PROLOGUE
Civilian Docks, Tayseri Ward
December 24, 2182 CE

Whenever she put on her uniform, Amaia felt a deep sense of pride at the choices she had made with her life. At only one-hundred forty years of age, most other Asari would usually be living the high-life, dancing at clubs and abusing drugs of dubious legality. It was simply the accepted way of things, but Amaia had never wanted that for her own life.

As the daughter of one of the lesser known Matriachs, Amaia had grown up wanting for nothing. Her mother's house sat on a small cliff overlooking the ocean on Thessia. While it was certainly an attractive option for her to live a life of luxury and relaxation, it was not the way that her mother had raised her. Amaia was going to make her mother proud, standing on her own two feet against all of the forces of the galaxy trying to push her down.

Becoming an officer in the prestigious ranks of Citadel Security ensured that when she decided to retire in the next one-hundred years or so, corporations would be beating down her door to try and hire her. A shiver of excitement ran through her crest at the thought. Her options would be expansive and lucrative, all wanting her vast experience. The paychecks would be big, and her satisfaction even greater.

If nothing worked according to plan though, Amaia was always glad to know that her mother's arms were always open. It certainly helped having that in the back of her mind as she leapt into the unknown.

For now though, it was her turn again to work customs at the docks. Grunt work. The only thing to keep her company during the long hours was the incessant chattering of her partner, Silvin, a Turian.

"I still don't know how you can like that crap."

Stuff like that. Amaia was definitely regretting responding to his question of her favorite movie. She should really know better by now. It wasn't like this was the first time that Silvin had criticize her for what she chose to do in her spare time.

"What? Blasto is fun!" Amaia turned away from Silvin, looking out towards the kinetic barrier keeping the atmosphere of the dock from flooding out into space. She blushed, glancing down at her datapad. She couldn't help herself, a small grin on her face. "And don't get me started on those tentacles."

Silvin chuckled, a flanging sound distinctive to Turians. He rolled his eyes, turning to watch as an aging transport ship slowed as it neared the barrier.

Amaia turned to watch as well. She liked to try and guess the exact moment that Citadel flight control took over for the pilots to guide the ships into the less talented pilots always gave themselves away with the inevitable judder at the switch. Her translator seemlessly fed her the ships name, the MSV Charybdis.

With a solid clunk that reverberated through the dock, the cradle arms extended out and gently grabbed the Charybdis. A ramp extended out from the dock to the ship's airlock, sealing around it with a soft thump.

"That is an ugly ship," Silvin drawled as he leaned against the railing of the dock.

"I've seen worse." Amaia shrugged, pulling up the necessary files on her datapad for the captain of the ship. It was the worst part of working the docks. Paperwork and customs, a never ending task that she was always behind on.

The airlock opened with a hiss and a group of Turians stepped out. Amaia glanced over their stained, unkempt clothing and scrunched up her nose in distaste. None of the Turians wore clan paint, and Amaia shifted uncomfortably. In the corner of her eye, she could see Silvin doing the same.

The lead Turian of the group, whom Amaia could only guess was the captain from the sheer amount of frills and baubles adorning his aging jacket, gave her a flirty smile. "Morning, officer."

Amaia gave him a friendly, if distant nod. "Good morning, gentlemen. Welcome to the Citadel."

"It's good to be back," the Turian drawled as he gazed around the docks. Opening his omni-tool, he quickly transferred the ships customs documents to Amaia's datapad. "Everything should be in-"

"HELP!"

The moment she heard the cry, Amaia drew her pistol, instinctively moving closer to Silvin, covering his blind side even as he did the same for her. The Turians growled, their fingers itching for a weapon. Friendly eyes turned angry and Amaia kept the whole group centered in her view.

Amaia gasped as a bloodied figure rushed out of the Charybdis' airlocks as fast as they could go. She couldn't tell if it was Asari, Human, or Drell and the fact that it was covered in blood certainly didn't help matters any, but she knew that this was going to be anything but a normal day. Leveling her pistol with the Turians before her, Amaia opened her omni-tool with her other hand. To Silvin, she said, "I'm calling this in."

"I've got you covered," Silvin growled.

A headache was already building behind her eye. It was going to be a long day.