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Fanfic / Project Delta

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Project Delta is a Mass Effect AU Fic by 5th Legion. It was completed on January 6th 2020. The sequel, Fulcrum, was started a year later, covering the events of Mass Effect.

We all know that the past civilizations have been working on the Crucible. But what if there was another project? A series of combat augments. Improved and improved; implanted and reimplanted, over and over, for 12,453 cycles. Now, in the 12,454th cycle, a scientist gets his hand on them. 500 infants are stolen in order to be implanted with this tech.


One survives.

This fanfic contains examples of the following:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Done by Jane during her escape from the facility on Omega.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: A sniper is given a unique barrier-piercing bullet in order to kill Niria.
  • Asshole Victim: A lot of the people, starting with the doctor who oversaw the implantation experiments (and much of his staff).
  • Awful Truth: Lia Aethys joined the Justicar Order as penance for Killing her father, two of her half-sisters, and almost killing Liara as an infant as part of Lia's initiation into Eclipse. This caused Aethyta and Benezia's marriage to fall apart. No wonder Aethyta won't give her the time of day.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Jane has a few of them, largely against the darker part of herself.
  • Big Eater: Naturally, Jane requires a lot of energy. She tends to eat enough for a dozen.
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  • BFG: The lance, a four km barrel extender to a dreadnought gun.
  • BFS: Abyss and Seraph, two massive sword Jane dual wields.
  • Bleed 'Em and Weep: Jane was forced to give a Mercy Kill to the last of the remaining Project Delta subjects. At the age of seven.
  • Blessed with Suck: Jane's Super Senses keep her in near constant pain. She gets constant nightmares from the memories in her implants. And, due to her increased body density, she cannot swim.
  • Commonality Connection: Jane has trouble convincing Jack she's on her side, so she starts recounting her own experiences from Cerberus' surgery and implantation.
  • Composite Character: Jane is basically a Colonist Shepard with a good portion of Jack's background (although the real Jack does appear later). Kaidan, meanwhile, gets Shepard's War Hero story.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Averted. Jane instructs the soldiers going to fight geth that, while the "heart" position is a valid target, the head is nothing but a non-vital sensor array.
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  • Death by Childbirth: Chapter 78 reveals Jane's biological mother had a heart failure nine minutes after her birth.
  • The Determinator: Jane keeps fighting even after the most severe wounds.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Jane and Niria's sparring section, the latter constantly distracting Jane with innuendoes. Their First Time follows.
  • Dual Wielding: Jane uses both Sword and Gun, Guns Akimbo and twin swords.
  • Eating Contest: Jane and Fel. An old Krogan on one side, a severe case of Wizard Needs Food Badly on the other... it tends to end with the food running out.
  • Explosive Overclocking: The lance tends to burn out a good number of systems with every shot.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Due to her modified digestive system, Jane often eats her food along with the cardboard package.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Lia loses her eyes in a battle.
    • A lot of batarians get that in the fic. Plus, there is the fact Jane got her eye implants without anesthesia.
  • Face Death with Dignity: After everything he did, at least Dr. Orsen had the courtesy to act with honor as Jane kills him.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Taracus, the leader of the Elysium raid, is rendered into a permanent catatonic state: all of his sensory neurons and centers intact, but completely incapable of voluntary movement. Ouch!
  • Fiction 500: A billionaire, in any case, although she tends to spend a lot on important projects.
  • Ghost Memory: Jane's implants give her memories of all the past cycles.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Jane willingly calling upon her Superpowered Evil Side in chapter 63.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The color of Jane's Off the Scale biotics.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: A badly damaged geth unit attempts to stop Jane from accessing the Beacon by throwing a piece of its own exoskeleton at her.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Niria's death almost kills Jane, but she turns the pain into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. In fact, Niria's father asks Jane on his deathbed to go on once she's done - and he speaks from personal experience.
  • I Have Your Wife: Some of the measures taken to ensure Jane's training isn't interfered with are questionable, to say the least.
  • Important Haircut: After Niria's death, Jane cuts off her braid for it to be incinerated along with the body.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Launching a four km long barrel extender at an enemy battleship? Unexpected, but efficient.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: After the asari see Jane beating the training room with the safeties disabled, a girl named Nomila claims she must have been cheating. Jane proceeds to demonstrate her skills to Nomila personally. She does go easy on her, but that's still five cracked ribs.
  • It Only Works Once: When Jane asks a scientist to develop possible countermeasures against the barrier-piercing bullet, he, after some time, states that most likely, the bullet phases out, destroying the required systems at the same time, so a sufficiently spaced double barrier should stop it.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: When Jane realizes a pirate ship they have captured is working for the Red Wake, she burns the flesh off the captain's hand to make her talk.
  • Karmic Death: An Ardat-Yakshi attempts to feed on Jane. Jane turns the attack back on her.
  • Magic Knight: Any Vanguard Shepard is this, but Jane in this story takes it up to eleven, beyond even the Multiplayer N7 Slayer, fighting with guns, dual wielded swords and near-nuclear level biotics.
  • Mind Probe: Jane can do that to enemies when in need of thorough questioning quickly. The results don't tend to be pretty.
  • Mood Whiplash: From Jane's birthday party to the Battle of Mindoir. And then from Niria's proposal to her death.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Once Jortan returns to his masters after the battle of Mindoir, he expects to be punished for failure. However, with them having other plans, all it takes is a tiny bit of indoctrination to make him "remember" the objective wasn't killing Jane, but merely removing the weaklings from their own organization.
  • Mushroom Samba: The one Jane experiences in Chapter 75 note  is not Played for Laughs.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jane's first tantrum as a child results in three project personnel reduced into Ludicrous Gibs. It grows worse from there.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: When, during the battle for Mindoir, Jane encounters a foe with implants close to her level, she puts her sword away and blasts him into goo with her guns.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Right before she escapes from the facility, Jane is forced into some rather extreme measures to survive. First, personnel sent to retrieve her were killed for the food they carried. The next group was sent in without food, so...
  • Oh, Crap!: Aethyta in Chapter 33, when she realizes Jane might be going into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: A few chapters are written from the POV of one, working against the Reapers and keeping an eye on Jane.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: One of Jane's Power Incontinence flares is borderline Fantastic Nuke.
  • Power Copying: Jane's ability to grow new implants and acquire seems to have elements of that - for example, she got the power of Mind Probe after an Ardat-Yakshi attempted to meld with her.
  • Power Incontinence: A major plot point is Jane getting severe problems due to being unable to bleed off excess energy. Apparently, it is a rare but not unique problem, and if left untreated, the result are... not nice.
  • Power is Sexy: Jane's power and skills attract a lot of attention from young asari.
  • Properly Paranoid: In Chapter 58, Jane arrives on Arcturus station in combat armor. When Hackett questions that, she replies someone shot her the last time she visited the station. Also, she is very much displeased at being assigned to mere bodyguard duty... until at the end of the chapter, there is an assassination attempt that looks like it will require her full talent.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Jane has purple eyes, and breaks the scale for human biotic power.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Jane's first look at a mirror results in first, three hours of staring, then, a tantrum that destroys the mirror along with her room. Then three project personell try to interfere, only to be reduced into Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: You don't want to be around when Jane's loved ones have been hurt.
  • Room Full of Crazy: A side effect of Jane's visions is her waking up to walls with patterns on them.
  • Scars are Forever: Both surgery and combat left more than a fair amount upon her.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: A lot of the measures taken to save Mindoir were against Council regulations.
  • Self-Made Orphan: It is revealed Dr. Orsen, the man in charge of the project and one of the people Jane killed while escaping, was her biological father.
  • She's All Grown Up: Kaiden's reaction to Jane again as an Alliance officer after a seven year gap in their acquaintance, when he last saw a frightened little girl.
  • Sole Survivor: Out of 500 test subjects, only Jane lives.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Thanks to Jane's powers, Jenkins survives the geth drones, although he does get some wounds. As a result, he is forced to break off and take an overwatch position from which he manages to save Nihlus.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Jane finds an asari slave on a pirate ship who is deep in that condition, despite her eyes having beed gouged out by the "master" she asks about.
  • The Speechless: Aris, a Justicar with severe burns on her throat. She can say a few words sometimes, but it is very rare.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: There is a sizable cult considering Jane a batarian goddess. They do prove useful, but their sycophancy when communicating is quite repulsive both for Jane and the reader.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Dr. Olsen found that anesthetics interfere with implant growth, so the implantation procedures were conducted without.
  • Strong, but Unskilled: It takes a couple of years until Jane can get proper training in the use of her power, but she kills nore than enough people by then.
  • Suddenly Significant Rule: Jane has a lot of trouble getting the proper training due to an ancient law about outsiders being permitted on an asari colony.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Jane has one - well, more like a lot more determined and capable of ignoring injuries, and one that needs to be chained except for the direst situations.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The story arc of Project Delta proper is described through the leading scientist's POV, constantly switching to Jane's and back.
  • Sword Beam: Jane can channel her power through Abyss.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Jane falls in love with Niria, the asari mentoring her about the Power Incontinence problems.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Sara's death. And then Niria. Along with her unborn child. Just about the nicest people you can find.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Jane makes a lot of effort training a militia for Mindoir.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Kal'Reegar has a brother and sister in this fic. All three work with Jane.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: In the main battle against the Red Wake, Jane's forces use an unfinished dreadnought, equipped with a four kilometer long barrel extender for its main caliber. It turns out to require significant repairs and recalibration after each shot.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Aethyta's talk of "sparring" in Chapter 41.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Jane naturally has some trouble with human connections, and also claims she browsed porn (of all species) for three days without anything having the slightest effect on her.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A sole survivor of a painful implantation project who lost a few homes and loads of loved ones - and a One-Woman Army in addition to that.
  • You Are Number 6: All the Project Delta subjects are only known by their numbers. Jane was the only one to live long enough for a proper name.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: During their Battle in the Center of the Mind in chapter 63, Jane gets a slash on the belly from her Superpowered Evil Side's claws. When she removes her armor later, there are three long bruises there.