Intarr wasn't sure how to take it when he saw a beautiful asari sit on the barstool beside him and automatically order a drink for him. He wasn't particularly lucky in the past when it came to women, krogan or asari, and had usually just ignored the issue of love, be it emotional or simply physical. Instead he chose to just focus on his work most of the time, and it was an attitude that had served him well. At the moment though, work wasn't exactly much of a factor, even if Yalo had some idea of what to do next, even if he himself wasn't entirely sure what it was. His drink arrived and he observed her again. The asari smiled at him, rising a more elegant glass filled with some bright pink liquid into the air before it met her lips. He looked at his drink, then at Talan Jol's assistant behind the bar; another volus who was tending bar while his boss slept.
"I didn't know you guys had your own whores," he stated. The asari laughed.
"Oh come now, that's a little unfair," she said, swiveling around on her stool to face him. "I mean, I've been with a lot of different people, but I think whore
is going a little too far. I prefer the term 'amorist' myself."
"Oh, I'm... I'm sorry," Intarr stammered. "I-I-I didn't mean... that is... I was just wondering why you were buying me a drink?"
," she gave him a slight poke on the chest, "are the krogan Intarr. And you
," another poke, "know a good friend of mine who I'm here to see."
"This friend of yours wouldn't be a quarian now, would he?" Intarr asked, glancing at her sideways.
"Yes he would," Lylanya responded, raising her glass a little again. "My name is Lylanya. But before I meet up with him, I'd like to know more about you."
"Okay... I guess," Intarr said with a shrug. "What do you want to know?"
"What do you know about him?" she asked.
Intarr chuckled a little, then downed a mouthful of drink.
"Not much, really. A quarian on his pilgrimage involving some quest to save his people that he's told me nothing else about."
"So he hasn't told you how he's going to do it either," she said, more to herself than him.
Lylanya's eyes drifted away from the krogan in thought as her right index finger twirled around the top of her glass. Intarr recognised the black asari mercenary armour she was wearing; he'd seen asari mercs before throughout his travels.
"So how do you know Yalo?" Intarr queried. "You guys do a bit of work together before he came after me?"
"Something like that," she replied, and then a devious smile briefly crossed her lips that Intarr missed as he took another quaff. "We met up while working for opposite sides actually. There was a scuffle where neither of us really won and we ended up coming to a compromise in the end. I think we both kind of grew to respect each other somewhat during that little incident. And now, here I am."
"Come to pay him a visit?"
"More than that. I've come to help both of you."
Intarr snorted. "Great. Credits split three
ways now." A pause. "And what are you helping with exactly?"
"I'm supposed to help you track down a salarian doctor. I can get you to Mannovai without problems. The rest will depend on exactly what Yalo has planned of course... I'm not even entirely sure what he wants the doctor for."
"I know what I'd
like to do with him!" Intarr growled. "I'd ram my fist up 'im and rip off his bulbous salarian head from the inside out!"
"Charming," Lylanya said with a forced smile. "Unfortunately for you, I'm guessing Yalo will probably be wanting him alive."
"I wasn't planning on him already being dead when I did it," Intarr stated firmly. Lylanya made a face.
The sound of footsteps coming down the stairs drew the attention of the two new acquaintances, and Yalo found himself stopping mid-step as he saw them; one footfall away from making it to ground floor.
"Oh. I see you two have met each other," the quarian stated. His voice wasn't quite as confident as he had hoped.
"I'd say she's as beautiful as you'd said she was, but you never mentioned her," Intarr said with a grin.
say I'm as beautiful as you said I was," Lylanya said playfully. "But we all know words can't do my beauty justice."
"I take it since you told Lylanya to meet us here that you have some kind of plan?" Intarr asked.
"Sort of. It depends on circumstances though. I can tell you both about it on the way if you like?"
"Sure. My ship or yours?" Lylanya asked.
"I don't know. Which would you prefer?"
"Mine. There's more room, and it's probably faster than yours anyway."
"Yours it is then," Yalo agreed.
"Does this plan involve killing that bastard?" Intarr queried.
"I'm afraid not," Yalo responded.
"Not even a little?"
Yalo walked over to the others and pulled up his omni-tool, manipulating it briefly and adding an orange glow to the sapphire and rose colours that usually dominated the room. He looked at the volus behind the bar.
"I've transferred the credits for the last week into Talan's account," Yalo said. "Give him my regards, we may be back soon. We may not."
"I'll pass on the message," the volus said. He breathed deeply. "Good luck."
"Well, while we're at it, maybe I should transfer those credits I owe you, hmmmm?"
Yalo made a face at Lylanya's comment, thankfully hidden. She didn't even wait for an answer, activating her own omni-tool and setting up the link at her end. He couldn't believe that she was going to transfer it when Intarr was standing right there. She was purposefully trying to get to him, she must have been. He half-expected Intarr to ask about the payment, but then realised that they'd probably been talking for a while before he even arrived. This made him even more uneasy. What had she said in that time? She was giving him a look that said "hurry up" so he brought his omti-tool back online.
"There. As promised," she said, an innocent smile on her lips that Yalo knew wasn't. "Shall we go then?"
"Ladies first," Yalo said with a polite gesture.
"As it should be," Lylanya said, striding ahead towards the exit; her gait strong, confident and feminine. Intarr left his stool, stopping by Yalo briefly before following the asari.
"That one probably melds with her own mirror," he whispered gruffly. Yalo couldn't tell from the way he spoke if he was joking or not.
Lylanya introduced her ship as Karina
, which while not huge was at least twice the size of Yalo's little shuttle. It was asari in design, it's surface comprised of shiny silver and steel-blue panels broken up by curved recesses, like a smooth, symmetrical puzzle. At the rear were two thin wings that curved back from the sides of the ship, but were flat all the way along the back of the craft, save for an oval hole in the centre where the engine could be seen. While these wings were flat along the underside, on top they curved up towards the centre slightly, then suddenly angled steeper to form a vertical tail as tall as each wing was wide. While flat at the back of the ship like the wings, the the tail sloped down towards the front of the vessel, where a fairly large windscreen curved down event further to the nose. About halfway along the left side of Karina
was a door; the only one on the ship.
Lylanya opened the door with her omni-tool, stepping up into the craft to enter it. Without any invitation, Yalo and Intarr went inside too. After passing through the small decontamination chamber, the section of the ship they entered was dark and rectangular, with shiny charcoal coloured panels and seats on either side, lit only by a neon blue strip down the centre of the ceiling. Several lockers adorned the wall heading towards the main cockpit, framing a single door that no doubt led there. At the other end were three doors, which Lylanya explained led to the cargo hold, engine room and her sleeping quarters from left to right respectively. Going through the door heading to the front of the craft they found a small section that comprised of a table and chairs on the left side and a small area for food preparation and cooking on the right. It was slightly brighter than the first room, but not by much. They went through another door heading even further to the front of the ship which led them to the cockpit. It probably would have been dark in here too, but morning light was streaming through the large windscreen and lighting up the dark surfaces. Two comfortable seats lay before the currently dormant main control panels at the very forepart of the ship, with some more chairs along either side of the outer walls behind them.
Lylanya brought the main controls to life, adding an artificial beams of saffron to the room to join the already natural ones. Taking the seat on the right, her hands waved and motioned across the glowing panels, bringing further life to the ship, particularly in the case of the resounding hum now emanating from the rear of the vessel. She glanced over her shoulder at the others as the entire ship seemed to waken from a deep slumber.
"I suggest you boys sit down and strap in," she said. "After all, I don't want krogan dents in my ship."
Intarr just grunted, lumbering towards the set of seats located behind Lylanya and dropping into them. Yalo sat to Lylanya's left, appreciating the comfort and support that her chair had that his own shuttle lacked. She seemed to notice.
"Hey, if you're going to sit and fly for hours on end, you might as well be comfortable."
"On the flotilla we have to make do with what we've got," Yalo stated. "We don't have the resources to waste on or care about unnecessary comforts."
"A pity," Lylanya said. "Comfort makes rough living all the easier."
"We'll just have to wait for the asari to go to war so we can harvest some of these from your crippled ships I guess," came Yalo's response. Lylanya simply countered with a face unbecoming her age.
Blue sky soon became grey mist, then a deep blue fading into speckled black. Lylanya made some final adjustments and then leaned back with a satisfied sigh.
"We're still almost an hour from the mass relay," the asari informed. "Now's as good a time as any to tell us what you have planned."
"Well, I basically need you to deliver a package," Yalo stated. "One addressed to Haedian."
"Let me guess, it asks him really nicely to just come talk with us?" Intarr rumbled from behind the others.
"No, we use it to track him," Yalo explained. "We don't know exactly where he is, since he'll be no doubt somewhere secret, but it will show us."
realise that any tracking devices will no doubt be scanned and detected by security, right?" Lylanya said. "And the best security that the salarians have to offer at that."
"I never said the package would contain a tracking device," Yalo noted. "Or, at least not a standard one."
Yalo produced a datapad and handed it to Lylanya. "That's
what we send him."
"The salarians will scan and read this before letting it into a secure facility," the asari noted.
"That's fine. The datapad is seemingly harmless," Yalo said. "Go ahead, read it."
Lylanya did. "To Doctor Haedian. I represent Westerlund News and we are interested in doing a story on your ordeal with the krogan. We would very much appreciate it if you would be able to give us an exclusive interview in the near future if possible. We were informed that it would not be easy to get hold of you through standard communication methods, so we decided to send you this datapad instead. Please contact us as soon as possible if you're interested. Contact details follow."
She looked up at Yalo. "It could do with some cleaning up, but it could work."
"Writing letters has never been my strong point," Yalo admitted.
"Don't worry, I can embellish it for you... make it seem more genuine," Lylanya said, her eyes scanning over it again.
"Don't forget to kiss his ass a lot," Intarr suggested. "He'd like that."
"Of course," Lylanya said dryly. Her attention returned to Yalo. "But how does this help us?"
"It's simple. When he inputs that contact data into any computer terminal in the facility it will send a small virus that will spread to all computers in their network. This virus will be dormant until data is sent outside the network, after which it will go dormant again to avoid detection. During that brief moment where it's active, any message or data send outside the network will be accompanied by a small tracer that we can use to track his location. This will appear as just a small blip of additional data on the end of the message, but with a very specific frequency in a specific pattern. We'll be monitoring the communications lasers here on the ship and be able to detect the tracer and track it back to its origin."
"So to the salarians it'll just seem like some interference or something," Intarr said.
"If they pick it up at all... that's the brilliant part," Yalo said. "The thing we'll be using to pinpoint his location will seem perfectly normal to the salarians, but to us will be obvious."
Yalo looked out into deep space beyond the craft. "It's like constellations. When you look out there, you pretty much just see a whole bunch of stars. But if you're looking for it, you can make out shapes by connecting them, until you have a clear picture." He turned back to the others. "All the salarians will see is stars, but we'll
be looking out for the constellations."
"And what exactly stops the salarians from detecting the virus in this pad," Lylanya asked, waving the object in question in front of Yalo. "They have some of the best electronic security in the galaxy."
"The virus itself isn't on the pad, but located in a replacement chip within the device that is only used when data is sent from the pad to another system," Yalo explained. "The chip looks exactly like the one it replaces, which is normally used for password encryption security. We won't be encrypting the pad, so the only way they'd know is if they tried to themselves. And even then, they'd probably simply deduce it was a faulty chip and replace it."
"If we don't know where he is though, how do we deliver it to him?" Intarr asked.
"Mannovai has a consulate where the Dalatrass rules like most Salarian worlds," Lylanya explained. "If Haedian is into something as important as we suspect, only certain individuals within will know about the facility in question. I'll deliver the datapad to the consulate myself and, assuming it passes security checks, they'll sent it to Haedian at the facility."
"And what do I
do?" the krogan queried.
"Nothing for the moment," Yalo said. "In fact, it's probably best you stay on the ship for the entire trip."
"He's right," Lylanya nodded. "The mere sight of a krogan on Mannovai would be enough to have half the salarian fleet after you. Especially after your little kidnapping incident."
Intarr snorted. "If I'd known that I would have asked the volus if I could borrow one of his Quasar machines. Then I'd have something to do to pass the time."
"Speaking of which, I might go into my quarters and clean up this little message a bit before we get there," Lylanya said, waving the datapad. "It definitely needs touching up."
She left her chair and made her way to the rear door, stopping halfway there for a moment and tapping the pad on her chin.
"And I'll need to pick a nice dress out too. Something that says how important I am, but in a more official sense."
Yalo and Intarr watched her leave and the krogan turned back to Yalo as she disappeared from sight.
"Bet you her quarters have walls that are very, very
"Perhaps, but you seem to be getting alone with her fine beyond her vanity," Yalo noted with a chuckle.
"She seems okay. I didn't used to think much of asari a long time ago to be honest. But after hearing Gonamida talk about his mate and learning what she taught him, I began to realise that there's a depth and wisdom to them that no krogan could ever possess. Our strength is physical, while theirs is up here." He tapped his forehead with one finger. "And perhaps the krogan could use a bit more of that."
"But not as much as salarians have?" Yalo said slyly. Intarr chuckled.
"Yeah. Definitely not that much."
"Sorry you don't get to crush any salarian skulls," Yalo told him. "I know you were looking forward to it."
"Especially on a place like this," Intarr smiled. "If it wasn't for the security, this place would be salarian skull crushing paradise."
"Well, I'll make sure to mention to Haedian that if he messes up or turns his back on us, his skull is yours to do with as you please."
Intarr's expression shifted from mirth to concern and confusion. "You make it sound like you're bringing him into this thing of yours too."
"That depends on circumstances," Yalo reassured. "I just hope he's as selfish and arrogant as Lylanya is narcissistic."
It was about half-an-hour later when Karina
made it to the mass relay. The massive device thrummed in what was otherwise a void, with two long metal prongs stretching out in one direction and meeting at two rotating rings in the other. One spun vertically, the other horizontally, but within both was the star-bright core of element zero that bathed the otherwise charcoal structure in a brilliant blue light. The ship approached the relay, it's sheer size dwarfing the small vessel like a capital ship dwarfs a fighter, and a tether of blue energy joined them as one. An electrical buzzing sound built up in intensity and frequency for a few seconds, finally culminating in a sharp burst as the ship was hurtled into obscurity; guided by the two colossal prongs that pointed to its remote destination and leaving only streaks of sapphire light that dissipated almost as soon as they'd come.
It wasn't long later that a mass relay in salarian space began to whir and spin wildly, the intensity of the element zero's brightness growing. The rings were almost in at a speed where the naked eye would no longer be able to see them when there was a flash and trails of lazuline luminosity with a ship at the head of it. The relay slowed down instantly, returning to its natural speed as the glow faded and Karina
pulled away from the transit device in the direction of its next destination.
One of the salarian's first three interstellar colonies, Mannovai was no longer as prominent and important in current times as it used to be, yet remained a solid salarian settlement and a place of distinction and pride. Lylanya had no trouble getting clearance to dock at the port. Yalo knew why, of course. Intarr had just accepted that she'd been there before, as she stated just before arrival, and didn't think more of it beyond that. The asari had now switched her ebon light armour for a formal black dress in the asari style. Like her armour, it too was mostly black, though rather than smooth and hard it was made of a soft textured material adorned with geometric patterns. The neckline was high and the hemline low, covering her feet. Her shoulders were exposed and her forearms covered in dark purple fingerless gloves that came up just above her elbows. The centre of the dress consisted of a strip of sleeker material the same colour as her gloves that trailed from her throat down to her waist, perforated by two oval holes that exposed her skin: one on her upper chest that revealed a hint of cleavage, and the other on her stomach. With the datapad in her hand, she left the ship and made her way towards the consulate.
Thankfully when she'd been here last time to drop off Doctor Haedian, few had witnessed her or known about her presence. The port authority did of course, but beyond that there were a few specific salarian diplomats that dealt with the issue. She had always preferred a good amount of anonymity in her travels because of the work she did. Her strength came from being an unknown most of the time, for secrecy and stealth were the best way to get what you wanted, where you wanted, without anybody even noticing you were there or you'd gotten it. She worked best as just "another asari in the crowd" and not a known entity. And while it was true that she had a certain presence that, combined with her beauty, drew attention to her, she was an expert at making it seem that she was just another pretty face and nothing more. The simple fact of the matter was, the less people who knew who you were, the greater your chance of success. However, this was a rare case where success was far greater in the exact opposite case.
"Hello Miss Alanthios," a tan coloured salarian greeted Lylanya as she entered his office. "I didn't expect to see you back here so soon."
"Greetings, Minister Kalahao," Lylanya responded with a small, polite bow. "It is good to see you again."
"Please, sit down," Kalahao invited, indicating a chair before his silver desk.
"Thank you, but I can't stay for long I'm afraid. I have a simply request regarding Doctor Haedian."
"By all means, Miss Alanthios," the minister said, leaning forward on his desk with his hands clasped before him. "Though I can't guarantee I can grant
said request. You are aware of the general nature of the doctor's work."
"That's why I'm here. I have a message to deliver to the doctor," Lylanya said, holding out the pad. "Knowing that I couldn't actually deliver it in him
in person, I thought it best to deliver it to you
in person . Could you make sure it reaches him?"
"I'm sure that can be arranged," Kalahao said, taking the bad from her. "Assuming it passes security checks that is." He paused. "And who was it from, exactly?"
"Read it yourself, it's all there."
Kalahao tapped the pad with his thumb and his bulbous eyes twitched back and forth as he regarded the contents of the pad. "Hmmm... so you're actually willing to offer Doctor Haedian your services as a personal bodyguard?"
Lylanya nodded. "I like to have steady work when I can, and I feel after the last incidents he'd be willing to pay to have the reassurance that the one who rescued him is there to keep an eye on him."
The salarian rubbed his chin and made a thoughtful noise.
"It could be a viable option for him. We've had him spending his entire time in the facility since he got back and I understand he's been getting restless. If we had somebody like you to watch him we may be able to let him return to his home again. The main problem is clearance, you understand. Despite what you've done for us and what you already know, we still can't let you actually witness any of the research going on. It's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of strict protocol."
"I understand," the asari nodded. "We can work something out if it comes to that."
"Yes, indeed," Kalahao smiled, placing the datapad onto his desk. "No promises on what comes of it, but I'll make sure he gets the pad personally. I'll he heading there for a progress report in a few hours time and deliver it then."
"You are most kind, Minister," Lylanya smiled. "May Athame see your spirit within you for years to come."
Back on Karina
, Yalo sat in the cockpit quietly glancing over a datapad in his hands. The quarian didn't even notice when Lylanya entered the room behind him, having returned from her mission. This was something Lylanya did
notice however. Biting her bottom lip, she carefully crept over to him to glance over his shoulder. Perhaps she'd get a clue as to what Yalo was planning in whatever he was reading. All she made out was the image of a planet, with several pieces of data listed. She saw his head move, so quickly stood upright as Yalo turned around to face her; clearing the datapad and putting it away. Beyond seeing the planet, she never got to read anything.
"That was fast," the quarian said.
"What are you implying?" Lylanya joked with a smirk.
"I take it all went well?"
"Very well," she said, leaning on the backrests of two chairs before her. "The pad should be delivered in the next few hours. Then it all depends on what Haedian does with it." A pause. "Where's the krogan?"
"Sleeping in the cargo hold. I hope you don't mind. He was up all night drinking before we left."
"I hope you have something for him to do soon," Lylanya said. "You've already been how long
"A week," Lylanya repeated. "Krogan can get restless enough not attacking something for a day
let alone a week."
"He's been tailored to that type of lifestyle more than most krogans already though," Yalo reassured. "But if this Haedian thing works out, I'll have something for him to do soon."
"And what exactly is
this mission supposed to accomplish?" Lylanya asked. "You say it's helping your people and that there's credits in it for us, but you haven't even outlined what we're doing. If you just want to talk
to him, I could probably arrange it somehow without all this."
"No," Yalo said, his voice firm and adamant. "We have to find out what he's doing. And he won't just tell us. If we find out, we can hold it over him and it will give us the edge."
Lylanya narrowed her eyes, looking at Yalo sideways. "You're planning to blackmail him, aren't you? No... wait. You're planning to blackmail The Union?"
"Of course not," Yalo said. "Blackmailing wouldn't work... it almost never does. Especially when you try and do it to a government oganisation. The key here is knowledge, not credits. Credits come later. Knowledge is power, but actually possessing
knowledge is even greater power. I'm planning to take it
from them. And, if possible, take a source of that knowledge too."
"You're going to take whatever it is they're working on?" uttered Lylanya, her eyes now wide with disbelief.
"And Haedian too," Yalo smiled.
"You're going to kidnap him?"
"Nothing so crude. No... he's going to come with us willingly. Because if he joins us, I
can give him things his government can't and won't."
Hours passed as Karina
drifted in orbit above Mannovai, scanning the signal traffic leaving the surface of the planet for the nearest comm buoy. Lylanya, back in her usual armour, was standing in the small alcove she called a kitchen preparing something to eat when a small alarm sounded from the cockpit next door. Popping something into her mouth that Yalo described as "unnaturally orange" when he'd passed by a few minutes earlier, she strode towards the source of the noise and began manipulating the holographic panel with her hands. A rectangular holographic display appeared above the main console, with the planet displayed along with a few objects marked on it. One of the key ones was the settlement of Mannovai itself, while another was an icon representing her ship. A third red blip appeared partially overlapping the square that represented Mannovai, and with a dotted line joining it to the ship's icon. With more operation of the controls, the display image zoomed in to provide a closer and more specific representation of the locations and objects. It seemed whatever the place was that the signal originated, it was almost ten kilometres from the centre of Mannovai in the northwest portion of the colony. Lylanya smiled, turning around just as Yalo walked in the door.
"We have him," she said with pride. "Now all we have to do is get
"You up for casing the place?" Yalo asked.
"Ooooh, another chance to test my little toy," the asari responded, examining her right wrist as if she was wearing and admiring an expensive bracelet. "There's just something so... exciting
about sneaking around potentially dangerous places."
"I'll take that as a 'yes' then," Yalo said, activating his omni-tool. "Once you've done that, perhaps we can find a secure way in. I think I have enough tools and mods on this thing to get us past any alarms and electronic security they may have, but we still have to avoid guards and personnel. Are you okay with taking out guards if we have to?"
"I prefer to keep blood off my hands if possible," Lylanya admitted. "I can if absolutely necessary, but I do have several means of getting rid of them that are humane. Or at least non fatal."
"For how long?"
"It varies. Depends on the method. Several hours if you like."
"The longer the better," Yalo said. "We'll wait until a couple of hours after nightfall, which will be about four hours from now."
Nightfall descended on the colony, followed soon after by Lylanya's sleek vessel; diving down from the dark scintillant emptiness of space into the equally dark scintillant voluminosity of nocturnal Mannovai. Lylanya was not alone leaving the ship and docking port this time. Yalo knew that it wasn't uncommon for quarians on their pilgrimage to visit a salarian world, as quarians prized technology and knowledge. This was particularly true with regards to ships, and the salarians were almost always the ones on the cutting edge in new ship technology. While she had not come to Mannovai, even his sister Linna had spent time in salarian space. Yes, he would stand out a little bit, but not enough to raise suspicion, unlike if Intarr had joined them.
The two decided to rent a car and drive there, using the navigation system in the vehicle in conjunction with Yalo's omni-tool to gauge where to go. Their destination seemed fairly obvious once it came into view, and they pulled up a few hundred metres away and disembarked. The building was large, about seven storeys in height and spread over an area of approximately 200 metres squared. There were windows all over it, but the ones they could see had no light beyond. The entire place was surrounded by a high wall about half the height of the building itself, with examples of lush, tropical vegetation scattered here and there between them, reaching skyward as dark silhouettes rustling in the warm night breeze. There was no signs of life beyond the flora, but both observers were not convinced this was the case.
Looking around, Lylanya found a nearby tree much like some of the ones beyond the wall and immediately began to climb it. Despite a lack of branches on the tree, she did a remarkable job of scaling the thing all the way up, stopping just below the fronds at the summit. She unclipped a set of binoculars and, using them, looked in the direction of the building. After a short while she paused, smiled, then slid down the tree even faster than she'd gone up.
"There's at least one guard near the front door," she said. "A turian it seems. Aside from that, no other protection I can see, but there's probably a surveillance system in place too."
"Any ideas then?" Yalo asked.
"Perhaps the idea isn't to break in. Perhaps the idea is to find a way for them to let
us in," Lylanya suggested. "Surely there must be at least something
that goes in there, even if it's only food and basic supplies."
"How would we find that out?" Yalo asked.
"The guard would know. He'd have to to allow anything in after all."
"And you think he's just going to tell us?"
"I'm pretty sure I can get him to tell me
," Lylanya smiled. Yalo recognised the carnal look in her eyes and the confidence in her voice.
"What... you think you're just going to slink up to him, maybe show some blue skin, and he'll just talk?"
"I didn't say anything about him talking," Lylanya said, her grin growing as she shook her head. "I said that he was going to tell me."
"You can't even get to him, let along get anything from
"He'll end his shift and come off duty eventually."
"Yes. Which is when he goes inside and doesn't appear again for several hours," Yalo countered. Lylanya shook her head.
"I doubt it. He's a turian, and judging from his armour a member of a private security force known as 'The Terrestrial' as well. So if The Salarian Union really do have highly classified material and activity going on in there, he's probably restricted to guarding the outside of the facility. Members of The Terrestrial are hired to do the job and that's it. He'll only know what he needs to know, and that'll be enough for us to get in."
Lylanya turned around and opened the vehicle door again, getting inside.
"All we need to do is watch and wait."
Yalo joined her and she closed the canopy again to enclose them. After sitting there silently for a while, Yalo spoke up.
"So, how did you become a mercenary, exactly?"
The initial response from Lylanya was a short snort of laughter. "What, you expect me to just tell you all about myself even though you won't tell me anything about you and your
"Well, we could just sit here quietly all night if you'd prefer," Yalo said, followed by a brief pause before mockingly adding, "besides, I figured that you'd probably like
talking about yourself."
Lylanya let out a chuckle. "You've got me there," she admitted.
"There's really not much to tell," she shrugged. This time it was Yalo's turn to make a noise of disbelief.
"You've been alive for hundreds of years and you're telling me there's not much to tell?"
"You make me sound old
!" Lylanya defended. "I'm only two-hundred and twenty seven."
"Well, even in as 'little' as two-hundred and twenty seven years you must have something
to say?" Yalo pressed.
"Well... I was born and raised on Thessia. My mother was a fashion designer, believe it or not, and my father was a turian businessman of some renown. I rarely saw him though as he and my mother parted ways shortly after I was born, so mother raised me alone, which isn't uncommon for asari. It was through her and her work I developed my love of beautiful things and attention to detail. She taught me that if one does something, they should get it as close to perfection as possible.
"When I got a little but older I would often help out my mother try out various designs whenever she worked at home. By this point she was designing some of the premier Thessian fashions and had become rather well-known herself, so I actually started to become quite proud of the fact that I was often the first one who got to wear these beautiful clothes intended for the finest asari women. Eventually I got it into my head that I wanted to model some of them myself professionally, and with the connections my mother had I realised I could. She was against the idea at first, but eventually gave into my wishes."
"So... what made you go from fashion model to mercenary?" Yalo asked.
"There was... an incident, shall we say," Lylanya answered, clearly somewhat reluctant. "The lifestyle of somebody on the side of the fashion industry is a turbulent one. I won't go into details, but I'll just say that involved a big fashion event, a tight dress, a lot of strong liquor and somebody wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. I defended myself, and the person on the other end of said defense never walked again. My mother was furious, because my actions didn't only make me look bad, but made her look bad too. And it didn't help that the victim of my attack --assuming you can call
him the victim-- was a rich investor. She gave me a lecture... told me that she warned me about this before and that she knew
I was too young for such a occupation. She felt I needed to get out of the profession and learn some discipline. So, I was enlisted into military service, where I learnt to fight and control my biotic abilities.
"I felt divided about it all personally. There was something about the combat and the training and using my biotics that was near intoxicating for me, but I absolutely hated
the discipline. I never liked being told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, or anything else. When I was training I was fine, but I loathed everything else. I missed the freedom I had in my old life, but learning how to become a formidable force made up for it. That was until it was discovered that by biotic abilities were one of the strongest of the group, and I was soon transferred to commando training. The discipline was even stronger here... it became overwhelming! I needed freedom to live happily, and what little I had had been pretty much taken away entirely now. Eventually it just got to me and I left. And not properly either, I just took off in the middle of the night."
"And then you became a merc?" Yalo asked.
"Yeah. I couldn't return home after deserting and I wouldn't
go back to the military. I figured I had learned enough from both my time with mother and my time being professionally trained to use the best of both worlds and create a life out of it. I could have everything I liked about both aspects of my life beforehand without any of the stuff I hated. So, I became a mercenary. First joining a few outfits, then eventually going freelance."
After Yalo requested a specific tale from her, Lylanya was about halfway through telling him a story about some batarian smugglers she and her first outfit had to deal with when they observed a small car pulling up outside the main gates of the salarian facility. The canopy opened up and out stepped an armoured turian from the front passenger seat, while the salarian driver remained seated. The main gate slid open to reveal another turian. The two talked for a short moment, then the one who was on the other side of the gate got in the car while the one who had just arrived disappeared as the gate closed again. The car drove off, and Yalo and Lylanya made pursuit.
They followed the car, carefully staying far enough behind to avoid suspicion in the quiet areas, but not being afraid to drive closer when traffic was more dense. This lasted about five minutes before the trailed vehicle stopped and parked. The top opened, the turian exiting and walking into a building. The area was fairly crowded here, both vehicle and pedestrian wise, so Yalo and Lylanya had no problems deciding to park the car a little closer themselves.
Lylanya leaned forward and looked up, a huge smile forming on her lips. "Oh... this couldn't be more perfect," she said.
Curious as to what she had meant, Yalo too tilted forward and craned his head, and knew then that he didn't even need to ask what his companion had planned.