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Mass Effect: Standoff


Tweet of the Day: SF OBSCURE…SF comedy for the lazy days of August


Commander Turtman barked orders to one of his squads, “Sergeant Kratos your squad will guard the shuttles. I want them prepped in case we need to leave in a hurry.”

“Yes clan chi… sir,” said the squad leader.

Turtman shined his flashlight near Mr. Aten, “Your show.”

The drell operative turned to his batarian companion, “Mr. Si’nn?”

The batarian shook his head, “Yes, right, we have to go to engineering, get power back to the eezo core.”

“Yeah, that’s why we brought the power cells. Okay you dirty pyjaks, you heard him, lets move.”

They walked down a series of dark corridors. Turtman left eye twitched, a clear sign that something was wrong. They navigated a maze of decks, stairways, and empty rooms. In over four hundred years, Turtman worked on many ships but not one the size of this one. It took them half an hour to reach the engine room.

Si’nn came to an abrupt stop, “Not good.”

“What’s wrong?” asked Turtman. Si’nn pointed at the door to the engine room. The holo lock was green, which meant it was active. “Damn, somebody beat us to it. Suggestions?”

“Gentlemen, please wait here while I reconnoiter,” said Mr. Aten.

Turtman motioned his men to take cover, “Right.”

Mr. Aten cloaked on his way to the engine room. The door slid open. The stale air carried the sounds of kicks, punches, and a short weapon burst followed by a long silence.

Mr. Aten’s voice came over the radio,”The area is secured.”

The krogans entered the room with Si’nn in tow.  They found a salarian, a turian and what looked like three humans scattered about the place.

“Are they dead?” asked Turtman nonchalantly.

“The living have a more ample vocabulary than the dead,” said Mr. Aten.

“That wasn’t creepy at all, nope,” said Si’nn.

“By the look of the armor and weapons I would say that they are mercenaries of some sort,” said Mr. Aten.

Turtman ordered his men to secure the area. He noticed an incoming call on one of the mercs omni-tools. He patched his to the  merc. Turtman recognized the white tribal paint on the grey scales of the turian that popped on holo.

“Verminus,” said Turtman with utter contempt.

The turian smiled, “Turt is that you? It is you! How are you doing you old varren? What brings you to my little corner of the galaxy?”

“I could ask you the same thing, Verminus,” said Turtman.

“Oh, just the same old, same old. Got myself a crew, a few contracts. Talking of which, got a real juicy one about two weeks ago . Go to these coordinates and salvage a ship. They forgot to mention it was dreadnaught,” Verminus looked around, “The batarians tech is a bit off-spec, Citadel space wise. But it’s still a dreadnaught. I mean this baby came fully loaded, so I told myself, Verminus, you could do a lot with a ship like this, out here on the Verge, so I brought in some more of people and we been scoping it out. You like?” Turtman shrugged. “But I take it you’re not here for a tour, are you?”

“I’m not,” said Turtman.

“Well, you know how it goes, rules of salvage and all of that,” said Verminus with a toothy grin.

“Not this time Verminus,” said Turtman with a hard squint. He knew Verminus well enough from his days with the Blood Pack. He ran a pure krogan squad out of Omega while Verminus played contract broker for the local Blue Suns branch. The turian would contact him to work an angle on the latest contract, especially when he wanted to take a larger cut of the profits without his bosses knowledge. He also knew that the old turian put profit above all else.

“Really? Come on, Turt. I mean I heard you went legit…umm got your clan and everything, but this, this is the big time, old buddy. My employers are paying a lot of creds for this job. If you walk away I can guarantee you a slice, say…ten percent…no wait that’s too low, too insulting, lets double it, twenty, yeah that sound right. What do you say?” asked Verminus.

“This is not negotiable. I got orders from straight from Urdnot Wrex himself,” said Turtman.

“Clan and planet is it. Umm…okay,” Verminus glanced to the side, “Well, I got eyes on the docking bay you came in. That’s two shuttles, krogan are a bit beefy so less than full capacity, and I have been bringing people over the past week, plus mechs, that means you’re…you’re outnumbered. But again, I’m willing to settle things amicably for old time sake. Let’s say twenty-five, yeah, twenty-five percent. That’s my final offer.”

“Not going happen,” said Turtman.

A sudden headache exploded in Turman head, as if someone had hit him with a sledgehammer right between the eyes. Every nerve on his body ached. Took him a few seconds to recover his composure.

“Sergeant Kratos to Commander Turtman, do you read me?” asked Kratos over the radio.

“I’m…here,” said Turtman.

“We got hit by something. A blue flash and then nothing. But we are back on our feet and ready to fight,” said the sergeant.

“Good, we got hostiles on board. Hold your position,” said Turtman.

“Understood, sir. Kratos out.”

The others came to. Mr. Aten double checked the prisoners.

Turtman contacted Verminus, “Whatever that was, Verminus, we are still here.”

Verminus eyes glowed with a bright white light, “We are the masters of your destiny. You will join us or die.”


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