The station hadn't changed much in her absence. Things were still obscenely clean and it made Zha uncomfortable when she made her way from the docking port to the stairs and into the hangar. This whole thing was giving her serious déjà vu, coming here all by herself. All she could hope for was that her crew wouldn't decide to pull of the same stunt AI775 had done and crash in here against her wishes.
Zha made her way down the stairs and could see the welcoming crew waiting for her. This time it wasn't just armed thugs and some scientist, but the Overseer himself with a handful of similarly dressed researchers. Zha could count at least ten guards milling about and she was sure there were more hiding in the shadows. The Overseer sure had upped the security since Zha's last visit. Did he really think he needed all of these people keeping an eye on her? What could she even do?
Right now the only purpose of the guards seemed to be to make Zha uncomfortable and they were doing a pretty good job at it, she had to admit. Her hands grabbed at the front of her suit, pulling at it unconsciously.
One thing was strange to Zha, though. She looked around the armored and armed mercs mulling about as she slowly made her way closer. She couldn't see Sunei anywhere. And that wasn't exactly a good thing either. The only thing worse than Sunei in the same room was a Sunei in the same room she couldn't see. Zha's eyes darted around the hangar, trying to locate the mad woman. She was nowhere to be seen.
Not good. Not good at all.
Reaching the bottom step, Zha was unfortunate enough to see the Overseer's lips stretching into something he must have thoughts was a hospitable smile. He opened his arms, welcoming Zha back to his ship.
"Zha'Ora!" he called and his voice boomed in the hangar. The scientists around him stopped chattering to themselves and turned their attention to her. The mercs straightened up and held onto their weapons tighter. "You cannot imagine how glad I was to receive your message. Thank you for reconsidering my offer!"
All eyes were on Zha now, she could feel them gauging at her when she fumbled. This was worse than Rari! She moved as close as she dared, leaving a good distance between herself and the others.
"Well, I had to, didn't I?" she said and tried to make her words sound light and dismissive. "I would have been an idiot to actually turn down a job offer like this? I mean, this is, clearly, my field and I'm not exactly going to get that many job offers out there in the big wide ol' Galaxy, right?" She laughed even though she didn't mean to, a nervous giggle escaping her lips before she could swallow it down. It hung between them for a beat too long and the Overseer just stared at her with narrowed eyes. Zha was sweating bullets.
"Yes," he said slowly, rubbing his chin. He started approaching, deliberately breaking the distance Zha had left between them. As he got close, Zha could see properly how the smile on his lips didn't quite reach his eyes. "You're right about that. Our Galaxy may be large, but it is also filled with shortsighted people. I'm glad to see you're not one of them."
"Yep!" Zha said, popping the p a bit too loudly. "So… anyway. When are we going to start? What will you have me do?"
"In a minute," the Overseer said, his voice dropping a few degrees in its temperature. Zha shivered at the sound of it. "I have a few questions before anything else."
"Ah… Yeah. Sure. No problem. I mean, it's not like I have anything to hide or…" She laughed again, desperation seeping through. Keelah, someone silence her. Zha hadn't known she could shoot herself on the foot without even holding a weapon.
"Your ship," he said. "It left without you. Just like last time. That is rather suspicious."
"Oh yeah, that. Well, I just… I didn't think it would be a good idea to bring my mechs here after all the trouble they went through the last time, so I gave my ship to my dad and now he's taking it back to Gavannah." Yeah. That was a good reason. As good as any other. Right?
"You told your father the location of my station?" the Overseer asked, the temperature of his voice keeping its decline until it hit below zero, making Zha's stomach drop with it.
"Well, I – " she started, wringing the front of her suit. The scientists were looking at her, lifting their noses and whispering to each other. Zha could see humans, two asari and a salarian, all judging her with their eyes. Was she really going to kick the bucket this soon?
"That's not good. That wasn't smart, Zha," the Overseer said and shook his head. The smile on his face was stale, his eyes sharp as razors.
"I'm… I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. I didn't think it would matter. I… I made a mistake." She looked the man in the eye, trying to maintain a pleading contact, putting all she could into it to make her look like a vulnerable little baby pyjak.
It wasn't working. Either she wasn't convincing enough or the Overseer didn't much care for pyjaks. He stared at Zha for a long, uncomfortable amount of time before speaking up again.
"It's alright," he said. "I understand. You couldn't have known." He turned away from her to talk to one of the mercs behind him. Zha wanted to breathe a sigh of relief.
"Prepare to move our location. We've been compromised. Move the schedule up by a month."
Move the location? Zha watched with slowly circling terror as the merc nodded and started making his way out of the hangar. They were moving somewhere else?
"So, uh…" she said slowly. "Where exactly are we moving?"
The Overseer turned to look at her with cold indifference.
"That is not your concern. Until we can make sure that you are in fact working for us and not just playing around, these things are not for you to worry about."
"Ah. Sure. Okay," Zha muttered and started wringing her hands. Oh my. Okay. So, her ship and the crew would be left behind here. Maybe that was good. Yeah, that was probably a stroke of luck. This way they wouldn't be in harm's way when the time came to kick the Overseer's operation down. But her father had been right, Zha would be needing a ride out of here.
No. It was fine. It was totally fine, nothing to worry about. She would work out that little problem once the time was right. For now all she needed to worry about was impressing the Overseer with her performance and getting the information she needed. All else could come afterwards.
The Overseer's thugs moved closer to her, telling her to lift her hands up so they could make a full body check on her. They wanted to go through all the belongings she'd brought with her, which wasn't… much. She had a few emergency suit seals in her pouches, medi-gel and antibiotics. All things she thought would be just fine since they couldn't exactly be used as weapons. Unless you suffocated someone with the seals, she supposed. But the guards confiscated all of her stuff anyway, taking it and throwing them into a box that looked suspiciously like a trash can.
It wasn't like Zha was in a position where she could argue with them about it. So away went her suit seals, her medication, her insurance she was going to get out of this alive. Now all she could hope for was that no one was going to tear her suit or that would be it for her and her hopeless journey.
One of the researchers that had been mulling around the Overseer stepped forward when the pat down was over. She looked like she was fighting a sneer. Or maybe a sneeze.
"Your Omni-tool, please," she said.
"Your Omni-tool," she repeated slower, like Zha was an infant. "Give it to me."
"What? No, I… I need it, it's my Omni-tool," she tried to reason through her rising panic. Suit seals she could replace and medi-gel was a basic necessity on every station. But her Omni-tool? How the hell was she supposed to contact Scribble or Shara'Kiin without it?
The researcher curled her lip before turning to look at the Overseer. He had crossed his arms and was watching Zha with a level stare.
"Zha," he said with a voice that could freeze entire oceans. "We can't risk you having an Omni-tool that can reach the outside world. None of my staff has equipment like that. It is for our safety."
No. She couldn't let them take it. She had to fight it, had to argue, to do something. She… she needed it!
The Overseer lifted his hand to silence her before she could voice any of her concerns. "We're not going to take it away. She is just going to make sure that it cannot be used to contact others."
Well, that wasn't exactly something Zha wanted either. What good was an Omni-tool with no connection to the outside world? But she wasn't exactly in a position to argue, now was she? It was either death or no connection. Biting her teeth together, she threw her arm at the scientist. Worst-case scenario, she would have to find some alternate way to contact Scribble. But maybe… maybe whatever the woman was doing could be bypassed? She ground her teeth together. It had to be.
The scientist grabbed hold of her wrist and Zha looked away while she operated her device. The tool let out one sad little ping and the scientist pulled back.
"There we go," she said with a self-satisfied smirk, letting Zha's hand fall back to her side. Zha pulled the arm up to her face, tapping at her Omni-tool. No connection, it said. She shut it off and rubbed her wrist.
Not a great start, no. But she was alive, breathing in the station air and at the moment the guards weren't pointing their weapons at her. So… Zha grit her teeth together and forced herself to look at ease.
"Alrighty then," she said with faked glee that fooled no one. "What's next?"
The Overseer plastered that same fake smile on his face as if to mock Zha's attempts to alleviate the heavy atmosphere. It grated her nerves and made her skin crawl.
"Next I'd like to take you around the ship, to show you around. Unfortunately I'm very busy with my work at the moment, so I'm going to have to assign that mission to someone else."
Such a shame. Zha nodded.
The man waved his arm over to the gaggle of scientists and one of the humans stepped forward, a mousy looking man drowning in a suit just a little too big for him. His mop of hair looked like it hadn't been seen to in quite some time.
"This is Roland Pierce. He is part of our advanced AI programming unit. He will be watching over you while you are on your trial period. Feel free to ask him anything you like."
The human nodded his hello and mumbled some sort of a greeting. Zha was far too busy watching the Overseer to pay much attention to him, though.
"I wish you good luck on your new assignment," he said, squinting his eyes like he was trying to bring the smile to them as well, but ending up looking like he was glowering at Zha instead. "I hope I will get to see you and your results soon, Zha'Ora."
"Haha, sure thing!" Zha said with an awkward wave as the man turned around and started making his way out of the hangar. Most of the scientists and all of the mercs followed after him. Without so much as a backwards glance the Overseer left to do whatever he deemed to be important enough to abandon Zha here. With him gone, it was like an enormous weight had been lifted off of Zha's shoulders. It was like a tight fist around her heart was finally unclenching its hold and Zha breathed out a long sigh. She turned to look at her wrist again, at her disabled Omni-tool.
She wondered what exactly they had done to it. The woman hadn't had it for long. So… a simple child lock? Zha doubted it'd be that easy. A virus program to prevent tampering? Something that tracked her Extranet history? Or maybe even a program that listened to everything she did? That sounded more like the Overseer's style.
She wondered if she'd be able to work around it somehow. Programming was kind of her thing, but… these kinds of programs weren't what she usually worked with.
Zha realized that her name was being called. She swirled around with a start, coming face to face with the mousy looking scientist.
"Oh!" she squeaked. "I was… I wasn't listening. Sorry. What did you say?"
The man cleared his throat. He was the pure image of unthreatening with his too large suit and hunched shoulders. It immediately put Zha on the edge. There was a reason the Overseer had chosen this man to be her guide, surely. He wouldn't have chosen just anybody.
"I, uh. I just said that I was told to show you around the station before taking you to your room. You don't… ah, you don't start work until tomorrow, so today's for, like… acclimation and stuff?"
"Ah, sure. Of course. Right," Zha muttered and put down her hand. What had the Overseer said this man's name was again? She didn't even know how long she was going to stay here, so maybe it didn't matter. She didn't want to get to know this guy, she had actual important things to do.
The man gave a shaky smile, clearly uncomfortable with the task of looking after Zha. Whether it was because of Zha's species or general awkwardness, she didn't know. And she didn't really care to find out either.
She was shown out of the hangar the same way the Overseer had left, but there was no sign of the man out there. He was far gone already, much to Zha's relief. The scientist person of an unknown name was leading her forward, waving his hands and mumbling something, not even looking at Zha while he spoke.
The deeper he took Zha, the clearer it became that her flimsy memories of this place from the last time weren't going to be of any help to navigate this place. The little she had seen back then, it had all faded from her memory, washed away by the panic and worry of the time. Looking around now, Zha couldn't even be sure if this was the same way she'd taken back then or not. She craned her neck, reading the markings on the wall. No, these corridors did not look familiar at all. But then again, last time she'd been here, she'd been guided through with a completely different kind of intent. They'd been herded around like cattle. This time she had a guide.
Who was… still talking. To her, apparently. Zha's back snapped up straight. She should have probably been paying attention to him. She needed all the information she could get out here if she wanted to succeed. She couldn't afford to get lost in her own head. The faster Zha learned, the sooner she'd be out.
" – so, for now you shouldn't wander around by yourself," the man finished a sentence Zha hadn't heard. She must have looked confused when he looked at her, because he started waving his arms jerkily, his voice coming out louder and faster. "It's – the Overseer said it's a safety measure. It's not that we don't trust you! All the new guys have to do that. You can't just poke your head around other people's projects. It's nothing personal! This is – It's a delicate project. We can't afford to get it leaked out, you know? So you can't leave your room without me. Okay?"
"Yeah, sure," Zha muttered, eyeing the ground, then looking at the man again. So… if she started looking around all by her lonesome, the others would notice. She kind of stood out, she supposed, and they'd be keeping a close eye on her.
"It's just for your trial period," the man continued, mellowing down a little and he shrugged.
"Okay," Zha said and looked forward. "How long's that going to last… exactly?"
"Well, that would depend on the Overseer," the human answered rubbing his neck. He was really… sweaty. The neck of his suit was damp with moisture. "He's going to keep a track on your acclimation process and decide when he thinks you're trustworthy enough. But usually it's like a month or something. Could take longer, could take less, but a month is pretty much the average. Two of my team mates did it under a month."
A month? Keelah. Zha bit down on her tongue to stop the exclamation from escaping. She was going to have to sit around this station for an entire month before they would even let her walk out on her own? How was she supposed to do any reconnaissance during that time? Well, she supposed she wasn't, and that was a problem. Her hands were trembling at her sides and she had to consciously push them against her sides to make it stop.
"I… see," she forced out.
"But!" the human said. "The good thing is that you can start working immediately. I'll come pick you up after the designated sleeping hours have ended, we can eat breakfast and then I'll take you to meet your new team. You'll be starting at the advanced AI programming unit. It was the Overseer's decision. But if it turns out you've got more talent in some other area, you can always ask to be relocated."
That was the good news? They didn't trust her but they were ready to put her to work already? That didn't sound like good news to her. She bit her teeth together and nodded as if she was excited by the thought. A month. She was going to have to play pretend for an entire month before even getting to work on her goal? Zha wasn't sure if she got what it took to play this game for so long. And there would be no room for error either. If Zha didn't play her part just right, act like the very model of a loyal lackey, she had no doubt they wouldn't hesitate throwing her out the airlock. It was going to be hell.
But she'd already known it was going to be hell, hadn't she? She hadn't come here for a nice picnic with the Overseer and Sunei, she'd come here to lie and steal. It wasn't going to be easy and the prospect of staying here for longer than a few days made her feel queasy, but she'd survived through worse, right? Her crew was a safe distance away and her life wasn't in an immediate danger.
Yeah. It was going to be fine. And as long as Sunei continued to be a no-show, Zha'd be a-okay.
She was shown around the most important areas of the station. The human guy was way too enthusiastic to point out the diner that was closest to the lab they'd be working in, then showing the lab itself. Both were empty at the moment and the man explained that the official sleeping hours had started already and most people were sound asleep. After that he took Zha to the crew's sleeping quarters.
"This place is really top notch!" he gushed, waving his hands around in circles as if to make sure Zha would miss nothing. To be honest, there wasn't much to see here, just a long corridor with hundreds of identical doors with numbers written on them. "Everyone has their own sleeping quarters. And the higher the rank, the better room you get! The last team I used to work with before this, we had to share a room, but here everyone gets their own privacy. Isn't that great?"
Some privacy of her own? Zha nodded her approval. That was actually pretty nice. At least she'd have a place where she could breathe a little.
She was taken to the very end of the corridor, where the room doors were closer to each other and the human showed her to the door that was going to be hers.
"So, like I said," he tilted his head and wiped some sweat off of his brow, "the sleeping hours started like… an hour so ago. So like… feel free to relax or whatever. I'll be getting you in eight hours." He moved his hand to the door, his Omni-tool coming to life. The door slid open with ease and Zha peered outside.
She wasn't sure what she was expecting. A homicidal asari hiding inside, maybe, or just a death squad ready to fire. Someone telling her it had all been a big elaborate joke and now she was going to die. But it was nothing of the sort. It was just… a regular room. A really small room, but completely normal as far as she was concerned. Taking a step inside and crossing the threshold between the room and the outside, Zha noticed that it was only a few steps deep, just big enough to house a bed that could be folded against the wall.
Not exactly the luxury room the man had described. Apparently she hadn't earned that yet.
"So," the human said and Zha turned to look at him. "Unfortunately I have to like… lock you up for now. It's just! It's just a precaution, you know," he said, waving his hands around. "It's not like you're a prisoner or anything, I just… the Overseer's orders."
It sure sounded like she was a prisoner, Zha wanted to say. Not that she had expected anything less. Instead she forced herself to relax and nodded at the man.
"It's fine," she said, managing to keep her voice steady. "Just the trial period, right?"
The human looked infinitely relieved at her compliance.
"Right!" he said and gave her a shaky smile. "So… eight hours. Sleep well!"
The door slid shut and the locking mechanism let out a hiss. Zha gave a tentative push at the door, but it gave her no reaction. There was no latch to grab onto, no handle to pull at. The holographic locking mechanism flickered for a moment before turning off completely. Zha bit her teeth together. So there was no hacking it open, then. She'd been safely sealed in this miniscule room.
She stepped back, turning away from the door. It was fine. It was completely fine. She was used to confined spaces, this wasn't going to be a problem.
Then why the hell was her heart beating so painfully against her chest?
No. No it wasn't, Zha was fine and she was going to calm down right now. She drew in a breath through her nose, closing her eyes for a moment, only opening them when she let the breath out in a loud gust that fogged up her visor.
This was fine. She was fine. And everything was going to be great.
She needed to focus on something else, get something to think about instead of wallowing on all the dozens of ways she was screwed. Zha looked around the room, from one wall to the next, sizing the whole thing up. Not that there was much to size. Standing in the middle of the small closet she was supposed to call her room now, she could reach out with her hands and touch the walls at her sides. No, it wasn't just that. She could flatten both of her palms on the walls with still some length of her arms to spare. This place was almost as small as her cargo hold.
Breathe in, breathe out, Zha reminded herself, hands resting against the walls as if to keep her upright. Little panicking was okay. It was to be expected. She could survive that. But she needed to rein in the lurching in her stomach unless she wanted to develop some long lasting damage to her digestive system. It would pass. All of this would pass in time and she would be okay.
Keelah. Zha slid to sit down on the ground. For a moment she just focused on breathing. If only Scribble was here. Or Lucky. Or anyone.
Easy breaths. Count to one hundred. Focus on something else. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Okay. She was good. She was better than good. Her breathing started to come out easier. Zha closed her eyes for a moment and just sat there. Then she looked up. Her vision was clearer now and not just because her visor wasn't fogged up anymore. Her head was clearer.
The bed was a simple cot folded up against the wall. Zha gave it a quick once over. Maybe she should just pull it open, bury herself under the covers and call it a day. Turning on her hands and knees Zha looked around the rest of the maybe-a-former-broom-closet-turned-into-a-room. There was another door there, smaller than the entrance. Crawling to open it, the door revealed the smallest lavatory Zha had ever had the displeasure of seeing. There was barely enough space to stand there. She pulled back and shut the door to lean against it.
The place was so small. So cramped. It should have felt like home, the way the walls were so close together. But there was nothing familiar here. And it was all so… clean. Impersonal. Removed from everything Zha knew. She was surprised she didn't leave smudges on everything she touched. Even here, in her closed off space, she felt like she was out in the open. That someone was observing her
She reached for the light switch next to the door and a pure white light bathed the small room in its sterile glow. Zha grimaced and turned the light off immediately, preferring the warm orange glow of her Omni-tool. It gave the room this grimy air of familiarity. A small piece of something from home. It made Zha breathe a little easier.
Everything was going to turn out right in the end. It had to.
Climbing to her feet with her hands on the wall behind her, Zha took one step to reach the bed and pulled it open. It barely even made a sound when she dropped it and it unfolded to take up half the room. Drawing in another heavy breath, Zha fell to sit on the bed and lifted her feet on it. She propped her Omni-tool hand on her knees, fingers hovering over it in indecision. No connection, the device said. Just that. Nothing more. Tapping at it, Zha went through the device only to see that it was still functional. Zha could still use all the programs and games she'd downloaded there, they worked just fine. The only thing wrong was that there was no connection. That meant no Extranet and no way to contact Scribble.
That was bad too.
What had they done to it? That human messing with her Omni-tool hadn't had it for longer than a few minutes, so how bad could it actually be? Well, the answer was, of course, bad. Really bad. But that wasn't the point.
It didn't matter what she had done to it. The only thing that did was the question whether Zha could undo the damage or not.
She started going through the device. It was an old one, a little clumsy and slow in comparison to some of the never models. Zha had had this one for years now, she'd gotten it cheap when a newer model had come to the market and everybody wanted to get rid of their old ones. It had served her well, it was a good, sturdy piece and it wasn't like Zha had had the money to buy a new one anyway. She had considered getting a newer model at some point, but now she was glad she hadn't.
She'd had this one for years. And she knew it inside out.
Giving a quick glance-through the settings, Zha tried to find if she could see anything out of place. Nothing there, surprise-surprise. Of course they wouldn't make it that easy. It would have been really funny if the Overseer in all of his glory had had one of his top scientists just switching on the child safety lock and expected that to be enough. Zha hummed and tapped her fingers against her writs in thought. So how about that virus, then?
It was embarrassingly easy to find the source of the problem. The malware was just sitting there, like the scientist hadn't even tried to hide it. She wouldn't even have to purge her Omni-tool to remove it.
It was easy.
A little too easy, to be honest.
It was simple lockdown that prohibited her device from reaching the Extranet and therefore stopping her from contacting any other devices with her own. A simple program made to interfere with her communication. You could get one of those with barely any trouble at all from any fledgling techie wannabe. It was plain to see, left behind almost sloppily and even a kid with basic knowledge of their Omni-tool would have been able to get rid of it.
Zha's fingers hovered over the program, ready to delete it.
Something about this felt fishy. Her fingers faltered and she put them down.
It shouldn't be this easy. Not with these people. Not with the Overseer.
But it was right there. She could just… remove it. Easy as pie.
Zha's fingers twitched. Maybe she should keep searching. Just in case…
She went through the files on her Omni-tool, looked for any new additions that shouldn't be there. Anything that was out of place. Nothing stood out. She frowned and started skimming through the code.
She knew some people liked to mod their Omni-tools themselves, mold them to suit their needs better, but Zha had never seen the need. Her interests had lied in somewhere else and if she needed to add something to her device, Extranet usually provided what she needed just as long as she knew where to look for. But she knew her tool, knew what made it tick. Knew how it worked.
Time went by and ate at the sleeping hours. Zha didn't really pay attention, engrossed with her search for… something. And in the end, she was rewarded.
There was something there that was new. Something that wasn't supposed to be there. Code that wasn't part of the original Omni-tool programming, code she had not written, code she had not gotten from someone else. Code that wasn't supposed to be there. It had been hidden well, but if Zha knew anything, she knew her tech. She knew the ship she flew on like the back of her hand, she had built her own crew, most from the scratch and she knew her own damn Omni-tool. And this was new.
The lockdown program was a simple ruse, left intentionally easy to bypass. It was a trap. The real danger lied in a sneaky little program hiding away from plain sight, recording her every move. She looked it through and it became clear what it was there for. It was following her Omni-tool use, recording everything she did and sending the information gathered off to somewhere. Probably to the Overseer. Or a lackey.
Removing the virus wouldn't be that much of a challenge now that Zha knew it was there. It would be child's play to just get rid of it. But… the Overseer would know. The moment the program would stop sending information to whoever it was that was following her Omni-tool activity, they would know she'd found the program and removed it. And when that would happen, Zha would be neck deep in trouble.
She sat back and stared at the ceiling. This wasn't going to be that simple, was it? Zha tapped her wrist in thought. So, what else could she do? Removing the virus wasn't an option, but what about a diversion? Something to fool the program into thinking she was using her tool to play games or something? Sure, that might work. Not for long, but it might be enough for the time being.
If she could fool the program into thinking she was just using her Omni-tool to fool around, maybe she could get it to send out fake information out while she was actually busy speaking to Scribble or sending messages to Shara'Kiin? Yeah, maybe. That might work. Zha gnawed at her lip. But it was really risky. If she got found out, then that'd be it. She'd be toast.
She had promised Scribble she'd be contacting her every day, though. The crew was probably worried sick by now. The station had just suddenly up and disappeared.
Keelah. Zha could imagine Scribble panicking. And Lucky. Ancestors, Lucky might just go crazy.
She didn't have much choice in this matter, did she? Zha needed to contact Scribble, to make sure her crew was doing well. And sooner or later she'd have to contact Shara'Kiin. So she could either do it now, or procrastinate and cause panic back on her ship.
Okay. Yeah, she couldn't do that. So back to the Omni-tool it was, then. She straightened her back until it popped, rolled her shoulders and pulled the device back up.
It took her a few hours to put together a program to bypass the Overseer's little gift. It was nothing special, just little something to feed false data for whoever it was that was keeping an eye on her. The little diversion made Zha seem like the only thing she did on her free time was play games on her device, but that was fine.
Zha was smiling under her visor when she turned the program on and shut down the lockdown.
Immediately her Omni-tool let out a series of pings and was filled with messages from Scribble. It appeared that maybe five hours ago, about at the point when the station had jumped, there had been a full meltdown going at her ship and the crew had been trying to contact her ever since.
Those poor idiots. Zha chuckled to herself, feeling relief wash over her when she contacted the ship. Scribble's answer was immediate.
"Zha," she said.
"Yeah," the quarian answered, pulling her legs up on the bed and throwing her free arm around them. "I'm here."