Mass Effect: New Thadus
The Intangible is Unstoppable
Raala jolted awake. She woke in an unfamiliar room. As her eyes adjusted, she calmed down. It was the ship’s crew quarters. She stared at the empty lower bunk closest to the door. Vicia’s bunk. Apparently, the turian Cabal was up and about somewhere on the ship. On the bunk above the turians bed was the sleeping figure of Widow. Even if the human was sleeping, the eyes of her frightening mask glowed in the dark.
There was rustling as Raala’s bunkmate, Naryxea, turned over. Taking advantage of the disturbance Raala rolled over to her left side as well. The bunk over Vurtak was empty, unused from the night before. Consensus didn’t seem to have slept with the others that night. However, Vurtak did snore the loudest. It was entirely understandable if the geth decided to power down elsewhere. Urz didn’t seem to mind it though as he slept on the floor. As for Miru, her physical body was laying in the med-bay.
Raala quickly operated her omni-tool, checking the time. It was just before dawn. After some contemplation, Raala decided to get up. She dangled her legs of the edge of her bed before getting up. Quietly, she crossed the room.
Right next to the bathroom was a small kitchen area. There was a sink that used recycled filtered water and several objects that resembled an oven, stove, refrigerator and freezer. Cupboards provided several places to store utensils and even storage for non-perishables. Over the sink was a three pane window. The outer metal plates of the ship started to rise allowing the early morning light into the room.
As she exited the Crew Quarters, Raala the doors slid opened for her automatically before sliding shut behind her. Raala walked aft towards the stern of the first floor. She came across the BNC (Battle Navigation Center). The doors opened for her and she stepped down into the large room.
Unlike the rest of the ship, the BNC was surrounded entirely with glass; plated glass but glass none the less. Natural sunlight filtered through, filling the room with light. Along the outer edge of the room was a long series of control panels.
In the center of the room was ramp that lead up to a platform. Raala thought it looked like where the captain of the ship would be stationed. Although, instead of looking out over crew it looked like the captain would often have their back to the crew while they looked ahead at a massive screen. A strange looking device stuck up in the center of the platform. It looked like a ships tiller.
Vicia stood beside it, pushing and pulling it, rotating it on its point. When Raala entered, she stopped. The turian nodded.
“Morning,” Vicia said as she walked off the platform. “Why are you up so early?”
Raala shrugged, “Nightmare. What about you?”
Vicia placed her hands on her hips as she looked out through the glass panes, the sun just cresting over a sand dune, “Couldn’t sleep. Figured I’d get to know the ship. Get to better know how it works.”
“Makes sense,” Raala looked around. “Where is the geth?”
Vicia tossed her head to one side, “Downstairs in the cargo hold. Apparently there’s a workbench down there. He’s making tools to repair the wing. As far as I know, he’s been down there all night.”
“Is that so wise?” Raala asked. “You don’t know if it will keep cooperating once it knows there’s a way off this planet.”
Vicia turned to Raala. She smiled, shaking her head, “I understand your concern but I think I can handle one geth, even if it can operate very well on its own.” She meandered over to one of the consoles and started typing.
Raala followed after her, “I hope you’ll forgive me if I find it unlikely that a single Cabal could take on a geth. You can’t let your guard down. Some bosh’tet scientists and technicians endangered the entire fleet because they thought they could control the geth. They couldn’t and all got killed. If it weren’t for Commander Shepard and one of our own, the geth would have finished us off from the inside.” She paused, “What is a Cabal exactly? I’ve heard stories.”
Vicia laughed, “Not many of those are true. I’m sure you know it’s odd for turians to be born with biotic abilities. At first my family told me to hide my abilities. But when I was ten I pushed by bully into his locker across the room. Sent him to the hospital. Five years later, I was sent off to boot camp. And well, since everyone knew I was headed into the Cabals, they left me alone.”
“Why?” Raala asked.
“We specialize in…sensitive matters,” Vicia smirked. “Need to know kind of work.”
“Like spying,” Raala propped.
But Vicia wasn’t biting. She continued looking through data with a smirk on her face. It was nice to see this side of the turian. Normally, she was struggling to maintain control over the group. Being smaller, Vurtak and Naryxea didn’t take her very seriously. But she managed to be intimidating when she needed to be and practical when it wasn’t necessary.
Vicia nodded excitedly and muttering to herself, “So that’s what it does! Great!” Loudly, she addressed Raala as she pointed at the tiller, “That device seems to control the mainsail up on the deck. Swing it left, the sail sways right. Swing it right, sail turns left. In other words, turn left to turn the ship right, turn right to turn the ship left.”
Raala nodded, “That would be great if we had any spare cloth to use as sails. Without it, we won’t be turning effectively even with the thrusters online.”
Vicia smiled, “You are going to love this!”
The turian typed a few keys on the control panel before running off out through the door. Raala followed after her. She shielded her eyes from the sun as she walked out onto the deck. Vicia pointed up to the mast. Raala followed with her eyes.
A blue holographic mesh draped itself where the mainsail and jib should have been located. It blew lightly in the wind. The mainsail swung slightly while the jib flapped quietly. Vicia ran around the cabin to a lower area and climbed on top. She used the built in ladder to scale the main mast to the boom. Vicia balanced across the boom, her hand touching the hologram. She neared the end and sat down
Raala reached out, touching the holographic jib. Unlike most holograms she knew, this was thicker. It was like brushing her hand against water. There was a resistance to it, a weight behind it.
Arms extended, Raala walked out on the boom and sat down beside Vicia. Together they sat in silence as the sun rose. Raala turned toward the sky.
“Do you really think we can get back home? That someone will rescue us?” she asked.
Vicia paused, “Honestly?” Her grin grew hollow, “No. We’re not getting rescued. The emergency beacon was destroyed. No one’s going to come looking for us here. We’re going to have to rescue ourselves.”
Raala turned to Vicia, “How do you think we’re going to do that? You have some kind of a plan?”
“You’re sitting on it,” Vicia grinned.
Raala looked down at the ship. She paused. It struck her suddenly and she turned to Vicia, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
“What other choice to we have?” Vicia said, “Do you see any other space worthy ships lying around in the sands? This is our best shot. We get this baby up there, go through that Mass Relay, and get home.”
Raala thought a moment, “I guess it’s possible.”
“The Intangible is Unstoppable,” Vicia muttered, her voice full of memories. “It’s our motto. If there was anything that the Cabal’s have taught me, it’s that just because something seems impossible or just out of reach you shouldn’t let it stop you. You just need to keep moving.”
“Where are we moving to?” Raala asked.
Vicia brought up her omni-tool. A tower like building stood out of the holographic sand. It was surrounded by a circular set of buildings creating some kind of compound in the middle of the desert.
“The VI detected a large energy signature about 650 kilometers north from our current position,” she informed. Vicia added, “There’s a good chance we might find something there that can help get the ship space ready. The atmosphere is the one thing that really concerns me. There has to be a way we can reinforce the hull and hardseal the ship. We wouldn’t want to burn up in the atmosphere.”
“Or suffocate in space,” Raala muttered quietly. She shifted uncomfortably, “The VI told you that?”
“Told?” Vicia gave her a side glance, “It just notified me and showed the information. Is it supposed to talk?”
Raala looked away, “I’m working on it.”
They heard the cabin door slide open. Looking down, Raala watched Consensus walk onto deck. As it moved toward the starboard thruster, four small ovals ejected from its back. Normally used as turrets, the small geth took on new tasks. Two of the turrets hovered toward the damaged section of the thruster wing and started welding pieces of wing together. The other two deactivated their hover, sprouted claw-like legs and dropped to the ground. They held things together and bolted parts in place.
Consensus jumped over the balcony and walled along the wing, overseeing progress. The others must have started to wake up. It was possible. It could happen, even if the stars were just out of reach. The intangible is unstoppable.