Banned From Argo (Leslie Fish), the USS Make Shit Up (Voltaire), and of course Mass Effect all belong to their respective creators.
"You know, I've never gotten banned from a planet before."
"I mean, there's an antique store on the Presidium I'm not allowed within thirty meters of, but an entire colony? That's new."
"You're broadening all of our horizons, Commander."
Shepard groaned and shifted the icepack on her temple. "If I could look at you without going crosseyed I'd space you."
"We'd have to be in space to do that."
Argo Port was a small human colony just outside of the Terminus Systems. A common refueling stop, it made a nice profit from trade and was otherwise not particularly notable...until the Normandy SR2 stopped by for her very first shore leave.
Perhaps it hadn't been the best idea to let the entire crew unload itself onto a small city, but everyone had been cagey. Nobody had really expected to survive passing through the Omega 4 relay, and as soon as they were back in safe space, it hit everyone just how closely they'd come to being annihilated. The subsequent adrenaline rush needed to be worked through as quickly as possible, and Argo proved itself a convenient location.
The Normandy had landed, bars were visited, and once the words 'Commander Shepard' were spoken, it seemed like dozens of friends and relatives of Elysium and Eden Prime colonists crawled out of the woodwork and all decided to buy Shepard a drink.
Shepard wasn't entirely sure where she'd spent the night--or even if she slept at all--but she'd come to her senses with half her clothes missing, a hangover the size of a planet, and a very displeased government official glaring at her.
The cold was starting to add to her migraine, so she dropped the icepack on the empty seat next to her and turned to Garrus. "Why the hell are you so damn chipper? I know I saw you drinking last night."
"How many turian drinks do you think a human bar serves?"
"Good point, I guess." Garrus still looked frustratingly sober, and more and more like he was enjoying the whole situation. "Since you can probably still read a datapad, be my secretary. Where the hell is everyone? They only gave us six hours to get out of here." The starport was deserted, and EDI only registered about half the crew back aboard the ship. And even the AI had been acting strangely.
"Weelll..." Garrus made a show of loading up his omnitool and fiddling with it; Shepard cringed at the bright orange light. "Tali and the engineers are at city hall--"
"The hell are they doing--"
"Grunt's collecting a bounty, and--"
"Since when is Grunt a--"
"--Yeoman Chambers and Mordin are in lockup."
"What?!" Shepard's voice echoed in the mostly-empty shuttle, and the reverberation made her wince.
"What...just...start at the beginning." She rubbed her temples. "Please."
"You remember starting at Top Ten, right? Right outside the spaceport, with the...what's it called, karaoke? Tali was a little put out by your rendition of 'the SSV Make Shit Up'. I think she took it as a slight against her engineering skills."
"Oh, god..." That much, at least, was coming back in painstaking clarity. She'd never been drunk enough to consider karaoke at any point in her life after Basic.
"How did that go? 'The Reapers and the Collectors pose no threat to us! 'Cause if we find we're in a bind'--"
"Please, just...continue." Oh, god, it's probably all over the extranet already...
"I think Tali got drunk off the atmosphere more than anything else, but Engineer Donelly outdrank seven marines. His partner was just behind him, and they left with Tali. Now the Hammerhead's on the roof of city hall."
"I'm considering it one of the better outcomes, really. If you'd been driving, there wouldn't be any building taller than two stories left."
"Low blow, Garrus. Low blow. Fine, that explains why that bureaucrat was so angry at me...what about Grunt? He's a bounty hunter now?"
"Circumstantial, really. Nobody else was still standing to collect the bounty when Yastobaal surrendered."
"Wait, wait, Yastobaal? You mean Jan Yastobaal? The pirate?"
"Don't forget slaver, psychopath, kidnapper, and all-around bad person."
"He came here. And surrendered."
"I'm surprised you don't remember that one, actually. Or...maybe not. Didn't you wonder where that head wound came from?"
"What head wound, Garrus?" There were no handy makeup compacts on the Kodiak, but Shepard buffed up a display screen and peered at herself; sure enough, the origin of her headache was a vibrant red bruise on her forehead. A few thin trickles of dried blood seeped from the center of the swelling.
"Now what the hell happened here?" She licked her finger and tried to clean off some of the blood streaks.
"Yastobaal landed and personally led an assault team into the city. Said he wanted to 'avoid bloodshed' by offering the colony a chance to surrender. He was standing in the middle of the spaceport, monologing, when you charged him like an angry krogan. Would have made Wrex proud."
"...you are lying to me."
"I'm wounded, Shepard. You think I'd lie about you headbutting a pirate king so hard his helmet cracked? You can check the news yourself! I don't think they got your good side, though."
"I don't even...so then what happened?"
"Well, his crew turned tail and ran--Grunt wanted to get in on the fun, and there's nothing like a charging krogan to scatter a line. Everyone decided to buy you more drinks, but Grunt heard there was a bounty and decided to collect. You know, there might be a future in that for him if the whole 'perfect krogan' thing doesn't work out."
"Right. Good for Grunt." Stunned, Shepard shuffled back to the seats and replaced the ice pack, this time targeting her bruise. "So I suppose Kelly and Mordin must have built a rogue AI in the sixteen hours or so I wasn't watching them."
"Close!" Turian smiles were more subtle than a human's, but Garrus was enjoying this far too much. "He started a riot in the red light district."
"Of course. Mordin made the whores riot. Why didn't I see this coming."
"As I understand it, he went there after hearing about some sexually-transmitted disease tearing through the workers. Disagreed with either a law officer or a brothel madam--it depends on who's telling the story--about the treatment of some of the prostitutes, and then the prostitutes joined in on the disagreement, and things...spiralled out of control."
"How much of it did he light on fire?"
"Surprisingly little! A lot of improvised weaponry, though. Did some things with fans I didn't even think were possible."
"What--no, I don't want to know. So I suppose Kelly was his vanguard there?"
"No, she was picked up for public indecency a few hours ago."
"Well, actually, that's probably the most mundane thing on the list. I can't say I'm surprised, really..."
"Along with an asari, a drell, a hanar, a salarian, and a krogan."
"But a--what about--are you--but the--No. You know what? Just no." She pulled the icepack over her eyes. "I don't even want to know what Jack did last night."
"Actually, she's still on the ship. I heard Samara convinced her to try meditating."
"Sure, everything else is crazy day, why not have Jack peacefully control her emotions? Makes about as much sense as everything else. Thane?"
"He got groped by a few humans eager to start some interspecies diplomacy--you know, I haven't seen his jacket since--but headed back last night after someone tried to slip him something green."
A disturbingly normal-sounding end compared to the rest, but someone had to draw the short straw when it came to nightly thrills. Shepard stood and entered the cockpit again.
"EDI, can you draw up the documents I need to get everyone...un-arrested?"
"I sure the hell can, Commander." EDI's polite near-monotone was not quite right.
"Oh right, I knew I was forgetting something," murmured Garrus as Shepard gaped at the control panel.
"We're not exactly sure what's happened to EDI yet. Joker spent the night on the ship with a bottle of brandy, but..."
"Are you all right, EDI?"
"I am damn skippy, Commander. Jeff has introduced me to colorful metaphors."
"Metaphors, Commander. Many sentient beings utilize them in order to evoke certain emotions or express--"
"Yes, EDI, I understand swearing. Let me deal with it when my head doesn't feel like the Great Rift of Klendagon, please."
Shepard dropped down onto the seats again. "Garrus, I'm going to go back to sleep. When I wake up, everything had better make more sense." Her omni-tool chimed, and with a tight scowl, she pulled it up.
"Udina? Oh, great, this should be fun."
"Shepard, do you have any understanding of the term--" It was a pre-recorded message, of course, moving at the speed of politicians; the surprising part was that Udina was completely naked. Shepard sputtered wildly, briefly choking on her own spit in her haste to close the message.
"What the HELL?!"
"Ah...that would be the exact reason Argo doesn't want us anymore. Legion did that."
"I understand there was a bet involved. Interesting algorithm, actually. It compares characteristics from anybody sending a message against a database of nudes and--"
"Stop it. Just stop it." Shepard curled up on the seat, pulling the crash webbing over her head.
"Well, it seems like this planet won't be quick forgetting us."
"Just get us out of here."