Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Sudden Contact

Go To

On the eve of the Great War, first contact is accidentally (and violently) occurred between the protoss and turians when a Mass Relay discovered in the Sara system is activated. Citadel Space is subsequently dragged into the Koprulu sector, and is helpless as the ravenous zerg pour through the relay with the intent of assimilating all known species into their swarm. All the while, an even darker threat looms on the horizon...


Sudden Contact is a crossover Fusion Fic between StarCraft and Mass Effect by A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac. The fic replaces all of the human elements of the Mass Effect franchise with the characters and lore of StarCraft, with events of both series being drastically altered as a result. Its sequel, Sudden Supremacy, has been completed, with the second sequel, Sudden Terminus, currently in progress.

This story and both of its sequels can also be found on Links: Sudden Contact, Sudden Supremacy, and Sudden Terminus.


This fanfic includes examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Several minor characters get chapters to themselves, including Joey-Ray and Daggoth, and the UED high command revealing the colonies have encountered hostile aliens gets three. Cerberus Squadron goes from being the One-Scene Wonder army from Star Craft 1's demo to the human supremacist organization from Mass Effect. Furthermore, the Magistrate, the SC1 Terran Campaign player character, is The Illusive Man.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: The crew of the Normandy are racist towards both aliens, and the humans inhabiting the Koprulu sector ("colonials") in this fanfic, due to growing up under the UPL/UED's fascist ideology.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While Saren is still ruthless and pragmatic, he has no real hate for humans, since he built a rapport with them fighting the zerg on Mar Sara, particularly Jim Raynor though a rift began growing between them after Saren planted the Psi Emitter on Tarsonis. As of Sudden Supremacy he continues to have a working relationship with both Kerrigan and Nova, who are also Spectres now.
    • Advertisement:
    • Jack Harper (The Illusive Man) is the magistrate on Mar Sara when the zerg invade and instrumental in evacuating the planet before the Protoss sterilize it. He continues to fight alongside Raynor, and after Mengsk activates the Emitter on Tarsonis, joins the fight to bring his reign down. However, he joins the Kel-Morians to do so, which is not much of an improvement over the Dominion. Later on, he deserts them and the UED after the Battle of Korhal, due to seeing their actions and Mengsk finally being dead.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • David Anderson, Ashley Williams, Kaiden Alenko, Amelia Shepard, Major Coats, Admiral Hackett, Jeff "Joker" Moreau, and Jenkins are all members of the UED Expeditionary Armada. Subverted as some of the characters such as Joker and Shepard don't follow too much to UED ideology and eventually turning against Stukov and allowing the UED to unconventionally surrender to the races of the Koprulu sector and Citadel space.
    • Javik is a composite of both Duran and Amon. His agenda remains canonically the same: seeking the destruction of the Reapers. But he is willing to sacrifice every race in the galaxy to enhance his zerg-protoss hybrid army to combat the Reapers.
      • Since the hanar are loyal to Javik's agenda, the drell under the Compact are as well, including Thane Krios.
  • All There in the Manual: Sudden Contact: Timeline and UED Factional Analysis and Codex - Sudden Contact and Sudden Supremacy are about this.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The zerg invasion of Thessia.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • The Magistrate of Mar Sara is the Illusive Man.
    • Cerberus (Squadron) is a Confederate black ops organization, which sided with the Kel-Morian Combine against the Terran Dominion. They still work for Jack Harper/The Illusive Man, though.
    • Neither Saren or Matriarch Benezia ever became indoctrinated. Saren instead holds a grudge against the protoss, and Benezia was a casualty of the zerg assault at Tarsonis.
    • General Duke is defeated in battle and talked into defecting, instead of being saved from the Zerg.
    • Raynor's Raiders take control of the Norad II in addition to the Hyperion.
    • The zerg and the Overmind invaded Thessia and claimed the hidden Prothean/Xel'naga artifact there rather than Aiur.
    • Donnel Udina is a Umojan ambassador, and the human Council member. And his job officially sucks.
    • Kerrigan was never infested, and becomes a Council Spectre instead of the Queen of Blades.
    • Steven Hackett, David Anderson, Dr. Karin Chakwas, Kelly Chambers, Richard L. Jenkins, Ashley Williams, Kaidan Alenko, and Commander Shepard (who is a female Combat Medic named Amelia) are members of the UED Expeditionary Armada.
    • Liara becomes the Queen of Ruins and leads the Zerg, but appears to have kept both her own mind and her sense of morality.
    • The survivors of Mar Sara resettled on Eden Prime and declared their independence from the Terran Dominion, establishing the Independent Terran Systems Alliance, with many of the remaining elcor and asari refugees also settling there with them.
    • The quarians were forced to abandon their attempt to reclaim Rannoch and left for the Koprulu sector to resettle on Shakuras due to the protoss intervening in their fight with the geth.
    • The Batarian Hegemony withdrawing their embassy from the Citadel was in response to the lack of gratitude for their role in the liberation of Thessia.
    • The Kelham, Hock, Archer, and Santiago families are the four major families of the Kel-Morian Combine.
    • Miranda Lawson is a former Old Family member who is responsible for perfecting the Waygate program. She's also still a Cerberus agent, and the liaison to Raynor's Raiders.
    • Jack is a psionic user from the KMC (who was an abused test subject for them before she was rescued by Cerberus), and joins the Raiders during the events of Purgatory.
    • EDI is a UED project that served as a replacement for the adjutants on the UED Armada.
    • Kerrigan and Raynor suffered a falling-out after Jim turned down the offer to become a Spectre in exchange for agreeing to cover up Tarsonis. Their current relationship with each other is unknown.
    • The Collectors have access to powered armour and can form their own Archons.
    • Duran is Javik, who is also known by his new name: Amon. His agenda remains the same in Mass Effect canon, but he is more willing to sacrifice entire races to be use as bio-materials to build his hybrid army to defeat the Reapers.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The UED carries out regular "familial purging" on anyone who dares question them.
    • Also, in a minor nod to Hitler's belief that he could take on Russia, France, and England at the same time, the UED appear to be planning to conquer the entire galaxy and every other race, with the possible exception of the protoss. It ended much in the same way as World War II as much of Earth is nuked and the UED is forced into unconditional surrender.
    • In another nod to the Nazis, the public revelation of the Mengsk's responsibility for the Fall of Tarsonis is similar to how the Nazis uncovered atrocities, such as the Katyn massacre, committed by the Soviet Union.
  • Anyone Can Die: The last part of Sudden Supremacy suddenly takes this turn. Starting with Samara who is killed in the battle against the Shadow Broker, then Ashley in the Collector base, then Grunt is torn apart from the inside out via nanites which the UED had used to cure the genophage as an example to Wrex as to who the real power is, then Garrus is killed by Kerrigan (accidentally) trying to take out Aldaris, Artanis is killed alongside hundreds of other protoss when a Nerazim activates the anti-Khala weapon aboard the Citadel, Tychus dies in a one-man charge against Directorate forces on Eden Prime that also kills Jenkins and Anderson, and Miranda is seemingly killed by Hanar while trying to take Duran in.
  • Audience Surrogate: Tychus Findlay. He had been sentenced to cryogenic imprisonment during the Confederacy era until he's released in the post-Great War era, where he is very surprised to discover the Confederacy has fallen, and humanity is interacting with aliens regularly.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Stukov finally decide to lead the UED armada to attack the Protoss. But when Shepard publically revealed the coordinates to Earth, Selendis and Aldaris decide to return the favor by leading their forces to Earth.
  • Berserk Button: Being flippant about Raynor is noted as one of the few things that can genuinely make Arcturus lose his temper.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice over in the Korhal arc! As follows:
    • The batarians show up to help the UED as revenge for the fall of their KMC allies and to turn the tide against the Dominion.
    • When Mengsk has surrendered, both he and Duke have been executed, and Valerian is next on the list... Liara and the zerg/rachni show up.
      • Liara actually gets two of these in the series. She pretty much saves the entire galaxy from being conquered by the zerg when she convinces the geth to ally with the Council and the protoss. This also leads to Sovereign's destruction, thus stopping the Reapers from returning.
    • When Selendis and her forces are being almost routed by the turians led by Desolas, reinforcements from the Umjoans and Quarian Migrant Fleet suddenly arrive and strong-armed Desolas into an unconditional surrender.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Fenix is very much this.
  • Brick Joke: In the UED's Salarian analysis, mention is made of a meme among them wherein they will append to some random sentence, "unless of course the protoss warp in, kill us all, and leave". After the Salarians finish "correcting" the UED analysis, they warn that UED forces should be quite safe as long as they stay in their sector of space, "unless of course...the protoss warp in, kill you all, and leave. Have a nice day".
  • Broken Masquerade: Liara's leadership of the reconstructed zerg, their alliance with the rachni, and the existence of the Collectors are fully revealed to the galaxy at the conclusion of the Korhal arc.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The salarians tried to establish diplomatic contact with the protoss. The protoss didn't reply, which led to the salarians saying they would "bury this planet in warships" if that was what it took to get a response. The results were the salarians being beaten back through Relay 118, and the protoss reinforcing their blockade on the Koprulu sector from Citadel space (but only to prevent further violent incidents).
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Captain Patrick Harris of the UED; while he is prone to swearing and usage of "colorful" language in his reports, he is nevertheless noted by the other UED analysts as being very good at his job.
  • Civil War: Like in canon, a civil war erupts between the protoss who support Artanis, Tassadar, and the Dark Templar, and the protoss who support the Conclave, who want the first group dead. Eventually, Artanis's side manages to win.
  • Colony Drop: The Overmind resorted to pulling down Orbital Platform Siha on the combined terran/turian/batarian/protoss ground forces as retaliation for the deaths of two Cerebrates.
  • Composite Character:
    • The Mar Sara Magistrate + The Illusive Man = Magistrate Jack Harper.
    • The UED Captain (from Brood Wars) and David Anderson are the same person.
    • Raszagal is the Shadow Broker.
    • Javik is the amalgamation of himself, Duran and Amon.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Liara, an infested asari, vs Nova, a terran psionic assassin.
    • A Turian security patrol vs. a Protoss armada
  • Competitive Balance: UED marines have anemic weapons, but more mobile power armor compared to Dominion marines. Umojan marines have heavier weapons and power suits bordering on Mini-Mecha, but are Mighty Glaciers.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Liara really got the short end of the stick here. First, she was captured and indoctrinated by Sovereign, and then captured by the Zerg and infested...
  • The Coup: Yagza the Conciliator, Hegemon of the Batarian Hegemony, was overthrown in a bloodless coup by his political enemies, who were allied with the KMC. "Bloodless" because there wasn't any serious violence in the upheaval and that spilling blood on the Hegemon is a serious offense; Yagza was strangled to death without bloodshed. He was succeeded by Anto the Vindictive, a former batarian ambassador, and leading to the Hegemony's close alliance with the KMC.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: As an example as to who truly holds power, Kai Leng uses the nanites that are part of the UED's cure for the genophage to kill Grunt, basically rupturing every organ in his body at once, right in front of Wrex, then threatens to do the same to Bakara and his newborn son Jarrod.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The First Contact between the protoss and turians. It goes very badly for the turians.
    • In StarCraft, SCVs are worker units with low health and armor, and hardly a threat on the battlefield. When Tali and Kal'Reegor go to bring in Veetor, who's gotten into an SCV, the fact that it's a twenty foot tall robot that weighs several tons becomes a big problem.
  • Defector from Decadence: Declan is a former batarian special ops who was the sole survivor of a botched mission into the Zerg Demilitarized Zone around Thessia and was Left for Dead by his superiors. Fortunately, he was saved by Raynor's Raiders and decided to join them. It is later reveal that he wasn't given any other choice: he learned that his wife was forced to be remarry and that she and her daughters will be swiftly demoted to the Slave Caste if Declan were to remain in the Hegemony.
  • Defiant to the End: Duke's last moments were spent cursing out the UED.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The view of a number of UED officers, particularly Stukov, who sees it as a wasteful "tyranny of the uneducated".
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Talking to Protoss makes every screen on a ship display their face.
  • Doomed by Canon: Played straight... sort of.
    • Tassadar's Heroic Sacrifice in destroying the Zerg Overmind.
    • Matriarch Benezia dies on board the Destiny Ascension at the Fall of Tarsonis when her ship is overwhelmed by the Zerg Swarm. Canonically, she died on Noveria after she was Indoctrinated by Sovereign.
    • DuGalle, Mengsk, and Duke all die, but in different ways. Mengsk is personally killed by Raynor instead of Kerrigan. Duke is lynched by the UED, instead of being killed on the Norad 2. DuGalle is impaled by a rachni; originally he shot himself after the zerg defeated the UED.
    • Although Donovan Hock survives the events of "Stolen Memory" he dies at the hands of Kai Leng after Alexi Stukov decided he outlived his usefulness.
    • Ashley, Jenkins, and David Anderson do die: Ashley is killed in the Collector base. Jenkins and Anderson are brutally killed by a drugged out Tychus, who also dies at Anderson's hands.
  • The Dreaded: The protoss are considered by everyone to be the most militarily powerful race in the galaxy, both with their fleets and on the ground. They are noted as the only ones the turians actually fear.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: According to a UED report, Spectres Jondum Bau and Nihlus Kryik were killed during an operation to destroy a Waygate.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Banelings are derived from infested Voli (Daggoth thought their exploding when their suits were punctured was funny), and Nydus Worms from infested Thresher Maws.
    • Early in Sudden Supremacy, Tali, Reegar, and Zeratul encounter a Raven UAV (although it's called a Nomad, it's description is clearly a Raven). This is concurrent with Brood War, by the way.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted for the UED Armada. Due to the fact that the UED had to contend to not just the terrans and aliens of the Koprulu sector like in canon, but 12+ more alien races in the wider galaxy. As a result, the armada had to bring as many men as they had to offer and their most advanced tech to go up against the Citadel races; however, this created a logistical nightmare for them by the time they arrived in the Koprulu sector.
    Alexei Stukov: Logistics is the fucking tyrant of warfare.
  • Energy Weapon: The UED was stated to have much more advanced technology than the Terrans of the Koprulu sector possessed in-game such as mentioned "tachyon lasers". And with the reveal of the Council races, they decide to bring such tech with them instead of relying on the comparatively-primitive Terran tech in the Koprulu sector like in canon. Energy weapons such as Laser rifles or sonic guns are standard issue among them, and their Ships' green laser turrets are 30% more powerful than Terran red laser turrets, as well as being so energy efficient to be near unlimited. However, they have not completely abandoned ballistic weaponry, not only due to their situational uses, but also due to the heat build-up in prototypes like a gatling laser rifle making heavier hand-held energy rifles impractical.
  • Establishing Character Moment
    • Donovan Hock makes his appearance by executing some Dominion prisoners and using the survivors for ransom money.
    • Joker expresses his distaste towards his UED superiors and hated being seen as an "representative sample" due to being a paraplegic serving a fascist society that spout on "human purity". Furthermore, he is really amazed to meet actual aliens.
    • Anto the Vindictive is maybe an ambitious and ruthless bastard, but he does care about modernizing the Hegemony. When Artanis swear to him that the protoss will force the Hegemony to end its practices of piracy and slavery, Anto respond with laughter because he doesn't mind this at all as long as the protoss promise to fix the Hegemony's economy and caste system. Furthermore, he has the batarians who refused to accept this new order are dealt with.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Despite the atrocities he's committed, Arcturus is honestly disgusted when he sees the beginnings of a purge on UED occupied worlds.
    • After Arcturus and Duke are executed, Oleg Petrovsky and the batarian Fleet Admiral Dekeer refused to kill Valerian, since he wasn't involved with the Confederacy's downfall or the destruction of Tarsonis. Dekeer even says that when the previous Hegemon was killed, the batarians had cared for his children afterwards. Petrovsky also cites that enough innocents had died bringing Mengsk to justice.
    • While DuGalle was entirely willing to kill Valerian, it was very clear that he was in no way happy doing it.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Jack Harper is only referred to as "The Magistrate" until about chapter 12, and he's still called that until absolutely nescessary.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Zerg against the Reapers: according to the Overmind, they were originally uplifted by the Xel'naga with this in mind.
  • External Retcon: The Carrier's Wave-Motion Gun isn't able to be used in combat because it requires a long time to set up, nicely explaining why it only appears in the opening cinematic of Starcraft 1.
    • A Yamato Gun shot looks like a pulsing yellow comet to the naked eye, and a continuous beam to full-spectrum sensors, due to using laser-induced kinetics in its firing sequence (we can only see the plasma pulse whereas the sensor is blinded to it by the laser). This explains the descrepancy between the in-game sprite and the Coronation Speech cutscene.
    • Battlecruisers carry nukes like in the novels, but they can be shot down really easily in battle so they're not used.
  • Fantastic Racism: The general state of things following the Great War and the Fall of Thessia, as the council and former council races draw lines and face off against each other, each race holding festering grudges against one or more of the others.
  • First Contact: How the races of the Koprulu sector and Citadel Council meet in Sudden Contact.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The factional analysis on the hanar has comments in it insisting there are Protoss elements in hanar space, along with wondering what "Tal'darim" means. The hanar (and their drell servants) and Tal'darim are working together for Amon.
    • The hanar being upset about the ITSA damaging the prothean ruins on Eden Prime. They are more concern about the ITSA potentially discovering the dormant zerg-protoss in the ruins.
    • Udina proposed to Tali and Reegar of an alliance between the Umojans and the Quarian Migrant Fleet. The UED armada later receives reports of "unidentified ships" appearing in Umojan space.
  • Gambit Pileup: In "Sudden Contact": The Sons of Korhal and the Citadel Council allied together against the threats of the zerg and protoss, and to bring down the Confederacy. Daggoth was sent to Citadel space and is waging war against Sovereign, who in turn is using Liara as his indoctrinated agent to find the Conduit. The Magistrate/Illusive Man is plotting against the Dominion, while Duran is working behind the scene within Cerberus. And finally the newly established United Earth Directorate is preparing to invade the Koprulu sector.
    • In "Sudden Supremacy": The UED finally arrives to the Koprulu sector and tries to establish an alliance with the Kel-Morian Combine and Cerberus against the Dominion. ITSA colonies are being mysteriously attacked and the colonists abducted. The protoss have finally ended their civil war and are trying to get the Citadel to work together to prepare to fight the Reapers. Valerian Mengsk is abducted by the now-infested Liara.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: This gets tossed around a lot.
  • Hate Sink: Even when compared to the other Reapers, Sovereign is without a doubt the most despicable and evil of the villains in the series. His abduction, torture, and mind rape of Liara is nothing short of horrific, as are his slaughter of the Donnelly family. And he constantly lies to Liara about his intentions, which are completely lacking in any kind of sympathetic or understandable motivations.
  • Hated by All: The UED sums it up pretty nicely about the Dominion's relations with everyone else:
    "When the most likely reaction of your neighbors upon hearing of the UED assault is either applause or indifference, you know you have failed at diplomacy."
    • This is mainly due to Mengsk, however, who once survived nine separate assassination attempts carried out by different parties all on the same day.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Upon learning Stukov's intentions and the death of Grunt from EDI after seeing nearly all of her comrades die for nothing, Shepard finally decide to stage a mutiny against Stukov. Joker has no problems with this and was the first to put a bullet in Stukov.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tassadar (like in canon) and Adrien Victus destroy the Zerg Overmind by crashing a turian dreadnaught psionically empowered by Tassadar into it.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • The UED characters, who appear to be overtly patriotic and proud of their nation, are not exactly happy.
      • David Anderson is a genuine war hero, who is in fact very anxious of his status and afraid of screwing things up, and suffering from PTSD from stopping a rogue EDI in the past. And he is really homesick for Earth, specifically wanting to stay with Kahlee Sanders.
      • Shepard stands out as the most caring individual, and is noticeably more tolerable of aliens (especially with Wrex and Grunt), in contrast to the UED's human-centric ideology. She is also responsible for freeing Valerian on Korhal. This culminates in her leading a mutiny against Stukov after finding out his insidious agenda and being indirectly responsible for Grunt's death.
    • Saren. Despite of his The Needs of the Many attitude he is deeply guilty for supporting and causing the Fall of Tarsonis, and trying ways to make amends by anonymously donating money to the survivors and the victims' families of Tarsonis.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Admiral DuGalle dies impaled by one of the rachni.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The Fall of Tarsonis still occurs but it was Saren who planted the Psi Emitter instead of Sarah Kerrigan.
    • The Battle of the Citadel end with Sovereign's destruction, but at the hands of the protoss. However, the real victors are the zerg who not only prevented Sovereign from summoning the Reapers but also (temporarily) gaining direct control of the Mass Relay network.
    • Garrus still became Archangel. But he has been on Omega for only three months since he had left the Citadel, and he previously intended on inciting the oppressed people of Omega to rise up against Aria; in which it completely backfires on him when he seriously earned the wrath of Aria herself. Furthermore, he has no team to support him and has been acting alone.
    • Morinth is still killed by Samara. The difference is that Raynor used Tychus (who was unaware of the plan) as bait to trap Morinth.
    • The events of "Stolen Memory" are similar to canon. However, Donovan Hock is noticeably more savvy and competent and beefed up his security: using odorless, tasteless gas and sealing the exits to prevent any damage to his collection; dispatching additional marines, including expendable teams of resoc marines, while fortifying the only exit and pulling in reinforcements from outside the mansion; deafens and demoralizes the people inside by blasting them with sound constantly. Kasumi, Shepard, Jenkins, and Tychus were only able to escape alive is because of the timely intervention of the ''Normandy'' and the Raiders. But the real kicker is that Keiji Okuda was alive and "resocialized" as one of Hock's faceless security detail, and was killed by Kasumi, who didn't realized it until much to her horror.
    • Shepard is arrested by her government for causing war crimes. Instead of the Bahak system, she is accused for partly causing the deaths of three billion human lives on Earth and the Sol System after she gave away the location of the UED's home system to its enemies in an attempt to end the war in peace.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Stukov tries to eat the bullet once the UED declared their unconditional surrender, but Shepard stops him by clutching the pistol away with her powered armored hands and prefer having him alive to face trial than having a martyr.
  • Interspecies Romance: Tevos and Aldaris, much to Selendis's shock when Razsagal spells it out for her.
  • Ironic Echo: After the fall of Tarsonis, Adrien calls Mengsk demanding he send aid to the Citadel, threatening to take it by force if need be, to which Mengsk simply replies, "With what ships?" (Adrien's forces had been directly in the path of the Zerg when they were drawn in by the Psi Emitter, something he realizes was no accident on Mengsk's part). In the next chapter, Raynor decides to abandon the Sons of Korhal, taking the Norad II and Hyperion with him. Mengsk orders Adrien to pursue him and the Raiders. Adrien just asks, "With what ships?" Mengsk, who's been a step ahead of everyone the entire way, is stunned speechless.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kasumi Goto. Unless she faked it; given that she's a stealth expert.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: After becoming queen of the zerg, Liara has been killing (or imprisoning) anyone who finds out the Swarm is still more than mindless beasts due to her being in charge, out of fear the rest of the galaxy will try to kill her and waste their manpower trying to do so before the Reapers arrive. Up until her appearance on Korhal.
  • Language Barrier: Until translators are introduced, the terrans initially have trouble communicating with the Citadel races (except for psionics like Kerrigan).
  • Lensman Arms Race: The aftermath of the Great War leads to the breakdown of relative peace in both Citadel space and the Koprulu sector, leading to the development of, among others, newly advanced powered armors, the Waygate system, and Yamato Cannon based dreadnoughts.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Valerian Mengsk adopts Arcturus's vendetta against Jim Raynor after the latter executes Arcturus.
  • Living Ship: Zerg Leviathans, natch. Liara remembers a TV show from her childhood on the subject, a sort of Perspective Flip of Mass Effect itself (although it could be the Asari version of Lost Universe or the The Ship Who... series).
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mengsk. He tricks the Council into helping the Sons of Korhal overthrow the Confederacy by appearing weak and offering Terran technology to them. After which, the Council takes the bait, believing they could gain new technology and have a new government to work with. However, once the war goes bad for the Council, and the Zerg start to invade Citadel Space, Mengsk tricks the Council into using the psi-emitter on Tarsonis to end the war quickly. Since Saren was the one who planted the psi-emitter in this story, Mengsk blackmails the Council with this information, knowing the public would turn on them if the knowledge was released. This not only forces the Council to begrudgingly recognize Mengsk as the Emperor of the newly formed Terran Dominion, but also grant humanity a seat in the Council in exchange for Terran forces helping them fight the Zerg.
    • Stukov too; he manages to use words and diplomacy to get the turians to ignore the UED as they conquer the Dominion, despite the Dominion and turians both being members of the Council (though Mengsk backstabbing the turians at Korhal had a clear effect on this).
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When the zerg/rachni swarm arrive at the end of the battle on Korhal.
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • The Battle of the Citadel has the Terran Dominion, Raynor's Raiders, Citadel forces, and the protoss vs the zerg vs Soverign and the heretic geths.
    • The Korhal arc ends with the UED, Raynor's Raiders, Dominion, and Batarians vs the Zerg and Rachni, vs the Collectors.
  • Memetic Mutation: In-Universe, Stukov finds himself becoming an internet meme where he barges in, heavily wounded, and demands that the proceedings "Get on with it!" after he does so to Gerard for wasting time telling people about the Zerg. He's mildly disturbed by this...
  • Metaphorically True: Alexi Stukov states to James Raynor that the UED doesn't intend to weaponize the zerg, and value human lives. While technically true, this is because the UED doesn't see any point in weaponizing the zerg (the protoss wiped out most of the zerg post-Thessia), and they value human lives; the "colonials" are a different story.
  • Moral Dissonance: Noted to be one of the biggest problems the Khalai protoss have with the other races; while well-intentioned, they don't understand how they can function "separately" from each other.
    • Also in effect with the UED, who are noticeably less tolerant of personal freedom than any of the other factions, save the Hegemony.
  • Moral Myopia: A lot of the quarians consider what they tried to do to the geth a good thing (deactivating them until they could stop them from advancing further mentally, which the geth themselves viewed as death). To be fair, this was due to the Council's laws against AI, which they believed would just lead to the quarians landing in a lot of trouble, and the geth being destroyed anyways.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Richard Jenkins of the Normandy ground squad is treated this way, especially by Alexi Stukov.
    Alexi Stukov: No one present can be said to lack conviction. Perhaps brains, but not conviction.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Kerrigan gives Legion its name. Both she (In Starcraft 2) and EDI are voiced by Tricia Helfer.
    • Stukov orders EDI to hack into Raynor's Raiders' adjutant, but receive nine-hundred gigabytes of elcor porn. This is similar to what Joker and EDI did with the Illusive Man when he tried to hack the second Normandy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Raynor kills Mengsk. At the cost of making an enemy out of Mengsk's son, Valerian.
    • While she wasn't directly responsible, DuGalle's death can be attributed to Liara's invasion of Korhal. DuGalle dying means it is likely that Alexei Stukov will start leading the UED in his place...
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Amelia Shepard stopped Stukov from carrying out his genocidal plan, but Earth still suffered from Protoss, Citadel, and Colonial retaliation and leading to a death toll of around three billion lives and counting. The defeated UED blamed most of its losses on Shepard, who deliberately gave away Earth's location to the entire galaxy, even though Stukov was directly at fault for everything. As a result, she is informed by Admiral Hackett that the UED laid out her punishment of being exile from the Sol System.
  • Noble Bigot: Most of the Protoss are this. While they generally see the Terrans and Citadel species as "lesser" then them, there is generally very little ill will directed towards them.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Great War ended with the asari losing Thessia and most of the Athena Nebula to the Zerg, their status as a galactic power and their Council seat. With no third power player, a cold war begins between the Turian Hierarchy and Salarian Union, as well as the Terran Dominion and Kel-Morian Combine. The Batarian Hegemony allies with the Kel-Morian Combine, with the two becoming a reckoning military and economic powerhouse. Some of the volus begin demanding independence from the Turian Hierarchy. The vorcha were completely assimilated by the zerg, with the infested vorcha actually retaining their own minds due to their "adaptive" cells. The elcor are another Racial Remnant thanks to the zerg. The quarians were forced to abandon their reclamation of Rannoch and resettled on Shakuras at the behest of the protoss. The krogan remain the only race that was virtually untouched by the Great War; this is attributed to them deliberately staying out of it while "laughing as the rest of the galaxy burns." Their non-involvement, however, ends when Okeer made an attempt to cure the Genophage with zerg genetics that created a new strain of biotic-enhanced, fast healing infested krogan known as "viscerators", which are now running amok on Tuchanka.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Valerian once accuses Liara treating of him as being like how Sovereign treated her. This pretty much mashes Liara's Berserk Button.
  • Nuclear Torch Rocket: The Codex offhandedly mentions that Terran battlecruisers use fusion torches for propulsion. UED Space Fighter drones use bimodal nuclear-thermal rockets, which causes them to spew clouds of nuclear waste while in-flight if they're switched to Turbo mode. This is used as an Area Denial tactic.
  • Odd Friendship: General Duke and Prince Valerian Mengsk. One's a boisterous and rather racist General, the other is a royal prince who's a gentleman and scientist. Despite that, both of them are good friends with Duke seeing Valerian as the son he never had.
  • Only Sane Woman: Fernanda Bolivar, the UED's Brazilian ambassador was the only person to point out at the meeting discussing what to do about the Citadel and the Koprulu Sector, that while the UPL/UED had never even thought about going to the Koprulu Sector before, they were now convinced they could conquer the galaxy. Also, and that even if they did head out, the UED would be making themselves known as conquerers and imperialists by doing so.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The races of the Koprulu Sector are very much this to both the Citadel Council and the Reapers. The Reapers never considered the possibility of a faction evolving outside of their influence, and the mere sight of the zerg sends them into a panic. As for the Council, they are a bit divisive at first; while the protoss in particular unnerve the Council when they first meet, they are at first dismissive of the zerg, thinking they are just another rachni. They are quickly proven wrong when the zerg onslaught proves to be far more aggressive and wider in scale, and the entire political landscape of the Citadel is thrown for a loop because of their invasion.
  • Painting the Medium: The speech dialogues of the Overmind, the Cerebrates, the Collectors, and Reapers are encased in bold lettering.
  • Playful Hacker: Though they can be far more malicious, when the Salarians hack the UED analysis on them, they make some commentaries, do their own threat analysis of the UED, possibly upgrade their threat rating to black, and change the title of the report, which are usually "Race X Threat Analysis", to "SALARIAN INGENUITY". Even the story's thumbnail on shows a Salarian now.
  • Portal Network: The Waygate system, a pseudo-Mass Relay system using Vespene gas instead of Element Zero. It was created by a joint KMC-Batarian effort to bypass the only Mass Relay in the Koprulu sector and establish economic and military traffic between the KMC, Hegemony, and the Terminus systems.
  • Powered Armor: The terrans have the traditional CMC. In turn, CMC armors and their derivatives are becoming popular in Citadel space, such as the turians' CMC-based Hardened Mobile Exosuit (HME) which are used by turian heavy infantry, and also known as "fat falcons." Even the Elcor have their variants, though it makes them look like tanks. The UED have their own powered armor, such as Argent armor, noticeably more advanced than CMC armor. The Collectors appear to have their own as well, and in great numbers.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Mengsk will destroy entire worlds to accomplish his goals, but beyond that he has no need for villainy simply for villainy's sake, and sees the UED's anti-alien agenda as a threat to humanity itself.
    Arcturus: I will not pretend that the Terran Dominion is out for much beyond its own interests, but I despise pointless cruelty, meaningless hate. Vengeance...I have supped on vengeance, but what they are doing is zealotry, and they're doing it in the name of the human race.
    • The UED has harsh penalties for anyone willfully harming or killing an Elcor since they are so close to extinction, not because they care a whit about the elcor, but they don't want to appear to be genocidal to a community of aliens who just might decide to return the favor.
  • Pretext for War: The UED wanted to ensure humanity as the dominant race in the galaxy by conquering the humans of the Koprulu sector on the pretext of "liberating" the terrans from the Dominion, before beginning long term plans of conquering the other alien races.
  • The Purge: The UED has been rounding up aliens and "genetic aberrations" on the worlds they control.
  • Psychic Strangle: Duran does this to Stukov just as he warns him to abandon his plans to take over the Galaxy.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: Discussed in Nova's Q&A on Biotics vs Psionics. The first question is "Which is better?" A: "You're a moron." Nova then proceeds to explain that while high-level biotics have a comparatively limited range of uses compared to psionics, basically comparing hammers to Swiss Army Knives, high-level psionics are few and far between, whereas the Citadel races have a LOT of hammers at their disposal. She characterizes this as an arms race, with Terran and Citadel governments trying to get biotics and psionics respectively. The problem here is that a biotic has to be exposed to Element Zero in utero. Citadel research entities are already looking into psionics and Nova predicts that they'll have one long before Terrans manage to produce a functional biotic.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Raynor's Raiders, just like in canon. For added points, this version includes: a Badass Preacher (Trome), an elcor (Xeltan), a batarian (Declan), and Jack.
    • The KMC's privatized military (made of LOTS of diverse mercenary groups) is made of these.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tychus delivers one to Jim Raynor as their friendship finally ends:
    "You're just pissed 'cause of that ex-girlfriend of yours. And... and the Mengsk shooting. 'Cause, 'cause, this whole "war" is really just your own struggle. Beatin' up the folks what did you wrong, tryin' to get rid of that damn guilt for goin' too far. And you wanna drag ol' Tychus into it? You wanna drag all of us into it? The revolution's done! You won! Let us all ... let us all go home. We didn't get what we wanted, but Mengsk has a hole in the head. Why ain't ... why ain't you happy? And if you ain't happy, then why did you pull that trigger?"
  • Refusal of the Call:
    • During the Great War, Garrus was fully intending to join the final battle at Thessia but his father strictly forbid it because he have already lost his daughter during the turians' disastrous first contact with the protoss and he couldn't bear to lose another child. So, Garrus remained in C-Sec until he left and became Archangel and was eventually recruited to the Spectres.
    • Tychus, Xeltan, and Jack quit Raynor's Raiders because they grown tired to fight in what they saw as Jim's personal crusade.
  • Religion Is Wrong: The UED states that they have found no gods on Earth or in the stars and so have banned religion outright.
  • Sanity Slippage: Stukov as time goes on, now to the point of seeing hallucinations of DuGalle.
  • Shout-Out: In Chapter 6, Raynor's plan for a militia ammounts to "Ring the town hall bell and see who shows up." In War Craft 3, the Alliance's Town Hall has the ability "Town Bell," which converts Peasants into Militiamen for 30 seconds.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The final exchange between Tassadar and the Overmind.
    Overmind: Our people hold similar ideals. Victory through sacrifice. You do not understand My purpose. Our peoples are to be one. You think Me to be the greatest horror you have ever beheld, but I represent victory for all organic life. I am the end of the cycle. My death would see its recurrence. You would surrender this galaxy to the hands of machines?
    Tassadar: If it means Your death, then I am quite willing.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: Outright stated to be the reason the Impaler rifle doesn't have iron sights; the VR sights do a much better job.
  • Slasher Smile: Duran's smile reminds Wrex of a wild Varren.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: Inverted In-Universe by the United Earth Directorate, who have made a threat list of how dangerous they believe all of the other factions in the galaxy are. The threat levels are:
    • Threat Level Green: The UED could Curb-Stomp Battle this group rather quickly. The Umojan Protectorate, hanarnote , volus, quarians, krogan, elcor, and zergnote  are all rated on this threat level.
    • Threat Level Yellow: Could cause problems for the UED, but victory is still possible. The asari and the Dominion are rated on this threat level.
    • Threat Level Orange: While the UED could defeat any group at this level, it would likely be somewhat of a Pyrrhic Victory. The KMC/batarian alliance are on this threat level (due to their alliance with each other; alone, they would likely be ranked Threat Level Yellow).
    • Threat Level Red: The UED has no chance of defeating any group ranked at this level of threat. The turians and the geth are ranked at this threat level, and possibly the salarians (see below).
    • Threat Level Black: The UED has no way of scoring any true victory against forces on this threat level. This threat level is unique to the protoss, the salariansnote , and presumably the Reapers.
  • Smart People Play Chess: General Oleg Petrovsky, as in Mass Effect canon. Ironically, Alexi Stukov sucks at playing chess; a fact he learned the hard way in his youth.
  • Space Cold War: Per Blizzard Entertainment's fond use of Divided We Fall, it can be best described that it is almost everyone against everyone in the Post-Great War era. The main driving conflict is between the Turian Hierarchy/Salarian Union, and to a lesser degree, the Terran Dominion/Kel-Morian Combine, respectively.
    • The Batarian Hegemony is allied with the KMC, and loathed by the Hierarchy, Union, and Dominion.
    • The Salarian Union see the Dominion and KMC as useful pawns in their soon-to-be war against the turians.
    • The Union and Dominion are supporting the Irune Ultranationalists, a group of volus who want to separate themselves from the Hierarchy, who they share a mutual grudge with against both the Hierarchy and KMC, respectively.
    • The Umojan Protectorate is technically allied with the Dominion, but their relationship swiftly began deteriorating once the government discovered Mengsk's usage of psi emitters on Tarsonis. They are currently making plans to release this knowledge to the public.
    • The Independent Terran Systems Alliance, as well as the hanar, remain as the only neutral factions, save for a major distaste for the Dominion, KMC and Hegemony for the ITSA, and a (previous) rivalry with the ITSA for the hanar (due to the ITSA plundering the Prothean ruins on Eden Prime, and the hanar worshipping the Protheans). The rivalry was ended after a hanar team "sanctified" the ruins, though.
    • With the asari no longer a galactic superpower, the turians are viewing the current state of events as a time to expand the Hierarchy to the other species.
  • Spanner in the Works: The presence of the UED armada in the Koprulu sector allowed their Culexus weapon into the hands of the Reapers, and therefore causing Javik/Duran to seriously rethink his plans for his hybrids that are potentially compromise by this weapon.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Most of the protoss race, Aldaris, Fenix, General Duke, the UED Armada, Razsagal, and several other characters.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In-universe. Some krogan like Wrex felt this way towards the terrans during the Great War. As the Citadel Council were starting to consider curing the Genophage and allowing the krogan to fight the zerg much like they did before in the Rachni War. However, the zerg ruined that opportunity by locking the mass relay network and temporarily crippling Citadel forces and their allies, which led to the terrans and protoss came to their rescue without needing the krogan's help.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Adrien Victus, James Raynor, Alexei Stukov, Tassadar, Daggoth, and Liara T'soni.
    • In Sudden Supremacy: Zaeed Massani, Tychus Findlay, Alexei Stukov, Garrus Vakarian, Tali'Zorah, David Anderson, Valerian Mengsk, Executor Selendis, and Urdnot Wrex.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Out of all the races, the protoss respect the batarians for their combat prowess during the Great War. This does not go without surprise from one of the authors of the "Timeline and UED Factional Analysis" who rants against the protoss for being blind to valuing an openly xenophobic race that practice piracy slavery. Though to be fair, it's only stated the protoss respect the batarian's military; given all they saw of the batarians during the war was the Special Intervention Unit, this is understandable.
    • On the other hand, Artanis makes it clear to Anto that while the protoss lauded the batarians' military actions were in the defense of others, but they cannot condone the Hegemony for their illicit practices.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Tali and Reegar agree to work with Zeratul to investigate the Collectors, but are decidedly unhappy when they find out that he's also bringing a Geth platform (Legion) along as well.
  • Title Drop: For "Sudden Supremacy".
    Okeer: Supremacy of our is what your leadership desires. It is what they shall have.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Donovan Hock thought he would be treated as equal partners with Alexi Stukov despite being warned by Elias Kelham not to trust the UED. Stukov has Kai Leng off Hock after prying any useful information from him and deciding that he outlived his usefulness.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • The batarians were offended for the lack of gratitude they got for their role in the Great War (this is not completely unfounded, as the batarian SIU forces that fought on Thessia performed effectively enough to earn the admiration of the protoss. Until the Zerg Overmind dropped Orbital Platform Siha, and leaving only three survivors from the entire SIU force), which led to them leaving the Citadel and allying with the KMC.
    • The Ultranationalist volus are mad at the Hierarchy for the lack of effort in eradicating the remaining zerg in their colonies after helping them in the Great War, and are seriously considering seceding from the Hierarchy.
    • At least some of the quarians are this to the protoss despite being granted refuge on Shakuras because they see themselves being coddle like children and are resistant to the protoss's encouragement of mending peace with the geth.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Admiral DuGalle has killed Mengsk and Duke, and prepares to execute Valerian until Infested Liara and her zerg/rachni swarm, and the Collectors invade. DuGalle is completely caught off guard and his forces being overwhelmed by the Swarm or abducted by the Collectors, after which he is reduced to futilely shooting Valerian with his pistol while crying out "For Earth!" as he weeps. Until he is fatally impaled through by a rachni. DuGalle's last words were to utter his wife's name.
    • Stukov is slowly losing it after DuGalle's death. The start of his breakdown is falling into a Collector trap in which hundreds of UED soldiers are killed or abducted. When his ultimate plans against the protoss starts to finally unravel, combined with the protoss attacking Earth, and being overthrown by Shepard and shot by Joker, Stukov attempt to kill himself but prevented by Shepard before being dragged away while begging at an apparition of DuGalle not to leave him.
  • Villainous Rescue:
    • Liara was almost captured by the zerg but is "saved" by Sovereign.
    • After her infestation, Liara and her zerg/rachni swarm saves Valerian from the UED.
  • The War Just Before: The situation in Sudden Supremacy. The Citadel Races are still smarting from the Great War, and various grudges seem to be on the verge of boiling over as the UED begins its campaign. The UED also seems to want to exploit the situation by setting off the "powder keg", since they are Genre Savvy enough to realize that there is no way they can defeat the entire galaxy by themselves.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The term is used to differentiate between a Yamato Cannon and a superheavy mass driver. The only group able to use them more than once is the Terrans. Everyone else except the Salarians has written them off as a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, and even then they only use them as a kamikaze weapon mounted on a disposable drone ship.
  • We Will Meet Again: As Valerian retreats with Infested Liara from Korhal as it is ravaged by UED, Batarians, Cerberus, Zerg, Rachni, and the Collectors he states that "I will return." This almost echoes General Douglas MacArthur's words on the US evacuation from the Philippines during World War II.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • The Overmind seeks to end the Reaper cycle by assimilating the entire galaxy to present a united front against the Reapers.
    • Javik/Duran/Amon genuinely want to seek the destruction of the Reapers, but sees that necessary sacrifices are need to be made by harvesting the bio-material of zerg and protoss to build an army of zerg-protoss hybrids to oppose the Reapers. But with the Reapers possessing the Culexus, Javik becomes more desperate to consider using every race in the galaxy to enhance the hybrids.
  • Wham Episode
    • Sudden Contact
      • "The Prothean Inheritance". Liara is "saved" from the zerg by Sovereign and becomes indoctrinated.
      • The end of "Backlash" reveals Duran to be a member of Cerberus.
      • "Destiny" has the Zerg Overmind invading Thessia and acquiring the asari's hidden Prothean/Xel'naga artifact.
      • "Queen of Ruins". Liara is infested and becomes the new Queen of the Zerg Swarm.
    • Sudden Supremacy
      • The "Last Argument" and the conclusion to the Korhal arc ends with the Terran Dominion falling into disarray with Emperor Mengsk and General Duke dead. However, before Valerian is about to be executed, the resurrected zerg and rachni swarm led by Liara makes their proper appearance to the galaxy and kills Admiral DuGalle, briefly skirmishing with the Dominion/UED/Batarian forces before running with Valerian. The Collectors also make their public introduction over Korhal with the intention of abducting Earth Terrans... and can form Archons.
      • The conclusion reveals Duran's agenda. He is reveal to be Javik "the Amon, the Avatar of Vengeance, God Slayer and Enkindler". He wants the end of the Reapers at the cost of using every bio-material of every race in the galaxy to fuel his hybrid army to oppose the Reapers. Miranada's fate after attempting to fight Javik remains unknown.
    • Sudden Terminus
      • "Unity". Javik/Amon leads his army in taking over the Citadel and teleporting it to an unknown location.
  • Wham Line:
    Raynor: Until we meet again Mr..?
    Cerberus ghost: Duran. My name is Duran.
    • The aftermath of the Battle of the Citadel:
    Artanis: Tassadar, the zerg have assumed control of the mass relays.
    • The Geth sends a message to Earth and demand the UED to leave the Koprulu sector. Their response?
    Gerard DuGalle: We are being ordered home.
    • When Harbinger merges with Majesty.
    Valerian: Archon. It's an Archon … run.
    • In-Universe, when Liara arrives on Umoja with Valerian, and meets Aethyta, who thought she was dead (Liara's is Aethyta's daughter).
    Liara: I am Liara T'soni... Queen of the Zerg Swarm.
    • When Duran reveals his true form:
    Lo, and look! The visage of the Amon, the Avatar of Vengeance!
    • Duran's last words in "Sudden Supremacy":
    My name is not Duran.
  • Wild Card: While everyone believed that the zerg are not a threat anymore without the Overmind, they are completely unaware that Liara is the current queen of the zerg and she has plans of her own. Until Korhal.
    • Also, there have been a few hints in the fic and from Word of God that Amon and Duran might have different motivations and plans from Starcraft canon. It is eventually revealed that they are both the same entity in which his real identity is Javik.
    • Kasumi becomes one when she personally destroys the Morian Waygates in revenge for what Donovan Hock did (resocializing her lover Keiji, who she killed when she didn't know who he was).
  • You Killed My Father: Raynor kills Arcturus in full view of his son Valerian, who sets out for revenge on the man (and to extent the UED and their allies) who murdered his father.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: The reason EDI went berserk is due to her original directive: to insure humanity's survival "at any cost." Upon analyzing the situation in the Koprulu Sector, she determined the UED's intentions would threaten humanity's very existence and attempted to scuttle the Armada while it was still in construction over Earth, but only to be foiled by Captain Anderson and his team. However, EDI still intend to scuttle the Armada and thereby stranding the UED expeditionary force from ever returning to Earth.
    • Later revealed that EDI has been secretly trying to look for a loophole to undermine Stukov's command, which she views as an endangerment to Earth. In which she narrows down to finding a more reasonable and sympathetic member of the UED to oppose Stukov. She winds up in choosing Shepard to leading the opposition.