Mass Effect: Infernus
It has been six months since the attack on the Citadel and life is still trudging along. The Asari have taken over Citadel Security being one of the few races unaffected by the virus which has left many to question if they didn’t do this themselves. Few Humans remain in space, however the Alliance now bolstered by adding Cerberus into its ranks was still driving the fight in the Sol System. Fighting broke out when the Ledan poured into the Sol System shortly after the terrorist attack on the Citadel. The goal remains to find a vaccine or cure for the plague now burning its way through the Quarians and Vorcha. The Quarians have had to return to their suits for fear of infection and the Vorcha have all but been wiped out.
The More Things Change…
The Bastogne was now holding a maximum crew making simple tasks like walking to chow a little harder. Yet its Captain Delta was thankful to have the former N7 John Shepard and his team aboard it felt like a long time coming. Being the Capitan of the SSV Bastogne everyone got out of his way but there was always someone not paying attention and Delta had to navigate around them each time saying something not quite audible. Having finally reached the mess, he saw his XO sitting alone reading a data pad. She had just returned a month ago, it would have been sooner but it took a lot of pushing for reinstatement and her old rank and position aboard the ship. Even with a ton of favors called in the wheels of government still moved at a snail’s pace, yet after three months she was welcomed back to the Alliance and the crew. Delta made his way through the chow line, he only wanted a cup of coffee but was handed a tray of food by the head cook anyway. After he had his coffee and tray he made his way over to his reinstated XO.
“Can I sit LT?” Delta asked holding his tray of what appeared to be breakfast but like all military assignments off planet the food wasn’t why anyone volunteered for space duty.
“It’s still your ship sir.” Anima said looking up from her data pad with a smile.
“Thank you.” With that Delta set his tray of what would generously be called eggs and sat across from her. “How are you settling in with your duties?” He continued before taking a healthy sip of his black coffee.
“All is well thus far, Javik has taken over control of Omega and is watching over Sarha’s recovery. As for my duties here it’s like I never left though Tali still reminds me whenever she can.” Anima said.
“Well Jackson was ready to get back to the Citadel and help his partner Jordan so I couldn’t really keep him here against his will. Though I am shocked he took the Basset Hound as much as he professed to hate the beast I think it grew on him. Well I got a brief to get to, here eat something all I really wanted was coffee but the cook would have none of it.” With that Delta smiled stood up and went about his business.
Anima smiled and thanked Delta for the food, though she missed her personal chef on Omega something about space flight calmed her soul. Without realizing she picked up the fork and took a bite of the eggs only to quickly spit them into a napkin. Calming her soul was one thing but this food was another. She washed the taste from her mouth with some coffee pushed the tray away and returned to her reading.
Anima liked sitting in the mess area it was loud and full of people and it reminded her of Omega and Afterlife. Javik had just wrote her letting her know that everything was normal and that Sarha was in a treatment program and doing much better. Anima felt guilty about it, she should have never been exposed to things like that and when she was Anima simply put her head in the sand not dealing with it. “But what could I do?” She thought to herself, and she knew the hard and cold answer almost at once. The second Sarha snorted Red Sand there was nothing she could do. Sure she could have handled it different but a junkie will always lie and Sarha was better at lying to Anima then anyone partly because Anima loved her. She looked up and saw Delta making his way through the crowd toward the chow line, she smiled every time he would get upset about someone being in his way. She wasn’t avoiding him like she was her father, she was still hurt by what he said to her at Afterlife. Anima knew why he said it and she knew it needed to be said but that didn’t make it any less painful.
“Can I Sit LT?” Delta asked standing over her.
Shepard had just finished his morning brief with the Cerberus team, it looked like the mission to Krios was back on and he needed to pick a team. “Yeah that and convince Delta to risk his crew and ship on a Cerberus Op.” He thought. Cerberus was a part of the Alliance on paper and though the truce was holding neither side really trusted one another and Shepard knew it was for good reason. Miranda had told him not to worry about the higher ups, but he wasn’t an idiot he knew Cerberus was still Cerberus after all just look at what they did to his daughter and Jane. He was glad they were both safe and on the Bastogne, but if he had his choice Anima would be somewhere safe. He noticed that Anima had taken Jane under her wing like a big sister would, and that made him proud. He knew Jane would be starting her military training on the ship, they would send her off but with the War raging there were no off world posts other than Eden Prime. If she went there she would be assigned to some other command and Delta and Shepard would have none of that. Sitting with his thoughts he had forgotten that he was actually a little hungry but his stomach reminded him so he decided to head to the Mess.
Joker looked out into the void of space having just got back to the bridge unlike EDI he still needed sleep and food. Though he could now do all those things without pain he still needed to remind himself that his bones were no longer brittle.
“EDI how is the drive trim?” He asked not looking over.
“It is fine, much like it was three minutes ago when you asked. What is the problem Jeff?” EDI responded.
“I am bored out of my mind! All we do is pick things up and drop them off at the Citadel or Eden Prime. Pick up, drop off, pick up, and drop off. If I wanted to be a Postal Worker I wouldn’t have joined the Alliance.” He said looking more annoyed than ever.
“Jeff the Alliance doesn’t exist for your own personal amusement.” EDI said.
“Yes EDI I know, but would it kill them to send us on an actual mission? I finally got my war beard at a proper length and still nothing.” Joker said with a smile.
EDI didn’t respond, and Jeff knew why “Damn AI” he thought. “She has every argument, every conversation, every joke filed away somewhere. She learned to read him and everyone in a matter of weeks if not days. She knew when to respond and when to simply let it go. “It was like dating a woman with perfect memory.” He once told Shepard “Good thing she doesn’t suffer with hormones.” Shepard had replied and two laughed at that, though he recalled that Liara didn’t find it as funny. Anyway Joker wasn’t just bored he was worried, the longer they were out of the fight the longer those lizard bastards Terraformed Earth to their own likings. Joker pushed the thought away and went back to his report.
“Come on you son of a Varren!” Echoed through the maintenance area as Tali worked on the drive core. One of the maintenance shaft doors had become stuck and she was pulling on it with all of her strength. Behind her were a few new maintenance crew members but she was calling the shots now. Her scores put above even the most seasoned officers and Delta made the call to give her the heart of the ship.
“Do you need help ma’am?” one of the Privates asked
“No! What I need is a week in port so I can work on this while it is powered down, but that isn’t going to happen is it?” She said crawling into the now open maintenance shaft followed by and audible bang and more cursing only this time with much more colorful words.
“Are you okay?” The Private asked with a giant smile on his face.
“Wipe the smile off your face and I’ll be better!” She snapped and the Private quickly did so.
“How did she?” The Private whispered to the other who only shook her head.
Climbing out of the shaft Tail was now covered in oil and grease “Because you Bosh’tet there are cameras all over this ship and EDI was nice enough to let me access some.” She said “Now if you would please clean up in there I need to speak to the Captain about the core.” With that she headed to her quarters to clean up and then find Delta.
Seryna sat quietly looking over some Asari reports, also Liara was feeding her Intel under the table for reports about Anima. More than once she told Liara to just call the girl and explain but Liara didn’t think it was a good idea. Having Anima back was like having one of her daughters on board and she liked the feeling, she liked teaching her how to be an Asari and an officer. She also liked that Delta was happier with her around he was hurt when she left though Seryna knew Delta would never admit it out loud he was a man after all and they were all full of foolish pride.
“EDI?” She said to the empty space.
“Yes Seryna how may I help you?” EDI responded.
“Can you send this data packet to Liara T’Soni on Thessia? Ensure it is encoded please.” She said hitting send on the data pad.
“Of course, it is sent. Can I help with anything else?” EDI asked.
“Yes, do you have the file on Jane Shepard’s trainer?” Seryna asked.
“Of course, what would you like to know?” EDI responded.
“Oh just send it to my Omni-tool I’ll look at it later, Thank you EDI.” Seryna said.
“Of course. Delta is in the Mess should you wish to join him.” EDI said and with that she was gone.
Seryna never was an early eater and with the current cooks food that wasn’t going to change anytime soon. Then a ping alerted Seryna that the files she requested was now on her Omni-tool, pressing a button the files were quickly downloaded to her data pad. “Hmm that is interesting.”
Jane laying in one of the many sleeping pods in the crew quarters slowly opens her eyes to the new reality that she was officially in the Alliance. Having taken the oath the night before, and then celebrating way to hard with some of the crew. Her head was pounding, her mouth felt dry and heavy, and her stomach sent up waves of nausea. “Kill me now” she mumbled brushing her red hair out of her face then hitting the button that opened the pod. Though they were small they did offer a very peaceful sleep. Slowly Jane got out of the pod and hurried to her wall locker and put on her uniform. She quickly brushed her hair and tied it back in a ponytail, her green eyes painful searched the room and thankfully she was the only one in there at the moment. She needed a shower and something to drink but otherwise was no worse for wear. “Well Petty Officer Shepard here we go.” She said to herself as she closed the locker and left the room in search for that shower and drink.
Half way to the shower EDI interrupted Jane’s train of thought on her Comm. System. “Jane you are requested to meet your trainer in the gym.” EDI said startling Jane who spun around expecting to see the robot behind her.
“Oh, um, of course how do I get there again?” Jane replied her face now red realizing the voice was in here ear. “Damn I need to get used to this radio.” She said to herself.
“I have marked it on your navigator.” EDI responded and was gone.
“Right” Jane turned on her Omni-tool and fumbled through a few menus before finding the nav software. A map of the ship popped up and Jane studied it intensely.
“Need some help?” A male’s voice came from behind her.
Jane spun around half expecting not to see someone again, but there he was a young looking male Marine. The first thing Jane noticed was his deep blue eyes and dirty blond hair which was cut short in a military style. Next was the way he filled out his uniform which was very nice if she did say. “I… um” She managed.
He chuckled “Nice to meet you, you are Jane right?” he said holding out his right hand.
Jane felt the blood rush to her face but she reached out and shook his hand. “Yes, sorry I am still learning all of this.” She finally could from words and that was a start she thought.
“My name is Hayden.” He said “So where are you trying to go?” He asked.
“The gym, but this ship is just so damn big.” Jane replied.
“You won’t be saying that for long, come on I’ll show you.” He said pointing.
Dalbir waited for his student, he knew little about her other than she was undisciplined and young. It wasn’t the first time he trained someone so advanced in age but he didn’t like it. To many bad habits he thought sharping his father’s sword. Once done he looked at his work the blade was long and razor sharp, thicker then what Delta used or anyone these days for that matter. He didn’t mind, some things must not be lost to the march of time. “It was time Ik Onkar gave him his next vessel to fill with his knowledge.” He said setting his blade down and taking a seat facing the door of the empty gym. He didn’t have to wait long, a young female red head bust into the gym completely unaware “Bad habits” he thought watching her flirt with the boy with her.
“Welcome, girl. You are late, and I have no time for your friend at this time… Sir please leave us.” He said. His voice deep and full of purpose echoed in the empty gym.
“Oh… Um… I’m…” Jane started but was cut off.
“I know who you are and why you are here… Now let us waste no more time on such things, there is much to learn and you have learned none of it! Now by your father’s face tell the boy to leave and come over here!” He snapped at her.
“Yes! Of course… I hope to see you…” Again she was cut off,
“Bed him on your own time girl, this is my time now!” He barked.
He watched her, she blushed he expected that. However she glared at him that wasn’t expected and he grinned “Good you have fight in you” he thought before gesturing to the girl.
Jane walked but she felt like her legs weren’t moving, she never felt like this and with a guy. “What’s wrong with me?” She thought, but it didn’t matter she just enjoyed listing to his voice and his ass wasn’t bad to take a peek at every now and then either. They made their way through the many corridors of the ship, finally they entered the gym and she still didn’t notice anything other than her guide.
“Welcome, girl. You are late, and I have no time for your friend at this time… Sir please leave us.” A voice echoed in the large room, snapping her from her other thoughts.
She spun and saw an older looking man maybe fifty or sixty years old, with dark black hair olive oil skin, and wearing a black Alliance uniform.
“Oh… Um… I’m…” She started but she was cut off. The man was barking at her she knew this would happen. She turned to her guide “Yes! Of course… I hope to see you…” but the old man again ruined the moment.
“Bed him on your own time girl, this is my time now!” The man said to her.
That was IT! How dare you! She looked at him with anger but she could swear she saw him smile. Shaking it off she told Hayden she would see him later.