Amongst the piles of debris, the sound of dying flames, the footsteps of soldiers and volunteers patrolling the streets to salvage whatever was left after the fight against the Reapers, he heard music. It seemed almost inappropriate, such a beautiful melody amongst so much suffering and destruction, yet it brought peace to his restless mind.
" Impromptu no2 in a-flat, by Schubert ", he thought.
It had been a very long time since he heard that music. Deciding to use the little free time he had as Admiral to find the source of this soothing melody, Hackett walked through what used to be the beautiful streets of London.
It had been three weeks since the fall of the Reapers and little tents, scattered through the ruins, brought a sigh of hope to his lips: They were still standing, still alive. It would take time, but they would rebuild their home planet. The galaxy would be strong once more, stronger even, as the races were now united, thanks to the Herculean work of Commander John Shepard.
The music was now light and soft, carried with the ashes in the wind. The last time he'd heard it was when he was sent to evaluate Connatix Industries' secret war asset during the First Cntact war. He had been a young Commander at the time, and much like now, he had been drawn to the source of this music. He had been a little surprised at first: classic piano was not a very popular instrument in the depth of a top secret research facility. At first, he had half expected to find an old guard, listening to his Omnitool, but nothing had prepared him for what he saw.
It was a young woman, undeniably human, but she was emitting a pulsing blue glow. When the music went in crescendo, the light was brighter, tendrils of light crackling around her, rippling on her skin. Her long fingers caressed the digital keyboard effortlessly until she reached the last notes, making them last and reverberate in the room.
He must have made a noise, because she turned to face him, the blue light flaring once more before lowering to slight ripples on the surface of her skin. Her hair had recently be shaved and he could see a nasty looking scar on the left side of her scalp. It was still pink, but was completely healed. She was in her early twenties and looked incredibly tired.
- Who are you, she asked.
Her voice was hoarse and very low.
- Commander Steven Hackett Ma'am, he replied with a perfect salute.
She smirked and chuckled lightly. Seeing that she was not saluting back or presenting her-self, he adopted a more relaxed position and asked for her name.
- Subject Four, she answerd, holding her forearm to reveal an iridescent bare code on the underside of her wrist.
From where he stood, he could also see a little black disc, no larger than an old cent, in the crease of her elbow and on the thumb side of her wrist.
A bit taken aback by her answer he cleared his throat. Fortunately for him, she filled the silence.
- You must be the one they sent to evaluate me. Funny they didn't send guards with you.
Keeping a calm appearence despite his growing discomfort, Hackett asked:
- Should I be worried about that?
- Of course you should! She nearly screamed despite her broken voice. I'm not stable yet.
- What do you mean " not stable yet"?
Before she could answer, a man in a lab coat entered the room holding a little metal tray with a syringe, a vial, pills and alcohol swabs.
- Good day Commander Hackett, I'll be with you shortly.
Without even waiting for a reply, he proceeded to "Subject Four". She apparently knew the drill pretty well, for she extended her left arm and took the pills from the tray, swallowing them dry while the man injected the solution in her arm through the little disk. A few seconds after the injection was done, she sighed and the blue ripples disappeared. She stood up, slightly woobly, and exited the room, casting one last glance at the Commander.
- Very good, let's get down to business. Shall we? Said the doctor, motioning for the commander to follow him.
The doctor led them in a study. The wall opposite the door, was covered by a huge holo screen displaying the wonderful view of a sunny day in a grass field. In front of it were two very sleek looking white leather chairs and between them a low glass table on which lay a single data pad. Motioning for Commander Hackett to sit, the doctor poured them each a generous amout of Scotch and sat in his chair. After taking a slow sip of the amber liquid he finally spoke.
- Tell me Commander, what do you know about Element Zero?
Having read his Beijing file from cover to cover three times, Hackett was well prepared.
- It is the newest element discovered. It was encountered for the first time on Prothean digg sites on mars, sir. Its atomically number is zero and its uses are mainly aeronautical and though there as been report of babies displaying nodes of eezo at birth, there is no way to know what might one day come out of this. Sir.
The doctor chuckled lightly before taking another sip of his drink.
- Well, you studied your files well Commander, but what you've learn is now obsolete. You have seen, not ten minutes ago, the "what might come out of this". You've seen the first human Biotic.
There was a long silence during which Commander Hackett tried to make his brain grasp what had just been said.
- Do you mean to say that you have been able to master the eezo sir?
- That is exactly what I mean to say Commander, said the doctor, a cocky smile blossoming on his pale lips.
- And could it be used against the Turians? Asked the eager Commander.
Such a discovery could turn the odds of that blasted war, grant an advantage against the aliens! The General would be very pleased to hear about it!
- You will be able to evaluate this yourself in the following days Commander. For now, I'll leave you those files to read, he said, tapping lightly on the data pad. Enjoy your stay.
The doctor was nearly out of the room when he turned to face Hackett.
- I have not introduced myself, I apologize. I'm Doctor Christoff.
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