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Fanfic / United We Stand

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United We Stand is a Halo/Mass Effect crossover by Mayto, on the Space Battles forum.

Starting off at the height of the Human-Covenant War during the battle of New Ghent: just as the local UNSC forces are losing to the Covenant, drop pods of unknown origin appear. These troops soon reveal themselves to be aliens, but not of Covenant races, and even more surprising to the combatants, begin fighting the Covenant to assist the humans.

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These soldiers soon proclaim themselves to be from the Turian Hierarchy. Disgusted by the conduct of the Covenant and sympathetic to the plight of humanity, the member nations of the Citadel have decided to join the Human-Covenant War. Standing side by side with the assistance of the Citadel Council, the UNSC prepares for a new phase of the Human-Covenant War.

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This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Since the First Contact War never occurs, Saren Arterius doesn't become hostile to humanity, nor does he have an encounter with Reaper technology, becoming indoctrinated. The same applies to Matriarch Benezia.
  • The Alliance: The Citadel and UNSC form the Coalition to jointly prosecute the war against the Covenant.
  • Asshole Victim: James Ackerson gets brutally assassinated by a (presumably) rogue Spartan, but considering that he was responsible to for the Spartan-3 program that made use of more amoral practices than previous generations out of spiteful jealousy of Dr. Hasley's work on the Spartan-2s, few mourn his demise.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: The first chapter features the Turians intervening the battle of New Ghent between the UNSC and the Covenant, saving the former from a losing battle.
  • Body Horror:
    • When Zaeed and crew begin to question a Sangheili smuggler on the nature of the artifact his crew was transporting, the Sangheili reveals that it caused the death of the entire crew, including himself. Cue his grisly transformation into a husk, revealing the work of the Reapers.
    • When the Batarians intervene in the Battle of Chi Rho, they unleash a gas weapon that melts of flesh of exposed targets, which Covenant forces unfortunately experience first-hand.
  • Combat by Champion: One Brute chieftain challenges Samara to a duel, which she accepts and wins; albeit with some difficulty.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Several characters wind up dead in rather brutal and messy fashion.
    • Several Citadel soldiers witness the Brutes' eating habits in-person, as several of them feed(?) on human soldiers in the midst of one of many battles.
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    • When the Batarians intervene in the Battle of Chi Rho, they unleash a gas weapons that melts the flesh of several Covenant soldiers who weren't wearing protection.
    • Ackerson gets assassinated by a presumably-rogue Spartan in a rather brutal fashion as he is drilled through the skull and thoroughly mutilated.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Reapers make their appearance in a literally nightmare-ish scene where Xytan 'Jar Wattinree dreams of his encounter with Sovereign during a mission to destroy an army of Husk Drones. This is amplified from his perspective, the Reaper is a demon imprisoned by his gods, the Forerunners.
  • Enemy Civil War: When Xytan 'Jar Wattinree executes his coup and captures High Charity, the Covenant is thrown into a civil war between his followers and the Covenant loyalists. The Coalition are shocked and surprised when they discover this, and they wind up trying to take advantage of the situation.
  • Expy:
    • Vado 'Mavamee is one for Commander Shepard of all people. A skilled commanding officer who is tasked to lead a team composed of various aliens with their own unique skills to travel to uncharted territory to gather information on enemy factions.
    • Xytan 'Jar Wattinree is one for both Saren Arterius and the Illusive Man. A war hero who goes rogue and betrays his government after an encounter with a Reaper convinces him that doing so is necessary to save the galaxy. The fact that he may have been indoctrinated only further highlights the similarities.
  • Fallen Hero: Xytan 'Jar Wattinree, from the perspective of many in the Covenant. He was one of the greatest admirals the Covenant ever had, responsible for eliminating many of their enemies, most notably destroying a planet of Drones that had been indoctrinated and turned into Husks by Reaper technology. He would later execute a coup on High Charity, throwing the Covenant into a civil war.
  • Foil: The Citadel and Covenant are this to each other. Both are interstellar polities composed of multiple alien races. Whereas the former is a secular organization that seeks to maintain interstellar peace through promoting trade and security, as well as developing friendly relations amongst other races; the latter is a theocratic imperium that enforces adherence to tradition and either subjugates or eliminates potential threats. While the former is hardly perfect, the latter is ripe with dysfunctionality.
  • For Want of a Nail: Several major changes happen due to the Citadel joining the Human-Covenant War:
    • Saren Arterius doesn't becomes hostile towards humans due to the First Contact War never happening; nor does he encounter Sovereign, or become indoctrinated by Reaper technology.
    • Due to Xytan 'Jar Wattinree commencing his coup during Thel'Vadamee's trial, the latter is unlikely to become the Arbiter.
  • Fusion Fic: The story combines several concepts and characters from both series.
    • Zaeed is a Spartan I
    • Anderson is shown to be an ODST soldier
    • The Illusive Man appears to be a member of ONI
    • The Reapers had come into conflict with the Forerunners and were trapped in a Slipspace dimension by them.
    • Its revealed that the ancestors of the Turians were almost exterminated by an alien race until a "Lady of Light" who is heavily implied to be the Forerunner Libarian, saved their species from extinction.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: One mortally wounded ODST soldier saves a Turian colonel by killing Covenant soldiers that were about to kill him and jumps on a grenade to block the explosion, saving everyone else in the room.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Once again, Master Chief finds himself falling from orbit to a planet's surface. Luckily, he has Samara's help to make a relatively softer landing.
    • A commander discovers the last survivor of the Rachni and chooses to spare it. Are we talking about Commander Shepard or Vado 'Mavamee?
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: When Dr. Hasley discovers a group of starving Covenant labourers who wish to surrender, a UNSC soldier ignores her orders to spare them and proceeds to kill them. Similar incidents are reported to have happened elsewhere. This leads to tensions between UNSC and the Citadel as the latter wishes to spare Covenant soldiers both for both ethical and practical reasons.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • A Coalition crew reacts with shock when they managed to encounter a Sangheili smuggler who seems entirely unaware of the war and presumes that they had been fighting a Covenant warlord, revealing that the UNSC had been fighting a small part of the Covenant's true military size.
    • The Crew reacts with horror along with the Sangheili smuggler when they learn that smuggler was a Reaper husk.
    • The Coalition forces at Chi Ro have this reaction to the Covenant space navy, whose ships greatly outsize theirs.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When Vado 'Mavamee discovers the Rachni egg, he brings it up to his superiors, who agree to spare its life and integrate it into the Covenant.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Citadel wishes to spare surrendering Covenant soldiers both for ethical and pragmatic reasons. However, several UNSC soldiers and commanders weren't informed of their conduct, and enraged by decades of genocidal warfare, have killed several surrendering Covenant soldiers. This leads to tensions between the two polities as the Citadel races, especially the Turians, want to maintain proper conduct and are willing to punish the humans for war crimes, sometimes without the UNSC's input. This leads to segments of the UNSC to resent the Citadel for denying their revenge and punishing them without considering their laws.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: One of the reasons that Xytan 'Jar Wattinree grew to resent the Covenant leadership was that they sent him, one of the Covenant's most capable admirals who had defeated many threats to the empire, to the the frontiers to patrol the pirates. The reason is that they feared that he would grow too powerful for them to control and that he would threaten their positions. Its shown to be a rather common practice by the prophets, both to get rid of high ranking Sangheili who could challenge them, and to create a stable pool of candidates for the Arbiter position.
  • Reassignment Backfire:The Prophets' practice of sending high ranking Sangheili who could threaten their power by exiling them to the frontiers both to weaken their position and to create a steady pool of candidates for the Arbiter position backfires when Xytan 'Jar Wattinree manages to create a dedicated crew that is willing to go against the Covenant, even managing to capture High Charity, which throws the Covenant into a civil War.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly, some Prophets have shown themselves to be rather lenient and helpful towards their followers.
    • The Prophet of Discovery helped save Vado 'Mavamee's life by covering his failure, which would normally had him executed, and gives him a new mission to gather information on the Citadel races.
    • The Prophet of Conversion is shown to be more peaceful than her peers, preferring diplomacy over violence. This is shown when she used syncretism to incorporate a race rather than do so by force.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Reapers are revealed to be trapped in a Slip Space dimension by the Forerunners.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: The Coalition is the Soldiers, while the Covenant are the Warriors. The Coalition races, such as the Turians, approach war in a methodical and professional manner, wishing to end conflict as quickly as possible with few losses. Covenant races, such as the Sangheili and Jiralhanae, approach war in a more ritualistic manner, fighting for honor and glory, sometimes engaging in duels with combatants. This changes when Covenant leaders such as Thel'Vadamee take charge and begin to take the war more seriously, with greater success.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: There are several POV chapters from the perspective of Covenant members. These provide insight into Covenant society, which shows that while very dysfunctional and oppressive, most citizens want to live peacefully and are shown to be unaware of the true nature of the war. Some members are even benign, helping the downtrodden and preferring peace and diplomacy over violence.
  • War Is Hell: The war between the Coalition and the Covenant is repeatedly shown to be a brutal affair, with wide scale death and destruction regularly shown in harsh detail.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Xytan 'Jar Wattinree intends to forcibly unify the Covenant under his personal leadership and subjugating the Citadel powers, to create a unified force capable enough to stand against the threat of the Reapers.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Chapter 70, Xytan 'Jar Wattinree successfully performs a coup upon High Charity, capturing it and almost all of the leaders. This results in the Covenant falling into civil war. It's also revealed that Xytan received assistance from Admiral Rael'Zorah (Tali'Zorah's father), declaring his intention to incorporate the Quarians into his new empire in exchange for helping them reclaim their home planet of Rannoch.
    • In Chapter 72, Ackerson is brutally assassinated, presumably by a rogue Spartan.
  • Worthy Opponent: Several influential Covenant figures express respect for the combat prowess of the Citadel races, leading to the proposals of integrating the Citadel powers into the Covenant upon victory, seeing said Citadel powers as worthy of willing submission and conversion, unlike the humans. An increasing number of Covenant officials begin to question why such worthy races would side with the humans, leading to them to begin having doubts on the reasons for the war, asking unwanted questions.
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