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Author: Parag-N7S (ParagusPrime)
"...There is no rear guard to protect from a Reaper pincer. The last push practically guarantees they will squeeze from behind."
Anderson, he was the only one willing to blurt the obvious to bring form to thoughts that were stewing in everyone's heads. He could hear Wrex bark at his Krogan brutes in the background...
"You jackasses and pyjacks are here for many things! But of all of them, here is what we must do as Krogans!
Be ruthless, be enraged, and for the love of Kalros, if you go down, do not let it not be to a husk... like the bastards who couldn't handle it back on Tuchanka at the Hollows!
This battlefield doesn't get any better. When allied forces give the go ahead, the entire city will become a free firing lane. Channel the ancient Krogan warriors in our genes. Those that survive to the end will be the champions of our future.
I am Urdnot Wrex, and I stand with every Krogan soldier in every space and time!!!
How of many of you rise and do the same? I'm ready! HOW ABOUT YOU??!!!"
(Krogans from all clans could be heard blaring from every crevice and corner amongst the rubble. Even the Reaper droning out in the distance were for a brief respite overmatched.)
The speech brought no relief to the commanders. Hammer Ground and Air Forces, for all intents, just needed the ranks given the go ahead to start the beginning of the end.
The sky was on fire and every second dithering about, countless thousands of Allied Navy personnel perished.
Anderson turned to EDI, to seek confirmation. He knew what had to happen. He was just testing if the AI had any improvements to suggest. To a blind push, that is.
"So we're locked in the plan. We must push forward. No turning back."
EDI spoke back with the same precision as expected.
"Yes. Reapers forces will out maneuver our flanks as planned and then seek to destroy us.
The further we push, the faster that Shepard and Hammer forces need move in order to reach the beam. Shepard will need to constanly improvise. The field engineers that move in parrallel with him must clear the way for Thanix batteries.
The only factor that we choose, that Shepard will have to decide, is at which moment all forces pivot from rear and flank defense from phalanx formation to a randomly dispersed forward assault.
Reaper capital ships will immediately recoginze the shift, however they are not predicted to be able to insert additional ground forces right at the beam nexus."
All respective commanders of the allies could only nod in agreement.
"Might we be of assistance, Anderson-Admiral?"
The Geth Juggernaut accross the table had been silent the whole time since the preparations began. They just silently intuited and did the right thing, without any orders needed. Strange bedfellows, the unshackled, realized AI's.
Shepard could feel something familiar. Secrets. Something that was kept only until this moment. Why would the Consensus offer any feedback on EDI blanket response?
"Go on, go ahead, but know that every second we spend discussing is one more second procrastinating the inevitable," beckoned Victus. He was truly apalled at the condition of Earth.
His grave was out there somewhere ahead, he knew it.
"Yes, Victus-Admiral - we have a minor improvement to utilize. We can locally co-opt the Reaper signal using our Juggernaut platforms. Since they are hardware, we predict only notional losses.
We can vector a significant amount of Reaper forces away from Shepard-Commander and instead towards the center of London where N7 forces are currently fighting."
Shepard spoke expectantly - "So what's the catch?"
"Shepard-commander - the Geth have ran our own analysis, and after signifcant refinement over many cycles - we suggest only two combatants are needed to buffer the advance.
We have chosen two fighters amongst all of Hammer forces to accomplish this. They can choose their level of challenge, from minor disturbance, to a complete tacitical feint"
Wrex had just stepped in just as the last comment stupefied every allied commander at the war table.
"Two soldiers to hold all the line?!!
Hah, the only soldiers who'd dare to agree to that are Krogans, you can bet the fate of our battle on that!" Wrex still had the natural Krogan bluster coursing through his veins after his belly busting speech..
No one spoke. The lumbering Juggernaut turned first its head to the Krogan and then the the glow on its light faded and came back imperceptibly.
It agreed, "Precisely... YESSsss."
"Our consensus is that two Krogan are required. Yourself-Wrex and Grunt will suffice."
"Ha, so the lightbulb does have dumb ideas after all!? Relegate myself and my best solider to hold the rear? And why will it work?"
"I trust the Geth when they say they can divert a decent chuck on reaper forces at a convienient time of our choosing. How is this possible?" Chimed Anderson.
"Allied commanders, when the Geth gained full conciousness, we retained the ability to selectively embrace Reaper force control. In essense, the way organics can understand - we still have the choice and protocols if we wished, to worship the big machines. By changing our protocols, we can become enemy combatants and lead localized Reaper forces within tight beam range of the Normandy.
Allied Geth programs have volunteered and chosen a variety of Geth platforms for a sacrifice to the machines. We will orbital drop insert at the critical moment."
The Juggernaut alternated his light cone between Shepard and Wrex,
"Shepard and Wrex Commanders....the programs and platforms we send to infiltrate and direct Reaper forces is to ensure the objective.
They are... expendable. We leave it to the discretion of our Krogan rearguard of how many enemy forces they may carry. If we simply co-opt the Reaper signal as demonstrated by Cerberus, we will undoutedbly encounter more resistance at the core.
However, if we embrace direct control, we can ensure a satisfying challenge. When Legion would play organic vid-games, they would liken it to the difference between Gold and Platinum metals"
Wrex interjected, "Tuchanka has neither of those, you weasel. Speak in plain terms."
The Geth retorted "Ostensibly, platinum is in our cycle... more valuable."
"So...we create more enemy fighters than already out there, ensuring a mess for myself and Grunt, in order to clear room for Shepard?" Amused Wrex.
"DO IT..." Spoke a familiar voice on Wrex's omni-radio.
My two battlemasters have trained me for any challenge. THIS IS the moment we will manifest our destiny."
"You and Grunt - don't go down to husks now, damn you" Victus snarled.
The Geth had learned over 300 years quite well how to manipulate organics. The Geth could really only vector some forces.
The Consesus had not actually selected any two soldiers to cope with the task asked of them. It was a forgone conclusion.
They could not possibly hold till the objective was achieved and secure extraction.
Wrex simply volunteered as Wrex was expected to do.
In this challenge, you can prove everyone right and wrong at the same time. Manifest Destiny...
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