Chapter 16

The signal led to a massive muddy brown watered lake with a single pedestal by the shore line and a tiny sandy island not far off.

Alex watched the pathfinder scanning the surrounding area certain that she was having a private conversation with SAM. None of the remtech on Eos was like Habitat 7. There was no tower, not even the remains of one. The tempest had landed nearby and the whole ground team was waiting by the Nomad. Kallo could lift off at the first sign of danger. They'd also sent a message to Peebee who knew more about remtech than all of them combined which would no doubt come in handy. The ex spectre wasn't technically minded, it was more Sara's department. Which would made her the perfect Pathfinder once she had some more self confidence and until then Alex was going to watch her back.

Meanwhile Cora was studying both the younger Ryder and the ex spectre, Now she knew who Alex was a lot of things made sense, like her age, Alec's trust and why she was on the human ark. She had never met a spectre though she had heard how some of them played fast and loose with the rules. Although Alex had been in the military all her adult life she seemed to value common sense above actual army regs. Cora herself was a stickler for following the rules, spending time with asari commandos had forced her to learn to think on her feet and to trust her instincts, she was still working on that part. The sound of an approaching shuttle interrupted her musings.

Peebee had arrived.

Now that the gang was all here Sara decided to activate the pedestal. SAM couldn't tell her what it would do. A moment later she stumbled back as the ground started to shake.

"EARTHQUAKE!" yelled Liam, then he gasped as a single story remtech structure rose up out of the small island and a black bridge rippled from their side of the lake to the island.

Secretly Sara had been hoping that a tower like the one on Habitat 7 had popped up. They about to venture into the unknown. She glanced over at her team, most of them were staring at the island except Alex who gave her a reassuring smile. "Okay. Let's do this."

"Do you think it's flooded?" asked Vetra a little nervously.

"No," replied the new Pathfinder, "If it was I'm guessing any water would have been pumped out."

"How do you figure that?"

"All the other buildings have been above ground and remember the Golden world's were ideal habitats for us."

"600 years ago," agreed Cora.

"So who's going down the rabbit hole?" asked Alex.

"How does an asari know about that?" Liam raised a confused eyebrow.

"Rabbit? What rabbit?" asked Peebee.

Alex didn't reply not in the mood to tell the others her true identity, not yet anyway.

"I'm going," piped up Peebee.

Sara looked around the group, Okay, Vetra, Liam you two stay up top keep the area clear." As soon as she finished speaking Cora and Alex had fallen in. Peebee was literally vibrating with excitement.

Sara squared her shoulders and started forward hesitating only briefly before stepping onto the rolling remtech bridge. It was solid enough.

The structure was black and triangular. SAM helped Sara access the main door, the interior was dark and silent.

"This can't be right," said Peebee, pacing. "All this just to lead us to an empty room."

Sara grinned a little at the use of 'us'. "I think we go down." SAM had already detected a hatchway in the floor.

"Open sesame."

"Of course that wasn't the front door...this is." Peebee's enthusiasm returned.

If they expected a lift they were disappointed, there was nothing.

Alex kicked a small stone near her foot and was surprised that it floated down instead of dropping.

"A gravity well?"

"Only one way to find out," said Sara with a mischievous grin and stepped off the ledge. She passed layers of light on the way down.

"This place must be huge," said Peebee from somewhere above her. "Like a bunker or a vault."

The chamber they landed in was massive with a high platform at one end and a gigantic set of doors at the other. For once Peebee was speechless as she stared around like a kid in a candy store.

Alex and Cora were both far more wary in case they were attacked.

Nothing.

Not even any rembots.

There was a single pedestal which Sara walked over too, she waited until the ex spectre and ex commando were in position on either side. Sara held her hand over it and let SAM do his thing. The doors slid apart.

Alex's vision blurred for a moment then cleared allowing her to see a number of large pipes under the floor, she guessed that was SAM telling them to follow them. She nodded as Sara ordered them to do just that.

Peebee heard SAM over her comm. The corridor split in two.

"Which way?" asked Cora.

"You go that way," said Peebee, "I'll go this way. I'm better on my own anyway."

"You haven't watched many horror vids, have you? Sara really didn't want anybody off by themselves in a place none of them knew anything about, not even Peebee. The newcomer didn't have SAM to help her either. But she was a guest not part of her squad and the new Pathfinder didn't think Peebee would listen to her.

"I'll go with her," offered Alex, seeing the concern on her friends face.

Peebee scowled, "I don't need any help."

"Think you'll still be saying that if 50 rembots are chasing your tail?" Alex was amused. She had no doubt that the other asari could look after herself but she was sure she'd never seen a real battle.

Peebee snorted. "So what would YOU do?"

"Turn them into scrap metal...piece of cake. Besides I'll just follow you."

"FINE!" Peebee turned and stalked off.

"Alex be careful," said Sara seriously.

"You too."

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

SAM let Alex open doors but advised against trying to operate any of the pedestals they found. A fact that made the other asari green with envy. They did find a small spherical object on one that Peebee picked up, she wondered if it was a symbol of authority.

The next room they entered was pitch black, Alex's eyes adjusted automatically and she watched Peebee pull on a pair of goggles, night vision most likely.

"Can you see?"

"Yeah, come on." Alex was on edge, the only remtech they had seen were light ball poles that popped up whenever they were near them. She hoped that it was a simple automatic scanner and their progress wasn't being tracked in some alien control room. Though that seemed unlikely as no one had intercepted them yet. The next door opened into the largest cavern that Alex had ever seen.

"I wish you could see this Ash."

"Whose Ash?"

Alex jumped flaring blue she had totally forgotten about her companion. "She is….was someone very special." She couldn't quite keep the emotion she was feeling out of her voice. Peebee showed unexpected sensitivity and didn't comment.

Sara's voice came over their comms. "Guys we think we just found a library. Look out for energy panels, Alex your scanner will pick them up."

Peebee huffed and set off quickly so when she turned a corner she ran smack bang into a stationary rem-bot. Before she could react it was enveloped in blue biotic energy and slammed into the floor.

Peebee sheepishly thanked the ex spectre, "At least it wasn't 50 of them."

In response Alex cocked her head to the side then unclipped her assault rifle.

"I spoke too soon?"

Grimly Alex nodded, "Do exactly what I say when I say." Her tone left no room for debate.

Peebee ducked behind cover and pulled out her pistol. "How many?"

"A lot. Or something with a lot of legs."

The change made Peebee glance over suspiciously, was the ex spectre yanking her chain? Then she heard something tapping on the ground and it was getting closer. She gripped her sidewinder tightly then suddenly stood up, "I'll try the sphere we found."

"Peebee!"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Sara used her jump-jets to clear a very deep chasm to land on a black pillar. Whoever designed this place was making it very hard to get to their destination. A pedestal would activate pillars allowing them to across giant gaps too far for their jump-jets. She had been scanning everything, at that moment she was running her scanner over a large gnarled tree that was growing underground in the dark with no water.

"Rembots," said Cora quietly.

"We had to see some eventually," sighed Sara unholstering her weapon. "Maybe it means we're getting close."

Cora nodded.

Sara tapped her comm, "How you guys doing?"

"Okay," replied Peebee, sounding slightly breathless, "That sphere isn't a sign of authority, they still shot at me!"

"I'm sending you a recording of the frequency that a rem-bot was using to repair a damaged section of wall," added Alex, "It might be useful."

"Thanks."

"Let's deal with these bots, shall we?" Cora nodded, the two biotics working together made short work of the eight or so bots that got in their way. Sara was thankful that Alex had taught her to work with another biotic though she felt more comfortable with the ex spectre, she honestly felt like Cora would grade her performance at the end. And she still wondered how her father could possibly think she was good enough for filling his shoes.

Shortly after that they would have been stumped without Alex's data when they found a malfunctioning pedestal that was denying them entry into another chamber where SAM was getting very powerful readings.

"Think this is it?" asked Sara, even though SAM had told her the pipes they were following ended beyond this final set of doors. Before opening then she told Alex and Peebee to head back to the entrance.

As soon as the doors separated Sara squinted at the bright light from a stream of energy stretching from floor to ceiling. A pedestal nearby.

"Let's do this."

Cora kept careful watch she was shocked that there were no rembots here unless no one expected anybody to get this far. "Sara be careful."

Sara held out her hand and felt SAM interact with the alien tech. It made her fingers tingle. As the pedestal sank into the ground the energy flow suddenly reversed and all the hair on her body stood on end.

SAM. "I am registering a massive energy spike."

Sara heard a roaring sound like the wind, with SAM's adjusted eyesight she saw a dark approaching cloud vaporizing everything it touched.

"RUN!"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Peebee checked her omnitool just after the Pathfinder told them she was about to activate the gigantic atmosphere scrubber.

"I'm getting energy readings," said Peebee excitedly then sounded worried, "Like really off the charts!"

"Move it." Alex set off at a sprint with the other asari hot on her heels, just seconds before she heard Sara's frantic one word order over the comms.

SAM was guiding them back by the shortest route but still Alex was hoping the Peebee was fit enough to keep up the pace the AI was setting. Her ears caught the sound of running feet in the distance. The two groups met at another gravity well.

"Where does this go?" gasped Peebee, resting her hands on her knees for a second.

"Away from here," replied Sara stepping into it and quickly rising up the shaft. At the top they sprinted past a pedestal to a door that Sara couldn't open.

"Shit!" then she glanced back at the alien device and ran to it as the cloud was blowing right at them. Sara closed her eyes and gritted her teeth as the deadly vapor was about to swallow her only to find a blue biotic barrier appear around her as the pedestal activated and the dark cloud was sucked back into the darkness.

SAM. Surface access has been established.

Alex let her barrier drop as she took a deep breath. The thought of losing Sara had half scared her to death.

"Nothing like outrunning a man eating cloud to get your juices flowing," quipped Peebee.

The other three looked at her as if she was crazy.

"I can think of safer ways to do that," said Sara, glancing at Alex. A look that didn't go unnoticed. "Come on guys lets get back to our ship."

"We can figure out all this new data there," agreed Peebee.

"You coming with us?"

"You need a remtech expert."

"Okay get your stuff."

"I only need a footlocker, some clean underwear and my datapad. I'll meet you on the Nexus, besides I..er..need to return the shuttle I borrowed."

"Lets get back to the tempest."

The gravity well leading to the surface wasn't that far away and any rembots they passed pretty much ignored them so long as they kept their distance.

The difference in temperature and radiation levels was immediately noticeable though SAM informed them that some pockets of radiation would take longer to clear but for right now Eos was suitable for a colony to settle and the Nexus needed food.

As soon as they were on the tempest Sara called Addison and told her the good news. Her reply almost floored the young Pathfinder.

"What do you mean I have to choose?!"

TBC…..

A/N. Hi guys. Long time no see. I am sorry, work is really busy. And my laptop went cuckoo on me and I only got it back. So as promised CrashReaper1994 one chapter of Alex :). Thank you all for reading and for following and fav'ing.(My other stories too, especially my Supergirl one). I hope you enjoy it. Please review. Stay tuned. Have fun T-Rex :)