The Battle of Shanxi. The first conflict between humans and turians. A war fought between the forces of the Global Defense Initiative and the Turian Hiearchy, a war that set the stage for GDI's future relations with the Citadel Council.
Outnumbered and outgunned, GDI troops dig in and pray their foxholes don't become their graves, continuing to resist the turian invaders, holding out for relief.
Written by Char Nobyl, Eagle's Fall is a gripping account of the Battle of Shanxi, with GDI replacing the Systems Alliance.
Examples of tropes in this fanfic:
- Amazon Brigade: Captain Pelayo's Zone Raiders, and an Asari commando squad.
- Ascended Fanboy: Peptuck considers this canon in Renegade for what actually happened, so much so that there are deliberate Continuity Nods to it in the later chapters, not to mention....
- Ascended Extra: Locke appears in Renegade, following a positive fan reaction.
- Badass Army: GDI's troops are depicted as this; despite being formed from rag-tag groups of survivors, with a poor logistics supply, GDI resistance forces nonetheless make the invasion painful for the turians.
- Boring, but Practical: GDI uses conventional treads on tanks, instead of mass effect antigrav systems like Turian tanks. This allows them to carry bigger guns will less recoil and stability issues, and allocate more power to the railguns.
- Break the Cutie: Alice, the little girl in Chapter 2 who watches a GDI sniper die before her. By Chapter 7, the sheer fatigue of the war has left her drained of all emotion, which may have played a part in her mother committing suicide. And she doesn't even realise it.
- Chekhov's Gun: Mammoth tank callsign "Inferno", which appears early on and then is sidelined due to the risk of orbital strikes; it returns to combat in the endgame.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Lance Corporal Ulrich Kastner, shown in Chapter 2 as a close friend of both Specialist Reese and PFC (later Sergeant) Findlay, disappears without fanfare in the same chapter. Chapter 8 reveals he was captured by Nod and transformed into one of the new Marked of Kane.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Despite holding out for months and inflicting massive casualties on the Turian ground forces, the Turian's ability to call in a Kill Sat strike with impunity meant there was never a chance for humanity to win.
- Defiant to the End: When the Turians are being utterly routed by the GDI reinforcement, Entra Shadoon realized that there is no hope of surviving and orders his remaining ships to fight to the very end. The post-war aftermath reveals that Shadoon's fleet are completely destroyed.
- Despair Event Horizon: General Williams surrenders after going through this.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Aware that his fleet is doomed and outgunned, Entra order what remain of his forces to go down fighting against the GDI.
- Dramatic Irony: The Turian's are operating under the assumption that Shanxi is humanity's homeworld and that the forces they're fighting represent the entirety of the human army/armada. The reinforcements from Sol come as a nasty shock.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Aleena, Wasea and Zaeed Messani.
- Eye Scream: Locke removes an eye from a Nod scientist, for both torture and because there's a camera implant recording everything she sees.
- Zone Raider sonic blasters usually burst eyes at close range.
- Gambit Pileup: A lot, but most particularly with Nod black ops types, who are observing the conflict and taking notes.
- Hope Spot: A major turian attack on one of GDI's key outposts is repulsed, and the GDI commander begins to hope that they can turn things around. He and the outpost are destroyed in an orbital strike, which causes General Williams to order the cease fire.
- Kill Sat: Pretty much the only reason the Turians were able to make ANY forward progress planetside was due to their capacity (and ruthlessness) for utterly abusing orbital strikes. (To be fair, it was practically the only way to disable, let alone destroy, the "house-sized masses of fuck you" that are GDI tanks.)
- More Dakka: The Grinder .50cal machinegun, which has finally replaced the old M2 HMG. It's powerful enough that it can kill a turian light tank.
- Oh, Crap!: Locke tends to invoke this in people.
- The Turians reaction to the revelation that A) Shanxi was just a colony, not a homeworld, and that B) humanity's actual fleet has Dreadnoughts.
- Outside-Context Problem: The Asari commando squad represent the first time humanity has encountered biotics. Not to mention their surprise at learning they're fighting more than one alien species. Doesn't stop Locke from killing one of them in hand to hand combat though.
- Screw Destiny: A Nod commando team engages Locke, using probability calculator augmentations to "see" into the future. Except that Locke is so badass, he lives when he's supposed to die.
- Shout-Out: Quite a few:
- Sergeants Salem and Rios, who continue to be bros.
- Tychus Findley is a Zone Trooper.
- Captain Pelayo commands a force of Zone Raiders.
- There's also an Orca pilot who goes down while providing CAS; Pelayo and her Zone Raiders rescue him, in a callback to when her original version was rescued.
- One of the turian commanders is named Artanis.
- Don't forget the Colonel named Joson.
- The MOD-3 Rocket Launcher and Grinder machinegun.
- Rogue Squadron is apparently active for a fair bit of the invasion.
- Tank Goodness: GDI continues to use Mammoth tanks. It's also deconstructed somewhat: Mammoths outgun and outmass turian tanks, but are large enough to be easily targeted for orbital strikes. Thus, they are sidelined for all but the beginning and end of the story.
- Time to Step Up, Commander: All of the senior officers of Frank Company were little more than Sergeants or even Privates. Phillip Dante steps up the most, as he goes from Staff Sergeant to acting Captain because every other officer in his company had died in the initial bombardment by the turians.