Chapter 1 – Empty Childhood

Ambrosii, Moscow, 2185

The silence in Ambrosii's small room was broken only by the grunts of his father and the dull thud of boot meeting ribcage. "You can't stop showing off can you? Can't be just a normal fucking child!" his words were punctuated with a savage kick to the stomach sending the coughing child back a foot toward the mattress laying on the floor. His father scoffed and slammed the door behind him as he leaves with the half empty bottle still in his hand. Ambrosii curled up on the ground his body wracked with coughs. When he finally sat back up he looked down to his clutched palms and replaced his undamaged omnitool on his wrist with a wince. It hurt to breathe, but he knew it would pass, just as he knew that the next day his hung-over father would drink his cup of coffee, pat him on the head with a smile, kiss his mother goodbye, and go to work. He also knew that his mother would likely have many more bruises than he did. No tears fell as the screams of his parents' arguing filtered through the door in front of him. He opened his omnitool and opened up a textbook to study. His father's voice had grown louder and his mother's turned into screams of pain.

He wrapped his arms around himself and rocked himself. He felt useless. He knew what would happen if he went into the room all too well. It would mean a few broken ribs for him. His mother would try and protect him from his father and would limp for a month. He turned his attention back to his omnitool in an attempt to block out the sounds. His eyes darted across the page reading and reading. For how long he had no idea, but eventually he closed the book and pulled a small pocket knife from under the mattress flipping the blade open. It had been a gift from his father one year ago on Ambrosii's birthday for the perfect scores on all of his finals. His father had told him to take care of his mother. He stared at the moonlight reflected off the blade wondering if his father was the smiling omnitool repairman or the violent, screaming drunkard. He wondered if he could stop the drunkard with the knife he held. He knew he could never do it. He wasn't strong enough, or brave enough, to try and stop him. He would simply try his best to take as much punishment as he could while his mother was at work. The more he took, the less she would have to take. His mind looked back at how every day was the same and the cycle of his thoughts returned to the beginning. Inevitably, Ambrosii shut his eyes and awoke to his mother's gentle prodding.

He walked to school alone, ate alone, and was also alone when he began reading a textbook for the class two grade levels ahead of his own. He never found any challenge or interest in his schoolwork. It was simply facts to be memorized and spit out when prompted. He had begun reading into the older children's texts to try and find something of interest and found nothing. The teacher noticed him reading instead of listening and started to berate him. He ignored the teacher, because he already knew the outcome. The teacher started ratting off questions that he answered from memory, with a dry disinterested voice. As the questions kept coming, his mood grew more frustrated until he was yelling the answers at the teacher. The teacher eventually had enough and sent him out of the class.

The principal didn't even wait till the boy knocked before answering. "Just wait outside, Ambrosii, I already called your father." He sat down and looked out the window as snow began to fall. The flakes of white were large and wet. Spring was coming, but the new season would do nothing to change the emptiness Ambrosii felt. His father picked him up quickly and took him to the ground car without a word. As they drove slowly down the crowded, snow-covered streets of Moscow, Ambrosii stared out the window up at massive apartment buildings. The same building over and over…Same day over and over. He closed his eyes and when he opened them again, he was walking into his family's tiny apartment. His father walked to the kitchen and started cooking. Ambrosii looked at himself in the mirror quietly. He knew his chest was covered in dark blue bruises, but as usual, he couldn't see anything around his cloths. He stared at the mirror for another second and then walked to the large glass window in the living room that looked out over Moscow. He thought he should enjoy it before his father started to drink. His mother would be home earlier for the weekend, but nothing would change about the nights. Soon after the pain would come. Ambrosii closed his eyes wondering how many days would pass before he opened them again. Then there was a voice in his head.

..by…Obey…OBEY! Drop your barriers and give in to your destiny! Ambrosii's eyes shot open and looked around the room for the voice. His father took a shot of vodka and looked at him just as his mother walked into the living room. He looked out the window and saw a large object floated down before it stopped above the roof of the tallest building in Moscow. It was a ship, but nothing he could identify. He heard his mother scream and the crashing of dishes and doors, but he couldn't look away. Long tentacles appeared out from the side of the strange, cockroach shaped ship. Ambrosii stared as one of the tips of the tentacles started to glow and suddenly a bright beam of light streaked past his window and cut the adjacent building in half. Ambrosii's eyes widened in fear as he scrambled away from the window screaming. He ran to his room and pulled out the knife his father had given him and shook as he opened it. I have to be strong. I have to protect Maht. He could hear his mother screaming and his father shouting something. His mother ran into his room and hugged him close.

"Come on Rosii we have to go. We're going to the basement. Everything is going to be fine." Her smile looked genuine enough but her eyes were shaking in silent fear. Ambrosii held the knife closer to his chest. His mother put a hand onto the blade of the knife smiling. "You can protect Maht okay? Let's go quickly." She helped him stand him up and moved toward the door. When they reached the door a gunshot went off. His mother spun around and stared at Ivan, who held a now smoking pistol. "What are you doing, Ivan?" Ivan looked distraught, swaying, and taking another swig.

"We're going to die Mary! Do you know what those things do to people? I won't let them take my family!" he lifted the gun and fires.

The bullet flew just past Mary's head and she screams. "IVAN!" Ambrosii's head snapped to his father and something clicked in his mind. Time seemed to slow down and he felt his skin heat up. A flash of azure blue covered his vision as Ivan raised the gun again.

"They won't have my family!" Ivan fired and the bullet stopped a meter away from Mary as a barrier bloomed into existence around Ambrosii and his mother. Ivan faltered and Mary's arms fell back to her sides. Ambrosii knew what to do. He didn't know how, but it felt right. His father fired wildly at the barrier which just shimmered in response.

Ambrosii stared at his father and he made up his mind. "You won't hurt her again!" Rosii threw his knife as his father fired again. The barrier around him shattered and his side felt like it is set on fire. Ambrosii held his side as he hit the ground and watched as his normally white dress shirt bloomed red. His side was warm and sticky, but his fingers felt cold. He heard his mother screaming, but it was a whisper compared to the thumping in his ears. He barely felt his mother's arms as they wrapped around him. The last thing Ambrosii saw before his eyes closed was Ivan lying against the window with a knife sticking between his eyes. Outside the window, the snow was mixing with flecks of black ash. White and black spiraled together on their way to the ground and then, there was blackness.

Ambrosii awoke in the familiar state of pain. His side throbbed and he felt a weight on his stomach. The room ceiling was solid steel with a single light source at the center. He looked down to find his mother asleep on a chair beside the bed he was on. "M-Maht?" Mary's eyes opened slowly and she blinked before she burst into a fit of tears and held him close. She quickly released him after the scream of pain and simply held his hand as a man walked in.

"Ah good you're awake. " Mary hugged the doctor close, crying, thanking him over and over in her native English. Ambrosii tried to sit up, but the doctor managed to peel Mary off of him and lightly pushed Rosii back to the bed. "You need to rest. Just relax. We aren't going to be going anywhere with those things on the surface." The next days, weeks were filled with waking up in a haze of pain and soreness before he passed out again. He wasn't the only injured person in the bunker and supplies were being tightly rationed. When he was conscious, he couldn't concentrate enough to find a coherent thought. Flashes of memories, or was it dreams, filled his mind. Ivan smiling as he handed his son a small pocket knife and ruffling his short brown hair. A man in a white coat wrapping his chest in white bandages. His mother talking to his much older half-brother on the Citadel. A storm of small insects and thick white snow falling over Moscow. A squadron of strange ships shooting blue lasers at a giant cockroach covered in tentacles.

"Does he have to be taken to a training camp?" Ambrosii's eyes opened again to see his mother talking to the doctor.

"Your son has gone through a biotic breakthrough ma'am. He needs to at least control when not to use it. If we survive this, I will install the L3s myself. As it is, we're lucky this bunker is still in one piece. If he feels up to it, I think there are other biotics here. Maybe they can help him." Ambrosii blinked and his mother noticed he is awake. She went to him to, knelt down, and smiled.

"Rosii. How are you feeling son?" Another biotic son? Could I be the cause?

Ambrosii blinked. Maht's lips aren't moving? He smiled. "Morning Maht." She smiled wider and hugged him close.

"Good morning. Now let's get you something to eat then we need to talk."

Mary, Citadel, 2187

The shuttle to the Citadel had been uneventful and silent. Mary kept one arm protectively around her sleeping son. They had spent the entirety of the war in the old bunker beneath their building. Most of her time was spent watching Ambrosii practice his biotics with the older biotics in the bunker. There had been a lot of biotics there. Maybe their barriers were the only way to keep the seeker swarms away. The news was coming in through the panel on the back of the seat in front of them. It showed the Council in session followed by pictured of destroyed buildings and refugee camps all over the galaxy. The Citadel had also been attack at three separate occasions during the war. They had been rebuilding steadily, but still needed more hands to help. She had decided to take her son with her and return to her previous home of the Citadel. A part of her said that she could have used her degree in structural engineering in Moscow. However, she ignored that voice along with her thoughts about the body that now rotted under the steel of their former home. The body of a man that used to be her husband. She had managed to annul their marriage while she was in the bunker and change her name back to Mary Ryan. In her mind that man didn't deserve to have his name remembered for anything so she asked Ambrosii one day, after his training, if he wanted to change his name. He had smiled like he hadn't in years and for that brief moment she saw the happy child running around the apartment laughing. It almost made her burst into tears.

Now Ambrosii was back to quietly sulking and it made her heart hurt to see him so distant. Too young. He's too young to deal with this. I hope Kenti can help him get over this….Damn you Ivan. Why did you lose yourself to your fear?

Innokenti Oborin, Citadel, 2187

Innokenti leaned against a support column waiting for the shuttles to begin docking on one of the remaining bays. He sighed as his omnitool chirped over and over at him. He answered it looking down at the turian face with an upside down, purple triangle over his eyes and nose. "Oborin! Where the futar are you? The boss wants to see you!" Innokenti rubbed his temples with his free hand as he remembered again how the turian's Macedyn drawl deepened when he was agitated. He responded in turian with a rough sounding accent.

"I'm busy, Vulpis. Tell boss I will see him at work tomorrow."

"He's pissed that you gave away so many free units. He says the company might go under. He's pushing for a vote and needs all senior partners."

Innokenti growls slightly rubbing his temples. I am going to have words with him later. "Then you tell him from me that if he can't wait till tomorrow and sells the company, I will track him down and cut off those little stubby legs fat villi doesn't use and give him great deal on prosthetic replacements from my next employer." The turian didn't look convinced. "How long have we known each other Hadesian?"

Hadesian's mandibles twitched slightly. "Has to be about twenty years now. Why?" Innokenti looks up at the void of space through the glass of the port.

"In twenty years, have I ever let you down?" The response was immediate.

"Never."

Innokenti smiled. "Then stop doubting me."

Hadesian chuckles softly. "I don't doubt that you would cut off his legs. I just doubt you would stop there." Innokenti chuckled and shut down the link. He watched a shuttle dock slowly and the passengers as they walked toward customs.

I wonder what I should say to her. 'Hey Maht I haven't seen you in person since I beat the s'kak out of Ivan for getting you pregnant and then ran away before you left for Moscow,' doesn't seem like a good idea. He started laughing holding his stomach slightly. He didn't know if it was from the memory or the fact that he had been hanging around turians so much that he was even thinking in turian. I probably shouldn't mention what I did when I vanished for four years. He spotted something dark green and familiar. He turned to see a female turian C-Sec officer walk in full armor towards customs. Innokenti chuckled and called out in his rough sounding turian. "Officer Telibus, funny seeing you here." She turned around, but she didn't show surprise.

Iuterna Telibus

Not many people knew her by sight. Most of her time was spent doing paperwork for the more active officers while taking care of her newest child. The voice sounded familiar so she turned around and had to resist smiling. "Innokenti. Staying out of trouble? Where have you been the past two months?" He smiled warmly. His turian has gotten better, but that Epyrus Colony accent has gotten thicker. She wasn't prepared for his response.

"You know me. I am epitome of innocence. It's even in my name." A ghost of a smile crossed her face as she fought against a laugh. She thought back to when she first saw him, ten years ago, when she was still new in C-sec and the laughter died. He had been standing over three bodies with his face and hands splattered red and had looked up at her when she pointed her gun at him. He had only been fourteen at the time, but his eyes had been dead when he suggested that he would give her his entire gang in return for amnesty. She thought him only a spirit-sick child, but when she saw him after the trial, he was smiling. She still didn't know why she volunteered to help the boy. He ended up living with her family and helping her with her young children, who still loved his visits. He even helped take care of her husband when he first returned without a leg.

He didn't seem to see her inner struggle and continued. "I was on Epyrus studying turian prosthetics. Sorry I didn't tell you, it was short notice. That and Leontina gets very screechy when I say I won't be coming to dinner."

She chuckled slightly. Her first-daughter had always loved spending time with him. Leontina had spent the last two months asking about the boy, whenever the scheduled dinner came around. Her husband, Fidelis, had joked a week ago that if Innokenti wasn't human, they would have probably begun contract negotiations years ago. "She was very disappointed when you didn't show up that next dinner, Kenti. She had finally figured out how to brew coffee and there was no one to drink it."

Innokenti laughed heartily. "She does know that I don't drink it right? Shouldn't she be preparing for boot camp? She's almost of age."

Telibus let her smile show proudly. "She spends most of her free time studying for her finals and reading the regulations. I am worried that she isn't training her body enough though. There are only a few weeks left."

Kenti grinned. "We can't have that. I will have word with her this week. So how is the rest of family? Is your husband still limping? You know I could probably design better working prosthetic." Her face softened slightly. He was a rather remarkable young man. He went into the marines and currently ran the design and development of human prosthetics for disabled people. She almost took him up on the offer, but shook her head slightly.

"Fidelis is limping still, but I am just glad he can work from home."

Innokenti nodded. "That's true. I know cybernetics are expensive….well that and, knowing your husband, he will probably try to go back to front lines."

She sighed and nodded. "That's true enough. I love that male, but he does drive me crazy sometimes."

Kenti chuckled. "I think that can be said about most mates."

She stared at him. "Come to think of it, wasn't there a female you were interested in?"

His face completely shut down. Then he smiled and shrugged, but she could see the pain in those dark eyes. "She was attacked by three males on her way home almost six months ago. She…didn't survive experience"

She winced and watched his face carefully. Why didn't you mention that for six months Innokenti? She decided would talk to him about it at dinner. "Are you okay? You two were very close."

He laughed and seemed to pretend their past didn't exist. "You knew we were close? Have you been following me officer?"

She was concerned now. That is very strange. Why are you pretending like you don't know me Kenti? Something didn't feel right, but she played along. She chuckled slightly "Should I be?" She noticed his eyes harden and made a note to go through reports starting six months ago for any that involved three males beaten to death. She looked around them casually, but found nothing amiss. She did catch his glance over her shoulder before he looked back at her.

His smile widened slightly as he tried to change the subject. "Nothing for you to worry about Iuterna. Now how are your other children? Last time I saw you, they were running you ragged."

She sighed and allowed him to change the subject. Okay, now your back to knowing me. What has gotten you so paranoid Kenti? She made a note to look into the news for anything that could make him tense. "Yes they are as excitable as ever. My little Nerida can never seem to have enough attention."

"Six-year olds tend to be that way. I remember watching my mother deal with my little brother when I first contacted her again."

She blinked. He had lived with her and her family before leaving for the military and they had spoken periodically when she was off duty after he left the military. He had joined them for dinner every galactic week he could, and yet he never willingly brought up his real family before. She had done an extensive background check on him after they had met and she knew that he never even contacted his mother until he returned from the Alliance. She decided to keep the conversation light. There would be time later to confront him. "There's another one of you?"

Innokenti blinked and then started laughing. "Let's hope not. I hope little Rosii is better at staying clean than I was."

She shook her head slightly at the memories and looked at him. "We can only hope. How old is your little brother anyway?" She wanted to know who he was waiting for, but she didn't need to know immediately.

Innokenti looked up and thought. "I believe he is eleven. His birthday is in December….Well look at that. I guess people do appear when you talk about them." He turned away from her and her gaze followed. There was a woman and child walking toward them. They both had Oborin's jet black hair and the boy looked almost identical to Kenti when she first met him. The boy opened his eyes and she had to hide her shock. Instead of the cold, hard brown eyes that Innokenti had back then, the child's eyes were deep blue and shining.

Ambrosii

He couldn't believe he was looking at an actual turian! He had never seen one up close before. The mandibles of the turian were moving slightly as he stared up at the green painted face. He was studying something he didn't recognize, and he was excited. All worries about life going back to normal had vanished from his mind. There were new kinds of people here and he couldn't wait to see it all. His smile was so wide it almost hurt. He spoke in heavily accented galactic "Hello, my name is Ambrosii!" The man that stood beside the turian knelt down, while the turian blinked. Wait, I know him. He's the man my Maht talked to every month. He's my brother right? A voice answered him in his head.

Yes I am, Ambrosii. My name is Innokenti. Now please stop staring at the officer. She has other things to do than deal with us.

Confusion now. She? But she doesn't have...

Don't worry about it I will explain later. His brother turned to the turian….female? and smiled speaking in a language he didn't recognize. She nodded and left quickly to relieve the guard at customs. Innokenti smiled back at them looking at his mother and switching back to Russian. "Welcome to the Citadel mother. I hope you like it here." His mother smiled at him.

"Thank you for letting us stay with you Kenti. I don't know what we would have done without you."

He shrugs. "You're resourceful mother. I had to get it from somewhere and father certainly wasn't where I got it from." Ambrosii followed behind his mother and brother as they chatted. Apparently his brother was a biomedical engineer who ran an R&D Division for a cybernetics company. Ambrosii wasn't listening intently and was looked around at the teams working around the Citadel. The Reapers had attacked three different times during the war and they had destroyed a majority of the outer wards. The war had ended six months ago, but he could see hundreds of people working as they walked through the wards. There were all different species and there was a flurry of languages he didn't know or understand filling the air. They climbed the stairs to Innokenti's apartment and walked in. It was very spacious with two bedrooms, a bath, and large kitchen. It seemed too large for one person. His mother walked around smiling coyly.

"This seems quite spacious son. When did you get married?"

Innokenti laughed and walked into the kitchen and opened the wine cabinet. He pulled out a glass bottle of dark brown liquid. "I didn't get married Mamushka. I stay here with an associate of mine from the company. He's currently yelling at the boss on my behalf."

His mother looked worried before Ambrosii walks into the bedrooms exploring. "What do you mean? Is everything alright?" Ambrosii sat on the bed looking around the mostly bare room for a while and listened.

"It's fine Mamushka. He was just irritated with something I did months ago and demanded to see me. I told him to fuck off."

"WHAT? You can't do that, Innokenti. What if he fires you?"

"He won't."

"He could! Then what would you do to pay for this apartment. I don't want my son out on the street."

"Mamushka! Okay. First of all, calm down! Second of all, I am the single reason that company is even still in business. If he fired me he might as well be digging his own grave. Third, it wouldn't be the first time I have been out on the street." There was a long silence broken only when his mother's crying managed to be loud enough to reach through the door. Ambrosii walked out to see Innokenti holding Mary, who was sobbing into his chest screaming that she was sorry. Innokenti was smiling and telling her it wasn't her fault. Ambrosii started to walk to his grieving mother, but a voice in his mind stopped him. Go wait over in my room Rosii. I will talk with you later.

Ambrosii shook his head. No! You're hurting Maht! He went toward his mother.

Mary wiped her eyes as she stared up at Innokenti. "When did you get so tall Kenti? What have you been doing? You never told me why you left all those years ago."

Innokenti sighed and rubbed the back of his head. "I would love to tell you Maht, but we have visitors."

Mary turned to look at Rosii and smiled. "Rosii why don't you go wait in your room. I have to talk to your brother now."

Ambrosii nodded and walked into the other bedroom begrudged and blinked. It was not much different from the other room he was in. The only difference was that this room had pictures sitting on the nightstand and desk. Ambrosii picked up one and stared. It was of a child not much older than himself with his arm around a turian child's waist, mostly because the turian was a foot taller than him, and the turian with an arm around his shoulder. They were smiling and holding a trophy in front of them. There was another framed picture of a younger-looking Innokenti with his arm around a young blond girl's waist. He couldn't place why, but Innokenti's eyes looked much different in the picture.

Ambrosii turned as the door opened and Innokenti walked in his eyes a hard brown like stone. "It's time for us to have a talk." He noticed the picture and plucked it from Ambrosii's hands before he returned it to the desk. Ambrosii flinched instinctively expecting a blow that never came. Innokenti simply patted his head lightly.

"W-what?"

He smiled down at him. "I wish I could let you meet her kid. She loved energetic children like you." He crouched down. "Now you ready for school tomorrow? It'll be a fresh start." Ambrosii shook his head. Innokenti cocked his head to the side. Rosii looked away from his larger brother and thought back to school on Earth. All the children had ignored or ridiculed him as too smart. The teachers ridiculed him for his inability to focus in a class he had already understood the previous year. His father's responded to the teachers' complaints with a steel toed boot to Ambrosii's ribcage.

So that's what the problem is. Ambrosii flinched back somehow feeling like he was being read like a book. Innokenti smiled advancing. What's the problem now? Ivan is dead Ambrosii. You killed him remember? A flash of a face. His father's…

NO HE'S NOT MY FATHER! The rage build and he saw a shimmer of blue surround him as the desk lifted from the ground. Ambrosii threw the desk at Innokenti with his mind….and his brother caught it.

Innokenti looked at him calmly as blue light shimmered around him. You're right Ambrosii. He's not your father. You don't need a father, because you can protect yourself and your Maht with that power you have. However, you have to learn to control it.

Ambrosii was frustrated. I learned everything they had to teach me.

Innokenti sighed. It is not so simple kid. You must discover your own strength. You must learn what you can do with your powers and how to control your emotions. I can help you, but you are the only one who can control you. Do you want to change? Do you want to actually learn and experience something? Or do you want to remain stagnant and just go through life memorizing everything. Ambrosii was silent as his brother led him out the door.

Innokenti

He shut the door behind him as he left his little brother outside to think. He lifted the desk back up with his biotics and returned it to where it belonged. He bent down to pick up the picture of him and Hadesian holding their teams' handball trophy. He smiled and placed it back before he sighed and thought back to what his brother's unconscious had unknowingly shown him. If I had known what he would do to the child, I would have crushed his heart in my hand….no, I wouldn't have. I wasn't a killer….not back then. He picked up the only other picture that he kept on his desk and stared at himself from three years ago. "Man, I look strange clean-shaven." He looked at his reflection in the mirror over his desk and rubbed his full beard thoughtfully. He placed the photo back and sat in the chair staring at it. Now what the futar am I supposed to do? I don't know how to be a role model. He took a drink from his bottle of bourbon like it was water. I have a feeling the next couple days are going to be fun. There was a knock at the door and he answered quickly. He looked down and then crouched in front of his little brother. "Decide already?" Ambrosii nodded and looked into his eyes. He was finally speaking clearly.

"Yes. I want to move forward. I want to protect Maht through this." He looked down after speaking.

Innokenti saw the hesitation and smiled. "But?"

Ambrosii looked up again. "School will still be boring."

Innokenti laughed heartily before covering his mouth to not wake his mother who was asleep on the couch. "You know you can test out of classes."

Ambrosii's eyes shined like the gleam of turian blood on a new metal arm during connection. "Really?"

Innokenti covered his little brother's surprisingly large mouth. "Yes really. Now we will deal with that tomorrow. You need to study up on your Xenobiology because, I doubt Moscow taught you any." His brother's confused look was response enough. "It's the study of other species, like turians and asari and the differences and similarities between them and us." The little boy's eyes screamed fascinated and his mouth was working hard as he tried to ask him three thousand questions at once with a hand on his mouth. Innokenti chuckled and puts a finger to his lips. "If you be quiet I will let you use my console to download some textbooks." Ambrosii nodded vigorously and followed Innokenti to the console. He ruffled the child's short black hair. "Don't stay up too late." When he woke up, he found the boy face down on the aerogel console. He looked up at the screen to see what the child was looking up. It was about basic turian physiology. Innokenti chuckled. I guess he doesn't believe that females exist without breasts…and he's supposed to be good at biology.

Iuterna Telibus

Iuterna walked into her apartment late into the evening, if there was such a thing on a station. She was so late that the only person awake was Leontina. Her daughter was sitting in front of the extranet terminal, tapping away at the aerogel pad. "Shouldn't you be asleep first-daughter?"

Leontina jumped and spun around. She stood up quickly and stood strait. "Sorry Mada, I didn't realize what time it was. Do you want something? I can make you something quick."

Iuterna smiles and sat down at the console. "I just need a cup of apha. I have something I need the console for."

Leontina went into the kitchen and started up the aphora. "You're working a case? I thought you were off for a day mother."

Iuterna smiled. She's as perceptive as always. "Not a case. Just doing some research."

Leontina smiled and walked over with the apha "Research on what?" She noticed her mother was in the C-sec database. "I thought it wasn't for a case."

Iuterna narrowed her search to the last six months. She needs to be distracted or I can't look for it. "You'll never guess who I saw today."

Leontina blinked and looked at her mother. "Who?"

Iuterna looked up at her daughter and smiled. "Kenti."

Leontina's eyes lit up and her grin widened. "Really? That's great! Is he coming to dinner this week?"

Iuterna chuckled to herself. "Yes, he is, now go to bed. Your last day of school is in a few days." She watched her daughter leave quickly and chuckled again. Maybe we should see about a commeditor for those two after all. She shook her head. We'll see about it after her four years are up. She smiled remembering how she was really taken by a young male she went to school with, but met Fidelis in boot camp.

She shook her head and went back to her search. She was looking up homicides from six months ago. There were a lot to go through. The Reaper War had just ended and there was still chaos in the lower wards at times. Just when she thought that it was never logged, she found the file.

Terran Calendar: March 6, 2187 18:75

Victim: Carla Reynolds (21).

Iuterna opened the file and let her eyes scanned the pages. Innokenti had been the one who found Carla's body. She blinked when she noticed a video file in the official record. They have it on tape. She turned off the volume and watched the file. Carla had been walking down the street and was cut off by two men in front of her. A third man came up behind her and put a gun to her back. She was led into an alley and after a few minutes, there was a flash at the edge of the camera. She sighed as she watched the three men run out of the alley and out of sight. A few minutes passed and then Innokenti ran into the camera and looked down the alley. He stood stock still before running into the alley. Less than a minute later he walked out and looked up into the camera. He activated his omnitool. Her eyes widened slightly. He hacked into the camera? What did you do Kenti? She closed he program and examined the rest of the file. They had identified all three of the attackers, but there were no arrests. She looked up the names and her blood ran cold.

All three of the males were dead. One was found at the bottom of a destroyed building he was helping repair. It was designated a work related accident. The male had a heart attack from grabbing a live wire and then fell off the building. Accidental huh? She wasn't convinced and looked up the second one.

He died of an allergic reaction in a bar. She had to reread that again and looked on. It was investigated as a murder, but with the lack of cameras in the bar, it was nearly impossible to find the suspect. Witnesses said that a bald, clean-shaven man had walked the victim in and chatted with him. He had left shortly before the victim began convulsing. No cameras around the bar caught the man after he left the bar. The coroner said that the victim had drunk too much by the time the epitab was administered and died when his throat closed up. He was clearly murdered. The bar must have been busy if the bartender didn't notice a man switching out drinks. She pulled up the third man and blinked.

The man was found beaten to death in an alley on Epyrus Colony approximately two months ago. There were no witnesses or suspects listed. They suspected that, based on the sheer number of blows and lack of defensive wounds, multiple males beat the victim to death after a failed robbery. Multiple males or just someone that skilled and angry. Epyrus wasn't a tourist spot for humans, unless they wanted to go mountain climbing. The victim didn't have a history of that hobby, according to his associates on the Citadel. He was running from something. Or someone.

She closed the file and searched the extranet for recent prosthetic or biomedical engineering seminars on Epyrus. There had been three in the past month and a half, but nothing before that. She looked up the first one and then immediately brought up a map of Epyrus. The wheels began turning in her head. The victim died two blocks from the hotel that was hosting the seminar. She continued to stare at the terminal before shutting it off and standing up. She clenched her fists as she walked to her room. Damnit Kenti! If I could figure this out, there are plenty of people who could! She made a note to herself to track down Innokenti the next day.