A Keelah Se'lai verse short
It was yet another boring day at the office. That sort of grated on Commander Bailey. After all, the Reapers had invaded the galaxy, thousands or millions of people were dying, including possibly Bailey's own wife and son. And yet he sat here, trying to maintain order. The latest batch of idiocy he had to deal with was some sort of stupid scheme to smuggle medi-get from the Alliance docks. Bailey had more than half a mind to space the perps as an example. Didn't these idiots know there was a war going on?
He glanced up when his door opened, then looked back down. It was yet another C-Sec flunky had had never seen with yet more data slates for him to fill out.
"Just put them in the pile." Bailey sighed.
Out of the corner of his eye, Bailey noticed the flunky going for his weapon. On instinct, he ducked behind his desk and drew out his own firearm. Just in time too, as the first mass accelerator round passed through where his head had been.
"Shit, Indoctrination?" Bailey thought, then blew the poor bastards head off.
He glanced around the desk, his weapon cradled in his arms.
"Agent Hopkins, is your target down?" A voice said from the perps omnitool.
Bailey grabbed the communicator. "This is Commander Bailey, what the HELL is going on here?"
"Agent Hopkins has failed. Send in a squad, and lose this channel." The voice said. It was vaguely human, but slightly distorted. A distortion Bailey recognized from a thousand briefs.
"Cerberus? On my station? Oh hell no." Opening up his desk, Bailey pulled out his trusty old Sokolov shotgun.
"Those sons of bitches don't know what kind of hell they just brought down on themselves." Bailey grabbed a communicator, but he wasn't getting anything but static. Next he strapped on his armored vest with matching shield generator. It wasn't much, but it would take a few shots for him.
"Going to have to do this the old fashion way it looks." He muttered.
He ran out of his office and grabbed two turian officers. "Cerberus is on the station. Come with me, we're heading down to command central."
"Yes sir!" They chorused. Bailey chuckled. Good old turians. If he had told them they were going to be performing an interpretive dance, they would have said the same thing and come with him just as enthusiastically.
They didn't get far before they ran into a Cerberus squad, probably the one that was after his blood. It was a mess, to many civilians for Bailey to protect, and very little good cover. He and his comrades dived behind an embassy desk and opened up, crouching down when their shields drained.
"Oh hello there young man, can you help me with some paperwork? I'm trying to contact my son. He checks in every week, but I haven't heard from him in a while and-"
"Teresa, now is not the time!" The asari receptionist screamed from beside the woman. She was visibly struggling to keep the old lady down, but other than trying to stand up, the old woman seemed remarkably calm. "Sorry, she was my boyfriend's mother. She has Alzheimer's, she keeps forgetting he's listed as MIA."
"Who are you, what's going on? Is that shooting? Oh, maybe it's my son!"
"Lady, now is not the time!" Bailey barked, standing up to plug one of the Cerberus troopers in the head with his shotgun. He ducked back down when one of those shield using bastards started advancing.
With a strangled cry, one of the turian troopers fell to the floor, blood seeping from a belly wound.
"God dammit, trooper, do you have medigel?" Bailey asked, grabbing a handful of paper and trying to stop the bleeding.
"Oh, I have medigel! The doctor gave me some, I don't remember why..." The old lady offered.
"I've got it." The asari said, taking the small vial and injecting it into the turians wound.
"He'll live. Can you shoot Missy?" Bailey asked the asari.
She shrugged. "Ran with a merc group for a few years back when I was a maiden. At the very least, I remember how to use my biotics."
"Then hit that damn guardian with something so I can shoot him!"
"You got it." The asari stood and threw a warp at the advancing guardian, staggering him. Bailey and the remaining turian took the opportunity to blaze away at the now vulnerable Cerberus operative, who slumped over with a dozen holes in his armor.
"That was the last of them, for now," Bailey growled, carefully looking around. "You, asari. What's your name?"
"Hetti Vu'Rork, officer."
"You're conscripted. Take officer Pabulum's weapon and shields. Come on, we have to get to central command."
Hetti nodded and quickly stripped the shield generator from Pabulum. The poor dumb bastard wasn't going anywhere soon, even with a shot of medigel in him.
"Teresa, I want you to stay here with the nice turian. He's sleeping, but he needs someone to watch him, OK?" Hetti instructed the old human woman.
"Oh yes, I can do that. Say, you remind me of my daughter in law, she's such a nice young lady."
Hetti bowed her head and mumbled, "Thank you," then followed after Bailey.
The elevator was naturally disabled, so Bailey and his little impromptu group had to take the ladder.
"What do you think Cerberus is doing on the Citadel, sir?" The remaining turian, Officer Moritur asked.
Bailey grunted. "Damned if I know. I just want them the hell off."
When they got to the level of command, they walked into a venerable shit storm. Cerberus troops were everywhere, and the few C-Sec officers present were outnumbered and out gunned. Bodies of officers and civilians were scattered everywhere, mixed in with all too few Cerberus corpses.
"We've got them flanked, hit them!" Bailey ordered, charging forward and blasting away at an engineer with his shotgun before he could set up a turret.
"New contacts!" A Cerberus officer shouted.
Bailey ignored him, bashing the engineers head in and giving the half completed turret a kick for good measure. Then he dived back into cover just as his shields drained.
"Damn it!" Hetti shouted, throwing another warp at a Centurion. "There's just so many of them. "
"Keep shooting! I think we're all the backup that's left."
Bailey's little group didn't last long sadly. Moritur took a shot from a Nemesis right through his skull a few moments in, and Hetti got shot in the leg and went down when she used a biotic explosion to take out the sniper. Bailey crawled around to the command headquarters, desperately trying to get in. He got shot in the gut for his troubles, then picked up by a Centurion. The asshole pressed a gun to Bailey's shoulder, gripping him by the neck.
"This one looks like a leader, sir, should I keep him alive?"
"Hmm, Commander Bailey. Get his access codes, then kill him."
"Well if that's the way it's gonna be, yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker!"
Grabbing the gun against his shoulder, Bailey squeezed the Centurions hand twice so that the gun fired right through his shoulder. It killed the poor son of a bitch behind him, but it wrecked Bailey's shoulder. Dazed, he lay in a pool of his own blood, waiting for the inevitable execution.
"Bailey? Bailey, stay with me! Reegar, give him some medigel, the levo kind we salvaged."
"Lamentations, make sure no more Cerberus troops get through here. Judges, Acts, get that door open."
"Huh?" Bailey's vision slowly cleared, to find two quarian faces peering down at him. "What the hell? Quarians? We haven't seen any of you for what, four months?"
"Ambassador Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, Commander Bailey. I'm here representing the Kingdom of Rannoch. Do you require aid?"
"Tali'Zorah? Weren't you the girl with Shepard? Yeah, he was talking about you, last time we met. Said nobody had heard from you or the fleet in months. I said we hadn't had a single quarian on the citadel in months. Even that weirdo shopkeeper that sold suits to quarians and his asari mate packed up and left." Bailey knew he was babbling, that was sort of to be expected, he could feel the massive dose of medigel working through his system and it made him a little loopy.
"Mother, we have found and treated all the wounded. We have also been forced to capture several Citadel Security officers. They were under the impression that the geth were working with Cerberus. We attempted to show our loyalty by blowing up two Cerberus mobile armor platforms, designation Atlas, but they continue to express disbelief. "
Now Bailey knew he was hallucinating. There was a geth prime, a black geth prime, addressing this quarian as mother, and claiming to be trying to help.
"Thank you, Lamentations. Right now we need to get into command and secure the station. I don't know what is going on here, last time I checked Cerberus was helping John, but something has clearly gone very wrong."
"Should I have all the troops from the Keelah Se'lai and Legion board, ma'am? They've already pretty much cleaned up all the Cerberus transports outside."
"Commander Bailey, does the Sovereign Nation of Rannoch have permission to provide military aid to the Citadel?" Tali'Zorah asked.
He squinted at her, trying to decide if this slight quarian woman was serious. "Well sure, why the hell not? We've already got a bunch of Cerberus on the station, I don't see how having a bunch of quarians and geth running around could make things any worse."
"I will choose to take that as a compliment for Mother, Bailey Commander." The black prime rumbled.
"This is Ambassador Tali'Zorah. All troops, board and secure the station from Cerberus. Take prisoners if you can."
"Aye aye, Ambassador Zorah. We have a vessel marked as Cerberus approaching, but the pilot claims to be Alliance. It is captained by someone claiming to be Commander Shepard."
"Ask the pilot if Legion was Lamentations brother from another mother."
"Um, the pilot just said, 'Flashlight bros for life, yo.'"
"That's Joker. Give them permission to board, and send them my coordinates. I'm going to be helping Commander Bailey secure C-Sec headquarters."
Tali turned back to Bailey and helped him to his feet. "Come on, I don't know what Cerberus is up to, but if they think they can get away with killing innocent civilians, they have another thing coming."
"That's something I can agree with." Bailey muttered. He led the little group into C-Sec headquarters. Geth troopers and quarian marines took point, working in practiced fireteams as if they had been doing this all their lives.
"So when exactly did the quarians and the geth make nice? I thought you guys hated each other."
"Oh, about three weeks ago." Tali answered. "Though I did forgive them and got invited to Rannoch around six months ago, so I guess that counts as well."
"Right. Oh, the Council is just going to love this."
"Considering we're coming in to save their asses, commander, they had damn well better." The marine squad leader, Bailey thought his name was Reegar, growled.
"Yeah. Gratitude isn't something on their to-do list I think."
"We're not here for politics. We're here to save people." Tali stated, her own weapon in her arms.
Bailey was having a hard time reconciling this quarian with his memories. Wasn't she the shy little suit rat with an asari friend he had helped out one time, back when he was a sergeant? He knew she had been on Shepard's squad and was his lover, but he remember a quiet, reserved girl who had been all apologies and deference, not a clearly in command woman who was casually giving orders to a couple of ships worth of troops. And a C-Sec Commander to boot.
They reached a command counsel, and Bailey gratefully slumped into the chair. "With this, I can reestablish control over the network and figure out what the hell is going on."
"Do it commander," Tali ordered. "Get the word out to your troops, the geth and quarians are friendlies. I'm going to try and find the Council, I'm sure they are the targets of this attack."
"That would be a pretty good guess." Bailey admitted. "According to standard procedure, they should be holed up right here, through the next room. In fact, according to this, the salarian councilor is right here in C-Sec headquarters now."
"Right, then let's go grab him and get him into protective custody. Lamentations, Reegar, you're with me, come on."
Bailey slumped back and rubbed his aching shoulder as the heroic rescuers ran off. He knew he wasn't supposed to rub at the wound, but fuck it, today was a day for doing crap you were not supposed to.
"Commander Bailey, good to see you're alive. Where's Tali'Zorah?"
Bailey opened his eyes to see Commander Shepard, with his pet asari and a human woman in... Pink armor? Along with Garrus Vakarian before him.
"Good to see you too Commander. She just left, went to secure the salarian counselor."
Just then, his comm crackled to life.
"Bailey Commander, we have secured the salarian counselor. Thane Krios is down, he stopped a Cerberus assassin. I am sending the salarain back to you with two units, Acts and Judges. He is being cooperative for now. We have intelligence that Udina Counselor is attempting to take military control of the station with Cerberus aid."
"Fucking wonderful. Never liked that rat bastard anyway." Bailey grumbled.
"Udina is attempting a coup?" Shepard demanded.
Bailey sighed and nodded. "That's what your girl's pet geth said. Better hurry Commander, she seemed like the type who kicks ass now and asks questions later."
"Come on people!" Shepard ordered, and his squad trooped down the hallway after Tali.
Bailey sighed and started to rise, he was going to have to do something, but a quarian with medic markings pushed him back down. "Sir, you are wounded. We have troops on the station now, you stay here and rest. Coordinate with your officers, some of them still think the geth are hostile. "
Glumly, Bailey nodded and got started with the verbal paperwork. This was just wonderful. His station was being invaded by robots, terrorists and suit rats, and he was stuck here making political nice. "I never should have taken that promotion..."
Written for the Aria's Afterlife Yippie Kay Yay competition. In continuity for Keelah Se'lai, which explains why Tali is being awesome.