Mass Effect: Thadus
An Empty Husk
“What do you mean you ‘sent a message home’?” Vicia took a few steps back away from the quarian.
Ral straightened out her suit before looking into the turians eyes, “I used the decide inside the facility to send a message home. That is why the facility shook. Apparently, the three towers really were Prothean beacons. They fired off the signal I sent back to our galaxy. I take full responsibility for th—”
“Why!?” Vicia shouted.
“I saw an opportunity and I took it!” Ral raised her voice, “Who knows! Maybe the Protheans came up with a method to get messages back more quickly. They would have to! Wouldn’t they? How else could a facility be stationed here and receive supplies otherwise!”
Vicia pointed at the quarian, “You had no right to make that decision! The Protheans were whipped out. That is why this station went quiet! To keep the Reapers from killing them all off!”
“But we could get out of here! The others could come and pick us up and get us off this barren planet!” Ral insisted.
“Or you could have alerted the Reapers and brought them to our door step!” Vicia growled in frustration. “We already have one Reaper to worry about. What are we going to do if others come to investigate the noise! Are you that stupid?!”
Ral spoke up, “I don’t care! I—we need to get home!”
“You need to get home?!” Vicia threw her arms around her, “What about us! We don’t even have a way off this planet! If the Reapers come, we’re dead long before anyone can come and search for us! What about these people, the Zha’krill? What about their home? Did you even think for one second in that tech-savvy head of yours?”
Ral said nothing.
“Besides!” Vicia continued, “No one can receive the messages! There are barely any beacons left and the ones that are left no one can access! The one that did was almost killed! No one is coming to help us! We aren’t getting rescued! The only ones who would be coming would be trying to kill us!”
Ral opened her mouth but nothing came out. Before she could say anything, Paz ran into the engine room. He nearly collided with Vicia. The turian shot him a glance but Paz didn’t seem to notice. He looked around nervously, his hands shaking uncontrollably.
Once he really noticed who was in front of him, he stammered to get out his words, “I—you—there’s a—a thing—problem, I think—”
“Spill it out!” Vicia snapped.
Paz jumped, “It’s the human! There’s something you need to see!”
Hearing that Widow could be in trouble, Vicia rushed out of the engine room with Paz right on her heels. Nervously, Ral followed them. She walked the short distance to the Medical Bay and stood in the doorway.
Widow’s body was placed on a bed and was hooked up to several wires in her arms and legs. Black and red pieces of cloth were scattered on the floor from the doctor cutting away the fabric around her wound. Her midsection was temporarily wrapped in medical cloth. Urz lay on the floor underneath the medical bed, sniffing at the pieces on the floor. Vicia and the doctor hovered around Widow’s head blocking Ral’s view.
“Oh, Mighty Titans of Palaven!” Vicia took a few steps back.
Ral took a few steps forward and gasped.
The mask Widow always wore had been taken off and placed to one side. Her face was left exposed.
The creatures skin was an off colored rotting grey. It looked like nothing more than a rotting body held up only by fragments of a skeleton. Tubes exited its mouth and flowed down its neck and entered the body again through its chest. Blue lights and wiring coiled around the tubes. Its eyes were missing, replaced with blue synthetic lights. Large legions and scars covered its head. It was a husk. A Reaper husk.
“By the homeworld,” Ral muttered out loud.
Vicia spoke up, “Tie it down.” When no one moved, she turned to the doctor, “I said ‘tie it down’!”
Urz growled and snapped at the salarians ankles. Paz took a few quick steps back, tripped over himself and fell to the floor. He scampered back away from the growling varren. Vicia also took a step back, giving Urz room. She glared at the growling animal before she turned walked out of the room.
“Doctor, follow me,” she said, her voice low.
Cautiously, Paz got to his feet and followed after her. Ral forced herself to look away from the husk lying on the bed and to move her legs down the hallway. Consensus and Khal stood in the living area waiting around for any news on Widow. Vicia turned to Paz and pointed at the Medical Bay door.
“How is she a husk!?” she asked.
Khal stood up straight at the word, “What was that?”
Vicia turned to the others, “Widow is a husk. Pale skin, blue eyed, Reaper controlled husk!”
Consensus raised its head flaps as if it were surprised, “That notion doesn’t compute. Why would the Alliance Navy be unaware of Widows unique predicament?”
“I don’t see how that matters,” Khal reached in for his weapon, “The least we can do is put it out of its misery.”
“No, don’t! You can’t kill her! What about her rank?” Ral asked.
“What about it?” Khal asked.
Ral pointed to her own arm, “Her badge. It says N8! Maybe the Alliance found out a way to free husks from Reaper control. Maybe Widow is still herself. We don’t know how she’ll act outside of her suit. She hasn’t attacked us yet! Maybe she still won’t! We won’t know until she wakes up!”
“It is sound argument,” Consensus stated, “This unit needs more data in order to come to an agreement.”
“Either way,” Vicia stated, “the doctor is going to keep it restrained until we figure out what to do with it. For now, we have more important things to worry about. Thanks to Ral, we may have an issue with the zha’kril. For some reason, she thought it was a good idea to try and send a signal home. Now we may have an angry zha’kril and possibly more Reapers to worry about. On top of that, there is a hole on the starboard side of our ship.”
KIDD’s voice came up on the intercom, “There is an incoming message from Vaennua. Will you accept?”
Vicia sighed. She glanced over at Ral, her eyes narrowed in annoyance. It took her a few moments to respond, “I’ll take it upstairs. Hopefully, she will understand that what they saw in the sky wasn’t something unanimously decided. We need them to repair the ship.” She turned to the others, “Keep an eye on her. I don’t want her screwing anything else up.”
Ral said nothing as Vicia walked toward the elevators. Paz nervously rubbed his hands together before going back to the Medical Room. Surprisingly, Khal followed after him.
“Someone should make sure that nothing happens,” he grumbled.
Ral and Consesus were standing alone. The geth looked at the Engine Room door, “This unit would like to assist in getting the Traveler back to the zha’kril caves. With half the ship out of commission and energy levels continue to fluctuate. This task would be best dealt with if we were to cooperate.”
Ral nodded, “Yeah. I just really need to work on something right now.”
She turned and headed to the engine room. Ral glanced into the Medical Bay. Khal sat in a corner, his shotgun resting on his lap. He watched closely as Paz restrained her arms, ankles and waist. The husk, or Widow, didn’t seem to be conscious. The doctor managed to put a mask on her to help her breathe. With Khal in the room, Urz didn’t growl as much when the doctor got close to the bed.
Ral passed and entered the Engine Room. She got to work almost immediately. Consensus worked on a console on the other side of the room. Ral looked at the screen and tried to focus on getting the limping ship back to the caves.
Sorry about the late post. I’ve been sick with a cold lately and have been healing with school and the semester almost over. Super sorry, everyone. I’ll try not to make it a habit. Thank you in advanced.