here I am. I have so much more than I had a year ago or even two years ago. My
eyes have been opened to the evils the world and yes, even the universe, can
hold. I’ve seen courage under fire; I’ve felt that courage from myself. I’ve
seen rage and anger, pain and despair. It’s all come from me at some point
even. And I have friends, an unusual family and I enjoy every moment of it
After killing that merc leader, I felt happy… truly happy that I was able help Liara. She is my friend and there was nothing I could do but help her. So I sit here now with a sleeping child in my arms and try to put my thoughts into order. Gavin is such a dear boy and thank the gods that I was there because there was no one that would have understood him but me.
From what the other children say, he came to them about a week and half before we came in like avenging angels and saved them. None of them could understand him but one of the oldest children, an Asari whose name is Velm, protected him as much as she could. She took the brunt of their anger against the mischievous boy. That little girl has fire in her. I will be pleased to see how she grows, if I ever gain that time.
We had half dozen children to watch over at the moment because none of us knew where they came from till we talked to them. Three of them had extended family who we contacted and those were either surprised or very concerned when they learned their nieces or nephews had been sold or stolen from their family. One even rewarded me for getting their niece back since he had learned her parents had been killed previously and was at a loss to have what remained of his family back.
That money went shipping off the other children. Narkul Razovin was a Turian of means and I told him how the money would be used. The Turian actually smiled at me when I told him there were a few children whose families couldn’t afford to get their family back. When he learned of that he actually invested more and when he learned of the merc group I was starting… its damn strange to have a Turian back you, let me tell you.
Most of them hate humans; it’s only been just shy of two years after the First Contact war. This Turian though, he understood better especially after he came to retrieve his niece himself. Xandra was one of the younger children; I judged her to be around Gavin’s age which is to say about 4 years old. She and Gavin played a lot and he happened to arrive during one of their play time tussles. To say the least, I’ve never seen a Turian look so confused before.
Narkul blinked and then came further into the room after Kraz left him there. Around him where about nine children of various races. There was even one Krogan child being entertained by Selah with drawing. Gavin was on the ground laughing as Henry tickled him and Xandra jumped on Henry before he gently dumped her down on the floor next to the boy. Before long those two were wrestling with Henry tickling them both. And Narkul finally moved towards me.
“This I did not expect,” he said after offering his clawed hand to me.
I smiled back at him. “This is what happens when you take children of various species and let them play together. They understand better than us ‘adults’ that there are no differences but in attitude. Even Gnash there plays gently with his less tougher playmates,” I said nodding to the one Krogan child.
“I… am beginning to see this,” Narkul answered, still confused and yet inordinately pleased at the same time. “You are different than most of the humans I’ve met,” he added and glanced over at me as he rested against the wall.
I gave a shrug. “I’ve seen evil and it’s not relegated to just one species. It should be treated the same no matter what and burned out.”
At that point Gavin came running over to me and I picked him up only to have Xandra tackle my leg and hug it. I carefully lifted her up and smiled. “Xandra, this is your uncle Narkul,” I told her and she looked shyly over to him.
Narkul chuckled and then flexed his mandibles in surprise when Xandra followed Gavin over. He made himself less imposing as he smiled at his niece. “She’s right, your mommy was my sister. Your grandparents would love to meet you Xandra.”
The Turian girl stared at him a moment, a very long moment, not very sure. She then looked at me and I smiled. That was enough for her and she held her arms out to him, wanting to be picked up. Narkul obliged her and lifted her gently up into his arms where she hugged him.
“You have a couple of cousins dying to meet you Xandra,” he said and hugged her back, looking over her to me with gratitude. “Thank you.”
Gavin babbled something and I glanced down at him, responding. “Yes that is her uncle. She has to go back to her family.” Then I said it again so he could understand. He leaned his head against me and watched as his playmate clung to her only family. I have to say, the boy was a lot smarter than anyone, but me, could see.
“Fwend?” He said which surprised me and I looked down at him.
“Yes, friend,” I said so he could understand. In the week these kids had been around I had to readjust my own understand enough that the children could relate. It was something I had never experienced at all. I had two older siblings, Daren and Melissa. I was the baby of the family. Neither of them had settled down yet so babies and children were not an experience I’ve ever had till now.
My omni tool beeped and I glanced down, brows furrowed slight. “Ok well if you want to stick around a bit more, you can talk to Selah there about what happened. Xandra was seen by a doctor and she’s only got minor malnourishment issues. Caro,” I nodded towards the other human woman, “she can explain a bit better to you than me. Unfortunately I have a very irate father to talk to now, my own.”
Narkul laughed. “Maybe you should stay in touch with him better?” The Turian understood right away what I meant and I smirked.
“If I wasn’t so busy fielding children,” I responded back with and got up. Gavin tightened his arms around me and I gave a nod to Narkul before walking out of the room. Still, I was afraid of what my own father would have to say to me. Holding Gavin comforted me somewhat though.
I went into the office that was now mine and sat down in the chair, letting Gavin sit in my lap while I hit the com button. My father’s weathered face came up and I smiled faintly at him. “Dad.”
“Alexandra Lysandra Stefanos, do not ever do that again,” he said sternly, making me feel like I was 6 again. There was that same glower from him that I use to get after getting into a fight or causing mischief. That faded suddenly and he smiled. It was then that I knew my father had already forgiven me.
“Sorry. Things have been… hectic,” I said, searching for a neutral word.
Gavin pointed to the screen and asked if that was my grandfather and my father laughed. “No child, I am her father,” he said in the same language and then eyed me and finally understood what I was going to ask him.
I nodded. “His parents are dead, one a dead Blue Sun my team took out. I am just trying to see if there might be any extended family. The regional dialect, you know more about it than I do as the governor where they might have settled.”
“Ah. Well it’s from the south countryside. Sitia most likely. I know of a group of colonist that was from there. They settled… damn, where did they settle?” Akakios shuffled the papers on his desk around, looking for the information as he pushed his glasses up.
“I can give you time to look Dad,” I said hesitantly. I knew his day was busy but finding if Gavin had any family was priority too.
“No, no. Its ok Alex. Ah, here it is.” He looked at me in that way that said I was in trouble and I sighed softly. Nothing like a parent to make you feel like you are young again. “What’s the child’s name?”
“Gavin Kallas,” I said.
Akakios winced and glanced up at Gavin then me. “Well that might be problematic,” he said and leaned back in his chair, giving me an appraising look.
“Why?” I tilted my head slightly, giving my father a questioning look and he folded his hands before him after setting his glasses down on the desk.
“If he is who I think he is, his father is a criminal.” Akakios said and sighed.
That made me frown a bit. “Should it matter? He is not his father.”
Akakios smiled gently at me. “You truly are living up to your name.” Then he cleared his throat and typed something into his console. “Trent Kallas has been indicted into over two dozen counts of the worst any human can do. You name it, he’s done it.”
That startled me so much that my father stopped talking to give me a confused look. He opened his mouth a moment then closed it and gave me a patient look as I tried to understand. “Well, I can tell you right now that he’s dead,” I finally was able to say, still startled at what my father said.
“Tell me about it kori,” he said gently.
“About three weeks ago the Blue Suns tried to kidnap a friend. From my understanding they were going to use that to pressure one of the Matriarchs to give concessions to the Batarians. Her mother is rather a well-known, powerful Asari. They shot me dad and I am not sure how I survived it.” I trailed off to gather up my thoughts.
“Koreetsi mou?” He spoke gently, understanding it might be a lot for me.
“I have a group of friends; we tracked them down and took the group of Blue Suns down. No one survived that was wearing Blue Suns armor. Their leader’s name was Trent. He did not survive a second meeting with me.” My eyes met my father’s and he nodded.
“Sto kalo,” he said and nodded. It was good. “The man was all that a Greek should never be. We are of heroic stock and should take pride in that. That man was every bit of evil that mankind can amass. You are due a bounty on him though. There are at least three different corporations that will pay for his capture or death if you have footage.”
I nodded. “I killed his father. Not sure how I can live that one down.”
Dad laughed. “My daughter, you shouldn’t have to live that down. Most likely he never understood that man was his father. The man was a horrible example of humanity. I know that he has no uncles or extended family so you have two options, keep him or ship him off somewhere.”
My arms tightened slightly around Gavin. “You taught me better than that,” I admonished my father and he grinned at me.
“Stefanos’ pay their debts. Good girl.” He nodded towards me. “It seems that of my three children, you are the first to give me a grandchild, yes?”
I winced at my father. “When you put it that way…,” I started and he cut me off with a laugh.
“Expect a delivery in the next week Alex. Some stuff for my new grandson among other things. Be glad the Alliance has someone that let me know you were alive before now. I am proud of you and your stance. And I am sorry I drove you away before. That was… the worst feeling I’ve ever had.” His face spoke of sorrow and I shrugged.
“I made it no easier on you Dad. I also did the worst thing I’ve ever chose to do. Still you taught me better.” I had no regrets to the choices I’ve made except for the ones that put me at odds with my father.
He waved that off with a gesture and shrug. “We all learn life lessons. It is what you do after that tells.” For a moment he searched my eyes. “I will let your brother and sister know they have an adopted nephew now. Maybe Darren will stop dancing around that woman he shows interest in. Gods know that Melisa is dead set on my job when I step down and has no time for men or woman.”
I snorted at that, remembering at that point my sister had been not shy about either gender younger. “I don’t remember a lot from the last few years and some of it comes back to me at odd times Dad.”
He nodded. “Traumatic head injuries tend to do that. Maybe it’s for the best that you do not remember the worst, yes?”
“Those might be no truer words said. Well I will await your package. I think I plan on visiting home in the next few months but first I have to get things organized. I am heading up a new merc group now.” I glanced away in thought a moment.
“Oh?” He started then shook his head. “Duty calls me, I will have to talk to you again another time Alex. Be well.”
I nodded. “I will call you later on in the week Dad. Give Mel and Darren my love.”
“Will do. Good bye daughter,” he said before his visage faded from the screen.
I leaned back in my chair and sighed, hugging Gavin slightly. Well my world was changing rather quickly and I am not quite sure if it’s due to Liara or my change in circumstances.
One of the largest surprises for me was being summoned to Morlena’s office a week after the rescue. Sitting there was one of the darkest blue, almost purple, Asari I’ve ever seen. I mean Morlena was getting there but this new one, she was well into her Matriarch stage. Morlena nodded to me then to the other Asari and left with a reassuring smile.
I nervously sat down and turned my attention to the Asari. She was serene and studied me a moment before folding her hands in her lap. I didn’t know what to make of this at first. Then she spoke.
“It has come to my attention that you managed to not only rescue my daughter but save the Council from an incident recently. I wanted to thank you in person for rescuing Liara. I know that she would not thank me for being grateful someone was watching out for her but this is the least I can do. My daughter is headstrong. She takes after her father in that regard.”
So this was Benezia. I leaned back in my chair and nodded slightly. “My impression is Liara would rather go her own way. She doesn’t talk much of you but from what little she’s said, its overwhelming to her with your position. I’ve known many children to rebel at the expectations. I know I did.”
Benezia laughed softly and smiled at me. “No truer words have ever been spoken. Sadly it was not my intent to push her but others expected more than I ever cared for from her. What could I do but let her go and find her own way? Her father… told me to let her free herself and fly.” She then gave a softer smile at a memory. “She is my little wing after all. So I have let her do what she enjoys. As a mother that is all I can do. I just wanted to thank you in person for being there for her.”
I waved it off. “Liara is my friend, she helped me when I needed it. How can I not repay that?”
The Asari Matriarch nodded slightly. “You are a human of unusual fortitude. I have a favor to ask of you. One I do not think you would mind. Please watch over Liara for me? I cannot do that from my position and there are things that… well my life is not easy and its demands make it hard for me to relate to my own daughter. Also this is for you,” she said and handed me a datapad.
I glanced at the pad and set it down on the desk. “I am already doing what you ask of me. It’s not a hard thing. Just got to keep her out of trouble she unintentionally walks into.”
The Asari nodded and rose up gracefully. “This is all I can ask of you. I will take my leave now before Liara find me here.”
I got out of my chair as Benezia stood and nodded. “You are welcome.”
Benezia paused a moment then smiled once again. “Do look at the datapad,” was her parting words.
I picked up the pad and looked at it, blinking a bit. Benezia really gives her thanks. There were enough credits to help boost the merc group a lot and some recommendations on some Asari more than willing to join us, all of them were current or former Commandos. It was very strange to me to be handed everything freely like that. It was so surreal.
The next few months were trying to say the least. We got the merc group up and running and most of the newest members first learn how to be bouncers and then they are trained. Mostly we had Asari and Turians at first and then a random Salarian. The Legion, as they started calling it, was close knit. Some of them were suspicious of the humans at first but eventually they came over and things became easier.
What surprised me was the willingness of the Turians that joined. I think Narkul had something to do with that. He might have sent a few my way who were not like the rest. Some were younger who hadn’t been part of the First Contact war, others were old military who didn’t resent humans but saw them as worthy. I could accept that.
A few years went by, the merc group was firmly established and occasionally the Alliance sent out N-school candidates my way for evaluation and teaching. It wasn’t something I minded at all. I got to know quite a few good men and women in the process and my group accepted them all with welcoming arms. There were a few that I disliked though, reminded me too much of Gavin’s father.
The Blue Suns, now they were something to watch. They weren’t so bad before Zaeed Massani was ousted out. I could ignore what they did because it didn’t concern me too much. Eventually though, after Massani was ‘killed’, the Suns became something the Legion bumped into in aggressive fashion most of the time.
Liara finished her schooling and started by exploring Feros a little bit. I sent a group out with her when she went because I was still too busy trying to keep the reins of the merc group. From my understanding Feros was so picked over all’s she could do was explore the aqueducts to see how the Protheans built it. It made for a paper that most of the older Asari ignored for the most part considering Liara’s age.
Gavin, he grew like a weed. I was glad my attention had to be on stabilizing the mercs because that gave me time to be with him. Everyone adored him and he was full of mischief but there was not a mean bone in his body. I eventually got time off to visit home and I took him back with me. Dad doted on him and somehow Darren got the leave to visit so it was a reunion where Gavin was able to meet his uncle and aunt.
The years would go by rather quickly at times with Gavin growing up so fast. He idolized me enough that when he turned 18 he enlisted with the Alliance military. Can’t say I was actually surprised though he managed to surprise me later when he sort of followed in my footsteps. Of course it shouldn’t have been a real surprise considering he always had an interest in sneaking up on others.
Of course, as you know, this is not even close to the end of my life’s story. Life has a way of making you pay attention or throwing things in your way that you have to rise above. And boy did it throw some twists and turns my way. Still, none of knew that the future would be a hell of a lot darker than any past of any race. Very few even had the sense of what was looming and I was smack in the middle of it due to Liara’s research bring up questions that even she could not understand.Alas, this is another story for another time so I need to go kick some recruits into shape before Kraz manages to terrorize them all into puddles. Maybe when Gavin’s kids are older they can read about how their grandma can still kick ass and ignore taking names. He’ll laugh at me for saying that but it’s worth it.
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