Tevak'Semis walked casually down the streets of Omega. The giant space station was alive with activity. Many species were out bartering with one another. A group of vorcha stood around fighting and fussing with each other. Blue Suns gang members could be seen patrolling the streets and selling red sand. Everyone seemed to regard the lone quarian with a wary eye.
A week earlier Tevak had gone to see an agent of the Shadow Broker. Using the last of his credits, he managed to buy some information on a batarian slaver ship called the Argo. The ship was schedualed to arrive hours ago and stay for a few standard galactic days. The name, time, and docking bay number cost him three thousand credits. Everyone had to pitch in to come up with the money but he assured them it would pay off.
The further away from Afterlife he got; the more chaotic Omega seemed to be. Aria T'Loak controlled the vast majority of the space station but there still wasn't any real governing body. The fringes of Omega were overrun by small time gangs, all competing for superiority. Now and then shots would ring out from a building or alleyway.
"How could anyone live here?" muttered Tevak to himself.
Occasionally Tevak would glance down at the map on his omni-tool to make sure he wasn't lost. The streets of Omega tended to all look the same. Worse yet, he noticed that some of the side streets on his map didn't even exist or were built over. After a hour of walking he found what he was looking for.
At the end of the street, a large cargo bay door sat wide open. In a few languages the number twenty-four was written on the wall next to it. The number the agent had given him. Several batarians walked out of the docking bay carrying assault rifles. They were talking and laughing amongst themselves; appearently off for some R&R. When they passed, Tevak ran over to the bay door and looked inside.
Large crates were stacked around the room haphazardly blocking his view. Undeterred, Tevak snuck inside staying crouched behind the crates. Moving to a clearing, he spotted the Argo. It was a small human-made frigate. The outside was rusty; suggesting that it may have sat in an off-world junk yard. As long as it was space worthy it wouldn't have trouble fitting in the Flotilla.
A few batarians were guarding the ship's open hangar door. They were chain smoking while sitting on some crates. None of the slavers seemed very professional. All of them wore their own equipment and clothing. Perhaps they were an independent group. Tevak whispered to himself, "This should be easy."
"Let go of me!" cried a quarian voice.
Tevak ducked down in a knee-jerk reaction. Taking a look, he saw a female quarian being led out of the Argo. Two batarians had her by the arms which were tied behind her back. One of them punched her in the back of the head, shouting, "Shut up! Or we'll take that mask off and gag you."
Remaining still, Tevak watched them pass by. They went out the cargo bay door into Omega. He followed them knowing he had to do something. What exactly, he didn't know. Keeping a low profile, he let them get twenty yards ahead. When they went down an alleyway he jogged up to the corner and checked their position.
Both batarians had gone in about ten yards. One of them held onto the quarian while the other stopped to take a piss behind a dumpster. Tevak saw his chance realizing they had their backs to him. He tip-toed down the alley towards the one holding the quarian.
An excited, electric feeling filled Tevak when he got close. He had never killed anyone before. Quietly he pulled a six inch serrated blade from his belt. Raising his knife hand into the air; he jammed it into the slaver's neck. Blood spurted and gushed from his throat splattering onto the quarian causing her to shriek.
"What the..." gasped the other batarian still trying to zip himself up.
Tevak pulled his pistol firing several rounds into the batarian's chest. He evidently didn't have a shield as the slugs went right through him. Both slavers dropped to the floor dead. Adrenaline pumped through Tevak's veins as he looked at what he had done. Part of him felt bad because he had snuck up on them. They didn't have a chance. At the same time, he knew they had it coming.
"Are you here to rescue me?" asked the frightened quarian. She was kneeling on the ground looking confused by the situation.
"Yeah, sort of," said Tevak bending down to cut the quarian's hands free, "What's your name?"
"Lan'Molo nar Iktomi. I was on pilgrimage when those... bastards took me." Lan's voice was shaky and on the verge of tears. "What do you mean by sort of?"
"Uh... I mean I didn't plan on rescuing you. I just happened to be here," said Tevak almost chuckling. "I'm Tevak'Semis nar Defranz by the way."
"Nice to meet you," said Lan standing up. She brushed off her yellow clothing which were now stained with the slaver's blood.
Tevak picked up the slavers' weapons, a shotgun and an assault rifle. Next he started going through their pockets looking for credits, thermal clips, or anything of use.
"So you're a thief," said Lan with some disgust. "You killed them for their possessions."
"No, I killed them for you," stated Tevak stuffing his pockets with thermal clips. He tossed a shotgun to Lan and smiled when she nearly dropped it. "Can you handle a weapon?"
"Yeah. I had training on the Flotilla."
"Good, because I'm recruiting you."
"Recruiting me?" Lan felt bewildered. First she thought she was going to be a slave or worse. Seconds later she was being drafted for some scheme.
"I have some friends waiting at a hide out. We're planning on stealing that ship for the Flotilla. If you want to get those guys back..."
"I'm in!" said Lan loading a thermal clip into the shotgun.
"Let's go then." Tevak led Lan back into the heart of Omega.
All five quarians met back at Leim's apartment. It was located not far from Afterlife in the Gozu District. The bedroom, living room, and kitchen were actually all one room. Only the bathroom was separate. For five people it was rather cramped. Luckily for them, it wasn't much different than the Flotilla.
When introductions were over, Lan'Molo had only one question, "Do you guys have any food? I haven't eaten in days."
"I have some tubes of paste in the cabinet over there," said Leim pointing to the kitchen area. "They taste like vorcha shit but you won't starve."
"Thanks, that's just what I wanted to think about before eating," grumbled Lan. After grabbing some paste, she hooked the tube up to a device under her visor. This allowed her to eat the paste through a straw inside the mask. "You were right, it does taste like vorcha shit."
"At least there's five of us now," said Qin while taking stock of the weapons and ammo Tevak recovered. However, he kept one eye on the new girl. "So tell us about you Lan."
"There isn't much to tell..." Lan became quiet sensing Qin's attraction. "I've only been on pilgrimage a few weeks."
"How did you get caught?"
"At first I was on a human colony in Citadel space. Then they chased me off, afraid I'd start stealing everything. I can't believe how hostile the other races are toward quarians. People on the Iktomi warned me but I never thought it would be this bad," explained Lan.
"Heh, you haven't seen the worst of it," chuckled Leim.
"Actually I have..." said Lan, her tone turning dark. "I got off world on the first ship I could find. It was a merc band who then turned around and sold me to the slavers we're after now."
"I'm sorry to hear that Lan. At least we'll be able to pay them back soon." Qin sounded sincere. Lan nodded toward Qin in acceptance of his sympathy.
"What were you able to find out?" asked Shia, sitting on the edge of the bed.
Tevak explained, "The Argo is a frigate of human design. It also looks ancient and rusted."
"Does it fly?" scoffed Leim.
"They brought me here in it, didn't they?" countered Lan.
"The slavers don't seem to belong to any of the known gangs," said Tevak sitting down next to Shia. "The two I killed weren't very competent."
"Must be a group of freelancers or an upstart," suggested Shia. "Any idea how many there are?"
"Can't be too many considering it's a frigate," said Tevak. "I saw several going out into Omega. Looked like they were about to enjoy some shore leave. There could be just a skeleton crew on board."
"Lan, do you know anything about their numbers?" asked Qin.
Lan finished eating her paste before realizing everyone was waiting on an answer from her. "Oh, sorry. I didn't see much of the ship. I was locked up in the hangar. Even then, they kept the lights off. I never saw more than ten guards at any one time."
"What if there's thirty of them?" asked Leim. Doubt of their success was heavy in his voice.
"We've come too far to quit now," stated Tevak. He got up and went over to Qin's table asking, "What were you able to buy at the market?"
"Not much," sighed Qin. "We managed to purchase four assault rifles from a Haliat arms dealer. They're the Thunder model."
"These look pretty low-grade but they'll do." Tevak picked one rifle up and aimed it at Leim.
"Be careful you idiot," snapped Leim moving out of the way.
"Relax, I know what I'm doing," laughed Tevak setting the rifle back down.
"When do you think we should attack?" asked Qin directing his question to Tevak.
"We should get some sleep first. If they are out getting drunk and stupid then they'll be hung over in the next day cycle," explained Tevak.
"What makes you so sure?" asked Leim. "And where are all of you going to sleep? Certainly not in my bed."
"On the floor. Where else?" grumbled Shia, more displeased with Leim than the idea of sleeping on the floor.
"Either way we're going into the unknown. Better to be fully rested," reasoned Qin.
"Alright, everyone get some sleep," said Tevak.
A/N: I'm shooting for one chapter a night. I know when ME3 comes out it will be eating up a lot of my time for writing. At least until I beat it several times and see every possible ending. :)