U.S. Rangers on a troop ship in an English port waiting for the signal to sail to the coast of Normandy. Clockwise, starting from far left, is First Sergeant Sandy Martin, who was killed during the landing, Technician Fifth Grade Joseph Markovich, Corporal John Loshiavo, and at bottom, Private First Class Frank E. Lockwood.
Tali watched as Garrus queued up in the line for Citadel rapid transit back to the Normandy. She waited a ways back; no sense in all of them standing in line. Beside her Shepard fidgeted, shifting his feet as he stood. He still looked angry, those red scars on his cheeks almost pulsing with it.
He’d seemed angrier ever since whatever Cerberus had done to him to bring him back. He’d been less patient, more prone to taking risks, more likely to forget the diplomacy and just let loose. Sometimes she thought he went too far, and she fretted about him; wondered what he was thinking, why he had chosen a certain course of action. Other times she was glad of his fury. Like now.
Racist bosh’tets, accusing Lia’Vael first of thievery, then of vagrancy. When she was on pilgrimage! Tali’s hand curled into a fist at her side. She’d been enraged, and unable to keep from stepping in to defend the other quarian. There had been a brief moment when she’d wondered, had she gone too far? Drawn the wrath of C-Sec? Worse, would Shepard would be disappointed in her?
She laughed to herself. Of course Shepard had had her back. How could she have thought otherwise?
“Thank you,” she said. “For standing up to them back there.”
Shepard glanced at her, his grim look relaxing. “They needed someone to take them down a notch,” he said. “That girl did nothing wrong. For them to go after her like that just because she’s a quarian – well, it’s bullshit, Tali.”
“I know it is,” she said, some of her anger dissipating in the comfort of their shared disapproval. She edged toward him, laying a light touch on his arm before quickly withdrawing it. “You didn’t have to say anything, as a human, but you did anyway. I’m grateful for it. I know Lia’Vael is, too.”
He smiled, the lines around his eyes softening. She’d missed the way it looked on him. She had always liked how free humans were with their smiles. They happened for everything – jokes, diplomacy, easing a mood, even nervousness. They were ubiquitous, but no less fascinating for it.
Quarian smiles were secret; they’d come to rely on the change in voice instead, the shift of a raised hand, the tilt of a mask. It was a pity the antibacterial treatments of their envirosuit visors rendered them somewhat opaque. She wished he could see she smiled back.
“I’m still a Spectre,” Shepard explained. “I can use it. I’ll send a message to Bailey when we get back about that officer; that kind of prejudice is inexcusable. Cracking down on crime and security is one thing, but that asshole just gets off on being bigger than somebody else. I’ve been the little guy before. I won’t put up with it now.” He paused, his grin fading. “Did shit like that happen to you on the Citadel? Before we met?”
While I love Kaidan, I feel that his “need to know everything before acting” doesn’t mesh that well with him being a Spectre. Spectres need to act on instinct with what they know at the time – you don’t have the liberty of waiting and collating information. So post-ME3 I isolate Kaidan with the Normandy crew, forcing him to rethink and reevaluate his views (and also why I always let him shoot Udina).
“U.S. Rangers on a troop ship in an English port waiting for the signal to sail to the coast of Normandy. Clockwise, starting from far left, is First Sergeant Sandy Martin, who was killed during the landing, Technician Fifth Grade Joseph Markovich, Corporal John Loshiavo, and at bottom, Private First Class Frank E. Lockwood.”
A Further Exchange of Knowledge (Closed RP with talixzorah)
Compared to how laborious the process might’ve been on other ships, it was comparatively easy to install decontamination equipment in one of the spare crew quarters, especially with there already being quite a few spare parts for that purpose onboard. It might prove to be a pleasant surprise to Tali, and even if it didn’t get used then, having the accommodations in place for species with weak immune systems wouldn’t be bad either.
The preparation of that room took place while Hotephas was waiting for the Normandy to arrive in-system, so he could send a message to it, and by extension, Tali herself. He was interested in seeing what she could do with their tech, and no doubt she would be interested in their technology as well. As for the message itself, it read: “Hey Tali. It’s Hotephas. I’ve got some new technologies aboard my ship if you’re interested. I can also take you to somewhere in Absinthium if you’d like some first-hand experience. Is there anywhere you’d like to meet to discuss this in person?”