Feb 26, 2021 10:58 AM
Theodora Ndikima Terentin, savior of the galaxy
+ Show First Post
Total: 321
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Employee" is absolutely sending Teddy. She's considering adopting. "I don't collect on life debts, Sal. It'd be like paying for the weather, you're all good." She smacks her on the arm not quite hard enough to set off any sensors on her quarian suit. "Yeah, Captain, so we're here regrouping basically." She does a complicated little movement of her arm that produces the geth data core from, well, probably from somewhere in her armor, you'd guess. "This is, apparently, the smoking gun. Or, well, a data core with a big glossy image file of the smoking gun, I guess."

Permalink

Sal takes the core and brings it over to Udina's console. She uploads the data and plays the audio file.

Permalink

"Eden Prime was a victory," Saren's voice says. "I wish I hadn't had to kill Nihlus, but..."

     "The Reapers would not look kindly on your failure," says a female voice. "What is at stake is far more important than one friend."

"Don't think I don't know that, Belara," Saren snarls. "I'd ask if you ever had a friend, but I already know the answer."

     The woman laughs, a discordantly crystalline sound. "Distractions have never suited me."

"And thank the Spirits for that. At any rate, the humans will be reeling, and the Council won't know what's going on until it's too late. We'll have plenty of time to find the Conduit."

     "Not worried about the human girl?" Belara asks with obviously false concern.

Saren scoffs. "She'll never convince the Council, and when she tries they'll keep her on the Citadel until the stars fade, asking pointed questions about who fed her confidential intel. Maybe before the Council falls they'll convict Anderson of espionage."

     "Very well. I'll see you on the other side."

"Until we meet again," Saren agrees.

Belara's footsteps recede.

"Bitch," he says, almost too quiet for the recording to pick up.

There's a sound of distant, tinkling laughter.

Permalink

Terentin hisses something, loudly and involuntarily, in a language nobody speaks. Nobody includes her. It happens pretty much as soon as the woman Belara starts speaking.

She sits hard as the rest of the recording plays out, the low and sleek Citadel couch whumphing under her. Her elbows are on her knees, eyes darting, jaw set like concrete. "He's working for," her throat catches. "–the Reapers. The things I saw, from the monolith."

Permalink

"Reapers? Monolith? The shit is that?"

Permalink

Anderson turns to Teddy. "Terentin, do you trust these people? I'm assuming they're not working for Saren, but do you think they're worth reading in?"

Permalink

"Well, Garrus is like vice president of the Hates Saren Club–"

Teddy blinks, pauses. She knows she puts up a good front, but it's always just a little surprising when people actually buy it and ask her to be a good judge of character. Part of trying to be better than everyone around you is, well. Assuming they're all worse than you? It sounds terrible, put like that. But, as hazy as her concept of 'other people's motivations' is, she does know one thing for certain. "If the other two aren't on our side beforehand, they will be once they hear it." She thinks back to hammerblows and crossbow bolts, and adds: "And we might as well buy them in, they're good in a fight."

Permalink

Anderson nods decisively and pulls up his omni-tool. With a few motions, Teddy's report on the attack on Eden Prime has been sent to the three New Friends, including the usually redacted portion on the vision she received from the Prothean beacon.

Permalink

Sal finishes reading first. "...he's... insane, then. A very high-functioning maniac."

Permalink

"This is worse than I thought," Garrus grumbles. "And I thought it was pretty goddamn bad."

Permalink

"This just got interesting."

Permalink

"Glad you think so. Still not sure why the geth are involved." Terentin is unwinding by inches.

Permalink

"The geth have always been confusing," Sal says. "Joining these Reapers isn't much stranger than them driving us off our home planet and then sitting there for the next three centuries doing nothing. They're AI; they don't think like us."

Permalink

"Yeah, but even AI have fitness calculations," Mort says. "It's not like they're basing tactical decisions on a rand seed."

Permalink

"Well, their fitness calculations apparently want them to exterminate organic life now."

Permalink

"Well that was clarifying." Terentin's legs spread as she sits back. "Are we gonna hit up the Council again? See how many veiled insults they have for the new kid?"

Permalink

"Yes, I think audio evidence of Saren betraying them plus mercenaries in custody qualifies as a reason to bring this to the Council's attention."

---

Permalink

     Councillor Tevos looks grim. Councillor Sparatus looks enraged. Councillor Valern looks... oddly satisfied.

"You wanted proof?" Udina asks caustically. "Here it is. Or perhaps you would like a signed confession?"

     "No," Sparatus says. "Spectre Arterius is a traitor, and must be dealt with. He will be stripped of his Spectre status immediately, and all efforts will be made to bring him to justice."

          "I recognized the other voice in the recording," Tevos says. "Matriarch Belara... one of my former confederates among the asari government, such as it is. She's a powerful biotic, and her followers are numerous. She'll make a potent ally to Saren."

               Valern nods. "These 'reapers' Saren mentions," he says, blinking rapidly. "I don't suppose you have any further information on them?"

Permalink

"Yes. We left it out of our initial report because, frankly, without corroboration directly from Saren it wasn't exactly convincing." Anderson forwards the unredacted report to the Councilmembers.

               Valern scans through it and blinks very slowly. "I see. Vast machine intelligences inimical to sapient life... yes, I can see why you would think so. But if Saren backs it up -"

     "Saren is clearly a madman," Sparatus scoffs. "If he thinks the Reapers are coming to destroy us all, why help them?"

Permalink

"Probably doesn't think that at all. I assume he's been misled somehow. Securing an imaginary place in the new galactic order, or something. First Reaper Spectre. But whatever his plan is, he's frantic. Even when he had everything how he wanted it, he couldn't help complaining about what a waste of time everything was. It was the same when we were harrying him during the geth attack. Whatever the Conduit is, he's desperate to find it."

Permalink

     Sparatus chews on this for a while. "Whether or not these Reapers exist," he concludes eventually, "Saren won't remain a threat for long. He's one man on the run from the Council - even if he does have support from some washed-up Matriarch. We can find him. Thank you for your-"

"Not good enough," Udina snarls. It's shocking how much vitriol the scrawny old bastard can pack into his voice. "Arterius razed a human colony, you denied it until we flung the proof in your faces, and you still expect us to trust that the Council will look out for human interests? Earth will want blood. I already want blood. If you think we'll roll over and show our bellies in exchange for a tossed bone-"

     "Are you threatening us, Ambassador?" Sparatus asks coldly.

"Do I need to?" Udina roars. "If I seem a bully, Councillor Sparatus, it is because at every turn, you have tried to quell humanity! You have pushed back and ground in and battened down against every request, every motion, and every reasonable attempt to get what we want and what we need. And so we demand. We demand that you acknowledge Saren and his geth as the threat they are, to humanity and the galaxy. We demand that you take serious measures, with human interests considered as a genuine priority. And we demand representation. Otherwise, you can expect us to take matters into our own hands."

      Sparatus clenches his talons into fists. "Humanity cannot make -"

           Tevos shakes her head sharply. "Enough, Sparatus. Ambassador, we hear you. We will reconvene, following a brief recess for private discussion."

"Very well." Udina turns and stalks back over to Anderson and Teddy.

Permalink

Fist bump?

Permalink

Udina almost chokes on a laugh. "Goddammit, Terentin, I have to carefully maintain my rage. If they see me break they'll rip me apart."

Permalink

She whispers, "Not if humanity demands that they don't!" This guy rocks actually? But she schools her face into a mild and appropriate scowl. "I dunno how much I buy them finding Saren at this point. Unless he's secretly terrible at his job."

Total: 321
Posts Per Page: