Friday, February 4, 2011

Hide and Seek, Part 4

Illium, Dracon Trade Center

There was fire everywhere. Leanna was running, screaming for someone whose name she could not longer remember. A man in a yellow suit came up to her and scooped her up, carrying her to safety, but she didn't want this man. She wanted the person she screamed for. She wanted her Mother.

A second blast knocked her off her feet. She tried to shake off the memory she'd lapsed into. She hadn't even thought of her parents deaths in a long time, and now was not the time start. Liara needed her.

Vasir headed back for the skycar. She intended to take it to the top of the building while Leanna worked her way up. They'd find who did this and find Liara.

Leanna ran for the main entrance, Garrus and Tali hot on her heal. For once, she was glad that they were silent. She knew the question they wanted to ask; the one she was afraid to ask herself. Was Liara still alive?

There were scattered survivors among the debris. Some were injured, others just frightened. She ordered Garrus and Tali to look after them.

"Treat their injuries and get them to safety. We'll meet up when you're done or I've found Liara."

She went through the main doors to discover the elevator was out of order. She'd have to make her way up the 3 floors to Baria Frontiers on foot, and the building didn't even have a standard stairwell. Stupid Asari architecture.

She found the first set of stairs and ran up. She heard groans coming from a corner. A man was slumped against the wall, sliding down it. Blood flowed from his gut.

Shepard tried to get over to him in time, but he was dead before she could apply medigel. He wasn't injured in the blast. He was shot.

Leanna continued up another flight of stairs, past more shooting victims. According to the floor plan she'd downloaded, she'd have to go through an office before she reached the last set of stairs leading to Baria Frontiers. As she headed for the office, she noticed an unexploded bomb sitting off to the side.

Sloppy work, this was set up fast.

She entered the office. Several desks were overturned and there were a number of twists in the passage. This was the perfect location for an ambush. It was then that she heard the faintest squeal.

She managed to activate the light blocker on her visor just before the flashbang grenades went off. She reached for her Locust SMG while brining her Tech Armor online. The digital targeting reticle on her visor showed five Humanoids up ahead, but there were likely more. These must be the Shadow Broker's soldiers.

Shepard leapt over one of the overturned desks and faced her ambushers. She fired a massive biotic blast before firing the Locust, using up an entire thermal clip in the process. Her visor told her that there were more up ahead as she charged forward, replacing her clip in the process.

Another corner and she heard more soldiers up ahead. Shepard exchanged her Locust for a Phalanx and un-tinted her visor. She crouched behind a continently tipped over desk and took aim.

She managed to get three headshots in before the others even took notice of her. She took out a fourth before he could draw his pistol. She overloaded the fifth and sixth's weapons and they exploded in their hands. Only when there were two left did she have to duck back down as a missile soared above her head.

The Heavy was firing missiles in between blasts from the other's Assault rifle. If she wanted to get a shot in, she'd have to be tricky. She tapped a few keys on her omnitool and waited for a lull in the firing. After a missile impacted the wall behind her, Shepard stood and threw out a small glowing disk, squatting down before the firing could resume. She could only hope it reached its mark.

A beep on her omnitool told her it had landed. She slapped the center of it and heard a hiss coming from the soldiers. The firing had stopped.

Shepard stood to see the Broker's men frozen solid; still alive, but completely immobile. She smashed both their arms with the butt of her gun. They won't bother me again.

She was at the last set of stairs. Baria Frontiers was right at the top. She'd made it. She ran up the stairs and opened the door.

Tela Vasir was standing in the middle of the room. She lowered her weapon when she saw Shepard.

"I was too late." She gestured to the ground where a dead Shadow Broker soldier laid next to an equally dead Salarian. "He'd already killed him when I got here."

Shepard pointed to the Salarian, "That's Sekat?"

"Yeah, if only I'd gotten here sooner. Did you find your friend's body?"

A voice from behind Shepard said, "You mean this body?"

Liara walked through the door, her pistol trained on Vasir. "You tired to kill me."

"What?" Vasir replied. "That's crazy why would I want to kill you?"

"You broke into my apartment after I left it. You disabled the alarms and called off the police. I saw you."

Shepard pointed her gun at Vasir as well. "It all makes sense. You're the assassin. The Council didn't send you, the Shadow Broker did. You couldn't figure out where Liara would be until you found me, and then you called in the Shadow Broker's soldiers to bomb this place."

"And when she got here, she found Sekat, took his data, and killed him. I'm guessing she's still got the disk on her."

"Good guess." Vasir held up a hand that held a data disk. "Not that you'll ever see what's on it, you pureblood Bitch!"

The glass window behind Vasir shattered as she flung it at Liara and Shepard.

Tali and Garrus had just managed to fix up the last of the survivors as they saw Vasir round the corner. She hopped into a skycar before either had a chance to ask what had happened.

As she was taking off, two more figures came in sight.

Garrus spoke, "Shepard, Liara, what's going on? We just saw Vasir take off like something was chasing her."

"Yeah, we are. I'll explain later, just get in the cab."

The four of them piled in a nearby taxi and took off after Vasir.

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