Citadel: Asari Consort
AN - Thanks for your continued support and to Reikson who helped make this much better
"Harris, I need you for a errand." Shepard shoved a data pad into his hands. "I need you to run that over to the ambassadorial suites. You're looking for a Elcor named Xeltan, he'll be the one whining about the Asari Consort."
"Why me?" Xander asked suspiciously.
"...Because you're a valuable part of my team and the only one I can trust with an important job like this."
Xander nodded. "...Right, and the real reason is...?"
"Liara pulled a hissy fit in the middle of the Consort's office and she's been getting positively bitchy about the fact I'm even doing Sha'ira a favor at all."
"Aha, so you and the good Doctor..."
Shepard shook her head, "Definitely not right now and probably not if I go anywhere near Sha'ira's office again." Noticing the amusement on his face, she hissed, "...and don't think that the irony of this situation has not dawned on me. "
"So a spiritualist-slash-psychologist and high-end escort wanted a favor from you and you're delegating that task to me so you can keep your girlfriend happy?"
"No, I'm delegating the task to you because I'm your superior officer, which means I can order you to risk your life. Besides, You were the one that said you wanted to meet the Consort, anyway."
"Wait a minute, don't tell me that the great Commander Shepard is scared of a hundred-six year old bookworm." Xander snickered.
"That hundred-six year old bookworm threw a Krogan BattleMaster into a reinforced bulkhead hard enough to dent it." Shepard growled.
"Oh, come on. You can't tell me that Wrex didn't have that one coming," Xander snickered.
Wrex's constant needling of the Asari Scientist had finally bubbled over into a frustration-fueled demonstration of why the Asari were both feared and respected for their biotic prowess. Even Wrex, once he'd recovered consciousness, had applauded her finally standing up to him. Still, everyone was thankful that the both of them had taken to staying a deck apart from each other at all times.
Xander sighed. "Fine. Just call me Mister Step-and-Fetch."
Shepard nodded as Xander headed toward the embassies, dodging past some C-Sec Officer arguing with some Hanar. The jellyfish was apparently preaching illegally and there was something about evangelical permits... where were the Turians when mankind need them? A couple thousand years of bloody history could've been avoided by licensing and controlling religious expression.
Xander headed up a flight of stairs past Udina's office and into the shared space of the Elcor/Volus embassy. As promised, he saw the huge elephantine form of an Elcor complaining to his ambassador.
At least, he assumed that it was complaining. Expressing the emotional content of their speech only managed to confuse Xander, more then anything else. I mean, it wasn't like one would say "...with insincerity" before lying to you, was it?
"Frustrated: yes, human, what is it?" The Elcor asked.
"Xeltan, right? I've got proof that Sha'ira had nothing to do with your secret going public. You got ratted out by a Turian General named Septimus Oraka."
"Unbelieving; I know this Turian. The only way he could have learned my secrets is from the Consort." Xeltran moaned in that bland monotone that all Elcor spoke in.
"Actually, THIS proves that he had to go to the Shadow Broker and apparently had to trade quite a bit of info to get the details on you. You might want to take it as a compliment that the Shadow Broker places such a high value on your personal details."
"Relieved; thank you, human. Dawning shame; oh, dear, I have made several serious accusations about the Consort. With great distress; I will have to withdraw my complaint and apologize to her."
"Hopeful cheer; human, would you be so kind as to deliver this datapad to the Consort and assure her that the withdrawal of Xeltan's complaint will be formalized by the end of the day." The Elcor Ambassador moaned.
Xander hung his head and stuck out a hand, motioning for the datapad, He headed down the stairs and caught sight of Ashley hugging a middle-aged Indian man. Kaidan was standing with her.
He thought about joining him, then remembered where he was going. There was no way he could explain this assignment that was not going to bite him in the ass. He gave the three of them a wide berth as he headed across the bridge to the Consort's office.
Nelyna, a pretty Asari at the door, gestured him past. At the confusion on his face, she only said, "The Consort has been expecting you."
Curious, he headed up the stairs to the lavish offices occupied by the famous (or infamous) Asari Consort.
She was being dressed by a young human girl who blushed at the sight of Xander, hastily closing the robe and cinching it tight around the Consorts waist so quickly that Xander had almost missed the luscious curves underneath.
"Sergeant Harris, thank you for coming." she glanced at the human girl. "Thank you, Ruth. Can you give us a moment?"
The girl retreated with a nod closing the door behind her. "Lovely girl. You should speak with her some time, Sergeant. Her passion for old earth popular entertainment is extensive."
"No offense, ma'am, but I can't see myself making an appointment four months in advance just to talk about old pop culture."
Sha'ira smiled widely. "Of course. I have to say your species' view of what space would've been like is interesting. I find the movie series about that monastic warrior monk order particularly fascinating. This... Force that they speak of, is an interesting concept."
Xander gaped at the alien, "Wait, you're telling me that she turned you onto Star Wars." he asked unbelieving.
"She owns a copy of every version released. Everything from the originals in the twentieth century to the animated versions made in the mid-twenty-first century. I understand that they are somewhat controversial."
"Yeah. it was based on notes in Lucas' last will and testament. They completely changed the whole story and made some crap-tastic excuse that Lucas only made the first version the way he did because of the limitations of live actors and and live-action technology."
"So, is talking to her worth a four-month appointment now, Sergeant?"
Xander stared after Ruth longingly before something dawned on him.
"Wait a minute. How'd you know?"
"You carry your years very well, Still long lived humans are a rare enough sight that the few I've met stand out. I'm curious why you all seem so determined to remain unnoticed."
"You know who I am? ...What I am?"
Sha'ira slid up to him and plucked the datapad from his nerveless fingers. Her lips near his ear, she whispered, "There is a very good reason that I have a months-long line outside my door, Xander. A VERY good reason."
She read the contents of the pad and then tossed it aside, "I got a lovely note from Septimus and according to this, I should getting a very contrite Elcor on my doorstep very soon. Our newest Spectre does very good work. Doctor T'soni is luckier than she knows."
"You know about that too, huh?"
"I'm very good at my work, Xander. The idea that someone like the infamous Commander Shepard would care enough about someone else's feelings enough to send you in her stead says a lot about how much she's changed. And I'd just as soon like to stay on the Doctor's good side."
"Why would YOU care about being on Liara's good side?"
"You see a cloistered researcher; young, naive, and overwhelmed by the adventure that she has found herself in. But there is so much more to her. You of all people should appreciate that."
She took his arm and lead him down the stairs and through the receiving parlour. "Be patient with Chief Williams. You've been putting yourself on the front lines of a secret war between order and chaos for so long that you forget it sometimes takes a lot of faith to fight that kind of battle. Faith in yourself and in those that you fight alongside."
"I thought I was done with that part of my life." Xander muttered.
"Your course was set in stone a long time ago Xander. You have never faltered in your journey, not really, no matter how much the journey has cost you."
"S'one hell of a trip," Xander whispered.
"...And you've still a ways to go yet. Have faith in your new friends. You'll find them a match for any of those you once marched beside." Sha'ira paused, "Remember Commander Shepard might not be the kind of hero that you remember, but she can be her own kind of hero. If you let her."
Sha'ira walked him to the door just as Williams and Alenko were walking past. Ashley did a double take. What are you doing here." she asked.
Xander panicked, "I was...I was ...well ...it was like...this..." he stuttered.
Sha'ira interrupted his stammering, "Xander has been with me. Commander Shepard wanted a private matter dealt with and she discharged Xander here to see to it." The Consort explained, "Incidentally I have a reward, see what you make of it."
She dropped a small trinket into his hand closing his palm around it while she smiled at him, "It came into my possession, I have never learned it's true use or purpose but something tells me you will have much better luck finding it's owner .:. And now if you will excuse me I have other clients to see today."
"So got any more errands our fearless leader wants taken care of?" Ashley asked Xander, a wry smirk on her face.
"Well one of the gambling machines in Flux was acting all weird, funneling money to somewheres." Xander answered, "I tracked the signal all the way up here to the presidium but then Shepard grabbed me."
"Well lets go find our data thief." Ashley proclaimed and Kaiden trailed after her.
Xander looked down at the ring in his hand small innocuous. It was easy to see why Sha'ira called it a trinket. it was de-powered and an unpowered Lantern Corps ring was little more then costume jewelry.
"Hey little guy I wish I had a power battery for you. Unfortunately they all disappeared around the same time Hal and Sinestro had their last big throw down."
Xander applied his will to the ring but beyond a vague tingling sensation the ring made no move in his palm. "Looks like your real owner is out there somewheres and if Shepard's visions are accurate, We're going to need to find them."