Miranda was already geared up and waiting for Shepard to arrive at the airlock, she was doing her best to not pace back and forth. She mentally scolded herself for getting so worked up already. Nothing had gone wrong. Nothing would go wrong. Nickett would make sure of that. She took a deep breath to calm herself and quiet her racing mind. Everything would be okay.
Luckily she only had to wait a few more minutes by herself before she could hear heavy footsteps approach and Shepard came around the corner, Revan was right behind her. He had forgone the black robe he usually wore; she also noted that he didn't have his two lightsabers at his hip. Instead he had a Carnifex attached to his right thigh and she could see the butt of a large rifle. Without the robe and strange weapons he looked like a simple mercenary, like the thousands that frequented this world. Miranda suspected that it was completely intentional.
"Ready to go?" Asked Shepard, flashing her a smile.
"Yes, my contact will be meeting us at a local bar in an hour."
Shepard nodded and led the way out of the airlock. Miranda was still a bit surprised that the woman was so willing to help her. Of course it completely fit with the woman's profile but still, to experience her kindness first hand was…nice. People always wanted something in return for their help; it was the way the galaxy worked. But Shepard wanted nothing, apart from her crew to be happy and safe.
As much as she was loathed to admit it, not even Cerberus had been willing to help her for free. In return for their protection she worked for them, doing whatever they needed done. Yes she enjoyed her job and the challenges it brought. Still a part of her knew that Shepard would not only help her but also be perfectly fine if she decided to walk once her sister was safe.
Part of her mind told her that Shepard would be expecting total loyalty in exchange for this favor, that this was a similar deal that she had with Cerberus. But deep down she knew better. She had been watching the woman for a long time now, that just wasn't the kind of person Shepard was. She was…her friend.
The word was still strange to have directed at her, and to use. Miranda had never really had any friends, with the exception of Nickett. She knew she wasn't exactly the easiest person to warm up to. And yet Shepard had called her a friend, and she had meant it.
She was snapped from her thoughts as Shepard came to a halt. An Asari walked towards them, flanked by two security bots. Easy work if it came to a fight. Miranda saw Shepard tense slightly, her hand twitched, likely in preparation to unleash her formidable biotics. She glanced over to Revan but he looked completely at ease…well as at ease as he got.
"I am not getting any hostile intent from her…" his voice trailed off and his head cocked to the side ever so slightly as he watched the Asari. Miranda recognized that as a sign that he was thinking about something.
"Welcome to Illium Commander Shepard," the Asari greeted in a friendly, if not diplomatic tone. "We were told to expect your arrival."
"By who?" Shepard asked bluntly
"By Liara T'soni of course. She paid all docking fees for you and asked me to instruct you to see her at her office, it's just past security, overlooking the market."
"Liara is here? Alright, tell her I have something to take care of first then I will see her." The Asari nodded and Shepard continued past.
Miranda was surprised to say the least. Liara had been on the Commander's original crew, by all accounts they were very good friends. Why wouldn't she jump at an opportunity to see her friend? Perhaps she just felt guilty about changing her priorities suddenly. Miranda quickly glanced at the time on her omni-tool.
"Commander my contact won't be at the meeting for another forty-five minutes. You have plenty of time to meet with Liara before hand."
"You sure? I am sure she can wait a few hours."
"I am sure commander. There is also a good chance that she will have information on Thane and Samara. It is her job after all."
"What do you mean it's her job?" Shepard stopped and turned to face her now, confusion clear on her face.
"Liara became an information broker after your death. A very good one by all accounts. She will probably have detailed information on such renowned peopled."
"Really? Didn't think anything could pry her away from studying the Protheans," Shepard said with a chuckle "alright I'll go see her then we will go meet your contact." They resumed walking again.
"I'll head there now, just in case she shows up early." She knew that Lanteia would call her if the meeting time changed, but no matter how hard she tried Miranda couldn't stop from being too paranoid about something going wrong.
"Alright, call me if anything changes."
"Of course Shepard, I am meeting her at Eternity bar, it's just up there," she pointed towards the sign ahead "Lanteia got a private booth, it won't be hard to find me."
"Got'cha!" Shepard said, flashing another smile, her gaze then turned to Revan. "Hey you still with us big guy?" She smacked him playfully in the chest and gave him grin.
"Yes," Revan said flatly, although he seemed to still be almost completely ignoring the two women with him.
"Well which sexy lady will get the pleasure of your incredibly lively company?" Shepard's grin got slightly bigger as she watched his reaction.
It was always hard to tell how Revan reacted to things, with his helmet and incredibly control of emotions it was an almost impossible task. Now though, Miranda swore he stood up even straighter, his helmet turned to look directly at Shepard then back to scanning the crowd.
"I do not wish to intrude on your reunion with your friend. I'll wait with Miranda for her contact."
"Ah damn! You win this round Miranda! Next time he shall be mine!" Shepard did her imitation of an evil laugh as she walked away, not caring about the odd looks she was getting.
Miranda just stood watching the woman as she left; she definitely had her very own, unique sense of humor. Although Miranda couldn't deny that she felt slightly happy that Revan had picked to accompany her. She knew that the reason he gave was probably the true one and he had no ulterior motives…but it was still nice.
She glanced over to Revan, who was looking in Shepard's direction, but it was impossible to tell exactly what he was looking at. "It's this way." She said, leading him towards the bar. The silent man immediately fell in step with her.
They were instantly blasted by noise as they walked into the bar. It was relatively busy, the music was loud, the patrons were mostly drunk and talking at volumes to match the music. She really hated places like this. But all the noise would make it very difficult for anyone to overhear the meeting. Also the private booth would help to get them away from the noise, at least a little bit.
She led Revan towards the empty booth and sat down; her back to the wall, Revan took a seat beside her, just out of arms reach. Despite the noise in the bar the silence between them felt heavy. She wanted to talk to him, she always enjoyed their conversations, but she needed a way to start off. It's not like he would initiate a conversation. She stole a quick glance at him, his attention seemed to be on the room beyond, as her gaze very quickly traveled up his form, she found her topic.
"So why didn't you bring your lightsabers?"
"This is a major world, nothing like Omega. If I used them on a planet like this it would be noted and would likely draw unwanted attention. After all you have nothing like them in your galaxy." Revan answered her in his usual formal voice, his gaze never turned away from the crowds.
"You seem…distracted." It was just a hunch but since they had come ashore he had been even quieter than usual. Well maybe not quieter, but he never had seemed to be very distant from all the conversations that had happened.
"These Asari…they are interesting."
Is that what he had been staring at this whole time? All the women? No…no that wasn't the kind of person Revan was. He must have been speaking scientifically. The blue aliens were very unique in many ways; she could understand why he would be intrigued. Sometimes it was easy to forget he was from a different galaxy, he seemed very well adjusted.
"Apologies, I should clarify," he said suddenly, his head turning to finally look at her, he must have noted her silence. "I was referring to their abilities. During my stay on Omega I did not encounter any Asari outside battle. Now that we are outside of battle, with so many around…there is something odd about them."
"What do you mean?" She turned slightly to look at him better, interested in what he had noticed, and just enjoying listening to him.
"Their melding ability is somewhat similar to some force techniques. I have also noted that on average they have stronger mental defenses than other species. Although I have yet to encounter the Korgan or Slarian's en masse."
"Wait, are you saying the Asari can use the force?" The prospect was slightly disturbing, they were already a very powerful race, their natural control over biotics gave them an edge over most opponents.
"I don't think so. Although I can't be certain yet. Once the Commander recruits Samara I will try to find out for certain. At this point though I have yet to sense a strong enough connection with the force for any controllable powers to manifest."
Miranda inwardly sighed in relief. They fought enough Asari; she didn't want to have to worry about them having access to powers like Revan had. Although she supposed that if the aliens did have access to those powers it would have been documented by now. She glanced at the clock on her omni-tool. There was still some time until the meeting.
"You are worried for your sister." Revan said suddenly, it was a statement, not a question.
"Reading my mind?" She said, giving him a small smile and trying to inject some humor into the conversation. Partly to try and relax herself but also to see if Revan responded to it, Shepard seemed to get some reactions out of him with her humor.
"I would never invade your privacy like that." His tone was very serious as he spoke, and she could tell his attention was completely fixed on her now. "I don't even think you realize that this is the third time you have looked at the clock since we sat down."
"I didn't realize I was that transparent." She muttered, more to herself. She mentally scolded herself for being so obvious about her feelings. She was better than that; she was supposed to have better control than that.
"You have nothing to be ashamed of," his gaze still hadn't left her, but his tone had softened slightly. "You are worried for your sister. She should be honored to have such a loyal and protective sibling."
Miranda felt herself smile slightly at his words, but it only lasted a second as reality sunk in. "She doesn't know about me." She muttered quietly, she would never admit that deep down she hoped Revan heard her. It was nice having someone to talk to about things.
For the longest time the only person she ever felt she could trust was Nikett. She had been completely okay with that; trust was a weakness after all. It may have been a lonely life but it protected her from betrayal and kept her sister safe. Now however, in such a short time two people had come into her life that Miranda felt she could trust. It was terrifying to open herself up, but neither Revan or Shepard had been anything short of kind and supportive of her. They were willing to listen to her and give her advice. It was a very pleasant feeling. Although it was a bit nicer when it was Revan who was being the kind one. God she sounded like a love struck school girl.
"She should," Revan said simply, his tone was still soft. "Family is important Miranda. She deserves to know that she has such a loyal and dedicated sister. She would be proud to know you."
Miranda couldn't help but smile at his kind words, the tone of his voice convinced her that he genuinely meant them as well. She actually had to turn her head away slightly because she was scared she may blush. She wasn't used to being complimented in such a way.
This was a question she had been wrestling with for a long time though. Should she let Oriana know about her? For the longest time she felt it was best if her sister knew nothing about her, their father or Cerberus. It would allow Oriana to lead a normal life, but a part of Miranda longed for her to actually talk with her sister, to actually spend time together, like a family.
"I know you want to keep her safe, the less she knows about you, Cerberus, your father, the better she will be. But I think she deserves to know she has a sister. You deserve to know her."
"I... will think about it," she said softly. Everything he said made sense; it is what she had been longing to do for the longest time. But she never thought it was possible. She didn't want her sister to have anything to do with this life. With their father or Cerberus.
Yes she owed the organization everything, her freedom, her sister's protection, her training. The Illusive Man had been good to her. But it still was not a life she wanted for Oriana. It was part of the reason Miranda had agreed to stay with Cerberus in the first place. She continued to be one of their top operatives and they made sure Oriana was safe. True she liked the work, the challenges, and she also wanted what was best for humanity. But her top priority would be Oriana's safety and the best way to ensure that was with Cerberus's protection.
She looked back up at Revan; he was still looking at her, almost like he was going to continue speaking. If he was though he was interrupted as Shepard came into the room, in a hurry by the looks of it. She stopped in front of the two of them and spoke without hesitation.
"We have a problem."
"What?" Revan's head quickly turned to Shepard, who sat down across from them.
"The assassin we are looking for, he is already moving on his target. I know who the target is and where to find them, but we need to get to her first or we will lose this guy."
Miranda felt her heart sink for a second. She couldn't put off moving Oriana, but they also had to find Thane…looks like she would be doing this alone. Shepard had to complete her mission, but Miranda wouldn't leave until she knew her sister was safe. She was about to speak when Shepard cut her off.
"Revan I need you to lead a team to the target. Find this Thane guy and bring him back. I'll go with Miranda to make sure her sister stays safe."
Miranda was temporarily shocked into silence. Shepard would really choose her over her primary mission? Was the woman really that devoted to those she called friend? "Shepard you don't need to do that, I can oversee this on my own." Miranda felt a small thrill at seeing such loyalty directed towards her. Still, Shepard needed to prioritize the missions; she didn't need to make such a sacrifice.
"No, I said I would help and I meant it." Her tone was very serious as she fixed Miranda with an intense stare, then she turned to Revan and grinned "I think magic man can handle finding one assassin."
"Commander, I think it would be best if you were the one to go after the assassin. You are in command of this mission; you should be the one to recruit him. I will go with Miranda and ensure her sisters safety." Revan's voice was back to his serious tone as he stared at Shepard.
"No, I gave you my word Miranda. I will see this thing through. Revan either you lead the mission to find this Thane guy, or Garrus will."
"Very well," Revan said shortly, although even she could tell the reply was more terse than usual. Had he actually wanted to accompany her?
"Good!" Shepard exclaimed with a big smile, "Radio EDI and have her notify whatever whoever you want to take with you. Garrus is already on his way here," she turned to face Miranda "you don't mind if he accompanies us? If something does go wrong he can actually do something useful."
"It's fine," Miranda replied with a small nod. She actually would have preferred if Revan would have accompanied them. Partly on a personal level that she was to embarrassed to admit, but also because she would actually feel better if he was there. His powers would be immensely useful if anything did go wrong. However he was also the best choice to lead the mission to find Thane.
"I will see to my mission then," Revan said, as he rose from his seat, giving the two women a nod, "I will keep you apprised of the situation Commander, likewise I may be able to offer assistance if something should go wrong with yours."
"Sure thing, you sure you're going to be okay fighting without your fancy weapons?" Shepard asked, a grin on her face, "Or should I send Garrus to keep you safe?"
"Twenty-three to zero, Commander." Was all Revan said before walking away, although something about his tone had changed from its earlier terse sound. A quick glance to Shepard and Miranda saw her give the armored man the finger, a grin on her face the whole time.
She looked over to Miranda and must have noticed her slightly confused look, "Our sparring matches. His wins to mine." She explained, still grinning, but it had developed onto more of a genuine smile now. It was a subtle change but Miranda noticed.
Over their time together Miranda had noticed that Shepard rarely smiled what many would call genuine smile. She did have that trademark grin of hers that could make anyone laugh, grin in response or just lighten the mood of whoever she was talking to. It was something she did often; the effects were really quite amazing to watch. All of her easy going and happy personality just showed so clearly in those grins. But the smiles, those were something very different.
Miranda had only noticed the woman give what she would call a smile a few times. The first time had been when they had found Garrus. It was that moment that Miranda had noticed this subtlety in Shepard. Miranda recalled seeing another at dinner time when Shepard, Tali, Garrus, and Joker had all been engaged in story telling about their past exploits. The only other time she had seen the smile was when Miranda had gone down one morning to speak with Revan about the laser cannon. It was how she had learned of Shepard's sparring sessions with Revan. She was coming onto the elevator just as Miranda was stepping off. She had been bathed in sweat and looking absolutely exhausted but she had a smile on her face.
Unfortunately Miranda's first reaction had been to suspect the woman of having feelings for Revan. She quickly realized though that was a stupid and childish thought. After observing Shepard's mannerisms she had come to the conclusion that the woman was just genuinely happy she was beginning to develop some kind of friendship with Revan. She was did not hold any romantic feelings towards Revan.
At least Miranda hoped that was the case, how could she hope to compete with someone like the great Commander Shepard? Yes she had been designed to be superior in every way, to be the perfect human and in many ways she was. But she had been DESIGNED for greatness. Shepard had naturally attained greatness. She was naturally one of the most capable and amazing humans of their age. Miranda could not measure up to that. It's why Shepard was in charge and not her.
She did not resent Shepard! No in fact she greatly admired the woman. She made Miranda want to try harder, to be even better than she was. That and Shepard had been genuinely nice to her, giving up her command position for what should have been the primary concern in order to help her. She was…a friend. So no Miranda held no ill will towards Shepard, she just knew that if Revan was to choose between them, he would choose Shepard.
She tried to shake the thoughts from her head. It was pointless and unprofessional to dwell on such things. Not to mention embarrassing. Besides unless he drastically changed it was looking like Revan wasn't interested in anyone that way. Shepard may be able to get the occasional laugh from it but that was it. Whereas she could spend most of the day in his company and engage him in hours of conversation, but that was it. It never went any further than that. She had never even got the faintest hint that he was even mildly interested or that their relationship would go any further than colleges.
Although his recent interest in her personal life had thrown her off a bit. A small part of her allowed that to give her hope that something more could be there. But she was fairly certain at the most it was nothing more than friendly concern and advice. Actually she was completely certain, but that stupid girlish part of her that she tried so hard to crush continued to hold out hope. Luckily it was a very small part though.
"If I have to listen to this music for much longer I am going to kill someone." Shepard groaned, letting her head fall on the table. "Miranda how good are your hacking skills?" Her head lifted from the table and stared to stare at Miranda, hope in her eyes.
"Shepard I am not going to hack into the bars network just to change the music for you," Miranda couldn't help but chuckle at the frustrated woman, she was also thankful for the sudden distraction from her thoughts.
Shepard groaned again and her head fell back onto the table, "Then I am going to have to get very drunk in order to quell this homicidal level of annoyance."
"My contact will be here any minute, I promise to let you pick the music in the shuttle."
"You're an angel." Shepard replied, grinning up at her.
"I turned on happy music; apparently I should be playing killing music."
"You have killing music?" Miranda asked, giving the woman a quizzical look. She would hate to hear whatever music Shepard but in that category, this stuff already wasn't very good. But considering the death glare she had given Garrus when he voiced such an opinion, Miranda had decided to keep quiet about it.
"Of course! If I am angry and killin' then it's heavy metal all the way! If I am just killing fools who are getting in the way then it's fun time music!"
"Wait, you are listening to music during battle?" Miranda was genuinely surprised by that, it seemed very unprofessional.
"Sometimes," Shepard answered with a shrug, "My helmet filters all noise like voices, footsteps and gunfire to be louder than the music. Tali rigged it up for me during our hunt for Saren. It was the first thing I got her to do for me when she came back on board. Garrus tried to do it but he isn't as good." She grinned at the Turian in the backseat.
"Yeah, guess I just thought our priorities should be on actually killing the enemy, not having good music to do it to."
"Oh please, don't even act like you don't do the same. I have heard that shit you listen to in the background of your transmissions." Shepard grinned again at the sudden lack of response, "You should really get Tali to tweak yours too, it's really nice."
"Shepard!" Miranda said suddenly, her eyes spotted a group of gunships circling the docks below them. The other woman instantly saw this and brought them down for a landing.
The plan was simple. They would distract the eclipse mercenaries her father had hired and give time for Nickett to get her sister to safety. The car landed and Shepard was the first out, walking directly towards the mercenaries and shouting "Hey assholes!" At least distracting them shouldn't be too hard.
Miranda quickly followed the Commander along with Garrus. The mercenaries had turned to face them, six in all. One of them, a man, walked forward with two others while the rest hung back, no doubt to line up shots.
"I suggest you throw down your weapons." He said, with all the authority of your typical hot shot merc, "We are here to protect only the one daughter. The boss didn't say we couldn't kill this bitch."
"Oh my god, I had no idea!" Said Shepard, bringing her hand to cover her mouth, or where it was behind the helmet "So sorry sir, we will disarm ourselves right way." Miranda's close proximity allowed her to feel Shepard activate her biotics, which gave her a second to react.
As Shepard shot forward she pulled her pistol free, firing a single highpowered shot into the skull of the nearest mercenary. Shepard meanwhile had collided with the leader; her hand still glowed as she slammed it through his chest. Miranda shifted fire, shooting the second merc twice in the chest. As Shepard pulled her hand free there was a loud report of a rifle, a second later a shipping container fell from above and crushed the remaining three mercs who had been clumped together.
"Damn I'm good," Garrus said proudly.
"Fuck," Shepard said loudly "now I am in last place."
"Shepard, we need to keep moving and draw attention away from Nickett." Miranda said, trying to get the focus back. She knew this was just how the Commander was but she still felt the need to keep everyone on task.
"Right, it's time for angry killing music." Said Shepard as she began moving forward, pulling her tempest SMG free. She had yet to find what she deemed as a suitable replacement for her lost shotgun.
"Why angry?" Miranda asked as they moved through the docks, her curiosity getting the better of her.
"I am in last place for the kill count, they called you a bitch, and they are after your sister-" they rounded a corner, coming face to face with another mercenary who she quickly killed with a headshot, "Shepard is angry!" Shouted the woman as she activated her charge to launch her into a group of three mercenaries.
The first was likely killed as Shepard collided with him, the second was killed by a burst of fire to their face, the third was behind her but was quickly staggering back from receiving an elbow to the face before falling dead to a burst of fire to their chest.
Miranda wasted no time in rushing past the Commander as more Eclipse began running towards them from further down the docks. She dropped one with a double tap. Garrus took down a second with a single shot to the head while Shepard killed the last with a long burst from her SMG.
"Okay, I am starting to like this thing." Shepard said, likely grinning behind her helmet "Recoil is a bitch though,"
"Thought you liked a little fight Shepard," Garrus responded with a laugh.
"Okay you need to stop hanging around Joker."
"Shepard we need to hurry." Miranda said, trying to hide the annoyance in her voice. She really didn't mind their banter most days but right now she was too worried about Oriana and she knew it was getting to her. Still Shepard was helping her so it wouldn't be very polite of her to snap at someone who was trying to be a good friend.
"Right," Shepard's tone completely changed then, the usual lightheartedness left it and it was replaced a cool and controlled tone. "Let's kill every last one of these fuckers." Despite everything Miranda felt herself smile, to hear such determination coming from the woman and knowing it was all from a drive to see her sister safe. Miranda knew she was lucky to have such a friend.
It didn't make sense. It was a mistake, false information. They must know she was listening in. Nickett wouldn't betray her! He was the one who had helped her escape in the first place! He is the one who helped her rescue Oriana, he wouldn't hand her over to their father. He just wouldn't.
Her hand was shaking from gripping her pistol so tightly. He wouldn't betray her. He wouldn't. He was her friend; he had been her only friend for so long. He wouldn't do this to her. The Eclipse leader was lying.
The doors parted and she was the first one through, but she only made it a few steps before her body refused to move any further. The Eclipse leader sat on a crate, looking totally at ease as she talked with Nickett and a dock worker. Miranda recognized him instantly, his voice reached her ears and her whole body began to tremble with rage.
Shepard took a step ahead of her, getting the attention of the group. Nickett's eyes instantly fell on her and widened. Miranda didn't hear the conversation between Shepard and the Eclipse, she barely even registered the dock worker fleeing in terror. Hey eyes were fixed on Nickett.
"Why?" She breathed "I trusted you."
"I trusted you!" She shouted, taking a step forward she aimed at his head, "I trusted you."
"I didn't know I was helping you kidnap a child," he shot back, anger clear in his voice.
"I rescued her!" She snarled in response. How dare he use that word, he knew what her father was like. He had been her only friend since childhood, he saw the things she had gone through, how she had been treated like nothing more than a prized possession.
"You wanted to leave, Oriana never had that choice. You never gave her that choice." He sounded so sure of himself, that he was doing the right thing. "This isn't how I wanted this to happen Miri."
"Don't call me that," she spat, the nickname made her feel physically ill. She looked away for a moment, her emotions threatened to get the better of her. She thought of Oriana, of her duty to her sister, she saw the life that Oriana could have, that she should have, one where she was safe and happy with her family. Her resolve returned at the images and became even stronger. She looked the traitor in the eye once more, "This isn't how I wanted it either. Now you are just another loose end. Goodbye Nickett."
Without remorse or hesitation she pulled the trigger. The traitors head snapped backwards as the back of his head exploded, spraying the stack of crates with blood, bone and bits of brain. He fell without a sound and Miranda didn't spare him a second glance. She swung the pistol towards the Asari who was already aiming her shotgun. The alien was slammed back into the crates by a blue blur. Shepard slammed a fist into the aliens face, she quickly and rather expertly disarmed her foe before launching a quick furry of attacks which brought the alien to the ground. Shepard didn't hesitate to fire a burst from her SMG into the woman's head.
"Looks like those lessons are paying off," Garrus observed.
Miranda was inclined to agree, the display had been impressive. She didn't voice her thoughts though as her mind quickly returned to the task at hand. She scanned the area and quickly found the cowering dock worker. Miranda advanced on the worker, hauling her to her feet; she didn't have time nor the care to coddle her.
"What changes were made to the Wilson family's transport?"
"N-none!" The woman sputtered, her voice full of fear, "That man didn't have the authorization to make any changes."
Miranda held in her sigh of relief, she would be sure to give Linatea a bonus for that. "Where are they now?"
"They should be at terminal four; their next shuttle arrives in an hour. Please don't kill me."
"I'm won't, thank you." She stepped away from the worker and headed towards the elevator where the others were waiting.
"Everything okay?" Shepard asked as they stepped inside.
"She should be at one of the terminal's waiting for her connecting flight. I need to go and make sure she is safe." She would not be satisfied until she saw Oriana get on that flight.
"Of course, we will go and make sure that everything else goes smoothly."
"Thank you Shepard," Miranda let the words come out with the sigh of relief she had been holding in. Everything had gone so wrong so quickly, she still hadn't even processed what had happened. She still couldn't do that though, it would have to wait until Oriana was safe.
Miranda led the way, navigating through the busy terminals; it wasn't too hard for three heavily armed individuals to push through the crowd. The local security eyed them wearily but made no move to stop them, mercenaries were quite common on the planet. She stopped at the entrance terminal three and scanned the crowd, slowly walking in deeper to get a better look. Her heart started to pound harder as she couldn't find Oriana through the crowd.
Something must have gone wrong, the dock worker must have lied, she wasn't here! Dammit she needed to- Miranda froze when her eyes finally found their target. Oriana stood with her family, and older man and woman and a young boy, perhaps ten. She was at a complete loss for words as she watched them. Her sister was safe…and happy. She was smiling as she talked with her family, at one point she ruffled the boys hair, much to his annoyance but it made her laugh. Miranda could only watch, a smile slowly formed on her face. Everything was okay, Oriana was safe, her family was safe and they were happy.
"I take it that's her?" Shepard asked, following her eyes to the family.
"Yeah…" Miranda answered softly, "That's her and her family." Her happy family, she could not even describe how the sight before her truly made her feel. Her sister had everything she deserved, a happy life and a loving family.
Miranda had fought so long and so hard to make sure she had those things. Finally seeing it for the first time was…perfect. All her doubts and concerns were washed away in an instant. Anything she may have regretted doing in the past did not matter anymore. She would have paid any price for this. This was her reason for everything she had ever done, and it was worth it.
"So are you going to say hi?" Asked Shepard, her helmet was off now and she was looking between Miranda and Oriana.
"I can't," she whispered. "She is happy, has a family. She doesn't need me, doesn't need the trouble I would bring."
"You think she looks happy now? She will be ten times happier to learn she has a sister who loves her this much."
"Miranda," she turned to face her now, "You don't have to go telling her everything about you and Cerberus. But would it really be so bad for her to know about you? And would it really be so bad for you to know her? You deserve to know her."
Miranda didn't respond right away. Shepard's words made her remember her earlier conversation with Revan. It almost made her laugh at how both of them were telling her almost the exact same thing. Revan's words had already made her seriously consider it, now Shepards further encouragement she found herself so close to taking that step.
"I wouldn't even know what to say," she said softly, doubt beginning to creep in again.
"I find 'Hi' is a good start. Go on, we will wait as long as you want."
Miranda didn't get a chance to say anything before Shepard have her back a shove and she stumbled forward, closer to Oriana. She was only a dozen feet away now, and her stumble must have drawn Oriana's attention because she was now looking her way. Miranda's heart began racing faster than it ever had in her entire life; she was actually beginning to sweat from nervousness. She took in a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves and she walked forward. As she got closer, she felt a smile beginning to form. No matter how scared she was, now matter how nervous, she had wanted this for so long.
She was within speaking distance now and Oriana was still looking at her. So many years of watching over her, of protecting her. She had done everything in her power to make sure her sister had the life she deserved. But never once had she dared to speak to her, to get to know her. She had yearned for it all her life, nothing else could compare.
Her heart was still racing and she was still more nervous than she had been in her entire life, but still she felt a smile tug at her lips as she spoke the words she had been dreaming of for so long. "Hi Oriana."
**MILDLY IMPORTANT INFO TO FOLLOW**
I AM NOT DEAD! I sincerely apologize for the delay! Life conspired to keep me from posting but not writing! I did meet my goal of finishing up Samara's recruitment. However due to life I will not be able to actually post the next chapters. Again I sincerely apologize for this but I am leaving the country on vacation in a few hours and will be gone for roughly 6 weeks. I wanted to give you all at least this chapter to hopefully tide you over. It did not go through my beta and thus will have errors but it is readable. I will get it edited when I get back along with posting the following chapters.
For those inquiring about the Skyrim story that will be posted when I get back. It ended up going through a MASSIVE rewrite. I didn't want to post it right before leaving thus leaving a new story without support or follow up chapters, but I SWEAR it will be posted when I get back!
Again I am very sorry for the delay. Life just conspired against me. I should really stop giving timelines for postings...they never seem to work out.
Anyway sorry again and I hope you enjoy! Now onto reviews and musings!
***END IMPORTANT INFO***
Okay so just some general notes about this chapter. I am quite happy with how it turned out. It went through a total rewrite though (Which added to the posting delay, my laptop literally catching fire didn't help either.) The original version had Revan taking Shepards place but I think this way works alot better for character development.
An entire chapter that didn't have Revan or Shepard's POV! Crazy, I know. I hope Miranda's feelings for Revan did not come across too strong, I tried to make sure they didn't. But also remember it has been a while since we heard from her, those feelings didn't just go on pause until now, ha ha.
I apologize to those who were hoping for more action, I tried to write it but just couldn't get it flowing right. The next chapter will have it aplenty! (Revan, Zaeed, Jack, and HK are all going to recruit Thane. KILL ALL THE FOOLS!) But it will also have alot of character development! Something for everyone! Action, comedy, romance!...okay there is no romance...or is there?!
That's about all I have to say about this chapter. Hope you all like it!
To the Reviews!
NeoNazo356: I haven't decided on HK's hand to hand capabilities but they will be pretty decent. His armament will be revealed next chapter! As for force immune troops I have worked out a "tree" as you said. Different types of troops will have different degrees of resistance, largely depending on how much Reaper tech they have.
GinsengH: I can easily see how those conversations could come off as rushed. That is my fault as I have not been showing those developing relationships, merely letting them take place in my head. That will be changing and hopefully following interactions will seem much more genuine.
Kaioo: Depending on how you look at it Revan may not be considered a traitor. But we will get much deeper into that later on in the story *wink*
Cyricist001: Shepard's reaction to HK is more just a reflection of her personality. She is pretty easy going and she trusts Revan. Her accepting HK is kind of her way of showing Revan that he has her trust. Revan's angst/ regrets are mostly centered around Meetra. He knows that the decisions he made regarding turning Sith and conquering the Republic are the right ones, but he questions if Meetra would have thought so. His only major regret is one involving her that hasn't been revealed yet, it should make his guilt/ doubt make much more sense. As for Shepard's reaction to revan's treatment of the Mandalorian's, I am not sure why you say it is bizarre...She was just surprised that he would be so harsh towards his own people considering how proud he is to be Mandalorian. PM if you have further questions.
bobywhy: I am working out exactly what kind of effect those powers would have, Revan will just have to experiment! The only other of your questions I can answer without spoiling anything is that yes HK's awesome statements from KOTOR will be here!
Deicide73: I will not be "capping" Revan's powers or limiting them in anyway. Rather I am trying to find balances to them, such as having some Reaper troops being immune to certain powers, things like that. I will not handicap him or make him less powerful than he actually is, I will simply have to find opponents that will challenge him!
blub: Don't worry! I did not take that as a flame! I will not be following the cannon story completely. There will be some pretty huge differences in this story. However most of them will not appear until the ME3 arc. ME2 is really just setting the stage and it is in 3 where it all goes down. There will still be differences during this arc though!
Okay ladies and gents, that's all I have.
Thank you all so much for the support you are giving me! I am truly honored and humbled by the love. I hope to do you all proud!
As always thank you to everyone who reviews, favorites, follows, or just enjoys this story! Always feel free to drop me a message with questions or concerns!
I also want to remind everyone that just because I don't address all the reviews here doesn't meant I don't read and appreciate them all! I truly do appreciate all the kind words! I am simply addressing things here that I think others could benefit from seeing discussed.
Damn I think this may be my longest AN to date...SORRY!
I am done now, I promise.
...I lied, I just wanted to apologize again for my delay, I truly am sorry! I will post the next chapter as soon as I get back!
Thank you all for sticking with me!
Okay, now I am done.