Letters from the Brig
By KSCrusaders (Sable Rhapsody on BSN)
Being friends with the Shadow Broker came with its advantages, but Garrus couldn't really believe that Shepard and Liara's carefully laid plan had actually worked. It was too much to hope for-until he heard the knock on his door a few weeks later and opened it to see Liara's smiling face.
"Nice place you've got here," she said by way of greeting, looking around Garrus's new office at the turian military headquarters. "Expert Reaper adviser, very fancy."
"Good to see you too, Liara," he said, shaking her hand. "Can I get you a drink or something?"
She shook her head. "No, I'm sorry. There are some Prothean ruins in the southern hemisphere that I'm taking a look at this afternoon." She looked around the office-typical enough for turian military, spartan and efficient, but the walls were covered in screens detailing supply chains in the colonies, emergency protocols for Palaven, weapons schematics...it reminded her of her Shadow Broker ship.
"You've been busy," said Liara. Garrus shrugged and sat back down in his chair.
"It's a token title and I've got a token team, but I might as well do some good with it."
"I'm glad your father came around. Every little bit counts now, especially since we don't know how much time Shepard bought us."
"So..." said Garrus, trying not to sound too hopeful. "Did it work?"
She chuckled. "Would I be here if it hadn't? From now on, my agents will deliver the messages to you, but I was in the area, so I thought I'd stop by in person." She reached into her jacket and pulled out a sealed envelope-an actual envelope, paper and all. It bore no marks or seals other than his name, written in neat, firm script across the front.
Garrus took it, incredulous. "Written messages? What is this, the 15th century?"
Liara shrugged. "The Alliance has got her locked down pretty tightly. She can see what's going on via a public Holonet terminal, but that's about it. Luckily for us, I don't think they expected anything this low-tech."
Unconsciously, Garrus clenched his hands. "They aren't mistreating her, are they?"
"Thinking of springing her already?" said Liara, raising her eyebrows. "She is still Commander Shepard. She's under house arrest, but no date's been set for her trial. I think the committee is happy to just talk to her for now."
"Good. I didn't think they'd actually imprison her, but if they did-"
"You'd storm Alliance headquarters to get her back," said Liara with a knowing smile. If Garrus had been human, he might have blushed. Instead, he just coughed and fiddled with his chair, staring at the letter in his hands. It occurred to him that he'd never seen Shepard's handwriting before. Crisp, clean, and neat, just like her.
"I'll leave you to it," said Liara. She was halfway out the door before Garrus called out to her.
"Liara-thanks. I know I can't write back, but...it means a lot."
"I know," she said quietly. "Shepard's my best friend, and you make her happy. It means a lot to me too." The door swung shut behind her and Garrus was left alone with his thoughts...and Shepard's letter. As soon as he could no longer hear Liara's receding footsteps down the hall, he slit the envelope open and shook out two sheets of paper, covered in that same neat writing.
I'm not sure if when you'll get this, or if Liara's plan will even work, but even the thought of writing to you helps pass the time. I suppose you'll want to know all the details, but believe me, they're quite boring. I hopped on a shuttle, got escorted to the brig of a frigate, and got to Earth about a week ago. Very uneventful flight, so uneventful that the marine guarding me-Lieutenant James Vega if you wanna ping the Shadow Broker for dirt on him-offered to spar. I turned him down. It's unfair after I learned some hand-to-hand from one of the best :)
They let me keep my omnitool, so I spent the flight here and the last week compiling everything on the Reapers and Collectors, and I do mean everything. Everything from the Prothean beacon on Eden Prime down to every detail I can remember from the Collector mission. Even my nightmares, for all the good it'll do. So far so good-the committee is still convening, and I think they'll find it harder to believe I'm a terrorist AND a liar if I give them lots of easily corroborated details. I hope Alenko will be cooperative if they question him.
I ran into him yesterday; he was waiting to see Anderson after he and I were done talking about the trial. Talk about awkward-he took one look at me and ran like a bat out of hell. If it wasn't so uncomfortable, it might have been funny. Am I a bad person for thinking that? Somehow I can imagine you giving me that evil grin of yours. You're a terrible influence, you know that? And you're probably proud of it too. Ass.
OK, around this point you'll be worried about whether the Alliance is treating me well and musing on springing me in a hail of bullets or something equally dramatic. Um...please don't. I'm fine, I promise. I've got nice quarters and access to everything that the other marines here at headquarters do, I'm just not allowed to leave without an escort or enter classified areas. That's it. No cuffs, no brig...it's pretty obvious that I'm here to talk, not be imprisoned, and the whole trial is just a front to keep the batarians off my tail.
Speaking of the batarians, things have been disturbingly quiet from their sector of space. There's nothing concrete on the Reapers even though they were supposed to enter from batarian space. Obviously there's plenty of propaganda on how I'm the worst war criminal in galactic history. Apparently I've topped Saren in less than two years!
...all right, that wasn't funny. Sorry. I just-I know I need to be here on Earth, both politically and strategically to advise the Alliance, but I miss space. I miss Normandy.
And most of all, I miss you.
Garrus's hands shook ever so slightly as he put down the letter. She'd signed it with her first name. Kaliya. A letter for Garrus, from Kaliya. There were no orders from Commander Shepard, no plans to deal with the Reapers. It wasn't what he'd expected at all.
He scanned her letter with his omnitool, then on a whim, tacked it up on the wall alongside one of the many monitors. It fluttered there, almost comical against the many flickering screens. He took one last look at her signature and smiled to himself.
Today was going to be a good day.