Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mass Effect Poetry Of a Dawning Star (PODS) CH 1

Written By : Robert Fierce
Inspired from Bioware's Space Opera Mass Effect.

Chapter One : The Brave Quarian.
Act 1 - The quiet before the Storm

The cold, dark parts of the outer space hold many secrets for those who dare look upon them. And sometimes, looking is the only thing left to do when the overwhelming blanket of never ending void falls upon the eyes of the beholder. Through that heavy burden look hard enough, and you just might find what ever you're searching for. But beware. For those that search too deep for their truth might adrift in the endless sea of stars without means of getting back .
                            Odyssey of Keandre Jitarws :                                                  Volume 1 Chapter 14

For those of us that are unaware or that prefer to be floating on that fine line between belief and certainty, I can only say that searching within themselves is truly the only way they can see the outside world unclouded by the lies of others.
Picture if you will, that there is more to this world than meets the eye, just as there is more to an artist's painting than the mix of the colors on the pallet he uses right before he touches the canvas for the first time without even creating the picture in his mind. Take that analogy if you will, and with it here's a quick history lesson for the uninitiated :
Click any red links for additional information.

Codex References : Click me to learn more about ME universe and the Quarians

Codex References : Click me to learn more about the RED WORDS

Prologue :

The events in this book follow in parallel and beyond the events in the Mass Effect Universe but they never intertwine. Our story follows a common goal to stop the Reapers and their masters, the nefarious Eternals (Voids) returning. Thus a camaraderie is formed. A group of twelve exceptional beings with extraordinary unique skills part of an ancient Umbra Organisation called the "Onclave", formed by a committee of different races, many of which we know today as Quarian, Asari, Drell, Salarian and a few others, were encharged with plan B of preserving life in this Cycle. One of these twelve was Val'la Nar Rhana. An extraordinary Quarian who possessed unique skills unlike any other among her people. Devoted, loyal, cunning, exceptional tactician with a brilliant mind, she was put in charge of project Destiny.
Destiny started in the Hades Nexus where a very important artefact was found.
They called it the Primal Keystone. One of three unique keystones of unknown origin which combined together would make such a powerful artefact, the likes of which the Galaxy has never seen or heard before. The ultimate archaeological discovery for most.
Unlike any normal artefacts which tell us about the past, this one would tell us about the future.
It is only by chance that during one of the long and tiring working days, Val'la continued working after hours, spilling her Blaqurra over the low scale miniature model analysis and reconstruction scans which strangely connected a few dots here and there and somehow, looking at the stains from a different angle, in that very moment those shapes looked slightly familiar to her. It was not a mere picture, or some passed down word from who knows what extinct race out there. No. This was something different.
To anyone else, this would simply be one of those hard to solve mysteries they'd never get around due to the amount of necessary work and exhaustion that had to be put in but somehow Val'la managed to see right through it and soon discovered that it was an actual representation of a collection of galaxies. A gathering of the giants that  the board called Astrum Collatio which included The Sloan Great Wall, The Auranilla Edge as mighty as 11.6 billion light years as well as the Huge-LQG measuring no less than 1.248 MPC (megaparsecs), approximately 4.1 billion light years at the point of it's longest dimension. But this wasn't a map.
No. This was a Calendar. An actual calendar far too vast for anyone to even comprehend. Embedded within, there were layers upon layers of complex structural bi-schematic cartography. Once she figured this out, it was relatively and unexpectedly easy for her to find that this keystone revealed the location of the second Primal Keystone, as all three of them would reveal each other's location throughout the stars. And so the race begins as this turns into a live hunt for the third and final Keystone. The twelve start their mission and the search is near impossible, for these artefacts are not simple shapes or mere pieces of material. They were in fact complex celestial bodies very much resembling planets. Whole Planets stranded in space with no life anywhere near and no means to be reached easily. There were no Mass Relays anywhere near the parts of empty space these were located in . It would take thousands upon thousands of light years of space travel without the Relays so no race was ever going to reach them and even if anyone would, through some miraculous technological breakthrough, it was assumed by the Onclave that they were forged to look like planets on purpose. Barren ones to be more specific. Class 5 , so that in the unfortunate event they were ever found , they would be viewed as anomalies and waste planets. Lonely travelling planetary objects that left their solar system a long time ago during it's birth while their gravity collided with other planets that pulled, and ripped them from their orbit and pushed them away from their birth star that they were initially orbiting. But a machine can never think like an organic and that was one of the main principles these keystones were built on by their makers. Or so Val'la thought. She saw right through that mess she created when she spilled her Blaqurra. She kept telling herself "God doesn't build in patterns" and therefore, the only other logical explanation was that someone else built these. That's how she discovered the second key. But it was unclear what cataclysmic event caused the first keystone to move from it's original slumbering place and even get into the the margins of habitable space where it was found and classed as a dead planet that emitted low frequency waves felt only by organics which was why it was classified and hidden from all archives by the Onclave throughout history.
Because Space is constantly expanding the third key shared the fate of the first Primal Keystone which caused it to shift and move, only this time Val'la could predict where it was going to be. In order for the next key be found one would have to look for it in the past. But, as we know time travel is not possible. Not intentional anyway. But who needs time travel when you've got time! A calendar is a wonderful thing, it keeps track of time.
Lost in the layers of the calendar, were references to a fabled race called the And-u'Rai. A civilization who spanned over a million years of which only the Umbras now possessed very little info about.
From what limited information about the And-u'Rai they had, they managed to figure out a few things such as their power over technology. These beings learned to manipulate matter and their technology was so impossible and fierce for a race so young as a cycle or even less than 50.000 years, to even begin to comprehend. They had the power to create new Stars and move throughout space willingly and safely with their entire Planetary System at any given time. Due to this remarkable technology their race was never part of the Voids oncoming storm, avoiding any and all Void contact along the way, therefore giving them a million of years to advance and prosper.
Val'la's mission is to locate and contact the Andurra, figuring out the sequence pattern in the Primal Keystones's "calendar" known as the Marker.
The Marker pointed to one of the satellites of Noresha where after a long and fruitful chase, Val'la found an incredible piece of technology only accessible to organics that was also closely guarded by the more recent enemies of the Quarians, the Geth. They knew about the research the Onclave had on the Destiny Project gaining access to it during The Morning War's aftermath.
Back in the Nubian Expanse right before the exchange, during the meeting on Norehsa, a "Package" is received by the Alarai under a desperate direct order from Admiral Sheba'Sa.


Present Time :
Aboard the ship / Captain's quarters:

It was over 14 hours since they broke off the Flotilla and started their current mission and Captain Hitará was just coming out of his scheduled suit decontamination that was performed in a mini chamber within his quarters. Just a regular procedure Quarians were undergoing several times a day in accordance to the health and safety rules and regulations of the ship. Soon after , he noticed the thick window and the fact that the ship was in FTL (Faster Than Light speed) and he suddenly remembers how much he missed the view. He hadn't looked at it in a while.
It always brought out a certain state of grace from him. However , there was a reflection in the window he did not enjoy so much. The sight of one of his Vashat plants from Rannoch. The home planet. That arid home planet close to it's old star , with that dimmed orange Sun , and those beautiful ocean views separating it's Twin Deserts , the famous Blazefire Rasa filled with photosynthetic life concentrated mostly around the river beds of Selemae and the overwhelming Alamun's Crescent which was as beautiful as it was deadly , beaming with tales , ancient legends and horrific nightmares ready to chew and  claw at you at any second and also that same place where the day length is 32.3 hours. It's so easy to tell why the plant life and the shade was so precious for the ancestors. So precious in fact, that they named the whole planet after it. Rannoch - "walled garden".
The Universe has one fundamental law which dictates above all others and it often gets translated as such: The World is not fair. Things are not equal , and some things , are more important than others , because they simply are. It's not a written law of course , but a good example of that is that the strongest most fittest will always survive. Through the most intolerable , hostile , tough , unjust , unpleasant and unkind environments life always finds a way. And such , it had found it's way into Rannoch .
Rannoch has no insect life , as a result, its pollinating plants evolved to rely on animals for propagation. This symbiosis between flora and fauna is responsible for the Quarians' weakened immune systems.
To a starship's sensors the most obvious feature of the Quarian homeworld is the numerous heat sources in orbit. Thousands of Geth space stations watch over the planet now.
The Vashat was going pale. He had forgotten to water it along with the rest of the plants as well.
This wasn't a scavenged Migrant Fleet's ship , nor was it collected from discarded waste. It was a mighty well known ship of the Quarian Migrant Fleet and Captain Hitará Jurseen Vas Alarai was proud of it.
The ship could sustain entire families easily and they would throw rugs and quilts here and there , and such the space was considerably bigger than any normal human alliance ships.
Because most of the ships Quarians possessed weren't built by them , these were quite different from each other and each and every captain was directly responsible for learning his ship inside out. You might say they had the luxury of more space then the humans did but , if you took an interest in their history you would know that it compensates for the fact that they don't keep baggage and they don't value personal possessions judging everything by it's need to the fleet . Once the need was no longer there , they would barter their possessions  in the Auctions and Trade deck located on every ship , or simply store these in a common Archive in a market style where any Quarian in need was allowed to make use of it.  The same principle went for the food on board most of the times and everything is rather transformed into that refined edible paste which was kept in one place and distributed equally among them, because as we know livestock were found to possess an inefficient resource-to-calorie ratio when stored on the migrant fleet.
One would argue that some of the ships had livestock aboard but, not every ship in the fleet could afford it . Only the big ships with a big crew had the wealth/ finances for such a rarity. Captains would welcome any Quarian freshly back from their Pilgrimage that had to bring something useful with their return to the Fleet that would signify the end of their pilgrimage , such as provisions, money or information to the ship.
In other words , captains could refuse anyone on their ship but only on very rare occasions this would ever happen. They would normally take a new crew member happily. A ship with more Quarians always meant a wealthier ship.
The Alarai however , was not scavenged. It was a Starship built by the Quarians in the first ages as a twin sister to Oresai as we know from The Alarai Chronicles. It was nothing like those of the alliance , where there wasn't any room at all to spare , and any one with very few exceptions were only allowed a foot locker no matter who they were. In this case though , there was barely enough room on the corridors for the crew to pass by each other. Sqeezing past one another underneath the light shafts and between the Support Pillets (SP's) with great care not to step on the Inductive cables and in the same time avoiding the occasional headbut from the ADC ( Air Decontamination Collons ) panels above their heads, was a daily routine. And if that wasn't problematic enough , they also had to watch their hands not to touch any opened Maintenance Powerlink Panels (MPP's) which were more than often found on every corridor.

The Captain's accommodation quarters were , just as you might imagine. Sprinkled with a little homesick feeling just like any other Quarian chambers , decorated with plants from the long lost home planet , which were spread throughout the room and were very well taken care of. A dash of culture on the walls through the wall rugs and the pictures scattered around the room , a surveillance panel for those unavoidable fights in the Auctions and Trades room where everyone would barter their possessions and some would say they'd do it , like "mad men" , and a Third Back-UP Decontamination Chamber which was used mostly by the Captain. However, in the event of malfunction of the First and the Second one located on the Personnel Deck and respectively within the Clean Rooms's safe environment , this one too would fall under the use of all Quarians on board the ship. And last but not least the two most important things that made a Captain's Quarters really the Captain's Quarters : The Unique window view from where you could see the right side of the ship , the right propulsion engine and a plethora of stars which looked more like a mosaic of coloured lines that was acting like a "screensaver" most of the time when the ship was in FTL , and the unmistakeable Captains workdesk where every thing eventually went through , or landed on . From the briefing files of the most important missions, and each of the crew members's own background files , to the most bugging of air conditioning reports and engineering repairs bills or the never ending medical supply refill requests , everything seemed to find it's way to the captain's workdesk.
Being a Captain might seem like something everyone wants to do ;
Authority , best spot on the ship , full command , the power of giving the orders , owning the biggest most cosiest room on the ship and also , nothing would swing by without your approval. However , if you were thinking of just that yourself , then you couldn't be further away from the truth . A Captain's life is not easy at all. A Captain must deal with everything going on their ship and unlike everyone else who has their own job , the Captain has everyone's Job.
He or She makes sure everyone is doing their job at the highest standards whilst checking everything on the ship , providing everyone with what they need giving the same amount of importance and treatment to any and all around him whether it's just a simple soldier , an important scientist , the cleaner or the Chief Engineer. The Captain always has time for you and most likely , the Captain has all ready checked that the DCC you used this morning works , that the food you had for lunch was edible and nutritious , that the air you are breathing has perfect breathing levels , that the gun you're using in the next two hours in the mission will be loaded , that you always have a mission survival kit available for you , that the toilet's plumbing that you will use 3 hours from now when you come back from that mission actually works and that you have a nice meal and a warm bed afterwords. Actually the same person that comes in to see how you're doing , who has the doctor checking you up and that same person that connects you with your family when you need it.
In short , the Captain is the person with the most responsibilities on the ship and he or she , does not afford the luxury of making mistakes , ever. But every Captain has their few minutes to themselves daily , and today the Captain chose to make the best out of his spare time as possible.
Looking for the pourer , Hitará gently skips over his Muszat runners and stretches above the Auction and Trades deck surveillance and control panel , carefully picking up the long necker then turning four steps to the left near the DCC (decontamination chamber) where he fills it up and then jumps over the Furan traditional stool that was blocking his way and soon after he starts watering the plants.
His desk communicator gets loud for a couple of seconds.

Maintenance Crew officer of the day Mniari :
"- Captain , I'm sorry for bothering you but we seem to have a problem with those sensors down in Cargo , they are glitching out on us again. Seems like if it's not one , it's the other today."

The Captain : (jumping back the Furan to reach the comm button)
"- Don't I know it Mniari , all right , send me the report and I'll take care of this as soon as I'm done here. And thank you."

Maintenance Crew officer of the day Mniari :
"- Yes Sir."

The Captain : (jumping the Furan stool for the third time to get back to his plants)
"Now , where were we."

He was happy. Very happy in fact because just today, while walking back to the bridge from Medical's sterile environment he saw Katyje . The latest Quarian that joined his ship 11 months before , who just came out of a "clean room" where she safely gave birth to Kaleena , her baby girl.
He still had that image in his mind. A mother holding her child and loving that child unconditionally , and he was enjoying every moment of it. New life. Always a reason to be happy about.

A few hours before , within the clean room :
As soon as she laid her eyes upon Kaleena , her mother immediately fell in love with her , and all though she only met her baby daughter's beautiful gaze for the first time in this world only 15 minutes before , she all ready learned how to stop her from crying by reciting her poems. One poem in particularly seemed to put a smile on the little one's face. And that was the ancient Poem of the Thousand Brave.

                 "Shh , mommy loves you ..."

                                   "A Thousand Systems splashed into the sea of Arunai
                                     Those great man eating monsters ,
                                     The furious cascade from Rannoch's Selemae
                                    A Thousand rumours scatters."

                   Baby Kaleena's laughter fills Katyje with joy as she continues to recite :

                                   "A Star is born , under a lucky sign ,
                                     Shining , burning up with sparkling light
                                     And when the veils of darkness falls align ,
                                    Our lucent star will light the night"

The captain who was walking by on the near corridor hears Katyje reciting the poem to her daughter and promptly remembers how his mother , was singing that very poem to him when he was just as small and fragile as Kaleena. Very impressed with what he saw , he stops near her mother , and grabs her baby finger while smiling at her and starts reciting along with her mother the next verse :

                                   "And on the thousandth Night a thousand Brave ,
                                     Have laid their life before the Morning's dawn
                                     For nothing , stands between their faith  ,
                                    And Rannoch's brightly shining Sun."
Back in the Captain's quarters Hitará was still humming while watering the plants and caressing the leafs of the Vashat just a little longer after which he sat down at his desk , picked up and then started reading from his small data pad the details for the latest mission and in the same time , trying to remember the names of his two newest crew members. The environmental control & life support systems technician and a data collection & management technician from the engineering department . It's usually not easy to remember 600 names , those of the entire crew of a ship this size but , it's part of the duties of the captain to do so and also to check and double and sometimes triple check the profiles for each and every one on board.
Several seconds later , an item in the corner of his eye breaks his focus. It was an old picture of himself. He was a lot younger in there , just about to finish The Academy after returning from his successful pilgrimage.
There were 26 minutes still to go until his presence was required on the bridge and he was trying to remember details from the background of his picture. Familiar faces , places , the sweetened smell of Muscatar in the morning and the funny looking uniform sizes. But also deep within his thoughts he was trying to decide if removing his helmet and smelling the flowers in his quarters just for a couple of seconds was worth the risk of an infection. After all , he was the captain of the ship and he was suppose to set an example for everyone else so the idea went dim , but he remembered the day that picture was taken. Back in those days he was actually having fun.
Fun , not a lot to come by these days. Nothing compared to a good old simulation test that the best teachers in the Academy could offer. "One of those things where you'd become light headed by simply ignoring the fact that there was no real danger or responsibilities any where near you" , he says to himself. Not like now , so many lives under his command.
He stretches his hand to put the photo back on it's place on the desk when all of the sudden ,..

Act 2 - They are Here

A deafening bang came from the lower levels followed by a tremor that shook the entire ship.
Along with that , a lot of short circuits and fire spreading slowly towards the plants side of the room
where one of them was on the floor with it's support stand smashed into pieces.
Smoke was coming out from one of the vents on the lower right side of his chamber and Hitará was
right in the middle of the room , facing down with one hand stuck on the desk side trying to pick
himself up from the floor. He gets back up and quickly checks his suit for any damage.
Straight away he puts out a couple of fires , grabbing his communicator in the same time and trying to use it without any success. At a second glance , a mixture of sadness and anger filled his eyes at the sight of his plants. Nothing could make it worse. Or so he thought. Very soon though , he realises the plants are the least of his concerns.
 "What's going on ?!" He asks loudly while trying to leave his chambers without success. The crackling Trinium door was blocked by debris on the other side pushing inwards and forcing it to make those unbearable high pitch screeches as the debris weighted ever so heavily upon them . He picks up a metal bar that use to be attached to the control panel in his office that was now residing on the floor and slams it into the door's manual lock/unlock bulkhead mechanism pulling hard in all directions away from the debris that was blocking it from the other side in the main hallway , forcing the door to come off it's remaining intact hinges .
Success ! With the door collapsed the captain squeezes himself out through a medium size hole between the chamber walls and the fragments of collapsed debris into the deck's main corridor.
He exits his quarters and heads towards the EGP (Elevation Gravity Platform) that leads to the Bridge , helping a few of his crew members get up while witnessing one of the corridors near the elevator collapsing and filling up with rubble. He tries his communicator again :

" This is the Captain speaking, Report!" , " -Someone Report!"

But there wasn't any answer. Was it the communicator? Was it broken?
His head was filled with scenarios at this point and his mind was working quickly and in double time to solve them. The ship was still in FTL , what could this be? He keeps saying to himself while he makes his way to the Bridge to find it in a chaotic mess.
At the very sight of his Captain the First Officer responsible for the safety and security of the entire ship and it's crew , reports that the communications were knocked out for a few minutes but they are now back. All except the long range ones which are still down.
Engineer in the background :
"- Comms are down , Sensors are down , the Systems are going crazy." *the bridge engineer reports.

Hitará looks around , assessing the situation , and finds himself asking ,
"- What the hell was that ?" .. But before he can finish his question , another explosion..
This one much bigger , collapsing parts of the lower decks. Engineering , Crew's Deck , Cryo and the Bridge.  They were all affected. The sight was terrible. The control panels were torn off the floor knocking a few crew members unconscious. Fire and smoke was everywhere.

The Captain :
"Keelah ! What in the .."

BOOM - yet another explosion.
A loud bang and several fissures from one side of the hull reached deep into the Suprons Following that , the loss of one of the lower compartments puts even more pressure on the crew of the Alarai.
The ship once part of the Migrant Fleet that was now under the direct order of Admiral Sheba'Sa Vas Bunta , breaking off the course of the Flotilla almost 15 hours before , on a top secret mission to transport one very important "Package".

Random Bridge Quarian :
"- Captain Hitará , we must drop out of hyper space. Our FTL drives are barely holding on. At best we can keep them functioning for no more than 25 minutes."

Said the voice from the bridge , when out of nowhere the captain's communicator started working.

The Communicator :
Static interference .. "These ..*static*..eth a.. *static* suicidal , they're pushing hard for *static* and they are heading towards the heart of the ship." *a moment of silence from the comms.
"- We've lost one of the drone compartments *static* ..  a big explosion ..

The Captain :
"- Can we clean this signal up a little? I want to know what's happening!"

Says the captain to one of the comms engineers.

The Communicator :
*static* "by the looks of it , I'm *static* everyone felt it all the way up *static* bridge. It was one of those damn Geth bombs they used to penetrate the vents below".

The connection was getting better now. A couple of seconds later the Captain recognises the voice and replies back :

The Captain :                          
"- Lieutenant , it's good to hear your voice , Status Report !"

Lieutenant Mata :
"-Sir ! There are Geth on the ship! Not more than a dozen of them by the looks of it and they are in hot from hand held pistols and pulse rifles to damn seeker projectiles and explosives. Orders Sir ?!?"

The captain was furious , everything was happening so fast he was trying his best to keep up with it.

The Captain :
"- Geth?? Here? Any idea what they're doing On my ship?"

Lieutenant Mata :
"- Not yet , All we know is that they are keen on reducing us to dust. They must have entered the
ship back in the Nubian Expanse right before we brought down our shields during the meeting on Norehsa when we received "The Package" . They could have entered any of the lower decks , covering their tracks completely right before we finished and jumped FLT , clever little bastards!"

The Captain :
"Just as we made them huh?" *Says the captain to himself. "Why didn't we see this?" *Asks the captain as if looking everywhere at once expecting an answer from someone , anyone ..

The Bridge Engineer :
"- There was a malfunction in the cargo area and we had it checked out but there was nothing wrong in there so we assumed there was a faulty sensor , we always have a problem with those damn things. It's just , the ship Sir. She's so old."

Well this was new , how did the Geth know about the secret meeting? How did they get their metallic clutches on the exact coordinates and on the ship's plans! So many hows. Anything that could even remotely suggest what they were doing on the ship would suffice but there was no time for answers now.

The Captain :
"-Lieutenant , my scans show that the maintenance vents are still accessible from your side of the ship , take a small team and pursue the Geth . I want to know what they're up to."

Lieutenant Mata :
"-Yes Sir! I could use my Omnitool to bypass the locked down security points they closed behind them but I will need the access codes.."

The Captain :
"- All ready on it Lieutenant , there you go , I sent you the codes."

Replies the captain while leaning over the panel and transmitting the codes himself.

Lieutenant Mata :
"-All right , you two , come with me! The rest of you take these shafts and clear them off the Geth and meet us on the other side , Rendezvous in 15 minutes , DC defence point."

Those were the last words coming out of the comm.
Back on the Bridge , the Captain finds a familiar face. Engineer Doora. A brilliant engineer of his generation of which he was proud of having on board his ship , and now more than ever he needed her skills.

The Captain :
"- Doora , is there any way to stabilise the ship?"

Engineer Doora :
"- Not without dropping out of FTL Sir! , We've been hit hard."

The Captain :
"- How about re-calibrating our structural systems , we can do that , Right?"

Engineer Doora :
"- Again , No , Sir , we've got bigger problems , the ship has suffered a lot of damage , even the Nashan Stellar Dynamics T8-FFA Dual Cuplings are toast and we are running on secondary venting"

The Captain :
"- Damn it! We need some luck .."

Engineer Doora :
"- Agreed Sir , the initial damage to the ship wasn't that extensive , but the Geth are causing havoc even as we speak , there are several dead and a lot of wounded and both those numbers grow. There are also many alerts from the bottom decks."

The Captain's face was looking somewhere in thin air trying to make sense of any of this . Why was this happening , had this something to do with the "|Package"? He looks around on the Bridge squinting his eyes , trying hard to see through the cloud of smoke and spots Jo'Ran down on the floor in the corner underneath a flight desk panel. He was not moving at all.

The Captain :
"- Jo'Ran !!"
"- You !" (points to his Navigator , the one person responsible for plotting jumps , astrography and spatial positioning) . Help me move this thing off him!"

It was indeed Jo'Ran , a young Quarian who barely got off the Academy , and which Captain Hitará
personally offered the job to , due to his particular skill set.

The Captain :
"-You're going to be all right" he says ,"Hold my hand" he says with a trembling voice.

After seeing the wound , his face went dark . A mere suit puncture was bad enough for a Quarian but this .. This was bad , a portion of the flight panel pierced Jo'Ran's lower abdomen .

Jo'Ran :
"-Sir. I can't feel anything" *coughing blood within his helmet*

The Captain :
"-It's Ok , you'll be all right!"

Jo'Ran :
"-Captain , Sir ? I .. I thank you..  I .. never did thank you  ..

There was blood coming out of his helmet's respiratory adapter.

Jo'Ran :
 "- It was a pleasure be .. being"

The Captain :
"-Infirmary ! someone call the Infirmary!" the Captains shouts.

A cold hand touches Hitará's shoulder , it was one of the Helmsmen.
"-Sir ? He is ... Dead"
A voice from the Command and Control panel shouts :

Voice in the back :
"-We've got sensors back Online , the breached compartments are now pressure locked . Having trouble with gravity pockets in sectors 12 to 15 on the Personnel Floor! Ss..stabilising .. Confirming target . Their objective is the Drive Core , they all ready disabled the cooling injectors ."

The Captain : *shouting in his communicator :
"-Lieutenant Mata! Status Report!"

Lieutenant Mata :
"-They got us pinned down Captain , we are not doing too well , we need reinforcements right now , there is no way in telling how many of them are left but we know they are trying to access the maintenance shafts in order to get straight to the DC"."I've also called the other two teams to my position , I don't know how much longer we can hold on"

The Captain looks at Doora but before he could say anything .

Engineer Doora :
"-I'm Sorry Sir! We cannot spare any hands , we are barely keeping the ship from falling apart."

Hitará picks up the communicator and just then ..

A voice from somewhere deep in the back of the Bridge : *calling for him stops him in his tracks.

It was one of the crew members that was suppose to be in infirmary due to multiple suit punctures who was not in a good shape due to the infection , asking if he can help in any way.
One look from the Captain and then another one towards Doora .

The Captain :
"-How long until we get there? If ..we get there."

Engineer Doora :
--"-17 minutes Sir."

The Captain :
"-And where the hell is our "Package"?"

Engineer Doora :
"-Life signs show "Her" on deck 4 ."

The Captain :
"-Good! At least one of us is where his suppose to be , but why haven't we heard anything from her
so far?"

Engineer Doora :
"-Probably a communicator malfunction."

The Captain :
"-Keelah!! Can this day get any worse??"

Another loud bang comes from below , it was as if this whole day was plotting against him.

The Captain :
"-Bah , forget I said anything !! Doora , find me a way to the DC fast!"

a few seconds later:

Engineer Doora :

"-Sir , you will have to access level 3 of the ship , then clear the rubble there and break through the Aquellium . I am reading a malfunction there and "there" .. *points to the control panel. Maybe you could set a few charges on the bulkheads of the blocked doors there , blasting them from inside to get straight in the Static Filter Collons (SFC) and then drop down to the next level . That section seems to be the least affected by the blast . You will have to gear up though , the corridors are all airlocked so you will have to manually bypass them . Here use this Omnitool . Once you are down there and break airlock 7 go through the armoury and take the elevator down two levels. That should take you straight to the drop area where you can easily reach the lieutenant's position."

The Captain :
"-All right then. Anything still useful in the Armory?"

Engineer Doora :
"-Not much Sir , but you could use the Scimitar Elkoss Combine VII Shotguns we picked up when we last supplied , they'll rip right through the Geth."

The Captain :
"-Ok , we are loosing precious time." he picks up the communicator and looks at the grunt , clicks the on/off button . "Mata ! I'm coming down , Hold the line , I'm coming ."

As the two leave the bridge , they pass by Katyje who grabs a hold of Hitará , desperately seeking some answers but more importantly seeking her husband , her baby's father , lieutenant Mata.

The Captain :
"Katyje!!" Says the captain struggling to calm her down. I need you keep yourself safe right now! Go down to the Isolation Room on deck 4 , you and the little one will be safe there. I am going to bring him back Ok ? Just make sure you're safe! I need you to be safe , do you understand me?"

Shaking , sobbing , with tears in her eyes and her baby in her arms , Katyje raises her face from the ground and speaks.

Katyje :
"Thank you Jurseen! Please make sure he comes back , Kaleena needs her father!"

The Captain :
"I will." And the two start running the other way towards level 3 Maintenance Access.

The elevator was in rubble so Katyje heads back on the corridor leading to the Elevation Gravity Platform in order to get to deck 4. On the way down , she picks up a communicator hoping to keep up with what's going on. She was confused and didn't know what to do. The isolation room was exactly what it sounded like. Once inside there she could not get out because the only way to open the door was from the outside.
What if they forget about her? What if she gets stuck in there without anyone to help for days? What if Kaleena gets hungry? She needed food. She , needed to take care of her daughter as best she could. The EGP reaches deck 4 and confused about everything she tries to catch her breath while sitting down back against the wall in front of the IC.
A few minutes later and a couple of decks away , the Captain notices the fatigue on the grunt.

The Captain :
"-Are you all right? Can you keep up?"

This sounded more like a request than a question of a worried person.

The Grunt :
"-Don't worry about me Sir , just breathing I'll be Ok ,we'd best hurry."

They were constantly running and climbing , crawling and scaling the chambers and the compartments as fast as they could when the communicator warned another transmission.

The Communicator :
"-Captain ! Sir ! Lina and Huur are down !"

Faster damn it! The Captain says to himself , he breaths heavily while running , pushing his way to the elevator when the communicators are loud yet again :

The Communicator :
"-Captain ! The last team reached my position but the Geth have the ground advantage we can't last for much longer."

*sounds of gunfire coming out of the speaker*

The Communicator :
"Haan is out ! He got two to the chest and plunged right in them with a couple of..

More Shots fired..

The Communicator :
" ... grenades Sir. He took a few of those bastards with him".

On the other side , the lieutenant's situation was going from bad to worse , his ammo was low , his shields were down , he was loosing men faster than he dropped the damn Geth himself.
Gaining a small advantage with a Clip Drone , one of the Geth succeeds to deplete Mata's shield charge pack , detonating it in close proximity to him.

The Captain :
"-I'm almost there !! Almost .."

Says Hitará who was thinking of nothing else except how he met Mata 5 years earlier , when he was just a foot soldier in the Battle of Lamasian.

The Grunt :
"The armory ! We are close!"

They pick through the remains and grabbed a couple of weapons while sprinting , leaving the room through the other side and forced the elevator doors open jumping right down those power and support cables.

Act 3 - Old Secrets

Back on Cryo , Val'la was having problems of her own . The amount of power generated from the sphere's core-like organs was getting out of control due to the shock waves from the geth bombs but she could not ask for help from anyone because nobody on the Alarai knew about the "piece of technology" she found on Noresha that was powering the ship's drives for the journey to reach Astreya which was incredibly far away. It had been a secret many have died protecting for a millennia and she did not intend to make it's existence known .
Struggling with the sphere and not knowing how to fully use it , she tries containing the leak of raw energy by lowering the overall temperature of the sphere's outer shell by putting it through the cryogenic process that would normally almost instantly freeze any thing or anyone in the compartment but all she managed to do was trigger a short range EMP type of pulse from the device that knocked out all the deck's controls and her communication to the bridge or to the captain.

Val'la :
"Work damn you!"

The device was not working as it should or how she estimated it would in the first place. The sphere was acting as an energy field of immense power which would link and grant passage between two coexisting regions of space within the same universe , turning the EZO core of any ship into a Hypercore capable of travelling speeds faster than the speed of light thus giving them Warp Propulsion.
By using a directed stream of current to the sphere and linking it to the ships drive , Val'la uses her mutagen eezo nodules throughout her nervous system in reaction with her electrical stimuli from the brain in order to pass biotic energy to sustain the device's energy power up.

Device , such a strong word used for something such as the sphere which was alive. Biological . Organic , with a will of it's own. A mere seed of a tree for the Ancients.
We have knowledge of this , we just never paid any attention to it.
Legends of Arak'un and Egypt speak of a Tree of Life they named the Acacia Tree of Lusaaset . "The great one who comes forth" also described as The Great Goddess Grandmother of all the deities that birthed Isis and Osiris , also known as Maruuk and Shamaar in Quarian legends.
What the legends don't say is the fact that they were mere seeds just like the "sphere" before they came to life as we know them as deities. Back on Noresha , Val'la found out the true origin of Lusaaset and also a great many references as to what happened between our deities and the common ancestors that spread the knowledge about it.
During their maturity , they had a choice. The choice each seed of the great Tree of Life had. To spend it's entire remaining life near the roots which gave birth to it , or use it's hereditary inheritance to travel the stars and pollinate them with it's own seeds in time. As the temple found on the Noresha's moon satellite speaks , such seeds have come to extinction after the 600'th Cycle when the Eternals came and took away the Tree of Lussasset purging with fire in the Great Abstersion all remaining roots and all who possessed any knowledge of it.
The "sphere" , currently in Val'la's possession was the only seed of the great tree known to have survived locked away in the Marker , waiting endlessly to return to life and fulfil it's destiny.
Meanwhile , a few Geth sneak on Cryo deck but as expected , giving her unique skills she deals with them in a matter of seconds using her neutronic fission pulse and bio crusher field.
Moments after the fight she slips onto a sort of daydream vivid image while getting close to the wall to try and keep herself from falling.

"I was always going to be you" *a voice in her mind echoes

Act 4 - Here , we stand

The Elevator finally gets there and with a last effort they cross the next corridor between them and the lieutenant who now stood alone and was hurt badly. The Geth ripped through his shields and pierced his shoulder and one of his major arteries .
He sees the Captain and exhales relieved .

Lieutenant Mata :
"-You came ! " he says ..

The Captain :
"-I'm here now , stay with me Mata!"

He pulls out a power pack from his pocket and replaces his lieutenant's.

The Captain :
"-Now I need you to stand still for a second."

Says the captain looking above the crates and shooting a couple times in the general Geth's direction.

The Captain :
"I'm going to apply this Medigel , it won't do much good but it's better than nothing ,you've lost a lot of blood all ready ."

And he sticks his gun above the crates and shoots a couple more times .
Then ,suddenly he looks at the scared heavily breathing grunt and realises he doesn't know his name and he never asked for it.

The Captain :
"-Hey ! What's your name ?"

The Grunt :
"-Data collection & management technician Naray Sir! Newly transferred to engineering Sir!"

The Captain :
"-Ah , yes , figures , Ok , Naray ! I need you to cover us for a second while I apply this medi...."

But before he could finish his sentence the engineer all ready started his cover fire . Short and calculated bursts of ammo.
Mata looks at the captain and with a strange amusement in his tone he asks :

Lieutenant Mata :
"-Sir ? Our guns , our shields our systems are out cold , what happens if we get "There" and .."They" don't like us?"

The Captain :
"-We'll worry about that when we get there."

The communicators start flashing again , but this time it was Doora .

Engineer Doora :
"-Captain , it's the Geth , I have a visual , they breached the overlay shafts and they are crawling through the disposal line and the Frost Dampeners that lead to the Drive Core entrance behind you. You are completely surrounded."

She barely even got to finish what she had to say and Naray got shot in the right arm.
Those were indeed bad news , and , it was getting worse.
He picks up Mata and his gun and he puts one hand on him and the other on Naray dragging them both behind the supply crates and while looking at them both under the geth's fire he realises that there's no other way out of this.
So many flashes in front of his eyes now , what to do , WHAT TO DO!
Underneath all that fire and all the tension in their very souls , the Captain raises his eyes towards both of them. And from the communications adapter in his suit's helmet words pour finally.

The Captain :
"-Honor , loyalty , trust , some people swear by it , others quietly live far away from it , many ignore it altogether . Are we doomed to face the same outcome no matter what choices we make? Or , are we better than that? And if this is to be the end , we know we meet our end by the hand of that which we created. It's has been an honor having you as my crew members."

Lieutenant Mata :
--"-Sir , The honor has *cough* been ours."

A moment of silence arises above everything else , and you could hear all three of them speak in unison :

"-Keelah Se'lai" -"By the homeworld I hope to see one day."

And they quickly set themselves back to back with each other just like in those rough Academy training sessions , eyes wide open and the guns in front of them ready to shoot at anything that moves , turning their heads one last time looking in each other's eyes. A hatch opens right in front of  Hitará , he looks straight at it , points his weapon forward and shouts :
"-ALL RIGHT YOU GOD DAMN BOSHTETS , if it's a fight you want , it's a fight you'll GET!"
Within seconds they get surrounded by Geth and he shouts even louder :
"-Suppressing Fireeee!"
The shotguns they picked up from the armoury were a big help now.
Bullets flying through the air in all directions , they were ripping the Geth shields very fast , and in a desperate attempt to push , the Geth manage to bring down Naray who falls down after being shot right in the head.
Mata seizes the moment and after he gets shot in the lung , with his shields depleted , out of ammo ,  he drops his gun and sets himself in back-to-back position with his Captain , arms-locking him , and even though he took bullet after bullet in his chest , he , did not let go.
"-I've got you Captain!" Says Mata , mouth full of blood dripping from his helmet.
He could feel pain no more. All he could see now were flashes from the battle of Lamasian , his comrades falling down , a huge pulse cannon striking the ground right next to him throwing him backwards and in the air a few meters.
His breath was heavy , he was tired and he could barely move but unlike his comrades he had no reason to live any more. He knew he was not safe at all in his current position but he was wounded badly and all he wanted was for the end to come swiftly , thinking of his family , his parents and his little sister that were among the first killed in the attack on the colony. But instead , Hitará showed up , and picked him up from the ground , dragging him away , shouting at him:

Young Hitará :
"Hey! I got you , look at me! Don't give up! If you don't pick yourself up right now , hundreds more children and their mothers will die! I know you miss your family , i miss mine just as much. But if we don't stop them right here and right now then we lose everything. Do you understand ? Give me your hand."

Mata's eyes started raining tears after tears hearing Hitará s words. It's as if time stood still for those couple of moments , because those words , those strong , powerful words , gave him the power to hold tight to one last hope. That he could make sure others would see their families , their sons and daughters and sisters and brothers , so that one day he could see his own , proud of him. And with that image of his family in his mind he got up and continued fighting. Hitará would have saved his life then.
This time , he had a reason to live. He finally managed to rebuild his life and move on , until today. This very unlucky day that seemed to be playing the odds against each and every crew member of the Alarai. He managed to see his daughter's face for a few minutes before everything started. All that was in his mind now were Katyje and Kaleena. His family that he must fight for and die for. If this was the price for saving them , he would gladly embrace death and with a last drawn breath and a last bullet he locks his arms protecting his captain , the future of the ship and his family.
It was now time to repay an old debt and save the life which saved his so long ago.
His head drops down and he dies , but not before making sure his captain is safe by arm-locking himself to him. It was the highest honor of a dying man taught in the Academy , that on the brink of death one would save another man's life , shielding him with his own body.
BANG! A last shot from Hitará and the last Geth in front of him drops dead . He turns around and leans forward , heavily with Mata on his back and with a very lucky shot , he gets the other Geth right in his headpiece.
He gently drops his lieutenant on the floor :

The Captain :
"-Mata ! You ..." ..

Lost for words , shaking , and with tears in his eyes he grabs a hold of Mata's lifeless body. He couldn't believe what just happened. He wished not to let go of his friend and he didn't know what to think. Seconds later , he picks up Mata's personal communicator which was flashing continuously. He pressed the On button and hears a baby crying and a voice from the other end :

Katyje :
"Shhh , your father will be with us soon , don't be afraid , there is nothing in this world he and I wouldn't do to keep you safe."

The Captain was in tears and speechless. He let out a very long and powerful shout of rage. But deep in his mind something was shouting and screaming back at him , telling him to wake up. He did not have the courage to tell his Lieutenant's family what just happened.
His own communicator is loud again .

Engineer Doora :
"-Captain ,we dropped out of FTL , securing the entire ship now , Purging Systems enabled ,
stabilising and ..." before she could finish her sentence the Captain asks :

The Captain :
"-Val'la !! Where is Val'la??"

Engineer Doora :
"-She is in Deck 4 , preparing to board a shuttle , Sir , she had some Geth on her hands as well and we have arrived at our destination , We're in the Mevious System near the orbit of the planet Astreya. I think .., At least it looks like the planet we're looking for."

The Captain :
"-Tell her to Go NOW! And lock down this ship!"

Val'la :
"-Comm is up now , heard that loud and clear Captain" , says Val'la from the other end of the
communicator. I'm heading to the shuttle bay in this second" .

She grabs the sphere and puts it in the MSU (mobile storage unit) while walking out of the Cryo , each door she passed through closed and locked behind her , Engineer Doora was now locking down the ship manually.

Act 5 - Family Soldier

Crossing the levels of the ship in a hurry , one corridor at a time , Val'la makes her way through the entire Deck 4 towards the shuttle bay.
On the other end of the Deck , near the Isolation Chamber , while holding her baby as close and as safe as she could due to the continuous aftershocks from the ongoing battle and the ship's many problems, still trying to decide if she should get inside or wait a bit longer , Katyje hears a couple of loud noises coming from the EGP and the adjacent corridors but also from inside the IC.
She wasn't exactly sure where it had came from at first but as she was leaning her back on the wall , she felt a short tremor which let her know there was something going on in the room. It was very dark and she couldn't see anything. She slowly makes her way to the other side of the 5 Layer Securite Glass at the outside control panel , and as she turns on the light inside , she sees a protective hatch falling from one of the vents near the ceiling and one Geth dropping down. She panics.
One of the most dangerous creations her people ever made was here in this very ship on this very deck , with her behind that Securite glass. Fear follows soon after as she drops down in a flash trying to avoid the Geth's visual range.
The Isolation Chamber could only be opened from the outside. For a Quarian,  but this , was no Quarian. It was a very smart machine that had made it's way to the door and was now trying to hack it's way into the door's control circuit.
Katyje was trying to find any weapon , anything at all that she could use to defend herself and her daughter.
There were no weapons anywhere near her , only pieces of metal on the floor from the explosions earlier and she was afraid to go anywhere else because it wasn't safe and she was told not to move from there. She has to make a decision and she makes it. She starts crawling towards the Gravitational Platform but the EGP wasn't working , she crawls to the other side only to find that the elevator was out. The only way out of this corridor was on the other side through a door located there , but that .. was right in front of the Geth and IT , would see her right away if she would try to reach it. She knew it was only a matter of time before the machine would break the security protocols on the IC door. She had no choice.
Looking in her daughter's eyes she whispered : "We must be brave now , remember?". She was trying hard to find the courage to stand up and go for that door, but Kaleena decided to cry as she probably was very hungry by now , and this immediately draws the Geth's attention which was now scanning the proximity for the noise.
Her mother has no choice now , she must go for it.
As she stands up and looks at the glass , a gun is instantly pointed at her and a few shots are fired. She freezes , very scared she drops the communicator, damaging it. The glass was holding up. The Geth fires another couple of shots as Katyje backs up from it holding tight to her daughter. The machine realises it can not penetrate the glass and turns it's attention to the circuit board again. Scared , Katyje runs as fast as she can to that door. It was the only exit.
Reaching the door she finds it locked. She can't open it , and she panics even more pushing it , hitting it ,  trying to get it open. It seems that the explosions from the lower level that affected the elevator also affected that door but she wasn't an engineer and she didn't know anything about security systems. Keeping the Geth in sight she moves to the other side of the corridor near the elevation platform which was broken.
She had hoped that it broke somewhere between this level and the next so that in some miraculous way she could be able to jump in the tunnel and land on it in such way that her baby would be protected from the fall.
She was out of luck , out of reach , out of time!
"-But wait! The communicator!" she says while going back to the wall to pick it up, switching her comm to the general "all" frequency she then turns it on and shouts for help :

Katyje :
"-Hello ?!?!?! Can anyone hear me? This is Katyje , I am on Deck 4 near the Isolation Chamber and I need help right now! Please anyone! I am stuck on this level and there is no way out of here. There is a Geth in the IC trying to get out. I am scared for my daughter , please someone!!"

Because she dropped the communicator when she got scared of the Geth's earlier , the device's frequency broke and the signal would only reach as far as the nearest person to her , which was Val'la. They were both on the same deck.
She hears this in her communicator just as she almost arrives at her pod. But she didn't know what to do. The mission! Her mission was very important and she had to complete it. But lives were in stake. A child.. With one hand on the hatch and another on the communicator she was now facing a very hard choice.
She only had minutes. She takes the comm close to her headpiece.

Val'la :
"-I'm sorry ! I really really am sorry!!"

Hearing these words , the last of Katyje's hopes disappears. She was stuck in that damn corridor and there was nothing she could do about it. She hadn't heard anything from her husband in a long time and there was nobody else to help her. She was very afraid . Not for herself but for her daughter. She would give her life in a second to protect her but what then? What happens after?
She turns around and tries to calm herself and the little one , by talking to her "

Katyje :
"-I want you to be brave now , can you do that ? Can you be brave for mommy?"

Kaleena was looking at her as if she understood what her mother was telling her and she suddenly stopped crying.

Katyje :
"-Mommy needs you to be brave now , just like in the stories ok?"

She puts her daughter on the ground in her little blanket , in the safest place in the entire corridor and with one last look she kisses her on the forehead.

Katyje :
"-I love you so much!"

She turns around and picks up a few metal pieces scattered on the ground near the elevator's part of the corridor and then crawls for the control panel , shutting off the lights. The Geth was almost through now. She hides as best she can and waits for the Geth to come out. Shaking , trying to find courage , trying to do what's right , she was now thinking about her husband. How she wished he would be here now, not knowing that he died just to buy them a few more minutes.

Back in the shuttle bay , Val'la stopped the engine. There was a fight going on within her.

Val'la :
"I can't do it" she says. "If I can not save few , how can I even dare to dream of saving many".

It was one of her traits , being cold blooded and calculated , always following orders always getting the job done , always completing the mission and always doing what she was told without any hesitation .
But was she also cold hearted?

Val'la :
"This is bigger than them ! It's bigger than me! Bigger than all of us ! I must follow orders! But .. Listen to me , I sound just like one of them , just like a Geth! Is this not blood in my veins ? Do I still have a heart of my own? A mind of my own? ..THOSE .. ! Are your people Val'la!"

She was fighting an old battle , a battle that started when she was little , when she lost everything and gave up everything . When her very nature turned 180 degrees and left her without the most important thing in her life. Her old self ..

Finally she reaches a decision : For once , she was going to do what's right.
She exits her pod and rushes towards the IC where Katyje was. Moving as fast as she could , she was looking for a way to get in , the EGP , the elevator and the exit were all non accessible. Calculating in her mind the fastest most direct route, she runs.
The machine was finally through. Cautious , it opens the door and starts walking with its gun in front , inspecting the area. It had built in glowing photoreceptor in the headpiece to see where it was going. The Quarians built these machines very well , equipped with almost anything they would need but they never intended for this.
As Kaleena's little noises lure the geth towards her side of the corridor , her mother jumps from the shadows and strikes the geth and pierces one of it's conductive cables spilling white conductive fluid from it.
As the machine turns to the point of attack , it shoots a few times.
Trying to get a visual , it gets closer.
But it wasn't very fast , or very agile. It was probably caught up in one of it's own blasts earlier and it was now loosing fluid because of it's wound. As it leans forward to get a better view , Katyje takes advantage and drives one of the metal pieces she picked up from the ground earlier right in it's photoreceptor blinding it but also gets shot twice in the process. The pain was unbearable. Unlike the machine she felt every bit of it.
She was trying very hard not to make any sounds and to cope with the pain as best she could hoping this was her chance to strike because she blinded it. But what she didn't know , is that this was a new type of Geth. Not like the old ones she use to read about. This one had built in a secondary cognitive system which was a low range infrared scanner. And it wasn't making any noise. Silently activating it's secondary system , it was now scanning the corridor. At the first noise she hears , Katyje breaks free from behind the collon and jumps towards the geth's core generator to kill it , but only to find herself on the other end of a bullet.
The machine had lured her in and waited patiently for her to make her move.
With her on the floor trying to cover her wounds , the Geth points it's gun to her head and pulls the trigger..

But nothing happens! She hears a click but that was it. The Geth was out of ammo.
On the other side of the corridor someone was hitting the exit door hard. It was Val'la. She reached Katyje's coordinates and was now desperately hitting the door with her crusher fields.

Katyje :
"- Heeeeeelp!!" shouts Katyje from the floor. I'm in here".

The machine drops it's gun and picks up the Quarian slowly strangling her. It still had enough power to kill and a lust for blood that only matched It's hate for the creators.
And it knew no Quarian could pass through that door from which the noise was coming from because it tried itself to get through earlier and it couldn't.
The machine was leaking fluid badly , but it pulled back it's left arm activating it's omnitool , and while looking at the scared , tired and terrified face of Katyje , it speaks to her :

Solitary Geth :
"- We , will kill you and we will kill your child."

And in that very moment it stabs her through her rib cage , piercing her lungs and twisting it's blade , pulling down to make the wound bigger and to inflict enormous pain on her before she dies. It drops her body on the floor and slowly moves towards Kaleena's side.
The sight of a bullet seemed now a most welcomed view considering death by blade was not only barbaric but also extremely brutal and painful. She was trying to get back up very hard but she could barely breathe. She was gasping for air. The pain was excruciating.
The door began to bend inwards as Val'la was giving it all she had. It was one of the strongest double plated double layered Trinium doors constructed on the ship. It was , the Isolation part of the ship after all.
It's metallic steps were getting closer and closer to the baby scaring her into crying. It's cold lifeless metal clutch stretches towards the child to end her life when , with the last of her strength , Katyje pushes a huge piece of metal in the machine's power generator.

Katyje :
"- NOBODY , makes my baby cry!!!!"

As the Geth turns to her with one arm holding it's generator's conductive fluid , and the other powering up the omnitool ,  it stabs her with his blade one last time , this time , piercing her heart.
" Ahhh!!"  She lets out a very sharp shout while she stops just for a moment. Her big eyes were in tears , she coughs blood while trying to inhale , feeling her insides in agonising pain , looking at her murderer , grabbing it's arm , with the omniblade still inside her , and as she drops , she holds her hand towards Kaleena , who was now crying , telling her :

Katyje :
"-Be brave my love , mommy is right here "

Seeing that the Quarian wouldn't let go to it's arm blade , the machine tries to drag her along towards the baby. Full of blood , on her knees , she refused to let go , the Geth starts kicking her over the face a couple of times , like an animal. You wouldn't even do that to a wild animal that tried to kill you. Each time it did it was harder , and harder until all her strength had left her , until she could barely keep her head up and the bones in her left side of the face cracked. She dropped ..

While slowly dying on the floor , hearing her baby cry , she wasn't thinking of death any more , she just wanted to calm her daughter and stop her from crying. She starts singing :

                                          ".. on the thousandth ... Night a ... a thousand Brave ,
                                           Have laid their ... li- life before the morning's dawn
                                           For no ..

The door finally blows wide open , and through it , the whole fury of the nine suns of Proteus of Athens System came upon the machine as it tried to touch Kaleena.
Rage , was fueling Val'la , and every step she took towards the machine , was another heavy hit ,
      "FOR NOTHING !"                  -Val'la hits the Geth with a bio crusher field while screaming ,
      "STANDS BETWEEN .."          she hits it with another one , crushing it's entire outer shell
      "THEIR FAITH !!" crush , crush , crush she sent field after field on the Geth destroying every inch of it

Her heart filled with rosefire blood , boiling , streaming through her veins , pumping , like a cascade of fury and vengeance , waiting , just waiting for the moment of retribution and just before she finished it off , she looked in it's eye photoreceptor and said :

Val'la :
"- I'll make sure I'll end your whole fucking race you piece of crap!"

And with a last hit of neutrinic fission pulse she kills the machine which was now the size of a medium metal can.
Forthwith she checks if the baby is safe and brings her to her mother.

Katyje : *dying , coughing up blood.
"- Please , take *blood cough* .. care of her , she is .. my .. Sun ,
Be b-brave........" are the last words she says to her daughter before dying.

Val'la didn't know what to do , there was no time to go leave the baby anywhere else , she had to move NOW! Maybe she could leave the baby waiting in the shuttle for when her mission was done. If it would be done. IF she survives , IF she gets back , so many If's but only one option. Is now or never.
She runs to the shuttle with Kaleena in her arms.

Val'la :
"- It's ok , you'll be all right."

Act 6 - Alarai to Dust

The Captain was now looking through a pile of bodies all around him for their ID badges .
His stomach felt like it had been , ripped out , twisted around , put back in , and then punched and shot off by the end of that mission . Then he caught a glimpse of one of the badges reflecting a red-ish light . He turns around with his gun pointed right in front of his eyes but he couldn't see anything , except for the doors to the Engineering towards the Drive Core which were opened . Slowly he approaches them , and inspects the surroundings.
He looks at the drive and then breathes easily , there was nothing in there so he holsters his weapon and he picks up a communicator , pressing the comm On button , but instead of words a shot is heard ..

Engineer Doora :
"- Captain! Captain?Sir? what's going on , ... "

The Captain falls to his knees but still somehow manages to display a vague smile while holding tight , clenching the wound in his chest , clinging on his life.

The last remaining Geth , approaches him slowly. The metal steps were getting closer and closer and closer , it was still transmitting and you could hear the AI in the background , he was probably trying to learn if any more Geth survived thus far but without success .
Eventually , it walks in front of the captain and looks him dead straight in the eyes and ..
(AI scrambled signal in the background)

The last Geth :
"CREATOR HITARA"  *while leaning towards Hitará touching his wound and somehow acting like it was sorry for what it had done.

The last Geth :
"- Does this unit have Mercy ?"

Such words do not befit a machine , they have no place in an artificial mind.
Looking up to the chunk of metal in front of him , still thinking about everybody's safety , thinking of what his crew would do without him , about all the things needing his attention , about the people he lost , he looks down , in his palms . They were filled with blood , his blood , he felt the end drawing near , never has he felt it so close. It was the only thing he could feel any more , neither the wound nor his chest or his feet.
He finally let's go of all the worries he held inside , all the problems that needed solving , now only one thing goes through his mind. He takes his helmet off and spreads his hands while looking at the Geth in front of him he says :

The Captain :
"- I should have smelled those flowers."

The geth unit tilts it's head on a side and in a split second pulls out it's hand gun and puts a bullet
in the Captain's chest , dropping him in his own pool of blood .

Engineer Doora :
"- Captain!???"

The last remaining Geth quickly sets the charges to the drive core, and enables the shut down process "transferring it's consciousness to the "other side" through the neural network" . Make no mistake , for this was like ascending for them , or so the Geth like to think that near their death they make peace with themselves by accepting that everything they do , is for the better of the entire race and through their actions they touch the lives of millions. A machine's interpretation of Ascension if you will..
His final action is to blow up the core and along with it , the entire Alarai .
A strange white light followed by a immense explosion breaks the ship into thousands of pieces and a blinding light followed by an after shock spreads from the explosion.
Each and every one of the 600 crew members were now dead , blasted into dust . They didn't even have time to use any escape pods , didn't even knew what hit them.
The Drive Core's blast wave reaches Val'la's shuttle very fast and hits it with such a force that it
causes it to loose control of all the systems except for life support. There was no other option now ,
only a forced crash landing attempt with chances of survival being 17% at best .
The Pod was dropping fast through the atmosphere of Ti , the far moon of Astreya .

Please comment below and let me know if you want to find out what happens next ,
What is Val'la's mission , Who were the And-u'Rai and many more.
If you wish to use any of my content (pictures or lyrics or poems) for any purpose you must first contact me asking permission.
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  1. Nice story, sure to read the next one

    1. Thanks for the feedback , you can now have a look at the next chapter.

  2. Love it. Are you still continuing the story?

    1. Glad you liked it! Yes i am. I'm currently working on Chapters 3 and 4. Be sure to check my blog often.

  3. listen if you ever want to talk I have some ideas and really could use your help if your interested I'm doing a mass effect colab wit ha few others and we are always looking for more people.

  4. Love your story. You need some "glitter" though. We're reading a story that hopes to be a book someday, right? So you need to describe the environment with a bit more detail, to bring the atmosphere of a quarian ship a bit closer to people who never played mass effect. "Narrow" corridors and "scavenged" ship don't really cut it. I see you have a flamboyant imagination so I know you can :)

    If you meant to do this or think is unneccessary, ignore my comment.
    Loved your story nontheless.

    @Seigi Susui - Damn, if you people collaborate and somehow manage to publish a book, I'm buying a dozen for my family! They need to broaden their horizons. (Read: They need to read some stories like this)

    1. Thank you for the feedback ! I just wanted to say how much i appreciate the fact that you took the time to leave such a constructive feedback. It helped quite a lot. Hope to hear from you soon.

  5. Nice Act need some work here and there
    BTW Are you still working on this?

    1. I'm glad you like it! Yes i am constantly working on this project and other projects as well. Currently working on 3 books , 2 children's books , 4 short stories and some actual poetry. Chapters are coming ! Even though it might seem slow.

  6. When will you put up the next part of the book? I want to know what happends next

    1. Soon , all you have to do is check back often and see if the next Chapter has been added. Thanks for reading!

  7. My name on fb is Porii Eoaoe
    and my gmail name is Al.

  8. My bioware forums account is K2LU533

  9. Hey man ,Good story! Where can i find the next chapter?

    1. Hey there , thx! In any of my works , in order to read the next chapter , all you have to do is go back on the top of the page and select the button from there. It should say Chapter 1 , Chapter 2 .. etc.

  10. Well i certainly didn't expect that ending to this chapter,nice fresh story,i like the fact that this is not another mass effect 3 sory "during" or "after" with the characters in the game,and the fact that it's different and stands apart but keeps within the same universe at the same time.Can't wait to read the next.

    1. I'm happy you like it , perhaps you would like some of my other works as well? Why don't you give them a try and see if they interest you. And thanks for your feedback.


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