TSF Kevzin, en route to Tuchanka

The target was near.

Adam closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was nearly time. Trying to ignore the shaking of his body, he reached inside his coat for the pill vial that he kept handy. Unscrewing the lid, he popped a few of the capsules in his mouth and willed for them to take effect soon.

The Kevzin was a turian frigate, utilized most of the time by the military as a Citadel patrol. Today, the ship had a different purpose. It was carrying an envoy from the Council, plus an armed escort, to the krogan leadership to negotiate trading routes in the local area. The ship itself was spartan and with its angular contours it was rather eerie for eyes unused to the architecture of other-worldly beings.

Adam did not care at the moment. He was, as of right now, trying to prevent himself from throwing up in the CIC. That would only draw unwanted attention.

Not that it mattered as of this moment. The Kevzin currently occupied a skeleton crew, the current assignment was completely voluntary and only the crewmembers who hadn't logged enough time for shore leave were confined for one more mission. However, because Adam was only one of five humans presently on board, it would not take long for someone to realize his current position if he had suddenly made a move here and now.

His main objective, up until this time, was not to get spotted by the target. He had been warned, before he stepped foot onto the ship, that his target was unusually perceptive when it came to sniffing out ambushes. He had also been told that the man he was supposed to take out had killed several people successfully in the past at a rather young age. Now that the target was older and undoubtedly better trained, a frontal assault on this man would be close to suicidal.

He checked his chronometer (standard Earth watches were now useless as they didn't correspond to Council-ordained Citadel time anyways) and deduced that they would reach their destination within the next fifteen minutes. He might as well get himself ready.

He rose from the bench and headed for the bridge, located at the front of the craft, where he knew the target would be. He quickly glanced out the window to get his bearings. The dusty glow of Tuchanka shone through, bathing him in the warm light. He savored the feel for a second before grimacing and continuing on his way.

Adam brushed past a turian crewmember, resisting the urge to gag. Dying was not necessarily a prospect he was concerned about at the moment. The thought of dying around alien scum like this was. He snorted, humans were not meant to consort with anything other than humans. He quickly gazed around the hallway. And yet, here were his fellow humans, talking with them like they had known them their whole lives. Like they were friends.

Quickening his pace, Adam finally reached the cockpit, where he finally got his first glimpse of the man he was sent to kill. The target was tall, white male, short brown hair. He looked about to be in his mid to late twenties, but what he noted with some worry, that the target appeared to be wearing some type of body armor.

The armor looked brand new, encasing a set of broad shoulders and providing relative protection from most firearms and bladed weapons. Adam did not even know what other kinds of goodies the suit held and he was glad that he did not have to directly face him, in order to kill him, at least. He was only doing this because he wanted to savor the chance to gloat.

The target was deep in conversation with a turian at the moment. The turian was also protected by a deep blue armor and also sported what looked to be a sniper rifle held together on the magnetic strip on the turian's back.

Adam shrugged. It was only fitting that the traitor die talking with one of them. It would definitely raise his comrades' spirits when they found out the circumstances of his unfortunate death.

He was now within arm's reach of the target. Adam was sweating hard now; he wiped his sleeve with his coat. He needed to appear brave, now was not the time to falter.

Sensing a presence at his side, the target turned in his direction. Staring at each other for some time, no words were exchanged until Adam brought his arm out from the back pocket in his coat. Within his hand was a tiny, cylindrical object. Its purpose was never explicitly stated out loud, but the consequences were clear as glass at this very moment.

Eyes widening, the target started to shout but before he could pull a weapon, Adam's hand depressed the button on the edge of the cylinder.

Immediately, a shudder was felt throughout the ship as the artificial gravity suddenly died and groans rocked through the halls. Adam, starting to float, felt a glee as he realized that the explosives he had placed prior to the ship leaving had done their job. The Kevzin was now powerless, dead in the water.

But there was more in store, Adam hid with a smile. The detonation was timed within the window that the ship was entering Tuchanka's atmosphere. With no power, the ship would now begin to break apart on the way down to the planet's surface.

The gravity of the nearby body was starting to take effect on Adam. He felt himself getting pulled down to the ground, but the interior of the ship was at an angle now. It seemed like the nose of the ship was pointing down towards the ground. Desperate for purchase, Adam gripped a seat situated on the side of the main corridor and prayed that the experience would be over soon.

Interrupting his prayers, Adam was aware of the seat that he was gripping with his hands vibrated heavily once. Looking up, he saw a black armored boot on the headrest, completely stable despite the horrendous shaking of the ship. The boot, continuing to gaze upwards, belonged to a figure that was currently leaning over at him, watching as he was dangling from his perch. The figure was masked; face unreadable as Adam realized with a horrible certainty that he was going to die, here and now.

The form of his target continued to keep his visor pointed at Adam's face, perhaps studying him as if deciding how to kill him. The helmet had been placed upon his head at the first sign of trouble thanks to the automatic visor that the armor contained. Adam was dumbstruck, how could the target gain the upper hand so quickly? Then he realized that there was one invention that he had not considered and no matter how many times he had run through the plan in his head, this factor never came to light.

Magnetic grips. The target was magnetized.

That explains how he had been able to reach him so quickly. With his entire armor possessing the capability to climb on metal surfaces, he had effortlessly closed the gap since the confusion created by his explosives.

The helmet's unreadable expression suddenly rose as the figure stood. Adam then knew what was going to happen and braced for the impact. As expected, the target reared a heavy foot and brought it smashing down on Adam's nose, breaking it and sending blood streaming down his face.

The force of the blow caused Adam to lose his grip on the seat and fall towards the cockpit door, a good hundred feet down. He was filled with uncertainty. Would he accomplish his mission in the end? The answer did not come quickly enough as his back met the door.

There was an annoyance. Small particles were brushing across his face, irritating the skin. His eyes flared open to view what was causing these unwanted sensations and he gaped at what was in front of him.

From where he was sitting, he was nestled underneath a metal awning, but what lay beyond was a sea of sand and dust. The landscape was beige and dry, everything looked cracked and there was nothing in sight that looked living. The wind blew sand into where he was sitting and he coughed, trying to clear his eyes.

He moved his arms to lift him out of the way of the blowing debris, but a pain in his side caused him to scream in agony, not wanting to move any more. Looking down, he was shocked to see that a piece of rebar had pierced his side; blood was dripping down the wound and his leg. He stared at it for a while and tried to slide to the side. No use, there was still too much pain to even attempt to move in any direction.

Then it hit him. He was still alive. The ship had crashed on the planet, but he was still alive. He had brought down the ship, he had won. He gave a weak laugh as he bent his neck backwards, embracing the euphoria.

I did it. I can die, knowing that I have avenged my brethren.

A slow crunching sound snapped Adam back to reality. Annoyed, he steeled himself. Was it a native, come to check out the crash? Was it one of the turians, trying to get a headcount on any survivors?

A shadow suddenly fell upon him as he squinted to bring about the figure's features. Tall, humanoid (not a krogan), black armored…

No…it…it can't be.

But the figure slowly strode across to where Adam lay, lazily appraising the man's condition. The man that Adam was told to kill, was now standing over him, triumphant in the face of death once again.

The black helmet dipped a bit, "I should have known that I would see you people again. It was foolish of me to assume that I could escape you entirely."

Adam grinned, in spite of the pain, "You murdered dozens of my brothers. We would comb the very depths of hell to find you, even if it took a thousand lifetimes."

"Evidently," the helmeted man nodded. "But it is at this point, irrelevant. I will admit, you have pissed me off by putting me in this predicament and it took all of my willpower not to shoot you when I first spied you here."

"You going to fuckin' bore me to death, too?"

"Hm. I don't ever recall you people using that sort of language. They were all rather steadfast in their beliefs…no matter how wrong they were."

"I don't need you preaching shit at me. Just hurry up and shoot me. You're so goddamn horny about your so-called victory that now I'm telling you to just get on with it."

The helmet tilted to the side, "Shoot you?" He laughed, "I'll admit that is a tempting offer but it wasn't quite what I had in mind. See, even though it would be very hypocritical to kill you with technology that you lot so abhor, I really think it would be more symbolic if I stooped to your level, for a change."

As he said this, the armored man picked up a large rock that had been strewn across the metal floor from the impact. He hefted it in a glove before addressing Adam again, "Normally, I would just let you die from an infection, but seeing as this is a hostile planet with no telling what to expect, I'd rather take no chances and just kill you here right now."

"B-But…I haven't-"

The man lifted the rock, "This might hurt a lot. Do give my regards to Daniel when you meet him at the bottom. I hear it's a long drop."

The arm descended.

For Her: Second Stage

Author's Note: Well, I didn't expect to be back so soon, much less be back at all. But combined with the wonderful feedback I've received on the original For Her and my insatiable curiosity, I've decided to go ahead and craft more of this universe. The chapter updates will be considerably more spread out as I'm going to take my time with this but I mean to see it through until the end. Hope you enjoy the ride!