The suicide mission echoed from the past, a victory for the galaxy. The collectors had been silenced and the human colonies gained their sense of security back. This brought a relieved smile stretching across Commander Shepard's face as he stretched out on his bed; Tali laying next to him. Shepard glanced down at her arm that hung over his chest and followed it to her body. He watched her breath softly causing her shoulders to rise and fall slowly. In a sense, the battle felt over, victory had been achieved, but sadly, memories returned. The Reapers stood at the threshold of the galaxy, and he didn't just have to assemble a simple team to win this war, he had to assemble the galaxy. From data stolen from the collector base before the charges ignited the base into a fiery explosion, he discovered that the Reapers stood five years away from the galaxy. Tali stirred in the bed, shifting her body, and bringing her hand up Shepard's chest, rubbing it softly.
"Shepard?" Tali asked softly while she stretched, "Why are you up? You need to relax"
"There's still a lot of things on my mind, Tali," Shepard mumbled, turning his body so that he faced her. He grasped her hands and laced them in his while he brought his attention to Tali's glimmering eyes and radiant smile; even under that mask, he could see the brilliance of her face.
"Shepard… We need take this opportunity to rest," Tali begged with a hint of concern. "We have time to organize the galaxy against the Reapers…"
"I know… I just don't want to take too long of a vacation," Shepard contested, giving her slight a smile.
Seeing the happiness in his face, Tali gave a tiny chuckle; she enjoyed seeing him happy after he had lost so much.
"You know Shepard," Tali hinted. "I brought the immuno-enhancers and herbal supplements up with me... You know… in case we couldn't rest..."
"Hmm… That seems like an excellent idea Miss vas Normandy. Make it so," Shepard joked with an exaggerated captain's voice. Tali chortled at the voice, and, after giving his hands one last rub, she slid out of the bed and walked over to a case sitting in the corner. Shepard observed her as she strode to her chest. When she opened the case to her small medical lab, the beep of Shepard's door rang into the room.
"Yes? who is it?" Shepard requested as he rose from his bed and walked to the door.
"Shepard. It's Mordin. Need to talk, matter of importance!" rang Mordin's voice from behind the door.
Shepard deactivated the locks on the door and let the fidgety doctor enter. Almost immediately he discovered Tali sitting on the couch in the room.
"I'm not bothering you, am I Shepard?" Mordin beamed.
"No… but you almost did," Shepard sighed, catching a glimpse of Tali's slightly annoyed eyes.
"Glad I didn't intrude. May have been unpleasant or informative. Either or. Still… inappropriate…" Mordin rattled. "Have already talked with Garrus, could potentially be dangerous."
"What is it, Mordin?" Shepard inquired, annoyed at the stalling. Mordin cleared his throat before he began.
"The Human-Reaper emitted a unique radiation, one that has diverse effects among different species. Been running experiments. Found surprising results," Mordin sputtered quickly with excitement. "If you wouldn't mind Shepard, I need you to put your hand on your desk.
Shepard stared at Mordin, a little hesitant of what he intended to do.. Placing his left hand on the desk, John asked, "What is this all abo…" Shepard never finished the question before Mordin drew a knife and thrust it into his hand pinning it to the table. At the moment it smashed into the table, Tali had already jumped to her feet, running towards Mordin.
"What the hell are you doing Mordin!" Tali ranted angrily, pushing him out of the way to provide comfort for Shepard. John pulled the knife out of his hand and pointed it at Mordin.
"What the hell Mordin!" Shepard bellowed.
"Before you kill me, may I ask you a question?" Mordin smiled.
"It better explain why the hell you stabbed me!" Shepard proclaimed, lowering the knife.
"Did you feel anything?" Mordin argued.
"Of course I…" Shepard replayed his memories which showed him that he had jumped from shock and not pain. Shepard stuttered with a loss for words. "No, I gues…"
"Shepard! Look at your hand!" Tali cried, lifting it up. Everyone watched as the hole filled with fibers, patching itself together within seconds.
"Mordin?" Shepard gasped. "What's going on?"
"Miss Tali'Zorah vas Normandy," Mordin resumed, changing his focus on Tali. "Don't be alarmed."
"I didn't think you would just come in here and stab Shep…" Tali stressed, but she was cut off as Mordin unsealed her helmet and pulled her visor off.
"Mordin! No!" Shepard stammered, reaching for Mordin's lean figure.
Tali breathed deeply in panic as she watched Mordin carry the visor away from her.. Tears filled up in her eyes as she felt the air touch her exposed skin. The odds of surviving without any medicine or direct medical attention guaranteed a short life in this state.
"How do you feel?" Mordin questioned, staring with a smile on his face.
Tali took a breath of unsanitary air to yell at Mordin. "You bosh'tet! What have you done? I'm going to die because… of… you…" Tali tapered off as she felt the air easily go down her throat and into her lungs. There was no burning. There was no redness. There was no inflammation. She stood dumbfounded with her face unprotected waiting for the allergic burning, but it never came.
She turned her head to Shepard with tears welling up in her eyes. He stared awestruck at her. The tears ran softly from her glowing eyes, shimmering brilliantly from the glow, illuminating the tears path down her cheeks. John could feel water fill his eyes as a smile slowly cracked on his face. They ran towards each other, Shepard placed his hands on her cheeks, using his thumbs to wipe the tears way while Tali smiled and kept failing at any attempt at talking to him. Mordin remained in the room, observing the range of emotions flashing across Shepard and Tali's shared visage, and feeling quite satisfied with himself, made his way to the door. Before he left the boundary of the room, he turned back to the lovely couple and said one last thing.
"You should go see Garrus."