Chapter One: A Chance Encounter
If I'm up there in that bar and you're not- I'll be looking down you'll never be alone.
Garrus was alone.
"Shepard..." he breathed softly. A soft wind was blowing, he couldn't feel anything right away, but slowly, the aches and pains shot up his back. His armor was fried to a crisp. He smelled like smoke and death and charred flesh. The scars on his face were going to hurt like hell, he knew.
I'll always love you.
"Shepard..." he said and he could feel a welling of moisture in his eyes. Garrus was a Turian, the toughest, most disciplined race in the galaxy. But the thought that Shepard was dead, and he was lying in some grassy field somewhere else, was enough to break the walls of mental discipline that had been stored up for years. A single tear dropped down the side of his plated face. Then he blinked the rest of them back.
Harbinger stood like a colossus its orange-yellow eyes blaring with each violent pulse of energy it vomited. Makos exploded on contact, bits of hot ash and rubble were flying about. It was getting harder to breathe with each step towards the beam. The air itself was singed by the beam that Harbinger would relentlessly fire. Man were dying all around, running towards the beam with a selfless determination, a last stand, or in their case a last foray into the battle.
Shepard was running at the front of them, charging straight into the beam.
Harbinger roared, and fired a beam that hit near Shepard, and the intense heat vaporized her armor off immediately, then swiped around to Garrus himself, doing the same. A white light had blinded him.
Then he woke up, the sky was black, and all around him was death. The bodies of dead marines, their corpses charred past the point of recognition, piles of dead human bodies thrown haphazardly on either sides of the beam. Garrus heard nothing but a faint ringing in his ears. The beam was glowing blue, a beacon of hope. Garrus wasn't thinking about Shepard then. He only thought of one thing; getting to the beam and ending the war. He didn't even know how to activate the Crucible, but if there was a way he could do it. He would try, and so he did.
But it cost him; the pain was intense, a burn in his thighs that traveled up to his chest. His face also cracked, and purple dextro-amino blood oozed from cuts all over his body. He could see his bare arm through a piece of burnt armor. He smelled bad too, like a walking, shambling course. In his right hand, he had his last resort weapon, a Predator pistol. A tiny thing with only one clip of ammo left, the Predator would probably scarcely save him from any Reapers going to attack him.
But thankfully, there seemed to be none left. And he managed to slowly limp towards the beam. He heard the crackling of the beam as he got closer, and saw the rush of particles from the platform up into the sky above. Finally, he managed to push himself and start to quicken his pace, and he lunged, falling to the ground as soon as he entered it.
His body rose, he felt weightless, and once again a bath of white light enveloped him.
And now he was here, sitting in the grass. As his feelings kept returning he became aware of sounds. Birds, chirping in the boughs of evergreen trees. A smell of earth was also about, and he could hear the noises of crickets around him. He seemed to be on an llevo-amino world, but there was no way to know for sure without trying some of the local food, which would make Garrus sick if his suspicions were true. Still, it would keep him from dying if it came to it.
Which seemed to be likely to happen if he didn't address some of his wounds; but Garrus wondered for a little while if he should even bother. He had failed his task, of destroying the Reapers. For all he knew the beam had transported him to somewhere on Earth that had not been touched by the Reapers, and soon enough they would find him and kill him anyway.
But then he thought about Shepard.
He thought about her amber-brown hair, the way her lips came together in her half-smirk, half-smile of hers. He thought about the way she laughed, for she was always laughing. He remembered the way she always said how after the war she wanted to move to Tuchanka, help raise baby Krogan, live a much simpler life than before. He remembered her paintings, her one passion that didn't involve killing anything. He remembered the day she took the week off after they had defeated the Collectors, and the two of them had sat around, laying entwined in each others arms, looking up at the stars above for hours.
Garrus gritted his teeth and forced himself to get up. For Shepard's sake he would not give up. He would not lie down and die. If the Reapers were fighting, so was he.
It was quite painful to get up, and he groaned in pain as he fell back down to the ground. Then he looked around. He seemed to be in a forest of some kind. A very swampy forest , it seemed. Pools of green water coated with thick algae slime were around him. The call of a wolf, that's what Garrus thought it was, sounded out in the distance. Wherever he was, the war had not touched it yet. Maybe the beam had transported him to another planet.
"Damn," he said, and he continued to walk, each step painful.
He needed to mend his bones, and fast. There was nothing he could do about his ribs, without any medi-gel anyway. His omni-tool had been destroyed in the battle. Garrus knew how to heal his leg though, all he needed was to cast it up with some lashings, then he could build a crutch with sticks. Then he might have a chance of moving to somewhere safer. The sun was high in the sky, and soon night would be on him.
Garrus began to do so, taking some cat-tails from a nearby swamp, but as soon as he started, he heard a noise from across the way.
A strange group of creatures was emerging out of a small brush of trees. Garrus grunted and tried to get behind cover to hide, in case they were hostile.
Which they appeared to be by the looks of them alone. There were five of them, large hulking creatures, with ugly faces that seemed quite reptilian appearance. They all wore armor of some sort, and their teeth were black and ugly. They growled and gurgled in savage countenance. To Garrus, they seemed like humans, but very ugly, savage humans. Garrus decided smartly to not bother them.
Garrus tried not to move as best he could, but a sudden spike of pain in his chest caused him to grunt as a reflex, and the creatures turned their heads to the noise...which gave them a good view of Garrs.
The leader of them, or what Garrus assumed to be the leader since he was the biggest, snarled a savage grin, and started to walk slowly. On his belt was a sword, a jagged thing that looked eager for blood...Turian blood.
"Easy now," said Garrus, waving his hand away, "Lets talk this through."
For some reason, Garrus had not expected that the beast would understand his words, but it did, and it laughed. Then it shook his head slowly and said, in a voice that was like nails upon a chalkboard, "No...talk."
The other creatures laughed. Garrus was prepared to meet his doom as the creature rose its sword into the air; but then...
The creature turned to stone.
But then Garrus realized that it was now ice.
It had been turned into a block of ice, and then shattered into a million pieces, falling across the grass like a piece of glass. The other creatures looked to the west and their eyes widened. They ran away in fear, huffing and puffing with exertion to try and outrun the scourge that had killed their leader.
Garrus let out a sigh of relief, but then realized that whoever killed the creature could pose a much greater threat.
"Hello?" beckoned Garrus, trying to stand up again.
Some footsteps sounded upon the grass, and then Garrus looked and saw...
An old human woman.
She was short, and wore a simple dress. Her hair was gray and her visage wrinkled, but she had been the one that had killed the creature, of that Garrus had no doubt. As the humans said, he could feel it in his gut.
"Thanks," said Garrus.
"No, thank you," said the old woman, politely.
"What did I do?"
The old woman laughed, "Not only did you distract those Darkspawn sufficiently for good target practice, but you also are a creature I have not yet encountered in the world. That will provide me with a good interest for the rest of the day."
"Oh," said Garrus, confused by the old woman, then he said, "Well regardless, thanks." he grunted from pain.
"You seem to be in a lot of pain, dear."
"I am...wait, how do I understand you. My translator is broken..."
"I would not know what a translator is, much less how to tell if it was broken. However, I can understand you, and you can understand me. Let us not question it."
"Good enough. And yes, I'm in a lot of pain."
"Unfortunate. But healing you, may provide me with the answer that I seek."
Garrus coughed and asked, "The answer to what?"
She smiled and said, "Depends on the question. But I will heal you, it will not be said of Flemeth that she turned away a soul in need."
Garrus seemed oddly perturbed by the old woman, but having no other choices, grunted, got up and said, "Lead the way."