Ghost in the Machine

What if Nihlus didn’t die on Eden Prime? This is an AU retelling of Mass Effect where the fateful meeting with Saren plays out differently, changing everything.

Table of contents:
  1. Arbiter
  2. Dinner
  3. Warning
  4. Departure
  5. Deflection
  6. Eden Prime
  7. Failure
  8. Bad Dreams
  9. Nine
  10. Obsession
  11. The Hearing
  12. Off With the Gloves
  13. Played
  14. Persuasion
  15. Good Timing
  16. Extraction
  17. Conclave
  18. The Ghost
  19. Small Talk
  20. Sanctum
  21. Heads or Tails
  22. Gates of Hell
  23. Into the Pit
  24. Out of the Frying Pan
  25. Whispers
  26. Just Like Old Times
  27. The Pulse
  28. Knots and Ties
  29. Feros
  30. Rachni
  31. Ruthless
  32. Benezia
  33. The Cipher
  34. Dead Hearts I
  35. Dead Hearts II
  36. Dead Hearts III
  37. The Vault
  38. The Cure
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Chapter 1 of Ghost in the Machine

Two years before the attack on Eden Prime.

If you were to ask, Nihlus would probably tell you that he loved his job. On any other day, that is. Right now, he imagined that being anything, anything at all, from a mercenary looking for easy credits among the arms dealers in the Verge to a lap dancer in Afterlife on Omega, would be better than being a Spectre. Because, most days, being a Spectre meant eliminating the scum of the Galaxy. It was as simple as that, and it was something Nihlus was extremely good at, although to say he enjoyed it would be taking it a bit too far. But there were days, the never-ending, dreary days, when the Council expected their top military operatives to don fancy civilian suits and act as diplomats, negotiators, or, like today, arbiters.

Continue reading Arbiter


Chapter 3 of Ghost in the Machine

Five days before the attack on Eden Prime.

Tali didn’t think her heart could possibly beat any faster until she opened the viewport on her tiny vessel and saw the thing with her own eyes. The sight stole the breath from her lips and sent freezing shivers down her spine. The ship was definitely there. It was definitely real. And it was definitely designed by the geth.

Continue reading Warning


Chapter 4 of Ghost in the Machine

One day before the attack on Eden Prime.

Shepard had never been to Earth and a part of her was frustrated at being so near, yet unable to land – again. She watched the attractive blue globe in its halo of space-junk and blinking satellites, and the desolate white moon next to it. She huffed at it. Of course she’d been there, on Luna, for six months of advanced tactical training. With each passing year, the feeling that the fate had allotted her to repeatedly hang just out of reach of the finer things in life, grew stronger and more tangible.

Continue reading Departure