The scene fades in on Sarha is sitting in her bathroom carefully mixing a red substance with some water. She then slowly draws the dark pink concoction into a hypodermic syringe and injects it just under her skin. The friendly return of the warm sensation from the Red Sand brings a smile to her face as she slouches back resting her head against the cool white tile. Anima was at the club so she didn’t need to worry about being interrupted, and she giggled as the small biotic ability that the Sand gives to non-biotics made her skin tingle. She waved her hand and a small towel lifts and floats in the air. Giggling again as she let the towel fall to the ground and slowly stood up. She picked up her drugs and needle and exited the bathroom and headed to the bedroom everything feeling slow and surreal, putting her drugs in her hiding place she collapsed on the bed and let the drugs take her into a deep sleep.
Anima sitting at her desk at Afterlife looking over some data pads when her Omni-tool lets her know she has an incoming call. Without looking to see who was calling she opened the comm channel and was surprised to see Bray’s face. “I’m busy Bray this better be something you can’t handle.” She said without looking up from her desk.
“We have a situation at the docks.” Bray informed Anima in his usual matter of a fact way.
“Like what?” Anima said now looking at the video feed her Omni-tool was projecting.
“Shepard wants to dock.” Bray said.
“He was just here six hours ago Bray, I doubt he has even left the station.” Anima informed her second in command.
“That is just it… it isn’t your father. It is a Jane Shepard on a human vessel.” Bray said.
“You know my family isn’t the only ones with the last name of Shepard right?” Anima said dismissively.
“Yes, but the ships course is the concern. It came from Earth.” Bray said his voice fading as he said Earth.
“Allow it to dock, but no one gets off or on the shuttle until I have checked it out. Understood?” Anima said finally setting her data pad down and standing up. As she did Javik looked up from his reading.
“What is it Asari?” Javik asked.
“I don’t know, watch the club Javik I am going to the docking bay.” Anima said as she walked out of the office.
The shuttle slowly docked and armed guards immediately locked its controls, for better or worse the ship was not going anywhere. Bray walked over and turned the comm system on connecting the shuttle and the dock. “Human vessel state your purpose.” Bray said hoping that who was even on there when they managed to leave Earth was now dead so they could just jettison the craft into the nearest star. They waited but there was only a faint hiss that came across the speaker. All three guards instinctively moved their heads closer to the speaker trying to make out any noise. The plague had yet to leave Earth but no one believed it would stay there forever. Also the other races had no idea if it only infected humans or if it would infect them as well. The seconds ticked by as the guards so intent on listing didn’t notice Anima standing behind them smiling.
“DID I MISS ANYTHING?!” She yelled out causing them to scramble back on guard even lost his footing and fell to the floor.
Bray spun around to see Anima doubled over laughing at the spectacle. “Nothing, perhaps they are all dead.” Bray said.
Anima wiped a tear from her eye as she composed herself, she brought up her Omni-tool and scanned the onboard navigation system. “This bird was heading for your old neighborhood Bray, then half way there someone got cold feet and changed the destination.” Anima pointed out.
“Well maybe they became ill and wanted to get help.” Bray said.
“That would make sense but Omega is out of the way, and we aren’t known for our top notch medical facilities.” Anima pointed out while grabbing a space rebreather, a device used by many Asari who use their biotics to protect them from the vacuum of space. “Stay here, unlock the door. I’m going to check out the shuttle.” Anima said stepping forward toward the docking tube.
“Ma’am with all due…” One guard said but quickly shut up when Bray turned and stared at him will all four eyes as if to say shut up if you know what is good for you. The guard took the hint and unlocked the docking tube doors.
Anima pulled a small side arm from her belt and slowly advanced down the docking tube. Once she reached the shuttle’s outer door she lifted her Omni-tool and opened the door. The door released and a hiss of air entered the docking tube as the pressures equalized. Not knowing what to expect Anima slowly and carefully entered the shuttle relying on her Alliance training she began to clear the shuttle. “Lights” she said and the small cargo hold lit up showing a few boxes and some ropes on the floor. “Did they have a prisoner who escaped?” she thought slowly moving toward an old style hinged door. “This ship must be ancient to still have bulk head doors like this.” She thought as she lowered her pistol and reached out for the handle and grabbed it. Slowly she turned the doors handle until the lock disengaged, she lowered her right shoulder into the door making a smaller target. Pushing the door open she raised her pistol and saw the three bodies inside the main cabin. “Two killed with a knife, and this poor bastard with a SMG… prison escape seems likely.” She thought.
“Bray, it’s okay there is no one aboard. Looks like these poor bastards were on a bounty hunt and well the bounty won. They likely programed the ship to come here to through off anyone…” Anima’s words tailed off as she noticed the cockpit door was shut. “Damn it, I’m rusty at this shit. That’s thirty pushups Shepard for breaking silence.” She thought.
“We are on our way in.” Bray said.
Inside the cabin Jane slept deeply in fact this was the first time since all hell broke out on Earth that she was fully relaxed and as such didn’t hear the ship land or be hailed by the docks. The cockpit was dark with exception of a few lights here and there and the soft hum of the engines soothed her into dream. In fact she would have slept for hours longer but a voice in the other room awoke her.
“Bray, it’s okay there is no one aboard. Looks like these poor bastards were on a bounty hunt and well the bounty won. They like programed the ship to come here to through off anyone…” A woman’s voice for sure and just outside.
But then it was quiet again “did I dream that?” Jane thought standing up and stretching her legs and arms like a cat does after a long nap in the sun. Before Jane could sit back down she heard a man’s voice.
“We are on our way in.”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” She thought grabbing her Locust and checking the thermal clip “only ten rounds.” She thought as she moved toward the door. She grabbed the handle and an electrical charge went through her body knocking her backward and dropped her weapon as she stumbled back. Her legs felt like rubber and her heart was racing she barely made it to a chair before her legs gave out altogether.
The door opened and an Asari moved into the cabin with quick and smooth movements, Jane wanted to run but her legs were still revolting against her mind.
“Lights!” The Asari said and they came on.
The light reveled an angelic like figure standing over her with a pistol pointed at her forehead. Jane should have felt terror, she should have ran or made a move but she only stared at this Asari who just electrocuted her.
“Who are you, are there more, what happened to them?” The Asari asked in rapid order.
“I…I” Jane tried to find the words but none came.
“Take a breath that must have been your first Omni-tool Overload. It was the first time I had to use it. Might have had the setting to high, didn’t know if a Krogan was behind this door. Also I am no tech expert, I bought this off a Quarian looking to make some credits.” The Asari told her.
“Overload?” Jane responded, her body still felt out of sorts like she was watching everything from far away.
The Asari sat next to her and raised her Omni-tool “Bray get the medic she might be a little scrambled.” She said then lowered her Omni-tool.
“Did you shoot her?” The Bray guy asked.
“No, and why do you always assume I shoot everyone?” She responded.
“Because it is usually the case.” He responded.
The Asari didn’t respond instead she was looking in Jane’s eyes. “I’m Anima, Anima Shepard so you can understand why my crew let you dock. If you dropped the last name to get on the station fine, we clearly aren’t related. However if this is to extort me or my family…” Anima was cut off by a Salarian bursting into the cockpit.
“What did you do this time… gunshot? No, no blood. Poison? Perhaps patient is diaphoretic. Did you… electroshock?” The hyper Salarian finally settled on.
“Doc you get pissed when I shoot them and now you are pissed when I don’t?” Anima said standing up so the Salarian could have more room.
“Yes, well killing person with enough amps to take down a Krogan is hardly an improvement.” The Salarian said before he injected Jane with something to speed her recovery.
“Nothing I do is ever good enough for you dear.” Anima said leaving the cabin.
Jane felt her body coming back to life so to speak and looked at her Locust for a moment but the Salarian noticed her doing so.
“I wouldn’t, Anima smart quick to anger, pull a weapon, might be problematic.” He said giving her another injection.
“Am I safe?” Jane finally asked.
The Salarian didn’t respond as he put away his medical kit “Safety is an illusion.” He finally said as he left the cabin.
Jane was finally alone and her weapon was sitting on the ground where she dropped it. “Should I go for it?” She thought “No, has to be a test no way they all leave a loaded weapon if it wasn’t.” She thought as she stood up her legs a little shaky but they kept her upright. She slowly walked to the door stepping over the Locust.
Anima watched the teenager step over the Locust but until then she wasn’t sure if this girl was smart. “Turns out you are.” She thought and a little smile came to her face. Anima walked over to the girl and offered her right hand. The girl looked at it for a moment then shook her hand.
“Good.” Anima said.
“Yes, you didn’t decide to be suicidal and grab that there.” Anima pointed to the Locust. “So, good. Is your name really Jane Shepard?” Anima continued.
“Yes” Jane replied.
“What happened to these three?” Anima asked looking at the cabin and the three men laying in it.
“They kidnapped me, planned to sell me to Batarians I got free took them out.” Jane responded.
Anima smiled she likes a no nonsense person and this girl had a mean streak and she wasn’t stupid. “See Bray that is the shit that makes people hate you guys.” Anima said to Bray who simply shrugged his shoulders. “Look am always looking for talented people to bring into my organization. You took out three grown men by yourself and you were smart enough not to go for that Locust. So if you want a job and a place to stay you are welcome here. If you wish to leave my men will remove your quiet passengers and you can be on your way.” Anima said.
“I’d like to stay.” Jane replied without much of a thought. She had nowhere to go and she knew it.
“Okay well grab your things and follow me.” Anima said pointing at the Locust, she then walked over and pulled the knife out of one of the men’s skull and handed it to Jane.
“Good knives are hard to come by.” With that Anima walked out of the shuttle Jane following close behind her as the scene fades to black.