Garrus's POV

Groaning, I opened my eyes and took in my surroundings, I was in a brig of some sort, forcefield serving as a door to a gray hallway.

"Look whos awake" said one of the BEC troopers in the cell with me, a barefaced Turian.

"Where, who, when?" I asked as I got up.

"Don't know, don't know and don't know" he answered "they took all of our gear and left us here, the guy that killed the Captain visited us an hour ago stopping in front of each cell for a few seconds before continuing on but he didn't answer any questions"
Interesting, normally when someone attacked you, there would be interrogations, deciphering their language, but those guys looked like they didn't care much.

"Shit, here he comes again" informed the youngest of us all, a barely conscript-age turian
Indeed the heavily armored warrior marching down the corridor when he suddenly stopped, while passing my cell, and immediately turned to look at me, I could feel his stare trying to pierce my mind, hell for all I know after the little show while killing Captain Bitch, he actually was trying to read my mind.

"Hiibir kaysh!" he said with an authoritative voice to one of the guards

The forcefield dropped and a guard with a metal sword came in, grabbed me by my crest and took me out of the cell, holding me by both of my arms the guards dragged me down the corridor and threw me inside a poorly lit room with a table and two chairs.
The alien in a black armor with blue and green stripes came inside the room as well and activated the forcefield again, I instinctively backed up against a wall opposite from him, not knowing what was going to happen I preferred to have some space between my killer and myself, even if I probably couldn't kill him, I was still going to make a stand, but instead of attacking the alien simply took one of the chairs and gestured for me to sit down as well, i complied.

Even after years in the military, one could never get used to this kind of thing, interrogations were something that everyone feared the most, some feared it even more than death because if you die, you don't feel anything.
If you got caught behind enemy lines though, the tortures could take weeks depending on what information they thought you had, pirates and Hegemony Inquisitors were always an unforgiving bunch when it came to interrogations, I got captured only once and I would prefer not to relive that experience since my mandibles were still healing after the interrogator crushed them with a hammer.

It wasn't even the pain and the tortures that were the worst, they sure sucked but the knowledge that you probably will not get rescued was even worse, you can take pain as long as you are motivated or know that help is on the way, but if you knew that you would probably be left to die or were marked as MIA presumed KIA then you knew that you were alone, that you now had a master that would do whatever he wanted to you.

"Dhogu vali bedeskal suv min?" it asked in a low tone it was probably asking me if I could understand it, but I couldn't so I just shook my head.

Noticing I can't understand it, it raised it's palm and touched my hand, I immediately felt a shock going through my entire nervous system and energy radiating from the alien as if it was probing my entire body.
Feeling curious, I waited until the sensation reached my mind, then I felt it, it was a mind meld, the alien was gently trying to access my mind.

I felt a thought if that makes any sense, but it was not my own, it was almost as if the alien was trying to-

"Hello" I heard in my mind when I concentrated on it

"Hello" I thought

"This will hurt" I heard again and a sense of panic washed over me a split-second before I felt an overwhelming presence in my mind, I tried to fight it but I couldn't, it already blasted through my mental defenses when I panicked.

The pain was excruciating, I could feel parts of my mind being torn away and put back together as if the presence was searching for something, but finally, it found it, I cried out in pain when the knowledge was pulled out of my head and put inside it, then suddenly it was over, the pain and the narrow vision, I was again in the interrogation room, staring at the alien.

"I sorry," it said with a broken accent "takes time, knowledge being processed, my name Lord Bredon"

"Garrus Vakarian" I replied amazed at the feat the alien just pulled off and forgetting to use my fake name, then electroshock went through my spine

"Mind rape brutal but effective, will take a minute to wear off"

"How much is a minute?" I asked through gritted mandibles

"Short" it replied while taking off its helmet

The alien's features were... interesting to say the least, the skin was pearly white colored with grey eyes and some kind of... fur at the top and back of its head. Its face resembled an Asari... mostly, were it not for the skin color and the fur... this is what a male Asari would look like if they existed.

"I put my basic language in your head" it Lord Bredon started "should understand others, will take time" he relaxed a little in his chair and looked into my eyes " do you know why I take you here?"

I shook my head.

"You are different, can't sense the darkness and evil from you, you are not of them, you also use a different name than they provided for you"
Realizing that he just caught me, I decided to play along and learn as much as I can.

"Yes, I'm not from the Hegemony" I confirmed to which he nodded

"I suspected as much, your mind is trained to some degree, harder, more... determined, doesn't feel like a mind of a pirate or a slaver"

'Doesn't feel?' I thought surprised

"What do you mean my mind doesn't feel?" I asked

"When you are a master of the Force, you know how different minds feel through the Force" he replied tilting his head a little " you are not a Force user?"

I shook my head again.

"I have no idea what is the force you mention"

He sized me up and crossed his hands over his chest.

"That is strange... but irrelevant for now, who are you really if not a 'Hegemony' soldier? I assume the Hegemony is the army that attacked us?"

"The Batarian Hegemony, yes. As for me, I am a Citadel Council SPECTRE"

"I sense pride in your voice, what is the Citadel Council? What are the SPECTREs?" he asked

"SPECTRE stands for Special Tactics and Reconnaissance, it falls directly under command of the Council, governing body of our... well, a federation would be a correct word for it" I replied, trying to work through the still-present pain throughout my body.

"So, you're a spy" It wasn't a question judging by his voice.

"Essentially yes, the Hegemony and the Citadel are enemies, we might have a temporary peace since the end of the Skyllian War, but it only means there is no direct warfare between us, what is usually called as the Shadow War is raging on"

"What is the Citadel though? What is the Hegemony, why did they attack us? Why do you hate each other?" I could see where this was going, this probably young civilization suddenly got attacked by a galactic super-power, 'Lord Bredon' wanted to figure out where they stood and how to even react to this. This would give me an opportunity to gain some intel.

"I'm sure you have questions, as do I, so what I suggest is: answer for an answer, I ask you a question and after you answer it, you ask me one" I was in no position to bargain and I knew it, even though I was at his mercy I had to try.

He laughed, obviously amused by my idea, he knew very well I was at his mercy and what I was doing...

"Alright, I'll play this game Vakarian" he said after calming down a little, surprising me "but I can sense if you're lying, you do that and the mind rape will be the most pleasant thing I will do to you" let's say the chill I felt going through my spine was a strong one.

"Fine, but since I already answered a couple of your questions, I will ask mine first" his eyes narrowed, fingers gripped something invisible... it was getting a little harder to breathe.

"Fine, ask" he said in a very low voice.

"Who are you? Full background" I asked hesitantly, which earned me a prideful smile. Whatever it was that made breathing difficult, vanished.

"I am Lord Bredon, council member of the Inquisition, one of the Mandalore's Hands, a Grey Master and an honorary Al`verde of the Mandalorian Army and Navy." I could feel his pride, whatever all of this meant "What is the Hegemony?"

"Batarian Hegemony is one of three major powers in the galaxy, and one of two superpowers, second only to the Citadel" I knew how to play this game, I sure as hell wasn't leaving this room until we both knew what we wanted

"Not bad, I see you SPECTRE's have decent standards for your members, ask your question Mr. Vakarian" he smirked

"Who is the Mandalore?"

"The leader of the Mandalorian Empire"

I felt my blood run cold, another authoritative regime, with powerful technology, if they somehow made peace with the Hegemony...

"Why are you in conflict with the Hegemony?" he asked, interrupting my thoughts.

"They want to conquer us, we don't want to be conquered. What is the form of government your... Empire has?" I had to get a basic grasp at the situation, fast.

"That is... hard to answer" I could see that, judging by the way he frowned at my question "I guess... it could be called a partially-democratic constitutional monarchy. Why have they attacked us?"

That surprised me, what the hell does it mean, partially-democratic monarchy? How would that even work?

"Not sure, I suspect they wanted to bait you into attacking the Citadel since only Citadel species and ships are a part of the BEC, also get some slaves and steal your technology. How long have your species been spacefaring?"

"Humans? About 750 years" strange way to put it, 'unless their Empire is made up of more than one species' I thought "When can we expect Hegemony reinforcements?"

"Hmm... not soon, if at all, the BEC was not created for a prolonged campaign, and if they send in their regular fleets, they would expose themselves as your attackers. I would say, about a month if they have another BEC fleet ready, if not, no reinforcements will be sent at all..." as I finished speaking, the entire room shook slightly, dust falling from the ceiling, explosions could be heard outside the building.

"Our time is up" he said while standing up and raised his forearm close to his face "This is Lord Bredon, Russ'alor Massani, give me the status report"

"A lot of aruetii coming our way my lord, I suggest ba'slan shev'la" I could hear from Bredon's wrist-mounted comm unit.

"Agreed, kill all prisoners and hold the perimeter, I'm calling in our evac" he turned to me, his hand on his sidearm "follow me to evac ship, we will finish this discussion when we get to safety"

I was more than a little relieved when instead of shooting me like other prisoners, he turned around and deactivated the forcefield, gesturing for me to follow him out, which I did happily.

As we were going through the prison section, I saw his men executing my fellow... nevermind. The BEC soldiers were butchered without remorse, the

Mandalorian guards just threw explosives inside their cells and re-activated the force fields again, not really caring if they killed them all, and moved into formation with us, following us towards the exit.

After a few microts of contemplation, I understood why they didn't care about finishing all prisoners off. Dead don't talk, and heavily injured will slow the BEC forces down and drain their resources in order to treat them, and even if they are left for dead by their allies, it is still irrelevant since they will die on their own. Win-win for Mandalorians.

As we exited the prison building, we entered a literal warzone.

"Al'verde! The enemy is upon us!" shouted one of the Mandalorians as (I guess) she fired her plasma rifle full auto at the BEC squad across the courtyard.

"I can see that verd'ika!" Bredon replied, yelling over the sound of explosions from BEC mechanized support "We need to hold out two minutes until our evac arrives"

"But my lord, we can beat them back!" tried to argue another Mandalorian, he was obviously male judging by his body.

"Don't argue with me Shepard, you and your sister may be good in a fight but I'm in command here, be ready to pull back" Lord Bredon said in a tone that allowed no further argument from the siblings.

"By your will, my lord" said the one addressed as "Shepard" and pounded his chest with his arm one time, I guess in some sort of salute, and turned towards the slowly advancing Hegemony forces, firing in short bursts and taking out those who tried to take potshots at his sister.

As interesting as this all was, I was quickly reminded that we were in an active warzone when an explosive shell landed only a few meters away, knocking everyone to the ground. I got lucky that most of the shrapnel was absorbed by Lord Bredon's armor, it did not save us from being thrown into a wall though.

"Damn it, where is that gunship!" I could hear him yell over the ringing sound in my head "Lord Bredon to A'den Solus, what is your ETA?" It sounded strange, I could understand one of the languages they were using but not the other one.

"ETA one minute my lord! Paint your targets in 30 seconds!" still not knowing they measurement units, I could only hope it meant 'soon'

"Roger that, Bredon out!" he fired both of his pistols at a pair of unlucky and over-eager BEC troopers, scoring headshots. Another of the three Mandalorians that accompanied us fired what looked like a sniper rifle, piercing two Asari and a Salarian that accidentally lined up for him. I felt a bullet fly by my head as I was thrown to the ground by some invisible force.

"Don't stand up Vakarian, we can take shots from their peashooters, you can't!" I could hear him shout at me, lifting my head a little to see what's going on I saw a Beshik MBT crashing through a building and turning its main cannon on us... shit.

Beshik MBTs were a pinnacle of siege vehicles on the market, slow and not really agile but heavily armored and sporting a powerful double-barreled main gun, the turret was incredibly slow to turn but that was mitigated by powerful armor on all sides and some of the best shielding you could find on a ground vehicle.

As it was slowly turning to face us, Bredon's commlink activated again.

"This is A'den Solus, we are in your AO" turret kept turning "beginning our attack run from the south-east, trailing north, commencing five seconds" by now it was already aimed in our direction. Doing the only thing we really could, we hit the ground, the shells went slightly above us and hit the wall behind our position, rubble and debris fell on us but we were otherwise fine if somewhat covered in dust.

The tank gunner realized his mistake and aim at the ground between us, closing my eyes I readied myself to die.
I could hear the explosion, then another and another, but nothing hit me other than falling dirt, I slowly opened my eyes and looked up.

The entire courtyard was set ablaze, Beshik was a smoking piece of scrap surrounded by about a squad of smoking corpses. I felt something pulling at my arm and saw the one called Shepard trying to pull me up.

"Cmon birdie, we got to go now before they get their shit back together!" that got me going, as he got me back on my feet a gunship that took out the MBT and the squad supporting it, landed right in front of us, three more Mandalorians jumped out as the ramp lowered and kneeled down, ready to cover us as we got aboard.

In less than 30 microts everyone was inside and not long after, we were flying away safely.

"Ladies, gentlemen and alien birds, thank you for choosing the Happy Trail Airlines! Weather forecast shows a shitload of enemy fighters between us and the capital city so, for now, we will be moving in the general direction of the Gett Haran which crashlanded about 15 minutes away from us at full speed. Please sit down, relax, polish your armor and be ready for hostile contact, this is your resident Joker and a pilot, signing off!" the intercom went dead

Bruised and aching, I decided that a small break doesn't sound so bad, didn't even notice when I dozed off in the first chair I found.


AN: Corrected the format, it was a little screwed up. Thanks to Helkil for pointing it out.
Im using proto basic in the conversation only to make a distinction that its an alien language which Garrus can't understand, it will be however referred to as Basic.

Mando Dictionary:
Hiibir kaysh! - Take him (as in bring him to me)
Proto-basic:
Dhogu vali bedeskal suv min - Can you understand me?