Chapter 1

Created by request by anonymous source.

"Okay Tali. Just stay calm." Thought Tali Zorah as she waited in the back alley that she was supposed to meet with the Shadow Broker in order to exchange the intel she had about the Geth for protection. "The Shadow Broker won't break a deal with you. It's bad for business for him to break any deal. At least I hope so."

Truth be told, she didn't want to make any deal with the Shadow Broker. In the Migrant fleet, they weren't spoken highly of. While none of the Quarian captains or admirals would deny that any intel from the Shadow Broker was genuine and always reliable, having done some business with the mysterious information broker since their exodus three hundred years ago, they didn't exactly like him either. On the rare occasion pirates or slavers had attacked the Migrant fleet, it was usually done because the Shadow Broker gave them intel of when the fleet was moving through mass relays to new systems for resources or fuel. Hundreds, even thousands of Quarians had died because of the Shadow Broker giving intel for Batarian slavers and the like, but at the same time, countless Quarians are alive because the Shadow Broker, due to a Quarian giving them something that interested them, gave them locations of untapped mineral resources and wrecked starships for salvage that they desperately needed. So, they were seen as a necessary evil, but one that needed to be treated with utmost caution.

Tali waited in the alleyway for around ten more minutes, making her suspect that something was wrong, when suddenly two Salarians in full body armor and a Turian in similar body armor but had his pasty white face exposed. At first, Tali thought the Turian was the Shadow broker, but then she noticed that Fist, the Shadow Broker contact she spoke with wasn't there. She had specifically requested Fist would be here so that she can tell if anyone she meet were actually soldiers or agents of the Shadow broker and not random thugs on the Citadel. Preparing herself for a fight, Tali remained calm as the Turian came up over her.

"Did you bring the information?" Asked the Turian as he made his way over to the Quarian, his tone serious and to the point. Narrowing her eyes at the Turian while also getting ready for a fight, Tali spoke.

"Where's the Shadow Broker?" Demanded Tali, looking at both the Turian and Salarians, planning on what to do in case things go south. "Where's Fist?" Instead of answering, the Turian placed a hand on the right side of her helmet and hood.

"They'll be here." Assured the Turian as he began to move his hand towards her hips. "Where's the intel?" Finding it offensive that the Turian would place his hands on her hips and also getting the feeling that he wasn't with the Shadow Broker, Tali slapped his hand away.

"No way." Said Tali, glaring at the Turian. "The deal is off." Upon hearing that, the Turian frowned before gesturing to his compatriots, who drew their guns at the Quarian. Seeing this, Tali began to back off from them all. Seeing this, the three thought she was going to run away and laughed at her, taking their time with her. Unbeknownst to them, Tali wasn't going to run. Rather she was simply moving away from them so she can use the grenade she had prepared for something like this.

Just as she was about to toss the grenade at them, the door some distance in front of her opened up, revealing a team of heavily armed humans, a Krogan, and a Turian. They saw the three aliens ganging up on the lone Quarians and opened fire on them, filling them full of holes, but leaving the Quarian safe. Shocked to see her opponents slain so quickly, she looked at the new group of people coming towards her. The humans were wearing System Alliance issued armor while the Turian was wearing C-Sec armor. The Krogan was using non-standard crimson armor, but with the Krogan not having a unified government, she dismissed that.

Still, upon seeing the System Alliance symbol on the armor on the humans, she sighed in relief. That meant they were government soldiers of the human System Alliance. That meant she had something that she can bargain with them in exchange for safety from the Geth and whoever they were working for. Once all the opponents were gone and after making sure no one else was around, the new arrivals lowered their weapons and approached the lone Quarian, who got ready for a fight in case they tried to do anything funny. One of the humans, a rather handsome human male with blue eyes, walked over to her and spoke.

"Are you alright, miss?" Asked the human with genuine concern for her wellbeing, which shocked her as not many people actually cared about her people. Taking a moment to process this, Tali spoke.

"Yes, I'm fine." Said Tali, looking at the human that spoke to her so nicely, one of the few times that anyone has ever done for her since she arrived at the Citadel. "Thank you for saving me. I had it under control, but it's nice to see people willing to help." The human just nodded before speaking.

"My name is commander Shepard, System Alliance military. I'm here to both save you and to acquire evidence that proves Saren is a traitor to the Citadel Council." Said the human. Hearing that caused Tali to see a glimmer of hope to get actual safety from the Geth and Saren.

"Then I have a way to repay you for saving my life." Said Tali. "But not here. It's not safe to talk about it here." Shepard nodded upon hearing that, agreeing with her. The Turian with Shepard suggested taking this to the human embassy as the embassy was not only heavily defended just for being in the Presidium, but also because the human ambassador would want to hear this evidence for himself. This was something everyone nodded in agreement.

"Let's move out." Said Shepard before everyone began moving out, surrounding the Quarian as if she was a VIP, which she was. Surprised at this behavior, Tali was about to speak about it when Shepard spoke. "It's alright. We're all in this together. We'll give our lives if we have to in order to protect you. You have my word." Looking at Shepard's blue eyes and seeing the honesty in them, Tali just nodded, thanking him before moving with the group, standing close to Shepard as he was the one that she was the most comfortable with. As they walked, Tali had a feeling that things were about to get interesting for her. Even more interesting than before.