Amantia - Lover (Thessian)

Grá mo chroí - love of my heart (Gaelic)

Hooley - Party or celebration (Gaelic)

Kena sa'ki - literally "the heart of evil" (Thessian)

Siame - "one who is all", a loved one cherished above all others (Thessian)


T'Soni House Armali, Thessia, Athena Nebula

"Matriarch Aethyta! They said I had a call from Thessia and for the life of me I couldn't figure out who would be calling. It's so good to know you made it! Liara must be over the moon!" Hannah's face was bright with honest enthusiasm and Aethyta hated to darken her day, but felt obligated to ensure Hannah was informed.

"Congratulations on making Rear Admiral; quite the accomplishment. What's in store for you next?" Aethyta hated small talk, but had to work up her nerve before she could be painfully blunt with Shepard's mother.

"Oh, who knows? With all the ships that were destroyed, the chances of getting a dreadnaught anytime soon are pretty low. I've always preferred space, but I don't know. Given all that's happened, perhaps it's time I settle in someplace where I can prop my feet up in front of a fire at night and read a good book."

Aethyta grinned, "If Shepard... Samantha... is anything like you, somehow that image doesn't seem right to me."

Hannah smiled in return. "No, I suppose not, but old age and a galactic war changes a person... don't they?" Her smile faded along with Aethyta's.

"Yeah. They do." Aethyta took a deep breath. "Listen. This isn't exactly a social call and I hate to ask you this but... when was the last time you talked to your daughter?"

Hannah's brow furrowed with concern, but her military bearing kept her from displaying too much emotion. "Samantha? It's been almost a month and from your tone, I assume that it's been too long. What's going on?"

Aethyta quickly relayed all that Liara had passed on, including her offer to go raise hell at the Council. The more Aethyta explained, the more angry Hannah's face became. "What is it about my daughter that she never tells me these things? Why am I always the last to know? Were you aware I didn't even know she was alive after the first Normandy was destroyed! I had to find out from Liara! I swear. That child..."

Aethyta smiled. "Don't feel bad; all kids are like that. Besides, I think the only folks that did know were Cerberus and Liara. I had an inkling, especially after you showed up on Illium. Figured there wasn't much else that would get you out that way." Aethyta shook her head. "Anyway, it killed Liara to ask me for help; shows me exactly how desperate she is. Soooo, there's another reason I called. I figured you'd also like to know the Normandy is holding a St Paddy's day festival..." She watched Hannah's eyes light up as she continued, "...aaand, I bribed myself an invitation. I think I need to bring a date."

Hannah concentrated for a moment on what Aethyta was saying before it finally dawned on her. "Oh. Oh! I... uh."

"Relax, Hannah. It's not a proposition." Aethyta laughed as she watched the older Shepard's face turn red. "I'm dating a fellow matriarch here. Merely looking at a way for you to get a foot in the door. I'm going, so it's easy enough for the T'Soni VIP transport to swing through Arcturus on the way. I'm thinking it'd do Sh... Samantha a world of good to have her momma show up."

Hannah nodded. "I agree. Thank you. You've got yourself a date, Aethyta. I don't need to worry about getting hunted down by some 'ex-commando captain' Asari Matriarch, do I?"

Aethyta chuckled; the woman's smile told her Hannah was joking. "No, Mozia's not the jealous type. We're too damn old to care about that shit anymore."

"Mozia?" Hannah's eyes opened wide. "That's the Regent of the estate, yes? Samantha's told me about her. Apparently a nice catch, Aethyta. You'll have to tell me all about her at the party. In the mean time, I'll call Steven Hackett as soon as we get off this call. I don't know if he can do anything, but he can certainly contact Ambassador Osoba. Not sure how much influence he'll have either, but he's the most likely Council candidate, so they won't be able to completely ignore him. They'll want him on their side someday, hopefully soon!"

"Osoba?" Aethyta ran through her memory quickly. "He's the one with the kid that died on Benning, isn't he? I remember Liara telling me the story of the Cerberus shit that happened there. That's good. He'll feel like he owes Shep a favor... and I think we need all the help we can get on this one."

"Agreed. Thank you for calling, Aethyta... and thanks for the invite. I'll need to take leave, so... what? Pick up at Arcturus when?" Hannah raised her eyebrows in expectation of an answer.

"On the seventeenth Admiral. For us, it's a quick trip to the relay. We'll bring VIP-1 to Arcturus and then back to Sol. It's a direct hop out to the Rift which is where the rendezvous will be. The Normandy is coming back to civilization from out in the Veil; they'll be returning from Rannoch. We can arrive at Arcturus by noon and we'll easily catch up to the Normandy by 2 PM. We can return at your leisure; we have nothing but time, so we're on your schedule."

"Thank you, Aethyta." Hanna smiled broadly. "You... never mind. I was going to say you have no idea what this means to me, but I'll bet you do." Hannah studied her calendar briefly before looking back up. "I can get three days, so we don't have to come back until the evening of the nineteenth."

"Excellent! We'll see you then. You know how to reach me if something changes." Aethyta smiled and waved at Hannah as her image faded away.

SSV Normandy, Milky Way Galaxy (at large)

"Captain, we're here." Joker's voice came over Shepard's private channel and she smiled.

"Thanks, Joker. Any sign of anyone else yet?" Shepard glanced at her chrono; she expected no one for at least thirty minutes.

"No, Ma'am. You want us in stealth mode?"

Shepard laughed, "No, Jeff. We actually want people to find us this time. I know... it's weird."

Joker let out a light chuckle. "You got that right! We've been doing this for months and I still feel like we should be running silent, operating in full stealth mode and scanning every system we enter... just because!"

Edi came on the line, "Normandy is locked in position, static defenses set and long-range scanners are activated, Captain."

"Thanks, Edi! Why don't you two lock down the bridge and come join the party? If something pops up, Edi can fly the Normandy from anywhere on the ship anyway, so you might as well relax and have some fun."

"You heard the captain, Edi, and damn, it still sounds strange to call her the captain. I've been referring to her as 'Commander' for so long, it's almost automatic." Joker eased his lanky frame out of his chair with an assist from his copilot. "Thanks."

"You are welcome, Jeff." Edi waited for him to begin walking aft. "You appear to be moving with less apparent difficulty. It seems the bone weaves Dr Chakwas performed have significantly improved your mobility."

As the segmented door retracted and he began walking past the airlock towards the CIC, he responded, "Your powers of observation are astounding Edi. I… wait, you didn't deserve that from me. I'm sorry, Edi. I didn't mean to sound so snarky…not to you. You're the best thing that ever happened to me."

He looked at her as they made their way through the tactical passageway. "I was so damned afraid I'd lost you when the crucible fired, Edi. Most miserable two weeks of my life!"

"Then perhaps Shepard is correct in her assumption that we all need this festival." Edi recalled the conversation in the loft and Shepard's answer to Liara. "When Dr T'Soni inquired as to the purpose of celebrating this holiday, the captain's answer was a single word. Life."

Shepard smiled and turned to the bathroom and shouted to Liara. "You almost ready?"

Shepard was in her jeans and boots with her emerald-green button down shirt; she was very comfortable, it matched the occasion and the outfit was Liara's favorite, so there really wasn't any decision to be made. Liara stepped out of the bathroom in the full-length gown Shepard had first seen on Illium; it was emerald green to match Shepard's shirt, with a wide white stripe that ran top-to-bottom down the center of her front. She was pulling on the arm-length gloves as she spoke, "Yes, Siame."

She stopped and looked at Samantha appraisingly, raised her brow markings and held a hand out, swirling a finger in a circle. Shepard smiled and chuckled lightly as she slowly spun around. Liara stepped closer and ran her hand down Shepard's side and then across her butt as the Captain continued her turn. Liara's hand 'stuck' to Shepard's hip and she rolled Shepard into an embrace as she finished her circle. "Goddess forgive me, but I do love the way you look in your jeans."

Shepard leaned her head forward and lightly touched foreheads with her lover. "Grá mo chroí, you're just lucky we have guests coming or you'd never make it out of the room."

Liara laughed as she slapped Shepard on the behind. "You call that lucky?"

"Liara T'Soni!" Shepard's eyes went wide in surprise. "You've been speaking with your father again, haven't you?"

"Yes, I have, but that is beside the point." She smiled and gave Shepard a quick kiss before taking a step back and reaching for Samantha's hand. "I appreciated this outfit long before I ever knew who my father was!"

With a smirk on her face, Shepard accepted Liara's hand and they walked together to the elevator to make their way to the crew deck.

The first ship to arrive was the Aletheia, and Judea brought the ship expertly alongside. Exactly as she had done after the Collector Base run through the Omega-4 Relay, the Aletheia hard-docked at the airlock. They would stay connected for the duration; they had nine empty berths for folks like Aethyta and those she was picking up along the way. Miranda and Judea were first off, hand-in-hand, and Shepard smiled as Liara greeted them with a smile and a welcoming hug. Sellis Boni and Iryna Velros were directly on their heels, carrying a couple of crates of something, which everyone quickly discerned as yet more alcohol when Sellis shouted out, "Where's the bar?"

Shepard looked over at their lead analyst. "Yo! Miri? I gather you briefed them on the holiday accordingly, seeing as they all have at least something green attached to their persons?"

Miranda sauntered over and looked at Shepard critically. "You doing alright, Shepard? You look like you've lost weight... you should be relaxing and getting a little fat, now the war's over."

Shepard frowned. "It's not over for us. Not yet. The schedule the council has set for us is brutal." Her eyes drifted over to Liara before coming back to Miranda. "But for some reason, the last two stops have had fewer obligations... well, Rannoch was easy, too, but I'm not counting that one. Tali didn't let them do anything that would overly stress us." Shepard's eyes drifted to the floor and her voice got quiet. "I'm pretty sure Liara told her I've been having a rough go of it."

"Uh uh. None of that now. This here's a festival, not a cry in your green beer pity party. Sorry I asked." Miranda stepped up and gave Samantha a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek. "We won, Shepard. Somehow, you dragged our worthless asses through all that mess and pulled us out this end of it." She stepped back and smiled as she reached over and took Judea's hand. "And some of us came out better than we went in... and that is all due to you and Liara."

Shepard gave Judea a quick hug. "Good to see you too, Jude. How's Miranda treating you?"

Judea smiled, "Better than any pilot deserves, Shepard. It pays to sleep with the boss."

Miranda slapped her on the shoulder and rolled her eyes. "Enough of that! Come on; let's say hi to the rest of the gang."

Shepard laughed as they walked away. "Be sure to talk to Liara, Jude... I can only hope she agrees with you!"

When the Rakhana showed up and Livos had it parked in a stationary orbit off the Normandy's port side behind the Aletheia, Miranda rode the shuttle out with Cortez to pick up the crew. She immediately wrapped Oriana up in a tight embrace. "God, Ori! It's so good to see you!"

Ori gave Miranda a big hug back. "You too, Miri! I love the job, and the crew is great, but... God! The Rakhana is a small ship. It wasn't so bad when we were doing missions and we were on and off, but these last few months have been a bit tedious. I'm thinking of talking to Liara about getting a slightly larger ship. I mean, it originally belonged to Feron, and since the Kena sa'ki is no longer with us, I think we should upgrade, transfer the equipment and then sell it off."

Miranda smiled, "Sounds like a good idea... but get your numbers together and prepare a case for it. And do not talk to her about it today; no business allowed. It's a holiday so shop talk is banned. In the mean time, at least while you're here, we still have three empty berths on the Aletheia if you want to be closer or have a change of scenery for a couple of days."

Oriana's eyes lit up. "Absolutely! We all brought a bag with us, and I wasn't really looking forward to bunking on the deck of the shuttle bay as part of the commando reunion." Ori blushed and glanced at her companions, who were laughing. "No offense, guys!"

Livos chuckled. "None taken, Oriana. I think we all expected you to stay with your twin."

When the shuttle returned from the Rakhana to the Normandy, Riana was waiting. The doors opened and her face lit with a smile when her old sparring partner walked off. "Allia! How are you doing, you big lug?"

Allia scooped her off her feet and wrapped her in a big bear hug. "Ri! Goddess, it's good to see you! You look great! The Normandy is treating you well."

Riana smiled and stuck her hand out behind her, pulling Samantha Traynor up beside her. "I'd like you to meet Samantha Traynor, Operations Specialist, Signals Analyst... and my amantia."

Allia stopped cold and stared at Traynor for a second before her eyes drifted back to Riana. "Really?" As Traynor started to blush at the scrutiny, the large commando took a sudden step forward and crushed Riana in another hug. "Goddess, Ri! I'm so happy for you." She dropped her back to the deck. "I honestly was starting to wonder..."

Riana slipped an arm around Samantha's waist. "I know... and so was Sammi." She glanced at Traynor and gave her a little squeeze. "She was very patient with me and she eventually got the whole story."

Traynor held her hand out flat and Allia glanced at it for a second before she plastered a wide smile on her face and laid her hand on top, palm to palm. "Pleasure to meet you, Sammi. You be careful with this one. She's young and impetuous."

Traynor laughed, "Oh, don't I know it! Half her ideas are a bit dodgy, and the other half are downright barmy. But I have to admit I'm never bored!"

Riana laughed at the expression on Allia's face. "Here." She punched up a program on her omnitool and sent it to her old friend. "Load that add-on into your translator and it will make your life much easier!"

Traynor's face turned red. "Sorry! I'm so used to Riana understanding me, I forgot. I'll try to remember to stick to standard Galactic! What I said was half her ideas are dubious and the others are just plain insane."

Riana laughed again, "Come on. It gets easier after a couple of drinks!" She glanced up at the rest of the party; Oriana had already wandered off with Miranda, but Livos Tanni and Sella Temi were still there. "Well, come on! You two waiting for personal invitations?"

Livos looked at her with disapproval, "Have you forgotten everything I taught you? I was going to say hello to our hostesses, first."

Riana laughed, "You're here for three days and Shepard and Liara are swamped. We'll catch up to them later as they start to circulate. Come on, Liv. Don't be a crab."

Traynor was in heaven; she hadn't anticipated that hanging out with Riana was going to get her surrounded by an entire troupe of gorgeous Asari commandos.

VIP-1 was next to arrive and they slipped in quietly to the Aletheia's shuttle bay. Liara's omnitool pinged and Shepard glanced over at her. "What's up, Liara?"

"Oh, nothing. A query I was running just finished. I simply forgot to turn the notification off, with everything that's happening." The Asari smiled, knowing Shepard still had no idea who was about to arrive. "Don't worry, Samantha. I'm not going anywhere."

Judea and Miranda slipped out to greet them under the guise of realizing they had left one of the cases of Elasa behind and had to go fetch it. They quickly got Aethyta, Hanna Shepard, Kasumi Goto, Jondum Bau, Garrus Vakarian and Desis Vyessan assigned berths aboard the Aletheia so they could drop their bags and get to the party. Aethyta had gotten to know at least everyone's names during the short hop over so was prepared to give introductions, when Miranda interrupted. "It's ok, Matriarch. Everyone here knows everyone else except perhaps our newest Turian friend."

Miranda's gaze went to Garrus for the introduction, but working at the Turian Citadel Embassy accustomed Desis to meeting new people and, after quickly introducing herself, she offered a quick explanation of how she met Garrus and then-Commander Shepard one night at the Silversun Casino as the group took the short elevator ride down to the crew deck. When the elevator doors opened; the entire group fell silent, knowing this was Liara's surprise for Shepard. The Captain had no idea any of them were coming.

Hannah walked out and located her daughter with a quick glance. Walking over quietly, which wasn't difficult in the middle of a raucous party, she suddenly cleared her throat. "What's it take to get a hug from the Captain of this boat?"

Shepard almost dropped her drink. She spun around, wide-eyed, and looked at the smiling woman standing in front of her. "Mom!"

She spun back and shoved her bottle of beer into a grinning Liara's hand before turning and taking two running steps to scoop her mother up in a hug and spin with her in a circle. She set her back down on the deck and quickly kissed her on the cheek. "How in the hell?" Her glance traveled back over her shoulder to a very smug looking Asari.

She flashed Liara a happy smile and turned back to her mother. "How did you get here?"

A familiar, gravelly voice chimed in from her side. "Damn, Shepard. How'd you survive this long being so unobservant?"

Shepard turned again to put the face to the voice. "Matriarch Aethyta. Should have known I couldn't have a party involving alcohol without you finding a way to crash it, even if you did have to travel from the other side of the galaxy!"

Shepard gave her a flippant matriarch salute and Aethyta growled, "Knock that shit off, Shepard. Now. Where the hell's the bar?" As Shepard was pointing in one direction, Aethyta was pointing over her shoulder. "Thanks... and by the way, you have more company yet."

Before she even realized what Aethyta was talking about, another recognizable voice, with its distinctive sub-harmonics and flanging tone, rang out behind her. "Shepard!" Samantha whipped her head around at the sound of the familiar voice, knowing exactly who she would see. No one else in the entire galaxy had a voice like that – it was so smooth it could cut through glass without shattering it.

She literally tackled the big Turian from the front, throwing her arms around him in a hug that might have put a Krogan to shame. "By the Gods, Garrus. It is so damned good to see you! It's been too long!" She shifted her hands so she could grasp his upper arms. "You look good!" She shook his arms slightly as if testing his armor. "Nice to know you didn't have to take any more rockets to the face! And who…" she looked around him to his companion, "…might this lovely person be?"

"Shepard, it's good to see all this hero worship hasn't changed you!" A shadow passed briefly across Shepard's eyes before she had the mask firmly back in place, but not before Garrus saw it. "Umm, sorry. Guess the Council has been abusing you these past months? Well, we won't talk about that tonight, will we?" Garrus turned and reached back to his companion, taking her near hand and gently pulling her up beside him. "Dee, this is Captain Samantha Hannah Shepard, Admiral Shepard's daughter. Garrus flared his mandibles, an imitation of a human smile, as he looked at his companion. "Shepard, this is my bride soon to be, Desis Vyessan."

Shepard's mouth nearly fell open at this revelation; she brought up her hand to meet the taloned hand of the beautiful Turian female. "It is a real pleasure to see you again, Desis. I hope this old soldier hasn't filled your head with too many lies about me." She smiled as she glanced at Garrus then returned her gaze to Desis.

"She's teasing me when she says that, Dee." He looked at Desis, the passion he felt for her readily evident in his sparkling blue eyes. Looking back at Shepard, he continued, "Actually, I haven't told her much about you at all, Shepard, except that there isn't an empty bottle anywhere in the galaxy that doesn't fear your prowess with a sniper rifle."

Desis dropped Shepard's hand, and then hooked her arm under Garrus' upper arm. "I would love to get to know you better, Captain." Her tone suggested she was happy to have been included in the gathering and Shepard immediately liked her voice; she sounded like a younger version of Garrus with a voice pitched an octave higher. The flanging and sub-harmonics were nearly identical in pitch and timbre. "Maybe you can fill me in on all the times you fought together against the Reapers."

Garrus let out a laugh. "We had more fights against Cerberus than Reapers, Dee. Seemed like every time we set down, there they were. The humans have an expression…what was that Shepard? Ah yes, I remember. We thought we'd 'kicked an anthill' sometimes. Can't believe how damned many there were!"

Shepard couldn't stop grinning at her Turian friend. "I have it on good authority that there is some extra-fine Turian brandy coming on board. Check with our bartender… Samantha Traynor placed the order.

Garrus interrupted her, delight plain in his tone. "Traynor's here? Spirits. It'll be great to see her. Come on, Dee. We need to find her at the bar. We'll talk later, Shepard. And… thanks… for inviting us. I never expected you'd get to the bar before me."

"Thanks for coming, Garrus!" As she stepped back to her mother's side and wrapped an arm around her waist, Shepard glanced around warily, wondering who else the matriarch managed to bring along to crash the party. Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw a shimmer in the air, turned to look directly at the apparent spot and immediately growled out, "Kasumi Goto, show yourself!"

Much to her surprise, a grinning Jondum Bau materialized in front of her. As she stared at him in shock, Kasumi shimmered into view a few steps to his left. "I win! I told you my cloak was better!"

"Greetings, Captain! A pleasure to see you again." Jondum nodded politely as Kasumi slid up to his side.

Before Shepard could say anything, Kasumi smiled and spoke, "We're here for a few days, Shep, so spend some time with your mom! We'll catch up later!"

A startled Shepard stuttered, "A... a few days?" Liara came to her rescue and looped her arm through the Captain's.

"Thank you, Kas." Liara's glance shifted. "And it's great to see you Spectre Bau. We'll definitely talk later. Did you manage to acquire the Turian brandy I inquired about?"

"You know, that stuff's expensive!" Kasumi looked honestly put out and Shepard was very confused by her expression. The master thief chuckled. "Relax, Shepard. It's entirely your fault, you know. Since I've been hanging out with Jon, I'm staying on the straight and narrow. I actually paid for that case!"

Shepard's confusion turned to surprise and Liara gasped. "You bought a whole case?" With a nod from Kasumi, Liara shook her head. "Goddess. Send me a bill and I'll take a stipend from the Brokerage funds to cover it. That had to cost a small fortune!"

As Kasumi walked away, she was laughing. "It did! And already done. You paid me last week!"

Shepard looked at Liara in amazement, "Who else do you have coming that I didn't know about?"

"No one, Siame." Liara smiled softly. "All we're missing now is the Chiroquol..."

"Or not." The voice of Steve Cortez cut in. "I do believe I have just shuttled in our last guests... and seeing as my duties are done, I'm joining the party!" Steve wandered over to Ashley and James, who were already busy playing some sort of drinking game.

Liara dropped Shepard's arm and Shepard released her mom's waist so the three of them could turn to the elevator. Everyone had a smile on their face, but Hannah was particularly happy to see Arlyna Sheya and Niria Phessi, Shepard's old biotics instructors from Arcturus station. Karin had also joined them; she had gone out on the shuttle with Cortez to greet them and bring them back to the Normandy, along with Barla Von and the last of the T'Soni commandos to join the party, Tra'ana Iremi. As Shepard and Hannah spoke with their old friends, Liara gave Ana a big hug. "Welcome! Make yourself at home... I'm pretty sure I saw the rest of house T'Soni head for the bar."

As Ana headed off, Liara turned to the only Volus in the group with a pleased smile on her face. "Barla Von. I am glad you decided to join us. Arlyna told me you considered staying on the Chiroquol."

"Yes, well. That was before your very pleasant shuttle pilot explained to me how one of your engineers, a Kenneth Donnelly, reconfigured the environmental controls on your spare shuttle to provide me with a suitable high-pressure ammonia atmosphere for the duration of my stay." The Volus' speech was broken, as always, by the intermittent 'sshhk' sound of his rebreather. "It was an unexpected consideration on your part. Thank you."

Liara's smile widened, "You are most certainly welcome! You are, after all, an essential member of our team, and it would be thoughtless to force you to sequester yourself over something easily fixed with a few adjustments to some environmental controls."

The Volus chuckled. "You honor me, Dr T'Soni. I imagine your engineer will describe it a bit differently than 'a few adjustments' to the shuttle controls should I have the opportunity to ask him."

"Perhaps so. Please," Liara waved her hand to indicate the entire deck, "...make yourself at home. If I remember correctly, a friend of yours has joined us. I do believe you'll find Matriarch Aethyta running the bar in the port-side crew lounge."

"Aahhhh. You know me better than I realized, Doctor." Barla Von gave her a little bow.

"Nonsense. It's just that my father likes to brag and tell stories." Liara nodded her head politely in return. "If you should need anything, please do not be afraid to ask. Enjoy your visit to the Normandy, and enjoy the party Barla Von." With one last 'sshhk' and a wave, the Volus moved off to find the bar.

Liara happily turned back to Shepard and her special guests. "So, now that the hostess has greeted all her employees... What have I missed?"

Shepard smiled and pulled her in with an arm around her waist. "Not much, really. Since we talk to Arlyna and Niria fairly regularly, we caught Mom up on what's been happening out here while she's stuck on Arcturus and helping to organize the rebuild of Earth."

"Sounds good." Liara leaned into Shepard's side, "...but what I'd really like is for the music to start and maybe get a dance out of you."

"Oh! Well then, by all means!" Samantha turned to her mother, "Mom, if you would excuse me please... duty calls."

Hannah beamed at daughter. "Absolutely, Sam. I haven't spoken to Arlyna and Niria in ages, and we can't exactly talk about you if you're here, so off you go. Enjoy yourself. It's your party, after all!"

Within a few moments, Irish folk songs started trickling out of speakers all over the Normandy.

Gabby locked her console and signaled Edi. "I'm logged off the propulsion panel, Edi. Turning it over to you." She looked to her left at her partner. "Kenneth?"

Ken Donnelly was engaged in a few final details concerning the Normandy's power and environmental controls, apparently having a bit of a problem with locking down the power supplies to the deck-3 refrigeration systems. "I kinna understand why the power draw is so high."

"In case you haven't noticed, there is a party going on up there," Gabby answered, "and if you don't get that panel locked down, I'm simply going to leave you here by yourself."

Donnelly finally got the problem located and corrected. Gabby moved to stand beside him as he hurriedly locked the panel down and reported to Edi. "I'm clear of environmental and power control, Edi. You have the controls."

The confirmation for both of them came over the ship's comm system. "Engineers Daniels, Donnelly; Lieutenant Adams," Edi's no nonsense voice intoned. "I am controlling your systems. Please join the crew on deck three."