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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Renegade
Insane theories for the fanfic Renegade.

(Not related to the TV series Renegade.)


The Brotherhood of Nod will pull a Big Damn Heroes at some point.
Kane himself will command their fleet. And the Scrin will crap their pants.

Kane is a Reaper
The Brotherhood's basic philosophy (Peace, Unity, Brotherhood) was buried in the Tacitus recovered on Eden Prime, and we know the beacons were intended by the Protheans as a warning of the Reaper invasion. What if they included information about a Reaper infiltrator? And Kane's creation of the Brotherhood seems like low-key indoctrination....

Kane is a Prothean.
The Protheans discovered Tiberium shortly before being wiped out. Kane survived by faking his own death. He then arranged for Tiberium to end up on Earth, while laying the groundwork for the Brotherhood of Nod. The reason Kane never even hinted at the Prothean ruins on Mars was to prevent humanity from becoming dependent on mass effect-based technology. His ultimate goal was to make the humans into a Tiberium-based society that could take on the Reapers. His original plan was to take over Earth with the Brotherhood of Nod, but after seeing GDI fighting the Scrin in the Third Tiberium War, he became convinced that GDI was up to the task. This is why Nod never made another attempt at world domination - Kane didn't want to weaken either side through war.

This is how Nod will be able to act as a Cerberus analogue. Unlike their 21st-century predecessors, the modern Brotherhood doesn't oppose GDI - they actually support it, just as Cerberus supported the Systems Alliance. This time, when they join forces with GDI, it will be with Kane's blessing.

  • Problems, though - there is already a Cerberus analogue - Phoenix, under the command of a slightly...different Illusive Man and with a former GDI commando as one of their top operatives (presumably a parallel to Kai Leng). They have the same goals as Cerberus and also tend to have bleeding-edge technology and weaponry. Also, every time there's a Tiberium War, both sides come back stronger, but on the other hand, keeping the human race divided would have been useful - while GDI prepares for actually running the galaxy and keeping things stable, Nod can focus on their own expansion and prepare better for the Reapers by not giving a damn about what GDI or the rest of the galaxy wants.

Renegade is set in the future of Tiberium Wars.
This won't make a huge difference in the plot, but you can bet that there will be references between the two fics.
  • Word of God all but confirmed it regarding Anastacia Telfair, who is supposed to be a direct descendant of Sandra Telfair and Alexander Karrde from Tiberium Wars.
  • Also just as the current Havoc is in fact the sixth in his line, the current Emily Wong is in fact the sixth in a great line of investigative reporters.
  • There's also a Nod ship captain named Aldis Rawne, presumably after Tiberium Wars's Rawne. Looks like The Legendary Insurgent survived Tib War 3 long enough to have kids. Or maybe that Avatar pilot bore his children...

The Brotherhood stole the Tacitus on Eden Prime
Obviously, the Tacitus disappearing like that has pissed off both GDI and the Citadel, making them accuse and distrust each other. All the better for Nod....
  • Kane admits as much in Chapter 6, but explicitly says he didn't plan on Saren being Saren.

The Council will join forces with Nod
Kane will offer them access to Tiberium (which, as hinted by Word of God, they can move past the GDI embargo thanks to the threshold network) In exchange of a place in the Citadel hierarchy as Humanity's representative and aid in case of GDI aggression as they consolidate their influence over the unaligned Human colonies.

The Arc Projector is based on Tesla technology.
Word of God has confirmed that the first Red Alert game is part of this story's continuity. The Arc Projector is pretty much a tesla trooper's main weapon condensed into a rifle form. Ergo....
  • Point of order: only Red Alert 1 has been confirmed to be included, but Red Alert 1 didn't have Tesla Troopers, only Tesla Coils. Not that they couldn't be similarly miniaturized.
    • Yes, Red Alert 1 didn't have Tesla Troopers, but... it did have SHOCK Troopers, which were the precursors to the Tesla Troopers. And even more tellingly, Shock Troopers used electric rifles with battery backpacks, rifles that look a lot like the Arc Projector...

Nod has moved to another planet
Fairly likely, but worth putting in here. While Nod's stealth systems would enable them to hide bases within Sol, getting past the Arcturus Relay is going to be a problem these days. It would be far easier to establish an off-world base of their own. The most likely scenario is that after the discovery of the Charon Relay, Nod sent a few ships through. They found a suitable planet, hooked up with Kane, and brought in Tiberium from Earth via the threshold network.
  • Confirmed in the later chapters. Nod actually had entire communities and planets in the Terminus.

Nihlus will NOT be joining the Normandy team
Even with Kane's return it's unlikely that the Council will give any kind of aid to the GDI, as the GDI most likely not give any aid to hunting down Saren, seeing the Geth and Scrin as the bigger threat. They (the Council) may regard it as some threat, but nothing more than simply sending a Specter along with Shepard as a representative. However, it will not be Nihlus, as he will be tasked with hunting down Saren. Which leads too...
  • However, the Council has decided to allow the GDI to conduct investigations into Saren, the Scrin, and the geth in Citadel space, and presumably are going to put some kind of observer on the Normandy to make sure this privilege isn't abused - and who better than someone they know can work with the Normandy crew?

Garrus is a Spectre
It gives him the perfect excuse to be on the Normandy.
  • Confirmed in Chapter 6. He's a rookie Spectre who is apparently little different from Saren, except he kneecaps people instead of killing them outright. Also, doesn't like doors.
    • Also he doesn't have a habit of killing people for the lulz. Also He's Crazy Awesome.

The surviving quarian is Kal'Reegar
Mostly because the author seems to like tossing curveballs at the readers. Implications are that the survivor might be Tali, but it would be a twist if it was Reegar instead.
  • Unlikely, for two reasons: one, Renegade is going out of its way to ensure all the right players are there despite the changes in the timeline, and two, Reegar is a Migrant Fleet Marine, who (judging by Haestrom) deploy in much larger groups than seen so far.
    • The surviving quarian was stated to be male, however.
    • After reading the latest, it seems like it might be both Reegar and Tali (Though this troper may have read the chapter wrong).
      • I believe the latest chapter indicates that there are two quarian survivors - a male who was captured by the mercenaries, and a female who had the data they were trying to turn over. Definitely sounds like Kal'Reegar and Tali, though the male might be another quarian altogether.
    • Confirmed. The survivor is Kal'Reegar. Tali was also present and is trying to rescue him.

Kane planned the GDI/Batarian war.
Kane is secretly running the Batarian Hegemony and organized the slaver attacks to draw GDI into a war with the Citadel to weaken both sides for the Reapers. Then once the galaxy was purged he and his followers would emerge and dominated the galaxy.
  • Unlikely, since the Citadel isn't going to pick a fight with GDI for the batarians' sake - they dislike the batarians nearly as much as they do the humans.

The Brotherhood of Nod will start to recruit aliens.
Nod has always had an appeal with marginalized groups who feel forgotten and oppressed; quarians and krogan aren't that far off from the denizens of the Yellow Zones. Unlike Cerberus (which Nod seems to have replaced) the Brotherhood seems to lack any xenophobic philosophy and they have always welcomed those who have been willing and able to further their cause.
  • This is all but outright said in the sixth chapter, with the quarians who had laser weaponry, and whom Kane knew about.

Kane used the Beacon on Eden Prime
Nilhus seems to think the Beacon is an insignificant discovery next to the Tacitus, but the GDI is sure interested in it. However, nobody actually uses it - the Tacitus takes its "give Shep headache-y flashbacks" role. But there doesn't seem to be any direct connection between the Scrin and the Reapers before the present-day of the fic, which means the Tacitus couldn't contain Prothean data about the Reapers. Which, of course, means that once again Kane knows more than everybody else, which is his MO.
  • Word of God is that the Beacon and the Tacitus were the same thing.

More ME2 characters are going to show up before they do in canon
Not much of a WMG, admittedly, but given how Miranda and Jacob showed up already, chances are good that various other Mass Effect 2 characters will feature. It'll be particularly interesting seeing how Jack shows up, if at all, given the evident lack of Cerberus, or what the Illusive Man is doing.
  • Confirmed, at least as far as Zaeed is concerned.

The Scrin are this universe's Collectors
A Tacitus is likely to be connected to both Tiberium and the Protheans, and the Scrin are an explicitly Tiberium-based species. Since that implies the connection between the Tiberium and the Protheans, one could assume that Protheans adopted Tiberium-based technology over the mass effect-based. The Reapers didn't anticipate it, but, faced with Prothean opposition during their regular reaping cycle, prevailed and assimilated Tiberium as another possible avenue of technological progress. The Scrin are not the original Protheans, but Tiberium-based constructs derived from them.

The Tiberium meteor launched to Earth is a test of the doctrine: either the Tiberium consumes the planet and makes its minerals easy to harvest, or the indigenous species overcomes it and creates new but predictable technologies based on it. Win-win.

It also explains a considerable Scrin force siding with the Reapers with no appearance of modification or indoctination.
  • Though Word of God has implied that the Scrin may be more like the Geth. A small minority has thrown their lot in with the Reapers, while the rest are just as much enemies of the Reapers as anyone else.
  • Some other hints from Word of God indicate that the majority of the Scrin are simply trying to avoid drawing the Reapers' attention by avoiding use of anything Reaper-related at all, and the fact that humanity survived the seeding of their world with Tiberium and the subsequent contact with the Citadel has thrown the entire plan to hide from the Reapers out the window.
  • Jossed as of Chapter 14.

The Scrin working with the Reapers are members of Reaper-17
Well, this one seems kind of obvious, and one early Word of God was that there's a reason that said faction was known as the "Reaper" faction.
  • Close. They're Reaper-18.

The Scrin were the ones who killed off some of the past civilizations in the galaxy.
Some races were destroyed in the 50,000 year interim period between the fall of the Protheans and the events of the ME series. Since the Reapers were in hibernation during this time, these races were likely destroyed because they were busy fighting over Tiberium that the Scrin introduced to their planets. What's telling is the races in the above links blew themselves up with nuclear weaponry, which is pretty much what GDI and Nod would have done to each other, fighting over Tiberium if not for Kane and the Tacitus.

Which sets up a corollary to the above WMG that speculates the Scrin are divided like the geth: Unlike the geth, the "main" Scrin faction, in contrast to the majority geth in ME canon, will probably not be interested in peaceful coexistence with the rest of the galaxy. As the Scrin are still a race of Tiberium addicts who have destroyed multiple alien species long before targeting Earth, they're likely to be just as hostile to everybody else as they are to the Reapers. Which would set up some pretty crazy battles... or some serious Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.

Ashley is already a follower of Nod.
Since Ashley and Jacob are switching places in the storyline, it stands to reason that Ashley will join Nod. But why would she do that? One possibility is that she is a follower of Nod already - that is, Nod is her religion. Sometime after Kane went public, she resigns from GDI and joins the Brotherhood.
  • Note that Nod is a recognized religion in human territory, so she could even be an open practitioner, though likely with some stigma.
    • The stigma of being a Nod follower would nicely replace the one connected with her grandfather surrendering to Turians during the First Contact War
  • Unlikely. As seen in Eagles Fall, her grandfather still surrendered at Shanxi, but there is an alternative to Nod or GDI. Ashley could easily have joined up with Phoenix in the interests of keeping humanity strong and dominant in the galaxy.

Nod will blackmail Shepard at some point.
Nod seemed to have deliberately arranged for Shepard to become a hero by arranging for her to rescue the Elysium prisoners from the batarians. However, knowledge that she helped the Brotherhood would make her very suspect, and the fact that she knew about their military capability and never told anyone in GDI would destroy her. That kind of knowledge would make for excellent blackmail material, and Nod always has ulterior motives. It seems like Nod created their own high-ranking GDI hero and ensured that they'll be able to use her for their own ends at some point.
  • Kane seems to be less focused on forcing Shepard to do his will and more manipulating her into doing so through controlling the circumstances around her instead of her directly. It's stated he regards her as a pawn, and with this being Kanewe're talking about, he's far more likely to have her working towards his goals without even knowing. On the other hand, nobody knows what those goals are. Ascension could involve "melting everyone down to make a Reaper".

Garrus will try to kneecap Human Reaper or Any Reaper with legs.
Why? Because it would be awesome. Garrus looking at the size of Human Reaper with awe while slowly taking Cain off his back and muttering "Well I do like a challenge now and then..."
  • You have to work in the destruction of a wall somewhere in there.

Jack will show up... as a Nod fanatic.
Her backstory will be largely similar to the OTL Jack, only Nod had the foresight to make sure she actually remained loyal to Nod, through a combination of compassion (something Nod has never had a problem with) and indoctrination. It worked, and now she's one of Nod's secret weapons. Why? Because it would be an interesting contrast.
  • An alternate notion may be that there is a Cerberus in this setting, but when Jack escaped she found Nod. Remember that in her background, she ran into a cult that tried to use her and that she ended up destroying. Except Nod is a much more palatable religion....
  • Another alternate theory is that Jack was created by the Pheonix organization, since they appear to be this setting's version of Cerberus.

Allied and Soviet technology from the Great World War II will play a key role in defeating the Reapers.
]] The Chronosphere is another method of instantaneous travel. If its range could be upgraded to cover interstellar distances, it may even prove to be a viable alternative to Mass Relays and Threshold Towers. Or, if Chrono Vortexes are able to be generated in a more controlled fashion, that could be a devastating weapon against the Reapers (think another version of the Scrin black hole generator...)

On the Soviet side, the Iron Curtain could be used to upgrade shielding, probably to the point where it could even shrug off Reaper cannon fire. If Einstein's comment from Red Alert 1 is not at all an exaggeration, when he says the Iron Curtain can make vehicles and structures invulnerable, he really does mean invulnerable.

And since Stalin's favorite adviser is still around in the 2180s... who's to say he doesn't have these devices lying around somewhere, perhaps now that technology has advanced to the point where they are no longer Awesome, but Impractical, but rather now Awesome Yet Practical?

  • Word of God is that at least some Red Alert tech still exists; he also hinted that a lot of that tech was (unknowingly) an attempt to make devices that created effects similar to Scrin technology, but were ultimately abandoned for being inefficient. But Kane still has the blueprints lying around....

Shepard will die much earlier than in canon
The story has already been introducing plot elements from Mass Effect 2 much earlier. It would fit, especially considering how rapidly the story has been flying off the rails. Whether or not she will be rebuilt, and who will do it (Nod? Phoenix? GDI?) is up in the air, though.
  • The cliffhanger end of chapter 13 might hint at this: the Battlemind's final attack ended up pulverizing Shep's lower spine - to say nothing of her other injuries (and the obscene amount of stimulants she was pumping herself with to stay on her feet after losing an arm), the compound effect of which has resulted in her heart giving up and flatlining.
    • As to who may rebuild Shepard... there is of course one faction in the Tiberium universe that has mastered cybernetics...

The Scrin fought the Protheans
In Chapter 14, Shepard gets a load of nightmares from the Tacitus, giving her visions of death at the hands of Reapers, Scrin, and Collectors. There have been links between the Tacitus and Scrin, and later chapters have suggested a link between the Protheans and the Tacitus (Shepard now has some sort of connection to Prothean tech and Prothean instincts). The Scrin have been hostile to virtually all life that isn't them, suggesting that the Tacitus was either trying to warn her about the Collectors and Reapers, or that the Tacitus was highlighting the various enemies of the Scrin or Protheans: the forces hostile to all advanced life, other Scrin (source material suggests that the various factions don't get along very well), and the Protheans (known to have been imperialistic) or Collectors (servants of the Reapers).

Thane and/or Nihlus will end up fighting Shepard
Thane is heading to investigate Feros, where the Thorian resides. Nihlus is going to the Thorne system. The Thorne system has the derelict Reaper. This will not end well.
Reflections Lost On A Dark RoadWMG/Fan FicThe Return

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