Steel and Titanium

Author: Parag (Paragus_Prime)

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STORY

[Witness testimony by Citadel Security, provided during the post-Geth Incursion Multilateral Military Tribunal.

Various accounts and recordings, all compiled and presented to the Tribunal by Spectre Jondum Bau under oath during deposition.]

[Result of Tribunal Proceedings: Major C-Sec Restructuring ordered by Council and Military advisers. All court martial charges were dropped against Vektan Pyrrhus due to valiant display under intense combat pressure. Executor Pallin was relieved of duty on lesser charges. Officer Harkin was relieved of duty on lesser charges.

Mobility assistants and security mechs become intensely regulated. Kill order issued for any Geth spotted outside Perseus Veil.

Garrus Vakarian resigned and dissociated completely from C-Sec.]

[REDACTED: Spectre Commander Shepard was assigned to a Search & Destroy mission in Terminus Systems. The Warden Kuril problem was off-loaded to Council Homeworld State Departments.
Vido Santiago was offered clemency as a reward for terminating Zaeed Masani in the past and on a continual basis as long as Blue Suns did not interfere in Citadel Space. Elanus Risk control services was given carte blanche due to incorporation on the Citadel, Illium, and Noveria and heavy political influence. As a result, mechs continued to be supplied clandestinely to Eclipse Mercenaries. Septimus Oraka was ordered to take a leave of absence. Saren Arterius Spectre files were selectively destroyed and others archived. Not yet publicly unveiled Saren Arterius Gold Statue was sold at auction anonymously to an Earth based venture capital firm with negligible retained earnings. The council deliberated over giving C-Sec oversight for Spectre Operations. While initially tempting, the council rejected the proposal.]

It’s just another day at the office, right?

That’s the first thought that came to mind when Vektan Pyrrhus had his omni-tool pinged on his reserve day.

He worked at C-Sec as a Customs Inspector. He’d been through it all, as he was a Turian.

While he’d received military training at a young age, he’d always been a bit of a lazy prick for his superiors.

He stopped chasing the dream of his own command, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t good at anything.

He was a crack shot. Literally one of the best Marksman’s in his collegiate class, but he had zero ambition to use his natural talents.

He was also excellent at smuggling dextro liquors and spirits at every occasion when sobriety was demanded, and gained a reputation amongst his peers as the one to go to for a fix.

Naturally, his talents even caught the eye of superior officers, who in turn themselves were in on it. They got a cut of his trades, and he kept the booze supplied.

So how did he get to the Citadel? Well, he started as a back office clerk at a fleet supply depot on Palaven. At that time he’d often have to navigate the ‘system’ back home.

He crossed paths with many police officers who were sure contraband was somehow entering the fleet vessels throughout the cargo port, and even got caught by a curious Inspector Kuril. Did I mention Kuril? What a rotten scumbag.

All Pyrrhus had to do was pay Kuril’s fee and he’d be off scot-free.

But what Phyrrus didn’t know was that Kuril wanted to use him for his own designs. Kuril was embarking on a joint venture with Zaeed Masani and Video Santiago’s Blue Suns. A fascinating enterprise of galactic protection. The only problem is that he needed someone to ‘allow’ classified documents onto the Citadel to pass in in shipments without disturbance. These were only for the executors purview, on a regular basis.

Kuril, instead of asking for his bribe, instead offered the young Turian a cushy job. All he had to do is use his regular scheme, but just one in a more relaxed and temperate work atmosphere. Nepotism and quid pro quo, was a quiet secret amongst the hierarchy.

Desperate to park his fat lazy ass anywhere from Palaven, the young Turian accepted.

It was quite simple. Kuril tapped Septimus Oraka, a formidable Turian admiral that, among his numerous commands, also managed the Turian wing of the Citadel fleet. What the rest of the political class on the Citadel didn’t know….yet, was that he was a closet client of the consort and regularly indulged during shore-leave, while maintaining appearances otherwise.

With a small threat to Oraka and some back office arm wrangling, Pyrrhus was planted into C-Sec as a back door for some harmless documents to flow freely.

Or so he thought. He had never been pinged on his reserve day ever. In fact, he’d never even worked a day since being on the damn station. Within C-Sec he would mostly investigate containers and packages randomly selected for manual screening after processing at Customs. But his job was mostly for show. The scanners caught everything, if anything was selected for random inspection, it was because C-Sec had a tradition of nosing around where it didn't matter to make any effect.

He was never sure who exactly to report to either. The Executor did not consider him his staff, and Castis Vakarian, his actual boss at the time, was too busy prosecuting criminals in his twilight days before retirement.

He did get to meet a promising new recruit after Vakarian’s last day, his son - Garrus Vakarian, but they were completely opposite at the poles. Garrus was a naturally inquisitive mind, physically gifted but also restricted because one his eyes was slow, hence his visor. The greater good led him to be a more visible ranking member of the C-Sec investigations unit.

Pyrrhus was hands down the better shot, but Garrus was never seen to be quite interested in small talk or Turian liquor. Pyrrhus was complacent, but Garrus was not.

Not a potential client...thought Pyrrhus... more likely the only guy who could bust my ass. Likely followed by Harkin. Now Harkin lacked finesse, which for a fatass, Vektan remarkably did. He stayed clear of Garrus and made himself hidden. Time to bunker down. Years passed and the problems only mounted. Finally he seemed to be in the clear as Vakarian had disappeared for the past few weeks. Maybe the hard working Turian finally took a bloody vacation.

Alright, so his omni-tool is being pinged on his reserve day. Probably just a mistake, he thought.

C-Sec was getting sloppy in the days after the arrest warrant was issued for Saren Arterius! Reports of another Spectre cleaning house on Zakera Ward came in all the time. Fist got deposed. Chora’s den became a shooting gallery.

Wards markets having open gunfire! Threats made to reporters such as Emily Wong by merc enforcers! An Alliance journalist had been clocked in the head just the last month! And to top it off, stupid Jellies-I mean the hanar, had filed a racism complaint!

Actually having to work for a living, gee- what a terrible thought.

He showed up to the C-Sec headquarters and immediately got pinned to the wall by Pallin.

The executor was pissed, and he let him know,

“There’s reports of gunfire all over the ward! A few civilians live streamed videos of a kind of mech coming out of hard sealed container shipments. These were cleared by Customs 2 weeks ago!

This comes right at the worst time! The Citadel fleet is worried about an imminent attack, and this might be it!

Take your fat ass out and investigate the Haliat Headquarters, where some of the containers were delivered!”

Always the diplomat, Vektan replied,

“Sir...I am a fat Turian… so I’ll need weapons, a fire team and a shuttle.”

Pallin removed his arm pinching Pyrrhus to the wall and affirmed, “Go to the requisition officer on B-level! Once your team picks you up, you’re headed out into the field!”

“Sir, if I’m fighting an unknown enemy, I’ll like to request the HMWSR”

“No you greaseball, all you’re getting is a Vindicator, and your team will be other reserve officers. I need my best men on deck at a moment’s notice, not out in the field. Grab your gear and get the hell out of my sight!”

“Understood!”

Vektan breathed a sigh of relief. The Vindicator was a Haliat arms weapon, but to his knowledge, C-Sec, in an attempt to differentiate their weapons, asked Haliat to also supply private label weapons which became the Spectre Master Gear Armory.

The official release version of the Vindicator was so renowned that Elanus Risk Control ended up buying the FRM and intellectual property at an exorbitant price. Then they branded it as an ERC rifle even though Haliat developed it and the same Haliat facilities still manufactures it.

Unfortunately, two new competing rifles from the Human Alliance, Lancer and a Mattock derivative also were placed into the C-Sec armory. He’d trained on the Vindicator, and he deliberately asked for the HWWSR knowing he would not get it. He was thankful he didn't have to use the Lancer or any pistol as his weapon.

Even better that he managed to get a shuttle. Patrol hover cars didn’t have armoured compartments. While Pallin didn’t overly say “yes”, he didn’t say “no” either. It’s amazing that Vektan never used his slick tongue for nefarious purposes.

Three dithering idiots walked up to Pyrrhus. A Cpl. Lamont (Human Male), Sgt. Ridgefield (Human Female) and Parking Enforcement officer Dau (Salarian Male).

Ridgefield opens up, “Hey, Vektan! Pallin just asked us to accompany you on a patrol out to Haliat Arms Citadel Space Headquarters.”

“He didn’t tell you we might face active combatants?” asked Pyrrhus.

“Oh so that’s the gig? He said we’re just dropping you off” replied Ridgefield.

“And he said to me that someone illegally parked containers on the roof and I had to impound the perp!” chimed Dau.

“Pallin. What a crook. Information on a need to know basis my ass. Let’s grab our gear and go,” said Lamont, stone-faced.

Vektan and the crew ordained their supplies. Vektan also cashed in a favour with the requisition officer, so he had a Viper as his backup weapon. He was somehow able to requisition an empty hydra missile launcher module. Looks like the shuttle’s armoured compartments could be useful after all.

After suiting up and departing, the four all remarked how they’d not seen a real gunfight in ages.

Ridgfield chirped, “Vektan, do you have nerves of steel? I’ve seen you at the shooting range during PA days. With your skills you could land a role with Special Investigations! Why the hell do you work in Customs of all places?”

Dau, the Salarian interrupted with an unremarkable fact, “Why do humans always say nerves of steel? Why not nerves of titanium? There are so many superior metals.”

Lamont butted in, "there's an old human saying Dau. We like to say 'Steel is real'"

“A redundant statement - all metals are tangible," said Dau.

“And what a dumb question, Ridgefield.

It doesn’t matter that I work at Customs, we’ve all seen better days.

Have we all seen each other’s waist lines? We clearly aren’t fit for a firefight, if one does occur. And for the last time, Turians do have metal in their bodies, it’s Thulium.”

“Thulium is soft,” said Dau.

“I can always count on the Adrenaline Rush, if not for my nerves,” said Ridgefield.

“Yeah, and I can always count on toilet paper to wipe my ass,” said Lamont.

“What’s with you, Lamont?” replied Ridgefied.

“Today was quasar day, I had such a good winning streak, I almost bagged a date with a sweet bartender chick at the Flux.”

“I think you need a kick in the ass far more than a kiss on the cheek,” Ridgefield laughed off.

About to arrive at their destination, the roof of Haliat Arms Headquarters, a certain chill overcame Vektan.

The tell-tale mark of a Turian, his heartbeat quickened and his mandibles pulsed.

The containers were there alright, upon a cursory glance. Fully opened up and flattened, almost like a cardboard box. Whatever was inside was removed.

It was supposed to be prototype mech skeletons for weapons testing, as listed on the shipping label. Shipper was Synthetic Insights, and Haliat had a spotless record. They never bothered to open it in Customs as the expectation was that the contents were non-functional exoskeletons for Ymir and Rampart Mechs under development.

Curiously it was an authorized shipment through the Spectre Office. It was routine for Haliat to assemble knock-down kits at their headquarters as fully functioning firearms were never directly handled on the station. Even the merchants shipped weapons to the docks from satellite storage near the Citadel.

In his mind, he came to the conclusion of what had happened. Right before the warrant on Saren, a whole set of containers that were sitting in port were authorized for delivery to the bleeding edge research hubs on the Citadel. Spectre authorization never reveals which Spectre did it.

C-Sec was always allowed to inspect Spectre authorized shipments. But Citadel Customs had a culture of overlooking these shipments before the warrant came into effect, of which the only officer who visibly protested this practice was typically Garrus Vakarian.

Another officer, Chellick, was mum about the ordeal. He knew the situation but rather focused on the sources of the shipments, rather than the contents or operations of smuggling gangs on the station itself.

Vektan had never risked anything in his life like this before, despite being a proficient smuggler himself. To find out what it meant to potentially take on the trail of a rogue Spectre. The thought enticed him.

“Incoming fire! 200 metres out…. we’re dropping short. Vektan, stay at this height and we’ll crash into the tower!!!” barked Dau.

He came to his senses. The shuttle was pinging incoming pulse rifle fire from the lower windows. It was time to take it up to the roof and set it down. Whatever they were about to face, it’ll take more than nerves to deal with it.

“Well boys and gals, let’s hope today's our lucky day, and that we come home in one piece,” said Vektan.

He set the craft down. Before they disembarked, he turned on the pilot assist and tasked one of his squad mates to watch the skies with the vantage point the shuttle provided. It could hover above the area and gather sightings for them. He initiated the override to drop the armored compartments. They pack heat and they’re heavy.

If they had been lucky, they’d find nothing but a false alarm and a few deep fake videos busted.

But since they were unlucky, there really were rogue mechs about to crawl out of various hiding holes all over the damn place. Quite likely the predicted attack from Saren may be unfolding.

Little did the squad know that this was just beginning. Massive hulks of steel, titanium and other metals were about to clash like never seen before right at the heart of the citadel.

A brief moment of anticipation overcame them. The Adrenaline Rushed. The Marksman tightened his grip on the rifle. And the Salarian held his line...of sight.

The fight would test their mettle, and they’d see which side had superior metal.

_______________________________________________________________________

Steel and Titanium is about Citadel Security activities right up to the moment the Geth fleet incursion begins. Roleplay as overweight and lazy C-Sec officers who finally get to see some action!
Your mission is to fight against many waves of synthetics never before seen on the Citadel! Survive to extract, just so your characters can be held in custody after the chaotic mess that became the Battle for the Citadel! This story reflects the complicated back door deals and the work that is done by crooks to keep the galaxy in its perpetual state of pretense. May there always be a market for those who are willing to do terrible things to keep the lights shining and the credits flowing.

Remember - steel is real, and so is a shot in the back by cloaked hunters!

 

CHALLENGE REQUIREMENTS

Characters:
1x Turian Soldier - Vektan Pyrrhus

And choose 2 out of 3:
1x Human Female Soldier - Ridgefield
1x Human Male Soldier - Lamont
1x Salarian Engineer - Dau

Weapons:
Turian must equip Vindicator and M-97 Viper.
Humans must equip the M-7 Lancer.
Salarian must equip the M-3 Predator or M-6 Carnifex, may also equip the M-97 Viper as a second weapon.

Map: Firebase Vancouver
Enemy: Geth
Difficulty: Gold or Platinum

Special conditions:
Disruptor rounds for all weapons on all characters.

Turian must carry the pizza objective.

Ammo Pack usage is not allowed. All players must use only the ammo boxes found on the map.

Colour armor into C-Sec style blue colour. Only Turian can use missiles. Turian must equip armored compartments. No character can spec any talent points into Fitness - all characters must fight challenges with base health and shields. No Geth Scanner.

Salarian may equip armor piercing weapon mod on the Predator but cannot do so on the Carnifex.

On Gold Challenge, no cyclonic modulators are allowed.
On Platinum, Cyclonic level 1 is allowed.
Humans may equip Adrenaline Mod II on Gold, may equip Adrenaline III on Platinum.
No other character can use Adrenaline Mod. All other armor gear bonuses are allowed.

PLATINUM SQUADS

Squad1: bialakawa, Shady-N7S, ConsensusVox-N7S video

GOLD SQUADS

Squad1: ExLo05-N7S, trigg-N7S, Biotic_God_XXL video1 | video2