Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is twenty-two years old and bleeding out.
She clutches her arm against the wound in her side, takes a deep breath, and decides she isn’t going to let this end her. Not yet. She scrambles through the wards, blood slippery along her skin and beneath her suit, a sensation singular, foreign, frightening. It’s made more frightening by the fact that most people don’t bother to spare a glance at her, even though she drags bloody handprints on the wall, even though she staggers.
She’d heard what people thought of quarians in Citadel space, but she never expected it to be so true.
She gets lucky. Dr. Michel’s clinic isn’t far from where she got shot, and she realizes she’s going to make it after all. She patches her suit up, gratefully takes the medigel Dr. Michel gives her. The antibiotics and pain medicine make her feel lightheaded, but she’s still alive. She’s also terrified.
Most pilgrimages, she reflects, do not go this badly.
Tali knows she is taking a huge risk. She knows the meeting with the Shadow Broker is probably a trap. She knows the blast she’s rigging might take her out, too.
But she doesn’t know the human who finds her deep in the wards, a C-Sec turian and… a krogan mercenary? at his side.
“I’m Shepard,” the human says, holding his hand out to her. She remembers something about this; she’d been reading up before she left the flotilla, just in case she wound up in human space. She takes his hand and shakes it clumsily, holding on for too long. Shepard has to pull his hand away after a moment, though he is gracious enough not to point out her mistake. He has far too many fingers, she decides, but the weight of his hand is reassuring. So this is a handshake.
Tali exhales. Terror transforms into determination.
A- Age: 17
B- Biggest fear: not living long enough to see my transhumanist dreams come true
C- Current time: 2:23 PM
D- Drink you last had: arizona honey & ginseng green tea
E- Every day starts with: a bagel
F- Favorite song: difficult question but I’m gonna say Death & Rebirth - Lotus Eater
G- Ghosts, are they real: only on tuesdays
H- Hometown: I’ve moved thirteen times since birth so I’ve never really had one
I- In love with: Tali’Zorah nar Rayya / Tali’Zorah vas Normandy, Garrus Vakarian, Celty Sturluson, and the pulse blade pilot from Titanfall 2
J- Jealous of: anyone who’s seen Graham Kartna perform live
K- Killed someone: hundreds of thousands, possibly millions
L- Last time you cried: after my last breakup, a little over a year ago
N-Number of siblings: dog and cat
O- One wish: Metro 2035 as a Stalker-esque sandbox horror/FPS/RPG or a revival of the Stalker franchise
P- Person you last called/texted: everyone on my discord server
Q- Questions you’re always asked: “why are you such an unfunny carl clone”
R- Reasons to smile: Cyberpunk 2077 could have a new trailer this year
S- Song last sang: Garbage - Not Your Kind of People
T- Time you woke up: 4:30 AM
U- Underwear Color: stealth black
V- Vacation destination: Taipei, Tokyo, Stockholm, Seoul, or anywhere my friends live
W- Worst habit: hematophagy of my own body; it sounds edgy but it’s something I’ve done/had since as far back as I can remember.
X- X-rays you’ve had: I’ve broken my right leg twice and my right arm once, besides that I can’t think of anything.
Y- Your favorite food: homemade burgers, the most iconic symbol of American imperialism
Z- Zodiac sign: aries
Having recently played through the Mass Effect series, I can honestly say that nothing about it stood out to me as a “pop culture phenomena”, except for the N7 armor and Quarians. First time I met Tali'Zorah in ME1, my honest reaction was “holy shit, so THAT’S what they’re like”. Needless to say, Tali was my romance in ME2. :P