Mass Effect RP: The Aegis Protection Firm - Full

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Spotting Esten across the floor John's blood ran cold; putting 'Alexia' away he drew his M-5 and started to walk quickly across the floor. About half way across a single shot rang out as Esten shot Wires, but he really didn't care what'd happened to the other salarian.

As he approached the shuttle, he flicked his smoke aside. Springing inside he swept up to Esten, and in one fluid motion grabbed the salarian's trigger hand and pistol, while simultaneously striking him in the face with his M-5. Ramming the muzzle of the hand cannon into Esten's face, John stared straight into his eyes.

"Give me ONE fucking reason why I don't splatter your hyperactive brain ALL OVER the fucking place reptile!"

"Dont move a muscle. Dont you fucking dare, or I will end you. Dont you dare" hissed Ocara into John's ear, the muzzle of his pistol inches fron Johns temple, his finger gently caressing the trigger.

"It's over, put your wepon away, or we'll be burying two bodies"

"BACK THE FUCK OFF SKULL FACE!" John snapped at Ocara. "THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT SHIT STAIN ON THE FLOOR." Turning his head enough that he could see Ocara, without taking an eye off Esten, he muttered. "This sack of vorcha shit killed civilians, and your okay with it? I may be a mercenary, but there are things I can't stand. Killing civilians for no good reason is a big one."

Paladin had pulled his gun as soon as he saw John draw on Esten, the Phalanx's laser sight hovered firmly on Johns forehead. "John, put your gun away, I saw what Esten did, I don't like it either, but is this not the way. If you have to, speak your piece to Verahl, or fight him like a man. Put your gun away."

Santius entered, drew his gun and readied his biotics.

"For fucks sake," he said, his voice strained. "Don't tell me I came back for this. Just put the weapons down and calm yourselves. We've already got enough to tell Verahl. Please, let's not shed any more of our own blood."

"You dont have to like it, I dont like it, I'm pretty sure none of us 'like' it, but thats how ugly this business gets sometimes" said Ocara evenly, the muzzle of his pistol still squarely aimed at Johns temple, ready to fire on a moments notice, not that Ocara wanted too, but the Turian would go to any length to protect his friend and mentor, not to mention long-term coworker.

"There are things we all dont like, for example, I dont like friendly fire, or my friends getting weapons shoved in their faces. You have five seconds to stand down John. 5...4...3..."

Terina stood up, walking over to John. Reaching out, she pushed his gun down, pointing the barrel at the floor. "John, stand down. That may not have been the best diversion, but it did the job, didn't it?." She then looked at Ocara. "And Ocara, pointing your gun at a man's temple is not the proper way to teach him that wanton violence is not a good idea. Bit of a mixed message."

"If its a lesson that needs to be taught, theres something seriously wrong Terina and I'd rather send a mixed message than clean up my friends brains" replied Ocara, his pistol already safetied and no longer aimed at the Human, but still not holstered, just in case some other idiot thought it would be a good idea to start an armed argument in the enclosed space of the Gauntlet.

"I understand that, Ocara. But there are other ways to handle the job than threatening his life. You don't see me threatening John, do you?"

"Fine" John said, holstering his pistol, "I'll let Verhal deal with this, but if he doesn't I will." Turning his attention fully back to Esten, he jabbed him in the face. "If this happens again, I will fucking drop you. Clear?" Releasing the salarian, and extricating himself from the group he jumped out of the shuttle.

"I got some personal shit to take care of." He said, removing the Aegis logo plate from his armour. "If the boss monster wants to yell at me for all this, he can wait 'till I get back." With that he threw the plate on to the floor of the Gauntlet, and went to retrieve his helmet from were he'd been sitting.

"So," Santius began, disgust in his voice. "Any other plans to turn all of Omega against us? We're making a great start with the murders and all."

He sighed, leaning forward and resting his face in his palms. "I could be at the Citadel having a drink right now," he muttered.

"I think we've got a couple more things to do, our next step is to burn down an orphanage" joked Ocara, as he turned to face Santius. The sniper smiling for the first time in about a week, whilst simultaneously ignoring Terina, as there was no point in getting into an extended argument with her, whats done was done and there was no use dragging it on.

"Actually, lets sell the orphans red sand and THEN burn down their home"

Brooks:

"That's the last of them," Brooks said as he dragged the final two smugglers, bound and gagged, over to the Gauntlet. He placed them at the side with the others, and stood back and counted. "Alright, so it looks like we got eleven smugglers, eight guards, and their boss here."

He turned the corner of the Gauntlet to the ramp as he continued talking.

"A couple are dead but it looks like most are---" he stopped as he saw Wires's body laying on the ramp. "The fuck happened here?"

"Forget about it," Santius said to Brooks, not so much as moving his head from his hands. "Just a bit of murder, simple Salarian business at work."

Putting his helmet on, John imputed a series of encryption protocols into his omni-tool, before opening a comm channel.

"This line secure?"

"How long have you known me Palek, of course it is."

"Good, what do you want?"

"A favor, I need a ride to near the target I had you find for me?"

"What about that company you signed on with? Don't they have a shuttle?"

"Don't go there, so you gonna help or not?"

"Fine, fine, sent me you coordinates I'll be there as soon as I can."

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About ten minutes later a well used transport truck, driven by an older turian, landed near where John was standing. "Hey Palek, I owe you." John called as he approached. "Yes, yes you do John." The turian replied. "Come on let's get this over with."

"So" John asked after they'd take off "What sorta resistance am I likely to find when I get there? You're message was kind vague." "Yeah, sorry 'bout that""Palek replied. "I had to cut my snooping short, Von as getting suspicious. I had to do a lot of the ground work myself; I'm not as well connected as I once was, anyways you shouldn't have too many problems, Von Raam isn't that popular an arms dealer any more, all he can afford are a couple of petty thugs."

Looking at his map, John saw that they where only about a five minute walk from Raam's shop. "This is good buddy, I don't wanna get your old ass killed if I can help it." Getting out, he turned and looked back at the turian. "Stop by Elixr sometime, the drinks are on me." "Ill believe that when I see it." The turian laughed, "Watch yourself you over developed monkey." With that the truck took off towards the core of Omega.

John smiled as he watched the vehicle disappear from sight. Once the truck was gone he drew his pistol, setting it for AP shot, then headed towards his target.

Well now we don't have to worry about him trying to get revenge and fucking us all in the process.

"So is anyone gonna help me put on some medi-gel or will I have to kick your asses?"

Then Dregger went inside the ship and logged on to a terminal to order some new armor online.

This one looks good but the material sucks...eh, nah...maybe if I was a woman...ooo I like this one.

Lux:

Lux didn't bother to stop John as he marched off. He saw Esten standing, seething from the insult caused to him. Lux knew Esten well enough that he'd want revenge, but that he would find a way to do it when not under the eyes of others from the company.

"Load them up!" Lux said as he slid Wires off of the ramp with his foot. "I want the prisoners locked and secured in here within 5 minutes."

After the five minutes passed, the prisoners were secured in the bay of the Gauntlet and Wires's body had been bagged and stored. A few had seats, but most were tied together and sitting on the floor. They had made sure that each of their hands was bound, and that they were all attached to at least one other person. It would be impossible for any of them to struggle, or fight their way out.

"Kryxus, take us to the rendezvous," Lux shouted into the cockpit as he took his seat.

A while later, the Gauntlet touched down once more. It had landed in an empty string of landing pads nearer to the docks though, as opposed to Aegis headquarters. Waiting for them were a number of smaller transports nearby, and a large crew of Batarians.

"Get them ready for transfer," Lux said as he and Raven walked down the ramp of the Gauntlet.

"Lux!" said one of the Batarians, stepping forward from the rest. He was older than the others, with a few scars running across the sides of his face. At the sides of his neck, a small band could be seen tattooed on it, running down under his clothing, presumably still continuing over his shoulders. "Verahl says you've got something for me."

"Think about it as an expansion, Tarnak," Lux said as he turned back to the ramp, and signalled for the prisoners to be brought out. "A couple died in the fighting, but we got most of them for you."

"Sounds like what we had projected," Tarnak said as he beckoned over to a few of the Batarians nearby. They approached the members of Aegis, and took the prisoners from them, splitting them up into smaller groups to be divided amongst their ships. "Don't worry; we'll take care of them from here on in. Give us a few weeks, and they'll have helped double the size of my operations."

He paused for a moment as he took a case of cigars from his pocket. He took one for himself, but turned the box and held it open for Raven and Lux. Lux declined, but Raven

"Aegis gets a cut of our increased profits as well as reduced prices on whatever we bring in. We'll only charge you what it costs us to acquire it. Mutually beneficial, wouldn't you agree?"

"I do Tarnak," Lux said as the last of the prisoners were rounded off into his ships. "Now, we've got to report back to Verahl and find out if we're needed elsewhere tonight."

"Give him my thanks," Tarnak said as he turned away, before abruptly stopping and yelling back. "Oh, I almost forgot. There's a gift I have here for him, would you mind passing it on?"

A Batarian approached him with a large, wrapped package. Lux eyed the box over once before taking it from him. He gave it a single light shake, trying to hear what its contents might be.

"If this was anyone else Tarnak, I wouldn't take it for him all wrapped up with a bow and everything," he said as he slid the box under his arm. "But I know to trust you well enough on this sort of thing."

"Glad to hear it Lux," Tarnak said as he turned and boarded his nearby ship. "Take us back!"

With that, the ramp retracted, and the doors to the ship closed. From left to right, the three ships took off, falling into a line, as they went off into the traffic of Omega. Lux and Raven walked back to the Gauntlet. With a flick of his wrist, Raven threw the butt of the cigar clear of the Gauntlet as he went up the ramp and back into the cockpit.

"Take us back, Kryxus."

With that, the Gauntlet lifted off once more, back into the streets of Omega, and heading back to the Elixir.

Von sat behind his desk going over the numbers from his latest sale. Not bad, but it still could be better, He thought. Taking a break to stretch, he looked around the single room that made up his office/warehouse, shaking his head. Not too long ago I was sending raids to wipe out small fry like this...where did it all go wrong?

His eyes fell to his only two employees, a turian named Gavir, and a batarian named Fer'sal. Their main job was to provide protection for him, though right now they where engrossed in a game of Skyllian Five poker. I must get them some proper gear; it doesn't look right if an arms dealers guards don't have any armour. Sighing he went back to the books.

A loud sounded from a comm panel by the door disturbing the three occupants. The batarian got up from the card game, and went to the door. "Yeah? What do you want?" He snarled. "I want to talk to your boss about supplying Aegis." The voice responded. "You gonna let me in or not?" Fer'sal looked at his boss "Guy says he's from Aegis, they wanna buy from you."

Von's head snapped up when he heard the name Aegis. New players in town, the've been making a big push. If I get them as clients, this could be my ticket back to the big time! "Yes, yes by all means let him in. If this goes the way I think it will, the three of us will go to Afterlife later...on me!" He chattered as visions of soaring credits danced through his head. Gavir, and Fer'sal's eyes lit up at the mention of hitting Afterlife, the boss may be volus, but he sure knew how to party. The two were still exchanges looks of excitement, when the door opened, which meant they were totally unprepared for what happened next.

As soon as the door slid open a figure in heavy armour rushed through, slamming shoulder first into the batarian, knocking him to the floor and winding him. Gavir scrambled franticly to grab the shotgun off the crate behind him, but as his finger closed around the grip the intruders hand cannon came up and boomed twice, destroying the turian's head. Fer'sal was still on the floor trying to recover his breath when the armoured human leaned over him. "Sorry friend, nothing personal" he said, before he shot the batarian at point blank in the forehead.

John sighted up and looked around the room he'd just stormed "Well that went better than I'd hoped." Von still sat at his desk, a data pad clutched in his trembling hands. As volus where so unsuited for violence he'd just frozen when the shooting had begun, and it was too late to run now. Clipping his pistol to his armour John strode over the desk and hoisted Von across it. "Hello Von, I've wanted to talk to you."

"But, but Earth-clan, I've never done anything to Aegis...I swear!" Von stammered. "Oh I know" John replied, "That was just something to get you to open the door. What I'm here about, happened awhile ago." Pulling a nearby chair into the center of the room, and sitting Von in it, John stood over him.

"Think back you little shit, 'bout six years ago you worked a deal with a small crew called 'Iron Winds', does that ring any bells?" Von thought for a moment. "I'm sorry I've neve...oh no." All at once the memories came back, the small crew looking for good hard ware, a batarian slaver promising mountains credits that never came. "Thats not possible they were all killed." He finally managed to mumble through his shock.

"No not all of them" John replied, his voice flat, "There was an explosion, I don't know what caused it. My friend Alexia, my 'sister', used her biotics to shield the both of us. Unfortunately the barrier wasn't strong enough, shrapnel got through, my armour saved me, hers didn't. She died because of your greed Von, now it's time for you to pay up."

Paladin stepped off of the gauntlet, he walked into the Elixer, and down to Mile's office. He walked into the doc in the middle of his meal. A triple-decker sandwich was clutched in the physicians hands, a few bites already removed from it. The doc, mouth full of masticated deli meats mumbled a greeting toward Paladin. "Hmmlllo."

"Hey doc, I got pretty badly shocked on our last mission, wondering if you had any way to look at possible nerve damage."

Miles attempted to swallow, but he had nearly literally bitten off more than he could chew. He swallowed heavily and then replied. "yeah, I've got some equipment here" he called over an auto doc which scanned the damaged hand. "This doesn't look too bad, some minor nerve damage, but it looks like you're already recovering on your own. You should be fine by tomorrow."
"great doc, thanks, now about some of my other problems."

Miles looked over the swollen face and saw the signs of a broken nose. "it looks like you already popped this back into place, but it's not quite straight, hold on" Miles grabbed Paladin by the nose, "alright on 3, 1..." Miles repositioned the broken nose before he reached three and Ethan would have a chance to tense up, so it would heal straight, then put a bandage over the nose so it wouldn't move before it could set.

With some final words of gratitude Paladin left the doctors office and took another pop of pain pills on the way out. He walked up to the elixir to meet with the others of Aegis. "So guys, how do you feel about a celebratory meal. I there's this great place a few levels up the station, that does dinner and a show, and it's been a hell of a long time since I saw a decent big band play. But first," He turned to Lux "I don't see Esten anywhere, the next time you see him, tell him I've got a bone to pick with his conduct on the last mission."

Santius slowly stood and made his way out of the Gauntlet.

"I have to make a call," he said in response to Paladin, not even stopping or turning to look at him. "I'll be back soon. Try not to let Esten murder anyone else," he added as he passed Paladin.

Dregger was greeted by a Quarian delivery boy on his way inside the Elixir. He had two hired guns with him, one Asari and one Krogan. The quarian was messing with his omni-tool as he walked up to Dregger and the krogan behind him was hauling a crate out of the back of an ET3.

"Are you party name Bargon Dregger?" the quarian asked.
"Yes. I'll help that one bring the crate to my barrack."

The quarian tapped around his omni-tool and nodded to himself before looking towards the other krogan and giving him a little hand signal. Dregger walked over to him and held up one end of the crate and they walked it inside.

"What's in there?" The bartender called out.
"Maybe you'll see later." Dregger said.

He and the other krogan entered the elevator and set down the crate while they went to the barracks.

"So you must be into some heavy duty shit to need all of this stuff huh? My name is Serk by the way."
"Like you wouldn't believe. I just came back from a fight with a YMIR. I'm with those Aegis mercs downstairs."
"You must see a lot of battle."
"I've spent the better part of the last 250 years in combat."

The elevator arrived and they hauled the crate to where Dregger was staying. He opened it up and beheld the bounty of life-ending tech inside. It was the Ariake Technologies limited time offer: The War Lord Package. Dregger read the manifest inside,

This delivery for Bargon Dregger includes:
1x Customized set of Heavy Krogan Mercenary Armor (specifications including: Omni-gel enhanced plating, heavy duty kinetic barriers, and larger joints for extra mobility)
1x Standard Heavy Krogan Mercenary Helmet
2x Standard Armor Care Kit
1x Customized M-22 Eviscerator Shotgun (specifications including: Extended clip size, fitting 9 rounds, 2 inch extension on barrel for less spread.)
6x Complimentary ammunition clips

We hope you are satisfied with our products and wish you good luck.

Serk went wide-eyed upon seeing the inside of the crate. Even Dregger had to admit, it was impressive. He began to put on the armor and when he was done he struck a few combat positions to test it out. It was slightly heavier than his old set but it was also more flexible with the special joints. Then he took out the shotgun. He left it unloaded as he flipped off the safety and mimicked shooting at various things in the room. The gun was weighted perfectly and he knew that the barrel extension would make a difference. He took the clips from the box and loaded one up before flipping the safety back on and holstering it.

"Here, take this." Dregger said, handing his old shotgun to Serk.

Serk stood back and eyed Dregger up and down looking stunned.

"I gotta say, you look like one bad mother fucker."
"I know." Dregger replied as they both began walking back to the elevator.

The ride was quiet and Serk rushed to the exit when the doors opened. Dregger strolled up to his fellow mercs and said, "What do you think of my new gear?"

After arriving at Elixir, Terina headed to the infirmary first thing. She didn't think her wound was serious, but she had to make sure. After a few minutes, she left again, her side wrapped in gauze to hold medigel in. It was deeper than she had thought, but not life-threatening. Having ensured that she was not badly injured, she headed back to her quarters to change into a long black leather dress, covering all but her feet in length, but open down the front to reveal a fair bit of cleavage. Having gotten into more comfortable clothes, she went back to the bar, getting a drink and sitting at a table. She hadn't done well. She had made it through, and hadn't botched the mission. And she had actually helped out this time, but she got injured by the enemy worse than anyone else. Hell, except for Wires, who brought it on himself, no one else had gotten as injured as her. She still felt like a liability, and maybe the drink would dull that feeling. If not, maybe the next one, or two, or six would.

Sal stepped off the Gauntlet and looked up at the club. The neon sign with the word Elixir in bright blue reflected in her mask. She blinked a few times at the sign and shook her head. This was the first time her mind felt clear in days. Ever since smuggler mission her mind had been preoccupied, first with the thought of killing those who had no other choice, then Mayli of all people;she still had no idea why she popped into her head but was grateful to relive the bosh'tet being blown to bits.

Finally her thoughts rested on the deal she had made with Aria, she knew the both the "Queen" of Omega had fulled her end of their deal, so had Ver, soon it would be her turn.

Not something I look forward too. She thought with a shudder as she walked into the club. She moved past all patrons of the club, several giving her glares as she moved past. One even looked like he was going to try and forcefully remove her until he noticed both the weapons she had strapped to her back and waist and the Aegis logo on her shoulder. He backed away and semmed to move to the other side of the club.

Sal chuckled "Well that will teach him. Maybe I should think about switching to my spare suit." Sal said as she pressed the button for the Common room in the elevator. As the elevator began to move she thought about her spare suit which she had re-tailored to fit the Aegis colors, Black being used on the primary cloth.

She stepped off the Elevator in time to see the newest Krogan ally, Dregger she thought his name was, standing in front of everyone else in shiny new armor

"What do you think of my new gear?"

"I think it's makes you look very pretty Dregger, now add a little of what the humans call 'make-up' and you could score a date to this dinner theater Palidin's talking about."

"Oh, hey, Sal, are you any good with onmi-tool tech? Mine got pretty well scrambled taking out that YMIR. I picked up a few parts to fix it, even make some improvements. Could you do me a favor and take a look at it?"

Sal sighed at the obvious question. He does realize he's asking a Quarian if they're good with tech. But she pushed the sarcastic statement down. "Sure, let me see that parts, if they're all there I should have it ready in a few hours, if not I'm sure I have a few spare parts of my own lying around." She said happy to just be out the fog he had occupied her mind.

"Great, thanks, ..." he saw the small shift in posture from Sal that was surprisingly similar to Lienne when she was annoyed so he decided to address her little annoyance, "And yeah, I realize how silly it is to ask a Quarian if they know anything about tech, I've spent a LOT of time with a Quarian. But there's different specialties, never hurts to ask. I'll be heading over to my ship in a bit to get changed for dinner, You're more than welcome to join me." Paladin moved to turn over to the bar and get a quick drink before spinning back to Sal, "Oh! if you ever need a clean room, I have one installed on my ship," he chuckled a bit and briefly looked away, "like I said 'A LOT of time with a Quarian'. Just give me a little heads up if you want to head over, or I could bring the parts to you."

"Raven, Esten, I'll stay behind and help dispose of the body if you need the extra hand" said Ocara once they had landed and the other members of Aegis had disembarked the ship and headed downstairs. Whilst the prospect of handling Wire's rapidly cooling, congealed corpse wasn't one that really screamed appeal, Ocara hoped he would have an oppertunity to talk to Esten about John, and why it would be best to keep him around.

If only from a potential shit storm and company stability point of view.

That sounds great Paladin, I'll head up there in a bit, few things I wanna take care of first though, mostly I just want to get a tube of nutrient paste first, It may not taste like a gourmet meal but it works when your hungry." Sal said walking off to the barracks. She walked into her room and set her equipment on the small bed. I'll put those away later She thought to her self as she grabbed the large case she kept under her bed. She entered the code on the lock and opened the case.

In side was a smaller case, air tight to keep out any bacteria, which held her spare suit.Maybe I will change, Paladin did offer the clean room. She thought staring at the case for a moment. Nah I'll wait for a while longer.She thought shaking her head. She grabbed a tube of nutrient paste from the other side of the case, a compartment nearly filled with other tubes of the tasteless paste. As she clicked the tube in place on her mask Sal let her mind wonder. I wonder who the Quarian was that Paladin knew, hopefully it isn't a too sensitive subject, I don't know many who would go for a human though. I suppose I can see the attraction but...are our species even compatible? I don't think we are but who knows. She thought with a shrug.

Before she realized she had finished off the nutrient paste. She disconnected the tube, grabbed her repair bag and her equipment, and headed back out to the common room. "I'll meet ya at your ship, Paladin, I'm gonna go drop off my equipment and I'll be right there." She said walking onto the elevator and pressing the button for floor two.

"See you there", Paladin turned to go to the Gauntlet dock where he had put the equipment he had "liberated" from the smugglers. Then he saw a familiar Asari face sitting at the bar. "Oh, hey Terina, didn't see you there, did you just get back from Miles'?" He asked rhetorically, moving his hand to point out her bruises and bandages. "I Invited the others to dinner in a few hours to celebrate, there's a club I heard good things about a few levels up the station, you're more than welcome to come. I'll send everyone the information as soon as I've got an omni-tool to send it with."

Paladin walked back to the docks and picked up the crate filled with the weapons and equipment he had absconded with. After opening it to check that everything was still there. He picked up the crate and made his way over to the Lienne When he got there he saw that Sal had already arrived. "I'm glad you found the place alright, hope you didn't wait too long."

Ethan walked to the ship and pressed the intercom device by the cargo bay airlock, keying in the lock code and opening the door he then led Sal inside. "Welcome to the Lienne, the clean room is over there, the workshop is upstairs." Paladin took some time showing her around the ship, knowing the near fetishistic obsession the Quarians had for ships, he showed her the engines and the improvements the Flotilla had made on the ship for him. Only saying that the flotilla had done the work, not wanting to start telling stories quite so soon again without anyone asking, at least not right away.

"Wow, so the Flotilla actually worked on the engines. I didn't think we worked on any ships but our own." Sal said amazed at the work her people had done for an outsider. And at how well they were done, most of the improvements on the flotilla were done with scrap. "If I may ask, who was the Quarian you knew? I'll understand you you don't want to talk but I'm curious." Sal asked as she turned from the drive core.

Terina nodded at Paladin's words, not commenting or agreeing to the meeting. She knew company would probably be good for her. But in her current state, she didn't think she would be good company. Better to drink alone than to drink in company and do or say something she'd regret.

"Well, the story starts with how I got my ship. I had just 'left' the service. I was, well I was fleeing with my... 'daughter'. When I picked up a general call from a Quarian survey ship. There was a planet off in the edges that emitted an EM pulse every couple of minutes, before they found out about the pulse they had sent a survey team down, and they needed someone who didn't need a hard suit to go see if they survived an EMP shutting down their environment suits.

When I got there they were working on a small one-way drop ship to send me down. While they were finishing it I stayed with the daughter of some members of the recon team, Lienne Askeri vas Onteese. She was... she was wonderful" Ethan's mind drifted for a second, lost in memories. "I told her stories about growing up on the ranch and exploring the galaxy with the corsairs. She told me about her childhood on the flotilla and what she wanted to do on her pilgrimage."

"...Anyway, I went down to the planet, it was covered in scrap and downed ships that had come to vent their emissions and got caught in the EMP. I managed to find the team, they had been killed by a pair of insane Krogan that had crashed there during the rebellions. There's a nasty burn on my back from when they found me. Fortunately for me, I managed to find a burned out device that figured out the timing of the pulse and that meant the Quarians could coordinate pick ups without risking any more people. But before they took me off planet, I claimed salvage rights, on the entire damn planet. Of course there weren't many ships larger than a standard cruiser, any especially large ship broke up in the gravity when their Mass Effect drives lost power. But I was more than happy to trade those rights for to their help fixing up a Corvette by the name of the Anthony Wayne. They improved the engines, sealed the hull, and even installed furniture from a downed cruise liner."

"While they were fixing this ship I stayed with Lienne again. I was the one who broke the news to her about her family, and I stayed with her over the few months it took for them to repair the ship. We spent a lot of time together. Afterwards, she wanted to come with me. I couldn't say no, not to her. And since the flotilla had gotten a hoard of ships about this size out of our deal they let her leave. We flew around the galaxy for about a decade, she was brilliant with hydroponics, she loved helping colonists with their technical problems, and... she loved the flowers she found there. There were flowers all over this ship until..." Paladin's eyes started to tear in the memories and his speech became halted. He wiped his eyes and tried to recover his composure as best he could.

"...But you don't need to hear my long stories, why don't I show you the workshop, we can both see the damage to my omni-tool." He led her up to the workshop and removed the omni-tool, it was burned out in several locations. the damage was more extensive than he had thought. "Well, see what you can do with it, I'll bring the tech up in a sec."

"Alright, and Paladin...thanks. If you ever wanna talk, just let me know." She said setting down her bag next to the bench as she began to examine the busted omni-tool. Good call on that one Sal'rena. She thought sarcastically to her self. the thought lingered for just a moment as she began to focus on the omni-tool.Geez he really did a number on this poor thing with the Overload.

"Thanks... I'll... I'll let you know."

Paladin took his time walking the crate back to the work room, letting his mind process emotions and memories he thought he had dealt with a long time ago. He paced out his steps as his mind wandered. Then he remembered that he still hadn't been able to see the message Ashala had sent him earlier that day. He was going to check it on his omni-tool, but couldn't, for obvious reasons.

He brought the crate up to the workroom and Sal, and put it on the workbench. He spent some time talking to her over the pieces he found viable and talked with her about about the tech and the specs he needed, and how well those would mesh with the specs they would be able to put together.

He then, after Sal assured him that he would, at the most be hovering over her shoulder as she worked, walked into his quarters. He picked up a data pad, sat down on his bed and brought up the ship's VI. "Jeeves, load the message from Ashala onto this data pad, I'll watch it here."
"Of course Sir."

A slight glow came out as the data pad activated. Ashala's face appeared on the screen and the video began. Her voice was slightly tinny from the recording device, but her eyes practically glowed with excitement and her voice carried all the enthusiasm of a teenage girl out-and-about and having all the fun in the world she could muster.

"Daddy! Hi! I know it's been a while since we talked, I've just been so busy here, the Citadel is wild! It's practically the center of the Galaxy and you can do anything here. Quitana is finally letting me out late, My friends and I went out with some humans from their embassy, we tried something called 'caviar', it was SOOO good.

And we went out to some of the clubs, they weren't going to let us in but Errie told them who her Mother was, and they let us in! We danced all night. There were a few cute boys, and a LOT of cute girls there. And I know what you're thinking Daddy, and NO, I remember what you told me.

Anyway Daddy, I'm sure you're having fun doing, whatever it is you're doing out in the Terminus. Yeah, Yeah, before you even say it, 'the less I know the better' you poop. Quitana says 'Hi' too. And you know I send my love."

She looked to her side and nodded at an unseen companion.

"Alright Daddy, I've got to go, my friends are calling. Stay safe, please, for me. A girl needs her knight in shining armor"

Paladin chuckled at the message from the girl he saved from death at the hands of his CO and raised like she was his own. It was hard letting her go, but this was no life for his little girl.

He wrote out a response to her.

Ashala, I'm glad you're having fun, The presidium is beautiful. But I'm going to ask the same thing I always do, stay safe. I know you just want to have as much fun as you can, but be careful, especially if you're going down to the wards, I've heard some worrying rumors. If you're going out with your friends, make sure you all stay together. Remember, if you ever need any help, of any kind, don't hesitate to call me, I'll be there as soon as I can. I'll always be your father, your paladin, and I love you.

He tapped the "send" button on his pad and laid back, resting a bit, it had been a long day and as he reflected on it, his eyes began to close.

Santius returned to the group. "What did I miss?" he asked, casually.

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