"Doctors T'Dandra and Yania, respectively," Chakwas introduced the two Asari women, dressed in scientific jumpsuits that matched Chakwas, "I am certain you know of Commander Shepard." The first doctor bowed her head slowly to Shepard, the second immediately examined, Liara. The other joined her colleague wordlessly on the other side of Liara, whose face was silent and pained. Her blue skin was shining with sweat. "Shepard..." Liara moaned. "Please, Liara T'Soni, relax," Dr. Yania urged. "She is fighting me, Shepard, she...won't listen. Won't...cooperate. Such a strong, stubborn will..." Liara turned her roving gaze and locked onto Shepard, her expression malignant and deadly: "You did this to me!" she hissed. Shepard swallowed. She might of laughed at the human-cliche'-ness of this far from normal inter-species situation, but Dr. Yania's face became serious. "I am afraid she is in a very bad way," she said, looking at Shepard, "Prepare yourself for the worst."

"Shepard," Liara muttered, "You see..." she gasped and bucked her body, Dr. T'Dandra released a small biotic field her hand over Liara's forehead, and Liara's body relaxed a little. There was an eternity where all simply watched Liara, breathing, her eyes closed. Shepard was deflated. This was it. She was watching her bondmate die before her eyes. "Garrus," Shepard said in pained tones. "No, Shepard, let me handle this. I will stay connected and go contact our friends. Some are too far to come so quickly, but...I am sure they will still want to know." He squeezed her shoulder again. "I'll be back, soon..." Garrus swiftly left the room, leaving Shepard alone with the three doctors, who in unison swiveled their attention from Garrus to Shepard with scrutinizing faces.

Shepard wisftully remembered storming a Collector ship. She had nearly died. Collector's guts were plastering in the joints of her armour. The place reeked of corpses. Liara had recently dumped her. She later found out it had all been a trap by the people she was supposed to trust. She wished to be back in that moment instead of here, the doctors calmly scrutinizing her. "What is the subject's age?" Dr. T'Dandra asked Dr. Chakwas, who didn't even have to reference the data-pad: "Liara will be 115, this year." Yania gasped and Dr. T'Dandra swiveled her gaze back to Shepard, her eyes leveling the former Spectre. Dr. T'Dandra was a matriarch. She had become a doctor in her last days by moral principle. She felt a lot of the galaxy species had no backbone, her own kind included. She had heard many things about the legendary Commander Shepard, yet as she dissected this warrior, she saw only middle-aged woman, afraid and useless. "Explain to me which one in this couple thought it was such a good idea to have children while the mother is still practically a child," the doctor made it clear by her tone she was accusing Shepard of heinous deeds. Many humans preyed on the maiden Asaris, pressuring them. She had seen her kind ravaged by the savage other species too much. "Do you, Shepard have any idea how much you have jeopardized this maiden's life? Do you realize how young she is to be pregnant?" Dr. T'Dandra was dripping with acrid fury, the human's visible horror and shame only fueling her, "Asari typically do not become pregnant until they are Matriarchs for a reason," she was about to lay into Shepard, but T'Yiana gently placed a hand on her arm, saying respectfully, "Matriarch Rayva, please. Look at Ex-Spectre Shepard. Clearly she had no idea."

Shepard looked down. She really had no idea. She hadn't even thought about it. Why hadn't she? In moments like these, when she was sure she was facing something insurmountable, a strange and deep instinct kicked in to remain perfectly calm, asses possible outcomes, and then do what was needed, impossible or no. She raised her eyes to meet the Asari doctors, and said her firm, commanding voice, "What can be done?"

Dr. T'Dandra pursed her lips and said, "We have a procedure for our people. It is rarely done, and rarely successful. There isn't really a translation into your species' languages, but it's called Ta'Eel. When an Asari can't communicate with her unborn child and guide her into the world, as many as three to four other Asari can create a meld to both mother and child, and using very delicate biotic influences on their bodies, guide them both through the birthing. It requires extreme biotic talent. It is dangerous, and your bondmate and the child could easily die." Shepard thought, "Is it the only way?" "Frankly," Dr. Yania spoke up, "Her chances are better with our help than... by herself." "Fine," Shepard said, "Let's do this."

AHFKLAHFSOAUROIAUROIWRRE omgees this story . It's do or die in the next chapter. I swear I'll kill every last one of them off if this story ends up taking too long. Liara hurry up and just have the stupid baby. Man the hell up.