Present From A Spectre

23rd October 2186 CE

Citadel

Huerta Memorial Hospital

16:04 GST

The Citadel.

A glorious monument.

A monument to all the species that have been slaughtered out of existence by the Reapers.

That train of thought is rather unshakable as I lay in bed, staring out of the huge window into the abyss that lies beyond. Not that I can see much, mind you; the Serpent Nebula's thick gas and dust make it virtually opaque. Though some of the more powerful, perhaps stubborn, stars shine through, twinkling as the light bounces through dense fog.

Below the purple tint of space, lies the picturesque vista of the ward's rooftops. Hundreds of high-rise apartments, office blocks and commercial buildings line the entirety of the arm. Air-cars and shuttles weave between them, forming the Citadel's infamous traffic. It's always rush hour here.

You'd think that with all of this to look at, boredom would be the last thing to occur. However, I've been in this room for about two weeks now, and the impressiveness of the Citadel is becoming rather dull. So I turned over to face the other way, and clicked a button beneath the bed to close the blinds, closing my eyes as darkness began to envelope the room.

Footsteps.

I open my eyes again, and flick another switch, getting into an upright position. The darkness ceases to exist as a bright light flickers on directly over my head. I wince in response as the sudden brilliance temporarily overwhelms my senses.

There was a faint drone from the mechanism of the automatic door, as it whirred into life. Then in stepped someone clad in the uniform of Huerta Memorial Hospital. White with red trimming, it was designed to look professional. Nothing more, nothing less. Still, it hugged a female in all the right places. The Asari doctor was probably attractive. I couldn't tell. And right now? I certainly didn't care.

She came inside with a large box. It was matte black, with the instantly distinguishable golden insignia of the Spectres printed on the lid. The arduous way in which she hauled it up and put it on the desk, made it apparent that it was pretty heavy. She looked at me and sighed deeply, her deep cobalt eyes widening ever so slightly. It was a look of both empathy and surrender.

A feeling of unease began to set somewhere in my stomach, so I shuffled out of bed. My feet were barely touching the floor when the doctor shrank back a little.

"No, no, Miss T'Goni, that isn't necessary" The doctor started, waving her hands at me in a 'get back' motion.

I sat back on the bed, hands braced against the cold silver bars containing the plush mattress, leaning forward in an impatient manner. The feelings of unease didn't stop in my stomach; they weaved their way up my throat, until I was sure my breathing had become noticeably laboured. The doctor took another step back anyway. She was going to hit the wall at this rate.

I was acutely aware that she was fighting hard to not break eye contact.

"Someone much higher up in the command chain must have heard about you and your….requests Miss T'Goni." The doctor hesitantly turned to face the box and typed in something on the little pad on display. Four lights within the box lit up, and then, the unmistakable sound of a lock being disengaged. "The contents are yours"

With that, she promptly turned on her heels and walked away. Her furrowed brows, slight grimace and clenched fists were of no concern to me as I ambled over to the table. A small gust of air whipped at the ends of my hospital gown as the door closed. A thought appeared in my mind, then, as abruptly as it had occurred, it vanished. I must have stood before the table for about a minute, trying to figure out what that thought was. The effort was in vain however, so I went back to investigating the box.

Upon closer inspection, the box was a lot more recognisable. I had seen similar things before. Many times before, in fact. It was a military equipment case. Containing expensive pieces of hardware, these boxes had had been a vital part of my previous life. Sometimes they had crucial items that could change the tide of a fire-fight. And this was a Spectre Grade case. Couple of months ago, I might have felt giddy, perhaps ecstatic, at discovering such a rare jewel on my table. Now though? Nothing. Nothing but the unease that continued to spread throughout me. So I open the box.

It's a gun.

And not just any gun. An M-6 Carnifex Heavy Pistol to be exact. My unease is replaced swiftly by shock. Then realisation.

I remember talking to one of the psychiatrists that come to check up on me frequently. Last week, in a sudden change of tactics, she decided I might open up a bit more if I were outside the confines of my room. She took me out into the reception of the hospital. We had just sat there for hours, just observing the outside world. The fact that the entire wall was a single sheet of glass had distressed me at first, but eventually the scene became tranquil.

Well, it had worked. I ended up telling her much, much more than I intended to. But I also remember panicking at the sight of so many wounded humans around. I must have asked for a gun at one point. And someone must have heard me. Someone important.

Why they would listen, and then send me a gun, is beyond me. But I'm not complaining. I know exactly why I asked for a gun.

I pick up the Carnifex, the shape and feel of the grip is familiar and reassuring.

But a sudden pain in my head makes me drop the gun with a clatter.

Ah shit.

Familiar is the opposite of what I needed right now, I realize too late, as I put pressure on my temples. That doesn't stop the sharp lances of pure agony that flash through my head however, each one striking the very core of my consciousness and bringing back unbearable recollections. The world fades to black as I hit the floor with a grunt.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hey there, thanks for reading this story. My name is PROphecy and this is my first ever story for Mass Effect.

I've always wanted to write small sagas about the various NPC's that just stand around talking in the Mass Effect Universe. And when I heard the PTSD Asari's depressing tale on the Citadel, I couldn't resist any more. This story is as canon-friendly as possible, so I only own any original characters. Nothing more.

Anyway, feel free to give me any feedback and/or advice. Enjoy. :P