18 Demon of the Night Winds

- Sometimes I think Garrus doesn't sleep. Every time I check in on him he's always tinkering and tuning restlessly in the main battery. "Calibrations," he'll say, and bury himself in his work again. He's grown more reckless in combat, taking needless risks with no apparent regard for his own safety. The lives of his lost crew weigh heavily upon him. He told me how his squad died. They were betrayed by one within their own ranks. The traitor, a Turian named Sidonis, is unaccounted for. When Garrus finally finds the one who betrayed them, that man's life won't be worth a spent thermal clip.

Miranda seems to have taken courtesy on my part as some kind of suggestion. I don't know if she's contracted a genuine crush, perhaps on a backswing from recently-deceased Niket, or if this is some sort of plot to tie me more tightly to Cerberus, to compromise my judgement and learn my inner thoughts. Either way, I want nothing to do with it. I wish the woman would at least put some decent clothes on. Her face alone is distracting enough without flaunting her everything in plain view.

Jack doesn't mingle much with the crew. She spends all of her time lurking in her lair staked out in the shadowed recesses of the ship's innards. The engineers have begun scheduling their maintenance with her rare vacancies of the area when I have her out in the field. I still haven't taken her to blow up Pragia yet, and her impatience is tangible. It's not healthy for the Normandy to have a disgruntled and anxious super-biotic fuming silently in its bowels.

Joker and EDI are constantly squabbling. If I didn't know better, just listening to them across the bridge, I'd think they were an old married couple or something.

Samara has asked that we divert to Omega where her target landed. She tells me the fugitive, an Asari with centuries of regular murders, is what her people call an Ardat Yakshi, or Demon of the Night Winds. A rare genetic fluke found only in purebloods, these Asari cannot mate without destroying their partner's mind. The effect becomes a narcotic to the Ardat Yakshi, and killing becomes addictive. When the condition is detected in a young Asari, they are offered a simple choice: to live a life of monitored seclusion, or to die. This Ardat Yakshi, Morinth, fled. She has evaded pursuit for centuries, and the corpses of those who have lain with her number in the thousands. Samara has devoted four hundred years of her life to tracking down this one Ardat Yakshi, her daughter. When she finds Morinth, she will kill her.

I'm starting to understand why Samara chooses to bind herself to the Justicar code.

Setting course for Omega.

- Morinth's presence on Omega confirmed. Her latest victim, a reclusive human girl with artistic talent, was declared a death of brain haemorrhage. That may be technically accurate. Given information found in the girl's journal, Morinth can likely be found in the VIP section of Afterlife.

Samara wants to handle this differently from my inclination. I'd simply wait in ambush in sight of Afterlife with Garrus and Thane. As soon as Morinth walks out, she receives three high-calibre sniper bullets in the head. Samara thinks it too risky. Having evaded pursuit for centuries, Morinth is naturally cagey and slippery. She might, against all odds, get wind of us and simply disappear again. Or she might survive lethal injury long enough to kill surrounding innocents in a flurry of biotic power amidst her death throes.

Instead, Samara wants me to pose as a potential victim, to lure Morinth out and lower her guard. Morinth is selective in her choice of prey, singling out artists and those who stand out. I daresay I could make myself noticeable among the civilians and thugs in Afterlife easily enough. Once I've gotten her attention, I am to engage her in conversation and take the encounter to her apartment, where Samara will confront her and conclude her quest.

I do not like this. Not one little bit. I'll be walking right into the spider's web. A most sinister and distasteful spider at that. But to be fair the plan does have its merits. It improves the odds of successfully catching Morinth and limits the chances of civilian casualties. But I still don't like it. Nevertheless, this is Samara's mission, and her plan is the most sound. We'll do it her way. Garrus is furious at being left out, and insists on covering me from a discreet distance the whole time. I've agreed, on the grounds that he take every precaution against detection and hold fire unless absolutely necessary. This kill is rightfully Samara's.

- Mission complete. The Spider is dead. Making an impression on Morinth was a breeze. Lulling her into a state of greedy assurance was easy. The hard part was resisting the impulse to break her neck the moment I was within arm's reach. I understand now another reason why Samara chose the plan she did. It wasn't just to protect bystanders or put Morinth off-guard. It was a trial; giving Morinth one last chance to prove herself to be other than a murderer. But Morinth failed the test. She took the bait and sought to devour the proffered victim. Samara then concluded her four-hundred-year mission, and killed her daughter in single combat.

I have no children of my own. What must it mean to Samara, I cannot imagine. There is nothing I can say to ease the pain. Samara has done the only thing that could be done. It should never have needed to be.

But justice is now served. The Monster is destroyed, and the dead now can rest in peace.