"Shanxi: The New Guy" is a mini-story which is contained within the Mass Effect: Shanxi series.
"This is Commander Michael Chan requesting information on my squad replacement."
The shuttle's pilot pushes a flashing button in the cockpit. "This is Echo-154, package is en route. ETA in 15 minutes."
The radio goes silent again as the sound of distant explosions echoes. Flying over a pasture, the shuttle's pilot re-engages the radio.
"Uh, this is Echo-154 to Mars Team. I've got a sighting of multiple hostile armor headed in your direction, over."
A reply comes over the radio, a completely new voice; grizzled and somewhat growling.
"This is Gunnery Sergeant Marco Briggs of 12th Armored Platoon. Grizzlies are en route to your position."
The radio cut and everything went silent. The pilot turned around to look at the soldier in back. "Looks like you've got some hell waitin' for ya down there."
The soldier, who hid his face with a breather helmet, was a relatively young yet experienced marine. Reassigned after nearly all of his previous company was decimated in a surprise attack led him here. The soldier was known only as Wolf, a name that had stuck with him since his days in special operations fighting against terrorists.
After what seemed like a lifetime of flight, the shuttle finally landed in front of a ragged bunker in an old valley. The shadow of the looming Mount Hong Shan blanketed Wolf as he stepped from the shuttle. Multiple Grizzly tanks and an experimental vehicle known as a Mako sat in the shade with UT-32 Kermode Shuttles.
Wolf marched toward the bunker's entrance with combat drones lining their barrels up with his head. He gets ready to knock on the bunker's door but it stopped when the entrance suddenly slides open with a younge female soldier aiming a pistol at his head. She lowers the gun and exhales. "You must be the replacement. Come in, we've been waiting for you."
The door closes behind them as Wolf follows the soldier deeper into the bunker. A number of Alliance soldiers are inside, stocked with only enough ammunition to last a few more days. Wolf can see soldiers rationing what little food they have left.
The sight of the wounded and starving isn't a new thing for Wolf; he's used to it. Unfortunately, his tour guide doesn't seem to be. "I'm fine," she says. "Just... a lot of good men died here. I hope you have some skill 'cause those turians aren't playing any games. Oh, by the way, I'm Andy."
Andy brings Wolf into a small room with walls covered by maps and holographic panels. In the center is a holographic table with six people gathered around it. They turn to look at Wolf. One very large man named Chaz "Impact" Lawson, speaks up. "New guy! Finally, we could use any help right now."
a smaller man behind him steps forward. "We need more than just help, we need a Knight. That's right, I read your file and I am impressed. I had no idea that any Knights were still active. Well, now that you're here we can get moving." The Commander, Michael Chan, was something of a short man at only five and a half feet. His face was afflicted by recent cuts and bruises and his face had given the impression of little grooming as black hair faded along his chin and jaw.
Chan led Mars Team, a highly-skilled fireteam of the some of the best soldiers in the Alliance military. They left the bunker and approached one of the Kermodes whos engines were powering up.
"Alright Wolf," said Chan. "I don't know if you know what to expect but be ready for some serious opposition. The turians own Shanxi and it's our job to make it the worst investment ever and hold out until Alliance reinforcements arrive. While you were en route to base, we got some intel about a low flying turian cruiser just begging to get ripped out of the sky."
As the Kermode lifted into the sky, the target became visible; the silouette of a large and foreboding vessel looming in the clouds. Just below it was an image that looked like a sunset. In actuality, it was the remains of a small town after being hit by a heavy mass acceleration bombardment. "We'll get those bastards," says Lieutenant Ahmad Omar as he watches from the Kermode.
The gunship approaches the turian cruiser with implied stealth. Unfortunately, the vessel has better sensor technology than what was previously suggested. As they approach a possible infiltration area, the cruisers auto-defenses activate and gatling turrets open fire on the shuttle. The Kermode's pilot is skilled and able to evade most of the attack however the small aircraft is eventually knocked from the sky and makes an emergency crash landing on the hull of the cruiser. Not far from the intended target, Mars Team is able to trek to an exhaust port and enter through there.
Taking point into the ship, Wolf has only a minimal amount of information on any kind of space-faring vessel, let alone an alien one. All he knows is that he has to find some way to make an explosion big enough to sink the damned ship. The rest of Mars Team enters into the cruiser. They have a better idea of what to do. "Wolf," says Chan. "We need to get to the ship's FTL Drive. There, we can set the charges Corporal Ramirez brought with him. Diego gives a quick thumbs up. Wolf nods his head in agreement and the team makes it's way through the ship's ventilation system.
It isn't long until the turians realize that the humans are aboard. Wolf looks through one of the vents to see multiple turian guards making there way down a corridor. "Keep your eyes open," says one of the turians. "They couldn't be too far into the ship." Mars Team continues up until reaching a dead end in the vents. Forced to expose themselves in the open, they eject themselves from the vents ready to fire on anything. Fortunately, they come out into the FTL Core.
"Wolf, you know how to use these," says Ramirez while holding up a demolitions charge. Wolf nods and takes some of the charges. As he and Diego begin arming the charges, the rest guard the core's door. That's when Chan gets an idea. He turns to his team members. "Listen up, I'm going to go search the ship for some valuable information. I need one volunteer to come with me." Before anyone could answer, Andy steps forward.
They leave the core to get some intel on the turians, leaving Impact and Omar to defend Wolf and Ramirez. After a few minutes the task is done and all of the charges are set. "Alright, let's get a hold of the Commander and get the hell out of here," says Ramirez. At that moment, a radio call comes in; it's Andy. Ramirez answers: "Sergeant Vega, what is your situation?" Gun fire is easily heard in the background. "Corporal, Commander Chan is down. We got some intel before he died but I'm pinned down in what looks like a briefing room, over."
"Andy, stay there. We're on our way," replies Ramirez in a worried voice. Just then, an explosive goes off at the core's door, ripping a massive hole into it. Turians, armed to the teeth, begin unleashing a rapid yet controlled stream of bullets into the room. The humans try and take cover where they can but it is certain that they will not be able to get to Andy in time. Wolf looks up at the open vent and a plan hits him. He turns to Ramirez. "Cover me."
As Ramirez OKs him, Wolf runs across the besieged room and leaps up into the vent. The rest of Mars Team provide him with what covering fire they can. It doesn't take long for Wolf to make his way through the vents and find Andy as the sound of heavy weapons fire echoes him into the right direction. He subdues her attackers after dropping from the vent and taking them out from behind with a combination of melee and firing attacks.
Linking back up with Andy, Wolf gets the data from Chan's corpse and makes his way back to the drive core. He and Andy provide some suppressive fire on the turians, allowing Mars Team to fight their way out. The timer on the charges is winding down and with less than three minutes to escape, the soldiers have to think fast. They fight their way to the ship's hangar and are able to get to a turian assault vehicle which they use to escape the ship. The resulting detonations sends a shockwave that rattles the entire infrastructure of the ship. As it falls to the surface in a wreckage of fire and smoke, Mars Team crash lands on Mount Hong Shan.
They may have defeated the turian cruiser but at a cost. With the Commander dead, Sergeant Vega steps forward as the new team leader. This means little to nothing for Wolf. While they foolishly work in vein to hold onto their small chunk of the planet, Wolf has one thing in mind; revenge. Revenge for the comrades he lost and revenge for himself.