Fan Fic / Spiritof Redemption

Spirit Of Redemption by Myetel is a 3 million+ word AU Fiction set after the Reaper War is over. The fic disregards completely the plot of Mass Effect 3 and extrapolates from the end of Mass Effect 2 ten years later.

Shepard and Garrus have hybrid kids and are now in charge of the Spectres. The Reaper war is over but that doesn't mean the galaxy is at peace, new Spectres are needed and war is on the horizon...

The side story Dualities and Harmonies is here.

WARNING: This page assumes you have played Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Spoilers for those two games will be UNMARKED.


This Fan Fic provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted with the "NCAI's", especially EDI and Pelagia.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The "ammo" of the batarian biotic ships are the biotic powers of the lobotomized asari and human biotics they captured.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Batarian vibro-swords
  • Absurdly Youthful Parent: The reaction people have upon meeting Dempsey and Madison, after the later passes through the Alliance military academy.
  • Acting Unnatural: Dara can't act if her life depended on it. The best she can do is use her "doctor mode", her own version of blank face.
  • Ace Custom: Several, starting with the "Pellak", a straight line ship that doesn't need a relay to travel to different systems.
  • Ace Pilot: Kallixta
  • Action Mom: Shepard, and most of the female Spectres by the epilogue.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Lilitu Shepard becames Lilitu Shepard Vakarian after marrying Garrus.
  • Adorkable: Lin is a history buff. Serana as well. Their honeymoon is a tour of historic sites throghout the galaxy.
  • Alien Pet: Shepard's pet varren Urz. Inverted with Solanna's dog and Makur's pet snow leopard.
  • After the End: The whole of chapter 162.
  • The Alcatraz: Khakkathoria Prison on Kar'sharn.
  • Alien Invasion: Played for laughs when Sky brings half of a rachni hive to the base with him.
  • Alliterative Name: Serana, during the period when she's married to Eli, is Serana Sidonis.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Eli points out that no one ever admits to have ever seen Shepard does the Citadel, a In-Universe porn movie.
  • All There in the Manual: Myetel has made D&D style stat sheets for the characters on the forums.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Spectre Base almost fall to attacks on two occasions. The first by Lina Vasir and the second during the batarian/yahg war.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Several weapons the Lystheni use are actually reverse engineered from Reaper Tech. The spectres also use them, such as Eli's Collector Beam Pistol.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the lobotomized biotics slaves.
  • Anime Hair: Dara's hair after being turned into a human/rachni hybrid, starts to grow green.
  • Apocalypse How: Pre-fic Planetary/Physical Annihilation with the asari homeworld.
    • Mind you, Thessia fell to the Reapers in Mass Effect 3, too, but then we can blame Cerberus for accelerating that process.
  • Arc Number: Eli has the number 3 as his throughout most of the story.
  • Arc Words: "We don't leave anyone behind."
  • Artificial Limbs: Rather commonplace with cybernetics. Sam gets an arm, after the original is cut off by a batarian using a vibrosword.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Eli was a fan of Shepard right up to having a poster on his bedroom wall for the ''Battle of the Citadel''.
  • As You Know: Happens several times. The reporter accompannying Rinus during the defense of Nimines use it to describe how an asteroid would create friction on entering a planet's orbit.
  • Attempted Rape: The batarians try on Dara. It... doesn't work very well for them.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Eli and Dempsey work their way through human, turian, asari, salarian and krogan swear words while trying to install human house implements on a house built with rachni designs.
  • The Atoner: Lantar
  • Armor Is Useless: Zig-zagged; The armor the Young Guns start out with works as well as expected when it is 10-20 years old and comes face to face with modern high end weapons. However, when you take a vibro-sword to a rachni's natural armor, it will scratch it at best, and piss off the rachni at worst.
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Ascended Fan Boy: Some of the Forum Role Players have become canon characters.
  • Ascended Meme: Blasto the hanar Spectre. Started as a joke in Mass Effect 2, in the fic-verse he is an actual spectre and a pretty badass one at that.
  • Awesome by Analysis: It's noted that Rachni queens rarely ever take to field for combat. They are better staying back and managing the resources on the battlefield.
  • Ax-Crazy: Lina Vasir
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Taken to the extreme. By the epilogue you can count the number of characters without kids of some form on one hand.
  • Back from the Dead: And the rather unpleasant hops and jumps that the courts had to make to bring back Dempsey.
    • Joysinger defies rachni custom and gives birth to an exact copy of Dances after he dies of old age using his DNA and memories.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Briefly, Eli and Seheve during a confrontation inside a Collector ship.
  • Badass Boast:
    Shepard: You are on a Spectre base. Spectres are outside the law. This base is outside the law. You have inflicted atrocities, by any standard, against Spectres and those affiliated with them, and have attempted similar acts against the families and loved ones of other Spectres...There is nothing that legally prevents me from having you shot and fed to the damn varren for dinner....Council put me outside the law, so if I remand you to their custody in the form of varren shit in a waste receptacle this big," Shepard held up her hands a couple of feet apart, "they really can't complain, can they?"
    Siege "It is our affair because it is our battle brother's affair. Not that we expect you to understand the nuances of this fact. We do, however, expect you to respect it." Runtimes inside the platform made the specific decision to allow its biotic transceiver to broadcast in the clear. All the biotics there would feel the real, actual rage from the machine, true protection-anger and insult-anger wrapped inside that cold metal shell. "Give us cause and we will break you, you cold-song bitch."
  • Badass Grandpa: Gavius
  • Badass Mustache: Sam
  • Badass Normal: Sam, Kasumi
  • Bad Future: Several instances occur during the simulations. Then the Spectres start using the simulations to test the character of the new candidates.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Dara when a Vibrosword was about to relieve Eli's body from the weight of his head.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Serana's wedding outfit with Lin.
  • Batman Gambit: Eli and Lin plans to enter combat during the batarian/yahg war, usually involve using vibroswords and betting that the batarians would target them first, making their moves predictable.
  • Battle Couple: Shep/Garrus, Dara/Rel, Sam/Kasumi, Dara/Eli, Dempsey/Zasha, and a whole buttload more.
  • Beach Episode: Rinus and Kallixta invite Rel and Dara for some leave time on their house on Macedyn.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Call Shepard's kids monsters, It'll be fun.
    • DO NOT BOTHER THE AUTHOR about Dara and Rel's breakup, ever.
    • You better not do anything that is not in Madison's best interest or else you will have Dempsey, a wolverine healing death machine with the same biotic power as a brood warrior who just happens to be immune from the law coming after you.
    • On that note, do not, ever, threaten children, doesn't matter wich species, when you're in range of a rachni brood-warrior.
    • Or threaten a rachni queen.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Kallixta's uncle had a livestock habit
  • Beta Couple: There are several during the course of the story. Sometimes a couple is a beta to another while being an alpha to a third.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Dara.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Fors.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Several. Usually at the end of an arc, but some are interspersed.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Unless the characters activate the privacy light, anytime they are inside an SR ship they are being observed by the NCAI's. Laetia seems to live just for that.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Young Guns perform one to a group of fleeing civilians on Astaria.
  • Big Eater: Dempsey
  • Big Friendly Varren: Urz.
  • Big Good: The Spectres.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Averted. The author goes to great lenghts to make everything on the aliens biology seem plausible.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Turians carry wedding knifes in sheats on their wrists. These can and are used several times in combat.
  • Blessed with Suck: Dempsey is this in double. He can use both biotics and tech skills, but every time he uses both in sequence he has splitting headaches. He has a krogan regeneration gene mod that can heal almost any damage, but also has to contend with the krogan Bloodrage when he gets angry, to which the headaches don't help.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: When Rel says that he'll not duel Eli during his divorce hearings because he doesn't even have a knife anymore, Seheve throws one of hers at his feet, where it gets embebed. In a marble floor.
  • Bland-Name Product: Code of Honor, an extranet game that Madison plays.
  • Blank White Eyes: James has this literally.
  • Bloody Horror: One of the tactics of the Yahg.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Played with. Narayana was already crushing pretty hard on Kirrahe even before he was assigned as her bodyguard, but it helped cement the feelings she had.
  • Body Horror: The fate of the victims of the nanites the batarians used during the husk war.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Eli and Dara during the first trip from Bastion to Mindoir on the Normandy. Dempsey and Zhasa on the barracks on the base. Fors and Chissa when he's recounting how they meet during his marriage ceremony.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Anyone who is victim to the Dominate ability is this for a few minutes.
  • Break the Cutie: Dara, Lin and Eli during their time on the Turian Military, before the tryouts for the Spectres. Caelia in the epilogue.
  • Break the Haughty: Siara on Tuchanka.
  • Break Them by Talking: Eli's first instinct in a given situation is try and negotiate things before having to shoot.
  • Breather Chapter: Several. The one that stands out the most is probably the one with Fors', Lin's and Dempsey's bachelor party.
  • Butt Monkey: Lin and his knee; mostly his knee.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Serana, among Eli, Lin and her brothers, cannot lie worth a damn.
    • Eli and Dara quite litterally live in each others heads, and have trouble keeping things secret from one another. Dempsey and Zhasa, and Siara and Makur too
  • Canon Immigrant: some of the fan characters from the Role play forums have been added to the story
  • Call Back: So many that it would take an entire page.
  • Car Fu: Dempsey and Eli are not above using whatever vehicle they are driving as weapons.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: On occasion.
  • Chapter On A Plane: Several chapters take place entirely aboard an SR ship.
  • Character Death: Kella and Brennia.
  • Character Development: It's practically a coming of age story.
  • Character Focus: It shifts a lot. Even some minor characters receive some over the course of the story.
  • Character Tics: Eli clenches his jaw strong enough to hurt his teeth whenever he gets angry.
  • Cheerful Child: Almost all the children related directly or indirectly to the spectres are this on some level. Until they're not. Caelia is the foremost example.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Sower devices.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Azure Dust's effect on rachni. This 'gun' collects a lot of dust, over 5 years to be exact, but when it fires it is a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Eli's quilt.
  • Cool Big Sis: Serana views Dara that way, even more after the latter marries Rel.
  • Cherry Tapping: Discussed with the styles of fight. Wing Chun is considered the death of a thousand paper cuts. The characters mention that a practitioner of Wing Chun is usually winning until the moment they are defeated.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Serana.
  • Chick Magnet: Eli, during his period on Macedyn. He says that he stands out because he's an oddity. In his own words, "A human wrapped in a turian wrapped in an asari."
  • Childhood Friend Romance: James Dempsey's backstory. Madison Dempsey's too.
  • Child Soldiers: Zigzagged. In the turian society is considered a good thing to be blooded young (read: to have killed someone in self-defense), but they do not want the children to go and be part of the military before they passed bootcamp, which is still done at the age of 16.
  • City Guards: Lin and Eli, while on guard duty when they were stationed on Macedyn.
  • The Clan: Every turian has it's own, with they own different pattern of facepaint. It differs from canon in that a turian without facepaint isn't considered immediately dishonest, but part of the Imperial family.
  • Classified Information: The Spectres keep several secrets very close to them, sometimes even from other Spectres.
    • Taken Up to Eleven during the epilogue where the Spectres kept in stasis and the Reaper threat took airs of legend after 50.000 years, even among fellow Spectres.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Subverted. Serana has almost always moved instinctively this way thinking "Mine" about both Eli and, later, Lin, but almost never actually acts on those feelings.
    • Zhasa also does not like that other women flirt with Dempsey.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lin comes across as this, before his and Eli's turn to go for bootcamp.
  • Code Name: Every Spectre ends up getting one by the end.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Dara, Fors and Zasha suffer this on a prison on Lorek.
  • Common Tongue: Differs from the source material in that there's no magic translator for all the languages. There are VI's that can translate voice-to-text but not voice-to-voice in real time, as in the games. So, it is assumed that everyone speaks in galactic, until pointed out which language they are actually speaking.
  • Competence Zone: Zigzagged. At the start of the story, for someone to be called for a tryout for the Spectres, a 15 year period of service was necessary. Then when was time for the tryouts six years later, every major character and a few support characters had that stipulation waved for one reason or another. Then after THAT, the next batch of Spectres didn't even had to pass through the tryouts, then on the epilogue, everything reverted back again.
  • Confusion Fu / Combat Pragmatist: Also known as Mindoir-Mixed Style
  • Contamination Situation: During the attack using engineered diseases on Bastion.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Valak just happens to be about to carry an attack on the same complex that Rel's team is already attacking.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Eli with Dara, at least three times. Everyone in the vicinity with Glory, late on the story.
  • Cool Horse: Dara receives one as a Christmas gift from Sam and Kasumi. From a human point of view, riding a rlata would qualify as well.
  • Cool Ship: The SR's.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Eli's paints his clan patterns on Dara's face with his blood, practically a battleground marriage by turian standards.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Mr. Maxwell, his crusade? AI rights
  • Cultured Badass: Shepard is fluent in Latin.
  • Cute Kitten: Loki and Lucy.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A few
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: The control chip for Dempsey's cybernetics is implanted in the emotion center of his brain, which prevented him from feeling anything except anger for a time.
  • Cyborg: Shepard, Dempsey.
  • Damsel in Distress: Several.
    • Ellie, Dara and their families at the climax of the Redemption arc.
    • Siara, Ylara and an asari merc during the Omega campaign.
    • Dara, during the birthsong of Joy-singer.
    • Dara and Zhasa, when they were captured by batarians during a botched operation on Lorek.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Spectres armor is black.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Seheve has been brainwashed by a Hanar cultist after her brother leaves home and her father can no longer act as their master enforcer.
  • The Dead Have Names: Shepard during the funeral after the AEC attack on the base lists every single of the people that died during the attack by name and some tidbit about them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Eli is good at it. Dempsey on the other hand needs help to feel any other emotion except for rage, so everything he says is deadpan, to the point his own son sometimes doesn't know if he's being serious or joking.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Siara after the events that led her to be sent to Tuchanka.
  • Death By A Thousand Cuts: According to the characters the Wing Chun fighting style is this.
  • Death by Origin Story: Dara's mom and Eli's dad.
  • Death Glare: Almost characters have been described to have one at one point or another, specially when it comes to their own Berserk Buttons.
  • Deflector Shields: The cyclonic shields equipped on the SR ships.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When a turian crosses this line he's generally regarded and/or regards himself as a "mor'loci".
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Rel during the period of his 'combat addiction'
  • Detect Evil: Rachni have the innate ability to detect everything a person is, down to their innermost thoughts, those that even them don't perceive.
  • Determinator: All Spectres at one point or another have their moments.
    • Lantar when given a facefull of azure dust manages to simply destroy their enemies.
    • Eli manages to deny an answer to a simulation during the candidacy trials.
    • Fors continues to fight even after having both legs broken during and after his imprisonment on Lorek.
    • Rinus refuses to let an asteroid hit Nimines even after having lost the pilot and the upper echelon of command of the ship he's aboard.
    • Kallixta manages the never before feat of entering a relay backwards to avoid having her ship captured by batarian.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Eli, Lin, Makur, Siara and Mazz fight against a harvester during Makur and Mazz's Rite of passage in Tuchanka. Rel, Eli and Dempsey against a Thresher Maw during the Terra Nova campaign. Rel against the Yahg alpha on the Shanxi campaign. In the backstory, Sky outsinging the indoctrination from a Reaper allowing the rachni soldiers and workers accompanying him to destroy a Reaper from the inside out.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Only once.
  • Discontinuity Nod: The author goes to great lengths to practically destroy the entire plot of ME3, with several well thought out arguments.
  • Disney Death: The Lystheni dalatrass on Garvug. Well, one of them.
  • Distressed Dude: Subverted: Rel gets captured by a batarian, but it turns out that the batarian is a turncoat. Not that the rescue team knows this.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Ellie at first.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The various "Bite me" comments that are thrown around, considering turian mating ways. Lampshaded to hell and back too.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Asari biotic training relies on demonstrating concepts directly into the mind of the student, where human (and turian) training relies on verbal and physical demonstrations.
  • Door Stopper: 3,404,854 words. Impressive.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: The Lystheni Dalatrass is this to Avek, and the rest of the batarians during the batarian/yahg war.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The Centurions during the turian bootcamp sequences.
  • Drugs Are Bad: A asari drug (azure dust) is turned into a gas grenade. Every species has a different reaction: It's ecstasy for humans, pot for turians, Super Crack for salarians, and increases biotics for rachni and asari. Later down the line, it's stated that azure dust instantly triggers blood-rage in krogan who are exposed.
  • Drunk with Power: Subverted. Lexine Elders can't wrap her head around the idea that the Spectres as an organization who is, for all intents and purposes, above the law, but isn't corrupt as a result.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: One of the reasons Eli decides to divorce Serana. During the Spectre tryouts, Eli and Lin are shown futures which have them butt heads with every single law enforcement agency they have to interact before getting down to bussiness because they are both sleeping with her and their lives are on tabloids across the galaxy.
  • Dynamic Entry: Invoked. During a hostage situation on Bastion, Lin and another SWAT operative enter through the window to deal with the situation.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first part of the story, the Redemption Arc, focus more on canon characters, but as the story goes on, the focus of the story shifts to the OCs until it gets to a point where it can go entire chapters without them even being mentioned.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Oh, so very much. Though, as noted in the story, there's no such thing as a Happilly ever after. It's just a new beggining.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted with Lantar and later with Seheve.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Mordin to Dara.
  • Electric Torture: Zhasa suffer from this on Lorek after she, Fors and Dara are captured by the batarians.
  • Emotionless Girl: Subverted. Seheve, externally, appears as emotionless as one could get without being a robot, her mind on the other hand is always raging. Sky calls her Sings-Despair for a reason.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Eli's recovered doll in the Omega campaign during the war.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Several cases.
    • Dara was a great Special Ops field medic and sniper before the events of the Singing Planet gave her some rachni atributes.
    • Elijah was an excelent cop and S.W.A.T. member before discovering that he had Prothean markers on his DNA that made him mildly biotic.
    • Zasha was one of the handful biotic quarians in existence before being infiltrated with Prothean nanites that stimulated her immuno system and gave her longevity on par with an asari.
    • Dempsey was a N7 operative before Cerberus used him as a test case for a krogan gene mod.
    • Rellus was one of the best Special Ops commanders the turians had produced before being injected with a krogan gene mod that gave him their regeneration and longevity.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Mordin and later Dara.
  • Escape Sequence: At the end of the Terra Nova campaign, the Spectres and affiliates have to run away from a reactor core that is in process of meltdown.
  • Escape Pod: Every ship has them. Seheve and Rel first time is aboard one.
  • Everyone's Baby Sister: Serana.
  • Everyone Is Related: By the end of the story, the number of characters NOT related to each other in some form or another is on the single digits.
    Kaius: "Don't ask, please. Don't ask. I figured if I call anyone older than me on base "Uncle" or "Aunt" I got a fifty-fifty chance of being right. And if I call anyone my age or younger "cousin" I've got a good chance of being right too.
    Severus: "Except if they're quarian, right?"
    Kaius: "Huh, no. Aunt Dara's is bloodsister of the quarian Spectre Zhasa'Maedan."
  • Everything Is Better With Princesses: Kallixta.
  • Evil Evolves: Most of the tech used by the Spectres by the end was used by the antagonists first.
  • Evil Sorceress: Subverted. Aside from not really being sorceresses, asari matriarchs on this story all pull on their imagery, except for Aethyta, though she doesn't really appear.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Garrus walking in on Lantar confessing his past to Ellie and Eli.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Vibroswords and the vibroknife. Both have blades that vibrate.
  • Exact Words: Dempsey saying to Madison that he wasn't allowed to use his biotics on goal during a friendly Handball match.
  • Explosive Leash: The slave collars used by the batarians are fitted with electric discharges controlled by the owner of the slave.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Ylara, briefly, during and after the Omega campaign.
  • Eye Scream: The biotics are lobotomized by the batarians through the eye cavity of the skull.
    • Ylara loses an eye when they try to lobotomize her during the Omega Campaign.
    • Nala gets her upper eyes cut out for being suspected of reading a forbbiden book by batarian law.
  • The Faceless: The second generation of NCAI's avatars, before they are coaxed to present their self-images.
  • Facial Dialogue: Subverted. People who aren't aware, think that two people staring at each other for longs periods of time changing expressions every now and then are talking this way, but they are actually talking telepatically using biotic powers.
  • Facial Markings: Turians use clan paint on their faces in different patterns for each colony and/or clan.
  • False Flag Operation: After a botched mission on Camala, Ylara tries to make it seem like the attack on the compound was made by rebels instead of Spectres with the aid of turian marines.
  • Famed In-Story: Ylara, is so famous in asari space that she has vids about her deeds.
    • Subverted with Blasto. He has several bad movies made with his likeness, but none of them are acknowledged by him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Appears on several occasions.
    • During the turian bootcamp, Eli, Dara, Kaius and Caelia all suffer from it to varying degrees.
    • During a "friendly" handball game on Odessa, the team of human kids are as obnoxious as they could get to the team full of alien kids.
    • Siara gets to be on both ends of this trope. She dishes out on Dara and Eli at the start of the story, then suffers from this at the beggining of her stay on Tuchanka, before her Character Development.
    • Humans who live on Earth are more prone to xenophobia than humans that live on other planets.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The lobotomized biotics.
  • Femme Fatalons: All turian females and Dara after the Singing Planet who has to cut her nails with acid.
  • Fetch Quest: The mission on the Singing Planet starts as one of these basically. Finding a derelict rachni ship after 2000 years. ** The mission on the Hekate System during the war is basically this too, this time they need to find the Lystheni base, that turns out to be a Collector Ship.
  • Fight Clubbing: That's what krogan consider a party.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: During the Spectre trials, most teams were divided with this in mind. One straight up fighter, one tech and one biotic.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: The spectres' tryouts. They are told the objective of the exercise but not told on how or what they are been evaluated exactly.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Kirrahe Orlan's standard loadout includes a flamethrower.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Sky gives a imagery of a reactor burning and water cooling the reactor when he can't explain very well what's happening with Rel and Dara's relantionship to the rest of the Spectres.
  • First Love Interest Wins: Dara and Eli. After more than 5 years of both of them making bad decisions.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Gallian to Laetia, as the latter spends time with him on the hospital after his legs are amputated on Garvug.
  • Force Field: Zhasa's bubble.
  • Foreshadowing: So many that is hard to keep track of.
  • Former Regime Personnel: This is what ends up kickstarting the Husk War.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Zasha, Serana and Dara during the bachelor party all used luge suits that leave little to the imagination.
  • Freak Out: Brennia's death is the point of both Lin and Eli's Start of Darkness.
  • From Bad to Worse: Used several times throughout the story to point out that things will get worse before they get better.
  • Functional Magic: Biotics. Even more than on canon.
  • Game Breaker: Joked with In-Universe. Everyone who sees Zasha using her shield for the first time tells her that it's almost like cheating.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Rinus.
  • Gag Penis: When Rel sees a "happy" male hanar, he thinks it has an extra tentacle.
  • Gender Is No Object: Subverted: Turian psychology is shown to be this at first glance but it's actually pretty segregated in a few places.
  • Generation Xerox: Almost all the children of the main characters that are Spectres, end up as Spectres themselves, with very few exceptions.
  • Gentle Giant: Siege.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: During the Terra Nova campaign a Tresher Maw attacks the Spectre convoy out of nowhere.
  • Girl Next Door: Dara according to Eli, after they get together. Also a Sexy Doctor and Alien Chick, all rolled into one.
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: The girls try to do this before Seheve's wedding. It doesn't work out so well.
  • The Glomp: Joy-singer(a Rachni Queen) to Dara in Chapter 151.
  • Glory Hound: Lexine Elders, the reporter embebbed with the Alliance teams on the Terra Nova campaign.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The rachni when one of their queens are in danger.
  • Going Commando: To Eli's delight at the end of the night, Dara was using a backless black dress with nothing underneath during their shore leave on Bekenstein.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Pelagia manages to send a message through the NCAI network that Omega was being attacked at the beggining of the batarian/yahg war.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Rel and Dara's life after the simulation. They'd gone and done exactly what the simulation told them to do, but ended up almost destroying each other five years later.
  • Good Feels Good: During Rel's 'combat addiction', everyone wants to make him remember what does he needs to fight for.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Exemplified by Shepard's speech under Badass Boast.
  • Got Volunteered: Eli, as a press liason for the younger Spectres.
  • Government Conspiracy: The volus government backing an Asari matriarch almost imploded the galactic economy in the aftermath.
  • Grand Theft Me: Joker uploads himself in to a prototype of the super tough ex BigBad Race to have a Big Damn Heroes moment leading to the Curb-Stomp Battle with a surprising good guy bias.
    • The domination ardat-yakshi ability that the Lystheni salarians spliced into some of their own genome.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: All over the place.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Two of them. One after the AEC attack on the base and the second when Mordin dies. There's also the symbolism of the Spectres being put into stasis pods so they can be awakened to fight the Reapers on the next cycle.
  • Great Escape: Dara, Zhasa and Fors trying to escape the 're-education center' on Lorek.
  • Guyliner: Lexine Elders comments that Eli has eyelashes that most women would pay hundreds of credits to get.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: One of the few good uses of this trope in Shepard's hybrid kids.
  • Hammerspace: Avoided with emphasis on how many things one can carry to a battlefield.
  • Handicapped Badass: Sam by the end of the batarian/yahg war.
  • Hates Being Touched: Not hate per see, but after the events on the Singing Planet, Dara does not want to touch or be touched by anyone where skin contact is made.
  • Healing Factor: Dempsey and, later, Rel got a Krogan regeneration gene mod. Zhasa got Prothean Nanites and Dara got rachni regeneration. To say nothing of the Krogan characters.
  • The Heavy: Several dependent mostly on the story arc. Arvak N'Mod during Victory is the most stand out example.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Seheve. Several captured batarian prisoners including people from SIU, and a female Yahg.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. Everyone is always helmets during combat situations and several times even out of them.
  • Henpecked Husband: Funnily, Rinus admits to be this whenever his wife uses command-preemptory voice with him.
  • Hero of Another Story: Spectres are often mentioned to be stationed all around the galaxy, but they rarely appear. The few who do are either dead or dying, or are very obnoxious, with even more rarely an exception.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Lin and Eli both use Vibroswords they took from batarians they killed on Omega. Valak and K'sar being high and low batarian nobility, respectively, both have them as well.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: Siara's Empathy ability. She can take pain into herself, allowing a squad-mate to stay standing in spite of the worst wounds. A dangerous ability, because it does not actually heal the squad-mate, but prevents them from collapsing to the ground. Too much pain can damage her own nerve endings.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Offscreen. Eli and Lin used hovercycles during a chase on Macedyn.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Several cases, some even get married, err, swear blood brotherhood/sisterhood to each other.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Eli, Lin and Rel suffer hard from this at one point or another.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Spectres use black armor, with a golden emblem. Other than in the dark, they don't blend well anywhere.
  • Hive Queen: The rachni queens, and Dara.
  • Hollywood Healing: With all the technology of the Council, it's hard to avoid this, but there are hard limits that can't be broken, like using a regenerator to mend the same broken bone more than once a year.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Harak makes a point to Pelagia that her selfimage should appear more... decorative. Siara also.
  • Hospital Hottie: Dara
  • Hostage Situation: Eli and Lin are trained SWAT operatives, that get to deal with this type of cases. During the time they were at Bastion they were tapped to control a situation on the flight control post where a lone gunman took over the place. During the Spectre tryouts this is one of the scenarios the prospective Spectres have to deal with.
  • Hot Skittyon Wailord Action: Ylara (a 5'6" Asari) and Tulluust (an Elcor)
  • Housewife: Ellie.
  • Hub City: Bastion.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Rel/Dara, Lantar/Ellie, Elijah/Dara, Rel/Seheve.
  • Human Mom Non Human Dad: Most of the hybrid kids shown, with the exception of Estevan.
  • Human Popsicle: The fate of the high command of the Spectres during the epilogue. They are put into Collector's Stasis Pods to wait for the next Reaper Cycle.
    • What Dempsey was before being found by Dara and Rel.
  • Humans Are White: Averted with Kasumi and one of the early Spectre candidates being black.
  • Human Shield: During the hostage situation on Bastion the captor uses a flight controller as a shield.
    • Played for laughs when both Eli and Lin use Dara and Serana respectivelly to "defend" themselves from Pelia during the bachelor party.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: The initial plan for what to do with the old relays is to send them inside dwarf stars.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Yahg eat anything that has meat and isn't dextro based, even the body of other yahg. Used as a psychological tactic during the war.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: The Mindoir Mixed Style, as it came to be called. Everyone who got to boot camp excelled at sparring because they could simply adapt their styles to each of the opponents.
  • I Can't Dance: Turians by and large don't dance. Culturally their only dance are spirit dances used on ceremonies to call the spirits, which make them very awkward when dancing for their non-turian partners.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The answer to the riddle Eli gives to Dara turns out to be that he just wants to be one.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Siara before going to Tuchanka.
  • I Got Bigger: Eli grows from a scared, scrawny little twerp into a respectable young man throughout the story.
  • I Have Your Wife: And children. The AEC uses them as hostages at the end of the first Spectres tryouts.
  • The Illegal: Played for laughs with Gives-Solace-To-The-Body-Of-Many, a male hanar hooker who keeps finding ways to enter Bastion despite being banned from it.
  • The Illuminati: During the epilogue, is mentioned that during the period the other Spectres were in the stasis pods, the Spectres that still believed in the reapers end up having this connotation against the ones who didn't believe in the threat anymore.
  • Imagine Spot: Eli claims that he isn't responsible for some of the things his subconscious comes up with when he's dreaming, or even the things that come up when he's conscious.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Kella gives part of her essence to Elijah, allowing him to speak asari, among other things
  • Implacable Man: Dempsey when his Berserk Button is pressed. Same for the rachni.
  • Improbable Age: The Young Guns.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Almost a requirement for Spectre work.
  • Inner Monologue: Played with.
    Eli: "Not that there's much going on in my head..."
    Dara(while they're telephatically linked): That doesn't fly when I got first hand knowledge that quite a lot goes on in here. Stop that.
    Eli: "Can that be our secret?"
  • I Need A Drink: At the end of the Spectre trials, Dara is reconting how she got another medal, Eli tells her to stop and continue only after she had a few drinks, and him as well.
  • Infant Immortality: Zigzagged. Played straight with the kids of the Spectres but several thousand children do die during the plagues and the wars.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Spectres are not always well seen by the other agencies around the galaxy. They could cut a lot of the red tape if they so wanted but Shepard's policy is to work with the local law enforcement, not over them.
  • Interspecies Romance
  • In-Series Nickname: Aside from the shorthands for the names of several characters, like Eli, Lin, Rel and Sam, there a few actual nicknames used.
    • Asperitalla from Eli to Serana.
    • little one from Lin to Serana and Dara.
    • Duck from Eli to Caelia
  • Iron Lady: Shepard.
  • It's Raining Men: The Young Guns perform a Halo drop from 35000 feet to avoid detection from a facility.
  • It's All My Fault: Dara when she felt that Rel went MIA because she wished for it. Then subverted when she got back from the Omega campaign and Sam decided to get everything necessary out of the way before telling her that Rel got hurt during the Shanxi campaign.
  • I Want Them Alive: The batarian slavers when it comes to asari and human biotics. Otherwise they can't fit them into the biotic weapons.
  • Karmic Death: The SIU operatives that try to kill Eli and Lin with Vibroswords, are both skewered.
  • Keystone Army: The Reapers
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Cathartic way for Eli to kill Brennia's murderer.
  • Kill 'em All: Every time Garrus is deployed in an "Archangel" mission, that's the expected outcome.
  • Kill It with Fire: Orlan's preferred weapon is a flamethrower, and his squad name is Agni.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Seheve, and in a weird way, Makur.
  • Knife Nut: Seheve.
  • Lady and Knight: Rel carved a spirit statue of Dara and Eli using the namesakes of their squadnames. The statue ends up having this feel.
  • La Résistance: Valak has one of the most sucessufull ones on Kar'sharn, even before he met any Spectres or affiliates.
  • The Leader: One of the aspects that every Spectre candidate has to demonstrate is that he has leadership skills.
  • Lethal Chef: Brennia and Lin during their marriage. Eli says that they managed to burn water.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Demonstrated during a school panel, where Eli switches between laid back posture to alpha posture.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Eli already had great reflexes before using a reflexes gene mod. All turians have a better reflex speed than most other council races.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Several cases to go around. Lantar and Eli, Garrus and Kaius, Dempsey and Madison to name a few.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Just try counting them all. We dare you.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: Several characters develop new techniques over the course of the story and later demonstrate to others that weren't already aware of them.
  • Loophole Abuse: The asari councilor is not happy when Shepard says that she didn't come with the information about the asari abductions earlier because she'd been told that she didn't provide enough evidence before.
  • Lost Technology: Several things found during the story. From the Sower devices to the Biotic-to-Tech translator.
  • Love Confession: Interestly, only one love confession is really shown during the whole story. When Serana has to almost literally beat Eli over the head with her feelings.
  • Love Epiphany: All over the place.
    • Dara and Rel after their first pass through the simulator.
    • Siara to Makur after the Rite on Tuchanka.
    • Eli to Serana after she figuratively beats him over the head with her feelings.
    • Lin to Serana after his psychic evals during the Spectre trials.
    • Eli and Dara with a little help from the Rachni song.
    • Rel to Seheve when they both are trapped inside a lifepod.
  • Love Hurts: Demonstrated from several angles, that sometimes even getting what you want it still hurts.
  • Love Triangle: Downplayed. There's no animosity between the parties involved. Eli, Serana and Lin. Rather, they are as open about it as they can be.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Eli and Lin, due to their training as SWAT operatives like to use Riot shields when they are deployed on combat situations.
  • Mama Bear: Shepard doesn't take very well when her children are kidnapped, bordering on Tranquil Fury levels.
  • Meaningful Funeral: The funeral after the AEC attack on the base. Mordin's funeral as well.
  • Mid-Season Twist: Rel and Dara's break up.
  • Mighty Glacier: Several characters that have regenerative habilities, thick and layered energy shields and/or armor. Dempsey's double shields and krogan regeration, Makur's krogan regeneration and strenght, among others. Any elcor that knows how to use a weapon is this by virtue of their thick hides.
  • Mildly Military: The Spectres. Most of the military feel comes from the people who were military before becoming Spectres.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Inverted: When informed of the numbers of the plague victims Dara is visibly distressed.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The theft of military equipment ends up revealing a plot to kill the turian Imperator.
  • Mission Control: Seheve serves as this briefly when the Young Guns are protecting a Prothean dig site, in the Arvuna campaign during the batarian/yahg war.
  • Moment Killer: Dara and Eli have these several times during the period where she's in trial separation from Rel, sometimes the killer are even themselves.
  • Mood Whiplash: Used In-Universe so Rel could realize that he had an addiction.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Battle of the Vineyards from the batarians' perspective.
  • Motherly Scientist: Eventually Dara
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Since Dempsey has a chip on his brain that tampers all of his emotions down (except rage), just being able to feel anything is awesome for him.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The AEC.
  • Neck Snap: One of the many techniques Sam uses during close quarters combat.
  • Never My Fault: Rel suffer from a bout of this during the period where he's suffering from 'combat addiction'
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Lin's knee. He does brake it twice onscreen but it never seem to hinder him any, but the Serana, Dara and Tel don't let him forget about it.
  • New Old Flame: This seem to be what Dara and Eli relationship turns out to be. They dated when they were young for a time, but grew apart and end up marrying different people later in their lives. They do end up back together tough.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Dempsey and Makur. Double layer of shields plus krogan regeneration. Thell too, by virtue of being practically a walking tank when in armor.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The whole premise of the Husk War.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: While subverted as with canon, this is played straight with royal jelly.
  • No Conservation of Energy: The work goes to great pains to avoid this.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: What the Reapers did to Thessia prior to the story. They simply blew up the entire planet instead of invading and harvesting it.
  • No Loves Intersect: The only times this was subverted, was when both Eli and Lin were in love with the same girl, but even then Eli was willing to step aside for the happiness of the other two.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: Solidly averted. Everything the characters come across during their adventures gets used later again in some form or another.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Staple of the Spectres under Shepard's tenure.
  • No Sell: A Elcor has the muscle to move its body in 4x earth gravity so when a 800kg Yahg lands on one they probably will not notice the added weight.
  • No Social Skills: Seheve, after a lifetime of servitude, doesn't know how to interact with others while not on a mission.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Eli, during bootcamp, remarking to a bully that he couldn't understand why he'd been afraid of him.
  • Not a Morning Person: Kasumi
    Kasumi: "This is why I don't get up before seven most mornings... anything before seven is trouble..."
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Lexine Elders is annoyed as hell that her charms doesn't seem to work on Rel, Dempsey and Eli.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: After the Reaper War, Shepard convinces the council to create a chain of command for the Spectres, so cases like Tela Vasir and Saren don't happen again.
  • Not Me This Time: Orlan, verbatim, during the assault on the 're-education complex' on Lorek, he wasn't the one causing all the destruction.
  • Not So Different: Humans and turians are remarked semi-regularly to be this.
  • Not So Stoic: Seheve when talking about the drell homeworld.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Eli uses this during the early infiltration of Khar'sharn.
    • Eli and Dara also like to downplay their own intelligence for the others.
    • Fors' entire modus operandi.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The council is portrayed this way. Shepard has become Genre Savvy enough to not even bother go to them if she doesn't have enough evidence that what she wants is for the best.
  • Odd Friendship: Lin, Eli and Fors. Later, Fors and Dempsey.
    • Siara and Dara.
  • Official Couple: Shepard and Garrus.
  • Off with His Head!: During the Terra Nova campaign, the batarians invade the prison that the Spectres are using as a base. During the confrontation Eli lobs off the head of a SIU agent. Bonus points for using said head as a interrogation prop against another batarian.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted: Mordin, Dara and Narayana are shown to have knowledge way above what they should, but it's all on the same field.
  • Older and Wiser: Dara mentions after Lantus and Teagan are born that Eli is wiser, to which he responds that it's only because he made several mistakes in his life.
  • Older Than They Look: Dempsey is, chronologically, ten years older than the rest of the Young Guns.
    • By the epilogue, Eli, Dara, Dempsey, Zasha and Rel all look younger than they really are, for one reason or another.
  • One-Man Army: Shepard pointedly wants this type of mentality to disappear from the current Spectres.
  • One-Word Title: Most chapters are this.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: That's what the radio codenames are for, so the enemy doesn't know who is who.
  • Open Secret: By the end of the fic, the Spectre Base's location. Shepard even lampshades it.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Batarian husks.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Seheve passes one of the tests on the Spectre trials using a tactic not thought by the others.
  • Papa Wolf: Dempsey.
  • Parental Incest: Siara suffered this in a bad way.
  • Parrot Pet Position: The rachni workers, mostly 1812 and Chopin.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: Subverted. The small settlements on Astaria. They live by asari's Safety in Indifference style and try to keep to themselves... in the middle of the Terminus Systems, wich is pretty much the Wild West, as Sam describes it.
  • Persona Non Grata: Shepard is seen as this in asari space, being blamed for the destruction of Thessia.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    Eli: "If we ever need to take out a small city, and don't want to, you know, drop bombs on it? I vote we just drop in Dempsey, Rel and Kirrahe, and the rest of us sit back and drink lemonade."
  • Photographic Memory: Seheve. Comes with being a drell.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Seheve.
  • Please Wake Up: Several times.
  • Poisonous Captive: The female Yahg captured on Lorek.
  • Police State: The Hegemony is portraied this way.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Generally represented by a mission with bad or incomplete intel.
  • Posthumous Character: Sarah Jaworski.
  • Power Armor: The quarians and the geth have made War Machine battle suits for the Quarians to wear. Instad of buying new armor after the First battle of Kar'Shan, Siara buys an Atlas mech.
  • Power at a Price: Several cases. Dempsey and later Rel have a Krogan gene mod that gives krogan regeneration but also the krogan bloodrage. Dempsey also has a chip on his brain, aside from the L5 implants, that lets him access any tech with his mind. Dara after she becomes a rachni/human hybrid needs to have song, i.e. the songs of the rachni hive or the mind-song of another person, all the time otherwise she'll go insane if deprived of it for too much time. Seheve is an assassin trained from an young age, being indoctrinated to follow the precepts of the Enkindlers, so much of her character arc is having her grow out of that.
  • Power Perversion Potential: A few biotic couples discover that linking their minds during the act ends up turning their pleasure into a recursive loop where its hard to break out of.
  • Private Military Contractors: Like on canon, there's several mercenary groups still around, but some are added like the Klem Na and the Klixxen Claws.
  • Psychic Powers: Biotics are shown to have even more psychic abilities than in canon, up to and including telepathy.
  • Puppy Love: Eli and Dara in the beginning of the story. Amara and Madison later on.
  • Put on a Bus: Mordin Alesh only appears during the Spectres tryouts.
    • Because of the Loads and Loads of Characters that where in canon plus the OCs that keep being introduced, it isn't hard to go by several chapters without having some of them even mentioned. It doesn't help that midway through the story, they are scattered around the galaxy. The most proeminent are probably Tel and Mazz. The first disappears after he, Eli and Lin go to bootcamp together, and comes back only four years later (about 50 chapters), and even then becomes only a background character.
  • Really 700 Years Old: In the epilogue; after 50,000 years of medical advancements, death is more or less optional.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: People who don't know the language being spoken in front of them have to rely on VI translators to get by.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Shepard and Garrus for the Spectres. There's also Odacen and Anderson, the councilors for turians and humans, respectivelly.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Lin gets reassigned to Nimines, a largely frozen turian colony, during the second half of his military career.
  • Rebel Leader: Valak, before he crossed paths with the Spectres.
  • Rebellious Princess: Kallixta seems to be set up as this after her introduction, but she's actually quite conservative.
  • Recognition Failure: Serana doesn't recognize the Turian Imperator and tries to arrest him, believing him to be a pirate or merc.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Lantar after the attack on the base by the AEC. Part of Seheve's character arc. Arakkura after the war, for the yahg as a whole.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eli and Lin. Interestingly they switch up on occasion as who is the red or blue.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Refuge in Audacity: Maxwell wins a court case by tricking a senator to say ON RECORD the the wording of the law in question is just symbolism.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Several, all through the story, and even one downgrade.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: All the radio team names for the Spectres are taken from Terran mythology.
  • Rescue Arc: Dempsey, Rinus, Eli, Dara, Sam and Lantar trying to rescue Rel after he's gone MIA.
  • Resigned to the Call: Eli, after being volunteered as a press liason for the younger Spectres. Dara, during the final evaluation after the Spectre Tryouts, when Shepard asks if she accepts the offer to join the Spectres. She decides to join mostly because if she didn't she would be fighting in the same war anyway, just with people she didn't know or love.
  • Retractable Weapon: Eli's asp.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The rachni workers, in a buggy sort a way.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: James, who's essentially a personality upload of Dempsey.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Valak's little rebelion cell.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Lin almost goes into one, if he did not have Eli there to keep him in check.
  • Rousing Speech: Shepard is known for giving a few. Rinus gives some later too, even if he himself doesn't recognize it.
  • Rousseau Was Right: The warrior-caste batarians.
  • Safety in Indifference: One of the major problems the asari government is shown to have is that they simply ignore problems that exist, thinking they'll go away. Also one of the arguments Dempsey uses to convince the unwilling corporate leaders on Trident to help them stabilize the sector and kick out the batarian invaders.
  • Scars Are Forever: Zigzagged. On normal people this is played straight, with Garrus, Lantar, Eli, Lin and Serana's scars there even after years. On the other hand, people that have some type of regeneration the scars disappear over time, like Dempsey, Rel, Dara and Zhasa. Then Sam says that he has a moustache to cover his scar on the upper lip, but when he shaves it off, there's no scar there.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: The bachelor party certainly happens in the middle of the war, and before that, Dempsey, Rel, Zasha, Eli, Lin and Dara all participate in a krogan party to create a rapport with the various Mercerany groups on the Hades Nexus.
  • Secret Keeper: The Spectres are known for keeping some of the galaxy's most well guarded secrets.
  • Secret Test of Character: During the Spectre tryouts, the psych evals force them into situations, through the simulator, that have no right answer. What they are looking for is actually the thought process to get to an answer not the answer by itself.
  • Sequel Hook: The end of the epilogue sets up another adventure.
  • Sensor Character: Makur. Any rachni brood-warrior or queen.
  • Serial Killer: Brennia, Lin's first wife, is killed by one.
  • Serious Business: Handball, for the kids still on the school near the base.
  • Sex God: Sky, weirdly. He has a 4 hour nonstop "encounter" with the rachni queen Shepard freed in Mass Effect. Everybody on the planet joins in mentally to the point that Eli is saying Sky's name. He then promptly lampshades this and asks for Sky's autograph.
  • Sharing a Body: In a weird sense, Dara. She can be either be her human self, or Sings-Heartstrong, her rachni queen self.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: After Shepard and Garrus, go into stasis with Sam, Ellie, Lantar and Kasumi they left Dara and Eli as their successors. Turns out having to basically bury their friends (put them in stasis) over the course of decades does a number on them.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The deserts on Terra Nova. Also the Drell homeworld.
  • Shipper on Deck: Just about everyone on the Spectre base is this when it comes to Madison/Amara and Kaius/Caelia.
    • Earlier than that, no one is surprised when Serana and Eli get together besides the man himself.
  • Shirtless Scene: Eli, whenever he's sparring and his shirt gets too much sweat, simply takes it off. The turians have absolute no nudity problems. Same goes for the asari and salarians.
  • Shooting Superman: The batarian always seem to think that they can get through Zhasa's shield with enough ammunition.
  • Shown Their Work: These three words alone are not enough to do this series justice.
    • Hell, this could be the trope codifier for fan fiction...
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Serana and Rel or Rinus.
  • Sibling Team: Rinus and Rellus, and later Serana added into the mix.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Just about every couple, in varying degrees.
  • Sigil Spam: Zigzagged. Spectres don't have ships to use (they borrow ships from the Human-Turian Alliance), and the Spectre Base is supposed to be covert, so there's no sigil there, but all their armors have the Spectre Sigil painted on them.
  • Silicon-Based Life: Apparently, the volus and a few others mentioned during the epilogue.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Several, since halfway through the fic the characters are spread throughout the galaxy.
  • Sixth Ranger: Some examples occur when the Spectres want to work covertly and/or want someone with some set of skills they lack at the moment.
    • During the Siege of Omega, Rinus is borrowed from the Turian Military to pose as a weapons dealer.
    • Also during the Siege of Omega, the Spectres make use of the Patriarch and the krogan loyal to him to attack Aria.
    • During Rel's MIA stint, Eli too is called by Lantar to help them investigate the scene, and serve as a mental support for Dara.
  • Sleep Cute: Lantar and Sam pull one off while sick these leading to Squee! from Katsumi.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Fors was able to calculate down to a 1000 credits in margin of error, the numbers that would be necessary to stage a coup on the Hegemony against a drown out campaign all in his head. While being treated for two broken legs. With data from the Extranet.
  • Social Darwinist: The batarian caste system in a nutshell.
  • Space Elevator: There's several of these between Earth and the Lagrange point on orbit. Also commonplace on other homeworlds.
  • Space Station: Bastion, the Citadel, the Shipyards at Lagrange point between Earth and the moon, aside from several others. A staple of planetary defenses is using a grid of weaponized sattelites controlled by a station
  • Stand Your Ground: During the attempted invasion of Mindoir at the beggining of the war. Also in the backstory, the turian-human fleet, aided by the rachni, geth and quarian ships, held the line agaisnt the Reapers and Collectors while Shepard and company went to the Reaper Node in darkspace to destroy them.
  • Star Scraper: The buildings on the more populous centers around the galaxy tend to be several hundreds stories tall.
  • Start X to Stop X: The batarian Hegemony knows that there's a growing civil unrest inside the borders so, to not start a civil war, they start a war agaisnt the rest of the galaxy.
  • Status Quo Is God: Averted. The only Status Quo on the Spectre Base is that something will happen there sooner or later.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Sam likes to pull this on his enemies, with the help of a stealth net. Serana, who trained with him and Kasumi, is very fond of her skillset as well, and is baffled when it doesn't seem to work on Eli.
  • Storming the Castle: The final trial of the turian bootcamp usually is this.
    • Happens every arc, sometimes several times by arc, both by the antagonists and protagonists.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Pointed out by everyone who sees Eli, that he, contrary to genetics and the fact that he's human, resembles Lantar, his adopted turian father.
  • Student and Master Team: Dara and Shepard, Dara and Mordin
  • Stun Gun: Dara likes to use her whenever possible, and the batarian utilize stasis guns, reverse engineered from Collector Tech.
  • Succession Crisis: During the epilogue involving the turian Imperial family.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Dara, to anyone who isn't close to her.
  • Super Reflexes: Eli after his gene mods and boot camp. He once caught a falling glass almost as soon as he realized it was falling.
  • Super Soldier: That was the intent behind the Argent Defender project, that gave Dempsey his regeneration and problems with emotions. Well, it was run by Cerberus, so...
  • Supporting Leader: Weirdly enough, Shepard gets this treatment during the second half of the story.
  • Survivor Guilt: Lantar has massive doses of this.
  • Sword Cane: Valak.
  • Sword Fight: A brief one between a batarian Vanguard and Eli during the invasion of the 're-education facility' on Lorek. Also, one of the more popular turian sports are Gladiatorial Fighting.
  • Synchronous Chapters: During the batarian/yahg war at least three times the action is taken simultaneously between the various campaigns across the galaxy.
  • Synthetic Plague: Batarians do this to the galaxy
  • Take a Third Option: Shepard does this when she decides to create a probationary Spectre rank, so she doesn't have to turn away people who have potential.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Put it this way; when Agnes and Gavius got married, it meant that a rachni was related to the leader of the turian government.
    • From Chapter 146, "Inhalation":
    Eli: "Wait, is Shepard technically family again?"
    Dara: "Technically, since you and Lin are blood-brothers, and he's married to Serana, yes."
    Eli: "You ever get the feeling that someone in twenty years is going to try to do our genealogy and shoot themselves?"
    Dara: "Ciea'teilu, I don't think there's any 'in twenty years' about it. Through Lin and Serana, you're also related to Kallixta. Which means the Imperial family technically has AIs, through Rinus and Kallixta. Hybrids, through Garrus and Shepard and through your parents. A salarian, through your dad adopting Narayana, a human, in you. . . you call Ylara your third-mother, so they can claim an asari. . . kind of. . . and when we get married, they'll have rachni as cousins, too. Kallixta told me last week that the Office of Heraldry and Imperial Genealogy is usually all of two old guys, who mostly putter around with dusty old books. There are rumors that both of them are being kept away from sharp objects and shoe laces lately."
  • Take That: To the ending of Mass Effect 3; When the main characters are talking about how Shepard defeated the Reapers, they mock the idea of the Reapers possibly running on circuital logic or space magic.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Happens a few times to both Dara and Eli.
  • The Team: The Young Guns
  • Technology Porn: Well, it does have a space opera as a background.
  • Teen Genius: All the Young Guns who grew up in Mindoir certainly qualify. Especially Dara.
  • Tele-Frag: Discussed, but never shown. Dances has the teleport ability, and this is one of the problems that could occur.
  • Telepathy: The only ability all biotics have in common.
  • Teleport Spam: Dances uses this to great effect during his battles.
  • Their First Time: Dara and Rel is after the handball game on Odessa. Lin and Brennia is after bootcamp. Rinus and Kallixta is aboard the Estallus when her meds wear out before they're supposed to.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. There are therapists, but none of the characters actually trust them.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The rachni when they get PISSED stop at literally nothing before they destroy their enemies.
    • Played for laughs when Dara describes the degrees of morbidity. There's Dead, Very Dead, and Very, very Dead.
  • They Have the Scent: Turian sense of smell is better than human, so they can pick up things that humans usually don't.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Discussed during a panel on the school near the Spectre Base. They make the Spectre canditates seem more personable than what was expected by the students.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Garrus, Lantar and Sam.
  • Those Two Guys: Tel and Lin before Character Development.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: During the epilogue this happens to Eli and Dara, and later to Dempsey and Zhasa.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: At least when it's not straight up combat.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Rel during his combat addiction period is at best an Unreliable Narrator.
  • Time Bomb: The batarians on their Space Station orbiting Lorek set a self-destruct sequence themselves before Shepard and her crew can get to the control room and disarm the thing.
  • Time Skip: Some during the story, but most of it during the epilogue(s).
  • Took a Level in Badass: During the Spectre tryouts, part of the problem that Rel can't wrap his head around, is the fact that everyone around him took several levels while he remained mostly stagnated.
  • Totally Radical: An interesting variation. Since expressions don't translate well from one language to another, several times the characters have to resort to VI's to understand a given expression and even then the translation is too literal, losing the meaning.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The rachni workers seem to believe that 'toast' is Dara's.
  • Training from Hell: Interesting case in that the characters that go to the turian military pass by one voluntarily in Mindoir, before going to the obligatory one in bootcamp.
  • Translator Microbes: Unlike canon, there's no voice-to-voice real time translator in the setting. There's voice-to-text with the right VI's however.
  • Trapped in Another World: Happens literally with Rel, when he's rescued by Valak.
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: When the enemies use the Domination ability, the characters have to decide if they shot their friends, just stay in cover or try to incapacitate them.
  • Truce Zone: Omega, when Patriarch, Harak and Pelagia take over.
  • True Companions: Practically one of the requisites to become a Spectre under Shepard's tenure in the office is the ability to form these type of bonds with other Spectres and associates.
    • Garrus, Lantar and Sam form one unit.
    • Gris, Cohort and Sky.
    • The Young Guns Dara, Eli, Lin, Dempsey, Rel, Seheve, Zhasa, Orlan, Serana and Glory.
  • Truth Serums: Subverted. Prior to the series (actually, prior to Mass Effect 2), the location of the base where Archangel was hiding was discovered using Azure Dust on a already beaten up Lantar, wich is a drug that has different effects on different species. In case of turians, it has the same effect as pot on humans.
  • Try Not to Die: Several times the characters issue this command along with their orders.
  • Two-Teacher School: Aside from Azala and the director of the little school on the valley near the Spectre base, no other teacher have any significance to the plot.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Eli to Dara at least three times. When she's poisoned by a scheme created by Aria, during the birth of Joy-Singer and after she's shot by a mobile turret on Kar'sharn.
  • Undisclosed Funds: While the characters are military/Spectres/researchers, they never talk numbers, only that it's apparently sufficient and that they received some bonus or other, hardly ever the exact amount.
  • Underwater Base: The Prothean Base on Arvuna and the Lystheni base on Garvug.
  • Uneven Hybrid: After 50000 years of crossbreeding between the population, almost everyone has some genes from an alien species.
  • Un Coffee: Apha, essentially coffee for dextro species.
  • Underwater Ruins: Technically not ruins. The submerged Prothean city is actually very well-preserved and relatively functional.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Ardat-Yakshi. In the start of the story, just a few are known. By the end, at least 10% of the asari population is discovered to be one.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Rel during his combat addiction period.
  • Urban Segregation: The batarians that invade Mindoir during the war and are later captured can't wrap their heads around the idea that the houses in and around the base are not separated by caste.
  • Verbal Tic: Dara picks up a bit of Mordin's speech patterns while working under him. It re-emerges from time to time whenever she starts getting technical about medicine and science.
  • Virtual Reality: The sower devices can create these.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Fors and Dempsey.
  • War Is Hell: Point hammered again and again. And then some more.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Biotic weapons on the batarian ships.
  • Weapon of Choice: Rinus pointedly says that he prefer shotguns, but he does know how to use the other weapons on the arsenal.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Quoted almost verbatim by a batarian prision guard on Lorek.
  • Wham Episode: The epilogue chapter 'Asari Civil War, Part 2.,' where Dara makes an exposition that utterly shatters the image of the Ardat-Yakshi and sends Samara of all people into a Heroic B.S.O.D..
    • A whopping TEN PERCENT of all Asari (in-story statistics place this total at 1.2 billion) carry a recessive gene on their 44th chromosome pair that emulates the functions of the Y chromosome in humans, producing the Asari analogue of testosterone. As it turns out, this recessive gene is the same exact gene that governs biotic capabilities such as Domination and Reave, both skills characteristic of stereotypical Ardat-Yakshi, and both used by many Justicars and Matriarchs. This means a tenth of all Asari are capable of giving birth to either hermaphroditic/male Asari or Ardat-Yakshi. The reason so few of them are actually identified is because that recessive gene also has a hand in the empathy ability (Asari can feel everything their mate feels), and the few genomes that end up failing to express that ability result in the Asari killing their partner during melding without them even realizing it. Sometimes though, such as in the case of Morinth, the Asari just got plain unlucky and were actual psychopaths.
    • Also, all those Asari that the Batarians abducted and lobotomized? Many of them carried this Y-gene. They were set up for abduction by an Asari cult dedicated to ridding the entire race of all birth defects, from the mundane to the extreme, under the cover of a charitable organization.
    • Samiel Viridian, a male Asari, is revealed to be one of, at most, seven Asari out of twelve billion that express all of these characteristics (Domination, Reave, Empathy, and masculinity); the 'perfect Ardat-Yakshi.'
  • What If?: Used as Plot Device with the simulator. And later with two really wacky shared dreams.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Siege and Mercuria
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Rasmus Cadius delivers one to Rel, after the Spectre nominations, where he's made probationary Spectre.
  • World of Badass
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted. Gender equality doesn't have these as problems.
  • Would Not Shoot a Good Guy: Eli talks a batarian SIU operative into surrendering just because Glory says he's not a 'gray-voice'.
  • Wrench Wench: Zhasa and Nali. Comes with being quarian.
  • Years Too Early: After Dara tries to make Eli blush with a joke and gets it reversed it on her.
    Eli: "Nice try, sai'kaea. You've got about eight years of trying to catch up on what's already been said to me in every single locker room from the Citadel to Edessan and back again."
  • You Are in Command Now: Happens thrice on the epilogue when passing the Spectre leadership over. Also happens during field missions when the designated team leader pass over the command to others where their expertises are better than their own.
  • You Are The Translated Foreign Word: The Asari language is literally monogendered: it contains no masculine pronouns whatsoever. The best Asari can manage without resorting to speaking in another language is not-she.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Rel to Dara. Eli to Dara, as well. Rel to Seheve.
  • Your Head Asplode: Fors 'Implosion' ability when used on Yahg. They are too big so he uses only on their heads.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Averted. The Sower devices only show possibilities, not realities, but when people are trapped inside it, everything feels real.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Valak resistance cell on Kar'sharn against the batarian Hegemony.
  • You Shall Not Pass: The Young Guns during the Battle of the Vineyards. Kirrahe even delivers his uncle's "Hold the line" catchphrase.
  • Zerg Rush: Standard rachni combat doctrine when a queen is being attacked is to swarm the attackers with workers and soldiers until the attacker is dead or until the queen tell them to stop.
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