A/N: And with a new day, comes a new installment. And with it comes an ending that you may not have seen coming. You be the judge.
I own nothing.
Alexander 'Maverick' Drake
Lab Ship Alarei - Migrant Fleet
November 4, 2185 - 16:49 hours
Silent halls greeted the team as they stepped off the shuttle after docking with the lab ship. The low hum echoing along the walls making an eary set up as they made their way through the empty corridors.
"Somehow, this is starting to feel really familiar." said Alex as he kept his assault rifle up while scanning for Geth as he led the group with his Turian friend.
"How many derelict ships have you been on lately?" asked Chellick with this own rifle ready as they stopped before a door at the end of the corridor they were in.
"This makes the third...in the last two weeks." replied the nano soldier. "The first was a Collector ship, the second was a dead Reaper." he missed the bewildered look on his friend's face as he began undoing the lock on the door with the others pulling up behind them.
He held up his hand in a fist preventing the team from advancing as the door slid open revealing what would have been a barracks for the crew. "Digital Vision Enabled." his visor glowed green as lines of code lit up the entire room along every surface. On the floor, he could see lines of green code branching off in four different directions.
"What's up?" asked Jane coming up beside him.
"Geth are stationed in here, most likely in stasis, they've got motion sensors around the room that will bring them online when they're tripped." Alex explained as the looked around the room and highlighted the Geth platforms that were folded up in various areas.
"So what do we do?" asked Tali, her shotgun held tightly in her hands ready to fight.
"Well, we can either go in guns blazing." said the nano soldier bringing up his omni-tool. "Or...we can do this." he aimed the device toward the center of the room and fired an over-charged overload. The tech attack exploded, causing the platforms to unfold and begin seizing before collapsing to the ground offline.
"Energy Depleted." warned Prophet as the energy meter on Alex's HUD flashed red before refilling again. His visor returned to its original crimson color as they entered the room and checked the downed Geth to be sure they remained offline.
"Impressive." said Reena, kicking one of the Geth while keeping her Shuriken SMG aimed at its head. "I almost forgot how innovative you've been with tech."
"How were you able to detect the Geth?" asked Jane after they cleared the room.
"A gift from David when he tried to hack the nano suit back at Project Overlord." Alex explained. "My visor can now switch into a mode that allows me to see digital signals being transmitted around me. It's easy to see if there are alarms or motion detection software around."
"A useful upgrade, considering what we're up against." said Tali with Jane nodding in agreement.
"Got a terminal over here!" Chellick called out as he typed away at terminal on a nearby desk. "Looks like it was used for personal logs by the crew."
"Play it and see what we got." said the Commander as the Turian pulled up the only file there was available.
"Something's slowing down the system. We're taking down the firewalls to rebalance load distribution." said the Quarian scientist that appeared on the screen. "Rael'Zorah ordered us to bypass standard safeties. Following security protocols will take too long."
When the log came to an end the team started moving again. "Sounds like they were trying to link something up with their systems." said Reena when they left the barracks. "The question is what?"
"We'll find out soon enough." said Jane as they entered a room that looked to be a medical bay. Tali stepped to the front and approached one of the beds where a Geth repair drone laid on it inactive.
"This is one of the units I sent to father." said the engineer as she examined it. "A disabled repair drone, it also had a reflex algorithm that I didn't recognize. I got this on Haestrom."
The Commander looked over the drone herself, "How did you get these things to your father anyway?" she asked.
"Sometimes I left packages at secure drops in civilized areas. Someone on Pilgrimage would see that it was shipped home. For very valuable finds, I'd signal home, and father would send a small ship to retreive it."
"Is it enough to clear your name, or figure out what happened in this place?" asked Alex.
Tali shook her head, "No...I don't know. I made sure to check everything I sent here. I passed up great finds because they might be too dangerous, prone to uncontrolled reactivation or self-repair. I don't know which possibility is worse; that I got sloppy and sent something dangerous, or that Father actually did all of this..."
"We won't know until we finish our investigation. Let's keep moving." said Jane as they left the room. Checking the other sections of the small corridor and view a couple other logs before going into a large storage room where they encountered a pair of Geth Hunters cloaked and waiting for them.
The combined efforts of all five tore them down fast as they continued on their intended path. Up a flight of steps to an upper level where a dozen platforms came out to head them off. The squad took up positions as gunfire and pulse rounds shot through the mess hall.
"Well, we were bound to run into a bunch of them eventually!" Chellick exclaimed before tossing a grenade over the table he was behind. The explosive taking out three troopers and sending parts flying in different directions.
"Doesn't mean we have to like it!" Alex fired back as he dropped the shield of a Shock Trooper and put a round through its optic. He snapped his omni-tool covered hand out toward another platform and activated his hacking program. "Connection Established." The Geth shuttered before its optic changed color, it turned and began firing its pulse rifle into a cloaked Hunter that made it visible, allowing the others to open fire on it.
Jane and Tali where firing their rifle and shotgun respectively, Reena giving them backup with her SMG. The doors at the back of the mess hall opened and more Geth started pouring in, spreading out as they targeted the team before being cut down.
Tali launched her combat drone that attacked the platforms from behind, distracting a handful of synthetics and giving them an opening. The Commander switched to her bow and fired an electroshock-arrow that nailed a Hunter in the chest, the platform screeched when the electricity coursed through its being before overloading it from the inside out and shutting it down.
A Trooper managed to make it to their side of the room, but Alex was faster as he grabbed it around the neck and pulled it over to the other side while forcing it facedown on the floor. Drawing his omni-blade, he drove it into the synthetic's back severing wires and other components before it went silent.
"I think we're clear." he said pulling the glowing blade from the dead Geth and standing up. The others took the time to reload and check to be sure the other hostiles were down before they headed to where they had been coming out.
Chellick stopped beside the body of a Quarian that was slumped against the wall of the small room they entered and shook his head to the others when he found no life signs. Reena and Alex found a couple others off to the side that looked like they had been moved there and found them to be deceased as well.
Jane and Tali approached a holo-screen on the wall, the engineer approached it and began to hack into the files. "This console might have something for us." she said combing through the data. "Most of the information is corrupted, but a few bits are still left."
She was silent for a few moments before turning to the rest of the team, "They were performing experiments on Geth systems, looking for new ways to overcome Geth resistance to reprogramming."
"Do you think testing weapons on the Geth was the right thing to do?" asked the Commander, wondering about the morality of such experiments.
"It's not testing weapons on prisoners, Shepard." said Tali defensively. "I only sent Father parts. Even if he assembled them, they wouldn't be sapient. You saw what Saren and Sovereign did with the Geth. Any research that gives us an advantage is important.
Alex looked at the screen and checked the data himself with Prophet's help. "Were you aware of what they were working on here? What your father was hoping to achieve?"
"No. Father just told me to send back any Geth technology I could find that wasn't a direct danger to the fleet." replied Tali. "I suspected he might be testing weapons, but I thought he was just working on new ways to bypass shields or armor."
"Anything helpful?" asked Reena.
Her fleet-sister shook her head, "Doubtful. This is mostly results data. Effects of different disruptive hacking techniques. I don't understand all of it. But...they may have been activating the geth deliberately. I don't know. Nothing here says specifically. But if they were...then Father was doing something terrible."
Tali turned back to the screen, "What was all this, Father?" she said mostly to herself. "You promised you'd build me a house on the homeworld. Was this going to bring us back home?"
"We should keep moving. The Geth know we're here, better to make sure this place is secured and whatever is keeping them online is destroyed." said Alex bringing things back into focus. This conversation could get very deep very fast, and they didn't have the time for it at the moment.
The room that followed was an elevated platform with a set of stairs leading farther down. The door at the bottom opened and Geth swarmed the lower level. The team all dropped into cover and attacked with everything they had. Tali seemed to be doubling her efforts, mostly in anger as her tech attacks and shotgun blasts tore through the synthetics.
Alex had swapped to his Black Widow, the heavy sniper rifle punching large holes through the Geth with each pull of the trigger. Jane on his left covering with her assault rifle while Chellick and Reena covered the stairs to make sure none of the synthetics made it up to their level.
A pulse round struck the guard-rail on their left, three Geth coming out of a door on a balcony on the other side of the room across from them on the right forcing the nano soldier to switch directions as he sighted one of them with his rifle. Chambering a fresh thermal clip as he pulled the trigger.
Boom! One went down with a missing head. Boom! A second dropped with a fist sized hole through its chest while the last one ducked down behind a stack of crates. When it peeked its head around its cover with its weapon up he dragged the crosshairs over it and prepared to fire when the synthetic suddenly shook as it was riddled with bullets.
Looking over his shoulder, the Post-Human was met with a smirking Jane as she loaded a fresh thermal clip into her own rifle. "Too slow, Alex." she said before motioning for the others to head down the stairs.
Alex rolled his eyes and placed his sniper rifle on his back and pulling his Harrier back out as he followed after them. Passing the bodies of sparking platforms as they headed through the door they had been coming from.
They all paused when they saw another Quarian laying prone on the floor. Bullet holes riddling his torso with burns around them.
"Father!" Tali screamed pushing through them and dropping down beside the body, "No, no, no! You always had a plan. Masked life signs, or, or an onboard medical stasis program, maybe. You! You wouldn't..." she began sobbing as she held one of his hands in both of hers.
"They're wrong! You wouldn't just die like this! You wouldn't leave me to clean up your mess! You..." she stopped when she felt a hand on her shoulder, she looked up and saw Jane, Alex, Reena and Chellick all looking at her in sympathy.
The Commander helped her up and brought her into a hug, "It'll be okay, Tali." she said softly as the young Quarian cried on her shoulder.
"Damn it...Damn it!" Tali cursed as she stepped back and regained control of herself. "I'm sorry..."
"You've got nothing to apologise for. You have every right to greave" said Alex as he knelt down beside Rael'Zorah's body. Scanning his form and activating his omni-tool in the process, "And I think he left something for you." A holographic image of the Admiral to appear above it.
"Tali, if you are getting this, then that means that I am dead. I am so sorry for bringing you into this, that was not my intention. I only wished to bring us one step closer to bringing us back to the homeworld."
"The Geth's main hub will be on the bridge. You'll need to destroy it to stop their VI processes from forming new neural links. Make sure Han'Gerrel and Daro'Xen see the data. They must-"
Rael was cut off by the sound of gunfire and his hologram began running before it faded out. "Thanks, dad." Tali said with a watery tone.
"He knew you'd come for him." said Jane. "He was trying to help you. It may not have been the best way or how you may have wanted it. But it was the best that he could do."
The engineer stood to her full height after collecting a few things from her father's omni-tool. "I don't know what's worse; thinking he never really cared, or thinking that he did, and that this was the only way he could show it." she said solumnly. "It doesn't matter. One way or another, I cared. And I'm here. And we're ending this."
"Keelah se'lai." said Reena taking out her SMG as she fought her own tears. The rest of the team readied their weapons as they made their way up the steps toward the Alarei's bridge where the Geth hub would be.
The doors at the top slid open revealing a glass wall separating a couple of terminals and the main controls of the ship. And standing at the controls was a Geth Prime with a Shock Trooper and a Hunter standing on either side of it.
"Guess they would be saving the biggest guns for last." said Chellick as they ducked down behind the desks. "Any ideas?"
Jane surveyed the room before turning to Alex. "I can handle the Prime. You guys take out the escort it's got with it." he said highlighting the targets on his HUD.
"You sure?" asked the Commander as the nano soldier stood up.
"Not my first rodeo with that kind of Geth. I'll get myself into position, make your opening move and I'll make sure it stays off you backs." "Cloak Engaged." his form vanished while the rest of the team moved out of cover and into position.
The Geth remained unaware of them as they prepared their attacks. Tali and Reena fired up their omni-tools while Jane and Chellick activated disruptor mods on their rifles. One of the platforms began to turn and the Commander gave the signal to open fire.
The two Quarians fired overloads that hit the synthetics dead on taking out their shields, and cloaking in the case of the Hunters, before tearing into them with their guns. Charged rounds tearing through metal bodies in a hailstorm, the two Shock Troopers fell over dead before the Geth managed to return fire forcing them into cover.
Coming out of its interface with the terminal, the Prime turned to the organics that were offlining its comrades. Raising its weapon when targeting the closest hostile when something struck its side.
Volts of electricity covered its body making it screech and spasm as its shields were taken down. Its optic swung to the side just as Alex decloaked with his bow in hand. The Prime raised its weapon and began spraying pulse rounds at the nano soldier who sprinted toward it.
"Maximum Armor." he switched to his Paladins and fired with both hands. Sliding across the ground underneath the gunfire that was aimed for him and slipping through the Prime's legs, putting a round in its right knee as he passed and dropping it into a kneeling position.
Alex snapped to his feet behind the large Geth, holstering the pistols and taking out his combat knife before jumping up on to its back. The blade driving into the exposed wires at the base of its neck spilling white, synthetic 'blood' down its armor.
His visor did a quick scan of the wires before highlighiting a small cluster of them, "This looks important!" he said grabbing the wires and ripping them outt. The Prime screeched as its optic shut off. Now blind, the synthetic began thrashing around in an attempt to dislodge the Post-Human.
Wrapping both his arms around the Prime's neck, Alex began to twist and pull back as hard as he could. "Maximum Power." The sound of crunching metal and the sparking of damaged electronics could be heard just before the Geth's head was torn from its body. Trails of wires and tubes spurting fluid and sparks were pulled from the main body as it collapsed to the ground.
Standing with the severed head in his hand, the nano soldier turned and looked toward the others and saw that they had already finished off the last of the Geth and were looking at him now. And even though he couldn't see their faces, he could only imagine what they looked like at that point.
"Well...that was satisfying." he said tossing the Prime's head aside.
"Spirits, Alex. Wasn't that a bit overkill?" asked Chellick looking at the headless Geth, then at the splashes of white on the Post-Human's nano suit.
"Maybe, but it was effective." was the reply as they headed to the terminal the synthetics had been tampering with. Tali immediately got to work, ready to put an end to everything that had gone on aboard the Alarei.
"This console is linked to the main hub Father mentioned. Disabling it will shut down any Geth we may have missed." she said going through the systems. "It looks like some of the recordings remained intact. They'll tell us how this happened, what Father did."
"Something tells me that you don't really want to know." said Jane coming up beside her.
Tali shook her head, "No, I don't. I don't want to know that my father was really a part of all of this. But it needs to be seen." she brought up her omni-tool and activated one of the recordings. Rael'Zorah appeared speaking with two other Quarians on a holo-screen that appeared.
"Do we have enough parts to bring more online?" asked the Admiral.
"Yes. The new shipment from your daughter will let us add two more Geth to the network." replied the scientist.
"We're nearing a breakthrough on systemic vital attacks. Perhaps we should inform the Admiralty Board, just to be safe." said the researcher.
Rael shook his head, "No. We're too close. I promised to build my daughter a house on the homeworld. I'm not going to sit and wait while the politicians argue."
"We'd have an easier time of it if Tali'Zorah could send back more working material." said the scientist.
"Absolutely not, I don't want Tali exposed to any political blowback." said the Admiral. "Leave Tali out of this. Assemble new Geth with what we have. Bypass security protocols if need be."
The recording ended leaving the team with almost nothing to say.
"It sounds like he was doing all of this for you." said the Commander.
Tali kept her head bowed, "I never wanted this, Shepard. Keelah, I never wanted this" she turned and glared at everything around them. "Everything here is his fault! I tried to pretend It didn't point to him, but this...When this comes up in the trial, they'll..."
She turned to the others, "We can't tell them, not the Admirals, not anyone."
"Tali!" Reena said in shock. "All of this proves that you had nothing to do with it. You'll be exiled if we don't tell the Admirals!"
"You think I don't know that, Reena?" Tali snapped back. "You think I want to live knowing that I can never see the fleet again? But I can't go back into that room and say that my father was the worst war criminal in our people's history. I cannot."
"Tali, think about this. Do you really want to face the punishment of a crime you didn't commit?" asked Jane
The engineer shook her head, "You don't understand. They would strike his name from the manifest of every ship he ever served on. He would be worse than an exile. He'd be a traitor to our people, held up for children as a monster in a cautionary tale! I can't let all the good he did be destroyed for this, Shepard."
"You father didn't want you to be a part of the political backlash from this." Alex pointed out. "I can understand wanting to protect his good name, but to throw yourself on the sword like this would destroy everything he was hoping to give you. No matter how henous it turned out to be."
"I've made my decision on the subject." said the engineer not moving on her position.
Jane sighed, "We won't come to anything while standing here. Let's head back to the trial and see what the Admirals have to say before we do anyting else."
"You're my Captain in this hearing, Shepard. It's your decisions in the end. But please. Don't destroy what my father was." Tali pleaded.
No more words were spoken as they began to make their way back to the shuttle. However, Alex hung back and waited for them to get far enough away before launching a program into the main terminal. The holo-screen flickered along with the lights overhead before settling back to normal.
"Connection Established." said Prophet.
"Prophet, destroy evey ounce of data regarding the experiments they were doing here. The results weren't worth the lives lost, and I'm not letting any of the other Admirals profit from what they had committed." he said as be followed after the rest of the team.
"Acknowledged. Commencing Data-Wipe." replied the AI as the nano soldier caught up with them at the base of the stairs. Tali giving one last prayer to her father before he bent down and scooped up Rael's body.
"Alex?" asked Jane wondering what he was doing.
"Despite what he did here. He's still family to one of our own." he said looking Tali in the eye through their visors. "And he deserves a proper burial, so his daughter can give him a proper send off."
Tali's shoulder shook as she sent him a silent thank you as they started moving again. The Commander falling back in step with Alex as they followed the same path they came through before.
"You destroyed the data, didn't you?" she stated rather then asking. The nano soldier nodded making her sigh, "You really think I can pull this off?" another nod. "Honestly, I don't know whether to smack you or be thankful for your faith in me."
"If anyone's known for pulling off the impossible, it's you Jane." he said finally. "Besides, I think I might have something that could give you a hand. I'll send it to you on our way back to the flotilla."
Jane sent him a glance but stayed silent. She learned long ago to just roll with the odd ideas that popped into her lover's head. And so far none of them had led them wrong.
Alexander 'Maverick' Drake
Live Ship Rayya - Migrant Fleet
November 4, 2185 - 18:59 hours
They made it back to the Rayya in time to hear the Admirals starting the rest of the trial without them. They double timed it through the halls, Alex being careful as he carried Tali's father behind them as they entered the plaza just as they were about to cast the final verdict.
"Sorry we're late." Tali growled as they made their way to the center of the meeting area. A sea of gasps came through the crowd as Alex came through with Rael's body. Approaching the main podium and laying him down gently on it while crossing his arms over his middle.
Sending a silent prayer to fallen Admiral before leaving the plaza to stand by Reena and Chellick like before.
"Tali'Zorah vas Normandy saved the Alarei." said Jane as things settled down. "I hope this proves to you all of her loyalty to the Quarian people."
"Her loyalty was never in doubt. Only her judgment." said Koris, taking the time to take his eyes away from the body of his colleague.
Shala did the same, fighting down her sorrow seeing her long time friend dead as she spoke. "Perhaps Tali'Zorah can offer something to encourage more trust in her judgment."
"Did you find anything on the Alarei that could clarify what happened there?" asked Gerrel, sounding a little too eager at what might be said.
Jane heard this clear as day, Alex had sent her all the files he had dug up on the Admirals. Both from the Shadow Broker network and from what he could get having Prophet hack their omni-tools. From what she had read, she had a way to get Tali off and make them lose face.
"Shepard...please..." said Tali as the Commander stepped forward, not knowing what she was going to say.
"Does Captain Shepard have any new evidence to submit to this hearing?" asked Shala.
"You want evidence?" Jane asked sternly. "Tali'Zorah helped me defeat Saren, the Geth and the Reaper Sovereign at the Citadel two years ago. That should be all the evidence you need."
"I don't see what relevance-" Koris began but was quickly cut off.
"I wasn't finished, Admiral." the Commander said with an edge in her tone. "This whole damn trial is a sham! None of you are interested in Tali, are you? This trial isn't about her. It's about the Geth!"
"This hearing has nothing to do with the Geth!" Koris shouted.
"Bullshit!" Jane shouted back making the man recoil. "You want to sympathize with them! Han'Gerrel wants to go to war even if the odds are heavily stacked against you! Daro'Xen, you just want to experiment with them and try to turn them into slaves for their 'masters'. None of you care about Tali and what she's done for this fleet!"
"She knows more about the Geth than any Quarian alive! You should be listening and heeding her words, not putting her on trial and dragging everything she worked hard to achieve into the dirt!" Jane turned to the gathered Quarians. "Tali'Zorah saved the Citadel! She saved the Alarei! She proved to the whole galaxy just what the Quarian people are capable of and that they are not the stereotypes that are constantly thrown around! There is no stronger evidence than that."
There was a stunned silence for several moments, the Admirals looked shellshocked by how the Commander spoke. Shala stood at her podium beaming at the Human who had defended her niece with such strength in her words. "Are the Admirals prepared to render judgement?" she asked.
One by one, each of the three cast their votes. All of them going to Shala as he red the final verdict.
"Tali'Zorah, in light of your history of service, we do not find sufficient evidence to convict. You are cleared of all charges." the Admiral tapped on her omni-tool before addressing Jane. "Commander Shepard, please accept these gifts in appreciation for you taking the time to represent one of our people."
"With all due respect, Admiral. I wasn't representing one of yours. I was representing one of mine." said the Commander. "But if you really did appreciate me, you won't go throwing you lives away against the Geth. The Reapers are coming, and the galaxy will need all the help it can get to stop them."
"Thank you, Commander Shepard. I hope this board carefully considers your advice." said Koris genuinely.
"This hearing is concluded." said Shala. "Go in peace, Tali'Zorah vas Normandy. Keelah se'lai."
The trial came to an end and everyone began to disperse. Some of the marines had come to collect Rael's body while others were congradulating Tali on her freedom. "That was impressive." said Chellick crossing his arms. "The Commander could have helped us put away a lot of scum back at C-Sec."
"She's definitely one of a kind." agreed Alex while grinning.
Reena turned to her friend, "So, I take it you guys will be leaving soon?"
The nano soldier nodded, "We still have a mission to complete. Putting a stop to the Collectors takes priority and we still have some preparation to take care of in the mean time."
"It certainly was fun going on ops with you again." said his Turian friend. "Think you could use a little more backup?"
Alex regarded the two of them, "Are you asking to come along?"
"An overwhelming job with little chance of success? Now how can we resist that?" asked Reena with her arms crossed and hip cocked while leaning into Chellick. "Besides, it would feel good to get back out into the galaxy again."
The Post-Human knew they both were smirking at him. "I'll talk to Jane and see what she says, though I think she won't have an issue with more help on the mission. And there's plenty to do on the Normandy, so why the hell not."
He turned and saw Jane and Tali heading their way.
Alexander 'Maverick' Drake
Captain's Quarters - Normandy SR-2
November 6, 2185 - 21:22 hours
The crew stayed with the Migrant Fleet for another day and a half. Allowing Tali to give her father a proper funeral and gather the supplies the Quarians had gifted them with.
Jane had given Chellick and Reena the okay to join the mission and they moved their stuff onboard, setting themselves up in their own space before helping the crew with their tasks. The ex-C-Sec detective helping maintain the vehicles in the cargo hold, while the young Quarian agreed to help her fleet sister in engineering.
When everything was said and done, the Normandy departed from the flotilla and took off toward their next destination.
In their quarters, Alex was lounging on the couch in nothing but a pair of jeans reading a datapad while Jane worked at her private terminal. "I have to say, everything worked out well with the flotilla." he said scrolling through the data.
"Still can't believe what Rael'Zorah did." said the Commander shutting her terminal down and coming into the bedroom. "Geth or not, the experiments they were doing was far from moral."
"Desperation makes people do crazy, stupid, and dangerous things." replied Alex. "The Quarians have been adrift for three centuries. It's only plausable that they would be finding ways to a better existence. Can't really blame them for that."
Jane didn't comment as she sat down on the other side of the couch and pulling up her own datapad. "How are Chellick and Reena adjusting?"
"Good so far. Garrus looked glad to meet up with an old friend since he and Chellick were in C-Sec together, and Reena's fitting in well with the engineering crew." said the Post-Human. "It's good to have them around, and they'll help a lot with the mission with their past experiences."
The Commander nodded in agreement before setting the datapad she was holding aside. "I wonder how Tali's doing. She's held everything together since we found her father's body, but she hasn't said a word since the funeral."
Alex smirked. "Believe me, I think she's in capable hands." he brought up a live feed window on his datapad and showed her. Jane couldn't help but smile.
In the cockpit, Joker sat in his usual spot. His hat on the console on his left while he held the young Quarian in his arms.
"Feeling better, Tali?" he asked, holding her a bit tighter.
Tali shifted in his lap, mindful of his weak legs as she fisted his shirt in her three-fingered hands. "Thank you, Jeff. For being there for me." she said with her head resting on his shoulder. "You always have been, ever since the first Normandy."
The pilot smiled, "I'll always be here for you. Whenever you need me." he looked up at the viewport as the stars flew past them as they traveled. The two of them just sitting in comfortable silence enjoying the presence of one another as the night drifted on.
A/N: How was that for an ending? I know a few of you are thinking 'WTH', but to be honest I'm thinking about pairings that are very rare if not non-existent. Much like Ashley and Garrus, I figured Tali and Joker would be one worth trying given their personalities and medical stand points. It's worth giving it a shot.
Next time - Chapter 30: 'The Librarian's Warning'