Shattering the skies above A Mass Effect Fan Fiction by mehmep059

Lieutenant Daniel Thompson gazed out into the vast jungle before him, wishing he could take off his helmet and see the landscape through his own eyes, rather than through the optic filters and layers of polarization of his faceplate. However, he knew that the methane-based atmosphere of Torfan would not agree with his respiratory system.

“Damn the Batarians...” Thompson said with curious volume, “Why would the four-eyed sons-of-bitches attack such a beautiful place?...”

Though the Batarians, or rather a small mercenary group comprised largely of Batarians, currently held the planet, it had originally been a developing human colony. In the colonization rush of 2165, twenty years after humanity discovered Prothean engine designs buried on Mars, as well as the Arcturus Prime Mass Relay, which enabled travel to the farthest regions of space, they began colonizing worlds, inhabited or not. The Batarians had interest in, or colonists on some of these worlds already, and, due to the Council’s immediate interest in humanity and their desire to remain neutral, their requests for Council aid were denied. This lead the Batarians to withdraw from the Council and establish a rogue state within the terminus systems, the majority of their population largely uninterested in squalling with the galactic newcomers. However, there were extremists who had every desire to spill human blood over land they felt the Batarians were

entitled to. These groups began attacking and occupying small human settlements, and thus the Torfan conflict was wrought.

A marine jogged up the hill Thompson was perched on, stopping two meters away from the officer. The marine was attired much the same as Thompson himself, wearing the Human Systems Alliance Military standard issue Onyx IV environmental hard suit and brandishing an Avenger III assault rifle at waist level.

“Lieutenant Thompson!” the marine wheezed, gasping for air, “Sir, news from Admiral Hackett! He wants you to see him at central command in the F-wing of Alpha Base, Sir.”

“Is that all, Private Monroe?” asked Thompson coolly, never once turning to face the soldier behind him.

“Yes Sir!”

“Very well. Tell him I’ll be there at 0600.”

“Yes Sir!” barked the marine as he began the trek back to the comm post.

...

Thompson strode with purpose through the concrete halls of Alpha Base, staring at the tight framework of the structure. It was a bomb shelter, built hastily, but it could take quite a beating. The accommodations seemed appropriate, considering their enemy was armed with a vast array of Anti-

Air guns, anti- vehicle missiles and long ranged radar that linked directly to an orbiting M41A Blackstorm particle cannon. Thompson knew that these fortifications made a direct assault on the enemy base suicidal, which made him worry all the more. He entered Admiral Hackett’s office with the hope that his Commanding Officer had good news for him.

“Ah Thompson, good you’re here. Come in, sit down.” said Admiral Hackett in his gruff manner of forced politeness.

“What is it you needed to see me for Sir?” Thompson asked, saluting his superior officer.

“Sit down son.” said Hackett, motioning to a chair opposite his desk. “Navy Intelligence has informed us that a ‘Cathka Verdino’ is leading the Batarians, irrelevant I suppose but at least we know who we’re dealing with. He’s a longstanding Blue Suns commander, most of his troops remained loyal to him even after his expatriation from the organization. He’s conducted countless raids on our settlements and slaughtered thousands... The man’s a Barbarian... But I suppose that doesn’t explain why you’re here, does it son?...” Hackett lay back in his chair and set his feet on the desk in front of him.

“Son...” Hackett sighed, “Our techs have informed us that they can jam the satellite signals to the Balckstorm gun in orbit...”

“That seems like good news to me sir, but from your expression, I think there’s more to it than that.” said Thompson in a matter- of- fact way.

“There is Lieutenant... This is the perfect opportunity for us to take Cathka out, but Our Tech team can't stay within their firewalls forever, their admins lock out unauthorized users every three minutes. Therefor, we only have a thirty minute issue window before the Batarians bring the Blackstorm back online. We’d like you to lead an infiltration team to destroy that transmitter and disable as much of their weaponry as possible. Also if you can, kill Cathka, he’s been a thorn in our side for far too long.” Hackett finished his end of the conversation by lighting an antique pipe, and taking a long puff.

“Sounds simple enough,” replied the Lieutenant. “Who’s on my team sir?”

“We’ve already assembled your team Thompson, they’re waiting for you in the garage. You’ll be crossing no man’s land in a Mako. Let us know when you’re ready and we’ll tell the techs to start the operation.”

“Yes Sir.” Thompson saluted and exited the room.

The Lieutenant proceeded to the garage, all the way thinking of all the possible outcomes

of the mission. It was very likely that most or all of his squad would be killed just breaking through the Batarian defenses. They were very well fortified, a minimum of twenty soldiers held the door at all times, they knew this was their last hurrah and they weren’t going down without a fight.

Thompson reached the garage and opened the door to find 20 soldiers, men and women , dressed in full combat gear, an assortment of snipers, tech specialists, demolitions experts, and shock troopers filled the room. Each of them stood at rigid attention, saluting the Lieutenant with looks of determination, one of them stepped forward and spoke.

“Sergeant Jacob Taylor at your service sir! I’ll be your second- in- command, and I must say, we are all ecstatic to be working with you Sir!” the young man said, sweat beading atop his dark forehead.

“At ease, all of you,” said Thompson, his expression cool and calm. “This is practically a suicide mission, we are charging an incredibly fortified hilltop and we have a small window of time in which to do it. If any of you have second thoughts, you may leave now with nothing less thought of you.”

“This is a volunteer assignment sir, everyone in this room knows the associated risks.” said Sergeant Taylor.

“Good,” replied Thompson “Let command know we’re ready.”

“Aye Sir!” barked Taylor as he saluted and strode towards the comm terminal.

...

The earth felt firm in Thompson’s hands, they’d successfully penetrated the Batarian defenses, losing half their squad in the process. Now all Thompson was waiting for was Corporal Daniels, his lead demo- man, to blast the door open. There was a soft thud as thermite charges lifted the door from its frame.

“We’re all clear L T.” the stubby man shouted back to him.

“All right people, let’s move out! We’ve got eighteen minutes! Hit ‘em fast and hit ‘em hard, Marines! Go! Go! Go!”

...

The next eight minutes were a blur to Thompson, bullets whizzed past his face and tore through his energy shielding and his armor. By the time the bulk of the fighting had subsided, Thompson, Taylor, Daniels, and Ryans, their lead engineer, were the only marines still standing. They proceeded into the main control room. Thompson had been shot four times, Taylor six, and Daniels three. The majority of their squad had been killed charging the main entry point. They

had sacrificed themselves to give him this chance, and he would not waste it. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a large Batarian aiming a missile launcher at Daniels.

“Get down Dammit!” Thompson shouted at the marine. But it was too late.

“Die Humans!” the Batarian roared as he fired his weapon at the demo man, the marine's body exploded as chunks of flesh, bone, and gray matter flew through the air.

Thompson knew he was facing Cathka, it had to be. The alien’s hard suit had a dozen punctures, and one of his eyes had been shot out. Thompson aimed his gun and fired a six round burst into Cathka’s skull, and the four eyed monster fell to the floor.

“Sir they’ve brought the Blackstorm back online!” Screamed Sergeant Taylor. “We’ve got to –”

He was cut off as a red beam of divinity fell from the sky into the center of the control room. The resulting shock wave slammed Thompson into a wall, knocking him cold.

The air here is so thick... Thompson thought to himself. It seemed as though he was awake, but he knew that couldn't be true. For one thing, he wasn't wearing a helmet, and Torfan's atmosphere would've have gotten into his lungs and killed him by now. Looking around, Thompson saw his childhood home. The slums of Elysium... I thought I was done with this...

I never wanted to come back here again... Am I dead? No... Just a memory... Saying goodbye to the one person who was kind to me, to any of us slum rats, in that place... Thank you Father Cornwell... If you could only see me now... Who would've ever believed that some little slum rat would take down a terrorist group... He laughed in his mind, fading back into consciousness.

Thompson awoke in a medical bay, white walls and IVs seemed to stare blankly at him, as if he were about to tell them a story. It was over.

“Thank God...” Thompson sighed, closing his eyes.

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