{The Citadel}

{Six Months after The Battle for the Citadel}

Sitting alone in a small apartment located in The Wards, she sighed annoyedly. There was little to do at the moment but sit around and count the seconds, and she hated it with every cell of her being.

Tali'Zorah eyed the bottle of Turian whiskey that sat atop a shelf across the room. She had bought that drink after Saren's defeat, hoping to celebrate with Alpha Black after he awoke from his medically-induced coma. But when the call had come from the faction known as the VEINS came, telling her that he had made a full recovery, she had been crushed to hear that he had immediately been returned to duty as The Founder's top field agent. Six months, and she hadn't even exchanged a single word with the man she loved.

Shortly after that, she herself enlisted in the VEINS forces, becoming the first and only Vindicator to be stationed on the Citadel. Vagabonds were plentiful here, and there was never a shortage of jobs that C-sec couldn't handle. It wasn't an easy life, but it rarely lacked excitement, minus the time she spent in her apartment.

In the chair next to her, the familiar hologram-like projection of Omega appeared, Alpha's alter-ego contained in a chip that she kept in her omni-tool. Omega was the result of Alpha's pathological inhibitor creating an entirely separate personality to process the emotions that it blocked. Now, he could show himself only to Tali, and only she could hear him. She didn't mind, however, since he was a pleasant companion and reminder that Alpha was still out there. "Bored?" he asked.

"You have no idea," Tali groaned, "We don't get jobs anymore."

Omega shrugged, never upset by anything (anger had not been filtered out by the inhibitor), "The Wraiths handle them before we can get them. I tell you, that gang is good at what they do."

"Enough waiting," she muttered to herself, standing up, "I need to go stretch my legs." She grabbed her trusty Katana shotgun and fitted her tactical harness to her torso, holstering the old .357 revolver that Alpha had given her. She then headed out the door, ready to take on the Citadel.

Outside, just across the street, she saw a young Quarian boy being threatened by a human man. "You little shit!" the man shouted, "I'll shatter that ugly mask of yours for what you did to my daughter!"

"Please!" the Quarian begged, "I didn't do anything! She just asked me to take a look at her omni-tool, and-"

"Shut up!" came the loud response, "Just shut up and die, you stupid piece of- AAUGH!" He broke into a scream of pain and shock as Tali calmly walked up to him from behind and hit him in the back of the head with her pistol. Even though she was much shorter than him, she grabbed him by the head and brought his face down on her knee, a move that she had learned in her Vindicator training.

"Thank you!" The boy gasped, "But will he be okay? I-I'm grateful, but I didn't want him dead!"

Tali put a hand on his shoulder, "He'll be fine. I 'shattered that ugly face of his', but he'll live," she used the man's own words, feeling that there was something poetic there, "Now, what was that about?"

The Quarian caught his breath, "I… His daughter and I have been friends for a while now. Earlier today, she told me that there was something wrong with her omni-tool, and I'm pretty good with them; I built my own out of parts I salvaged from broken ones, see?" He held up his arm to show her.

"Impressive," She appraised it, "You should be proud of that."

He puffed out his chest slightly at her approval, "Thank you, ma'am!" He then shrunk again, resuming, "But as I was saying, she asked me to fix hers, and naturally I agreed. But when I took her arm to examine it, she pulled me in close and started talking about how she wished I didn't have to wear a suit, get this, so that she could kiss me!"

Tali blushed slightly, having kissed a human herself. She inhaled, pushing those memories out of her mind, "So, what happened?"

He rubbed his shoulder sheepishly, "I… well, I got caught up in the moment and promised that I'd find a way. Then, uh," he pointed to the unconscious man, "He walked in and went ballistic. Chased me all the way here."

Tali glared at the man's form, "Well, if he thinks that you two can't be together, then that's his problem."

"And what about you?" The boy asked hopefully, "Do you think that she and I can be… compatible?"

"Yes," Tali said without hesitation, "Absolutely. If the two of you love each other, then you should let it shine."

"I want to run away with her," he admitted, "Since her father would never let it happen, but we don't have the money."

Tali looked him in the eye, "Love conquers all. Remember that. If you two want to be together, then you will find a way. Believe me, I know." The two said their goodbyes, and Tali took off.

The Wards were full of sin and filth, Tali had quickly discovered when she had first set up shop here. She sprinted across the rooftops, her powerful Quarian legs evolutionarily great for jumping across the gaps between buildings. She wore a hooded cloak to conceal her identity, and it billowed behind her like a cape as she ran. She loved that feeling; it made her feel like one of the heroes from the films she had watched in her childhood.

She came to a stop at the edge of a building overlooking the other arms of the Citadel. Beside her, Omega appeared. For a moment, she just stood, catching her breath, looking out at the massive cityscape. It was beautiful, lit up like a planetary city at night. This was her favorite spot. "He would like this," Omega ruminated aloud.

"Yes," Tali agreed. She looked down at her omni-tool as it gave her an alert: Vagabonds reported someone being mugged nearby. It was no major-league crime, she mused to herself as she dashed off to the designated location, but it was enough to feel like she was making a difference. It felt good.

"I know you can't see me, Alpha," Tali whispered, "But I hope you're proud of me."

"He is," said the invisible Omega, "I know he is."