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Take the Initiative

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There was no special fanfare, no dark void or abyss of death. I was there in my world one moment, and then the next- I simply wasn't. I blinked and stumbled and then I was on my back, opening my eyes.

I sat up on metal floors, between metal crates on a ship. How did I know it was a ship? Because I recognized it.

The Tempest's cargo bay was deserted when I sat up and started blinking at the room around me- but soon enough there were three people inching into the room with their guns drawn. Like, real ones. Ones that made me stare for a minute because they were so elegant and simple and beautiful while still looking sci-fi.

At the sight of my sleepiness, they lowered their guns, but didn't really put them away.

If this is a dream, don't wake me up. Well. Actually do. Right before one of them shoots me, please. But not until then.

"A stowaway?" Scott Ryder stands before me in all his gawky, gangly glory. Like, seriously. He gangles. I dunno how you gangle, but he does it. "When did she board the Tempest? SAM?"

The hold echoes around us. "She did not," is SAM's response. "She was not there, and then she was. As if she simply sprang into being on the ship."

"Some kind of teleportation technology? That isn't even- is that even possible? Do you think the Kett have anything like that?" Cora says. "Hey. Hey, who are you?" She says directly to me.

I blink at her a little, but don't respond. I don't think I could if I tried right now. My brain is muddled, everything is kinda…wonky.

"She looks like she's in shock." Cora comments. "Do we have those blanket things people use for that?"

"Those went out of use a while ago, Cora. You watch too many movies." Liam scoffs.

Scott sighs, "get Lexi. Once she's stable, we'll have a chat with her."

Crewmembers from all areas of the Tempest are clustered outside the doors to the cargo bay, peeking into the room like a bunch of very nosy kids. They slowly built up there over the conversation between the original trio and now there's so many of them it's ridiculous. Even with the small amount of crew on the Tempest, it's a lot in that small doorway.

It makes me snort a little bit to see them shoving themseves into each other to get a better view.

Scott looks over his shoulder toward where I'm looking and sighs explosively. "Guys, close the damn door!"

I see a flash of pink and blue before the door seals itself shut. A deep voice asking a question I can no longer hear in a language I don't understand anyway.

'That was Jaal.' Peebee, Gil and Vetra were there too, but that's the one that's really making my heart race.

"So…getting Lexi?" Liam points toward the door and grins, then walks toward it, putting his gun away. "Be right back."

… … … …

"So we've established there's nothing wrong with her, aside from the fact she had no omni-tool." I can understand Lexi now. "Her body has no special add-ons like anyone in the military would have, but she seems civilian so that isn't strange."

After she had me injected with the omni-tool hardware- seriously injected it right into my body- I could finally understand whatever Asari dialect she was speaking. Before that, she had to say everything to Scott so he could repeat it to me.

They moved me from the Cargo Bay to the Med Center when the initial scans showed nothing and had me lie on one of the cots so she could get a deeper scan of my body.

"Why were you in the Cargo Bay?" Scott finally asks me, now that Lexi's signed off on my wellness.

Damn. Can't get away with being mute anymore. "I don't know," I respond.

"How could you not know?" Cora is still in the room, sitting on the cot across from mine, scoffing at me. "Did you just happen to stumble into some kind of teleporter or better yet, maybe it's divine providence." Her tone is distinctly scornful.

"Don't make light of other people's religions." I instantly snap. "No, I don't think it's divine providence, but if I did- it'd be my right to think so." Why did that rile me so bad? I usually let shit like that roll off my back. I guess the dismissive edge to her words was just too grating.

"Hey hey, everybody stay calm…we can figure this out…I think." Scott has his hands outstretched toward each of us.

Cora scoffs again and crosses her arms. "We have no idea who she is or what she wants, Scott. She could be here to kill you for all we know."

"She doesn't look like she could kill anybody right now." Scott says, giving Cora a look. "She's pale and sick and no matter where she's from she deserves basic care. Innocent until proven Guilty, Cora."

"I have experience with guns," I say, right up front. "But only on a shooting range and…well. I took a police-training course once. I failed the psychological exam, though." People with Depression and Anxiety aren't often considered to be worth the risk, I guess. Add in all my paranoia issues and the fact that I sometimes can't move for days at a time…well. I guess it wasn't all that unreasonable of them. I just really really wanted to be a cop. "I have mental conditions so…" I shrug.

Scott listens and doesn't interrupt me. I appreciate that. "So you have some training but no experience? Even more of a rookie than me, then." He grins. "Well. Did you come from the Nexus?"

"No." I respond. "I've never been on the Nexus."

"How is this possible?" Lexi asks, turning her head. "Were you on the Ark?"

"No." I respond. "Yesterday I was on earth. I blinked, and now I'm here."

"On Earth?" Scott sighs and shakes his head. "In what year?"

Okay, so I could tell the truth and say, 2017. Or I could lie and come up with an incredibly simple backstory that would explain what I'm doing here. I could also tell them they're a video game, but that isn't happening.

"2186." I respond. "The Reapers were attacking Earth."