Roy had never truly been in space before, even when on his adventures. Until now. The moment he found himself falling out of the dimensional vortex brought forth by his own powers, two realisations had hit him. Firstly, he had somehow managed to stay awake for the first time ever in transgressing between worlds, an experience that was every bit as stultifying to the senses as he expected. A black hollow abyss that rended him deaf, blind and dumb within the eternity of a second. He was unable to remember the transference of his journey, but he could easily remember the end and the beginning.
The other thing that he realised, upon falling onto the hard steel floor while on his knees, was that he was in a far more technologically-advanced world than the last one. A world far more spatial, much more clear and shining to the point of bedazzling him slightly as he found himself in an alley. But the main street was not too far away and neither was the spiralling sight of the most beautiful collection of stars he had ever seen. A multitude of violet, blue and fuchsia that made his throat choke up with wonder. Right before he vomited onto the floor.
The sensation of having passed through dimensions while awake was similar to that of astronaut training, spinning round and round within a centrifuge in order to withstand the force of pure gravity. At least that's what Roy imagined. His body shook internally at the heaving sensation, as he tried to shake it off before slowly standing up. His eyes were weak and watery, his head throbbed intensely as his muscles began to ache, staring at the puddle of vomit he had made in front of him.
"Uuuuuuuugh...f-fuck...h-how did...where am ah? Dr. Light...what'd you do to me?"
He groaned and clasped his head trying to walk forwards, the feeling of exhaustion overcoming him all too easily. But he stiffened himself up and tried to refocus, breathing in a thick breath of air as he looked above himself, seeing the canvas of stars eternal. His eyes tried to stare at them, seeing that they were much too close than they would be from a planet's point of view. The world around him was full of smooth-curved blocks and shiny fuchsia storefronts, like some sort of futuristic mall further added to that fact.
The multitude of creatures that occasionally stared at him were, to say the least, bewildering. He tried not to bump into any of them, blue-skinned humanoids and hard-faced crickets with flat noses and mouth flaps, lanky amphibious beings and of course the odd human. Despite being well-clothed in his grey hoodie, slacks and giant blade hanging from his back, he felt incredibly naked with the throng of alien shoppers now before him. He also felt the urge to grip his book bag more tightly around him, more than it already was hanging by the hip.
Slowly walking his way through, he decided the first thing he needed was a drink and some food to clear the grogginess from his mind. The problem was however he immediately understood that he would probably not have the money required, or the language to understand. His head felt fuzzy, his eyes blurred as his feet trudged lethargically across the street, hoping to find someplace to sit. A bench was his haven as he sat down upon it, turning away from the food stores as he tried not to fall asleep. Already he felt like a hobo and he had only been in this world for five minutes.
He sat with firm posture and waited, trying to refocus his energy as he began to look around for something free to work with. Sweeping his view across the street, a wide pedestrian area of stores on both sides interspersed with benches and plantboxes to add colour, he eventually settled on a rather clean-looking cafe, walking in to see a serious, sensible group of patrons all sitting with legs crossed whilst drinking neatly. If he tried to make water from his nanos here in public people might not appreciate such strange devilry.
Tables evenly spaced, chairs of finest ergonomics and suits that played dangerously with the threat of coffee stains. The most common aliens he saw were the purple-skinned humanoids and the space crickets as he walked up to the Asian human male at the bar handling coffee, asking:
"Scuse me sir."
"U-um...yes?" asked the barrista nervously.
"Is there a bathroom here ah can use?"
"Um...of course, just right around the corner."
"Alright, thank you...say uh, where am ah exactly?"
"This city, where is it exactly? I uh...heh, kinda passed out, had a real rough tahm last night, yanno, drinkin' with mah buddies, don't recognise anything...kinda why ah need a bathroom so ah can uh, freshen up mahself a little."
"Ahhh I see...well, this is Nos Astra. ...on Illium?"
".......aaaaaaaaaah, riiiight, okay thanks man, sorry for thuh bother."
"No problem, have a good day sir."
Politely nodding as he made his way to the bathroom, he drank up from the sink inside and gulped down the fresh water, purified by science as it slipped neatly down his throat. Sighing as his head began to clear, the water refreshed him immensely as his eyes began to sharpen, at least for the current time. He decided not to sit inside the cafe since he would be unable to order, and headed back to the bench opposite, taking his time to enjoy the world around him with awe and wonder. A whole new world out in space, or at least on another planet.
To think that he had finally made it out towards a spacefaring planet within another dimension, a planet called Illium which rolled about in his mouth strangely like warm peanut butter. He tried to take in the sights, amazed by the grandeur and wealth of this city, the view along down the street towards an orange sunset sweeping over a purple metropolis. It was unlike anything he had ever witnessed in all his travels, though he did recollect once a floating city with bizarrely old architecture. The realisation of this slightly dampened the comparison between space city and floating city.
"Hmmmm," said Roy, "wonder if they got floating cities here...maybe out on space, must be some...just not as impressive as a flying city though, ah mean thuh fuck does that even work?! ...then again this place is peaceful, whereas that city from before...damn, fuckin' anarchy for real, ya try an' help out a couple folks an' they shove your ass off thuh damn skyline. Maybe ah wuz right not to stay there too long, felt lahk ah wuz...interrupting sumthin', lahk that weird couple told me. Ehhhh...man ahm hungry..."
Walking off down the street, he checked through the various bars and cafes hoping for a free sample being given out as an incentive to come in. One or two places offered such, as well as the odd store of which he managed to obtain a nice little smorgasbord of various foods to treat himself with. Long as he smiled and nodded politely, he didn't have to understand any of the languages being spoken to him, as odd as they all were.
The city of Nos Astra was certainly large and bewildering to him, the size of it almost feeling larger than New York even. Not that he could tell as he made his way through the streets, shopping around for free or just looking at the curious oddities that the city had to offer. Weapon stores, stock prices, food and drink as well as electronic stores for all sorts of bizarre apps from strange holographic gauntlets to something called "biotics" that felt strangely personal and invasive to him.
He managed to finally get himself a rather sizeable meal from a human stall vendor who spoke French, but only after managing to ply his way into another sort of deal. The stall vendor wanted the attention of a female cricket-faced creature selling model ships from across the road, but was too nervous to ask plus he couldn't leave his stall. Roy offered to be an intermediary, or rather a delivery boy of messages, but in turn the female was unable to talk to him due to not having the right translation upgrade, according to the human.
This became a small quest for Roy to walk all over the city, find a certain upgrade from a mechanic who in turn wanted a piece of a ship that he had been looking for. A vendor in turn who was offering the ship part, wanted some sushi. The sushi owner in turn wanted a rare kind of fish so Roy eventually found himself dealing with various kinds of aliens all wanting different things. Luckily he had a datapad the French stall owner gave him, which allowed him to take pictures of things as well as for others to send him pictures onto it. All he had to do was show and demonstrate, surpassing all language barriers.
After two hours of fetching from around the various pieces of Nos Astra's commercial district, Roy finally got a good meal. A rare fish was given for a good dish to the sushi vendor; a ship part given to the mechanic who needed a part to replace on his shuttle; an upgrade for translations was given to the female selling model ships and finally the ability to talk to the French stall vendor was made before the two could finally speak.
"Merci monsieur," said the stall vendor happily, "vous avez fait ma journée la meilleure depuis que je suis ici."
"C'est bon," replied Roy in Creole, "moin juste kontan d'avowa pu aider."
The raptor in turn received a meal of three hearty burgers and a side of huge fries, along with a drink of thick fruit juice that soothed his head greatly, finding the heat to be surprising on a planet like this. Then again he knew it was always hotter in the larger cities, the tightly packed number of people adding greatly to the overall temperature of the place. He walked back to where he sat originally and set himself down with his food, eating away happily to himself.
"Heh, damn fetch quests just lahk back in Daventry...never fuckin' ends with that shit, hmhmhaha...damn this guy made sum good burgers!"
After a while of relaxing with a fuller stomach, he watched the people walk back and forth whilst taking in the sights, sighing happily to himself before something would disrupt his solitude. A suspicious-looking sort, entering the nearby cafe with a large brown cloak and a high collar hiding their face, neatly grabbing an alien's purse before running off blindly. The humanoid of indigo skin shrieked out in panic upon realising, pointing towards the dark cloak that dashed off down the street. Roy didn't even hesitate the moment he saw him run.
He called out towards the street before taking off, chasing the thief between the crowds of shoppers who started to realise what was happening. They panicked and blustered whilst being barged out of the way, the brown cloak knocking them aside as Roy followed the wake of chaos. People were knocked down, the cries and insults of a dozen languages ringing through his ears blindly as he made his voice sound as angry as he possibly could.
"STOP HIM, HE'S A THIEF HE STOLE THAT WOMAN'S PURSE!"
The adrenaline had managed to kick his brain into awakening more fully, which he was thankful for when the thief suddenly vaulted over a store counter and slammed through a butchery. Roy hopped over with the same gusto, dodging the swinging hooks and large alien slabs of meat of creatures he did not recognise. The thief tried to throw some of the hanging meat in the way to stop the raptor, but he simply either dodged or shoulderbarged through them past the confused and enraged workers in the back kitchen, right before the two slammed out the backdoor.
The thief however slipped between shoppers and down the main thoroughfare of the next street over, right before neatly slipping towards a side alley. The raptor turned and dashed forwards through the street, blasting a gust of wind to shoot himself towards the corridor. The sky bled purple from above onto the high walls all around him, a sunset watching eternal as he kept his eyes on the thief. The flapping brown cloak tried to be a spectre, but instead it simply became a target.
"AH CAN DO THIS ALL DAY MUTHAFUCKER, AH RAN THIRTY BLOCKS BACK HOME YOU AIN'T GOT SHIT ON ME!"
But the thief did not look back, simply trying to dodge his, or her way out between the other end of the alley, right towards the throngs of civilians that panicked and squawked in trying to clear a path. The thief hopped towards a food stall, slamming feet first into the face of its vendor who fell hard onto the pavement. The rock-faced cricket-like creature cried out and covered his face as the thief tore past him, pounding feet towards another alley whilst Roy stopped to help him up.
"Shit man you alright?!"
"Nnnghalaneveria holo shinna!"
"Whut, that Greek or sumthin'?"
"HEY, sumbody help, anybody speak English?!"
One human came forwards from the crowd, blonde and tanned with an Australian accent.
"Sum thief ran down that way, kicked this guy in thuh face!"
"Sheesh the fuck are you, never seen your toipe befoah!"
"Ahm a raptor, utahraptor, jus' can you help this guy out while ah take down that thief?!"
"Shure mate, ah know this guy well, alrigh' Parvis?"
"Alrigh' cool just hang here alright?!"
"No worries mate!"
Roy took off down the direction the thief went, the next alleyway turning sharply to the left as he slammed his shoulder against the wall to stop himself, hurrying off into a backstorage area for a store. The workers unloading panicked and almost dropped their crates, but Roy hopped over the more sturdy metallic ones without stopping, leaving behind anger and confusion as one crate raised up before him before he slid hard on the floor underneath, leaving the crew behind as they shook fists towards him.
The odd dealer or unsavoury type either simply did not care as he stormed past, or hugged back against the wall with twitchy hands stained in red dust. Eventually he caught sight of the thief again, the brown cloak still upon them as he made another blast of wind, accelerating his feet towards his target. He could have given up at the vendor, but he didn't. If there was one thing he now knew about himself, was that he couldn't stop chasing someone. His eyes began to glaze over with a memory of younger days, his body running on automatic as he felt the streets of New York come back to him.
The first time he felt like he could truly become what he always wanted to be. An avatar of justice. The streets turned from steel to gravel, tarmac between the lines and neon signs without flashy holographic visions. No matter how hard they tried. Warm afternoons down in Manhattan, the sun kissing upon his head as he heard the first shriek that signalled the start of his life. It was almost like the same shriek as that alien woman did at the cafe. He didn't even realise how Pavlovian it had become to him.
Chasing down thieves just like that one back at the market, thought Roy. Heh...that was the greatest day of my life. Runnin' through 42nd Street, guy stole an old lady's purse, classic grab-and-run. Tried to hop across traffic like Oliver and Company, I just kept up. Tried to duck under a fence, I just kept up. Old guy hitting thirty-five got outrun by a kid barely sixteen. Was lucky he didn't have a switchblade on him, that'd have made me look real stupid...maybe real dead. Good thing he had a liver the size of Texas from all the drink he had, punched him right out.
Funny...I never realised how I'm still doing it now. My whole journey's been nothing but a big goddamn chase. Maybe I really was destined to be a cop...one day. One day I'll be, when this is all over. I don't care how old I'll be or how slow I've got to start. I was meant for this, I was BORN for this. I may be a knight now even though I never meant to be...but I am an officer of the law. I AM the law. I will not let you get away.
He ended this thought right as he saw a shuttle car trying to park in the alley, the thief managing to run past underneath it as Roy leapt onto the black bonnet. Slamming his foot on the much sturdier vehicle, he jumped straight up into the air with the clamour of confused passengers behind him, right before he summoned another gust of wind.
Focusing it around his body, he hovered briefly in midair like a biotic entity, with white rivulets shimmering around him before slamming down hard onto the thief's head. The middle of the street was much more vacant than Roy expected, a more rundown back area unseen by most eyes as the few people that did come through, suddenly began to back off and panic. The black raptor laid on top of the brown cloak, hearing the groans of the thief underneath as he stood up and pulled the coat off. Another of the rock-faced creatures, weak and struggling with black purse clearly in hand.
"You're under arrest, bitch."
He grabbed the purse and stuffed it neatly inside his book bag, glad to see that he still had enough space in all his belongings to hold the small accessory case before he grabbed at the thief's arms, locking the wrists together.
"Tahm to make a citizen's arrest. You comin' with me punk."
But before he had the chance to find a way to cuff him, the thief swung himself round forcing Roy to spin with him, right in front of a brutal kick to the face that came arching high and breaking his grip, falling towards the ground hard. Spinning blindly as he hit the pavement, he looked up to see yet another creature the same ilk as that of the thief, staring with ragged clothes down towards the raptor.
"Sinililihianix," said one, "anaserioni conperhi turian, kava."
"Ngh...you got backup huh?"
Roy slowly stood up with a bruised jaw, stumbling slightly as he tried to focus before seeing there were two more of the thief's friends ahead of him, a little group of slender rogues all looking quite eager to start fighting. They all even shared the same facial markings, dipping lines of white that went underneath the jawline.
"Four of ya huh? Alrigh', you wanna do it thuh hard way? We gonna do it thuh hard way. But ah warn you..."
The black raptor brought up his fists with cracked knuckles, having no intention of using his weapon unless they decided to bring theirs.
"Ah kicked plenty of asses bigger than yours."
As the gang of thieves leapt towards him, the few people that remained in the backstreet cleared off fully from the scene, not wanting to stick around in case the winner wanted more. The group spread out around him, prowling with snarling teeth and quivering mouthflaps of bated breath. Roy grinned devilishly as he felt an image come to his mind, knowing they would not understand what he said either way.
"You all nuthin' but a pack of hyenas waiting in thuh shadows...heheh...you know whut we do to kings who step out of their kingdom?"
One thief tried to come from behind and shouldercharged into Roy, the black raptor swinging round with a vicious right-hand backfist that cracked across the jaw as another thief leapt on him. He almost fell to the ground, but pushed his foot forwards to steady himself before bending down and forcing the thief to overreach, weakening the grip before he grabbed both arms and hurled him straight over his head. The creature went flying upside down briefly to land hard judo-style upon the street, right next to his broken-jawed friend as thief number three came forth.
This time he came in front of Roy, trying to be crafty with dodging skills reminiscent of a boxer. Roy began to mimic, waiting to see the first move as the creature swiped out at him with claws, a one-two-uppercut that Roy dodged twice before blocking the uppercut hard. The moment he did as his arm shoved down hard upon the rising fist, he pulled the thief close before headbutting him in the face. The force of his thick dino skull smacking against the flat creature's nose hard sent blood flying in blue slits, spattering onto the ground as thief number four came tackling from behind.
He turned just in time to receive a punch to the gut, but what normally would have hurt to feel a pointed fist hit him unexpectedly, there instead came the sound of a metallic clang and a scream of pain as the thief shook his hand hard from the abnormally stone-hard impact. Roy chuckled as he tap-tapped his clothed chest, the clink of iron underneath indicating something else he had on.
"Oops, shoulda told you ah came prepared."
The creature roared this before flying towards Roy's face, leaping like a tiger before striking down onto his face with a furious crossing punch across Roy's cheek. He stumbled back from the blow, not expecting such a move as he felt thief number three recover well enough to send a brutal kick straight into his crotch from behind. The top of the foot dug straight into his cock as he roared with ache, weakened in the legs as he struggled not to fall. But his feet started wobbling, and it took a great effort for him to simply stumble to one side in a strafing dodge, backing away from the thieves all standing up together.
All of them came charging at once, but Roy summoned a shrieking blast of wind to send them hurtling back, the sharp shuddering force of gales from his fists driving out across the street to blast across the trees and rattle steel shutters. It felt as if the very wind had cut them across the face, but one thief managed to duck low enough and resist the force, running up towards the raptor to come flying with a driving fist. But the black raptor was now ready, having recovered his own second wind fittingly by pushing them back and recomposing his stance with stronger legs, ducking the one punch that tried to punch through his skull.
In return he slammed his left fist upwards in a rising uppercut, cracking the already-wounded jaw of the thief even more as he staggered back hard. But the moment Roy's hand touched the creature's jaw, blood and spittle came running down freely from its mouth flaps, leaking across his silver ring with a hot blue colour as the thief backed off and wiped himself clean. The next words that came to him were perfectly understood by the raptor, his ring shimmering by itself.
"I'm gonna FUCKING BURY YOU, FREAK!"
He freaked out until he felt the blood drip from his hand, smirking as he replied:
"Oh...heh..righ', now you speakin' mah language twig-boy."
"Oh, NOW you talk like us?! Well too late fer words fuckface, cuz now you're DEAD!"
The thief came charging as Roy stood waiting, smiling as he bent down like a bull before tackling forwards, the hilt of his Great Knife sticking bluntly out behind his head as the thief stabbing himself upon it in the gut. The creature cried out from the sudden pain and backed off clutching his stomach, but not before Roy stood up and grabbed him by the throat, choking him briefly before a solid slamdunk of his fist came down from above.
Knocking out one of the group finally as he was pummelled with one shot, he waited for the other three to come down on him before one of them just simply pulled out a gun and fired towards Roy. He ducked with panic as the gunshot rang loud and clear throughout the street, the armed thief shooting him in the leg and wounding him gladly. Roy fell with a cry of pain and went down on his knees, grunting at the blood now running from his bare-clawed feet.
"GUUUUUH! NNNNNNGH! MUTHAFUCKER!"
"You still wanna keep fighting, fuckhead?" threatened the thief.
"Thuh hell's your damn problem, you gonna shoot sumbody over a fuckin' PURSE?!"
"What the hell's YOUR problem chasing down one of us through four fucking streets, over some lady's stuff?!"
"You thuh criminal man, you figure it out, ah ain't lettin' sum thief get away all nice an' clean!"
"Well look at you, a wannabe cop. Then you'll be a dead wannabe cop..."
The thief pointed the gun towards his head coldly.
"Unless you give back that purse...and all your stuff."
"Pfft...fuck man, mah stuff ain't worth shit to you."
"Maybe not...but you come walking down my street lookin' for a fight and I promise that you'll walk out empty-handed. Now...your money or your life."
The moment he said this however, a blur of vicious brown came charging out of nowhere across Roy's vision, the gun suddenly gone as the creature screamed with pure frenzy. The sounds of something fierce came growling from his direction, the raptor seeing some dog-like beast on his left ripping the thief's arm to shreds, tearing the hand that struggled to keep holding the gun. From the opposite direction, something much bigger came charging down to knock through the other two thieves, a brutish roar colliding with them like a tank crushing glass bottles.
Roy tried not to stand up, feeling the pain of his foot now grow as the blood ran somewhat smoother, the large dog-beast ripping the gun from the thief before forcing him to surrender by a brief mauling. The other two thieves were soon dealt with by a five-second knockout, courtesy of the dark emerald-coloured creature that stood surely around eight feet tall. Once the sounds of screaming stopped, the two monsters walked up towards Roy. A fish-eyed canid with smooth scaled body, and a huge toad-like beast with a ridged humped back and tanned skin beneath plated armour. The bigger one soon asked him:
"Hey, you alright?"
"I said you alright?"
Roy's eyes woke up to see Dhar Khern standing over him, the bed feeling suddenly very small from underneath him as the giant hulking krogan blocked out the light completely. His face even by krogan standards was gruesome, the valley-shaped scar looking rather deep into the flesh of his entire left cheek and jaw. Roy stammered back with:
"Uh, y-y-yeah ahm fine, why?"
"We just got to Virmire, we're landing down now. You been sleeping off a lot lately."
"Ah don't got nuthin' to do man, you don't wanna let me cook an' you handle all thuh cleaning."
"True...just making sure."
"Alrigh', ahma need my swimsuit for this right?"
"If you want...if you have one."
"Just don't try to tease my girls and you'll be fine."
"Ah don't intend to, ah already got someone."
The krogan walked off but not before Roy asked:
"You got a swimsuit too?"
He smirked just before he left the room, leaving Roy to get dressed. Or rather to not get dressed once he saw the planet outside. A beautiful sprawling beach with palm trees and rocky shorelines, with beaches interlaced between them. It was the perfect place to relax, almost too perfect to imagine. A place in the sun that was shining bright, golden sands with odd pod-shaped crabs scuttling back and forth aimlessly, as well as many a cove within the rock formations to hide and seek. Roy could barely remember the last time he had been at a beach. Then he remembered whilst laughing to himself.
"Hmhmhahaha, damn treasure trove, that wuz a fun day. Ah never got to try waveracin' before...never thought ah'd see a bear an' a bird beat mah ass at it...even got to see an island hidden all off away with sumthin' inside it...whut wuz it now, sharkbait island, sharkfood? Hhhmmmmm...ah shoulda packed sumthin', welp guess ah have to dress down for this."
He was last to leave the ship as he stepped out in nothing but a pair of boxers, worn beneath his slacks as he walked down the rampway from beneath the ship, the Chakino parked at rest upon the shoreline, wide and greatly spanning across a panoramic view as far as the eye could see. The rocky cliffs behind them were only twice as tall as the ship, which stood aloof at a good 30 feet tall whilst resembling a bloated arrow with a circular bulge in the middle. The glinting pearl colour of the ship was its only indication of a past life in medical careers.
The crew were out playing amongst the water, with the exception of Calun who had kept himself shut inside his room like always. Khern was wearing nothing, not even bothering to put on any clothes the entire day thanks to his plated self which showed plenty enough muscle. Puttz was happily running through the waters back and forth, snuffling up at the two asari sisters who went wading into the sea, the water perfectly warm and blue whilst wearing faded yellow swimsuits covering their torsos.
Roy looked quite the classic figure, a sculpted merit of training's worth on a body with fine thick arms and thighs the colour of charcoal. At one time he had been running across football fields, back and forth whilst overpowering other foes in hardened helmets and padded armour. Now he was running through entire galaxies, his arms made stronger after years of sword-swinging whilst his legs kept firm and taut. Strong and defiant, like an oak tree still standing after a forest fire. His tail whipped out behind him, a dark-shaded snap of pure muscle back and forth quite smoothly as the girls called out to him.
"HI ROOOOY!" cried out Alestia.
"NICE SWIMWEAR!" added Nirethia. "DON'T LET PUTTZ TAKE 'EM FROM YOU!"
"HE WON'T!" shouted back Roy before mumbling, "...he better not."
Wading into the sea himself, he took time out to enjoy and swim amongst the ocean, the natural rocky barrier preventing anyone from being washed away which made this the perfect beach for swimming. Roy had never seen such a slice of heaven. In truth, he had always imagined entering Heaven to be like washing up on a shore. He was not entirely certain however on whether that thought was original, or if he saw it off a movie elsewhere.
But nevertheless he had fun in the water, paddling with Puttz, teasing the brutish varren who was overjoyed by his time in the water, his scales cooling down as he paddled furiously around the other crew members. For a few hours Roy could forget entirely about the world around him. All of them could, even Khern was smiling with wry chuckles as his daughters splashed and kicked and biotically-charged waves of water to come crashing down on each other's heads. Nothing huge, but just enough to make the krogan not stagger one bit as he resisted their assault, laughing at their efforts.
Roy also managed to do some aquatic trickery of his own, teasing them with ice shots harmlessly spreading across the sea before the natural salts began to dissipate it once more. Plus the tropical weather made it impossible for ice to remain, the sun shining down on their backs as a stormy wind came from far away, off beyond the horizon. The gathering of dark clouds felt ominous, but they paid it no mind, least for now. Eventually, after a good while of fun and relaxation, his body shimmering with water from his scales that went rippling around his waist, they got down to business.
The plentiful sources of seaweed in the warm coastal waters made gathering easy for the Chakino crew, Khern being the one to hold a giant ball of pale-yellow weeds before they placed it in a vat. The vat was filled with actual seawater from Virmire, deposited by Roy and the asari sisters to make sure that the seaweed would not die out before reaching its destination. After gathering enough to fill the large tank, they sealed it firmly before setting off out of Virmire, heading back towards Omega.
Roy had only been in Omega once before, and already he hated seeing it again. The wretched mire of corruption and criminality made him feel out of place, a lost soul in a haven of thieves. No police, no laws, only those mandated by the most powerful of crime bosses. As a movie, this would be entertaining to him. As a reality, it made his stomach turn. He walked down the streets through the vendors' market, heading up towards the clinic where he had his contact to meet. The one good person he saw in this place that he actively knew was trying to do good.
Dr. Solus seemed like the sort of academic who had no time for people, always keeping close to his theories and equations rather than with living bodies. He was brusque because he had no time to be courteous, he had no time to waste with formalities when every second could count. A faux-pas to him was worth being labelled with in order to save a few lives. Roy understood this.
At least this doctor had an excuse, not like the ones he knew back in high school that had no time for "peons of muscle" like him. He walked back into the clinic, his gun deactivated and the room much darker than he expected. He felt like a mad scientist was at work here, pressuring his mind to make the most insane idea yet, something wild and unbelieveable that would defy God's domain. As it was, he was currently mixing two vials of orange and red to create something much stranger in colour. Roy didn't even have a word for it. In fact neither did the English language.
"Dr. Solus?" asked Roy.
"Hmm, AH, yes you! Good to see you back, have samples?"
"Mmhmm, ah got a whole tank of seaweed up on thuh ship, you just send out someone an' you can pick it right up."
"Yes, excellent, appreciate such business. Eletanian samples worked perfectly, finest selection, much toxicity."
"Awesome, you uh...get all toxicked up on that, ahma go head off an-OH uh...did that other raptor come back to see you?"
"Yes, yes he did, a week ago. Came to me unconscious, was most amusing."
"Yeah yeah ah remember you sayin' that last tahm, he met sum guy called Archangel?"
"Found location of who he was looking for, went off to Citadel, never came back since then."
"No? ...dammit. No contacts to you either?"
"Unfortunately. Has not returned to Omega, have been keeping eye out myself for him, forgot to mention twice even tha-...ah."
"Apologies, patient-doctor confidentiality, prohibits from speaking of...unsavoury details."
"Wait, he got sum kinda disease or sumthin'?"
"Not making assumptions, but at same time will not explain. Please understand, must keep level of respect between doctor and patient, regardless of reasoning."
"Even if said patient wuz a murderer?"
"Job is to heal, not to judge. Laws of justice deal with patients outside of hospital. Laws of medicine deal with patients within."
"Alrigh', ah understand. Hmmmmmph..."
The raptor rubbed his head strongly with one hand, running over his snout before slipping neatly over the top of his head, rubbing the back neck as Dr. Solus went walking from one station to the other. Constantly on the move, he was a neverending blur of red and white flicking between chemicals, jotting down notes on his omni-tool with text recordings, visualised straight before him on a flickering orange screen above his wrist. The raptor waited for him to stop moving a few seconds before he asked:
"Any idea where he might have gone?"
"Not certain," said Solus, "but...might have possible premonition."
"Blue Suns, mentioned recent contract, occurred from Citadel, 'capture and detain one of their own', most intriguing to hear."
"Where'd you hear 'bout that?!"
"Rumors spread faster than disease. Doctors know. Know how to spot dangers eminent in both."
"Ahhh...so whut's that got to do with FG?"
"Oh...must have slipped, forgot to mention, Campbell joined Blue Suns just after meeting me."
"WH-...WHUT?! He went an' joined a fuckin' gang?!"
"Precisely, forgot to mention, wasn't relevant at time of briefing, had already left for Citadel. Wasn't useful to add."
He palmed his face with frustration oblivious to Dr. Solus, before sighing deeply to start asking again.
"Where. Is he?"
"Possibly captured by Blue Suns, seems to been made a target, contract asked specifically by Blue Suns to hunt him down."
"Do you know it's even him?"
"Mentioned new recruit, found on Citadel, said they were not too sad to see him go after 'screwing their chance to take down Archangel'. Perhaps feel it necessary to terminate with them."
"Damn, he fucked up that bad?"
"Not exactly. Blue Suns simply businessmen, care more about money than...integrity."
"Plus, new recruit, implies foot soldier, no less than three months employment. Campbell only joined them last month."
"So it all fits reasonably. Should ah go ask 'em?"
"Would be difficult, would find it very suspicious if you knew of such contract. Perhaps...do the same to him."
"Explain a contract, say you already had him as target, would be very disappointed to find someone else took him, would at least requisition his body for...paying for his crimes."
"Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...so if ah say he already got a hit on him, then they might be obliged as 'businessmen'..."
He said this with the slowest air quotes he ever made in his life.
"Then ah might be able to arrange sum kinda deal. But ah don't wanna give no money to some damn thugs."
"Why pay," asked the doctor, "when you can threaten?"
"Threat of imminent destruction, sometimes far more effective than actual result. Easy to claim as some form of diplomat, high-level authority, request extradition treaties or suffer full force of mighty army."
"Uhhhh...ah ain't got an army doctor."
"Intimidate. Prey upon lack of information, ignorance turned against them."
Dr. Solus turned round from his work and placed his long spindly fingers together, as if he was about to plot the end of this world.
"Impale them by own ignorance. Let them run foolishly, headlong into oblivion, trap them with...uncertainty."
Roy found himself becoming quite terrified of the good doctor, backing up slightly before Solus turned back round with a smile as his eyes closed, focusing back on his work with the small tweaking of a neuroscope. He let his guest leave without another word, smirking to himself as Roy went straight back to the ship.