After many months of trying to rekindle my need to write about Tali, Shepard and the quarians, I have not been able to find the passion I once had. I am unsure why the fire I felt, the need I had, to tell my story has waned but it has. For this, I find I must apologize to my readers, especially for such a long delay in any updates/news.
I do want to thank each and every reader for taking the time to read my words. I hope that in some small way, the story let you see even a tiny bit of the world I envisioned. My words were not always clear, the spellings off and the grammar atrocious but I hope that the meaning always shone through. So once more, thank you all for allowing me to guide you the Mass Effect ™ world as I saw it. :)
Below you will find, if you care to continue reading, a VERY rough outline of where Terminus was going. Even though I should have broken completely away from ME and created a totally alternate universe, I could not. So, knowing that Arrival is part of the ME universe, my story would have worked itself (mostly) into it again. :)
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Proposed sequence of events in Terminus.
Last we left our intrepid, trapped, parties, the battle for Afterlife was drawing to a conclusion.
Thane and Kasumi find logs in the mercs camp that implicate an asari matriarch and exit, narrowly missing the returning mercs after aborting the attempt to save Aria. Also, a possible location of Vido or someone who may know his exact location is found.
Aria, critically wounded, is being kept Samara alive by sheer biotic force alone who manages to find a few of her people left alive and with them, move Samara to her own medical station.
Picking up the pieces in the bar, Normandy's away team, with the assistance of Dr. Chakwas carry Mordin and Jack back to the ship. Small confrontation between Dr. Chakwas and Aria dealing with her seeing Samara which Shepard has to deal with.
Some Shep/Tali talking
Aiea scene with Nutrient vats and some quarian conversations. (I liked doing those)
Thane and Kasumi return, provide info.
TIM getting reports about the reaper fleet. From a mole that was planted (arrival location). Notices the reports become incoherent at the end. Indoctrinated but information provided allows TIM to get a good idea on time remaining. Starts contingency plans. (MUST be careful to not touch the spoilers)
Shepard and Zaeed with a link to both the Blue Suns leader and Eclipse leader on Omega. Shepard provides the information on how they were both played. Zaeed instrumental in getting them to even talk. Unilateral peace (for now?) join forces to assault rogue merc base. (numbers really depleted in Suns and Eclipse) Ya think? :)
XEN planning and moving things up. Communications hub moved up in schedule. (Oh yes. I have not forgotten her)
Jack out of action. Mordin yelled down by Chakwas and remains aboard. Merc base assaulted and cleared. Leader escaping when Aria rips him apart. High priority message to Mordin from STG.
Aftermath of battles, unification of Omega, hostilities end. Zaeed now has his location.
Samara staying. Injuries too severe to move and will require a week or more. Decides now is the best time to leave the Normandy.
Stores load, life around the ship.
Shep and Tali time. Shower anyone?
Mordin requests meeting with Shepard. Informs Shep that he is being recalled to active service. Some project or another that his expertise is needed for. (Though I was always planning to get him off the ship here, it works even with the leak. If you can't tell by now. I was going to have all away team members off the ship before Arrival except for Tali of course. Since we know the idiots want her elsewhere, a couple of geth turn up missing. Xen is missing as well and communications are acting up around Aeia. So yes, even Tali would be going but they both think it is for a couple of days at most.)
Jack will not let Shepard leave Omega before she can say goodbye to Samara, semi mother/daughter here I think.
Normandy enters the Blue Suns system and finds it to be just a staging area, no Vido. Freighters with a single corsair guardian. EDI rifles system, finds Vido for real.
Kal is watching Lana more, seems to be there all the time.
More Liara and family. It is now clear that they are planning on leaving the SB ship behind for a new, better hidden, location.
TIM happy, Normandy detected passing through the area he wanted. Believes Shepard following his orders again and puts more attention to other matters.
Mining planet found. Tali and Lana gain trust and support from the colonists by saving their reactor.
First rain storm on Aeia. All work stops and play abounds. MANY quarians crying at sight.
Attack of Vido's strong hold. (Battles and more battles. Tali, Ashley and Miranda cornered and being overrun. Kal for some reason cannot let Lana enter the battle without him being in her squad, stay as backup. Hearing the battle reports, Lana, Kal and Romeo mount an assault in the Mako, clearing the way for a safe retreat of Tali and crew.
Zaeed pulls a fast one, locking a door and leaving Shepard and Jack behind. Confronts Vido and returns the favor. Twice. Once with his weapon and once with Vido's.
Ashley has to face facts. No matter how she feels. The reason she is still alive is not only Tali's skill as an engineer but that her squad was saved by more quarians and a geth. Shepard sees how much Ashley has changed and updates her service record with a recommendation for review and consideration of evaluation for Spectre duty.
Confrontation between Zaeed and Shepard. Argument gets resolved with Zaeed parting ways with the Normandy. But, in thanks for helping him get Vido, Zaeed gives Shepard the location of an Eclipse space dock. Just needs to clear out a few irritants first. Also, Zaeed will honor his pledge and join Shepard's cause.
Shepard, now with time to deal with it, addresses Kal's reluctance to join the main teams. Dr. Chakwas states that there IS a reason. Lana confesses. Mordin's blue elixir definitely DID have one side effect.
Off to the spacedock. Eclipse were using it as a repair depot for their own smuggling endeavors. More battles and then some time to repair. EDI cannot control the dock through FTL so a small crew departs the Normandy. Kal, Lana and Kasumi.
Aeia. Spacedock arrives, LEADING the Normandy. Kal presents gift to the Admiralty board. XEN fumes. Kal and Lana depart the Normandy for a quarian ship, Lana's choice. Sad but happy at the same time. Kal's transfer to a ship as a guardian approved though clearly marked to be temporary only.
Filler entry. Shepard gets support from a small agri world.
TIM confused by Shepard's report of no rachni, unsure is Shepard is lying as Shepard had saved them once before. Turns attention back to other plans, most of which require the removal of Shepard.
Shepard returns to Illium, some upgrades and repairs as well as time to give the crew some shore leave. Jack says goodbye. Explains how Samara has helped her and she needs time to put it all together but she has stopped running.
On Illium, Kasumi is recognized and instead of implicating Shepard, she disappears sending a message to Shepard and another to Tali.
Trip to see Liara, Tali takes a pic of Liara, Jossa and Shepard then Liara does the same for them.
Aria reports that she and Eclipse have come to an agreement. Omega fully stabilized and plans begin for conversion of unused towers into berthing and training. T'S supplying support funds.
Citadel, Shepard reports to council. Surprised not much is actually showing for the work he thought was being done. Admiral Hackett approaches with need for a covert rescue.
Xen's plans blow up. Geth are missing and S'geth fully moves into the communications hub, comms planet wide are affected. Geth collective retreat beyond the veil. Ambassador as well. Emergency call to Shepard for assistance.
Shepard finds out what happened via Legion and is torn. Help the quarians out of this stupidity and let Hacketts friend die or save the friend and let the quarians finally fight for themselves. Heart wrenching talk with Tali. After all, it is only for a couple of days at most. Tali, Legion and Romeo are dropped off at the quarian outpost in Enoch system and proceeds to end of story.
Shep blows up the relay and during debriefing, the Alliance begins mobilizing finally. Due to system destruction, Shepard finds himself grounded and under orders to stay put, the Council concurs with the Alliance. He quickly finds out though that it is more of a house arrest.
Tali, not knowing what happened to Shepard, leads a strike team to the communications hub. Xen captured and s'geth destroyed in the process accidentally but the damage has been done to the peace offer. Later, Shepard manages to get a message to Tali, lets her know that it is best she stays away. The Alliance is not too happy right now with his actions.
Epilog. Shepard under house arrest and despondent. Tali stuck on the migrant fleet.
Well, this is what I was planning. Of course, the way I write I can think of something and go off target a lot. So most likely more would be added.
Once more, let me apologize to my readers. There was never an intention of abandoning this work but, as in all things, problems arise and we have no control over them.