By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Want to add a quote? Submit them here!
  1. Welcome to Pandora! We are a pan-fandom, play-by-post roleplay.
    New Player's Guide | Canon List | FAQ | Questions
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Spring has arrived!
    Check out the Season Updates HERE!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Have a nice day, Guest!
    Dismiss Notice

Private it's all going according to plan...

Discussion in 'Cosmic Wilderness' started by Tali'Zorah, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    @Jane Shepard

    “No,” she mused tossing a piece of rusted, gnarled machinery over her shoulder. The sound of exasperation that escaped her mask was part growl and part annoyance. “You would think with my vast experience that I would be able to fashion a drive belt harness from nothing more than pipe cleaners and Krogan spit,” she grumbled picking up another piece of twisted, old wreckage.

    She’d taken to picking through the debris of the starship graveyard for parts to fix the ship she’d managed to salvage from a junker who was just going to space it anyway. It’d taken a lot more work than she’d realized or even expected, but in the last two weeks that she’d found herself in this strange place… it had kept her sane. It hadn’t given her time to think about what it meant that she was here or even where here was. It saved her from thinking about what was happening to the Flotilla or Rannoch or even her friends on the Normandy. How would the ship’s engines ever reach their full potential without her? She brought her there fingered hand to her head and shook it. Those were bad thoughts… the moment they caught hold of her mind it was just going to be a dangerous spiral.

    “No,” she said again with increasing irritation. “No, no, no, no! Why is everything in this place broken or… “ There was a beep from her omni-tool that startled her into silence. She stilled waiting for it to happen again praying the sound wasn’t her imagination. Her omni-tool dinged again, the beacon quickening and data starting to pour in. Coordinates, times, trajectories, but most of all…

    “Shepard.” Being alone in this new world for so long, she didn’t realize how much she would miss her old friend. Part of her had longed to have someone she knew here. She recorded holo-vids to Shepard at night and to Garrus, too, but mostly Shepard talking about everything under the sun that had kept her from missing the Commander too much. But now… now… she was here.

    Tali dropped the twisted metal pieces she’d been sorting through and pressed a few buttons on her omni-tool “That’s not right…” She turned to look over her shoulder at the expanse of space behind her. Why would Shepard be out there? What was even out there? This was the farthest she’d gone and it was a trash heap… “I’m coming, Shepard,” she promised.

    It was ten minutes later and Tali was in her jerry-rigged, taped together ship that had no business being in space let along flying as fast as its ancient engine could carry it toward the glowing beacon that promised Tali the one thing she missed most.

    Poe Dameron and Jane Shepard like this.
  2. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    Staring up at a Reaper, essentially a towering colossus of metal designed to kill her and everything she loved, had never been easy. She had seen too many for one lifetime and survived, but this one was Harbinger, one that had literally threatened her directly--the one that started it all, and easily the most powerful. It was the only thing standing between her and salvation, but its shadow seemed to loom over the whole damn planet. She had motioned for her squad to follow towards their destination, but...there was nothing that could be done in the face of such overwhelming power. Harbinger fired a shot, and she watched good men and women die in an instant.

    And soon, there was only darkness.

    The blast shook Shepard from her faculties, and it took her what seemed like a few moments to realize what was going on. She felt something pull her, but instead of falling, she seemed to just...float. Her eyes snapped open, and for a moment, all she could see were a few white blips dotted across a black canvas. It was a feeling she remembered very well, and it was one of the reasons why she preferred to keep a helmet on her while on away missions. She was in space. Earth was...Earth was just gone. Harbinger had done it, but…

    “...Why am I alive?” she found herself wondering aloud, just so she could hear the sound of her own voice bounce around inside her helmet. The unspoken question, yet just as important, was why wasn’t anyone else?

    Her initial attempts to reach around for something, anything, eventually faded to a limp acceptance. She only had so much oxygen left circulating in her suit, but even if she had it in infinite supply, she couldn’t see anything that resembled hope of a rescue. She exhaled a sigh, and watched a bead of liquid float in front of her eye. It took a moment to register as a tear.

    Soon, Shepard glanced down at her omni-tool, and noticed it flashing. It was a beacon, but a few slow clicks revealed that something was heading toward her.

    Just in time, because for the first time since awaking, she noticed the glass of her helmet start to show signs of wear. It wouldn’t take much for it to crack.

    Poe Dameron and Tali'Zorah like this.
  3. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    Tali had her ship going full throttle toward the coordinates of the blinking beacon. At first, when she plugged the data into the ship’s navigation she thought that it was once again on the fritz. It was a huge piece of junk, but at this point it was all she had. Ship or no ship – she chose ship, even if everything was broken or breaking on it. She was worried even in her little salvaging missions that it might just break apart mid-flight.

    The point that was spit out from the triangulation of the various data modules in her omni-tool put the beacon that was tied to Shepard in… the middle of space. “That can’t be right,” agonized Tali as she finished getting the engines warmed up and settled into the driver’s seat. Still, she wasn’t sure enough to risk ignoring it. She would have never forgiven herself if she’d chalked everything up to being just a coincidence and it WAS Shepard out there… alone… again.

    At first, she was sure it was nothing – debris or some other part of a ship that had fallen off in transit, but as she got closer she recognized the suit. She recognized Shepard. “Shepard, is that you?” she asked through the comm on her omni-tool. She pushed the engines to their max, gaining as much speed as she could even if it set everything around her shaking and rumbling. Her tin can slapped together with duct tape and omni-gel wasn’t going to hold if she kept putting it through it’s paces in her effort to get to Shepard. Even now, warning klaxon were sounding, red lights flashing, and she could feel the vibration and shock every time a rusted piece of welded on plating ripped off and hurled itself into space.

    “Prepare for approach,” she told her commander. Pressing a couple buttons on the control panel in front of her, she set the ship into autopilot with the pre-planned deceleration to carefully pluck the commander out of space. The handy thing about always being in an envirosuit meant she never really had to prep for space.

    As she turned and headed toward the back of the small ship to open the bay door, the autopilot light flickered… and then went out.
    Poe Dameron and Jane Shepard like this.
  4. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    As crazy as it seemed, Shepard was almost thankful for the distraction. There was something real and immediate to focus on her attention on, and it saved her from wondering what had happened just moments prior. She cleared her throat and tried to push her floating body, or swing her momentum so that she could face what was heading towards her. Zero-G was always annoying when she didn’t want it, but luckily her body was turning that way already. It was very obviously a ship, but nothing else was immediately clear.

    Thankfully, a voice cracked onto her comm feed, and helped clear it up...somewhat. It was Tali.

    “Tali? I thought…” Shepard paused and shook her head. The image was still fresh in her mind; she had seen Tali disappear in a flash of fire and light. She was so how did the quarian wind up in a ship that wasn’t even the Normandy? “What’s happening? Are you…”

    She trailed off as she watched the ship get closer. It was turning and slowing down, much like she had tried to do herself, but it wasn’t slowing down nearly enough. She could see the hangar door and the plan itself seemed evident, but the thing wasn’t opening. She trusted Tali, but…

    “Open the door!” Shepard spoke again on her comm, but it was increasingly clear that the ship was suffering some sort of malfunction. Grunting, Shepard pressed a button on her omni-tool and beckoned the small booster in her suit to fire, forcibly changing her angle and trajectory so that she could reach out towards the ship and prevent herself from becoming space roadkill.

    When it was all said and done, Shepard managed to land on the side a few feet from the stuck hangar doors, but the collision was such that she couldn’t prevent her helmet from cracking against the side. Panic jolted through her body as she watched a small crack begin to form on the glass, and her omni-tool shot up once again. A small stream of foam was manufactured from it, and for the moment, she created a temporary seal.

    “A suit malfunction,” she offered on the comm. “Are you back there, Tali? We need to get this open.”

    Poe Dameron and Tali'Zorah like this.
  5. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    “Shepard!” exclaimed Tali at hearing the familiar voice in her helmet. She couldn’t help the relieved smile that spread across her face. For the past two weeks, there had been an overwhelming loneliness in her. It was just as dark, melancholy and endless as the space that surrounded them, but when she heard Shepard’s voice it was as bright as the sun.

    “What am I doing? Rescuing you, obviously,” she teased her commander. Even though the stakes were high and what they were attempting to accomplish at the high speed and with the unreliable equipment was dangerous, it was still so familiar to tease her.

    There was a horrific, rusty grinding noise when she hit the button to open the bay door. A pang of worry shot through her. “You are a stupid bosh’tet!” growled Tali, slamming the button harder as if that would help. She should have known that it wouldn’t. That was a krogan tactic – to hit something harder expecting a better outcome. She shook her head, tracing the wiring back to the panel and peeling the poorly welded cover off to expose the sparking wires beneath.

    “Working on it, Shepard,” she chimed with false optimism. “This makes me miss the Normandy… everything worked on the Normandy.” She even somewhat missed the helpful voice of EDI who would have been able to do a million things in this instance to help so that Shepard wouldn’t end up a cosmic bug on the metaphorical windshield of her rescue vehicle.

    There was an audible ‘CLANG’ as Shepard collided with ship. “Shepard? Are you ok? Suit malfunction… what does that… you know, never mind, it means work faster,” she said as she turned her attention back to the ragged wiring in front of her. Using her omni-tool, she traced the correct wiring to the closed bay doors and with a bit of omni-gel repaired the connection and increased the power so that the doors could begin to open. They creaked, protesting strongly, as they started to open, but even with Tali’s mechanical genius, there was only so much she could do to overcome time and age. They opened just enough for Shepard to squeeze through before freezing again with gear grinding protest.

    “Shepard!” she cried, reaching for her commander.
    Jane Shepard likes this.
  6. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    It was the Collector attack all over again--that was the thought that kept echoing in her mind, and the one that she tried so desperately to quell. Shepard had played the part of the good soldier over and over again, but experiencing an actual death was something she never got a chance to deal with. She’d been thrown from dangerous situations to near extinction, so there was never time to actually think about how terrifying she found the thought of the endless void of space to actually be. She clung to the side of the ship, aided by the magnetic field generated by her boots, and tried to slow her breathing, and focus instead on the task at hand...and on Tali’s voice.

    “Yeah. Faster is good,” she breathed through the comm, flicking through her omni-tool to see if there was anything she could do from the diagnostic side of things. It was an unfamiliar setup, but still compatible--unfortunately, it seemed as though the door was literally just jammed, compounded by a power failure. When Tali spoke, she could hear the sounds of work being done in the background, and if Shepard could count on anyone to perform mechanical and engineering work with speed and efficiency, it was the quarian.

    Slowly but surely, the doors creaked open, revealing a space just wide enough for her to clamber through. Her breathing increased as she squeezed through the crack, but soon after she was safely through, the gears whined and stopped...before spinning back the other way and closing shut. Artificial gravity kicked in, and Shepard fell, slamming on the ground. She groaned softly and stood up, removing her helmet just in time to be wrapped in a bearhug from her friend.

    “Tali, I thought you were dead,” she spoke slowly and lowly, her tone wavering ever so slightly as she returned the hug. “What happened? Why are you in this…” she looked around over Tali’s shoulder, squinting a bit. “This is a ship, right?”

    #6 Jane Shepard, Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2018
    Poe Dameron and Tali'Zorah like this.
  7. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    Tali held her breath as Shepard squeezed through the small opening that the bay doors had made before their rusted, squealing protest had kept them from being functional. As soon as she was safe inside, Tali hit the button again and they groaned back into place as if in relief against the cold expanse of space like an old man settling back into his chair.

    “You always did know how to make an entrance,” she chided softly as she squeezed her friend. She had to know she was real. She looked real, sounded real, but space had a way of effecting your mind when you were alone. She didn’t want all of this to be some sort of cruel mirage. Her fingers flexed as she hugged the very solid, very real, very alive form of Shepard.

    “I… I’m not actually sure this isn’t hell,” laughed Tali motioning to the ‘ship’ that Shepard had so politely pointed out. “Even our exiles have better ships than this.” As for her other questions, it was difficult for Tali to know how to answer. She had no idea what happened when she ended up here after Rannoch. “I’m sorry, Shepard,” she said fidgeting slightly. “I didn’t know how to contact you after Rannoch…or even how I ended up here. I didn’t know how to contact anyone.” She swallowed thickly, her bright eyes darting away from looking at Shepard. “I’m sorry to make you worry.” She was about to say something else when the klaxons began ringing and red lights lit up the small bay where they stood.

    ”Five minutes until collision… change course immediately… Five minutes until collision…” The metallic voice of the ship’s computer intoned in a disinterested monotone between the shrill alarms. “What now?” the quarian groaned, throwing her hands up in the air.
    Jane Shepard likes this.
  8. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    At least she wasn’t alone. The rest of her confusion be damned.

    Tali’s grip somehow got tighter as they embraced, almost to the point where Shepard was uncomfortable, but it was worth it. The quarian seemed to be testing her, almost to see if she was standing in front of her in the flesh. Considering her behavior and the amount and care the ship seemed to have received and still needed, she couldn’t help but wonder just how long Tali had been in this ship. It was, of course, a thought that didn’t make much sense. Tali had been at her side just minutes prior. Shepard thought she had experienced a blackout, but she felt...fine.

    Then again, she had once slept over two years in what seemed like the blink of an eye, so maybe she wasn’t the best with time perception.

    “Rannoch? That was…” Shepard’s mind began swimming through the muck of startled confusion--to her knowledge, none of them had visited Rannoch since they had reclaimed it, and the geth had...ceased. She had wanted to give Tali a bit of shore leave to see it again, but time never permitted. “None of this makes sen--”

    Beeping and a computerized voice cut her off, and Tali was suddenly throwing her hands up, clearly annoyed by what must have been a long line of similar warnings and diagnostic failures. “Collision warning” was still not a good phrase to hear, so the soldier found herself stumbling towards the console where the message had appeared.

    “There’s a debris field just ahead...I think,” Shepard shook her head, flicking through screens. Whatever she was looking at didn’t come from the Alliance, or any tech that she recognized. It almost seemed...antiquated.

    Suddenly, the lights both overhead and emitted from the consoles themselves flickered and dimmed, whirring pitifully before stirring back to proper order. Critical power failure. Great.

    “This thing is already falling apart. I don’t think it would take a collision like that, if it even goes that far,” Shepard continued, looking back at the quarian. “I’m going to send out a distress signal. See what you can do in the meantime.”

    Tali'Zorah likes this.
  9. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    The confusion on Shepard’s face at the mention of Rannoch had Tali wondering what just exactly had happened, but they’d have to wait to get the answers. As always, there were a million other things vying for their attention. The fact that their ship no longer had autopilot, working bay doors, or apparently any way to avoid the upcoming collision with the debris that stretched out around them was just yet another in the long list of ‘near death’ incidents that seemed to follow them.

    “That would be the starship graveyard,” Tali answered. “I was salvaging parts for this ship when your beacon showed on my omni-tool. I was lucky to be so near.” Tali didn’t want to think about what would have happened had she not been so close when Shepard… appeared? She didn’t know how it worked or how she could explain it. Two weeks here had given her more questions than answers and now wasn’t the time to debate the philosophical points of where and when they were now. Now was the time to figure out how to get through this alive.

    Tali cast a glance over her shoulder at the order and gave a nod. What could she do? Rip the entire ship apart and build it from scratch? She had been in the middle of that. The fact of the matter was it hadn’t been built to be pushed as hard as she had when she was racing to find Shepard… she knew that and she hadn’t cared.

    “Rerouting power from unnecessary systems,” announced Tali as her fingers gracefully darted over the console and her omni-tool glowed softly in the flickering light of the cabin. After she said it, the gravity clicked off and everything began to float, including herself. With a bit of a squawk, she reached for her belt and clipped herself in. “This is ridiculous. Who puts gravity on a non essential system circuit?” she exclaimed.

    “Impact imminent…Brace for impact…Impact imminent…” the monotone voice of the computer intoned.

    “Not if I have any say in it,” muttered Tali. Using the remaining power, she thrust the ship into reverse hoping to slow their course which only made it shudder violently and creak ominously. Their engines sputtering and whining. “We can’t avoid it!” exclaimed Tali a wrecked hull loomed larger so quickly. “Hold on!” Thinking quickly, she rerouted some of the power to the one thing she added to the ship hoping never to use. The heavy weaponry shook the entire ship as Tali blasted a hole in the hull barely large enough for them to clear. The ragged metal edges of the other ship, scratching across their own as they slid through. The ominous groan, shudder, and then hiss of escaping atmosphere hinted they didn’t escape their encounter unscathed.

    “Warning… Atmosphere depressurizing… life support systems in critical failure…” Tali grit her teeth glancing back over her shoulder at Shepard. “Any luck?” Before turning back and attempting to glide them through the rest of the wreckage on whatever power they had left. This was some rescue. She was about to get them both killed.
    Jane Shepard likes this.
  10. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    Where were all the people telling her to go to sleep now? Shepard was tired. It was difficult to not feel as though she had been somehow fated to be in perpetual danger, like life or Ashley’s God couldn’t stop putting her feet to the fire. How many times could she come out unscathed and still give a damn?

    The biotic pushed those thoughts aside, if only because every system on the ship was screaming at her for one reason or another. While she was flicking through screens, trying to get to some sort of system through which she could send a message, Tali was yelling at the computer. As soon as Shepard allowed a quick glance over her shoulder to see what was happening, she felt her feet leave the floor--the gravity was failing. Grabbing the side of console she was at with one hand, she reached over for the helmet she had set aside with the other, stretching her arm a bit more than her muscles or skeleton should have allowed. Eventually, however, she managed to secure the helmet onto her head, though it was still only technically operational via patchwork.

    “Tali,” Shepard barked out--not hostile, but a firm warning that they needed her best work. She soon realized that it wasn’t her fault, however; the ship was strange and not built well, as evidenced by her own inability to make sense of its systems.

    Thankfully, Tali managed to save them a bit of time by clearing their own path through the most imminent danger, though the hole she created with the ship’s weaponry wasn’t big enough for them to travel through unharmed. As more critical systems failed, she was asked a question, and it seemed as though they had one chance at survival. Shepard finally found what she needed, and pressed the button with force.

    “Mayday, mayday, this is the…” Shepard paused, looking at Tali, shaking her head before shrugging. “...SSV Orion, requesting immediate assistance to any ship in the area. Our ship is about to fall apart, and I don’t know how much time we have left.”

    @Poe Dameron

    Poe Dameron and Tali'Zorah like this.
  11. Poe Dameron

    Poe Dameron Guest

    Anything with the word 'graveyard' in it, was probably a good place to go alone, in an untested ship, right?

    After discovering that he - apparently - owned a basic carrier vessel, Poe had started tinkering with it. He knew it worked. It turned on, and the diagnostics came up clean. He just...knew this type of craft. Okay - sure - he didn't have this exact model back home, but he knew the idea. It wasn't meant for anything fun. Just going from point-A to point-B. As a fellow pilot put it - it was the minivans of ships. What a minivan was, he had no idea. But it sounded about right. So, of course, he made modifications. Little things, here and there. First telling himself it was just to improve performance. To give it a little boost. And the orange stripe he added on the side, was because...okay, he just thought it could use a splash of color. It was literally an off-white, greyish...hue. It reminded him of a MedBay for some reason.

    And finally, he was testing it.
    Which...was long overdue.

    In reality, he should have been taking it out for a test-spin after every modification - making sure his...non-expert skills hadn't killed his ship. But he honestly hadn't had time. He used the tinkering as a way to unwind from a day of flying people around. Sometimes he'd get to go down to Pandopolis, which was at least slightly more exciting then going from random places in the Cosmic Wilderness. Which - he had to admit - was a really, really nice name for a place.

    It oozed mystery and adventure, even if he currently had...neither of those things.

    Poe guided the craft around the Wilderness - not really sure where he wanted to go. He honestly didn't have anywhere to be, other than back at his apartment at some point. Bringing up a newly loaded map of the area, he honed in on something called the Starship Graveyard. Ominous.

    Curious if he could rip some parts out of dead vessels to pump up his current ship, he headed over - casually testing the scanners as he flew. They weren't fantastic, and probably would be his next upgrade. But...they'd work for now. Give him an idea what he was looking at, at least. He even grabbed a suit that was technically work-issue, so he could bounce around in space if he wanted to. Really, really not safe without another person in the ship, but he'd be fine.


    A smile pulled at his lips as he entered the area - enjoying maneuvering around the debris more than he should have. Scanners touching basically everything in front of him, as he moved around the graveyard.

    But then a horrible beep started filling the cockpit - Poe frowning as he stared at the controls in front of him; finally locating a button that was unmarked but flashing.

    “Mayday, mayday, this is the...SSV Orion, requesting immediate assistance to any ship in the area. Our ship is about to fall apart, and I don’t know how much time we have left.”

    "Oh...distress call," he slowly connected the dots, realizing he really, really needed to get in better touch with the 'normal' technology of the area.

    He brought up the location. Wasn't far. Not that he would ignore it, if it was far. Just a nice little thing.

    "Copy that. This is Black Leader - heading for your location," the words coming from his mouth before he realized he probably shouldn't be using his callsign here. Whatever, too late. He was gonna roll with it.

    "Will be there shortly. Hold on! Over and out."

    Turning off his scanners to consolidate power, he guided his ship over to their location.

    And...there it was.

    "SSV Orion, this is Black Leader at your location. Are you sure that is actually a ship? Because..." he laughed, "I'm pretty sure you're actually in a trash can. That may be the cause of your flying issues, there buddy," he cleared his throat - realizing he probably should be taking this more seriously, "I'm not seeing a place to dock, SSV Orion. Do you have space suits? I can open up my airlock for you. My ship is...small and terrible, but it does have an orange racing stripe," he smiled, "Should be able to hold a handful of people, if needed. Over."
    Tali'Zorah and Jane Shepard like this.
  12. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    That sharp note in Shepard’s voice had Tali wanting to do better. There was only so much at this point in time she could do to make this better. Rerouting power from the non-essential systems to give them as much control as possible to dodge the floating debris was her priority. She had not had enough time to run diagnostics on the systems of the ship while she was patching it up so she had had no clue that for some reason some bosh’tet had put the artificial gravity generator on the same system as something that was deemed unnecessary to the flight of the ship. Perhaps whoever had owned it before her didn’t need gravity? It wasn’t something to wonder about now – it was something to deal with.

    “Sorry, Shepard,” she apologized, her fingers darting over the buttons as she quelled alert after alert. Atmosphere at 80% - 10 minutes until Atmosphere reaches critical! ** Engine 1 – OFFLINE ** Engine – 2 @ 50% efficiency ** Power CRITICAL – please limit non-essential items! ** Hull integrity – 73% ** They continued rolling past at dizzying speed. Every one of them pointing to one conclusion -this little rusty tin can of a ship wasn’t going to make it out of the starship graveyard and without a plan, neither would they.

    And then they heard it – a response to their distress signal. Hope swelled in Tali that they might actually make it out of this alive. This Black Leader was going to be their savior, but as he patched into the comms Tali couldn’t keep her eye from twitching as he assessed their ship and called it a trash can. Every ounce of pride in her wanted to say keep flying we’ve got this, but the more rational part of her bit her tongue. “Black Leader, this is SSV Orion. We have limited time and more system failures than working systems,” she informed. Time was of the essence.

    “We’ve got two options, Shepard. We can try to use the broken bay door or we can make our own door on a side closer to the other ship.” Tali glanced to the helmet that had the crack and the makeshift foam holding the seal. Her hands fidgeting for a moment, her bright eyes looking up at her commander intently. “Are you going to be able to make the jump in space?”
    Jane Shepard and Poe Dameron like this.
  13. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    Tali apologized, and Shepard shook her head, offering a brief smile through her visor. They both knew that the quarian was considered a prodigy for a reason, and that her best was better than anyone’s. The fact that she had gotten their trash can floating in space to operate at all was a feat of engineering genius, and those pesky little thoughts of why she had to do it at all didn’t have to matter at all. That didn’t stop time from ticking down, of course, but Shepard understood that having a shot at all was better than the alternative.

    Soon after, her distress signal was answered, and a man’s voice flooded the room over the sounds of beeps and buzzers, most of which were likely not meant to sound side-by-side. The cacophony helped dull the edge of what was otherwise a pointless joke, though the commander still shot a glance at her companion, asking the silent question along the lines of “is this guy serious?” Nevertheless, Tali took it upon herself to respond, giving Shepard time to look around at their options. When it was all said and done, they had rescue waiting for them, but they still had the problem of figuring out how to get to it. The quarian went as far as to voice those options.

    “I’m going to have to,” was her reply to what was ultimately a question. Taking a deep breath, she looked between the broken hangar door and an open space along the wall nearby. The metal had actually started to cave, making her wonder if that was where most of the hull integrity warnings were coming from. At the very least, it would probably the start before the entire ship got crumpled like a piece of paper.

    She breathed out, and clicked the comm button once more.

    “Black Leader, we’ll take our chances with your airlock, so please get in position. You’ll see our exit point soon enough,” she summoned a swirl of dark energy around her fist and held it up for Tali to see. “Hope we don’t scratch your paint job. Over.”

    Moments later, if one was looking on the outside, a purple shockwave burst from the side of the ship, followed by the forms of two humanoid bodies crawling out.

    Tali'Zorah and Poe Dameron like this.
  14. Poe Dameron

    Poe Dameron Guest

    Poe lowered the ship to sit next to the Flying Trash Can - briefly bringing up his scanners to see what was ailing them. Which...appeared to be a little of everything. Of course his scanners couldn't exactly tell him what was broken, just general ideas. And that idea - at the present - was bad. Jokes aside, he was really glad he was in the area - for these guys really didn't have much time left, before the Trash Can finally fulfilled its dreams of being a useless hunk of metal in space - joining its brethren within the Graveyard.

    "Copy that," a new voice had come onto the comm - informing him just how bad things were. The original voice popped back on - going with his idea of just jumping into his airlock.

    "Getting into position now, over."

    He quickly started to turn his airlock towards the Trash Can - flinching slightly as a burst of purple energy made a hole in the side of their ship. Probably from a gun, or something. But hey - if they were gonna abandon ship, might as well tear it apart in the process. Poe quickly aligned with the new hole - unlocking and popping open his airlock. His teeth gently sunk into his lower lip as two bodies shot out into space. Even if this was far from the most complicated and dangerous thing he had pulled off - lives were still in the balance. The way of space was that she was a Nasty and Chaotic thing. It's why he loved her so. About a million things could go wrong between here and there.

    "You got this," the comm dead - words whispered to himself.
    Tali'Zorah likes this.
  15. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    It was clear to Tali what Shepard wanted to do the moment that the swirl of dark purple energy blossomed into her hand. She was very familiar with what that meant and it almost ALWAYS meant destruction. Normally, the idea of using biotics on a ship in space was extremely dangerous. The unpredictability of it could have disastrous consequences on technology and the structure of the ship, but in this case, she was much more lenient. The 'trash can' as it seemed to have been dubbed wasn't salvageable. Tali wasn't sentimentally attached to it either. It felt fundamentally wrong to give up a ship, but this wasn't the Flotilla and this wasn't a ship like the Normandy. The fact that Tali had gotten it to fly was a feat of engineering all in itself.

    "Got it, Shepard," confirmed Tali as she reached for the buckle around her waist. She tugged, but the rusted buckle stayed clasped. A brief spike of panic surged through her as she pulled at the release tab again and nothing happened. The ship rocked slightly likely from hitting another piece of floating debris or another panel of the outer hull peeling off to hurtle through space.

    Damn this ship. Damn her adherence to standard practice protocols while piloting. Damn this stupid belt!

    She glanced back again at Shepard, but the biotic energy was swirling bigger and there were only a few moments for Tali to make a decision. Call out for Shepard or figure a way out of it herself. Steeling her nerves, she yanked hard on the belt pulling it up away from her upper thighs and with her omni-tool sliced away the carbon fiber safety harness.

    Just in time for the biotic explosion to rock the ship and blow a hole big enough to crawl through. The vacuum of space tugged at them and Tali lost her footing sliding toward the opening before slamming into the weapons control panel. Ideally, they'd have at least tethered themselves to each other. Especially as she had no idea if Shepard's mask would hold. She needed to make sure that they would stay together. It would have been great to escape the certain quick death of the ship only to jump into the uncertain agonizingly slow death of just tumbling through space.

    "Shepard!" she yelled, reaching for the other woman as they drew closer to the blasted hole. Her fingers were reaching, stretching themselves as far as they possibly could before she felt the grip of the commander and she held on for dear life. Her last thought in leaving the doomed ship behind was to grab something anything that might help them make the jump between their ship and Black Leader's.

    It was almost peaceful the moment they exited. The klaxon and alarms faded away and all that was left was the tranquil silence of space. Tali's own breathing echoing in her ears made louder by the thunderous beat of her heart. "If this wasn't life or death, Shepard, it might actually be peaceful," she said through the helmet comms to her commander. The opening of the other ship ahead of them looming larger by the second.
    Jane Shepard and Poe Dameron like this.
  16. Jane Shepard

    Jane Shepard Guest

    Shepard trusted Tali so wholly that she hadn’t even checked to see if the quarian had done things on her end before she went about her own side of the plan. Tali had been strapped to something to keep her level after the artificial gravity had ceased functioning, and she needed to be free and clear so that both of them could be near each other during their trip outside. Sadly, time was running out, and a decision needed to be made, so Shepard only gave Tali a few moments to gather herself before she did her thing.

    The commander punched a hole for them to crawl through, and things happened quickly from there. Structural integrity failing, the two of them were quickly sucked through like they were being squeezed through a straw, but Shepard managed to straighten out her body before something unfortunate happened, like bouncing off of the ceiling on her way. Her eyes darted around to find the quarian, and when they did, she spotted her reaching out. She wished the two of them had been attached somehow, but there hadn’t been any time. Instead, all she could do was stretch an arm out as far as she could, and then a little farther than that. The small discomfort paled in comparison to what would have happened if she hadn’t, of course.

    Ultimately, the two of them grasped hands, and they were floating in space, towards their ultimate goal. While they were on their way, Tali spoke, and Shepard couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah, I guess. I’m getting tired of space, though.”

    Whoever this Black Leader was, Shepard thought to herself that she owed him a drink, because in addition to being their knight in pinstriped armor, he seemed pretty damn good at piloting--Joker levels, even, though maybe the bias of relief played a factor. The ship had positioned itself perfectly, but as they neared, she noticed that they were a little off-course. Gritting her teeth, she raised her omni-tool and attempted to click the requisite buttons--soon, a small stream of flame came forth. It wasn’t intense or impressive in any way, but it was just the nudge they needed.

    All told, their trip was over, and the two of them flopped to the ground inside their new ship’s airlock. They were safe, but only just, and it was up to Black Leader to do the rest, especially since their own Trash Can was close to exploding.

    Tali'Zorah and Poe Dameron like this.
  17. Poe Dameron

    Poe Dameron Guest

    This was risky, and everybody involved knew exactly how risky it was. Jokes aside, this was very much a life or death situation. If Poe had been even ten minutes later to the area, these two might have genuinely not made it. And that...was a sobering thought. He was just glad he was here, and could lend a hand.

    The time between shooting out from their ship and hitting his, felt like it lasted for roughly three days and ten minutes. Poe's eyes locked on the readouts. The predicted courses. The countdown meter he setup for how long they'd be okay - assuming their were roughly human, of course. Unfortunately they were slightly off his projected course for them. A mumbled swear falling from his lips as his hand moved to to make an adjustment. But one of the two kids in space was on it. A burst of something hot shooting them roughly back where they needed to be.


    They landed in his airlock all safe and sound; Poe pumping his fist for nobody but himself at the successful rescue. Locking it behind them, he gradually re-pressurized the chamber - nearly pushing himself to his feet to double-check that he hadn't just rescued space pirates. Even if he had, he wouldn't care as long as they didn't steal his ship or - you know - kill him and eject his body into space. If they were thankful space pirates, there wouldn't be a problem.

    A loud warning beep caught his attention as he stood - causing him to drop back into his seat. The Trash Can was going critical. Hunks of debris starting to fall off and - of course - come right for them.

    "Nasty girl, aren't you?" his voice hushed as he tapped the button to unlock the airlock on the inside; letting his hopefully-not-hostile new friends wander his ship freely, "Welcome to not being dead, I'll be your savior today," he didn't look up from his screens - making a motion over his head with his hand, "I'd shake your many hands, but I just moment to get away from your ship. Which - for the record - is about to explode."

    Putting a bit more finesse then was required, needed, or even remotely called for in any capacity - Poe quickly flew them away from the dying vessel. He gave it a quick salute as it gave its final breath; falling to pieces behind them. The ship shook slightly from the shockwave.

    "Hoo," he took a deep breath, slamming his hand down on the auto-pilot just so he could say hi - finally pushing himself to his feet to turn to his new friends, "Anyway - hello. I'm Black Leader. Or just...Poe. Poe works," he waved, "You two okay? I might have alcohol around here somewhere. I feel like you could both use a drink."

  18. Tali'Zorah

    Tali'Zorah Guest

    Despite the fact that they were currently free-floating in space and their ship was practically about to explode, Tali couldn't help but chuckle at the way Shepard could joke in a situation like this. There was something both admirable and sobering that these types of life and death situations had become commonplace for them. "You? Tired of space? I at this point I figured it was like air to you," she teased.

    There was a heart-pounding moment when it was clear that their trajectory had altered somewhat, but Shepard's fast thinking and even faster reflexes gave them just the boost they needed to sail safely into the open bay doors. With a tap of her toe against her boot, the magnetized bottoms clicked in and with relative ease, she was back on her feet. Which was good since once the bay doors closed and pressure began to return so would the gravity and Tali wasn't about to want a quick trip to kiss the floor.

    Poe's announcement had Tali feeling both sheepish and annoyed. Why hadn't she had more time to make the ship safer? Everything was so different here, the tech, the machinery, everything was so different. She had herself convince had this been in their own world then it would have been different. She would have been able to single-handedly save Shepard without the white knight actions of their new friend "Black Leader". Still, another part of her now completely doubted her abilities... she'd always been a prodigy among the quarians. She shook her head. She should think about this when they weren't flying on some stranger's ship and when she'd figured out how Shepard ended up here.

    "Thank you... Poe." His name, like everything else, was foreign on her tongue. "We're glad you were in the vicinity." She glanced to Shepard. "Are you alright? Is your helmet alright?" She brought her three-fingered hands up to check her own body and suit for tears or holes and was relieved to find none. She blinked a few times and glanced around at the ship they were in. "I'm Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, but you can call me Tali," she offered. It was another second before she shook her head. "Nothing for me..." Her hands came up as if to ward off the offered alcohol. Drinking or eating anything right now would likely cause an allergic reaction as Poe seemed very human. She wiped a hand over her helmet. "Just glad to be alive."
    Poe Dameron likes this.