Pixelation

Mass Effect: Foreigner Chapter 10

Snow looked back at Jenisara, unsure of how to answer the drell before him. He was fairly certain that he needed to get out of the Citadel and out into space, and whatever had brought him here, the answers lied beyond this space station.

The drell was starting to look impatient as Snow weighed his options. “Your time is running short, Snow,” the drell rasped.

Snow looked back at the drell and then nodded. “I will go. Jenisara, are you coming,” he asked her.

Jenisara looked back at Snow, now seriously contemplating what to say to him. Part of her wanted to warn him of the consequences of the decision, but in the same merit, she wanted to help. If anybody deserved answers, it was him.

“I…I will go with you,” she said reluctantly. “But I am also saying this because I have to-you will no longer be under the Council’s protection once you step outside the Citadel.”

Leonardo nodded to them both. “Very well then, follow me to my ship.” The drell turned around away from them to lead, with Snow shrugging to Jenisara and then started to follow after him.

There was some silence as they made their way through the Wards. Both Jenisara and Snow now felt awkward to speak to each other. The human however spoke up after a little bit, weaving through the crowd to the docs. “Why did you choose the name Leonardo,” he asked. “I only ask because that name seems to be a bit odd, for a drell.”

Leonardo turned around as they passed a security checkpoint. “What do you know of your Renaissance era artist,” the drell asked.

Snow arched a brow as the question was asked. “There is some history about him floating out there about him, but very little is known about how he came up with his ideas or inventions.”

“Then you already know why I have chosen that name.” There was a brief pause before he continued. “There is a certain artistry and information that comes with information brokering.”

Snow nodded again, while Jenisara remained curiously quiet. He looked over at her, a slight look of worry on his face. He had not seen her like this before. He looked forward again as they were allowed to pass through the final checkpoint before boarding Leonardo’s ship.

The drell waved them over to a small looking vessel, docked and ready to go at an air lock. “Welcome to the Cisco,” Leonardo grinned, waving them aboard.

Snow stared in awe at the small ship, and while he had seen much larger ones in transit from the station, he was just as amazed seeing one up close and in person. He would be boarding that ship soon enough, and out into space.

Jenisara approached the small ship with some caution as to what was going to happen next. “We are going to have to leave through a security checkpoint,” she said somewhat worriedly.

Leonardo nodded a bit. “If were to fly out of here normally, but we are in a docking bay for cargo ships. I am registered under small cargo ship. Unless there is a random inspection, we should be fine.”

Snow arched a brow to Jenisara and then back to the drell. “Where exactly are you going to take us,” the human asked.

“To the Terminus System, specifically the Rosetta Nebula. There is a planet there called 2715 Aeia. That is where you will find your answers, Mr. Snow.”

Jenisara seemed a bit more miffed now. “That is the edge of space, how can we be sure that there is anything there?”

The drell shrugged. “You will have to just trust that the information I have is true.”

Snow looked back at her. “I have the training to defend myself.” He paused searching her eyes. “Please…I need this, I need to know.”

Jenisara sighed a little bit at the human and then shook her head. “Oh alright! But you should know I still don’t like this.” She crossed her arms, as the Shadow Broker agent began to open the bay doors to the Cisco.

Snow smiled to her, and nodded. “Duly noted, Jenisara. And, thank you.”

Taking their respective seats in the cargohold, Snow was try to calm himself from the anticipation and anxiety he was feeling at the moment. The engines started and soon they were off. Over the intercom of the ship, he could hear C-Sec, giving them clearance to leave the Citadel.

In the minutes that followed, Snow moved over towards a window, looking out into the wonders of space and the stars in front of his eyes.

“Amazing, isn’t it,” Jenisara asked the human. “This is your first time out in space?”

Snow nodded looking towards a rather large object. “Yes. In my time, the humans that could go to space trained for it for years. I don’t think this compares.”

“The object that you are looking at is a Mass Relay,” Jenisara stated. “I know you read about them, but I don’t know if you have seen them. They were left behind by the Protheans.”

“Yes, they are sort of like an intergalactic slingshot, right?”

Jenisara nodded to Snow in agreement with the metaphor. “In essence yes.”

Leonardo piped over intercom as they approached the Mass Relay. “I would buckle up, it’s going to get rocky, at least for a moment or too.”

Snow resumed his seat, buckling in belt, looking across to Jenisara. The look on the asari’s face had one of worry. For the next few seconds Snow watched her face and then there was a sudden bright flash, followed by a hard jolt.

Seconds later, things were calm again as the flash dimmed and they were out in open space again. This pattern repeated, after several more jumps.

After it was all said and done, Leonardo came in on the intercom. “We’re here.”

Snow unbuckled his seat belt and then moved towards the cockpit of the cargo ship. “What does it look like,” he asked as he came into the cockpit. He looked out the window of the ship, as the world came into view.

Jenisara came in after him, peering over his shoulder. “It looks like Earth,” she commented as the world got larger, ever close as they made their approach.

Snow nodded in agreement. “It does, doesn’t it?” He looked over to the drell tour guide, and asked a question. “So, how do we plan on getting down there, beaming down?”

Leonardo looked quizzically over at Snow unsure of what he meant. “Beam?”

“You know, from Star Trek? Beam me up Scotty!”

“I am afraid I don’t know what you mean,” the drell answered and then looked back at the rapidly approaching 2715 Aeia. “But to answer your question, we are going to land on this world.”

Snow shook his head. “All of this advanced technology and we can’t teleport down to a planet’s surface. But I guess that means we should go back and have seat.”

Jenisara nodded and then lead the way back to the cargo bay seating. “What do you think you will find down there, Snow?”

“I don’t know, but I hope some kind of answer or answers. Because you and I have risked a lot just to find out what it could be,” the human answered, buckling in as they made their descent into the planet’s atmosphere.

The descent was shaky and rocky for a moments as they both could feel the rising g-forces in the ship. But soon it all calmed down as they landed. The cockpit doors opened, Leonardo cocking and loading an assault rifle. “Ready, Benjamin Snow?”

Snow nodded as the cargo bay doors opened, light streaming into the ship’s cargo bay. “Are we expecting hostiles,” he asked, squinting until his eyes adjusted to the sunlight.

“No, but you never know,” the drell answered. He took the lead as he stepped out of the cargo bay. Gun raised, eyes peered over sight as their was slow paced march forward.

Both Snow and Jenisara moved slowly behind the drell. “It appears that the coast is clear,” the drell spoke.


The human and asari remained quiet as they made their approach to what loomed ahead. In the distance, there loomed a building, one that appeared to have been there for some time. Rust and plant life seemed to cover the structure in parts. “Is that where we are going to find answers,” Snow asked, his eyes widening as he gazed upon the structure.


“Yes, yes it is,” Leonardo answered.


As they neared the structure, it appeared as if it had some recent use, or maybe somebody had been to it recently. “Somebody has been here…” Jenisara pointed out kneeling over some tracks in the path before them. They all the way to the building.


Snow stopped and looked over at their drell companion. “Who else knows about this place besides us?”


Leonardo shook his head and then shrugged. “I don’t know. I was given this information from the Shadow Broker.”


The human looked worried now that may have just willfully walked into a trap light years away from safety. But the drell continued.


“The look on your face tells me you don’t trust me. And that I understand. Had I known something was going to be here, I would have warned you.”


Snow had no reason to trust him; no reason to believe him. He had come this far for answers. He had to follow through. “Alright let’s go then,” he said, a slight wary tone in his voice.


Jenisara looked more concerned than he, but nodded to their drell guide and they moved forward.


As they neared the building , the walls were cracked with age and damage from the outside elements, and the door was left open, unable to close from age.


Inside was another story altogether. The lights seemed to flicker, the sound of water leaking somewhere in the building, stains covers the floor. “Power is still running here,” murmured Jenisara.


Snow looked around examining the space. A ramp led up towards computer console covered in dust. “Let’s see what we can find, shall we,” he stated putting away his weapon.”


The drell looked around puzzled. “Hmmm this building is quite large. Are we going to search the whole place?”


The asari shrugged. “Searching the whole place could take days,” she remarked turning to Snow, who was wiping dust away as he turned on the computer console.”


“I think we should see if we can find something specific here to point us in the right direction,” Snow replied, tapping around the keyboard. He was trying to search the computers database. The human stopped swallowing hard.


“What is it, Snow,” Jenisara asked. “What did you find?”


Snow paused staring at the screen in front of him. “This facility…or whatever it is, was used to experiment on living beings. Human, asari, turian…”


“Experimenting on them for what, exactly,” Leonardo chimed in.


“Biotics,” Snow answered. “I am letting the database search for me now.” The machine beeped indicating it was done its search. But just as the human was going to look at the file, the computer console projected a red holographic image, one of an cuttlefish looking object. “A Reaper…”


The hologram spoke. Its voice was deep, robotic, and overbearing. “Benjamin Snow. I am Odium.”