ilium

Helen is not of Troy
and not of Sparta.
She does not live in the towers of burning Ilium,
or the ruined palaces of once-great Greece–
No, she is found between the folds of history
over and over and over again.

Blamed and de-famed and cruelly scorned,
She is every woman who bears the burden
of the faults of men and gods.

She is all of us–
History repeating itself,
maybe to punish
maybe to teach
maybe to remind
But it does not matter–
Whatever might be the ill-taught lesson,
the shouts of the imprisoned and deprived
are forever lost in the clanging of weapons,
false pride
and forgotten women.

Sing, o goddess, the rage of Helen
–which launched not a thousand ships
but was stifled and silenced
by a war fought wrongly in her honour.

—  sing, o goddess, the rage of helen | by prithvi. p
4

I’m reading a book called Ilium, by Dan Simmons. It has some interesting ideas, but… Christ.
The writing is so bad sometimes.

These are all from the perspective of a 21st century scholar who is resurrected in the future by the Greek Gods, now living on Olympus Mons (Mars). The Gods send him back in time with special equipment to compare how faithfully Homer’s epic poem The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War.
At one point the scholar disguises himself as Paris in order to sleep with Helen of Troy. Helen realizes that he isn’t her husband because the sex is “too earnest” and his penis is larger than Paris’. She then sleeps with him several more times.

It’s so painful. I hate it.

BEWARE:
boy with hell in his smile and a summer storm in his eyes.

he will look at you and you will tell yourself that he isn’t all that beautiful (he is). when the casual graze of his hand against yours keeps you awake at night you will say you do not wish him to steal you and keep you in his arms until the sun comes up (you do). 

BEWARE:
boy with a thousand nights of excess between his ribs.

you will decorate your hair with flowers and dance in the sun. you will lie to yourself when you say you don’t want to live the night the way he does and poison your body until you are so intoxicated with him that the only thing that’s real anymore is his breath on your neck.

BEWARE:
boy with heaven in his tongue and a scorching desert on his fingertips.

you will try to erase the prints he has left on your skin but when they talk about ilium burning all you can remember is the way his mouth felt on yours and how he caught his breath when your lips were on his chest. he will make you forget what having a body felt like before you met him.  

BEWARE:
boy who will steal your lungs and your guts and your heart.

—  [warnings to spring girls with restless hearts] (modern persephone x hades)- Carmen A.
2

Asari have one of the most disappointing designs in Mass Effect series. The famous conversation in bar on Ilium makes little sense considering that they use the same model as humans, fans even theorised them having hypnotic powers. That theory is implausible for several reasons and conversation itself seems almost mocking considering that Asari are reskinned humans. I tried to make them more alien and interesting while keeping key features. They are supposed to be attractive by human standards, which I hope I achieved, and similar to turians salarians and humans. There’s not much from turians in this design because I couldn’t make a consistent and good looking whole, though the fringe is still there. I tried to give them turian hips but it looked awkward. The eyes are modified from one of the concept variants. The face and body shape is human both because of the way humans refer to them in game and to prove that it’s possible to create an attractive alien who can use human body and face animations without being completely human.

You Won’t Miss Much, Part Two

Hello! So here is chapter two, ft. Worried!Fenrys

I also learned a bit of history/mythology the other day! Sellene is one of the primordial gods in Greek history, and Endymion was her lover who was killed. They are also Rowan’s cousins, who are both mentioned in EoS! Sorry, my inner nerd.

Summary: It’s been months since the war that changed every aspect of life in Erilea. Aelin Galathynius has survived against all odds and now is the rightful queen of Terrasen, but there are demons that still haunt both her and her court. And when she sends her king to deal with the rising tensions in Eyllwe, those demons begin their assault on everyone’s mind. And in the midst of it all, another surprise will either be the making or breaking of Aelin.

Warnings: Mentions of rape. Suicidal thoughts, torture, insomina, ptsd, depression.

Word Count: 3070

Chapter One.  Chapter Three

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If Rowan Whitethorn Galathynius didn’t get something to eat in about two minutes, he was going to end someone’s life. He glanced around at his companions, who all seemed to be sharing his feelings of coldness, tiredness, and hunger. He’d been on much tougher war campaigns, ones where they’d had to abandon their horses because the snow was too deep, or the ones where they’d gone days without rest or food, but somehow this one was fraying his nerves much more than those ever had. 

 Perhaps it was what Aelin had awoken him with last night…

 Rowan shook his head, and spurred his horse a bit, hissing as the animal clomped into a large puddle he hadn’t noticed. Aedion, who had been riding unusually quite beside him, laughed dryly.

“Not enough sleep last few nights, Your Majesty?” The male’s smarmy grin was enough for Rowan to get what he was suggesting.

“I could ask you the same thing,” he replied, without looking back at him. Aedion made a sound of protest, and sped up his horse to catch up with Rowan. “Never mind that,” he said, the words coming out with a puff of steam in the cold air. The golden male looked back towards the rest of the party behind him, a smiling catching on his face as he saw Gavriel looking miserable at the back. 

They’d only brought three lords, the ones Aelin trusted, and three guards. But the lords, the finicky bastards, had insisted they bring a few of their servants with them. But still it was a small party, considering the task Aelin had sent him with; heal the bonds, ease people’s minds. Aedion had insisted they bring more, but Rowan had only said that more would look too much like an invasion.

“You know,” Aedion whispered. “It’ll take us two months to get there if we don’t hurry our pace.”  He was right, they’d miss their ship if they didn’t hurry. The plan was to ride to Ilium, then board on of the ship’s bound for Eyllwe. Rowan nodded his assent, the crown on his head heavy, and he raised a hand to steady it.

“Do I really have to wear this the entire journey?” He hissed, snapping his gaze to his general, who only laughed. “I suppose so.” Rowan braced himself as a wicked grin spread across Aedion’s tan face. “But, if you had agreed to taking a carriage—” Rowan groaned and let his head droop a bit. “You’d only have to wear it outside!”

“I am certainly not riding in a carriage like some polished little prince.” Aedion laughed, his eyes sparkling. Rowan felt another pang of hunger strike his belly, and he grabbed the pocket watch Aelin had thrown at him as he had been packing. It was nearly an hour past noon. But Aedion was right, they needed to pick up their pace, and, as Rowan glanced around, he found no place to stop. Rowan huffed. “We’ll stop in an hour.” Aedion nodded, and shouted the words back towards the group behind them. For a while the only sound was that of the clip-clop of horses’ hooves and the snapping of the silver-and-green banners in the wind, then a grumble interrupted it. Rowan snapped his eyes to Aedion in question, and the male blushed.

“I’m hungry,” he explained.

Rowan rolled his eyes but reached over to his saddle bag with one hand, unclipping it and tossing it towards Aedion. “Aelin probably stuck some gross confectionery in there.”

Aedion laughed as he rifled through it, shouting his victory when he yanked out a small wax paper bag. “Why,” Aedion began as he popped what looked like a piece of chocolate into his mouth, “does she shove this stuff in here if she knows you aren’t going to eat it?”

Rowan shrugged in answer and scanned the road before them. The towering pines on either side of the road created quite the image; each dusted with last night’s fallen snow, the needles whispering in the faint wind. There was a snicker behind him that turned into a full guffaw, and Rowan raised his brows at Aedion, then saw what he was looking at… 

“Oh gods,” he groaned, a blush heating his face. Aelin— wicked and cruel Aelin had slid a book into his bag as well. He remembered that particular book well. It was a copy of one of Aelin’s favorite collections of poems. If you could call them poems, and not just explicit short stories.

“Why the hell do you have this?” he said after another minute of laughter. Rowan only shook his head. “Blame your queen, General.”

Aedion chuckled, “She reads this smut?” Rowan fixed him with a look of disbelief. “You’ve no idea.”

You minx, he said to Aelin.

Hmm, did you find my book?
Yes, but, as a matter of fact, Aedion, found your book
, he growled.

There was a pause, then, Oh. I hope he enjoyed it.


 Sitting at the table in her chambers, breakfast spread before her, Aelin scanned the paper before her, trying desperately to quell her disappointment at what she was reading.

Your Majesty,

Sellene and I have been trying feverishly to calm the many who think the Whitethorn’s aren’t appropriate rulers, and I am sad to tell you that we may have to forfeit this rule. Or perhaps, you and my dear cousin could come to Doranelle to speak on our behalf, we need more influence than the few decrees you’ve sent. With Maeve dead, centuries of tradition are disintegrating, and we need your help. There has been no violence to speak of, but we fear that it may arise. I am aware of the things going on in Erilea, but this is a plea, if only so we can keep this from escalating.

Your friend,
Endymion.

Aelin sighed heavily. She couldn’t leave to go to Wendlyn, not for the next few months at least, and she couldn’t spare anyone to go either. The tension in the kingdom had been steadily rising since the War, and it seemed it was at its tipping point. She scrubbed her face with a hand, then a few hard knocks on the door interrupted her, and she glanced towards the young girl who was pouring her a cup of tea. “Get that, please.” 

The girl scurried off with a quick bow, and Aelin adjusted the sleeves of her tunic as she heard the two sets of footsteps returning. It had been three weeks since Rowan had left, and she figured she had gotten maybe two whole nights of rest collectively. Maybe it was the nightmares that chased her from sleep, or the cold that had seeped into her bones. Aelin tipped back her head and sighed.

“You look like shit.”

Aelin righted herself to glare at Fenrys, whose tan face was serious. “Nice to see you, too, Fen. I’ve been well, how about you?”

 Fenrys didn’t smile as he pulled out a chair at the end of the table, helping himself to a plate of potatoes and sausage.

 “I’m serious, Aelin,” he said. “Are you feeling well?” 

Aelin rolled her eyes and braced an arm on the table, digging her fork into a piece of toast. “Is there a reason you’re here so early, Fenrys?” She said rather snappishly. 

The male raised a groomed brow in her direction, but shook his head, and fished something of his pocket, “This came a little bit ago.” He tossed a sealed envelope across the table, and she caught it with a hand. Suddenly, the scent of pine and snow and Rowan filled her, and a smile brightened her face. “Rowan,” she breathed.

She looked away from the sealed letter and towards Fenrys, raising a brow. “Why not just have a servant deliver this?” Fenrys looked out the window, his hands fidgeting with his fork. “Fenrys,” she growled. He winced a bit and met her eyes again. “Lysandra wanted me to check on you, she said you hadn’t been sleeping, and that you wouldn’t talk to her about it—”

Aelin bristled and clenched her fork a bit tighter. “And she said it might be good to talk to someone else…” Fenrys shifted in his seat, poking at the food on his plate. Aelin knew they were only trying to help, but they couldn’t.

 It was as simple as that. 

They had no way of knowing what it had been like inside that coffin, or inside that damned pit Maeve had kept her in. And she didn’t think she could ever tell them. Fenrys knew most of what had happened simply because he’d been there, and Rowan… She’d told him only what she could. 

There were some things that could only escape the binds she kept them in during her nightmares. And the things that had happened when she’d faced Erawan on the battle field… “I can’t talk about it Fen. I-,” she paused, considering what she was about to say. “I won’t talk about it.”

Fenrys nodded sadly and stood. “I have days like that too, but you can’t let it sit inside and grow into even worse monstrosities. We can’t let what happened to us defeat us after we’ve already survived it. You survived, Majesty, don’t forget that. And don’t forget that surviving isn’t the same thing as living.” With that, he left.

Aelin braced her elbows on the table, looking at her half-eaten breakfast in disgust. She’d told Rowan once that he made her want to live­— not just survive. And he did. Every day, but it seemed that ever since she’d been freed from that hellhole, she’d been going through the motions. 

She was Aelin Galathynius and she had survived Maeve, she had survived a fate that the very gods had predestined her for. But she was tired of just surviving. Perhaps she had forgotten those words she’d told her mate all those months ago.


Fenrys was lost in thought as he wandered down the hall towards his rooms, but as the ever-changing scent of Lysandra met his nose, he was drug out of his reverie. 

“Did you talk to her?” Lysandra practically shouted as he neared her.

 “I did my best, but,” he sighed. “This is something she has to be willing to do.” 

Lysandra frowned, but nodded. “Before Rowan left, he told me to keep an eye on her.” She dropped her voice, and glanced around the empty hall. “He said her nightmares had gotten worse, and that she wasn’t even telling him what was going on.” 

Lysandra scrubbed her face with a small hand. “I’m worried.” She said finally, and Fenrys nodded his agreement. “There’s quite a lot going on, maybe after everything’s settled in Eyllwe and in Doranelle, the stress will ease,” he said after a moment. “Maybe,” Lysandra whispered.


Aelin had forced herself to finish her meal before asking for the table to be cleared. Now, lying atop the covers in her bed, she smiled as she carefully unfolded the parchment, Rowan’s scent still clinging to the paper.

My dearest, Aelin,

I miss you. It is hard being so far away from you, Fireheart. By the time you get this letter, I’ll be on the ship, but for now, I’m lying in my dreadfully uncomfortable bed in the nicest inn Ilium could offer, wishing you were here. Unfortunately, I think the further we get from each other, the harder it is to get clear messages, so while I’m on the ship, you may have some silence. But I promise when I get to Eyllwe I’ll write more. And, I am unashamed to tell you that I have read a few of your little poems. They’ve giving me a few ideas, actually, especially the one atop page 55.

Aelin made a mental note to look that one up.

But, asides from your sinful literature, I’d like you to know how amazing Ilium is. This city is flourishing, and as are all the others we passed through on the way here. Aelin, when I get back, I think we should go around and visit the towns and villages again. Not just for their sake, but for ours as well. I think it would do us both good to see what we’ve done. The people are healing, from the War, and from the past. It’s inspiring. This morning, after we arrived, I went down to the temple to pray, and to look around. It has become a place of reverence again. You’d be honored, my love.

He went on to discuss the many happenings of their week and a half of travels, and of course, the topics he had decided to discuss in Eyllwe, but towards the end…. Aelin reread the last few paragraphs a few times.

Aelin, perhaps this a cowardly way of doing things, but I wanted to do this in a letter, if only because you cannot out right refuse the written word. I know there are things you aren’t talking about, with me, with Lys, with anyone. And I know you need time, I am prepared to give you the rest of your life if need be, but Fireheart, you can’t internalize these things. You can’t keep it in. It’ll destroy you. I know from personal experience.

You told me once that you can’t talk about the things that have happened to you. You told me that there was a rage. But that rage does not turn me away. I am not going to turn away. You’re my mate. My carranam. My queen and wife. And I love you more than anything in this damned world and in the next. And if you can’t ever talk about what happened. Then please just tell me what your feeling, Aelin. Please. You are not alone in this recovery process. You are never alone. No matter if I am thousands of miles away, my heart is with you, Fireheart. Always.

Yours Always,

Rowan.

She didn’t realize she was crying until a tear slipped down her face and onto the paper, smearing Rowan’s messy scrawl. Aelin set the paper aside shakily and rolled onto her back. They were right. Painfully right. She had covered everything up. Had buried it beneath false smiles and sarcastic remarks. 

Her mental health hadn’t been something she had even considered for the past six months. She had been so focused on her kingdom, and the wedding, and treaties and decrees and all the other bullshit that she had shoved away all the pain and sorrow and utter devastation at what had been done to her.

But they were wrong about one thing.  There was no talking about it. Aelin didn’t know what would happen if she did. It was something so revolting and destructive. That damn pit of memories. Aelin covered her face with a trembling hand, pressing her palm into her eyes until she saw nothing but black.


Fenrys was about two seconds away from slamming the petulant little guard’s face into the wall. “Let me repeat myself, I am one of the queen’s blood-sworn. Let me enter,” he growled to the now-shaking male. “B-but I am n-not supposed to let anyone i-in,” he stammered, glancing between Fenrys and Connall nervously. 

“We pose the queen no harm; we just have matters to discuss.” Con’s even voice seemed to soothe the man, and he stepped aside. Fenrys refrained from glaring at the man. “If she lights your asses on fire, don’t you blame me.” He grumbled.

Fenrys eased open the door, scanning the entryway as he stepped in. “Aelin,” he called softly. When there was no response, he and Connall walked in further, down the few steps that led to the main bedroom. 

Aelin lie on the bed, seemingly asleep. Her small weight barely made a dent in the large bed, and Fenrys exchanged a glance with his brother. Together, they approached the bed on near silent feet.

 Faintly, Fenrys could hear her breath, but she should have heard them enter, at least she should have heard them arguing in the hall. “Your Majesty?” Connall whispered, concerning edging his voice. Fenrys frowned when she did not respond, and reinforced his shield as her reached out a tentative hand to brush her arm. Aelin jerked up, a ball of flame flaring to life in her palm.

“What the hell!” She shouted, the flame extinguishing much to Fenrys delight. There were dried paths of tears on her cheeks, but as he caught sight of the opened letter to her right, he decided not to ask about them.
“We came to—”

“Check on me,” Aelin snarled. Connall gave Fenrys a pleading look, but he only shook his head. Their queen was right. 

Aelin angrily patted down her hair and snatched up her letter from the bed.

 “I’m not some toddler you must keep tabs on,” she said as she refolded her letter, and then leaned forward to slide it into the drawer of the nightstand. 

Smoothly, she hopped of the bed and began walking towards her closet. 

“Get out,” she said flatly. Fenrys felt the words as if they were a slap to the face, and from the hurt look in Con’s face, he felt the same. 

“Aelin, please, if this is about Rowan—,” Connell was interrupted by a viscous, cold laugh, one that made ice shoot into every vein in Fenrys body. 

“You think that this is about Rowan?” Aelin’s voice filled the room as she whipped her body around to face them. “Do you think that I’m some love-sick child?” The female spat, her hands trembling with rage.

 Fenrys held up his hands in a sign of peace. This wasn’t just the anger of a separated mate. No, this was something much deeper. Something much more sinister.

Aelin turned back to her closet “I’ll say it again. Get out! And leave me the hell alone!” With that she stomped into her closet and slammed the heavy door shut.


Aelin didn’t leave the closet until she heard them leave. So, she had sat there like a pouting child for a few minutes, and as she sat on her bed now, she realized how ridiculous she was being. They just wanted to reach her. They wanted to help. But… Aelin didn’t want their help. Out of everything, she’d always survived and figured everything out. She would this time to.

[Trollhunters] Ithaca

Title: Ithaca
Summary: He doesn’t realize it’s Ithaca he’s looking for until he finds it. When he does, she has blue eyes and a different name.
Characters: Walter Strickler. Mentions of Barbara and Jim.

A/N: last week I watched all of Trollhunters instead of sleeping and now I wrote this instead of sleeping. I need some lessons in adulting because man, do I fail at it. 

***

Changelings never remember precisely what is done to them in order to change them in the first place. What they do remember every waking hour is what they’re told throughout the process.

You can never go back.

‘Back’ is a vague concept to beings that remember nothing prior to their turning. ‘Back’ is the nebulous reality of a family that, somewhere, woke up to an empty crib. Perhaps they mourned before picking up the pieces and moving on. Because they do move on, every single one of them. Sometimes the crib remains empty; sometimes a new offspring fills the void, guarded viciously by parents who’ll never allow it to meet the same fate as the previous.

They will never look for you. They never speak of you. They’ve all forgotten you.

They’ll have a dead child over an Impure one.

There are tales of a Changeling who went back, one who was taken young but not quite young enough. She remembered things from before, the tale went, and decided to look for her birth family. What she remembered was enough to find them - ignoring warnings, clawing her way back even as her brethren tried to hold her back. She had appeared before her bloodkin wounded but deliriously happy, reaching out for them with hands stained by the blood of her brothers and sisters.

They had recognized her as one of their own corrupted young, the tale went on. They had reached back for those outstretched arms.

And then they had torn her apart.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What are the key features of dinosaurs though, exactly?

Kind of a long story and it’s a fluctuating list. Here is a list from Nesbitt: 

  • in the skull, a supratemporal fossa (excavation) is present in front of the supratemporal fenestra, the main opening in the rear skull roof
  • epipophyses, obliquely backward pointing processes on the rear top corners, present in the anterior (front) neck vertebrae behind the atlas and axis, the first two neck vertebrae
  • apex of deltopectoral crest (a projection on which the deltopectoral muscles attach) located at or more than 30% down the length of the humerus (upper arm bone)
  • radius, a lower arm bone, shorter than 80% of humerus length
  • fourth trochanter (projection where the caudofemoralis muscle attaches on the inner rear shaft) on the femur (thighbone) is a sharp flange
  • fourth trochanter asymmetrical, with distal, lower, margin forming a steeper angle to the shaft
  • on the astragalus and calcaneum, upper ankle bones, the proximal articular facet, the top connecting surface, for the fibula occupies less than 30% of the transverse width of the element
  • exoccipitals (bones at the back of the skull) do not meet along the midline on the floor of the endocranial cavity, the inner space of the braincase
  • in the pelvis, the proximal articular surfaces of the ischium with the ilium and the pubis are separated by a large concave surface (on the upper side of the ischium a part of the open hip joint is located between the contacts with the pubic bone and the ilium)
  • cnemial crest on the tibia (protruding part of the top surface of the shinbone) arcs anterolaterally (curves to the front and the outer side)
  • distinct proximodistally oriented (vertical) ridge present on the posterior face of the distal end of the tibia (the rear surface of the lower end of the shinbone)
  • concave articular surface for the fibula of the calcaneum (the top surface of the calcaneum, where it touches the fibula, has a hollow profile)
Re: About Horizon

Read on AO3

Encrypted message for Staff Commander Kaidan Alenko

Dear Kaidan,

I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your message before now. It took Liara a while to come up with a secure comm protocol. Cerberus almost certainly reads my email, and what I have to say is too private for that.

Do you remember what you said to me once? About cutting corners, and letting things slide? You told me that when someone important to you is up on a ledge, you help them. I think that was the day I started to fall in love with you. You’re a man of deep principle, and you’re not afraid to call me out when you think I’m wrong. I’m a better woman for having known you.

So what you said on Horizon: don’t apologize. I won’t pretend it wasn’t painful to hear. But I’m glad you said it. I’m glad to know you’re still the principled man I love. However else we’ve changed these last two years, that’s one thing that’s stayed the same.

I wish I could tell you I’ll survive this. But we’re hitting the Omega 4 relay tomorrow, and there’s a good chance we won’t be coming back. If that happens, then I need you to do something for me. I’ve gathered up all the intel I have on the Collectors and the Reapers and put it on an encrypted OSD. Find Liara on Ilium, and she’ll make you a copy. If I fail to take down the Collectors, I need you to pick up where I left off. If I succeed, but don’t come back, the Reapers are still out there. I need you to take up that fight if I can’t.

I’ve also included every last bit of classified Cerberus info I could get my hands on. Because you’re right: they can’t be trusted. We have common goals for now, but that won’t last forever. When the time comes, there’s no one I trust more to do the right thing.

More than anything, I need you to know one thing: I love you. I never stopped loving you. That night before Ilos? It meant the world to me too. Whatever else has changed between us, that’s never stopped being true.

I know I’ve lost your trust. I want to think that I could earn it back one day. Maybe too much has happened for that to be possible anymore. We might never go back to being what we used to be to each other. I wish it were otherwise. I wish I could jump ship right now, tell Cerberus to go to hell, and beg for your forgiveness. But too many lives are at stake for that.

Don’t get me wrong: I want to live. If it will spare you further pain, if there’s even a smidgen of a chance that we can make things right between us, then I will fight like hell to keep that chance alive.

But I still might die. I can’t ask you not to mourn me, because I know it doesn’t work that way. But know that I died keeping the people of this galaxy safe. I died protecting the people I love. I died protecting you.

I can live with that.

Yours, forever and always,

Kel Shepard

Apparently what Ghost needed for me to get past my mythology-and-sadness fatigue was Hannah Shepard and Her Obscenely Competent Assistant, Ingrid: 

“At the risk of pedantry,” she said, when Hannah had taken up pacing again, “the coordinates he gave you —”

“Oh, just come out and say it, Ingrid,” Hannah said through a dry laugh. “The SR-2’s docked at Omega. Perfect place for an ambush, or any other flavor of betrayal.”

“It is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, ma'am,” Ingrid said mildly.

Hannah rolled her eyes. “That’s doing it too much justice.” She forced herself to stop pacing, and gripped her chair hard enough to make the veins on the back of her hands pop out. “You know what I’m about to suggest, and you hate it,” she said.

“I’m not a fan.”

“So talk me out of it.”

Ingrid didn’t throw her hands in the air — too well-bred for that, too self-disciplined too — but she looked very much like a woman who wanted to. “I’ve fought my share of hopeless battles, ma'am, but even I know when to back down. You’re going to Omega, because that’s where your daughter is, and frankly it’s above my pay grade to try and stop you.”

Hannah sighed. The five dossiers, still unread, sat on her desk, waiting to be unlocked with her thumbprint. They’d make for good reading on the trip. They’d ensure she wasn’t walking in blind. Garrus wouldn’t trick her, wouldn’t betray Eliza like that — but the rest of the crew was a knot Hannah hadn’t even started to untangle.

“I’ve taken the liberty of booking passage to Omega via Ilium,” Ingrid went on, a faint smile tugging at her mouth. “We’ll want to avoid the Citadel on our way to the Terminus — no sense in making ourselves more public than we have to. Two days out, two days in-system, then back to the Orizaba. Major Vasquez will take command in our absence, and he’ll keep the crew focused on the propaganda drop, which leaves us the batarian intel and those dossiers for in-flight entertainment. Ma'am, your mouth is open.”

“I don’t know if I should kill you or kiss you,” Hannah said, her cheeks already sore from smiling. “And what the hell’s with all this we business?”

“Either of those actions would be against regs, ma'am, even for the Orizaba. And you didn’t work the batarian desk, I did — you’re going to need me.” Ingrid smiled. “Not just that, but no way in hell are you going to Omega without someone watching your back.”

How she and Eliza managed to deserve their friends, she would never know. “Well, get packed, Ingrid,” Hannah said. “The beauty of working in our sector is that no one bats an eye when we go dark for a week. Let’s —” She swallowed, her heart kicking her ribs. “Let’s go see this mess my girl’s in now.”