The ship docked at in Port Lerama easily enough and since I barely had anything of note on me I helped Liara with her stuff. She protested when I slung the sack over my shoulder but I just smirked at her. The Asari was getting use to me enough that she just sighed and shook her head. Yes, I had won this round.
I waited beside her while the rest of the students disembarked, waving to Kirrahe as he rushed off. After all our talking he was most certainly focused on another line that I had accidently instilled in him. Maybe one day I would find out what that line was. Telitha glared briefly at me before she rushed off and my only impression was snotty. What a bitch. I shook my head to that thought and Liara gave me a questioning look. I only gestured to the departing Asari as answer.
“Well we need to get you first to Customs and I think set you up as an immigrant,” Liara said with a frown. “I have no clue how that will go over.”
I snorted in amusement. “Yea… it will go over real good for someone who has no memories.” I lathered on the sarcasm thick and Liara just smiled faintly at it.
Liara waited till the professor moved past her before following. I followed along like a little lost kitten. Once we were past the checkpoint she turned towards the Customs and Immigration area, if the sign flickering was any indication. It was a metallic counter staffed by a darker blue almost purple Asari who looked up when Liara and I stepped over to the counter.
“Welcome to Port Lerama. Are you new or immigrating?” She said, looking at Liara.
“What? Oh no, not me.” Liara stepped to the side and I moved up.
“Hi, I am not sure how this works honestly and there is one issue to go along with it that would give anyone a headache.” I gave the Asari a lopsided smile.
“Oh? I am sure we can accommodate you. Please tell me your name,” She held up her arm, omni-tool coming to life.
“Alexandra Stefanos,” I responded with.
She did something and then frowned, typing something into the haptic interface. “I see.”
“Maybe, “ Was my noncommittal answer to her. “You might know more than I do about me.”
She worked at it a few more minutes before glancing back up. “Well, it seems as if there is very little information to pull up on you. If you could answer some questions we might be able to get this figured out.”
“Well about a month ago I apparently was on Chasca. Liara found me around one of the ruins there badly injured. And I’ve been following her around since. Another problem is the fact that I have no memory of much beyond my name. And no idea of what you can do to help me at least.” I frowned at her because it bothered me a lot more than I let Liara know.
“The human embassy might be able to help more than I can. Let me put in a notification and a representative should arrive soon. If you would like to take a seat in the lounge,” she gestured towards the doorway.
“Ok.” I turned to Liara. “Why don’t you go and get settled in. I get the feeling I will be here a while.”
Liara nodded slightly. “Ok, I will come back here once I am.” She then turned and left.
“Liara,” I said a bit louder to catch her attention. “You might want this,” I offered, holding up her sack.
She just rushed back with a blush and took it. “Sorry, distracted.” I just laughed and shooed her away before heading towards the lounge.
I sat down on one of the many seats and glanced out the window at the life beyond the space port. Aircars flew back and forth along with some heavier shipper haulers. Then I let my gaze unfocus, letting my thoughts turn inwards, trying to understand what happened to me. A while later I came to as someone gently shook my shoulder.
“Are you Alexandra Stefanos?” It was a woman with blond hair perfectly shaped in a suit with the symbol of the embassy on the right shoulder.
I nodded and offered my hand after standing up. “Yup. I hope you can help me here considering my problem.”
“Ah well that is going to be fun for me,” she said with a smirk. “I am Jan Moller, one of the many diplomats in the embassy’s employ. If you would come with me, we can get you to the embassy first and then see what we can do for you. Only one issue is that you will have to be guarded at all times when you are off then embassy grounds.”
I nodded, resigned to the fact that it was going to be a battle. “About what I expected from someone with no past basically. I only have one problem, I do need an omni tool and was hoping to acquire one here.”
She smiled. “Well then that will be one of the stops we make on the way to the embassy. I assume you have no other clothing but for what you are wearing?”
I nodded. “Yea, as much as I love this shirt and pants, wearing them day in and day out makes me feel like a slob.”
She just laughed as she turned and made her way out of the room. I lurched forwards to catch up to her and follow her through the space port. Two Alliance soldiers merged behind me with pistols at their side, neither looking left or right as they followed us. We exited the building into a down right cold as hell weather which had me twitching a bit. Jan saw that and hurried us over to the aircar waiting.
“Sorry about that. Even on the equatorial areas you still need a jacket for the weather. That will be something else to get you, yes?” She smiled brightly as I settled in the back seat next to her.
The soldiers sat in the front, the one driving turning back to Jan. “Ma’am?”
She glanced up. “Take us to the plaza first, to Serrice Council’s store.” The solider just nodded and turned away, starting the aircar up and then, with precision, pulling out into traffic.
“How bad will this be for me do you think?” I took the bottle of water she offered me and uncapped it, taking a drink.
“Well there was little information to access publically but I left the VI to search through official government channels so when we get back to the embassy we might have an easier time.” She took a sip from her own bottle of water.
Ten minutes later the aircar set down and the soldiers got out, opening the doors for us. Jan motioned for me to follow her and headed towards the glass fronted store that proclaimed it as Serrice Council. I followed her into the warmer store and glanced around at the wall displays. One was an advertisement for an Amp and another for armor and weapons and the last for omni tools.
“Welcome to Serrice Council. How may I help you?” The Asari said with a smile.
“I have a person that needs an omni tool,” Jan said and motioned to me.
The Asari smiled at me and gestured me forwards. “I just need some information first. Name?” I gave it to her. She frowned a bit then glanced up only to be cut off by Jan.
“We, the human embassy, know about her issue which we are looking to resolve quickly. I would appreciate cooperation and helping her,” She said and there was a tone of authority in her voice.
“If you would give me a moment, I will need to talk to the manager about this to get it approved.” She turned without saying another word, walking through a door behind her.
I tilted my head towards Jan with a smirk. “You like doing that don’t you?”
Jan gave me a wide grin. “I love doing that.” She then schooled her face into a stern frown when the door opened again and the Asari returned with another following.
“We apologize for the wait,” the new Asari said. “Normally we ask for background information so we can keep records. I understand that Alexandra Stefanos,” She paused and looked at me and I nodded back, “That Stefanos has been flagged as an amnesiac and there is no information publically about her?”
“Indeed. If not for one of the University teaching digs, she would have remained there on Chasca apparently. This is just as new to me as of a hour ago.” Jan gave a warm smile to the manager who seemed not phased about it.
Instead the Asari turned towards me and studied me a moment like she was searching for something. Suddenly a startled look crossed her face and she schooled it back to the placid smile she had before that. “I think we can accommodate you. Narena, please help Ms. Stefanos.” She then turned and headed back through the door.
I gave Jan a concerned look then turned back to Narena. “Well, I guess…?”
Narena just smiled and motioned me over. “We have some selection and because of your situation I think we can give you special dispensation for your purchase. Also a discount due to your situation via the embassy?” She glanced up at Jan who nodded.
“Yes I am authorized to use our discounts,” she said after glancing at her omni tool when it beeped at her. “Alex, apparently there is a package waiting for you back at the embassy too,” she said puzzled.
I arched a brow up. “What the-,” and then shrugged. I had no clue what happened so I turned to Narena. “Well show me what you have in stock then.” I leaned over to the display and Narena took me through each of the versions of the Savant omni tool. I had to admit, they were expensive but I had the credits for it on the chit.
Jan stepped away to check on what the VI had pulled up on me and one of the soldiers followed her while the other waited by me. I could feel him there but he was doing his best to not distract me. I bit my lip because I really wanted the top of the line one but that would leave me with little left.
“I think as much as I want to drool over the Savant X that I will go with the VIII instead,” I said with a sigh.
Narena smiled at me. “Well the cost is about 15,650 credits on the X and the the VIII is about 8500 credits. With the discount and dispensation that would be about 10,230 on the X and about 5800 on the VII. Are you sure?”
I hesitated. That sounded better and finally sadly nodded. “I know, it’s pitiful but I can’t disagree with that.” I held out the credit chit and she took it, scanned it then handed it back to me.
“If you will excuse me a few moments I will go get it.” She turned and walked away to the back, returning a few minutes later with the omni tool.
I pocketed the chit and waited patiently, glancing around. Something red caught my eye a moment before Narena came back and distracted me. She offered me the band and I wrapped it around my wrist. It came alive and she helped me a few minutes with setting it up. “I guess I will at least have a distraction while waiting for things to get resolved,” I said with a smirk and Narena just smiled at me.
“I hope you enjoy your omni tool Ms. Stefanos,” she said with a bright smile then turned to the next customer waiting. “Ah yes. The paperwork has been finalized Ms. Y’larh”
I turned away and walked towards Jan with my soldierly shadow following me. She glanced up at me a moment then back to her omni tool.
“Well now I think that some clothing and a jacket would be next on the list,” I said once I got into hearing of her.
“Good, the VI has some information but it is… odd. It will not release it to me till we are back at the embassy. Odd.” She frowned at that then smiled at me. “Let’s get you something more than just those tattered clothing.”
“I guess any information is better than the blank I have,” I offered with a grin.
She just laughed and walked out of the door, turning right and heading to the next store. I followed, feeling like a tourist as I damn near gave myself whiplash from looking around. Jan ignored that, understanding too well how that was considering she did the same thing herself the first few days she was here.
She paused before another store with clothing in the window. I saw that red light again but then she opened the door and smirked as I shivered in the cold. “Come on, lets get you something else to wear. Something a bit warmer.”
My agreement was my rush into the store to get out of the cold air. “Damn, this will take getting used to.” I rubbed my arms to warm up and glanced up as another Asari approached. “I need a jacket and some change of clothing. Maybe a few pairs of pants in human style, some shirts. Underthings.” I sighed.
“Oh, well then you have come to the right place,” the Asari said brightly. You could tell she was younger, still naïve about things.
An hour later I had a faux bomber jacket to wear, 3 changes of clothing with some shirts that fit tightly but gave me movement and those underthings that gave me the most trouble. What is it about underwear and bras that made everyone blush like a virgin? I shook my head at that without speaking.
“Well let’s get back to the embassy now so we can find out why the hell my VI is being a dick,” Jan said.
I laughed at that as we exited the store and for a moment my vision turned red. Without understanding what happened I tripped Jan then swept the feet out from under the solider to my right just as the report of a crack rang out over the plaza. The glass of the store behind me was spider cracked with a neat hole in the center of the damage. One of the soliders cursed and then covered me while the other did the same to Jan. Both had their pistols out and were wildly looking around for whoever took the shot.
I nudged the solider laying over me with a smirk. “As much as I like a man to take control I do not think that sniper is going to be waiting for us or any of the other security around to catch them.”
“Shit!” He said and stood up, offering me a hand. “If it wasn’t for you that shot would have not only hit you but me.” He glanced up at the office building adjacent to us. “Not a very good sniper if they missed, even from this distance.” The building was not taller than three stories tall. I had to agree with him.
“Ma’am,” the other solider said, helping Jan up. “We need to get you both back to the embassy ASAP.”
Jan nodded and shivered slightly. “What a fucked up day,” she muttered and shook her head, as the soldiers shoved us along to the aircar.
Neither relaxed till they had grounded at the embassy’s parking garage and they followed us in to the building only to come at parade rest outside Jan’s office door. “We will be right here if you need us Diplomat Moller,” one solider said with a salute.
Jan just waved them off and flicked her fingers towards me in a gesture of follow. I could tell she wasn’t happy with what had happened and the way she paced behind her desk after pointing for me to sit in the chair before it said even more. I remained silent while she paced and then she spun and viciously pushed a button.
“Grey, give me access to the information you refused to send to me. Now.” There was anger in her voice now.
“Certainly Mrs. Moller,” the VI’s metallic voice responded with and the haptic computer interface on her desk lit up to show her what information had been obtained. She started to read it and then suddenly sat down.
“Is this everything Grey?” She asked, a tone in her voice that confused me.
“Yes Mrs. Moller,” the VI responded with promptly.
“Shit.” She leaned back in her chair and eyed me a moment before reaching out and pressing a button which made my omni tool beep at me.
I glanced down as I lifted my arm up and the display showed that information. I read through it and then lowered my arm down and blinked a bit. “That might explain why I got a pot shot taken at me,” I said with a murmur.
“Indeed.” Jan reached out and typed in something on the haptic interface before her. “Grey, make sure all relevant information is erased. The only copy is in the possession of Ms. Stefanos as of now.”
“Complying.” The VI paused for half a second then spoke again. “Done. I could not access the data that came from the Alliance’s Intelligence Agency so two copies remain Mrs. Moller.”
“Remove the relevant data from your own drive Grey and any references to Ms. Stefanos,” Jan said and then rubbed her forehead. “I was due for some difficulties and you are that,” she said dryly.
“Data removed,” the VI said and then went silent.
“I… did not expect that at all,” I started to say but a knock at the door had me go quiet.
“Enter,” Jan said and a clerk entered, carrying a elongated case and a smaller case which he set down next to me.
“This is the packages that arrived for Ms. Stefanos while you were out Madam,” he said and then bowed his head and left.
I eyed the longer case but then picked up the smaller one and set it in my lap. A touch of my finger had the lock disengage and then a hiss as the case opened up. Within was a myriad of items and I laughed as I reached inside and picked up a card, offering it to Jan. “Well at least I have a passport now.”
Jan tilted it wards her and smirked. “Ah yes, Ms. Stevens.” She handed it back.
I dug down into the case and came across another card and then laughed. “And a license to carry weapons… and… apparently a reserve officer for the Alliance Marines.” There were some credit chits, more than enough to see me comfortable for some time. The license to carry weapons meant the other case was carrying weapons.
I put the smaller case down and reached for the longer one, it opened at my touch with a hiss and the comfortable smell well-oiled weapons gave off. The lid slowly opened to reveal a beauty of a sniper rifle. It was gray with fins at the end and a scope on top. The handle and trigger were black along with part of the stock and Jan gasped as she leaned forwards to see the weapon.
“That tells me more than I care to know,” she said with surprise and I glanced up.
“Why?” My fingers ran over the dark barrel of the rifle.
“That is a high powered sniper rifle that most humans risk a broken shoulder firing,” she explained to me and eyed me with interest.
I shrugged. “Not something I am going to carry around often.” I smiled then and pulled out the pistol, holding it up. “But this, this I can carry around easily enough. There’s also a sub-machine gun.” The Karpov pistol was flat, non-reflective black instead of the normal blue. I put it back in the case and my fingers touched fabric. I tugged that out a bit to find it an undersuit which meant there was armor in the other case.
“Well this gives me more information than I expected honestly,” I said and closed the weapons case. “Apparently at some point I did shadow work.” I lifted my hands up and my fingertips touched together as I rested my chin on the bar my thumbs made.
Jan snorted. “For them. I know a little of them but most of it has gone… silent.” She frowned a bit and eyed me. “Makes me wonder.”
“I can assume a few things from what’s in these cases. One, I am no part of their company anymore and two; I am still part of the Alliance Marines. The reservist designation says I might be anything, up to and including an instructor when needed. The reason for that I can’t say but I can also assume it wasn’t a nice parting,” I pointed out.
Jan snorted. “Yea, the kind that leaves puddles of blood and bodies parting.”
I laughed and nodded. “I can’t say for sure why, but if that is true, there’s a good reason for it.”
Jan gave me a worried look a moment. “Yes,” she said slowly. “That worries me most of all. This means something is dirty with that… agency. Why does the Alliance let them run around it’s beyond me.” She shrugged. “But so far you can take care of yourself without help so since you have the proper paperwork, I think we can fast track your immigration easily enough.” She reached out, pressed a few buttons on the haptic interface and then smiled. “There, that is sent to the proper people now.” There was a knock at the door which stopped her from speaking more. “Come in,” Jan said.
The door opened and let through the clerk again but this time followed by a hesitant Liara. “Madam, a Liara T’Soni is here for Ms. Stefanos.”
I closed the small case and pointed to the chair after setting the case down to the left of my chair. “Take a seat Liara, we are apparently almost done here.” I moved the longer case with my boot off to the side.
“Good. I was hoping so. Have you tak- excuse me I can see you have gotten all you needed apparently.” She eased herself down into the chair and bowed her head slightly to Jan.
“Liara T’Soni, on the behalf of the Alliance, we extend a thank you to your care for our citizen,” Jan said officially and then smiled brightly. “Now, with that taken care of… Jerr could you bring in some drinks for us please?” The clerk nodded and backed out.
“Please, it was nothing. Anyone would have done the same for Alex,” Liara said, not quite sure else how to respond.
I laughed. “Don’t worry Liara, it’s just something she officially has to do.”
A look of understanding crossed Liara’s face and she smiled back. “I see.”
We talked for a bit on the issues I would still have and then the tea was brought in. For a few minutes there was silence while we all made our tea to our liking. The sound of cups setting into the plates ended the silence. I was the first to speak.
“Is there anything else you need me to do or can I leave with Liara?” I took a sip of tea and watched Jan over the rim of the cup.
“Hmm, at this point, no. The immigration process is automated and it might arrive before you actually get to where ever you are staying.” Jan set her cup down and clasped her hands. “You are more than welcome to leave now. We can get a driver to bring you both back…?”
I nodded and reached out to silence Liara before she said something. Her mouth was open when I looked moments later and I smirked. “It’s not a problem. Thank you Diplomat Moller.” I stood up and then motioned for Liara to do the same. “You will have to tell the driver how to get back to your place Liara.” Then I picked up both cases after slinging the backpack over one shoulder.
Jan rose up and reached across her desk to shake which I did. “Not a problem. The embassy will be in touch.” Then she sat back down and picked up her tea. “Now if you two would excuse me, I have work to do.” That was a dismissal if I ever heard one and we made our way out.
The clerk, Jerr, met us in the hall and we followed him back to the garage where another solider waited by one of the aircars. He saluted me and then opened the door for us. I stowed the cases in the car and then slipped in. Liara followed.
The driver got in and turned back to us. “Where too?”
Liara gave him the address and he started the aircar up. It took a bit of time to get there so we had time to talk. At first I wanted to watch the city but eventually, at Liara’s insistence I turned to speak to her.
“What happened?” She could tell that something was not right.
I sighed. “Well let’s just say that I learned more than expected about my past but there wasn’t much detail.”
“Oh.” She studied me a moment. “I can tell it wasn’t exactly good what you did learn.”
I nodded. “Yea, it’s not something I care to talk about and might be safer if you didn’t know.”
She frowned but a look of understanding crossed her face. “Ok,” was her quiet reply.
“I have weapons, id cards and armor in those cases,” I finally said as explanation. “They arrived while I was shopping with the diplomat at the embassy. I haven’t looked closely at the cases yet but someone sent them here.”
Liara was silent for a while after that and when I glanced at her I could see she was thinking deeply. I let her. Maybe she could figure out why. I could see a sprawling complex coming up and the driver was slowing down even as he dropped altitude. I nudged Liara and nodded out the window and she glanced up and nodded quickly.
“We are here ma’am,” the driver said as he shut down the aircar.
“Thank you Corporal,” I said and gathered up my stuff. He opened the door for me and I slid out to wait for Liara.
“Yes, thank you Corporal,” Liara added and slipped out of the car. She then turned and headed towards the doorway and I followed her. “This is where I live,” she said as she opened the door and let me in.
I followed her to the lift and we quickly went up to the 12th floor where she exited with me and headed down the hall past 5 other doors. The last one she pressed her hand to the plate and it opened up for her. I entered and glanced around before setting down my cases and the backpack next to the door.
“It’s not much but its home for now,” she said softly.
I snorted. “And tomorrow you and I are going to look for something more roomy,” I said with a smirk. “I got the cred for it now.”
Liara nodded in surprise. “Maybe somewhere closer to where you go to school, hmm?” I added and she gave me a grateful look.
“That… that would be wonderful,” she said finally and smiled at me.
“So, what do you think? Let’s go out and eat? On me,” I teased.