BioWare owns Mass Effect, Elena and Brianna are my girls!
Parnitha System, SSV Waterloo SR8, Bridge:
Helmsman Flight Lieutenant Stevens glanced nervously over his shoulder at his CO. Her pacing behind him was starting to unnerve him. She was usually the original ice-queen in any stressful situation. Calm, cool, analytical, but now, she was a ball of nerves. "Entering Parnitha System, vectoring to Thessia." He stated automatically.
"Faster." Came the curt reply from the dark-eyed woman behind him. "Flank speed." She ordered.
He half turned in his chair. "Ma'am, Thessia control has speed limits even out here! We'll probably get pulled over by their space cops or something and get a ticket."
She stopped pacing and fixed him with her patented 'don't fuck with me stare'. "I ordered flank speed, mister. Now give me flank speed plus ten!" She hissed.
He turned back around quickly and brought the engines to full power. The little ship shot through space at an incredible rate. Stevens felt the bridge start to shudder and buck.
"Faster, Aye-Aye." He replied in a voice filled with tension. Minutes later the jewel of the galaxy loomed ahead in his screen. Thessia.
"Two minutes to Thessia." He said after a particularly violent shudder passed through the ship.
The dark haired woman glanced at him. "Set station keeping over the Northern Athame Mountains. I'll take the shuttle." She ordered. He felt a hand on his shoulder. "And thanks, Marco."
"Yes ma'am. I hope we made it." He said to her back as she dashed away.
The T'Soni-Shepard residence, Thessia:
It was just after dusk in the high reaches of the Athame Mountains. A rising, stinging wind threw stinging ice pellets through the dark air and a storm gathered as if in sympathy to the cold, sad vacuum hovering around the Shepard mansion.
The cold, crisp night was suddenly shattered by the roar of the super-sonic Kodiak shuttle that sliced through the night toward the regal mansion set in the mountain snow.
She cursed the mission and the brass that kept her from this, kept her from being there for her love. The heavy pressure of despair settled in her breast as she thought of the pain her loved one must be in now. Dark brown eyes flared in anger and desperation as she pushed the Kodiak more, stressing its tiny core to near critical mass.
The radio crackled to life. "Shuttle K-590S, this is Thessia control. You do not have a clear vector and are not cleared for landing. If you do not divert to Ayretha Field you will be engaged and shot down." The pilot glanced at the screen in irritation and noted the two gunships that came up on her six.
After the third call, she finally smashed the transmit button to answer the challenge. "This is Lieutenant Commander Brianna Williams, Galactic Marines." She hissed, "There is no way in hell you're going to stop me from getting down there. My bond-mate's father is dying down there and she needs me. So give it your best shot!"
The gunships immediately took up escort positions beside the shuttle and led her down to her destination. "ID confirmed. You
" the voice cracked with palpable emotion. "You have our condolences. You are cleared to land at you leisure. May the Goddess light her path."
The shuttle thumped down and Brianna hit the emergency shut-down instead of cycling the engines off manually which took several minutes. This destroyed the core, but she didn't give a damn. She had to get in that mansion now.
She ran out of the shuttle and dashed up the stairs, slipping on the ice only once, to get to the front doors of the imposing edifice. She threw open the doors and barged in, and the scene before her brought her to a halt and broke her heart.
People, paragons, giants from across the galaxy stood or sat together, hugging, crying, grieving for that shining soul, the one who bound them together, the one who saved them all, the one who had just passed on. 'No, no, no, NO! Oh god, I'm too late!' she screamed in her mind.
She frantically searched the main entrance for her. A sobbing Kelly Chambers held an overwhelmed Kasumi Goto. The thief tried so hard to be strong for Mira and Mara, but her own love for Shepard and Liara, the wound of losing a friend she loved so much finally crushed her heart and brought the elegant thief to her knees. Miranda, Oriana, Jacob and Brynn sat close together sharing the pain together, trying desperately to get through losing the one who had done so much for them and asked for nothing in return.
Miranda saw Brianna and motioned her over, but the younger woman only shook her head curtly and dashed into the living room where she could hear the sounds of fighting.
Wrex and Garrus both were trying to contain a nearly out of control Grunt. Wrex wrestled the shotgun away from Grunt who tried to bite him, as Garrus tried to talk sense into the distraught Krogan. Garrus caught a right cross for his trouble that rocked him back several steps. Finally the two managed to take Grunt's feet out from under his and they all crumpled to the floor together.
Garrus locked the young Krogan's powerful legs together and Wrex climbed on top of Grunt's hump and sat there holding him down.
Grunt coughed and chuffed loudly a few times and Brianna realized it was the Krogan's way of crying. "I
I loved her, Wrex!" He stammered. "She was my first Battle-Master, and a
a mother to me!" He howled.
Wrex reached down and patted Grunt's brow-plate, and nodded. "I know, brother. I loved her too." He whispered. "Every Krogan should, but she was special to me, too."
Brianna turned away and ran out to the deck where she found Tali and Bakara standing close, their heads touching, sobbing, grieving for their loss, their friend.
She turned and ran back through the house and up the stairs to the upper landing and the reality of it all crashed in upon her.
Samara stood by the door guarding against any intruder. Brianna could hear the heart crushing wails of sorrow coming from within. 'Poor Liara.' She thought. 'She must be devastated.' As she stood staring at the door and Samara, and hearing the pain of the poor soul within, her first tears trickled from her dark eyes and down her olive cheeks.
She looked desperately to Samara. "E
Elena?" She asked.
Samara merely pointed to the next door and gave her a look of profound sympathy.
The normally decisive and fast acting Marine paused briefly at the door to gather herself and then slipped inside quietly.
Aethyta stood amid the four girls, her grandchildren, trying her best to comfort them and ease their pain. She wasn't exactly used to things like this so Elena was bravely pushing her own pain away and hugging and talking to each, especially poor Mira, trying to tell them it would be ok, the pain would ease, if not ever completely go away, they were blessed to have known their father's love, they had each other and had to be strong for mom.
Finally, Elena's eyes fell upon her and Brianna saw that resolve and strength break and flow away. Those beautiful green eyes welled with tears and her delicate azure features crumbled in sorrow.
"Bree!" Elena cried. "Oh Goddess, Bree! She's gone!" The Asari sobbed as she ran to her.
The crushing heartbreak and pain etched so deeply in her loves' face devastated Brianna in an instant. She cursed the galaxy and fate for bringing any pain to this wonderful woman's life.
Brianna wrapped her arms around that shining soul she loved so dearly, hoping desperately to ease her pain. Together they sank to their knees, sobbing, grieving, and clutching each other like lovers desperate to give everything to each other.
"I'm so sorry I
I wasn't here, 'Lena!" She managed as the tears coursed down her face.
Elena folded herself into Brianna's arms and let the pain overwhelm her while she was safe in those arms. Her body shook uncontrollably as she gasped for breath between sobs. Brianna held her close caressing her, kissing her, whispering soft, loving encouragement.
Soon the other three sisters joined them on the floor, all hugging and drawing strength from each other. The tears flowed freely and in a way, washed some of the pain away. For now, the pain was a wondrous, loving torture they all had to share to honor their father, and start their healing.
Aethyta saw that all the girls finally let go and she knew they could start their healing together. She hated that she was not good at these things. But there was another who needed solace in this dark night and she would do anything for her. She would do anything for Liara.
She stepped through the adjoining door and hesitantly walked into the palpably oppressive darkness. Aethyta could clearly hear the wretched sobbing close by and moved that way. As she approached, the moon finally broke through the clouds and bathed the room in harsh, unforgiving, pale light. Aethyta's heart ached at the sight before her.
Liara lay in the bed desperately clutching Sarah's body to her, crying, wailing her grief. Her beautiful face twisted in sorrow, loss
heart-stopping pain. Sarah's head lay upon her breast, the withered, tortured woman's soul finally at peace, at rest
with the Goddess.
The Matriarch had no idea what to say. She was at a total loss. 'Damn it! You should be here, Nezzie!' She said to herself. She was raised by a Krogan for Goddess-sake!
She leaned forward and took one of Liara's hands into her own. "Liara
" Those soft, trusting, wounded, tortured pools of blue looked up at her, so full of need and pleading.
Aethyta could not say another word. Her daughter so obviously shared a love so much deeper than anything she ever experienced in her one thousand years. Love, jealousy and envy fought for her heart as she gazed at her daughter's pain-filled eyes.
Finally she crawled in behind her daughter and held her as Liara clung to Sarah.
She kissed her daughters' temple and caressed her arms. "She is as peace, Little-Wing." She cried for Liara. "She walks with the Goddess and waits for you. But I'm here for you