-POV Jane Shepard


'Ugh, not enough sleep.

Why did that idiot trying to get himself into the infirmary bother me so much?' I thought with annoyance over my new teammate's insistance over fighting Wrex, a biotic Krogan Battlemaster who's been alive for more than a thousand years and has been fighting for most of it.

"Well, let's hope some grub will help me forget." I said as I tried to convince myself and got dressed in the usual alliance stuff.

Good thing the mess hall is pretty much empty so early. Lets me eat with Tali and Garrus on most days since they make their food first. But I was surprised to only find one of my favorite dextro-protein based aliens there today, and it being Garrus. Usually he's the later one.

"Hey Garrus. Where's Tali this fine morning?" I asked as I put down my tray with things that look like an actual breakfast and some coffee.

"Hey Shepard. Tali's either still working with our new friend or she's sleeping. Those two were pretty excited to start working on that Cerberus armor last night." He answered as he took a bite of his own breakfast.

"Great, that means I might have to put her to bed." I replied with a little sigh.

"Speaking of beds, where's the new guy sleeping? I didn't notice any new cots being added or you assigning him a place with the other humans." Garrus asked out of curiosity, but then it suddenly clicked that after I got annoyed at him, I didn't tell Neo where he would be sleeping.

"Ah crap." I responded as I facepalmed myself.

"You actually forgot to give him a place to sleep after you convinced him to come aboard? That's cold." The turian incredulously stated.

"It's not my fault. He and Wrex kept wanting to fight each other, so I got upset and told them I'd organize it, but I kinda forgot about the fact that Neo didn't have a place to sleep in yet, after that I left Wrex to bring him up for food." I defended myself to my alien companion.

"The guy wants to fight a krogan? Are you sure Cerberus made him correctly?" The dismayed turian asked.

"I think they made him too well." I mumbled in frustration, "Both Wrex and Neo said that anyone else would just get hurt because we're too fragile or squishy."

"Wrex actually said that? Damn, new guy must be stronger than I thought. What did Doctor Chakwas have to say about him when she gave him a check-up?" Garrus asked as he got a bit more serious about this.

"Apparently her words were 'a krogan in human form, as if an Asari, a Salarian and a krogan got together and somehow made a human, and what could happen if the Asari belief of them taking the best of the 'father' was actually true.'" I answered as I remembered the things she told me when I went to her to talk about that fight the two wanted.

"And Wrex being Wrex, probably felt that Neo was a good fight and wouldn't take no for an answer since he's always bored. Got it." Garrus said as he got what was going on.

"And you don't see anything wrong with this?" I questioned as he seemed to think this just made everything ok.

"Look Shepard, if Wrex felt the new guy was dangerous enough to want to fight him, he's probably right. And if the Doc said all that about the guy, then she most likely wasn't exaggerating. And if they both want to fight each other, let them get it out of their system. It's near impossible to stop a Krogan from fighting someone they actually want to anyway, I know, I've had to deal with it pretty often back in C-Sec, so just let them be." He advised as I just couldn't think of a counter.

I don't know why I'm so hung up on this. I mean, I'm bringing Neo to fight Geth and a race of genocidal machines, while taking down everything that gets in the way already. It's not like one fight with Wrex would be more dangerous.

sigh*"i guess you're right. I probably overreacted to this." I resignedly said after thinking about Garrus' words.

"I know I am. But I would have been with you any other time a human wanted to fight a krogan barehanded. Usually that's just stupid or suicidal, but now, now I'm actually curious about how strong our new member is and if Cerberus was just bragging about him or not." Admitted as he truly seemed to be curious.

I know he doesn't remotely trust Neo yet. I mean, even I'll keep a close eye on him and I invited him onto the ship. It's nothing personal, but when the files on him openly admit to them trying to indoctrinate him, you will have doubts over how much worked or didn't. So this was probably Garrus thinking that this was a good way to get a read on Neo's physical abilities.

"I'll let you know when the excitement happens." I said as I finished eating and stood up.

I needed to check on Neo and Tali, both of whom I guess are in engineering.

"And I'll let everyone else know after that. I'm pretty sure Joker would start a betting pool for this fight." Garrus said half-seriously as he calmly sipped on whatever turian morning drink he had.

With a backward wave goodbye, I made my way to the elevator.

'I still don't know where to have Neo sleep though. I guess I'll talk to him about it after apologizing for forgetting.' I thought since I had some time.

-POV Neo

"...o...Ne...Neo." A voice called as I felt my body being shaken.

'It seems truly sleeping is better than sedation.' I thought as I woke from my slumber and noticed Tali'Zorah was the one calling me.

"Hello Tali'Zorah. I did not expect you to awaken before myself." I politely greeted as I stood up from my chair and stretched my body.

"I had an alarm set so I wouldn't miss breakfast." She replied as she shyly turned her head away and repeatedly glanced at me while I stretched.

I did not understand why she was not looking at me directly, but her waking me was good of her. I would prefer to eat when I could instead of completely relying on my enhancements. It will help make me seem more normal as a human to eat regularly as well.

"That is good. I should do the same as well once we have cleared my Omni-tool of any dangers. Thank you for waking me in time for breakfast as well Tali'Zorah." I said as I finished my stretching.

"It was nothing. But, um, Neo. Are you the one who brought me to my bed?" The slightly fidgety Quarian asked as I felt some embarrassment and shame exude from her.

"Indeed it was. Should I not have done so without your permission? I am sorry if I overstepped my bounds." I openly admitted as I also did not wish to anger the young woman.

Women can be considered to have strange triggers which could lead to conflicts. I do not know if trespassing into Tali'Zorah's sleeping quarters could be considered such a trigger.

"No no no no! You did nothing wrong. I was just a bit embarrassed that I fell asleep, you had to see such a mess, I left you to work alone and, and ooooh Kelah." The flustered Quarian tried to explain as she stumbled on her words. It was... cute.

"Worry not Tali'Zorah. I understand the reasons behind the state of your quarters and bringing you to them was what I believe I should have done as you are my teammate from now on. There is nothing to be ashamed about." I calmly explained with a small smile growing on my face.

"Thank you Neo." She responded after calming herself.

"My pleasure Tali'Zorah." I fondly replied.

"You know, you can call me Tali like everyone else." She stated as I felt some shyness.

"Then I shall endeavor to do so from now on Tali." I replied as I felt her regain the positivity from yesterday as we worked.

It felt pleasant.

cough cough*

Tali and I turned to find the commander standing at the entrance with a raised eyebrow.

"Am I interrupting anything?" She asked with an odd tone of voice.

"Simply a pleasant conversation after awaking commander." I answered as this has been what I've felt so far. "How has your day been so far?"

"Uh huh. Could have been better if I didn't have to worry about a certain someone wanting to fight a krogan barehanded last night." Jane answered in response with a rather pointed tone of voice. I was feeling some irritation from her.

"Who would be crazy enough to want to fight a krogan?" Tali questioned in total disbelief.

"He's standing right next to you Tali." Shepard answered with a light glare at me as the Quarian snapped to look at me.

"Are you insane!" She then immediately yelled at me.

"Not that I am aware." I seriously answered since I am not entirely sure how a psychological evaluation would respond to me. "But it is only a spar. Injuries will be minimal."

"And minimal injuries when fighting a krogan means broken bones at least!" Tali heatedly countered, making me remember that she does not know of my enhancements.

"I am more durable than I look Tali, but I thank you for your concern." I responded softly this time as the feeling of someone caring was a nice one.

"You! This!" She frustratedly said before turning to the commander, "You can't let him do this Shepard!"

"As much as I want to agree with you Tali, and going against my better judgement, I already said I'd let him and Wrex do it." Shepard responded with a slightly weary sigh.

"What?" Tali replied as if she couldn't believe it.

"I talked with Doctor Chakwas, with Garrus and the two idiots involved, and I couldn't find a reason not to let them fight. Neo is right about being tougher than most people and if he wants to do something stupid then let him learn from it." Jane resignedly explained.

Jane and Tali were emitting very similar feelings at that moment. It was pleasant that they cared for someone they had just met like me, but their worry should not be enjoyed.

"I am sorry for causing you both stress due to my stubbornness. But everything will be alright. And if not, I have heard women enjoy being able to say 'I told you so' to stubborn males." I said as I spoke to both of them.

"You know what? Fine. I'll be the first person you see when you wake up to the med bay ceiling just to say 'I told you so'." Jane replied with a bit of a smirk as her emotions lifted somewhat.

"And I'll be right next to her so that you can hear it twice." Tali added as the two looked at each other and confirmed their actions.

"At least I will have something pleasant to see after being so close to a krogan. Although I respect them and their strength, they are not a species I believe I could find aesthetically pleasing thus far." I said as the two ladies seemed to agree with my statement as they chuckled in response.

This was the end of the discussion since Tali left to get her breakfast soon after, with some words regarding getting a sneak peek at what my Omni-tool could do as payback for being foolish. And Jane spoke to me regarding my sleeping arrangements since she had forgotten about discussing them after yesterday's events. In the end it was decided that a cot and storage locker around the same area as Tali's makeshift quarters would do just fine. Sleeping near Wrex did not appeal to me and I did not feel any kind of positive relationship with anyone on the ship besides Jane, Tali, Wrex and the Doctor so far, thus how the decision was made.

It would seem such intense discussions as the ones from my first 24h on board are not common place when interacting with other people, something demonstrated by the rather enlightening week which followed it.

The first thing I learnt as a member of the Normandy is that Shepard is a very altruistic person. She undertakes missions and tasks involving anything from armed conflict, artifact retrieval and investigations, while doing her best to do the right thing according to her morality. This manifested as four excursions undertaken by herself and two other squad members of her pick. I am not officially cleared for combat yet due to my armor not being completely cleaned of Cerberus influence, but Tali has been involved in two missions since I have been here.

I have asked her to tell me of her experience so that I may learn, but one can only do so much when the answer is ' I need new filters after letting Shepard drive the Mako, Thresher Maws are murder on any good machine, and getting shot by everyone i meet is really dwindling my supply of suit patches.' It sounded like an... enriching experience. I had to help her build that night vision setting for her suit in order to improve her mood.

Although I could not be part of the ground team yet, I have not been idle.

My weapons had been cleared after three days and I had been spending hours familiarizing myself with every aspect of them. Every one of my guns I could disassemble and reassemble in record time. I was also able to give them a test run when the Normandy landed on a planet I could walk on without needing my armor. They all certainly had more recoil than anticipated, and this being my first time truly experiencing shooting guns made the matter a bit exaggerated, but this was only for a few moments. With each practice shot I became more comfortable and improved until I felt like my performance matched myself during my lessons. I will have to be careful when dealing with erratically moving targets, but my base should be solid.

It does reassure me that Tali and Liara both had rather minimal weapons training before joining this mission. It meant some leeway was available.

Beyond my time preparing myself for deployment, I have also taken the time to speak to other ground team members.

Wrex was rather simple as a person, likes fights and guns, dislikes Turians and Salarians, but he also had a wealth of experience and some interesting views on events, even if his feelings on the genophage seep through much of the time. It is a horrible affliction to be sure, witnessing the thousands of stillborn infants will make anyone understand how bad it is, but I am not certain if it was the wrong thing to do. Logically it all made sense, the krogan reproduce incredibly quickly, have far too much battle lust, are incredibly difficult to kill, are the species with the longest lifespan in the galaxy and wanted to fight everyone, so you reduce the rate of birth to make such an endeavor impossible. But emotionally, this felt like a moral wrongdoing. To sentence to death untold numbers of children, to cripple any hope of Krogans improving their views, to force an entire race to live as they do now. It is hard to approve if you saw Krogans as more than mindless brutes and beasts. Beyond that, he has shown me a good trick to quickly reload shotguns and has said he wanted to see if I could handle a krogan one if he gets his hands on one. So far quite a positive relationship.

Garrus was... guarded against me. Still understandable. But he had good tips on sniping and on how to get into standard security systems. He was also rather enjoying being loose from C-Sec regulations. He had gotten intoxicated after a more stressful mission and complained about them for a long time. I found out I could consume Turian alcohol that night, which later led to me testing if I could eat their food as well, to apparent success. Interesting discoveries. Overall, Garrus felt reliable as long as I did not give him a reason for him to distrust me.

Ashley seemed open to my presence, if still mostly polite. She helped me understand how the alliance worked on a more personal level, but I soon found out that she had rather strong distrust of aliens due to her family and service history. I had not realized the fact that she was related to the infamous General Williams of Shanxi. He was covered rather intensively by Cerberus, although conflicted in opinion, they had begrudgingly admired him. The entire case on the Williams family blacklisting makes me realize how foolishly petty and sentimental people could be. That a military would willingly harm potential assets over the actions of their predecessor makes no sense to me. I found myself having some varied opinions about her, but still generally felt positive.

Lt. Alenko was less open about himself when compared to the others. I knew about his pain, but felt it an invasion of his privacy should I force the topic. We have had a few polite conversations about his past postings and how this mission began. Being near him was proving difficult due to his brain almost always emitting some pain or discomfort, those signals numbing the emotions I could feel, but what made it difficult was not knowing how to help properly. I can sooth fear or sadness, but I do not know what to do with pain. So although we did not have a bad relationship, it was almost entirely professional.

Liara was difficult to speak to. She seemed to avoid me for some reason and always focused on some kind of project related to the Protheans. I attempted to ask her about any of it, but her body language and emotions spoke of great discomfort when near me. I do not remember offending the young asari, and no one whom I asked have told me of any sort of error I have committed. I could only temporarily halt my attempts.

And lastly we have the one I have grow closest to in the last week, Tali. Speaking with her let me learn much more about Quarian life and culture. It is one thing to hear second hand accounts and studies, but hearing of the details first hand was much better. Cerberus feared that they had the largest Navy in the galaxy, but Tali's accounts told me of just how valuable each of those ships are to her people. I learnt of daily lives, governmental systems, traditions, the meaning of some words and Quarian views on a majority of topics. Tali on the other hand was happy someone other than Shepard listened to her talk about her home. This was while we worked on my armor, something which we should be able to finish working through soon. But I believe I have deepened my relationship with her enough to be... friends.

Making a friend was nice.

As for Shepard, she was far too busy to properly spend time with due to her duties as a spectre, alliance commander, the ship's captain, the missions and everything which came with being her. I was... worried about her well-being. The workload and the pace she was doing it was not for humans. She has taken some breaks and talked to members of her ground team from time to time, as well as check up on me, but these are rarer than expected. I have learnt about the woman from others and by reading the documents on her service I was permitted to read, and it was rather impressive. Earth born, orphaned, joined military, went through biotics and N7 training with highest marks ever, exemplary service, war hero for her actions during the Skyllian Blitz and later made batarians fear her during the retaliatory actions on Torfan, now the first human spectre.

I could understand how she feels so different than others after reading Jane's history. Compared to the other Alliance members I have met so far, she is simply... far brighter. But being such a person seems... lonely to me. I shall need to see what I can do about this.

Until then I will work to aid her on the field and fulfill my end of our agreement. My armor shall be ready for the next mission. My weapons are ready. After that I shall work on clearing my Omni-tool and then the biotic amp.

I shall be ready soon.

Author notes:

Hello and thank you for reading. Here's a more reasonably sized chapter.

Now, before anyone says anything, the reason I'm having people who are actually caring about Neo's well being harp on about his intention to fight with Wrex is for rather logical reasons.

When someone who looks like a fairly normal buff human says he wants to fight the 800 pound, naturally plated, thousand year old battlemaster of an alien race far stronger than your own, you kinda either want to stop him or think he's crazy no? So yes, Tali and Jane had a problem with it. And no, there won't be another round of complaining about it.

But yeah, I wanted to talk about what would generally happen during ones time on the Normandy as Shepard goes around doing all the side quests available. Kinda wanted to make it a bit realistic so that it wasn't something like 3 quests in a day since traveling takes time, people and equipment need maintenance to no get themselves killed, and Shepard herself can only do so much.

Getting Neo closer to the crew, or trying at least. I've got my reasons for having Liara not being comfortable around him. Kaidan never was someone who liked to talk about himself in my eyes, so it makes sense to me that he would basically keep things more professional with someone who's essentially just a merc in his eyes. I am trying to be fair with Ashley, not treating her like a space racist, because aside from some lees than ideal comments, she mostly just didn't trust aliens to have humanities back and had a more aggressive personality in general. Then we have Wrex and Tali just getting along great with him because it felt appropriate.

I'll try to have some more excitement soon, hope you all can continue to enjoy.