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Fanfic: Guilty Sparks
Guilty Sparks is a Halo/Mass Effect crossover, the sequel to When There Was A Tomorrow and the second (and current) installment in The Wormhole Chronicles.

After the Pyrrhic Victory at Reach, Commander Wade Shepard and the Normandy Crew escape with their ship in the belly of The Pillar Of Autumn, where they discover their adventures are far from finished. Within weeks of their escape from Reach, they discover a certain ringworld upon leaving slipspace, and are forced to explore it when the Covenant overrun The Pillar of Autumn.

Meanwhile, Dr. Liara T'Soni finds herself in for a rude awakening when a Covenant Special Operations team attacks her ship, and after connecting them to Shepard's disappearance, goes on an adventure of her own.

This Fanfic contains the following tropes

  • Affably Evil: Zek is kind of boorish but seems to be developing a Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Varvok.
  • Anything That Moves: Nelanax has expressed interest in both Liara and Wrex. She likewise trolls Vik with the possibility of sex shortly before a raid on a Batarian bioweapons facility.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Zek, a high-ranking Kig-Yar sniper, when caught on the receiving end of an Invoked Mêlée à Trois, when some of the Normandy crew angered the local wildlife and send them to break the Covenant ranks, had this to say:
    "Oh, this is cheap, underhanded, and sneaky." He complained as he watched the scene with a grimace. Then he suddenly smile. "Kinda wish I had thought of it."
  • Author Appeal: The author has stated in his notes that he's always like the idea of firefights and action scenes going on at an Amusement Park, and thus wrote in the infiltration of Heritage Fields.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: After one Door Stopper of a fic and three lengthy opening chapters of another, Commander Shepard and Master Chief, two of the biggest badasses in Science Fiction video gaming, finally team up to kick much ass.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Nelanax invokes this by flirting with Vik after a particularly heated argument, but she only wants to screw with him. However, this may be developing for real.
  • Berserk Button: Don't break Zek's rifle when he's shooting with it.
    "That was my favorite gun!" *cue twin plasma pistols*
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The Fan Nickname North Korea in Space is taken to its logical conclusion on Khar'Shan (with a hint of Antebellum South in it as well, due to their stance on slavery).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Major Silva unleashed a rocket barrage that wiped out a large amount of the Covenant forces guarding the Pillar of Autumn. Actually lampshaded by Buck.
  • Break the Cutie: Tali's Mind Rape.
  • The Cameo: Zuka 'Zamamee interrupts a Shipmaster meeting to warn his higher-ups that all their focus on "The False Shepherd" is making them ignore the arguably more dangerous Master Chief.
  • Cassandra Truth: Zuka 'Zamamee's insistence that the Master Chief is just as big as a threat as Shepard, if not an even bigger one, is ignored by Thel and the other shipmasters.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Plague Spreader, having several worms stretched into tentacles, has Dragon's Teeth at the tips, which it uses to impale and convert victims into husks.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Vik'Sajee, a.k.a. "3DomLives!" lives and breathes this trope. He even spouts counterparts to modern conspiracy theories in his introductory coutscene, such as malicious flouridation of water and space-Bigfoot on Noveria.
  • Cool Sword: Saya Empa's "Shiakala." An advanced version of a traditional Salarian blade that can both electrocute its opponents as well as spread explosive gel through its cuts to breach walls, though the latter feature first sees use after slitting a Krogan's throat.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The Flood vs. Reaper Husks.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Vik'Sajee is a paranoid, deranged Conspiracy Theorist. However, when Sangheili assassins attempt to murder him, he responds by deploying combat drones and his holdout shotgun, and then flees though a well-devised escape system. But then curls up in a little ball once he reaches relative safety, because he's still a scared little quarian.
    • He also hacked a CDEM satalite without being detected, which is like hacking a C.I.A. satelite in terms of skill.
    • Let's also not forget the improvised explosive he makes in the middle of a firefight with the Covenant.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: One of Vik's theories, that Balak's "terrorist" group is actually Batarian Special forces masquerading as terrorists was spot on, and he's nearly killed to cover that up. In addition, his speech about how there is a group controlling the very fabric of society and weeding out cultures sounds eerily similiar to the words that were used by Sovereign regarding the Cycle. He also claims that the STG is secretly uplifting species like they did with the Krogan. If you played the third Mass Effect game, you know that this is absolutely correct.
  • Defiant to the End: Lat 'Ravamee, Shipmaster of the Truth and Reconciliation, only gets angrier the further the humans get into his ship and desecrate it with his crew's blood. Even when he's alone on the bridge, he charges headlong at Master Chief with his Energy Sword and tries to keep attacking him even when the Spartan has shoved an assault rifle into his mouth.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Thel assigns Zek to supervise Varvok's activities on Halo. What's wrong with this? Well, Zek is a Kig Yar pirate with an established reputation for subverting Covenant authority, and is instrumental in Varvok's eventual Heel-Face Turn by helping Varvok to spy on the excavation sites, the one place above all others that the Covenant doesn't want anybody to look at. On top of that, Zek is a privateer, and not technically part of the Covenant leadership or command structure. Giving him authority to supervise Varvok not only makes no sense, it is thoughtlessly counter-productive.
  • Double Standard: Thel is disgusted by Varvok's slaver credentials, yet does not consider the subjugation of the entire Unggoy race by the Covenant to be comparable to Hegemony practices. Varvok himself calls Thel out on this.
  • The Dragon: Lieutenant Commander Varvok commands a sizable expeditionary force of Batarian terrorists-turned-mercenaries from the same organization Balak runs. He could also be considered Co-Dragons with Thel 'Vadamee, as both are directly accountable to The Prophet of Empathy, who himself answers to The Inquisitor who in turn is accountable to Harbinger.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Trox takes over Kreave's Chapter of the Blood Pack by default, due to the latter's death in the previous story.
  • Dumb Muscle: If Wrex is to be believed, this is what Wreav is, which is why Wrex isn't worried about Wreav succeeding in taking control of Clan Urdnot.
    "He couldn't lead pyjaks to a food cache if you stuck a piece of meat on a string."
  • Dysfunction Junction: Liara’s crew on the Lucen is this. Nelanax is a psychotic nymphomaniac who thinks she’s an action hero, Saya Empa is a racist antisocial loner, Vik’Sajee is a paranoid conspiracy nut who thinks the world’s out to get him, and Kayap is a brutalized former slave and a coward… meaning he’s probably the sanest of the bunch outside of Liara and Wrex.
  • Fantastic Racism: Considerably less present than in When There Was A Tomorrow, as the Normandy crew has proved themselves in the eyes of most of the people on the Autumn. Someone even put up posters across the ship with the alien crew's mugshots saying "Don't shoot these." Major Silva, however, still clearly doesn't care for them.
    • Played ruthlessly straight with the Covenant. The enslaved Unggoy are held with the utmost contempt, used as cannon fodder, inhumanely experimented upon, and no one but Liara's crew seems to care about their plight. And then there's the Covenant's genocidal campaign against Humanity to consider as well.
  • Friendly Sniper: A rare villainous example with Zek, who despite occasionally getting snippy with Vorvak, otherwise treats him with more respect than their Covenant contractors.
    • Garrus and Jun also count.
  • Heroic Mime: Salarian STG operative Saya Empa doesn't say a word, on account of a damaged larynx.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The second Plague Spreader encountered gets this by huskifying Flood combat forms. The process made them stronger, yet since there was no mind to subvert and control like in other organisms, they were not loyal to the Reaper creation. As a result, the Plague Spreader was literally torn apart by the Flood it tried to convert.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Spitfires, Grunt husks that attack by projectile vomiting liquid metal.
  • Ironic Name: The Prophet of Empathy cares little for his men, and Varvok's men even less so.
    • Prophets in Halo Canon tend to be ironic. For example, the Prophet of Truth is covering up the real reason for the war, the Prophet of Mercy usually shows none, and the Prophet of Regret is very impatient and doesn't consider his mistakes at all.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Varvok and Thel do not get along. At all. However, Varvok does understand human psychology far better than the Sangheili, which even Thel admits.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: In addition to more personal reasons, this is why Wrex is not pleased to see Major Kirrahe on Tuchanka.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Two universes worth!
  • Lower Deck Episode: In addition to following The Normandy Crew mucking around on Halo, the story also focuses on Liara investigating Covenant activity in the Mass Effect universe.
  • Mauve Shirt: Ben, a rookie Shadow Operative and the only one to be named. What, did you expect him to survive being cornered by two Hunters? Not a chance.
    • Sergeant Taylor, one of the surviving marines of the previous story, is killed off by the Flood shortly after encountering them. Taylor's squad, Samara and Grunt took his body with them to prevent Taylor from being infected.
  • Mind Rape: Tali's horrific hallucinations of her dead father, Prazza and Kal Reegar are caused by Flood microbes attempting to break her willpower after her suit is ruptured.
  • Mythology Gag: Upon learning the Master Chief's real name is John, Commander Wade Shepard muses on the fact that his parents were considering naming John as well. Naturally, "John" is Male Shepard's default name in the character creation screen.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Applies to Drothan, a batarian in the worker caste (located just above the slaves), and you can easily tell how much he's sick with all the crap the Batarian Hegemony does: from the emperor that General Rage said was an asshole that only cares about himself to the terrible quality cartoons that serve to brainwash batarian children.
  • Name's the Same: Finally lampshaded when Sergeant Taylor, who was introduced in the previous story happens to be within earshot of Jacob Taylor when another character tries to get the latter's attention.
  • No Sell: Flood Combat Forms do this to Mass Effect weaponry due to the fact that the tiny, high-velocity rounds they fire are useless because they lack the larger surface area of large-caliber projectiles that UNSC weapons fire. Instead, the sand grain-sized rounds go right through with minimal damage to the heavily-decayed and decentralized-vital-system bodies. Team Shepard's incendiary ammunition and shotguns have more of an effect, though; the former can burn the Infection Forms nestled inside Combat Forms' chests, while the fundamentally-different damage method of the latter tears Combat Forms apart rather than penetrating through them. In addition, most Biotic attacks do little to Combat Forms besides briefly slowing them down, but the Warp attack, at least, can do respectable damage.
  • Oh, Crap: Varvok and Zek are terrified when they find out that blowing off the heads of Flood combat forms does nothing to stop them.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Not only does Legion refer to itself as an individual yet again, it also angrily demanded for Tali not to attempt to fix the glitch its been experiencing.
  • Ominous Foreshadowing: Just prior to events on the Truth and Reconciliation, Varvok begins hearing reports from his unnerved sergeant about Covenant excavation teams going missing and inexplicable communications blackouts.
  • Power High: Nel on "juice", an adrenaline boosting drug that she uses to perform her action hero stunts. Nel has a whole box of the stuff and as General Rage said, her use of it is definitely going to come back to bite her.
  • Propaganda Machine: Heritage Fields is an amusement park outside Khar'Shan's capital designed to indocrinate Batarian youth towards fanatical support of their emperor, clearly serving as an Expy of both Ryan Amusements and Soldier's Field.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Averted with Flood Combat Forms: Shepard reasons that the Flood are zombies and tries taking them out in one hit with a headshot. He gets really annoyed when it doesn't work due to the decentralization of Combat Forms' vital systems.
    Shepard: "Oh bullshit! That's cheating! At least the Husks play fair!"
    • Varvok himself tried the same thing, thinking that the Flood was merely a virus repressing his men's pain receptors. He and his companion Zek were appropriately horrified when it didn't work.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In the (probably only first) encounter with a Hunter Husk called a Plague Spreader, two elites throw Grunts and Jackals at it to be converted into husks to attack the humans. When the elites run out of "lessers" to feed the Plague Spreader, it turns them into Husks too.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Though Shepard is in a healthy relationship with Tali, Liara still has lingering feelings for Shepard. She regrets not acting on them sooner.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Vik'Sajee's apartment, with empty medication pills, walls lined with pictures linked together in haphazard ways, and a board that Sajee uses to write the latest conspiracy theory running through his head.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Nelanax Catonis is a Turian mercenary working for the Covenant/Blood Pack/Batarian alliance when Team Liara first encounters her, and she is quick to try killing the gang when she runs into them. However, when she discovers her employers are using slaves in medical experiments, she almost immediately does a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After hearing that a squad of his kig-yar were taken and dumped into a suicidal skirmish without his superiors asking him, Zek breaks away from the Covenant. Varvok follows suit to save the remaining batarians under his command.
  • Shock and Awe: The husks created by the Plague Spreader are electrical in nature, which they use to increase their melee damage.
  • Shout-Out: Vik'Sajee's name sounds a lot like Vick Sage.
  • Silent Snarker: As a Heroic Mime, all his snark is done over text communications. He asks Liara if it's too late to drop his more eccentric crewmates off at an insane asylum.
  • Sword and Gun: Saya Empa uses both a high-tech sword and a Hand Cannon. A favored technique of his is to impale a target and use his other hand to shoot their compatriots before they know what's going on.
  • Taking You with Me: When a group of Elites are about to be overwhelmed by huskified armored Flood Combat Forms, one of them ignites a plasma grenade and jumps onto one of his opponents, killing them both in the process.
  • The Bus Came Back: Chapter 29 reveals that not only have the Collectors returned, but the Reapers are using the Covenant to download Sangheili tactics into their programming to make them more akin to a special ops force instead of frontline combatants.
    • Chapter 30 reveals Cerberus was waiting for Liara's team to shut down the relay and try to get the Comm Relay station for themselves. At the end of the assault, The Illusive Man appears via Quantum Entanglement Communication to contact Liara and try to negotiate with her, marking his first proper appearance in the series.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A large portion of Chapter 27 is dedicated to Thel, Orna and Empathy showing Varvok just how greatly out of his depth he is when he tries to confront them over how they've used Varvok's men as meat shields against the Flood. Thel cuts Varvok's speech short by strangling him and tossing him to the floor, while giving him one hell of a tongue lashing:

    Thel Vadam: You are no longer the master, slaver. I AM!
    • It gets worse. Varvok learns that the Covenant got permission from Balak to use his men for suicide missions in exchange for weapons shipments. Essentially, this means the Batarians Balak supplies to the Covenant, including Varvok himself (who sees Balak as a father figure), are expendable not just to the Covenant, but to Balak too. Varvok is horrified at the reveal and at first can't accept it, even when Thel gives him Balak's written orders confirming it.

    Varvok: "He {Balak} wouldn't sell my men's lives for guns!"
    Empathy: "He did. For Commander Balak understands, unlike you, that for any cause to succeed, sacrifices must be made. We could obliterate your pathetic excuse for an empire whenever we wish. We don't because we need you... for now. Balak realises this. And now, so do you."
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite Chief pulling him out of Reach (and Shepard's own missions alongside the members of Noble Team in the previous story), Shepard is a little worried that he'll end up "babysitting" the Spartan. Fortunately, Tali corrects him long before the Chief has to prove him wrong.
  • The Voiceless: Saya Empa, literally. A krogan merc crushing his larynx several years prior, removing his ability to speak. This injury cost Empa his candidacy for the Spectres, so he is still a little sore against all krogan.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Nel, having recently taken three doses of her "juice", nearly set fire to the bunker Liara's crew is in and killed them all and gets one of these from Liara. The crazed turian pretty much ignored Liara and later compared her to the military that kicked her out for not "being able to handle how she got things done".
  • Worthy Opponent: After unceremoniously executing a wounded Sangheili, Wrex gives his victim props for not flinching in the face of death. By the end of Chapter 8, the rest of his men agree that the Covenant are this.
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