. It reminded him of the galaxy: it was beautiful, but it could be easily snuffed out in a blink of the cosmic eye.
That would never
happen to humanity - especially not at the hands of the Reapers. Spinning his chair so that he looked in the opposite direction, he moved his fingers on the holographic interface on his chair.
"Bourbon.", he said. "On the rocks."
Almost instantly, the door opened for one of his assistants to walk inside - holding an empty glass with ice in one hand, and a bottle in the other. She held out the bottle to him for his approval. He gave her a curt nod, and she filled the glass nearly to the brim. He grasped it in his outstretched hand, and she turned around to walk away.
As he took a sip, he savored the sweet flavor of the Kentucky distilled alcohol - reminding him of the old days back on Earth. A beep from his holographic console brought him back to his senses, and he answered the call with a motion of his hand.
A Cerberus Operative materialized himself on the other end.
"Sir.", he said. "Archer ran the tests too hard."
The Illusive Man had no doubts about who he was talking about.
"The subject is dead, then?", he asked - waiting for confirmation.
"The 'Subject' has a name.", the Operative said - unmistakable hostility in his voice.
"David, then.", the Illusive Man conceded - coldly. "What happened?"
He didn't understand why he wanted him to refer to the subject with his name. After Dr. Gavin Archer fused David's intelligence with an AI - David couldn't have been considered human anymore.
"After Shepard re-activated Project Overlord, Archer decided to run the tests again. He pushed David's intelligence beyond its limits - and it killed him.", he said, confirming what the Illusive Man already knew.
"Very well. I am saddened that the project ended like this. This will set our research back for years, decades even.", the Illusive Man replied.
"Then, looks like you'll have to clean up the mess, sir. Garik Chelku out.", said the Operative - cutting off transmission.
Chelku's arrogance will get the better of him someday. The Illusive Man spun his chair around to gaze at the star, sipping on his drink.
Inside a warehouse, an exchange was about to take place. The krogan leaned on one of the walls inside of the dimly lit warehouse, surrounded by his vorch guards. His human contact finally walked inside - a former Alliance Marine.
"So, fill me in. Why are the Blood Pack on the Citadel?", the human asked, starting the conversation.
"We're here because we want to. That's all you need to know.", the krogan replied, the common krogan hostility in his voice.
"So how's the exchange going to work? Should I hand you th-", the human began to ask, but the krogan cut him off.
"This exchange isn't going to happen at all. You tipped off C-Sec, you double-crossed me. You don't get to walk away.", the krogan replied.
Before the human could react, the krogan battlemaster used a motion of his hand - creating a biotic push that slammed the human into the back wall - killing him. As the krogan began to walk away, the door opened. He turned to look to see Kiraje Sazhe, closing the door behind him. The red hue of his visor created an eerie glow within the warehouse.
Kiraje Sazhe walked inside of the warehouse, using his omni-tool to close the door behind him. Looking at the krogan - he was relieved that Je'el actually came through. He was saddened - however, to see his corpse crumpled up in a heap near the door.
"Ceruk.", Kiraje said smugly.
"Back off, turian. If you leave now, I won't have to kill you.", Ceruk replied, gripping his Graal Spike Thrower.
"You cannot kill what you cannot see.", Kiraje replied, activating his Tactical Cloak.
Thankfully, the poor lighting amplified his 'invisibility' inside of the warehouse. He grabbed his M-77 Paladin, and he took four quick shots at the four vorcha guards - each shot killing them. This caused the cloak to uncloak, and he saw the krogan charge at him with the bayonet on his Graal. Kiraje rolled out of the way, grabbing and taking aim with his Phaeston - shredding the krogan's barriers.
Ceruk fired his shotgun, this shot impossible to dodge. It passed through his shields like butter - but thankfully the armor absorbed the rest of the blast. Kiraje took cover behind a stack of crates, and he saw the krogan about to unleash a biotic attack. Idiot
, Kiraje thought to himself. He popped out of cover to shoot at the exposed krogan. The rounds penetrated the krogan's thick armor, but the barrage of rounds brought him to his knees - losing his biotic concentration. Grabbing his Paladin, Kiraje walked up to Ceruk and pointed the pistol right between the eyes.
Even a krogan couldn't survive a point-blank shot to the head. But Kiraje had experience with dealing with krogan, and negotiating with them is nigh difficult. Rather than sparing the trouble. He pulled the trigger in a quick triple succession - all three rounds lodging into the krogan's skull.
As the Ceruk slumped to the ground, Kiraje placed the pistol onto his belt and walked to the Dark Star Club - filing his report to Executor Chellick.