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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 1 (c.4): Heartbeats


Shuttle 1 en route to the SSV Kurks SR-3, Todacrux, Millerovo System, Maroon Sea Nebular, February 19, 2198

 Miranda drifted in and out of consciousness as the shuttle fled the pirate station en route to the Kursk.

“Her vitals are stable, jefe. I’m sure the doc will be able to get her on her feet in no time,” said Vega.

I caressed her cheek. She whispered, “I’m alright. Just need a little rest.”

“I know,” I said. I didn’t believe it but I said it to comfort her. Vega and I took down the asari pirate but not before she launched a biotic attack that Miranda countered with her barrier only to be slammed against a bulkhead and knocked out.

Vega looked down at the crystalline tablets in his lap, “So you think these were worth it?”

“Vega I don’t know and right now I don’t care.”

“Roger.”

Inside the ship crewmen rushed toward the shuttle the moment the cargo bay was pressurized, “We got it from here sir,” said Crewman Sato.

“Go”, I said. I grabbed the tablets and headed for my quarters. “Secure your gear and meet me for a full debriefing on the War Room in fifteen,” I said at Vega.

“Got it.”

Word came in the middle of the debrief. Miranda had woken up and wanted to talk. She sat alone in the med bay at the edge of the farthest bed from the door. The doc was nowhere to be found. I sat opposite her, “Are you alright.”

“It was just exhaustion,” she said.

I got up and examined the back of her head, “You got shoved into that bulkhead, hard.”

“I’m fine Theo.”

“Well if you say so then when are you getting back on duty?”

She sighed, “I’m not.”

“What do you mean?” She pulled up a set of three graphics on her omni-tool. Each one showed an line going up and down at a slow rhythmic pace. Then she increased the volume.

Thump-Thump, Thump-Thump, Thump-Thump

“That sounds like a heartbeat,” I said.

“Heartbeats. Three little heartbeats.”

“Wait…what? Three as in triplets?”

Tears ran down her cheeks, “Yes.”

“Ay mi madre! Three of course because Miranda Lawson doesn’t do anything halfway. Go big or go home!”

She looked away, “That’s exactly what I’m going to do Theo.”

“No, no. We talked about this. You were going back to Horizon on your second trimester at the earliest.”

“Theo, I’m biotic and that means my body requires a lot of calories. Plus there is a chance that one or more of the babies might also be biotic, making it harder for me to stay here.”

“Bullshit. You don’t have to go out in combat mission. You can do anything else. It’s desk duty for sure but you’re up to it. Until the time comes, of course.”

She caressed my cheek, “I’ll simply hinder the mission.”

“No you won’t. You’re more than your biotics Miranda. You have a sharp analytical mind plus contacts that we can still use.” I shook my head, “What I mean to say is that I need you. I need you in every sense of the word Miranda.”

She kissed me on the forehead, “I know. But this is simply moving up the schedule. I already made arrangements for a substitute.”

I was miffed that she didn’t consult me but she knew what she was doing or so I thought, “Of course you did. You’re five steps ahead of everyone.”

“Just a half a step ahead of you.”

Still in shock from the news I managed a weak smile, “Nice. So who is it?”

She told me.

“SAY WHAT?”

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