“Mira, you there?”
She was gone. The asari had completely vanished. Osirus had attempted to get her to respond, but she was nowhere in sight. Even Anders and Jhun couldn’t spot her over their access to the security panels.
“She’s slipped off-cam,” Anders said. “She’s good at being sneaky, it seems.”
“Dammit!” Terrenus growled. “Find her.”
“There are too many asari, Commander,” the human responded. “I can’t differentiate between them.”
The rust-colored turian shook his head and glanced around, his blue gaze searching the asari as well as picking out Osirus slipping inconspicuously through the market.
“She is a Spectre,” the gray-plated turian pointed out.
“I know, but she’s still on the team. If she gets into trouble…” Again, Terrenus shook his head. “No… No, Vutali’s the priority. If we find her, we find her.”
“I’ll keep an eye out for both of them, then,” Anders stated, as though trying to ease the commander’s mind.
Osirus flicked his gaze to where Terrenus was, and began to slip closer to where the asari had disappeared. It wasn’t like her, to just disappear like that. Sure, she was a bit reckless, but at least she was responsible. No, he was almost certain something was up; years of experience told him so. He soon reached the spot where they had their last visual feed of her.
“She may have gone in any direction from here…” he thought aloud.
“Oh, hello, Osirus. You look better on camera,” Anders said, amused by his own statement. Jhun rolled his eyes beside him.
“We’re doing something here,” Osirus muttered, “try to keep focused.”
A sigh sounded over his auditory feed and he flicked his gaze to Terrenus, who was still searching through the markets. “If you want to look for her, go ahead, but don’t do anything out of your league, got it?”
Osirus chuckled a bit. “‘Out of my league’…”
“There is such a thing, you know.”
“I may have my limits,” the older turian stated, “but justice does not.”
Terrenus paused for a moment. “At least we can agree on that.”
The turian stared down the alley for moment, fighting between the urge to find Vutali and the urge to find the missing asari. He was almost entirely torn, but eventually the desire to find Miraiya won and he stepped into the alley.
“Anders, any idea which way she went?”
The human took a moment to respond. “Nope, nothin’. I’m trying to get some kind of reading… but she’s just… gone.”
Osirus steadied himself and nodded.
“‘Gone’?” Terrenus echoed over the feed.
“Yeah, poof. Gone. Like one moment she’s there and the next nothing.”
“Fine, I’ll take a wild guess, then,” the older turian muttered.
“Be careful, Osirus, something doesn’t feel right about this,” Terrenus voiced.
“Don’t worry, Terrenus,” Osirus said, narrowing his organic eye a bit. “I can take a beating.”
With that, he continued on in silence, hearing nothing from the others for a while, until after a while he heard a voice, feminine, but not quite Miraiya’s. He stepped forward silently, perching himself at the top of the drop off to observe. There were two asari, both with blue skin tones, circling around the violet-colored Spectre.
She seemed pissed off. He quietly pulled out his mattock and aimed carefully, watching as Miraiya flicked her gaze from one asari to the other. The asari with white markings warped over to her, attempting to land a hit on her, but the violet asari simply ducked away and leaped back, using her biotics to avoid the enemy. He fired at the first just as the second warped over to the Spectre, trying to land her own punch. This one Miraiya snatched and sent flying into the first after he had fired.
The two got up and began to charge, their biotics fully raging with anger. Osirus held out a palm and singularity field appeared near the two, dragging them back towards the black hole-like biotic field. Miraiya leaped away and flicked her gaze up to him, nodding in appreciation. The turian leaped down from the vantage point and headed over to her while the two asari struggled.
“Well, are you going to finish them?”
She smirked at him. “I thought you wanted to finish them off. I had no intention of spoiling your fun.” The violet-colored asari stepped forward and crouched as her biotic energy began to ripple off of her, then pulled back her arms, charging herself up momentarily. After a few seconds she thrust her arms forward and a concentrated burst of biotic energy flew towards the two asari, sending them straight back and into the nearest wall. The two dropped to the ground, lifeless.
“I was hoping you had that under control anyways,” he stated, trying not to sound impressed at her use of her power.
“I did,” she said, beginning to walk over to the two asari, “but the help is still very much appreciated.”
“Glad to hear it,” he said, slowly following her, his curiosity getting the better of him.
The asari Spectre crouched near the two deceased asari and waved a hand over each of their heads. “May the Goddess forgive you and accept you into her arms,” she muttered, her eyes darkened into a pitch black as she spoke. She closed her eyes and then reopened them, both eyes back to their normal coloration.
“Huh,” Osirus muttered. “Never saw you as the religious type.”
“I’m not,” she said, getting to her feet. “It’s an asari tradition. The religion itself died a long time ago.” Her tone suggested amusement.
“I see,” he stated. “Anything on Vutali in this area?”
She hesitated for a moment, but covered it up with a quick shake of her head. “No. These two figured out I was following them and lead me to a dead end.”
Osirus nodded before lifting his hand to his head. “Terrenus, I’ve found Mira. She’s fine, nothing on Vutali yet.”
They waited for a moment, and Terrenus’ voice came back, a bit fuzzy, but clear enough. “Good to hear. Meet me back up near the markets, we need a new strategy.”
The two began to head back, taking a different route to the one they had come. Miraiya’s thoughts were elsewhere. She could’ve finished Vutali off there, but the thought of her sister being injured, or worse, was enough to send her into complete submission. How had he even gotten a hold of that information? She thought she had kept her sister’s whereabouts to herself. Sure, the salarian’s involvement with the pirate made it more obvious to her, but she had been so careful to keep Cara safe…
“Those asari didn’t give you that much trouble, did they?”
The Spectre blinked out of her trance and shook her head. She hadn’t been expecting him to notice her silence. “No, of course not. They just reminded me of my sister.” She hesitated before continuing. “I haven’t seen another asari since we left the Citadel, and I didn’t exactly leave her on good terms.”
The turian nodded in response. “You remind me of someone I knew. It’s a strange thing…”
“Who do I remind you of?” she smirked, narrowing her eyes at him.
“A drell.” He paused momentarily. “She was my closest squadmate. She once had a brother, but he died in battle.”
Miraiya flicked her gaze away to ensure her footing before nodding. “A shame. One should never have to suffer through losing a family member.” She nearly winced at the thought of her agreement with Vutali and the consequences she’d face if she didn’t go through with it.
With a sigh, the asari shook her head. “I suppose I should’ve been a bit more specific about that, though,” she muttered, mostly to herself.
“In what way?”
She blinked before shrugging a bit. “I’ve had several sisters, although none made it past a few months. Except for Cara, of course. My mother went insane, some believe she committed suicide, others think she was simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, I wasn’t too fond of her.” The violet-colored asari narrowed her yellow-colored eyes. “I’m glad Cara didn’t grow up around that.”
Osirus shifted his half-prosthetic gaze to her momentarily. “Sounds like quite a childhood.”
The asari simply grinned. “I was technically a child, I suppose. Fully grown, sure, except shortly before Cara was born.” She shook her head, as if trying to dismiss the thought. “No sense in dwelling on it. I’ve been completely upfront with my sister about it already.”
The turian nodded his agreement. “To dwell on the past is to forget there is a future,” he muttered.
By now, the two had reached the markets, and Miraiya was the first to spot the rust-colored turian commander waiting for them on the other end. “Precisely,” she responded. “There’s Terrenus.” The two headed over immediately, and the turian nodded his head to them in greeting before turning his sharp blue gaze to the markets.
From the angle he was facing them—Mira could get a clear view of the scarred side of his face. The turian’s left side was nearly burned off in an explosion caused by the pirate they were supposed to be pursuing, leaving him with some missing portions of his face. His upper jaw had a burned off piece of flesh that made his teeth show past his mandibles, which themselves were nearly burned off. Whatever Terrenus had done to prevent further damage to his left side left his eye (and therefore vision) completely intact and unscathed. The plates on the back of the turian’s neck were permanently scorched to a charcoal black, although his injuries would be hardly noticeable from his right side.
“Find anything here?” Osirus inquired.
“No,” the commander growled. “I was considering doubling back to see if we could locate Vutali’s ship. He’s bound to climb aboard some time.”
“Could be worthwhile,” Miraiya stated, hiding her hesitation.
“You’re trying to locate one skeletal turian, correct?” Anders suddenly piped up over the comm.
Terrenus narrowed his eyes a bit. “Yes. Why? Have you got him?”
“I might have something,” the human said.
“Better than nothing,” the turian muttered. “Where at?”
“Markets near dock 7u.”
“Alright, we’re headed down,” the commander said. He then turned to his two companions. “You heard the man, let’s get moving.”
The two nodded before proceeding after him. As they continued to follow Terrenus, Miraiya hung towards the back of the small group, her thoughts elsewhere. She had to exterminate everyone aboard the Xersat… it was a task she really didn’t want to perform, but she had no choice. Vutali might even be holding back what he’d do if she really did disobey.
As they neared the dock, Terrenus lifted his arm a bit. “Keep us updated, Anders. If he moves I want to know where he’s going.”
“Alright,” the human responded.
They continued forward, their eyes peeled for the pale turian and any of his crew.
“He’s leaving!” Anders suddenly cried.
“Hurry it up!” Osirus growled.
“Dammit!” Terrenus hissed before he broke into a run, the other two right on his heels. As they rounded the corner, he narrowly missed a bullet and rolled into cover, whipping out his rifle and watching as both Osirus and Miraiya took cover in different areas.
“He knew we were coming,” she hissed. “That bastard!”
“Anders, where’s he headed?” the commander shouted over the gunfire.
Miraiya pulled out her pistol and began to fire at some of the ground troopers. Osirus overloaded one of the sniper’s shields and proceeded to take him out with a few shots. As he did so, Mira took the opening and warped herself to a second sniper, tossing him off of the rafters as the older turian climbed up on the opposite side, occasionally shooting out the pirates below. Terrenus made himself useful on the ground, gradually creeping forward as each grunt was taken out and proceeding to kill another.
“Uh,” Anders responded after a moment. “You see that biiiig tower to your left?” As he spoke, the commander took cover and shifted his gaze to the balcony’s view. “Sorta near the little one next to it.”
“Yeah,” he said, flinching as a bullet grazed his hiding spot. “I see it.”
Miraiya charged at the third and final sniper, her body raging with her pent-up biotic energy, and she proceeded to slam her fist into… his rifle..? The turian sniper had seen her coming and lifted his rifle just before she hit him, then he thrust the gun at her, hitting her head and sending her staggering backwards a few feet. She glared at him, and he pulled a pistol out and pointed it at her face, then suddenly dropped to the ground. Osirus had penetrated a weak point in his armor with his melee weapon, and managed to kill the turian instantly.
“Thanks,” she muttered, shaking her now-aching head.
“Sometimes they won’t go down too easily,” he said, flicking his gaze around the balcony below them.
Terrenus quietly crept out of cover and sent a few rounds into the last grunt standing before slowly tilting his rifle’s muzzle down. “Alright, that’s all of them,” he said.
The two jumped down to join him, and Terrenus headed over to some of the bodies, examining them and shaking his head solemnly.
“We should get moving,” Osirus suggested.
“Jhun and I are coming,” Anders stated over the comm.
The commander nodded. “We’ll meet you at the tower.” The turian’s gaze settled harshly on their asari Spectre, who had just risen to her feet after examining a fallen batarian pirate. “You don’t seem to be your usual self,” he growled lightly.
The asari shot him a defensive glare. “I’m fine, Commander.”
“Well whatever’s up with you: snap out of it. We need your focus right now.”
Osirus nodded his approval. “Focus is important.”
“I’m fine,” she stressed. “Don’t worry about it.”
Terrenus shook his head a bit. “I’m not worried about it,” he muttered. “I’d just prefer not to lose another teammate.”
Miraiya managed to prevent herself from showing any emotion to that and instead just nodded. “Understandable. Let’s just get moving.”