One month later, Tevak'Semis was ordered to appear before the Admiralty Board on the Defranz. In the scale of things his situation had little bearing on the fleet. So the meeting was to be held in a conference room. There was a small rectangular waiting room with metal benches on each side. When Tevak entered this room he was surprised to see Qin and Lan sitting together. Relieved to see some friendly faces he asked, "What are you guys doing here?"
"Same as you I suppose," answered Qin. He had his arm around Lan's waist holding her close. Since hanging out at the 'club' they had grown close. Recently they had even linked suits.
"We got a summons to be here. They're most likely going to make a decision about our ship," explained Lan.
Tevak took a seat next to Qin and let out a sigh. "I thought I was about to be exiled or something over those damned slaves."
Qin shook his head saying, "It's all that bastard Leim's fault."
At that moment the door whooshed open. Shia hobbled into the room followed closely by her father Commander Xey. Easing down beside Tevak she greeted her friends with a weak wave of her hand. They were shocked to see her out of the hospital, much less up walking around. The commander stayed close to his daughter. Gently he asked, "Are you sure you're up for this?"
"Yeah, dad it's fine," whispered Shia. Everything she did seemed to involve her abdomen in some way. Just breathing caused sharp pain as her diaphragm pushed down on her abs.
"Hi Shia," Tevak grimaced, feeling uncomfortable seeing her in so much pain.
Shia responded with a nod, not wanting to speak more than what was neccessary. Aside from the obvious physical wound, she was also suffering from a light fever. To her, the temperature inside her suit felt extremely high yet her skin was clammy. The doctor strongly suggested staying in bed but Shia wanted to see first hand what the board decided.
The last member of their group, Leim, finally arrived. Immediately Tevak stood up and shoved him into the wall seething, "You son of bitch!"
Commander Xey seized Tevak by the arm pulling him away. His voice was angry as he spoke, "Stop it! Both of you. I will not have you brawling around in here. My daughter is in fragile condition."
Leim brushed himself off keeping his ever calm and annoyed deameanor. Sarcastically he muttered, "That's Tevak for you. Never taking other people into consideration."
"We had no chance against that krogan and you know that," interjected Qin.
"Is that what you tell yourself at night?" spat Leim.
"Knock off the act already," yelled Tevak. "What's your game here?"
Before Leim could answer, the door to the conference room opened. A guard entered stating, "The admiralty board is ready for you."
Everyone shuffled into the conference room without saying a word. Making a scene in front of the board would not bode well for anyone. Tevak, Shia, Qin, Lan, and Leim all sat on one side of a long rectangular table. Commander Xey remained standing behind his daughter as before. Three admirals were seated on the opposite side, Admiral Rael'Zorah, Daro'Xen, and Shala'Raan.
"Let's make this quick so we can get on to more important matters," muttered Rael. It set the tone for the meeting as being somewhat informal. If not for the matter of integrating a new ship into the fleet, the board wouldn't be bothering with this mess.
Daro spoke next, "We are convening here today to induct the Argo into the fleet. Tevak'Semis and Leim'Za have both requested to captain the ship."
Shala picked up a datapad and looked it over for a second before delivering their judgement, "The board has decided that Tevak is far too young and too inexperienced for such a duty. Your actions on Omega only prove that."
Tevak started to protest, "But it's our ship..."
Rael slammed his fist down on the table. "Don't interrupt us!" If there was one thing he couldn't stand it was people without respect for authority.
After clearing her throat, Shala continued, "Leim has also been denied as being judged unfit for such a high post. Any questions?"
"Yes," hissed Leim, "What makes you think I'm not fit for captainship?"
Daro laughed at this. "You took ten years to complete your pilgrimage. Even now, you did it on the backs of these young ones. Hardly what I'd call captain material."
Leim sank into his seat feeling embarassed for himself.
"So what is to come of our ship?" asked Tevak who now felt sick to his stomach.
Rael answered him, "The Migrant Fleet will take possession of the ship by imminent domain."
"That's not fair!" Tevak jumped up pointing a finger into Rael's face.
"Sit down!" shouted Rael as he stood from his seat. He wasn't about to be shouted at by a juvenile quarian. When Xey put a firm hand on Tevak's shoulder, he obeyed and returned to his seat.
"Now if there are no more theatrics," began Shala, "I believe we have some good news. Based on your test scores in school and your experience during your pilgrimage... some of you qualify for special training."
"What kind of training?" asked Commander Xey.
"Shia for instance," said Rael, "Due to her high marks before her pilgrimage, is eligible for flight school. With time, she can even earn the title captain."
"That's great Shia," said Cmdr Xey with some pride.
"As for the rest of you..." continued Rael, "Your actions on Omega were bold and for the most part, well executed. Special forces training is available to you if you want it. Otherwise, we'll assign you common ship duties."
"I'll take it," answered Tevak immediately. It wasn't what he wanted but it was a start. The others agreed to the offer as well. Otherwise they might get stuck mining asteroid belts for the rest of their lives.
"Then this meeting is over," announced Shala.
Leim left the room first walking at a fast pace. Bitterness toward the Board's decision filled him. Tevak came out a second later followed closely by Qin. They saw Leim storming off down the hallway. For a moment, Tevak thought about chasing after him but decided it was best to let it go.
"Don't you want to kick his ass?" asked Qin.
"Yes, but what difference would it make? Sounds like the Board had no intention of giving us that ship regardless of what he said," explained Tevak. "Fighting him would only cause me more headaches."
"I guess you're right," admitted Qin.
"So what's next for us?" asked Lan while walking up to Qin.
"Boot camp I assume, I wonder if we'll get to train together," said Tevak.
Shia hobbled out of the conference room with her father holding her by the arm. She went to Tevak speaking in a raspy voice, "Well, I think I've had enough for one day. Wish I could stay, but I should go back to the hospital."
"That's a good idea," said Lan, her voice full of worry.
Tevak took Shia by the hand saying, "I'm sorry how things turned out."
"It's not your fault," she said lightly squeezing his hand. "I'll get better and soon I'll be flying. You'll see."
Commander Xey urged his daughter to keep moving. "We should be going. There will be time for chit-chat later."
"Take care of yourself," said Qin as the commander led his daughter back to the hospital.
"Shall we go get drunk before starting our new careers?" offered Shia looping one arm in Qin's.
"Sounds like fun to me," mumbled Tevak while watching Shia leave.
"C'mon Tevak," said Qin slapping his friend on the shoulder. "We've at least got something to celebrate."
The trio went down to one of the ship's bars to drink a toast to their future. With the geth attacking Eden Prime, it was likely the future would be full of danger.
A/N: This is the last chapter for this story. Not sure when I'll start working on the second installment. It will definitly be longer though. Mostly wanted to establish my main characters with this story.