I don't own the Mass Effect.


Epilogue 4: A Silent Oath

Date: 06-12-2182 (Three weeks later)

If there was one thing I'd learned about Voya'chi vas Xentha over the past month, it was that she could complain about anything. And do so at length without repeating herself, even occasionally not swearing as she did. Contradictions were to be anticipated, and not commented on unless I wanted to be hit, berated, or both.

"The coloration is still off." Voya muttered, her gleaming eyes frowning at the tiny mirror in our bathroom. "There's... too much silver."

Because I still had a black-eye from my sparring session with Thul earlier in the morning, I didn't comment on the fact that she'd spent all of the morning bitching about how there was too much of the dark blue. "It's better than what Tris and her people used, the white was too close to Blue Sun colors for Ayle to accept."

The Quarian simply continued to evaluate her armor, now painted in dark navy with silver slashes and crosses to break her profile a bit. The sole exception was on the left side of her chest, where the image of a down-turned Asari longsword had been done up in the same silver, highlighted with a deep purple, as if it was coated in Asari blood.

The Silver Blade, once used as the Asari tool and symbol for executions.

"Perhaps." Her gray lips twisted a little as she continued to evaluate it. "I suppose it is passable. It isn't as if we'll have much need to disguise ourselves."

"It's paint. We can put camo on if we think we need it." Exhaling, I shook my head in bemusement. "Are you done staring at yourself yet? Most of our equipment's already been transferred, they'll be calling for us anytime now."

"You will wait until I'm done." She sniffed in superior annoyance, managing to stare down her nose at me despite the fact that I was a foot taller. "Now shut up and give me my helmet."

"You have arms, and hands. None of which are broken." Completely ignoring her annoyed hiss, I shoved my already packed duffel bag aside before dropping back into my bunk amidst a clatter of armor plating.

It was... weird to be wearing light plate again, the heavy suit packed away as I could hardly fit inside of the power armor while wearing it. The new panels had the same paint scheme as Voya's, with our group's logo on my left breast. Thul had insisted on adding a copy of the same image from my power armor on the left shoulder, and was encouraging everyone to 'personalize' their armor a bit.

When Ayle had made the mistake of asking why, she'd gotten a very long winded speech about the Pillar of Heart and how it would inspire us or something. I'd been too busy berating Jack for trying to cheat at cards to really pay much attention. I'd been less upset that she cheated than the total lack of subtlety. Rane had cheated in every card game she'd ever played, admitting to it even if I'd never once caught her.

Rane.

Pursing my lips a little, I hesitated for a moment before flicking my omni-tool to life with a gesture. A few more shifts of my finger brought up a tiny image, a picture taken by Illyan before she'd been wounded. She'd sent it to me after she'd been told what happened, the message not having any words with the picture.

I'd understood the sentiment, and sent a few words of thanks back.

It was... just us, sleeping on a couch together. Rane'li burrowed into my side, her large frame covered by a blanket with all four of her eyes closed in sleep as her head rested on my shoulder. My own head rested on hers, dyed hair loose and framing both of our faces as we slept.

Goddess. She looked so relaxed. Peaceful.

Alive.

"We're going to find him Cieran." My companion spoke quietly, her voice hard as she looked on from the bathroom's doorway. "We'll find him, give him to Aria, and sip wine while she strangles him."

Breathing very slowly, I closed the file as her words brought a slow surge of a new emotion. "Why the fuck would I drink wine? A good Illium made rum. Mixed of course."

She snorted before pulling her helmet on, taking care to make sure it sealed properly to her neck before grabbing her armored mask. A few clicks later had her ready to head out, her voice synthesized when she spoke again. "I'll stick to Turian wine since I would like to actually enjoy my drink."

"Fair enough." Turning a bit, I took my own helmet off the mattress, turning it over in my armored hands. "Remember the agreement?"

"I already agreed Cieran." Voya scoffed. "Not as if it actually needed to be said."

"Forgive me for wanting to make sure that you'll remember to focus on him if I end up dead." My lips curled a little bit on one side. "I'd rather you not get distracted killing Krogan and Vorcha that don't really matter."

The glowing eyes behind her visor rolled. "If you end up dead, so will Krom."

"Thanks." I murmured the word before pulling the helmet on, the Hud flickering to life as it connected to the rest of my armor's systems.

Overhead, the ship's speakers echoed to life, causing both of us to glance up. "Silver Blades please report to hanger 3-F for transport to the Imminent Death. Repeat, all Silver Blades members report to hanger 3-F, your shuttle departs in twenty."

Nodding to myself, I pushed my body up to its feet, hauling my duffle bag up with me as I did so. "Ready to go kill people for money?"

"What kind of stupid fucking question is that?" The Quarian turned away, grabbing her own bag and hefting it over a shoulder. "Are you ready to go find your vengeance?"

To go find my vengeance. To find the man who'd killed my Rane. To drag him before Aria and watch as she throttled the life out of him.

You know... I rather liked the sound of that.


End: Another Realm Ronin

And so, just more than one year since I began Another Realm: Arrival, the third story of a rather unplanned series has reached its end. While I very much didn't anticipate writing more than just that first story, I can't say that I regret continuing. The amount of reviews and readers has been above and beyond anything that I thought I would see when I started, massive shout out to everyone who's stuck with me since those early fumbles in the first person, equal amounts of thanks to everyone who found the story later and went back and read it all.

I literally wouldn't be doing this if you all didn't enjoy me doing it and tell me such, boosting my confidence and courage to keep going as the weeks and months went on. It's gotten to the point where I'm going to try my hand at writing something original, and either trying to find a publisher or risk throwing it out there myself.

Either way I might never have even gotten the confidence to try if it wasn't for all of you telling me I'm half-decent at this, so thanks. :)

It will likely be a few months until AR: Vengeance begins because of that personal project, as well as generally needing to take a step back out of Cieran Kean's broken mind for a bit. Vengeance is generally outlined at this point, and the Blocked Writer (massive thanks to him too) and I are going over ideas for the series beyond then as well.

Since I'm still thanking everyone, extra thanks to GreaterGoodIreland for setting up the TvTropes page for the series, and SpiritStirke for working on it. Be sure to check it out, it's a nifty little thing.

Apart from that... final bonus thanks to the Blocked Writer for putting up with all the messages and chapters I send him, and dealing with my occasionally inane thought processes and keeping me on my outline. Remember that I'm more than happy to talk with anyone, so feel free to PM me with thoughts, questions, or just to chat about the series.

Until I come back,

Semper Victoria,

Katkiller V