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It covers most of the story of Mass Effect 2 in the bizarro verse of the preceding fic, with Tali'Zorah aboard the new Normandy under Shepard's command as they set out to save the galaxy, and joined by Matriarch Aethyta. In between their missions for Cerberus, the crew must also investigate a virus that was planted aboard the Normandy, which leads to the discovery of a horrible experiment by rogue quarians involving placing human brains into geth platforms in a continuation of the work of Tali's father. Oh yeah, and all this in the midst of a developing romance between Tali and Shepard.
- Abnormal Ammo: Shepard's crew gets hold of a weapon that fires ice-bullets, which was used to kill everyone on a Cerberus derelict, and turns out to be a weapon of the quarian Black Guard, a very elite black-ops unit that answers to Admiral Daro'Xen.
- Action Girl: Tali again, though she's not alone this time what with the number of badass women on the crew of the new Normandy and especially "kick 'em in the quad" Aethyta.
- Badass: Again, just about everyone on the Normandy, as well as Kal'Reegar.
- Berserk Button: Several:
- As in the game, threatening any member of Shepard's crew is not going to go well for you. ESPECIALLY Tali.
- Aethyta does not take kindly to unkind remarks about her adoptive son Grunt, or being called his "nanny."
- Daro'Xen gets very pissed if anyone suggests that she and Shepard are not meant to be, and she utterly loses it when she's turned down and called to account by Shepard himself.
- BFG: Aethyta's shotgun, which can kill a Krogan with a single headshot, as well as the Cain, which Shepard uses to blow the Thresher Maw on Tuchanka to bits.
- Big Bad: Admiral Daro'Xen and Hvenna'Tor
- Boom! Headshot!: Aethyta's specialty, which she does three times in this fic; once to the Krogan attacking her bar, once to Gatatog Uvenk and the last one to Link back when she was still a merc.
- Cool Old Lady: Matriarch Aethyta and Nehalennia.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Aethyta vs. Rasha. Rasha didn't have a chance.
Aethyta: Damn kids need to learn some respect. Dad always said that respect begins with an ass-kicking.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the crew, but especially Legion.
- Distaff Counterpart: While Shepard is in recovery after the encounter with the Geth with Prazza's Brain, he has a dream or a possible plane-trip to an Alternate Universe where he meets up with Female Shepard, who tells him about Tali's attraction to him and has her own relationship with Garrus. She also loves the metal band "Burzum," which the regular Shepard hates.
- The Ditz: Slab Bulkhead and Douglas Falkner, who were abducted by the Big Bad's people precisely because of their stupidity so that their brains could better be used to control the geth they were being installed into.
- Everyone Can See It: Pretty much the entire Normandy is aware of Shepard and Tali's attraction for each other.
- Everything's Worse with Bears: At least Morinth thinks so. And then the bear proceeds to start up his own little organization. It's that kind of fic.
- Fantastic Racism: The Council does not like the "furries" of the Lylat System (particularly Councilor Velarn), such that the system is under Council embargo. The ship that Tali finds in a shipyard on Nos Astra in Chapter 2, the one banned from Citadel space with an "attack on sight" order due to coming from a mass relay under embargo, is strongly implied to be Fox's Arwing.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Daro'Xen's plans are ultimately defeated when Legion hacks the geth platforms she sought to control. It's even lampshaded by Garrus:
Garrus: I always love it when the bad guys get taken down with irony.
- If I Can't Have You: Daro'Xen utterly fucking loses it when Shepard turns her down, and tries to kill both him and Tali -- along with the rest of the crew -- by blowing up Eta Carinae.
- Mama Bear: Aethyta is one of these for Grunt, and takes her job very seriously.
- Memetic Sex God: In-Universe - Douglas Falkner. According to Nehalennia, however, this rep is undeserved, as Falkner was a virgin, and never even held hands with a woman.
- Motive Rant: Daro'Xen gives one in the final chapter of the fic. For details, see Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: When Legion is first activated, it explains that organics are easy to read, and cites Tali's obvious feelings towards Shepard as an example.
- Noodle Incident: The Forbidden Issue of Fornax again. We learn from Nehallennia, the managing director of Fornax, that what happened in the Forbidden Issue was the brainchild of Fornax's first human director, whose work was massively popular before this, and that he conceived it as a kind of "magnum opus." On top of everything else that happened (Nehallennia mentions that even asari matriarchs were rendered comatose for weeks by the scene in question), it ruined the director's career and led to the suicides of three of the actors involved.
- Overly Long Name: The Bababadalgharagh-takamminarronnkonn-bronntonnerronntuonn-thunntrovarrhounawnska-wntoohoohoordenenthurnuk, quite possibly the ugliest Quarian ship in the entire galaxy.
- Real Person Fic: In-Universe - Daro'Xen has written quite a few of these involving herself and Shepard. They're considered second only to Prazza's work in Fornax's Forbidden Issue in nastiness, and they more than illustrate just how fucked up she is.
- Running Gag: Again, any mission that Shepard and Tali go on will involve a big kaboom one way or the other.
- Villainous Breakdown: Daro'Xen loses it in a big way when Shepard turns down her advances, going as far as to use the same kind of mineral scanner that Prazza accidentally blew up a star with in Bosh'tets to blow up Eta Carinae itself in hopes of destroying the Normandy -- and loses it even further when Shepard and crew manage to escape Just in Time.
- Wave Motion Gun: Kasumi's name for the Thanix Cannon, which gets used to destroy the Bababadalgharagh-takamminarronnkonn-bronntonnerronntuonn-thunntrovarrhounawnska-wntoohoohoordenenthurnuk after Kaski'Fjal is killed.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Daro'Xen is doing what she's doing in a bid to take back the Quarian homeworld of Rannoch from the geth. What she's doing is enslaving geth by means of using human brains to control them, which is where the crazy and evil comes in. And that's not even mentioning her obsession with Shepard.
- Yandere: Daro'Xen is crazy in love (or is that lust?) with Shepard, with special emphasis on crazy.
- Your Head Asplode: Aethyta's shotgun is capable of doing this to Krogan.
- You're Insane!: And Shepard isn't shy about telling Daro'Xen so:
Shepard: You're just yet one more example of the sort of crazed individual that I keep running into over and over again, the sort of person I always end up having to kill.