The Selene Effect : Chapter 5-6

 

Begin log Selene Shepard 5:

 So now I was as ‘powerful’ as Saren, I only answered to the Council, and if I chose not to listen to anyone else, then they couldn’t stop me; I now knew how it felt to be Maria Vanderhoff *giggle*.  You would think I would simply jump on the fastest ship off the Citadel and make Saren fit into a small box, but my curiosity became piqued by hearing about someone known as ‘The Asari Consort’.
I mentioned I find the Asari fascinating, but this was different! By all accounts this consort sounded like a Kindred, despite how impossible it should have been, but the level of awe, control, mystery and influence she seemed to have over everyone seemed nothing short of breathtaking… I just ‘had’ to know more… Her name was Sha’ira according to the Asari girl at the entrance to her establishment, an enigmatic name to go with an enigmatic Asari I thought… Apparently the establishment was some kind of Therapy-like in-house Escort kind of place.  The clientele I could see from the entrance seemed very happy, almost too happy… I had to keep repeating ‘there are no Asari Kindred’ to myself, especially given the first-hand experience I had already had trying to feed off one!  So how could Kindred ever turn one without turning into a Smurf!? I did giggle at imagining Maria with blue skin though *giggle*.  I asked about making and appointment with Sha’ira and wasn’t surprised to hear the waiting-time was 3 to 4 months… So I asked about an appointment with any of Sha’ira’s Asari staff, which would get me in the door and closer to learning Sha’ira’s secrets, but again I was told the waiting time was 3 to 4 months.  I then realised with equal annoyance and intrigue that Sha’ira’s Asari had been conditioned to be immune to both visual and psychological influence!  Feeling defeated, but vying to find another way, I turned to leave.  Suddenly, I heard a voice from the back and the Asari at the entrance whose name was apparently ‘Nelyna’ said that Sha’ira was asking to speak to me!!!  My curiosity level increased only further at this!

The 3 of us made our way to the back, up some stairs, along a landing until we reached the door to Sha’ira’s chamber.  We walked into the chamber with her facing away from us… I greeted her and when she turned around I was again glad of my failsafe, as Sha’ira’s beauty would have paralysed any Toreador who laid eyes on her.  I held back some disappointment at not seeing fangs in her mouth… Though I then found myself wondering if she had found other methods of feeding… Sha’ira then surprised me by asking for ‘my’ help!  Apparently a former ‘friend’ of hers, a cat alien named General Septimus had been spreading lies about her to whoever would listen and as a result this seemed to have genuinely offended Sha’ira… They had clearly ended up more than friends before their ‘falling out’, and he’d overstepped the client-consort relationship.  I’ve no idea if sha’ira was working some mojo on me or not, but I felt I needed to help her silence the lying cat alien.

We found him unsurprisingly drunk, spouting lies at a table in a crowded club.  The amount of alcohol he had imbibed seemed to give him semi-resistance to my influence, so I appealed to his sense of honour as a general! And that by spreading his lies he was acting like a child and not a general! This seemed to hit the desired nerve as he came to see what I was saying made sense very quickly.  Before he left to mend the damage he had caused, he asked me to help him to right another wrong.  Apparently one of the lies he spread was that Sha’ira had revealed the secrets of an ‘elcor’ named ‘Xeltan’.  Elcor are kind of like elephants with their trunk and ears taken off, plus because they don’t normally communicate with speech, they ‘explain’ the tone they are speaking with… Which is helpful given Elcor speech is completely monotone.  I found Xeltan and explained to him quietly (so his fellow Elcor didn’t hear) that it was truthfully General Septimus who found out his secrets and spread them out of spite, and that Sha’ira was innocent.  Xeltan expressed genuine relief, the best way Elcor can at least, and then we made our way back to Sha’ira’s place.

Unsurprisingly Sha’ira had already heard about what we had done by the time I arrived, and she really looked like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.  Her words to me showed genuine gratitude, and it felt good inside to have done right by her; I wondered again if she was working some king of mojo on me! Sha’ira then handed me a trinket, saying it would serve me well in the future… It kind of reminded me of the beacon on Eden Prime.  I was all ready to leave when Sha’ira said she also wanted to give me ‘a gift of words’, and I suddenly didn’t feel like leaving… she walked towards me, put her cheek against mine and brought her lips close to my ear… All I remember was what she said seemed right at the time, and yet I no longer remember the words… But what I do remember was her last word! I felt as if my hair suddenly stood on end, and felt a pleasant shiver run down my spine… She was powerful! She moved away from me and allowed me to head towards the door; the word she said was in my mind, just one word… ‘yes…’ I had a time explaining away why I was giggling as we left Sha’ira’s place *giggle*.

Begin log Selene Shepard 6:

Do you remember before I mentioned a race that was left permanently infertile because of falling foul of the ‘Turians’? Well it all began over the rebellion of a race named the Krogan.  I’ve always thought of Krogan as kind of looking like leathery, reptilian, land-sharks; formidable but sad because of what was done to them… The Turians enlisted the help of the 3rd Council race after the Asari and them: The Salarians.  Salarians all look funny to me, black eyes, fleshy ‘horns’ on top of their heads, very ‘typical’ alien look, and they are like the super scientists of the Galaxy!  Anyway, the Salarians developed what is known as ‘The Genophage’.

It was supposed to simply limit the numbers of babies a girl Krogan could have, and the Salarians weren’t sure if the Genophage should even be deployed.  But Turians can be very single-minded as a military when angered, and they unleashed it as a plague to the entire Krogan race! A very Jakkie response I suppose.  The effect of the Genophage, because of the unpredictability of Krogan pregnancy, was truly catastrophic! And now the Krogan are a dying race… Trying and failing to find ways to undo the curse of the Genophage… Especially given the Krogan are all warriors, and science is for other races; I don’t understand why nobody will help them.

The reason I feel so strongly about the Krogan’s plight is I’ve seen the sadness they feel first-hand in eyes of the first Krogan I ever met – Urdnot Wrex.  Wrex literally ‘bumped’ into me after the incident with the thug ‘Fist’.  Apparently Wrex had been hired by the mysterious Shadow Broker to deal with Fist, and I had of course got in first. Our first meeting was him whispering a few words to me as he passed me; I say whispered but Krogans have growling booming voice so it was more ‘quiet’ I suppose.  The second time I met Wrex, he intercepted us as we were on our way up to the docking bay – Anderson and ‘Udina’ the human Ambassador had told me they had found me a ship to use for my Spectre duties.

Wrex explained to me what had gone down between him and Fist, and I half expected him to get violent with me, until he told me he would give me the reward money he was going to get for taking down Fist… This I wasn’t expecting, and I actually felt a tear in my eye.  That was when I first saw the sadness behind his eyes… I have never seen sadness like it, even from Tali… I had a lump in my throat as Wrex asked if he could come with us, and I just nodded in case the lump gave away the level of emotion I was feeling. I sent Kaidan on ahead.  I then mentally said a few kind words to Wrex to make sure the Toreador curse failsafe would respond to his voice… Which was easier than it was with Kaidan… Wrex really was broken inside, even for a Krogan! Though I settled against hugging him.  Then me, Garrus and Wrex stepped into the elevator to see what ship we’d been given.
As the 3 of us began the ride in the elevator up to the docking bay, I noticed Wrex showing some understandable discomfort at being in an enclosed space with a member of the race he had grown up hating, out of fear and resentment in equal measure.  Wrex had obviously seen many Turians during his times working for the Shadow Broker, because his expression towards Garrus seemed very practiced, as if to almost goad the young Turian into eventually fighting Wrex, thus proving him right that the Turians had always hated Krogans! I was about to turn around and give Wrex a shot of Kindred Influence when I saw Garrus meet the Krogan’s gaze… And what both Wrex and myself saw in Garrus’ eyes wasn’t a look of contempt, or anger, or hatred, but a look of remorse! Garrus quietly said “I know I represent what you hate Wrex, but I’m personally ‘sorry’, and if I could, I would…” Now to anyone looking in on the conversation from the outside, what Garrus had said would have seemed cryptic; but both myself, and more importantly Wrex understood ‘exactly’ what Garrus meant.  The Krogan’s hand closest to Garrus suddenly raised as if to strike Garrus, and the young Turian flinched just as the hand came to rest gently on his shoulder, accompanied by an agreeable grunt from Wrex. I turned back around and couldn’t help but smile at what I had just witnessed and maybe had a hand in bringing about.

My hearing then tuned into a news report that had started playing: “Today a revolutionary new treatment has been developed by earth cyberneticist Doctor Indigo to help injured alliance soldiers.  The new technique will allow those who have lost arms, legs or sight to receive brand new cybernetic limbs and implants, enabling personnel who have literally given of themselves to fight for the alliance to lead normal lives.  Doctor Indigo has also set up a fitting and maintenance clinic, and will personally be involved in implementation of her revolutionary new techniques.  On behalf of the men and women of the alliance military, we’d like to express our thanks to Doctor Indigo, and wish her much success in the future”.  All three of us nodded thoughtfully at hearing the report, realising how important the news was… Though I found myself thinking I had heard the name ‘Indigo’ before!
My rhetoric was interrupted by the ‘ding’ of the elevator as it reached the docking bay.  We all stepped out of the elevator and made our way over to where Captain Anderson was waiting, quietly talking to Ambassador Udina who was next to him.  Anderson greeted me warmly as I approached the two of them, he again congratulated me on my achievements, something that Udina ‘said’ he very much agreed with. I still had the feeling Udina didn’t trust me, but when I looked at him he quickly excused himself saying he had important duties to attend to.  This didn’t bother me at all so I let the silly diplomat go on his way.  I turned back to see something was up with Anderson.  He wad hiding something from me… I opened my mouth to say something when Anderson, feeling I was analysing him quickly explained why we were next to the Normandy… It was because he was stepping down as Captain… And giving the Normandy to me! If I had, had breath in my lungs then it would have left me at hearing that, and I still felt light-headed… My favourite ship in the galaxy was now… ‘My’ Ship… I shook Anderson by the hand for what seemed like eternity until I felt cold drops of water against my hand…

I at first thought they were my tears, but then Anderson let go of my hand and turned away from me, his hand hurriedly chastising the tears that had come from ‘his’ eyes! He leaned against the gantry rail and stood motionless as if trying to will himself away from the situation.  I walked next to him and spoke quietly to him out of earshot of Garrus and Wrex for several minutes.  At one point, after the two of them had agreed to ask what was happening, Garrus feeling the braver cleared his throat; clearly he still felt intimidated by me, good cat alien, that’s one of the reasons why I like Garrus so much.  Anderson had finished spilling his secrets to me, so I went over to my 2 escorts and filled them in.  Apparently I was almost the 2nd ‘human’ spectre.  Anderson as a younger man had been groomed as a possible spectre, and Saren, the galaxies ‘bad kitty’ had personally destroyed Anderson’s spectre dream, humiliated Anderson and tarnished Anderson’s reputation in one fell swoop! I had thanked Anderson for sharing with me, cleared his mind of worries and made sure that Garrus and Wrex ‘thought better’ than to just tell the others about Anderson, that was my call to make.  I dismissed them both into the Normandy ahead of me to make ready for our departure.  I said my goodbye to Anderson and walked down the boarding channel towards the Normandy with only one though in my mind… Now I knew ‘exactly’ what I wanted to do to Saren when I found him!

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