Chapter 28 - The shock
Wednesday 25th January
Sam and Talima walk into the Galactic Acceptance building at seven fifty five. Sam having the device that Talima had given him the previous evening discretely in his pocket. Saymera sees the two of them walk in from the reception desk. "Good Morning. You look less tired this morning Sam."
"I had a good sleep to be fair even though I was worried. I am guessing I am in time to drop her breakfast off?"
"You are. You will need to go and wait at her door in a minute. I have informed the individual who usually delivers her breakfast to hand you the tray. Iona will be in her office when you wish to see her."
"She did not try anything overnight then?" Saymera seemed to get a little anxious at that question.
"I thought you were not expecting anything Sam?"
"I was not Saymera but I wanted to confirm what I thought, was correct and I had not made a mistake. I will talk to you later." Saymera nods. Sam and Talima go through the double doors and begin walking down the corridor.
"Talima, can you also inform Iona that if I message either of you could you come to the room. One of us will likely be needing help if that occurs."
"I will only mention it if her Omni-tool beeps Sam as it will cause less stress." Sam nods as he stops by Amistathya's room. Talima walks a bit further down the corridor and around the corner out of sight.
Sam had been waiting outside Amistathya's room for just over five minutes before an Asari appeared from the end of the hallway with a tray and a smile. "Morning."
"Indeed it is." Sam getting a bit of a laugh as she hands him the tray. "Thank you." The Asari nods and leaves. Sam holds the tray with one hand pushing the opposite side of the tray into the wall to keep it level so he can open the door. He walks in with the tray, and as the door shuts he pulls the device out of his pocket to hold in his right hand. He walks forward and places the tray down on the desk without looking at Amistathya.
"Why are you here?" She did not sound angry but as Sam turned around to look at her he could tell she was not impressed.
"I was told by someone not to talk to them. Given I am practically stuck on Thessia until Galactic Acceptance no longer need me I am left handing out food to people." Amistathya does not look convinced. "I see you do not believe my lame attempt of an excuse. I came here to see if you will trust me or not. It will be very much one or the other after this. I will warn you that this will be very mean, likely stressful and not that pleasant, but I hope we can together find a way forward afterwards." Amistathya seems a little scared given she is holding her legs fairly tightly to her chest. "Do you know what one of these is?" Sam waving the device around in his hand. Amistathya shakes her head nervously. "Well it is not mine but I have tried it. It fires ions which feel like someone pushing a needle into your skin."
"Please." Amistathya turning away from Sam and closing her eyes as if she is just about to get hit.
"It is going to be a bit of a game to see just how much you trust me. It goes something like this, if you fail to do as I say then it gets used. If you beg, it gets used, and if you fail to answer a question quickly then it gets used. Do you understand those rules Amistathya?" Amistathya seems to be in shock at what is happening. "I did have this down as lasting about ten minutes, you co-operating and me not hurting you but you are making it difficult." Sam sighs. "Amistathya, do you understand the rules? You have five seconds." Amistathya makes no move. "Three." She looks up fear all over her face. "one."
"Yes!" Sam can only laugh at her blurted out response as if she had been holding it back.
"Why did you struggle to answer?" Amistathya starts shaking. "This is easy, just answer the question Amistathya." Sam waits for a few seconds. "five, four."
"I am scared."
"I know that Amistathya, that is the point and I expect as much. You must dig deep and put that to one side for a few minutes. Ok, I will change my methods. Could you remove your gloves please Amistathya?" That seems to put more fear into her. "Amistathya do it without thinking and it is easier. You have thirty seconds."
"Anything but the gloves."
"Ok, remove all your clothes except your gloves." Sam thinking that was mean but it does provide a perfectly valid point. "You have a minute." Amistathya seems surprised by the request. "Amistathya, you made it worse for yourself by saying not the gloves. As I said it is best just to do it, rather than thinking about it. You have thirty seconds left." Amistathya does not move. "You are going to have to be very quick at getting undressed in the tine you have left if you do not want to be hurt." Amistathya cautiously takes her top off before pausing and looking at Sam. Fear in her eyes as she was trying to work out Sam's intentions. "Looking at me like that will not sway my decision Amistathya. If you remove your gloves and socks in ten seconds I will let you off with keeping your trousers on." Amistathya seems a bit happier and pulls off her socks starting with the left before taking her gloves off.
"Why are you doing this?" An obvious tremble to her meek voice.
"I am forcing you to make a decision. You will understand after if you trust me." Amistathya did not look convinced as she stays hidden in the corner behind her legs nearly in tears. "Why were you so reluctant to remove your trousers Amistathya?" Amistathya finally lets a tear roll down her face. Sam grits his teeth and tries to keep going. "Amistathya, you either tell me or they come off. I am assuming you would rather tell me?"
"I promise to tell you later." Sam was not quite expecting that response.
"Ok Amistathya. Could you tell me something about yourself, do you have any other medical conditions for example?"
"I have hypersensitive skin, I cannot taste anything, I cannot digest protein rich foods properly and I can only meld with people who have a similar nervous system frequency to my own."
"Was that so difficult?" Amistathya reluctantly shakes her head while drying her eyes on her knees. "Amistathya, the following question you can answer with words or actions. Depending upon your taken decision will depend what happens next. Do you understand?" Amistathya lifts her head up a little and nods. "Would you trust me enough to remove your trousers and stand up from the bed?" Sam knew this was the leverage he needed from her reaction and body language previously. "You have one minute Amistathya." Sam could see Amistathya trying to hide as the wall in her mind starts to crumble. He knew it was really mean given he was an unknown species and so a totally unknown entity to her. "Thirty seconds." Sam was just hoping she would go with it.
"Please give me more time."
"You either do it in time or answer in time Amistathya. No extensions to the time. Twenty seconds." Sam can see Amistathya has hit the breaking point. Crying she gets up off the bed and takes off her trousers, seemingly waiting for something to happen.
"Amistathya look at me." She slowly raises her head to look to Sam. "I am going to put this down on the side of here now and go to sit on the bed. You are free to have your breakfast." Sam does as he said, Amistathya looking confused as she is still shaking, her face wet from tears. She after several seconds cautiously takes the tray of food and returns to her favourite corner, the spoon skittering around as her nervousness shakes the tray. She keeps one eye on any movements from Sam as she does so. "I thank you for playing the game Amistathya. I know you are probably disliking me an awful lot now but I wish to say I was never going to harm you. I said as much previously and I meant it." Sam puts his hand into his pocket and pulls out the power cell for the device. "It never had any power."
"I hate you." Sam expected that reaction as he had noticed previously that Asari, like humans, do not take well to being played.
"The only person who was hurting you was yourself Amistathya. I just provided the trigger. I apologise for doing so but it needed to be something you could not ignore."
"I still hate you."
"Oh and while I remember I must compliment you on your markings. They are magnificent, the light blue caps on the ends of your fingers and toes. The strips up the back of each finger and toe which forms a braid up your arms and legs. The tree root style of the ends of the braid as if it has frayed when it reached your body is rather intriguing. I personally prefer your markings to the other two Asari I have seen with the same condition."
"Trying to make up for what you did earlier will not work." Sam was thinking it seems to have got her talking more though, which is a promising start.
"If you think that is what I am trying to do then you are mistaken Amistathya. I was proving a point that not everyone will try to hurt you. What you have to do now is decide if you want me to help protect you or feel vulnerable."
"How can I trust someone who manipulated me?"
"I did warn you before I started that it would be mean, stressful and not pleasant. I was honest and forthcoming with you about that and I never intended to hurt you. I think I also got enough information to help you. You never have to tell me anything else if you do not wish to."
"You will just manipulate me into telling you."
"Amistathya. I feel hurt by that comment. I will not do anything like that to you again." Amistathya puts the spoon in the bowl. "Could I ask what it is like not being able to taste?" Sam hoping the change in questions would make her a little more comfortable.
"Textured viscous water is about as good as I can describe it. I really miss being able to taste."
"Is it something you have not had long?" Amistathya looks at Sam who visibly backs off a little. "You are free not to say if you wish. I was just curious, my apologies." Sam was just starting to realise just how thin the ice was that he was skating on. Amistathya sighs.
"I have been unable to taste for three nearly four weeks. Please do not ask why."
"I will not. Could I ask why you did not attack me with your biotics earlier? You could easily have at least injured me. I admit that in our brief introduction I did not inform you our species have no biotic ability at all."
"In the past they were once used against me and given I did not know you had no biotic ability I was being overly cautious." Sam looked visibly relieved at that knowing it may not have ended well.
"I need to ask. If you would have known I had no biotic ability, would you have attacked me?"
"Very likely as I cannot begin to describe how much I dislike being naked with anyone else in the room."
"I deeply apologise but I realised that and used it to push you well past what you would be comfortable with. I hope you do not feel angry at me Amistathya."
"Just please do not come closer to me." Sam nods before realising something.
"Why do you not get under the duvet if you are so scared?" Amistathya gives the duvet a pull but Sam sitting on it stops her pulling it out of the bottom of the bed. Sam realises and gets up for a moment allowing her to pull the duvet up and cover herself. "You look a bit more comfortable now."
"I feel happier there is something between me and everything else."
"I understand Amistathya. You seem as if you would be just as happy elsewhere if you were given the opportunity so I have a proposal for you. Armali council have given five of us, four of who are from the Enlighten a four room house. I know there is definitely one spare room. Would you like to live with myself on Illium?" Amistathya seems to stumble a little before thinking the proposal through.
"What are the other four like?"
"Fosanta is a pleasant individual who is logical and organised. Kate who is a human like myself, seems to be finding everything a little strange. While she is sleeping with Fosanta I think she finds the concept of a mono-gendered species really confusing so she is not exactly confident. She will have no problems getting her point of view across though if she feels strongly about it. Adastra can be slightly hyperactive at times and she seems to see social rules as a challenge. She dislikes people seeing her body but she seems to be getting a bit more confident. Seliha is a friendly and determined individual who also seems to have a bit of wild streak. She seems confident in doing everything even if she is scared."
"Do you think there is anyone who would ask too many questions or hurt me?"
"I do not think Fosanta will be a problem. Kate may ask some quite deep questions but it would be out of pure curiosity not her intention to harm you. Adastra sometimes does not think about the consequences before doing something so she may do or say something but it would not be deliberate. Seliha I do not know too well to be honest. She is a bit of an unknown. While I cannot see her harming you what else may happen I have no idea. Sorry if you did not want to hear that." Amistathya looks a little unhappy. Sam waits for her to make the next move. He turns around and watches a couple of wispy clouds float across the sky out of the window.
"I would really like to leave with you. Could I decide tomorrow as I need some time."
"Of course." Sam sounding a little happier. "If I said you wanted to leave but made sure you could change your mind if you wanted, would that be ok Amistathya?" She has a quick think before nodding. "I know you still hate me for what I did but I feel we are making progress which makes me feel happier. I best inform Iona of the news and I guess you would like to get dressed." She nods as she looks at her hands. Sam gets up off the bed and picks up the device off the top of the desk before putting it in his pocket. "I apologise again and I will have a talk again later." He smiles to Amistathya who manages a nod and a weak smile back before he leaves. Sam walks down the corridor and enters Iona's room to see Iona and Talima at the table.
"Good morning Sam. You look rather stressed, could I ask why?"
"You are probably going to hate me as much as Amistathya does but it did work Talima." Iona looks confused as Sam digs the device and power cell out of his pocket and hands them to Talima across the table before sitting down.
"You used it on her Sam?"
"No Iona, I am not that kind of individual. I stated I would not harm her and while she may be quite fragile now, I think she will be ok after a bit of time to recover. I felt awful when she was shaking, tears rolling down her cheeks, standing there waiting for me to seemingly hurt her. What really got to me though was the fact she has the most beautiful markings on her body I have seen." Sam puts his head in his hand and takes a breath to settle himself.
"So she does have markings as you thought?"
"Yes Iona. I am so lucky I did not mention I had no biotic ability. You would probably have been scraping me off the walls if I had."
"So did Amistathya ask you to leave and not come back Sam?" Talima wondering was is to happen now.
"While I doubt she will ever forgive me fully for what I did, she seemed taken by the notion of going back to Illium with me."
"I find that hard to believe Sam."
"You can come and have a little talk Iona if you want proof. I would advice not to push her too much." Iona gets up and Sam follows her out of the door. "Would you let me go in first Iona?" She gestures Sam to lead the way. He looks around the corner to see that she had got dressed again and still looked a little upset. "Iona was a little disbelieving Amistathya. I hope you do not mind if she had a little talk." The blue one in the corner seemed to take a little breath to calm herself a little as Sam sits on the bed and Iona takes the desk chair.
"I have not heard details of what happened Amistathya, but I heard enough to know it would probably have hurt you. How are you feeling?"
"How much do you know?" Sam smiled a little at her giving nothing away.
"It sounded like he made you strip against your will. He has mentioned you have markings and they were the most beautiful he had seen." Amistathya looks to Sam who seems more interested in the white wall. "Sam also said about him being lucky he had not mentioned he had no biotic ability. I know no specifics on your markings or exactly what happened Amistathya. He did say you were thinking of going back with him to Illium. Did he force that decision on you?"
"No." Amistathya giving Iona a confused look as if she could barely believe Iona distrusted Sam so much.
"I will leave you alone for a while." Iona gets up and walks out.
"Iona really does not understand. I do hope you do not feel forced into doing this. We could find you other paths to take if you are not comfortable."
"I just wish to have some time to decide."
"I understand and will not annoy you again today Amistathya. I meant everything about feeling sorry and you having brilliant markings. I do hope you sleep well." She nods to Sam, a little warmth to her expression for the first time. Sam smiles and leaves the room. He walks around the corner and into Iona's room to find Saymera there.
"Is what Iona is saying true Sam?"
"I have only just walked in Saymera. Could you be more specific as unfortunately I cannot read minds?" Sam takes a seat at the table.
"Iona was expressing doubt over her choice to leave. I am surprised given you have only been here a day and a half."
"I offered and while she said she would like that, she said that she would decide tomorrow. I asked if she would be ok if we sorted out the paperwork but she was free to change her mind tomorrow if she wishes to. She was happy with that idea Saymera."
"When were you thinking of going back Sam?"
"Late tomorrow or early Friday. I would highly appreciate it if you could make the arrangements for her to leave, but she is going to make her decision tomorrow."
"That is understandable. Especially if you scared her. She would need an assessment by someone independent to see if she ready to leave." Saymera wanting to make sure she is not a threat to herself, Iona seemed happy with that suggestion as well.
"Would Talima be ok to do the assessment?"
"You have not met or seen her have you Talima?"
"I have not Saymera, also Sam has not mentioned anything to me about her that you two do not already know."
"I can see no problem with your suggestion then Sam. I would need you to do it this afternoon Talima if we need to have everything ready for tomorrow."
"I will get some lunch first. Sam do you want to join me." Sam nods and the pair walk out of the building.
"I am a bit worried now I have not heard anything from Sam since he has left."
"I am sure he is fine Adastra." Kate trying to be the voice of reason. "Maybe he has found the individual he has been looking for."
"That would be a little depressing, although I have got Seliha."
"Adastra I think he will always see you more as a sibling than a partner. There is nothing wrong with that and he does seem to truly care about you." Fosanta trying to make Adastra a little happier as Sam not being around seems to be making her a little upset.
"I never thought of Sam as more of a sibling but it does seem to be a good description."
"Do you have anything to tell me about Amistathya Sam?"
"You want to know now Talima?"
"I only wish to know the best way to treat her Sam. You seem to understand her well enough to converse with her. That information could be advantageous to me as I will need to ask some questions."
"If you stay out of arms reach of her and try not to be over friendly I think she will be ok. Just do not expect to get too much from her." Talima nods as the two of them walk into the reception area. "I will wait here." Talima nods before making her way down the corridor to Amistathya's room. She enters the room and looks around the corner to find Amistathya sat in the corner of the bed, her back in the corner of the room. "Hello Amistathya, my name is Talima. I have come to assess you for leaving."
"I have not seen you before." Amistathya definitely more cautious around Asari. Talima notices this defensive action but resists trying to be friendly as per Sam's advice.
"You are correct Amistathya. I am one of the consorts acolytes and I am making sure Sam can help you as best he can."
"So it was your device he had?"
"Yes Amistathya. I have no idea what happened so if it was distressing or painful then my apologies."
"I hated it." Amistathya not wanting to let anything slip but still telling the truth. Talima could feel she was only co-operating just enough to get out of here.
"Why do you wish to go back to Illium?"
"I know it well." Talima was expecting a slightly different answer but she decides not to push.
"The only piece of information I need to know now is will you attempt to kill yourself again."
"I will try not to. What do you know about me?"
"I know about the incident at secondary school. I also know you tried to commit suicide on Illium but I know no specifics on that one."
"Does he know?"
"Sam asked not to be told anything except your name and age. Unless you have told him then he does not know." Amistathya nods seemingly a little happier. "I think I have everything I need. I will probably see you tomorrow." Amistathya nods again and Talima leaves the room.
"Have you thought about doing this work more often Sam?" Saymera walking over from the reception desk to have a talk.
"Not really, especially since I am on Illium and you have no centre there. I do however feel that it is only right to help in some way as you seem like you could really help someone with a different set of problems. I will see what I can do when I get back to Illium."
"Anything you can do to help we would be grateful for Sam." Sam nods as Talima walks back down the corridor.
"Could I ask what she was like as she seems a little unpredictable towards people."
"She did answer my questions although she seemed resist giving away anything as you thought she might. She did however seem to want to know exactly what I knew about her. I explained what I knew which seemed to make her a little distant. I think your method of knowing nothing is paying off in this case Sam."
"Wait so she does not seem to trust anyone who knows too much?" Saymera finding this notion a little strange.
"It seems like that. Anyway as long as Sam keeps a close eye on her I think she will be fine."
"I will make sure all the documentation is complete for tomorrow."
"I appreciate it Saymera. Now all I need to do is give everyone back on Illium the news. I will see you tomorrow." Saymera nods and Sam turns to leave, Talima walking beside him out of the building.
"So you have not told Adastra what is happening?"
"No Talima. I do not know quite how she will take the news, she may see Amistathya as competition which I really do not want happening."
"I understand why you are a little weary Sam. You do not want her to feel as if you are leaving her to be on her own."
Talima and Sam get back into their hotel room. Sam takes a seat on the side of his bed and opens his Omni-tool.
I must apologise for not messaging you earlier but I have been rather busy and had a difficult couple of days. I need to ask if you have any problems having a two hundred and sixteen year old shy Asari staying with us. I need to have somewhere where she can feel fairly safe and so that I can be back in time for your birthday.
I hope you are well.
As I have said to Adastra in her message. I apologise for not sending you a message earlier. I have happened to meet a rather mysterious, shy and cautious individual here who I would like to bring back to Illium. It seemed the most logical idea as she did not seem to need to be at the facility and I wanted to get back for Friday. I hope you do not mind if she stayed with us.
I will see you shortly.
"Iona was curious yesterday by how I could understand so much about Amistathya. I am still confused as to why that was as I feel it is obvious."
"It could be that she likes you Sam as it is a little obvious you like her."
"I am that obvious am I?" Talima laughs.
"While I could see you cared about Adastra when you were on the Enlighten, this is different. Please do not think it is a bad thing, do that you feel is right." Sam nods just before he gets a message on his Omni-tool.
We are both fine. I just need to say Seliha is really not the person you know her as. I know that sounds strange and it is. Anyway is there anything you can tell us about this new person as you seem to be being very vague.
"Talima, Adastra would like to know some more about Amistathya but I am weary of saying too much more so she does not ask too many questions. I know if I asked her to not ask anything then she will try not to. I just want Amistathya to trust them a little and as you found out, the less they know the better."
"Sam. The only advice I can offer is trust yourself to make the right decision. It seems I know the wrong information to give you any guidance." Sam nods before replying.
I am not trying to be deliberately vague I just know very little about her. One thing I do know, please do not touch her. She is also a little troubled by something involving Asari but I am waiting for her to say when she is ready. Given this she quite likes her personal space and would appreciate you giving her some. The only other thing I know is she is unable to taste anything. That is everything I know. Sorry Adastra.
Why do you think Seliha is not the person I know. I am a little curious at that, I may ask her if you cannot or do not wish to answer.
"I missed out a few points but I think they have enough to get a rough idea. I could really do with some sleep as it was remarkably difficult this morning."
"I am glad to hear that Sam. If it was easy then I would be worried." Sam decides just to nod rather than say anything in response. The two of them get ready for bed and just before Sam settles down he gets a message.
Seliha is manipulating me into saying nothing so you are going to have to ask her yourself.
This individual sounds, individual. We are not against the idea of having her here so do not take this the wrong way but, do you think she should live with us? Her needs are conflicting, she needs care and support but her personal space and respect. Oh Seliha says if you bring her back she will not meld with you.
I will message you tomorrow, Seliha is acting a bit strange.
"Every time I leave the kids alone." Sam laughing a little to himself.
"What do you mean by that Sam?"
"It sounds like Adastra and Seliha are getting on well. By that I mean causing trouble, Seliha more than Adastra, which I did not expect." Sam shrugs before composing a message.
I do not think her needs are conflicting just challenging. I will give you a message tomorrow if I learn anything new. Also tell Seliha she will probably not see another human before she is a matriarch whereas I can always find another marked Asari so I will be bringing her back.
Please stay out of trouble.
Sam puts his Omni-tool away and puts his head down.
I feel this chapter is fairly self explanatory so I have not much to say this week. Next chapter should be the last day on Thessia with or without Amistathya. Find out if she leaves with Sam on the 19th of May.
Thank you all for continuing to read.