Last chapter, hope you like.
"Is Joker ready to go through EDI?" Selene asked the purple cipher by her door as she pulled on the last piece to her armor.
"Jeff is at the ready, Commander." EDI answered, just before her holo interface blipped out of sight.
Selene's eyes shifted away from the now empty platform to the blue scaled drell sitting ramrod straight on the side of the bed, his eyes closed and his face completely relaxed. The Commander knew he was saying his last prayers before battle.
Well, probably not his last, we will all probably be praying a lot during our time on the other side of the Omega 4 Relay, Selene thought to herself.
"Something wrong Siha?" Kolyat's deep, gravelly voice broke her from her thoughts. Selene hadn't noticed that she had been openly staring at Kolyat and he had somehow walked to her without her noticing.
"No. Nothing's wrong." Selene's voice was quiet as she spoke, giving away to how anxious she really was about this mission. Everyone on the ship was anxious, not just her. The last five hours on the ship since getting back had been tense and everyone stuck to their own quarters, preparing in their own ways.
Kolyat chose to not comment on his Commander's anxiety and instead pulled her into a tight embrace, which she returned. The drell buried his nose in her hair, taking in the scent and the silky feeling against his face. Unfortunately, she had her armor on already so he couldn't feel the warmth and softness of her body, but he had his memories, which were replaying the moment only thirty minutes ago, of him placing the marriage band on her left ankle.
Kolyat pulled back and placed his hands on her arms, his right thumb rubbed against her armor comfortingly. The couple gave each other small smiles and shared a lingering kiss.
"I love you." Selene whispered up at her fiancé.
"I love you Siha. Now let's go face this enemy together, Commander." Kolyat straightened and walked to the door. The solider waited at the side of the door for his Commander to lead him out. Selene took a deep breath through her nose and exhaled slowly, her face hardening into a look of focus and control. She marched out of their quarters and down to the awaiting helmsmen ready to take them through the gates of hell.
"Take us through Joker." Selene commanded by his side, her eyes never leaving the ominous red and orange glowing relay.
"Aye - aye, Commander." Joker's hands sped across the holo keys, there was no room for error on this jump and Joker was the best at what he did. Selene trusted him to get them through safely.
As Joker approached the relay and started the count down, Selene's hand tightened on the back of his chair, her heart quickening in her chest, but her face remained the same stoic look of calm and focus. Miranda and Kolyat beside her did not keep their calm exteriors as well as their Commander. Their feet shifting back and forth against the cold metal floor and the there was a subtle twitch to their eyes as the count got closer to one. The Normandy was enveloped in the eerie light and taken through the relay in a matter of seconds, the familiar feeling of vertigo was felt by all and left just as quickly as it came as they reached the other side. The sight before them caused them to feel much the same effect. Hundreds of thousands of broken and damaged ships floated before them causing Joker to immediately jerk and dodge the Normandy through the graveyard.
As the Normandy steadied and came through the field of ships, Joker was able to relax in the back of his chair for a second, beads of nervous sweat rolled down his forehead. "No wonder no one has been able to make it through the relay, a few kilometers off and we would have been slammed right into one of those ships, or appeared right in the middle of one. And did you see the looks of them, some looked ancient."
"You did good Joker, I knew you would. Your work isn't done yet, you need to get us to that base." Selene ordered, patting Joker's arm lightly.
"On it Shepard," Joker replied, his face focusing on the task at hand.
From there on, the ship, Joker, and the crew received no breaks. The Collectors threw everything at them, including the kitchen sink. Thankfully, the upgrades were proving very beneficial and their talented helmsmen even more so. Selene, Grunt and Kolyat had been forced to take down a giant circle of death down in the Cargo Bay twice but they had managed to get the job done and return to the CIC with no injuries. The final showdown on the ship came when the Collectors released their own ship, the same one that had been after them for two years. The new guns worked beautifully against the massive ship tearing through its hull with ease. Unfortunately, the Normandy took a lot of damage and Joker had to make a crash landing on the base.
"Ah. I think I broke a rib, or all of them." Joker lay back in his seat, holding his side as he grimaced in pain.
Selene picked herself off the floor as she looked around at her lover and XO behind her, they were fine only tossed around like she had been. EDI read out reports of the ship and crews status, everyone was fine and coming up to the debriefing room. However, the ship would need time to get back online, but would probably be invisible to any enemies.
"Alright EDI, thank you. Joker, get her back to speed. You two, with me," Selene commanded as she turned from the cockpit, leading the way to the debriefing room.
"You need to pick someone to go into the shaft. It's your call Shepard?" Jacob spoke from her right.
All her tech experts started to volunteer around her, even her soon to be father-in-law offered his name. Selene stood back as she took the time to mentally weigh the people in skill. Thane, Jacob, Mordin and Garrus were all good yes, but the far more superior choices were obviously, Tali, Legion and Kasumi. Selene thought quickly and came to the decision of picking Legion. In the end, an AI's reaction time was much faster than any sapient being and he wouldn't get bogged down with fear and nervousness under fire.
"Legion, I'm sending you into the shaft, if anyone can hack through anything, it's you." Selene raised her eyes to the machine, receiving an 'acknowledged' in reply.
Next she had to pick who the second in command would be for the second ground team. Of course, Miranda rightfully assumed the role of second, but was met with protests from Jack along with the agreements of half the team.
"This isn't a popularity contest. Shepard, you need someone who can command loyalty through experience." Miranda urged her.
Again, Selene was put to the task of selecting the best for the job. The only three people she could think of leading the second team successfully was Miranda, Zaeed or Garrus. Her silver green eyes landed on her turian friend to her left, his blue ones stared back unyielding. He not only would be a good choice, but he needed the confident boost after blaming himself for his old team's death. Then there was Zaeed, who managed to start and lead one of the toughest, strongest mercenary groups in the galaxy. However, Miranda was her XO, appointed by Cerberus, but she was part of her team and had come far and grown as a valued friend and team mate.
"Miranda will lead the second team. No arguments" Her law had been set down and no one dared argue with it.
Miranda's lips curved into a small smile that Selene knew would have lit up her whole face if it wasn't for the seriousness of the meeting. Her eyes spoke volumes to the gratitude she felt towards Shepard and the promise of not failing her.
Selene moved back to her original space as she bowed her head, taking in the situation. "No more preparing, no more running, no more getting kicked in the teeth by these pendejos. We're taking the fight to them and they will feel our wrath." Selene's face was a hardened mask of determination and passion as she raised her head to look at them. The fire that burned in her silver green eyes was fuel for their own fire burning in each of them. The short, ebony haired human paced back and forth like a caged lion, staring each and every one of them down, making sure her words would never be forgotten, "If you aren't scared, then you're stupid. You need to be afraid, be afraid of what might come and what you might see, and use that fear, combine it with whatever pushes you. Anger, love, drive, revenge, duty, love of fighting, mix them, and use them." Selene stopped and placed her hands on the edge of the table as she leaned in, her next words were spoken low and with a dead serious look in her eyes, "You need to be afraid, the fear needs to be there, because everything you see today, is what is coming for the future. Your homes, your families, your memories, your life and your crew are all about to be overrun by the horrors on that base. So today, let's make it one less Collector for tomorrow, one less husk, one less person taken in this war." The intensity with which the Commander spoke awoke the need, desire and the will in everyone around her. Grunt slammed his fists together, Jack's and Miranda's hands glowed with the purple light of their biotics as the energy built up within them, Garrus' cheeks were drawn close to his face as his plates crawled with anticipation. Everyone felt the strength and energy of their own Commander flow through them, her words ringing true in their ears as it feed their hunger for their separate needs to take on this threat. Selene's eyes swept the table one more time, lingering on the blue drell beside his father, "This is all to protect the people and things we care about. We cannot fail and we will not fail. Today we bring our people home and send their captors straight to hell."
The team filed out of the room, Selene in the front as she led the once individuals with their own purposes, now as a single unit. They were a team and family and they were bringing the rest of their family back.
"Kolyat, Thane and Garrus, you're on me, the rest go with Miranda. You know the plan." Selene commanded before opening the main airlock to the ship as the rest of the team set out for the Cargo exit.
The Commander jumped from the ship, her feet hitting the ground hard, the sound of three more people behind her doing the same was heard. Selene's eyes met Miranda's on the other side, nodding to each other as they disappeared down their separate paths. Selene's team was met with immediate resistance, her two best snipers took out the Collectors from a distance as Kolyat and her jumped over barriers, shooting and slamming Collector's out of their way. They quickly made their way to the switch that would turn off the barrier blocking Legion's path in the vents, allowing him to continue his mission and not melt in the duct.
Selene herself pulled forth her own more powerful sniper, the one she found on the Collector ship, and Kolyat and her switched places with their friend and father. This formation is what got them through to the end and on the other side of the doors that reunited them with the rest of the team. Legion made fast work of the controls on the door, that had jammed in their escape attempt. Selene along with five other assault rifle wielding soldiers provided their mechanical friend with cover as he worked to close the doors. Legion proved to be the right choice as he succeeded in only eight seconds.
The group was able to catch their breaths in the room they found themselves in, but the small victory was short lived as they became aware of their surroundings. The Collector pods that they had become familiar seeing housed a group of humans on the far wall. All the pods were hooked up to tubes and machines that none of them could figure out what they were for. The faces of their crew came into view as they moved closer, but an unknown woman's eyes opening, drew the attention of the whole group. Selene watched fear fill the woman's eyes as she realized where she was and then they met Selene's through the glass. The Commander gave her a small smile in reassurance as she felt the sides of the pod, looking for a way to get her out. However, a hissing sound soon started in the pod and it drew the confused eyes of the Commander to look at the woman inside. The sight would haunt her for the rest of her life. The stranger's skin was covered with black liquid as she began to scream in agony and everything from her hair, cloths and skin melted away until she was nothing but a puddle of brown and red goo that was siphoned through the connecting tubes. Selene couldn't breathe as her stomach revolted, threatening to spew forth what was left from her last meal. The woman had been right there, only two inches from her and she had failed to save her. Selene's fingers released their hold on the sides of the pod, which she had managed to pull open by hooking her gloved fingers in. Half of her armored gloves had dissolved away, leaving her fingers with angry red marks which she ignored. Selene threw the lid to the side in anger as her eyes stared at the empty spot the young woman had been, she couldn't have been more then twenty five old.
A strong hand on her shoulder broke her from her trance as she turned in surprise. Garrus was in front of her, with Tali at his side. Both of them understood better than anyone how hard it was to be so close to someone and not be able to save them. The memory of Ash's voice over their comm was horrible to live with and something the trio relived in their nightmares.
"Commander!" Samara's voice yelled from her left.
The pods containing their own crew were awakening their captives and all at once the squad began slamming and pulling on the lids of the tanks franticly, trying to save their people. This time there had been no slow working of the lids as every member was pulled from their pods, breathing in air and shaking as they were held by the ground crew.
"Doctor Chakwas, are you ok?" Selene managed to ask as she stared down at the woman in her arms.
"Shepard? You . . . you came for us." The relieved and breathless voice of the older woman spoke as her blue eyes stared up into Selene's like she was an angel sent from heaven.
"We never leave anyone behind." Selene gripped the shaken woman's arms and helped her from the floor.
Chakwas and Kelly told them the little of what they knew about the pods and the tubes, but neither could tell them why the Collector's were processing the human's genetic material. After telling them all they could, the squads next move was planned out and it involved splitting the team again and sending a small group down a path of seeker swarms, protected by a shield held up by a biotic. Selene made the choice of selecting Samara for the job. The powerful Justicar had all their years combined times two to develop her biotics.
"Miranda you're leading the second team." Selene ordered.
"What about us Commander? We are in no shape to fight." Chakwas asked worriedly. Obviously the Collectors had put the crew through a lot for the strong doctor to show so much fear in her eyes.
Selene surveyed the team before her. Kolyat would be a good choice but he would never leave her side, his narrowed eyes when she looked at him confirmed that. Selene turned to her right, addressing her salarian scientist, "Mordin, you will lead them back to the Normandy."
Mordin nodded and asked Joker for the safest directions out and turned for the opposite doors as the two other groups went their separate ways once more; Thane, Garrus, Samara, Kolyat and Shepard ventured off into the blackness of the seeker swarm infested tunnel.
"Shut the fuck up you son-of-a-bitch!" Selene unloaded her assault rifle directly into the head of the Collector currently being controlled by Harbinger. The sound of his voice caused her to grind her teeth in irritation and anger. "Thane fall back damn it! Kolyat get behind me now!" Selene screamed over the gun fire. The two drell in front of her were hell bent on getting themselves killed while guarding her and Samara as they ran backwards through the open doors that would be their safety. Garrus was positioned at the controls as he shot with one hand and waited for the group to come through. Thane pulled back like he was ordered, but Kolyat remained in front of the Commander, shooting at any Collectors getting too close. Selene gripped the tall drell's shoulder and shoved him backwards at the same time Samara summoned her last bit of strength and sent a biotic wave down the bridge they had just crossed. Garrus slammed the doors closed as Samara, Selene and Kolyat fell to the floor, the Justicar from exhaustion and the couple from tripping over themselves in their haste of get through the doors.
"God damn it Kolyat, when I give you an order you better fucking follow it!" Selene glared down at the blue drell under her, her pistol pointed at his head in her anger.
Kolyat stared up at her with unblinking eyes, the gun pointed down at him didn't even register. His father and Garrus were busy on the other side of the room, hacking the controls of the door for the other squad. Kolyat's hands pulled down the enraged face of the Commander and slammed her lips to his. The sight of her being bombarded with bullets and jumped by a swarm of husks had stopped his heart several times during the battle. He ignored the pain in his cut lip as he kissed her or the pain in his torso as she leaned into him, her arms pressing down on his chest.
Selene broke the kiss and pressed her forehead to his as her eyes closed, savoring the moment and taking the breath she needed since they started the fight. Her green eyes opened gradually as she gave him a smile, holstering her pistol, "We aren't done yet. Come one, mi amor."
Selene helped him up before they jogged over to the team that had just came through the doors, all of them took the time to calm down and breathe; thankfully Samara seemed to regain her strength already.
"Alright Shepard, the next step is to go down this path. You should take a small suppression team while the rest of us hold the position here." Miranda explained to her.
Selene hoisted herself up onto the platform above everyone, Kolyat did the same without any orders; the drell would not be left behind and leave her side. Selene accepted this and turned to the rest of the team, "Thane and Miranda, you're with me. Garrus, you're leading this team to hold the Collectors back." Miranda's face had taken on a look of shock when the Commander order her to join her on the platform and Garrus had a strange look, a cross between shocked, honored and confusion. It was Garrus' turn to lead and she trusted her friend to have her six like he always did.
"It's win or die time everyone. In the next few minutes everything is decided. Now tell me, are we going to give these bastards the satisfaction of taking our lives!?" Selene's voice rose as she ignited her team, their tired faces melted away to looks of purpose and ready. Her squad erupted into "no" and "hell no" and battle cries, raising their fists and weapons in the air. "Then take theirs first. Give them no mercy, give them no inch, give them no hope! Fight for everything you care for in this galaxy and live to tell about it." Selene's voice grew quieter as she continued, "All of you are more than my crew, you are my family and it's been my honor and blessing to work with you and see you come together. Don't let that have to end."
"We fight for you Commander, till the end!" Garrus yelled to her.
Another round of cries went through the small group. Selene gave them all a small smile as she nodded, "Make me proud. Make yourselves proud. We end this now and we leave together." Selene saluted them. That one gesture showing them the amount of respect she had for her team, more than any had imagined. With a final look at her team she turned for the shifting platform that would take her small group towards their destination.
Kolyat brought his assault rifle up, taking the last few shots that blew the disfigured Scion into pieces. The blue drell stood from his kneeled position, wiping the gore from the side of his head as he walked forward, stopping at the controls of the platform and looking to his Siha for her next move.
"Everyone alright?" Selene checked the three people in front of her, all giving nods of assurance. Selene pressed forward, tapping the keys on the pad as it took them closer. As their platform flew through the air, EDI's updates on the massive power being given off from the room caused Selene's mind to move a mile a minute to think of what could be in there and why all the humans were being processed to this room. As they moved closer to the mouth of the opening of the room, the many lights temporarily blinded the group, causing them to shield their eyes and squint at the colossus structure before them.
"If my calculations are correct Shepard, the structure is . . . a Reaper." EDI herself seemed to hold shock and fear in her voice. But there was no comparison to actually seeing the abomination with ones own eyes. The four squad members were speechless as they stared wide eyed at the half built, skeleton Reaper.
"Not just a Reaper. A human Reaper." Selene spoke breathlessly. The Commander stared into the dead eyes of the machine that had been feeding on tens of thousands of humans, disgust and hate building inside her. "EDI, how do I take this fucker down?"
"The Reaper is supported by several injection tubes above. Taking these structural weak spots down will result in destroying the Reaper itself." EDI informed them.
Shepard's eyes caught movement from the right side of the Reaper, one of the flying platforms were coming their way and Harbinger along with some of his friends were already shooting at their position.
"Get ready for a fight!" She called to her team as they all took their positions.
Selene weaved in and out of cover, constantly in motion as the Collectors kept coming, shooting up the tanks one at a time when she got the chance. Quickly, the number of tanks dwindled down to one, then with one last shot, they were all destroyed, bringing down the half made abomination.
"Yes!" Miranda cried, a large smile on her face as she looked towards the Commander, crimson blood spilling down from her left brow.
Selene returned the smile, her bottom lip stinging as she did so from the deep gash through it. Her eyes turned to her two boys, both of them sporting their own cuts and bruises but smiles as well. The Commander checked in quickly with the other team, Tali answered her call, urging for an escape soon. Selene ordered the team to fall back to the ship as she turned to kneel on the floor, it was time to blow the base and get the hell out of there.
"Shepard, there is an incoming call from the Illusive Man, patching him through." Joker informed them.
What the hell does he want? Selene thought with irritation.
"Shepard, you did the imposable. Well done." The Illusive Man's holo image was projected off Miranda's omni tool.
"I'm just getting started." Selene's hard voice answered, not bothering to stop her work to look at him.
"I am looking at the schematics EDI uploaded to me. A timed radiation pulse would kill the remaining Collectors, but leave the machinery and technology intact."
"Are you saying you want to use this?" Selene opened her arms wide as she spun around, her eyes blazing with fury.
"Think about how many lives we would be saving if we turn the Reaper's own technology against them," The Illusive Man urged.
"Using anything from this base seems more like a betrayal. Seeing this all firsthand . . .it wouldn't be right to take it." Miranda chimed in. The sorrow for what had gone on here was thick in her voice.
"If we ignore this opportunity, that will be a betrayal." The Illusive Man shot back.
"You disgust me." Kolyat snarled, a mean look to his face as he glared down at the holo image.
"This is not your concern drell." The Illusive Man spat out. This caused Thane to push forward beside his son, a deep animal like growl built in his chest as he stared down at the human, angry at the insult aimed at his son.
"Cómo te atreves?" Selene hissed. "This is his business, this is my whole fucking crews business! Your ass wasn't out here, putting your life on the line!" Selene was pissed.
"I brought you back Shepard so you could fight. I invested billions of credits into you . . ." The Illusive Man began to shout, only to be cut off.
"And these people bleed for me! Bleed for you, for people they don't know, for their families, for their friends, for this whole damn galaxy. For humans! These aliens! My family. They have the heart and the drive and the skill to take this enemy down and we won't compromise who we are because of fear." Selene finished, turning her back on the stunned hologram.
The Illusive Man turned quickly, ordering Miranda to not allow Selene to destroy the base.
"Or what? You will replace me too?" Miranda asked dismissively.
"I gave you an order Miranda." The man fumed.
"I heard. Consider this my resignation." Before the Illusive Man could get two words out, Miranda cut the feed, handing her Commander one last grenade.
Selene closed the pod and stood, addressing her team, "We have fifteen minutes until the reactor overloads and blows this whole place apart."
As the reactor hissed closed, the platform they stood on shook violently. Selene turned while trying to keep her balance, the scraping of metal on metal was deafening as the Reaper fetus pulled itself up from the pit she had dropped it down. With its orange glowing eyes and skeletal features it looked like a demon pulling itself from the depths of hell.
"What the fuck do I have to do to kill this damn thing?" Selene yelled, pulling out her assault rifle and unloading into the mechanical creatures eyes; her team following her lead.
"Our weapons aren't doing shit Siha! Use the Cain!" Kolyat shouted, shooting a Harbinger possessed Collector through the head, causing it to disintegrate.
"We don't know exactly what it's going to do, this room might not be large enough. Mordin said to use it . . . " Selene yelled back, shooting from cover at the Reaper, the machine slipping from the ledge once again allowed her to dip down into cover and reload.
"Fuck what Mordin said! Use the damn thing we only have fifteen minutes!" Kolyat responded, sliding down next to her.
Selene growled in irritation but the estimated power of the Cain would probably finish the Reaper off. As Selene pulled the large heavy weapon from her back, she called to her team, "Alright, everyone get into cover and pray this thing doesn't blow us all to hell."
Thane and Miranda obeyed as they slid into cover next to each other just as the shaking signaling the Reaper climbing back up started. Selene kneeled in her cover, staring into Kolyat's eyes beside her as their heavy breaths came out together. As the lovers nodded to one another, Selene popped out of cover, her finger slamming down on the trigger, charging the shot. The monstrous Reaper's head appeared before her, its mouth open as if screaming down at her; her shot was aimed directly for that opening. Shepard faintly heard the click that meant the charge was complete, right before a yellow beam shot out, slamming right into the gaping hole of the machines mouth. Selene's eyes grew wide as the kick back sent her off balance and to the floor. Kolyat screamed her name as he dove over her, dragging her as close as he could to the cover, just in time to shield them from the atomic bomb like blast. Pieces of the Reaper rained everywhere as the hulking skeleton rocked back and forth before crashing to the depths below for the final time. However, as the machine went down, all of the platforms, including the one they stood on, shook and tilted in all directions. Thane and Miranda were sent rolling back into an adjacent platform, right into the metal covers they had been using as shields. Thankfully, this kept the two from rolling off the side. Kolyat wasn't as lucky. The blue drell had been tilted forward, his whole body worked against him as he tumbled, sliding down the platform to meet the Reaper below.
Kolyat tried to find anything that would stop his fall but his boots and gloves only scraped helplessly on the metal ground. He didn't want to die, he didn't want to leave his Siha, his father, his friends. Kolyat's head turned in all directions, but the fast approaching body above him made him look up. Selene's stubborn face fixed on him as she slid on her stomach after him, her arm outstretched before her. We come out alive together or we die together, Kolyat recited in his head. He wasn't sure how they were getting out of this one, but his hand reached out for hers nonetheless. The solider felt his legs meet the open ledge as his hips and body came next, fear gripping him like ice in his chest. As Kolyat sent out a prayer to the gods to meet his Siha across the sea, he felt something small and strong tighten around his hand, stopping his descent. Selene met his eyes for a brief moment as she held him over the empty space. There was no time for relieved smiles as the platform was already in motion, tilting the opposite direction, flipping them both the other way to the stabilized platform Miranda and Thane lay on. The sound of their crash was all they heard as darkness over took them.
Selene's eyes fluttered open, her vision blurred as her surroundings started to become clearer in front of her. Let's not do that again. As her eyes began to work properly the pain in her lower legs began to register. She looked down to see a metal beam had fallen on her legs. The Commander quickly shoved it away, standing on wobbly feet. Her head darted around her, looking for her squad. A green scaled arm stuck out from under a sheet of metal, along with a light skinned one next to it. Shepard quickly yanked the metal away, shaking Thane and Miranda, relief allowed her to breath more easily as their eyes opened and they slowly stood. Just as quickly as the relief had come, it left when she noticed the blue body on the other side, a pillar sitting on his chest.
Please god, don't let him be dead, Selene prayed as she ran over to Kolyat's body, the bright red blood around him not helping her nerves. Selene's biotics flared as she shoved the pillar off of him, her hands franticly shaking and checking his body.
"Kolyat, wake up!" Selene hadn't even noticed the tears, before she felt the salty taste of them on her lips as she yelled.
Thane's own stomach twisted with the fear that his son might be dead, his dark eyes taking in the limp form of his child. This isn't supposed to happen, I will not be the one to release my son to the sea! Anger and pain was building in the assassin as tears of his own rolled down his cheeks.
"Kolyat, please get up. Please." Selene sobbed, her head falling on to his chest.
"Commander, we need to leave." Miranda's timid voice spoke, her face showed guilt for having to say that, but they didn't have much time.
"I'm not leaving. Go. Get out of here, the Normandy is yours now." Selene sounded broken as her hand lovingly stroked Kolyat's check.
"Shepard, you can't . . . " Miranda's voice had risen in panic as she took a step closer, only to draw back with her hands up as Selene aimed her pistol at the woman.
"The fuck I can't! I did what I was supposed to and look what was taken away from me. He proposed to me tonight Miranda, we were supposed to get married." Selene's weak voice sounded so helpless as her sorrow filled eyes stared into the scared and sympathetic blue of Miranda's own eyes.
Thane's heart was breaking for both the loss of his son and the loss of his should have been daughter. Even if they dragged her from here, Selene wouldn't be the same, she would grow dead inside, just like Thane himself had. She would probably continue her mission in destroying the Reapers, but after the war, if they lived, it couldn't be certain that she would go on.
Thane stepped forward, gently placing his hand on her arm, "Meita, you must leave." Thane spoke softly, the pain in his eyes matched the pain in her own, Selene saw this and knew that they both had just lost the most important person in their lives.
Her head bowed as she nodded, shifting her body to stand, but a weak grip on her arm stopped her from moving and caused her head to snap down in surprise.
"Is this your way of saying you don't want us to get married?" Kolyat's weak voice breathed out, his eyes squinted up at them with a grin on his face.
Selene threw herself down on him, her arms around his body as she cried in relief. Kolyat hugged her to him, ignoring the pain in his ribs. "Siha, we need to move. Now." Kolyat whispered in her ear.
Selene pushed off him, wiping her tears away and nodding in agreement. She stood as Thane helped his son up, hugging him tightly before releasing him and following the path Selene took out of the room.
"Joker do you hear me? We are almost out of here, be ready to haul ass from here." Selene ordered, shooting at the Collectors trying to run them down. All the while, Harbinger's final speech rang in her ears.
As the group shot their way into the open, the Normandy hovering in the distance was the most beautiful thing to them. Selene pushed Thane and Miranda forward, both of them sprinting for the ship as Kolyat and her gave them cover at the same time as making their own way to the ship. Selene's eyes caught the side doors of the Normandy sliding open, Joker standing with an assault rifle in his arms and shooting at the Collectors was one she would never forget.
"Selene, move that ass!" Kolyat shouted as he sprinted to the edge, leaping through the open doors.
Time to go. Selene holstered her gun and made a dash for the ship. The platform in front of her gave away before her as explosions wrecked havoc around her, leaving a ten foot gap she would have to jump. Selene didn't slow down, her bloody and bruised arms pumped quickly as she neared the edge. Lord, help me make this, she prayed, before kicking off the ground, throwing herself into empty space, the Normandy coming slowly closer. Selene wasn't sure she would make it, her arms reaching out as far as she could. The pain that came with her upper body slamming into the edge of the hatch almost caused her to let go, but Selene mustered all her strength to keep herself from slipping away. Her silver green eyes met the black of Kolyat's as he kneeled down, pulling her quickly to safety. Shepard took deep breaths as she lay against Kolyat's body, the doors closing on the enemy.
"Joker, get us the hell out of here." Selene grounded out, pulling herself up as they followed the pilot to the cockpit.
"Detonation in ten, nine, eight . . ." EDI counted down.
"Yeah I get the gist of it EDI. Hold. . . ah" Joker feel to the floor, holding his side as he gritted his teeth in pain. Joker's body was in bad shape from the first attack on the Normandy, then the crash, then saving their asses when they had to make the jump onto the ship.
Selene kneeled down to him, yelling to Kolyat, "Kolyat take the wheel, get us out of here."
The blue drell was already ahead of her, as soon as Joker's knees hit the ground he had already been moving to the chair. "Everyone hold on."
Kolyat's blood stained hands moved across the orange keys, guiding the Normandy away from the exploding base, the sight of the Relay was now a shining beacon of hope instead of a sign of their impending doom. The blast behind them filled the space around the ship with light as the group kept their eyes ahead. Kolyat slammed his fist down on the FTL button sending the Normandy speeding to safety and through the Mass Relay.
Everyone's hands relaxed from their death grips on whatever they had a hold of. One minute they were border line destroyed, the next they were floating safely in familiar space. Selene's heart rate began to return to normal as she looked around at the four people beside her, slowly the shocked looks melted away to smiles and the group grabbed one another in hugs of joy and victory.
"We did it! We did it! We did it!" Miranda squealed like a child, hugging Thane as he returned the gesture with the same enthusiasm.
Selene and Kolyat held each other close, kissing one another like they would never get the chance to do so again. Selene pulled away first, staring up into her fiancés face with emotional eyes, "I thought I lost you."
Kolyat leaned his head against hers, "I thought you had to. What the hell would make you think throwing yourself after me would be a good idea?"
Selene gave him a large smile, "We leave together or we die together."
Kolyat chuckled as he crushed her to him, "Crazy bitch." He was about to kiss her once more but the sound of Miranda clearing her throat drew their attention.
"So, how come none of us got the wedding invite?" She asked incredulously, placing her hands on her hips. Thane smiled beside her with his own hands clasped behind his back.
"Well we only . . . " The couple began to stammer, before being interrupted by Joker.
"As cute as this moment is, I think there is a message you're going to want to take Commander." The helmsmen informed her from his chair. "It's the Illusive Man."
The four squad members shared looks of annoyance but Selene did detangled herself from Kolyat and made her way across the broken CIC and to the conference room.
"Shepard, you're making a habit of costing me more then time and money." The holo picture of the Illusive Man didn't look like his normal calm self but a very pissed off, disheveled man. His usually neat hair looked like he had been pulling at it and his suit jacket laid crumbled on the floor as if he threw it down.
"Can't say I give a shit," Selene retorted icily.
"The technology from that base could have secured human dominance in the galaxy, against the Reapers and beyond you dirty spic!" The Illusive Man yelled.
Selene narrowed here eyes, she was pissed off yes but he was going to have to try harder to insult her then to attack her heritage, "No, it would have secured Cerberus dominance."
"Strength for Cerberus is strength for all humans. Cerberus is humanity!" He challenged.
"You are nothing but a cold hearted bastard. You would have been growing your own Reaper the minute I gave you that technology." The disgust in Selene's voice was obvious. "I'll fight and win without it. Do me a favor and stay the hell out of my way, or be crushed under my boots."
"Don't turn your back on me Shepard! I made you. I brought you back from the dead!" The Illusive Man ranted.
Selene shook her head, "Joker, lose this channel."
Selene turned her back as the holo melted away, Kolyat leaning against the opposite wall made her lips turn in a smile.
"Finally you got rid of that son-of-a-bitch. And what did he call you?" Kolyat's brows were drawn together in anger as he opened his arms to wrap around her.
"It's a racial insult, don't worry about it. I'm just glad I'm rid of him." Selene's arms snaked around his neck as she kissed his lips lightly.
Kolyat smirked down at her, "So we did it. Now what Commander?"
"Now we prepare. The Reapers are coming and we have to do all we can to get ready for this war." Selene's face was serious as she pulled away.
Kolyat stood straight as he tilted his neck side to side, cracking it, "Well, let's get started."
The blue drell took his Commander's hand leading her out of the room. They had survived this mission and now the real work was beginning. The galaxy chose it's savior and she was going to do all she could to stop this enemy.
Well there it is, the end of the story. I hope you liked it, I know I loved writing it. Feels weird knowing it's over, but the next part will be uploaded at the same time this one is so I'm just going right into the next story =). Please review and tell me what you think and thank you for sticking with me and being great readers. Hope you like the next part =).