The scene fades in on Anima sitting with her newest employee on the couch as Shepard and Delta both enter the office. “Can I help you?” She asks her hand still holding the pistol that was hidden behind Jane’s back. Anima didn’t want to have to use it but Jane was too important and she would be damned if the Alliance or Cerberus would get their claws on her.
“We need to see that shuttle that docked here a few days back, and anyone that was on board.” Delta said looking at her with cold and calculating eyes.
“I wasn’t aware you had any say on my station Captain. Cerberus as well can go pound salt for all I care. I have tried to play nice with both of your organizations and I have been burned each time. So forgive me if I just don’t toss you the keys to the Kingdom Delta.” Anima said still not looking at her father for fear he would see through her act.
“Listen, this isn’t about you or me this is about someone breaking the Sol system’s quarantine!” Delta countered quickly.
“Everyone on that shuttle was dead all three men, they likely programed it and fell ill. It doesn’t matter I had the shuttle towed into the nearest star. No one got off or on. Anima said before singling Bray for another wine. “Besides no one on Omega is sick as you can see.” She finished.
“Anima I know you want to protect this place but if the plague gets off Earth…” Shepard started but was cut off by Bray pushing past him to had Anima her drink.
“Sounds like a human problem, as you can see I am not human and my mother made that very clear. As for Cerberus father you are lucky I love you or you and your crew would never step foot on this station again.” Anima said before taking a sip of her wine.
“To my knowledge Cerberus has never interfered with Omega since Aria took it back twenty two years ago.” Shepard said confused.
“Ask your new girlfriend Miranda about project Accession and get back to me on that statement.” Anima said coldly.
“Accession? Gillian Grayson? What does she have to do with any of this?” Delta asked inserting himself into the conservation.
“Oh it didn’t stop with her Delta.” Anima said.
“Cerberus is willing to pay for your cooperation” Shepard said.
“No, they don’t have enough money. I told you what happened and that is final.” Anima said taking a sip of wine.
Before anyone could say anything EDI’s voice comes out of Delta’s Omni tool. “Captain I did what you asked and it appears that a young female was removed from the shuttle by Anima Shepard and her crew. Sending an enhanced photo to your hard suit computer.” EDI said.
“Care to revise your statement LT?” Delta said with a smirk on his face.
“I should have known you would hack the security cameras.” Anima said finishing the glass of wine. “Jane would you mind handing me that data pad over there” Anima said pointing to a pad on the other chair. As Jane stood up Anima raised her pistol pointing at Delta’s head standing up she is in his face in a flash before anyone knows what is happening. “You just couldn’t leave it be could you Delta? Now things get messy!” Anima said pressing the gun hard against his forehead.
Delta instinctively reached for his side arm but stopped short “Calm down, no one is that important to you Anima.” He said slowly raising his hands above his shoulders.
“You would be surprised at what I care about now. Father please have a seat over there, I don’t think you would kill me but I am sure you would tackle me.” Anima said.
Shepard does as he is told not wanting things to escalate any further. “No one needs to get hurt here Anima.” He said sitting down.
“Too late for that father, Cerberus hurt me and her a long time ago and you are working
for them.” Anima said not taking her eyes off of Delta.
“What are you talking about?” Shepard asked.
“Remember that trip you and mom took when I was a toddler, the one I couldn’t go on because I was always sick? Did you ever wonder why I went from having nearly no immune system to never getting sick? I know mom wondered and I am sure she looked into it, but like everything with her it was just another secret to be filed away and used later. Your pals at Cerberus injected me with Reaper nanites.” Anima said motioning Delta to come further into the office.
“That can’t be… Liara would have told me…” Shepard said.
“Would she? Come on Dad you know better, if mom can use something later she won’t share it with anyone. Perhaps she didn’t want to believe her only daughter was a monster. Anyway ask Cerberus when you get back to them, see if they deny it. As for Jane she isn’t going anywhere with either of you!” Anima said the anger in her voice rising.
“We need to make sure she isn’t sick or carrying the virus!” Delta said.
“She isn’t! She has no symptoms. I am not going to say it again.” Anima said.
Jane stood up “Enough! I can speak for myself.” She said.
Anima took her eyes off of Delta to look at Jane and Delta quickly grabbed her wrist twisting the pistol from her hand knocking it to the floor. A loud snap let out from within Anima’s wrist as he winced in pain grabbing her right hand with her left and pulling it close to her body. “You’ll pay for that you son of a bitch!” Anima screamed as her biotics flared green energy pulsed around her.
Delta took a step back and pulled his side arm “Listen I didn’t mean to break it, I just wanted to…” Before he could finish however Anima hit him with a biotic throw knocking him through the now closed door onto the dance floor. He knocked down several dancers as he slid across the floor landing hard into a small bar, so hard that a few of the bottles crashed down smashing behind the bar. A few customers screamed out and the club quickly emptied no one wanting to get caught in the cross fire.
“You come to my home! You threaten me? Call me a lair?!” Anima screamed as she walked calmly through the broken door now scattered throughout the dance area.
Delta got to his feet quickly, he had spared with Anima but she was stronger now and he knew it. His only chance was to end the fight quickly he knew she was pissed and decided to use that to his advantage. “Well you did just have a pistol to my head sweetie.” Delta said drawing out sweetie.
Anima could feel the anger rising but she kept her cool “not this time you bastard” she thought as she continued to walk toward Delta now leaning on the bar pouring a drink.
“Enjoying yourself?” She asks as once again her biotics flared.
“Play cool if you like, but the biotics don’t lie.” Delta thought taking a long drink from his drink. It stung his mouth he must have bitten his cheek during his trip across the floor. He played it off as nothing was wrong but the reason he was leaning was at least two ribs were broken. He held in the urge to cough or spit blood, he knew this was now a chess match and the one who moved first would lose.
Anima held up her right hand and moved her fingers “Little fuckers work quick, wouldn’t you say?” She said now stopped about twenty feet from Delta.
Delta smiled “I got a few of my own.” He said, this wasn’t an outright lie he did have some thanks to the Omega implants he got over twenty years ago. However they weren’t nearly on par as Reaper tech it would be a day before his ribs were completely healed. Delta stood up despite his entire body protested against the action he put the pain in the back of his mind and focused on Anima.
“So here we are Captain, you always wondered who was stronger. Shall we find out or do you just want to limp back to your ship and call it a loss?” Anima said provoking him hoping to get him to make his move.
The two stared at one another for another moment but Anima being young and impulsive did exactly what Delta wanted she charged at him and he waited standing his ground. A second later he hip threw her into the small bar and she slammed into the remaining bottle shattering them. “You’re still are too impulsive, but I am sure you haven’t kept up with your training.” Delta said mockingly as he limped backwards. Each step sent bolts of pain through his body but he again pushed it away.
Anima coughed up some blood she had bitten her tongue on impact but her body was hard at work repairing it. She slowly stood up “That was seven thousand credits in liquor you just tossed me into.” She said hopping over the bar and landing on the dance floor. Again she charged him her feet seemed to move faster then she could remember them ever moving, it felt like she wasn’t in control of them. Delta again tried for a throw but this time she was ready and as if her body moved on its own relying on years of training she side stepped and delivered a blow to Delta’s temple. Sending him sideways but he didn’t fall and she followed up with a kick to his stomach knocking to his knees.
Delta now on his hands and knees coughing up blood trying to get his breath but it wouldn’t return. The metallic taste filled his mouth and he spit out more blood onto the dance floor. His mind danced between consciousness and unconsciousness, for a moment he was proud of her that was until she kicked him square across his jaw knocking him backwards. That was when the lights finally went out.
Anima didn’t like what she just did but with Delta out of the picture it left just her father in the office someone she hoped would listen to reason. Walking over to Delta and putting him on his side so he didn’t choke on his blood she whispered “I’m sorry” before turning her attention toward the office and her father now standing in the door way.
“I see a thug where my daughter once stood.” Shepard said.
His words pieced her and hurt in ways no punch or kick could “I…” She tried.
“Save it Anima, you want to be the next Aria I can’t stop you. However you won’t pull the name of Shepard down with you. Now if you are done Ms. T’Soni I would like to discuss what we intend to do about this Cerberus situation.” Shepard didn’t wait for a response he simply stepped back into the office and waited for Anima.
She stood there frozen her feet felt like lead, she felt like a bus just hit her only it was much worse than that. She had lost her father’s respect and she knew it, just then her legs gave out and she hit her knees.
Sarha stumbled into Afterlife looking for her dealer “Where… where is everyone?” she slurred out before falling over a chair.
She was beyond high and looking for another score, and Anima knew this was going on. She had hoped it would fix itself not wanting to deal with it, and suddenly the last year and all the choices she had made came back to her in waves. Flash back after flash back, faces of her friends of Grunt and little Tali all looked at her accusingly. She didn’t notice Delta now standing behind her with a chair. He wheeled it around striking her hard across the back of the head sending her face hard into the floor smashing her nose.
“John, grab the girl and let’s go. We can figure this out on the Bastogne, I’ll have your shuttle docked aboard.” Delta said as Anima was now holding her face as blood poured around her hands. Anima looked up at Delta tears running from her eyes and blood from her nose. “Take a long look in the mirror, get your shit squared away, and when you are bloody ready I expect you back aboard the Bastogne… XO.” With that Delta limped behind Shepard who had Jane in restraints leading her out of Afterlife.
Anima watched them before hanging her head blood dripped onto the floor until it stopped and was replaced with tears as the scene fades to black.
Prime Minster Kelly is sitting in his new office on Eden Prime reading a report about the plague on Earth and its victims. The report followed the first known case, the index case of what was now called HHFV-1 or Human Hemorrhagic Filovirus One. Though filoviruses were nothing new to humans Ebloa and Marburg were both filoviruses they didn’t kill in the speed that the HHFV-1 virus did. Ebloa was the quickest of earthborn viruses with a twenty one day incubation period before the patient would either get better or crash and bleed out. The report was full of scientific facts that Kelly didn’t fully grasp, truth be told he hardly understood any of it however he read on.
HHFV-1 has been identified in patient zero shortly after the virus was found. Patient Zero now to be call Jim was the first to receive the vaccine now known to cause HHFV-1. Jim’s exposure T + 1 day, the T noted time as was pointed out to the Prime Minster on the side of the report. Mother of patient recalls Jim did not feel well so she kept him home from school, she figured he had a reaction to the vaccine and didn’t worry about it. T + 2, Mother told me that Jim began to run fever at first 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius, again mother was not concerned. At this point in the interview mother of patient begins to show symptoms to HHFV-1 and was placed in quarantine.
Mother of patient recalled that by T + 5 her son began to have purple and bluish spots break out over his body it was then she took the child to a health care provider. Below is the notes retrieved from a Doctor Kimberly Reed.
1800 hours Monday: Patient presents with low grade fever 38 degrees Celsius, nickel to half dollar sized bruising throughout body surface with no signs of trauma. Ordered a cancer panel and a full body scan Stat to rule out Leukemia and other clotting disorders.
0730 Hours Tuesday: I arrived for rounds and child’s fever has increased to 40 degrees Celsius despite any action taken by staff. Blood has also begun to collect in the third space of the body suggesting a clotting disorder but was not found with tests. Called Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta they requested blood samples they will let us know.
0935 Hours Tuesday: Patient has begun to show loss of memory and motor function, it seems all personality has been removed from the child who has no facial expressions. Fever remains high despite best efforts but has not increased. Stomach is tender and rigid which suggests bleeding into the abdominal cavity. I have called for a surgical consult and mother of patient is now complaining of headaches (likely stress).
1122 Hours Tuesday: Surgery showed gross bleeding around the spleen and liver with the liver showing signs of cirrhosis had I not known better the liver looked like that of a seventy year old alcoholic. Patient begin to bleed uncontrollably so the call was made to close him up and monitor.
1500: Hours Tuesday: Patient crashed and was placed on a ventilator to assist in breathing, all scans point to brain death from a massive stroke. Cannot rule out surgical mistake at this time but it seems unlikely.
Time of Death 1700 Hours Tuesday.
What follows is the autopsy of Jim:
On Tuesday at 1700 hours, Doctor Kimberly Reed attending called time of death at New York Municipal Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The patient a 12 year old well developed well-nourished male presented to the hospital approximately twenty two hours before death. No known cause of illness was discovered by hospital staff.
The decedent is a 12 year old white child with short blond hair, blue eyes, and has all of his natural teeth. No scars or tattoos noted. Decedent has large bruising throughout body with some third space bleeding noted. Decedent also has midline surgical incision with unclotted blood around the site. Decedent also has blood in mouth, nose, around eyes, ears, penis, and rectum suggesting a clotting disorder. Upon opening decedent up large amounts of blood is seen in the abdominal cavity and intestines. However cause of death appears to be multi organ system failure. Signs indicate viral infection, halted the autopsy pending instruction from CDC. Nothing follows.
Next of Kin Notified of results.
Cause of death idiopathic organ failure.
Mother of patient, doctor who treated patient and the doctor who performed the autopsy all contracted HHFV-1 within seven to ten days post exposure and where all dead within three days after first symptoms appeared. HHFV-1 is an airborne, waterborne, and blood borne pathogen with a mortality rate of ninety eight percent. To date all vaccine efforts have failed to produce a viable vaccine and no know treatment exists………Nothing Follows……….
Kelly sat back in his chair, “my god if this ever got out past the Sol System all of human kind could be at risk.” He said to himself placing the data pad in his lap and rubbing his eyes.
Aboard the Citadel a young Quarian in a full black suit with his mask on is walking though the lower ward shopping area which is packed as always. This ward was primarily human but some other races had mixed in. In his hand is a small tube with a clear liquid in it, he is now standing in the middle of the market yet no one pays any attention to him. Slowly he uncaps the tube and pours the clear substance into one of the vents that circulates the air in the lower ward. Recapping the now empty tube he disappears into the masses as the scene cuts to black.
Mass Effect: Infernus