"What the…" Shepard squatted down beside the bed and searched under it. She tugged back the blankets in case there was some mistake. She opened the cupboard again where she kept her uniforms. Nope. No mistake. She picked up the offending shoes - the ONLY shoes, remaining in her locker. Those ankle wrecking nosebleed inducing skanky black stilettos that Kasumi had got her when they crashed Donovan Hock's party.
Clutching the offending items, she stomped toward the door of her cabin and slammed a hand down on the sensor. She was going to find out who had taken her boots and rip out their intestines.
Tali'Zorah vas Normandy yawned, stretched and levered herself up from her cot in engineering. Sure, she had a cabin on the crew deck but there was something nicer about bunking down here.
She leant back and cracked her spine in a stretch, heading out into the crew area with Adams on duty. Gabby and Kenneth weren't on duty for another hour.
"Morning, Engineer," Tali greeted the older man.
"Morning, Admiral," Adams replied, giving her a respectful nod, but continuing his checks. She had finally stopped him from saluting her every time they met.
"What's our course?"
"Heading for the Shrike Abyssal, ma'am," Adams glanced up…and stared. He pressed his lips together and barely contained the snort of laughter.
"Adams?" Tali queried, propping her hands on her hips, "What's…"
Adams coughed, "Uhhh, I think you need to see a mirror, ma'am."
Tali lapsed into silence and stalked out of engineering, moving towards the heads. A crewman walking past saluted, and promptly walked into a door. Tali stared after him.
"What the hell?" she muttered.
She opened the door to the women's showers and stood in front of a mirror. And stared.
Some…bosh'tet had drawn on her visor in marker. She had been given huge eyebrows, a moustache and a crooked toothy smile. She took some toweling, wet it and tried to scrub the marker. It wasn't coming off.
The stream of quarian swearing would have made Vega blush.
Vega gave another growl, "What the hell…"
"What's the problem, James?" Cortez rubbed his eyes sleepily, heading for the showers.
"This isn't possible…" Vega came out from the change rooms. His pants were…well…no other word for it. Too small.
He sucked in his breath and yanked the two sides together, but there was no chance it was going to work.
"Been eating too many of the cook's masterpieces, eh, Vega?"
"Shut up," Vega grumbled, and grabbed his t-shirt, yanking it over his head.
Cortez paused. Coughed. Dropped onto the change room bench and then howled with laughter. Vega tugged the bottom of his shirt. But there was nothing doing, it stopped above the level of his bellybutton.
"Who did you piss off in laundry, Mr Vega?"
"No one lately," Vega was mystified, staring down at the pants legs that left his ankles and a good portion of his calves on show. He reached down to pick up one of his boots, and the t-shirt ripped straight down the back. Cortez fell off the bench, clutching his ribs as Vega swore.
"Oh, I'm going to rip the balls off whoever has done this…and shove them somewhere the sun doesn't shine…" he snarled, "Me cago en todo lo que se menea!"
Liara read the screen and frowned. She tapped a few keys. That information couldn't be correct. It was impossible. She knew it was impossible because /she/ was the Shadowbroker, not whoever had apparently sent a mass message to all of her contacts - which contained a mostly naked picture of herself. She snapped at Glyph:
"What is going on, Glyph?"
"I do not know, Shadowbroker," the glowing orb spun slowly in place, "Are you certain you didn't sent it in error?"
"I don't make mistakes! And I wouldn't send out a picture of my tits to all of my operatives!" Liara snapped in reply, "Maybe we have been compromised. I need to speak to Shepard."
She hurried out of the room, leaving Glyph to hold the fort. She didn't hear the little AI ask the question, "Why is there a naked picture of you?"
Ashley stared at her armour. Her beautiful armour that she had spent more credits on than anything EVER. She touched the multitude of colours that now decorated the surface. There were flowers. And hearts. And fucking sunflowers. All over it. She scritched the surface with a nail. It wasn't coming off. She whimpered.
Grabbing the chestplate, she stormed out of the armoury. Someone was going to pay. And pay hard.
Shepard stormed into the gunnery room, and shook the stilettos at Garrus.
"Some bastard has taken my boots!"
Garrus silently looked down at Shepard's feet. She had pretty feet…for a non-turian. Long. Elegant. He cleared his throat, and glanced back up when she cleared her throat.
"Sorry, what?" he replied, blinking in confusion.
Shepard snarled, "Someone…took…my boots. I only had these left!" She threw the shoes against the door. The heel snapped off one of them. She folded her arms across her chest, the muscles in her arms flexed and tensed.
"And uhh…you want me to do what?" Garrus held out his hands helplessly.
"Help me find them!" she smacked him on the chest, ignoring his grunt, then grabbed him by the front of his tunic and yanked him toward the common room, "Then help me space the person who took them right out the garbage airlock."
"Shepard…" Garrus begun, but was shoved to a stop when they saw Vega standing forlornly in the middle of the common room looking like a very muscular ten year old who outgrew last year's clothing.
Shepard stared. Speechless.
"What the hell, Vega?" Garrus began.
"I don't know!" the man wailed, "Someone shrunk my clothes!" he gestured at himself.
Shepard stood there, flexing her fists.
"Shepard?" Tali's voice was angry as she stormed into the room. Shepard's features twitched.
"Uhh, Tali?" she cleared her throat, "Are you aware that…?"
"I KNOW!" the Quarian snarled, "Some asshole painted my visor and …I can't get it off!" She scrubbed at it with a finger.
"And someone took my boots," Shepard cleared her throat, "And messed with Vega's clothing." She pointed at James. Tali looked at him and paused. A small, strangled sound came from her voice modulator.
"Did you just laugh?" Vega demanded, crossing his arms over his chest, "This isn't funny!"
"Shepard, I think we have been compromised," Liara exited her room, striding swiftly to her friend, a worried look on her face, "A message was sent from my terminal to my operatives. I didn't send it!"
Shepard's eyes narrowed as she looked around.
"Garrus?" she asked sweetly, "Has anything happened to you this morning?"
Garrus cleared his throat and looked down at his feet.
"Man, c'mon, come clean, did you do this shit?" Vega demanded.
"My armour!" Ashley wailed, entering the common area wearing a tank top and shorts. Vega paused, despite his distress and whistled. The Spectre looked at his outfit and raised a brow, "What the hell?" She looked around at the crew.
Shepard hadn't taken her eyes off her boyfriend, "Garrus, do you know something?"
Garrus held up his hand, "No, hell no. I…well…yeah, okay, I was hit too."
"What did they do to you?" Liara asked, arms folded in annoyance.
"They, uhh, tattooed my chest."
"What? How? Wouldn't you notice something like that?"
"Well, our carapace y'see, its metal. They can just paint on a special acid and well…it etches the metal and its a tattoo. It doesn't really hurt. It's how we get our colony tattoos done," the Turian gestured to his face.
"What did they tattoo?" Shepard asked softly.
"Uhhh," Garrus cleared his throat, "I don't really think…"
"Garrus…" Shepard's voice held a warning note.
He sighed and opened up his tunic. Over his heart was etched another more cartoon like heart, enclosing the phrase 'Property of Kaya Shepard'.
Shepard dropped her face into her hands, "Oh man."
"Good morning everyone!" a cheery voice was heard over the com.
Shepard spun toward the others, "Joker." Her voice was low and dangerous.
"Hi there, Commander!" the pilot's voice was full of mischief, "I hope you had a good morning!"
"I'm going to rip your arms off, Joker!" Vega shouted.
"Hey now!" Joker protested, "Don't you all remember what today is?"
"Oh, its the day you learn how to run," Ashley growled.
"And who would fly this heap? It's the first of April! Besides, I had some help!"
"The first of April? Huh," Shepard frowned, "I don't…oh. April Fool's Day. Back on Earth, it was this…thing, you played pranks on each other on April First. Who would be dumb enough to help you, Joker?"
"Hey Shep," the cheeky voice was heard in the room.
"Kasumi!" Shepard fisted her hands again, "Oh, you better believe you are getting your ass kicked off at the next stop."
"Oh, Shepard, you have been under stress far too long. Have a look around at one another. A good look," the floating voice was full of gentle mischief now.
They looked one to the other - Ashley with her hearts and flowers armour, Vega in his childlike clothing, Tali's moustachioed faceplate, Garrus' tattoo and her high heels. And Tali was the first to snort with laughter. Then Vega…and after a moment, even Ashley saw the funny side and had to hang onto Vega's arm to stay upright. Shepard finally grinned and gripped Garrus' hand, as they laughed together.
Liara protested, "But what you did to me wasn't funny! You have compromised my role." Her voice was awash with tears.
Kasumi flickered into being beside the Asari. She touched her shoulder, "I never sent those messages anywhere. Just made it look like that. Oh, well, actually, I did send it to one of your operatives…" her eyes sparkled with laughter.
"What?" Liara, after the brief moment of relief, was horrified, "Who?"
"Oh, you will figure it out," Kasumi touched Liara on the chin, "He will be very appreciative."
"It's all very funny, Kasumi," Shepard admitted finally, "But uhhh, your work doesn't exactly come off."
Kasumi gestured, "Oh, don't worry. Ashley's armour and Tali's face is just film that can be peeled off. Your boots are in the armoury and well, I can't do anything about Vega's clothing, but his spares are in my old cabin. As for Garrus?" she smiled at the Turian sweetly, "It's not really etched. Its just a little ink the scientists I have worked with came up with and I ...acquired…" she shrugged, "It will last a couple weeks at the outside". Garrus tugged on Shepard's hand and drew her against him.
"I can live with it," he rumbled.
"What do we do about Joker?"
Kasumi smiled, "Oh, I haven't forgotten about him." She reached into her pack and jiggled a small tube.
"Cyanoacrylate?" Garrus queried, "What did you do with…"
A voice came over the com, "Hey, uhh…guys? This isn't funny. I can't…get up out of my…hey. Guys?"