Shepard, Alenko and Jenkins quickly assembled in the hangar where Captain Anderson was waiting for them. Nihlus was already there as well, already suited and booted and ready for action - it seems Spectres expect to be in the thick of it at any given notice.
"You'll be the brunt of the mission Shepard, find that Beacon - helping survivors is a secondary priority" Anderson said through the bluster as the hangar doors had opened. Eden Prime was below them, a beautiful garden world dotted with towers, but the sky was scorched red following the attack from the unknown source. The Normandy's stealth system was fully engaged and operational, they would be going in quick and quiet. Nihlus joined the others by the hangar doors, checking his shotgun.
"Are you coming with us Nihlus?" Jenkins asked, barely containing his excitement.
"No. I work faster on my own." he said as the Normandy descended for a drop off - Nihlus jumped out and advanced.
"Nihlus will go on ahead, maintain radio contact with him." Anderson said,
"I'm not sure I like putting my life in the hands of a turian, sir." Shepard shouted over the chop that had risen in volume,
"That's enough Shepard, he's got your back - you get his!" Anderson commanded,
"Yes sir!" Shepard said - he may have his opinions, but he respects the chain of command, especially with Captain Anderson.
The Normandy came round to the second drop point, and Joker lowered it undetected to drop off the team.
Shepard and Alenko broke cover to destroy the machines that appeared to be drones. Alenko went to Jenkins body, closing his eyes.
"He never stood a chance, they ripped right through his shields." Alenko said, somberly.
"Leave him, we have to continue." Shepard said bluntly, knowing that soldiers die, but the mission has to continue.
They advanced further up through the open area to find more cover, where 3 more drones were waiting for them. After a brief gunfight, Shepard and Alenko destroyed them and continued on their way.
They cautiously went through a few trees, when they heard gunfire. Shepard told Alenko to get down and ready his weapon, as they saw another large clearing. What they saw was a marine, who appeared to be on the live feed Shepard saw on the Normandy running towards them, with 2 drones in pursuit. She dove to the floor, turning as she landed, drew her pistol and took the drones out with a few shots.
On the far side of the clearing they saw 2 mechs, with a clearly wounded civilian, laying him on a pedestal, he was still alive and clearly conscious as one of the mechs activated the pedestal, which drove a large spike skyward, impaling the civilian.
The mechs looked round and saw Shepard, they started to advance. Shepard, Alenko and the other marine engaged the mechs taking them out after combining well and flanking them around a large rock in the centre of the clearing.
Afterwards, Shepard and Alenko approached the marine, and Shepard spoke up,
"Soldier, give me a status report."
"Sir, Chief Tech Ashley Williams, of the 212 stationed on Eden Prime. Everything was normal until about an hour ago when those things showed up and blew everything to hell, sir." she said, still catching her breath. Ashley was a beautiful woman, clearly a tough soldier and a good shot. She carried herself well, but as though she was carrying more than her fair share of burdens.
"What were those things?" Alenko asked,
"I believe they are geth, sir." Ashley replied,
"Geth? Impossible, the geth haven't been seen outside the veil in nearly 200 years, what would they be doing here?" Alenko retorted.
"I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with the beacon." Ashley said,
"What do you know about the geth Williams?" Shepard asked,
"Only what they told us in school, sir." Ashley said, "They were a sentient race of machines created over 200 years ago by the quarians, who drove them to exile, and haven't been seen since."
"What happened to the rest of your unit?" Shepard asked,
"Wiped out sir, I'm the only survivor." Williams said, without missing a breath.
"Can you take us to the dig site Williams?" Shepard asked,
"Yes sir, it's time for payback on those sons of bitches."
Shepard instructed Williams to join him and Alenko, as they advanced out of the clearing onto a small slope, feeding down to what appeared to be the dig site. Small ruins dotted the slope to the main dig site and Shepard took point, taking cover behind the seemingly ancient stone blocks.
As they neared the dig site, they could see that it was littered with geth, Shepard instructed the others to hold fire while he took out his sniper rifle. He lined up the geth the furthest away from him, andtook aim. His bullet ripped the geth's top half clear off and sent the others into cover - looking for the shooter. The geth were humanoid in form, but with a large curved "head" with a large blue light at the front of it - this appeared to be it's eye, and it made noises in a series of grunting sounding bleeps and churns.
Williams and Alenko opened fire on the remaining geth, while Shepard waited for his gun to cool down, once it had he lined up a second geth and took it out. After the geth were taken down, they advanced into the dig site.
"The beacon! It's gone!" Ashley said,
"Where could it be Williams?" Shepard asked,
"I suppose the scientists could have taken it when the attack started, there could be some more alive further on." she replied. Just then Nihlus radioed through,
"Shepard, I'm seeing a lot of strange activity down by the tram station, I'm going to go and check it out. Meet me down there when you can."
"You heard the man, let's move out." Shepard said, as they set off up another slope towards a series of prefab units that housed the scientists.
More Mass Effect Serialisation soon! Oh and just so you know, this whole thing is just because I bloody love these games so much - and for it's story alone, it's a great ride. I just hope my words can do it justice.