Shepard Family Stories: (Cassandra'Zorah)
Citadel - C-SEC Security Office
Commander Armando Bailey sits with his fingers steepled in front of him, looking at the young Quarian girl in front of him. Her suit covers only her torso and legs, leaving her arms uncovered. Glittering green lines trace patterns down her slender arms. Her mask, a light blue, doesn't hide the apprehensive expression on her face, her glowing blue eyes awash with uncertainty and fear.
"You do know that you're in some serious trouble here, young lady?"
Her eyes lock on his for a moment before nodding. Bailey continues, keeping his voice calm and quiet, "Care to explain why you were caught hacking into the Sirta Foundation's mainframe?"
She mumbles something that Bailey can't make out. "I'm sorry, but you're gonna have to speak up. I'm getting up there in years. My hearing's not what it once was."
She looks at him quizzically as he gives her a small smile. "You're on your Pilgrimage, aren't you?"
"You fell in with the wrong crowd, I take it? You seem like a smart girl. Why didn't you report your 'friends' to C-SEC?"
Commander Bailey holds up a finger as he puts his other hand to his earpiece. "Yes? What is it?"
He frowns, "Really? You want to speak to her now? Well alright then, say hi to your dad for me. I'll send her right now. Yes, yes, don't worry….I'll handle the paperwork.
He turns back to the quarian girl, "Guess today is your lucky day….Miss..?"
"Zorah……I mean…..my name is Cassandra'Zorah."
"Wait a minute….Zorah……where have I heard that name before?"
A look of comprehension passes over his face, "Ah, I see why she wants to talk to you now. You go on outside. She'll be waiting for you."
Cassandra looks at the Commander hesitantly, before getting to her feet and quickly making her way out of his office. As the door closes, someone taps her on the shoulder, causing her to jump. "Hey there."
She spins around to come face to face with a young Asari, clad in a N7 hoodie and blue jeans. "Been a long time Cassie."
"….Aya? Is that you?"
Ayrene Shepard pulls her old friend into a tight hug. "It's great to see you. Never expected to have to bail you out. What happened?"
"I made some poor choices, joined up with the wrong people."
"Yeah….the little Bosh'tets left me to get caught. I knew something like this would happen, but I still trusted them."
"Why join up with them in the first place? Didn't you get a bunch of job offers from the Alliance and the Quarian Admirals?"
"Aya…..I'm trying to make a name for myself. I don't need the charity from the Alliance and I don't want the help from my father. This is something I need to do for myself."
"Ayrene drapes an arm over Cassie's neck, "Come on, we're gonna get you some payback."
"You'll see, trust me."
She puts a hand up to her ear, "Hey Mordin, you busy? Yeah yeah I know you hate being called by your given name. Got a job for you. Yes, there will be hitting. Good, see you then."
She gestures towards the waiting cab, "You coming Cassie?"
(Half an hour later)
The small band of would-be thieves all sit at the bar in the abandoned Chora's Den. Their leader raises his glass, "Guess we showed that suit rat to stay off of our turf. Stealing from the Sirta Foundation will be sure to get her over twenty years in prison."
"Who's going to prison?"
Cassie walks slowly into the bar, causing the thieves to leap to their feet in surprise. "How the hell did you manage to get out of C-SEC."
"Made a deal."
"You mean, you sold us out?"
"What the hell does that---*hurhk*"
A large hand closes around the leader's throat, lifting him off the ground. The other thieves back away from the towering Krogan. A voice sounds from behind them, "She made a deal with me."
The thieves spin to face Ayrene, her dual Phalanx pistols aimed at their chests. "Not sure I like you calling my friend a 'suit rat'……apologize, now."
No one speaks for a good minute. Aya turns to the Krogan, "Rampage?"
Urdnot Rampage brings the squirming leader over to Ayrene, who leans in close, "I said…..apologize."
"Good boy…..now then…..here's what's gonna happen. You and your crew, report to me now. I expect you to dial back on the heists. You are gonna be my brand new informants."
"…and if I refuse?"
"Well then, that option's a lot more messy. Say no, and….well…..Rampage here gets a couple brand new target dummies. You ever seen what Krogan weapons can do to a person?"
"Okay okay okay, we'll work for you……boss."
Ayrene smiles and pats his cheek playfully, "Great. Glad we have that straightened out….now run along."
The thieves practically sprint for their lives, causing a chuckle from Rampage. "So soft. You should have let me crush a couple to make a point."
"Eh, we've given enough paperwork to Bailey for one day. Cassie? You alright?"
"What am I gonna do now? I can't go home empty handed."
Rampage claps a heavy hand on her shoulder, causing her to wince slightly, "You work with us. I thought that was obvious."
"You want me…on your team?"
Ayrene smiles, "Of course I do, you're family. Besides, we need someone with your level of technical expertise."
She activates her omni-tool, and a holo-image appears, showing the sleek curves of an Alliance frigate. Cassie stares at the ship in astonishment, "Kee'lah……she's beautiful….."
"Cassandra'Zorah? This is the Aegis. You wanna meet her?"