CHAPTER II

The Normandy exited hyperspace and a shimmer glazed over it's hull as it entered orbit over a large planet.

"Captain, we are in orbit over Eden Prime and the stealth system is activated. No Geth ships should be able to detect us." Hotrod explained to the Captain as he looked over the data on the pilot's display.

"That's good to know, Hotrod. So are there currently any Geth ships in the vicinity?"

Hotrod worked the controls and another display appeared in front of him showing the planet and three red dots positioned around it.

"Sir, there are currently three Geth cruisers orbiting the planet and they have shown no signs that they have spotted us."

Anderson stayed quiet for a moment as he took in the information given to him before activating the comm.

"Anderson to landing party, we are in orbit over Eden Prime. There are three Geth cruisers in orbit. To escape detection, I suggest your shuttle dives through the atmosphere and heads in low from the south and use the mountainous terrain to cover your approach."

In the shuttle minutes earlier Jack was sitting alongside two other soldiers. The guy sitting to his right, Jack didn't know, but the guy to his left was someone he knew very well.

"So we finally get an op together, Darby." the raven haired young man said with a smirk.

"Yeah well we did make a vow during basic training to get put on the same ship eventually didn't we, Kaidan." Jack replied with a smile to which His friend chuckled in return.

"We sure did, but we were just two raw recruits back then. Didn't realise how much crap we would see between then and now though right. I mean even after training we had numerous separate sorties against those Omega mercenaries and the Taurians while the Alliance was trying to be make peace with them, and then after those events you had to defend the colony on New Terra from those slavers by yourself and a few soldiers who were still green themselves."

Jack took a breath as he recalled those memories. The battles flashing right before his eyes like they had happened only yesterday. He blinked, forcing the memories away and then smiled back at Kaidan.

"It's not like you had it that much easier, when you and your team were dropped off onto that uncharted planet only to come up against the Yahg." Kaidan rolled his eyes and laughed out loud.

"Oh god those things, they were ugly hulking brutes. And they have four sets of eyes, I certainly thought that 'hey look behind you' wouldn't work."

The third man in the room who had been staring at Jack since they got into the shuttle, not that Jack hadn't noticed suddenly jumped into the conversation nervously.

"So…um, is it always this relaxed when you head into a battle situation or is this just a good day."

Both men looked at him bemused, Jack was surprised that the man could actually speak before Kaidan replied.

"You look nervous, is this your first op?"

The man wiped some sweat away from his forehead and nodded before carrying on fiddling with his hands.

"What's your name?" Jack asked gently. The nervous man looked up at him with an almost startled expression before clearing his throat.

"Verner, Sir, Private Conrad Verner."

"Well Private, you shouldn't worry. Since your on this ship my guess is that your good enough to be here. Plus you have me and the Commander here to watch your back." Kaidan added, giving Conrad a thumbs up. Conrad smiled back, looking a bit more relieved.

"Thanks." he replied before turning his attention to Jack.

"I would just like to say that it is a real honor to serve with the man that killed Megatron."

Jack tensed up and crossed his arms, he never really liked having this kind of attention.

"Thanks, Private, but I only helped end Megatron's life, I didn't do it my self."

Conrad just stared at him intently, taking in every word that Jack said but not looking like he heard it properly. Jack just sunk into his seat and sighed, Kaidan noticed this and nudged his mate's shoulder.

"Everything alright?"

"I'll tell you later." Jack replied before the shuttle's com system activated. Captain Anderson briefed them on the situation and the plan to get them down to the planet. Jack acknowledged and reported their status.

"We are ready for launch, Captain."

"Good, Commander, we are opening the shuttle bay door now. Good luck."

The shuttle bay door opened to reveal the green planet of Eden Prime. The lights in the cargo area changed to red as the pilot called back to them.
"Okay better strap yourselves in. High speed atmospheric entry can be quite nauseating"

Jack, Kaidan and Conrad strapped themselves into their chairs as the pilot worked the controls and the Shuttle lifted off the bay floor and flew out into space, leaving the Normandy behind as it fired its engines on full burn and descended down to the planet below like a bullet.

Within seconds it hit the atmosphere causing the front of the shuttle (which has extra an layer of Cybertitanium coated on the nose) to heat up at an extraordinary rate, causing things to get more than a little bit bumpy inside. As everything shook inside the shuttle, Conrad started feeling queasy and looked like he was about to spill his guts over the floor, until Kaidan got his attention.

"Hey, Conrad, how many atmospheric dives is this for you?"

Conrad looked up, his face once again sweating and his eyes looking like they were screaming for it stop.

"Four, simulated." he stuttered back nervously as Jack turned his head to him.

"How many actual dives?" he asked curiously.

"One, Sir....this one, Sir." he answered before he was forced to re-swallow the morning's breakfast back down his throat. Jack and Kaidan looked at each other and chuckled.

"Suck it up, Private, we're almost through the worst of it." Jack replied with a reassuring smile, which seemed to have had the intended effect on the private as he tried harder to fight the urge to regurgitate.

Suddenly the shaking subsided and the cargo area lights went back to white.

"Atmospheric dive complete, we are good and in the mountains" the pilot informed them, as Jack un-strapped himself from his chair and got up to look out the main hatch's window. He could see that they were flying low to the ground with the mountains around them.

"Great flying, Ensign." Jack congratulated the pilot, who felt a proud smirk grow on his face.

"Yeah, that was the best dive yet, I didn't even notice what was happening this time" Kaidan remarked with a joking tone. Jack turned back to his squad who un-strapped themselves and stood up.

"Okay, guys, check your gear. We'll be at the LZ in…", he looked back to the pilot who had heard him and replied.
"Three minutes, Sir."

Jack turned back to Kaidan and Conrad. The former looking very happy with his weapon.

"You like your new rifle, Kaidan?" Jack asked.

"You serious, this is the N7 Avenger assault rifle. The newest gun to roll of the N7 production line." Jack picked up another avenger and looked at it.

"Wasn't N7 founded by Ironhide and your friend, Rafael Esquivel, Sir?" Conrad asked Jack.

"Yes, Raf has a lot of projects on the go while he is working at the Ministry of Science in New Iacon. He messaged me a few days ago to tell me about our new armour that Mainframe and he had invented."

Kaidan then tapped Jack's shoulder pads.

"Yeah, our Armour now has a small shield generator built into it and also the armour itself is made from a filtered cybertitanium alloy."
Jack handed a rifle to Conrad.

"Which means we can take a few more hits than usual, but if your shield fails, don't take the risk. Get behind cover and wait for the shield to reboot."
Conrad nodded and held his rifle ready while Jack turned to Kaidan.

"I just wish I had this armour a few years back."

Kaidan smirked in return.

"I hear that." he replied as the pilot glanced to them.

"We are at the LZ, ready?"

Jack signaled the pilot who opened the hatch and the three of them jumped to the ground below, quickly regaining their balance and aimed the rifles ahead of them, scanning the area around them for hostiles.

"Clear." both Kaidan and Conrad called out and Jack acknowledged them before turning back to the shuttle which was hovering a few feet off the ground behind them.

"Okay we are going to head to the colony, you should head back to the mountains and lie low until we signal you for pick up."

"Acknowledged." The pilot responded before the shuttle rose in to the air and flew back towards the mountains in the distance, Jack then turned back to his team.

"Our first objective is to reach the colony and make contact with Ultra Magnus." He then activated his holo-tool which lit up around his lower left arm and opened a screen showing a map of the area around them. Jack studied it and then looked back at his men.

"We are several clicks south of the colony, we will use this thick forest as cover as we make our way there. According to the Normandy's sensor sweeps, the Geth seem to be located around the North west area, while sending patrols through the rest of the colony to root out any resistance." He brought up the scan of the area surrounding the colony.

"There is no sign of any Geth in the forest ahead of us." He added before turning off the holo-tool and re-equipping his weapon.

"You ready?" he asked both of them.

"Yes, Sir." they responded in unison. Jack smirked at them.

"Okay, lets move out."

PRIME EFFECT


Dusk set over the planet's landscape as the Jack and his team made their way through the dense forest towards their destination. They had been walking for just over an hour, and were only a about two clicks out now. As they had traversed the forest, Jack had witnessed a number of the planet's creatures roaming the area. Intel stated that Eden Prime was not known for having any wild life that would pose a danger to humans which is one of the reasons the colony was set up. And the intel proved true as the animals Jack and his team encountered had kept their distance and just watched them for a moment before carrying on with what they were doing.

'Probably wondering what the hell we are.' Jack thought to himself as he saw a creature that looked somewhat like an earth deer, but with more of a serpent look, with scales instead of fur staring at him. Jack ignored it and carried on walking ahead of Kaidan who was scanning the distance for any enemies that they may have missed and Conrad bringing up the rear. Jack took a quick look at the private who had just slapped his neck in retaliation to a bug that had landed there. He lifted his hand off his neck and flicked it, sending the dead insect into the undergrowth beneath their feet.

"Damn bugs" Conrad muttered to himself. Jack looked forward again and smirked.

'Talk about déjà vu.' he thought as he remembered the first time he went on a mission with Arcee, during his first year with the Autobots. They were investigating an energon signal that was deep in a forested area. Jack though was getting annoyed with the mosquitoes draining him of blood every few seconds. But by the end of that mission they had faced Arachnid and grown a little closer due to Jack's courage and compassion. Its funny how his thoughts would always drift back to Arcee no matter what was going on at the time.

'Okay, I will take her up on her offer and meet her at the Citadel after this mission.' he finally admitted to himself.

'I don't know what I am going to say to her though…' He was snapped out of his thoughts by a the sound of rustling in the undergrowth just ahead of him.
He raised his hand and signalled his team mates to stop. They both looked at him confused, obviously having not heard the noise. Jack pointed over to the undergrowth in front of them, and gestured Kaidan to go round from the left and Conrad the right. Both men nodded and slowly and quietly went in those directions, circling the area that Jack had pointed too. With both men out of sight Jack slowly closed in on the area, making sure not to make any sounds as he lessened the distance between himself and whatever was making the noise ahead of him. He was just about on top of it when SNAP! He looked down and noticed a broken branch under his right boot.

'Scrap.' he thought but carried on and closed the distance on the unknown, holding the rifle ready as he was prepared to kill if it was an enemy. But what he found was something else entirely.

He looked down on what had made that noise in the undergrowth. He was looking at a human woman in armour not unlike his own, but coloured pink and white. She was Japanese and had long raven black hair tied in a pony tail.

"Don't move." she warned him, panic evident in her voice, as she aimed her pistol at him, hands shaking slightly.
"I'll shoot you if you come any closer."

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Kaidan said as he and Conrad appeared both sides, weapons aimed at her. She looked around at them. Then it dawned on Jack who this was.

"Miko!" he called to her, gaining her attention immediately. She narrowed her eyes at him as looked him up and down. Jack lowered his weapon and moved slowly towards her.

"Miko, its me, Jack." he spoke calmly to her and approached her slowly.

"Weapons down." he ordered the men and they obeyed, lowering their weapons as Jack squatted in front of the woman. She lowered her weapon slowly too, though not sure why she was complying. Jack was no right in front of her and her eyes widened as it suddenly dawned on her.

"Jack!" she happily exclaimed as she gave him a hug before a second later letting go and clutching her side.

"You're hurt, let me see that." said Jack as he examined her wound.

"Nothing some medi-gel couldn't fix." she replied as Jack pulled out a metal cylinder shaped apparatus and sprayed it over the wound, gaining an immediate relaxing look from Miko as the pain subsided.

"How did this happen, I thought you were with the Wreckers?" Jack asked concerned as he put the medi-gel away in the pouch on his belt. Miko sat up and pointed over to her right. Kaidan noticing this went over and found the corpse of a Geth lying face down in the undergrowth with a hole in its back. The body had a synthetic humanoid appearance except for the head which one would only describe as a flashlight head.

"Damn toaster was chasing me. You see our sensors detected an alliance signal for a micro second over the planet. Magnus knew it was help and sent me out here to meet up with whoever they had sent, knowing that any rescue would have to come via the mountains to prevent being detected by the Geth. I just didn't realise it would be you."

"Wait they sent you alone?" Jack replied shock evident in his voice. Miko stared daggers at him.

"I'm not kid any longer, Jack, and you should know how good I am at stealth."

"Tell that to the Geth over here." Kaidan remarked as he looked down at its lifeless body.

"That thing was already here, no one was following me from the base, I made sure of it." she replied irritably while Jack smiled at her in return.

"Sorry, Miko, I am just glad that you are alright, I still worry about you, you know."
Miko calmed and returned the smile.

"So, what kind of help have you brought other than the three of you." she asked.

"The Normandy is in orbit in stealth mode and we have a shuttle in the mountains waiting for our signal. But we need to get to the colony, what's the situation there?"

Miko activated her holo-tool and showed them the information on the screen it emitted.

"We have control of the south side of the colony and the Geth are holding the north side. But they are no longer attempting to come any closer. Almost like there is something in the North side that has their interest."

"Any idea what?" Jack asked curiously, which made Miko shake her head.

"I don't know, you will have to speak to Magnus."

"Okay then." Jack replied as he stood up, helping her to her feet.

"You alright to move?"

Miko padded herself down and holstered her gun.

"Yeah, that medi-gel did the trick." she then turned around and walked over to the Geth corpse.

"You know, you will need more than just that pistol." Kaidan remarked. A confident smirk grew on Miko's face as she bent down and picked up the Geth's weapon and checked its ammo, before smiling back at Kaidan and Conrad.

"I think I'm good, thanks."

"Okay then, Miko can you lead back to the colony." Jack asked as he held his weapon ready.

"Sure thing, follow me." she replied as she took the lead and the four of them headed further into the forest

PRIME EFFECT


By the time they had reached the colony, dusk had almost become night as the cloudy sky took on a dark crimson look above them. Miko had been right about the Geth staying on their side of the colony. They had not seen a single Geth centurion at all as they moved from one building to the next. The group came up to one building that looked almost identical to the others they had seen, save for the big metal doors blocking the entrance. Miko went up to the door and knocked on it several times, waiting a number of seconds before knocking it a final time. Jack had Conrad and Kaidan watch their backs as they waited for the doors to open, which they then did with a loud screeching sound. Miko then lead the group inside as the doors closed behind them. They entered a room filled with monitors with a man in blue armour with a red pattern standing in the middle looking at information on the screen in front of him. Miko stood to his side as he turned and looked at the new arrivals.

"Miko, I see you were successful in your assignment." he stated with the same calm stoic presence that Jack would associate with Optimus. Jack stepped forward and shook the Wrecker leader's hand.

"Ultra Magnus, Commander Darby of the Normandy, we are here to assist you in reclaiming the colony."

Magnus looked at the three of them before turning back to Miko.

"Gunnery Chief Nakadai, Wheeljack wished to know when you had returned, I suggest you go speak to him." Miko saluted him before giving Jack one last look and then leaving the room.

"Commander, I am glad you are here, the Geth have taken over much of the northern part of the colony."

Jack stood beside the man and looked at the monitor in front of them.

"What is exactly in the northern side of the colony, civilian quarters?"

"No, the civilians are locked in their quarters to protect them. This part of the colony contains the labs where the colony's scientists work on the relics found in the dig site a few clicks to the west of the colony." Magnus replied with a head shake.

"Dig site?" Jack repeated. Magnus typed on the computer's keyboard and brought up images of the dig site and several artifacts that had been found.

"The scientists believe that this planet used to be inhabited by the Lithone, an ancient bio-mechanical race not unlike how ours (Cybertronians) used to be. But they died out 100,000 years ago by unknown reasons. Or so the scientists say."

Jack studied the images before turning to the Autobot.

"Why would the Geth attack the colony for a bunch of relics. I thought they hadn't been seen outside the outer rim of the galaxy for the last few centuries" Magnus deactivated the console and turned back to Jack.

"I don't know why they would be here now, but we have to stop them."

"I couldn't agree more." came a voice from the area where Miko had gone. Jack looked over to see Miko and a caucasian man in white and black armour with twin swords strapped to his back and two SMG's holstered to his belt. He had brown, wavy hair and a confident smile.

"Wheeljack." Jack smiled as the Autobot slapped his shoulder.

"It's been a while, Jack. So I am guessing that between the two of us, these Geth don't stand a chance." Kaidan and Conrad walked forward and introduced themselves to Wheeljack as Jack looked back to the Wrecker leader.

"Well I think we have enough people here to make an attack on the lab complex."
Magnus nodded in agreement.

"If we split into two teams, one attacking the Geth head on while the other team can sneak in and finish this."
Jack nodded and looked at the people in the room.

"Okay, I'll take Kaidan, Miko and Wheeljack and we will attack their position head on. And Private Verner will go with you"
Conrad saluted at that, but Magnus shook his head.

"I'll do better on my own." He replied and was about to walk past when Jack grabbed his shoulder and stopped him.

"I won't let you go out there alone." Jack replied with a determined look.

"Conrad, you will go with Ultra Magnus and support him while the rest of us attack." Conrad readied his weapon and waited for the Wrecker leader, who picked up his Magnus hammer and holstered it on his back. He then turned to Jack with slight smile on his face.

"I can see why Optimus likes you, Jack, alright... I will follow the plan."

Jack smiled as the Autobot and Conrad left, only himself, Kaidan, Miko and Wheeljack remaining. He turned to them and readied his weapon.

"I hope you guys are ready for a fight. Because the Geth will have that lab heavily protected. We need to insure that we can keep the Geth occupied long enough for Magnus and Conrad to slip by unnoticed."

They all readied their weapons with confident looks on their faces. Jack smiled at all of them.

"Okay, let's move."

PRIME EFFECT


Jack's group had again not seen a single Geth as they made their way to the lab complex.
"I guess they really have got all their drones protecting the labs. I was at least expecting to kill at least a few of them before we get to the main event" Wheeljack said irritably as Miko walked beside him. "I'm sure there will be more than enough Geth for each of us to shoot once we get to there" she said reassuringly.

Jack signaled them to stop when he noticed something.

"What is it, Jack?" Kaidan asked.

The Commander turned to them, his face questioning.

"Can any of you hear that?"

They all looked up suddenly when thunder and lightning blasted across the sky as the clouds parted to reveal a gigantic black alien ship descending over the colony. It was massive, with a shiny surface that looked like you would lose yourself in it if you looked at it too long. If Jack was to describe it, he would say that it looked like a some ancient monster from one of those old stories back home.

"What the hell is that?" Wheeljack asked in amazement at what he was witnessing.

"You haven't seen anything like that before?" Jack asked him back.

"No not in my lifetime and that is a long time." He replied not taking his eyes off the black ship.

"Well whatever the hell it is, it is stationed itself right at the north end of the colony just beyond the complex. So lets keep moving" Jack said motioning them onward. Further away down the colony, the ship didn't go unnoticed by Ultra Magnus or Conrad who were quietly making their way to the lab.
The courtyard leading to labs was crawling with Geth centurions while Jack and the others hid behind a small wall and used it as cover at the far end. Jack peeked over the wall and saw not only centurions but also a cannon emplacement right at the entrance at the top the stairs which was high which gave the cannon the advantage of the higher ground and it would be able to fire at them no matter where they were in the courtyard.

"So how are we going to take out the Geth and that weapon emplacement?" Kaidan asked trying to sound confident. Jack looked back out to the Geth and smiled. The others noticed this and looked bemused at how their leader suddenly could smile despite the situation they found themselves in.

"I have an idea." he responded before he aimed his weapon and opened fire, causing the Geth to fire back, turning the courtyard into a battlefield.

Ultra Magnus and Conrad had made their way to the side entrance at far side of the lab complex that were guarded by just two Geth centurions who just stood there like statues. Weapons fire could suddenly be heard from the front of the building, making the Geth turn their heads towards the commotion.
As soon as he noticed this Magnus equipped his hammer and at first very slowly crept towards the two guards, making sure they did not notice him. When he was almost on top of them, he swung his hammer as hard as he could and smashed it into the head of the nearest centurion causing the flashlight it had for an eye to smash open spilling fluid out, staining the ground around them. The other Geth turned around and looked down at it's friend and then back up to the intruder with the large hammer. It then pulled out its weapon and aimed it at the Autobot, before having its head explode from a gunshot from Magnus's right. The body went limb and hit the ground, while Magnus looked to see Conrad with his rifle and smiled at the human.

"Nice shot, Kid."

The two of them entered the complex and searched each room, which was either full of cargo boxes or machinery. They came up to a large room with what looked like an large alien artifact in the middle of it, Magnus turned to Conrad.

"Hey Kid, I want you out there and make sure no one enters this room, got it?"

Conrad nodded and headed out of the room. Magnus walked up to the artifact, fascinated by the patterns, the strange language that was carved on to it. He reached out with his hand and was about to touch it when the sounds of footsteps behind alerted him. He turned around Hammer in hand, ready to attack and stopped when he saw a Taurian in grey armour walking up to him.

"Saren Arterius?" he asked, the surprise evident in his voice as the Taurian smiled at him.

"I am here to help." he said in a calm tone as he walked past Magnus towards the artefact.

"I hadn't realised that the Council had sent a Spectre to help too." he replied while Saren stood behind the Autobot and pulled out his pistol.

"I never said I was here to help you." he replied as he aimed the gun at the back of Ultra Magnus's head.

A gunshot alerted Conrad as he ran back to the room he had left the wrecker in and was shocked by what he saw. As he stood in the doorway he looked in to see the Autobot lying on the floor dead with his head in a small pool of fluid. He looked up to see the Taurian staring at him. Conrad knew who it was, a million questions ran through his mind.

'Why is Saren here, why is Ultra Magnus dead?' But before he could think of an answer Saren fired at the human, causing him to jump out of the way, training and instinct taking over as he rolled across the floor and ended up back in a kneeling position with weapon aimed right at Saren. But before hecould fire a sound of something robotic approaching behind him caused him to turn and see a Geth centurion standing next him, weapon aimed right at him. 

"Kill him!" Saren ordered. Conrad knowing he was beaten, closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable to happen. The sound of a gun being fired echoed through the building.

The battle in the courtyard had heated up as Jack's team had taken out a number of the centurions but were still at a stand still due to the weapon emplacement.

"So I would love to know what this idea of yours is?" Kaidan asked impatiently. Jack smirked and looked at him.

"This" he answered as he placed one hand on the small wall they had used for cover.

"Now cover me!" he shouted as he vaulted over the wall and fired his weapon riddling the Geth in front of him with bullets before charging off up the courtyard, the others didn't have time to be shocked as they fired their weapons at the Geth bearing down on the Commander who was still running through the battle, taking out enemies who got too close. Jack then saw his target and closed in on a Geth centurion who was carrying a grenade launcher. He pulled out his combat knife and sliced clean through the robot's left arm making it drop the weapon, before plunging the knife right into its eye, fluid squirting out onto Jack's face.

He then noticed the cannon bearing down on him, so ducked behind cover while grabbing the grenade launcher off the ground next to its dead owner. He looked back to see his friends firing at the geth. He then summoned all of his courage to get up, aim the weapon and fire three grenades at the weapon emplacement causing it to explode in an amazing fireball sending the Geth around it into the walls of the building. At that moment the last Geth fell as his friends joined him where he stood. Miko looked at him and pointed at his face.

"I think you should clean that off." she suggested in a sisterly tone. Jack smiled and wiped the fluid off his face, while Wheeljack and Kaidan looked at him impressed.

"Jack, who knew you had moves like that.." Wheeljack said not hiding how impressed he was.

"...the last person I saw move like that was Optimus."

Jack suddenly felt embarrassed again. It happened every time someone compared him to the Prime. Wanting to change the subject, he pointed towards the complex.

"Well, thanks but its not over yet, lets rendezvous with Magnus and Conrad and figure out what the Geth were after."
The team then headed into the complex.

Once they were inside they walked through numerous labs and supply rooms looking for their friends, until they came to a large room with an artefact in the middle of it. On the floor was two bodies which all four recognized instantly.

"Magnus!" Wheeljack cried out as he and Miko rushed to side of the fallen wrecker, while Jack and Kaidan went to Conrad. But one look at the body gave them the unfortunate truth.

"He's dead." the Autobot confirmed as he reached down with his hand and closed the eyes of his old friend and Commander. Miko looked at the back of Magnus's head and noticed the bullet wound.

"Looks like someone got the drop on him." she said as she showed it to Wheeljack.

"Impossible, the only way that would happen is if it was someone he knew." Wheeljack replied as Jack and Kaidan looked over Conrad's body laying limp on the floor.

"I...know who...did it." Conrad opened his eyes and spit out a little blood, gaining everyone's attention. Jack knelt by him and got out the medi-gel, but Conrad stopped him.

"It's too...late for...me." he said while gesturing to the exit bullet holes in his chest.

"We can't just leave you like this." Jack argued back. But the private smirked at him.

"It was Saren Arterius, he has aligned himself with the Geth." he said trying to ignore the pain in his chest as blood continued to spill out despite Kaidan's attempts to stop the bleeding.

"The council Spectre with the Geth, that's impossible. Why would he even be here?" Miko asked confused.

Conrad used what strength he had left to lift his arm and point towards the artifact.

"He was after that, but had to leave when he heard your approach."

As if on cue, the thunder and lightning returned as Jack looked out of the nearest window to witness the giant black ship lifting off and back out into space. His com-link then came to life.

"Commander Darby, this is Anderson. We have noticed that the Geth ships and one ship of unknown origin are leaving orbit, what is your status?"
Jack put his hand to his com link in his ear and responded.

"This is Darby, the colony is secured but we have one casualty, Ultra Magnus and one critically injured, Private Verner. We need pick up and will need the infirmary standing by."

"Understood, we have signalled the shuttle. It should be there in minutes, Normandy out."

Jack looked over to Kaidan who couldn't hide the sadness in his face as he looked at Jack.

"Conrad didn't make it." He said as he closed Conrad's eyes and stood up taking a deep breath. Jack walked over to him and placed his hand on his shoulder, giving him a sympathetic look.

"He was a good soldier and he has just told us who did this. His death will not be in vain." Kaidan looked at Jack and nodded. The Commander then looked over Kaidan's shoulder and noticed Miko standing extremely close to the artifact which started to have a green glow around it.

"Miko, I wouldn't stand too close to that."

Miko looked over to him before a she was hit by a green energy that was being emitted from the Artifact. Wheeljack looked on in horror as she was covered in the green energy before seeing Jack push her out of the way, the energy flowing over him instead. Jack found that everything went white. His whole body was in immense pain. Then it happened, the white light was replaced by a vision.

'There was fire everywhere, the environment around him was a smoldering ruin as Storm clouds raged overhead. The thunder deafened Jack as lightning flashed across the sky. The Commander looked around to find the bodies of aliens he had never seen before lying around him, hundreds, no thousands of bodies. It was a massacre of immense scale, then a familiar sound echoed behind him. Jack turned around to see the same massive black ships overhead firing extremely powerful looking red energy beams down at the planet's surface causing more devastation, then everything went black. If what he had seen had scared him, then what happened next caused chills right down to his soul. A ghostly voice spoke to him through the darkness. "You have witnessed our end. Your end is about to begin. The Reapers are coming!"

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