Thadus: Chapter Seven

Mass Effect: Thadus

Chapter Seven

The Deal



Vaennua walked regally, head held high and hands folded neatly in front of her. Her dress as white and flowing elegantly in the slightest breeze. A scarf was wrapped delicately around her neck. As she entered the Villa, she casually looked around. Her large black eyes subtly looking for any threats.

She had her entourage, a couple of handmaidens, several guards and her daughter, Nych. While the queen was a symbol of patience and grace, her daughter was quite the opposite. She looked with mistrust at the guests sitting at the table, a stern gaze that could kill. Two daggers hung from her belt while her crossbow was attacked to a sling at her back. A small makeshift gun sat in a holster around her left thigh. She looked more like the goddess of war.

Vicia stood up from her seat in the living room. Reluctantly, Ral followed suit. Vaennua nodded, acknowledging their presence before signaling her entourage to wait outside. All except her daughter followed her order. Vaennua motioned for her to sit down. Nych walked passed her mother and sat across from the aliens. Vaennua sat lightly on the padded chair. Vicia and Ral sat into silence.

A few moments passed before Vaennua spoke, “I hope the accommodations are to your liking.”

Vicia nodded, “It’s more than we expected.”

“Well,” Vaennua smiled, “you aren’t our prisoners. You’re our guests.”

“Is that what we are?” Ral blurted out. “Guests?”

Nych stood up, “Consider yourselves lucky! If it were me, I would have had you all beheaded!”

Ral started to get up when Vicia stopped her. She gave Ral a glare and nodded toward the seat. The turian mouthed the words ‘trust me’ as Ral settled back into the chair. Ral did what she was asked.

Vaennua barely gave her daughter a glance. “Sit down,” she said curtly.

Nych glared at the quarian. “I’d rather stand,” she said as she started walking slowly around the room.

Unable to force her daughter to abide, Vaennua continued, “So why have you asked me here? If it is to ask to be allowed to—”

“We want to kill the Reaper,” Vicia let the words hang in the air.

Vaennua smiled though her eyes did anything but, “What are you saying?”

Vicia straightened her back, “You won’t let us send out a signal in fear more Reapers will come right? Well, what if we don’t need to send a signal on the planet? We destroy the Reaper, re-purpose the loot and fly off of your planet. Go through the Mass Relay on our own. And you get to live in peace without a Reaper on your doorstep.”

Nych started laughing, “You can’t be serious!? The six of you against a Reaper? What will you fight with? Sticks and stones?”

Vaennua raised a hand to silence her daughter, “We need our tools and weapons. I can’t afford to arm you against such a fruitless task.”

“It’s true,” Vicia admitted. “All we ask for is a ship. We will figure out where to get the tools we need.”

The blood drained on Nych’s face, “No! I refuse to give these creatures a single ship!”

“Silence!” Vaennua raised her voice. She turned her attention to Vicia, “And if I allow this? What is to keep you from attempting to make contact? Alerting the Reapers to our presence?”

“Without a way to amplify the signal,” Ral paused, “It would take at least 5 million light years to get a response. Even if the Reapers didn’t come to investigate, we’d be long dead.”

Vaennua bowed respectfully at Ral, “I’m glad you’ve come to see it my way. I hope you understand that I am cautious for my people.”

Ral nodded silently.

Nych couldn’t believe what was going on, “Mother, you can’t believe them! If you can’t see it, I will protect out people! I refuse to give them a ship!”

“What if they were to recover one?” Vaennua said, almost as an afterthought. Nych sighed with anger and walked out of the Villa. Vaennua spoke to the aliens, “In our battles with the Reapers and the ones you call the collectors, sometimes our ships get disabled, lost or destroyed. Fortunately, there is a ship in decent working order that crashed a few sunrises before you fell from the sky. It was our most advanced model at the time. It’s fast and highly maneuverable. The cannons require less charge time and even has the most advanced shield system we have managed to build.”

“Why did it go down?” Ral asked.

Vaennua shrugged, “Miscalculation. They were under fire and the captain tried to avoid being hit. Instead, he over corrected and slammed into a sand dune. They were quickly overrun. All of the crew were killed.”

“It’s still there?” Vicia asked. “Why haven’t you gone to get it?”

“Because it is in Reaper controlled territory,” Vaennua answered. She was met with silence. Nevertheless, she continued, “Granted it lies on the outskirts but the collectors know of its location and patrol there frequently. They must have put own a security grid in that sector. From reports, I’ve been told that the collectors swarm the area before the retrieval teams even get to the ships location.”

“And how do you think we’ll get to it if you haven’t been able to already?” Vicia crossed her arms.

Vaennua extended her arms, “You wanted a ship? You’ll have to earn it. Prove to me and to the zha’kril that you may have what it takes to defeat the Reaper. If you fail at this, then I have no faith that you will do what you say you’ll do. But if you succeed, I will tell you about the Ruins.”

Both Ral and Vicia looked at one another.

Vaennua started to get up, “But if you can’t do it—”

“How soon to the collectors get to the ship?” Ral asked.

The queen though a moment, “Within a few minutes. The scouts are barely able to get inside before they are fighting off collectors.”

Vicia leaned in, “How far is the ship from your boarder?”

“Half a day’s walk,” Vaennua answered.

“What would you need to get the ship out of the ground?” Vicia continued.

“By last reports there was a sand storm in the area. Under normal circumstances we would take several of our large ships to pull it free while most of the crew dug it out by hand. Then if it was still operational, some of the crew present would reactivate it and fly it home.”

“But you can’t get one ship close enough, not to mention three large ones,” Vicia spoke while she though.

“Have you tried just sending a crew large enough to dig it out?” Ral asked.

Vaennua nodded solemnly, “Yes, but they never made it. They were ambushed by a patrol a few hours in.”



Ral nodded, “Whatever security they have must not be able to detect smaller, slower moving objects. That’s why they were only ambushed by a patrol party instead of an instant raiding party like when you tried with your ships.” She turned to Vicia, “We could go on foot. Dig the ship out ourselves and fly it out of there.”

Vicia smiled, “All we’d need was to get dropped off at the boarder.”

“Half a day on foot,” Ral thought. “That’s about six hours of sunlight. Meaning we’d have to walk almost eighteen miles undetected. Then we have to dig the ship out, who knows how long that would take.”

Vicia nodded and smiled at Vaennua, “When do we start?”

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