Mass Effect: Thadus
Far from Home
Vicia was silent as she looked up at the sky. It was a lot to take in. Their homes, their lives were 2.5 million light years away. The reality of the situation was starting to sink in.
No one had managed to accomplish to travel to other galaxies yet. The Mass Relays were a complicated structure still largely a mystery on how they actually work. Traveling to other galaxies were theorized but no one was able to figure out how. Not to mention that communication would be near impossible.
“Great,” an asari walked up beside Ral. “Even if these Zha’krils had the technology to radio the nearest coms-buoy, it would take 5 million years to get an answer to ‘can anyone hear me.”
Ral looked up at As’sha.
The blue skinned woman looked down at her, “Nice going, getting yourself stranded on a planet where no one can help you.”
“Don’t listen to her,” a deep vibrating voice spoke up. On Ral’s other side was Ranik. He smiled at her, “If anyone can find a way out it’s you.”
As’sha rolled her eyes.
“Ral!” Vicia’s voice called out. She turned toward the quarian. Her posture and stance trying to display confidence in the face of hopelessness. She continued in a low and quiet voice, “Ral, do you have any ideas?”
The quarian said nothing but her mind ran for an answer. Her hands shook under the pressure to come up with an answer. Again, she was thankful for her mask.
As’sha crossed her arms, “Really? You don’t see it?”
Ranik raised an arm to silence the asari. He spoke to Ral, “Think of the collectors and the Reapers. The ‘Dark Ones’ as they call it. It’s all connected.”
“What?” Vicia questioned. “You’re muttering.”
Ral spoke louder, “The collectors that attacked us. How are they able to function when they are so far away from any Reapers? They should all just be husks, unable of thinking for themselves.” She turned to Vaennua, “There is a Reaper on this planet isn’t there?”
Vaennua slowly nodded, “Yes.” She said, “It followed us through the Mass Relay in order to escape the coming destruction. It crashed to the north, with several of its indoctrinated Protheans.”
“You mean we’re sharing our back yard with a Reaper!” Vicia angrily walked off.
“But that isn’t a bad thing!” Ral tried to reassure her, “The Reapers were able to communicate from long distances. Distances like half a galaxy away. If we can somehow isolate the ability to do that and determine a frequency we may be able to amplify the signal. Maybe even use the Reapers themselves as an amplifying agent. I wouldn’t know for sure unless we can get close to a reaper and peak around inside.”
As’sha looked at her wide-eyed, “Are you serious?!?”
Ranik nodded, “It just might work.”
Vaennua shook her head, “It’s impossible. The ones you call collectors occupy the area around the crashed Dark One. They started out as a few hundred but quickly multiplied. Most of them mine the canyons to the north for metals to repair the damage.”
Vicia narrowed her eyes in thought, “For 50,000 years?”
“The damage was extensive. Most of the Reaper damaged and the metals on this planet are sparse,” Vaennua stated. “We also haven’t made things easy for them. But unfortunately, though our weapons hold their own against the collectors, it doesn’t do much against the Reaper. We’ve been able to slow their progress but they continue to make progress every few years.”
Vicia looked to Ral, “You really think that we can make this work?”
Ral shrugged, “It’s possible. Again I’d have to get a closer look at this Reaper.”
“We would need to conduct surveillance, gain intelligence,” Vicia looked more relaxed, back in her element. “We need to find out where their weak points are and how best to conduct an attack. And depending on what we need to make this signal work, we might need to hold a position in the heart of enemy territory. We might be able to get this to work if we have enough soldiers and ships—”
“I can’t let you do this,” Vaennua said.
“What?” Ral said.
Vaennua continued, “You said yourself that you intend to send out a signal using the Reapers.”
“It’s a possibility,” Ral stressed. “I won’t know unless I get a better picture of how it all works.”
“Either way,” Vaennua raised her arm toward the sky. “A signal would let your people and the Reapers know that we are here. I have my people to protect. We’ve been hiding from the Reapers too long to just send a signal letting them know exactly where we’ve been.”
Vicia reached out, “But—”
“I will not give my soldiers to you for your suicide mission in to the heart of the Reaper’s mines!” her tone of voice signaled the end of the discussion. Vicia tried one last plea.
“What if we do it ourselves?” she questioned.
Vaennua smiled, though it was void of any gladness, “With what ships? With what weapons? With what army!? Unless you plan to walk into the canyons and hope to the stars that fortune shines down upon you, I would give up. Live the rest of your days in peace. Don’t throw away your lives.”
Vicia walked up to her, less then foot was between them. She spoke in a low voice, “We will get home. One way, or another.”
“Fine,” Vaennua stated. She turned toward the lift, “Guards!” Shortly after, several men walked off the life and awaited her commands. She turned to the two women but spoke to the guards, “Take these two and the others to the empty villa and place them under house arrest. They are not allowed to leave without direct permission from me.”
Ral looked around herself. She stood alone. The guards tied her hands behind her back and led her to the lift.
“You can’t do this!” Vicia shouted as she struggled against the guards. “You can’t keep us here!”
Vaennua stood, motionless, “Watch me.” When both women stood on the lift about to descend, she turned slowly and looked at the sky, “I am not your enemy. You should look at that human. She isn’t what she seems.”
As they descended, Ral looked up at the stars. Rising up from the horizon, probably do to the rotation of the planet, a structure rose. She recognized its shape and its blue glow for he had seen it many times before. A mass relay. The planets moon. Its large blue center flickering like a star as the rotating rings danced around it.
A reminder that they were so close yet millions of light years from home.