Aria’s Guest

Posted: May 25, 2015 by writingsprint in Science fiction
Tags: , , ,

Post #2 of the 30-day Mass Effect drabble challenge. Today’s prompt: Tali, Aria, bound wrists, courtesy of the Mass Effect Random Prompt Generator.

“Give her the counter-agent,” Aria said. A batarian injected Tali’Zorah using a hypodermic gun meant for cattle. They didn’t have anything else powerful enough to penetrate the layers of self-sealing protection in the quarian’s suit.

Tali’Zorah stirred. Aria saw her eyes blinking slowly through her face mask. “Keelah. My head. What did I… What?” Aria smiled as those bleary bright eyes focused on her.

Tali tried to get up, but Aria had tied her hands and wrists herself. The batarian caught her as fell. Tali continued to struggle. “Get away from me! Get the hell away from me!”

“It’s a good thing quarians wear suits. I think this one bites,” Aria said. The batarian chuckled on cue. Aria didn’t like him. He laughed at all her jokes, like a puppet. He stepped away. Tali managed to stay upright as she slid to the floor. Aria filed that away. Good balance. Don’t underestimate her.

“Tali’Zorah, I’m Aria T’Loak. Your headache will pass in a moment. I have an offer for you.”

“I know who you are,” Tali said. Aria smiled again. The little thing reminded her of an angry lap dog. Tali continued, “You drugged me and I’m tied up. Shove your offer.”

“A week ago my largest mining drill struck a deposit of element zero like nothing we’ve never seen before. It blunted the drill head and burned out a motor the size of a drive core.”

“Get another drill.” Tali continued to work her restraints.

Aria lifted one hand. Tali flew into the ceiling head-first and floated slowly back down. Tali cried out. A stream of quarian swear words flowed out of her vocal filter. It couldn’t be flattering, but it all sounded like flowers to Aria. She liked Tali’s voice.

“Do I have your attention?” Aria asked.

Tali breathed slow, harsh breaths. Aria could sense her fear. Her breathing slowed down more. She was thinking. Good.

“What do you want from me?”

Aria nodded. Good. “I can replace a drill head, and a drive motor. I’ve mined enough eezo out of this rock to know when I’ve hit a wall. I need a mechanical genius. You’re going to modify my drill to cut through that vein of whatever it is.”

“And then I’m free to go?”

“Be a good girl and you’ll get a parting gift. I want us to be friends.”

Tali snorted. “More like you don’t want to be Shepard’s enemy.”

“Either way. Do we have a deal?”

Tali sighed. She nodded tightly. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Good.” Aria got up to leave the room. The batarian followed her.

“Hey. Wait!” Tali twisted around. She lost balance and hit the deck in a clang that made Aria’s ears ring. From the floor, Tali yelled, “Untie me!”

The door closed behind them. Aria almost wished she’d stayed to watch the little suit rat struggle.

Tali waited a full minute after that cold-hearted bitch and her friend left, to make sure they were gone. “I thought they’d never leave,” she said.

Her nimble fingers undid the restraints around her hands in seconds. One thing about creatures with five-fingered hands: they always underestimated the strength and dexterity of those with three.

  1. Steve Wengraitis says:

    Yeah Tali!



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