Starting File Sequence… Thunderbird
Loading Digital Data… Chapter Seven
Initializing Play Back… Project Overlord
Galaxy: Milky Way Galaxy
Cluster: Krogan DMZ
Date: 2186 CE
Inside the Thunderbird, AVI stood in the Cargo Bay. She pressed a few buttons and the doors opened. The kinetic barrier kept the livable atmosphere in and the vacuum of space out. With that finished, she stood with her hands clasped behind her back.
Soon after, she saw the shuttle. It showed little to no intent on slowing down. After doing a few quick computations, AVI took a few steps to the left and waited.
The shuttle bumped off the top of the ramp before dropping and grinding along the cargo bay floor. It slid to a stop at an angle and would have struck AVI if she had stayed in her previous position. The cargo bay doors closed and the drive core flared to life as the Thunderbird prepared to jump into FTL. AVI stood still, waiting for the crew to disembark the shuttle.
Sure enough, the door opened.
The first one out was a girl AVI had never met. Her blue skin and robotic parts were interesting contrasts. The girl stopped and looked at the mech before her. The mech stood still and smiled. The girl looked down at her right arm then back at AVI. Yatka stumbled out. The girl pushed his shoulder and pointed at AVI’s right arm.
Yatka smiled slightly, “No taking the mech’s arm while we’re still on the job. Maybe after we get payed.”
The girl looked back at AVI before following Yatka to the lift. AVI made a mental note to properly guard her extremities. Her attention returned to the shuttle. Ip skipped out and waved at the mech, barely skipping a beat. AVI nodded in greeting. Following the salarian, a krogan stomped out of the shuttle. AVI took a few steps back. A massive hammer hung from his back. He walked up to her forcing AVI to look up at him.
“Which way to the ships bar?” he asked.
AVI looked up at the ramp and answered, “In the galley. There is a fabricator that can create any food and drink desired. It has the capabilities to fabricate Ryncol.”
The krogan grunted and stomped off.
Vicia stepped out of the shuttle. She looked behind her and shrugged, “Parking could have been worse.”
“If you say so,” AVI said.
Vicia continued, “You think you could get this shuttle back in working order? I don’t think Cerberus will be needing it anymore.”
AVI looked at the shuttle. Smoke rose from the back of the shuttle, “I will do my best.”
Vicia headed to the lift as Tasi stepped out of the shuttle. She looked over the shuttle and sighed. The shuttle sparked in several places and the paint was scuffed and chipped. It was a royal mess.
Tasi stepped off the lift as Vicia made an announcement for the crew to meet on the bridge. When the doors opened, Vicia and Ip were already present. Kritt reclined with his feet propped on the dash. After a few minutes, the krogan lumbered in. He grunted and stood off to one side with his arms crossed. Behind him, Yatka entered with the girl. Without his coat and his weapons, Yatka looked much more approachable. But with the girl beside him, she was his weapon in disguise.
Vicia turned to him, “What was that!? You compromised the mission, running off on your own like that!”
“I got the job done, Military!” Yatka said, “Cerberus was at the station. If they got ahold of her, I wouldn’t be able to get to her again.”
Vicia calmed her voice, “Look, I get it. Someone you cared about was in danger and you stop thinking clearly. But that could have gotten all of us out there killed. You didn’t want to tell us about her, fine. But you go off on your own like that, compromise the safety of this crew again, and I will not hesitate to personally throw you out the airlock.”
The girl moved forward but Yatka grabbed her by the shoulder. Defiantly, the girl shook off his hand but stood down like she was told. Yatka glared at Vicia. He searched the turian’s face. Slowly he nodded in understanding.
“Have it your way Military,” he said.
“Good,” Vicia looked at the girl, “So who’s this?”
Yatka shrugged, “I call her Scylla. Found her four years ago while on a job for Cerberus. Not my first choice, but I needed the money and Cerberus was paying, a lot. I was to give security for some facility on Aite. They were trying to merge humans and VI to control the geth. She was their most recent subject. They replaced parts of her whenever they wanted with no thought of her wants and needs. I couldn’t just leave her. So, I broke her out and left. Wasn’t even sure what to do with her after that, but I couldn’t leave her on her own,” Yatka glanced over at the girl.
Vicia nodded, “Sounds like you two have been through a lot.” She turned around to the krogan, “And you are?”
The krogan grunted, “Vurtak.” There was an awkward silence as they waited for him to continue. But he didn’t.
Vicia pointed around the room, “I’m Vicia. You met the mech AVI downstairs. This here is Yatka and Scylla. Ip is our science tech officer. The quarian is Tasi and out pilot is Kritt. We’re on a mission from an asari pirate queen to figure out how to kick Cerberus off Omega. You in?”
The krogan shrugged, “Might as well.”
Vicia looked around, “Great. But now we’ve got no leads on where to go next.”
Yatka took a few steps forward, “We may have a lead. At the very least, it could be a place to start. We were hired to infiltrate another Cerberus facility in the Far Rim when our last mission failed, and Scylla was captured by pirates. Turns out it was more important that I realized. Show them.”
All eyes fell on the girl. Scylla focused her robotic eye. She projected a scene for all to see.
Scylla lay restrained to the slab, waiting for transport. Her vision scanned the room, blinking periodically and cutting the footage. The door opened and the batarian pirate leader and the two Cerberus agents walked in. Shadow leaned in and examined Scylla.
“This is the one,” the Infiltrator said. She looked to Sentinel, “The Engineer will be happy to see her when we bring her to the Far Rim. Inform the Illusive Man of our progress.”
Sentinel turned and spoke on his comms.
The Infiltrator turned to Scylla, “You thought you pain was bad on Aite. You have yet to meet the Engineer. She is not known for her delicate touch.”
Vicia nodded as the image faded, “It isn’t much to go on. But it is all we have. Might as well check it out.” She turned to Kritt, “How long before you can get us to the Far Rim?”
“You can’t be serious,” Kritt laughed, “That’s the edge of geth space. We get caught by a patrol out there, those flashlight ‘eads wouldn’t ‘esitate to make an example of us.” When he noticed Vicia wasn’t going to be deterred, the vorcha rolled his eyes, “Once we get to the Relay, I could get us there in under thirty hours.”
“Great,” Vicia looked around, “That means we have thirty hours to prepare. I want that shuttle fixed by then. Until then, rest up and make yourselves useful. Meeting adjourned!”
Everyone filtered off the bridge. Tasi made her way to the lift. As she stepped on the platform, she noticed Scylla walk into the life support room. Yatka leaned against the doorway as he watched the girl wander the room. Scylla touched the leaves of the plants and looked back at him with a smile. Tasi caught a glimpse of a smile on Yatka’s lips.
The lift descended and Tasi walked into the cargo area. AVI stood at one of the side panels on the shuttle as she fixed the electrical work. Tasi sighed and walked into the shuttle. She sent out her drone to scan for sections that needed rewiring and work. Together the quarian and mech worked in silence.