Disambiguous This article is about the comic mini-series Mass Effect: Invasion. For the skill in Mass Effect: Andromeda, see Invasion (skill).

Mass Effect: Invasion is a four-issue comic mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics that follows Aria T'Loak, the Pirate Queen of Omega as her station comes under attack from a new threat unleashed by the human-survivalist organization Cerberus.

The series is written by BioWare lead writer Mac Walters, scripted by John Jackson Miller, and drawn by Omar Francia, with contributions from cover designers Massimo Carnevale and Paul Renaud.[1]

A limited edition of the first issue of this comic, with unique cover art, is included as part of the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector's Edition.[2]

On April 4, 2012, Dark Horse released a trade paperback that collects all four issues along with Mass Effect: Conviction.[3]

Story Edit

Issue One Edit

  • Publication date: October 19, 2011[4]
  • Tagline: She'll go to any length... To protect what's hers.
Invasion Issue One cover

Following the conclusion of Mass Effect 2, the human-survivalist organization Cerberus began establishing a series of bases beyond the Omega 4 Relay to carry out experiments on the Collectors' technology. Although relations between Cerberus and Aria T'Loak, the Pirate Queen of Omega, were damaged during the events of Mass Effect: Retribution, Aria has continued to permit Cerberus the use of Omega as a supply hub for their operations. Mass Effect: Invasion opens as a group of thugs prepare to raid a Cerberus transport ship that recently landed on the station. Without warning, strange creatures emerge from the ship and attack everyone in sight. The creatures make their way to the Afterlife Club, where Aria's assistant Anto and several mercenaries attempt to fend them off. Just as the creatures overwhelm the mercs and one moves in to kill Anto, Aria arrives. With her help, the mercs drive away the creatures. Aria orders her men to take out the remaining creatures one at a time.

Ships bearing Cerberus identification tags enter the area through another mass relay. At first, fearing more creatures, Aria tells Anto to activate Omega's defenses, but realizes that the new ship is attacking the transports. The ship makes contact with Omega Control and is identified as the Elbrus, commanded by General Oleg Petrovsky on behalf of Cerberus. As the Elbrus continues sweeping up the Cerberus transports, Aria questions how the ship arrived so quickly, confiding in Anto that something felt wrong. Just as she returns to Afterlife to call the Illusive Man, Anto exclaims that the Illusive Man was already calling her.

The Illusive Man shows Aria security footage of the creatures, called Adjutants, escaping captivity within a Cerberus base and escaping on personnel shuttles. He explains that all of Cerberus' research bases have gone silent, which is why he sent the Elbrus to help Aria out. Aria accuses him of tampering with Reaper technology, but he defends the action as necessary to understand the Reapers and reveals that more Adjutants will be on their way once they learn to control Cerberus' better-armed ships. Aria's fight is the Illusive Man's fight, too.

Invasion Issue One cover alternate

Later, Aria encounters Petrovsky and a Colonel Ashe killing a badly-wounded turian and collecting something from the body. Aria is alarmed, but then notices a salarian corpse transforming into an Adjutant. Aria and Petrovsky take it out; newly-transformed Adjutants are weaker, needing more time to rewrite the genetic code of their bodies. Ashe begins ordering Aria's mercs to finish the cleanup, to "Follow Cerberus' lead - and live!" Aria hits Ashe with a biotic attack, enraged that a Cerberus agent would dare give orders to her men. Ashe retorts that he's only doing his job and humanity's job: saving the galaxy from the aliens. Petrovksy intervenes and says that with more ships on the way to Omega, the Elbrus will do what it can to stave them off, but help from Aria would be appreciated until Cerberus reinforcements arrive.

Aria musters several ships to back up the Elbrus, where she and Petrovsky oversee their makeshift fleet. Petrovsky expresses regret that Colonel Ashe was unavailable to assist him, Aria having locked Ashe up for the duration of the crisis for disrespecting her authority. Aria asks Petrovsky if he plans to make a last stand, like he did against a turian assault while he was a corporal. The general reassures her, explaining that he is a student of military history and that the strategies they will use now will be used because their formulators lived. As more ships arrive through a mass relay, Petrovksy vows to lift the siege of Omega.

Back on the space station, a krogan and two turians guard Colonel Ashe and mock him for defying Aria. Ashe tells them that he's right where he needs to be, and without warning attacks the guards and kills them all. Ashe picks up an assault rifle and communication headset and contacts the Illusive Man, revealing that he's ready to start the real battle for Omega.

Issue Two Edit

  • Publication date: November 16, 2011[5]
  • Tagline: Nobody &!#%$ with Aria!
Invasion Issue Two cover

Aria and General Petrovsky aboard the Elbrus lead Omega's defense forces against the Adjutant ships. At first the battle goes smoothly because the Adjutant ships do not return fire. The Adjutants have yet to master the controls and use the weapons. This doesn't last for long, as one ship manages to fire on Elbrus. Many more quickly follow suit and Elbrus takes considerable damage. Aria points out that losing their ships is an acceptable loss when weighed against the millions of lives aboard Omega. She suggests closing the Omega 4 Relay to prevent any more Adjutants from entering the system. Petrovsky points out the holes in her plan: relays are impenetrable and cannot be disabled, and laying mines around the relay to destroy ships that arrive through it would take far too long. Above all, the Illusive Man would forbid such an action, as Cerberus still has a vested interest in its Reaper research. Aria begins to argue, but the Elbrus takes another hit. Petrovsky realizes that the only place they can retreat to now is the relay, where they can escape to the center of the galaxy and possibly stop the source of the problem. The Adjutants won't follow them because they are intent only on advancing on Omega to transform its population into more Adjutants.

In Omega Control, Anto Korragan learns that Aria's ship has left the system. Knowing that Aria would never abandon Omega, he assumes that she is either dead or an Adjutant, and begins forming plans to take over as Omega's leader. In the shadows, the escaped Colonel Ashe listens in.

The Elbrus arrives at Avernus Station, a Cerberus research base almost overrun by the Adjutants. A handful of surviving Cerberus personnel flee to the station's exterior, hoping the area's intense radiation would deter the attackers, but to no avail. The Elbrus' guns take out the Adjutants just in time, and the ship docks with the station's north spoke, the only wing that hasn't been compromised.

Invasion Issue Two cover alternate

Aria, Petrovsky, and the Cerberus personnel investigate the base and discover a survivor, Gabone, an assistant administrator. Gabone explained that when the scientists had begun studying a live Adjutant specimen, it "whispered" to them. Petrovsky suspects this was a method of indoctrination and prepares to execute Gabone in case he had already been affected, but a group of Adjutants break down the doors into the room. While Aria and the Cerberus operatives are distracted, Gabone transforms into an Adjutant and lunges toward Aria. Petrovsky intervenes and kills it, saying he should never leave his business unfinished. Aria then uses her biotics to obliterate the other Adjutants, but the effort causes her to pass out. Petrovsky orders his men to contact the Illusive Man to inform him that Avernus Station is now secure, but the Illusive Man sends a message to him first.

Back on Omega, Cerberus reinforcements finally arrive and set upon the Adjutant ships. Anto, flanked by guards, heads to Omega Control to find out why he, Omega's soon-to-be new leader, was not informed that Cerberus had arrived. Colonel Ashe appears, shooting Anto's guards and running past him. Anto runs to Omega Control, wondering how Ashe escaped and what he was up to, but when Anto reaches the room he stops, shocked. Everyone in Omega Control is dead.

Aria awakens on the Elbrus, still docked with Avernus Station. Biotic dampeners have been fitted around her hands. Petrovsky explains to her that the strategic situation has changed; Aria will be a "guest" on the Elbrus until further notice. He plays a recording that the Illusive Man had sent earlier. In it, Colonel Ashe speaks to the people of Omega, saying that with the Adjutant crisis over, Cerberus has decided that control of the station is vital to protecting the galaxy from the Reapers. He reveals that to institute an orderly transition of power, he has disabled Omega Control and the station's defenses, and Cerberus has eliminated all of Omega's remaining defenders. Ashe commands everyone to submit to Cerberus immediately or suffer the consequences. Omega belongs to Cerberus now.

Issue Three Edit

  • Publication date: December 21, 2011[6]
  • Tagline: Omega under siege!
Invasion Issue Three cover

Colonel Ashe leads a squad of Cerberus operatives through Omega to secure landing bays for troop transports. They encounter Blue Suns, Eclipse, and Blood Pack mercenaries battling it out in the streets. Ashe questions a nearby batarian who explains that without Aria to maintain the peace, all of Omega's factions are vying for control of the station. When asked if anyone heard Ashe's announcement, the batarian says that everyone thinks Cerberus is there to clean up the Reaper mess since no one understands why Cerberus would want Omega. Ashe's squad moves on to the landing bays. Ashe notes that the Illusive Man had anticipated only a narrow window for Cerberus to act before Omega's inhabitants organized a resistance, and this gang conflict has given them a little more time. Furthermore, Aria is the only person who could lead such a resistance, and Ashe is confident she won't be coming back.

On the Elbrus, still stationed near Avernus Station, Aria groggily awakens in a restraining device. General Petrovsky, who had been reading a copy of the book "War and Peace", greets her and apologizes for the restraints, saying that they were necessary because Aria kept trying to escape and the design is intended to disorient her. Petrovsky tells her that she has been out long enough for the Adjutants to be mopped up both at Avernus Station and Omega. He explains that center of the galaxy is one of its safest places, and controlling it and protecting humanity necessitates controlling Omega. Aria realizes the Adjutants getting loose wasn't a mistake, that their rampage across Avernus Station and Omega was part of the Illusive Man's plan all along. Their discussion is interrupted and the general is called to the ship's bridge to receive a message from the Illusive Man. Before he goes, Petrovsky orders a mental inhibitor be used on Aria to prevent her from using any biotic powers that don't require her hands.

The Illusive Man informs General Petrovsky that capturing Omega was a contingency plan activated after Aria was distracted by the sudden Adjutant threat. Since the source of the Adjutants has been reclaimed, Petrovsky is needed back on Omega to head Cerberus' operation. Petrovsky expresses regrets at the loss of so many loyal Cerberus members and says there has not yet been word about how the Adjutants escaped. When the Illusive Man asserts that the general has doubts about what happened, Petrovsky denies it. He pointedly remarks, however, that he found Aria's suggestion that the disaster was a sham to allow Cerberus to conquer Omega ridiculous, since the Illusive Man would "never endanger so many of our people just for the sake of a diversion..." The Illusive Man responds, "Time and Patience, Oleg", echoing part of a passage of "War and Peace" that the general had been reading to Aria earlier. He tells Petrovsky to transfer Aria to a research station before reaching the mass relay and ends the transmission.

Petrovsky is then called into a corridor by a Cerberus operative. He finds a freed Aria holding the disarmed operative and standing in front of several other incapacitated operatives lying on the floor. She hits the general with a biotic attack and sends him reeling. While Aria flings two crewmen into the air, he grabs a pistol and takes aim, but she counters with kicks to his torso and head. As she grips him by the neck, she says "That's the end of my patience, Petrovsky - and your time."

Invasion Issue Three cover alternate

Gang fighting continues on Omega. Anto complains to a turian that all he wanted to do was get the gangs to listen to him like they did to Aria, but the cease-fire he called for was ignored. The turian points out that Anto isn't Aria. The batarian reluctantly admits that they do need Aria after all. Colonel Ashe appears with more Cerberus troops who open fire on the battling gangs. Anto and the mercenaries retreat to Afterlife, and Ashe orders a team sent after them. An operative informs Ashe that the Elbrus has returned and General Petrovsky wishes to speak with him. Taking a handset, Ashe tells Petrovsky that he is already securing their first sector in Omega and there was no need for the general to come. Petrovsky reminds Ashe that he is command of Cerberus' forces there and confirms that he will arrive shortly to "storm the fortress - just like Anticlus at Troy."

After he cuts the transmission, Aria praises the general for being so willing to follow others' directions. Petrovsky retorts that he is only cooperating because Aria threatened to space the Elbrus' troop compartment and he doesn't want any more people to die needlessly. Aria points out that he isn't concerned about the deaths of her people on Omega. They argue further as the Elbrus docks with Omega and Aria leads Petrovsky at gunpoint through the boarding ramp. As Aria prepares to kill Petrovsky, the doors open to reveal Colonel Ashe and several Cerberus soldiers waiting. Petrovsky knocks Aria out of the way of incoming fire, giving her the chance to escape. The general scolds Ashe for nearly killing him too and asks if Ashe even understood the reference to Anticlus in his message, which meant that the Elbrus had been compromised and he couldn't talk. Ashe dismisses the accusation. The message was the reason why Ashe had a team ready, he couldn't forget Petrovsky's constant historical speeches and recognized his code. Petrovsky orders Ashe to deploy all Cerberus forces on Omega to hunt down Aria T'Loak and secure the station once and for all.

Anto watches the exchange on a monitor and turns to face a room full of mercenaries. He tells them that Cerberus will take over Omega if they don't stop fighting amongst themselves. A krogan responds that Anto can't run a revolution; the only person the mercenaries would willingly follow is Aria, and Cerberus knows that. At that, Aria makes her presence known and announces a "little job" she wants everyone in on. She says that if Cerberus wants Omega, "they'll have to take it over our dead bodies!"

Issue Four Edit

  • Publication date: January 18, 2012[7]
  • Tagline: At death's door!
Invasion Issue Four cover

While attacking a Blue Suns hideout on Omega, General Petrovsky's Cerberus soldiers face stiff resistance from an unpredictable enemy. As Blood Pack varren and Eclipse YMIR Mechs stymie the Cerberus troops, they realize the entire hideout has been mined. The mines explode and the squad is lost. Colonel Ashe calls in another team to sweep the area for traps, but is reprimanded by Petrovsky, who asserts that a true soldier would send in medics to aid the wounded first. Ashe retorts that Petrovsky is at fault for the worsening situation because he brought Aria back to Omega. The station's gangs have united under her and Cerberus has been denied an easy victory. As Ashe suggests that the Illusive Man should replace the General, Blue Suns troops emerge from the ventilation tunnels and attack. Ashe and Petrovsky cut them down. Petrovsky surmises that Aria is headquartered somewhere in the station's endless slums, allowing her forces to strike anywhere. She could hold out against the Cerberus invasion indefinitely, but the General knows that as long as the battle rages, no one profits from Omega. To flush her out of hiding, Petrovsky proposes giving her what she wants: victory.

Deep in Omega's slums, Aria and her mercenary allies notice Cerberus forces pulling back. She pounces on one unlucky trooper and interrogates him. It turns out Cerberus isn't retreating: the Adjutants are loose in Cerberus's bases again and all operatives on Omega have been recalled by General Petrovsky to contain them. Petrovsky has declared Omega an open city under Aria's rule once again. Later, Anto confirms that most Cerberus ships have left aside from a few civilians and support ships. Aria suspects a trap and decides to beat Petrovsky at his own game by capturing him and using him as a bargaining chip to force negotiations with the Illusive Man.

Aria's group spies on Petrovsky, Ashe, and several humans, all adorned with armor from Omega's gangs as per the General's "false-flag" scheme. A group of aliens in heavy robes approach the humans claiming that the plague has broken out again in the Gozu District. Without warning they discard their robes and use concealed weapons to open fire on the Cerberus operatives. In the commotion, Aria makes a run for the Afterlife Club, her main stronghold. Believing Petrovsky's plan to have failed, Ashe notifies a standby team to activate option "Omega-Two". The General balks at the idea of using explosives in an area populated with civilians, but Ashe pulls a gun on him and reveals that explosives aren't part of the plan at all. In the battle-damaged Afterlife Club, Aria orders Anto to contact the Illusive Man. When he doesn't respond, she ascends to her booth and finds an Adjutant killing Anto.

Invasion Issue Four cover alternate

Outside, Ashe explains to Petrovsky that they placed an Adjutant in stasis during the earlier mop-up operation. While Petrovsky focused on his false-flag plan, Ashe's own men moved the stasis pod into Afterlife and Ashe remotely freed the Adjutant. Petrovsky is livid that Ashe would put the entire station in danger with such a dangerous plan, but Ashe considers the potential casualties to be acceptable losses. They begin to fight, but the Adjutant is suddenly hurled through Afterlife's front doors and knocks the two men down. An enraged Aria emerges, roaring at them to leave her station. Ashe raises his gun to shoot her, but the Adjutant strikes him first. Aria spears it with a biotic blast. A transforming Ashe asks Petrovsky what he will do. The General responds that he will do what he is sworn to do: protect his troops. He shoots Ashe point-blank in the head. As Aria advances toward him, Petrovsky warns her that his ruse wasn't the only reason he evacuated Cerberus forces from Omega. A Cerberus fleet waits outside the station with enough firepower to destroy it level by level. If Cerberus can't have Omega, Petrovsky won't allow anyone else to use it against Cerberus. He promises to evacuate Omega's civilians before the barrage, but will only spare Omega if Aria surrenders it. Aria concedes and leaves.

Sometime later, General Petrovsky contacts the Illusive Man to inform him that Omega has been secured for Cerberus. He reports that Aria T'Loak is likely dead, possibly one of the Adjutant corpses found in Afterlife, and Colonel Raymond Ashe is missing and presumed dead as well. When Petrovsky expresses his hope that Cerberus's victory over Omega will ultimately result in the loss of fewer of his soldiers' lives, the Illusive Man pauses briefly before smiling and answering, "Of course". A lieutenant informs Petrovsky that there is no sign of Aria on the station and claims she must have run away like a coward. Petrovsky disagrees, pointing out that he had threatened the one thing Aria had cared about, her station, and she had given it up because she knew that Petrovsky would destroy it. The General didn't approve of some of the methods used to win, but with Aria gone, so is "the threat to the station". As he gazes out a window, he predicts that one day, Aria would return. Meanwhile, Aria looks on Omega one more time from a small transport before turning away and flying off.

References Edit

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