This is a continuation from "Broken Unhappy and FarOff Things" and"Reprieve"- I suggest reading them before this. (in that order)
This is the final part to the one-shot 'trilogy'. I hope you guys enjoy it.
There are links for ME related stuff on my profile.
As a personal side note, I always thought the team looked better in their alternative outfits, and Samara just looks awesome in black. So, that's how they appear in my writing.
A flare of biotics sent one of several Blood Pack mercs flying into a wall near to where Jask was hiding. The Vorcha snarled to himself, spittle flying between his needle like teeth as he clutched his gun fervently. The captain had said this would be a simple job. Take slaves from point A to B.
Then the blue lady in black had shown up, and bullets started flying as if from thin air whilst she ignited with biotic power.
Jask had managed to figure out that there must be two of them, the lady was powerful, but she wasn't magic. Bullets didn't come from thin air. That kind of behaviour only appeared with a sniper, he couldn't smell the other one though, they had hidden themselves well.
Another wretched shriek from a nearby Vorcha rattled his fraying nerves, his cowardly nature making him huddle further among the crates rather than pop up and fire. If he stayed quiet and still, she might not even notice he was there. Maybe he could shoot her in the back after that.
A few seconds more and everything was quiet; Jask tilted his head, straining to hear. Her boots clicked softly in the warehouse, the distant drone of machines working to shift containers back and forth the only other sound to reach him.
He slowly looked over the top of the crates he hid behind, narrowing his vivid red eyes. She was inspecting a lieutenant's body, picking up a data pad from his belt and looking through its entries.
With a brutal scream, Jask stood up, levelling his rifle to aim at her head.
She turned sharply, lifting her hand in the same movement as the air hummed with biotics.
But then his head simply exploded with the resounding whip of a sniper round sinking into bloody flesh and bone.
"Sorry, I didn't see him until he popped up."
She simply nodded in acknowledgement to the voice in her comm, knowing the sniper could see her anyway. She turned, walking back the way she had come in. "Get the data we needed?"
"The slaves have been moved ahead, they panicked when we attacked and issued the order. We need to hurry - stay on the catwalks; you should be able to follow me."
The sniper moved swiftly across the catwalks, following her companion below as she moved deftly through the factory. Those Vorcha - and one Krogan lieutenant - had held them up in the shipping area. Having moved the slaves further inside in an attempt to escape the two; they had time to set up for their arrival.
No matter, they worked well together like this.
Setting her widow rifle to 'inferno' she came to a stop at the edge of her path, resting the barrel of her gun on the lower railing. Her companion had stopped; taken cover. Up ahead a much larger group of Blood Pack mercs were hurrying their 'cargo' into a new container.
"Be careful, they might scatter some of the slaves among themselves, trying to stop us from attacking. Or to use as shields."
The sniper narrowed her gaze behind the softly glowing eyeholes of her recon hood. "Got it."
The Blood Pack wasn't beyond using people so callously, even if they were cargo with the possibility of getting them credits. The two of them had been dogging this particular group for the last few days, and had liberated several 'caches' of slaves already. Whilst slaughtering every last merc in the process; they had reason to worry for their lives.
Looking down the scope, she fixed the crosshair between the eyes of a flame-thrower wielding Vorcha. His skull splintered in a mess of gore, and several more shots followed in rapid succession; adrenaline flowing through her veins in a sudden rush.
Before the group could even start to react, her ground companion leaned up from her cover, firing several accurate bursts from her assault rifle and taking down yet more of the mercs.
The slaves had scattered for cover from the bullets flying through the air, but most dived inside the container to get away from it.
The last Krogan in the group made for a blind charge at the biotic's cover, but he recognised the shimmering blue in the air around him too late. He was swatted aside like a rag doll, slamming into a far wall with enough force to shatter his ribcage.
The sniper sighed lowly to herself, straightening up from her position and picking up her rifle. "That's the last of them; I'm coming down." She turned away, finding a maintenance elevator soon enough and making her way down to the floor.
She smiled to herself as her companion coaxed the slaves out of the container, they were wary and scared, but eventually came out; trusting that these two had come to save them. They lead them out of the factory district, tipping off Captain Bailey that the slavers were no longer a problem.
The citadel was good for many things, supplies, entertainment, information, and in this case; meting out justice.
As they entered the Zakera ward, the sniper reached up and removed her recon hood. The covert look would make her just a little obvious towards less than agreeable individuals who knew of her.
Ashira shook her head, running a hand through her hair and loosening it a little. "I love fixing problems," she smiled - with a hint of sarcasm - looking aside at Samara. Her companion quirked a brow, "you'd rather leave those people there?"
The Soldier laced her hands behind her head. "No. I just hate dealing with Vorcha, they regen so fast your attacks are pointless unless it takes out their head immediately."
Samara smiled a little, "that's what your sniping is for."
The Normandy pulled out of its docking bay, and was soon putting distance between itself and the colossal piece of engineering that was the Citadel. They had originally stopped for supplies, and Ashira had attempted to tell the Council of what had happened and what was going on.
However, they refused to believe her. She had no evidence that she had been to the Collector homeworld - they rebuked her claims of an artificial construct in the galactic core - since it was impossible for any ship to survive the Omega-4 relay. Never mind that nothing could survive in the core itself; black holes and exploding suns everywhere.
They waved off the fact that the abductions had stopped as weak proof, maybe the Collectors had simply lost interest in Humans; something the Turian councillor was very smug about.
With the threat of stripping her Spectre status if she didn't stop spewing nonsense about "Reapers" and the supposedly "imminent" destruction of all sapient life; Ashira backed down. But not before warning them that when it happened, they had better not blame her for it all after she tried to warn them.
Before leaving for her 'assignment' with Samara in the factory district, she had let the Council know that she had betrayed Cerberus in the end. When she destroyed the Collector base instead of handing it over to them.
Her loyalties were never a problem, but Cerberus had been the only one who gave a damn about the Human abductions. The Council hadn't even lifted a finger to just investigate; "Shows how much you appreciated me sacrificing my own people to save you."
She then left, taking out her irritation at the stubborn Council on the Blood Pack.
Ashira flopped down on her bed, muttering choice words to herself. How could they still be so blind? Were they so terrified by the possibility that what she said was true that they simply didn't want to acknowledge it? Ashira frowned deeply, eyes shut and hands slowly clenching and unclenching. She wasn't sure what thought was worse, that the Councillors were cowards and didn't want believe her, or that they were simply arrogant, too confident that it was impossible for the Reapers to exist. It had also been 'impossible' to get to Ilos, and 'impossible' to stop the Collectors. Ashira frowned deeply, how much more would it take before they believed her? She had a sick feeling that they wouldn't until the Reapers were on their doorstep. Muttering again, she reached up and pressed her hands to her face tiredly.
Suddenly a weight joined her, pressing down on the mattress either side of her waist. Moving one of her hands away to see, she found a familiar and welcome figure a top her. "I swear sometimes Thane makes more noise than you…"
Samara's lips curled in a light smirk, an expression only Ashira had seen from her, "you were distracted." Ashira scoffed, feigning indignation, "I suppose that plays some part in your ninja-esque appearance." A smile came to her lips however, and she sat up suddenly, her arms wrapping around the Asari in her lap, keeping her close.
A heated kiss soon followed, the impassioned embrace making them breathless - deft hands bringing uttered sounds of pleasure. Ashira wrapped her arms around Samara's lower waist and hips, easily lifting her and turning to lay her down on their bed. But she seemed to remember something, about to pull away.
Samara reached up and grabbed the front collar of her shirt, making sure Ashira hadn't gotten away more than a few inches. "It's locked." Ashira smiled at this, returning to her 'rightful' place and pressing her lips to Samara's.
The Soldier still found herself somewhat amused by how this had come about, their freedom to be so close to one another.
"I believe I found a valid reason for me to stay here, on the Normandy."
Ashira had been in the middle of checking her weaponry at the armoury; she had been thankful that Jacob was down on deck 3 having dinner.
"My oath to you ends when your mission is done, however, given that the Reapers are no doubt on their way; your mission is far from over. You will still need the help of those you assembled for the Collector assault."
Ashira had stared at her for a few stunned seconds, realising she'd twisted her own words so they sounded 'correct' out loud. It was a personal favour to herself smothered in words of duty. Not that Ashira was complaining, she instantly played along, straightening her stance and nodding. "Of course, we need to…prepare, for when they arrive. I need all the help I can get."
Even though there was a measure of seriousness to what she had said about the Reapers; Ashira had suddenly felt a burst of happiness.
Of course, most others - save for maybe Kelly - wouldn't have noticed a change. They were still the reserved individuals everyone knew, but noticeably spent more of their free time with each other than anyone else, even if it was just to talk.
However, as Ashira had effectively cut their ties with Cerberus, and the Council certainly wasn't listening, they had plenty of time to kill. Most of this spent rooting out gangs on uncharted worlds, saving victims from hostile takeovers and 'missions' like their skirmish with the Blood Pack on the Citadel.
In short, 'punishing the wicked and protecting the pure'.
Since the funding from Cerberus had stopped - unsurprisingly - these errands were serving as more than just a way to kill time. Everything felt like small fry after their suicide run on the Collectors - but maybe that was a good thing; it gave them perspective. Even problems that seemed trivial to them, still caused havoc in the lives of many others. Strangely comforting to face such normal dangers after walking into hell and back.
Ashira's eyes opened by a crack, her room completely dark save for the soft glow coming from her fish tank. She shifted only a little, lifting her head, aware of the warm body resting in her arms. Smiling to herself, Ashira gently pressed her lips to Samara's forehead. The golden symbols she usually wore were absent for now.
It was difficult for the soldier to ever feel safe, but right now she did, curled up with someone she trusted and loved.
Moments like these were hard to come by, where one could feel content and happy, as if only they and their lover existed. Ashira smiled once more, shifting closer to the sleeping woman in her arms and bowing her head against her shoulder again.
Then she felt Samara's arms move from her waist and slide up to her shoulders. Lifting her head, she was greeted by a pair of pale blue eyes and a smile.
A slightly sheepish look came to Ashira's face, "did I wake you?" her voice was soft and low. "Hardly," Samara murmured, lacing one of her hands into Ashira's raven hair. The soldier smiled, tightening her arms around her lover and snuggling down against her. They remained like that, content in the other's embrace, until a familiar sythesized voice broke the comforting silence.
"Shepard, we have intercepted suspicious Batarian communications; you will want to look at them."
Ashira grumbled under her breath, frowning; her only real response was to bury her head in Samara's shoulder again. The Justicar exhaled shortly, amused. "Ashira, I'm certain EDI knows not to interrupt unless the issue is serious."
The Soldier didn't seem like she wanted to listen; seeing as she didn't so much as twitch. Samara raised a brow, "Ash, do you want me to force you out of this bed?"
Ashira looked up, a puzzled look on her face as she tried to figure out if the other was kidding or not. The threat would probably involve biotics in some way; if she wasn't joking. Samara's expression didn't change, but she noted Ashira's confusion with hidden amusement. "Fine…" Ashira muttered, extracting herself from the Asari and slipping out of the bed to get dressed.
Never a dull moment.
I apologise if you wanted more angst in this, but I thought they deserved more of a reprieve here. I hope Samara didn't seem too OOC, considering the situation.
Anyway, thank you for reading this, as always, reviews will be much appreciated!