It has been a a little over a week and a half since Solana came aboard the Normandy. I already knew she planned on visiting while we were still on our little holiday on earth. But our holiday ended before she even got inside the sol system. I never thought about the Idea of her serving on the ship, and when it was brought up I wasn't even sure it was such a great idea. Shepard was going through my datapads that held the conversations I had with my sister. When I entered the room she raised the datapad and brought up the topic of my sister. When she figured out that we would have to be back and serving on the Normandy, she immediately suggested that Solana simply come and serve on the Normandy for this tour. I was a little wary of the proposition. Suggesting to Shepard it was hard enough for there to be just one Vakarian aboard the Normandy, and having two would be crazy. To which I had absolutely no argument because of who I was talking to. All she had to say was "look who your talking to here." with a feigned unimpressed face. So then i tried suggesting it wasn't a good idea because my little sister has a habit of 'covertly' taking your possessions at her own liberty and also going to unusual lengths to find out anything she wants about you including the rifling of the occasional sock drawer. And I felt pretty serious about the situation, but all Shepard could do was laugh at my wariness. Resigning to the fact that this was fast becoming an inevitable thing, I sent an offer to my sister about serving on the Normandy. Which she accepted without thinking twice.
I was just getting comfortable with my ability to hide or do things without anyone noticing. Having Solana aboard means anything I do -such as fix Donnely's reduction in the power draw on the main gun which offset all my Calibrations by 74%, to which I quickly corrected down in Engineering while he was eating his meal in the mess hall- she would know. She recognizes my work, my...style. And she's almost as good as I am, though she prefers taking things apart and improving something piece by piece, rather than upgrade something as a whole like I do. (I can do it, just not what I prefer... no I'm not gonna admit she may be better than me at those sort of tasks.)
When we were kids she invented her own tactical cloak out of a decommissioned spy drone we happened upon in the hills away from our home, she dismantled the whole thing, kept what she thought useful, and scrapped the rest. Then one night I'm heading off to my bed for the night and my pillow is floating in the air like the spirits were trying to steal my sleep away. I swallowed my surprise and caught on quickly to what was actually happening, (kinda get th Idea when your tools keep dissapearing) I walked over to my bedside table, took out the generator I stole from her room out off all the pieces she didnt use and I had turned it into an a short range EMB burst. With a flip of a switch I shorted her cloak and swiftly tackled her off my bed to which a quick sibling sparring match ensued. Both of us had already taken advanced sparring training through some 'youth today leaders tomorrow' program for young turians not yet old enough to start serving. She was faster than I was, but I was stronger and eventually I got her in a hold she couldn't escape from. "fine I give!" she exclaimed in a young high pitched voice with buzzing sub vocals. I could only expect the same kind of sibling warfare to ensue if she were to stay long term on the Normandy, only this time around we are both older, stronger, and smarter.
Like playing a game of chess with your pride as top sibling on the line it's something you really have to work at. On one end I dread the declining relaxation time, but on the other end I really did miss her. It's been too damn long since I've spent any amount of quality time with her, my Time on Palaven preparing for the reapers hardly counted with what was looming just over the horizon. I also know she has more than one reason to be mad with me, and I knew I could surely expect cleverly planned revenge to make up for everything I had left on her shoulders... like our mother. And a lot of off the grid activity, which irritated her more than most things.
The first couple days with her on board were alright. She was picked up before we got back off the citadel, by a few days. So after quick tardiness-apologies followed by a few hours of my sister and how she is around new people. Absolutely formal, still has the same sharp eyes as I remembered, and was careful with every word she said. You would never be able to gauge what she was thinking when she has her personal wall up. All except her eyes are able to keep her prowess a secret. And she kept that in place for the first day until she became familiar with majority of the crew onboard, then she lets her intelligence and subtle bragging out:
like talking to joker about classified Normandy overclock veto commands accessible from the cockpit's sub screen command prompts which can boost our FTL speed's and sub light speeds by quite a lot at the expense of shorter range.
Joker: "you can what? Wait, how did you? EDI!?"
or perhaps "oh hey Tali, I've heard a lot about you, so you want to learn how to make my big brother twitch? If you jab him right here, his mandibles will flare right up, and then he'll get a twitch for a few minutes, it's quite entertaining if your looking for a laugh, plus if you catch him off guard; he makes a really amusing sound"
or even putting James on his ass in under a second flat after he made the ill choice to assume she was fragile and couldn't take him in a friendly 'dancing' match.
She also spent a lot of time tinkering through our ground transport vehicles with Cortez. Who mentioned multiple times how impressed he was with her comprehension of cloaking tech. Or perhaps giving Liara a spirit of Akria medallion my sister had recovered from one of the temples on Palaven Akria being seen in old histories as "the mother who will watch over". And talking about information gathering tactics and how she figured out Liara's attempted big secret after only 4 days aboard the Normandy.
I've also caught her having multiple conversations with our resident AI –which she punched me in the arm for not telling her about when she figured it out on the second day without any obvious tells, EDI did her best to fool solana with monotonus VI impersonations, likely jokers Idea- talking about things from Women in Turian Society, to Organics distrust of Synthetics, to things my sister went through -that she was comfortable talking about- back on Palaven and how she I learned about in detail later on.
Any time she spent with Shepard, who had to juggle her free time between crew on the Normandy, myself, and now my sister; I had very little knowledge about. All I knew is they usually hung out in shepards cabin. There was one time I accidentally walked in on them conversing on the bar on the observation deck to which I was quickly shooed out like I was jacob or something. And after a while I became a little... paranoid? no, concerned about exactly what kind of topics could fill all of their conversations.
So I spent my days doing all the usual work, screwing around with the main guns and other things around the ship. Including fixing a glitch in the Galaxy map projection system, which was fun. you could Link it to stream vids off the extranet I found out, but I was warned of the likleyhood of 'fleet and flottilla becoming a main attraction on the hologram if Tali ever found out how to. though Im sure she could if she ever spent time messing around with it. Hmm, sidetrakced, sorry.
my nights were spent up in Shepard's cabin. Which I was happy to have a time in a day to spend some 'us' time together. And things continued on until for a little over a week like this until on day I spotted my sister in the med bay on my way to the forward battery. With obvious and obligatory concern I took a quick detour to the med bay and when I opened the door my sister quickly looked over to me with a look of surprise and exclaimed "Garrus!" and hid her legs behind the table.
"Garrus, it's good to see you, did you know about -" Chakwas began but was interrupted by my sister "my broken leg!...is...-" 'cough' "-is just acting up, you know how old injuries go, just look at you face i bet that hurts" she said obviously trying to change the subject with an unusual sense of panic and the obvious subvocals which betray her emotions more often than she would like. "it's really not so bad anymore" she started but I quickly stopped her "ah, but i know when your hiding something sol, so spit it out. Is it it your leg?" I said, bringing out the big brother act. "it's fine really, nothing worth seeing. How about you head over too-hey wait G don't-" she protested as I made my way around the medical table to get a better look at what she was trying to hide. the extent of her injury caught me off guard, and it took a minute to wipe the expression off my face, too late for sol to not catch sight of it of my reaction anyways. "really, this is only temporary" she began to explain.
Her right leg was a mess of scars and staples, and her spur was all but gone, a long scar circled it's way up her leg and Chakwas was in the middle of replacing the wire mesh that was still holding my sisters leg together. With her armor on and her perfected walk, you have had no idea she was this bad off, he'll I never even knew it was this bad. And that hit me pretty hard, this is something I should have picked up on. After a moment she finally swore a word in our tongue that the translators couldn't translate for Chakwas. But I knew what she meant by it, so I looked at her in the eyes and silently asked her "you sure that's alright? What happened?". I knew her leg had broken during their escape on Palaven but I had no idea it was as bad as it was. "they replaced one of the bones in my leg with a damned re-bar." she said dryly, as if that would give me an idea of how bad it was.
Which it really does. "the... Fibula or hell I don't remember bio class, yea it's bad, so what? It was -*no translation*- bad alright? They had to splice my nerve endings to stop me from screaming because we ran out of morphine. I have no feeling in my leg." she said, gesturing down to her leg like it was nothing more than an inantimate object. "It only still works because I rigged my suits medical board to stimulate the separated nerves. I only got that working because I was tired of lying in a damn bed, or that terribly uncomfortable wheelchair for humans." I kept my composure, and calmed all my thoughts and emotions down so my sub-vocals woulndt betray my horror at what my little sister went through. took a deep breath and asked "how...how did you break your leg?" doing my best to look my sister in the eyes, and not stare at her mangled leg. "piece of crap husk, and getting crushed by a dead brute, that's how." she said, sub vocals quite angry and bitter about it.
I crossed my arms and gave her that look that demanded a more detailed explanation to which she sighed with a flare of the mandibles and continued "we were getting swarmed, I was lagging behind the group dropping those mini-fusion bombs, you know, the thing I figured out how to make out of those batteries?" I nodded, there were these fusion batteries that were meant to power your house in case the power supply got cut, and she figured out how to hack out the safeties built in and turn them into timed explosions. The tech was deemed unnecessary years ago with modern power grids and large scale fusion plants providing us with all the power we needed but they were still something you could purchase if you knew where to shop.
"well I was covering our ass's blowing up anything trying to chase us then I step to close to a ledge and a husk pops over the edge grabs onto my spur and rips the damn thing off... my scream in pain was enough to get the attention of the group, otherwise I would likely have bled out because not only did That" she added with a heavy inflection "... that thing do that, it also pulled me off the ledge, and I landed on the same leg and my bone shot straight out from under my knee, when that husk hopped down to finish me someone shot it in the head. Then a brute just blasted through a nearby wall and came to finish me off. Then right behind it were a group of furious krogan who only managed to kill the thing when it was right on top of me. I tried to crawl away but I was damn near delirious before that hunk of metal fell on me. Yea, on my same injured leg. My bone pierced through his skull and my leg was stuck to the thing. I... don't like thinking about it. It took far too long to get me out from that position and I put everyone in far too much danger. Had it not been for the krogan I would have been dead.
I must have passed out after that because when I woke up first thing I remember was the hum of a Kodiak shuttle. The Krogan placed me on a stretcher and took me all the way to the shuttle without stopping once. That was still 40 Kilometres away. Dad must not of been close behind them because he was on the shuttle when I opened my eyes, standing right over me, monitoring something, my vitals probably. He later tried to explain why the Krogan were showing up in force because I sure as hell didn't get the -*no translation*- memo." no one said anything for a while then she added "saved by some krogan... I... like what?" she said with toss of her hands. "Your lady friend there is some kinda magic to pull something like that off." she said a little incredulously. I nodded "you get used to Shepard doing things no one thinks is possible,... kind of her thing." I said bluntly. I've been with Shepard long enough to know to expect her to solve anything were faced with, somehow she always gets it done.
"don't worry Garrus, If i can fix that injury of yours, and shepards, I can fix a leg in as bad a shape as this. The Re-bar probably prevented more damage than It caused, and if I receive the right equipment I could regrow the bone, then It's all a matter of tissue replacement, which I seem to do quite a lot of. She is in good hands" Chakwas said, as if I didn't trust her or something. "I know doctor, and thank you. I'll bring up the subject about equipment you need to do.. yea" I said. My sister gave me the 'I'm alright, now go' look and I felt better about the whole situation. Still, I said "you shouldn't have kept this a secret from me sol" she replied saying "well, it's not like I'm going to let you be the only one keeping all these secrets, also I like your new suit, too bad you don't wear it often"
"you went through my stuff in Shepard's cabin?" I said with a raised brow plate. "yea, of course, hell your lady-friend even helped me." she said quite satisfied. "of course she did, and... lady-friend?" "If I think about how my big brother somehow managed to hook up with the human savior of the galaxy I might have an aneurysm" she said "It's much easier to try and scale things down and see all you guys as just as regular people, and not as how everyone see's everyone who served under her. I did my best not to completely fan-girl when we were introduced." she said sarcastically. "I want to give Shepard...err, your lady-friend a gift later on tonight, once my leg is done being re patched, I'd like you to be there when I give it to her." I knew she wasn't about to tell me any further from the tone she was giving me, so I simply agreed, then went on about the rest of my day.
I worked in the forward battery for the rest of the day, and after I finished a small supper, I got a ping on my omni-tool to head up for this presentation my sister had in mind. It had been a long time i've been around turians and our more relaxed and good-natured traditions and it wasn't even on my mind that she would try and do something like that for Shepard and I, so I was surprised when I walked in to Shepard wearing a Turian crest. It was a shining silver crest with a modest amount of various precious minerals and had a gleam under the light that seemed to match shepards eyes.
The sight stopped me mid step into the room, they were standing at the bottom of the stairs. "oh Garrus, your sister had this gift for me, what do you think?" she said with a smile, turning her head to each side for me to inspect. "I gotta say, I really like it" Shepard beamed. She was quite happy about it, whether the mood extended from a good day, or she was genuinely happy i didn't know. Solana was giving me that look equivilant to a smile, or a smirk from Shepard's side, she placed the box the gift was in off to the couch and was watching me for my reaction. She knew what she meant by this gift, and damn if I ever would have guessed she would have thought of this. It's such an old tradition. "it's... you look... beautiful, Shepard" i said, a little awestruck as Shepard twirled around with her new headpiece. "do...,mehm, you know what your doing, right Sol?" I said, turning to my sister. She crossed her arms with that 'of course I do' look and said "of course I do" then shepard clued in that there might be something more symbolic to the gift and asked "hmm? What are you two saying? What does it mean? This some kind of Turian prank?" she asked, ceasing her twirling and stopping to look at Sol and I.
"It..." I sighed, trying to find the right words. "It means I accept you as my sister... and as my brothers mate." Solana said formally. "I, your sister?" Shepard said looking at sol, then at me "your mate? This like marriage?" she said pointing to the crown with a smile that didnt know whether it should be there or not with a puzzled look on her face. "from what I read, marriages on earth and" sol gestured to Shepard "human marriages are mostly about law and religion. A whole mess of hoops and rules depending on which government your under. An old turian tradition and 'marriage' is more spiritual. The male to ask a family member, usually a sister is he has one for their approval of his chosen mate, and if they approve of his decision they give her a crest similar to this. If she decides to wear it, it means she feels the same about him and also wants a long term relationship with him.
Then she is supposed to wear the crest to a celebration with both families. After which she can wear is whenever she wants." sol finished her explanation of this old turian tradition. And looked over at Shepard with the equivalent of a smile and said "I approve of his choice in mates, I admit, I thought It was a little weird when I heard he was with a human, but I see how he looks at you, and know he's crazy about you." sol said. Shepard had tears in her eyes, she looked up at me. I stepped down the stairs and took her hands in mine and looked into her eyes. "did you ask her to do this?" she asked. I shook my head "no, I didn't know" sol added "yea, well I knew, so he didn't even have to ask me. So what do you say?" she said, prodding us along. "I say, your beautiful, an-and I love you, and had I known, I would have asked sol for her approval... err not that I had marriage on the mind, not that this means marriage it just means-" quickly losing my swagger shepard interrupted "shhh, I chose to put it on, I don't plan on taking it off if that's what your worried about" I felt my face getting hot, luckily I regained control before a blush started to show. "I...I..I'm not sure what to say here." I was at a complete loss for words. "you don't have to, just kiss me" Shepard smiled at me. And so we did, and then we hugged and joined my sister for a couple bottles of wine to celebrate, and and we enjoyed the rest of the night away. And I felt complete, Shepard felt the same way about me as I felt about her. Neither of us were going anywhere and we had our whole lives ahead of us. I plan on making the most of it.