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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 17 (c.3): Navidad


Spectre Office, Citadel Embassies, Presidium, Citadel, Widow System, Serpent Nebula, December 23, 2197

Miranda and I waited for our contact to take delivery of the intel extracted from Talrom’s mangled computer console, “So…erm, I went over that list of…things you told me to get. Personal lubricant, massage oils, and mineral supplements?”

“Yes.”

“I mean, I am all for it, but this seems to be a bit too much. ”

Miranda looked me straight in the eyes, smiled and said, “Theodore Thompson-Ramos, failure is not an option.” Then she gave me a peck on the nose.

“Love you to.”

The front door opened. A tall blonde human woman stepped in. She fit the description given by Admiral Shepard. “Commander Thompson-Ramos?”

“That’s me. Eda I presume?” I asked.

“Umm,” said Miranda.

“Something the matter?” I asked. She shook her head but kept her eyes on the newcomer.

Eda smiled warmly, ” I believe you have something for me, commander?” I didn’t move a muscle. “Oh, right.” She tapped on her omni-tool. I looked down at mine.

-ID verification in progress-

-ID verified-

I handed her the OSD, “Here you go. If you don’t mind me asking-”

She cut me off again with a smile, “I am sorry commander but this is strictly on a need to know basis. But I assure you as soon as I have something you will be the first to know.”

I turned to Miranda the moment Eda left, “What was that about?”

“Nothing. And don’t look at me like that.”

“Yeah. I am sure you will tell me when the time is right.”

“I always do.”

I tapped my omni-tool, “XO is the board clear?”

Navigator Johnson voice came over my earpiece, “No new assignments from Alliance Command or the Council.”

“Then tell the crew they have seventy-two hour leave to enjoy the holidays.”

“Understood commander. Navigator Johnson out.”

“You know, I haven’t seen my family since the wedding.”

“You want to go to Earth? Just drop in unannounced?” Miranda asked.

“It’s the holidays in Puerto Rico. You are expected to dropped unannounced. It’s the best thing to do. As long as we bring a few snacks. We can do a bit of shopping on Presidium before we head out.” We boarded the shuttle to Earth loaded with gifts and candy.

Boquerón, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean League, Earth, Sol System, Local Group, December 24, 2197

Blinking lights, tables full of food manned by the staff of the local Salarian /Criollo/Italian restaurant, and a giant pine tree decorated the town square. “Tiiio!” screamed Naera from across the plaza.

“Ven aca Chiquita,” I said as she jumped into my arms. “You remember, Miri, Jack and Vega, right?” Still in my arms she leaned over to kiss each of them in the cheek. The rest of the family came over as well. A flood of hugs, handshakes, and well wishes swept over the four of us.

Several hours later Vega and I found a quite corner and downed a few shots of pitorro, “Wow, this stuff will put hair on your chest,” said Vega.

“Sweeter than mezcal to be sure,” I said.

Vega coughed, “Yeah, it goes down easy but it hits hard. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about something, jefe.”

“Shoot.”

“Well, if that data is as useful as we think it is, I mean, it could change everything.”

“Maybe.”

“You’re not sure?”

“As of right now I don’t have enough info to know if its useful. Whoever this Eda person is the Admiral thinks she can help figure it out.”

“Well if Shepard says that she can do it then she’ll do it.”

“I hope so.”

“Anyway Jack is giving me the ‘come here idiot I want to dance’ look,” said Vega.

Miranda also had come hider look plastered on her face, “Had a few, I take it?”

“They told me it was like eggnog, but…it’s noot.”

“Are you sauced?” I asked bemused.

“Tipsy.”

“Ah.”

“Yes, because in a few months we, and by we,” she pointed at herself, “I mean me. I won’t be able to do this.”

“You don’t usually do this anyway.”

“It’s christmasss, Theo.”

“It is.”

“And I love you.”

“Do you now?”

“Yes.”

“It so happens that I love you to.”

“Lucky girl I am.”

“We both lucked out.”

“Pssht. arse.”

I laughed out loud and guided her to the dance floor.

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