Jayne was not to far away from the camp as she looked up into the sky. Being the 'star called' meant that she had to read the stars to know what was coming. She didn't like the idea of reading the stars every night. But today she felt the need to, with her friends back it felt like something was wrong in the Mortal realms. So, she needed to view them to see if they had answers. It was hard to describe on how she had read them. It was like an instinctual thing; she could just tell what they were trying to say.
Sighing the sound of metal boots against stone met her ears and she turned to see one of the hunters walk up. "Sorry Lady Celestant, but one of the…" he paused to think right word. "…visitors wish to talk to you. The blue skinned one,"
"Liara," Jayne muttered to herself before looking at the hunter. "Bring her but make sure she's hidden,"
The hunter nodded and left. He came back quickly with a cloaked figure, who approached Jayne and removed the hood to show the blue skin of the asari.
"Leave us," Jayne said looking towards the hunter who nodded and walked away. "Couldn't sleep?" she asked with a smile.
The asari nodded. "This place, its give's me the creeps. I'm not like Ashley or James wo can sleep anywhere. I have no military training for that," she admitted.
"Well, this is the Realm of beasts, staying awake is probably a good thing," she smiled but Liara didn't share it so she then sighed and sat with Liara doing the same. "You wanted to talk?" she asked trying not to look at the asari.
"What happened Jayne?" the asari asked bluntly. "What happened on the Citadel?"
Jayne hung her head. "I don't remember everything," she said but then began to recount what happened.
Coughing and spluttering blood the N7 Spectre stood. She was tired, beaten battered and bruised but she had to move on.
"This is Shepard," she said into her comm. "Can anyone here me?" but no on responded.
Grunting she looked around. She was in some kind of corridor with dead bodies pushed up next to the walls. Grotesque but she needed to push on. Looking around she found a pistol and picked it up. Good, it still had a heat sync in it. Looking at herself, most of her armour was gone and offered little protection.
Releasing the straps and locks the top part of her armour fell onto the floor. She at least had her shields still working. Cracking her neck, she brought her pistol up and moved down the corridor…
"It goes blank, I don't know what happened after I moved along down the corridor. But then I reached the main control room…"
Jayne walked up a ramp only to find herself on a platform that didn't seem to have a roof. Earth could be seen in all it's blue and green glory as she walked up. In the middle of the platform was a large hole here a light emitted from. In front of that was a panel of some kind but in front of that was some figure that stood there. Jayne moved up slowly, keeping her weapon up. A she approached the figure turned to look at her making her stop.
It had the body of a humanoid but the head was similar to the collectors but small her with tentacles hanging behind it. It also had six eyes, both sets were set in a triangle on both sides of it's face. It had no mouth to speak of instead it had some kind of mask with blue lights on it. It stared at her with an unnatural look.
"Shepard," it said in a mechanical voice she instantly recognised.
"Harbinger," she muttered with venom.
"You have become a thorn in my side human, do not expect it to last," he threatened. "The ascension as become, and this cycle will fall to it like the rest of other cycles,"
"Not on my watch!" she declared before firing.
The rounds hit Harbinger's armour but did nothing making him laugh. Grunting in annoyance Jayne tossed the pistol to one said before moving over to a damaged part of the platform and ripped a long piece of metal from it. She then looked towards the machine and spin the metal rod on her hands before stopping and slammed it on the ground.
"Bring it," she challenged.
Harbinger then charged in fast, claws glinting in the light of the void. Jayne was ready as she moved in as well and used the makeshift staff like a bat and wacked the humanoid machine in the gut making him back up a bit. It didn't do much, not that she expected it, but she needed to make it back up and think. As soon as she backed up, she moved in quickly not giving it a chance to respond.
She lunged in and managed to get one of Harbingers eyes making it back up even more. Seeing an opening she charged in again using the staff like a spear and got a glancing blow as he managed to deflect the attack with ease. He then took this change to strike her with its claws. Pain surged through her making her back up. Three lines on blood across her chest made her panic but she remained cool and collected. They weren't deep, but she needed to finish this quickly before blood loss took hold.
The machine took its chance and moved in. In response, Jayne spun around the attack and slammed the staff into it's back. That sent him to the floor, and from the looks of things, she had hit something vital. Sighing she moved over to it and pulled the staff out of it before walking over to the control panel. She managed to get a few feet to it before she stopped. Pain surged though her making her look down to see a claw sticking though her guts.
Harbinger withdrew his claws and allowed Jayne to collapse where she stood. Blood flowed from her wound which she tried to close with her hand.
"Your kind has failed," he said walking over her and towards the console. "Just like the others,"
Neither of them noticed a cloud forming above the hole with sparks of electricity coming from it. Harbinger walked up to the console and just watched as energy began to build up within the hole. It just looked as Jayne stood and drove her makeshift staff into its head. Sparks flew from it while it spasmed. Both collapsed before Jayne pulled herself up and activated the console before falling back down. Blood flowed from her body making her light headed.
The cloud above the hole opened up and lighting striked her leaving nothing more than scarring on the ground.
"…I awoke on the anvil remembering nothing," Jayne said as she looked at the sand. "After that, and the trials I was assigned to the Knights of Dawn as a Celestant. The rest is history,"
Liara nodded as Jayne recalled on how she died. "That somewhat makes sense, during the battle we detected some king of quantum flux. Whatever it was it must have allowed you to be transferred here,"
"Not here," Jayne muttered. "Azyr, the celestial realm,"
That made Liara's brow raised. "If you were sent there, why where we sent here?"
"The god's move in strange ways," Jayne admitted.
Liara smiled a little. "Jayne Shepard, once the atheist, now a worshiper of gods," she said making Jayne smile a little.
"Well, in this universe at least they do exist," she said. "Ours, not so much given all that has happened but being here add perspective to one's view," she then looked to Liara. "Now, I believe it's my turn to interrogate you,"
"Shoot," the asari smiled.
"What happened after I… well died?" she asked making Liara's expression turn to a more solemn one.
"The Reapers fell apart, and we won. But people managed to get their hands-on Reaper tech forcing the Council to organise teams to go out and destroy these groups and tech. Ashley, being the Spectre, was given the Normandy and everything that you used while you were still around," Jayne didn't say anything and just nodded.
"I'm assuming you found upgrades for EDI, given that the Normandy is gone,"
The asari nodded. "We found a memory core upgrade that we installed into her. We also moved her AI core to a base where she now operates several EDI drones. But the one we have is close the original,"
"So, proximity isn't a problem?" Jayne asked with relief. "That's good, I feared I might have made a mistake," Thar made Liara raise her brow.
"Then why did you risk EDI? By blowing the ship?" she asked in horror.
"Because of the technology. Chaos are not the only foe here to deal with," she said looking over to Liara. "You have the dead of Shyish, the orruks, skaven, rouge freeguilders, and less understanding Stormcast hosts. These worlds are not always the best places for understanding. Especially when technology is involved,"
"So, you destroyed it so no one could get the upper hand on one another?" Liara asked with Jayne nodding.
"Yes, it's like when the Salarians uplifted the Krogan. I have no idea what to expect if we allowed the technology to exist here for any longer," she admitted.
Liara understood what she was saying. While this wasn't like the Korgan, the situation wasn't that dissimilar. Who knows what the different factions could do with that kind of technology? Not to mention it was unlikely to be able to repair the Normandy here if the camp was anything to go by. She sighed and looked up at the stars.
"I should get back," she muttered making Shepard whistle in a tune she had never heard before.
A hunter came up waiting for orders. "Please take my friend back to the tent," she ordered.
The hunter nodded and escorted Liara back to the tent with her being covered. Getting back didn't take long, and she entered the tent before finding her sleeping bag and climbing in. as she slid in Ashley watched her.
"Hey," she whispered. "Did you tell her?"
Liara hung her head. "No, but I get the feeling that she has to stay," she admitted. "If that's she case, she doesn't need to know,"
"But she's the father," Ashley said in annoyance.
"I know, it will only be tougher on her if she realises that. I cannot tell her, none of us can," she said before laying back and trying to fall asleep.
The next day came around suddenly and people outside where moving about. The noise woke the crew up as a hunter walked in.
"Good you are all awake," he said as he places down some armour and bags. "In here are Stormheimer freeguild uniforms. If you need help putting them one, we have a trustee who will help,"
"What about me, Tali and Liara?" Garrus asked.
"Well, the blue one, no offence, can be covered with a simple helm and gloves while you and the one who is covered will have to ware hoods," he said in an apologetic tone. "And as for you, we have a thick cloak for you to ware,"
"Thanks," Garrus then muttered making the hunter nod and walk out before the trustee walked in.
"Wow," he muttered looking at the crew, "Sorry, I'm Yarik I'm here to help you all get up to speed with the uniforms," he said in a voice with excitement and curiosity.
It didn't take long for the crew to get out of their old uniforms and into the new ones. To for the humans, it was quite surprising to see that some of the uniforms were tailored with women in mind. But Yarik said that anyone of a certain age can join the freeguilds, but it depended on the city. Because Stormheim had a reputation for being hardy folk, the women were just as strong as the men. Once they got the uniforms on, and hid the rest, they then began to dismantle the tent with others paying them no mind.
Whatever the reason, the normal freeguilders just ignored them or were ordered to ignore them as they packed up their belongings and weapons before mounting them into carriages. The crew did the same thing before climbing into one of the carriages themselves and Jayne made an appearance.
"Sorry to do this guy's but we just found a clan of Orruks heading towards Stormheim. Our orders were for recon only, so we're heading back," she said in an apologetic tone.
"Orruks?" Tali asked.
"As big as a Krogan, twice as mean, green and dumb at times," she said quickly. "But we will manage to get to the city before they attack," she said before closing the back of the carriage.
There was a yell and a jerk before the convoy began to move towards Stromheim.